survival short term prep plan 510x705Make Ready to Survive:
Short Term Prep & Plan
Panteao Productions, LLC.
701 Gervais Street, Suite 150-193
Columbia, SC 29201
Length: 135 minutes; Format: widescreen DVD–$24.99

For quite some time now Panteao Productions has been the source for firearms and tactics lectures on DVD, presented by various industry professionals, and focused on increasing armed citizens’ knowledge, skill and preparation. Late last year, Panteao added another line to their many, many DVD programs. Make Ready to Survive addresses what has popularly come to be called prepping, encompassing everything from long-term food storage to self-help medical training to weapons and tactics to defend homestead and family during a societal break down, and a lot more. It is a big subject.

Many Network members are well prepared for the defense aspect prepping embodies, but have trouble tackling the accumulation of supplies to make it through a week or two without electric power, let alone cope with several months of service disruption. Indeed, the daunting challenge of providing for one’s self and family for several months off the grid is likely the reason many fail to stock enough water, a Coleman stove and fuel and a 10 pound bag of beans. The problem is too big and so we get stuck. That’s why I was so pleased when I saw Short Term Prep & Plan. It was just what I wanted: advice on how to get through the first week of an emergency. The experts who present this program often add details about provisioning for longer time periods, too, but the focus is generally on a week or two.

This Panteao Make Ready to Survive program is a team-teaching effort, with Jim Cobb, Kyle Harth, Paul Howe, Dave Canterbury and N.E. MacDougald weighing in on both general and specific preparations, supplies and equipment. Cobb leads the discussion, first asking the viewer to consider how to communicate with and gather up family members who are in varied locations at the beginning of an emergency. This includes making sure the right people are named on permission slips to remove your children from school to deciding how best to provide for the needs of elderly loved ones if their care facility goes dark, and even how you will keep safe pets which often are not allowed in emergency shelters. Cobb does more than raise questions; he also offers various options to get the viewer thinking of what they may be able to implement, like identifying pet-friendly motels in advance should you need to shelter there if turned away at public shelters.

Determine food and water needs before they arise, Cobb advises next. Those new to prepping may find it easier to buy just a little extra in the dried and canned food sections while shopping for groceries each week, he suggests. Introducing quantities and kinds of food to store, he gently points out that Americans tend to over eat, but you should cut it back to actual nutritional requirements when laying in supplies for an emergency, he advises.

It is best to overstock on water, he urges. The standard of one gallon of water per person per day fails to cover sanitation, cleaning and cooking, so when storing water, increase it to at least one and one-half gallons and preferably two gallons per person per day, he recommends. Dehydrated or freeze-dried foods require water to render them edible, he adds.

Prescriptions and first aid kits are among short-term needs. Cobb notes, for example, that a well-stocked first aid kit is generally enough for a three-day power outage, and that eliminates excuses for put off getting those supplies because you probably don’t need to hold out for an expensive full-blown trauma kit. Later, instructor Kyle Harth addresses first aid in greater detail, explaining what to accumulate, what to carry it in and what to take along if you need to leave home to get through, “times of duress.” He discusses commercial first-aid kits that “should go with you wherever you go,” including medical tape, gauze patches and triple antibiotic ointment. Add a bug sting kit (unless severe allergy requires you to carry an epinephrine auto injector) then wrap it up in a waterproof bag or box to prevent damage to the supplies, he adds. The DVD includes a lot more very useful information about larger collections of medical supplies and other tools Harth recommends carrying in your vehicle.

During power outages and other short term disruptions, you are likely to remain in your home area, Cobb teaches, so plan for communications and how to power up phones, computers, tablets. Once an electrical outage extends beyond a couple of days, cooking and heating can get pretty critical. Alternative off-grid cooking options are the topic of the next segment with N.E. MacDougald explaining a wide array of choices, giving a nod to the ubiquitous home outdoor grill and the portable Coleman grill fueled by a smaller propane bottle. He demonstrates a single burner that screws directly onto a one pound propane bottle and a brass connector with which to recharge one pound bottles from standard-sized camper and grill propane tanks.

MacDougald weighs pros and cons for white gas burners and for thermo electric generation devices, demonstrating several: parabolic reflectors to concentrate the sun’s heat to boil water, solar buckets, and other burners that can be fired with pinecones or deadfall wood. This is supported both by website references at the end of the program and on a printed sheet inside the DVD box to help viewers find the recommended products. Cobb concludes this segment by observing that boiling water and cooking food not only keep body and soul together, being able to warm up over hot food is a great morale booster.

Paul Howe discusses longer power outages, citing pros and cons for gas, diesel or propane generators. He prefers propane because the tank is large enough to fuel power generation for a week. Smaller generators can at least keep your freezer and refrigerator running, he adds. A small apartment may survive on solar chargers, unlike a larger house that has to keep freezers and other services running. He explains solar panel/battery pack products for sunny climates. “Keeps your phones and comms up: that is critical,” he states. He demonstrates battery supply, solar charger, flashlight device and other compact solar collector/battery products.

MacDougald demonstrates a larger solar charger to fill a substantial battery, adding that apartment dwellers need silent power. These charger/battery arrays can be purchased, or if you’re “handy,” to use his words, you can make your own and mount it on a handcart. Solar collection and batteries for “silent, free fuel” are important, he advises, because in an emergency, gas or other fuel is in short supply.

MacDougald also addresses personal security, starting with improvised weapons that are “better than nothing.” Carry a cane, he recommends, “Even TSA will let you through with a cane! The stronger, the heavier, the better,” he urges, and also recommends carrying a Kubotan or small, thin flashlight for to improvise as a yawara (short stick). “Be observant,” he urges. “Your life depends on it.”

Harth echoes his advice when he discusses getting cash out of your bank account under emergency conditions. Remember, the bad guys know that people need to get cash in an emergency, he explains. Select a safe ATM, go armed and keep your gun hand free, have your bank card in hand, know the account you are going to access, how much you will request, and then drive through the parking area first to look for trouble. If there’s no line at ATM, go straight to it and look around while using the ATM, checking reflective surfaces to look behind and around without attracting attention. Don’t pause, he teaches, just put the money away and get into the car. Lock the car doors, drive away and get the vehicle moving as you buckle the seat belt.

Harth also addresses motel security, room location, locks, fire suppression and stairwell escape routes, advising travelers to stroll through and locate these and other features before settling in to an overnight motel stay. Paul Howe weighs in on personal security while traveling. As a traveling trainer, he uses a lot of hotels, he explains, and talks about where to park, traffic flow for entry and exit travel, plus a lot more. He recommends filling the fuel tank at day’s end to avoid having to wait your turn at the gas pump while fleeing. Plan the morning’s routes the night before, he adds.

Short Term Prep & Plan is a wide-ranging lesson outlining preparatory steps to get through short-term emergencies and longer lasting disaster conditions. This review just scratches the surface and I don’t have space to mention highlights from the instructors’ advice about communications, caring for vulnerable neighbors, morale boosters, asset security (hint: get a good safe), protecting important documents, knives, hatchets and other equipment, and a great deal more.

I liked this informative DVD a great deal. Coelho and Panteao Productions deserve credit for bringing out an excellent companion line to their many gun and self-defense lectures on DVD and streaming video. The Short Term Prep & Plan program gives the viewer a lot to think about and easy-to-do preparatory and planning steps. The team-teaching approach is effective, as the various experts describe their piece of the puzzle from their own individual experiences, and although there are overlaps in small amounts of the material, it all comes together in a cohesive, actionable set of lessons.

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