UNSEEN ENEMY: THE POTENTIAL LOOMING CRISIS OF THE NEXT DEADLY DISEASE PANDEMIC DEBUTS ON CNN

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In the 21st century, we are all connected. Population growth, mass urbanization, deforestation, climate change and increased travel have dramatically increased the risk that familiar diseases will spread and mutate, and new ones will emerge. As people enter new spheres of biodiversity, they come into closer contact with other species, increasing the risk of viruses jumping from animals to humans, and then spreading more widely.

Unseen Enemy is an essential exploration into the increasing threat of emerging infectious disease outbreaks and their impacts on society. Meet healthcare workers, disease detectives and families who have experienced the horror and devastation of Ebola, Zika and Influenza epidemics and emerged deeply changed.

 

The world’s urgent call to action on pandemics like Zika, Ebola, flu has global premiere April 7.

 

OFFICIAL CNN FILMS PRESS RELEASE:

UNSEEN ENEMY, about the potential looming crisis of disease pandemics, will debut as a CNN Films broadcast for a World Health Day presentation Friday, April 7 at 9:00pm Eastern on CNN/U.S. The film, which is exclusively presented by Johnson & Johnson, will then replay at 12:00am Eastern. All broadcasts will have limited commercial interruptions.

UNSEEN ENEMY is narrated by Emmy® and Golden Globe award-winning actor Jeffrey Wright and is written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Janet Tobias. CNN’s chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, MD, is an executive producer and consultant for the film. Philanthropist Paul G. Allen, known for his catalytic leadership during the 2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak, is also an executive producer.

Tobias embedded with some of the world’s top pathogen hunters and medical professionals for more than three years, crisscrossing the globe for UNSEEN ENEMY, to track outbreaks of Zika, Ebola, and influenza. From inside the hot zones in Brazil and Liberia, the film includes doctors who detail their heroic and often hazardous work from the front lines of the outbreak response. Doctors and researchers describe how they encountered the diseases, and how they are fighting the pathogens to save patients.

While the headlines of deadly outbreaks are alarming, Tobias’ film makes the case that successful containment can be achieved with coordinated efforts of medical professionals, researchers, governments, communicators, and the public. Two historic examples support her case. World-renowned epidemiologist Dr. Larry Brilliant, guides viewers through his difficult decisions as he worked on the teams that forcibly vaccinated the last remote villagers against smallpox. Others describe how the global spread of HIV/AIDS could have been stopped if governments and public health bodies had acted more deliberately to warn the public. Dr. Brilliant warns now that there may be 30 emerging human pathogens that have the potential to become epidemics.

“The public plays an essential role in the fight to contain and eradicate diseases like Ebola, Zika, and influenza,” said Dr. Gupta, about his engagement in producing UNSEEN ENEMY. “It’s always been my goal to bring the best scientific and medical information to viewers so they can make informed decisions that improve their health. The situation is urgent, but information can help make us less vulnerable,” he said.

In addition to the premiere broadcasts on World Health Day, UNSEEN ENEMY will encore Saturday, April 15 at 9:00pm and Sunday, April 16 at 2:00am Eastern, with a short, CNN-produced companion special. The special will feature CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Anderson Cooper with a discussion on the existing vulnerabilities to disease outbreaks and the tools needed to close the gaps in disease response.

“Because we witnessed epidemics up close during filming, our team came away with hope that we can win the fight against them. Around the world, there are dedicated scientists, innovative technologists, heroic doctors and nurses, as well as survivors, moms, dads, sisters, and brothers, who understand we all have a role to play,” said filmmaker Janet Tobias. “It’s only by each of us doing our part that we will win the battle.”

Profiled in the film to demonstrate the wide range of expertise needed to defeat the next global health crisis are:

**Laurie Garrett, a Pulitzer prize-winning health journalist explains why flu is one of the world’s potentially most serious pandemics and also why public health authorities need to shift current priorities to effectively meet the next crises;
**Soka Moses, MD, a heroic young Liberian physician, left his family to treat Ebola patients at the height of the epidemic that ravaged his nation;
**Peter Piot, PhD, renowned microbiologist and director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, helped identify the Ebola virus in the 1970s and explains why the global spread of HIV/AIDS was not inevitable;
**Peter Sands, a global financier, explains what the next global health crisis could mean to global markets and geopolitical stability;
**Vanessa Van der Linden, MD, is a pediatric neurologist who sounded the initial alarm about a rise in microcephalic infants, following a Zika outbreak. Van der Linden even used a social media app to help gather data about the disease pattern; and,
**Gwen and Terry Zwanziger, parents of a teen who died of flu complications, now urge other parents to become informed about preventive vaccines and advocate for more money for flu research.

Carole Tomko, general manager and creative director of Mr. Allen’s Vulcan Productions, said, “We believe, and we’ve seen proof, that information is aid. In absence of vaccines, human knowledge paired with behavior modification is the most effective way to slow the spread of contagious diseases. UNSEEN ENEMY is a prime example of how Vulcan Productions combines storytelling and technology to ignite audiences to respond to big challenges. It is our hope that this film will inform and prepare individuals, and global society as a whole, for the very real global health crisis we are facing.”

In addition to the telecasts on CNN, Unseen Enemy will also stream live for subscribers via CNNgo on Friday, April 7 (www.CNN.com/go and via CNNgo apps for AppleTV, Roku, Amazon Fire, and iPad). The film will be available the day after the premiere (Saturday, April 8) via CNNgo. For additional information about the film and other ways to watch it, please visit: www.takesallofus.com.

Learn more about the film UNSEEN ENEMY.

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PRACTICAL TACTICAL NAMED ONE OF THE TOP 75 SURVIVAL SITES TO PREPARE YOU FOR THE END OF THE WORLD

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Lockpick World has named Practical Tactical one of their Top 75 Survival Sites and Blogs!

We are thrilled to announce that the good folks at Lockpick World have included us on their list of the top 75 survival sites and blogs alongside some of the heavyweights and best known haunts of those that run in preparedness circles.

Our goal has always been to help anyone interested in readiness and resilience get started on their journey to preparedness without feeling overwhelmed, while still offering something for the more advanced preppers among us. Joining the likes of JW Rawles’ Survival Blog, Tess Pennington’s Ready Nutrition, Lisa the Survival Mom, Survivor Jane, and Chris Martenson’s Peak Prosperity on this list must be proof that we’re doing something right and we are grateful to be mentioned with such a distinguished group.

We will continue to do our very best to help anyone interested in preparedness achieve their readiness goals. We strive only to be worthy of your time and we can’t wait to see you out there.

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“THANKS, OBAMA!” THE 44TH PRESIDENT’S EXECUTIVE ORDER ON SPACE WEATHER

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You’ve probably heard of something called a coronal mass ejection (CME), otherwise known as a massive solar flare, and you probably know it could be very bad for the United States if the we happened to be facing the sun when it impacts earth. A large CME has the potential to have devastating impacts on everything from our global positioning systems (GPS), satellite operations, space operations, aviation and even our power grids, knocking them offline in an instant and destroying critical power grid infrastructure. A CME is one of several extra-terrestrial events that could possibly impact earth that are collectively referred to as space weather. Although much less likely, an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) can produce the same impacts, most commonly seen as a result of a nuclear explosion. In a world where international terrorism is a real threat, the possibility of an EMP weapon being used against the United States is a real concern. Experts agree that a direct impact from a large CME or a successful EMP attack is an existential threat to the United States that could instantly bring an end to our modern civilization.

 

A silhouette of the New Jersey.

 

On October 13, 2016, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order — Coordinating Efforts to Prepare the Nation for Space Weather Events that outlined the country’s contingency plan in the event such weather events lead to significant disruption to systems like the electrical power grid, satellite operations or aviation, stating “It is the policy of the United States to prepare for space weather events to minimize the extent of economic loss and human hardship.”

 

 

With this EO, President Obama ordered that the federal government takes steps insure that the national infrastructure is secure in the event of a space weather event. The National Space Weather Strategy and Action Plan ( PDF ) was announced a few days later in conjunction with President Obama’s executive order, along with a PDF of The Implementation of the National Space Weather Action plan, complete with a White House official summary. The official pages aren’t up on WhiteHouse.gov, but here is the latest information I could find on those too.

 

 

After years of Congress knowing about the problem and failing to take action, I was pleased to learn that the President did what he could through the executive office to try and protect the critical infrastructure of our nation.  However it is still up to Congress to set aside the funds to follow through and take action in support of the specifics laid out in this order.

 

So what does this mean for me and every one of you concerned about national security and the protection of our extremely fragile power grid infrastructure? The phrase “Within 120 days of the date of this order…” is used repeatedly in this executive order. If you take a look at the calendar, we are at that point right now. I’ve read for years about how everyone knows this is a threat, yet no one is willing to take action. Well, the former President did what he could do in response to a lack of action by Congress and now it’s our turn. Call your United States Representatives and your United States Senators and ask them to take action on President Obama’s executive order to coordinate a national response and strengthen our national power grids against the possible catastrophic impacts of a massive CME or electromagnetic pulse attack. Find your US Representatives and your US Senators and urge them to take action on this very important initiative today.

 

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Prepping with Kids: Gratitude and Resilience

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as you practice gratitude your overall resilience will increase. Tools to increase gratitude and resilience in kids | PreparednessMama

As you practice gratitude your overall resilience will increase. Get tools to help increase gratitude and resilience in kids every day. Gratitude is a big topic this time of year. Although if you’re like me and trying to prepare for Thanksgiving dinner or travel, gratitude is the farther thing from your mind. We always have […]

The post Prepping with Kids: Gratitude and Resilience appeared first on PreparednessMama.

WENDELL BERRY’S THOUGHTS ON CONSUMPTION AND OLDER TECHNOLOGY

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(By Guy Mendes, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29726407)

(By Guy Mendes, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29726407)

 

Wendell Berry’s nine rules for consumption

1. Be happy with what you’ve got. Don’t be always looking for something better.

2. Don’t buy anything you don’t need.

3. Don’t buy what you ought to save. Don’t buy what you ought to make.

4. Unless you absolutely have got to do it, don’t buy anything new.

5. If somebody tries to sell you something to “save labor,” look out. If you can work, then work.

6. If other people want to buy a lot of new stuff and fill up the country with junk, use the junk.

7. Some good things are cheap, even free. Use them first.

8. Keep watch for what nobody wants. Sort through the leavings.

9. You might know, or find out, what it is to need help. So help people.

 

Wendel Berry’s nine requirements for replacing an older technology

1. The new tool should be cheaper than the one it replaces.

2. It should be at least as small in scale as the one it replaces.

3. It should do work that is clearly and demonstrably better than the one it replaces.

4. It should use less energy than the one it replaces.

5. If possible, it should use some form of solar energy, such as that of the body.

6. It should be repairable by a person of ordinary intelligence, provided that he or she has the necessary tools.
7. It should be purchasable and repairable as near to home as possible.

8. It should come from a small, privately owned shop or store that will take it back for maintenance and repair.

9. It should not replace or disrupt anything good that already exists, and this includes family and community relationships.

You can learn more about Mr. Berry HERE and HERE.

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PRACTICAL PREPPING. PERIOD. LAUNCHES ON THE AUTHORS ON THE AIR GLOBAL RADIO NETWORK

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When you choose to live a preparedness lifestyle and building resilience you have to constantly challenge yourself, test and reset boundaries and change the game. Your willingness to do so could prove to be the difference in making your life all it can be or even in your survival some day.

In 2012, we created Practical Tactical. In 2014 I published two books, the Practical Tactical Quick Start Guide and then co-wrote Practical Prepping: No Apocalypse Required. In 2015, my daughter Riley arrived and our world changed forever. What can possibly top that? Well, nothing. Absolutely nothing. Now it’s 2016 and it is time to get back in the ring, keep creating, thinking, growing and prospering. It’s time to change the game…again.

 

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I am thrilled to announce that we are taking our vision of personal preparedness world wide as proud members of the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network as I launch my new show, Practical Prepping. Period.

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Practical Prepping. Period. is where preparedness theory meets the real world. We hope to bring you a variety of unique and wide ranging voices in the world of preparedness that will not only help you strengthen your preparedness when it comes to the basics, but also present a broader view to expand your ideas of what personal preparedness can be as we discuss some of the larger concepts, as well as the factors in today’s world that will make you realize why having a family disaster plan and a high level of individual resilience is a good idea. For example, the “three Es” (Environment, Energy, Economy) and how they work together will underpin our view of the world and our discussions. I feel this is important because regardless of where you are on the road to preparedness, the “three Es” will ultimately have an impact on your path. Other topics certain to be discussed on P3 are homesteading, gardening, first aid, firearms and self defense, climate, philosophy, water and food storage, not to mention spiritual preparedness.

I hope you will come along for the ride and make it a point to join us on the first Wednesday of each month at 9pm for our live shows where you will have the chance to call in and speak with our amazing guest. If that doesn’t work out for some reason have no fear, you can always download the podcast from the Authors On The Air Global Radio Network or ITunes and listen in whenever you get the chance.

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CASCADIA RISING: FEMA Will Hold A Drill To Prepare For A 9.0 Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake And Tsunami June 7-10 2016

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The Cascadia Subduction Zone off the coast of North America spans from northern California to southern British Columbia. This subduction zone can produce earthquakes as large as magnitude 9 and corresponding tsunamis.

The Cascadia Subduction Zone off the coast of North America spans from northern California to southern British Columbia. This subduction zone can produce earthquakes as large as magnitude 9 and corresponding tsunamis.

 

Just in case you missed it…and you probably did…FEMA Will Hold A Drill To Prepare For A 9.0 Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake And Tsunami next week.

Just in case you missed it…and you probably did…there is a gargantuan, 700 mile long quake-maker referred to as the Cascadia Subduction Zone that rests at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of the American northwest where the seabed meets the North American tectonic plate.  According to experts, this behemoth has the potential to unleash the worst natural disaster in the history of North America should it rupture entirely.

150720_r26752-865Think that can’t possibly be true?  Surely I’m overstating the danger.  Think again.  Remember this article from The New Yorker that we shared with you a while back that warned us The next full-margin rupture of the Cascadia subduction zone will spell the worst natural disaster in the history of the continent.

 

The “Cascadia” has already shown it’s power and it has a violent history.  According to this CNN story, on January 26, 1700, Cascadia unleashed one of the biggest quakes in world history that triggered a tsunami so large that it raced across the Pacific and swallowed coastal villages in Japan.  You’ve probably heard of the San Andreas fault, but it’s nothing compared to the monster that is the CSZ.  The CSZ has the potential to rip off a 9.0 magnitude quake, almost 30 times more energetic than anything the San Andreas could unleash, not to mention the subsequent tsunami that would be generated at the same time.  The CSZ holds so much more power because it is a subduction fault, whereas the San Andreas is a slip fault.  With a slip fault, the two land masses slide past one another causing an earthquake that is fairly short in duration.  In a subduction zone, one of the earth’s tectonic plates is being forced downward into the earth as the colliding plate slides over the top of the first plate.  These plates get “hung up” occasionally allowing stress to build up along the fault as the top plate is pulled down with the lower plate.  When the stress becomes too great, the top plate “snaps” back to it’s normal position releasing a tremendous….almost incomprehensible….amount of energy.  This snapping action creates a terrifyingly violent shaking that can last three to five minutes, far longer than the 15-30 seconds of shaking you may be used to in other earthquakes in California.  As if the shaking weren’t enough, as the plate “snaps” back it simultaneously lifts the ocean above it triggering a devastating tsunami.  The last time the Cascadia ruptured, the coast of the North American plate dropped about 5 feet!  Think for just a second and imagine the size and unrelenting ferocity of the tsunami wave that would have been created by that type of land mass dislocation.

According to the official flyer for the event, “Over 50 counties, plus major cities, tribal nations, state and federal agencies, private sector businesses, and non-governmental organizations across three states – Washington, Oregon, and Idaho – will be participating in the four-day Cascadia Rising 2016 Exercise.”

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U.S Northern Command is getting in on the act as well, holding five other exercises simultaneously.  The final Cascadia Rising 2016 drill plan tells us those five exercises are entitled “Ardent Sentry 2016″, “Vigilant Guard”, “Special Focus Exercise”, “Turbo Challenge” and “Joint Logistics Over-The-Shore”, all of which focus on a scenario that involves a magnitude 9.0 earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone followed by a giant tsunami that could displace up to a million people from northern California to southern Canada.

The United States is a continental country and the Cascadia Subduction Zone represents a North American sized disaster and national threat.  Even if you do not live in the great northwest or have family that does, it would be wise to maintain a wary eye cast in that direction.  When the CSZ fully ruptures again, even if you don’t feel the shaking, every American will feel the impacts.

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LEVELING UP TO A TRAUMA KIT

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This video is about Leveling Up To A Trauma Kit from a standard individual first aid kit (IFAK). Here’s a list of what is in this kit:

In the Boo Boo kit:

Band Aids
Knuckle bandages
Fingertip bandages
Antiseptic wipes
Alcohol wipes
Butterfly closures
Nitrile gloves
Triple antibiotic salve
Individual eye wash (x4)
Triangle bandage

Trauma kit:

Rolled gauze (x4)
Nitrile gloves
SOFT-W tourniquet
Shears
OLEAS modular pressure bandage
Bloodstopper Compress Dressing
SAM splint (1.5 ft)
3×3 gauze pads
Gerber foldimg knife
Sharpie (black)
C.A.T. tourniquet
Ranger bands
8-10 feet duct tape
Triangular bandage
Mylar blanket(s)
Ibuprofen tablets
6″ light stick
Self-adhering wrap (x2)
Celox z-fold hemostatic gauze (10 ft)

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THE NEXT BIG SOLAR STORM: AN APOCALYPTIC TIMELINE

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Have you ever wondered what might happen in the event a massive, earth directed solar flare were to erupt hurling a powerful coronal mass ejection (CME) at our home planet? What series of events could unfold? What would the impacts be? How do you think we might react? Well, this infographic gives us a look into what that future eventuality may look like.

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Courtesy www.futurism.com

 

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FlareToEarth

FRACTURED STATE

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 FRACTURED STATE
You can read the full original post on our Facebook page and check out everything else we have going on over there by clicking the picture or the link in the quote below.
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We are very excited to share with you that the latest work from our friend Steven Konkoly ( Steven Konkoly – Thriller…

Posted by Practical Tactical on Thursday, March 24, 2016

Be sure to visit Steven’s website for more back story on FRACTURED STATE.

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FOOD SYSTEM SHOCK ~ LLOYD’S 2015

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Lloyd’s takes a look at the fragility of the world’s food production system in the face of ever growing demand.

Read the full report by clicking the photo!!!

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Food System Shock ~ Lloyd’s 2015

 

Lloyd’s of London Food System Shock June 2015

Here are a few sobering key findings of the report.

(Courtesy TWILAND.INFO)

Suggestions: Develop the hobby of gardening. Promote the keeping of backyard poultry in your community. Stock up on dried milk products while they are still available. Know where the flooding rivers might impact your home. Develop the hobby of fishing. Learn how to listen to emergency reports. Join an amateur radio club and learn how to keep in touch without the use of cell phones. Severe weather events often disrupt the power grid, so develop the skills of using solar power. You can be identified as a farmer by the USDA if you sell at least $1,000 a year. Be prepared to protect what you have for your family. …

Key findings

  • A combination of just three catastrophic weather events could undermine food production across the globe.
  • These could lead to a 10% drop in global maize production, an 11% fall in soybean production, a 7% fall in wheat production and a 7% fall in rice production.
  • Wheat, maize and soybean prices could increase to quadruple the average levels experienced during the 20 years prior to the global food price shock of 2007/8. Rice prices could increase by 500%.
  • The scenario indicates this series of events has the potential to lead to food riots breaking out in urban areas across the Middle East, North Africa and Latin America, leading to wider political instability and having knock-on effects for a wide range of businesses.
  • While agriculture commodity stocks might benefit, the overall economic impact of high food prices, combined with rising political instability, could severely impact financial markets. The scenario indicates that the main European stock markets might lose 10% of their value and US stock markets 5%.

Food System Shock June 2015

 

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LONG TERM FOOD STORAGE DIY

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When pulling together the nuts and bolts of your family’s preparedness plan, one of the biggest bolts to make sure you turn is long term food storage and it can be a daunting one.  The first thing you have to do is figure out how you define “long term” and then appropriately slot that into your overall food storage plan.  Once you have figured that part out, it really does not have to be difficult to square away your long term food storage.  To prove it, I wanted to share a quick project that I knocked out in just a couple hours.

We continually add to our long term food storage and we do our best to cover a wide spectrum in the type of foods we choose to stock, but for this project I addressed a couple of the staples….beans and rice.  During a recent trip to our local big box warehouse store I picked up some food supplies, I grabbed a stack of food grade buckets at a local bakery for $1 each and ordered the oxygen absorbers and Mylar bags from Amazon.com.  What follows is the quick and easy way I package them for long term storage.  Hopefully you will see that it is a really straight forward process and that you can do it too.

The project list:

  • 2 ft aluminum level
  • standard household iron
  • Sharpie (red)
  • 2 cup measuring glass
  • 1 gallon Mylar bags (bulk)
  • oxygen absorbers (bulk)
  • food grade plastic buckets with lids
  • 25 lbs dry pinto beans
  • 50 lbs long grain white rice

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To begin, I used the 2 cup measuring glass to measure out ten cups of dried pinto beans or 10 cups of long grain white rice into each 1 gallon Mylar bag and dropped in the oxygen absorbers.

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Next, I pulled the top of the Mylar bag together at the top and pressed out as much trapped air as possible, then I folded it over the one inch wide flat edge of my aluminum level and used the hot iron (set to the highest setting) to seal the Mylar bag closed by pressing the one inch strip of the Mylar bag between the iron and the aluminum level across the entire width of the bag sealing it permanently.  After a few hours, the oxygen absorbers pull all of the excess air out of the sealed Mylar bag essentially vacuum sealing the food safely inside.  Once all of the bags are sealed and labeled, I placed the bags inside my food grade buckets with locking lids and then placed an external label on each of the buckets making them ready to go into storage.

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As I hope you can see, this process is not as daunting as it may appear at first and that you can do an awful lot to bolster long term storage food supplies and deepen your larder quickly and inexpensively.  Remember, at every level of your family’s food storage, you want to store what you eat and eat what you store.  Stick to what you know your family enjoys and stack it as high and deep as you deem necessary to meet the requirements of your family’s preparedness plan.  If you have questions or comments, please leave them below and I’ll get back with you as soon as possible.

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A NEW ADDITION TO THE GARDEN – COLD BOXES

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Gardening season is here! 

Well, okay.  Technically, gardening season is almost here in our neck of the woods.  But as any gardener worth their salt will tell you, dreaming up your garden plan is half the fun!  Just thinking about how you’re going to orient this year’s prized plantings easily helps you push through the final stretch of winter that occupies the weeks before you can actually get to play in the dirt again once planting season finally arrives.

We are especially looking forward to getting back in the game this gardening season because our efforts were obviously subdued last year with Riley’s arrival and we’re chomping at the bit to get things cranked up.  So much so that we decided to add a new piece of infrastructure to our homestead by building two new cold boxes.  Eventually the plans are to build a full size greenhouse, but these cold boxes will certainly meet our needs for now.

A cold box is essentially a mini-greenhouse that allows you to start your seeds, protects your seedlings from frost during the late winter months and allows you to “strengthen” them by exposing them slowly to the elements before eventually transplanting your seedlings into your full size garden.  Cold boxes can also be used to grow smaller plants with shallow root systems if you are so inclined.

We were able to up-cycle a couple of reclaimed window frames from a friend and we knew precisely how to put them to good use.  One of the frames was missing two panes of glass, but this was easily remedied.  I picked up a couple of acrylic sheets to replace the panes and left the job to my wife Alice.  Moments later she had trimmed them up to the right size to replace the missing panes and I added a little weather caulking to seal them into place. The two boxes framed up turned out to be 32″ x 31″ and 36″ x 28″ respectively.  I made a quick trip to my local lumber yard to pick up one 2 x 12 x 12 and one 2 x 12 x 10 to use for the frames and got to work.  A little bit of quality time with the circular saw and the power drill and we were set.

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Up-cycling reclaimed materials, gardening and power tools.  How could this day and this project not turn out great?  These cold boxes will be a tremendous addition to our homesteading infrastructure and we look forward to getting years of use out of them.  I’m certain we will pretty them up a bit in the near future and we will let Riley lead the way on that portion of the project.  I honestly can’t wait to see how they ultimately turn out.  I promise I’ll keep you posted!

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A WORLD WITHOUT WORK

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Have you ever wondered what the world may look like after societal collapse? What if the world as you know it today simply disappeared? If so you have probably considered what how the priorities and values of today might be reshuffled. Things that seem to matter so much today may not matter at all in this new world. What would have value? What skill sets would matter when commutes, cubicles and consumerism are a thing of the past? Believe it or not, the answer can be found today and Derek Thompson, Senior Editor The Atlantic, takes a look at what a world without work might look like. Check out this video as Thompson discusses this new and probable reality where the old ice breaker “What do you do?” becomes “What can you do?” After societal collapse that is all that will really matter any way.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

Arctic Ancestral Survivalism with the Sami People

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The Sami people are one of the oldest semi-nomadic indigenous groups in the world. Traditionally herding reindeer in the Arctic regions of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia’s Kola Peninsula (the region is known as Sapmi), they learned to work with the rhythms of nature in order to survive the harsh climate.

A Sami summer shelter

A Sami summer shelter

Editor’s note: For the past couple of centuries the Sami people has seen increased oppression and colonialism from the swedish state, but they’re still preserving their old ways and today a new generation of Samis are fighting for the rights to their native lands and the preservation of their culture.

“Nature is everything for us because we think we belong to Mother Earth,” explains Sami writer/artist/teacher Gunnel Heligfjell, “It is not as with Western European thinking that the earth belongs to us, to the human beings. We think that we belong to the earth like the animals and the plants and everything.”

Food storage

How food has been stored traditionally by the Sami to keep it protected from animals

Following the reindeer migrations, they built transportable homes called lavvu from wood and fabric (similar to Native American tipis, but less vertical to sustain high winds). They also have more permanent homes called goahti made from fabric, peat moss or timber and curved poles.

The reindeer are used for food and materials: clothing, shoes, tents, tools, toys, and handicraft. They even play a role in one of the Sami creation myths.

Sami knife

Sami handicraft, a knife with a handle made from reindeer antler and wood and a finely decorated sheath made from antler and reindeer hide.

Gunnel Heligfjell is an artist/writer who teaches the Sami language to school children (recognized as an official Swedish minority language in 2000). While she lives in a more conventional home in Vilhelmina, Sweden most of the year, she still spends time in a goahti or lavvu during summer or hunting trips. She believes in this traditional self-reliance and knows how to build traditional shelters and still cures reindeer meat (from her husband’s herd) and makes shoes, bags and fabrics from the skins.

Original story

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10 Reasons Why You Do Not Want to Bug Out

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The plan seems simple doesn’t it? All you need for the best chance of survival for your family is a well-stocked bug out bag, a keen attention to your surroundings and careful monitoring of what is happening in the news. With these bases covered you will be a very informed prepper and will be able to get the jump on all of the clueless sheeple if something bad happens. You will load your family up with your bags and hike off into the sunset way ahead of the approaching death and destruction. You have a plan to bug out.

It sounds perfect, but in this article I am going to try and convince you how that might not be the best and first option you should consider. There are many reasons and situations I can think of why you do not want to bug out from your home. You may be asking yourself, how can I even say those words on a prepper blog such as this without getting struck by lightning? It’s true that hunkering down is not the option that gets the most press, but in my opinion during most (but not all) scenarios, it is the better choice. That is unless you are a combat trained Navy Seal. If you are like me, just an average guy with a family and a giant subterranean monster unleashed by nuclear experiments is not headed your way, you might want to stay put. Here are a few reasons why:

You live where your stuff is.

I’ll be the first to admit that a lot of these reasons are going to seem incredibly simple and obvious, but I think sometimes that is the best way to approach a problem. As a prepper you have probably started collecting some supplies to help you get through short and long term emergencies. Some of you have stored a TON of supplies because you have been doing this for a long time or else you are independently wealthy and you just blew up the Black Friday sales.

Even if you only have a week’s worth of food and water, that is nothing to sneeze at. Everything you have is stored probably in nicely organized bins for easy retrieval. You don’t have to carry it and the supplies aren’t subject to the elements. Leaving your home will make you potentially have to leave most, or all of your survival supplies at home. You could put them all in your best bug out vehicle, the diesel Ford F-250 with the trailer, right? Sure you could, but are you sure that truck will always be in your possession? It’s just better to stay at your home base because there are tons of advantages like…

Even your kitchen floor is more comfortable than sleeping in the woods

Some parts of Mother Nature are best appreciated when you can leave.

Some parts of Mother Nature are best appreciated when you can leave.

Yes, I know that some people sleep perfectly well in the woods and I can too, once I am exhausted from hiking all day. Honestly, you would have to agree that your old lumpy Serta Posturpedic mattress would be preferable to sleeping in the woods or an abandoned building or even a hammock. Why is that important?

Getting plenty of good sleep has a huge impact on our health. It not only affects your moods, but alertness and even immune system. In a disaster you will be stressed in ways you haven’t even considered. You may be working like a dog and having a comfortable and relatively safe place to rest your head, even if that is the living room floor will be an advantage that the people who think they can just bug out into the woods won’t have.

Built in Community whether you know it or not

In times of crisis, you can almost guarantee that communities will band together in some ways. You probably don’t consider your small neighborhood or dead end street a community but let some disaster happen and you will see humans come together for support, safety and to help each-other out. Being around even just a few neighbors who know you can give you advantages if you need assistance for things like a neighborhood security plan.

Even neighbors you don’t get along with will probably overcome grudges if the disaster is severe enough. Of course there is the potential that your neighbors could turn on you for being the lone prepper but I think in most cases, things won’t go Mad Max for a little while. If it does you will have to adjust, but I believe that most people would benefit by banding with their neighbors for support. You could have an opportunity for leadership here or compassion by helping out others who haven’t prepared. It is much better to strive for this kind of relationship with people than head out the door and face the world with only what is on your back.

Being Cold Sucks and it can kill you

I bet that most of you like to keep the thermostat somewhere in the upper 60’s to low 70’s during the winter. There might be some play in that range, but there are no thermostats outside. Whatever the temperature is outdoors is what you are going to be living with. Can you start a fire or wear warm layers to regulate your body temperature? Of course, but the last place I want to be on a cold winter night is huddled up in my sleeping bag under a tarp even if I did have a nice roasting fire beside me.

There are some situations where you wouldn’t be able to start a fire. Maybe if it was raining and you couldn’t find any dry wood or tinder, or there were people that didn’t look so friendly following you. Staying in your home, even without power can give you advantages of shelter that you won’t easily find outdoors. You can seal off rooms and even your body heat will generate a little warmth. You can black out your curtains with heavy gauge plastic sheeting and even the heat from a lantern or a couple of candles can put out an amazing amount of heat.

You may put yourself in a worse situation

The problem with most bug out plans are that you don’t have a destination. Where are you bugging out to? Do you think the National Forest is going to be reserved solely for you and your family? Do you think you will just set up a tent and start hunting for small game? In a large regional disaster, there could be millions of people leaving the cities. The concept is called the Golden Horde and they will be competing with you for natural resources. With even a few dozen hunters in the same area game will be depleted in days if not sooner. Then you will be stuck near a bunch of other hungry people who blame you for catching the last squirrel.

Being on the road makes you an easier target

One of the advantages of staying put at home is the home field or defenders advantage. When you go out, you do not know what you are walking or driving into. The best you can do is recon very deliberately which will only slow you down more. By staying put in your home, you can set up a neighborhood watch with your fellow neighbors and monitor who is coming in. This gives you the opportunity to set up defensive positions and plans that anyone walking in with thoughts of taking advantage of you, won’t be aware of.

If nobody knows you, you are a stranger

If the people in the town do not know you, they will treat you as suspicious, maybe even hostile.

If the people in the town do not know you, they will treat you as suspicious, maybe even hostile.

Have you ever been walking your dog and seen someone strange walking through your neighborhood? This was someone you didn’t know so obviously they fell under suspicion. Had they been one of your neighbors kids you would have recognized them, but this new person stuck out. That is what you will be faced with if you leave your home and go wandering through other towns and cities. In your home neighborhood you will be dealing with known people that you can grow a deeper relationship with. There is a built-in level of trust because they have lived near you for years. If you start walking into a strange town with your bug out bags and AR-15 slung over yourbulletproof vest, you may not like the attention you receive.

Gear is heavy and a lot of gear is heavier.

Speaking of walking around in your bulletproof vest and gear, how many of you have walked for 3 days with your bug out bag? OK, now add a full complement of bullets and anything else you think you might need to defend yourself. It adds up quickly even when you try to reduce the weight of your bug out bag as much as possible. These weren’t meant to live for a long time out of. Your food will run out, possibly your ammo and that will help you with the weight, but in a disaster where you are walking out the door in full combat gear, do you think Walmart will be open when you run out of something?

In a grid down you won’t get to call AAA

Maybe you are one of the lucky ones that have a place to go up in the mountains. If you don’t get out before everyone else starts leaving, you could be stuck on the road. What if your old bug out vehicle breaks down? All those supplies you stored in the back of that trailer are either going to feed a lot of other people on the highway or you will most likely die defending them. If you aren’t already living at your retreat before the disaster happens, you will have to be incredibly fast to avoid getting stranded. Let’s say you are ready to go, do you know when you would actually leave? Do you know when the S has actually HTF and it’s time to leave or will you debate leaving with your wife and mother for two days because they think it will all blow over soon?

Leaving home may put you in a worst situation than staying put.

Leaving home may put you in a worst situation than staying put.

If you get hurt you want to be near a secure shelter not under a tarp

I have a decent first aid supply kit. I don’t have IV’s and a ton of medicine but I can take care of garden variety injuries pretty well. Imagine you somehow break your leg after the grid is down. Would you rather drag yourself into the house, or be stuck in the woods for weeks unable to move? Most hospitals don’t stick their patients out in the back yard for a reason so you will convalesce better with a good roof over your head that is hopefully providing some climate protections. If nothing else, it will be a relatively clean and safe place to get better that beats lying under a log.

So what does staying home mean?

I will write a post about reasons why you may have to bug out later, but staying home doesn’t guarantee you will be safe and secure either. I think each situation has to be taken into consideration as to what is the better option for you and your family. Naturally if there is a fire heading your way staying at home is stupid. It is something to think about that and that may help you begin to form different plans for different scenarios. What are your plans?

Originally published on The Prepper Journal

The post 10 Reasons Why You Do Not Want to Bug Out appeared first on Walden Labs.

Pentagon Reveals New Plan for Protecting Grid From Cyber Attacks

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powerlines powergrid wikimediaIt’s no secret that preppers don’t trust the government. And it’s not just because we think they’re up to some nefarious shenanigans. We also know that the government is often inept, and can’t be trusted to take care of us in an emergency. Many of us wouldn’t be preppers in the first place if this weren’t true.

However, you have to give credit where credit is due, and for once, it seems like the government deserves a little recognition. The Pentagon has just revealed their plan for dealing with cyber attacks that might take down our nation’s power grid. At first glance it appears to be pretty solid, and I give them kudos for at least trying to shore up a serious risk. As you’ll see however, this plan has a few holes in it.

Their plan, which has been dubbed the Rapid Attack Detection, Isolation, and Characterization (RADICS), involves a sophisticated automated system that would help mitigated the risk of an attack, or at least stifle its damaging effects. The Pentagon hopes that even with a worse case scenario they would be able to bring the grid back online within 7 days (assuming the attack is only digital in nature).

One of the aims of RADICS is to develop detection systems with high sensitivity and low false positive rates, by studying exactly how power grid’s dynamics.

RADICS also calls for the design of a secure emergency network that could connect power suppliers in the moments after an attack.

‘Isolating affected utilities from the internet would enable recovery efforts to proceed without adversary surveillance and interference,’ Everett said.

‘Providing an alternative means for online coordination would enable a more orderly restoration of power among affected organisations.’

Finally, the RADICS will research systems that can localise and characterise malicious software.

The plan sure sounds slick. However, it doesn’t really give us much more safety than we had before, and here’s why:

While the internet has probably made our power system more efficient, it has also made it far more vulnerable to disruption. We’ve essentially traded resilience for efficiency. And unfortunately, this RADICS plan is merely a bandaid on top of a very substantial vulnerability. A vulnerability that has already been exploited. Take a look at this interview CBS did with their former anchor Ted Koppel, who recently finished an extensive investigation into our power grid.

“It’s frightening,” Koppel said. “I mean, it is frightening enough that my wife and I decided we were going to buy enough freeze-dried food for all of our kids and their kids.”

“Who are the potential perpetrators here?” Reid asked. “Who do we have to fear the most? Is it Russia? China? Iran? Terrorists? Individual actors?”

“All those. The interesting thing, Chip, is the ones who are most capable are the ones least likely to do it.

“There are some experts who say they’re already in.”

“Well, they are in. There’s no question about it. They are already in the grid. I was told that by the former Chief Scientist of NSA, he stated categorically the Russians are in, the Chinese are in. The Iranians may be on the verge of getting in. And then at the bottom of the capability scale are folks like ISIS, terrorist groups.”

So nations like Russia and China have already infiltrated our grid, and presumably, could take it down whenever they like without any physical force. We’ve reacted to that threat by creating another automated, interconnected system that could theoretically insulate us from any attack. In other words, we’re protecting one hackable system with another hackable system.

What their new plan really amounts to, is a new step in a digital arms race between the US and other world powers. This is a race which we will either win or lose, and we’ve been losing it for a long time. Does the Pentagon really think that they’re going to turn it all around now?

A far better solution would be to decouple our power grid from the internet, which would help us avoid this existential threat entirely. It sounds crazy, but there’s actually a small percentage of rural power grids that still aren’t plugged in, so to speak. And in any case, the grid worked quite well for a long time before the internet ever took root.

Surely the government will say that this new system is more secure. However, that’s like saying the Titanic is unsinkable. All digital systems are capable of being hacked, without exception. The Pentagon thinks they have a silver bullet solution, but at the end of the day we have the same choice we’ve always had since the proliferation of the internet.

On the one hand, we could have a resilient system with less efficiency. On the other hand, we can engage in a digital arms race with the world’s superpowers, which we may or may not win. Taking that option amounts to flipping a coin to see whose civilization will be completely obliterated without a single shot being fired, if war should occur. The safest option is to stick with resilience, with all its faults, and not flip that coin in the first place.

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

The Threat Probability Matrix – Six Levels of Resilience

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Are you prepared for emergencies, or in the process of preparing? I hope you are, because we live in a fragile society. This fragility runs through everything from the food we buy in the supermarket and the electricity we use to power our homes and the money we buy goods and services with.

But the big question is, are you preparing for the right things?

When you think “emergency preparedness” or “survivalism”, Jack Spirko of the Survival Podcast says many people picture end of the world scenarios, “like a total economic collapse, an unstoppable virus, a biological weapons attack or perhaps a complete shut down of the electrical grid.”

This kind of extreme thinking is not helped by TV shows with names such as “Doomsday Preppers”, but while each of these scenarios is real and could happen, what you should ask yourself is this:

How likely are any of them to occur in the next 30 days, or the next 10 years? Now answer these questions (from Jack Spirko) for yourself…

What is more likely to happen tomorrow morning, you lose your job or we all face a complete collapse of the U.S. economy?

Is it more likely that a person living near a large metropolitan area will have to deal with localized riots over a local issue or that a global pandemic will cause the death of 50% of the planet’s population?

Will a California resident be more likely to be effected by an earthquake or a global nuclear war?

In the next six weeks are we more likely to face a domestic trucker’s strike that disrupts the food supply or a global climate shift that destroys 50% of the world’s agriculture?

Of course, there is potential for all of the above and many other factors to radically alter our lives, yet answering the above four questions is very easy to do if you are honest and shy away from sensationalism.

Enter The Threat Probability Matrix

The rules of Jack’s matrix are simple, the less people affected by an event the more likely it is to occur to an individual. That statement may seem counterintuitive but it really isn’t, just consider the following line:

Individual – Localized – Small Region – Large Region – National – Global

Now think of one disaster for each of these and ask yourself how likely you are to actually experience this event in the next year or next ten years. You can think of any disaster and then just assign it to one of the six categories and you will quickly see that in most instances the larger the effected area, the lower the probability that it will actually happen.

Here are some examples of the Threat Probability Matrix in action:

The Individual (that’s you)

What threats are individuals and their families facing in today’s society that does not affect the rest of society?

The Individual

You could lose your job, get sick (ranging from a cold to cancer) and be unable to work, get robbed or run over by a car, lose a family member, or any other out of the countless of threats that face individuals.

This is the first level of resilience. Without resilient individuals and families, you can’t have resilient communities.

The Local Community

What threats are local communities facing that does not necessarily affect neighboring communities?

There’s damage from strong storms, flash floods, local terrorist attacks and active shooter / mass shooting scenarios, infrastructure failure, and more.

The Community

This is the second level of resilience. Without resilient communities you can’t have resilient regions.

The Small Region

What threats are small regions facing that does not necessarily affect the larger region as a whole?

There’s city riots spreading to the suburbs, blackouts, larger infrastructure failures, earthquakes, tornadoes, and more.

The Small Region

This is the third level of resilience. Without resilient small regions you can’t have resilient mega-regions.

The Large Region

Now we zoom out even more and look at the larger region, for example a megaregion.

There are 11 recognized megaregions in the United States, and as an example the Northeast megaregion (megalopolis) runs primarily northeast to southwest from the northern suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts, to the southern suburbs of Washington, D.C., in Northern Virginia. It includes the major cities of Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., along with their metropolitan areas and suburbs as well as many smaller urban centers.

Some of the threats facing mega regions are large scale hurricane damage to coastal regions, wildfires, droughts, tsunamis, radioactive fallout from nuclear events, and more.

The Large Region

This is the fourth level of resilience. Without resilient megaregions you can’t have resilient nations.

The Nation

Ah, the nation. The dominant social and political structure for the past few hundred years. Can any threats pose a real danger to nations? Turns out, quite a few.

For example, droughts, crop failure, food shortage, toilet paper shortage, economic collapse, social collapse, electrical grid failure, a well organized terrorist attack on 25 major U.S. cities, conventional warfare, 4th generation warfare, solar flares, coronal mass ejections and solar EMP’s (or all three combined as a solar superstorm), incompetent and outright dangerous politicians, and more.

The Nation

This is the fifth level of resilience. Without resilient nations you can’t have a resilient planet.

The Planet

What threats face the planet as a whole? I could come up with all kind of threats, but luckily someone, more specifically the Lifeboat Foundation, has done a better job of mapping and thinking about these global threats than I ever could.

Their mission is to “safeguard humanity” and they map the existential threats that could wipe out humanity and are working on ways to counter these threats.

The Planet

For example, some of these threats are extinction-level asteroid impacts, an AI intelligence gone wild (think Skynet from the Terminator movies), a global pandemic, nuclear war, global crop failure, a massive solar superstorm, a rapid climate shift that brings on a new ice age, gamma rays, black holes, and of course… alien invasion.

The planet is the final level of resilience… for now. One day humans might be facing and preparing for an even higher level of threats, that of threats to the whole solar system (such as a dying sun), but I think it’s safe to say that’s a problem another generation will have to deal with.

These are just some common and less common disaster scenarios; as Jack says “you can plug in any that you can think of, assign them to an area of effected individuals and like clock work as you move from Individual to Global the honest probability of occurrence will decline as the affected area grows.”

Why is this so important?

Why does it even matter? Simply because if you want to properly prepare for potential disasters there are so many scenarios to prepare for that it is easy to become quickly overwhelmed.

I agree with Jack in thinking this is the reason for why many people begin to start preparing but end up “falling out” simply because they come to the conclusion that, really being ready is just not possible. There is just “too much for anyone to do with out spending a fortune”, is a common statement.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

By considering the probability and preparing for the most likely scenario first and proceeding from there your plans and actions will naturally fall into place.

This means that when you’re starting out you should first focus on threats on the individual level. Once you’re sufficiently prepared to handle losing your job or getting sick for two weeks, then you can start focusing on threats at the neighborhood level, and so on.

“As you progress through you own disaster preperation plan”, as Jack points out, “you will start to realize that by the time you prepare for individual, neighborhood and small regional disasters you are very well along your way to being as prepared as is honestly possible for just about anything.”

Of course there’s always the risk of global nuclear war and solar superstorms, but the threats you’re facing as an individual are far more likely to happen and so those are the threats you should be preparing for first.

Resilience is built from the bottom up

Once you’ve surpassed all the lower levels in the Threat Probability Matrix, by all means get preparations in order for the polar shift or World War 3 if that’s what you want to do. But until then, focusing on scenarios in order of probability will allow you to make more progress, save money and keep your sanity.

These higher level perspectives are humbling though. In one of my favorite videos with Carl Sagan, his famous “blue dot” speech, he says…

“Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness there is no hint that help will come elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit? Yes. Settle? Not yet. Like it our not, for the moment, the earth is where we make our stand”

If you want to shift into a higher perspective, take a few minutes and listen to his full speech below. However, never forget that resilience starts at the individual level. It starts with you.

The post The Threat Probability Matrix – Six Levels of Resilience appeared first on Walden Labs.

NATION MAKERS

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PyleNationmakers

 

Howard Pyle’s 1903 painting The Nation Makers is an image of a mass of humanity surging forward, that mass is composed of identifiable individuals, as in all wars and battles. None of these individuals turn and looking out at us the viewers, instead they are all moving forward into their future. That concentrated action gives us hope that we too will bear our responsibilities honorably.  ~ The Rockwell Center

 

Over the past months I have given a lot of thought to what citizenship means in America today and I have come to realize that with that statement on Howard Pyle’s The Nation Makers, The Rockwell Center captures the very essence of what I have come to realize is the foundation of what makes America great.  Along with our countrymen and women that have chosen to make a career in service to others, there are millions of Americans that do not earn a paycheck for their efforts but are out there doing the hard work of building a better future for themselves and the rest of us every day just the same.  These citizen champions are actively applying their very valuable time and skill sets to bring forth the change they want to see in the world and we are all better for it.  These identifiable individuals moving honorably forward into the future are the embodiment of what it takes to make a difference in this world.  Serving as a mentor, volunteering in their community, sharing knowledge and teaching someone a new skill or simply being a good mother, father, aunt, uncle, brother, sister or grandparent, it all counts!

With this perspective as the backdrop, it is with great pride and hopefulness that I am announcing the Nation Makers initiative.  Nation Makers is born out of a motivation to do something in some small way to recognize any and everyone that gives of themselves daily, either at their jobs that happen to be in public service (teachers, nurses, police officers, etc.) or in their private lives as volunteers or mentors in their community because they feel it’s important.  Regardless of how someone chooses to be active in the hard but extremely valuable work of doing what they can to make the world a better place, I believe that the every day heroes that are all around us should be honored and deserve to be recognized.  Everyone loves to have their hard work acknowledged, even when acknowledgement is not the goal.  These folks serve as an inspiration to us all and in having someone take the time to say thank you serves as fuel for their fire for service.  It’s a beautifully symbiotic circle of awesomeness.

A Nation Maker is anyone that gives of themselves and/or their time in the service of others with a good heart in an effort to do their small part to create the world they want to live in and make it a better place for their family and friends.  Anyone observed making this kind of effort qualifies and has earned the right to be a member.  It is up to each of us fellow citizens to recognize their efforts and award them with the title.

I wanted to create a way for any of us to honor and recognize anyone that is actively attempting to create the change in the world they wish to see, so I designed and created a tactical morale patch that can be given to anyone that meets this simple criteria as an honor that can be displayed as a badge of pride.  By giving this gift, we the givers have the opportunity to say thank you to the receiver for all they do and tell these every day heroes exactly why we appreciate their service, what the patch is all about and why we have chosen to give it to them.  Friends or perfect strangers, anyone can be awarded the Nation Makers patch.  Hopefully, we can become more in touch with our communities and maybe even make a few new friends in the process.

The key to this initiative lies with you.  In order for this idea to have the kind of impact I hope it can have, you and I have to make it happen by identifying Nation Makers in your community and recognizing them by presenting them a patch.  That is why I am making the Nation Makers patches available for sale through our website.  Simply order the number of patches you need and then award them as you see fit.  In an effort to multiply the impact of one good act further, we will donate one dollar from the sale of each patch to groups that are doing good work to help others at a national level like The Franklin Project, Team Rubicon and First Response Team of America.  Of course, this effort will have much more impact if the response to the initiative is strong.  The more patches we sell, the more people we can recognize and the more money we will be able to donate to these wonderful groups.

In the end, the Nation Makers initiative is an effort to do good.  By recognizing those that have dedicated their lives to the service of others, we are supporting their efforts by proving that their work is resonating with others and our neighbors, our communities and our nation are better for it as a result.  I hope you will join me in this effort.  After all, any one of us is every one of us and we can all make a difference.

 

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VALLEY FOOD STORAGE REVIEW

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A deep and well balanced food supply is a critical part of any family’s preparedness plan and my family and I recently decided to look around for a long term option to add to our food storage. As luck would have it, I awoke one morning to find that a representative from Valley Food Storage had sent me an email asking if I would be interested in trying their product. After visiting their website and nosing around a bit I decided to give Valley Food Storage, a small and relatively new company that hails their product as a ‘healthy, great tasting, long lasting’ option for anyone with a preparedness mindset, a try. I cannot in good conscience suggest any product without trying myself first and I asked the good folks at VFS to send us some meal options to review.

I received four dishes from VFS to sample: Chicken Teriyaki, Mango Habanero Chili, Pasta Primavera and Irish Pub Style Cheddar Potato.

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Chicken Teriyaki
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Mango Habanero Chili

Pasta Primavera

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**We added some mixed vegetables to the pasta primavera dish just for fun.**

Irish Pub Style Cheddar Potato
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During the review process for the Valley Food Storage products I learned something new. Certain oils have short shelf lives which can impact the stability of your long term food storage. In two of the samples sent to me, palm oil was listed among the ingredients so I began to wonder. In doing my research on for this review I found this info on the shelf life of palm oil:

Palm Oil / Red – Unrefined/Organic
Shelf Life of 2 years
(Environmentally sustainable sources only)
Botanical Name: Elaeis guineensis
Origin: USA
Extraction Method: Cold Pressed
Color: Deep orange/red
Obtained From: The palm fruit
Contains: Very rich in carotene and anti-oxidant tocotrienols

After reading that I went directly to the source and asked a Valley Food Storage rep about this. Here is how they addressed the Palm Oil question….

Customer Support: Palm Oil does last up to 25 years there is certain things required to help it last that long. FDA actually says if the oxygen is removed and has less then .7% oxygen count from it and nitrogen flushed it can last up to 40 years however we guarantee the 25 years. And we do have less then .7% oxygen count as well as we nitrogen flush.

That was enough to answer the question for me.

After trying these four dishes sent to us by Valley Food Storage for review I can say without hesitation that VFS offers a quality product at a very competitive price when it comes to options to consider when rounding out your long term food storage as a part of your greater family preparedness plan. You can’t beat healthy, great tasting food that has a guaranteed shelf life of 25 years that won’t break the bank. Be sure to check out the social media pages for Valley Food Storage as well. They are always announcing fantastic SALE prices on their products. You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube, as well as always on line at Valley Food Storage.

 

A FRIENDLY VISIT SHOWS EVERYONE CAN HOMESTEAD

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We recently visited our friend Gary at his home to celebrate his daughter’s (also a friend) birthday. We’ve known this wonderful family for a few years now and although we don’t live right down the street and see each other every day, this visit like every visit was full of fun and good times. It didn’t take long after arriving before I was pleasantly reminded of just how interesting visiting Gary can be. You see, Gary is like us in that he has chosen to do all he can to wrestle back some control of his life back from the system by doing whatever he can to build resilience into his every day life by embracing the homesteading lifestyle at every opportunity. For Gary, this includes everything from growing as much of his own food as he can, to keeping small stock in the back yard and this visit revealed (to my great excitement) that he has branched out making his own wine and whiskey, complete with his own miniature whiskey still that lives on under the carport!

 

 

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As we walked around Gary’s average sized suburban property he shared a good number of fun and interesting things that he’s currently got working and I was interested to see them all. The chickens and rabbits were still doing just fine, but now they have been joined by the pigeons which we found bedding down for the evening in their happy little coop. The turkeys, which I had enjoyed very much when we were there the last time, we gone having graced the family’s table a while back. The front and side yard gardens were in good shape despite having a bit of transitional look to them, which is great because it shows that they are constantly changing to get ready for whatever comes next in a never-ending cycle of growth, harvest and rejuvenation. I think I enjoyed hearing about the mushrooms Gary was growing over by the fence the most. Planted them right in the logs himself. Awesome. When we headed back inside, Gary showed me the various wines he was waiting on, showed me how his whiskey still operates and explained how he ages the Shine with a bit of oak to mellow it out a bit. Before I knew it, Gary was showing off his bread bowl and exposing me to homemade kombucha for the first time. Tasty and good for you too. That’s a win-win if you ask me. From there we discussed the motivation for doing all of this “different” kind of stuff. I know why Alice and I do what we do and finding out what motivates other folks interests me. So of course, I asked whether he was doing any bartering with any of these “goods” and Gary grinned widely and simply stated, “Well, I haven’t paid for a haircut in ten years.” Now I was the one grinning.

 

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The composting area and butterfly garden.

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There’s more to this average suburban space than meets the eye.

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Raised garden beds fill the front.

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Here are the rabbit hutches and the chicken coop.

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These are the pigeons being raised for meat.

 

I wanted to share all of this with you for a couple of reasons. First off, Gary’s a good guy doing good things for his family, his community and the world in general and that should be recognized. The way he is going about all of that makes it even better, choosing the natural/organic way whenever given the opportunity. What’s more, Gary is very willing to share his knowledge with others whenever he can, giving freely of his time simply because he believes that what he is sharing is worth the effort. Kudos!

Secondly, I wanted to share Gary’s adventures because it speaks to a larger fact that we believe is very important yet most folks seem to not realize. Anyone and everyone can be a homesteader, regardless of your circumstance. You do not have to have 50 acres to live the homesteading lifestyle, merely a desire to grab your daily reality by the shoulders and retake control over your personal situation while doing what you can to meet the basic requirements of this life. If you do that, whether you’re growing your own food or developing skill sets that will help you meet your basic needs, you’re a homesteader.

So take heart friends and believe me when I tell you that you can do it too. If you want grow some of your own food to increase your food security, or develop a secondary revenue stream for you and your family to build some financial resilience, or learn a new skill set that will have some actual value should we wake to a tomorrow that is drastically different than the world we know today, I say go for it and know that you can do it. We support your efforts, we believe in you and we cannot wait to welcome you to the community.

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The DIY Backyard UNDERGROUND Apocalyptic Bunker

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Could this be the ultimate man cave and survival cell for backyard gardens everywhere? British garage inventor and video maker Colin Furze managed to get a TV channel to sponsor a doomsday bunker in his backyard.

There are still a couple things left on the to-do list to really make the bunker resilient. As Colin says, “There are more things to add such as air filtration and different power source” (and what about heating? It gets cold underground).

While this bunker might not live up to military specifications it’s still, as Colin puts it, “a great space”. I can’t help daydreaming about my own backyard bunker, but unfortunately the water table is very high on my property so I’d have all kinds of hassles to deal with to avoid underground drowning, corrosion, etc.

Check out the four videos below for the full build throughout all its stages.

Part 1- The Plan

An UNDERGROUND BUNKER in the back garden, i have dreamt of this for a while now to go with my superhero mods and crazy inventions so when asked what i would do if faced with the end of the world the 2 ideas become one and so here we go i’m building a full scale full on bunker in my own back yard……..and someone else is paying muhahahaha.

Part 2 – The Dig

The diggers are in and I’ve ripped up my back garden and turned it into a quarry. Only now can I see the scale of this project… this one’s BIG.

Part 3 – Making the Bunker

Welding welding and more welding but what a creation, from the vertical entrance and sneaky tunnel leading to the beautiful arched roof in the main room this has all the ingredients to make an excellent safe house and super villain lair.

Part 4 – Concrete

With bunker made now we just need to cover it, finish the vents and restore the garden so its all top secret…….apart from the million odd people who have watched me build it lol.

The post The DIY Backyard UNDERGROUND Apocalyptic Bunker appeared first on Walden Labs.

Learn These 2 Pioneer Skills to Produce Almost Anything

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by Todd Walker

Read the next two lines and stop. Look around you. Make a mental note of all the useful stuff produced from two resources… wood and metal.

Really, stop reading for a second!

Okay, come back now.

What did you come up with? If you only noted the obvious wooden and metallic items, go deeper. With a little thought, your list should grow exponentially.

Learn These 2 Pioneer Skills to Produce Almost Anything - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

The fact is, wood and metal were directly or indirectly responsible for building your house, mailbox, wall clock, sofa, and the electronic device you’re reading from this very moment.

Wood and metal go together like peas and carrots. Metal tools are used to shape wood. But wood creates fire to heat metal for making said tools. And don’t forget about the useful wooden handles attached to metal tools. There’s a relationship between the two resources in which both benefit from the other. In biology, we call this mutualism.

For long-term self-reliance, learning to manipulate and exploit these resources will make you an indispensable asset to both family and community.

Blacksmithing: The Master of All Crafts

Except for harnessing fire, nothing in human history compares to the discovery of metal and its ability to be molded, formed, and poured into useful shapes. Blacksmithing is the only craft that makes their own tools and the tools of other craftsmen.

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Traditional Appalachian Smithy at Foxfire Museum

You don’t have to dial back in time too far to find Bob the Blacksmith being the most prominent tradesman in town. In need of a gate latch? Go see Bob. How about that crack in your froe? Bob can forge weld it and have you back splitting cedar shakes for your roof in no time. Making a hammer for your flint-lock rifle could be done by Bob.

Basic Smithing Tools

To build a functional smithy, you’ll need a few tools. No need to spend a boatload of money to get started either. Shop yard sales, flea markets, scrap yards, farm auctions, estate sales, and antique stores – the highest prices are usually paid at antique stores.

Here are the basic tools needed for beginners like me…

  • Anvil ~ A real blacksmithing anvil may be your largest cash outlay. A common man’s anvil can be a section of railroad track or large block of metal – 100 plus pounds mounted to a wooden stump.
  • Forge ~ Charcoal, coal, or gas-powered, the forge will heat your steel for shaping and tempering metal. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. A hole in the ground will work. Some sort of blower to increase heat in your coal or charcoal. Blowers are not needed for a propane forge.
Propane forge at Red Barn Forge

Dave’s new propane forge at Red Barn Forge

  • Hammer ~ A 2 to 3 pound hammer to work hot metal. You can add to your hammer collection over time. There are four basic types of hammers for moving metal: straight peen, ball peen, cross peen, and sledge.
  • Tongs ~ Long handle pliers used to grip hot steel while hammering.
  • Vise ~ A bench vise mounted on a sturdy work bench. I’ve yet to acquire a blacksmithing post vise.
  • Files ~ Flat and half-round
Learn These 2 Pioneer Skills to Produce Almost Anything - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

File and file card

  • Quench Bucket ~ Container large enough to hold about 5 gallons of water to cool hot metal and for tempering.
  • Safety Equipment ~ Eye protection, ear protection, leather boots, natural fiber clothing, welding gloves, fire extinguisher and water bucket/hose, first aid kit.
  • Like other crafts, there are almost endless numbers of tools and items you’ll want to acquire as your skill level increases.
The "anvil" is a solid piece of steel I'll mount to a stump.

The “anvil” (lower right) is a solid piece of steel I’ll mount to a stump.

Though I’ve always known the importance of this craft historically, my dabbling has only produced a few items. However, after a recent Georgia Bushcraft camping trip, I realized it’s time to get serious about hammering steel.

Stephan Fowler of Fowler Blades spent two hours in the rain demonstrating, in less than optimal conditions, the process of turning a file into a functional cutting tool. The blade was not his best work considering he used a crumbly rock as an anvil, an air mattress pump for a billow, and burning chunks of hardwood on the ground as his forge.

I was honored to have won this file knife which Stephan made in a fire challenge during the campout!

I was honored to have won Stephan’s survival file knife in a fire-building challenge during the campout!

Check out what Stephan produces when he has access to his real forge → here.

Your skill level doesn’t have to be superior to be useful for long-term self-reliance. The more you hammer steel and study metallurgy, the better you become.

Blacksmithing Resources

Blacksmithing in America was hot and heavy during our pioneer days in North America. Not long after the Industrial Revolution, the art of blacksmithing survived only as a specialty craft. Thankfully, the secrets of metallurgy, once guarded in guilds, is being passed on through modern-day blacksmiths. Here are a few resources that I’ve found helpful in connecting with local craftsmen.

Woodworking

The craft of woodworking compliments blacksmithing more so than any two trades I know. Developing the skill to make handles for metal tools or mill lumber from a tree to accept the nails you forged on your anvil could one day feed your family in hard times. I’ll bet your master gardener neighbor would be willing to barter food for tools and repairs on her homestead.

If you’re like me, you find yourself dabbling in all sorts of pioneer skills. One skill I’ve become proficient at is carpentry. However, take away my power tools and my skill level drops several notches.

A mix of modern and pioneer tools

A mix of modern and pioneer hand tools

Working wood with pioneer tools is based on the same principles as modern woodworking… with a steeper learning curve and physicality. Don’t abandon your power tools. Here’s my list of basic wood working tools, both modern and pioneer style.

Modern Tools

  • Hammers ~ A 16 oz. claw hammer and a larger framing hammer (20 oz.) to get you started.
  • Saws ~ Circular, chop/miter, table, jig, reciprocating – cordless and corded. Cordless 18v batteries can be charged via solar chargers if the need arises.
  • Drills ~ Cordless impact driver and drill, corded drill press, and an assortment of drill bits (wood and metal), screw bits, and socket bit adapters.
  • Squares ~ Tri-square, combination, speed square, and carpenter’s square. Used to mark and test angles. Buy metal squares to use with hot metal work. Plastic melts.
  • Levels ~ Torpedo, 2 foot, and 4 foot bubble levels keep things plumb.
  • Measuring and Marking Devices ~ 25 foot steel tape measure, wooden folding ruler, carpenter’s pencil, chalk line.
  • Utility Knife ~ One of my most used tools on my belt.

Pioneer Tools

  • Hammers, Mallets, and Mauls.

  • Saws ~ Hand saws: crosscut, rip, compass saw, coping, and bucksaw.
  • Drills ~ Brace and bit, augers, bits of various sizes.
  • Squares ~ Same as listed above; Tri-square, combination, speed square, and carpenter’s square. Used to mark and test angles. Buy metal squares to use with hot metal work. Plastic melts.
  • Levels ~ Torpedo, 2 foot, and 4 foot bubble levels keep things plumb and work as straight edges.
  • Measuring and Marking Devices ~ 25 foot steel tape measure (roughing work), wooden folding ruler, steel drafting ruler (bench work), pencil, chalk line.
  • Smoothing Planes ~ Both long and short. Stanley makes great planes and can be had inexpensively but may need some TLC to make them useable.
  • Chisels ~ A variety of sizes kept super sharp… which I’m known not to do.
  • Draw Knives ~ Draw knives for roughing wood to shape and spoke shaves for finishing form.
  • Shave Horse ~ Holds stock freeing both hands to work wood with a draw knife or spoke shave.
Pioneer tools at Foxfire Museum

Pioneer tools at Foxfire Museum

  • Froe ~ A simple tool used to split (rive) wood into shingles, boards, and staves.
  • Rasp ~ Both flat and half-round. A 4-in-1 rasp is utilitarian.

Notice I didn’t delve into the actual skill sets needed. That would take a long time and lots of bandwidth. However, I do recommend that you begin stockpiling metal and woodworking tools. They may be useful one day.

Oh, and never pass up scrap metal. Collect lawn mower blades, leaf springs, bar stock, round stock, pallet wood, hardware (nails, screws, nuts and bolts), old files, tool steel, sharpening devices, sheet metal, saws, etc., etc.

I made this end table for DRG from pallet wood, 150 year-old house siding, an old yard stick, and sheet metal.

I made this end table for DRG from pallet wood, 150 year-old house siding, an old yard stick, and sheet metal.

Real stuff, almost all stuff, can be made from skilled hands with metal and wooden tools. Learning to work these two resources may start as a hobby or pastime but could very well insure your livelihood in hard times.

Did you think of anything that was made without metal and/or wood being directly or indirectly involved in the process? Bet you didn’t.

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

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PRACTICAL TACTICAL NAMED A ‘TOP PREPPING RESOURCES’ WEBSITE

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BEST 250 PREPPER WEBSITE

Talk about a wonderful way to start the day…..

I woke up to an email this morning to find out that Happy To Survive has named Practical Tactical among the top 250 prepper websites with top prepping resources on the interwebs.  This marks the second time we have been ranked among the best in the business when it comes to helping you and yours become more prepared for whatever may come down the road.  We are especially proud of being included in this group as we are rubbing shoulders with some of the folks that we consider to be the very best at what they do, which is helping others increase their level of preparedness and personal resilience like Peak Prosperity, Resilience, Willow Haven Outdoor, James Wesley Rawles Survival Blog and Prepper Website just to name a few.

 

This recognition means so much to us for a number of reasons, but mostly because it gets right to the heart of what we strive to make Practical Tactical all about….helping others become more prepared and resilient in their every day lives.  Our work with Practical Tactical is not a full time deal.  My wife (and partner in the venture) and myself both maintain full time jobs, raise our baby girl, as well as entertain our vast number of other interests that make our life experience worth living and for us that is the key to preparedness.  Prepping does not have to take over your life or darken your outlook on the world.  Rather, we hope to show you that being prepared is something anyone can do and that it, in fact, frees you from the stresses of worrying over the circumstance that you are NOT prepared and allows you to get out there and enjoy all that this wonderful life has to offer.  The list states that it is cobbled together in no particular order, but just to be included among such a fine group of individuals and projects is a wonderful honor in itself.

 

You can find the complete list here.

 

 

 

 

THE REAL COST OF FOOD WASTE AND INSECURITY IN AMERICA

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You may have heard me talk about the amount of food that is wasted in the United States before and the impact that it has on real Americans every day.  The numbers are sickening and nearly unbelievable:

  • 40% of the food produced in the US does not get eaten
  • $165 billion in food thrown away every year or 20 pounds per person every month
  • 49.1 million Americans lived in food-insecure households in 2013
  • Average American households are wasting 15-25% of the food bought

As if that information isn’t awful enough, I’m writing about this in this space because of the underlying and bitter reality that makes it possible. Just stop to think of all of the (depleting and non-renewable) natural resources like water and fossil fuels (oil) that are being used to grow, produce, harvest, ship and store all of this food that eventually ends up some landfill somewhere and morphs into a climate destroying methane bomb. Every choice we make has a consequence in the zero sum game of natural resources. And ‘sell by’ dates? Grade A, peanut butter and jelly flavored Bull****. These things look official but are actually about as real as the idea that the Federal Reserve is somehow part of the United States Government!

So what about us? We have very minimal waste in our household. We grow as much of our own food as possible, preserve what we do not eat immediately by canning, freezing and proper dry storage, we compost all of the kitchen cuttings that the chickens do not enjoy to build soil for our gardens and we target shop when we need to go to the store so that we do not buy/spend carelessly which helps us lower our total household food waste.

I wanted to share this video just to bring more awareness to how the process goes here in the US and how we currently use our dwindling and evermore precious natural resources when it comes to food production. Some waste is inherently unavoidable, but I think we all should strive to be closer to our food or at least have a better understanding of the costs associated with how it gets to our table. If this can happen, then maybe we will start to ask more of the process and care a bit more for our fellow citizens on a societal level and just how much our ‘throw away’ society is really costing us.

I encourage you to watch this report from John Oliver on Last Week Tonight and please consider what you can do to help our children, those among us that can do the least for themselves, escape food-insecurity by visiting these organizations:

No Kid Hungry

Feeding America

 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Food Waste (HBO)

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WEATHER PREPAREDNESS: OBSERVE YOUR WORLD

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There’s a lot to consider when you’re thinking about a really complete preparedness plan, not the least of which is weather. Obviously this means getting prepared to ride out the storms that roll through from time to time for all of us. The occasional severe storm that brings a tornado, hurricane, snow or ice storm, flooding and so on. But have you ever given any thought to how you might deal with weather in a long term survival situation like after a devastating seasonal storm knocks out all communications in your area for an extended period or, if you allow yourself to really consider how bad things could be, after a collapse? Your answer could turn out to be a matter of life and death. That’s why I wanted to share a few ideas on tools and concepts that will help you better understand the weather, and why it’s important to round out your complete preparedness plan.

I’ll touch on a few of the high points here, but I hope you will watch the video to get the full picture of what I’m talking about.

PREPAREDNESS LIBRARY

Being interested in preparedness, we should all have one and no preparedness library is complete without some titles on weather identification and history. Whether you are old school like me and like the feel of a book in your hand or you prefer to download your books, PDFs and other information on jump drives and designated tablets or laptops, I would strongly suggest you include some of these materials in your collection.

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WEATHER TOOLS

A couple of basic tools you will want to include in your DIY weather center are a barometer, thermometer and a rain gauge. With just these three items you will be able to forecast changing weather and establish weather trends. You can get a small and rugged barometer for your BOLT Kit in case you find yourself on the move.

WEATHER HOMEWORK

Now that you’ve got your finger on the pulse of your local weather, the next step is to document what you’re seeing so you can use this information in the future to help you make better decisions based on weather conditions. Here are three simple actions steps you can take immediately to better understand your weather.

1. Create and keep a weather log and an accompanying journal about the weather readings you observing.

2. Get familiar with your local weather history by talking to people that have lived and worked in the area for a long time. There’s nothing better than real, on the ground intel from people that have lived it.

3. Contact your local county level government officials and ask for Hazard Vulnerability (or Risk) Assessment for your area. This is usually not classified material of any type and as a taxpayer you should be able to obtain a copy free of charge.

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PREPAREDNESS APPLICATIONS

When it comes to preparedness, there are many applications for weather information in your particular area. Whether it’s determining when it’s time to put the garden in, whether or not the fish will be biting or if there is a strong storm moving in, the more informed you are the better chance you will have of being successful in your efforts and keeping your group and yourself safe.

WEATHER PREPAREDNESS: OBSERVE YOUR WORLD

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It’s not the fall that gets you….

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jump-off-cliff

 

It’s not the fall that kills you; it’s the sudden change of direction at the bottom.

It’s not necessarily the disaster that kills you.  It’s the severe dislocation of normal societal systems and the chaos and peril associated with it that comes in the two weeks, to a month, to six months following a major disaster that’s really going to determine whether or not you survive.  I say this because as a society, we are completely and totally dependent on our wholly integrated, just in time delivery systems to supply us with the basic necessities required for life.  Our water, our food, the energy we use to power everything that makes this super sized, got to have it right now society of ours whir, it’s all at our fingertips.  The unpalatable truth of our reality is that most people have completely lost touch with all that it takes to procure these basic necessities of life for ourselves.  The really frightening part of this situation is that most in our society do not or will not recognize the fact that by a whole boatload of metrics we are already falling, but because fresh water still flows from the tap, there is food on the shelves when you go to buy and there is still relatively inexpensive gasoline at the pumps when you go to fill up, people are able to turn a blind eye to the nation’s ills because they believe they do not impact them personally.  This of course is a fallacy, but normalcy bias is a powerful thing and the majority chooses to simply not acknowledge the problems they see all around them because it’s just easier.  Never mind looking to the future and where we may end up if we continue on our current trajectories as a nation, most folks only care about next weekend.

The unfortunate truth is that you will stop falling at some point and that’s when things get ugly.  That is when reality demands a cold, hard stop to the continuations of life as we know it and we are forced to make a new way forward.  Or we don’t.

When faced with this new reality, most people will have a very difficult time because they do not have the tools or the skill set necessary to take care of themselves.

So what do I say?

1. Embrace a big picture, long range viewpoint in an effort to see the unhinging before it happens.  This will give you a chance to spot when trouble is ahead and begin to take steps to get better prepared to handle it.  Educate yourself about the most probable threats for your area to start and grow your threat matrix from there.

2. Develop a plan to navigate these disruptions that best fits your circumstance based on your capabilities whatever they are.  Everyone can prepare.  Don’t waste your time worrying about a hurricane if you live in a desert.  Focus your planning and tailor it to suit your needs.  Furthermore, it does not matter what your limitations may be, there are very useful ways for everyone to become better prepared.  Remember, knowledge doesn’t have to cost anything to attain and weighs even less.

3. You can’t know the future for certain, so learn practical skills and don’t just acquire stuff.  There are more than a few folks out there that want to sell you the latest gadget or piece of gear, but if you don’t know how to use all that stuff it will do you no good.  Skills learned, practiced and verified in the back yard or on a family camping trip will most likely be way more valuable in the long run.  Acquiring these skills will make you flexible and adaptable and you will be able to use them any time.

4. Know your tribe.  You may be a verifiable bad ass, but none of us can effect sustainable, long term survival by ourselves in the long run.  Figure out who in your circles is of a like mind now before the storm rolls in and begin to take steps to strengthen those relationships.  You will want to surround yourself with people you know you can trust, that are hard working individuals that understand the importance of team concepts, that most likely share your general world views and who will excel in any area that you may not be as strong.  You will be glad you did.

 5. Enjoy life, but keep your eye on the ball.  Most of us prepare because we want to be able to take care of our family should we ever find ourselves in a bad situation and every one of us should be proud of that fact.  With that said, don’t allow yourself to become so focused on your preparations that you lose sight of why you’re working so hard to get ready in the first place.  Remember to make time to enjoy your family, friends and loved ones now while the world is still rolling along.  There may be dark days in the future, but while the sun is shining get out there and embrace the good times with those you care about.  Take a vacation, play with your children and take your wife or husband out to a nice dinner.  Live your life!  Isn’t that what it’s for?  Preparedness will never fall completely out of focus for people like us because it is a fundamental part of who we are, so don’t worry about that.  While you’re out there doing the hard work of preparedness day after day, just be sure to remember to take a little time to enjoy the good stuff.  Those people you are working so hard for will appreciate and love you for it.

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