Our Wildfire Evacuation, Part 5, by SoCal9mm

(Continued from Part 4. This installment concludes the article series.)

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT:
  1. Make sure you wait until the last moment to do your Christmas shopping – seriously, I never have to worry about “rescuing presents” when I procrastinate. Stupid “get-stuff-done-early”…
  2. Laundry – have enough clothes so that you don’t have to go commando next to the washer, waiting for your lone pair of choners to get clean. Trust me, not cool.
  3. Air – we worry about food, water, shelter, protection, etc., but we rarely worry about preps for air. Dust and ash are (relatively) easily removed from breathing air with particulate masks (or respirators), which are fairly inexpensive and easy to store. But most do have rubber elastic straps that WILL break if left in storage too long (like mine did). I need to pay better attention to personal protective equipment (PPE) rotation.

So that’s it right? Nothing else left to tell? Well, I still have a bit more to share…

Re-Evacuation & Different Types of Evacuation

After a thorough cleaning of EVERYTHING in the house we finally moved back in on Jan 4, 2018 – exactly 1 month after the fire. The only things that we hadn’t cleaned before moving back in were the HVAC ducts and the attic insulation – both were saturated with potentially toxic ash, and both eventually got replaced in the next few weeks.

On Jan 6, the weather service sent out a notification that a very large rain event would be coming through our area on late Jan 8 or early Jan 9; ~4-5 inches were expected within a 12-24 hour period. Great – we go from a drought that causes a huge wildfire to flooding rains that come right after everything that could possibly hold the hillsides together has been burned to ash.Continue reading“Our Wildfire Evacuation, Part 5, by SoCal9mm”



Editors’ Prepping Progress

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. Steadily, we work on meeting our prepping goals. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities. They also often share their planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, property improvements, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles, but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year. We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!

Jim Reports:

We had a busy week. One house guest was staying here, and we are making preparations for two more to arrive.

I kept very busy with my writing, but still carved out some time for some gunsmithing. This was assembling another AR for one of our grandchildren. I also had to transport some hay cutting equipment. And I helped Lily dry pack some bulk foods. Oh, and I shipped out some mail order boxes. All but seven lots of the more than 200 lots in my “HK Extravaganza” over at the FALFiles Marketplace have now sold. I also listed five HK 91 rifles for sale there, in a separate “WTS” post. And two of those rifles have already sold. One nice thing about the FALFiles Marketplace is that so many folks there like to trade. That is my preferred modus operandi, whenever it can be mutually beneficial.

Continue reading“Editors’ Prepping Progress”



The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “JWR”.  Today, we further examine the possibility of Civil War 2.

Civil War 2 in America – WHO WOULD WIN? In-Depth Analysis

The latest Mark My Words video from John Mark: CIVIL WAR 2 in America – WHO WOULD WIN? In-Depth Analysis. This video is 52 minutes long, but well worth watching.  A brief scan of the 2,600+ comments quickly shows the prevailing sentiment. (Thanks to Tim J. for the link.)

CRM Company Sales Force Pushes Gun Control

Locked And Loaded: Tech Company Skirts Congress To Make A Gun Control Vision A Reality. A pericope:

“SalesForce, a customer relationship management (CRM) technology company designed to help with commerce, recently updated their acceptable-use policy. The policy change essentially tells firearms manufacturers and gun store retailers that they’re no longer allowed to utilize the service to collect payments because of products and goods that they sell.

Specifically, they don’t want their product being used for transactions involving ‘high capacity’ magazines, unfinished lowers and firearms with a thumbhole or folding stock.”

Continue reading“The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:”



The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.

Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.

Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them.

They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.

In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.

Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.

The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.

Then came in all the king’s wise men: but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof.

Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were astonied.

Now the queen by reason of the words of the king and his lords came into the banquet house: and the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed:

There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers;

Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation.

Then was Daniel brought in before the king. And the king spake and said unto Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, which art of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Jewry?

I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee.

And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof: but they could not shew the interpretation of the thing:

And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom.

Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.

O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour:

And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down.

But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him:

And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will.

And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;

But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:

Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.

And this is the writing that was written, Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin.

This is the interpretation of the thing: Mene; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.

Tekel; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.

Peres; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.

Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.

In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.

And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.” – Daniel 5 (KJV)



Preparedness Notes for Friday — June 14, 2019

During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress adopted a resolution on June 14th, 1777, stating that “the flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white” and that “the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.” The national flag, which became known as the “Stars and Stripes,” was based on the “Grand Union” flag– a banner carried by the Continental Army in 1776 that also consisted of 13 red and white stripes.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 83  of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The more than $12,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3,000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  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 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 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.
  3. 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,
  4. A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
  5. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
  6. 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. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  3. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  4. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances.

Round 83 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.



Our Wildfire Evacuation, Part 4, by SoCal9mm

(Continued from Part 3.)

LESSONS LEARNED OR THINGS THAT WORKED OK:
  1. Priorities – again, having a to-do list for the day really helped us, even one that we just made up on the fly.
    1. I really wanted to ensure there was no firearm left in the house, and I really wanted to get the flammable materials out of the shed. We took the diesel cans with us, and we left the propane tanks in front of the house at the street (per fire department recommendations).
    2. We really wanted to clear our fridge before everything spoiled, which would have ruined it.
    3. We also grabbed some sentimental items – unbeknownst to me, she grabbed my dad’s wedding ring. (“Dawwww”.)
  2. Insurance
    1. If you’ve got something worth protecting, please make sure you have insurance for it. Know what is covered and what is not – in most standard homeowner policies, damage from fire is covered; earthquake and flood are not.
    2. Start talking to your insurance company immediately after an event. Even though we still had our house, we were “displaced” and could draw on certain benefits outlined in our policy.
    3. As mentioned before, save your receipts on everything you spend. You may be able to be reimbursed by your insurer – be sure to ask them, we found that they were not necessarily telling us everything unless we asked about something specifically.
  3. Talk with friends / family.
    1. It really helped us to be the supportive ones to our friends who were hardest hit.
  4. Extra clothes and toiletries – as mentioned before, you’ve probably got a suitcase in your closet waiting for your next vacation. Pack it with a few days’ worth of extra clothing along with your TSA-approved toiletries kit, and you’ve got your extra clothes in a ready-to-go set up.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT:
  1. We didn’t photograph the food we tossed from the fridge/freezer – fortunately it didn’t come back to bite us.
  2. We didn’t prop the fridge doors open after emptying to prevent mold / mildew – corrected on Sunday 12/10 (the next time we were able to go in).
  3. We didn’t shut off electrical breakers in case of power surges or voltage irregularities when the system gets fixed – corrected on 12/10.
  4. We didn’t “hard lock” the garage roll-up-door – corrected on 12/10.
  5. We didn’t post our contact information on the front door when we left – corrected on 12/10.

Thursday 12/07/17 through Sunday 12/10/17

Thursday

Thursday was the first day that I actually felt somewhat “normal” – well, new normal anyway. We had been to our house the day before and we had all the extra items we were able to grab, we had been able to see the state of the neighborhood during our “visit”, and we got on the hillside and helped fight the fire (or at least reduce the chance of another flare-up). So, we felt better about things

Still no news from anyone as to when we could get back into our house.

We moved from our first friends’ house to another friend’s house today. They were wonderful hosts who put up with more than they should have – we interrupted their lives and their kids’ lives – with never a complaint from them, only offers of more help. We could not overstate how much we appreciated their help during this time.

Friday

The winds died down and the smoke moved in – air quality dropped from bad to unbelievable, visibility was down to a few hundred yards. We had a couple of old N95 dust masks, but the rubber strap broke on mine and the stores were all sold out. So we drove to my work and asked for a few from our safety supplies.

Please keep in mind – everything that I’ve described for past 3-4 days (evacuating in the dark, going the County government center, working around our house & putting out fires on the hillside, etc.) was all done while wearing an old N95 dust mask. It’s no wonder that it broke, it’s a wonder that it lasted as long as it did.

My boss told me that he could follow me through the office area by sniffing for my smoke-saturated shirt. (Yuck).

Saturday

The city council hosted a meeting with several spokespersons from the various agencies to address the public. We were really hoping for some detailed information about when we could return to our homes and what were the progression of steps needed to rebuild for those that lost theirs. But no one was willing to even give us an approximate timeframe – Days? Weeks? Months? Don’t know…

Instead, we got a history of when the fire started (yeah, we already knew that), and how it has moved (right over the top of us, duh), and the State and Federal Representatives for our area standing up telling us that they’re “working tirelessly for us”: One guy said of this comment, “Oh yeah? Where’s your shovel?” All in all, it was not too well received.

A friend heard an off-mike comment from a Cal-Fire official (the Incident Command agency) that they were concerned about the high number of houses that burned and that most were 40-50 years old – when asbestos, lead, cadmium, chromium, mercury, etc. were common in building materials. So now all this “residue” was in the ash that settled on everything and they were trying to determine the “level of safety” in the area – and it may be several weeks before we could get back into our houses.

Okay, well that sucks but at least it tells us something (c’mon, give us information people), and it makes some sense. If one or two older houses burn it’s no big deal, if 350 older houses burn then the ash and residue could be of concern. So, now we made up a new plan – we went out that evening, looking for (and finding) long-term lodging. Yay.

Sunday

The National Guard (NG) had taken over perimeter enforcement of the last few high-impact neighborhoods where residents were still not allowed entry.

We found out that residents would be allowed back in this weekend and we decided to go on Sunday 12/10. The rules were that verified residents could enter for a very short visit, escorted by NG and taken in via bus or van, and each of us was allowed to bring out 1 medium-sized bag of stuff as long as it could fit on our lap.

Everyone was very nice: National Guard, police, local Boy Scout troop handing out water while we waited, church volunteers who made lunches for many people, etc. I really can’t say enough good things about the people of our community, they stepped up and bonded together.

So, we got in and they told us we had ~45 minutes before they’d come back by to pick us up – be ready!

What did we do? We made a to-do list!

  1. Grab some comfy clothes (e.g., PJs, shorts, flip-flops, etc.).
  2. Grab W.’s Christmas presents hidden in my closet (that’s what I get for shopping early).
  3. Prop open the fridges.
  4. Water the hillside and outdoor plants.
  5. Shut off electrical breakers.
  6. Gas meter – it was on our list to shut the gas off, but the Gas Company had already come through the neighborhood and done it for everyone.
  7. Add a “hard lock” to the garage (rollup) door – by this I just mean locking or blocking the track in which the door rollers travel (I used a hammer stuck though a hole in the track).
  8. Grab pet dishes, treats, and a few toys.
  9. Post our contact info on our front door (so police can notify us if they see anything out of place).

The house looked good, no signs of entry and no fire damage or vandalism. We grabbed our stuff and did our tasks in record time, so fast that we were sitting for ~15 minutes before the bus came back to get us.

LESSONS LEARNED OR THINGS THAT WORKED OK:
  1. If you’re ever in this type of situation and you’re not getting any info, try talking to as many “people in charge” as you can – maybe they’ll let something slip, or see if you can piece together something based on what they are not telling you.
  2. Shutting off the power at the breakers paid off. Our next door neighbor didn’t do this and his television  blew up when he first turned it on (he said it sounded like a shotgun going off and smoke came out the top) – he also lost at least 1 of his computers.
  3. I have to say that my place of employment was very gracious with me (wife’s to her also). I called on Tuesday and they said not to worry about coming back until the following Monday. Having that time off was a huge help – getting back into the house, dealing with insurance, and even just trying to get back to somewhere near “normal” would not have been possible without the time to deal with this “stuff” – and we still had our house! I’m sure it was 10 times worse for those that lost theirs…
  4. I also have to say that I really don’t know where I’d be without W. She says that I’m her rock, but she’s really the steady one in our duo. Most of the “pre-work” in our response to this event was done by me; yes, I’m the worry-wort who spent hours planning and making evacuation checklists, pre-staging all those items and boxes and kits, etc. But she’s the one who took the lead on getting our world put back together afterwards – insurance, utilities, clean-up, etc.

(To be concluded tomorrow, in Part 5.)



Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest news items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. We also cover hedges, derivatives, and obscura. And it bears mention that most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor, JWR. Today, we look at investing in “Pre-safety” Winchester M1894 rifles. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)

Precious Metals:

After a slump since February, it is interesting to see spot silver briefly get above $15 per Troy ounce. Following some more consolidation, this may turn out to be a significant turning point.

o  o  o

Money Managers Triple Bullish Positioning In Gold Futures

o  o  o

China Buys Most Gold In Over 3 Years Amid “Determined Diversification” From Dollar

Economy & Finance:

At Zero Hedge: Trader: “We Will All Look Back On The First Week Of June 2019 As Watershed Moment”

o  o  o

Also from Tyler Durden: Nasdaq Soars Above Key Technical Level, Bonds Still Ain’t Buying It

o  o  o

And at Seeking AlphaCapital Markets Have Stopped Believing Tesla’s Promises

Continue reading“Economics & Investing For Preppers”





Preparedness Notes for Thursday — June 13, 2019

On June 13, 1983, after more than a decade in space, Pioneer 10– the world’s first outer-planetary probe– left the solar system. The next day, it radioed back its first scientific data on interstellar space.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 83  of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The more than $12,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3,000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  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 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 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.
  3. 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,
  4. A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
  5. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
  6. 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. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  3. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  4. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances.

Round 83 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.



Our Wildfire Evacuation, Part 3, by SoCal9mm

(Continued from Part 2.)

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT: 
  1. Radios – both Motorola radios AND handheld ham radios were left behind that would have helped us stay in contact between our 2 cars. Cell phones worked (thankfully), but I noticed bad connections nearly every call.
    1. NOTE: if we had a better means of communication, W. could have taken her car to the other neighborhood exit to see if traffic was flowing better and reported back to me to either follow her or stay where I was (oh well, hindsight and all that).
  2. Scanners, or even scanner apps – having access to information from the FD might have given us information a bit sooner.
  3. Extra clothes – it sucks to have only 1 pair of pants to wear continuously for several days when they’re full of smoke and you’re sleeping in them (yuck).
  4. We needed backup pet items (food bowls, water bowl, litter box, and litter) all in 1 bag and added to the checklist (a pet-BOB, if you will).
  5. We have monthly poker nights and our small “bank” doubles as part of our emergency cash “stash”. It got left behind the first night (grabbed later) – needed to be added to checklist.
  6. Power cords – we had micro-USB cords for the cell phones, but my laptop power cord was missed.
Tuesday, 12/05/17

~6:00am

The night finally ended but the winds were still howling, and we couldn’t find any good information on where the fire was or where it might be heading. We went to the County Gov’t Center to try to find some answers (W knows some people there).Continue reading“Our Wildfire Evacuation, Part 3, by SoCal9mm”



The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “JWR”.  Today, we look at the California Chicken Cull.

U.S. Farms in Worst Crisis in a Generation

Michael Snyder: U.S. Farms Are Facing Their Worst Crisis In A Generation – And Now Here Comes Another Monster Storm. Snyder says:

“By the time it is over, we may look back and say that this was the worst farm crisis that the U.S. has ever seen.

The biggest problem for farmers so far in 2019 has been endless rain and flooding.  Farmers kept waiting for a break in the weather that never came, and at this point the number of acres that have not been planted with crops is “unprecedented”…”

California Chicken Cull

The latest on Newcastle Disease: To stop a virus, California has euthanized more than 1.2 million birds. Is it reckless or necessary?

Boston Dynamics Robot Dog

Boston Dynamics prepares to launch its first commercial robot: Spot. I’ll offer a snippet:

“Boston Dynamics’ lifelike robots have been delighting and terrifying the internet in equal measure for years, but the company has a much bigger milestone ahead: its first ever commercial product — a quadrupedal robot named Spot — is nearly ready to go on sale.

Spot is currently being tested in a number of “proof-of-concept” environments, Boston Dynamics’ CEO Marc Raibert told The Verge, including package delivery and surveying work. And although there’s no firm launch date for the commercial version of Spot, it should be available within months, said Raibert, and certainly before the end of the year.”

Continue reading“The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:”





Preparedness Notes for Wednesday — June 12, 2019

On June 12, 1987, during a visit to the divided German city of Berlin, President Ronald Reagan publicly challenged Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.”

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present another entry for Round 83  of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The more than $12,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3,000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  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 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 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.
  3. 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,
  4. A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
  5. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
  6. 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. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  3. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  4. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances.

Round 83 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.



Our Wildfire Evacuation, Part 2, by SoCal9mm

(Continued from Part 1.)

So we put this plan together on paper, that’s all that we needed to do, right? Um, no. Practicing an evacuation drill is probably at least as important as having an evacuation plan. After I had revised our plan into the checklist format, I knew that we needed to practice it to see if the timeframes were correct (i.e., could we actually do all the stuff that I’d written down on the 1-minute checklist in 1 minute?). Shortly after the Tubbs Fire (in October, 2017) we did a walk-through of the house and pointed out all the items on the checklist and where they were located. We planned to do a dry run on November 5th – but something came up and we had to postpone it… We never did get the chance to do that dry run before we had to “do it live.”

Of course it goes without saying that this is my checklist – it (mostly) works for me and my family, and it’s always undergoing tweaks and revisions as new items get added, as things get moved around for better storage, or if my wife (henceforth, “W.” in this article) has a better idea than one of mine. Should you decide that a checklist could work for you, yours will likely be different (and may be very different) from mine. That’s great – customizing any plan to fit your family’s needs is exactly what is should happen; just like my dissatisfaction with the “generic emergency-fair” list is what prompted me to make one that was a better fit for us.

So that’s the story of how our checklists were supposed to work out. How did we do during the actual evacuation?Continue reading“Our Wildfire Evacuation, Part 2, by SoCal9mm”



JWR’s Recommendations of the Week:

Here are JWR’s Recommendations of the Week for various media and tools of interest to SurvivalBlog readers. This week the focus is on One Time Pad Generators. (See the Gear & Grub section.)

Books:

The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777

o  o  o

SOG: The Secret Wars of America’s Commandos in Vietnam

o  o  o

Reader B.K. wrote to recommend this book: Appear To Vanish: Stealth Concepts for Effective Camouflage and Concealment

o  o  o

The 10 Bushcraft Books

Movies:

Tortured for Christ. Based on the life story of Pastor Richard Wurmbrand.  He spent 14 years in Romanian prisons. For three of those years he was in solitary confinement. The movie was filmed on location in Romania–including the prison where he was held.

o  o  o

Knox. A recent documentary on the life of protestant reformer John Knox.Continue reading“JWR’s Recommendations of the Week:”