Monthly Archives: February 2013

North Korea Threatens Nuclear Attack

N. Korea threatened the U.S. at least twice in the last week. The first was a direct threat of nuclear attack, claiming it has long-range missiles with atomic warheads capable of reaching the American mainland.

The open threat appeared earlier this week in an editorial posted this week on the country’s Uriminzokkiri state news and propaganda website, which recently posted a video depicting a North Korean dreaming of a nuclear attack on New York City and President Barack Obama in flames.

In the article written by a member of the “Korean National Peace Committee” the government claimed North Korea is a “fully independent rocket and nuclear weapons state.” and that” The United States should be acutely aware that the US mainland is now well within the range of our strategic rockets and nuclear weapons.

On Sat of last week, North Korea warned the top American military commander in South Korea, Gen. James D. Thurman, in a message that if the United States pressed ahead with joint military exercises with South Korea scheduled to begin next month, it could set off a war in which American forces would “meet a miserable destruction.

The warning came as the United States and South Korean militaries planned to kick off their Key Resolve and Foal Eagle joint war games, beginning early next month. The allies regularly conduct such joint military drills, and whenever they happen, North Korea warns of war and threatens to deliver a devastating blow to American and South Korean troops.

North Korea’s harsh reaction, though not unusual, came amid heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula after the North’s third nuclear test on Feb. 12. Washington and its allies are pushing for more sanctions against North Korea while the North vows to take unspecified steps to retaliate against such sanctions.

According to Pak Rim-su, chief delegate of the North Korean military mission to the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom:

If your side ignites a war of aggression by staging the reckless joint military exercises Key Resolve and Foal Eagle again under the cover of ‘defensive and annual ones’ at this dangerous time, from that moment your fate will be hung by a thread with every hour.

Read more here and here.

Visit the N. Korean website (use Google Translate) here and here .

Via: Threat Journal

5 Things You May Not Have Thought of When Planning for an Emergency

One of the very first things I did when I adopted what I like to call the “Prepping Lifestyle” is do a walk around inventory.  Although I had not consciously considered myself a prepper – and at the time I barely knew what that meant anyway – I discovered that I had a lot of stuff, but that it was woefully disorganized and lacking in many key areas.

I had lots of canned goods, supplemental lighting, off-grid cooking devices, tools and more.  But I was sorely lacking in water and first aid items.  Go figure.

Over the past couple of years, I have learned a lot, shared a lot and made a number of prepping mistakes.  Taking them all in stride – well, not quite, but I try – I can now look back with relief that I have come as far as I have.  But as I often say, prepping is a way of life and there is always something new to learn, tasks to do and gear to purchase.

Today I am going to share with you a list of things that you may not have thought of when planning for an emergency, a short term disaster or a SHTF situation where you will be on your own and totally off grid.

5 Things That Will Be Useful if the SHTF

1.  Aluminum Foil

A few rolls of aluminum foil will serve you well in an emergency situation.  You can use foil to fashion cooking utensils or to line your pots and pans before cooking so that you do not have to waste precious water cleaning up. If you do cook on you pans directly, a crumpled up piece of foil can be used as a handy scrubber to remove the crusties. You can even use foil to create an impromptu Faraday cage.

There are a lot more uses for this handy stuff such as wrapping stones in foil, heating them by the campfire, then using them to heat up your blanket or sleeping bag before going to bed.  Once you put a mind to it, you will wonder why you had not thought of including aluminum foil in your survival kit before now.

2.  Disposable Eating Utensils

Unless you live near a lake or stream, chances are that water is going to be precious.  Even a 55 gallon water barrel or two will only go so far and you will want to reserve that water for drinking and cooking.  Paper plates and disposable utensils (forks, knives and spoons) are the answer and will only set you back a few dollars.

3.  Laundry Equipment and Supplies

You are going to need to have tools and supplies for hand washing and drying your clothes.  Sure, you can wear a shirt and pants for a few days without worry but hopefully the undies and other unmentionables will be clean.  And who wants to wear dirty socks?

You are going to need a tub and plunger (don’t discount using a plumber’s helper if that is what you have) or better yet, an old-fashioned washboard.  You can fashion a clothes line out of paracord or purchase a dryer rack.  But have you thought about clothes pins?

And for washing, how about a bar of Fels Naphtha washing soap?  It is light weight, portable, and does not take up a lot of space.  As good as my DIY laundry soap works in a machine, when you are the machine, nothing beats a bar of soap for rubbing, scrunching and stain removal.

4.  Cooking Grate

Depending on your facilities and the number of mouths to feed, cooking over an open fire may be a real possibility.  Even if you are using a rocket stove – either home made, an Ecozoom, Solo Stove or other type – an open fire may still be needed for grilling freshly caught fish or game or for long term simmering if stews and chili’s made with your stored food items.

5.  Sanitation supplies

Funny how people forget about the basics.  In addition to a supply of TP, how about some old tee-shirts cut up into squares to use “there” when nothing else is available?  In addition, you will need some feminine supplies for ladies and diapers for the little ones.  And, if the sewer or septic system in inoperable, you are going to need a buckets and some large heavy duty plastic bags to use as a liner so you have someplace to do your business.

The Final Word

As you look over this list, it may occur to you that many of these items are already available in your pantry, closet or basement storage area.  And if not, none are overly expensive.  Even the cooking grate can be improvised from an oven rack or you can purchase one at a second hand store.

The moral of today’s article is that when and if the time comes, it will be comforting to have the basics covered so that you can spend time worrying about the important things such as your safety, security and the health of your loved ones.

For the next few days, why not walk around your home or apartment and seek out items that will be useful in an unconventional manner in an emergency.  Add them to this list

Via: myfamilysurvivalplan

Road Side Medical Care Kit

Emergencies can arise in the most unlikely places – even while on the road.  Leaving home means venturing away from the security and the supplies within it.  While no one plans to get sick or hurt on the road, accidents can and do happen.

Preparedness websites and organizations alike have suggested carrying emergency supplies for the car, as well as a medical care kit.  When a person plans for an emergency, they think of the worst case scenario and plans accordingly for the scenarios.  Planning for these situations ahead of time can add convenience and relief to your life.

Pre-assembled first aid kits can be purchased in stores, or you can make your own vehicle kit at a fraction of the cost.  If you plan to make your own first aid kit, keep some considerations in mind:

  • Keep in mind the the unique needs of your family.
  • If you have children, make sure you have child appropriate medications.
  • If a family member has severe allergies or illnesses such as diabetes, keep necessary supplies on hand such as an EpiPen or insulin close by.
  • Have emergency phone numbers written down in case you need to call from a pay phone.

Vehicle Medical Care Kit Suggestions

  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Anti-nausea medication
  • Allergy medication
  • Eye drops
  • Exam gloves
  • Pain reliever
  • Band-aids (in different sizes)
  • Ace bandage
  • First aid ointment
  • Anti-bacterial wipes
  • Cold pack
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Flare, compass, mirror
  • Flashlight
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers

When an emergency occurs while driving, you want to be as prepared as you would be as if you were in your home.  Having some medical and first aid supplies on hand to deal with upset stomachs, headaches, or minor medical emergencies can save time, money and provide relief when you’re in a pinch.

Via: readynutrition

Why Are Preppers Hated So Much?

Have you noticed that it has become trendy to bash preppers?  For a long time the prepper movement was ignored, but now it has become so large that it is getting very difficult for the mainstream media to pretend that it is not there. 

In fact, it has been estimated that there are now approximately 3 million preppers in the United States alone.  So now the mainstream media has decided that mocking the movement is the best strategy, and lots of “critics” and “skeptics” out there have picked up on this trend.  Instead of addressing the very real issues that have caused millions of Americans to prepare for the worst, those criticizing the prepper movement attempt to put the focus on individual personalities. 

They try to find the strangest nutjobs they possibly can and then hold them up as “typical preppers”. 

The goal is to portray preppers as tinfoil hat wearing freaks that need to be locked up in the loony bin for their own personal safety and for the good of society.  The criticism of preppers has really ramped up in recent months, and it will likely get even worse in 2013.  The establishment does not like any movement that is outside of their control, and the prepper movement is definitely not under their control.

Often, hit pieces on the prepper movement are disguised as articles or shows that are supposed to be “balanced” looks at the movement.  This is especially true of shows such as “Doomsday Preppers“.  That show is the highest rated show that the National Geographic channel has ever had, and it can be a lot of fun to watch.  But if you notice carefully, they almost always try to feature people that they consider to be “freaks” or that are “on the fringe of society”.  Many other “reality shows” follow the exact samerecipe.  The goal is to draw high ratings by running a “freak show” that people can’t help but watch.

Even if you go on such a show and try to do your best to explain your prepping in a rational and coherent manner, they will still edit the footage so that it makes you look like a freak.  It really is a no-win proposition.  These shows are trying to make it clear that preppers should be mocked.  The underlying implication is that these people are crazy and that what they are doing is stupid.

And at the end of each segment, the producers of the show are careful to include reasons why the prepper that was just featured is being irrational and why the things they are preparing for are extremely unlikely to happen.  Just in case you missed the message they have been trying to communicate the entire time, they come right out and tell you the conclusion that you are supposed to come to.

And of course we see the same attitudes reflected in reviews of the show.  For example, the following is from a recent Los Angeles Times review of the new season of Doomsday Preppers…

Still, it’s hard not to feel for young Jason from tiny Plato, Mo. (pop. 109), who is awaiting worldwide financial collapse with his homemade, nail-studded “mace-ball bat,” and that his is a life on the verge of going completely wrong. “I’m not afraid to have to kill,” Jason says, in his camouflage pants and dog tag, and there seems to be no question in his mind that it will come to that. (“Jason has always been a worrywart,” says his mother.)

Or for Big Al, from Nashville, who is getting ready for old-school nuclear war by digging down into the earth and surrounding himself with steel. (“I prefer not to use the term ‘bunker’ — to me, it’s an underground house.”) He spends months at a time by himself down there, training for the inevitable — which he expects to weather alone — cooking different combinations of canned goods and, you know, spending too much time alone. One leg pumps constantly as he talks.

The preppers don’t want my pity, of course — quite the opposite, I’m sure. The joke will be on me, they would say, when I am expiring from fallout or smallpox, being carried away in a tornado or torn apart by the hungry ravaging hordes. (I am not even prepared for the Big Earthquake that might more probably get me.)

Would this Los Angeles Times reporter mock other groups of Americans in a similar manner?

Probably not.

But the establishment has made it clear that it is open season on preppers, so this particular writer mocks them with no fear.

Not that any prepper that is thinking clearly would go on a show such as “Doomsday Preppers” anyway.  Sure, it is nice to be on television, but if you are a serious prepper then one of the last things you want to do is to go on television and advertise your preparations to millions of people.

Others have picked up on the contempt that the establishment has for preppers and have started to issue their own critiques of the movement.  For example, an “emergency manager” named Valerie Lucus-McEwen recently published a blog post entitled “Doomsday Preppers are Socially Selfish” that got a lot of attention…

You might wonder why someone like me, who has been in the business of encouraging disaster preparedness for a very long time, is so critical of people who are doing just that. It’s because they are being socially selfish – preparing themselves and the hell with everyone else.  Instead of spending time and energy making changes that would benefit the larger community, in their very narrow focus of loyalty they are more concerned about themselves.

Emergency Managers can’t afford that kind of attitude.  It is diametrically opposed to everything we do. Our job is to prepare individuals and communities and jurisdictions and regions and – ultimately – the globe for disasters, knowing we won’t always succeed.

She followed up that venomous attack with another blog post in which she declared the following…

Selfish is defined as concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself, seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage or well being without regard for others. By that definition, Doomsday Preppers are socially selfish – Disaster Preppers are not.

Subsequently, she has issued a very brief apology, but what she wrote is very typical of the type of thinking that is out there these days.  Anyone that does not “trust the government” and attempts to become “self-sufficient” is actually very “selfish” and is not “being a good citizen”.

And sadly, it appears that being a “prepper” is now enough to get special attention from the authorities.  For example, a 46-year-old prepper in rural Maryland named Terry Porter recently had his home raided by 150 armed law enforcement officers.  The details of this incident were described in a recent article by Paul Joseph Watson

According to a charging document filed in Washington County District Court, Porter “openly admitted to being a prepper” (as if this was an illegal act in and of itself) and said that he was “very irritated” about the recent presidential election. Porter had also invested in an underground bomb shelter and had installed surveillance cameras on his property.

Once the investigation into Porter began, police discovered that he had a 1992 felony drug conviction and was therefore barred from owning firearms. On Thursday last week, no less than 150 armed and militarized police and FBI agents in the guise of tactical assault teams descended on Porter’s house as if they were confronting a terrorist cell. The raid also included helicopters, SWAT crews, armored vehicles and even excavation equipment.

Porter was absent at the time of the raid but turned himself in the next morning at Hagerstown Barrack.

After the raid, the claim that Porter was stockpiling “10-15 machine gun-style firearms” was demolished when police uncovered “four shotguns, a .30-30-caliber rifle and two .22-caliber rifles,” hardly a deadly mass arsenal.

Would 150 officers have shown up at his home if he had not been identified as a “prepper”?

Of course not.

But “preppers” have been labeled as “dangerous” and “crazy” and that is the way that law enforcement authorities now treat them.

So why are preppers hated so much?

It is because they are a direct challenge to the status quo.  Just by prepping, preppers are proclaiming that they do not have faith in the system.  But most people have complete and total faith in the system, and many of them do not like to have that faith questioned.  As I have written about in other articles, polling has found that most Americans expect that the government will take care of them if disaster strikes.  Most people have been trained to “trust the experts” and to “trust the government” all of their lives, and that conditioning can be very difficult to overcome.

This blind faith in the system is a big reason why so many Americans have not made any preparations at all.  In fact, one recent poll discovered that most Americans do not even have three days worth of food in their homes…

A recent survey found that 55 percent of Americans have less than three days supply of food in their homes. Many people have no emergency supplies, or even a first aid kit.

That absolutely astounds me.

Another poll discovered that 64 percent of all Americans are “unprepared for a major natural disaster”.

So what is going to happen to them if something even worse than a major natural disaster hits?

For example, what if the electrical grid went down and we had no more power for an extended period of time?

Well, one survey found that 21 percent of all Americans believe that they would survive for less than a week, and an additional 28 percent of all Americans believe that they would survive for less than two weeks.  Close to 75 percent of all Americans said that they would be dead before the two month mark.

So I guess we sure had better hope and pray that nothing goes seriously wrong, eh?

The truth is that it isn’t the preppers that are crazy.

Rather, it is the people that believe that everything will always be fine and that the government will always take care of them that are crazy.

Our world is becoming increasingly unstable, and now is the time to get prepared.

You may get mocked a bit for prepping now, but later on you sure will be glad that you prepared for the worst.

Via: By Michael Snyder


Will the Lights Stay On in Texas and New England?

North American Electric Reliability CorporationThe Electric Reliability Council of Texas (yellow), ISO-NE of New England (teal) and SaskPower (in red) could face early challenges in providing enough generating capacity.

Texas and New England may soon run short of the generating capacity they need to reliably meet peak loads, largely because old plants will be retired rather than retrofitted to meet new pollution rules, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation reported on Monday.

The reliability corporation, assigned by the federal government to enforce rules on the power grid, issued a 10-year forecast that conveys a greater level of uncertainty than previous predictions. One problem is that about 600 large plants are likely to be shut for several months for the installation of pollution controls, executives said, and coordinating the shutdowns to avoid local electricity shortages will be a formidable task. The 600 are a substantial fraction of the grid’s generating resources; although there are about 15,000 plants on the grid, more than half of them are quite small.

“Over all, the North American grid and bulk power supply continue to be adequate, and sufficient plans are in place,” said Gerry Cauley, president and chief executive. But two areas require extra attention, he said: the bulk of Texas, which is served by a grid isolated from the rest of the United States, and New England. “There’s some uncertainty in their resources at this point,” he said.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the name for the grid that covers most of the state, could run short by 2013, the report said; New England could run short by 2015.

The organization, which also surveys Canada, found that Sask Power, the provincial utility of the province of Saskatchewan, which borders North Dakota and Montana, could run short next year.

Running short does not mean that the lights are certain to go out. But given the typical incidence of mechanical failures, the amount of spare capacity on hand is small enough that blackouts would be more likely, the report said.

The problem in Texas is old coal plants and natural gas plants that lack environmental controls, and the state’s relative isolation. (The rest of North America east of the Rockies is within one grid, while the region west of the Rockies is on another, with some ability for neighboring areas to help each other at peak times. Texas, however, has taken a go-it-alone approach.)

In New England, which is far better connected to neighboring areas, the problem is old natural gas plants, the group said.

Environmentalists are building a case that there is no reason to proceed slowly in enforcing the new rules because most companies are prepared for them. Michael J. Bradley, a former head of the Northeast States for Coordinated Regional Air Management, a regional organization, and Susan F. Tierney, a former energy official in Massachusetts who worked for the Energy Department during the Clinton Administration, are among the authors of a recent report that contends that reserve margins are still ample and that many new power plants are in development.

In addition, they note, “demand-side resources,” meaning agreements with customers to cut their load on peak days in exchange for cash, can be activated quickly.

Part of the uncertainty is that no one is sure how strictly the Environmental Protection Agency will enforce its rules or exactly what the rules will be. The agency is supposed to publish a new rule on mercury and air toxics on Dec. 16, for example.

Mark G. Lauby, vice president of the reliability corporation, said that because the air toxics standards rule will be on a short schedule, some companies could face a choice of closing some units or running them and violating pollution standards. The logical solution, he said, would be to provide more time for compliance.

But the most troublesome of the new rules for the power plants may be related not to air pollution but to water, as the E.P.A. seeks to have power plants install cooling towers, rather than draw vast amounts of water from rivers and return it a few degrees hotter, which can kill many fish or fish eggs. Texas may also face problems because of its severe drought, the group said.

Texas has added a lot of capacity recently, but much of that is wind power, which generally does not churn out much electricity on the hot days when peak demand occurs. Acting partly out of an awareness that added capacity contributes little to reliability, Texas recently raised its target level of capacity surplus to 13.75 percent from 12.5 percent.

Via: nytimes

20 Signs That the U.S. Economy Is Heading For Big Trouble in the Months Ahead

Is the U.S. economy about to experience a major downturn?  Unfortunately, there are a whole bunch of signs that economic activity in the United States is really slowing down right now.  Freight volumes and freight expenditures are way down, consumer confidence has declined sharply, major retail chains all over America are closing hundreds of stores, and the “sequester” threatens to give the American people their first significant opportunity to experience what “austerity” tastes like.

Gas prices are going up rapidly, corporate insiders are dumping massive amounts of stock and there are high profile corporate bankruptcies in the news almost every single day now.  In many ways, what we are going through right now feels very similar to 2008 before the crash happened.  Back then the warning signs of economic trouble were very obvious, but our politicians and the mainstream media insisted that everything was just fine, and the stock market was very much detached from reality.

When the stock market did finally catch up with reality, it happened very, very rapidly.  Sadly, most people do not appear to have learned any lessons from the crisis of 2008.  Americans continue to rack up staggering amounts of debt, and Wall Street is more reckless than ever.  As a society, we seem to have concluded that 2008 was just a temporary malfunction rather than an indication that our entire system was fundamentally flawed.  In the end, we will pay a great price for our overconfidence and our recklessness.

So what will the rest of 2013 bring?

Hopefully the economy will remain stable for as long as possible, but right now things do not look particularly promising.

The following are 20 signs that the U.S. economy is heading for big trouble in the months ahead…

#1 Freight shipment volumes have hit their lowest level in two years, and freight expenditures have gone negative for the first time since the last recession.

#2 The average price of a gallon of gasoline has risen by more than 50 cents over the past two months.  This is making things tougher on our economy, because nearly every form of economic activity involves moving people or goods around.

#3 Reader’s Digest, once one of the most popular magazines in the world, has filed for bankruptcy.

#4 Atlantic City’s newest casino, Revel, has just filed for bankruptcy.  It had been hoped that Revel would help lead a turnaround for Atlantic City.

#5 A state-appointed review board has determined that there is “no satisfactory plan” to solve Detroit’s financial emergency, and many believe that bankruptcy is imminent.  If Detroit does declare bankruptcy, it will be the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

#6 David Gallagher, the CEO of Town Sports International, recently said that his company is struggling right now because consumers simply do not have as much disposable income anymore…

“As we moved into January membership trends were tracking to expectations in the first half of the month, but fell off track and did not meet our expectations in the second half of the month. We believe the driver of this was the rapid decline in consumer sentiment that has been reported and is connected to the reduction in net pay consumers earn given the changes in tax rates that went into effect in January.

#7 According to the Conference Board, consumer confidence in the U.S. has hit its lowest level in more than a year.

#8 Sales of the Apple iPhone have been slower than projected, and as a result Chinese manufacturing giant FoxConn has instituted a hiring freeze.  The following is from a CNET report that was posted on Wednesday…

The Financial Times noted that it was the first time since a 2009 downturn that the company opted to halt hiring in all of its facilities across the country. The publication talked to multiple recruiters.

The actions taken by Foxconn fuel the concern over the perceived weakened demand for the iPhone 5 and slumping sentiment around Apple in general, with production activity a leading indicator of interest in the product.

#9 In 2012, global cell phone sales posted their first decline since the end of the last recession.

#10 We appear to be in the midst of a “retail apocalypse“.  It is being projected that Sears, J.C. Penney, Best Buy and RadioShack will also close hundreds of stores by the end of 2013.

#11 An internal memo authored by a Wal-Mart executive that was recently leaked to the press said that February sales were a “total disaster” and that the beginning of February was the “worst start to a month I have seen in my ~7 years with the company.”

#12 If Congress does not do anything and “sequestration” goes into effect on March 1st, the Pentagon says that approximately 800,000 civilian employees will be facing mandatory furloughs.

#13 Barack Obama is admitting that the “sequester” could have a crippling impact on the U.S. economy.  The following is from a recentCNBC article

Obama cautioned that if the $85 billion in immediate cuts — known as the sequester — occur, the full range of government would feel the effects. Among those he listed: furloughed FBI agents, reductions in spending for communities to pay police and fire personnel and teachers, and decreased ability to respond to threats around the world.

He said the consequences would be felt across the economy.

“People will lose their jobs,” he said. “The unemployment rate might tick up again.”

#14 If the “sequester” is allowed to go into effect, the CBO is projecting that it will cause U.S. GDP growth to go down by at least 0.6 percent and that it will “reduce job growth by 750,000 jobs“.

#15 According to a recent Gallup survey, 65 percent of all Americans believe that 2013 will be a year of “economic difficulty“, and 50 percent of all Americans believe that the “best days” of America are now in the past.

#16 U.S. GDP actually contracted at an annual rate of 0.1 percentduring the fourth quarter of 2012.  This was the first GDP contraction that the official numbers have shown in more than three years.

#17 For the entire year of 2012, U.S. GDP growth was only about 1.5 percent.  According to Art Cashin, every time GDP growth has fallen this low for an entire year, the U.S. economy has always ended up going into a recession.

#18 The global economy overall is really starting to slow down

The world’s richest countries saw their economies contract for the first time in almost four years during the final three months of 2012, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said.

The Paris-based thinktank said gross domestic product across its 34 member states fell by 0.2% – breaking a period of rising activity stretching back to a 2.3% slump in output in the first quarter of 2009.

All the major economies of the OECD – the US, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and the UK – have already reported falls in output at the end of 2012, with the thinktank noting that the steepest declines had been seen in the European Union, where GDP fell by 0.5%. Canada is the only member of the G7 currently on course to register an increase in national output.

#19 Corporate insiders are dumping enormous amounts of stockright now.  Do they know something that we don’t?

#20 Even some of the biggest names on Wall Street are warning that we are heading for an economic collapse.  For example, Seth Klarman, one of the most respected investors on Wall Street, said in his year-end letter that the collapse of the U.S. financial system could happen at any time

“Investing today may well be harder than it has been at any time in our three decades of existence,” writes Seth Klarman in his year-end letter. The Fed’s “relentless interventions and manipulations” have left few purchase targets for Baupost, he laments. “(The) underpinnings of our economy and financial system are so precarious that the un-abating risks of collapse dwarf all other factors.”

So what do you think is going to happen to the U.S. economy in the months ahead?

By Michael Snyder The Economic Collapse

Via: shtfplan

120 Powerful Pieces Of Advice For Preppers

I found this interesting article over at

Our world is becoming increasingly unstable, and millions of Americans are feverishly preparing for what they consider to be “the end of the world as we know it”.  In fact, it is estimated that there are now approximately 3 million “preppers” in the United States.  But for people that have never done much prepping before, getting started can be both confusing and intimidating.  In fact, I get more questions about prepping than anything else.  People are constantly asking me how they can prepare for the difficult times that are coming.  Well, in this article I have compiled 120 powerful pieces of advice for preppers.  No two situations are exactly the same, and almost every prepper approaches preparation differently, but there are some basic principles that apply to almost everyone.  And without a doubt, a lot of people that are not preparing now are going to regret it in the years ahead.  The global financial system is falling apart, the United States and Europe are absolutely drowning in debt, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are becoming more frequent, signs of social decay are everywhere and war could erupt in the Middle East at any time.  Actually, it is absolutely amazing that there are so many people out there that still believe that “prepping” is not necessary.

When people ask me what they can do to prepare, there is usually one tip that I give above everything else.  It is not very “sexy”, but it is absolutely foundational.

During the last recession, millions of people lost their jobs, and because a lot of them had no financial cushion, many of them also lost their homes.

For the next couple of years, my number one tip is to build up an emergency fund.  If you are a prepper and you are living month to month, then you are in a very vulnerable position.

What is going to happen to all of your preparations if something goes wrong and you suddenly lose your home to foreclosure?

I recommend that everyone have an emergency fund that will be able to cover all bills and expenses for at least six months.

Yes, cash is continually losing value.  But during any economic downturn it is absolutely essential that you be able to continue to pay your bills.  Having a cash reserve is the smart thing to do.

So what else can people do to start prepping for the tough times that are on the horizon?

In a previous article, I explained that a good place to start is by focusing on the five basics….

1) Food

2) Water

3) Shelter

4) Energy

5) Self-Defense

If you have those five areas totally covered you will be in pretty good shape.

The following are some more things to consider as you are prepping….

*Do not post pictures of money or gold or your preps on Facebook.  If you do, you might get some unwelcome visitors to your home.

*Make sure that your preparations are not against the law.  If you have any doubt about this, make sure that you do not go on national television and tell all of America what you are doing.

*In the event of a major disaster, there will likely be hordes of “non-preppers” running around looking to take away the things that all of the preppers have been storing up.  This is something that you will need to be prepared for.

*The following are 6 excellent privacy tips for preppers that come from an article by an anonymous author that was recently posted on….

1. Trust no one that you do not personally know. Even the little old lady down the road will rat on you if she is hungry when the SHTF.

2. Keep your prepping to yourself. Again, do not tell anyone you are prepping. If they know you have stores of food, where do you think they will think of first when the SHTF? Oh and don’t forget, the Department of Homeland Security thinks people with stockpiles of food and weapons as potential domestic terrorist.

3. Don’t share any prepping articles on Facebook or other social media. Don’t draw attention to yourself by posting prepping articles or discussing the topic on the website. You may think you are educating your friends, but in reality you are just letting them know of your actions and plans.

4. Make sure boxes are not labeled with the company name if your order emergency supplies. Most companies will publish this in their ordering information. You don’t want to tip off the UPS driver that you just received a year’s worth of freeze dried food.

5. Do not tell anyone what you are up to. You don’t know how hard it is for me not to tell people I meet that I was almost on the National Geographic TV show. That would be a disaster.

6. Be alert to what others are saying. I was sitting in my dental hygienist chair a week ago and she told me about another customer that was storing food. She thought he might be prepping and she said if it ever got bad, she knew where to find some food. I just acknowledged the statement and let it rest.

*In one article that I did about preparation, I listed 10 things that you can start doing right now to get yourself into a better position for the chaos that is coming….

1 – Get Out Of Debt

2 – Find New Sources Of Income

3 – Reduce Your Expenses

4 – Learn To Grow Your Own Food

5 – Make Sure You Have A Reliable Water Supply

6 – Buy Land

7 – Get Off The Grid

8 – Store Non-Perishable Supplies

9 – Develop Stronger Relationships

10 – Get Educated And Stay Flexible

*Would moving to another area of the country be the best choice for you and your family?  In an article entitled “What Is The Best Place To Live In The United States To Prepare For The Coming Economic Collapse?” I detailed some of the pros and cons for living in various areas of the country.

*In a recent article posted on, Norse Prepper shared 11 questions that all preppers should be asking themselves….

1. What am I preparing for?

2. Am I going to bug in or bug out?

3. Can I defend my family, property and preps?

4. Do I have enough to feed my family until order is restored?

5. How will I heat my home?

6. How will I keep clean?

7. How will I provide light and electricity?

8. How will I keep up on information and communicate with the outside world?

9. What do I have to offer others?

10. How will I fight off boredom?

11. How do I pay for all of this?

You can read the entire article right here.

*In the years ahead food might cost a whole lot more than it does right now.  Your food dollars are never going to go farther than they do right now.

*Many people do not realize this, but you can grow herbs that have tremendous healing properties in your own garden.

*In a recent article, I detailed some of the things that you will want to consider in the event of a major economic collapse….

#1 Food Shortages Can Actually Happen

#2 Medicine Is One Of The First Things That Becomes Scarce During An Economic Collapse

#3 When An Economy Collapses, So Might The Power Grid

#4 During An Economic Collapse You Cannot Even Take Water For Granted

#5 During An Economic Crisis Your Credit Cards And Debit Cards May Stop Working

#6 Crime, Rioting And Looting Become Commonplace During An Economic Collapse

#7 During A Financial Meltdown Many Average Citizens Will Start Bartering

#8 Suicides Spike During An Economic Collapse

#9 Your Currency May Rapidly Lose Value During An Economic Crisis

#10 When Things Hit The Fan The Government Will Not Save You

*You need to have a plan for what you will do if a massive wildfire comes sweeping through your area.  This is especially true if you live in the western half of the United States.

*In a previous article entitled “20 Things You Will Need To Survive When The Economy Collapses And The Next Great Depression Begins”, I made a list of 20 things that you will need when you are not able to rely on Wal-Mart or the grocery store any longer….

#1) Storable Food

#2) Clean Water

#3) Shelter

#4) Warm Clothing

#5) An Axe

#6) Lighters Or Matches

#7) Hiking Boots Or Comfortable Shoes

#8) A Flashlight And/Or Lantern

#9) A Radio

#10) Communication Equipment

#11) A Swiss Army Knife

#12) Personal Hygiene Items

#13) A First Aid Kit And Other Medical Supplies

#14) Extra Gasoline (But Be Very Careful How You Store It)

#15) A Sewing Kit

#16) Self-Defense Equipment

#17) A Compass

#18) A Hiking Backpack

#19) A Community

#20) A Backup Plan

*In the comments following that article, my readers suggested a number of additional items to add to that list….

1. A K-Bar Fighting Knife

2. Salt

3. Extra Batteries

4. Medicine

5. A Camp Stove

6. Propane

7. Pet Food

8. Heirloom Seeds

9. Tools

10. An LED Headlamp

11. Candles

12. Clorox

13. Calcium Hypochlorite

14. Ziplock Bags

15. Maps Of Your Area

16. inoculars

17. Sleeping Bags

18. Rifle For Hunting

19. Extra Socks

20. Gloves

21. Gold And Silver Coins For Bartering

*There are more preppers out there than you might think.  Don’t be afraid to reach out and make new friends.

*In a recent article, Brandon Smith shared some of the factors to consider when choosing a location for a survival retreat….

1. Property Placement

2. Community Network

3. Defensibility

4. Water Availability

5. Food Production

6. Proximity To National Forest

7. Secondary Retreat Locations

You can read the rest of that article right here.

*Almost everyone can grow a survival garden.  Even if you only have an apartment, you can still grow a few things on your balcony.

*Don’t underestimate the impact a major transportation disruption could have on our daily lives.

*You would be surprised what you can actually do with limited resources.  For example, there is one family that is actually producing 6000 pounds of produce a year on just 1/10th of an acre right in the middle of Pasadena, California.

*Survival Mom once shared the top ten survival tips that nobody wants to talk about….

1. Duct taping your windows will not save you from radiation poisoning.

2. You may have to dig a latrine (more than one time).

3. You may not receive any government benefits or payment from your place of employment during a disaster.

4. It is possible that you may be sick or in the hospital during a disaster.

5. Your pets may not survive.

6. It is likely that your cell phone will not work.

7. No one is coming to help you.

8. Insurance doesn’t cover everything, if there is an insurance company left.

9. There will not be enough food and water for everyone.

10. If it is the end of the world, the previous nine tips will not matter!!!

*An EMP burst caused by a high altitude nuke or by a major solar event could fry most of your electronics.  What are you going to do if that happens?

*Spending a million dollars on a “survival condo” in an abandoned missile silo in Kansas is probably not a very efficient use of your limited resources.

*Off Grid Survival recently posted a list of four powerful traits that most survivors have in common….

1. Survivors stay Calm in the face of Danger

2. Survivalists are Experts at Improvisation

3. Survivors are D.I.Y Experts

4. Survivors are Great Leaders

*You can always learn more.  Organizations such as The American Preppers Network enable preppers to network and learn from one another.

*During the difficult times that are coming, in addition to physical preparation it is going to be absolutely crucial to be both mentally and spiritually tough.

Many have accused me of being a “doom and gloomer”, but I don’t see anything negative about being prepared.

In fact, having a plan can give you a tremendous amount of hope.  There will be a lot of people out there that will be tremendously blessed in the midst of the chaos that is coming.  Victory often goes to those who are most prepared.

But if you choose simply to have blind faith in the system and you choose to stick your head in the sand, you might find that “ignorance is bliss” for a little while but when the stuff hits the fan it is going to be incredibly painful for you.

Previous generations understood that it was wise to store up supplies in the good years in order to make things easier in the lean years.

Unfortunately, most people these days have never been through truly hard times so they have no idea what they are like.

Just because the world has enjoyed a tremendous amount of prosperity for the last several decades does not mean that things will always be this way.

Wake up, take a look at the storm on the horizon and get prepared while you still can.

If you choose not to prepare now, you will regret it later.

Via: endoftheamericandream

What If the Biggest Solar Storm on Record Happened Today?

Repeat of 1859 Carrington Event would devastate modern world, experts say.

On February 14, 2011 the sun erupted with the largest solar flare seen in four years—big enough to interfere with radio communications and GPS signals for airplanes on long-distance flights.

As solar storms go, the Valentine’s Day flare was actually modest. But the burst of activity is only the start of the upcoming solar maximum, due to peak in the next couple of years.

“The sun has an activity cycle, much like hurricane season,” Tom Bogdan, director of the Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado, said earlier this month at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C.

“It’s been hibernating for four or five years, not doing much of anything.” Now the sun is waking up, and even though the upcoming solar maximum may see a record low in the overall amount of activity, the individual events could be very powerful.

In fact, the biggest solar storm on record happened in 1859, during a solar maximum about the same size as the one we’re entering, according to NASA.

That storm has been dubbed the Carrington Event, after British astronomer Richard Carrington, who witnessed the megaflare and was the first to realize the link between activity on the sun and geomagnetic disturbances on Earth.

During the Carrington Event, northern lights were reported as far south as Cuba and Honolulu, while southern lights were seen as far north as Santiago, Chile. (See pictures of auroras generated by the Valentine’s Day solar flare.)

The flares were so powerful that “people in the northeastern U.S. could read newspaper print just from the light of the aurora,” Daniel Baker, of the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, said at a geophysics meeting last December.

In addition, the geomagnetic disturbances were strong enough that U.S. telegraph operators reported sparks leaping from their equipment—some bad enough to set fires, said Ed Cliver, a space physicist at the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory in Bedford, Massachusetts.

In 1859, such reports were mostly curiosities. But if something similar happened today, the world’s high-tech infrastructure could grind to a halt.

“What’s at stake,” the Space Weather Prediction Center’s Bogdan said, “are the advanced technologies that underlie virtually every aspect of our lives.”

Solar Flare Would Rupture Earth’s “Cyber Cocoon”

To begin with, the University of Colorado’s Baker said, electrical disturbances as strong as those that took down telegraph machines—”the Internet of the era”—would be far more disruptive. (See “The Sun—Living With a Stormy Star” in National Geographic magazine.)

Solar storms aimed at Earth come in three stages, not all of which occur in any given storm.

First, high-energy sunlight, mostly x-rays and ultraviolet light, ionizes Earth’s upper atmosphere, interfering with radio communications. Next comes a radiation storm, potentially dangerous to unprotected astronauts.

Finally comes a coronal mass ejection, or CME, a slower moving cloud of charged particles that can take several days to reach Earth’s atmosphere. When a CME hits, the solar particles can interact with Earth’s magnetic field to produce powerful electromagnetic fluctuations. (Related: “Magnetic-Shield Cracks Found; Big Solar Storms Expected.”)

“We live in a cyber cocoon enveloping the Earth,” Baker said. “Imagine what the consequences might be.”

Of particular concern are disruptions to global positioning systems (GPS), which have become ubiquitous in cell phones, airplanes, and automobiles, Baker said. A $13 billion business in 2003, the GPS industry is predicted to grow to nearly $1 trillion by 2017.

In addition, Baker said, satellite communications—also essential to many daily activities—would be at risk from solar storms.

“Every time you purchase a gallon of gas with your credit card, that’s a satellite transaction,” he said.

But the big fear is what might happen to the electrical grid, since power surges caused by solar particles could blow out giant transformers. Such transformers can take a long time to replace, especially if hundreds are destroyed at once, said Baker, who is a co-author of a National Research Council report on solar-storm risks.

The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s Cliver agrees: “They don’t have a lot of these on the shelf,” he said.

The eastern half of the U.S. is particularly vulnerable, because the power infrastructure is highly interconnected, so failures could easily cascade like chains of dominoes.

“Imagine large cities without power for a week, a month, or a year,” Baker said. “The losses could be $1 to $2 trillion, and the effects could be felt for years.”

Even if the latest solar maximum doesn’t bring a Carrington-level event, smaller storms have been known to affect power and communications.

The “Halloween storms” of 2003, for instance, interfered with satellite communications, produced a brief power outage in Sweden, and lighted up the skies with ghostly auroras as far south as Florida and Texas.

(Also see “‘Nightmare’ Star Flares Dim Odds for Alien Life?”)

Buffing Up Space-Weather Predictions

One solution is to rebuild the aging power grid to be less vulnerable to solar disruptions.

Another is better forecasting. Scientists using the new Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft are hoping to get a better understanding of how the sun behaves as it moves deeper into its next maximum and begins generating bigger storms. (See some of SDO’s first sun pictures.)

These studies may help scientists predict when and where solar flares might appear and whether a given storm is pointed at Earth.

“Improved predictions will provide more accurate forecasts, so [officials] can take mitigating actions,” said Rodney Viereck, a physicist at the Space Weather Prediction Center.

Even now, the center’s Bogdan said, the most damaging emissions from big storms travel slowly enough to be detected by sun-watching satellites well before the particles strike Earth. “That gives us [about] 20 hours to determine what actions we need to take,” Viereck said.

In a pinch, power companies could protect valuable transformers by taking them offline before the storm strikes. That would produce local blackouts, but they wouldn’t last for long.

“The good news is that these storms tend to pass after a couple of hours,” Bogdan added.

Meanwhile, scientists are scrambling to learn everything they can about the sun in an effort to produce even longer-range forecasts.

According to Vierick, space-weather predictions have some catching up to do: “We’re back where weather forecasters were 50 years ago.”

Via: nationalgeographic

5 Quick Tips to Beat the Flu Season

We all know that when the weather begins to turn cold, it’s time to get ready for the cold and flu viruses to start emerging. Approximately 5 to 20 percent of the population gets the seasonal flu during the late fall until the early spring.

Bear in mind that some groups of the population are more prone to contracting illnesses than others. Groups such as those 65 years and older, children younger than five years old, pregnant women, those with certain compromised immune systems, as well as health care workers. If you live with or work around people in one of these groups, take some proactive steps to get your immune system ready for the flu season.

Take your vitamins.  A good multivitamin will do the trick in keeping your immune system thriving, however, specifically taking Vitamins A , B, C, D, and E has been shown to promote a health immune system.

Speaking of Vitamin D, many are unaware that during the winter months, their body becomes deficient in Vitamin D.  A deficiency of vitamin D triggers infections, autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease), cardiovascular disease, and cancer.  Further, Vitamin D has been shown to be more effective in preventing the flu than a flu vaccine.  The best source of vitamin D is sunshine!  It’s important to get out and enjoy at least 10-15 minutes of sun per day (without sunscreen).  As winter approaches, and it becomes harder to get natural sunlight, it may be necessary to take a daily vitamin D supplement.

Eat Healthy Foods. Everyone knows it’s important to eat healthy, but I think that most people underestimate the power that food has on the immune system.  If you’re eating healthy and are exposed to certain illnesses, you have a greater chance of not catching it. Some foods that will provide you with optimum health are:

  • Organic fruits & vegetables
  • Fermented foods such as kombucha, yogurt, etc.
  • Organic, pastured meats & eggs (including 100% grass-fed beef)
  • Healthy fats, such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, nuts.
  • Avoid sugar, especially refined sugars. Sugar weakens the immune system.  If you need sweeteners, use raw honey, maple syrup, & stevia.
  • Drinking teas high in antioxidants such as green tea can stimulate production of immune cells.
  • Raw honey has antibacterial, antifungal, & antiviral properties (LOCAL raw honey is best, especially for allergies).
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar per day.
  • Eating nuts such as almonds have an immune-strengthening antioxidant.

Drink lots of water. Simply put, water helps to filter the impurities out of your body. Over time, this keeps your body functioning and in optimum health.

Get plenty of sleep: You workaholics out there need to pay attention to this. If you body does not get the needed amount of sleep each night, your health depreciates. Get a minimum of 7-8 hours per night. Further, if you feel your body coming down with an illness, stop pushing yourself and give your body what it needs: rest.

Exercise: Staying active 3-5 days a week for 20-30 minutes has been shown to not only help you stay healthy, but also increases your resistance to illness and helps you reduce stress all at the same time. How’s that for making the most of your time?

Keeping your body in balance and following the five listed tips can assist you in keeping your immune system strong during the months it is under attack.

Via: readynutrition

When to Bug Out: Knowing the Signs

Disasters such as hurricanes, floods, chemical leaks and for some, societal breakdowns and terrorist attacks can cause some of the largest evacuation complications.  One of the largest concerns during a disaster situation is when to leave. 

While it is important  to listen and keep up to date on the current status of a disaster, as well as actively acquiring information regarding the disaster, the action of packing up and evacuating rests in the evacuees hands; not the governments or the businesses telling the person they have to work until the last minute.  Relying solely on the government’s ability to manage a crisis, takes the power out of a person’s hands and places into a stranger’s hands (who may not have your best interests in mind).  Many have forgotten this and rely only on a governmental body to tell them when they can leave.  It is important to emphasize that the needs and agendas of a local government are different than the citizens

Don’t Be Another Statistic: Be Ready

In a situation where people are facing an evacuation order, time is precious.  Typically, people are not ready or prepared to bug out.  When the individuals are unprepared and is combined with the city’s unpreparedness, it does not make a good scenario.  There is no better example of the governemnts incompetence to handle these massive evacuation orders than with what happened during the evacuations of Hurricane Katrina and Rita.   Many state and local governments wait until the very last moment to issue an evacuation order.  Planning to evacuate thousands, if not millions of individuals in a 2-3 day time span, will cause nothing but mass chaos and unnecessary conflict. 

If one lives in an area where they could be prone to disasters, it is always the best bet to have the following ready:

  • A well defined preparedness plan with maps and alternative routes in place.  Don’t leave unless there is a plan in place.  A person who is prepared to leave and has a set destination in mind is more prepared than the person who is scrambling around their home trying to find items and not even thinking about what their emergency plan will be.
  • A 72 hour bag that is ready to go for the family as well as a bag for any pets.
  • Leave as soon as possible.  Do not wait until they have opened up the contraflow lanes to evacuate.
  • Have some money set aside for an emergency.  Prepare for some ATM machines and banks to be closed.  Example: You finally get on the road and realize you are low on gas.  All the banks and ATMs are closed.  In this scenario, once the gas runs out, you will be stuck  with no money for food, shelter or transportation.
  • Make sure the Bug Out Vehicle (BOV) is well maintained.  Having the proper items to keep it going can be of great value in a disaster situation.  Items such as an oil, extra tire, fix-a-flat, collapsible shovel, etc.

Knowledge is Critical

Knowledge is essential in any type of emergency evacuation scenario.  Imagine how important it would be if  someone had the advantage of having the information to leave 3 hours before everyone else did.  If they were already prepared and ready to go, it would be a huge advantage.

  • Awareness of the different advisory forms to get the most information.  A person does not have to listen to the TV to get information.  There are many types of emergency advisories: radio, police scanners, Internet, twitter, and even a cell phone disaster alert sytem to alert a person at the earliest time possible.  This will give someone a heads up of what it to come.  
  • Know which station on the radio has Emergency Broadcast Stations.

Every minute is critical when bugging out.  If a person is not prepared, then they are losing valuable time.  Using all known communication resources to get information and staying clued in will put a person at a greater advantage than those only listening to one type of communication form.  Gathering information ahead of time of what the possible threat is (flood preparation, hurricane preparation, tornado, societal uprising, etc), and finding ways to avoid them will put a person in a better mind frame when they actually have to come head to head with the threat.   

Know The Signs

Waiting until an evacuation order is issued is considered too late for many people who consider themselves prepared.  Knowing the signs and acting on them is the key to bugging out at the best time.  If a person knows what to look for, they can prepare to leave ahead of the hoard of evacuees. 

Some signs include:

  • When people begin buying emergency food and water supplies.
  • Hearing the news sources talking about a possible threat is the time to begin preparing to leave.
  • Seeing long lines at the bank where people are withdrawing money is a sign that something is up.
  • Long gas lines is also an indicator of people beginning to prepare for a possible evacuation.
  • Increased military and police presence in the streets and the community.
  • Long lines at home improvement stores from poeple trying to buy supplies to prepare homes for disasters, buying generator needs, etc.

If a person is already prepared for such a disaster, they will not have to wait in lines full of stressed out people, not have to fight their way through a grocery store or get into a possible altercation trying to fill their cars with gas.  In times of crises, many are not prepared, and the stress levels are increased exorbitantly.  Everyone has one thing on their mind – getting supplies and getting out.  If a person already has their supplies in order, getting out ahead of everyone will put them at a greater advantage.

Consider the Dangers and Know the Threats

Knowing when to bug out solely depends upon the person and what they are trying to avoid.  It is better to be safe than sorry.  Obviously, evacuating in a high stress situation is absolutely the worst case scenario. Yet, this tends to be the norm for many.  Many believe that bad things cannot happen to them, so why bothering in planning for it?  This mind frame is what leads to dangerous situations. 

Many who wait until the government suggests it is necessary to evacuate will have more of a chance of getting caught in mass chaos, be amongst unprepared and stressed out drivers, and possibly face bouts of crime.  Leaving at the wrong time can put a person and their family into jeopardy.  Seeing the signs and knowing when to bug out will play a pivotal role in evacuating safely.  Not to mention giving a person the advantage of having the right mind set, leaving quickly, and more importantly – safely

The information provided is intended to give suggestions of what one may do in an evacuation situation as well as to suggest that people use the information provided by media sources and use their own sound judgement to make a decision to evacuate a city.   This post in no way advises people not to listen to their local governments or relative news sources.  It only suggests that people use the information provided by media sources and to leave when they believe it is pertinent.

Via: readynutrition