24 Hour Sale on Preppers University Courses

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preppers universityYou’ll have to act super fast to get in on this flash, 24-hour sale on all Preppers University courses. A New Year brings with it the perfect chance to focus on getting prepared once and for all.

These courses will connect you with preppers just like you from around the country and even around the world. You’ll have chances to network with them weekly and take classes from some of the best known survival and prepping experts in the world. People like Fernando Aguirre (FerFAL), Dr. Arthur T. Bradley, Jim Cobb, and so many more.

However, if you want to focus on prepping and really GET IT DONE, then you don’t have time to dither! Save 30% on the regular class fee of $139 today (January 1) only. Sale ends at midnight, Pacific time.

You can still register for the class later, but will pay an extra $40, and classes begin soon, on January 22.

CLICK HERE to learn more and HERE if you’re ready to register!

Is Your New Year’s Resolution Logical?

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Is Your New Year’s Resolution Logical?Wherefore our wills also have just so much power as God willed and foreknew that they should have. . .

—Augustine of Hippo, The City of God (5th century)

 

For we do not say that man is dragged unwillingly into sinning, but that because his will is corrupt he is held captive under the yoke of sin. . .

 —John Calvin, The Bondage and Liberation of the Will (1543)

 

Making Changes, Making Choices

As we enter the New Year, we think about resolutions, changes, new beginnings.  We think about making better choices.  A new diet.  More exercise.  Picking up a new hobby.  Sending timely reports to your boss. Finishing that book we’ve started a dozen times.  Choose.  Resolve.  Do.  It should be that easy, right?

Then why do we fail so often?  And why do our resolutions accomplish so little?  Why can’t we live out our choices?

Making Ourselves By Our Choices

Barack Obama wrote in his book, The Audacity of Hope, that American values “are rooted in a basic optimism about life and a faith in free will.”  His claim echoes a long American religious and literary tradition that says that we have no fixed nature and that we create and define ourselves moment by moment by our choices, with our sin nature never getting in the way.

Charles Finney

Charles Finney

American roots run deep here.  Before Thoreau and Emerson there was Charles Finney.  Before there were public schools, there were McGuffey’s Readers.  Before Netflix spies and superheroes, there was Hemingway.  All have preached the American gospel of the self-made man, the man who creates himself good, on his own with never a mention of a dark or fallen side.  It’s a Pelagian gospel, to be sure, and its definition of “good” has become increasingly vague with the passing decades.  But not just that. Very few have even challenged the basic assumption that people can make and remake themselves by raw choice and willpower alone.

The Freedom To Choose

So, let’s examine this assumption closely. First, Scripture affirms human responsibility and the reality and significance of our choices.  But it also teaches our fallen nature.  Key point, often overlooked: Our choices flow from a heart corrupted by sin.  In other words, fallen man is free to choose (our will is uncoerced; our actions are self-determined), but we will always choose, in some form, rebellion against God … until God changes our hearts.

The natural man finds this doctrine offensive and asserts his own freedom, his own autonomy.  He doesn’t need God. But he can find no solid ground for this assertion.  To see this more clearly, let’s go back to the extremes of materialism and pantheism discussed at Christmas.

Christian Heroes For Christian Kids: These Amazing Stories Are Putting God Back Into History!

The materialist reduces all to atoms.  Reality is matter in motion.  Everything is reduced to cause and effect.  Like billiard balls scattering on the table after the break, energy particles generated in the Big Bang scatter, collide, and rebound … “off the glass” … exchanging momentum and transferring energy.  Only this.  Nothing else.  Consciousness, volition, and choice are mere molecular interactions within the brain.  After all, that’s all they can be.  There is nothing else according to the consistent-thinking materialist.  Appeals to quantum theory may seem to open a door to pure contingency, to pure chance, but pure chance isn’t free will.  The concept of randomness isn’t consistent with the concept of a free choice. Think of it this way:  Can you make a real choice if the concept of logic no longer exists?

religion-1225383_640The pantheist sees all temporal differences, all individual choices, as passing manifestations of the all-encompassing One.  The individual soul is the cosmic soul and you can’t separate the two. The Hindu says “atman is Brahman.”  But stop and think this through. To say “I like the Bulls but not the Cavs,” or that “Usain Bolt came in first and Bill Heid last,” or “let’s have lunch now rather than later” are all just illusions to the pantheist.  Differences can’t be real if they are going to be consistent thinkers. Individual choice is irrelevant in this worldview.  He who steals and he who thinks he’s been stolen from … are both confused.  Not just that … even killing and dying are the same, both valid expressions of impersonal, divine reality.  If “All” is one, you can’t make distinctions. If you can’t make distinctions, all choices are imaginary.  Cosmic jokes.

The Gospel And Its Implications

Over against all of this, Scripture proclaims the reality of human choice and the power of God to liberate and transform the human heart.

First, the claims of Scripture are important. Scripture teaches the absolute reality of both Creator and creation. They are distinct. God exists eternally and necessarily as the Source and Ground of all created reality.  (“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1.)

In God, unity and diversity are equally ultimate.  God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  God is therefore absolute life and absolute personality.  He is communion, love, and choice.  This God created heaven and earth, not out of His own essence, but out of nothing.  This means that the universe is wholly God’s.  His deal.  It exists at His pleasure and for His purposes, the terms of which are spelled out in His eternal decrees.

Second, Scripture tells us that man’s freedom is the freedom of a creature.  Man can’t bend reality to his will.  He can’t become a zebra or pass back and forth through time simply because he wants to.  (“Can an Ethiopian change his skin or a leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.” Jeremiah 13:23.)

He functions as a creature within a broader creation.  And at every point, every moment, his freedom and choices are, in some way … checked, restricted, and given form by the rest of creation which itself moves at God’s sovereign command.  Nobody is autonomous.  Our choices are real, but not absolute.  Man is, therefore, responsible for his actions and accountable to God.  (Note to self: God will judge the world.)

jesusThird, Scripture tells us that our main problem isn’t that we are creatures or that we lack total autonomy … our big problem is our ethical rebellion against God.  Since the historical Fall of Adam in Paradise, we’re all sinners.  (“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.” Romans 5:12.)

We are still free, within the limits of our creaturehood.  And we can make choices, to be sure.  But (and this is a big but) because our hearts are twisted and messed up by sin, our “gravitational pull” is toward bad choices.  Granted, our bad choices aren’t always as bad as they can be … but apart from Christ “bad choices” serve the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.  And because our hearts are “bent” this way … our nature is to not seek God, let alone serve Him.

Fourth, Scripture presents us with the Gospel:  Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.  He gave His life as an atoning sacrifice wholly propitious (paid in full) to reconcile a holy God to unholy sinners.  (Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10.)

He died and rose again to offer His righteousness to those who will receive Him by faith.  And by His Spirit, He transforms human hearts and so grants the very faith He requires.  This is called regeneration, or new birth.

The man who has been born again is free to love and serve God.  He is free to make good choices, albeit ones that often fall short.  Since the work of the Holy Spirit isn’t complete in this life, we will continue to struggle with our choices.  But the indwelling reality of the Spirit’s presence and power make growth in grace, love, and holiness real possibilities.  The one who is born of God can overcome sin, the world and the power of the devil.  All this means our wills are free from the bondage of sin … allowing for prayerful change and volitional choices in Christ.

What it all comes down to is this:  Unbelievers can make New Year’s resolutions.  I’m not saying they can’t. What I am saying is that they just can’t make sense of their resolutions or even their day-to-day choices if they consistently play out the full implications of their worldview.

The Gospel has enormous implications for all of life.

Happy New Year!

Patriots’ Prayers for 1-1-2017

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What is wrong with America goes well beyond politics & economics. It is a spiritual sickness which infects the USA. No politician, no election, no piece of legislation, will cure spiritual sickness. We must appeal to a Higher Authority for that kind of healing. Please join me in praying for America.

Prayer for America

Save and protect, O Lord, these United States of America and have mercy on us. As a nation, we have turned our backs on you and have sinned. We have allowed our God-given liberties to be taken away. We have allowed the epidemic of abortion to fester out of control. We have allowed prayer to be eliminated from our schools, and Your Word and commandments to be banned from our public squares. We have allowed Your place in our nation’s history to be erased from our textbooks and our minds. We have turned our backs on Your teachings. We no longer look to You and Your Word for our standards of right and wrong, replacing those absolute truths with the whim of our own opinions.  We have allowed decadence and depravity of all sorts to become public and commonplace. Common decency has become a thing of the past. We confess these and all our sins to You and ask forgiveness for ourselves and our nation. Bring us to a state of true repentance – a returning to You – as both individuals and as a nation. We confess Your lordship over every aspect of our lives and our nation. Help us to follow You once again. Restore your mercy and blessings to these United States of America, and re-establish a hedge of protection around us. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.

Supporting Verse:If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” –2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) 

Additional Prayers
  • Save, O Lord, and have mercy upon the old, the young, the unborn, the needy and poor, the orphans and widows, the sick, the disabled, the oppressed and the imprisoned. Especially have mercy on those suffering for Your sake.
  • Grant, O Lord, blessings and mercies to all current and former members of our armed forces. Save them, protect them, and keep them safe.
  • Heavenly Father, bless and have mercy on all law enforcement officers throughout these United States of America. Save them, protect them, and keep them safe. Guide them in their duties, and grant them courage and wisdom. Watch over and protect their families. Comfort those who have lost friends and loved ones in the line of duty. Let them know your love and saving grace. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ we pray, Amen. 
  • Bless, O Lord, and have mercy upon the State of Israel. Shield it with Your love, protect it, and let it know peace. Send Your light and wisdom to its leaders, and direct them with Your good counsel.
Daily Bible Reading 
(Since this is the beginning of the New Year, I thought it would be interesting to read the beginning of the Bible and human history.)

Sunday: Genesis 1:1 – 2:7 (History of Creation) 
Monday: Genesis 2:8-25 (Life in the Garden of Eden) 
Tuesday: Genesis 3 (Temptation and Fall) 
Wednesday: Genesis 4 (Cain and Abel) 
Thursday: Genesis 5 (Descendants of Adam) 
Friday: Genesis 6 (Noah) 
Saturday: Genesis 7:1 – 8:19 (The Flood)

Prepare, Don’t Panic: Part 1, Join the 10%

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(A big thank you to Bob Mayne of Today’s Survival podcast for

When I first began researching survival and preparedness, I can’t tell you how many hours were spent in shock and panic.  I read about the “golden hordes” who would soon, very soon, descend upon my suburban home shooting, stealing, and raping, although not in that particular order.  According to some survivalists, we’re approaching a tipping point at which our world will begin to run out of oil, and we’ll be thankful to have two rocks to rub together to create heat.  Our grandparents who lived through the Great Depression will have nothing on us.  There were days I wasn’t so sure I even wanted to survive such scenarios.

Anyone who has known nothing but generations of security is in for a shock once they

In the October issue of Popular Mechanics magazine,

10% panic

80% do nothing

10% act

My popcorn situation.  I panicked.  My little brother, age 6 calmly put a lid on the popcorn.

Listening to Bob’s podcast, the thought occurred to me, my kids can’t afford for me to be part of the 10% that panic or the 80% who do nothing.  We moms do not have the luxury of panicking or breaking down in tears.  Picture that situation.  You and your children are in the middle of an intense emergency.  They are already scared, perhaps even hysterical.  They don’t need a mom who has lost all sense of reason.  You must be the adult in charge.  The options< otherwise< aren”t pretty

So how do you get to a

First, decide that you WILL be in that 10% who takes appropriate action when faced with an emergency or drastic change.

1.  Do your thinking and planning now.

What would I do if we

Communicate with your spouse and family.

2.  Put your plan in writing.  Post it in more than one place.

3.  Review the plan.

4.  Practice the plan.  i.e. emergency evacuation, medical emergency, a sudden intense weather situation

5.  Evaluate.  What worked?  What didn’t?

Your first priority is your family.  Your children will feel reassured when they see you acting decisively and with confidence.

How can you get a grip on your emotions when ?  the almond thing in your brain that fires in a fight or flight.  Begin counting.  That activates the ___ side of your brain and helps that side gain control.

The 10 Most-Read OTGN Stories Of 2016

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The 10 Most-Read OTGN Stories Of 2016

Image source: Pixabay.com

Natural health and self-defense stories dominated the list of most-read Off The Grid News stories in 2016. Following is the Top 10, in order of readership:

  1. The 9 Very Best Essential Oils For Treating Colds And Flu
  2. The 5 Absolute Best Concealed Carry Guns
  3. The 4 Very Best Calibers For Hunting Big Game
  4. The 5 Best Home Defense Shotguns
  5. The 5 Most Reliable Handguns For Survival
  6. How To Make Pemmican: A Survival Superfood That Can Last 50 Years
  7. The 10 Best Hunting Rifles: The Browning BAR .30-06
  8. The 5 Absolute Best ‘Pocket Rocket’ Pistols You Can Buy
  9. The 5 Very Best Survival Guns
  10. 3 Emergency Heat Sources When The Power’s Out

Blacksmithing Lessons – Learn to Forge Your Own Metal Creations

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Of all of the skills we have listed on the Prepper and Homesteading Skills page, blacksmithing would have been last priority for me. Learning to be a blacksmith was no where on my radar! But when my son came to me and said he was interested in knife making, he said he didn’t want to do it half-assed. He really wanted to learn to be a blacksmith and then use those skills to make knifes. So, I had to become interested. Part of parenting is providing the opportunity for your children to learn what they are interested in.

Blacksmithing

The problem is that blacksmithing really isn’t a popular skill. When you do a general “blacksmith” search in Google you really don’t get much back that is useful. Everything is related to computer games. Topics like blacksmith poppy, the blacksmith marvel, minecraft blacksmith and witcher 3 journeyman blacksmith come back. All of which mean next to nothing to me.

Luckily my wife (the rock star that she is) was able to find a local blacksmith who does lessons and booked both my son and me for a father-son lesson. She figured that if a 14 year old boy was going to be around a forge that heated metal over 2000 degrees, it was important to have a parent that knew the basics of blacksmithing too. Lee Oates at Bearclaw Knives did the training. At the time he lived in La Porte, TX which is on the opposite side of Houston from where I live, but close enough for weekend classes. He has since moved to Tennessee.

The first class was four hours long and Lee taught both my son and me a lot of basic blacksmith skills and forge safety. He was patient, and a great teacher. I left there with a much higher opinion of blacksmithing, and was honestly pretty excited. Of course my son acted like a typical teenager and said “I told you how cool it was dad! You should see all of the cool YouTube blacksmithing videos out there!!” He was right.

The second class was a one-on-one with my son and Lee. They went over much more advanced techniques, had a lot of hammer and anvil time, and used a blacksmith leg vice to do a lot of twisting techniques. It is really amazing all of the things that can be created with just a few tools and a really hot fire.

A Future in Blacksmithing?

Of course the first thing we wanted to do when we returned home was to set up our own forge. Oddly we found no rules in our HOA agreement about a blacksmith forge. But we already know that none of our neighbors would welcome the noise, and the possible fire risk, of a proper forge. So we had to look for other options. Luckily we found a good organization HABA (Houston Area Blacksmith’s Association). They have regular meetings and really good group of people. Our plan is to work with this group learning from everyone we can. Then set up our own forge when we relocate outside of Houston.

Blacksmith Tools

Setting up your own blacksmith shop isn’t very difficult. Well, let’s be honest… I haven’t finished mine yet because I simply don’t have the space. But acquiring the equipment and materials wasn’t difficult. The basics of blacksmithing really haven’t changed much in the last 1000 years. The modern blacksmith has a basic setup that is fairly simple, straightforward, and not all that different from the medieval blacksmith. You need fire, air, water, anvil, hammer, and tongs. Sure, as with any other hobby or trade, there are plenty of extras like vices, power hammers, and belt sanders that make crafting easier and provide opportunity to embellish, but the basics are still very simple.

Just about anything you need for blacksmithing is available new through sites like Centaur Forge and even some of it on Amazon. But another option is buying vintage blacksmith tools. You can find these in antique shops and flea markets. Also they are available on Craigslist and eBay. Of course shipping a 200 pound anvil through the mail is expensive. Certain things you will need will have to be bought local.

Forge

There are two types of forges. Gas forges (usually propane) and coke forges. Coke is a form of coal without a lot of the impurities. There are so many plans for homemade blacksmith forges that I am not really going to link to these. Honestly I think saving a little bit of money is not worth the effort. Buying a professional made forge will last longer and be more dependable for the beginner.
Gas Blacksmith Forge Pic Coke Blacksmith Forge Pic

Bellows/Blower

I’ve never seen the old-style bellows that were traditionally used at forges available for sale. I’ve only seen them at renaissance fairs and homestead festivals. Instead, I usually I see hand cranked blowers and electric blowers. If you can find a vintage hand cranked blower, you should buy it. They will last forever if you take care of them. Otherwise you can buy new (cheaper made ones) for under $100.
Blacksmith Hand Crank Blower Pic

Anvil

The blacksmith anvil is the most important part of the forge setup. The larger the better. I have seen anvils over 400 pounds in weight, and I’m sure they make them bigger, but a 200 pound anvil is amazing and will handle just about anything you throw at it. This size anvil can be really expensive if you buy it new, so you’ll be better off if you can find a good quality anvil that is used.
Blacksmith Anvil Pic

Hammers

Over time you will have a variety of blacksmith hammers. Locksmiths hammers, clipping hammers, cross pein hammers, driving hammers, mallets, rounding hammers and sledge hammers to list a few. You will find that having a few of these in different weights will help too.
Blacksmith Anvil Parts Pic

Tongs

Similar to hammers, blacksmith tongs come in different varieties. Box jaw tongs, double & triple pickup tongs, duckbill tongs, fire tongs and heavy V-bit bolt tongs are just a few types.
Blacksmith Tong Pic

Vices

Leg vices and plumber vices are the ones most used in the workshop. They even make some vices that have small anvils built onto them, which can come in real handy for certain tasks.
Blacksmith Leg Vice Pic Blacksmith Plumber Vice Pic Blacksmith Anvil Vice Pic

Miscellaneous Blacksmith Tools

There are so many other tools that can make forging items easier. Wire brushes, magnets, anvil accessories, twisting tools, cutting/slitting chisels and punches are just a few that come to mind. What is nice is that you don’t need them all when you start. Just buy a little at a time.

Blacksmith Books

The Backyard Blacksmith

The Home Blacksmith

The Complete Modern Blacksmith The DIY Blacksmithing Book

The Art of Blacksmithing

A Blacksmithing Primer: A Course in Basic and Intermediate Blacksmithing

Blacksmithing: 20 Quick, Easy and Useful Projects

Blacksmithing for Beginners: 20 Quick and Easy Projects to Start Blacksmithing

DIY Blacksmithing: The Ultimate DIY Blacksmith Projects For Complete Beginners

Blacksmithing For Beginners 21 Tips On How to Make A Forge and Start Hammering Metal: (Blacksmithing, blacksmith, how to blacksmith how to To Make A Knife DIY Blacksmithing Guide

Blacksmithing at Home – DIY Blacksmith

The Blacksmith’s Craft: A Primer of Tools & Methods

Blacksmithing For Beginners The Absolute Beginners Guide To Learning The Basics Of Blacksmithing Blacksmithing, How To Blacksmithing, How To Make A Knife

Blacksmith Links

Suppliers

Inspiration Videos

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10 Foundational Elements of Emergency Preparedness Planning – Revisited

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By Denis Korn

Let us pray that 2017 will be a year of right living, right thinking, right planning, discernment and an attitude of true hope and faith.  May the Truth be with you and may you discover who you can truly trust!

These 10 Foundational Elements of Emergency Preparedness Planning – AND RESILIENCY – and the suggested links are in my opinion an essential component to beginning, improving and solidifying an effective, successful and beneficial preparedness and disaster survival plan.  You are encouraged to conscientiously evaluate and embrace the information given and the guidance provided by the questions contained in the linked articles.

The wise and foolish builders

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.  But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like the foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

MATT 7:24 – 27 (NIV)                                                                                                                                 

1 – Attitude

The importance of a proper and confident attitude is essential and key to not only planning for an emergency, but also surviving an emergency.  The right attitude is the cornerstone and foundation of the preparedness process.  The 3 aspects of an appropriate attitude include: the pragmatic and realistic; the emotions and thoughts: the religious and spiritual.

An appropriate attitude is essential not only to survival, but also to effective functioning during a serious emergency. Your emotional and spiritual viewpoint are the sustaining components of enduring any emergency circumstance. The longer the emergency the greater degree of stress and anxiety, which will affect your health and well-being.

How serious are you?  Do you believe it is essential for you and your family to incorporate the proper emotional and spiritual attitude in your preparedness planning?  Who do you ultimately rely on for comfort, strength and hope? Where is your faith?

Without a thoughtful, reasoned, sincere and discerning attitude regarding potential emergencies with potentially devastating circumstances, conditions and outcomes, or the possible detrimental effects on family, friends, groups and community – this article or any presentation or investigation into preparedness planning and resiliency is an exercise in futility.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms–to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

— Viktor Frankl, MD, PhD 1905 – 1997  Psychologist, Philosopher, Author and Survivor of 4 Nazi Concentration Camps  

“Frankl’s wisdom here is worth emphasizing: it is a question of the attitude one takes toward life’s challenges and opportunities, both large and small.  A positive attitude enables a person to endure suffering and disappointment as well as enhance enjoyment and satisfaction.  A negative attitude intensifies pain and deepens disappointments…”     William Winslade in the Afterword to Man’s Search for Meaning (2006 printing)

READ: Your Attitude is Your Decision – Own it!

2 – Critical Thinking and Discernment

While many think developing critical thinking skills are for the beginning philosophy student, they are in fact vital for everyone.  Recognizing and overcoming the barriers to critical thinking are essential in creating and maintaining genuine, honest, and nurturing relationships and making effective and appropriate decisions.

A common denominator of these barriers is that the individual has no control over their effects.  They are held captive by defective responses and impressions.   One “reacts” to a situation, idea, or challenge, whereas the critical thinker “chooses” the process of thoughtful evaluation – embracing – and embodiment.  The critical thinker has the freedom to rightly assess circumstances and concepts, and the result is to arrive at an appropriate and insightful conclusion and reasonable outcome.

In the pursuit of the embodiment of critical thinking skills always be mindful of the value and necessity of honesty, wisdom, discernment, and the need to distinguish the truth from the lie.  We live in an unprecedented time of media, institutional, educational, and political self-interest that will not hesitate to use any means possible to achieve its objectives including deceptive indoctrination techniques, propaganda, deceitfulness, fallacious argumentation, and fraud.

READ: Barriers to Critical Thinking

3 – Overcoming the Normalcy Bias – The attachment to inaction

The normalcy bias refers to a mental state people enter when facing a disaster. It causes people to underestimate both the possibility of a disaster occurring and its possible effects.  Denial is the operative state of mind. This often results in situations where people fail to adequately prepare for a disaster, and on a larger scale, the failure of the government to include the populace in its disaster preparations. The assumption that is made by many in the case of the normalcy bias is that since a disaster never has occurred to them then it never will occur. It also results in the inability of people to cope with a disaster once it occurs. People with a normalcy bias have difficulties reacting to something they have not experienced before. People also tend to interpret warnings in the most optimistic way possible, seizing on any ambiguities to infer a less serious situation.

The normalcy bias often results in unnecessary deaths in disaster situations. The lack of preparation for disasters often leads to inadequate shelter, supplies, and evacuation plans. Even when all these things are in place, individuals with a normalcy bias often refuse to leave their homes. The normalcy bias also causes people to drastically underestimate the effects of the disaster. Therefore, they think that everything will be all right, while information from the radio, television, or neighbors gives them reason to believe there is a risk. This creates a cognitive dissonance that they then must work to eliminate. Some manage to eliminate it by refusing to believe new warnings coming in and refusing to evacuate (maintaining the normalcy bias), while others eliminate the dissonance by escaping the perceived danger.

READ: Normalcy Bias – Why People are Attached to Inaction

4 – Scenarios

What are the circumstances or scenarios you have determined may exist that will require you to rely upon your preparedness supplies? 

What will be the severity and impact of those circumstances on your life?  (This is not only the most important and first question to answer, it is often the question most overlooked, or not considered critically enough).  Given your potential scenarios, how thoroughly have you researched the available options for food, water, medical, shelter, hygiene, and other categories of critical supplies?  Are you prepared for emergencies during all seasons of the year?  Is your family more susceptible to certain emergencies?  How would your scenarios impact you or your family’s daily routine?  Work or livelihood? How will you protect yourself and family against those who might do you harm? The grid is essential to most homes and businesses – if it is down, how long could you function? What would society look like without the grid, and a prolonged cessation of the availability of vital goods and services? Do you have back up power?

How long will your emergency scenario last, and what is the duration of time for which you will be preparing?

This is another critical question, and while it is difficult to envision the difficult details that might occur, the adequacy of your preparedness planning and supplies is directly tied to honestly answering this question.  Needless to say, the longer the duration of the emergency the more effect it will have on multiple aspects of one’s daily routine and lifestyle, and the need to be focused on the diversity of situations that will surround you.

READ: Beginning and Improving Preparedness Planning

The #1 Preparedness Question – What’s Your Scenario? (Why?)

5 – Knowledge and Skills

What preparedness knowledge do you personally have that is important in providing specific information and instructions needed during the emergency or emergencies for which you are preparing?

How about the knowledge of family or friends?  What informational resources and references – books and other tangible items – do you personally have or have access to?  How confident are you that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to be responsible and effective for yourself and family during an emergency?

The realization that you have the appropriate knowledge and have adequately prepared for unforeseen emergencies is an essential factor in discovering and embodying peace of mind.

READ: The 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning

6 – Preparation and Action

The first step in the preparedness planning process is the acknowledgment that you have made a wise and sound decision and have chosen to take responsibility for you and your family, and to be prepared in the event of unexpected circumstances.  Be encouraged to continue this process with diligence, motivation, and discernment.

This process is basically undertaken in three phases – each one of which will take as much time as you wish to devote, and the degree of urgency you are experiencing.

  1. First, there is an initial assessment necessary to determine the direction you are heading.
  2. Second, there is further evaluation, research, and planning required to develop a firm foundation for the third phase, and to develop the clarity required for appropriate and accurate decision making.
  3. Third, there is taking action and assembling the appropriate provisions and critical information you have determined are necessary for your security and peace of mind.  This phase is ongoing as you continue to evaluate, research, and build up your supplies and information.

READ: Beginning and Improving Preparedness Planning

7 – Supplies

For most people planning for emergencies is similar to planning for a camping trip or any other outdoor adventure where the normal conveniences of home are not available. The biggest difference is determining whether to plan for being away from home or being in your own residence – or perhaps both. The equipment to include in your emergency kit or camping supplies list will be very comparable. Differences and variations will generally depend upon the severity and length of time you anticipate for your emergency scenario. Long term emergencies and outdoor explorations will require more extensive planning and provisioning.

Important questions to answer as you do your planning:

Are the equipment and supplies necessary to fulfill your needs going to be based on how cheap they are, or on the quality, value, and reliability of the product?  What are the repercussions or benefits from the choices that are made?  Who is affected?  What chances are you willing to take with inferior and inadequate provisions?  What will the climate be during the emergency or adventure?  What is the probable availability of essential goods and services where you are going for your adventure or during your anticipated emergency?

Be clear about the time factors, persons involved, and situations that you anticipate will occur in an emergency or an outdoor experience. Knowing this information is crucial to stocking the appropriate items in the appropriate quantities. Many of these items will be essential for bartering if supplies are exhausted and the emergency you are preparing for is long term.  Proper provisioning is about safety, health, protection, comfort, and peace of mind – for not only you but also your family and friends.  Don’t forget the special needs – medical, food or otherwise – of you or your family.

Do you have a list of essential supplies you believe will be necessary to have on hand during your estimated emergency?

Is it prioritized?  Do you have a list of the essential categories your supplies fall under? What do you have on hand now?

During an emergency what facilities, stores, resources, supplies, and assistance is available in your area apart from family and friends?

This includes not only information and education, but also essentials such as food, water, shelter, energy, communication, and medical supplies.  What utilities in your area are vulnerable to disruption or elimination?  What will you do to compensate for the loss of electricity, water, gas, or phone service?

READ: Checklist of Essentials for Emergency Preparedness & Outdoor Adventure Planning Including Vehicle Preparedness

The 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning

8 – Considering Others

Many conscientious preparedness planners are realizing that individuals, groups and churches should provide for the most vulnerable and those in need, especially in time of emergency.  They feel it is the groups’, churches’ or an individual’s responsibility to take a leadership role in promoting contingency planning education and action for its members or others.  There is ample historical precedent for this perspective.

As far as churches are concerned, some feel that much time, effort and money is spent on spiritual issues and teaching activities (which is of course primary and essential), missions, and new facilities, but not enough on basic physical essentials such as food and daily necessities.  There is a desire to make sure that church members, or anyone seeking the help of the church, such as the elderly, widows, disabled, single parents and the poor, are secure with the essentials during times of adversity and disaster – especially when primary sources of supplies may not be available.

Family and neighbors often do not take responsibility to provide for themselves during emergencies.  Considering others while one engages in the preparedness process is a very personal and important factor to consider.  Whether it is provisions, education or a desire to teach and motivate, all planners need to contemplate whether or not they will address the essential needs of others.

READ: Why Are So Many Christians Being Called to Prepare?

9 – Communication

What means of communication do you have available to you during an emergency and with whom do you need to communicate?

This includes both two-way communication with others, including family, friends and associates, and one-way communication from radio stations, emergency broadcasts, or individuals via short wave. Do you have a cell phone? Will towers be functioning? Land lines? Internet? Hand held walkie-talkies? Satellite phone? Short wave radios? Citizens band radios? Emergency radios and/or ham radios with two-way communication capability? During a serious emergency accurate information and updates are essential for survival. What if an EMP (electro-magnetic-pulse) from a solar flare or nuclear device renders all unprotected electronics useless? How will this affect the equipment you are relying upon?

READ: The 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning

10 – Networking

Are you dependent upon someone or something else to get you through and supply your needs during the emergency scenarios you presume will occur?

Are your neighbors or friends stocking up on enough supplies for you also?  Do you honestly believe some level of government will be there to assist and resolve the situation?  Do you have a community support network available?  What skills and knowledge do you possess that you can contribute?

During a serious and/or prolonged emergency it will be vital to have available to you and your family the support and expertise of others in your neighborhood and community.  Everyone has a skill that they can share during challenging times.  The sooner you discover those who are compassionate and sympathetic enough to network with others, the better it will be if an emergency occurs.

READ: The 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning

The post 10 Foundational Elements of Emergency Preparedness Planning – Revisited appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.

20 Things I Wish I Had Before the Flash Flood Emergency

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20 Things I Wish I Had Before the Flash Flood Emergency While there is no way to know exactly how a natural disaster will impact your family or home, there are some ways to prepare for the day when SHTF.  A lot of us live in coastal areas or inland flood plains, so flash flooding …

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DIY All Natural Multi-Surface Cleaner in Only 30 Seconds!

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DIY All Natural Multi-Surface Cleaner in Only 30 Seconds! Becoming self-sufficient is an essential part of preparing, since there may come a day when we don’t have access to conveniences we often take for granted.  Store-bought cleaning solutions are an example of such conveniences. It is important to learn how to sanitize your home without …

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5 Steps to Staying Healthy in Winter

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5 Steps to Staying Healthy in Winter With the winter months come the much dreaded flu and cold season, and it can be difficult to dodge these bugs, especially if you have little ones in the home. Staying healthy to begin with is the best way to fight infections, as a weakened immune system simply …

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How to Wash Clothes Without Electricity

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How to Wash Clothes Without Electricity No matter what happens, household chores like clothes washing still have to happen. Even if we’re off the grid-either intentionally or because SHTF, we still need clean clothes. The trick to learning to live off the grid is to learn how to use manpower in place of electric power, …

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How To Build an Awesome Garden Pond

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How To Build an Awesome Garden Pond Garden ponds are not just for avid gardeners, they act as great water reservoirs that need little maintenance. Garden ponds can hold water to irrigate plants you have growing in your garden, or in a drastic water crisis, provide water for the family. Keep in mind that the …

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Hypothesis On Why Obama’s Attacks on Israel Are Tolerated By the Jew Globalists

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It’s been bothering me quite a bit.  

Obama is a tool of “the Globalists” who are not always on the same page
The Globalists are mostly Jews

So why then does Obama reward Iran, literally flying them hundreds of millions, and an incredulous “deal” on their nuclear arms program, and then attack attack Israel at every opportunity.

Wouldn’t the Jew leaders of the Globalists want to protect Israel?

One thing should be clear, Obama is a Muslim, pretending to be a Christian.   So that is enough reason there to attack Israel.   But why would his handlers allow that?

And that is the question on the table, why so indeed?   Anyone have any hunches or intuition on this?   We need a hypothesis that can be tested and refined. 

Below is an insightful link that analyzes the a possible Globalist coup attempt by Soros and current blowback.    Be nice if that guy just died.

http://www.anonews.co/george-soros/

Is Freeze-Dried Food Worth the Investment?

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 Prepping and freeze-dried food are synonymous with one another. For years, the freeze-dried food industry have profited heavily on families wanting to get their pantries emergency ready. But is it worth all the hype and money?

There are many who wonder if the investment into this long-term food source is the right one for them and have asked questions like: Can you really survive the apocalypse with freeze-dried food? How long is the shelf-life when the #10 can is opened? Are these foods nutritionally complete? What other options are there for long-term food storage?

The Pros

There are many pros to having #10 cans of this long-term food source in your prepper pantry. Freeze-dried food is flash frozen and then put in a vacuum container causing the water vaporize, and leaving the food item with 98% of its water removed.Nutritionally speaking, the food retains all the nutrients that it had in its original form after the freeze-drying process and contains little to no additives. This process keeps a majority of the nutrition in tact. Gary Stoner, Ph.D., and the American Institute for Cancer Research have found that the antioxidant phytochemicals found in fresh fruits is about the same as in their freeze-dried versions. However, some ascorbic acid levels and the amount of polyphenol, a cell-protecting chemical in berries, were measurably reduced by freeze drying. Source

As well, the cook times are drastically reduced which is helpful during emergencies when energy must to be conserved. Moreover, many find that when they are in the midst of an emergencies, stress loads increase because of drastic changes and having these “just add water” meals ready to go cuts down on the stress of food preparation. It is estimated that 98% of moisture from the food is eliminated, thus reducing the weight of the food by 80%. Those who plan on evacuating will appreciate the lighter weight during transport – especially with all the other supplies they will have in their pack. Last but not least, the 25 year storage life makes this ideal for preppers who are looking for long-lasting food options. On a personal note, my family purchased freeze-dried food in 2004 and it’s still just as fresh as when we opened up the first can. Keep in mind, once your freeze-dried food can is opened, the shelf life quickly diminishes and you will need to throw it out in six months, and if you live in a humid area, the shelf life could be cut in half.

The Cons

While, the pros are great, it comes with a hefty price tag. You are paying for all of the specialized equipment and energy it takes to preserve the food for a long shelf life. One case of freeze-dried meals can set you back over a hundred dollars with shipping included. As well, having this type of food source for your long-term food needs will require extra space to store the food. An entire years supply fits into a 2 ft x 3 ft area, stacked 5 ft high. As well, food cans could be strategically hidden in the home, underneath beds, above kitchen cabinets and in the closet.

If you are going back and forth about whether or not to invest in freeze-dried food or dehydrated food, here’s a good answer. Because 98% of the water is removed from freeze-dried foods, it will take more water to reconstitute it for meals as opposed to dehydrated foods needing a fraction of the water. An article on Modern Survival Blog gives a great explanation:

“It does take more water to reconstitute freeze-dried food than dehydrated food. I randomly pulled out a few freeze-dried food packets that I have on hand here, so that I could read the directions. The average amount of water required is a bit more than 1 cup of water per serving (which you would heat up first). On the other hand, some dehydrated food can be consumed without re-constituting with water (particularly fruits or meats). My experience with re-hydrating foods that I have previously dehydrated, are that I tend to use less than 1 cup of water per equivalent serving of vegetables than a freeze-dried food.”

Also, keep in mind that many of the freeze-dried meals are high in sodium. Many outdoor enthusiasts and hikers complain that you have to drink so much water to overcome the thirst the meals create. Make sure you have extra water on hand if you plan on using this as your main food source. As well, the high sodium can cause your bowels to become sluggish. To remedy this, purchase some over the counter meds for constipation or look for low-sodium freeze-dried options. One website states that the real key is balance.

“If you are concerned about sodium content in your food storage items, keep in mind that you can balance out the higher sodium foods you consume in a day with lower sodium foods. For example, many freeze-dried vegetables contain low or no sodium. There are also many breakfast items, like granola or oatmeal, that have very little sodium, if any.

Just like with a fresh food diet, the key is balance. If the only thing you ate every day was chicken, you’d quickly find that your diet is not providing what your body needs. But when you add lots of fruits and vegetables to that chicken and you will begin to achieve a more balanced diet.”

In that same vein, I highly recommend you also investing in sprouting seeds to ensure you are getting some fresh vitamins into your daily diet.

How Much Freeze-Dried Food Do You Need?

In an emergency situation, your caloric intake will increase due to higher activity levels, thus you will be consuming more. Keep this in mind when determining what your caloric needs will be. Once you know that magic caloric number, you can begin to find out how many freeze-dried meals you need. The Ready Store has a good calculator to get an idea how the number of cans of freeze-dried food you would need to survive.

Can You Survive Solely on Freeze-Dried Food?

So, the question is can you survive an apocalypse with freeze-dried food? Yes, you can, but the real question is do you want to?

While there are pros and cons to investing in this long-term food source, above all, you are investing in food freedom and the livelihood of your family or group. My preference is to have a little bit of everything and believe in having a layered approach to emergency food sources. You can read more about it here. We plan on using our supply of freeze-dried food after we finish our perishable foods. During the time we are using up this portion of our emergency food, we plan on getting fresh food sources established.

Ultimately, when people set out on the path to preparedness they turn to freeze-dried foods for a fast approach. After all, it is the healthiest and longest lasting emergency food source. Based on the price alone, it is difficult for many of us to use this as a sole emergency food source. There are less costly food storage options such as using a dehydrator to dry out food and is completely customizable to your dietary needs. As well, the further a person journeys into preparedness, they want to attain total self-sufficiency and look for ways to growing their own food sources through gardening and livestock.

My advice to all of you is to keep your budgets in mind before you decide to purchase bulk emergency food. You don’t want to go broke getting a food pantry set up. Prep for emergencies with the layered approach mentioned above, keep your options open and keep researching better ways to get your family ready for life’s uncertainties.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Blending In, Insertion and Extraction Are Critical Skills Needed

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Insertion and extraction, terms used by the military, but applicable in certain SHTF scenarios. Typically, insertion and extraction are done without notice. Stealth is important, but acting sneaky can also have a downside, because in an urban area, for example, regardless of the situation someone is always around, so going without notice can be difficult, so, in this case, you would blend in to avoid detection, and this means letting people see you, but see you as someone that belongs there.

You have to present yourself as someone that belongs there, so you are not given a second glance. You have to assume that in an urban environment, someone will see you, so what will he or she see, what will they remember about you, are you such that you are forgotten as soon as you are out of sight.   

Instead of wearing camouflage when everyone else looks like a tourist, you would want to also look like a tourist. Acting sneaky or looking out of place can send up red flags in some people’s minds.

You may be in a wilderness environment and need to avoid detection or inside the city limits and need to do a Reconnaissance mission. In either case, you would likely have to insert yourself into an area in which you may not be familiar to gather Intel and then extract yourself once you have completed the Recon. 

In A Wilderness Environment, You Want To Blend Into the Background

Shape: You have to be aware of your shape, humans have a distinct shape and face that all mammals instinctively recognize. Humans subconsciously look for faces in virtually anything they look at. Break up your shape and the outline of your face by using colors that mimic the background, use Camo sticks, leaves, branches, and natural cover.

Shine: It is self-explanatory, shiny gets spotted. Binocular lenses, eyeglasses, cheekbones, chins and hands, gunmetal, stainless steel canteens, and cups, stainless steel knife blades and watch crystals will reflect light.

Silhouette: Cresting a ridgeline standing, walking along a river or lakeshore with water at your back, and walking against a darker or lighter rock outcropping all outlines the human shape. Be aware of your silhouette as you move about.

Shadow: You may think you’re concealed behind a tree or some other vegetation but is your shadow concealed. Know where your shadow is cast. Ariel surveillance is not out of the question during a crisis, drones and other aircraft may be out doing surveillance, and your shadow can be spotted from the air even if your body cannot be.

Stillness: You cannot walk at 3mph through the woods. In stealth mode, it may take you an hour to cover 100 yards to avoid detection. If your body is camouflaged and the grasses and branches are swaying in the wind and you are not swaying, you stand out. Sway with the vegetation, move as it moves. If there is no breeze, you do have to stop, look, and listen by not moving your head, just your eyes.

Night Camp

Regardless of your situation, you will need fire. A Dakota Fire Hole or Pit is one option that can be used to hide your fire, in particular, to hide the flames at night. Smoke is easily detected against the skyline during the day, while flames are hard to spot during the day unless just a few yards away. Smoke can be seen during the day and smelled at any time.

As most of you know, a Dakota Fire Hole is a fire chamber dug straight down in the ground, and then a vent is dug at a slant, dug so air can flow into the fire chamber. This design is extremely efficient because it burns hot and to some extent burns off wood gasses that create the smoke. A hot fire reduces smoke and is fuel-efficient. It takes time and some effort to dig a fire pit, and it may not be practical for those that have to move quickly.

Other ways to mask your smoke is to build a small fire under heavy foliage so the smoke dissipates among the leaves and branches making it harder to spot during daylight hours. Options for heating food and water include heat tablets that do not produce a significant flame or smoke. The tabs do not provide any heat to warm your body to speak of, but you can boil water, warm up beverages and cook small meals using heat tabs.

Dark Silent Camp

A dark camp is no fire and no light and all provisions are laid out before complete darkness so you do not have to dig through a pack, thus reducing movement that creates noise. The best time to make camp is at twilight. You can still see to set up but the light is low enough to make it more difficult for others to spot you from a distance.

Ideally, you have scouted your camp location during daylight and would come back to it using the cover of darkness. Eat during daylight hours if possible and then move some distance away to set up a dark camp for sleeping and to set up listening posts.

If you are evading capture or simply want to move or camp undetected then do not use tents, tarps or other materials not natural to the area. Do not cut or trample any vegetation, because once you move out you do not want to leave any traces behind or any traces that could indicate who you are. Food wrappers, cans and so forth can be carried with your or buried in such a way as that there is not any indication of such.

Human waste can be buried under rocks if you can move and replace the rocks without disturbing the soil or area around the rocks. Never burn your trash.

Stay Tuned For More Next Article Coming Up

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Morse Code Alphabet – 3 Tricks for Learning It Quickly

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Morse Code Alphabet – 3 Tricks for Learning It Quickly When prepping for a survival situation, many people think of battery operated radios as being a safe option for communication. This could be the case, but in the event that you need to communicate covertly, you need a more secure system. Morse code is a …

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DIY Infinity Table

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DIY Infinity Table DIY woodworking projects are a fun hobby and can be a great way to generate income. There are countless designs you can come up with, and it can be a thrill to craft something unique. If you’re looking to build an impressive piece that’s also functional, be sure to check out this …

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25 Cheap Foods That Are Good for You

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25 Cheap Foods That Are Good for You Establishing a good food stockpile is an essential part of prepping. There are several things to take into consideration when building your food stores, such as shelf life, versatility, and nutrient value. It can be difficult to decide on what to stock up on, since there are …

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Natural Disaster Emergency Preparedness

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Emergency, like natural calamities such as flood, typhoon or hurricane, and earthquakes are a dangerous situation, requiring an immediate and fast response to avoid unwanted results ̶ injuries or death. Being able to make sure that you are safe before, during, and after any disaster is needed to counteract or respond effectively. What is needed is preparedness. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the U.S., it means a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating and taking corrective actions in an effort to ensure effective coordination during incident response. Emergency Preparedness can save your lie or your loved ones lives.

Now, that sounds really intimidating. But we cannot just depend on all, everything, every time to the government agencies for security and emergency, or a non-profit charity organization such as Red Cross. We too must take our part, be on a mission to help ourselves during these times.

 Nothing beats Planning and Preparation

  1. Discuss within the household the type of emergency and how to respond to them, that may occur where you live, work, and your children (if any) attend to school and play. Include in it the roles and responsibilities of each member and how everybody will work together as a team.
  2. Take a Drill. These agencies have for sure guidelines for families on how to prepare before and during an emergency that is short on time but essential. Here is some few advice from them:
  3. Get a Kit. Purchase an emergency preparedness kit.
  4. Discuss on the Kit Rules. Make sure that every member in the household knows where it is placed aside in the house and that is to be used for emergency only. Also, identify the uses of each item inside the kit. You may personalize the Kit also. You can add canned foods and other personal items in the kit. Below are the following items that should be available in your kit.

 

At a minimum, you should have the basic supplies listed below:

 

Consider also the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:

  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Games (toys) and activities for children
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl) – for those with pets
  • Extra set (back-up) of car keys and house key
  • Matches or lighter
  • Rain Gear
  • Towels
  1. Make an Evacuation Plan. Have your own map and determine two or three destinations of evacuation areas and routes to go there. In your map, it is recommended to highlight them for an easier look at the event of the emergency.
  2. Be informed. Information is essential, especially on a calamity hitting your area. Right at the beginning, knowing what natural disasters may or can affect your location and what to do helps to you keep heads up of the possible scenarios during the disaster. It is already recommended to stay updated on the weather forecast news if a typhoon or hurricane may hit your area. Follow the advice of local authorities if they are telling you to evacuate.
  3. If away from home, ensure you know the hotline numbers, if possible write it down and have each member in the household has their own copies. Ensure that you have the contact numbers of the people close to you, like family.  They must know how to reach you and you know how to reach them.

 Keep it current and keep it with you. Information may include:

  • Emergency hotlines, like 911
  • Local Government Emergency and Safety Unit (hotlines and trunk lines)
  • Local RED CROSS hotline
  • Family phone numbers
  • An out-of-town contact (a close relative, friend) – Name and phone or mobile numbers
  • Common family emergency meeting place or evacuation area

 

  1. Learning Hands-Only CPR. This skill is absolutely necessary. You can save a life from a cardiac arrest. Furthermore, also consider learning skills on First Aid.
  2. Get connected. Keeping your data and devices available will keep you connected to the social media world, and post status updates (needed) on the current happening in your area or situation during the emergency. On the verge of no electricity, keep at reach your power banks, loaded enough to get you throughout the day/s so that when batteries of your smartphones are empty, it is there ready to back you up.

For the First Aid Kit

It is equally important to know how to treat minor injuries and how it can make a difference in an emergency. Below are the following items should be available in your kit:

  • Two pairs of Latex or other sterile gloves
  • Sterile dressings to stop bleeding
  • Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towels
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Burn ointment
  • Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
  • Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminate
  • Thermometer
  • Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine, and asthma inhalers.
  • Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies

 

Non-prescription drugs:

  • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Antacid
  • Laxative

Other first aid supplies for Emergency Preparedness:

  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Tube of petroleum jelly or another lubricant
  • Oil Liniments

 Having and knowing all these guidelines on emergency preparedness, it is an important reminder that we need to be ready to respond to natural or even man-made disasters ̶ always. Because disaster can strike at any time of the day, so it’s important to have a planned response whenever we are at work, on vacation or on the road.

 

Shared with APN by Jennifer Moran at TheBerkey.com

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New Year Prep Blog Review: 5 Resolutions For Preppers

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resolutions-for-preppers

Here we are at the end of 2016, a year full of changes. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones and you are properly preparing for New Year’s Eve.

This is the time of the year when I usually make a list of prepping resolutions for the year to come in order to improve my life and increase my chances of survival in case SHTF. I don’t know if this works for everyone, but for me it certainly does.

So, what about you? Do you use to make a list of prepping resolutions at the beginning of the year?

A new year provides opportunities to learn new skills.

For this special Prep blog Review I’ve gathered 5 articles to help you set your prepping resolutions for 2017. Make this year the best, improve your family’s life and increase your chances of survival.

1. Learn New Skills With Your Family

woman-preparedness

“When we hear the word “survival”, it seems most of us think of things like starting fires, building shelters, hunting, fishing, searching for water and other basic survival skills.

Although those things are essential to our survival, there are other areas that we need to take into consideration that are just as important.

For years I walked around with my head down and just went with the flow. I didn’t take notice to the people around me or my situation. It would have been very easy for anyone to walk up behind me and take my purse, or worst case scenario, attack one of my children or myself. Times changed though and so did I.”

Read more on The Well Prepared Mama.

2. Upgrade Your Stockpile

13-survival-foods-that-will-outlast-you

“Let’s say that disaster hits tomorrow, do you have the basics like food and water covered? Stockpiling food and water shouldn’t be a prepping trend and every sane person should do it. We live in a world where natural and man-made disasters are no longer far-fetched scenarios and people have no excuse for being unprepared.

The following survival foods are available to anyone and they have an indefinite shelf life, so make sure you have them in your pantry.

I keep looking at what Venezuela is going through and although the media seems to have forgotten about it, the situation is still critical out there. People are stealing pets to eat them as a last resort and there are families protecting their gardens 24/7 as they no longer trust their neighbors.”

Read more on Prepper’s Will.

3. Use More Natural Remedies

headache_human_normal_remedies“Headaches are a part of being human. Some people get them regularly, and others get headaches only rarely. Severity varies from person to person, as does the cause of the headache. Even when only mildly annoying, a headache can affect your ability to function fully and alertly.

If you’re in a situation where Tylenol, aspirin, or prescription pain medication isn’t an option, nor is doing nothing because you have to be focused on taking care of yourself and others, you need to know how to keep a headache at bay.”

Read more on Survival Cache.

  1. Cook New Survival Recipes

7-pioneer-recipes-every-prepper-should-learn-wide-1

“There is a bit of a romantic fantasy about what it must have been like for the pioneers who traveled out west more than a hundred years ago.

The idea of land that stretches on for miles without a single building or road was both exciting and frightening to them. However, they had the skills they needed to fend for themselves without the conveniences of big cities. If a major collapse happens, it will be the people with those kind of skills who make it.

If we ever find ourselves in a world that resembles the pioneer days (no electricity, no running water, etc.), people will have to learn how to cook all over again. Cooking over a fire is a lot different than cooking in the microwave or on an electric stove. Certain meals and recipes are going to require a little tweaking.”

Read more on Urban Survival Site.

  1. Learn New Self Defense

selfdefense

“Imagine being in the middle of a crowded festival, enjoying your time with your family.  All of a sudden, you find yourself near some drunks who start a fight, and you can’t help but separate from your family, and get pulled into the fray. You’re a prepper, and like most preppers, you’re carrying a small firearm, in this case a small pistol.  Do you use it?

Some would say yes – it’s time to defend the family, and that’s what a weapon is for, right?  Others hold off – bringing deadly force into a relatively small conflict is a certain legal issue and is probably not necessary considering that these people are drunk.  That said, this is clearly a self-defense situation. “

Read more on The Prepper Journal.

the-lost-ways-cover2

This article has been written by Drew Stratton for Survivopedia.

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Kalispell armed march and the freedom to hate

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There’s been much ado in the media lately about some white supremacists/separatists (they’re never clear on which, and there is quite a distinction between the two) north of here who have been putting out leaflets and making threats against a particular demographic (in this case, Jews).

For whatever reason, these kinds of people do pop up in preparedness circles from time to time. A wise man once said [religion/race] is a stupid reason to hate someone..if you take the time to get to know them, really know them, you can find a much better reason to hate them.

I subscribe to that old libertarian axiom about how your right to throw a punch ends at the tip of my nose. In other words, I think you should be able to hate whomever you want, for any reason, as long as you don’t act out against that group. For example, if you don’t like Group X, thats fine…you and your buddies can sit around hating those damn X’ers all day long. Go put on some linens and march around your back forty burning crosses. Choose to hang out with people who aren’t X. More power to ya. You’re free to associate (or not associate) with whomever you like. BUT..the minute you throw a rock through an X’ers window, spit in their face when you see them on the sidewalk, or make threatening phone calls in the middle of the night..well….then you’ve crossed a line and now your business is everyone’s business.

These ‘neo-Nazis’ or ‘White supremacists’ or whatever have every right to not like any group they want…and I won’t tell them they can’t or they shouldn’t. But the minute they start throwing firebombs or shooting up someone’s house…then I’ll be there happily handing AR15s and ammo to the X’ers. And, yes, even the groups that hate me should be allowed to. Shoot, man….you can hate me all you want. Just don’t threaten or try to hurt me. You don’t want me living next door to you? Great..build a fence or put up a wall on the property line. But don’t attack me or my property…then it’s gone past freedom of thought.

Some folks think that if we jump on top of those ‘bad thoughts’ we’ll be able to prevent ‘bad actions’. After all, they’ll say, if someone had shut down Hitler’s rhetoric there wouldn’t have been crematoriums filled with human ashes. May be. But for every person who has hateful thoughts about someone and acts on them there are probably thousands (or tens of thousands) who don’t…and those people usually outnumber the ‘haters’ by a Custer-esque margin. And I don’t subscribe to the belief that ‘if it saves just one life’ justifies thought policing. Additionally, we then get into the philosophical Vietnam of whose thought are ‘hateful’ and whose aren’t. And that is a conversation that is far too prone to end in violence.

Now, having said that, I’ve been blogging for going on fifteen years now. In that time I’ve only had a handful of people come through here and say something that *I* thought was offensive enough to delete. And it wasn’t the content that did it, it was the way it was expressed. My policy since day one has been pretty simple – no profanity (oh, sure, ‘hell’, ‘damn’, and even an infrequent ‘bitch’ [when used as a verb] is okay) and no religion. Other than that, anything goes. And over the years this whole race/religion silliness has pretty much been absent. I like to think that’s because the demographics of the people who pass though this blog tend to be people of good intelligence who realize that something as trivial as race/religion/gender are pretty stupid reasons to want to hate someone. Politics, on the other hand, is a different story…….although I’m fine with people having different political beliefs as long as they don’t try to impose them on me.

In conclusion, I have less of a problem with people ‘hating’ other people than I do with people who want to control or channel who I do or don’t hate. With the former, they’re at least upfront and honest about it…the latter are far more insidious and, when it comes down to it, just as hate-filled, they just cloak it in self-righteousness.

Just my $0.02 on this whole Kalispell ‘hate speech’ nonsense.

 

 

How To Keep Track Of Your Emergency Food

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Can you use some help with how to keep track of your emergency food storage? I actually had two readers mention to me that some of my links were broken in my “What Do I Have” drop down on my navigation board at the top of my blog. So today I’m sharing a post with all the links that have now been repaired. I really appreciate it when a reader shoots me an email to let me know some links are not working. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!! I have had a few issues with my website lately and with WordPress, you never know when something may go haywire. It’s life and bloggers get it. It’s what we have to deal with sometimes. Yes, it’s very frustrating, but if you want to teach the world what you know, we learn to go with it and try to relax, but it’s hard, very hard to see your website not working. So, enough of that, thanks again for letting me know if you see a broken link. I love you for telling me, I really do.

Here’s the deal with food storage and emergency preparedness items. Typically, we will feel more confident and prepared if we have a Dutch oven, a Sun Oven or a butane stove to use in case of an unforeseen emergency. We need fuel for some of our cooking devices and we are aware of that. Now, for me, I got a little frustrated when I started beefing up my food storage a few years ago. I started with water, then dairy products, freeze-dried meats, freeze-dried fruits, freeze-dried vegetables, and freeze-dried cheeses. Well, you start adding to that list the basic cooking ingredients you need like sugar, honey, salt, spices, etc. that are essential and realize it would help to have some type of chart to keep track of all the items we store.

I asked my awesome sister, Carol to help me design some FREE printables for my readers and make them so they can check off the products they have and highlight the ones they still need, and thus keep accurate track of the status their storage is in. I made them separate PDF’s so you can print the ones you want.

Emergency Food Lists:

FSM WhatDoIHave-basicPDF

FSM WhatDoIHave-liquidPDF

FSM WhatDoIHave-dairyPDF

FSM WhatDoIHave-meatPDF

FSM WhatDoIHave-veggiePDF

FSM WhatDoIHave-fruitPDF

FSM WhatDoIHave-grainPDF

Please let me know if you have a system to help keep track of your emergency food supply in your pantry. Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless you and your family.

My favorite things:

Camp Chef Butane 1 Burner Stove with Camping Case

12 Butane Fuel GasOne Canisters for Portable Camping Stoves

Lodge L12CO3 Cast Iron Camp Dutch Oven, 6 quart

All American Sun Oven- The Ultimate Solar Appliance

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

The post How To Keep Track Of Your Emergency Food appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

What did you do for your preparedness this week? (2016-12-31)

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Wishing you the best into the New Year…   This weekly post is an open-forum (any topic) to voice your thoughts, opinions, or questions for others. Lets hear about what you’ve been doing this week for preparedness, or perhaps what you have done to convert your ‘fiat’ (paper) currency into tangible assets 😉 The more […]

You’re Wasting Millions of Gallons of Water Each Year and This is How You Can Change It

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water conservationReadyNutrition Readers, we covered a few basics on the importance of taking in enough water during the winter months.  We’re going to take it a step further and talk about the importance of supply and conservation.  Many of the western states, California and Nevada being a couple of examples have been experiencing droughts over the past summers.  With a lowered amount of precipitation during the winter and spring months, aquifers have declined, as well as several rivers that supply tremendous segments of the country.  A prime example is the mighty Colorado River, which generates power and provides drinking water for tens of millions of people.

Fresh water is no longer able to be considered as a simple natural resource that is infinite in nature.  Only three percent (3%) of the world’s water supply is fresh, and 2/3 of this amount is to be found tied up in glacial ice (the North and South poles).  The world’s animals and plants are therefore dependent on 1% of the world’s water supply.  In drought years, this can present a problem.

The average American family uses approximately 170 gallons of water per person each day.

The bathroom is responsible for ¾ of this amount: every time the toilet is flushed, 5 gallons of water is lost on average.  When you stop to consider there are about 315 million people in the United States who flush that toilet about 2-3 times per day, the amount of water is staggering.  To be sure, this water isn’t “destroyed,” but it is difficult to recover and render drinkable again.

Pollutants are introduced into our water supplies by industry and farming, and these pollutants seep into the groundwater to contaminate the water supplies and the crops that are raised upon them.  It is estimated that 338 billion gallons per day are drawn from surface and subsurface water resources.  90 billion gallons are for people, livestock, and crops.  The remainder?  It goes to industry, mining, and hydroelectric/nuclear power plants.

So, what can we do?  A good deal, actually.  There will be differences with you, the Readers as a percentage of you use your own wells, and others use a municipal water supply.  The conservation can be done by both groups, however, as conservation starts at your front door.  The reasons are not so much as being part of a “green” movement as they are of preserving resources for your own family’s use.  If you are responsible for your own resources, it benefits a community as a whole.  Self-responsibility (not legislated responsibility) is the method for conserving your resources and supplies…this is part of preparation.  There are a number of methods.

Firstly, be aware of information and resources that can help you.  Contact the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) in Washington, D.C., for information pertaining to water usage and ways to control it.  Yes, they’re a government agency, however, it is your tax dollars that fund them…you may as well pick up some useful information they have garnered…that you already paid for.  It is free to obtain, but you paid for it to be researched: use it!

If you decrease your time in the shower by just 1 minute per day…this will save 700 gallons of water per month.  By estimating how long you shower, you can add to this water savings drastically by planning your showering time.  VICTORIA AMAT CVRAM.  “Victory loves Preparation,” as the saying runs.  Most toilets have water-conserving features that affect the water flow.  Placing a half brick or a brick in your toilet tank does not interfere with the toilet’s function, but can enable you to save anywhere from 8-20 gallons of water per person, per day.  That is quite a bit of water, if you’re unable to compost your waste products.

Composting brings up another valuable point.  There are plenty of composting toilets available, if it is within your ability to do effectively.  Obviously if you live in a high-rise apartment building in Manhattan, you’re not going to be able to employ a composting toilet in your unit.  There will be a difference if you live in a remote area and on your own property with no zoning/neighborhood requirements limiting what you can do.  Research what will work for your area.  Also, refer to the articles I wrote previously on rain-collection for a water supply, and different measures for establishing water points and water storage for your home and family.

There is also information on water purification methods in these articles that details how to go about making your water drinkable.  I also suggest free resources such as www.howtopedia.com for downloadable, free plans on water collection points and storage methods, as well as how to obtain water from different sources.  The conservation is not a mere “greening” but an exercise in supply and logistics…stretching your resources to the maximum of their conservation and employment.  In this way, you are continuously preparing and honing a survival skill that will come in handy on a daily basis, and when the SHTF.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

I Wrote Down One Blessing Each Day During 2016. Here’s What I Learned About Life.

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I Wrote Down One Blessing Each Day During 2016. Here’s What I Learned About Life.

Image source: Flickr / Creative Commons

A social media post last December suggested writing down good things on slips of paper as they happen throughout the year, placing the slips in a jar, and then going through them when the next holiday season rolls around.

I decided to take it a step further. I pledged to write something good about every single day of the year – 365 blessings — instead of recording only intermittent positive events. Rather than wait for something good to rain down on me, I wanted to be proactive about gleaning goodness out of each day.

And besides, I know myself well enough to know that occasional notes would probably fade into the background quickly as my year filled up with inevitable busyness. I would have to make it a daily habit, like brushing my teeth and walking the dog, in order to stick with it.

My plan was simple. I would write a good thing every day on a little piece of paper, fold it up, and put it into a wicker basket I happened to have, which was about the size of a loaf of French bread. Every day, no matter what. And at the end of the year, my husband and I would open up all 365 pieces of paper and enjoy the happy memories.

Christian Heroes For Christian Kids: These Amazing Stories Are Putting God Back Into History!

It was only a few weeks into the project when I found myself having to count up the already-folded papers in an attempt to determine if I had already written that day’s entry, or whether or not I remembered to do it yesterday. I knew that would very quickly become cumbersome, and I needed to create a sure-fire plan to make sure I didn’t skip a day.

The Trick To Remember Writing Something Each Day

Here is how I made it work: I cut up and dated the slips of paper ahead of time, and kept them in order in a magnetic clip. I know from experience that the easier I make a task and the more I set it up for myself ahead of time, the more likely I am to follow through.

There is always plenty of letter-sized paper printed on just one side in my recycle bin, and reusing that for my good things seemed like a sensible plan. It took very little effort to fold and tear a half sheet, or even a full one, at a time. I folded and tore them in half, then again, and again until the small slips of paper were each about 2 1/8 by 2 ¾ inches. Perfect.

Next, I took the time to write out the days and dates along the top of each one. Wednesday, March 2. Thursday, March 3. And so on. It was worth the extra few seconds it took to include the day of the week, because it is so easy to forget the date when one is caught up in a topsy-turvy day.

I kept these in a place where I was guaranteed to see them at least once a day, which for me was on my refrigerator door. Its prominent location mattered less after I developed the habit of filling out a slip of paper every day, but I did still need an occasional reminder throughout the year.

It was an easy task to sit down and prepare a few weeks’ worth at a time while waiting for the canner to process or listening to the radio, and having them done up ahead of time was the reason I stuck with it for the whole year. For me, that was the whole secret to making it work.

calendar-1022088_640Recording a year of good things has been a powerful experience. I have been amazed at and humbled by the volume of blessings that are heaped on my life, and frequently had to write really small and squeeze cryptic sentence fragments up and down the margins to fit it all in. If there were several good things that happened in one day—my husband got his annual raise at work and the first spinach came up in the garden and my cholesterol went down on my latest lab work—I did not limit myself to one good thing. It would have been reasonable to choose just one good thing per day, but I did not want to leave anything out.

I made up my own guidelines to this project. Did I cheat when it came to timeliness? Sure I did! I would sometimes notice on a Monday evening that we had never filled out Sunday’s good thing, and would do them both at the same time. Once in a great while I got as far as two days behind, but never more than that. As long as a slip of paper ended up in the basket for every single day of the year, I would consider it a win.

The only other real rule I set for myself was to never use a “backhanded” good thing. By that, I mean something that went on paper as good but was in fact simply a veneer on bad. For example, “I fell and scraped up my shin but did not hurt the other leg,” or “The dog was sick on the rug but at least it was not the new carpet in the study.” I made a point to write about something else entirely on days like that, something which was not tied to a negative event but instead stood alone as a good thing.

Be Prepared: Get The Ultimate In Portable Backup Power!

The one exception I made to the stand-alone good thing rule was the day my husband was badly injured while using a circular saw. It was a traumatic day in our lives, to say the least. It would have felt disingenuous to write down something like “got the pole beans planted” on a day like that. What I did write was how glad we were that he was not hurt worse or that he did not suffer more loss than he did. After all we had been through in the past 24 hours, our good thing did not need to stand alone in order to be a sincere expression of gratitude for grace.

What I Learned

Some days were hard. Few people lead lives without challenges, and coming up with a good thing at the end of a rough day can tax even the most positive-minded among us. Sometimes I had to dig deep and came up with only bare basics—the sun shone, the unfriendly kitty suffered me to rub his ear, or a hen laid a perfectly shaped egg.

I learned to seek out the good things as I went about my day, making a mental note of my delight in finally laying eyes on the elusive pileated woodpecker who had been laughing at me from the opposite side of the tree trunk for days, or the way the aroma of lilacs swept me off my feet from across the lawn, or a loving comment in an email from a friend.

For much of the year, it was mundane stuff. Great checkup at the audiologist. Got a call from my sister. Did some work on the trails. Bought some yarn at half price.

In retrospect, it strikes me that most of life is mundane. While some years bring huge happy events such as weddings and births and travel and new homes, most of our lives set forth a lot of joy in tiny increments. It is those little things, scribbled on little slips of paper and folded up and tossed into a little wicker basket, that add up to the richness of a glorious year.

What do you think about this project – or about life in general? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

Getting Your Family on Board!

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Getting Your Family on Board! Forrest & Kyle “The Prepping Academy” Audio in player below! It’s that time of the year again. Your holiday shopping is finished, there’s nutmeg in the fridge, pies on the cooling rack, and presents to wrap. Your family has come in to town, or maybe you’ve driven 13 hours to … Continue reading Getting Your Family on Board!

The post Getting Your Family on Board! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

How to Be a Prepper In 22 Words

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How to Be a Prepper in 22 Words | Backdoor Survival

It seems fitting that while things are a bit more relaxed, prepping wise, we take a few moments to reflect upon preparedness strategies that are universal. I have given this a lot of thought and found that the rules of prepping boil down to just a few simple words, twenty-two to be exact. Here, in simplistic terms, are four steps every prepper needs to adhere to in order to succeed.

The post How to Be a Prepper In 22 Words by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Is There Such A Thing As ‘Natural Law’?

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Is There Such A Thing As ‘Natural Law’?

Image source: Weisspaarz.com / Creative Commons

If you want my thesis of natural law theory in one graphic sentence, I will provide it: the most consistent defender of natural law theory was the Marquis de Sade. 

                    — Gary North, Westminster’s Confession (1991)

 

 The Fear Of The LORD Is . . .

Let’s talk about the right place to begin a discussion of natural law. What’s important to establish early on is that these rules are determined by the God who creates, who speaks and who decrees the end from the beginning.  The God who is Triune. The God who reveals Himself in Jesus Christ. The God who speaks infallibly in Scripture. The God who saves sinners through Jesus’ blood.

This God, and no other, is the only foundation for all intelligible thought, communication, and learning.  That said, this is what Scripture explicitly teaches about where to start: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (Prov. 1:7).  Again, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Prov. 9:10).

Unless the God who created the world tells us about Himself and creation, unless He opens our hearts to hear and believe that truth … we are left with foolishness and its attendant skepticism — cynicism and nihilism. There’s nothing we can truly know and we can be sure of nothing truly.  For that matter, we can’t even be sure there is something to be sure about.

Christian Heroes For Christian Kids: These Amazing Stories Are Putting God Back Into History!

Is There Such A Thing As ‘Natural Law’?

Image source: Pixabay.com

But the question of knowing something is only part of the discussion.  That’s because in Scripture, to know God and to fear God mean also to obey God.  Epistemology (study of knowledge) and ethics (rules for living) are rarely separate concepts in the Bible, but rather, are woven tightly together throughout Scripture:

Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding (Job 28:28).

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth forever (Ps. 111:10).

Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments (Ps. 112:1).

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man (Eccl. 12:13).

God’s commandments are revealed in Scripture.  Knowledge and wisdom are inextricably “interwoven” with obedience to those commandments.  What’s more… these commandments, the laws revealed in Scripture… are alone authoritative and infallible.

“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. 8:20).

Biblical epistemology drives us necessarily to biblical law.

Total Depravity And Natural Law

But doesn’t Scripture allow for a divine law implicit in Nature, one accessible to unaided reason?  In my previous articles on epistemology, I’ve talked about general revelation, the revelation that exists in creation and in the hearts of men (Ps. 19:1-6; Rom. 1:18-20).  I’ve also tried to establish that the Apostle Paul argues that even the heathen have “the work of the law written in their hearts” and that they are, therefore, responsible for their actions (Rom. 2:14-15).

Is There Such A Thing As ‘Natural Law’?Certainly, Paul teaches us that general revelation is so clear that it leaves men without excuse for their sins (Rom. 1:20).  And He definitely declares that “the work of the law” is written in the hearts of those who have never heard the Gospel.  In fact, He goes on to emphasize the human conscience as being a very accurate testimony to man’s true moral nature. His conclusion? Unbelievers have a conscience, with concepts of right and wrong.  What Paul doesn’t say, though, is that this vague “conscience” is a substitute for the commandments of God revealed in Scripture.

Here’s the problem: The natural man’s conscience is sufficient to condemn him because he can’t and doesn’t live up to his own imperfect standard.  That’s because the natural man’s moral nature is thoroughly defiled and corrupt.  The Bible says his heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9).  The ways that seem right to him are the ways of death (Prov. 14:12).  Though he holds the truth, he suppresses it in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18).  And until and unless he is born again, he will not come to the light lest that light should condemn his works (John 3:20).  In short, the man outside of Christ hates God’s commandments precisely because they are God’s commandments:

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:  for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be (Rom. 8:7).

The truth is, the natural man wants nothing to do with what God commands.  Our current 24-hour news cycle as well as all recorded history bears witness to this.  When we look at the news or the law codes of the nations both ancient and modern, we do see echoes of biblical morality, particularly in the legal codes of the once Christian West, where the influence of Scripture has been strongest.  But none of these codes are consistent with what our Creator requires of us.

And many of the things that we find in these law codes are profoundly at odds with one another.  Further, much of what we find there is reprehensible and abominable.  We find polygamy, chattel slavery, pederasty, infanticide, and abortion enshrined and codified as integral parts of the cultures of whole peoples, nations, and empires.

Worse still, we know from Scripture that every sin, every moral perversity imaginable, has at some time or other been elevated by fallen man to the role of virtue or religious service (Deut. 12:31).  The ancient Canaanites practiced prostitution, self-mutilation, and child sacrifice in their worship of Baal.  The Thuggee of India strangled thousands of travelers in the name of the goddess Kali.  And the Sawi tribe of Netherlands New Guinea embraced any kind of treachery (including cannibalism) as the greatest of virtues and the highest good. (When missionaries first presented the Gospel story to this New Guinea tribe, they actually mistook Judas as the hero because of his great betrayal.)

What Does Natural Law Actually Say?

In the light of all of this, we shouldn’t be surprised that no one has ever published a written testimony or transcript of natural law.  Even though adherents have said for centuries that’s it’s supposed to be accessible to all thoughtful and rational men… no one has ever written down what’s actually accessible or even a summary of its principles.

But if anyone ever makes the attempt, here are some questions he should answer along the way:

  • Is this law compatible with the Trinitarian-based law found in Scripture, particularly in the Ten Commandments? Is it a shorter or foggier version of biblical law, or is it another law-code altogether?
  • Does natural law allow for oaths of office or the use of oaths in courts? If so, in whose name should they be sworn?  And is that name a valid name for the Christian God and no other, or is it the name of some other yet-to-be-named deity?  (The State, perhaps?)
  • What exactly is murder? That is, who are those we are not to kill?  Does the answer depend on the age, gender, ethnicity, or medical fitness of the victim?
  • What is the just penalty for murder? Execution, imprisonment, rehabilitation, or maybe some kind of a mind-wipe?
  • What exactly constitutes theft? Is it theft if a poor man takes the property of a rich man?  What if the State does it for him?  What if the State calls it taxation? Or “nationalizing foreign holdings”? (What happens when “laws of nations” collide?)
  • What is the just penalty for theft? Restitution, imprisonment, or amputation?
  • Can civil government consider any sexual acts as crimes? If so, which ones?  What are the corresponding penalties for each act?
  • Should having more children than two be a civil crime? If so, what’s the proper sanction for that crime?
  • If there is disagreement to the answers given to the questions above, can we safely assume that those answers are wrong?
  • How many people have to agree with a certain answer before we should take them seriously? Everyone?  A significant majority?  A slight majority? How does natural law communicate the exact percentage?
  • If the answers to these questions are at odds with the law revealed in Scripture, can we assume that the God of the Bible is at war with the answers? Or, could He simply be mildly annoyed with them?

The Rise And Decline Of Natural Law

Is There Such A Thing As ‘Natural Law’?

Marcus Aurelius.

Bottom Line: Natural law is a pagan invention.  The Stoics came up with the idea to provide a universal law-order for the cosmopolitan world created by Alexander’s conquests.  Natural law, the Stoics said, is found in the divine intelligence or logos inherent in the cosmos itself (accessible to all right-thinking human beings).

Roman intellectuals picked up on this idea next.  “For there is one universe made up of all things, and one God who pervades all things, and one substance, and one law, one common reason in all intelligent animals, and one truth.” So wrote the philosopher Marcus Aurelius, the emperor whose “natural law” allowed for the persecution and murder of Christians.

Medieval theologians, philosophers, and legal experts brought natural law into Christian theology through a door marked “natural revelation.”  The muddy and confused concept of natural law, useful to kings and popes, continued through the Reformation and into the Enlightenment:  Greece to Rome to Aquinas to Locke.  But while some Christians today continue to profess natural law theory, most thinking atheists have given up on it altogether.  They usually cite Darwin.

Darwin’s doctrine of evolution completely rewrote man’s understanding of Nature.  Nature was no longer a given that could provide even a vague basis for law.  It was no longer a fixed metaphysical reality on which philosophers could hang any system.  Nature was process, always changing, always becoming.  No fixed laws.  Nature, then, is a perfect Hegelian synthesis … red in tooth and claw.  Laws like this, that move and change, are then laws of convention … the strongest kill the weakest.  This worked well for Stalin’s purges and Hitler’s death camps.  Think about it. If Nature is all there is, by what standard can you say Hitler, Stalin and Mao were wrong?

What standard would the Buddhist or Hindu use to condemn Hitler?

And so we come again to the absolute necessity of divine revelation.  We know right and wrong because God reveals it in Scripture.  There are no other standards.

The Pension Assets Test to be implemented on 1 January 2017.

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The Pension Assets Test to be
implemented on 1 January 2017.

So here’s fair warning to all politicians of any persuasion, this group of aged voters may be about to make the greatest impact on any Federal election in history, ignoring them may be the start of a changed political
environment in this country.

Change the Entitlements I absolutely agree, if a pension isn’t an entitlement, neither is
theirs. They keep telling us that paying us an aged pension isn’t sustainable.
Paying politicians all the perks they get is even less sustainable!
The politicians themselves, in Canberra, brought it up, that the Age of Entitlements is over: The author is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.
In three days, most people in Australia will have this message. This is one idea that really should be passed around because the rot has to stop somewhere.
Proposals to make politicians shoulder their share of the weight now
that the Age of Entitlement is over:
1. Scrap political pensions.
Politicians can purchase their own retirement plan, just as most
other working Australians are expected to do.
2. Retired politicians (past, present & future) participate in Centrelink. A Politician collects a substantial salary while in office but should receive no salary when they’re out of office.
Terminated politicians under 70 can go get a job or apply for Centrelink unemployment benefits like ordinary Australians.
Terminated politicians under 70 can negotiate with Centrelink like the rest of the Australian people.
3. Funds already allocated to the Politicians’ retirement fund be returned immediately to Consolidated Revenue.
This money is to be used to pay down debt they created which they expect us and our grandchildren to repay for them.
4. Politicians will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Politicians pay will rise by the lower of, either the CPI or 3%.
5. Politicians lose their privileged health care system and participate in the same health care system as ordinary Australian people.
I.E. Politicians either pay for private cover from their own funds or accept ordinary Medicare.
6. Politicians must equally abide by all laws they impose on the Australian people.
7. All contracts with past and present Politicians men/women are void effective 31/12/16.
The Australian people did not agree to provide perks to Politicians, that burden was thrust upon them.
Politicians devised all these contracts to benefit themselves.
Serving in Parliament is an honour not a career.
The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so our politicians should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.
If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people, then it will only take three or so days for most Australians to receive the message.
Don’t you think it’s time?
THIS IS HOW YOU FIX Parliament and help bring fairness back into this country!

The Keys To Effective Prepper Communication

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

This article attempts to cover some of the basic pros and cons of various forms of communication and introduce the reader to some additions that should prove helpful in crisis and bug-out situations.

The post The Keys To Effective Prepper Communication appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

How To Butcher a Rabbit

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How To Butcher a Rabbit Whether you’re homesteading or prepping for when SHTF, you are undoubtedly sharpening your hunting., trapping, and foraging skills. Rabbit traps are fairly easy to set up, and these creatures provide an excellent source of protein that will see you through all of your chores. While you may be able to …

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The post How To Butcher a Rabbit appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Canned Water with a 50 Year Shelf Life!

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Canned Water with a 50 Year Shelf Life! Storing potable water can be one of the trickiest parts of prepping. It is crucial to have water on hand, though, if the local water supply becomes contaminated or simply isn’t accessible. The problem with storing water is that the shelf life is typically short, and there’s …

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The post Canned Water with a 50 Year Shelf Life! appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

5 Poisonous Plant Families the Survivalist Should Know

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jimpson_weed_datura

dogbane_2The subject of poisonous plants is complex.  Conditioned by the grocery store, modern man often considers it a black and white subject, with things being either edible or poisonous.  Realistically, toxicity in plants is much more like a spectrum.  Some things are very toxic and some very safe, while most are along a spectrum of the in-between.  The subject is further complicated by variables such as dose and preparation.  Hence, the saying “the dose makes the poison”, as even water proves fatal in excess. (See “Water Intoxication”.)

By Nathaniel Whitmore a Contributing Author to SHTFBlog and SurvivalCache

Often people ask, “Why are there poisonous plants?” or “Why would God create poisons?”.  While this could prove another very complex discussion, it’s sufficient here to point out that even the most poisonous plants have medicinal uses.  In fact, it is precisely the poisonous plants that have provided the most powerful and dramatic medicines- they are poisonous or medicinal because their chemical constituents are so strong.  So, everything has its place.  The survivalist should get to know the most toxic plant families to avoid accidental poisoning and to become familiar with the myriad uses of such plants.

There are certain generalizations that the botanist can make regarding the identification of plant families.  Likewise, there are generalizations that the forager and herbalist can make about the edible, medicinal, and toxic properties of plant families.  This is very useful for plant identification and use of plants for food and medicine.  However, while generalizing is useful for learning – it is not the full story and one must also learn the details.  The Carrot Family (Apiaceae), for instance, is one of the most poisonous plant families that also gives us Carrots, Parsley, and other well-known edibles.  The forager should know that the family in general is quite toxic.  But they must also learn which species are good edibles, which have medicinal properties that are also somewhat toxic, and which are fatally poisonous.  Learn the ends of the spectrum first- the most edible and the most poisonous.

One could argue that the safest method to learning about wild edibles is to learn the most deadly poisons first.  Then, one would know what to avoid to avoid death.  All other mistakes would be mild in comparison.  This is good theory, but in reality it is much more common and natural to learn a little bit here-and-there about edibles, medicinals, and poisons.  Still, the point has been made.

Because of the “spectrum of edibility” an exhaustive article on plant poisons would be very long.  For this post we will focus on five plant families of common occurrence and some of the most deadly plants.  This will be a good starting place for the subject.  The five families covered are the Poison Ivy Family (Anacardiaceae), the Carrot Family (Apiaceae), the Milkweed Family (Apocynaceae), the Buttercup Family (Ranunculaceae), and the Nightshade Family (Solanaceae).

Anacardiaceae – The Poison Ivy Family

poison_ivyAnacardiaceae is also known as the Cashew Family.  Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) is a complex species group that may or may not include what is otherwise known as Poison Oak.  They deserve mention here not only due to “poison” in their name but because these plants are among the most trouble to people spending time outdoors, some people anyway.  A decent percentage of people can react to the Poison Ivy oils and experience a troublesome, blistering rash.  Some people do not react, but must still maintain some respect for the plants as sensitivity can develop at any age.  People also lose sensitivity spontaneously or through desensitising protocols.  The best remedy for the Poison Ivy rash is fresh Jewelweed (Impatiens spp. or Touch-Me-Not).  The juicy plants can be crushed and rubbed on the exposed area.  You should learn Poison Ivy and its relatives as well as Jewelweed.

Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron vernix) is another in the genus.  Sometimes when people get a bad Toxicodendron rash they will say it is Poison Sumac because of how bad the rash is.  However, because Poison Sumac grows in swamps and bogs it is much more rare to come in contact with.

Mangos (Mangifera indica) and Cashews (Anacardium occidentale) belong to Anacardiaceae, as do our Sumacs (Rhus spp.).  It is believed that eating these foods can help against Poison Ivy reactiveness.  People sometimes worry about consuming Sumacs because of Poison Sumac.  But Poison Sumac belongs to Toxicodendron and Staghorn Sumac and its close relatives belong to Rhus.  They are different plants.  Rhus species provide several edible and medicinal parts.

Apiaceae – The Carrot Family

Apiaceae is also known as the Poison Hemlock Family, the Parsley Family, and by its old name, the Umbel Family or Umbelliferae.  This latter designation has persisted since Apiaceae became official largely because it describes the flower type, the umble, which is characteristic.  To describe it here is slightly too technical (will save it for an article focused on this family alone), but perhaps you already know it.  Carrots (Daucus carrota), Angelica (Angelica spp.), Parsnips (Pastinica sativa), Dill (Anethum graveolens), Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum), and Water Hemlock (Cicuta spp.) all have umble (umbrella-shaped) flowerheads.  Yarrow (Achellea millefollium of the Aster Family) and Elderberry (Sambucus spp. of the Elder Family, Adoxaceae) look at first to have umbels, but when inspected closely the stalks supporting the flowering parts arise in a branching pattern from the main stem while true umbles branch from a single node of the main stem.  That is, umbels come from one point.  

david_-_the_death_of_socratesPoison Hemlock, Water Hemlock, and the related species are very deadly.  Water Hemlock (Cicuta douglasii) has been considered the most poisonous plant in North America.  Poison Hemlock is infamous as the plant that killed Socrates, as it was used in ancient times as a euthanizing agent.  Umbel flower-heads should be a warning.  Eat and use such plants carefully to avoid confusing a desired species with a fatally poisonous one.  Even those that are edible can produce toxic parts.  For instance, Parsnip has been cultivated for generations as a delicious vegetable, but the above-ground portions of Wild Parsnip are well known to produce rashes in some people.

Like Parsnip, Wild Carrot is the wild version of the domestic vegetable (same species).  It is one of the most commonly consumed vegetables around the world.  Some people cook with the greens as well.  However, it is not considered safe to freely eat the greens or seeds in that there are some toxic properties.

Apocynaceae – the Milkweed Family

dogbaneApocynaceae is also known as the Dogbane Family, especially since Milkweed was formerly classified in Asclepiadaceae (the families have been merged).  I call it the Milkweed family because Milkweed (Asclepias spp.) is a much more commonly known plant and because I often teach about the edible properties of it.  Dogbane (Apocynum spp.) is commonly known as the poisonous relative of Milkweed.  Besides the toxic properties of Dogbane, the survivalist should get to know the plant as an important source of fiber for cordage.  A common species A. cannabinum is sometimes known as Indian Hemp (which is referenced in the species name that refers to Cannabis) because it was a primary fiber plant.  

Ranunculaceae – the Buttercup Family

marsh_marigold_buttercup_familyIn spite of being named after a food, Buttercups (Ranunculus spp. ) are generally toxic.  One species, Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustrus) is a well-known edible (must be cooked properly), but the family should be treated with caution.  It would be another whole article (or should I say will be another blog) to discuss the range of toxic plants of the Buttercup Family, from the Common Buttercup (Ranunculus spp.) to the “most deadly plant” in the world – Aconite (Aconitum spp. ).  If you live in an area where Aconite or poisonous relatives like Larkspur (Delphinium spp.) grow, you should learn these plants.  Aconite is also known as Monkshood and Wolf’s Bane.  

Another member of the family is known as Baneberry (Actaea spp.)  In my area we have Red Baneberry (A. rubra) and White Baneberry, or Doll’s Eyes, (A. pachypoda).  It has created some confusion since Black Cohosh, formerly Cimicifuga, was included in the genus, and some concern since the common medicinal is not as toxic as the Baneberries.  

Ranunculaceae is also known as the Crowfoot Family.  Members of the family are quite common, especially in wet areas.  Often, they go unnoticed when not in flower.  It is worth learning the leaves, by which they get the name Crowfoot.  Even Ranunculus species can blister your mouth if chewed on.  There are also important medicinals in Ranunculaceae, like the famous antibiotic herb Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis).

Solanaceae – the Nightshade Family

This is one of the most famous and controversial plant families.  While there are still many more families to discuss (such as the Lily Family, Liliaceae) in our exploration of poisonous plant groups, it is fitting to close with such an interesting group.

Solanaceae produces deadly poisons (hence the name “Deadly Nightshades”), hallucinogens (like Jimson Weed and Belladonna), food crops (like Potatoes and Tomatoes), and other exceptionally interesting plants (such as Tobacco).

daturaJimson Weed (Datura spp.), Deadly Nightshade (Atropa belladonna), and other similar plants are very toxic.  They have been associated with Witchcraft, crime, and other dark and deadly affairs.  They are also important medicinals.  Before asthma inhalers these plants were often used in the same fashion, though inhaled as smoke.  Still today, we get crucial medications from these plants like atropine and scopolamine.

Although widely associate with Italian food, Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) first came from South America.  It is widely believed that they were first cultivated as an exotic ornamental and thought to be poisonous before they became a staple cooking ingredient and primary garden “vegetable” (it is the fruit, technically, that we eat from the Tomato).  Wood Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara, also known as Bittersweet) helps to show why Tomatoes were once thought to be poisonous, as it has small, poisonous, red fruits that look very much like Tomatoes.  Black Nightshade (Solanum nigrum) is still believed by many to be deadly poisonous, though it was once promoted as “Wonderberry” in seed catalogues.  Common knowledge of the plant has been growing due to the popularity of Samual Thayers’ Nature’s Garden in which he discusses Black Nightshade and similar writings.  But still, edibility is not always clear and many diets (such as macrobiotics and anti-arthritis diets) recommending the near complete avoidance of Nightshades.     

Knowledge is Power

So, understanding poisonous plants will take some time and study.  The investment comes with the reward of knowledge that could save a life through prevention.  So start small, with the study of plant families and the identifying characteristics of the most poisonous species.

Maybe you noticed the word “Bane” in the names of plants in these families.  That is an indication of poison.  Apocynaceae has Dogbane.  Runuculaceae has Baneberry, Bugbane, and Wolf’s Bane.  Asteraceae (the Aster Family) has Fleabane (Erigeron spp.) and the list goes on.  Throughout the lore of plants, include in their names, has been woven the knowledge of toxicity.  Such is its importance.    

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Climate Change — Natural or Man Caused? Cosmic Rays, Clouds, and the Sun

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First — here is a great site for radiation monitoring and alerting

http://www.uradmonitor.com/products/
———————————————————-

This “study” could use a tight perusal. And maybe a debunk.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/cosmic-rays-not-causing-climate-change/

Ah yes, the answer comes right at the end, the IPCC

As a result of this and other work, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change state that no robust association between changes in cosmic rays and cloudiness has been identified.”

“and other work” which we won’t cite, just trust us.    We only had enough budget to get 2 scientists to sell their souls and produce the report we want. 

Pandemic is an Inevitability

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ebola_virus_virion

ebola_outbreak_in_gulu_municipal_hospitalIn the summer of 2014, the media and state actors panicked over the emergence of an ebola epidemic in Western Africa. The panic was understandable and entirely warranted. After all, ebola kills around 50% of those infected.  Moreover, a cursory examination of ebola’s symptoms are terrifying. Among other things, ebola can induce blood vomiting, severe rash, and liver inflammation. After the disease was reigned in and Western African States declared their health crises under control, health departments around the world began to reflect on their response to the ebola epidemic. Although the ebola epidemic was regionally contained, it was not due to the competence and quick response of state governments. The implications of the lackluster response to the epidemic are far more disturbing than ebola itself. In a globalized world, we are entirely unprepared to quickly address the outbreak of a horrific disease. At this point, a pandemic isn’t a possibility, it is an inevitability.

By D-Ray a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Say what you will about the politics of Bill Gates but he is right about one thing: we are entirely unprepared to contain and address a potential pandemic. We lack the resources, funding, and state cooperation to adequately address an epidemic that has the potential to become a pandemic. In his Vox interview, Gates mentions an anecdote worth discussing: the 1918 Spanish Flu was almost equal in human devastation to World War II. It seems safe to assume that a pandemic today would only be accelerated by globalization.  An infected individual could board a plane in Dubai and be in New York 15 hours later. We live in a time where we are uniquely vulnerable to pandemic.

Until governments properly fund health programs, it is entirely up to the individual to manage risk. In the case of a lethal, infectious outbreak, the best strategy is to go into isolation. Of course, any period of extended isolation will require a considerable amount of prepping. Most obviously, you will need food and water. Don’t count on clean tap water. In the event of a cataclysmic pandemic, it is likely infrastructure will deteriorate. This will lead to worsened water quality and the potential of infection by waterborne disease. Invest in quality water filtration systems.

Do your emergency plans include contingencies for plague? If they don’t, they should. The probability of such an event, over 50%, certainly warrants preparation. Do not be caught unprepared. What are your plans for pandemic? Will you attempt to bug out or follow a strategy of isolation at home?

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Survival Medicine Hour: Vehicular Terror, Hangovers, RP Ruggiero of Brushfire Plague

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The Survival Medicine Hour, with Joe Alton,MD aka Dr. Bones and Amy Alton, ARNP aka Nurse Amy, wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year on this last day of 2016. With holiday parties all around us, some will find themselves with a celebration full of alcohol and perhaps a hangover to remember the night before. Before you attend that party, you should listen to this podcast for tips to both prevent and cure that aweful hangover.

Amy Alton, ARNP, interviews the author of the Brushfire Plague Trilogy series after he has recently completed the third book. Mr. R.P. Ruggerio lives in Colorado with his wife and two sons, and spends as much time outdoors as possible. He strives to live by Robert Heilein’s credo ” Specialization is for insects.” The Brushfire Plague trilogy are novels grounded in neighboorhood defense duringa devastating plague. Brushfire Plague, according to R.P., “also has useful lessons about the value of being prepared for possible disruptions to our normal way of life woven into the fabric of the story.  One unique aspect I focus on is the interpersonal dynamics one will be forced to deal with in any crisis situation.  This adds a lot to the drama and storyline and enhances the realism of the novel.”

Vehicular terror is the new blueprint for those wishing to cause mass casualties. Simple to obtain compared to guns and bombs, we can expect more events like the Berlin Christmas Market truck attack. Find out what you need to know to stay safe in these troubled times.

To listen in, click below:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/survivalmedicine/2016/12/30/survival-medicine-hangovers-rp-ruggiero-vehicular-terror

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Joe and Amy Alton

JoeAmyPortrait2013

See more information about RP Ruggiero’s books at http://brushfireplague.com/? and at Amazon http://amzn.to/2ilH0e7?.

Don’t forget to follow us on our store, facebook, and twitter:

Store: http://store.doomandbloom.net/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/preppershow

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/survivalmedicinedrbonesandnurseamy/

Article – Latest: Man walking in woods found missing NJ woman, child

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Not a lot of information here, but it appears they stayed with the vehicle .

A sheriff’s office official says a man walking in a wooded area in rural Virginia stumbled across a missing New Jersey woman and her great-granddaughter.

Maj. William Knott of the Dinwiddie County Sheriff’s Office says 71-year-old Barbara Briley and 5-year-old La’Myra Briley were still inside their vehicle when the man found them Wednesday. The two had been missing for days.

Knott says the man called 911 and the sheriff’s office responded. He says he has “absolutely no clue” how the Brileys ended up in the secluded area.

State police said earlier that Barbara Briley was flown from the scene to a Richmond hospital.

Knott says La’Myra has been reunited with her family.

The two left New Jersey on Christmas Eve to visit relatives in North Carolina but never arrived. They had last been seen at a gas station north of Richmond.

Could have been the elderly woman was driving and suffered a stroke or heart attack, and that’s why everyone was still in the vehicle. Would also explain why she had to be flown out. Regardless, staying with the vehicle is usually the best choice.

ETA: A slightly clearer description here

How To Grow Peppers Indoors All Winter Long

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How To Grow Peppers Indoors All Winter Long

Image source: Pixabay.com

 

There are few things that you can grow in your garden that are as versatile as the pepper. Hot, sweet, red or green – even yellows, oranges and purples can add a touch of the exotic to your next dish. For most gardeners it simply wouldn’t be the same without a nice harvest of peppers come late summer and early fall.

But why limit yourself to fresh peppers for only a few months of the year? Unbeknownst to many of us who do not live in a desert climate, peppers are actually perennial plants that can live for many years if given the proper care.

There are two main ways that you can grow peppers indoors. The first is by starting a plant from seed, and the second is by bringing your existing plants indoors at the end of your normal outdoor growing season.

Starting Peppers Indoors

Starting your peppers indoors from seeds is fairly simple and can be done at any time of year. Seeds should be planted in a mixture of peat moss, vermiculite and sand (roughly equal parts of each). Place two seeds in each pot near its center, and push the seeds just below the surface of the soil. Keep soil moist but not wet, and keep pots in a spot where they will get sunlight throughout the day.

Looking For Non-GMO Pepper Seeds? Get Them From A Company You Can Trust!

If you are starting peppers from seed, then you will have the advantage of selecting a variety that will grow to the ideal size for your indoor space. If you have lots of room, then you can grow larger plants such as red bell peppers or Hungarian wax peppers. If you are short on space, however, then try more compact varieties such as dwarf chilies.

Bringing Your Outdoor Peppers Inside

If you’ve already got pepper plants in your garden, you’re ahead of the game. Peppers in containers can be brought directly inside.

For peppers that are planted directly in the ground, the process for bringing them inside is trickier – but so worth it! Start this process well before your first frost. Using a sharp shovel, you can dig around each plant and lift it out of the ground, placing it into a plastic (not terra cotta) pot. This should be done during the evening so that the plant has the cool of the night to recover.

How To Grow Peppers Indoors All Winter Long

Image source: Pixabay.com

If there is extra room in the pot, you can add some compost, but avoid adding extra garden soil. Water you plants and place them in a shady spot outside, and leave them for a few days. Inspect you plants for any pests or aphids and rinse them off very well and then move them to a different spot. Repeat as necessary, until you can’t find any pests. After a few days, you can bring your plants into an in-between spot like a porch.

Finally, bring your pepper plants inside and place under florescent bulbs.

Keeping Your Peppers Fruiting

It is possible to keep your pepper plants fruiting the entire winter – but you will need to keep them toasty warm and give them sufficient light if you are to be successful. Ideally, the room that they are in should be a constant 65-75 degrees. Using very bring florescent lighting or a combination of sunlight and florescent light is best. Peppers tend to need more light than other plants, so if you want fruit you should plan on leaving their lights on for 14-16 hours per day. Some people control this using a timer, but it is also fine to leave the lights on 24 hours a day. Once plants have flowers, they should be fertilized on a weekly basis.

This New All-Natural Fertilizer Doubles Garden Production!

Watering may be done whenever the soil is slightly dry. It is important to never let your peppers sit in a pool of water, as this can cause disease.

Finally, in caring for you plants, remember that peppers are sensitive to air quality. They should not be kept in a room where people smoke or where there are other pollutants in the air, as this can damage the plants.

When fruit is ripe, you may harvest it using a sharp knife. This will help to prevent you from inadvertently damaging the plant.

Growing any type of fruit or vegetable indoors gives you greater control over your growing environment and provides an extended growing season. Peppers are a perfect choice for those who love to make spicy Asian or Mexican dishes to beat out the chill of winter.

Even if you decide that it is too much trouble to keep your pepper plants fruiting over the winter months, there is still good reason to bring this season’s plants indoors and keep them healthy. That’s because next season, you’ll be able to re-plant your mature pepper plants – instead of seeds or starts from your local garden center.

And those mature plants will start producing peppers fast, and you will be the envy of the neighborhood. Your only problem will be trying to figure out what to do with all of those peppers!

Have you ever grown peppers indoors? What tips would you add? Share them in the section below:

Bust Inflation With A Low-Cost, High-Production Garden. Read More Here.

An Invitation to Progressives New To Prepping

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Dear Progressives,

I know that many of you are upset, and even frightened, by the election of Donald Trump. There have even been a few news stories claiming that some progressives are looking to become preppers, to prepare for the coming “disaster of a Trump Presidency” that they fear. I don’t really care why you are becoming preppers. I’m just glad that you are. I believe in self-reliance, and I belive that the more Americans who are self-reliant, the better off we all will be. 

Let me introduce myself. My name is Tim Gamble, and I am one of Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables.” One of Obama’s “bitter clingers.” And I am a Trump voter (though he wasn’t my choice in the primaries, as I voted for Ted Cruz). Don’t worry. This invitation has nothing to do with politics. I just want to be honest and upfront woth you about who I am.

Here is the invitation: I want to invite you, as newbies to preparedness and survival, to read my website (www.TimGamble.com), and to follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Why should you? I’ve been living the prepper/survivalist lifestyle for about 20 years now, and actively writing about it for at least 10 years. You will find lots of great information, advice, and tips regarding the self-reliant preparedness lifestyle on this website, and though my social media accounts. You probably won’t like my politics, or even religion, but you can just ignore that stuff, and concentrate on the information you need. 

Where to start? I suggest you read my Quick, no frills, down & dirty guide to preparing for the End. This article will give you the outline of what you need to do to prepare to survive any difficult times that may be ahead, regardless of the cause. You might also like my Ways To Get Ready For The Future, which I wrote in 2013 specifically for folks like yourself, rather than my more conservative audience. I think you’ll actually like it. 

Once you have an idea of what you need to be doing, you can then explore this site for lots of more detailed information. Let me point at a few of what I call my “Solutions” articles:

Becoming Self-Reliant  

How to SUCCEED at Prepping

Prepping 101: Finances – Get Back to Basics

Survival 101: Stockpiling as a Preparedness Strategy 

Prepper’s Guide to Junk Silver

There are a lot of other useful articles, but start with those for now. And check back often, as I usually post at least one prepping related article each week, sometimes more.

Since you are a newbie, I would also suggest the following books: 

What Could Possibly Go Wrong??? How To Go From Completely Clueless To Totally Prepared, by Survivor Jane. Written by a woman especially for women (and others) who are just starting to prepare, it avoids much of the technical jargon, acronyms, and doom & gloom often found in other survivalist books. Does a great job of explaining why folks should prepare, and how to get started. 

Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook, by Peggy Layton. This book covers preparing for short-term disasters, with detailed information and lists for everything from an emergency car kit, to a 72-hour emergency kit (aka “bug out” kit), to building stockpiles of food, water, medicine and other necessities. Included in the book is a section on ideas for apartment dwellers and others with little storage space.

How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times, by James Wesley Rawles. When you’re ready to take the next step and get really serious about preparing for tough times, start with this book. It is a fairly comprehensive guide to preparing for political and/or economic collapse.

Best of luck,

Tim Gamble    
 

How Concealed Carry Policies Can Keep You and Your Employees Safe

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Unfortunately, in today’s society, there are times you may be confronted with violence at work, as illustrated by incidents such as the on-air shooting of reporter Alison Parker and photojournalist Adam Ward, the San Bernardino shooting and the Orlando nightclub shooting. An average of 551 workers a year are killed as a result of workplace-related homicides, according to the latest data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2010, 78 percent of these homicides involved shootings. The risk of being shot at work raises the question of how concealed carry policy should be applied in the workplace. While gun control advocates may reject the idea that concealed carry has a place at work, preppers know that concealed carry may be your best defense against a disgruntled and armed employee or customer. If you’re considering implementing a concealed carry policy at your workplace, here are some guidelines for pursuing your policy safely.

Check Your State Laws

The first thing to do is check your state laws in consultation with your company’s legal team, since laws regarding concealed carry and an employer’s legal right to determine concealed carry policy vary by state. State laws seek to balance a citizen’s constitutional right to bear arms with an employer’s right to control policy on private property and their responsibility under OHSA to maintain a safe workplace environment. Some states prohibit retaliation against gun owners for bearing arms and limit an employer’s right to search employee vehicles. Others allow an employer to prohibit guns if they post certain notices.

As of June 2015, employers in Maryland were allowed to restrict concealed carry in parking lots and on premises, while those in California were not, and those in Florida were allowed to restrict concealed carry on premises but not in parking lots. Some states also allow exceptions to these rules. For instance, Utah allows employers to restrict concealed carry in parking lots and on premises, but there is an exception for federal and state workers.

Check to see what legal options are available to you under your state laws for determining your company concealed carry policy. Knowing your state’s laws can help you in formulating your policy by letting you know what options are legally excluded.

Consider Your Corporate Culture

Beyond legal considerations, your concealed carry policy towards your employees can also impact your brand reputation with your customers, points out the Society for Human Resource Management. One key issue that impacts your brand is whether the same policy you apply to your employees also applies to your customers. For instance, Starbucks has drawn criticism for asking customers not to bring guns into their stores even if they have a concealed carry permit. Similarly, businesses can draw criticism for restricting self-defense rights of employees.

Apart from concerns about criticism, there is the more fundamental issue of how your gun policy aligns with your corporate culture. How do your company’s vision, values and mission statement inform your gun policy? For instance, consider your company’s overall policy toward your employees and customers, and develop a gun policy that embodies this stance, communicating how allowing concealed carry advances the safety and well-being of your employees and customers.

Who Can Conceal Carry Guns?

The question of whether your gun policy towards your employees extends to your customers broaches the broader question of who can carry guns under your corporate policy. What about part-time employees? Independent contractors? Hired security personnel? Visitors? Are any categories of workers required to undergo any type of safety training to be allowed to carry guns at your business? Will you run any background checks on employees and contractors who may be carrying guns to ensure that you meet OHSA standards for maintaining a safe working environment? Also consider how you will handle employees who have been recently terminated or otherwise involved in workplace confrontations and may have guns on their person or in their vehicles as they are exiting the building in a bad mood.

Where Are Guns Allowed?

Another issue your policy should address is where guns are allowed. As noted, some states have different restrictions for parking lots and premises. Additionally, there may be areas of your premises that are not entirely owned by you and may be shared with adjacent businesses. Within the legal guidelines of your state laws, you should develop policies that clarify what is allowed in each of the areas of your workplace. This will enable you to respond to employees who ask where they can store their guns.

What Kind of Guns are Allowed?

Another question to consider is what kinds of guns and gun supplies are allowed, suggests workplace law firm Fisher Phillips. For instance, definitions of “assault weapons” vary from state to state, which has contributed to media and public confusion over this term. Clarifying what types of weapons fall under your gun policy can help you if you become embroiled in a public relations battle over an incident at your workplace. Likewise, you may want your policy to clarify your stance towards semi-automatic versus automatic weapons. If deer hunting is popular in your area, you might also want to lay out a policy for rifles. Similar considerations hold for ammunition and accessories for different categories of weapons that fall under your policy.

What about Other Weapons and Dangerous Objects?

Some company gun policies also address the use of other weapons and potential weapons. For instance, knives can be classified as weapons in some contexts, but if your business is a restaurant, you obviously need certain types of knives to operate. Other objects such as boxcutters are not designed as weapons but can be used as such. You may wish to consider how your gun policy addresses these.

Notifying Employees of Your Policy

After developing your policy, it’s also essential to make sure your policy is communicated to your staff and other relevant personnel. Develop training procedures to make sure that your staff is aware of your policy. Ideally, these should be part of broader training in workplace violence policy and management. If you require any firearm safety procedure training, include this in your policy. Check your state’s policy for your obligation to post signs and make sure you are in compliance with these requirements.

 

The post How Concealed Carry Policies Can Keep You and Your Employees Safe appeared first on American Preppers Network.

It’s Time to Deal In Truth!

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     God is beginning to reveal something to my spirit that is both disheartening and encouraging.  Let me see if I can share this insight, and if it makes sense to you.
     I have made it abundantly clear that I see through different spiritual eyes than I did even three years ago. My heart and my spirit know that it is Jesus’s deepest desire that all those who come to Him will be set free from their spiritual bondage.  Of course, He doesn’t want to lose even one person, and His invitation to faith and salvation is available for every human being.  But we all know that not everyone will accept that summons to eternal life, and many will vehemently reject Him.
     But my comments today are directed specifically to those who have answered His call and profess faith in Him as their Savior.  Of course, we must understand that faith comes in degrees as we journey through our salvation process; not everyone is equal in living out their faith, although Jesus will accept each one of us on an equal basis — all are welcome in His Kingdom. But we each must work out our salvation with fear and trembling; that’s where the concept of rewards and inheritance comes into play, and that is a discussion for another day.

     Today, I want to address the disparity in how we Christians receive the news that He came to set the captives free, and what I see Jesus doing in regards to that declaration.  First, let me say that I have found that those who are not entrenched in the “Church experience” seem to be more willing to accept and believe that Jesus really can set them free from their slavery to satan.  Since the Lord revealed to my husband and me that He wanted to use us to help people get free from their oppression and bondage, He has brought a variety of people to our doorstep.  And this is what we have observed:
1)  The people who are most desperate to have their “soul wounds” healed are the most receptive to allowing Jesus to heal these wounds and set them free from the lies satan has been whispering.
2)  They have reached the end of their rope, and there is nowhere else to turn.  They either do not trust the Church, or they do not believe that it can help them.  They are willing to meet with Jesus, up close and personal, in a manner that the Church is not even willing to consider, and it is because He is their last hope.
3)  As you can surmise, these are people who are generally dissatisfied with the Church, although many of them come from Church backgrounds.  So they are not affiliated with any Church, although they believe in Jesus. So, in essence, at this stage of their healing process, the Church does not come between them and Jesus and their deliverance from captivity.
     Now this is the part that might seem surprising, but so far, it has proven to be quite consistent …
4)  Christians who are faithful Church-attendees are just as likely to be desperate in their bondage, but are the most reluctant to let Jesus in.  I am not a psychologist, so I cannot verify my conclusions, but it seems pretty clear that they have a hard time breaking out of the box that their Church doctrine and experience have put them in.  I don’t want you to misunderstand me … they proclaim a real faith and belief in Jesus, just the same as their counterparts; often more passionately.  But it has been our experience that the comfort and identity they have as “Church-going Christians” can sometimes get in the way of really believing Jesus’s message of setting the captives free.
     Somehow, it seems easier for them to live with their oppression when surrounded by others that share a similar “Sunday experience” and membership in the Church club.  Sadly, I have seen too many wonderful, God-fearing Christians come to me with stories of oppression that they keep hidden from their Church fellowship.  Is it because what Jesus offers [in healing those wounds] is outside the mainstream of accepted Church practices?  Is it because their identity is all wrapped up in how the Church sees them, and they can’t let the mask slip?  Or is it, because deep down they don’t really believe that Jesus can do what He says He came to do? … to set at liberty those who are oppressed.  (Luke 4:18)
     My husband recently listened to a podcast by a former warlock, John Ramirez; a man who was steeped in the occult, and who vowed allegiance to the dark forces of the devil.  As a Satanist, he said that the first thing he would do to enslave a church would be to declare the spirits of Fear, Doubt, and Unbelief be manifested against it.  He said that the first one to engage in the spiritual battle over a church was the one who would likely win, and since churches are usually devoid of Christians knowledgeable in, or strong enough, to take that first step and wage the spiritual war, he said that churches were an easy victory for him.  This is a man who sees the “big picture” and has fought on both sides of the battlefield.  Thanks to his conversion and the saving power of Jesus, he now instructs Christians on how to let Jesus help them defeat the Enemy.

       I tend to believe his fantastic story because that’s exactly what I have seen in dealing with my Christian brethren who are spiritually tied to their churches.  If the spirit of Fear has not enslaved them, then Doubt and Unbelief will shut them down because they do not believe that they can go to Jesus and let Him heal their deep wounds.  And in reality, they are often not living their own life-Truths. I sometimes think they feel as if their wounds are too shameful or embarrassing to admit; that their fellow Church members would doubt that someone like them was worthy to be in their midst.  Or at the very least, they do not fit their own description of what a Saved person looks like. If only they believed what the Bible tells us in John, Chapter 8.
    In verse 28 of that chapter, Jesus says, I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. And He who sent Me is with Me. He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him. Then Scripture tells us, As he was saying these things, many believed in him.  But, as theologian Leon Morris writes, “This section of the [Biblical] discourse is addressed to those who believe, and yet do not believe. Clearly they were inclined to think that what Jesus said was true. But they were not prepared to yield Him the far-reaching allegiance that real trust in Him implies. This is a most dangerous spiritual state.” That is so true! Remaining under the oppression caused by fear, or refusal to yield to His deliverance, only keeps the Christian from taking that life-saving step.  And Satan wins!
     And I believe that is where many Christians are today.  Jesus made it abundantly clear when He said, “If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  Yet, I’m afraid that Christians find it difficult to live their own truth, let alone Jesus’s truth that He can set us free.  Satan has been able to infiltrate the Church (in ways like the former warlock, Mr. Ramirez, described) and sow Fear, Doubt, and Unbelief, and thereby keep Christians sitting in the pews in restricted power and authority.  They are either slaves to the hidden sins they are committing, or are in bondage due to the hidden sins committed against them.  Either way, they are slaves to the lies that the Enemy uses to convince them they are unclean and living under false identities.
     Somehow, I think they feel that if they face their truths, it will be more difficult to live as a Christian; that they are more comfortable in hanging on to the wounds while believing that Jesus has forgiven them, rather than taking the leap to a reality that they can finally be free of all the fear and anxiety and anger and bitterness and unforgiveness that clings to those memories of sin.
     I will tell you that those who are willing to surrender their fears and their pride, because they are tired of living under the burden of oppression, are truly new creations when they are set free. Jesus is able to show them how He sees them; they are not bound by their own perceptions of how they appear to Him.  That is not to say that the Enemy gives up and leaves the battlefield.  He knows the areas in their lives that are vulnerable, and the lies they have believed in the past.  But with each new attack that they repel through the Father’s power and authority that Jesus gives them, they become stronger, and the devil soon learns that he has a formidable foe.

     So, while I am saddened, and often frustrated, at my fellow Christian’s inability to believe their own Bible, I am determined to be an instrument of my Lord’s mission to set the captives free.  In fact, I am beginning to see more and more instances of God ripping off the bandaids of fear, doubt, and unbelief, and confronting Believers with the truth of their lives.  I am discerning that time is running short, and Jesus wants people to be set free so that they can be powerful participants in His Kingdom.  It’s time that all Christians quit hiding behind whatever barricade or mask the Enemy offers in order to keep them oppressed and in bondage.  Whether it be alcohol, drugs, promiscuity, or the Church, it is time that we live (abide) in the Truth and the Light Jesus offers us.
    And it gives me great encouragement to hear from those who have received freedom!  Some have completely changed their family dynamics, and others are planning on helping friends and family get set free in the Name and Power of Jesus.  So, I am happy to see that Christians are being confronted with their need to live in Truth, and their need to surrender to Jesus’s healing Spirit.  While some come willingly, I believe that God is forcing the issue with others.  All of us are slaves to sin in one form or another.  But it is essential that we realize we cannot liberate ourselves. We cannot convert ourselves, nor can we be converted by any fellow-sinner.  The Liberator from our bondage must come from outside the ranks of enslaved humanity.  The only One who can do that is waiting for our agreement with Him.  He is determined to set as many people free as He can before our time runs out.  Don’t waste another minute living in bondage!

John 8:34-36    “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”  

What to Expect in 2017

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As 2016 draws to a close, it almost feels as if an era is ending.

The long and brutal election campaign that we’ve all survived through is finally over, with Donald Trump beating out Hillary Clinton both on November 8th and in the final vote by the Electoral College on December 20th.

While the Democrats are still having trouble accepting this fact, it signals a real change in the direction of our country.

The election is significant in that it has taken the progressive liberals out of power. For the last eight years President Obama has been running roughshod over conservative values, helped along by a feckless Congress who didn’t want to stand up against him on anything.

It was one thing when the Democrats controlled Congress as well; but when they lost first the House and then the Senate, it didn’t seem to make a lick of difference.

But now we have a new President-elect, who is making noises like a conservative. It should be giving hope to those of us who believe in the U.S. Constitution. Even if Trump only manages to do half of what he’s said he wants to do, it will make a huge difference for our country.

But not everything that happens to our country is under the control of the President, no matter who he is or what political party he belongs to. While the president gets the blame and the credit for everything from the weather to nuclear war, in reality there are other forces in play. As anyone in the military knows, the enemy gets a vote too.

So, what can we expect to see in this new year? In truth, there’s a lot; and not all of it is going to be good. But, like all of life, we’ve got to be ready to take the good with the bad and make the best of it in our own lives.

Liberal Temper Tantrums on the Rise

The Democrats have already proven that they are not about to accept their loss.

Elizabeth Warren has already introduced a bill, making it easier for Congress to impeach the new president, due to his many businesses. Essentially, if his companies make any money which can be traced to foreign governments or foreign political figures, they can impeach him.

In a way, this is somewhat humorous, considering how much money Hillary Clinton made in her “pay to play” scheming as the Secretary of State. Perhaps Warren’s new law should be tested out on her first. But then, there’s little risk of it passing, as both houses of Congress are controlled by Republicans.

Compared to other liberal protests to the election, this one is actually mild, and I’m not concerned about it. What does concern me is the more violent protests for which groups like Black Lives Matter have become known. That group, in particular, has already stated that they will not meet with Donald Trump and want nothing to do with him. Instead, they’d rather spend their time and energy in holding more protests and destroying more property.

The Democrats and other liberal groups are going to keep themselves busy obstruction everything that Trump and the Republican Congress tries to do. That’s to be expected.

But the real issue isn’t what will be happening in Washington, but what will be happening in the rest of the country. It is there that the protests and violence might occur.

War Between Trump and the Mainstream Media

The mainstream media blew it on this election; there’s no other way to put it. Not only was all their pontification and their polls wrong, but they bet on the wrong horse to win.

In working so hard to see Hillary Clinton elected as the next president, they’ve shown their true colors, as nothing more than a liberal propaganda machine.

In the process, they made an enemy out of Donald Trump, attacking him while giving Clinton a free ride on everything. From what I saw in the campaign, making an enemy out of Trump is not something to be taken lightly. Yet they still haven’t seen the error of their ways.

The last press conference that Trump held was on July 27th, the third day of the Democrat Convention. Through the three presidential debates and winning the election, he hasn’t taken the time to meet with the press. Rather, he has used social media and the alternative media to talk directly with the American people, totally bypassing the left-leaning propaganda machine called the mainstream media.

While he hasn’t had a press conference with the media, he did make time to hold an off-the-record media summit with a number of media big shots in November. I don’t know what the media representatives were expecting, but the meeting was described as a “firing squad.” I have a feeling that they missed the part where he said his famous, “You’re fired!”

I wouldn’t be surprised if he continued like this. If there’s one thing that Trump is, he’s strong. He’s not going to be the first to cave; and in his eyes, he’s got nothing to lose.

In a way, Trump’s handing of the media has been highly amusing to me. For as long as I can remember, Republicans have feared the media and their attacks. Then here comes Trump, manipulates them to give him free coverage throughout his campaign, and then essentially fires them, bypassing them all together to speak with the American people.

Dismantling of Obamacare

Of the many things which President-elect Trump has promised to do in his first 100 days in office, one that has given the most hope to the American people is the elimination of Obamacare.

Republican lawmakers have been trying to do that since 2011, but with Obama in office, haven’t been able to. Now, with a Republican controlled Congress and Trump in the White House, we can expect to see it fall apart, bit by bit.

I say fall apart because at this point in time, it will be necessary to replace it piecemeal, rather than just nullifying it. There are too many people who would be hurt by a repeal; people who are on Medicaid, people who were uninsurable before Obamacare, and people who have bought insurance under Obamacare who would lose their insurance again, if it was repealed.

It’s going to take some time and a lot of work, but it will be replaced by something that serves the needs of the American people, rather than just serving the needs of bureaucrats in Washington.

Then, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least to see Trump himself personally attacking the insurance companies about high premiums and deductibles.

Improvement in the Economy and Jobs

More than anything, Trump is a businessman; not only that, he’s a highly successful one. Granted, he started out with a cool million in seed money, but he managed to multiply that at least 3,000 times! More if you believe the larger estimates of his net worth. There are few anywhere who can make such a claim.

We can see already, during the transition process, that he’s bringing that business acumen into his new job as the President of these United States. It is manifest in the selections he’s making for his cabinet, as well as the meetings he’s already had with foreign leaders and others who will be important to his success as a leader.

More than anything, I hope Trump will help the economy to grow. His deal with Carrier air conditioning is just the beginning. I believe that we’ll see a surge of investment by large corporations, opening of new factories, moving some manufacturing home and startups of new businesses.

What has held the economy back for the last eight years is uncertainty. Those feelings of uneasiness started when the housing bubble burst in 2008 -2009.

But then Obama took office and they continued. With his anti-business attitudes, he has created an atmosphere where corporate boards have avoiding investing in their businesses, rather putting the money away in offshore banks, to wait and see what would happen.

Now that Trump has been elected, confidence is growing and those same corporate boards are making plans to invest in their corporations. In addition, Trump has declared war on overregulation, which will make it easier for businesses of all sizes to operate profitably in the United States.

Ultimately, what this really boils down to is an increase in the workforce and jobs for those who want them. If he couples his business initiatives with a crackdown on welfare fraud, we might even see a reversal of the current trend towards living off the government dime, rather than getting a job.

Increases in business will also require an increase in the workforce, giving those people an opportunity to make something of their lives.

A Possible Financial Collapse

While I am sure that Trump’s presidency will be good for the economy, I am also concerned. In electing Donald Trump president, the American people have given the middle finger to the elites of this world, most specifically to the one-worlders. They are concerned and they have the power to push back.

While these people try to remain in the background, with their activities hidden from public view, they do make the occasional press release or even talk to the press. One such statement emerged during the presidential campaign, indicating that the Bilderberg Group was gravely concerned about Donald Trump winning the election and becoming president.

More than anything, the Bilderberg Group is the main motivator behind the one-world movement. An extremely liberal group, it consists of a number of major banking heads, international businessmen, politicians and even members of the press, they meet annually to discuss how to turn the world in the direction they want. That direction is always towards socialism and a one-world governmental system.

These people have enough financial power to control the world’s markets. It is they, not local forces, who create financial crises throughout the world. They do so for the dual purposes of making money off the crisis and molding the world into their image.

While I am not sure how soon they will decide to act, I believe that they are going to take some major action during Trump’s presidency. It may not be in 2017, but I seriously doubt we’ll make it to 2020, without some major upheaval, something along the lines of the Great Depression.

An Increase in Extreme Muslim Terrorism

As we all know, extreme Muslim terrorism is on the rise. Terrorist acts in Europe are increasing in frequency and scope.

But that’s only a smattering of the terrorism that is happening on a worldwide basis. Those Muslim terrorists are actually more active in their own countries, than they are in western lands.

We must understand that terrorism is a form of warfare. Their purpose is to force us to capitulate and allow Muslim control, most especially the implementation of Sharia Law in our countries. In this, they are working to take over the world.

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According to the Koran, Muslims are only allowed to migrate to Muslim controlled lands, unless it is for the specific purpose of conquering lands controlled by infidels. Called “hegira” this form of migration has been a major tool for the spread of Islam, every since the beginning.

Their twisting of western laws to get their way and gradually force their adopted country closer and closer to Sharia is no accident. Rather, it is a well thought out strategy, which has been used over and over again.

While Trump’s campaign promises to build the wall, crack down on illegal immigration and temporarily block immigration from Muslim countries will all help to slow the flood of Muslims who are entering our country, they can’t do a thing about those who are already hear. Nor can anything be done to stop the online recruiting of “home-grown terrorists” under Muslim control.

If anything, lessening the number of Muslims who can enter the country will merely motivate those who are already here to become more active. Many who are now sleeper agents will become active, taking a more aggressive role in attacking our country.

Iran and North Korea’s Nuclear Plans Going Forward

Trump has promised to do away with Obama’s disastrous Iran deal; but I fear it might be too late. Obama has already opened the door for Iran to increase the tempo of their nuclear research and their push towards becoming nuclear powers. At this time, it would be nearly impossible to stop them without military intervention.

One thing we could do unilaterally is to reinstate the embargos on Iran, at least as far as U.S. involvement is concerned. Perhaps this would encourage other countries to join in as well, especially European countries, and we could put an embargo in place that bypasses the treaty and bypasses the United Nations.

But it is clear that Iran will continue in their development of nuclear arms and a delivery system for them, just as North Korea is.

These two countries are the most unstable and most dangerous counties in the world today. We can be sure that we are high on the targeting list of both. While Iran might choose to go after Israel first, that’s a toss-up. They may choose to take us out of play before going after Israel. That would be a classic way to attack, something I am sure they are aware of.

If an EMP attack were ever to be committed against the United States, it would be by one of these two countries. From what I understand of North Korea’s nuclear capability, it is quite possible that they are already at the point where they could commit such an attack. Iran is still a few years away, but nowhere near as far away as I’d like.

This would actually be a “winnable” war for them, especially if they had enough nuclear capacity to take out our aircraft carriers, after the EMP attack on the country. That would cause us to lose the capability to retaliate, even if such an order were given.

A Final Word

While the world is still a dangerous place and there are many risks that we still face, I am optimistic about the future. With proper preparation and training, I believe that we can survive through anything.

In the mean time, even with all the risks, I believe we will see some improvements here at home in the next year.

The shift back towards a more conservative society will not happen overnight, nor will it be easy. As I already mentioned, the Democrats, other liberals and the media are all going to continue to be against us.

But for the time being anyway, we have the upper hand. We must be sure to make the most of the reprieve that’s been given to us.

This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

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10 Preparedness Goals for the New Year

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10 Preparedness goals to set and do with the kids this year | PreparednessMama

It’s time to get back on track… I’m a hardcore list maker so New Year’s resolutions make me giddy. I love the idea and hope of a new year. Most of all I love opportunities for growth, improvement, and learning. As I finish an incredibly crazy busy, change-filled year, I find that my preparedness goals […]

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Quick And Easy Creamy Italian Sausage Soup

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This quick and easy creamy Italian sausage soup recipe taste’s like the soup I order at the Olive Garden with those yummy breadsticks and all the salad you can eat. I love making any soup and letting it simmer on the stove while the room smells fabulous with soup aroma, I guess you could call it. I make some bread and I’m good to go with this easy to make soup. It’s great for adding some of those leftovers of mushrooms, extra Kale or spinach hiding in the refrigerator. Who doesn’t love a hot steaming bowl of soup with a slice of hot bread with butter slathered on it? I know Mark and I do!

I know the pressure cookers and the new Instant Pot are very popular and I love cooking with those. But, I really love cooking with a Lodge Dutch oven like this one on the top of my stove: Lodge EC6D43 Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 6-Quart, Island Spice Red. I am going to start doing more giveaways after the first of the year and, depending on availability, this Dutch Oven may be one of the giveaways! Let me know if any of you would use it, I would love to know.

Creamy Italian Sausage Soup

Ingredients:

1-1/2 pounds cooked Italian mild sausage (you can crumble it or not)

2 large russet white potatoes, peeled and cubed into bite size pieces

1 to 2  chopped onions (I like a lot of onions)

1/2 cup cooked bacon bits or pieces chopped into bite size pieces

2 minced cloves of garlic

2 cups Kale, Spinach or Swiss Chard torn into bite size pieces

2 (8-ounce cartons) chicken broth

1 quart of water

1-2 cups heavy whipping cream (depending on how thick you like your soup)

Instructions:

  1. Chop, crumble or slice the Italian sausage and cook thoroughly
  2. Add the chicken broth and the water into the soup pot
  3. Add the onions, potatoes, and garlic
  4. Cook on medium until the potatoes are cooked
  5. Add the bacon
  6. Salt and pepper to taste
  7. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes
  8. Turn the heat to low and add the Kale, Spinach or Swiss Chard, and the cream
  9. Heat through, serve and enjoy

PRINTABLE recipe: Quick and Easy Creamy Italian Sausage Soup by Food Storage Moms

The thing I like about this soup is the fact that I can stretch the recipe to serve more people just by adding a few extra leftovers I have in the refrigerator! Do you have a favorite soup you like to make on a cold, chilly night? This is when I wish I had a fireplace or woodburning stove, those were the good old days! May God bless you and your family for being prepared for the unexpected with one #10 can at a time. One gallon of water a week is awesome too!

My favorite things:

Lodge EC6D43 Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 6-Quart, Island Spice Red

Farberware Professional Ladle (Stainless Steel)

Lodge L12CO3 Camp Dutch Oven, 6-Quart

Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker’s Half Sheet

Prepare Your Family for Survival: How to Be Ready for Any Emergency or Disaster Situation

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2016: An Apocalyptic Thrill Ride

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2016: An Apocalyptic Thrill Ride Host: Bobby Akart “Prepping For Tomorrow“ Audio in player below! On this year-end episode of the Prepping for Tomorrow program, bestselling Author Bobby Akart looks back upon 2016 and the apocalyptic roller coaster ride it provided us all. 2016 provided us one of the most intriguing political elections in our … Continue reading 2016: An Apocalyptic Thrill Ride

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He Built An Underground House For $50

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He Built An Underground House For $50

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As someone who lived for more than three decades in an underground house he designed and built for $50 and then later expanded for $500, Mike Oehler has a mission.

Now in his 70s, Oehler wants to convince other people of the advantages of living underground. In an interview with video journalist Kirsten Dirksen, Oehler shared his passion for underground living as he showed her around the homes he has built in Northern Idaho.

Mostly walking barefoot, which he called a lifelong habit, Oehler revealed the aboveground home he first built in 1968 after purchasing his property as a young San Franciscan involved in the back-to-the-land movement. After spending his first winter “freezing to death” in a cabin in the woods, however, he decided to use the earth as insulation.

In creating his first attempts, he fell into some of the mistakes others often make in designing an underground home — most of them centering on not having enough windows or with using basement types of windows only.

“An underground home has no more in common with a basement than a penthouse apartment has with a dark, dusty attic,” Oehler stressed. Explaining that an underground house can have many windows, he proved his point by showing Dirksen the many creative ways he incorporated patchworks of mostly used windows in his homes.

Be Prepared … With A Pocket-Sized Solar Generator!

‘We want a house that has windows on all four sides,” he explained. “Not everywhere on all four sides but enough so that each room has light coming in from two directions. That is very important.”

As he learned more and more about what worked and what doesn’t work in underground home design, Oehler began to find his own comfort zone. He called his inexpensive low-tech approach to building “PSP” for post/shoring/polyethylene, and he is particularly proud of what he calls his “uphill patio.” The uphill patio is a terraced space that allows for light, gardening space, outdoor grilling and water run-off.

Throughout the interview, Oehler mentioned the many advantages of living in an underground home, or what he prefers to call an earth-insulated home. Among the benefits:

  • Less property tax.
  • Warm in winter and cool in summer.
  • Serves as fall-out shelter with radiation protection.
  • No foundation needed.
  • Low maintenance.
  • Sound proof.
  • Increased growing space.
  • Fire-resistant.
  • Environmentally sound.
  • Weather resistant

Probably the most striking thing about Oehler’s designs is that they do not have the feeling of being underground. In fact, largely because of their use of natural light, the homes seem traditional from certain perspectives.

Crazy Gadget Makes Every Window A Cell Phone Solar Charger

“With an earth-integrated house, you are working with the earth, not overwhelming it,” Oehler said, adding that some Native American tribes saw the advantages of living underground centuries ago.

He finds home sites “by instinct.”

“I will sleep at the site for a while to get a feel for the space,” he said. Although he cannot do the construction of the homes he designs any longer due to health reasons, Oehler said his home sites are all hand dug. He enjoys digging and finds it to be good exercise.

One downside of his underground home in Northern Idaho? It is attractive to bears. Oehler has had more than one very close encounter with a bear who thought Oehler’s abode looked appealing.

Although Oehler thinks the soil in Northern Idaho – with its mixture of sand, silt and clay — is ideally suited to underground homes, he said you can build an underground home anywhere.

Would you live in an underground home? Share your tips in the section below:

Are You Prepared For Extended Blackouts? Read More Here.

How To Clean Your Cooking Gear with Wood Ashes The Right Way

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How To Clean Your Cooking Gear with Wood Ashes The Right Way If you are camping or bugging out and you have no soap to clean your cooking gear, do not fret , you can use the ashes from your camp fire to do the “dirt” work for you. This method has been used for …

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Plans to Evac Trump out of Manhattan? Clue to Keep Prepping!

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 ReadyNutrition Readers, if you recall, I have continued to write articles that ask for you to maintain your readiness posture and continue to prepare. Christmas is winding down, and the next hurdle to come is the New Year, followed by the Inauguration.  If you’ve been “out of the loop,” then get back into it and do not allow anything to sidetrack you.  A serious development happened this past week to substantiate my pleadings with you.

Prepare for the worst-case scenario with this best-seller

Less than two weeks ago, a mysterious flight of a C-130 Hercules American military aircraft was conducted over Manhattan, with several circling laps and passes.  This flight was seen by a tremendous amount of people.  According to the article, “Mysterious Military Flyover Above Manhattan Was A Trump ‘Emergency Relocation’ Drill,” Zero Hedge suggest this is significant.

“According to DNAinfo, the military airplane and two helicopters doing loops over Midtown last week were conducting an “emergency relocation” planning mission in case they needed to extract President-elect Donald Trump during an emergency or attack.

Citing sources, DNAInfo said that the flyovers were part of an “emergency relocation drill” designed to identify locations, primarily in Central Park, where a chopper could touch down near Trump’s home inside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue and 56th Street, and safely evacuate Trump and others from the city.

“It was the military doing their homework,” one source said. “They were making plans how to remove him, mapping plans and strategizing,” added a second source.

In the event of an emergency, the president would be whisked by the Secret Service north to the park, and then flown in a helicopter to the nation’s capital or a secret government site in Virginia or West Virginia, sources said. The aircraft models spotted during the exercise can fly long distances without refueling and can also refuel in mid-air if necessary, sources said.

Surprisingly, the NYPD was given only short notice about the flyovers, and were never informed that the military would be using a plane as large a C-130 with its 130-foot wing span. “They should have told people they were doing recon, and going to fly at low altitudes, instead of keeping it a secret,” a law enforcement source said. “People were scared, and rightly so.”

 Readers, this is serious.  Never before in the history of the United States have such measures been initiated for a president-elect.  What does this tell you?  Well firstly, it informs you that the world situation is not as picture-perfect as the positivist media would lead you to believe.  It also tells you that the election may be over, but Trump is not in the Oval Office yet, and there are still dangers he could face in the course of the next month.

An EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack and a nuclear conflict would almost certainly see New York City as a primary target.  Donald Trump still lives in New York City.  Certainly, these measures are practical; however, when have you ever seen them before…for a presidential-elect prior to taking office?  And of this magnitude?

Bottom line: If we’re so “safe” in the U.S., then why the extra precautions, and what do the powers-that-be know that we don’t?

In the blink of an eye, the world can change.  Do not lose your focus, and focus also on the “big picture” both nationally and internationally of what is happening around you.  I gave you a “caveat” before, and I stand behind it.  Here it is:

The next world war will be initiated by an EMP attack upon the continental United States, followed by a limited nuclear exchange and conventional warfare.

Remember this: the men and women who initiate such a war will all be in deep underground bunkers with their families, heavily-guarded, with years of supplies and equipment…all paid for by you and I, the taxpayers…while the rest of the world is ravaged by war and apocalyptic cataclysm.  Do not lose sight of these facts and that the world can change in the blink of an eye.  Continue to garner the necessities while you still can: long-term food supplies, medicine, defensive equipment, water purification materials…do not stop.

Also, keep in mind that if there is a national catastrophe (natural or man-made) that takes out New York City, such as a war, the Inauguration will be postponed indefinitely, Obama will declare Martial Law and implement plans for COG (Continuity of Government), and will remain in “office” for an indefinite period of time…such as forever.  There is still almost a month before the transition occurs.  Do not relax your efforts, and keep an eye on what is happening.  Keep fighting that good fight, stay frosty (meaning “alert,” not akin to the snowman), and take care of one another!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

WULFHAVEN Permaculture Farm in West Wimmera looking to share with other GLBT folks into Permaculture Movement in Australia

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Beginning just over a year ago with the purchase of my 3 acre Farm land in the West Wimmera ,on the edge of a Native Vegetation Forest Reserve .My farm has a Wildlife Protection Overlay to protect the Red Tailed Black Cockatoos which nest in the Big Red Gums onsite .Have  a Caravan and a Shed which can accomodate folks ,eventually will be hosting a Farmhouse build in either Strawbale /Earthbag or Rammed Earth sometime in the next few years …plenty of camping opportunity onsite too .Personal Interests of owner ,GLBT movement ,Healing Modalities (Shiatsu ,Reiki,Chinese Medicine ) ,Buddhism and Shamanic Practices such as Inipi and Chanupa …welcome new connections

The post WULFHAVEN Permaculture Farm in West Wimmera looking to share with other GLBT folks into Permaculture Movement in Australia appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Pope Francis False Prophet – “Faith is Fighting with God”

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Out of all the things the False Prophet Pope Francis has said, this goes down as one of the worst.  With all the end times symbolism going on,…

70,000 Witness Ancient Demonic Apparition in the Sky

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The Sun Miracle of Fatima, otherwise known as the Miracle of Fatima, The Miracle of the Sun, or The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima is revered by…

Off Grid and Preppers Beware. It is coming here!

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The government is set on making Australian citizens totally dependent on their services. In some places they are trying to charge land owners for the use of their own dam water, in some towns rainwater collection is banned. This in a country as dry as ours! We live off grid, & yet we have to pay rates/taxes for services that they do not supply, nor do we want or need their services. We are even charged a fee for our use of our own compost toilets!!! Meanwhile the government still has disarmament of all civilians high on its list of restrictions. We have already lost so many of our rights & freedoms in the name of safety from terrorism!!! 
There may come a time when we will have to go silent on the net. The local councils are corrupt & already know of people like us who are off grid, but we can at least do our best to lower our profile.

Keith.

My thanks to Stephen M.C. for bringing this news video to my attention.

Serious Survival: How much food should you stockpile?

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It seems that for every blogger or forum member there’s a survival expert as well. That’s great because there’s such wealth of information and you can learn from different experiences and accounts.
Then again the downside… every blogger and member thinks he’s an expert.
You see, for realistic survival and preparedness it’s crucial to differentiate the “I think” and “I believe” from the “this is how it went down” “this is why”.
We all know that food is essential for survival. No food and you won’t last long. Same goes for water (and I see it overlooked more often). Keep in mind that while a day without food may suck a bit, but a day without water will be tough indeed. In certain warm climates it can be downright dangerous.
We all get how important food and water is, but then there’s the classic survival question: How much food should you have stored for emergencies?
Doomers say you need years worth of food. Decades even. After all you die if you don’t eat. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) are famous for their year worth of food approach, although many have far less than that.
Officially speaking, what would a real expert recommend? Ready.gov says to have 3 days worth of shelf stable food and bottled water. That may seem as very little but in general most emergencies are either resolved within that time frame or help becomes available. Still, tell this to anyone that spent a week or more snowed in during a storm and he’ll find it lacking.
So how much? A Week? A Month? A year?
The first piece of advice is one you’ve probably heard before and that it is to store what you eat. If your kids don’t even know what rice looks like then having buckets full of the stuff isnt that much of a good idea. Either store something else or actually start eating rice.
There’s two very important reasons for this.
First, if you don’t rotate your food supply it just becomes one of those “just in case” things, and you’ll find yourself throwing food away every few years. This makes keeping large quantities of food stored a great waste of money. Second, if you store what you eat there wont be any difference between emergencies and “normal” times, at least food wise.
In our home we love rice and lentils and prepare rice and lentils stews often. Its tasty, very healthy, stores well for years and its pretty affordable too. Some canned tomato and vegetables and you have all you need for a great nutritional meal.
Another important point is understanding how much calories you actually need. The standard reply here is 2000 calories. Sure, if trekking the north pole you’ll need 5000 instead but even if some manual labour may be needed during disasters there’s people that stay healthy AND active with a lower caloric diet. 2000 will do well enough.
OK … SO HOW MUCH DO I NEED?
The 3 day recommendation by ready.gov is based on a rather optimistic government recommendation. If they have said instead to have 7 days immediately people would be wondering “Wait, so you’ll let me hang there for an entire week?!” People don’t react well to uncertainty and avoiding panic is a government’s #1 priority. Two weeks worth of groceries is just common sense. It doesn’t put a significant dent in your wallet if done correctly, and yes, it is true that it will cover 99% of the disasters and emergencies you’re likely to face in your lifetime.
I already imagine people thinking “but I want to be ready for SHTF, a worst case scenario, the real end of the world stuff!”.
OK, lets do that. Lets say it’s a worst case, total SHTF scenario. But lets keep it real and look how does it actually play out in the real world rather than fantasize about it.

Related image
Lets say you have 2 years, no, 10 years worth of food. Lets say you have that plus means of producing more, a fully working farm.
Now lets suppose you have your ten year supply of food, plus a farm, plus a pile of guns and ammo… and you’re sitting in Eastern Ukraine when the Russian troops roll in. Or Aleppo when they are levelling every structure around you with barrel bombs. Or in South Africa when white farmers were exterminated and kicked out of their homes. Or in Fukushima when the tsunami destroyed everything and the radiation scorched the land. Do you see a trend here? More food, or a bigger farm would have done you no good. In all of these sometimes like more cash or gold to take along with you when you bug out or even better money in an offshore account would have been far more useful.
“But… I want the end of the world to be more convenient…”
Ok, what about Venezuela? You have out of control inflation, out of control crime and poverty with people starving. Even farmers starve there(posted about just this a few weeks ago), just like Irish farmers starved during the genocide known as the Great Famine or Ukranian farmers died during Holodomor, reduced to cannibalism. Yes, sometimes its natural disasters, but in others its lack of means of production, and an authoritarian government ensure that people starve in spite of having land and the knowledge to work it.
In my experience after the collapse of Argentina’s economy I would say it was somewhat similar to Venezuela during the times of Chavez. By this I mean horrible inflation, but not reaching the levels of food poverty seen today in Venezuela. Food was available, just two or three times more expensive than before. Just imagine how you would deal with such a scenario if you woke up to it tomorrow. Indeed, we all wished we had more food stocked up, and we rushed to buy more right away desperately trying to beat the nonstop inflation. I sure kept several months worth of food stockpiled. But still, at the end of the day if you had money you ate.
I stayed for over a decade after the collapse of 2001. In retrospective I probably should have left sooner. Personal circumstances, heck, life I guess, made us delay our departure. Still, we always had the resources to leave ASAP if needed. This is more than what most people in Venezuela can say.

Image result for irish great famine
In such a complex situation would a 10 year supply of food, or a farm, made much of a difference? Not really. The food would have been nice, but the money to buy it was just as good besides having a conservative stockpile. A farm? Maybe more of an anchor to the country at a time when leaving was the clear path. A farm in a place like Venezuela, where you cant sell it, or if you do you don’t get anything for it, really does you no good.
So, start with a couple weeks worth of stockpiled food. Work towards a month. Then 6 when you can afford it and have the room for it. 6 to 12 months is the maximum I would recommend, with 6 months being the most realistic objective for most people. Six months of food gives you plenty of time for things such as unemployment, family problems. 12 months helps greatly when dealing with inflated prices, food shortages, and overall instability in the country where you maybe spent several months maybe saving money and looking for a job abroad, for a way out of the country entirely.
The lesson being, If you need more than 12 months worth of food, then more food will do you no good because what you really need is to get the hell out of there!
Take care folks,
FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

B.O.S.S. Survival Kits Review and Giveaway!!!

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Stanford Outdoor Supply has two B.O.S.S. Survival Kits worth checking out.  The first is a 127 piece Fishing and Hunting Kit.  The second is a 33 piece Fire Starting Kit.  In previous posts, you’ll find articles on assembling a mini fishing kit and fire starting kit but I get the occasional […]

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How to Craft a Base Camp Bucksaw in the Woods

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by Todd Walker

how-to-craft-a-base-camp-bucksaw-in-the-woods-thesurvivalsherpa-com

My regret is that I didn’t watch more quality YouTube videos on my journey of self-reliance. There’s a sea of regurgitated material out there, and, sadly, few quote their sources of knowledge. My latest project was inspired by watching Kelly Harlton build a bucksaw with Mors Kochanski on Randy Breeuwsma’s channel, Karamat Wilderenss Ways.

For larger cutting tasks at base camp, a bucksaw is a thing of beauty and a joy forever. The 21 inch takedown bucksaw I built from scrap dimensional lumber is portable but usually hangs on my shop wall. I needed a dedicated base camp saw stowed away in my shelter.

My first foray into bucksaw building in the woods was a wobbly failure several years ago. The crossbar/upright union was the weak point. Kelly’s design fixed all that. Thank you, Kelly!

Base Camp Bucksaw

Material and Tools

  • Knife
  • Ax
  • Rope
  • Wood
  • Saw Blade
  • Hardware – two bolts, screws, nails, or key chain rings

Step 1: Collect Wood

An abundance of dead cedar surrounds my base camp. A green sapling will work just as well. I used cedar. For the uprights, cut two wrist-size (or slightly smaller) sections measuring elbow-to-finger-tip (approximately 18 inches). The crossbar should be of similar diameter and slightly longer than your saw blade. You will cut this piece to exact length later.

Remove any bark from your chosen wood. The dead cedar I used had only small amounts left. I scraped it off with the spine of my knife and added the “waste” to my tinder pile in the shelter.

Step 2: Prepare the Uprights

Lay the two uprights side by side and compare any bow in the pieces. I purposely used two cedar uprights with slight bows. The concave sides should face each other or inward.

Once aligned, baton your knife down the center end of the upright until a split is created to accept your saw blade. Don’t split too deep or the upright will become two pieces. Repeat this step on the other upright making sure the splits are on the same plane as the previous one.

Carve a shallow V-notch perpendicular to each split at the base of each upright. The notch will allow the bolts or other hardware to seat securely against the wood when sawing.

How to Craft a Base Camp Bucksaw in the Woods ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

I recommend carving the notch after you check to see how far the saw blade fits inside the split. My first notch is pictured too far above the bolt.

Now you’ll carve down the sides of both uprights to create a 90 degree corner which faces inward. Only whittle away enough wood to make a sharp corner so that the wood is not weakened. This corner should run from a few inches above the blade to over halfway up each upright. Take care to keep the corner edges in line with the blade splits.

How to Craft a Base Camp Bucksaw in the Woods ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Whittle away to form a 90 degree corner

Step 3: Attach Saw Blade

Insert the saw blade into each split on the uprights. Use your knife to open the split slightly to start the blade if need be. Once the saw blade is inserted into both uprights, attach hardware through the holes in your saw blade. Place one upright on the ground while holding the other upright and blade vertical. Step on the bottom upright and tug to tighten the hardware against both uprights.

How to Craft a Base Camp Bucksaw in the Woods ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Lay the saw on the ground and align the uprights perpendicular to the blade.

Step 4: Prepare the Crossbar

Place the crossbar across the uprights to form an H pattern in the middle of the uprights. With one end aligned at the midpoint of one upright, mark and cut the crossbar to length at the midpoint of the other upright.

How to Craft a Base Camp Bucksaw in the Woods ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Leave the crossbar longer than needed until final measurements.

Next, carve away each end of the crossbar to form a tapering wedge shape. Leave about 3/8th of an inch on the end of the wedge. If using green wood, a knife works fine. I used my ax on the seasoned cedar to expedite the trimming. Again, take your time and keep both crossbar end wedges on the same plane. They should appear identical or very close once carved.

How to Craft a Base Camp Bucksaw in the Woods ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

One of the wedged ends of the crossbar.

At the ends of each wedge, carve a 90 degree notch. Again, on softer, green wood, a knife will carve the notch just fine. On seasoned cedar, I used my small saw on my Leatherman tool to remove the bulk of the notch and tweaked them with my knife for final fitting.

Test the fit by placing the crossbar between the uprights. The corner notches should mate without gaps at the union points. If not, trim until they do.

How to Craft a Base Camp Bucksaw in the Woods ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Spaces between these two pieces will cause instability.

Step 5: Make the Rope Windlass

Cut and smooth two paddle sticks about 8 inches long which will be used to tighten the windlass ropes. Set aside for now.

Wrap a length of cordage around the two uprights. Tie the ends of the cords with a secure knot to form a loop. Rope with little to no elasticity is ideal. I didn’t have “ideal” so I used 550 paracord. You’ll need two of these loops so repeat this process.

How to Craft a Base Camp Bucksaw in the Woods ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Place one end of a loop near the top of one upright and move the other end to down the opposite upright near the crossbar. Repeat this with the other loop of cord to form an X-shape of rope between the uprights. Make a note of where the loop ends will rest. Now carve shallow notches at those locations where the loops will rest once tightened.

Step 6: Assemble the Saw

Insert a paddle stick between one set of loop cords. Rotate the paddle until slight tension is created. Repeat this process in the other loop cord. Continue spinning the paddles alternately until the saw blade is tight as a hat band. Note: Kelly used smaller paddle sticks on his saw in the video which didn’t stop on the crossbar but on the opposite loop cords. I tried this method and found, due to the length of my saw blade maybe, I needed longer paddles to create more tension. My paddles held tension by resting on the crossbar.

How to Craft a Base Camp Bucksaw in the Woods ~ TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Fully assembled and ready to go.

The crossbar can be adjusted with a few taps to help square the H frame after tensioning the saw. You can also adjust the saw’s throat depth by bumping the crossbar up or down the corner notches on the uprights.

Put finishing chamfer cuts on all the upright ends and you’re ready for some serious sawdust. This 36 inch bucksaw may be overkill for my woodcutting needs in our mild Georgia winters. Still, I think it will come in handy for the log cabin project floating amongst my gray matter.

Below is Karamat Wilderness Ways video of Kelly Harlton’s H bucksaw…

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook… and over at our Doing the Stuff Network.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there…

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright © by Survival Sherpa: In light of the recent theft of all my content by a pirate site, my sharing policy has changed. I do not permit the re-posting of entire articles from my site without express written consent by me. My content on this site may be shared in digital form (200 words or less) for non-commercial use with a link back (without no-follow attribute) to the original article crediting the author. All photos, drawings, and articles are copyrighted by and the property of Survival Sherpa. You are more than welcome to share our photos and articles on social media for educational purposes as long as you link back to the original article/photo with credit to the author.

19 ‘Must-Haves’ Most Everyone Forgets To Stockpile

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19 ‘Must-Haves’ Most People Forget To Stockpile

Image source: BlueMountainFoodPantry

For the dedicated homesteader or prepper, stockpiling isn’t something with a beginning or an end, it just is. You start your adventure by building a stockpile of food and you never really end it. While the heavy push for stockpiling might come to an end, the reality of stockpiling never does. You just find more and more things that you should add to your stockpile, wondering why you hadn’t thought of them before.

The thing is, without knowing beforehand what sorts of emergencies we might be faced with, there’s really no way of knowing everything we are going to need. So, we have to make some assumptions and build our stockpile based on them. But those assumptions can change with time, which means that our need for certain supplies might change, as well. So, we just keep adding and adding, making sure we have what we’ll need, when the time comes.

There are countless lists out there of things you should stockpile. Most have more or less the same things on them — perhaps because we tend to learn from each other. That’s good on one hand, but it means that everyone is likely to be forgetting the same things.

That’s where this list comes in. I’ve been at this for a while, and I’ve collected some things in my stockpile which I’ve discovered others tend to forget. So, I’m going to try and plug those holes. Hopefully, you’ll find a few things on this list which you hadn’t thought of before. Even better would be to find that you’ve thought of the same things that I have, and you don’t have any holes in your stockpile. Either way, I expect this to be useful for you to check yourself against.

Food

Food is where we all start, but have you thought of these?

19 ‘Must-Haves’ Most People Forget To Stockpile

Image source: Pixabay.com

1. Spices. Your meals are going to get awfully bland if you don’t have spices to flavor them. What you have in your kitchen might last a few months, but that’s about it.

2. Salt. Everyone has salt in their stockpile, but do you have enough? Salt isn’t just necessary for flavoring our food; it’s also for preserving meat. If you’re going to hunt at all, you need a couple hundred pounds of salt on hand for meat preservation.

3. Bouillon. Otherwise known as soup starter, mixed with water, this provides you with the stock. Somehow, I think soups are going to be a big deal in any post-disaster menu.

Food Production

Most of us are planning on producing at least some of our own food, if not all of it, in the wake of a disaster. But do you have everything you need to expand your garden to that size? A 20-foot garden plot isn’t going to be enough; you’re going to need to turn your entire backyard into a garden.

Be Prepared! Store An ‘Emergency Seed Bank’ For A Crisis Garden

4. Fertilizer. Few people bother stockpiling fertilizer, but if you’re going to have to expand your garden rapidly, you’re going to need a mountain of it. The best, of course, is a mountain of compost.

5. Animal feed. Those chickens, rabbits or goats you have are going to need to eat — or you won’t be able to eat them. Few people bother growing feed for their animals. So you’d better have something on hand.

6. Insecticides. The wrong bugs could cause you to lose your entire garden. I don’t want to think of how much I’ve lost to grub worms, let alone other types of pests. You probably won’t be able to find the insecticides – organic or otherwise — you need after a disaster.

Health

We all know we need a first-aid kit, although most don’t go far enough in stockpiling replacement supplies for theirs. But there are a few other key items you might want to consider.

7. Vitamins. If your diet isn’t going to be as well-balanced as it should be, a good quality multivitamin might go a long way towards keeping your health up.

19 ‘Must-Haves’ Most People Forget To Stockpile

Image source: Pixabay.com

8. Spare glasses. For those who wear prescription glasses, this will be a necessity if they are going to do anything to help keep their families alive.

9. Reading glasses. Even if you don’t need them now, don’t assume you never will. Reading glasses are great for any close-up work or working with small things.

10. Activated carbon (sometimes called activated charcoal). This is useful for a variety of things, such as making your own gas masks and purifying water. It also can be taken for stomach problems.

11. Spares for your first-aid kit. I know I just said this, but it can’t be overstated.

Repairs

We all have pieces of equipment that we’re planning on using to help us stay alive after a disaster. But what if something happens to that equipment? Are you prepared to make even simple repairs? If not, that wonderful tool or other gadget might just turn into a paperweight.

Learn The Secrets and Tricks Of The Word’s Top Survivalists!

12. Coleman lantern pump rebuild kit. If you have the old style Coleman lanterns or their dual-fuel stove, you know about the pump in the fuel tank. These last well, but eventually need new seals. A rebuild kit doesn’t cost much and can keep that equipment working.

13. Small engine parts. If you’re planning on using any gas-powered tools, such as a chainsaw or a roto-tiller, you’d better have at least the basic parts, such as spark plugs, air filters and priming bulbs. That way, you can keep them running.

14. Specific parts for critical equipment. Everything has critical parts and short-life parts in it. The manufacturers should be able to tell you what those are and be selling spares. Make sure you put in a good supply.

15. Water filters. If you’re using any sort of water filtration system which has filter cartridges, figure out how many filters you need to have and then multiply it by about 10. You can’t have enough.

Clothing

Few people think about stockpiling clothing — which means that there will be a lot of people wondering what to do when the time comes. A few specific things you need to think of are:

19 ‘Must-Haves’ Most People Forget To Stockpile

Image source: Pixabay.com

16. Kids’ clothing. Kids grow a lot, and you need to have larger sizes on hand than what they are using now.

17. Work gloves. I guarantee you, you’ll need them. But they tend to wear out, so have some spares.

18. Rough clothing. Most of us don’t wear very rugged clothing. If you don’t, stock up.

19. Work or hiking boots. Especially important if you have to bug out.

That’s our list – what would you add to it? Share your tips in the section below:

Are You Prepared For Extended Blackouts? Read More Here.

Try this practical method to build a survival snow cave

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Just about every survival manual shows how to build a snow cave. But the reality is that most people don’t have the skill, tools or time to effectively use this technique. This book, “Snow Caves For Fun and Survival,” by Ernest Wilkinson, may help.

by Leon Pantenburg

One of my favorite Boy Scout outings is Winter Skills Day, when we go out in the gorgeous Oregon backcountry to practice building emergency and survival shelters in deep snow. One of the more interesting lessons has come from building igloos and snow caves.

How to make a snow cave, starting to build a snow cave

I was able to quickly excavate this snow cave, using a piece of plexiglass and a small shovel. There was plenty of room for another person to work at the same time.

Igloos, IMO, require skill, a lot of time, building technique and the correct snow conditions. Most people in a survival situation will have none of these things. This rules out igloos as a practical survival shelter for the average person.

Same thing with snow caves – we see a drawing in the book, and there is little discussion about the realities of burrowing into a snow drift to make a shelter. The general idea, according to most authors, is to dig sideways into a drift, and then up. A minimum of  two to three cubic yards of snow must be dug out and removed out the small entrance hole.

Several problems crop up immediately when using this model:

  • The small entrance severely limits the digger’s ability to remove snow.
  • Only one person can effectively work at a time.
  • The cramped quarters limit what tools can be used, and the efficient use of them.
  • The snow in a drift is usually hard packed and difficult to remove.
  • You will probably get really wet wallowing around in the hole while attempting  to shovel out the loose snow.

To further test conventional snow cave techniques, I asked my 17-year-old son, Dan, to make a snow cave by himself on an outing.  A skilled outdoorsman, Dan has helped build many igloos and emergency shelters in deep snow, and knows exactly what to do. But even with the proper tools, and youthful enthusiasm and endurance, it still took over two hours to make a single-sized snow cave.

When the cave was completed, Dan was tired, wet and cold. Spending the night in that shelter, in his condition, would have been a rough experience.

 “Snow Caves” can help you learn how to build and use these shelters. Author Wilkinson is a former Search and Rescue member, and an  experienced Colorado mountain guide, specializing in snowshoe treks and winter camping. (This post started out as a book review, but I wanted to test some of his techniques first!) According to the book liner notes, this backcountry experience lead Wilkinson to develop his own shelter-making techniques that save time and energy and increase comfort and safety.

Wilkinson’s technique is simple: cut out blocks from the front of the drift to the width of the cave. Excavate. Then, use the removed snow blocks to create a front wall.

boy scouts in snow cave emergency shelter

These scouts were well-protected from the weather in this snow cave.

I tried this technique at the Boy Scouts annual Winter Skills Day. Taking only some minimal tools, (a piece of Plexiglas, machete and small shovel) I started digging into the wall of snow next to the parking lot. Using the Plexiglas, I quickly outlined the width and height of the cave.

Within 15 minutes I was about three feet into the bank. (Another person working would have speeded things up – I could handed the snow blocks out more easily.)

Once the desired depth and width was achieved, it would have been simple to dig out a trench in the middle for a cold well, thereby creating two benches for sleeping.

But within half an hour, working alone, the cave was big enough for two people to take shelter from a storm. Blocking in the front was quick and easy. Maybe most importantly, I didn’t get wet or expend a tremendous amount of time and energy in the process.

Covering the front with a tarp was also an option. With my space blanket and tarp from my Ten Essentials kit, and a candle to heat the interior, it would have been possible to survive a night out in the deep snow. It could even be reasonably comfortable!

Like any survival technique, this should be tried and practiced before you consider a snow cave a viable survival shelter for you.

Check out “Snow Caves For Fun and Survival”  here.

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Amazon.com Widgets

Wisconsin Retracts It’s Statement On Human Caused “Climate Change”

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Wisconsin tips the election away from Globalism, now Wisconsin gives a dirt nap to the “idea” that human greenhouse gases are causing climate change.

Instead the official position is now that “as is has done throughout the centuries, earth is going through a change”

Go Cheeseheads!

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/12/29/wisconsin-dnr-revises-position-on-climate-change-removes-caused-by-human-activities-from-great-lakes-webpage/

DIY Activity Board

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DIY Activity Board My kids are always playing with items around the house that wouldn’t be considered toys. Some of their favorite things are tupperware containers with twist on lids, wheels of a flipped over chair, cabinet doors, and anything with different textures like grass or soft blankets. So after trying to stop them from getting into my cabinets countless times, I decided they needed something similar to play with. That’s when I created their very own activity board. I’m sure you’ve seen a few around the internet, but for me, I knew that if I gave my children a

The post DIY Activity Board appeared first on Mental Scoop.

December 2016 EDC Purse Dump

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December 2016 EDC Purse Dump

1. Spilling the Beans on the Cat’s Pyjamas: Popular Expressions – What They Mean and How We Got Them – Thoughtful Christmas present that should be useful in helping me descipher all these odd Britishisms. 2. Vintage Ronson Viking Lighter 3. Spyderco Pingo Orange Handled Slip Joint UK-Legal EDC Knife

This is just the start of the post December 2016 EDC Purse Dump. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


December 2016 EDC Purse Dump, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Herbs for Mumps

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Some powerhouse of essential oils that can help are: 
  • Thieves oil.
  • Cinnamon oil
  • Clove oil
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Oregano Oil
  • Thyme Oil

Thieves oil can be used to sanitizer as well as topically applied to the bottom of feet behind knees and in armpits. as well as behind the neck
Another Source is…
Dr John Christopher’s: 

Winter Survival Lessons From Alaska’s Denali

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The Amazing History Behind Your Favorite Christmas Songs

In the summer of 1967, 12 young men climbed Alaska’s Denali — the 20,000-foot mountain that outsiders call Mt. McKinley. There, they encountered a deadly storm that killed seven of them in what remains one of the most heartbreaking mountain climbs in U.S. history.

On this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio we discuss that well-known tragedy with Andy Hall, who wrote a book (Denali’s Howl) about the event and who was the son of the park superintendent at the time. Andy spent years tracking down rescuers, survivors, lost documents and recordings of radio communications for his book — and he says the winter survival lessons learned from ‘67 can apply to anyone who lives in areas where it gets cold and snows.

Andy tells us:

  • What the five fortunate men who did make it down the mountain did to survive.
  • How a simple, free modern-day invention could have saved the seven men who died.
  • Why Denali, “physically,” is even bigger than Mt. Everest.
  • What homesteaders and those in the preparedness community can learn from the disaster.

Andy also shares with us the incredible story of the 13th man who was scheduled to make the climb but couldn’t do so because of a car accident. Finally, Andy tells us what he learned about life itself while writing the book.

Don’t miss this amazing, unforgettable interview that will change how you view winter survival!

Book: Homegrown Whole Grains

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A backyard field of grains? Yes, absolutely! Wheat and corn are rapidly replacing grass in the yards of dedicated locavores across the country. For adventurous homeowners who want to get in on the movement, Homegrown Whole Grains is the place to begin. Growing whole grains is simpler and more rewarding than most people imagine. With […]

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Camping: Fishing Button

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I first saw this Fishing Button on a Doomsday Prepper video from Scott Hunt, but I have also seen it in many other places online. After making some modifications of my own, I decided to make a couple to stick in my bug out bags. It is smaller and lighter than the other PVC fishing pole […]

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Best Glide Adventurer Survival Gill Net

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Survival gill net, just in case. Commercial-grade components! Set it up on a small stream or brook. Fish that attempt to swim through the gill net are caught and can be used for food or bait. Also a perfect small seine net. Can be set up and left unattended. Has a floating rope and sinking rope; mesh bag. 12 x 4’h. Deployed. 9 x 3″ diam. Stowed. 9 ozs. Note: gill nets are illegal for commercial or sport use in most states. For emergency use only. Act now!; survival gill net.

The post Best Glide Adventurer Survival Gill Net appeared first on Surviving Prepper.

Is Amazon Echo Now A Police Surveillance Device?

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Is Amazon Echo Now A Police Surveillance Device?

BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot were popular Christmas gifts in 2016, but some privacy advocates are warning they could be used by law enforcement to gather data about you and your family.

Prosecutors in Benton County, Arkansas, have issued a search warrant to Amazon for data from an Echo device belonging to murder suspect James Andrew Bates.

So far, Amazon is refusing to cooperate.

“Amazon will not release customer information without a valid and binding legal demand properly served on us,” a press release from the online retail giant states. “Amazon objects to overbroad or otherwise inappropriate demands as a matter of course.”

Discover How To Become Invisible In Today’s Surveillance State!

Echo and Echo Dot are digital assistants that answer questions from owners who use voice commands to “wake up” the devices. One typical word is “Alexa.” The devices are tied to Amazon’s computer cloud. Supposedly, the only information within the home that is stored is what is said following the word prompt.

Story continues below video

Investigators want the Echo data in order to get more information about the mysterious death of Victor Collins, who was found dead in Bates’ bathtub in Bentonville, Ark., last November. Amazon might have recordings of sounds from Bates’ home, the search warrant alleges.

Attorney Kimberly Weber is representing Bates and opposes the use of the data in court.

“You have an expectation of privacy in your home, and I have a big problem that law enforcement can use the technology that advances our quality of life against us,” Weber said, according to The Information.

Bates had a number of such gadgets in his home, including a smart water meter that shows he used 140 gallons of water from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m., police say.

Police seized Bates’ Echo but allege that there is more information stored in the cloud.

Boundaries Needed?

Echo also allows a person to control home automation devices, such as lights and the thermostat. Additionally, a person can request news and information from Echo.

Lynn Terwoerds, executive director of the Executive Women’s Forum on Information Security and Risk Management, told USA Today that devices like Echo would not benefit police.

“The myth we must fight against with Echo is that it’s constantly listening in on you — it’s not,” she said. “I understand that law enforcement would have an interest in any information that could help in a murder investigation, but it can be argued that this data would be of very limited use as compared to individual privacy rights,” she said.

Marc Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), said that to protect privacy, “there should be clear legal standards established for law enforcement access.”

“And manufacturers should adopt techniques for data minimization and data deletion,” Rotenberg said. “Devices that retain data will be the targets not only of law enforcement officials but also criminal hackers.”

Do you own an Amazon Echo? What is your opinion? Share it in the section below:

You’re Being Watched: 7 Sneaky Ways The Government Is Tracking Your Every Move. Read More Here.

The Essentials of a Well-Made Daypack & GIVEAWAY!

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well made daypackIt seems like the daypack, in one form or another, has become ubiquitous in the United States as well as in other parts of the world. However, the daypack in its early form was an elementary affair. Mostly used by settlers and colonialists, Native Americans, trappers, and mountain men when the United States was young.  John Hart, author of Walking Softly in the Wilderness: The Sierra Club Guide to Backpacking, writes,

The traditional daypack is simple. A tough fabric bag, a couple of wide shoulder straps, and you’ve about got it.

At its core, not much has changed; the basics of what constitutes a daypack remain the same. However, through the years – particularly the last 25 – it has morphed into designs which serve us in some very new ways.

Whatever your profession, trade, sport, or activity, there is a daypack made with you in mind. There is, in fact, a dazzling array of shapes, sizes, colors, constructions, and configurations to choose from and of course, quality and price point too. This article focuses only on the core elements, the basics of what constitutes a well-made daypack; form, fit, and function. Beyond that, only you know what the specific needs are for you and your family. Moving beyond the old canvas satchel and weaved basket with two leather straps that my grandfather used on his trapline as a boy, here are some important things to consider before purchasing a daypack, today:

Form — The Body of the Daypack

In this instance, when you think form, think materials and construction. Specifically fabrics, straps, buckles, webbing, padding, sewing, and general, over-all  construction. These are key to the design and manufacture of a well-made daypack.

Materials: There are many fabrics to choose from depending on the type of daypack you are looking for. You want the body of the daypack to be made from synthetic materials, not cotton or blended fabrics. A quality rip-stop nylon , nylon oxford, or cordura are all great choices. Another important consideration is the thread count or denier of the fabric you choose. Make sure the fabric is sturdy enough to withstand the usage you have in mind. Lastly, for most daypacks, you will want the fabric to have a waterproof coating, either polyurethane or silicon based.

A daypack made of quality material doesn’t have to be expensive, as this example shows.

Straps: The shoulder straps are an all-important consideration. The majority of the load is transferred to your shoulders there. (Do you remember the feeling of your overloaded daypack or bookbag shoulder straps digging into your shoulders while you walked to and from school?) Straps should be made of a thick closed cell foam material covered in an abrasion resistant fabric like a dense nylon material that is tough but won’t easily chafe you. The padded shoulder straps should have strong flat nylon webbing tails attached to the bottom with box-x stitching, which is inserted into a strong buckle and tab attached to the bottom of the daypack. Make sure there is lots of adjustability for your body type. The top of the straps should be secured to the body of the daypack using bar-tack stitching as well as being integrated into the top seam.

Padding: The padding I’m referring to is more than just what is found in the shoulder straps. Depending on design and use, a daypack may have a padded bottom in the main compartment, a padded sleeve in the inner compartment to park a laptop, other electronics, or even a hydration bladder in some. The back may have extra padding and mesh to add support, cushion, and ventilation. If your’s is a slightly larger daypack, it may have a padded waist belt as well. Theses should all be made using dense closed cell foam material.

Here’s another example of an inexpensive, but high quality daypack with comfortable padded straps, made with high qualaity material.

Sewing: Throughout the daypack, heavy duty thread should be used. Seams should be double stitched and key stress points should be bar-tacked or box-x stitched. As much as possible, bias binding should be used on material edges. You should see raw edges heat sealed (hot-cut) and finished with a zigzag stitching. In cheaply made packs, the material is cut using a stat-cutter, not heat sealed and rarely zigzag stitched. Under heavy use, this leads to fabric fraying and seam separations. Not really what you want when toting your $500 laptop around. Take a few minutes to inspect the stitching.

General overall construction: Other considerations are closures, loops, D-rings, handles, and buckles. Most daypacks will have some kind of zippers, velcro, snaps, or shock cord. All should be made of tough durable materials (Are the zippers YKK on the pack you are considering?) and securely attached to the main body of the daypack using reinforced stitching. Buckles should be made of high-impact plastic with some give at closure points. D-rings and loops should be ergonomically placed and bar-tacked in place. The fabric for the main body and pockets of the pack should be coated to provide a measure of waterproofing.

This Swissgear daypack is an example of one that combines multiple features, making it an extremely versatile and budget-friendly choice.

Fit (size and ergonomics)

Whether you are buying a $9.99 back-to-school special from a big-box store for you kids to tote their books back and forth from school, an every day carry (EDC) or get-home bag to keep in your vehicle, or contemplating a rugged mountaineering daypack for your trek in Nepal, if it doesn’t fit right, the pack can be miserable to use and in some instances unsafe. Things to consider:

  1. Is the pack the right size for your intended use? Do you really need a $200 military-grade rucksack-style daypack for your college books? (Yes, I know it looks cool.)
  2. Are the buckles, webbing, D-rings, and zippers  on your daypack designed for ease of use and security in mind?
  3. Does the daypack fit your frame well? No two bodies are the same, and no two daypacks are either. There is one that will fit you well and meet your needs. Be picky, it will pay off in the long run.

Function of the daypack

What are you getting this daypack for anyway? Begin with the end in mind and think about what you really need versus what you want. Are you looking for a general-duty daypack or one specifically designed for your get-home bag? One specifically tailored to a woman’s build or one for your preschooler? Are you a climber, hunter, hiker, or runner? Participants and practitioners of each activity have their special requirements to consider when finding the daypack that will work best.

The Daypack Test Drive – Don’t be Nice!

When you have finally found the daypack you are considering, don’t hesitate to take it for a test drive at the store and don’t be easy on it. Turn the daypack inside out and check the coating on the material, the stitching, seams, and bar-tacking. Bring things that you will carry in the pack and load it up and walk around! How do your shoulders feel carrying weight and your hips, if you have a waist belt to help distribute the load? Do all the buckles lock and unlock smoothly? How easily do the zippers work around corners and can you close them one-handed? Are the pockets and exterior strapping configured the way you need them? The hit list goes on… You get the idea.

A daypack may be a relatively small purchase, but it fills a big need for many activities you and your family do. Don’t settle for less than what fits you and your particular requirements.

There are many other things to consider when choosing a daypack. Most have to do with the specific requirements you have or activities you do. If you want to delve more deeply into the finer nuances of daypacks check out the articles and videos below.

Additional Resources

Articles

Daypacks: How to Choose – REI

YouTube Reviews

Preschool Daypacks

Laptop Daypacks

Hiking Daypacks

Travel Daypacks

Hydration Daypacks

Running Daypacks

Giveaway!

This giveaway is really something special. From our friends at Flying Circle, the Brazos Backpack could be a daypack, but it is also suitable for a whole lot more. Made of military grade materials, it’s the high quality pack you’ve been wanting, with multiple pockets everywhere, including a small pocket on the strap, a handy place to stash a small flashlight, cash, or keys. It also features padded compartments for a laptop or tablet, and even a hidden “pass through” compartment, perfect for carrying a concealed handgun.

You can read more about its many features here.

Flying Circle will send this extra special pack to one lucky winner! Enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway begins on December 29, and ends at midnight on January 7.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How I Stay Warm In My RV When It’s FREEZING Outside

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Since we’re in the middle of winter now, I figure I should be making more posts about staying warm in cold weather. I spent a few hours watching some great videos about this, but my favorite is this one by Carolyn’s RV Life. Most people don’t use their RV’s in the winter, but Carolyn lives […]

The post How I Stay Warm In My RV When It’s FREEZING Outside appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Winter vehicle stuff – Pt. I

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I’m fond of saying that if you wind up stranded in your vehicle in any climatic extreme, cold winter or hot desert summer, that you are better off staying with the vehicle than you are trekking off, ill-equipped, to get help. From what I’ve read in the news, I’d say that nine out of ten times staying with the vehicle is the smart choice. I’ve posted plenty of news reports about people who wandered off ‘to get help’ and were never seen alive again. But the key to staying with the vehicle and surviving is to have a certain base level amount of gear to make such a stay more conducive to your survival.

In the land o’ preparedness, we often talk about bugout bags, get home bags, and a handful of other such things. No one really gets too into their ‘stranded in the vehicle’ kits. Maybe they aren’t sexy. The notion of the rugged individualist donning his bulging backpack and setting off to find help is far more exciting than that same rugged individualist wrapping himself up in a blanket, reclining his seat, and reading a copy of ‘Atlas Shrugged’ while waiting for the Highway Patrol to find him.

Since it’s the winter season and this sort of topic is the low hanging fruit of the survival blogging world, I figured I’d go on a bit about what I usually tote around in the winter. Sure, there’s always the usual winter get-me-unstuck gear like a shovel (or two), traction sand, etc. but for actually staying in the vehicle and waiting for help gear…well, here you go:

20161209_111854The container in question is a Pelican 1650. It’s large enough to hold a complete military sleep system and a buncha other gear. The problem with listing the contents of a kit of any kind is that invariably someone will chime in with ‘what about…’ or ‘do you really need….’. So, let’s forestall that by saying that this is an incomplete list of whats in there: sleep system, food ration bars, water packets, complete change of clothes vacuum sealed, candle lantern and accessories, toilet paper, parachute and hand flares, flashlights, spare batteries, knife, pen and paper, a couple thick paperbacks, poncho, water filter, portable radio (takes same batts as flashlight), first aid kit, entrenching tool, backpack, Esbit stove and tabs, canteen and cup, and a few other niceties.

The Pelican case keeps everything protected, tidy, and in one place. I can simply roll it out to the vehicle, toss it in the back, and we’re good to go. The case is rugged, waterproof, crushproof, and because of this I can either leave it in the vehicle or outside the vehicle exposed to the elements and the contents will remain safe and dry. But…suspenders and a belt: any piece of critical gear (warm clothing, electronics, etc.) gets vacuum sealed anyway as an extra layer of weatherproofing. (And this is why having a vacuum sealer is a smart idea even if you never plan on using it to put away bulk pork chops you bought at CostCo.)

Why the backpack? Because, if for some reason you do have to leave the vehicle it would be nice to take as much of that gear with you as possible. When you read about the people who left the vehicle and died, invariably the cause of death was one of two things: hypothermia or dehydration. Being able to take your gear with you lowers that risk factor tremendously.

The logistically-minded of you will think “Hmmm…why not just keep everything in the backpack and that way you’re ready for anything”. Great idea, but unfortunately it wont fit in the Pelican case loaded up, and I very much want the convenience and protection of my gear that is afforded by using the case.

Keep in mind, also, that the things in this case are in addition to the usual stuff-kept-in-the-vehicle…things like road flares, water, flashlight, USB charger, batteries, first aid kit, pioneer tools, etc. (And, yes, there’s a few redundancies.)

In a perfect world, I’d be sitting by the side of the road, after the blizzard has shut down the interstate, tucked safely far enough off the side to avoid crash trajectories from soccer moms in their four-wheel-drive SUVs, sitting in my sleeping bag, reading a book, listening to the radio, awaiting notice that the roads have re-opened and are safe to travel. Worst case, I pull further off the road, fold down the seats, roll out the sleeping bag, and spend a quiet night asleep or playing games on my phone.

I’ll pull some of the stuff outta the case and show you what I carry around in the winter. Your mileage may vary, of course, but it should be entertaining nonetheless.