Bugging out on foot is a risky proposition at best, and one to be avoided if possible.

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Hello, my friend and welcome back!  There are a lot of Preppers who plan on bugging out on foot when the time comes.  Maybe it’s to get to their bug out location unnoticed, but…

The post Bugging out on foot is a risky proposition at best, and one to be avoided if possible. appeared first on American Preppers Online.

Having a good well trained dog is an important part of any preparedness plan!

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Hello, my friend and welcome back!   We often talk about things that can make the difference between life and death when disaster strikes, but did you know that having a well-trained dog is one…

The post Having a good well trained dog is an important part of any preparedness plan! appeared first on American Preppers Online.

Video Monday: Should you learn how to conduct security patrols, SUT, Team skills, etc…?

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Hello, my friend and welcome back!  While searching for a video for you today, I found one that I think may answer the question that many of you ask yourself.  Why should I learn…

The post Video Monday: Should you learn how to conduct security patrols, SUT, Team skills, etc…? appeared first on American Preppers Online.

War clubs and weapons you can make yourself that will make others think twice about challenging you!

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Hello, my friend and welcome back! One of my readers emailed me a picture of a War Hammer he made from things he had lying around his garage.  I have to tell you, this…

The post War clubs and weapons you can make yourself that will make others think twice about challenging you! appeared first on American Preppers Online.

When the unexpected happens, will you be ready to bring your preps with you?

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Hello my friend and welcome back!  Last August the area of the US was hit with heavy rains and historic flooding.  Because my home has never flooded, I didn’t consider the possibility of flood. …

The post When the unexpected happens, will you be ready to bring your preps with you? appeared first on American Preppers Online.

Surviving in the dark will be much harder than you think, here’s why and how you can improve your chances.

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Hello my friend and welcome back! Surviving when SHTF hits will be tough, that’s a given.  But somehow when most of us think about surviving, we tend to focus on surviving in the daylight,…

The post Surviving in the dark will be much harder than you think, here’s why and how you can improve your chances. appeared first on American Preppers Online.

How do I protect my power system against an EMP or another Carrington Event?

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Hello my friend and welcome back! I received a letter from one of my readers who goes by the name of Dan.  What he wants to know is how he can protect his wind…

The post How do I protect my power system against an EMP or another Carrington Event? appeared first on American Preppers Online.

A Pack Of Predators Rely On Their Numbers To Prey On The Weak

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Predators run in packs. Predators will instinctively prey on the weak – especially those separated from the herd. Predators are opportunists looking for easy targets first. Not only is this true for the four legged predator but also the two legged variety. Again last night as I listened to the squealing and howling pack of […]

Part 2: Creating your own Emergency Communications Center for your Bug Out Location.

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Hello my friend and welcome back! In part 2 of this post, we are going to look at camp communications, as well as what frequencies and websites you will want to monitor.  Grab a…

The post Part 2: Creating your own Emergency Communications Center for your Bug Out Location. appeared first on American Preppers Online.

Part 1: Creating your own Emergency Communications Center for your Bug Out Location.

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Hello, my friend and welcome back! No matter whether you are bugging in or bugging out, you need to have an Emergency Communications area in your shelter.  I think most people realize the need…

The post Part 1: Creating your own Emergency Communications Center for your Bug Out Location. appeared first on American Preppers Online.

Being a creature of habit could get you killed when it all goes south.

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Hello my friend and welcome back! In today’s post, we are going to look at how dangerous being creatures of habit can be in a SHTF situation. Grab a cup of coffee, my friend,…

The post Being a creature of habit could get you killed when it all goes south. appeared first on American Preppers Online.

The term “family” will take on a whole new meaning after SHTF hits.

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Hello, my friend and welcome back!  Many people these days think of blood relatives when you say family, but that won’t be true after SHTF.  Grab a cup of coffee and have a seat…

The post The term “family” will take on a whole new meaning after SHTF hits. appeared first on American Preppers Online.

Caring for your family in a post SHTF world and what you should be aware of!

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Hello, my friend and welcome back!  When SHTF hits, your primary responsibility will be to provide for your family and protect them.  There are a few things that you might not have given much…

The post Caring for your family in a post SHTF world and what you should be aware of! appeared first on American Preppers Online.

What’s really behind all of the “Fake News” reports the media is publicizing!

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Hello, my friend and welcome back!  Towards the end of the election and afterward, we started hearing a lot about so called “Fake News”  from all of the major news media and even Facebook. …

The post What’s really behind all of the “Fake News” reports the media is publicizing! appeared first on American Preppers Online.

What are the chances of the US being hit by an EMP before Trump is inaugurated?

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Hello, my friend and welcome back!  I always try to create my post based on what is on most Preppers minds at the time.  I constantly solicit ideas from you, my readers as well…

The post What are the chances of the US being hit by an EMP before Trump is inaugurated? appeared first on American Preppers Online.

Things are going to get ugly, so stay on your toes and be aware of what’s around you!

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Hello, my friend and welcome back!  Tuesday, Donald Trump was elected to be the 45th US President and many groups have promised violence if that happened.  Members of BLM have said many times that…

The post Things are going to get ugly, so stay on your toes and be aware of what’s around you! appeared first on American Preppers Online.

God blessed America and “We the People” have a second chance!

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Hello, my friend and welcome back!  WOW, what an amazing night!  Presidential Nominee did what many people considered impossible and will become the 45th president of the United States;I couldn’t be more excited abut…

The post God blessed America and “We the People” have a second chance! appeared first on American Preppers Online.

Intro to Intelligence for Preppers

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Tornadoes, flooding, and wildfires are just three examples of localized and very personal SHTF events that we’ve seen in the past year, and they illustrate the devastation of an event for which there is immediate early warning. We can be alerted to a tornado warning and seek cover. We can vacate our homes in case of flooding or an approaching wildfire. As we deal in the likelihood of SHTF scenarios, Mother Nature is 100%.

 

But on a regional or national scale, we’re looking at more unpredictable events for which there is little to no early warning: an electromagnetic pulse, or perhaps a cyber attack on critical infrastructure, or a financial or monetary breakdown that plunges millions into a very real SHTF scenario. The cyber attack on the New York Stock Exchange will have no direct effect on you, but the second- and thirdorder effects will be felt on every level and generate threats to your community. So what we should be preparing for is not the cyber attack itself, but for the follow-on effects of that cyber attack that will affect your community.

 

Regardless of the event, we need to be able to collect information to support decision making so we can keep our families safe. Should we bug in or bug out? If bugging out, which route should we take? If bugging in, how can we get early warning of approaching threats?

 

How to Remain At Ease in a SHTF Situation

 

I’m going to break down a few ways that we can reduce the uncertainty in an SHTF situation. I spent three years in Iraq and Afghanistan, and both of those countries were real life or death, 24/7 SHTF situations. As an intelligence analyst, my job was to keep the commander informed on the security situation and threat environment. His responsibility was to make decisions based on the intelligence we provided. If we had no incoming information, then we couldn’t produce intelligence. And this is why information is the basic building block of community security. If we want security in an SHTF scneario, then we need to know more about the threats. What we need is real-time intelligence.

 

In 2014, a small group of volunteers and I battle tracked the Ferguson riots. The first step of battle tracking began with a process I call Intelligence Preparation of the Community. (You can watch the entire webinar here.) We analyzed the strength, disposition, and capabilities of local security forces. Knowing what equipment they had enabled us to better understand how they would react to unrest. We similarly analyzed the protest groups and identified associated individuals.

 

What both of these groups had in common is that they were both producing information of intelligence value. Through something as simple as listening to the police scanner, our team was able to plot out the current reported locations of law enforcement and the National Guard. Meanwhile on Twitter, we scanned the accounts of known protestors for real-time information.

 

In the image below, we took information reported on local emergency frequencies and potted those locations on the map using Google Earth.’Warfighter 33′ was the callsign for the National Guard Tactical Operations Center, which was set up in the Target parking lot. We also pinned several National Guard posts as they reported their locations. It wasn’t rocket science, but it started to help us understand the security situation. This is a very rudimentary form of signals intelligence, or SIGINT.

 

forwardobserver

Through the night, we continued to use photographs uploaded into social media and news articles in order to identify the photos’ locations. Then we plotted them on a map. Pretty soon, we have a very good idea of which areas were generally safe and which areas had the most activity as the riots progressed and eventually burnt out. Had we lived in Ferguson, we could have used this intelligence to navigate our way to friends and family, or to help friends and family navigate away from the threats. All this information was publicly available, so we call it Open Source Intelligence, or OSINT.

 

So what do I do if there’s a grid-down situation?

 

That certainly complicates things. Before I answer that question, I want to ask you one: on a scale of 1 to 10, how important is intelligence in a SHTF situation? (I would say 10, but I am admittedly a bit biased.)

 

First understand that there may still be electricity in a grid-down environment. As long as there are generators, and given that there’s not been an EMP, then someone somewhere will have electricity. My local law enforcement agency claims to have enough fuel for two weeks of backup power were things were to go sideways. That’s good to know, and is the benefit of intelligence collection before an SHTF event, as opposed to a post-SHTF scramble. If they’re powered up and communicating in a SHTF situation, or perhaps some ham radio operators are, then we still need the capabilities to listen in. Otherwise, we’re going to be at a severe disadvantage.

 

If there’s no power, then we’ll have to rely on Human Intelligence, called HUMINT. That means getting out and talking to people. It could mean a reconnaissance patrol. The horse-mounted cavalry were the eyes and ears of the commander before collection technology. Snipers and forward observers sitting in hide sides, whose responsibility it is to observe and report enemy activity, are often excellent intelligence collectors. An observation post equipped with a field phone, sending back intelligence information is another example.

 

While these are all military examples, there are similar community equivalents. Consider this: technology is a force multiplier. With SIGINT or OSINT, we can be very wide and very deep in our intelligence gathering. That’s a 1:n ratio. We have one collection platform, in this case a radio receiver, and we can scan a very wide band to collect information from anyone who’s transmitting. But when we deal with human intelligence, we’re often on a 1:1 ratio; that is, one collector speaking to one source at any given time. That’s a very slow and difficult way to do business.

 

So instead of 1:1, I want you to consider the scalability of that ratio. If one person is limited to gathering intelligence information from one person at at time, wouldn’t it makes sense to scale that ratio to 10:10 or 100:100? It absolutely would. Every set of eyes and ears is a sensor, so we as an intelligence element tasked with providing intelligence for community security should absolutely be interested in encouraging community members to passively collect lots of information. All that information is reported back to us, and then we’re engaged in the arduous task of compiling and evaluating that information in order to create intelligence.

 

Intelligence doesn’t produce itself, so it’s incumbent on us to build that capability. The more accurate information we have, the more wellinformed we can be. Without first being well-informed, making high-risk, time-sensitive decisions just got a whole lot more complicated.

 

Samuel Culper is the director of Forward Observer, a threat intelligence service that focuses on domestic SHTF issues. He’s a former military and contract intelligence analyst, and author of SHTF Intelligence: An Intelligence Analyst’s Guide to Community Security. You can find out more about the SHTF Intelligence Center at his website.

Being prepared is no guarantee that you will survive, but what else will it take?

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Hello, my friend and welcome back!  I think that most Preppers realize that simply having supplies stored up will not be enough.  The question is what else do you need to do to ensure…

The post Being prepared is no guarantee that you will survive, but what else will it take? appeared first on American Preppers Online.

Post SHTF tools of the trade: What you will need to fight back!

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Hello, my friend and welcome back!  In today’s post, were going to look at what you will need to fight back and survive in a post SHTF world.  With the US Election rapidly coming,…

The post Post SHTF tools of the trade: What you will need to fight back! appeared first on American Preppers Online.

The ability to Improvise will be a must in an SHTF world, so get ready for it!

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Hello, my friend and welcome back!  Improvising or repurposing items around you will be a key factor in surviving in a post SHTF world, so you better get ready.  In today’s post, we are…

The post The ability to Improvise will be a must in an SHTF world, so get ready for it! appeared first on American Preppers Online.

Where to go when it all falls apart and staying home is not an option.

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Hello, my friend and welcome back!  It goes without saying that when it all hit’s the fan, there will be plenty of people who will have no place to go.  Let’s say, for someone…

The post Where to go when it all falls apart and staying home is not an option. appeared first on American Preppers Online.

Make the most of the “Golden Hours” after SHTF hits and have your priorities ready!

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Hello my friend and welcome back!  When it all falls apart and chaos is everywhere, you’re going to need to have your priorities straight if you’re going to survive.  Don’t wait until it all…

The post Make the most of the “Golden Hours” after SHTF hits and have your priorities ready! appeared first on American Preppers Online.

Cold Hands Effects on Shooting

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Hello folks, we have been to the high desert in Northern Utah to do a bit of shooting today. So like all stories there is a good side and a bad side to this, first the good – we were shooting; now the bad – slow moving fingers and shaky hands.

While my fingers were thawing, this article came to mind. I am going to focus strictly on the local effects of cold on the hands in relation to shooting performance. I won’t get into hypothermia or frostbite; I have an idea swimming in my head for another article regarding hidden dangers (over dressing, cold weather dehydration, etc.) of cold weather where I will discuss those issues.

To “set the stage” of this subject we will quickly discuss the term “normal” in regards to hand/finger temperatures. We will call “normal” what people experience in everyday life under comfortable, often indoor conditions. With normal established, let’s look at “cold”, and just to keep it simple, the only terminology we will use is cold.

Cold Stress and Work in the Cold

Cold stress may be present in many different forms, affecting the whole-body heat balance as well as the local heat balance of extremities. Cooling of the whole body or in this case, parts of the body, results in discomfort, impaired sensory and neuro-muscular function and, ultimately, cold injury.

The most obvious and direct effect of cold stress for this subject is the immediate cooling of the skin. The type and magnitude of reaction are determined primarily by the type and severity of cooling. Local cold exposure may cause systemic arousal, what that means is that the increased stress level increases sympathetic nervous activity and, thereby, preparedness for action. When our bodies prepare for action and respond to the cold stimulus, our fight or flight nervous system function kicks in, and the adrenalin begins to dump. This function will work to fight the cold stimulus by giving the muscles stimulation to shiver AND cause the blood vessels in the extremities to begin to squeeze, which results in a reduction of blood flow to muscles and skin. This reduces fine motor skills and makes the “feel” for the trigger much less. That is not a welcome effect when trying to hit the target; great when trying to out run a bear or survive a blizzard, but we are not in those situations.

How do we fix this, the simple answer is to keep our hands warm or wear gloves. Prevention of cooling by means of donning cold-protective clothing, footwear, gloves and headgear interferes with the mobility and dexterity of the shooter. There is a “cost of protection” in the sense that movements and motions can become restricted and more exhausting.

Manual (hands) dexterity performance

Hand function is very susceptible to cold exposure. Due to their small mass and large surface area, hands and fingers lose heat while maintaining high tissue temperatures (86 to 95ºF).

Accordingly, such high temperatures can be maintained only with a high level of internal heat production, allowing for sustained high blood flow to the extremities. The most expedient way to tell if your hands are beginning to suffer from the cold exposure, and may result in decreased performance is to check for the “White Knuckle Grip.” If your hands look like you are holding the steering wheel of a truck on ice, headed down the hill, you will know the tissues are suffering from a lack of perfusion or blood bringing oxygen to the tissues, and hand grip, finger pull and support hand functions will be affected.

Hand and finger function is directly affected by the temperature of the skin (that is the only way to measure in the field). Fine, delicate and fast finger movements deteriorate when tissue temperature drops by only a few degrees. With more profound temperature drops in the tissues, gross hand functions will also be impaired, eventually, your hands will turn to “clubs” and the fine skill and gross skills will not be possible. You may get to a point where you cannot truly FEEL the gun in your hands.

Significant impairment in hand function is found at hand skin temperatures around 59ºF, and severe impairments occur at skin temperatures about 42 to 46ºF due to the blocking of the function of sensory and thermal skin receptors. The temperature of your fingertips may be more than ten degrees lower than on the back of your hand under certain exposure conditions.

In addition, the viscosity of tissues increases (meaning that instead of everything flowing like oil, it is now moving like sludge), resulting in higher internal friction during motion. With an increase of internal or muscular/tendon friction, smooth is not possible, and jerky motions will be the normal. Isometric (pulling) force output is reduced by 2% per ºF of lowered muscle temperature. Dynamic (general smooth movement) force output is reduced by 2 to 4% per ºF of lowered muscle temperature. In other words, cooling reduces the force output of muscles and has an even greater effect on dynamic contractions. This will have an effect of overall gun handling, and very dramatic effects on trigger pull, and proper grip functions.

Acclimatization

There is evidence for different types of acclimatization to long-term cold exposure. Manual (hand dexterity) performance is better maintained after repeated cold exposures of the hand, as we discussed later with the cold water bath and dry fire drills.

Improved hand and finger circulation allows for the maintenance of a higher tissue temperature and produces a stronger cold-induced vasodilatation. What this over the top science geek talk means is – warm up – flex the fingers, shake the hands, get them ready to operate the gun in cold temperatures. Due to the many complex factors that influence human heat balance, and the considerable individual variations, it is difficult to define critical temperatures for sustained work.

There is a simple way to test the effects of cold on your hands and performance, and train yourself to adapt to this environmental issue and improve your performance as much as possible. This simple and free or nearly free acclimatization method will make you less susceptible to cold hand issues. By exposure to cold water from the sink then maybe move to ice water in a bowl, etc., and dry fire drills, make sure to include shooting (dry fire) and gun manipulations, failure drills, etc.

These drills need to be practiced for all shooters, not just for the hand gunners, but hunters with long guns as well. Just to state the obvious – check then recheck that the gun is unloaded, and no ammo is in the room – OK, now we can move forward. Get ahold of a simple and inexpensive surface thermometer from the drug store, the type that just reads the skin temperature, then put your hands in the cold water, use the thermometer and take the skin temperature, run your dry fire drills. You can check your performance differences between warm and cold hands dry fire, use a stopwatch to test speed or function. Eventually, you will see if your acclimatization efforts are giving any value to your shooting and watch for improvement as you proactively train to beat the cold.

If precautions are followed, and a simple warm up can be performed your shooting should not suffer dramatically, it will a little, that is the way it is in cold weather shooting. If you find that you do a lot of cold weather shooting, and exact precision is needed. Try these simple steps to train your body to acclimate to that style of shooting. This combined with simple warm-ups, and you will be less affected and maybe even reach the “golden ring” of the only guy in the group that can shoot as well cold as everyone else does in the warm.

Good luck, and stay safe

96.8 – 90*F Optimal hand and finger dexterity Good Shooting
90 – 81*F Effects on finger dexterity, precision, and speed OK Shooting
81-68*F Impacted work with small details, reduced endurance Weak Shooting
68 – 59*F Impaired gross hand and finger work Poor Shooting
59 – 50*F Reduced gross muscle strength and coordination Very Poor Shooting
46 – 43*F Blocking sensory and thermal receptors of superficial skin Dangerous Shooting
Numbness, manual performance reduced to simple gripping, pushing, etc. Impossible Shooting
Freezing of tissues

Bug out power: Keeping your electronics charged while bugging out.

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Hello my friend and welcome back!  In today’s post, we are going to take a look at the challenge of keeping your portable electronics charged while bugging out.  We will also take a look…

The post Bug out power: Keeping your electronics charged while bugging out. appeared first on American Preppers Online.

Digital Comms: Communicating even when you can’t hear!

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Hello my friend and welcome back!  Today we’re going to be talking about using digital radio communications to hide your radio traffic in the background noise.  It’s an interesting concept and one it would…

The post Digital Comms: Communicating even when you can’t hear! appeared first on American Preppers Online.

The Number One Way NOT To Become A Victim On The Street

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I’ve posted a number of articles on the subject of personal security and situational awareness in the past. This one reinforces a message of how simple it is to avoid becoming a target, a victim, while on ‘the streets’. While there are exceptions to every rule, this particular rule (a single word) will likely provide […]

Bug Out Bag, Get Home Bag, Everyday Carry Bag, what’s the difference?

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Hello my friend and welcome back!  I had a new reader who confessed that she was confused, about all of the different types of bags and what each was needed for.  While I think…

The post Bug Out Bag, Get Home Bag, Everyday Carry Bag, what’s the difference? appeared first on American Preppers Online.

UGH!!! Why is it so hard to find out what I need in a first aid and trauma kit?

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Hello my friend and welcome back!  I recently had a reader send me and email asking “UGH!!!  Why is it so hard to find out what I need in a first aid and trauma…

The post UGH!!! Why is it so hard to find out what I need in a first aid and trauma kit? appeared first on American Preppers Online.

EMP Vs Cyber-attack on the Electrical Grid, You may be surprised at what we found.

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Hello my friend and welcome back!  I have 2 Prepper friends who are constantly arguing which would be worse, an EMP attack or a Cyber-attack, on our electrical infrastructure.  To date, I have refused…

The post EMP Vs Cyber-attack on the Electrical Grid, You may be surprised at what we found. appeared first on American Preppers Online.

How do you get through a Martial Law roadblock in a vehicle after SHTF hits?

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Hello my friend and welcome back!  I recently had a new Prepper ask me “How do you get through a Martial Law roadblock in a vehicle after SHTF hits?”  This is the topic of…

The post How do you get through a Martial Law roadblock in a vehicle after SHTF hits? appeared first on American Preppers Online.

Knowing when and what to barter when the time comes is critical !

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Hello my friend and welcome back!  I recently wrote a post on bartering and received some very interesting feedback.  While going over them, I tried to see where the differences of opinion came in…

The post Knowing when and what to barter when the time comes is critical ! appeared first on American Preppers Online.

Three possible SHTF scenarios that we may see play out before the end of 2016!

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Hello my friend and welcome back!  With the world being in shambles, and the want-to-be-king sitting in the White House, you can be sure that something bad is on the horizon.  As I see…

The post Three possible SHTF scenarios that we may see play out before the end of 2016! appeared first on American Preppers Online.

Video Monday: BIRTH OF THE ‘FRACTURED STATES’ OF AMERICA – STEWART RHODES

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Hello my friend and welcome back!  well, things here in South Louisiana are starting to settle down to manageable chaos.  It has given me the opportunity to to find a video on YouTube for…

The post Video Monday: BIRTH OF THE ‘FRACTURED STATES’ OF AMERICA – STEWART RHODES appeared first on American Preppers Online.

Practice what you prep because things won’t always work out like you think!

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Hello my friend and welcome back!  In today’ post, we are going to look at the need for practicing what you prep.  Even the best laid plans can go wrong if you don’t actually…

The post Practice what you prep because things won’t always work out like you think! appeared first on American Preppers Online.

What we can expect from an Economic Collapse and how to prepare for it.

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Hello my friend and welcome back!  One of my readers asked me recently what my thoughts are on the subject of Economic Collapse.  I took the time to really think about the question and…

The post What we can expect from an Economic Collapse and how to prepare for it. appeared first on American Preppers Online.

Why the Government is not warning people about the effects of an EMP or CME!

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Hello my friend and welcome back!  Our Governments warns us about all kinds of possible disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes and even tells us how to prepare for such events.  So, why all of…

The post Why the Government is not warning people about the effects of an EMP or CME! appeared first on American Preppers Online.

Do you know how to defend against the silent killers in a post SHTF world?

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Hello my friend and welcome back!  In today’s post, we are going to look at the silent killers that will exist in a post SHTF world and what you can do to protect yourself. …

The post Do you know how to defend against the silent killers in a post SHTF world? appeared first on American Preppers Online.