Category Archive: Everyday Carry

DHS issues new National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin

DHS issues new National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin warning of heightened threat of domestic attacks.

 

Supplemental Info:

 

National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin – May 14, 2021

 

Summary of Terrorism Threat to the U.S. Homeland

 

The Secretary of Homeland Security has issued a new National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin regarding the current heightened threat environment across the United States. The Homeland is facing threats that have evolved significantly and become increasingly complex and volatile in 2021. These threats include those posed by domestic terrorists, individuals and groups engaged in grievance-based violence, and those inspired or influenced by foreign terrorists and other malign foreign influences. Social media and online forums are increasingly exploited by these actors to influence and spread violent extremist narratives and activity. Such threats also are exacerbated by the impacts from the ongoing global pandemic.


Duration

 

Issued: May 14, 2021 02:00 pm
Expires: August 13, 2021 02:00 pm

 

Additional Details

  • Violent extremists may seek to exploit the easing of COVID-19-related restrictions across the United States to conduct attacks against a broader range of targets after previous public capacity limits reduced opportunities for lethal attacks.
  • Historically, mass-casualty Domestic Violent Extremist (DVE) attacks linked to racially- or ethnically-motivated violent extremists (RMVEs) have targeted houses of worship and crowded commercial facilities or gatherings. Some RMVEs advocate via social media and online platforms for a race war and have stated that civil disorder provides opportunities to engage in violence in furtherance of ideological objectives.
  • Through 2020 and into 2021, government facilities and personnel have been common targets of DVEs, and opportunistic violent criminals are likely to exploit Constitutionally-protected freedom of speech activity linked to racial justice grievances and police use of force concerns, potentially targeting protestors perceived to be ideological opponents.
  • Ideologically-motivated violent extremists fueled by perceived grievances, false narratives, and conspiracy theories continue to share information online with the intent to incite violence. Online narratives across sites known to be frequented by individuals who hold violent extremist ideologies have called for violence against elected officials, political representatives, government facilities, law enforcement, religious or commercial facilities, and perceived ideologically-opposed individuals.
  • The use of encrypted messaging by lone offenders and small violent extremist cells may obscure operational indicators that provide specific warning of a pending act of violence.
  • Messaging from foreign terrorist organizations, including al-Qa‘ida and ISIS, intended to inspire U.S.-based homegrown violent extremists (HVEs) continues to amplify narratives related to exploiting protests. HVEs, who have typically conducted attacks against soft targets, mass gatherings, and law enforcement, remain a threat to the Homeland.
  • Nation-state adversaries have increased efforts to sow discord. For example, Russian, Chinese and Iranian government-linked media outlets have repeatedly amplified conspiracy theories concerning the origins of COVID-19 and effectiveness of vaccines; in some cases, amplifying calls for violence targeting persons of Asian descent.
  • DHS encourages law enforcement and homeland security partners to be alert to these developments and prepared for any effects to public safety. Consistent with applicable law, state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) law enforcement organizations should maintain situational awareness of online and physical activities that may be related to an evolving threat of violence.

How We Are Responding

  • DHS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) continue to provide guidance to SLTT partners about the current threat environment. Specifically, DHS has issued numerous intelligence assessments to SLTT officials on the evolving threat.
  • DHS is collaborating with industry partners to identify and respond to those individuals encouraging violence and attempting to radicalize others through spreading disinformation, conspiracy theories, and false narratives on social media and other online platforms.
  • DHS has prioritized combatting DVE threats within its FEMA grants as a National Priority Area.
  • DHS remains committed to identifying and preventing domestic terrorism.

How You Can Help

  • DHS asks the public to report suspicious activity and threats of violence, including online threats, to local law enforcement, FBI Field Offices, or a local Fusion Center.
  • If you know someone who is struggling with mental health issues, or may be a danger to themself or others, support is available.

Be Prepared and Stay Informed

  • Be prepared for any emergency situations and remain aware of circumstances that may place your personal safety at risk.
  • Maintain digital media literacy to recognize and build resilience to false and harmful narratives.
  • Make note of your surroundings and the nearest security personnel.
  • Business owners should consider the safety and security of customers, employees, facilities, infrastructure, and cyber networks.
  • Government agencies will provide details about emerging threats as information is identified. The public is encouraged to listen to local authorities and public safety officials.

View Original:

https://www.dhs.gov/ntas/advisory/national-terrorism-advisory-system-bulletin-may-14-2021

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

Via: threatjournal


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Emergency Communications: Handheld Radios

IN AN ERA OF OVERRELIANCE ON CELL PHONES, KNOWING HOW TO USE A HANDHELD RADIO MIGHT SAVE YOUR LIFE

What’s the key factor that has made humans the dominant species on Earth? Many would say it all comes down to our ability to use tools, dating back to the first time our cave-dwelling ancestors crafted a blade or smacked two rocks together to spark a fire. But that claim overlooks a much greater advantage: our ability to work together through sophisticated methods of communication. Enter the world of handheld radios.

As the English poet John Donne put it, “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” We have succeeded through collaborating to build societies, and none of that would be possible if we hadn’t developed spoken and written methods to communicate with each other. Although television shows and movies often portray the quintessential survivalist as a grizzled lone wolf, totally independent of the crumbling ruins of humanity, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Alone, we’re vulnerable; together, we can support one another.

It’s critical to have a plan for emergency communication if something goes wrong, especially for those of us who venture out into the wilderness and distance ourselves from society. We’ve all heard the stories of lost hikers who wandered off-course or got injured in a remote location, nearly dying because they were unable to call for help. The irony behind these stories is that long-range communication these days is easier than ever before — our ancestors would be astonished by the capabilities of the cell phones we carry in our pockets. However, those same cell phones can lull us into a false sense of security. If your phone’s battery dies, its screen is smashed, it’s out of range of the nearest cell tower, or a widespread disaster has disabled or overloaded local infrastructure, is your only backup plan to start sending smoke signals?

Thankfully, there’s an inexpensive, reliable, and highly capable alternative to cell phones. Despite claims to the contrary, handheld radios are anything but obsolete, and while there’s certainly a learning curve involved, they’re not as difficult to use as you might think. In order to get up to speed on how to effectively use a radio in a survival setting, we signed up for an Intro to Emergency Radio Communication course hosted by Independence Training in Arizona. Guest instructor Ted Harden covered a huge range of topics, from the absolute basics of selecting a radio and making a distress call to more advanced techniques. Read on for an overview of some of the lessons we learned at this class.

BEFORE YOU GET STARTED

We’ll begin with an important disclaimer — it’s essential to understand your radio’s capabilities as well as local and federal laws before you begin transmitting.

Harden made it extremely clear that it’s easy to inadvertently break the law with many common handheld radios (HTs), such as the Baofeng UV-5R used by most of the students in his classes. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has imposed fines of $25,000 or more on individuals who got caught breaking the rules, and serious offenses can even lead to jail time. Admittedly, the likelihood of getting caught by the FCC for a one-time infraction is minimal, since their investigators are primarily looking for corporations and “pirate” radio stations who illegally broadcast high-power signals on a daily basis. Improper use of your radio may also lead to contact from local law enforcement agencies — Harden says the Department of Fish and Game might monitor the airwaves to track down poachers, especially outside hunting season.

image

Above: Many handhelds come with a short “duck” antenna, like the one seen here. For an easy upgrade, replace it with a longer whip antenna.

Aside from the financial and legal ramifications, misusing your radio can interfere with important emergency services. In April 2017, an unauthorized radio signal triggered the tornado warning network in Dallas, Texas, causing sirens throughout the suburbs to blare for 95 minutes until workers cut power to the system. On a smaller scale, broadcasting on the wrong frequency can interrupt communications between EMS, fire, and police agencies who may be responding to urgent calls.

If you’re in a true life-and-death emergency, these rules can be bent or broken. In any other case, it’s wise to exercise caution and read up on the laws in your area before you buy or use a radio.

UNDERSTANDING THE BANDS

The class began by discussing common bands, or segments of the radio frequency spectrum, as well as the radio categories within those bands. There are three bands you should be aware of: HF, VHF, and UHF. See the sidebar for definitions of these and other key terms.

HF is primarily useful for intercontinental communications, since it can bounce off the ionosphere to cross extremely long distances. This so-called skywave communication can be inconsistent due to changes in atmospheric conditions and is less useful for emergencies, since someone on another continent probably won’t be able to come to your aid.

VHF and UHF are our primary areas of operation, and each has its advantages. VHF’s longer wavelength is better at pushing through brush and trees in outdoor areas; UHF’s shorter wavelength is better at bouncing off buildings and other metallic obstructions in urban areas.

Traditional walkie-talkies feature fixed antennas and low power, so they’re not ideal for long-range communication.

There are several important subcategories within VHF and UHF:

Family Radio Service (FRS): If you’ve ever used the walkie-talkies sold in blister packs at retail stores, you’ve probably used this service. FRS radios require no license but are limited to 2 watts of output power and can’t use a detachable antenna, so you’ll rarely see range beyond a mile.

Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS): Like FRS, this service doesn’t require a license. It’s slightly better due to the ability to use external antennas, but the FCC’s guidelines for MURS prohibit the use of repeaters to extend range.

General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS): This service is one step better for emergency communication purposes, since it can be used with repeaters. It requires a $70 license, but there’s no test required, the license lasts for 10 years, and it automatically applies to all members of your immediate family. However, power restrictions limit its range in comparison to ham radio.

Ham/Amateur Radio: Ham radio offers the most versatile capabilities and the most robust community of operators to communicate with. However, in order to legally use a ham radio, you’ll need to pass a test and get a license. There are three license categories: Technician, General, and Extra. The first is the most practical for general emergency preparedness; the associated 35-question multiple-choice test costs about $15 and can be passed easily after studying for about a week. The other two categories offer increasing levels of access to HF for intercontinental communication.

When you take a ham radio license test, you can find out immediately if you passed or failed. If you failed the test by only a few questions, you can often retake a slightly different version of it on the same day (you’ll need to get approval from the Volunteer Examiner who is proctoring the test and pay the fee again). After passing the test and waiting a week or two for processing, you’ll be assigned a six-character call sign. At that point, you’re cleared to begin transmitting.

Important Note: To become a licensed ham radio operator, you must submit your full name and mailing address to the FCC, and this information is entered into a public online database. If someone knows your call sign, they can easily look you up. It’s possible to use a P.O. box on your license to maintain some privacy, but keep in mind that this is an additional cost to consider.

Above: A mobile radio in your vehicle can offer substantially more power than a handheld. Pair this with a tall, roof-mounted antenna to maximize range.

RANGE, ELEVATION, AND POWER

Both VHF and UHF radios require line of sight between your antenna and the recipient’s antenna. This means that if you’re holding a handheld radio (HT) with its antenna at head level and your friend is doing the same, assuming perfectly flat ground with no obstructions, your maximum range will be limited to roughly three miles due to the curvature of the Earth. Go to hamuniverse.com/lineofsightcalculator.html for more examples and a range calculator. In the real world, you might see a maximum of one to two miles between two HTs on a good day.

If you’re thinking that a mile or two probably isn’t enough range to call for rescue, you’re absolutely right. The first way to extend that range is to get more elevation by physically moving to the top of a nearby hill or building and/or using a taller antenna. Most handheld radios come with a standard “rubber duck” antenna that’s only a few inches long. This can be replaced with a flexible whip antenna for a slight improvement. For a larger improvement, a roll-up backpacking antenna can be connected to your handheld via a length of coaxial cable and hung from a tree or other tall object. This can provide a maximum range of 20 miles or more. Magnetic antennas mount to the roof of a vehicle or other flat metal surface, using it as a ground plane to extend range even further. Directional “Yagi” antennas are another worthwhile option, but are less portable and must be aimed carefully. But above all, height is critical.

The second way to improve range is to use a radio that offers higher power output, measured in watts. Most handhelds are 5W or 8W, and Harden says the difference in that range is usually negligible in the real world — antenna quality and elevation are much more important for HTs. Power really comes into play when you can use a larger mobile or base station radio that’s able to push 50W, 100W, or even more. That kind of power isn’t an option for handhelds, since it can cause RF burns on the skin on your hand (said to feel like something between a bee sting and a bad sunburn). After all, radio waves are a form of radiation.

GEAR CHECKLIST

Once you have a good understanding of the technical and legal aspects of radio communication, it’s time to pick up some hardware. Thankfully, there’s a thriving market for ham radios, and you can easily get an HT with the bare essentials for under $100. Many “starter kits” are available online, but be cautious, since some of these kits include low-quality accessories or items you won’t need.

Handheld radio(s): Harden says that the Baofeng UV-5R (approx. $25) and other derivatives such as the BF-F8HP (approx. $40) are by far the most common HT choices for starters. Keep in mind that out of the box, these radios are able to illegally transmit on many frequencies they’re not certified for. They should only be used for monitoring (listening to nearby transmissions) or transmitting on approved ham bands with the appropriate license. Get a few extra HTs for your friends or family members, if possible.

Upgraded antenna: The standard short antenna that comes with most inexpensive radios is a serious Achilles’ heel. Upgrade options include an extended whip (Harden recommends the Diamond brand), a magnet-mount for the roof of your car, or a roll-up backpacking antenna (Harden recommends the $25 Dual Band Slim Jim antenna available at n9taxlabs.com). You might even want all of the above.

Coaxial cable and adapters: Aside from a whip, connecting to an external antenna will require some coaxial cable. Don’t use the cheap, stiff-type made for TVs. Flexible RG-8 or RG-58 is ideal, but only use as much as you need since excess cable can diminish signal strength. You should also pick up some SMA to UHF connection adapters, or buy a pre-terminated cable with those connectors built-in (n9taxlabs.com offers those, too).

Programming cable: This allows your radio to connect to your computer via USB. Look for one that has “genuine FTDI” in the name, since those are truly plug-and-play. There are many knockoffs on the market that cause driver headaches with some PCs.

Programming software: Good news: You don’t have to pay for this. CHIRP is an excellent open-source piece of software, and it’s free to download for PC, Mac, or Linux at chirp.danplanet.com. It can be used to quickly find important frequencies, program them onto your radio, and duplicate that programming onto other radios you own (this is highly recommended).

Extended battery: Many options are available, including rechargeable packs or units that accept AA alkaline batteries. If you buy a rechargeable pack, get a USB charging cable so you can easily hook it up to a portable power bank, solar panel, or car charger. Never transmit while you’re charging, as it may damage the radio.

Hand mic: This microphone/speaker combo clips onto your shirt, backpack strap, or plate carrier, and allows you to listen and transmit while you’re on the move. Look for one with a 3.5mm output port, so you can connect it to an earbud for privacy or active ear protection for shooting.

Radio pouch: Don’t trust the included belt clip to secure your radio. A purpose-built MOLLE-compatible pouch will protect it and offer easy access when you need it.

Stand-alone scanner (optional): Although most handheld radios can scan for nearby transmissions, a dedicated scanner will be far more efficient at this task. Many law enforcement and government agencies have transitioned away from analog comms, so a digital scanner will have the added advantage of being able to monitor these frequencies, as long as they’re not encrypted.

Your radio might have a belt clip, but carrying it exposed can cause it to get lost or damaged. Instead, protect it inside a MOLLE-compatible pouch.

PREPPING YOUR RADIO

Your ham radio can be used two ways: radio-to-radio (simplex) or radio-to-repeater (duplex). The former offers easy, direct communication within a typical range of a few miles. The latter uses a high-power repeater to extend your range by tens or hundreds of miles, and is therefore much more useful for emergencies. Some repeaters are even linked together to bounce your signal across counties or states, and many are supported by generators or other emergency-ready backup power options.

Out of the box, your radio probably won’t be programmed with any useful frequencies. You can always use the scan function to check for nearby transmissions, but that should be your last resort. Ideally, you’ll want to plan ahead and add the ham repeaters in your area to the radio’s memory, either by entering them manually on its keypad (tedious) or by programming them via USB cable and CHIRP (fast and easy). To find repeaters in your area, check RepeaterBook.com or RadioReference.com, or search online for “[your state/city] repeater directory.”

In addition to ham repeaters, Harden recommends programming your radio with NOAA weather advisory frequencies (see weather.gov/nwr/maps) as well as the 22 standard FRS, GMRS, and MURS frequencies. If you’re near the coast, you may also want to program in the marine VHF frequencies, which are used by watercraft. Lastly, you can look up any local police, fire, or EMS frequencies, since listening to these may provide useful information during a disaster. Note that your radio may not be authorized to transmit on any of the frequencies in this paragraph, and you certainly shouldn’t transmit on government frequencies, but it’s perfectly legal to listen and gather information.

A hand mic makes it easier to communicate on the move and to keep your radio safe inside a pouch or pack.

BEGIN TRANSMISSION

to cut someone off. Key up (press the transmit button) for a few seconds before you begin speaking, and try to keep messages under a minute whenever possible. You’re always required to identify yourself by your call sign before speaking. To get started, you might say “[call sign] is monitoring” to indicate you’re listening, or say “this is [call sign], can I please get a signal report?” to ask someone to report back if they can hear you clearly.

In an emergency, these niceties will get pushed aside for obvious reasons. You should say “break” if you’re interrupting an ongoing conversation, quickly identify yourself, and then state “this is an emergency” and ask for someone who can help. Once someone responds and is ready to take down your information, provide the relevant details for that person to pass along to rescue personnel. Students in the class were trained to call in emergency information as concisely as possible using a civilian-oriented version of the standard military nine-line MEDEVAC format:

1. Location of pickup site (include decimal GPS coordinates, if possible)
2. Radio frequency and call sign
3. Number of patients by precedence/injury severity
4. Special equipment required (e.g. a stretcher)
5. Number of patients by type (e.g. ambulatory or non-ambulatory)
6. Number and type of wound, injury, or illness
7. Method of marking pickup site
8. Patient description (e.g. teenage girl wearing a bright blue jacket)
9. Terrain description, including key landmarks

End this emergency transmission with a “how copy?” to ask for confirmation or clarification. If at all possible, have a notepad and pen ready to write down important info such as times, frequencies, and call signs. These details will help you get in touch with the same person again in the future, if necessary.

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An extended battery pack is a wise purchase for any handheld radio, especially one you plan to use in emergencies. If possible, select one with an onboard port for a USB or car charger, as well as contacts for use with a charging cradle.

ADVANCED CAPABILITIES

Some ham radio repeaters offer capabilities that can greatly expand your emergency comms capabilities. We’ll briefly address a few of these below.

Autopatch
You can make local phone calls from your handheld radio through an autopatch-enabled repeater, as long as you know the passcode. To start a call, key up, say “this is [call sign] requesting autopatch,” and listen for any objections. Then, key up again and dial the activation code, the 10-digit phone number, and finally the star key (*) before unkeying. If it works, you’ll hear a message saying “autopatch enabled” and the call will begin. After the call, say your call sign again and enter the disconnect code followed by *.

Unfortunately, autopatch has some drawbacks. You’ll need to know that the repeater you’re connecting to is autopatch-enabled, and you’ll need the passcode, which is often only given out to radio club members (that rule may be waived in an emergency). Your call is also limited to 3 minutes, broadcasted to anyone listening on the repeater, and testing has revealed that many phone service providers will send autopatch calls straight to voicemail. Still, if you’re trying to directly contact someone who doesn’t have a radio, this may be your best bet. It can also be used to call 9-1-1 if no one else is active on the repeater.

IRLP/Echolink
The Internet Radio Linking Project (IRLP) is a service that transmits radio calls over the internet from one node to another, much like Skype or any other VoIP service. This is a great way to reach other radio operators who live in a different state or country, far beyond the reach of your local repeater network. See
IRLP.net for details and list of nodes in your area.

EchoLink is a functionally similar service, but it comes with the added bonus of stand-alone functionality on PCs and smartphones. That means that even if you don’t have a radio, you can download the app and use it to communicate with those who do.

Remember that unlike typical ham radio repeaters, both of these services are dependent on the internet, so they’re likely to go offline if a major disaster wipes out infrastructure.

AMSAT
Did you know you can directly make a call to outer space from a ham radio? It’s true. In fact, the International Space Station will send you a certificate if you call its onboard repeater. Refer to
ariss.org/contact-the-iss.html for details.

Before you dismiss this as useless trivia, you should learn about the Amateur Radio Satellite Organization, also known as AMSAT. These low-orbit amateur satellites act as radio repeaters, and they can be reached using a ham radio and directional antenna. In 2017, a father and son successfully used it to call for rescue when they got stuck in Big Bend National Park, outside the range of cell towers or terrestrial repeaters. An audio recording of this call is available on AMSAT.org.

The catch to AMSAT is that you need a smartphone or computer app to determine the exact orbital path and timing of these satellites, which will provide a narrow window of 15 minutes or less to transmit as one passes overhead. You also need to hope that your transmission is heard by someone else who’s willing to help.

image

The Baofeng UV-5R was used by most students in the class. This $25 made-in-China HT is far from the best on the market, but is a good starting point for beginners.

OVER AND OUT

Just like any other emergency preparedness skill, your ability to communicate is only as good as your training. You don’t want the first time you test your radio to be at the bottom of a ravine with a broken leg, so get out there and practice with your gear. More importantly, practice in a realistic manner. If you go off-roading frequently in mountainous terrain, see how your radio setup copes with that exact scenario. If you selected a radio for use in an urban natural disaster, test it out next time a storm rolls in. These dry runs will quickly reveal flaws in your plan.

At the conclusion of the class, Harden recommended following the military’s PACE plan format to establish Primary, Alternate, Contingency, and Emergency options for communication. Your primary will almost certainly be your cell phone, whether you’re using it to call, text, email, or reach out on social media. A handheld radio makes an excellent alternate tool, and a satellite phone or personal locator beacon might be a good contingency option. The emergency option is a last resort, such as attempting to find a nearby landline or pay phone (yes, they still exist in a few places).

You may never experience a day when you’re desperately in need of help and your cell phone shows “No Signal.” We sincerely hope that’s the case, but we live our lives by the mantra “hope for the best and plan for the worst.” If things go off the rails, you’d better have several reliable options to stay in touch.

Above: A handheld ham radio makes a valuable addition to any emergency kit or bug-out bag, even if you only use it to check the weather forecast.

Sources
Independence Training
www.independencetraining.com

TERMS TO KNOW

Ham – Amateur radio. The term’s origins are debated, but some believe it was originally a derogatory term used by professionals to single out amateur (i.e. “ham-fisted”) operators.
RX – Receive
TX – Transmit
Watts – Used to measure radio transmission power
Repeater – Receives and retransmits a signal to extend its range

Simplex – Transmits and receives on one frequency; used for direct radio-to-radio comms
Duplex – Transmits and receives on two different frequencies with a small offset between; used for radio-to-repeater comms

HT – Handheld radio, aka handheld transceiver or handie-talkie
Mobile – Non-handheld radio configured for use in a vehicle on 12V DC power
Base Station – Non-handheld radio configured for use on a wall power outlet

RF – Radio frequency
Band – Section on the radio frequency spectrum
HF – High frequency, 3 to 30MHz
VHF – Very high frequency, 30 to 300MHz. For amateur radio communications, this typically means 144 to 148MHz, often referred to as “144” (the frequency) or “2-meter” (the wavelength).
UHF – Ultra high frequency, 300MHz to 3GHz. For amateur radio communications, this typically means 420 to 450MHz, often referred to as “440” or “70-centimeter.”
Dual band – Capable of using VHF and UHF

MAKE A CHEAT SHEET

Harden recommends printing out small cards that contain the following critical information. Laminate these cheat sheets and place one with each radio you distribute to your family, friends, or emergency preparedness group members.

Important phone numbers

Regional ham radio repeater frequencies

Local PD/EMS/NOAA weather frequencies

Signal Operating Instructions (SOI): A bare-bones guide on how to use the radio to call for help. Make it simple enough that a child can understand it.

Communication windows: Plan out daily time frames when the user should broadcast or listen for regular communications, so you don’t end up missing a group member’s calls. Avoid exact hour or half-hour marks, since prescheduled events may be occurring on the repeater at those times.

Privacy key: List a few vague terms for specific locations or instructions. For example, you might say “meet at the red building,” which the card indicates is the warehouse on the corner of Washington and 12th. This ensures any eavesdroppers won’t know exactly where you are or what you’re doing unless you want them to.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

via:  offgridweb


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Election results are already in: Para Bellum

I know the election is still hanging in the balance, but there’s something important you need to know and prepare for.

You see, regardless of who wins, the results coming down the pike from this election are already clear.

 

“Si vis pacem, para bellum” – If you want peace, prepare for war.

 

Here’s why:

 

If Trump wins, there will be more looting, rioting, and civil unrest.

BLM Square already erupted in violence on election night, and nothing was close to being decide.

 

And it’s clear agitators are just itching to set off the powder keg across the nation.

 

On the political side, Democrats have already promised to punish Republicans for confirming Amy Coney Barret to the Supreme Court.

 

So, you can count on endless calls for investigations, more sham impeachment attempts, and basically government gridlock.

 

If Biden wins, Joe will likely be ousted within a year of taking office due to his obvious health issues.

 

They’ll invoke the 25th Amendment, which means Harris will become President and Pelosi the VP.

 

Then you’ll see the extreme left try to push their full Socialist agenda on America.

 

Free speech will be assailed like never before in our history…

 

Gun control bills will be coming hot and heavy…

 

Industry will be slowly nationalized…

 

Taxes will soar…

 

And politicians will let the activists off the chain to run wild in the streets until they get their way.

 

So you can see, regardless of the winner, there is much more civil and political strife coming our way.

 

Our freedoms will still be in jeopardy with a Trump victory – maybe not federally, but on a local level.

 

So depending where you live, things could get crazy.

And all this would be truly scary stuff.

 

If you weren’t prepared in advance for it.

 

But you easily can be.

 

Simply cutting through the clutter and seeing what’s clearly going on is step one.

 

Then, revisit your self-defense and home defense plans.

 

Make sure everything is dialed-in and people know their role.

 

Double check your bags and gear.

 

Clean your guns. Top off your magazines

 

Stock the fridge, freezer, pantry, and survival food cache.

 

Plan your bug-out routes.

 

And decide on what would trigger you to activate any or all of your plans.

 

When would you bug out? And why?

 

What event or events would be a red-line for you?

 

Knowing you’re ready, and having your boundaries in place while things are still relatively quiet will bring you a sense of peace.

 

This way, you’re not forced to make decisions on the fly about certain high-pressure issues, because you’ll have already done it.

 

Then, in the event your red-line gets crossed, you’ll know exactly what to do, and you can calmly go about enacting your plans.

 

By doing these simple things now, today, before the storm hits the shore.

 

You’ll give yourself the best chance at both physical and mental peace.

 

In other words, never stop planning and preparing to protect your family.

 

Stay Safe.

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

 
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Prep Your Apartment or Suburban Home for Riots and Civil Unrest: How to Get Ready FAST

When you live in an urban or suburban location and it looks like all heck is about to break loose, how can you prepare your place fast for the potential of unrest? As we’ve seen in cities across the country, a peaceful protest can turn into a violent riot in the blink of an eye. How do you prepare when the spark is lit in your hometown?

While our first recommendation on this website is always “don’t be there” we know there are some situations in which leaving isn’t an option.

Therefore, this article is based on the premise that, for whatever reason, you’re going to need to hunker down in your home. The reason you’re there doesn’t matter – the concept is simply that you’re there. With only a couple of exceptions, we’re also going to use things you can commonly find in homes with no special trips to the store.

For a detailed overview of civil unrest and riots, check out Selco’s on-demand webinar on the topic.

Timing is essential

The first thing to consider is that speed is of the essence. If there’s something going on in your hometown that could cause unrest, like the announcement of a verdict or sentencing, you will probably know about it at least a day ahead of time. This allows you a bit more leeway in gathering supplies.

But we don’t always get that warning. Sometimes the response of outrage is immediate, as we’ve seen in the cases of several police shootings recently. In these cases, sometimes the outrage is warranted, and other times it’s not, but that part doesn’t matter when there are people who want to destroy, loot, and burn.

It’s best if you have an idea of how you’re going to prepare ahead of time. If you know this, then you can have on hand the supplies that you need. If not, you’ll be using what you have on hand.

As soon as you feel that unrest is a possibility, it’s time to take action if you plan to stay in place. Don’t just “wait and see.” Assume that bad things are coming your way and act accordingly.

Blend in

We’ve talked a lot about the gray man principle in the preparedness world. You can learn more about it in this article. In situations of unrest, it’s helpful if your home is also “gray.”  But it’s important to understand that gray isn’t always just non-descript or non-memorable. It can mean you are adapting to the baseline of your area. And sometimes that means adapting to it whether you agree with it or not.

How do you do that? Well, it depends where you are and who the potential threat is.

Many of the recent riots in the United States have been related to race and police brutality. These two things give you some hints on what you might want at your home and also what you might not want.

An important thing to note: I’m well aware this advice will not be popular in our circles, but remember that we’re talking about survival. Not about right vs. wrong, free speech, or your love of the United States of America. You have to be the one to make the decision whether you place precedence on the lives of your family or on your patriotism and principles. Sometimes, like matter, the two cannot occupy the same space at the same time. I can’t tell you what is right or what is wrong. I can simply point out things that could make your home a target.

First, consider the things you may want to remove temporarily.

It’s a sickening fact that homes flying American flags have been targeted by arsonists. It’s practically unbelievable that this is happening in the United States, but it is.  Due to this, you may want to remove anything that is obviously patriotic from the exterior of your home.

If you’ve got a “Thin Blue Line” sticker on your car, you’ll want to park it in the garage. In these harrowing times, obvious support of law enforcement is a sure way to capture the ire of a mob that wants to see the police eradicated. The same thing goes for flags and exterior decorations that show support of LEOs. In Minneapolis, it was discovered that police officers were being followed home and their families and properties were targeted.

Depending on the situation in your area, you may want to add some things to make your home a less desirable target. A small sign in the window that says something like “Racial Equality” may indicate the residents are sympathetic to the cause of those rioting and could be enough to deter them from smashing your windows and setting your home on fire. I’m not suggesting you have to go full-on BLM with your signage. But consider something small and relatively innocuous to use as a type of “camouflage.” I don’t see this as very different from the quarantine tape I have stashed away to make my home look undesirable in the midst of a pandemic.

Unless others in the neighborhood are boarding up their windows, you may not want to batten down the hatches with plywood on the exterior. Keep reading for more information on boarding up your windows.

Aside from these things, be sure to remove anything from the front of the house that could be used to break the windows, like planters and lawn furniture.  Secure your belongings like bicycles and toys indoors or you may discover they’ve been taken by self-entitled rioters.

Finally, if you are home during the riots, gather in one room. This way you know where everybody is if things get crazy and you know that everyone is practicing proper light control. Keep the lights off – some rioters really want a confrontation, so they’ll be looking for homes that look occupied. Keep your blinds or curtains closed and make sure any light you use is dim and not very noticeable. Before an event occurs, test things out. Can you still see the television in the family room from the outside when the curtains are closed? How bright is that nightlight in the bathroom? Can you identify people walking around inside through the blinds? Make the appropriate adjustments before any violence erupts.

Be harder to get to

The next thing to do is to harden your home. You don’t want to be an easy target. When discussing this, a lot of folks immediately think “booby traps.” I’m not recommending anything like that. We’re not in a Mad Max situation right now, even though it could feel like it in the moment. Booby traps are illegal and you will be held both criminally and civilly liable for any injury or death that occurs from a trap you set.

As per the Geneva Convention:

Without prejudice to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict relating to treachery and perfidy, it is prohibited in all circumstances to use:

a. any booby-trap in the form of an apparently harmless portable object which is specifically designed and constructed to contain explosive material and to detonate when it is disturbed or approached, or

b. booby-traps which are in any way attached to or associated with:

1. internationally recognized protective emblems, signs or signals;

2. sick, wounded or dead persons;

3. burial or cremation sites or graves;

4. medical facilities, medical equipment, medical supplies or medical transportation;

5. children’s toys or other portable objects or products specially designed for the feeding, health, hygiene, clothing or education of children;

6. food or drink;

7. kitchen utensils or appliances except in military establishments, military locations or military supply depots;

8. objects clearly of a religious nature;

9. historic monuments, works of art or places or worship which constitute the cultural or spiritual heritage of peoples;

10. animals or their carcasses.

It is prohibited in all circumstances to use any booby-trap which is designed to cause superfluous injury or necessary suffering.” (source)

Explosives, sharpened items, devices that cause guns to fire, and devices that produce toxic fumes upon contact are all prohibited.

While some folks may be bitterly disappointed that they can’t spear their adversaries with a custom-made booby trap, you can still protect your home

This happens in layers.

Securing the outside

First things first, anything outside that keeps people further away from the home itself is good. Lots of folks have fences around the front but leave their gates unsecured. If there is any inkling your neighborhood could be a target of unrest, lock your gate! Do this with a padlock or with a bar secured across the inside of the gate.

In nearly every situation, I’d advise you not to leave pets outside to “guard” the home. Pets can be seriously injured or killed. They can also be used like a hostage by unsavory people to lure the homeowners out. Keep your pets inside during times of unrest.

As mentioned above, remove anything from the exterior that could be used to gain access by breaking a window.

Many people board up all their windows with plywood. If you plan to do this, get the plywood well ahead of time and pre-drill the holes so you can install it quickly. You can store plywood between your mattress and box springs, or under your bed. I’ll go into this more in a moment but do not cover every single window of your home with plywood. You don’t want to create a prison from which you have no escape. Generally, just cover the front windows and sidelights by your doors.

Make sure alternative entrances are protected with warning devices. I hang windchimes on windows and decorative bells on doorknobs. Even when I travel, I carry a little windchime to hang on the doorknob of my Airbnb or hotel room to alert me to potential trouble. When my daughter and I faced the potential of unrest in Virginia, I set up a tripwire at the back gate that fired 22 caliber blanks when triggered. Notice – I said blanks. As I mentioned above, you don’t want to set up anything that might hurt someone. 22 caliber isn’t overly loud but it’s enough to alert you that something is going on, and may even scare away less hardy intruders.

Deterring entry

If your home is breached, all is not lost. Your next goal is to make it difficult to get to you. We’ve already discussed that your lights should be turned off. This gives you the advantage of knowing the layout while those who broke in have no idea what they’re walking into.

But darkness isn’t your only advantage. When I was staying with my daughter in her downtown apartment during the COVID lockdowns, we realized that our front hallway was a true weak spot. The front door was solid glass and there were also glass sidelights. The door frame of the old building wasn’t of the highest quality and I could easily see the door being breached, either by the glass being broken or by a strong person simply breaking through due to the weak frame. As renters this is not something we could replace. So, we got plywood cut to fit and I added spacers that allowed the blinds to be between the plywood and the glass, making it look less obvious that we had boarded things up.

However, this didn’t do anything to prevent someone from breaking down the door, so our next step was to make the hallway harder to navigate. I came across this solution accidentally. We had come home late one day and dropped our purchases on the floor right inside the door, along with a purse and a backpack. I got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and fell facefirst over a giant box of industrial trashbags. When I tried to catch myself, my foot got tangled in the long strap of my daughter’s purse. This, of course, was all gracefully executed. But as I sat there on the floor with my knee throbbing, I thought, hey, they call these things “stumbling blocks” for a reason.

The next day, I created my own stumbling blocks. I took some of our carry-on luggage and weighted them down with hard cover books. I lined these suitcases along the side of the hallway most of the time, but when unrest was nearby, I could easily roll them where I wanted and lay them down at different angles to make the hallway a bit more difficult to traverse. At the very least, these things will make some racket and slow people down before they get to your refuge.

Setting up a safe zone

And that leads us to the safe zone. You may not have time to create an entire safe room, but you can at least designate one room as a safe zone. Make this room the furthest from the most likely point of entry. (For us the most likely entry would have been the front door and the best option for a safe zone was a bedroom in the back part of the house.) The room needs to have a door to the rest of the house and an emergency way to exit.

You want your safe zone to be comfortable enough for the whole family to hang out in – this could mean pulling an extra mattress into a bedroom or rearranging the furniture. Plan to spend the evening together in this room.

Adults should be armed and prepared in the event that their home is breached. If your home is breached your priority is the safety of those under your care. If you have small children or anyone who is unfamiliar with the safe handling of firearms, please keep your gun on your person for safety purposes. In fact, I recommend that you keep your gun on your person at all times during these situations anyway. You’re not going to be able to say to intruders, “Oh, hold on, I forgot my Glock in the master bedroom.” A gun is like a trauma first aid kit. If you need it, you need it instantly, not in in five minutes.

You should have a plan to barricade the door to the safe zone.  This could mean relocating a heavy piece of furniture near the entrance where you can quickly push it in front of the door if necessary. Your goal here is to slow down and deter intruders.

While you should definitely call 911 if your home is breached to have it on record that you did call for official help, don’t rely on them to dispatch assistance with sirens blaring.  As a woman from Kenosha, Wisconsin recounts of her experience during the riots, “It was apparent from the beginning there was no help. No police, no fire trucks no ambulances. None.” Don’t expect your situation to be any different.

If you have intruders, you may wish to issue a verbal warning letting them know you are armed and will open fire if they continue to try and breach your safe room. For some people that will serve as enough of a deterrent. For others, swept up in the mob mentality, it could serve to enflame them further.

For the love of all things cute and fluffy, remember that you are probably not John Rambo. You might be able to take out a few intruders, but if dozens of people are swarming into your home, you won’t be able to take out all of them. Read this article for more information on escaping an angry mob. You may have family members who will suffer due to your actions, so think things through ahead of time. Don’t just blindly react.

Create a funnel

If, despite your best efforts, people do get into your home, there are things that you can do to manage where they go. Most people in mobs are participating in more of a group mentality – you won’t see a lot of critical thinkers. This means that you can often strategically guide them to the place where you want them.

Where you want them depends upon your goal and this is where the conversation gets tricky. Do you want them to head to the opposite side of the house from where your safe zone is to give yourself more time to escape? Do you want them to be in an area where you can take defensive action from a protected position?

I cannot advise you on a public website to set up some kind of shooting gallery in your home. But consider the following thoughts.

  1. Think about backstops. In the event that you have no option but to defend yourself, what is behind the intruders after you funnel them into your desired location? Would gunfire go through to the next apartment? Out into the street? Or would it be stopped by a concrete wall?
  2. Understand the difference between cover and concealment. Television has done us a terrible disservice when it shows someone tipping over a wooden kitchen table and taking “cover” behind it to survive the intruders opening fire with fully automatic weapons. Concealment means you’re hidden. Cover means you’re protected from most gunfire. If you ARE planning to take aggressive defensive action, you’ll want to do it from a place of cover.
  3. Understand that there will be legal ramifications. Even if you are innocent of all charges, you must prepare yourself for a lengthy and expensive court battle. Any set up you’ve done in advance will likely be used against you in such a battle. If your area is more sympathetic toward rioters than us average folks, you could be in for a barrage of negative publicity and harassment.

Consider all of these things before taking defensive actions. And perhaps reconsider leaving if that remains a possibility it all.

Now, back to our funnel. It’s fairly easy to guide people to where you want them to go. Most people, especially those who are untrained, will take the path that looks most direct and easiest. Figure out all of the options a person in your funnel might have. Options might include open rooms, doors to closed rooms, and exits.

Once you’ve considered what the options are, then make the options you want them to choose EASY and the options you don’t want them to choose CHALLENGING.

Going back to our long front hallway in my daughter’s city apartment, we wanted people in our hall for as long as possible, not scattering to rooms off the hallway. One bedroom near the door had a second door that led to the back part of the house. We definitely didn’t want intruders going that way because we’d end up flanked in our safety zone. I solved this issue by putting a bookcase loaded with books in front of the bedroom door that led to the hallway. Who is going to try and move a giant bookcase when there’s a hallway with 3 open doors ahead of them?

What you’re really doing here is using psychology to manipulate your potential attackers to the place where you want them. This article has a lot of excellent in-depth guidance on preparing your space for such a siege.

Be prepared for fire

One of the most common weapons we’re seeing used in the current spate of riots is fire.

Fires are very common during incidents of civil unrest. Generally, vehicles and commercial properties are where fires are set but in some incidents, homes have been burned too.

Fire is a cowardly attack that doesn’t require any interaction on the part of the arsonist. It flushes out the family inside, leaving you vulnerable to physical assaults. This is the one area in which you may need to make some advance purchases. However, all of these fire-related items are good things to have in your home during ordinary circumstances as well. You probably already have at least one fire extinguisher. If that is all you have, keep it with you in your safe zone.

  • Have fire extinguishers mounted throughout your home. You can buy them in 4-packs from Amazon.
  • During tense times, keep a fire extinguisher right beside your bed. You can use it as both a way to extinguish fires and a weapon if necessary.
  • Be sure to test them frequently and maintain them properly. (Allstate has a page about fire extinguisher maintenance.)
  • Have fire escape ladders that can be attached to a windowsill in all upper story rooms.  Drill with them so that your kids know how to use them if necessary. When I travel by vehicle, I have a fire-escape ladder in with my preps. Hotel fires are not uncommon and I want to have options.

Fires can easily spread from one building to the next, especially if firefighters can’t respond safely or can’t get their fire truck through the mob. Be on the watch for fires in your vicinity.

Fire can also be used as a weapon. Here’s an article about dealing with firebombs and Molotov cocktails should such an event arise.

Don’t close off your escape routes

Something I see a lot are plans that keep everybody out and firmly secure every possible point of entry. And I thought that was a fantastic idea until I took an urban survival course with Selco in Croatia and he pointed out that this can also be appropriately considered a “trap.”

If you put bars on every door and window, you’ve created a prison for those inside. What happens if your home is set on fire? What happens if your home is breached? You need some exits. They don’t have to look obvious and can take only minimal preparation.

For example, I told a family member living in a downtown area to remove the screens from her windows. That saves precious seconds and allows for a far more silent exit than if she were to have to remove the screens while rioters were breaching her front door. She can easily slip through the window, close it back so that nobody immediately realizes where she exited, and head out the back with a minimum of noise.

At the same time, her windows are secured with shatter-resistant film and a bar to prevent them from being raised. That bar can be instantly removed from the inside if she needs to make her escape.

Never ever make your home so difficult to breach that you cannot escape. While your plan may be to stand your ground no matter what, being burned alive would be a terrible way to go.

How would you quickly secure your home if tensions broke out nearby?

I’ve generally lived in places where I had a bit more control over my situation, but when unrest broke out in Virginia near the home I shared with my daughter during the lockdown, I had to creatively secure the apartment using things we had on hand. I hope that some of the ideas we’ve used are useful to you.

We all live in different settings and some of us are more likely than others to face the scenarios mentioned in this article. But take a moment and imagine that “peaceful protesters” were bussed into your neighborhood (or were expected.) Do you have a plan? Does your family know the plan? Do you have any ideas to add to the ones above?


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.




via: theorganicprepper
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NYPD releases Dominican national to commit crimes after failing to honor 10 ICE detainers

NEW YORK – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) lodged 10 immigration detainers during the past two years on an illegally present Dominican national after he was arrested on 10 separate occasions by the New York Police Department (NYPD). After each arrest, he was released into the community to re-offend with active immigration detainers in place.

Jhonny Alejandro Soto-Ubaldo is one of many examples of how New York’s sanctuary city policies place the safety of the residents at risk. Their willful uncooperative nature provides criminals such as Soto-Ubaldo the opportunity to re-offend,” said Tony H. Pham, senior official performing the duties of the director for ICE.

Soto-Ubaldo was first arrested by the NYPD in June 2018 on local charges in Queens. At that time, ICE lodged an immigration detainer, but he was released without notification to ICE. Less than two months later, he was rearrested, and ICE lodged another immigration detainer, and he was once again, released into the community to reoffend. The following year, ICE lodged six additional detainers on the Soto-Ubaldo after his arrests for crimes between April and October 2019, and he was released each time, even though active immigration detainers were in place.

ICE also lodged immigration detainers with the NYPD, which were not honored, after Soto-Ubaldo’s arrest for unauthorized use of a vehicle and criminal possession of stolen property in March 2020 and following his arrest for criminal mischief and assault in May 2020.

In September 2020, he was arrested on federal firearms charges and is currently in U.S. Marshals custody; ICE has an active immigration detainer lodged with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. ICE will take custody of Soto-Ubaldo following the resolution of firearms charges, which are pending before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

“What makes this case so frustrating is that local law enforcement failed to honor 10 detainers, despite Soto-Ubaldo’s lengthy criminal history. How can local politicians – in good conscience – say they’re protecting their constituents when they pass laws that release criminals back into our communities? Detainer non-cooperation threatens public safety. It’s fortunate for the residents of New York City, that the subject is now being held on federal charges, and the ICE detainer will finally be honored,” said Thomas R. Decker, field office director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations New York Field Office.

In addition to the pending federal charges, Soto-Ubaldo also faces pending charges in Queens and Nassau Counties for assault, harassment, criminal mischief, grand larceny, petit larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and criminal possession of a firearm.

He was previously featured on ICE.gov as a public safety threat to the local community after the NYPD failed to honor multiple ICE detainers.

About Detainers

ICE relies on the exchange of information with its law enforcement agency partners to access foreign-born inmates at local, state, and federal facilities, and the use of detainers as part of its public safety mission. In many cases, these individuals pose a demonstrable threat to communities.

By lodging detainers against those individuals, ICE makes every effort to ensure that removable aliens are turned over to ICE custody after their criminal detention rather than being released into the community where many abscond or reoffend.

Over the last fiscal year, the ICE ERO New York Field Office lodged 7,526 detainers against individuals for crimes including homicide, robbery, assault, sexual assault, weapons violations, and driving under the influence. The subjects of the detainers accounted for 17,873 criminal convictions, and 6,500 criminal charges.

For more information about declined ICE detainers in the New York City area, visit https://www.ice.gov/spotlight/declined-detainers-newyork.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

via: www.dhs.gov
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Free Homesteading, Cooking, Prepper, Survival eBooks & PDF’s for 09-19-18

Free Kindle Survival Homesteading Books

Free Homesteading, cooking, Survival, , and Prepping Kindle ebooks and PDF’s? Yes FREE Kindle ebooks and PDF’s!! Every now and then Amazon runs special offers on some of their Kindle ebooks and PDF’s, making them free for a limited time (usually just 24 hours).

I will check Amazon on regularly basis for their free Kindle ebooks in related subjects such as survival, homesteading and prepping etc. I will do all the leg-work for you so you don’t have to. You can just come back here regularly, so make sure to bookmark this blog.

These ebooks and PDF’s are only free for a limited time so if you are interested in one make sure you get it right away so you don’t lose out!

Remember you DON’T need a kindle to take advantage of these! There are FREE kindle apps for most major platforms!! iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac and Android. You can find those apps here!

Always check price before engaging, to make sure it hasn’t returned to full price.

 

 

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Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.
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Free Homesteading, Cooking, Prepper, Survival Kindle eBooks for 03-09-18

Free Kindle Survival Homesteading Books

Free Homesteading, cooking, Survival, , and Prepping Kindle ebooks? Yes FREE Kindle ebooks!! Every now and then Amazon runs special offers on some of their Kindle ebooks, making them free for a limited time (usually just 24 hours).

I will check Amazon on regularly basis for their free Kindle ebooks in related subjects such as survival, homesteading and prepping etc. I will do all the leg-work for you so you don’t have to. You can just come back here regularly, so make sure to bookmark this blog.

These ebooks are only free for a limited time so if you are interested in one make sure you get it right away so you don’t lose out!

Remember you DON’T need a kindle to take advantage of these! There are FREE kindle apps for most major platforms!! iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac and Android. You can find those apps here!

Always check price before engaging, to make sure it hasn’t returned to full price.

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Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.
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Free Homesteading, Cooking, Prepper, Survival Kindle eBooks for 02-7-18

Free Kindle Survival Homesteading Books

Free Homesteading, cooking, Survival, , and Prepping Kindle ebooks? Yes FREE Kindle ebooks!! Every now and then Amazon runs special offers on some of their Kindle ebooks, making them free for a limited time (usually just 24 hours).

I will check Amazon on regularly basis for their free Kindle ebooks in related subjects such as survival, homesteading and prepping etc. I will do all the leg-work for you so you don’t have to. You can just come back here regularly, so make sure to bookmark this blog.

These ebooks are only free for a limited time so if you are interested in one make sure you get it right away so you don’t lose out!

Remember you DON’T need a kindle to take advantage of these! There are FREE kindle apps for most major platforms!! iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac and Android. You can find those apps here!

Always check price before engaging, to make sure it hasn’t returned to full price.

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Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.
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Cool Tools for EDC Maintenance


Source: Flickr

I have been asked for a long time to lay out all of my EDC maintenance stuff. This was done in a shorter form a long time ago, here. Over time I have refined and upgraded what I use. And then I found Kevin Kelley’s Cool Tools, and I starting thinking about this stuff more carefully. I tested and refined this set of things until I found the exact right tools for the job. For example, I tried out three or four different formulations of Loc-Tite. I did that so you don’t have to.

For reference, I tried to pin each number to the top and left of the given object. Hopefully it will be obvious what they are once I describe them.

#1: Spyderco Sharpmaker: There are a lot of expensive and automated ways of reprofiling an edge, but they basically do what the Sharpmaker does with a bit more precision or speed. For around $60 this will get you started, and once you add stropping to your knife maintenance regime, you probably won’t find a need for anything more.

#2: Hoppe’s #9 Lubricating Oil: I know lots of folks like Rem Oil, but this is pretty darn good. I don’t use it as much as I used to (you’ll see why in a minute), but for big or really stuck things, this works wonders.

#3: WD-40: I love the smell of WD-40. It smells so clean. Oh, and it also prevents rust from building up and lubricates parts. I like running some of this on a fixed blade before and after big cutting jobs, especially if the fixed blade is a high carbon model. Also, note the can; the spray/straw variant is very handy and easily worth the upgrade in price (of like $0.70).

#4: DeOxIt Red: There are a few variations of this deoxidizing liquid, but Red is the one you want. This will clean connectors in a flashlight, and you need only very smallest drop. Good thing too because it is exceedingly expensive. One hundred percent worth it, as it can fix lights that nothing else can, but be careful; a big squeeze is like $9 worth of red stuff.

#5: Wiha Micro Driver Set with Rotating Tail Caps: This is also expensive, but as I have mentioned before with the upgrade treadmill, buy good stuff right away and you will save money. I spent $70 over 5 years buying Kobalt, Craftsman, and Husky sets that all rounded off instead of buying this $60 set. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Be sure to get the ones with the rotating tail cap, that way you can apply pressure and still rotate the screw. $60 might seem like a lot, but when you strip a screw on a custom knife because of crappy drivers, you’ll wish you ponied up the cash.

#6: Split Ring Pliers: Over the years I have reviewed dozens of things with split rings, and some were really tough. These cheap pliers work exceedingly well. You can find them in the fishing aisle at Wal-Mart for $8. It’s definitely worth it if you have a tool keychain, a Swiss Army Knife, or any number of things that run annoying split rings.

#7: Silicone: Your lights all have o-rings, so once a year, grab some of this and coat them with it. It will keep them nice and rubbery. Dry o-rings can crack and lose their watertight seal. Use this and they won’t.  It’s cheap and takes about 3 minutes to do a dozen lights.

#8: Tuff Cloth: This is a great rust inhibitor designed specifically for knives, tools, and firearms. It’s pricey, but a few packs in a backpack can keep your blades looking nice over a long camping trip.

#9: Cotton Picker’s Micro Battery Charger: For those uber-tiny cells, no other arrangement will do. The Cotton Picker design is great. In a pinch it can charge RCR123as. Opt for the metered version, as it is not much more money and allows you to leave a battery to charge and only momentarily check on it.  Otherwise you should probably sit and wait. Lithiums and overcharging don’t mix.

#10: Nano-Oil in Needle Tip Applicator: Hoppe’s, WD-40, and the like all pale in comparison to this miracle liquid. Like the DeOxIt, this stuff is uber-expensive, but it is 100% worth it. The needle tip applicator is an absolute must. Don’t bother unless you can get this feature. Otherwise, you will waste a lot of liquid and you won’t be able to get in to the nooks and crannies you need to to make this stuff really work. This is probably my favorite thing in this picture as it can rescue stuck pivots and change below average pivots into “I swear this is on bearings” smooth.

#11: i2 Intellicharger: It’s not ideal, but it’s the best out there right now for under $100. This dual well charger can take everything from RCR123as all the way up to 18650s. It can’t do super small cells, hence #9, but it does everything else. I really like the fact that you can put two totally different batteries in the charger at the same time. So many of my lights are single cell lights that I don’t often need to charge to identical batteries. I wish it weren’t so finnicky about battery placement, but every other model out there is just as bad or worse.

#12: Microfiber Cloth: Just 100% essential. They are great for cleaning a knife or polishing a flashlight lens. Simple, cheap, and awesome.

#13: Cotton Picker Volt Meter: This is a handy little thing to have but probably not essential. It’s helpful with super small cells because most regular volt meters have a hard time getting around their tiny structures.

#14: Spare O-Rings: Uber cheap and handy to have around, o-rings are a necessity if you like flashlights. Invariably something will dry out and break or get sliced in a dreaded cross threading accident.

#15: Home Made Strop: This is made from an old barber’s strop; it’s two pieces of leather mounted on pressboard, a void free form of Baltic Birch plywood. One side is coarse and the other side is smooth.  Strops are just too good. Since using them I have basically stopped using the Sharpmaker. Regular stropping is all you really need. This was free. A leather belt with some Tripoli compound would work too.

#16: Naphtha Lighter Fluid: I don’t smoke, but I do use this to clean parts and it works very, very well. It is also dirt cheap; this bottle was $2 at a cigar store.

#17: Goo Goo: When naphtha can’t be used because of the smell, this does the job. I think it works a little better, but I have no evidence of that. It is, however, not as cheap, so if you can only get one, get the naphtha.

#18: Loc Tite Blue 242: After trial and error I think this is the perfect formulation for our needs. I use it to lock in pivot screws that like to walk around, and in that application it works fine. Any stronger and it is hard to undo, and any weaker and it doesn’t work as well. The Goldilocks Principle makes this the right choice.

#19: Stropping Compounds: Get the black Tripoli compound for coarse and the green compound for fine. If you have the ability, finish it off with white compound. Be sure to keep them in a ziplock as they can dry out and lose their effectiveness (they won’t stick to the strop, crumbling on the surface instead).

#20: Secondary Strop: This will eventually be converted to white compound only, but for now it is a suede leather surface with green compound. The suede makes it a little softer on the steel and you can get a pretty nice polish with it just by using an even, quick motion with your hands (god that sounds terrible, but you know what I mean).

#21: Sandstone: This is what I use to sharpen my BK9 when I am away from the house. It’s very flat and very coarse, but in a jam it can put an edge back on the beast. Sandstone works well as the coarse sharpening stone and granite would work well in the fine slot, provided it is smooth and flat. You’d be surprised at how good of an edge this can put on a knife. Don’t buy one when you can find a field sharpening stone pretty easily.

There you have it: a relatively complete, time tested kit for maintaining your gear. For multitools, flashlights, and knives, this will get you a very, very long way.

One thing I also use that I couldn’t get in the picture: an air compressor. It blows gunk out of a knife or multitool quite well. Just don’t use it to dislodge a stuck battery in a flashlight. That’s also called an air gun.  I have a AAA shaped dent in my workshop bench to prove that this is dangerous.

 

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

Via: alloutdoor

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This Pill Bottle Survival Kit Could Be a True Lifesaver


Instructables

An empty pill bottle might seem like an item that’s destined for the trash. However, what if we told you that little bottle could potentially mean the difference between life and death? And even in scenarios that aren’t so drastic, if packed with the right things, they could truly come in handy in a pinch. How so, you ask? Instructables shows us how to turn that average pill bottle into a mini survival kit.

Clean It


After you’ve removed everything from the pill bottle and washed it thoroughly, here are the things you should consider packing it with.

Piece of Candy


Never be in danger of suffering from a blood sugar drop again. Especially if you’re diabetic, this single piece of candy could be a lifesaver if you’re stranded.

Emergency Lighting


A 2″ flashlight is the perfect emergency light source for your pill bottle kit. That way, if you have a power outage or you get stranded in your car in the dark, you’ll be able to shine some light.

Matches


You never know when you’ll need to start a fire or light a candle.

Strike Strip


Attach a strike strip for your matches to the inside of the pill bottle’s lid.

Mini Lighter


This will serve as your backup if the matches end up getting wet.

Tin Foil


Just one square foot of aluminum foil can do so many things; like keeping food warm or signaling for help, for example.

Safety Pins


You’d be able to make a sling, dig out a splinter and achieve several other tasks with the help of one of these.

Sanitizing Hand Wipes


Clean a wound in a pinch with one of these. Also can be used as fire-starter.

Antibiotic Ointment


Instead of getting an individual pack of this expensive stuff, grab a straw and cut it to the size of your pill bottle. Then fill the straw with ointment from your medicine cabinet before sealing the ends.

Single Use Antibiotic Packs

Fabric Bandages


Keep a sterilized and treated wound clean by protecting it with a band aid. The flexible kind are perfect for keeping any dirt out of a wound.

Arrange Your Supplies for Packing


Extra Room?


You could consider adding things like strips of duct tape, gauze, tweezers or a small pocket knife.

A small piece of cheese cloth would be very useful for filtering water, and a small tube of bleach to kill any bacteria that gets through. Water is life!

Stow Your Kit


Cover with a lid and your survival kit is good to go. And it’s the perfect fit for your purse, glove compartment, backpack, or even your pocket.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

 

Via: tiphero

 
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