OK, let me be clear: the world is not going to end with any statistically significant probability on December 21st.  However, if you do want to get a rise out of someone go tweet @badastronomer Phil Plait and ask about the photon ring or some other bogus belief in the end of the world.

Now, having said that, it’s never a bad thing to be prepared.  So in a departure from normal posts, today is a series of links to one of my favourite websites, the Art of Manliness.  No, this is not some misogynistic guys-only club, this is actually a website full of information and articles on the lost art of being a ‘man.’  These are things like how dress properly, how to sew a button or sharpen an axe, or any other numbers of things.  They have had several articles on how to prepare for emergencies of all kinds.  A lot of the posts come from the Willow Haven Outdoor School for Survival.

When preparing for an emergency, it’s important to keep a global perspective.  Whether you are just trying to stockpile a few supplies for a bad winter storm or the full-blown zombie apocalypse, it’s important to remember the essential things you will need no matter the emergency.

One thing that is always troublesome to me is that I spend the majority of my waking hours away from my home and wife.  In an emergency, communication could well be lost and just getting home might be difficult.  So to this end, I will link to the first post: How to build a ‘get-home’ bag.  It is also important that everyone in your family has one, and you have ‘rally points’ so that you can all meet up.  Home is a great rally point, but what if you can’t get there?

Now if you are home with your family, but you need to leave–a tsunami warning has sounded, there is a gas leak, relatives are coming–you can build a bug-out bag.  Bug out bags or Get-out-of-Dodge bags or battle boxes–whatever you want to call them–usually contain about 3 days worth of supplies so that you can safely evac a dangerous situation and get yourself settled.  Nothing helps planning for the future than a safe present.  Creek Stewart (the author of most of these) has written an entire book on the subject, but this will get you started.

OK, now a fun one.  The tactical/survival shotgun.  I won’t say much–you just need to read it.

Some other topics: the survival tampon, how to use a broken cell phone to meet 5 basic survival needs, and how to build a small snare.  In addition, choosing a proper survival knife is a good read, and (just because post-apocalypse will have no video games) how to play mumbley peg.

I’m no paranoid doom-sayer, but it never hurts to be prepared.  My only piece of advice if you look into any of these skills is to practice.  Remember, your brain does not work the same in an emergency as it does normally–you need these skills to be second nature.  Anyway, I’ll see you all on the 22nd.


About faradaysheadache

Research Geophysicist with the US Geological Survey.
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