Letter: Weather Station Recommendation

HJL, Do y’all have any recommendations on home weather stations? On searching I found a lot of references to using HAM and FM to get NOAA data but nothing for on site weather stations. Is this viewed as a valuable addition to the retreat or just a toy? – M.P. HJL’s Comment: With the advent of solid state sensors weather stations have become commodity items. Sadly, all the affordable ones that I know of are made in China. If the desire is just to have some basic data, any of those that you see on Amazon will work. You might …




Letter Re: Oregon Snow

Hugh, Many years ago we had a winter in the Spokane area that was threatening to put nearly three feet of snow on our rooftop. Roof rakes sure looked like a lot of work to use, and they raised the question of damage to the roof shingles (though the nicer rakes have wheels). So I hunted for a better solution and found the Roof Razor. This amazing tool makes me laugh every time I use it (which hasn’t been in a while!). For less than $150 I’ve got a tool that can clear my one-story roof of 2+ feet of …




Prepare to Be Prepped – Sometimes You Have to Survive Daily Life, by Just-Do-It Jane

Most of us in the U.S. have been touched by winter storms. If you live in the South like I do, then you’ve probably tossed your hands in the air and said to yourself, “Wait a minute! What happened to mild winters?!” Fortunately for me, my friend “Survival Messenger” has had the foresight to help me (and many others) understand why we should prepare for come-what-may scenarios. She has shared everything from her favorite high-tech gadgets to trusted and ingenious homemade solutions for everyday problems. I’ve been the thrilled recipient of handy buckets and bags filled with so many helpful …




Letter Re: Hurricane Matthew–Some Lessons Learned

Good Morning, SurvivalBloggers, SurvivalBlog recently had a very good list of hurricane preparation tips in Hurricane Matthew–Some Lessons Learned, written by a Florida resident. As a former 20+ year Florida resident I’d like to add to his excellent piece. In Florida, hurricanes are a way of life, and the period from June 1 to November 30 is known as “hurricane season.” The period from December 1 to May 31 is known as “not hurricane season.”  “Not hurricane season” is when one should be doing their preparation for the other six months. During “not hurricane season” one can find plywood on …




Letter: Another View of Alaska as a Survival Location

My family and I arrived in Alaska in 1974 while I was in the U.S. Army. I was stationed at Ft. Richardson (now part of Joint Base Elmendorf/Richardson. JBER). I spent five years at Ft. Rich. A 3-year tour, with two one year extensions. In 1980 I left the Army and moved my family back to Anchorage, where I currently reside. I grew up in mid-eastern Pennsylvania and spent two summers working on dairy farms in that area. I agree with some of what S.J. had to say in regards to whites not welcome in native villages as well as …




Hurricane Matthew–Some Lessons Learned

Dear Editor: Although I shouldn’t have been, I was once again amazed at the panic and last minute attempts to prepare, as Hurricane Matthew approached Florida. Florida’s geography dictates that there is only one way to travel to get out of the state, and that is north, unless you own a boat or plane.  The interstate freeways and highways get a lot of traffic and the stores get cleaned out, by hurricane refugees.  The parking lot of the Walmart that I visited was full of recreational vehicles (RVs).  Many of their owners were standing around with nowhere to go.  When …




Lessons From the Oklahoma Ice Storm of 2006, by Dr. Prepper

What I have found most useful from many useful articles on SurvivalBlog are the ones that honestly deal with personal experiences of stressful events, for example, those who have gone through hurricanes, floods, other natural storms, or man-made events. While it is useful from a planning perspective to speculate how things might be in an event that changes the world for us, there is nothing like learning from other’s experiences and what they thought went well and not so well. My family and I discovered first hand the value of preparation as well as the cost of the lack of …




Letter: Fall Season Prepping

Dear Mr. Rawles and Mr. Latimer: Since the Autumnal Equinox has passed us by, may I offer a link to a relevant string of articles? I have been contemplating seasonal adjustments to my preps, and Cheaper Than Dirt has a series of blogposts that I found useful in provoking thought. I hope folks find this useful, as we tune our plans for the changing seasons. Thank you for your blog, and all you do. – Skyrat




Base Layers and Their Differences – Part 2, by A.S.

If you recall from the first installment of this article which was posted early this month, I discussed the start of base layering principle which I am sure most people are very familiar with–especially those who read this blog. I also brought up the types of material used such as Polypropylene, Merino wool and the new fibre Tencel. In this installment I want to break down some information on the other layers involved and give my thoughts from long time use of garment materials that work in longevity. Goretex jackets are great for hikers and for those who take trips …




Letter: Drought in Western Retreat Areas

JWR: Has the recent drought in the western United States caused you to change any of your “Recommended Retreat Areas”? – T.I.A. JWR Responds: No, it hasn’t. There is an old saying: “Climate is what you expect, and weather is what you get.” I do not believe that the current drought in the northwest is any evidence of any long term climate change. We are simply in an El Niño weather pattern that most likely will last only another year or two. The El Niño weather pattern has temporarily shifted the jet stream, disrupting seasonal rains, particularly in California, where …




A Beginners Guide to Practical Prepping: Lessons From a True Story of Disaster, by R.L.

It was September 1989, a time in history that is forever burned into my memory. I was working as a firefighter in a small town outside Columbia, South Carolina. Hurricane Hugo had developed in the Atlantic, it was ripping apart the Carribean islands and it was headed our way. All the news on television and radio were inundated with updates on this killer storm; we were tuned into the Weather Channel at the firehouse carefully watching and waiting. The original forecast was that the Category 4 hurricane would turn north and only threaten the North Carolina coast. It was assumed …




What I Learned From the Midwest Ice Storm of 2011, by J.M.

The three elements of nature that cause damage– sun, wind, and water. My bet is on the last one, especially the frozen kind. Preparing and acting upon it are two entirely different and opposite things. The rain started in the middle of a Sunday afternoon, without much concern at first. Although the weather report at first said the possibility of ice was real, it would stay south, in Ohio. Lesson #1: Nature is fickle, and even NOAA cannot always track the line between rain, snow, and ice. Predictive weather paths can give you a false sense of security, and margins …




Guest Post: Is This the End of 80% Receivers? by Timothy Priebe

While the rest of us were enjoying our own post New Year’s Day activities, BATFE Director B. Todd Jones was approving his department’s latest ruling. On January 2, 2015, ATF Ruling 2015-1 was approved. The ruling was a clarification of ATF Ruling 2010-10. That ruling advised licensed dealer-gunsmiths that they may legally perform certain firearm manufacturing activities on completed firearms if certain conditions were met. However, since that ruling in December of 2010, it appears that issues surrounding “incomplete” or “80% receivers” have moved to the forefront of the ATF’s purview. For those not familiar with “80% receivers”, “blanks”, or …




Guest Article: Tornado Survival Tips, by Matthew Stein, P.E.

Darden describes a family of five who lived on a farm outside of Higdon, Ala., a small community in the northern part of the state. They had no storm shelter, but they did live in a home that he says was well built. On Saturday, Darden and a partner visited the family. “The mother and three daughters were there at the time,” he recalls. Looking at the wall-free ground floor—all that remained of the home—”I introduced myself and said: Thank God y’all were not home. “Her response? “Oh, we were here.” With no storm shelter and nothing but a slab …




Two Letters Re: Tornado Survival and Recovery

Jim, I have a comment to add to the Tornado Survival and Recovery article by J.M. The information was great, but one vital item was not mentioned as part of J.M.’s tornado kit. That item would be a sturdy pair of boots. A good pair of boots is important to have when you emerge from your area of safety and have to walk through debris (nails, glass, splintered wood, metal). – R. o o o Hugh, I can make a quick suggestion for those who have to drive after a tornado or hurricane. When roofs get ripped off of buildings, …