New Mexico Urban Homesteader

Hello, I am A 50 Something, Prepper ;-}; former 60's Flower Child, don't believe in taxpayer subsidized special interest groups (political parties), DO believe in the Constitution and Bill of Rights (1st 10). Long time Independent & Informed Voter. Lover of the outdoors and firm believer that History Teaches - if only we will listen!

(No longer Urban or in NM. Now Rural in the mountains of Maine.)

This blog was started at the request of some dear friends that wish to become Preppers.

“No man who is not willing to help himself has any right to apply to his friends, or to the gods.”

Demosthenes (384–322 BC, Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Prepper Events Occuring in April & May

Thanks to a notice from here are some upcoming events. Hope there is one near you ;-}

April 2nd, 2011 - Sensible Prepper Conference (Greenville, SC)
The conference is being put on by SouthernPrepper1 and Sootch00 from Youtube. SurvivalCache has sponsored some of the door prizes but the team will not be able to make it.

The conference is located at:

Cherrydale Church

2300 Old Buncombe Road

Greenville, SC 29609

The cost is $3.00 - to sign up and see agenda please visit the conference website

April 8th and 9th, 2011 - Self Reliance Expo (Denver, Colorado)
The SurvivalCache team will have a booth at this expo that will feature many of the products we have reviewed on the site. Please stop by and say hello. The Expo is located near downtown Denver:
National Western Complex

4655 Humboldt Street

Denver, CO 80216

Tickets: Adults $9 (or $7 online), Seniors $7 (ages 65+), Youth (ages 12 and under - Free)
For more information visit the Self Reliance Expo Website

May 28th, 29th Survival & Preparedness Conference (Dallas, TX)
The SurvivalCache team will have a booth at this conference and several of the members of the SurvivalCache team will be teaching workshops, including Mr. Smashy's workshop on "Survival Reloading." If you are in the Dallas area at the end of May, please plan to attend.

The Conference is located at the DFW Airport Marriott North.
Here is the address:
DFW Airport Marriott North
8440 Freeport Parkway

Irving, TX 75063

For more information about the conference please visit the conference website

"The Future Belongs to Those Who Prepare"


Monday, March 28, 2011

Step Twelve: Go-Bags - How to Make a Preparedness Plan that Works & Not Go Broke

Step Twelve: Go-Bags

“If you are prepared, you will be confident,
and will do the job.”

Tom Landry

Go-Bags have many names (BOB, E-Kit, Grab Bags, etc.) and can be for anywhere from 3 to 10 days. In terms of “just in case” preparedness we are only concerned with the 72-hour or 3 day Go-Bag. This should be enough to get us to our retreat.

All Go-Bags should provide for one or more people/pets with three (3) days worth of the basic needs to survival and be light enough for on foot mobility.

Here again we must balance some human traits – namely we humans tend to want to help just about anything and anyone. We only have two logical choices here:

  • We can plan and be prepared for extra people and animals
  • We can plan and be prepared that these extra people and animals are on their own and we will NOT be of any assistance.

The third, unspoken, choice is to risk everyone’s lives by trying to stretch insufficient supplies with too many people and animals.

This Go-Bag discussion will assume that we are going to plan and be prepared for the unexpected extra people and animals.

There are three (3) types of Go-Bags:

  • Individual: One for each person and pet in your household. This is where you can individualize the bag, so if “Johnnie” has asthma you can put an extra inhaler and or RX script in his bag.

  • Household: Large enough to cover the normal number of people/pets likely to be in your house (including guests) at any given time or at the least a combined Go-Bag that covers your immediate family and pet members.

If Johnnie and Suzie each have a friend spend the night about once a month – you add a people count of two. If Aunt Bess and Uncle Joe regularly visit with their Yorkie – you add a head count of 2 more and a pet count of 1.
  • Vehicle: This covers the maximum number of people/pets that can be in the vehicle at any given time. One for each vehicle you own.

This way even if you have a classic two seater that you, your spouse and shepherd only ride in every Labor Day to lead the parade, you can account for your friend or neighbor that is walking next to your vehicle when the crisis hits. Or if something inside your individual go-bag got damaged, you can retrieve the vehicle go-bag and you now have a replacement for the damaged item and a little extra for that friend or co-worker that has latched onto you.

Think small, lightweight, compact and multi-functional items for your go-bag tools and supplies. Much like a backpacker‘s pack. Items like: Leatherman tools; Swiss Army Knife; mess kit, first aid kit, MRE’s, food bars, space blanket, water treatment tablets and containers, etc.

Be A “Go-Bagger”

  • Individual go-bags should be with you as often as possible. I’ve been known to check my go-bag at the coat room when going to a formal. I also have a smaller (Altoid Tin type) Emergency Kit (E-Kit) inside some of my go-bags that can fit in my purse when the larger go-bag must be left in the car.
  • Business people: Many backpacks are also brief cases with plenty of room for your supplies and laptop too.
  • Ladies: Many “Satchel” type handbags are large enough to hold your go-bag needs along with your normal “purse” contents and still be fashionable.
  • Children: Many backpacks have wheels and handles so a child can “carry” their own. Some backpacks have smaller detaching “kangaroo” packs where your child’s pack could be attached to your pack during a crisis. Diaper bags now come in backpack format with plenty of extra room.
  • Pets: If your dog is large enough, get a doggie backpack and have it carry its own crisis supplies (Yes they even have these for cats now too). Walk your dog with its go-bag so it is familiar with it Before Crisis Use. For smaller pets; store their go-bag in their travel crate then have a portable luggage cart for the crate & go-bag.

It is recommended to have two water purification methods in your go-bag: Filter & chemical. A three (3) day supply of water for 1 person will weigh apx 24 pounds, so just keep a quart. Use re-fillable water containers (canteen or other stainless steel are best).

If you happen to be at your retreat with ALL your go-bags and then must vacate - you have the advantage of having extra supplies!

Note: Pre bottled water nowadays is made of plastic that breaks down quickly. According to studies from Bingham Young University: In 1-2 years the plastic decomposed enough to contaminate the water. Not enough to make a person sick, but the taste was bad and could not be “freshened” up. In 3-4 years, more than half of these bottles decomposed enough to leak. (Someone told me that this biodegradable plastic is utilized for all use-and-toss bottles that are 2 liters or less, as of this writing (12/2010), I have not verified this.) Aside from that you really don’t want to have trash to hide if you are mobile for any reason and it is easier to crack or break plastic than it is metal; plus the new stainless steel containers don’t leave that awful “canteen” taste in the water.

Next week will be a few quick bits of information on Food and Water Storage …

Campmor For all things Camping, hiking, backpacking , etc and consistent “best bang for the buck” value see
Grab-Go-Bag-Adult, Infant, Disabled and Animal Check List
Prepping for Animals, Pets & Livestock
Preparedness Bags Checklist Compare
(goes with “What is the Difference Between All the E-Kits and Bags and What Do I Need?”)
What is the Difference Between All the E-Kits and Bags and What Do I Need?
(goes with "Preparedness Bags Checklist Compare")

"Today is the Tomorrow that you worried about Yesterday"


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

EIS-Emergency Information Sheet or ECC-Emergency Contact Card?

What is an EIS or ECC?

Both are in case of a crisis, emergency or disaster. The only difference is that one contains more information than the other. This additional information is not only for you, it is also in case you are unconscious.

An EIS or Emergency Information Sheet, is a sheet of paper containing basic vital information on YOU. It holds your personal contact information, emergency contacts information, your medical information, rendezvous locations (public knowledge only, not private household) and any information on your pets.

This sheet of paper can be found in paper size for Documentation Books or the paper can be folded to, almost a credit card size, for easy “storing”.

An ECC or Emergency Contact Card, is a credit card sized Identification card that contains your basic information, emergency contacts and some even have your vehicle and health care insurance providers and or policy numbers.

Do I need an EIS or an ECC?

If your immediate family and or closest friends are scattered around the city, state or country, etc.; an EIS is better suited to your needs than an ECC.

Who Should Have One and Where Should It Be?

Every family household member should have at least one each. These can be kept in wallets, purses, glove boxes, go-bags, documentation books, briefcases, diaper bags, pet backpacks or go-bags, boat tool box and the like.

You can store and protect it from the wear by placing in a freezer grade zip lock bag or add to your ID or passport cases.

Where can I find these forms?

Many web sites, including insurance companies and government sites, as well as quite a few preparedness sites, have downloadable PDF’s for Emergency Contact Cards. Some sites have Emergency Communication Cards or Sheets and some have various Emergency Information Sheets.

Now that my emergency contacts are scattered all over the place, local to international, my family and I utilize an Emergency Information Sheet that I created that folds into slightly larger than a credit card in size. My adult children and I keep one in our wallets, purse, glove box, go-bags and in our Documentation Books.

Since my Preparedness Plan and drills have me locating the Key Crisis Assessment Questions as the first step immediately following a crisis, I also have these questions on this sheet. Nothing like everything in one place for quick and easy access during a crisis!

Here are some links to these various forms, including the EIS my family and I use:

"What we anticipate seldom occurs;
what we least expect generally happens."
Benjamin Disraeli

Prep On ;-}


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Step Eleven: Going Mobile - How to Make a Preparedness Plan that Works & Not Go Broke

"Despair is most often the offspring of ill-preparedness”
Don Williams, Jr
American Novelist and Poet, b.1968

Step Eleven: Going Mobile

No one wants to be mobile during a crisis or have to vacate their home either. However reality and logic tell us that we may very well need to be mobile at some point during a crisis, if for no other reason than to get to our retreat.

Since our Crisis Plan needs to balance some basic human traits it must consider the worst possible scenario when it comes to mobility:

  • We are not home when the crisis occurs or must vacate our retreat
  • Our usual route is not available
  • Our usual modes of transportation are not available – we are On Foot

Suddenly that 5 to 10 minute drive from the grocery store to home is a 5 mile long obstacle course. To all of you in the prime of your life, this may not seem like much, but to the rest of us this is a life threatening gauntlet!

If we prepare and plan for this worst case scenario, then we reduce this major hit to our survivability quotient. By planning for the worst here we can even increase our survivability quotient when luck is on our side and we can use our vehicles, usual routes and don’t have to walk!

Think about it: It is far easier to adjust a plan that has us on foot for a “good case” scenario where our vehicles and routes are available … Than it is to adjust a plan that has our vehicles and routes available and then we are faced with the “worst case” reality of being on foot!!

Think of football teams; they not only practice the passes and running plays; they also practice what to do to minimize the fumbles and interceptions too. The really good teams do this almost instantaneously and seamlessly so that they rarely get a major hit from the fumble or interception.

Failure to accept and plan for this IS hazardous to your health and MAY cause injury or death!

The next few steps will be a brief overview of some things we can do to help us through any worst case mobility scenario. (Go-Bags, Supply Storage, etc.)

Prep On ;-}


Saturday, March 19, 2011

10 Essentials For Preparedness

These are back to back in a PDF document for an easy one sheet handout. You can download it at:

Checklists for

  • 10 Essential Actions
  • 10 Essential Supplies
  • 10 Essential Items

From: (LAFD Emergency Survival Preparedness)

Evacuation Kit Items (in pictures)


Today is the Tomorrow that you worried about Yesterday


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Step Ten: Key Assessment Questions for Survival - How to Make a Preparedness Plan that Works

Step Ten: Key Assessment Questions for Survival

"The will to win is not nearly as important
as the will to prepare to win.”

Edward W. Smith

The faster you can assess the status of these questions, the faster you act and do; the less whacks you take to your survivability quotient and the less time it will take you to round up your household and/or get to a crisis retreat.

Time is of the essence!

There are about three (layman) emotional phases we humans go through when confronted with a crisis:

Shock – The deer caught in the headlights. We are immobile and not responding to what is around us.

Denial – We have spent so much time convincing ourselves that this can’t or won’t happen; that when it actually does we don’t accept it. Our illogical brain says this can’t be real while our logical brain tells us it is. The end result is that we still have not done anything to help ourselves (we are our own worst enemy) even though we are conscious of what is going on around us.

Action – We accept what has happened and start to take steps to get us out of it and protect ourselves.

The goal is to get to the Action Phase in two minutes or less.

Copy & shrink this down and put on the back of your Emergency Contact Card for your wallet or purse, place a copy in the glove box of your vehicles, have a copy of this in each go-bag and keep one in your Documentation Book/Binder to jog your memory in a Crisis.

My Crisis Drill starts with pulling the closest copy of this checklist out. This way in a crisis I only have to remember to do one thing and it then sets me off on doing the others in the shortest time possible.

These are not prioritized, as that can vary on the crisis at hand. Most can be addressed concurrently. The bottom line is to answer and act on these questions as quickly as possible.

Immediately after a Crisis Occurs Quickly Determine the Following:

FoodWhere and when can I get nourishment and how soon do I need it?
WaterWhere and when can I get drinkable water and how soon do I need it?
Shelter/Clothing - Am I protected from the elements?
Illness or Injury needs – Am I or anyone else injured?
Safety/Defense/SecurityAm I in danger and if yes, from what?
Where is everyone and where am I?
Bug-out or Stay Put (mobile or static). Do I stay here and wait for help or do I set out towards my retreat?
Basic Tools to achieve & maintain the above necessities to life. (Leatherman and Swiss Army knives or other multi-functional tools and the like)

Emergency Contact Card-ECCard
When Do You Bug-Out or Stay Put?

Next week we will discuss Mobility Issues …

Pray for Japan and Prep On ;-}


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Step Nine: Assemble Your Documentation Book/Binder - How to Make a Preparedness Plan that Works

“There's no disaster that can't become a blessing,
and no blessing that can't become a disaster”
Richard Bach

Step Nine: Assemble Your Documentation Book/Binder

Unless you live in a hurricane zone or the like, one never really plans to have to evacuate! Yet a house fire is just one example of the unexpected that could cause an evacuation.

If a crisis is severe enough to require leaving your primary residence/retreat you can bet you will not have the time to run around and collect this information, nor can you count on the banks, etc being available to retrieve this information from in a timely fashion.

You could very well need this book to rebuild your life quickly!

This holds all important information on you and yours; property, family members, medical info (animals, pets, livestock too), inventory of goods, supplies, knowledge, skills and possessions, phone numbers/contacts, etc. (See the supplies listed in Prerequisite Five and the document items listed in Prerequisite Six.)

The Documentation Book can also have a section for Checklists for the more common caused crises or a list of your Secret Communication Symbols. It can also be used to keep an inventory of your preparedness goods and where they are located, along with a copy of your preparedness plan, the Who, What, When, Where calendar/map, potential recipes on using your food stores and the like.

You might even want a trusted relative that does not live in your area, to have a “trimmed down” copy of this book (minus the detailed personal finance info, etc.).

Nothing like having all the required information an insurance company needs to get your home back and your life on track again in a timely fashion. This book is designed to increase your survivability quotient and has the potential to shorten the duration of some crises.

Preparing Your Emergency Documentation Book/Binder

Next week is about some vital questions to assess immediately after a crisis occurs …