4 Seconds Until Impact

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Subtitled “The Skyrocketing Attacks by Predators on Humans” the book is Bruce Buckshot Hemming’ latest and is already available on Amazon. I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy, verified by the sprinkling of typos, and have just finished reading it.

I want to make a statement here that I am an impossible reader. I love to read and love books but it has been so long since one has even captured my attention, let alone been read before being donated to some charity. But as soon as I heard about this one I was interested. I have been to many wild places and seen almost every one of the creatures featured in this book out in the open, mano a mano. But, to be frank, I was never without a weapon – I made sure of that, even when exposing that fact would get me in a little room with angry people. Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6. The one creature I have not seen in its natural habitat is a wolf. I heard them while hiking the Lava Creek Trail near Yellowstone and I was told by a guide at Wonder Lake in Denali National Park that a pack had been spotted in the area just two days before we arrived, but have only seen them in zoos.

When I was traveling through Alaska I picked up a book on bear attacks in the train station in Fairbanks. It was just a collection of first and second hand stories of encounters. I was entertained.

That was not this book. While those are certainly sprinkled generously throughout for the different encounters the book has a message, a strong one on lessons learned but either forgotten or replaced. A justification for its premise and for changes in our most basic thinking when it comes to dealing with real predators in THEIR environments and ours as well. It presents the current state of things and a realistic look at the future should we continue down our current path.

Engaging, to the point, and focused. I am now a fan of this author and highly recommend every prepper read this book as it has a lot of valuable information on the reality of being off the grid and understanding how off the grid is not safe from the manipulations of the government.

All writers of non-fiction now deal in a world controlled by Google and the government. This is not a negative on the part of the authors or the book but rather the reality of looking for history and detail on events past in a world where history is either ignored, rewritten or an afterthought, the reporters and their publisher lost interest. The quality of information is excellent and the author makes every effort to complete the story and notes where the trails went cold; the book does not suffer from this reality. Worth your time and your dime.

You can contact the author through his web site www.snare-trap-survive.com.

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Best Books for Your Preparedness Library

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Editors Note: Another guest contribution from valknut79 to The Prepper Journal.  The opinions expressed herein are his and should generate a lot of comments as we all have our favorites on this subject. 

When the world as we know it comes crashing down, I think we all know the value of a farmer or an architect, and the value of a sharpshooter or outdoorsman.  Once things start to settle down again, I think that the value of a storyteller suddenly grows in importance, and a certain level of entertainment once again becomes an expected and valued part of society.  In ancient times, oral histories were a way of passing down stories certainly, but they also had great value in terms of teaching important lessons, changing perspectives, building communities, and bringing people together.


As a high school English teacher by trade, I firmly believe in the power and the value of having a good library at home.  A book can provide knowledge or wisdom, companionship and life lessons, and can help you develop a lot of self-knowledge as well.  Here are my suggestions for books that would be potentially very valuable for preppers to own and read before, during and after an SHTF situation.

Pulp Fiction Collections

Pulp fiction is a specialized genre of literature that was particularly popular in the early part of the 20th century, referring to short stories that were published in literary magazines of the time.  My personal favorites are the Conan stories of Robert E Howard, the action-adventure stories of Tarzan and John Carter by Edgar Rice Burroughs, anything by HP Lovecraft, or while technically too early for their period but filling a similar role, the Sherlock Holmes mysteries of Sir Arthur Conan DoyleIsaac Asimov is also considered part of this genre, and does good work with science fiction.


These stories, which are all freely available online or available in collections at Barnes and Noble for a fair price, are not perfectly written.  Some reflect their times a little too accurately and are borderline racist or misogynist (especially Howard), and may not necessarily speak to everyone in a modern audience.  That said, these are the perfect campfire stories, and the plot, pacing, and occasional bits of character development are masterful. I equate these stories to a TV episode or sitcom – most are independent adventures that tell a complete story within 20 or 30 pages – and have a certain panache and style that I believe would suit the kind of stories you’d tell your buddies after an SHTF situation.  A take-no-nonsense hero who solves his problems with his great bran, superior intelligence, or tremendous cunning makes a simple and uplifting story that I think would inspire in a difficult situation.

The Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

High Fantasy is a take-it-or-leave-it genre for most readers.  While I tend to lean on the leave-it side, I cannot underestimate the importance and the power of the Wheel of Time series.  This 15-book series (including the prequel) is easily the longest series I’d ever consider recommending, especially considering that each of the novels in the series is two to three times as long as your average best-seller.  As a series of great length, this is not the kind of series you can undertake lightly, but the payoff is very worthwhile.

The length and depth of the series, however, is not what makes it a recommended read for preppers.  At its core, the Wheel of Time series is about accepting that the world as we know it today is not going to last.  The end is near for these characters, and they know it. The individual reactions of each are predictable (these are the heroes after all), but may be illuminating and inspiring for those in your group who are not prepared for the worst.

Ultimately, the plot line follows the main character of the series as he struggles to identify with his destiny as someone who simultaneous destroys the world and saves it, and through the books he does come to realize that whether in living or dying, it’s important to keep fighting, to leave the world a better place than he found it, and to help build a legacy of which he can be proud.  The wide variety of characters add color and supply a steady stream of small pearls of wisdom and inspiration throughout, and many of them have become closer friends than some of the real people I interact with every day.  Those are lessons that every prepper should understand and appreciate, even if the format of these books may be too much for many to handle.

Shortly after I finished reading this series, one of my students was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer.  She was understandably devastated.  I chose the first book in this series to give her, telling her at the time that, whether you like it or not, sometimes you just have to buckle down, accept what life gives you, and try to do your best anyways.  She lived her life according to those principles, and I like to think that perhaps this had some part in her emotional recovery.

And if you don’t like, it, you’ll have a year’s supply of toilet paper in the bindings.


Walden by Henry David Thoreau 

Thoreau’s classic, Walden, also finds a spot close to the top of my list.  While his seminal essay on living life alone near a pond is sometimes very difficult to read and often highly opinionated towards minimalist ideals that may have preppers shaking their fists, Walden is, first and foremost, a story about learning to live a simpler life, being self-sufficient, and largely doing things your own way.  Preparedness is a lifestyle that so often leans towards an old-fashioned lifestyle, “useless” life skills like learning to make a fire or build a shelter, and Walden remains one of the most important stories of a life led largely apart from society, convention and modern convenience.  There is an illustrated hardcover version produced by Fall Creek Press which is often on sale for less than $10.

Life as We Knew It (series) by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Anyone who interacts with or parents teenagers knows of their penchant for being completely addicted to technology and instantaneous communication, knowledge and results, and their general disdain for the lifestyle of preparedness.  I find that the best way to start in interest in, or even a conversation about prepping might be to start with introducing your teens (and perhaps even your significant other) to the Life as We Knew It series.  This story, written from the perspective of a teenage girl’s diary, chronicles an SHTF situation which involves a disruption of tidal patterns.  This is perhaps not the most realistic novel, but in terms of story, pacing and plot, it does a very good job of not only entertaining, but also informing and getting the mental gears turning.  I think that this book more than any other SHTF novel I’ve experienced yet, will get teens talking about what they’d do in a crisis situation, how they’d adapt, and what they may be willing to look into now in order to help out later.

This book is part of a series, but I found the first novel to be far and away the best, while the later entries suffered.  If you try it and like it a great deal, consider getting the sequels.

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin

If there is one person who represents what it truly means to be American, I think that it might have to be Benjamin Franklin.  He remains perhaps the most approachable of all historical figures from that time period, and it’s not hard to imagine sitting down with him at the pub with a glass of his favorite Madeira wine and showing him the marvels of the internet age.  His Autobiography, while widely characterized as a too-heavily edited version of his life, does make for a entertaining read, but also one that has the potential to teach a variety of life lessons.

From his famous treatises on moral perfection, which systematizes Franklin’s own attempts to better himself, to his carefully worded passages on industry, in which he makes a very distinct point to say that appearing to be industrious is just as important as actually being that way, this book characterizes a simple, learned way of life that focuses on community and service to others.  Whether you see him as a fatherly scientist entrusting his lessons to a younger generation, or one of America’s greatest libertines and con men, the Autobiography is a book about building a new society from nothing, improving it far beyond what it was in former times, and at least ostensibly, doing so while preserving a hard-working character and social graces.  It’s not hard to see this man as a potential prepper or as someone you’d want by your side in an SHTF situation.

Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham & Donald O. Clifton

“Now” is actually a book about business leadership more than anything, but it has strong applicable life lessons that preppers could benefit from.

The ultimate thesis about this book is very simple – do what you’re good at, because you can’t be truly well-rounded – and goes through the identification of your individual strengths, a description of the science behind Strengths-Based psychology, and has a section on how you can work around your weaknesses (or areas of “non-talent”).  This is one the books that I think has most influenced my personal development, and is a valuable reminder to those who are the do-all types that want to pursue 75 different hobbies without specializing that this is a course of action that is designed to fail.  This may not be the most entertaining book in the list, but is one of the foundational reads that I recommend to anyone attempting to learn or better themselves.

This is the one book I’d recommend purchasing new rather than used – it comes with a one-time-use online code to take the “StrengthsFinder” test from Gallup, which is the method you’ll use to identify your Top 5 Talent areas.


Narrowing down a list of books for a preparedness library is impossible without imposing certain qualifications.  I did not include cookbooks, survival skills books, or any strictly informational books on subjects like gardening, camping, farming, and raising chickens.  Those are, in my opinion, quite obvious choices for preppers and so abundant that you can just pick up a huge quantity at a local library book sale without being overly picky about gathering specific volumes.  These are stories, whether strictly for entertainment or for improvement through gaining wisdom.

These are not all personal favorites, and do not necessarily represent a wide variety of literary styles, but do have what I would consider to be valuable life lessons that reflect a “prepared” lifestyle.  I did attempt to focus on books that are uplifting – while I do love a good murder mystery or horror title now and again, I think that an SHTF situation requires a little tact – and these stories also have a certain element of timelessness or classicists to them.  One hundred years from now, I think there will still be those who love Conan and friends as much as I do now.

That said, my library is constantly growing, and I’m always open to learning about new books to add to my collection.  What books do you consider indispensable?


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“When the English Fall”, by David Williams

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: A guest submission from BigBoyWriter, a timely review of a book that had peaked my interest after an extended stay on the Navajo Reservation in Northeastern Arizona – are these somewhat cloistered enclaves better prepared to handle a SHTF event? In this review the guest raises his own questions from his read. As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award, as well as being entered into the Prepper Writing Contest AND have a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, then enter today!

This is less of a how to or being a prepper article and more of a thought exercise and book report. In 2017, the book titled, “When the English Fall”, by David Williams was published. It is a fictional account of a Pennsylvania Amish family written in a diary format as told by an Amish man. The book received an Amazon Best Book of July 2017 award and is a compelling read for post-apocalyptic literature.


The book focuses on the life of Amish family when catastrophic events lead to chaos both for the Amish community and the “English” community outside the Amish community. Naturally as the Amish community lacks the technological burdens that most modern people face or will be hindered by in a collapse or TEOTWAWKI situation the English people turn to the Amish for help, support and knowledge. Naturally as these two communities become further entwined there is conflict and strife that emerges.

The book is dystopian in nature and does emphasize the violent natures that some men and women will exercise in such a time of crisis. There is also a faith aspect to the book. The author is a pastor and so naturally the book does discuss some aspects of the Amish faith, although it does a good job of making the struggles seem lifelike and understandable, given the chaos involved.


It is a good read for preppers as it will likely give you a different perspective on disaster situations. I do not want to give away any spoilers so I will talk in generalities but some of the issues that struck me as having never really been considered by some preppers are as follows:

  1. How will your community seek to interact with others in a time of crisis?
  2. What will your community do when other communities want to utilize your community’s knowledge, equipment, personnel, and resources?
  3. How will your faith or ethics need to be changed or if not changed what will you need to do to ensure they do not change?
  4. Are there communities or resources that you are not currently utilizing but may want to start making inroads with or getting to know now?


Most preppers already have a plan in place for your own community, whether that community be your own family, a select group of people, or perhaps it’s just people you know you will be able to rely on in an emergency, such as neighbors. Also, most preppers have at least a basic idea of how their defenses will be implemented and how they will treat intruders or interlopers. But I rarely hear preppers talk about how they will interact with other communities. Of course, there is the discussion of whether an AR or an AK will better defend against a roving band of marauders but what about how your community will interact with the next community over. The first part is whether your community will seek to interact with the others or will you stay hidden and alone.


Assuming the old adage, strength in numbers would apply, it would seem best to gather like-minded and prepared people before a crisis occurs. As experienced preppers, I assume you have already done so or are doing so currently. But what happens when the crisis comes and there are now pockets of people in the aftermath. Will you reach out to them to grow your numbers or will you seek to remain isolated?

It makes sense that you would at least establish basic communications with surrounding communities at least for trade and information but would you reach out for assistance and aid from others outside your own community? There is a certain vulnerability to letting others know your own weaknesses and limitations as they can be used against you. Yet if you were able to gather more forces, make better connections and fortify your weaknesses you could grow to be much stronger.

The second aspect of community interactions is whether you will let other communities depend on you. Will you be willing to share resources, talents, knowledge and equipment? If the neighboring community needs a doctor will you let your medical specialist leave and leave you a valuable person down if something does happen?

Naturally we all want to believe the best that if asked another community would be willing to come to our aid just as we would be willing to come to theirs. In When the English Fall, as one can guess the Amish have a great advantage over their surrounding areas since their way of life is not dependent on technology. They already live in such a way as to be able to survive without having to completely reorganize their lives to replace technological crutches. However, this leads to a conflict in just how much aid should be given.

Likewise, with most prepper communities you may be far better off than those communities around you. You should consider how much aid you will want to offer. However, at the same time by offering to assist, teach, and equip other communities you are taking on additional burdens. The optimist thinking is that by bettering the communities around you they will help you in times of need as well. The pessimist in me thinks that my resources, time and energy will be drained by assisting others and as a result my own community will suffer. That it would be better to stay in the shadows and not take the risk.

I think most people, when put into a situation where you are asked by someone else to help them survive, will have a hard time rejecting those people when your needs are being satisfied. It is something to consider so that when the time comes you already have a plan in place and know what are your limitations.


It has always struck me as odd that preppers seem so sure of themselves that they will be able to face the physical aspects of survival but not much is mentioned as to the mental aspects. As the great Yogi Berra once said “Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical”. Most of us know the mental side of any challenge is the hardest but when I talk with preppers they seem to think any issue they come up against will easily be handled with their Glock, 1911 or that nifty little tool they picked up last week. In any crisis, there are going to be mentally challenging aspects that should be considered beforehand. Put aside PTSD or other traumatic mental stress and I want you to consider more ethical or faith based mental issues.

For a simple example consider you are against lying and a man approaches you and asks where he may find the nearest body of clean water. Now on any given day most people would tell him to go jump in the nearby lake, but in a crisis, will you be willing to share your knowledge of the nearest clean water source with a stranger? Will you be willing to lie to ensure you continue to have fresh water to drink or take the risk and tell the stranger? Of course, this is a simple example but there will be others that do come up in a crisis situation that would likely not come up in a normal day.

Even putting aside, the issue of violence, there will likely be issues involving how you act that may hurt people. Do you give away your resources to help others or do you not and know that they may not survive? Are you willing to relax your moral compass to survive or are you going to stay rooted in your faith or beliefs and not compromise them even if it means you will get hurt?


When I first heard about When the English Fall, my first thought was why have I not thought to improve my own knowledge and skills by reaching out to the similar local community. I know a number of the people but have never thought to seek them out before a crisis occurs to make those in-roads and get to know people. Perhaps some of you have already done so and are making in-roads but it really opened my eyes to start looking at other local communities in my area that have ideas or ways of doing things that are not technologically dependent. A lot of skills can be learned just be watching and doing an activity with an expert.

I do not think you have to go so far as to seek out your nearest Amish community, but perhaps you have a non-prepper friend that has a skill or talent that may be useful such as making good jerky, making beer, sewing, knitting, and of course many other ideas, that you could utilize in your own preparations.

In closing whether or not you decide to read When the English Fall, it may be beneficially to consider the above. Looking at disasters or crisis from outside my own ideas of what will happen, and how, has made me see some of the short falls and gaps in my own preparedness plan. Hopefully I can seal those up so I will be better prepared and, hopefully, you will as well to be prepared for what may come.

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Could Our Parenting Style Be Damaging Our Kids? This Author Thinks Some Changes Could Be Made.

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Layout 1Raising kids has changed dramatically over the last century. Children once acted as helpful additions to the family farm or as caretakers of the homestead and younger children. In more recent times, kids were simply little people who were meant to explore the world around them, alone, from sun-up to sunset. Today “parenting” is a full time job replete with a strict schedule and a dozen extracurricular activities, rigid play dates, teams of specialists, and a library full of books about the best techniques. Alison Gopnik wants to change the way we view parenting in this country. The word parenting “is not actually a verb” Gopnik challenges in her book The Gardener and the Carpenter, and too much emphasis on the actions of parents is stifling our kids’ abilities to grow up as healthy, self-sufficient individuals.

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Parent Without Parenting

Gopnik’s central argument in this book is the notion that modern parents (particularly affluent ones) are approaching child-rearing in a way that is potentially damaging to children. “Parenting” Gopnik, treats children as work, not love, and it places undue pressures on parents to “do it right.” The metaphor of the book’s title sums this up: rather than imagining raising children as being a carpenter, a person who chisels and shapes who a child becomes, Gopnik encourages parents to think of raising children as being like gardeners. You plant the seeds, you set the conditions for success (proper nutrients and water, a place to grow), and then you stand back a watch what emerges from the soil. No amount of standing over or shouting or nagging will cause those flowers to grow taller or more colorful—the plants will simply become who they were meant to be. The goal of a good gardener is to provide a safe space and let nature take its course, not to “create” a flower through sheer will or desire.

Gopnik is a developmental psychologist and she uses studies and the results of learning experiments to make her points in this book. By decreasing parental involvement, Gopnik shows how we allow our children to learn from their mistakes, make better decisions, and use their imaginations. This notion is refreshingly counter to much of what parents are being fed these days from the so-called experts. Gopnik hopes that the metaphor of carpenter and gardener will be applied freely, both for the relief of miserable parents who believe they are failing at their “job” and for the children, who really need space and love much more than guidance.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Navigation, Family Practices for Security, Experience, and Fun

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Navigation, Family Practices for Security, Experience, and Fun

What if you had that one essential prepper/survival related item with you at all times that not only gave you security and peace of mind but was also family friendly, educational, entertaining, and fun? We all practice self-reliance in one form or another to some extent in various degrees. For many of us it can become mundane and the important reasons that got us started forgotten about. We become complaisant and lose interest more often than not because it does not include others, or we simply get bored.

 Outdoor activities are something I enjoy more than anything, especially with family. However, getting the family on board with an idea I may have can be akin to pulling teeth. The wife is usually fine, ready for a break from the house but not always excited. The kids generally want to run off with their friends or play video games. Now that I’ve found something that sparks their interest it’s all about what we will be doing next weekend? Where will we be going or can Jason and his brother come with us?

Besides my own interest in being outdoors it actually took three items to get everyone else’s attention in the family and make me pretty popular, a map, a compass, and a book. The latter I bought for myself but soon realized I had a little gold mine to share with the family. The book is titled “Prepper’s Survival Navigation” and can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indie Bound, Books-a-Million by searching the title and author, Walter Glen Martin. The book may even be in your local book store.

You can’t have one without the other. You’re going to find that after you get the book you are going to want a compass and topographical map. Both the compass and the maps can generally found at a sporting goods store. The maps are also available in most book stores, forest service or State offices, or google on line through several places. A good compass will generally cost around $20.00.

Now it’s not just about learning to read a compass and a map, which I thought I already knew. The book goes into great detail about declination, shadows and stars, distance, landmarks, pace count, dead reckoning, traveling in low visibility with a navigator and point person. The book also covers survival when the unexpected may happen. Medical emergency, fire craft, emergency signaling, winter/cold survival, and building shelters.

Once you have the tools the fun will begin. The kids are eager to learn navigation and have a lot of fun while doing it. It’s a great confidence builder. We get to go to different places we may have avoided before because we were not familiar with the area and for the fear of getting lost. For me, I find peace of mind knowing that in this day and age with so much uncertainty going on around us that in time of disaster or when my kids are out by themselves they have the skills to survive and find their way home.

Find Preppers Survival Navigation on Amazon HERE! 

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15 Survival Adventures Every Prepper Should Read

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survival adventure books

If you’ve been a prepper for very long, no doubt your bookshelf is full of non-fiction survival manuals and recent prepper fiction. All that is well and good, and I do hope my own family survival manual and evacuation book is among your collection, but there are many important lessons to be found in an entirely different genre: non-fiction survival adventures.

These books tell real-life survival narratives that are rich in detail. They grab your attention and hold it while teaching lessons about nature, historical events, and, yes, survival. Some of my favorites are listed below, all linked to their Amazon pages where you can read summaries and reviews. Do you have any similar books to add?






20 Survival Principles From the Classic Book, Lucifer’s Hammer

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lucifer's hammer

A classic noven in the TEOTWAWKI* niche is Lucifer’s Hammer, published in 1977, by veteran science fiction writers Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. The story line is a classic end of the world scenario. A previously-unknown comet is discovered only months before scientists realize it is on a near-collision course with Earth. Naturally, virtually no one in the world is prepared when the comet breaks apart and strikes the Earth in several places. As the story continues, it focuses on the struggles of survivors, building into an exciting, good vs. evil finish.

Lucifer's Hammer cover

Lucifer’s Hammer cover

Within this 600+ page story are 20 valuable, often universal lessons and principles worth examining

Things in the sky can be unpredictable

This story is based on a comet that crashes into earth; but there are other, more plausible hazards from space, foremost being electrical storms generated by the sun that can wreak havoc with our electrical grid as described in this article.

Leaders lead

A U.S. Senator from California is one of the heroes of the story when he takes on the executive role, comparable to that of a Governor, when all other government structure fails. Even though he is hampered by a heart defect, he maintains the respect and loyalty of the group of people that gravitated to him. As a natural leader, he steps up in a crisis to do what he does best.

Be careful who you trust

The millionaire amateur astronomer who first discovers the comet, has a caretaker maintaining his mountain observatory. It’s stocked and ready to go as his personal bug out location. When disaster strikes, the caretaker and some friends decide they need the property more, and turn the owner away at gunpoint. The astronomer had placed all of his preparedness eggs in that basket, and was turned away with nothing but the vehicle he was driving.

Love may have to wait

Romance becomes much more complicated when your social circle shrinks. Within the Senator’s tight-knit survivor’s group, two alpha-males seek the attention of the Senator’s beautiful daughter. For political reasons, one of the men is strongly advised not to pursue her in the interest of keeping the group together. Personal relationships are difficult to cultivate and maintain in a big enough crisis.

Denying what’s in front of you can get you killed

One of the more memorable characters is a rural mail carrier who gets caught mid-route by the comet strike. Even in the face of extreme rainstorms caused by the comet, he presses to finish his mail route and is almost washed away. Salvaging as much of the mail as he can, he presses on and is shot at by predatory teens. He eventually accepts the dangers of the new world and obtains a pistol for self-protection. Realities may change and they may change drastically. Survivors will be those who can accept and adapt quickly.

Impending doom can embolden bad people

A paroled rapist realizes that even if he indulges his homicidal sexual fantasies, he won’t be held to trial. He unleashes his urges on a young woman and is arrested for her murder. Later after the comet strike, he is the recipient of “frontier justice” from a jailer who releases lesser criminals but can’t bring himself to let the rapist go. This is a lesson to add self defense and home defense to your list of prepping priorities. Learn self-defense through martial arts (learn how to choose the best dojo), as well as teaching everyone in the household to use a firearm safely and accurately.

The right vehicle can save your butt

In 1977, the do-all, off-road truck was the International TravelAll, equivalent to today’s Chevy Suburban. In Lucifer’s Hammer, the TravelAll lived up to its reputation by getting characters through floods and mud, pulling down trees, and being reliable all the time, every time. In the real world, having a tough, reliable vehicle is just as important. This article shares tips for getting your vehicle ready for the end of the world, and it’s not as expensive as you might think.

Lucifer's Hammer

The ultimate 70’s off-road vehicle

You don’t have to know everything, you just need to know where to find it

Dan Forrester, Ph.D., is an Astrophysicist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California when the comet strikes. He has the foresight to conceal reference books that turn out to be important in getting accepted into the Senator’s survival group. Later, these books become key in defending the good guys and restoring civilization. It also inspired me to get the books, How Things Work, Volumes 1-4, which are difficult to find, but a very good substitute is The Way Things Work Now and, for homesteading and rural basic skills, the Foxfire books.

Politics are a big part of disasters

As Lucifer’s Hammer progresses, comet survivors look to existing remnants of government to guide them. The lesson? Strong politicians and their supporters will have more influence over what happens following a disaster than they did before the disaster. Face time with politicians at all levels or campaign contributions before the disaster go a long way.

Adversity Forces You to Grow Up Fast

Several of the characters in the book have sons in Boy Scouts. The parents’ plan to send the Scouts up into the mountains for their safety backfires when the kids have to take on adult roles. While somewhat immature, the boys had the skills they needed to survive and survive, they did. Survival skills should be taught at all levels, and this list provides a good place to start.

The Keepers of Secret Knowledge are worth their weight in gold

Engineers, physicians, mechanics, machinists…these will be the modern-day alchemists who will salvage the remnants of the disaster and start to rebuild. Guards at roadblocks had lists of desired skills that could pass through to safety. Others were out of luck. The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Civilization in the Aftermath of a Cataclysm is a must-read for more information in this area.

Medical problems before become severe after

Dr. Dan Forrester, savior of the good guys has Type 1 Diabetes, a dangerous affliction to have in a post-disaster situation. He eventually loses his source of insulin and dies. However, all may not be lost in our more modern era. Read this article written by a prepper mom with a Type 1 child for practical tips to prepare for such an event. For the rest of us, it’s vital to become as healthy and physically fit as possible now, both as a prep for future hard times as well as a way to improve quality of life.

Hard decisions will have to be made

As it often happens in a sudden disaster, needs outstrip resources very quickly. Both the good guys and bad guys have in-depth discussions about available food, restrict adding new outsiders, and predict the severity of the winter soon to come. Do they feed strangers now, just to watch their own children starve later? Moral dilemmas will become one of the most difficult aspects of surviving, as Survival Mom explains in this BuzzFeed article.

Those with skills will fare better

This one is distinct from the “Keepers of Secret Knowledge” because it relates to everyone. Can you ride a horse? Drive a car with manual transmission? Use a two-way radio? Defend yourself with a handgun/rifle/shotgun? Have prior military or law enforcement experience? You will fare better than others if you said yes to one or all. Check out the section, Skill of the Month, for some ideas to build your skill/knowledge repertoire.

Civilization is fragile

Few businesses are able to maintain large inventories of items, including food. Our modern computer-managed inventories and just-in-time reordering means that when a sudden disaster hits, stores run out of items quickly. After about 12 hours, we are back to 1930’s level society, or worse.

Disabilities are magnified

When society is reduced to day-to-day survival, many with emotional or mental disabilities exceed their ability to cope and succumb to their disorders. The inability of many persons with disabilities or access and functional needs to pull their own weight can subject them to the cruel calculus of survival. Families with loved ones in these circumstances should consider and plan now how they will continue caring for them. One example of a family with an adult Down’s syndrome child is detailed in this book.

The Art of the Deal is real

Successful survivors must have the gift of gab…the ability to sell one’s self and trade valuable information for food or protection is vital. Persuasion is a skill worth its weight in gold and the ability to trade and barter, priceless.

Be prepared to use what you find

You can’t open a soup can or wine bottle without an opener or a drain a gas tank without a siphon hose; opportunities may present themselves along the way and some planning and forethought can make a difference.

Information is valuable, and organized information is priceless

In our everything-is-available-on-the-internet world, something as simple as a paper road map can be incredibly useful post-disaster. Annotating that map with notes about bridges out or roads blocked consolidates multiple sources of info in a more valuable way. Collecting detailed maps of your area and surrounding states is an inexpensive prep.

The Road is not where you want to be

Every society needs a justice system with consequences for violating rules. In Lucifer’s Hammer, the good guys hanged those who were sentenced to capital punishment; short of hanging, the next most severe punishment was being banished to The Road. Being evicted meant you were no longer able to share food, protection, and fellowship with the good guys. The Road almost surely guaranteed slow starvation and death from lack of food or from marauders.

The Most Important Lesson

Lucifer’s Hammer is just a story, one that The Survival Mom and I both enjoyed. You have the opportunity to write your own story, for the most part. Have a plan, stock your home, have some way of protecting yourself, and you and your family may live happily ever after.

*The End of The World as We Know It

Here’s Lisa’s video review of Lucifer’s Hammer.

lucifer's hammer

Interview with Prepper Children’s Author Benjamin Ellefson

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Benjamin Ellefson is a prepper who writes children’s books with themes of preparedness and survivalism. He is the author of the award-winning book The Land without Color and its upcoming sequel The Great Sugar War. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Benjamin and ask him a few questions.

How did you get involved in prepping?

I always loved the outdoors as a child. Some of my favorite memories were running through the woods at summer camp and canoeing down the Brule river in north Minnesota.

Fiction for younger readers with a Prepping message.

Fiction for younger readers with a Prepping message.

When I grew up, I got distracted with the corporate world of making money to provide for my wife and four young daughters. But when I experienced my first disaster in life when I got divorced, I returned to my love of the outdoors to cope.

That is when I discovered the prepping and survival community online. Still in the midst of my personal disaster, I instantly identified and understood the need for disaster preparedness. I started my food storage, every day carry, and research into learning new survival skills.

What motivates you as a prepper?

The economy. In my research learning about preparedness, I discovered the horror that is The Federal Reserve. And how the economy is a house of cards waiting to fall over with the slightest tremor. Ever since then, I keep a keen eye on the economy and politics trying to anticipate impending disasters. And everything I see this election cycle does not make me optimistic.

The other thing that motivates me are my daughters. As a father, I have the awesome responsibility to care for and raise four beautiful girls. Making sure they stay safe and healthy through any disaster is my top priority. While I am ensuring I have plenty of preps for them, I love to teach them how to be self-reliant and self-sufficient.

What do you think the most important aspect of prepping is?

I think the most important aspect of prepping is being mentally prepared. Most people in society are sheeple caught up in normalcy bias. They are asleep thinking nothing bad can ever happen. Or if something bad does happen, that government will just come and fix it.

These are the people who will be frozen in shock when a true disaster hits. Not only have they not gathered any preps ahead of time, but they not act in the beginning of any disaster because of their confidence for everything to just be OK.

Being aware of potential disasters and mentally prepared give you a leg up whenever anything goes wrong. Not only will this naturally lead to storing preps and learning skills ahead of time, but it will prevent the deer in the headlights reaction when it truly counts.

What is your favorite prepper novel?

Lights Out by HalfFast. It is an amazing novel the follows a family and neighborhood during a nationwide EMP strike and the aftermath. I loved the character and the evolution of events and non-preppers wake up to the disaster and fight to survive. The story is realistic and has plenty of page-turning excitement.

When did you begin writing stories with prepping themes?

I started writing back in 2012 after watching the documentary The Secret of Oz. It is an amazing movie about the symbolism behind the classic book The Wizard of Oz. I had seen the movie so many times, but never realized the deeper messages behind it.

This inspired me and my head started filling with fantasy ideas incorporating all of the prepping ideas that I was learning at the time. Soon I had an outline and a rough draft. Ever since then, I’ve been a writing maniac.

Why do you write children’s stories?

I love fantasy adventures. As a father of four daughters, I was disappointed to find that most survival or prepping themed books were geared towards adults.

benjaminellefsonSo I decided to write novels that could be consumed by and loved by young children. But at the same time be universal in their appeal with greater ideas and subtle messages that would be enjoyed by adults. The Wizard of Oz and the Phantom Tollbooth were my templates and greatest influences in writing my first novel The Land without Color. It worked so well that I used the template I created in that book for its two sequels.

What are some of the prepping themes in your novel?

The Land without Color is filled with many prepping themes. The story followed Alvin as he gets a pocketknife for his birthday. As he sets out on an adventure in a fantastic, colorless world, he uses his every day carry pocketknife to escape from many situations.

His sidekick is a squirrel named Permy who has a vast array of preps buried around the kingdom in little acorn pails. This reinforces the importance and idea of storing food and items.

There any many other themes and ideas that any prepper will love, but I won’t spoil them all now.

Do you have any additional novels in the works?

I do. The Land without Color is the first in a trilogy. The second book The Great Sugar War is finished and almost ready for print. I’ve got a Kickstarter campaign that is live now where people can pre-order the book for less than the retail price with free shipping.


The Great Sugar War will be out in early December. The third book in the series is written and currently being illustrated. It should be available in December 2017.

I have also started writing a new seven-book series filled with preparedness themes. I am very excited about it and think it will be well received.

Where can prepper readers find you?

The best place to find me is on my author website http://www.benjaminellefson.com. I frequently post updates and news about signings and appearances. To stay I touch, you can sign up for my mailing list to keep in the loop on the latest news.

I am also active on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

If you liked this article, please rate it.

The post Interview with Prepper Children’s Author Benjamin Ellefson appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Big Pharma and the ADHD Industrial Complex: A Review of ADHD Nation

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Approximately 11% of children 4-17 years of age (6.4 million) have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011 and continues to increase every year. Many believe our children are facing an unprecedented epidemic in regards to ADHD.

bookAlan Schwartz’s new book  ADHD Nation: Children, Doctors, Big Pharma and the Making of an American Epidemic should be required reading for parents, teachers, and doctors everywhere. This book manages to be informative both historically and scientifically, while also being entertaining. Schwartz dismantles the ADHD “epidemic” by showing how the creation of a drug spurred a medical condition, not the other way around.

Anyone who has taken an ADHD survey for themselves or their children knows how tricky these assessments can be. With questions like “Does your child have difficulty listening?” and “Does your child misplace or lose items (i.e. homework or school supplies)?” absolutely every child (or adult!) will fall into that category. While reputable doctors agree that ADHD is a legitimate condition in a small percentage of the population, Schwartz shows how more than 1 in 7 people will test “positive” for ADHD in their lifetime. Some estimates show that more than 50% of people who visit a psychiatrist will be prompted to take some form of medication to treat the symptoms of ADHD.

Schwartz’s book presents a detailed look at the “father of ADHD,” Dr. Keith Conners, a man who was at first thrilled to see such amazing results in his child patients who were treated with Ritalin. Many years later, however, Conners calls the overprescription “a national disaster of dangerous proportions.”

What’s great about ADHD Nation is that it sends up a red flag without being alarmist—Schwartz acknowledges how and when drugs like Ritalin can be beneficial. He shows case studies where the drug is extremely valuable. He’s not claiming that the government is trying to exercise mind control over the most vulnerable members of our society. What he is saying is that overprescription of ADHD drugs is a serious problem indicative of larger societal issues with money, the medical community, and our approaches to raising children. Even for readers without children, this book provides an excellent in-depth look at how prescription medications shape and change our society.


Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Your Neighbors Could Be Your Worst Nightmare in an Emergency

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“I’ve always wanted to have a neighbor…just like you.  I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood…with you, so…let’s make the most of this beautiful day….”

 – Mr. Rodgers’ Neighborhood

ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this piece summarizes one of the episodes of “The Twilight Zone” entitled “The Shelter” that bears mention for all who have neighbors, especially those they are “unsure” of.  In this (two minutes to midnight) preparatory lifestyle, it’s always important to know about those who live around you.

Today’s neighbors can morph into tomorrow’s marauders in the blink of an eye.

The fragile nature of our society is best described as the thinnest of veneers of civilization overlaying an underlying barbarism that can manifest itself at any given moment.

“The Shelter” is an excellent case-study of such a precept that I recommend to everyone to watch at least once.  This is of the original series, and the episode was written in 1961 by Rod Serling.

The story commences in the home of a neighborhood doctor where he and his neighbors are celebrating his birthday.  Everyone is festive, and the mood is one of good spirits, laughter, and indulgence in food and drink.  After a birthday toast, several birthday guests comment (abrasively) on the noise the doctor has had over the months from the construction of a bomb shelter in his basement.  The doctor kind of ignores it, and the party continues.

Soon the doctor’s son comes into the dining room (only adults are present) and announces that the TV has gone dead, and just prior it announced to go to the Conelrad station on the radio.  The following report came forth on the radio as everyone listened:

“…Four minutes ago the President of the United States made the following announcement.  I quote: at 11:04 pm Eastern Standard Time both our Distant Early Warning Line and Ballistics Early Warning Line reported radar evidence of unidentified flying objects flying due southeast.  As of this moment we have been unable to determine the nature of these objects, but for the time being and in the interests of national safety we are declaring a state of yellow alert.  The Civil Defense Authorities request that if you have a shelter already prepared, go there at once.  If you do not have a shelter, use your time to move supplies of food, water, medicine, and other supplies to a central place.  Keep all windows and doors closed.  We repeat: if you’re in your home, go to your prepared shelters or to your basement.”

Needless to say, all of the guests frantically depart.  The doctor and his family scramble around, filling up jars with extra water and moving some extra stuff down into the bomb shelter.  In the shelter were beds for the family and shelves with canned goods and medicines, as well as other gear and some chairs and a table.  The doctor returns upstairs, and then one of the neighbors, Jerry, begins rapping on the window.  The doctor opens the door, and Jerry worms his way in, slyly informing the doctor that he and his family are unprepared for what’s coming.

The neighbor wants to shelter himself, his wife, and two children in a shelter designed for three people.  The doctor leaves him and enters the shelter, locking the door and sealing it off.  Presently, more neighbors arrive.  One of them pounds the door, insisting that the doctor allow him to enter.  Soon even more neighbors arrive, and one of them is very belligerent.  Men and women are irate, and they’re demanding the doctor let them in.  It escalates very shortly, as the aggressive man belligerently makes the following demand with several other men beside him to the doctor after yelling his name:

 “You’ve got a bunch of your neighbors outside who want to stay alive.  Now you can open that door and talk to us, and figure out with us how many can come in there…or you can just keep on doing what you’re doing and we’ll [hitting the door] bust our way in there.”

The doctor refuses, and the men outside move away from the door, and then begin to argue among themselves.  There is already infighting about who (of the outsiders) will enter the shelter, as the men move out of the house.

“Bill, who are those people?” the mother asks.

“Those people…those people are our neighbors…our friends…the people we’ve lived with and alongside for twenty years.  C’mon, Paulie.  We better get up some of this furniture and this bunk so we’ll have some protection in case that door goes through,” the doctor said.

The half-dozen men return to the house, smashing up furniture in the dining room and trashing the house.  They enter the basement with a heavy pipe, and as their wives cheer them on, they begin battering the shelter door.  Presently they break through.  Just as they are stepping into the shelter, the radio in the shelter with the family announces that the previously-spotted objects were satellites, and the alert was lifted.

As the dust settles, the neighbors try to blow it off half-heartedly, but the doctor doesn’t really want any of it.  The neighbors had managed to smash in the door and force their way in.  The doctor summarized it quite eloquently with his description of what had happened:

“The kind of people we are just underneath the skin.  I mean all of us…a lot of naked, wild animals who put such a price on staying alive that they’ll claw their neighbors to death just for the privilege.”

The episode is excellent, and in under 25-minutes presents exactly what human nature boils down to…in a non-profane, “Hallmark” version with no blood or gore to offend the tender sensibilities.  The doctor made the following critical mistakes.

  All of his neighbors knew he had built a bomb shelter in his basement

  1. The shelter (although made to resist radiation) was not built sturdily enough to be able to resist the marauders
  2. The doctor did not have one weapon to protect himself and his family and drive off the angry mob
  3. He allowed “Jerry” to come inside the house, instead of locking and barring every part of it to keep the neighbors away

The old adage, “Know thy neighbor” holds true…and not just from a superficially-friendly, good time perspective.

What is important to know is that when the needs of the neighbors are not able to be met, those needs will be attempted to be filled at your expense if you are the one with the supplies and safe haven.  “The Shelter” is an oldie but a goodie, and a perfect tool to keep in mind that all of us can pass beyond the limits of the “better angels of our nature,” and the situation turn from “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm,” to “The Road Warrior” in the blink of an eye.  Happy watching, and hope you take something from it.  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

Book Review: “You Are Your Own Gym”

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bookOne of the coolest things in life that happens fairly regularly is that just when you need to find something, it actually appears.  The case in point is this book that I wish to tell you about.  As most of you know, I am a firm believer in physical fitness and (personally) I prefer weightlifting as my main forte.  I have written a number of articles that stress the importance of a good fitness regimen.  This was one area that I drew a blank with as far as providing you all a reference you could use.

I know I mentioned the Army’s physical fitness guidebook and basic calisthenics you can follow after in the field.  As things would have it, I actually found a reference last weekend that fills in the aforementioned blank.  I’ve been reading it all week long, and having finished it last night I came to the conclusion that you can really use this book as a tool to help you tailor your fitness program.

bookThe book is entitled, You Are Your Own Gym,” and it was written by Mark Lauren in 2011, with a cover price of $16.00.  As good timing had it, I managed to find it in a used book store in mint condition.  This guy is a Certified Military Physical Trainer and has worked with Special Forces (after my time).  His website is www.marklauren.com, and apparently he is also a champion in the discipline of Thai boxing. As well, his YouTube channel is very popular amongst athletes and those trying to get back into shape.

The thing that makes this book different is it is exactly as it is entitled.  It breaks down every calisthenics exercise known to man and tells exactly what specific muscle groups are built by the exercise.  Each exercise has several pictures and there is a detailed explanation of how to perform them.  Page 55 has an index of the exercises.  Page 138 tells you how to set up your own program, and the exercises are categorized in a chart beginning on page 143 – 165.  Then it culminates in how to make exercise equipment out of everyday things lying around the house.

The first 11 chapters (more akin to sections, totaling 55 pages) entail all of the basic concepts and methodology of using your body’s own weight in a regimen of calisthenics.  More.  These first chapters (especially chapter 3) give the “Why?” component of the methodology, tying in with successes that professional athletes and Olympic athletes have achieved.

Laying out a program that can enable you to take advantage of this each day, Lauren covers all of the essentials.  Another reason this is good?  In a SHTF scenario, you will still need to exercise…yes you will!  And this most excellent resource shows you step-by-step how to do it without needing a gym.  Remember, exercise removes triglycerides from the bloodstream, and exercise is very, very important in bone formation and bone replacement.  Exercise keeps the muscles in tone, and keeps you in better health and feeling it as such.  It also helps you to deal with stress and depression in a more productive manner, factors that a collapse will undoubtedly exacerbate to the highest degree.

These exercises can be done with limited amounts of space, time, and equipment.  It is perfect if you’re on a tight budget and have a small living area.  The book delves into such detail that you can use it exactly in the manner that will fit your individual needs.  I wish I had a resource as good as this one when I was in the service.  When you’re out and about, there are a ton of things you can do in here…be that in the woods camping for a month, or if you are on the road for business trips…suggestions in this book are perfect for down time in a hotel room on the road.

Some exercises, such as push-ups and dips you’re undoubtedly familiar with.  But there are others, such as “One-Legged Romanian Dead Lifts,” for the hamstrings and lower back, and a whole series of different lunges and squats that are really intense and productive.  This guy is as sharp as they come in terms of giving you good photos to see how it is done and a good, solid breakdown of what the exercise does for you.  I’m going to be experimenting with many of these over the coming months and seeing what they do for me.

So if you get a chance, order the book for yourself and put it to use.  You can find it on Amazon.com and it is not very expensive but contains a plethora of knowledge and instruction that you can incorporate into your own personal physical fitness plan.  Keep training, keep learning, and keep doing…keep in the 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

Cascadia Book Review

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“If you live in the Pacific Northwest, get ready to run for your life . . . In the face of a massive earthquake and tsunami in the Pacific Northwest, a respected geologist must make two gut-wrenching decisions. One could cost him his reputation, the other, his life.  Is the Northwest overdue for a huge quake and tsunami, or will the region remain safe for hundreds of years yet to come? No one knows… or does someone?” ~ Cascadia

Cascadia, a new fictional book released this year, is a story about a Dr. Rob Elwood, a geologist whose specialty is earthquakes and tsunamis. He is having nightmares of “The big one” that are way too real to disregard. 

Rob’s drama becomes intertwined with others–a retired fighter pilot trying to make amends to a woman he jilted decades ago and a retiree searching for legendary buried treasure in the rugged mountains of Oregon. He also meets a mysterious woman that appears out of no where all throughout the book.

I personally enjoyed Buzz Bernards book very much. I would give it a 4 out 5 stars when it comes to fictional survival books. The book is relatively short at 226 pages, but very active once the characters are tied together. Description is one of his strong points and he really makes you feel as if you were part of the action and on a personal level with the characters.

It is obvious that Mr. Bernard puts time and effort into his research and facts all throughout the book. Throughout the book he talks about Native American folk lore and how the ancient stories passed down generation after generation help him in putting the pieces together.

While this book is fiction, it brings to light the real dangers the Pacific Northwest has to face in the future. We don’t know when but we know it is overdue. Preparing for natural disasters is very important to survival and this book lets you know just how disastrous it will be when Cascadia roars its ugly head.


Authors Bio: H. W. “Buzz” Bernard, a native Oregonian born in Eugene and raised in Portland, is a best-selling, award-winning novelist. His debut novel, Eyewall, which one reviewer called a “perfect summer beach read,” was released in May 2011 and went on to become a number-one best seller in Amazon’s Kindle Store. Before becoming a novelist, Buzz worked at The Weather Channel in Atlanta, Georgia, as a senior meteorologist for thirteen years. Prior to that, he served as a weather officer in the U.S. Air Force for over three decades. He attained the rank of colonel and his “airborne” experiences include a mission with the Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters, air drops over the Arctic Ocean and Turkey, and a stint as a weather officer aboard a Tactical Air Command airborne command post (C-135).

The post Cascadia Book Review appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Ancient Secrets to Relieving Back Pain

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backBack pain is a big deal. It will affect almost every American over the course of their lifetime, and in many cases, it goes on to become chronic and untreatable. Back pain drives up the dependency of painkillers, it causes loss of sleep, loss of work, and it leads to a sedentary lifestyle (which can in turn lead to obesity, heart attack, or even death).

But acupuncturist and author Esther Gokhale turned to an unlikely source to investigate back pain in her bestselling new book: 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back. Gokhale spent an immense amount of time investigating indigenous populations (from those in Portugal to Ecuador to West Africa and elsewhere). This is because, in these populations, the instance of back pain is extremely rare and is often even unheard of, despite the fact that these people use their backs for hard labor every single day. So how do they avoid back pain? Gokhale says it all comes down to spine shape.

J versus S

Most Americans have a spine that is shaped like the letter S. It curves at the top, goes inward at mid-back, and curves out again at the base. In indigenous populations however, the spine is shaped like the letter J. It is mainly flat from the top downward, until it curves out at the base (where the back meets the buttocks). This is also the spine shape of young children. Gokhale, herself a long-time sufferer of back pain, wondered if the shape of the spine had anything to do with pain. Over the course of her studies, she determined that getting back to a J-shaped spine could prove to be extremely beneficial to everyone, especially those already dealing with pain.


We know that as children our spines have that J shape. So what happens over time to cause the S curve? It’s largely because of lifestyle choices. Americans spend massive amounts of time hunched over computer screens. Unlike indigenous populations, we often sit in chairs for 8+ hours a day and we almost never squat or sit on the floor while working. Our core muscles are likely not as strong as they could be, leading to sagging bellies and sloping spines. Besides this, Americans are much more likely to be overweigh than indigenous populations, and this weight leads to stress and curvature of the spine.

How to Get Back to J

So how do we get back to that ideal J spine shape? Gokhale says there are a series of exercises and postures in her book that can help people reform their spines. These exercises aren’t unlike those found in yoga and pilates programs, but Gokhale says they are specifically targeted to restructure the spine. Core muscle strength, lifestyle choices, and weight are all factors in her program, but the benefits of having a healthy back are not to be understated, and the results (spine shape that you can see evolving over time) are less abstract than a diet or exercise program alone. Even those of us with no back trouble at all should shoot for the J spine—and prevention may prove to be critical as we age over time. Better to stave off pain entirely than to have to go through the work of rehabilitation.

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Soul Saviour Gloria Gaynor Pens Powerful Book ‘We Will Survive’

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we will survive - Gloria Gaynor‘I Will Survive’ is one of the most powerful songs of its generation, and its message is as powerful as ever today. Tina Turner, a legend in her own right, remarked on her enduring classic “A timeless anthem empowering those reaching for positive changes in their lives”. The legendary soul singer behind the composition, Gloria Gaynor has always had the ability to galvanize hope through the medium of her music, but now, for the first time, she has compiled a list of evocative stories that will touch your heart. If you have ever loved her music and ‘I Will Survive’ in particular, this book will enlighten you with stories of people battling against their individual troubles and overcome them. Each story in the book is unique, but all have a one recurring theme throughout; they were all influenced and inspired by ‘I Will Survive’ in their singular survival stories.

The book, which contains “True stories of Encouragement, Inspiration, and the Power of Song” documents these incredible stories of perseverance throughout, but there is one in particular that shines out above the rest. Gloria’s own personal story of survival is the first and foremost story, and begins the book with an amazing level of sincerity and self-exposure. It is within her own story that you realize that her lyrics reflected her own desires and motivation so pre-eminently, and continue to do so in her performances today through the Gloria Gaynor booking agent.

One of the editors of the book, Gary Krebs, revealed why the project was such a fascinating concept, “It sounded unique enough for me to probe further, and I met with Gloria. I was struck by her personal connection to ‘I Will Survive’ and by how many people have been impacted by it thirty-five years later”. Gaynor remains a brilliant role model today and she reveals in detail how the song is a symbolic message of a mission against personal struggle which prevails after all these years.

We will survive - Gloria GaynorThe sense of common humanity through the stories is strikingly apparent. For instance, a tale of a woman who reversed her decision against committing suicide after hearing the song; those who have persevered through incest and domestic violence; a Holocaust survivor; people who had their lives in ruins due to natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina and families who lost loved ones in 9/11. Each story exemplifies how the individuals found hope in the song, enabling them to keep moving forward, creating a perfect mixture of tales that capture the process of turning vulnerability into empowerment.

Quite simply, the book is excellent, with hundreds of exceptional Amazon reviews, and highlights how influential the song has been for so many people. Gloria today also lends her support to numerous charities ranging from the likes of The Rita Hayworth Gala for Alzheimers to Revlons Annual Walk for Life. Her Live concerts are a massive part of Gloria Gaynor’s essence. She has touched audiences in more than 80 countries with her electrifying performances, and is as powerful a performer as she has ever been, where she can be booked through music agency MN2S to hear her rousing renditions of her many other famous tracks today.

The post Soul Saviour Gloria Gaynor Pens Powerful Book ‘We Will Survive’ appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Herbal Antibiotics: When the SHTF, You Will Need This Book

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bookHey there, ReadyNutrition guys and gals!  I need to give you a review on a book that is a real gem for your holistic and naturopathic libraries and protocols.  The book is professionally written, with all of the technical terms and cross-references you will need, but it presents it in a smooth, easily-understood manner in the language of laymen.  The book is entitled, Herbal Antibiotics: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug Resistant Bacteria,” by Stephen Harrod Buhner.  The author has written fourteen books pertaining to herbal medicine, and is a leading proponent of using plant medicines as our first line of defense against infections.

The book is very adamant that not only can plant medicines help to combat infections, but that using them on a daily basis is a highly effective method of building the body’s natural defenses against an infection before the illness strikes.

The herbs are broken down into several categories, as such:

Systemic Antibacterials: these herbs are taken up readily within the system and spread throughout a person’s body by way of the bloodstream to all of the cells and organs and fighting system-wide illnesses and organisms.  MRSA is an example of such a disease.

Localized Antibacterials: are herbs that are effectively confined and applied to specific regions of the body, such as the stomach or liver, or on external wounds.  An example here would be an E. coli infection that affects the digestive system.

Facilitative/Synergistic Herbs: these are plant medicines that are taken in conjunction with other herbs or pharmaceuticals that have a potentiating (increasing in effectiveness) effect.  An example in this category would be Berberine, a powerful antibacterial that is increased in effectiveness when taken in conjunction with Goldenseal and used to combat MRSA.

The cool thing about this book is that it enables you to sort what you need by disease and disease-type (gram positive or gram negative bacteria, for example), by herb, and by presenting symptoms that will enable you to categorize and positively identify an infection.  Each different herbal remedy and compound is explained, along with dosages and methods of preparation, step by step, these methods themselves being exceptional in detail and simplistic in their presentation.  Even more: the book tells you how to grow, harvest, and collect (in the wild) the different herbs listed.

The herbs are described in terms of their chemical and scientifically-revealed properties, such as wound healing, pain relief, and effects on the human immune system, for examples.  The plant chemistry and methods of employment are described in great detail.  Preparations and dosages are meticulously listed, along with all of the medical and scientific research and tabulated results from studies (with references) that substantiate their uses throughout the world.  Complete descriptions of tinctures, oils, capsules, salves, poultices, and many other vehicles for use of the medicines are provided, along with step-by-step instruction on how to prepare them.

The only thing lacking in the book, in this author’s opinion, is a good section with color photographs of the actual plants themselves.  This, however, is the norm for most herbal and naturopathic works, and as I have strongly advised in the past, the Peterson’s guides for wild medicinal herbs (the guides are done by region, such as Eastern United States), and the PDR for Herbal Medicines will be useful for identification as such.  This book by Buhner is a hands-on, no frills guide that is packed with information you can readily use, as well as the techniques with which to employ that information.

“The thing of it is,” to quote Mr. Henry Bemis of “The Twilight Zone,” is that this book will really serve you well in a SHTF, grid-down or natural disaster scenario.  Diseases such as typhus, cholera, dysentery, and others will be prevalent in such situations.  The bacterial infections will be seen in your locality; this book will help you to identify the illness and to take that definitive action to arrest the process.  The book is 467 pages and you can find it on Amazon.com for about $25…a very worthwhile investment that will serve you well for your daily routine or for when the SHTF.

So check out “Herbal Antibiotics” for your preparedness library.  Success is not only where you find it: it’s also how you make it.  This fine work is another good tool to enable you to prepare for the next flu season, and also for when times are much harder.  It is a prime example of how you can use the resources growing right in the woods near your home to craft plant medicines to serve you and your family in time of need.  Stay well, and keep fighting that good fight….and fight smart!  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

Lisa’s Stack of Books, 1st Quarter — GIVEAWAYS!

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Survival Mom book reviews

One of my life-long loves is that of books. Amazon Prime and I are best of friends, and I have an enormous stack of books, most of them unread. When I was younger, an unread book was an item of shame! Today, I chalk it up to being a busy mom whose love for books outweighs the time she has for reading.

I’m thrilled to begin this new quarterly feature on my blog, Lisa’s Stack of Books, as a way of sharing some of the newest books that come my way, either through my own purchases or from authors and publishers who want their books featured on my blog. I’m picky about which books I’ll profile, though.*

I hope you enjoy reading about the following books from authors Linda Loosli, Bernie Carr, Melissa K. Norris, and Toni Hammersley. I selected these books because they represent different aspects of preparedness: basic survival, frugal prepping, organization, and homesteading/spiritual encouragement. If you read any of these books, give me your own review in the Comments section!

Note that after each book review, you get a chance to win your own copy of the book! Each book has it’s own entry, so make sure you don’t miss any of them if you hope to win all four.

The Complete Book of Home Organization by Toni Hammersley

Toni HammersleyI would love to live Toni Hammersley’s life, or at least the one portrayed in this stunning, colorful book. Perhaps a better idea would be to have her come to my house and re-create it with all the savvy and style she exhibits in her new book. The Complete Book of Home Organization is a gorgeous book, just the type that catches your eye at a bookstore and finds its way to the cash register and your Visa card!

My daughter, age 16, is the primary promoter of organization in our household, and her eyes lit up when I handed her this book. We both settled down to enjoy the glossy photos of kitchens, closets, bedrooms, and even refrigerators, and the quick suggestions for transforming our own home into one of calm and clutter-free order. Toni’s practical and simple tips for organizing even the smallest spaces in your home are easy to follow, without the necessity of having to make expensive purchases at The Container Store.

One of my favorite features of the book are the Before and After photos from other home decor and organization bloggers. It’s inspiring to know that I can take a cluttered area of my house and transform it, too. I also appreciated the organization challenges and checklists. If your home is in need of some organization, this book will inspire and motivate you to action!
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The Made-from-Scratch Life: Simple Ways to Create a Natural Home by Melissa K. Norris

I’ve been friends with Melissa K. Norris of Pioneer Living Today for three years. Melissa was a very successful host on Melissa K NorrisThe Survival Mom Radio Network, and her listeners loved her homesteading tales and words of encouragement. Last month when I opened my mail and held this beautiful new book in my hands, it was an emotional moment. I was so proud of Melissa and her accomplishments. She always talks from the heart and shares the ups and downs of her own life as a modern-day homesteader.

The Made-from-Scratch Life is a book that prescribes living a simple life, moving from store-bought products to healthy and homemade versions and provides practical tips for gardening, canning, raising livestock, and preparing for tough financial times. Along with plenty of homey advice, Melissa includes some of the simplest and most delicious recipes you’ll find. Her ham and bean soup with parsnips is one of my favorites.

Melissa shares stories of how she learned to make the transition to a simpler life herself, with plenty of mistakes along the way. She shares Bible verses, inspiring quotes, recipes, a planting chart, and plenty of recipes. She’s convinced that a simple, back-to-basics life is soothing to the soul and this guide is her way of walking side by side with you as you, too, take the road less traveled to a made-from-scratch life.

When you purchase Melissa’s book, not only do you get all of this helpful information, but she also gives you some special bonuses as a thank you. The Made-From-Scratch Life Companion Guide and Workbook, the 5 Day Made-From-Scratch Life Bonus Fast Track e-course and The Amish Canning Cookbook Sampler by Georgia Varozza will help make your transition to a simpler life, well, simpler.
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The Penny-Pinching Prepper: Save More, Spend Less, and Get Prepared For Any Disaster by Bernie Carr

If you’ve been a prepper for very long, you know the overwhelming feeling that comes with being faced Bernie Carrwith long lists of expensive survival gear the experts claim you must have: Berkey water filters, a year’s worth of freeze-dried food, a hidden bunker, and on and on and on. Few of us can afford top of the line gear, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a chance to survive!

Author of The Prepper’s Pocket Guide and blogger at The Apartment Prepper, Bernie Carr rejects the notion that only the rich will survive and in The Penny-Pinching Prepper, she shares hundreds of tips for preparing, and surviving, on a small budget. You’ll love the compact size of her new book, its handy lists, and simple, budget-friendly DIY projects, such as an Easy Fireless Cooker.

From her advice for raising money for the purpose of prepping to hygiene, evacuations, safety tips, and even recipes, this book is packed with information for preppers who don’t have a dime to spare and even those with piles of cash in their stash!
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Prepare Your Family for Survival: How to Be Ready For Any Emergency or Survival Situation by Linda Loosli

Linda LoosliIn the hyped-up world of survival and preparedness, it’s always refreshing to find a sane, calm voice that says, “Ignore the loud, scary voices. Here’s what you need to do…” That voice would be Linda Loosli of Food Storage Moms fame. In her new book, Prepare Your Family for Survival, Linda did not disappoint. Her book is a large, colorful volume, filled with illustrations, checklists, and attractive graphics that made reading it a pleasure.

This is one of the best all-around family preparedness manuals to hit the market in a while. Disaster preparedness is a huge topic and Linda has managed to break it into do-able chunks in an eye-catching design that makes the book hard to put down. I’m so proud of Linda and all the work she put into making this book practical and family-friendly.

One feature that I haven’t seen in similar books are her lists for health remedies using apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, Epsom salts, rubbing alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide. Too often we see these listed as must-haves, but when you have a real emergency on your hands, you’ll need to know exactly how to put the to use. This book belongs on your survival bookshelf!
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Kudos to all!

Congratulations to these four authors for their vision, perseverance, and plain old hard work in producing these books. I’ll have another set of book reviews and giveaways coming up in May.

Survival Mom book reviews



26 Basic Life Skills: Survival Skills for All Ages, a book series

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26 Basic Life Skills-

A major component of being well prepared for whatever life may bring is building a repertoire of skills and a bank of knowledge. If you’re on a journey to enrich your own life and become better prepared, check out this new book series by Liz Long, a long-time contributor to The Survival Mom blog.

26 Basic Life Skills is the first book in a new series (Survival Skills for All Ages) that covers important skills to survive and thrive in life. Some, such as trusting your instincts, are really the same in every day life as well as in an emergency. Others, like doing laundry, can change drastically in an emergency. A few, such as staying warm when your heating system goes out, can be an emergency in and of themselves.

Beginning with 26 Basic Life Skills and then continuing through the additional books in the series, each skill is covered first from the point of view of every day life, then from how it might be different in an emergency. Even something like having your heating system go out can either be the result of your furnace being broken or a complete power outage, leaving you with no on-grid way to stay warm and no way to use any other electrical device or appliance.

The 26 chapters are divided into 5 parts, or categories. Every chapter ends with an activity to help practice that skill, a five question True/False quiz, and a series of resources to deepen your knowledge. These resources include online articles, books, related Scouting badges (BSA and GSUSA), and videos that provide more detailed information and fun activities to reinforce the topic.

To give you an idea of what you’ll find in this new book, here’s a sneak peek:

Part 1: Basic Survival Life Skills

These life skills are so basic, almost no one talks about them. Trust your instincts. Know who to trust. Be aware of your surroundings (situational awareness). Practice problem solving and plan ahead. Dress for the weather. Stay physically fit.

Situational awareness and staying fit are both discussed a lot in prepping, but not necessarily in practical terms for regular people. Situational awareness is about more than recognizing someone trying to steal your purse or break into your compound. It’s about being aware of what is going on around you, in general, and noticing things that are out of the ordinary.

Rather than just talking about the need to move and be healthy, the focus on physical fitness from a survival stand point is on activities that can help you get fit and be better prepared for emergencies at the same time. Activities like hiking, biking, and backpacking are all fun, enhance fitness, and are good for emergency preparedness.

Other basics discussed in this chapter are learning to trust your instincts and knowing who to trust. What I was impressed with was how thoroughly each skill is covered, with examples from Liz’s own experiences and family life.

Once you cover these basics, it’s time to move on to what most consider the basics: Food and water.

Part 2: Food and Water

As much as we all want to believe we never have to worry about safe drinking water, the news periodically proves that is not true.

Learn about important fundamental skills in these chapters. Does your family know how to determine if water is (or can be made) potable? Do you know uses for non-potable water? What about skills needed to grow food and then preserve it for future use?

Now that you have food and water, do your kids know how to make it into a meal?

Part 3: Cooking and Cleaning

The first step in making a meal isn’t cleaning or cutting up the food. It’s meal planning – deciding what to have, preferably in advance. This task doesn’t sound like much fun until you realize that whoever plans the meals knows that they will like (or at least not hate) what’s for dinner!

The next concern is food safety. Food must be kept at a safe temperature and handled with care. An oft-forgotten part of food safety becomes very important in an emergency situation: Recognizing and disposing of spoiled food. Of course, hygiene and sanitation are part of this as well.

Once you have the meal planned and understand basic sanitation and food safety, it’s time to actually prepare the food. Do your kids know something as simple as how to measure food without making a mess? Do they know the difference between chopping, dicing, and mincing? Can they use basic hand tools such as a whisk or an egg beater, or kitchen appliances such as a slow cooker or food processor? I have used a whisk for decades, but I still learned something new while writing this book  from a video that demonstrates how using a side-to-side motion is more efficient than a circular one. For the many people who rely on electric appliances, this is a good refresher on basic hand tools in the kitchen.

The life skills in this section can not only be useful in everyday, non-emergency life, but should be used in everyday life. Kids may not be planning meals for the whole family but there is no reason they can’t plan their own lunches. Even kindergardners can choose from a list of choices to build their own menu and look at the school menu to decide what days they really want to buy lunch.

Anyone who messes up on basic sanitation or disposing of spoiled food may end up sick. How do you handle that?

Part 4: Health and First Aid

In this section, chapters 17-20 detail basic and not-so-basic skills that help insure safety and good health.

Calling 911 seems so basic that including instructions for it must be a joke, but consider this: What do you tell (and not tell) the operator when they pick up? Do your kids know what to say? Many cell phones automatically call 911 for the area closest to the billing address. What do you do if you are traveling?

Do your kids (and your spouse) know about family medical issues? Can they rattle off a list of who is allergic to what and how they respond (rash, anaphylaxis, etc.)? Do they know where to find this information in case of emergency? Do they know where to find critical medical items including epi-pens and insulin?

Many home remedies, and a lot of basic first aid, are so simple even preschoolers can handle them. Aloe vera for a burn, cayenne pepper for a heart attack, Epsom salts for sore muscles: These are just a few of the many easy, proven home remedies everyone should know.

A discussion of common first aid classes rounds out Part 4.

Part 5: Miscellaneous Survival Skills

Like most of the life skills in this book, these are skills most of us need in daily life. Sewing, swimming, safe knife use, and surviving without any heat in the house are clear examples of this.

Sewing can be as simple as re-attaching a button or fixing a tear, or as complex as a beaded, multi-tiered custom wedding gown, but it all starts from a few basic skills. There is no need for fancy, expensive machinery. Remember, the complex gowns of the late 1800s were all created with, at most, a very basic machine.

Safe knife use may not seem like an important skill in daily life if whittling and outdoor use are the only things that come to mind. When you consider how much we use knives in the kitchen, it doesn’t take long to see how important it is in daily life.

Other skills covered in this final chapter are how to build survival packs and how to safely and appropriately react to the sound of gunfire — a skill that is sadly needed in today’s world.

These 26 basic life skills aren’t complicated or exotic, but they are important in everyday life and emergencies. I recommend 26 Basic Life Skills: Survival Skills as a manual that can guide you and your family toward better preparedness. It’s well researched and provides lists of additional resources for deeper learning. Add this one to your family library of survival books!

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The Colder War: To Understand All of the World Events Taking Place, Read This Book

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colder warReadyNutrition Readers, this piece is a quick summary of a book that you will find useful in understanding several major issues afoot from both an economic and a current events perspective.  The work “The Colder War,” by Marin Katusa was just released in 2015.  It is a brilliant expose on American interventionist actions (termed “foreign policy”) that have triggered a new Cold War between the United States and Russia.  It is replete with facts and figures; however, it reads in easily understandable language to layman and economist alike.

Be advised: it does not deny Putin’s aims to restore Russia to the prominence it once enjoyed on the world stage, while explaining the offsetting maneuvers and chicanery utilized by the U.S. under the Obama administration that exacerbate Putin’s stance.  It details the Russian quest for supremacy in oil, uranium, and natural gas supplies.  It also chronicles the background and mindset of Putin, as well as giving a complete account of what happened in Ukraine with the annexation of the Crimea by Russia in 2014.

Here are detailed the importance of Sevastopol, a former Ukrainian city and a Russian Naval base that is the transit point of the Russian Black Sea fleet to the Bosporus and access into the Mediterranean.  The entire Middle East is chronicled, as to supplies of oil and natural gas and the importance of certain nations to the Russian sphere of influence that are currently in dispute.  Syria is one of them.  The book outlines the history behind the Syrian-Russian alliance that stems all the way back to the days of the USSR’s alliance with Assad’s father.

There are three chapters in particular:  Chapter 3, The Great Game and the End of the Cold War, Chapter 11, Twilight of the Petrodollar, and Chapter 12, Post-Petrodollar America that are worth the entire price of the book.  Chapter 3 contains an explanation of the petrodollar system’s beginnings and functions, critical to understanding the world economy as it established the U.S. dollar as the currency reserve of the entire world.

The author is an expert in the energy and resource exploration sectors.  He explains how the petrodollar was created by the Rockefellers and the oil industry, and how prices were inflated during the OPEC price increases of October 16, 1973 by 70% to more than $5 per barrel.  These increases were accompanied by production cuts that raised that price more than double and sent the U.S. into a recession that lasted well into the 1980’s.

The book shows how costs are artificial and prices are intentionally kept high in order to squeeze the maximum amount of profits out of the consumer.  In addition, it details the alliance of Russia under the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) who wish to replace the petrodollar and collapse the American economy, supplanting it with their own monetized system backed by gold.

For current events and the state of the world, you can’t find a better book that explains the new Cold War that has arisen between the U.S. and Russia, and their respective allies.  It contains history and ties it in to what is happening right now in front of our eyes.  I hope you enjoy reading it and gleaning the intense, nakedly-honest picture it presents of our country and the decline it is now enduring prior to the collapse, which is imminent and just a matter of time.  Happy reading, and I am certain it will answer many questions about the energy industries and the monopolies (governmental and corporate) you have long suspected exist.  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

THE MARTIAN: Survival Thinking

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The Martian

The Ultimate Survival Fiction

Book review by James C. Jones

martianAfter a while I get tired of the standard survival fiction stories with the ex-military, armed to the teeth superhero fighting of the mythical rogue military units, and roving biker gangs while traveling to their big retreat in the northwest mountains. Fun reading, but seldom much real survival thinking education there. I often find my best survival concepts in non-survival literature. I am not a big science fiction fan, but the concept of the Martian fascinated me. A man stranded alone and abandoned on Mars. Mars! No breathable air, free water, edible anything, no other humans for millions of miles. Now that’s a survival challenge. Of course our hero, Mark Watney does have some left behind food, water, shelter and oxygen, but not near enough for the hundreds of days he has to survive before there is any chance of rescue. What he does have most is knowledge, improvisation, determination and imagination. Of course there is some good luck, but plenty of bad luck to. He makes some nearly fatal mistakes. Nothing in the story relates to survival techniques usable on earth, but everything in the story relates to survival thinking. How to think is much more important than basic information in survival and in life. Watney follows every one of my “Ten Principles of Survival” outlined in my recent articles.

To review:

  • He anticipates issues and problems and has solutions in mind
  • He stays aware of what’s going on around him
  • He focuses on being there (on Mars!) now rather than dreaming about where he would like to be
  • He stays calm. Even after some huge disasters, he gets it together fast
  • He evaluates and reevaluates his situation, resources and options to make good decision
  • He does the next right thing instead of be overwhelmed by a seemingly hopeless situation.
  • He definitely takes control and owns his environment and situation. He is the Martian and ignores mission control to make his own decisions. He happens to Mars not the other way around.
  • He has what he needs. Well at least most of what he needs. He makes the rest
  • He uses what he has. Wow! This is probably the main issue of the book. He Improvises, re-purposes and invents devices to make air, food, water and even rocket fuel.
  • He does what is necessary to survive including risks, pain, boredom, and an awesome journey across the barren deserts of Mars alone.
    And of course my 11th principle of survival: he never gives up.
  • He also keeps his sense of humor with all sorts of comments in his log. When he has really screwed up or Mars is trying to kill him again, he says “Okay Watney, stop whining and get back to work”. That’s how we survive!

Okay: this book review gave me an excuse to restate the principles, but it’s a great read and can help you understand how these principles apply to almost every situation. A lot of the improvising his highly technical math, chemistry and computer science. The author is a software engineer with interests in orbital mechanics and relativistic physics. Yes, a nerd. So if you want to skip that, you can wait for the movie, but the book is more fun.

The Martian by Andy Weir, 434 pages, paperback, from Broadway Books, $9.99. Movie in theaters this week.

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One hundred Deadly Skills Book Review

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100 Deadly Skills by Clint Emerson
Book review by James C. Jones

book 3Most of the skills are not actually “deadly”, but they are mostly illegal under normal circumstances. Clint Emerson is a retired Navy Seal and he shares some very nasty techniques in “100 Deadly Skills“. Yes, there are only a few that are actually deadly, but many could be lifesaving under survival conditions. A few skills are probably impractical for most of us such as using parachute drops and scuba gear to infiltrate enemy borders, but there is a lot of good trade-craft such as how to detect and lose surveillance, shoot from a vehicle, detect a tracking device, follow a car or person, and deceive surveillance cameras. There are instructions on all kinds of ways to pick different kinds of locks including handcuffs, steal vehicles, escape hostage situations and improvise weapons. There certainly are some nasty items like how to avoid leaving DNA and fingerprints, not leaving any digital trail and how to get rid of a body. I would say that 90% of the content could be useful in survival situations.  Most of the skills can easily be mastered with a little practice and trial-and-error.

(APN Editors Note: We do not support in any way, shape fashion or form for you to practice getting rid of a dead body, shooting from your vehicle, killing anyone, stealing cars, or breaking into anyone’s home or business. Those things may be harmful to your health and can lead to death or imprisonment.)

The best thing about this book is its format. Each skill is covered in just one page of text and one facing page of illustrations. The illustrations are how-to boxes reminiscent of some old Vietnam era military manuals or illustrated novels. Very easy to digest and understand. This little 5 ½ x 8 inch, 256 page book has some stuff I did not have in my (50-years accumulation) library, and that takes some doing. I think you’ll like it. From Simon and Shuster. www.Simonandshuster.com. $18.00 US.

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Surviving Survival Book Review

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Surviving Survival
By Laurence Gonzales
A book review by: James C. Jones

Laurence Gonzales’s book Deep Survival (reviewed in an earlier edition) is probably the best book ever written on survival psychology. The subtitle “Who Lives, Who Dies and Why” should tell you that you need to read that book. I used it as a reference and inspiration for many of my articles and presentation. Basically your brain manages your survival and you need to understand how that works in order to manage your brain under stress. The first book focused on how we respond to survival situations by analyzing the experiences of people who have survived some horrific situations and injuries. Lets take a look at her newest book, Surviving Survival.

In this new volume Mr. Gonzales takes us beyond the survival event to examine the physical and psychological aftermaths. Here we explore the post traumatic challenges that the victims faced. We examine how the victims of alligator, shark and bear attacks coped, or failed to cope, with the mental effects of these events. We also look at the impact of losing a child and the effects of a military veteran whose job was to reassemble bodies blown apart by IED’s prior to shipping them home. The victims survived these events only to be rendered non-functional or even suicidal because of what happened to their minds. These kinds of stresses completely break down the normal mental balances and perceptions. There are detailed explanations of how the brain process’ stress and how victims have used this understanding to adjust and recover. Of particular interest is the section on how Aron Ralston’s mind processed the situation and eventually allowed him to cut off his own trapped hand to escape from Blue John Canyon in Utah in 2003.

One of the most fascinating ideas in the book is that we have three levels of the mind. As the author put it “the human mind, the dog mind and the frog mind.” Under survival situations we often need to use the more primitive minds or as we call them “instincts”. Survival skills are human, survival instincts are more animal and the “sixth sense is real and resides from our most primitive levels.” When something just doesn’t seem right, when the hairs on the back of our neck stand up, this is the sixth sense picking up odors, vibrations, facial expressions, sounds that we do not consciously, acknowledge or understand. The book documents two cases where the conscious human, logical bran overrode the sixth sense with catastrophic results. If you want to go beyond simply starting a fire and building shelters to explore how survival really works, I highly recommend this book and it predecessor.

Surviving Survival, by Laurence Gonzales, 257” pages, 5 ½” x 9”, paperback, $14.95
Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales, 300 pages, 6 ½” x 9”, hardcover, $19.35

It was noted that World War Two veterans suffered less post-traumatic stress syndromes that those of more recent conflicts. It was postulated that they may have experiences more stress from the depression and from a harder life prior to combat [or been more religious and family anchored].

Having survived the initial event, many were unable to cope with the effects. They had ruined lives and occasional suicides.


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Book Review:  The Coming Dark Age

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dark ageGood Day to you, ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals!  I want to recommend this book for you to read, as it was written by a genius who had the foresight to see what is happening around us back when he wrote it.  The Coming Dark Age,” by Roberto Vacca was written in 1973, and you should be able to pick up a copy on Amazon.com.  It will be well worth it for you.  I have mentioned it several times in other articles, and there is no greater time than now that Vacca’s words should be heeded for the sagacious wisdom they impart.

The book is 221 pages of nothing short of a window of what will be…in the days and years after the SHTF.  Vacca is (he’s still living) a mathematician and computer guru who explains all about what will happen when systems of infrastructure break down around us.  Rather than just some small-scale, local disaster, Vacca refers to the complete collapse of all national systems globally.  He delves into all of the systems: electrical, water, waste-treatment, and population dynamics to include urban sprawl with these collapses.

The author chronicles the death of a city, making New York City his test-case.  He shows what will happen, and why.  From a global perspective, he points out a return to feudalism/monasticism after a worldwide social and economic collapse precedes it.  He predicts the rise of local barons and authoritarian movements after a vast population decline.  Once again, this is not a novel: these are forecasts using raw data and computer models, coupled with specific events.

One of those events, for example is the great blackout of November 9, 1965 in the northeastern U.S. and in Ontario with periods of no electricity for up to 14 hours for approximately 30 million people due to an instability in the transmission network.  No vehicles could refuel, and a loss of 40,000 megawatts of power occurred.  More than 600,000 people were trapped in the subways.  Vacca mentions such things as grid failure and also a brief notation of the Carrington event.

He does not specifically detail what event will cause such systems to fail.  EMP data was sketchy back then; however, the knowledge did exist, and Vacca concentrated on the loss of the systems themselves…all systems of infrastructure…that make up our modern society.  He then tells what will occur afterwards.  The “arrival of the dark ages,” Vacca explained, are based on two features: a sharp reduction in population followed by a gradual decline, and also the breakup of systems into smaller, independent, self-sufficient systems.

Vacca believed that city-states would form in the rural communities, with each focusing upon one or two specialties of production per state and a complete return to barter as a means of exchange of goods and services.  He had a vision of how knowledge and technology, both technical and the employment of it should be chronicled and saved for a time after the world’s collapse.  He wrote the following:

“Monastic communities or similar systems should be set up to preserve the essential elements of our present civilization during the Dark Age; and to preserve our knowledge for the civilization to come.”

Fairly profound, wouldn’t you agree?  Vacca defined Dark Age on pg. 174 as “the period elapsing between the time in which maximum overshoot [collapse] is reached and the time when the low point is passed and a new period of expansion will begin [Renaissance/rebirth].”

He went on to describe how the Dark Age would begin sooner and last longer in the U.S. than in the rest of the world due to our use of and complete dependence on systems that are rooted in technology and electricity.  He saw huge migrations of people with the collapse of nations, as well as the return to a type of futuristic feudalism where self-sufficiency rather than interdependency is championed.  Chapter 16 is only ten pages; however, it lays out what is to come after the SHTF.

Feudal structures (architectural as well as social), the best locations for fortified communities, skills and tools needed in the time after the collapse…it’s all there, right for the reader’s taking.  He explains how socially such communities would be governed, and talks about the marauders who will range far and wide looking for power through conquest of these city-state communities.

The book is a quick read, and in this author’s opinion a great one.  The reason I stress that latter part is it important to have a type of blueprint with which not only to rebuild, but to understand the reasons and motives that prompt others to rebuild “differently” from you or your intentional community/group’s ideals and manners.  Roberto Vacca had a vision of a time that is not too far in the future from where we are, and maybe even sooner than we think.  I strongly recommend it for your studies and for your library of preparedness for things coming down the line.  Keep up the 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

The 8 Deadliest Threats to our Homeland BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

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failures of imagination

Imagining the worst. You’ve done it. I’ve done it.

We’ve imagined a shooter walking into the darkened theater as we’re enjoying a Marvel movie with the kids. We’ve imagined the airplane on take-off suddenly plummeting to the ground.

Whatever the scenario, for sure, there’s no lack of imagination on our part. If you’re a Survival Mom reader, chances are you are very aware of threats that endanger our homes, families, and lives.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with many decision makers in our government, and Failures of Imagination by Michael McCaul highlights this sad fact.

Following the terrorist attacks on 9/11, the 9/11 Commission Report, observed, “The most important failure was one of imagination.” Collectively, the best and brightest among military, national security, law enforcement, and government agencies at all levels, simply did not recognize the potential threat of coordinated airplane hijackings — and 2,977 moms, dads, sons, and daughters lost their lives.

The deadliest threats

Failures of Imagination highlights 8 threats that are neither outlandish nor impossible — threats that, McCaul assures us, have been actively considered by terrorists.

These 8 threats are:

  1. A “decapitation strike” on America’s political leadership at the U.S. Capitol
  2. Detonation of a “dirty bomb” smuggled into Texas across the Rio Grande
  3. A foreign agent connected to China tampering with an American presidential election
  4. A shooting rampage at the Mall of America the day after Thanksgiving
  5. A devastating and debilitating attack on the East Coast’s power grid as part of a wide-ranging cyber strike
  6. Radicalized “black widows” releasing a deadly strain of smallpox at Disney World
  7. A jetliner explosion over downtown Los Angeles — on Oscar night
  8. Russia invading the Baltic states, neutralizing the NATO Alliance, and threatening the American coastline

To anyone keeping up with the headlines, these events, although extreme, could easily be featured on tonight’s 6 o’clock news. Many of us have become numb to yet another terrorist attack, but even for those not interested in hearing about terrorism, terrorists and enemy nations continue to focus their malignant attention on all of us.

An attack on Mall of America

The feature that makes Failures of Imagination highly readable and entertaining are the short, fictionalized vignettes of each attack. Through the eyes of victim and attacker alike, we see the event played out as though it were a novel, but then, each scene switches to a real world analysis of the attack in an EYES ONLY report to the President.

I’m no fan of shopping malls, and shopping in general, actually, but I’ve visited the Mall of America, and this particular attack caught my eye. I’ve never forgotten the terrorist attack on the Westgate Mall in Kenya back in 2013.

Chapter 4, Black Friday, introduces the reader to a fun loving father and son team whose passion is roller coasters. They travel around their country seeking the biggest and fastest coasters, with their final, tragic destination being the SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge at the Mall of America. Coinciding with this long-anticipated visit is the arrival of another cast of characters, American Somali terrorists. Radicalized by members of a Minneapolis mosque, this group of well-armed, well-trained gunmen, driven by intense hatred for all things American, target shoppers randomly, killing 267 and wounding 1,191.

This particular vignette was riveting because it traced the journey of an American born and educated man, Omar Othman Ali, from his life as a cab driver, barely making ends meet, to becoming the mastermind of the mall attack. Hundreds, and probably thousands, of other Muslim men in America make a similar transition, which is unsettling, too say the least.

The EYES ONLY report provides an assessment of damage, current state of affairs in the Minneapolis area, and then McCaul provides in depth information, answering the questions, could it really happen and what can we do to stop this?

His proposed solutions include:

  • Catch more foreign fighters in the United States.
  • Catch more foreign fighters abroad.
  • Shine light on the “Dark Web”. Ironically founded and still funded by the United States, the Dark Web is where much of the planning by terrorists occur without much danger of being discovered.
  • Use conventional military resources to target commanders.

Something for everyone

Based on my readers’ responses to past book reviews, I know that apocalyptic fiction is very popular. For those readers, you will completely enjoy the fictional dramas that open each chapter. The stories, although brief, captivated my attention. These are very well written.

For readers who enjoy military strategy and current events, the non-fiction portions of each chapter provide plenty of analysis and strategizing. There will likely be both old and new information here but the creative format is fast paced and challenges the reader to put their own imaginations to work. McCaul says, “We need to imagine the worst in order to prevent it.”

Visit the official website of Failures of Imagination and enter this giveaway to win one of 10 copies!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

failure imagination FB size



Station Eleven: Pandemic Vision of Future Events

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Huples. One thing I love at Christmas is getting that one small present I was not expecting that delights me. Getting a mainstream literary book that has a pandemic as its theme definitely fulfilled that this Christmas. While “One Second After” by […]

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Are You Ready to Get Back to the Basics?

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Do you ever feel like life is moving too fast? Would you like to be more self-reliant and live a more natural (greener) life? A lot of people who start with an interest in basic food storage for emergencies end up diving into a whole new world of cooking from scratch, raising chickens, gardening, and some even move on to living completely off-grid. It starts to make a lot of sense as you realize how much easier it is to be prepared if you are not so dependent on “society” for your needs.

Back to the Basics eBook Bundle

We are so excited to announce that we have teamed up with a bunch of other bloggers and authors to create a bundle of eBooks all on topics that will help YOU get back to the basics. Individually our Food Storage Made Easy eBook series normally sells for $24 and for just $5 more (during the launch sale) you can get our ebooks plus an entire library of over 60 ebooks on topics ranging from preparedness to homesteading, gardening to homeschooling and much much more. The value of this bundle is staggering! CHECK BACK JANUARY 18TH TO ORDER AT THE INTRO SALE PRICE!

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We have already had a chance to preview this bundle and we are so excited at the wealth of knowledge contained here. A couple of the books we are most excited to dive into are:

  • Whole Wheat Bread Making
  • 10 Minute Prep Freezer Meals
  • Dehydrating eCourse
  • The Debit Card Envelope Budget
  • Easy Peasy Chores
  • Tips for the Beginning Beekeeper
  • Vegetable Gardening Basics
  • The Beginners’ Book of Essential Oils
  • Wonder Oven Cooking Videos
  • Your Own 72 Hour Kit Plan
  • Practical Simplicity
  • and the Household Organization Pack

There is enough golden content here to keep us reading for weeks!

Join the FREE 15-Day Back To Basics Living Challenge

Not sure if you want to invest in the bundle? No problem! The authors have put together a FREE 15 day course that will give you a sampling of what will be included in the bundle. If you join the challenge you’ll also be notified as soon as the full bundle is available to purchase.

Want to get a jump start on becoming more self sufficient and getting back to basics? Join us for the FREE 15 Day Back To Basics Living Challenge Starting January 10, 2016 (you can still join in after that date!) In the meantime get a jump start on getting Back To Basics with our FREE Quick Start Guide!
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West and Travelers book reviews

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no normal day review
Life goes on – even after an EMP. J. Richardson continues her No Normal Day series with this in mind by exploring two personal tales in books three and four. She starts 15 years after the event that turned the lights out.

The first two books (previously reviewed) of No Normal Day follow normal couple, Jack and Beth, after an EMP turns their world upside down. They have done some preparing but don’t have anything like a Faraday cage or HAM radio. After they gather together family and friends, new and old, they work together to found the new town of Unity.

Fifteen years later, the world is still slowly re-establishing itself. In West, survivors are fending for themselves, building small, tight-knit communities but change is constant. The original founders of Unity have died, leaving four young residents wondering about the old cabin they left in Colorado. Feeling restless, the two young couples prepare themselves as best they can for the long journey from Texas. Even leaving in early spring, they have no idea if they will reach the Colorado cabin before winter sets in and their odds of survival plummet with the temperatures. For that matter, they don’t know if the cabin is still livable, vacant, or even standing.

As they travel, they meet Jeff and his son Kevin. After Jeff’s wife died, the two decided to travel the country on a wagon, delivering mail to people around the country. Travelers is their story. They offer no guarantees that they can actually deliver letters, but they will try their hardest to find the addressee. In the apocalypse, that’s about all you can ask for. This book picks up after the couples from West give them a letter to take home to Unity.

Jeff and Kevin have tended to keep to themselves, not getting involved in any trouble they see along the way whether it’s stray animals or people. Jeff’s priority is keeping himself and his son safe, not helping strangers. When Jeff sees a young woman in dire trouble, he realizes he needs to make an exception to his rule. Emily joins them in their journey as they deliver a few letters and make their way to Unity.

Unity confronts them with the possibility of settling down, but is Jeff ready for it? He still has a few final letters to deliver, and Emily needs to decide if she is staying on the road with him and Kevin or relatively safe in Unity.

These two highly enjoyable stories placed interesting personal stories within the setting of a society recovering from an EMP. There are tips on survival scattered throughout the books and while it shows some of the despair of life without power, it also shows successes and hope. One of the most interesting scenes is in book four when Jeff, Kevin and Emily stumble upon a government compound in Roswell, N.M. The people in the compound are surviving quite well and doing research, but they still aren’t sharing their resources with the rest of mankind, even after 15 years.

I definitely recommend these to anyone who likes dystopian novels that aren’t focused just on how bad life could be. Fair warning: there are enough typos sprinkled through the books to bother a grammar junkie, but not enough to stop me from recommending it.

no normal day review

The Secret to a Long and Happy Life is in the Garden

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Dan Buettner wanted to find the secret of longevity. He traveled the world over, meeting and interviewing the world’s centenarians (people over 100) to learn the secret from those who could speak from experience. But when he pressed them for an answer most of them could not really say. One of them said with a shrug, “We just forget to die.” Too busy living to worry about dying.

These centenarians never thought of retiring. For some of them it was literally never a thought that crossed their mind. They didn’t even have a word for retirement. They were still herding sheep, milking goats, or tending their gardens. They all ate lots of vegetables, and most of them grew their own.

In the U.S., we have a fascination with youth and a fear of aging. These feelings are are not shared in some other cultures. Of a village in Sardinia, Italy, Buettner says, “On tavern walls, instead of posters of bikinied women or fast cars, you’d see calendars featuring the ‘Centenarian of the month.’”

Buettner says, “None of the 253 spry centenarians I’ve met went on a diet, joined a gym or took supplements.”

How is it that these people are still dancing when most people their age have returned to dust? Buettner put together a team to help him collect the data and facts as well as engage in personal visits so they could actually get to know these amazing people and translate what they learned into information that we can all use to keep us dancing right up to the moment the music stops.

Dan Buettner’s Recommendations for Longevity

After working on this project for seven years, Buettner boiled it down to the following recommendations:

1. Make exercise a part of your lifestyle rather than just doing exercise for its own sake.
2. Stop eating when you feel 80% full, because the feeling of fullness is delayed by 20 minutes.
3. Eat mainly plants.
4. Drink a little red wine daily — with moderation of course.
5. Have a goal in life — a reason to get up in the morning.
6. Slow down and have strategies for relieving stress.
7. Be part of a spiritual community.
8. Make your family members top priority.
9. Choose friends who encourage these positive values.

You can read the whole story in his book, The Blue Zones, Second Edition: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest.

I am pleased to note that most, if not all, of these recommendations can be answered in the garden. We have healthy exercise, plenty of fresh vegetables, a reason to get up in the morning, and a place to forget stress for sure. Some things in the list might be answered indirectly – like growing red grapes to make wine, and having gatherings and family picnics in the garden.

Let’s take a closer look at the different recommendations and how you can fulfill them in your own garden:

Recommendation #1 – Exercise
Working in the garden is certainly exercise, but your choice of tools will make a big difference in how effective and enjoyable it is.

I have lately discovered the Meadow Creature broadfork. It’s an excellent tool for breaking up new ground and loosening the subsoil to make it retain more water. It’s perfect for exercise because you keep your back straight and use both arms and legs equally. You just step on the cross bar, sinking the tines into the ground, then lean back to cut through the soil. It loosens soil without turning it over. If the ground is very hard, keep it shallow on the first pass and then repeat until you get the tines all the way in — 12 to 16 inches, depending on which model you use. I feel such a sense of well-being after working with my broadfork that I wonder if I might be getting the grounding benefit called “earthing.” Even though I’m wearing shoes, my hands are on the metal handles and the tines are deep in the ground. Anybody out there have any ideas about that?

My broadfork obeys me perfectly, so it’s safe to use up close to plants, as long as I pay attention to what I’m doing. Not so with a rototiller, which I think has a mind of its own, and a cantankerous one at that. The broadfork is also quiet, undemanding, and maintenance free. Another favorite garden tool is the garden claw which also lets you keep your back straight while working. It has six tines in a square position at the bottom. You push down and twist. No more back-breaking work with these two tools.

Recommendation #2 – The 80% Rule — Stop Eating Before You Reach Full Capacity
Well, I’m afraid this one isn’t easier if you garden. It might actually be harder to stop eating, because your food all tastes so good. But then, you aren’t consuming empty calories, so I wouldn’t worry as much about this one. Just eat slowly, and stop before you’re full.

Recommendation #3 – Eat Mainly Plants
No problem! If you garden at home, there are plenty of fresh vegetables for the picking. And if you plan your garden well, you can keep the fresh harvest coming almost all year long in many areas.

Recommendation #4 – Drink a Little Red Wine
Most of us rely on the grocery store or another retailer to supply us with red wine. But if you’re an adventurous gardener, you could consider planting a grapevine along the edge of your garden. This would provide you fresh grapes to work with, and it might even provide some additional exercise if you crush the grapes traditionally – with your feet. However you get your red wine – always drink it in moderation.

Recommendation #5 – Have a Reason to Get Up in the Morning
There’s no place like the garden in the early morning. What an inspiring place to be! Avid gardeners are heavily invested in their gardens, and so they always have a reason to climb out of bed and go out to the garden to survey their progress, preen their plants, and plan for upcoming projects.

It’s true that a garden can become very unsightly and discouraging if bugs and weeds take over. So, always keep the size of your garden small enough to maintain it in good condition, and continue adding new seeds and plants so that you have constant, vigorous growth. Yes, let some of your plants go to seed for flowers and nectar for the good guys (pollinators and insect predators), but keep planting new things, too, so that the garden stays beautiful all season long.

Gardens can also be very expensive, especially if you opt to purchase soil, fertilizers, and pest sprays. One way to keep costs under control is to learn the principles of permaculture. Permaculture seeks to mimic nature and always tries to minimize external inputs (like store-bought soil). The word “permaculture” (combining “permanent” and “culture”) and the basic principles behind it have been around since the 1970s, but some of the concepts are quite ancient.

a-guild-of-lettuce-radishes-and-beetsOne of the ideas in permaculture is to create groupings of plants that aid and protect one another. These plant groupings are referred to as guilds. And emphasis is placed on using plants that attract pollinators and other “good guy” insect predators. The “three sisters” is a great example of a guild, invented by Native Americans. They planted corn, beans, and squash near each other. The corn stalks act as a trellis for the beans. The bean plants fix nitrogen in the soil. And the squash plant acts as a mulch, shading the ground and keeping the soil moist.

When you plant large groups of the same thing, you make it easy for the nibbling insects that eat in your garden. Instead of having to forage for food, they get to shop at the supermarket. If we take a cue from nature, and plant a variety of different plants together, we have a better chance to outsmart those pests.

a-guild-of-lettuce-beets-and-radishesI have not tried the “three sisters” yet, but I have learned that beets, radishes, and lettuce work well together. You do need to give a little extra attention to the beets, to make sure the other plants don’t overwhelm them. Here the radish has shaded the lettuce, and some bugs have eaten the radish leaves instead of eating the lettuce. This worked out great for me, since I wasn’t planning to eat the radish leaves anyway.

One experiment I did was to stop spraying for insects because spraying kills the good guys, too. This summer, when I was watering and something jumped out of the foliage, it was often a small frog or toad rather than a grasshopper or cricket. You don’t eliminate all the pests, and believe it or not, you don’t want to. If all of the pests disappear, there won’t be any food left for the good guys, and they will disappear too. I must confess, though, that the cabbage caterpillar was just too much and I had to resort to using Dipel. I don’t mind so much when insects stop by for a snack, but when they move right in to stay and leave garbage behind, I just can’t help myself.

open-pollinated-grape-tomatoesThis year I was excited to have an “open pollinated grape tomato” (that’s the only name I have) come up prolifically. I did nothing for them except grow them last year. This year I didn’t plant, water, fertilize, or spray for disease or bugs. I didn’t even pull weeds or keep the tomatoes picked. The plants came up through the weeds and grass, grew up over the top of the the weeds or climbed on anything available, without being tied. Other tomatoes had a hard time this year – it was too wet, then too dry, and the bugs were bad. But there was no problem at all for those little grape tomatoes. I could pick what I wanted, whenever I wanted, all summer long. And they kept right on growing until the first frost. They are bite-sized with superb flavor, perfect for salads and snacking. I would love to hear if anyone else has a favorite garden plant that takes care of itself like this. The picture here was taken in November, so the tomatoes had slowed down quite a bit. But you can see how they still held their own above the weeds and grass.

Recommendation #6 – Slow Down and De-Stress
Gardening is a great stress-reliever for gardeners of all ages. For many of us, the garden is a place we go to unwind and bond with nature. If you have a garden in your yard, you always have a place nearby to regroup and collect your thoughts when life gets difficult and stressful.

If you’re already feeling tranquil, just go out and smell the flowers. Want to punch somebody? Attack the weeds instead. This works better than a punching bag, you will love the results, and there are no regrets!

Walking barefoot on bare earth or grass also helps to reduce stress. We actually do run on electricity, and we benefit greatly from grounding. This is called “earthing.”

Recommendation #7 – Be Part of a Spiritual Community
Recommendation #8 – Make Family Members a Priority
Recommendation #9 – Choose Friends Who Encourage These Positive Values

Some people get a strong spiritual reward from gardening, and for others it’s all about the food. Some families garden together, while some gardeners have families that prefer to stay indoors. Some people garden alone, while others are active in local gardening clubs and community gardens.

What’s important here is to acknowledge that people need people. So, you might need to consider leaving your garden for these last three.

Community gardens are a great way that you can use your love of gardening to connect with others. Even if you already have your own garden at home, adopting a plot in a community garden will put you in touch with other like-minded people in your area. Local gardening groups and clubs are another great way to connect with others who share your love of gardening.

If your family and friends aren’t interested in gardening with you, leave your garden and meet them on their ground. You can always bring some of the wonderful flowers and food from your garden along, to share with your closest loved ones.

Gardening Your Way to a Long, Happy Life

I think the time has come to consider returning to some of the forgotten ways of our ancestors, which were just as effective, and often more efficient, than the way we do things now. Permaculture can be an exhaustive subject, but there are many new books available that translate the concepts into use for the home garden. This opens many vistas for continued learning and keeps our minds alert. Some of my favorite authors on the subject are Anna Hess, Toby Hemenway, and Christopher Shein.

Growing your own food gives you such a sense of satisfaction when you walk through the grocery store. The food there is bland and it lacks nutrition, but you notice the prices going up and up. Instead of wringing your hands and wondering how long you’ll be able to feed your family, you can feel wealthy – knowing that the most delicious, most nutritious food is already at home.

Go to your garden for health and long life. There you will find your medicines and your supplements. And these don’t need to be kept out of the reach of children. Instead of harmful side effects, they have wonderful, live-giving benefits.

sunflowers-in-bloomThe garden provides more than just fresh produce. There is an energy exchange — a symbiotic relationship between people and plants. It’s obvious when you think of the oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange, but there is so much more. We were meant to be in a garden. The beautiful sights, the pleasant fragrances, and the songs of birds have a calming, healing influence on us. We take care of the garden, and it takes care of us.

Life began in a garden and it still flourishes there. The bible tells us that even Jesus sought solace in the garden. He went there to commune with His Father, and to gain strength for His supreme hour of testing.

The kiss of the sun for pardon
The song of the birds for mirth.
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
Than any place else on earth.

– Dorothy Frances Gurney


10 Reasons to Garden NOW!

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small vegetable garden design, garden, garden ideasSomeone commented on one of my videos the other day that she was “a city girl” who didn’t know what she was doing in the garden… and that she was probably just going to give up.

I urged her to keep going. Now is a terrible time to quit gardening!

With the way the world is going, this is the time to garden like you’ve never gardened before. Here are just a few reasons.

1. GMOs
Do you really want to be part of a big science experiment, eating gene-spliced foods without knowing if they’re safe or not? Me either! Grow your own food with heirloom seeds and step away from the lab.

2. Economics
The economy is rotten and is likely to get worse. Runaway immigration, shaky banks, rising food costs, global unrest… all these have an impact on wages, investments and savings. Fortunately, a garden can save you some serious money.

3. Eating Local
Why count on food coming in from 1,000 miles away? Eating locally is a big deal right now – and you can’t get any more local than your own yard. Put in a garden and cut out the shipping!

4. Fresh is Better
There have been studies showing a significant loss of nutrition in vegetables and fruit that have sat around before consumption. It often takes days for food to reach your plate. Grow your own garden and you can reap the maximum nutritional benefits.

5. Gardening is Healthy
Think about it: you’re working outside in the sunshine and fresh air, interacting with nature and getting your hands into the good earth. That beats sitting indoors in front of the television — plus it won’t turn your brain into oatmeal.

6. Homegrown Food Tastes Better
Seriously: store tomato vs. homegrown tomato. Is there any comparison?

7. Time May Be Short
History is punctuated with periods of prosperity followed by periods of strife, disease, war and famine. We’ve had things good for a long time now and there are clouds on the horizon. Knowing how to grow your own food makes sense against the backdrop of an uncertain future.

8. Avoiding Toxins
The level of pesticides sprayed on our crops is a horrifying thing — and the herbicide levels are also ridiculous. Do you want to eat food — or poison? If you’re eating typical commercially grown crops, you’re getting both. Grow your own food and you’ll know exactly what’s gone into your dinner.

9. Gardening is Great for Families
My children all eat their vegetables and enjoy them. I believe this is in large part because they’ve helped grow them! We’ve spent many weekend afternoons together working outside, pulling sweet potatoes, planting seeds, weeding rows and enjoying each other’s company. Gardening is good family time and it builds real-world knowledge.

10. Gardening Beats Worry
If you’re concerned about the future, get planting. There’s nothing like seeing rows of potatoes, cabbages and beans in the ground to make you feel a little better about tomorrow. If it’s too cold to garden, gather leaves and build compost or go through seed catalogs with your sweetheart. If you’ve never gardened much and you’re counting on your tinned Apocalypse-Brand Seed Bank, you’re on shaky ground. Most folks can’t grow a lettuce without killing it! Learn now and you can quit worrying about the future.

Finally, my publisher just released my latest gardening book and I’m thrilled to see its popularity thus far. If you’re not sure where to start with your gardening plans, this book is for you.

It’s called Grow or Die: The Good Guide to Survival Gardening. Check it out:


In this book, I cover crop varieties, off-grid irrigation, tilling without gasoline, and a lot more. You’ll dig it. It’s only available in the Kindle version right now but a paperback will be coming soon. At $2.99, it’s really cheap insurance against an uncertain future and will give you all you need to start gardening before your life depends on it.

Bonus: it’s also funny.

Now get out there and start gardening like your life depends on it… because one day it may.


100 Deadly Skills – Lifesaving Tips for Preppers

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

I am always looking to learn skills that can improve many facets of my life. A chief aspect of prepping I believe is to continually learn and increase your ability to survive. This education can come in many forms from training courses, real-life exposure, videos, lectures and books. For me though I don’t learn from […]

The post 100 Deadly Skills – Lifesaving Tips for Preppers appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

When The Meds Run Out, These are The Natural Alternatives That Could Save Your Life

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herbsOne of the perks of Ready Nutrition is to read books on prepping and natural living and share which ones I like with all of you. Like many of you, I have a natural curiosity about natural medicine and practiced using essential oils and herbs to make my own salves and teas. I am by no means a master herbalist but love learning about the subject. I envy author Cat Ellis’s herbal background and believe it will serve her well during a time when there is no doctor. I was so excited when she decided to do a book on the subject and she was kind enough to let me interview her about her book, the Prepper’s Natural Medicine: Life-Saving Herbs, Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for When There is No Doctor.

1. Tell us a little bit about your book, Prepper’s Natural Medicine. 

51ieolyMzzLPrepper’s Natural Medicine is the book I wish I had when I first started learning about herbal medicine. It is written for the total beginner, with no assumptions of prior experience with herbs. However, I have a few tips and tricks that even experienced herbalists would find interesting.This book covers all of the basic skills necessary to make herbal medicine, the therapeutic properties of 50 herbs that will grow almost anywhere in the United States, plus provides formulas for how to create your own medicine. Instructions are provided in an easy to read, conversational style, much as I would speak if the reader were taking one of my classes in person. While this book would be of use to any budding herbalist, it specifically addresses concerns that preppers have, especially long term disasters where the option of getting professional medical care is off the table. For example, how would you treat a snake or spider bite? What about anaphylaxis? Hypothermia?There’s a trend to sanitize herbal medicine with claims that “herbs work gently”. And to a point that’s true. Chamomile is a gentle herb that helps with stress and winding down at the end of the day. On the other hand, some herbs are potent analgesics, antispasmodics, and antimicrobials. Some herbs can help stop bleeding both internally and externally. Others help with seizures.This book is primarily a medicine-making book using herbs for one’s primary source of medicine. It is not a gardening, foraging, or a plant ID book. If your survival plan is to stay mobile, this may not be for you. I do have thoughts for a future book to address those needs, though. If you are stocking up on food, water, ammo, silver, and other supplies, then this is the herbal book for you.

In your book, Prepper’s Natural Medicine, you emphasize the importance of having herbs as part of your preparedness plan. What would you recommend as a starting point for beginners?

I would start off with easy to grow herbs, such as comfrey and peppermint- just try getting either of those two not to grow, and herbs that do dual duty as culinary and medicinal herbs, such as cayenne, garlic, ginger, thyme, and sage. These are familiar to most people, which makes learning how to make herbal medicines less intimidating.

In the book, you mentioned that ingesting essential oils has its place. When is that?

Very rarely, and almost never. There are oils which have GRAS status, which means, “General Recognized As Safe” by the FDA as a food additive. The most common use of this is as a flavoring, whether that be in food or in cosmetics, such as lip balm or lip stick. What this normally means is a drop or two of, say, lemon essential oil in a batch of lemon squares. It is diluted across the entire recipe, and most people don’t sit down to eat the entire batch in one sitting.

However, from a therapeutic standpoint, essential oils are best inhaled or applied topically in some type of carrier, like a salve or lotion, as many are irritating to the skin to apply directly. Regular ingestion of essential oils over time leads to complications, like liver damage, and really misses the mark on how essential oil work best.

That being said, a drop of clove oil applied to a painful tooth, or peppermint oil in an enteric coated capsule for intestinal infections and cramping, or a drop of cinnamon oil added to herbal cough drops or an herbal sore throat spray, are good examples of when ingestion has its place. And, of course, in that batch of lemon squares.

My favorite chapter in the book is the herbal first aid kit. What herbs would you consider the most important and why?

It was tough to narrow it down to just the 50 herbs in the book! But, if I had to pick just 10, my choices would be:

  1. Peppermint: This one herb does so many things. Peppermint can settle the stomach, relieve congestion, soothe away a headache, help cool a person’s temperature, it has a pleasant taste, and kids readily take it.
  2. Comfrey: Two of this herb’s folknames are “knitbone” and “bruisewort”. Comfrey helps to knit tissues back together. This goes in my burn care salve, is excellent in a poultice for a sprained ankle, helps the skin to heal quickly and with minimal (if any) scarring. It works so well, that it should not be used on deep wounds, healing the upper tissue layers and trapping bacteria inside. Short term use only as a tea, though. But could be very useful for someone healing from a serious sprain or broken limb.
  3. Thyme: This is your respiratory system’s best friend. Use in teas, syrups, and most importantly, in herbal steams for any respiratory infection, either bacterial or viral. Add to bath water when you feel sick, to benefit from the steam and sooth the entire body, or use thyme’s antimicrobial properties in herbal cleaning products. Blends well with lavender for the same purposes. Thyme can be taken as a tea or syrup for sore throats and general respiratory relief.
  4. Yarrow: Easy to find growing wild, yarrow is known for its ability to stop bleeding. It is taken both internally and applied externally for this purpose. It can also help reduce fever through sweating, and is an anti-inflammatory, making it a wonderful flu herb, chasing away the aches and pains and fever associated with the flu.
  5. White willow: This tree’s bark contains a chemical called salicin. Salicin is metabolized into salicylic acid, which is the origin of aspirin. The active ingredient in aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid, a synthesized version of salicylic acid. White willow is much less irritating to the stomach than aspirin, and in my experience, is more effective and lasts longer. If you don’t have a white willow nearby, meadowsweet is a good alternative for your herbal garden.
  6. Cayenne: Cayenne contains capsaicin, which is well known for pain relief by blocking the signaling of pain from the source to the brain. Cayenne is a vasodilator, primarily of the small blood vessels and improves circulation. This is really important for people who are sedentary or diabetic. Cayenne is also anti-inflammatory, and analgesic. It is a primary ingredient in one of my oxymel (herbal vinegar sweetened with honey) recipes, which I use as an herbal decongestant.
  7. Berberine: This is actually a chemical found in various herbs, not an herb itself. Berberine has more uses than can be listed here. It’s top uses are as a local antibiotic, for blood glucose management, to strengthen the gut wall, lowering liver inflammation, and promoting healthy cholesterol and triglycerides levels. A berberine-containing herb can be used for wound powders. Berberine is excellent for throat infections as a spray, though it does have a very bitter taste. It must come in contact with the infected tissue to have an effect, so sweeten it up with honey or glycerin, then thin with water to work in a spray bottle. Some people taking berberine for its blood glucose and metabolic benefits prefer to take theirs encapsulated. Wherever you live in the United States, there is at least one herb that contains berberine that grows in your area naturally. These might include the Amur cork tree (an invasive on the east coast), Oregon grape root (Northwest), chaparral (Southwest), algerita (Texas and southwest), barberry (not a native plant, but can be grown almost anywhere), and goldenseal (endangered, but was native to east coast and midwest).
  8. Echinacea: This herb has been pigeonholed as a cold and flu herb, but it offers so much more. Echinacea is excellent for wound care, and makes a great addition to wound powders. The tincture is slightly warming and numbing, making it perfect in a spray for sore throat spray, or dental infection or wound. Echinacea is an immuno-stimulant, and it can act as a systemic antibiotic at the right dosage. Dosage is usually far more frequent than people expect, all the way up to once every hour. My preference is for Echincea angustafolia root.
  9. Garlic: Everyone needs lots and lots of garlic. This is the posterchild herb for food being medicine. Have your garlic raw, fermented in honey, or cooked, it’s all beneficial. Garlic supports immune function, is antibacterial, antifungal, and is well known for it’s heart health benefits.  If you want to stay healthy, eat a lot of garlic.
  10. Valerian: In about 10% of the population, it can have the opposite effect, but valerian helps almost everyone sleep. Valerian also helps with pain, spasms, coughing, and can be used topically for sore muscles.  Something to be aware of with valerian is that the dose is really dependent upon the individual. A very small dose may be fine for one person, and the next may need three times that amount.
  11. Mullein: This list needs a good expectorant to round out the list, and mullein is one of the best. The soft leaves from the first year plant are excellent for helping break up stuck phlegm. In the second year, the plant sends up a large stalk with yellow flowers. Pick the flowers and infuse them in olive oil for earaches.

What three points of the book do you want readers to walk away with? What tools would you recommend?

First, herbal medicine works, and works very well, even in serious cases. Herbs aren’t just for gently falling asleep after a stressful day. They can help . Second, while there is a lot to learn in order to use herbal medicine safely and effectively, it is fun learning. This process is enjoyable and empowering, and my book gets you started off on the right foot. And thirdly, the time to learn how to use herbal medicine is right now, while things are still relatively good.

In a long-term emergency, what natural medicines do you think will be needed most?

In a long term emergency without access to a doctor, pharmacy, or a hospital, we will still need to have the ability to treat both acute and chronic conditions. Acute injuries and infections are obvious, and require antimicrobials and analgesics. According to the CDC, however, 1 out of every 2 adults in the United States have a chronic illness, and that’s just based on people who actually go to the doctor for a proper diagnosis.While a lot of preppers are concerned with how to treat a bullet wound, and that’s a valid concern, far more people will require a sustainable source of medicine for heart conditions, diabetes, arthritis, mood disorders, and so on.

We will need:

Antimicrobial herbs: wounds, respiratory infections, and intestinal infections. Several I mentioned above, but I would add clove, black walnut hull, and artemesia for parasitical infections. I would also put special attention toward herbal antibiotics in the face of every-increasing antibiotic resistance. We would need both local and systemic herbal antibiotic alternatives to drugs. Herbs that come to mind as local antibiotics would be berberine herbs, garlic, juniper, burdock, and sage. Systemics are a little more scarce, but sida, bidens, and artemesias such as sweet Annie, cover a lot of ground.
Cardiovascular herbs: In addition to the cayenne, garlic, and berberine I mentioned above, as well as the yarrow to stop bleeding, I would also add bilberry, hawthorne, and motherwort.
Analgesics: In addition to the pain-relieving white willow bark, we will need additional pain relievers. Arnica is great for join pain, especially from arthritis, sprains, and repetitive motion injuries. Corydalis, California poppy, and Jamaican dogwood is a combination used for severe pain. Black cohosh and lobelia can be infused into an oil and a salve or lotion made from it for muscle spasms.
Anti-diabetics: Diabetes is one of our most common chronic illnesses in the United States. For type two, goat’s rue is the origin of the active ingredients for metformin. A three month study found berberine as effective as metformin.[1] There is some hope for type one diabetics with Gymnema sylvestre and fenugreek, as both help to regenerate the beta cells in the pancreas to help the body start to make its own insulin again. Gymnema is not available in plant or seed form in the United States, so one would have to stock up on the dried herb, and tincture it for both dosage and longer term storage.

You have a new book coming out. Can you tell us about it?

pandemicMy new book is called Prepping for a Pandemic: Life-Saving Supplies, Skills, and Plans for Surviving an Outbreak, and is available for preorder on Amazon. This book covers a whole range of issues related to pandemics, and is in direct response to emails I received from readers of my blog and my live internet radio show audience.We have had this unique opportunity to observe and learn from the Ebola crisis in West Africa. We have been witness to individuals attack clinics, what happens when medical facilities reach surge capacity, curfews and quarantines, martial law leaving people without food, had the specter of bio-terrorism lingering, and how our government and media control what the public know. The goals of individuals, staying healthy and not dying, are not the same as government concerns, which are maintaining order and suppressing panic. And, of course, we had the tragic case of Thomas Eric Duncan who brought Ebola to the United States by plane, and spread the disease to hospital staff. There is so much to learn from all this that helps us make better plans in case of an outbreak. If there is any positive side to the horrific loss of life in this unprecedented Ebola outbreak, it would be how to better prepare for pandemic threats.

In the book, I cover seven illnesses I believe are the most significant threats to trigger the next great pandemic. This includes drug-resistant bacteria, viruses which have a demonstrated history of causing pandemics, the human involvement of both terrorism and human error, and the conventional and herbal treatment approaches, if any, are provided. The book wraps up with a pro-active section on how to establish a Self Imposed Reverse Quarantine (SIRQ), with resources to learn more about pandemic preparedness.

My Thoughts on Prepper’s Natural Medicine: Life-Saving Herbs, Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for When There is No Doctor

Have you ever wondered what you would do if there were no pharmacy? In the early onset of my prepping endeavors this question plagued me. Dying from illness or infection is one of the most likely ways one can die in a long-term emergency and without the knowledge of medicinal herbs and natural medicine, you could be a world of trouble. This very question was the first sentence that Cat wrote in her book and what I loved so much about the book. From the very beginning, she cuts to the chase and gets to the heart of topic. Throughout the book (and something she mentioned in her interview with me) she listed fifty of the most useful herbs, medicinal uses and recipes to practice. She holds nothing back in this book and uses a layered medical approach to assembling a natural medicine kit.

This book teaches you the how’s, what’s and why’s about creating a natural medicinal pantry. Because Cat comes from a prepping background she uses a common sense approach to emphasize the vulnerabilities of solely storing western medicine supplies including how supplies will expire, run out and the ever-looming antibiotic resistance bacteria in the near future.

The book is easy to read, written in a friendly manner and is packed with information. If I could give this book 10 stars, I would. From start to finish, I absolutely loved it! Cat is a wealth of knowledge and I will recommend this book for years to come. As well, Cat has an equally informative website, Herbal Prepper that all of you should check out!


[1]    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2410097/

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Post-EMP Survival: What If You Can’t Get Home?

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Post-EMP Survival: What If You Can't Get Home via The Survival Mom
One of the most haunting emails I’ve received this year is from Mallory:
I recently started reading your blog (love it!) and have your EMP First 15 Steps PDF. I have a couple more business trips planned for the rest of 2015, and some are quite a distance from home. I wondered if you could give any advice at all on what I should prep for, gear-wise or even mentally?
The thought of an EMP happening when I am NOT at home, maybe not with my spouse and children, it scares me.  I just want to be as prepared as I can be, because who knows when something like this could happen — 2 minutes from now or 2 years from now?
Once you’re aware of a power grid failure due to an EMP, cyberterrorism, or a solar event, you can’t help but share Mallory’s worries.
This past month I’ve been reading Ted Koppel’s newest book, Lights Out, and, frankly, it has done nothing to ease my concerns. In fact, in this book, he clearly lays out how our nation’s leaders have done virtually nothing to protect our power grid from any type of attack, nor are there effective plans in place to help the millions of citizens who will be completely unprepared.
He knows because as part of his research, he interviewed those who should know, such as Janet Napolitano, Leon Panetta, and Admiral William Gortney, who provided a Pentagon news briefing earlier this year on the topic of power grid vulnerability.

You can never get home, or can you?

One memorable example from Lights Out that might provide at least one solution for Mallory and others in her position is Craig Kephart’s plan.
Craig is an avid bicyclist and a prepper. They live in an upscale area of St. Louis and his business requires that he make frequent business trips around the country. From the book:
“Craig worries that he may be trapped out of town and that all conventional forms of travel could be shut down. He always carries enough cash so that, no matter which city he’s in, he would be able to buy a bicycle, biking shoes, and whatever other equipment he would need to take him back to St. Louis.”
“Craig assumes that he could ride 150 to 200 miles a day. He’s thought about this a lot. “Last place I want to be is in a major metropolitan area during a time of national crisis.”
Craig’s plan might be a very effective one for him, in the case of a cyberterrorist attack. This type of attack on our power grid would disable the grid itself but wouldn’t be as devastating as an electro-magnetic pulse.
Craig has realized that getting home from hundreds of miles away when the world has erupted into chaos won’t be easy and he’s come up with a plan and is training for that possibility. If this should happen, there will be countless scenarios which he may not have anticipated, but at least he has a plan for getting home. Your plan should include:
  1. Transportation. Planning on hoofing it home? Better start getting into super-shape now!
  2. Water. Where you’re stranded and the terrain between you and home will determine if you will be able to find a plentiful supply of water on a regular basis. If you’re not sure you can, stay where you are.
  3. Food. Can you set traps? Hunt and fish using alternative methods? Can you identify edible and medicinal wild plants? Do you know which parts are edible and which are poisonous? Do you know how to start a small fire for cooking and purifying water, and, if so, what will you use for a cooking pot? These are just a few of the issues to consider.
  4. Shelter.  Putting up a lean-to is one thing, but surviving the elements within that shelter is quite another.
  5. Security. You may be surrounded by people more desperate than you. More fit, more strong than you. Can you survive on your wits alone? What self-defense skills do you have?
  6. Weather and terrain. Those will both change as you travel. Are you ready for all possibilities? Do you know of alternate routes that might be easier or would allow you to avoid populated areas?

5 Possible ways to survive post-EMP when miles separate you and your loved ones

In my view, being stranded from home in a post-EMP world would leave you with few options. As part of my own research into EMP survival, here are a few viable options in case the worst really does happen and you are dozens, if not hundreds, of miles from home.

  1. Head home regardless, carrying with you the basics for survival, or whatever you can acquire. Survival novels are full of tales of determined men, making their way home to their families over hundreds of miles. This option might work if you are in good physical shape, have no health issues, and are blessed with an enormous amount of luck. It wouldn’t hurt if the terrain between you and your family has multiple supplies of water. Forget it if you have more than just a few miles of desert to traverse.
  2. Stay put and lay low. If you have the skills and knowledge, set up a wilderness camp and use your ingenuity and Boy Scout skills to live off the land. You’ll end up dying a pretty quick death, most likely, but this is an option.
  3. Stay put and try to become an indispensable part of another household or group. If you have a bank of life-saving skills, such as knowing how to grow and preserve food, medical training, or can help guard your new group of fellow survivors. When the infrastructure begins to be rebuilt, you can then begin heading home.
  4. Stay put and start a new life. This option isn’t necessarily pessimistic. Given the circumstances, you may have no other choice.
  5. Do a little bit of both. Combine stints on the road, always heading homeward, with time spent staying with a community or with a family. They might be grateful for the additional help with physical labor and whatever practical skills you possess may help get them through a difficult time until you’re able to travel again.
A number of my readers mentioned seeing Ted Koppel on various news shows discussing his book and the very likely event of a significant cyberterror attack on the power grid. My guess is that this weekend there are thousands of new “preppers” who suddenly realize their comfortable lives are built on a very shaky foundation and that the very government they pay taxes to, has no plan to save them if the worst happens.
I recommend Lights Out as an informative and very well researched book on the topic of grid failure and the likelihood of cyberterrorism.
Direct link to Lights Out on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Hl7Jw4 (affiliate)
Here’s a free excerpt from the book: bit.ly/KoppelExcerpt
Post-EMP Survival: What If You Can't Get Home via The Survival Mom