Jul 31, 2010

Training part 2 First Aid

First aid
This is something I cannot stress enough. In case of disaster, medical facilities and personnel will be overwhelmed with casualties, accidents, and illnesses. You may not even be able to get to a hospital or get 911 to respond. If it’s your child or spouse who is sick or injured, it may be on you to be medical professional. Even if you band together with like-minded friends, and have a medical professional (EMT, Nurse, Doctor) that person may not be standing at your elbow when sudden disaster strikes, so you must cross train in everything.

A first aid/CPR class is invaluable and can be used for the rest of your life. I learned years ago in the Army, and while I haven’t kept up my Red Cross certification card, I still remember how it all works. So in case of emergency, I have the confidence and training to handle any simple problems that come up. Obviously I’m not going to attempt surgery or dentistry, but there are books and supplies available to study, so if worst came to worst, and no professional medical personnel were available, I might attempt to save someone’s life if I had to.

There is a group in this area that is called Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT). You can look them up online. Normally I would give a link here, but, apparently it tends to move around so you will have to find them yourself. I would recommend the Modesto city web page to start as it is usually hosted by the local fire department. They train people for “Emergency Response” Duh! But this could include fires, floods, and earthquakes, all forms of natural and (presumably) manmade disasters. I plan on attending myself as soon as I’m able, so maybe I’ll see you there.

If nowhere else, you can try the local Junior College for classes.

Jul 26, 2010

Lessons Learned - Field Training

Camping (as a form of field training)

Well this weekend was a good training exercise. The original intent was to go rafting, and the rest of the group was to camp for the night. Well here in Modesto it was about 500deg. (Ok 95+) Heat was a SERIOUS problem, especially for my kids. My mother went along as well, and she wasn’t doing so well either. In the beginning of the day, we arrived at a beach portion of a local state park and I let my kids play in the river, looking at the little fish swimming around, and picking up freshwater clam shells. It must be rich there as the sand was littered with them. Anyway, I stayed in the water with my kids as there were a few deep places, and even if the water was not running fast, it was stronger that a 3 year old who can’t swim (yet). I took the opportunity to show them the different kinds of life living around the river, and to not fear the water, but respect the power of it.

After a couple of hours I scouted around and found where my group was meeting and packed up my kids to move to the campground areas. This was about 11:20am

This is where the real learning begins.

The camp area was maybe 100-150 yards from the parking lot. The first load (let me remind you, I was only staying there with my kids for about 6 hours at this point) I took my 24hr kit, my kids BOB Bags, an Ice chest (Full), and my mother carried a large beach bag full of kids clothes and a folding chair. I was pouring sweat with just that tiny little walk and still had to keep up my strength to assist my kids getting there shoes on instead of flip flops, and my mother to set up her stuff. In the 6hrs that we were there, we move the positions of chairs at least 5 times to stay in the shade. 2 more trips were made to our vehicle for various items, but not much more that a bag or two worth of “stuff”.

Lessons learned:

Hats are a must. I don’t wear them, and my kids don’t like them, but every time I had to walk in the sun I flipped on the boonie hat I had brought along, and I swear, it felt like the temperature dropped 15 deg.

You cannot have too much to drink, and Ice was Stupid. I brought a large jug (1 liter I think) of juice, a six pack of bottled tea, various pouches of Capri-Sun and LOTS of water. By the time we were done there were 2 bottles of tea and about 20oz of juice remaining. I had to keep calling my kids to the side and making them drink, as they are not old enough yet to be responsible for their own health. And something I was grateful for out there, but in hindsight writing this in air conditioning, was that as a survival situation, Ice is just stupid. I mean seriously! If we had to bug out of our homes so far out that we were living in the woods, there certainly would not be someplace where we could get ice. At least not for the first few days of a crisis. If anyone went through Katrina or Haiti, please let me know how long it was before fresh water and ice became available.

Too much Crap.
We were only there for a few hours, and yet it took three trips to the vehicle to get all of the comfort crap out. My friend who was camping overnight, with three kids (one being an infant) and his wife, had two tents, one or two folding chairs, and STILL managed to keep it down to (maybe) six trips to his vehicle. One the other hand, I was humping everything by hand, except for the Ice chest, which had wheels. He on the other had was using his baby’s stroller to maximize his carrying capacity. I know for a fact that if it were just me I could have had everything I needed for an overnight loaded into a single backpack (or pack-pack as my kids call them) so, add kids and elderly, and significantly increase the amount of crap you will need. No, you won’t need most of it, but like a teddy bear, some of it is just comfort items that make people happy that it’s there, whether useful or not, or used or not.

Cooking. To start our fire we used my little film can of tinder. This is a mulching of cotton balls, dryer lint and Vaseline. Several of us had heard of using petroleum jelly, but this was our first use of it. It took two(2) strikes with flint and steel, and WHOSH! we had fire. This works! What we didn't do properly was permit sufficient air flow in the kindling to get the fire burning properly. A little adjustment and it all worked fine. Also, having the basic BBQ tools are essential. The wire scrubby pad, tongs, and spatula are a minimum.

Bug/Sunscreen Spray. Something I learned the funny way. Spray on sunscreens and bug sprays are great for what they are, but, if you use them on kids in a dirt environment, you children will become mud monsters. The spray is like a dirt magnet, which of course increases the power of children’s natural dirt magnetism. I suppose as a parent, I should have been horrified by the amount of dirt suddenly coating every exposed surface of my 3 year old, but, as a survivalist, I figured that the dirt would probably act as a block for both sun and bugs, and she is always happiest covered in dirt anyway. If you all think I’m wrong, put a post in and please explain why, and as always, I prefer real world knowledge to something you read.

Jul 22, 2010

Training part 1 Transportation


Please keep in mind these are only items that I can think of while typing and going over my list of things to know. Your list may be different if you already know some of this, or are in an area that has specific needs. By all means please post a comment here to include anything you think is worthy of learning. Please keep in mind- this is the beginners list, so what I would like to include here are items that someone beginning to get into survivalism/preping should know first. Later as people begin joining I may break things up into different sections so that more advanced knowledge and techniques can be discussed.

Items to consider:

Learn to drive stick-shift and automatic Transmissions
Diesel trucks (semi’s)
Ride bicycles
Motor cycles
Drive boats of different sizes and the water safety involved
Learn to fly planes and helicopters
Riding and caring for horses would be a good choice
Land Navigation

Please keep in mind, I do not advocate getting licenses and paying outrageous fees to go to a bazzilion classes to learn all of this stuff. Instead, develop an outdoor life style and make friends, you will be amazed and what people around you know. Most people are happy to show off what they know, and if you show a genuine interest in it, your new friends will gladly teach you what you want to know. Yeah helicopters may be a little difficult, but there are surprising large numbers of people, who fly small planes, drive trucks and ride motorcycles. You can learn many of these skills (or at least the basic concepts) sitting around the BBQ at a campout.

Swimming I would recommend getting professional instruction from a certified training course. I usually look for Red Cross, but in this area it seems they are not available. I have been teaching my children myself, and it’s been a slow process, but it does seem to be working. I would still like to take them to someone else as children are more likely to listen to outside authorities than parents is they are unsure of what is going on. Plus you get the advantage (hopefully) of having someone who has worked with children previously and know how to get around some of their hesitations.

Jul 16, 2010

Lets Begin

Ok, this list is of course far from complete as everyone’s situation is different and many of these items overlap, but, this makes for a decent overview of what order in which things should be done to get your family and yourself prepared.

Training (on going)
Get debt free
Food/water storage (on going)
Bug out Bag (72hr bag)
Gardening (on going)
Vehicle prep
Home prep
Bug out location

Now, I know most of what I will be discussing involves buying of “stuff”. I hate to make it seem that survivalism/Prepping is all about hoarding, or armchair commando buying, but to properly prepare many things must be purchased or traded for to have on hand in case of need. Fortunately many things are items you would be getting anyway (food, home and vehicle repair) I will simply be discussing different ways of looking at these things so that your purchases may be more in line with a survivalist mentality.

Oh, and as far as I'm able I will try to only talk about things that I personally know, have used, or experienced. If I talk about something outside of my knowledge base I will let you know at the beginning of that particular post. And as you post comments I would ask that you state you knowledge level of something as well, whether you use it, have read about it, or if your second cousins-aunts-brother in laws-roommate heard about it on TV.


Hello everyone, I would like to welcome you to the first edition of CVSP. I am going to begin this blog as my way of helping everyone out there to help prepare for anything that my happen to you and your family in the future. I do not prescribe to tinfoil hat theories or conspiracies. I am more concerned with current events such as Hurricane Katrina, the earthquakes in Haiti, and the destruction of the economy in the US. Over time I will discuss different methods and techniques that you can use to improve your life, prepare for contingencies, and be better prepared for emergencies or tragedies that may occur in life.

I'm not sure how I will go about this, but I am generally a well organized person, so, I will attempt to lay out a plan for anyone beginning to prepare and go into each subject with my experience, knowledge and thoughts on how to improve on each subject.

As I'm new at this I am not entirely certain how to work this site, but I want to have your input here so that I may also learn from you as well. I just have to figure out HOW to do this :-)