Monday, May 20, 2019

Puerto Rico: What It’s Really Like After the SHTF

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by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper:

Things are dire in Puerto Rico. We haven’t heard much directly from people there since Hurricane Maria took out power for the entire island, but what we do know is that the situation is desperate. This is a shocking, real-life glimpse into what it’s really like when the S hits the fan.

I saw a post from a friend of a friend who has family in Puerto Rico. I don’t have permission to share names, but here’s what she said:

“My family has lost everything. My uncle with stage 4 cancer is in so much pain and stuck in the hospital. However conditions in the island are far worse than we imagined and my greatest fear has been made reality. The chaos has begun. The mosquitos have multiplied like the plague. Dead livestock are all over the island including in whatever fresh water supplies they have.

My family has been robbed and have lost whatever little they had left. The gang members are robbing people at gun point and the island is in desperation. People are shooting each other at gas stations to get fuel.

They’re telling us to rescue them and get them out of the island because they are scared for their lives. We’re talking about 3.5 million people on an island, with no food, no drinking water, no electricity, homes are gone. Family if you have the means to get your people out, do it. This is just the first week. Imagine the days and weeks to come. These are bad people doing bad things to our most vulnerable.

Imagine a few weeks with no resources and the most vulnerable become desperate. What are you capable of doing if your children are sick and hungry? We have to help.”

I decided to vet what I could, and I believe this horrible story is absolutely true. I confirmed that there is very little food, no fresh water, 97{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} are still without power, limited cell signals have stymied communications, and hospitals are struggling to keep people alive. There is no 911. Help is not on the way. If you have no cash, you can’t buy anything. As people get more desperate, violence increases.

Never doubt that such an event could happen to any of us, no matter how carefully we prepare. Your best-laid plans could be swept away by a storm, flood, or fire. The immediate support most people have grown to expect might not be on the way.

Here’s what I learned.

Many homes were completely destroyed.

In the town of Catano, more than 60{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the residents are homeless due to the storm. At the shelter in Catano, the bathrooms flooded and sewage backed up into the building. There is food, but no water. It’s hot, dark, and the stench is overwhelming. There is more than one person at the shelter who is diabetic, and there is no ice for their insulin. (source)

Rivera Aviles, a Cataño city council member who set up the shelter with the help of her husband, found that her home was devastated, too.

She and her husband evacuated before the storm because their house — made of wood — is close to the water’s edge. After Maria passed she returned home and was shocked that “the entire roof was blown off.”

“Everything got wet — the beds, furniture, everything,” she says. The water damage has made it unlivable. (source)

The homes that are still standing were horribly damaged. “Even in homes that remain standing on the island, water damage and power outages have destroyed most belongings, medicine, and food.” (source)

Read More @ TheOrganicPrepper.ca

Caution! It’s Shockingly Easy To Overdose On These Vitamins And Minerals

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from Joshua Krause, Ready Nutrition:

Everyone wants to make sure that they’re consuming all of the vitamins and minerals that they need. Giving your body what it needs is one of the simplest things you can do to stay healthy. Unfortunately, most people don’t eat the daily recommended amounts of every nutrient on a regular basis. If they did, the supplement industry in America wouldn’t be raking in $122 billion per year. Taking a pill to shore up a dietary deficit is incredibly convenient, and Americans are willing to pay a lot for that convenience.

Unfortunately, this convenience also comes with a risk. Making vitamins and minerals easier to consume also it makes it easier overdose on them. It’s pretty difficult to eat too many nutrients in food form, but depending on what nutrient you’re talking about, a few pills can seriously hurt you, or even kill. Among these supplements, here are a few that you should be aware of.

Iron

Consuming more than 45mg of iron a day is enough constitute an overdose in most people. For men that’s only about 5 times the recommended daily allowance (RDA), and less than 3 times for women. A severe overdose can lead to vomiting, diarrhea rapid breathing and heart rate, seizures, and unconsciousness. Often sufferers will feel better after a couple of days, before experiencing liver failure. Children are especially vulnerable to iron poisoning, which is why most chewable multivitamins contain very little iron.

Vitamin A

Because this vitamin tends to build up in the body, it’s fairly easy to take too much of it. Some studies have suggested that taking double the RDA of vitamin A on a regular basis is enough to cause birth defects and liver damage. Exceeding that dosage on a regular basis can cause poor vision, nausea, peeling skin, jaundice, hair loss, bone pain, mouth ulcers, and poor appetite. Overall, it sounds an awful lot like radiation sickness in vitamin form.

Zinc

I can speak about this from personal experience. I once took two zinc pills after I forgot that I had taken one earlier in the day. It was not fun, to say the least. I felt chills, nausea, light-headed, and a suffered from a rather foggy brain for several hours. However, I got off lucky.

Taking too much zinc can cause vomiting headaches, cramps, diarrhea, and in the worst cases can lead to kidney failure. Taking too much zinc over a long period of time can cause anemia, heart problems, and seriously mess up your immune system, which will make you more vulnerable to all kinds of infections. Which is ironic, since most people take zinc to support their immune systems.

Calcium

This may be one of the easiest nutrients to overuse. That’s because we’re all constantly told to consume more calcium to keep our bones strong and to prevent osteoporosis. The problem with that, is that it’s probably safe to say that most people living in the developed world don’t have a calcium deficiency. We have one of the most dairy rich diets on the planet, so it’s not something we should be too concerned about.

When you combine those two factors, it’s easy to see how the average person could be consuming too much calcium. We already eat a lot of dairy, and since we’re all so concerned about getting more calcium, lots of foods are fortified with this mineral. And on top of that, there are a lot of people who consume calcium based antacids on a regular basis. And finally, supplementing vitamin D is also pretty common, which increases calcium absorption. The last thing we need is to be taking calcium supplements, but we do.

You probably shouldn’t supplement calcium unless a doctor tells you to, because consuming too much calcium over a long period of time can lead to kidney stones, kidney damage, or even kidney failure. One study found that only eating a slightly more than the RDA can significantly increase your risk of developing heart disease, or die of any cause. Other studies have suggested that eating too much calcium can actually weaken your bones.

Read More @ ReadyNutrition.com

HOW TO USE SIGNAL WITHOUT GIVING OUT YOUR PHONE NUMBER

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by Micah Lee, The Intercept:

JUST A FEW years ago, sending encrypted messages was a challenge. Just to get started, you had to spend hours following along with jargon-filled tutorials, or be lucky enough to find a nerd friend to teach you. The few that survived this process quickly hit a second barrier: They could only encrypt with others who had already jumped through the same hoops. So even after someone finally set up encrypted email, they couldn’t use it with most of the people they wanted to send encrypted emails to.

The situation is much better today. A number of popular apps have come along that make encryption as easy as texting. Among the most secure is Signal, open-source software for iOS and Android that has caught on among activists, journalists, and others who do sensitive work. And probably the most popular is WhatsApp, a Facebook-owned platform with encryption setup derived from Signal. For me, the spread of encrypted chat apps means that, with very few exceptions, all of my text messages — with friends, family, or for work — are end-to-end encrypted, and no one even has to understand what a “public key” is.

But there is a major issue with both Signal and WhatsApp: Your account is tied to your phone number.

This makes these apps really easy to use, since there are no usernames or passwords to deal with. It also makes it easy to discover other app users; if someone is a contact in your phone and has the app installed, you can send them encrypted texts with no further effort.

But it also means that if you want people to be able to send you messages securely, you need to hand out your phone number. This puts people who interact with the public in an awkward bind: Is the ability for strangers to contact you securely worth publishing your private phone number?

In this article I explain how to create a second Signal number that is safe to publish on your Twitter bio and business cards, so strangers have an easy way to contact you securely, while your primary phone number remains private. I explain how to obtain a second phone number, how to register it with the Signal server, and how to configure it to use Signal Desktop — even if you’re already using Signal Desktop with your private phone number. I will focus on Signal rather than WhatsApp for reasons I’ll explain further down (basically, WhatsApp appears to block non-cellular phone numbers that make all this possible with Signal).

Why Wouldn’t You Want to Publish Your Phone Number?

WHEN YOU GIVE out your phone number, you risk opening yourself up to abuse. As freedom of expression activist Jillian York wrote on her personal blog, “As a woman, handing out my phone number to a stranger creates a moderate risk: What if he calls me in the middle of the night? What if he harasses me over SMS? What if I have to change my number to get away from him?”

If you’re a public figure, and especially if you’re a women or person of color, you’re probably used to sexist or racist jerks yelling slurs and threats at you on Twitter, Facebook, and in the comments section under the articles you write. Publishing your private phone number could make this problem worse and could make these people harder to mute.

It could also open up your online accounts to attack. Last year, someone hacked racial justice activist DeRay Mckesson’s Twitter and email accounts by taking over his phone number. The hacker called Verizon and, impersonating Mckesson, asked to change the SIM card associated with his phone number to a new one that they controlled, so they could receive SMS messages sent to his phone number.

Having a unique public number just for Signal could mitigate this sort of attack; it’s harder for a hacker to hijack the number that’s tied to your Twitter and email accounts if they don’t know it in the first place.

(If an attacker takes control of your phone number, like they did with Mckesson, they could also take over your Signal account. If someone did this to your friend, you’d see a “safety number changed” warning in Signal — the same message you see when a friend gets a new phone. If you ignore this warning and text them anyway, you’ll actually be texting the attacker. You can verify safety numbers to confirm that your Signal app is encrypting messages to your friend’s phone, and not to some attacker’s phone.)

How to Obtain a Second Phone Number

WHEN YOU OPEN the Signal app for the first time and type in your phone number, here’s what happens:

  • The Signal service tries sending an SMS message with a verification code to your phone number. If you can receive that message or the app can receive it directly, and the message contains the correct code, then the app successfully registers the account.
  • If you can’t receive the verification message, Signal gives you the option to try a voice call instead. In this case, the Signal service tries calling your phone number. When you answer, a robot voice tells you a verification code, and you can type it into the app. If you type the correct code, the app registers the account.

Read More @ TheIntercept.com

More reason to be a prepper: Aid is arriving by the ton in Puerto Rico, but it’s NOT getting to the people because the logistics chain has been destroyed

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by JD Heyes, Natural News:

The devastation to Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria more than a week ago continues to provide object lessons in the necessity of becoming a prepper full-time and not just as some passing fad.

You may recall that the storm completely knocked out the island’s entire electrical power grid. Besides that, there has been massive destruction and flooding. What goods remained after the storm blew through are long gone. Aid workers and National Guard troops are working hard to restore basic services, but another problem has cropped up.

Food, fresh water, and basic supplies are arriving by the ton. Thousands of shipping containers brought in by scores of cargo ships are piling up on the docks of Puerto Rico’s main ports, which have been reopening steadily as workers cleared storm debris in Maria’s aftermath.

The problem is that the logistical chain has been destroyed; there’s no way to quickly distribute the tons of food and supplies that are being shipped in, and it’s not clear that food and water will be distributed quickly enough before people start dying.

As reported by Bloomberg News:

Thousands of cargo containers bearing millions of emergency meals and other relief supplies have been piling up on San Juan’s docks since Saturday. The mountains of materiel may not reach storm survivors for days.

Like lemmings, mainstream media journalists have been criticizing the Trump administration for its alleged “slow response” to the disaster in Puerto Rico, but clearly, the problem does not lie with the White House. Rather, it’s simple logistics; infrastructure has been demolished and there’s little in place to actually distribute the tons of supplies coming in.

“There are plenty of ships and plenty of cargo to come into the island,” Mark Miller, a spokesman for Crowley Maritime Corp., a Jacksonville, Florida-based firm that operates a dock in the island’s capital of San Juan. “From there, that’s where the supply chain breaks down — getting the goods from the port to the people on the island who need them.” (Related: Hurricane Harvey proves again why it is foolish if you don’t become a prepper.)

Bloomberg noted that distributors for small retailers and the big box stores are currently unloading some 4,000 20-foot shipping containers that are full of necessities — millions of emergency meals, fresh water, soap, and other commodities. And although the Trump administration has taken steps to ease shipping to Puerto Rico, in part by temporarily waiving the Jones Act*, docks are serving as choke points in the ongoing effort to provide relief for storm victims.

Now, there is a race on to get supplies where they are most needed — which is practically the entire island of 3.4 million — before people start dying, officials say. There is still no electricity or phone service throughout most of the island, and it should be noted that the grid was destroyed during Puerto Rico’s hottest season of the year. Worse, the island’s governor, Ricardo Rossello, said recently the grid was already in poor shape and now may not be fully restored for weeks or even months.

Of the island’s 69 hospitals, just 11 have power and fuel for generators. Without quick access to fresh water, health officials are warning that disease is about to become rampant.

Rossello said that 33 hospitals are functioning, there are 11 aid distribution centers operating, and 170 shelters for the homeless. But it’s not enough, not by a long shot.

“You have FEMA personnel spread thin, you’ve got DOD personnel spread thin,” said Senator James Lankford, a Republican from Oklahoma. “Puerto Rico is the biggest challenge of all of them. It’s obliterated their ports, their airports, their infrastructure, their electricity, and supplies need to go by boats. It’s a very challenging situation.”

*Per Bloomberg: “The 1920 Jones Act is a maritime law requiring shipments of goods between two U.S. ports to be made with American-flagged vessels, manned by American crews.”

Read More @ NaturalNews.com

FEMA Director Urges Americans to Develop “a true culture of preparedness” But No One Is Listening

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by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper:

It looks like preppers aren’t that crazy after all. FEMA’s new director, Brock Long, has repeatedly said that Americans do not have a “culture of preparedness,” something that is much-needed with the startling uptick in natural disasters. Long has only been the director of FEMA since June 20 of this year and already has had to deal with a historic number of disasters in this short period of time.

It appears that Mr. Long has a mindset of self-reliance based on a couple of recent statements he has made to the media, but the MSM doesn’t seem too interested in his ideas about fostering a culture of preparedness, despite the practicality and essential nature of his suggestions.

First, in an interview from Sept. 11 that I personally only heard about yesterday, FEMA’s new director, Brock Long, spoke with journalists to discuss the response to Hurricane Irma. In the interview, he said some things that vindicate all of us who have spent time and money working toward being prepared.

“I really think that we have a long way to go to create a true culture of preparedness within our citizenry in America. No American, no citizen, no visitor to this country is immune to disaster. And we have a long way to go to get people to understand the hazards based on where they dwell, where they work, and how to be prepared financially, how to be prepared through insurance, how to have continuity of operations plans for their businesses, so that we can avoid the suffering, the strife, and the loss of life. It’s truly disappointing that people won’t heed the warnings.

Straight out of our favorite prepper handbooks, right?

Of course, the reporter quickly shifted from the actual useful information to start asking about climate change, because for some reason she felt that was far more essential than the practical advice Mr. Long was offering. You can watch the interview below.

Some of those numbers were shocking – FEMA is spending 200 million dollars a day in relief efforts and desperately-needed help has hardly even begun for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

In a more recent statement, Mr. Long re-emphasized the need to be prepared, and to start kids off young with this mindset.

I think that the last 35 days or so have been a gut check for Americans that we do not have a true culture of preparedness in this country. And we’ve got a lot of work to do.

Whether it’s in education and being ready, it’s not just saying, hey, have three days worth of supplies ready to go. It’s greater than that. It’s also people having the finances and the savings to be able to overcome simple emergencies.

We have to hit the reset button and create a true culture of preparedness starting at a very young age and filtering all the way up.

Read More @ TheOrganicPrepper.com

This Archaic Bug Out Location Could Be Your Only Option

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by Jeremiah Johnson, Ready Nutrition:

Yes, ReadyNutrition Readers, I am advocating the possibility of finding yourself a nice cave to shelter within when the SHTF.  This primarily as a backup location, but as a primary location if your house is either in a target area for a disaster or if it is not constructed sturdily enough.  Uncle Caveman would surely shed a tear in his eye just thinking of the exodus…back to the caves.  Let’s discuss some of the advantages to being able to find a suitable cave…right after we define what is suitable.

For starters, the ideal cave would be formed from rock, such as granite or a similarly “hard” stone.  This is mentioned because many “caves” are in fact just deep fissures and are made out of ice or comprised partially of ice.  This poses a problem of both cave-ins and also floods.  Many “caves” on the slopes of mountains are just fissures with ice surrounding the walls…and not a true cave with a floor, ceiling, and walls that will not dissolve with higher temperatures.

First suggestion: find your state’s BLM (Bureau of Land Management) to learn of resources that will locate and map the known caves in your area/vicinity of your home.  I stressed the word “known” because for every cave that has been mapped there are at least 10 that have not been.  The ones made of rock/stone are usually more stable.  Chances are there is nothing being done in the caves that are on federal or state property.  Perhaps there will even be “no trespassing” signs, or they’ll try to keep you from going in the cave.

Your job is to find them and learn about them as much as possible, even if you can’t enter into them.  After the SHTF, I seriously doubt the “friendly” park ranger will be concerned with keeping you out of the government-owned cave.  The advantages to a cave (besides the obvious of keeping the elements off of you) are worth considering.  Caves stay cooler in the summertime, and if you manage to occupy one in the winter, can maintain an even temperature that may be less than what is outside by a substantial degree.

Caves can be readily defensible depending on their layout.  Many caves have a large, anterior chamber with smaller chambers to the rear or sides.  These smaller chambers can be used as storage rooms, and also for a retreat or a hide if for some reason it becomes necessary to vacate the larger chamber.  The disadvantage is that few caves have an exit, so if it becomes necessary to defend yourselves, you do not have a recourse but to win.

You also need to find out what “roommates” may be in the cave, such as bats or bears, the latter of which tend to be very defensive of the territory.  Also, if you live in grizzly country, the fall months are the time the bears feed before bedding down at the end of the year.  You don’t want them coming in while they’re still awake, or moving into the cave when they’re in there asleep.

Read More @ ReadyNutrition.com

Patrol Skills: Using Tactical Hand Signals to Communicate in Silence

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by Tess Pennington, Ready Nutrition:

Law enforcement, corrections, probation, and military Special Operations teams worldwide use hand signals to communicate in the field to lessen their risk and to avoid compromising their position. Good security requires efficient forms of communication and when audible communication like speech and radio comms cannot be used, hand signals are a good alternative.

So, why signals?

  1. Helps teams communicate over near and far distances when they have to observe noise discipline.
  2. Helps small or large teams travel over terrain or through structures in a more organized manner.
  3. Helps to keep track of team members.
  4. Helps teams to move stealthily when noise discipline must be maintained.
  5. Helps teams move as a group even when noise discipline is no longer an issue, such as moving units over the sound of battle or when machinery noise is deafening.

As with any communication form, there are pros and cons. While natural elements like weather and terrain restrict your ability to effectively use this form of communication, the best time to use hand signals is if your group is nearby and in need of masking their presence from an enemy.  Keep in mind that hand signals can be misunderstood because you or group members may be at a distance or maybe in a confusing situation with lots of noise, therefore use clear, concise and exaggerated movements to help people understand what the next move is. Moreover, when you are making these signals, face your body directly at the person you are giving signals to so they can see them clearly. When you receive the signals always acknowledge with either “Yes” “No,” or “I don’t understand”

Learning hand signals is simpler than one would think, and at times, common sense. Keep in mind that hand signals can be misunderstood because you or group members may be at a distance or maybe in a confusing situation with lots of noise, therefore use clear, concise and exaggerated movements to help people understand what the next move is. Moreover, when you are making these signals, face your body directly at the person you are giving signals to so they can see them clearly. When you receive the signals always acknowledge with either “Yes” “No,” or “I don’t understand”

Some of the most common signals you will use in the field are:

    • Yes
    • No
    • I understand
    • Stop
    • Freeze
    • Get down
    • Stand up and move out
    • Enemy
    • I see the enemy
    • I hear the enemy
    • Cover me
    • Move to another observation point

What you will find in the following videos are the basic tactical hand signals used by law enforcement and military personnel.  For more information, this Army Field Guide provides a more in-depth look at visual signals.

Read More @ ReadyNutrition.com

CRKT TSR Knife, by Pat Cascio

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by Pat Cascio, Survival Blog:

The Columbia River Knife & Tool – TSR (Terzuola Survival & Rescue) fixed blade survival knife is one of the newest designs from the mind of legendary custom knife maker Bob Terzuola. I’ve covered Terzuola’s background before, but a quick glean of his background is in order.

Custom Knife Maker Bob Terzuola

Before becoming a legendary custom knife maker, Bob Terzuola was into carving jade jewelry in Central America at one point. Then he moved to New Mexico and started making custom knives. Back in 1984, I saw an ad for his knives and sent away for his brochure. It was nothing but drawings of his designs and no pictures! However, I was taken by his clean and simple designs. The order was placed for one of his knives. I also had a conversation or two with Bob while awaiting my knife. I was not disappointed in the least when the knife arrived either.

CRKT Knives – Columbia River Knife and Tool

Many will agree that Terzuola might well be considered the Father of Tactical Knives.  I’m not about to dispute that title either. Bob produces both fixed and folding knives, and they are rock-solid designs, too. The BT70, which CRKT produces, is one of the stoutest folders to be had; we are talking super-strong.

 

A Fixed Blade “Tactical” Design Survival Knife

I was more than a little interested in Bob’s newest fixed blade design collaboration with CRKT– his TSR fixed blade knife. This one is a little out of character for a tactical knife designer, at least at the onset. However, once you see the TSR for yourself, you can see the fixed blade “tactical” design to it. Yet it is still a survival knife, and we aren’t talking about an overly large, fixed blade knife with saw teeth on it, either. While those types of survival knives have their place, most of us will be better served with a smaller knife.

Overview of TSR Knife

The TSR has a 4.350-inch long blade, manufactured out of 8Cr12MoV stainless steel that is heat-treated to a Rockwell hardness of 56-58, making it easy enough to re-sharpen and not brittle – like so many stainless steel blades are. It is also an affordable steel, too. The edge on the blade is plain with no saw teeth, as mentioned. The knife only weighs a mere 4.3 oz so it’s very light-weight. Its overall length is 9.25 inches. The handle is glass filled Nylon and is removable. (There’s more on this later.)

I like that there is a lanyard hole in the butt of the blade, and it has a length of 550 paracord attached to it. There is a hole in the lower rear of the blade, so you can lash it to a stick or tree limb and use it as a spear in a survival situation. Friction grooves are milled into the top rear of the blade for a sure hold when using the knife in the fencing position. The blade has a drop point design to it, which is very useful.

The Special Sheath

The sheath, at first glance, really isn’t anything more than, well, a sheath to hold the knife in on a belt. However, such is not the case! The sheath is molded to the knife and holds it nicely, but I would have liked a safety strap as an added form of protection against losing the knife. Ya never know… Upon closer examination, you will note on the back of the sheath, under some tape, is a signal mirror. It’s very handy for signaling, if you have the need if lost in the wilderness and need rescuing. That’s nice, very nice. However, the sheath extras don’t end there.

On either side of the sheath are a couple dandy survival devices. On one side is a ceramic sharpening stone. It’s small, but it will get the job done of re-sharpening your blade when the time comes. On the other side of the sheath is a magnesium stick for starting fires. This is very, very cool indeed. Both of these small rods are securely embedded in the sides of the sheath and are easy to miss, if you don’t know they are there. There is also some more 550 paracord laced around the sheath, if you need it to help build a shelter or for other uses.

Why A Survival Knife?

So, what makes this medium-sized, fixed blade knife a “survival” knife? Just about any knife can be used to help you survive, right? Well, as already mentioned, the sheath has some unique features that will sure help you survive out in the wilderness. The glass filled Nylon handle scales can be easily removed from the knife itself. Simply use a coin or any similar object to turn the screw holding the handles on the blade. The slot in the screw is overly large and easy to unscrew. Under the handle, you will find it is hollowed out, and there are some very important survival items– a fishing line, dental floss, fish hooks, and needles. And, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t catch fish with this set-up. You can! In the past I’ve tested this fishing method and have caught fish myself with a little patience.

Wilderness Survival Teaches Fire Is Extremely Important

In a wilderness survival situation, you just don’t know what you might be up against, and making a fire is extremely important. My long-time friend, the late Chris Janowsky, ran the Wilderness Survival Institute up in Tok, Alaska for many years, and he put out a series of survival videos. In one video, Chris talked about the “magic” of a fire that talked about how it can not only keep you warm and help you cook some food but be therapeutic too. It is. If you’ve ever sat around a camp fire, you know what I’m talking about. So, the magnesium rod on the side of the sheath is one mighty good idea. Using the edge of the knife’s blade and some tinder, you can start a fire that will most likely save your life.

Read More @ SurvivalBlog.com

Build Your Economic Storm Shelter Now

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by John Mauldin, Goldseek:

If you’re idly conversing with someone you don’t know well, the weather is usually a safe topic. It affects everyone in some way, so it’s a shared experience – but there’s something else, too. The weather is no one’s fault. It is what it is, so you need not worry that the other person will blame you for it. None of us can control the weather. And lately, the weather has been interesting, unless you had to live through its more extreme manifestations. Then it’s been hell. Before this week, I would’ve said that Harvey and Irma wrought devastation in Texas and Florida. But then Maria thrashed Puerto Rico and took devastation to a whole new level. I have a lot of friends who live in Puerto Rico, and I’m not sure how things are going to go for them over the next few months.

We can prepare for storms when we know they’re coming, but we can’t stop them in their tracks or change their path. That’s true for both hurricanes and the public pension problem I wrote about last week. Where pensions are concerned, we have the financial equivalents of weather satellites and hurricane hunter aircraft feeding us detailed data. We know the barometer is dropping fast. The eyewall is forming. But we can’t do much about the growing storm, except get out of the way.

Problem is, the coming pension and unfunded government liabilities storm is so big that many of us simply can’t get out of the way, at least not without great difficulty. This holds true not just for the US but for almost all of the developed world.

Financially, we’re all trapped on small, vulnerable islands. Multiple storms are coming, and evacuation is not an option. All we can do is prepare and then ride them out. But as with recent hurricanes, the brewing financial storms will have different effects from country to country and region to region.

I did a lot of thinking after we published last week’s letter – especially as I was reading your comments – and I wished I had made my warning even more alarming. Being a Prophet of Doom doesn’t come easily for me; I’m known far and wide as “the Muddle Through Guy.” I think the world economy can handle most anything and bounce back, and I still believe it will handle what’s coming over the horizon. But some parts of the economy won’t bounce at all. Quite a few people will see their life savings and ability to support themselves utterly disappear, or will be otherwise badly hurt, and through no particular fault of their own.

I mentioned last week that the next few issues of Thoughts from the Frontline would outline my vision for the next two decades. We’ll get back to that next week. But today I want to continue with the hard-hitting analysis of our public pension problems and say more about personal storm preparation. We all have some very important choices to make.

Local Mess

As I’ve said, the state and local pension crisis is one that we can’t just muddle through. It’s a solid wall that we’re going to run smack into.

Police officers, firefighters, teachers, and other public workers who rightly expect to receive the retirement benefits that their elected officials promised them are going to be bitterly disappointed. And the taxpayers of those jurisdictions are going to complain vigorously if their taxes are raised beyond all reason.

Pleasing both those groups is not going to be possible in this universe. Maybe in some alternate quantum alternate universe where fuzzy math works differently and lets you get away with stuff, but not here in our very real world. It just can’t happen.

So what will happen? It’s impossible to say, exactly, just as we don’t know in advance where a hurricane will make landfall: We just know enough to say the storm will be bad for whoever is caught in its path. But here’s the twist: This financial storm won’t just strike those who live on the economic margins; all of us supposedly well-protected “inland” folk are vulnerable, too.

The damage won’t be random, but neither will it be orderly or logical or just. It will be a mess. Some who made terrible decisions will come out fine. Others who did everything right will sustain severe hits. The people we ought to blame will be long out of office. Lacking scapegoats, people will invent some.

Worse, it will be a local mess. Unlike the last financial crisis where one could direct anger at faraway politicians and bankers seen only on TV, this one will play out close to home. We’ll see families forced out of homes while neighbors collect six-figure pensions. Imagine local elections that pit police officers and teachers against once-wealthy homeowners whose property values are plummeting. All will want maximum protection for themselves, at minimum risk and cost.

They can’t all win. Compromises will be the only solution – but reaching those unhappy compromises will be unbelievably ugly.

In the next few paragraphs I will illustrate the enormity of the situation with a few more details, some of which were supplied this week by readers.

The Uneven Distribution of Pension Problems

I keep using the fabulous William Gibson line that “The future is already here. It’s just unevenly distributed.” Well, paraphrasing, “The state and local pension crisis is already here; it’s just unevenly distributed.”

One reader noted that he has no sympathy for Houston when right next door, Katy, Texas, is building a $72 million football stadium for its high school. 

That’s an aberration, and I might just mention that a few years back Allen, Texas, built a high school stadium for $60 million – 18,000 seats, which they fill every weekend they play. And the Eagles play really well, with several state championships in the 5A division (the biggest schools) in the last five years. There are other such examples. Sadly. I am not a fan of extravagant high school football stadiumsprograms. But then again, I am a former high school nerd turned curmudgeon.)

Read More @ GoldSeek.com

Vicious Ugly Face of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

by Richard Sauder, Event Horizon Chronicle:

The theme of my blog is the Event Horizon, the point at which the pace of events and change quickens and gets faster and faster and faster, until things get so cockeyed that you hardly know which end is up, the world is spinning and whirling all around you, left becomes right, up is down, black is white– and things become so furious, the crescendo of insanity howls and shrieks all around you, the world seems to lose all normal sense, people act out in all sorts of strange and bizarre ways, there are more and more abnormal weather events, earthquakes, wars, rumors of wars, floods, economic crises, and more — there may even by mind-numbing mass mortality events.

It seems more than you can take in or bear, and still it keeps coming.

Well, my friends, I think we re now entering into the outer bands of the Event Horizon.  The ride is likely to get bumpier from here on, for at least the next few years.

The recent hurricanes in the USSA and the Caribbean islands, along with the recent spate of major earthquakes in Mexico, and elsewhere along the Ring of Fire, suggest that we have crossed over the threshold into the beginning of the Event Horizon.

I won’t even get into the growing likelihood of nuclear warfare between the USSA and North Korea (and perhaps other countries, as well) and the increasingly bizarre, erratic behavior of the so-called “President” of the USSA, Donald Trump. The man is a blithering idiot, and please, don’t even try to tell me that he is playing 3-D political chess.  At this point I doubt that he is even competent to play with Tinker toys or play dough.

What’s Going On In Texas? (and Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands?)

Over the last few days and weeks, many of the Caribbean islands and also the Texas Gulf Coast and nearby inland regions of Texas, most of the state of Florida  and the USSA Territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (in the Caribbean) have been slammed, even devastated by hurricanes, Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Let’s look at Houston. Hurricane Harvey destroyed up to one million cars in its rampage in Texas. There is no meaningful public transport in Houston, which is a stereotypical car town, so how are people getting to work? Arethey getting to work? Does their place of work still exist, or is their workplace usable or safe?

The Houston business press reports that 134,500 residences were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Harvey (while not mentioning how many businesses were destroyed or damaged). Let’s arbitrarily say that the average household contains 3 people (some will have one person, some will have four or five) — so a back of the envelope guesstimate suggests that about half a million people (or more?) were forced out of their houses and apartments because their domicile was either destroyed or badly damaged by water and wind and they temporarily had to relocate due to mud, mold, mildew, ripped off roof, etc. and emergency repairs underway until the residence is once again habitable, if it is repairable.

Where are these several hundreds of thousands of people now? Where are they living? What are they doing? It’s a very large number of people.

They have lost their cars. They have lost their apartments or houses. Many have lost their employment. Are half a million people in camps? Have they been disappeared? Are they living under plastic sheets by the side of the road and sleeping on cardboard? Without a car and a house how do they survive in a car-necessary-city? There is a yawning silence about these questions from the mainstream news media in the USSA.

But here is one example from the British press — note well — the British press, not the USSA press. A five member family had to flee their apartment due to flooding, but are nevertheless being required to pay rent — and late fees! — for an apartment they cannot live in. The husband cannot work because of flooding and they have few options. Indeed, the article says that 180,000 Houston-area homes have been badly damaged. I get the feeling that the situation in Houston and the surrounding area is far worse than the USSA government is admitting. That family can probably be multiplied by 100,000 fold. My guesstimate of half a million victims of the storm and flooding in Texas may even be far too low.
 
Watch the following YouTube videos about recent hurricane related events in coastal Texas. The report of armed, rogue “contractors” and federal agents intentionally flooding Houston neighborhoods without first evacuating the inhabitants is most troubling, as is the report about flushing the many dead bodies in the flood waters (some with bullet wounds) out to sea, as is the report of FEMA prison barges being brought into the Port Arthur area, just to the east of Houston. Watch the video about the FEMA barge and note the view of the interior. It is clearly a large, maximum security jail.

It appears that extremely ugly events are going down in Texas about which the USSA government and its partners in crime, the mainstream news media, are silent.

FEMA CIA, DEA, FBI Hunting- MURDERING PEOPLE !!! WITNESS !!!

My Time At Hurricane Harvey
 

FEMA BARGES In TEXAS Are JAILS!! (watch it — look inside)

Similarly, we are hearing very little out of Florida, though a week and a half ago, there were reports that 90{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the homes in the Florida Keys were “destroyed” or suffered “major damage.” Given that 10,000 people reportedly defied evacuation orders to remain in the Florida Keys, 90{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of them would have had their homes totally destroyed or heavily damaged, while they were in them. So what was the real death toll in the Keys? Obviously, your odds of physical survival are extremely problematic if your house is totally destroyed or heavily damaged while you are in it. I’ve got questions which neither the news media nor government are answering. 

I have been unable to find hard numbers, or any numbers at all, for the total numbers of damaged and destroyed houses in Florida due to Irma, though many houses were reported under water in Naples, and there was heavy damage in Saint Augustine and record flooding in Jacksonville. It is as if there were a hard news vacuum on what really happened in Florida.

And what is going on in Puerto Rico? We know very little, other than that the entire island of 3.5 million people has completely lost electrical power in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, and that the electrical grid will not be restored for weeks, or even months.

Read the rest of the article @ EventHorizonChronicle

You’re Likely A Lot Less Prepared For Crisis Than You Realize

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by Chris Martenson, Peak Prosperity:

It seems as if Mother Nature is waking up. Either she’s trying to send humans an important warning, or perhaps she’s just out to kill us all.

Massive storms across the globe, earthquakes, and collapsing ecosystems all combine to remind us that we are indeed intimately connected to our planet’s natural systems. And that our well-being rests on staying on Mother Nature’s good side.

Well, Mother Nature has seemed pretty pissed at us of late. Her recent punishments should be taken as a disciplinary wake-up call: It’s time.

It’s time to prepare, everyone. Way past time.

And it’s time to recognize that there are multiplying failure points across the many systems we depend on for our way of life — both natural and man-made. For example:

  • The wealth gap between the rich and the poor is now grossly obscene and yet still growing wider.
  • Our industrially-farmed soils are being depleted of their nutrients.
  • Species are going extinct every single day.
  • Global oil consumption ticks higher every year.
  • Stock price overvaluation is about the highest it’s ever been.
  • Bonds have never been more expensive (i.e. yields have never been lower) in all of recorded history.
  • Debt levels have never been higher (both globally and, in most cases, locally).
  • The planet’s population continues to explode (7.5 billion today, 10 billion by 2050) while key resources deplete at accelerating rates.

Only the foolish, or the seriously self-deluded, would think that these observations and trends will be consequence-free. 

Which means we have to begin doing things very differently. We have to change who we are, the actions we take, the investments we prioritize, and even our most fundamental values and priorities.

However most people simply will not prepare, not notice, and not change anything until they are forced to by crisis. And even then, some will resist any notion of change until they’ve lost everything.

The recent destructive hurricanes have been literally and figuratively instructive in this regard.

When To Stay And When To Go

The first lesson we learned from the hurricanes was this: Stay if you can, leave sooner than everyone else if you cannot.

Evacuating has a host of problems for those caught up in the exodus. Traffic jams, lack of fuel along the route, and having to drive for many hours only to end up in a distant hotel in a town probably not ready for a massive influx of people are just a few of the stresses. Living out of hotels and away from your job is also very expensive, especially for a nation where more than 75{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} live from paycheck to paycheck.

As the people of the Florida Keys learned with Irma, once you’ve evacuated, you’re then unable to return until authorities have decided you can, creating enormous stress for people who want to check on their properties and (possibly) pets left behind, put tarps over damaged roofs, etc. The lesson many claimed to have learned from that experience was to not evacuate in the first place.

After reading enough accounts of people who regretted evacuating, coupled to the relatively low loss of life even in places like Dominca that took the full brunt of a Cat 5 hurricane where people live in less-than-ideal structures (flimsy, wood frame, tin roof affairs), it would take quite a lot for me to decide to not ride out a storm.

I’d have to have some special mitigating factors to impel me to evacuate — like tall trees next to my house, being in a flood plain or near a flimsy dam or dyke, or having special needs people under my care who might need electricity or other services to remain alive.

I’ve never sat through a Cat 5 storm, so perhaps I’d change my mind if I ever did. All reports are it’s an extremely terrifying experience: loud, violent, and seemingly endless. But I’m pretty confident that I’d choose to wait out a Cat 3 or lower in my house.

That said, I’d have a pre-arranged and well-defined evacuation plan in place, just in case. The experiences shared below have convinced me of the high value of doing so.

Getting Prepared Beforehand

We’ve had several PeakProsperity.com members write in who were in the direct paths of Harvey and Irma and came out from the storms OK. One best practice they shared in common was they were already fully stocked with emergency provisions well before the hurricanes even began forming way out in the Atlantic. These were folks who had prioritized being prepared for *whatever* future disaster might arise.

Despite this, they still experienced some surprises. No matter how well prepared you think you are, reality has a way of exposing your overlooked weaknesses.

Here’s an account from one of our readers (Rector):

We live south of Corpus Christi and Harvey just missed our area. We began the usual fire drill of preparing for the hurricane, but it veered north just in time. Bizarrely the follow-on weather was delightful – sunny, crisp, and breezy – while the rest of the gulf coast became an apocalyptic nightmare. As I watched the news I was painfully aware of how close we came to being flooded, displaced, and disrupted.

As a card-carrying member of the Peak Prosperity Preparer’s Club – I came to the realization that Chris articulated – nothing can prepare you for this kind of Black Swan event. No matter what – losses will occur. My takeaways after being grazed by the Harvey bullet are (so far):

1. Be prepared to accept refugees. Family members are on the way (I think). At this point they are without resources and fractured. Dad is a cop and cannot leave Houston. We are happy to accept them into our home – but it wasn’t exactly planned. In a wider emergency the same might happen and I will say yes then too. I need to expand my preparations for the likelihood of more people camping out with us. Turning everyone away outside of a pandemic scenario is not an option (really). What’s the point of all this anyway if you can’t help people?

2. Being 5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} prepared is WAY better than zero. As I watch people in Houston it has occurred to me that I need a boat. I live on a body of water which has flooded before and will flood again. I built my home well above the flood plain – but Harvey just made a joke out of that math. As I watch people wade in chest deep water while others float by in boats; I’m buying a boat. Today.

3. Being prepared is great! I needed to do NOTHING to get ready for the hurricane at my home. Turns out that was really helpful because my time was spent getting other people and places prepared. All of my employees (save one) asked for the day off (to get their homes ready) leaving me alone in my preparations. Thankfully I didn’t have to waste time at the gas pump, ATM, or the grocery store.

4. Evacuation plans are a real priority for me now. With four kids my mental default position has been to “hunker down”. “We don’t evacuate for hurricanes here” has been the attitude because we are prepared and have always done well. Harvey has demonstrated this is NOT ALWAYS POSSIBLE.

I will now focus my considerable prepping energy to developing a viable evacuation strategy. Not an overland hike in ghilli suits – but a real strategy to get this group of people somewhere else quickly and safely. Routes in every direction. A list of destinations. Checklists for packing, securing, and evacuating. Documentation, asset relocation, etc. I am even going to develop a plan to go into Mexico. I had a day and a half between threat presentation and expected landfall. Some events may present even less time.

5. I need to be able to execute a plan at less than 100{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}. As luck would have it, I pulled a muscle at CrossFita week before and would have needed to do all the above while limping around in pain. I represent the lion’s share of muscle power for the family – but can they execute in my absence or incapacity? Hmm. . . not ready for that.

6. It is possible for two bad things to happen at the same time. The financial crisis could begin, North Korea could strike, or any of the other crap I worry about could commence at any moment. WHILE LIVING IN A FEMA SHELTER because I hadn’t planned on evacuating. Am I ready to execute trades, etc. while in that shape? Hmm. . . not ready for that either.

I am thankful that we were spared the apocalypse but it has (again) identified holes in my plan that are the result of false premises. Challenge yours because you just can’t make this stuff up.

Rector

(Source – Peak Prosperity)

So many lessons packed into that experience! Huge thanks to Rector for sharing that all with us. The part that really caught me and made me rethink my entire levels of preparation centered around just how unprepared I would be if I had to completely bug out and leave my home behind.

Harvey (and Katrina) showed that sometimes you have to do just that. So has Maria, which is going to leave parts of Puerto Rico without power for possibly several months, maybe as long as half a year.

Would you be willing to live without power in a tropical climate without power for 6 months? I wouldn’t. Just keeping food from spoiling would be a hard challenge, but just one of many — including sleeping without A/C or fans (or rather trying to sleep I should say).

The other important lesson to take from Rector and other like him is that if preparing beforehand is comparatively easy. But during a crisis? It becomes very hard and sometimes impossible. Another reader account, this one from Morpheus who was in the direct path of Irma for time, confirms this:

I live in Palm Beach City Florida and right now both the US and European forecasting models have a Cat 4/Cat-5 eyewall slamming right into my house.

Maybe not as bad as a currency collapse, but it will be worse for me. Anyways, to make a long story short, we think that we are well prepped, at least we thought so.

But crisis’ of this magnitude get you to think even deeper than you normally would. And boy o’ boy, I wish I had thought deeper.

We’re better prepped than 99{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the population out there but now all that procrastination over the years is grating on me like sandpaper.

Ohh the easy things that I could have done a month ago, 6 months, a year ago.

(Source – Peak Prosperity)

The message is clear: Even for those who think they are well-prepared, a true emergency can shine a harsh light on your shortcomingsThe best time to prepare is as far beforehand as you can manage.

The vast majority of people will ignore this message. Take this story that made the rounds during Irma:

Like many Floridians racing to buy food and supplies before the arrival of Hurricane Irma, Pam Brekke found herself miles from home today, desperately hoping to score a generator.

According to ABC affiliate WFTV-TV, Brekke, a Sanford, Florida, resident, had spent days waiting for empty shelves to be restocked and searching for a generator.

She said today that she’d traveled more than 30 miles to Orlando to a Lowe’s Home Improvement store that had received a surprise shipment of a little more than 200 generators.

Within two hours, however, the generators were sold out and Brekke, who had been next in line, was empty-handed.

A heartbroken Brekke then began to cry. Ramon Santiago, who had gotten one of the generators but had not purchased it yet, noticed and insisted that she take his.

“She needs the generator,” Santiago told WFTV-TV. “It’s OK.”

Brekke shared with Santiago that it was her ailing father who needed the generator to power his oxygen supply.

(Source)

A heartwarming story to be sure, and we can all applaud Mr. Santiago for his actions, but it’s also an instructive tale that reveals the extent to which many people fail to think through their plans until forced to.

An imminent hurricane should not be a required prompt to begin thinking about scoring a generator. Look, if I had an ailing parent that required electricity in order to survive, hurricane threat or not, you can bet I would have back-up power already on site and thought through. Hey, sometimes the power goes out. Hurricane, blown transformer, or errant squirrel. It’s insane to think it will always be available, uninterrupted, 100{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the time. 

So while this story had a happy ending, it shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

Read More @ PeakProsperity.com

My Recent Experience Bugging Into A Disaster- Part 1

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by Hugh James Latimer, Survival Blog:

I had a recent experience of traveling into a situation where everyone else was leaving due to Hurricane Irma. I learned some valuable lessons during the process.

Homes in Both Florida and Midwest

My home is in Florida, and my bug out location is in the Midwest. I spend most of my time during the summer at the BOL due to the climate, the gardening opportunities, and most of all the simple peace and quiet living. Two weeks ago, Hurricane Irma was seven days out in the Atlantic and on a track that may bring it closer to Florida. When this happens, it’s time to load up needed items and travel home to secure everything and also to be there for the aftermath if there is anything to clean up and repair.

My Florida home is a log home. It’s well built to withstand the winds of a hurricane, but it’s not so great if the power is out for weeks in that humidity. Mold can be an issue for any home in Florida, and wood homes seem to draw moisture first. Part of my everyday living and being prepared is the notion that having two places means twice the work, twice the cost, and lots of travel in between. All of this is possible on a small budget if you think things through.

My Travel Vehicle and Contents

My travel vehicle is a 10 year old one ton GMC dually. It has an enclosed topper with a locking (as in padlock) back top glass. The side and rear window are blacked out to keep anyone from viewing all the contents. The truck has been well maintained, though it has over 200K miles, and looks very common on the highway or in a parking lot. The fuel mileage is reasonable no matter the load, and it will pull any trailer. It also can remain loaded down with tools, supplies, and spares at all times so you are reasonably prepared for situations when traveling across country, like I do often, or just out for the day.

 

Yes, I’m fortunate to be able to fix whatever usually happens, but that came from learning, preparing, and keeping the right things in the vehicle. Some people carry a credit card for situations and expect someone else to resolve the problem. I choose not to and instead be self sufficient. You can scale the supplies and spares to fit any car, truck, or even motorcycle as required. Match your skills and try and learn each year.

Necessary Items to Address Common Issues

The bottom line is having the necessary items to address common issues when traveling in a situation when help or a credit card might not resolve things.

I carry the following at minimum:

  • Two spare tires matched to what is currently on the truck, plus the jacks, blocks, and tools necessary to change them.
  • Spare oil transmission and fuel filters along with the proper fluids and lubricants.
  • A serpentine belt and fuel filter assy also as there are “known frequent failures” on my truck regardless of recent replacement.
  • Forty gallons of diesel in jerry cans, plus a spout and a funnel that fits the angle to fill the truck.
  • Potable water in bottles and a five gal potable water jerry can.
  • Portable lighting, because many bad things happen after dark.
  • Complete set of hand tools for side of the road repairs, and on and on.

Hundreds of Pounds of Stuff in Topper Covered Bed

Yes, I carry about 800 lbs of stuff in the topper covered bed. But like I said earlier, the truck will haul it, and it makes things easier when problems arise. Scale it to your ability and vehicle. Prepping is not about having everything for every situation. For me, it’s about having the right level of whatever to meet my needs and the way I live.

Power Was An Issue

On this trip, I knew power in Florida would be an issue. Tree damage would also be prevalent. I had to bring a small cargo trailer with me to haul what I needed. The trailer has add on industrial truck hinges, door locks (padlock) ventilation side windows, and an opening vent in the roof. It’s just 5×10 but rugged, reinforced, and I’m able to leave it unattended for a short time anywhere without fear of anyone having an easy time to break into. Again, it’s clean and well maintained. Law enforcement never gives my truck or trailer a second look. Bad hombres that I spot looking, think twice. It’s well balanced for my needs and how I want to be perceived, while still hauling the goods so to speak.

Remember your trailer needs serviced after every trip. Check the lugs, grease the wheel bearings, check lights, et cetera. It’s far easier to replace bearings in the backyard on a weekend than on the side of the interstate in the rain or heat. I loaded two generators– one Honda 3000eu and a big Onan 6500KW for the home A/C, if needed. Remember, portable generators are not for replacing your homes electric no matter how large the gen set may be. Unless you have a pre-wired transfer switch in the home, a 22kw gen set, and two weeks of fuel, there is no way to have on demand electric like what you’re used to. Pick the few basic items you need electric for. Accept it will only be for a few hours a day due to fuel availability, and go from there.

The Small Honda Generator

The small Honda was for a fan, charging cell phones or tool batteries, and a light at night. It would power a small dorm fridge or very small room A/C if needed, but that’s it. It’s quiet, stealthy, very fuel efficient, and could provide the basics all night when no one else had electric.

The Big, Loud, Obnoxious Onan Generator

The big, loud, obnoxious Onan generator was to be wired in to the home A/C package unit, if needed. It was not for the house system but the individual AC unit. You can kill lineman with electric back feeds, so never attach a gen set to your home’s wiring. Only after a week or so of no power would I do that to run the whole house AC for a few hours a day to remove moisture. You don’t open windows in Florida in the summer if you can help it. There’s too much moisture in the air, and it permeates everything in your home, and you will never get rid of it in a power compromised situation. You will have mold. I also brought proper sized extension cords.

Coolers

I chose two coolers– one super large for ice storage, and a smaller one for in the house to use as the “replacement fridge”. I purchased Ice and filled the large cooler before I left the farm up north, knowing ice may be in short supply when I got to Florida. It was a good thing I did. With the hurricane seven days out, there was no ice to be found and very little available over the next week and a half.

You must wrap the large ice storage cooler with insulation of some type to keep ice in a hot climate regardless of how good the cooler is. I used heavy moving pads that they use to wrap furniture, and my initial ice supply lasted 12 days! Yes, you do have to drain the water every other day to maintain the ice. Remember, in the past, people would cut ice blocks from frozen ponds during winter, store in earthen coolers (ice houses) covered in thick layers of sawdust, and then they had ice in their drinks in the dead of summer. Planning ice storage and use is more intensive than just buying a cooler and few bags of ice. Educate yourself on this, and you will appreciate the rewards greatly.

DeWalt Battery Operated Hand Tools

Having a set of battery operated hand tools makes sense if you’re a prepper. I chose the DeWalt line of 20v sawsdrills, and impact driver. The flashlight is one of the best. The 20v batteries charge quickly and last a long time. You must be able to cut wood, metal, and other things, and also drill and have a means to drive bits and small sockets. They’re inexpensive to own and very valuable in all situations.

Read More @ SurvivalBlog.com