Archive for the ‘defense’ Category

Situational Awareness

01 October, 2017 is a day that will go down in the history books as just another day that brought temporary shock and awe to the people of this great nation. I say temporary simply because the horror of the moment has passed on into memory for most people. On that day, one Stephen Paddock opened fire upon a massed crowd of concert goers some 490 yards away from the Mandalay Resort hotel in Las Vegas Nevada.

Firing from the 32nd floor into a concert venue some 490 yards away, the concert goers at the annual Harvest County music festival would have been like fat juicy fish in the bottom of a barrel. Paddock allegedly fired hundreds of rounds into the crowd at a rapid rate of fire, assisted by what is called a “bump stock”.  This device allows a semi-automatic rifle to be fired at speeds comparable to a fully automatic weapon.

The poor souls attending the country music concert didn’t have a clue as to what was in store for them that day, and as the shooting continued, blended into one solid mass of pure panic. But I’m not here to dissect the shooting and give my two cents worth on it; I’m here to talk about something called “situational awareness” or SA.

SA is often hyped by many gurus in the pepper/survivalist world as a skill that takes months if not years to develop. This however is not really true. SA is something that is innate in most humans. Unfortunately, we have become so urbanized and lazy that skills like this one have become buried into the farthest reaches of our memory banks. This is too bad because many of our trips into other places besides our home can be enhanced and made more enjoyable, as well as safer if we could only awaken this hidden skill.

The skills of SA become more acute as we use them more and more. Without going into a long drawn out textbook discussion of this mental exercise, let me simply say that situational awareness simply means being mentally and physically aware of the situation you are in.

How do we do this? In the greater aspect, we need to take a position that when we are going to any given site, we examine the place we are going to for any and all possible threat potential. Smart preppers and security minded people will take the added step of pre-reconnaissance of any event venue for additional information that can help you determine threats as well as ways to avoid and escape from any given threat.

Most event flyers and websites will provide you with a seating plan which helps you decide how much ticket to buy and where you will be sitting with that ticket. These diagrams also give you an idea of where the entry and exit doors are and sometimes other architectural elements that you will need to be aware of. Use this knowledge to develop a way of escaping from and lessening and threat factors. Try to be seated as close to an exit path as possible for quick egress from a situation.

Learn where any safety barriers might be placed as these barricades may be useful to hide behind. One of the things we saw in the many shared videos of the Vegas Massacre was images of people trying to find cover. Granted, due to the angle of fire in this situation, it was a difficult to actually find full protection, but in more cases than not, these shootings occur from a ground level, and therefore the barricades make better protection.

Try to be constantly scanning the area you are in for suspicious looking people. When at the mall, especially in food courts, this is very important.  The threat you face may not be a shooter, but a simple pick-pocket. People that are up to no good are always also scanning the area they are in. The exception here is they are not looking for a threat from someone intent on harm, they are looking for security personnel that may be there looking for a criminal.

Know where the doors are to any building you visit. Entry ways can also be exits in an emergency, even though the doors may be physically marked or built to only allow traffic in one direction. One tip here is that all modern building codes require doorways to be opened to allow for exiting any building in the event of a fire, even without power. Usually, you just need to push on a closed door to open it, even if the crash bar is locked. All commercial doors must open outwards, one way or another.

When in a restaurant, sit in such a way that you can observe the entryways and other doors. Don’t choose a table that may be in an alcove, cozily hidden away for a discreet meal. Such a choice may well trap you and prevent escape should some nut case open fire where you are.

The list goes on and I’ll cover more in another post, but just remember that public places make for welcoming venues for these glory seeking shooters. These people are generally interested in taking out as many people as they can, and go into these events with the intent that they will themselves be shot. To some people, there is glory and recognition in death.

Situational awareness is a key factor in our potential for survival in the long term. More often than not we are actually practicing SA, and aren’t even aware of it. Become aware of it and develop this skill to its fullest extent. Till the next time, be prepared and survive the times!


gun crimeAs we are all aware, the fairly recent mass shooting at a school in Newtown Connecticut has placed the nation into an uproar over the issue of gun rights verses gun controls. As usual, instead of addressing the core issues at hand, the socialist minded leftist politicians, democrat and republican both, have decided to glam onto the anti-gun bandwagon and push for stricter gun laws.

Is this really what we should be doing in response to such an horrific act as a mass shooting?

The issue at hand should not be addressed as gun control, but more properly as an issue of crime control. The problem is not that a gun or guns were used to kill a bunch of innocent people, but that a person decided to commit that shooting. Why is no one addressing the problem of the person, instead of the tool used to commit the crime?

Why was the crime committed? At this point, I really have no idea, and neither does the majority of America, but is the weapon of choice really the problem? In a word, no it is not the problem. The problem is that a crime was committed.

Look at the issue of assault in this manner:

Let us say a person, man or woman, gets angry and wants to assault their partner in life. There is no gun in the house, so what does the person do? Does this person simply walk away because they cannot succumb to their emotional need to attack someone and cause injury? Of course not. If this were true, then we would have no issues of domestic abuse and the resulting crime rate from that ill named crime.

The person would either use their hands to attack, or grab whatever is handy. Let us say that a vacuum cleaner was nearby, and the person grabbed an extension wand to beat the crap out of their partner. Should we then ban vacuum cleaners because the extension wand was used to beat someone?

Maybe we should just ban vacuum cleaners that have extension wands? Alternatively, we could ban vacuum cleaners with multiple extension wands. That way the victim might have a chance to escape while the perpetrator reloads. Sounds pretty stupid, doesn’t it?

Of course it is stupid, and so is the argument over gun control. We do not need gun control, and neither do we need people control, but the end result is that people control is the only possible end result of gun control.

Banning high capacity magazines, or clips holding more than ten rounds will not eliminate the potential for gun crime. In fact, in some ways it retains the probability of an increase in gun crime, especially as time goes by.

More and more people will simply comply with the rules, and eschew their constitutionally endowed right of self-defense, thus exposing themselves, and their property to those who wouldn’t give a rats ass for the lawful requirements of gun owners.

Further, surrendering our right of self-defense also decreases the possibility of defending ourselves against a corrupt political establishment, should the right parties attempt to subjugate us to a certain form of dictatorial regime, which may well happen given the current trend of affairs.

The question we have to ask here is; is gun control really meant to control gun related crime, or is it really intended to control the larger part of the law abiding gun owning population through a series of bans on certain firearms, clips and ammunition, registrations, and publicly administered oversight of gun owners?

A piece in today’s Washington Post says that The US intends to beef up our west coast defenses by adding 14 interceptors to Alaskan installations. This is surprising for a couple of reasons. For one, Hussein Obama has been against increasing the military standing of this nation, and in fact had wanted to reduce our military to a strength that would make us vulnerable to outside forces.

Secondly, most of the rhetoric still suggests that while North Korea might be a pesky little bother, they really haven’t the wherewithal to launch an attack that could really damage us here in the US. Sure, they have demonstrated their ability to launch an ICBM level warhead to a distance that may affect our western seaboard, but do they really have what it takes to find success? I think not.

However, the article, (read it here) suggests an underlying reason for this seeming change in our stance against Pyongyang’s rising nuclear threat. I suspect there may be a probability that what we may really be increasing our stockpile of west coast weaponry for is a combined Iranian/Korean offense that quite likely may include the detonation of a high altitude electromagnetic pulse weapon (HEMP), launched from the North Pacific, possibly from inside Korea, but more likely from an ocean-going vessel.

The reason for my feeling this way is due to the fact that, according to the article, the Pentagon plans revamp its Aegis missile program to pay for this expansion. The interceptor program has a rather questionable history, and some analysts seem to be saying that the first real deployable interceptors won’t be available until 2022. Strategically speaking, that really is not that far away, time-wise, but the Aegis missiles are already in action.

Nevertheless, the main point is that the Aegis has a limited range. They cannot travel to North Korean territory to intercept an ICBM launched from there. We would have to wait and see where this ICBM is headed for before deploying our defenses, and in real terms, that may be too late.

Therefore, my reading between the lines tells me that it is more likely that we may see multiple shorter range missiles launched against us from the North Pacific. These are the types of missiles the Aegis system was developed to fight against. I might be mistaken here, but…

These shorter range missiles would still have the ability to carry and detonate a HEMP weapon over the western US, but it would leave the Eastern seaboard unscathed, which really is not acceptable to the North Korean and Iranian regimes. However, if they were to simultaneously detonate multiple HEMP warheads from bit the Pacific and Atlantic theaters, they would seemingly attain success, and devastate our electrical infrastructure, thereby crippling our ability as a nation.

But the shorter range defense system apparently being suggested for Alaska could hardly protect out eastern seaboard, could it? But wait, the light clicks on…Senator Susan Collins’ last newsletter says that she encourages the establishment of a missile defense facility in Aroostook County, which would be capable of defending against these missiles I am writing of today. Further, a Bangor Daily news article from last year, (read it here) says that the National Research Council claims there are serious holes in our missile defense system, and that a base in the vicinity of Caribou, Maine would be an ideal location to establish a missile defense installation.

Again, I could be wrong here, but…

I believe it would be in the best interests of preppers everywhere to start learning about HEMP potentials and what the real damages would be to our nation should an enemy of ours succeed in detonating one or more over our nation. I have written about this in past blog entries, and there are a lot of websites that address this issue. However, be careful out there. There is a lot of so-called expert advice whereby the so-called experts do not seem to really grasp the science and reality behind the threat. I intend to address this issue again in a month or so with some in depth reporting on the subject, so please return to visit again.

Until then, happy prepping!

Is an American apocalypse about to occur over the skies of this great nation? Maybe, or maybe not, depending upon whom you ask the question to. The term apocalypse has become a much overused and sadly abused term in light of its definition, unfortunately. In large part this is because of the status assigned to the word by Hollywood moguls and writers that seem to think it portends a disaster beyond cataclysmic character. What does apocalypse really mean? Apocalypse simply means, in the Biblical sense of the word, it means a revelation, or a revealing. Hence the title of the last book of the Bible; the Revelation of John. Time and humankind has distorted the original meaning to have become a word describing a catastrophe or the end of the world events.

So can we expect an apocalyptic event in this nation in the near future? Of course we can, and if you are a true prepper you will be very busy preparing for just such an event. But what kinds of events would be considered apocalyptic in nature? These events fall into two categories, natural and manmade. There is little we can do to prevent the natural events, as we have absolutely no control over them. These events would be supersized hurricanes, abnormally large tornado swarms, and earthquakes of a very high magnitude, say 8.0 and above. We can prepare supplies and equipment to ride out the storm, but we cannot prevent them from occurring.

Manmade events would include mega wildfires, such as we see in our southwestern states even now, nuclear reactor catastrophes such as an explosion or complete failure of a reactor core and EMP threats. The last one is what today’s post is all about, EMP threats.

There is much mystery afoot in the world geopolitical scene today, and even more goings on in this country, and the general public doesn’t have a clue as to what we should be preparing for. However, by piecing together several bits of unrelated rumor, news reports, innuendo and imagination, we can in fact come up with one scenario that may well occur. Whether there is anything going on that we should be afraid of is up for grabs, but here is one scenario.

I have read that FEMA has put out a RFP, or ‘Request for Proposal’ to procure something like 160 to 480 million MREs for immediate delivery. If this is true, and these meals are delivered in 2011, we can create a viable timeline for the perceived threat that these meals were ordered in response to. MREs are generally labeled as having a five to seven year shelf life under proper storage conditions. These meals can be stored for longer periods under certain conditions, while in a harsh environment this shelf life could conceivably be substantially shorter. However, we will use the average expectancy here and suggest a five to seven year time frame for this apocalypse, if you will, to occur. That means we have a maximum of five to seven years for this event to occur, or a time frame of somewhere between 2012 and 2018. I’m going to guesstimate probably three to five years, or sometime between 2013 and 2015 for this event to occur.

What is the event? Most bloggers seem to believe it is because some experts suggest that the New Madrid fault line is set to do the rubber dance and remodel our Midwestern US scenery. I happen to believe something else will occur. for one, earthquakes are highly unpredictable, and not one person has been able to accurately predict the time of occurrence or the magnitude of a single earthquake. Ever. Manmade events have in fact been accurately predicted, as well as the magnitude of destruction. So if not an earthquake, what is the threat? The same logic holds out for hurricanes and tornados as well. Nature plans them, not humankind. But humankind can plan other kinds of events.

Take the ending of WWII, when a couple of atom bombs decimated Nagasaki and Hiroshima. That would certainly qualify as an apocalyptic event, would it not? Of course it would, so is this what the US government is expecting to occur? I think not, for several reasons. For one, a bomb of that size can only be delivered in one of two ways. One way if via an airplane, which we would spot and destroy long before reaching our heartland. The other way would be through an ICBM, or Inter Continental Ballistic Missile. Again, we have the technology top see and destroy something like that in plenty of time to avert a disaster, so it would take several ICBMs, perhaps dozens of them, to penetrate our nations borders and wreak their unholy devastation upon our soil. And besides, look at the cash outlay it would take to launch such an attack. The only two nations in the wprld that could pull off such a stunt would be China and Russia, and I do not believe that either nation has the wherewithal, or the drive to begin such a military action against us. The economic damage from such an attack would certainly result in the destruction of these nations economies, as well as ours.

More probably, some rogue nation or cartel would attack us with a nuclear device resulting in an EMP, or Electromagnetic Pulse, attack that could cripple the nation, while causing little damage or loss of life. This could be accomplished rather easily, and I have addressed this issue in previous posts. However, this will still require considerable cash outlay and planning. The generally accepted scenario would be that a terrorist group could utilize four to five fishing vessels that would simultaneously launch small missiles into our atmosphere while safely sailing in international waters. Detonated at an altitude of around 150 miles these warheads would cause regionalized EMP pulses that would cripple segments of the power grid, causing the entire national grid to become overloaded and fail. We would, of course recover, but the financial damage from the interruption of business and life as usual would place us in a precarious position, thus weakening our economy and position in world trade and world politics.

However, here is another thought, based upon recent events. A week ago today as I write this Iran has launched the 34 pound Rasad-1 satellite into orbit via a Safir booster rocket. And we all know that Iran is not exactly friendly towards the west, and the US in particular. The Safir booster rockets are builtupon an ICBM framework, but I do not believe that is their intent. The satellite is the key component here.

UPI reports that; In 2010, Iran unveiled plans for a four-engine, liquid-fuel Simorgh rocket to carry a 220-pound satellite into orbit at an altitude of 310 miles. That missile and payload capability is more than enough to carry a nuclear device of such magnitude that if detonated over the continental United States would create an EMP event of sufficient force to cause the worst of our fears to turn into real life nightmare. The electrical distribution capability of our grids, as well as most un-hardened solid state devices would become little more than scrap equipment.

Factories and transportation would be shut down immediately. Distribution networks would no longer function. Communications would cease to be the norm. No TV, no internet, no cell-phone service. Think of the damage such an attack would cause. The image to the right shows the extent of damage, and severity if such a device were detonated at an altitude of 250 miles. At three hundred miles, of which the Simorgh rocket is capable of achieving, the area would encompass the entirety of the US, southern Canada and northern Mexico.

And yet we want to be politically correct and be nice to these people. Have you laid in your store of food and supplies yet? On my Blogtalk show I had brought up the story of Pharaohs seven zombie cows from Genesis. You may want to listen to that episode, and I will be bringing it up again in a week or so. Seven is an important number in the Bible. I suggest you pay close attention to what we are not being told, and keep one eye peeled to the sky.

One of my goals here is to convince all of you preppers and survivalists that it isn’t a good idea to remain in a heavy urban environment if you really want to survive the coming times. I have long said that we are on the threshold of a new age, and as we agonize over the nuclear threat in Japan, war in the Middle East, the coming struggles we are getting into in North Africa, skyrocketing food and fuel prices, dwindling financial resources on the state and federal level and the rise in the virtual world we seem to be moving into, I think you’ll agree with me.

History shows that those who have taken care of their assets, had land of their own, and possessed a diversity of skills have always risen above the failures around them and came out of tragedies in a better place than those who have not. Suburban communities can be made livable in spite of the hard times upon us, but will take more effort to achieve the desired results. The best plan is to relocate your family to a place where you can grow your own food, raise your own meat and breathe the fresh air of freedom.

But many haven’t a clue as to where to start planning for the development of a survival homestead or farmstead. In “Surviving the Times” I’ve shared some of the things we need to prepare for and how, and in my next book, “Survival Homesteading”, I’ll go into more in depth discussion on how, why and where to set up your ultimate survival home for the coming times.

For now, you’ll have to settle for some research material I’ve put together in these posts that can help you get started. This first one, which I’ve split into two posts, deals with farm layout and planning for the construction of needed outbuildings on a farm. You probably won’t be building or planning for a large scale farm as this piece refers to, but the concepts are the same. It’s set on a 160 acre plot of land, which few of us can afford today, but it’s a goal to work towards. I’d like to see an increase in the numbers of small farms in operation instead of the declines we have been experience these last few decades. Small farms, in sufficient numbers, can reverse the problem of food shortages and increasing prices we’ve been experiencing. But more importantly, with enough land, and utilizing heirloom quality seeds, you can grow your own sustainable food supply.

This first piece is from the Breeders Gazzette;



The planning and construction of farm buildings should be done with regard to the surrounding outside features as much as to the interior arrangement and convenience of the rooms. It is a common error to see little forethought taken in the placing of the buildings, in their relation to one another or to the surrounding conditions; the total disregard of a fine outlook that might have been had from the windows that are most frequented; many errors in the proper way to approach the house from the highway, and many times the utter absence of any attempt at ornamentation in the way of tree planting—nothing save bare sides and sharp angles of buildings open to all winds, storms and sun heat, or the opposite extreme, burying the house in a dense shade of loneliness.

Now this should not be so. When the advantages and increased value of the property as a whole are considered it is at once apparent. Anyone can distinguish between a nice farm and a place where it would be a pleasure to live, and on the other hand one that is bare and uninviting. The cost is a matter of forethought on the part of the individual at the beginning in the planning of the work, and the actual material to be used in beautifying the grounds almost always can be had for the gathering. One may easily find the time to do the work when once he has tasted of the pleasures there are in surroundings that are made attractive with trees and plants arranged to make a landscape that is ever improving and changing in scene.

When a beginning is made toward embellishment of the home surroundings then there is a new birth given, the feeling of attachment that reflects back into pleasant and longing recollections of the happy lives passed there, and the far-reaching influence of cheerful home surroundings on the character and future life of the growing generation toward the good and high of ideal life is above any estimation, besides being a source of interest and everlasting joy and pleasure alike to the owner and to all who enter here.

Farming is not all corn. There are many fine farms that are only such from the fact that there is a quiet natural park like effect resting over the home place, and if favored with a fertile soil and kind climate how much more blest we could be if we would bring about us more of the natural beauties so abundant everywhere. This need not detract an instant from the economical operation of the farm, but if practically planned should add many fold thereto.

We can assume that the residence and other buildings are already placed, or that building is to be done at some future time. With respect to the all-important question of choosing the house site, the custom in the city seems to be the law without recourse in the country, in that the house must stand facing square, with the best rooms toward the public road. If a better exposure or a fine scene lies in another direction, reverse the order regardless of the highway. Again, houses are dropped in a hollow, carried to the top of a bare hill, or placed too near dusty roads or stables, making things more disagreeable than convenience would compensate. The house should not be put on a poor or waste piece of ground just to gain a little extra tillable land.

Personal preferences should of course be taken into consideration, but as a rule many desirable locations are ignored. Among the specific directions to apply in selecting the home site are good sanitary conditions. These demand air and quick drainage of water. All this is secured on a dryish soil, slightly elevated if possible and fairly open to admit a free circulation of air. Any protection against prevailing north and west winds in the winter season, such as hills, trees or any other natural objects in the track of regular storms, should be made use of, but cool and refreshing winds should not be hinder ed in their direction during the heated season.

The distance from the highway is hardly a matter of importance. If the best place is 400′ from the road it should be chosen over another less desirable, though 200′ nearer. Besides this an entrance approach of reasonable length, if properly laid out among a grove of trees, will add much to the dignity and bearing of the place. The relation of the house and barn should be such that they do not appear as a part of each other, and in driving to the house one is not led first through yards and past gaping barn doors. The barn should occupy a position so that the prevailing winds will carry the stable odors away from the house, and not toward it, as is often the case. The exact position and arrangement of the outbuildings and enclosures will be according to their use, and to be convenient should be few, compact, and not scattered over a wide area. Pens, sheds and stacks should not be conspicuous in a general view of the farm.

In country houses broad simple design is much to be preferred. All about a house of this order there is a quiet dignity and homelike restfulness that is in pleasing harmony with every rural landscape. The rooms should be few and large. The veranda is right if one steps up from the ground and at least 10′ wide, and a porte-cochere or carriage porch should be part of every country house, as it is surely a comfort when rainy or windy to drive up to the door under a roof.