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 January - Happy New Year!

As we enter into a new year, we want to take the time to thank our valued and loyal customers and express our appreciation for your business. We are excited to see what this new year will bring. Throughout the month of January, we will focus on providing introductory tips for prepping and safety, including a 12-month guide to prepping for this upcoming year.

Week Three: 12 Months of Prepping (Months 4-8)

             Last week, we focused on how to prepare during the first 3 months of the year. Throughout the rest of January, we will continue to provide a list of tasks and supplies for each month of this upcoming year to help you begin the prepping process. This week, the focus is on months 4-8, still following the article posted by Back Door Survival with guidelines for year-round prepping.  

Month 4 – April:  Tasks: Review and organize your storage area so everything is properly contained and labelled. Ensure that containers are well marked/dated. Pack warm blankets, sleeping bags, socks, and other gear for cold weather conditions.

Supplies to buy:  at least a 7-day supply of critical prescription medications. Stock up on special household accommodations this month such as supplies for pets, infants, or elderly family members.

Month 5 – May:  Tasks: Make at least two photocopies of important papers/documents and put one in your emergency storage space, and one away from your home. File an electronic copy of your important documents on a portable flash drive. Talk with neighbors/community members about organizing a local preparedness group.

Supplies to buy: Cleaning supplies, including: liquid dish soap, liquid bleach, hand soap/hand sanitizer, and disposable gloves. A portable AM/FM radio with batteries.

Month 6 – June:  Tasks: Check to see if stored water/food has expired and needs to be replaced. Find out about specific disaster plans at your workplace/school

Supplies to buy: 6 rolls of paper towels. One box of face masks per person. One box of granola/protein bars per person.

Month 7 – July:  Tasks: Take a first aid/CPR class at your local American Red Cross facility. Show family members where and how to shut off household utilities.

Supplies to buy: Adult/children’s vitamins. 1 jug of juice per person. A fire extinguisher, pair of pliers, and 100 feet of paracord.

Month 8 – August:  Tasks: Make a small emergency preparedness kit for your car. Include food, water, a blanket, and small first aid kit.

Supplies to buy:  One weeks’ worth of dry cereal or instant oatmeal per person. One box of large, heavy-duty garbage bags. One box of crackers per person.

            At BulletBlocker, we offer a wide variety of backpacks that can be a perfect addition to your prepping storage space, or can be used as your emergency bug-out bag for your household, car, or workplace. Our Everyday Backpack in particular is one of our top-rated backpacks, as it provides a discreet layer of lightweight anti-ballistic protection and provides enough storage space to meet all your needs. The pack is made of Duralite Ripstop & Waffle Weave, a grid-textured nylon fabric that has a water-resistant backing to protect belongings in wet weather. The anti-ballistic panel only adds 20 ounces of weight to the backpack, ensuring a comfortable and lightweight fit for long-term wear. Its roomy main compartment opens wide for easy packing, and the organizer compartment contains multiple pockets for storage. It is the ideal option for students, commuters, travelers, or those on the go throughout the year.


Week Two: 12 Months of Prepping (Months 1-4)

            Last week we posted recommendations for making New Year’s resolutions with a focus on individual safety and emergency preparedness. Over the next few weeks, we will provide a month-by-month plan for this upcoming year in terms of prepping. Whether you are just starting out, or you are an experienced prepper, we will include useful tips and recommendations that will apply to everyone. There are many barriers that individuals face when starting the prepping process, such as a lack of time, finances, or support from loved ones. Despite these barriers, it is important to break down the task of emergency preparedness into smaller steps and make a “roadmap” with a monthly to-do-list, tasks to complete, and items to purchase. The goal of this is to make the prepping process less daunting and more manageable over time. Back Door Survival posted an article with guidelines for 12 months of prepping that we will closely follow in the upcoming weeks. This week, we will focus on the first three months of the year.

Month 1 – January:
Tasks: Take an inventory of supplies you already have on hand. If you have not already done so, date your cans of food and water containers to keep track of when you bought them.
Supplies to buy: Stock up on water and food this month. A rule of thumb is to store at least 3 gallons of water for each person and pet in a household.  If you are buying canned meat, stew, or pasta meals, stock up on at least 5 per person. Also buy a hand-operated can opener and bottle opener, and two flashlights with batteries if you do not have them already.
Month 2 – February:
Tasks: Change your smoke detector’s batteries and test them. If you do not have any, purchase and install smoke detectors. Additionally, make an inventory of your household contents for insurance purposes.

Supplies to buy: Toilet paper (3 rolls per person), family-sized first aid kit, canned vegetables (4 per person), sanitary napkins (2-month supply)

Month 3 – March:

Tasks: Conduct a household emergency drill. Establish both a local and out-of-state contact to call in the event of an emergency and ensure that every household member knows how to reach these individuals.

Supplies to buy: 3 cans of canned fruit per person, and a 3-day supply of food for individuals who have special dietary requirements. An optional item is a large plastic tub or bin for food/emergency supply storage.

As we move into the colder winter months, consider purchasing one of our many popular jackets or coats. Our NIJ IIIA Bulletproof Farm Coat is a great option for work or leisure. Its heavyweight 100% sandstone duck conveniently comes in 3 different colors. The nylon lining is quilted into an artic-weight polyester insulation to keep you comfortable, while the rib-knit storm cuffs and soft corduroy collar lock in the warmth. Designed to hold all your gear, this coat offers two inside pockets, two flapped chest pockets, and two front hand-warmer pockets. The split-back with bi-swing design guarantees comfortable wear and the pleated elbows promise ease movement on the job. For women, a more stylish and versatile option is our NIJ IIIA Falcon Flight Jacket. It is constructed of an oxford nylon shell and polyester lining for superior water resistance, while the soft faux mouton-lined hood, storm flap, and cuffs are designed to keep you warm in the coldest conditions. With multiple pockets and reinforced elbows, this jacket is both practical and rugged. It conveniently comes in 4 different colors to please a variety of styles. 

Week 1: New Year’s Safety Resolutions

This week, the theme is setting New Year’s resolutions. According to Forbes, more than 40% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions at the start of every year, usually with the intent to lose weight, eat healthier, or spend less money. Though out of the millions of people that set these resolutions each year, only about 8% of people actually follow through with them. Setting resolutions can be fun and motivating, but can be difficult to attain if they are not practical or realistic.

As we enter into 2018, consider setting resolutions and goals that aim to improve your preparedness skills and safety knowledge. These goals should be specific and measurable so that you can hold yourself accountable throughout the year. The Bug Out Bag Guide published an article with resolution suggestions for the new year with a focus on preparedness and survivalism. The first resolution is to make an emergency bug-out plan. We provided guidelines for making your own comprehensive bug-out plan in previous weeks, but you could also download this bug-out template and fill it out in under an hour. If you have already made a bug-out plan, consider reviewing it and making adjustments as necessary. The best way to figure out its strengths and weaknesses is to continually practice it. As discussed in previous weeks, practicing your plan before an emergency occurs is one of the best ways to stay prepared. Another resolution is to help at least one person you know become more prepared. This could be a friend, family member, or neighbor who has expressed an interest or curiosity in prepping at some point. Taking the opportunity to sit down with others and discuss the importance of survivalism may not always be the easiest conversation, but it allows those around you to understand your perspective and gain an appreciation for why you choose to prepare.

            Another recommended resolution is to make a bug out bag filled with basic survival items such as food, water, medical supplies, and other necessities to be used in the event of an emergency. If you have one bug out bag at home, consider making a second bag for your workplace or vehicle, as emergencies can occur at any time or place. If you have already made adequate bug-out-bags, consider reducing their weight by at least 10%. Even the most experienced preppers could find it useful to periodically check their bags and assess what needs to be changed to save weight and space. Finally, it is most important to plan to take action and follow through. Even the best resolutions and intentions are useless if they are not followed by actions. Preparedness is a long journey of change and improvement, and there are always more skills to learn and more tools to master, regardless of how experienced one may be.

Our bulletproof backpack panel inserts are a great way to keep the whole family safe and protected while at school, work, or travelling. Having the peace of mind that your loved ones are protected and safe is crucial. The discreet panel inserts come in two standard sizes, but can also be customized to fit your own backpack’s unique dimensions. They covertly make your pre-owned item bulletproof by offering Level IIIA anti-ballistic protection while remaining compact enough to fit into your purse, notebook portfolios, or backpack. This classic product has remained one of our most popular, as it is an inexpensive and versatile item ideal for a wide population. Its discreet design can be swapped effortlessly into different bags without ever compromising on comfort or concealability.

As you ring in the new year and start to reflect on the months ahead, consider making resolutions that will be beneficial to your own safety and well-being. Preparing starts with the simple decision to invest in yourself and safety. As Cavett Robert once said, “character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed.” Have a safe and happy New Year!

 December - "Preparing for the Future"

This month’s theme is preparing for the future. As Benjamin Franklin once said: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail,” and this can be applicable to all aspects of life. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the phenomenon known as “prepping.”

Week Four: Implementing and Practicing your Emergency Plan

             Throughout this month, we have recognized December as the month to Prepare for the Future, by providing tips for beginner preppers, offering recommendations for gifting preparedness to others, and giving guidelines to make your own “bug out” plan. In this final week of December, we will focus on how to implement and practice your plan to ensure preparedness in any emergency situation.

            Practicing your emergency plan is just as important as constructing it. Survival involves active participation and commitment from all individuals involved. Practicing allows you to identify the strengths and weaknesses within your plan and make changes when necessary. Ready to Go Survival published an article discussing how to create the perfect bug out plan, which of course includes continual practice. They recommend running through a drill in which you “sound the alarm” and require everyone involved gather at the designated meeting place.  Practice loading everything into the bug-out vehicle and getting everyone’s bug-out bags together. This ensures an efficient departure process during an emergency, and guarantees that all necessary resources are readily available.

            Another recommendation is to travel all your planned routes to the bug-out location ahead of time. It is important to know what to look out for, where exits are located, and how to detour around routes if necessary. As stated last week, GPS technology and phone navigation systems can be unpredictable in the event of an emergency, which is why it is important to know the bug-out location and route well enough to not have to rely on technology. It is also important to practice a communication plan within your group. It is necessary to develop a common mode of communication among group members, as cell phones are not reliable in extreme circumstances. Some types of communication include walkie talkies, radios, notes and messages, or a system of signs and symbols. Ensuring that every group member is on the same page with communication is a critical aspect of your survival planning. Practice leaving and retrieving messages in predetermined locations, and ensure that everyone is able to use the communication system effectively. As disaster can happen at any time, it is important to practice the emergency plan from your home, school, work, and any other places that you spend a significant amount of time at. Consider keeping a bug out bag at your school or workplace in addition to your home and vehicle.

            We feature a variety of products that can be used in the event of a disaster or emergency. Our bulletproof Tactical Organizer is a great product to store your emergency plan and any additional necessary documents and supplies. The NIJ IIIA Bulletproof organizer is waterproof and lightweight, with six separate storage compartments. Additionally, our Defender Notebook Folio is a great option for retaining emergency plans and documents, with ample pockets for storage and supplies. Both of these products will also act as a ballistic shield if it becomes necessary to protect yourself or your family. Our NIJ IIIA Bulletproof Tactical Backpack is an ideal option for those seeking a safe place for emergency supplies and tools, which will double as a defense tool for oneself and loved ones. This backpack features multiple storage compartments, mesh pockets, and thickly padded straps, and is large enough to store essential supplies for the whole family.

Survival planning and preparation require a great deal of organization and practice to fine tune the details and ensure that the plan will run smoothly. However, when you do this well in advance of an emergency, you will be as prepared as possible to deal with whatever situation is to come. While this does not guarantee that there won’t still be challenges, you will be much better prepared to deal with them if they arise.

Week 3: Making a bug out plan

In addition to making a bug-out-bag and stocking up on essential items over time, implementing an emergency or “bug out” plan is a key aspect of preparing. In previous weeks, we have discussed how to make a bug-out bag and how to prepare over time by stocking up on food, water, and other necessities. However, creating and practicing a solid emergency plan is equally essential for survival preparedness.

A good plan will consider multiple factors, such as the types of disasters that are likely to occur in one’s area, one’s personal strengths and weaknesses, specific destinations and escape routes, and special considerations for all individuals involved. Ready to Go Survival published an article with guidelines and tips for creating the ideal bug out emergency plan. The first thing to consider is who will be involved in your emergency plan, whether that includes household members, extended family, friends, or neighbors. It is important to consider specific needs in your group, and tailor the plan to individual requirements. Some factors to keep in mind include dietary restrictions, medical necessities, physical disabilities, and pets. The next part is figuring out where to go and how to get there.  It is essential to know where you will go ahead of time. This could be the home of a family member or friend, a campground, or a property specifically purchased as a bug out location. The means of transportation is just as important as figuring out where to go. The vehicle must be reliable, safe, and have the ability to get to the destination as quickly as possible.

It is also important to consider the route you will take to the destination. In the event of a disaster, GPS tracking devices or cell phone maps may not be available. Instead, use a printed map and study it enough to know one main route and at least two backup routes. One tip would be to avoid main highways and roads, instead choosing back roads that are less traveled and less likely to be closed down or congested with traffic in an emergency situation. As discussed in previous weeks, it is important to bring an emergency car kit, a bug out bag for each individual involved, and enough food, water, and other essential resources to last at least three days. The article also discusses specifically when to enact the emergency plan and bug out—when your safety has been compromised, and/or resources have run out.

At BulletBlocker, we feature a variety of backpacks that will meet the needs for a basic supply kit. Our Guardian and Everyday backpacks both offer NIJ IIIA Bulletproof protection and have the storage space available to create an efficient emergency supply kit for the workplace, household, or vehicle. Additionally, our NIJ IIIA Bulletproof Survival Pack and Safety Kit is a great option for an emergency bug out bag. The backpack has both a well-stocked first aid kit and a basic survival supplies kit with a 5-year guaranteed shelf life. The first-aid kit contains enough supplies for 25 people, and includes bandages, gauze dressing pads, antiseptic towelettes, cold compresses, and gloves, among other essentials. The basic survival supply kit includes water, blankets, a flashlight, crank radio, a whistle, tools, and tissues, among others. We also offer a variety of products that can be used in the event of a disaster.
            Making an emergency bug out plan is an important aspect of preparing and survivalism. As we continue throughout Preparedness month, consider making an emergency plan this week by following the above guidelines.

 Week Two - Giving the Gift of Preparedness

As the Christmas season approaches and gift shopping is in full swing, it can seem challenging to find the right gift for everyone on your list. One of the best gifts to give someone is something practical that shows you care about their safety. Giving the gift of preparedness is a great opportunity to help your family and friends start to make their safety a priority, or to give the experienced prepper in your life something unique. Now is a great time to help someone get started with the basics of preparing.

Homestead Launch put out a list of holiday gifts perfect for preppers earlier this month, with options ranging from $20 to $100, most of which are available on Amazon. One gift idea they recommended was a water filter with the ability to screw directly on a water bottle, hose, or hot water heater. It comes with an attachment that allows you to drink directly from a river or other source, and can filter up to 50 gallons. Not only is this gift inexpensive, it is also ideal for those who enjoy the outdoors and don’t always have access to filtered water. Another gift idea they suggested was an encrypted thumb drive, the “gift of gifts” for the modern survivalists. This is a good way to store and access all information in one place, including birth certificates, banking and social security information, insurance documents, and more. Keeping data on an encrypted drive ensures that your information will be safe and protected. For beginner preppers, many survivalist blogs and organizations suggest giving basic gifts with items such as high-powered flashlights, pocket blankets, and solar battery chargers.

At BulletBlocker, we offer a variety of products ideal for everyone on your shopping list—even those who are new to the idea of preparing. Our backpacks are a great option for individuals of all ages—making BulletBlocker a one-stop shop for everyone on your list. We offer a wide selection of versatile backpacks that will fit any style. Our Everyday Backpack provides a discrete layer of anti-ballistic protection that is metal detector and tourist friendly. This is a great option for students, commuters, or frequent travelers, as it is lightweight and adjustable, with adequate room for storage. My Child’s Pack is our smallest bag designed for young children who need a backpack that is light enough to be worn safely. Designed with the same lightweight, semi-flexible NIJ IIIA ballistic panel used in all our products, this backpack is guaranteed to keep your child safe at school and on-the-go. We offer many other backpacks and backpack panel inserts that are sure to please everyone on your list. In addition, our clothing products are a great gift option for men and women, with a range of styles and pieces sure to fit everyone’s taste.

As we continue through December focusing on preparing for the future, think about giving the gift of preparedness this holiday season. This is one of the best gifts you can give, as it shows your loved ones that their safety is a priority.

 Week One

There are many misconceptions around prepping, while it is simply the act of taking steps to prepare for the future. In the past few decades, there have been many events and disasters that have caused a spike in prepping across the nation. These include the 9/11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the 2007 Recession, and the rising threat of violence and terrorism, among others. Unfortunately, disaster can strike anywhere, at any time. Though this is a harsh reality to face, it is necessary to take adequate steps to prepare for one of these events. Depending on the nature of the disaster, necessary resources and care may not be readily available, and medical services and personnel may be unpredictable. This can devastate individuals and communities alike, leaving thousands without adequate food, water, medicine, electricity, and other basic necessities. Keeping food, supplies, and extra resources on hand is the best way to ensure preparedness for any type of disaster.

Many people put off preparing with the intent to do it “later,” due to finances, lack of time, or other priorities. But in reality, preparing is not as daunting, expensive, or time-consuming as it may seem. Many people think that disaster won’t occur within their community, but that is a high risk to take when one’s safety is at stake. Technically, most people are already preppers; we all prepare for life to varying degrees. Buying insurance, stocking your cabinets and fridge with food, and putting money into a savings account are all forms of preparing.

Taking a few small steps each month can add up over time and have long-term benefits. Starting the prepping process can be as simple as buying extra food and water during your next trip to the grocery store. When prepping, it is recommended to keep a 2-week supply of food and water on hand for all individuals in a household. Start off this month by stocking up on enough water for all family members. If you don’t own one already, consider buying a can opener and enough non-perishable foods to last two weeks for all household members.  Some options include: canned chicken and beef, canned beans or chili, mac and cheese, and peanut butter. These options are fairly inexpensive, and are high in fat and calories. Each month, stock up little by little during each trip to the store. With each month, add more essential items, such as flashlights and batteries, a first-aid kit, blankets, and lighters. Allocating a portion of money each month to preparing is worth the peace of mind it will bring. Our NIJ IIIA Bulletproof Survival Pack and Safety Kit is a great option for an emergency supply kit. The backpack has both a well-stocked first aid kit and a basic survival supplies kit with a 5-year guaranteed shelf life. The first-aid kit contains enough supplies for 25 people, and includes bandages, antiseptic towelettes, cold compresses, and gloves, among other essentials. The basic survival supply kit includes water, blankets, a flashlight, crank radio, a whistle, tools, and tissues, among others.

All preppers start with making the decision to be proactive and in charge of their own safety and well-being. As said earlier, disaster can strike at any time, so it is crucial to be prepared in terms of having the basic necessities and adequate resources on hand. 

 Survivalism and Survivalists

Survivalism and Survivalists encompass a very wide range of interests focusing generally upon disaster preparedness - for any type of disaster. When the power goes out, and stays out, what do you do? Well, if you're smart, you've done something to prepare for this possibility. Planning for virtually any disaster equates to planning for all natural and man-made disasters. Different situations may call for modifications, but the things you absolutely need are food, water and shelter. There are a lot of things that make being without electricity a lot easier. Flashlights and batteries, matches and lighters, canned goods and other foods with a long shelf life, gardens, fishing and hunting. Survivalism is about a lot of things - not just being prepared, but being self-sufficient, and practical education on how things work. There's more to cover about Survivalism, than I can cover here. To your right, you will find a great blogroll of the best Survivalist sites, blogs and forums available online. Below this article, you will find some short reviews on them, too.

"Something" Hit the Fan: Not knowing which disaster is on the way makes it easier to sleep at night. On the other hand, if you enjoy life, you want to do everything you can to preserve it and the lives of those you love and care for. The global economy is front and center, and has everyone's attention. The state of the dollar and other currencies, banks, financial institutions and government solvency are just one set of very critical issues that have many people very concerned. Disasters are "Something Hits the Fan Scenarios". The global financial crisis was a long-time in the coming. It is the direct and explicit result of not taking steps to confront risks. We have in the United States single companies requiring hundreds of billions of dollars in bail outs of taxpayer money. These companies did not take steps to reduce, eliminate or even balance their risks. That, unfortunately, is the mainstream.

Global Financial Crisis: Mass Coronal Ejections and Polar Shifts may sound far fetched, the global financial crisis is not. It is real. It is here, now. The only real question here is how much worse will it get? More than survivalists are preparing now. The United States is the world's largest economy without counting the European Union, being a collection of sovereign states. The State of California alone ranks 8th in overall world GDP - and could stand as a nation unto itself. California in addition to 40 more of our 50 states are in the midst of major budget issues. The United States has been significantly dependent upon China, of all countries, to buy US Government Bonds. On June 28, 2009 even the Chinese banks were deemed to be in financial trouble.

The Theoreticals - What If...? It's appropriate to ask a lot of questions. What happens if... your employer goes out of business? What if... your bank gets closed down? Odds are you are probably safe on up to $250,000 per account by the FDIC, but even that has limits. What if... California goes bankrupt? Okay, so that won't happen because it will probably get a Federal Stimulus Package. So, what happens if any one of the other 40 states without a balanced budget does not get a stimulus package? What happens when you go to your bank and you can't get money out? Even if you are prepared, how is everyone else going to handle any of this? How prepared are the millions of people who live from paycheck to paycheck to handle any one of these situations?

Fear Mongering! Promoting fear is to encourage people to run away from problems. Fear is trying to avoid problems knowing they aren't going away. Turning and facing them, planning and preparing for them is not promoting fear - it's promoting courage and decisiveness. Hope is not a strategy. Looking at what the numbers have been saying and are saying now is rational. Relying upon what may or may not exist in 3 or 6 months is not rational. Not being rational is what got us into this global economic mess. Watching Wall Street is not rational. It is normal to be scared when confronting problems. It is irrational to be dominated by fear. Oh, sure...the economy, it'll be fixed in three months. The banks? They're fine, just need a few billion more - no sweat. Jobs? Green shoots are on the way, man! That'd be fine if cows were unemployed.

Survival Community Blogs and Resources SurvivalistBoards.com - Extensive, friendly and educational. Just about anything you could want to know about everything related to disaster preparedness, contingency planning, and large portions of what is also associated with LOHAS (lifestyles of health and sustainability) is on file here. Health, Fitness and First Aid is one section, Wilderness Survival, Hiking and Camping is another. Urban Survival to Farming, Gardening and Recipes - feature everything from how-to's to lists of things you will need and want. There's active conversation and debates on many topics, most of all you will find it to be a very friendly site more respectful of others than you're likely to find on any political forums. Think you are alone in your concerns? No.

SurvivalBlog.com is dedicated to family preparedness, survival, self-reliance, and self-sufficiency. Written by author and former military intelligence officer Jim Rawles, his site is viewed in over 100 countries. Lots of very good information - hundreds, if not thousands, of posts.

The Survivalist Blog - An independent blog with some pretty good articles, including quick tips on assembling your own "Grab And Go Survival Pack" also known as a "bug out bag".

Urban Survivalist Blog - This would ordinarily be too small and inactive to include in this list for having only three articles. They focus on short-term disaster preparedness, quick and easy.


Featured Articles
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Urban Survivalist Blog

Past Blogs;

-Lighten the Load: Backpack  

-School Lockdowns                  

-November “Military Family"    

-October "Crime Prevention"    

-September "PREPtember"       

BulletBlocker Video Demonstration:

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