Fire Prevention and Preparedness, by W.Va. Underground

One of the greatest discoveries humankind ever made is fire. Through the many years, mankind has learned a great many things about this process and its benefits. Without a doubt, fire is one of man’s greatest tools. However, like most tools, when used improperly or by the untrained, it can become one of the most destructive forces imaginable. The same tool that can provide life-saving heat in the middle of a brutal winter storm can also reduce an entire forest to smoldering ash. (At this time we’ll leave out any discussion as to the State of California’s terrible forestry management …




How To Build a WTSHTF Gas Station, by Samantha B.

Gas is often not stored safely. A vaporized single gallon of gas cause catastrophic consequences if it ignites or explodes. People often store gas in 5-gallon cans. Cans are placed in barns, outbuildings, and garages alongside valuable equipment or stored household goods. Some people even store gas in the basement of their home in cans that are not properly sealed. Our primary reason for constructing this gas station was to have a safe place to store fuel and provide some security from short to moderate gas supply disruptions. We also wanted to avoid unnecessary trips to town just for fuel. …




Surviving the Disaster Golden Hour – Part 3, by J.M.

(Continued from Part. 2) Another way to reduce the impact of surprise in an emergency is to be able to detect the potential signs that something may be happening you need to be concerned about before it reaches the critical stage. Outside of sudden events like explosions and earthquakes there are almost always early indicators that something may be going wrong around you. A slight whiff of smoke, the creak and groan of a roof support, wildlife acting strangely or a look of concern on the faces of facility security personnel as they hurry by may be signs that you …




An Old Boy Scout’s Journey – Part 2, by Rocket J. Squirrel

(Continued from Part 1.) There is a DeWalt 6 kW generator with a Honda gasoline engine that was purchased used. The local Stihl dealer gave it a tune up. Spare spark plugs are kept in the tool box. I have very limited gasoline storage but do have a tri-fuel kit. The tri-fuel kit from www.uscarb.com enables the generator to use gasoline, propane, or natural gas for fuel. Make certain you buy the kit which matches your specific engine model. I need to get the kit installed as well as the natural gas fittings for our current home. Natural gas may …




Letter: California’s December Wildfires

Hello Hugh, As I write this, the Thomas Fire is still ravaging Ventura County, California. Three lessons need to be taken away: Gather your own intel, Be ready to go if it gets close, even if the threat seems remote; and, Live miles away from brushy or forested areas at risk of fire. This gives people more time to evacuate with more of their possessions, or at least have better comfort about the fire. The more information that is available allows people to make better decisions in real time, rather than wait until the water is so high they need …




Letter: Observations on the Fires in Canada

Hugh, I wanted to comment on the article about the folks fleeing the wildfires in Fort McMurray, Canada. I saw some classic SurvivalBlog themes in there: Keep your gas tanks full. The gas station owner noted that people were “fighting each other to get gas, growing more and more desperate as the afternoon wore on.” Keep your gas tanks full, (yes I’m repeating myself). Later on the writer notes people were abandoning their cars on the highway since they knew they wouldn’t have enough fuel to make it to their destination. Don’t be a refugee. The folks that went to …




Surviving the 2015 Fire of Lake County California- Part 2, by B.G.

Looters- Lessons Learned You don’t need to be an expert killer to deter an attacker. The people who loot an evacuated area are generally cowardly. You need only appear more of a threat than the average person. Buy a gun, learn to use it, but don’t obsess. The survivalist fantasy of defending your home against squads of organized killers is just that– fantasy. What is more realistic is that you will stumble into the opportunist that thinks “mandatory evacuation” means “no one is at home”. Encounters can happen any time. If you are staying, start carrying a gun shortly after …




Surviving the 2015 Fire of Lake County California- Part 1, by B.G.

This is a true story of a thirty-something survivalist/engineer and his family as well as some lessons learned in the second most destructive fire in California history. I had seen other large fires in Lake County over the years, and they would arrive in apocalyptic fashion, as the up swelling of a mushroom cloud. This one started no differently on a windy afternoon as I was pulling pork chops off of the grill. At about one o’clock in the afternoon, the wall of black smoke that erupted to our south immediately flattened out due to the wind. It formed an …




Wilderness Fire: An Unexpected Retreat From Our Retreat, by L.F.P.

We have a boat-in only glamorous camping (“glamping”) retreat on a large lake in the West on the very edge of Wilderness-designated public forest land. The nearest road is more than three miles away. We were there in early August on summer vacation from the city. Several small lightning-caused wilderness fires had been burning for more than a month during the ongoing drought conditions. These fires flared up in very rugged terrain due to a rare severe August windstorm with gusts above 60 mph. The smoke had started to get noticeable on the lake and light ash was raining down …




Letter Re: Lessons Learned

This article is not be representative of many insurance policies. I am a insurance agent. First, I am sorry they had to go through such a horrible tragedy. People need to remember insurance policies vary from state to state and policy to policy. For the policies that I manage, these are the issues that are different: First auto policies are not replacement cost. They are blue book value (aka NADA), less your deductible. You could very well end up upside down, meaning you could still be paying payments on a destroyed vehicle, where you owe more than it’s worth. The …




Letter Re: Fire Suppression

HJL, I’ve been thinking more and more about possible fire suppression methods (a.k.a. “Fire Traps”) for SHTF, and I was wondering if you ever considered pre-staging fire-retardant materials in high-risk areas. This is just a theory, but have you considered hanging or placing materials that would dispense fire retardant if an actual fire broke out? This could be something like a bag or bucket hanging in a tree, so when the fire hits it, it melts the bag and dispenses the material. I realize in SHTF scenarios, you neither have the resources to fight a huge forest fire nor even …




Home Fire Prevention and Firefighting , by P.T.H.

Her name was Dawn. The fire that took her life started in the living room directly below her bedroom and spread quickly. It followed her father up the stairs as he tried to rescue her, setting his clothes on fire as he went. He grabbed the doorknob to Dawn’s room. It was red hot. There was no longer life on the other side of that door. It was 0045, New Year’s Day, 1976. Things like this are never forgotten. The wounds never heal. Dealing with the loss of a loved one this way is horrible in itself. Having it happen …




Letter Re: An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure for TEOTWAWKI

James, K.M. in Ohio’s post “Ounce of Prevention…” warns that “If the needles are 1 per hole, that’s NOT Pine” is not true. The warning about Fir needles being toxic is valid, but there are one needle pines. The state tree of Nevada is the Single Leaf Pinyon, Pinus monophylla. It is found almost exclusively in The Great Basin with two subspecies in California and Arizona. Besides the needles being a source of vitamin C as with other pines, it produces nutritious and delicious pine nuts. (It also makes the perfectly shaped Christmas tree!) – David in Carson City, Nevada




Orange Jeep Dad’s House Fire Tragedy: How You Can Help

Many SurvivalBlog readers are familiar with the Orange Jeep Dad (OJD) blog. It is a great blog written by an X-ray technician prepper with a wife and six daughters. For more than two years, he’s been earnestly striving to live self-sufficiently. Two days ago, he posted about the tragedy of his house burning down. And today, he posted a follow-up. As I mentioned before, I doubt that his renter’s insurance will cover all of their losses, especially for things like storage food and ammo. In a recent e-mail, OJD mentioned these details: “For now, I for sure lost my Glock …




Second Chances, by Dirt Surgeon

Introductory Note: I originally composed this story in August of 2011 just months after our family went through a devastating event.  At the time of writing the essay was short, sweet and to the point.  I have reconstructed my family’s journey of the past 24 months to the present. Thanks for all that you and others do by sharing information, educating and inspiring the thought process. It is my hope that this short family history will provoke some to think about their lifestyle, what is important and the effect an event like this has on a family. Four years ago …