Ohjeet kotiin jääville liikekannallepanossa?

Safety and Security (continued)
Let’s continue with our list of ways to improve our security in case of an emergency.

Know Maintenance People
Get friendly with your apartment’s maintenance people. Tell them you have an interest in or are taking a class in civil engineering and want to know more about your building’s systems. They can show you all of the hidden nooks and crannies in your building, particularly if it’s an older one. I had a friend who accidentally busted a hole in the wall of his apartment in an older building and discovered an unused dumbwaiter shaft behind it, which would have made a great emergency escape. Make sure you know how to access the roof (including from inside the elevator shaft) and are able to bypass any locks that may prevent you from doing so. Another good source of information would be your local Building Commission. In most municipalities builders have to file a copy of the blueprints. If it’s an older building that’s been modified or rebuilt there may be multiple iterations of blueprints.

Use Signs to Practice a Little Psychological Warfare
Put a biohazard sign and some quarantine tape on your door or the main building entrance. Fill some biohazard bags with clean trash and set them outside. For added realism, find a dead rat, chew up a corner of one of the biohazard bags with a sharp needle, and leave the rat on the floor next to it. It won’t fool everyone. But even the strongest thug will think twice about trying to get in, especially if the disaster involved has a biological component.

Use Adjacent Unoccupied Space for Entrance
If there is an unoccupied apartment adjacent to yours, make an opening in the adjoining wall/floor/ceiling and go in and out from that apartment. Cover up the opening between the apartments with furniture or rugs when not in use. Add some extra door security in the second apartment, and leave a window open or make an obvious opening to a third apartment. That way if someone follows you and breaks into the decoy apartment, they’ll think you just escaped out another way. Install some noise-making tripwires or booby traps, and make sure you obscure the trail to your secret entrance in the decoy apartment by walking around to cover up obvious footprints.

Track What’s Happening
Keep track of what’s happening around you. Talk to your neighbors while they’re still around. Watch out your window and go up to the roof regularly. Also, monitor events in the local area. Get a good set of binoculars or a monocular, and keep a log of what you see. Just make sure you practice “seeing, but not being seen”. Use your handheld scanner radio to listen in on radio broadcasts, and consider adding an extended antenna up the outside of your building or on the roof to increase your reception strength.

Weapons, Handgun and Shotgun
Let’s go back to the subject of weapons, specifically guns. In many locations, even if you can’t get a permit to carry a concealed handgun, you can still buy a firearm and keep it in your home.

For an urban environment with limited sight distances, a handgun is probably your best bet, since it’s small, light, and you can carry (and find) a lot of ammo. A shotgun would also be a good option. You can usually find a decent one for around $200. Don’t forget to stock up with a couple of hundred rounds of ammunition for each weapon, and practice regularly.

Weapons, Tactical Tomahawk
In addition to a firearm, a tactical tomahawk is also a good choice of weapon for an urban environment. They can be used to defend, chop wood, break through walls, and, with the right model, pry things open. Less-expensive alternatives are also available.

Body Armor and Ballistic Helmet
It’s not cheap, but consider investing in some body armor and a ballistic helmet. There are a ton of firearms already in most urban areas, and it could save your life once bullets start flying.

Night Vision
A city with no power and no lights will be extremely dark at night, and that’s probably the best time for you to go out if you need to dump trash, get water from the river, et cetera. Since using a flashlight will essentially make you a target, you should consider getting a night vision device. They’re also not cheap. A low end infrared unit, like the Bushnell Equinox Z, will cost around $200. Military-style night vision goggles can run in the thousands of dollars, and they all require some kind of battery to operate. However, it can make the difference between seeing a threat and being taken by surprise.

Adjusting to Natural Night Vision
If you need to go out at night and don’t have a night vision device, turn off any lights in your apartment well before you go out to allow your eyes to adjust. It takes your eyes around 10 minutes to partially adjust for night vision, 30-45 minutes for 80% adaption, and several hours for full night adaption.

Vary Routine
If you do need to go out occasionally, vary your routine. Stagger the times and routes you take to reduce the chance of someone learning your pattern and planning an ambush.

Secure Access to Your Floor
Secure access to your floor by chaining or pinning the emergency stairway exit doors, blocking the main stairs with furniture or booby traps, and “locking” elevator doors with a couple of screws and some wire to keep someone from prying them open from inside the shaft. Blocking the main first floor entrance could also help. However, since someone can usually get into a first-floor apartment via a window, it’s probably not that useful.

Dealing with the Environment
No matter where you live, you’ll eventually have to deal with Mother Nature. If it’s summer time and you don’t have electricity, you’ll have to figure out how to stay cool. If it’s winter, you’ll have to get warm. You may also have to deal with smoke, dust, odors, et cetera. Below, you will find some ideas.

  • Put up natural fabric curtains (cotton or linen) and put the bottoms into a container of water. If there’s any breeze coming through the curtains, the water will wick up and evaporate, which will help cool your apartment down.
  • Stock some evaporative cooling towels.
  • Use room darkening drapes, dark plastic, or even aluminum foil over the windows to keep the sun from heating up your apartment.
  • Consider sleeping in a hammock. It allows cooling evaporation around your entire body at night. Make sure you have a solid way to hang it up.
  • Leave windows open at night (without turning any lights on or making any noise) to cool down, and close them during the day.
  • Minimize your activity during the hottest parts of the day.
  • Stock up on and mix electrolyte hydration powder into your drinking water to replace what your body sweats out.
  • Stock up on blankets. You can frequently find inexpensive fleece ones on sale for a few dollars at Walmart or your local drug store, or check out second-hand shops.
  • It’s a lot easier to warm a smaller space, so try to limit yourself to a single small room, like your bedroom. Tape plastic sheeting over any windows to add another insulating air space. Cover windows, doors, and exterior walls with blankets to add even more insulation. Don’t forget that if your apartment gets below freezing, your water supply may freeze. So keep as much of it in your warmer living space as possible.
  • Your alcohol stove or some candles can be burned for short periods to add some warmth. Just be careful about asphyxiation.
  • Those shiny survival blankets actually do a good job of reflecting heat back to your body. Get a decent one that will last more than one or two uses.
  • Consider using a cold-weather mummy-style sleeping bag instead of regular bed covers.
  • Due to the potential downsides, I’m hesitant to include a small wood-burning stove, but it’s an option. You can make an inexpensive one yourself out of an old military ammo can. Just search the web for “ammo can stove”. You’ll find a lot of articles on how to do it. Just keep some things in mind:
    • You’ll need to vent it outside, so you’ll have to drill a hole through a wall or a window cover for the hot exhaust pipe. Ensure it doesn’t come into contact with anything flammable, too.
    • Unless all the components of the stove are well-sealed, you run the risk of asphyxiation from leaking gasses when using it in an enclosed space. The stove also needs oxygen to burn, and it will draw it in from your room, so make sure your room isn’t completely airtight.
    • Finding wood to burn may be difficult but not impossible. Wooden pallets in the back of stores, lumber at construction sites, furniture, and trees are all potential sources. Make sure you stock a small folding saw, if you choose to do this.
    • Wood smoke can be smelled for miles away in the cold winter air, so it will draw people towards your location. On the other hand, if there are any other people alive, they’ll probably be burning stuff to stay warm too.
    • The risk of something catching fire is pretty high. You’ll need to keep a fire extinguisher or a bucket of sand close by.
  • If you live in a city that gets lots of snow, consider taking up snowshoeing as a hobby. It’s great for fitness and will help you get around once the snow clearing services stop.
If there’s smoke or dust in the air but you need to have your windows open, cover them with some cloth to act as a filter. If you’re concerned about breathing contaminated air due to a gas or biological attack, consider building and storing an air filter fan. You’ll need AC power for this to work, so either your power has to be on or you could use a battery power station to run it for a few hours. You’ll also need to store plenty of sheet plastic and duct tape to seal your apartment off.

While not absolutely critical, the ability to charge and use small, powered devices (like a security camera) can make survival in an urban apartment a lot more viable. A small tablet loaded with books, movies, and games can help keep you sane, and a portable solar charger isn’t that expensive. You can find a wide variety of rechargeable batteries that you can charge with the solar panel, or you can charge up a USB battery bank and use that to charge your other devices. There are also various types of collapsible solar-charged lanterns available that can run for hours on a single charge. Check out the MPOWERD Luci and Solight Solarpuff, for some examples. If you do get a scanner radio, make sure you also have the ability to recharge it or its batteries from a USB power source.

You could also buy a small generator. But keep in mind that they’re noisy and have to be run in a well-ventilated space (preferably outdoors). Additionally, gas and oil storage in an urban environment is can be difficult, although there will probably be a lot of cars around that you can siphon gas from.

Mental Health
Mental health may be a challenge. Staying sane during and after a disaster may be more difficult than staying physically healthy, especially if you’re alone. The stress of having your normal world turned upside down can be debilitating, and having to adjust to a completely new and dangerous reality (even temporarily) may be too much for some people. Note that up to this point I’ve been focusing mostly on survival for a single person. If you want to include someone else, like family, a friend, a roommate, or a significant other in your preparations, having another person to interact with can ease your mental burden. Just be aware that after a few weeks cooped up together in a small apartment, your attitudes towards each other may change. Additionally, you’ll need to stock significantly more supplies to support them. My general attitude is that if a person materially contributes to your preparation activities then they should be allowed to benefit from them.

Staying Mentally Healthy
Here are some suggestions for staying mentally healthy:

  • Develop and follow a schedule for your daily indoor activities. This can provide some needed structure.
  • Since physical and mental health are tightly intertwined, you should develop and follow a regular exercise routine. Tai Chi is a good art to practice, since it helps with physical and mental health as well as self defense. Avoid high-energy and high-impact activities, since these will burn a lot of calories and tend to make a lot of noise.
  • Stock a digital tablet and load it up with eBooks. There are tons of free eBooks available on the Internet. Just search for “free ebooks”. Reading can be very relaxing, and it will help fill your time productively. You can even find a daily-updated list of free survival-related eBooks on Amazon here. Just remember that your eBooks have to be stored locally on your tablet, storage card, or a USB drive. They won’t do you any good, after a disaster, if they’re stored on Amazon’s cloud.
  • Pick up a hobby, like wood carving or drawing. Don’t forget to stock up on supplies.
  • Learn and practice meditation.
  • Read the Bible.
Muita huomionarvoisia asioita.

Other Equipment and Supplies
There are a few other types of equipment and supplies that you should consider stocking as part of your urban preparations:

Medical supplies
Stock up on medical supplies, such as bandages, gauze, medications, antibiotic ointments and antibiotics, along with books and training on how to use them. Note that medications will probably last a lot longer than the expiration date on the bottle indicates. There are a lot of good sources of information on medical preparations that can provide more detail. A common post-disaster issue will probably be diarrhea due to germs in the water and modified diets, so make sure to include a good supply of anti-diarrheal medications.

Everyone should have a good basic tool kit, since you never know when you’ll need to fix something even in normal times. I’d also highly recommend also owning a cordless drill driver and a spare battery, which will make putting up your security preps (and a million other tasks) a lot easier.

Duct Tape
Duct tape is the universal repair medium. It is useful for lots of other things, too.

WD-40 is useful for quieting squeaky hinges. It’s helpful to loosen bolts and for over 2000 other things.

Trash Bags
Have plenty of trash bags stored. They are useful for carrying, covering, and wearing.

Plastic Sheeting (clear and black)
Plastic sheeting has many uses. It’s great for covering up windows, making a rainwater collector, et cetera.

Cord, line, and wire are also useful for repairing, carrying, and tying things up. Most preppers tend to prefer paracord, but any decent and reasonably strong line will do. You should also add some steel wire for making stronger repairs.

Aluminum Foil
Aluminum foil is another item with hundreds of uses. Stock the heavy-duty type, since it’s stronger and will last longer.

Sewing Kit
A sewing kit will come in handy when you inevitably tear your clothes. However, duct tape may work also.

I’ve talked about a lot of different equipment and supplies that you should consider for your preparations. But you’ll need to find somewhere to store it all in your apartment. Anyone who has ever lived in an apartment or dorm room knows that storage space is at a premium, so you’ll need to get creative. Here are some options:

Under Your Bed
A standard full-size bed is 54” x 74”. With this space, you can get around 28 cu. ft. of storage for every 12” of vertical height underneath the bed. The least expensive and easiest way to do this is with some bed risers, or you can go crazy with a lot of other options.

Top of Closet
Even if your closet has an upper shelf, there’s probably a foot or two of space from the ceiling down that doesn’t get used. Add another shelf for additional storage.

Bottom of Closet
If you store things like shoes on the floor of your closet, you can add a platform and use the space under it to store more preps.

Inside Furniture
There’s usually a lot of empty space inside and below furniture that you can fill with stuff. You can also make your own storage furniture. You can do something as simple as stacking a couple of storage bins and covering them with a table cloth to make a nightstand or display table. It’s also possible to build a simple “library table” behind your couch with a few boards and some stain, and store items under it.

Storage Locker
Some apartments provide a storage locker that you can use to store boxes and other large items. Just make sure you don’t store anything too valuable in them. Also, get your supplies into your apartment as soon as possible after a disaster. Since many of them are made of simple chain-link fencing and everyone can see what you’re storing, you should consider putting weather-tight storage bins or water containers inside of big cardboard boxes and write innocuous labels on them like “clothes”, “bedding”, or “books”.

Tiny Houses
Since the tiny house movement has taken off, people have come up with tons of useful and unique ways to expand their storage. Just search for “tiny house storage” on the web for hundreds of ideas.

Maintain Storage Plan
Put together and maintain a storage plan of where all of your preps are and when you need to inspect, change, or rotate them.

A cache is a container with survival supplies stored or buried at some location removed from your apartment. This is meant to supply you in the event you can’t get to or have to flee your primary location. I’m undecided over the idea of depending on caches in an urban environment, since there are very few places in cities that don’t get poked, examined, or dug up on a regular basis. If you have a location that you’re confident would be safe to use for a cache prior to a disaster, then by all means set one up, but keep it simple and stock it with supplies and items that you can afford to replace.

An alternative would be to keep the container and supplies in your apartment and wait until after a disaster to move it to your backup location; the downside of this approach is that you won’t have the cache if the initial disaster destroys your apartment.

Self-Storage Units or Lockers
You can usually rent self-storage units or storage lockers in most urban areas. Be careful if you do; they’re likely to be targeted for looting soon after a major disaster. Pick one close to your apartment that has some degree of climate control, and empty it out as soon as possible after getting home in a disaster. Don’t store more prep supplies than you can carry in one or two trips, and make sure everything is packed up and ready to carry.

Stored in a Typical Apartment
To give you an example of what you can store in a typical apartment, a #10 can of FD food is 6¼” in diameter and 7” high. If you have at least 7” of height available under your full-sized bed, you can store 88 cans of food under there. A 3.5 gallon WaterBrick is 9″ W x 18″ L x 6 ½” H, so you could fit 24 of those under that same bed for a total of 84 gallons of water (but don’t do that, since it would weigh around 700 pounds!). If you can get 14” of clearance under your bed, you could fit a mix of double-stacked #10 cans, water storage, and plastic bins that would probably cover a big chunk of your prepping needs.

Another good example is a 7” wide library table behind your couch. For a typical small couch (that’s 35” high and 6’ long), you could stack about 55 #10 cans of food behind it.

You should also consider storage requirements for electronics in the event of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) disaster. While full protection from all possible types and strengths of EMP probably isn’t practical for an urban dweller, you should take steps to provide your electronics with at least some basic protection. An EMP box made from an ammo can can hold a tablet, batteries, battery charger, security camera, and a few other items, and you can carry your handheld scanner radio in an EMP bag.

Planning and Implementation
I’ve covered a lot of different skills, equipment, and supplies. You may be wondering how to get started and what you should focus on. Start by making a list of the possible types of disasters you think could impact you and the urban environment you live in. The list should include:

  • Type (blizzard, earthquake, hurricane, epidemic, super volcano, EMP/CME, et cetera)
  • Impact scope (local, regional, national, or world)
  • Immediate impact(s) (food, water, electricity, health, et cetera)
  • Duration of impact
  • Secondary impact(s) over time (riots, food, water, societal breakdown, et cetera)
  • Probability of occurrence
  • Required preparations (water, food, medical, heat, security, et cetera)
List What You’ll Need
Once you have a handle on what you believe are the most likely scenarios, make a list of what you’ll need to be prepared for them. Adjust your lifestyle as necessary. Take the appropriate training, and start acquiring and storing the necessary equipment and supplies. For the cost of a couple of beers ($10-$20) per week, you can put together a pretty extensive set of preparations in a year. And, by investing a few hours a week, you can gain the skills and capabilities you’ll need to help you survive.

Being prepared for a disaster in an urban setting tends to be different than preparing to survive out in the wilderness, but with some basic planning, skills, and supplies it can be accomplished to a certain degree. As I’ve mentioned several times, unless 99% of the population disappears overnight, I don’t believe that long-term survival is a viable option in an urban environment. However, you should still be as prepared as you’re comfortable being. What events and durations to prepare for is entirely up to you. Do some research and soul-searching to figure out what makes sense, and be sure you can live with your decisions.
Enemmän tutkielma kuin suora ohje selviytymiseen.

Maslow’s Hierarchy details the steps a person needs to achieve to be able to function at a level of success.

Food and Water

The first step is ensuring a supply of food and water. Any newbie to prepping is at least aware of this in the basic sense. But how much food and how much water is necessary? Where do you put it? How do you keep the food usable and the water available and potable?

Twenty-Five Year Food Buckets

I started out, as I’m sure many new to prepping do, buying 25-year food buckets. I’m not saying that isn’t a good idea, but I began scrutinizing what was actually in those buckets. Not only does everything require some amount of water, but a lot of those buckets are full of powder to make drinks. So, I changed tactics and began just ordering the meat buckets. Unfortunately, I bought buckets that had two to three times as much rice as there was meat. Again, I began doing some research on canned foods and was surprised how many cans of meat and bags of rice I could buy for a fraction of the cost of one 25-year bucket.

Bagged Rice, Canned Meat and More for Fraction of Price of Survival Food Bucket

Instead, I bought bagged rice. Then, I placed each one in a thick vacuum bag and sealed them with my vacuum sealer. I did the same for bags of beans, cereal (which can be eaten without milk), and other dried goods. Canned meats with a minimum two-year expiration date were purchased. I can rotate those out and replace them up to the time buying food is no longer an option. The same principle was applied to canned fruit and vegetables. I acquired all of this for a fraction of the price of a survival food bucket. An added bonus is that canned foods do not require water for cooking. In fact, all canned fruit, vegetables, stews, et cetera can be eaten straight from the can, if necessary.

Vacuum-Sealed Packages of Heirloom Seeds

I also bought vacuum-sealed packages of heirloom seeds to keep a garden going. Not knowing if our dirt would be usable, due to possible radiation exposure, I have stockpiled several bags of potting soil. My current garden is set up in an enclosure that can be quickly transformed into a hot-house for winter growing.


For water, I trolled every prepping website I could find. Then, I put all their information to work for me.

Phase 1

Phase 1 involved me buying 33-gallon plastic garbage cans. I cleaned each one with Clorox, inside and out, and filled them from my water hose. Some have been secured inside a closed room, and some are staggered around the property and camouflaged.

Phase 2

Phase 2 took about six months to complete. During this time, I began buying cases of water and storing them throughout my house.

Phase 3

Phase 3 is ongoing, as every time I empty any plastic container, I clean it out and fill it with water. This includes milk containers, soda bottles, and any container that has a lid I can secure tightly. I have treated all but the purchased cases of water with bleach, as I found measurements for on the FDA website.

Phase 4

Phase 4 will be completed as needed and involves water collection. For water collection, I purchased two of those garden wagons. (They are those that some people load with fishing gear and take to the pier– the wagons with the big wheels.) Two of those 33-gallon plastic garbage cans can fit on each wagon. I can roll out wagon one and place it under a rain-spout location. There is a hole in the can that will be directly under the spout, about two inches from the top. I placed aquarium tubing in the hole and sealed it on both sides.

This tube then goes into a hole in the second can, about 2 inches from the bottom, also sealed on both sides. When the first can fills up, it will then begin filling the second can. That’s 66 gallons of water I can filter for drinking or cooking, use for the garden, use to wash clothes, or use to bathe in.

The wagon is crucial as I discovered that I couldn’t budge a filled 33 gallon can. Once the cans are filled, I can simply pull the wagon into a secure area and have wagon number 2, with its two tube-connected 33-gallon cans ready to put into place during the next rain.

Shelter, Safety

The second rung of the Hierarchy is shelter. Most preppers already have a shelter or bug out plan. This second rung plays hand-in-hand with rung number 3– safety.

Solar Lights

Because I have a variety of solar lights, I have created black-out covers for all my windows. There is no need for anyone to know I have lights, if they don’t. I have also stock-piled a good reserve of the batteries my solar lights use, as those batteries don’t last forever. I have tested solar lights in the house and discovered they last between five and six hours. And, they can be placed in flower vases around a room to provide a good bit of light.

Weapons and Knowledge About What Works in Your Area

I won’t go into guns, knives, swords, et cetera, as there are a myriad number of prepper sites that already cover that information on weapons. Sometimes, safety is having knowledge about what works in your area, who your neighbors are, and how well prepared you are.

Medical Closet

So, in addition to food and water, I have slowly accumulated a well-stocked medical closet. My research clued me into fish antibiotics that are actually real amoxicillin and other real medicines. I took the amoxicillin when I had an infection, following the normal 10-day dosage. (I am not allergic to penicillin.) There were no side effects, and my infection cleared up.

I have also stocked the medical closet with a wide variety of vitamin supplements, nasal medications, medicinal teas, homeopathic herbs and oils, cough medicines, bandages of all types and sizes, suture kits, alcohol, gallons of hand sanitizer, hydrogen peroxide, cough drops, and a variety of things to treat the wide variety of ailments and injuries that could occur. I have also gathered up books on EMS training and military medical training. Read through these often to make sure you can respond if necessary.


The fourth rung on the hierarchy is self-esteem. This one is a little tougher, if you have not prepared yourself, your home, or your family for the impossibly possible. It is imperative that tough conversations take place with all family members. People who are prepared in a variety of ways, feel more confident taking on challenges because it isn’t the first time they’ve encountered the idea. Prepping is more than food and water; it is a mind-set, a self-assurance that we can handle whatever comes our way. More than one family member needs to know where things are and how to utilize all supplies that have been gathered.


The fifth and final rung is self-actualization. This could be translated into a more common phrase, such as “git er done” or “just do it”. Self-actualization means, I have prepared, my mind is clear, I have a plan, so let’s move forward.

My first phase of self-actualization was to realize I needed to put a binder together and use dividers to keep copies of all the information I was gathering. I have a section on making bread without yeast, a section on food and water preservation, a medical section, a gardening section, et cetera. The Internet won’t be there, so I need to be able to put my hands on all the information I might need without depending on Google. I printed out articles, diagrams, pictures, and any type of document that might benefit me in a survival scenario.

All Four Lower Runs Must Be Achieved For Fifth Run To Become Reality

The premise of Maslow’s Hierarchy is that all of the four lower rungs must be achieved in order for the fifth rung to become a reality. We are living in a world where no less than four major players would like to take America out. How they may go about doing that is fodder for round-table discussions.

Shortening Window of Opportunity

The reality is that we have a shortening window of opportunity to secure food and water, some type of shelter and safety, and feel confident in what we’ve done to be ready, so we can handle whatever may come our way.
As Americans, we live in a time of relative peace and prosperity and are blessed to enjoy the most advanced healthcare system in history. Yet, as good as we have things now, we do not know what the future may bring. How can we find better health now, prepare for medical emergencies we may encounter in daily events, and also prepare for an uncertain future where medical resources may be limited or completely absent? The latter is commonly called a When The Schumer Hits The Fan (WTSHTF) scenario. Here are a few suggestions from a practicing physician:

Preventative Health:

Prevention is superior to treating diseases or injuries after they occur.

  • Immunize against preventable diseases. (This may be a controversial topic to some readers, but vaccines dosave lives from many preventable, deadly diseases.)
    • Communicable diseases will become more prevalent in a WTSHTF situation simply due to lack of sanitation, medical care, and antibiotics/antivirals.
    • These problems will be exponentially magnified if a pandemic is a major component of a TEOTWAWKI scenario.
    • Young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and the immunocompromised (those whose immune systems are weakened due to other diseases) are especially vulnerable to all communicable diseases and should especially be immunized according to recommendations.
    • The CDC publishes a list of recommended immunizations by age, which serves as a good reference for consideration.

  • Diseases which are preventable by immunization and “herd immunity” (such as measles and whooping cough) are especially prevalent when large groups of prisoners, refugees, and illegal immigrants…many of whom are unvaccinated…are concentrated. In a WTSHTF scenario, the likelihood of ordinary law-abiding citizens becoming refugees (or being falsely incarcerated as political prisoners) is greatly increased. Being immunized ahead of time may thwart a preventable death from a multitude of diseases.

  • Take advantage of the modern preventative care options you have while they exist:
    • Visit your Primary Care Physician regularly for a general physical exam to screen for diseases.
      • Ladies, this includes screening for breast and cervical cancer; Men, this includes prostate cancer.
      • Yes, I realize everyone dreads the thought of a colonoscopy, but I’ve witnessed them save many lives throughout my career. Most colon polyps can be found early enough with scheduled colonoscopies that they can be removed through the scope before they become life-threatening cancers. Most caught in this stage do not require any surgery other than the removal via the scope, with the patient returning home within a couple of hours. (I frequently perform the anesthesia for these procedures, and they are not painful. Most patients say the 1 day of diarrhea from the bowel prep was the worst part of the entire ordeal. This seems like a small price to pay to avoid a life-changing cancer.)
    • When working with your PCP, you should optimize your management of any chronic diseases (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.) and prevent them from taking as many of the long-term effects on your body.

Include a visit to your Eye Doctor and Dentist in your preparations:

  • Address your eyes and teeth while you can.
    • Repair any dental issues. Pain may be enough reason to wish you had seen the dentist before a TEOTWAWKI event, but a cavity that grows out of control into a dental abscess may be fatal. Good oral health cannot be overrated.
    • Be sure to stockpile plenty of toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, and mouthwash in your preps. Oral care may prevent life-threatening issues in a world where dentists may be scarce.
    • It’s hard to shoot straight if you can’t see, so have your vision checked! Get a backup spare pair of glasses, as well as a large supply of contact lenses if you prefer contacts. (If you wear contacts, always make sure you still have 1-2 pairs of eyeglasses, with current prescription lenses, for when your contact lens supply runs out in a prolonged WTSHTF scenario.)
    • If you are a contact lens wearer, make sure to stock adequate cleaning supplies for the supply of contacts you cache. You can ill-afford an eye infection from a dirty contact lens at a time when medical care will be limited or non-existent.
    • LASIK eye surgery has become incredibly safe and common in the past two decades. It may be a very good investment prior to a WTSHTF moment (imagine the tactical advantage you might have with 20/20 post-LASIK vision over fumbling around to look for glasses or placing contact lenses in the event of a 3:00 am intrusion into your house). LASIK also enhances your lifestyle even if we never experience a WTSHTF event for similar reasons (imagine not needing glasses or contacts, especially in the cold or with watersports). Over the long-term, the return-on-investment of not purchasing contacts and glasses is recouped as well.
Lifestyle Modification:

  • Maintain your health.
    • Develop healthier eating habits (less processed/carbohydrate-laden items), and portion control.
    • Get regular physical exercise. While intense cardio or lifting weights at the gym are both great ideas, something as simple as getting out for a 2 mile walk rather than watching TV can be beneficial to your health.
    • Quit smoking. Your bugout bag won’t have much room for bullets and food if you have to fill it with an oxygen tank and a nebulizer. Withdrawal is hard enough now with the aid of nicotine gum, patches or medications like Chantix…imagine how tough quitting cold turkey will be after a major catastrophe in the world has just occurred.
    • Don’t drink in excess. Again, withdrawal at a time of major social collapse will be unimaginably difficult. Learn to limit your alcohol intake to a moderate level.
    • Illicit drugs. This should go without being said…drugs are a bad idea now, and an even worse idea when you cannot afford dulled senses, poor judgement, or withdrawal.
Obtain a supply of Extra Medications:

  • Over-the-Counter Medications: Purchase a generous stockpile of over-the-counter medications which you may need. Many of these may be purchased inexpensively at Costco or Sam’s Club. The generic brands are just as effective as the name brands, at a fraction of the cost…especially when purchased in bulk quantities.
    • Pain relievers such as Tylenol, Motrin, Aleve.
    • Hydrocortisone cream for rashes and poison ivy.
    • Antifungal cream (such as Lotrimin or Lamisil) for athlete’s foot, jock itch, or ringworm
    • Medication for reflux (ie- omeprazole), diarrhea (ie- Imodium), and constipation (ie- Dulcolax)
  • Multi-Vitamins: These do not keep terribly long, even when sealed. I recommend only purchasing one year’s worth for each family member at maximum, then constantly rotate on a first-in-first-out (FIFO) basis. They are beneficial supplements to “meals” when food is scarce or food pyramids cannot be followed.
  • Prescription Medications:
    • If you have an established, cordial relationship with your PCP, many would be receptive to the discussion of prescribing extra months’ worth of certain chronic medications to you, especially if they have your dosages on the medications stabilized and aren’t making frequent adjustments to them.
      • I recommend opening this discussion with them by being honest, yet not sounding extremist (you don’t want to turn off your doctor if he/she doesn’t share your same worldview).
      • You might consider a conversation such as: “Dr. X, I am concerned about the possibility we could have a natural disaster or other event that could cut me off from medications for several weeks to months before supply chains are re-established. Would you be comfortable writing me a prescription for my chronic medications for X, Y, Y (e.g.- blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes)?
      • Be extremely careful not to ask for, or in any other way pressure, your PCP to prescribe any controlled substances such as opioid narcotics, benzodiazepines, or ADHD/weight loss medications. The DEA and many states have developed extremely aggressive rules regarding prescribing limits for each of these in response to the nationwide opioid epidemic. These “controlled” or “scheduled” prescriptions are now tracked in databases at pharmacies (each state has a different system). A prescriber risks losing his/her medical and prescriptive license (and ability to earn a living) for any prescription outside of these parameters. As a physician myself, PLEASE DO NOT ASK for us to prescribe any of these, as we will have to tell you “no,” and many physicians would then become uncomfortable with even prescribing extra months’ worth of non-controlled, non-narcotic medication at that point in the conversation.
      • If you suffer from recurrent infections that are well-documented, such as frequent UTI or strep throat, you may also consider requesting a prescription for the specific antibiotics you take for these conditions.
      • Please keep in mind that whether to prescribe any or all of your existing medications is solely the prerogative of the prescriber. They are under no obligation to do so. Therefore, I would encourage you to strike a very honest, cooperative, conciliatory tone with them before even broaching the conversation.
      • Also, seeing a patient who is “meeting the doctor halfway” in their health (e.g.- following the recommendations the PCP has already made for weight loss, lifestyle modification, smoking cessation, or better management of chronic diseases etc.) will demonstrate you are more worthy of their time and effort to write the extra prescriptions. Your preparedness request is much more believable when you show you’re making the effort to want to live a long period of time by taking care of yourself.
      • As more and more PCP’s are forced to convert to electronic medical records, prescribing medications with extra refills outside of your normal monthly allotment (even the non-controlled medications) may become more difficult. It would behoove you to begin forging this relationship with them now on this topic.
      • I would also suggest that you “catch more flies with honey” in this situation. If your physician does you a favor to write these Rx (this is typically uncompensated extra work at an office visit), then consider taking them a “thank you” gift card to a place they might enjoy (perhaps a $25 coffee shop gift card if you don’t know them well enough to guide your token of appreciation towards another gift). You can leave it in a sealed envelope with their front office staff and ask them to hand it to your physician when he/she is available. A very brief note thanking them for going the extra mile to write these medications will go a long way towards making a favorable impression with them. They will likely remember this, and it may facilitate future conversations about other long-term medications.
    • If you have a physician/PA/NP or dentist in your preparedness group, they may be able to legally acquire some life-saving medications in bulk, such as large doses of common antibiotics to help the group stockpile (some wholesaler pharmaceutical distributors will sell to licensed prescribers). Many of these medications remain effective for years after their stated shelf-lives. Please do not pressure these medical group members if they are uncomfortable doing so, as their license to practice/ability to earn a living is on the line, and the laws vary by state regarding this practice of bulk purchasing of antibiotics. Whatever you do, ASBSOLUTELY DO NOT pressure them to stockpile or prescribe any narcotics or other controlled substance against current legal guidance by the DEA and the state they practice medicine in!!! Their medical skills will be of little use to your preparedness group if they are locked up in jail WTSHTF.
    • Many people have suggested livestock or fish antibiotics. My understanding is that these are produced in many of the same factories as human medications are, however I cannot comment from a professional standpoint that these are as safe or effective for human consumption. I would not recommend using them in today’s world just to avoid an office visit, but I would instead save them only for a WTSHTF scenario when they are the only option.
    • There are several resources to guide treating infections but one of the easiest to understand is the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association Antibiotic Guide.
Stockpile Medical Supplies:

  • Basic Household First Aid Kits: These are essential for treating the very minor/nuisance injuries one encounters in their daily lives. This is not as comprehensive as any prepper should have on hand, but its low cost is a starter towards having some medical supplies on hand. Many of the items could prevent worse problems, such as Neosporin preventing a life-threatening infection in a TEOTWAWKI situation. (These kits can be obtained at virtually any retailer for under $20.)
  • More Comprehensive First Aid Kits: Useful for someone with slightly more advanced medical training than the non-medical lay person. These can be purchased online (from prepper or EMS websites, Amazon, or by assembling your own kit from a “shopping list”)
  • IFAK (“Individual First Aid Kit”):
    • Commonly used in military and tactical EMS applications. They are usually packaged in a MOLLE style pouch that can attach to a tactical bag.
    • There are many variances, but all are designed to be used in an austere environment and provide life-saving, but often times not definitive, care.
    • At a minimum, these kits need: tourniquets (at least 2), CPR mask, gloves, Kwik-Clot gauze, and chest decompression needles (at least 2).
    • Every prepper (each member of the family/group) should own his/her own kit, keep it stocked, and know how to use it. My wife and I keep a kit in each vehicle, since we believe that most preparedness skills will be far more likely needed at an “everyday” emergency, than the possibility there will be a total breakdown of our medical system with care unavailable in a WTSHTF. Each member who carries their kit in a vehicle should also maintain a duplicate IFAK for their plate carrier/bug out bag (BOB) or remember to get the IFAK attached to their BOB if TEOTWAWKI occurs.
  • Advanced/Specialized Medical Supplies:
    • This can range from sutures for wound management, surgical instruments, diagnostic tests, casting/splinting supplies, to antibiotics, etc.
    • Most of these purchases should depend on the level of training of someone in the preparedness group, or someone who you reasonably anticipate at your bugout location. (For instance, if your brother-in-law was likeminded and also happens to be a board-certified Emergency Physician, but lived 3 states away, you might want to stock up on more pre-positioned advanced medical supplies, if your in-laws’ plan was to bug out to your retreat in a TEOTWAWKI situation. He might even have access to antibiotics and other live-saving medication to add to the larder.)
    • While I cannot legally advocate for anyone to practice medicine above his/her current scope of certification/licensure, I can also say that in a true WTSHTF situation there will be no licensing boards to restrain your actions. At that time, it may be an “every man for himself” world, and your family or friends’ lives may depend on your actions. So, by all means, read/attend seminars/watch YouTube videos on skills that may be useful in such a world. Just remember that you can do harm to a loved one if you do not know what you’re doing, so I would encourage you to learn, train, and continually practice.
    • I highly suggest learning about wound management (including disinfection/ irrigation and debridement/ suturing) and having an abundance of supplies on hand to attend to such wounds. These will be frequently seen in a TEOTWAWKI scenario.
  • CPR Equipment and an AED:
    • CPR equipment (Ambu bag/mask, oral or nasal airway, or pocket CPR shield) is useful so that the rescuer is not exposed to body fluids on the patient they are rescuing.
    • AED (automated external defibrillator): AED’s are now found in many public places and can also be purchased for private residences or small businesses. This is a worthwhile skill to have in the event that anyone around you experiences a cardiac arrest.
    • An AED is not a cheap investment (they cost close to $1,000) but early defibrillation saves many more lives than just doing chest compressions, so the question might be, how much would you pay to have an AED in your hand if your loved one just collapsed with a cardiac arrest, and you have 4-6 minutes to save their life?
    • The more remote you live from EMS services and/or the more that members of your family or preparedness group have a history of cardiac issues/risk factors, the more I would recommend emphasizing an AED purchase as part of your preps.

Train Up, Practice Up:

  • Basic medical preparedness should be a mission of everyone in the group. No matter whether you are in a medical profession or not, there is a high statistical probability that you will encounter a medical emergency situation at some point in your life. It is also likely that this emergency will involve a family member, friend, or co-worker.
  • There are many free or low-cost training opportunities available, and these are offered throughout the U.S. on a regular basis. The time commitment is often minimal, usually 1-2 nights total for CPR or Stop the Bleed.
  • I strongly encourage everyone, whether in a medical profession or not, to at a minimum become trained in two things: CPR and Stop the Bleed.

  • Stop the Bleed (aka- “Bleeding Control” or “B-CON”):
    • This course covers tourniquet application, packing of wounds, and other techniques useful in everyday life as well as prepping. It would be useful in the event of gunshot or knife wounds, chainsaw accidents, or motor vehicle accidents.
      • Again, the more rural you live, the more useful this skill becomes in everyday life as you may be the first person that happens upon such an injury long before EMS arrives, and stopping the bleeding can save a life.
      • The curriculum was developed by the American College of Surgeons in response to recent mass casualty/active shooter incidents where trained bystanders would have been able to save lives from early bleeding control.
      • https://www.bleedingcontrol.org

  • First Aid Course: Red Cross offers a First Aid course for the layperson. It would be a good basic course for everyone in your group to attend as well if they are not in the medical profession. (https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class)

  • Emergency Medical courses:
    • There are multiple courses available to those who wish to further their medical knowledge in the EMS arena. They are, in increasing order of training/hours required: (https://www.nremt.org/rwd/public/)
      • EMR (Emergency Medical Responder): The equivalent of a “First Responder” course. Many volunteer firefighters and police officers are certified in this as they are tasked with rendering basic life-saving maneuvers until more definitive EMS help can arrive.
      • EMT-B (Emergency Medical Technician-Basic; aka- “EMT”): This course usually can be completed in a few months by going a few hours/week. It is a mix of classroom and hands-on skill stations, and also requires observation shifts with both a Fire/EMS service and in an Emergency Department at a hospital. It would be a useful skill for at least 1-2 members of your group to have.
      • EMT-A (Emergency Medical Technician-Advanced): This course provides additional training (especially hands-on) to the EMT-B skills set. It allows EMT-A’s to render a broader range of therapies under many EMS systems’ protocols. (https://survivalblog.com/advanced-emt-preppers-r-s/)
      • EMT-P (Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic; aka- “Paramedic” or “Medic”): This is a large time commitment and often only undertaken by those in the EMS/Fire/Hospital professions. It will provide a graduate with a large fund of knowledge and skills, and also has rigorous CME (continual medical education) requirements. The time commitment for training and maintaining a license would be difficult without at least part time work in one of these fields. Paramedics are excellent additions to a preparedness group, if they are otherwise a good philosophical fit with the group.
    • Some state-level Emergency Medicine Agencies are providing low or no-cost EMR and EMT-B training to increase the number of laypersons with medical knowledge. This helps ease the cost burden for those who can take advantage of this opportunity and may also lead to work opportunities in the Fire/EMS field.
    • Fire I and II courses are also publicly available for those who wish to have knowledge of how to deal with fire and rescue threats. These certifications are often membership requirements of (but often paid for by) volunteer fire departments, and also hiring criteria prior to interviews at many paid firefighting positions.
  • Dental, Nursing, CST, Pharmacy, and Allied Health Professionals:
    • There are many licensed allied health professionals that can bring medical skills to your preparedness group.
    • Dentists are the experts on tooth and gum disease, which will become much more prevalent in a TEOTWAWKI scenario. They also have advanced knowledge of dental matters, with some training in medical knowledge outside the mouth as well. Most dentists perform surgical skills (the breadth of these depends on their area of practice) which could be used elsewhere in the body in an emergency, and they often have access to antibiotics.
    • Pharmacists will have knowledge of many of the medications (and possible substitutes) your group may have questions about. They may have some working knowledge of other medical topics if they have worked in a clinical setting.
    • Nurses may bring a large fund of knowledge and skills with them to the preparedness group, largely depending on their work background. Experience in Surgery, Emergency Medicine, OB, or ICU would be ideal backgrounds for preparedness group members.
    • CST’s (Certified Surgical Technologists) assist the surgeons daily in the operating room. While they do not perform the operations alone in the OR without the surgeon, they work right alongside of the surgeon, and have a knowledge of many of the key steps many basic surgeries entail. They would also be experienced at wound debridement and management, an invaluable skill in a WTSHTF situation.
    • Physical Therapists, Physical Therapy Assistants, Radiology Technicians, and Medical Technologists (who run the laboratory) all are usually CPR trained and have knowledge in their respective fields which will have some use to a group.
  • Physicians (MD and DO’s), Physician Assistants (PA-C’s), and Nurse Practitioners (NP’s):
    • These fields represent the most experienced practitioners. They are the team members who make definitive diagnoses and administer the most complex treatments to patients.
    • Work experience and background training can be widely variable, but here are some of the fields (both physicians and PA-C/NP’s) that would be MOST useful to a preparedness group:
      • Surgeon (especially Trauma, General, Orthopaedic, ENT, and OB/GYN)
      • Emergency Medicine
      • Anesthesiologist/Critical Care Intensivist
      • Hospitalist
      • Cardiologist
      • Primary Care (Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics)
    • Many of these medical professionals have sacrificed a great deal of their free time to train in their specialty, and then work the demanding hours of the job. Due to this, they may not be the best shooter or tactician in your preparedness group. They may not have as deep of knowledge of gardening or mechanical repair work as others. Do not expect them to always be able to contribute in those ways as much as others with more “hands on skills.” What they can do for your group from a medical standpoint will more than make up for these deficits, so long as they are willing to participate in group training/meetings, share in the preparedness planning, and purchase their share of supplies so they aren’t “dead weight” to the group.
  • Utilize the group members with medical knowledge to help train the others. It is fairly easy for a medical professional to become CPR or Stop the Bleed “Instructor Certified.” If they could become certified, they could officially instruct the rest of the group.
  • Often times these team members also have access to “outdated” medical supplies which would otherwise be thrown out at their jobs. (These supplies are usually perfectly good, but have hit an arbitrary manufacturer expiration date.) Obviously, this acquisition needs to be done legally, but many hospitals and EMS services will allow employees to take home outdated supplies for their own use. It may be a great way to add medical supplies to the group.