Many of us today feel a bit less secure in the modern world of extremes. Seems seem to drastically change from day to day. In this chaotic environment, it seems as if you need to be prepared for anything.
But instead of trembling in fear and anxiety over what might happen tomorrow, it is much better to prepare today. In this book, we will take out the guesswork and show you exactly what kind of smart preps you can make today in order to ensure your survival tomorrow!
Some smart preps for your water supply
Regardless of the crisis, there should never be a shortage of water. Our physical constitution demands that we have something to drink. Most of the use would not lose much longer than 3 or 4 days without at least one glass of water. Our body chemistry simply does not function without at least trace elements of H2O in our system.
Having that said, we need to prepare a stockpiled supply of this resource in case an emergency hits and we are not able to restock our supply from other locations. Instead of having to run to the Wal-Mart during a hurricane it is always better to have a supply of your own. In this section, we are going to discuss how to do just that.
Sealed water jugs
Stockpiling jugs of water would be an ideal and very smart thing to do but even if you don’t have pre-made sealed water jugs, you can easily make your own. All you have to do is take a common, everyday milk jug, empty out (drink) any remnants that might be left, clean out the container and fill it up.
Clean out your jug with high water pressure to knock out any remaining milk particles. Next take the jug to your sink and apply a soap and water mixture to the inside of it, making sure that it is thoroughly cleansed. Once you do, you have a ready-made water jug to store and use.
Utilizing the water heater
Every home has a water heater, and that means then that every home has a completely natural, inborn storage unit of water. The water heater is essentially a large cylinder filled with water.
You just have to know how to tap into it. If you really need to get some water fast, go over to your circuit breaker and flip all the power switches off. This is very important in order to safely access your water heater. Next, flip open your heater’s vent so that you can access the hater’s spigot by pulling a lever. Just give this lever a tug and the water will start dropping out of the heater.
Most water heaters have a capacity of many gallons of water, so be prepared to load up as many containers as you can with this extracted H2O. Once the water is deposited in your container let it sit for a few moments, so that any dirt or debris will sink to the bottom.
This water is generally safe to drink, especially since it is routinely superheated in the water heater’s tank, you just might find a few pieces of sediment. As mentioned these usually just drop to the bottom after the water has rested for a few moments. If however, you wish to take this sediment out completely, a good water filter should do the trick.
Harvesting your home’s pipes
Your home’s pipes carry a constant supply of water all the way from your local water plant to your sink’s faucet. Even if there is a complete shutdown of delivery from the local water source, such as in a power outage or other disaster, there will always be a certain amount of water trapped within your pipes the instant the water current was cut off.
In order to access this water, you are going to have to go out and turn off your waterline. This is for safety purposes so that outside contamination want to enter your pipes in the extraction processes. With your water line shut off you can then simply put a container under your faucet, turn on the water like you normally do, and the water that has become trapped in your pipes will begin to flow out.
Perhaps when you think of someone storing water in a tub it brings to mind images of 1920’s bootleggers making moonshine, but we’re not taking brandy we’re taking good old H2O! That’s right! You can store many gallons of water in a bathtub, so immediately before the storm or whatever crisis you may be facing occurs just turn on your faucet and begin to fill up that tub!
The tub for the most part, however, should serve just as a temporary storage unit until you find a more suitable container to use. Your bathtub, after all, no doubt has many lingering forms of bacteria on the surface so you are going to have to find a way to purify this water for your consumption.
You could either bring it to a boil, filter it, or even use chlorine tablets to clean out the water you store in your tub. When you do, you will have several gallons of water to drink!
If a hurricane or some other disaster were to strike, one of the best and most immediate place to store excess water would be right in your kitchen sink. Just plug that sink up and turn your faucet on, filling it up with as much water as you possibly can. Since this is common tap water it should be in fairly good condition.
But if you are worried about it coming in contact with the surface of your sink—some sinks are cleaner than others—then you can go ahead and boil and filter it in order to make it even purer. This water can then be stored in plastic jugs, 2-liter soda bottles, or other containers. You should be able to get at least a gallon of water out of most kitchen sinks.
Outside rain barrel
Using a barrel to collect rainwater is one of the smartest preps you could ever think of. Depending on where you live you may be able to collect quite a bit of viable water just by scooping up what naturally falls from the sky! Just put your rain barrel underneath on of your home's gutters and when it rains the water will start running down the length of gutter pipe straight into your barrel.
In many cases, after a good rainstorm, you could expect to have a completely filled barrel. This is a great way to gain extra water during a time of lack or emergency. After you collect your rainwater you will need to treat it with either chlorine tablets, by boiling it, or running it through a purifying grade filter.
Securing water from your toilet tank
The idea of drinking from the toilet is by no means appealing. It’s probably bad enough your dog does it, let alone a human being. I understand that. But this smart prep doesn’t mean for you to lap up H2O start from the toilet bowl, when we are talking about securing water from a toilet, we mean the toilet tank.
The toilet tank is actually a repository of fairly clean water. In order to access it shut off your waterline, and don’t allow anyone to flush the toilet, this will secure the water that currently rests in your tank. Now just take a plastic bottle and scoop up the water. Although this water should be fairly safe, it is still highly recommended that you filter with a water filter pitcher , boil or use chlorine treatment on it before consumption.
Filling up a cooler
Water is so important for our survival; a smart prepper would come up with any number of means of storing it. Filling up an empty cooler is another way to do just that. In preparation for an emergency, you can take any conventional cooler and simply fill it up with water.
Now just shut the cooler and save the H2O for when you will really need it. Needless to say, this water will become fairly stagnant closed up in a cooler, but don’t worry, after boiling it for a few minutes it will be nice and pure once again.
Another good thing about using a cooler for water storage is that they are fairly easy to carry. Most coolers have handles attached to them, so if you have to suddenly bug out quick, you can happily carry your cooler full of water as you hit the road. A very smart prep indeed!
Prep your washing machine to store water
Maybe you have an old Washing Machine just taking up space. If this is the case, during an emergency situation you could easily convert it into a water storage unit. Just fill that bad boy up with water and you will have several additional gallons that could really help you out if you find yourself in a pinch later on!
And one of the really great things about using a washing machine like this is the fact that these units can are airtight. Once you shut that washing machine lid, nothing can get through to contaminate your water! So if you have thoroughly cleaned out and sanitized your washing machine it should be perfectly prepped for water storage. Don’t forget this smart and resource saving prep!
Fill up garbage bags
Just like drinking out of a toilet, storing your water in a garbage bag probably doesn’t sound too great, but think about it, a brand new plastic garbage bag is completely sterile and clean.
Once you get past the aesthetics of the whole thing, it suddenly becomes clear that this is a smart prep that will not only allow you to store a large amount of water, but it will also enable you to easily transport it as well. So yes, just fill up as many garbage bags as you can with water and then seal them shut by placing a tight knot on the ends of the garbage bag.
Using garbage bags for water storage could prove to be a smart prep in a few other ways as well. For one thing, if you find yourself in a situation in which water is scarce and you are suddenly beset by roving bands of neighbors start harassing you for your own supply, a garbage bag could be the best place to hide your water.
No one would expect to look in a garbage bag for water, so just fill these guys up before the apocalypse hits and put them in the corner of your garage. This smart prep could save your life!
Dig a well
If the environment and situation you are in allows it, digging a well could be the best thing you could possibly ever do. If you have viable access to unpolluted good water you will be able to be completely self-sufficient for quite a long time. In order to do this, you will first need to be able to locate a good supply of ground water. Once you do you can then dig about 25 feet straight into the ground (or until you hit water) and as you go down the hole stabilize it by lining the walls with gravel or concrete.
With an opening to the ground water created you can then create a wooden arch over the hole, take a rope at least 30 feet in length, tie one end securely to the arch and then tie the other to the handle of your bucket. Now just drop that bucket down when you need water and it will be able to scoop up a good amount for you to pull back up to the surface for your use.
Capture rain with the help of a plastic tarp
Just like the idea of using a rain barrel, if you have nothing else, you can just stretch out a piece of tarp and allow rain to pool off of its surface. To make this system even more efficient you can then put a large bowl near where the water will inevitably start trickling out from the center of the tarp and keep it there to gather all of the rainwater that will come pouring off of the material. Just spread this piece of tarp out and attach it to some posts in the ground, letting the tarp rise to at least a foot and a half in height. This is the optimal position in order to collect as much water as possible.
Water extraction from plants
Have you ever stepped outside early in the morning and found your grass soaking wet with moisture? Well, guess what? There is a smart prep you can make that will enable you to extract this morning dew for yourself. All you have to do is take a plastic bag and attach it to the leaves of a plant or even the blades of grass in your yard. The next morning you should find a lot of the excess water from the plants has collected in your plastic bag.
Another smart prep to take this water out of your plant life is to simply take a sponge (yes a sponge) and just put it right on the ground in a pile of grass, soon that sponge will do what sponges do and absorb all of the water held in those blades of grass. Just squeeze the sponge into a glass and you will have yourself some water to drink.
Smart prep for your food
Next to water, food should be a major priority for any prepping exercise. And there are many smart preps you can make to guarantee that you will have an adequate supply saved and ready for consumption. In this section, we will go over some of the best methods for acquiring, storing and saving food.
Learn how to can your food
Canning is a classic enterprise and always a smart way to prep your food. All you need is some standard canning jars. Just to give you an idea, most canning jars either have the word “Mason” emblazoned on their surface or “Ball” (from the guys who founded Ball State University). Once you have one of these glass canning jars you can fill them up with food and put their lids on to seal them up.
The lid of a standard canning jar has two main parts. One part is a flat circular piece of metal and the other is something known as a “screw band” that goes over this flat piece of metal. Place the flat piece of metal over the opening of your jar and then screw the screw band over it.
This is, of course, only one part of sealing your food in a canning jar. The next thing that you need to do is apply a high level of heat to the jar to further seal the lid to it.
Before you do this, however, you need to make sure that you leave at least three inches of water at the bottom of your canning jar. Once your jar is ready go ahead and put it in the center of a large boiling pot. Fill the pot up with enough water to have the sides of the jar submerged.
Now set your stove for about 180 degrees. Keep boiling your jar at this level of heat for about ten minutes. After this, turn your burning off and let your jar cool down. Don’t attempt to move the jar until it is cool so that it does not cause the jar to rupture. Once the jar is cool you can then place it in your cabinet for storage.
Turn your basement into a root cellar
In order to convert your basement into a root cellar just wall off one corner of the basement with some plywood. This will cool down that corner enough that it can start refrigerating food with this natural level of underground coolness. Make sure that there is a window nearby so that you can more easily ventilate out stale air and allow fresher air to come in.
Inside your walled off corner place down some wooden slats on which you can stack our boxes of produce. This will help aid air circulation for your food. You can expect the life expectancy of your canned food to greatly increase simply by putting them in this cool corner of your basement. This is a smart prep for anyone to implement.
Dry out your meat
Who doesn’t like a little beef jerky? Dried out meat is not only flavorful but it is a wonderful way to ensure that your food can be safely stored for a very long time. In order to implement this smart prep, you will need some aluminum meat trays with nylon mesh over them for ventilation.
This way you can dry out the meat without the worry of pesky bugs coming to investigate. Before you lay your meat out on the tray, you first need to soak your meat in a salty brine in order to properly treat it for the dry out process.
This brine is made up of a pound of salt for each gallon of water. So if you boil a gallon of water make sure you dump about a pound of salt into it in order for the brine solution to work.
With the ingredients of your brine sorted out slice your pieces of meat into a strip and then place them in the brine, once brined then place these strips of meat out in vertical position, side by side on your ventilated tray. Leave this out in the sun a day or so and they will begin to dry out, eventually resembling that classic gas station beef jerky you always loved as a kid.
Create your own mini greenhouse
One of the best smart preps you could ever engage in for your food supply is growing more of it! And one of the best places to grow your food is within the warm confines of a greenhouse.
But since most of us do not have the luxury or space to have a large standard sized greenhouse growing center, in this smart prep we are going to show you how to grow a substantial amount of produce in a miniaturized version. Just take four wooden 2x4 boards and nail them or otherwise attach them together in a square window frame type of assembly.
This square wooden structure will be the borders of your greenhouse garden. With this frame established, place a thin piece of plastic and wrap it around the frame, covering the entire area over the connected 2x4s. You can use masking tape to secure the plastic to the frame. Now just plant some seeds in a safe open area of your yard or lawn space and then place this plastic covered frame right over the area where you have planted.
The sunlight will now be able to pour through the plastic right down to the planted seeds maximizing the warmth collected while negating the effect of the wind and colder temperatures in the outside environment. This smart and easy prep will let you grow tasty veggies all year long.
Use animal traps
If you run out of stored food of your own, you could always try to acquire some more through the use of animal traps. This smart prep is an easy way to get some quick food. Even if you live in an urban area there are no doubt plenty of squirrels and other small animals that you could benefit from if you would just set a simple trap for them.
And the simplest of traps would be simply to prop up a large rock with a stick. That’s right, all you have to do is let a large rock lean precariously against a flimsy stick and you have all you need for a small woodland creature to accidentally smash himself.
It may sound awfully bad for the squirrel or rabbit that meets this fate, but in a situation of pure survival that extra rabbit or squirrel meat just might sustain you long enough to make it through. This trap doesn’t necessarily need any bait because many animals will just accidentally bump into it.
But if you would just put something sweet like peanut butter or honey on the stick or around it, you will get results a lot faster. Do this and a small mammal of one kind of another will soon come sniffing for it and get flattened as a result. Like I said, not pretty, but it’s a way to get some food during a crisis.
Dig your own mini fish pond
If you have a small amount of open land area, you could create your own fish pond. In creating a fish pond you are building a complete ecosystem in which fish can reproduce and thrive for generations right on your land. If you manage to pull this self-made ecosystem off the benefits are enormous.
To get started simply start digging in a centered open part of your land. Our smart prep trick to do this is to take the lid from an aluminum trash can (you could also use an old hubcap from a car) and use it to guide our dig.
The guidance comes when you press the lid (or hubcap) down into the ground making an indentation. When you remove the lid it will leave a circular mark in the ground in its wake. This is your guidepost, simply dig inside the circular impression that you have made.
Now dig about ten feet deep inside the parameters of this circle. Once you have finished drop your metal lib (or hubcap) down at the bottom of this hole it should fit perfectly since it was this object that you used for the circumference of your dig. Placing this object inside the hole like this will prevent the ground below from absorbing too much of the water.
That way you won’t have to constantly refill the hole with your own precious water reserves. The metal object serves to either stop or at least greatly reduce water absorption enough to allow the rain to naturally replenish the artificial fish pond for quite some time.
With the metal lid (or hubcap) snug and secure at the bottom of your hole you can now fill up your dig site with water. Fill it up about 8 feet high, that way you will have two feet of the whole free of water near the top, this is to prevent flooding when it rains.
With your pond now full of water you can start stocking your own fish inside of this little underground tunnel of water. You can then maintain your fish by simply sprinkling cheap fish food or trying more natural approaches such as layering algae in the pond for the fish to munch on.
Now when Armageddon hits you will be the only prepper on the block with a constant supply of fresh fish. This really is a smart prep!
If you find your shelves depleted of food in the middle of an emergency don’t despair because as long as you can go to your back yard, you are liable to find many roots, plants, and even mushrooms that you could forage in order to sustain yourself. There are many nutritious and delicious plants that can forage that many overlook.
The dandelion, for example, is a ubiquitous plant that is commonly assessed as being nothing more than a troublesome weed, but these guys are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Just boil some dandelions in water and you are in for a good meal. There are many other plants that can be found growing in many other places too. Shamrocks are quite a common and iconic plant for instance, and you could easily collect, cook and eat these as well.
Smart prepping your tools of communication
No matter what situation you may face, things can get lonely really fast if you suddenly found yourself out of the loop with the outside world. In this section, we are going to focus on ways that you can make sure that you will still have a line to shout out with the rest of humanity. Here are some smart prepping tools of communication that you should know about!
This one may seem kind of silly to some of us, to send messages in the air with smoke, but it's not. If you are in a blackout, especially an ice storm, and you need to get some help, the best way to notify local helicopters searching the area would be to generate a ton of smoke that can be seen from the air.
But large smokestacks aren’t just good for SOS if you know how to do it, you can learn to communicate entire words and phrases through the rhythm of your smoke. This is a simple means of communication that anyone can prep for themselves with just tinder, fire, and a means of fanning the flame. If you need an emergency means of communication, this smart prep could do the trick.
Very similar (yet much more effective) to the use of smoke in order to signal someone, the use of a good flare can tell others of your location from very far away. A single flare is able to send up a powerful burst of light that can flare out from a wide area, garnering the attention of first responders from miles around.
These flares can be purchased at many sporting goods retailers, department stores and even online. A homemade version of the flare that is universally understood by emergency personnel is to simply set three fires in a triangular shape. This smart prep could get you the help you need.
Using satellite phones
The great thing about a Sat Phone is the fact that it doesn’t require any earthbound infrastructure. The entire planet could be in the midst of a nuclear war, with all of the cell towers melted to the ground (dramatic I know) but as long as that one happy little satellite is up in safely in outer space away from the carnage, orbiting the planet, your signal will remain completely uninterrupted!
So unless some vengeful UFO decides to destroy your Sat Phone transmission, I don’t think you have anything to worry about! The major drawback of a Sat Phone, however, is the inordinate price tag that comes with them. The phone is expensive to buy, and the service to keep them is fairly pricey as well. So if you do decide to engage in this very smart prep you will have to get ready to dish out some cool hard cash in order for it to succeed!
Have a self cranking emergency radio
These nifty little radios with a handle on the side are a wonderful asset to have on hand if your power goes out. Because as long as you can take one of your hands and wind that crank up, you can generate enough kinetic energy to turn on this radio.
With this smart prep, you can keep up with all emergency broadcasts and information without worrying about batteries or generators. Indeed, with this smart prep, all the power you need is right there in the palm of your hand.
Get a ham radio
Ham radios have been around for quite some time and they are very useful in case local notification infrastructure fails. Since Ham Radio is not dependent on the main broadcasting infrastructure, but rather a loosely knit network of local hammers, you can get pertinent information by being able to engage on ham radio. Ham radio is arranged in regional groups which manage to strengthen signals and expand bandwidth.
And since the signals are shared between many hammers, if one fails, it does not affect the network as a whole. In order to have a functioning Ham Radio operation, you need to have your own ham radio rig, a microphone to speak in, and a set of earphones in which to hear. Additionally, you should invest in a reliable antenna in order to pick up and transmit Ham Radio signals. This is a smart prep for anyone to have.
Conclusion: the smartest prep of all!
When it comes to preparations for emergency situations, there is a wide range of things to keep in mind. As this book has presented there are a veritable plethora of factors to consider such as how to find clean water, keep your food fresh and stocked, and how to reach out to the outside world if you need help, just to name a few.
But the most sought after prep of all, isn’t anyone item or tactic because the must valuable prep you could ever muster is the preparation of the mind. If you can prepare your mind for what you might face, everything else will follow!