Failing to Prepare is Preparing to fail

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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Show Contents 10th December 2014



Show Notes
This week I begin with Melting Snow for Water, then The KeySmart Review, What to do when you bring the bacon home? Winter Foraging, How to Store Meat for Years Without Refrigeration, Winter is on the way, Be Prepared… For a Power Cut, Winter Warmers, Do we really need to prep?, Out and About Alone, Ground to Air Signals, Avoiding Civil Unrest, The Bug out Week end is coming.

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Melting Snow for Water
Many of us are familiar with the phrase, “Never drink yellow snow”.
While that’s an easy truth to remember, the contaminants that we are most concerned about (disease causing organisms known as pathogens) are not easily detected or clearly obvious for that matter.
And while you and I may think that newly fallen snow is pristine & perfectly safe for creating drinking water, we should always take steps where possible to reduce our risk of getting sick from consuming contaminated snow.
Here are the two most common ways to turn that freshly fallen snow into usable drinking water.
Gradually add snow to a bottle that already has some drinking water in it. As the snow melts to create more water, add some more snow. Eventually, you’ll have a bottle full of water which can then be passed through a water purifier or treated with drops/tablets.
Traditionally, water treatment drops & tablets are thought to present less of a threat to your health than the pathogen.
Most good water purifiers are designed to address those same pathogenic organisms & remove them from the water without needing chemicals. If you subscribe to the best-practice of redundancy, then water filters are your ideal go-to kit as they will also remove those water treatment chemicals as well.
In an appropriate container that already has some water in it, add some snow and then melt that snow by placing it near a heat source such as a stove/fire pit (use fire-safe container), solar oven, once the water cools, you can drink it.
The KeySmart Review
KeySmarts goal is to save the world from bulky, annoying keys
Are you constantly annoyed with thigh poke, key jingle, and damaged pants, Mike set out to design a solution to the bulky key ring. 
After months of prototyping, testing, and redesigning, KeySmart was born. 
The frame was crafted out of aluminium to be ultra-lightweight, and the hardware was milled from stainless steel to survive anything life threw at it. 
After launching on Kickstarter in early 2013, KeySmart was one of the most popular products ever launched.  Mike quit his job to take KeySmart on full time and has been making happy customers ever since.
The KeySmart changes your bunch of keys into a Swiss Army Knife looking EDC item.
It does this by allowing the user to dismantle it simply with a coin for example and to rebuild it with your keys placed between the two aircraft aluminium quality handles.
The keys fit over two stainless steel posts one at each end which allow the keys to swivel in and out.
When you have put the KeySmart back together you can chose how tight to make posts as of course if too lose the keys will swivel on their own and if too tight one key can bring another with it. However I find this to be a good thing to be honest as it is my choice how I tighten it and not the maker.
I have found the KeySmart to be a great solution to the ugly noisy bunch of keys normally found hanging from a key ring, it is also now not a painful problem when carrying keys in my trouser pocket as there are no sharp points to dig into my leg.
I have the Sharp Shooter Keychain from http://www.bushidoproductions.com/index.php which normally has a bunch of keys on the ring at the end but now I have the KeySmart on the end instead of the bulky keys and as it is just as heavy, in fact slightly heavier with the KeySmart it does just the same job but now it does it silently and that is for me an unexpected bonus. The keySmart comes in different sizes from a 5 key holder to a massive 100 key holder and even comes with a USB flash drive connecter as an extra.
There are 8 different colours and a titanium version as well.
There are also different attachments that you can buy to individualise your KeySmart from a Multi-Tool Card, Card Sharp, Nomad - Minimalist charge cable, money clip, glow fob etc. etc. To be honest only your imagination will limit what you can attach to the KeySmart.
It is of course now part of my EDC and you can get yours from http://getkeysmart.com/
What to do when you bring the bacon home?
As good as mass-produced bacon is, curing and smoking your own at home kicks things up to a whole new level.
Once you master the technique, the flavour options are endless. Like your bacon with a kick? Bump up the red or chilli powder.
Like it sweeter? Try extra honey, brown sugar, real maple syrup or sorghum or molasses or treacle in your cure.
While the curing process takes some time, the recipe itself is a simple one. Any smoker will work, but electric models make it easier to maintain the necessary low smoking temperatures needed to get the bacon just right. Wood choices can be as varied as you want them to be, but hickory and apple are the two most popular. 
Curing bacon at home is so simple that the hardest part of the whole process can be procuring the pork belly itself.
Bacon made from wild pigs is a bit leaner than its store bought cousin, but it tastes pretty good.
Prep Time
7-9 days
Cook Time
6-8 hours on the smoker
Ingredients
A whole pork belly from the butcher shop normally runs around 10-12 pounds.  A belly from an adult wild pig around 4-6.  The following recipe is enough cure for 5-6 pounds, if you buy a whole pork belly, just separate it into two, more or less equal, pieces.
5 pound piece of pork belly, skin on or off, your choice
1.5 teaspoons pink salt (cure also known as Prague Powder number one, available on the internet at around £4 for 250g)
1/2 cup Maldon salt
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sorghum molasses, if you can’t find that then use molasses or treacle
1 Tablespoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 gallon Ziplock bag
Cooking Instructions
Begin by mixing all dry ingredients into a small bowl. Rub the cure into the exposed surfaces of the pork. Really work it in, make sure the belly is well coated with the cure. Place the pork into a two gallon Ziplock bag and pour sorghum over the top of the meat (honey works well too) and seal the bag. Place the belly flat into a pyrex dish (the bag will leak a little, they always do) and put it in the fridge. Flip the pork once per day for 7 to 10 days.
I often get asked, "How do I know when it is finished curing?" The answer is, when it tastes right to you. After day seven or eight, open the bag and slice a tiny sliver from one side.
Rinse it well under cold water and fry it like you would bacon. If you like the flavour, it is finished. If you would like the salt and spice to be a bit stronger, let it soak another day or two. Remember that the outer surface is always quite a bit saltier than the inner slices will be.
Now that the bacon is fully cured, remove it from the bag and rinse thoroughly under running water. The next step is to let the bacon dry completely to form a sticky pellicle.
I prefer to do this by placing the bacon on a wire cooling rack and running a low speed fan over it for six to eight hours. 
Your bacon is now ready for the smoker. A good remote meat thermometer comes in handy at this point.  
I like to start my smoker at 175 degrees.  Maintain this temperature for 3-4 hours then bump it up to 200 degrees to finish.
You are looking for an internal temperature of 150 degrees on the pork belly. Once you reach this point, the bacon is finished. Remove from the smoker and let the bacon cool completely before slicing.
I like to let mine come to room temperature, then place it into the freezer for an hour or two. The freezer helps to firm the bacon and makes slicing easier. 
The fastest way to slice bacon is on a deli style meat slicer. A good sharp knife works too. Cured bacon will keep up to a year when vacuum sealed and kept in the freezer.  
Use your homemade bacon just like you would bacon you buy from the supermarket. It makes a fine breakfast, wraps nicely around a pigeon breast or chunk of deer or steak, and seasons a pot of campfire baked beans like nothing else. After you get the basic recipe down, try flavours to make your own perfect blend.
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Winter Foraging
For the beginner, foraging should come with a health warning as it’s easy to mistake a deadly fungus for an innocent field mushroom.
While wild food is generally good for you, taking precautions and getting some tips and advice from experienced foragers is essential.
Before you head out into the wilderness, remember to check whether the land you are foraging on is protected, and whether it is public – get permission if it isn’t. Always follow the country code and don’t overharvest: birds and animals depend on wild foods for their survival. 
Mushrooms
Neither animal nor vegetable, mushrooms are a type of fungi and the largest living organisms on Earth, some reaching three miles in length. Wild mushrooms grow across most of the UK and parks and woodlands are a good place to start; the New Forest is said to be particularly rich.
Thanks to the diversity of our native mushroom species, there are always some varieties in season, but autumn is the prime mushroom picking time, as September and October are the months when most of the good edible varieties appear.
Always take a knife when foraging for fungi, so you can cut them from the base rather than pulling them out of the ground. This prevents damage to the mycelium (root-like threads) that allow them to regenerate.
Take paper bags or a wicker basket rather than plastic, which makes for sweaty mushrooms. Once you have your mushrooms safely home you are spoilt for choice for things to do with them. Grill them, stuff them, add them to soups, stir-fries and pies, or fry with wild garlic and parsley.
There are loads of recipe ideas for wild mushrooms online, such as Rogers Mushrooms, which also offers a guide to identifying the best edible species, and even an app for on the hoof identification using your mobile phone. 
Wild garlic is a good all-rounder. Widespread and abundant across much of the UK, it’s easily harvestable throughout the year and is versatile and delicious. It tastes much like regular garlic but has a milder flavour than cultivated cloves. Use the leaves to spice up a winter salad or stir-fry, or use it to add flavour to soups and stews.
Dandelions are healthy and are freely available throughout the country for most of the year. The whole plant can be eaten: leaves in salads, sandwiches or pies, while flowers (in bloom between February and November) can be used in anything from risotto to omelettes.
If you can’t wait for the buds to open, they can be marinated and used like capers for flavour. Make dandelion coffee by grinding the dried roots and use as normal. It’s totally caffeine-free and has a vaguely chocolately taste. The roots can also be thrown into stir-fries or added to vegetable dishes.
Nettles tend to be avoided thanks to their well-known propensity for leaving painful welts on the hands of the picker. But once you’ve invested in a decent pair of gardening gloves, the pros of nettles outweigh the cons.
Among other things, they can be used be make tea, soup, beer and even haggis. Boiling will get rid of the sting. Packed with vitamins and minerals, nettles contain more vitamin C than oranges. Nettles should be harvested before the flowers appear in early spring and only the youngest leaves should be chosen; mature leaves can damage the kidneys. Find them in gardens, woodlands, pastures and orchards.
Hawthorn used to be referred to as ‘bread and cheese,’ as the leaves sandwiched between slices of bread were once a staple food in the spring.
The leaves can also be added to salads, made into a tea or munched straight off the branch, while the roasted seeds make a good coffee substitute. Hawthorn berries, bountiful in autumn, make a tasty jam or fruit bread – try adding the dried and ground fruit to flour for a fruity loaf.
Hawthorn also has medicinal benefits and can help treat heart and circulation disorders. Powerful bioflavinoids present in the fruit stimulate blood flow.
Berries
Abundant, tasty and packed with vitamin C, berries are one of the easiest foods to forage. They often abound in accessible areas and there’s so much variety, you can’t go far wrong. Among the most common are blackberries, raspberries, mulberries and sloes, and the uses range from juices and cordials to jams and jelly, pies and cakes, wine and gin, and ice cream. Look for berries in woodlands, hedgerows, and parks from late summer. 
Nuts are a rich source of protein and energy for hungry foragers, but bear in mind that nuts are relied on by many birds and animals, so don’t take the lot.
Forage for nuts in the autumn, keeping them dry and warm once picked. Eat them as they come or roasted.
Most nuts can also be used as a replacement for protein, so work well in nut roasts and nut breads, or mixed into salads and stir-fries for extra crunch. Ground nuts can be pressed through a fine muslin bag to extract the oil, which can then be used for frying and dressing salads.
Favourites include chestnuts, beechnuts, hazelnuts, and walnuts. Grubbing for pignuts was once a popular past time but is now illegal without the landowner’s permission.
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How to Store Meat for Years With Out Refrigeration
So you are living off the land post SHTF and you manage to kill a deer or domestic cow, as you cannot eat it all at the same time you will have to find a way to preserve the rest of the meat.
Now if you lived in the frozen north you could place your extra meat underground and keep it edible for months.
If you lived in the desert you could even hang the extra meat out to dry in the sun.
But what if you live in the UK which has a temperate climate, how will you preserve this extra protein now?
Dehydrating
Dehydrating if you have emergency power is a chemical-free way to preserve meat so it becomes too dry for microbial action. Compared to traditional sun-drying, using an electric dehydrator is faster and safer. Whether you like the chewy texture of beef jerky cut along the grain or the more crumbly cross-cut chips, the slices need to be thin to ensure thorough drying inside and out.
Fat in the meat may go rancid when kept, so be sure to remove all skin and fat before slicing the meat into strips not more than one-fourth of an inch in thickness.
Lean cuts and chicken breasts are preferable to fattier portions.
Make sure your dehydrator has a temperature setting of 165 degrees Fahrenheit required for heating the meat strips to destroy harmful bacteria like E.coli and Salmonella.
It is much safer if you thoroughly heat the prepared meat in an oven set over 250 degrees F for 10-15 minutes before transferring it to the dehydrator.
Continuous running of the dehydrator at its maximum temperature for 16-20 hours will make the jerky sufficiently dry. Store the dried jerky lightly packed in airtight containers.
It will stay good at room temperature for up to two months. Extend its shelf life by storing in the freezer or by vacuum sealing it.
Curing with salt
However if you have no power then common salt is the dehydrating agent that helps preserve the meat.
Meat cured with salt is safe, as salt acts as an anti-microbial.
There are basically two ways to salt-cure meat. Rubbing salt on the meat and letting the juices drain off will result in a dry product.
The process is as easy as mixing salt with the meat, but for better flavour, spices and herbs are often used.
Meat can be preserved in salt solution, too; it is called “brining.” You can add brown sugar or honey for extra taste. Another traditional curing process called “biltong” involves marinating the meat in vinegar prior to salting and drying.
Commercially available salt-cured meat products contain several additives to improve their texture. You can cut down the chemical load by curing the meat with “Maldon Salt,” which is free of additives.
Specially formulated “curing salt” contains about 6 percent sodium nitrite, a chemical that’s known to offer some protection against botulism, but bad for you over the permitted limits.
The recommendation is one ounce of curing salt per quart of water.
Whatever method you use, the success of meat preservation hinges on the quality of the meat used. Always go for the freshest cuts.
Winter is on the way
Basic Bug-in Kit
You may need to shelter-in-place or stay in your home during an extended power cut. You and your family need to be prepared to do this for at least 72 hours (you may already have some of these items in your Family Emergency Bug-Out Bag).
Water
Store at least a 3-day supply for each member of your family.
Children, nursing mothers and people who are ill require more water.
Non-perishable food
Store at least a 3-day supply and select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and little or no water.
First aid supplies
Purchase a complete first aid kit and first aid manual.
Add personal care items such as toothpaste and soap, toilet rolls and a supply of non-prescription drugs
Tools and supplies, such as:
Battery-operated radio, Torch and extra batteries
Lantern and fuel, candles, fire lighting kit.
Compass, matches in a waterproof container, signal flare, whistle
Pocket knife or multi-tool
Clothing & bedding, such as:
1 change of clothing and footwear per person
Rain gear
Blankets or sleeping bags
Sweaters
Special items
Medication
Keep important family records and documents in a waterproof, portable container or a bank safety deposit box including:
Photo ID (passports, driver's license, etc...)
Bank account, credit card numbers and a small amount of cash
Photos of family members in case you are separate
Store items in a waterproof pack or dufflebag and make sure everyone knows where to find it.
Would you know what to do if your car became stranded in snow?
Be Prepared
Always drive with at least 1/2 a tank of fuel during the winter months. In an emergency, you will need as much fuel as possible.
Pack a fleece blanket, emergency food and a first aid kit in the interior of your car. In an emergency the boot might not be accessible, and fleece is one of the few pieces of material that retains its ability to provide warmth even if it gets wet.
Have a container in the car that is capable of holding snow. In an emergency it may be necessary to collect snow in order to hydrate.
Replace all the interior light bulbs with LED bulbs. LED bulbs use about one-twelfth of the energy of an incandescent bulb and cost less. In an emergency, conserving the car battery is extremely important, and the LED bulbs make a big difference.
What to Do If You’re Stranded
Firstly don’t panic and don’t rely on your technology. Survival is never about technology and always about temperament. In many cases cell phones and GPS devices may have been disabled by the accident or will not have service. However, if they are functional, they should be used immediately.
Always stay in your vehicle. If people are coming to look for you there is a better chance they will see a car than a person. You will also be able to survive for longer in your vehicle than in the elements. 
There are only two circumstances in which you should leave the vehicle. The first is if you are familiar with the surroundings and are certain it would be easy to walk to safety. The second is an option of last resort in which you believe you have absolutely no chance of surviving unless you try to walk to safety.
Keep your seat belt on. In winter conditions it is likely that other drivers may slide into your vehicle after it has become stuck.
Open a back window slightly. The exhaust pipe can be obstructed by snow, which can cause deadly carbon monoxide fumes to get into the vehicle when the engine is running.
Run the engine for 10 to 15 minutes every hour. This will allow you to heat the car, melt snow into water and even warm a meal if you have packs of survival food. It will also conserve fuel and prolong the life of both the engine and the battery. In an emergency, the vehicle is your lifeboat, and you want it to be functional for as long as possible.
Basic Car Survival Kit
Carry a Car Survival Kit – every driver should have:
Jump Leads
Vehicle fluids
1 Gallon fuel container
A survival candle
Torch
Survival blankets for each person
First aid equipment
Thermos flask of a hot drink or soup
Bottled water for each person
High energy Cereal Bars
Self-heating meals for each person plus relevant cutlery
Medication
Small Tarp (for blocking broken windows etc.)
Battery/wind up radio
Local map
Motorway map
Basic Kit for Family Members with Special Needs
Include medications, denture needs, corrective lenses, hearing aids and batteries for family members with special needs, such as children and elderly or disabled persons, as well as in your Bug-Out-Bag.
Extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, medication, catheters, food for service animal(s), plus other special equipment you might need.
A list of individuals to contact in the event of an emergency.
A list of the style and serial numbers of medical devices, such as pacemakers.
Also, store back-up equipment, such as a manual wheelchair, at a neighbour’s home, school or your workplace.
Keep the shut-off switch for oxygen equipment near your bed to reach it quickly if there is a fire.
Basic Pet and Service Animal Kit
I suggest your kit includes the following items:
72 hour supply of food, bowls and can opener
72 hour supply of bottled water
Medical records, especially proof of vaccination (note that most boarding facilities will not accept pets without proof of current vaccination records)
Current photo of pet in case he gets lost
ID tag (micro chipping also recommended)
All kits should be checked twice a year to ensure freshness of food, water and medication and to restock any items you may have borrowed.
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Be Prepared… For a Power Cut

Winter is on the way or depending on where in the UK i.e. The North East, Yorkshire it is already here.
Depending on where you live, experiencing a power cut can range from being moderately inconvenient to a complete nightmare. Being prepared means that a power cut needn’t be a disaster…
Emergency supplies
Last winter there were families in remote parts of the country where a power cut left them stranded for days without heat, light, cooking facilities and hot water. Shops had to be closed and heavy snowfall blocked roads and railways. With a power cut – no matter where you are – can cause real problems.  
Candles can be dangerous, keeping warm is difficult and milk and food may turn rancid. A little preparation is definitely worthwhile.
Here’s an emergency check-list of what you should have in the house:
Candles, minimum four to five dozen.
Candle stick holders. In a pinch, fold aluminium foil around the candle bases 
Matches and disposable lighters.
Emergency heater
Torches and extra batteries.
Canned goods and dry food mixes
Water and juices.
Extension cords, long enough to reach your neighbour’s house.
Hand tools such as hammer, screwdriver and wood saw.
Seasoned firewood.
Extra blankets.
Paper plates, cups and plastic utensils.
First-aid kit
Fire Extinguisher
Remember to keep these things together and in a place where they will be easy to reach and find in the dark. It’s also a good idea to keep some emergency lighting on each level of the house, a lighter with candles should be fine until you can access the torches.
Try to get children used to candles – from distance! Bath-time is a good time to introduce candlelight – it makes a relaxing atmosphere and your child is safely contained in the tub. 
During a power cut you’ll only be able to use them on high surfaces. Do not walk around with a lit candle, use torches instead to get about the house.
During a power cut
You will find the temperature in your home drops quickly. Keep a small baby close to you for warmth, and consider co-sleeping. Toddlers will need extra clothes and blankets at bed times. A torch may make an impromptu night-light.
However even adults will need extra layers of clothes as well as blankets hats and gloves.
Report the power cut to your electricity supplier immediately. They should have a 24-hour emergency telephone number that is on your electricity bill or in the front of the yellow pages. 
Tell them if you have a young children, elderly person or those with medical problems in the house and ask for an estimated length of time.
If the power cut is going to last several days, consider staying with a friend or relative with power. Having no heat or light is going to be, at the best, inconvenient and at the worst, dangerous.
And finally…
Get your family into good habits. Stairs should always be kept free of toys and clutter in case you do end up stumbling around in the dark.
Further Power cut Advice
As we are so dependent on electricity for everything we do, a long-term power cut can quickly turn from a momentary inconvenience to an outright disaster.
Stop and consider everything you do on a daily basis that requires electricity; Kitchen Appliances cooking, heating or cooling our homes, lighting, running water for drinking, bathing & washing dishes and clothes, refrigeration of food, and communication needs; phones, radio, television and the internet.
And don’t forget about family members that are dependent on special equipment such as a respirator, ventilator, oxygen concentrator, suction machine, medication compressor. 
These are items that can easily be powered by a backup power source such as a generator.
You can greatly lessen the impact of electrical power failure by taking the time to prepare in advance. You and your family should be prepared to cope on your own during a power cut for at least 72 hours.
Also consider establishing a contingency plan for extreme emergencies for members of your household with special needs.
Power Cut Survival Kit
You must make an emergency plan that includes a disaster survival supply kit that includes items you can use when there is a power cut.
This kit should include:
Torches and extra batteries.
A battery-powered radio with fresh batteries.
Water for drinking and cooking.
A portable heater (such as kerosene or LP gas).
Camping equipment such as sleeping bags, a portable lamp or lantern, and a camp stove.
A telephone that does not require electricity to operate Remember cordless phones do not work when the power is off.
Emergency Lanterns or battery-powered torches and lanterns or even wind-up ones are safer than candles, gas lanterns (to minimize the risk of fire).
Don't forget water and food.
During the winter, try to live in one room. Choose the room with the fireplace or one that can be heated easily with a portable heater.
You can install a non-electric standby stove or heater. Choose heating units that are not dependent on an electric motor, electric fan, or some other electric device to function.
It is important to adequately vent the stove or heater with the type of chimney flue specified for it.
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, have the chimney cleaned every autumn in preparation for use and to eliminate creosote build-up which could ignite and cause a chimney fire.
If the standby heating unit will use the normal house oil or gas supply, have it connected with shut-off valves by a certified corgi engineer.
Before considering the use of an emergency generator during a power cut, check with furnace, appliance and lighting fixture dealers or manufacturers regarding power requirements and proper operating procedures.
What to do During a Power Cut
Turn off and unplug all tools, appliances and electronic equipment, and turn the thermostat(s) for the home heating system down to minimum to prevent damage from a power surge when power is restored. 
Also, power can be restored more easily when there is not a heavy load on the electrical system.
Use Surge Protectors (can be bought for around £10 each) It’s strongly recommended that expensive electronics be unplugged during a power cut to protect them from power surges when electricity is restored, but for when you can’t unplug, surge protectors will help prevent damage to electronics like computers and televisions.
Turn off all lights, except one inside and one outside, so that both you and the repair crews outside know that the power cut is over and has been restored.
Don't open your freezer or fridge unless it is absolutely necessary. 
Make sure food stays as cold as possible, by keeping refrigerator and freezer doors closed. 
A full freezer will keep food frozen for 24 to 36 hours if the door remains closed.
Never use charcoal or gas barbecues, camping heating equipment, or home generators indoors. They give off carbon monoxide. 
Because you can't smell or see it, carbon monoxide can cause health problems and is life-threatening.
Use proper candle holders. Never leave lit candles unattended and keep out of reach of children. Always extinguish candles before going to bed.
Listen to your battery-powered or wind-up radio for information on the power outage and advice from authorities
Use of Home Generators
Home generators are handy for backup electricity in case of a power cuts, but must only be used in accordance with the manufacturer's guidelines.
A back-up generator may only be connected to your home's electrical system through an approved transfer panel and switch that has been installed by a qualified electrician.
Never plug a generator into a wall outlet as serious injury can result when the current produced by the home generator is fed back into the electrical lines, and transformed to a higher voltage. This can also endanger the lives of utility employees working to restore the power.
To operate a generator safely:
Follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Ensure that the generator operates outdoors in well-ventilated conditions, well away from doors or windows, to prevent exhaust gases from entering the house.
Connect lights and appliances directly to the generator. If extension cords must be used, ensure they are properly rated and.
When the Power Returns
Step by Step: Resetting circuit Breakers
Turn off light switches and unplug appliances in all rooms that have lost power.
Find your circuit breaker box and open the cover.
Locate the tripped breaker. Circuit breakers are small, usually horizontal switches and may be labeled (e.g., "kitchen," "bathroom" etc.). 
The tripped circuit breaker will be in the "off" position or in a middle position between "on" and "off."
Reset the breaker by moving it to the full "off" position and then back to "on." That should clear an overload and return power to the room.
If the breaker re-trips, it could be for a number of reasons: too many lamps and appliances plugged into the circuit; a damaged cord or plug; a short circuit in a receptacle, switch or fixture; or faulty wiring.
Identify and fix problems before finally resetting the breaker.
Tips and Warnings
If a breaker continues to re-trip, reset it only when you've corrected the problem, or call an electrician.
When resetting a breaker use only one hand and stand to the side to avoid electrical arc if the breaker should malfunction.
Working with electrical systems is potentially dangerous. If you're unsure of your abilities or about any aspect of the job, call an electrician.
After Resetting the Breakers
Give the electrical system a chance to stabilize before reconnecting tools and appliances. Turn the heating-system thermostats up first, followed in a couple of minutes by reconnection of the fridge and freezer. 
Wait 10 to 15 minutes before reconnecting all other tools and appliances.
Turn on the water supply. Close lowest valves/taps first and allow air to escape from upper taps.
Make sure that the hot water heater is filled before turning on the power to it.
Check food supplies in refrigerators, freezers and cupboards for signs of spoilage. If a freezer door has been kept closed, food should stay frozen 24 to 36 hours, depending on the temperature. 
When food begins to defrost (usually after two days), it should be cooked; otherwise it should be thrown out.
As a general precaution, keep a bag of ice cubes in the freezer. If you return home after a period of absence and the ice has melted and refrozen, there is a good chance that the food is spoiled.  
When in doubt, throw it out!
Reset your clocks, automatic timers, and alarms.
Don’t forget to restock your emergency kit so the supplies will be there when needed again.
Peter at buggrub is not only sponsoring the competition on my website he is also offering a 10% discount on all his products. So have you got the gonads, can you walk the walk, dare you, I dear you to buy some buggrub and then eat it, go on I dare you. Peter’s website is www.buggrub.com
Winter Warmers
I don’t know about you but when camping in the woods in the cold a hot meal makes a heck of a difference to how you feel as well as giving you something to look forward to.
But perhaps it is cold and wet and the last thing you want to do is start cooking in the true sense. So here are some simple to cook and also fast recipes to consider prior to setting off in the first place.
5-Minute Meal Speedy Bannock (Mountain Bread)
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup powdered milk
4 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
½ cup (1 stick) butter
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup water
cooking oil
At home Mix dry ingredients and pack in a zipper-lock bag. Carry butter in a small container.
In camp Place butter and water in a pot and warm until butter melts. Mix in dry ingredients. Press into well-oiled 10-inch skillet (no need to cover). Bake on medium heat (if your stove has only high heat, hold the pan an inch above the flame for best results) until edges look slightly brown (about 3 minutes). Flip and bake 2 to 3 more minutes. Makes 2 servings. Variations: Add raisins, sugar and cinnamon, or walnuts. Even easier simply wrap the dough around a green bark stripped twig and cook over the fire, sometimes I put trail mix into the dough tasty.
Omelette in a Bag
2 eggs
Chopped Ham, Onions, Cheese, etc.
Ziploc Freezer Bag
Before leaving add eggs, milk, ham, onions etc. to bag. Allow to freeze overnight if hiking in warmer conditions. When ready to eat place bag in boiling water until eggs appear to be cooked. Breakfast is served!
Mashed Potatoes in a Bag
Canned Chicken Breast
Stuffing
Instant Mash Potatoes
Good Gravy
Place the stuffing and potatoes in separate ziploc bags and note amount of water needed with a marker on the outside. Boil water necessary and add to mash potatoes. Massage bag to mix thoroughly. Place chicken in boiling water that will be used for stuffing. Add this water to stuffing bag and massage to mix. Prepare gravy in a separate pan or simply open can and place in coals in fire to warm. Dinner is served.
Nigel at www.hunters-knives.co.uk has offered you dear listener 10% on all his products simply by using the code PREP10.
Do we really need to prep?
Quite often our detractors will counter our preparedness plans with the age old argument, you are wasting your time if it happens we will all be dead, well I say what if? What if you did not die what would you do then, how could you survive?
VIOLENT solar super storms could destroy life as we know it at ANY MOMENT, shocked scientists have warned today.
It is “only a matter of time” before a catastrophic eruption on the surface of the sun hurtles towards the planet with devastating consequences.
The Earth could be the target of an explosion equivalent to “10 billion Hiroshima bombs exploding at the same time”.
It has emerged crisis meetings have been held to discuss how to limit the damage of solar super storms which present a “long-lasting” threat to all forms of life.
Scientists warn communication systems will be crippled, vital services such as transport, sanitation and medicine will close, and loss of power will plunge the planet into darkness.
Without power, people would struggle to fuel their cars at petrol stations, get money from cash dispensers or pay online.
Water and sewage systems would be affected too, meaning that health epidemics in urbanised areas would quickly take a grip, with diseases we thought we had left behind centuries ago soon returning.
The warning comes as Britain is experiencing one of the hottest summers on record. Scientists have warned of "highly unusual activity" on the surface of the sun which has already sent smaller solar flares spiralling towards earth.
Solar storms are triggered when coronal mass ejections (CMEs) from the sun tear into the earth’s magnetic field ripping it apart.
This triggers huge surges of electrical currents which lead to widespread power outages and destroy machinery which use electricity.
So judging by the law of averages I would say it is only a “matter of time” before a violent solar storm smashes into Earth.
Our planet is in fact facing a repeat of the devastating solar super storm of 1859 - dubbed the Carrington Event after English astronomer Richard Carrington.
Carrington spotted a solar flare before terrifying fireballs hurtled across the atmosphere making people think it was the end of the world.
Its impact on civilised life was relatively small as there was less reliance on electronics, a similar event now would be nothing short of catastrophic.
We must realise these super storms are large enough to cause serious damage and they happen quite often relatively speaking.
It is only now, when we are so dependent on technology that we are so vulnerable, and one is overdue by about five years.
NASA scientists say a Carrington-level event happens every 150 years with the next one currently five years overdue.
The likelihood of one occurring in the next decade is as high as 12 per cent, they added.
DOOMSDAY WARNING the World will end in the next SEVEN YEARS, warns terrifying prophecy
Floods, earthquakes and deadly plagues will finish all humanity and the civilised world as we know it.
The horrifying forecast is being made by some Christian groups who predict the “Rapture” phenomenon will bring about a global Apocalypse before 2021.
Traced back to ancient Biblical texts, believers claim warnings of the impending Armageddon also signal the second coming of Jesus.
They say similar events have been charted in ancient history including the Biblical Flood of 2,348 BC, told in Genesis, and the Three Plagues of Egypt.
Though dismissed by some, others insist such calamitous theories are true and warn the impending catastrophe will destroy the planet.
Dr F. Kenton Beshore, President of the World Bible Society, says the "Rapture" is likely to occur between now and 2021 before the Second Coming between 2018 and 2028.
So there you have it two reasons why you must prep.
Out and About Alone
I would never recommend going into the wilderness alone for many reasons, centred mainly I would have to say around safety.
But going into the wilderness challenges us as individuals and tests our knowledge and survival skills and you know that is why we do it.
Going out alone in the wilderness can be quite rewarding, as long as everything goes smoothly. Perhaps you’re after some peace and quiet, or perhaps you’re looking for a way to challenge yourself mentally and physically.
People go out backpacking, hiking, and camping alone for various reasons, but it’s important to be aware of the risks and be prepared in order to return home safely.
Here are a few things that you can do to increase your chances of surviving a solo adventure and enjoy yourself in the process:
Plan in Advance
Don’t go out solo on a whim. Instead, take the extra time you need to make careful plans. Advance planning for a solo venture should include all of the following:
Monitor weather forecasts: Choose to go solo in the best weather possible. Take extra clothing to protect yourself from the elements including rain, wind, and snow. Consider lining your backpack with a plastic rubbish bag to keep gear dry, or cover your backpack with a rain cover.
Check with the locals: Call Tourist Information or the National Trust to make sure that conditions are safe. Ask about obstacles such as water or snow, and make sure you’re aware of emergency shelters that may be along your proposed route.
Check to see if mobile phones will work in the area you are heading for, and make a list of emergency contacts that you will carry with you.
Make a gear checklist: Include emergency survival gear and a wilderness first-aid kit on your list. Plan to purchase necessary items in advance to avoid a last-minute rush.
Gather route information: Do as much as you can to study your route by reading about it in guidebooks, studying maps, and consulting others who have been in the area.
Find out about potential terrain and wildlife hazards. Use technology such as Google Earth, online maps, and photographs to help you anticipate terrain.
If you’re able to go hike a section of a trail that you’re worried about encountering on a multi-day trip, you could always hike it as a day hike so that you are mentally and physically prepared.
Practice in Advance
If you haven’t gone out on a solo venture, practice in advance, and practice in increasing levels of difficulty. Begin with a solo day hike, and then advance to an overnight trip. Once you’ve gained sufficient skill and experience, next venture out for a multi-day trip.
Plan on sharing your first overnight trips with others who are more experienced than you so that you can practice your skills and learn from their advice before next going out alone.
Get fit! Don’t go out alone if you’re worried about your physical fitness. Train in advance of a solo adventure by increasing endurance and weight carried on the trail. Practice hiking with a backpack that will match the weight of the one you plan to carry on your solo journey so that you’re not surprised by its weight when the time comes for you to go out alone.
Share Detailed Plans
Let friends, family, and/or rangers know the details of your proposed journey, and then don’t deviate from those plans. Choose a specific point of contact, and file a trip plan with that person; include detailed route information, time of departure, and estimated time of return.
Also include information about what response you’d like if you don’t return on time. Do you want people to come out searching for you immediately? Leave contact numbers for emergency and search agencies so that your point of contact knows how to proceed.
Choose Gear Wisely
When going out solo, you will have to carry all of your camp weight instead of sharing it with a partner or a group. Carry the lightest load possible by planning calorie-dense meals, carrying light cooking gear, and taking the lightest shelter that’s sufficient for the conditions.
Carry communications equipment in a waterproof bag. Turn off equipment when it’s not in use, and take extra batteries or a solar charger to make sure you have power when you need it.
Make sure that you have a sufficient wilderness first-aid kit and other emergency supplies such as a signal mirror, a fire starter, a knife, and a water purification system. Use your checklist for packing essentials, such as a map, compass, whistle and proper clothing.
Be Conservative
When confronted with a threatening situation, adopt a survival mentality, but be conservative with gear, food, and route selection. If you break or lose something essential, you could put yourself in greater danger when you’re alone than with others who can share their gear.
Approach water crossings with caution since you won’t be able to rely on other hiking partners to help you, and look for ways to avoid dangerous or exposed terrain. When you’re out alone, your survival ultimately depends on your health, your gear, and your ability to improvise.
Ground to Air Signals
When you’re in distress in the outdoors and you need to call for help, you can use a number of different rescue signal techniques. But if you believe that an airplane, helicopter, or other airborne rescue party may be searching for you, then you can use the five-symbol ground-to-air emergency code to signal a specific message in advance of the aircraft’s landing.
Most importantly, the ground-to-air emergency code can help let rescuers know whether or not anyone in your party is injured, and it can guide them more effectively towards your location. The five ground-to-air emergency code symbols and their meanings are as follows:
Require Assistance: V
A V-shaped signal communicates that you need assistance, in general, but it doesn’t imply that you or someone in your party is injured.
Require Medical Assistance: X
Use the letter X to communicate that you or someone in your party needs medical attention. Whereas the V symbol communicates a call for help, the X symbol communicates a more urgent request for assistance.
No or Negative: N
The N symbol can be used to communicate your negative response to a question that the aircraft or rescue organization has asked.
Yes or Affirmative: Y
The Y symbol can be used to communicate your affirmative response to a question that the aircraft or rescue organization has asked.
Proceed in this Direction: Arrow, pointing towards the location
Place an arrow-shaped symbol with the head, or point, of the arrow indicating the direction of your location. This symbol is a good one to use when rescuers may need additional information about how to reach your location after they have identified another ground-to-air signal, such as a group of X symbols in an open area indicating a need for medical assistance. Place the arrow in a position that will guide rescuers from the open area towards your location.
Tips for Using the Air-to-Ground Emergency Code:
Signal using the air-to-ground emergency code as you would signal with other methods, such as a smoke rescue fire.
Remember these key ideas when arranging signals and communicating with rescue crews:
As with other visual signals, signalling in threes communicates and confirms distress.
Choose a large, open area as close as possible to your location for the signal location.
Choose to place signals on the highest, flattest terrain you can find near your location.
Choose a signal that will contrast with the underlying terrain. Choose dark-coloured branches, for example, on top of white snow.
Go big! Use several rows of rocks or debris to build each part of a signal letter so that it is thick enough and big enough to be seen clearly from above.
Be prepared to use a back-up signal, such as a signal mirror, to confirm your location as soon as you see aircraft in the area.
Avoiding Civil Unrest
Civil Unrest has occurred in pockets across the country over the past few years and is perhaps one of the more likely scenarios that could adversely affect us in the future.  
It’s possible that we could see more protests and riots like those organized in Ferguson, here in the UK.
We only have to look back to the Mark Dugon incident   Other widespread civil unrest could be caused by financial inequities or collapse, food shortages, loss of confidence in government, or storms that leave people homeless.
Or at least that is our perception, I however am aware of under hand police tactics used to infiltrate groups of peaceful protesters and stepping the level of protest up to and including violence, therefore justifying the police taking action to disperse what was planned to be a peaceful law abiding protest.
Of course there is always the chance of peaceful protests turning violent because of outside agitators that flock to any event where they think they can run amok.  These anarchists are the cause of much of the violence we see on TV at what would otherwise be peaceful protests.
While civil unrest is something that can strike any part of the country it is perhaps the most straightforward to avoid.  In the past we have seen civil unrest in large or even medium sized cities but it has not spread to the suburbs.  On a few occasions there may have been minor fights between picketers in small towns but nothing like we saw in London or the Bradford riots.
So how exactly do you avoid getting swept up in any type of civil unrest?  Having lived in Northern Ireland during the height of the troubles I can saw that I have seen many street riots but avoided many, many more by simply staying away from their location, going around it or putting of traveling that day until things had calmed down.
Remember in an emergency, population density is your enemy.
Secondly, keep an eye on the local and national news.  Civil unrest occurs most commonly from a planned protest or event.  If you hear there will be picketing, protests, or even a “peaceful march” in a particular location you should avoid those areas completely.  
If you were planning on going into the city for a business meeting or to shop simply reschedule it for another day or better location outside the city.  Simply staying away from locations that are likely to flare up with protests is not difficult.  Avoiding flash flooding for example that’s bearing down on you is much tougher to do…
If for some reason you find yourself in a place that is quickly becoming a hot spot you should leave the area immediately and by any means possible.  If that means leaving a car behind and walking out to a safer spot then that may be the way to go.  Don’t think that vehicle glass offers you any kind of defence.  A heavy tool or large rock makes quick work of it.
There is always the possibility that civil unrest could become more widespread than it has in the past.  If that is the case you should have plans in place to fortify your home I recommend using the plywood you should have stored in your garage and covering up any vulnerable windows.  The use of firearms in a situation like this is something that needs to be carefully considered and researched. As any use of “weapons” is your choice and you will have to justify your actions at a later date.
Personally I would rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.
So, while there are many disaster scenarios that we can do very little to avoid (although we can still prep and plan for them) civil unrest is one situation that with good situational awareness we can avoid altogether.
Surviving a Flood
Floods are one of the most common hazards in the world, however not all floods are alike. Some floods develop slowly, while others such a flash floods, can develop in just a few minutes and without visible signs of rain. Additionally, floods can be local, impacting an estate or community, or very large, affecting entire river basins and even whole counties.
Flash floods can occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall, a dam or river bank breach. Flash floods often have a dangerous wall of roaring water carrying rocks, mud and other debris.
Overland flooding, the most common type of flooding event typically occurs when waterways such as rivers or streams overflow their banks as a result of rainwater causing flooding in surrounding areas. It can also occur when rainfall or snowmelt exceeds the capacity of underground pipes, or the capacity of streets and drains designed to carry flood water away from urban areas.
Be aware of flood hazards no matter where you live or work, but especially if you are in low-lying areas, near water, behind a flood barrier or downstream from a dam. Even very small streams, gullies, culverts, dry streambeds or low-lying ground that appear harmless in dry weather can flood.
Before a Flood
What would you do if your property were flooded? Are you prepared?
Even if you feel you live in an area with a low risk of flooding, remember that anywhere it rains, it can flood.  Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past, doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. 
Flood risk isn’t just based on history; it’s also based on a number of factors including rainfall , topography, flood-control measures, river-flow and tidal-surge data, and changes due to new construction and development.
Flood-hazard maps have been created to show the flood risk for your community, which helps determine the type of flood insurance coverage you will need since standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding.  The lower the degree of risk, the lower the flood insurance premium.
To prepare for a flood, you should:
Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
Avoid building in a floodplain unless you elevate and reinforce your home.
You could elevate the fire, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk.
Consider installing “check valves” to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home.
If feasible, construct barriers to stop floodwater from entering the building and seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds.
During a Flood
If a flood is likely in your area, you should:
Listen to the radio or television for information.
Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
Be aware of stream, drainage channels, valleys and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without typical warnings such as rain clouds or heavy rain.
Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
If you have to leave your home, remember these evacuation tips:
Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly.
Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams, rivers or creeks, particularly during threatening conditions.
After the Flood
Your home has been flooded. Although floodwaters may be down in some areas, many dangers still exist. Here are some things to remember in the days ahead:
Use local alerts and warning systems to get information and expert informed advice as soon as available.
Avoid moving water.
Stay away from damaged areas unless your assistance has been specifically requested by police, fire, or relief organization.
Emergency workers will be assisting people in flooded areas. You can help them by staying off the roads and out of the way.
Play it safe. Additional flooding or flash floods can occur. Listen for local warnings and information. If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, get out immediately and climb to higher ground.
Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
Roads may still be closed because they have been damaged or are covered by water. Barricades have been placed for your protection. If you come upon a barricade or a flooded road go another way.
If you must walk or drive in areas that have been flooded.
Stay on firm ground. Moving water only 6 inches deep can sweep you off your feet. Standing water may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
Flooding may have caused familiar places to change. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways. Flood debris may hide animals and broken bottles, and it’s also slippery. Avoid walking or driving through it.
Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations.
STAYING HEALTHY
A flood can cause physical hazards and emotional stress. You need to look after yourself and your family as you focus on clean up and repair.
Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage.
Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewer systems are serious health hazards.
Listen for news reports to learn whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink
Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwaters can contain sewage and chemicals.
Rest often and eat well.
Keep a manageable schedule. Make a list and do jobs one at a time.
Discuss your concerns with others and seek help. Contact Red Cross for information on emotional support available in your area.
CLEANING UP AND REPAIRING YOUR HOME
Turn off the electricity at the main breaker or fuse box, even if the power is off in your community. That way, you can decide when your home is dry enough to turn it back on.
The Bug out Week end is coming.

Community of UK Preppers on FB are having a (Bug out weekend)
So why not join them on the 2nd to the 4th may 2015 to share and learn ideas with other like-minded people
Location

The location is Winteringham Lane, West halton. DN15 9AX

Available Spaces
All spaces are designated specific areas of the Bug Out Weekend location that are suitable for that type of bugging out system as the location is a wild managed area and has a range of different types of ground.

All the places listed here are for the tree covered areas of the location.

1. Hammocks: ---------------------15 spaces.

2. Tarps and tents----------------10 Places

3. 4x4 and off road vehicles----20 places.

4. Campervans and trailers----15 places

There is a large open ground area of the location for the Bug Out Weekend to use whatever system you choose, but I will be limiting these spaces to 40 spaces.

Admission Fee
£20.00 for adult over 16 years

£10.00 for child under 16 years

Free for child under 10 years

Traders and promoters are welcome for no extra cost to the entrance fee

Anyone who says they are going to the event must pay a non-refundable £5.00 deposit per person to secure their place.
How to make deposit payment.
Only if you wish to attend say you are going and I will message you and give you the Paypal address with a payment reference number.

Once payment has been made i will send you your payment receipt reference number. This number is to be presented on entry to the Bug out Weekend where the deposit will be deducted from the admission cost.

Arrangements
Please arrange any train Tickets to Scunthorpe as soon as possible (ASAP) as this will save you money and could be cheaper than your own car.
We can arrange to pick you up from Scunthorpe Train Station and drop you back off for a fee of £3.00. Please let me know as soon as possible if you require this service.
Facilities

There will be a toilet facility in place.

There will be ranges for Archery, Crossbow, Air rifle, live round rifles and shotgun too.

There will be a solar Shower available with hot water available if needed..

There will be a Marquee set up in case of any wet weather so it won't stop people who want to do a bit of socialising

There will be a BBQ for anyone who wants to have a good old meat feast at the cost of £5.00 per head

UK Firearms Licensing Act

For anyone who wishes to bring along a gun or rifle that requires to be licensed under the UK Firearms licensing act 1968.

It is every owner’s responsibility to ensure they are covered under the Uk Firearms licensing act and proof of cover for any such firearms must be shown before you are allowed entry to the Bug out Weekend meeting.

The organisers or associates will not be held responsible for any transportation of unlicensed Firearms to or from the Bug Out Weekend.

See the link below
https://www.gov.uk/firearms-licensing-police-guidance
Ranges

Strict safety rules and timing guidelines at the range points must be followed at all times.
Disclaimer

All guidelines and disclaimers will be presented on entry to the Bug Out Weekend meeting by security staff.

All guidelines and disclaimers must be read and understood before entry to the Bug out Weekend.
To be sure of a place go to FB and find The bug out weekend “CUP”