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It’s Time to Look into Off-Grid Power Systems

Hello, Rob Raskin of Las Vegas here, and today I’d like to talk to you about the need to be prepared to get your power from an alternative source. Frankly, we don’t know if the grid will be around forever, especially when you consider how unstable the world can be. Despite the fact that some experts have declared that cyberterrorism has reached a point where it could spell the end of the world as we know it, including knocking-out power grids for a long time, your average American wouldn’t last two weeks without power.

 

Renewable Energy for Survival

Whether you simply want to save money or you are worried about the threat of powers that could shut down the grid in an attack, there are alternatives that can allow you to maintain power regardless of the situation. Solar power is one solution—provided the sun’s light is visible, of course (such as, for example, in a nuclear winter situation). Other alternatives available to homesteaders and survivalists that will allow you to have access to renewable energy without being connected to a utility grid include wind turbines, battery banks, and even propane. Which one will work best for you is dependent on your unique situation, because there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to alternative energy sources.

 

Some people even fear that North Korea is a threat to our power grid, and hackers are another persistent threat. There are many sources of renewable energy that homesteaders and preppers have to choose from, along with a variety of solar-powered gear. It’s no secret that our nation’s power grid is vulnerable, and that is why many homesteaders have turned to alternative energy sources they will be able to count on if TEOTWAWKI is upon us. The time to begin looking into this is now and not after the worst has happened. Which alternative energy source works best for you? Let me, Rob Raskin, know in the comments.

Put Together the Ultimate Urban Survival Gear List

Hello everyone, Rob Raskin of Las Vegas here again, and today I’d like to cover some basics you will need for urban survival. Anyone who has seen the Twilight Zone episode “Time Enough at Last” knows the importance of having an eyeglasses repair kit when the worst happens and civilization as you know it comes to an end, but what else does the average person need in order to truly be prepared?  You may not be a survivalist per se, but everyone should have certain items on-hand in case of emergency. Whether your emergency is a temporary one, such as the aftermath of a natural disaster, or it is something more serious involving the current political climate, having the tools and supplies you’ll need to weather the storm is essential.

 

Why Do I Need a Survival Kit?

Survivalism isn’t just for bearded men with bunkers in the woods anymore. The world has been hit with one disaster after another in recent years, from catastrophic earthquakes and tsunamis to devastating political upheaval and even home invasion robberies. People in California expect earthquakes just as people in Oklahoma expect tornadoes, but today factors such as fracking and climate change have resulted in natural disasters striking in areas where the locals were not expecting them. In this unpredictable world, when it comes to your health and safety and that of your loved ones, isn’t it better to be safe than sorry?

 

Just the Basics

There are certain items you will need to have immediate access to in order for basic survival. These are essentials, so these are going to be the first thing you’ll need to put in your kit. The most important thing you’ll need to add to your kit is a multi-purpose tool that has pliers, wire cutters, a knife, scissors, a bottle opener, a can opener, and a multi-bit screwdriver.  You’ll also want to have all of your emergency contact information on-hand in an easily accessible place where others can find it if you are not able. Be sure you have plenty of fire-starting implements on-hand as well.  Make sure you have a shut-off wrench as well, because you may need it to shut your gas off.

 

Your Survival Kitchen

Water, instant coffee, powdered butter, eggs, and juice, canned foods, and condiments are just a few of the essentials you’ll need to keep in stock for your family. You’ll also want to make sure you have plenty of paper plates, cups, and plastic utensils, because you won’t want to waste your precious water on dishwashing. If you have a pet, don’t forget pet food! Make sure to eat what you store. It’s important that you don’t just stockpile food and then forget about it, because the vast majority of foods do have a shelf-life that you’ll need to consider. You should stock the foods your family uses, and then as you use them make sure to continually replace them.

 

Boost Your Morale and Your Comfort Level

If you are going to be in a difficult situation for an extended period of time, you’ll need to take care of your family’s emotional  and comfort needs as well, especially if you have children. While you can technically survive without supplies like feminine hygiene items and diapers, with a little forethought you won’t have to, and this is something you’ll appreciate if these things aren’t there when you need them. Having board games, books, musical instruments, pencils and papers, and other entertainment items will go a long way toward keeping everyone content. Every person and family is different and will have unique needs, so take the time to make a list of what your family requires before it is too late!

Tips for Going Off-Grid in Winter

Hello everyone! Rob Raskin of Las Vegas here again, and today I’d like to talk about steps you can take to make sure you are prepared to live off-grid during the winter. Homesteading in an area where it snows presents many special challenges. These will require preparations in advance if you want to get through the worst of it. From frozen pipes to frozen chickens, there are many problems that can and will arise for homesteaders who don’t take steps to ensure they’ll have what they need to survive until the spring thaw.

 

If you live in a region where it snows, the following tips are for you:

 

Check Your Generators

Even if your generator looks great, it’s important to start them up and to give them an oil change prior to each winter to give yourself the best possible chance of having a generator that is in top working order.

 

Protect Your Pipes Against Freezing

If you have a house with plumbing or you are living in a trailer or other shelter with pipes, you’ll need to take precautions to ensure your pipes don’t freeze, and this also includes your tanks and your water pump. Pointing a propane heater at your water and septic tanks can help keep them from freezing, and it also helps to use an insulated shell whenever possible.

 

Stay on Top of Your Plowing

Keeping access to the roads open can be essential in the winter, so you’ll want to make sure you plow regularly to make sure you aren’t snowed in. It can pile up faster than you might think! You can find many snow removal tips for homesteaders online, and it may take some trial and error to figure out which ones work for you.

 

Do you have any winter tips you’d like to share? Let me, Rob Raskin, know in the comments!

 

Here is a Winter Prep Checklist that will help you to make sure you are prepared for the season:

These Mistakes Can Kill You in a Wildfire

Hello! This is Rob Raskin of Las Vegas, and today I’d like to talk about mistakes that can kill you if you are caught in a wildfire. In October’s deadly wildfires in California over 40 people were killed and 140,000 acres destroyed, and now the Ventura and Ojai area is on fire and experiencing massive destruction of property, though thankfully so far no deaths have been reported. I thought I’d take a minute to talk to you about what to do if you are ever trapped in a forest fire so you can be prepared if you are in a drought area when fire season hits again next year. There are many homesteaders in drought-ridden areas, so this is especially crucial for survivalists in these regions.

 

Before a wildfire strikes

Know where important documents and keepsakes are

Know where your keys and your wallet are

Know where your glasses and your medications are

Know where your pets’ leashes and crates are

DO NOT wait too long to evacuate – emergency responders WILL be swamped, and they might be too overwhelmed to reach you in time

 

If you are caught in a wildfire

Most important of all is to stay calm

DO NOT try to save your house with a garden hose

If you are on a hill-head lower and fast

Try to steer clear of trees and vegetation if you can

If you can’t move fast enough and there is a swimming pool or other body of water handy, dive in

Lie facedown and cover up your body to protect it if there is no alternative

 

Until next time, this is Rob Raskin, hoping you stay safe and keep informed and aware in every situation.

A Toast to Wilderness Cocktails

Hello, Rob Raskin of Las Vegas here, bringing you a fun post this week. Whether you are celebrating a special event or you just want to relax with a drink after a long day of hunting, you don’t have to skip out on the cocktails just because you don’t have a liquor store nearby. If you are a homesteader or a survivalist who enjoys a great cocktail, this is yet another thing you’ll be able to do yourself while you are off-grid, provided you have the right supplies, so here is a peek at some of the essentials. And it doesn’t hurt to have a DIY still handy.

 

Whiskey is Quicker

Moonshine is as American as the frontiersmen who once rebelled over the unfair taxation of spirits, and it’s easier to make than you may think. If you can ferment alcohol, then you can do this. You’ll just need some yeast, either fruit or grain, distill water, distill alcohol, and essential oils. With a few supplies like an alcohol hydrometer, a fermentation vessel with a lid, some barrels, and a little research and patience (or a lot), you can take the chill off a winter’s night with your very own whiskey.

 

DIY Vodka

If you have potatoes, then you have vodka. Okay, I will admit there are a few steps in between the two, but they aren’t anything you can’t handle on your homestead. If the worst should happen and there is a social collapse or other disaster, this sought-after beverage will be in short supply and great demand, so it’s worth any survivalists time to learn how to make it, whether you want to drink it yourself or trade or sell it. For this drink you’ll need potatoes, standard malted barley, and a very large pot. It’s really that simple, after you’ve had some practice.

 

The Pirate’s Drink

If pirates can make rum at sea, then you can make it in the wild. To make rum you’ll need molasses, baker’s yeast, distilled water, and sugar. Lots and lots of sugar—as much as two pounds of it! You’ll also need copper couplings and tubing, a pressure cooker, a bucket, and some waterproof sealant. You don’t have to age this in wood barrels, but it will improve the flavor. Rum can take a week or more to make, but when you are enjoying that mojito you’ll understand that it is worth the wait. Although, depending on your circumstances, you may need to skip the ice.

 

 

Remember, it is illegal to distill alcohol in the US at this time, but we never know what the future may hold, and any survivalist knows the importance of being prepared. This is Rob Raskin, and I hope you’ll visit again the next time you need information about going off-grid.

Rattlesnake Antivenom: How It’s Done

Hello, Rob Raskin of Las Vegas here again, and this week I’m going to share some info with you that is strictly for informational and entertainment purposes. In other words, don’t try this one at home, folks! Approximately 100,000 people worldwide die from snake bites each year, and antivenom is in dangerously short supply, especially in the developing countries where it is needed most. Although in hospitals there is no shortage of antivenom for the venomous snakes that are commonly found in the US, what would you do if you were in the wild and you needed it? If you happen not to be a professional herpetologist and you’ve ever wondered how this is done, here’s the run-down.

 

Your Risk in the US

Each year in the US, approximately 8,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes, and most of these are courtesy of the eastern and western diamondback rattlesnake. Luckily for 7,999 of these people, these bites will be non-fatal events. To put that in perspective, fewer than 1 in 37,500 people will be bitten by venomous snakes in the US annually, and only one in 50 million of these people will die, but your risk of being struck by lightning in this country is 1 in 960,000. In other words, you are four times more likely to be struck by lightning than you are to be bitten by a poisonous viper.

 

Snake Milking 101

Scientists who make antivenom first force a venomous snake to bite down on the lip of a jar that has been specially equipped to collect venom when it drips out of the viper’s fangs. After the deadly liquid is collected, it is injected into horses in small increments, with the dose gradually being increased over time. The horses also receive supervenom to increase the potency of the antibodies they’ll develop in their blood, which is drawn regularly throughout the horses’ lifetimes. Technologists then use sophisticated equipment to make antivenom using this blood.

 

What This Means to You

It is much easier to avoid snake bites in the first place than it is to milk snakes and inject horses! You can avoid poisonous snakes by wearing large, heavy boots when you are outdoors and by being aware of your surroundings. Learn which snakes are common to your area and how to identify them, paying special attention to where they are likely to live and to their habits. Have a back-up plan in place just in case you do receive a bite, but in the event that it happens, don’t panic: the odds are you’ll be fine. This is Rob Raskin, hoping you found this post entertaining and that you’ll check back again next time to read more.

Radio Communication for Survivalists

Hello again! This is Robert Raskin, and today I’d like to talk to you about communication. In a world where your average person is glued to their cell phone, many people feel like it’s the end of the world when their battery dies and they have to put the phone down for an hour to charge it. Now imagine these same people in a real TEOWAWKI situation. In the event the power and communication grids go down and there isn’t any electricity due to EMP or another catastrophic event, let alone cell phones or internet, how would you communicate with the outside world?

 

Communication is a Basic Necessity

It’s important to be able to keep up to date with information and to stay in contact with our loved ones, but never is it more so than during a time of crisis. Imagine if the worst should happen and you didn’t know if your children or even your grandchildren were okay, whether they needed help, or even whether they were alive. If you live far away from them when disaster strikes, there may be no way for you to contact them in the near future, or possibly ever again. To many, the ability to communicate is nearly as important as food, water, and shelter, so why is it so often overlooked?

 

It’s Easier than You Think

Many people don’t give radio communication a try because they think it will be too difficult. I know it can be intimidating at first because there are many different kinds of equipment you can buy, including options to do it yourself. You may be telling yourself that you don’t know where to begin, that you will do it later, or even that you don’t feel like communicating with anyone anyway, but even if you don’t want to make conversation, it’s best if you are at the very least able to hear the latest news in your area. In fact, being informed could mean the difference between life and death.

 

How to Choose the Best Survival Radio

There are many options for radios across a range of price points, with different pros and cons to each. There are a lot of really great articles out there about radios along with many message boards devoted to the subject. I recommend that you check them out to see what people are saying about different radios. This is a great starting point because when you read something that resonates with you, you can research it further. Don’t forget to check user reviews, because those are also a great source of information. This is Robert Raskin of Las Vegas, wishing you happy homesteading and hoping you’ll check back soon.

Don’t Forget: Check Your Expiration Dates!

Hello, Rob Raskin of Las Vegas here, and today I’d like to talk to you about expiration dates. When you are stockpiling supplies, it’s important to be aware of the shelf life of each product, because this can help you make important decisions about what you should buy, and how much of it you should have on-hand. Spending too much on something that is going to go bad before you have the chance to use it is not a wise investment, and that money can be devoted instead to other supplies that will last longer.

 

What Will Expire

You’d be surprised how many things you’d never expect to have expiration dates that actually do expire. For example, did you know Kevlar items expire? These gloves and vests may be able to withstand bullets, but they cannot withstand the passing of time. Aspirin is another important item that will expire, and your stash of potassium iodide will as well, as will gas masks, shortening, Neosporin, baking soda, and many other important items. Don’t forget to rotate your stock so you don’t waste anything or make unnecessary purchases.

 

What Won’t Expire

If you want to buy products that won’t expire, then some excellent choices are sugar, white rice, honey, bouillon cubes, soy sauce, dried lentils and beans, molasses, Jell-O mix, and even hard liquor. Some non-food items to consider are water filters, charcoal, and cast iron cookware. Another thing that doesn’t have an expiration date, per se, is livestock. Sure, the animal will eventually die, but if the conditions are right they could also live long enough to be an incredible source of eggs, milk, meat, or to breed.

 

Best Before Dates

One area in which there is a lot of confusion is the “best by” or “best before” date. Many people confuse this with an expiration date, but it is actually a term that describes freshness so you can assured the product will still have the best quality and flavor. While we all love for our food to taste its best, in a SHTF situation, what’s really important is if the food is safe to eat. Many items are safe for consumption after the best before date has passed, so know the difference between the best by and expiration dates of anything before you eat it. This is Rob Raskin, wishing you happy homesteading and prepping, and I hope you check back next time because I’ve got more helpful tips to post soon.

 

Survival Myths That Can Kill You

Do you think you have what it takes to survive off-grid, in the wild, or in a TEOTWAWKI situation? You may think you do, but if you believe any of the following dangerous survival myths you may be in for an unpleasant surprise. This is Robert Raskin of Las Vegas, warning you that just because someone tried something in an action movie and survived nearly insurmountable odds, doesn’t mean it will work for you. Read and and learn more about what is actually useful and what could get you killed.

 

Animal Myths

We’ve all heard the one about getting bitten by a shark and punching it in the nose to get it to release its jaws, but honestly, who has ever tried this and lived to tell about it? Cartoons tell us to play dead if a bear attacks, and the Woody Allen movie Bananas features a hilarious scene about the need to suck the poison out of a snake bite, but unfortunately none of these strategies will produce any kind of outcome that will be favorable for you. If a snake bites you, get to a hospital, and if a bear attacks you, slowly back away. If a shark bites you, you can try punching it, and if you live send us a message and tell us your story!

 

Sustenance Myths

While it is technically true cactus contains water you can drink in the case of an emergency, the crucial bit of information that is left out of this myth is that it is only one kind of cactus that provides safe drinking water, and that is one type of barrel cactus. Drinking the fluid from other cacti can cause you to vomit, which is the opposite of fighting dehydration. It is also not safe to eat something just because an animal ate it and didn’t get dick. Some berries and mushrooms are edible, while others contain deadly toxins. Unless you are 100% positive you can identify any catci, berry, or mushroom you come across, steer clear!

 

Myths About the Elements

If the weather is pleasant and you have even a rudimentary shelter, you are in luck, but unfortunately this will not always be the case when you are in the wild. A lean-to is one easy-to-construct style of shelter, but did you know that it will not protect you from the elements unless you also have a layer of protection between you and the ground? If you are lost, don’t follow the moss on the trees if you need to go north, because the truth is moss can grow on every side of a tree. Also, if you or another person are the victim of frostbite, don’t get directly into a hot tub. Instead, warm up gradually with a blanket or by placing warm water bottles under the arms or you’ll risk further tissue damage.

 

This is Robert Raskin, and I hope you’ll come back next time to see what valuable and potentially life-saving advice I might post next!

How to Go Off-Grid

Hello everyone! Rob Raskin here again, and today I want to talk about going off the grid. As the saying goes, if you free your mind, the rest will follow, unless, that is, you are dependent on the government for basic necessities like water and electricity. We hear so much about going off-grid these days, but do you understand exactly what it means? Living off the grid is simply having a self-sufficient lifestyle in which you are not dependent on or connected to any utility companies or services. This is typically associated with survivalists or preppers, but this is changing and today environmentally conscious people are choosing to live off the grid with the ultimate goal of living a healthier lifestyle and leaving a smaller environmental footprint.

 

Do You Have What it Takes?

Living off the beaten path means giving up many comforts and conveniences that you may take for granted, and some that you may not realize are conveniences at all. Not being able to flip on a light when you need one without generating the power yourself is a huge lifestyle change, and if you are like many of us then you take for granted the fact that you always have clean, fresh water to drink, trash service, and a phone line. For those who plan to go deep off the grid, you will also most likely need to get used to living without plumbing, and that includes a toilet.

 

Where to Begin

The first thing you’ll need to do is determine your location. There are approximately 180,000 people supplying their own power in the US today, and the government does not necessarily like this. More urban areas are cracking down on off-grid living every day, so you’ll want to make sure it is legal for you to live without utilities on a property before you commit to buying it. You may want to consider factors such as how close you will be to emergency services, whether or not you will have access to the internet, and the local zoning laws before you settle on a particular piece of land.

 

Some Things to Consider

There are many reasons people just like you choose to live off-grid every day, and if you’re considering doing the same, then you’ll want to make sure you have all of your basics covered. If you are going to grow crops or keep livestock, you’ll need to make sure you have access to fresh water and the soil is suitable for the type of plants you’ll need. The weather is also another important factor. Will it be too cold, or too hot, for you to survive off-grid? You will also need to decide how close—or how far away from—civilization you want to be if there were to be a major catastrophe.

 

How Far Will You Go?

Whether you plan to go partially off-grid by ditching one or two of your utilities while still retaining others to stay as closely as possible to your usual lifestyle, or you plan to go completely off-grid and move far away from civilization so you can create an entirely new way of living for yourself, it will take a good amount of planning and preparation, but it can be done. This can be a tough life, but the rewards can be tremendous. If you get everything in place and do your research then you’ll have nothing to lose, except your electric bill.

 

Do you have any tips for going off the grid? Share them with me, Rob Raskin, in the comments!