Survival kit for pets

If you have pets, you need to plan for their needs, especially if there is a chance you’ll need to seek shelter elsewhere due to bugging out.

Our pets have come to rely on us to provide for their needs. Don’t let them down by not planning ahead.

First off, you need to ensure you have adequate food and clean water for them. Obviously the amounts will differ depending on the types, size and number of your pets. For a good-sized dog, like a German Shepherd, figure about a gallon of water per day. As for food, if you’ve had your pet for any length of time, you should have a good idea how much food they need on a daily basis.

pet disaster

For common household pets like cats and dogs, please do not count on just giving them scraps from your own meals and figure that will be plenty. Odds are, you’ll be wiping your own plate clean and there won’t be much of any leftovers.

Next up is the gear you’ll need for transportation. Leashes and muzzles will be required as well as crates for smaller animals. If you can manage to find a community shelter that will allow pets, they won’t be allowed in without those items. You should also have a copy of each pet’s complete immunization record so you can prove each animal has had required shots.

If your pet takes any type of medication on a regular basis, whether a prescription or just daily vitamins, be sure to have a supply stashed with the other pet gear.

Larger animals can probably carry at least some of their own supplies in doggie backpacks. These are a great investment as it helps to cut down the weight on your own back. Another wise purchase is a collapsible water bowl. For animals that will be walking during the bug out, consider purchasing slip on boots for their feet. In many disasters, broken glass and other debris will be littering the sidewalks and streets. You certainly don’t want to be walking around in bare feet and neither should your pets.

You should also have in your own kit recent photos of you with your pets. This will go a long way toward proving ownership should you and your pet get separated.

What can you offer a survival or retreat group?

I frequently hear from readers who are looking to join a survival group, asking if I know of any in whatever area they are in. Quite often, they will briefly list some of their qualifications, which almost always center on military experience and/or firearms.

IF there is an existing group in your area and IF they are looking to sign up new members, odds are pretty good they already have the security angle figured out.

Remember, every new member of the group means one more mouth to feed, one more person creating waste that must be disposed of, and one more possible headache.

Instead of focusing on your armaments, look toward developing other practical skills.

–First aid / medical skills
–Gardening
–Animal husbandry
–Carpentry
–Plumbing
–Small engine repair
–Ham radio

I’ll tell you something. A trained EMT, nurse, or doctor will be held in much higher regard than one more guy or gal with a gun, no matter how good they are with it.

Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not saying there is no value in becoming a marksman, far from it. No, what I mean is you need to develop skill sets that will set you apart from most other people. Hard skills, practical skills. While weaving a blanket of cattail is wonderful to be able to do, I doubt a community is going to look at that as a contributing skill, know what I mean?

Using Fake Uniforms Post-Collapse

From time to time, I see this suggestion crop up on one or another survival-related forum online. The idea is to purchase or somehow acquire a legitimate looking uniform to set aside with your bug out kits. Then, should you come across a roadblock or some other impedance along your route, you bluff your way through while wearing said uniform.

uniform

In my opinion, there are few ideas worse than impersonating an officer, after a disaster or otherwise.

First of all, there would have to be a lot more involved than just donning a uniform and hoping for the best. You’d have to have an excellent handle on the vernacular, the slang, even the cadence of vocal patterns to be able to pull this off. Spend much time around experienced law enforcement officers and you’ll begin to understand what I mean. Due to the nature of their jobs, they tend to speak slightly different than do civilians. Military personnel even more so.

Secondly, if you are indeed convincing enough to pull this off, you may just find civilians in the area hampering your travel. They may be begging for help or they may decide that the “authorities” are to blame for the trouble and take their frustration out on you. Or, let’s say you don’t go with a law enforcement uniform but instead try something like a paramedic outfit. Instead of waltzing right through the roadblock, odds are pretty good they’ll try to put you to work immediately. How’s that going to work out for you?

Third, and perhaps most important, what happens if you get caught? Do you think the legit officers are going to just have a good chuckle at your foolishness and send you on your way? I have a news flash for you. Most officers take a very hard stance at this sort of thing and even if they are busy with ten other things, trust me, they’ll make time to deal with you.

You are far better off to work on developing several alternate routes to your bug out location, routes that take you well off the beaten path and away from potential delays like roadblocks and such.

Keeping Clothes Clean Without Power

While doing laundry would seem to fall pretty far down the list of priorities after a disaster, it is actually fairly important. Wearing clean clothes is not only hygienic but a great morale boost. But washing clothes without the assistance of a washing machine, or even running water, is labor intensive.

Post-disaster laundry can be done much easier if you plan ahead.

You’ll need a five gallon plastic pail with lid, a plunger, a hacksaw, and a drill for this simple project.

Start by cutting out a small hole in the center of the bucket lid. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to use your drill to make a hole large enough to accommodate the hacksaw blade, then saw around in a circle. The resulting hole should be just large enough for the plunger handle to fit though easily.

Then, drill 5-7 holes in the plunger, like so:

plunger

At this point, you are essentially done building your new washing machine. To use, fill the bucket about 1/3 with clothes, then pour in just enough water to cover them. Add a little detergent. Thread the plunger handle through the lid, then snap the lid onto the bucket so the rubber part of the plunger is inside. Agitate the clothes by plunging up and down.

You don’t need to pump that plunger like you’re using a manual railroad car either. Just smooth and steady motions will do the job. Incidentally, this is a great chore for the kids in the house.

How long you need to agitate will depend on just how dirty the clothes are, of course. For lightly soiled clothing, 5 minutes or so might be enough.

Once the clothes are clean, you’ll need to rinse them in another bucket. Then, hang them on the line to dry.

Due to the small size of the bucket, you aren’t going to do a ton clothes at a time, of course. But you should be able to do several pair of socks, some underwear, and a couple shirts at a time.