Tag Archive: doomsday

Becoming The Bank In TEOTWAWKI: “Everything Will Be Based On Real and Tangible Assets”

This article has be contributed by James Rawles’ Survival Blog and was written by J.M.

James Rawles is the author of the popular Patriots series of books on the topic of surviving in a post-collapse world, as well How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It. Follow his excellent commentary, news and regularly published preparedness tips and strategies at the Survival Blog Website.

It has happened. The event that we have all talked about for so many years has come to fruition. The banking and monetary system, after many years of bail-outs and market manipulations, has finally collapsed. Many have plans to “bug out” to the safety of their isolated retreat where they plan to hunker down and weather the financial tempest that surrounds them. I have to admit that this is probably the best short-term plan to survive, but what do you do when your supplies run out? What will the long-term solution be, until a new monetary system is established? How could someone position themselves to be part of the solution rather than waiting for the solution to come to them?

Several very knowledgeable people have discussed a great many topics regarding preparedness in case of an economic catastrophe in our country. Whether it is inflation, deflation, or stagflation, the economic impact on our currency could be severe. That is why, in tandem with all my preps, which includes a paid off, well-stocked retreat with a water filtration system, solar/wind power generators, fuel and farming gear, and all the necessary supplies, I have also positioned myself to act as an interim bank, mercantile, and co-op for day-to-day purchases, exchanges, and loans, until a new currency is established by the government.

There will probably be a period, albeit a short one (I’m guessing six months or so but maybe longer), where U.S. dollars will not be the preferred medium for exchange. I feel that some will barter directly for food with whatever goods or services they may have, but what does one do when they do not possess something that the other party covets or desires? It will be necessary for something to serve as a “store” of value.

The biggest problem, though, is that whatever is used will need to be available in several small denominations and be easily recognizable to all. People tend to gravitate towards the familiar. The closest thing to our old beloved dollar will be pre-65 coinage, recognizable .999 silver bars/coins, and our current 75/25 nickels and pre-82 pennies. Gold will also be coveted but only for larger purchase, in my opinion, as even a gram of gold will far exceed the purchase price of most goods needed for day-to-day living expenses.

After assessing the demographics surrounding my retreat, I discovered that I had about 1,000 people within a 10-mile radius. I then established what the current AVERAGE dollar amount is for Americans to have for cash-on-hand at any given time. After pouring over several statistical analyses regarding this issue, I’ve found that that number rests between $80 and $100. That basically means that for each person (man, woman, and child), you would need 4-5 ounces of silver or a gram and a half to two grams of gold for each person. Your base coinage values would be established at coinflation.com values.

The key to all this is to not just put aside one ounce and one gram increments of bullion. You need that dollar value to be reached with a diversified breakdown of coinage and bars that allow the populace to be able to make multiple purchases with their $80-$100 worth of currency. This is where 90% dimes, quarters, half dollars, fractional bullion, and quality-base coinage come into play. Let’s take my population of 1,000 persons as an example. To serve as the “bank” for that many people, I have put aside these denominations:

  • 30 ounces of gold consisting of: (200) one gram bars, (50) 1/10 oz coins, (12) ¼ oz coins, (6) ½ oz coins, (10) 1 ounce coins, and one 100 gram bar.
  • 3000 ounces of silver consisting of: 500 ounces of Premium bars ranging from 1-10 ounces, 750 ounces of Silver Eagles, 750 ounces of Premium Silver rounds (Engelhard, Johnson Matthey, Maples), $1,000 face of 90% coinage ($500 in dimes, $250 in quarters, and $250 in half dollars).
  • $2500 of base coinage consisting of: $2000 in nickels and $500 in pre-82 pennies.

The above amounts are worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000.00 at today’s “spot” value. That means, I am a little more than 10% above what I need to operate as an interim “bank”. That additional 10% will be necessary, as you still have to have additional liquidity to provide security for your “bank” and provide extra (float) money for those that wish to secure extra funds through collateralization or outright sale of their goods. People will still want “loans” to help get them through, and this will mean that if one wishes to act as a “bank”, they need to be prepared to lend and take in collateral for the loan, or be willing to act as a “mercantile” or “co-op”, as people will not have a lot of money but may also have goods that the “bank” can buy and then re-sell to others in the community.

You won’t be able to act as our current-day, money-grubbing, greedy banksters do. You will need to be a staple of the community– helping others and acting as a “conduit” for exchange in a noble manner. Anything else will lead to a good old-fashioned tar-and-feathering or worse…and rightfully so. You will still have to have excellent security, too, as banks have been, and always will be TARGETS. Do not take being a bank for your local community lightly. You are definitely breaching OPSEC in many ways by acting in such a manner. However, SOMEBODY needs to do it, but you better be damn sure that your neighbors are as committed and endeared to you as you are to helping them.

Another necessary item will be a VERY LARGE BUILDING with a stock yard to serve as your center for exchange. I would definitely recommend that you build it in such a way to house a myriad of goods and products. Everything from food, seeds, and livestock, to other material goods such as guns, ammo, and medical supplies will need to be stored there. You will also need, of course, a vault.

You’ll have to work hard, but being the center of exchange for a community has its benefits as well. When you are just a consumer, you eventually run out of money. When you are the bank/mercantile/co-op, you have continuous flow, and you can make a small amount on each transaction to be able to maintain and even grow your wealth…even in a bad time. This is not a license to fleece people by any means, but most people will not begrudge you a reasonable profit for the services you provide to the community, as long as you are compassionate, charitable, and friendly to all who patronize you.

Many will comment that putting yourself out there in such a manner is not responsible. Let me be clear: I do not recommend attempting this unless you have established yourself with people PRIOR to the “great reset”. Trying to do so when you are not integrated into the area would be foolish in my opinion, BUT, the potential to be “the bank” in your area is possible, if you lay the proper groundwork. When people know you, they tend to be more open to dealing with you. It is human nature to be suspicious of someone’s motives, if you are unfamiliar with them. When others in the area will vouch for your character, it can make all the difference in the world and can lead to strong relationships that can be of great use when things are difficult.

The reason for writing this article is not to show how someone can capitalize on other’s misfortunes but rather to show how we can be a part of the solution and be proactive in re-establishing commerce in our area rather than just waiting for civilization to restore itself. I would like to think that the people on this forum are going to be a part of our country’s rebirth after fiat paper collapses. We can all play an integral role in bringing REAL MONEY to the forefront in our area. It takes courage and fortitude to put oneself out there and help to be a part of the solution. Our forefathers were patriots and risked a heck of a lot more than what I am proposing.

Regionalized banking truly is the best system in my opinion. When folks are tight-knit and know each other, there are simply less defaults on loans, and risky lending does not take place. Once we went to global banking systems, the human factor was eliminated from the equation. Credit unions and co-op’s, as well as localized banking, is what can work and even flourish. It is that “village concept” that will be key to restoring faith and credit, as everything will be based on real and tangible assets and NOT a fractional reserve system that is, quite frankly “imaginary money” with no real backing. My goal here is to spark discussion, and I am sure others will have more to add to my thoughts. I welcome all your ideas, criticisms, and additional input to becoming the “bank” in TEOTWAWKI. The squeamish need not prescribe!

–God Bless


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Be Prepared

For many of us, the phrase “Be Prepared,” is a familiar motto associated with the Boy Scouts of America. However, in this day and age of absolute uncertainty, it is imperative that we all have a plan that ensures we have taken the measures to be prepared for any, and all events. The prepper movement appears to be exploding across America, and among those joining the ranks of preppers, are people with serious concerns about the future of our country.

Natural disasters are just one area of interest for people in the prepper movement, political disasters are another. Of the two, political disasters are drawing the majority of new members into the prepper movement. Millions of illegal immigrants are already in America, and tens of thousands more are swarming across our borders, as a direct result of the current administration’s willingness to turn a blind eye, and grant them amnesty if at all possible. We are at the precipice of a major turning point in American history folks, and if we are not prepared properly, we shall certainly suffer the consequences.


“A massive surge of illegal immigrants is underway, with newly leaked photos revealing hundreds of immigrant children packed like sardines in detention centers.

Illegal immigrant minors are crossing into the U.S., and border patrol is overwhelmed and unable to care for them. The government has been putting them on buses and “dumping” them on street corners in cities like Phoenix, Ariz. Military bases in Texas, California and Oklahoma are also being used to house them.

The problem could reportedly go from bad to worse. Officials say 6,560 unaccompanied minor aliens crossed the border in 2011. This year, it’s estimated that the number will jump to more than 90,000.

Unlike Mexican citizens, illegals from Central America can’t be sent home; they must be turned over to HHS and are released to family and friends.

“This is a crisis of the federal government’s creation, and the fact that the border remains unsecure – now apparently intentionally – while this operation continues full-steam ahead is deplorable,” Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said in a statement.

Judge Andrew Napolitano weighed in tonight on “The Kelly File,” blaming the president for not enforcing the law.

“The president of the United States personally and directly caused this with a telephone and a pen,” he said, explaining that Obama has been encouraging illegal aliens.

Filmmaker Dennis Michael Lynch has been warning of this crisis.

“Entire villages are emptying out and coming from Central America through Mexico to the United States,” he told Megyn Kelly tonight, calling this “the tip of the iceberg.”

Now, the administration is asking for $2 billion to address the issue.

“This may energize the president’s base for the November elections, but this will totally alienate independents and middle Americans who will have to pay for this,” Napolitano said.

The judge said the government is giving free food, shelter, clothing, health care, education and lawyers to these children.

“This is the same government that dumps them on a street corner. If any of us dumped children on a street corner, we would be arrested for child abuse,” he said.”

Maybe you don’t think an influx of illegal immigrants is worth worrying about. Perhaps the small town, or community you live in, hasn’t been chosen as a dumping point. The truth of the matter is this; regardless of where you live, this affects us all negatively. We are sorely lacking in so many areas of providing for our own, the financial burden placed on us by allowing illegal immigrants to stay in our country, will only continue to expand in the coming months and years, as more immigrants flock illegally to America knowing they won’t be turned away


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Maps for Hazardous Areas in the United States- Past, Present, AND Future

I found several maps that show interesting info that I wanted to share:


Includes, earthquake prone areas, volcanic hazards,
nuclear fallout areas, earth change maps, and more.

Sources of these Maps

Some maps and images are from government publications or websites, some were found in the newsgroup alt.binary.astro and other websites.

Vulcanic Hazard Map















Source: http://www.kgs.ku.edu/Extension/image/earthquake3.html

Source: http://www.mgs.md.gov/esic/brochures/earthquake.html


Comparison of damage and destruction of 1906 San Francisco,

1811-12 New Madrid, and 1880’s Charleston Earthquakes.

Tornado Risk Map


Nuclear targets and Fallout areas


1990 FEMA Report on Possible fallout regions after nuclear attack

Nuclear targets based on known defense, value of target, population, and military sites

Effects of a ONE megaton nuclear detonation

Effects of a 25 megaton nuclear detonation

Downwind radiation dose-rate after nuclear detonation


Maps of the US after predicted EARTH CHANGES


Gordon Michael Scallion

Lori Toye

John Running Deer Eleazer













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Death by Tooth Abscess: Post-SHTF Reality


I recently read a book where the solider had several of his team die from tooth issues when doctors where not available.


At the same time this came out: Another great article from Dr. Bones.


Tooth Abscess Images by Kathryn Darden

(Dr. Bones says: From time to time, we post guest articles by promising writers in the field of preparedness. This week, our post is from Damian Brindle, who has a ton of preparedness videos, guides, and articles on his website at rethinksurvival.com.  He relates a family story that underscores the risks that dental problems would pose in a post-shtf setting.)

Death by Abscess Tooth: It Could Happen to You Post-SHTF!

by Damian Brindle

Normally, I don’t like writing about medical topics as I’m not qualified to discuss them like the Alton’s are. Regardless, I wanted to point out a real-life situation that happened to my family only a few weeks ago.

Long story short, my wife’s uncle passed away at too early of an age due, I’m told, to not more aggressively treating an abscessed tooth. Don’t worry, they weren’t exceptionally close but it was still a shock to the family.

Anyway, the story goes that he was complaining of a toothache (or general face pain associated with it) which was diagnosed as an abscessed tooth months ago.

It seems the medical professionals attempted to treat the infection first using various antibiotics over that time—I don’t know which ones—which didn’t seem to work. Ultimately, he ended up in the hospital with heart complications that eventually led to his death due to various systemic failures.

–(Dr. Bones says: Indeed, an abscessed tooth may become an avenue for bacteria to enter the bloodstream and cause a body-wide infection called septicemia and even damage to heart valves.)–

According to the doctors there they said that it was all a result of the abscessed tooth not being dealt with fast enough or early enough. I assume they felt the tooth needed to be pulled early but I always thought you needed to treat an abscess with antibiotics before pulling the tooth, though this appears to be up to the medical professionals.

Again, this is all hearsay funneled through multiple people so I could have some of the facts a bit wrong. The point simply is that even seemingly treatable problems such as an abscess tooth in modern times aren’t always curable when the healthcare system is functioning like normal.

If/when the SHTF during a grid-down collapse something like an abscess tooth (or even lesser problems like a poorly treated cut) could easily turn deadly. Just think about what life must have been like a few hundred years ago when antibiotics weren’t readily available and, even worse, when there were all sorts of “snake oil” salesmen… who desperate people believed!

I know it’s possible to stockpile fish antibiotics (and I do) for such occasions–Dr. Alton has several good articles on the topic–but looking at the use of these antibiotics in the hands of a layman like me, I shudder to think about trying to properly diagnose and treat a potentially serious illness like this one.

After all, if the doctors can’t get it right in normal times, what chance to do I have? Likely a very small one, indeed.

Honestly, this event has made me reconsider my small stockpile of fish antibiotics. First, I doubt it’s nearly enough. Second, I probably don’t have the right ones (or the right combinations) for more serious problems. Third, I almost certainly don’t have the knowledge to use them for something like this! In fact, I might do more harm than good in this instance… who knows.

–(Dr. Bones says: Amoxicillin is a common antibiotic used for tooth abscesses, followed by Clindamycin and Metronidazole for penicillin-allergic patients. Incision and drainage, and even tooth extraction, is indicated in many cases if antibiotics fail. Information regarding useful antibiotics for various issues can be found in various articles on our website and, of course, in our “Survival Medicine Handbook”.  Use the category selections on the left sidebar or the search engine function to find what interests you.)–

Also check out these two articles: Survival Antibiotics  and SURVIVAL ANTIBIOTICS-2

This incident is definitely making me consider searching for more knowledgeable people I might be able to rely upon during a grid-down situation. Who that can be where I live now, I don’t know. At the very least, it’s also making me less foolhardy in assuming I can be a medical professional.

Hopefully, you’re not making the same poor assumptions I have.


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Why I Read Disaster Novels, and You Should, Too

When I was a kid, I was a voracious reader. I read a novel a day and if I couldn’t find something new to read, I would read a book over again. The variety of genres and subjects I read were all over the place and I have gone through phases of reading only mystery or only non-fiction.

While I have recently been on a fantasy/fiction kick (HONOR HARRINGTON SERIES, anyone?), I have also been reading books that deal with some country or world-changing scenario and follow people as they try to survive. I call them “disaster books” for lack of a better term. I suppose they could be called apocalyptic books, or SHTF books, or survivor books. “Dystopian” is the most recent popular term for them. Whatever you call them, these books have a value that many people do not recognize.


With all of the kinds of stories and different perspectives I have read about in my life, I have a great imagination and can put myself into pretty much any role and understand why the character would think, or feel, or act in certain ways. Even the ‘bad guys.’ The entertainment value and escapism is wonderful, of course, but the fact that it enriched my way of thinking and increased my ability to see both sides of the story is far more important. It has allowed me to adapt to odd situations more easily and handle emergencies with calm focus (I tend to ‘freak out’ after it is all over, haha!) and that is vitally important in disaster situations.

Disaster Novels (Dystopian Literature)

With the overall shift of our lifestyle, enter my interest in disaster stories. Stories depicting an EMP taking out the electrical grid in our country


or a meteor hitting the planet and sending tidal waves across the oceans, helps the reader visualize and consider things what they would do and need to counter such an event.

By reading books that present these scenarios in a non-threatening way (it’s just a story, right?), readers can safely get caught up in the emotions and truly contemplate how they would feel, react, and respond. It is easy to judge characters’ decisions while you are safe and secure in your home reading. If you apply what they are going through to your own situation and how it would truly affect you, the realizations may be huge (as in you are NOT prepared at all) or they may simply reaffirm that you have been on the right track for years.

For me, reading these types of books has opened my eyes to areas in which I need to improve or things that I have overkilled. They give great conversation material with your spouse or group on how you would collectively respond. They can expose areas you all need to address to be better equipped to overcome a disaster.

The largest and most valuable side to reading this particular genre of book, though, is the mental aspect of. Reading these books help to expose your mind to these unlikely (but possible) scenarios. If you take it a step further and form a plan in your mind or go all out to improve your chances, you are ahead of the game so far that you have lapped the people on the couch twice already.

One of the biggest skills we can learn as preppers or self-sufficient people is how to react when sudden and unexpected events occur. We have to mentally train our minds to react instead of freeze up. It is my strong belief that reading some of these types of books and really letting yourself get caught up in them will help on that path.

There are dozens of books like this on Kindle and Nook that are usually $3 or less – many are free. Some aren’t the best story or written very well, so choose at your own risk. Reader reviews and rankings can be helpful, if you read them. When a book doesn’t have many reviews, a single person who rates it as one star because they hated the hero(ine)’s name (or five stars because they loved the cover) can seriously skew the results, so it’s worth taking the extra minute. Also, an outstanding book may have only a few reviews if it is new or poorly marketed.

Here are some of the books I have read recently that are not only well done, they can really make you think:

Other books that are recommended:

Survival Books for Your Collection

Here are the books I recommend for every bookshelf, along with Amazon links so you can read more about them, including reader’s reviews.


Wake Up, People! : Books for motivating you to prepare

One Second After by William Forstchen

Patriots by James Wesley Rawles

299 Days Series, by Glen Tate


Last Light by Terri Blackstock

Lights Out by David Crawford

Stacey’s Quest by AK Steele


The Night the Lights Went Out, by John Eider

Back Across The Pond, by Susan Gregersen

A Tale of Two Preppers, by Susan Gregersen

The Rally point: Bugging Home, by Susan Gregersen

77 Days in September, by Ray Gorham


Mental Preparedness

Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzalez

The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker

The Survivors Club by Ben Sherwood

The Unthinkable by Amanda Ripley


Wilderness and Outdoor Survival

Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before it’s too Late by Scott B. Williams

Survive! Essential Skills and Tactics to Get You Out of Anywhere – Alive by Les Stroud

Will to Live by Les Stroud



The Backyard Homesteadby Carleen Madigan

Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag by Creek Stewart

Crisis Preparedness Handbook by Jack A. Spigarelli

Dirt-Cheap Survival Retreat by M.D. Creekmore

The Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook by Joseph and Amy Alton

The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery

Gardening When it Counts by Steve Solomon

How to Survive the End of the World as we Know it by James Wesley Rawles

LDS Preparedness Manual (free download)

The Modern Survival Manual by Fernando Aguirre

The Prepper’s Pocket Guide by Bernie Carr

Prescription for Herbal Healing by Phyllis A. Balch

When all Hell Breaks Loose, by Cody Lundin

When There is no Doctor by David Werner

Where There is no Dentist by Murray Dickson


Food Storage and Preservation

Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving by Judi Kingry

Cookin with Home Storage by Peggy Layton & Vicki Tate

Dinner is in the Jar by Kathy Clark

Food Storage 101 by Peggy Layton

Food Storage Made Easy

Mary Bell’s Complete Dehydrator Cookbook by Mary Bell

Poverty Prepping: How to Stock up For Tomorrow When You Can’t Afford To Eat Today , by Susan Gregersen


Here’s a link to the Survival Mom’s book, Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst Case Scenarios.



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What YOU need to know NOW before the SHTF

This is a guest post by Dan W

The answers to all the questions listed below need to be answered with brutally honesty if you are to be able to determine what you will need to survive any catastrophe, event, civil unrest, etc. The more accurate your answers the better you will be able to prepare:

Why are you thinking about prepping? What is your main fear about the future? Define your most pressing concerns and fears. How would their occurrence would affect your day to day life. Be realistic and think “independence” as most events will render our grid system of electricity inoperative or marginal at best. Communications will be degraded or nonexistent. Deliveries of critical goods will be infrequent if at all. You must be able to survive as an independent entity. What will you need to do that? And for how long?

  • Define Your Circumstances: How many people will you be surviving with?
  • How old are they? How old are you?
  • Does anyone need specific items (such as Rx Drugs) to survive?
  • What is the physical conditioning of each person?
  • Are there medical conditions such as allergies, restrictions in
  • movement, sight, etc. that adversely affects them?
  • Will you stay where you are or going someplace else?

Define your needs: This is as simple as determining how many people and for how long you are planning to survive. The needs for a healthy family of four to survive a four month period are vastly different than the same family planning for to survive for four year.

Identify your temperament: Are you an assertive “type A” hard charging personality or a follower that needs to be led? Will you do whatever it takes to survive? Could you kill another human in an act of self-defense of you, your family, or your possessions? Do you face difficult situations with strength or shy away because you are reluctant to deal with unpleasant topics? Be honest with yourself, the answer may surprise you.

How much can you spend for survival? : Define your financial status. How much extra money do you have, that you are willing to spend on those items you will need, to survive for the period of time you have chosen. Your investment in “prepping” supplies may never be recouped. Food stuffs can be eventually eaten, some items can be sold, but if the SHTF event does not occur, will you curse your decision to spend finances that might have been used elsewhere?

Your Fortress: Where is it that you have chosen to survive? Is it appropriate as a defensible position? How much storage does it have? Is access easy? What are the negatives? How would it be to live there without electricity, water, sewage disposal, etc.? How near are your neighbors. Do you know your neighbors? Will you be an easy target for the first hordes of hungry, angry, marauding gangs? Do you have access to a primary fortress somewhere else? Climate: Where do you live now or plan to live if you will be leaving your current position. In Prepper lingo this is called “bugging out. Your clothing should be appropriate for the climate where you will be including all of the seasons you may encounter. This consideration should include such items as snowshoes, thermal underwear, boots and ice studs, etc.

Power: Can you survive without power? Not for computers or cell phones but for pumping water from a well, running a small electric heater, or producing light. If you consider a generator then what type? Gas or propane? Are you physically fit enough to start and engine with a cord pull type starter? How will you store gasoline, diesel, or propane to run the device? How much fuel will run it for how long? What about solar power generation? How does that work? Are you knowledgeable enough to work with electricity? Is a source of independent electricity necessary?

Light: Regardless of whether or not you have a source of electricity you will need light to combat the dark of night. Oil lamps, solar lamps that store energy, hand crank flashlights and Coleman lamps are all possible remedies. If your device of choice uses a fuel such Coleman Fuel or propane how much do you need to have in reserve? How many lamp wicks and lamp oil is enough, how many light generation devices are enough?

Security: How will you secure your safety and prevent the theft of your supplies? Do not think that you will call 911 and then wait for the authorities to come to your rescue! You are alone! Whether or not you survive an encounter with one person, or a group, intent on obtaining what you have depends on you. Do you have guns and ammo? Are you comfortable with them and proficient at shooting? Can you kill if the needs arise? If the attack comes at night would you be able to see them before they see you. Do you have a perimeter defense system that will give you advance warning of an intruder?

Water: There are many resources that will tell you how much water a person needs to survive. Storage of water is easy but space consuming. Purifying water is easy if you have Clorox. A water purifier such as is used by hikers works well, but produces a limited amount of water and it takes disposable cartridges. Do you have a source to replenish your water supply? Counter top Purifiers are readily available but are not cheap. Water barrels to catch rain water are cheap and also available. If you plan to have a garden you will need to calculate the water requirements for that in addition to personal needs.

Food: How much is enough? The answer goes back to how many people for how long. Are there sources of foodstuffs you will have access to: wild grains, garden produce, wild game, fish, birds, or your stored foods? How much room do you have to store food that has a long shelf life? Do you have dietary restrictions? Do you have funds enough to buy prepared freeze dried foods? Do you have a way to cook food? How about boiling water every day? Again, the answer to the question of how much is enough depends on your answers to the preceding questions. Consider the age(s) of those you are planning for. Older folks can get by on fewer calories each day than younger people or children. Check out internet sites to see what they sell for different on what would work best for you and yours.

Medications: Prescription medications may be no longer available. Do you have a need for such items? How long will your supply last? Can you stockpile more meds? Are there any over the counter medications that will work as a substitute for prescription meds? Is the med a necessity to maintain life? You’ll have to figure this out an plan accordingly.

Money: What happens if paper currency (or coins) is no longer a source for obtaining what you need? Do you have goods, a skill or profession, food, etc. that you can use for trade goods? Ammunition, alcohol, cigarettes, food, medicines, water, gold, and silver can (and have been) used as trade goods. Think hard about this topic! If I have food and you have gold, and there is no market trading in precious metals, why would I want your gold? Without a viable market that is buying, selling, and setting the price on precious metals it has no worth. For a short term event precious metals might make sense but for a longer term upheaval, gold and silver don’t even make very good bullets …. they are too soft. You can’t eat your gold or silver.

Weapons & Ammo: Weapons are a necessity. Weapons without ammo are fancy hammers. Again the question of type and quantity applies. Weapons need to be cleaned and maintained. You will not be able to go down to the lock gun shop and get repair work done if something breaks. Redundancy is the way to handle this. Do not have one each of 10 different kinds of weapons. If you have a pistol, buy another of the same caliber. This is the same with rifles and shotguns. Buy a substantial amount of ammo for each weapon. The 357 caliber pistol is a good one to have as it can fire both 38 special and 357 calibers. Shotguns are good defense weapons and if you purchase one, get a 12 gauge. It has all the stopping power you need and doesn’t require a sharpshooter to hit a target. This is all a matter of personal choice, but essential to your survival. Do not carry an unloaded weapon …………… it is just extra weight and will do you no good when it is needed.

Knowledge: Do you have a good working knowledge of animal husbandry, gardening, advanced first aid, medicinal plants of your area, raising chickens, goats & rabbits, making alcohol, auto repair, or other issues important to a “back to the earth” standard of living”? If not, fill in the gaps with books. Real Books!!! Make a list of those things that you believe you might need to know in order to survive. An agrarian society demands skill sets that are very different from today’s push button electronic life.

Communication: Do you want to be able to communicate with people in remote locations? “Remote” can be a mile away or as far as the next state or country. Communication abilities will be important if members of your group have to forage or hunt away from the compound on a regular basis. FRS (Family Radio Service) transceivers are inexpensive but have limited range. They also require batteries. Solar chargers are inexpensive and can keep your rechargeable batteries ready for use. Perhaps you want to listen to what is being said. If so, a multiband receiver will be your tool. Again, they run on batteries. Buy a good one as what you are able to hear may make a difference in your planning at any given time.

Friends, Acquaintances, and Neighbors: Your relationship with everyone will change. If they know you are a Prepper, they will file that fact away and, when the worst happens, be the first ones to knock on your door. They will be seeking asylum. When they find out you are prepping, they will consider you a bit of a nut case. However, if the time comes to put it all to use , they will think of you as a genius. Do not consider a liaison with anyone that will not invest in prepping. If they are not prepared to “bring something substantial to the common table” then they should not benefit from your efforts when times get tough. If they bring with them skills, abilities, or other things that complement or complete your planning, make your decision to allow them to join you with care. Loyalty is transient. This will be a hard thing to do but it is absolutely necessary if you and yours are to survive. Beware of strangers; allow no one to approach or enter your home site with a weapon. Never allow more than one person of a group to come near. Never confront an intruder alone if possible. Always confront unknowns with a loaded weapon.

Know your area: People that live in rural areas are usually very familiar with the surrounding roads, buildings, homes, farms, etc. People that live in large metropolitan areas know the same things about their immediate community, but in all likelihood are unfamiliar with the surrounding areas. Regardless of which one you are, you should have an accurate paper map of your immediate and surrounding areas. DO not depend on your vehicles GPS or mapping to guide you. Know the traffic patterns of where you live. If your planning includes a bug out location, map the best (though not necessarily shortest) route out with alternates if that way is impassible. Keep your vehicle’s gas tank at least half full at all times. Know how many miles you can get on a tank of fuel. Identify problem areas close to you escape routes.

Plan B: What is a “plan B”? It is the “what if” factor that should be at least considered and thought about. Not everyone will need a plan B; it depends somewhat on their individualized overall plan for survival happens to be. Each person will have a plan B that can be implemented if their primary plans go awry. It may be as simple as opening the best bottle of wine and enjoying the last few moments of life. It may be holding your loved ones close. It might be a bug out plan for when the fortress is being breached and the hordes are in sight. It’s important, but if you’ve made your prepping plans based on thoughtful consideration, then your plan B might be less important.

Everyone that has begun to give Prepping a serious look has been confronted with the same problem: There is so much information and misinformation being passed around that it can be intimidating. Where do I begin??? I have set down my thoughts based on my planning and experiences. I have tried to not give specific details on how much to buy, what to buy, what to store, how to store it all, where to go, or a host of other things. Those things can be easily found on the internet. My goal in writing this was to give you a list of the questions you need to ask, and honestly answer for yourself. Do that, and you will find that your planning is much easier. Define your situation, based on that you should make a list of what you need, prioritize those needs, and then methodically go about filling the list. There is not a single plan is right for everyone. I hope this helps.



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Emergency Communications

Guest post by Posted by Rob Richardson

As I learned from working in the areas ravaged by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and several others, cell phones and land-line telephones are basically useless.  It became obvious very quickly that I could not call home from most areas due to the telephone lines and cell towers being “down” or busy.  Fortunately, I was prepared by having a 2-meter, a 10-meter (both now replaced with a HF/VHF/UHF all band radio), a Citizens Band (CB) radio, and a Uniden Bearcat Scanner which all were mounted in my truck!  The scanner allowed me to hear law enforcement and other agencies that were responding to and working the disaster.

The 2-Meter radio allowed me to contact local authorities and also to monitor rescue and recovery efforts and to plan which routes and areas to work in due to massive damage and debris everywhere.  The CB allowed me to contact truckers and their fantastic network of highway/roadway information! With the 10-Meter radio I was able to make contacts that could get in touch with my family which were several hundred miles away and safely at home!

I use frequencies from five (5) different areas of the radio spectrum to aid in my travels, for safety, obtaining information, and in communication with others.  The areas were:  NOAA Weather Radio, CB (both AM and SSB), FRS/GMRS, VHF Maritime, and most importantly Amateur Radio (Ham Radio).

You do not need a license to monitor or listen to any of the frequencies provided in this article. However, you will need a license to talk on some of the frequencies listed.  I will start with “free-talk” frequencies or the ones where no license is needed.

NOAA Weather Radio

NOAA broadcasts are tailored to specific areas and give specific information to fit the needs of people in the listening area of each NOAA transmitter.  There are currently over 425 transmitters in the United States, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Guam, and Saipan.  Canada has its own weather alert system and can be researched on the Internet.  Each transmitter covers a range of approximately 40 miles from the transmitter site.  Currently over 80% of the country is covered by NOAA broadcasts.  This 80% encompasses up to 95 % of the population!

In the United States most NOAA broadcasts are heard 24-hours a day with the weather forecasts being updated as needed.  Special hazards and other warnings are broadcast as needed.  Broadcasts have evolved to a point where most weather radios have “Specific Area Message Encoding” or S.A.M.E. which allows the user to program only the areas they wish to monitor or hear affected by the broadcasts when receiving weather or other hazard warnings.

In times of severe weather in some areas, local Ham radio operators or Skywarn Hams call in on specific radio frequencies and update the local NOAA office with weather reports from their location.  If monitoring the Sky Warn frequencies you will get advanced notice of any hazardous weather in your area!  NOAA operates on seven (7) frequencies outside of the normal AM/FM radio bands.  No licensing is required to own a NOAA Weather radio or to monitor their transmissions.  They are listed below:


162.4000 MHz 162.4250 MHz
162.4500 MHz 162.4750 MHz
162.5000 MHz 162.5250 MHz
162.550 MHz

I monitor the NOAA frequencies with my Ham radio equipment and have gained very useful information in times of severe weather.  If you purchase a NOAA Weather Radio, these frequencies are pre-programmed allowing the end-user to turn it on and start receiving broadcasts!

Citizens Band Radio (CB)

If you did not sleep through the entire 1970’s and 80’s you most likely have heard of and probably once owned or knew someone with a CB radio!  They gained immense popularity with the truckers and then with almost everyone else at some point in the past.  Since 1977 they all have 40-channels.  Some come with single-side band (SSB).  Others have the NOAA channels and some even have Blue Tooth capability.  The radios that have SSB supply 120 separate channels to use in your communication:  40 AM, 40 USB (upper side-band), and 40 LSB (lower side-band).

The United States and Canada have a tremendous amount of over-the-road truckers and most of them utilize CB radio!  When listening to or talking with them you will learn the location of weather hazards, mobile law enforcement, roadway obstructions, traffic jams, accidents, hazardous drivers, good food, rest areas, and much, much more!  (A lot of the older Hams cringe at the thought of CB radio, but the information and safety advantages they provide greatly outweigh their prejudices against the CB and its operators!  By the way, I’m an Amateur Extra Class Ham and a CB’er!)  CB’s utilizes specific channelized frequencies from 26.965 MHz to 27.405 MHz.  Truckers primarily use Channel 19 (27.1850 MHz) for their communications nation-wide with Channel 9 (27.0650 MHz) being the recognized Emergency Channel.  CB’s are used by many 4X4 clubs, hunting clubs, RVer’s, and boating clubs!  Currently you do not need a license to operate on any CB frequency in the United States.

The transmission range of a CB varies greatly with the type antenna, atmosphere, channel, number of other transmissions taking place, terrain, and solar activity.  Most mobile to mobile transmission will be between your location and up to 10 miles out.  Some periods may allow “skip” or “DX” to occur resulting in transmission over 100 miles and up to a thousand mile or more!  However, talking “skip” is illegal under the FCC rules for CB use.  Power is restricted to 4-watts on AM and 12-watts on SSB.  A CB frequency chart is below:


CB Channel Frequency Frequency Use
Channel 1 26.965 MHz
Channel 2 26.975 MHz
Channel 3 26.985 MHz Prepper CB Network (AM)
Channel 4 27.005 MHz Used by many 4X4 clubs, The American Pepper’s Network (TAPRN.)
Channel 5 27.015 MHz
Channel 6 27.025 MHz Many operators using illegal linears.
Channel 7 27.035 MHz
Channel 8 27.055 MHz
Channel 9 27.065 MHz Universal C.B. Emergency / REACT Channel.
Channel 10 27.075 MHz
Channel 11 27.085 MHz Local calling channel
Channel 12 27.105 MHz
Channel 13 27.115 MHz Often used in some areas for marine, RV’s, and campers
Channel 14 27.125 MHz FCMA (Federal Motor Coach Assoc) heard here
Channel 15 27.135 MHz Used by truckers in CA
Channel 16 27.155 MHz Used by many 4X4 clubs.
Channel 17 27.165 MHz Used by truckers on the east-west roads in CA.
Channel 18 27.175 MHz
Channel 19 27.185 MHz Unofficial main” Trucker” channel
Channel 20 27.205 MHz
Channel 21 27.215 MHz Used by truckers for N/S routes in CA and some other areas.
Channel 22 27.225 MHz
Channel 23 27.255 MHz
Channel 24 27.235 MHz
Channel 25 27.245 MHz
Channel 26 27.265 MHz
Channel 27 27.275 MHz
Channel 28 27.285 MHz
Channel 29 27.295 MHz
Channel 30 27.305 MHz Channels 30 and up are often used for SSB.
Channel 31 27.315 MHz
Channel 32 27.325 MHz
Channel 33 27.335 MHz
Channel 34 27.345 MHz
Channel 35 27.355 MHz Australian calling channel
Channel 36 27.365 MHz Unofficial USB calling channel
Channel 37 27.375 MHz Prepper 37 (USB)
Channel 38 27.385 MHz Unofficial LSB calling channel
Channel 39 27.395 MHz SSB
Channel 40 27.405 MHz SSB

Since I’m the only Ham radio operator in our family, we have a set CB channel and an alternate channel to meet on if an emergency or crisis arises!  It should be noted that even though there are 40 channels on the CB, only one is set aside for any group and that is Channel 9 (Emergency / React Channel) as mentioned above.  Anyone can talk on any other CB channel anytime, anywhere in the United States day or night!

A lot of people have CB’s that have been modified for “Freeband Operation.”  Freeband is operating below Channel 1 and above Channel 40 on the CB band.  In addition, there are frequencies between each CB channel that are utilized in “freebanding.”  Frequency 27.555 MHz (USB is the freeband calling channel.  I keep the Freeband frequencies programmed into my scanner and sometimes hear some interesting conversations.

Survivalist and Prepper CB and Freeband Frequencies

Frequency USE
CB 3(AM) 26.9850MHz Pepper’s
CB 36(USB) 27.3650MHz Survivalist
CB 37(USB) 27.3750MHz Prepper CB Network(AM)
Freeband(USB) 27.3680MHz Survivalist Network
Freeband(USB) 27.3780MHz Prepper Network
Freeband(USB) 27.4250MHz Survivalist Network


The FRS or Family Radio Service was adopted in 1996 for use by families.  Since then, many businesses use the FRS to aid in their daily communications.  The FRS utilizes improved walkie-talkies and is allotted frequencies that are channelized.   The FRS and GMRS use UHF or ultra-high frequency.  Many FRS / GMRS radios come with sub-audible squelch codes (CTCSS and DCS).  This allows the user to squelch out many undesirable transmissions and conserve battery life.

There are 22 FRS / GMRS channels.  Channels 1 – 7 are shared with the GMRS.  Channels 8 – 14 are for FRS only.  Channels 15 – 22 are for GMRS only.  It should be noted that the FRS does not require licensing where the GMRS requires an FCC license.  The FRS radios are restricted to ½ watt (500-milliwatts) and must have a fixed antenna.  The range of a typical FRS radio is typically ¼ mile out to approximately 1 ½ miles, sometimes maybe further depending upon the terrain and other factors.  GMRS radios may use up to 5-watts of power and offer better range.  A list of frequencies for the FRS / GMRS is below:

FRS/GMRS Frequencies



Frequency (MHz)



Frequency (MHz)



































































Amateur (HAM) Radio

Amateur Radio or Ham Radio licenses come in three classifications:  Technician (entry-level), General Class (mid-level), and Amateur Extra (an Advanced-level).  In recent years it was mandatory to learn CW or Morse Code to progress in each classification, however, now no code is required!

There are many Amateur Radio (Ham) frequencies allotted for Amateur use.  They are termed “bands.”  They start in HF (high frequency) at 160 meters (1.8000 – 2.0000 MHz) and continue through the radio spectrum to above 300 GHZ.

A listing of the bands is below:

160 Meters 1.800 – 2.0000 MHz 75/80 Meters 3.5000 – 4.0000 MHz
60 Meters (6 channelized frequencies) 5330.5 KHz – 5403.5 KHz 40 Meters 7.0000 – 7.3000 MHz
20 Meters 14.0000 – 14.3500 MHz 30 Meters 10.0000 – 10.1500 MHz
15 Meters 21.0000 – 21.44500 MHz 17 Meters 18.0680 – 18.1680 MHZ
10 Meters 28.0000 – 29.7000 MHz 12 Meters 24.8900 – 24.9900 MHz
2 meters 144.0000 – 148.0000 MHz 6 Meters 50.1000 – 54.0000 MHz
70 Centimeters (CM) 420.0000 – 450.0000 MHz 1.25 Meters 219.0000 – 225.0000 MHz

And the following Microwave bands:2300-2310 MHz, 2390-2450 MHz, 3300-3500 MHz, 5650-5925 MHz, 10.0-10.5 GHz, 24.0-24.25 GHz, 47.0-47.2 GHz, 76.0-81.0 GHz, 122.25-123.0 GHz, 134-141 GHz, 241-250 GHz, and all above 75 GHz.

The 2-Meter band or the VHF band is where all the local action usually takes place!  All across the United States and many other places, including Canada, the Caribbean areas, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, there is a fantastic network of 2-Meter Repeaters and Amateur Radio clubs that are constantly on the air and are willing to help and relay messages and other information.  Hams on the 2-Meter band contact the local NOAA Weather office in times of severe weather giving updated from their areas to aid in broadcasting weather reports and will give aid to any in need!  This has come in very handy several times while working away from home and also in my home area!  The range of any 2-Meter radio will depend upon the radio output, antenna, repeater height, atmospheric conditions, and other factors.  I regularly talk through one of our local repeaters from as far away a 40 – 45 miles.  I have hit another local wide-area repeater from 52 miles away!

There are many thousands of 2-Meter repeaters in the United States alone!  Repeaters are also on the 6-Meter, 10-Meter, 70-CM, and other bands!  The websites below will give more information on the repeaters in your area:


The bands 160 – 10 Meters are referred to as the HF or High Frequency bands.  They are great when hurricanes hit the United States or when other long distance communication is required.  Many areas along the Gulf Coast and Atlantic Ocean have Hurricane Watch Nets and offer assistance in times of storms or other disasters.  Communications across the country and around the world are possible on some frequencies, with some being better in the daylight hours and some better at night.

Listed below are Amateur (Ham) HF emergency network frequencies that I monitor.  Also included are the Mode (Lower or Upper Sideband) and the areas of operation. These frequencies are usually in use during disasters in the immediate area designated. Some frequencies are listed more than once due to multiple areas using them.  A lot of information and advisory alerts can be gained from monitoring these frequencies.  However, most over the counter scanners will not receive these frequencies.  You will have to purchase a higher priced scanner or an Amateur HF radio to receive them.  Some frequently seen abbreviations are:

  • Wx – Weather
  • ARES – Amateur Radio Emergency Service
  • RACES– Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (affiliated with local EMO’s)
  • NTS – National Traffic System


03808.0 LSB Caribbean Wx
03845.0 LSB Gulf Coast West Hurricane
03862.5 LSB Mississippi Section Traffic
03865.0 LSB West Virginia Emergency
03872.5 LSB Mercury Amateur Radio Assoc / hurricane info net
03873.0 LSB West Gulf ARES Emergency (night)
03873.0 LSB Central Gulf Coast Hurricane, Louisiana ARES Emergency (night), Mississippi ARES Emergency
03910.0 LSB Central Texas Emergency, Mississippi ARES, Louisiana Traffic
03915.0 LSB South Carolina SSB NTS
03923.0 LSB Mississippi ARES, North Carolina ARES Emergency (Tarheel)
03925.0 LSB Central Gulf Coast Hurricane, Louisiana Emergency
03927.0 LSB North Carolina ARES (health & welfare)
03935.0 LSB Central Gulf Coast Hurricane, Louisiana ARES (health & welfare), Texas ARES (health & welfare), Mississippi ARES (health & welfare), & Alabama Emer.
03940.0 LSB Southern Florida Emergency
03944.0 LSB West Gulf Emergency
03950.0 LSB Hurricane Watch (Amateur-to-National Hurricane Center), Northern Florida Emer.
03955.0 LSB South Texas Emergency
03960.0 LSB North East Coast Hurricane
03965.0 LSB Alabama Emergency
03967.0 LSB Gulf Coast (outgoing traffic)
03975.0 LSB Georgia ARES, Texas RACES
03993.5 LSB Gulf Coast (health & welfare)
03993.5 LSB South Carolina ARES/RACES Emergency
03995.0 LSB Gulf Coast Wx
07145.0 LSB Bermuda
07165.0 LSB Antigua/Antilles Emergency and Weather, Inter-island 40-meter (continuous watch)
07225.0 LSB Central Gulf Coast Hurricane
07232.0 LSB North Carolina ARES Emergency
07235.0 LSB Louisiana Emergency, Central Gulf Coast Hurricane, Louisiana Emergency
07240.0 LSB American Red Cross US Gulf Coast Disaster, Texas Emergency
07242.0 LSB Southern Florida ARES Emergency
07243.0 LSB Alabama Emergency, South Carolina Emergency
07245.0 LSB Southern Louisiana
07247.5 LSB Northern Florida ARES Emergency
07248.0 LSB Texas RACES
07250.0 LSB Texas Emergency
07254.0 LSB Northern Florida Emergency
07260.0 LSB Gulf Coast West Hurricane
07264.0 LSB Gulf Coast (health & welfare)
07265.0 LSB Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio (SATERN)
07268.0 LSB Bermuda
07273.0 LSB Texas ARES
07275.0 LSB Georgia ARES
07280.0 LSB NTS Region 5, Louisiana Emergency
07283.0 LSB Gulf Coast (outgoing only)
07285.0 LSB West Gulf ARES Emergency (day), Louisiana ARES Emergency (day)
07285.0 LSB Mississippi ARES Emergency, Texas ARES Emergency (day)
07290.0 LSB Central Gulf Coast Hurricane, Gulf Coast Wx, Louisiana ARES (health & welfare day), Texas ARES (health & welfare), & Mississippi ARES
14185.0 USB Caribbean Emergency
14222.0 USB Health & Welfare
14245.0 USB Health & Welfare
14265.0 USB Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio (SATERN) (health & welfare)
14268.0 USB Amateur Radio Readiness Group
14275.0 USB Bermuda & International Amateur Radio
14300.0 USB Intercontinental Traffic & Maritime Mobile Service
14303.0 USB International Assistance & Traffic
14313.0 USB Intercontinental Traffic & Maritime Mobile Service
14316.0 USB Health & Welfare
14320.0 USB Health & Welfare
14325.0 USB Hurricane Watch (Amateur-to-National Hurricane Center)
14340.0 USB Louisiana (1900)
21310.0 USB Health & Welfare (Spanish)
28450.0 USB Health & Welfare (Spanish)


When traveling in the coastal areas and along navigable waterways I monitor the Maritime / US VHF Frequencies.  I have provided a frequency list here with two frequencies highlighted.  The highlighted frequencies are the Distress and Information channels for and from Mariners and the US Coast Guard.  It should be noted that to talk on these frequencies a license is required:

Channel Number

Ship Transmit MHz

Ship Receive MHz





Port Operations and Commercial, VTS. Available only in New Orleans / Lower Mississippi area.



Port Operations or VTS in the Houston, New Orleans and Seattle areas.



Intership Safety






Commercial (Intership only)



Boater Calling. Commercial and Non-Commercial.






Commercial. VTS in selected areas.



Port Operations. VTS in selected areas.



Intership Navigation Safety (Bridge-to-bridge). Ships >20m length maintain a listening watch on this channel in US waters.



Port Operations. VTS in selected areas.


Environmental (Receive only). Used by Class C EPIRBs.



International Distress, Safety and Calling. Ships required to carry radio, USCG, and most coast stations maintain a listening watch on this channel.



State & local govt maritime control









Port Operations (duplex)



Port Operations



U.S. Coast Guard only



Coast Guard Liaison and Maritime Safety Information Broadcasts. Broadcasts announced on channel 16.



U.S. Coast Guard only



Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)



Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)



Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)



Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)



Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)



Port Operations and Commercial, VTS. Available only in New Orleans / Lower Mississippi area.



Port Operations



Port Operations



Commercial. Used for Bridge-to-bridge communications in lower Mississippi River. Intership only.









Digital Selective Calling (voice communications not allowed)






Non-Commercial (Intership only)



Port Operations



Port Operations



Port Operations (Intership only)






Commercial. Non-Commercial in Great Lakes only



Commercial. Non-Commercial in Great Lakes only



U.S. Government only – Environmental protection operations.



U.S. Government only



U.S. Coast Guard only



Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)



Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)



Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)



Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)



Commercial, Intership only.



Automatic Identification System (AIS)



Automatic Identification System (AIS)


When transmitting on any radio equipment, transmitter power must be the minimum necessary to carry out the desired communications.  Different power limits are allowed on different bands.  Some Amateur bands allow up to 1500 Watts (PEP) while the FRS only allows ½ watt!

Other Frequencies

When monitoring the airwaves you will want to search the Internet for any frequencies in your area or areas of intended travel.  Some CB’s purchased at truck stops are called “import models” and have the capability to transmit and receive out of band (and are illegal to own and operate in the United States).  I scan the “out of band” CB frequencies with my scanner and have found some interesting conversations taking place from all over the US, Canada, Mexico, and areas in the Caribbean!  Since it is illegal to own or use out of band equipment I will leave the researching of frequencies to the individual users.


There are a lot of different frequencies for everyday use, both talking and monitoring, in the times of disasters or other crisis, or just for fun.  Even if you do not choose to purchase or do not own any radio equipment, the frequencies provided in this article can be programmed into a scanner to give a “heads up” of what’s happening around you.  Frequencies for your local and area law enforcement can be found on the Internet.  Amateur (Ham) radio frequencies for you area can also be found on the Internet.

If interested in getting your Amateur (Ham) Radio license the following two websites offer great information and study guides (books and audio CD’s) can be purchased from them: www.arrl.org and www.W5YI.com

I personally used the Gordon West (WB6NOA) books and audio CD’s to assist in learning the rules, regulations, and necessary information needed to pass the exams!

Remember, to talk on the Amateur or Ham bands, GMRS, and the VHF Maritime bands or frequencies, a license is needed.  Listening or monitoring any frequencies listed here is free!

I look forward to hearing some of you on the air!

Jim – KC5DOV

We would like to thank Jim for his extensive research and taking the time to provide this information for our readers. As with all areas of survival, the key to success lies in your knowledge and your training.


Some Notes:

There is a condensed version for the ham bands available for download as a PDF at http://offgridsurvival.com/wp-content/themes/church_10/images/2012/10/HAMCHEATSHEET.pdf


US Amateur Radio Bands




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The Top 5 Reasons I “Prepare”


I was about to write something like this when friends at homesteaddreamer hit it right on the head.

This is the orginal post below, but stop over at homesteaddreamer for much more information on “Working toward a more self sufficient life”.



Picture by David Kent, © 2006

Hollywood has turned the word “prepper” into a laughable term that conjures up images of some whack job in a bunker with gas masks. The reality of it could not be further from the truth. As with anything, there are the extremists out there who take things over the top. The current fad is to capitalize on those types to entertain the masses (“Doomsday Preppers” anyone?). Anyone who knows me or has followed me for more than a month, already knows I am not anything like what is portrayed on television. The Mister and I consider it “self-regulated insurance.” Some are taken back when they hear me say I consider myself a morphed version of a homesteader and a prepper (most do not understand that they are one in the same for the most part). I generally just tell people that I am turning into my grandma (which is true) and they accept it as something more palatable, more ‘normal.’ For those rare people who are not put off by the word prepper or think I am crazy to think in these terms of being ready for some unforeseen event, I tell them my top 5 reasons the husband and I have gone over to this more self reliant lifestyle. They are given in order of importance;

1. Loss of job. Any one can lose their job at any time. Most people reading this (myself included) simply do not have the means to be able to put back 3 months of bills into a savings account. They live by the seat of their pants – paycheck to paycheck. Having supplies such as an extra 20# bag of rice (bought on sale!) or pack of toilet paper will make getting through a job loss easier in many ways. There is a comfort knowing that even if you do not have money coming in, you have some food set back that will not go bad anytime soon. You will still be able to feed your family and keep clean while you figure out the rest. I can personally attest to this – when I was finishing college I was not working and our budget was so tight that a vice grip would be jealous. I had the pantry filled with extras like rice, beans, flour, sugar, etc. and other staples. The freezer was pretty full because of a meat sale I was able to take advantage of and we made it through. All actual money we had went to rent and bills and we ate the stores I had set back. I learned some great new recipes, too!

2. Break in the Supply Chain. Living on an island means everything is shipped in by barge, ferry, or plane. We rely completely upon these ‘just in time’ systems for absolutely everything. Should some catastrophe happen in the ‘lower 48,’ our supplies here would surely be affected. A large earthquake or storm system could slow or even stop supplies moving across the country. The likelihood of supplies actually making it here when the places they are being shipped through also need the same supplies is small – maybe even non existent – until regular lines are restored. Any government aid would also be very slow in making it here, if at all. Should the supply chain become interrupted, people in Southeast Alaska would be on their own in more than one way.

3. Natural Disasters. Thankfully, the area I live in does not have many natural disasters, or even disaster threats. Wildfires and floods or mudslides simply do not happen often here. We have some good storms in Autumn and Spring with sustained winds over 5o MPH and gusts in the 80 MPH range. We are used to these and do not have to worry much about damage to homes or infrastructure. The natural disasters I worry most about would be earthquakes and the tsunamis that follow. We are surrounded by little islands on all sides that would break up some of the tsunami waves however, the initial ‘draining’ of the sea and then it rushing back in would cause significant damage by itself. We are a coastal fishing town – such an event could wipe out salmon stocks if the tsunami hit during spawning season. Fishing boats would be damaged and sink from banging around in the docks or from a rock on the sea floor as the waves rushed out, then back in. We may not see an actual tsunami hit the island I live on, but there would be a ripple effect felt across the region.

4. Economic Collapse. No two ways about it, our country is in trouble financially speaking. Anyone who knows anything of how economics works can see the truth of it. I have great concerns about how it will all shake out in the end and we are consciously working on getting ourselves completely out of debt. That being said, I put this lower on my list because there really is not much I can do about it other than what I already am. If there was indeed an economic collapse, many people think that they simply will not have to pay bills and that is just unrealistic. The rent man and bank will still want their money for the roof over your head and if you don’t have it, you may find yourself out in the cold. Having stuff set back to eat, drink, keep warm with, and keep hygiene up with help immensely as you will not have to buy these things and what funds you do have can be put toward keeping the roof over your head.

5. All the ‘Other Stuff’. Yup, I worry about EMPs or solar flares wiping out the grid. I worry about asteroids smacking the Earth. I worry about terrorists, dirty bombs, chemical warfare, etc. The fact is, ALL of these are possible but that does not mean I am sitting there hiding in my little cocoon waiting for it all to go down. I do what I can to prepare; having the supplies and SKILLS  to not only make it, but to also thrive afterward. The skills can actually be very fun to try out. For example; camping is a wonderful activity to help teach yourself and your family how to deal without running water, electricity, and wood heat. Do you know how to start a fire with damp wood? How about putting up a tarp that you can take down without leaving any rope in the trees? Can you identify edible plants in your area? All of these simple activities add up to a lot of powerful knowledge that can literally save you if needed but you learned them by ‘playing’ in the woods. It is all about perspective!

Here is a wonderful little interactive PDF you can use to help get started by breaking things down into manageable chunks. Not sure what scenario to use? I recommend people plan for a job loss first to get used to the form and then go from there. I hope this helps some of the nay-sayers see that being ‘prepared’ is a really smart idea (your grandparents called it ‘normal’) and not just for the whack jobs who are convinced that the whole world is only one event away from total annihilation.


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


Via: homesteaddreamer

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The #1 reason all your preparedness could be in vain

Not to be confused with failing to prepare, this statement may cause some head scratching. Stick with me here to see what I mean.

Your completed bug out bags are ready by the door. Food is stored for the long term and secured. You have water filters, gear, and gadgets out the wazoo. Sitting in your home, you feel pretty good about all you have accomplished. You should! You invested a lot of time, energy, organizing, research, and money so you and your family can make it through unforeseen circumstances.

You can handle economic collapse, EMP, solar flares, even natural disasters common to your area. You read books on handling the call for martial law, protecting yourself and preps from looters, gangs, or hungry neighbors. You have done everything you can think of. So why would you fail?

The #1 reason all your preparedness could be in vain

You may have all the gadgets and hoarded supplies to live off grid for years, but unless you have the skills and practice to use them or even start a fire, you will likely fail. There is more to building a fire than simply stacking wood and using a lighter. There is more to purifying water than knowing to filter and boil it to make it safe for consumption.

How about your fancy first aid kit? It may be rated for an EMT, but unless you know how to use the stuff inside, it is almost worthless. You could make things worse by not knowing how to use your gear or assess a chaotic situation with calm logic.

These things take time. Skills are not learned overnight and becoming familiar, let alone proficient, with a piece of equipment or gear takes more than one use.

Before you get overwhelmed by the prospect of learning everything needed to really survive a SHTF or disaster situation, these four (4) skills cover the most basic of human needs so you survive to fight another day. A human needs shelter, water, food, and warmth to survive. Once you pick one of the four skills, YouTube and the internet can help you get started.

Shelter building

You may have the most expensive, sturdy tent that money can buy. Do you know how to put it up? Can you read the ground to see where water may flow in a downpour? What if you do not even have a tarp to use? Can you use the material around you (or in the woods) to build a shelter?

Learning how to set up your tent and several ways of making serviceable, if crude, shelter is important. This skill alone will make you will much more confident no matter where you are. Take a few minutes to watch a few videos and then practice the skills. Better yet, make it a fun family event. The kids help you build a ‘natural fort’ they can play in.

Starting a Fire

This one seems like a no-brainer to most people today. In our marvelous modern age, there are so many ways to start a fire that people have forgotten you can actually rub sticks together to start one. No one wants to use that method of course, but there is still an art to starting a sustainable fire. A cooking fire is different than a fire for heat, which is still different than banking a fire so it will not go out at night.

It takes practice to understand how a fire burns and what it needs. I remember my little brother on a camping trip when he was 8 or 9. Mom let him start the fire. He piled layers of paper and kindling into the fire pit and used a lighter to get it going. Within minutes, the fire was out and there was only a small burned area in the middle.

What went wrong? He had everything he needed, right? Wrong. He did not have the skills to properly stack the kindling and tinder so it would breathe right; he did not have the skills to ‘read’ the fire because he hadn’t been allowed to do it very often. It takes practice, plain and simple.

Water Purification

It amazes me how many people think either filtering or boiling water make it safe. You must do both to be absolutely certain the water is safe. The Rule of Threes tells us you cannot live without water more than 3 days, but that is climate dependent. Being in the desert requires more water than surviving in the Pacific Northwest.

Do you know the best sources for water? Do you have the skills to actually use your filter and then boil the water? Do you know how long to boil for? What if you do not have a working water filter, do you know how to make one? Learn a basic technique, then go practice!


You have 3 months’ worth of MREs all set and secured. You have dehydrated goodies besides and bags of rice, beans, sugar, and flour in Mylar bags. Great! Do you know how to use those staples once the MREs are gone? Can you cook with just those items? On top of that, do you know how to cook over a fire?

Personally, I researched recipes that use very basic ingredients but still taste good, and are nutritious and filling. The only way to ensure “tastes good” for your family is,  you guessed it, to actually make and eat them.


Warmth ties into the others. Fire and shelter help keep you going. Staying warm and dry is vitally important for both your physical and your mental health. With all the blankets, sleeping bags, and clothing available to keep you warm, do you know how to keep warm without them – without a sleeping bag? Shelter and fire placement will help with that.

All of the above is to help get you thinking about the bigger picture in manageable chunks. As you work through the list, you may find that some of the gadgets and gear you have is redundant and that can be a good thing. Having back ups and back up plans are absolutely vital. Being prepared is a backup plan in itself!



Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


Via: thesurvivalmom, Homestead Dreamer.

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When Prepping for Survival, Put a Low Priority on High-Tech

Guest post By Melissa

Joe and his group thought they were prepared for anything.  Their provisions included three shiny new SUVs parked in a secure garage and guarded by a sophisticated alarm.  Each member communicated with the others using military-style hand-held radios.  Their communal bunker was outfitted with scanners, CB transceivers, and signal boosting antennas.

The armory held 20 weapons, including sniper rifles, tactical shotguns, and several 9mm pistols.  Most were equipped with laser sights.  Night vision goggles were stored nearby.  A locked vault held 10,000 rounds of ammo for each firearm, along with multiple high-capacity magazines.  In one building was a miniature clinic stocked with antibiotics, pain killers, and electronic diagnostic equipment.  There was even a medical library stored on CDs.

The compound’s exterior was monitored by wireless cameras that fed images to a server set deep in the compound.  The pantry held enough rations to provide each member with 2,000 calories a day for 18 months.  Solar battery banks and a generator fed by a local stream stood ready to provide the compound’s power needs, should the electrical grid go out.

To pass the time, Joe and his group had stocked high-definition televisions, hundreds of DVDs, and two gaming consoles.  When the poop finally hit the fan, they thought they would be living high off the hog for at least a year without breaking a sweat.

They were wrong.  When the crisis finally occurred, it came in the form of a massive solar flare, one that fried the electronics in every piece of equipment they owned.  The SUVs would take them nowhere.  The radios and scanners were useless, the medical library was inaccessible, and the TVs and gaming devices wouldn’t play.  Even the solar array/generator setup was useless; its circuits were burnt to a crisp by the sun’s temper tantrum.  Want to guess how long Joe and his buddies made it without any of their fancy gadgets?

This sad story illustrates a critical error many survivalists commit when planning for the big day.  They forget how incredibly fragile modern technology is, and how much it depends on the infrastructure set up by corporations and the government.  Without the Internet, centralized telecommunications, and an electrical grid, most devices made in the last few decades would be little more than paperweights.

Given these sad facts, what is the average prepper to do?  Here are some guidelines that should underlie any realistic approach to staying alive in truly tough times:

  • Minimize your dependence on technology.  Use smoke signals and stones arranged in patterns to send messages.  Buy vintage autos, ones that are free of onboard computers and other high-tech junk.  In a true survival situation, a VW Bug from the 60s will do you a lot more good than a modern truck with a dead computer chip.  Even better, get a bicycle or a horse.  Forget TV; read paperbound books instead.  Play cards or board games rather than video games.  Do as much as possible while the sun is up, because when it sets you’ll be hitting the sack.   Learn to appreciate silence, because the natural world is a quiet place.
  • Add a black powder weapon to your preps, like the venerable Kentucky rifle, and use it like the pioneers did theirs.  Learn to cast your own bullets and make powder from bat guano and other natural sources.  While you’re at it, make sure you know how to set traps, make compost, and grow vegetables from seeds found in nature, not the kind you buy in the store.
  • Keep some sort of currency around for barter purposes, one that will carry some weight in the post-apocalyptic world.  Hard chocolates, tobacco products, and even coffee beans will be more precious than gold in such a society.  Use these to trade for the items you truly need, like a metal pot to boil water in or a shot of penicillin.

This may not sound like much fun, but following these tips will keep you alive while others are floundering helplessly.  And, if you live long enough to see the return of technology, then you will appreciate its comforts more than ever before.


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


Via: thesurvivalistblog

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