Creating a “Plan B” for Survival

What do you do if you have a “Plan A” for survival, but you realize that it’s a bad plan. Do you have a “Plan B?”

Forget about doing things like running to the grocery store right before the snow storm of the century hits. Everyone else in your town or city will do the same.

The convenience stores are supermarkets are the prime places where panicked people will go for water and food. While they are doing that, however, you can get your supplies at places no one else will ever think to look.

Before the next major disaster hits, locate all of the companies and sources of water within two miles of your house. When making this list, don’t assume that a business you see won’t have something valuable. When the list is done, take your time and go through it to determine if they might have something valuable to you.

For instance, a business that you might not consider as a source for water, such as a dental office, absolutely has water. So do gyms and beauty spas. Speaking of gyms, they often sell food, too. Also, don’t forget the local hobby shop. It likely has twine and wood. Bookstores often have sandwiches, pastries, and bottled beverages available, and office supply stores often have things like candy, crackers, and other snacks.

It’s probably best if you use a bicycle to get to these places, because a car might not be able to get through. Also, don’t wait until the main event to see if your bike works. Test it out beforehand. Additionally, get yourself familiar with the different routes to get to these places. In a disaster situation, your normal route might be blocked. Finally, start “training” for this by riding your bike for a few miles a couple of times a week. Carry a heavy duffel bag with you, too. Doing this with no practice can be quite difficult.

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.

Do You Know How to Use a Knife for Survival?

Using a knife in a survival situation is a skill that can mean the difference between life and death. But, you have to know how to use the knife. Here is some information:

Knife Safety:

  • Carry a fixed-blade knife if you are going outdoors. It is less likely to get broken
  • Always keep a knife in its sheath. If you trip, it could cut or stab you if it is not contained.
  • Practice pulling the knife from the sheath, so that you don’t get cut. You might need to draw it very quickly.
  • Drawing the knife is a two-step process: first, hold the handle with one hand to loosen the blade. While doing this, push against the knife’s sheath with the thumb. Next, wrap your thumb around the knife’s handle and pull the knife away from the body.
  • When handling a knife, always use slow movements.
  • When handing the knife over to someone, use your forehand grip. Rotate the knife between your thumb and your forefinger. The knife’s handle should face the person you are giving it to, and the edge should point up. Don’t release the knife until the other person is holding it securely.
  • A sharp blade is much safer than a dull one because it requires less force.

Gripping Your Knife 

  • For most uses, handle a knife with a forehand grip. The knife is inside of your fist with the edge of the blade facing the first finger.
  • When buying a knife, make sure that you can fully close your fist around the knife’s handle.
  • If cutting a cord, use a reverse grip. In this case, the edge of the knife is towards your thumb. When using the knife like this, pull with your torso or shoulder for the best result.
  • The chest lever grip is when you hold the blade with its edge pointed in the opposite direction of the forehand grip, which is up towards your hand’s knuckles.

The Uses of a Knife

  • Wood Chopping – Hold the knife in a forehand grip and use it against the wood. Use a wooden object to “hammer” the blade into the wood you want to cut.
  • Wood Splitting – With the forehand grip, place the blade of the knife over the wood. Then, use a baton to push it through the wood in the grain’s direction.
  • Slicing with a Knife – You have certainly sliced with a knife. In a survival situation, use a forehand grip to slice like you do at home.
  • Power Cutting – To power cut, use a chest lever grip. While doing this, hold the object you wish to cut. Using your back muscles, draw the blade through the object…HARD.
  • Controlled Cutting – Using the chest lever grip, work your way slowly around the object you wish to cut.
  • Drilling with a Knife – Place the knife’s tip onto the object, and then twist left and right. Don’t use too much force, as your hand can easily slip.

With all knife grips, make sure that there is no other body part in the path of the knife.

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.

Is Your Bugout Bag Ready to Go?

It seems like there have been a number of natural disasters hitting the US over the past couple of years…hurricanes, wild fires, floods…the list goes on. If you are caught in the face of a survival emergency, do you have supplies? Consider a bugout bag. These are sacks that you can take with you in the outdoors to help you survive. Here’s what you need for a three-day bugout bag:

  • Water – At least a liter per person each day.
  • Food – Pack backpack meals or energy bars.
  • Large cup or small pot – This is for boiling water, but if you have iodine tablets, you might not need this.
  • Clothes – Pack pants, two shirts, sturdy footwear, two pairs of non-cotton socks, long underwear, a wide-brimmed hat, and rainwear jacket and pants.
  • Tent or tarp with a sleeping bag.
  • First aid kit – you can build one, you don’t have to buy one. That way, you know what’s in it.
  • Fire starters
  • Poncho
  • Survival knife
  • Two flashlights with extra batteries
  • Small mirror – you can use this to get the attention of airplanes
  • Weapon – pepper spray is a good thing. If you want to carry a gun, make sure you have the right training.
  • Sunscreen and sun glasses
  • GPS or similar in case you get lost
  • Baby wipes to clean yourself
  • Paracord

That should be enough to get you through three days. There are obviously other things that you can put into your bugout bag, too. Depending on where you live and your skills, you might want to put in a compass or a snake-bite kit. Small plastic bags and shoelaces are also important, as you can use them to trap water from non-poisonous plants. If you want to create a seven-day bugout bag, make sure to add enough to survive.

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.

Storing Water for Survival

Do you think you know all there is to know about water storage? Most people think they have a good grasp on it, but they are in for a bit surprise. Below, there is a lot of information about storing water that might contradict what you think you know:

Storing Barrels – You can keep storage barrels on a basement or cellar cement floor. Cement that remains cool doesn’t transfer any toxins into the water. However, if the cement is warm, such as garage cement that might get heat from the driveway, you must store the barrels on floorboards. Also, store some of your water in bottles that are portable so they are easy to handle.

Reusing Your Bottles – You can refill old soda and juice bottles with water as long as there is a PET or PETE rating on the plastic. Do not use old milk jugs, however. If you are worried about leaching chemicals, you can treat the water…just make sure to do it when you consume it, not when storing it.

A Full Boil – You don’t have to boil your water fully to kill all of the bacteria in it. Instead, heat it to 160 degrees F for 30 minutes, or heat it to 185 degrees F for three minutes. This burns less fuel, too.

Drink Pool Water – Pool water is okay to drink as long as it is under 4 PPM of chlorine.

River Water – You can also drink river water, but treat it with iodine tablets, first. Keep in mind, in a survival situation, the river is where everyone will go.

Store Enough – Ideally, you should store more than a month’s worth of water. A huge disaster could mean many months, or even years, of water shortage.

Daily Amount – Each person requires about a gallon a day. This includes for drinking, cooking, and bathing.

Water vs. Food – Though food has calories that your body needs, water is much more important. You can go for many days, or even weeks without eating. However, you can onlyhandle a couple of days without water.

Taste – The water that you store might taste bad because it has been closed off from oxygen. Pour it between two glasses, back and forth, to get more oxygen into it.

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.

The Top 7 Things You Need in Your Survival Kit

Imagine that you are in the middle of nowhere for a few days, or that you are stuck in your home after a disaster, like a hurricane. What do you need to survive? Here are several things that you should have available. Remember, this is only a basic list; things that you might pack in a “go bag” that you can grab in a hurry. If you aren’t sure what something is, Google the keyword to learn more.

Clean Water/Iodine Tablets/Water Access

Your body is made of mostly water, so having water available is the number one tool for surviving. For three days, you need about three liters of water per person. To help to expand this, have some iodine tablets that you can use to purify natural water, such as the water you find in a stream. Also, think about investing in a 55-gallon water barrel to store water.

Food

Some of the best food to have in your survival kit include energy bars, canned tuna (don’t forget the can opener or a sharp knife), and “backpack meals.”

Clothing

  • Hooded rain jacket
  • Hiking footwear, or sturdy shoes
  • Bandana
  • Two pairs of pants and two shirts (not cotton, as it retains moisture)
  • Two pairs of socks (wool, if you think it will be cold)
  • Long underwear (choose polypropylene for warmth)
  • Sunglasses
  • Gloves (for the cold and to handle rocks and dirt)
  • Wide-brimmed hat
  • Plastic bags (to place over your socks to keep them dry)
  • Rubber bands (to keep the plastic over your feet.

Shelter

  • Tent (a tarp works too, but you have to have a way to set it up)
  • Ground tarp (to place your tent or tarp on to insulate against the damp ground)
  • Sleeping bag

Medical Supplies

You want to make sure you have a first aid kit, and it’s best to make one. This way, you know what’s in it. Here’s some necessities:

  • Cold pack (chemical kind)
  • Ankle brace
  • Assorted bandaged, gauze, and antibacterial cream
  • Ace bandage
  • Cotton balls
  • Tourniquet
  • Tweezers
  • Sunscreen
  • Small mirror (you can also use this to signal search planes)
  • Vaseline
  • Sawyer extractor (to deal with snake bites)
  • Anything else you personally need for your specific health needs

Survival Tools

  • A travel chainsaw
  • At least three different types of fire starters
  • Camp stove and propane
  • Small cooking pot
  • Two flashlights with extra batteries
  • A good quality knife
  • Compass and map (know how to use these!)
  • Cell phone with extra battery or power source
  • Topographical map
  • Survival GPS app
  • Solar powered charger

Weapons

  • A shotgun or other firearm
  • Pepper spray (The big cans of “bear spray” are excellent)
  • Whistle
  • Air horn
  • Golf club, baseball bat, or other blunt object

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.