Saturday, January 18, 2020

« 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

Puerto Rico collapse now leading to total chaos… no food, no water, gang members robbing citizens at gunpoint

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by Jayson Veley, Natural News:

Chances are most Americans have seen some kind of science fiction movie about the end of the world once or twice in their life. But while Hollywood does a good job of keeping us on the edge of our seats at the movie theater, there really are people in this world who are forced to fight day in and day out just to survive. These are the people who truly understand the importance of prepping, because when everything is taken away from you, items that you used to take for granted like food, water and shelter suddenly turn into the difference between life and death.

When Hurricane Maria plowed through Puerto Rico earlier this month, it left nothing but chaos and destruction in its path. In a relatively short amount of time, millions of people found themselves without power, without the means to communicate over long distances, and without the essential resources needed to survive like food and clean water. If nothing else, the tragedy that occurred in Puerto Rico is a perfect example of why prepping is so important – you never know when those survival situations that you watch on the big screen are going to become a reality.

Many people believe that prepping for life off the grid is far too expensive and challenging for anyone other than a professional survivalist to accomplish. However, a simple breakdown of the preparation process reveals that prepping is something everyone can – and should – be doing. Because if you were to ever find yourself unprepared in a survival situation, where food is scarce and electrical power is virtually nonexistent, the chances that you will be able to live on and prosper are significantly decreased. (Related: Here are ten good reasons why prepping is important even if SHTF never happens.)

Next to food, clean water, and a structurally-sufficient shelter, it is strongly advised that all preppers have a bug out bag, so that in the likely event that at some point you need to travel from point A to point B, you can do so without leaving valuable resources behind. A bug out bag should contain items like medical equipment, backup communication devices in case your primary communication tools stop working, spare cash and extra clothes. The bug out bag, as you can probably tell, significantly decreases the time it takes to escape a danger zone because it enables you to grab all essential items at once, rather than spending time collecting them.

Part of prepping for a natural or manmade disaster requires one to have a clear, foolproof escape route so that you can easily get from point A to point B in the quickest and the most efficient way possible. Everyone in your family should be familiar with the escape route as well, and in the event that everyone becomes separated, it helps to have a rendezvous point established ahead of time.

The prepper understands the fact that surviving off the grid requires one to be physically fit in order to complete the challenges that they will inevitably encounter on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, sticking to a healthy diet and cutting out most or all junk food consumption is absolutely essential. Working out multiple times each week should also be a necessity for anyone that is serious about prepping, because living life off the grid requires an enormous amount of stamina and physical strength.

Truth be told, you don’t have to be Bear Grylls or some other professional survivalist to prepare yourself for a survival situation. After you stock up on food and clean water, and once you have a safe place to use as your shelter, the rest simply comes down to educating yourself about self-sufficiency and how to live without the technologies most of us use today. Anyone can do it – what is your excuse?

Read More @ NaturalNews.com

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