Posts Tagged With: Emergency

Prepping with CERT


Last weekend I had the pleasure of taking FEMA’s basic CERT (Citizen’s Emergency Response Team) class at my local fire department. Say what you will about FEMA, but this class is a prepper’s dream. Yes, you will get a lot of information that you already know, but you will be surprised at what you don’t. I have been prepping for a number of years, but this class humbled me. We are all beginners, no matter how long we have been at this. Here are a few things I wasn’t expecting:

  • You will meet like-minded folks from all different walks of life. We had a geologist, parents, fire and law enforcement personnel, HAM operators, and all manner of retired bad-asses and crazy geniuses in our group. This is an incredible networking opportunity!
  • You probably had a hunch that in a major disaster, help would be scarce. In your class, you will find out what your city/county resources really are and how they will be allocated. When you see where most folks fit in on that list, you will be, lets say, inspired to get your preps in order and truly be able to take care of yourself and your family should disaster strike.
  • You will learn about disaster psychology, which is often overlooked and so very important when dealing with panicked zombies, and/or your neighbors.

Day 1:

We covered CERT organization and ICS (Incident Command System). ICS is the structure under which CERT, and other responders, work. You will likely be required to take an online prerequisite which describes this chain of command. Our group was particularly fortunate to have a fire chief for a teacher, as he is very familiar with how things really go down in an emergency, and with the importance of having trained people in place should roads be impassable. Your first goal as a CERT is to take care of yourself and your family. Then, and only then, do you move on to help others. This helps ensure that you do not become another casualty for professional responders to deal with, when (perhaps days or weeks later) they can finally get to you.

Day 2:

I was delighted to come to class and find an EMT there to teach us all about triage and emergency medical treatment. The triage section was emotionally difficult. Nobody wants to think about sticking that black tag on another human being. The pictures were graphic and real. Ouch. I was eternally thankful the Chief had strong coffee for us early on a Saturday morning. The emergency medical treatment section was fascinating. Should I ever have to deal with a severed limb situation I feel quite prepared. How to treat a blocked airway or shock? Covered. What are the different types of burns and how do you deal with them? Covered. What do you do with someone who is running around with a head wound and shouting obscenities at you? Yep. Also, I got some great tips on things to put in my emergency medical kit. As in, what the pros are carrying. (Combat Action Tourniquet & SAM Splints)

Next came the fire suppression segment. I’m sure we all have fire extinguishers, but how well can you use one? It’s not just point and shoot, there is a finesse to it. Also, there are several different types and sizes. Does yours have a gauge? It should! Not only did we learn all about fire and fire extinguishers, but we got to don our gloves and goggles and put out a real friggin fire! BOO-YAH!

Day 3:

On this day we started with light search and rescue. It was all about keeping yourself safe while helping your neighbor who may be trapped in his home after a disaster. You know those FEMA markings we all saw on houses after Katrina? They seemed cryptic and scary to a lot of us, but really they were the scrawlings made by helpful volunteers who were trying to save lives. They let people know the house has been searched and what/who was found inside. We learned methods for carrying the incapacitated out of a dangerous situation as well as how to evaluate whether a structure is even safe to go searching in.

Disaster psychology was next, and this was a rough one. How do you deal emotionally with those terrible things you can never un-see?  It is so valuable to have a support network during and after a disaster. We all like to think that we will be able to keep on keepin’ on, but you have to keep in mind that you are not only the rescuer, but also a victim. These things are, as the Chief said, not things human beings were meant to see.

Next, there was a section on terrorism. Now, there is not a whole lot a CERT can do to help during a terrorist event, but this section includes a lot of info on sheltering in place.

We ended the day with a search and resucue simulation where we put our skills to the test. We broke out into Search, Rescue, and Medical Teams following and Incident Command Structure. We searched the firehouse and found someone (a dummy) trapped under a trailer and some downed wood. We used a leveraging and cribbing technique to extricate him, then evaluated his status. This is where it really hit home that drills are so very important. It took us a good 25 minutes from the time that we entered the building to the time we were evaluating him. We found that he was in shock, but the unbelievable part is we didn’t even see that he had a severed hand. Granted, this was a dummy, so no blood. But if we had done a proper head to toe check, we would have seen it. This guy was toast. Practice, practice, practice.


Charley Davis

New Military Issue Combat Application Tourniquet, CAT

SAM Splint Combo Pack – 2 Orange & Blue Splints and 2 rolls Blue Cohesive Wrap

Nexis Preparedness Systems CT-521 C.E.R.T. Level-2 Backpack Kit

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8 SHTF Hand Tools You May Not Have Thought of


If you have been homesteading or prepping for any length of time, you probably have, or have thought about, what you would need if you were off-grid, or if you were in a grid-down scenario. We all probably have the basics: Hammer, saw, screwdrivers etc., but what would you really need to operate your home or homestead?

We are so very fortunate to have our modern power tools, but if that were not the case, we’d need to think like great-grandpa did. The following is a list of tools that you may really be thankful for someday. You may even find yourself using some of them when the power is on!

Brace (Hand Drill)

You are going to need to drill stuff, build stuff, and screw things in. Maybe big things. You will need to do repairs and reinforcements on your home, and boy would that be a pain in the patootie with nothing but a set of regular screwdrivers! We have one of these on the Funny Little Farm and it gets used even now when we don’t want to pull out the Makita to drill one hole or, ahem, we forgot to charge it.

Stanley – 5044 Bit Brace 250 Mm 10In


You are going to need to get those precious seeds into the ground! If you are fortunate enough to have an animal to pull a plow, you won’t even give this tool a second glance, but tilling the earth by hand is hard work. A cultivator will not make it a piece of cake, but it will help loosen up clay or rocky soil. One of these is also handy to have if you have a small to medium size garden plot already and just want to aerate it in the spring before planting.

TrimmerPlus GC720 Garden Cultivator with Four Premium Tines

Cross Cut Saw

Here’s the deal…Trees are big. Winter is cold. Fire is warm. When there is no fuel for your chainsaw, you will either need one of these or a trained pet beaver.

Lynx 5′ Two Man Crosscut Saw


If you are building something in a long-term grid down situation, it’s likely you won’t be able to run to the lumberyard and get nice, perfectly shaped planks for your project. It’s more likely you are going to be trying to fit together pieces of fallen wood or wood you have cut yourself. Get those pieces to interlock perfectly or fit snugly together with woodworking chisels. To this end, consider a Hand Plane and set of files as well.

Irwin M444SB6N Blue Chip Bevel Edge Woodworking Chisel Set, 6-Piece (Box set)

Block and Tackle

These things are great! You’re going to need to move things. Potentially very heavy things. And nobody wants to risk a back injury when they need to be out plowing a field the next day if the family is going to eat this Summer. You can find these handy lifters in varying weight capacities and specific various tasks. There are ones for lifting tons, and ones for lifting game. You can get a pretty nautical one and even use it as a decoration! Pair it with a winch and you are golden.

Super-Handy Heavy-Duty 4,000 LB Capacity Rope Hoist

Ratcheting tie downs

Rope is great for many tasks, but you can’t beat ratcheting tie downs for holding power. If you haven’t used these before, your world will change when you do. There is a wide strap with a hook on each end, and there is a ratchet in the middle that you use to tighten the strap. You can use these to keep things in place when you are hauling on a trailer, you can use them to keep your greenhouse or other yard stuff from blowing away in a windstorm, you can even use them as a come-along when moving very heavy objects on skids.

Erickson 34416 Pro Series Black 2″ x 10′ Retractable Ratcheting Tie-Down Strap


This tool is used when you are trying to use an area of your property where the earth has a lot of roots and/or rocks in it. You can show those roots who’s boss with this thing and get your dirt ready for planting or building upon.

Truper 31638 5-Pound Cutter Mattock with Fiberglass Handle


So many uses…. Carrying water from the source to your filtering system, carrying rocks or wood, moving anything not quite heavy enough for a winch. Now, you can get steel sided ones or ones with larger capacity than the one I’m recommending here, but let me tell you why this one works for our family.

  • Solid tires. In a SHTF situation we don’t want to worry about flats.
  • This folds up and fits in our van. If we were in a situation where we had to walk home, I could just plunk the kiddos and bug out bag I keep in the car in there and watch me roll.
  • You can fit a lot of stuff in here. It is not only useful on the farm, but could be a lifesaver when you are trying to get out of Dodge.

EasyGoWagon Folding/Collapsible Utility Wagon Black

I hope this list helps you on your preparedness journey. If you have ideas for other items, let the readers know by leaving a comment!


Charley Davis

Categories: Prepping, Self Sufficiency | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Cover the Basics: 8 Prepper Tools to Get You Through a Disaster

This article by Tess at Ready Nutrition really does a great job of covering the basics of what you would need in a small scale disaster scenario. We all need to eat, drink, and poop, and she’s got ya covered!



Many of us made the stark realization of just how dependent we are on our modern conveniences quickly following a disaster. It seems that only when the lights go out and the stove won’t turn on, or the air conditioner doesn’t cool down the house do we even think about being more prepared for these setbacks. The above mentioned was my personal realization eight years ago when my family and I went through the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. I had three small children under the age of 5 and had to deal with the municipal water being questionable, not having a way to prepare food, having to use flashlights as a way of getting through the night. I’ll be honest, we couldn’t even maintain our basic needs continuously for two weeks. This was my husband’s and my “ah ha” moment. After that event we made the decision to never go through a disaster under prepared again and quickly began prepping for disasters and found ourselves on a life-changing path.

Continue reading on Ready Nutrition

Berkey BK4X2-BB Big Berkey Stainless Steel Water Filtration System with 2 Black Filter Elements

Lodge L410 Pre-Seasoned Sportsman’s Charcoal Grill

Tote-able Toilet Seat and Lid

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5 Ways to Make Survival Candles from Household Items 

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Preparing Your Children for Disasters

This is one of the scariest things a prepper parent thinks about. What if we are not together when a disaster hits? The best way to ensure their safety is to get them prepared!



By Pat Henry – The Prepper Journal

Preppers try to plan for all manner of situations in which their lives or health could be in jeopardy. We take steps to mitigate the bad effects of disasters so that our family will be as least impacted or safe as possible. When we start to make plans for situations where one or more members of our group are separated from us, the possibilities are endless. How do you prepare for every conceivable option possible for someone who is away from you? Is the main goal for those away, to get to your location? Do you rendezvous at a central location or are they supposed to wait to be collected? When do you know it is time to go? What rules do you have to consider breaking to survive?

This is further complicated when the person you are making these plans for are…

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