Category Archive: Security

Suez Canal Blocked by Giant Container Ship Causes a Global Shipping Backup

It couldn’t have gotten stuck in a worse spot.

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On Tuesday, a gargantuan cargo ship named the Ever Given ran aground in the busy Suez Canal, blocking maritime traffic from entering or exiting the crucial shipping highway. If you’re wondering how a ship that weighs 220,000 tons and is the size of the Empire State Building ended up sideways, canal officials say high winds from a sandstorm restricted visibility around the time the ship got stuck.

It couldn’t be in a worse spot

The Suez Canal, which connects the Red Sea and the Mediterranean through Egypt, is the carotid artery of the global shipping system. Around 10% of worldwide shipping traffic flows through its narrow waters, including roughly 5% of globally traded crude oil. In 2019, nearly 19,000 ships transporting 1.2 billion tons of cargo passed through the canal, generating $5.6 billion in revenue for Egypt last year. Only the Panama Canal has a similar amount of traffic.

  • The Ever Given’s ill-timed perpendicular park job is acting like a Wendy’s Baconator to global trade’s circulatory system, creating massive traffic snarls on either side.

As of last night, over 100 ships were stuck at each end of the 120-mile canal, putting even more pressure on the global shipping industry that was already out of whack from the pandemic.

No one is shocked this happened

Modern container ships like the Ever Given are so massive that global ports and canals have struggled to accommodate them. The Suez Canal is only around 300 feet wide at most points, which makes piloting a huge ship through it tougher than unlocking your apartment door after six White Claws. When a massive ocean liner got stuck near a German port in 2016, it took 12 tugboats and almost a week to free it.

Bottom line: Shipping companies usually factor in extra days to their schedules to account for any unexpected delays. But if the Ever Given clogs the canal for longer than that, prices of stranded cargo, from crude oil to consumer goods, could be affected.

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


via: morningbrew


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National Situation Update- 2/21/2021

WEEKLY THREAT AND ALERT ROUNDUP

Feds Seize Millions of Fake N95 Masks from China - ALLOW IMAGES

Feds Seize Millions of Fake N95 Masks from China


February 20, 2021

  

What You Need To Know

More than 11 million counterfeit 3M N95 masks have been seized by the Department of Homeland Security in recent weeks, and suspected victims of the scam include hospitals and medical facilities in at least 12 states. Authorities say they have contacted around 6,000 hospitals, clinics, and others who may have accidentally purchased the fake masks, advising them to stop using them and contact DHS immediately.

As many as 1.9 million counterfeit 3M masks were shipped to about 40 hospitals in Washington state alone. Cassie Sauer, the president and chief executive of the Washington State Hospital Association, said that Washington state hospitals bought hundreds of thousands of the fraudulent masks, and the association itself bought 300,000 for its members. Just weeks ago, the Cleveland Clinic issued a statement saying that a portion of its N95 mask supply used by their health system since November were counterfeit and “not effective as respirators.”

According to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, one million counterfeit N95 masks were confiscated on Wednesday of this week at a warehouse in Western Maryland. The seizure came as part of a larger investigative effort known as Operation Stolen Promise. Launched in April of last year, the goal of the effort is to protect the Homeland from the increasing and evolving threat posed by COVID-19-related fraud and criminal activity. This includes seizure of shipments of mislabeled, fraudulent, unauthorized or prohibited COVID-19 test kits, treatment kits, homeopathic remedies, purported anti-viral products, as well as all manner of knockoffs and substandard personal protective equipment (PPE). So far, in partnership with border officials, the FDA and FBI, $33 million in phony products have been seized and and more than 230 persons arrested.

The fake masks that were seized this week have the stamp “3M” on them and are shipped in boxes that say “Made in the USA,” although they are not. According to Steve Francis, director of the Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, an element of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the knockoff masks are all produced in China. Quoting Francis;

“They’re extremely dangerous. They’re providing a false sense of security to our first-line responders and to American consumers.”

Officials are urging consumers to be cautions when purchasing N95 masks. Do not confuse them with KN95 masks, which meet standards in China but are not certified by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Typical hallmarks of knockoffs include grammatical errors or typos on packaging and user instructions, loose fitting straps, odd smells, poor construction, and lack of a NIOSH seal.

Learn to spot the fakes here and here.



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Coronavirus Update


February 20, 2021


What You Need To Know

According to data provided by the COVID Tracking Project, all major indicators of COVID-19 transmission in the United States continue to fall rapidly. Weekly new cases have fallen from 1.7 million at the national peak in early January to fewer than 600,000 this week, and cases have declined in every state. As we’ve seen at many points in the pandemic, case numbers are changing most quickly, with hospitalizations and deaths declining after a delay: cases have been falling sharply for five weeks, hospitalizations for four, and deaths for two. In this week’s numbers from nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities, we are now seeing solid declines in deaths correlated with COVID-19 vaccinations of this most vulnerable population.

Despite the declines, the total number of people hospitalized is still very high—hospitalizations have yet to fall far enough to reach even the peaks of the two previous surges, which both rose to roughly 60 thousand hospitalizations.

As of Friday at 6:00 PM ET, there were 3,003 deaths reported for the day. In total, more than 496,000 deaths in the U.S. have been attributed to the virus.

The Department of Homeland Security has extended the restrictions on non-essential cross-border travel with Canada and Mexico through March 21st.

Effective January 26, the CDC requires all air passengers entering the United States (including U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents) to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within three calendar days of departure​, or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days.

Air travelers entering Canada will now be forced into mandatory hotel quarantine at their own expense to await results of a COVID test. Trudeau says the new requirement is part of a suite of measures designed to keep Canadians at home, as the government is increasingly concerned about the risk of new COVID variants that appear to be more transmissible and more deadly.

Nationwide COVID-19 Metrics - ALLOW IMAGES


Important COVID-19 Headlines

One in three US service members refuse to take COVID-19 vaccine
DoD considers sending more than 18K troops to help vaccinate America
Israel to bar unvaccinated people from some jobs, says health minister
Mutations have made coronavirus 8X more infectious
Macron proposes vaccine plan as UK prepares to host G7
Hopkins experts expound upon COVID-19 variants, vaccine doses
What Are The 677 Mutations? New Covid-19 Variants Found In The US
Another new coronavirus variant now detected in 13 countries
Experts Warn Against COVID-19 Variants as States Reopen


SITUATION REPORTS / OFFICIAL CASE NUMBERS

The COVID Tracking Project
World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control (U.S.)
Johns Hopkins CSSE (Interactive map updated multiple times daily)

OFFICIAL CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION PAGES

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Food and Drug Administration
Public Health Agency of Canada
Infection Prevention and Control Canada
World Health Organization


AlertsUSA.com

SMS ALERTS FROM THIS WEEK
NOT DETAILED IN THIS NEWSLETTER ISSUE

2/19 – DHS: U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least March 21 due to continued spread of SARS-CoV-2.

2/17 – At least 7 shot at the SE Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) station in Philadelphia’s Olney neighborhood. One gunman in custody. Monitoring..

2/15 – Southwest Power Pool declares Energy Emergency Alert level 3, will implement immediate rolling blackouts across 17 central and western states. Monitoring..

2/14 – Electric Reliability Council of Texas warns of possible rotating outages resulting from high demand on grid due to extreme temps. Conservation urged.


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* Threat Info Direct to Your Mobile Device
* Get Away Early, Give Your Family Extra Safety.
* In Wide Use By Gov, 1st Responders, Travelers.
* 24/7/365 Monitoring. No Hype. Just the Bad Stuff.
* Issued Hours and Days before the MSM.
* On your Cell Phone, Tablet or Email.
* We Give The Clear Truth, Unlike the MSM.
* 18 Years in Operation!

We are NOT part of the government.
In fact, they are our customers!



Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED): Preparedness, Recognition and Response - ALLOW IMAGES

Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED):
Preparedness, Recognition and Response


February 20, 2021


In the post-9/11 era, first responders have incorporated protecting the Homeland against terrorism into their daily mission. Law enforcement, fire service, and emergency medical services personnel play a vital role in detecting and preventing attacks because of the nature of their work, their frequent interaction with members of the public, and the level of access their jobs provide. People who hold these jobs often can identify behaviors or activities that could signal a pending terrorist attack; therefore, public safety personnel must continue to report, according to the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative, observations that raise reasonable suspicion.

The Intelligence Community routinely produces information for public safety personnel that may help first responders identify terrorist-related activities and prevent, deter, or respond to terrorist attacks. In light of the December 25, 2020 detonation of a recreational vehicle bomb in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, AlertsUSA provides the following resources from the National Counterterrorism Center to help increase awareness of first responders and members of the general public.

Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED):
Preparedness, Recognition and Response

Vehicle-Borne Attacks: Tactics and Mitigation

Best Practices for Vehicle Screening Against Terrorist Attacks


Tussle Over Rare Earth Elements Heating Up - ALLOW IMAGES


Tussle Over Rare Earth Elements Heating Up


In a move clearly meant to taunt the United States and its allies, China is looking at limiting the export of rare earth elements (REEs) that are crucial to sophisticated weaponry, according to an exclusive report in the Financial Times.

~ READ MORE HERE ~


Iran: The Mullah’s Pursuit of Obtaining Nuclear Weapons


In spite of the Iranian leaders’ claim that their nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, evidence reveals that the Iranian regime has long sought to acquire nuclear weapons.

A recent report by the International Atomic Energy Agency pointed out that “Samples taken from two sites during inspections in the fall by the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) contained traces of radioactive material”.

~ READ MORE HERE ~


Aspiring Immigrants Are Massing in Northern Mexico


Despite significant Mexican counter-migration operations on behalf of the new U.S. administration, large numbers of migrants from around the world are still flowing into northern cities and towns along the border from Texas to California, powered by adrenaline from recent Biden moves to open the border wide, according to a CIS survey of Mexican media reporting.

~ READ MORE HERE ~



Fleet and Marine Tracker Map as of Feb 18, 2021  - ALLOW IMAGES

USNI Fleet and Marine Tracker


These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of Feb 18, 2021 based on Navy, public data provided by the U.S. Naval Institute, and open source reporting. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship


An Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon conducts an aerial refuel with a KC-135 Stratotanker during Cope North near Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Feb. 18, 2021. The annual exercise promotes stability and security throughout the Indo-Pacific. - ALLOW IMAGES

World News Roundup


AMERICAS


Texas was ‘seconds’ away from ‘months-long’ power outage
Blinken says the U.S. is willing to meet Iran for face-to-face talks
US says it’s ready to join talks to resume Iran nuclear deal
Earth quietest in decades as lockdowns reduce seismic noise
Special Program – Biden’s America: Too damaged to lead?
Why Russia Is Terrified of SpaceX — and Starlink
Cuomo-gate: a Nixonian scandal is engulfing New York
Democrats to unveil Biden’s US immigration reform bill
Texas power outages below 500,000 but water crisis persists
Coronavirus: US life expectancy falls by a year amid pandemic
Mexico president calls for reduced electric consumption
Ecuador election: Tension rises over delayed result

EUROPE


Spain: Dozens arrested in fresh riots over rapper’s jailing
Russia, China to sign agreement on international lunar research station
Russian fighters make unsafe intercept of French Air Force aircraft
French fighter jet flies through electrical lines and cuts power to village
Spain Hoped Catalonia’s Separatists Would Fade. They’re Gaining Ground
Catalonia election: Socialists win, but separatists expand majority
EU records 450,000 excess deaths between March and November
Georgia prime minister resigns over opposition leader arrest plan
Diplomats: EU to impose sanctions on Russians over Navalny by March summit
Russia slams European rights court’s ‘unlawful’ order to free Navalny
Russia to present new concept of national digital currency
Belarus jails Belsat TV journalists for filming protest

MIDDLE EAST / AFRICA


Killings surge in Syria camp housing Islamic State families
Trial opens in Algeria jihadist beheading of French mountaineer
Ebola Is Back. Can the WHO Contain It?
US signals it is open to sending more troops to support NATO’s mission in Iraq
NATO expands mission in Iraq on the heels of deadly rocket attack
Ten thousand ISIS fighters poised for new wave of terror
Erbil Attacks Part of Iran’s ‘Opening Overture’ To Biden
Turkey-US relations: A rocky road ahead
Who are the Syrian Kurdish women fighters who took down ISIS?
Euphoria of Morocco’s Arab Spring has fizzled out
Positive signals’ needed to save JCPOA, Merkel tells Rouhani
Iran nuclear deal hangs in balance as Tehran turns screw on US
U.S. vows consequences for group behind Iraq rocket attack
Saudi-led coalition in Yemen moves troops to Marib to repel Houthis
Lebanon judge removed from Beirut blast probe: judicial source
WHO to send over 11,000 Ebola vaccines to Guinea amid outbreak
Nigeria hunts school kidnappers as families call for help
Nigeria minister: Don’t be ‘cowards’ when attacked
Egypt’s Sisi offers support to Libya’s new PM
Ivory Coast minister to meet ex-president Gbagbo to discuss return
Ugandan soldiers jailed for assaulting journalists

ASIA


China ramps up military build-up in Tibet, Xinjiang
Tussle over rare earth elements heating up
Mutations have made coronavirus 8X more infectious
Whyis COVID in retreat around the world?
How China’s national security law threatens Hong Kong’s internet freedom
Heir Apparent? The Grooming Of Turkmenistan’s Serdar Berdymukhammedov
Top Bhutan general, judges detained in alleged overthrow plot
Nearly 500 detained in Myanmar, hackers target military websites
UK and Canada impose sanctions on Myanmar generals after coup
Blinken tells Ghani U.S. supports Afghanistan peace process
Taiwan blames China after deal for 5m Covid vaccine doses is put on hold
US charges three N. Koreans in $US1.3 billion hacking spree
Facebook imposes Australia news blackout


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Travel Security Resources


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The U.S. Dept. of State Travel Website is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to research on the security situation at your destination prior to departure.


Active USGOV Travel Notices

Worldwide Caution


Active USGOV Travel Advisories

Alphabetical Country List

Dynamic Map


Other USGOV Travel Resources

Traveler’s Checklist

Smart Traveler Enrollment Prog (STEP)

Travelers with Special Considerations

Travel to High-Risk Areas

Faith-Based Travel Information

Information for Women Travelers

Cruise Ship Passengers

Students Abroad

Your Health Abroad

Driving and Road Safety Abroad


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The Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) provides a variety of resources to enhance the safety and security of the U.S. private sector businesses and organizations operating abroad.


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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website is the authoritative federal source for information on current health issues related to specific destinations worldwide. These issues may arise from disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, natural disasters, or other conditions that may affect travelers’ health.


Foreign Sources of Travel Guidance


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Global Affairs Canada


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Australia Dept. of Foreign Affairs


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UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office


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National Situation Update- 2/7/2021

WEEKLY THREAT AND ALERT ROUNDUP


Security is high for Super LV in Tampa, FL - ALLOW IMAGES

Super Bowl LV Threat Assessment


February 6, 2021

 

On Feb 1st, the following related Flash SMS
message was sent to
AlertsUSA subscriber mobile devices:


2/1 – Large security operation unfolding in Tampa for Super Bowl LV on 2/7. Fencing, road closures, and heavy police presence downtown & near stadium. Expect delays.


What You Need To Know


On Monday AlertsUSA subscribers were notified of a large security operation unfolding in the run-up to Super Bowl LV that will be held on Sunday, Feb 7th at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. According to a Joint Special Event Threat Assessment issued by the FBI, Dept. of Homeland Security and several other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, there is no information to indicate a specific, credible threat to or associated with Super Bowl LV or related events in the surrounding area.

However, the FBI and DHS remain concerned about potential retaliatory attacks conducted by or on behalf of the Government of Iran following the Jan 3rd 2020 US drone strike that killed Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QF) Commander Qassem Soleimani. Additional areas of continuing concern include international terrorism and domestic violent extremists (DVEs); unmanned aircraft systems (UAS); cyber security; local critical infrastructure; criminal activity; and the potential use of crude, simple weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).

Quoting directly from the threat assessment:

“We remain concerned about sustained interest by foreign terrorist organizations in targeting mass gatherings such as Super Bowl LV despite the restricted attendance of this year’s game and associated events. Al-Qa‘ida, the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS), and their affiliates remain intent on attacking Western targets and continue to call on individuals to conduct independent attacks in the United States using a range of weapons, including improvised explosive or incendiary devices (IEDs/IIDs), vehicles, firearms, and edged weapons.”

“The Government of Iran could direct retaliatory attacks in the environs of the Super Bowl; Soleimani’s death could also provoke a violent extremist Iran supporter to conduct an attack to avenge the death.”

“Although security measures will be in place around Super Bowl LV and adjacent areas on the day of the game, Super Bowl LV and associated events are likely an attractive target due to the relatively high concentration of attendees, symbolism of the event, and the significant national media attention the event will receive. We assess the most vulnerable targets of opportunity for a physical attack during Super Bowl LV will be outside the security perimeter around the stadium and at associated venues where crowds will gather or where less stringent security measures are in effect.

In light of the content of this Threat Assessment, readers may find it interesting that on Wednesday of this week, U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested 11 Iranian citizens after they crossed the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona. According to Customs and Border Protection, Border Patrol agents encountered the group on a bridge near San Luis, Arizona. The group consisted of six males and 5 females. The group was arrested and taken to Yuma Station for processing.

So far in FY2021, Yuma Sector agents have apprehend 14 nationals from Iran.

Customs and Border Protection says Iran is considered a “special interest country.” This means it is a country known to harbor terrorists and terrorist organizations.

It is not yet clear why the group was attempting to get into the United States, and agents are still working to determine how they got to Mexico to cross into the U.S..



Coronavirus Update Graphic - ALLOW IMAGES

Coronavirus Update


What You Need To Know

According to data provided by the COVID Tracking Project, this week new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths all dropped. For the seven-day period running January 28 to February 3, weekly new cases were down more than 16 percent over the previous week, and dropped below one million for the first time since the week of November 5. This is still an astonishing number of new cases per week, but far better than the nearly 1.8 million cases reported on the week of January 14. Tests also declined nationally, but by less than 3 percent, nowhere near enough to explain the steep drop in cases.

As of Friday at 6:00 PM ET, there were 3,003 deaths reported for the day. In total, more than 459,000 deaths in the U.S. have been attributed to the virus.


COVID-19 Restriction Maps can be found here and here.

The Department of Homeland Security has extended the restrictions on non-essential cross-border travel with Canada and Mexico through Feb. 21st.

Effective January 26, the CDC requires all air passengers entering the United States (including U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents) to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within three calendar days of departure​, or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days.

Last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justine Trudeau announced that air travelers entering Canada will now be forced into mandatory hotel quarantine at their expense to await results of a COVID test. Trudeau says the new requirement is part of a suite of measures designed to keep Canadians at home, as the government is increasingly concerned about the risk of new COVID variants that appear to be more transmissible and more deadly

The White House also released a new Executive Order last week focused on protecting the federal workforce and requiring mask wearing.

Nationwide COVID-19 Metrics - ALLOW IMAGES

Important COVID-19 Headlines

World faces around 4,000 COVID-19 variants
WHO admit Wuhan mission WILL NOT reveal how COVID jumped to humans
FEMA asks the Pentagon to help administer the COVID-19 vaccine
UK finds more coronavirus cases with ‘concerning’ mutations
What we know about the South African variant of Covid
Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus
Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine has 92% efficacy in trial
The race for ‘next generation’ COVID vaccines is heating up
COVID-19: Risks and side effects of vaccination
Sinovac and Sinopharm – what do we know about the Chinese vaccines?
Coronavirus: Lack of global vaccine strategy has ‘immense costs’


SITUATION REPORTS / OFFICIAL CASE NUMBERS

The COVID Tracking Project
World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control (U.S.)
Johns Hopkins CSSE (Interactive map updated multiple times daily)

OFFICIAL CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION PAGES

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Food and Drug Administration
Public Health Agency of Canada
Infection Prevention and Control Canada
World Health Organization


SMS ALERTS FROM THIS WEEK
NOT DETAILED IN THIS NEWSLETTER ISSUE


1/31 – AlertsUSA monitoring response to reports of gunfire, Fox River Mall, Appleton, WI. Heavy police presence. Add’l alerts as warranted.

1/31 – Outagamie County (WI) Sheriff’s Office asking community to stay away from the Fox River Mall area in Appleton. Active situation.

1/31 – Police report two people shot in Fox River Mall incident. Shooter remains at large. AlertsUSA monitoring..

2/1 – AlertsUSA monitoring response to reports of gunfire, University Mall, South Burlington, VT. Heavy police presence. Add’l alerts as warranted.

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* Threat Info Direct to Your Mobile Device
* Get Away Early, Give Your Family Extra Safety.
* In Wide Use By Gov, 1st Responders, Travelers.
* 24/7/365 Monitoring. No Hype. Just the Bad Stuff.
* Issued Hours and Days before the MSM.
* On your Cell Phone, Tablet or Email.
* We Give The Clear Truth, Unlike the MSM.
* 18 Years in Operation!

We are NOT part of the government.
In fact, they are our customers!



National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Center for Neutron Research, Gaithersburg, MD. - ALLOW IMAGES

Research Reactor Emergency in Maryland


On Feb 3rd, the following related Flash SMS
messages were sent to
AlertsUSA subscriber mobile devices:

2/3 – NRC notified flwg radiological incident within a Nat’l Institute of Standards & Technology facility in Gaithersburg, MD. Elevated radiation levels. Monitoring..

2/3 – NIST incident involves elevated radiation levels within containment bldg of research neutron reactor. Workers undergoing decon and eval. No threat outside bldg.

What You Need To Know

On Wednesday AlertsUSA subscribers were notified of a declaration of an Emergency at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Center for Neutron Research in Gaithersburg, MD. In this incident, elevated radiation levels were detected in the containment building of the 20 MW heavy water research neutron reactor during a restart.

According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, stack radiation monitors began reading 100,000 counts per minute due to the release of fission products. The reactor had been operating at 50% power (10 MW), and automatically scrammed one minute prior based on the stack monitor reaching 50,000 counts per minute. When the automatic scram occurred, the facility ventilation system automatically changed to emergency ventilation mode to limit discharge to the environment. Several workers were determined to be externally contaminated. Those workers underwent decontamination by a change of clothes and showers and are now being monitored for signs of possible uptake and internal contamination.

According to a statement by NIST, there is no evidence of radiation above regulatory limits outside the containment building, and they “continue to evaluate data from air monitors and other sensors to ensure the health and safety of our campus and local community. NIST is also working to understand the precise cause of the elevated levels of radiation.“

A follow-up release on Friday states the following:

“The research reactor on NIST’s Gaithersburg, Maryland, campus is shut down and in a safe state. It will remain in shutdown status until the cause of the elevated radiation levels is determined and corrected. The elevated levels of radiation within the NCNR’s confinement building have dropped significantly, as expected.”

Interestingly, despite the fact that the NIST campus and the Center for Neutron Research is located near Interstate 270 and is surrounded by housing communities and businesses, most local residents did not become aware of the emergency until hours later.



Report to Congress on Chinese Naval Modernization - ALLOW IMAGES



Chasing the Dragon


On his first full day in office, President Joe Biden signed a massive executive order that, among other things, killed the Keystone XL pipeline project. Buried in that same order were two short sentences that will allow the Chinese government to get into the American electrical grid.

READ MORE HERE

The New Great Game at Sea


Last month, India included Australia in its annual Malabar naval exercise for the first time since 2007. The exercise was held in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea and also included the United States and Japan, which only joined as a permanent member in 2015. Australia’s newly announced inclusion represents the growing concerns about China’s maritime rise across Eurasia, from the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean to East Asia and the Arctic.

Malabar comes in juxtaposition to the annual exercise China hosts with Russia entitled Joint Sea. Since 2012, Russia and China have conducted the Joint Sea naval exercises as a way to bolster their relationship, while also gaining a greater understanding of their respective naval technologies and platforms.

Eurasia’s main continental rivals — China, Russia, and India — are leading this emerging dynamic of maritime great-power competition as they seek enhanced global prestige and great-power status. This drive for increased international prestige has resulted in growing investments in strategic instruments of national power, namely navies. This in turn has resulted in a dynamic of heightened navalism and naval competition across maritime Eurasia.

~ READ MORE HERE ~


Forging 21st-Century Strategic Deterrence


The strategic capabilities of our competitors continue to grow, and they are sobering. More than a decade ago, Russia began aggressively modernizing its nuclear forces, including its non-treaty-accountable medium- and short-range systems. The People’s Republic of China is also on a trajectory to be a strategic peer and should not be mistaken as a “lesser included” case.

~ READ MORE HERE ~


The Navarro Report


The three volumes of the Navarro Report provide a demonstration that President Trump had a good faith belief that the November 3, 2020 Presidential election results, were, indeed, the poisonous fruit of widespread fraud and election irregularities. Evidence used in the preparation of the Navarro Report includes more than 50 lawsuits and judicial rulings, thousands of affidavits and declarations, testimony in a variety of state venues, published analyses by think tanks and legal centers, videos and photos, public comments, and extensive press coverage.

~ READ MORE HERE ~



Fleet and Marine Tracker Map as of Feb 1, 2021  - ALLOW IMAGES

USNI Fleet and Marine Tracker


These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of Feb 1, 2021 based on Navy, public data provided by the U.S. Naval Institute, and open source reporting. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship.



Soldiers conduct an airborne operation from an Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft at Frida drop zone in Pordenone, Italy, Feb. 1, 2021. - ALLOW IMAGES

World News Roundup


AMERICAS

10 pounds of Composition C-4 disappear from Twentynine Palms
11 Iranians arrested in Arizona after jumping US-Mexico border
Nat’l Guard protection of the Swamp cost taxpayers $500 MILLION
Judiciary Committee votes AGAINST saying Pledge of Allegiance
US and Russia extend nuclear treaty
CCP Virus psyops in Wuhan brought America to her knees
Biden Is Putting Migrant Kids In Cages, Crickets from AOC
Biden says he will welcome 125,000 refugees during pandemic
Hacking group also used an IE zero-day against security researchers
That Settles That: White House Is Keeping Space Force
Comparing Biden’s Proposed Amnesty to the Legalization of the 1980s
Modernizing Biometrics Collection for Immigration Vetting
For Biden, Tough Talk on Saudi Arabia Meets Reality
US sends warship through Taiwan Strait for first time under Biden
Mexico Arrests Police Officers Over Massacre
Desperation grows as Mexico runs out of vaccines
Hacking group also used an IE zero-day against security researchers
Austin Orders Military Stand Down to Address Challenge of Extremism
Biden cancels Elon Musk’s adventures in space
Lockheed Overtakes Boeing as Largest US Aerospace and Defense Firm
New Sonar Sees Underwater From The Air
National Security Council meets on Iran’s nuclear program

EUROPE

One dead and nine injured after stabbings around Croydon, south London
Biden Freezes German Pullout Plans; ‘Cradle to Grave’ Review Underway
Britain expelled three Chinese spies posing as journalists, report claims
Russia Expels European Diplomats It Says Participated In Navalny Protests
B-1 Bombers Deploying To Norway For The First Time
Trident nuclear submarine replacement delayed by another year
Joe Biden demands Russia free Alexei Navalny ‘immediately
As Moscow’s Jails Overflow, Navalny Detainees Are Held Outside the City

MIDDLE EAST / AFRICA

Islamic extremists planning ‘rash of attacks’ after Covid curbs lifted, says UN
Al Qaeda’s “Expansion Project” targets Côte d’Ivoire, Benin
Biden halts support for Saudi strikes on Yemen
In Iraq’s ‘Dire’ Economy, Poverty Is Rising — And So Are Fears Of Instability
Mozambican President announces night curfews, first since 1992
Saudi Arabia suspends entry from 20 countries over COVID fears
Qatar announces new restrictions amid fears of second COVID wave
Erdogan says will not let Turkish university protests swell
Liberia war crimes: Rebel commander on trial in Finland
Tunisian soldiers killed by explosive in mountains close to Algerian border
Ethiopia arrests 15 over UAE embassy attack plot

ASIA

Nimitz moves into Indo-Pacific region after 270 days in CENTCOM AOR
Myanmar coup: What is happening and why?
Xi, Putin make the case for win-win vs zero-sum
16 injured in Sibbi blast following Kashmir solidarity rally
Chinese Soldiers Get High-Tech ‘Dog Tags’ Incl Barcodes, Embedded Chips
Uyghur advocates speak out after accounts of rape and torture in China
Top Chinese official hopes US abandons its ‘zero-sum’ rivalry
China slams U.N. Security Council ‘leak’ on Myanmar
Afghanistan troop withdrawal should be tied with peace talk progress
US study group advises delay in Afghanistan withdrawal
Japan extends state of emergency amid rising COVID-19 cases
Defector says North Korea ‘popular uprising’ likely



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Travel Security Resources

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The U.S. Dept. of State Travel Website is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to research on the security situation at your destination prior to departure.


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The Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) provides a variety of resources to enhance the safety and security of the U.S. private sector businesses and organizations operating abroad.


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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website is the authoritative federal source for information on current health issues related to specific destinations worldwide. These issues may arise from disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, natural disasters, or other conditions that may affect travelers’ health.


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Would YOU Be Considered a Domestic Terrorist Under This New Bill?

After 9/11, the entire country collectively lost its mind in the throes of fear. During that time, all civil and Constitutional rights were shredded and replaced with the pages of The USA PATRIOT Act.

Almost 20 years later, the U.S. has again lost its collective mind, this time in fear of a “virus” and it’s “super mutations” and a “riot” at the capitol. A lot of people called this and to the surprise of very few, much like after 9/11, Americans are watching what remains of their civil liberties be replaced with a new bill.

The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021

The DTPA is essentially the criminalization of speech, expression, and thought. It takes cancel culture a step further and all but outlaws unpopular opinions. This act will empower intelligence, law enforcement, and even military wings of the American ruling class to crack down on individuals adhering to certain belief systems and ideologies.

According to MI Congressman Fred Upton:


“The attack on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month was the latest example of domestic terrorism, but the threat of domestic terrorism remains very real. We cannot turn a blind eye to it,” Upton said. “The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act will equip our law enforcement leaders with the tools needed to help keep our homes, families, and communities across the country safe.

Congressman Upton’s website gives the following information on DTPA:

The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021 would strengthen the federal government’s efforts to prevent, report on, respond to, and investigate acts of domestic terrorism by authorizing offices dedicated to combating this threat; requiring these offices to regularly assess this threat; and providing training and resources to assist state, local, and tribal law enforcement in addressing it.

DTPA would authorize three offices, one each within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), to monitor, investigate, and prosecute cases of domestic terrorism. The bill also requires these offices to provide Congress with joint, biannual reports assessing the state of domestic terrorism threats, with a specific focus on white supremacists. Based on the data collected, DTPA requires these offices to focus their resources on the most significant threats.

DTPA also codifies the Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee, which would coordinate with United States Attorneys and other public safety officials to promote information sharing and ensure an effective, responsive, and organized joint effort to combat domestic terrorism. The legislation requires DOJ, FBI, and DHS to provide training and resources to assist state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies in understanding, detecting, deterring, and investigating acts of domestic terrorism and white supremacy. Finally, DTPA directs DHS, DOJ, FBI, and the Department of Defense to establish an interagency task force to combat white supremacist infiltration of the uniformed services and federal law enforcement.

Those who read the bill aren’t so gung ho to shred the Constitution

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has some serious reservations. In a recent interview on Fox News Primetime, Gabbard stated that the bill effectively criminalizes half of the country. (Emphasis ours)

“It’s so dangerous as you guys have been talking about, this is an issue that all Democrats, Republicans, independents, Libertarians should be extremely concerned about, especially because we don’t have to guess about where this goes or how this ends,” Gabbard said.

She continued: “When you have people like former CIA Director John Brennan openly talking about how he’s spoken with or heard from appointees and nominees in the Biden administration who are already starting to look across our country for these types of movements similar to the insurgencies they’ve seen overseas, that in his words, he says make up this unholy alliance of religious extremists, racists, bigots, he lists a few others and at the end, even libertarians.”

Gabbard, stating her concern about how the government will define what qualities they are searching for in potential threats to the country, went on to ask:

“What characteristics are we looking for as we are building this profile of a potential extremist, what are we talking about? Religious extremists, are we talking about Christians, evangelical Christians, what is a religious extremist? Is it somebody who is pro-life? Where do you take this”

Tulsi said the bill would create a dangerous undermining of our civil liberties and freedoms in our Constitution. She also stated the DPTA essentially targets nearly half of the United States.

“You start looking at obviously, have to be a white person, obviously likely male, libertarians, anyone who loves freedom, liberty, maybe has an American flag outside their house, or people who, you know, attended a Trump rally,” Gabbard said.

Tulsi Gabbard is not the only one to criticize the legislation

Even the ACLU, one of the weakest organizations on civil liberties in the United States, has spoken out. While the ACLU was only concerned with how the bill would affect minorities or “brown people,” the organization stated that the legislation, while set forth under the guise of countering white supremacy, would eventually be used against non-white people.

The ACLU’s statement is true.

As with similar bills submitted under the guise of “protecting” Americans against outside threats, this bill will inevitably expand further. The stated goals of the DPTA are far-reaching and frightening enough. It would amount to an official declaration of the end to Free Speech.

Soon there will be no rights left for Americans

In the last twenty years, Americans have lost their 4th Amendment rights, and now they are losing their 1st. All that remains is the 2nd Amendment, and both the ruling class and increasing numbers of the American people know it.

Dark days are ahead.

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


via : theorganicprepper, by Robert Wheeler

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The ACLU and College Professors are Encouraging Book Burnings

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, risks to your prosperity… and on occasion, inspiring poetic justice.


ACLU and Professor Team Up to Encourage Book Burnings


Abigail Shrier has committed the ultimate sin: she has a different opinion than the woke mob. And that is an unforgivable transgression.

Shrier’s new book is called Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, and she discusses some very strong views, such as that children shouldn’t be coaxed into taking life-altering hormones.

This is a controversial topic for many people, and they can choose to support or argue against Shrier’s opinions.

But that’s not how the woke mob works. They don’t use logic and debate to engage in intellectual discourse.

Instead, they simply rage– what Isaac Asimov described as “the last resource of fools.”

So naturally Twitter is jumping all over this book and trying to cancel it.

Target– the mega retail chain with stores all over the Land of the Free, already buckled, and decided to pull the book because apparently it’s full of hate speech.

(Never mind that Target continues to sell White Fragility, which is also full of hate speech that accuses roughly half the country of being White Supremacists…)

But more surprising is that Chase Strangio, a deputy director with the ACLU, is one of the Twitter mobsters.

Strangio recently Tweeted, “We have to fight these ideas… Stopping the circulation of this book and these ideas is 100% a hill I will die on.”

Remember, Strangio is with the ACLU, where the ‘C’ and ‘L’ stand for ‘Civil Liberties’. And last time I checked, civil liberties include freedom of speech. How quaint.

Also joining the mob is a Professor of English from the University of California’s Berkely campus, who encourages people to steal and burn the book.

That’s right, our cultural overseers are now advocating literal book burnings in the Land of the Free.

Click here to read the full story.


State Universities of New York Threaten to Hold Students Hostage Over COVID


The system of New York State Universities announced a policy that all students on all campuses must test negative for COVID-19 before LEAVING campus to go home for the holidays.

If students test positive, they will be FORCED to quarantine on campus for 14 days, at the responsibility of the University.

And since campuses close just prior to Thanksgiving, that means students who test positive could be held hostage in isolation on the holiday, prevented from going home to see their families.

One question: HOW IS THIS NOT KIDNAPPING????

Click here to read the full story.


Great idea #593,291: Let’s Tax the Wind


Argentina’s government has been an endless supply of terrible ideas, from wealth taxes to full-blow asset confiscation. Their latest idea? Taxing the air– more specifically the wind.

Companies which sell wind power will have to pay 4.5% REVENUE (not profit) tax to the municipality for the privilege of using the air.

Remember when governments were talking about fossil fuel taxes to encourage energy companies to stop drilling and start investing in renewable energy?

Gee I wonder what’s going to happen with this one…

Click here to read the full story.


“Defund Police” politician calls police over dispute with Lyft driver


The City Commissioner in Portland, Oregon, Comrade Jo Ann Hardesty, has strongly voiced her support for defunding the police.

So you’d think she’d be the last person to ever call the cops.

But Hardesty was recently in a Lyft and got into an argument with her driver over some petty issue over the windows being up or down.

Apparently the argument escalated, and the driver pulled into a gas station and asked Hardesty to exit the vehicle.

Now, instead of resolving the matter like a grown adult, Hardesty– an elected official– decided to call 911 (i.e. a number reserved for EMERGENCIES).

The 911 dispatcher explained to Hardesty that no crime had been committed; if the Lyft driver wanted to cancel the ride, that was his right.

But Hardesty insisted that the dispatcher send the police, i.e. the very people she wants to defund… because apparently this petty dispute constituted an emergency.

Of course there is room for police reform. But Hardesty is absurdly hypocritical to call the police for such a trivial reason… and then demand that they be defunded.

Click here to read the full story.


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


via:  SovereignMan


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Your Money is not protected

It’s 2013 and Andrew’s Savings Have Just Been Confiscated By The Government…

…just like tens of thousands of other account holders,  some losing as much as 47.5% of their savings overnight…

Andrew’s still not exactly sure how much he lost, but it could be in the hundreds of thousands…
…and it was all 100% legal because of a bank “bail-in” law.
Even though we’re talking about Cyprus, and not America, according to one former banker this same thing could happen to U.S. banks thanks to bill H.R. 4173.
How safe would your retirement savings be if the U.S. decided to execute on bill H.R. 4173?
How would potentially losing access to massive amounts of your retirement savings affect your ability to…

  • Pay your mortgage
  • Pay for medical bills
  • Pay for groceries

You probably wouldn’t want to find out right?


So what is bill H.R. 4173.

It is a  new law of the land and It was signed into law in 2010 under then President Barack Hussein Obama.

It’s known under many different names:

  • The Dodd-Frank Act.
  • Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
  • Public Law 111–203
  • H.R. 4173
  • Bank Bail-In (Google this search phrase: Dodd–Frank Bail–In)

The law states that U.S. banks may take its depositors funds (i.e. your checking, savings, CD’s, IRA & 401(k) accounts) and use those funds when necessary to keep itself, the bank, afloat.

That means:

  • if your bank makes bad investments in derivatives
  • or makes bad loans to sub-prime borrowers
  • or manages the bank poorly and can’t service its debt
  • or even worse the U.S. economy has another 2008 collapse

Instead of that bank going bankrupt and the banks assets sold off to be given back to its depositors…

Now the bank simply keeps your money and guess what? The bank is no longer bankrupt.

YOUR ACCOUNT IS NOT FDIC INSURED WHEN THE BANK TAKES YOUR MONEY. NOT ONE SINGLE PENNY.



Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.



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Grocery Stores Have Started Limiting Toilet Paper and Wipes Purchases

Amid an ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases, grocery stores have begun to limit the amount of toilet paper and disinfecting wipes once again. News reports say this new policy to prevent “hoarding.”


Amid an ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases, grocery stores have begun to limit the amount of toilet paper and disinfecting wipes once again. News reports say this new policy to prevent “hoarding.”


In the last few weeks, we have seen (firsthand in some cases) what happens when an unprepared public prepares all at once. The frenzied rush to grab as many supplies as possible created an unprecedented strain on our “just in time” food system. Basic supplies like water, pasta, bread, milk, meat and cleaning supplies were snatched up as soon as they were restocked. But this initial run on food is just the beginning.


Things are likely to get worse especially if there is any word of another potential lockdown. People will panic buy things once again wiping out entire sections of the grocery store. Luckily (or sadly) in my area, frozen foods are about the only things not in stock. There’s still plenty of fresh fruits, veggies, and canned foods…for now.


But as grocers reinstate these limits, they may understand that the food supply chain is once again breaking, and this time, it might get to the point of chaotic. Since the supply chain “remains challenged” from the first lockdown, stores began putting a limit of one on purchases of larger toilet paper and paper towel sizes and four on smaller toilet paper and paper towel sizes.


At least three companies say supply chains for securing these items are still strained. Around 19% of paper products such as toilet paper and paper towels and 16% of household cleaning products were out of stock during the week ending November 1, according to data from market research firm IRI.


In a previous article we wrote about what may happen if a two-week lockdown turns into a month or longer and given the fact that other countries around the world are shutting down, it seems as if another lockdown is very likely to happen in the United States soon.


If grocers are concerned about the people buying out the toilet paper, consider other options if you don’t have extra toilet paper stored.


It is possible to beat any shortages by bein prepared for them. The supply chains have been strained for months now, and it doesn’t look like any relief of that strain is comin any time soon.


One tip is to shop at local grocery stores. The big megastores are convenient, but as we have seen during the spring, they get bombarded quickly with panic buying. Shopping at your local supermarket may be a better bet. The smaller Mom and Pop stores may still have the items you need and can give you personalized responses and when they are restocking. Also, if you are looking for paper goods like toilet paper or paper towels or disinfectant, dish soap or cleaners consider going to your local Home Depot or Lowes store. They should have a less tapped supply.


Ordering online could help too. Hopefully you have what you need already though because even those items can sell out if the panic continues at an upward pace.


Because we can’t do a whole heck of a lot about the store limits, we should all have learned to slowly stock up over time and store a few extra items in case this very thing happens again.

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.



via:   readynutrition


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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.

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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.

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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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3 DIY Emergency Heaters That Will Keep You Warm This Winter

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Whether It’s a Small Shed, a Garage, or Your Whole House, These Do-It-Yourself Heaters Really Deliver – But Be Careful.

Winter is here, and in spite of your best efforts, there’s always that one room that is too cold. Electric space heaters are the usual option, but they have some downsides. For one, they really burn up the watts. Most space heaters run at 1500 watts on their high setting, and our electric bills tell the tale.

They’re also dependent on electricity. That can mean running extension cords to an out-building like a shed or detached garage, assuming it’s a reasonable distance from a power source.

There’s also the possibility of a power outage–which could last anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks–and that’s when alternative heat sources are no longer just convenient, but absolutely critical.

Many people depend on wood-burning stoves or pellet stoves to keep up the heat, but most of these heat sources are centralized to living areas rather than out-buildings. There are ways to distribute wood or pellet-fired heat to other areas in a house, but some spaces in a home just don’t seem to get enough.

Fortunately, there are some easy-to-make alternatives that can allow you to keep any space warm. These DIY heaters are simple and can often be assembled from materials you already have on hand.

They tend to be most effective in smaller spaces, but a lot has to do with temperatures that are tolerable rather than toasty. Even the smallest DIY heater can maintain a relatively comfortable temperature of 50° Fahrenheit. That’s sweater weather and it beats freezing.

In larger spaces, you may need a few of these improvised heaters. Just remember, the more open flames you spread around in any space, the greater the risk.

We’re going to explore three DIY heaters, but before we get into the materials and assembly details, we should cover a few points on fuels, fumes, safety and heat exchange.

Fuels

Two primary fuels are used for the heaters we’re going to cover. Candles and a 70% solution of Isopropyl alcohol. A third possibility is a gasoline additive known as HEET, but it can produce an odor if the heater is not burning properly and is more flammable than a 70% solution of isopropyl alcohol.

Candles

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The candles should be made with unscented, undyed wax. The smell of vanilla might be pleasant for an hour or so but can become a bit overwhelming as the hours wear on. We’re going to use plain white tea candles because they burn for 4 to 5 hours. The small metal cups surrounding the candle at the base also add a safety factor.

Isopropyl Alcohol

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Isopropyl alcohol can be bought in most any pharmacy and many hardware stores. The proof varies across basic concentrations ranging from 50% to 91%. A 70% solution is ideal because it burns clean and will keep a steady, hot flame. Goldilocks will be the first to tell you that 50% is too low while 91% is too high, but 70% is just right.

A wick is used to draw the alcohol to the flame and this wicking catalyst is usually fireproof insulation material or, believe it or not, toilet paper.

Fumes

Anything that burns gives off various gases. Smoke is the most noxious and usually the result of burning carbon-based fuels. Fortunately, isopropyl alcohol and candles give off little if any smoke and the fumes are relatively harmless.

The one caution has to do with the consumption of oxygen within an enclosed space. Any flame needs oxygen to burn, and a flame that starts to dim for no apparent reason is telling you something. It either needs more fuel or more oxygen.

It seems contrary to the idea of keeping the cold out, but some degree of ventilation is recommended even if all it means is opening the door now and again.

Safety

Open flames present obvious problems, so common-sense and due diligence are necessary here. It’s fair to say that many of us burn candles from time to time without harm, but the heaters we’re talking about will potentially be burning with an open flame for some length of time.

That’s why the location of your DIY heater is so important. It should be away from walls, drapes, beds, and any other flammable materials. It should also be in a location where it won’t be knocked over.

You should also develop a good insulating layer between the base of your heater and any surface, especially a wood surface. Temperatures in some of the spaces in these heaters will range from 200 to 400° Fahrenheit. Paper bursts into flame at 451° F, and 400° is getting close.

Typical insulating materials include brick, tile, or a layer of stones underneath the heater. A double layer of these materials beneath the heater is also wise as it will further disperse the heat.

Heat Exchange

One of the concepts that increases the heat for one of these DIY heaters is a simple heat exchanger. A furnace works on the same principle.

A large slab of metal or ceramic is heated and then air is forced over the hot material to cause a heat exchange. As you’ll see in one of our homemade heaters, we’ll be using terracotta flowerpots to exchange heat with the surrounding air.

A good example of basic heat exchange can be found on the iron tops of wood-stoves. They’re often decorated with cast-iron objects in various shapes to allow the heat from the iron firebox to transfer to the cast-iron decoration and to the surrounding air.

If you ever see an iron duck resting on top of a wood-burning stove, you’d be wise to avoid grabbing it. It’s very hot, and heat exchange is the reason why.

DIY Emergency Heaters

1. The Tin Can Heater

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This DIY heater is simple to assemble, it’s easily and safely stored, and it kicks out a lot of heat. It produces a fairly large flame, so location is critical. It’s also a potential hazard if it’s knocked over. There is isopropyl alcohol in the can and any spill will burst into flame, so be careful with this one.

You’ll also find that an alcohol flame is difficult to see in daylight.

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Make sure everyone knows what’s going on so they don’t accidentally touch or knock over the heater because they couldn’t see the flame.

The can is a 1-quart paint can and should be a new, empty can. You can buy them at most hardware stores for about $3. Don’t use a can that has any residual paint in it. The paint will give off toxic fumes while the heater is burning.

Splurge and spend the three bucks to get a clean, new can. A 1-quart can will burn a little over an hour until it needs to be refilled. Don’t refill the can until it has fully cooled.

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An option is a metal soup can or another tin can. The can should be well rinsed, and the paper label and the line of glue removed as well. From there, the principle is the same as the paint can except you won’t have a tight sealing lid for extinguishing, storage, and future use.

Materials and Tools:

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  • 1 empty 1-quart paint can with lid or empty food can
  • 1 roll of toilet paper
  • 1 bottle of 70% isopropyl alcohol
  • A flathead screwdriver
Assembly:

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  1. Use a screwdriver and your hands to remove the cardboard tube from the center of the toilet paper roll.
  2. Once the tube is removed, squeeze the roll so it collapses in on itself.
  3. Slowly insert the toilet paper roll into the can.
  4. As you approach the end of the roll, you might need the screwdriver to get it past the rim.

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  1. Make sure the toilet paper is below the rim of the can.

  2. A large tile at least 1-foot square should be placed under the can.

  3. Slowly pour the isopropyl alcohol onto the toilet paper wick until it is saturated.

  4. Light the top of the can,f but be careful if you place the can in a bright area. The flame can be difficult to see.

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Place the can in a safe location. The can will get very hot, so extinguish it and let it cool before touching. The lid can be slipped over the top to put out the flame. Seal the lid with light taps from a hammer and store where you store other flammable materials like kerosene, gas, oil, and propane. Before using again, top off the can with more isopropyl alcohol.

It may surprise you, but the toilet paper will not burn. It acts like a wick drawing alcohol from the bottom of the can. However, if too much alcohol burns off, the toilet paper could begin to char. When the alcohol level gets low, extinguish the flame, let the can cool completely, and refill to the proper level.


2. The Flower Pot Tea Candle Heater

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It seems absurd to think that one tea candle could produce enough heat to heat a room, and you’re right. It takes 4 to 6 tea candles to do the job. What makes this tea candle heater work is the heat exchange concept. Terracotta flowerpots fulfill the role of heat exchanger, and over 20 to 30 minutes, they will get significantly hot from the small flames of a few tea candles.

This is another DIY heater that needs to be located carefully. The good news is that if it’s knocked over it won’t spread flaming alcohol, but melted wax is highly flammable and open flames are open flames.

Materials:

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  • 1 4-inch diameter terracotta pot

  • 1 6-inch diameter terracotta pot

  • 4 to 6 plain white tea candles
  • A large tile to isolate the heat from any surface and support the candles
  • Smaller tiles or bricks to support the flower pots

  • A quarter to seal the drain hole in the smaller pot when inverted
Assembly:


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  1. Build up the smaller tiles on the large tile so they can support both flower pots and create enough air-space to keep the candles burning under an inverted pot.

  2. Center the candles and light.

  3. Invert the smallest pot so it is over the candles.

  4. Cover the hole in the bottom of the smallest pot with the quarter. Do not do this with the second, larger pot.

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  1. Invert the larger pot over the smaller pot.

In 20 to 30 minutes you will begin to feel significant heat from the sides of the large pot and from the open hole at the top. To extinguish, blow out the candles, but be careful with the pots. Internal temperatures have been measured up to 400° Fahrenheit in the small, inner pot. Give them sufficient time to cool before handling.

There are backup alternatives to flower pots. Maybe the best is a cast-iron Dutch Oven inverted on the tiles or bricks in place of the flowerpots. You won’t have the convection that a flower pot within a flower pot creates, but the cast-iron will definitely get hot.

3. The Soda Can Jet Burner

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This heater is an alcohol burner on steroids. Due to its compact size, it can be used in place of tea candles in the Flower Pot heater. One of these heaters under a flower pot will do the trick, and two will double the heat. However, this heater will also give off heat on its own, so flower pots are optional.

The assembly is a little complicated compared to the other two heaters, but the materials are very easy to find around the house.

Materials and Tools:

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  • 3 empty and rinsed aluminum soda cans

  • A handful of fireproof insulation or pipe wrap insulation

  • 1 bottle of 70% isopropyl alcohol
  • A penny

  • Kitchen shears
  • A pushpin for punching the holes

  • A small hammer of anything that can be used to pound the pushpin through the thin aluminum

  • Work gloves to protect your hands from the sharp edges of the aluminum

  • Permanent marker

  • A small piece of a 2×4 to guide the marker on the can before cutting

  • Needle nose pliers
Assembly:

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  1. Put the can down with the bottom up and using a nail, carefully drive the nail through the center of the bottom of the can.

  2. Using a pushpin, make 4 holes around the nail hole. Use the small hammer to help drive the pushpin into the aluminum.

  3. Use the same pushpin to make 16 evenly spaced holes around the ridge at the bottom of the can. To do this, start with one hole and go to the opposite side of the can for the second hole and continue in this way to create evenly spaced holes.

  4. Split the difference between the two holes and punch again. Keep splitting the difference until you have 16 evenly spaced holes.

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  1. After the holes are punched, rest the can against the 2×4 with the board lying flat. Hold the tip of the permanent market against the edge and slowly rotate the can to draw an even line around the circumference of the can. Repeat with the other can.

  2. Cut a starting cut on the can using a razor knife.

  3. Use the kitchen shears to cut the can along the line around the circumference.

  4. You now have the top burner section complete.

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  1. Repeat with the other can and, using the needle nose pliers, twist and crimp the can every half-inch to make it easier to insert into the top portion of the burner.

  2. Once you have both cans’ bottoms cut and the top punched, you’re ready for the insulation wick.

  3. If using pipe wrap insulation (which is a cheap way to pick up some insulation), cut it the long way to the height of the base can.

  4. Roll the insulation and stuff into the base can.

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  1. Carefully place the top can over the insulation filled base to fit together.

  2. Press the top down gently until the cans are tightly joined. Pour the 70% isopropyl alcohol into the top and allow to percolate into the can. You could also use a gasoline additive like HEET, but you’re probably better off with the alcohol. You’ll have to repeat this filling step numerous times. Lift the can from time to time to assess the amount of alcohol it’s holding.

  3. Using your kitchen shears, cut the bottom base off of the third can along the rim.

  4. This bottom rim can now be used to extinguish the flame.

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  1. To get the can kick-started, pour a little of the fuel around the base of the heater to raise the temperature of the metal and encourage rapid evaporation. Remember to have a slab of tile to protect any surfaces from the flames. Light the top of the heater and the fuel around the base. If necessary, repeat the lighting process a few times to get the burner started. Wait until any flames are out before adding any alcohol to the heater or the tile base. You should also be careful to watch for any phantom flames. Alcohol burns with a dim, blue flame and can be very hard to see.

  2. Once the can is starting to flame through the perimeter holes, let it burn for a few minutes. Some holes will not be lit but they should catch flame soon.

  3. When a good number of the rim, perimeter holes are flaming, toss the penny onto the can to seal the center holes. Center it in place with a screwdriver.

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The heat from this tin can heater can not only be used to heat a space but to cook with a setup that will support a pot or pan. It also works very well with the terracotta flowerpot setup.

Points to Ponder

These DIY heaters work, but they can be dangerous. Here are some tips for managing an open flame.

Location
  • The floor is a really bad place for an open-flame heater. It can be easily knocked over by a careless step, an over-anxious pet, or someone knocking something over and into it.

  • Think about how you currently manage open flames in your home.

  • Most people understand the importance of a fireplace screen in front of an open fire.

  • Gas ranges isolate the blue flame at waist height in an environment typically surrounded by metal.

  • Candles usually occupy the center of a table or in sconces on the wall.

  • Even space heaters are usually set up away from walls or furniture and really shouldn’t be placed on a rug.
Ventilation
  • Be mindful of ventilation. Open flames burn up oxygen rapidly. However, many of us cook over gas range tops with no apparent effect, but if your paint can heater is burning for a long duration it might be time to think about opening a door or window.

  • Don’t go to sleep with one of these open-flame heaters blazing away. Anything can happen, although the tea candle and flowerpot setup may be the most benign if properly placed and insulated from any surface.

If you’re planning to use these heaters on a regular basis, you might want to think about stockpiling things like cans, isopropyl alcohol, tea candles, terracotta flowerpots, and a piece of fireproof insulation.

Hopefully, you’ll only use them for a short-term trip to the shed or the garage in winter, but if they become your only source of heat, you’ll want to be ready.

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


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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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