Manhole Covers Fly

Underground explosion blows manhole covers into the air in downtown Detroit


DETROIT (WXYZ) – The City of Detroit’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management says there has been an explosion at an underground electrical substation at Washington and Grand River.

DTE says the problem originated with a underground cable and the situation is ongoing. They are working to resolve the problem.

The scene is near the Rosa Parks Transit Center. Officials are asking people to avoid the area.

The blast launched manhole covers into the air in an alley in the area of Washington Boulevard and State Street. Windows in the alley were blown out by the explosion.

The Detroit Fire Department responded to the situation, but has since cleared the area. DTE crews remain on the scene.

There are no reports of injuries.

45 Dead in Pakistan’s Monsoon Rains

Fresh flood warnings issued as more rainfall expected on Monday.

Asif Hassan—AFP

Asif Hassan—AFP


Disaster relief officials in Pakistan issued fresh flood warnings on Sunday after the death toll from heavy monsoon rains rose to 45 and waters paralyzed parts of the country’s largest city Karachi.

Flash floods caused by monsoon downpours have inundated some main roads in the sprawling port city and swept away homes in the northwestern province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

The National Disaster Management Authority warned that more thunderstorms and heavy rains were expected on Monday and some rivers may flood.

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Free Survival Preparation Checklist! @ Help with Survival HQ

We should all be prepared for disaster.  Knowing what to get to prepare is another thing altogether.  While everyone’s list of supplies will vary, most people will need the same basic essentials.  “Help with survival HQ” has put together a check list.  This list is free for anyone to use in preparation.  The list is three pages long.  Just click on the link for a PDF download file.

The following is just a short clip of the checklist. 

help with survival preparation checklist

To download the PDF file click here!

How to help Oklahoma tornado victims

The Oklahoman,
A teacher hugs a child at Briarwood Elementary school after a tornado destroyed the school in south Oklahoma City, Monday, May 20, 2013.

By Suzanne Choney, Contributing Writer, NBC News

The loss of life and stunning devastation in Oklahoma City suburbs after a monster tornado ripped through the area are heart-wrenching. “The streets are just gone. The signs are just gone,” said Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, after she toured the area by helicopter Tuesday. And many, many relief organizations are getting the message out on how to help.

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Survival Mindset: Preparedness As A Way of Life Part I

(Before It’s News)

prepare man with shieldPrepping, survivalism, emergency preparedness, disaster readiness – call it what you will but having the mindset to take care of yourself in good times and bad is the focus of Backdoor Survival.  That plus a healthy dose of living strategically and sustainably while having a bit of fun at the same time.

Today I would like to explore the survival mindset and preparedness as a way of life and as a path to self-reliance and independence.


We live in uncertain times.  Natural disasters are escalating at an alarming rate, global economies are failing, terrorists are threatening the security of the common man and climate change is affecting the ability of our food chain to provide adequate supplies to the populace. Add to this questionable politics and sneaky corporate policies and we have a recipe for crisis on our hands.

Survival Book 200(Custom)The solution, for many, to these woes is to embrace survivalism. The term “survivalism” is a word that has been around for eons.

Survivalism: An attitude, policy or practice based on the of primacy of survival as a value.
. . . from Miriam Webster

Survivalism: The policy of trying to insure one’s own survival or that of one’s social or national group.
. . . from New Oxford American Dictionary

And the person who practices survivalism? That person is typically referred to as a survivalist.

Mention this term to your typical man or woman and you may be looked at with disdain and confusion. After all, aren’t survivalists those Rambo types that live in the woods wearing camouflage clothing and carrying rifles the way the rest of us carry a wallet or pocketbook?

Somewhere along the line, the words Survivalism and Survivalist became dirty words.

To overcome this perception, a more modern term has been coined. A kinder gentler term and one without negative connotations: Prepper.

What specifically is a prepper? Wikipedia defines a prepper as an “individual or group that prepares or makes preparations in advance of, or prior to, any change in normal circumstances or lifestyle without significant reliance on other persons or without substantial assistance from outside resources.”

More simply stated, a prepper desires and strives to enjoy self-sufficiency without the need for outside assistance, especially from government agencies or authorities.


Let me relate the tale of two fictional families living close to each other in a fictional neighborhood.

Family #1 consists of a husband, a wife and two children. They are a two income family and the children, teenagers, do not work – not even performing home chores – for their generous allowance. The family has about $20,000 in savings, and a mortgage that uses up 60% of their combined take home pay. They eat out 3 to 4 nights a week, have a housekeeper and gardener and live a comfortable life.

A peek inside their pantry will show you a few canned goods but mostly cookies, chips and snack items. They rely on a weekly trip to the supermarket for food and even then, they don’t require much since they eat out a lot.

Family #2 also consists of a husband, wife and two children The Mom has a part time job doing something she loves: arranging flowers at a flower shop. The pay is not great but she enjoys both the work and getting out of the house. The family has a modest mortgage of about $75,000 and savings of $100,000. The two teens have part time jobs; one tutors kids with reading problems and the other flips burgers at the local fast food joint. Both the husband and wife enjoy cooking and prepare home cooked meals. They know how to take less expensive cuts of meats and use them in stews, stir-fry’s and other nutritious meals.

A look inside their pantry will show lots of dried goods including beans, rice, oatmeal and pasta, as well as cases of canned goods they have purchased at a discount at their local cash and carry warehouse store. Everything in the pantry is dated with the newer items stored near the rear and in the difficult to reach areas.

In the middle of one winter night, a huge snow and ice storm hits the town where both families live. Their neighborhood is especially affected because a utility company transformer has blown and the power is out. Trees have fallen and the roads are blocked. Typically there is not a lot of snow in their area so snow removal equipment is scarce.

Family #1 is cold, hungry and distressed. They have a few snacks on hand but other than that, very little food. They always meant to buy some candles and now the batteries in their flashlights are dead. As they stumble around in the dark, they are cold and desperate. They need help but the authorities are nowhere to be found. Without a battery operated radio or a wired phone, they don’t know what is going on and they are scared.

What about family #2? The wood stove is providing warmth plus their oil lanterns are providing an abundance of light. The family had a picnic around the fire consisting of canned stew, canned veggies and some canned peaches for dessert. Using the wood stove as a cooking surface, they were able to pop some popcorn while enjoying a board game around the glow of the stove and lanterns.

Their crank radio was fired up and they learned that there was a likelihood that the roads would be blocked and power out for at least 48 hours, possibly longer. They deemed this an adventure, secure in their knowledge that they had plenty of food and would be nice and toasty in their home.

Two stories.  One is a family that survives and the other is barely scraping by with handouts (if they are lucky) from sympathetic neighbors and relatives.


Natural disasters can happen anywhere and anytime.  Manmade disasters, civil disobedience, pandemics and terrorist attacks may or may not happen.

Even so, how would you deal with these events if they happened in your home town? Would you have food? Would you have water? Would you have readily accessible first aid supplies? If the transportation system around you was disabled for a period of time (a day, a week or a month), could you cope? What if fuel for your vehicle or to heat your home was not available? In the case of an emergency, how would you communicate with loved ones?

These are just a few questions you should ask yourself. They are practical questions with infinitely useful answers once you take the time to define survivalism in your own words and under your own terms.

Once you do that, you will have created a survival mindset.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


If you have not done so already, please be sure to like Backdoor Survival on Facebook to be updated every time there is an awesome new article, news byte, or free survival, prepping or homesteading book on Amazon.

In addition, when you sign up to receive email updates you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Bargain Bin: Here are some things that will make life easier if you are forced off grid for awhile.

Kaito Electronics, Inc. Portable Dynamo & Solar-Powered Radio and Cell Phone Charger: This one has it all and a very reasonable price given its features. It will operate from any one of four different power sources including hand crank and solar and includes a radio, lantern, cell phone charger and more. It can be used with 3 AA batteries or an optional AC adapter. It is perfect for receiving NOA alerts and the LED flashlight on its side turns into a flashing red SOS for emergencies. There is even a USB port for charging a cell phone. About $50.

Cyalume SnapLight Chemical Light Sticks: Read all about light sticks at Lighting Your Way With Chemical Lighting.

Rothco Type III Commercial Paracord: You can get 100 feet of  Getting Prepared Month 10: Practice Going Off Grid Backdoor SurvivalParacord for about $8. This is a real bargain but be aware that price can vary substantially depending on the color.

EcoZoom Versa: This rocket-type stove burns both charcoal and biomass. It is easy to use and fast. I recently cooked a pot of rice, start to finish in less than 20 minutes.

Fiskars Axe: A lightweight axe is an area where you can spend a little or spend a lot. This axe from Fiskars is highly rated and about $25.

Gerber Portable (Folding) Shovel: You don’t know that you need a shovel until you really need one. The particular shovel from Gerber has an easy push-button slide mechanism and is powerful, and easy-to-use. It features a telescoping joint on the handle for folding down to a perfectly portable and compact size. Not a bad deal for less than $20.

Fiskars Hatchet: The Fiskars products are easily sharpened and will last a lifetime. For less than $25, what is not to like? Oh, and while you are at it, you might also like the Fiskars Axe & Knife Sharpener for an additional $10.

Kershaw OSO Sweet Knife: The sky is the limit when it comes to survival knives. For the beginner, or someone on a budget, a decent quality, all purpose knife is what you need until you have a chance to use it and learn what you you like and don’t like, feature-wise, before you invest in something more pricey. This Kershaw OSO Sweet Knife is highly rated and will cost about $23.


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