Category Archives: SHELTER

Shelter would include location, building materials, style,

EAS false alarm

EAS false alarm

Recently there was a false warning for a missile attack on Hawaii. The warning lasted about 37-38 minutes and caused a great deal of panic. People were going into the storm drains for shelter.

Apparently someone had just hit the wrong button. All I got to say about that is IT happens. That raises a question in my mind. Ideally everything should go as planned 100% of the time. That is not reality though now is it? Which would you rather have happen, a false alarm OR no alarm and the first you know is a bright flash of a nuke going off? IF we can not have 100%, then I would rather get a few false alarms than miss out.. SO, in my mind it was a good thing as it showed flaws in the system, it made people think and has sparked conversation!

So let’s analyze the situation– here in the US of A mainland we are about 30 minutes by ICBM from Russia and China and North Korea– comforting thought. In Hawaii it is way less than that maybe 10 or 15 minutes from North Korea. Maybe if people could keep that in mind they would not be panicky after the first 20 minutes [ymmv]

Shelter – it would be great if you had a designated shelter to go to, 2nd best is retrofitting your basement . As far as going into the storm drains or sewer systems, it is a good idea until it rains and washes the fallout into the drains. The other issues with going underground like that is methane which displaces oxygen which WILL kill you. Think about it, the next time you see a work crew going in the pipes they always keep one person on the surface AND they pump fresh air down to the underground workers.

Is it possible to survive a nuclear weapon attack?? Unless you are directly at ground zero, yes it is. I was stationed in Japan in the 1970s. Part of my duties as a medic was taking care of some of the survivors from the 2 atom bombs we dropped in the 40s. This was not from the kindness of our [or our government] hearts. We wanted the data for research. It was very interesting seeing the flash burns on them [the survivors] and you could tell what the patterns of clothing they had on. The darker part of the pattern had worse burns V the lighter colored areas. One of the people was SOOOoooo… lucky, he was 700 – 1,000 yards from ground zero with the first bomb and survived, then he walked home where he was just in time to be caught in the 2nd bombing… mind you this was back in the 1940s. He finally dies of old age in the early 2000s about 60 years after being bombed twice.

Which brings us to— what are you doing to get prepared?

Ref article – which should NOT be comforting..

Stinging Nettle

Stinging Nettle aka Great stinging Nettle, Common Nettle

Genus: Urtica
Species: Dioica

Parts Used: roots, leaves and stems
Nettle is high in iron and vitamins C and K

Nettle is very common all over the world. It is often found in moist shaded woodlands but does grow in the prairie too. Plants grow from 2 to 6 feet tall and is propagated from root runners and seeds. The Nettle plant consists of a long, flexible stem that has serrated leaves opposite of each other. When I was a kid we used to encourage the growth and propagation of stinging nettle on the homestead.

The thin hairs on the Nettle plant contain Formic Acid which causes the Stinging effect. Redness, itching, burning ect can last a few hours to a week. This can be somewhat less than fun.

Prevention / protection from Stinging Nettle reactions is best accomplished by learning to identify it and staying away from it ; ]

If you must OR should you decide that you want to make use of this very helpful plant the best way to handle the Nettle plant is to wear long sleeves and gloves to prevent skin contact with the plant until it has been processed.

How do you process Stinging Nettle for use? The most common uses are for consumption as either a pot herb or tea. The younger the plant the more delectable it will be to eat or to make tea. Younger leaves can be striped off the stem and either boiled or sauteed with salt or pepper to taste or mixed in with vegetables or meats.. basically any way that you would use mustard or turnip greens in cooking. The young leaves can also be minced to make a tea with the pulp consumed with the drink not strained out.

Older leaves can be dried [which inactivates the formic acid] and later crushed before steeping for tea, the pulp can be consumed as with fresh young leaves. The stems can be be used fresh or dried for tea with the fibers strained out before consuming.

Some people apply the fresh leaves directly to an arthritic area as a poultice and report that this temporarily relieves the discomfort of the condition.

Dealing with the skin reactions and stinging:

Some references recommend OTC remedies such as analgesic creams or pills, steroid creams [and RX pills] and antihistamines such as Diphenhydramine creams or pills OR Ranitidine aka Zantac. OR –ominous music– you may need to seek medical treatment*.

[*MOST people are not actually allergic to this plant and will not have an anaphylactic reaction which does need intervention]

It has been my experience that the ‘old wives’ who tell the tales are correct and that Stinging Nettle is best treated FIRMLY and not with a light touch. Meaning if you brush against it, it will sting you. But if you grab it firmly the area will go numb and not bother you.

Other uses for stinging nettle include making it into string, rope or weaving it into a rough fabric or baskets.

Stinging Nettle can also be used as a deterrent to dissuade people from coming into your yard when planted in strategic locations.

What memories of using stinging nettles do you have?

Blending in 3


ALWAYS pick up after yourself do NOT be a pig. If you have enough that you can throw something away, then you have stuff others may want to take from you. Or leavening trash is like the old tale of leaving bread crumbs as a trail marker. It is most always best to leave no trace that you were ever there. An example of this from my military days was that we did not carry TP as the locals did not use it, also we would go a bit off the trail and dig a ‘cat hole’ to go in and us leaves to wipe and then bury everything so it did not show. In that area it took less than a week for the worms to convert our droppings and remove all trace of us. As a side note, KNOW what kind of leaves you are making us of. Do not be like a relative who did not know what poison ivy looked like and use that to wipe. I am sure it was NOT fun recovering from that.


Travel on hard surfaces if possible as this will cut down on the tracks you leave. Travel single file to diminish their ability to count how many people are in your group, on the other hand everyone making their own path does not leave as much of a trail. You have to decide which you think is best in your situation. If you can wrap your footwear in rags to obscure what kind of shoe you have. Back when I worked Search and |Rescue we each had a laminated cheat sheet which had the common tread patterns on it so that when we discovered prints we could radio the info into command to log locations.

What are your thoughts on this?

What other suggestions can you make?

Blending in 2

Noise discipline

Typically the bigger issues with this come from children, dogs and Untrained adults which can be way worse than the kids and animals. EVERYONE should be trained in quiet mode operations. This is easier done IF a house hold member is a shift worker. My wife and I both had parents who worked other shifts so we were raised being quiet. WE both worked shifts [evening and nights] and so raised our kids to be quiet. This was so ingrained into us that on hard wood or tile floors walking ‘normally’ for us in combat boots we often got accused of ‘sneaking up on people. The grandkids’ donor was NOT raised to be quiet and even in stocking feet we could hear him walking in the house. He often bragged of what a great hunter he was [from the road] and ALL the things he learned in Marine boot camp.. [The whole WEEK [7 days] ] that he was in boot camp before he got the boot…

The short of this discussion on noise discipline is START early teaching the kids about it and it will be WAY easier to do. You can make a game out of it.

Along with all that has already been discussed is LIGHT discipline. Keep lights low and shielded so that it only extends at most a few feet from the source. Sound is hard to track due to echoing unless it is a constant noise like equipment [generators or music]. Light once seen can be followed EVEN if it was only a flash like from a camera. All they have to do is mark the direction and then plot it on a map. IF 2 or more people witnessed it your exact location is easy to triangulate. Along with LIGHT discipline is REFLECTIVE discipline which is light reflecting off of equipment and thus giving your position away. Remove or cover reflective items with cloth, flat paint or mud to cut down on this issue.

Conversely if you are trying to be noticed make noise, start small controlled fires which smoke a lot and use something reflective to catch the sun light and redirect it toward searchers.

All things being equal the one thing which attracts attention the most is MOVEMENT. If you are attempting to travel without being noticed move slowly and deliberately without acting as if you are sneaking about. Stop often and survey your surroundings.

OUTLINES disrupt your outline so that you do not look human [same thing for equipment make is so that the outline does not look like a car or truck or whatever. Also be very aware of your background so that you do not stand out such as avoiding the ridgeline of a hill or building.

Like noise and light discipline you have to watch the color of your attire and equipment. Avoid bright un-natural colors unless you WANT to be found. Reds and oranges are out for blending in. also avoid camouflage and tactical black as they shout ‘I have stuff, come and take it!’ Browns, tans, light greens, grays and cream colors work well for blending in in most places. Look to see what the dominate colors are around you and go with that. Some times a muted plaid or flower shirt works well.

Blending in

Blending in

Things that will give away your location both on the trail |AND at home

Consider these things when you have to bug out bug back or are sheltering in place. You do NOT want to stand out as someone who has ‘stuff’ that others may want to take from you.


Both from a fire [for warmth or for cooking] AND tobacco products. I have personally tracked people down from over a ¼ mile away who smoking a cigarette – of course the wind was blowing toward me. The odor that clings to smokers can also give away their location even if they are not actively smoking. KEEP this in mind if there is ANY possibility that you will ever have to remain hidden. One building that we had an office in a few years ago used to be a movie house. Part if it had burned down OVER 30 years prior and there was still the odor from that fire in parts of the building such as the projection room. IF you have a fire do it at night to hide the sight of the smoke and keep the fire VERY small and shielded so that people can not see the fire itself.

Food cooking

The odor not only from the fire but from the food itself carriers quite a way and will give away your location. Especially if the people around you are hungry. Back in the old west stories they talked of having ‘cold camps’ the term comes from not having a cooking fire. This is something to consider if you are ever on the move either bugging out or bugging home…. And even when sheltering in place. It is a good idea for most of your food n your BOB to be such that you can eat it cold or out of hand without preparation. That said – a good HOT meal sure does lift the spirits.


Back when I was in the military one of the things the medics [me] carried was Codeine tablets. Besides being good for pain control it also suppressed cough in case a team mate had one and we did not want the sound to give away our location while on patrol. Talk with your doctor if this is a concern for you. BTW there are other over the counter [OTC] medications which will help control cough ECT that can be used such as Guaifenesin tablets. This is a great topic for discussion with your doctor.

Kitchen Tools nonelectric

Kitchen Tools needed have handy when electricity goes out

Go to your kitchen and look at the tools that you use to cook food. How many use electricity? In this blog I want you to think about which tools you could use if you did not have electricity and what foods you could make. The number 1 kitchen tool you will need is a manual can opener. Whether that be a P38 that is used in the military to open one can at a time, or one that your grandmother had on the wall, that can open large cans. It would be beneficial if all pre-teen to adults had a P38 or P51 (these are different sizes that the military uses) on each person say on a keychain or a lanyard and then a larger one for the kitchen area this can be one of the ones that is called a hand can opener or one that you put on the wall. Either way they are easier to use when opening more than 1 can at a time. Also, if anyone carries a P38/51 they should know how to use it. Put this on your list to teach everyone how to use one and especially the pre-teen to adults to be able to use easily. If anyone is going to be cooking in the kitchen make sure they know how to use the larger one.

How do you mix your cakes and cookies? If you use an electric mixer start learning now how to use something that does not require electricity. There is a handy device that grandmother use to use that was called an egg beater. It has two mixing blades like an electric mixer but uses a crank wheel to beat the eggs, not as hard on the hands as a fork. But, whichever you use get it and start practicing, then make sure that it is handy for when the electricity goes out.

How do you make bread, or do you make bread? If the electricity goes out you will not have a bread machine, but you can bake bread in a solar oven. This should be something you practice on a bit, because it takes practice to make bread for different areas. Where we live, we are over a mile in altitude, but there are places that are below sea level, and these and the areas in between require slight differences in making bread. Also differences in humidity require slight changes. Start with simple recipes and go to the more difficult ones. This will also make help make your diet healthier not to have so many preservatives in it.

Choppers and blenders are other electrical appliances, but the way to get around using these is to chop items up very small and stir a lot. If you don’t know how to chop or need a good knife or cutting board put this on your list and as soon as you get them start practicing. This is the way baby food can be made by chopping food up real fine and adding liquid to it and stirring real well.

Are there any other kitchen tools that you use that are electrical that you would need to change your way of cooking? If so, let me know and we can add that to this blog for future use. We will talk about how to cook without electricity in another blog.

Homeless 1

While this story is set in UK [link at bottom] the USA has a significant problem with this too. About 4 years ago now, the county I live in had over 600 homeless with a little over 100 of those being school age kids. [that is the last stat I have, every January they ‘survey’ the area] …. The problem is bigger than most of us know, in part because the NEWS people will not repost on it. There are several areas that install spikes in ‘sleeping; areas to prevent sidewalk sleepers. This does not help. I do know some who are homeless by choice– Here in Wyoming with some winter days 10 – 20 below zero F it is NOT by choice. ; [

It is generally better to plan ahead to prevent homelessness but sometimes things happen. What if your house burns down? What do you do then?

There are many small home designs aka tiny houses out there that may be a good idea to have in your back yard for guests such as visiting friends and family OR if you want to take someone in.

I have seen some designs using pvc pipe as the frame over plastic pallets to hold a tarp makes a nice dry tent. It can be warmed with a tea light radiant heater. This would work well in the back yard as above or if you are the one that needs it out in the green area of town.

In Japan, there is a micro hotel system that traveling business people use that could have a baring on this topic. Each floor has rows of 4 x4 x 8 cubicles stacked 3 high that face the hall. each room has a tv, radio, frig, bed, closet and AC/Heater. The dayroom and bathroom/toilets are down the hallway. In essence you climb into your rack where you spend most of your off time anyway with communal areas elsewhere. Depending on how ‘nice’ you want to make it this type of thing would make a good homeless shelter.

A slight change of direction but still dealing with homeless situation is feeding operations. Of late there has been stories in the ‘alternative’ news about towns criminalizing FEEDING the homeless.

Folks, it is CRIMINAL to criminalize homelessness or the assistance of them by the public.

Fire starter insert

Fire starter www.PrepareSurviveThrive.US
Gather tinder in a pile next to where you intend to start your fire. Use the driest material available. You should have 5 times more tinder and kindling ready than you think you will need. Unless you have extra hands available and foraging for fire wood – gather 5 times more of that than you think you will need for the night.

Lay your fire.

Pare a small pile of magnesium shavings – at least enough to cover a quarter. Use a sharp knife or other metal tool held at 90 degrees to the magnesium block. The magnesium shavings will burn extremely hot [over 3,000 degrees] and fast.
When ready strike the Ferro rod [flint] aiming the sparks toward the magnesium shavings.

To prevent serious injury and property damage: keep away from children, wear ANSI-approved safety goggles and heavy-duty work gloves during use, use as intended only, inspect before every use. Magnesium in solid form is safe do not pare shavings until ready to use. Clear ground of flammable material 5 feet around fire site. Do not leave fire unattended and be prepared to extinguish fire completely

Mormon handcarts

Mormon handcarts for evacuations

Recently while checking up on friends and family on Facebook I ran across a picture of a family I know. They were participating in the sesquicentennial celebration of the pioneer trek the “Mormons” [The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints] did when the early church migrated to Utah. The hand carts that they built and used for this trek were very sturdy and could carry a heavy load. The people were very sturdy too, both then and now.

Literally these people carried all of their worldly goods with them. They walked over one thousand miles rain or shine, pulling the handcarts for months on end. In this day and age how many of us could pull that off today? Not many I bet.

Every year our town has “Frontier Days” 9 days of rodeo and party. There are 4 parades during this time and the local LDS members [Mormons] always has handcarts in the parades. Very interesting to watch.

Hold that picture in your mind and follow me down this rabbit trail if you will. ; ]

I have seen what some people call their 72 hour kits. Some of them have weighed in at 70lbs and they think that they are going to bug out on foot when the SHTF. Or worse they don’t plan on walking at all so they have boxes of stuff in the car and then hit the long parking lot of the freeway out of town and use all of the gas in 10 miles of bumper to bumper traffic.

With this in mind another friend and his family built a Mormon handcart to base their bug out plans on. I think that he had a good idea. Following is a report on how large of a payload could be carried by the handcarts.

***The handcarts generally carried up to 250 pounds (110 kg) of supplies and luggage, though they were capable of handling loads as heavy as 500 pounds (230 kg). Carts used in the first year’s migration were made entirely of wood (“Iowa hickory or oak”); in later years a stronger design was substituted, which included metal elements.[10][11][12]
The handcart companies were organized using the handcarts and sleeping tents as the primary units. Five persons were assigned per handcart, with each individual limited to 17 pounds (7.7 kg) of clothing and bedding. Each round tent, supported by a center pole, housed 20 occupants and was supervised by a tent captain. Five tents were supervised by the captain of a hundred (or “sub-captain”). Provisions for each group of one hundred emigrants were carried in an ox wagon, and were distributed by the tent captains. Excerpted from ***

Shelter mobile 1

Shelter mobile 1

Combine both of these with a few modifications and make mobile. I have some more ideas…. ; ] Rich

I like the egg shaped one but not the
price. The fan shaped one has a little more room
though. How would you modify them?
Sent from my Verizon Wireless
The client is on continuous oxygen via an electric concentrator along with other life support machines. Some of the medications have to be refrigerated.
To start with ……

I think that if we started with a basic cargo trailer with roof vent and drop down back door and side man door. For this discussion and as a basic starting point an 8’ x 14 – 30’ trailer would be good. A cargo trailer is –hopefully – stronger built, will haul more and stand up to hard use better. On the roof I would want to permanently mount solar panels at least 200 – 500 watts worth –maybe more, will have to cipher on it more. On each of the front corners install brackets for 400 – 600 watts wind gens which would be stored when not in use or driving.
Batteries, golf cart ones sized to be able to run everything for 48 to 72 hours between charges. Not that I would want to do it that way, just so that if there is no sun or wind we could still function…. Also the vehicle would be able to charge the system while the engine is running. As a back-up there would MAYBE be a very small gen set AFTER all the rest of the camper is set up. Power inverter 3,000 to 5.000 watts x 3. Would set the trailer up to use shore power if it is available and to charge / maintain the battery system. A small [dorm type] 110 frig and chest freezer along with a microwave. Lights would be cfl, LED or shop lights.

100 gallon fresh water tank inside the trailer, with a pump to pressurize the system 5 – 10 water heater. Would set up rain water harvesting and stream/pond water harvesting. Up to 200 gal raw water holding / treatment tanks. Have at least one gal of bleach on hand for water treatment. PLUS a chlorine generator for long term. With this type of system we could expand from 2 people to 20 fairly easy.
Grey water would have a smaller holding tank that can either be sent to the sewer OR if out in the boonnies have a hose to drain it at least 100 feet away or to a garden if camping that long. A small walk in shower.
Composting toilet
As part of the rain water harvesting would use tarps that would also expand the living area around the trailer.
Whatever we would use to haul the trailer would have an extra 50 to 200 gal of fuel capacity.
888 What are your thoughts on this set up?