Balancing Work and Pet Ownership

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Creating a balanced lifestyle is crucial for working pet owners to ensure the well-being of both their pets and themselves.

The following is a guest post from my bloggy friends over at Pet Insurance Offers. Interested in having a guest post on my website? Click here for my guest post submission form.

Mastering the Juggling Act: Tips for Working Pet Owners

Legally, a pet is something you own and is considered property, but you know that it’s really like being a parent. Balancing the responsibilities and joys of having a pet in your life is hard enough, and part of that is finding an equilibrium between your professional duties and taking care of your furry family members. Any chance to do remote work might help, but that’s not always an option. Your pet might help you manage the stress in your life, so you owe it to your four-legged friend to minimize their physical and mental stress.

Create a Routine That Balances Work and Your Pet

Animals do better in structured environments, and a predictable routine is something they can get used to and rely on. If your work hours are regular, then you need to build a routine for yourself and your pets based on that. Specific times for bathroom breaks, playtime, feeding, and exercise need their designated spots in your regular schedule.


Depending on what pets you have, you might have them exercise and play before and after your time at work. Routine exercise lets animals funnel their energy into something positive while moving their muscles and pumping their hearts. This reduces the frequency of destructive behaviors. Tiring them out early in the day makes your work shift easier on them, but you should still leave treats and toys out to occupy them.


Consistent schedules minimize pet anxiety and further promote good behavior. You should visit with your pets as frequently as possible or have others do so. This is possibly more important for dogs than cats, but some cats are still exceptionally social. Check-in with them when you can, use a doggy daycare, have friends or neighbors check in on them, or hire a dog walker.

Pet-Proof Your Home

Your pets can be a source of joy, but they’re still animals. Left to their own devices, they can severely damage your home. You need to designate a pet area whether you head out to work or close the door to your home office. Most pets need water, food, bedding, and toys.

Pet gates or crates might keep animals in certain spaces. Keep that area free of excess food, dangerous objects that could be choking or chewing hazards, and clutter or electrical cords that pets might pay too much attention to when you’re not in the room. Scratching posts are essential for cats. Keep kids’ toys and remote controls out of the way.

Protect your furniture with anti-scratch tape, and cover up your trash cans or put them inside cabinets. This will not only prevent a mess but also keep your pets from accessing potentially indigestible or toxic items.

Pet-proof your home before leaving for work, setting up a designated pet area. Make sure they have food, water, toys, and bedding. Cover HVAC vents, and move or block fitness equipment in your home. Water-repellent carpeting is a significant investment, and pee pads can save you a lot of mess.

Use Technology

Technology can’t replace your relationship with your pet, but it can be a helpful complement in many circumstances. You can use pet cameras to keep an eye on your animal when away from home; some even let you talk to your pets when you have a moment. Utilize voice commands, treat games, and much more. Remote access can provide your pet stimulation with minimal effort from you or even having to be there. When your pets can occasionally see and hear you, it alleviates their separation anxiety. These technological tools might even relieve your anxiety.

Interactive toys can occupy your pets but need rotation to maintain entertainment and engagement. Automatic feeders let you schedule meals ahead of time, and some permit multiple meals to keep your pets fed just enough on a regular schedule. Find an automatic feeder that can handle both wet and dry food. Whenever possible, opt for a battery-powered or battery-backup so your pets stay satiated and healthy when the power goes out in your home. Some models are units you can mount to wooden boards or other hardware to ensure stability if your pets are rambunctious and knock things over from time to time.

Regular Vet Visits Are a Must

Your pet needs wellness visits or check-ups at regular intervals. Ask your vet whether you should go by an annual or six-month schedule, and follow their recommendation even if your pet seems fine. Preventive services and treatment can stop any suffering your pet might go through before it starts. Many pets are adept at hiding their problems and are genetically inclined not to show weakness. By the time you notice something, it could be too late. Fortunately, vets are experts at discovering, preventing, and treating issues impacting your pet’s health.


Wellness visits can also save you money in the long run. Preventive medicine is usually cheaper than emergency treatment and the costs of long-term medical care. Regular vet visits are also chances for you to ask questions and learn about caring for your pet between trips to the clinic. If you only do emergency visits, you might not get the time with your vet to talk to them about many things, and they might not get the chance to establish a medical history for your pet.

Saving money regularly and anticipating future expenses is crucial to ensuring you can afford your pet’s needs. In addition to that, pet insurance can help. The right policy invests in your pet’s health and happiness, helping you save money and access affordable benefits thanks to group purchasing power.

Minimize Stress and Enjoy Life More

Finding the right balance between work, spending time with your pet, and caring for yourself is a tricky act that will take time. Once you find that balance, enjoy it. Your time with your pet and your self-care can overlap a lot, as pet owners have more joy in life and even longer lifespans.

Living the Chick Life: Tips and Tricks for Happy Hens and a Coop to Crow About

three brown and black hens with gray metal fence at daytime

Photo by Annie Williams on unsplash.com

The following is a guest post from my bloggy friends at Stromberg's Chickens.  Interested in having a guest post on my website? Click here for my guest post submission form.

The Eggcellent Guide to Backyard Chicken Keeping

TLDR: This comprehensive guide covers everything from choosing the right coop size and location to providing enrichment and maintaining a healthy flock, ensuring a rewarding experience for both you and your backyard chickens.

So you’ve decided to join the growing flock of backyard chicken enthusiasts? Welcome! Raising happy hens isn’t just about fresh eggs (though those are a delicious perk), it’s about creating a thriving little society in your backyard. 

Here are 12 tips and tricks to get you started on living the chick life:

1 – Size Matters

It’s generally recommended to have at least 3 to 5 square feet of space per bird inside the coop if they have access to an outdoor area, and 8 to 10 square feet if they do not have outdoor access, especially if you plan on having a larger flock or if you want to raise happier and healthier chickens

Providing more space helps reduce stress among the chickens, which can be particularly important for certain breeds or in warmer climates. Pecking order squabbles and aggressive behavior are more likely to arise in cramped quarters, leading to potential injuries or even fatalities.

It’s important to observe your hens regularly for signs of overcrowding, such as feather pecking, bald spots, or general unrest. If you notice these issues, adjust the coop size or reduce the flock numbers accordingly. 

In addition to indoor coop space, outdoor run space is equally important for allowing chickens to exercise and engage in natural behaviors like foraging and dust bathing. 

Remember, a happy and comfortable environment leads to healthier and more productive chickens, so prioritizing their well-being by providing adequate space will pay off in the long run.

2 – Coop Condos

Vertical space allows for more hens without sacrificing floor space. Build tiers with ramps for easy access, ensuring sturdy construction that can hold the weight of your feathered friends.

Rotate flock access to different levels to prevent dominant hens from monopolizing prime roosting spots.

3 – Location, Location, Location

While sunshine is vital, consider prevailing winds and potential noise disturbances. Locate your coop away from noisy areas like busy roads or property lines to minimize stress for your hens. 

Strategic landscaping with wind-blocking shrubs can create a cozy haven.

4 – Fort Knox for Feathered Friends

Remember to consider a predator’s determination. Bury chicken wire fencing at least 2 feet deep around the run to deter digging predators. 

Consider a hardware cloth overhang around the top of the coop to prevent aerial attacks from hawks or owls. Invest in motion-sensor lights and alarms for added security.

5 – Nest Egg Essentials

Free Brown Hen Near White Egg on Nest Stock Photo

Photo by Alison Burrell on pexels.com

Nesting box placement matters. Avoid drafty corners or areas with high traffic. Provide comfortable nesting material like a mixture of chopped straw and wood shavings, and refresh it regularly. 

Offer a variety of nesting box styles—some hens prefer open boxes, while others prefer enclosed spaces.

6 – A Balanced Diet is Key

Chickens love variety! Supplement their feed with locally available fruits and vegetables. Squash, melons, leafy greens, and even leftover cooked (unseasoned) rice or pasta are all welcome additions. 

Research what’s safe and seasonal in your area to create a delicious and nutritious smorgasbord for your flock.

Trivia: Hens need extra calcium for strong eggshells. Providing crushed oyster shells or a calcium supplement ensures they get enough.

7 – Hydration Stations

Chickens are messy drinkers, and constantly refilling waterers can be a chore. Invest in an automatic watering system with a drip line or nipple drinkers to ensure a steady supply of clean, fresh water. 

In freezing climates, heated chicken waterers are a lifesaver to prevent ice buildup, keeping your hens hydrated throughout winter.

8 – Bedding Basics

The deep litter method involves building a layer of absorbent bedding like wood shavings or chopped straw. Microorganisms break down manure, creating a natural heat source and reducing odor.

Simply remove a few inches of the top layer every few weeks and add fresh bedding, maintaining a comfortable depth for your hens to scratch and dust bathe in.

9 – Let There Be Light

Light is crucial for egg production in hens, as it directly influences their reproductive cycle. To maximize egg laying, consider investing in timers for your coop lights to ensure a consistent light cycle that mimics natural daylight hours, typically around 14 to 16 hours of light per day.

When setting up the lighting system, make sure to use warm-colored LED bulbs, which are more energy-efficient and closely resemble natural sunlight. Position the lights to evenly distribute illumination throughout the coop, avoiding dark corners where hens might feel insecure. 

Additionally, consider using dimmers for the coop’s interior light source to create a calming atmosphere at night, which helps reduce stress and promotes better rest for the hens. It’s important to transition gradually between light and dark periods, as abrupt changes can startle the birds and disrupt their natural rhythms.

10 – DIY Dust Bath Blend

brown hen on brown sand during daytime

Photo by Mike Cox on unsplash.com

Commercial dust bath mixes are convenient, but creating your own allows for customization. Combine sand (play sand works well), diatomaceous earth (a natural pest deterrent), and wood ash (ensure it’s completely cool) in a large container within the run.

Replace the mixture regularly for optimal dust bathing fun.

11 – Get Crafty with Enrichment

Boredom busters are essential for happy hens. Get creative! Hang colorful hanging baskets with treats hidden inside, offer them a mirror to spark curiosity, or create a “pecking playground” by scattering dried corn cobs or whole peppers in the run. 

Rotate enrichment activities to keep your hens engaged and prevent feather picking, a sign of boredom or stress.

Fun Facts: Each hen has her personality. Some hens are more dominant, while others are shy. This diversity makes having hens a fascinating experience as you observe their interactions and behaviors.

12 – Become a Coop CSI

A keen eye goes a long way in maintaining a healthy flock. Regularly check for signs of illness (lethargy, ruffled feathers, pale combs), injuries (limping, difficulty walking), or external parasites (mites, lice). 

Early intervention can prevent the spread of disease and ensure a speedy recovery for your feathered friends.

Conclusion

In conclusion, raising backyard chickens is a rewarding and enjoyable experience that involves creating a healthy and vibrant environment for your feathered friends. Following the outlined tips and tricks, you’re sure that your chickens are happy, healthy, and productive.

How to Turn Your Backyard into an Oasis

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Learn how to turn your backyard into an oasis of your very own in this quick post from our bloggy friends at Elite Pools. Interested in having a guest post on my website? Click here for my guest post submission form.

Your home is your palace. You want to design every aspect of it to be relaxing and rejuvenating for you and your family. One area that you never want to overlook during this design process is your backyard. In fact, we’re going to help you turn it into your very own relaxing oasis.

Start With a Deck 

If your backyard is lacking in functionality, it can be challenging to determine where to start your oasis design. A great first step is to build a deck. The feature not only increases the overall value of your home, but it helps to carve out some definitive space. A deck will elevate your family from the natural landscape and provide a more enhanced feeling of privacy. 

Install Lights and Speakers 

Next up, you need to light up your backyard. Simple string lights can help to set a more relaxing ambiance on those summertime evenings. If you have an existing fence on your property, consider outlining your entire backyard perimeter with some ambient low lighting to help better define your space. It can be extremely relaxing to have that low light and the comfort of knowing that you can see what’s going on in your yard. And don’t forget to include those outside speakers. They can allow you to enhance your atmosphere and speed up that feeling of relaxation. 

Consider a Water Feature 

How to Turn Your Backyard into an Oasis - Pool Design Two

You can’t go wrong when it comes to integrating water into your backyard oasis. Water helps to provide a feeling of relaxation and comfort. You have a plethora of options when it comes to determining what water features you want to use. Pools, spas, waterfalls, and even fountains are all great options. Being able to relax in your spa or pool can further help to melt the stress away from your body. Adding a waterfall or fountain to your pool can promote that relaxation even further with the background water flowing. 

Plant Bug-Repellant Blooms 

You can’t have a backyard oasis without some beautiful flower blooms to set the tone. While you may be tempted to choose plants solely off of their bloom color, think again. You first want to look for plants that are well-proven to be bug-resistant, such as citronella grass. By having bug-repelling plants, you can spend less time being distracted and avoid the feeling of bug spray on your skin. Try to find a good mixture of bug-repellant plants and those that have stunning aesthetics.

Designate Shaded Areas 

You can have a beautiful outdoor oasis. However, if there’s no shade, it’s going to deter you and your family from using the space during the hot daytime hours. Do yourself a favor and carve out some designed shade. You have many different options at your disposal, depending on your unique landscape. You may be able to utilize the shade of an old oak tree to create a sunless sitting space, or you may want to install a canopy over your deck to give it a nice, cool location to avoid the sun. 

Create Areas of Interest 

If you truly want your backyard to feel like an oasis, you need to create areas of interest. These are simply small locations where designated activities can take place. Some examples of areas of interest include a cooking area, firepit, pool, spa, flower garden bench, and even gaming table. When you have multiple people visiting, they can break up into smaller groups and utilize these different areas of interest. These areas help to create more opportunities in your backyard oasis and keep it interesting for everyone. 

The Many Benefits of Having a Backyard Which You Can Relax In 

In today’s environment, it seems like everyone is burning the candle at both ends. Taking the time to relax your body and, more importantly, your mind is an absolute necessity to live a healthy and fulfilled life. Having a backyard oasis ready to go is a great way to encourage you to relax. There’s no planning needed. Simply head out back and enjoy the beautiful oasis you’ve created for yourself. 

Having an area gives you the perfect location for hosting friends and family for outdoor meals. This is a great way to promote social well-being and keep everyone interested in coming back. Even better, having items like flowers in your backyard oasis allows you to pick up a new gardening hobby that has been proven time and time again to promote relaxation and clarity.

How to Revamp Your Kitchen To Look Like New

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Want to have a kitchen that looks like a million bucks on a budget? This post might help!

The following is a guest post from my bloggy friends over at Garden State Tile. Interested in having a guest post on my website? Click here for my guest post submission form.

Budget-Friendly Kitchen Makeover Ideas for a Fresh Look

A remodeled kitchen will add resale value to your home and provide you with a more convenient and attractive room. So why do people live with an outdated kitchen? The cost.

A professional remodel can cost you around $50,000. For many homeowners, that price is too much to pay. Fortunately, you can upgrade your kitchen for a much more modest price by changing a few things using your own elbow grease and imagination.

And, the best part is – you can do these things a little at a time so you’re not shelling out all of the cash in one fell swoop!

Paint the Walls

One of the easiest and most affordable steps is to repair and paint the walls. To get a professional look, you will need to fill and sand cracks and holes and seal the seams with caulk. You need a smooth surface to apply the paint correctly.

Choose a semi-gloss for your trim and an eggshell for the walls. A careful paint job will transform the look of your kitchen for very little money.

Replace the Faucet

Simply adding a new faucet will help modernize the look of your room, plus it will improve functionality. New faucet hoses often extend so you can easily clean the sink surface. They may have built-in water filtration systems as well. A new faucet can be an important upgrade. 

Paint the Cabinets

New cabinets are expensive, but dingy old cabinets really bring down the appearance of a kitchen. Instead of replacing the current cabinets, paint them instead. You can choose different colors for the doors and the trim if you’d like. Even painting the upper tier only can add some pizzazz to your kitchen without hurting your budget.

Install a Backsplash

How to Revamp Your Kitchen To Look Like New - Install a Backsplash
Image credit: Garden State Tile Facebook Page

Putting in a backsplash takes some effort but can re-do the look of your kitchen. Choose some colorful tile that works with your color scheme and put it on the wall behind your sink and stove. It adds a lovely decorative element while protecting your walls from grease and water. You can simplify the job by using peel-and-stick tiles.

Update Hardware

One of the easiest and most affordable ways to give your kitchen a fresh look is by updating the hardware. Replace old cabinet knobs, pulls, and hinges with new, modern options that complement your kitchen’s style. This simple change can make a significant impact on the overall appearance of your cabinetry.

Add Open Shelving

Open shelving is a popular trend in kitchen design. Installing a few open shelves allows you to display your favorite dishes, glassware, or decorative items, creating visual interest and making your kitchen feel more spacious. Open shelves also provide easy access to frequently used items.

Add New Light Fixtures

New lighting can be installed for a reasonable price. You can simply change out the fixtures without doing any rewiring. If your kitchen has a basic ceiling light with a basic covering, replace it with a fixture that has color or some other element of drama.

How to Revamp Your Kitchen To Look Like New - Add New Light Fixtures

Upgrade Appliances

If your budget allows, consider replacing outdated appliances with newer, more energy-efficient models that match your kitchen’s style. This upgrade will not only improve the look of your kitchen but also enhance its functionality and potentially save you money on energy bills in the long run.

Refresh the Countertops

Replacing countertops can be expensive, but there are alternative options to give them a fresh look. Consider resurfacing your countertops with a countertop paint kit or applying a concrete overlay. These solutions can provide a modern, updated appearance without the high cost of replacement.

Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

Under-cabinet lighting is a practical and stylish addition to any kitchen. Install LED strip lights or puck lights under your cabinets to brighten up your work areas and create a warm, inviting atmosphere. This lighting also helps to eliminate shadows, making food preparation easier.

Add a Kitchen Island

If your kitchen has sufficient space, adding a kitchen island can provide additional storage, seating, and workspace. An island can serve as a focal point in your kitchen, making it more functional and attractive. Choose an island design that complements your kitchen’s style and fits your needs.

Organize Your Pantry

A well-organized pantry not only makes your kitchen more functional but also contributes to its visual appeal. Invest in storage containers, labels, and shelf organizers to keep your pantry tidy and easily accessible. This organization will also help you minimize food waste and make meal planning more efficient.

Incorporate Plants

Adding a few potted herbs or small indoor plants to your kitchen can bring a natural element to the space and freshen up the atmosphere. Plants can also improve air quality and provide a pop of color. Choose low-maintenance plants that thrive in the kitchen environment.

Update Your Flooring

If your kitchen flooring is worn or outdated, consider installing new vinyl, laminate, or tile flooring for a complete transformation. Updated flooring can tie your kitchen’s new look together and create a cohesive appearance. Choose a flooring material that is durable, easy to clean, and complements your kitchen’s style.

Accessorize Thoughtfully

Finally, accessorizing your kitchen with carefully chosen decorative elements can help tie your new look together. Add a colorful kitchen rug, artwork, or stylish kitchen towels to introduce personality and visual interest. Keep accessories minimal and focused on enhancing your kitchen’s overall style.

Revitalize Your Kitchen Gradually for a Fresh New Look

Your kitchen can quickly become a positive focus in your house. A kitchen renovation improves your quality of life and also your home’s resale value. If you cannot afford a full professional remodel, do not despair. You can upgrade the look of your room by taking some affordable and practical steps. Paint the walls and the cabinets, add a backsplash, replace the lighting fixtures, update hardware, add open shelving, upgrade appliances, refresh countertops, install under-cabinet lighting, add a kitchen island, organize your pantry, incorporate plants, update your flooring, and accessorize thoughtfully.

Remember, you don’t have to tackle all these upgrades at once. Making small changes over time can gradually transform your kitchen without overwhelming your budget. Start with simple projects like painting or updating hardware, and work your way up to more extensive renovations as your time and resources allow. By approaching your kitchen revamp in stages, you can create a space that looks and feels like new, all while staying within your means. So, take that first step today and watch your kitchen transform into the heart of your home, one improvement at a time.

Solar Generators for Survival

Are you prepared for a power outage or emergency? This guide will teach you everything you need to know about solar generators and how to choose the best one for your needs.

Solar Generators for Survival

Given everything that’s going on in the world, more people are aware that they need to be better prepared to take care of themselves. People are learning how to create a food supply, how to store water for emergency use and the importance of relying on themselves.

One area that men and women are looking at being prepared for has to do with the loss of electricity. There’s a growing concern over what might happen if the grid happens to go down indefinitely.

Some states and countries have already experienced upheaval in their electrical grids. If you’re wondering how to prepare in the event of a long-term outage, there are some things that you can do now.

Never Rely on the Grid

Some people believe that the grid going down is a remote possibility. They think that it won’t happen in their lifetime or that if it does, power companies would have them up and running in hours, or days – worst case scenario.

During a war, each side fights to cripple the other’s way of life. They want communication cut off. They want electricity cut off. That’s one thing that is a real threat in today’s society.

Wars are being fought that are seeing impacts to the way of life and now and in the future, wars may not be traditional. Instead of going to the front line to fight face to face with another country’s military, what’s happening are strategic online attacks.

The power grid is online. The enemy can shut down a nation simply by hacking into the system and taking control. This type of sabotage isn’t something that’s done on a whim. It’s carefully planned and then carried out so that it causes the maximum amount of loss and distress.

Wars in the future will wreak havoc on the grid. This deliberate execution is done to cause harm to the economy. As soon as the grid does go down, those in charge of the system will get to work and try to undo the damage.

But the problem is that an online attack isn’t easily figured out. Sometimes code can be placed during an attack and when someone tries to fix the hacking, it can make matters worse and cause further disruptions.

When the power goes out right now, the electric company sends out trucks. The workers go and start checking the system to find out where the break is. Once they do, they can usually get the power restored within just a matter of hours.

It’s not like that when there’s a deliberate attack on the grid. This type of damage isn’t something the electric company can just send a truck out to fix. Because of how complicated it is, the disruption of electrical services may last awhile.

In some cases, the loss of electricity could last for months – or even years. You might think that you’re somewhat prepared. If you’re like most people, you probably have a supply of flashlight and batteries.

But batteries and gas powered sources like a generator aren’t a very good option. Batteries will die at some point and you won’t be able to get more because they’ll be in short supply.

When the grid goes down, you can’t get gas for a generator because gas pumps need electricity to run. Plus, the entire supply chain might be broken, so you’ll only have power for as long as your current supply lasts.

Solar Generators Could Prevent a Personal Catastrophe

Because everyone is so used to having it, when the power goes out, it’s a real inconvenience. But because it usually comes right back on, the inconvenience is just a minor issue.

Most people just wait it out. Once the power resumes, life carries on just like it did before. But in the event that the grid goes down, it’s not going to happen like that. Life as you know it will come to a halt.

Many people will become painfully aware of just how much their life centers around having electricity and trying to cope will be difficult. There are so many areas of life that will change if there’s no power.

Most grocery stores operate their doors using electricity. The doors won’t open without it. For stores that do have a way to open the door and let the customers in, it won’t do any good because the food supply in stock is quickly going to run out as people become desperate to just take the items.

Those who deliver the food supplies to the stores won’t be able to fuel up their trucks and get the food across the states. So bare shelves will remain bare. The food that’s in the store before it’s taken won’t be able to be sold because cash register machines can’t operate without electricity.

The debit card that you use all the time now will become as worthless as a piece of a plastic. The store can’t swipe it. The ATM won’t be working, and the bank won’t be able to give you any money because they can’t access your account without electricity.

When you’re at home, you’re going to be impacted by the loss of power. There won’t be any air conditioning to cool the blazing heat of the summer. Of, if the grid is down during winter months, you won’t have a way to heat your home.

You’ll be physically uncomfortable in more ways than one. Your stove won’t be any use when there’s no electricity. So you won’t be able to cook. The hot water heater won’t work, so there won’t be any warm showers.

Some people rely on electricity for more than just their regular way of life. They must have access to power due to medical needs. Many people have machinery such as oxygen concentrators that require electricity.

Without power, those machines won’t work and it could endanger lives. For those who use a CPAP machine, it’s the same issue if the electricity goes out. It’s stressful when something disrupts your norm in life, but even more so when you have a medical issue or someone you love does.

This is why you want to invest in a solar generator. You don’t have to fret about not having power when you need. This can prevent the hardship of being without and give you peace of mind.

The Benefits of Owning a Solar Generator

There are so many benefits to having a solar generator. You don’t have to worry about getting gas for it. You don’t have worry about batteries or electricity. Having a solar generator can help you to keep your life a little more normal during something chaotic like the grid going down.

For example, if you have one, you’ll be able to stay in communication with the people you care about. You’ll know what’s going on in their lives and if they’re okay. If you work online, you can still do that with a generator because – if cell towers are still operational, you can use mobile hotspots.

You’ll also be able to find support if you can use your laptop. There will be other people going through the same thing and this is a good way for you to be able to gain as well as share information.

You can find out where food is if necessary and what areas to avoid in case there’s chaos that makes them unsafe. A solar generator can do more than just allow you to be on your laptop for communication or work purposes.

You can use one to help restore as much of your normal way of life as possible. For example, if you have a solar generator, you can hook up your stove. This means that you’ll still be able to cook for yourself or your family.

You’ll be able to heat up canned goods or make fresh foods. Being able to cook can bring comfort to yourself as well as your family. Besides being able to cook, you’ll also be able to run your refrigerator like you usually would.

This will allow you to keep your food safe from going bad. Plus, it will allow you to keep your food longer so you’ll be able to have leftovers if needed and you can hold out with stuff from your freezer in the event you can’t find the items that you need.

You won’t have to sit in the dark once the sun goes down. A solar generator can be used to light your home in more than one room. When your normal way of life is interrupted where you don’t have light, not only can boredom quickly set in, but a dark home is more likely to be targeted by thieves.

A solar generator is something that can also be of use for you when there’s no emergency power situation going on. When you have a generator, it creates power for you that you don’t have to pay for.

So you end up saving a lot of money. It’s one of the best investments that you can make to protect your way of life as well as your home during a chaotic event. You’ll have peace of mind and the generator is quiet, so your neighbors won’t know that you have a solution.

How to Shop for the Right Solar Generator

You want to carefully consider the solar generator that you purchase and make your decision after weighing certain factors. Cost may be the deciding issue for you. You want to choose one that works with your budget but is also able to meet your electric needs.

In addition, you’ll also want to look at how much space it’s going to take up and where you’re going to place it. The panel sizes and set up will be different, depending on which brand you end up buying.

Another thing that you need to consider is the weight of the generator. You want one that you can move around. You want to make it easy to change locations with it. If it’s too big and bulky, then you’ll have a harder time.

You can find a wide variation in sizes and it would be a lot easier to move one weighing 60 pounds than one weighing over 200. When selecting the generator, you want to check out how easy it is to use.

One that’s so complicated it would take a scientist to figure out isn’t one that you’re going to easily use or be happy with – especially if you can’t figure out how to operate it when you need it.

Some generators have touch screen controls that will walk you through what you need to do in order to set it up and get it running. Next, you’ll need to look at the generator’s ability to charge.

Some of the brands are great at charging in normal weather when the sun is bright. Others struggle when there’s cloud cover. If that’s the case, then if you have periods of overcast days, you might not have the charge that you need to run your home.

People talk about products they’ve purchased. When you’re searching for a solar generator, you’ll want to weigh the opinion of others. So check out the reviews of each of the generators.

With every product, you’re going to have a couple of unhappy buyers. That’s normal. But if there are hundreds of people negatively reviewing the product about the same issue, then that could be a problem with that generator.

When looking at reviews, pay attention to the ones that have home photos showing the generator in use as well as ones that are verified purchases. You’ll want to check out the generators across the brands, too.

Some brands have more durability and have been proven over time. That doesn’t mean one that’s newer to the market won’t be the same. But if there’s no track record and no reviews, you do want to be a bit more careful about buying it.

Some of the more well-known brands have good models to choose from. These would be ones in the EcoFlow, Jackery, Bluetti or Renogy line. Finally, you want to consider the amount of energy the generator can produce.

It’s a lot different shopping for one that can provide for one or two people versus one that needs to produce electricity for a family of five. So shop based on price, size, ease of use and needs.

Tips on Setting Up and Using Your New Solar Generator

Having a solar generator means you’ll be able to have a more normal lifestyle in the event that the grid goes down. These devices are quieter and cleaner for the environment as well.

But in order to get the most out of your generator, there are some things you need to keep in mind. First, you need to pay attention to the positioning. Where your panels are located will make a difference in how they gather power.

When you put the panels in place, you can’t just set them up at any type of angle. The angle of the panel has to be situated so that it’s able to take advantage of the sun’s rays.

That means that this angle is going to change depending on the time of year. For example, the higher the sun is, the lower the angle can be. Understanding latitude can help you know best where the angle should be.

For example, during the months of March, April and May, your panels can be set at a 45 degree angle. You also need to be sure that your generator stays in top working condition.

If you have a “set it and forget it” mindset toward it, then the lifespan of the machine will be shortened. You always want to make sure that it’s clean. Being outside causes dust and other debris to block the sun’s rays.

You have to clean off the panels and keep the generator clean as well. You want to watch for unnecessary power use from the generator. When you set it up, only use what you absolutely must have.

If you’re not using the TV or a lamp, then unplug it so that it’s not using the power. Because they’re solar, some people think these types of generators are difficult to set up, but they’re not.

They’re actually a lot easier to use than fuel powered ones are. All you have to do is start it, hook up whatever items you need electricity for and then use your items. It’s that easy.

What you want to pay attention to is the amount of power your generator has from the stored energy. You don’t ever want that to go below around 80%. Solar generators that bottom out can take awhile to regain a full charge.

The way you use the solar generators isn’t going to vary much according to size. The positioning of the panels and care of the generator is the same regardless of whether it’s a small or large machine.

There are many different types of solar survival supplies that you can buy to give you power. From a small solar phone to a large solar generator that has several large panels and can provide power to a refrigerator, you can find something for every purpose you want.

Start out with what you can best afford, for your most pressing needs. If you need a way to cook, there are solar cookers. If you just want your phone charged or a radio to work, get something small.

But set aside funds to get a large solar generator for a major SHTF event, when the grid isn’t expected to come back online anytime soon. This will provide your family with the ability to survive in comfort.

50 Survival Prepper Tasks for Beginners

When you’re starting out as a prepper, it can get overwhelming quickly as you begin to take stock of everything that has to be done to ensure you and your family’s survival. From basic decisions to purchases and action-oriented tasks, it takes time, money and strategic thinking to succeed.

First of all, know that getting started is a first step that most people sadly never take. So you’re already farther ahead than most. And this isn’t something you have to stress out about and have done in a day.

Survival prepping is a long haul effort, where you’ll be gaining ground with every task you accomplish. It’s something you can do on your own, or as a family, and in fact, it’s wise to include others so they know how to handle things in any event.

Below, you’ll find fifty tasks to get you started in your journey of survival prepping. You can do one per day, or as you find time. The key is to learn what needs to be done and begin making progress so that if and when a SHTF event occurs, you won’t have to panic – because you’re well-prepared.

Task #1: Start a Survival Supply Journal to Track Your Stock

Keeping track of your supplies will be one of the most fundamental tasks you’ll need to carry out. This prevents you from letting supplies go to waste or spoil, but it also ensures you don’t overbuy in one area, while underbuying in another.

You don’t want to use an electronic spreadsheet for this task. If the grid goes down, you’ll need to have a manual journal or tracker you can refer to. You can buy a digital printable one or order some sort of book designed for tracking supplies.

Be sure to mark down the item, size, number of items you have in stock, and the date they must be used by. Keep in mind that everyone needs to update the journal if they use some of the supplies or throw them out as expired.

Task #2: Get a 72-Hour Bug Out Bag Packed for Each Family Member

At the very least, everyone in your family needs to have enough supplies to last them for three days. A 72-hour bug out bag is perfect for taking on the run in the event you have to escape your home to go elsewhere.

It should have enough food, water, clothing and medical supplies to last at least this long. You may be able to add shelter onto the bug out bag, but make sure everyone has something for warmth at night if sleeping outside.

A bug out bag needs to be camouflaged and fitted to the size of the person carrying it. You don’t want to get a seven year old child the same sized bug out bag as an adult, because they won’t be able to carry it.

Task #3: Carve Out a Safe Space for Your Supplies

In your home or somewhere nearby, you want a cool dry place to store your food supplies. You don’t want a hot environment like an outdoor shed where food will spoil faster.

You’ll also need room in your home for other supplies you can access, like first aid, water, camping gear and more. This is a great time to do some Spring cleaning and get rid of stuff you no longer use or want to free up space for must-have equipment.

Task #4: Begin Stocking Up on Long-Term Water Supplies

Long-term water supplies can be a mix of things. For example, you might often have individual, plastic water bottles on hand. But for the long haul, you’ll want things like rain barrels to capture water months down the road.

You will want survival water straws that you can stick into any body of water and drink directly from safely. You want water purification tablets, too. You can find things like water bladders that fill an entire bathtub, and color-safe water containers that hold seven gallons of water, that you can stack up in a cool, dry place.

Task #5: Make a List of Shelf Stable Foods You Can Start Buying

Every time you go to the store, you want to begin adding a few items here and there that will eventually make for a wonderful survival supply. Things like rice, beans, sugar, flour, salt, spices, coffee, hard candy and more are great for addressing the nutritional needs and wants of your family.

Canned good are okay, too – but they’re not going to last as long as some other foods. You’ll want to purchase items your family currently enjoys, so that you can rotate the stock as you use them.

Whenever something gets near to the expiration date, use it in a family meal and replace it with a product that has a longer expiration date. You’ll want to make sure your food is stores safely from pests and any other hazard – and don’t forget to stock up for your pets, too!

Task #6: Order Extra Prescriptions You May Need

Before you get too far into your survival prepping efforts, take note of any prescriptions your family has – whether it’s contacts, allergy medicines, blood pressure pills and more – and see if you can stock upon the prescription in case a SHTF event takes place and pharmacies are inaccessible.

Task #7: Get a Hand Crank Radio That Keeps You Informed

A hand crank radio (which can also be battery operated) is a great tool to have on hand in case of a major survival event. You may not be able to log onto the Internet or turn on the TV to find out what’s happened or what you need to do.

Emergency services will be broadcasting on the radio and you can access that with a solar powered, battery operated or hand crank radio. The hand crank option ensures you’ll always have the ability to tune in, while solar and battery options may not be available 100% of the time.

Task #8: Make a Plan for Cooking without Power

If you were to lose power today and not have it again indefinitely, how would you cook each night? You need ways to start a fire – to boil, and fry, grill and bake food for your family.

You need fire starter equipment as well as gear that can handle outdoor cooking. You might use a grill, but that requires you to have charcoal or wood to put in it. You’ll need flint and matches, and more.

Task #9: Invest in a Sturdy Survival Knife for Multi-Purposes

When you’re having to live in a survival situations, you’ll find that a knife comes in handy for many reasons. From skinning animals that you’ve killed for meat to whittling wood and even as a defense mechanism, knives are an important tool.

You might need it for helping you build a shelter or even for first aid purposes. Make sure you have access to a multi-knife tool or a variety of knives that can help you survive in any situation.

Know the different between a fixed blade and a folding blade. Have a way to sharpen your knives, too. If the survival event lasts a long time, the knives will become dull and useless over time.

Task #10: See How You Can Fortify Your Home from Intruders

Some survival events will mean your home becomes a target by unsavory individuals, Whether it’s a short-term civil unrest situation or a long-term survival event where intruders are trying to access your home to steal your supplies, you want to ensure that they can’t get in.

Start by checking the durability and sturdiness of each door and window in your home. You want strong locking mechanisms on them. If you have any weak entry points, replace them with something made of stronger materials.

While things like a Ring camera might come in handy in a short-term event, you may lose electricity, so it would be useless in a SHTF situation that lasts awhile. Make sure you have a way to check to see who’s on your property (like a peep hole) before you open the door to anyone.

Task #11: Join an Online or Offline Prepper Community

Prepper communities are great for keeping you informed about upcoming possible events as well as teaching you things you may not know about survival prepping. There are many people who join these communities and have plans (based on their camaraderie) to build homestead communities near one another.

Make sure you use a pen name on the forum or in person and never give out your location or specifics. Every time you share information with others, it puts you at risk for having your supplies stolen.

Task #12: Get the Supplies Ready to Seal Up Your Home

There are some events where you’ll want to seal up your home more than just locking it properly. Even the best weather seal might let something in. In the event of a nuclear fallout, you want to have your windows and doors sealed quickly to prevent anything from getting in.

Task #13: Prepare for Cold Weather to Keep Your Family Warm

Cold weather events can be treacherous, even if you’re inside your home. If you lose power and it’s freezing outside, it will soon drop to the same temperature indoors. You want to have things like a tent, warm blankets or sleeping bags, and other ways to keep you and your family warm if this happens.

Make sure you have a safe way to warm up food inside, even if it means using MREs (meals ready to eat) with heating elements inside of them. You’ll be amazed at how comforting warm food can be in a cold weather event.

Task #14: Set Aside Cash for a No Power Event

If the grid goes down, not only will ATMs not work, but you won’t be able to walk into a grocery store and charge supplies onto your debit or credit card. Many places will be cash only establishments from that point on, and most people rarely carry cash anymore.

Make sure you have enough on hand to help you secure what you need in the immediate moments of a major disaster. Supplies will go fast, and you don’t want to have to wait for any banking options to get what you need.

Task #15: Go Over an Escape Plan with Your Loved Ones

There will be situations where you can’t stay at your home. You may not be with or near your family when this happens. So everyone needs to know what to do in the event that they can’t stay or return to your current home.

Have a place to meet up, and make sure there is more than one option given, depending on the circumstances. For example, if the city is under attack, fleeing to a nearby wilderness may not be an option if it’s caught fire.

Make sure everyone knows how to get from point A to point B without staying along the main roadways, too. These may be compromised or have people who aren’t safe to be around.

Task #16: Pinpoint the Whereabouts of Natural Water Sources Nearby

Before the power is down, go to Google Maps and do a visual search for natural water sources near your home, within walking distance. These could be rivers, lakes, streams, and more.

When and if the power goes down, your water may not work – or if it works, it may not be safe to drink. If there’s no water, you want to know exactly where to go to access water that you can purify. Print out the birds-eye view so you’ll remember.

Task #17: Consider Keeping Animals for Survival Purposes

Animals can be a handy resource in the event of a survival situation. Some people don’t like the idea of butchering an animal, but you don’t even need to do that if you don’t want to.

You can keep hens to lay eggs, use various animals for milk, use them for wool if you need blankets or clothing, and more. Of course, if you did end up needing to use them as food, you could if the alternative meant starving to death.

Task #18: Look at the Solar Survival Gadgets Available and Save Up for One

There are many solar gadgets for survival that you want to consider investing in. Some, you might even be able to make yourself – such as a solar cooker. They have readymade ones, too.

You can also find solar powered generators, solar phone chargers, solar lights and more. These may cost a little more upfront, but you won’t need electricity or batteries to use them from this point on, so they’ll pay for themselves in the long run.

Task #19: Make Sure Every Member of Your Family Can Be Armed

You have to check the laws in your state or country, but in many areas, you can purchase and teach your children how to safely and carefully use firearms. Many kids in states like Texas are raised this way.

Gun safety is paramount to carrying out this task. Without it, the potential for a catastrophe is heightened. Begin purchasing firearms, ammunition and a large safe to store this gear.

Task #20: Get Every Loved One a Paracord Bracelet

A paracord is a survival bracelet that can come in handy for a multitude of reasons in a survival situation. From helping you erect a shelter to assisting you with food, these are a tool every man, woman and child should have at their disposal.

Task #21: Purchase Used or New First Aid Books and Start Learning

There are many first aid books that will teach you how to do everything from dealing with minor scrapes and bruises or a headache to setting a broken bone or performing CPR.

You can buy first aid books to have on hand so that you can not only start learning them yourself, but teaching your loved ones. You don’t want to have to take a book with you or stop and learn on the go.

Look at used book stores, or purchase new ones and make a plan to start going through the lessons page-by-page. Have each family member practice the steps of applying first aid in certain situations, and if you find that you don’t have a needed supply, put it on your list to get.

Task #22: Make a Survival Garden Plan for Your Current Space

Growing your own food is an important task that everyone should do. Whether you live in a cramped apartment and only have a balcony for a container garden, or you have an acre or more of land to grow on – start the planning and planting process.

Grow foods that are rich in nutrients and calories, whenever possible. You want foods that grow fast (such as radishes that only take three weeks) and those that will deliver a lot of results, such as potatoes.

Task #23: Learn How to Can Your Own Food

Canning food is a skill that people used to pass down from one generation to another but it’s become somewhat of a lost art now among the masses. If you’re growing your own food, it will help to be able to can your fruits and vegetables for later use.

Task #24: Teach Survival Stealth and Self-Defense Measures to Your Family

Being stealth during a survival event can help keep you alive You have to teach your family how to stay quiet, how to move without being detected, how to not draw attention to yourself, and other stealth measures.

You also can’t be unprepared if the worst-case-scenario takes place and someone or something attacks you or your family. Be knowledgeable about and prepared for attacks by wild animals as well as individuals, even if it means enrolling everyone in a self defense course.

Task #25: Start Stocking Up on Personal Hygiene and Toiletries

As we witnessed at the start of the pandemic, the strangest things can go early. While you may have thought food and water would fly off the shelves first, it was toilet paper that was sold out in stores across the globe.

Make sure you don’t neglect the toiletries your family needs and uses when you’re planning your survival supplies. From contact solution to deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste – and more – it’s all going to be sold out if a major event occurs.

Task #26: Identify Natural Food Sources in Your Area

You can hire a guide or find this out yourself, but you want to start looking into the naturally occurring foods you can forage off the land in your local area. This may include plants you can eat, berries that are safe, nuts and more.

It’s also important that you learn and teach your family what is unsafe to consume. There might be berries that smell wonderful, and look delicious, but are poisonous when eaten.

Task #27: Have a Supply of Non Electric Entertainment Options

People often get so focused on their life or death needs that they forget there will be tons of down time in a survival event. There will be no access to video game consoles or smart phone games.

Your kids (and yourself) will need to have things like cards and board games, jump ropes and outdoor play equipment to have fun with. Make sure you have books everyone enjoys, too.

Task #28: Consider Investing in Educational Resources for Kids

When the pandemic hit, schools came to a grinding halt until they were able to scramble and find a way to get everyone online. But in a major survival event, you may not have access to online education.

If you have children who are school aged, make sure you have some sort of learning tools you can use to continue their education and make sure they don’t fall behind on important skills like math, reading and more.

Task #29: Teach Your Family the Importance of Survival Silence

Silence can save your life in a survival situation. Whether you’re bugging out in the wilderness or trying to get home safely from work during a civil unrest situation, you have to teach your family how to be quiet when it counts.

There’s more to it than just being quiet around strangers, too. You can’t have your kids bragging to their friends about your enormous survival supplies because they’re bound to put a target on you when the SHTF and there are no supplies to be found anywhere.

Task #30: Consider Your Outdoor Shelter Options

There may be times when you can’t stay home, but have to leave and live outdoors for a time. If you have a tent to camp in, or a camper, that’d great. But not everyone will have access to that all the time.

You need to be able to make a shelter out of simple things like a tarp and rope – or even from sticks, mud and other supplies you can find in the outdoor landscape. Teach yourself how to build shelter from the land, and pass that knowledge on to your kids.

Task #31: Buy a Compass and Land Map for Each Person

Being able to navigate by land is an important skill to help you and your family get around safely and find resources that you may need. We have become so reliant on apps and automated GPS, but that may not help you in a survival event.

Invest in a small compass for each individual and buy land maps that you can use to find out which direction you’re going. Have everyone in the family practice leading each other from one place to another via the compass and map.

Task #32: Have Lighting Options for Nights with No Power

When the grid is down, it gets extremely dark at night. There is no more light pollution that can illuminate the nearby surroundings, and there’s only moonlight on clear nights. So you want to have a way to light up your room when necessary.

You can use kerosene lamps like they did in the old days or use the pop up solar lights that are made for indoor or outdoor use. Keep in mind that people outside your home will know there are people there if they see a light, so be cautious about when to use it.

Task #33: Start Accumulating Different Ways to Travel

If you need to go to an area where walking would take too long or isn’t feasible, you may want to have multiple forms of travel options. You might not be able to simply jump in the car and take a highway to where you need to go.

You might want to have a vehicle that’s good for off-roading, like a truck or sturdy SUV. You can also have motorcycles and 4-wheelers, bicycles and even horses to get around on.

And don’t forget travel by water, too. You might be able to use a kayak, boat, canoe or other means of transportation to get around. If you can afford it, invest in a camper and trailer to help you bug out if needed.

Task #34: Make Sure You Have Good Hand Tools

You might be used to plugging in a drill at home or using battery operated or electric outdoor tools. But if the grid goes down, these will be useless. You want to make sure you have hand tools – pliers, wrenches, screwdrivers and more. Don’t forget bigger tools like saws in case you need to cut down a tree or build a shelter.

Task #35: Check to See If Everyone Has Ample Survival Clothing

Survival clothing is something every person needs to weather a long-term or even a short-term event. The clothes should protect you from cold and blistering sun and even offer some protection from insect bites, too.

Make sure the clothing is purchased for layers. That way, in case you start out cold in the early morning, but end up hot by late afternoon, you can remove layers to stay comfortable.

Invest in clothes that offer protection from the elements, like a jacket that not only provides warmth, but protection from rain, too. Make sure they’re durable and waterproof and camouflaged to reduce the chances you’ll be seen.

Task #36: Print and Laminate Instructions You May Need

Anything you need to know but may not have a book about (or need to pack in a bug out bag), make sure you print it now and laminate the pages to prevent weathering or damage.

This might include instructions on how to cook certain things like beans or how to make bread from scratch. Even if you know how to do these things, your family may not, and in a worst-case scenario where they lose you, you’ll want them to have these instructions.

Task #37: Start Investing in Long Shelf Life Survival Foods

It’s always wise to pick up some extra groceries to stock away for survival reasons, like an extra bag of flour or sugar. But you also want to begin investing in some 25 and 30-year survival foods.

There are buckets of survival food you can buy that last one person an entire month – a 30-day supply. All you have to do is add water and heat them up. There are also MREs you can buy that are military grade.

You can buy 72-hour kits and 1-week kits as well. You can buy these kits where they include a main meal, side items, dessert and drink. But you can also buy individual items, like a can of dried whole egg powder that will last you 10 years.

Task #38: Prepare for Old Time Methods of Cleaning

Borrow the knowledge from your ancestors and learn how to do everything on your own. That includes making your own disinfectant and cleaning materials and using them without the luxury of a dishwasher or laundry machines.

You want to know how to make and use soap, have bleach on hand and use a laundry board with a bucket of water. Make sure you have a cable strung up to dry your laundry, too.

Task #39: Get Familiar with Cast Iron Cooking Over an Open Flame

Cast iron pots and pans are a great investment that can be passed down to your offspring. Taken care of, they will last a lifetime, and they’re perfect for cooking food over an open flame.

These aren’t the best for bugging out on foot, because they weigh a lot. But if you’re building a homestead or want to put some in a camping trailer, they’ll be perfect for when you have to cook without power.

Task #40: Start Shopping for Survival Supplies Strategically

Part of being a good prepper is learning how to shop smart. That means looking for sales on important items. You might find certain things like cold weather gear being slashed in price once the weather starts warming up, making it a perfect time to buy.

You also want to start buying in bulk to save money whenever possible. Look for brand and store coupons you can use to get more of what you want for free – or for a fraction of the price.

Don’t feel like everything you get has to be brand name, either. You may use a brand name food in your daily life, but when you stock up on survival food, knock off brands are just as good if they have the same shelf life.

Task #41: Consider Stocking Up on Items You Can Use to Barter

Not everything is purchased for your personal use. You might stumble upon a great sale for something you never use, like cigarettes. During a survival event, when smokers are desperately looking for them and can’t find them, you might be able to trade or barter with them as your currency.

This goes for any kind of luxury items – alcohol, chocolate, or even toilet paper! You want to make sure you have everything you need first, but you also want to keep an eye out for things you may not need, but would be a great in-demand item in a SHTF situation.

Task #42: Begin a Family Plan of Fitness and Health for Survival

Having supplies and knowing how to use them is half the battle. In a survival situation, your body will be put through the ringer. Whether you’re walking a lot, defending your property, chopping down wood for a fire – or something else, you need to be fit and healthy.

Don’t make it an unpleasant experience, but start some goals for each family member to improve their fitness and be able to survive with ease. For example, take the family on a hike and see how everyone fares before setting improvement goals.

Task #43: Start Learning Craftsmanship for Construction and Repairs

When society is broken for a long time, you can’t just call a mechanic, roofer or plumber. You have to fix things or build them yourself. So you have to be skilled at this in order to be able to confidently do it yourself.

You can watch YouTube videos or buy books, even study as an apprentice with someone to learn the ropes. Think about the skills you may need most and then little by little, learn them and pass the knowledge on to your loved ones.

Task #44: Learn How to Hunt for Food

If you’re starving and can’t forage enough berries, plants and nuts, you may have to become a hunter instead. This can range from fishing to trapping and preparing small to large prey.

You’ll want to learn how to fish without a fishing pole and bait. You want to learn how to set traps, kill or skin an animal and properly prepare it to feed your family. You might be using a rifle and ammo, a knife, bow and arrow or your bare hands, so prepare for everything to help you stay alive.

Task #45: Teach Your Family How to Tie Knots and Use Ropes

Ropes come in very handy in a survival situation. You can use it to drag things from one place to another. You can leverage it to help build shelters, you can trap things in it and more.

Make sure you invest in a variety of ropes and learn how to tie knots in them. Test the strength of the knots and also practice undoing the knots, too – which can also come in handy.

Task #46: Take Your Family on Practice Survival Runs

Nothing prepares you more for a survival event than practicing. When something really does happen, most people will be in panic mode. They often forget what they need to do.

But practicing things makes them come naturally. So take your family campaign and practice bugging out without the usual luxuries in life. Have everyone learn to start a fire and cook for themselves.

Do the same indoors, too. Turn off all electricity for an entire 24 hours and make everyone learn how to survive boredom, how to make sure the house is secure, how to eat during this time, and so on.

Task #47: Look for Signals That an Event Is on the Horizon

Staying abreast of the news and events in the world can help you be prepared long before others are. For example, when citizens on one side of the globe began chatting about toilet paper shortages, some in the states had been watching, and were able to be prepared early on instead of trying to do last minute hoarding.

The signals you want to watch for can include weather events, supply shortages, and even something as severe as war. Don’t just listen to main stream media, either. Watch for chatter on social media and in forums, as well.

Task #48: Ensure You’re Planning for Stress-Relief When Needed

Not only can a survival situation take a physical toll, but it takes a mental toll on everyone – young and old alike. Even if there’s not a severe, immediate threat, the constant worry about something worse happening may be enough to cause sadness, anger or depression.

Everything from worry about food to lack of socialization – health issues and more – can impede someone’s ability to relax, regroup and maintain a positive mindset. So make sure you have supplies for relaxation and recovery as well as a plan to help everyone have a positive outlook.

Task #49: Make a Specific Prepper Budget and Start Buying on a Regular Basis

As you begin carrying out the tasks listed above, you start to get a better grasp on how much things cost, how to shop smart, and what items you most need for the comfort and survival of your family.

Now, you can create a budget for your ongoing purchases as well as big ticket items you want to have. This may include a homestead property, tornado shelter or panic room, camper and more.

Start a savings for the big ticket purchases and begin funneling in small amounts as you can. Look for ways to pay off debt and put those minimum payments toward your bigger survival purchases.

Task #50: Start Looking at Specific Homestead Property

If you’ve been prepping at home this whole time, in the suburbs or urban areas, you want to make long-term plans to have an official off-the-grid homestead out in the country – in the middle of nowhere – so that you’re safe from the chaos of an unruly crowd.

This spot should ideally have its own water source, like a river, stream or lake. You want plenty of land for raising animals and planting crops. You can build using a variety of supplies, such as an official second home level of luxury or something like a wooden cabin or shipping container survival home.

Start stocking the property with supplies of its own, so that you don’t have to try to transport the ones in your current home. And spend time on the property learning how to live on the land.

As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into preparing for a survival situation. From little things like having extra canned vegetables on hand to large decisions like where to build a homestead – you can go through them one by one, getting closer to your goals of self-sufficiency and preparedness.

Top 10 Survival Issues of 2022 and How to Handle Them

There are so many precarious things happening in the world today, you need to know how to prepare for a worst case scenario. When you know what to do to take care of yourself and those you love, you can have peace of mind even in the midst of chaos.

Being into survival preparedness doesn’t mean you only think about a 72-hour scenario or just about food and water. It means you take a proactive approach to envision many global changes that can have a domino effect on your life in a significant way.

Right now, there are at least ten different issues weighing heavily on the minds of Americans and citizens everywhere. Some may barely, if ever affect you. But if the worst were to happen, you’d want to be ready for it – unlike people who were caught off-guard when store shelves emptied out at the start of the pandemic.

Economic Hardships

One of the things that’s hitting many people right now is a financial struggle. Inflation is at an all-time high. Thanks to this period of economic turmoil, many businesses are having to close their doors because they can’t get supplies or people to staff their locations.

Unemployment levels have risen dramatically from just two years ago, even though there are ample jobs available in most areas. Some businesses can’t find people to work because of what’s known as the Great Resignation, and no one knows how long it will last.

People are talking about and fearing a global economic collapse. The media is presenting fearful stories about financial disaster nearly every day on the news. What’s going on in the world right now is affecting money situations in every household.

The cost of buying groceries has risen and continues to rise. Meat, especially, is costing more than ever before. Stores are experiencing supply shortages and higher fuel costs to bring the supplies they do get to the consumer.

As a result of the stores’ rising costs, they’re raising the price of food in order to be able to still make enough profit to keep the business going. But the rising prices get passed down to the customers.

As a result of this, many people are starting to change the way that they buy groceries. Some are cutting out meat or reducing the amount of times they have it in a month. Gas prices are causing sticker shock at the pumps.

Depending on which state you live in, it can be a simple inconvenience or a life-changing disaster. For those who live in California, gas is nearly $6 a gallon. The cost of energy use is going up.

The demand for housing has risen as well thanks to a housing shortage. Houses that go on the market are selling quickly and are often getting multiple bids. All of these are reasons why you need to make some changes in order to adapt to the way life is now.

You need to learn about homesteading and how you can become self-sufficient. Homesteading means that you learn how to grow your own food. You learn how to save that food and store it so that it lasts you for quite awhile.

Becoming self-sufficient means that you learn how to make your food without relying on things that you have to run to the store for. It means that you look to yourself and not stores or others for the means to have the food that you need to nourish your family.

It means that you discover how to take care of your needs from food, to shelter to clothing. You learn how to provide your own medications from plants, and how to live so that you’re not dependent on the grid.

Learn how to provide for yourself now as a means to combat the inflation, the supply shortages and the lowered value of the dollar. When grocery shopping, lower the amount of meat you buy or stretch the meat to last more than one meal.

Or go meatless for a couple of weeks out of every month. Use only store brands. Shop at discounted food stores such as Aldi if you have one. Make your meals in bulk. Don’t use prepared or convenience foods.

Freeze foods so they keep longer. Use coupons, shop sales and don’t make impromptu store runs. To save on gas, carpool as often as you can. To save on energy costs, turn off gadgets, and shut lights off when you leave a room.

When you wash your clothes, use cold water only. Caulk leaks around doors and windows to save on heating or air conditioning bills. Find little ways to eliminate wasteful spending and you’ll start to see the financial impact let up on you a bit.

Bare Store Shelves

You only have to walk into any store to notice that many of them are missing items that they used to keep well stocked. These bare shelves are causing many people to feel anxious and worried about the direction of the future.

Because of these bare shelves, some food items have been hard to find and what those items are can change from week to week. However, there are some foods have been tougher to get for months now.

It’s harder to find certain pastas. This includes ones like spaghetti noodles and canned pastas. Specialty noodles like those without gluten are hard to find. In many stores, it’s the paper goods that are more difficult to get.

Plastic and paper cups are harder to find. Straws are in limited supply. Trash bags, both kitchen and lawn bags, have limited amounts on the shelves that quickly sell out. These problems are in every area of the store.

No matter what aisle you go down, you’ll see that some areas are bare while others are sparsely filled. Supply chain issues have created problems getting certain dairy items like cream cheese.

Some lunch meats are hard to find. Meats have been in short supply – especially ones like ground beef and varying types of chicken. When these items do hit the shelves, they quickly sell out as some people try to hoard them and end up buying multiple amounts of one item.

This increases the difficulty of finding what you need. It’s harder to find items besides food supplies, too. Electronics are harder to find. That’s because the manufacturers stopped or slowed production of the parts that make up the devices such as laptops, cell phones, televisions and even game consoles.

Because of the pandemic, and later difficulty getting parts for vehicles, many car manufacturers halted building their inventory of new vehicles. As a result, a car shortage started happening.

It’s hard to find the new vehicle you want right now and if you do, the markup cost is a lot higher than it once was. Most people can’t afford to buy these new vehicles even if they are lucky enough to find one.

Even used cars are in short supply these days. It’s also hard to find some clothing and accessories. Toys, books and alcohol have also been in short supply. Everywhere you look, supplies are dwindling.

Of course, becoming self-sufficient is one way to combat this issue. You can grow your own food, raise chickens for eggs, and so on. You’ll need to keep an eye out for second-hand items like electronics, even if you only grab them for parts to keep your older gadgets operational.

While you never want to hoard supplies yourself, it is wise to begin stocking up on items whenever you see them available. You can pick up an extra product and start storing them somewhere in your house so that you don’t run out when the store shelves haven’t been restocked.

The Threat of War

A huge survival issue on everyone’s mind at the moment is the threat of war. There’s always been the thought that it “could” happen among some countries. One of the countries that’s constantly issued veiled threats and even outright threats has been North Korea.

These threats have been so constant that many people started tuning out these rumors.

But now, the threat of Russia going to war against Ukraine is no longer what “could” happen – it became a reality.

This shocked many people who were used to threats never having any follow through.

Now that it’s actually happening, this has heightened the fear level of anyone who follows the news.

What people fear is that their own country will also become involved in, if not the war between Russia and Ukraine, then whatever next skirmish develops. People are deeply afraid at the thought that this war between Russia and Ukraine is going to balloon, spreading outward to other countries and then WWIII will begin.

Everyone is terrified of the thought of this type of war because the weapons used today are no longer the type used in previous wars. Today’s weapons are sophisticated and capable of wiping out entire girds, causing long-term problems and chaos.

If the world enters into a third world war, the weapons used could be biological or chemical warfare, too. These weapons can destroy life as we know it. There’s also a real threat of a nuclear bomb being launched against the country.

Before any of that happens, you have to know what steps to take so that you can survive the unthinkable. In the event of such a catastrophic war, you must have the ability to protect yourself, those you love and be able to make it through.

You can protect yourself from biological and chemical weapons if you know what to do. You just need the supplies that can protect you. This means you need to have items that protect your airways and your lungs.

These are certified respiratory devices. You need gear to cover your clothing such as hazmat wear. You want to be able to dress from head to toe and cover yourself. In the event of a nuclear incident, you would need to know that you should avoid contact with the outside of your home if it’s within the blast radius.

You can get burned even if you’re miles away from the center explosion. If a nuclear explosion happens, you want to make sure that you’re not exposed to the damaging heat of the bomb.

Protect all airways and remain in place. Once the shock wave is done, you’ll have to be careful about what’s called the fallout. This is what lingers in the air after the bomb. This material is radioactive and can still harm you.

This is why you need hazmat suits to protect you against the rays. Because a grid attack is a likely scenario in this age of weaponry, you’ll want to make sure your family can cook, stay warm and survive without electricity.

Overpriced and Scarce Building Materials

Not too long ago, you could put a deck on the back of your home for around $2,000. Now, that same deck would cost you triple that amount. That’s because there are shortages across the globe on items such as hardware.

Items associated with fixing up a home, or building a home are so scarce that when they are in supply, you can expect to pay a lot more. One of the reasons why the demand is so high and the supply so limited is because countries where some materials were purchased and brought into the country have either closed their own manufacturing companies or refuse to do cross border business.

With inflation and job losses, many people can’t even afford to buy these overpriced building materials even if they do happen to find a store that’s supplying it. That’s why you have to know what to do when the things you need are no longer easily available.

For those who are planning to build a homestead that’s off the grid so they can be self-sustaining, you’ll want to look at other options for lumber besides home improvement stores, which may not have it anyway.

You don’t want this shortage to hold up your plans. What you can do is to look for other sources to find wood and other materials. For example, if you look at home renovation businesses, many of them have wood that they toss out when they renovate a kitchen or a bathroom.

You can offer to haul away this wood for your own use. Short pieces of lumber are often thrown out even by home improvement stores that do cutting for customers. Ask if you can have those.

Look on the side of the road. You can sometimes find lumber on the side of the road from people who are doing their own DIY projects. You can also find wood from thrift stores.

It’s a surprising place to find it, but some do have it. They’ll have things like wooden furniture, pallets and more. Be sure to check out yard sales and going-out-of-business sales, too.

There may be renovation groups in your area. These are groups that go around to homes and renovate them for the elderly or people that can’t afford to fix much needed repairs.

You can check with these groups to see if you can have or haul away the left over wood. Be sure to check sites that sell reclaimed lumber, which can be more plentiful as well as less expensive.

Look online for groups that routinely work with wood. This might be woodworkers, wooden sign makers, fencing companies, and wood flooring companies. If you still have trouble finding enough lumber, then try alternative homestead buildings such as a container home.

You can buy one of more shipping containers and outfit it with everything it needs to be a fully functional home. You can also convert an old school bus. If you have some land, you can build a log cabin using trees from the land.

Inconsistent Education

If the last few years have taught anything, it’s that nothing has been consistent. That includes the education of children. Thanks to the pandemic, most states closed schools and went to online classes.

These took awhile to set up and when they were finally done, school didn’t resume the regular hours. There were often inconsistent days of teaching. There are limited days – like some schools only had three days of classes.

Most parents found themselves scrambling to arrange childcare options. Then they discovered that their children weren’t being taught in the same manner as the past.

Education became hit or miss, and studies now show the horrible effect it had on their learning.

Schools would open for a day or two, then abruptly close. Online classes weren’t always available. Parents began to wonder if their children’s learning was beginning to suffer.

Many of them began to turn to homeschool as an option.

They discovered that having the ability to teach children at home was not only a viable option, but a good one since their child’s education was no longer left up in the air. This is an option that you’ll want to consider as well.

There’s no telling what can happen in the future given the direction of world events. You don’t want your child to not have the ability to learn at home. There are homeschool classes that, as a parent, you can schedule yourself for your child using online methods.

Many of these classes are free or low cost and are taught by certified teachers and educators. But you can also purchase home school supplies to have on hand. To ensure that there’s no future disruptions to your child’s education, it’s important to stock up on these now while they’re still available.

You can order homeschool supplies according to the grade level of your child. For example, you can buy workbooks, and you can also buy teaching kits. For something like first grade, these kits would have materials on phonics, on language arts, reading, writing, spelling, math, science, social studies, and health.

You can also get the teacher kits or curriculum which outline step by step how to draw up a daily lesson plan so you’ll know exactly what your child should be learning for that day.

If you have multiple children of varying ages, they’ll no doubt be in different grade levels. Since teaching separately can be time consuming and hectic, there are kits that you can order that are geared toward teaching multiple ages at once.

Hard to Find Cars

As previously mentioned, another supply area that’s been hit hard is in the area of cars. It used to be that if you wanted to buy a vehicle, you could pick the lot you wanted to buy from, show up and have multiple choices for what you wanted.

It’s not the same way today. The demand for vehicles is far greater than the supply. There’s a good reason for that. It’s because the chips that are a necessary part of building some cars are in short supply.

Without those chips, the electronics of the vehicles can’t function. In some cases, you might be able to order a new vehicle, but the supply chains are so slow, that it’ll take quite awhile to get what you order.

This new reality isn’t just affecting the supply of new vehicles, but it’s also affecting used ones. Prices have gone up substantially because of the supply/demand ratio. The vehicle that you could once buy for $30,000 is now closer to $45,000.

Even used cars are priced at new car value. That’s why you need to make sure that you shop smart if you’re looking for a vehicle. Instead of trying to find a new one and ending up getting frustrated from the lack of choice as well as the cost, find a different one.

Look for ones that are priced lower but may not be in perfect condition. There are a lot of vehicles available that have some minor cosmetic issues. In the past, these vehicles were overlooked because people wanted to find a car without flaws, both in body and in operation ability.

But just because a car has a flaw doesn’t meant it’s not a good buy. You can choose a car that has a flaw but it’s one that can be fixed. More often than not, these cars still have solid parts and will run decently once you fix whatever is wrong with them.

You can save yourself a lot of time and frustration, not to mention money, if you choose a vehicle that you know isn’t pristine. Get a mechanic to look at the used car you’re considering and see if the cost to repair it might be worth the investment.

You can find used cars listed everywhere that are being sold “as is.” Sometimes people think this means that they risk buying someone else’s problem. While this might be true, that problem can cost you less in the long run than buying a perfect car in this market.

Those new vehicle payments can easily run over $500 a month. Rather than spend that kind of money on something that depreciates as soon as you drive it off the lot, choose to buy a car that, if you fix it up, you know it’ll be just as dependable.

Job Uncertainty

When things are getting better after a bad situation, people have a tendency to handle it one of two ways. They either forget how bad things were and don’t prepare – or they constantly fret about the bad situation happening again and try to plan just in case it happens again.

Throughout the pandemic, tough restrictions caused businesses to lose income and to shutter. As a result of them closing, they were forced to fire people. Multiple people lost their jobs and it was shocking and distressing to them.

They had a job one day, then no job the next and this left them with no job security and not even knowing where to turn. Being prepared for your future means that you don’t have to deal with job uncertainty.

By taking control, you know what to do to make sure you can provide financially for yourself and for those you love. People who understand the value of prepping know that the key to eradicating job security is to take steps to become an entrepreneur.

If you work a job, your income can disappear in the blink of an eye. If you don’t have a savings account, you could quickly find yourself unable to pay your bills – including your rent or mortgage – and you could struggle to put food on the table.

That’s because most people who work jobs only have the one. Prepper entrepreneurs, however, understand that the wise thing to do is to have money coming in from multiple streams.

As an entrepreneur, the amount of money that you can make is up to you. There’s no ceiling to hit, no limit on what you’re capable of achieving. Best of all, there’s no boss to fire you in the event of a crisis.

You can pick the type of work that you want to do and you can even pick the type of customers that you have. You can build a business according to whatever it is you love doing.

You can set your own hours, make your own rules. Being fully in charge of your own job can create great job security. But there are other perks when you’re an entrepreneur, too.

You can work from home. You don’t have to leave the house for work unless you choose to set it up that way. During the pandemic, those who worked online fared much better than people who had to go into the office.

There were no rules to adhere to, no risks to take by being among groups of people in the same room or building. When you work online and you’re your own boss, there are no requirements unless you set them up yourself. You don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to do when you’re building your own job security.

Erratic Healthcare

If you’ve read the news lately, then you know that something isn’t quite right about the information you’re seeing. Sometimes, what the media claims is true is later backtracked on or debunked – one day coffee is good for you, the next day it’s bad for you.

This is confusing to many people because they trust that the media is giving them the correct information and to find out later it’s untrue (or a half-truth) makes everyone suspicious.

Even during the pandemic, they were showing conflicting information. Kids were at risk and then they weren’t. Masks worked, then they didn’t. Vaccines were preventative, then they weren’t. Social distancing worked at six feet, and then it didn’t.

Understandably, many people were upset and were left feeling like they knew less than before they even read the news or watched the report. Healthcare was erratic throughout the pandemic as fear and rumors spread without basis.

People panicked and reacted because there were no viable answers from the media. There was no truth to trust. As a result of that, doctors all across the country closed their doors and stopped allowing people to come into the office for a visit.

This caused many people to suffer out of fear. Conditions worsened. Preventative care was sidelined and diseases raged out of control without medical care. There was a run on medications and they were sold out.

Medications that people relied on to stay alive were being bought and used by people who believed what the media initially reported. Pharmacies struggled to get in the monthly prescriptions that people needed.

For those in the nursing homes, they were shuttered in – locked away from friends and family, forced to see their loved ones through windows or not at all. The elderly suffered needlessly as a result of this.

People who were hospitalized weren’t allowed to have their family members by their side. As a result, they battled alone and afraid with no family by their side to advocate for their health care choices.

This is why you need to be in control of your own healthcare. As a survival prepper, you can treat yourself if you know what you’re doing. Learn about the medications that you can take to treat common illnesses and not so common ones.

The best medical treatment always begins with common sense. When you’re living on a homestead, you can grow your own herbal medicine to use to treat certain conditions. You can also delve into the world of alternative medicine.

Study acupuncture, treatment with herbal remedies and homeopathic options. Take courses on first aid to educate yourself on what to do in the event of an emergency. Get the equipment that you need for preventative health care as well as for treatment plans you may need in the future.

By being prepared, not only do you have peace of mind, but you can stave off many health conditions and you can also take care of yourself and your family without the need to run to the doctor who may or may not be available in the future just like you’ve seen happen already.

Civil Unrest

A society thrives on law, order, routine and the betterment of its citizens. All of that was disrupted over the last couple of years. Communities were no longer the peaceful, safe havens that people had become accustomed to them being.

Instead, law and order crumbled and fell in the streets as chaos took control. People were afraid to leave their homes, afraid to drive into their cities, and afraid to go to work.

That’s because the safety in many cities was completely destroyed by mobs of people intent on causing friction with others and destruction of property.

Instead of peaceful demonstrations, it ended up being violent. People began to riot and millions of dollars in damage was done. Those who believe in a civil society expected these riots to be brought under control.

They expected their cities and their property to be protected. None of that happened. Some cities like Los Angeles, New York, Miami and more faced multiple nights of out of control riots that led to historic destruction and damage.

Criminals, who aren’t even being charged or arrested for theft now, are emboldened by this “new normal” of bad actions without the consequences, and continue to behave without regard to others.

With continuing threats on the horizon such as the elections coming up, there can be more incidents occurring. For example, shootings can take place. While you can’t prevent people from acting outside the law, you can prepare for and know how to handle civil unrest so that you and your family are safe.

Make sure that you stay up to date about what’s going on in your community. If you’re aware there may be demonstrations or gatherings in your city, then avoid being in that area.

You can find this out by checking out your city’s alerts on the social media page. Have your supplies stockpiled in the event that it’s not safe to travel to the store. That means having enough food and water on hand for everyone so that it’ll last for months if need be.

Gas up your car so that you’re prepared to bug out on a moment’s notice. If you know that your home or subdivision is potentially a danger zone, it’s best to leave rather than try and stay and protect it.

Keep cash available so that you have it in the event getting to the bank or ATM isn’t an option. To keep yourself and family safe from intruders, create a safe room where everyone can go to escape criminals who might break in during a time of civil unrest.

Make sure that you have the means to handle self-defense. Keep things like pepper spray and your firearms handy. Use them if you have to. If someone breaks in, it’s either you or the other person.

Have communication devices on hand so that you can communicate with extended family members to let them know the situation and make sure you have a hand crank radio to listen to official instructions and news.

Fragile Power Grid

Everyone is so accustomed to having electricity that most people get upset when the power is out for just a few hours. While that’s inconvenient, it’s not as big of a deal than if the power grid goes down on its own or is taken out for long term.

Given what’s been going on in the world and the threats of attacks, the power grid could very well experience a hit. If that happens, it’s too late then to start planning. You’ll be scrambling just like everyone else.

Take the time now to prepare so that you know how to survive without power. It surprises people to learn just how many areas of their lives that are affected by the loss of power.

Water supply is one of them. You might not think that the water to your home has any association with the power grid, but it does. The water company can’t provide you with clean, drinkable water if the grid goes down.

Even if you’re on a well system, you’ll be affected. So make sure that you store an ample supply of drinking water. Plan for every member of the family – including pets. Stock up on things water purifying tablets in the event that your supply of water runs out.

You’ll need to have a way to purify water from a lake, river or other means. Stock up on non-perishable foods that you can eat, because once the power goes down, so does your way to keep foods cold.

You can’t rely on a gas generator because without electricity, gas pumps don’t operate so you can’t get the gas to keep fueling the generator. Invest in alcohol heaters or propane heaters to help heat your home.

You can invest in backup power sources such as solar panels. They’re expensive up front, but do pay for themselves in the long run. If the power grid goes down in the winter, you’ll need heat.

As a prepper, you want to think about alternative options like a wood stove. You’ll need a way to communicate if your cell phone can’t be charged. You can buy solar gadgets to charge them.

If cellular towers are down or have been destroyed, cell phones may be useless. In that event, you’ll want to have on hand things like satellite phones or CB radios. You’ll also want alternative backup energy supply methods for things like your laptop.

Make sure that you have lighting such as candles and solar lamps or lanterns so that you’re not in the dark come night fall. If you have medication that must stay cool, such as insulin, prepare ahead by purchasing things like a cooling wallet or case.

You may never have a “worst-case scenario” event that you have to deal with. But the last couple of years have proven that life can be extremely unpredictable. Chaos can happen at any time and by being prepared, not only can you survive them, but you and your family can thrive.

You don’t want to live life in fear every day. Preparedness for survival situations should give you the opposite emotion – peace of mind that when and if things go wrong, you won’t have to worry about getting through it.

Raising Sheep for Survival Homesteading

Many men and women who are raising families in today’s world are finding ways to rely less on the supply chain and become more self-sufficient. There have been many times in past years when supplies were low or inflation caused the price of goods to be excessive.

Store shelves have been stripped bare of their goods in recent times, such as during the pandemic beginning in 2020. Consumers found it difficult to find meat to feed their families.

And even in most recent news, cargo ships are sitting offshore, unable to unload the items we usually assume we can get, such as clothes made out of cotton. The media have been warning Americans and citizens around the world that supplies will be scarce toward the end of 2021 and beyond.

They’re telling people to shop for their Christmas gifts early and even stock up on holiday meal items weeks ahead of time. Imagine if a true survival situation were to emerge.

Many people have begun to raise animals that can provide for them on a long term basis. They’re showing an increased interest in what it takes to raise a flock of sheep on their homestead.

Making the Decision to Raise Animals for Survival Purposes

There are many people in this world who cannot stomach the idea of raising animals for survival purposes. They have no problem going into a store and buying meat products, wearing leather shoes or putting on a cashmere sweater.

Perhaps it’s the thought of doing these things yourself that makes your stomach churn. However, in a SHTF situation, when it is you against Mother Nature, you are going to have to find away to use animals for your survival.

Animals are good for many purposes, from providing food and milk to helping clothe your family. They can even help keep your property maintained in some instances. What you need to keep in mind is that in major events, you may not have access to certain food, clothing and other necessities.

Raising animals is not something you only have to do in a survival situation. This is a good practice year round to allow your family to sustain their needs without relying on the supply chain.

There are many different types of animals that you can raise on your property. You don’t even need to have endless acres to raise them on. These include chickens, sheep, rabbits, cows, goats, llamas, and more.

You can easily start with a small group of animals to raise and become familiar with, and then move on to larger herds and flocks that will help sustain you and your loved ones if a major event ever occurs.

Sheep and Other Animals That Provide Milk and Food for Your Family

Milk is a product that most consumers use on a daily basis. We put it in our coffee, pour it over our cereal, and use it in many different recipes. It’s an ingredient that we often take for granted.

Traditionally, in order to purchase milk, we simply walk into a grocery store and buy a gallon whenever it suits us. There are factories that handle the production of milk on a large scale basis.

The milk that you usually buy in a store is refrigerated in convenient packaging whenever you need it. However, in a survival situation, it may not be as easy to come by.

There are many survival preppers who rely on powder based milk options, such as dry milk. This is a very wise option for most people to have on hand. All you need to do is mix it with water and you have milk at your disposal.

But when you’re talking about a long term survival situation, there will come a time when you run out of your dry milk stores and are unable to access more. This is when it becomes necessary to have animals on your property that can provide milk for you and your family.

When you think of milk, most people immediately consider cows, because that is the kind of milk we usually purchase at the store. But raising a cow can be very costly and they take up more space than other milk providing animals.

Besides cows, many people consume other animal derived milk. These include goats, sheep, and even camels. It usually depends on the region that you are in when it comes to what’s available in terms of milk products.

Sheep are a very easy flock for you to raise and keep on your property if you want to continually have access to milk and other dairy products, like cheese. If you go into any specialty grocery store, you can probably find high end sheep’s milk, butter and cheese.

It has a very delicious taste and provides great nutrients that will help your family maintain good health, thanks to its high vitamin content. In fact, many prefer to drink it over cow’s milk because it is gentler on their digestive system.

There are different types of sheep that are better for milking purposes than others. You can get over 1,000 pounds of milk from certain varieties. The best ones to consider are the following breeds: Lacaune, Assaf, Chios, Hampshire, Awassi, Suffolk, and East Friesian.

By having a flock of sheep on your property, you can make all kinds of dairy products, including straight milk, cheese, butter, and even yogurt. These creamy delicacies will not only provide your family with delicious meals, but they are loaded with health benefits, too. If the time comes and you are desperate for sustenance, the sheep can also provide a good source of meat to help you feed your family.

Keeping Sheep, Goats and Llamas for the Benefits Their Coat Provides

Dairy isn’t the only reason many survival preppers and homesteaders are considering the investment of sheep for their property. Their coat can provide wool that helps you with your clothing and other needs.

Even now, manufacturers are warning that current supplies of clothing made from cotton will be dwindling. Imagine if you were in the middle of a large scale, long term survival situation.

If your children had outgrown their clothing, what would you do? If you had access to wool, along with the skill to use it, you would never have to worry about keeping your family clothed and protected from the elements.

Raising sheep and other animals such as goats and llamas can provide you with wool on a regular basis. These are not only beneficial for clothing, but also for other uses, too.

When you are shearing your flock of sheep, you can take the wool and use it as insulation in your home. It can be used to create blankets that will keep you warm at night, rugs to walk on, and stuffing for pillows as well.

In addition to raising animals for their wool and knowing how to shear them, you will also need to know what to do with the wool after you’ve gathered it. For example, you can make yarn from it that you can then use to knit a variety of clothing pieces such as socks, scarves, sweaters, etc.

With sheep, how you want to use it will depend on which breed you have invested in. Their wool can range from soft to coarse varieties. If you are raising goats on your property, you will have access to finer wool such as cashmere and mohair.

Other animals, such as llamas, alpacas, camels and even rabbits, can provide different types of textiles for you to use in creating the clothing and warmth items that your family needs.

Keep in mind that you will need more than one single sheep in order to meet the needs of your family. While you might be able to knit a simple hat with the wool from one sheep, if you wanted to create a blanket, you might need up to 10 in your flock.

There are different breeds that you will want to consider, depending on the type of wool that you want. For example, the Merino and Cormo breeds are perfect for fine wool creations.

Other, more coarse wool can be derived from breeds such as Dorset, Shropshire, and Cheviot. Some breeds will provide dual purposes for your family. For example, the Hampshire sheep not only provide you with usable wool, but also dairy when you need it.

How a Flock of Sheep Can Help You Maintain Your Property

Have you ever thought about how easy it is for you to maintain your property? Every weekend you are able to either get gas for your lawn mower or charge the battery so that you can keep the grass cut.

Keeping your property maintained is an important part of keeping rodents at bay. You don’t want to develop a problem with critters invading your property because they can damage crops and bring disease, too.

But in a major survival event, it may not be very easy to access endless gas supplies for your lawn mower. Plus, the grid may go down and you would be unable to charge your electric mower unless you have solar capability.

One benefit of raising sheep on your property is that they are grazing animals. Sheep will feed on your property and keep the grass and weeds to a bare minimum. This also helps you because you are not required to invest a lot of money in feed to keep the flock alive.

The one thing you do need to make sure of is that your pasture or property has sufficient grass that is in good shape for them to graze. If you don’t have enough room for the flock to feast, then you may need to supplement their food with grains.

Keep in mind that sheep cannot differentiate between the grass you intend for them to eat versus any crops you may have planted in the field. You will need to block off anything you don’t want them to devour.

Depending on how big your property is, you may need to provide protection for your flock as well. There are many animals, such as coyotes and even domestic dogs that will attack your sheep as food.

One of the great things about using sheep to keep your property mowed is that they will simultaneously be fertilizing your property, which enriches the soil. This could benefit you if you plan to plant crops in the future there.

If you want to select certain sheep that you are primarily using for property maintenance, then you may want to go with the breed known as Katahdin. These sheep do not require shearing, and they are easy to take care of.

Getting Started with a Flock of Sheep on Your Homestead

If you want to start raising sheep on your homestead, you will need to take into consideration the cost of securing the sheep, the budget you’ll need for caring for them, along with the space you need to raise them.

One sheep will typically cost you up to $500, with a daily care cost of just a couple of dollars. This is far less than what it would cost you to buy a cow or a horse. Start by investing in the breed that suits your needs best, such as the East Friesian.

Because sheep are flock animals, you don’t want to just get one. These animals tend to suffer from stress unless they are in groups, so start with a minimum of at least two, and preferably three sheep.

Sometimes, sheep will get along with other animals and form a bond with them. But it’s always best to have multiple sheep to start your flock. Regardless of how many you start with, make sure that you have enough room for the flock.

While they may take up less space than a herd of cows, they do need enough room to graze and fulfill their own nutritional needs. The space that you allow them to graze should be free of chemicals.

Depending on the size of your property, you can raise up to five sheep per acre of land. This may depend on what type and the volume of grass that you can provide them with. You will need to educate yourself about the health concerns of raising sheep, how to shear them when it’s time, how to help them in raising their lambs properly, and more.

Ideally, you will have some sort of sheepdog that can help protect your flock when they are in the field. These animals will not be living outdoors at all times, so you need to have some sort of barn you can put them in during the night and in poor weather conditions.

They will prefer to have an area that is shaded and that will protect them from other animals. Make sure you have an ample supply of hay and water for them when they are inside the barn.

Raising sheep is a wonderful survival task for the whole family. They are docile animals that are perfect for your children to raise from the time they are lambs through adulthood.

How to Prep for a Fragile or Broken Economy

How to Prep for a Fragile or Broken Economy


Most of us like to think of ourselves as financially self-sufficient. We work hard, pay our bills, and pay our taxes. The days of relying on our parents for financial support are deep in the rearview mirror for most of us.

Many of us have families who depend upon our financial security. Our families may be a motivating factor to get out of bed in the morning, fight through traffic, and slug it out at work.

Although we all have fought through hard times, we find a way to stand on our own two feet. We are proud of this accomplishment – as we should be. Being financially secure is tied to our identity and our self-esteem.

Anything that poses a risk to our financial security can quickly find its way into our nightmares. Typically, these fears center around losing our jobs due to being fired, laid off, or having our company go out of business.

However, it is necessary to recognize that economic factors beyond your control could result in a significant upheaval to your financial security. These factors are often overlooked because aside from the recession of 2009, we have enjoyed years of relative economic stability.

As is often the case, past performance does not guarantee future results. Hoping that a rock-bottom economic event doesn’t occur is not a plan. If you fail to plan, prepare to fail.

A Society Struggling with Inflation


Inflation is a concept that is foreign to most people. Sure, the average citizen may understand that inflation means higher prices, but most people are in the dark when it comes to understanding the nuances and the impacts of inflation.

Part of the reason for this in the United States of America is that inflation has been mostly held in check for decades. We have grown comfortable with an annual inflation level of 3 percent or less.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures inflation. The CPI for 2021 was 7 percent. By most economists’ accounts, inflation is here to stay and will likely worsen before it gets better.

The last time we saw double-digit inflation rates was in 1981. In theory, inflation shouldn’t impact our quality of life that much. If the cost of everything goes up by 7 percent, one might think that includes wages (your salary).

Wages always lag inflation, which essentially causes an effective reduction in your pay. For example, in 2021, inflation was 7 percent while wages rose, on average, 3 percent.
This means that the average worker received an effective wage reduction of 4 percent.

Additionally, the situation is compounded because inflation impacts different goods and services uniquely. For example, you don’t need to be an economist to observe that your price at the pump and the grocery store has gone up more than 7 percent this year.

In light of this information, a reasonable person may ask, “What causes inflation, and how do we stop it?” There is little agreement among economists on answering this seemingly straightforward question.

However, what we do know is that inflation is generally caused by introducing more currency into the marketplace. Just like any other commodity or investment vehicle, the more there is of something, the less it is worth.

The amount of money in the economy due to federal government spending has gone up significantly in the last few years. Most reasonable people would agree that there are inflationary consequences of flooding the economy with more currency.

Sometimes excessive government spending can lead to hyperinflation, which is inflation on a runaway train. Citizens of Venezuela, Lebanon, Zimbabwe, and Yugoslavia can speak from first-hand experience what it is like to live in an economy with inflation rates greater than 100%.

Long story short, an inflation depression grinds economic activity to a screeching halt while bringing the citizens of the country to their knees financially. This is currently happening in the United States – so what can you do now and what if it worsens?

What to Do When a Recession Takes Root


Recessionary periods are not a matter of “if” – it’s only a matter of “when.” The consequences of a recession to your financial security can vary from complete devastation to a minor inconvenience, and the specifics are nearly impossible to predict.

However, here are three things that you should consider today in preparation for a recession tomorrow:

1. Have a rainy day savings account.


This savings account should be funded with enough money to cover at least three months of expenses. It’s recommended that this savings account be separate from any other investment accounts that you may have.

Although the paltry interest rate of a savings account may tempt you to invest this money in the stock market, consider the possibility of a stock market crash as the impetus for a recession.

Your rainy day fund should be liquid and recession-proof. There is no better way to accomplish this than a basic savings account. Although there is nothing magic about three months, the peace of mind that accompanies knowing that you and your family will have three months to figure out a solution to even the worst-case scenario is worth any sacrifices that may be required to amass it.

2. Have a side hustle.


Even if your side hustle isn’t landing you on the cover of Entrepreneur magazine, the fact that you have one can serve as an invaluable safety net. Imagine that you lose your job with no notice, and you receive no severance package.

Further, assume that the country is immersed in a recession and the job market is tight. Finding and launching an unconventional way to earn money, under those circumstances would be stressful, time-consuming, and likely unsuccessful.

The best part about running a side-hustle when you don’t need to have one is that the breathing room allows you to experiment. You find out what works, what doesn’t work, who your clients are, what competitive rates are, and what you have to offer to the marketplace.

Even if your side hustle only pulls in a few hundred dollars a month today, it provides you with a platform from which to scale when the chips are down. Do this early – not during a panic scenario.

3. Tend to your network.


It’s not what you know – it’s who you know. When you consider that up to 80 percent of jobs are filled by personal connections, the importance of having a strong network if you were to find yourself unemployed in the middle of a recession cannot be understated.

Regardless of how many contacts you have on LinkedIn, your network is only effective when you tend to the relationships that compose your inner circle. Take the time to reach out to one person a week in your network just to converse with them about something they’re involved in.  

Ask people in your network if you can help them with anything. Commit to getting a cup of coffee with someone in your circle each month. Just like any other relationship, if you fail to make an effort to keep the relationship alive, it will wither and die.

At the risk of sounding too utilitarian, if you wait until you need something to reach out to your circle, you will be gravely disappointed in the effectiveness of your contacts. They won’t know you – but they will remember those who took time and made an effort to stay in touch.
 

Eliminate Debt as Soon as Possible


Being heavily in debt can be suffocating. As you prioritize your financial goals, paying off high-interest debt must top the list. Not only does debt drive up your monthly expenses, but it eats away at your future earnings as well.

It’s not uncommon for people to hold balances on credit cards with annual interest rates of 20 percent or higher. If you are one of these people and have fallen into the trap of making the minimum monthly payments, you are sacrificing your financial future.

Consider the “Rule of 72.” Divide the interest rate into 72. The result is the number of years it takes your debt to double. For example, a balance held on a credit card with a 20 percent APR will double every 3.6 years (72/20). 

If you hold multiple sources of debt, consider using a debt consolidation service to simplify your challenge of paying down your debt. These companies can, at a price, consolidate all of your debt into one account with one required monthly payment.

Although mathematically, these services may not save you much money, psychologically, they have been shown to assist people in accelerating their debt repayment as it is much simpler to focus on one monthly payment.

Of course, it’s wise to avoid debt in the first place. Consider the following practices to keep your debt to a minimum:

1. Budget your money.


Your budget serves a true north to your financial decisions. There is a reason that every business, large or small, creates an annual budget. Your personal finances are no less important than any business.

Sticking to your budget, similar to sticking to a diet, can be challenging at first. However, be persistent, and in time, you will find that your habits have changed. These habits are the key to paying off your debt and building up your savings.

2. Maintain a strong credit score.


It can be expensive to have a poor credit score. Let’s assume that you use a loan to buy a car. The difference between the interest rate with a good credit score and a fair credit score could easily be 8 percent or more.

On a $30,000 car, that difference over the life of a five-year loan is $16,000. What could you do with an extra $16,000? You can sign up to monitor your credit score and FICO score on a regular basis for free.

3. Live below your means.


Just because you can afford something doesn’t mean that it’s a wise financial decision to buy it. In fact, as a rule of thumb, if you can’t afford to buy something three times, you shouldn’t buy it.

One of the most impactful debt avoidance (and wealth building) strategies is to avoid scaling up your quality of life with each increase in pay. After your next promotion or pay raise, consider keeping your quality of life constant while increasing your savings rate.

Stocks, Digital Currency and Gold

 
The question of where to invest your money is not a new one, and you will receive as many different answers as people that you ask. However, there are some basic principles to consider, especially in the context of a bad economy.
 

Stocks


Stocks represent ownership in a company. The value of a company’s stock is a function of the company’s earnings and the expected growth of those earnings. In a recessionary environment, stocks typically perform poorly because as a company’s earnings and growth outlook go down, so does its share price.

There are exceptions to this relationship. In an inflationary period, stock prices tend to go up to match the rising costs of goods and services. This rise may be partially or fully offset by reduced growth prospects due to the reduced discretionary income of consumers.

Another exception is represented by counter-cyclical stocks, which tend to perform well in poor economic conditions. Examples of industries that are considered counter-cyclical are fast-food companies, insurance providers, educational services, and what’s known as “sin” companies (alcohol, tobacco, adult entertainment). 
 

Digital Currency


Digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, Solana, and hundreds of others have generated speculation, debate, and excitement over the past few years. The idea of decoupling currency from national economic policies seems like a great idea.

Despite the tremendous performance of these assets in the past decade, digital currency remains a risky investment because the market and outlook remain highly volatile and uncertain.

One element worth mentioning is that there is reason to believe that digital currencies could be an effective hedge against inflation because their value is thought to be completely independent of the dollar’s value. 
 

Gold


Gold has long been considered the ultimate and safest hedge against an economic downturn. As an example, during the Great Recession of 2009, gold performed very well while the stock market tanked.

Specifically, in September of 2008, gold was at $700 an ounce, and by October of 2011, gold had reached $1,900 an ounce. Although past performance is no guarantee of future performance, gold has been considered a hedge against economic fluctuations for decades. 

Sometimes diversification, a fancy investment term for the age-old saying of “don’t put all of your eggs in one basket,” is the best answer. Instead of trying to figure out what types of investment vehicles align best with what kind of impending recession, spreading your investments out among the different types provides some level of protection.

Surviving in a Complete Collapse of the Economy


In a worst-case scenario, the economy doesn’t suffer from repression or depression, but a complete and total economic collapse. As unlikely as this may be, it would be foolish to say it is impossible.

People have had to deal with this situation throughout world history, and presumably, they, too previously thought that an economic collapse was impossible. As difficult as it may be to imagine, your focus will shift from college and retirement savings account to survival in the wake of economic collapse.

Shelter, food, and protection would be your priorities in such a situation. As such, you should consider stockpiling supplies such as clean water, non-perishable foods, and tools required to grow your food and build/repair shelter.

If you don’t currently possess some level of skill in basic carpentry, electrical work, plumbing, gardening, or hunting, you may want to consider getting some basic training in these areas because not only would you need these, but they can serve as a form of currency to barter with in a complete economic collapse.

If you wait until you need them, you will likely be disappointed in the availability of survival skills courses at your local community college. Your family might enjoy and benefit from a weekend where you simulate economic collapse by living without electricity and eating only non-perishable foods that you’ve stockpiled.


Lastly, it would help if you took the time to build relationships in your community. Survival in a complete economic collapse will be a team sport. Although you risk labeling yourself as a nutty conspiracy theorist, it might not be a bad idea to take inventory of who has what skills in your neighborhood or community.

Taking this idea one step further, if your neighbors are amenable to the idea, conducting a tabletop exercise where you get into details of how you would pull together to survive is probably not a bad idea.           

10 Ways to Fortify Your Home for Survival

10 Ways to Fortify Your Home for Survival

Even when insurance covers the financial loss, victims of natural disasters or home invasions often report that mental angst is the longest-standing scar that heals very slowly. The most enlightened among us, may contend that a house and the possessions inside are just things – made of bricks, wood, steel, and glass – that can be replaced.  

Although such a statement may be true, our home represents our safety, security, and even our identity. The loss, damage, or threat to your home can be devastating and taking steps to reduce the probability of such an occurrence is wise.  

In survival events, whether it’s major civil unrest or a weather situation, you need to have peace of mind that your house is secure from a threat. That means you take precautions to fortify your entryways and implement extra security measures a typical homeowner may not have.

Whether it serves as a simple deterrent to keep people or natural harm from happening, or it ends up preventing a devastating situation by blocking access or harm to your home and family, these are steps that can’t be taken soon enough.

Get Doors That Can’t Be Compromised


Keeping unwanted guests out of your home starts at the most obvious entrance points – the doors.  The most relevant criterion to consider is strength. You want a door that someone with ill intentions cannot kick down easily.

When selecting a door, the most common materials are steel, wood, and fiberglass. Of the three, steel offers the most secure option. In addition to be unchanged by temperatures and therefore, free from cracking and warping, a steel door requires no reinforcement.  

A steel door is nearly impossible to break down, regardless of the force used. They may dent with extreme force, but they won’t cave. Fiberglass is the second most secure option and is selected when security and strength are a priority, but the budget can’t handle a steel option.

Wood is the most common door type and often selected for its aesthetics.  However, wood can warp and crack in extreme temperatures and requires metal reinforcement to optimize the security of the door.  

Wood is the least effective in terms of strength and security. It can easily be hacked into, burned or kicked in, so if you go this route, make sure you choose the best wood available for longevity and sturdiness.

Make Sure Your Windows Are Secure


Aside from doors, windows are the next penetration into your home that need to be considered when discussing the fortification of your house. There are several elements of your windows that need to be analyzed.  

There are several shatterproof options on the marketplace. It’s important to first understand that shatterproof does not mean unbreakable. The term shatterproof is descriptive of the manner in which the glass breaks, not that it doesn’t break.

Specifically, shatterproof glass is typically composed of a thin piece of transparent film that is placed between two pieces of glass. This prevents glass shards from shattering inwards by holding them in place even after they have broken.  

This makes “shatterproof” glass a great protection against weather and moderately effective against intruders. A persistent intruder will be slowed down by shatterproof glass, but not thwarted.  

A stronger alternative to shatterproof glass is polycarbonate panels. Polycarbonate panels are made from a combination of acrylics, polycarbonate, and plastics. The resulting product is visually indistinguishable from glass, but much more flexible and of higher strength.

Unlike shatterproof glass, these windows are designed to be nearly unbreakable.  They have been designed to be impervious to very high forces up to and include bombs and firearms.  They are nearly impenetrable.  

Put Extra Security Measures on Entryways


In addition to selecting the appropriate doors and windows, inventory all of the penetrations in your home. This will include all doors, windows, garage entries, and even pet doors. For each penetration point, you must decide if you are interested in fortifying these openings above and beyond the strength of the penetration and its locking mechanism.  

When evaluating the strength of your doors, in addition to the material of the door itself, consider the following extra security measures:

* A deadbolt lock can be purchased and installed for between $50 – $300. Deadbolt locks add physical strength to the door, in addition to providing a psychological deterrent to a would-be intruder.

* A strike plate attaches to the door jam and works in tandem with a deadbolt lock to resist door kick-ins by providing an anchor point for the deadbolt lock. Avoid reinforced plastic strike plates and opt for a metal one instead. Use screws that are at least 3” in length.

* Installing a smart lock is wise, too. Of the 1.1 million reported home break-ins in 2019, one-third of them were classified as break-ins of opportunity.  This means that one-third of home invasions occurred with unlocked doors. While smart locks may not provide additional strength, it does provide homeowners with reminders and alerts for unlocked doors.

Never rely solely on smart technology to protect your home. You never know if these can be compromised (hacked into) or if you’ll be protected if the grid goes down for a significant amount of time.

Install Security Cameras Inside and Outside of Your Home


Security cameras provide no physical barrier to a home intruder. However, they do provide the homeowner security benefits as a deterrent and a recovery tool. Your security cameras should be very visible.  

There is no sense in hiding them because the number one benefit of security cameras is the deterrent that they provide. A would-be intruder is likely to simply move along to the next house without a security camera.  

Additionally, without a security camera, the chances of catching a home intruder once they make their getaway is near zero. Having a security camera increases your chances that the police will catch the thieves.  

Some home insurance providers will reward you with a lower rate on your premium if you have indoor or outdoor security cameras installed.  You should consider some important things before installing cameras.

The price can be expensive for a deterrent.  Although prices vary, if you are hoping to provide full-coverage of your property with a high-quality system, you will be investing several hundred to several thousand dollars.

Some homeowners on a budget purchase fake cameras to place strategically outside to act as a deterrent. While this won’t provide you with any evidence, it could keep someone from invading your property.

The video quality will significantly impact price and storage size of the video stream. If you desire to have a system with quality that can enable you to identify license plates and facial features, it’s recommended that you invest an ultra-high definition system of at least 2K or 4K.  

A standard high definition system will suffice for general surveillance, but will fall short of providing details that will assist with recovery, especially at night. You may want to get cameras with night vision capabilities for a clear, crisp video.

Consider connecting your camera system to a security system for maximum benefit.  Because of storage and power concerns, it’s unlikely that you will have a camera system that is recording constantly.  

Some can be set for certain times to begin recording, or motion activated. If you connect your camera system to your security system, the cameras can be programmed to turn on in response to a forced entry through a door or window, noise, or motion.

Have Motion-Activated Lights for Your Property


Motion-activated lights will neither physically prevent a home break-in nor will they aid in gathering evidence for the authorities in the event of a theft. However, motion-activated lights can be a nice add-on for your other home security measures.  

For example, motion-activated lights can spook a would-be home invader and have them fleeing your property when activated. If you have a camera system, the motion-activated lights will significantly improve the quality of your video feed by providing light.

Motion-activated lights can serve to provide you with peace of mind. You can be relatively sure that the noise you thought you heard in the backyard was just the wind, if the noise is not accompanied by the lights activating.  

Build a Safe Room in Your Home


This is a security-measure for those who truly want the maximum amount of protection for themselves and their family. Your exposure to the idea of a safe room might be limited to movies.  

In fact, there is a 2002 movie called “Panic Room” starring Jodie Foster where the entire plot centers around Jodie Foster’s character using a safe room in response to a home invasion.  

Although the concept of a safe room makes an interesting dynamic for Hollywood, they also provide an option for those who are most concerned about their safety. If you aren’t familiar with concept of a safe room, it’s room in your house that you can escape to in the event of a home intrusion.  

Safe room are locked from the inside and are heavily fortified to prevent entrance from the outside of the room. Safe rooms can be equipped with phone lines, surveillance monitors for your camera or security system, and provisions such as food and water.  

Safe rooms can also be used as a place to safely hide in the event of a natural disaster such a hurricane or tornado.  Safe rooms will typically have no windows and be made of thick steel walls, making them a safe place to hunker down until the threat passes.

Plant Landscaping That Deters Intruders


Before the technology of security cameras and security systems, homeowners routinely used trees and plants to keep intruders away. Today, homeowners still use hedges to increase privacy, but it’s uncommon to use plants as a barrier to a home break-in.  

However, just because it isn’t used often, doesn’t mean that they aren’t effective. Most cat burglars are lazy. They’re looking for the biggest takeaway with the least amount of work.  

A strategically placed plant – such as a cactus – can create way more work and discomfort than the typical home intruder is likely to tolerate. Here some plant types to consider: Bougainvillea, Mediterranean Fan Palms, Rose Bushes, Cacti, Agaves and Yucca.  

All of these plants have prickly thorns that, when strategically placed near windows can make a burglar’s prospective break-in inconvenient and painful. You don’t want to use thornless hedges because then it gives intruders a place to hide.

Secure the Perimeter with a Fence


Establishing a perimeter around your property may be a necessity, depending upon your location, your property size, and your comfort level. If you’re contemplating installing a fence, here are some items to consider:

Although it may be tempting to install a tall wooden fence for privacy and security, the significant downside to a wooden fence is that it allows burglars a place to hide – on the side facing away from your home.  

The ideal security fence gives burglars nowhere to hide. Therefore, if they choose to climb the fence, they will have to do it in plain sight of you and your camera system and put themselves at risk.

In addition to material considerations, there are design variables that should be considered to make your fence more secure. Examples include:

* If you use a chain link fence, the space within the cutouts should be not more than 1 ¾”.  This specification will make climbing very difficult.

* If you choose to you use a wooden fence, select a design with pickets that have a point or spear at the top.  

* Your security fence should be at least 54 inches in height with a recommended height of 8 feet (96 inches). However, be sure to check your local ordinances and home owners’ association for additional guidelines.

* Avoid designs that include horizontal rails, if possible.  Horizontal rails can be used by an intruder to scale the fence.

Be a good neighbor. Although there is an expression that “good fences make good neighbors,” you will want to make sure you have an open and honest discussion with your neighbor about your intentions to build a fence.  

Even if you are not required to get their permission, a pre-construction conversation will go a long way to building a good rapport with your neighbor – and you may need them in the event of a survival situation.

Having a neighbor on your side can pay dividends when it comes to the security of your home, above and beyond that of a fence. Some may be willing to split the cost with you for the fence portion running between your two properties, too.
 

Keep Prying Eyes at Bay


There are multiple solutions for increasing your privacy (and security) as it relates to the transparency of glass panes on your windows and doors. The most common methodologies are window coverings, frost, and film.

Curtains, blinds, or shades are the most common and often, most cost effective, solution to keeping prying eyes at bay. In addition to the fact there are endless design options, installation costs are minimal, and you can change the design seasonally.

You can also open and close them to match your privacy and security needs at the moment. This is probably the greatest advantage to this solution and the most affordable for those securing their home on a budget.

Frosting the glass is the most permanent solution listed. Unfortunately, unlike curtains, you are stuck with the consequences of the increased privacy for good and bad. On the plus side, you don’t need to remember to draw your curtains to get your privacy.  

Additionally, frosted glass allows natural light into your home while still providing privacy. On the negative side, your view outside of your window is permanently and significantly distorted.

Plus, the person can see a slight outline of someone on the inside, so while it doesn’t let them see details, it does let them know whether the home is empty. Still, it’s a good choice for front doors and bathroom windows if you don’t have other coverings.
 
Apply a privacy film to your windows. The security impact of privacy film is very similar to frosted glass. However, it tends to be less expensive and DIY options exist as well. Further, privacy films with decorative designs are available to enhance their aesthetic appeal.  

Unlike frosting, if you change your mind, it’s much easier to remove a privacy film than frosted glass. They have film that provides minimal security and others that are darker and provide more.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Simple Sign


The number one goal of any and all security measures is prevention. The number one cause of prevention is deterrence. In all but the most unlikely circumstances, an intruder is not targeting your home – they are targeting a home.

Their selection criteria may vary depending upon their objectives, but if they can avoid complications by moving on to a less secure house, they will. Therefore, sometimes a “Beware of Dog” sign is just as effective as an actual dog.  

In fact, it has been rumored, although not substantiated by research, that the threat of a dog is the most effective deterrent to a thief. Related to the “Beware of Dog” sign are the security signs that accompany security and camera systems.

The signs are typically in the form of “This property is surveilled and protected by Company X.”  Again, that sign may be just as effective as a deterrent as the actual system itself.

However, there is one sign that may be intended to serve as a deterrent which might actually have the reverse effect. Specifically, signs related to guns such as “NRA member” or “Homeowner is armed and dangerous,” may actually provide burglars with an incentive to select your home because guns can be valuable on the black market.  

Therefore, as long as the burglar can confirm that you are not home, he may actually prefer to target your home in the hopes of stealing your gun collection. Be careful about what you put on display.

Bonus Tip: Minimize the Possibility of an Inside Job


As mentioned earlier, there are approximately one million home invasions each year. It’s estimated that a staggeringly high percentage, upwards of 65 percent, of these home invasions are performed by someone that the homeowner knows.  

Therefore, it’s prudent to be aware of some actions that you can take to avoid an inside job – which is especially possible in the event of a survival situation where you or others in your family have bragged about the supplies you’ve accumulated.

You can prevent people from being tempted in several ways. After purchasing or renting a home, have all of the locks replaced because you have no knowledge of how many copies of the keys are out in the world.

Be very careful about inviting contractors into your home to provide a cost estimate of work to be done. Of course, there are times when you will choose to do so, which is why having positive references or a connection with the contractor can be wise instead of calling the first company that pops up on a Google search.

If you have to share the location of your hidden key with someone outside of the immediate family such as a babysitter, dog walker, or a contractor, move the location of that hidden key after it has been used.

Home security is no laughing matter – especially when you’re talking about an extreme SHTF situation. As any victim of a home intrusion can tell you, that emotional violation, above and beyond financial loss, can have long lasting negative psychological effects.  

A little bit of preparation can go a long way in minimizing the probability of you having to attest to this consequence first-hand. You want to protect your family, your belongings and your survival supplies and fortifying your home is the first step in ensuring their safety from those who want to take what you have for their own use.