Category Archive: Technology

Weekly National Situation Update 10-14-18

From AlertsUSA

 

WEEKLY THREAT AND ALERT ROUNDUP

 

Aerial scene of National Mall, Washington, DC - ALLOW IMAGES

Election Day Bombing Thwarted

 

Oct 13, 2018

 

On Oct 10, the following related Flash SMS message was sent to AlertsUSA subscriber mobile devices:

10/10 – NY man arraigned in federal court for manufacturing a ~200 lb explosive device for use in a Election Day bombing on the National Mall in DC. See email for more.

What You Need To Know

On Wednesday, AlertsUSA subscribers were notified of the arraignment of a New York man on charges of unlawfully manufacturing an a 200-pound bomb which he intended to detonate in a suicide attack on the National Mall in Washington D.C. on Election Day next month. Paul Rosenfeld, 56, was arrested in Rockland County, New York after authorities received a tip from an unidentified individual.

According to the federal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Paul Rosenfeld, age 56, sent letters and text messages to an individual in Pennsylvania detailing his plans to build an explosive device and detonate it on November 6, 2018, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The suspect’s stated reason for these acts was to draw attention to his belief in “sortition,” a political theory which advocates that government officials should be selected by lottery rather than popular vote.

On Oct. 9, Rosenfeld’s car was pulled over. He agreed to answer questions and was taken to an unnamed police station where he was interviewed by the FBI, waiving his Miranda rights and answering questions.

Later that same day, federal law enforcement and conducted a search of Rosenfeld’s home In the basement, agents found what appeared to be a functional black powder-based explosive device weighing approximately 200 pounds. Rosenfeld is reported to have told law enforcement that components intentionally added to the device would ensure that he was killed in the blast.

Federal officials have locked this story down good, providing little additional information about the suspect, the extent of the plot or the involvement of accomplices.

As AlertsUSA regularly warns, American citizens should not grow complacent due to the current reduced tempo of domestic terror attacks.

AlertsUSA continues to monitor the domestic and international threat environment and will immediately notify service subscribers, via SMS messages, of new alerts, warnings and advisories or any developments which signal a change the overall threat picture for American citizens as events warrant.

 


 

AlertsUSA.com

 

OTHER SMS ALERTS FROM THIS WEEK NOT DETAILED IN THIS NEWSLETTER ISSUE

 

10/11 – New Islamic State propaganda poster depicts armed jihadi and drone w/ package targeting Paris. English message reads; AWAIT FOR OUR SURPRISES. See email.

10/10 – Two dead, two injured in shooting at the Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers, FL. Shooter at large. AlertsUSA monitoring…

10/9 – Hurricane resources, incl storm data, recovery and disaster assistance, and real-time road condition links sent via email.

10/8 – Michael now a CAT1 hurricane. Rapid strengthening to CAT3-4 by landfall Wed. SE AL, GA, FL Panhandle, Big Bend residents & interests should be preparing.

10/7 – FL Governor Scott has declared a state of emergency for counties in the Panhandle & Big Bend as TS Michael strengthens towards hurricane strength. See email.

* 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.
* 15 Years in Operation!

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

 

 


 

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Hearing on Threats to the Homeland - ALLOW IMAGES

Thousands of Active Terror Investigations Underway Threat of Attacks Using Drones Very Real

 

Oct 13, 2018

 

What You Need To Know

On Wednesday of this week during testimony before the Senate Homeland Security Committee on threats to the homeland, FBI Director Christopher Wray stated that the Bureau’s agents are conducting thousands of terror investigations around the world.

“Right now, as I sit here, we’re currently investigating about 5,000 terrorism cases across America and around the world, and about a thousand of those cases are homegrown violent extremists and they are in all 50 states.”

He added that in the last year, the FBI has made hundreds of arrests of terrorism subjects and the threat of a large scale, big city attack still exists from groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS, but homegrown violence is as prevalent as ever.

“The FBI assesses homegrown violent extremists (HVEs) are the greatest terrorism threat to the homeland. These individuals are global jihad-inspired individuals who are in the U.S., have been radicalized primarily in the U.S., and are not receiving individualized direction from foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs.) We, along with our law enforcement partners, face significant challenges in identifying and disrupting homegrown violent extremists. This is due, in part, to their lack of a direct connection with an FTO, an ability to rapidly mobilize, and the use of encrypted communications.

Another area of significant concern covered in Director Ray’s testimony dealt with the topic of drones.

“The threat from unmanned aircraft systems in the U.S. is steadily escalating. While we are working with FAA and other agencies to safely integrate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the national airspace system, the FBI assesses with high confidence that terrorists overseas will continue to use small UAS to advance nefarious activities and exploit physical protective measures. While there has been no successful malicious use UAS by terrorists in the United States to date, the FBI assesses that, given their retail availability, lack of verified identification requirement to procure, general ease of use, and prior use overseas, UAS will be used to facilitate an attack in the United States against a vulnerable target, such as a mass gathering. This risk has only increased in light of the publicity associated with the apparent attempted assassination of Venezuelan President Maduro using explosives-laden UAS.”

Senate Homeland Security and
Governmental Affairs Committee

Homeland Security Threats

Read FBI Director Wray’s Full Written Testimony.

Watch a Video of the Full Hearing.

 


 

Strategy for Protecting and Preparing the Homeland Against Threats of Electromagnetic Pulse and Geomagnetic Disturbances - ALLOW IMAGES

Strategy for Protecting and Preparing the Homeland Against Threats of Electromagnetic Pulse and Geomagnetic Disturbances

The Department of Homeland Security has announced the release of the Strategy for Protecting and Preparing the Homeland against Threats from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) and Geomagnetic Disturbance (GMD).

The Strategy lays out a clear vision and an approach for DHS to take to protect critical infrastructure and prepare to respond and recover from potentially catastrophic electromagnetic incidents. The Strategy also reflects a consensus Intelligence Community assessment of the EMP threat posed by our nation’s adversaries.

Electromagnetic incidents caused by an intentional EMP attack or naturally-occurring GMD events, while unlikely, could cause serious damage to the nation’s critical infrastructure, including the electrical grid, communications equipment, and transportation capabilities.

While the Strategy is primarily focused on Departmental activities, it recognizes the importance of continued close collaboration with federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial decision-makers, sector-specific agencies, and private sector critical infrastructure owner-operators. This partnership is essential to help critical infrastructure owners and operators to manage EMP and GMD risk.

The Department is currently developing an accompanying Implementation Plan, which will include measures that enable DHS to evaluate progress toward addressing identified capability gaps. Together, the Strategy and its companion Implementation Plan will improve the Department’s management oversight and optimize resource utilization for our EMP/GMD protection, response, and recovery activities.

View the DHS EMP/ GMD Strategy Document Here (PDF)

 


 

Espionage theme atop darkened Chinese flag - ALLOW IMAGES

 

Oct 13, 2018

 

FBI Director: China Is Bigger Counterintelligence Threat Than Russia

“China in many ways represents the broadest, most complicated, most long-term counterintelligence threat we face,” FBI Director Wray told the Senate Homeland Security Committee. “Russia is in many ways fighting to stay relevant after the fall of the Soviet Union. They’re fighting today’s fight. China’s is fighting tomorrow’s fight.” READ MORE HERE

In Pacific, US Army Shifts Training
from Disaster Relief to War

Not long ago, U.S. Army forces in the Pacific spent most of their training time preparing for humanitarian relief missions, evacuations from natural disasters, and efforts to build up allied security forces. Not anymore. Since President Donald Trump has come to office, the administration has issued a new National Security Strategy focused on the persistent potential for conflict with China and North Korea. The Army has shifted gears accordingly. READ MORE HERE

Can the Chinese Be Trusted to Lead Global Institutions?

The detention of Meng Hongwei, a high-ranking Chinese Communist Party and president of Interpol, shows that under Beijing’s increasingly confident global authoritarianism, serious questions arise about the fitness of any member of the Chinese Communist Party to serve in a leadership position in international organizations. READ MORE HERE

The Two Faces of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

At issue is what is called the two faces of AQAP: the domestic insurgency and the international terrorist organization. These two strands have always coexisted in AQAP, as they have for most terrorist groups. But the two are often conflated into one overall picture of the group. We hear AQAP and think of international terrorism, not the domestic insurgency. This failure by journalists, analysts, and officials to distinguish between AQAP’s two sides leads to a mistaken impression of the threat the group represents to the West. READ MORE HERE

 

 


 

U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Jade Woodend, assigned to Battalion Landing Team 3/1, fires a FIM-92 Stinger antiaircraft missile from the flight deck of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) during a regularly scheduled deployment of Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) in the Arabian Sea Oct. 7, 2018. - ALLOW IMAGES

World News Roundup

 

Oct 13, 2018

 

Other Developments We Are Following

AMERICAS

‘You’re on your own’: US sealift can’t count on Navy escorts in the next big war
More Illegals Having Anchor Babies in LA than Total U.S. Births in 14 States
‘Unimaginable destruction’: Hurricane smashes rows of houses.
America’s obesity is threatening national security, according to this study
Solar-powered drug tunnel discovered on Mexican border with California.
Entire F-35 fighter jet fleet grounded by military after crash in September
Our Goal Is to Horrify’: ISIS Concert Threat Depicts Jihadist with Grenade
Chinese Prof In Child Porn Case Also Under Scrutiny For Alleged Espionage
Group Recognized For Efforts To Thwart Nigerian Email Scams
Pompeo Says No More US Reconstruction Aid To Syria If Iran Stays
DOJ Charges Chinese Spy w/ Attempting To Steal Trade Secrets
Man Gets Probation For Forcing Emergency Landing In Oklahoma
Trump And Trudeau Discuss Border And Terrorism In Phone Call
DOJ IG Fails To Identify Leaker Of Manchester Bombing Report
Sacramento ISIS Suspect Faces Certain Execution If Sent Back To Iraq
DHS Funds Airport Navigation App That Guides You From Check-in To Gate
Trump’s DHS Begins Defense Against Nuclear Bomb ‘Electromagnetic Pulse

EUROPE

Migrant celebrates Swedish citizenship w/ rape: “Now I can do what I want”
Rocket Fails, and American and Russian Astronauts Make Emergency Return
Russia opens criminal probe after rocket malfunction forces emergency landing.
Russia Sends Troops & Missiles Into Libya To Enforce Hold On The West
EU Security Chiefs & Sessions Hold Stadium Terrorism Exercise
Possibility Of Chemical Attack In UK Getting Closer Security Minister
UK Terror Attacks: Report Examines 23 Arrests
Belgium Charges Iranian Diplomat With Planning Bomb Attack
Did Two Russian Spies Who Poisoned Skripals Have An Accomplice?
Closer EU Int’l Cooperation To Fight Hostage-taking, Kidnapping & Terrorism
ISIS Supporters Stopped From Travelling To Syria May Attack UK Instead
At Least 160 Radical Muslims Are Under Dutch Local Authority Surveillance

MIDDLE EAST / AFRICA

U.S. Raises Pressure On Saudi Arabia Over Missing Journalist
U.S. Navy returns to Israeli port in sign of ‘deep alliance’
F-22 stealth jets got 587 enemy aircraft to back off in ‘combat surge’ over Syria
Secret deal with Turkey paves way for American pastor’s release
Intel: Why Turkey outed an alleged Saudi ‘hit squad’
Iranians stock up as U.S. sanctions damage Iranian economy
Egypt: Military court sentences 17 to death for church bombings
Ebola could spread from DRC to Uganda, Rwanda, WHO warns
Burkina Faso attacks open new front in France’s anti-terror fight
Libya’s eastern forces arrest top Egyptian al-Qaeda fighter
U.S. Conducts Airstrike In Support Of The Federal Government Of Somalia
Scores Detained In Anti Terror Operations Against PKK’s Urban Wing In Turkey
ISIS Leader ‘orders 320 Of His Followers To Be Killed For Disloyalty’

ASIA

China’s H-20 stealth bomber to take to the skies soon
China ‘legalises’ internment camps for million Uighurs
U.S. tightens controls on China imports of nuclear components
S. Korea walks back on possibly lifting sanctions on North
China, Russia, DPRK call for adjusted sanctions ahead of denuclearisation
Here’s What Needs to Happen to Stay Out of War With China
Islamist hardliners protest as Pakistan awaits blasphemy ruling
Indonesia earthquake: Search for survivors extended for one more day
North Korea intends to abolish all nuclear weapons, South says
North, South Korea to hold high-level talk next week
Moon Jae-in urges US to declare end of war with North Korea

LEFTIST VIOLENCE / TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME

Antifa Attacks GOP Headquarters in NYC, Warns ‘Merely the Beginning’
Clinton: ‘No civility with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for’
Trump May Not Be Crazy, But He’s Driving The Left Insane
Antifa Website Promotes Home Abortion Classes
Conservative Students Attacked, Threatened over Kavanaugh Posters
Trump Supporters Being Attacked – Montage
Bloody scenes in San Jose as protesters attack Trump supporters outside rally
After Its Kavanaugh Loss, The Left Gets Even More Unhinged
Truck set on fire because of pro-Trump stickers, owner says
Federal Court Orders Hearing Seeking Testimony of Hillary Clinton
Leftist ‘gender studies’ prof arrested for theft of conservative election signs
Dem senate candidate calls Arizona “meth lab of democracy”
Leftist threatens to rape a Conservative woman on camera

 


 

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Homeland Security

DHS Seal - ALLOW IMAGES

Since 2015, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has used the National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin to highlight the continuing terror threat to the U.S. Homeland.

CURRENTLY ACTIVE NTAS BULLETIN

PDF (1 pg, 186 KB)
Web Version

 

 


 

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Travel Security

Department of State Seal - ALLOW IMAGES

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 do a little research on the security situation at your destination well 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

 


 

Safe Travels During Storm Season

Department of State Guidance

Overseas Security Advisory Council Logo - ALLOW IMAGES

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.

Mariners and U.S. citizens considering maritime travel should also review information at the websites of the National Geospatial Agency, the Maritime Security Communications with Industry Portal, and the U.S. Coast Guard for information related to maritime and port security globally.

CDC Logo - ALLOW IMAGES

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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Free Homesteading, Cooking, Prepper, Survival eBooks & PDF’s for 09-21-18

Free Kindle Survival Homesteading Books

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

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

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

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

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

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Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


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WEEKLY THREAT ROUNDUP 9-9-18

From AlertsUSA

 

Amsterdam Central Station - ALLOW IMAGES

 

Two Americans Stabbed in Amsterdam Terror Attack Attempted Bombing of US Embassy Egypt

 

Sept 8, 2018

 

   

Between August 31 and Sept 4, the following related Flash SMS messages were sent to AlertsUSA subscriber mobile devices:

8/31 – Two people wounded in stabbing incident at Amsterdam’s central railway station. Suspect shot by Dutch police. AlertsUSA monitoring.

9/1 – US Embassy Netherlands: The 2 victims in the 8/31 stabbing incident at Amsterdam central train station were American tourists, the attacker an Afghan national.

9/1 – Dutch police (Korps Nationale Politie) now classify 8/31 stabbing of two Americans in Amsterdam as an act of terrorism based on first statement from suspect.

9/4 – Man detained after attempting to detonate explosive device near the US Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. American citizens warned to avoid the area. See email.

9/4 – US embassies worldwide now on a heightened state of alert. Anticipate poss delays. Caution urged. Visiting a US Embassy abroad? Call ahead. More via email.

What You Need To Know

On 20 occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via SMS messages to their mobile devices regarding safety and security matters.

Most important for this update:

Last Friday, AlertsUSA subscribers were notified of a double stabbing at the Central Train Station in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In this incident, a 19-year-old Afghan national, Jawed Santani, who is registered in Germany as an asylum seeker, pulled a knife and repeatedly stabbed two men standing at an information kiosk. Dutch police report that the assailant was being monitored by surveillance officers who were positioned nearby as lookouts for pickpockets. Within seconds of the attack taking place, uniformed officers opened fire, severely wounding the suspect in the hip.

The following day, U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands, Pete Hoekstra, issued a statement saying the two 39 year old victims of the knife attack were American citizens.

Following initial questioning of the suspect, Dutch prosecutors issued statements indicating they have classified the incident as an act of terror, and that the suspect intentionally traveled to the Netherlands to carry out an attack because of what he said were repeated Dutch insults to “the Prophet Mohammad, the Koran, Islam, and Allah.” Police have also clarified that this was not a targeted attack on the American visitors.

Readers are reminded that on multiple occasions this year alone, AlertsUSA has warned subscribers of repeated threats and calls for attack by both the Islamic State and al Qaeda in western nations, and that the use of knives for such attacks in crowded public venues is a heavily promoted tactic due to the ease of the weapon’s acquisition as well as concealment.

ATTEMPTED EMBASSY BOMBING

On Tues, AlertsUSA subscribers were notified of an attempted bombing of the US Embassy is Cairo, Egypt. In this incident, the bomber can be seen on video walking across Simon Bolivar Street just outside of the heavy blast walls that surround the embassy in the Garden City area of the capital. Moments later, a device the suspect was carrying in his backpack appears to partially detonate, emitting a large plum of smoke and knocking him to the ground.

Police quickly arrested the man. Soon thereafter. an Egyptian explosive ordnance disposal team destroyed the backpack in a controlled explosion. Following the failed attack, the US Embassy issued a warning message to US citizens urging them to stay away from the area.

According to the Egyptian Interior Ministry, the suspect, 24-year-old Abdullah Ayman Abdel-Sameea, embraced an “extremist” ideology and that he intended to use the material he carried in a “hostile” act. As of the time of this reports’ preparation, few other details have been revealed about the suspect.

– – – –

As a follow-up to these two stories, readers are reminded that U.S. government facilities worldwide remain in a heightened state of alert. These facilities may temporarily close or periodically suspend public services to assess their security posture. U.S. citizens abroad, regardless of your location, are urged to regularly monitor the local news as well as maintain contact with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, ideally through registration in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.

Additionally, as the U.S. government regularly warns, terrorist groups including ISIS, al-Qa’ida, their associates, and those inspired by such organizations, are intent on attacking U.S. citizens wherever they are. Extremists may use conventional or non-conventional weapons to target U.S. government and private interests. Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack to more effectively target crowds, including the use of edged weapons, pistols, and vehicles as weapons.

To this end, extremists increasingly aim to assault “soft” targets, such as:

  • high-profile public events
  • hotels, clubs, and restaurants
  • places of worship
  • schools
  • parks
  • shopping malls and markets
  • tourism infrastructure
  • public transportation systems
  • airports

On again, AlertsUSA cautions American citizens, and in particular, those traveling abroad, to maintain a high level of vigilance and personal security awareness.

AlertsUSA continues to monitor the domestic and international threat environment and will immediately notify service subscribers, via SMS messages, of new alerts, warnings and advisories or any developments which signal a change the overall threat picture for American citizens as events warrant.

 


 

AlertsUSA.com

OTHER SMS ALERTS FROM THIS WEEK
NOT DETAILED IN THIS NEWSLETTER ISSUE

9/2 – AlertsUSA monitoring possible active shooter situation, Legends Casino, Toppenish, WA. Heavy police presence. Avoid the area. Additional alerts as warranted.

9/3 – BBC HQ on Duchess St. in London in lockdown mode as bomb squad investigates suspicious van. AlertsUSA monitoring.

9/5 – Emirates Flt #203 (Dubai – JFK) lands with ~100 ill passengers. Quarantine of flight in effect. FDNY & hazmat on scene. Add’l details forthcoming.

9/5 – AlertsUSA awaiting statement from health authorities on Emirates Flt #203 from Dubai. Some passengers now disembarking.

9/5 – Emirates flt update: At least 10 transported to Jamaica Hospital. 12 being treated at JFK airport. 430+ now deplaned. Cause still not specified by authorities.

9/5 – Shallow M6.7 EQ strikes Japan’s Hokkaido island. NOAA prelim assessment of no tsunami threat. AlertsUSA monitoring..

9/5 – Widespread landslides, power / utility outages, and some buildings destroyed on Japan’s Hokkaido island following earlier M6.7 quake. AlertsUSA monitoring..

9/6 – AlertsUSA monitoring active shooter situation, Fifth Third Bank, Fountain Square, Cincinnati. Avoid the area.

9/6 – AlertsUSA monitoring active shooter report, Sanford Hospital, Aberdeen, SD (SW of Fargo). Local schools on lockdown. Developing..

9/6 – Deep M8.1 EQ, 115 km SE Fiji. NOAA prelim evaluation indicates no tsunami threat expected. AlertsUSA monitoring..

9/6 – Cincinnati PD reports 4 dead (incl suspect) + 2 injured in active shooter incident at the Fifth Third bank bldg at Fountain Square.

9/6 – East coast residents from GA to NJ should be paying attention to Hurricane Florence. Growing potential for coastal impact as major storm next week. See email.

9/6 – The US Embassy area in Baghdad’s Green Zone has come under mortar fire within the last hour. No casualties reported. Add’l alerts as warranted.

9/7 – AlertsUSA monitoring ongoing active shooter / hostage situation, Sky Motors, Pacific Ave. S., Parkland, WA. Avoid the area. Add’l alerts as warranted.

9/7 -FEMA will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) on Sept 20, 2018. See email for more info.

AlertsUSA Service for Mobile Devices Ad - ALLOW IMAGES

* 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.
* 15 Years in Operation!

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

 

 


 

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The Tiger and the Dragon:India as a Counterbalance to China in the Indo-Pacific

The areas linking the Pacific Ocean to the Indian Ocean—including the South China Sea, Malacca Straits, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands—are of vital strategic importance to all the major regional players, as more than a quarter of all global trade and energy transportation passes through these waterways.

The United States, China, and India are all beholden to each other to the extent that each exerts a distinct influence over these routes. For this reason, China’s effective annexation of parts on the South China Sea is particularly dangerous. The United States cannot respond to this type of threat unilaterally; and beyond Japan and South Korea, US willingness to come to the defense of its other Asian allies is viewed as questionable. In many ways, India represents a natural counterbalance in a region where China’s strength, leadership, and boldness are increasing.

This report provides an analysis of the spaces in which the United States may find success working with India to counterbalance China’s challenge to the status quo—as well as an assessment of the potential hurdles in attempts to do so—both in general and through an examination of specific lessons from the South China Sea.

Read the Full Report Here

 


 

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Sept 8, 2018

 

An Overview of Current Trends in Terrorism and Illicit Finance

In this testimony before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance on Sept 7, 2018, Colin Clarke of the RAND Corporation does a deep dive into terrorist financing, discussing its historical context, how terrorists generate income, how their methods have changed over time, current trends including the crime-terror nexus, as well as how ISIS may attempt to finance a renewed campaign of terror. Read More Here

European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend (TSAT) Report 2018

This 2018 edition of the annual TESAT provides an overview of the nature and volume of terrorism that the EU faced in 2017. Although the majority of Member States reported that they did not experience any terrorist attacks during the reporting period, the human suffering and the threat of attacks remains high. The report includes accurate numbers on the number of terrorist attacks in 2017, as well as arrests and convictions for terrorist crimes. A brief overview of the terrorist situation outside the EU is also included. Read More Here

Russia is Rehearsing for a Global War, and Giving Early Warning

What are we to make of Russia’s Vostok (East)-2018 exercise? From September 11-15, Russia’s Far East will host Vostok-2018, the largest Russian military exercise since Zapad (West)-1981. According to Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, this latest exercise will engage some 300,000 Russian troops, over 1,000 aircraft, the Pacific and Northern Fleets, the entire Airborne forces, including 30 aircraft and fixed-wing helicopters, and Mongolian and Chinese troops. Read More Here

 

 


 

Air Force Capt. Andrew "Dojo" Olson, commander of the F-35 Heritage Flight Team, performs a high-speed pass during the Canadian International Air Show in Toronto, Sept. 1, 2018. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Cook. - ALLOW IMAGES

World News Roundup

 

Sept 8, 2018

 

Other Developments We Are Following

AMERICAS

Why you might soon undergo a body scan to ride the subway or bus
‘It’s like Bin Laden reaching out from the grave’: 9/11 still killing FBI agents
Trump’s GITMO Plan Could Force Court Battle Over Legality Of ISIS War
Alexander Ciccolo, son of Boston cop, to serve 20 years on terror charges
US Navy Aircraft Carriers Are Getting a Big Upgrade
African migrants surge at U.S.-Mexico border; Rio Grande drownings up
U.S let foreign govs screen terrorist suspects against US databases.
The moment Brazilian far-right presidential candidate is stabbed during rally
Teen from New Mexico compound says he was trained for jihad: FBI
Lawmakers tell Mattis not to divert military funds for border wall
Russia’s S-500: An F-35 or F-22 Stealth Slayer?
U.S., India Sign Military-Intelligence-Sharing Agreement
US, India to carry out large-scale joint military exercises in 2019

EUROPE

Salisbury Novichok poisoning: Threat from Russia is ‘real’ – GCHQ
GCHQ’s warns it will deploy its entire arsenal on ‘brazen’ Kremlin
Three arrested on suspicion of funding terrorism in west London
Russian Forces Flood Into The Med Ahead Of Syrian Offensive
British Airways data breach affects almost 400,000 customers
US Considering Enhanced Military Presence in Greece
Migrant arrivals drop as Hungary enforces tough law
Swedish far-right leader receives death threat letter with ISIS flag
We’re insubordinate’: The rural towns at forefront of Swedish populist wave
Georgia extradites Russian data theft suspect to US

MIDDLE EAST / AFRICA

US begins military exercise in Syria in response to Russian military threats
Erdogan: Turkey won’t fulfill ‘unlawful requests’ on U.S. pastor case
Officials: Mortar explosions in Baghdad happened near a US Embassy
U.S.: Syrian forces could be preparing chemical weapons for attack on Ibib
Trump says he won’t give aid to Palestinians unless they agree to peace deal
Russia and Turkey Will Collide Over End of Syrian Civil War
Baghdadi’s ‘last ditch’ effort to save ISIS
Infighting in Tehran: Are U.S. policies succeeding?
Paraguay moves Israel embassy back out of Jerusalem.
Turkey will not ‘watch from the sidelines’ any killings benefiting Syrian agenda
Russia Threatens To Attack Key U.S. Outpost In Southern Syria
Morocco says it has stopped over 50,000 migrants crossings to Europe
Anger as Italy arrests Tunisian fishermen ‘rescuing migrants’
Israel says it launched 200 strikes in Syria since 2017
Israel’s Army Ready for Any War Scenario Amid Watchdog’s Gloomy Report

ASIA

Russia’s massive military exercise with China aimed at Pacific leverage
Why Russia and China Are Expanding Their Roles in Afghanistan
British Navy warship sails near South China Sea islands, angering Beijing
Pakistan on course to become world’s 5th largest nuclear power
Chinese Tax Authorities Join Hunt for $21 Trillion in Overseas Assets
China Using Cyberespionage to Gain Military and Tech Advantages
China ‘relieved’ Philippine warship towed from shoal in disputed S. China Sea
China Responds to B-52s in the South China Sea — RCD
China Carried Out Several Dozen Hypersonic Arms Tests
China ‘nearing mass production’ of J-20 stealth fighter

 

 


 

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Homeland Security

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Since 2015, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has used the National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin to highlight the continuing terror threat to the U.S. Homeland.

CURRENTLY ACTIVE NTAS BULLETIN

PDF (1 pg, 186 KB)
Web Version

 

 


 

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Travel Security

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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 do a little research on the security situation at your destination well 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

 


 

Safe Travels During Storm Season

Department of State Guidance

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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.

Mariners and U.S. citizens considering maritime travel should also review information at the websites of the National Geospatial Agency, the Maritime Security Communications with Industry Portal, and the U.S. Coast Guard for information related to maritime and port security globally.

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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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Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

 

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Free Homesteading, Cooking, Prepper, Survival eBooks & PDF’s for 08-15-18

Free Kindle Survival Homesteading Books

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

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

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

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

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

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Free Homesteading, Cooking, Prepper, Survival Kindle eBooks for 01-29-18

Free Kindle Survival Homesteading Books

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


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Free Homesteading, Cooking, Prepper, Survival Kindle eBooks for 01-13-18

Free Kindle Survival Homesteading Books

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Off-the-Grid Phone Chargers, Reviewed


Top off-the-grid phone chargers so you can stay connected when you unplug.

Most of us occasionally want to unplug from the hustle and bustle and head to the great outdoors for exciting adventures or some well-deserved relaxation, but that doesn’t mean we want to leave our phones behind. Smartphones offer many useful features for wandering off the grid, including GPS, maps, survival apps, and of course the ability to make emergency calls – not to mention access to our favorite games, books, blogs, and social media sites. The only problem? Keeping your phone charged when you’re off the grid.

No outlet? No problem! Here are some off-the-grid phone chargers so you can stay connected when you unplug.

Types of off-the-grid phone chargers

Before you can buy the best off-the-grid phone chargers, it’s important to understand the differences between each type. Several different kinds of outlet-free phone chargers are available, including:
Solar phone chargers
Hand-crank phone chargers
Camping/thermoelectric phone chargers
Water-powered phone chargers
Wind-powered phone chargers
Kinetic phone chargers
Bicycle phone chargers

Each type of charger has its own pros and cons, listed in the table below:

 

Phone charger type Pros Cons
Solar ·
Portable
·
Some have batteries so they continue to work
in overcast conditions
·
No manual power required
·
Free, easily-accessible energy source (the
sun)
·
Not always efficient
·
If no battery, will not work in overcast
conditions
·
Some have lengthy charge times
Hand-crank ·
Portable
·
Works anywhere
·
Some have batteries that are charged by the
hand-crank, so you can charge the battery and then use your phone
·
Requires manual power
·
Conversion process is inefficient; best-used
for emergency calls
·
If no battery, must crank while you use your
phone
Camping/thermoelectric ·
Works anywhere – set it and forget it
·
Not affected by conditions
·
Excellent for camping
·
Portable between campsites, but not on-the-go
(for example, hiking)
·
Requires water or wood and a heat source, such
as a camping stove
Water-powered ·
“Pods” are filled with water to activate
battery cells and generate power
·
Easy phone charging when you have access to
water
·
Portable
·
Must purchase individual pods and have access
to expendable water
·
Pods could get expensive and charger could cut
into your drinking water supply
Wind-powered ·
Unlimited free charging where wind is
available
·
Requires steady supply of ample wind force
·
Must position charger to catch the wind
Kinetic ·
Portable
·
Unlimited supply of power
·
Requires manual power to operate
·
Inefficient, lengthy charge times – best used
for emergency calls
Bicycle ·
Portable
·
Charges while you ride
·
Duplicates manual power (requires no
additional power beyond pedaling your bicycle)
·
Requires a bicycle and typically a special
adapter
·
Will not charge when you’re not riding your
bike

 

 

 

Best off-the-grid phone chargers

Once you determine which type of off-the-grid charger will work best when you bug out, it’s time to decide which model to buy. The following looks at models in each category.

Ayyie, Solar Charger, Solar Power Bank 10000mAh External Backup Battery Pack

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There are many contenders for the best solar phone chargers, each exhibiting its own unique benefits, but this one has the perfect blend of features for most off-the-grid trips. Unlike large (and expensive) solar panels, this is about the size of a smartphone so it’s ultra-portable.

The diminutive size doesn’t mean it’s not powerful; once fully-charged, the inboard battery has enough juice to recharge an iPhone many times. Moreover, the device features two USB ports so you can charge two devices at once. Because they’re USB ports, it is compatible with just about any popular device, including the Galaxy, iPhone, and even iPads and Kindles.

The only drawback is that it’s limited by its size: because it’s so small, it can take a long time to charge. That means you need to charge it completely before you leave the grid, then leave it in the sun all day and save charging your phone for overnight if you want the power to last. That’s easily within the realm of possibility for most contemporary campers.

Finally, it comes at a friendly price-point, having about a $30 price on Amazon.

SunJack 14W

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If not for the $140 price tag, the SunJack might be top of list. The four-panel charger folds to roughly the size of an iPad and fully charges within five hours – faster than any other solar charger listed here. Even better, the SunJack charges an iPhone as quickly as a wall outlet (about 75 minutes from 35% charge, according to Offgrid Survival).

The SunJack features a removable backup battery, and you can charge your devices directly from the SunJack while it charges or use the charged battery as a stand-alone device. If you buy a second SunJack battery, you can always have one on the charger and one in-hand.

SunJack also has a 20-watt model.

 

Zebora Powerful Portable Solar Charger – Equipped with 4 Foldable Solar Panels & 10,000 mAh Dual USB Ports Power Bank for Mobile Devices, Pads and Other USB-charged Devices at $47.

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Cobra Electronics CPP 300 SP

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The $18 Cobra CPP 300 SP doesn’t require direct sunlight (which can actually cause the batteries to swell), only daylight, and takes up to 28 hours to charge – a full 22 hours faster than the Apollo 2. That’s because the 300SP folds out into two solar panels, which nearly cut charge times in half.

The 300SP can deliver three to four iPhone charges on a single charge from its 2.1 Amp rapid-charge lithium battery. It’s small and lightweight, making it ultra-portable, and features three USB charging ports for simultaneous multi-device charging. An onboard illuminated LCD screen eliminates battery level guesswork.

It also has the CPP 100 SP model for around $47 an has 3.7V/6,000mAh Lithium Polymer Battery Pack.

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Voltaic Systems 4.0W

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At $89, the Voltaic Systems 4.0W might be one the best deals. That’s because its dual monocrystalline waterproof solar panels are capable of charging the average smartphone after just 3.5 hours of indirect sunlight – and a single hour of solar panel charging will generate enough juice to power a smartphone for three hours.

The Voltaic Systems 4.0W is unique in that it features a removable battery you can keep in your pocket for portable charging. If you get a second battery, you can always have one battery charging at your campsite and another in your pocket during hikes and other adventures.

Best hand-crank phone charger

American Red Cross FRX2 Hand Turbine ARCFRX2WXR

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There’s not much to be said about hand-crank phone charges, other than the fact that they require a lot of manual cranking to get a decent charge. That’s why they’re best-used for emergency situations only; all the more fitting for the American Red Cross to partner with Eton to produce an off-the-grid charger that not only charges your phone, but also doubles as an AM/FM/NOAA weather band radio. Add in the secondary solar charging panel – though small and slow-charging – and you can’t ask for much more at this model’s $39 price point.

K-Tor 120 Volt 10W

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For a no-frills, charge-only experience, check out the K-Tor 120 Volt 10-watt hand-crank phone charger. It’s unique in that it uses an AC plug to charge your devices for universal compatibility; plus, it’s capable of charging at the same rate as a standard wall outlet (though it would take hours of cranking to achieve a full charge). It’s a great emergency device, but at $50 it’s simply not as good a deal as the Eton American Red Cross model.

 

Nice combo unit for Solar and hand crank power

 

Eton FRX5 – All Purpose Weather Alert Radio with Bluetooth

The FRX5 BT is solar-powered, splashproof², smartphone and tablet charging, Bluetooth streaming and with S.A.M.E. technology. With the rechargeable lithium battery, super duper solar panel and hand crank power generator, it is an essential for everyday use at home, at work, or in the great outdoors. You now are essentially getting two products in one – a rugged weather radio with alerts and a speaker system where you can stream anything at anytime and anywhere for just $86.

image image

    • AM/FM/NOAA weather bands
    • S.A.M.E. and NOAA weather alerts
    • Bluetooth ready
    • 2000 mAh rechargeable lithium battery
    • Digital tuner and display
    • 5v—2.1A USB output
    • High efficiency solar panel charging
    • Hand crank power
    • Rugged¹ and IPX4 splashproof²
    • Bright LED flashlight, red emergency beacon
    • Ambient light with dimmer
    • Drop-proof from a height of 3.3 ft. (1m). Drop protection varies depending on drop conditions.
    • Water resistant to IEC 60529IPX4. It is not waterproof and should not be immersed in water.
    • Dimensions 5.8 x 7.1 x 2.3” (W x H x D) 14.8 x 18.1 x 5.8 cm (W x H x D) Weight: 1 lb 6 oz (0.62 kg)

American Red Cross FRX3 

The FRX3 which is a multi-powered, multi-function, smartphone charging, weather alert radio which will give access to news and information in an emergency. at $59 it is small and easy to transport.

image image

  • Receives AM/FM (digital radio)
  • Receives all 7 NOAA/Environment Canada Weather bands
  • ALERT function broadcasts in emergency weather alerts
  • Hand turbine and solar power charging in emergencies
  • USB smartphone charge
  • Long-lasting LED flashlight
  • One red LED flashing beacon

5.8 x 6.9 x 2.6” (W x H x D) 14.7 x 17.5 x 6.6 cm (W x H x D) Weight: 0.93 lbs (0.42 kg)

 

Best camping/thermoelectric phone charger

BioLite Wood Burning Camp Stove

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Toss a few twigs in the chamber, and the BioLite Wood Burning Camp Stove lets you charge your smartphone while you boil water and cook meals. Charge time is dependent on the strength of your fire, but generally speaking you can get an hour of smartphone use per 20 minutes of charging.

The main drawbacks to the BioLite Wood Burning Camp Stove are that you have to continually feed fuel (wood) into the stove and it’s not really portable, save for transport between campsites. However, quick, easy charging makes the BioLite Wood Burning Camp Stove a good alternative to solar chargers – no sun required. The $125 price tag might be a bit much for a charger, but when you add in the cooking features this dual-purpose device is a good deal.

I have even seen this at local Lowe’s store for as little as $104.

 

Power Pot 5

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Like the BioLite Wood Burning Camp Stove, the Power Pot 5 converts heat into electricity so you can power your devices. Unlike the BioLite model, you’ll need to provide the heat source to make the Power Pot 5 work. You also need to fill the pot with water (or soup or other liquid) during operation.

Though the manufacturer claims you can get 90 minutes of talk time per 20-minute charge, customer reviews indicate actual performance depends on the output (some struggled to achieve five watts) and the size of your phone battery. As one reviewer put it, if you have a 2,000mAH battery it would take two hours to fully charge your phone, refilling the pot with water every ten minutes. The Power Pot 5 is a great idea and doesn’t limit you to a single heat source, but at its $82 price you might be better off with the BioLite Wood Burning Camp Stove.

Best kinetic phone charger

Kinetic energy represents the next frontier in off-the-grid phone charging, but results to-date haven’t lived up to the hype. Several companies have gone out of business or received poor reviews (such as the nPower PEG). However, there is hope on the horizon.

For starters, you get AMPY, a $50 motion charger funded via a Kickstarter campaign. AMPY is said to convert the kinetic energy from a half-hour run into three hours of talk time.

image

If AMPY is successful, you can expect similar products to be released soon after. Some products are borderline wacky, including foot pump and yo-yo chargers. Scientists have even developed a battery that can be charged by your heartbeat.
These are all cool ideas, but until kinetic chargers have proven themselves you’re probably better off choosing a tested option when you’re going off-grid.

Best water, wind, and bicycle phone chargers

Similar to kinetic chargers, these types of off-the-grid phone chargers aren’t as tested others. Still, there are some notable options you can consider for your next great escape, including:

myFC Power Trekk – put pods (called “pukks”) in the device and add water to charge your phones; with lukewarm reviews, it’s probably not worth the hassle at $130. Keep an eye out for myFC’s upcoming saltwater card charger, which is about the size of a smartphone and uses saltwater cards to instantly supply hydrogen power (no pre-charging required), but still have to keep replacing cards.

Vindur – Portable Wind Turbine– for $400, sun is more reliable than wind in most cases

K-tor Power Box 20 Watt Pedal Generator –For $200 can use hands or feet to pedal charge items.

Siva Cycle Atom– charges your devices while you ride your bike for $99. Also check out the BikeCharge Dynamo ($110)

Which off-the-grid phone charger should you buy?

There are a lot of cool concepts out there, but if you’re going off the grid your best bet is to choose proven, reliable technology – technology your life just might depend on. In addition, it’s a good idea to have a second option in case your first charger fails. Our recommendation is to choose one of the solar-powered models featured here, backed up by a hand-crank model.

Ultimately, of course, you need to make the best decision for your environment. If you’re venturing through an Alaskan winter, a solar charger won’t do you much good. If you plan to spend a month in the outback, you’ll probably need a larger, more expensive charger than the models mentioned here. For most weekenders, however, keeping an emergency charge on-hand can be accomplished with a solar charger and a backup hand-crank charger.

 

 

You could also choose to load up emergency supplies and have them and you ready and use the SolarGoPack solar powered backpack. at $250.

image imageimage 

 

Or if you want to go much bigger and money is no option, could always look at the Solar Powered Generator – 3.240 Kilowatt Max Output – 19ft Trailer – 24 Panels – NEMA 4X Enclosure at only $111,538.00.

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or the SOLAR MAX POWER TRAILER 8000– (SMALL HOUSE ON WHEELS) for only $29,885.00.

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another option the Quantum Harvest Model 6000 Portable Solar Power System for $14,995.00.

 

So many options you should be able to find or even build something yourself.

Portable Solar Wind Power Generator

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14 Brilliant DIY Wind Turbine Design Ideas For Living Off the Grid

How to Build a Solar Energy Generator for Emergency Backup Power

 

Don’t forget to check these posts out:

Family Disaster Planning

How to communicate when the world goes silent

50 Last Minute Ways to Prepare for an Emergency

Emergency Preparedness for Everybody

Reliable Ham Radio Post-Disaster Security Communications

 

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How to communicate when the world goes silent

So how would you communicate with your family or get help if communications go down? If you found yourself in the middle of a wide-scale disaster such as a hurricane or other catastrophe and you had no government coming to help for a while, how would you communicate with your family or others? What if the power grid went down?

You won’t be able to rely on your cell phone. There are alternatives, however. This is a pretty long article that goes into some good detail, but if you want the short answer, this is what you need.

I’ll go over the basics of some emergency communication methods but if you want more detail, check out Personal Emergency Communications: Staying in Touch Post-Disaster: Technology, Gear and Planning.

Short-term emergencies have shown the limitations of using cell phones to coordinate with each other. Even if the towers are operational, they can’t handle the added traffic of millions of people trying to get a hold of loved ones – or help. Ever had trouble calling your mother on the morning of Mother’s Day?

During many recent events, cell phone service wasn’t an option for many for days. The system became seriously overloaded on 9/11 so calls wouldn’t go through, 70% of the towers went down during Katrina and were down for days, and most areas haven’t been adequately improved across the US.

These won’t be isolated events. Don’t think that because you live in a large metropolitan area that you’re safer. A quick look at some of the things that went on during Hurricane Sandy in NY will show that the government has a lot to deal with in addition to just trying to get your cell phone service back up so even though that was a pretty short-term event, it caused a lot of problems.

Here are just a few issues that would affect you being able to pull out your iPhone to call up people:

  • Cell phone communication has a lot of vulnerabilities that make it a poor solution for widespread or long-term emergencies.
  • Heavy winds or flooding can disrupt the cables between towers such as during Hurricane Sandy.
  • Cell towers require AC power to operate so if they don’t have an automatic backup system, they stop. Keep in mind that a lot of towers are just glorified antennas on the tops of buildings or mountains and backup power, such as an emergency generator, is a very short-term solution. Generators require fuel and that fuel has to be replenished quite often. In a lot of cases, the only backup power available is a bank of batteries that stop charging when the main power system stops.
  • Backhaul systems (essentially the system that connects and/or allows overflow from outer systems to the core, often including other carriers) aren’t always reliable. A lot of this system is wired but has been expanded to microwave and other systems.
  • Most cell phones will only stay charged for a day or three. If you don’t have local power to keep it up, when the system does come back up, you won’t be able to talk to it.
  • Cell phones require satellites, which are vulnerable to hackers, physical attack, or solar storms.

Now don’t get me wrong, for day-to-day emergencies, such as getting a flat tire, a cell phone usually works pretty well. It’s just a crappy solution for big emergencies. They’ll be pretty useless if the national grid goes down due to a cyber attack, EMP or CME, which is actually a lot more likely than you might think.

One cool idea that’s coming out is the goTenna cell phone radio antenna system. Your cell phone connects to it via Bluetooth and an app, and the signal is sent and received through an encrypted radio signal. How awesome is that? It won’t be able to reach to the other side of a city but you should be able to locate your family if they’re in the area and maybe even communicate with others if they have the system.

So if you can’t rely on cell phone service, what other options do you have?

CB radio for emergency comms

A lot of people grew up watching BJ and the Bear and they remember seeing all the truckers talking over the air with each other. CB radio is definitely more available during an emergency but they have a lot of limitations.

For one, not a lot of people are on CB. You might be able to find someone in a truck but even that’s harder to find. The problem isn’t just the lack of people who use it, it’s the lack of people in your range that use it.

One of the big reasons your range is very limited with CB vs other systems is that they’re limited to 5 watts input which is about 4 watt out. That may be just some vague notion but more power means more distance. At the frequencies that CB radios use, you can only expect to get between 1 and 10 miles or so, depending on the terrain. There could be a million people in the US with their CB’s all on the same channel at the same time, but if they’re not within range, you won’t be talking.

You might think that you could just hack into your ham radio and pump out more power, but the FCC goes after people who do that (just a few examples). Obviously if SHTF, you’re not gonna really care about that but remember that adding more power to transmit and receive farther doesn’t do anything to help you hear the other guy with a normal CB transmitter.

How good are satellite phones in an emergency?

For a lot of emergency situations, satellite phones are pretty good. The first problem with them though is cost. They’re mighty expensive. Not only do you have to shell out for the phone, you have to pay for service and minutes. If you’re stranded somewhere though, it may be worth the cost.

They don’t always work though. I had one with me at all times when I was in Uganda, and it came in hella handy at times. They don’t like jungles though due to the trees blocking the satellites and contrary to what every freaking movie shows, they don’t work indoors or inside a ship like they kept showing in World War Z (which was a decent movie but movie mistakes like that drive me crazy).

The real problem is that it’s highly unlikely you’d need it in a normal household so they’re ONLY good for emergencies and probably not worth the cost.

Another big problem is that just like cell phones, they rely on the satellites to function so if the satellites stop working, then so do the satellite phones. Obviously. Solar storms and CMEs have taken out satellites in the past. They will do it again.

GMRS/FRS/MURS radios

For local communication, GMRS, FRS and MURS radios are pretty good. They don’t require an FCC license for FRS and MURS, they’re cheap, and easy to use. They’ve pretty much replaced CB radios for a lot of families. As such, even though they’re an improvement, they have a lot of the same limitation on power and range.

If you have a true GMRS radio, you may be able to tap into a repeater, which will expand your range to possibly hundreds of miles, but the repeater obviously has to be running, and you have to be within range of the repeater for your radio to hit it. GMRS radios are also allowed to operate at higher power than a lot of other radios. You also need a license to use GMRS frequencies.

Basically, if you’re considering one of these radio systems for emergency use, go with a true GMRS radio and get the license.

Amateur radio (ham radio): the best emergency communication system

I have one of these – AWESOME radio!

So now that I’ve gone through several options that you could choose, but obviously from the title I don’t recommend, let’s look at ham radio.

Ham radio is the go-to communication system for pretty much every emergency response system and is what MARS (the Military Auxiliary Radio System) and ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) both use, as well as many search and rescue and other emergency groups.

One of the nice things is that a lot of ham radios can reach the national weather system (NOAA) frequencies. That means that if you have a radio, you can find out what’s going on in the area. If you have a radio scanner, you can listen to what’s going on with emergency frequencies as well as any other that the scanner can reach, and you don’t have to know which one they’re transmitting on. That’s why they call it a scanner. It goes in a loop up through whatever frequencies you tell it to and it stops if it hears someone transmitting.

Here is a list of emergency radio frequencies that you should keep in mind when both looking for radios and coming up with your emergency communications plan. Just to pacify all the know-it-alls who keep telling me this list is crap because you can’t transmit on them – keep in mind that they’re useful to monitor in emergencies even if you can’t send anything out, and I wanted to make as complete a list as I could for everyone:

34.90:      Used nationwide by the National Guard during emergencies.

39.46:      Used for inter-department emergency communications by local and state police forces.

47.42:      Used across the United States by the Red Cross for relief operations.

52.525:    Calling frequency used by ham radio operators in FM on their six-meter band.

121.50:     International aeronautical emergency frequency.

138.225: Disaster relief operations channel used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency; it is active during earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and other catastrophic events.

146.52:    Used by ham radio operators for non-repeater communications on the two-meter band; it is very busy in many parts of the country.

151.625:  Used by “itinerant” businesses, or those that travel about the country. Circuses, exhibitions, trade shows, and sports teams are some of the users you can hear. Other widely used itinerant channels are 154.57 and 154.60.

154.28:   Used for inter-department emergency communications by local fire departments; 154.265 and 154.295 also used.

155.160: Used for inter-department emergency communications by local and state agencies during search and rescue operations.

155.475: Used for inter-department emergency communications by local and state police forces.

156.75:    Used internationally for broadcasts of maritime weather alerts.

156.80:   International maritime distress, calling, and safety channel. All ships must monitor this frequency while at sea. It is also heavily used on rivers, lakes, etc.

162.40:   NOAA weather broadcasts and bulletins.

162.425: NOAA weather broadcasts and bulletins.

162.45:   NOAA weather broadcasts and bulletins.

162.475: NOAA weather broadcasts and bulletins.

162.50:   NOAA weather broadcasts and bulletins.

162.525: NOAA weather broadcasts and bulletins.

162.55:    NOAA weather broadcasts and bulletins.

163.275: NOAA weather broadcasts and bulletins.

163.4875: Used nationwide by the National Guard during emergencies.

 

163.5125: The national disaster preparedness frequency used jointly by the armed forces.

164.50: National communications channel for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

168.55: National channel used by civilian agencies of the federal government for communications during emergencies and disasters.

243.00: Used during military aviation emergencies.

259.70: Used by the Space Shuttle during re-entry and landing.

296.80: Used by the Space Shuttle during re-entry and landing.

311.00: Flight channel used by the U.S. Air Force.

317.70: Used by U.S. Coast Guard aviation.

317.80: Used by U.S. Coast Guard aviation.

319.40: Used by the U.S. Air Force.

340.20: Used by U.S. Navy aviators.

409.20: National communications channel for the Interstate Commerce Commission.

409.625: National communications channel for the Department of State.

462.675: Used for emergency communications and traveler assistance in the General Mobile Radio Service.

Here is a large list of different frequencies that you could use to put together a list of channels to follow during an emergency or other times.

Ham radio operation requires a license, but as you can see in this article, they’re easy to get. This isn’t quite as daunting as it seems, especially considering you don’t need to learn Morse code anymore, but it still requires some studying.

There are three main levels of licensing: Technician, General and Extra. The higher license you get, the more frequencies you can use. This is important. The lower license will get you started but you really need the higher licenses if you want to communicate around the world.

Amateur Radio Frequencies as of 5 March 2012

So why is it important to get a license? In non-emergency life, you have to be concerned that the FCC will go after you if you transmit on a frequency that you’re not allowed to operate. For you to be ready for a SHTF scenario, you need to have the equipment and practice with it in order to make sure you’ll be able to get through.

Just like with FCC investigators and volunteers who track down offenders (you have to call out your FCC callsign every 10 minute on the air or you’ll probably get some unwanted attention), if you find yourself in martial law and don’t want to be found, they can track you down pretty easily.

So why does it matter about what frequencies? Just like with CB radios and the others, the frequency will affect how far you can transmit/receive a signal. This can be pretty complicated so it’s best to get a good book on antennas and propagation, and work with more experienced people to help you get going.

There are a LOT of people around the world who use amateur radio. These people are typically in tune with dealing with emergencies or working with communicating with people in different scenarios. Because of the range ham radios can get, it’s a LOT easier to get a hold of someone during an emergency. These people are also extremely resourceful so even if they don’t have a working radio (such as after an EMP pulse), they can make one.

I currently have three ham radios. An inexpensive Baofeng UV-5R handheldthat I keep on my Harley, a great Yaesu VX-6R waterproof handheld with an upgraded antenna that I keep in my bug out bag, and a portable Yaesu FT-857d radio that I can run off a 12v battery. I’m seriously considering upgrading to the Yaesu VX-8DR though because it’s pretty awesome. You might prefer the VX-8GR though.

Here’s a video that shows the difference and some of the cool features, btw:

 

 

A big part of getting your signal out and hearing others is the antenna so if you get a handheld, I’d suggest upgrading the antenna like I mentioned above. Keep in mind also that if you get a Baofeng that their antenna connections are different so you’ll need an adapter in some cases.

Repeaters:

There are a lot of repeaters around the world that can help you transmit long distances with just a little radio. Basically, a repeater will listen to the little radios in its immediate surroundings and then blast the signal out for hundreds, or thousands, of miles. Obviously the repeaters need to be functioning to do this but people who have repeaters are usually up on emergency communication and will have backup power systems. If they go down, they usually know how to fix it.

There are even repeaters that use the internet so if you tap into a repeater and type in the address of a remote repeater in another country, what you say on your little radio will blast out to that point on the other side of the world. I talked to a guy in Australia on the first day I got my Yaesu handheld that way.

Using stealth to operate an amateur radio:

Because ham radio people are crafty lot (and some places don’t allow antennas), there is a whole sub-genre of ways to make antennas so they can’t be detected (by sight, not by signal). Antennas can be made out of flagpoles, ladders, fences, railings, and a lot of other things in plain sight. They can also be hidden inside things or buried.

There are several books such as Low Profile Amateur Radio: Operating a Ham Station from Almost Anywhere that can show you how to do these (which is a great book, by the way but good luck finding a copy of it).

Here are a couple more:

With the proper knowledge (which you can pretty much only get with practice), you can make a radio out of stuff you can find pretty much anywhere that will transmit on frequencies that you can reach other people. Not only is this useful to hide your antennas, it could seriously come in handy if you had to make an antenna in an emergency.

Obviously, the more experience you have with radios, the easier it’ll be for you to do something like this.

The Ham radio community:

As I’ve mentioned, amateur radio operators are not only creative and resourceful, they’re very in tune with handling emergency situations. There are several groups that use ham radio for dealing with disasters or for search and rescue. The two biggest are Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) and Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES).

If you want to get started learning about ham radio as an effective emergency communications system for you or your family, check out the Prepared Ham Forum. My buddy AD owns the site, and it’s great for learning and asking questions. Lots of helpful people on there to help out.

 

Creative ways to communicate with ham frequencies:

With the right equipment and some practice, you can easily get around the world. And, you don’t have to actually buy a radio to do it. That’s one of the greatest things about learning and using ham radio. You can literally make a working radio out of scrap. There will always be scrap. You will always be able to make a radio.

In addition to the plethora of ham radio equipment and information available, a good basis of theory can get you talking to people even if all electricity and electronics are taken out. Here are some examples of what you can do with a little knowledge:

The Foxhole Radio

A foxhole radio was used by GI’s during WWII and beyond. The cool thing is that it doesn’t require a power source and is made from simple parts like a pencil and razor blade. It’s only a receiver though.

 

 

Crystal Radios

There are many, many, many ways to make a radio out of household items. Way too many to list them here. Suffice it to say that with all the wires and old electronics laying around, making a simple radio receiver is pretty simple. Just like the foxhole radio, these pretty much only receive. They can also be made to use power from the signal itself so they don’t all need anything else to power them.

Homemade AM transmitter?

Fear not dudes and dudettes, you can still make a transmitter out of stuff you can find in a lot of homes or junkyards:

 

 

The spark-gap transmitter

Spark-gap transmitters are pretty simple to make. The good thing is that they transmit over a HUGE frequency range so pretty much anyone nearby is gonna hear it.

The bad things are that they’re illegal (for the same reason) and can zap the heck out of you if you’re not careful. You also have to learn Morse code or create your own in order to have anyone have any idea what you’re trying to say.

 

 

If you don’t have a ham radio license yet (or actually, even if you do), you should look at getting an emergency shortwave radio so you can listen into weather bulletins etc. The Safe-T-Proof radio is a great little one to have because you can charge it with a hand crank or the solar panel, it has a flashlight and a cell phone charger outlet on it too.

It won’t have the range of a ham radio with a good antenna, but it could be really useful in an emergency, and you don’t have to worry about running out of power.

So, there are many different ways to communicate during a disaster situation or if society collapses but for the most flexible and effective way, you should seriously look into getting your ham radio license and start playing with it. It’s a great hobby and one that could be the difference between finding your family in an emergency or losing them.

Either way, make sure whatever you do that you come up with an emergency communications plan beforehand.

 

Other articles to review:

Reliable Ham Radio Post-Disaster Security Communications

Currently Available QRP Radio Kits (ham radio)

Ham Radio Show on TWiT.tv

Emergency Communications

 

Something else to consider:

The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

 

via:  graywolfsurvival


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TSA MAY EXTEND BAN ON LAPTOPS TO DOMESTIC FLIGHTS

‘The Department of Homeland Security is currently considering the possible expansion of that laptop ban,’ says TSA spox.

The rash of terror attacks in Great Britain come as the summer travel season is beginning. That means security measures, especially at airports, will see increased work loads, and passengers longer waits.

Finding and removing the everyday items that terrorists have turned into threats is a huge challenge, WJZ’s Alex DeMetrick reports.

And between now and Labor Day, a lot of Americans will spend time coming and going by air.

Since 9/11, passenger planes have been a high priority target for terrorists, with bombs bringing down a Russian airliner in Egypt, and blowing a hole in a Somali jet last year.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

via:  infowars


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The Best Driveway Alarm With No False Alarms


If you are wondering what is the best driveway alarm (always subjective and dependent upon your requirements), let me offer my years of experience having installed and used all sorts of different wireless devices for my own home security – devices (e.g motion sensors / alarms) that are designed to alert you inside your home that a vehicle is approaching and/or coming down your driveway or private road…

I have finally installed what I believe is the best driveway alarm (that I currently am aware of), at least one that will not require lots of money or a professional installer – and it actually works for its intended purpose – to alert you that a vehicle is approaching.

The key word is ‘vehicle’, because this driveway alarm does not (thankfully) issue false alarms for animals, blowing tree branches, or any old thing that ‘moves’ in front of it, etc… I just want to be alerted for vehicles for this particular purpose.

The product that I’m talking about is:

Mighty Mule Wireless Driveway Alarm (FM231)



The ‘Mighty Mule’ company (no affiliation with this blog) designs devices for automatic gate openers. They also design a driveway alarm using their same sensor technology.


No False Alarms
The reason that their driveway alarm does not issue false alarms for non-vehicles (e.g. animals that happen to pass by or the wind blowing tree branches or bushes, etc…) is because they do not use the type of sensor that throws ‘a beam’ that simply gets interrupted or one that senses a thermal heat signature (infrared) when something passes in front of it.


Sensor Detects Surrounding Magnetic Field
Instead, the Mighty Mule utilizes a sensor ‘wand’ that is specially designed to ‘sense’ its surrounding magnetic field and any disturbances to that magnetic field. The sensor wand is designed to be buried out of sight – several inches deep, up to 12 inches deep – alongside the roadway or driveway, and is connected (via a weatherproof cable) to a transmitter device (also weather proof).



Driveway Alarm Transmitter
The transmitter utilizes two ‘AA’ batteries (use Lithium batteries for best performance) to send its signal to the receiver which is located inside the home.


How It Works
When a vehicle passes by within 15 feet of the electromagnetic sensor, the disturbance in the magnetic field (via the metal of the vehicle) triggers the transmitter to send an alert / alarm back to the receiver.


Driveway Alarm Indoor Receiver
An alarm sounds from the indoor receiver which has an adjustable volume control – letting you know that a vehicle has passed by the sensor.

There is also a low-battery indicator on the indoor receiver which lets you know when the transmitter batteries need to be replaced (a nice feature).

The receiver also has an LED that lets you know that the device has been triggered (in case you missed the audible alarm due to being somewhere else), and it will remain lit until you press a ‘reset’ button. This is another nice feature letting you know that a vehicle has passed by the sensor when you were away.


Great Security For Private Driveway Or Private Road
I happen to live at the end of a private road. It’s nice to know when a vehicle is coming down the road. Having this driveway alarm is especially comforting for ‘the middle of the night’ when there certainly should be no vehicle approaching. If the alarm is ever triggered in the wee hours of the morning, it will ‘buy time’ to get prepared for whatever may be heading this way…


Driveway Alarm Distance
The ‘Mighty Mule’ specification indicates that the driveway alarm will transmit up to 400 feet (ideal conditions). My own installation is at a distance of 330 feet including a number of trees in the way, and it works solid from there. I tried further, but the road dips down and becomes out of ‘the line of sight’ with the receiver (and there are lots more trees in the way) at the 400 foot mark. When I tested the distances (do this before digging the trench!) the 400 foot distance was marginal so I brought it in closer to be assured of a consistent signal.


Mighty Mule Installation Tips
When you insert the ‘AA’ batteries into the transmitter, it ‘takes a snapshot’ of the surrounding magnetic field via the sensor wand’s current position. It uses this reference ‘snapshot’ to detect subsequent differences in the magnetic field which will trigger the alarm. So, when inserting the batteries for testing (and when inserting the batteries for the last time after you’ve completed the installation) be sure that the environment within a 15 foot radius does not include ‘non-typical’ metal objects. For example, a shovel setting nearby, etc…).

Orient the sensor wand parallel with (in line with) the driveway.

Try to get best ‘line of sight’ between the transmitter location and the receiver. The more trees, buildings, walls, the less effective distance. For example, my receiver is setting on the bedroom window sill which faces the general direction of the transmitter.

Once I had determined the location for the transmitter and after I dug the trench for the wand, cable, and support post, I set the plastic support post (of the transmitter) in a shallow dug hole filled with a puddle of concrete for longevity and support, then threw some dirt on top for the grass to grow.

Paint the support post and the transmitter cover to match your surroundings. I used a ‘forest green’ spray paint.


CONCLUSION
An important aspect of overall preparedness is security. Depending on where you live and the layout of your property, this driveway alarm might be something that helps with yours.

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

Via: modernsurvivalblog


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