Five Helpful Hints For The Newbie “Prepper”
As recent events continue to show us, one never knows when either a man-made or natural disaster can strike. Normal, routine, everyday life can change in the twinkling of an eye. Part of being a responsible adult (especially if one has a family to protect and care for) is to be mentally and physically prepared to face a wide variety of crisis and scenarios. SHTF scenarios unfold everyday across the world and have claimed the lives of countless millions. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that the increasing complexity and fragility of our modern technological society and financial systems, increased concentration of governmental power, and deepening ideological divides are a cause for concern. While we are blessed to live the relatively comfortable and secure lives that we do, there is no guarantee that cannot change overnight. It is far better to be prepared for a serious crisis that never happens, than be unprepared for the one that does. There are many useful hints, tips, and ideas you can easily implement to not only survive, but perhaps even thrive, in a moment of crisis. Here are just a few ideas for your consideration.
Use solar-powered lawn lights instead of candles
This is a ‘trick’ I just recently heard about and I can only wonder why I hadn’t actually thought of such a simple but effective idea before. Pick up a dozen or so at your local big box store and stick them in the plants in your windowsill and you’ll have all the light you’ll ever need if you lose your electric power. At that time you can spread them around the house in other potted plants or even in vases giving you lots of long-lasting and comforting light without having to dip into your all important and limited stash of candles. Plus, you are actually a little less likely to burn down your humble abode by following this advice. These are cheap, found nearly everywhere, and can be purchased for as little as 99 cents a piece. There is no reason any home should be without them. Such simple, easy to use, and inexpensive technology is your friend. Take advantage of it.
Use bleach or natural sunlight to purify water
A clean and safe water supply or stockpile is underrated and often not spoken about. Whether it’s kept in the back of the guest closet, in the crawl space, or under the bed, you need to be storing water. But if not, you still need to be able to purify any water you may have to collect from local lakes, streams, or rain runoff in an extended emergency situation.
If you are using water from a stream or lake pour the water through two coffee filters and into a clean, airtight container. The coffee filters will remove large particles of impurities. Let the water stand for 15 minutes so it can settle. Fill a liquid dropper with bleach and then add eight drops of bleach to the water. Mix well. Wait 30 minutes, then smell the water. The water should have a very faint bleach odor that is present but barely noticeable. If you cannot smell the bleach, add two more drops and mix it again. Do not exceed 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water. If you purifying water that came from a safe well or municipal water system you can skip the first and last steps.
I believe it is better to add the bleach just prior to drinking versus adding the bleach before storing it. Some sources say that is perfectly acceptable to skip the bleach step if the stored water came from an already chlorinated source. Either way, definitely keep a gallon of new and unopened bleach around ‘just in case.’ The active ingredients do start to break down over time so rotate your emergency water purification bleach bottle once a year or so. For just a couple of dollars you can reliably purify thousands of gallons of water in a SHTF scenario. And that simple fact may save your life someday.
The SODIS method of water purification, on the other hand, uses the natural UV rays from the sun to purify water stored in clear water or soda bottles. Used effectively around the world, this method does not seem to be as well-known in the U.S. but would be a good trick in a pinch and when other water purification methods may not be available. I do not rotate my water storage (though it is kept in a cool, dry place) and will just line even several year old water up along the roof gutter for a days worth of sunning before deeming them good and safe to drink if I need to. Obviously, the cleaner the water source you are starting out with the better off you’ll be. Just remember, it only works with clear bottles.
Keep the extent of your preparations and supplies a secret
This is a hard thing for most people to do, especially in the age of Facebook, blogging, and the Internet. Perhaps it is a bit hypocritical of me to say so in a publicly posted article, but the truth is that Operational Security must be exercised if you store or stockpile extra weapons, ammunition, food, or supplies. Human nature is such that it is in fact very hard to not be tempted to ‘show off’ your preps and hard work to those around you. But the opposite must be practiced. Do not advertise the fact to random people, your neighbors, and friends who do not share your viewpoint when it comes to preparedness. By doing so you only make yourself a serious target if, God forbid, any serious WROL or SHTF scenario was to unfold. Networking with like-minded individuals is advisable but showing off your “stash” to all the neighbors and everyone who ever stops by the house may be very tempting, but it is extremely unwise.
If you are making the necessary preparations to keep your family and yourself safe, secure, and supplied in a crisis then do not, under any circumstances, let a careless (or purposeful) word, FB post, or YouTube video compromise all the hard work and financial outlay you have already committed to that cause. The veneer of civilization and civil behavior is a thin one at best and it is in your best interest to remember that. A bunch of unexpected mouths showing up at your door expecting you to feed or supply them in a crisis situation because of your past “indiscretions” can only end badly for all involved. Remember to lay low, keep calm, keep quiet, and be smart if you are suddenly thrust into a serious man-made or natural disaster. Advertising your preps before hand is foolish, and advertising them during such a time can potentially have deadly results. Loose lips will indeed sink your ship, endanger your loved ones, and sabotage your own efforts to be prepared in a world of surprises.
Plan on bugging in, not bugging out
There is a huge amount of talk in Prepper circles about the need to ‘bug out.’ Everyone’s secret fantasy seems to be to go play “Wolverines” in the nearest forest or hole up at some secret survival retreat in the wilderness at the first sign of serious trouble. The truth is not one out of a thousand people would survive a month in the wilderness (let alone in the middle of winter) and most do not have the financial resources to purchase the type of Bug Out location that would be of any true benefit in a major emergency. The average modern man doesn’t really have the knowledge anymore to survive as Jeremiah Johnson if he were just thrust into the wilderness. And those woods would get crowded pretty darn fast as undoubtedly a great many people share the same half-baked scheme if worse comes to worse.
The reality is that one should plan to hunker down and bug in except in the most dire of extreme emergencies. And there are numerous ways one can strengthen and fortify ones own home to make it less of a target and more defensible if necessary. I was forced from my home and played refugee for four days following a massive tornado that ripped through my hometown a few years ago. I was given fifteen minutes to get out by the local police so I know the value of being prepared to leave if one has too and the importance of having a place in mind to go (in this case to my brothers home a few miles up the road). But I also know that leaving your home base of supplies, comforts, and frankly all ‘your stuff’ simply sucks and the minute you hit the road without a very well stocked and friendly place to go you are really simply becoming a refugee. And refugees quickly become hungry, desperate, and victimized in a serious crisis and have since the beginning of time. Ask the stinking, desperate hordes that got stuck in the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina about how having to rely on government help during an emergency can work out.
The other thing that no one seems to think about that if you tried to get out of dodge along with the rest of the lemmings you will get hopelessly stuck on some clogged roads with a bunch of increasingly desperate, panicky, and potentially dangerous other people. Unless your life or humble abode is in immediate danger or you were smart enough to perhaps decipher some early warning signs of a disaster and hit the roads before the Golden Horde, you will probably simply not be able to reach your perceived sanctuary at Grandma’s house in the country. Think about how bad it is during rush hour if there is even a single accident. Multiply that by a thousand fold during a true SHTF crisis. Now take the time to rethink that bug out plan again. You either have to get out extremely early, or hunker down.
If you can, it is best to hunker down, fortify your home as best you can, lie low, and try to ride out the first wave of panic and violence. Stay inside, wisely use your stockpiled supplies, have your defensive arms at the ready, and avoid drawing any attention to yourself whatsoever from anyone including LEO’s (law enforcement officers) who can often get both trigger happy and extremely gun grabby in a SHTF scenarios. If you absolutely must leave your home, then do have a very specific place in mind to go that is safe, dry, stocked, and with reasonable accommodations that is as close as possible to your current location. The closer it is the more reasonable chance of you actually being able to reach it in a serious and scary situation. Generically “heading for the hills” on the other hand is not a plan, but merely an act of desperation and thinking that you can easily flee to Aunt Betty’s country farmhouse 300 miles away is probably little more than a pipe dream.
Get to know your neighbors
This is far more important than most people realize. You do not need to fully blab all your secrets and reveal all your preparations to everyone on the block or be an annoying idiot, but it is a very good idea to be on a cordial and first name basis with all your neighbors in case you may ever have to turn to them for help or assistance. In a crisis scenario they will undoubtedly have ideas, skills, resources, and tools that you do not. The ability to quickly band together can be imperative for safety when needed and even possibly save your life or property. You should not live in just a sea of strangers on your block but at minimum have a decent, friendly relationship of some sort if possible with those around you. You do not need to be everyone’s best buddy on the block, but you should be able to easily show up on their front door without them seeing you as a stranger or even as potential prey or danger instead of a friendly neighbor if things ‘go south’ quickly. Friendly relations before a SHTF fan event can quickly turn into an important ‘we need to stick together’ alliance afterwards.
I live on a cul-de-sac where everyone knows everyone to one degree or another and some of us know each other quite well. I regularly share fresh eggs from my backyard chickens and extra harvest from my garden with all my neighbors. And the casual wave as one drives by or the friendly greeting at the mailbox can pay handsome dividends in the end. Such gestures cost you absolutely nothing more than the most minimal of effort. My neighborhood banded together magnificently when it was hit hard by the tornado that I referenced earlier and the lessons I learned from that experience have stuck with me to this day.
In conclusion, let me state that reasonable “prepping” is not paranoia but merely insurance to help you get through an unexpected, potential crisis in the future. It is wise to prepare for the unexpected and be ready to respond effectively to “disagreeable” future events that may unfold without warning. Planning ahead dramatically decreases your chances of being a frightened refugee or merely another desperate person in a sea of others if disaster strikes. It buys you valuable time to adapt to a fluid and potentially dangerous situation and will help you keep a clear head when possible panic rears its ugly head. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst should be your motto and adapted into your everyday life.
The Valentine’s Day Kindle Giveaway is still active for another two weeks, so why not also enter into this month’s contest?!
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1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7″ HDX (US Only – $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International). There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire HDX 7″. Ends 3/31/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway
I’m not a big fan of Valentines Day.
If you really love someone, you shouldn’t need a special day to show it. And besides Valentines Day puts undue pressure on us sorry palookas who don’t know a rose from a lilly or even how to find the good ones in a box of Russel Stover chocolates.
But that’s just me.
Don’t get me wrong, even though I’m a bit short in the valentine department this year, we all want to have fun on Valentines Day. So I decided to play modern day cupid.
Actually I like to call myself a “romance facilitator”. You however, might call me a flower delivery guy but at least I got to deliver flowers to lovely ladies on Valentines Day! And the look on their faces is always priceless (even if they’re not sure who the flowers are from!)
As you can imagine, florists are swamped on Valentines Day. It’s like the Super Bowl of Flowers and they need all the help they can get even if it’s only temporary. All I needed to do was have a valid Florida driver’s license and insurance, a social security card, sign a disclaimer/hold harmless agreement that’s about a mile long, a car that runs and a little pink bow and arrow. I’m in the floral delivery business!
Most of my deliveries were to hotels and businesses located out in tourist town, near I-Drive, Universal Blvd and Turkey Lake Rd but whether they were locals or just visiting, its amazing how good a bunch of beautiful flowers can make a person feel. That was especially true at Planet Fitness on Turkey Lake Rd. When I walked in with a big bouquet, the whole room lit up. All the ladies were wondering who the lucky valentine was and who the lucky man was who sent it. I was starting to think maybe there is something to this cupid stuff.
It always feels better when somebody cares, so don’t keep it a secret, show some love everyday!
Now its time to put away the little pink bow and arrow till next year.
I guess Valentines Day ain’t so bad after all.
So now Zimmerman plans to step into the ring with rapper DMX, supposedly to raise money for an unnamed charity but in George’s case, charity begins at home and this story never ends.
OK George, we get it. You shot and killed an unarmed kid and in spite of a barrage of media uproar and all the legal posturing, you got away with it. And that should be the end of it.
You think your luck will never run out. You think you can continue to dodge the bullet. You’re superman and you can do anything you want, anywhere you want with total legal immunity. You just can’t stay out of the limelight, George and no good will ever come of that. The real danger is you actually believe that you are somehow special—that you are entitled.
But karma has a way of rearing its ugly head and these days, George you’re not exactly paying it forward. What goes around comes around, George and ya better watch your back.
When given a second chance, you take it. You don’t ask questions, you just give thanks, you stay humble and you move on. Lay low, be a good boy and start respecting other people for a change.
But really the best bet now for you, George is to just go away.
I am a 33 year resident of Central Florida, mostly in Orange County and I am concerned about the possible demise of
Tinker Field is 100 years old this year, in most municipalities this would be celebrated with ceremonies, giving the field a new coat of paint and touting its long history and remembering all of the good times, but here in Orlando we have a different mind set, we would prefer to celebrate by giving a “perfectly healthy” part of our community a “FUNERAL”.
I am not going to bore you with the History at this time but it is long and varied.
I am asking that the BCC instruct the County Attorney file an injunction to stop all construction at the Citrus Bowl and Tinker Field until the plans are altered to preserve Tinker Field in its current state.
Also I am asking that the BCC withhold any County or Tourist Tax monies from the project until the plans have been altered assuring Tinker Field being a vital part of our Community for another 100 years.
“We can not effectively go forward without looking back, if everything behind us is destroyed we have nothing to build our future upon”.
My friend, Ana lost her father today. Just yesterday my buddy Mick lost a good friend and fellow musician. Ana’s father suffered from Alzheimer’s among other things and his demise was a long, painful process but Ana was there for him every step of the way. I didn’t know her father but by all accounts he was a rock solid great guy who loved and cared about his family. However I must say his passing was a blessing because caring for him was all consuming. Now she can resume her life in his memory. Mick’s friend was only only in his 50s—such a talented and inspiring musician was too young to go and he too will be sorely missed.
Face it, death spares no one. It is an inevitable process but in many cases all too painful for friends and family. Just last year I lost my dear mother. She had a long productive life but the ravages of old age finally caught up with her. Although I live out of town, I was fortunate to be there when she passed. During her last moments, I could see that she was ready to go but that did not make it any easier. I still miss her every day. In my family’s case we turned to hospice toward the end and they were a Godsend. I heartily recommend reaching out to your local hospice caregivers in your time of need. It is so important to be at peace, to be ready for the inevitable passage we all will face and hospice helps.
But I think the most important lesson here is to live your life to the fullest. Accept what you have accomplished and try to be comfortable with your legacy by contributing in some way to the common good—to make the world a better place for the ones you love.
We only have so much time on this earth so make the most of it—Pay It Forward!!
For more info on hospice care, go to: http://www.webmd.com/balance/tc/hospice-care-topic-overview
Why Did These Quotes From King’s Speeches Get Lost
On Martin Luther King Day, it is worth revisiting not just the legacy and controversies of the man’s life, but the words of his speeches – original or not – that get lost in the shuffle:
I Have a Dream, August 28, 1963
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
I Have Been to the Mountaintop, April 3, 1968
We don’t have to argue with anybody. We don’t have to curse and go around acting bad with our words. We don’t need any bricks and bottles. We don’t need any Molotov cocktails. We just need to go around to these stores, and to these massive industries in our country, and say, “God sent us by here, to say to you that you’re not treating his children right. And we’ve come by here to ask you to make the first item on your agenda fair treatment, where God’s children are concerned. Now, if you are not prepared to do that, we do have an agenda that we must follow. And our agenda calls for withdrawing economic support from you.”
Rediscovering Lost Values, Detroit February 28, 1954
The trouble isn’t so much that we don’t know enough, but it’s as if we aren’t good enough. The trouble isn’t so much that our scientific genius lags behind, but our moral genius lags behind. The great problem facing modern man is that, that the means by which we live, have outdistanced the spiritual ends for which we live. So we find ourselves caught in a messed-up world. The problem is with man himself and man’s soul. We haven’t learned how to be just and honest and kind and true and loving. And that is the basis of our problem. The real problem is that through our scientific genius we’ve made of the world a neighborhood, but through our moral and spiritual genius we’ve failed to make of it a brotherhood. And the great danger facing us today is not so much the atomic bomb that was created by physical science. Not so much that atomic bomb that you can put in an aeroplane and drop on the heads of hundreds and thousands of people-as dangerous as that is. But the real danger confronting civilization today is that atomic bomb which lies in the hearts and souls of men, capable of exploding into the vilest of hate and into the most damaging selfishness. That’s the atomic bomb that we’ve got to fear today. Problem is with the men. Within the heart and the souls of men. That is the real basis of our problem.
As the history is recorded and available online, it is worth the time on the day King is remembered, to read or listen to his words. They are not what his legacy says they are. It is worth setting the record straight as his words – these words – were ignored and the dream turned into a nightmare.
This post was reblogged thanks to Rat Nation and Cultural Limits.