Saturday, June 6, 2020

Scientists: The Globe’s Food Supply System Is Broken

by Mac Slavo, SHTF Plan:

The world’s science academics are saying that the global food supply system is completely broken. They say that in order to avoid a “climate catastrophe” the global population should overhaul the farming system and eat less meat.

Billions of people worldwide are either underfed or overweight. The current food system fails to properly nourish all of these people. And that is currently driving the planet towards a climate catastrophe, according to 130 national academies of science and medicine across the world. More than 820 million people went hungry last year, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, while a third of all people did not get enough vitamins. At the same time, 600 million people were classed as obese and 2 billion overweight, with serious consequences for their health. On top of this, more than 1 billion tonnes of food is wasted every year, a third of the total produced.

Your Ancestors Had Some Hard Core Survival Instincts… This is How You Can Get Back to Your Roots


by Joshua Krause, Ready Nutrition:
One of the biggest drawbacks we suffer from as a species is our lack of focus on our immediate environment utilizing all of our senses. I just recently penned a piece on the importance of “reconnecting” with the olfactory sense. When we were hunter-gatherers and even after human settlements such as towns and villages were established thousands of years ago…our ancestors used all of their senses. All of them.

We can still do it now. It only takes practice. This doesn’t mean that you have to dive down into the prone and sniff a trail out. Although you can! Yes, you can! Your nose has that capability if you train it, as I pointed out in the other article. But take a look at the title for a second. Do you know that precept of maintaining things in balance? You need to train all of your senses, and allow each of them to complement and supplement one another. Let’s discuss it!

Ruger EC9s


by Pat Cascio, Survival Blog:

For as long as I can remember, I’ve carried a second (or backup) handgun to my main handgun, and these days we have quite a selection of small, compact handguns to pick from. We’re looking at the new Ruger EC9s 9mm handgun today. It is one super, little, concealed carry piece.

Ruger- Affordable Handguns

I’ve stated this before, but I will say it again; for the most part, Ruger is producing guns that are for us blue collar workers. Now that’s not to say that they aren’t producing some outstanding upper-end firearms, because they are. However, many of the handguns produced by Ruger are in the very “affordable” price range, if you ask me, and that’s a good thing. I’ve been a fan of Ruger for more years that I can remember, easily more than 40 years.

Preparedness Lessons from the 1930s – Part 2, by J. E.


by J. E., Survival Blog:

(Continued from Part 1. This part concludes the article.)

Twice a year the cabin was emptied of everything. The walls, floors, and ceilings were scrubbed with lye soap and a bristle brush. All the belongings were also cleaned before they came back into the house. This was pest control and it was needed until DDT became available. Even then, bedbugs, lice, ticks and other creepy crawlies were a fact of life and were controlled by brute force. Failure to do so left you in misery and maybe ill.

Some Observations on Urban OPSEC and Situational Awareness


by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper:

Editor’s Note: Long-time popular commenter 1stMarineJarHead recently returned from a trip to the big city and had some interesting observations about the differences between Urban OPSEC and Situational Awareness versus the same things in more rural settings. His philosophy on flexibility is very similar to my own.

He’s going to be contributing more often – I hope you enjoy his debut post. ~ Daisy

Last-Minute Emergency Supplies: What to Buy When the Shelves Are Almost Empty


by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper:

Have you ever waited too long to prepare for an emergency and then you get to the store and the supplies you need are gone? The shelves are nearly bare because a horde of other locals got there first? If you need to get some last-minute emergency supplies but your original choices are gone, here’s what to buy when the shelves are almost empty.

I wrote this a couple of days before the advent of Hurricane Florence, I drove to a nearby large city because I was curious to see whether others in the area were feverishly preparing and if so, what supplies were sold out first.  We’re pretty well-supplied so I wasn’t there to shop. I was there to see what was missing and what last-minute emergency supplies could be substituted in their place.

My One Month TEOTWAWKI Road Test – Part 2


by Maui Dan, Survival Blog:

I was consistent with daily hikes using them for recon practice, making maps, taking notes of locations and observing any nearby people. Judging who I thought may be friends or foes. I did take note of two males in their 20’s who appeared fairly intoxicated early in the afternoon. I hiked for the benefits of physical exercise and enjoyed the quite beauty of the land.

There were several memorable hikes. The day time temperatures were now in the upper 80’s. I wore Timberline hiking boots and stripped down to shorts. Finally found some warm sunshine. Walking alone along Granite mountain, poking the brush, crevices and in the shadows with my walking stick before stepping or reaching in with a hand. Mostly because I read to do that.

Traveling to Your Safe Haven During a WROL Event- Part 3


by E.P., Survival Blog:

In the first two parts of this article series, we have been talking about traveling to your safe haven during a without rule of law event. Part 2 began the overview on traveling by vehicle. We left off with discussion about roadblocks and multiple cars traveling a good distance apart so that the lead car could make a three-point turn in the reverse direction and warn the other cars in advance of a roadblock. Let’s continue with this scenario.

Over-watch Team Defending the Lead Vehicle
Now is the time for the first vehicle to better assess the situation and report. The second vehicle should immediately pull over as well, maintaining the 100 yard (night)/150 yard (day) separation (maybe even farther depending on your team’s abilities). The over-watch team in the second vehicle should deploy and take up positions that are adequate to support the lead vehicle. All other vehicles should pull over. It may be advisable for these vehicles to group closer together back along the road and maintain a defensive rear guard.

12 Tips to Pack Your Bug-Out Vehicle Like a Pro


by Jeremiah Johnson, Ready Nutrition:

Hi, really appreciate all the articles you and the others do on these websites! I’ve been searching for articles particularly on one would pack their vehicle mine being a truck in the event I had to get out. I know pallets that are shipped have a specific order on what goes on first comes off last. I have to factor in weight especially and usually pack the bed with the heaviest items over the axle or forward. I would also be interested in how you would organize backpacks as weight is also a major factor. Many Thanks.”

Well, we’re going to cover the vehicle loads in this article and follow up with one on backpacks and rucksacks in Part 2.  So, let’s jump into it!  One of the things that you must find out first regarding your particular vehicle is its load capacity.  How much weight can it hold?  How much can the axles take?  It is more than this, however: certain weight loads will shift with terrain and with the gradient driving upon.  A steep incline that tilts the bed of that pickup too far will end up turning that pickup into a dump truck.

In addition, you also need to assess what you’re transporting to minimize danger.  Ammo, flammable liquids, and so forth.  An accident with a power line can introduce electricity into the equation and create a secondary explosion that ends up being worse than the accident.  Let’s go through some basics.

  1. Strap down all your loads as best you can…and make this mandatory with anything that is liquid/fluids, such as water cans, fuel cans, etc.
  2. Make sure all your flammable liquids are in sealed and sturdy containers that do not leak and can hold up to rough handling.
  3. Pack those flammable liquids to the rear of the vehicle…the point being if they’re on fire, they’re away from the driver and passengers as far as possible. This will not stop gunfire, but that’s a different problem.
  4. Minimize those flammable liquids in the truck bed. Maybe one or two gas cans max.  If you need to haul that much, then you should have a trailer/cart of some kind.
  5. Stagger your load evenly…think of the term “Bilateral Symmetry” …that is a “mirrored” side…one water can on the left, and one water can on the right. Make the load even.
  6. Ammo in military-issue ammo cans. They’re water-tight with a rubber seal, and they can take a beating.  Pack these guys to the rear of a vehicle.  Use cargo straps to keep them from “hopping” around…tie them down as best you can, and stagger the load evenly.
  7. Whatever your maximum load capacity is, load up only to 90% of that at the most. Give yourself that “pad” either for extra items you may need to acquire, or changes in the loads if you have more than one vehicle in your entourage.
  8. All emergency gear (such as fire-starting equipment and pioneer tools – shovels, picks, a chainsaw, and rope/cables – needs to be stowed in the rear where it is accessible easily and quickly.
  9. Foodstuffs and food supplies: insulate them with pads, cardboard boxes, and Styrofoam for temperature controls, and pack them evenly toward the front.
  10. Weapons (besides the ones you’re carrying on you) should be accessible by the driver and the passenger in the cab or behind the seats.
  11. Medical supplies: in the middle of the bed, protected for temperature and packed to grab at a moment’s notice.
  12. Nest: Build a “nest” around these supplies of food and medicine with things such as blankets, sleeping bags, and rucksacks. The rucks should be packed to the rear, just forward of the ammo.

The reason ammo is packed in the rear is that if you must abandon the vehicle in a SHTF-scenario, you want to access the ammo and control the weapons (in the cab) and download these first.  They are a priority and sensitive items.

“Those who beat their rifles into plowshares will soon plow for those who do not.”

                                                      Ben Franklin

Weapons and ammo are vital to keep the other “B’s,” namely your beans and band-aids.  You can prioritize for yourself, but I mention this: if you’re just sitting around in a hide site for a week, unless you’re injured, you’ll need the food before the medical supplies.  The weapons?  If you have food and medical supplies and no means to defend them…you’re just holding onto them for someone else when it hits the fan.  Three B’s are “Bullets, Beans, and Band-Aids.”

Returning to the packing, if it is wintertime and you have water containers, make sure that you take out about ¼ out of your container to allow for expansion if the water freezes.  Don’t put in any additives such as “salt” or “alcohol,” as it will keep it from freezing but it pollutes your water supply and makes it either a “dehydrating solution” or a “diuretic.”  Both defeat the purpose.  Remember: water’s heavy, at 7.6 lbs. per gallon…you can use that figure to estimate the weight of any fuel you’re toting, as well.

Camouflage all that you have packed.  For your pickup truck (that’s what we’ve focused on here), if you stack supplies up on pallets and load the truck, ensure that everything is strapped down.  Make sure that you have a cap to smack on the back of the pickup.  If you don’t want to use it before SHTF, that’s fine.  Just make sure you can throw it on when it all collapses.  It will be worth its weight in gold to keep your supplies dry and shielded from the elements.

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Dealing with Pantry Pests: Rodents


by Melonie Kennedy, The Organic Prepper:

It’s obvious that rodents can make a big mess, damage structures and food storage containers, and can eat up both our food and the money used to purchase it and the replacements for it. What is not so obvious to some is the extreme risk to a family’s health and welfare from a rodent infestation.

In a previous article, Dealing with Pantry Pests: Bugs, we covered how to deal with insect invaders in the prepared pantry. Now it’s time to tackle the other critters that can wreak havoc on our stored foods: rodents.

Preparing for Chaos, Theory and Application- Part 2


by DF, Survival Blog:

In part 1 of this two-part article, I wrote about the theory behind the reason for preparing for chaos and provided and overview of the laws of supply and demand. Then, I moved from theory into practical matters. I began with alternative feed for chickens, as chickens are a means for sustaining us when the SHTF and our transportation system is not delivering feed, chicks, or supplies to our stores. We have looked at crabapples and how to provide them with various insects. Now, let’s look at sunflowers to use as chicken feed.

Sunflowers/Sunflower Seeds
One of my neighbors grew some sunflowers one year and complained how much work it was to prepare the sunflowers for human consumption. My response was simple; grow them for the chickens and let them do all the work. Chickens will peck at a sunflower head until all the seeds are consumed.

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


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 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.


(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.


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.

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“It’s A Disaster Like I’ve Never Seen Before”: 2019 Could Be The Worst Year EVER For U.S. Corn Farmers


by Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse Blog:

The amount of corn produced in the United States this year is going to be way below expectations.  The Department of Agriculture just slashed its harvest estimates quite dramatically in its June report, but some farmers in the Midwest believe that those reduced projections are still way too optimistic.  As I have previously detailed, millions upon millions of acres will go unplanted this year, but that is only part of the story.  Much of the corn that has actually been planted is coming up very slowly due to the exceedingly poor conditions, and corn farmers all over the Midwest are reporting that their plants look absolutely terrible.  If we get picture perfect weather between now and harvest time, this will simply be a terrible year.  But if severe heat and/or an early frost hits the Midwest, this could very easily be the worst year that we have ever seen for corn farmers in the United States.

Could Turmeric Save Us From The CDC’s ‘Nightmare Bacteria’?


by Sayer Ji, Green Med Info:

Research indicates that the ancient spice turmeric may help to mitigate the growing threat of antibiotic resistant infections that the CDC estimates will take 23,000 U.S. lives each year.

A study published in the journal Molecule indicates that the ancient Indian spice turmeric may help to countermand the growing threat of bacteria that have become completely resistant to conventional antibiotics and about which health organizations like the CDC have created great public alarm by calling them ‘nightmare bacteria’ against which they admit being completely impotent.