Wednesday, December 30, 2009

SHTF: Strange places to stock up - Part Three

SHTF: Strange places to stock up - Part Three

Here's the deal. You are away from home, let's say in a strange town on vacation or business trip. Maybe you are across town in a neighborhood you are not familiar with. Anyway, the radio comes on and says "The end is here". Nuke attack, martian invasion, zombies, you name it.

You know you need food and water if you are going to get home. Also, you want to build some stocks for what will happen in the coming days. However, you don't know where the closest grocery store is. What to do?

You need a list of alternative and strange places to get supplies when you need them in a scenario like this. Today's idea - the office supply store.

Office Max, Office Depot, etc. Now bigger is better, but a FedEx/Kinkos will do in a pinch.

For instance, go to the office superstore and check the back section. There are cases of water, snack foods, coffee, tea, sugar and other stuff offices put in the break room.

There is also trashbags, paper towels, toilet paper, soap and cleaning supplies out the wazoo. Same idea. They are for stocking the office. However, they are also survival supplies.

And then the batteries, flashlights, fire extinguishers. Some stores even sell tools for fixing stuff around the office. There may not be any tents or foul weather gear, but there are often plastic sheets and related material for covering desks or furniture. These can be doubled as emergency shelters if need be.

What if FedEx Kinkos or UPS store is available? My F/K store has snacks, candy, even beef jerky at the check out counter. They also have a limited supply of bottled water and energy drinks for late night presentation cram sessions.

An office supply store can be your best friend if the poop hits the fan unexpectedly. Keep it in mind.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

SHTF: Strange places to stock up - Part Two


SHTF: Strange places to stock up - Part Two

So, the poop has made the fan smelly and everyone else is heading for the grocery stores or Sam's Club to clean them out. Where can you go? Yesterday, we considered the toy store of all places, today we look at another, yet less off the beaten path place for stores after the SHTF.

The drugstore.

Sure, there will be folks piled up at the subscription counter to get another 30 days of anti-anxiety meds or blood pressure pills, but today's drugstore is a great place to get lots of other goodies.

Food - The CVS, Walgreens or Rite-Aid always has a huge stock of food, including canned and other shelf stable foods on hand. There are lots of those little cans with pop tops which can come in handy if one is on the move on foot and traveling lite.

Besides the food aisle, there are edibles throughout the store; at the check out line, gift rows, etc. Get a handbasket rather than a bulky cart and load up.

Don't forget; drug stores have a huge diet section. That means protein bars and some things not found at a traditional grocers like body building supplements - lots of calories and proteins.

Water - Water, the staff of life, is in the drug store as well. Bottles and jugs. But there is also bleach and iodine handy in the drugstore, useful for sanitizing more down the line.

Hardware - gloves, basic tools, batteries, flashlights and other basics can be found now at the modern hardware store.

Obvious - take advantage of the hardware store for a large selection of things found there in large amounts; multi-vitamins, first aid supplies, OTC (over the counter) medicines, baby supplies, and of course drugs (with prescription).

So, the poop hits the fan and you are on the road or five miles from home and need to resupply. Rather than deal with that panicking mob outside the Safeway, go two doors down to the drug store and get what you need in short supply.

Good luck,

Monday, December 28, 2009

SHTF: Strange places to stock up - Part One

Strange places to stock up - Part 1

Ho Ho Ho! Christmas is now behind us and the New Year is on the way. While taking part in the great consumer grab over the holidays, I was in several different types of retail establishments which gave me time to make some observations which may come in handy.

If the Shumer his the fan, most of us might jump in the sled and head to the nearest grocery store or warehouse club for food, water, etc. However, we all know that the Safeway or Kroger is the first place to get hit hard. It helps to have some alternatives!

Here is the first in my suggestions of alternate places for supplies off the beaten path.

Since it was Christmas - the toy store. "Huh? The toy store? What good is a Monopoly game or Barbie doll going to me?" you ask in disbelief.

Try the mega Toys R Us toystore. The front of the store has a huge snack and candy section. I found bottled water, snack food, candy and better yet, protein bars. Apparently, some brainiac in marketing realized they could get some impulse buys on overpriced junk in this section from their shoppers.

Don't forget to see the check out line where they have even more edible junk.

Also, most toy stores now cater to babies as well. Besides valuable diapers, wipe and relate paraphanalia, there is almost always baby formula, food and jugs of sterilized water (for the over protective mothers in the crowd).

And there are batteries out the wazoo in the toy store. Can't have enough of those.

In the toy section, look for Easy Bake Ovens. They contain baked goods and there is usually a section of refills for those things as well. In a pinch, this is food.

The toy store is just one "off the beaten path" for supplies like food to keep in mind should the balloon go up when you least expect it!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Prepare: Prepper for President of the US

How many times have you said "If I were president, I would..."? Usually, it is reaction to something on tv which further exhibits the idiocy of our appointed leaders.

And usually our reaction is to something which makes our blood boil like taxes, mistreatment of our military or the UN.

However, from time to time, I give it real thought of solutions and how I could bring them into being if I were President.

Lately, I have been very concerned about famine, starvation, and the price of commodity foods in the world. With weather, fuel prices, and environmental lunacy looming which will adversely affect the ability of this country to grow enough food to feed ourselves (and a good hunk of the rest of the world), food production and storage are first and foremost on my mind.

If I were president, I would embark on the following plan - Project Egypt or Joseph - I can't decide yet. If you are a student of the Bible, you remember the account from the Book of Genesis where Joseph, favored son of Jacob, was sold into slavery by his brothers and ended up in a position of authority in Egypt. During this time, Joseph interpreted the pharaoh's dream that a famine was about to fall upon the land.

Because of the dream interpretation, Egypt went on a crash course of famine prevention. They laid in a store of grain for seven years and when the famine came, they kept their population fed and solidified their power over their neighbors.

If President, I would start a famine prevention plan as well. I would rebuild the grain silos across the country, but specifically in regards to where the population is currently. I would buy excess grain, oats, rice, and wheat from farmers. There would be no more agricultural subsidies not to grow food. The excess production would be stored until there was at least a seven year supply of food, both human and silage, in storage.

Next, I would rebuild the Strategic Petroleum Reserves. Politicians seem to think it is a piggy bank for lowering the price of gasoline at the pumps, it's not. It is an emergency source of fuel to power the US in the event of a crisis. I would do the same with coal, natural gas and uranium.

I would rebuild the nation's emergency medicine stockpiles and again, they would be distributed throughout the nation so they would be accessible to all areas with minimal travel.

So why do this? Because, it is a matter of time until we have a nuclear attack, EMP burst, biological attack or something similar which will show the weakest parts of our defenses. The ability to feed, fuel and treat ourselves if production were halted or brought down to a lower level.

But there are no offers to sit in the White House so we get to cross our fingers and hope for the best.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Prepare: Food Storage FAQ

This question has come up before and with winter full on, food storage for tough times is on everyone's mind.

First, go read Allen Hagen's definitive work on food storage - Food Storage FAQ.
There is no reason for me to attempt to do this subject justice as Allen has before with authority. Best of all, Hagen has shared this information with the world for free. That's a life save these days.

Yes, there are good books online for sale like Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living and Talmidge's Making the Best of Basics. But if yot are just getting started, research on the internet first before spending money which can be spent on food later.

Before starting a food storage program, look at what you eat. The old "Store what you eat, eat what you store" rule applies, but there is more to it.

For instance, what do you normally eat for lunch or dinner? Let's say its a piece of meat or maybe chicken, some sort of carb like potatoes or rice, vegtable or two, some bread and maybe a piece of cake or pie for dessert.

In the post-SHTF world, that probably won't be on the menu. You may be able to cook, but power will be out or on short availability. Forget running the electric oven or microwave.

Also meat will be a treat served in a different manner than an eight ounce slab on a plate. Meat will be used to flavor a larger dish like stew or soup. Or maybe cooked to make a gravy to go over rice or noodles. Vegtables will be fresh in the summer and pickled in the winter.

The staple for most meals will be a filling carbohydrate like rice, pasta, grain or bread. A gravy, soup or stew will be poured over it. Bread, baked in multiple loves a couple of times a week, will be the scrape/dunk tool to eat with meals. Fruit will be rare and served as a dessert or treat.

Besides the information from Allen Hagens' site, you should stock up on some things he does not mention. For instance..

Canned goods - Get plenty of the canned foods you do like to eat. Watch the dates! Some expire in one year, while others in more than three.

Dried pasta - Spaghetti, noodles, all of it. Watch the per pound price at the store.

Canning supplies - when the garden comes in, you can't eat everything and you don't want to waste it. Remember, a case of jars is only 12 and that won't last very long. Try and pick up as many jars and rings, rings, rings as you can. And salt and sugar for preseving.

Dried goods - which brings up another. Yes, Hagen recommends whole wheat grains, but I always suggest that food storage means getting regular flour as well. And get the aforementioned sugar, salt, baking soda, powder, yeast and other dried goods needed.

The thought of your family going hungry should bother any parent or spouse. Start a food storage program today and don't wait for hunger to set in to get you motivated.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Prepare: One Nuke Attack In The US

There is a program coming on one of the cable channels soon which explores what happens when a nuclear weapon is detonated in Washington DC.

Of course there will be some incredible graphics and special effects which will make this worth watching. The rest will all be fantasy as well as nobody can accurately forecast and plan for what would surely be the worse disaster in U.S. history.

That being the case, let's consider what might happen if Washington DC or another large metropolitan area were attacked with nuclear weapons.

First, the country will be stunned. Remember September 11, 2001? Most of us sat in front of the television for hours (it seemed like minutes) as we witnessed that terrible attack on the country. Many of us were to shocked after seeing the first tower go down to get up and do anything. For hours.

If a nuke goes off, expect that to be ten times worse. Some will sit still. Others will go into shock, hysterics and panic. Some will get on the phone, others in the car and others will try to book flights and start packing bags.

Here is what you should consider now: There may be more bombs. Soon. And maybe where you live. Get the shelter ready or get out of dodge.

If you are not supplied, you could go pick up a few more things. But remember, there are plenty of older Americans who remember the Cuban Missile Crisis as well as millions of panicking others wanting canned goods and bottled water, and they will be emptying out the stores just as fast. Plan and shop now.

Next, there will be panic. As stated above, some will jump in their car, get the kids and start driving to the boonies even though they have nowhere to go and did not even pack a bag. Others will go the airport. There will be misinformation spreading as people in California and other distant states panic over getting fallout from DC. They will call the city and government demanding to know where the nearest "bomb shelter" is. They will call the Congress person and mayor wanting to know where to go.

Then comes the first boot to fall; the government's initial reaction. The government will not want to panic anyone and will release a statement about what they know and a few preventative measures they are putting in place now. For instance, the government may ground civilian aircraft, limit phone calls or close certain roads. But that is the light response. The next shoe to fall will be much louder. That is why you need to prepare now.

The next communication from the government will put most of the U.S. under some sort of martial law. Most likely, it will limit travel (no panicking mobs allowed to leave the cities), they will limit firearm and ammunition sales (a dream come true for the Feds and now they have the chance), they will limit food and water purchases to stop "hoarders" (useless now that most of the stores are empty) and they will suspend most Constitutional rights in order to "bring to justice those responsible for this heinous crime". I would not want to be out on the streets or having to deal with law enforcement when this happens. They will nail you for having an expired license tag and throw you in the gulag.

Afterwards, will come the rules change which is necessary to meet this new "challenge". Many resources will be sent to the affected zone including some things taken by force. Emergency workers will be nationalized and sent to dangerous areas to help the injured. Most of the Guard and Reserves will be called up. A crisis like this will present unparalleled opportunities for the Federal Government to fully take over many parts of the nation and its resources.

I have a hunch two things won't happen. First, a response commensurate with the attack itself. The U.S. will wring its hands and look for a scapegoat in the desert or somewhere else far away. Second, there will be no planning or preparation for the public if a nuclear attack were to happen again. No Civil Defense revitalization, no call for fallout shelters in backyards, no stockpiling of food and medicines for an emergency. Rather, it will be time to create a new Federal agency for our protection such as Department of Man Made Disaster Planning and Response. Thousands will be hired to "raise awareness" about disasters.

So right now, your best bet is to a) stock pile supplies now, b) get away from the big cities or have a place to go to with little notice, c) be prepared to live low profile for as long as possible, and d) learn to do without. There may be a time when all help and services come from the government and the requirement is total subservience and forfeiture of assets.

Good luck

Mountain House Freeze-Dried Food

Monday, September 21, 2009

Prepare: What to do when unexpected guests arrive?

OK, so the world is coming to an end. Pick your poison. Plague, nuclear war, earth shift, civil disorder, etc.

You and yours have holed up in the country. Or in your cleverly disguised suburban home. Or maybe in the city, in an old warehouse or brownstone camouflaged to look dilapidated and uninviting.

Well, not inviting enough. The best friend, ex-brother in law, guy at work with family, or whoever, has shown up at the door. They may have a truck full of food or in a nearly empty car or on foot with only the clothes on their back. So what do you do?

First, the gig is up. Maybe you bragged about your lair, supplies and plans too many times at the dinner table, reunion or around the water cooler. Too many preppers do. After all, this is what we do 24/7 and when the other folks talk about their latest vacation or golf outing, we feel kind of stupid with nothing to say. So you let slip that "Well, this weekend, we added another 400 square feet to the garden and I picked up a new Remington at the gun show".

They know and here you are with unplanned visitors at the door.

Some of you will write in the forums, "I will have gun in hand and let them know there is no room and to go back to looking. I might give them some food or water, especially if they have kids, but that's it".

Sounds great. Unless it's your wife's family of course. You'll also have to watch your back all the time when that disgruntled friend comes back to take what he wants.

So what to do?

First, really look at your situation and theirs. Do the newcomers pose a threat to you and your family and the others at your place? Are they dangerous, mental or sick? Is there an immediate threat which could compromise your security right now?

Second, if the new arrivals do not constitute a threat, could you take them in? Be honest. Maybe you have a 3 month supply of packaged and canned food and a one year supply of long term storage food and you have enough for 8 people. The newcomers represent 4 more mouths. If they are empty handed, will their contribution be enough to reduce your food stocks by one third?

Next, where does your reluctance lie? Is it because the newcomer did not prepare like you did, laughed at your efforts and now you have the upper hand? Or are they a real threat to the security and well being of your existing group? This is a big one so be honest. Are you thinking about the greater good or revenge?

Here are some positive points about newcomers and the unexpected guest:

Another set of hands, ears and eyes. In a survival situation, numbers rule. If there are four adults, two are always on duty for security. The other two are resting and working if possible. Adding just two more adults increases the labor pool by one third and means that two more can be working while two patrol/watch and two rest.

More people brings more skills. Maybe "Bob" has never handled a gun, but what if Bob is a decent mechanic, doctor or gardener? Suddenly, your skill set just went up a notch. Further, you may have overlooked a skill you never imagined. Now you have an answer.

The newcomer increases your stock. Hate to sound "animal" but another family means possible mates for your family down the line. The kids have to get married some day and have more children. If there are not enough people where you are, you will have to go looking anyway. Might as well take care of that project now.

But there are some negatives as well all know...

The newcomer may be lazy, drunk, a thief, argumentative, short sighted, or ambitious enough to take over. Can't have that.

You may have to offer to take the children and tell Mom or Dad, sorry, but that it is best for the kids. Some may take you up on it for the sake of children.

You may be in a situation where Mom and kids are welcome, but drunk and disorderly boyfriend has no place. It can get ugly.

So what to do if the newcomer or guest is not wanted?

While the rare person may accept their fate and lack of space with you, don't count on it. It is human nature, especially in life and death situations, to bear a grudge if forced out. And in survival, that means forever watching your back.

Suppose brother in law, always a drunk and layabout, shows up. After discussion with your group, it is decide that BIL will get a week's supply of food and water and sent packing.

Now what? You just increased BIL range to find another group who may "persuade" him to reveal where he got his last meal from. And then they will come calling.

It may be best in these situations to take Brother in Law for a ride. A long one.

I am the kind who will take in almost anyone who is family, a good friend or is truly needy. I don't think I could turn a child away in any situation.

So the best course is -

1) Shut up. Don't tell anyone what your plans are unless you are ready to provide for them.

2) Have extra. There will be unplanned for visitors whether they find you or you find them.

3) Be ready to accept partials; that means kids, or single mom or injured skilled person.

4) Be ready to make hard and final decisions about unwanted guests.

5) Be realistic. You can't watch the bug out location all alone. Forgo three years worth of stored food for only one year if it means increasing your odds of survival.

Hard decisions, but better to be ready than not at all and have it happen.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Prepare: Dealing wth pests

Sure, right now, if there are ants or bugs in the house, we can call the exterminator. But what about the Day After? Terminix or Orkin are not coming out to the house anytime soon.

There are ways to get rid of pests in the home which you can try now.

Ants - There are different types of ants. The worse ones are after your food, not the fire ants in the yard. Here are some tips..
- Borax mixed with sugar. Borax can be bought in bulk, or you can use laundry detergent such as 20 Mule Team. Put some in an old jar lid, mix in some sugar. The ants will eat it and die.
- Grow the herb tansy. Boil tansy in water, pour liquid into spray bottle. Spray around areas or place the herb on shelves. Mix in some pennyroyal oil for greater effect.

Fleas - wash the animals regularly. Mint or pennyroyal based detergents or oils applied to the coat help. Garlic and brewers yeast added to food may create odors on the dog which drive off fleas. Keep animals who are infected outside and away from other animals and people until they are clear.

Roaches - these buggers follow people. When the SHTF, they will be more active as commercial exterminating and pesticide use falls off and sanitation becomes an issue. Don't let your home become a breeding ground.
- Boric acid works. Put it on the top shelf as roaches go up and come down to feed and forage.
- Catnip is a natural repellent to roaches. Don't let the cats know about it!
- Diatomaeceous earth, the "do all" product kills roaches. Dust a cabinet with it.
- Soapy water kills roaches. Keep a spray bottle around and kill them where they are.

Rats and Mice - I have personal experience with these fiends.
- Go the hardware store now and get a big mess of rat and mouse traps, the old fashioned kind. I have a drawer full.
- Get a cat. Works everytime. The smell of a cat will drive mice out of a house.
- Set a trap for them. A bag of garbage. Wait with a pellet gun or bow and arrow. I bagged a big bugger last year in my alley this way.
- I don't use poison on rats or mice. They die in the most inconvenient places like behind the walls or in the chimney.

Keep walls and cracks caulked up. That means get a couple of good caulk guns and plenty of caulk at the hardware store now.
Keep the house clean. Food and trash attract insects.
Stop infestation before it starts.
You can stock up on pesticides now, but they will wear out over time and run out. Investigate natural remedies now while the internet is still available.

Good luck

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Prepare: Cleaning products, ammo prices

I put ammo prices on the headline today, but gun prices are looking good as well. I checked over at Impact Guns for my ammunition availability and found most stock is in and available. And the prices are going down as well.

Why? Most of the new buyers have purchased what they need. Many have gone to retail stores (although many ammo calibers are still low such as .45, .380, etc. in the big box stores.

Also, many buyers are feeling the pinch of this swell economy. So check out Impact and Classic Arms for some great bargains.

With the economy hurting, we are all looking for ways to save. But we also need solutions which work when the stores are empty too. At our house, we use plenty of household cleaners like you do. 409, Lysol, Windex, etc. But we also make our own.

We use several homemade cleaners for jobs around the house.

For wood floors we have Murphys, but my wife also makes a home made cleaner which really makes those floors glow. Vinegar, water, some peppermint oil and some alcohol.

We use this as an all purpose cleaner for surfaces as well.

We use a wood cleaner like Pledge we make out of water, some vinegar, vegetable oil and some oregano oil.

For bathrooms, we have a solution of soap of castille, baking soda and water.

For a quick air freshener its water and peppermint oil in a spray mister.

We clean the carpets with the vacuum, but first we sprinkle corn starch and baby powder or baking soda down on the rugs.

Cat litter in a pinch? Use shredded newspapers with baking soda. Change it daily, wipe out the pan well with diluted bleach or Lysol.

What's nice about any of these cleaning products is they are cheap. That comes in handy when money is tight and the house is dirty.

There are plenty of ways to clean on the cheap. Make sure you have plenty of rags on hand instead of paper towels.

Good luck,

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Prepare: Swine Flu Preparedness At Home

Whether it is the swine flu or some other variant, let's get prepared at home for whatever may happen. My daughter happened to get a cold this weekend, and with the Labor Day holiday, it was a way to simulate a "bug in" scenario with the flu being the "man made disaster".

My daughter started feeling bad on Friday night. She had a runny nose and sneezed several times while watching television. We took her temperature and were relieved to find she did not have a fever.

We put her to bed early, but first, she took a dose of OTC (over the counter cold medicine for her age), brushed her teeth and gargled well.

The next day, we stripped her bedding as well as all the bedding in the house. It was washed thoroughly in hot water with plenty of detergent naturally. We sprayed down her bed mattress with Lysol and I dusted the carpets well with baking soda, baby powder and corn starch and vacuumed. This will not kill germs, but will help remove built in odors and may trap some dirt in the carpet.

We have water resistant covers on every mattress. These can be cleaned as well and should be before,during and after a virus makes its appearance.

While awake, my daughter carried a tissue or paper napkin at all times. Into this she coughed, sneezed, etc. The paper was then disposed in the toilet. Never leave them around on surfaces or in the trash can - the virus germs must be removed from the home. She washed her hands several times a day with warm water and soap.

The other children kept their distance from the sick child and were given separate activities and meal times to avoid sharing of dishes, cups or utensils by accident.Kids will be kids. All surfaces were sprayed regularly with Lysol to kill the virus.

My daughter was still hungry despite being sick. Her top request was for "smooth" things to eat; her throat hurt. We served several different kinds of soup, applesauce, and warm drinks. This was a problem because we were running out of variety early on.

We try not to overdose children on over the counter medications in our home. Instead, she took plenty of elderberry and zinc lozenges, elderberry syrup and natural cough drops. She also regularly took peppermint candy.

She was given two hot showers a day. In the shower we put a few drops of oil of lavender, peppermint, oregano and eucalyptus.

Finally, we made sure she had plenty of rest and stayed in bed. That meant lots of distractions like books, games and videos. We did her outside out back for fresh air and sunshine though, just know crazy activity or exerting play.

So keep these things in mind:

Have plenty of clean bedding on hand.
Keep plenty of cleaning supplies available.
Stock over the counter medications (multiple bottles) as well as alternative remedies.
Stock lots of comfort foods for sick people. Buying a few cases of different soups can be a lifesaver.
Have plenty of activities line up for the home bound.

It was a good drill, but Dad is tired this week. I can only imagine how hard it must be in a real pandemic.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Prepare: Preparing with Childiren

Here about that 61 year old guy in Atlanta who slapped someone else's 2 year old kid for crying too loud at the grocery store today? Don't know about you, but someone hits my kid I am going to take a frozen ten pound bat of hamburger meat to his skull and put him out of his misery. Where I live you can use deadly force to protect another life. I think the cops will be on the 2 year old and his dad and not on the old grump's side.

We have all heard the latest about the Prez wanting to indoctrinate our youth through the school system next week. If you raise weak minded children, the gov will have no problem. If you raise strong children, they will know to look like they are paying attention, will know how to fudge the required "feel good about feelings" homework and move on to the next subject.

This brings up the situation of children and emergency prepping. By now, if you are serious about being prepared, your kids have noticed the piles of canned goods, N95 masks, buckets of rice and lifetime supply of ammo in the house. They have to navigate around it in the morning while getting ready for school.

At the same time, little Timmy and Tommy next door have the latest video game, big screen TV and snack food and can't understand why your little boy has an emergency poncho, water filter and lifeboat rations in his school backpack. Someone is going to stand out and questions will be asked.

What's more is your little tyke may happen to mention at school during science class that a hurricane or ice storm does not scare him because "We got months of food at home and Daddy has about 400 gallons of gas hidden in a tank in our backyard". Or maybe Iran or North Korea are no big deal in social studies because "we have a fallout shelter hidden beneath our garage, but I am not supposed to talk about it".

So, what to do?

First, talk and teach your kids about emergency preparedness. They have to grow up sometime and must know where water, food and shelter come from and what to do in an emergency. Further, there are things they can do to help without making it seem like a big secret conspiracy. Things like "Johnny, we need to have these extra batteries in case the lights go out. Remember when that happened after the last storm?". And there is no reason to "Prep Bragging" by showing Johnny that extra batteries means a minimum of 100 of each size including hearing aid batteries.

Also, don't ever refer to the fallout shelter as a shelter. Call it a basement. Call the stored emergency food, groceries. Call the gas masks, painters masks. Call the MBR, well, figure something out there.

The deal is to give your kids misinformation until they are old enough to know how to keep low key and low profile about your survival preps. If you rename supplies common names then little Johnny is more likely to use that at school and around the other "sheeple".

Don't forget to incorporate survival thinking and planning into your families life, but don't let the kids spill the beans (or rice or wheat) on your survival plans. They may let teacher know and that will lead to you know what.

Good luck

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Prepare: Be careful about "work from home jobs"

Most of us want a way to earn extra money. Our job is insecure. The economy is rocky. Even in good times it seems like we work harder and earn less than before. Don't get started about the cost of working. The clothing, the commute, the stress, meals out and time.

The idea of "working from home" appeals to many. Wake up, check the computer, fax or voice mail while drinking home brewed coffee in your PJ's. Sounds great right?

The problem is so many are allured by that dream that they fall for some real bamboozle scams. You know, the late night commercial junk with the scenes of tropical vacations, boats, new cars and big houses all paid for by a "work from home career".

Here's the deal. Those ads on tv and all over the internet ("work for Google!" is my personal favorite scam) are scams for the most part. Here are some popular ones to avoid.

Like I mentioned, "Work for Google posting links! Make $300 - 500 a day!".
First, Google is not hiring anyone to "post links". Check Google's website and find out for yourself. Second, with that kind of money, any self respecting sweatbox software factory in India or the Philippines would be cranking that system everyday and cornering the market if it were true.

These "Google products" are actually high priced monthly memberships to fly by night companies which promise to teach members how to "make money online". Read the Terms and Conditions and see that each charges a high monthly fee, usually around $70.00 and do not guarantee that anyone will make money.

Completing surveys at home. Everyone has heard of this one. Fill out surveys for popular companies and get paid $25 a pop. However, when you see one of these ads, read the small print. What you get for your $47.00 payment is not a list of juicy surveys to fill out, but a list of companies who may or may not be offering survey work. Some are just more list sellers who will try to sell you on another make money system.

Some companies do pay for surveys, but most surveys take 15 to 20 minutes and pay anywhere from .25 to 2.00 a piece. In addition, you have to give a great deal of personal information such as your income, address and phone number. Not worth it for a buck or two.

Phone support or customer service from home. This field has taken off and there are bone fide opportunities in this industry. However, most people who work in this field have some sort of experience in phone work. What's more, the jobs are always very part time, such as 10 hours or so a week. And the hours fluctuate. While some are mornings or afternoons, they often are after hours jobs with work time between 7PM and early morning. A phone, internet connection and quiet work environment are required which is difficult if children and pets are in the house. What's more, the money is generally around minimum wage. Don't quit your day job.

Stuffing envelopes. This job rumor started in the 1960's along with "small parts assembly". While some people have made extra money with the "envelope stuffing job", the reality is most companies can outsource this work to big mail delivery companies who hire dozens of temp workers on the spot or use machines to do the job now.

Even if someone did pay a home worker to stuff envelopes, the actual cost would have to be hardly anything to make it cost affective. Not worth the time or trouble.

Foreclosed properties. There are lots of houses for sale right now and everyone knows someone who has made money "flipping houses". Before buying some real estate course online, check among friends and family and find someone who actually has bought, renovated and sold a second home. It ain't easy.

What's more, the individual investor is competing against some big companies out there. A good friend has been with a large "home investment group" for several years and because of their network, money and backing, they find out about cherry properties long before Mom and Pop get the news. What's more, is these companies have the business contacts to actually buy and sell a property in days rather than months like the rest of us.

Most of all, never pay for a job. There are so many scam artists who will promise big riches for the "work at home dream" because they know what people want. And these scam artists always want a large fee up front and a contract which benefits them, but never you.

Be careful.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Prepare: Swine Flu Survival Guide Fox News

Fox News had a silly little slide show about how to survive swine flu.

Get a vaccine, what to do at college, school, etc.

Very silly.

How to avoid swine flu courtesy of me.

1) Avoid sick people. When the swine flu outbreaks start, plan on staying home as much as possible.

2) If you stock up now, you won't be forced out of the house to congregate with other sick people like at the grocery stores. Buy food and water in bulk now.

3) Keep your kids away from other sick children. Too many parents today are lazy and let little Fauntleroy go to school with a 101 degree fever. If the kids at school are sick, keep yours at home.

4) Avoid sick people at work too.

5) Have several N95 masks on hand. Don't buy one - buy 20 to a box, several boxes. Keep three in the car and more by the front door. Use 'em and replace them.

6) Keep hand sanitizer for you and big cans of Lysol on hand. Spray surfaces after visitors leave.

7) Avoid public gatherings. Won't it be rich when a case of swine flu spreads at a "Town Hall Meeting" on health care?

8) Disinfect your mail. Guess what the postman has been touching? Everybody else's mail!

9) Avoid visiting others for the duration. We have phones, email and online chat for catching up now. Use it.

Good luck

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Prepare: What? Swine Flu Again?



Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius offers a warning after a special panel presented a grim report, saying among other things that a "plausible scenario" for the United States later this year is wide-scale infections, possibly 30,000 to 90,000 deaths, mostly among young children and young adults, and perhaps as many as 300,000 sick enough to require intensive care unit treatment at hospitals. - news this morning.

In the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), the government has to come up with a way to remove the local population from possibly witnessing the aliens landing. They concoct a horrible nerve gas release as the cause which naturally results in panic and pandemonium and the desired effect. Everybody scammed, aliens arrived, no press.

I can't help but wonder what reason the government has for trying so hard to scare us with swine flu this year. No, I don't think the government has our best interests at heart and is trying to prevent another 1918 Spanish Influenza outbreak. If the government was so concerned about our health and safety, the TSA would be profiling every potential terrorist based upon past perpetrators and would leave grandma in her wheelchair alone.

Nope, swine flu scare tactics are another classic "Hey look! It's Elvis!" distraction courtesy of Uncle Sam. They have a lot to distract us from..

- 10 trillion dollars plus in debt in 10 years or less. Even the most conservative economic commentators warn that the United States government spending debt will be 75-80% of our Gross Domestic Product. Soon, the U.S. will owe more than its worth. I can hear Mr. Potter now, "You're worth more dead than alive! Ha-ha-ha!".


- 10 percent unemployment, and growing. Many job seekers have given up. They are off the unemployment rolls. Many out of work have exhausted their benefits and they too are now off the unemployment rolls. Many who have jobs have either had their hours cut or their pay or both. They don't count in any employment survey. Many new jobs are contract only (1099), have no benefits or only pay if the employee brings the company revenue - I received a call like that five minutes ago. These "workers" are considered the same as the employee with two paychecks a month, full benefits and a 401K to the government.

I think there is closer to 15-17% unemployment when everything is taken into consideration. And like I said, it is going to get worse. The word "jobless recovery" has entered the room. Everyone stand up and introduce themselves.

- Unaccountable government. Whether it be unelected czars (where are we? 19th century Russia) running every department in the federal government or representatives ignoring their constituents on health care, immigration and jobs, the government has given their bosses (us) the finger and will do what they think is best regardless of the outcome to the people who pay their salaries. Thank goodness we are all losing our jobs. We won't have the taxes any longer to support their hair brained schemes.


But forget about the distractions. What about this swine flu? Is it for real? Yes and no. Yes there is a swine flu virus, but there are also dozens of other flu bugs out there which thousands of people get each year and some actually die from.

Is there a real threat from swine flu? Sure, there is from every flu bug. However, this one already surfaced this past spring and while there were some fatalities, there was not a pandemic that the UN, WHO and government wanted us to believe.

Is there a possibility the swine flu will have mutated and come back stronger and different than in the spring? Of course, which raises the question: Why does the government want us to take their new, rushed to market vaccine, if the bug may be worse than before? Won't the vaccine be less effective?

Is there a possibility that the swine flu could make more people sick and effect everything in our lives? Work, services, school and so on? Sure, but again, do you really think the government cares that much about grandma getting the flu, kids going to school or parents staying home and not on the roads going to work? Elderly health care, public schools and roads cost money, don't they?

A crisis like swine flu is good for government. Cities and states can declare disasters and get lots of federal emergency funding. Enough to prop up their starved governments and pass out some raises to unionized government workers. The federal government can finally push some unpopular pet projects like mandatory health screening, travel restrictions, national ID, and restrictions on pesky Constitutional liberties.

Swine flu is good for government. Fear of the unknown is good for government. Fear of a little flu bug is good for a whole bunch of people, just not you or me.

If there is swine flu pandemic, do the usual. Get the supplies and make plans you need from Preparing for Swine Flu posted this past spring. Wash hands, stay home from school and work if sick, keep the kids away from sick kids, etc.

But most of all, read between the lines. Why the panic over swine flu from the government? Hmmmm...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Prepare: One Second After Review

So this week, I finally sat down and read One Second After by William Forstchen. This is a work of fiction about an EMP (Electro Magenetic Pulse) attack on the United States. One Second After made it to the NYT Best Seller List earlier this year which shows Americans have an appetite for this type of work. Sort of like making a list before Christmas gets here.

The synopsis -

Small town, Black Mountain, North Carolina outside of Asheville, population about 6,000, is where the story takes place. The main character is John Matherson, a retired U.S. Army colonel turned professor at a small private college in the hills. The good professor is also a widowed father of two girls, one a teen, the other a twelve year old who has Type One diabetes.

On a normal afternoon, the U.S. is plunged into darkness when the EMP bust takes place. Suddenly, all modern electronics, cars, phones, power, water and everything related is shut off.

Within four days, Black Mountain is suffering. There are thousands of stranded motorists from the nearby interstate in the town straining the few resources they have. The hospital no longer has any functioning equipment. The nursing homes patients are dying for lack of air conditioning, water, medicine and trained staff. Without vehicles, the town's fire department, police and ambulance are unable to send help. There are no shipments of food or medicine coming into town and an unsuccessful trip to nearby Asheville lets the town's residents know not only are they on their own, they actually have to fear their larger neighboring cities.

Matherson, well respected in the community, steps up to a leadership role and describes events over the critical first year. It is not a pleasant picture. Without spoiling the story too much, there are a lot of hungry people, a lot of dying from basic illnesses and injury and a bunch of nasty events including a massive battle against a roving, brutal gang.

How did I like it?

I am a big fan of survival fiction. One Second After is sort of like a modernized version of Alas, Babylon, without all the conviniences. In Babylon, Randy and family pretty much get off unscathed. Sure, their clothing and cars are falling apart, but they still have a secure home, food, and organization.

Not the same in One Second. Things don't go so well for Black Mountain, North Carolina. There are no happy endings. Just one sad event after another. One Second After made me think I was reading a prequel - "What happened five years before the events in Cormac McCarthy's The Road take place".

The purpose of this is very clear from the author's standpoint; Forstchen wants to literally scare the pants off readers so that they will insist their elected representatives do something about this very real threat.

One Second After is also the complete polar opposite of the similar EMP attack story, Lights Out which can be found online. While the characters in Lights Out are dominated by local politics, rescue missions and vengeful neighbors, they never go hungry and even have time to take a daily shower and get medical attention. Forget about that in One Second After (at one point, many of the central characters go a number of months without a real bath. Think lice. Yuck).

OK, so what were my frustrations with One Second After?

First, when the lights go out, when the cell phone dies, when the car does not start, don't continue having a bar-b-que. Get to the darn store and buy everything! The main character allegedly wrote, while in the Army, a paper on the threat of an EMP attack and its affects on the U.S. He should have known better than everyone else. Yet after the attack, he is no better prepared than the town's insurance salesman.

Second, if your kid is sick, don't wait two days before going to the pharmacy! What was the main character thinking?

Third, why is it in books that the main characters can't wait to have a formal meeting with as many other characters to discuss what happened? Sure enough, Day One after the EMP attack, there's Professor Matherson having a meeting with the town mayor, police chief, etc. What's there to talk about? Get to the store!

Not me. Day One, Two and Three after the event are going to be spent getting my hands on as many resources as possible and securing my location. "Sorry, my calendar is full tomorrow Mister Mayor. I will be at the Food Lion buying all the rice and peanut butter before you folks figure out there won't be any more groceries coming in. I will be happy to pencil you in a week from Tuesday though".

Fourth, it takes the town about a month to realize they better start growing some Victory Gardens for food. Duh.

Fifth, chickens are for eggs. Get all the chickens together. Put them in one spot. Guard them and feed them. Let them lay eggs. Make many omlettes. Do not start killing the chickens to put them in a pot. Same with cows and milk.

Cigarettes are a good thing to stock up on now for trade and barter. So is a 50 lb. bag of rice and extra dog food.

There are some very poignant moments in One Second After. The scenes with his youngest daughter. The death of a couple of central characters. The sadness which becomes every day life.

Everyone should read One Second After. Everyone should start getting prepared today for this event. Unlike nuclear war from the 1980's, there won't be a build up of hostilities or even twenty minutes to take cover. Just the whole world different and backwards in time in the blink of an eye.

Note: One more thing that occurred to me since writing this review. i would love if someone like Jerry D Young or Gary Ott (online SHTF fiction writers) would take a swag at a story like One Second After. Often, both writers write much more optimistically than I think reality would be. I would be neat to see one of these writers take One Second After from the middle of the story and look at the ending from a different perspective. Worth a thought.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Prepare: What Happens After A Nuclear War?

I found this link in a forum which was discussing the very same topic. It is quite possibly the best and most thoughtful write up on the subject I have read. It is over five years old, but still very relevant in fact more so today.

I like to research things which may have an impact on me and mine. The problem with the effects of nuclear war is that most of what is written online follows these lines..

"Nuclear war will mean the death of THE WHOLE WORLD!"
"The result will be nuclear winter and the destruction of the ozone layer".
"A single bomb will destroy all of New York City, will spread fallout for hundreds of miles and will contaminate the soil, water and air for thousands of years".

Nearly all the above has been proven false. That is why finding that link and the write up was sobering and disheartening, but the truth was refreshing.


In business, we have "take aways"; what did you learn that you left the meeting with?

Here are my take aways from the above essay.

1) Have a good supply of food. This has been said over and over again in every scenario. Stored food for immediately afterwards (up to two years) and the ability (land, seed, fertilizer, livestock, skill) to produce more from then on.

2) Natural triage of the survivors will happen. Those who can save themselves or who can live without any assistance will the best off. Those waiting for and wanting outside help will not make it.

3) Who will go to the top of the "must save list" will surprise some, but not me. Child bearing women and healthy children are at the top of the list. Rebuilding the population will not be a fool's errand, but mandatory or all will be extinct in short order.

4) Skills which contribute to the survival of the group are the most valuable. Medical, technical, agricultural.

5) The 2nd Amendment as carried out by citizens will protect and preserve society. Spells it out very clearly.

6) Survival of the strongest does not necessarily mean "a big guy with a gun" but often the brightest and best organized. I call this the "survival of the adapter".

The downside of the post is what the author calls the inevitable fallback of civilization to the 18th and 17th century standards. He says this will be due to loss of technology (batteries, computers, fuel, vehicles even ammunition will run out), loss of resources (assets in the cities and on the ground will start to deteriorate the day after), and loss of knowledge (people scrambling to transcribe digital data into paper and ink written form).

Regardless, what will happen after a nuclear war has a dramatic impact on what you and I do today to plan for it.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Prepare: Job and Work Survival

No, this is not job survival as in "disaster hits while at the office", but rather some information on working and continuing to be employed while SHTF Lite takes place around us.

I have several times online about people who are out of work and how they have been unable to find work where they live. They have my sympathy; I have been out of regular work since February. I work three jobs on contract basis to support my family.

However, there is an outlet some people are unable or unwilling to take. Move.

Throughout history, the great migrations, both in recorded and ancient history revolve around people having to move due to famine, drought or lack of money/work.

We have become so accustomed to living and working where we are for as long as we please, we have forgotten how our ancestors lived. They often were forced to migrate to new jobs, work, fields and elsewhere to feed their family.

I received an email from a friend in Wisconsin who could not find IT work in his field where he lived. I pointed out that Texas was not suffering as badly as the rest of the country and had he considered looking for a job there and relocated. Absolutely not was the response. Texas was full of backwards hicks who elect George Bush governor. How dare I ask him to consider living there. Besides, he had friends and family in Wisconsin.

Here's the deal. Get over yourself. If you have children dependent upon you, you get off the pot, and get on the road to where the jobs are. Don't move until you have an offer, but for crying out loud, take a look elsewhere for work.

When I was unemployed for a good part of 2002, I looked literally everywhere. New York, Ohio, Oregon, Georgia, etc. I only cared about a decent job which would pay for itself by relocating. I was willing to pay my own expenses for the move as long as the job I was going to be somewhat secure.

If you are going to survive, sometimes you have to "Bug Out" to find a job or work. Think about our neighbors to the south who illegally cross the border and are willing to risk arrest to find work. Will they replace us because they are adapting and we are not? Something to think about.

Good luck,

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Prepare: Cooking and Food

Do you have a "every time I am at the grocery store list"?

This is a list of things you get every time you set foot in the store. It is a great way to build up your food storage.

First, set a budget, $5.00, 10.00 or 20.00. Not more than that or it will put a huge dent in your finances before you know it.

I generally go the grocery store twice a week. One day is "Big Shopping Day". That is where I fill the cart with the usual staples like meat, bread, milk, and so forth. I always use a list and always use coupons. I generally hit two or three stores before I am done. All the of stores must be within a couple of miles of home or the gas costs eats up the food savings.

Once a week, I have to go "pick up a few things". Sometimes it is something my wife needs for a meal or for baking. Other times it is more milk or bread although I try to keep three weeks of perishables on hand at all times.

When I go the store, I pick up a few things every single time.

- One 1lb bag of rice or one bag of noodles (elbow).
- Two 1lb bags of dried beans.
- Two cans of something, usually with protein like canned beans or tuna fish.
- Two cans of fruit.
- One four roll of toilet paper which ever is on sale.

All in all, I usually never spend more than seven dollars on the above. Sometimes it is a little over five.

All of these purchases go into the pantry. The rice and beans go into 5 gallon buckets in their plastic bags after they spend the night in the freezer. The cans go on the shelf.

This builds up a nice little supply of back up food with long shelf life. After a month, you have enough food for a family for three days or longer if you do it right. A year of this can mean a big dent in a month's supply of food. And it only cost about ten dollars a week. That's a fast food meal or a movie ticket.

When it comes to food, I am not a gourmet. It drives my wife bats because I eat very simply. I like bread, meat, potatoes, and little else. But I do like to cook. Cooking is a skill which all of us need before (to save money) and after (to eat, live) the SHTF. Aunt Bee is not coming over to make me a chicken dinner every night.

Because of I am all thumbs in the kitchen, I like cookbooks, the older the better, to prepare foods. New cookbooks have too much "soothing diversity and cultural awareness of foods and the sustainability they bring to persons throughout the world".

Not for me. I like a book which presumes one knows where their food came from and accepts facts such as cows and chickens are for eating.

One of my favorite cookbooks was written in the 1930's and is called French Cooking in Ten Minutes
Don't get me wrong. This is not "Filay Minyon and Snails". This is simple food, prepared quickly, for little money and with a small amount of equipment. The author based his writing on the way people lived in France in the 1930's. Most only had two burner gas or coal stoves (think Coleman stove anyone?).

The book contains recipes which take a few minutes to make and contain basic ingredients nearly everyone has at home. And the meals are filling and complete. And the author is politically incorrect by today's standards. He tells readers how to properly kill a trout ("whack its head against the side of the kitchen counter") before cooking. Why calves brains are so good cooked in butter. Why you should "stick up for yourself" and eat sausages and tuna fish for lunch if you want.

It's a great basic cooking book which can help a useless eater like me in the kitchen, or that young person you are sending off this fall to work or college. It's cheap too. A good buy in my book.

The world is heating up. I was pretty depressed last week, but feel alot better this week. I think we are about to turn the corner. Don't get me wrong. I am prepping for the worse, but I think the end game scenario is changing while we speak.

Some of the "powers that be" are working in their exit strategy now. Keep that in mind!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

SHTF: BBC Threads Nuclear War

Originally called a "docudrama" the UK movie "Threads" was released in 1984, a few months after the U.S. ABC Made for TV movie "The Day After". Both movies featured a fictional nuclear war event.

The story takes place in Sheffield, England in summer 1984. A short war between NATO and the Soviet Union breaks out over Iran. As it heats up, a few nuclear devices are used which quickly escalates into total nuclear war.

There are three sub plots in Threads;

A young woman who is expecting a baby and who lives with her parents.

Her boyfriend, who also lives with his family in another location of the city.

The town mayor and his staff who try to prepare the city for the possibility of a nuclear attack.

All of this takes place against the backdrop of Sheffield as the tension builds.

Stores run short on food as shoppers flock at the last minute to stock up. Some residents try to leave town for other parts of the country but find the roads closed off to "official business" only. Meanwhile, other residents spend their time protesting with the nuclear freeze movement hoping to avert a war.

When the attack comes, the young man's family tries to improvise a fallout shelter in the kitchen out of doors and mattresses. The young woman's family on the other hand, appears to have planned ahead and has a basement with some supplies prepositioned.

The mayor and staff have burrowed themselves in the basement of city hall in an emergency planning shelter with generator and supplies, hoping to coordinate efforts from this location.

The attack itself is ugly, probably the most graphic of all the nuclear movies of the time period. Two bombs are dropped on and near Sheffield. Thousands of citizens die horrifically while burning alive or from the blasts and the city is also heavily damaged. Several key characters die or disappear at this point leaving us with a core group of survivors for the remainder of the film.

The mayor and staff are trapped in the basement and while trying to get out, manage the efforts of their teams above. The job is daunting as there are thousands of dead, dying and injured above with little hope of help. This executive leadership team has little preparation or training and quickly find themselves and their efforts overwhelmed.

Meanwhile, after the death of a family member, the young woman leaves the basement shelter in search of her boyfriend and we get a view of the world outside. The destruction is everywhere and overwhelming. The scene at the hospital is particularly disturbing as the medical resources of the city are strained and no where near the level needed to cope with the injured.

The young man's family meanwhile, is left with only two members remaining and both have been exposed to significant amounts of radiation from the blast and fallout. They lay in their partially demolished home awaiting death which is slow and agonizing.

Dialog nearly stops at this point as the actors speak less and less as the situation envelopes them. The cold, the lack of water and food, the constant wandering search for shelter and the next meal. One by one, the characters die off from the effects of the war and the dark future ahead.

The movie ends thirteen years after it started with the daughter of the young woman now a teenager. She lives in a bleak, cold world. Ignorant and furtive, homeless and forever living from one hardship to the next.

Throughout the film, there are narratives describing scenes which can not be explained by the participants. There are also ongoing radio announcements from the government attempting to prepare the city for war ("The best place to be, is at home. Stay there.").

There are defining moments, such as when the family moves the dead grandmother outside of the shelter and covers the body with a blanket. They follow the rules given by the government for the disposal of the body but do so with guilty embarrassment as if they are worried the neighbors may see them. Afterwards, the scurry back down to the basement to hide once again, with no plan whatsoever as to what they will do when their food runs out.

There was much criticism when Threads was released and which is still relevant today.

The movie was largely the work of writers sympathetic to the anti-nuclear movement. Many are of the opinion that the film maker made Threads as graphic as possible to drum up support for the nuclear freeze movement in the UK and Europe during the early 80's.

Also, some of the possibilities described have been questions, such as nuclear winter resulting from the attack and the effect of fallout on the population. These matters can be argued by others elsewhere, here is what I learned.

- Being in the city is the worse place to be in a nuclear attack. Too many people, not enough food, not enough room between you and someone who wants your stuff.

- You can never stock up too soon and too much. Within a week of the nuclear attack, people are starving. Food became the new money. People fight over crusts of bread, a handful of grain and even rats.

- Having a basement or fallout shelter beforehand is a good thing. Trying to make a shelter at the last minute is dumb.

- Guns keep bad guys away. In the UK, most people do not own guns. Result - bad guys get to take what they want from you. Including your food.

- Have somewhere to go. One character spends the rest of her life living in abandoned sheds and barns. Not fun.

- The country is great to escape to if you have a farm and home. If you are wandering from place to place, the country is just a big, empty place to die.

- The government, for lack of resources and due to the sheer magnitude of their job, will not help you in this scenario. Don't plan on it.

- Did I mention food? Get lots now. Don't wait until it is too late.

Check Threads out for a sobering view of nuclear war and what can happen. It can be viewed on YouTube in its entirety.



Ultimate Family Preparedness Pak

Monday, July 27, 2009

Prepare: Die with Dignity

Buried in that 1000 page mess of a "health care" bill are a number of encouragements for our medical community to address the concept of "Death With Dignity" for those who are terminally ill or aged.

Someone countered the indignation about Death With Dignity as meaning "we need to let those that are both aged and terminally ill what options are available to them".

There are only two options available to older, terminally ill patients.

Option One - "Doc, I don't want to take any more of that medicine, or have chemotherapy or undergo another operation. I think I will just let nature take its course and have at it".

Option Two - I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

- Excerpt from the Modern Hippocratic Oath. Read the whole thing as well as the original. There is no place in either for euthanasia, assisted suicide or death on demand.

That's it. There are no other options. Either the patient wants to stop treatment or the doctor continues to do all in his power to provide treatment.

These were the rules before the government "stepped in it" just a generation ago and before the insurance companies waded in to make a mess.

Now about that Death With Dignity stuff..

Here, let me translate that from NewSpeak for you - Death with Dignity is the suggestion that doctors discuss with their patients that they accept their condition and go and die sooner rather than later, (also before running up costs for others to pay).

[I am sure there will be future legislation with the terms "mandatory" and "assisted" included as well].

As my wife said last night, "It seems more and more like they are readying us for Soylent Green"

After Chuck Heston watches Edward G. Robinson become a Human Happy Meal he comes to the conclusion..



Hungry yet?

With California, courtesy of the Feds, turning off water to many of the prime food producing areas in Southern California, we may be heading to the Soylent Supermarket sooner rather than later. With the drought in California worsening, perhaps they want us to start eating off the excess population?

We also have the Feds wanting to tax soda pop to raise money for "non insured health insurance". Funny how economics works. If you raise the price on something through artificial means (taxes, fees, etc), demand drops and with it, revenue.

Last night on ABC Nightline, they began the propoganda prep for "national food guidelines for healthy eating". They made the point that certain salty and fatty foods were addictive. Observation: It's not your fault you are fat, you are addicted. And, the Feds should regulate those bad food, like liquor and tobacco, because it will be good for you. I can't make this stuff up.

Ready to give up? Good. That's their plan. Overwhelm us with so much garbage we become depressed, complacent and docile.

No thanks. We are stopping them now. We are on to their plan. I don't care about the politics or the talking heads, I care about the results.

I don't want to live in an overly regulated safe world which encourages me to wear a helmet and pads just to take a walk outside. I don't want to live in a world which forces me to sign a waiver to mow my own lawn. I don't want to live in a world which demands I eat a certain amount of tofu and forbids me cooking meat on my grill out back.

So I will resist. Remember that concept? Resist. Say no. Refuse to go along. Be difficult.

We will win. They are too fat, bloated, full of self importance and delusion to change us now. Get busy, get to work.

Friday, July 24, 2009

SHTF: Minimum housing, Minimum wage, minimum life next

Couple of things ran across the radar this AM.

First, this article about this boarding house in Seattle with a new concept. Tiny apartment homes with shared kitchens and laundry facilities. The actual rooms are as small as fifty square feet. How cute.

Except when you realize how many of those in charge, (and who get paid lots of tax dollars and non-profit money), think this should be the ultimate destiny for all of us little ants and bees here in the U.S.. Everyone should embrace this small is better philosophy.

I can see their version of the future...

Imagine happy workers in their snug little one room homes with two sets of clothes, (two pairs of khaki pants and two blue shirts), a municipal bus pass and a secure job at the department of Coffee and Soy Burger Production.

Mandatory educational hours twice a week learning about subjects like "The Carbon Impact of Human Existence on Earth" and "The Progressive Values of Alternate Cultures Compared to the Failures of the Western World Belief System".

Good medical care provided by USCare and USPharm. Advocates praise the decrease in life expectancy among Americans to the "sustainable level" of 59 years of age. As their productivity drops, those seasoned members of society should be encouraged to Die With Dignity.


How about that big bump in the Minimum Wage today?

Yesterday the serfs earned $6.55 an hour. Today they can look forward to $7.55 and increased dollars to spend freely on big screen televisions, video games, new fuel efficient cars from GM and fast food. One economist praised this potential infusion of $5.5 billion into the economy as a "shot in the arm".

Forget that businesses are suffering and laying off employees, reducing hours and closing their doors. Mandatory government wage increases mean nothing if there are no jobs.

This minimum wage increase will definitely turn things around. It reminds me of those incredible crop predictions of the old Soviet Union. Prosperity for all!

Never forget that this is all part of the plan for us little people. 99% of the population going to our minimum wage government jobs moving park benches and painting the local Diversity Center. Living in crammed rabbit warrens eating soy mush and bean surprise. Children limited to one per couple once they pass their Child Licensing Test. Vast areas of suburbs, rural areas and wilderness off-limits to the masses and only available for the enjoyment of the Elders and Watchers assigned over us.

Peace and Tranquility upon you!

Bah. It won't work and it won't last. These brainiacs seem to forget we are human beings. Individuals with spirit, drive and determination. We refuse to climb into our pigeon holes and chase the cheese around the maze. We stubbornly cling to our antiquated religions and self preservation.

As individuals we want to make more money than we did last year. We want to live in the home of our own liking whether it be a two bedroom apartment downtown or five acres in rural Idaho. We may want to have no children or ten.

We may wish to pursue eight years of college, four years of technical school or simply avoid school and recycle discards found on the side of the road. Simply put, individuals fail to comply with Big Brothers Five Year Plan. And they hate us, but we have an advantage they don't.

We move faster. We are more nimble. Their bloated carcass can hardly get out of bed in the morning without a poll, focus group and consensus. We win in the end. They lose and go extinct.

In the meantime, you need to get ready. This is a marathon, not a race. We need to be prepared for the trying times over the next two years or so. The economy is not growing and cannot keep up with the spending. The collapse is inevitable. You must prepare for your family and friends. The usual; food, fuel, water, space.

We will persevere. We will overcome. We will survive.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Prepare: crop failure, colder weather and food shortages coming this fall

Yesterday, I wrote at length about job and credit survival. I forgot to mention two parts of the unemployment disaster that the Guv and others are not talking about.

First, many people I know are accepting big pay cuts to stay employed. We are talking about 10 and 20 percent across the top pay cuts. Yes, these people will be cutting back in their expenses no doubt. But what about the amount of money they contribute to savings and retirement? That will go down. And the amount of money to pay down debt? That will go down as well. Forget about additional shopping, these people will be fighting to keep their homes and cars.

Next, the forced furlough. The boss orders everyone to take a week or two of unpaid leave. This are happening everywhere and of course, our friends in the government and press are keeping hush about it. Many companies are shutting their doors for one week to one month this summer and not paying employees all the while. What's the effect of that little action?

On to today..

Weather in the Midwest, Northwest and West is colder than expected. Many parts of the country have not gotten out of the 80's this summer. This has affected crop production with corn futures on the rise.

Add to this the demand for corn for ethanol which reduces the amount of the limited crop available for food, both for people and animals.

Finally, throw in new regulation both for water and proposals for greenhouse gas reductions all of which will hit the agricultural sector particularly hard.

Net result? Higher food prices followed by potential food shortages. Where? Overseas? Nope, right here at home.

It gets better. When supplies shrink and demand stays the same, prices go up. Add to that little scenario 10 to 15% expected unemployment and we have hungry people unable to purchase higher priced food.

What a mess.

What can you do now?

If it were me, I would lay in a stock of basic foodstuffs now. That means big bags of beans, rice, flour, sugar, salt, jugs of cooking oil and plenty of spices. I would also look at cases of canned goods like vegetables, fruit and meat.

Next, I would purchase as much fresh fruit (its all on sale right now) and get busy dehydrating and canning.

Then I would pick up some big packs of meat. Freeze it, dry it or can it as well.

A garden can produce in the winter, but not tomatoes or corn. Garlic, onions and potatoes can be grown though.

Stop eating fast food. Save that money for real food.

Stop making little trips to the grocers. Make big, fill-the-cart trips once a week. Load up on staples now.

Start exercising. The unhealthy may not make it to next year.

How did it get to this?

We put our food into our fuel. We took good land and turned it back over to nature. We penalized farmers for water and fuel use. We considered taxing cows and pigs because they produce methane. We have junk food so cheap nobody raises their own natural food. We crammed millions into cities to control them, but failed to allow for urban food production.

A hundred years ago, chickens walked around New York City. People had vegetable gardens in their backyards in Boston. Barns and cows were common in Dallas.

But not anymore. We have turned people into bees and ants. Scrambling around inside of a controlled colony to serve the king and queen bugs who sit in the center of the hive in DC and NY. We slave for the equivalent of three days and die. Food for the colony. On to the next generation.

It won't last.

As always, remain optimistic, faithful and full of hope. We have been preparing for this for years. We will persevere.

Get ready. Be watchful. And get to work.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Prepare: Job and Credit Survival

Some may ask, "Where have you been? Why no posts for the last week or so?". Others probably did not notice; most have thier own problems these days and spending time reading blogs is not on the To-Do list.

First, the unemployment numbers keep going up. It's "officially" over 10 percent nationwide, with many states reporting double digits in the high teens, such as Michigan, California, Oregon and others.

The layoffs are continuing across the country and they will keep up until the balance sheets look good enough to see stocks rise. "See, everything is swell now".

Let's get back to reality. Layoffs will continue. Stop clinging to the idea that your job is "safe and secure". And it's not just private enterprise. Cities and states are running out of money that means that those teachers, cops, firemen and yes bureaucrats are going to start getting let go too.

What's worse is that many jobs are not coming back. Sure we have been losing manufacturing jobs for years, but add to that jobs in finance, insurance, and services are going bye-bye now too. With the current shenanigans going on in DC, don't expect there to be an uptick which creates new jobs and industries any time soon.

Even the Chairman of the Fed says that this will continue until 2011 or longer.

What are these people thinking?

Let's add to that the financial industry. Your credit cards, car loans and mortgages. Some of these companies have their heads on straight. They are working with their customer to find a way for them to keep their home and car anyway possible. I applaud those companies.

The credit card companies are in La-La Land. For customers falling behind on their "minimum payments" they are raising their interest rates. We are talking 18 - 24 percent interest rates. The worse car loan I ever had as a young man was 9.5 percent. Credit card interest at 24 percent? How do they expect anyone to pay that back?

And what's more, the credit card companies are moving quickly to charge off accounts and send them to law firms for collection. Great. What's next? Loan sharks breaking legs?

Have you ever spoken with a credit card company before? If you have a balance, they ask how much can you pay right now. They offer a free "check by phone". All we need is the past due amount of $3214.92, please. Can we set that up today? Sure, let me go sell a kidney and I will get back to you.

Then they have the nerve to ask, "Do you have a friend or relative you can get the money from? Or do you have retirement you can borrow against?". Sure, why don't I rent out my children for hard labor. I will get that money to you right away. The credit card companies will be asking for debtors prisons in the next session of Congress mark my words.

Hey credit card companies! How about you eat the late charges, over limit fees and lower your interest rates to single digits? Didn't think so.

These are the same companies who received huge loans and payouts from TARP courtesy of me and you. Granted, some refused loans and others paid them back, but where was our loan or rescue money?

Speaking of which, I don't want charity - let me keep some of what I earned in the form of tax relief. How about we freeze income taxes and tax withholding for one year. Guess what? Spending like you have never seen before.

Sure, many of us would use that windfall to pay down debt, buy food and save. But there would be spending - we are Americans after all.

But we can't have that. Our money is needed overseas, in the pockets of bankers and special interests groups who have never held a job or earned a dime in their life.

I have said before, I work three jobs. Sometimes I get paid on time other times not. I don't plan on ever having a standard, 9-5, get paid on the 15Th and 30Th, job again. Those days are over. Not by my choice. If someone called today and offered me $100,000 a year with benefits, I would be at their office before the phone hung up. They have us like rats in a maze.

This is life in America. I still am not discouraged. I am still optimistic. I still believe. Why?

Because our oppressors will starve by their own rules and requirements before they can break us. They can't think outside of the box while we lost ours to foreclosure years ago. They need the revenue, interest payments, minimum balances and late payments which are not coming any longer. We got used to less, unreliable, devalued money years ago. We will survive.

Systemic failure is imminent. Get your house in order and get ready.

Next - crop failure, weather patterns and food shortages coming this fall.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Prepare: Cheap Survival Food

"Which Foods Are Gone After A Crisis?"

Food is king. Well, actually, the article I read today said that Ramen was king. I agree when it comes to cheap, lightweight, filling food, ramen noodles rock.

Ramen is considered the fare of hungry college students, underpaid office workers and struggling families. However, it is a big part of my survival food plans. Why?

It's cheap. It costs less than $.10 a pack often. It hardly weighs a thing. A person can easily carry 20 of things in a bug out bag. It is sold in bulk. You can buy a 15 pack at a regular grocery store.

Drawbacks - it has lots of sodium, some fat and other stuff which is not very good for you. In a survival situation, these may be good things.

Here is a great story about the history of ramen noodles.

What else is cheap food for survival?

Macaroni and Cheese

Forget comfort food, mac and cheese is survival food. It can be made with only the ingredients in the box, milk and butter, while nice, are not neccessary.

Macaroni and cheese is a favorite of children and adults. It can be purchased at the grocers often at "3 for a dollar" sales and the non-Kraft version is even cheaper.

I have made mine with dried milk and powdered butter, so that can be done as well.

Rice

Rice per cup costs next to nothing when purchased in big 50lb bags. All that is required is water to make.

Rice can stretch a can of stew or soup into a meal for two (or more in really hard times). Rice stores forever when properly contained.

Beans

Rice's best friend. Dried, can be stored for years. Only need water to cook. Soak overnight to cook and it helps remove some of the "gas effect". Rice is a healthy food as well. High in fiber and protein. And dried beans are cheap.

Oatmeal

Same as rice, cheap and good for you. Buy in big packages. Store in large sealed buckets and it lasts for years. I used some oatmeal I purchased in 2005 for baking last weekend. Had it in a sealed bucket in the back of the pantry. Tasted fine.

Again, water is all that is needed.

There are lots of cheap survival foods which can and should be stored now while the stores are full and food is available. Remember, to pick up appropriate storage buckets to store the food in.

Whether it is a hurricane, storm, war or end of the world, a good food storage program starts with you.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Prepare: Suburban Survival Basics and Intro

Most people these days live in or around a city. Most of us can be classified as "suburban". Very few are completely rural or even part time rural. The reason being jobs, access (to school, health care, etc.), family and convenience.

The world right now is "out of whack". Here in the U.S. we are rapidly running out of time and options. Unemployment is spiraling out of control as all sectors of our economy are in trouble. Money is hard to get for businesses and individuals. Homes are foreclosing. Businesses are shutting their doors. There will be no more easy fixes and recovery will take decades.

With these two things in mind, you, Mr. or Mrs. Suburbia, better wake up and get ready. I truly believe we are about to be in for worse times, rather than better times.

The end will not happen at once.

There will NOT be a sudden "the government is broke" announcement followed by immediate rioting, looting and runs on grocery stores.

The end will come gradually. Another percentage uptick on the unemployment charts. Hiring and spending freezes by the government. Reduction in benefits to the unemployed, elderly and veteran. A mass migration of transient workers heading back to their home countries as jobs and money dry up.

Now is the time to stock your suburban lifeboat for the inevitable.

Money -

Starting now, take 10% of your paycheck, put it in cash and hide it at home.
Start selling (while there are buyers) all of your unneeded and unwanted junk. Hold a garage sale, post to Craigslist, etc. Sell off those compact disks and DVD's you never watch. Get rid of that old stereo forsaken for the IPod.

Stick all the extra money into two piles - Emergency cash and preparedness.

Food -

First, start laying out 4x3 planting areas in the back yard. Use bricks, wood, rocks, whatever to start building raised beds. A half dozen of those will raise a surprising amount of food. Plan on growing food which produces a lot from a little. Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beans. Melons and corn take up too much room and water.

Next, go to the warehouse store and start buying big bags of rice, beans, spices, flour, sugar, salt, etc. Long term stuff which can be made into meals and food to fill you up.

Buy lots of canned and dried foods. Fill the pantry now while its available with food you like to eat and which can feed you, your spouse and children this winter.

For instance, let's say you go through a pack of hot dogs a week. Buy four packs, freeze three and put the other in the fridge. As long as the power is on, you have one month's worth of hot dogs. Do the same for macaroni and cheese, cereal, etc.

Water -

You need to store water. Buy ten cases of bottle water so you know you have something. Stick it in the closet.

Next, get some storage containers. A couple of 55 gallon, food grade barrels are not that expensive. They can be filled, placed in the garage and treated with a bit of bleach. You now have several days worth of water on hand.

Put up some barrels to catch rain water from the down spouts.

Find a nearby water source. Stock up on bleach, filters and some way boil water.

Energy, heat, light -

Buy several packs of batteries from the dollar store. Get more from the warehouse club store if you can afford it.

Buy at least one deep cycle rechargeable battery. Pick up a solar panel kit, (even a small one will do) to charge it. Once charged, you can use it to power..

A single burner hotplate. You now have an appliance for heating water and cooking small meals.

Also purchase a two burner camp stove and as many gas cylinders as you feel comfortable storing.

The big propane tanks for the grill are handy, I have four. But remember, cooking outdoors alerts the neighbors that "Soups on!".

I don't care to store charcoal. It goes bad too soon.

For light, pick up battery powered lanterns over gas; they are safer to use indoors. Candles are handy, but they don't put out much light. If you do get them, believe me, get the non-scented variety.

LED lights are great for flashlights and head lamps.

A single space heater run from the deep cycle battery can warm a single room the family can use during cold nights without central heat.

A fireplace is good as is a wood stove, but you will need a lot (6 cords a season minimum) of wood.

Protection -

Go to the nearest sporting goods store and select a pump action 12 gauge shotgun. Pick up at least 500 rounds of ammunition mixed in slugs, buck, and bird shot. That is 20 boxes of shells.

Go to another sporting goods store and purchase a .22 rifle such as a Marlin or Ruger. Pick up at least 5000 rounds of ammunition. That is 10 bricks.

Find any friends or relatives who shoot and own guns. Ask what their plans are and what they will do if riots break out or there are food shortages. There is strength in numbers but only among those willing to defend themselves.

Measure plywood for the front windows and door of the home. Put up the highest fence allowed around your property. Install real locks on the front and rear doors and measure out a cross bar as well.

Get a number of fire extinguishers for the house as well as smoke alarms.

Start putting all vehicles in the garage or behind the house if possible.

Transportation -

Keep cars properly tuned and full of gas at all times.

Start storing the largest amount of gasoline you feel comfortable with.

Get a bike for each member of the family and at least one full size bike trailer. Make sure it matches the type of bike you have so that installation is quick and secure. (The bike can be used for short trips to save money and gasoline).

Stock the basics for the car: jumper cables, motor oil, coolant, filters and belts. There is a good chance you will have to keep your own vehicle running in the near future.

Medical/Health -

If you know a doctor or nurse, good for you. Get ready to treat yourself otherwise.

Stock a home medicine cabinet now. How many times has a child or spouse had a cold, fever or the flu and there you are running out to the drugstore or grocery for a box of NyQuil? Fix that now by stocking all of those products without excuse.

Build a real first aid kit. Not just those plastic band aids, but gauze, large compress and wrap bandages.

Have everyone blood type and allergies written down and handy.

Stock up now on soap, shampoo, cleaning products, baking soda, bleach, and lots of toilet paper.

Skills/Knowledge -

What can you do? Can you fix a car? Plant a garden? Home repair? What marketable skill do you have which others need and are willing to pay for?

Stock up on books on farming, small repairs, medicine and other useful subjects.

The bottom line is this. In a very short time, we will be forced to make do with what we have and what we are. You can get ready now, or you can be another statistic. It is totally up to you.

What are sitting there for? Get to work!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Prepare: Where to get water post-SHTF

Nuclear war, EMP burst, financial collapse. Every day emergencies, but where do we get water from?

Without fresh water, you die of dehydration. No water to clean with. To cook with. A world without water is a nasty place you won't live in long.

Right now, your home water comes from the faucet. Most of us are on "city water" which comes from a processing plant a long way from home. The water company provides water pressure in the pipes which allows the water to come out the faucet when we turn on the tap.

If the power goes out, or the water supply is disrupted, or the system is damaged, then no water. If you have ever had your water out because of a line break, you know how rough this is.

Now some are fortunate to be on well water. However, they are not out of the woods yet. Wells are no longer the bucket on a rope affair we have in mind when we think of wells. Rather, they are a deep shaft under the house with a powered pump lifting the water out of the depths. Even the infamous pitcher pump is no longer found in the home and those only work for shallow depth wells.

So if the power goes out, then the home with a well may also have no fresh water either.

So what to do?

If you have a well, the answer is easy. Have an alternate power source equal to pumping the water up to the house. Also needed is a power source for a pressue tank.

If you do not have a well, you may want to consider getting one. Yes, most municipalities frown on new well permits in the city, but an enterprising soul could look into "sand point wells" on the Internet and check out the farm and ranch store for the neccessary hardware. If someone were to put in their own sand point well in the backyard over the weekend, who would be the wiser? Just sayin...

Other water sources

Is there a water source on or near your home? A creek, pond, lake, river or stream? Even if the water is questionable, follow the Prepare Three Rule For Water - Boil, Filter, Bleach. Do this and any water is drinkable.

(Stock some camp stove cylinders, big jugs of bleach and water filters now).

Rain keeps falling on my head..

Store that rain water. Place a barrel at the base of the water spouts from the gutters off the roof. Generally, a regular trash can will work if you follow the Three Rule listed above. They sell rain barrels for water collection, but they are expensive. You will need something over the top of the rain barrel to keep mosquitos and large debris out, but allow rain water in. A piece of screen window works fine.
Some people connect two water barrels together with a piece of PVC to expand their collection.

Another is a cistern. A hole in the ground, lined with concrete and covered with some sort of access. The water can also come from rain water. A filter system can be built before the water enters the cistern using gravel, screens and sand. One idea here; a swimming pool can be converted to a cistern although the cover would most likely be a pool cover or a combination of discarded lumber. Be careful with cisterns as people and animals can fall in and drown.

Containers. Where ever the water comes from, where are you going to store it? Get plenty of containers, the bigger the better.

Remember, boil, filter, bleach. Any water can be made drinkable with this formula.

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