Observations on City Life in Brazil, by P.R.

I recently vacationed in Brazil. Whenever I’m abroad, I always keep my eyes out for things that may be of interest to you fellow preppers. Brazil presented a lot of opportunities for this.  I do like theoretical discussions, but I really like to see how people in the real world cope with problems and issues that we may have in the future.  Looking at these real world examples can greatly help out own plans and preparedness. Although a fairly developed country, Brazil does have a larger economic disparity than the US, especially in the larger cities like Rio de Janiero …




Age-Adjusted Prepping, by Wandering Will

It is said that prepping is not a movement or a philosophy. It is a way of life, and a way of life must accommodate changes in life. Having squarely arrived into my “Golden Years,” I was reluctantly forced to take a fresh look at my prepping agenda. Not exactly a newbie to the game. I’m still eating Year 2000 Problem (Y2K) food, I have accumulated food, gear, and training over the years and have reached a somewhat reasonable level of comfort. However, we all know what happens when we start feeling confident. After a few recent practice drills and …




A Deep Well Pump Jack: Vital Part of Water System, by R.M.

Water is vital, so being prepared with multiple layers of backup make sense. A deep well pump jack is one way to have your cake and eat it too when a deep well is part of your water supply using the lowly pump jack. Pump Jack Can Pump Deep Well By Many Power Methods There are both advantages and disadvantages to use of a pump jack, but the greatest advantage by far is that you can power your deep well pump by many different electrical and non-electric methods. It can be powered by: the grid, a back up power system …




Family Earthquake Preparedness: Are You Ready?

The recent strong earthquake near Anchorage, Alaska underscores the importance of family earthquake readiness. Thankfully, we live in a country with modern building standards. This is not in the case of many Third World nations, where unreinforced masonry construction is the norm. In the Third World, folks tend to be very stingy with reinforcing bar (“rebar”). So its seems that every time there is a large earthquake in those regions, there are building collapses, with large loss of life. By far, the safest houses for earthquakes are of wood frame construction. This is because such structures can flex and sway, …




Water Treatment Options: How to Avoid Poisoning From Toxins- Part 2, by AJS

In part 1, we learned that toxins other than mercury cannot be avoided entirely in the drinking water, as some are not removed by screens, activated carbon or silver water filters, or chlorine treatment. Some toxins are even made more toxic by boiling. Furthermore, some toxins cause physical symptoms of poisoning almost immediately. In particular, populations of cyanobacteria (a blue-green algae) may be dominated by a single species or be composed of a variety of species, some of which may not be toxic and some which have been deadly to animals. We learned about the locations, timing, and durations of …




Water Treatment Options: How to Avoid Poisoning From Toxins- Part 1, by AJS

Long-term survivalists find themselves in many environmental settings, but the common denominator is often the desire to be close to fresh water. A person needs it to drink, cook, bathe, do laundry, perhaps wash prospecting finds, and even fish and swim in as recreation for family members. Dangers in Raw, Natural Ground Water In raw, natural ground water there are dangers. These include: chemicals, such as nitrogen and phosphorous from agricultural runoff, microorganisms feeding on pollution that can cause disease, heavy metals, such as mercury and arsenic, which have implications to human health, and toxins caused by algae. The survivalist …




Thirsty Are Those Who Do Not Prep- Part 4, by The Grumpy Gunfighter

Without water, survival is impossible, even if you have a storage facility filled with bullets, bandaids, beans, and batteries. My family and I prep in the desert southwest and have taken action so that we won’t find ourselves thirsty in the event of a crisis. In parts 2 and 3 of this article series, I thoroughly covered both professional drilled and hand dug wells. But once you have access to the water, you need to be sure it is safe to drink. So, let’s look at methods for survival water filtration, purification, and disinfection. Survival Water Filtration, Purification, and Disinfection …




Thirsty Are Those Who Do Not Prep- Part 3, by The Grumpy Gunfighter

Without water, survival is impossible, even if you have a storage facility filled with bullets, bandaids, beans, and batteries.. My family and I prep in the desert southwest and have taken action so that we won’t find ourselves thirsty in the event of a crisis. In parts one and two, I’ve gone over some of the basics of a well and how professionals put one in while machinery is available to do so. However, that may not always be available. Building Your Own Emergency Well 101 Knowing how to building your own well without access to professional machinery is a …




Thirsty Are Those Who Do Not Prep- Part 2, by The Grumpy Gunfighter

Without water, survival is impossible, even if you have a storage facility filled with bullets, bandaids, beans, and batteries. My family and I prep in the desert southwest and have taken action so that we won’t find ourselves thirsty in the event of a crisis. Well Drilling 101 (continued) Methods and Techniques Used to Find Groundwater Ideally, you want to have year around dedicated water access. However, not everyone has access to a fresh lake, spring, aquifer, pond, or stream. Many people have to drill a well, and that’s what we are talking about now– Well Drilling 101. Specifically, we …




Thirsty Are Those Who Do Not Prep- Part 1, by The Grumpy Gunfighter

As a prepper who has lived in an off-the-grid home in the arid southwest desert for the past 20 plus years, I am no stranger to the challenges of obtaining safe and reliable sources of water. My family and I have used a professionally drilled well for our water. However, the unfortunate reality is that the water table in our region is dwindling. Years of historic drought in our area, coupled with the significant increase in the population, have made it apparent that water scarcity will continue to be a growing issue. We prep and have taken action so that …




On Chemistry: Making Activated Carbon and Hand Warmers, by R.T.

The practical usefulness of chemistry is often overlooked. In the video game State of Decay, there are various monologues that characters can randomly give. One such monologue speaks about how one person is amazed that all of the toilet paper disappeared after the zombie apocalypse. He jokes that while everyone else was worried about food and ammunition, someone realized that they’re going to continue to use the bathroom, so they’d better stock up on two-ply. In many ways, this represents the two modes of thought on preparedness. You have the people whose first thought is rightfully their immediate needs. You …




Letter: Water After Irma, by RV

HJL, It was 4 am and the flow of water from the tap conspicuously lacked vigor as I begin the tooth brushing process. We just had Hurricane Irma visit as a tropical storm. Many, including schools, are without power. My mind leaps to the conclusion that the water treatment plant is also out of power and I am in a real fix. No way I am filling my 50-gallon barrel on such a tentative flow. I curse the utility for not warning us that they could not process water. I also think, “Of course.” So I start thinking about hauling. …




Letter: Well Water Pump Options And Alternatives

Hello JWR, HJL, and fellow readers, I truly appreciate the info my family and I have gleaned over the years from SB. It has become one of our most trusted sources of info as we have been embarking on our self-sufficiency. Now, on to my question that I believe could be beneficial to other readers. (I have searched the site, but no recent info came up.) I have been researching water well hand-pumps. Bison Pumps has great customer service and so far I am leaning towards them as my grid-down water retrieval solution from my well. Their product appears to …




Letter: Kitchen Water Filter Advice

Hi, I listened to JWR on yet another interview (making the rounds) and wanted to know if you (or Hugh) would be able to suggest a water filter I could use for my kitchen sink.  I live in an apartment. Management informed me that a Water-Filtration System (as in reverse osmosis) is not allowed. Is there anything, not super duper pricey, that I could attach to my faucet? Thanks! – T.N. HJL’s Comment: Many of our readers use a Berkey water filter. You can get these for under $300 from many of our advertisers. The advantage of the berkey type …




Understanding Water Filtration, by Old Soldier

The understanding of water filtration requires a look at various filtration methods as well as contaminants. Let’s take a look at these. Water Filtration Methods Carbon/Activated Carbon Filters Activated carbon chemically bonds with and removes some contaminants in water filtered through it. Carbon filters vary greatly in effectiveness. Some just remove chlorine and improve taste and odor, while others remove a wide range of contaminants, including asbestos, lead, mercury, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). However, activated carbon cannot effectively remove common “inorganic” pollutants, such as arsenic, fluoride, hexavalent chromium, nitrate, and perchlorate. Generally, carbon filters come in two forms– carbon …