The survival resume or I’m coming to your house

July 28, 2012   Please read it I’ll wait.

What if you had to interview for a place at a bugout spot? What if you were the person doing the interview? What would a good resume  look like for taking someone in or talking your way into someone’s  BOL?  This a mental exercise for you to do and see what you would have to offer or evaluate another person value to your Bugout.

I don’t have a bugout location yet so I would have to apply for entrance to a BOL.  I do have a big strike against me being handicap, physical labor will be my weak point when everything will take more labor!  I was in the Army for 13 years and besides signal communication I have been a Unit Armor(small arms repair up to a .50 cal.), Field Sanitation NCO,  NBC (Nuclear, Biological & Chemical) NCO,  Combat Lifesaver and Master driver trainer( Taught folks to drive up to Semi-sized wheeled vehicles, No tracks though, Darn it!).  These are jobs I have done not just read about in a book.  I worked food service for 7 years and did everything from cook and serve small catered events of 15 people,  to planning all the food and costs for banquets of 500 people as well as help serve over 4000 people.

In My BOV I have about 30+ days of food, 4 firearms and 1500 rounds of ammo. I should be able to have around 30 days of water with a little warning plus two filters, A 5 kw generator and 40 watts of solar panels,  CB Radio, Extra cans of Fix a flat as well as Slime for tires. A few hand tools, water filters,  First aid bag and OTC medicines.  My RV is an old 1976 Ford 460 so it will probably survive EMP with a few replacement parts at the worst. I also have a back up BOV in my adult trike. We would have to downsize a lot but 21 days away from home base is doable for me and the pets.

I can bake and cook from scratch in a dutch oven, solar oven and over an Open flame. I can make beer, and smoke, salt and dry meats. I know how to can both veggies and meats. I can butcher small animals and know how to properly cut up meat from larger animals. I can sharpen knives by hand and I know how to reload and cast lead bullets.

I can patch clothing by hand and have over 30 yards  of cloth from 100% cotton to light weight canvas.  I can spin wool or fur, and I think I could spin hair from the tail and mane of a horse to make light weight rope or twine.

I prepared but I had to leave my home. I can show you the way there and we could go see if anything still exist because I stored ….

I’m not trying to gloat I really hope I’m totally wrong on the economy and things will get better. I won’t change what I do because the things that I have learned and do make my day to day life better if not always easier. I look at this and I’m pretty darn awesome even with my handicap of all I have learned as well as done. Probably nothing that would get me hired by a Fortune 500 company.  My basic first aid and medical supplies I have stored would give me a pretty good shot at being taken in. Having a good 60 days of food would not make me an immediate drain on the community resources. Having some guns and ammo makes me capable of standing watch and being able to cook/bake and garden makes me a good resource for sustaining the community. I could set up a couple of printers and PC/laptops/tablet wi fi networks as well as  my stored paper and become a little communication/library center. If the computers go down I have plenty of paper, pencils and books.

I know it does sound a little mercenary but anyone trying to survive does not need folks that are a dead weight that simply uses resources and has nothing to contribute to make life better for the tribe/clan.  All to often I see folks that think an equitable relationship is they take and you give, I’ve seen it in my own family!

What does your survival resume look like?

Gutters cleaned, mowed up leaves and Mom doing some cleaning therapy

November 30, 2014

Cold and clear today and the good neighbor N. came over to clean the gutters in return for some beer and some mill ends for their fire pit. N. blew some of the leaves off my patio cover with the leaf blower. He really liked the new ladder since we can use it in A-frame mode ad it is tall enough to reach the roof.  The ladder can sit on solid/level concrete so that makes it a lot safer to use. Fred Meyers has the “Cosco” 5-1 ladder on sale this week for $129.00. I know it it is a little more expensive than some ladders but with all the positions and ease of use I think it is a great value.  N. brought my leaf blower so I got to clean my patio and moved a few of the items of Mom’s that sort of spilled over after running out of shop space. I moved Mom’s parkbench and got things so we can walk through as well as move stuff in the next week or two.  I think both Mom and I are a little burned out on that whole idea of lifting, moving and arraigning things for awhile.

I got the backyard mowed, mostly picking up leaves and added the leaf mulch to the small raised beds. I have my tall raised bed with a couple of plants that need to be pulled and add some straw and leaf mulch as cover. I ran out of trash bins and for tomato vines I feel a better throwing them away instead of adding them to the compost pile. I finished up the little doggie ramp for the dogs to navigate the step up into the house.  I’m kind of proud how well the little ramp works and looks as one of my first carpentry jobs with what is on hand and my own imagination. What I like the most is the little ramp is completly out of the way for us humans so we should not have any twisted ankles or falls from any missteps via the ramp.  Mom’s pekes are starting to settle in, but it kind of tough on the old dogs to adapt to a new home when they are short of sight and hard of hearing.  I believe that animals pick up on stress and they will get emotional charged when their humans are unhappy. These poor pekes have been under a lot of stress with the divorce and the move so it will take a few days for them to settle in.  Over all I’m surprised the pekes are starting to adapt after a day and we have got 3 eggs from the chickens in just two days including the move and roosting in small sheds in the kennel. I hope in another day or two, we can let the birds out to free-range a bit in the backyard. Overall the chickens seem happy and are showing very few signs of stress.

While I was out mowing leaves and helping a little with the gutter cleaning, Mom went on a cleaning binge in my house.  My kerosene lamp globes are not only dusted but cleaned as well as several my windows.  The big bathroom has been cleaned and disinfected within an inch of it’s life! I feel a little guilty, but for Mom cleaning is therapeutic. It is her way to exert a little control over her environment and it makes her happy to putter that way. Plus she is helping me in a sort of payback of taking her in. So it is something she needs to do for me.  I’m loving it! I can go do the yard work, make little doggie ramps and my home is clean I’m happy.

I don’t think many “folks” can adapt to a change in status. I believe if you are considering some sort of survival family or group you need to understand people’s strengths and weaknesses and let them do what they are best at.  A couple years back I did a post about a survival resume Now I did the resume from my point of view and bugging out. But you might want to consider the value of people and their skill sets. Perhaps you think anyone can bake, cook, clean or do a bit basic carpentry and plumbing.  How does your survival resume look and what are your skill sets?

Fixing the desktop and playing in the mud

February 16, 2014

Just for fun my Desk top PC died! A little annoying but I had plenty of spare parts and got it up and running again so no big deal.  Repairing or building your own desktop PC is fairly simple. Most of the parts can only be inserted the correct way and there are a ton of instructional videos to build your own desk top. Knowing some basic repair such as adding memory sticks, a hard drive or video cards can help save you a lot of money.  If you ever have to replace a dead hard drive I would recommend physically destroying it if you can’t format the drive.  Just scratch the platters (round mirror like discs) and hard drive won’t work. Don’t throw any parts in the trash! There is some very valuable metals like gold, silver and platinum used in small amounts on those computer parts that can be recovered and recycled! Some recycling companies will pay you a small fee or pick up and recycle those parts for free. Recycling  keeps the landfills  clean from toxic chemicals and the landfill has more space for trash.

Of course a Dead PC always brings up the subject of backups and how often you are backing up your data. With external hard drive so large and cheap now you don’t have a very good excuse not to do back ups of your data. But if you are like me you forget until you have problem with your PC/Laptop.  I prefer having an external hard drive that is physically in your possession rather than some of the internet/cloud based backups. Jump drives are great for your critical files that you might need if you have to bugout and you can carry one on a key chain. Copies of insurance policies, ID/driver licenses,  Birth certificates, SS cards, resumes and other critical documents can be saved on a 8-16 GB  jump drive for under $20.00 and would be a huge help if you ever have to recreate that documentation.  Even if an EMP happens it will be Line of Sight (LOS) so computers will survive somewhere and if you put  your external hard drive in your Faraday Cage the data should be recoverable.

It is amazing just how much mud has been created by digging the trench for the water main.  The soil here has a lot of clay so it is very sticky when wet and sort of humps up in some areas and washes out or undercuts in other areas. With the weather so warm I moved some of the dirt into low lying areas and cleared the back  gate that goes to my wood pile. With the gate cleared I was able to load up the party buckets with wood using the garden wagon and the gate no longer just pops off in my hands.  We have more rain/snow in the forecast but I got a the worst of the trench washed out areas filled in, stacked up wood for the week and even started the dirt and stuff for growing potatoes in a bucket in March. I should be able to add the green house this March and while it wont be a huge help starting plants early this year,  it should add a bit of help this fall to extend the growing  season.

The budget looks okay and I should be able to double the amount of money to pay back Mom and Dad for the leftover debt when I got disabled and now the cost of the water main. Dave Ramsey would probably say pay down the interest loans first but paying off my parents is important to me. I’ll keep working on my savings plan, plan for a little bit of money for repairing/replacing some of the older things around the house and hope that life/ karma and God don’t hand me any more challenges at the last minute.

Celebrating those little victories.

December 20, 2012

If you have been preparing and getting self-reliant you know any “atta boys” are few and far between.  You are consider a threat to the PTBs and probably a bit of a kook by your friends and family. You work hard and invest money, time, going without new stuff and sweat to do all that you can to get ready and at best someone says they will come to your house to share the outcome of all your hard work that they were to lazy or selfish to do for themselves.  Don’t feel guilty when you ask them what they will be bringing with them. Ask them about their “Survival resume”. While I don’t do great in the physical strength and endurance I think I would be an asset to most tribes because of my stored items and skills.

Quite a lot of people have nothing to offer as far as skills or stored goods.  I’ve had it happen in my own family with a relative and their idea of a 50/50 relationship seemed to be I give and they take.  I kicked them out after a year when they had made no progress and I was told since it was family I had to help them. Yes, it was hard to do but this person moved in with another family member same thing happened and even living in a homeless shelter would not wake them up or change their ways.  I just could not let myself be destroyed by this person and these types can be just as dangerous as any mob. Instead of killing you out right the slowly drain you, and like any parasite  just as bad for your health.

I have had one of my best shopping weeks this week, as money, sales and wants all matched up at once! I went meat heavy but I’m thrilled I have 2 “organic” turkeys sitting in the freezer that cost only .98 per pound! I told some folks I know about the great bargains to  save them a little money, plus I like to help others save a few bucks whenever possible!  The Toilet paper and paper towels are stored and I got paper towels covered for a year, but I want to get another big pack of TP before the end of the year. I like these Big Lots  paper towels as the perforations let you tear off as little as a 1/2 sheet at a time so there is less waste. The stop at the farm store worked out great! Kitty food was on sale so I got the 40 pound bag and while I was searching for the cat food I found wicks for kerosene lamps in the perfect width so grabbed a couple for me and Mom for backup/replacement. Not quite as good a price as buying in bulk but  I know I’m covered for lamps and I can get more locally. I got a 2500 BB’s for my little pump air rifle and saw some slingshots and ammo that are low cost and I think I might add to my little backyard “arsenal”.

While Mom and I walk we are sometimes joined by a gentleman and he had a great idea about turning his yard into little “wildlife habit”.  Make the yard appealing for birds and squirrels to come by for a meal and how those animal might be used as meat animals if TSHTF.  He is now attracting doves with his landscaping and I have seen others that have a few ducks that like hanging out in the yards and that got me to thinking about turning the front yard into an attractive place for critters to gather. I would never knowingly violate game laws, but if thing get bad and I have the slingshot and air rifle to shoot safely in the city so this might be an option to add some protein to the diet at least in the short term. Plus watching animals is darn cheap entertainment as they live in the moment and it’s fun to see birds and smaller critters find a “happy place” like a small pool for ducks or bird bath and see them enjoy themselves. Plus  birds love insects and can help keep the yard clear of  pests.  Perhaps add a little fish pond to add a little variety to the diet and the yard will still look “normal” to the city!

We had a very windy day and I can report that the cheap “storm” window plastic I bought at the Dollar store held up great.  I think adding several these packages of plastic that will cover two 30″x36″ windows each is a good buy.  A lot of value for helping to insulate your home and they could be put up fairly quickly inside to help seal your home against a NBC attack or just a chemical spill/radiation dust if a nuke plant melts down. Gamma radiation can only be stopped by lead or lots of dirt/concrete but both Alpha and Beta particles can be stopped by a something as thin as a piece of paper and tend to degrade rapidly (14 days).  If you keep the dust off your skin and don’t ingest it via food or breathing you are relatively safe. Same thing for volcanic ash, as ash tend to be full of sulfur, will cut like crushed glass and if breathed in it creates sulfuric acid if mixed with water. Very bad for the lungs not to mention your car’s paint job!  So one cheap little dollar store plastic purchases can help to protect you from many threats as well as save you money on heating costs. I’ve seen a this a lot in my prepping and becoming self reliant, by solving one major problem I also solve several others that might happen with just one purchase.

So we have made it through another year and I know I’m learning and growing in ways I never thought of a couple of years ago. You are living in “historic times” and while sometimes it may suck think of all you have done, how far you have come and what you have learned. Remember it takes both heat and pressure to turn a lump of coal into a diamond!


A new project to get me away from being “Debbie Downer”

September 12, 2012

I’m by nature an optimistic and positive person.  Don’t know why because most of the family tends to have more of a cynical outlook on life.  I think overall it’s helped with the little setbacks in life that we all have to deal with,  I can not take credit for it it’s just how I’m wired.  I don’t do “Doom & Gloom very well and it wears me down, perhaps quicker than it would a more cynical person.  So watching what’s happening in the world makes it darn tough for me and I know today’s worries are  nothing more than a case of the sniffles  now compared to Double pneumonia when the Collapse happens and it will happen because it’s just math.

Nothing I can do will change what will happen. I just have to keep stacking the odds in my favor for when it does and take positive steps to control my little environment and how I will react.  Learning all-grain brewing is my answer to doom and gloom.  I have already read three different ways to use the spent grains from the all grain brewing method.  I can save $6.00-$10.00 per six gallon batch or beer. I will have one of the best barter items as it takes specific ingredients, skill and knowledge to make beer.  Brewing  is definitely going on my survival resume!

I love learning skills, mastering something even in it’s simplest form is almost “Zen-like” for me.  Sure you can pay a lot of money for anything you want, but to master a simple skill and reach for perfection is very rewarding.  It has a value beyond than dollars or the hours invested. A simple loaf of homemade bread costs about 30-50 cents to make but it’s value to me is much higher!

You can always tell  someone values by how simple they think it is to do, also they have probably never done it.  I hear this a lot from my family. “It’s easy for you”.  Now I’m 100% disabled,  I’m able to mow my lawn in 15-30 minute blocks and rest for 30-60 minutes and that’s using a gas mower. This is not a big lawn, before I was disabled I could knock out both front and the backyard in about an hour including edging and weed waking.  Now it takes two days.

Oh sure I have time and I have tried to learn skills that take advantage of my work/rest cycles. Cheat  using powered tools when I can, but it ain’t easy for me. I may have time but very little that I can do is physically easy.  Somethings I just can’t do because of my handicap. Well I could never slam dunk a basketball but that didn’t mean I couldn’t have fun playing basketball when I was younger.

We all have limitations of one sort of another, I don’t believe that is an excuse not to do the very best you can!

Colorado fires and bugout

June 25, 2012

I know we often have  conversations about folks in “Denial”.  It seems so logical to have a few supplies for any kind of disaster no matter how it manifests.  Ask the folks in Colorado how important a Bugout plan is now that the fires are raging out of control.  There is a guy named Dave that is on APN and is ready to bugout because of the fires if the order comes down. He had 3 routes out and 1 has been cut because of the fire but 2 are still good. The vehicle is already packed, gassed up  ready to go if he needs to scoot!  While the situation sucks it seems to me he is very grateful that he was already prepared and can deal with this quickly and without panic.

Michelle Malkin had to leave quickly and left behind 2 pet birds. Now she seems like a very smart lady and since she is a best selling author I assume she has a few dollars to prepare. Yet even she was caught unprepared and these poor little birds may die because no one will give them water or food while she is gone.  I’m not trying to pick on her it just shows that even smart people with a few bucks can get caught out because of denial!

I try to use these disaster to think of what would I do if I was there and it is happening to me. How long would it take me to GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge) with 12-24 hours warning?  What would I need to pack in the RV what roads could I take out?  I used up my cash and payday is 4 days away so how do I fill the propane & gas tank?  Do I have food, clothing, blankets  and water to last up to 2 weeks or more? Are all of my important papers ready to grab and go, do I have copies? Medical supplies and any records needed to get prescription drugs if needed. Do I have pet food, collars, leashes and crates for the pets so they are safe and have their preps on hand.  Alternate communications to let folks know I’m safe and where I’m at as well as the spot where I’m going to settle down until the disaster is over.

Lets say you do all of these thing and your home is not destroyed but has the power cut or is looted.  Did you put the food in the freezer in ziplock bags with a couple or ice cubes in case the power went out but your food froze again, or worse the power is still out and you have to clean the fridge and freezer of rotted food. Trust me bagging all your food in plastic bags will save you ton of heart ache as well as your sense of smell if you bag your food before a potential power outage while you are away from home.  Do you have pictures recorded of all your stuff before the disaster you can submit to your insurance company?  Do you have some basic  “business attire/uniform” for your job?  Showing up in dirty jeans, t-shirt, sneakers or sweats after a disaster probably won’t impress the boss.  At least have “Business Casual” clothing clean and ready to wear.  While they may understand why,  being ready will impress they heck out of them and give you some “gold star points”. If the business is destroyed you will have good clothes to wear for a job interview.  You resume is updated right?….

Take care of yourself first and you will be able to help others. Unless you do for you first you can help no one. Yes that does kind of selfish at first but giving away all your water and food will just get you dead. I believe God asks us to be generous not stupid.

Sasha is finally Home !

March 21, 2012

I am so excited, I made the last payment on my Russian SKS today and got to give a super close look and do a little research on her as well. I think I did good on the price and from what I can see she is is not a refurbished SKS.  Looks like a 1954 Tula with the original stock.   I got the box,  sadly no paperwork but I do have an additional  collapsible (Evil Black Rifle) stock and 20 round Magazine all for $300.00.  I had someone offer to buy it while I was finishing up the paperwork.

I’ll be giving her some extra cleaning and learning everything about the SKS for the next few days as this is the first Russian made rifle I’ve ever used.  I want to be thoroughly familiar with it before I ever load her up with ammo.

I did have a PC problem when I got up this AM but the Tower is working fine now. I have a Laptop that is my main backup and I could do most everything needed but I need to budget some money for building a new PC as this one is getting a little long in the tooth as far as technology goes and she has been upgraded about as far as her motherboard will allow.  I need to grab the Backup drive out of my EMP Box and do another Update of the drive.

My neighbor’s are on my network and have agreed to barter some lawn work in return for internet access and using my Laser printer.  They are great people very community oriented as well as looking to become self-reliant.  They, like many young folks got snookered by the student loan fiasco to the point that putting a degree on a resume is actually a bad thing for getting a job as they are over-qualified.  But, they are not waiting for help from the PTBs.  They put in a garden,  got chickens and are cooking , making real food and working hard to make this neighborhood a real community that works together.

So all in all not a bad week. We not at war and the economy has not blown up yet. Every month I get better prepared and with a little luck by October  the wood stove, the water barrels and the Solar setup  will be done.  Of course money is tight but I’m still managing to stay under $125.00 per month for my food bills as well as dropping my electric usage.  I set up my budget for inflation of up to 30% either the rising cost of living or a cut in SSD and VA benefits so while I’m not happy, I’m not hurting either.

The food dehydrating is coming along as a new way to store. The Beer making is going great and this year I hope to grow my own Hops and get some Malted grain stored for making my own Wort from scratch.  I do have a bit of a challenge getting a 1000 rounds of ammo for the rifle. But, 7.62×39 ammo is darn cheap to buy compared to most rifle ammo. Heck if it was easy everyone would play!

Last FYI Mom came through the Knee replacement surgery great and they may even release her early from the hospital.

Spent the last week working on Family/friends PCs

July 1, 2011

      Yes, I’m family tech support I’m not fast but I’m cheap. 2 fried hard drives via a very nasty bit of Malware. 2 very big differences on the amount of work fixing the problems. 1 person had a cloned drive with an external hard drive, about 20 minutes work to swap the drives. The other person had nothing on backup discs or external drives about 30  hours work just trying to fix, then  save some data off the drive. Professional data recovery is very expensive, but external hard drives are very cheap. From a jump drives to external drives to a small NAS box, you can save your data for under $50.00 and it’s very portable if you have to leave quickly. Most of us have our whole lives on a computer, from financial software to pictures. We don’t have photo albums we have slide shows. Our music is not on albums, cassettes or CDs but iTunes and Mp3s. We’ve become digitized, take away the internet, cell phones and laptops and some folks start going into electronic withdrawal that cause real physical symptoms.
       Prepping for me is all about not suffering needlessly in all aspects of life. So for your digital prep I recommend a jump drive of  at least 4 GB that you can carry with you on a key chain that has up to date pics of the home and hi-value items(for insurance), All family members and pets pictures for identification and posting. Critical papers from birth certificates, SS cards, ID or driver’s Lic., last year’s tax returns.  Titles to cars, boats and other toys. Resumes, Wills, insurance and whatever you think you may need to start a new life in a new place. It’s a bit of work to scan them and digitize. But after the first bit of work all you will need to do is update yearly. Unless you have a major purchase or life event.
I don’t think things will ever be easy if SHTF. But if you get ready now you can make things less hard.  

You gotta bug out, Now what?

May 17, 2011

I’m a big beleiver in bugging in,. Making your home as safe and secure as you can is tops on my to do list. But what if you can’t? I think I have a way you can shift quickly from bugging in to bugging out.
Now many of the survivalist/prepping blogs have a years worth of storage from food to socks to toilet paper and that is great, but the cops or fire dept. knock on your door and tell you got to leave in the next 2 hours because of a mandatory evacuation order and you won’t go to a shelter.

  1. Don’t think a 72 hour bag will sustain you. Think 3 weeks to 3 months, I’m simple I plan on 3 months and the 3 weeks will be covered.
  2. You are on the move, and so is everyone else. All traffic will be slow and you will have to deal with it and not get crazy. Videos, cards, dice and books can keep folks entertain during the slow sections.
  3.  Have a place to land. I think an old RV or tent is great to have on hand and ready to go. Make it a camping trip as you get out of the impact area. Plus if you keep it stocked up you can have a great little mini vacation witout much work. 
  4. Have a few buckets full of all basic food. While a bucket of wheat may sustain you bugging in. You need a multi-tasker bucket that covers beans, rice, meats, vegies and fruits. Not to mention water, sanitation, first aid or cooking. I’ve made several of these types of buckets using Ziplock or Foodsaver bags. Not perfect but are great for an easy grab and go or to store by or in your bugout vehicle. You might choose Freeze-dried food or MRE’s but you must store it in or be ready to put in a vehicle in minutes. 
  5. Where is your BOB make sure that it is on the way to the exit. That’s you first life line and should get you through that first 72 hours. You need to be able to grab your BOB and be out of the house in less than 30 seconds.
  6. Fuel for the vehicle, try to drive on the top half of the tank, I know it’s tough at todays prices. Have enough gas cans on hand to fill a tank. I drive a Kia Sedona Mini-van that has an 19 gallon tank. So I have 3, 6 gallon gas cans full of fuel that I try to rotate a can at a time every 3 months. This is also has a bonus that I have fresh gas for a generator if needed for bugging in. 
  7. Medications and paper work, You can easily carry your records via USB stick and some basic records of  Birth certificates, shot records, SS cards,  a resume,  banking accounts, insurance papers and other items needed for re-estblishing yourself in a new locale. 

This is by no means a complete list. It’s to get you thinking about what you need to think about if the unthinkable happens and you MUST move. What works for me may not work for you. But this should cover the basics for everybody and give you a place to start.