Action Step: Ladies, start your printers!

image by toastiest

Every once in a while I come across an article online that I want to bookmark, but what with my computer restarting itself for updates and my kids coming along and closing windows, I invariably lose and forget about the link.

If you’ve ever experienced a computer virus that shuts down your computer or some other malfunction, you know the frustration of not having access to online resources.  If those resources include vital information related to preparedness and survival, start printing!  It just so happens that this four-day weekend would make a terrific time to track down valuable articles and begin printing them out.

You’ll need an extra ream of paper, maybe two, an extra ink cartridge, a 3-ring binder, a 3-hole punch, and a set or two of notebook dividers.  Some helpful categories for organizing your information are:

  • evacuations
  • finances
  • food preservation
  • food storage
  • fuel and energy
  • health and fitness
  • security
  • skills
  • water

Websites that have helpful articles, worthy of printing out, are:

Also, check out my downloads and various survival manuals, my blogroll and our Survival Mom-Blog Ring.

If articles contain photos or other graphics, I usually copy and paste the entire thing into a Word document and then delete photos and anything else I don’t want printed out.

Bookmarking sites just isn’t enough in a crisis.  You want a hard copy of the most important information and you’re going to need it in a well-organized binder, otherwise known as the Survival Mom Binder!  This project should keep you busy until next week’s Action Step!

There may be links in the post above that are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, which does not affect the price you pay for the product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. 

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  1. says

    I do this but a word of warning, you will need more than one folder.

    I have labelled mine: Gardening, Food Storage and Recipes, Sustainable Living, Manuals, Health, Sewing knitting and Crochet etc, SHTF and Preparedness. I think more categories are on the way as the information piles up but it is easy to find now, also I have a contents page in the front of each folder with the titles of all articles to make it easier to find the info.

  2. Connie says

    I’m always asking myself how did the pioneers do things.Like last year when I had no income for two months.I was okay on soap and shampoo,but ran out of toothpaste and toilet paper.My internet had been paid up before I lost my income,but if it hadn’t I would have went to the library.I found out how to make tooth powder out of salt and baking soda.I had some worn out flannel shirts and towels,along with some waterproof material.So I made toilet clothes and reusable sanitary pads.Later while canning I wondered about how to make vinegar and pectin.The Pioneer women couldn’t just go to the store and buy it.Now I want to learn how to make cheese,but the modern recipes have all these starters you have to buy.So I looked up old cheese recipes.I found answered to all of these questions on the internet,and printed them up.The biggest money saver was when I found plans to make my own cheese press.

    • Guest says

      You can make cheese with cider vinegar or lemon juice. It's true some cheeses require other things but Queso Blanco doesn't.

  3. LizLong says

    I'm pretty sure you can also save a copy of your bookmark file to a thumb drive, although I haven't done that myself yet.

  4. Stealth Spaniel says

    Yep-I have my survival portfolio so full, that I am moving up to the next size!! To keep the pages nice, i use those plastic sleeves. That way, I have no torn, dirty, or mangled pages in the middle of an article. I also have them labeled: if the SHTF and 9 hours later, I have time to review a needed next step…..I know that my brain will have a little extra help in finding what I want.

  5. Tina says

    I agree – make it a BIG 3-ring binder:) I've been doing this, and had to expand to a larger one. There is lots of great info out there. I like the plastic sleeve idea too…

  6. Bonnie says

    Also buy a copy a copy of the Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery. It will save you a lot of research and printing, as it covers everything about living off the land.

  7. thesunergizer says

    We are blessed to be in an age where information is at our finger tips. AND we all have print shops at home.
    Something I have often wondered is. Did the homesteaders have any books? Did they have the farmers almanac? Or did they just pass information verbally as they grew up. Of course, some of the city folk that headed West were not so well verses in farming and raising animals.

    We have time folks to buy or print libraries to cover pretty much anything that can crop up should we have a societal collapse.

    Just do it!

    • TheSurvivalMom says

      Agreed! In an interview I was once asked what I thought was the most important survival tool. I think the host was shocked when I said, \”the internet.\” There\’s nothing I can think of that you can\’t learn about on the internet, but I also don\’t think our current internet access will always be there, so I want to take advantage of it while I can.

  8. Tami says

    I have started to print pages to put into a binder I purchased. I haven't been quite as diligent with printing though. I keep thinking I only want to print the best information. So put it off in case something better comes along. LOL I need to get on that though. I did buy a new ream of paper though so I am moving forward.

  9. paul says

    when printing info for your survival binder (2) utility programs I find essential are fineprint ( and pdfactory . Fineprint allows printing 1, 2, 4 0r 8 pages on a single sheet of paper while pdf factory is handy in that you can print from multiple sources into a single common document that you then save as a pdf

  10. Allan Pratt says

    Regarding printing for the survival binder, some printers, including my HP 1320n, have multiple page per sheet built in. I can print 2,4,8,or 16 pages of text per sheet, though if using 12 point type anything beyond 6 per sheet would be pretty hard to read.

  11. Kat says

    Ok, does it mean that I’m crazy for buying a case of paper for printing this info off? ;0) I’ve bought a laser printer, so I’m not eating up ink jet cartridges like crazy.

    And I’m surprised no one mentioned binding your own books. That what I’ve got in mind for my info books once they’re “full”. Bookbinding is becoming a lost art.

  12. Reggie says

    I am glad I found this article. I wanted to share something I thought was VERY important. I am an information hoarder..I love anything that tells me something I knew or didn’t know.. I have tons of books that I have downloaded from the internet and was going to print one off for my mother when she mentioned something that did not occur to me. I can buy the book, usually cheaper than printing it on my printer with paper and ink cost taken into account. This doesn’t apply to articles on the web or just tidbits of info..but if you are planning to print out an Army Field Manual, medical guide or anything that has more than a few pages you are probably going to be able to find it cheaper in hardcopy.

    • says

      Reggie, that’s an excellent point. I find books I’m interested in VERY cheap on Amazon or (an ebay-owned site for used books) all the time. If you factor in your time printing, collating, hole-punching, filing, etc., it may be worth even a little extra money to have that information delivered to your doorstep ready-to-go.

      Thanks to whoever mentioned Carla Emery. I had read of that book but forgotten the name and author… now I’ve got the new edition (Oct 30, 2012) headed my way when it’s released via Amazon.

  13. tina says

    I am an information hoarder also. To save paper, ink, etc I cut and paste alot because I waste a lot when printing stuff that is not”printer friendly”. This makes it easier to put categorical information on each sheet so you don’t have a lot of wasted space and urls – stuff you don’t want our need, on your pages.

  14. Janene says

    I have found Evernote to be invaluable when saving and organizing information before printing. You can combine several articles into one before printing. I use it on my phone, tablet, and desktop.

  15. Maryruth says

    Another way to do this that doesn’t require the ink and paper would be to save the page to One Note. You would need a way to power your computer in a case of loss of electricity, but that is not hard with a small solar cell. You can divide by categories, etc. Just takes a few minutes. You are not having to store multiple notebooks (I don’t have the space). Also, you can save websites to Kindle.

  16. ChickenMama says

    I’d like to bring up few points I haven’t seen touched on.

    1) Part of the reason for making a survival binder is to make sure you have the info you NEED when you need it. It’s less though about now then in the Cold War days, but it might not just be be lack of power that prevents you from getting your normal internet info. During 9/11 the phone-internet companies ended up losing major facilities. The websites might still be online & you might still have power, but it was the web version of “you can’t get there from here.” Also depending on the type of SHTF, ElectroMagnetic Pulse could be an issue. (Think TV show Revolution for help visualizing) This could be either a weapon or mishap that turns most modern electronics into burnt-out, irreparable collections of parts. Now think of everything that you or anyone else owns that has any computer or smart circuits (phones, cars, radios, power tools, sewing machines) all having one collective “hard-drive” and smoking themselves. Good chance we would then go from electrical to steam-power society in about 3 seconds flat. Plan some of your information conservation to allow for fact that you might NOT be able to access internet for years/decades instead of just days/weeks.

    2) You pack different stuff in your 72-hr bug-out bag, then you do in your shelter-in-place setting. Plan your info the same way. First-aid kit goes in BOB with the manual. Stash of seeds & tools for growing food for next year goes in shelter site with the info on farming. If you are getting out of the path of a tornado, you take book 1 (critical info, like your personal, medical, legal & insurance info). If it is the EOTWAWKI, then you hunker down with your WHOLE survival library (this is the stash of odd stuff like how to tan hides, make lye soap, sew a feather bed, brew wine/beer, fermentation food storage & any other odd topic you might possibly need.)

    3) Moleskin & the like notebooks can be used to create small notebooks (if you don’t want to bind your own) & we can actually *HAND write* notes to ourselves about info that might be worth keeping even if you don’t find it in a format that is best for you. After all, that’s how our ancestors stored info from days between clay tablets & printing press/type writers. You can always sketch or literally paste cut pictures of any images you need.

    PS) Don’t forget to think about what you might be able to do to re-purpose electronic items AFTER they crash. Computer controlled car might be housing for people, or even chicken coop. Phones & notepads can be broken apart to create wonderful little sharp bits that can be the barbs on hunting fishing gear. Polish up the slick metal surfaces & it might be a signal mirror or possible fire-starting tool.

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