Survival and Preparedness: Priorities

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Priorities by “The Coach”

            So you call yourself a “prepper”? You have done the usual and started stockpiling food, water, firearms, ammo, etc. and maybe went for some professional training. But are your priorities in the right order?

            Your main goal as a prepper is to keep you and your family alive in whatever situation you are preparing for. However, what happens if something happens that you are not prepping for.

 Let’s take a look at what it takes to stay alive!

            If you cannot breathe, you have approximately three (3) minutes before brain damage starts to occur. So as a prepper, I would start your prepping here.

            Your first step should be two part:

1)     Start with every member, of age, in your family taking a C.P.R. class. Then stay certified.

2)    Then purchase a military gas mask that FITS each one of your family members. You want a gas mask because of a chemical spill, bio hazard, nuclear plant radioactive gas release and for many other contaminated air problems. Buy the BEST one you can afford. The cheaper gas mask does not give you the protection that you need.

a. Be sure you can sight you firearm while wearing your gas mask.
b. Another important item is to be sure that your gas mask has a drinking water capability built into you gas mask.

                                                                          i.      This type of gas mask has the capability of drinking water from a military canteen. This is very important. You will become thirsty very fast because of the extra work that your lungs will be doing to draw air through the filter every time you breathe. If you are in a contaminated area, you cannot take your gas mask off in order to get a drink of water!

c. Do you know how to test to determine if a gas mask is fitted and is sealed properly?

Next, you will be dealing with a lot of sharp objects. After a disaster, depending on what it is, you will be around a lot of broken glass, boards laying around on the ground with nails in them. You will be using knives for a multitude of reasons; you could be involved in a firearms accidents or shootouts. You could be using chain saws or hatchets. In other words, accidents of every possible kind are in your future. If you cut an artery, you have about three (3) to four (4) minutes before you bleed out and no one can help you.

So second, you and every member of your family should take a first aid class, then an advanced first aid class and then at least two (2) members of your family should take a First Responders or Emergency Medical Tech., (E. M. T.) class and get certified. DO NOT depend on a medical book! Use medical books as reference material ONLY! You need hands on training here. I a time that an emergency medical procedure is needed, you will not have time to look up what to do in a book. The procedure should be known already.

Talk to your instructors and ask them what should be in your disaster first aid kit. Then put one together yourself. Notice I did NOT say buy a premade first aid kit. These prepackaged first aid kits never have everything that you will need and are always overpriced. Then have everyone stay current on their certifications.

Third, are weapons. Notice that I did NOT say firearms. However, firearms such as handguns, rifles and shotguns are my personal preference in the weapons category. With that said, you need to become VERY proficient in whatever weapon or weapons that you plan on protecting you and your family with. Take as many professional classes and/or courses that you can. Training with whatever weapon that you choose will save your life.

You might have noticed that I have placed weapons ahead of food and water. The reason for this is, if you cannot protect you and your family in a major disaster, you may not live long enough to be thirsty or hungry.

During Hurricanes Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, there were a lot of really bad people running around. There are even some preppers that stockpile just firearms and ammunition. Their plan is to take what they need from the people who have what they want.

If you cannot protect you and your family, what good is it purchasing food, water and other supplies if someone who is armed can walk in and take what you have?

Only now would I think about starting to purchase food and water. Experts tell us that you can go three (3) days without water and three (3) weeks without food before you die.

Buy a good water filter. This gives you the ability to purify as much water as you require, if you buy a large portable water filter such as a “Berkley”. Then start stockpiling food of whatever variety you want and for whatever time period you want.

I have found out that you get what you pay for when purchasing the above items. When you buy cheap, you get cheaply made items. Remember “Murphy’s Law”.

If you are one of the fortunate ones that can afford to do more than one thing at a time, good for you. Just remember, if you become injured during a TEOTWAWKI situation, you or a family member will be the ONLY emergency medical personal that will be there to help.

The above are my personal preferences and reasons. I have done all of them. It has taken me over 40 years and I am still taking classes and stockpiling supplies. I am sure some of you may disagree with the order I have listed above. However, I think my reasons are sound. It’s your and your family’s life!



“When we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to be free.”

Charles Evans Hughes,

Address at Faneuil Hall, Boston, Massachusetts,

June 17, 1925


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  1. Dear Rourke and others-I havent been on for awhile as AOL was infiltrated and I was duped into thinking i was communication with AOL tech when in reality it was Bank of Nigeria and Global Tech and they wrecked my hard drive and mother board and stole my identity.We
    are in the midst of it all.Just heard that Yahoo has been hacked also.Folks be ware.
    Always check your bill to get the legal phone number of any co.I have missed you all
    and I will write again when I have my own e mail again.
    God bless. Arlene

  2. I have 2 masks, a Mark-5 from my military days and a Swedish single filter a couple of years old. I have never seen a mask with water capability, so much for my ignorance. Do you have a link or can recommend a suitable mask?

    Thanks for the help!


  3. Coach- What’s your favorite gas mask? What is a secondary recommendation you might have that is more cost effective but still gets the job done?

  4. more good advice. . . for those of us on a very limited budget, we do the best we can. . those of us who homestead have even less time to devote to training,prepping, etc as we are often occupied with work and critter care, firewood cutting, gardening, and general maintenence. I am realizing more and more that YOU CAN’T DO IT ALONE. . . . . . so I would add having a group you can depend on high up in the list of preps.

  5. Sorry to hear about your troubles, Arlene! I am a Yahoo subscriber, but I have no idea what to look for in guarding against fraud. What are the predicted consequences, identity and credit card theft? I am already watching my Target bill, as they admitted that millions of people’s information was stolen between Black Friday and Christmas. Great points on protective masks! Of the different types I used over a career in the Army, I preferred the M17A2 series (2 eye lenses, left & right filters). The M42 series (tanker’s mask) had one large lense over both eyes, but the canister filter and hose was cumbersome. I recently purchased surplus Czech masks from CH Kadels/BUDK for $19.99 each, but I ordered them on a Buy One Get One sale. In reference to First Aid, we added Quick Clot and Israeli Battle Dressings to our medical supplies. Both can be lifesavers for serious bleeding wounds.

  6. The MSA line of masks are exceptional. Full face, right or left filter placement, water capabilities, ballistic shield, small and light weight, great seal and harness. You can find them for about $100 NOS,EMTs, Firemen (Advantage and another model that escapes me) Be sure to get the proper sealed filters (you will need more than one, they don’t last forever) for nerve agent level protection. About $35 and a good carrier. These are a smart buy for a number of scenarios. If you can acquire CS/CN gas you can use it and your masks to break up an attack. Do your due diligence research on filters, expiration, filter life etc.

  7. @ D.: “You can find them for about $100 NOS,EMTs, Firemen (Advantage and another model that escapes me)”

    Would you please clarify this statement? I can’t figure out what you’re saying here. Thank you!!

  8. Arlene – yahoo has really gone down hill. When they made their latest change to the new home page – which lost all my “stuff” – I wrote to “yahoo answers” and asked why they had to make the change without asking anyone, that I felt as if someone had broken into my home and destroyed everything. Their answer was to say that my question had been disallowed because I was just venting and using hate language and that I had lost 10 points (what ever that meant). They not reject all my email. I have moved on to Google.

  9. NOS=New Old Stock
    EMT= Emergency Medical Tech.
    Ebay sources (previous owners)for new hand me down, unused masks.
    Note: some expired filters can damage your health or kill you. Know what you are buying.

  10. The two MSA models that I recommend are the Advantage 1000 and the millennium. New they are about $250-300 but can be found with a sealed filter and bag for about $100. I have shopped about ten of these at this price in the past. D.

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