Preparedness Pays: The Quiet Team

One good thing about making practical preparedness a part of your lifestyle is that you are prepared for quite a few of life’s routine emergencies. But, one thing you need to consider is the fact that you should not advertise it, but accepting that preparedness and survival for larger emergencies requires a certain degree of teamwork.

How much and what you are prepared for is something you should keep close to the vest. First, in a major emergency, those who are not prepared will see you as a target for getting quickly what they hadn’t bothered with before. They will demand you share with them, take them in, etc. Second, there are those who will not make demands and expect you to take care of them, as they are simply going to try to take by force what you have. Third, in a major emergency you are likely to have your reserves appropriated for the good of the people by various levels of government. It has happened before and will happen again. If they don’t know what you have and how much you have, it works to your advantage all around.

That said, surviving major emergencies requires teamwork. The simple fact is that groups do better as each brings strengths (and a variety of supplies/preparations) to the table. They can and should also provide safe places for bug-out at need. Sound people out, and choose wisely. Expect them to be judging you as well.

Years back, a friend was looking at just this situation. Through a mutual friend, he learned of a group that was into preparedness and looked into joining. He was quickly informed that he did not have enough weapons or the proper type of ammunition. In looking over their requirments and preparations, it was clear they were light on what I would call fundamentals. He thought a moment, and then informed them that no, he didn’t have all the ammo they required, but that he did have in addition to food a year’s worth (more actually) of toilet paper and they were going to have a hard time wiping their asses with all those bullets. And, by the way, he had more than enough ammo on hand to deal with anyone who tried to take it. They thought that over for a few days, contacted him to say that he had a point, and asked him to join them. He declined.

So, keep quiet but keep an eye out for good people to team up with at need. Make sure that they can be a safe haven if you have to bug out because of anything from a chemical spill to those pythonoids from Antares (who are just as big an group of assholes as the CCP) doing something nasty. Keep in mind that your location can be used if they need to bug out. Groups improve chances, but choosing the right group (or creating it) is essential.

Preparedness Pays: Pets

Today’s post will be short and sweet, and is courtesy of a reminder from a friend. When conducting your thought experiment, be sure to include your pets in your planning. Not only food and water, plus a means to take them with you if you have to bug out, but also common medical conditions. If they take medicines or supplements, you need to include those items in your needed supplies. If you know they have other conditions ‘every now and then’ be sure to include supplies for that in your planning.

We’re almost done with the thought experiment(s), but one more to come courtesy of those darned pythonoids from Antares….

Our Broken Military

There are no words for the disgusting and despicable political actions of our current military leadership. From a congresscritter using National Guard soldiers in uniform as a prop (and a threat) to the multiple attacks on Tucker Carlson because he dared criticize the current push to put SJW priorities before warfighting capabilities. While Ted Cruz has pushed back, and Kurt Schlichter has a good take on things, don’t expect anything to come of it. There may be a little show, but the politization will continue. This despite a series of war games in which the U.S. is defeated by China; and, the increasing military and nuclear threat from Russia that I’ve talked about before.

For those who wonder why I’ve said that if faced with an unlawful order, the best case is that the military shatters. Look at those who attacked Tucker Carlson for daring criticize their emphasis on SJW issues rather than training (note, Carlson did NOT criticize female troops): do you really think that they would not hesitate to obey an illegal order? Look at the NG troops in mentioned above who knowingly and willfully took part in a political event in uniform. If they disobey one illegal order, why would anyone thing that they would not obey another? I have to agree with Glenn’s take that they seem far more interested in domestic control than in successfully confronting our enemies.

Oh, before I forget: if you decide to look up the series of stories about our being beaten by China in the war games, you might note that in none of the stories do they discuss how badly we lost. That may, perhaps, speak volumes.

While it is with a heavy heart, I will also note that I am one of many who is no longer recommending joining the military to most who are interested. What you see above is but a shadow of what is to come (unless China and/or Russia act first).

Dear Resident Xiden

Your event last night was many things, most of which I will leave to others. However, I will address one part with the care and thoughtfulness it deserves.

You spent time telling American Citizens what they can or cannot do. Who they can spend time with, and who they can’t, and in what size of groups. What activities they can take part in, and those they can’t. The exhortations to obey were trite and wearisome.

Despite all that is going on, the avalanche of executive orders, the bills to eliminate our individual liberty and freedoms, we are still American Citizens. The government does not tell us what or what not to do. We tell the government what to do. You (you and your puppet masters) are supposed to be servants, not the civil masters you believe yourselves to be.

So, please feel free to **** off.

Sincerely,

LW

Preparedness Pays: Tools I

Today, let’s take the thought experiment a bit further. In the first post, I talked a little bit about looking around the house for things you already have that can be useful; and, I also talked about doing some advanced planning. Today, let’s dip a toe into that pool.

Whether it’s storms, earthquakes, or an invasion of pythonoids from Antares, you should have one room or area of your home (or apartment, etc.) as a designated shelter. It generally should be an interior space that is structurally sound, and best suited for use as a shelter in a variety of conditions. In a house I owned years back, mine was technically an exterior room in the basement. However, it was the old coal room and was extremely sturdy with very little above ground. It also had shelving which made it the ideal place to also store many of my preparedness supplies.

Again, you have to find what works for you and your situation. You simply need a very sound space that works for more than one emergency. For example, if flooding had been an issue I could not have used the old coal room as my designated shelter. It should also have a stock of food, water, and other supplies.

For today’s expansion of our thought experiment, something (darn those pythonoids from Antares!) has forced you to take shelter. Not only that, but your home has been damaged. So much so, you are having trouble getting out. Whatever has happened is such that you can’t count on local services to find you and get you out. So, what do you need to get out?

For me, I had a standard pry bar (one large and one small), a long straight pry bar, a sledge hammer, an axe, and some other tools including hand saws that I stored there. These were all items that I used on other projects, but stored there just in case. In fact, I have a sledge hammer in my bedroom at my current lair as since it is a basement apartment, in the event of emergency the best exit might be through one of the windows — which my landlord and I have discovered to be rusted shut. One sledgehammer, no window and out I go…

Much depends on how much damage your home took, but think about what you might need to get out in an emergency. Also, think about what it would take to get out of any room in an emergency. Do you have bedrooms upstairs? Emergency fire ladders ready to go are a good investment.

Now, back to our main focus, what would it take to get out. In the coal room I not only stored an axe or two, but the go-devil I used to split wood, a hand axe, and other implements of destruction (and construction). I also had rope, chain, and other means of pulling, lifting, and such including a come-along. Again, these were all things I used in other parts of life and simply stored there. If you have battery-powered saws and such, might not be a bad idea to store them in your shelter if possible. If not, have them where they can be grabbed in an emergency to go in with you.

Also, again, think safety. Have a fire extinguisher in that room, along with an extra first aid kit or kits. I’ll talk more about those later. For now, think about your shelter area/room as the keep to your castle. Not only have it ready for use, but have what you need to force your way out if necessary.

Preparedness is all about having the right mental and physical tools ready to go. So, for today, think about what physical tools might be good to have ready to go.

Preparedness Pays: Fixing Up Your Home

While I can already hear some ranting about bugout/bailout bags and such, the idea is not to overwhelm someone new. Those that get overwhelmed find it easy to not get prepared, even when such preparations can increase the value of their home and otherwise save them money. Again, each situation is unique and you need to plan for what works for you. Even if you rent and apartment or something else, you can take steps that will help you be prepared and far more comfortable in day-to-day life. While this is focused on someone in a stand-alone home, there are aspects that can be applied elsewhere.

Your home is your castle and your keep, even if it’s not in the middle of the street. It is the place you live, and the place you are most likely to stay in the event of an emergency. What are some of the things you can do, and may already want to do, to improve it so that you enjoy benefits even while preparing?

Let’s start with weather preparedness. Is it weather tight? No matter where you live, insulation is a good thing for keeping out the heat or cold. Caulking, door seals, and other items can reduce energy bills. In an emergency, it can help keep out smoke, pathogens, or even radiation in the worst case. The nice thing is, depending on where you live, there may be grants, tax credits, or even programs to help you take these steps.

Security is also a factor. Are your outer doors insulated and security rated? Again, the grants and other programs may can help with that, as well as taking other steps to make sure it is secure. Double- and triple-pane windows not only add to energy savings, but can also be a security feature. What other steps can you take?

How energy efficient is it? If you HVAC system is old, or even older, a newer system can provide savings. Again, there may be programs to help with such an upgrade, along with tax credits and such. This applies to all major appliances too — the more energy efficient the better. A minor thing you can do is buy outlet insulation systems that help stop drafts that come in that way. At an apartment I rented years back, putting them in actually provided a measurable drop in my electric bill. It also reduced what could come in from outside, from pollen to insects and other delights. Going all LED on lighting saves money, and can make it easier to maintain light and critical appliances via a generator or other power source if needed.

Landscaping can help improve security by eliminating places people can hide, gain entry without being seen, or even approach without being seen. In an area where flooding could be an issue? Berms and walls can help reduce the threat. A non-flammable patio can not only increase the value of the house, but it provides a secure place to put a grill or other outdoor cooking items that can be used in an emergency.

Take a few minutes to think about what you can do to your home to improve it, and at the same time make it better prepared to be your castle and keep in an emergency. Then, look to see what grants, programs, tax credits, etc. may be available to help with that effort. You might be surprised, and all you do will add to the value of the property. If you don’t own but rent, do the legwork to find these opportunities, and it is rare that a landlord won’t jump at the chance to improve their property with little- to no-cost to them.

Be creative, and look outside the box for solutions that work for you.

Happy Warrior 3: Finding the Happy in the Warrior

Today, we have another guest post by River, which I hope you enjoy. It is well worth the read.

The political news continues to be relentlessly bad. Our enemies domestic, the Democrats in power, now openly Socialist, are going down their wishlist with but little resistance to the policies that will fundamentally transform our Republic into a totalitarian state. Our enemies foreign are preparing for war; worldwide economic collapse is imminent (whether through runaway inflation or stagflation, take your pick).

 So how to find the happy in the warrior? First, I think we have to accept that the first Republic is gone. Denying reality is the specialty of the other side; let’s not fall into that hole in the sand ourselves. It’s going to be very hard to face the reality of the depth of the hole we’ve fallen into. Figuring out how and why is useful, if depressing. Figuring out how to get out of it is where the happy lies.

 The question is how do we get from where we are now to the Second Republic.  There was a joke when the Iron Curtain fell and the Eastern Bloc countries were reinventing themselves, and we were sending all sorts of political and economic consultants over there: Why not give them our Constitution, we’re not using it…. The Constitution can and should be the bedrock of the Second Republic. 

 Also still applicable are the battlecries of the first American Revolution: “Taxation with Representation.” “Give me liberty, or give me death!”  “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

 “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.”

 So the people who are framing the potential violence to come as a Civil War II are wrong. This is not about states rights, it’s not about continuing the vile practice of slavery. It’s about a return to the individual freedoms we as Americans have the right to enjoy. This is not CWII, it’s ARII.

 Of course, one of the reasons ARI worked was that it was a conservative revolution, that is, it wasn’t seeking to change the form of government, it was seeking to restore it from those who were changing the rules. So we have that on our side, because that’s what we’re trying to do, too.

 Another reason ARI succeeded was that the usurpers were, at that point, essentially foreigners. And another was that we were already self-governing, with all the machinery in place, and didn’t need control from afar.

 And that’s not quite the case for ARII. The people seeking to control us are homegrown, and all the machinery for governance is in their hands. However, we do have a perfectly good, if heretofore unreliable, antidote to their machinery, in the Republican party. The next step on the path is for as many of us as possible to join the party, support Trump’s efforts at reform, and provide some backbone and organization for the necessary changes to come.

 And at the same, we should be rooting out the influence of our foreign enemies. While the Republic’s usurpers are homegrown it will be a useful exercise for the revolutionaries of ARII to discover and make public the names of those who are subsidized (and/or controlled by threat of embarrassment or violence) by foreign influence. I’m talking hard proof, not rumors, but serious forensic accounting, serious investigative reporting. If it were easy, anybody could do it. We’ll need dedicated armchair warriors—in the most serious sense of the phrase–and we’ll need those who can protect them while they are at their work.

 This is a war that will be fought on many fronts, and almost assuredly the most important of them will not be the cartridge box, but the box that sits on your desk or in your pocket. This is a 21st century war, and information, and culture, will be just as important as brave men with guns. About which more later.

Preparedness Pays: Some Food For Thought To Go With Yesterday’s Post

As you go through the thought experiments, here are a few things you may want to keep in mind.

First, keep in mind that what you are planning for is not a normal situation. You will use less of some things, and more of some others. For example, just before the joys of 2020 hit, I caught a sale and had bought what should have been a year’s supply of hand soap. With the lockdown and all else, it turned into a 6-8 month supply since I was home far more than normal. I also used more facial tissues, paper towels, and even some cleaners as I was home more.

Second, since it is not a normal situation, you might want to plan both on rationing food a bit (cut back on portions/amounts) as real emergencies don’t come with a time limit. Also, you are not doing as much if you are trapped at home and should cut back on things anyway. This way, you have food for an extra day or three if needed. On top of that, plan on having what is needed for a day or three of extra “normal” food above and beyond that three-day or week’s supply. This way, if you are doing work (cleaning up, repairing, digging out, etc.) you have the food for that as well as if the situation goes longer than a week.

Third, when making your list on equipment/things, look to see if what you already have on hand can do double duty. Also, the things you buy should also be useful every day and do more than just be there for emergencies. Alton Brown talks about kitchen utensils doing multiple things, and the same goes for the tools and equipment in our lives. The only items that should do just one thing are fire extinguishers. First aid kits should be useful for “everyday” disasters such as cuts, scrapes, stings, etc. Make the items you buy work for your situation in as many ways as possible.

Just some quick food for thought. Hopefully tomorrow we will embark on another thought experiment.

Preparedness Pays: Starting Planning

At this point, despite the ease of planning for just a few things rather than the infinite number of possible disasters, many people freeze up at the thought of planning. Maybe it’s because there is still a residual bit of fear of trying to figure out all that can go wrong. Maybe it’s because starting to plan seems like a word problem in math. Maybe it is a fear of starting the process and perhaps being labled a “prepper.” Who knows.

The thing is, if we borrow a technique from Sir Issac Newton, starting your core plan is easy. Sir Issac was known for what he called “thought experiments” where he postulated and extrapolated subjects in his mind. His “thought cannon” was really the start of the concept of orbits, microgravity, and more. Being intelligently lazy, let’s steal his page and engage in a thought experiment.

This one is easy: imagine you are trapped in your house for three days. For this experiment, we will keep it easy and assume that gas, water, power, etc. remain uninterrupted. The key is, you can’t go outside, run to the store, or anything else. Your doors are sealed.

Do you have enough food? Maybe not what you want at that moment, but do you have enough food to feed yourself, or all in the household? Do you have enough toothpaste, soap, floss, hygiene items, laundry and dish detergent, and other supplies? Do you have enough pleasure items (alcohol, snacks, other nice-to-haves) for the three days? If not, what of these do you not have in sufficient quantity? Write them down. That’s the start of your basic planning list. These are the things you need to get and keep in stock to be prepared for minor emergencies.

Now, take that out to a week. Adjust your list accordingly. You now have a basic list of the things you need to do, purchase, etc. to start tobe prepared for emergencies.

The next step in our thought experiment branches out a bit. Ask yourself what safety equipment you have on hand? Do you have a first aid kit that can handle minor cuts, burns, and other delights? If so, great — just remember to keep it up to date. Do you have a fire extinguisher that can handle a minor stove fire or other event? If not, put that on the list. Do you have enough of a supply of medicines, supplements, and other health maintenance/support supplies for a week? If not, again, add those to the list. Is there any other safety or support items or equipment you need that are unique to you and your situation? If so, add them to the list as well.

Yes, there are lists out there that can tell you all sorts of things to get and do; however, most of them are one-size-fits-all plans. You and your situation are unique, and your planning should be as well. You know what you need, how much room you have to store items, and other issues that are going to impact what you do, when, where, and how.

For example, where I lived before had very limited pantry space. It impacted how much I could store in the pantry itself. One solution to that was access to some other space (under the bed, garage, etc.) where I used plastic totes to store some of the items on my list, and not just canned goods. Your planning needs to revolve around your needs and what space or spaces of which you can make use.

Okay, you have a basic list of the items you need to get or get enough of to maintain a week’s supply. That’s a good place to start if you are not already into preparedness. It is, however, just a start and there are good reasons to work up to a longer timeframe as you can.

Now, let’s do a different thought experiment. Again, you are sealed in your house for three days. This time, the normal services are out: no water, no electricity, no internet, etc. For this one, the sewer is still working. Think things like this can’t happen? Just look at what happened in Texas recently.

First up, lighting. Do you have flashlights? If so, are the batteries still good? Do you have spares that are in date? What alternate forms of lighting do you have, if any? Candles, lanterns, and other delights come in handy. If nothing, you need to start your first equpment list.

Second, what alternate means do you have to heat or cook food? Any? We’ll relax the seal on the doors so that if you have a grill you can use it. Most gas grills today have at least one side burner, so in addition to cooking on the grill proper, you can cook on the side burner. A few years ago, where I lived had a gas issue, so for several days I cooked my breakfast on the side burner. You make do with what you’ve got. You can cook on a charcoal or wood grill, but be prepared to clean up. Do you camp? If so, bet you have some form of camp stove. Nothing? Again, time to put it on the equipment list.

Third, how much water do you have on hand? Do you have any water for flushing the toilet? Do you have a means to bathe without a shower or tub?

To aid your thinking on this, I have two five-gallon sealed buckets with non-portable water set aside just for flushing the toilet. Enough for a week? Not under normal circumstances, but it may be enough for my “mellow yellow” protocol. Stole the name from a line in one of John Ringo’s books where a character put over the toilet a sign saying ‘if it’s yellow it’s mellow, if it’s brown, it goes down.” Fill the cap of a bleach bottle with bleach, put it in with each pee, and you are good for a while. Still have a box of baby wipes around just for things like this.

I also have both bottled water and jugs of water on hand. I use both: bottled water for the day job and jugs of distilled water for making my coffee and other drinks. I have enough to get by for more than a week, and rotate my stock.

Now, to continue the thought experiment. Let’s add the wrinkle of it being winter and cold. How are you going to stay warm? There is no one answer to that. In the past, I’ve used kerosene heaters (not an option where I am currently), propane, and other alternate means — WITH ADEQUATE VENTILATION!!! I also have camping gear, and am not above setting up the tent indoors and having people huddle there for warmth. I also have cold weather gear to wear because I’ve spent time not only in the north, but outside in the north.

There is a lot more I could throw in, but I also consider them advanced planning. For now, I want to keep our thought experiment simple so that you get comfortable with the planning.

With this exercise, you have begun planning to have food and drinks, light so you can do things, and to stay warm at need. Those are the true essentials in an emergency. You have a list of what you do have on hand, and a list of the things you need to get.

With the two lists you now have (first exercise and this one) you know what you need to get, and even a good idea on quantity. Now, you need to sit down and prioritize what you get and when. The items on the first list should be your top priority, but unless you have the funds on hand to get them all at once, add them to your next few grocery lists and pick up a portion at a time. This is easier on the budget, and gives you time to set up your storage. As for the second list, work out a priority list based on your situation and begin making your purchases over time.

For this post, however, I will note that I am advising that people lay in a year’s supply of supplements and OTC medications. One reason is that with two-for-one sales going on at various stores, it is easy and less costly to get the larger amounts. I’ve also discovered that in going directly to company websites, I’m finding better deals on larger amounts that I could through a certain online retailer.

Also, as you look at your lists, see what’s available through yard sales, online sales venues, and other delights. As I noted earlier, the spring is a great time to find deals on winter items, from snowblowers on down, while fall is a good time to get deals on summer items (grills, etc.).

So, you made it through the basics of planning and now have good lists of what you need for your situation. Take the next step and act on those lists.

The Posts In Proper Order

Since I got guest poster River’s posting order wrong, I thought I should do a quick post to make it easy for you to read them in the proper order.

The proper first post is here.

The proper second post is here.

There is some good food for thought here, and I highly recommend you not only read River’s posts, but read them in the right order.