Notes for Friday – July 25, 2014

Today we present another entry for Round 53 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $11,000+ worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course (a $1,195 value),
  2. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  3. Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  4. A $300 gift certificate from CJL Enterprize, for any of their military surplus gear,
  5. A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $300 value),
  6. A $300 gift certificate from Freeze Dry Guy,
  7. A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo,
  8. A roll of $10 face value in pre-1965 U.S. 90% silver quarters, courtesy of GoldAndSilverOnline.com, (currently valued at around $180 postpaid),
  9. Both VPN tunnel and DigitalSafe annual subscriptions from Privacy Abroad (a combined value of $195),
  10. KellyKettleUSA.com is donating both an AquaBrick water filtration kit and a Stainless Medium Scout Kelly Kettle Complete Kit with a combined retail value of $304,
  11. APEX Gun Parts is donating a $250 purchase credit, and
  12. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $300 gift certificate.

Second Prize:

  1. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  2. A FloJak EarthStraw “Code Red” 100-foot well pump system (a $500 value), courtesy of FloJak.com,
  3. Acorn Supplies is donating a Deluxe Food Storage Survival Kit with a retail value of $350,
  4. The Ark Instituteis donating a non-GMO, non-hybrid vegetable seed package–enough for two families of four, seed storage materials, a CD-ROM of Geri Guidetti’s book “Build Your Ark! How to Prepare for Self Reliance in Uncertain Times”, and two bottles of Potassium Iodate– a $325 retail value,
  5. $300 worth of ammo from Patriot Firearms and Munitions. (They also offer a 10% discount for all SurvivalBlog readers with coupon code SVB10P),
  6. A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials,
  7. Twenty Five books, of the winners choice, of any books published by PrepperPress.com (a $270 value),
  8. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value),
  9. Dri-Harvestfoods.com in Bozeman, Montana is providing a prize bundle with Beans, Buttermilk Powder, Montana Hard Red Wheat, Drink Mixes, and White Rice, valued at $333,
  10. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $150 gift certificate,
  11. Organized Prepper is providing a $500 gift certificate, and
  12. RepackBoxis providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security,
  5. A MURS Dakota Alert Base Station Kit with a retail value of $240 from JRH Enterprises,
  6. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  7. Ambra Le Roy Medical Products in North Carolina is donating a bundle of their traditional wound care and first aid supplies, with a value of $208, and
  8. SurvivalBased.com is donating a $500 gift certificate to their store.

Round 53 ends on July 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

The Fashionably Late Prepper, by G.S.

This article is meant to be read in the future by those visiting this blog on the day after TSHTF. This is for the person who only has access to the basic supplies anyone might have laying around the house. Regular visitors to this blog will ask why I did not recommend using a Berkey water filter (www.berkeyfilters.com) to purify water. It is too late now to get one.

This is for the man or woman who just did a google search (because they don’t know about IXQUICK) on how to handle the global economic crisis or what to do when the power goes out for good.

In your exploration of this site you will find years’ worth of information from people explaining the many scenarios that could happen and how you could prepare for them. You will find information on what necessities will be in short supply and which will be extremely valuable. You will find information on how to protect yourself and your family. Some of this information may still be helpful, especially today, so I encourage you to explore the many topics. You may still be able to gain an advantage over the millions of people sitting in their homes waiting for someone to come fix what is wrong.

All of the information on this site would have been much more useful a month ago. You could have done something… if only you had known. There is no time to spend worrying about that now. You have much more pressing matters to attend to.

All of the things below need to be considered. Depending on the crisis you are facing, some things may be more important than others. For example, if the electrical grid where you live is down, getting batteries and fuel may have a very high priority. Make a list of the most critical things you need, based on the situation.

  1. Food and water. What?!? You don’t have more than three more days of food? For goodness sake, get off your computer and find a way to get as much food and water as you can. Wait… finish reading, and then go. If the water in your home is still running, fill every pot, cooler, and bathtub. If it is not running, you have got to find a clean source of water. Go outside and rig a way to collect rainwater coming from your roof. Is the bottled water gone from Wal-Mart? Check to see if they have any pure bleach left you can use to disinfect water from ponds and streams. If there is any food left to buy at the grocery store, farmer’s market, or a vending machine, you need to get it. Start to conserve and ration your food and water. It is better to stink and live than to use your precious water supplies taking a bath. You and your family cannot survive without food and water, and help, if it ever arrives, could be months away.
  2. Money/Valuables. It is possible this option may not be available to you. Your bank may have shut its doors and you are stuck with just the bills in your wallet. Your credit and debit cards may not be honored any more. Paper money is quickly becoming less valuable, but you have got to get your hands on whatever money you can while it still has some value. That box of Ritz crackers you are shocked at paying $10 for today, will be $100 next week, if it is still available at all. In most SHTF scenarios money will increasingly become useless, so spend the money you are able to get your hands on to buy things that will be valuable in the future. Food and water are obvious, but people will be coveting many important items which will soon be unobtainable at any price… aspirin, medical supplies, vitamins, toilet paper, lighters, tools, auto repair supplies, shoes, warm clothes, camping equipment, hunting/fishing equipment, playing cards, cigarettes, diapers, and liquor to name a few. Gasoline is probably unavailable, but you may still be able to find propane tanks which will be extremely valuable for your own cooking and for trade. You will want a small battery-powered radio. Notice I did not mention precious metals, batteries, guns, or bullets. Regulars to this site cleaned the stores out of those yesterday.
  3. Security/Protection. You are kidding me? You seriously were anti-gun? You have nothing in your house to help protect your family except your son’s T-ball bat (*rolling eyes*). Do you know in two days your neighbors are going to start running out of food and water and will do whatever is necessary to feed their children? That guy you drank beer and laughed with on the Fourth of July will be breaking through your window at night with his 9MM looking for a bottle of water. You have three objectives. First, you need to find a weapon. Nobody is going to sell you a gun today. Be creative. Pull out the axe in your garage. Collect some large pebbles and build a slingshot using a branch from a tree and rubber bands. Check out your kitchen knives. Toy plastic guns look real in the dark. Be prepared to bluff, if needed. Have a flashlight ready to blind your intruder. What about Fireworks! Second, you have got to secure your home. Cover your windows with black garbage bags and secure them from the inside with discarded wooden pallets you find behind a carpet store. Secure your windows from being raised with screws. Secure your doors to their frames using extra lumber. Cut and stack thorny plants and thick bushes high in front of your easily accessible lower windows. Third, and most important, there is safety in numbers. Bring other trusted family members or friends into your home. Potentially move to your church with other brothers and sisters in Christ you can rely on to pool supplies and provide protection.
  4. Prepare to leave. There may be many reasons you leave your home. You may get a knock on your door from a government representative saying, “Your family must relocate. Come with us now.” You may feel your home will soon be overrun by “bad guys” and decide it is best to leave and survive. You want to be ready to go when the time comes. A basic school backpack filled with essential supplies should be available at the exit door to be picked up by each family member at any time. What is in your bag will vary depending on the situation, but there are some absolute essentials, including a couple changes of clothing, easily consumable non-perishable food (granola bars), water (two bottles at least), medicines essential to your condition (if you have one), a lighter or matches, basic first aid supplies, inclement weather gear (a plastic bag is better than nothing), a list with important personal information such as phone numbers, identification (passport), a roll of toilet paper, and a flashlight with extra batteries. Put it all in Ziplock bags. Some other lightweight items you might include if you have them are a map, sewing kit, pocket knife, razor blades, twine, a few yards of duct tape wrapped around a credit card, whistle, paper and pencil, small mirror, safety pins, fork, toothbrush, floss, tweezers, aspirin, bar of soap, wash cloth, and a comb. Some very useful heavier/bulkier items you will really have to decide if you can carry would be a battery powered radio, rope, bug spray, sunscreen, an axe, binoculars, and extra water. You may not be in great shape, so just carry the lightweight essentials you need. As you get more tired on your journey, even a lightweight bag will become heavy. The amount of water you can carry severely limits the length of time you can live using just the items in this bag. You have got to have a way to disinfect water. Someone in your group should carry a metal pot that water can be boiled in or pure liquid bleach can be used to disinfect water. (Generally, use 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented or “ultra” bleach. It should only contain calcium hypochlorite.)

You are not going to be able to survive long term on your own. In the unlikely event you are able to go to the store today and load every inch of your vehicle with food and bottled water, it will run out at some point. You are not alone. Very few people live where they are able to sustain themselves indefinitely these days. 99% of us are dependent on “the system”.

If there is no food in the stores and no water available at your sink, you are going to need to find someone to support you. You will have very little of value to trade for this support. If there is no gas, who will want your Maxima? If there is no electricity, who will want your big screen television? The recommendations above are meant to get you through the first few tumultuous weeks of the disaster. After this amount of time, it is possible millions will have died from violence and disease. You are going to have to venture out into this ugly world and find someone who is willing to provide for you. For the average business professional (like me) who did not prepare, this probably means you will need to find someone willing to feed you in exchange for your manual labor, unless blacksmithing was a hobby of yours. Yes, many people will essentially be slaves to someone else who can use them. The easy life is over. Your plan cannot be to wait around for the government to come by your house and give you food. That is the mindset that ravaged our country, and if you choose it, you will not survive. If you want to live, you have to get out there and find a way.

Good luck. If you are stuck in a major city, I encourage you to get out as quickly as you can. I cannot fathom how anyone will survive in an urban environment over the next three months. I encourage you to pray and remain civilized.

Anyone left a month from now is still here because they prepared or took what they needed. They bought or stole protection and know how to use it. A month from now, they probably will have had experience using it. Respectfully show them how you can be helpful in exchange for the help you need. For now, these people are in charge.

Letter Re: Prepping with an Unsupportive Spouse

Dear Hugh,

I enjoyed this article and several others that I have seen regarding this subject. However, it is rare that you see this subject discussed in reverse. I (the wife) am the prepper and the Christian in our home. My husband thinks I’m crazy. I have a small pantry, a small supply of gadgets and supplies, and have learned to can. I would like to do more with this, but my husband is already disgusted with all the space I have taken up. There are so many things that still need to be done, but many of them require building, power tools, and a little technical ability. My husband is excellent at these things, while I am not. I would love to hear from some ladies out there who are in the same situation and how they have handled their situation. – S.R.

Mrs. Latimer Replies: I encourage you to look for all the good things that your husband does and praise him for each one. Encourage him when he does take leadership to care for the family. In the meantime, the best thing you can do is pray and follow God’s instructions for being a godly woman and wife, even if your husband doesn’t follow God’s ways himself. Even when he doesn’t do what you think is “right”, show him respect. Your husband needs affirmation and respect. Be sure you are giving that to him, even if you disagree with him. There are two kinds of respect: one based upon position and the other based upon actions. Even if your husband’s actions seem wrong to you, he has a position in your home and in your marriage that you must respect. Believe me, I know it can be very difficult, especially when we are certain that we know what it best. However, God didn’t give us (the wife) the final say.

You may have read I Peter 3:1-7: “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”

I have kept you in prayer throughout the day today and commit to continue praying for you and your husband. God has power to change our circumstances. Ultimately, He is the One in control, and He is trustworthy. Please keep us posted. I am hoping for changes to occur for the better in your home. God bless you, dear sister in Christ Jesus!

Notes for Thursday – July 24, 2014

July 24 – The late Jerry Ahern passed away, today: July 24th, 2012. He is missed.

o o o

Today we present another entry for Round 53 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $11,000+ worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course (a $1,195 value),
  2. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  3. Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  4. A $300 gift certificate from CJL Enterprize, for any of their military surplus gear,
  5. A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $300 value),
  6. A $300 gift certificate from Freeze Dry Guy,
  7. A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo,
  8. A roll of $10 face value in pre-1965 U.S. 90% silver quarters, courtesy of GoldAndSilverOnline.com, (currently valued at around $180 postpaid),
  9. Both VPN tunnel and DigitalSafe annual subscriptions from Privacy Abroad (a combined value of $195),
  10. KellyKettleUSA.com is donating both an AquaBrick water filtration kit and a Stainless Medium Scout Kelly Kettle Complete Kit with a combined retail value of $304,
  11. APEX Gun Parts is donating a $250 purchase credit, and
  12. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $300 gift certificate.

Second Prize:

  1. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  2. A FloJak EarthStraw “Code Red” 100-foot well pump system (a $500 value), courtesy of FloJak.com,
  3. Acorn Supplies is donating a Deluxe Food Storage Survival Kit with a retail value of $350,
  4. The Ark Instituteis donating a non-GMO, non-hybrid vegetable seed package–enough for two families of four, seed storage materials, a CD-ROM of Geri Guidetti’s book “Build Your Ark! How to Prepare for Self Reliance in Uncertain Times”, and two bottles of Potassium Iodate– a $325 retail value,
  5. $300 worth of ammo from Patriot Firearms and Munitions. (They also offer a 10% discount for all SurvivalBlog readers with coupon code SVB10P),
  6. A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials,
  7. Twenty Five books, of the winners choice, of any books published by PrepperPress.com (a $270 value),
  8. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value),
  9. Dri-Harvestfoods.com in Bozeman, Montana is providing a prize bundle with Beans, Buttermilk Powder, Montana Hard Red Wheat, Drink Mixes, and White Rice, valued at $333,
  10. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $150 gift certificate,
  11. Organized Prepper is providing a $500 gift certificate, and
  12. RepackBoxis providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security,
  5. A MURS Dakota Alert Base Station Kit with a retail value of $240 from JRH Enterprises,
  6. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  7. Ambra Le Roy Medical Products in North Carolina is donating a bundle of their traditional wound care and first aid supplies, with a value of $208, and
  8. SurvivalBased.com is donating a $500 gift certificate to their store.

Round 53 ends on July 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

Preparing for the Education of Your Children In A SHTF Scenario, by Professor Chad

The topic of education is near and dear to my heart. I am a father to three children, and I feel that parents should be, and usually are, the most dedicated and passionate individuals when it comes to the education of their children. I’ve made a career out of being an educator. I’ve taught students at varying levels (from elementary all the way up to the graduate level), and I’ve taught numerous children, including my own. It is something I take very seriously, and I think at minimum should be a mental exercise for all readers of this blog.

When I think about what parents need to know in laying the educational foundation for their children in a SHTF scenario, I think that with a few recommendations, it can be done with little financial cost and some pre-planning. I’m not sure how many people have logically thought through what they would do in such a difficult situation, but the good news is that there is still time to do so! Don’t let this critical area be passed by when looking at your whole preparation plan.

Disclaimer: It is no secret to those that know me– I’m a huge advocate for homeschooling and favor it over a public school education. Nationally, there are roughly two million children that are educated at home currently, and the numbers are quickly rising. I think that for many children, home education is the best type of education they can receive. If you look at the research on the topic, it is amazing how well these students, as a whole, perform! Do yourself a favor and take 10 minutes to search the Internet tonight with the keywords “homeschooling research”.

Now, on to the task at hand. How do you educate your children in a SHTF scenario? I think it is best to begin with the end in mind. Ask yourself this question: What is it that you want to accomplish in educating your children? I think a mission statement will clarify your goals and give you a reminder of why you chose to educate your children.

Here is our mission statement for our home education program:

We believe that our faith in Christ permeates every aspect of our life. We believe the bible calls us to be the first educators of our children and our way of fulfilling that calling is through home education. We believe that we are life-long learners, as it is written in Proverbs 16:16, “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!” We believe that as parents, we should always have the heart of an educator and learning should be interesting and engaging. We believe that our children have been equipped by their Creator with unique talents, skills and abilities. We believe by homeschooling we have the wonderful opportunity to daily support and guide our children towards a more full understanding of God’s call in their life.

Once you have taken time as a family to formulate a mission statement with your goals, you can begin building your home library. A home library for your children does not have to be large, extravagant, new, or even pricey. Most of the books I purchase are at least 50 years old. I would begin by setting aside $25 to fund your home library. The vast majority of my purchases for our home library come from garage/estate/rummage sales. It is amazing what people sell inexpensively at these sales. Often times, at the sale, I have found a box with some old books priced around “4 for $1” or even at times they can be found in a box labeled “free”. Make it a goal to see how many books you can acquire for $25. See if you can get to 100 books for that price!

So, what items do I recommend for the home library? There are some books that you probably have in your house. As a Christian family, we use the bible as a teaching tool. There is so much you can learn in this book, as it is filled with practical wisdom, age-old advice, and guidance on so many areas of our lives. In addition, I have found a concordance greatly helpful. From there, you may want to pick up a dictionary, an older encyclopedia set, and some maps. Our family loves all sorts of maps (world, national, state, et cetera). We put maps and other educational materials under a clear, plastic table protector, so we can look at them on the table during mealtimes. Our state even offers a free state-wide atlas (through our Game, Fish, and Parks Service) that shows the whole state. It had 98 pages filled with lots of useful information, including every road, lake, city, and more.

The rest of the home library would be books tailored to your children, based upon their age, gender, interest, and so forth. I will include a general reading list for both boys and girls. The two lists have a focus on the main character being a boy/girl who is smart, adventurous, and fearless. In addition, these books are great for your children’s imagination. I think fostering a child’s imagination is priceless. A child’s imagination can take them from their reality (sometimes sad, difficult, and worrisome) and transport them into the story that is very different (often exciting, intriguing, and filled with wonder). Especially in a SHTF scenario, having your children be able to take time each day to use their imagination and be transported to a safe, fun, and exciting place can be invaluable. Plus, this daily exercise can really do wonders for a child’s emotional well-being.

My general reading list for girls would include:

My general reading list for boys would include:

Once you have a good start with your home library, what can you do now to begin educating your children? In a true SHTF scenario, most likely you won’t have all the technological distractions of today to compete with. So in a very small way, you can create the scenario. Every night for 20-30 minutes have a rule that there is no tv, cell phone, computer, et cetera, and as a family make time for reading. As a parent read to all your children, or let them each read their own book during this time.

Second, take time to help your children further their interests. Help them find out what topics they enjoy learning. As readers of this blog, we know how important it is to continue to learn new skills and abilities. When we as parents show interest and excitement in an area a child wants to learn about, it shows them that the topic is important and that they should continue to learn more about the subject. Maybe they want to learn how to repair an engine, fish, make candles, bake, or construct a tree fort. Maybe they enjoy learning about chemical reactions, identifying different types of birds, or making cheese. Any of those areas and so much more can be helpful in a SHTF scenario. Whatever the topic they are interested in, try to find a way to incorporate that learning into your daily activities. It makes learning a lot more fun.

In closing, there is still time to create an educational mission statement and to stock your own personal library. Begin taking time each day to read to your children. Have the heart of teach, and as you go throughout the day, teach your children as you do various activities. Once you have that foundation down (fostering a love of learning, creating opportunities for imagination through literature, and promoting an environment in which “everything” is learning, as seen by example from their parent), you may even choose to look at homeschooling. It was the next logical step for us. It has been two years now that we have homeschooled, and it has been a huge blessing for our entire family. Take control of what your children are learning. Don’t settle of mediocre standards. Give your family’s schedule some flexibility, and enjoy the extra time that you have together. I promise you won’t regret it! Know that if a true SHTF scenario happens, you can be prepared to educate your children and to do it well.

Letter Re: Frustrations of Prepping with an Unsupportive Spouse

Hugh,

Thanks to the author for sharing such a personal experience that a lesser man would not own up to. I think it is important for both husbands and wives to feel that they are one flesh called by God to work together for His plan in their lives and their community. There is no physical preparation that can overcome a lack of unity in marriage. A dictator is not a good leader, and often spouses feel unsupported when they make unilateral decisions without considering the demands and strains it will place on the family. If you believe that a wife is given by God as a “suitable helper” to her husband, then a wise husband will seek her counsel and consider her discernment as a gift from the Lord, and use it to help shape his vision for the family’s path. Getting your team to understand and respond to your vision is great leadership. I recommend the “Power of a Praying Husband” and “Power of a Praying Wife” books by Michael and Stormie Omartain to enrich any marriage, at any stage of development. – E.S.

o o o

HJL Replies: This is an area that is near and dear to my own heart. Our society has become so ignorant of the scriptures and God’s design for the family that we often confuse the roles God intended, and as a result we have made a mess out of our families. In Ephesians 5, Paul again lays out the master design for the family that has been in place since the beginning.

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church … Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…” Ephesians 5:22-26 (KJV)

From the very beginning, God’s plan was to have one person who had the final say in the relationship, and he designated that as the man. Part of Eve’s curse in the Garden of Eden was that she would desire her husband’s authority:

“…and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” Genesis 3:16 (KJV)

We have struggled with this concept and through the feminist movement (and the man’s willingness to abdicate his leadership responsibility) and have greatly distorted God’s plan. Marriages are not the 50/50 proposition that is put forth by secular society but designed so that each must put in 100% of their effort to make it succeed. No organization survives well with two masters; marriages are no exception.

Current society states that if a marriage works the way it is described in Ephesians (as God intended), the man is a dictator over his wife, therefore, the wife should not be submissive. Actually, it is well known that the best form of government is a benevolent dictator, and this applies in marriage as well. This (God’s structure) creates an authoritative hierarchy: The wive is submissive to the husband, and the husband is submissive to God. Let’s not forget that God’s command to the husband is to love his wife more than himself. If the husband loves his wife, he will not make decisions that are in any way harmful to her, unless it is for the good of the family. He is also held responsible by God for those decisions and will answer to God for them. If the wife is submissive to her husband (and supportive), you have harmony within the house.

We have all seen this order break down: A husband who is selfish and makes decisions without regard for his wife and children, or worse, makes no decisions at all. We often see a wife who “wears the pants” in the home and makes the hard decisions that her husband should make but doesn’t. It never works well. There is always chaos, always shame.

I have lived in a household that has run both ways and there is no doubt about which one works. The family is harmonious when I step up to my God-determined responsibility and lead while my wife is submissive and supportive of me. I am the protector of my wife and family, by God’s design. I shoulder the responsibility of that duty, and part of that duty is that I prepare for unknown events as best I can. Call me a prepper or survivalist, if you will, but I just call it living up to my responsibility. With my wife standing behind me, I will charge hell with a bucket of water in defense of the family. By the same token, if my wife is not submissive to me, nor supportive, I am hamstrung. I second guess myself and withdraw into a “safe” cocoon where my feelings can’t be hurt.

This isn’t just my opinion. Mrs. Latimer spoke with me, when she read the article, that she wished she could speak with the writer’s wife. Mrs. Latimer’s heart was saddened that this wife was missing out on knowing the blessing of a husband whose heart was zealous, not for play toys for himself (though I do certainly enjoy my share), but for doing whatever it takes to provide for and prepare to see our family cared for in uncertain times. She asked me to share the following: “What a blessing to have a husband who boldly leads under prayerful guidance from our Heavenly Father, sacrifices himself regularly for the good of his family, does his part and encourages me in mine, is trustworthy, and has faith and hope for our future such that I can rest comfortably at night knowing that I have the protection of a great Heavenly Father guiding and watching over me and a great, loving husband guiding and watching around me.”

The commitment, devotion, and willingness to fill the appropriate, vital, and God-ordained role of husband or wife without taking the other’s responsibility is critical to the success and blessings upon a marriage. God made man and woman distinctly different with complementary characteristics to fill the roles He assigned to them. Stepping outside these roles undermines the other person and, whether intentional or not, weakens the relationship by weakening the parties. A wife that assumes leadership over her husband indirectly tells her husband that she doesn’t trust or have confidence in him. Keep in mind that one of most every man’s greatest desires is to have his wife’s confidence.

My heart goes out to those families that are not operating as the Lord intended. They will not see the full blessings of a God-intended family. Their children will not witness the authority of God in their household and will cleave to worldly standards, just as their parents do. The true answer to the conflict inherent in prepping is the same answer to the vast majority of marital conflicts. The family needs to operate within the boundaries set by God. If they will choose to do that, the conflicts that seem so big today will literally melt away. God promises:

“If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you. And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new. And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people. I am the Lord your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.” Leviticus 26:3-13 (KJV)

By the same token, the rest of Leviticus 26 lets you know how life will go for you, if you do not follow the Lord’s commands. Is it any wonder that our families and communities are in such chaos today?

Odds ‘n Sods:

China ‘seals off’ town after man dies of bubonic plague -and- Chinese Officials Seal Off ‘Plague’ City, Puzzling US Experts – T.P.

This seems like a drastic response to a single death; even U.S. experts are puzzled at the action. Are they not releasing all the information?

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A Military Approach To Survival Security – JFJ

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This one left me scratching my head. They truly must be holophobic. I also wonder if the manager understands how truly little his life matters to the owner. Store Posts ‘No Guns’ Sign after Armed Customer Saves Manager being Stabbed – J.W.

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SurvivalBlog reader K.L. sent in this list of “Slow Sand Filter Plans”. If you are concerned about long-term water purification, you may want to look at these:

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FTMDaily had an excellent podcast about Mainstream Media: The Illusion of Choice. The information is in the first 15 minutes.

Hugh’s Quote of the Day:

“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable …” H.L. Mencken

Notes for Wednesday – July 23, 2014

Today we present another entry for Round 53 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $11,000+ worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course (a $1,195 value),
  2. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  3. Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  4. A $300 gift certificate from CJL Enterprize, for any of their military surplus gear,
  5. A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $300 value),
  6. A $300 gift certificate from Freeze Dry Guy,
  7. A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo,
  8. A roll of $10 face value in pre-1965 U.S. 90% silver quarters, courtesy of GoldAndSilverOnline.com, (currently valued at around $180 postpaid),
  9. Both VPN tunnel and DigitalSafe annual subscriptions from Privacy Abroad (a combined value of $195),
  10. KellyKettleUSA.com is donating both an AquaBrick water filtration kit and a Stainless Medium Scout Kelly Kettle Complete Kit with a combined retail value of $304,
  11. APEX Gun Parts is donating a $250 purchase credit, and
  12. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $300 gift certificate.

Second Prize:

  1. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  2. A FloJak EarthStraw “Code Red” 100-foot well pump system (a $500 value), courtesy of FloJak.com,
  3. Acorn Supplies is donating a Deluxe Food Storage Survival Kit with a retail value of $350,
  4. The Ark Instituteis donating a non-GMO, non-hybrid vegetable seed package–enough for two families of four, seed storage materials, a CD-ROM of Geri Guidetti’s book “Build Your Ark! How to Prepare for Self Reliance in Uncertain Times”, and two bottles of Potassium Iodate– a $325 retail value,
  5. $300 worth of ammo from Patriot Firearms and Munitions. (They also offer a 10% discount for all SurvivalBlog readers with coupon code SVB10P),
  6. A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials,
  7. Twenty Five books, of the winners choice, of any books published by PrepperPress.com (a $270 value),
  8. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value),
  9. Dri-Harvestfoods.com in Bozeman, Montana is providing a prize bundle with Beans, Buttermilk Powder, Montana Hard Red Wheat, Drink Mixes, and White Rice, valued at $333,
  10. TexasgiBrass.com is providing a $150 gift certificate,
  11. Organized Prepper is providing a $500 gift certificate, and
  12. RepackBoxis providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security,
  5. A MURS Dakota Alert Base Station Kit with a retail value of $240 from JRH Enterprises,
  6. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  7. Ambra Le Roy Medical Products in North Carolina is donating a bundle of their traditional wound care and first aid supplies, with a value of $208, and
  8. SurvivalBased.com is donating a $500 gift certificate to their store.

Round 53 ends on July 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

Have You Started Getting Ready for Hard Times?, by L.S.

When Paul Revere’s alarm, “The Redcoats are coming!”, was sounded through the countryside centuries ago, it was made to people who were prepared to meet a challenge. Whether the coming challenge in our present day is one of economics or something else, will you be prepared to respond when the alarm is sounded? Here are some ideas you should consider as you get started in your preparations for whatever hard times might await:

Food

Will you have enough food? Go down to Costco and buy a 50-lb bag of rice. It’s inexpensive, stores well, and can go a long way. Canned goods and pastas have shelve lives, so rotate them out as you use them. There are a lot of canned food options, so plan wisely. I recommend tuna, chicken, salmon, beef, vegetables, soups, olives, beans, and fruits, at the minimum.

Oatmeal is good. Other grains, like barley, might be explored. Also, look into buying jarred preserves (jams, fruits, and pickled items), MRE’s, bags of beans (pinto, lima, kidney, soy, and so forth). The more options you have, the better off you will be. Salt and spices, sugar, honey, peanut butter, mixed nuts, jerkey (turkey, beef, and other meats), certain candies, dehydrated foods, and protein powder can be stored for quite a while. When the Redcoats come, refrigerators will probably not work (with no electricity available), so use the perishables first, before they spoil.

Also don’t forget about planning for your pets. Make sure to stock up on extra pet food and pet snacks.

Cooking

How will you cook? Wood burning stoves are good options but not available to everyone. Your BBQ can be an option for heating foods but will send out delicious aromas to people around you that may be starving. Food warmers and camping stoves can be also be purchased at the Army surplus store, and MRE’s also have food warmers in them. I recommend conserving your cooking resources for when you need them and finding ways of cooking in-doors. (Carbon monoxide can kill you, so make sure you don’t use cooking options indoors that produce carbon monoxide.)

Food Storage

How will you store your food? Food attracts rodents. Plastic tubs can help defend against them, but they are not rodent proof. Rodents will chew through plastic tubs to get to food. Set traps for them nearby the storage locations. A locked metal cabinet can also help keep them out.

Growing Food

Do you have a place to grow food? You will need water, seeds, soil, fertilizer, protection, time/attention, and sun to do this. Take away one of those items and you may as well not attempt it. Resources will be in high demand and growing vegetables where others can see could generate problems for yourself. I don’t want to discourage you from this option. Just know that there is effort, resource use, and risk involved. You should also consider canning or dehydrating the foods, if you grow them. This will make them go farther and prevent spoilage. You will have to get the supplies and information for these options, if you decide to use them.

Water

Where will you get usable water? This is the most important resource, in my opinion. It will be difficult for most people to obtain. So, as a survivalist, you will most likely have to think outside of the box in this area.

When an emergency strikes, power outages may cause a situation in which your water faucets in your house may not work. That may mean having to go out to find a source of water. Things like ponds, pools, streams, and rain water might be your source of water. Will these be guarded by someone? Will you have to contend with the community for this resource? Will they have bacteria, like Giardia, that can kill you?

I recommend that you go down and get supplies for decontaminating and filtering water. They have emergency drinking water germicidal tablets and water purification filters that you can pick up at the local army surplus store or can order online. These will give you drinking water options that may not be available to others.

Also, you should have a supply of bottled water, as well as 5-gallon water containers for storage. I recommend one 5-gallon container per person in your household. These will need to be refilled during long emergency scenarios, so figure out a plan ahead of time.

Boiling water will also kill things living in the water, but you will need fuel and a place to boil the water to do this. Alternatively, you could just use the germicidal pills I mentioned earlier.

First Aid and General Health

Have you been into the dentist lately? You don’t want to be in an emergency situation with a life threatening dental problem or simple medical procedure that could have been fixed from a simple doctor or dentist visit. Get the simple things done today, because tomorrow may be too late.

Also, get a first aid kit. It should contain: alcohol, wipes, bandages/bandaids, pain killers, sewing needle and a strong thread, matches, mouthwash, soap, Q-tips, gauze, vitamins, first aid information, Sudafed, aloe vera/burn ointment, elastic wrap, heat/cold pads, scissors, tweezers, anti-itch cream, anti-fungal cream, Neosporin, and baking soda. (Baking soda can nullify the effects of poisons from bee stings, be used for teeth brushing, is good for skin cancers when used with coconut oil, and has other uses.)

Bartering

What will you do if the money in your pocket isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on? You may find yourself in a situation where you have to get something that you don’t have. Bartering is one way to get these items.

Here’s a list of things to barter: tools, precious metals (gold, silver, and platinum), skills, food, water, drinking alcohol, first aid, gardening seeds, medicine, and other commodities that are needed by the other party. What do you have that people will trade for in an emergency? Will you be able to protect it, if you let people know you have it? Consider your barter partners wisely and carefully. Your family’s lives could depend on it.

Protection, Hunting, and Fishing

The list below is a good starter list for supplies you should probably have as a bare minimum for protection and/or when hunting/fishing:

  • Shotgun
  • Rifle
  • Pistol
  • BB Gun (This probably sounds silly, but this will probably put more food on the table than the others.)
  • Compound Bow
  • Fishing pole with fishing line
  • Fishing tackle (This is up to you. Hooks, sinkers, and tacklebox are the bare minimum.)
  • Powerbait (or you can dig for worms).
  • Ammo.
  • A good guard/hunting dog.

Information/Books

Where are you going to get information? Books on topics like survival, fishing, hunting, gardening, medical, cooking, et cetera will become nice resources, if the Internet fails. These items will probably have barter value as well. Most libraries have a book store in them. You can pick up many of these books for under a dollar right now. You can also get them at estate and garage sales for next to nothing.

Heat

Have you considered how you will get heat? For those who live in areas with extreme cold, you should think about how you will heat your home, in an emergency, when fuels like natural gas are not available. Wood burning stoves, non-electric heaters, and solar and wind energy to supply electricity are all options that should be considered. “Winter is coming!” (This is a George R.R. Martin Game of Thrones reference, for those that didn’t catch it.)

Transportation

Transportation may be limited. People may try to take what you have, if you travel. You will also need fuel, if you are traveling via a car, motorcycle, or other motorized vehicle. Your vehicle should be serviced regularly, so that it will get you to where you want to go. Motorcycles provide means for going where others can’t, but they are limited in how much they can carry. Bikes can get you places faster than walking. (Make sure you have spare tubes or a repair kit if you go long distances.)

Hygiene

Other items to consider: bleach, deodorant, toothpaste, extra tooth brushes, lotion, shampoo, hydrogen peroxide, apple cider vinegar (good for sore throats and colds but be careful to use in moderation so you don’t make your throat raw), oregano oil (I use this on cold sores and skin ailments), razors, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer. (Hand sanitizer can clean you if a shower is not available. I used this for two months when I had no income and couldn’t pay the water bill.)

Household Necessities

Around the house you will want: batteries, flashlight, hand- or solar-powered emergency radio, firewood, blankets, warm clothes, shoes, jacket, tools, rope, zip ties, duct tape, glue (super-glue for sealing wounds and Gorilla glue for all purposes), compass, multi-tool, hunting knife, burn barrel for trash, magnifying glass, generator, solar panels and wind power, CB radio, paper plates, plastic utensils, sleeping bags, gas mask, rubber gloves, cooking oil/shortening, extra propane containers that are filled and ready for your barbecue, and candles.

Books and Games

You should also think about how boring life may become in an emergency situation. Little things like board games, card games, novels, bible, et cetera may keep you from losing hope. Losing hope is the biggest killer in a survival situation. Keep your head and spirits up, if not for yourself, then for those around you.

Church Preparedness Planning

If you currently go to church, make sure that they are planning ahead for a crisis. We could have a future scenario where U.S. citizens will be starving, and the church will be one of the only options for helping them (outside of the governmental options). Does your church have grain storages, canned foods, water supplies, medical supplies, et cetera? If you check on this now and get them to adopt an emergency plan, then this could end up helping or saving you and your family later on. It could also help hundreds of others. The church should have money that they can use. They may as well use it before the dollar is debased. Besides, it’s what Jesus would do.

Finally, you may not have the Internet, power, or gasoline when stuff hits the fan. Don’t put off for tomorrow that which should be done today.

Letter Re: Cottage/Local Manufacturing After SHTF

I am a former dressmaker, with considerable experience in making clothing, and I appreciated the article on doing this for barter.

However, there are problems. The first is fabric. Presumably the sensuously idyllic pleasures of going to the fabric shops in the garment district of New York City will no longer be an option. Too charred.

Apart from that, while there are a few scattered fabric stores here and there, they are steadily going out of business, as fewer and fewer people sew. For the most part, assuming you can get there and assuming they are intact, they carry mostly low quality, trashy fabric that will not endure the conditions of TEOTWAWKI, barring a bit of denim and some quilting cottons. Real wool? Forget it.

However, the biggest problem is that in most scenarios, there will be a major loss of population. One result will be massive supplies of millions of items of no-longer needed clothing, as well as many other household items.

Once these run out, yes, homemade barter items will be an excellent idea.

I say this unhappily, as making clothes is a skill set that I would have to offer a community. Perhaps mending and alterations will do.

If you really want to do this, I would advise beginning to collect durable fabrics now: sturdy denims, warm woolens, and firmly woven cottons for warm weather. Ebay has a pretty good selection. If you look patiently, you will be able to find fabric in bulk at good prices. Sturdy cotton sheets are also a fabric source; get them on sale.

The idea of buying strong card stock for patterns is excellent. When I worked for a couturier designer in Manhattan, that is what was used for durable patterns. It has to be both sturdy and not damaged by heat (in case you need to iron out creases).

Based on Ferfal’s writings about what happened during the collapse in Argentina, you may also want to buy some laces, silks, and other luxury fabrics. He said people soon became desperate for small, affordable luxuries to offset the stress of constant deprivation.

Also, you may want to collect a few wedding dresses, preferably with lace-up backs to accommodate various sizes. When artificial birth control is no longer available, sexual mores will change very quickly. Under primitive conditions, single mothers and their babies have a lousy life expectancy. I saw it once and will never get it out of my mind.

Even during TEOTWAWKI, girls will still want to look beautiful when they get married. – JW from NY