There are events that occur daily in our lives that reinforce the need to prep. Not all of these events are catastrophic and not even all of them are experiences that we witness first hand but, there are things that are constant reminders of why we should be prepared. Last week, my family and I got [...]
There are events that occur daily in our lives that reinforce the need to prep. Not all of these events are catastrophic and not even all of them are experiences that we witness first hand but, there are things that are constant reminders of why we should be prepared. Last week, my family and I got a not so subtle reminder of why basic preparedness is essential. A week ago, there were a number of devastating storms that caused tornadoes, torrential rainfall, and high winds throughout the Midwest United States. Our house happens to be situated in an area where we are susceptible to losing power as a result of high winds and murphy struck in a big way! We lost our power and were left in the dark for what we were told was going to be upwards of seven days! This is not what we had in mind as a way to spend our week. It was not going to be the end of the world though because we have a basic plan (as everyone should) to deal with such circumstances.
Here are some key components to a basic emergency plan…
#1 – A Blackout Kit: Don’t get stuck fumbling around in the dark. Keep at least one source of backup lighting (flashlight, lightstick, lantern, etc.) available in an accessible and convenient spot. It might not be a bad idea to have multiples strategically staged throughout the house. A light source is also a good item to keep on your keychain in the event you are not near your blackout kit when there is a loss of power.
#2 – A Basic Medical Kit: First aid is something that could be needed at any time. Stick a kit in the car, in your desk at work, and have one at the house. A commercially produced kit is a good start, especially if you are not comfortable with the idea of building your own kit but look at what your needs are and what the contents of the kit are. Many of these pre-made first aid kits are lacking in the quantity or quality of the supplies included as well as missing some of the advanced components that you might need.
#3 – A Plan To Deal With Food: Not only is it necessary to provide fuel to our bodies on a daily basis, but it is also beneficial to avoid losing money and food as a result of spoilage. To meet our needs and avoid this loss, develop a plan to deal with the perishable food that is left on hand following a disaster. Two of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by cooking food with a barbecue grill or over a fire. Both bbq’s and fire pits are common place and can provide not only the means to cook but also heat water as needed. If space is limited, disposable, single use grills can be purchased to fulfill this requirement.
#4 – A Way To Get Clean Water: Water is great. Clean water is better. Every emergency kit should have a way to filter and decontaminate water. Consider also keeping some clean water stored at home, in the car, and even at work if feasible to have access to in an emergency. In the event that clean water is not always available, have a plan to locate and clean dirty water. Plan on having enough, or being able to get enough, water to have one gallon per person, per day for drinking and cooking at a minimum. If the resources are available, add an additional gallon per person, per day for hygiene purposes.
#5 – Shelter – Sheltering in place at home is typically the most comfortable way to wait out a storm. This is not always feasible though and a plan should be in place to go somewhere else if it is required. Look for a family member, friend, or acquaintance that lives on the other side of town, a different city, or even another state if that is what it takes to get to safety. It is advisable to have a minimum of two routes to get to each destination in the event that one route is closed or obstructed.
#6 – Security: I am a gun guy and think that if you are comfortable with gun ownership, then this should be a vital part of any security plan. It is also not the only answer. High quality locks on doors and windows are a basic component of security and should be the priority. A nonlethal defensive option should be available like pepper spray. If a firearm is the only tool that is available, it could lead to having to make a tough decision that might be avoided with a nonlethal option.
#7 – Energy: A secondary source of power (generator, solar panels, wind turbine, etc.) is a great thing to have when the power goes out. Not only does this maintain some of the basic comforts that require power but it can also be a way to minimize the loss of refrigerated and frozen foods. Keep these two things in mind when it comes to backup energy sources: 1. When an entire area is without power or systems of support, a dwelling with power will stand out like a lighthouse for lack of a better term. This can lead to becoming a potential target if things are really bad. 2. An energy source, like a generator, that is powered by fuel will require fuel to be stored to power the generator for a reasonable period of time.
It can never be definitely predicted when a disaster will strike. Having a leg up on the recovery by not being caught helpless can be a game changer. I was reminded of the basic need for preparedness last week. What will the situation be for you if a disaster were to strike today?
Most preppers have their bug-out-bags ready to go and close at hand, so do I. But now that the temperatures are dropping and winter is approaching with giant leaps and bounds, I asked myself if my bug out bag would be enough to survive sub-freezing days and nights without shelter. Because, let’s face it, we [...]
Most preppers have their bug-out-bags ready to go and close at hand, so do I. But now that the temperatures are dropping and winter is approaching with giant leaps and bounds, I asked myself if my bug out bag would be enough to survive sub-freezing days and nights without shelter. Because, let’s face it, we don’t know if shelter will be available when the SHTF. This is why each of my family members has their own bug-out-bag ready to go, children too.
Even if you have the luxury of still being in a car when it gets cold, it won’t help very much once you run out of gasoline. Without a heater you might be protected from the wind, but the cold will assault you from all sides, even the top and the bottom. That would put you in a very vulnerable position. If it was snowing, or you had enough snow laying around to shovel yourself in, not out, you could at least get a little more protection from the elements. But without a heat source it would only be a very temporary solution. That’s why it is doubly important to equip your bug-out bag with winter worthy supplies.
Aside from sweaters, thick socks, a jacket with a removable liner (this way you can adjust it to the climate you’re in), here is a list of things and their use that I’ve included in my bug-out-bags:
- Mylar Blankets – These hi-tech lightweight blankets can be a life saver. They help your body retain its heat. They take up very little space and though they are really hard to refold, they are inexpensive enough to have a few on hand. These would help in the car situation as well. I actually carry a few of these, tucked in my spare, because I don’t want to get caught in the cold without them. Even if it’s just a case of running out of gas or car troubles in winter.
- Emergency Tube Tents – These only hold two people, so make sure you have enough to accommodate the whole family. They protect against rain, wind and snow and can be a true life saver. Even if you find a cave to use as a shelter, you can use the tent to cover the entrance, sealing out the cold and keeping in as much warmth as possible. If you have to hit the road and hike somewhere to get yourself and your family to safety this is a must have in your bug out bag, it’s definitely in mine.
- Emergency Bivvy Sack – Although mylar emergency sleeping bags, that are less expensive and lighter, are available, I have stocked my bug-out bag with bivvy sacks. They are warmer and more durable than the thin mylar bags. After all, you don’t know if you are prepping for short term or long term emergency conditions.
- Hand Warmers – These chemical, friction activated, packets are also a must have. Not only in your bug out bag…you should keep some in the trunk of your car in winter. It’s hard to get your hands warm once they’re cold. Shoving one of these into your gloves and socks can prevent hands and feet from getting too cold while you’re looking for shelter.
- Polyethylene Foam – This is something that’s used to pack things and comes in large rolls. Lightweight, it’s a great insulation to use under your bivvy sack or when sitting down in the cold. I’ve folded 6’ long pieces for each adult family member and a 5’ long pieces for each of the children in half and then rolled them tightly, securing them with 2 rubber bands. I have them wedged under the top flap of the bug out bags.
- Insulated Bottles – When you’re out in the cold you want to make sure your water doesn’t freeze. You can avoid this by using insulated bottles. The other plus, the warmer the water you drink, the more heat your body will be able to retain.
This is what I’ve come up with so far. I’m sure there’s a lot more I will be able to add to this list in the future, and I will be as I think of other things to prepare for. If this helps you and yours to stay warmer for a little longer then I’ve accomplished what I set out to do. Stay warm my friends!
Written by: Naomi Broderick
She’s the mother of three and a professional writer for ADT, Odessa, Texas. She spends her free time wrestling with the kids, writing or prepping for disasters, or resting from all of it. Phew!
Long-Distance Business Travel and Crisis Preparedness
I don’t know what the future holds. Nor, in reality, do the elite in Washington, Brussels or Beijing. Despite the hubris of the planners, the law of unintended consequences, as well as just “plain ol” human error and ineptitude, will never allow man to create utopia, [...]
Long-Distance Business Travel and Crisis Preparedness
I don’t know what the future holds. Nor, in reality, do the elite in Washington, Brussels or Beijing. Despite the hubris of the planners, the law of unintended consequences, as well as just “plain ol” human error and ineptitude, will never allow man to create utopia, any more than a man can pull on his own bootstraps and lift himself up to Heaven. We may be fortunate enough to see a renaissance in the West, much like what Reagan and Thatcher brought to light. However, there are other indicators that do not bode well: For example, you may wish to review Reinhart and Rogarth’s book This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, on the utterly crushing nature of what out-of control debt can do to an economy and society that allowed it. Or perhaps google work by Dr. Lawrence Kotlikoff of Boston University, who has noted that if all unfunded liabilities in the U.S. were totaled, we are looking at not $16 trillion-ish reddish ink (now up to $17 trillion since I first began drafting this!), but actually $222 trillion. Do you really think this can be paid back?
Or perhaps you may wish to consider the latest figure for derivatives – the estimated numbers are too large for comprehension – what Warren Buffett famously called “weapons of financial mass destruction.” In another realm, most of us are aware of the encroachment of a state that has gone feral in many ways, such as the disgusting Agenda 21, or the establishment of an Orwellian “war is peace” approach to world politics by the current administration. The threat of EMP – man-made or natural – exists, whether we wish it weren’t so or not. In sum, the powers that be have far too many spinning plates in the air, and at one point it seems more than likely that at least some of them will come crashing down. Indeed, with 48 million people now on food stamps under Obama, and 100 million not working, I would contend many of those plates – and lives – already lie smashed on the ground.
Like me, many of you may not be able to move for a wide variety of reasons. You are stuck where you are, and with the destruction of the economy by Obama, you are also just glad to have the job you do, in fact, have. And your job requires travel. I needn’t bore you with further potential threats – you already know them, or you wouldn’t be reading this; and to that end, most of you have already engaged in some level of preparedness. I have done preparedness as well – but one thing I have seen very little commentary on is what to do when one is away from home more than a couple hundred miles for business. For example, I live in the Chicago area, and twice in the past month I had to travel 2,000 miles away to the People’s Socialist Republik of California (not that corrupt Illinois is much different). And in fact, as I compose this article, I am a thousand miles from my own home and family – this time in the other direction, on the East Coast. What would I do if, e.g., a Carrington level event were to occur, or another 9/11 attack? What if Yellowstone had a volcanic burp of geologic indigestion? You can fill in the blank as to the event – my concern is: what preparations and/or actions could one engage in to get home or at least ameliorate the plight of loved ones remaining at home.
Here are a few considerations:
A Communication Plan: There has been ample information written in many preparedness sites about family communication plans. Most I have seen are well done, but focus on someone who works, say, downtown, and needs to make it home to the suburbs. As this topic – getting home when one is relatively local - has been adequately dealt with, I will not deal with this issue here. Most of the information I have seen is well done, and by all means extrapolate as much of this as you can to your far away from home plans. However, for example, having a rallying point for the kids won’t help you, personally, much when you are across the country and cannot shepherd this. Of course, having pre-set plans and communication protocols with your wife or other family will be an advantage if you are near or very far away. However, this topic – as noted above – has been dealt with very ably at other preparedness sites, and needn’t be repeated here.
For the purposes of this article on business travel, I will assume one is within North America, ex-Hawaii or Alaska. I do this not to short-shrift people who travel to Europe or Asia, but simply restricting the scope of this article will comprise the vast majority of the business travelers. There will, of course, be much more profound logistical realities to attend to should one be overseas during a major crisis, which are also beyond the scope of this paper. So, with this in mind, here are some practical considerations.
Time Is Critical: After an event, it may be several days before the magnitude of the crisis sinks in psychologically; this is time that shouldn’t be wasted. For example, after 9/11, when all airlines were shut down, there still were cars to be rented for a very short window of time. The goal is to be responsive. Studies show that many people go into a slight catatonia during a crisis (think of those that refused to evacuate the Word Trade Center during 9/11; another example the story of the MV Estonia that sank in the 1990s, going between Estonia and Sweden, costing 852 lives. One of the few who lived recalled running past one passenger who had simply lit up a cigarette, and refused to budge when urged to do so. You must act in a situation that demands it, even if it seems forced and mechanical; at the same time, doing the wrong thing at the wrong time may make the situation worse. So, what is the answer to the twin horns of this dilemma? Having pre-thought out plans, insofar as you are able to analyze potential dangers.
Play “What if” Games: One problem with preparedness is that it can become an all-consuming obsession. You may have the time, money and/or mental CPU cycles to ruminate on issues and solutions. You may be a natural MacGyver. On the other hand, like many of you, I am not MacGyver, and I have precious few mental CPU cycles to spare. I also have a day job, which generally bleeds over into all kinds of weekend and evening hours, as do many of you. All I am advocating is a high level reflection on possible actions at your disposal as you have downtime in your travel or leisure time (what little you have!). For example, during my trip to LA, what might I have been able to do in, e.g., an EMP situation? If a worse case EMP scenario occurred, there may be no vehicular mobility at all. But what if an EMP left some vehicles running? Or in a 9/11 situation, what if private, small airplanes were left free to take off? As a matter of fact, back in my hitch-hiking days, more than one person I knew would go out to small airports, and simply hang around and ask for rides from pilots of single engine Piper Cubs or Cessnas. The same might apply to marinas – say going from Miami to Boston. A long shot? Of course. But the key here is not this specific solution, but rather the “outside the box” approach to solving the dilemma.
Determine Places To Avoid: If I were in Toronto, and needed to get to Chicago, I would not want to go through Detroit. Have a mental map in your mind of alternative routes you might take. If you are geographically challenged, this might involve nothing more than taking a 15 second glance at a Rand-McNally atlas. Can you risk going from LA to Denver through the Mojave if your travel arrangements are unreliable? Similarly, where possible, you may wish to familiarize yourself with parts of the city you are in that are questionable. Taxi drivers, concierges, co-workers – all can be sources of information here.
When You Simply Cannot Make It Home: The worst case scenario has taken place. You are in San Francisco, and an EMP has taken out ALL conveyances – trains, planes, automobiles – and everything else. To prepare for an eventuality like this, do you have neighbors or family you can confidentially discuss your concerns with? Have you left your family with enough barterable items to see them through in your absence? You may not have enough money for all the preparations you would like, but have you done as much as you are able? For example, do you own “junk” silver (pre-1965) silver coins? As a matter of fact, recall in the early 1970′s that gas was in the low 30 cent range – and in fact it still is today – if you pay in silver coins. Similarly, have you put simple cash away? Perhaps the crisis is just a Lehman-style meltdown, leading to a bank holiday, while you are away. Of course, readers of this article will be well aware that they should have a minimum of food and water on hand. Certainly, even if you are challenged, a few gallons of spring water, a number of cans of tuna and some bags of lentil are not expensive, and everyone should be able to afford a minimum expenditure for these.
Neighbors: Do you have neighbors you can trust to discuss the matter with? If this family also has a business traveler, can you work out some quid pro quo – if he is gone, you would pick up the slack in his absence, and vice-versa. There is risk here in that the counterparty might not be reliable, but this is a judgment only you can make. Alternatively, many will have family local, which may be even better.
Concentric Circles: For some time, I worked approximately 50 miles from home – a very long day’s hike. In this case, I planned to purchase a collapsible bicycle on Amazon. I would not have felt comfortable bringing it into the workplace, given the “government will take care of me” attitudes most exhibited there. For defense while in transit, pepper spray, or another spray of your choice – is in order, and certainly making sure that water and some food is available in transit is important. I would suggest panniers (small bags that attach to your bicycle), or at minimum a cheap backpack, to allow carrying of enough supplies to make it home.
I have also spent some time working in Lansing, MI, Pittsburg, PA and Columbus OH – between 300 and 400 miles from home. What would I do in a grid down (or similar) situation? In this situation, I was gone Mon.-Fri., renting a place during weekdays. Yes, driving, finding a ride if my car was inoperable, using a train, etc., are all obvious first choices. But what if those choices are gone? What if the major interstates are blocked? Again, my first choice would be having access to a bicycle, with ability to carry the rudiments for several days of trekking cross-country. What kind of shape are you in? A reasonably fit person should be able to do about 100 miles/day. In the case above, this would put me three to four days out from home, assuming no mishaps, delays, or the like. Should I attempt it? In a 9/11 situation, the risk of travelling would have been low (e.g., no civil disturbances en route), but the need to get home was also low – there was no serious risk to my family if I were absent. Whether you go or stay is a judgment call – but which criteria you need to make in the clear light of day ahead of a crisis – not during the emergency, when the “fog of war” clouds judgment. In the situations above, if it were winter, I would not be able to go – I have bicycled on snow more than once, and one does not make much headway! Hypothermia would also quickly kill in winter – even if one was warm while riding, as soon as one stopped, the sweat would quickly chill, and be a serious threat to life. Of course, if one were adequately prepared, with polypropylene, breathable garments, there was no snow on the road, a good set of panniers on one’s bike, no sign of civil unrest on your selected route, etc., then it could possibly be advisable to set out. Again, some of this will necessarily be a judgment call, and the extent of preparations you make to take advantage of situations that may be low probability, but have high risk associated. This truly is not much different from the calculations you make to purchase life, fire or auto insurance – how much should you insure for? What do I stand to lose if I don’t insure against an admittedly low probability occurrence? Clearly, unless you are a wealthy Hollywood Learjet leftist, you don’t have the money to insure against everything; on the other hand, you do have some money to insure against certain risks.
The key issue here is not to lay out all possible scenarios here – you don’t want to read a hundred page paper on this, nor do I wish to write it! Rather, the goal is to lay out some possible problems, and get you, dear reader, to start reflecting your own personalized solutions that will be somewhat unique to your own, individual situation. This includes such disparate things as whether there are children at home – and how old; how safe a neighborhood one has; what type of neighbors one has relative to their own preparedness, and if you have had time to have a heart to heart with them about your – and their – travel schedules; the degree of involvement one’s wife has in preparedness, as well as how adaptable she is to emergency situations… and more.
Friends, Family, Acquaintances In Target Area: Who do you know in, or around, the area, you will be? Have you kept in touch – or do you need to re-connect? Do you have addresses and phone numbers? Do you have them written down, in case there were an event knocking out electronics? Of course, as with everything else noted here, you need to conduct your own analysis. If your analysis is that you think losing electronic information is virtually impossible, then (in this example) written addresses would not be part of your plan.
If you are working in a given location long-term, or regularly travel to a given city, could you make arrangements ahead of time with someone, perhaps for some kind of initial retainer? Of course, the critical issue would be judging if the person you trusted were worthy of that trust – but recall that this type of decision is one you have to make every day in business, as well! For me, the first place I would look to make an arrangement like that would be the church. Alternatively, some of the “prepper” sites allow exchange of information, and you might be able to negotiate some kind of quid pro quo with someone who understands the threats.
Gold And Silver Coins: I routinely bring one or two half ounce gold coins on my trips. I have never once had a problem leaving them in my computer case or briefcase. As you can imagine, they are never out of my sight. If you are concerned about the TSA spotting gold coins, leave a bit of loose change in with your case to throw them off the scent. Worst case, you can tell them you always bring it as your lucky charm. In the event that I am thousands of miles from home – say, LA, and need to get to Chicago – and there is limited transportation – a gold coin may just be the literal ticket home. Having two half ounce, or several quarter ounce coins, will provide greater flexibility, of course. Valcambi has recently come out with a gold wafer that will break into 1 gram sections, which is another option. And if there were no traffic on the road at all, the coins would still buy me food and perhaps some small roof over my head. Cash, you say? Mais oui! The problem with cash is that there always seems to come up situations that require “dipping in” to those reserves. If you can absolutely manage to not do this (I cannot!), that is a great solution. Otherwise, precious metals are a better option. As a side note, silver would not be valuable enough to be worth its weight when travelling, and platinum would not be as immediately recognizable to the common person. Stick with gold in half or quarter ounce size, and in a recognizable form (eagles, maple leafs, kruggerands or possibly several others).
Long Term Absence: Almost too horrible to contemplate, but what if I was in LA, and my home was in NY – and needed to get cross-country, in a total grid and transportation down situation? Assuming I have made preparation for my family, as noted above, striking out cross-country on a kamikaze mission would serve no one any good. Rather, for the time being, the goal would be to stay alive and bide one’s time, looking for an opportunity to return home. The key here is not only barterable items – and gold has been the very choice for this reason for thousands of years – but also to have barterable skills. Do you have one? Even a strong back might earn one’s keep in a serious societal crisis. Have you reviewed what you could do in a situation like this?
In conclusion, the goal of preparedness is not to obsess over potential catastrophes. Rather, if one has done one’s due diligence, then you should have greater peace of mind as you set out for your business trip. For those of us of the Christian faith, preparedness is also not to deny that a sovereign God will look after us. However, we have been given a brain and common sense for a reason, and we need to use it. We have been told to pay attention to the times and seasons – here, this passage is specifically in regards to the return of the Lord, but I believe we can extrapolate this call to all areas of life. The ultimate goal of preparedness is to be able to live a life not in fear, as one has done all that one was able to do in good conscience, and leave the rest in God’s capable hands.
What do you think? If this paper does nothing else, hopefully it will engender some responses as to other things that can be done relative to business travel. Please comment!
It is a pretty common stereotype to picture preppers as 50-year-old men hiding out in bunkers with a bunch of guns and ammo. Shows on tv that focus on these types of extremists as well as news reports about people labeled as preppers who have committed crimes haven’t helped to negate this stereotype either. The [...]
It is a pretty common stereotype to picture preppers as 50-year-old men hiding out in bunkers with a bunch of guns and ammo. Shows on tv that focus on these types of extremists as well as news reports about people labeled as preppers who have committed crimes haven’t helped to negate this stereotype either. The truth of the matter is, however, that you don’t have to be preparing for doomsday or the destruction of mankind to be a prepper. In fact, if any of these traits sound like you, you may be a prepper too.
1. You Invest in Food Storage
While most of us don’t have five or ten year’s worth of food tucked away, due to national disasters, such as hurricane Sandy, the value of having more than a day’s worth of food on hand has become more prominent. In fact, FEMA, the federal disaster recovery agency, encourages everyone to have food storage since the agency can’t help everyone immediately after a disaster occurs. Do you consciously maintain two weeks worth of your regular food items on hand “just in case?” Do you have a closet full of non perishables for those times you can’t get food from the store? If this is the case, you are probably a prepper.
2. You Participate in Self-Sustaining Practices
When your electric heater went out that one winter, did you decide to invest in an alternate heat source or generator in case it ever happened again? Do you make sure to have savings and cash on hand in case you needed to get out of the state quickly? Do you garden? Probably most of us can answer, “yes,” to one of these practices because we don’t want to get stuck in a difficult situation without being able to help ourselves. After all, you probably also carry extra water when you drive across the desert, or make sure you have a coat when driving in freezing temperatures.
3. Emergency Preparedness
Preppers are big on emergency preparedness, whether it’s taking a CPR class, learning first aid or having a plan for when an emergency occurs. These people may have an emergency kit with all of the essentials that they can quickly grab and go. They also invest in equipment, such as water pumps, radios or solar ovens. Many preppers also have additional skills due to their background in mechanics, scouting, fire fighting or the military.
4. You Volunteer
Do neighbors turn to you when a tree falls down in their yard, or are you the first to show up to help clean a neighborhood town? Do you like to share your knowledge or resources with those in need? Have you ever volunteered as a firefighter or nurse? Then you just might be a prepper. Due to their extra preparedness, preppers are often the best equipped to help out when a disaster strikes, since everyone else will be scraping to survive and waiting for help at that point.
5. You Value Self Reliance
Cooking from scratch, grinding your own wheat, learning how to make soap or knowing how to sew may seem like hobbies, but they are also a form of self reliance. Almost everyone who has gone camping has also learned some form of self reliance: building a fire, staying warm without a heater, cooking without a microwave. Other common practices, such as living within your means, eliminating debt and gardening are all forms of self reliance that leave you better prepared for when disaster strikes.
While there are many stigmas and negative impressions that surround the label of being a prepper, it is by no means a negative thing. You are only as crazy as you make yourself and if being prepared to survive things that are inevitable makes me crazy, then lock me up in a padded room. Who will be the crazy ones when something happens and they don’t know how they will survive?
Be Ready, Be Safe: Top Earthquake Preparedness Tips for Canadian Homeowners
In the run of a year, Canada experiences approximately 3,500 earthquakes. Unfortunately, earthquakes do not only damage property but take lives as well. Fortunately, there are some ways to prepare for such disasters. To help keep your home and family safe, here are tips [...]
Be Ready, Be Safe: Top Earthquake Preparedness Tips for Canadian Homeowners
In the run of a year, Canada experiences approximately 3,500 earthquakes. Unfortunately, earthquakes do not only damage property but take lives as well. Fortunately, there are some ways to prepare for such disasters. To help keep your home and family safe, here are tips for Canadian homeowners:
What to Do Before an Earthquake
1. Prepare an emergency kit.
To prepare for the worst, you should always have a disaster kit handy to deal with any situation. Your kit should include everything from water to copies of your health and identification cards. If you have any pets in the household, you should also prepare an emergency kit for them as well. Special consideration should also be given to the needs of family members with medical conditions or the elderly.
2. Come up with an emergency plan and practice it regularly.
To ensure that everyone knows what to do during an earthquake, it is essential that everyone in the household becomes familiar with safe spots and what to do if the worst should happen. Once you have a plan in place, practicing it regularly well help everyone (especially children) more effectively deal with a crisis. Ongoing practice of an emergency plan also makes the reaction to an emergency more of a natural response.
3. Secure your belongings.
To prepare for an earthquake, you should take the necessary steps to secure your belongings. For example, you should avoid placing heavy objects in high areas where they can fall down and cause injury. If you have pictures and mirrors on the wall, you should ensure that they are secured with strong hooks to prevent them from falling down as well. Appliances and large pieces of furniture should also be secured to avoid injury.
While securing your valuables, it is handy to take inventory as you go along. If you later need to make a claim, you will have the necessary details required for the process. Specialist companies like BrokerLink are ready to help you find insurance solutions for your particular needs.
What to Do During an Earthquake
1. Take cover.
Many valuable disaster resources, including the Pocket Guide to Emergencies, state for people to immediately drop, cover, and hold on as soon as the shaking starts. If you are near sturdy furniture such as tables, you should crawl under the piece and hold onto the legs. If you are not fortunate enough to be near sturdy furniture, you can press yourself along, or crouch down against, an interior wall. An interior doorway can also provide structural protection to occupants during an earthquake.
2. Stay away from glass objects and tall furniture.
During earthquakes, glass can easily shatter and furniture can fall over. To avoid injury, you should try to avoid staying near glass windows, furniture with glass panels, mirrors, bookshelves, and light fixtures.
What to Do After an Earthquake
1. Prepare for aftershocks.
After an earthquake, the area may be hit again by aftershocks (smaller earthquakes that follow large earthquakes). In some cases, the aftershocks may actually be larger than the actual earthquake, so it is very important that you still remain vigilant even after the initial disaster.
2. Evacuate your home if you feel that the structure is unsafe.
If your home’s integrity has been compromised or you suspect that there is gas leak, you should immediately evacuate the home.
3. Call 9-1-1.
Once you are able to, you should call 9-1-1 to report what happened and get the assistance you need. If you need assistance while in the home, you can place a “HELP” sign in your window to attract attention.
Experiencing an earthquake is sure to change the way you look at the world. Fortunately, by following these tips and being prepared, you can best protect your home and family.
About The Author
John Wilber is a retired weatherman and grandfather of seven. He now enjoys spending his time helping others be safer by posting his informative articles online.
When it comes to food storage, some folks ask “Is it really necessary?” But recent events in the United States and around the globe are evidence to the fact that, sometimes, things just happen that are beyond our control. Take Hurricane Sandy, for example. Surely, the locals didn’t expect to endure such a trying disaster [...]
When it comes to food storage, some folks ask “Is it really necessary?” But recent events in the United States and around the globe are evidence to the fact that, sometimes, things just happen that are beyond our control. Take Hurricane Sandy, for example. Surely, the locals didn’t expect to endure such a trying disaster in the months leading up to the horrific event. Many endured losing everything they had. Others were forced to evacuate as soon as possible. But all involved experienced a level of uncertainty and instability.
Perhaps you are saying to yourself “That is a horrible disaster, but something like that will never happen where I live.” Maybe not, but maybe so. The fact is that many things are simply out of our control. Natural disasters seem to hit with increasing frequency these days. Do you want to be unprepared if you are forced to stay at home for days on end?
Let’s consider a few other situations where a food storage supply would certainly come in handy. First, with the economy like it is, many have been left without work or means of supporting their families. This has meant hungry little ones and frustrations at every turn. Or what about those who suddenly experience the loss of a loved one who has previously provided for them? Or even a loved one who can no longer work due to an accident of some sort?
The fact is that things happen in life that we just cannot control. But we can control how much we prepare for certain events, which includes obtaining a food storage supply. So while some claim it is not really important, others know it just might be the difference between life and death.
So what are some essential items to have in your food storage? Very simply, you need to include all the basics that will sustain human life and keep you healthy. These basics include grains, legumes, dehydrated milk, sugar, salt, oil, and garden seeds. Also, you’d be smart to get items that last a long time and that you really enjoy eating. If a disaster ever struck, you’d be grateful you did. In addition to food, it should go without saying that you need a pretty solid water supply. Some recommend having a gallon for each person per day (but as you don’t know just how long the emergency might last, it’s a great idea to store quite a bit). You can purchase bottled water or large storage containers from emergency essential stores.
A quick note: You don’t need to run out and buy your food storage all at once. In fact, doing so can be a bad idea, as it is a lot harder to rotate properly. Buy items every week or month, depending on your budget, so you always have a rotating storage that will sustain your family in the event of an emergency. As the saying goes “Better safe than sorry.” Food storage is not a paranoid measure for those who just like to worry and expect the worst, it is a precautionary measure that can save your life. As some say, once the event has occurred, the time for preparation is long gone.
Lee Flynn is a freelance writer and food storage advocate.
6 Appropriate Measures On How To Deal With Disaster Emergencies
No matter how prepared we think we are for a disaster, we are never as fully prepared as we should be. Dealing with an emergency should help us to fine tune for the next time. Here are some ways to begin dealing with an unexpected turn of events and getting life back to normal.
By: Highways Agency
1. Emotional Toll
Emotional tolls when dealing with devastating events can often be even more traumatic than the loss of a home, school, or even a family member. We get lost in reliving events that are catastrophic in lieu of dealing with recovery. Things can be replaced. People can’t. Everyone who has been in a natural disaster of any kind has their own perspective of the situation. Sharing this perspective will help others to deal with their own feelings. Anger, frustration, grief and feelings of sadness are all a normal part of dealing with a catastrophic event.
2. Talk It Over
Decades ago it was unheard of to ever speak of the deceased. Today, we know that it’s important to talk about that person, their life and what they accomplished. Why? Because it helps us to process what happened and it helps us to deal with the emotional trauma of the situation. Talking out our feelings of loss whether it be a loved one, a friend or even a building, will help us to process the situation and better begin living life in a normal fashion again.
3. Working Together As A Community
We see it every day on commercials, a community working together as a community. Many go into foreign countries to help people help themselves. Just as these folks are doing, it’s important to work together as a community to rebuild and clean up after a storm or disaster. Work with neighbors to retrieve salvageable items. Work together to find safe drinking water.
4. Maintain A Normal Routine
Establishing and maintaining a normal routine are important keys for returning life to normal after a disaster strikes. The more normal you can make life the sooner your family will start the recovery process. Eat your meals at the same times as you always have. Prepare a comfortable sleeping area even if you are in emergency shelters. Maintain any family routines if at all possible in order to re-establish the normal balance of life.
5. Restock Supplies
Once the crisis is over, it’s important to remember to restock all supplies that were utilized during the situation. While restocking, one should also consider what may have been helpful to have had on hand prior to or during an emergency, but wasn’t and stock those items as well.
6. Avoid These Coping Mechanisms
Many turn to drugs, alcohol and other poor choices in behaivor in order to cope with a difficult situation. These choices only make the situation worse, take a toll on your body, waste money and give those around you even more to deal with. Avoid these behaviors at all costs. They aren’t helpful to anyone involved.
Following these measures will help to return the normal balance of your life and help others to restore their normal balance of life as well.
Michael has been working in safety supplies and emergency kits industry for more than five years. As a product manager for EDisasterSystems, he knows his merchandise and all the requirements from OSHA. He likes to write and share his ideas about the importance of safety and emergency prevention.
Emergency preparedness includes getting ready just in case a natural disaster occurs. Because there may be power outages and dangerous conditions outside, local stores won’t be able to help feed you or your family. This will cause a need for food storage plans in order to survive until things are normal again.
Emergency preparedness includes getting ready just in case a natural disaster occurs. Because there may be power outages and dangerous conditions outside, local stores won’t be able to help feed you or your family. This will cause a need for food storage plans in order to survive until things are normal again.
Basic Ways to Prepare for a Natural Disaster with Survival Food
To truly be ready for natural disasters, you’ll need to prepare your emergency food storage to ensure healthy survival:
- Seasonings – When preparing meals, you’ll need to season your foods. Some natural seasonings include salt, honey and sugar. All three have indefinite shelf lives when stored in sealed, waterproof packaging and containers.
- Cooking Oils – Vegetable, corn, canola and olive oils are important ingredients when preparing roux for thickening your gumbos, sauces, soups and stews. They also come in handy for frying foods and greasing pans for baking foods.
- Baking Goods – Be sure to add baking mixes, flours, baking powder and baking soda to your food storage. These ingredients are necessities when making baked goods such as pastries. They can also be used to prepare pastries that don’t require baking. These goods usually have a one year shelf life.
- Starchy Foods – These foods provide carbohydrates, which are vital to healthy eating. Dry cereals are edible without milk. Or, you can eat them with canned milk, boxed milk, a milk alternative or powdered milk. Powdered potatoes contain a natural amount of carbohydrates to add to your emergency meals. Also, pastas and rice are starchy foods with very long shelf lives.
- Dehydrated Vegetables – Dehydrated onions, mushrooms and other vegetables have the same nutritious value as their fresh forms. These veggies, as well as soup bases and gravy mixes are useful for creating full course meals after a natural disaster. They can also be used to give your prepared foods some well-needed seasoning.
- Canned Foods – These are a favorite among savvy survivalists. Canned goods have extremely long shelf lives. They’re also great during emergency situations because the foods can be eaten out of the can without any cooking whatsoever. Cans are generally strong enough to survive most natural disasters. The liquids from many canned foods is great for giving your other foods a little seasoning.
- Freeze Dried Meats, Vegetables, Fruits, Starchy Foods and Desserts – Freeze dried food is another favorite emergency food for ninja survivalists. These foods have a 25-year shelf life. And, the flash freezing process essentially freezes the natural flavors, textures, colors, shapes and nutritional values in time. So, you don’t have to worry about your family going hungry because the foods just don’t look or taste right.
This article was written by Dirk Puckett for DailyBread.com. Need tips for incorporating freeze dried food into your food insurance plan? Visit FoodInsurance.com to see how to prepare your emergency food for a natural disaster today?
The following is a guest post that outlines some of the specific concerns for storage facilities when it comes to disaster preparedness. This is important information for both business operators and customers alike. For many preppers, storage facilities offer an opportunity to store preparedness items strategically at remote locations such as bug out [...]
The following is a guest post that outlines some of the specific concerns for storage facilities when it comes to disaster preparedness. This is important information for both business operators and customers alike. For many preppers, storage facilities offer an opportunity to store preparedness items strategically at remote locations such as bug out locations or along evacuation routes.
Disaster Preparedness of Storage Facilities
by Lauren Addis
Storage facilities are always planning to foresee disasters and be prepared for them. Storage facilities are secure places where you can store your precious durables or belongings, with peace of mind. Disaster management is an important aspect of storage facilities. The more secure your facility is, the more customers your facility can expect to serve.
Many storage facilities develop a threat plan, in order to avoid any bustle at the time of disasters. Threat plans depend on numerous factors. Some of them are:
Secure From Terror Attacks or Plots
Storage items should always be checked as a person may store ammunitions, chemicals etc. in their storage unit. To avoid such situations, proper data entry should be made of all the storage materials. Anyone working suspiciously in their storage locker with fumes or smoke should be questioned. Their identity should be crosschecked with the address mentioned in their identity proofs. A person may sound suspicious if:
- They are overly concerned about their storage locker.
- Burns or marks often appear on their body.
- They pay advance payments for a longer period of time.
Precautionary measures should always be taken:
- Dumpsters should be checked often for suspicious materials.
- Fumes and smoke from a storage unit are to be reported on sight.
- Proper patrolling by personnel.
Storage facilities should be fireproof. Fire may occur in the facility due to:
- Short circuiting
- Use of inflammable materials in the storage facility, etc.
A facility should always keep handy numbers of the mutual aid, voluntary and private sector organizations assisting in fire control. FiReControl, England’s national fire and rescue Emergency Response Infrastructure uses proven incident response management solutions from Intergraph. It uses software developed by the firm that assists in taking precautionary measures, and build up a fire protection plan.
Earthquakes, Floods, & Cyclones
Earthquakes, floods and cyclones may cause damage to the security facility if no planning is done against them. Some of the precautions include:
- For earthquakes, earthquake resistant structures should be built.
- Engineering experts are to be consulted before construction.
- Roofs not allowing building of pressure differences are preferable in case of cyclones.
- Facilities near sea shores or big streams are endangered by floods.
There are numerous software assisting in protection from earthquakes, floods, cyclones etc. The significant one is HAZUS. This software helps in powerful risk assessment methodology for analyzing potential losses from floods, hurricane, and earthquakes. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology is used to estimate physical, economic, and social impacts of disasters.
There are numerous other small things that are to be kept in mind.
- Earthing should be done for protection from lightning.
- Sensors or Alarms if used can enhance the security of storage facilities.
- Cleanliness is of prime importance.
- The walls should be secure.
Security of storage units is of prime concern, as these facilities are used by lots of people. Self storage facilities in London are highly secure facilities, setting an example for other facilities. Storage is becoming a trend these days, the industry is booming and with advancements new challenges are opening up for existing players.
Author Bio: Lauren Addis is a professional writer. She has years of experience in storage services. She is very expressive and always wants to share her professional experience with her audience. She regularly writes Guest post about storage services. She loves to spend her time with family and friends.
Survival and preparedness is not limited to one scenario. The only balanced approach to prepping includes a myriad of preps that encompass a wide range of potential and likely scenarios. In addition to the natural and man-made disasters that occur on the earth, there are also emergencies that happen in the air on a daily [...]
Survival and preparedness is not limited to one scenario. The only balanced approach to prepping includes a myriad of preps that encompass a wide range of potential and likely scenarios. In addition to the natural and man-made disasters that occur on the earth, there are also emergencies that happen in the air on a daily basis. This has become even more prevalent as air travel has expanded over the years. In addition to those that operate aircraft, the information outlined here can be a useful primer for putting together a survival kit of your own regardless of the intended use. Aviation Life Support Equipment is also a consideration of particular importance if choosing to bug out using an aircraft.
The following information is extracted from the United States Department of the Interior, Aviation Life Support Equipment Handbook.
Survival following an aircraft mishap requires (1) the desire to survive, (2) training, (3) survival items carried with you or available from the aircraft, and (4) use of environmental resources. When constructing a personal “survival kit” consider what would be practical, comfortable, and of the highest priority (fire and signal) during an unexpected survival situation.
NOTE: Aircraft accident experience has shown that survival equipment carried on your person is often the only equipment available to the survivors.
PERSONAL SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT
The following equipment listed is the minimum recommended to enhance your chances of survival. Weather, terrain, and environment should be considered when developing your personal survival kit.
Personal Survival Items – Survival items carried in a personal survival vest, clothing, or flight suit pockets are:
- Fire Starter (Can be two boxes of matches in waterproof containers, “metal match” etc.)
- Laser Rescue Light or Key Chain LED Light
- Signal Mirror
- Knife or Tool Containing a Knife Blade
- Water Purification Tablets
- Sealing Clear Plastic Bag(s)
- Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)
- 360/720/760-Channel VHF-AM Radio Transceiver or Satellite Telephone
Personal First Aid Items – In addition to personal survival items, consider the following medial items to be personally carried:
- Adhesive Bandages – Elastic Knit – 1″ X 3″
- Alcohol Towelettes, Individual Foil Pouches
- Handkerchief or Bandana
- Adhesive Tape, Waterproof
- Aspirin or Acetaminophen
- Compress Bandage, 4″ (Quantity – 4)
AIRCRAFT SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT
Aircraft Survival Kit – These are the minimum required items for all DOI (Department of the Interior) flight activities:
- Fire Starter (Can be two boxes of matches in waterproof containers, “metal match” etc.)
- Magnesium Fire Starter
- Laser Rescue Light
- Signal Mirror
- One Knife (Includes “Multi-Tools” With Knives)
- Wire Saw, Axe, Hatchet, or Machete
- Nylon Rope or Parachute Cord (50 Feet, Minimum 1/8 Inch [3mm] Thick)
- Collapsible Water Container (Sealing Clear Plastic Bag(s))
- Water Purification Tablets
- Water (One quart per occupant required except when operating over areas without adequate drinking water.)
- Food (Two days emergency rations per occupant, with a caloric value of 1,000 calories per day.)
- At least one of the following shall be in the aircraft: Automated Flight Following System, Satellite Phone, 406 MHz Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) with GPS or Aircraft-Mounted 406 MHz ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitter), Handheld UHF or VHF Radio
In addition, recommended items to consider depending on environmental factors:
- Flashlight with Spare Batteries, Chemical Light Sticks, or LED Light
- Signal Flares (Consider fusees and road flares for starting fires in any weather condition.)
- Signal Panels
- Large Plastic Trash Bags
- Collapsible Shovel
- Insect Repellant (Can be used for fire starter.)
- Sleeping Bag (One bag per two people.)
- Survival Manual or Guide
In the event that an aircraft is to operate in Alaska, the following is required per Alaska Statute 02.35.110, Emergency Rations and Equipment which states that, “no airman may take a flight inside the State with an aircraft unless emergency equipment is carried as follows:
The following minimum equipment must be carried during summer months:
- Rations for each occupant to sustain life for one week.
- One Axe or Hatchet
- One First Aid Kit
- An assortment of tackle such as hooks, flies, lines, and sinkers.
- One Knife
- Fire Starter
- One mosquito headnet for each occupant.
- Two small signaling devices such as colored smoke bombs, railroad fusees, or Very pistol shells (Flare Gun) in sealed metal containers.
In addition to the above, the following must be carried as minimum equipment from October 15 to April 1 of each year:
- One Pair of Snowshoes
- One Sleeping Bag
- One wool blanket or equivalent for each occupant over 4 years of age.
NOTE: Operators of multi-engine aircraft licensed to carry more than 15 passengers need carry only the food, mosquito nets, and signaling equipment at all times other than the period from October 1 to April 1 of each year, when two sleeping bags and one blanket for every two passengers must also be carried. All of the above requirements as to emergency rations and equipment are considered to be minimum requirements that are to remain in full force and effect, except as further safety measures may be from time to time imposed by the State of Alaska.
Aircraft operating within Canadian airspace must also comply with Canadian Aviation Regulations, VI, subpart 2, 602.61 Survival Equipment – Flights Over Land, which states:
(1) Subject to subsection (2), no person shall operate an aircraft over land unless there is carried on board survival equipment, sufficient for the survival on the ground of each person on board, given the geographical area, the season of the year and anticipated seasonal climatic variations, that provides the means for:
- Starting A Fire
- Providing Shelter
- Providing or Purifying Water
- Visually Signaling Distress
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of:
- A balloon, a glider, a hang glider, a gyroplane or an ultra-light aeroplane.
- An aircraft that is operated within 25 nautical miles of the aerodrome or departure and that has the capability of radio communication with surface-based radio station for the duration of the flight.
- A multi-engined aircraft that is operated south of 66° 30′ north latitude in IFR flight within controlled airspace or along designated air routes.
- An aircraft that is operated by an air operator, where the aircraft is equipped with equipment specified in the air operator’s company operations manual, but not with the equipment required by subsection (1).
- An aircraft that is operated in a geographical area where and at a time of year when the survival of the persons on board is not jeopardized.
NOTE: If you plan to carry firearms in an aircraft, included as part of your survival equipment, you must be aware that hand guns and fully automatic weapons are not legal to be carried or worn in Canada. As for any long guns, when entering Canada you must register each firearm with Canadian Customs or face severe penalties if caught.
NOTE: On a related issue, the “flare gun” found in many life rafts and survival kits in not a “firearm,” so do not refer to it as such when asked by Canadian Customs if you have any firearms on board. If the subject comes up, and only if it comes up, you must always refer to it as a “pyrotechnic signaling device” as in “There is a pyrotechnic signaling device in the life raft survival kit in accordance with Canadian, U.S., and international regulations.
AIRCRAFT FIRST AID KIT
The kit items must be stored in a dust-proof and moisture-proof container. It must be readily accessible to the aircraft occupants. Kits are available through commercial sources. The kit’s contents must include the items listed below plus additional equipment appropriate to the route and number of occupants aboard the aircraft.
Aircraft With 0-9 Passenger Seats
- Adhesive Bandage Strips (3″ Long) – 8 Each
- Antiseptic or Alcohol Wipes – 10 Packets
- Bandage Compresses (4″) AKA “Field Dressings” – 2 Each
- Triangular Bandage, 40″ (Sling) – 2 Each
- Roller Bandage, 4″ x 5 Yds (Gauze) – 2 Each
- Adhesive Tape, 1″ x 5 Yds (Standard Roll) – 1 Each
- Bandage Scissors – 1 Pair
- Body Fluids Barrier Kit (2 Pair of Nitrile or Non-Latex Surgical Gloves, 1 Face Shield, 1 Mouth-to-Mouth Barrier, 1 Protective Gown, 2 Antiseptic Towelettes, 1 Biohazard Disposable Bag) – 1 Kit
NOTE: Splints are recommended if space permits.
Aircraft With 10-50 Passenger Seats
- Adhesive Bandage Strips (3″ Long) – 16 Each
- Antiseptic or Alcohol Wipes – 20 Packets
- Bandage Compresses (4″) AKA “Field Dressings” – 4 Each
- Triangular Bandage, 40″ (Sling) – 4 Each
- Roller Bandage, 4″ x 5 Yds (Gauze) – 4 Each
- Adhesive Tape, 1″ x 5 Yds (Standard Roll) – 2 Each
- Bandage Scissors – 1 Pair
- Body Fluids Barrier Kit (2 Pair of Nitrile or Non-Latex Surgical Gloves, 1 Face Shield, 1 Mouth-to-Mouth Barrier, 1 Protective Gown, 2 Antiseptic Towelettes, 1 Biohazard Disposable Bag) – 1 Kit
NOTE: Splints are recommended if space permits.
CAUTION: Avoid storing survival or first aid kits in seaplane float compartments. Kits stored in these compartments are often damaged or inaccessible after an aircraft mishap.
An important consideration to keep in mind when putting together survival kits is that not only can the area of operations make a difference, but the equipment that is being operated should be a consideration when developing these kits as well.
What are you prepared for?
If there is a catastrophic disaster that were to occur right now, many of us would be left with the clothing on our back and whatever is packed into our Bug Out Bag (BOB). With this scenario in mind, a bug out or move to get home begins with what you have on your person. Perhaps the most important of these things in the scenario is the protection that your clothing offers you. Depending on your occupation, hobbies, and habits, the clothing on your back could be a benefit or a burden.
Like the greatest bean dip you ever tasted, the clothing you depend on to survive should be based on a system of layers. Now, I would not recommend wearing onions, sour cream, or guacamole and leaving the bean dip reference only as a way to equate the way that layers can enhance the “flavor” or comfort of your survival situation. Consider the following factors when deciding on what clothing to pack in your bug out bag.
Base Layer – The base layer of clothing consists of undergarments and can vary based on the environmental conditions. During cold weather, additions to the base layer can include thermal underwear and vary in the different weights available. Even in times of warmer weather, a good base layer can be an added benefit during night hours or in an environment such as the mountains where the temperature can differ drastically depending on the time of the day. An important consideration to keep in mind when looking at clothing for your base layer is to employ moisture-wicking technology if it is available. This will pull moisture away from the skin to avoid environmental injuries as well as maximizing comfort.
Intermediate Layer – The intermediate layer will typically consist of standard clothing like pants and shirts. The season of the year will typically determine the needed clothing for a bug out bag. Short as well as long sleeve shirts can be an integral part of the layering strategy, where shorts and pants can also be rotated as the seasons change. Even during the summer months though, it can be beneficial to keep long pants in a bug out bag because of the protection they can offer regardless of whether you may bug out through a rural or urban area.
Outer Layer – Clothing items that fall into the outer layer category are only worn as needed. While outer garments are typically thought of as something that is worn to keep the wearer warm, it is also important to remember pieces of clothing that can assist the wearer during warmer temperatures as well. During hot weather, a hat for example can protect the wearer from getting sun in their eyes as well as a sunburn on the head and neck. In addition to hats, gloves, scarves, coats, rain gear, and snow gear can all be necessary items to include in a BOB.
Versatility – There are several clothing items that have been developed to accomplish multiple purposes with only one garment. Convertible clothing if you will. These are the ideal choices to include in a bug out bag. It will not only minimize the number of items in the bag but will also reduce the total weight as well. Examples of these items that come to mind include pants that have the bottom portion zip off to convert into shorts, long sleeve shirts with sleeves that roll up for more of a short sleeve feel, and jackets that have removable sleeves to become a vest.
Durability – Regardless of the items that are in your BOB, they can be worthless if they are not durable enough to withstand the purpose for which you will use them. The old theory that may apply here is to be frugal but not cheap. Buying the best product that you can afford may, in the end, still cost less than replacing an item over and over because of wear and tear. Look for articles of clothing that are specifically engineered to withstand hard and repetitive use. This is the greatest value for your prepping dollars.
Putting together a BOB can be a daunting task but it is one that can be very rewarding if you ever need it. Make sure that you have the proper clothing to offer function, protection, and a safe arrival back at the ranch.
Ready To Go Survival Encourages Safe Participation in
NYC Gas Tests
NEW YORK, July 16, 2013 – In a city of millions, safety is top priority of the New York Police Department, and they are ready to prove it with their newest study coming to New Yorkers in July. The big question the NYPD wants to answer: If NYC were to experience an airborne terrorist attack or an accidental spill of hazardous chemicals, how would subway system be affected? The city’s subways are the main form of transportation for New Yorkers and tourists, with over 5 million people riding the subways each day, so It’s no surprise the city would want to study how the subway system affects the flow of air above and below ground, if airborne toxins were to be released. So how does the NYPD plan to test this? If you’ve been to particular subway stations in the past few weeks, you may have seen the announcements, but on three (unannounced) separate days in July, scientists from Brookhaven National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory, working in concert with the NYPD, will release invisible and odorless gases in subway stations and at street level in all five boroughs of New York City.
While the gasses are harmless and only for air flow research purposes, there is nothing wrong with taking personal precautions. Fabian Illanes and Roman Zrazhevskiy, co-founders of Ready to Go Survival, a NYC based e-commerce start-up specializing in disaster preparedness, have seen an increase in sales of their NBC (Nuclear, Biological, & Chemical) Systems over the past few weeks and don’t foresee those sales numbers decreasing any time soon. “While it’s the duty of our government to protect its people, they can’t predict the future, so it’s crucial for the public to take responsibility for protecting themselves, and I think people are quickly realizing that,” Illanes explained. “My heart goes out to those affected by the Boston terrorist attacks and, living in New York during 9/11, I feel their pain and the complete shock that comes with events of this nature. I can’t stress enough how important it is to be prepared for anything. So I am glad that the city is taking our safety seriously, and I would encourage each individual to do so as well.”
The NBC System that Ready to Go Survival offers has a SGE 150 Gas Mask with a NATO Gas Filter. These types of masks will be able to provide much better safety, in the event of an airborne toxin, compared to your typical N95 hospital type mask. To show their support for this safety test, Illanes and Zrazhevskiy have been carrying their NBC Systems with them throughout the month of July. “We want to show full support for the NYPD and participate as they carry out these safety tests,” Zrazhevskiy stated. “We want New Yorkers to be safe and prepared and know that there’s nothing taboo about it.”
In the cataclysmic events of the end of the world, even the average civilian would want to keep him or herself thoroughly protected from the intense danger. It’s not just about arming yourself with a weapon, but it’s also important to have efficient body armor for defense. There are plenty of things to consider when [...]
In the cataclysmic events of the end of the world, even the average civilian would want to keep him or herself thoroughly protected from the intense danger. It’s not just about arming yourself with a weapon, but it’s also important to have efficient body armor for defense. There are plenty of things to consider when trying to find the appropriate body armor for you.
The Highest Level of Protection
Being that there are different classes of bullet proof vests, and the lower classes of vests don’t protect against the stronger threats that could be out there, it’s important to get the highest class that’s available to you. Not all bullet proof vest manufacturers will indicate what class their vests are, so it’s important to make sure that it is clearly indicated before you purchase.
In a doomsday war, there is definitely going to be extreme threats that are all around. It’s paramount to keep the head protected in these conditions. A ballistic helmet would be most suitable for this. These helmets are capable of repelling some powerful gunfire, and they come in several different sizes and styles to fit the taste of any wearer.
In the U.S., the best body armor complies with the standards of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). If it does not, then it’s not a good choice to purchase.
Armor for Civilians
Unless you are someone with special connections of some sort, you won’t be able to get the same body armor that law enforcement and military personnel have. The armor that a regular person can buy is limited, but there is still a nice selection to choose from. My friends at SafeGuard Clothing offer a range of civilian body armors online so don’t panic, we can protect ourselves as well. It’s illegal to have some types of body armor in some jurisdictions, but it wouldn’t matter much with the end of the world approaching. If you are concerned with compliance of the law, check with your local jurisdictions.
Protection for the Kids and Pets
It doesn’t have to stop with the protection of the adults in the apocalypse, there is also body armor available for the beloved kids and pets as well. This armor is made of the same material and is just as capable as the armor that’s made for adults.
For the kids, body armor can come in an assortment of styles and sizes. There are even stylish backpacks for kids that are bullet resistant. As for the pets, body armor is designed for the larger breeds of dog. Law enforcement canines are commonly outfitted with bullet resistant armor, and the same is available for your pets.
The Safest Precautions
To survive the Ultimate Doomsday War, the best thing to do would be to find sufficient shelter. It’s important to know that body armor does not make someone invincible, although it does provide solid protection for the wearer. The best thing to do would be to stay sheltered and avoid the outside danger.
How to Prepare Your Household for a Power Outage
by Ben Thatcher
Everyone can remember the media outrage following Hurricane Katrina; New Orleans became a hotbed for violent criminal behavior long after the event. Catastrophes, natural and otherwise, that destroy our power sources and leave us in the dark elicit [...]
How to Prepare Your Household for a Power Outage
by Ben Thatcher
Everyone can remember the media outrage following Hurricane Katrina; New Orleans became a hotbed for violent criminal behavior long after the event. Catastrophes, natural and otherwise, that destroy our power sources and leave us in the dark elicit an ugly and familiar behavior in some: looting and theft. And while few natural disasters meet the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, any event that takes away our power can leave us instantly exposed. Even those of us prepared with a home alarm system lacking an alternative power source can be invaded the moment our power fails. Here are a few tips to prepare your home for safety the next time you experience a power outage at home.
1. Have a plan ready with your family
Before a power outage happens, the best step you can take to make sure your family remains safe is to have a plan prepared. This includes:
- plenty of unrefrigerated food
- a water source/supply
- an emergency kit including flashlights and medical supplies
- reserve clothes and bedding
- at least one alternative source of power
Your family should have a plan, including common routes and meeting locations. If anyone becomes lost, they should where to find everyone. Another important aspect to assess in your plan is how long your household can survive in case the power outage is for an extended period of time; there should be a predetermined day in which you leave when you pass that number of days. If you have a nearby neighbor you trust, make arrangements with them. In survival situations, there is always strength in numbers.
2. Prepare different sources of light
For most criminals, a dark house equals an exposed house. It provides cover, allows easy access to your home, and indicates that any security measures you’ve equipped are likely now unplugged. Deter criminals and maintain your sanity by keeping plenty of alternative light sources somewhere specific that every member of your family is aware of, like a pantry or storage closet. Oil/battery operated lanterns, long-burning candles or fireplaces are potential ways to keep your home alight enough to deter crooks targeting a seemingly vacant defenseless home. Keeping motion sensing lights hooked to a generator at night for your lawn is an excellent precaution.
3. Limit access to your home
To prevent criminals from invading your doors and windows, limit your access with some simple modifications. Install a screw on each window that limits how far they can be opened to a few inches. Make sure your doors are of a sturdy material, and equipped with secure locks and deadbolts. Preparing your property with a sufficiently tall fence (six feet minimum to deter people) and a locked gate will definitely benefit you in a power-outage. Last but not least, never leave equipment out on your lawn that could be used against you in an attempted break in, such as tools, blunt instruments, or ladders.
4. Take caution with generators
While investing in generators for this kind of event is smart planning, make sure your use of the generator is equally smart. Using generators in-doors is extremely dangerous and can result in carbon monoxide poisoning. Likewise, you should keep generators far from windows or doors where the poisonous gas can seep in. It’s important to follow the directions provided with your unit to avoid possible electrocution or damage to your wiring, and never refrain from contacting a professional to lend you a hand if you’re unsure while installing or using a generator. Solar generators are an excellent long-term source for electricity during power outages, though should be used sparingly; focus on lighting and communications devices foremost. They can be expensive − unless, of course, you make one.
Keeping these tips in mind, your family will feel much safer during a power failure. Even if you’re fortunate in not needing all of your supplies or plans readied for the occasion, the peace of mind your family will have knowing what needs to be done in case the worst happens is a priceless boon.
Ben Thatcher is a DIY home security guy who writes tips and tutorials helping people defend their homes. He lives on a ranch in Idaho with his loving wife and enjoys spending his time watching college basketball and freelancing on the web. He currently writes for Protect America.
Whether we like it or not, hurricane season is upon us and there are several predictions that the 2013 season will be worse than average. When I think about it, it does not matter whether tropical storms actually convert into hurricanes or not, the potential for adverse effects is great. Even a tropical storm has [...]
Whether we like it or not, hurricane season is upon us and there are several predictions that the 2013 season will be worse than average. When I think about it, it does not matter whether tropical storms actually convert into hurricanes or not, the potential for adverse effects is great. Even a tropical storm has the capability of causing significant property damage, flooding, loss of power and utilitities, and delays to everyday activities. So what does this mean for preparedness?
1. Have A Plan
Fortunately, technology has evolved to allow early warning of storm systems and their potential to cause catastrophic damage. Such technology has minimized the loss of life that occurs as a result of storms. This is only beneficial though when residents and those in the effected area heed the warnings they are given and evacuate before a storm hits. If an evacuation order is given, the prudent thing to do is leave the area but not without having a plan first! A plan should include:
- The location where you will go if you must evacuate (hotel, friend or relatives house, shelter, etc.). Ideally, you should have a primary and secondary location. Wherever it is that you decide to go, it should be outside of the area of the evacuation order (I hope that part is kind of obvious).
- Determine the route of travel. It is possible that a route could be congested or unusable as a result of the need to evacuate or storm system. Consider a route that is on major interstates/highways and one that is on lesser used roads. Another contingency could include having a route in each direction from the area that you will evacuate. Many hurricane prone communities will have designated evacuation routes that are typically the best option.
- If you have pets, have a plan for them as well. Shelters will normally not allow the presence of pets except if necessary for a service capacity. It is also possible that the hotel you end up at does not allow pets and a friend or relative could have an allergy. Clear up any questions about these possibilities before it is too late.
- Make a load out plan. The time that you have to evacuate could be extremely limited and as a result of this possibility you should make a plan that includes the items that you will take with you and how it will all be loaded into the vehicle(s) that you will take with you.
2. Keep Supplies On Hand
If the decision is made to evacuate, ensure that your property(home, business, etc.) is properly secured. Often times this involves boarding up doors and windows and sandbagging perimeters.
In the event that an evacuation order is given there will undoubtedly be a rush to purchase the necessary items to complete these tasks. The best way to put yourself in a position where you do not end up short of the necessary supplies to secure your property is to complete an accurate estimate of the materials needed, purchase them, and have the materials staged prior to actually needing them. Covering doors and windows is best completed through the use of purpose built storm shutters but the next best option is use of 1/2″ to 5/8″ marine-grade plywood, cut to fit the door or window, and secured using screws.
Some may say that spending time and money to gather materials is a waste. This is a determination that each individual must make. It seems reasonable to me that if you live in the Gulf Coast Region and Eastern Seaboard of the United States that having necessary materials on hand is just being prepared for the inevitable. In other regions it may not be as likely that a large storm will hit your area and such materials are not necessary. What I can tell you though is that the same materials that are used to secure a property for a tropical storm or hurricane can also be used to secure a property from a number of other situations up to, and including, the rising of the dead*.
If the decision is made to stay in place during a hurricane or tropical storm it is imperative to have the additional items necessary to sustain life in addition to those needed to save lives and safeguard property. Some of these items include:
- Generator w/ Supply of Fuel
- Clean Water for Drinking and Hygiene
- Weather Radio
- Emergency Light Source
- First Aid Kit
- Whistle For Signaling
- Sanitation and Hygiene Supplies
Other precautions that can be made to prevent or minimize damage include trimming back shrubs and bushes, removing dead trees, cleaning out gutters and downspouts, and clearing exterior areas of items that could become projectiles in high winds.
3. Other Considerations
Evacuating from an area or deciding to shelter in place can be made even more complicated when there are children, pets, or those with medical concerns involved. Keep in mind that children as well as pets may be made more comfortable in strange environments when they have a few of their favorite items to remind them of home. Make sure that these items get taken with you if at all possible. Children may also need to have additional changes of clothes as compared to older family members. When medical concerns are present, ensure that additional necessary items are taken with you to include medications, medical equipment, and important paperwork.
*Please forgive me. I could not help myself and included the possibility of a zombie apocalypse.
This week’s prepperview is with Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition, a site packed with information on homesteading, preparedness, disaster and emergency planning. Whether you are looking for prepping supplies, recipes, information, or alternative medicine, Ready Nutrition has it. Thank you to Tess for the time and effort that she took to answer [...]
This week’s prepperview is with Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition, a site packed with information on homesteading, preparedness, disaster and emergency planning. Whether you are looking for prepping supplies, recipes, information, or alternative medicine, Ready Nutrition has it. Thank you to Tess for the time and effort that she took to answer my questions.
The Prepared Ninja Prepperview
A 10 QUESTION INTERVIEW WITH PREPAREDNESS INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS
1. If I were limited to only one firearm for survival, I would own a: Wow… that’s a tough one. We have a few different types of guns and rifles around here, but I’m pretty partial to my .9 mm Smith and Wesson M&P. I have been training with this handgun the most and feel very comfortable using it.
2. The single most overlooked prep item is: A very practical but overlooked prep item is duct tape. Preppers should have a large supply of this stuff.
- You can protect your home and windows from storms
- Waterproof essential gear ( In WWII soldiers used duct tape to keep water out of ammunition cases)
- Fix leaks in gear or boats
- Make emergency shoes
- Winterproof shoes and boots
- Make cordage
- Repairs glasses
- Makeshift band-aid
- Can be used to repair leaking hoses in cars
Just to name a few…
3. The first thing to disappear following a disaster will be: Water. At the last minute, the unprepared will flock to the stores to purchase water and the demand will be so high the stores will be unable to fill it. Having water stored as well as ways to filter and treat it will give you an advantage.
4. If I could have a retreat anywhere in the world, it would be: My ideal retreat would be in the mountains of Oregon on 30+ acres with a large water source nearby. Although the terrain can be rough, it would be nice to be nestled in a valley where I can have a large garden, timber for fuel and a large grazing area for livestock. And let’s not forget about a fantastic view.
5. In my opinion, the best commercially produced survival food on the market today is: You can never go wrong with beans and rice. Both foods are extremely versatile, can be eaten for any mealtime, have long shelf lives and best of all – they are cheap! But, when they are combined together, they make a complete protein, which would be essential in a survival situation.
6. The items that I have on me at all times include: As a mother of three, I have to be ready for all types of “mini” emergencies that will come up. So, I carry a hiking daypack with me and include a pocket knife, 1 water bottle, granola bar/snacks, emergency whistle, $20, notepad/pen, chapstick, cell phone and a small first aid kit.
7. The last book that I read was: Self-Reliance and Other Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson
8. One thing that I would miss the most if an EMP shifted my lifestyle back to the 1800’s would be: I would definitely miss the constant supply of running water. I’ve been in off-grid situations before, one event was for 2+ weeks and not having water was tough.
As a prepper, I have water stored as well as multiple ways to filter and treat it, but it sure is convenient to have large amounts readily available for laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc.
9. Stuck on an island and forced to choose one person to survive with, I would pick: My husband, Mac. He is a partner in many ways, we understand each other on many levels, are both like-minded and we both know that we can rely on each other. You can’t ask for anything better than that!
10. The vehicle I drive is: I am a mom of three, a Girl Scout leader and soccer mom – so I’m sporting the mini-van. I’d love to say that I have a souped up survival truck, but I don’t.
We are planning on investing in some mountain bikes for the family. It’s a great way to exercise, cut down on gasoline and it’s the ULTIMATE off grid form of transportation.
Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals. When a catastrophic collapse cripples society, grocery store shelves will empty within days. But if you follow this book’s plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply, your family will have plenty to eat for weeks, months or even years. Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com.
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,