There is one absolute truth when it comes to traumatic injuries…all bleeding eventually stops. That also happens to be the title of my latest article on Personal Liberty Digest. If time allows, head on over and check it out.
Teaching Your Kids About Preparation
Written by Naomi Broderick
Preparation in today’s day and age is a must. To assume that a natural disaster, a home invader, or a financial collapse won’t affect your family is a tad naïve. Preparation is about attempting to foresee the potential disasters, creating a stockpile [...]
Teaching Your Kids About Preparation
Written by Naomi Broderick
Preparation in today’s day and age is a must. To assume that a natural disaster, a home invader, or a financial collapse won’t affect your family is a tad naïve. Preparation is about attempting to foresee the potential disasters, creating a stockpile of goods, learning the necessary skills, and creating a contingency plan to deal with the situation. As a parent, the task of disaster preparation is even harder. You not only have to prepare yourself, you have to teach your children what to do in case of a disaster.
Teach Preparation, Not Paranoia
Before we get started on the nitty-gritty details, I feel I must caution that parent to keep in mind that the information about potential disasters and tactics to deal with them must be imparted gently and with care. If your tactics are scaring or causing paranoia to the point where your kids can’t function normally, you might want to take a step back and rethink your tactics.
One of the most vital tactics to teach disaster preparation is to be prepared. Be the man or woman that you want your children to be. Children learn a lot of their beliefs, values, and behavior from observing their parental figures. If they see you doing safety drills, stockpiling food, talking about safety with the family, they will be more likely to internalize the values and behaviors that you are exhibiting before they fully realize why. And gradually as the years pass, they will grasp the importance of living their life in a prepared manner.
Talk about the Contingency Plan and Safety
You may be of the opinion that your child isn’t old enough to know about the dangers of the world. That is a valid parenting choice, but you should not leave them completely defenseless and unprepared. You can tell them what to do in case of an emergency without spelling out the potential disasters that might affect the family.
You tell your kids not to get into cars with strangers, but leave out all the potential reasons why someone would kidnap a child. Why? Because you won’t always be there. Preparation for natural disasters, financial hardships, and home invasions are much like that. You won’t always be there when a hurricane approaches or when an intruder invades your home.
And if you are there, you might need to focus on other tasks. You might have a limited amount of time to board up the windows or collect the back packs of supplies. Having a child wander off to play at an inopportune time could be potentially disastrous. Even children must do their part to ensure the safety of their family. Give them the knowledge to do so.
Regular Drills of Contingency Plans
The goal of a contingency plan is to have the family complete the actions required in a safe and time efficient manner. It may seem juvenile, but drills are paramount. Completing the safety drill over and over again will make grabbing supplies, making home preparations, and getting out of the house second nature. Before the drill the knowledge was intellectual. Intellectual knowledge of what they should do in a natural disaster is faulty. The memory might fail them and fear might make them forget. After the drills, their bodies will know what must be done as if on autopilot. You should do the drills at least once every two weeks until the family can do them effortlessly. After the family has them down, you can do the drills once a month.
Make Learning Skills and Running Drills Fun
Children, especially children that do not understand the importance of preparing for disasters, can be uncooperative. There are so many more appealing activities that they could be doing in their free time. As much as you can, you should strive to get the children to enthusiastically engage in the drills and skills.
- Turn drills into a game or a fun competition.
- If necessary offer awards for willingly becoming involved in preparation activities. You should not give them awards for intellectual or physical merit because your goal should be to promote a life time dedication to preparation. Rewarding intellectual or physical accomplishments might increase the knowledge in the present, but it will decrease their dedication to preparation for the long haul.
- Sign the child up for classes in Karate, Kayaking, Swimming, and other skills. If they take a liking to one of them, sign them up for the long haul.
- Take the child camping and share your love of fishing and hunting in order to teach children to survive without modern grocery stores.
Being prepared is more than an activity. It is a lifestyle choice that has the capability of assuring a long life for you and your family. Through parents, children can learn the importance of preparing for disasters. You can teach your kids in a variety of ways. The end result should always be the same: a child with the tools to survive with and without the parent’s guidance.
Naomi Broderick is a professional writer who’s secure in her abilities and even more confident in her parenting. When she’s not juggling her three children in the front yard and planning out her next safety drill, she writes for ProtectYourHome.com, a leader in home security.
Alex Smith has a new book out titled, Staying Home: Protecting Your Home After Disaster Strikes. I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of Staying Home to read and I immediately knew it was a great companion guide to his previous release, Getting Home: Making It Back [...]
Alex Smith has a new book out titled, Staying Home: Protecting Your Home After Disaster Strikes. I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of Staying Home to read and I immediately knew it was a great companion guide to his previous release, Getting Home: Making It Back To Your Family After Disaster Strikes.
It is important to note that this book is written with the novice to moderate skill leveled prepper in mind. If your interpretation of your survival skills is the equivalent of a hybrid Jason Bourne, Chuck Norris, Jack Bauer, and Rambo…this book may not be for you. However, I feel confident that almost anyone could benefit from reading Staying Home.
There are some key points to be considered when making the decision to “bug in” during a disaster and Alex does a great job of covering these points. Staying Home reviews:
- Selecting A Location – General Considerations
- Selecting A Location – Property Characteristics
- Hardening A Property
- Hardening A Home
- Home Preparations
- Skills For Hard Times
- Surviving A Disaster
It is not just these key points that create value for the reader of Staying Home. Some important reminders that Alex includes; the fact that making your home a “hard” target will make it less likely to be bothered with in comparison to “softer” targets as well as the fact that the tools are not enough, you must be trained to properly use them, add even more value to this great read.
There is entirely too much information that is included in the book to outline here but it is abundantly clear to me that Alex Smith has hit another home run. Staying Home has something for everyone and at the Kindle price of $3.99 and print price of $12.99 it is worth every penny.
Buy it here before it is too late to benefit from the information!
There are many reasons to make the effort to be prepared. The driving force behind many preppers is the hope that if something happens, they and their family/close friends will be better off than if they were not to make such efforts. With that being said, what event(s) should you focus on being [...]
There are many reasons to make the effort to be prepared. The driving force behind many preppers is the hope that if something happens, they and their family/close friends will be better off than if they were not to make such efforts. With that being said, what event(s) should you focus on being prepared to survive? Below are 75 reasons that should be considered when you decide what your greatest risks are and what you should tailor your preparedness efforts towards. While this may not be every reason to prepare, it should at a minimum provide a good foundation to get started with. Note: They are numbered as a means of keeping track of the different reasons and not because they are in any order of significance or preference.
75 Reasons To Prepare
- Power Outage
- Structure Fire
- Financial Collapse
- Societal Collapse
- Nuclear Reactor Meltdown
- Acts Of Terror
- Acts Of War
- Flu Pandemic
- Food Shortage
- Disruptions In Supply Chains
- Government Imposed Rationing
- Civil Unrest
- Coronal Mass Ejections/Solar Flares
- Government Imposed Furloughs
- Martial Law
- Permanent Disability
- Temporary Disability
- E. Coli
- Contaminated Water Sources
- Oil Spill
- Disease Outbreak
- Contaminated Medication Supplies
- Government Shut Downs
- Financial Depression
- Heat Wave
- Currency Inflation/Devaluation
- Internet Crash/Outage
- Bank Run
- Blizzard/Snow Storm
- Population Spikes
- Medication Resistant Infection
- Modified Strains of Disease/Illness
- Industrial Accident
- Military Coup
- Sudden Changes In World Leaders
- Skyrocketing Commodity Prices
- Cyber Terrorism
- Terminal Illness
- Government Regulation
- Ammunition Shortages
- Loss Of A Loved One
- Gas Leak
- Unavailability Of Emergency Services
- Genetically Modified Foods
- Hail Storm
- Animal Disease Outbreak
- Crop Decimation
- Hazardous Material Incident
- Infrastructure Failure
- Labor Strikes/Disputes
- Lightning Storms
- Transportation Disaster
- Ice Storm
- Save Money(Buy In Bulk/Buy Now=Savings on the future cost of goods.)
- Avoid being in a position of regret later, “It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.” ~Anonymous
What are you prepared to survive?
Please leave a comment if you have any others reasons that you prepare…
I had the opportunity of recently receiving SafeGuard Body Armor’s Stealth Vest for review. Based on the fact that the vest I would be reviewing was both ballistic and edged blade protection, I expected something that was a little on the bulky side. This was not the case. My initial impression of the Stealth Body Armor could [...]
I had the opportunity of recently receiving SafeGuard Body Armor’s Stealth Vest for review. Based on the fact that the vest I would be reviewing was both ballistic and edged blade protection, I expected something that was a little on the bulky side. This was not the case. My initial impression of the Stealth Body Armor could be summarized as,
An awesome piece of equipment that combines the technologies of ballistic armor with stab protection into one lightweight and comfortable to wear set of body armor.
My experience with body armor is extensive and I have had the opportunity to wear several different models from multiple manufacturers. The Stealth armor exceeded my expectations in every aspect. Some of the notable features of SafeGuard’s Stealth body armor include:
- 100% DuPont Kevlar armor panels.
- CoolMAX outer vest carrier.
- Light weight, just over 5 lbs. (depending on size).
- All SafeGuard Armor comes with a 5 year warranty.
The vest I was sent offers NIJ ballistic level II and HOSDB edged blade protection level 1 with a retail price of $476. So what kind of protection do you get for your money?
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) defines level II protection as:
Type II (9 mm; .357 Magnum)Type II armor that is new and unworn shall be tested with 9 mm FMJ RN bullets with a specified mass of 8.0 g (124 gr) and a velocity of 398 m/s ± 9.1 m/s (1305 ft/s ± 30 ft/s) and with .357 Magnum Jacketed Soft Point (JSP) bullets with a specified mass of 10.2 g (158 gr) and a velocity of 436 m/s ± 9.1 m/ s (1430 ft/s ± 30 ft/s).Type II armor that has been conditioned shall be tested with 9 mm FMJ RN bullets with aspecified mass of 8.0 g (124 gr) and a velocity of 379 m/s ±9.1 m/s (1245 ft/s ± 30 ft/s) and with .357 Magnum JSP bullets with a specified mass of 10.2 g (158 gr) and a velocity of 408 m/s ±9.1 m/s (1340 ft/s ± 30 ft/s).
The edged blade protection standard used by SafeGuard is the Home Office Scientific Development Branch (HOSDB) of the United Kingdom also known as the Center for Applied Science and Technology (CAST). They are considered the leading global authority on testing methods of stab and spike protection for body armor.
Level 1 edged blade protection is defined as:
An E1 Strike Energy of 24 Joules +/- 0.50 or 17.7 FT/LBF +/- 0.36 and an E2 Strike Energy of 36 Joules +/- 0.60 or 26.6 FT/LBF +/- 0.44
So what does this mean?
There are two required levels of testing for stab protection. The first level (E1) is equal to a maximum allowable edged blade penetration of 7mm or 0.28 inches. The E1 level is limited to 7mm or 0.28 inches as a result of research that indicates penetration to the body by edged blades at this depth is unlikely to result in internal injuries to the body’s organs. The second level (E2) is equal to a 50% increase over the energy exerted for the first level. The E2 level is limited to a maximum allowable edged blade penetration of 20mm or 0.79 inches.
SafeGuard Stealth concealable body armor is incredibly comfortable. I followed the easy to use sizing guidelines outlined on SafeGuard’s website and the result was a great fitting vest with little fuss. Following the sizing guide also resulted in a vest that fit well while sitting, standing, driving, and did not interfere with carrying a pistol both concealed and while being openly carried. A major benefit that the SafeGuard armor offers over many other designs is the one piece, t-shirt style collar versus the typical velcro attachment shoulder pieces that tend to either fold up on themselves, dig into the shoulders, or sometimes both.
A note on concealable body armor…it is only as concealable as the accompanying articles of clothing allow it to be. The wearer might need a larger size shirt or overgarment in order to maintain the concealability of body armor. This helps maintain the single greatest advantage of having concealable armor, no one knows you are wearing it!
I will say that the Stealth armor is very effective in terms of protection and comfort regarding concealable armor. However, I was disappointed to see that the Stealth does not have the option of inserting a trauma plate. If this set of armor were to be used for undercover work or the user was in a position where they would be relying on the Stealth to protect them against multiple rounds or maybe rifle rounds, you could end up on the short end of the stick. That point aside, if I were looking for a set of concealable body armor, the Stealth by SafeGuard Armor would be on the top of my list.
*Ensure that you take all local, state, and federal laws into account if you are considering the purchase of body armor for personal or professional use.
**For more information about NIJ ballistic protection standards see the Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor (NIJ Standard-0101.06)
My latest article titled, Take A Tip From Noah: Get A Boat has been published on the Personal Liberty Digest website. If you get a chance, head on over and read about having a boat for survival purposes. After all…
It pays to plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark. ~Anonymous
There are events occuring every day around the globe that reinforce the need for basic preparedness. The recent financial crisis in Cyprus is a prime example of the need to be prepared. You might ask, why? It is only their money that is being held hostage. The answer is simple. If you do not have [...]
There are events occuring every day around the globe that reinforce the need for basic preparedness. The recent financial crisis in Cyprus is a prime example of the need to be prepared. You might ask, why? It is only their money that is being held hostage. The answer is simple. If you do not have your basic survival needs met, you will quickly find yourself in a world of hurt. In this case, the vast majority of the residents of Cyprus find themselves without their needs met due to a lack of accessible money. The ATM’s have been cleaned out long ago. The government is limiting the amount of funds that can be withdrawn. Lastly, those that are able to make withdrawls are forced to wait for long periods of time and are prioritized based on age and health status.
This morning’s Wall Street Journal provides some inside views on the situation:
Katerina Stylianidou, 32, searched all morning for a cash machine that would dispense money without success, so she wound up waiting in line with others to enter a branch of Cyprus Popular Bank PCL, the country’s second-biggest lender.
“I have bills to pay. I need the cash for just ordinary expenditures like food,” she said. “Staff here say they’ll only let eight people in at a time, so I think I need to be patient.”
If Ms. Stylianidou had even just stored away a little extra food and neccissities, she would likely find herself not as desperately in need of her money because her basic needs would be met.
Others are outraged because of a lack of control of their own resources and forecast the rise of a feudal system:
Passerby Maria Papadakis lashed out at what she considered a raw deal for the country. “The European Union is descending into a feudal system with lords who will subjugate the others,” she said. “This will come back to haunt Europe…There is a reserve of strength here that is going to explode.”
The government has limited customer withdrawals to 300 Euros a day, restricting what citizens can do…
most transactions were for small withdrawals, up to the €300 daily limit that has been put in place as a result of new capital controls. “But some people have slightly more complicated requests and aren’t sure what we can and can’t do under the restrictions,” he added
The financial crisis has also led the labor force in some areas to grind to a halt,
Antonis Kalogeridis, a 47-year-old construction worker waiting outside a Cyprus Popular branch with two friends, said he isn’t so worried about his savings but he has been squeezed by the two-week-long bank holiday on the island.
“I stopped going to work two weeks ago because they stopped paying us,” Mr. Kalogeridis said. “I only just have a few thousand euros in the bank so I don’t really care what happens. It’s just the insecurity you feel. I’m planning to come and get €300 every day.”
Read the article in its entirety here.
What would you do if you found yourself in this situation? Will you have your basic needs met without having to fight the hoards?
Vic Rantala of SafeCastle may have said it best when he said…
Unfortunately, if you are one of the millions of folks now furiously rubbing your eyes trying to focus on the glaring reality of the situation, well, you are too late to get ahead of the curve.
Nonetheless, you are still on pace to join the stampeding herds that are moving en masse to convert risky holdings into real assets that will hold or appreciate in value through a catastrophic global confidence crisis. Think life-sustaining assets such as farmland, precious metals, firearms, ammunition, storage food, survival gear, and alternative energy sources. Anything that actually has a practical value and that you hold in your possession can qualify.
What are you doing to prepare?
The End of the World: The Sequel
For let us make no mistake. If the end of the world appeared in all the literal trappings of the Apocalypse,* if the modern materialist saw with his own eyes the heavens rolled up* and the great white throne appearing,* if he had the sensation of being himself hurled into the Lake of Fire,* he would continue forever, in that lake itself, to regard his experience as an illusion and to find the explanation of it in, psycho-analysis, or cerebral pathology. – CS Lewis
I am in my late 50s, and have seen “end of the world” predictions for a half century.
I also do preparedness.
So… what gives?
I have indeed lived through the “Run for the hills, the end of the world is coming” scares of many past decades: the Cold War, various asteroid, comets and rogue planets making a guest appearance at a planet near you, sundry predictions of WWIII starting, Y2K, the annual end of the world meltdown predictions from the global warming charlatans, and much, much more (including the epic global catastrophes of Jennifer Lopez’s Gigli and Kevin Costner’s Waterworld!) I have a particular distaste for the issue of anthropogenic global warming – on which I have done a 400 page paper – and which I consider to be perhaps the most expensive fraud ever perpetrated on mankind, bar none.
As one writer, whose name escapes me now, once observed, he had lived through many disasters, the vast majority of which never happened.
So, why is it that I do preparedness?
Simple – risk mitigation, a knowledge of history and an understanding that we live in a universe that – like it or not, be it long or short, a culture eventually reaps what it sows (even though individuals may escape). There clearly is one “possibility” that is indeed certain: I have to die, and I have to live until I die. In other words, if I don’t die, I have 100% probability of getting old, and then dying (of course, as Keynes famously observed, in the long run, we’re all dead). Thus, one form of preparedness is that I plan for either retirement, and/or make sure my will is in order (it might also be helpful to make peace with God – after all, you are going to be dead a lot longer than you are going to be alive.) Similarly, it is also likely that if you devote an extreme amount of time to preparedness, your wife and children will either leave you, or you run the serious risk of alienating all of them. Or, if you aren’t married, you will end up with very few friends – and even less prospects of ever getting married! Preparedness starts with a dispassionate analysis of possible outcomes, based on your understanding of the world and history. It also means the prepper should make sure to take adequate time to smell the roses in his journey to readiness. You do not want to reach the end of next year, next decade, or the end of your life, having lived in a bomb shelter, or never having had the opportunity to actually visit the Corn Palace, in Mitchell, South Dakota. (Ok… well, make that the Pyramids at sunrise, or the Eiffel Tower at sunset, but you get my drift.) By the same token, one also needs to determine the value of that new Lexus vis-à-vis the value of preparedness and “only” being able to afford a Toyota Corolla instead. I don’t know your financial situation – however, I do know that a plurality of westerners have chosen to live for today – with the problem being that the results of “Live for today, for tomorrow we die” is that tomorrow you don’t die. Rather, you wake up and you have a massive hangover, you wake up and find there is no seed corn for next year’s planting – or you wake up and find you and are in debt (as an individual or society) that you will never be able to pay back.
This, then, is the initial step in the preparedness journey – prioritizations, and a cold analysis of what is certain to happen, likely to happen, possible to happen, and only remotely likely to happen. Yes, this will certainly be a judgment call – it can’t be helped – but your decisions can be reasonably informed, as much as your – and my – time allows.
So why prep? First, the goal is not to live in fear. Preparedness – paradoxically combined with faith in God – is the antidote to fear. In contrast to FDR’s dictum that the government should provide freedom from fear and want, the prepper is one who believes the same thing – only brought about by his own actions, not that of the nanny state, which inevitably can only do the exact same thing using your money – and do it half as well, using twice the dollars. You also need to weigh how much you believe is self-reliance - can you live with yourself being utterly dependent on everyone and everything. Yes, no man is an island, most of us live in community, and we need to interact, so there is indeed a continuum between total dependence and total self-reliance, with no one at either extreme. However, there clearly is a point where one “depends on the kindness of strangers,” or worse, becomes a ward of the state. If you are comfortable with this, please stop reading!
Another goal is to have the self-respect that can only be found in a reasonable degree of self-reliance. You cannot have true self- respect if you have no preparations made for what you determine are realistic threats, and expect others to rescue you. Further, one also has an obligation to provide for one’s family – not the nanny state, not the government, not the socialists – but you and me, individually. Indeed, the great falsehood about socialism, as Bastiat observed, is that “it is the great fiction, whereby everybody endeavours to live off of everybody else.” It doesn’t work, it hasn’t worked, and it by definition can never work – but that never stops socialists from their “we’re smarter, and this time we will get it right.” As a corollary of this, yet one further goal of the prepper is to not become victimized by the by a socialist mediated economic collapse (and they always end up collapsing) – be is a slow, grinding Argentinian-style collapse, or something more rapid and calamitous.
Am I being overly dramatic about what might result from an economic collapse? Ask someone from Argentina (which used to be one of the richest countries in the world 100 years ago), from the Weimar Republic, from Greece, Spain, Portugal or Ireland today, or New Zealand in 1986, or any number of other countries around the world that have experienced this.
History also guides my concern for preparedness. And yes, those who don’t know history – think those people you saw interviewed on Jay Leno’s walkabouts – will indeed watch it repeat… or at least see it rhyme.
And what is that history? Just to select a few examples:
- The Black Plague of medieval Europe. Ahhhh, but we’re much smarter than that now, you object… that would never happen now. Really? Are you talking about today’s developing antibiotic resistance? Designer germs or intentionally spread diseases by terrorists? Maybe just a “vanilla” global nuclear exchange? Of course, the explicitly stated intentions by globalists is to reduce the world population by a very large percentage, so who knows how that may come to fruition.
- The Jews in 1936 Germany thought it couldn’t get worse, and particularly the most civilized, advanced country in the world would not go to serious extremes. You know that story – though you may not have taken it to heart.
- The Haidas on the Queen Charlotte Islands, located off British Columbia, my old home province. This proud tribe – the only Indian tribe that was advanced enough to hunt whales – saw 80 – 90% of their population wiped out when smallpox and other diseases were accidentally introduced when explorers arrived. The Mayan collapse is another aboriginal disaster many are now familiar with, given the Mayan calendar end of the world scam of 2012
- Perhaps the history to be repeated will be something more along the lines of Russia in 1918. You may laugh off predictions of disaster, but 61 million people who died in the USSR did, in fact, see their very own TEOTWAKI situation realized, including perhaps seven million who were intentionally starved to death in Stalin’s Holmodor of the Ukrainian Kulaks. In fact, according to Stephane Courtois, around 100 million were murdered last century due to various socialist “solutions.” No doubt many Russians in 1910, as they listened to Tchaikovsky and read Tolstoy, felt the hell of the USSR just around the corner was not even a theoretical possibility.
- On the other hand, we may see the slow, leftist devolution of an economy, such as seen in Argentina, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Greece. If you are one of the youth who has been unemployed for the past five years, you are experiencing your own slo-mo TEOTWAKI. (And in fact, if you are one of the 48 million Obama now has on food stamps, up from 32 million when he took office, you don’t need to wait to imagine.) Would preparedness have done a disservice to those Greeks who were “paranoid” enough to have anticipated the future five years ago, and engaged in preparedness? What are those who mocked the Greek or Argentinian “preppers” thinking right now? Perhaps Spiros the prepper in Greece prepared for an EMP event, but do you think that since it was an economic collapse that occurred instead, all his work was for naught?
- What would you have said if, in 2007, I told you that GM or AIG would no longer be functioning companies in a couple years without a slew of free money? Would you have believed me? There has indeed been an economic collapse in the US – it is just covered over by printed money and ensuring Dancing with the Stars keeps running weekly.
- The list could go on, from the Irish potato famine to Krakatoa to the possibly collapse of Las Palmas Island in the Atlantic to that occasionally restless magma below Yellowstone, but you can fill in the blanks yourself.
There is a full panoply of potential disasters – admittedly with low probability – but high stakes if they do occur. What is the cost/benefit ratio for you, personally? Only you can figure that one out, of course, but the point is: many times things go on just as they always were for centuries. Then one day, an 8th century Copt looks up and sees an Arab army in the eastern distance; a citizen from 13th century eastern Europe observes some Mongolian heritage peoples gathering their cavalry before his country’s foot soldiers using something never seen before in battle – stirrups. Or perhaps it is Vladimir Lenin quietly entering a train to be transported via sealed train car back to Russia for political reasons, or a group of Arab radicals the summer of 2001 finishing flight classes that did not include lessons on how to land their aircraft. Low probability, high impact indeed!
So, what to do? First, recognize that things change, and sometimes rapidly, after years of stasis. A very close friend who was doing his Ph.D. examining chaos theory did one study on what causes sand hills to collapse. Condensing years of study into several sentences, one can pile sand grain upon sand grand, until finally, after a seemingly infinite number of grains, one single grain causes a slide. What number of grains is it, and when is it that this occurs? Suffice to say, at one point there is a hill, and after what seems an imperceptible addition, the slide has occurred. Not a big deal if it is a sand castle at a beach. But it is a giant deal if it is 2008, the week before Bear Stearns collapsed, and you have your life savings in a failing bank – or perhaps it is October, 2015, the week before the $6 trillion-dollar pyramid of derivatives (which Warren Buffett famously called “weapons of mass financial destruction”) collapses. In fact, the dog’s breakfast of derivatives may never collapse. Maybe the Bernanke Fed really has invented a perpetual motion machine. Maybe they actually have mapped out the cause and correction of economic downturns. The question is, as Clint Eastwood put it, “So… do ya feel lucky, punk? Well.. do ya?” Less theatrically, does central planning still work – and are you willing to stake your life, and that of your family on it – or does it just make a worse collapse inevitable, as Ludwig von Mises of the Austrian school of economics pointed out: “There is no means of avoiding a final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as the final and total catastrophe of the currency involved.”) Similar to von Mises prediction, Reinhart and Rogoff’s book This Time is Different documents that, historically, there has never been a good outcome when a country’s debt exceeds 100% of its GDP. What is it worth to you to hedge against this threat of economic disaster?
When it comes to economics, warfare, or politics, is mankind fallible or not? Are you willing – after seeing the tech and housing bubbles just in the past dozen years or so – still willing to repeat the “this time is different” mantra? What are your assumptions about human nature, and what could possibly result from that analysis? Is the government all-seeing an all-knowing, or even relatively so? Or does bigger government just increase the risk when something does go awry? (“Hey, Klem – no need to get out of New Orleans… the Army Corp of Engineers know what they are doing). And when it comes to natural disasters, do we really still need to examine what a hurricane can do, or what havoc another Carrington Event from the sun might possibly create (one credible analyst predicted that if an EMP event were to occur, 90% of the U.S. population would be dead in a year). What is it worth to you to protect against that? And if it is not worth a penny, then presumably you do not buy auto or home fire insurance, either.
One final note. A great portion of us still need to keep a job, which in turn means compromises need to occur with time and money, as well as keeping living quarters in or near an urban area. If you are independently wealthy, good for you – go ahead and build, or move to, that retreat. I’d love to join you. Alternatively, you may be able to re-jig your life style by downsizing, changing jobs, or similar, to allow for a move. Well and good. Just be careful you don’t turn into Mel Tappan. Mr. Tappan was a well-to-do banker that – convinced society and the economy were going to collapse – relocated to a rural Oregon retreat off the Rogue River and created the highly regarded Personal Survival Newsletter in the 1970s – yes, getting to be almost 40 years ago now with still no cataclysmic disaster! Unfortunately, Tappaan was not near medical care when he suffered a fatal heart attack in 1980, only in his late 40s. Tappan is thought by many to have been foolish, but that is Monday morning quarterbacking. Perhaps if something like the early 1960s Cuban Missile Crisis occurred in 1979, and the missiles had actually launched, he would be considered prescient by the survivors. We know today that the Cuban missile crisis came within a hair’s breadth of seeing an actual exchange of missiles.
Recall, too, that rural retreats like Tappan’s, in a partial meltdown, may in fact be more dangerous, in that you have no community to rely on for defense, mutual encouragement and practical support. Large cities also may get more attention and funds from a bankrupt government – or, alternatively, they may turn into Detroit on steroids. The truth is, there are too many variables, too many facts, too many websites and too many opinions to arrive at a conclusive answer. We thus arrive back where this article began – risk analysis and risk mitigation - and which is where I leave you. Risk mitigation is a sober analysis of all the facts that you able to gather at present, then progressively elaborated as you move forward.
In conclusion, consider well this nine minute segment on lack of preparedness from the Twilight Zone, entitled The Shelter:
Long or short, there indeed will come some period in the future when citizens in the West will have wished they prepared. Don’t be one of them.
A big thank you to J. Vanne for writing this post.
Selfishness and Preparedness
by J. Vanne
Recently, a small firestorm was ignited by Valerie Lucus-McEwen, a government Emergency Management employee, who had the temerity to accuse preparedness types of “selfishness.” While your immediate reaction may be – as [...]
A big thank you to J. Vanne for writing this post.
Selfishness and Preparedness
by J. Vanne
Recently, a small firestorm was ignited by Valerie Lucus-McEwen, a government Emergency Management employee, who had the temerity to accuse preparedness types of “selfishness.” While your immediate reaction may be – as mine certainly was – “Are people really and truly this thoughtless?” – this question does deserve a proper answer, particularly as those who are easily influenced by the leftist media, or who believe the state really and actually is the omniscient, omnipotent savior of our personal and corporate lives, are actually asking this question. So, let’s examine the issue:
First, many preparedness types have, as part of their goal, the intent of helping neighbors and family who were unable – or unwilling – to prepare. In my own case, part of what I have in mind is assisting a large group of mentally retarded and Down’s syndrome children that my church has taken under its wing. (A group the state would do no more than “warehouse” if it were under their direction!). Not all preppers feel this way, but I would bet my bottom can of stored tuna fish there is an exceedingly large percentage of preparedness types who feel similarly.
One significant point of observation – that has significant ramifications relative to preparedness – is that, in my experience, the non-prepper type is generally of a socialist orientation. Of course, as most of you know, this approach was tried – and found wanting – all the way back in the Pilgrim era. Many of you are aware that when the Pilgrims first arrived, they worked out of a communal system. The result was starvation and death. As this approach did not work, they then “privatized” their system – and of course flourished. You can easily research this history yourself, but if one has any experience with human nature, it is immediately apparent why this didn’t – and has never in history – worked. The issue is that human nature is imperfect and selfish, just as Adam Smith wrote about in the Wealth of Nations. A simple recognition of this basic aspect of human nature – and finding a way to work with this reality, rather than against it, provides the most good for the largest number of people – exactly as Smith wrote, and exactly as history has shown for anyone who has eyes to see. To do otherwise impoverishes people, and in times of crisis, will lead to otherwise avoidable deaths. Working with this reality of human nature, rather than against it, has brought the greatest good for people overall in both good periods of history, as well as difficult. And for those of you with Judeo-Christian worldviews, this issue is why Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn called Communism “a Christian heresy” – viz., the Communist assumptions about human nature were completely off-base. Long story short, the question is: Is man perfectible (particularly with the best and brightest, such as Hilary, George Soros, Al Gore and Obama telling – nay, forcing – us what to do!), or are all men fallible, and the dictum of Lord Acton correct that absolute power corrupts absolutely correct. There is an unbridgeable divide between these two assumptions, and this divide makes itself manifest in the Hamlet-like “to prep or not to prep” debate.
The Fleet Street Letter put this matter perspicaciously a number of years ago, and is worth quoting at length:
There are two major traditions in Western political thought. The first is Aristotelian, logical, rational, centrist, mechanistic. You concentrate power and truth in the centre and apply it outward, shaping the world according to plan. This was the guiding principle of the Roman Empire. It evolved into the Holy Roman Empire and the Church of Rome. Except for Switzerland, it has dominated politics on the continent ever since. Most recently, it has morphed into the European Union. The principle is simple – smart people can figure out how to run things, and should be allowed to do so. This was the idea behind Hillary Clinton’s health care task force (and now ObamaCare), as well as Japan, Inc. and even Adolph Hitler’s National Socialist Germany. It has animated nearly every politician (each one of whom, as Garrison Keilor notes about Lake Woebegone children, are above average) in this century. But there is another tradition that is much less well understood. It is the tradition of the Roman Republic… of English common law… of Adam Smith and Emmanuel Kant… of Austrian School economists such as Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek and of pre-Rooseveltian American. It is organic, rather than mechanistic – the tradition of tradition, based on the recognition that people, no matter how smart, cannot replace thousands of years of accumulated experience. Experience is embodied in the evolved systems of values, customs, rules and traditions that people use to order and give meaning to their lives. A free market and a free society allow people to express these preferences, as well as allowing the process of social and civil evolution to continue. This tradition, in other words, is neither liberal nor conservative in the modern sense, but anti-political. Indeed, it is often seen as “anti-intellectual” because it denies the authority of intellectuals to tell the rest of us what to do (through the political process).
Perhaps you, like I do, remember the “best and the brightest” who led the Vietnam war? How did that one work out? Or, if that news is too stale, perhaps you care to visit present day Detroit – which was the first city to adopt the socialist “Model Cities Program” in under Mayor Coleman Young a number of decades ago. Similarly, Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” was a quasi- socialist endeavour, which was intended to end poverty. You can judge for yourself what all those $9 trillion dollars spent on this “war” resulted in (hint: we now have just under 48 million on food stamps, up from 32 million when Obama took office, and with more poverty than ever).
The basic misunderstanding is, as Frederic Bastiat wrote in The Law,
Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.
There is yet another misunderstanding to clear up for those of Christian persuasion, as exemplified in the Book of Acts, 2:24, in the New Testament, which states about the early believers “And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common.” Dr. Jay Richards addresses this superbly in his book Money, Greed andf God: Why Capitalism is the Solution and Not the Problem by simply noting that the early Christians held things in common privately, voluntarily and without compulsion. This is light years away from the state forcing sharing, and under compulsion.
And one more important observation, that is applicable to the prepping community: When I donate my own money at present, I watch like a hawk where it is going, and what it is doing. When my money goes for taxes to “help” others – for the few dollars that actually make it past the money sucking gauntlet of bureaucrats – how much actually reaches its destination? Some research shows as little as 10% or so. As the saying goes, it is much better to teach someone to fish, rather than just gives them a fish for a day. And I can do a thousand times more, with a million times more love, for 1% of the money, that the government could ever dream of doing, if I were left with my own money to donate as I wish. Similarly, preparedness is most optimally left to the individual, not the state. I am clearly not saying there is no place at all for the state to assist. However, it should be ancillary and very secondary in function. To do otherwise is to set expectations that can only be dashed – exactly as was seen during hurricanes Katrina or Sandy.
So, how does this relate to preparedness with potential future catastrophic disasters? In a collapse – whether it be Argentinian/Greek/Zimbabwe style, or EMP, or a global war, compassion must be personal and voluntary. Not only is it more effective, it is more ethical. And it is more ethical because it is more caring, more direct, and more efficient In a collapse, there should be a voluntary exchange, and for those that are not prepared, there should be some type of assistance rendered by the one who has not prepared (it could be cooking, gardening; perhaps doing guard duty or carpentry). Where this is not possible, simple humanity and compassion should – and undoubtedly will be – the hallmark of many preppers.
In a serious collapse, there may well be a need to choose whom one would help, or not, but that is a decision that will be very personal. For myself – in contrast to the government representatives who so condescendingly accuse preppers such myself of being self-centred, I will indeed (as noted above) look to help the weak and helpless. You may object by saying “A lot of good that will do – we should, as per people like Dr. Peter Singer, just let the weak die.” To which I reply “A society that only values those of utility is not a society worth keeping – and in fact, is precisely the type of society – with its abortions, euthanasia, etc. – that got us into this mess in the first place.”
Another point: I would be remiss not to mention in the context of this article is the very self-apparent fact that for every person who is prepared, that is one less mouth to feed in a real crisis. This needn’t be addressed further, as it is patently obvious, but is yet another reality that the debunkers always seem, somehow, to neglect to address, though it is staring them right in the face. The regular silence by these debunkers is a stark testimony to what is either a lack of critical thinking, or a purposeful lack of honesty is examining the relative merits of preparedness.
God – or for the non-believer, nature herself – has written self-preservation into our very DNA. Certainly, from a Judeo Christian perspective, each individual person has the right to self-preservation. The Bible is replete with laws allowing for self-defense in the Old Testament, and even in the New Testament – while unequivocally admonishing believers to be irenic and forgiving, also quotes Christ telling the disciples, for example in Luke 22:36, in preparation for when He is gone, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.” There are historically several approaches to defense in the Bible – complete pacifism, the use of “police” force, and just war, but that is beyond the scope of this paper. Suffice to say, self-defense is well within the historical understanding of options for Christians in a violent world, although admittedly this can be a difficult issue to navigate, and there is a range of conclusions which sensible people can come to within the pale of faith. Similarly, I extend this self-defense conception into that of realm of preparedness. I think the extension is fair and reasonable, about which reasonable people can disagree in some areas.
Also, relative to preparedness and faith, clearly Proverbs 27:12 explicitly states – and which passage many preparedness types are familiar with – “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.” In a world where well-regarded individuals like Dr. Lawrence Kotlikoff of Boston University state the total amount of unfunded liabilities – federal, state, municipal and corporate – are now a staggering $222 trillion, where the amount of derivatives (which Warren Buffet famously once called “financial weapons of mass destruction”) world-wide makes that amount look like a molehill, in a nation where people like Jon Corzine can “lose” $1.6 billion and simply walk away without a day in jail, where lives are lost during Fast and Furious and people just shrug their shoulders, or a in nation about which Billy Graham’s wife Ruth once said “If God doesn’t’ judge America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah,” is preparedness unwise? Leftists may object, and that is their prerogative. However, if they wish not to prepare, then perhaps they ought to take to their own hearts and written commentary the one thing they forcefully invoke for everyone else in every other situation – tolerance. What business of theirs is it?
With all due respect to them, why is it our non-prepper friends, as exemplified by the written commentary of Ms. Lucus-McEwen noted above, why cannot they practice what they presumably preach about tolerance? Why must people like this actively vilify those with whom they disagree? (But of course, the answer is obvious – just as in the days of Imperial Rome, everyone but everyone must bow to the all-encompassing supremacy of the state. To do otherwise means crucifixion – 2,000 years ago, this was in the arena; today, it is the high tech lynching of a Clarence Thomas, the fashion execution of a Sarah Palin, or the just the “mere” thuggery against those of us who beg to disagree with big government by modern day Kristalnacht Alinsky ruffians.
The whole area of faith and preparedness admittedly needs much further and deeper exegesis – but hopefully this scratches the surface of the subject, and opens up additional conversation.
But even for the non-believer, one’s body is wired for self-preservation. And if nature is all that exists, logically one has no basis to “backtalk against one’s DNA,” which has written self-preservation into the body. From either a biblical or non-biblical perspective, self-preservation is an intrinsic “good.” Why should preppers then be castigated?
One final – and extremely telling – point about “selfish preppers.” The woman who wrote this disparagingly of preppers was a government worker. This means she makes a good living off of private sector people such as myself. As a matter of fact, I cannot currently make adequate preparations for my family and I because I have to provide a “princessly” salary and retirement package for her (the average government worker may make a third more in salary than a private sector worker, and retires much, much earlier). But here is the kicker: If there is a disaster – it will mostly likely brought about by yet another miscalculation by the self-proclaimed “best and brightest,” (think Vietnam, the internet bubble, Long Term Capital Management, Jon Corzine, the housing bust, etc.). Do you know where these “important” people will go? To continuity of government shelters! In other words, if there is a miscalculation, and a nuclear war starts, or an EMP or biological attack starts, they are all set to retreat to specially built giant, lavishly equipped caverns – while you and I fend for ourselves, due to a mess of their creation! Any word from our “preppers are selfish” commentariat on that? Why not?. If nothing else in this article sinks home to you, this should make crystal clear the hypocrisy behind the prepper criticism. The truth is, just as we see with today’s cronyism in high places, as George Orwell so aptly noted, “In the socialist workers’ paradise, we’ll all be equal… only some of us (usually them!) will be ‘more equal’ than the others.” Just ask Nancy Pelosi why her Congress exempted themselves, their cronies and their districts from ObamaCare if you don’t believe that.
In sum, I prepare the same reason my all my forebears did each fall: I don’t know what the winter (of this this case, the future) will bring. While for believers, God has promised to be with us and sustain us, as the old saying goes, we can’t ask God to direct our steps if we are unwilling to move our feet. I trust, and my feet move.
If you would like to write a guest post for The Prepared Ninja,
Have you ever wondered what others are concerned about that causes them to prep? Check out this info-graphic that was compiled from a survey conducted by SimplyHike. It outlines the top ten theories that might result in a doomsday scenario in the opinion of those surveyed.
Why do you prep?
Have you ever wondered what others are concerned about that causes them to prep? Check out this info-graphic that was compiled from a survey conducted by SimplyHike. It outlines the top ten theories that might result in a doomsday scenario in the opinion of those surveyed.
Why do you prep?
After much delay and dragging of feet I have set up a page on Facebook. I am wondering why I waited so long. After messing with our page this week I have realized that it is significantly faster and easier to share useful information and news on Facebook that might [...]
After much delay and dragging of feet I have set up a page on Facebook. I am wondering why I waited so long. After messing with our page this week I have realized that it is significantly faster and easier to share useful information and news on Facebook that might not otherwise make it to the Prepared Ninja website. Hopefully the combination of these pages will increase the amount of information that we can share from The Prepared Ninja.
For those that don’t know, we are on Twitter also. Check us out – @preparedninja.
Come visit us on our social media pages, give us a like and share us with your friends and family!
I hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas! Now that the holiday is over, the stores are filled
with all of the trinkets that did not sell as Christmas presents. With everything marked down anywhere from 50 to 90 percent off of retail, now is the perfect time to get that new wallet, [...]
I hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas! Now that the holiday is over, the stores are filled
with all of the trinkets that did not sell as Christmas presents. With everything marked down anywhere from 50 to 90 percent off of retail, now is the perfect time to get that new wallet, flashlight or pair of Angry Birds boxer shorts that you have had your eye on. At least for those who act while there is still time! From a prepping perspective, there are many great items that can be added to your preps at minimal cost. If you head out to the store keep your eye out for great deals on:
- LED Lanterns
- Mechanics Tools
- Bread Mixes
- Seasonal Clothing Items
- Winter Scented Soaps
- Seasonal Ziploc Bags
This is also a great time to look for great deals on seasonal items like fishing, camping, and hunting gear.
What kind of prepping items have you seen being cleared out of your local stores lately?
If you get the chance, there is a great article about planning an evacuation on Personal Liberty Digest. I will confess that I am a bit biased in that I am the one that wrote the article! Never the less, there is some decent information that should be considered in the event that you find yourself in the position that you must evacuate a threatened area. By the way, you should think about an evacuation now…far before you may ever need to evacuate. While you are over there, take a look at the other content that is available. There are some great articles on a variety of different subjects that can be helpful with getting prepared.
A Prepper’s Holiday Wish List:
A Gift For Every Prepper, From A Person On Any Budget
This year I wanted to put together a list of gift ideas that you can either get for the prepper in your life, the person that you want to help be more prepared, or even for yourself. I felt that it was also important to make sure that there were options for every budget. On that note, don’t skip out after reading the first few ideas. This post wraps up with a few ideas that can be gifted free of cost.
Stocking Stuffers/Gift Ideas Less Than $10
- 100 Feet of Paracord – $6.83 – $8.49 (If you don’t know how versatile and strong paracord is, you probably haven’t used it before.)
- Microlight – $9 (Have a portable source of light on your keys, belt loop, or just about anywhere you can imagine at all times.)
- Heatsheet Emergency Blanket – $3.67 (A must for everyone regardless of whether you lose power in the house or get stranded in the woods or car. Don’t get caught without one.)
- WetFire Fire Starting Tinder – $7.95 (Start a fire even when these tinder cubes are soaking wet.)
- Emergency Trauma Dressing - $9.95 (The trauma dressing of choice for US military forces, police departments, and preppers everywhere!)
Gift Ideas Between $10 & $100
- Bug Out Bag (B.O.B.) $60.49
- PurifiCup Portable Natural Water Purifier - $32.45 (Compact, portable way to purify water.)
- Gerber Camp Axe - $50
- Woodsman’s Pal - $60 (“A machete with the power of an axe”)
- First Aid Kit – $12 – $30 (A necessity for every prepper.)
- The Self-Sufficient Life and How To Live It Book – $35 (A how to guide for living self-sufficiently.)
- Pressure Handwasher - $49.95 (Never need power to wash your clothes again!)
Gift Ideas That Are More Than $100
- Big Berkey Water Filter - $209 (Never be without clean water.)
- BioLite Campstove - $129 (A campstove and gadget charger in one!)
- Portable Generator - $395 (Create power any where!)
- Handheld GPS - $110 (Know anyone that can’t leave the streets for fear of getting lost?)
- AR-7 Survival Rifle - $235 (A collapsible .22 Long Rifle that is perfect for the survivalist in your life.)
Gift Ideas That Are FREE!
- Emergency Contact Roster – A list of emergency contacts such as family members in close proximity, local utility and service providers, out-of-area contacts, and other contacts that may be useful.
- Evacuation Maps – A variety of routes from a residence or workplace to a safe place(s). Look at routes that avoid highly populated areas as well as routes that go in different directions from each location toward each destination.
- A List of Recommended Emergency Preparedness Items – Food, Water, Security, Medical Supplies, Personal Hygiene, Tools, Etc.
- A List of Useful Websites/Resources – Sources of valuable information about preparedness and survival to share with anyone from the newbie prepper all the way to that “crazy” uncle who lives in a cave and seems to know everything.
While the holidays in my opinion should not be about gifts, (it is a time to come together as friends and family, appreciate all that we have to be thankful for, and if you so believe, celebrate the birth of Christ) the chance to help friends and loved ones be prepared is a rewarding opportunity. If you will be giving gifts it is far better to give a gift that has actual value versus a gift that seems nice but will not actually bring value to someone’s life.
What gift ideas do you have for the preparedness minded person in your life?
The Prepared Ninja is looking for a few good ideas! Despite my best efforts or at least the justification of such in my own mind, I do not always have the time or cannot always think of great stuff to share with you all! If you would be interested in helping out, there are a few things that you can do.
- Write an article for submission.
- Share an idea(s) for an article.
- Contribute a link to an interesting article or website.
If any of these ideas appeal to you, please complete the contact form or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Articles, ideas, and links to be contributed can be anything that can be useful, helpful, or instructional for:
- Emergency or Disaster Preparedness
- Home-Based Business Ideas
- Medicine/Alternative Healthcare
- Bushcraft Skills
- Precious Metals
- Alternative Investments
- Community Building
- Food Storage
- Survival/Preparedness Skills
- Personal or Home Defense
- Every Day Carry
- Financial Preparedness/Survival
- Survival Gear
- Dealing With Disaster
- Recommended Books/Equipment/Movies
- Organization Skills/Methods
- OR…Anything Else That May Be Useful And/Or Pertinent
When submitting an article please send it either as an attachment in Microsoft Word format or include the full text in the body of an email to email@example.com. There is no need to worry about including pictures or graphics unless they are an essential piece to the article that you have written. Don’t forget to include your name, email address, your article/idea/link, and any other information that you feel is important.
Note: If writing an original article for submission please ensure that all content is your original work or sources are properly cited and if possible refrain from use of questionable/suggestive language.
There are almost an infinite number of survival/prepping websites out there and many of them have a ton of great information on them but there are a some that I would consider to be consistently invaluable. As a side note, since there are so many survival and prepping websites, thank you for taking some of [...]
There are almost an infinite number of survival/prepping websites out there and many of them have a ton of great information on them but there are a some that I would consider to be consistently invaluable. As a side note, since there are so many survival and prepping websites, thank you for taking some of your valuable time to spend it here at The Prepared Ninja. There are many sites that I have spent time and found some useful information but when considering the time spent to useful information found ratio, it leaves something to be desired. Other sites where I have spent time yield a gold mine of information in short periods of time which is what I would like to share with you all today.
The two places I consistently get my modern survival/self-reliance inspiration and information from are:
The Survival Podcast - Jack Spirko is the voice of this daily podcast that is, “Helping you live a better life, if times get tough or even if they don’t.” There is not an episode that I can recall that I did not get something of benefit from it. Jack is also the king of guest interviews and will have just about every subject matter expert on just about every subject in his archives. If for some reason you don’t find the interview you are looking for, let Jack know and he will most likely make every reasonable effort to make the interview happen. As an added bonus, I love the fact that TSP is a podcast which allows me to listen to it while I am in the car. Since I travel a fair amount for work, I can listen to a good amount of modern survival info while I drive.
The Survivalist Blog - MD Creekmore is the keeper of The Survivalist Blog and rolls out some outstanding new content on a regular basis as well as maintaining an archive of over 3,000 survival and self-reliance related articles. My favorite piece of content that I look forward to every week from MD though is the weekly feature, “What Did You Do To Prep This Week?” where MD outlines his weekly preparedness activities for the week and in turn his readers respond with their prepping efforts and usually a healthy discussion ensues.
Both of these resources are outstanding and if there were only two survival/self-reliance communities that I could be a part of it would be The Survival Podcast and The Survivalist Blog.
Some other resources that are extremely valuable that I subscribe to and use on a regular basis include:
The Survival Mom - Lisa Bedford AKA The Survival Mom has a website that is overflowing with information and resources that can help you, your family, loved ones, friends, and community members get through tough times such as natural disasters, economic collapse, or even how to live a simpler life through practicing basic skills. The Survival Mom also offers free online classes and webinars on a regular basis which are a great value that can be enjoyed by anyone without cost.
Modern Survival Online - Run by Rourke, MSO is focused on survival, self-reliance, preparedness, firearms, and thoughts on the world of today. Rourke has a fairly extensive database of downloadable resources ranging from gardening to terrorism and everything in between. If you enjoy writing, make sure to check out Modern Survival Online’s guest writing contest while you are on the site. Another great opportunity that exists on MSO is the list of every post that has ever been published on the site which without having tried, I would have to guess would take just about an entire day to completely digest it all.
SHTF Plan - Mac Slavo runs a great ship over at SHTF Plan. While there is some great information about survival, what I rely on this site for is information about the economy and government operations that you can’t find anywhere else. The SHTF community is also very interactive which allows for its readers to not only benefit from the published content but also from the opportunity to converse with each other in the comments section.
Hopefully you are already benefitting from some, if not all, of these resources but if you are not I would encourage you to take a look at them. One or more of these websites may prove to be a valuable asset in assisting you in preparing for difficult times.
Do you have a favorite prepping resource that I didn’t mention? Mention it in the comments section below!
ATTENTION ALL READERS OF THE PREPARED NINJA!
Please give a warm Prepared Ninja welcome to the newest supporter of our site, Ready Made Resources. The folks at Ready Made Resources have been in business for over 17 years now and provide a one stop shop for anyone looking to be prepared for any type of [...]
ATTENTION ALL READERS OF THE PREPARED NINJA!
Please give a warm Prepared Ninja welcome to the newest supporter of our site, Ready Made Resources. The folks at Ready Made Resources have been in business for over 17 years now and provide a one stop shop for anyone looking to be prepared for any type of emergency. From Mountain House long-term storage food to night vision goggles and everything in between, Ready Made Resources has it all! Not only do the professionals at Ready Made talk the talk but they walk the walk as well with their storefront sitting on 25 acres in the great Smoky Mountains powered by solar and wind energy.
Whether your needs are great or small, you will not be disappointed by the customer service and level of attention that you will receive from the staff at Ready Made Resources. I would encourage everyone to consider going to Ready Made Resources for all of your survival and prepping needs. Ready Made Resources cares about their customers and about preparedness and it shows.
Don’t miss out on the HUGE Mountain House sale going on now through November 5th! Click the banner in the left sidebar to be taken directly to huge savings and free shipping! Don’t forget to check out all the other premier products that Ready Made Resources sell to complete your preparedness needs.
Overuse injuries are a common threat to a great number of people across the globe every year. It is estimated that in athletes alone, approximately 10 percent of participants suffer annually from an overuse injury. Don’t be mistaken either, athletes are not alone in this realm of suffering. Overuse injuries can occur from sports and recreational [...]
Overuse injuries are a common threat to a great number of people across the globe every year. It is estimated that in athletes alone, approximately 10 percent of participants suffer annually from an overuse injury. Don’t be mistaken either, athletes are not alone in this realm of suffering. Overuse injuries can occur from sports and recreational activities, occupational hazards, household chores, or any tasks that are performed repetitively. So what does this have to do with prepping? There is a fairly widespread feeling amongst preppers to learn new skills, get into better shape, do this thing or that thing better, or make up of what others are not doing. This can lead to overuse injuries!
What Causes Overuse Injuries?
The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine provides a very clear and easy to understand definition of the cause of overuse injuries,
The human body has a tremendous capacity to adapt to physical stress. In fact, many positive changes occur as a result of this. With exercise and activity, bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments get stronger and more functional. This happens because of an internal process called remodeling. The remodeling process involves both the break down and build up of tissue. There is a fine balance between the two and if break down occurs more rapidly than build up, injury occurs.
When these injuries occur it can be a result of starting a new activity and trying to do too much, too soon. An example would be relocating from an urban environment to a rural location having never split firewood before and deciding to split an entire tree’s worth of wood in one day. This would likely be too much, too soon and could lead to an overuse injury because your body is not used to this activity and your body would not be able to fully recover from this activity. Undertaking a new activity and using a poor technique can also lead to injury.
Other risk factors that can lead to overuse injuries include previous injuries, making up for lost time after taking a break from an activity, poor form, using improper or broken equipment, differences in work surfaces (hard vs. soft), and anatomical factors such as flat feet or unequal leg lengths.
Preventing Overuse Injuries
As the saying goes…an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. With that being said, prevention can come in a number of ways. Someone with experience/expertise that can offer assistance in proper technique will be invaluable in helping prevent injury. Taking the time to stretch and properly warm-up prior to starting any activity is also helpful. Another prevention technique is the ten percent rule which essentially equates to not adding more than 10 percent to any activity or training program per week to avoid injury. An example of the ten percent rule is a runner not adding more than 10% to their total distance as compared to the week before. This can prevent overuse injuries like shin splints for the runner.
Diagnosing Overuse Injuries
There is only one way to get diagnosed with an overuse injury. *See a healthcare provider. There is not any equivalent to this option. Not every overuse injury requires an elaborate set of tests to be diagnosed but there is no substitution for the expertise of a physician. With that being said, there are ways to treat your symptoms if you are not able to immediately seek medical care for some reason.
Treating Overuse Injuries
One of the primary methods of treatment for overuse injuries is either rest or an easy/hard approach where a combination of easy and hard activities are facilitate continued activity and maintenance of overall fitness while individual injuries recover. These practices can be especially useful in treating the early symptoms of overuse injuries. R.I.C.E. is another useful tool in treating overuse injuries to the extremities, especially those that involve swelling. The acronym R.I.C.E. stands for:
- Rest – Rest to prevent further injury.
- Ice – Ice the area to help prevent swelling.
- Compression – Use an ACE wrap to provide compression.
- Elevation – Elevate the injured extremity will also reduce swelling.
Pain can also be a particularly bothersome symptom which be alleviated by aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications. By the way…pain is usually the body’s way of saying slow down a little.
How do you prevent overuse injuries? Leave a comment and let us know how.
*DISCLAIMER – The author is not a physician and the information and opinions expressed in this article are not in any way a substitution for the treatment and advice of a licensed medical provider. The information, views, and opinions expressed in the article are provided for informational purposes only and should be used at the readers risk.
Source: American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
I located these five common survival myths on the SurvivalState.com and felt that they should be passed along. While there are a great many myths that circulate the survival and prepping communities, these five will hopefully at least invoke thought and cause everyone to consider their survival plans. I could not identify who had written [...]
I located these five common survival myths on the SurvivalState.com and felt that they should be passed along. While there are a great many myths that circulate the survival and prepping communities, these five will hopefully at least invoke thought and cause everyone to consider their survival plans. I could not identify who had written this piece and I am not sure if it is an original work by the folks at SurvivalState. If you are a gun nut, definitely make sure to check out survivalstate.com. They have a ton of gun reviews on their home page!
Survival Myth #1 – Weapons Are The Most Important Thing
Firearms should be treated just like catastrophic health insurance. You should own them hoping that you never need them, but just like insurance, if you need them, you need them badly. And, just like with hypochondriacs, there is a certain segment of society that can’t seem to look beyond the terrible events that would necessitate using a firearm in self-defense at more likely occurrences. To make matters even worse, popular culture and the media both suggest that violence during survival situations is normal, and that hardship always brings out the worst in others.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The most common survival situations are brought on by diseases, accidents, and various kinds of disasters. With the exception of civil unrest, none of these situations require being armed. Yes, we can all be mugged walking down the street or we can wake up in the middle of the night to a home invasion, but these events are fairly rare. The average, reasonable person is much more likely to fall down a flight of stairs or get hit by a car than they are to be the victim of a random life threatening attack. No gun, however large, is going to help you relocate a dislocated shoulder or keep your house from burning down.
There are exceptions, of course. People who live in dangerous areas are, in fact, more likely to become victims than others in more peaceful areas. But that’s a given and people have the ability to make their own choices as to where they choose to live. Indeed, if the FBI statistics are to be believed (and most of the time they aren’t), we will all likely fall victim to fairly serious crime at one time or another. However, despite these somewhat sobering numbers, a possible violent crime occurring once in a person’s life is a far cry from the guaranteed eventualities of illness and financial burden, both of which can greatly impact survival and quality of life.
So, from a survival perspective, while firearms are useful tools and can prove to be vitally important, they should take a definite backseat to almost all other preparations, especially if one has no indicators to the contrary.
Survival Myth #2 – It Will Be Every Man For Himself
Most of the people responsible for giving everyone in the survival community a bad name are the same folks who focus on the self-defense aspects of survivalism. It doesn’t help that these same people are also the primary focus of the media, and together these strange bedfellows have led the rest of the world to believe that survivalists are all unwashed white folks with mangy beards who live out in the woods in rotten cabins with their even mangier dogs.
The media loves to focus on these people because they represent danger and radicalism. They did the same thing when they focused on looting after Hurricane Katrina, and in doing so implicated entire neighborhoods in criminality. Neither representation is accurate and certainly should not be used to classify large segments of society. The problem is that the participants in either group, and the populace at large, don’t recognize that they are anomalies. In other words, the handful of gun toting survivalists who live out in the wilderness lprobably really believe that they are making reasonable preparations for a world ending calamity and the looters in New Orleans probably believed that they were entitled to what they were taking, while the media does what it can to make either group seem larger and more dangerous than they really are in order to gain viewership.
Neither group represents how the vast majority of society functions. Despite frequent and well-publicized occurrences of self-centered behavior, humans are intrinsically group animals and we rely on each other to survive. Even though the media takes great efforts to obscure this fact, America’s communities function fairly well and are essentially peaceful. Our communities work and we need them to survive.
Except for a few historical examples, I can’t think of a single person (and certainly nobody I personally know), that does not rely on other human beings in their daily life. Whether we like it or not, in order to be competent, healthy, and happy, we need a high degree of tolerance and civility towards others, something that certain members of the survivalist community (and, indeed, any community), seem to be lacking.
Survival Myth #3 – You Will Rise To The Occasion
Surviving a genuine, full-fledged large scale crisis is, by its very nature, a difficult undertaking and there is a significant difference between just surviving a situation and being a hero. Too many folks are caught up in the glamorized militaristic and self-defense fantasies which represent idealized heroism in our culture. This type of heroism, as most people understand it, is nothing but a Hollywood myth. No matter how brave a or careless a person might be, nobody, and I mean nobody, goes into a life or death situation with any degree of enthusiasm. Sure there are those people who are so moved by adrenaline or even sheer mania, that they can accomplish impossible feats, but that’s reaction, not bravery. Bravery occurs only when someone is scared out of their wits and still takes action, regardless of personal consequences. Such individuals are to be honored, but they also tend to have short lifespans.
I’ve never spoken to a single person that had been involved with heroic action (and I’ve spoken to a lot of them) that was proud of what they had accomplished. In fact, some of them seemed downright embarrassed. Not too long ago, for instance, I was speaking with a former military officer who had risked his life to save that of a child. When I asked him if he would do it again, he answered: “Sure, it was a kid.”
When I asked him if he would have done the same for an adult, the response was accompanied by a cocked eyebrow: “No. They made their own bed. Let them lie in it.” In other words, even a known hero has his personal limits. Which brings up another point — everyone, and I mean everyone, has their limits.
Socrates pointed out that men might be brave in battle one day and less than brave the next. Discipline and dedication can help calm quaking hearts, but even the best trained men and women will still break when their limit is reached. It happens to everyone. More to the point, survivalists aren’t taking parts in organized battles…their goal is to stay alive. Whether or not they are brave should be a non-issue. When it comes to reality bravery has much more to do with ego than it has to do with staying alive. Leave the heroics for the movies.
Survival Myth #4 – You Can Live Off Of The Land
This is one of my favorites. So many people think that they can live off of the land in the event of a catastrophe. Let me tell you, I’ve tried it, and it just isn’t possible for any length of time. The knowledge and skill necessary to live “naturally” is extremely difficult to obtain and even more difficult to put into action. Living off the land should only occur out of dire necessity and never by design.
At this point I would like to remind everyone that none of the first settlers in the United States would have survived without the provisions they had brought with them or help from the local natives. And that was during a period when the land was barely inhabited yet full of fish, game, and edible plants. Since that time we have essentially denuded our landscape (just about every tree has been chopped down and replanted more than once). There are hardly any bears left, turkeys were only recently reintroduced to large segments of the country, and overall fish stocks are at their lowest points ever. To think that a person could survive off of these paltry pickings alongside another 300 million famished Americans is ridiculous. Anyone that suggests otherwise is fooling themselves.
Survival Myth #5 – You Can Hold Off Multiple Armed Marauders
Fighting multiple, dedicated opponents is difficult, regardless of your training and prowess. Successful, unarmed fights against multiple attackers generally take the guise of running street battles where the victim uses the environment to limit their opponent’s numeric advantage, getting in the occasional blow at the opportune moment. Such a strategy can’t be relied upon and should be viewed as a last ditch, neck saving effort.
The only way to take on multiple opponents with a reasonable chance of success is to bring along an equalizer. A man with a solid understanding of how to use a knife or a stick can hold off a number of unarmed opponents. However, if you’ve got a weapon then the other guy probably does too. We live in a nation where 70% of men carry pocket knives and there are probably 400 million firearms in civilian possession. To imagine that a serious fight will occur without someone resorting to a dangerous implement is a fantasy.
As humans we have limited senses and abilities. Studies have shown that in an ambush situation even the best shooters are generally only capable of hitting two aggressors before they are eliminated by a third, and this is with the aggressors in the line of vision. To imagine that a poorly trained shooter could do any better against multiple, dedicated assailants that are not directly in front of them is simply not reasonable. Defending a static position without support is nothing short of a death wish unless one is better equipped, trained, and more dedicated than their opponents, and even then the odds of success are extremely slim.
Do you know another survival myth? Add it to the comments section!
Do you prep for what may happen today, tomorrow, or anytime? Are your preparations for only one possibility, a slew of minor disasters, or global catastrophe of any and all proportions? Are there key things you look for or events that trigger a specific response from you as a prepper? These are all considerations that [...]
Do you prep for what may happen today, tomorrow, or anytime? Are your preparations for only one possibility, a slew of minor disasters, or global catastrophe of any and all proportions? Are there key things you look for or events that trigger a specific response from you as a prepper? These are all considerations that should be kept in mind that will assist preppers in staying ahead of the sheeple.
One specific example of a key event that should trigger a reaction from a prepper is a cost increase in a certain food. Last year saw increases occur in a myriad of foods but sharp spikes of up to 40% occurred in the cost of peanut butter as a result of blighted crops and fewer crops being planted than what would meet the demand. This year corn crops in many parts of the country have seen drastically reduced outputs as a result of water shortages and heat waves. What does this mean for the prepper? Get your corn now! My wife recently found canned corn on sale at our local grocery store at the price of three cans for $1.00. Three or four months from now I would not be surprised to see a 15 ounce can of corn selling for somewhere north of the $1.50 price point.
There are many aspects of prepping that come to mind when I think of buying early to save later. In 2003 I purchased a Ruger 10/22 for less than $150. If I were to purchase the same firearm this year it would cost well over $200, an increase of over 33% in less than a decade. The same year that I bought my Ruger rifle I also purchased a Mossberg 12 Gauge shotgun for $189 that if I were to go out and buy it at my local sporting goods store today, it would run just under $300. That’s an increase in price of over 50% in less than 10 years. It seems like there is a trend here or something! We would see the trend continue if we looked at the cost of the ammunition for these same firearms.
Fuel prices are going up. The cost of a post-secondary education is more than a starter home. A used car that doesn’t even run can cost more than a brand-new Ford Mustang was in 1966. I can go on but this is starting to become depressing. My point is that prices for many items are going up. They have for years and they will continue to do so. But some of these costs can be avoided, at least temporarily. Avoiding these costs even only on the short-term can be a significant relief at a time when so many costs are rising and most paychecks are stagnant. That brings us to the other side of the coin. How many people are increasing their incomes right now? I will not even address that here today.
So how are these costs avoided or delayed? That is a good question. A question that I do not have a perfect answer to, nor do I know anyone who does. However, I do know that over the last year I saved over 50% on the cost of my family’s peanut butter costs and this coming year I will probably save about 60-80% on the cost of the corn that my family will eat just because I paid attention to what was happening. In the military we called this situational awareness or being aware of what was going on around us. When I saw that peanut butter was going to increase significantly we went to the store and stocked up on enough peanut butter to get us through 18-24 months. It is not like peanut butter is going to go bad over night. When I saw that corn crops were not doing well I knew that costs would be going up and it was time to stock up. When the opportunity presented itself to buy cans of corn at $0.33 each we jumped on it. Once again, canned corn is good for about two years or more so it is not a bad buy. The other thing to keep in mind is that with corn crop production being so low it will not just be corn itself that will increase in cost but corn containing products as well. If you regularly use products such as corn meal or corn bread mix there may be no time like the present to get a good supply of those items too.
Looking towards the future, there are some key indicators that could be causes for concern. One such reason for concern would be the re-election of the sitting POTUS (President of the United States). Were President Obama to get re-elected it is likely that some of the “real” agenda would come to light. Much of my concern is that some of the true agenda contains strict gun controls measures and new laws that would make certain types of ammunition illegal as well as the number of rounds that can be purchased at one time and where you can buy those same rounds. For example, I can see hollow-point ammunition being outlawed as well as purchasing more than 100 rounds at one time and online ammunition sales being made illegal. Is this possible? Yes. Is it probable? Who knows. The point here is that by being aware of how certain events impact the future, whether it is a permanent or temporary impact, you can avoid higher costs, difficulties, shortages, or even government bans. Keep both eyes open and think toward the future.
Guns, precious metals, jewelry, important documents, family heirlooms, and cash are all things that are valuable. These are also items that most people have as part of their emergency preparedness plans or every day life. Items that are valuable are also susceptible to being destroyed by disaster, taken by thieves, lost due to negligence or [...]
Guns, precious metals, jewelry, important documents, family heirlooms, and cash are all things that are valuable. These are also items that most people have as part of their emergency preparedness plans or every day life. Items that are valuable are also susceptible to being destroyed by disaster, taken by thieves, lost due to negligence or because of some various other reasons. As a result of these risks it is important to be protected and avoid loss, right? So what is the best way to keep your valuable items safe? A safe of course!
Obviously if you have an arsenal of weapons, a stockpile of cash, and one of a kind heirlooms then having a safe is somewhat of a no brainer. But what if that does not describe your situation? The Liberty Safe Company also has the following list of items on their website that some of their customers keep in their safes (it may help you decide if a safe is the right decision for you):
- Birth Certificates
- Cash / Extra Checks
- Video Equipment
- Gold / Silver
- Stamp Collections
- Coin Collections
- Business Records
- Art Collections
- Fishing Rods
- Portable Stereos
- Tax Records
- Book Collections
- Jewelry / Diamonds
- Computer Disks
- Family Silver
- Genealogy Records
- Account Statements
- Baseball Cards
- Stocks & Bonds
- Wedding Photos
- DVDs / CDs
- Diaries & Journals
- Family Heirlooms
- Insurance Papers
- Christmas Gifts
- Family Videos
- Fur Coats
- IPODS / Electronics
- Expensive China
- Tickets / Passports
- Laptop Computers
- Archery Equipment
- Collectable Figures
- Deeds / Contracts
- Musical Instruments
- Film Negatives
Having a safe itself is not likely enough to ensure the security of your valuables. If you watched the video of the pry test, you likely noticed the fact that when the “thieves” were breaking into the safes that they placed them on their backs to successfully get into them. One way to avoid allowing thieves this option is to bolt safe to the floor. Since most home burglaries are over in seven minutes or less, bolting your safe down also helps prevent it from being carried off during a burglary.
It is also important to keep in mind that if you do have a safe, it might be worth making an effort to disguise it. There is the assumption that if a safe is there, valuables are there. In addition to this assumption, it is widely publicized that there is less faith in the banking system these days which has resulted in more people keeping cash on hand at home. If a person can see a safe in your home or business it might be the temptation that pushes them over the edge and turns them into a thief. Disguising your safe can make you a hard target instead of a soft target as we always called it in the military. The best ways that I can think of hiding larger safes like the Liberty Safes is to keep it in a closet behind some clothes or inside of a large cabinet.
If you have some insight on the best safes for preppers, how to disguise a safe, or anything related please make a comment.
It is impossible to always be ready to react to every situation that may occur. If I had a quarter for every time I had gotten a scrape, cut, abrasion, or laceration when I had no way to take care of it, I would at least be able to take my family out to a very nice dinner. The best way that I have found to deal with this is to have what I call a ‘Pocket Medical Kit.’ This basically equates to a kit that is relatively flat that can treat emergent injuries in the form of lacerations, cuts, scrapes, abrasions, etc. Being flat in design allows it to easily fit in a pocket, wallet, or purse and is minimal in weight to the point where you can almost forget that it is there.
The bottom line with your kit is that it should be designed for you and your medical needs. Each individual may face different risks or dangers in their daily lives that may result in the need to custom tailor the contents of their kit to address these concerns. A ‘Pocket Medical Kit’ is designed to address injuries of inconvenience and is not designed to address life threatening injuries. As always, even the best medical kit is not a substitute for good training. If you have the opportunity to obtain medical training, that can often be more useful than the medical supplies themselves. There is no replacement for quality training by qualified personnel. Here are the contents of my kit:
POCKET MEDICAL KIT
1 – 6 Mil Poly Bag (3″X5″) : The contents of the kit will fit nicely into this bag.
1 – Nonadherant Dressing (3” X 4”)
1 – Medical Tape (1”X24″) : Wrap the tape around the poly bag.
1 – Band-Aid (2″X4.5″)
2 – Band-Aids (1″X3″)
1 – Steri-Strip (1/4″)
What is in your ultra-portable medical kit?
Those of you who have been following the blog for a while know that I am a fan of Jack Spirko. For those of you who are newer followers or first time readers, I am a fan of Jack Spirko who is best known for his work at The Survival Podcast. Jack originally started his podcast a few years back and recorded from his VW Jetta on his daily commute. Since his humble beginnings, he has grown his podcast to a daily audience in the tens of thousands of listeners and makes several appearances at events as a keynote speaker across the United States every year. Today’s post is a YouTube video of a presentation that Jack gave earlier this year on his philosophy of ‘The Twelve Planks of Modern Survivalism at the Liberty Forum 2012 that is an annual event by the Free State Project in New Hampshire. I listened to this keynote when Jack first made it available on The Survival Podcast and thoroughly enjoyed it and felt that it would be a valuable presentation to pass along.
If you have a favorite YouTube video, survival presentation, or preparedness article please post a link in the comments section below so that other readers can check it out!
If you enjoyed what Jack had to say, make sure to check him out:
Jack’s Podcast – The Survival Podcast
Jack’s Business Podcast – 5 Minutes With Jack
Jack’s Business Forum – The Road To 100K
Jack’s Agriculture Site – AgriTrue
Jack’s YouTube – survivalpodcasting
Jack’s Twitter Handle – @thesurvivalpodc
Jack’s Zello Network – The Survival Podcast Network
In the event of civil unrest, societal collapse, or times of disaster there will undoubtedly be a number of threats that the population will be forced to deal with. It is absolutely impossible to accurately predict what the threats will be. What I am confident about is that regardless of the cause of unrest or collapse [...]
In the event of civil unrest, societal collapse, or times of disaster there will undoubtedly be a number of threats that the population will be forced to deal with. It is absolutely impossible to accurately predict what the threats will be. What I am confident about is that regardless of the cause of unrest or collapse or what the disaster is, the result will be widespread threats to the population and could take the form of utility outages, food shortages, martial law, or bank runs. I am also confident that pain and suffering can be mitigated by prior planning and action. Probably the single greatest advantage to planning now to respond to these threats is that most preparations can be made far in advance of any unrest, collapse, or disaster and that many of the preparations that are made for social unrest or societal collapse can also be used to protect a home during a natural or manmade disaster as well.
Every area has its own unique elements that must be kept in mind and the best way to approach this is through the use of population zones which are based on the density of the population in the local area. Population density zones are broken down into urban, suburban, rural, mountain, desert, and coastal zones. Special considerations should be given to each zone as follows:
Urban – The urban area is likely to be the one that is most desired to be avoided during the difficult times of unrest and disaster. There is a higher probability of martial law being implemented but at the same time, due to the population density, the urban area is most likely going to be the center of any assistance activity that is available. The obvious question is, I have made preparations so that I do not have to rely on others for assistance so why would I need to put myself in this position? My response to this would be that in difficult times, those are seen never getting any sort of assistance are likely going to be targets because it is obvious they have a great amount of resources at their disposal. Even if getting assistance is a facade, it may be imperative to maintaining the persona of being in the same state of need as everyone else. This brings up another benefit that lends itself nicely to the urban landscape and that is the “grey man” theory or the theory that a person that acts and looks the same as everyone else must not be any different from the rest of the population.
Special planning considerations will need to be kept in mind when evaluating egress routes from urban areas. Some concerns regarding urban routes include tunnels that go under bodies of water or underground, bridges that are part of the route that could be damaged or blocked, and areas where damaged buildings could be blocking the roads.
Suburban – I see suburban areas as being a potentially dangerous area. The reason that I say this is that many suburban residents feel comfortable where they are and will choose to stay right where they are (bug in) if something were to happen. At the same time, those that are trying to get out of the urban areas will be moving into or through the suburban areas. Concurrently, anyone who might be trying to move from the outlying areas to the urban areas to seek assistance or to rendezvous with family will be moving through the suburbs also. It is a result of all this activity that creates such a dangerous suburban environment in my opinion. In such a tumultuous time, it seems reasonable that desperate citizens that are in transition in these areas might target suburban residents as sources of food, shelter, weapons, or other supplies/life support items.
Rural – There are many advantages to a rural environment but there are also some disadvantages. It is advantageous to live in the rural environment in the event of chaos and unrest because there is not often rioting and in fact, this type of activity is almost nonexistent in the rural areas. Rural houses tend to be spread further apart from each other which creates additional stand-off space from each other making rural homes easier to defend and see when people are approaching. Because of this same distance from “civilization” rural homes could be targeted by thieves, murderers, hordes of rogue hungry wanderers, and other generally terrible types which most would consider a disadvantage. The rural environment also generally has fewer law enforcement officers that are required to cover larger territories than their suburban and urban counterparts which makes them more likely to be overwhelmed during tough times. Fire and emergency medical personnel in rural areas are often primarily volunteer forces which may significantly reduce if not completely eliminate their availability in times of unrest or disaster.
Mountain – The mountainous regions can offer a tactical advantage for defending oneself in times of civil unrest. It is much easier to defend yourself from the high ground against an opposing force on the lower ground in comparison to fighting a force on the higher ground from a lower point. There is a concern with bad weather and mountainous terrain. In the event of heavy rain or snowfall, it can be very difficult or even impossible to get up or down mountain roads as a result of mud slides, slippery conditions, or washouts. Fallen trees can also make a mountain road unusable as a result of a complete obstruction. Another concern
Desert – A common characteristic of desert areas is that they are often found in low-lying areas and are therefore prone to flash floods. As a result of this risk, residents in a desert region should consider maintaining a supply of sandbags to facilitate a faster response in the event of a flash flood. The advantage to the desert environment is a lower propensity for the roving band of outlaws AKA “golden horde” in the event of societal collapse because of the lower population density and fewer resources available to sustain life.
Coastal – One of the unique environmental circumstances that residents of a coastal region have to be concerned with is the threat of hurricanes and tsunamis. Sandbags can be placed to protect your home from flooding if it is located in a low-lying area but as part of your evacuation plans you should also know the minimum distance that you will need to move inland in order to evade the dangers of a tsunami. Another concern for coastal residents is if unrest or collapse were to occur and rioters were to move in a manner that would block coastal residents egress from their homes, they may need to plan to escape the region via the water.
Preparations that every person should make for their shelter regardless of where they live:
- Designate a safe room. An ideal location for a safe room will be in the middle of the house and it should not have any exterior doors or windows and will also only ideally have one interior door. If it is not possible to have a safe room on the interior of your home, the second best option is a room along an exterior wall that does not have an exterior door or window. Most people think of a safe room as being a place to go in the event of a storm, which is true, but it is also a good location for a family to fall back to if there is a home invasion and they are all able to make it there.
- Have enough exterior grade plywood on hand to completely cover every exterior window and door in the dwelling. Unless all of your pieces are precut, you should also keep a circular saw handy. The one alibi to keep in mind with this option is that if you lose power you will need a generator in order to make the saw work.
- Keep an ample quantity of exterior grade deck screws on hand to attach the plywood securely to your dwelling outside of the exterior doors and windows.
- Store contractor grade plastic sheeting and duct tape in enough quantity to completely seal around the interior side of all exterior doors, windows, and vents.
- A razor knife or utility blade should also be kept in close proximity to the plastic sheeting and duct tape so that you have an easy way to cut the sheeting and duct tape. Also have plenty of replacement blades for your cutting implement.
- Store at least some sandbags at your home regardless of whether you are in a flood plain or not. While sandbags are excellent for deterring flooding, they are also great for use as a barricade or shielding from ballistic projectiles.
*Disclaimer – Ensure to consult all local laws, codes, and regulations before taking any action to secure, harden, or fortify your home or any other structure whether it be due to civil unrest, societal collapse, natural disaster, or the zombie apocalypse.
Don’t forget to help fill in the blanks or enhance some of the points that were already made by making a comment of your own in the comments section below.
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There are some great tools out there on the internet and some of those tools include food storage calculators. I think the most important thing to mention up front is the fact that these calculators are a guideline and are only a starting point of what a family might plan on obtaining if they were [...]
There are some great tools out there on the internet and some of those tools include food storage calculators. I think the most important thing to mention up front is the fact that these calculators are a guideline and are only a starting point of what a family might plan on obtaining if they were going to purchase an entire year’s worth of food. Each family is different and some of these foods will not be eaten by everyone. I can tell you for one that I do not, nor will I ever, have lentils in my food storage. Ain’t gonna happen! With that being said, a food storage calculator can give you an idea of how many pounds of legumes that you should have for your family of four and this will let you know what you should shoot for. You can just get something else instead of lentils. I know I will!
The following websites all have food storage calculators or other information that I found interesting and extremely educational:
Ready Nutrition – Survive & Thrive Food Storage Calculator
- The Survive & Thrive Food Storage Calculator allows the user to calculate custom food storage for individuals and families for adults and children ages eight and older and children ages seven and younger. The time period of food storage can be calculated starting at one month all the way up to five years. Categories of food storage include legumes, grains, sugars, fats/oils, kitchen essentials, and dairy.
There is also a great list on the Ready Nutrition website that I absolutely love. It is by the site owner, Tess Pennington and is as follows,
“First Time Shopping List for an Emergency Food Supply:
1. 10 lbs. of white or wheat flour (both would be better. Remember the Prepper Golden Rule: 1 is none and 2 is 1). Those of you who have wheat allergies, click here for alternatives.
2. 10 lbs. of corn meal
3. 5 lbs. of oats
4. 20 lbs of rice (white rice stores better than brown rice)
5. 12 lbs of pasta
6. 20 lbs of beans (pinto beans are usually packed in heavier quantities)
7. 5 lbs of mixed beans (lentils, mixed bean soup, black beans, etc)
8. 5 lbs of sugar
9. 2 lbs of salt
10. 1 gallon of cooking oil
11. 2 large containers of peanut butter
12. 5 lbs of powdered milk
13. 1 lb of baking soda
14. 1 lb of baking powder
15. .5 lbs of yeast
16. 1 gallon of vinegar
17. 1 gallon of drinking water per day (*I would round-up here. You can never have too much water.)
18. 1 gallon of bleach for sanitation and treating water”
The Food Guys - Food Storage Calculator
- From thefoodguys.com, “The following calculator will help you figure the minimum food storage amounts needed for your family. These amounts are based on the recommendations listed in the LDS Church’s Home Production and Storage manual. These figures are recommendations, and are basic year supply minimums only. You will need to choose the best options and foods you should store for your family.” This calculator will allow you to calculate your families basic food storage needs for a year based on adults and children aged seven and older and children aged zero to six in the categories of Grains, Legumes, Fats/Oils, Military/Dairy, Sugars, Cooking Essentials, Fruits, Vegetables, and Water.
Provident Living - Food Storage Calculator
- Calculate food storage needs in the groups of Grains, Legumes, Dairy Products, Sugars, Leavening Agents, Salt, Fats, and Water for the number of weeks that you want for the number of adults and children over 12 and the number of children under 12.
Food Storage Made Easy – This resource is not a food storage calculator but does have a plethora of information on food storage and how to make it easy. I think that is where the name comes from? There is also an email list that you can sign up for that will get you periodic emails that include baby steps checklists that break down the process of long-term food storage into easy to swallow pieces. [Insert snare drum and cymbal sound bite here for comedic effect.] There is a food storage calculator on this website that is a little more inclusive than some of the others but it is in an Excel spreadsheet format which I find to be less user-friendly than some of the others at the same time.
I hope that some of these tools are useful and provide you and your families and loved ones the resources needed to survive the tough times that may be ahead.
If you know of any additional resources that can assist the preparedness community in storing food in being ready for difficult times please share them in the comments section below.