Monthly Archives: December 2014

Fire Cider Recipe

I come across a recipe or ingredient that seems like it was pulled directly from one of Grimm’s stories. How else could one feel about keeping dragon’s blood in the cupboard, and enchanted fire cider in the fridge?

Though not imparted with any actual mystical powers, fire cider truly is magical in its own right. This tonic is revered by herbalists for its ability to help prevent cold and flu symptoms and/or shorten their duration if they occur, and for good reason. It’s an apple cider vinegar infusion that contains “powerful immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, decongestant, and spicy circulatory movers” that make it “especially pleasant and easy to incorporate into your daily diet to help boost the immune system, stimulate digestion, and get you nice and warmed up on cold days.” (source)

Because it takes about a month to mature, I recommend starting a batch now so you’ll be ready for use.


How To Take Fire Cider

Many people take 1-2 tablespoons throughout the fall/winter months as a preventative measure, or every three to four hours if symptoms are present.

Here are some more ways to use it:

  • As a “wellness shot” – I actually love the taste, so I put about 1 oz. in a shot glass to drink straight up
  • As a tea – Breathe in the steam as you sip to relieve congestion
  • In juice – For little ones, it’s best to serve a small amount mixed in freshly-pressed orange juice or lemonade
  • As a marinade or salad dressing

Fire Cider Recipe

I first read about fire in Rosemary Gladstar’s book, Herbal Recipes For Vibrant Health. This recipe is adapted from her recipe and this one from Mountain Rose Herbs.


  • ½ cup peeled and shredded/diced ginger root
  • ½ cup peeled and shredded/diced horseradish root
  • ½ cup peeled and diced turmeric OR 1/4 cup additional ginger and 1/4 cup additional horseradish
  • ½ cup white onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup minced or crushed garlic cloves
  • 2 organic jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • Zest and juice from 2 organic lemons
  • Raw apple cider vinegar
  • Raw, organic honey to taste

Optional Additions:

  • Several sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns


  • Quart-sized jar
  • Wax paper


Add the ginger, horseradish, onion, garlic, jalapeno and lemon juice/zest to a quart-sized jar. Pack them down lightly so that the jar is about 3/4 full. Use a fermenting weight to hold down the veggies/roots, or place heavy roots at the top so that they will weigh down the herbs and jalapenos (which float). Pour a generous amount apple cider vinegar over the roots/vegetables. You want everything to stay under the liquid to prevent spoilage. Keep in mind that some of the roots will expand a little so top it off well.

If you’re using a metal lid, line it with wax paper so that the vinegar doesn’t corrode it, then put the lid on. Place in a dark, room temperature cabinet for 2-4 weeks. (A month is best)

When the cider is ready, shake well and then strain the roots/veggies using a cheesecloth or fine mesh sieve. Add honey to taste and store in the fridge.

Note: Mountain Rose Herbs suggests that you used the strained veggies in stir fry or spring rolls. Yum!


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.




Via :  mommypotamus


Brought to you by alertsusa

Tensions With Russia Flare

Dec 20, 2014


On Dec 16, 2014, AlertsUSA issued the following
related Flash message to subscriber mobile devices:
12/16 – POTUS to sign bill adding sanctions on Russia and providing LETHAL AID to Ukraine. Russia threatens possible preemptive use of full military force in Ukraine.
What You Need To Know
On Tues of this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via SMS messages to their mobile devices regarding an announcement by the White House that President Obama would be signing a bill from Congress which adds new sanctions on Russia and would codify into law the provision of lethal aid to the Ukrainian government.
Known as the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014, the bill is intended to “assist the government of Ukraine in restoring its sovereignty and territorial integrity in order to deter the government of the Russian Federation from further destabilizing and invading Ukraine and other independent countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.” .

Even before the bill made it out of Congress, at least one member of Russia’s Duma called the bill “extremely dangerous” and suggested the decision to arm Ukraine should prompt ‘adequate measures’ from Russia, such as the use of military force on Ukrainian territory preemptively. “We should not wait until Ukraine is armed and becomes really dangerous.” Similar warnings were issued in late November during a visit to Ukraine by Vice President Joe Biden.

Readers might find it interesting to note that documents released late last month by the Ukrainian hackers group CyberBerkut reveal that the US may in fact already be providing substantial lethal aid to Ukraine’s armed forces. According to CyberBerkut, during Vice President Biden’s two-day trip to Kiev in November, they were able to gain access to confidential State Department files that had been stored on American delegation member’s mobile device.

Those documents show that the Obama Administration has been supplying Ukraine with lethal aid as far back as the August, including sniper and assault rifles, grenade launchers, mortars, stinger missiles and anti-tank weapons.Read the here. See the docs here.

AlertsUSA advises readers that while the American public is being distracted with all manner of mainstream media fluff stories, be advised that our world is becoming more and more dangerous by the day.

From the surge of U.S. and NATO forces in Eastern Europe over the past year, the increasing number of tense encounters between armed NATO and Russian aircraft (more than 400 times this yearsee this, this, and this) and a declining Russian currency resulting from a collapse in oil and gas prices just to name a few, tensions between the U.S., NATO and Russia are at an extremely dangerous level.

In a recent interview with the German publication Der Spiegel, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger gave a chilling assessment of a new geopolitical situation taking shape, calling the West’s approach to Ukraine a “fatal mistake.” He characterized the tense relations as exhibiting the danger of another Cold War and warned that ignoring this danger any further may result in a “tragedy.”

We also remind readers that while the Obama Administration and U.S. media paint Russia as the aggressor in this situation, in Feb of this year a video was leaked showing Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, giving a presentation before a private group at the National Press Club in Washington within which she openly admits that the U.S. government has spent five BILLION dollars in an effort to subvert the Russian friendly Ukrainian government in order to bring into power the country into the U.S. sphere of influence (also see this).


The resulting riots and change of government, in turn, posed a number of direct strategic threats to Russia, ultimately forcing them to move on Crimea in order to protect access to their naval base at Sevastopol, as well as to the Black Sea in general.

As an example, consider the geography of the region. Looking at a map you will see that the Black Sea is Western Russia’s singular warm-water access point. All other ports in the North of the country, with the exception of Murmansk near the northeast corner of Finland, are blocked by ice at least 6 months out of each year. The only reason Murmansk remains ice free is due to the warm waters of the N. Atlantic current. Although 9 time zones in size, more than 90% of Russia’s population lives in the Western third of the country.

Additionally, although Crimea was/is recognized as a part of Ukraine, it was/is actually an autonomous region . The Russian Navy has kept its Black Sea Fleet stationed at a naval base on the peninsula since the late 1700s and the time of Napoleon and Catherine the Great. The Port of Sevastopol has a large, deep, defensible harbor and is accessible in all seasons. In 2010, Russia negotiated an agreement with Ukraine that allows use of the strategically located Sevastopol naval base through 2042 in exchange for discounts on natural gas.

While Crimea is physically detached from Russia, it is connected by those parts of eastern and southern Ukraine that contain a large Russian speaking, pro-Russian population.


We would be remiss if we did not also play “follow the money” and point out that Ukraine is a critical corridor for oil and gas pipelines from Russia and the Caspian region into Europe. These pipelines and the product they carry generate huge profits for Russia and directly compete with the planned Southern route which is at the heart of the instability in Syria .

With just these few items (there are many more), it is easy to see how Russia is being backed into a corner. Their strategic interests and national security are directly threatened.


It is also important to note that in May of 2014, near the height of the Ukraine crisis, Hunter Biden, the youngest son of Vice President Joe Biden, was appointed to the Board of Directors of Burisma Holdings, Ukraine’s largest independent producer of natural gas.

You can read more on this aspect of the story here.

Hunter Biden’s appointment came just weeks after being dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Navy Reserves after testing positive for cocaine use.

You can read more on this aspect of the story here.


It would be naive to think that Russia is going to allow Ukraine to fall into the arms of NATO without a vigorous fight. The strategic importance of the country is far too great. Additionally, readers are reminded that Russian President Putin, Prime Minister Medvedev and the Chief of the Russian General Staff Gen. Nikolai Makarov, have on multiple occasions in the last 3 years made explicitly clear that Russia would use nuclear weapons, including in a preemptive capacity, if there is a threat to the integrity of the Russian Federation (see this, this, and this). These scenarios include conventional attacks on Russia or it’s strategic partners, placement of missile shield installations in former Soviet-bloc countries and more.

AlertsUSA continues to closely monitor growing tension in Eastern Europe and the Ukraine and will issue additional alert messages to subscriber mobile devices as threats and events warrant .


12/14 – AlertsUSA monitoring ongoing hostage situation(s) in Sydney, AUS. Reports of Islamic black flag of jihad being flown. Airline flts being diverted. Developing…

12/14 – AUS gunmen claim there are 4 explosive devices hidden around Sydney. US consulate evacuated. US citizens urged to be on high alert.

12/14 – You can follow the ongoing situation in AUS LIVE using the following links: News 9 – ,
News 24 –

12/15 – Moments ago AUS security forces stormed Lindt Cafe in Sydney Central Business District. Hostage situation concluded.

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LED Lantern technology for Survival Preparedness

Being a bit of a geek for things like LED technology (which is now being designed into flashlights, lanterns, and other lighting products), I know that it is a perfect technology fit for anyone’s survival preparedness kit, emergency lighting situations, or any general purpose lighting application.

Present day LED lighting technology is enabling very bright and powerful light while consuming very little power. The power consumption of LED lamp products is a fraction of that from traditional types of bulbs.

The LED’s themselves will seemingly last forever without burning out like other bulbs and the batteries that are powering them will last for a very long time before requiring replacement or a recharge.

So let me tell you about this lantern that I bought some time ago, a Rayovac 300-lumen LED lantern. I believe this one is a great example of compact portable lighting, perfect for any emergency, and surprisingly small and light weight.


Rayovac 300 lumen lantern Review

It is much smaller than a traditional lantern, like the classic Coleman  lantern that many of us have or have had (the Coleman white fuel lantern has its own advantages and I still wouldn’t be without one).  However this Rayovac model is small enough to pack nicely into small spaces. It’s only 7 inches tall (3.5 inches square). It is perfect to stash into a survival kit.


It takes three D-size batteries, and will power the LED on high brightness for about 3 days straight, 24 hours a day! Of course you wouldn’t have it turned on during the day, so if you ran it for 6 hours a night, the batteries would last for 12 days. On low brightness, this same scenario would last 25 days! If you use rechargeable batteries, and a solar powered battery charger, you would be set up for many years with ‘free’ light.


This lantern is brighter than I expected. It is bright because of two reasons, 3 watt LED power (three 1-watt LED’s) and a very good reflector lens design. The plastic lens assembly spreads the light, seeming to magnify it so to spread around a 360 degree circle.

Light Settings

The settings seem ‘right’ with bright, low, and strobe. The strobe is very bright, and a great idea for an emergency survival situation where you are trying to be seen or located. Also, just above the on-off button is a small LED indicator that flashes dimly and unobtrusively about every five seconds to help you locate the lantern in the dark (great idea!).


This lantern, although small in size, is rugged. All edges, and the bottom are rubberized for shock absorption, plus it will grip nicely on any surface. There is a traditional type of carrying handle as well as a clever folding hook on the bottom which allows you to hang it upside down, which better projects the light when it is up high. Nice touch.




I rate the Rayovac 300 lumen lantern with 5-stars for a perfect set of features for its intended purpose, rugged and compact design, LED technology, and reasonable price.

I highly encourage anyone who is survival preparedness minded, to get yourself some LED flashlights and – or a lantern similar to this one.

You can have a look at the Rayovac SE3DLN 300-Lumen LED Lantern here.


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.



Via :   modernsurvivalblog

Quick-moving Russian economic collapse causing fears of Global Problems

When the 8th largest economy in the world is on the brink of collapsing, it’s bound to have a ripple effect throughout the rest of the world.

In less than six months, Russians have lost half their wealth as the result of a fast moving collapse of their economy. So far this year, the Russian ruble has dropped nearly 50 percent against the U.S. dollar.

In recent days that collapse has accelerated at rate that has caused many to pull their money out of Russian banks, signaling a possible run on the banks. The trouble is only being exacerbated by a global drop in oil prices, which is hitting Russia especially hard because as much as half of the governments revenue comes from oil and gas exports.

Could this Chaos Signal the beginning of a Global Meltdown

It’s no secret that our interconnected world has linked all of our economies together. When the 8th largest economy in the world is on the brink of collapsing, it’s bound to have a ripple effect throughout the rest of the world. Add in the fact that the U.S. economy is probably in even worse shape than Russia, we’re just a little better at keeping our Ponzi scheme running, and we have the perfect recipe for disaster.

Yesterday we highlighted some of this country’s most recent economic numbers, as reported by the Census Bureau. What we found was more than a little bit troubling.

  • According to the latest census numbers, one in five U.S. millennials – adults 18 to 34 years old – now live in poverty.
  • Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of children in the U.S. now live in a home that receives assistance from at least one government welfare program.
  • Although the government claims a 6.1% unemployment rate, a record 92,447,000 in the United States are not working. If you look at the actual number of people without jobs, it’s not hard to realize the government unemployment numbers are a complete sham.
  • We are now over 18 Trillion dollars in debt – a number that doesn’t even account for the $222 trillion in unfunded liabilities this government owes.


In 2013, the latest numbers that have been released by the government, 20 percent of U.S. families lived in a household where not a single person had a job. If that’s what our federal government considers a robust recovering economy, then Houston, we have problem.

Since President Obama took office in January of 2009, the supposed beginning of his robust economic recovery, over 12 million people have stopped looking for works and joined the ranks of the long-term unemployed – a number that the government conveniently leaves out of the official unemployment numbers.

In that same period, over 14 million extra people started receiving federal food stamps. When Obama took office in Jan. 2009, 31.9 million people received food stamp benefits. As of Sept. 2014 (the latest available data reported by the Department of Agriculture), 46,459,998 people in the U.S. received food stamps.

What can you do to prepare for the coming trouble?

Start an Emergency Fund & Get out of Debt : Starting an emergency fund is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself and your family from not only large-scale disasters, but those events in life that can feel like the end of the world when you’re in the middle of the situation. During any type of economic collapse, those in debt, and those without savings are going to immediately feel the pain.

While I often here the argument that debt won’t matter once the economy collapses, let me remind you that during the 2008 economic meltdown, millions of people lost their homes, lost their jobs, and were unable to pay for even basic necessities because they lacked adequate savings to see them through the disaster. Do you really want to lose your home  to debt collectors before the collapse even happens?

Invest in Long-term Consumables: Start stocking up on things that you know you’ll need and use in the future. Emergency supplies, firearms and ammo, long-term food storage, and everyday household goods are all things that you’ll need, and will continue to hold their value after the collapse.

Take a serious look at your Defense: If the collapse happens, one of the biggest threats you’re going to face is from people looking to take advantage of the situation. The chaos we’ve witnessed over the last couple of months will pale in comparison to what we’ll see during a full-scale economic collapse.

  • Start looking into ways to secure and fortify your home.
  • Learn the basics of self-defense, and consider learning how to use a firearm.
  • Watch for signs of social unrest, and stay alert to what’s going on around you and in your neighborhood.

Invest in a Bugout Bag, and have an evacuation plan: Having an emergency evacuation plan is an important part of being prepared for any type of disaster. If things start going really bad, there may be a need to temporarily evacuate your immediate area. In cases where evacuation becomes necessary, you need to have a bag full of emergency supplies that are ready to go at a moment’s notice.


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.




Via :  offgridsurvival

The Case For Being A Prepper

Guest post by Quilliam Franklin on the


My goal in writing this article is to explain my thoughts and reasoning behind my choice to become a Prepper. I believe that being more prepared is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family. However, sometimes Preppers can be seen as strange, eccentric, or even crazy. My hope is that as you read my thoughts in this essay you will get ideas that can help you have good heartfelt conversations with your loved ones. Ultimately, I hope you will realize what I did; preparing for the uncertainties in this world is anything but crazy.

As I was reading and pondering reasons why I should be more prepared, I started to categorize everything into two different groups– multipliers and uncertainties. Multipliers are variables that make any type of disaster worse off, while uncertainties are bad situations that could possibly happen but might not. Let me share with you some of these multiplies and uncertainties that are the most concerning to me.


Just-in-time Delivery

First, I want to talk about just-in-time delivery. Just-in-time deliver means, that when you go to the store and buy an item, it will register that the store is short of that item. The computer systems will automatically place an order, and when the next truck goes out to that store, it will now include that extra item on board. This is a practice that saves a lot of money for almost every type of business (e.g. grocery stores, pharmacies, manufacturers, and others), because now the in-store inventory is very low. However, because the in-store inventory is very low, if there is ever a reason that we can’t use our nation’s transportation system (mostly roads) the stores would run out of inventory even quicker.

A small localized example would be to look at what happened after hurricane Katrina when many of the roads were inoperable. Many grocery store shelves were completely stripped bare and people were hoarding gas to run their generators. From what I read and saw on the news, it was a tense situation, but this disaster was a localized event with a light at the end of the tunnel. Plus, our entire nation poured in supplies to help out. Now, imagine an equally devastating disaster on a larger scale without supplies being flown in. Just-in-time deliver would cause stores to run out of inventory even quicker than they would have before. Just-in-time inventory is not bad; it saves a lot of money and makes a lot of business sense, but it can easily make a fragile situation go from bad to worse.

Not Your Grandpa’s Generation Anymore

I don’t know how else to say it. We, as a people, are not the same as our grandparents’ generation. We don’t have the same skills and mindset as they used to. They worked in every aspect of their lives; they gardened, cooked from scratch, and mended what broke. They had relationships with their neighbors. They bartered, and they didn’t feel entitled to anything they didn’t work for.

I am not going to drag this topic out, but I think we can all agree that our country as a whole could not handle a disaster situation anywhere near as well as our grandparents could. How many people today would be willing to eat chicken feet soup and possum for dinner?

Made in China

It is not a secret that very few things are made completely in the USA anymore. If there is ever a disruption in the international/domestic shipping and transportation, for any reason, it would pretty much stop all production and disrupt most of what we could buy at the stores. This is just one more thing that could make a certain disaster scenario much worse.


About a year in a half ago I was at an event where Paul Ryan (Wisconsin, Republican, House of Representatives) was speaking. He talked about some point in the future when America wouldn’t even be able to afford the interest payments on our debt, if we didn’t start curbing our spending. After this event, I started to think about what he said, which led me to do more research on the national budget and debt. From what I read, Paul Ryan had one of the most conservative budget plans that had a chance of passing at that time, but even his plan didn’t stop us from going into debt further. His plan only slowed the pace at which we went into debt. This was an eye-opening experience for me. It made me realize that there could be a financial disaster in the future that no one was talking about (you can’t borrow money indefinitely). And if no one was talking about this then, what else was I missing? After much research, I came up with a list of some of the biggest concerns or uncertainties I have about our future.

National Debt

My share of the national debt is $56,194.16 (as of 11/11/2014). That means an average family of four, like mine, has a share of debt well over $200,000.

The U.S. currently has close to 18 trillion dollars in debt. Our yearly budgets have recently run about 1/3 off of borrowed money, and we have added over $7 trillion to our national debt since 2008. As we continue to borrow money, the interest on our payments is going to get higher and higher, and at some point we won’t even be able to afford the interest on our payments without drastically altering the budget. In addition, we are not even trying to pay towards the principle of our debt. Very few politicians are even trying to make cuts to the budget, because doing so would take funding from areas that their constituents support. Like I mentioned above, one of the most conservative budgets that had a chance of passing (although a small chance) doesn’t even stop borrowing money, it just borrows a little bit slower than other budget plans.

In short, it is like our nation is driving straight towards a cliff, and all we are doing about it is arguing about how fast we should be driving towards the edge rather than trying to change directions. At some point when we can’t afford to pay interest on our debt payments, we won’t be able to borrow additional money, but we will still have the debt that we owe. At some point it is going to get ugly, because you can’t borrow money forever and not pay it back (well, at least not without consequences). I fear we will be left holding the debt, have our budget cut in third, plus continually have to pay more of our budget towards the principal.

There are people who predict that at this point there will be a collapse of our nation’s currency, and although that is a possibility, I hope it won’t get that bad. Whatever does happen, it will be a difficult and trying time for our country. To try to get out of this mess there will have to be high inflation, increased taxes, and deep budgets cuts. Think of what happened recently in Greece; their entire system was at the point of collapsing, but they were finally saved by a bailout from the EU. We have more debt than the next three countries combined, so if our system fails there will be no one to bail us out.

Let me finish this section quoting Margaret Thatcher, who said this about socialist countries (and if the U.S. isn’t one yet, we are pretty close): “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” You can’t say it better than that. In the end our debt in going to catch up to us, and it is not going to be pretty.

Food Stamps

It has been reported recently that 20% of households in America are now on food stamps. That number has continued to grow every year. That means that one fifth of America is directly dependent on the government for at least part, if not all, of their food budget. (This excludes people who actually get a salary from working for the government.) What would happen if there was ever an interruption, inflation, or a cutback in how much the government is able to hand out?

We need to ask what it means for our country to have a low jobless rate but still have 20% of households of food stamps. What underlying problems are there that make it so many Americans can’t even afford their own food? Perhaps, most importantly, what does it mean for our country when so many people feel it is the responsibility of the government to feed them?

The overall point I want to make about food stamps is that there are a lot of people using them for food on a daily basis and that number keeps on growing. If for any reason there was ever a problem of any kind that caused a reduction in food stamps, you would have massive riots, looting, stealing, and possibly worse. It is best to be prepared.

Social Security (What’s So Secure?)

So let me explain Social Security the way I understand it. Each year the money is collected from people paying into the system (generally through payroll taxes). In years past, when more money was put into the system than was needed to pay out, the government created and added that money to a special fund– the Social Security Trust Fund. Any extra money was put in there. The government would then essentially write an IOU (technically government bonds, but these bonds are not tied to any real assets) to the Social Security Trust Fund and then use that money in other places. Now we are to the point where we are not saving up extra money each year; in fact, we need more money that we are bringing in. So, we pull money from the Social Security Trust Fund. With the current laws, we are not projected to have a surplus of money any time soon. At the current rate of withdrawal and with very positive estimates from government, the Social Security Trust Fund will run dry in 2033. At that point, the entire program would have to reduce benefits to all the Social Security participants so that money coming in and money going out match. It is currently estimated that the government would have to reduce the benefits to everyone by about 25%, to break even.

I am sure my explanation is simple and misses some of the nuances of Social Security, but it does highlight a major problem– Social Security is going to run into some major pain points within the next 20 years.

Before ending this section on Social Security, I want to make two more points that add to the uncertainties around social security:

  1. There is only 2.9 people paying in to every one person paying out, and that ratio is getting smaller every year. At what point does it fall apart? How much of your paycheck is the government willing to take from you?
  2. The process of temporarily fixing and patching Social Security could potentially cause a lot of pain. If for any reason Social Security checks stopped coming, even for a short period of time, there would be massive backlash from the people. (There are over 54 million people receiving Social Security benefits right now.)

There are going to have to be some tough decisions made around Social Security, over and over again. If each temporary fix doesn’t go perfectly smooth, it will cause massive unrest across this country. Ultimately, I am afraid the system is going to fall apart. I am in my 30s, and I don’t expect to ever see one penny paid back to me from Social Security. Be prepared, because there are too many uncertainties to count on Social Security being there for you.

Ebola in Dallas

So I live in the DFW area, and when I first heard that there was a case of Ebola in Dallas I was a little bit annoyed but not overly concerned. I then found out that a nurse from my church congregation works at the same hospital as the person with Ebola. This made me stop and think if I should be nervous. Lastly, I learned that the nurse has kids that were in the same class at church that my kids were in, and I got even a little bit more nervous. Then, additionally two more nurses caught Ebola; my nerves continued to climb.

Luckily, it wasn’t a huge issue, and Dallas eventually became Ebola free, but that disease highlighted just how quickly people are going to panic in situations like that. In this case, the presence of one patient caused the emergency room at that hospital to shut down and some nurses stopped showing up to work. Imagine what would have happened if there were 200 or 2,000 cases around Dallas all at once. Would the hospitals be able to handle it?

I believe that there could be a disease that is worse than Ebola, one day. Especially when there are doctors and scientists publishing exactly how to create one. We should be prepared, at least the best we can, to handle a situation like that. This is just one more of those uncertainties that makes me want to be a Prepper.

My Responsibility

In the end, I feel that it is my responsibility to take care of my family. I hope and pray for continued peace and prosperity. My hope is that I never need the skills and supplies that go along with being a Prepper, but it would be naïve of me to ignore and do nothing to prepare for some of the uncertainties that I have listed in this article (and ones I did not list). Let me share some of my worst fears with you that really drove me all the way into being a Prepper. The first is that all or part of my family is killed (or worse) during a disaster scenario. The second thing that scares me is what I might be willing to do for my family.

Here is a hypothetical situation I thought of at the very beginning of my Prepper journey. Imagine I am the normal suburban guy who loves his family but is not very prepared for a disaster. Then, some sort of disaster strikes. Imagine my family and I start to go hungry. I am generally a good, Christian guy, and I tried to find food for my family in a fair way, but since food is scarce for everyone I do not have enough to get by for me and my family. Would I be willing to look my wife and kids in the eye and tell them that they have to starve because I did not prepare when I had the chance? Would I be willing to turn to robbery, or to murder, to stop my family from dying of starvation? What if this also meant ruining my own chance of salvation? Honestly, in this hypothetical situation, I am not sure what I would do. My gut tells me that I would do almost anything before I let my family die.

This scenario made me realize that if a good, Christian person would be willing to do extreme things to help his/her family, what would others with less moral convictions be willing to do? I decided that I should prepare now, while I have the chance, so that this hypothetical situation would never have the possibility of being acted out.


There are two reason I wrote this article. First, I wrote it to encourage the Preppers to continue on their journey. Prepping is not strange, eccentric, or crazy, and if there is ever a disaster scenario you will thank your lucky stars you prepared. Plus, knowing you are more prepared than most should allow you to rest a little easier at night. The second reason is so you can share this article with the non-prepper people in your life. Maybe this will shed a new light on why you do what you do and the non-prepper will realize that you prepare because you care about them.

In conclusion, no one thinks you’re strange if you get a life insurance policy, even though you have a small chance of actually dying. The same should be true about prepping. There is a small chance (I hope) that any of these scenarios will turn into a full blown disaster, but there is still a chance. It is normalcy bias that tells us that just because something like this hasn’t happened before means it won’t happen in the future. We should take advantage and take action now and prepare. We need to pay the dues to our disaster insurance so that we can be prepared to take care of ourselves and our family, if there is ever a disaster scenario.


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.




Via : survivalblog

Armored Military Vehicles Needed for ‘Constitutionalists’—Police declare

Police: Armored Military Vehicles Needed for ‘Constitutionalists’

The footage, recently captured in Spokane Valley, begins with a local resident asking two deputies why police would need vehicles specifically designed for warfare abroad.

“I mean, we’ve got a lot of Constitutionalists and a lot of people that stockpile weapons, lots of ammunition,” one deputy says. “They have weapons here locally.”

The startling admission not only points to active surveillance of legal gun owners, but of those who support the country’s founding document, further solidifying concerns among law-abiding citizens that police are receiving military equipment and training in order to target conservative Americans.

Sadly this is what “America” has turned into – a nation where the government and the police that keeps them in power see the Constitution and the American people as the enemy.

Notice that his first thought when asked why they needed military equipment, wasn’t ISIS or some other perceived foreign threat on American soil, but was, without hesitation Constitutionalists and gun owners – this is a reflection of his “training” and also explains the upsurge in police brutality that is being dealt onto the public without consequence.

It also explains the recent government buy up of large stockpiles of ammunition, warfare training centers that have been built to mimic the look and feel of rural towns and cities in America, why they are trying to pass laws to ban body armor, and it also explains why the government wants so badly to ban all semiautomatic firearms and ammo magazines over 5-10 rounds.

They are building up for war against Americans who believe that the government should follow the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution, gun owners, returning veterans, preppers and really anyone else that they want to add to their list, while at the same time attempting to pass laws to disarm Americans.

Wired reports:

These are some warning signs that you have turned into a terrorist who will soon kill your co-workers, according to the U.S. military. You’ve recently changed your “choices in entertainment.” You have “peculiar discussions.” You “complain about bias,” you’re “socially withdrawn” and you’re frustrated with “mainstream ideologies.” Your “Risk Factors for Radicalization” include “Social Networks” and “Youth.”

I know, I know it’s crazy to label Americans who support the Constitution, gun owners, returning veterans and even parents who home-school as potential terrorist, but that is what’s going on – it’s also dangerous to anyone that’s been put on the list.

Via Firstlook:

There are severe consequences for people unfairly labeled a terrorist by the U.S. government, which shares its watchlist data with local law enforcement, foreign governments, and “private entities.” Once the U.S. government secretly labels you a terrorist or terrorist suspect, other institutions tend to treat you as one. It can become difficult to get a job (or simply to stay out of jail). It can become burdensome—or impossible—to travel. And routine encounters with law enforcement can turn into ordeals.

Do the police not swear an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America? And by their own profiling rules, wouldn’t doing so  make them potential terrorist to be added to the list also?


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.




Via : survivalblog

Spanked by a Storm

Guest post by K.B. from


I saw a weather commentary on television one night in late August, 2005, that was a bit different from any I had ever seen before. It appeared that a pair of chubby fraternity brothers were yucking it up over an incoming hurricane. They were downright giddy.

“Yes, indeedy,” the first guy said with a big smile. “It sure looks like Louisiana is a-gonna get spanked. And spanked good! This looks like it might just be the best hurricane ever!”

The other guy agreed with great enthusiasm. “Yes, indeed! A once in a century event. Maybe even a once in a lifetime event and it looks like we’re going to get to see it all right here!”

Apparently, neither of them had gone for weeks without electricity in the Subtropics in late summer, where the heat index can go as high as a hundred and twenty degrees. They had probably never gone to a grocery store to find the shelves stripped bare or waited in line for hours for ice that may or may not be there when the front of the line is finally reached.

I don’t remember which station those idiots were on, but it was probably one of the big stations up north. I don’t remember seeing either one of them on TV ever again either.

We had been through many hurricanes and tropical storms over the years (Camille and Andrew immediately come to mind), but there was something particularly ominous looking about this one. It was huge, the eye was extremely tight, and it looked like we were going to be on the western side of the hurricane when it made landfall.

I went out that Saturday to fill the car up with gas and to pick up a few odds and ends that might come in handy over the coming days, though I wasn’t planning on going anywhere. I was doing this simply because the gas stations had run out of gas after previous storms.

Charcoal had been quite useful after previous storms when the electricity had gone out, so I picked up an extra twenty-pound sack. A few briquettes can heat a cast iron skillet very quickly. I’d been meaning to get one of those propane camp stoves, but whenever I could find the money and actually made the effort to go out to pick one up (usually at the start of hurricane season), the local sporting goods places were always out of them.

Ah, well. Somebody once said that you don’t go to war with the army you want. You go to war with the army you have.

Two cinder blocks and an old refrigerator shelf on a concrete patio table had done service as a stove on other occasions. I also have an old coffee can that has been converted to a hobo stove. (This is done on the outside patio, of course, because of the carbon monoxide, you know.) Two briquettes generally do the trick for the morning coffee, which I’ve brewed on numerous occasions in my very handy German mess kit. It’s aluminum and has a bail handle and a lid that doubles as a small skillet. I’ve actually cooked rice (not the minute stuff but enriched long-grain white rice) with it, and two briquettes can boil a quart of water almost instantly when the lid is on. The mess kit was a daily special from one of the big military surplus mail-order places. They practically gave it to me after I ordered a pair of boots over the phone. Maybe I’ll get one of those propane camp stoves this year.

Batteries were still plentiful at the dollar stores. Also, there were pallets of bottled water and charcoal stacked up in front of nearly every convenience store and service station, and nobody appeared to be buying any of it. There was no sense of urgency among my fellow shoppers that morning or the even next day, when I went out to pick up a couple of extra fifths of eighty-proof nerve tonic. Very few people appeared to be taking the weather warnings seriously. There had been too many misses over the last few years. (However, over the next year or so afterward, if it so much as drizzled, the store shelves would be completely stripped of bread, soft drinks, bottled water, and batteries within an hour.)

I secured the things in the yard that could potentially blow away and went about making the other usual pre-storm preparations. I cleaned out the ice chests and filled them with soft drinks and ice and filled two five-gallon jerry cans with tap water from the bathtub. We had gravity feed from a water tower, so as long as the thing didn’t blow down we would have water for awhile; the toilets would flush, and we would be able to take baths. If things started to get thin there, I had a big stainless steel cauldron we could use to boil water from a nearby creek, and of course we had bleach.

I also arranged the two cases of bottled water in the deep freeze. They would prove to be very useful, as both ice and as drinking water after the ice in the ice chests melted, if the power was out for an extended period.

Over the years we had pretty much converted all of our flashlights and portable radios to AA battery, and we had tons of batteries and candles. Last but not least, I found a couple of pairs of my olive drab, Vietnam-era 100% cotton tropical shorts. I saved them for such occasions.

I also had four seventy-two count cases of MRE entrees and a case of a hundred assorted MRE pound cakes stacked up in a dark corner of the utility room. I picked them up at a very, very good price, shortly after the Y2K thing blew over. They would come in handy in the event of things getting really thin.

I found it interesting that my neighbor in the National Guard Engineer Detachment in town hadn’t been put on alert. He was getting ready to take his family on vacation the day before the storm was scheduled to make landfall, and no silly old hurricane was about to stop him. There was still a chance that the storm would miss us, and the governor was gambling that it would because an alert would cost the state a small fortune.

The mayor of New Orleans called for a mandatory evacuation of the city on the 28th of August, and the Contraflow Plan was activated. All the lanes of I-10 and the other major highways intersecting the city would be directed out, and all the lanes of I-55 were directed north. We were approximately seventy five miles from New Orleans, and our exit was the first place where the Contraflow evacuees would be allowed to get off of the highway.

Our electricity went off shortly after dark the night before the hurricane made landfall. The little Grundig Traveler AM/FM shortwave would be our only source for news from the outside world until the lights came back on.

It was different from the other hurricanes we’d been through. There was almost no rain, and it was still a Category 3 after it made it a hundred or so miles inland. We would find out later that the winds were so strong that the rain became mist before it could hit the ground. The young pine trees in the front yard were bent completely over to where their tops touched the ground. The big oak trees took a pretty good pounding, and there was lots of potential firewood scattered around the yard.

A couple of shingles blew off the roof, but otherwise we were left relatively unscathed. The people who had ridden out the storm in the city started to pick up the broken limbs and other scattered debris.

Then the levees broke.

Several months later, I ran into an old acquaintance who had lived in the city near the 17th Street Canal. He said that after the storm passed, he went inside and started getting the stuff together to do a little outdoor grilling. While he was in his kitchen, he noticed a trickle of water coming from under the door that led to his patio. Next thing he knew, his face was pressed against the ceiling and he was treading water. He and his wife somehow managed to make it into their attic and they dug a hole in the roof with a pocketknife after the water hadn’t gone down for a couple of days. They were eventually picked up by a helicopter.

He’s still got that pocketknife and never goes anywhere without it.

The local news reports were nonexistent, as all of the local radio towers were down. Cell phones were useless, as most of their towers were down as well and the underground landlines were very shaky at best. About all we could really tell from the initial radio broadcasts coming out of Baton Rouge was that several levees had broken and a massive evacuation operation was starting to take place in the New Orleans Metro Area. They didn’t say where they were bringing the evacuees.

There were lots and lots of large military aircraft flying over at the time, mostly C-17s, C-130s, CH-53s, Blackhawks, and Chinooks. More than once, we were shaken out of bed by low-flying CH-53s and Chinooks.

It appeared that the main sources for most of the early radio broadcasts coming out of Baton Rouge were just people calling in to the stations.

Somebody said that a hundred thousand body bags had been staged outside New Orleans. Somebody else said that people were shooting at the rescue helicopters as they passed over. Some people were setting buildings on fire so they could shoot and rob any firemen who might still be around and interested. Giant rats had formed a caravan and were using the I-10 to relocate from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. Crabs from the lake were getting fat from the dead bodies floating around the city. Sharks had escaped from the aquarium and had eaten several people. (There are still a hundred and thirty-five people listed as missing.) Rock and roll legend Antoine “Fats” Domino was missing. (He was eventually found; he had been rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter.) Roadblocks had been set up on bridges to keep evacuees from New Orleans out of Gretna and other areas that were connected directly to the city.

Dangerous prisoners who were being evacuated from New Orleans had escaped. (Two of them were apprehended in an abandoned trailer near my mom’s house.) Citizens were having their firearms seized by law enforcement. Intensive care patients and the nursing home residents were being euthanized by their medical staffs and caretakers. A United States Congressman had commandeered two rescue helicopters to save the furniture from his house, while many of his constituents were trying to survive on rooftops. (The U.S. Congressman who commandeered the rescue helicopters to save his personal belongings is currently in prison, but they didn’t get him for that. He was convicted for racketeering and a bunch of other stuff.) Street gangs had taken over the city.

Nearly four hundred New Orleans Police Officers were missing and presumed lost in the flood. These police officers were eventually accounted for. A large number of them had selflessly saved their patrol vehicles for future use by driving them to Houston or Lafayette before the chaos and looting really got out of hand. Some of the officers did stay and performed as admirably as they could have under the circumstances, and there were others who have since gone to prison for various atrocities. A few of them were convicted and sent to prison in 2011 for the Henry Glover murder and the subsequent cover-up. Five others were sent to prison after the Danziger Bridge shootings. Both incidents involved law enforcement opening fire on unarmed civilians.

A brigade from the 82nd Airborne was supposed to be arriving soon to help restore order in the city. The various local and national leaders did a very good job of making sure the words “martial” and “law” were never strung together in a sentence. “Declared State of Emergency” did have a nicer ring to it.

I finally ventured out about a week after the massive evacuation operation began to see if I could find out anything in town, since the news reports we were getting from the radio were just short of useless. The four-lane highway had pretty much become an eight-lane parking lot for miles in either direction. There were hundreds, if not thousands, of dirty, ragged, and sunburned people just wandering around between the cars and looking up at the sky. A few were sitting under trees or whatever shade they could find; they all had the same glazed-over look. I had seen it before– usually in people who were way too tired and had been through way too much. It was like something out of a zombie movie, except they weren’t zombies and this wasn’t a movie.

The first thing I found out was that over the previous week, the population of our sleepy little town had grown significantly. Later, there would be estimates that our population had gone from around 4,500 to approximately 35,000.

It took nearly two hours for me to drive the four miles into town. Uniformed troops of an unknown origin were attempting to direct traffic, and I somehow wound up getting directed into a MRE distribution line that had been set up in the parking lot of a shopping center.

“How many?” a young-looking E-6 asked. He had an accent that wasn’t local.

“How many what?” I asked.

“How many you got to feed?” He sounded like he might have been from the Northeastern United States.

“Uh, six.” One of my older kids had a friend staying over during the storm.

“Got it.”

Four troops near the back of the truck threw four cases of MREs, four cases of bottled water, and two twenty-pound sacks of ice over the tailgate and tapped it twice.

“Where you guys from?” I asked as I started to drive away. I could tell from the patches they weren’t Regulars and they weren’t local Guard or Reserve.

“Pennsylvania. We’re Pennsylvania National Guard.”

They were from Pennsylvania?

Police from all over the United States were everywhere. I saw a K9 Cadaver Recovery Unit from Idaho.


Somebody must have thought we were in pretty deep poop. I don’t remember seeing any local, parish, or state law enforcement at all. It had been a week since the landfall, and they had probably been pretty busy. They were probably taking a break.

“Any news from the outside world?” I asked one of the National Guardsman who was helping direct the traffic out of the MRE distribution point.

“I don’t know. They sent us here to hand out MREs and water. How and the hell do you people live down here with these mosquitoes?”

I asked another who was halting the traffic on the highway, so the traffic going through the MRE distribution point could exit.

“I don’t know. How in the hell do you people live down here in this heat?”

That was about all I could get out of the Pennsylvania National Guard on that first trip to town. It’s not that they were unfriendly or anything. I don’t think they knew what was going on, either. Plus, they had been busy.

Most of the Louisiana National Guard was still scattered and gone. They were all at home or somewhere else when the chaos started. It would take weeks to get them mobilized at this point.

I decided to attempt to take seldom used back roads in an attempt to get home, since the Red Cross had set up a relief center in a large vacant lot across the highway from the MRE distribution point and I really didn’t want to get directed into a two-hour long line for clean clothes and toiletries that we didn’t need. I was surprised to find the old, gravel roads clogged with utility bucket trucks and military vehicles, but I still managed to make it home in under an hour.

I quickly discovered that given the traffic considerations, the shortest route into town was actually through the MRE line. I was still fairly fluent in the language of the Regular Army and the troops did eventually start to let tidbits of information slip when they got it, which was a bit sooner than the general public did, since they were also there to provide security details. I found out that the Post Office would be opening in a week and that the people who got rural delivery would be able to pick up their mail. The big Postal Processing Center in New Orleans had been flooded out, and the big Postal Processing Center in Baton Rouge was trying to pick up the slack. I also found out that they would soon announce that I was eligible for $750 worth of emergency food stamps and that the Red Cross was going to give all the families in the disaster area $1275 apiece for just having been in the disaster area when the storm hit.

I also found out that this particular Pennsylvania National Guard Battalion had just received a bunch of brand-new 5.56 NATO M249 Squad Automatic Weapons and that, even though none of the troops were ever seen carrying weapons out in the open, there were several fully armed, locked and loaded special reaction teams dispersed out of plain sight at various strategic locations around town. They were behind the Post Office, behind some buildings near the MRE line, and behind the food stamp office, just in case things started to get out of hand for whatever reason.

I figured I’d better go check on my other neighbors. I had known them since I was a little kid, and Mrs. D was a serious busybody. If there was any real news to be had, she would have it. If not, she would at least have some interesting gossip. She and her husband were retired professionals, who lived in a very nice house with an extremely well-manicured lawn. They had been without electricity for about a week. As I approached their yard, I cinched up my belt a few notches and slipped the big Colt Government Model into my back pocket, because I didn’t want to cause Mrs. D. any undue concern. I had been bringing it everywhere lately, and my shirt tail covered it when it was in my back pocket. I hid the old black flap holster and heavy web pistol belt under hedge bush near the front door. All of the doors and windows of the house appeared to be open wide.


“Back here!” came the answer.

I walked around to the back of the house to see Mrs. D. draping an enormous pair of freshly wrung boxer shorts over her chain-length fence. She had been doing her laundry with a hosepipe, a five-gallon bucket, and an old washboard that had been a decoration on her patio the week before.

“I really miss my washer and dryer, and I’m afraid this heat is killing poor Mr. D. All he does is lie on that mattress we drug out in front of the big window after the air conditioner stopped working. He never did take care of himself the way he should have.”

“He should be acclimated before too long,” I said.

A few weeks before the storm, I thought I had seen a Sasquatch or a bear or something in Mrs. D.’s yard. It turned out it was only Mr. D. He wasn’t wearing a shirt at the time.

“Oh. Did you hear? Uncle Paul’s going to open the store for a little while tomorrow. The bread man, the potato chip man, and the beer man are all supposed to make deliveries in the morning, if they can get through.”

“Whoa. What time?”

“There’re opening at ten in the morning. It looks like we’re going to have to shop by candlelight.”

After that, I made it a point to check in with Mrs. D. every couple of days or so.

Mrs. D’s uncle ran a small grocery store a few hundred yards away from where my driveway intersected with the highway. They were closed on Sundays and had been closed since before the storm made landfall that Monday morning. They would probably still be pretty well stocked. Unfortunately, I was a little short on folding money at the time.


I knew I was forgetting something during those pre-storm preparations. The banks were all closed until further notice, and ATMs did not work without electricity. Mrs. D.’s uncle was a mean old man. I knew people who wound up driving as far away as Arkansas to find ATMs during those first weeks. I did have a big jar of change I kept for emergencies. It was mostly nickels and pennies, but it was still legal tender. There were probably a few dimes in there, too.

There was already a long line outside the store when we got there, shortly before ten. Word of such events gets around fast in a disaster area.

One of Mrs. D.’s cousins was allowing people to enter in twos and threes, while two more of her cousins escorted them around the store. After we finally made it inside, we saw Uncle Paul sitting on a stool behind the liquor counter and manning an old mechanical cash register that had been little more than a decoration the week before. There were six or seven racks of fresh white bread stacked next to the counter and several more empty ones leaning against the wall behind it. Two large ice chests were lined up on the floor in front of the counter. One was labeled “DAIRY” and the other was labeled “MEAT.” Uncle Paul was wearing what looked to be an old Smith and Wesson Service Model .38 on his right hip, and he was dripping with sweat.

Lit candles were arranged between the isles at six-foot intervals, which didn’t help the sauna-like conditions inside the store at all. Shopping carts were not allowed, because of the danger of someone running over a candle. Uncle Paul grunted and nodded toward a sign that said “CASH ONLY” and then toward a stack of shopping baskets. The wife picked one up.

He didn’t appear to notice the big jar of change I was holding, and the improvised back-pocket method for carrying the big Colt piston was still working out pretty okay for the time being.

We picked up a twelve-pack of red Coca-Cola (limit of one per customer), two cans of deviled ham, a big bag of potato chips (another item limited to one per customer), a pound of butter (the only thing left in either of the ice chests, except for the ice), two loaves of bread, and what were possibly the last two packs of red Marlboros to be found in the Gulf South Region.

“Limit one loaf per customer,” Uncle Paul grunted. I put one of the loaves back.

He looked over everything, punched a few buttons on the old cash register, hit the big total button, and said, “Seventeen dollars.”

I set the big jar of change on the counter.

“What is that for?” he asked as his hand moved toward the butt of the revolver.

“It’s money. Give me a minute to count it.”

“You’re crazy if you think I’m going to fool with all that.” Uncle Paul grunted as he rested his hand on the butt of the revolver.

The wife stepped in. “It’s seventeen dollars even, right? Can I just write a check?” Uncle Paul glanced over his shoulder at the long line of people still waiting outside. He grumbled and nodded.

I don’t really think the mean old man would have shot me for attempting to pay for $17 worth of groceries with nickels and pennies. However, at the time, I wasn’t so sure.

The traffic and chaos began to slack up a little after a few weeks. Our electricity did come back on at some point during that time. Ours were among the first lights to come back on, as living down the road from a light company executive does have some advantages. There were people on the other side of town who went several more weeks without electricity. I did eventually find a working ATM at a local bank shortly after the lights came back on in town and it still had some money in it when I finally made it to the front of the long line, but there was a $40 limit on withdrawals.

Rows and rows of small, white, rectangular FEMA trailers had begun to appear in vacant lots and open fields all over the place, and every bit of useable indoor space was occupied by somebody or something. The house in front of ours that had been vacant shortly before the storm, had three families of evacuees from New Orleans sharing it afterward. Somebody even camped out one night in an abandoned barn in a nearby field. I saw their headlights and went to check it out the next morning, but all I found were tire tracks and a few empty beer cans. The brigade from the 82nd Airborne set up shop at a nearby university.

The shortages continued and things in red packaging were particularly hard to find. It was impossible to find red cans of regular Coca-Cola or red Marlboros. (There was plenty of Diet Coke though.) While no fresh meat, fresh produce, or dairy ever seemed to make it to the grocery store shelves, somehow the beer trucks always found a way to make it through, and the Pennsylvania National Guard made sure we had plenty of ice. They were very sharp and professional.

Mrs. D told me that she heard the electricity was back on in the city where the brigade from the 82nd Airborne was and that they were going to open the big Walmart. We probably should have waited a few weeks before making that trip, especially since there wasn’t anything we really needed, but we went anyway. Cabin fever and curiosity got the best of us. The traffic was still pretty rough, and it took nearly an hour to make what had been a twenty-minute trip.

Several hundred people (if not more) were milling around the parking lot. There were people looking for lost relatives. (Message boards had sprung up all over the place since the mass evacuation operation had started and there was still no cell phone service.) Families were looking to pick up a few supplies they should have picked up before the storm, and others were looking to restock their pantries after the unexpected arrival of evacuee friends and relatives from New Orleans. One family I knew had over thirty people move in with them after the storm. People were sleeping in their utility room and tool shed.

Only one of the big store’s entrances was open. I saw people waiting in a long line to pass through a metal detector as we looked for a place to park. I hated to do it, but I was going to have to leave my pocketknife and the big Colt pistol in the car. Two security guards in black BDUs and body armor wanded us after we passed through the metal detector, while two more stood off to the side. They were both holding HK submachine guns, and all of them were armed with big Glock pistols. They were all wearing tactical headsets and Terminator-style sunglasses.

“Where are you guys from?” I asked, as I passed through the metal detector.

I got no answer. He silently waved us into the store. There were no distinctive markings or name tags on their uniforms or body armor. They all had shaved heads, and they were all tall, lean, and muscular. The ripple-soled boots they were wearing probably added a couple of inches to each of them.

I remember being surprised that there were not very many people in the big store, but there wasn’t a whole lot to shop for. The shelves were mostly bare; it was “CASH ONLY”; the ATMs all had “out of service” signs on them; there were no batteries of any kind (which was okay since we still had plenty); and there wasn’t as much as a crumb of charcoal to be found (but that was okay too, since our electricity had come back on). There was no fresh meat or produce, but they did have gallons of whole milk (limit one per customer), and their bakery had been working overtime to keep the bread and doughnuts flowing. Another pair of security guards stood at each end of the bakery counter.

“Where you guys from?” I asked.

Again, there was no answer.

I glanced down to see the selector switch on his HK submachine gun was set on burst.

These were no regular security guards. They were too well equipped, too well armed, too lean and muscular, and too well disciplined. I couldn’t get a word out of them, so I had no chance of picking up an accent.

Mercenaries? Foreigners? Foreign mercenaries guarding a Walmart?

Maybe my imagination was slipping into overdrive, but things were strange all over.

As was typical, we had spent way more time waiting in line to get into the store than we actually spent in the store itself. Probably an hour in the line for the metal detector and twenty minutes to pick up a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk, and a dozen fresh doughnuts.

It may have seemed like a lot to go through for a loaf of fresh bread, a gallon of milk, and a dozen glazed doughnuts, but at the time, they were the best doughnuts in the entire world.

Many of the evacuees were having a hard time adjusting to the current situation. Our small town was in no way prepared for the traffic nightmares that came about after a sudden infusion of 30,000 new residents. Fender-benders and road-rage incidents became common occurrences. A couple of months after the storm, a little fellow in a great big pickup truck parked way too close to me in the grocery store parking lot. Instead of backing out and attempting to park again, he started slamming his door into the passenger side of my much smaller truck. He then shimmied through the partially open door and started screaming and cursing. He clenched his fists and took on a somewhat more threating posture after he stomped around to where I was still sitting in the driver’s seat. His shirtless passenger was right behind him. He was waving his arms around in the air for some reason.

I had already slipped the big Colt pistol out of the old black flap holster, but I didn’t actually cock it until he put his hands on the edge of the open window.

“Can I help you with something?” I asked.

His eyes grew large and his mouth dropped open. He made a kind of squeaky sound as he slowly removed his hands and backed away. He grabbed his passenger by the arm and led him back to the great big pickup truck. He hopped in the passenger side and slid across into the driver’s seat. His passenger got in behind him, and they quietly drove away.

I remember being worried about shooting through my rolled-down window.

It wouldn’t be the last time I cocked the big pistol during what was now being called, “The New Normal”.

Several weeks later, a large SUV came creeping down my long, ill-repaired driveway with its lights off. It was a little after 4:00 a.m. and still very dark, when three little fellows got out of the vehicle and approached my front door.

I have six treacherous little dachshunds that are capable of making quite a terrible racket when they’re disturbed, and they are very easily disturbed. They’re also extremely vicious and have very large teeth, for being such small dogs. We can no longer have visitors, as they tend to bite people– even people they know. Last time my son visited, he wound up trying to get out of the door with one clamped tightly on his rear end. One of them bit my older daughter (also in the same area) the last time she visited, and they raised them as puppies. I have no doubt they wouldn’t leave a scrap of meat on the bones of a stranger.

Anyway, the dachsies made such a terrible racket that I had no trouble at all slipping out the back door unnoticed with the big Colt pistol. I was standing no more than ten feet away and noticed that one of the little fellows appeared to be holding a pry-bar or something. They appeared puzzled as they looked through the window of the front door while the dachsies continued to bark, shriek, and howl. They were making such a racket that I couldn’t hear a thing those little fellows were saying, nor could they hear me cocking the pistol.

Fortunately, they got back in their vehicle and left without further incident. It probably wouldn’t have looked too good if I’d shot them in the back while they were attempting to break in my front door. Of course, they may have just been looking for directions or something.

We had Thanksgiving without a turkey that year. My sister did find a turkey in Baton Rouge for Christmas, but she has connections. We also had a hard time finding Easter candy that spring.

Most of the evacuees eventually started going home to start rebuilding. A few stayed in the area, and some went somewhere else to start over. We actually ran into a few while passing through Northern Georgia the next summer.

For a very long time afterward, the name “Katrina” wasn’t spoken out loud by the locals. It was a weird, almost tribal, kinda thing. It was as if we said the boogeyman’s name, he would come back and get us. When we relate incidents, we say “before the hurricane” or “after the hurricane”.

It’s been nearly ten years, and there are still reminders everywhere. Just the other day I saw a herd of dairy cows around in a pasture between long rows of utility hookups that once serviced a couple of hundred FEMA trailers. We still have the ridiculously over-sized traffic signs that came into vogue after many, many traffic accidents occurred at a couple of intersections that were either beyond the patience or the comprehension of the evacuees. Also, my pine trees are still crooked.


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.



Via : survivalblog

Homeland Report Warns Solar Storm Could Leave 100 Million Without Power: “We Are Running Out of Time to Prepare”

Homeland Security officials are warning that a major coronal mass ejection, solar flare or electromagnetic pulse may be inevitable and catastrophic to modern civilization. The devastation to the electric grid and modern infrastructure could impact the lives of more than 100 million, and cause untold casualties during prolonged outages.

Homeland Security conducted a study assessing the risks with these extreme solar events (as well as manmade EMPs).

Via Free Beacon

DHS’ Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) stated in an internal 2012 fact sheet outlining its response plan for severe “space weather” that the actual impact and damage from a future solar storm is not known.


The report outlines the scenario for a major “coronal mass ejection” from the Sun that will first be detected by U.S. satellites. The magnetic band reaches the earth within 24 to 72 hours, affecting up to 100 million people.

The largest such storms, called G-5s, would cause transformers and transmission lines to be “severely damaged.”

The storms last from hours to a day but can disrupt electric power grid operations, GPS satellites, aircraft operations, manned space flight, satellite operations, natural gas distribution pipelines, and undersea communications cables.

Though acknowledging they lack sufficient information about what exactly might happen, it is clear enough what kind of damage and disruption of service it might pose for the infrastructure that everyone depends upon.

Major solar events happened in 1859 with the Carrington Event and in 1921 with huge magnetic storm. The federal government and the utility companies both admit that another event of this magnitude would take down the existing power grid and could affect some 100 million people, likely damaging many other services as well.

Former CIA official Peter Pry warned that a large solar flare “could have catastrophic consequences for civilization.”

“We are running out of time to prepare,” Pry said, noting that NASA reported in July that Earth narrowly missed a second Carrington Event.

While the grid might be repaired within in hours and days for most, as many as 10 million could face prolonged life without electricity. It could be literally months – and possibly even years – before the power is restored.

Are you even remotely prepared for that kind of event? The government is admittedly NOT prepared and has no way to feasibly take care of that many people during a mass disruption event:

“How would the government deal with 10 million, or many more, Americans without power for two months, or even longer?”


“An analysis of the space weather impacts indicates that the greatest challenge will be to provide life-saving and life-sustaining resources for large numbers of people that experience long-term power outage from damage to the U.S. electrical grid,” the FEMA document, dated March 1, 2012, states.

The FEMA fact sheet noted the findings of a 2010 study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the agency that monitors sun storms, warning that an extreme solar storm could leave “130 million people without power for years,” and destroy or damage more than 300 hard-to-replace electrical grid transformers.

Even more worryingly is the government secrecy and failure to adequately prepare the public for an event that could happen at any time, and is considered ‘overdue.’

The report was released only after Mark Sauter, a security adviser and published author on Homeland Security, filed a FOIA request:

Sauter said FEMA’s more-than-200-page response plan for dealing with a solar storm was blacked out from the released documents.

“This makes one wonder why FEMA is refusing to release the government’s space weather response plan,” he said.

Sauter questioned whether the government is taking the threat of a major solar storm seriously, or is “just going through an obligatory bureaucratic exercise that in reality reflects DHS/FEMA crossing its fingers and hoping that such a plan will never need to be used.

Though it should be strongly noted, it should come as no surprise that the federal government cannot and will not be able to take care of everyone during a massive power outage, and especially not during an extended breakdown of society, services and infrastructure.

Many preppers have been hedging for this cataclysm for some time, and have known that extreme solar events pose a significant threat that, again, may prove to be a question of when not if.

Daisy Luther outlines several important areas to consider when preparing to survive potentially prolonged power outages and disruptions to services. Going off-grid requires significant planning, investment and a reorientation of mindset – but it can be done.

Have you planned for:

Off-grid Water

If you haven’t located water sources near your home,  it’s time to break out the topographical maps of your area and find them!  A low-tech water plan might include some or all of the following:

  • A manual pump for your well
  • Buckets and wheelbarrows for hauling water from a nearby source
  • Rain barrels for water harvesting (THIS is an inexpensive option with mixed reviews)
  • A gravity-fed water filtration system (we have THIS ONE)
  • A water dispenser for convenient access to filtered water (Be sure to get one with the bottle on top so that it can be operated without electricity, and not one that uses an electric pump to pull the water up from the bottom)
  • Storage units for water such as cisterns or tanks
  • Portable water filter bottles for safe water when you are away from home (we have THIS ONE)

Off-grid Shelter and Warmth

Homes these days aren’t built to function without a connection to the power grid.  If you aren’t fortunate enough to live in an older home that was designed for off-grid living, look at some ways to take your home back a century or so. A secondary heating system is vital in most climates.

  • An antique oil heater can use lots of different oils and requires little effort for installation (THIS SITE is loaded with information about Perfection oil heaters)
  • Have a woodstove installed
  • Clean your chimney and get your fireplace working
  • Set up an outdoor fireplace with large rocks to bring inside for radiant heat (this won’t get you super warm but it’s better than nothing)
  • Have a good supply of blankets, warm clothes, and cold-rated sleeping bags
  • Learn techniques to stay warm with less heat

Off-grid Food

Not only do you need access to food, but you also need a way to cook it and a way to keep your refrigerated and frozen items from spoiling.

Off-grid Sanitation and Hygiene

How will you keep clean and deal with human waste in the event of a long-term emergency?

Off-grid Lighting

The world is a scary place when it’s dark, and most of us have forgotten how dark TRUE dark really is, due to light pollution and the proximity of neighbors. Here are some lighting solutions for an off grid world:

  • Solar garden lights – store them outside to be charged during the day and bring them in and put them in vases where they’re needed at night
  • Oil lamps – you can recycle used cooking oil or use rendered fat to power these – they give a brighter light and can be used for reading and close-work (Learn more HERE)
  • Candles – stock them and learn to make them
  • Solar powered flashlights

Renewable power is practical power.

One exception to my no-generators rule is renewable power. If you can afford a solar set up for your home, then very little would change about your day-to-day life, aside from you being one of the few people with power.  You don’t have to go totally solar to have power for a few important items.  Assuming you have electronics in working order, they can be powered with solar, wind, or water.

Most of us can’t afford an entire set up but these are some options to consider:

  • Build a DIY portable solar recharging station – learn how to make it HERE
  • Solar-powered systems for specific items – learn more HERE
  • Use wind power – learn more HERE
  • Use water power – learn more HERE

Recommended Resources:

The Prepper’s Blueprint: Prepare Yourself For Any Disaster

52 Weeks to Preparedness (Free Online Web Series)


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.



Via : shtfplan

Storm Shows Americans Are Totally Unprepared: “I have no food, I have no cash, so I’m trying to forage for something”

(Pictured:The aftermath of 2014 California storm)

As the biggest storm in five years took aim at California this week cities across the state distributed sandbags, cancelled school and warned residents to prepare for power outages. And though the storm didn’t really live up to the media hype, some people did take the warnings to heart and made last minute trips to the grocery store to stock up on foodstuffs and other supplies just so they wouldn’t have to go out in the rain.

But not everyone was prepared. One San Francisco resident in particular highlights just how susceptible America is to disasters and what to expect in the event of a widespread emergency.

“I thought we were going to watch tv all day, but now the power’s out,” Beth Ludwig said. Her mom added that the kids had never experienced a power outage before.

Georgia Virgili was one of the hundreds of thousands in the Bay Area who lost most of the conveniences of modern life.

“I didn’t have power,” Virgili said. “I couldn’t get my car out of the garage, I have no food, I have no cash, so I’m trying to forage for something.” (CBS)

The storm that swept California over the last 48 hours wasn’t really that severe. Moreover, the public had nearly three days of advanced warning that it was coming. Yet, even this was apparently not enough to convince people to make even the most basic of preparations.

Mr. Virgili was totally unprepared, as are about 99% of Americans based on recent preparedness surveys conducted by The Discovery Channel.

 As many as three million Americans now fall into the category dubbed ‘preppers’ – people who are making detailed plans for the end of the world as we know it.

The preppers are an ever-growing group of survivalists who take extreme measures to prepare for a major catastrophic event.

Given the various threats faced by humanity, including scenarios like an economic collapse. a rogue attack targeting our power grid or massive natural disasters, one can only imagine what it will look like should the system as a whole experience a sustained large-scale disaster.

To give you an idea, here are a couple of pictures taken in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Within 72 hours the system began to break down as transportation systems in large metro areas came to a standstill. The only supplies available were being distributed by the National Guard and availability was so thin that FEMA had to place emergency orders for more food. There was no clean water, no gas, and grocery stores had been cleaned out to the point that people resorted to digging through the trash just to find a meal:

Luckily, the emergency was similar to what we saw in California, so it didn’t come as a surprise to government officials, who had already mobilized the National Guard with distribution areas for Meals Ready To Eat and filtered water:

Time and again we see the same story play out during disasters. During winter storms grocery store shelves have been cleaned out. After the Haitian earthquake tens of thousands were left without medical aid and armed gangs looted and killed anything they could. And who could forget Hurricane Katrina, where the government failed so miserably with their emergency response that it took them three days just to get clean water to those stuck in the Super Dome.

Now consider what would happen if something like this went on for days or weeks. What about months?

A recently released Congressional report suggests that a worst-case scenario grid down power outage lasting one year would leave 9 out of 10 Americans dead. This is an extreme example, of course, but certainly a plausible one and it emphasizes just how serious and horrific it will be for those who are not prepared.

That nearly 99% of Americans have made absolutely no plans to insulate themselves from disasters and emergencies is shocking, but to be expected. Most people are under the impression that all of those billions of dollars being spent by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are for supplies that will be distributed to the general population should disaster strike. The government will help, but their capacity in an extreme emergency will be very limited. Former Secretary of DHS Janet Napolitano has warned that their response teams will likely be overwhelmed and she has recommended that people have at least a two week supply of food and water. But that warning has fallen on deaf ears, as evidenced by the “tragic” stories we hear in the aftermath of disasters on a regular basis.

America as a whole is not prepared.

If the worst happens we can fully expect a complete breakdown of our civilized society within 72 hours. What’s astonishing is that much of what is to come could be prevented if every individual took responsibility for themselves and put together a basic preparedness plan that included some emergency provisions like a 30 day food supply, water reserves, medical supplies and a personal defense plan.


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.




Via : shtfplan

Congress Passes Bill Giving Police Unlimited Access To Citizens’ Private Communications

This article was written by Jay Syrmopoulos and originally published at The Free Thought Project

In a sneak attack on the civil liberties of all Americans, the Intelligence Authorization Act for 2015 was rushed to the House floor with virtually no debate.

The legislation was scheduled for only a “voice vote,” which means that it is simply declared “passed” with voice votes and no record.

This is considered the simplest and quickest voting method, not what one would expect from such an important piece of legislation. For most pieces of major legislation, a roll call vote would be the standard operating procedure.

Thankfully, Representative Justin Amash, when catching wind of what was transpiring, went to the House floor to demand a roll call vote so that everyone would have to have their vote recorded.

The fact that this important piece of legislation was handled in this way indicates that this was done intentionally to sneak it past the public eye. It becomes even more suspicious when you realize that it was done concurrently with the CIA torture report being released and the Gruber hearing.

It seems clear there was an effort made to slip the vote by without having to answer to the American people, as Congress is well aware that Americans do not want to be spied upon by their government after the revelations by Edward Snowden.

Congressman Justin Amash stated that when he learned this bill was “being rushed to the floor for a vote… I asked my legislative staff to quickly review the bill for unusual language.”

What he says next should raise red flags for every American citizen.

He claims what his staff discovered was:

“One of the most egregious sections of law I’ve encountered during my time as a representative: It grants the executive branch virtually unlimited access to the communications of every American.”

The bill in question is H.R. 4681.

Rep. Amash wrote a last minute letter to all of his colleagues in Congress to implore them to vote “NO” on H.R. 4681.

Here is the text of that letter:

Dear Colleague:

The intelligence reauthorization bill, which the House will vote on today, contains a troubling new provision that for the first time statutorily authorizes spying on U.S. citizens without legal process.

Last night, the Senate passed an amended version of the intelligence reauthorization bill with a new Sec. 309—one the House never has considered. Sec. 309 authorizes “the acquisition, retention, and dissemination” of nonpublic communications, including those to and from U.S. persons. The section contemplates that those private communications of Americans, obtained without a court order, may be transferred to domestic law enforcement for criminal investigations.

To be clear, Sec. 309 provides the first statutory authority for the acquisition, retention, and dissemination of U.S. persons’ private communications obtained without legal process such as a court order or a subpoena. The administration currently may conduct such surveillance under a claim of executive authority, such as E.O. 12333. However, Congress never has approved of using executive authority in that way to capture and use Americans’ private telephone records, electronic communications, or cloud data.

Supporters of Sec. 309 claim that the provision actually reins in the executive branch’s power to retain Americans’ private communications. It is true that Sec. 309 includes exceedingly weak limits on the executive’s retention of Americans’ communications. With many exceptions, the provision requires the executive to dispose of Americans’ communications within five years of acquiring them—although, as HPSCI admits, the executive branch already follows procedures along these lines.

In exchange for the data retention requirements that the executive already follows, Sec. 309 provides a novel statutory basis for the executive branch’s capture and use of Americans’ private communications. The Senate inserted the provision into the intelligence reauthorization bill late last night. That is no way for Congress to address the sensitive, private information of our constituents—especially when we are asked to expand our government’s surveillance powers.

I urge you to join me in voting “no” on H.R. 4681, the intelligence reauthorization bill, when it comes before the House today.

Justin Amash
Member of Congress

This bill will allow information gained from domestic spying by the feds, in the name of “terrorism,” to be transferred to local law enforcement for criminal investigations without any type of court order, subpoena or warrant.

This is one of the most drastic changes in U.S. law in our lifetimes and has the potential to turn the U.S. into a true police state.

When the feds take what is claimed to be a means of fighting “terrorism” and use it as means of forwarding criminal prosecutions against American citizens, without any court order or warrant, we are on the brink of total tyranny.

We urge everyone to call their Representative and let them know that you do not support H.R. 4681… tell them NO new domestic spying powers!!

Please help get the word out and share this information with your fellow Americans!

Find Your Representative Using the Search Function Below

Not sure of your congressional district or who your member is? This service will assist you by matching your ZIP code to your congressional district, with links to your member’s website and contact page.


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.



Via : thesurvivalistblog