Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Hurricane, Garage Door Blow-in

One of the common causes for a home roof blow-off during a hurricane is the garage door blowing into the garage from the wind's pressure. Once the door blows in all the hurricanes wind pressure increases the pressure in the garage enough to lift the entire roof from the walls resulting in total destruction of the home. A simple reinforcement may help reduce the blow-in possibility.

The top door panel is reinforced by the garage door opener and needs no additional reinforcement. However, the center of the bottom door panel such as on a 16-foot door has no reinforcement and is the weakest part of the entire door and easily blows in.

The simplest reinforcement is to use a ½ inch diameter by 12 inches long re-bar at that center point of the door. I drilled a hole into the foot/closing assist to accept the re-bar and another hole in the garage floor that lets the re-bar slip into about 3 inches deep. It was about an hour project and only cost a couple dollars. For that center point of the door the wind pressure would have to be strong enough to shear the re-bar off which is unlikely that would ever happen.

Here’s the re-bar in place, the door can now resist a lot of wind pressure pushing on it. Pulling the door out is not a big consideration as the foot assist mounting screws do offer some resistance to pulling forces.

A simple hole drilled in the garage floor to accept the re-bar.

The re-bar in the concrete drilled hole.

The hole drilled into the foot assist for the re-bar to slip through.

The same assist but from the bottom showing the re-bar drilled hole.

How to use it?
Simple, close the garage door and slip the re-bar through the foot assist drilled hole and then into the hole drilled in the concrete floor!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Rocket Stove Fuel Alternative

A rocket stove can burn just about anything, including your furniture if need be!

Like any cooking appliance, it needs fuel of some sort. The Rocket Stove is no exception. For me, when a hurricane brushes by my coast and dumps 4-10 inches of rain, there are no dry branches or twigs to gather, light and cook dinner with! I found it difficult to long-term store dry twigs and small branches for its’ fuel, until this week. I found that the Preppers favorite long-term storage container, the 5-gallon bucket, works perfectly!

Wood Fuel for the Rocket Stove:
Here are two buckets, one has split wood in it (about ½ to ¾ inch square by 12-13 inches long) ready to use. The other bucket has scrap 2x4’s and 2x6’s in it, I had this wood on my fireplace wood pile and because of rains, it is too wet to easily split with a hand ax so I’ll get to it in a couple weeks. The nice thing about using 5-gallon bucket for the wood storage is just snap a lid on it and it is neat, dry, bug-free, and clean in your closet or pantry storage.

If you live in an apartment or condo and have a patio or balcony it is easy to store a couple buckets of Rocket Stove wood for disaster event cooking.

BBQ Charcoal Briquets as a Rocket Stove Fuel:
This week I thought I’d try using BBQ charcoal and see how well it does in my stove. As with any fuel for the rocket stove it needs to be kept dry and easy to store. What I found is BBQ charcoal is a very good fuel for the rocket stove, however, the stove needs a slight modification, see below.

A typical 16 lb. bag of BBQ charcoal.

A 16-lb bag of charcoal fits nicely into a 5-gallon bucket. Dump the charcoal into a bucket, snap the lid on and you’re all set for a future grid-down event.
Here’s a 5-Gallon bucket with 16lbs of charcoal in it. Snap on the lid and it will stay dry forever, and ready to use for emergency cooking or baking.

I purchased a standard Weber BBQ Kettle charcoal grate, about 13 inches in diameter. The modifications I found needed to make to my Rocket Stove to burn charcoal (hot) was to fabricate a charcoal grate similar to the Weber grates. The reason is I needed to get more fresh air under the charcoal to burn hot and get the charcoal heat closer to the cooking pots for more heat.

I cut the Weber grate to fit inside my Rocket Stone feed throat. The bolt and fender washer is used to secure the grate to the top of the stove’s wood feed throat.

Looking down into the stove you can see the new charcoal grate in its’ permanent position.

The bolt used to hold the grate to the top of the stoves wood feed port. The grate and bolt are not in the way where it restricts feeding wood into the stove. In other words, I can use either wood or charcoal without having to change anything.

Here’s 16 Briquets on the new grate in the Rocket Stove. The top of the 16 Briquets is now 2 inches from the top cooking grate.

A perfect charcoal fire uses 16 Briquets and weighs almost 15 ounces, I figure one pound of charcoal per fire or 16 fires per bag.


  • This is an excellent cooking alternative especially when you run out of propane for cooking.
  • Charcoal will last forever if kept dry such as in the buckets.
  • Clean almost smoke-free heat so when baking bread the bread won’t have the smoky taste as with wood twigs etc.
  • What’s interesting is that 3-buckets of briquettes will make over 48, 2 hour long cooking fires!
  • The excess charcoal burn time after meal preparations can be used to boil water for drinking or keeping your coffee hot!
Where to buy this Rocket Stove?
Deadwood Stove Company link http://www.deadwoodstove.com/

Blog Links to using the Rocket Stove:

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Two Way Radios, (FRS/GMRS) Buying Tips

Below is my backup set of two-way radios, their purpose is to be backup radios or to loan to others/neighbors during an event when there’s no grid-power and their cell phone batteries are depleted. Dead cell phone batteries are a common occurrence during an event because many people are heavy phone or tablet users must re-charge their phones every day. For those with dead batteries, some simple form of communication with others is reassuring during the power outage event. Two-Way radios are also good when used for neighborhood patrol/security communicating.

I purchased the simplest (cheapest) radios possible. Because to let some new user use a two-way radio loaded with many extra features is confusing. And if the new user starts blindly pushing buttons it will probably lead to a locked-up radio, so there goes the communication. 

The extra set of radio’s I have, shown below, are missing two important features. When buying two-way radios here’s what you may want to look for:

1.   Single on/off/volume control rotary knob.

There’s hardly a person who doesn’t understand how to use a rotary control knob. All they have to do is rotate the knob to turn on and adjust the volume, then press the “Talk” button. The common channel to use is pre-set. The rest of the radio functions are also preset and needs no adjusting etc. Simple!

2.   Back-lit channel display and buttons.

When it’s night time, you cannot read the display or buttons. You will need a flashlight and for most unprepared people, it will be a problem finding the only flashlight they have when needed!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Which common caliber round has the best stopping power?

The video below uses the data from Greg Ellifritz's 10-year stopping power study of real-world gunfights to shed the light of actual data on several common beliefs about handgun calibers including 22 rifles are the best bug out guns, 45s have the best stopping power, 380s are too small to be effective, 410 guns are gimmicks, and more. Here is the link to the original data and study by Ellifritz: http://www.activeresponsetraining.net...

Video Link:

Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Preppers Livestock Handbook

I just finished reading Leigh Tate's “The Preppers Livestock Handbook

There’s an amazing the amount of science and knowledge packed inside including a list of sources. If you have or are planning on living the Homestead Life with livestock, Leigh's hands-on experience and knowledge are priceless. This book is a FIVE-STAR reference book and a must-have book for your Prepper Library. Also, see her blog http://www.5acresandadream.com/

Livestock care from a preparedness point of view.

You will learn:
Which livestock is best suited to preparedness, options for shelter and fencing, how to establish and maintain good pasture, how to grow and store hay, strategies for feeding your farm animals without going to the feed store, options for breeding, birthing, veterinary care, and sustainable dairying. Also, the pitfalls to avoid and how to keep things manageable. If the grid ever fails, you will know how to preserve and store eggs, dairy foods, and meat without electricity. The Preppers Livestock Handbook focuses on simple, low-tech, off-grid methods for managing your land and your livestock. 

Cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, rabbits, and poultry chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, and guinea fowl.