Reclassification Of Firearms In Australia!

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One of our legal minds has been looking at the ‘appearance’ provisions of the Victorian Firearms Act 1996.

The offending provisions are found in sections 3A and 3B of the Act which give the Chief Commissioner broad powers to either temporarily or permanently recategorise Cat A or B firearms on the basis of appearance. 

In fact, if you read what he has to say carefully, you’ll see it’s worse than that. The Chief Commissioner can recategorise firearms for reasons which go beyond appearance – or for no reason at all.

In his words, sections 3A and 3B are ‘really good examples’ of delegated legislative authority gone wrong, and their continued operation presents issues surrounding natural justice and procedural fairness for licence holders.  Here are some key points regarding their operation:

Section 3A

Section 3A provides the Chief Commissioner the power to temporarily declare a firearm to be Category D or E for a period not exceeding 12 months. There is no necessary link to a firearm’s appearance, operation or other characteristics.

The only criteria for a temporary declaration is that it be validly declared by the Chief Commissioner in an instrument.  The Act provides no clarification of what type of ‘instrument’ is required or its form; however, in practice the declarations have been published in the Victorian Government Gazette in a specific format.

The Chief Commissioner does not need the Minister’s express approval to exercise this power; however, it must be exercised in ‘consultation’ with the Minister.

The Chief Commissioner has a positive obligation to publish the declaration ‘as soon as practicable after the declaration is made’; however, the declaration is in effect immediately—prior to publication, and prior to the public being able to see how the law has changed.

Section 3A(3) states the declaration remains in place unless revoked by the Chief Commissioner or their expiration at 12 months. Neither in the Act nor in the second reading speech for the Firearms Amendment Act 2007 (VIC) (which inserted s 3A) is the process for parliamentary scrutiny of a declaration under s 3A outlined. The takeaway is the Chief Commissioner’s power is not expressly limited by either the Act or the Minister and it should be.

Section 3A(6) gives the Chief Commissioner powers to use his declaration to override regulations made by the Minister under the powers conferred at s 191 of the Act. This is remarkable because it means an unelected statutory officer has the power to override a Minister accountable to the Victorian Parliament, even if the Minister drafted regulations permitting a specific type of firearm affected by the Chief Commissioner’s declaration. This is an area that could be explored and challenged.

The defence provided by s 3A(7) is a defence rather than a bar on prosecution. In practical terms this means police may (unwisely) charge a person with an offence and use the process as punishment.

Finally, the administrative review options available to affected shooters are very narrow. The Chief Commissioner’s decision would be difficult to challenge in a merits based review as his power is broad and can be arbitrarily exercised against any type of firearm without the requirement for further justification. As long as the procedure is followed there is little that can be viably challenged in either a tribunal or court.

Section 3B
Section 3B is a good example of where the police have pursued a long term goal in terms of restricting access to firearms for Victorian shooters.

Section 3A was inserted into the Act in 2007, only for Victoria Police to seek out permanent powers with s 3B in 2008. Section 3B differs from s 3A in its permanency, technicality, and the legal restrictions placed on the Chief Commissioner when making a declaration.

Section 3B gives the Chief Commissioner the power to permanently recategorise firearms if he is ‘satisfied’ it is ‘designed or adapted for military purposes, or substantially duplicates a firearm of that type in design, function and appearance’.

‘Satisfied’ opens the Chief Commissioner’s decision up to review in a way s 3A lacks. It gives him a positive duty to consider information and his decision. ‘Designed or adapted for military purposes’ is the key term and it has not yet been satisfactorily clarified by a court. The latter terms ‘substantially duplicates’ and ‘design, function and appearance’ hinge on the earlier ‘military purposes’ definition.

Section 3B(1) is really an just an appearance based law that has technical issues from a drafting perspective but gives the police the powers they want—to permanently recategorise any firearm they do not want Victorian shooters to access.

In terms of its operation, the Firearms Act 1996 (Vic) is structured on the objective criteria of a firearm’s characteristics based on its calibre, cyclical operation, or ammunition capacity. A firearm is categorised based on whether it is rimfire or centrefire, bolt action or semi-automatic, or holds a particular number of rounds, etc. This is the basis for ‘categories’ of firearms and the licences that permit shooters to hold and use such firearms.

Section 3B(1), however, provides the Chief Commissioner the power to alter the law via delegated legislative authority using the ‘military purposes’ basis and a declaration. This ‘military purposes’ basis is at face value objective: an exhaustive list of firearms ‘military firearms’ could theoretically be produced. However, the terms ‘designed or adapted for military purposes’, ‘substantially duplicates’ and ‘design, function and appearance’ create a subjective test based on whether the Chief Commissioner is ‘satisfied’ a firearm can fall into this category. There is no necessary link to its calibre, cyclical operation or even appearance.

The Chief Commissioner has a duty to choose which category ‘most closely resembles’ the applicable firearm when recategorising through declarations. This does not mean the category need be appropriate, only the closest.

Section 3B does not have the same issue with ex post facto laws as s 3A. A declaration only comes into effect the day it is published or at a latter point listed in the declaration. This removes some of the compliance difficulties for those holding the applicable firearm.

Appealing a decision to reclassify

The criteria listed above provide an affected shooter the ability to challenge the Chief Commissioner’s decision and declaration under s 3B through administrative review in a way that s 3A lacks. The exercise of power under s 3B is vulnerable if the Chief Commissioner doesn’t arrive at a decision with a process and records of that process. In light of the recent examples of Victoria Police’s response to requests for information surrounding their decisions (including the ongoing CFCV VCAT proceedings), an affected party could face a substantial challenge in obtaining the relevant documents.

If an affected party challenged a declaration under s 3B and sought specific guidance from a court or tribunal on the interpretation of ‘designed or adapted for military purposes’, ‘substantially duplicates’ and ‘design, function and appearance’, the Chief Commissioner’s powers would probably be narrowed, but not to the extent it would deprived him of broad power to recategorise firearms under s 3B.

The Chief Commissioner would almost certainly retain the power to recategorise both milsurp rifles (including antique examples) and the range of new sporting rifles produced with picatinny rails, pistol grips or other features disliked by some.

A law which is bad in principle

Licencing laws based on subjective criteria are bad in principle and worse in operation. They lack the certainty required for shooters to know the boundaries of the law lay, and in this example provide Victoria Police with inappropriate powers.

Section 3B is so broad in its application it may permanently capture almost any firearm available in Victoria. From fighter pilots using shotguns to shoot clays to understand leading targets, to bolt action 22s being used by others for survival training, the Chief Commissioner can call upon obscure examples of military use to enliven his power.

To date the Chief Commissioner has refrained from recategorising, for example, Snider-Enfield .577 rifles as Category E firearms; however, this only indicates that Victoria Police have focussed on the appearance of firearms as justification for use of these powers.

They should be repealed

For Victorian shooters if the issues regarding the operation of sections 3A and 3B are narrowed, it’s about two things.

First, s 3A gives the Chief Commissioner power that in practice can be exercised arbitrarily and with little opportunity for legal review or democratic scrutiny.

Section 3A should be repealed outright.

Secondly, s 3B is centred on the Chief Commissioner’s use of an unreasonably broad criteria that is subjectively interpreted and applied. Unlike the Firearms Act 1996, this power stands in contrast to the objective criteria of categorising a firearm’s characteristics based on its calibre, cyclical operation, or ammunition capacity.

It too should be repealed.

If a power is necessary to recategorise particular firearms then it should only be conferred upon the Minister and subject to parliamentary scrutiny or disallowance.

Most Victorian shooters will agree that appearance or other subjective criteria should not be used to de facto ban firearms that are otherwise identical to those available under Category A and Category B.

The Days of Elijah Book Three Now Available!

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The Days of Elijah, Book Three: Angel of the Abyss is now available!

Everett and Courtney Carroll have endured to the midpoint of the Great Tribulation. The previous Seal and Trumpet Judgments have left the planet in shambles. The western hemisphere is nearly uninhabitable. The prophet Elijah gives Everett a special mission, which will give him a unique role in fulfilling end-times prophecy, but he’ll have to survive the coming cataclysms first.

As always, I’m hosting a giveaway to celebrate the release. I’m giving away some high-end essential survival gear!

 

Giveaway Details: One First Prize Winner will win a Surefire G2X Pro, the most dependable tactical flashlight on the market! They’ll also get a Sawyer Mini and a Gerber Suspension, which is the water filter and multi tool I keep in my own bug-out-bag. These are all top-quality preparedness items valued at over $100!

Bonus Giveaway: In addition to the regular giveaway, one audiobook listener will win three codes for three free audio books from Audible.com

How to Win:

  1. Leave a review for The Days of Elijah, Book Three: Angel of the Abyss on Amazon.com.
  1. Send an email including your Amazon screen name that you used for the review to: PrepperRecon@gmail.com. Use Abyss Giveaway in the subject line. If you would like to be entered in the Bonus Audiobook Giveaway as well as the regular drawing, use Abyss Audiobook Giveaway in the subject line.

The drawing will be held Friday, September 29th. The winners’ Amazon screen name will be posted on PrepperRecon.com to announce that they’ve won. The winners will also be notified via email. Sorry, contest is open to US residents only.

Godspeed in the drawing!

Mark

The post The Days of Elijah Book Three Now Available! appeared first on Prepper Recon.

$100,000 in “preps”… and having to evacuate and leave it all behind.

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I was reading about this in a forum. The guy lives in South Carolina, spent a lot of his money over the years prepping his home yet when evacuating because of Irma all he actually ended up putting to use was the gas (and vehicle). He mentioned that he felt he failed at prepping because he didn’t build his house of reinforced concrete.

I don’t know all the details of this particular case, or even if it’s true at all, but I do understand what it means to put all your eggs in one basket and see it disappear right in front of you. I’ve never suffering such a thing myself, but I get emails often enough, mostly from people that lost everything due to fire or floods. Sometimes it personal financial or family disasters (divorce).

My point is, yes, your home is important. It’s your shelter, it’s your castle. It may even be what puts food on the table, at times literally speaking. And this is indeed a great asset. To produce at least some of your food, to have a workshop for projects, to run a business. I get it.
I also get it that SHTF and worst case scenarios are precisely about what isn’t convenient and what’s uncomfortable to even think of. Loosing it all to a flood, yup, that’s not the kind of thing anyone looks forward too. Yet thousands have gone through just that these last few days. For others it was fires. For someone else, in some other parts of the world, it was war or social unrest.

You need to plan for what’s likely, but you also need to think about those worst case scenarios. A worst case scenario isn’t bugging in in your retreat just in time, full of supplies, in some idyllic location along with your best buds (who also happen to be Navy SEALS, all of them) and all of them married to hot models that are also brain surgeons and homesteaders (wait, isn’t the divorce rate among military kinda high?) and everyone happens to get along just perfect without personal interests getting in the way of the finely tuned harmony of the survival retreat. Oh, you also beat the UN which happened to invade your county for some reason.

Seriously. SHTF is about when things DON’T go as planned. When that you’d rather not even think of ends up happening. Losing your farm sucks? Many have gone through just that these last few days alone.

This needs to be planned for. As I say in the cover of my second book “Bugging Out and Relocating”. You need to know “what to do when staying is not an option”.

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”

$100,000 in “preps”… and having to evacuate and leave it all behind.

I was reading about this in a forum. The guy lives in South Carolina, spent a lot of his money over the years prepping his home yet when evacuating because of Irma all he actually ended up putting to use was the gas (and vehicle). He mentioned that he felt he failed at prepping because he didn’t build his house of reinforced concrete.

I don’t know all the details of this particular case, or even if it’s true at all, but I do understand what it means to put all your eggs in one basket and see it disappear right in front of you. I’ve never suffering such a thing myself, but I get emails often enough, mostly from people that lost everything due to fire or floods. Sometimes it personal financial or family disasters (divorce).

My point is, yes, your home is important. It’s your shelter, it’s your castle. It may even be what puts food on the table, at times literally speaking. And this is indeed a great asset. To produce at least some of your food, to have a workshop for projects, to run a business. I get it.
I also get it that SHTF and worst case scenarios are precisely about what isn’t convenient and what’s uncomfortable to even think of. Loosing it all to a flood, yup, that’s not the kind of thing anyone looks forward too. Yet thousands have gone through just that these last few days. For others it was fires. For someone else, in some other parts of the world, it was war or social unrest.

You need to plan for what’s likely, but you also need to think about those worst case scenarios. A worst case scenario isn’t bugging in in your retreat just in time, full of supplies, in some idyllic location along with your best buds (who also happen to be Navy SEALS, all of them) and all of them married to hot models that are also brain surgeons and homesteaders (wait, isn’t the divorce rate among military kinda high?) and everyone happens to get along just perfect without personal interests getting in the way of the finely tuned harmony of the survival retreat. Oh, you also beat the UN which happened to invade your county for some reason.

Seriously. SHTF is about when things DON’T go as planned. When that you’d rather not even think of ends up happening. Losing your farm sucks? Many have gone through just that these last few days alone.

This needs to be planned for. As I say in the cover of my second book “Bugging Out and Relocating”. You need to know “what to do when staying is not an option”.

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”

$100,000 in “preps”… and having to evacuate and leave it all behind.

I was reading about this in a forum. The guy lives in South Carolina, spent a lot of his money over the years prepping his home yet when evacuating because of Irma all he actually ended up putting to use was the gas (and vehicle). He mentioned that he felt he failed at prepping because he didn’t build his house of reinforced concrete.

I don’t know all the details of this particular case, or even if it’s true at all, but I do understand what it means to put all your eggs in one basket and see it disappear right in front of you. I’ve never suffering such a thing myself, but I get emails often enough, mostly from people that lost everything due to fire or floods. Sometimes it personal financial or family disasters (divorce).

My point is, yes, your home is important. It’s your shelter, it’s your castle. It may even be what puts food on the table, at times literally speaking. And this is indeed a great asset. To produce at least some of your food, to have a workshop for projects, to run a business. I get it.
I also get it that SHTF and worst case scenarios are precisely about what isn’t convenient and what’s uncomfortable to even think of. Loosing it all to a flood, yup, that’s not the kind of thing anyone looks forward too. Yet thousands have gone through just that these last few days. For others it was fires. For someone else, in some other parts of the world, it was war or social unrest.

You need to plan for what’s likely, but you also need to think about those worst case scenarios. A worst case scenario isn’t bugging in in your retreat just in time, full of supplies, in some idyllic location along with your best buds (who also happen to be Navy SEALS, all of them) and all of them married to hot models that are also brain surgeons and homesteaders (wait, isn’t the divorce rate among military kinda high?) and everyone happens to get along just perfect without personal interests getting in the way of the finely tuned harmony of the survival retreat. Oh, you also beat the UN which happened to invade your county for some reason.

Seriously. SHTF is about when things DON’T go as planned. When that you’d rather not even think of ends up happening. Losing your farm sucks? Many have gone through just that these last few days alone.

This needs to be planned for. As I say in the cover of my second book “Bugging Out and Relocating”. You need to know “what to do when staying is not an option”.

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”

Turkey Point Nuclear in Florida Dumping Steam to Atmosphere After Hurricane Irma

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All the drama and buildup to Hurricane Irma, surrounding the threatened nuclear reactors at Turkey Point, but the real news happens after the hurricane.

I wrote the following in the comments section in response to a gov nuclear guy who wants this to be “no big deal” but it could be.

———————————————
 I think I have the Turkey Point 4 mysterious shutdown partly figured out.

Turkey Point 4 has a refueling outage 10-31-17.    They would do anything to not have to shut that reactor down, along with the increased inspections, review of all the service interval documentation, and most likely, the NRC finding that FPL was non compliant on some important issues, and would therefore not let them restart.    FPL would rather save this non-compliant work items for the shutdown.   

They also don’t need any bad press at this time, I read somewhere that they go to trial in October for the ongoing tritium contamination that they have been busted on, after they knew about for years and did not report it.

Basically, they would have done anything not to shut this reactor down.   Once a plant is shutdown, and has many problems, there is a decent chance that it is shut down forever.

So even when they noticed the water levels dropping in the steam generator, they were trying to come up with some type of fix in order to avoid the SCRAM.   While they were trying, the automatic systems initiated the SCRAM.    It is much better to SCRAM from a lower output level, lower temperatures.    SCRAMing from a high output puts a lot more shock on the system, again, not just putting more wear and tear on everything, but increasing the chance of something really going wrong.   They SCRAMed from 88%, a high level, and curious why it was not 100%.

They claimed it was a manual SCRAM, but this is not credible for the reasons above.   

RFO schedules
https://www.roadtechs.com/nukeout.htm

A reporter from World Nuclear News contacted plant operators and got the information on how the plant had auto SCRAMed itself.    Whoever they talked to “did not get the memo” that the NRC was going to report that it was a “manual SCRAM” meaning that they were really in control of the situation.

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS-Nuclear-units-weather-Hurricane-Irma-1109177.html

Unit 4 shut down automatically on the evening of 10 September


————————————————————————————————–

Ah, but you miss the main points:
1) Plant was running at 88% prior to “manual scram”, which I believe to be an automatic SCRAM but they wanted to pretend they were in control
2) This is coincidental with the hurricane and shutdown of the other reactor.   This is suspicious of a more important underlying problem
3) FPL made it a point to have NRC state there are no know major problems with the steam generators.   Which makes me think the lady doth protest too much…why belabour this point, unless of course there was leakage, and therefore cross contamination and thus radiological release.   The original steam generators only lasted 8 years, they were replaced around 1982, so the new set is now 35 years old.   hmmmmmmm

https://inis.iaea.org/search/searchsinglerecord.aspx?recordsFor=SingleRecord&RN=15025575

Also FPL’s 2014 attempt to cover up a steam leak on this aging plant is duly noted.   They pretended their shutdown was a “pre-planned evolution”

https://www.1776channel.com/2014/12/03/earth/aging-turkey-point-nuclear-reactor-near-miami-in-hot-standby-mode-following-steam-leak-and-shutdown/

Pressure to max out profits from this aging plants are clear cut as shown by the 2008 outage…

David Hoffman, a nuclear supervisor at Turkey Point, resigned over the incident and was subsequently sued by Florida Power and Light for return of a bonus. Hoffman countersued, claiming he was pressured to restart the reactors while they were in a condition which in his judgment made it unsafe to do so. Upper management wanted the reactors restarted during xenon dead time, which would have led to the operators at the controls having to continuously step control rods to safely manage reactor output.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkey_Point_Nuclear_Generating_Station

PavewayIII

Sequence of NRC reports:
NRC Friday Event Notifications
Turkey Point (3,4) 52952
Thursday 23:14 – NWS Hurricane Warning issued
Friday 00:06 – Notification – Emergency Declared/Offsite Notification
Friday (no time specified) ‘Updated’ – no indication of what was updated
(Convenient notification Friday at 00:06 ensures it won’t be seen by public until Monday)
NRC Monday NRC notifications
Turkey Point (3,4) 52952
Identical notification appears again
Turkey Point (4) 52960

Sunday 18:55 Reactor only running at 88% for some unknown reason

– failure of loop 4C Steam Generator main feed regulating valve
– Loop 4C S/G [Steam Generator] water levels drop
– Emergency Operating Procedures initiated
– Manual trip of reactor from 88% PWR (?)
– Auxiliary Feed Water initiated as designed [normal response]
– restored S/G water level
– Emergency Operation Procedures exited
– returned to General Operating Procedures
– Reactor at 0% PWR; in Hot Standby
For the textually challenged (me) here’s a diagram:
http://www.nucleartourist.com/images/rcs-c2.jpg

The blue juice in one of the 4 steam generators go too low, so they pumped more in. The red juice got angry at all the commotion so the operators shut the reactor down. The reactor operators don’ t like it when the red juice wants to leave the containment building and comes to visit them.
Unusual that reactor was at 88% – something else was happening that they’re not saying.

Either the manual scram (if unplanned, i.e., not part of planned shutdown) or the activation of the steam generator aux. feedwater system would have required reporting.
The steam generator main feedwater valve is stuck/closed/secrewed up, so they can’t run steam through the turbines, cool it down and pump it back into the steam generators through that valve like normal. That’e the normal route for the secondary steam loop. Instead, they’re pumping auxiliary water into the steam generator thorough a different valve, and then just dumping the steam produced into the air outside the plant. That steam/water *shouldn’t* be radioactive like the primary loop steam/water, but isn’t completely radiation-free, either.
In any case, the reactor doesn’t care as long as the steam generators are removing enough heat from the primary loop reactor water. That’s the red loop in the diagram that goes in/out the 4 steam generators’ U-tubes.

—————————————————————————————
At Browns Ferry they have 3 reactors, and they lost their cooling towers, not good.   But they appear to keep running at 100% even though  the operation is a critical portion of the safety system, and if one other component failed, they would have a radiation release.

MECHANICAL DRAFT COOLING TOWER FANS DECLARED INOPERABLE

“At 1000 EDT on September 9, 2017, the Division 2 Mechanical Draft Cooling Tower (MDCT) fans were declared inoperable due to failure of the over speed fan brake inverter. The brakes prevent fan over speed from a design basis tornado. The MDCT fans are required to support operability of the Ultimate Heat Sink (UHS). The UHS is required to support operability of the Division 2 Emergency Equipment Cooling Water (EECW) system. The EECW system cools various safety related components, including the High Pressure Coolant Injection (HPCI) system room cooler. An unplanned HPCI inoperability occurred based on a loss of the HPCI Room Cooler. Investigation into why the Division 2 MDCT fan over speed brake inverter failed is in progress. This report is being made pursuant to 10CFR50.72(b)(3)(v)(D) as a condition that at the time of discovery could have prevented the fulfillment of a safety function needed to mitigate the consequences of an accident based on a loss of a single train safety system.”

The licensee entered two (2) LCO Action Statements (AS); 14-day LCO AS 3.5.1 for ECCS (HPCI Inoperable) and 72-hour AS 3.7.2 for UHS. The licensee has two spare inverters on-site. After replacement and successful post-maintenance testing the licensee expects to exit both AS before 72-hours.

The NRC Resident Inspector has been notified.

To top of page

Power Reactor Event Number: 52959
Facility: BROWNS FERRY
Region: 2 State: AL
Unit: [1] [2] [3]
RX Type: [1] GE-4,[2] GE-4,[3] GE-4
NRC Notified By: ANTHONY ALSUP
HQ OPS Officer: STEVE SANDIN
Notification Date: 09/10/2017
Notification Time: 20:45 [ET]
Event Date: 09/10/2017
Event Time: 11:51 [CDT]
Last Update Date: 09/10/2017
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
50.72(b)(3)(v)(A) – POT UNABLE TO SAFE SD
50.72(b)(3)(v)(B) – POT RHR INOP
50.72(b)(3)(v)(C) – POT UNCNTRL RAD REL
50.72(b)(3)(v)(D) – ACCIDENT MITIGATION
Person (Organization):
ERIC MICHEL (R2DO)

Unit SCRAM Code RX CRIT Initial PWR Initial RX Mode Current PWR Current RX Mode
1 N Y 100 Power Operation 100 Power Operation
2 N Y 100 Power Operation 100 Power Operation
3 N Y 100 Power Operation 100 Power Operation

My suspicion was correct, it was an automatic SCRAM from 88%. If they wanted a more controlled manual SCRAM they would have taken it to 30% or so.

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS-Nuclear-units-weather-Hurricane-Irma-1109177.html

Two nuclear units at St Lucie were able to continue operating as Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida. One unit at Turkey Point was shut down as a precaution in advance of the storm as nuclear operators and regulators put storm preparation procedures into action, while the other shut down automatically because of a valve-related issue.

7 Benefits Of An Old-Fashioned Family Mealtime

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7 Benefits Of An Old-Fashioned Family Mealtime

Family dynamics have changed over time. This is to be expected, and is often a good thing. But modern ways do not necessarily always represent actual improvement, and sometimes it’s tempting to take a step backwards and embrace the way families did things in generations past.

Mealtime might be an example of things that our grandparents did better than we do. Most people’s fondest images of family meals are not centered around mad dashes through the fast food drive-up lane or each person microwaving their choice of instant food and eating it in solitude. Most of us, whether it represents our own reality or not, envision the best family meals as the ones that are shared around a dining table.

It’s no doubt a lot harder to do that in the 21st century than it was in days gone by. Lifestyles are different, demands on our time are different, societal expectations are different. But here are some reasons why it’s worth making an attempt to sit down together at the table as a family—even if you can manage to actually make it happen only part of the time.

1. Kids learn table manners. Whether they use them all the time or not, good table manners help people feel confident in any situation in which food is involved, and kids will never regret having learned them. I’m not talking about fancy manners they might need for dining with the Queen of England, or even formal subtleties such as knowing where to place one’s utensils to signal being finished with the plate. What I do encourage is teaching kids basic skills—appropriate to their ages—like learning to wield a steak knife, nudge roly-poly peas into submission, and wind long noodles around a fork. But it’s more than how to use silverware. It’s knowing not to subject fellow diners to the sight of half-chewed food while they talk, and how to pass the potatoes and thank the host. It’s learning to be aware of house expectations—if no food is touched until grace is said or no hats are allowed at the table, it’s a lot less awkward when everyone knows how to play along.

Put God Back Into History And Teach Your Kids What They Won’t Learn Anywhere Else!

When your kids leave home, they will take meals with a wide variety of people, from coworkers to important professional clients to future in-laws. The more comfortable they are at the table, the better off they’ll be. Mentoring and gentle reminders at home are the keys to developing table manners.

2. Everyone learns and maintains communication skills. Dining together involves not only sitting in the presence of others, but interacting with them. “How was your day at work, Mom?” and, “How did you do on the science test, Joe?” are excellent phrases for diners to start with. Saying “please,” “thank-you,” “pardon me,” “you’re welcome,” and “certainly” are all great follow-ups. The ability to listen to others, hear what is really being said, and respond appropriately are wonderful attributes which help people be better friends, spouses, employees, bosses and citizens. So does the discernment to know when and how to offer sympathy or encouragement, or when and how to respectfully decline or disagree.

3. Debates are respectful. Getting along with others is hard, whether you’re six or 60. Sharing a table with people who are not your Facebook friends or who disagree with your politics or whose hygiene habits are different from yours can be an exercise in tolerance and restraint. But in a world where tolerance and restraint seem to be less common than they used to be, the family table is a delightful place to develop and implement them.

My two sons have always been on the opposite ends of the political spectrum, and our evening meal conversations were always lively when they lived at home. We all arrived at the table from vastly different vantage points, argued the issues of the day, and were still family and friends at the end of the meal. Sure, there was some eye-rolling and even a few snorts of derision and raised voices now and then. But we all remember those debates with fondness, and still laugh about some of the more dramatic moments. I’m sure it enriched our interrelationships and strengthened our bonds rather than weakened them.

4. An opportunity for technology-free time. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard people lamenting the constant presence of communication devices in our lives. And yet, we all have trouble escaping it. It can feel like technology swallows us whole.

Family mealtime is the perfect time to set aside a time without phones, tablets, laptops, TVs or earbuds. It’s not a whole camping trip or day at Grandma’s—it’s just an hour or so. An hour of being fully present with those in the room without being distracted by flashing screens and seduced by advertisements.

I never allowed even a TV on in the room during evening meals. I maintained that if I could take time out of my entertainment long enough to prepare the meal, they could take time out from theirs enough to eat it. There were some grumbles at the time, but there are no regrets now.

7 Benefits Of An Old-Fashioned Family Mealtime5. A pleasing and peaceful setting. Ever notice how nice restaurants are the ones with ambiance? You don’t have to spend money on eating out for that. In fact, setting the table for a nice meal at home can be fun for the whole family. Kids can not only set the table, but can have fun creating a nice space for the meal. Think construction paper napkin rings, flowers gathered and arranged in a vase, or other creative accessories and décor.

Light a few candles, get out your best tablecloth (even if it’s a repurposed sheet from a thrift store), and put on some pleasing dining music. Dinnerware doesn’t have to match to be beautiful, drinkware can be mason jars, and it’s more important that chairs are comfortable than stylish.

Take The Stress Out Of Family Drive Time!

People are drawn to beauty. A falling maple leaf, a symphony, a baby’s soft cheeks, a city skyline, a butterfly, a birdsong—and a beautiful table setting shared with loved ones.

6. Time away from outside stress. People are busy these days. I get it. I hear people saying that there is no time to sit down to a family meal together anymore. But the way I see it, today’s busy lifestyles are all the more reason to carve out a special time to set it all aside. Even if it happens only once a week or so, a family mealtime can be a mini-vacation from the pressures of the outside world—and for most families, it’s a break sorely needed.

7. Healthy eating habits develop. Our grandparents grew up learning to eat a variety of foods and not be fussy. Not everyone today does that, and it may be detrimental to our health. A well-rounded diet helps people maintain a healthy weight and avoid health problems. While both kids and adults might tend to reach for prepackaged junk food instead of roasted green beans or sliced tomatoes when eating on their own, it can be easier to make healthy choices when good foods are part of a family meal.

Instead of gulping down food merely as a means to curb cravings, sharing a family sit-down meal can encourage everyone to eat more slowly, avoid overeating, savor the flavors, and enjoy the experience.

If you’re still on the fence about family meals, here are some ideas to get you started. Commit to one night a week for the first few months, and ask everyone to make it a priority. Try offering simple family favorites at first and add new foods gradually, establish a few ground rules to begin and tweak them as you go, and involve the whole family in preparation and cleanup as much as possible.

Even if it doesn’t ever look like anything out of a Norman Rockwell painting, enjoying family mealtime at the table might end up being your own version of “picture perfect.”

Do you agree? Disagree? What tips would you add? Share your advice in the section below:

7 Benefits Of An Old-Fashioned Family Mealtime

7 Benefits Of An Old-Fashioned Family Mealtime

Family dynamics have changed over time. This is to be expected, and is often a good thing. But modern ways do not necessarily always represent actual improvement, and sometimes it’s tempting to take a step backwards and embrace the way families did things in generations past.

Mealtime might be an example of things that our grandparents did better than we do. Most people’s fondest images of family meals are not centered around mad dashes through the fast food drive-up lane or each person microwaving their choice of instant food and eating it in solitude. Most of us, whether it represents our own reality or not, envision the best family meals as the ones that are shared around a dining table.

It’s no doubt a lot harder to do that in the 21st century than it was in days gone by. Lifestyles are different, demands on our time are different, societal expectations are different. But here are some reasons why it’s worth making an attempt to sit down together at the table as a family—even if you can manage to actually make it happen only part of the time.

1. Kids learn table manners. Whether they use them all the time or not, good table manners help people feel confident in any situation in which food is involved, and kids will never regret having learned them. I’m not talking about fancy manners they might need for dining with the Queen of England, or even formal subtleties such as knowing where to place one’s utensils to signal being finished with the plate. What I do encourage is teaching kids basic skills—appropriate to their ages—like learning to wield a steak knife, nudge roly-poly peas into submission, and wind long noodles around a fork. But it’s more than how to use silverware. It’s knowing not to subject fellow diners to the sight of half-chewed food while they talk, and how to pass the potatoes and thank the host. It’s learning to be aware of house expectations—if no food is touched until grace is said or no hats are allowed at the table, it’s a lot less awkward when everyone knows how to play along.

Put God Back Into History And Teach Your Kids What They Won’t Learn Anywhere Else!

When your kids leave home, they will take meals with a wide variety of people, from coworkers to important professional clients to future in-laws. The more comfortable they are at the table, the better off they’ll be. Mentoring and gentle reminders at home are the keys to developing table manners.

2. Everyone learns and maintains communication skills. Dining together involves not only sitting in the presence of others, but interacting with them. “How was your day at work, Mom?” and, “How did you do on the science test, Joe?” are excellent phrases for diners to start with. Saying “please,” “thank-you,” “pardon me,” “you’re welcome,” and “certainly” are all great follow-ups. The ability to listen to others, hear what is really being said, and respond appropriately are wonderful attributes which help people be better friends, spouses, employees, bosses and citizens. So does the discernment to know when and how to offer sympathy or encouragement, or when and how to respectfully decline or disagree.

3. Debates are respectful. Getting along with others is hard, whether you’re six or 60. Sharing a table with people who are not your Facebook friends or who disagree with your politics or whose hygiene habits are different from yours can be an exercise in tolerance and restraint. But in a world where tolerance and restraint seem to be less common than they used to be, the family table is a delightful place to develop and implement them.

My two sons have always been on the opposite ends of the political spectrum, and our evening meal conversations were always lively when they lived at home. We all arrived at the table from vastly different vantage points, argued the issues of the day, and were still family and friends at the end of the meal. Sure, there was some eye-rolling and even a few snorts of derision and raised voices now and then. But we all remember those debates with fondness, and still laugh about some of the more dramatic moments. I’m sure it enriched our interrelationships and strengthened our bonds rather than weakened them.

4. An opportunity for technology-free time. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard people lamenting the constant presence of communication devices in our lives. And yet, we all have trouble escaping it. It can feel like technology swallows us whole.

Family mealtime is the perfect time to set aside a time without phones, tablets, laptops, TVs or earbuds. It’s not a whole camping trip or day at Grandma’s—it’s just an hour or so. An hour of being fully present with those in the room without being distracted by flashing screens and seduced by advertisements.

I never allowed even a TV on in the room during evening meals. I maintained that if I could take time out of my entertainment long enough to prepare the meal, they could take time out from theirs enough to eat it. There were some grumbles at the time, but there are no regrets now.

7 Benefits Of An Old-Fashioned Family Mealtime5. A pleasing and peaceful setting. Ever notice how nice restaurants are the ones with ambiance? You don’t have to spend money on eating out for that. In fact, setting the table for a nice meal at home can be fun for the whole family. Kids can not only set the table, but can have fun creating a nice space for the meal. Think construction paper napkin rings, flowers gathered and arranged in a vase, or other creative accessories and décor.

Light a few candles, get out your best tablecloth (even if it’s a repurposed sheet from a thrift store), and put on some pleasing dining music. Dinnerware doesn’t have to match to be beautiful, drinkware can be mason jars, and it’s more important that chairs are comfortable than stylish.

Take The Stress Out Of Family Drive Time!

People are drawn to beauty. A falling maple leaf, a symphony, a baby’s soft cheeks, a city skyline, a butterfly, a birdsong—and a beautiful table setting shared with loved ones.

6. Time away from outside stress. People are busy these days. I get it. I hear people saying that there is no time to sit down to a family meal together anymore. But the way I see it, today’s busy lifestyles are all the more reason to carve out a special time to set it all aside. Even if it happens only once a week or so, a family mealtime can be a mini-vacation from the pressures of the outside world—and for most families, it’s a break sorely needed.

7. Healthy eating habits develop. Our grandparents grew up learning to eat a variety of foods and not be fussy. Not everyone today does that, and it may be detrimental to our health. A well-rounded diet helps people maintain a healthy weight and avoid health problems. While both kids and adults might tend to reach for prepackaged junk food instead of roasted green beans or sliced tomatoes when eating on their own, it can be easier to make healthy choices when good foods are part of a family meal.

Instead of gulping down food merely as a means to curb cravings, sharing a family sit-down meal can encourage everyone to eat more slowly, avoid overeating, savor the flavors, and enjoy the experience.

If you’re still on the fence about family meals, here are some ideas to get you started. Commit to one night a week for the first few months, and ask everyone to make it a priority. Try offering simple family favorites at first and add new foods gradually, establish a few ground rules to begin and tweak them as you go, and involve the whole family in preparation and cleanup as much as possible.

Even if it doesn’t ever look like anything out of a Norman Rockwell painting, enjoying family mealtime at the table might end up being your own version of “picture perfect.”

Do you agree? Disagree? What tips would you add? Share your advice in the section below:

7 Benefits Of An Old-Fashioned Family Mealtime

7 Benefits Of An Old-Fashioned Family Mealtime

Family dynamics have changed over time. This is to be expected, and is often a good thing. But modern ways do not necessarily always represent actual improvement, and sometimes it’s tempting to take a step backwards and embrace the way families did things in generations past.

Mealtime might be an example of things that our grandparents did better than we do. Most people’s fondest images of family meals are not centered around mad dashes through the fast food drive-up lane or each person microwaving their choice of instant food and eating it in solitude. Most of us, whether it represents our own reality or not, envision the best family meals as the ones that are shared around a dining table.

It’s no doubt a lot harder to do that in the 21st century than it was in days gone by. Lifestyles are different, demands on our time are different, societal expectations are different. But here are some reasons why it’s worth making an attempt to sit down together at the table as a family—even if you can manage to actually make it happen only part of the time.

1. Kids learn table manners. Whether they use them all the time or not, good table manners help people feel confident in any situation in which food is involved, and kids will never regret having learned them. I’m not talking about fancy manners they might need for dining with the Queen of England, or even formal subtleties such as knowing where to place one’s utensils to signal being finished with the plate. What I do encourage is teaching kids basic skills—appropriate to their ages—like learning to wield a steak knife, nudge roly-poly peas into submission, and wind long noodles around a fork. But it’s more than how to use silverware. It’s knowing not to subject fellow diners to the sight of half-chewed food while they talk, and how to pass the potatoes and thank the host. It’s learning to be aware of house expectations—if no food is touched until grace is said or no hats are allowed at the table, it’s a lot less awkward when everyone knows how to play along.

Put God Back Into History And Teach Your Kids What They Won’t Learn Anywhere Else!

When your kids leave home, they will take meals with a wide variety of people, from coworkers to important professional clients to future in-laws. The more comfortable they are at the table, the better off they’ll be. Mentoring and gentle reminders at home are the keys to developing table manners.

2. Everyone learns and maintains communication skills. Dining together involves not only sitting in the presence of others, but interacting with them. “How was your day at work, Mom?” and, “How did you do on the science test, Joe?” are excellent phrases for diners to start with. Saying “please,” “thank-you,” “pardon me,” “you’re welcome,” and “certainly” are all great follow-ups. The ability to listen to others, hear what is really being said, and respond appropriately are wonderful attributes which help people be better friends, spouses, employees, bosses and citizens. So does the discernment to know when and how to offer sympathy or encouragement, or when and how to respectfully decline or disagree.

3. Debates are respectful. Getting along with others is hard, whether you’re six or 60. Sharing a table with people who are not your Facebook friends or who disagree with your politics or whose hygiene habits are different from yours can be an exercise in tolerance and restraint. But in a world where tolerance and restraint seem to be less common than they used to be, the family table is a delightful place to develop and implement them.

My two sons have always been on the opposite ends of the political spectrum, and our evening meal conversations were always lively when they lived at home. We all arrived at the table from vastly different vantage points, argued the issues of the day, and were still family and friends at the end of the meal. Sure, there was some eye-rolling and even a few snorts of derision and raised voices now and then. But we all remember those debates with fondness, and still laugh about some of the more dramatic moments. I’m sure it enriched our interrelationships and strengthened our bonds rather than weakened them.

4. An opportunity for technology-free time. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard people lamenting the constant presence of communication devices in our lives. And yet, we all have trouble escaping it. It can feel like technology swallows us whole.

Family mealtime is the perfect time to set aside a time without phones, tablets, laptops, TVs or earbuds. It’s not a whole camping trip or day at Grandma’s—it’s just an hour or so. An hour of being fully present with those in the room without being distracted by flashing screens and seduced by advertisements.

I never allowed even a TV on in the room during evening meals. I maintained that if I could take time out of my entertainment long enough to prepare the meal, they could take time out from theirs enough to eat it. There were some grumbles at the time, but there are no regrets now.

7 Benefits Of An Old-Fashioned Family Mealtime5. A pleasing and peaceful setting. Ever notice how nice restaurants are the ones with ambiance? You don’t have to spend money on eating out for that. In fact, setting the table for a nice meal at home can be fun for the whole family. Kids can not only set the table, but can have fun creating a nice space for the meal. Think construction paper napkin rings, flowers gathered and arranged in a vase, or other creative accessories and décor.

Light a few candles, get out your best tablecloth (even if it’s a repurposed sheet from a thrift store), and put on some pleasing dining music. Dinnerware doesn’t have to match to be beautiful, drinkware can be mason jars, and it’s more important that chairs are comfortable than stylish.

Take The Stress Out Of Family Drive Time!

People are drawn to beauty. A falling maple leaf, a symphony, a baby’s soft cheeks, a city skyline, a butterfly, a birdsong—and a beautiful table setting shared with loved ones.

6. Time away from outside stress. People are busy these days. I get it. I hear people saying that there is no time to sit down to a family meal together anymore. But the way I see it, today’s busy lifestyles are all the more reason to carve out a special time to set it all aside. Even if it happens only once a week or so, a family mealtime can be a mini-vacation from the pressures of the outside world—and for most families, it’s a break sorely needed.

7. Healthy eating habits develop. Our grandparents grew up learning to eat a variety of foods and not be fussy. Not everyone today does that, and it may be detrimental to our health. A well-rounded diet helps people maintain a healthy weight and avoid health problems. While both kids and adults might tend to reach for prepackaged junk food instead of roasted green beans or sliced tomatoes when eating on their own, it can be easier to make healthy choices when good foods are part of a family meal.

Instead of gulping down food merely as a means to curb cravings, sharing a family sit-down meal can encourage everyone to eat more slowly, avoid overeating, savor the flavors, and enjoy the experience.

If you’re still on the fence about family meals, here are some ideas to get you started. Commit to one night a week for the first few months, and ask everyone to make it a priority. Try offering simple family favorites at first and add new foods gradually, establish a few ground rules to begin and tweak them as you go, and involve the whole family in preparation and cleanup as much as possible.

Even if it doesn’t ever look like anything out of a Norman Rockwell painting, enjoying family mealtime at the table might end up being your own version of “picture perfect.”

Do you agree? Disagree? What tips would you add? Share your advice in the section below:

7 Benefits Of An Old-Fashioned Family Mealtime

7 Benefits Of An Old-Fashioned Family Mealtime

Family dynamics have changed over time. This is to be expected, and is often a good thing. But modern ways do not necessarily always represent actual improvement, and sometimes it’s tempting to take a step backwards and embrace the way families did things in generations past.

Mealtime might be an example of things that our grandparents did better than we do. Most people’s fondest images of family meals are not centered around mad dashes through the fast food drive-up lane or each person microwaving their choice of instant food and eating it in solitude. Most of us, whether it represents our own reality or not, envision the best family meals as the ones that are shared around a dining table.

It’s no doubt a lot harder to do that in the 21st century than it was in days gone by. Lifestyles are different, demands on our time are different, societal expectations are different. But here are some reasons why it’s worth making an attempt to sit down together at the table as a family—even if you can manage to actually make it happen only part of the time.

1. Kids learn table manners. Whether they use them all the time or not, good table manners help people feel confident in any situation in which food is involved, and kids will never regret having learned them. I’m not talking about fancy manners they might need for dining with the Queen of England, or even formal subtleties such as knowing where to place one’s utensils to signal being finished with the plate. What I do encourage is teaching kids basic skills—appropriate to their ages—like learning to wield a steak knife, nudge roly-poly peas into submission, and wind long noodles around a fork. But it’s more than how to use silverware. It’s knowing not to subject fellow diners to the sight of half-chewed food while they talk, and how to pass the potatoes and thank the host. It’s learning to be aware of house expectations—if no food is touched until grace is said or no hats are allowed at the table, it’s a lot less awkward when everyone knows how to play along.

Put God Back Into History And Teach Your Kids What They Won’t Learn Anywhere Else!

When your kids leave home, they will take meals with a wide variety of people, from coworkers to important professional clients to future in-laws. The more comfortable they are at the table, the better off they’ll be. Mentoring and gentle reminders at home are the keys to developing table manners.

2. Everyone learns and maintains communication skills. Dining together involves not only sitting in the presence of others, but interacting with them. “How was your day at work, Mom?” and, “How did you do on the science test, Joe?” are excellent phrases for diners to start with. Saying “please,” “thank-you,” “pardon me,” “you’re welcome,” and “certainly” are all great follow-ups. The ability to listen to others, hear what is really being said, and respond appropriately are wonderful attributes which help people be better friends, spouses, employees, bosses and citizens. So does the discernment to know when and how to offer sympathy or encouragement, or when and how to respectfully decline or disagree.

3. Debates are respectful. Getting along with others is hard, whether you’re six or 60. Sharing a table with people who are not your Facebook friends or who disagree with your politics or whose hygiene habits are different from yours can be an exercise in tolerance and restraint. But in a world where tolerance and restraint seem to be less common than they used to be, the family table is a delightful place to develop and implement them.

My two sons have always been on the opposite ends of the political spectrum, and our evening meal conversations were always lively when they lived at home. We all arrived at the table from vastly different vantage points, argued the issues of the day, and were still family and friends at the end of the meal. Sure, there was some eye-rolling and even a few snorts of derision and raised voices now and then. But we all remember those debates with fondness, and still laugh about some of the more dramatic moments. I’m sure it enriched our interrelationships and strengthened our bonds rather than weakened them.

4. An opportunity for technology-free time. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard people lamenting the constant presence of communication devices in our lives. And yet, we all have trouble escaping it. It can feel like technology swallows us whole.

Family mealtime is the perfect time to set aside a time without phones, tablets, laptops, TVs or earbuds. It’s not a whole camping trip or day at Grandma’s—it’s just an hour or so. An hour of being fully present with those in the room without being distracted by flashing screens and seduced by advertisements.

I never allowed even a TV on in the room during evening meals. I maintained that if I could take time out of my entertainment long enough to prepare the meal, they could take time out from theirs enough to eat it. There were some grumbles at the time, but there are no regrets now.

7 Benefits Of An Old-Fashioned Family Mealtime5. A pleasing and peaceful setting. Ever notice how nice restaurants are the ones with ambiance? You don’t have to spend money on eating out for that. In fact, setting the table for a nice meal at home can be fun for the whole family. Kids can not only set the table, but can have fun creating a nice space for the meal. Think construction paper napkin rings, flowers gathered and arranged in a vase, or other creative accessories and décor.

Light a few candles, get out your best tablecloth (even if it’s a repurposed sheet from a thrift store), and put on some pleasing dining music. Dinnerware doesn’t have to match to be beautiful, drinkware can be mason jars, and it’s more important that chairs are comfortable than stylish.

Take The Stress Out Of Family Drive Time!

People are drawn to beauty. A falling maple leaf, a symphony, a baby’s soft cheeks, a city skyline, a butterfly, a birdsong—and a beautiful table setting shared with loved ones.

6. Time away from outside stress. People are busy these days. I get it. I hear people saying that there is no time to sit down to a family meal together anymore. But the way I see it, today’s busy lifestyles are all the more reason to carve out a special time to set it all aside. Even if it happens only once a week or so, a family mealtime can be a mini-vacation from the pressures of the outside world—and for most families, it’s a break sorely needed.

7. Healthy eating habits develop. Our grandparents grew up learning to eat a variety of foods and not be fussy. Not everyone today does that, and it may be detrimental to our health. A well-rounded diet helps people maintain a healthy weight and avoid health problems. While both kids and adults might tend to reach for prepackaged junk food instead of roasted green beans or sliced tomatoes when eating on their own, it can be easier to make healthy choices when good foods are part of a family meal.

Instead of gulping down food merely as a means to curb cravings, sharing a family sit-down meal can encourage everyone to eat more slowly, avoid overeating, savor the flavors, and enjoy the experience.

If you’re still on the fence about family meals, here are some ideas to get you started. Commit to one night a week for the first few months, and ask everyone to make it a priority. Try offering simple family favorites at first and add new foods gradually, establish a few ground rules to begin and tweak them as you go, and involve the whole family in preparation and cleanup as much as possible.

Even if it doesn’t ever look like anything out of a Norman Rockwell painting, enjoying family mealtime at the table might end up being your own version of “picture perfect.”

Do you agree? Disagree? What tips would you add? Share your advice in the section below:

Paratus is Friday

Paratus, the holiday of preparedness, is this Friday. I sent out the last of the token Paratus gifts today and look forward to the self-deprecating comments from the recipients.

As always, if you’d like to send a Paratus day gift or card my contact info is here.

Homemade Quick Brown Rice

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Take a little time to prepare brown rice now. It will save time and effort at dinner preparation and you’ll have healthy rice on the table in as little as 15 minutes | PreparednessMama

Take a little time to prepare brown rice now. It will save time and effort at dinner preparation and you’ll have healthy rice on the table in as little as 15 minutes. We have a fair amount of brown rice in our food storage because it is healthier for us than white rice. Unlike white […]

The post Homemade Quick Brown Rice appeared first on PreparednessMama.

Hurricane Harvey 2017

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I’ve now lived through two hurricanes in Houston. Hurricane Ike 2008, and Hurricane Harvey 2017. Both were completely different experiences for me. Ike was a disaster, because I wasn’t prepared; Harvey was a breeze, because I was.

Making it through a hurricane without personal tragedy is all about preparation. Pay attention to the changes in forecast as the storm approaches so that you’ll have sufficient information to base your evacuation decision on. Have your home stocked ahead of time so that, if you decide to ride out the storm, you can hunker down and avoid going out to compete for the limited resources needed to make it through the storm and its aftermath. Grocery store shelves and gas station fuel tanks empty quickly, and people panic when they do. Best not to be anywhere near those places as a hurricane approaches.

Hurricane Ike 2008

I was new to Houston and had no clue what to do to prepare for a hurricane, and honestly I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal. I lived over an hour inland from the coast in a great big house. My only preps before the storm were to drain the pool, buy some bottled water, fill up my gas tank and make sure I had batteries for the flashlights. I was a fool. Maybe a better word to describe me was naive.

The category 4 hurricane hit in the afternoon and my pool was overflowing before the sun went down. Ike spent all night wreaking havoc all over Houston. When the sun came up the next morning I had no power. There was so much debris in my pool that there could have been a VW bug in there and I wouldn’t have seen it. One of our trees in the backyard was on its side across some power lines. There was a huge fallen pine tree blocking access to our cul-de-sac, trapping us in because no one could drive out. And water was half way up my lawn.

In the end, the electricity was out in our neighborhood for five weeks because the whole power line infrastructure had to be replaced, not just repaired. The tree was a problem because not a single person in our cul-de-sac owned a chainsaw. But luckily a neighbor did have a generator, so we used circular saws to cut a gap in the tree large enough to drive through. I had to rent a water pump to clean out the pool. Our house didn’t flood, but half of our neighborhood–including two of our cul-de-sac neighbors–weren’t so lucky.

Things working against us during and after Hurricane Ike:

  • Lived in a large older house in an area prone to flooding.
  • Lots of old trees in areas where they could block streets or damage homes if they fell.
  • Overhead power lines were taken out by fallen trees.
  • Located close to large creek, which flooded once the rains became too much for the drainage system.

Hurricane Harvey 2017

Hurricane Harvey 2017By 2017 I have been in prepper mode for a while. I moved to a neighborhood that had newer homes, sitting just high enough to avoid flooding. My wife and I made a habit of keeping our pantry stocked with enough food to feed our family for weeks, if necessary. Our home gets water even when the pump station fails because we are downhill from the water tower. And we have a 1000 gallon water harvesting tank in our back yard, just in case. So, the only thing that we had to do before Hurricane Harvey hit was fill our vehicle gas tanks. We didn’t need to do anything else. We were set. We had plenty of food, water and supplies in our home.

Our neighborhood had over 36″ of rain in four days, but our power never went out for more than thirty seconds. We had flooding all around us, but our neighborhood didn’t flood. There were no trees down in our neighborhood that affected us. Partly luck, partly careful preparation in selection of where we chose to buy our home. We were very fortunate. We made it out without any damage or trauma.

Hurricane Harvey 2017In fact, we ended up doing more to help others than needing help ourselves. We did a lot of donating–clothes, toiletries, cleaning supplies. Stuffed animals for little kids to cuddle with. A little bit of money to help neighbors who’d lost out on work because of the storm. And my wife baked bread to give out to people that needed food, because most stores were closed and those that were open were completely out of food staples like bread. Strangely, though, the baking aisles had plenty of flour and yeast. People could’ve done what we did and made their own bread. I guess most just don’t know how to do that anymore.

We used Nextdoor.com to coordinate volunteer efforts, keep up to date on where flooding was closest to us, and spread information about where shelters were, what they needed, and how we could help. It was great to have that resource in time of emergency. Usually all we see from Nextdoor.com is reports of wandering dogs, suspicious vehicles, and lost pets. Having that resource in place for Harvey made all the normal nuisance posts totally worth enduring.

Things that worked for us during Harvey:

  • A house in a neighborhood on higher ground that has never flooded.
  • Fewer big (older, weaker) trees around the house and lining the neighborhood streets.
  • Power lines are buried.
  • A neighborhood between two small creeks that flow into a large creek, providing good drainage.

Why Being a Prepper is Important

Hurricane Harvey 2017Mother Nature doesn’t care about who you are, where you live or how many kids you have. As far as she is concerned, humans are just another creature walking around on her. Hurricanes will change your life if you are not prepared. But if you’re planning to move to a place that is close to the coast, you should know at some point you will be hit by one. It is the same as living in the middle of tornado alley in a mobile home or in California on the fault line. Eventually Mother Nature is going to reach out and bitch slap you. She will give you the chance to appear on TV in the news as a tragedy that people will set up some fund to “help support those poor people.”

I’m sorry if that came across as insensitive to the people dealing with tragedy after Hurricane Harvey 2017. That is not my intention. All I am saying is that if you live in a place that is prone to natural disasters, than be prepared to handle it. Educate yourself about what could happen and what supplies you will need to have. Then buy them. Don’t wait to the last minute when the stores are empty. Have a place in your home to stock up on necessities.

Know what to expect. And have what you need — sturdy shelter on higher ground, clean water, shelf stable food, and fuel — on hand so that you can deal with whatever the storm throws at you.

Other Houston Prepper Blogger’s Affected By Hurricane Harvey 2017

  1. Apartment Prepper – Hunkering Down Awaiting Hurricane Harvey
  2. The Survival Mom – 50 Survival Tips Harvey Has Taught Me
  3. Ed That Matters (Prepper Website) – In the Midst of the Storm – My Personal Preparedness Experience in Hurricane Harvey
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The post Hurricane Harvey 2017 appeared first on Surviving Prepper.

How to Escape From Dangerous Forest Animals

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How to Escape From Dangerous Forest Animals

No doubt, everyone loves to have fun. No matter how busy or tight our schedule is, we will always find a time to hang out with family and friends or go on a vacation. Nowadays, people like to go to the forest. They believe there lies almost all the beauty of nature. You get to see different species of animal and plant. You can also, get to see amazing waterfalls and flowing river. To some people, they like the forest because of the calmness- no noise except the pleasing sounds of birds and some other creatures.

But do you know the forest can be dangerous? Don’t forget, all that glitters are not gold. Even though, being in the forest can be fun you still need to put the fact that you can encounter wild animals into consideration.

Of course, animals are literally quiet and interesting. The other side of the coin can tell a different story. When the other side comes up, and you are all alone in the forest, you would be left with your inferior instinct to protect you.

You need to understand that the dangerous animals that are found in the forest have different ways they react to you when they encounter you. Some of them might run away, some might stand and scream, while some might be ready to attack you. Either way, have you ever thought of what you would do if you find yourself in this scenario?

Read on as we will show you how to escape from dangerous forest animals. Some other important information will be discussed for you to have a full knowledge of the subject matter.

WHAT IS A FOREST AND WILD ANIMAL?

Yes, let’s start from here. This will give you a basic knowledge of what a forest really is. A forest is a large area of land covered primarily with trees. Its area can be thousands of kilometers. It is obviously different from a bush.

Wild animals could be found in all ecosystems. They are animals that are not domesticated or tamed. They learn to survive on their own, in all weather and climatic conditions. Some of the wild animals you can come in across while adventuring in the forest are Bears, Wolf, Cougar, killer bees and much more.

WHAT WEAPON CAN YOU TAKE ALONG?

There are lots of weapons you can take along with you, but you have to make sure they are legal. You can take along firearms if allowed. You can also take a deterrent (like boar or pepper spray) along; it is safer. Do you know your greatest weapon while in the forest? It is definitely your brain. You need to be mentally active and ready. Trust the instincts of your gut; it might be the best thing you can do to keep yourself active, sensitive, and safe.

HOW CAN YOU ESCAPE DANGEROUS FOREST ANIMALS?

We are going to answer this question by showing you how to escape from the common dangerous forest animals.

  1. Bears

Image3: Credit: bear.org

Generally, all bears are dangerous. If you come in contact with them, you have to be very careful, especially if their cubs are around the area. The first thing you should do is move away from the cubs if there are any. If you know, you are not alone in the forest and noticed the bear does not pose a threat, try and shout to alert people.

In case, the bear, approach you, raise up your hands. It will make you stand tall. If you are with friends or family, you can all come together. You can also put someone on your shoulder to make you look tall. It would intimidate the bear and make him/her move away. Always remember, do not look at the bear eye to eye. This applies to some other wild animals too.

  1. Snakes

Image 1  source: Here

Having the snake boots for hunting is the most important thing you want there to be with you.If you encounter a snake, you should not try and capture or kill it. You can just change your direction of movement. If you see that the snake is not ready to back off, bang your leg on the ground. This should be okay to get it off your way.

But if you are bitten, you can:

  • Pull the snake away instantly
  • Call the emergency service with no delay
  • Tie the bitten area to slow down the venom from reaching your heart
  • Do not suck the venom, drink alcohol, and use ice
  • Increase your water intake and go to a nearby hospital
  1. Cougars

It is also known as a mountain lion. If this animal sees you as a treat, it will follow you up looking for a perfect time to attack you. If you have the prior knowledge of the forest having Cougar, it is advisable you wear a big cloth or walk in groups. Wearing a big or large cloth could make if work away. Also, they hardly attack people moving in groups.

However, if it attacks you, fight back by hitting the mouth and eye hard while

  1. Wolves

Image2: Credit here

You need to watch out for this cunning animal too. They are always after ripping off the muscles of the legs. When you see a wolf, do not make any attempt to run. It can result in an immediate attack. Try yelling at the wolf; it should back off. However, if you are surrounded by a few numbers of them, it might be time to show your attacking skill. Take out your weapon. A firearm will work better this time. Fight them off and get to safety.

  1. Bees

In case you mistakenly disturb a bee hive, it is time to make a run for your life. Do not just run in a random direction. Run against the wind; it will help you knock off the bees. Look for a shelter to hide and stay there till you are very sure that they have left. Do not enter the water; it might be a costly mistake.

We know there are a lot of wide animals you can possibly encounter in the forest. The ones discussed above are the common ones we believe you should know. If you  are  going to hunt, create a must-bring bag  so you’re never without that one thing you forgot to bring: hunting boot, hunting light, weapon.. Always, remember, in any situation you find yourself in the forest, your brain is your greatest weapon. With this, you can survive any dangerous forest animal attack.

If you find this article serious you can share it. Also, if you have any comment, you can use our comment box. Save a life today!

 

 

 

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The post How to Escape From Dangerous Forest Animals appeared first on American Preppers Network.

52 Percent Of Florida Without Electricity; It Could Be Weeks Before Fully Restored

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52 Percent Of Florida Without Electricity; It Could Be Weeks Before Fully Restored

Image source: FP&L

Hurricane Irma exited Florida Monday, leaving more than 7 million homes and businesses without electricity – including more than 5.5 million customers in Florida who were still without power the next morning.

A full 52 percent of all homes and businesses in Florida were without power Tuesday morning, according to FloridaDisaster.org.

Damage was so widespread that not even the deployment of 19,500 electrical workers was enough to get things working, Florida Power & Light (FP&L) reported. The damage caused by Irma is the most widespread in FPL’s history, with power off in parts of at least 35 counties, including Miami-Dade.

It will take days and possibly weeks to restore electricity to many of the homes and businesses, FP&L CEO Eric Silagy told the Associated Press. Damage was greatest around Naples on Florida’s West Coast.

“We’ve never had that many outages,” Silagy told The Washington Post. “I don’t think any utility in the country has.”

Even homeowners with diesel/gas generators were finding it tough to cope, as gas pumps were dry throughout the state.

Finally, A Backup Generator That Doesn’t Require Gasoline!

Another 1.3 million homes and businesses in Georgia and 161,000 electrical customers in South Carolina also were without power on Monday, CNN reported.

Irma was downgraded to a tropical depressions Monday, but was still doing damage. Large areas of the South are still at risk for flooding.

“Intense rainfall rates of 2 inches or more per hour is leading to flash flooding and rapid rises on creeks, streams, and rivers,” the National Hurricane Center warned. “Significant river flooding is possible … Monday and Tuesday in much of central Georgia and southern South Carolina; where average rainfall of three to six inches and isolated 10 inch amounts are expected. Portions of these states within the southern Appalachians will be especially vulnerable to flash flooding.”

Is your neighborhood prepared for an Irma-type disaster? Share your thoughts in the section below:

52 Percent Of Florida Without Electricity; It Could Be Weeks Before Fully Restored

52 Percent Of Florida Without Electricity; It Could Be Weeks Before Fully Restored

Image source: FP&L

Hurricane Irma exited Florida Monday, leaving more than 7 million homes and businesses without electricity – including more than 5.5 million customers in Florida who were still without power the next morning.

A full 52 percent of all homes and businesses in Florida were without power Tuesday morning, according to FloridaDisaster.org.

Damage was so widespread that not even the deployment of 19,500 electrical workers was enough to get things working, Florida Power & Light (FP&L) reported. The damage caused by Irma is the most widespread in FPL’s history, with power off in parts of at least 35 counties, including Miami-Dade.

It will take days and possibly weeks to restore electricity to many of the homes and businesses, FP&L CEO Eric Silagy told the Associated Press. Damage was greatest around Naples on Florida’s West Coast.

“We’ve never had that many outages,” Silagy told The Washington Post. “I don’t think any utility in the country has.”

Even homeowners with diesel/gas generators were finding it tough to cope, as gas pumps were dry throughout the state.

Finally, A Backup Generator That Doesn’t Require Gasoline!

Another 1.3 million homes and businesses in Georgia and 161,000 electrical customers in South Carolina also were without power on Monday, CNN reported.

Irma was downgraded to a tropical depressions Monday, but was still doing damage. Large areas of the South are still at risk for flooding.

“Intense rainfall rates of 2 inches or more per hour is leading to flash flooding and rapid rises on creeks, streams, and rivers,” the National Hurricane Center warned. “Significant river flooding is possible … Monday and Tuesday in much of central Georgia and southern South Carolina; where average rainfall of three to six inches and isolated 10 inch amounts are expected. Portions of these states within the southern Appalachians will be especially vulnerable to flash flooding.”

Is your neighborhood prepared for an Irma-type disaster? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Celebrating During Times Crises

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celebrate in a crisisMy family lived in Northern Alabama and experienced the April 2011 Tornado Outbreak. We saw one of the tornadoes from our front window. I worked clean up and recovery after the storms and the damage and loss was devastating for so many people. Even those of us that were spared direct damage still had to deal with days (and for some, weeks) of no power.

So, while we of course were thankful for being spared, there could have been a “mini-disaster” of our own because the day after the storms was my daughter’s 9th birthday. We were stuck at home and unable to go out for birthday fun as planned. Thankfully, I had already purchased her presents and had a dessert mix on hand so we were able to plan a last minute family celebration at home.

Now, please don’t misunderstand, missing out on a planned birthday party in NO WAY compares to the loss of property and life that was experienced due to these storms. My daughter understood what was happening and was not upset in the least by changing plans. But it made me think about a long term disaster or TEOTWAWKI event. It will be important to celebrate birthdays and holidays even in the midst of a crisis when at all possible.

My daughter’s 9th birthday is what triggered my desire to add holidays to our family preparedness plan.

Celebrate in a crisis

If we find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic, for example, and have to shelter-in-place for weeks or months, I am now prepared to still celebrate with my family on our special occasions.

  • Greeting cards for each birthday, anniversary and holiday
  • A small gift for each birthday, anniversary and holiday. Books, Mad Libs, card games, drawing books, and craft kits are great options.
  • Candy or other shelf stable treats related to each holiday
  • Stocking stuffers for Christmas. In my family that means scented hand sanitizers or lip gloss, little stuffed animals, mini Lego kits, and fun gadgets.

Rotation of these items is easy! When the birthday or holiday comes around, use what you have set aside and then buy something for the next year. I buy a bag of Halloween Candy on November 1st on sale and add it to the stash. After Valentines Day, I purchase a box of Valentine’s Cards with the candy included. Not only will my kids enjoy these, but they will have them to share with others in the neighborhood that might not have planned to celebrate.

If you find yourself in the midst of a shelter-in-place and haven’t planned ahead for some of these events, look around the house for something you can make. If you know how to knit or crochet, draw or paint, weave, make jewelry, etc, you can have supplies on hand to create a nice gift. The ability to bake cakes, cookies, or brownies and a few balloons or streamers will help create a festive occasion.  Be sure to have craft items for children so they can get involved in decorating and by making gifts for each other.

Think about the emotional boost that your family would get during a TEOTWAWKI event by doing something as simple as celebrating a birthday or having presents to open on Christmas morning. Hard times have a way of putting things into perspective and the celebrations don’t have to be huge, but taking the time to honor the person or the day can lift spirits, increase resilience, bond family members, and just produce some smiles.

Save

Celebrating During Times Crises

celebrate in a crisisMy family lived in Northern Alabama and experienced the April 2011 Tornado Outbreak. We saw one of the tornadoes from our front window. I worked clean up and recovery after the storms and the damage and loss was devastating for so many people. Even those of us that were spared direct damage still had to deal with days (and for some, weeks) of no power.

So, while we of course were thankful for being spared, there could have been a “mini-disaster” of our own because the day after the storms was my daughter’s 9th birthday. We were stuck at home and unable to go out for birthday fun as planned. Thankfully, I had already purchased her presents and had a dessert mix on hand so we were able to plan a last minute family celebration at home.

Now, please don’t misunderstand, missing out on a planned birthday party in NO WAY compares to the loss of property and life that was experienced due to these storms. My daughter understood what was happening and was not upset in the least by changing plans. But it made me think about a long term disaster or TEOTWAWKI event. It will be important to celebrate birthdays and holidays even in the midst of a crisis when at all possible.

My daughter’s 9th birthday is what triggered my desire to add holidays to our family preparedness plan.

Celebrate in a crisis

If we find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic, for example, and have to shelter-in-place for weeks or months, I am now prepared to still celebrate with my family on our special occasions.

  • Greeting cards for each birthday, anniversary and holiday
  • A small gift for each birthday, anniversary and holiday. Books, Mad Libs, card games, drawing books, and craft kits are great options.
  • Candy or other shelf stable treats related to each holiday
  • Stocking stuffers for Christmas. In my family that means scented hand sanitizers or lip gloss, little stuffed animals, mini Lego kits, and fun gadgets.

Rotation of these items is easy! When the birthday or holiday comes around, use what you have set aside and then buy something for the next year. I buy a bag of Halloween Candy on November 1st on sale and add it to the stash. After Valentines Day, I purchase a box of Valentine’s Cards with the candy included. Not only will my kids enjoy these, but they will have them to share with others in the neighborhood that might not have planned to celebrate.

If you find yourself in the midst of a shelter-in-place and haven’t planned ahead for some of these events, look around the house for something you can make. If you know how to knit or crochet, draw or paint, weave, make jewelry, etc, you can have supplies on hand to create a nice gift. The ability to bake cakes, cookies, or brownies and a few balloons or streamers will help create a festive occasion.  Be sure to have craft items for children so they can get involved in decorating and by making gifts for each other.

Think about the emotional boost that your family would get during a TEOTWAWKI event by doing something as simple as celebrating a birthday or having presents to open on Christmas morning. Hard times have a way of putting things into perspective and the celebrations don’t have to be huge, but taking the time to honor the person or the day can lift spirits, increase resilience, bond family members, and just produce some smiles.

Save

Traveling as a Prepper!

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Traveling as a Prepper. Forrest Garvin “The Prepping Academy” Audio player below! On this Prepping Academy Radio show we will discuss all things traveling as a prepper. One of the most dangerous things you can do in life is travel. A good prepper does not only accumulate goods, but also knowledge. When traveling, you retain … Continue reading Traveling as a Prepper!

The post Traveling as a Prepper! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

How Many Loaves of Bread Every Week in Your Household?

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POLL question: How many loaves of grocery store bread do you go through each week in your household? Just for fun, let us know your favorite bread too in the comments. Why do I ask? It has to do with preparedness. You’ll see (later). Participate in our anonymous poll below: This does NOT include hamburger buns, hot dog buns, any kind of rolls and/or buns. Only loaves of bread. If you make your own bread rather than buying grocery store bread, go ahead and count that too…     What do you use the bread for mostly? Toast? Grilled Cheese

The post How Many Loaves of Bread Every Week in Your Household? appeared first on Modern Survival Blog.

How Many Loaves of Bread Every Week in Your Household?

POLL question: How many loaves of grocery store bread do you go through each week in your household? Just for fun, let us know your favorite bread too in the comments. Why do I ask? It has to do with preparedness. You’ll see (later). Participate in our anonymous poll below: This does NOT include hamburger buns, hot dog buns, any kind of rolls and/or buns. Only loaves of bread. If you make your own bread rather than buying grocery store bread, go ahead and count that too…     What do you use the bread for mostly? Toast? Grilled Cheese

The post How Many Loaves of Bread Every Week in Your Household? appeared first on Modern Survival Blog.

5 Best Bug Out Boats for Beginners

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: A guest contribution from Cher Zevala to The Prepper Journal.  As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award as well as be entered into the Prepper Writing Contest with a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today

It is estimated that the USA has upwards of 95,000 miles of “coast line”…

In the past, we’ve studied the possibilities of bugging out by boat. While there are some serious complications that come with ditching terra-firma for the big blue sea, some preppers find the benefits vastly outweigh the dangers. For example, bugging out by boat means you have a higher likelihood of avoiding angry mobs and gangs interested in stealing your stuff. In your boat, you can stockpile more tools and gear than would fit comfortably in your car or bug-out vehicle, and you could have less dependence on non-renewable energy, giving you greater opportunities to roam.

However, if you aren’t an avid boater, you probably don’t know how to begin shopping for the perfect bug out boat. This guide should help you decide what you need in a boat, which boat to buy, and how to become an expert before you need to get gone.

The Perfect Bug Out Boat

Just as there are considerations when choosing a bug out bag, a bug out vehicle, and other essential survival equipment, you must be careful about how you select your boat. Not all boats are ideal for long-term living – especially in an EOTW scenario. The following qualities are preferable in beginner bug out boats.

Low cost. While an old salt might feel comfortable acquiring a brand-new, top-of-the-line, expertly updated vessel, boating beginners shouldn’t bother breaking the bank on a boat they will rarely use. Used fishing boats for sale online are incredibly affordable, and many make excellent bug out boats. And there is never a downside to limiting the things that can break and need a qualified technician to repair.

Low maintenance needs. The worst thing that could happen is rushing to your bug out boat when things go bad only to find it broken down. Like cars, boats require regular repairs, but it shouldn’t be in such bad shape that you are never sure it will run when you need it.

Renewable energy sources. Most realistic EOTW scenarios include a dearth of oil and other common fossil fuels. Though a gas motor isn’t a bad feature on a bug out boat, you should also have renewable energy options available, such as sails, wind turbines, and solar generators.

Comfortable living spaces. Most bug out boaters expect to spend extended periods of time on board their vessels. That means you should have a cozy and secure cabin, in which you can cook, sleep, and perform other common activities.

High storage capacity. Even if you are using your boat merely for a quick getaway, you should have enough storage space on board to hide away all your survival equipment. Then, you don’t have to keep it cached in your car or home.

5 Bug Out Boats to Consider

Some survivalists are perfectly happy toting an inflatable raft to their nearest waterway and floating to safety, but most bug out boaters want a more durable and permanent vessel. The following live-aboard boats are perhaps the best options for survivalists, beginners and experts.

Powerboats. On one hand, powerboats tend to have the greatest amount of livable space, but on the other hand, they are slower and handle more poorly than other boats.

  

Sailboats. Sailboats come in two varieties: mono-hull and multi-hull. The former provides greater speed at the expense of navigability; the latter provides greater space. Still, all sailboats require a bit more practice to sail proficiently. (Editors Note: The REAL deal breaker to consider is sailboats under 26 feet are NOT required to have an on-board head!)

 

Trawlers. Technically a type of powerboat, a trawler is built for long, economical travel. They are even less speedy and less maneuverable than power boats, but they are usually exceedingly spacious.

  

Motorsailers. A marriage between powerboats and sailboats, motorsailers have engines and sails, are quick and capacious. These could easily be the ideal bug out boats for their flexibility and stamina.

  

Houseboats. Designed for calm waters, flat-bottomed house boats can’t roam far, but they provide all the comforts of home. There are houseboat varieties with and without engines, so you must be careful to purchase a boat that can move.

  

Before You Bug Out

Even worse than finding your boat broken-down when you need it most is realizing, as the world is crashing down around you, that you have no idea how to work your boat. As soon as you purchase your life-saving vessel, you should enroll in classes to learn boating basics. You should get on the water as much as you can to feel comfortable maneuvering your boat through all sorts of conditions. Then, it won’t matter what the weather if you need to make a quick escape – you’ll be ready to bug out.

Final Editors Note: This is MY TEOTWAWKI and/or “I have run out of money” plan! I would have to sail the “horn” or get through the Panama Canal to become a Caribbean Pirate, or just become a Barbary Coast pirate and pillage the California and Oregon Coasts!

Author Bio: Cher is a content coordinator who assists in contributing quality articles
on various topics. In her free time she also enjoys hiking, traveling and
getting to know the world around her. Cher has built up many strong
relationships over the years within the blogging community and loves
sharing her useful tips with others.

The post 5 Best Bug Out Boats for Beginners appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

5 Best Bug Out Boats for Beginners

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: A guest contribution from Cher Zevala to The Prepper Journal.  As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award as well as be entered into the Prepper Writing Contest with a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today

It is estimated that the USA has upwards of 95,000 miles of “coast line”…

In the past, we’ve studied the possibilities of bugging out by boat. While there are some serious complications that come with ditching terra-firma for the big blue sea, some preppers find the benefits vastly outweigh the dangers. For example, bugging out by boat means you have a higher likelihood of avoiding angry mobs and gangs interested in stealing your stuff. In your boat, you can stockpile more tools and gear than would fit comfortably in your car or bug-out vehicle, and you could have less dependence on non-renewable energy, giving you greater opportunities to roam.

However, if you aren’t an avid boater, you probably don’t know how to begin shopping for the perfect bug out boat. This guide should help you decide what you need in a boat, which boat to buy, and how to become an expert before you need to get gone.

The Perfect Bug Out Boat

Just as there are considerations when choosing a bug out bag, a bug out vehicle, and other essential survival equipment, you must be careful about how you select your boat. Not all boats are ideal for long-term living – especially in an EOTW scenario. The following qualities are preferable in beginner bug out boats.

Low cost. While an old salt might feel comfortable acquiring a brand-new, top-of-the-line, expertly updated vessel, boating beginners shouldn’t bother breaking the bank on a boat they will rarely use. Used fishing boats for sale online are incredibly affordable, and many make excellent bug out boats. And there is never a downside to limiting the things that can break and need a qualified technician to repair.

Low maintenance needs. The worst thing that could happen is rushing to your bug out boat when things go bad only to find it broken down. Like cars, boats require regular repairs, but it shouldn’t be in such bad shape that you are never sure it will run when you need it.

Renewable energy sources. Most realistic EOTW scenarios include a dearth of oil and other common fossil fuels. Though a gas motor isn’t a bad feature on a bug out boat, you should also have renewable energy options available, such as sails, wind turbines, and solar generators.

Comfortable living spaces. Most bug out boaters expect to spend extended periods of time on board their vessels. That means you should have a cozy and secure cabin, in which you can cook, sleep, and perform other common activities.

High storage capacity. Even if you are using your boat merely for a quick getaway, you should have enough storage space on board to hide away all your survival equipment. Then, you don’t have to keep it cached in your car or home.

5 Bug Out Boats to Consider

Some survivalists are perfectly happy toting an inflatable raft to their nearest waterway and floating to safety, but most bug out boaters want a more durable and permanent vessel. The following live-aboard boats are perhaps the best options for survivalists, beginners and experts.

Powerboats. On one hand, powerboats tend to have the greatest amount of livable space, but on the other hand, they are slower and handle more poorly than other boats.

  

Sailboats. Sailboats come in two varieties: mono-hull and multi-hull. The former provides greater speed at the expense of navigability; the latter provides greater space. Still, all sailboats require a bit more practice to sail proficiently. (Editors Note: The REAL deal breaker to consider is sailboats under 26 feet are NOT required to have an on-board head!)

 

Trawlers. Technically a type of powerboat, a trawler is built for long, economical travel. They are even less speedy and less maneuverable than power boats, but they are usually exceedingly spacious.

  

Motorsailers. A marriage between powerboats and sailboats, motorsailers have engines and sails, are quick and capacious. These could easily be the ideal bug out boats for their flexibility and stamina.

  

Houseboats. Designed for calm waters, flat-bottomed house boats can’t roam far, but they provide all the comforts of home. There are houseboat varieties with and without engines, so you must be careful to purchase a boat that can move.

  

Before You Bug Out

Even worse than finding your boat broken-down when you need it most is realizing, as the world is crashing down around you, that you have no idea how to work your boat. As soon as you purchase your life-saving vessel, you should enroll in classes to learn boating basics. You should get on the water as much as you can to feel comfortable maneuvering your boat through all sorts of conditions. Then, it won’t matter what the weather if you need to make a quick escape – you’ll be ready to bug out.

Final Editors Note: This is MY TEOTWAWKI and/or “I have run out of money” plan! I would have to sail the “horn” or get through the Panama Canal to become a Caribbean Pirate, or just become a Barbary Coast pirate and pillage the California and Oregon Coasts!

Author Bio: Cher is a content coordinator who assists in contributing quality articles
on various topics. In her free time she also enjoys hiking, traveling and
getting to know the world around her. Cher has built up many strong
relationships over the years within the blogging community and loves
sharing her useful tips with others.

The post 5 Best Bug Out Boats for Beginners appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

How to Protect Yourself from Flood Borne Illness: Harvey and Irma Edition

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It’s time to brush up your flood survival knowledge. The latest media reports about Hurricane Harvey reveal that at least 50+ people have died while 32,000 people are in official shelters. The cost in life is a tragedy, especially to preppers who often wonder how these lives could have been saved. Yet, the effects of. . . Read More

All-Purpose Hot Pepper Sauce Recipe – Tastes Better Than Store Bought!

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If you have a few extra cayenne peppers on hand, you must try this Hot Pepper Sauce recipe! It tastes just like Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, and it is so easy to make it yourself.  Every year we plant a

The post All-Purpose Hot Pepper Sauce Recipe – Tastes Better Than Store Bought! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

10 Foods That You Should Never Stockpile

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It seems that there’s always some kind of disaster, either natural or manmade, that prove the value of being prepared. Even if it’s not a Red Dawn scenario, there are hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, droughts, and even job losses that just make stockpiling food smart.

But, there are some foods that you shouldn’t try to stockpile.

Some of these are foods that you just shouldn’t stockpile at all and some of them are foods that you have to stockpile in a certain way to keep them from going bad. It’s important to optimize your space, so don’t waste it on food that’s just going to go bad.

I’m going to skip listing fresh fruits and vegetables because that’s kind of a no-brainer. Bananas obviously aren’t going to store long-term. The exception is, of course, root vegetables if you have a cellar.

Eggs

This is one food that you just can’t store in raw form. You can’t can eggs or freeze them, and they only have a shelf life of a month or so, maximum, even if they’re fresh and refrigerated.

However, there are great dried-egg products that you should stockpile because eggs are so versatile.

These products are real eggs – they’re just powered using special equipment that just isn’t practical (or sometimes even possible) to use at home. That means you can use them in recipes or even to make scrambled eggs for breakfast.

Of course, it’s always a good plan to have chickens, too. That way you have fresh eggs and meat.

Dried Goods in Original Packaging

While sugar, flour, cornmeal, and rice are staples in your stockpile, you need to store them properly. All of them come from the store in packaging that’s definitely not air-tight, and are therefore susceptible to bugs and spoilage.

Most people don’t realize that flour has an expiration date, but it does; it goes rancid. This process is expedited when the flour is stored in the bag that it came in. Also, there are about a dozen bugs including flour weevils that will get into your dried goods, especially in flour and pasta.

And here’s something that I learned the hard way: roaches and other pests are attracted to the bags, especially the glue, just as much as they are the contents.

To combat this, store all of your dried goods in airtight containers such as 5-gallon buckets. Also, if you can, store wheat instead of flour and white rice instead of brown because brown rice contains more oil.

Finally, a word about brown sugar: it doesn’t spoil, but it does get hard because it draws moisture. Store it in an airtight container that’s appropriate for the amount so that there’s not a lot of empty space.

Bulk Oils

This is another food that many people may not realize spoils, but it does. If you think about it logically, vegetable oils, or animal fats for that matter, are organic, so therefore they go rancid. There really isn’t a good way to store oils so that they keep indefinitely but you can actually home-can butter and lard.

Oils that aren’t open usually keep for a couple of years, but once they’re open, they’re only good for a few months, tops. Therefore, if you’re going to stockpile oil, do so in smaller bottles that won’t result in waste.

Nuts

Nuts, too, go rancid. You’ve probably experienced this if you’ve had a jar of peanut butter open for a while—it starts to smell strong and taste funky. In raw form, they’re the same way. Though they may not make you sick up to a certain point before they actually rot, they will taste bad long before that.

The same goes for nut butters such as peanut butter, as we just mentioned, though as long as they’re stored unopened, they’ll usually last in that form for a couple of years.

What many people don’t know is that you can home-can nuts, too!

Saltine Crackers

If you’ve ever opened up a sleeve of old saltines, you understand what I’m saying here. They smell weird and taste even worse. That’s because they’re basically just flour and water, and flour goes rancid. If you have to store saltines, store them in airtight containers and rotate them out every few months.

Oxygen absorbers help too, if you really want to use them on storing crackers.

Breakfast Cold Cereals

Cereal is another food that’s stored in cardboard boxes and therefore don’t store well for long periods of time without spoiling or attracting roaches and other bugs.

I realize that they’re often cheap, especially if you coupon, but in a true emergency, you need to get the most nutrient bang for your buck, and when you combine the poor nutritional quality with the storage issues, you’d be better off storing foods like rolled or steel-cut oats.

Would you rather take up 3 square feet of your food storage space with 6 boxes of frosted fruit rings or canned  meat and vegetables?

Store-Canned Tomato Products

I have home-canned tomatoes that have lasted for years but store-canned tomato products tend to start to leak eventually. These aren’t necessarily something you shouldn’t stockpile, but be careful with them and rotate through them. Home-can them if you can.

Foods You Don’t Eat

I know this sounds like an odd thing to say, but I’ve volunteered for a few canned food drives, and a few of the top foods donated are stuff like lima beans, chick peas, canned spaghetti sauce and cranberry sauce because these aren’t typically foods that people buy.

My guess is that people comb through their cabinets and find foods that they’ve had forever and that’s what they donate. Which is fine, but from a stockpiling standpoint, it’s wasteful.

It’s easy to get carried away by coupon specials and deals in bargain bins, but don’t buy something just because it’s dirt cheap or even free if you’re not going to eat it. It’s a waste of space and money. It’s great to save money on stuff you use, though.

Junk Food

Bags of potato chips and packs of cookies take up a ton of space and don’t keep for as long as you think.

While comfort foods such as these will be nice, don’t store more than you’ll eat in a couple of months. Save the space for food and supplies that you’ll really need.

Dented Cans

These are the ones that you’re going to find in a bargain bin. You’ll also find them on the shelf, but if the can is damaged, there’s a good chance that the seal or the internal safety lining in the can are damaged, too. It’s not a deal if it makes you sick when you eat it. Or if it leaks all over your food storage pantry.

Be careful and pay close attention to what you buy. Buy smart – that real estate in your stockpile pantry is precious and you need to make the most of it!

 

 

Regardless of what you have, organize it so that the newest buys are in the back and the older ones are in the front. Use the First In First Out method to cycle your food so that your stockpile stays as fresh as possible.

Can you think of any foods that shouldn’t be stockpiled, or do you have anything to add? If so, please share in the comments section below.

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

How to Identify a Spider Bite and Treat It

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How to Identify a Spider Bite and Treat It Spiders don’t always hang out after they bite so that you can easily identify them. Being able to identify the bite itself and the symptoms can help you be prepared for some of the worse effects from spider bites. Knowing whether a garden orb weaver or …

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The post How to Identify a Spider Bite and Treat It appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

Fully Automatic Terror: How to Survive a Barcelona Style Car Attack

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Fully Automatic Terror: How to Survive a Barcelona Style Car Attack I want you to ask yourself this question: Do you know what to do if a car comes speeding at you. With only seconds to act and even less time to think what is the first thing you would look for or do? This …

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The post Fully Automatic Terror: How to Survive a Barcelona Style Car Attack appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

Fully Automatic Terror: How to Survive a Barcelona Style Car Attack

Fully Automatic Terror: How to Survive a Barcelona Style Car Attack I want you to ask yourself this question: Do you know what to do if a car comes speeding at you. With only seconds to act and even less time to think what is the first thing you would look for or do? This …

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The post Fully Automatic Terror: How to Survive a Barcelona Style Car Attack appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

The “NEW” First 100 Things To Disappear After The SHTF

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The “NEW” First 100 Things To Disappear After The SHTF It is the scarcity that we all fear. As preppers we are simply trying to have what we need when its nowhere else to be found. There are many security issues that this creates along the way. That being said you are going to learn …

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The post The “NEW” First 100 Things To Disappear After The SHTF appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

Plant a Fall Garden Cover Crop

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Plant a Fall Garden Cover Crop For a while I was obsessed with the significance of amending soil. I use to look at it as thought it were a one time operation. I thought that merely adding sand to clay soil would be enough to create an environment that would support plants. It will. But …

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When The World Ends: 5 Essential Items You Need To Survive if North Korea Sends Nukes

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You don’t have to watch the nightly news long to understand that we are under constant threat throughout the world — and that nuclear weapons threats are a reality. While no one hopes that we enter another nuclear age, it seems it may be only time that is by our side. What would you do …

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The post When The World Ends: 5 Essential Items You Need To Survive if North Korea Sends Nukes appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

One Family’s Experience with Hurricane Irma

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One Family’s Experience with Hurricane Irma Its sad that we must see the suffering of our fellow Americans before we pump the gas on preparedness. Unfortunately, that’s the situation. These brave people who battled the storm and the aftermath have stories to tell. If you are a prepper you better listen up. First hand survival …

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K9 Commitment: Questions You Should Ask Before Buying a Protection Dog

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K9 Commitment: Questions You Should Ask Before Buying a Protection Dog I have always had dogs and for me its hard to imagine life without at least one. I get nervous at the thought of having no pup at my side, no tick tack of paws in the hallway, no tap dance when I get …

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Between a Compound Bow and Recurve Bow Which is the Best for Survival?

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Between a compound bow and a recurve bow, which is the best one for survival? Many people have their opinions when it comes these two. However, they lack the evidence to back their choice. To assist you to make the right choice, this primer will focus on the differences between a recurve and compound bow. …

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The post Between a Compound Bow and Recurve Bow Which is the Best for Survival? appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

Where I’ve Been—Plus, Sale on Training Course

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Long time no see.

I haven’t blogged in almost a year now. It doesn’t seem that long. Some readers have asked where I’ve been, so I thought I’d check in. Plus, I have an announcement for you.

It’s hard to sum up a year. Basically, I’ve been spending time with family and working—both as a regular doctor and as The Survival Doctor. How about you? Every disaster and terrorist attack that’s popped up, I’ve thought about readers. I hope you’ve avoided all the havoc. I really hope that if you were impacted by Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, or the wildfires out West, you’re OK. And I hope that you’ve felt more prepared to deal with whatever comes your way because of what you’ve learned here through blog posts, books, and the training course.

The Announcement

The big announcement is …

I’m moving The Survival Doctor’s Training Course to a convenient new platform—Udemy, an outlet designed especially for online courses.

OK, the bigger announcement is, to celebrate, I’m offering blog readers 20% off the course for the entire rest of this month (September 2017). Just use the code SUBSCRIBERSSAVE. Tell your friends; tell your family. Help them possibly save your life one day.

Click here to get 20% off!

Use coupon code SUBSCRIBERSSAVE

Coupon expires September 30, 2017

Valid only for The Survival Doctor’s Emergencies Training Course on Udemy

If you were to ask what’s the number-one product I offer—something with in-depth information that’s easy to digest and user friendly—I’d say that without a doubt it’s The Survival Doctor’s Emergencies Training Course. So I hope you can take advantage of this rare discount special.

The Future

I’ll be continuing this blogging hiatus indefinitely. When I launched TheSurvivalDoctor.com six years ago, my mission was to get as much helpful information as I could to as many people as possible. I believe that’s been accomplished.

There’s a lot of information here on the website. But for your reference library and your travels, I encourage you to also invest in The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook and Living Ready Pocket Manual: First Aid in particular.

My older daughter, Leigh Ann, who edits this blog, can attest to the usefulness of the books, even in everyday situations. She camped on an island this summer and took the Pocket Manual with her. She ended up spraining her ankle on a root. She hobbled around for a bit but eventually cracked the book, quickly located reminders on how to treat the sprain, and learned how to apply a figure-8 bandage. She says that within minutes after treatment and wrapping, she was walking twice as well—and the sprain didn’t ruin her weekend.

Whether the “disaster” is big or little, just a few tips and tricks can change the course of your day.

I hope The Survival Doctor continues to grow. The more you support this brand, the more I can do. Just by buying The Survival Doctor books or training course, you are helping more than just yourself and your family. You’re helping me continue sharing lifesaving knowledge with people around the world. Thank you. And don’t forget to get in on this rare sale!

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon.com affiliate links.

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Why Good Hygiene and Sanitation Keeps You Safer After an Emergency

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ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, the “Grand Funk” we’re going to be speaking about today is not that of the Grand Funk Railroad, the Band.  Rather it is the funk of sweat, dirt, and grime that all of us experience firsthand throughout our existence.  I am relating it to the “bush,” or the outdoors/forest/jungle when you are out and about in a survival situation.  There are a few pointers here that would be good to observe, especially considering the world situation and how close we are to a war with China or North Korea.

Hygiene in the field.  So, what?  So, it may be the difference between life and death.  Everyone will recognize and concede the point that hygiene helps protect you from germs and diseases, as well as preventing the body from falling apart.  This is common sense.  But there are other reasons to keep clean that might not be clear.

When you sweat, your body uses apocrine and eccrine glands.  The eccrine secrete primarily water and salt.  The apocrine glands, on the other hand, are mostly found in the hairy areas of the body…and these throw out (in addition to water and salt), oily secretions that have pheromones in them.  The secretions from the apocrine glands tend to be eaten and metabolized by bacterial flora on the skin…and produce a hideous odor.

I’m here to tell you…you can smell a “stinky man” a long way off…several hundred feet when the wind is right.  Be advised: in an SHTF/collapse scenario, whether it’s foreign troops or neighborhood marauders…if you can smell them, they can smell you.  It is very important to clean the heaviest apocrine gland-laden areas of your body…your groin, armpits, buttocks.  You should wash them (a sponge bath at the minimum) at least once a day, especially after much work or physical exertion.

Deodorant is fine…but not an antiperspirant.  The antiperspirants have Aluminum and Magnesium in them to keep you from perspiring.  This is not good.  You need to perspire, as the sweat removes toxins from your body, as well as cooling you off (thermoregulation).  For this reason, a mild deodorant will work well, one with some alcohol in it to help kill the germs that feed upon your sweat.  For soaps, use a clean, non-fragranced soap in the field.  I always used Ivory when I was in the service.  It is effective and doesn’t stick out with a fragrance.

That last part can be detrimental, especially for you guys and gals that like to use cologne or perfume.  That stuff really carries a long way to the human nose, let alone an animal’s such as a dog’s (tracking you) or a bear (that may hunt you).  In addition, when you touch something…a leaf or a tree branch…you just left a scent mark.  A good human tracker will pick it up quickly.

The feet…it can never be overemphasized just how much they can stink, and also how detrimental it can be for you to walk long distances with rotten, filthy feet.  You should change socks at least once per day.  Wash them out too…soap and water will do.  Wring them out and hang them from the back of your rucksack while you’re walking.  They’ll dry out.  You should powder your feet (the “dogs” as we called them in the Army), and take good care that they remain clean and dry.  An extra pair of insoles you should always have so that at the end of a day, you can switch out with the ones in your boots and let the pair that was inside “breathe” and dry out.

Maintain the nails, maintain the teeth…all of these preventative actions will keep you from getting ingrown toenails and having your teeth fall out…all of which contribute to an increase in the misery factor, as well as leaving you vulnerable to sickness and injury.  Smoking?  No way.  Not in the bush.  Give it up for your health, and also for your safety.  We could smell cigarettes hundreds of feet from us when we were out and about.  Plus, it is better to keep you from giving off an odor in your clothing and on your skin.

Good hygiene is part of your camouflage: to keep others from knowing where you are.  You’ll be watching out for your health and preventing bad guys from finding out where you are.  Granted, you don’t have time for a bath with Mr. Bubble, but at least you can keep from smelling bad as Oscar the Grouch or Pigpen off of the Peanuts.  It’ll more than pay for itself when you follow that routine.  If it keeps you hidden just one time when the SHTF when they’re after you, it will have been worth it.  Stay clean, be fit, drink coffee, and keep in that good fight!  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