Sunday, August 25, 2019

Your Computer May Not Survive a Collapse But These Off-Grid Archiving Strategies Will

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by Jeremiah Johnson, Ready Nutrition:

I will admit that I am not the most technologically “savvy” individual, and I’m certainly not armed with all the modern “conveniences” that most people take as a necessity.  Cell phones, Kindle devices, M-pad/I-pod/UFO-whatever-for-music…don’t use ‘em.  That being said, I know they have their merits, but it’s the same type of lesson I tried to impart to my son when he went into the service.

He picked up one of those high-speed wrist compasses…the digital kind…but I constantly remind him to use that “old-fashioned” lensatic compass as his mainstay.  He listens, although he prefers to use his gizmo.  I’m just happy he carries the lensatic with him and knows how to use it.  I made sure he knew how to use it.

Create a Survival Library with Hard-Copy Notes and Archives

In this light, remember that all of our technology can collapse in the blink of an eye.  The collapse can be precipitated by any number of things…grid failure/brownouts, an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) strike, a nuclear war, or just a societal collapse that has a “downtrickle” of losing critical infrastructure and modern power systems.  In that light, it is best to take your digital and electronic libraries and ensure they are duplicated into hard-copy.  Consider investing in a typewriter to pass this valuable information on. Let’s give some suggestions, and you can take them, and tailor them to suit your needs.

  1. Whenever you watch any kind of training video/DVD, you should always take notes and summarize it. Pick up the key points, supplementing them with your own notes and diagrams to help clarify the instruction.  A composition-type notebook works well for this.  I take rough notes on a sheet of paper, and then recopy them into the notebook.
  2. Summarize books and other works: Turn a 300-page book into 8-10 pages of intense notes…summarize and shoot for brevity and clarity in your notes. This is not to say, “don’t keep books,” but rather, read them and take good notes that you can glance at to glean any important information you may need to use.
  3. Print out the important how-to’s and “archive” notes: don’t just store it on hard drive or jump drive! Although that is important, you want to make sure your information is printed off.  Strive for accuracy, compactness, neatness, and organization in all of your notes.
  4. File similar subjects in a binder/common protector: This is especially important when you’re dealing with things such as first-aid and medicine. Protect the info., and keep it well-organized
  5. Military Med Chests: Yes, made out of strong aluminum, these stackable canisters are perfect to place your archives and books inside after wrapping them up in plastic…preferably contractor-grade bags around 6 mils in thickness.
  6. Durable plastic bins: These can work if they’re really tough and are water-tight. The biggest problems with notes, archives, and books are water, mildew, bugs, and fire, in that order.  You want to make sure everything is in plastic and sealed up tight.
  7. Duplicate everything…1-6 up there? You should have one copy out for your general use, and another sealed up in a safe place.

Read More @ ReadyNutrition.com

Planning for an Uncertain Future – Jeff Nielson

by Jeff Nielson, Sprott Money:

Astute readers understand that we are living in a time of crisis. This is not a crisis about Terrorist Boogeymen, nor is it (primarily) even a crisis about the very real threat of global warming.

The crisis which faces us is a crisis of government: the corrupt, puppet regimes across the Western world, and the psychopathic Puppet Masters who pull their strings. These Puppet Masters are known to regular readers. They are the Western oligarchs who control the financial crime syndicate known as the One Bank.

These Puppet Masters have already led us to economic ruin. Western nations, almost without exception, are not merely insolvent – they are bankrupt. The poster child for this endemic bankruptcy is the United States.

Officially, the U.S.’s national debt is a ‘mere’ $20 trillion, far more than any other nation. But that is just the tip of the iceberg for this Titanic. The United States also faces more than $200 trillion in “unfunded liabilities”. This is a combination of dumping its bills onto the shoulders of future generations, and simpleaccounting fraud.

In the world of corporations, the United States would be legally required to account for the whole $200+ trillion of debts and obligations, not sweep it under the carpet, and pretend it doesn’t exist. Official government budgets are so fraudulent that the GAO (Government Accountability Office) regularly refusesto sign off on them.

To repeat: the United States government’s own accountant regularly refuses to endorse the accounting of the federal government – Republicans and Democrats alike. National accounting fraud is a bipartisan initiative in the U.S.’s Two-Party Dictatorship. Neither half is willing to tell the American people anything remotely close to the truth concerning the degree of U.S. insolvency.

Other Western nations are in little better shape. In the case of many of these nations, they have been dragged down to the level of U.S. economic decay through economic terrorism plotted by the One Bank, and executed by its stooges on Wall Street. Here the poster child is Greece.

In 2009; Greece and the United States exhibited very similar economic fundamentals, except on a different scale. Both nations were clearly insolvent. Both nations spent (spend) much too much on their military.

The difference?

Starting in 2010; the economic terrorists of Wall Street manipulated the interest rate on Greece’s national debt as high as 30{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}. At the same time, these terrorists kept the interest rate on the U.S.’s gargantuan debt frozen at near-zero.

Understand the significance here. At an interest rate of 30{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}; it would cost the U.S. government $6 trillionper year just to pay the interest on $20 trillion in debt – which is only a portion of the actual U.S. debt.

Total U.S. government revenues are currently around $3.5 trillion. The world’s only superpower could not possibly make interest payments on its debt. At the same rate of interest that was forced upon Greece by the Wall Street terrorists, the U.S. would be almost instantly bankrupted – as Greece was.

Other Western nations are in little better shape than these two Deadbeat Debtors. The West is bankrupt.

The West is also unemployed. Permanent unemployment across the Western world is now some number in excess of 100 million people. Homeless people litter our streets. Propaganda-numbed populations ignorethis outrage – as our corrupt governments do nothing but make this crime against humanity worse.

The West is no longer free. To be free implies rights – lots of them. We have none.

A right is immutable. It is something which cannot be taken away from us, except under extreme circumstances, and even then only according to the principles of due process.

Due process is no longer a right across the Corrupt West. It is a (mere) privilege. It can taken away from any one of us, at any time, with absolutely no warning.

All that is required is for one of the corrupt puppets in our government to point their finger at any one of us and hurl the Magic Word: “terrorist”. Instantly we lose our citizenship. We lose our human rights. We become a non-person.

No (public) proof or (public) evidence of any kind is required to transform us from citizens to non-people.

The puppet governments of the Corrupt West have stolen our rights – totally unlawfully. They have stolen our rights in order to create police states. They have created police states as a preemptive measure to cling to power as these puppet governments preside over our imminent bankruptcy and economic collapse.

The Dark Ages. Remember them? Nobody does.

It was an era of chaos, ignorance, and misery which lasted nearly a thousand years. It was the result of the total collapse of the greatest empire the world had known – the Roman Empire.

Arguably, the United States Empire is history’s second greatest empire, not in terms of duration but in might. Here it is important to note that events move much more quickly in our technologically advanced age.

There could be no Hundred Year War in our modern era. One or both sides would annihilate the other long before then. The Roman Empire was measured in centuries. The U.S. Empire will be measured in decades.

It is a rancid empire, exhibiting all of the classic signs of an empire in its final death throes. Politically and culturally unenlightened (Donald Trump, Family Guy). Militarily belligerent. Economically exhausted.

The United States, world’s only superpower, is a crude, broke, aggressive Bully. It no longer has any friends, just those nations who will acquiesce to its will and those who won’t.

This out-of-control Bully has been goaded into manufacturing one war after another by the psychopathic oligarchs. It has forced the Rest of the World to replace it as the world’s dominant power.

However, has-been empires rarely relinquish power willingly. Psychopaths never do. As these Western psychopaths attempt to cling to their global tyranny, they could (will?) easily plunge the world into a second Dark Age.

Then what?

“Financial planning”, in its conventional sense, loses all meaning in nations which no longer have computerized economies – and may no longer have fully industrialized economies. Stocks, bonds? Not much good to us when there is no stock market and there is no bond market.

Bitcoin? Lol!

Many formerly committed precious metals investors have become disillusioned with this asset class – at least to some extent. These people forget why they were diligently accumulating gold and silver in the first place.

Precious metals are the world’s premier Safe Haven asset class. They have always been so. And they may always remain so.

Why? Gold and silver are hard assets. Gold and silver are real money.

Readers who think of the paper in their wallets as “money” require an education. The bankers’ paper is mere currency. It is a medium of exchange, and nothing more.

Real money (gold and silver) is a medium of exchange and a store of wealth. Money conserves and protects the wealth of the holder. Currency does not.

Would we still use and need money in some future Dark Age? Is it easier to carry your furnishings on your back, or is it easier to carry enough money to buy new furnishings?

Read More @ SprottMoney.com

Remington Model 1911 R1 Tactical Pistol Series – Engineered to Perform

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from Ammoland:


Huntsville, AL –-(Ammoland.com)- Built for precision and hard use, the Remington Model 1911 R1 Tactical Pistol is the pinnacle of adaptability and is now available at retail.

Accuracy begins with an adjustable match-grade trigger, and its 5-inch match-grade stainless steel barrel, frame and slide tuned for consistent performance. The PVD coating delivers reliably smooth operation and unparalleled durability. The ambidextrous extended thumb safety allows easy operation in either hand, while its machined VZ Operator G10 grips, wide front and rear cocking serrations and checkered mainspring housing provide sure handling. The railed frame makes mounting accessories easy and fast. And with Trijicon front and rear night sights, it’s ready to serve in any light.

Harvey Is A Major Still-Unfolding Disaster

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by Chris Martenson, Peak Prosperity:

Superstorm Harvey continues to wreak epic damage to Texas, particularly Houston.

But it’s not the wind, it’s the rain. Epic, record-breaking, unbelievable amounts of rain.

It’s entirely possible that the entire region will not get back ‘to normal’ for months, if not years.

Vice President Mike Pence noted that given the “magnitude of the flooding” that “it will be years coming back.” (Source)

Tens of thousands of homes are flood damaged, many of them total losses. Only one-in-six Houston residences is thought to have flood insurance.

FEMA Director Brock Long said 30,000 are in temporary shelters with 450,000 expected to seek assistance. That may well grow if Harvey cycles back for another hit, which is quite likely at this time (see below).

The entire city of Houston is deserted except for rescue vehicles. So a major American city is not at work today. Or tomorrow. Or….???

A significant portion of the nation’s energy infrastructure is directly impacted by Harvey’s biblical rains and current total shutdown. Crude oil will accumulate there as refineries are unable to process it into fuel products. The prices for those same fuel products has been rising and will continue to spike higher. If this goes on for long enough, actual shortages will result.

The only mitigating factors working against the accumulation of crude at storage farms is the shutdown of wells in the Gulf as well as possibly a few wells in Texas’ Eagle Ford region, for which no back-up power exists at the well sites. I don’t have any information on how extensive that might be yet. I’m just guessing at this point.

Rivers in Houston are not expected to crest until Tuesday, at some 11 feet (!!) higher than their current “major flood” stage (forecast as of 2:15 a.m. August 28th, 2017).

There’s no historical parallel for this level of flooding, so we’ll just have to wait and see how this all plays out.

The good news is that the past 24 hours have seen relatively little rainfall (just under an inch).

The really bad news is that the latest models show Harvey heading back into the Gulf, picking up more moisture and power, possibly becoming a hurricane again, and then coming back ashore aimed straight for a second savaging of Houston:

That would be thoroughly cruel to those who’s lives have already been upended by this storm. But nature can be rather remorseless that way.

As the WSJ put it this morning:

HOUSTON—Tropical Storm Harvey was poised to re-enter the Gulf of Mexico Monday and make another landfall closer to Houston roughly two days later, prolonging the slow-motion flooding disaster that already has crippled one of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas.

The storm, still over coastal Texas, is not expected to regain hurricane strength as its eye moves back over water, according to the National Hurricane Center. But its plodding, easterly track means as much as 20 more inches of rain could fall on the Houston area. The region has seen as much as 30 inches in recent days, turning roads into rivers, inundating homes and requiring rescues for thousands of stranded people.

The historic rains, already more than half of what Houston gets in a typical year, were forcing officials to make painful decisions to evacuate flooded areas—and to release water from reservoirs under strain, knowing that it would flow into nearby neighborhoods

20 more inches might fall. This is really without any precedent. It’s a very serious situation and people are mostly shocked and unable to process the enormity of this at the moment.

Read More @ PeakProsperity.com

« Preparedness Notes for Sunday – October 01, 2017Letter: The Three Greatest Threats To Our Mutual Survival » Essential Survival Tips From A Hurricane Irma Survivor, by C.S.

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by Hugh James Latimer, Survival Blog:

At the time I began writing this, Hurricane Irma had hit only eight days earlier. From it and other hurricane experiences, I have learned some valuable lessons. The first is, use your head. No, do not use it to hammer the shutters down. What I mean is, use some common sense.

Demonstrating a Lack of Reasoning

Here are some things that happened here in South Florida that demonstrated a lack of reasoning:

  • A guy burned down his house because he wasn’t careful while pouring gas in his generator that was running. The spillage later caught on fire, torching his entire hacienda.
  • My girlfriend forgot to take a shower right before the hurricane hit. On the fifth day without water or a bath, she sprayed Febreze all over her body. She’s now waiting for recovery from the repercussions of that move.
  • A guy waited until the last minute to put his hurricane shutters up on the second floor. The wind gusts blew over the ladder, and he died.
  • People spent lots of money on huge amounts of bottled water and then discovered they had no food.
  • Many people stayed in the Keys. They stayed even after they were ordered to evacuate.
  • I saw this guy on the news looking for shells in the Tampa Bay, where the water had just been sucked out to sea.

Common Sense Survival Tips

  • Don’t wait until the last minute to leave town, because there’s going to be a million other people doing the same thing. Three days before is pretty good, preferably in the middle of the night.
  • Make sure you have a paper map in your car. Do you know, those old-fashioned pieces of paper with different colored lines printed on them? Newsflash: Your GPS won’t get you anywhere when the cell phones don’t work.
  • Cell phones do not work after a hurricane, even if you have battery. Text messages will work, though I’m not sure why.
  • Don’t put “big Xs” of masking tape on your windows. Not only will it look stupid but you won’t be able to get it off when the sun bakes the adhesive to the window. It won’t help to prevent your windows from blowing out.
  • Get an off-road SUV that carries stuff. You can’t get much of what you expect to ever own again in a Mini-Cooper. Plus, with millions of people on the same road, you may need to do some creative driving.
  • Take the back roads. Use your paper map. Sleep in the day. Drive during the night. Do the opposite of what everyone else is doing.
  • Don’t stay in a mobile home. It’s literally like standing outside during the hurricane.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to get gas. Many people waited in line for the whole day and got nothing.
  • You don’t need a million paper towels. Use real towels. You can actually hand wash them in tap water!
  • Baby wipes are good alternatives to showers.
  • Don’t buy bottled water and then throw empty plastic jugs out to the street. Save all plastic bottles and put water in them. Freeze the bottles and turn your refrigerator into a cooler. This will save you from frantically going out to look for more bottled water or buying ice and then complaining you have no money.
  • Don’t run the generator in your house. You’ll fall asleep and never wake up. It’s called carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Don’t open your windows during a hurricane, thinking you need a breeze to break the humidity or that you need to let the house “breathe” or relieve pressure. Doing so will result in a panoramic sky-view of the storm, as your roof will fly off.
  • Turn your air conditioning down to as cold as possible, a couple of days before you lose power. It takes that long to get super cold. Then when you lose power, it will take a couple of days to get back to normal. This way you don’t die of heat exhaustion on day one.
  • Feeling too cold? Suit up! Drag out those winter sweatshirts and sweatpants. Wear layers, baby. It’s the style!
  • Your power is more likely to go out than the water pipes breaking.
  • Don’t drive in water where you can’t see the bottom. Not only may you anger some alligators but your car could get stuck in the water. The alligators may then eat you. Or, you could just sit on the roof of your car for a week until the water subsides. Ditto to snakes.
  • After the storm, don’t open your door to anyone who says they are FEMA or the electric company. They will stick a gun in your face and then it’ll be “bye-bye” to all your stuff that the hurricane didn’t take.
  • Don’t go walking in puddles after the storm. Water is conductive of electricity, and power lines are down all over the place. ZAP!

Past Florida Hurricanes, Like Andrew

I have been through a few hurricanes here in Florida. However, for me, this one was the mother of all. I was in Miami’s Hurricane Andrew in the outer bands but was allowed into the worst damaged area right after the storm. This was the case because my husband was an insurance adjuster.

He was not a homeowner’s insurance adjuster but an automobile claims adjuster. However, the insurance companies were so desperate for insurance adjusters that if you had an insurance license for anything, you were told to strap a ladder to your car roof and go into the belly of the beast.

What I saw was staggering. There were huge, uprooted trees lying flat over roads, making access to homes impossible. Thirty-foot high mounds of tree branches and unrecognizable debris were all over. FUBAR was everywhere you looked.

People had their roofs blown off, with the harsh sun beating down on them. They were found wading around their homes in knee-high deep water acting dazed and zombie-like.

Prepare To Defend Property

I learned that you need to be prepared for a hurricane. Then you need to be prepared to defend your property.

A girlfriend who was in the eye of Hurricane Andrew saw her couch fly out the window as she ran into an adjacent room. Afterward, her husband slept for short periods of time in his running truck for two weeks, just to feel some cool air during the day. He stayed up all night, sitting by the front door with a shotgun.

Hurricane Irma- Andrew On Steroids

Hurricane Irma was like Andrew on steroids.  Everyone was/is affected, and most people were affected significantly.

A friend showed us a picture yesterday of a famous bar in the Upper Keys that is there no more. The roof is sitting on the sand, and the building is gone.

The Keys

As of now, no one is allowed into the Keys. I heard that just yesterday they started to open up some of Highway 1. There are still many trees down, covering the only road to get there. The military is using tanks to plow over fallen trees, in order to get to the people who ignored the evacuation order. All of the Keys is supposedly destroyed. Some people are living in tents outside of their homes. If they managed to salvage a tent.

And everyone knows that the east side of the hurricane is the “dirty” side. In this case, it could spawn hundreds and maybe thousands of tornadoes.

Natural Disaster Like Going Through Boot Camp

Going through a natural disaster like Hurricane Irma is like going through boot camp. At least that’s the closest analogy I can think of, having not actually been through boot camp. It tests and uses up every fiber of your emotional and physical strength, to the last drop, and then it squeezes out a few more drops.

I had this dream before the storm. It was of those biblical guys, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, not burning in the furnace they were thrown into.  I felt like I went into an oven and came out alive. Really.

Physical Stress

There is incredible physical stress. I could only sleep three hours a night and could barely eat. I couldn’t even eat a whole yogurt. Don’t worry about that diet you were on. You won’t even remember to eat. I lost five pounds in one week.

Emotional Stress

Then there’s the emotional stress of a Cat 5 Hurricane headed right toward you, only an hour away. Lucky for me, it turned due east in the last moments. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be writing this story.

Read More @ SurvivalBlog.com

What “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” Taught Me About Survival

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by Meadow Clark, The Organic Prepper:

Survival isn’t just a “someday” mindset – it’s how to insulate yourself from the elements, extreme deprivation, and nary-do-wells – at all times. Right now. It’s a complete awareness at all times in your life, but it’s also an extraordinary resiliency. It’s knowing the ultimate Truth that life is difficult – when it rains, it avalanches – and the most important tools you have are actually within.

It’s also the realization that when you cry, you cry alone. It’s a truth that when the bottom falls out from your life, you must roll up your sleeves and face it head on – there are no shortcuts, and yet you are silently expected to be resourceful. It’s resisting the temptation to outsource your care and survival the way most folks are conditioned to do at a frightening degree. It’s the drive to rise above the rest although they may be like the proverbial Grasshoppers in the Aesop’s Fable – and you’re busy building your little dirt tunnels wondering if it really pays to be an Ant.

Antioxidant-rich walnuts cut your risk of Type 2 diabetes by HALF

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by Vicki Batts, Natural News:

Move over almonds, it’s time for a new nut to reign supreme: Walnuts. While every type of nut offers a bevy of nutritional benefits, walnuts are gaining recognition for their potential to slash the risk of type 2 diabetes. The antioxidant-rich nuts are easily recognized by their unique shape, which resembles the human brain. But as it turns out, these nuts are good for more than just your mind — they’re good for your whole body.

Walnuts, like other nuts, are a high-calorie food. While it is true that they should be consumed in moderation, that doesn’t mean you should avoid eating nuts entirely. Walnuts are an excellent source of good fats, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients — and they’re a good source of protein and fiber, too. They’re also incredibly versatile: Whether you’re adding them to baked goods, breakfast, a salad or another dish, walnuts seem to make themselves at home on just about any plate.

Midwest Flooding Will Cause Shortages of THESE FOODS

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by Cat Ellis, The Organic Prepper:

Floods are dangerous natural disasters. People and animals can be swept away and easily drown. Floods can carry bacteria and pollutants great distances. Floods can bust through levees and tear down bridges. Floods can also lead to food shortages when they destroy farms, like the recent floods in the Midwest have. Smart preppers will take measures to beef up their food storage now.

By now, most US-based preppers have either heard about (or experienced) the massive, damaging floods in the Midwest since this past March. To make matters worse, the potential for more floods in key agricultural states looms in front of us as more rain is predicted for the rest of this spring.

Fun: It’s NOT the F-Word for Preppers

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by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper:

Lately, it seems like pretty hard to find good news.

Folks are judging each other based on who they vote for during the presidential race that occurred two years ago. Battle lines have been drawn and any day now, I expect a bloodbath to erupt between extremistson both sides. People are shooting at other people because of the color of their skin, the uniform they wear, or who they love. Heck, sometimes they don’t even need a reason, which is why good people need to be able to defend themselves. The things some teens do to amuse themselves is enough to make you sick.

On social media, the arguments have become vicious. People are becoming even more stressed and anxious after logging into Facebook hoping to see cute puppy pictures. Instead, they’re watching their friends rip each other apart over differences of opinions. And these opinions? They’re only based on what little we get to see in the news. Oh – and to ice the chaos cupcake, that “information” is massaged to get the most emotional bang for its buck or to manipulate us into hating, loving, or begging for gun control.

Fast food water tested for heavy metals: Taco Bell, KFC, Burger King, Dairy Queen, McDonalds, Subway and more

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by Mike Adams, Natural News:

In our latest effort to test products for heavy metals and other contaminants, we recently acquired ice water from multiple fast food chains, including Whataburger, Jack in the Box, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Burger King and more. Using our mass spec laboratory instrumentation (ICP-MS), we tested all these water samples for heavy metals.

You can see the full video revealing the test results only on Brighteon.com:

https://www.brighteon.com/36ed24bb-9de7-4c48-84c3-f92eaaf20b12

This video is part of the new Food Forensics video series that you’ll see posted now at FoodForensics.com. (Lots more videos are coming…)

Dehydrated food makes great survival food: Tips for what to dehydrate that will keep long-term

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by Jayson Veley, Natural News:

What would you do if you woke up tomorrow to some kind of a large-scale crisis that brought about the collapse of society as we know it? Chances are you would be able to get used to living without things like your cellphone and the television fairly quickly, but that doesn’t solve the issue of being without one of the few things that your body absolutely needs to survive: food. Given the fact that grocery stores will almost inevitably be looted, and knowing that cooking will likely become much more difficult than simply turning on your oven, you will be forced to find more unconventional ways to make and store food – one of those ways is through dehydration.

Of course, if you decide to dehydrate your food, you’re going to have to learn both what foods are best to dehydrate and what foods you should avoid. We can start by taking a look at what kinds of food products you can dehydrate, taking into account both convenience and nutritional value.

More Signs The Clock Is Ticking And Americans Only Have A Limited Window To Get Ready: Once The Food Crisis Hits, It Will Already Be Too Late To Prepare For The Erupting Chaos

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by Susan Duclos, All News Pipeline:

Before getting into some of the more recent news about shortages here in the U.S., along with exclusive images that readers have sent since the last time we wrote about the ongoing and increasing number of locations showing signs of shortages of a variety of products, we’ll address a leaked document from the U.K to underscore what governments expect to happen when food shortages occur on massive scale.

Recently Sky News obtained a leaked government document showing what UK officials expect if a “no deal Brexit” occurs, which specifically mentions immediate food shortages and “consumer panic” among others things, which as any prepper will tell you is the main reason why people prepare for any type of disaster whether natural, weather related, terrorism, economic collapse, etc…, which is to avoid becoming one of those panic shoppers because once a run on the stores begin, chances are tens of thousands, if not more, will only find empty store shelves.