Preparedness Notes for Sunday — April 26, 2020

On April 26, 1986, one of the world’s worst nuclear accidents occurred at the Chernobyl plant in the Soviet Union. An explosion and fire in the No. 4 reactor sent radioactivity into the atmosphere; at least 31 Soviets died immediately.  I had the misfortune of being down-wind from Chernobyl, since I was TDY that year with the 2nd MI Battalion (Aerial Exploitation), working a live Guardrail intelligence gathering and analysis mission. I was stationed at Stuttgart Army Airfield. That was the operating base for the 2nd MI’s Beechcraft RC-12D (IGR-V) aircraft. By the time that I returned to CONUS on May 22nd, I had undoubtedly absorbed far above normal background radiation.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 88 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A gift certificate from Quantum Harvest LLC (up to a $2,200 value) good for 12% off the purchase of any of their sun-tracking models, and 10% off the purchase price of any of their other models.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical 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,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A Front Sight Lifetime Diamond Membership, providing lifetime free training at any Front Sight Nevada course, with no limit on repeating classes. This prize is courtesy of a SurvivalBlog reader who prefers to be anonymous.
  2. 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,
  3. A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
  4. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from (a $240 value).
  5. An assortment of products along with a one hour consultation on health and wellness from Pruitt’s Tree Resin (a $265 value).

Third Prize:

  1. Three sets each of made-in-USA regular and wide-mouth reusable canning lids. (This is a total of 300 lids and 600 gaskets.) This prize is courtesy of Harvest Guard (a $270 value)
  2. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  3. Naturally Cozy is donating a “Prepper Pack” Menstrual Kit.  This kit contains 18 pads and it comes vacuum sealed for long term storage or slips easily into a bugout bag.  The value of this kit is $220.
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. A transferable $100 purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun. There is no paperwork required for delivery of pre-1899 guns into most states, making them the last bastion of firearms purchasing privacy!

Round 88 ends on May 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.


  1. I used to describe that Guardrail aircraft as an airplane that lost a fight with a porcupine.

    As the Assistant G-2 for Reconnaissance and Surveillance, I also used to brief the CofS, ADC and Commanding General of the 2nd Infantry Division on the daily reconnaissance plan for the DMZ in Korea.

    Monday thru Friday was was normal. We typically had Guardrail, Quicklook, U-2, SR-71, and RC 135s on any particular day. On Saturdays the Air Force and Navy flights diminished somewhat. Every Sunday the CG would gnaw on my nether regions because the only thing flying was Guardrail.

  2. I was at my first base, Spangdahlem AB. I was told we also got exposure, but it seems no one really cared that much. I have been told multiple timed between this one, and Mad Cow in Europe, I will never be able to donate blood, or blood plasma, again.

  3. JWR,

    I was stationed in the Stuttgart area during this event, and I can tell you while all of us there during that time were exposed to low level fallout, which consisted minor levels of Alpha contamination that didn’t even register on our dosimeters or film badges. The bigger threat to our health was from the beef we were getting from the UK during the Mad Cow Disease outbreak.

  4. Jim

    I, too, was stationed at Stuttgart from December 1985 until June 1990. I was the EUCOM flight detachment XO flying C-12’s and Uh-1’s. I, too, was exposed along with my wife and daughter. So far no residual ill effects. I live in SC now where I teach people how to pass their CCP (concealed carry permit) exams. One could say I do a little (or a lot) prepping on the side. Already had an extra freezer in the garage and lot of TP before this current situation. The good Lord willing, keep teaching the truth James Wesley, Rawles!

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