A Smart Preppers Guide to Firearms

A Smart Preppers Guide to Firearms

A Smart Preppers Guide to FirearmsAside from the crisis itself, the biggest threat to you and your family during any disaster is other humans. Friends, neighbors and strangers may be displaced from their homes and desperate for supplies to feed their own families. You simply cannot predict how people will react to a catastrophe because stress affects everyone differently. Some may turn to violence in the name of providing for their families.

The Basics

Virtually anything can be called a weapon and you can in turn use anything to defend yourself. However, when it comes to home defense you also need a deterrent. Intruders will not be impressed by you holding a lamp, but will hesitate and possibly flee if they realize you have a firearm. Just the fact that you have one can deter crime just like video surveillance cameras and even beware of dog signs can.  Read more

Posted on by Suburban Prepper in Firearms, Home Defense 18 Comments

Be Better Prepared: 12 Brilliant (And Slightly Badass) Ways to Do It

Everyone wants to be better prepared. Today we will share 12 brilliant and slightly badass ways to do it. You and your family have to be ready and prepared for all scenarios. But what happens when you are forced to evacuate for an extended period of time? You will be forced to leave with only what you can carry. A situation may arise where you will be forced to improvise. This article will help you be better prepared for when the original plans fail.

Once you determine why you are prepping, you will have a better understanding of what you have to do. Prepping is life assurance and not life insurance; you are preparing to maintain life during and after a cataclysmic event.

What is required for life after the disaster? Surviving the crisis is one thing, but surviving in the aftermath is an entirely different scenario. You have to think outside the box because there really are no rules, and to survive you have to meet the challenges before they meet you because by then it is too late. Read more

Posted on by Suburban Prepper in Evacuation, Planning, Prepping, SHTF 7 Comments

Survival Kit Ideas

Survival Kit Ideas

Have you ever wondered what exactly you need in a survival kit. In this article we will share some essential survival kit ideas with you. The survival kit or the bug-out-bag (BOB) may have evolved from the “bail-out-bag” used by military pilots. The kit was typically carried on their person so once they bailed out they had the necessary survival gear with them to survive on the ground. The term bug-out is military jargon used to describe a rapid deployment from one defensive position to another. Other names used to describe an emergency bag include “72-hour kit”, “get out of dodge bag”, “go-bag” and “grab-bag”. See 72 hour kit example here

The main purpose of the bag today is for rapid evacuation from a disaster area. The bag is kept packed and ready to go so families and individuals do not have to take the time during a crisis to pack. The supplies are usually enough for 72-hours. Typically, each member of the group or family would have his or her own bag. Each person having their own bag allows for better distribution of supplies and it ensures the survival of each member if they become separated from the group. It is recommended that each kit (bag) have identical supplies. You do not want one bag full of food and another full of water while someone else carries a shelter and fire starting materials. If one bag was lost or damage it would jeopardize the evacuation.

You may receive several answers as to why you should have at least 72-hours worth of supplies in your bag. One answer is derived from disaster relief organizations and their management that state they expect to have boots on the ground, providing help within 72-hours of any disaster. Another answer to this question is that you simply cannot carry anymore than three days supplies on your back. Water weighs 8.5lbs/3.8kg per gallon. Using the recommended one-gallon per day for each person means your 72-hours supply of water alone weighs over 25lbs/11kg. Then add food and other necessities and you have about all anyone could carry.

Survival Kit Ideas: Contents

People tend to be optimistic and convince themselves that the Red Cross or FEMA will be on the ground within three days. This may or they may not be the case, and they will always go to the hardest hit areas first, so it can be weeks in some cases before you ever see them. This means you will deplete your food and water source if you have to evacuate on foot because you simply cannot carry anymore. Where does this leave you then?

To be able to survive and take advantage of natural resources you will have to carry tools, supplies and materials that allow you to collect and purify a water source and to forage, fish and trap food. You will also need the tools to construct a shelter from what you find in your environment.



Before anything else goes in your bag make, sure you have the means to make a shelter. Have several lightweight nylon tarps, emergency thermal blankets and rain ponchos. You will need a small camp axe and/or machete/wood saw along with 550 paracord. Each item will roll up inside a nylon tarp or poncho, which can then be secured to the straps on the outside of your pack. Leave the thermal blankets in their package until ready to use because they will be much more compact this way.

Tents can be carried if you have the room for when you get to a safe haven/base camp. It is not recommended that you set up tents along your evacuation route. You can become trapped in a tent if your camp is overrun and your line of sight is restricted. The same thing applies to sleeping bags. You can be trapped in one. Carry them if you have the room for when you set up a more permanent camp.


Each person will require one gallon/four liters daily and this amount considers person hygiene to include oral care. You will need however, a way to also collect and purify water sources along your route. For hydration, only adults will need at least 2qts/liters of water daily.

ChlorineYou will need water purification tablets and it is recommended that you carry chlorine dioxide tablets because they have been proven effective against giardia and cryptosporidium, two very dangerous waterborne contaminates. The chlorine dioxide tablets do however require a four-hour wait period after treatment before you can drink the water. Iodine tablets are also a water disinfectant recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Military. Iodine typically only requires a 30-minute wait after treatment.

Filtration is important so filter any surface water source using coffee filters, sand, charcoal, cheesecloth or any clean cotton material. Filtering can remove waterborne cysts that harbor giardia and cryptosporidium. Iodine and chlorine based tablets will destroy bacteria, parasites and pathogens, but may not destroy all waterborne cysts, so it is important that you filter the cysts out. Cysts can be best described as microscopic sized seedpods or spores.

Boiling your water after it has been filtered is always the preferred choice, but you may not have the means to start a fire nor have a vessel in which to boil water, so make sure you always have water purification tablets.


Magnesium Stick

Magnesium Stick

Carry magnesium sticks, Ferro rods and waterproof matches. Always have more than one means to start a fire.

Ferro Rod

Ferro Rod

Ferro rod is not to be confused with a magnesium stick the Ferro rod is made from a manufactured material called Ferrocerium and it is capable of producing a spark at a temperature of 3,000ᵒf/1,650ᵒc. It can be used to ignite a fire just from the spark when using dry tinder.

Magnesium stick, magnesium is a mineral and while in mass form, cannot be ignited by conventional means but once scraped into particle form is highly flammable.


It is recommended you either carry military issued Meals Ready to Eat (MRE’s) or the civilian version. Each meal is self contained and will have the traditional condiments and eating utensils. You may also get coco powder, coffee, sugar and chewing gum. Each meal is approximately 1,200 calories and they can be eaten cold or submerged in hot water for heating. The packages are lightweight and three days worth can easily fit into any pack. The recommended amount is two meals per day for each adult.

Civilian version MRE average price is around 7.00USD.

Military issue MRE available on the Internet and in most military surplus stores. Average price is around 7.00USD per package, does not include shipping costs or taxes. Either version is adequate and comparable in price and nutritional value. Can be purchased individually, or by the case, which has 12 meals

Additional Items

  • Fixed bladed knife as well as a multi-tool
  • 20 to 24 gauge wire for animal snares
  • First aid supplies
  • 15 to 20 pound fishing line along with assorted hooks and tackle
  • Compass and maps of the area, state and country
  • Flashlights
  • Communication devices such as two-way radios and/or Citizens Band (CB) radios, cell phone towers may not be operational so you cannot depend on cell phones
  • Personal protection
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Gloves, bandanas, lip balm, hand sanitizer, sunglasses and hats for sun protection
  • Insect repellent, consider liquid instead of aerosol cans
  • Signal mirror

These survival kit ideas can of course be adapted for your personal preferences and you must have clothing appropriate for the seasons or any upcoming weather events you may encounter. The basics to survival are, shelter, water, fire and food. Once again, each person should have their own pack with the above listed items in them.


When to Bug Out

There is a lot of emphasis placed on bugging out and given some of the information on the Internet, people may just naturally assume they must always bug out during a disaster. Your current home is your shelter and you should not be quick to give up your shelter and supplies.

  • Leave immediately if there is a mandatory evacuation order, leave before you become stranded and cut off from emergency help
  • Move away quickly from your area if you know there has been a nuclear, chemical or biological accident or purposeful attack and/or there has been a release of airborne contaminates
  • Evacuate if there is civil unrest that includes city wide looting, rioting or violent demonstrations

Think it through carefully before you decide and stay informed by any means possible. Panicked neighbors speculating that a nuclear device detonated in the center of the city needs to be verified before you panic and flee your home. You have to remember that once you do set out, there will be thousands of others citizens on the highways and roadways. Highways, bridges and tunnels will be a disaster area in and of themselves.

Most survival experts will always go with bugging in before bugging out unless there is a clear and present danger. Sheltering in place is usually the safest.


If you Do Have to Evacuate Where Do You Go

You have to get away from other people because the biggest danger aside from the disaster itself is your fellow citizens. You want an area that has natural resources, such as water, a place to set up a shelter and wild game to include fish. Use the Internet and programs (Google Earth free version) that offer satellite imagery so you can have a spot picked out before disaster strikes. You will be able to determine population density, identify water sources and infrastructure in the area by looking at aerial/satellite maps. Look for national or state parks within a 50-mile radius. The natural resources in the parks will have been protected so you would not have any problem finding water and game and many parks have cabins and tents sites in remote areas that you may be able to use.

However, before bugging out make sure you have the skills and mindset to be able to collect water, build a shelter and forage for food in a remote area. It does you no good to leave one disaster to find yourself in another. Know what you are capable of before you flee your home because once you leave you may not be able to get back for days or even longer.

Any vehicle can be a bug out vehicle however; some have features that will make evacuation easier. Having a four-wheel drive vehicle with high ground clearance will allow you to get off road to shelter overnight. You do not want to set up camp close to roads or highways because you should avoid others if possible in the initial days of the crisis. Vehicles with trailers offer extra space for supplies and can be used as a makeshift shelter along the route.

Unless you have, the means to carry extra fuel such as in a trailer, your destination must be close enough so you can get there and then back home on one tank of gas. Fueling stations are not likely to be available during a major crisis. Do not carry fuel inside the passenger compartment of any vehicle.

Bugging out on foot is dangerous and it will conceivably take you 72-hours just to clear the danger zone. People not used to hiking for hours at a time with a pack will overestimate their abilities. The average adult human can walk about three miles per-hour under ideal conditions. You cannot walk that fast during an evacuation especially if there is more than one person in your group. You will only walk as fast as the slowest person will in your group. You may have children or older parents with you as well. It would take you between four and five days to cover 50 miles.

Consider obtaining a vehicle for bugging out if you do not currently have one.

You can carry enough supplies for several weeks in a vehicle and it can be your shelter. However, vehicles do break down and run out of fuel so always have bug out bags packed so if you do have to abandon your vehicle you can do so with little fuss.


Additional Considerations

A crisis will always bring out the best and the worst in people, so keep certain plans to yourself for your protection. The ones that did not prepare will be searching out those that did and if everyone knows how well prepared you are, you are a target. You simply do not know how neighbors and even friends will react under stress. After three or four days of limited to possibly no supplies people will turn to violence to feed themselves and family during a crisis. Stay off of everyone’s radar as much as possible.


Posted on by Suburban Prepper in BOB, Evacuation, Survival Kits 13 Comments

Critical Med Tips Preppers Forget To Mention

One thing most preppers know is that you have to wear many hats during a crisis event. Including being a medic. In a Crisis YOU are the Doctor. Are you Prepared? In this article we will cover some critical tips that preppers often forget to mention. If you are like most people living in suburbia, then you know nothing about medicine. A little bit of preparation can end up saving you or your loved one’s life. Only a small amount of research and supplies can make you and your family better prepared than 90% of most suburban families. So, enough with the side dishes, let’s get to the main course.

Medicine and Medical Supplies for Suburban Prepper Families


The information provided is for informational purpose only and is not to be considered medical advice.

Basic over the Counter Medications

You don’t need to be a doctor to get your hands on most medical supplies. I usually order the basics from amazon.com. Basic medicines everyone should have in their medicine cabinet include aspirin, to be given to someone you suspect may be having a heart attack and for pain relief. Aspirin has been known to cause stomach bleeding and aspirin should never be given to children. Have some ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve) for pain and inflammation along with acetaminophen (Tylenol). Aside from aspirin, these pain relievers essentially provide the same relief, and as with any medication they can cause stomach upset and acetaminophen has been known to cause liver damage if taken in high enough doses.

Have cough medicines along with cold, flu and allergy relief medications, as well as throat lozenges/cough drops. Pepto-Bismol tablets or liquid should be available for stomach upset. Have Tums or generic brands antacids to control stomach acid and to provide a calcium supplement.

Have eyewash that includes a flush cup in case you get contaminates in the eye. Use eye drops for everyday eye irritations.

Prescription Medications for a Crisis and/or Emergency Kits

Antibiotics do require a prescription by a medical doctor before they can be purchased in the United States. You may be able to talk to your family doctor and explain you are putting an emergency medical kit together and ask if they would, prescribe what is called a “travelers kit” or sometimes referred to as an expedition kit. This is routinely prescribed to individuals traveling overseas to prevent and treat traveler’s disease/diarrhea.

Each medication, prescription or otherwise will have an expiration date. Note the date of expiration on each package and attach the name of the medication and expiration dates on the outside of the medical kit. One glance will tell you what medications must be disposed of and replaced immediately.

Oxytetracycline tablets brand name Terramycin is used for treating infections and severe cases of diarrhea. The name brand Terramycin is no longer available in the United States. However, generic labels may be available.

Have several broad-spectrum antibiotics for bacterial infections on hand such as rocephin and Zithromax and if you live in an area where malaria may be a problem you would need antimalarial medication such as doxycycline.Medicine



Medical Supplies for Emergency Kits

• One box of sterile gloves

Cotton bandages

Alcohol wipes/individual packages of Povidone iodine swabs

Antibiotic cream

Cream to treat burns

Adhesive bandages

Eye wash


• Prescription medications such as maintenance drugs for high blood pressure, diabetes and so forth

Various pain relievers

Stomach medications (Imodium, Pepto-Bismol)

Antacid tablets or chews

Stool softener



Petroleum jelly

The above list is typically what would come with an off the shelf medical first aid kit. It is recommended that you include some additional items.

Suture kit with pre-threaded needles

• Bottle of 10% Povidone Iodine name brand Betadine which is a topical antiseptic

Compression and pressure bandages

• Splints for limbs and fingers

Sealed surgical blades

Thermal blankets

• Additional alcohol wipes

Hand sanitizer


• Additional supply of over the counter pain medications and medications for stomach upset

Surgical tape

• Temporary dental filling material along with numbing agents for relief from gum or tooth pain

The needles should be pre-threaded and would be considered disposable in most instances. There are various sized needles. Some kits may contain a numbing agent that can be applied to or injected in the area prior to suturing.

Basic First Aid

Bleeding wounds need to be treated immediately and you should only attempt to treat if professional medical help is not available. Arteries carry the blood from the heart so an arterial wound is the most severe because the blood is under pressure and will spurt or pulse from the wound and the flow must be stopped immediately. Use your hands or a compression bandage to apply pressure directly over the wound to stop blood flow. Once stemmed wrap a compression bandage tightly but not so tight, it completely restricts blood flow. A compression bandage will be heavier in size and volume than would a pressure bandage. They typically will have ties attached to the bandage to secure it around the wound. Leave the bandage in place.

Veins carry what is called venous blood, blood that flows back to the heart and it is not under as much pressure. The blood will seep rather that pulse or spurt. Use a pressure bandage and do not tighten as much as you would a compression bandage.

If you cannot control bleeding of an arterial wound as a last resort, you can apply a tourniquet three to four inches above the wound between the heart and wound. Tighten until the blood stops. Leave in place and every 20 minutes loosen for up to two minutes. This allows blood flow to the surrounding tissue otherwise, the tissue will be destroyed and gangrene can set in.

If you must leave the patient with a tourniquet in place, write the time you applied it on the person’s forehead and place a large “T” next to the time. If you are alone and applied one to yourself, leave in place and do not loosen every 20 minutes. If you pass out while it is loose, you may bleed to death.

Assume anyone that has a traumatic injury is in shock and treat for shock once the wounds have been treated. If the person is awake, lay them on their back and elevate their legs. If the person is unconscious, lay them on their sides with their head to the side to prevent choking. Cover with a blanket and do not move the individual.

Splints are needed for fractured limbs. If the bone is protruding, treat to prevent blood loss using a compression or pressure bandage. Otherwise, immobilize the limb to prevent movement that may sever a vein or artery under the skin. Swelling will occur possibly after the splint bindings are applied so loosen and tighten as needed to keep the limb immobile.


It is important that everyone maintain proper fluid levels regardless of the weather conditions. You can become dehydrated in cold weather. The vapor you see coming out of your mouth in cold temperatures are fluids evaporating from your body. Sweating in warm climates is fluid loss as well.


Use hand sanitizer before you place sterile gloves on. Handling the gloves with bacteria on your hands will transfer the bacteria to open wounds. It is important you do what you can to prevent wounds from becoming infected. Use the Betadine around the wounds before and after treatment.

Personal hygiene is important regardless of your situation and using proper sanitation procedures will help prevent the spread of disease causing bacteria, pathogens and parasites.

Survival Basics

Shelter, water, fire and food are your priorities in that order. Once you have established the life essentials then concentrate on medical if you find yourself in a survival situation. If you have an injury, you must have a shelter, water and heat from a fire. Whenever you venture into the wilderness, make sure you always have the means to construct a shelter, collect and purify a water source and have the means to start a fire. Hikers, hunters and other outdoor enthusiast will set off thinking they are only going to be gone for a few hours. Their supplies are only enough for three hours and then disaster strikes, an injury or an unexpected weather event leaves them stranded, sometimes for days or even longer. Always, carry enough supplies to last you at least 72-hours and in addition have the means to resupply yourself from natural resources.




Posted on by Suburban Prepper in Emergency Medicine 12 Comments

How Safe is Your Family? 9 Rules for Suburban Preppers

How Safe is Your Family

Photo by Eric Ward via Wikimedia Commons

Some families and individuals living in a suburban area may feel they cannot properly prepare for a disaster because they do not have acres of land, or even a safe haven some miles from the city. Some may even feel trapped. Although there are, certain disadvantages to living in an urban environment if disaster strikes the disadvantages would not be considered life threatening. There are however, rules for prepping if you live in suburbia, rules that will ensure you can survive a disaster. The rules generally speaking, are not disaster specific but it will be noted when one is specifically for a certain crisis, otherwise assume you would follow the general guidelines regardless of the catastrophe.

Rule Number 1

From a security standpoint do not divulge how well prepared you are to anyone but your immediate family

This rule will cause some debate because people generally want to include others in their lives for various reasons but there are certain things you must keep to yourself. Some preppers have meetings where everyone lays out their plans and discusses techniques, what they have stockpiled and what they need. This is a learning process for many of those new to prepping and frankly many people new to prepping do not have their heart in it. They may feel it is a fad, or the thing to do because their friends pressured them and so on. In other words, they are not really preparing, but just going through the motions. People just naturally assume that bad things happen to other people. They will not get the message until it is too late. It is very difficult for some people to understand that the biggest enemy during a crisis is other human beings. A young couple with small children will do whatever it takes to provide for their children, and this includes taking from you. Never underestimate desperate parents.

It is not this article’s intent to discourage networking with other preppers but to emphasis the need for security. Trusted friends and allies are essential to survival but it is important for you to realize that when disaster does strike you may only have yourself and family to rely on. Just be careful about advertising how well prepared you really are. Telling everyone, you have silver and gold buried for bartering is only inviting trouble. Your friends may not pose any risks, but they will drop a comment here and there or their children will and soon everyone knows where to find resources during a crisis.

Rule Number 2

Prepare for the threats that are most likely to happen

Nuclear, chemical or biological attacks are a very real possibility in large metropolitan areas. If you cannot flee the area you will need duct tape and plastic to seal your home from the outside air, but not to the point where you suffocate yourself. Having a basement is ideal where you can get below ground level. You want to put as many obstacles between you and the blast or dispersal area as possible. Attacks of this type may very well come without warning, so make sure you have ample tape and plastic and even protective suits if that is economically feasible.

Rule Number 3

Do not stockpile your supplies in one place

Cache supplies in various underground locations in your yard or even in some outbuildings. If you are robbed or your home is damaged you can lose all of your supplies. You will need backup resources. Do not cache supplies in commercial storage facilities. You may not be able to retrieve your supplies during a crisis and commercial buildings are prime targets for looters especially self-storage buildings.

Rule Number 4

Prepare an evacuation plan

Do not convince yourself that you will never have to evacuate because you will not be able to if you have not prepared. Evacuation is a very real possibility. There may be extensive damage to your home or there are air borne contaminates or nuclear fallout in the area, which means you, must leave. Make sure you have the means to transport your supplies even it if it is just backpacks. You cannot leave empty handed.

Rule Number 5

Stayed informed

Information is crucial before, during and after disaster strikes. So make sure you have the equipment to stay informed such as ham radios, Citizen band Radios (CB) and even two-way radios. You want to be able to monitor traffic from emergency responders and ham radio operators. Ham radios are used during disasters to rely information nation and even worldwide in some cases. Ham radios have extended ranges. Be careful about using the radios for other than monitoring because if you are transmitting, your location can be determined by triangulation of the radio signal. If you are in a situation where you have to evade others do not transmit but simply monitor your communication devices.

Rule Number 6

Do not wait for your local government to help you

Depending on the magnitude of the crisis, your local and even the federal government will go into self-preservation mode and it can be weeks or even longer before they will be of any help.

Rule Number 7

Avoid getting caught up in protest or demonstrations

Society in the short term will go through some changes during a crisis and yet overall it will remain the same. You will find that after just a few days some people will be demanding changes from their leaders and some may even begin marching and protesting. This is counterproductive; your time needs to be spent surviving and planning for long-term sustainability in the event the crisis is for an extended period. There will be plenty of time for complaining and affixing blame later.

Rule Number 8

Plan for home defense

Every occupied home will be a target as well as unoccupied ones during a disaster. Most serious preppers would probably consider home security a number one priority and it is a priority, but getting a bunker or siege mentality is not beneficial. You cannot barricade yourself in your home to the point you have created a death trap if there is a fire or someone does break in and the intruder is between you and the exit. You do need to have a plan, a common sense approach to home defense that includes an escape plan. Consider firearms, and having the tools and materials such as plywood sheets on hand to secure windows and any glass openings.

Remember your biggest threat is other humans in the community and not the government. If you believe an army will show up to take over your home and confiscate your possessions there is simply not enough firepower you can amass that would stop them, so planning for that type of invasion is futile.

You are protecting your home from looters and others living in your city and not from some shadow government waiting on a crisis so they can march into your town. You will also be defending your family and possessions from neighbors that have turned to violence in the name of providing for their families.

Rule Number 9

It is never been a matter of if but simply a matter of when

A crisis will strike and in all likelihood, it will be the one you least expected. However, as stated earlier supplies, tools and materials are not necessarily disaster specific. Always prepare with shelter, water, fire/energy and food as your priorities because you cannot survive any crisis without them. Once the priorities are met then you can get more specific in your planning.

Considerations and Obstacles Facing Preppers Living in Suburbia

Living in a suburban area means you probably do not have space for a sizable garden so developing a sustainable food source would be difficult. However, you can grow virtually any vegetable using hydroponics, which is growing foods without using soil as a growing medium.

Because you cannot rely on your environment to provide you with a food or water source in the early stages you will need a substantial amount of food and water. If you lived in a rural area you would have rivers, streams and lakes and land for growing foods and you could hunt and fish to supplement your food supplies.

Proximity to other people is a disadvantage in urban areas. Friends’, neighbors and strangers can pose a risk to you and your family. The risks increase the longer the crisis goes on.

Having to commute to work and schools may mean you are more exposed to the crisis. You may be at work when disaster strikes so additional planning is required. You will need to have rendezvous points for family members if an attack happens during the school and workday. Ensure you know what the emergency plans are at your children’s schools. Are there areas where the children would be at other than at the school during a crisis, emergency shelters and so forth?

Carry an emergency survival bag in all of your vehicles with several days’ worth of food and water for you and your children. If an attack comes while you are at work and you rush to pick up your children at school you may be delayed because of the crisis and you have to be prepared to shelter in your vehicle until you can make it home. Make sure everyone is aware of this contingency plan.



Posted on by Suburban Prepper in Food, Planning, SHTF 16 Comments