Archive for the ‘emergency preparedness’ Category

040310_0154_TheSOGPower1.jpgTo begin with today’s post, I will repeat the last paragraph of my last post: The bottom line here is that if your roots are not healthy and strong, neither will your tree of life be. Make sure the roots of your preparedness planning are strong, and diverse enough to withstand any potentially devastating event.

As we look at the illustration of the tree of life and survivalism, we find that there are several ingredients that  allow a tree to become big and strong, living life to its fullest expectancy. One of those criteria requires that the tree have a strong and healthy root system, so too must our preparedness and survival planning also have a strong root system.

One of the trends I have witnessed over the last few years in this arena is the marketing of gimmickry and neat gadgets to the prepper community. They may be cool items and we are all too frequently drawn to them because of what we think they may provide us in terms of disaster readiness, but they do not replace good old fashioned common sense preparedness.

For instance, one company is promoting a combo-tool type of product that will supposedly allow you to survive any disaster, against all odds. At least that is what the advertising leads you to believe. However, reality says that while it is a neat gadget, it does not do anything better than the tools you probably already have at hand, and in fact will most likely be less than able to compete with what you already have when the crap hits the fan.

Why is that? Well, one of the things i have learned about multi-tool gadgets is that while they may look cool, and perform a lot of tasks, it cannot perform any one task better than a tool that was specifically designed to do that task. In other words, while the gadget might be able to get you out of a quick bind, will it do the job better, and will it do the job longer that a tool that was designed for the job? The answer is simply; of course not.

Don’t get me wrong here, i am not against using multi-tools, and in fact own a few myself. Nevertheless, I do not rely upon them as my main survival tools. I use them as quick fixers in a situation where i just do not feel like getting out the big guns. When I want the job done right, I use the right tool. They might get you out of a jamb, but they will not carry you through a long-term survival situation.

Imagine if you will a widespread devastation and the world goes dark. No power, no fuel, no job, no cash, and even if there was, no place to buy anything. You can cook food and sterilize water by boiling it over a fire. Imagine cutting enough wood to live by with one of those little muti-tool  saw blades. See what I mean about planning? Do not get caught up in the gimmickry of today’s marketing and expect these quick fix items to be you main solution in any preparedness and survival situation.

Collect an ample assortment of real tools to do the job with for when the unexpected actually happens. Use your workshop as one of your roots to grow your tree of survival.

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Roots, the base of all life

071011_2337_Survivingth6.jpgIn my last post, I touched upon new beginnings and the differences/similarities between preparedness and survivalism. Today, I want to look at some of the base concepts that fuel each stage of reaction that we take in this process we call preparedness.

Many years ago, I came to realize that while much of what we see and hear through various media outlets is just plain fruitcake talk. Nevertheless, I also realized there is indeed an aura of “conspiracy” that attaches itself to at least a small portion of this rhetoric. Moreover, upon investigation, we can see that there is indeed something going on behind closed doors, and we do have cause to fear for our futures.

Whether you believe in any one of the seemingly endless theories floating around or not, the world around us is indeed involved in what seems to be a slow speed crash and burn cycle. It has happened before, in various stages of extent, and if we are smart, we will examine these prior crashes and learn from them as we prepare for the coming times.

Let us take the last “great depression” as it has been named. In fact, there have been times when the economy has been worse for this nation, but this long standing event can teach us the most recent lessons to be learned.  Take a moment and consider who survived this era the best.

There were actually two groups of people who came out as last best survivors of that economic collapse, and these groups were millionaires, and those who had land and business interests that were of a sustainable nature. By using the term sustainable here, I am not talking about the corrupted definition that the enviro-worshipers use today, but the classic definition which simply means; able to be maintained. For instance, many of today’s businesses are wildly successful, but in the event of a collapse, can those businesses continue on in a successful manner?

For example, telemarketing call centers are good places to make a quick buck, and they can provide you with a good income, but look into their history and see how many of them enjoy a well grounded platform that they can use to continue on from should some major event bring the world to a halt. There are none that I am aware of that could continue to provide you with an income should something cause an environment to occur where they would not be able to function.

Telemarketing relies upon telephone service, but if we get hit with a large-scale and widespread EMP event, manmade or otherwise, would these companies be able to continue operations? The answer is of course, no. No telephones, no telemarketing. It is a simple concept, and yet many people fail to see the significance of this concept in real terms.

For us to rely upon one single source of income leaves us in a situation whereby we have nothing, should that source of income suddenly become interrupted. Therefore, part of our preparedness planning needs to include an ability to have a secondary source of income.  This does not mean that we need to have two jobs, but that we need to have skill sets that allow us to have alternative means of income production  that will allow us to pay our bills and put food on the table when things go belly up.

No matter what the financial condition is, some means of transfer of wealth needs to used if we are to survive, long-term.  We are used to the presence of cash for that wealth exchange, and many are foolish enough to pretend that credit can be used for that exchange. If we need a pound of flour to make a loaf of bread to feeds our hungry family, where do we get that flour? We have to buy it, or we have to
grow and process our own wheat to obtain that pound of flour.

To buy it, we need money, and if the government fails, there is no money, since money today is merely a promissory note based upon the government’s good word, and nothing more. We call that fiat currency, and many of us believe that this fiat currency may well be soon coming to an end. The alternative is to barter some tangible goods or service we have for that flour.

Herein lays the rub of survivalism, those who have, survive, those who have not merely exist, and are destined to fail. If we study the last great depression, we learn that the only people who survived with any degree of self-respect were millionaires, simply because they had enough tangible wealth whereby they were able to buy themselves survival with extremely debased currency.  And there were those who had land and businesses that provided necessary commodities that everyone else had to have, i.e. food clothing, shelter and other absolute needs for survival. Everyone else had to make do with what they had, and for far too many, this was nothing.

The bottom line here is that if your roots are not healthy and strong, neither will your tree of life be. Make sure the roots of your preparedness planning are strong, and diverse enough to withstand any potentially devastating event.

The newspapers and television stations we get our current news from have a propensity to label every storm that comes down the road the greatest disaster since whenever. It is true that we have some terrific storms, but how do we really classify them as disasters? Many of the so-called greatest disasters of today become minuscule in tragedy compared to disasters of yesterday.

Hurricane Katrina was called the worst disaster since whenever, but the reality is that the hurricane that wiped out 1,836 people back in 2005. But the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane  caused more real damage, taking many more lives than Katrina did. The damage was just as extensive, but because costs have risen so much over the decades due to the decline in the value of currency worldwide, Katrina cost much more in cash to recover from.

Do not take me the wrong way here, Katrina was a tragedy, but in real terms, it was in fact a tragedy that really might have been prevented. However, that was then, Sandy Hook has come and gone and we wait with tingling buttocks the next media fed disaster of the century.

Let us look at our own disaster levels, and prepare for them by creating plans for each of the different levels of disaster. I have developed a personal tiered system of five levels of disaster/preparedness that we should be ready for. You can develop your own system as you see fit, but please develop prepping goals that help you achieve a permanent survival plan in case the worst does come to pass.

Here are my five stages:

  • Stage 1; Stage 1 is the simplest, and least stressful of prepping events. This would include any situation involving no more than one night without your usual or normal infrastructure in place. This could involve a thunderstorm creating a blackout of just a few minutes to a 24-48 hour time frame. At this point, you will be consuming the food in your refrigerator first, as it is likely to thaw and spoil in just a couple of days.

 

  • Stage 2; Stage 2 is a little more complex, with your infrastructure being interrupted for up to one week to a month. By day three you should have cleaned out your refrigerator, and begun to consume the contents of a deep freeze if you have one. Store bought canned and dry food in your pantry will be consumed at this point. You will want to save MRE’s and long-term food supplies for stage three and beyond. Batteries will likely have been used up by this point, and you would be on alternative lighting such as oil lamps, etc. cooking will be done with camp stoves, so you would need plenty of fuel on hand for this stage.

 

  • Stage 3; Stage 3 is a duration of from one month to a six months or so. You would have consumed all fresh foods long before the beginning of this stage, and would be utilizing your short-term storage foods such as canned goods and may have begun your MRE  program. Availability of foods and fuels in the marketplace is no longer an option, as there likely is no marketplace to speak of. Your fuel may be gone, and you would be utilizing wood for heating and cooking. The smart prepper would have developed a solar lighting scheme to recharge batteries for lighting and other needs.

 

  • Stage 4; Stage 4 is a period of from six months to one year. This is the time frame in which you would have mentally sat back and taken stock of the fact that we are really screwed, it is not just a bad dream. Short-term food supplies will be running low, and you will begin consuming your long-term food supply. A good prepper would have seen this coming and realized early on that your short and mid-term supplies would need to be rationed to avoid running out too quickly. By now you will be at the barter stage to obtain needed supplies as the government is obviously  dumber than we gave them credit for being.

 

  • Stage 5; Stage 5 is a period of survival lasting from one year to two years out from the initial disaster. You finally figured out that you were right all along, and there is no going back to the way things were. You will be on your long-term food supply, and will by springtime have planted that survival garden you thought you would never need. There are no jobs, no money, and transportation is now 100% people powered. Bicycles and animals provide the means of getting anyplace faster than walking. Your long term food is holding out, and in the fall, you will harvest and prepare for storage your food needs for the entire following year.

 

  • Stage 6;  Stage 6 is no longer a survival stage. If you have made it this far, you will find that this is the new normal. It had been over two years since the disaster that created the situation you are in, the government, the economy, and society have all crumbled into a sort of 18th century mentality. Roving gangs have moved from the depleted urban areas and are now roaming the countryside to take what they want. You have banned together with your neighbors to form militia groups for protection from these marauding gangs. You have found that life truly sucks, but that is OK, you will weather the storm.

 

That is a brief rundown of the stages of disaster preparedness. Most of us only have to put up with an occasional stage 1 setting, and a few of us go on to a stage 2 setting. Very few people ever come close to a stage three in these days, but it could happen. We owe it to our families to prepare for the worst, but pray that it never happens.

Happy prepping folks!

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!

According to some prophecy aficionados, the Papal Conclave has just elected the last Pope of the Catholic Church. According to the legends, in the 12th century, Malachy O’Morgair, then Arch Bishop of Ireland, had a series of “divine” revelations showing him the entire Papal line, down unto the last pope. Malachy had named 112 Popes, or rather, described who they would be in a but of a cryptic fashion, much along the lines of Nostradamus’ prophecies. They were they in plain print, and yet they left a lot of room for subjection. Apparently, thus far he has named 111 Popes to the tea, including the recently abdicated Pope Benedict XVI.

Of course, Malachy never gave proper names to any of his predictions, just descriptions. For Benedict, he merely described the 111th Pope as “the glory of the olives” and of course, the Pope’s choice of the name Benedict, suggests this description fills the prophecy, since the founder of the Benedictine Order was also known as Olivetans.

Coincidence? Maybe, but here are a couple of other items of interest regarding prophetic happenings. Nostradamus as well had a few Papal prophecies regarding the end of the line for Catholic leadership. He had predicted that the next-to-last pope [Benedict] would “flee Rome in December when the great comet is seen in the daytime.” Sounds fanciful and far-fetched as the months are wrong, but remember that the calender has changed since the time of Nostradamus, and Benedict would indeed have abdicated in December, just as Nostradamus predicted had those changes not occurred.

Think of it, the comet ISON was seen in the skies for some time, and as an interesting note, a huge bolt of lightning is said to have struck the cross on the top of the Basilica just a few short hours after his announcement of abdication. And a few days later Russia’s Ural region was showered with a meteor shower, shattering windows and causing numerous injuries. How is that for food for thought.

But before you run of screaming “the end is coming,” here is an important point to this prophecy of Malachy; theologians generally argue there is no authentic written manuscript. Supposedly, Malachy’s list was discovered in 1590 in the Vatican archives, hundreds of years later. Maybe this prophecy never came from Malachy at all?

So, what does this all mean to survivalists and us preppers? Well, for one thing, it means we are going to have to endure another round of conspiracy claims. One of the central themes of the conspiracy crowd suggests that the Illuminati are controlled by the Jesuit Brotherhood, and guess what? The new pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who has chosen the name Francis, is a Jesuit. Hmmmm….

I will leave you with that thought to stew over.

Speaking of stew, one of the items you should be including with your preps, food wise, is plenty of stew like meals. Try to have several canned styles available for your program entry level needs to cover the first few months, with the long term styles for when we are certain things are not going to return to normal. They contain lots of nutritional value, can be filling, and are easy to prepare. I have several MRE style stews in my EDC bag, as well as some heaters for a quick, hot, wholesome meal, but I also have quite a few cans in my pantry for the first few weeks at least. After that I will break open my #10 cans of stew.