Tag Archive: doomsday

Free Homesteading, Cooking, Prepper, Survival Kindle eBooks for 04-05-18

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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All Alone For The End Of The World

Prepper's Will - Seeking friend for the end of the world


Hardcore survivalists and preppers cherish the lone-wolf scenario. It goes something like this: The world is crumbling and cities collapse into mayhem. We,the preppers are well equipped for the end of the world. We are the last chance of humanity since we can withstand anything faith throws at us. Our society is no longer built on everyday trust and neighborly reliance, but do you want to be alone in the end?

Do you really want to be alone for the end of the world?

The world around us is full of unfriendly strangers and nobody cares anymore about the person next to him. If the other guy doesn’t take care of himself…well, then to hell with him and his legacy. It’s a dog eat dog world and only the fittest survive. The media keeps bombarding us with nothing but violence, tragedy and sadness. It’s us or them!

And it is true, in any major, long-term disaster, preppers and survivalists could face deadly threats from desperate and unprepared people. The only problem when it comes to “them” is that they are much more numerous than us and a lone-wolf scenario doesn’t work like in the movies. There’s no one to yell “Cut!” when a scene goes wrong and life doesn’t give you do-overs.

The fact is, for most of rural people, one of the biggest things they’re going to face in the event of SHTF is this: a need to join forces with others who are in the same boat and who share similar beliefs.

We need a circle of well-prepared friends more than we need five guns and a ton of ammo. We need to make connections with trust-worthy people for when the world crumbles. And, we need to do this because there is a preparedness truth that some of us chose to ignore: no matter how well prepared we think we are, we will always lack something. It may be something obvious or it may be something obscure, it may be something we had that got lost or damaged, or used up. Don’t fool yourself, we will lack something no matter how good we think we have it.

You can’t wait for FEMA or the National Guard when a disaster strikes and you can’t count on luck when the world becomes a dark place. Luck won’t prevent the grocery store to run out of food and luck won’t keep you safe for the end of the world.

You need to start preparing to count on each other. You need to get together with neighbors and friends and enhance each other’s preparedness. And it’s not something you have to do out of altruism, but out of pure practicality. In the end the goal is the same: we’ll all be better off when SHTF.

“What can I do to connect with my friends and neighbors when it comes to preparedness matters?”, you may ask.

Well, you shouldn’t go running and tell just anybody what do you stock, where do you keep it and what guns and ammo you have stockpiled, and then ask them” Now show me yours”.

You can start with small steps and if some real disaster has recently struck your area, the aftermath gives a perfect opportunity to go to your neighbors and do a mutual check. Find out what they run out of, where they screwed up and what they can do differently next time. You can get this info just by discussing with your neighbors without appearing to organize any sort of preparedness league. You can even make agreements with them: for example you could store some extra gasoline for them if they help you with medical emergencies or anything else that you might need during a disaster.

People are always worried about something because self-preservation is part of our nature. You have an opening to discuss about preparedness and you need to approach the people from your community. Don’t tell them you are preparing for the end of the world as they might think you are crazy. Bring up for debate topics related to disasters/threats that are happening or are most likely to happen.

You can start practicing mutual preparedness:

Instead of selling your farm produce to your neighbors, start seeing what those neighbors might have to barter for them. Barter will be more useful than money in a serious disaster. It gives you a chance to know the people you are bartering with.

Get involved in a food co-op because you can always establish a cooperative network based on the main element: food. They may be open to the idea of organically grown crops, hormone-free meats or bulk food purchases on a budget.

If somebody in your circle of preppers has a pick-up truck and others don’t, the truck owner can offer to transport goods for a small fee or for barter. The same goes with any other type of machines that can be used by the community.

You can find some neighbors and sign up for and commute to skill-building classes together. It doesn’t matter if you learn about first aid, home canning or defensive shotgun use as long as you do it with somebody else. It will help you stay committed and motivated to the activity but also to the people.

Start offering to do things for your neighbors and ask them to do things for you. Do this even if you can actually take care of everything yourself. It’s a good way of bonding and getting to know each other’s skills. It provides a good opportunity to learn whom you can trust and whether you yourself are trustworthy.

If somebody close to you, especially relatives, feels unable to prepare for a disaster, see how you can change that by helpfulness and gentle persuasion. When you talk with certain people about preparedness, they feel overwhelmed, too unskilled or too poor to handle it all. Everybody is vulnerable to something and being prepared doesn’t mean you have to become an expert prepper. You have to make sure you increase your odds of survival and you have a fighting chance. Having a bug-out bag will make a huge difference. Knowing how to fortify your home will keep your family safe. Everyone can start with small steps if the mindset is there.

Garage sales are good occasions to know your neighbors and to stock up on preparedness supplies. You will be able to discuss with people from your community and know more about their prepping plans. If someone sells a camp stove because he never used it and thinks he never will, then that person might not be into prepping. But if someone sells a similar item because he got a better model, you might have some common topics to discuss. It’s all about knowing your neighbors and you can tell a lot about a person based on the stuff he owns.

With those you must trust, talk openly about others in your community who might become a problem in harsh times. Those who are clueless about fending for themselves will get desperate and might become real troublemakers. Thieves or chronic freeloaders will bring down the community. Everyone deserves a chance, but I’m willing to consider it for people who ask for one in the first place and are willing to work for it, rather than for those who “make a mistake” and ask for forgiveness and a second chance. When SHTF, there will be no luxury such as second chances and you must act first in order to survive the fall.

Safety in numbers will save you and the community. Your home could be on a map outlining evacuation routes for your area, the government could make your propriety an assembly area just for the fact that it is situated above the flooding zone. Regardless the scenario, there could be many who will come your way and most of “them” won’t have peaceful intentions. What then? You can’t keep up your fort for long if you are all alone. Joining a militia or having a group of trustworthy friends will help you deal with the masses. If some will try their luck with a just one person, nobody will be foolish enough to go against a number of well-armed individuals.

Another aspect that we need to consider during a crisis is what to do with friends and family that come rushing in, knowing you’ve been prepping for anything and your home is a safe haven. I know a few people that said “if the end of the world comes we’ll just move in with you”. Although it sounds like a joke, I’m pretty sure it isn’t. There will always be someone who knocks at your door during a time of need and you just can’t turn your back on them. They are the “friendly freeloaders” and although you are well intended, odds are you won’t be able to take care of them forever. This is why they need to be integrated in your local community and here is where it gets tricky.

If you are a lone wolf you won’t be supported by your community. Even worse, you will be seen as a threat if you bring in outsiders when things turn bad. However, if you have a good reputation amongst your peers, if you have the same interests. If they know how the skills of someone can help the entire community, it will be much easier to integrate others and give them a job insides the community. It is important to show how the new arrivals can help everyone and it can be done much easier if there is room for debate.

A last word

No man is an island and we should make sure we have someone to spend our time with, when the world around us dies. The government will tell you to wait for their help, to be passive and rely on experts and outsiders. They will ask you to behave like dependent children and wait for big daddy when in reality, you have people you can trust around you. People, who can help us out or, if need be, take us in.

Would you rather wait alone or turn to others, your friends and neighbors, when the world ends?


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


via:  prepperswill

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How To Form A Survival Group

We live in an uncertain world and with each passing day, more and more people decide to become survivalists and preppers. Unfortunately the path that most of these people chose is the path of the lone wolf. Although many aspects of preparedness tend to focus on the individual, history showed us that a united force is stronger. Such formation has more chances of survival than a single individual. Forming a survival group should be taken into consideration by all preppers. The following suggestions will help you to get started.

Humans made it so far because we are social beings and we often depend on networks of people to get things done. It doesn’t matter if you are at work or if you are at home, a good network of people can make your life easier. It will provide you with emotional support and it gives you a sense of security. In an emergency situation a survival group would make a whole lot of sense because you are building an alliance that will help you survive and thrive when things go south.

Some may say that forming a survival group is hard and it takes a lot of work, but that is just a matter of perspective. I admit that may be true for some, especially for those from large communities where people will look at you “funny” just for saying you are a prepper. The larger the community, the harder it will be to form a trustworthy group. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to try and do your best to raise awareness about emergency preparedness. In today’s modern world social isolation is your worst enemy when it comes to forming a survival group. We are hooked to the digital network and we have thousands of friends, and yet…we spend most of our days alone. You can’t count on your digital friends when disaster strikes and you have to put your faith in real people.

However, if you are part of a smaller community, one that is not fond of “city folks” you have better chances of getting your survival group. Smaller communities have a bond that was perpetuated for centuries and the members of such communities care for each other. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should move out of the city, although it might be a good idea. I just want to let you know what your chances of forming a survival group are, based on your social environment.

How to get your own survival group:

Reaching out to people

You can’t form a survival group without letting people know about your intentions. Reaching out to people can be difficult for some, while for other is just like making another sale at the office. If you live in a big city, it may be harder to form a survival group. The first thing you have to do is try to reach out to friends and people you know best. Once you have a few friends that are interested in your group you can establish meetings to discuss more about the subject. You can also join social media groups from your area that are interested in preparedness and survival. Go to the meetings, know people and let them know about your survival group if you find them trustworthy.

However, if you are part of a smaller community, even a barbecue can be a good occasion to start discussing about forming a survival group. Invite some friends and neighbors over to enjoy a good steak and a cold beer. Bring up the subject when you get the occasion. Don’t make it a big announcement and don’t be ecstatic, but rather bring up the subject with nonchalance. You can see how things go on from there. By the end of the day you will form an opinion on whom to contact in the coming weeks.

A Survival Group means Safety First

Safety in numbers is a tactic mankind has used since the Stone Age and it works! A group of people offers more protection than an individual ever could. It provides a sense of security to each member that is part of your survival group. In any survival situation there are many dangers that simply cannot be handled by a single person. During civil unrest, the unprepared will go after your supplies when they get desperate. Being part of a survival group will make sure your supplies are protected. People can take turns sleeping and keeping watch. If you are injured or sick you cannot provide food or security and having backup is important.

The same goes for defending your community, the more firepower you have the better your chances of survival. This is the main argument that you should bring up when discussing with people about forming a survival group. If they understand what safety in numbers means for their future, they will join your alliance.

Spreading the work is easier if you have a survival group

Having a group of people working together during a crisis will greatly enhance what gets done. It will increase your chances of survival, regardless the nature of the disaster. You can’t know it all and most certainly you can’t do it all. It is much easier to get things done when you have the proper help and it is crucial to have the right skill set for certain survival chores. A survival group will allow each individual to focus on what he or she does best. Just look at primitive skills alone, how many of you wouldn’t love to have in your survival group the guy building tools and shelters from scratch using wood and mud, the one with those amazing YouTube videos.

A group of people working together will be more efficient because there will be those who “specialize” on certain skills and you can get a whole lot more done in less time with a group. In a survival situation time is of the essence and a lone wolf can’t do everything right under pressure. Let people know about the strengths of your group and how it can help them in an uncertain future.

A survival group will maximize resources

A survival group can bring more resources to the table than an individual. This means that water, food, fuel and tools can be used for the survival of the entire group. Some may stockpile extra fuel, others may hoard tools due to their “antique value”. There are also those who stockpile food to feed an entire neighborhood. If you put all the resources together and you assure a correct distribution for each member of the survival group, you will have to worry less about the future. Not to mention that a survival group provides a resource that increases significantly with each member: knowledge. My grandfather used to say that it’s easy to teach someone how to fire a weapon or build a chicken coop. However, you can never copy the skill sets underlined by a lifetime of training.

Since humans are the most important resources for every survival group, having people in your group like a doctor, a mechanic, a welder and so on, will increase the value of life for the entire alliance. Remember that when you talk with people about resources, you have to be as vague as possible. Your main point of focus should not be the items, don’t brag about your resources. You should put emphasis on the human resources you have and how they can keep the group safe.

A survival group is an important emotional support

During a crisis scenario people will break down faster than machines and they will need someone to pick them up. A survival group can provide an important amount of emotional support. It can help people withstand stress for long periods of time. If you have a strong emotional network, you can cope with whatever the future throws at you during a crisis. Every survival group should be able to deal with issues that work to empower each individual in it. The members from your survival group should feel that their concerns and suggestions are taken into consideration and the need of involvement varies based on the individual.

Being able to read people is important when creating a survival group. You have to give credit where credit is due for. When you discuss with people about forming a survival group, learn to listen and don’t try to hijack the conversation or the suggestions being debated. Don’t be the know-it-all type and let people participate and express themselves. If you can make people feel comfortable inside the group and if you give them the attention they need, your survival group will last in time.

Every survival group needs a leader

This is a general rule and every group needs a leader, regardless if it’s a football team, a marketing team or a form of government. In a survival situation, having a leader will make sure things run effectively and nobody will be left on the outside. Most survival groups perish because the leadership issue is handled poorly. Before you solidify any survival group you have to think about leadership, something that must be agreed upon.

The military doesn’t use a democratic model because voting is not the quickest way to respond to a crisis. Not to mention that qualifications have to be taken into account when you take a decision that can cost the lives of your team. From my point of view, the best way to deal with it would be a leadership rotation. Each person should take a turn during a non-life-threatening situation and everyone should agree to this plan.

For life-threatening events the survival group must have one individual as the recognized leader. The leader should be established based on vote and qualifications. This way, anything he or she decides is to be acted on without deliberations to expedite a quicker and more effective response. Make sure you let people know about how your survival group is governed and how they can take part in the decision making process. People will join easier if they know these details from the start.

A survival group is also about thriving

Forming a survival group will keep you alive, but that’s not the main goal. Apart from prepping for worst-case scenarios, your survival group will keep you alive after the downfall. People need to understand that it’s all about what comes after the crisis and we might not be able to return to what the world once was. Lone wolves can and probably will survive a disaster, but what will they do after? No matter how much you will struggle, you will never be able to accomplish what a group can and sooner or later you will need some help.

If you plan on providing food for your loved ones, agriculture is the long term way to go, and most of the times you need a number of people to make this work. What if you get sick, who will take care of your chores, who will take care of you? You need to survive, but afterwards you need to thrive. When you discuss with people about forming a survival group, don’t go for the lone wolves, they will never join your group and they will make you feel like you are fighting a losing battle.

Forming a survival group is a challenge for anyone and it requires a lot of determination. Just because you’re a prepper or survivalists doesn’t mean you have to be a lone wolf. Try and form an alliance with like-minded people and build long lasting relationships if you want to survive to whatever the future might bring. United we stand and we thrive!


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via:  prepperswill

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Texas Ranger Drops Jade Helm Bombshell: “There Are Trains With Shackles On Them”

The reports about the coming Jade Helm 15 operation across the southwest continue to suggest that this is not merely a standard training exercise to prepare our military personnel for foreign engagements as has been suggested by officials.

A letter sent to Dave Hodges at The Common Sense Show by a concerned Texas Ranger indicates that the government is preparing for a scenario similar to what has been described in William Forstchen’s recent novellaDay of Wrath in which ISIS terrorists cross the southern border of the United States and simultaneously attack soft targets across the nation.

But the letter doesn’t stop there. The Ranger, who has kept his identify private for obvious reasons and makes clear that the scope of Jade Helm is so secret that the intent is not completely clear, says that the JH15 mission objectives may go much farther than just preparing for terrorists. According to the law enforcement insider there are trains moving throughout Texas and some of them have been outfitted with shackles, presumably to “transport prisoners of some sort.” The claim adds further credence to a report about Jade Helm dissident roundups and arrests and widespreadmartial law declarations following an emergency.

His letter sheds some light on the Walmart store closings, suggesting at least one may be utilized in a national security capacity as a staging point for the Department of Homeland Security, an agency that is apparently not trusted by anyone within the Texas Rangers organization, according to the source.

The full letter follows:

Hello Mr. Hodges,

I have been a Texas Ranger for quite some time, and as such, I am privy to much of what is going on with regard to the Midland Walmart store closing, the presence of ISIS on Texas soil and our preparations to combat an insurgent threat.

I will not give you my rank or location because it would not be safe to do so. It is a waste of time to try and trace the IP#, etc., as I have taken steps to ensure that this note cannot be traced back to me.  I understand and  realize that you seem to have a growing issue with people who will not go on the record with their inside knowledge or first-hand observations, but you cannot understand the pressure and scrutiny that some of us are under. I am taking a big risk writing this email to you.

The main reason that I am writing to you is to encourage you to keep writing on the growing threat of infiltration in Texas and I suspect other states as well. The infiltration I am writing about is not just Special Forces that are going to conducting covert drills in our state. that is concerning and I agree with you this involves martial law.  For now I am talking about ISIS and the danger that they pose to all of us. Our intelligence indicates that they have enough manpower & firepower to subdue a small town. The Midland Walmart takeover by DHS is a national security move in which we have been told falls under the Continuity of Government provisions. The Threat Fusion Centers are providing related information on what it is we are facing but the information sharing is only in one direction and that is very concerning.

We expecting an attack on more than one Texas city or town by ISIS and/or any of their partners. I believe the information to be accurate. However, this makes the covert operations of groups like the Navy Seals and others under JH15 highly suspicious. We do not need the insertion of Special Ops into Texas towns and cities. I think that you are probably right about the intention of arresting political undesirables given what we know about JH15. I am of the opinion that whatever the mission objectives of JH15, they have nothing to do with the immediate threat. Therefore, I do not pretend to understand the full scope of JH 15 because there are unfolding operational details which are almost impossible to reconcile with what I already know to be fact based the evidence for what is going on.

Let me drop a bombshell that I have not seen you address. There are trains moving throughout Texas that have shackles inside some of the cars. I have not personally seen them, but I know personnel that have seen this. This indicates that these trains will be used to transport prisoners of some sort. I know from reading your articles that your default belief will be that these are for American political prisoners and will be transported to FEMA detention camps of some sort. We have been told by Homeland that these trains are slated for transporting captured terrorists, non-domestic. We are not sure we can trust this explanation because Homeland is keeping a lot from us and we are growing increasingly uncomfortable with their presence in Texas.

I wanted to tell also you that we believe that Pantex is a high value target for ISIS and much or our preparation is to thwart any action by terrorists against the facility.  I am wondering how in the hell you figured that out. Someone on the deep inside must be talking with you.

Keep writing Mr. Hodges, you and the underground media are making a difference. As I am sure you know, Colorado announced today that JH15 is suspended in that state. Unfortunately, we do not have that prerogative because we believe that we are under the threat of eminent attack here in Texas.

I do believe the ISIS threat is legitimate. But you are also correct to suspect the motives behind the JH15 drills. They are clouded in secrecy and we have been shut out regarding their operational intent. The people of Texas and all of the United States of America should be pushing back against JH15.

I will support the Feds in their preparation against ISIS. But the moment that this action turns against our locals is the moment I will perform my oath of office. I am not alone in this feeling. None of my brothers trust Homeland. We will have to see where this is going but I have a bad feeling.

You do your job and keep writing and I will do my job in upholding the Constitution

Thank You

The suspicions of the public are quite justified, it seems. The operational commanders for Jade Helm have compartmentalized the “exercise” to such an extent that no one, not the local and state law enforcement officers involved or the majority of military personnel, has any idea what is actually going on.

As noted in the letter, a realistic threat from our southern border certainly exists and as we’ve written previously, Border Patrol and Homeland Security have been capturing suspected terrorist operatives crossing into the United States for years. But the Texas Ranger who penned the letter says this is not necessarily the full scope of the massive Summer exercise.

And given that people within his own organization report seeing shackles in trains, is it completely out of the question to suggest that the government does, in fact, have procedures in place to detain, transport and imprison those suspected of terrorism, or those who may be suspected of being suspected?

When Gerald Celente warned of the Auschwitz Express back in a 2012 interview he wasn’t joking:

First it was the Patriot Act. Now it’s the National Defense Authorization Act. And then it was Obama’s Executive Order giving El Presidente Los Estados Unidos the supreme right to call Martial Law at a potential threat – a potential threat.

Then there’s Big Bro over there, Attorney General Eric Holder, who just passed these guidelines that could let them listen in to what we’re saying right now, listen to you on your cell phone, watch every stroke of your keyboard, and they at the White House could then determine whether or not the algorythms add up to you being a terrorist or a potential terrorist.

Big Brother never had it so good.

…all aboard the Auschwitz Express…

…That’s what’s going on here… and the people don’t see it, and they’re afraid to speak up… People don’t want to believe it.

Full Interview Via SGT Report

We will soon find out if Jade Helm is just another military exercise. Some are of the opinion that it could be used to facilitate a false flag operation that would then be used as justification to implement nationwide martial law and to activate Doomsday Executive Orders recently signed by President Obama.

It may sound wildly conspiratorial, but it wouldn’t be the first time a government has purposefully engaged in such conduct.


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.



Via:  shtfplan

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A Must Watch – The Shelter

Please take the time to watch this 24 minute Twilight Zone episode.

The short movie shows a depiction of the real nature of people, and just how quickly your friends, neighbors, and even family will turn on you. The threat in the video is an atomic bomb, but the reaction from those around you would be the same if you were down to your last can of beans and they had none. They would kill you and your family to take it to extend their life for a few more hours.


The show depicts a group of close friends who hear on the radio that enemy missiles are on their way and they need to take shelter within 30 minutes.

Utilities were shut off. One friend had the previous foresight to build a bomb shelter and load it with two weeks’ worth of food and supplies, just enough for him, his wife, and child. His friends, however, never prepped. I won’t tell you the rest but this is a true realization of how human society reacts in a dire emergency scenario. At the end of the episode ask yourself one key question: Which side of the door will you be on during a major crises?



Although not a twilight episode but a movie in the same theme, the trigger effect is a good movie. (1 hour 35 minutes)




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Spanked by a Storm

Guest post by K.B. from SurvivalBlog.com


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then the levees broke.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“How many what?” I asked.

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

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

“Got it.”

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

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

“Pennsylvania. We’re Pennsylvania National Guard.”

They were from Pennsylvania?

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


“Back here!” came the answer.

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

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

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

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

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

“Whoa. What time?”

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I set the big jar of change on the counter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Where you guys from?” I asked.

Again, there was no answer.

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

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

Mercenaries? Foreigners? Foreign mercenaries guarding a Walmart?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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How Hollywood Got ‘Preppers’ All Wrong…from the Survival Mom

LeAnn, owner of one of most popular prep sites on the web, Survival Mom, wrote a great story on her website back in mid-September. Her article, “How Hollywood Got ‘Preppers’ All Wrong”, discusses the world of reality TV shows like “Doomsday Preppers”, and sheds some insight on just how this, and other, shows are actually created.  She tries to bring some common sense and realistic thoughts to the table about what normal people do to prep, versus the often scripted and many times unreal things that actually make it on the show.

Now, not everyone depicted on Doomsday Preppers are lunatics, crazies, or wackos…as someone new to the show might assume. I’ve had several requests from different production companies to appear on DDP, and a few other similar shows. I’ve turned them down…many times.

Why I turned them down is pretty simple. Like nearly every single TV show featuring “real people”, I’ve personally seen the behind the scenes things that have been pulled in the name of entertainment, including some pretty nasty requests to do bad things.

My life is busy enough that I don’t feel the need to be amused, abused, and misused by strangers with an agenda and a camera. When I’m ready to do a show like that, I’ll write it, shoot it, edit it, produce it and market it myself.

After all, I do have years of experience in doing just that (radio and TV work, both live and recorded), including awards for some of my video work. It’s really not that hard to do shows like this, when you have the tools, talent, and skills to make it happen…and I do.


I do have two good friends who have been on the show who were handled a bit more deftly and sensibly than most other show guests. Bruce Beach from Canada, owner of Ark 2, was on show 8 in the first season. Kellene Bishop of Utah also appeared on Season one as The Gourmet Prepper. I’ve known Bruce for over 15 years, and Kellene for a bit over 2 years.

But, enough of that backgrounder stuff. LeAnn’s article provides some fantastic information that helps the reader discern the reality of being prepared, versus the glossy, enticing, and so off the mark blather that mostly leads the less informed down a path of potential personal disaster.

From her article…

Pretty much everyone has heard about or seen the television show, “Doomsday Preppers.” In each episode, the ‘prepper’ is shown getting themselves all prepared to deal with a specific man-made or natural disaster.

Maybe it’s just me, but they seem to pick the most mentally unstable, extremist people they can find for the show. They know the average person watching will take what they see as normal behavior of all preppers. The reality is so far from what is shown on television, and I think I can say this for most of us who homestead or prep, that those who are seeking to be as self-reliant as possible look upon the show and those in it with scorn and sometimes outright disgust.

When you break it down, prepping is not all that exciting. It is a lot of work and scheduling, budgeting and planning. Hollywood has skewed the truth so much that those of us who employ even smaller aspects of prepping in our lives are afraid to say anything due to the judgments, eye rolling, laughter, whispers as we pass through the office, and general scorn that we are met with if you say the word PREPPER.

Bottom line, there are many things you can learn from any of a million movies or a billion TV shows. Knowing what those useful tidbits are comes from personal experience, trial and error, or training gathered from a life long pursuit of those things that really are applicable to survival or preparedness.

Hell, even shows like The Walking Dead have a few realistic tidbits that are worth learning about, such as the creation and use of Dakota
fires as seen in more than one episode.

Head on over to The Survival Mom website and read LeAnn’s full article about some of the facts and fallacies in the world of preparedness. You’ll take away some good ideas and hopefully correct a few preconceived notions about finding and developing your own foundation of preparedness .

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How are Looting and Scavenging Different?

If you read much of any post-apocalyptic fiction, you’ve no doubt witnessed this particular scene played out countless times. The hero of the piece, down to his last three bullets and a scrap of food, comes across a store or gas station that has somehow avoided being burnt to the ground. Venturing inside, to his (and the reader’s) amazement, he finds cases of bottled water, boxes of ammunition, and all manner of tasty snacks. Often, for some reason, there’s a rack of nice trench coats and wouldn’t you know it but they have his size in stock. Thus fortified and nourished, he ventures back into the wastelands to do battle with hordes of mutant zombie bikers.

But wait, does this mean our hero has strayed from the path of all that is honorable and virtuous?  Isn’t he now just another looter?

Well, yes and no. To my way of thinking, all fictional tropes aside, there is a difference between looting and scavenging. Let’s define these by way of example.

What is the difference of looting vs. scavenging?

Looting is smashing a storefront window and making off with a flat screen television when there is a bit of local civil unrest but the world around you is just fine.

Scavenging is entering a business or home that is by all accounts vacant and taking baby formula for your infant daughter when there is no other way for you to feed her and keep her alive because basic societal infrastructure has fallen apart to the point that you have no idea when or where you can reach safety.

The whole idea behind prepping is to have the forethought to stockpile the supplies you’ll need in a crisis. That’s why we do all this stuff, right? But there are any number of reasons why your carefully set aside stored food, water, and other essentials may not be available to you. Perhaps the disaster itself has resulted in your home burning to the ground, or you were forced from your home by a gang of ne’er do wells, despite your best efforts to resist. Maybe you were bugging out and your vehicle broke down or was stolen, leaving you to hoof it the rest of the way.

What do you do?

No matter the cause, you then find yourself standing in front of what used to be a convenience store. It has already been ransacked but perhaps there’s still some goodies left to be found. What do you do?

There are folks who will say, and believe in their very heart of hearts, that to steal anything is wrong, no matter the circumstances. The Eighth Commandment – Thou shall not steal. I’d counter that argument by saying, How do you know God didn’t put that store in your path, specifically in order to give you the supplies you’ll need to live another day? How do you know the owner wouldn’t give them to you, if they were alive and here?

Bear in mind that for the purposes of our discussion here, we’re talking about a complete breakdown of society, a total collapse scenario. In that type of situation, here’s how I look at the looting versus scavenging debate.

If items of value have no clear ownership, such as they’re found in an abandoned or burnt out store, and they will sustain your life, it is scavenging. On the other hand, if the items are clearly owned by someone else and/or they have no use other than just being inherently valuable, it is looting.

Admittedly, there is a ton of gray area here (is it truly abandoned, or are the owners out scavenging for their own needs?), but this is something you should think about and perhaps discuss with the other members of your family or survival group.

A final note: Please do not take the above as in any way encouraging theft or pillaging the countryside. That is not what you should take away from this article (no pun intended). Instead, this is an effort to illustrate my own personal point of view on the looting versus scavenging debate. I cannot and will not suggest breaking the law. But, in the absence of law, each person must make their own decisions on how to best comport themselves.


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Find The Perfect Survival Retreat or Homestead: Strategic Relocation Preparedness Tip

Finding the right place to live can be a daunting task. And for those looking to strategically relocate out of major cities to a more sustainable and free lifestyle it could be even more challenging. From balancing your professional needs and familial goals, to finding just the right mix of acreage, security and natural resources, getting into that perfect home may seem like a far off dream at times.

Traditional assessments surrounding the concept of strategic relocation are often directed at limited regions or areas of the country, making it that much more difficult for people who have extended family or jobs in a certain city to leave those high population density areas.

Moreover, for many who have made the choice to head out to the country into an ex-urban or rural environment, the prospect of finding a home that meets all their criteria often ends with lackluster results. Perhaps they find a property with a water well and acreage, but it is so far removed from modern-day infrastructure that they can’t perform their professional duties because of lack of internet or activities for the kids are so far away that it becomes an impossible decision to make.

And if you’ve ever used one of the big real estate web sites out there to try and find a home you’ve likely come to realize that they aren’t there to cater to the needs of the modern day homesteader, prepper or survivalist. While these work great for those looking to stay in urban centers or suburbia, you’re not so much interested with amenities like a club house, community pool or tennis courts. Rather, your focus is on things like the existence of a water well, defensibility or food production feasibility.

It’s because of these challenges that survival property professional Todd Savage has teamed up with the world’s foremost strategic relocation specialist Joel Skousen to build the most comprehensive and user-friendly real estate portal on the internet now easily accessible at www.StrategicRelocation.com.

In addition to the advanced search tools that allow a user to filter thousands of properties by factors that include land topography, water accessibility, energy creation, fencing and vegetation, Strategic Relocation’s For Sale By Owner property listings also provide a survival rating that takes hundreds of factors into account to determine a strategic relocation score for a particular property.

The following post from Joel Skousen appears on the Strategic Relocation Blog and provides some additional insights into the new web site and how you can use it to find that perfect home anywhere in the United States of America (or internationally):

(Courtesy World Affairs Brief) This week, the long-awaited Strategic Relocation real estate website for FSBO and Agents has launched—a joint venture between myself and the team at Survival Retreat Consulting (SRC). I have given a considerable amount of advice and consultation to the formation of this website and highly recommend it. Todd Savage, owner and Nick Matthews, Worldwide Operations Manager have joined forces to create a Survival Property Listing website where visitors can search and find rural retreats in their chosen safe haven—almost all are currently in the West but that will change and expand as the site grows in listings.

The site will primarily focus on sustainable rural homes and land (with occasional commercial opportunities) and allows a seller to handle their own ad listing right from home. Each listing allows up to 100 photos and 4 videos as well as a nice topographical map of the retreat for the discerning buyer to evaluate. Sellers may also elect to have either myself or the SRC Team evaluate and rate the property.

Buyers will thus have access to significant information to decide if a property is worth investigating further. Most confidential information (safe rooms, concealed storage rooms and other high security features) will not be presented so as to preserve the property’s secure features for the new buyer. If some confidential items are revealed, the address and location will be concealed. There is nothing worse than buying a secure home where hundreds of people already know about all the sensitive features and where to find it. It will be left to the seller to decide when to reveal to a qualified buyer (privately) the special features of the home.

There will be a fixed, but reasonable listing fee for ads placed on the site, with zero commission fees whatsoever. The SRC team is now just adding properties, and they would appreciate everyone spreading the word to help kick off this exceptional venue for all.

A future addition to the site will feature a Relocation Forum where visitors will be able to post their opinions about where they live or other locations with which they have experience. Visitors will be about to research the pros and cons of their own locations as well as prospective new areas. I’ll let you know when this feature is up and running.

We expect this to quickly become the “go to” website for finding or selling preparedness property, so I would like to extend an invitation to all of you to visit the website at  www.StrategicRelocation.com and spread the word!

Joel Skousen, Author, ‘Strategic Relocation: North American Guide to Safe Places’ at www.WorldAffairsBrief.com

Looking to strategically relocate and a live a more sustainable lifestyle? Start searching now. 

Have a survival retreat property that you’d like to put in front of people who are ready to get out of the city? List it today!


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

Via: shtfplan

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There is little doubt in anyone’s mind that when it comes to the one-gun prepper arsenal, the shotgun reigns supreme. King of the hill, my boomstick, baby!

If you scroll through the comments, you probably will find mention of a specific item that increases a shotgun’s versatility exponentially – the chamber adapter. Essentially a slug of metal that has been machined into the profile of a shotgun shell, it has a chamber for one of many, many calibers bored out of the middle. It allows you to chamber a different caliber – from .22 Short all the way to a smaller shotgun shell size, say .410 in a 12-ga – and safely fire it in your larger-bore shotgun. There are also chamber adapters for rifles; my brother has one that allows him to shoot .25 ACP out of a .250-3000 Savage. The caliber choices are extensive; pretty much all your standard pistol-caliber rounds are covered, as well as this company making a kit that allows you to shoot .223/5.56mm, 7.62x39mm, and even .308 Winchester in your 12 gauge. Prices range from a few bucks to over $100, depending on if you want a long-“barreled” sleeve-type adapter that’s rifled, or the style that I got, the “snubnose”, if you will.

I’d been wanting to try one of these babies out for some time, so I basically stopped hemming and hawing and grabbed one off Amazon on the cheap. After all, if it sucks, you probably shouldn’t pay a lot for the suck, right? Right. I ended up purchasing a 12 gauge-to-.38 Special/.357 Magnum adapter from Tru-Bore on Amazon. With shipping, it showed up at my door a few days later, for the paltry sum of just over $31. I didn’t expect much, and once I opened that package, I’m glad I didn’t: at first glance it wasn’t terribly impressive. A nicely machined piece of steel, but that was about it. I secretly had hoped it would be rifled, but I knew deep down it wouldn’t be, and I was right. It’s a smooth bore, and it measured out at .360″ inside the bore. Hmmm…a standard .357/.38 bullet is .358″. Sounds to me like an unstabilized bullet….the bullet has .002″ of wiggle room in the bore of the “barrel” of the adapter.

Yup, definitely a smooth-bore! .002″ may not sound like much, but it’s enough to make that bullet bounce around down that bore like a BB in a coffee can, de-stabilizing the projectile. More on that later.

The back of the “shell” is recessed for the rim of the .38/.357 cartridge. It has a little extra room around the rim for a fingernail, knife blade, or some other plucking accoutrement to retrieve the spent empty cartridge from the adapter. (Unfired cases drop in and out with ease, but fired cases expand and stick inside the chamber of the adapter.)

My trusty digital calipers mic the length of the adapter at 2.7315″. With a Winchester .357 Magnum 125-grn JHP measuring 1.5650″, that leaves a “barrel” length of 1.1665″, or just over 1 5/32″. That isn’t much; the average J-frame Smith & Wesson barrel length is about 2 inches. So don’t expect rip-snorting velocities out of the adapter. Sadly, my chronograph is currently being borrowed by a friend, so I couldn’t clock bullet velocities. Future report, I guess; my apologies.

Upon initial inspection, one of the first things I noticed is that the leading edge of the “shell” is very sharp; I took a touch of emery cloth to take the edge off so it wouldn’t scar up the innards of my shotgun. For the first test, I broke open my Winchester 101 over-under shotgun to see how the adapter fit. THUNK…dropped right in the chamber satisfyingly. I went to close the action, and, what do you know? The action wouldn’t shut. I sat there playing with it, and couldn’t come to any real satisfying conclusions as to why it wouldn’t shut. I can only imagine the ejector system may have been causing the problem; break-open guns I tried it on with no ejectors worked fine. It also chambered pleasingly in my Remington 870; I didn’t try it through the action, though, because the weight of the shell plus the sharp edges might have made it catch in the action or jam up. I didn’t feel like disassembling an 870 in a sandpit, so I made a decision to just use it single-shot. It’s not like you’re going to fill the magazine up with these things; the unfired cartridges slide right out without any effort and would surely bind in the magazine and action. This baby is relegated to break-open style guns or single-shot use out of a repeating shotgun.


I couldn’t wait to try this thing out on the range. Reviews I’d read said not expect much in the accuracy department; I didn’t. Lots of factors effected this in my mind: lack of rifling was the biggie, along with the short barrel length, and the lack of precise aiming equipment on the shotgun; all I have on my test 870 is a Meprolight tritium bead. Not exactly a 12 power Leupold…

…but it would have to suffice. With a pistol-caliber cartridge like the .357 Magnum, you have to be realistic: you’re probably not going to be making 100-yard head shots on running antelope. I envision the use of this to be close-range defense to be used in lieu of precious shotgun shells, putting down a nuisance/sick animal perhaps, or one you have in a trap or snare. Maybe with bigger calibers that pack more horsepower, you could hunt deer at close ranges in my mind. But that depends largely on how it performs on target.

My son and I loaded up the gear, and a target stand and some targets, along with a handful of the aforementioned Winchester 125-grn JHP rounds, and a box of .38 Special +P handloads: a 158-grain lead semi-wadcutter (LSWC) at about 850-900 feet per second. After setting up the target stand with targets and getting everything and everyone ready for a hot range, I paced off 10 paces, about 30-32 feet, depending on how sprightly I feel. I slipped in a .38 handload, dropped the works in the chamber of the 870, and closed the action. Everything locked up fine, the shotgun went fully into battery.

I lined up a steady 6 o’clock hold on the target (putting the aiming point of the target directly ABOVE the bead. It makes aiming more precise when your sighting device covers the target) and slowly pressed the trigger. Pop! The round went off, with practically no recoil. It was pretty underwhelming, actually…but hey, there was a hole in the target, surprisingly close to the bullseye, as well! Interesting. I slowly opened the action – the adapter engaged the extractor on the bolt just fine and the ejector popped it out of the ejection port with no fuss.

The fuss came when I tried to use my fingernail to extract the spent case. NOPE. A stiff shake. NOPE. Finally I pulled the felt-tip pen that I was using to mark the target out of my pocket (never did like prying with the point of a knife) and pushed it down the muzzle end of the adapter. With a tap, the .38 case dropped out. Folks, this is definitely not a rapid-fire setup. We eventually settled on a locally-sourced (read: the ground at my feet) free-range organic stick to pop the empties out of the adapter. I will say that after about 50 rounds, the empty cases usually dropped out with a firm shake or a tap on a rock…maybe a little bit of firing residue made the difference?

I repeated the process two more times for a three-shot, 10-yard group:

You’ll notice two things about this group: #1: actually pretty damn good accuracy; far better than I’d expected. The black Shoot-N-C target is 6 inches in diameter, making the 3-shot group under two inches. That’s not terrible, folks: that’s minute-of-rabbit and possibly squirrel if you can get either to sit still long enough to draw a bead and really concentrate on trigger control with crappy shotgun triggers.

The big thing you should notice, though, is that the bullet holes aren’t round. If you look carefully, the bottom two are pretty much exact outlines of the profile of a .38 Special bullet. Yep, they struck the target SIDEWAYS. These bullets are “tumbling”, or spinning end-over-end due to improper stabilization from an oversized bore and no rifling. At 30 feet, this isn’t too much of an issue, however, accuracy will almost certainly degrade very quickly as the range increases. It also means that the bullet will not strike the target nose-on, which is the way bullets are designed to strike; hollow-point bullets only expand if they push into target substrate hollow-point first; same with jacketed soft point bullets. So, you certainly will not get the terminal effectiveness that you could get with a properly-oriented bullet. I COULD make an argument that tumbling bullets will continue to tumble through target flesh and bones (the 5.56mm military cartridge was supposedly designed to do this to help make up for its small diameter), but if I have a dedicated high-performance hollow-point bullet, I’d like it to work as intended. However, knowing that the bullets tumble, I will in the future use heavier, longer full-metal jacketed or all-lead bullets that will be more terminally effective with tumbling. Work with what you got, right?

We stepped back to 15 yards and I let my son give the setup a go.

He thought the whole idea was pretty cool, and really enjoyed the adapter. His groups at 15 yards were almost as good as mine at 10:

Again, a nice consistent tight group, and again, more tumbling. But the accuracy was really far better than I’d hoped for by a long shot. I’d expected the group size to increase exponentially, but it was staying clustered together nicely. So we stepped back to 25 yards, and I got behind the 870 again. I loaded up the Winchester 125-gran JHPs. Holy crap; three shots went into almost the same hole at 25 yards! So, we went back to 40 yards to see how things worked at what I’d previously considered to be “yeah, right” distance. I was getting a bit more optimistic, I will admit.

This time, I sat down to make sure I was getting consistent accuracy with a solid seated position. Again, 6 o’clock hold, really working the trigger produced better than expected results. I fired 5 shots this round.

You can see the .357 25-yard group at upper left; the 5-shot 40-yard group is laid out in thick magic marker outline. We were now getting to be the outside edge of the practical range for the adapter. The group was about 8-9″ across at its widest point; the vitals area of a mature whitetailed deer is generally considered to be about that size. I was very pleased with the group, however. I’d fully expected to be off the paper completely at this distance; yet rather I got a useful-sized group that shows decent consistency reasonably close to the point of aim.

For yuks ‘n’ giggles, we opened up at a large prominent rock at the opposite bank of the sandpit.

Yeah, forget about it. The bullets hit the ground about 6-10 feet in front of the target, and then bounced into the bank in a depressingly huge pattern. Even with the proper holdover to get the bullets to impact the target area, you’d be lucky to hit a 15-passenger van or a literal barn door at 125 yards. At 75 yards you’d be lucky to hit a normal-sized entry door to a house.


I must say, I was very surprised by this milled-out hunk of steel. I went in expecting this to be a close-to-useless range toy or conversation starter, but ended up walking away thinking there was actually some utility to this chamber adapter.

Granted, you have an envelope to work inside: I’d say 40, 45 yards MAXIMUM is the effective range of this adapter in .357 or .38 Special. Its limiting factor is the short “barrel” length and complete lack of rifling to stabilize the projectile. Sights (or lack thereof) MAY have been holding back the accuracy a bit, but not much. At 45 yards, the bead of a shotgun at a 6 o’clock hold worked reasonably well – and I’d be willing to bet that most prepper-utilized shotguns will have a standard bead-type sight. I have plans in the works to mount a red dot electronic sight to a shotgun soon; I’ll post a report (with velocities) eventually to see if it actually helped.

If all I has was my 12-gauge, you can bet sure as hell that I’d have these adapters in a couple common calibers, such as .22 LR, 9mm, .38/.357, and maybe something like .45 ACP or .44 Magnum. With every adapter you purchase, you increase ammo availability exponentially. Sure, you won’t have a rapid-fire tactical shotgun, but for the guy who owns a farm or who only wants one gun that’s not a “black gun” so he doesn’t cause a stir, this is a great way to increase your effectiveness with a single firearm. I can see the maximum effectiveness with these adapters coming from a break-open type shotgun with no ejectors; if you only have one adapter, you don’t want it to go flinging over your shoulder at high velocity in the woods after you take a shot at the only meat you’ve seen in days. Keep it captive in the chamber (a rubber O-ring system would really help here…hint, hint, Tru-Bore) and have a small flat headed screwdriver or dedicated prying tool to pop the empties out and you’ll up your fire rate quite a bit. This adapter would work out beautifully for the man with a double shotgun: a side by side or over/under. One barrel would have a standard shotshell in case of a flying bird, the other a chamber adapter with a caliber that offers more punch and precision in case of a deer, coyote, or badguy pops up.

There’s really no down side to having one of these and a handful of pistol-caliber cartridges in your shotgun kit. For 31 bucks, it was worth every penny in my book. I reload for the .357 Magnum, and have several handguns in that caliber – and it’s a very popular caliber here in rural Maine, so ammo should almost always be around or at the very least not a hassle to obtain or load for.

Bottom line: Chamber adapters increase the utility and versatility of your shotgun, and therefore your survival probability in a SHTF situation. I’m getting more. If you have a shotgun, you’d have a hard time making an argument to NOT get one or two to keep with your survival kit.

As a side note: you love shooting, right? So why wouldn’t your kids? Be sure to take your children (or, if you don’t have children, take your nephews, nieces, neighbors, whomever!) to the range with you. Teach them to respect the power of the firearm, and how to handle one with the utmost safety and concern for human life. If you start young and teach them properly, you’ll have someone who’s with you all the time who you can trust with a firearm, and a hunting/foraging buddy whose company you’ll always enjoy, and will help you drag game out of the woods, or just provide quality companionship while plinking empty soda cans with .22s at the range. I started my son when he was 7, and now, many years later, he is a fine shot and a respectful, safe young man with a firearm; I couldn’t be prouder.

So get out there, have fun, train, and BE SAFE!


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


Via: shtfblog

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