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.

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