Getting Caught Off-Grid

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Getting Caught Off-Grid
Micheal Kline “Reality Check” Audio player below!

In the following player we are discussing the reality of the electric grid going down and a personal story about me being somewhat caught off-guard. I have been on vacation with my family this past week in the North Georgia area with Tropical Storm Alberto coming through. So, like a good little prepper, I packed a small propane stove, my EDC, my camping cook set, and a family size battery powered lantern.

Continue reading Getting Caught Off-Grid at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Colloidal Silver: Myths And Truths About Side Effects

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Colloidal silver is often a topic of controversy.  Mentioning it to those who are strict believers in only Western medicine can often make you feel like an insane witch doctor.  But we’ll break down the myths and deliver some truths about the side effects, so you can make an informed decision for yourself.

Colloidal silver has gotten a bad rap since the Food and Drug Administration made a claim in 1999 (almost 20 years ago) that there is no scientific evidence to support the use of colloidal silver. If one translates that from “government-speak,” it basically means the FDA has not used government funds to study something not recommended by the government because they haven’t been paid to do so.  They want you to use the medication and supplements lobbyists pay them to defend and promote.  The FDA also proceeds to warn potential users on their website (who are often simply looking for information) about the danger of colloidal silver and why consumers should steer clear before bragging about “taking down” certain companies for “making false claims” about colloidal silver – what most government agencies are declaring as “snake oil.”

The FDA also warns about a side effect called argyria, and herein, we’ll focus on the myths and truths of this well-known, but misunderstood side effect.

The most well-known, and extremely rare side effect of ingesting colloidal silver is argyria, a bluish-gray discoloration of the skin, which is usually permanent.  This occurs when a person ingests an excess amount of silver. Argyria results from the deposition of silver in the dermis and also from the silver-induced production of melanin. Although silver has been shown to be uniformly deposited in exposed and unexposed sections of the skin, the increased pigmentation becomes more pronounced in areas exposed to sunlight (such as the face and hands) due to the photoactivated reduction of the metal.

However, based on the government’s own studies, it would take a lot of silver to cause argyria.  The smallest amount of silver known to cause the condition in adults, according to a study done by the Environmental Protection Agency from the use of any silver compound (including silver salts) is 900 mg of silver taken orally in one year. According to the book, Colloidal Silver: A Literature Review: Medical Uses, Toxicology & Manufacture by John Hill, D.C., in order to reach an intake level of 900 mg of silver over the course of one year, an individual would have to consume a whopping 380 – 8 oz. bottles of 10 PPM colloidal silver product during the course of the year.  That’s a lot of silver chugging.

Since the suggested adult daily dosage on most commercial colloidal silver products is about 1 teaspoon daily, this means that an individual would have to consume nearly 48 times the normal adult dosage, each and every day for a year to reach the lowest level of silver intake ever known to cause argyria in an adult.  The EPA’s standards for the amount of silver that can be safely consumed in drinking water is .005 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day (EPA RED document page 2, 4th paragraph).  The .005 milligrams per kilogram of body weight claimed in the EPA RED document to be a safe level of daily silver intake includes silver from all sources, including air, water, and food.

Since it’s almost impossible to tell how much silver is in your food and water supply, dosages should be adjusted accordingly and for your own personal size.  Fortunately, a company called Invision International Health Solutions has analyzed the EPA’s figures and has determined that they can be further broken down into “drops per day” formula. They’ve determined how to calculate the amount of colloidal silver you can take daily, based upon your body weight, using the EPA’s own figures. You can click here for a free dosage report.

By simply following recommended dosages, argyria is easily avoided. But what about other side effects? Well, there aren’t any, actually, according to doctors. So let’s focus on what problems can arise if one happens to ingest so much colloidal silver they actually get argyria -the side effects of the side effect if you will.

Although the deposition of silver is permanent, it is not associated with any adverse health effects. No pathologic changes or inflammatory reactions have been shown to result from the silver deposition in the dermis or argyria. In fact, in one case of argyria, medical researchers Hill and Pillsbury stated back in 1939, “The ordinary clinical use of colloidal silver compounds practically never gives rise to any gross untoward effect other than argyria.”  Meaning the one and only side effect of a colloidal silver overdose is purely cosmetic – a discoloration of the skin.  An excerpt from the aforementioned EPA study has also clearly stated in their document titled Silver (CASRN 7440-22-4): “The critical effect in humans ingesting silver is argyria, a medically benign but permanent bluish-gray discoloration of the skin.”  So argyria itself (the only side effect of ingesting colloidal silver) is “medically benign.”  This actually makes colloidal silver one of the safest supplements on shelves today, from a toxicological point of view.

But what’s important to remember about argyria, and all side effects is that ALL things are harmful to us when taken in doses above what the body can handle.  Antibiotics, water, and vitamins can be very beneficial to the human body and health. But crossing the line and overdosing on yes, even water, can have harmful and fatal effects.  Living life in a perpetual state of fear over something as innocent and mild as colloidal silver is a bit misguided.  It’s imperative for nutritional supplement users to understand the safe and responsible use of any nutritional supplement – including colloidal silver – so that obvious risks can be avoided while the full healthful benefits of the nutritional supplement are enjoyed.

 

*DISCLAIMER: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or be used as medical advice.

 

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Book Review: The Gift of Fear

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I am a fan of Gavin De Becker’s work, and this is (in my opinion) his best work. He uses The Gift of Fear to further his argument that fear is necessary for survival, and that, in our “safe” modern world, we ignore our gut. He posits that women’s intuition, uneasy feelings, a man’s gut instinct, and our fear are all signals something is not right. If we learn to harness and train ourselves to use these unconscious signals we would be better trained to deal with unplanned emergencies. De Becker has a long and distinguished resume to bolster his ideas,

The post Book Review: The Gift of Fear appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Fear and its Influence on Emergency Preparedness

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By Denis Korn

This is a post on fear and its influence on emergency preparedness planning, actions and being self-reliant.  The purpose of this post is not to give you some magic formula on how to live without fear.  I simply wish to point out some insights for your reflection.  It is my belief that understanding the affect of fear on one’s attitude and actions before – during – and after a disaster or catastrophe is essential to right action, peace of mind and survival.

Fear is natural and instinctive – it has a purpose for our life.  The issue at hand is: Can we control it and use it to our advantage?  Can it so overwhelm us as to be an obstacle to proper action? Can we understand its influence on our behavior?  Can we discern when it is appropriate or detrimental?

Fear can be valuable tool and assist the planning process – or it can adversely affect the decision making and evaluation process causing one to act and think ineffectively and inappropriately – it can also prevent us from acting at all.

I have recently read articles that deal with the uncertainty and anxiety of the times, and specifically address this last point.  Many people are so afraid of the truth or reality of a situation and what responsible action or attitude would be required of them, that being in denial is preferred to being enlightened.

Definitions

While most of us have a pretty good idea of what fear is, here are some definitions and synonyms relating to this post for reference:

–noun

1.  A distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

2.  A specific instance of or propensity for such a feeling

3.  Concern or anxiety; solicitude

4.  That which causes a feeling of being afraid; that of which a person is afraid

—Synonyms
1.  Apprehension, consternation, dismay, terror, fright, panic, horror, trepidation. Fear, alarm, dread all imply a painful emotion experienced when one is confronted by threatening danger or evil. Alarm implies an agitation of the feelings caused by awakening to imminent danger; it names a feeling of fright or panic: He started up in alarm. Fear and dread usually refer more to a condition or state than to an event. Fear is often applied to an attitude toward something, which, when experienced, will cause the sensation of fright: fear of falling. Dread suggests anticipation of something, usually a particular event, which, when experienced, will be disagreeable rather than frightening: She lives in dread of losing her money.  The same is often true of fear, when used in a negative statement: She has no fear she’ll lose her money.

Attitude

For those of you who have read other posts and articles I have written, you know that I consider one’s attitude as an essential factor in both the preparedness planning process and during the emergency or disaster that could possibly occur.  I highly recommend you read my post on attitude and that you be inspired and educated by the insights and experiences of Viktor Frankl in his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning” that I mention in that article.

I realize how difficult it can be to address and examine one’s fears – especially in light of the suspicions, apprehension, insecurity, and dread so prevalent today.  We deal not only with the anxiety concerning real and potential negative events and the economy, but also with a media obsessed and consumed with the need to promote fear at every opportunity – and when there isn’t a problem, their agenda requires that they create one for you.  Yet as distressing and challenging as it may be, introspection and reflection on your thoughts and feelings can provide an opportunity to overcome the crippling effects of inaction caused by irrational fear.

Honestly confronting your fear in non-judgmental reflection and without allowing it to overwhelm and disable you is the first step to right action, peace of mind and survival.  This takes time and commitment.  Surround yourself with loving and supportive people.

Questions to consider:

What are your specific fears?

What are your worst fears?

Why?

What would happen if the circumstances you fear should occur?

Why do you fear that outcome?

Is there anything valuable to learn if that outcome happens?

(Can you make lemonade from lemons?)

Is there another emotion that can be substituted for fear?

What are the positive implications should your fears come to pass?

What do you fear losing?

What is your attachment to the material issues surrounding your fears?

Do you have friends and family available to help you examine your fears?

Can you acknowledge that you are fearful and still move forward?

Can you transform a fearful thought into a positive thought?

Can you focus on constructive thoughts and not dwell on fearful or negative thoughts?

Do you want to control your attitude?

What is it about a fearful or negative attitude that makes you feel in control or secure?

Can you see in yourself the inappropriate fear that takes over because of conditioning and unconscious patterns?

Have you considered using affirmations and positive thinking to help combat fear?

How do you reconcile the  fear that is felt when discerning the issues surrounding us all – the lack of leadership, the death of common sense, selfishness, corporate greed, hatred, immorality, deceit, utter stupidity – and a media, educational system and entertainment industry obsessed with negativity, blame, self-righteousness and propaganda — with the importance of a positive and life-sustaining attitude that supports peace of mind, mental health and security for ourselves, family and community?

Fear and preparedness

In the 43 years that I have been involved with educating and supplying folks with preparedness information and products, I have been acutely aware of the methodologies used by those in this field.  Promote an attitude of fear or promote an attitude of empowerment.  Some think fear will empower – and with some people it might work.  I look at it differently.

The events that occur during a disaster or catastrophe are indeed overwhelming and devastating, and require a great deal of cooperation and discipline and maintaining focus and purpose.  I will say again – being motivated and guided by fear can work to your disadvantage.

In my opinion, an attitude of fear while preparing for and during trying times distorts the more important issues at hand and can negatively impact decision making, relationships and action.

Your thoughts will determine your perceptions, emotions and actions.  You are encouraged to make decisions regarding what products to buy, what actions to take, who to believe, who to turn to and what to communicate – not from a reaction to fear – but from a place of critical thinking, conscientious evaluation and discerning judgment.  Think before you mindlessly react.

The post Fear and its Influence on Emergency Preparedness appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.

Denial and Inaction – Why Normalcy Bias?

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By Denis Korn

You life depends on being awake!

In the over 40 years that I have been involved in the emergency preparedness industry one fundamental question always emerges – especially after a significant disaster – why are so many people in denial of a possible or impending disaster when to many others it seems self-evident?  Then the next questions emerge – why are so many unprepared and what prevents people from implementing the necessary actions to protect and provide for themselves, family or business?   Is it a lack of information and initiative, funding, time, fear, lack of common sense or all of the above?   Or perhaps there is something else.

The answer appears to be Normalcy Bias.

So what is normalcy bias and what can be done to address its effects?  Business leaders, government agencies, security workers, firefighters and police, emergency management personnel and anyone involved in emergency/disaster preparedness want to know – how can vulnerable citizens be motivated to take responsibility for their own safety and protection in the event of a significant emergency?

 

A definition and explanation from Wikipedia:

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

The normalcy bias may be caused in part by the way the brain processes new data. Research suggests that even when the brain is calm, it takes 8–10 seconds to process new information. Stress slows the process, and when the brain cannot find an acceptable response to a situation, it fixates on a single solution that may or may not be correct. An evolutionary reason for this response could be that paralysis gives an animal a better chance of surviving an attack; predators are less likely to eat prey that isn’t struggling.

The normalcy bias often results in unnecessary deaths in disaster situations. The lack of preparation for disasters often leads to inadequate shelter, supplies, and evacuation plans. Even when all these things are in place, individuals with a normalcy bias often refuse to leave their homes. Studies have shown that more than 70% of people check with others before deciding to evacuate.

The normalcy bias also causes people to drastically underestimate the effects of the disaster. Therefore, they think that everything will be all right, while information from the radio, television, or neighbors gives them reason to believe there is a risk. This creates a cognitive dissonance that they then must work to eliminate. Some manage to eliminate it by refusing to believe new warnings coming in and refusing to evacuate (maintaining the normalcy bias), while others eliminate the dissonance by escaping the danger. The possibility that some may refuse to evacuate causes significant problems in disaster planning.” —

Examples:

Normalcy bias can be expanded to include a wide variety of non-response/denial reactions to the events that occur in everyday life.  This is especially prevalent given the uncertainties and fears of the social, economic, educational and governmental breakdowns in our contemporary culture.  Having taught college critical thinking courses, I have studied and observed the inability of most folks to critically think through an important or serious situation – too few critically think, they react – or worst yet – they do nothing.

With so many natural and economic disasters happening currently we often witness the tragic results of normalcy bias.  People unwilling to get out of harm’s way – people unprepared to cope with the aftermath of a catastrophe – people totally dependent on the government, charity and others – fear, helplessness and misery.

We here of people being warned of impending disasters such as hurricanes, floods and fires, yet there is needless suffering, death and injury because of inaction or of acting too late.  I am always disappointed with people when it is reported that at the last minute so many stores are sold out of essential survival and preparedness supplies.

A primary attitude of one with normalcy bias is that the disaster or catastrophe is truly regrettable, and it will not happen to me but unfortunately it will happen to others.  The person refuses to believe that they also are subject to misfortune and potential suffering.  Tragedy always seems to happen to other folks.

The classic example in recent history is the unfortunate suffering and death of countless Jews during the Holocaust.  During the rise of Nazi persecution, the majority of Jews could not or would accept the reality of the moment and inaction was devastating.

Those suffering from normalcy bias are unable and/or unwilling to accept the responsibility of acknowledging the reality surrounding them – and taking the appropriate and prudent action.  They are in the hands of providence.

What to do?

If I had a simple answer to this question the world would probably be beating a path to my door.  Overcoming normalcy bias, denial and lack of motivation is not only difficult, it requires a level of strength and determination that is counter to so much of the indoctrination of contemporary society – which fails to support personal responsibility and self-reliance.

I will however offer some suggestions to address this debilitating condition of normalcy bias – this is serious stuff – your life and the life of loved ones and associates may depend on understanding what it takes to act!

  1. Acknowledge that you or another you care for experiences normalcy bias or denial.  Become educated as to the effects this condition has on your life.
  2. Understand that honesty is the cornerstone of emergency preparedness or contingency planning.  Although it is difficult to confront the reality of the potential scenarios that might occur causing a catastrophe, denial will not make it all go away.
  3. Seek the support and advice of knowledgeable, compassionate and responsible friends, colleagues and industry leaders.
  4. Embrace the peace of mind that results from knowing you have taken the initiative to act on behalf of family, friends or employees if you manage a business.
  5. Pray, reflect, or meditate about the value of being prepared for the consequences of unforeseen and probable emergencies or disasters, and critically think about the specific action steps to take.
  6. Research and evaluate your options.
  7. Remember that emergency and disaster preparedness planning requires addressing the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those experiencing a traumatic and stressful event.
  8. Utilize the guidelines, suggestions and information at Learn To Prepare.  Especially the strategy outlined in my article Beginning and Improving Preparedness Planning.
  9. Attitude is Everything!  I want to encourage and support all of you who choose to move forward and be prepared and effective.

The post Denial and Inaction – Why Normalcy Bias? appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.

About Attitude – An Encouragement

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By Denis Korn

Seriously reflect on this post!

Time to look at the importance of attitude once again.  Why?  Look around – read the headlines – talk to family, friends, co-workers – experience the media – both mainstream and alternative – what is your attitude about the current state of our society?  I hope this post “About Attitude – An Encouragement” will help you understand the essential nature of a proper attitude especially during these most trying of times.

What’s your attitude – about anything?  How are you coping?  Do you see a correlation between your attitude and your mental and physical health?  Do you feel helpless and unable to effect any meaningful change?  Is the prospect of impending disaster and lifestyle upheaval generating a overwhelming amount of fear?  Do you feel incapacitated?  Do you feel that others – the government – the banks – the ignorant masses – the evil ones – the self-serving are controlling your life?  What is your responsibility during these most challenging of times?  WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT ALL THIS?  WHAT ATTITUDE WILL YOU CHOOSE?  DO YOU REALIZE YOUR ATTITUDE IS YOUR DECISION?

Yes – attitude is a decision – your attitude during a traumatic event or disaster is essential for survival – attitude is everything.  So what does this mean, especially during an emergency, disaster, or catastrophic event?

After over 40 years of educating, supplying, and encouraging folks for emergency preparedness, I am convinced and truly believe that the most important element in emergency and disaster preparedness is one’s attitude.  Where is your focus?  Who relies upon your courage and commitment? Can you be counted upon to encourage others and take charge?

I am also aware that in our society where personal responsibility and owning one’s choices is not the essential value it should be, choosing an appropriate attitude is exceedingly difficult.  It is even more difficult during a situation where you are gripped with stress, anxiety, and fear.

One’s attitude during trying times sets the context or foundation for all the actions taken – or not taken.  Attitude often determines whether your actions and intentions will succeed or fail.  Attitude can often be the difference between life or death – hope or despair – calm or chaos – order or confusion – love or hate – selflessness or selfishness.  Your attitude is your state of mind – your thoughts, and to be able to control and choose how you are going to think and behave in challenging times requires great discipline and focus.  It requires a positive and confident outlook and inlook – a constant awareness of the consequences and results of the attitude you embrace. The benefits of a constructive and encouraging attitude should be self-evident, as are the realities of the struggle in persevering during difficult trials.

The development of a proper and victorious attitude requires determination, strength of will, and constant attention.  If you are with those who also understand the importance of attitude, mutually support each other continually.  For believers earnest prayer is essential.

To encourage you in understanding the value and the importance of developing the right attitude during overwhelming circumstances, I recommend one of the great and influential books written in the 20th century.  I used it in my philosophy classes as required reading, and the response from students was significant.  The book is titled Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl.  He was a doctor who survived four concentration camps during the Holocaust.  While there are many books written on the importance of a positive attitude, Frankl’s experiences and the conditions he endured gave him an extraordinary perspective.   His insights on attitude during the worst of circumstances is invaluable.

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

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

You are encouraged to be honest with yourself – answer the questions given – and seriously reflect upon this post!

The post About Attitude – An Encouragement appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.

Why We Freeze When We’re Scared And How To Overcome It

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Pretty much everyone is well aware of the flight or fight response. Whenever humans encounter a dangerous situation, their sympathetic nervous system kicks into gear. Adrenaline is dumped into our bloodstreams, our senses are heightened, our reflexes quicken, and we become relatively immune to the sensation of pain. Then we make a decision. Depending on what we’re dealing with, we either fight what is threatening us, or we run from it.

It’s time to prepare for the worst-case scenario with this best-selling preparedness manual

However, there is another aspect of this fear response that isn’t talked about as much. It should really be called the “fight, flight, or freeze” response because there’s a good chance that you’ll freeze under pressure rather than act. It’s not uncommon for people to do absolutely nothing when something or someone is threatening them, and it’s a response that you can’t really control. When it happens, it’s like being paralyzed.

At first glance, it sounds like a cruel joke, courtesy of evolution, and is often seen as a sign of personal weakness. In reality, it is neither of those things, though it is a natural biological response to danger that can be beneficial in certain circumstances. Just as we evolved to have an extreme physical reaction to danger that includes fighting or running away, we have evolved to involuntarily stop moving in certain situations, and there are a few reasons why we do this.

One is that when we freeze under pressure, our senses are just as heightened as they would be if we were running or fighting. We freeze to assess the situation before we act. We also freeze in the presence of predators, which is a kind of defense mechanism. If an animal or person is stalking us, by freezing we aren’t making sounds and we aren’t giving away our position.

And finally, humans freeze in situations where they perceive a threat that appears to be too strong for us to fight or run away from. The brain enters a dissociative state that can’t process the environment when you feel like your situation is absolutely hopeless. In this state, you can’t really hear or see what’s around you, and you can’t feel what’s happening to you. Your brain basically forces you to play dead, so that whatever is trying to hurt you will hopefully give up, and so that your psyche is protected from physical and emotional trauma.

Of course, this response isn’t always helpful. A classic example that is found in nature, is how deer often respond to seeing the headlights of oncoming traffic. They freeze when they obviously should run or retreat. Likewise, your brain isn’t a perfect judge of dangerous situations. Sometimes you can freeze when it would be smarter to run or fight (or if you have anxiety or PTSD, you might freeze under totally harmless circumstances). You can get stuck in that mental state, unable to act on avoidable danger.

As for how to overcome this biological response, it’s not an easy task. You don’t really control when you freeze, and your options for slipping out of this state are pretty limited. The only technique scientists have discovered, is taking deep, controlled breaths.

The new findings from research team at Bristol offer helpful insights for better understanding the root of paralyzing fear coming from deep inside the brain. Fear-evoked freezing is a universal response. Luckily, each of us can flex some cognitive muscle to override these innate neurobiological impulses.

Taking a few deep breaths in any fearful situation will stimulate the vagus nerve and the “rest-and-digest” aspects of the parasympathetic nervous system. This relaxation response unclamps the neurobiological grip of fear and allows us to “unfreeze” and move freely.

And that’s pretty much it. Unfortunately, it’s not clear if that will work in all circumstances. If for instance, you’ve reached the point where your mind is dissociating from the outside world to avoid mental trauma, it doesn’t seem likely that taking deep breaths would help you snap out of it. And even if it could, would you want to be aware of a horrific situation that you have no control over?

There’s only one way to avoid the kind of freezing that is caused by situations that make you feel completely helpless. And that is to not be helpless, by preparing yourself for dangerous encounters before they happen. You have to be thoroughly prepared for a wide variety of situations. You have to learn how to save yourself when faced with predatory animals, and you have to train yourself in many different self-defense techniques. And of course, it helps immensely if you have the right tools and weapons for these encounters.

In short, the more options you have to save yourself when your life is in danger, the less likely you are to curl up in a ball and hope for the best when your life is on the line.

Additional Links:

The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster

What Should You Do When A Bear Attacks?

Hard Core Chicks: Eight Self Defense Tactics Every Woman Should Know

5 Everyday Items That Will Double As Defensive Weapons

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Prepper Mistakes!

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Prepper Mistakes James Walton “I Am Liberty” On this episode of I AM Liberty I wanted to take some time to talk about the pit falls I have ended up in or the miss steps based on starting as a prepper. You know it’s easy to get all worked up and start making decisions based on … Continue reading Prepper Mistakes!

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How the Progressive Left Uses Fear to Control Us

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fearOver the last 50 years, I have watched one crisis after another occur.  Each and every one of these has created fear and new regulations and laws that have affected us in some manner.  They have all resulted in a loss of rights

A list of the crisis’s that have created fear.

  • The gas and oil crisis of 1979 – I can remember when they were telling us we would run out of oil by the year 2000. We even had gas rationing, you could only buy gas on odd or even number days  depending on the number of your license plate
  • Acid rain – this was a big scare in the late 1970’s early 1980’s. This resulted in a whole group of new regulation and laws.
  • Pesticide poisoning – This was big starting about 1962. I can remember when the press was telling us we would all be dead from toxic chemicals.
  • Global cooling –  This was a prediction of imminent cooling of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere resulting in the formation of glaciers.  This was supposed to be manmade from pollutants in the atmosphere blocking the heat from the sun.
  • The war on drugs – This has been a huge one, so many new laws have been passed and we as a society have given up many freedoms as a result. I personally don’t think that this is a war that they ever intended to win.
  • Global warming – This is another one that creates fear and as a result we submit to new laws and regulations that control our life’s.
  • Over population – according to experts in the 1970, we should have all starved to death by now.
  • Terrorism – this is the new big one. Again, the solution is to ask us to give up right in return for protection.  They want us to give up our rights to privacy, 4th Amendment rights to search and seizure and of cause our second Amendment rights.

Every one of these scares has been started and perpetuated by the left with the help of the mainstream media.  As a result of these scares the majority of the population is willing to trade freedom for security.

Many of the younger people have never heard of the scares that have created fears in the past.  In addition to the ones that I have listed above there have been many smaller ones.  We need to show people how they have been manipulated by the progressive left and the media.

You can see how they use fear in the way they are handling the news from the shooting in Orlando.  This was a terrible despicable act, but it is not a reason to give up our second amendment rights.  Saying that firearms should be banned because of this act is no different than saying all cars should be banned to prevent drunk driving.

Don’t give in to fear.

Howard

 

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The Essential Elements of Preparedness

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By Denis Korn

There is an extraordinary fixation in our current culture with all the trappings of physical survival – given the perception of imminent collapse, chaos and oppression.  The degree of hysteria and response to this phenomena is unprecedented in the 41 years I have been in the preparedness industry.  I am not a prophet – just an experienced observer of the times and peoples reaction to the radical shifts taking place in our society.  The events that will unfold in the very near future may be catastrophic as many believe or just extremely uncomfortable – we shall soon find out.  It is my belief that the most essential and foundational elements of preparedness are attitude, critical thinking, knowledge, trust in God, appropriate emotion and spiritual awareness.

The heightened sensitivity to the uncertainty of these times has obviously motivated many to a preparedness/survival mindset.  While so many folks writing articles and blogs are focusing on the myriad of aspects of physical readiness, and a boatload of preparedness/survival websites and advertisers are intensely promoting all the stuff required to survive, I feel the most important elements of preparedness/survival are often overlooked.  This brings our attention to the spiritual and emotional components of preparedness.

In a previous post I talked about Normalcy Bias – the mental state by which people cling to perceptions that are familiar and comfortable – and because of this state they can be in denial of the reality of the circumstances around them.  In some situations and contexts Normalcy Bias may be appropriate; however, in planning for emergencies denying the truth can be disastrous and often deadly.

In the 7 years of posting articles on this site, one of the most popular posts has been Barriers to Critical Thinking & The 7 Essential Questions for Reflection.  While I believe that developing critical thinking skills is essential in all aspects of our life, it is especially important when you are evaluating and determining sources and provisions for emergency and disaster preparedness.  Your comfort, health and survival depend on appropriate, sensible and accurate decisions.  The correct and proper decision making process relies on essential critical thinking skills.  Knowledge and discernment competency are vital to the emergency preparedness process.

What is Critical Thinking?

“Critical thinking is the careful, deliberate determination of whether we should accept, reject, or suspend judgment about a claim – and of the degree of confidence with which we accept or reject it.  The ability to think critically is vitally important; in fact, our lives depend on it.  The way we conduct our lives depends on what we believe to be true – on what claims we accept  The more carefully we evaluate a claim and the more fully we separate issues that are relevant to it from those that are not, the more critical is our thinking.”

“We do not do our critical thinking in a vacuum, of course.  When we are confronted with a claim, usually we already have a certain amount of information relevant to the topic, and we can generally figure out where to find more if we need it.  Having both the desire and the ability to bring such information to bear on our decisions is part of the critical-thinking process.  Critical thinking involves a lot of skills, including the abilities to listen and read carefully, to evaluate arguments, to look for and find hidden assumptions, and to trace consequences of a claim.” (From Critical Thinking, Sixth Edition – Brooke Noel Moore, PhD & Richard Parker, PhD)

After acknowledging that there are mental states and attitudes (see Attitude is a Decision) that are necessary to properly plan for emergencies and catastrophes, I want to address the emotional and spiritual aspects of emergency and disaster planning.  Most of the information, guidelines, lists and resources for preparedness focus exclusively on the physical “stuff” required to be adequately prepared for an emergency.  While this is obviously important, it is only one component in the preparedness process when looked at from a holistic perspective.

What is emotion? The Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary gives us this definition:

2 a : the effective aspect of consciousness  : FEELING  b : a state of feeling  c : a conscious mental reaction (as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body.

This is very pertinent as you engage in planning for emergencies.  The relevant point here is that the preparedness planner experiences a conscious mental reaction experienced as a strong feeling that is accompanied by a behavioral change.  While this appears rather self-evident, it must be pointed out that the emergency planner must be aware of their feelings and behavior and its impact on the decisions made on the physical component of the process.

What are the effects of one’s emotional condition and the correctness of their actions? I have talked with many folks about this issue and have seen and heard of the unfortunate results of decisions made that were a result of not being conscience of the influence of their emotional state.  Understanding the power of one’s emotions and acting responsibly can have a positive impact on taking correct action – losing control of one’s emotions and behavior can be destructive.

As I have discussed so often while teaching Critical Thinking in the college classroom, people habitually react to a challenging situation rather than critically evaluate and reflect appropriately.  The quality and effectiveness of their decisions is often significantly compromised.  Essential attributes in the preparedness planning process are DISCERNMENT AND INFORMED JUDGMENT!

What is the spiritual component? The Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary gives us this definition of spiritual:

1 : of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit  : INCORPOREAL  [spiritual needs]   2 a : of or relating to sacred matters  [spiritual songs]  b : ecclesiastical rather than lay or temporal  [spiritual authority]  [lords spiritual]   3 : concerned with religious values  4 : related or joined in spirit  [our spiritual home]  [his spiritual heir]   5 a : of or relating to supernatural beings or phenomena  b : of, relating to, or involving spiritualism

For many the spiritual factor is the most important facet of preparedness and the point from which one begins the preparedness process.  One’s spiritual faith and belief forms the foundation for action.  Reliance on God in the decision making process is primary – trust in God’s guidance in making one’s decisions is fundamental and essential.

So why is Self-Reliance idolatry?

It is the worship of the “stuff” of self-reliance and the worship of “self” as the primary focus of the actions taken. We have placed our stuff and ourselves as the object of primary worship and reliance. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the ultimate reliance is on God. While we have a duty to be prepared, we are commanded not to idolize and exalt our provisions and personal position in the preparedness process above absolute reliance on God. During a serious disaster when emotions are intense and fear rules one’s reactions, it is a challenge to rely on a higher power for the supreme guidance and insight on the actions to take.  It is not only a challenge, it is a necessity to rely on the greatest ally you can have – Divine guidance.  Where does your faith reside – in the Divine or in the human condition?

While I recommend and encourage taking effective physical action to provide the essential provisions, I have been explicit in my teachings that one’s attitude is essential in overcoming and surviving a serious catastrophe. This requires embodying the attitude of God-Reliance first – follow His instructions, assurance and power before we rely only on our self.  Self-reliance without God-reliance is what I refer to as “The Idolatry of Self-Reliance.”

I am well aware of the difficulty and struggle involved in understanding, expressing and putting into action the balance between reliance on God and reliance on ourselves – both are essential! This requires prayer, serious reflection, critical thinking and common sense – as does all aspects of effective emergency planning.

I believe the spiritual component encompasses the following aspects:

  • The ultimate outcome of the emergency scenario is in God’s hands
  • In a mysterious way God directs the process
  • We often focus our most important priorities in the wrong direction
  • The purpose of the disaster or catastrophe is of a spiritual nature
  • The difficulties and suffering in a disaster affords one the opportunity to choose to come closer to and rely upon God
  • One’s faith and trust in God is tested, and gives one a chance to assess their relationship with the Divine
  • We are not to rely on our own understanding
  • We are not to cling to the notion that our material possessions are the most important factors in our lives
  • The importance of earnest prayer is profoundly evident
  • Catastrophic events are a result of spiritual warfare of which we have no control
  • We are to love, support, assist, provide for, console, teach and inspire our family, neighbors, friends and strangers during the most trying of times
  • We are being required to ask – and answer: What are the fundamental truths I must learn, and who do I  truly trust during trials and tribulation?
  • Why are you being called to prepare and for what purpose?

To believe that being prepared is just a matter of having all the right provisions safely stored away is, in my opinion, overlooking the most important factors in survival, resiliency and effective preparedness.  We must not get caught up in the perverting media frenzy of perpetuating fear and anxiety to such an extent that clear thinking is obliterated.  Successful preparedness – and daily living for that matter – is a balance of physical, emotional and spiritual elements.

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Faith: The Absence of Fear

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Faith is the absence of fear

Many people claim to have great faith. Based on what, who, where, and how?

Many people talk about having great faith. Based on what, who, where, and how?

Many people do not even understand faith, because all they do is TALK about it. They merely repeat what someone else has told them about faith that is based on nothingness. They do not apply themselves to have faith, which is actually that absence of fear in all it’s realistic essence. In reality, you must take actions to strengthen yourself enough to reduce your experiencing of fear, hence having more faith in many ways.

Proof of this is that people of wisdom have long told people experiencing fear to have faith. The dysfunctional part of telling people that, is in how the mind perceives it. If the reason for the experience of fear is not removed, or the person cannot see a way to overcome the cause of the fear, they will not experience any relief. Hence the nothingness of such empty teachings, lacking in self-actions in the physical world of reality, that have been passed down through many generations. This is also a main factor in why the world of humans has not changed much in thousands of years at the spiritual level, and why religions still war against each other.

I have seen people of so-called faith that was based in religion and the belief in heaven, to be extremely fearful of death. Why? If heaven is wonderful and they get to see their savior face to face, then why fear? They should rejoice and celebrate death as one of the greatest pathways to see their god in person. Perhaps reality does exist in even the most delusional of people’s minds because of natural animal instincts. Every animal can smell crap from a great distance. Fantasy does nothing to alleviate reality. Reality will always be there waiting at the door when you leave the house of fantasy.

True faith comes from embracing the greatest of fears, and accepting death as a part of life itself. People of great faith do not fear death. People of great faith live constantly in solutions, rather than dwelling on the problems of life. Hence moving through life with great faith. We recognize the obstacles in our way and realistically plan actions around or through them with loving aggression. That would be love for ourselves and our own well being, along with aggressive actions to gain what we need to survive this existence prior to death.

People of great faith, believe in themselves to utilize whatever skills and abilities they were given at birth, their potential to take actions to attain goals for their betterment and that of their loved ones, and a realistic approach to self-improvement for assisting them in moving forward through life. People of faith do not sit sedentary and ask anything or anyone to work life for them.

Faith is the absence of fear through taking action to move forward through whatever adversity we experience, whether that is lose due to the death of loved ones, or obstacles in the way of our progress through life. We of faith continue to focus on solutions, rather than sit on the lazy seat or pity pot of life and it’s hardships. We are the winners because we strive to be better. We do not claim to be perfect in this presence of faith, because we are not infallible. We are just like every other human, except that we do not focus on the problems. We focus on and take action in, THE SOLUTION.

If there is destruction coming, we prepare our minds, bodies, and spirits for such chaos and harshness.

If we need more money, we take on more work that results in monetary rewards.

If we are lost on our quest, we seek out mentors in the areas where we lack experience, or search data bases for info to learn from.

If we lack abilities, we learn how to better ourselves and take actions in the physical world.

If people try to drag us down into controversy, fantasy, and drama, we avoid them like any other plague. They are a spiritual plague.

Those of faith are people that take actions in the physical world. Faith has nothing to do with the prayers of any religion, and everything to do with actions taken when questions are answered. Prayers are only meant to ask for direction, and must be followed by actions in the physical world of reality. To ask in prayer for something to happen in your favor or that of a loved one, is to tell your god that you know better, which is against every known religion’s laws and policy. We are to only ask for guidance, and nothing more. The rest is up to a fate that rests in the actions of all people as they intersect through life.

We all have choices to make in our daily lives. If we have faith in our principles, then we follow them diligently. If we have faith in our spouse, we honor them. If we have faith in our preparedness, it is because we took serious actions to strengthen our minds, bodies, and spirits to handle and serve us in the worst possible environment of survival.

“Faith without works is dead” James 2:14-26

“Faith without actions is dead, because you’ll be dead if you do not seriously prepare”. Dave

Encouragement – Essential For Endurance

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By Denis Korn

As we enter the holiday season of 2016 I want to once again offer some observations and most of all encouragement to all those who have been led to this article.  I am updating some points I made last year at this time and of course my holiday gift is the gift of encouragement at the end of this post.  I truly feel that encouragement is essential for endurance.  The endurance required to bear the burdens of these times.

The year of 2016 will be an important year for me in initiating and fulfilling goals and projects that I believe will be crucial given the current state of cultural, economic and political decay prevalent in contemporary society.  This post will offer reflections, plans and end with an updated encouragement I post when I feel it will be of value.  To help you gain some perspective on my background as I comment on the things I observe, I begin with a little history.

A little history

41 years ago I launched my retail Natural Foods store selling “natural whole foods” in bulk that included, among other unique food items, numerous basic commodities, in- house stone ground flours, herbs, my own recipes of just-add-water dried food meals and food reserves in #10 (7/8 gal) cans.  This was the inauguration of what was to become my life calling – which I continue today under the auspices of PrepareDirect – our product website, and Learn To Prepare – my information only blog.  In 1979 this humble beginning was to transform and become AlpineAire Foods, a major player and manufacturing innovator in the outdoor recreation and long term food reserves industry.

6 years ago in January of 2010 I began Learn To Prepare.  My intention was to share my many years experience and insights as a retailer, innovative developer and manufacturer with those serious people needing help beginning and improving their preparedness experience.  The blog is an evolving endeavor to focus on preparedness fundamentals with an emphasis on food related issues.  I have been fortunate in the past 41 years to have not only have created many different preparedness products, but also to have read thousands of articles, talked to hundreds of industry professionals, made hundreds of presentations and studied a variety of related materials.  Learn To Prepare is also unique in that I incorporate my graduate studies and college teaching experience in Philosophy into my articles to provide what I believe to be a critical perspective on a proper preparedness attitude in conjunction with action.

Key Concerns Enveloping the Current Preparedness and Survivalist Environment and Mindset

From the time I began providing preparedness products until very recently – ten years or so – the majority of interest was – to use a general term – family preparedness.  Average folks concerned for themselves and family with the issues of the day, and with relatively easy to comprehend options and priorities.  There has always been a survivalist element to disaster preparedness, however not to the extent we see today.  Why? And what are some of the factors that have created a noticeable polarizing preparedness marketplace and atmosphere?  Is this polarization motivating or discouraging our friends and family to be prepared for the fulfillment of numerous potential and impactful scenarios?

When I refer to a “survivalist” here is the meaning for me from Merriam – Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary:

survivalist: a person who advocates or practices survivalism; esp : one who has prepared to survive in the anarchy of an anticipated breakdown of society.

survivalism: an attitude, policy, or practice based on the primacy of survival as a value.

It can be said that everyone is a survivalist because we all want to survive – it is an innate instinct.  This is not however how the concept is applied in today’s media.  The emphasis is on the second part of the definition – one who has prepared to survive in the anarchy of an anticipated breakdown of society.  Here is the root of the polarization.  This emphasis and fixation on the breakdown of our society with all its negative implications, has created a type of revulsion and resistance to properly evaluate and access the whole idea of emergency preparedness and survival during catastrophes and disasters – natural or man-made.  Many of us can not be inundated with nonstop doom and gloom and preached to by those absolutely convinced that the world as we know it will be destroyed, and not finally say enough already.  Add to the constant barrage of end of days hysteria, all the suggestions and appeals to action that any normal person would find extreme, infeasible or impossible.

I want to be clear – I am not a psychic nor privy to underground information. I have however read and listened to thousands of opinions and judgments on our current state of affairs.  And yes, many of the difficult scenarios presented – natural and man-made – will probably come to pass, and yes, we need to be prepared, and yes, we are in for some challenging times, and yes, there are differing perceptions on potential scenarios.  So what are some of the issues and problems surrounding the survivalist, prepper and disaster planner?

  • We are overwhelmed by those who are exploiting the concerns of the times with fear, greed and conspicuous deception!
  • So many deceitful and ignorant businesses and spokespersons are making it difficult for legitimate companies to succeed.
  • An inability for many – including professionals and consumers – to discern the truth from the deceptive hype.  So much information being put forward by so-called industry authorities and government agencies is simply incorrect.
  • Educating and empowering consumers to have trust and confidence in their sources for reliable information is not taken seriously by so many ill-informed and inexperienced instant preparedness experts.
  • A lack of critical thinking and communication skills from survivalist spokespersons.
  • A lack of trustworthy leadership.
  • A self-serving and corrupt media that promotes survivalist programming for profit that creates fear, confusion and anxiety.
  • The internet – that has been both a blessing and curse.  There is so much preparedness/survivalist information that is unreliable and inaccurate – and valuable and dependable – that many a sincere truth seeking individual finds it difficult or impossible to discern truth from fiction.
  • The media, television programming and our educational system is agenda driven (and not an agenda for the best interests of our citizens and Republic), and with a constant barrage of negativity, distortions and out right fabrication, it becomes increasingly challenging to discern the truth and maintain an encouraging attitude.
  • The problem once again is manipulation through fear.

The questions I ask those with the survivalist mindset – or anyone for that mater:

  • There are real and significant challenges ahead – Is there a more effective and empowering way to communicate preparedness and survival concerns to everyone without fixating on the fear, terror and greed factor?
  • Have you realistically and critically evaluated the advice being given by so many for actions to take during a serious emergency?
  • Are you aware that the methods being utilized by numerous advertisers, talk show hosts, blog writers and others to stimulate action focuses on mindless reaction rather than critical evaluation?

I want to acknowledge the many sincerely conscientious and committed individuals, businesses and news sources who are devoted to providing truthful information and reliable products.  I especially want to give my appreciation to committed Christian experts who realize the big preparedness picture and who offer prayer with their encouragement and advice.  I encourage all readers of this article to seek and discover these faithful individuals, organizations and companies.  I have written other articles available at Learn To Prepare – see the lists on the right column – that focus on the appropriate questions to ask yourself and others that will help in the preparedness planning process.

What’s Coming From Learn To Prepare

You will also notice a deepening emphasis on the spiritual and emotional attitudes and perspectives required regarding preparedness and survival.  For me the proper attitude and one’s spiritual/religious faith is essential, and forms the foundation for any effective and successful preparedness program.  Given the issues covered above regarding fear, and the emphasis on the accumulation of stuff and information (nothing wrong with stuff and information – if coupled with proper attitude and spiritual faith), I find a lack of encouragement that focuses on the most important aspects of the preparedness process – the aspects that provide true Peace of Mind.

We live in stressful and transformative times!

My Be Encouraged post first appeared at the end of 2011 and I have received many encouraging comments about its value in these troubling times.  I especially wanted to re-post this updated version.  It is not meant to be an article about preparedness or outdoor adventure – it is here to be a brief rest from the apprehension of daily life and the anguish of the times.  2016 will be a year of significant challenges – may you be encouraged to endure with sustaining faith and hope!

I felt a personal calling to write and share this prayer of encouragement as a gift to those needing some uplifting words during distressing events and the constant perpetration by media and government of crisis, fear and hysteria.

It is difficult to stay positive, feel secure and be joyful when the world around us appears to be degenerating and transforming, and so many people – especially “leadership” – are egocentric and delusional. 

We all need encouragement to help us cope.

 

  • Be encouraged: to find tranquility, serenity, courage and contentment amid the uncertainty, anxiety and confusion of the times.
  • Be encouraged: to trust GOD to replace fear and worry with peace and hope.
  • Be encouraged: to avoid those who rob you of your passion.
  • Be encouraged: to seek the company and counsel of those who encourage, understand and support you.
  • Be encouraged: to seek the wisdom to be able to discern the truth from the lie.
  • Be encouraged: to discover someone you can truly trust.
  • Be encouraged: to focus your mind and heart on that which edifies, inspires and transforms.
  • Be encouraged: to let go of the notion that you can do “it” all yourself.
  • Be encouraged: to cast off the chains that bind you to discontentment.
  • Be encouraged: to love one another in thought, heart and deed.
  • Be encouraged: to be selfless not selfish.
  • Be encouraged: to be honest with yourself – and others.
  • Be encouraged: to set aside a few moments each day to quiet your mind, open the eyes of your heart, meditate in silence and be thankful to GOD for the blessings that you have been given.
  • Be encouraged: to deflect the negativity, fear and hatred that is thrust upon you daily.
  • Be encouraged: to experience aliveness as much as possible.
  • Be encouraged: to discern the beneficial actions you are called upon to pursue during these troubled times.
  • Be encouraged: to be courageous while you walk among the weak and disheartened.
  • Be encouraged: not to give up on loved ones who are in denial of the truth of the times and ridicule you for your faith and commitment to being prepared for the unforeseen.
  • Be encouraged: to embody the right attitude that will carry you through all the trials and tribulations of your life.
  • Be encouraged: to continually search for and discover meaning in all circumstances.
  • Be encouraged: to embody forgiveness.
  • Be encouraged: to realize and exemplify your GOD given purpose in life.
  • Be encouraged: whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – think about (meditate on) these things … Phil 4:8
  • Be encouraged: to pray to GOD with thanksgiving – believe and have faith – let go – follow GOD’s guidance and instruction with patience and perseverance.
  • Be encouraged: to resist the temptations of the evil one.
  • Be encouraged: to encourage others!

Blessings to those who are encouraged by these words

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