Notes from JWR:

The recent chemical spill in West Virginia is cause for concern, and should prompt prayer. A SurvivalBlog reader reports that there has been some store looting in Charleston, so state troopers have been posted at the doors of some stores. And as usual, grocery stores have sold out of bottled water. Here is a quote: buying one of the last jugs of water at a Walmart store. Tina May, a Charleston resident, even considered heading out of town for the weekend.
‘I’m not sure how long I can last without a shower. This is unbearable,’ she said.”

January 11th is the birthday of the late Gunnar Fridtjof Thurmann Sønsteby. (Born 1918.) He was the most decorated hero of the Norwegian resistance to the German occupation. He died May 10, 2012.

Today we present a lengthy and detailed entry for Round 50 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $9,700+ worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize: A.) Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course. (A $1,195 value.) B.) 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, and C.) Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources. (A $350 value.) D.) a $300 gift certificate from CJL Enterprize, for any of their military surplus gear, E.) A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $300 value), F.) A $300 Gift Certificate from Freeze Dry Guy. G.) A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo. H.) A roll of $10 face value in pre-1965 U.S. 90% silver quarters, courtesy of GoldAndSilverOnline.com. The current value of this roll is at least $225, I.) Both VPN tunnel and DigitalSafe annual subscriptions from Privacy Abroad. They have a combined value of $195. J.) 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. and K.) APEX Gun Parts is donating a $250 purchase credit.

Second Prize: A.) A gift certificate worth $1,000, courtesy of Spec Ops Brand, B.) A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training. Together, these have a retail value of $589. C.) A FloJak EarthStraw “Code Red” 100 foot well pump system (a $500 value), courtesy of FloJak.com. D.) $300 worth of ammo from Patriot Firearms and Munitions. (They also offer a 10% discount for all SurvivalBlog readers with coupon code SVB10P.), E.) A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials F.)A full set of all 26 of the books published by PrepperPress.com. This is a $270 value, G.) Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value). H.) EP Lowers, makers of 80% complete fiber composite polymer lowers for the AR-15 rifles is donating a $250 gift certificate, I.) Autrey’s Armory — specialists in AR-15, M4s, parts and accessories– is donating a $250 gift certificate, and J.) 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.

Third Prize: A.) A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21. (This filter system is a $275 value.), B.) 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, C.) Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy. This is a $185 retail value, D.) Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security., E.) A MURS Dakota Alert Base Station Kit with a retail value of $240 from JRH Enterprises. F.) Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and G.) Ambra Le Roy Medical Products in North Carolina is donating a bundle of their traditional wound care and first aid supplies. This assortment has a retail value of $208.

Round 50 ends on January 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.

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