Preparedness Notes for Thursday – February 15, 2018

February 15th: I’d like to wish Mike Williamson (SurvivalBlog’s Editor At Large) a Happy Birthday!

o o o

Archive Update:

The 2005-2017 waterproof blog Archive USB sticks started shipping yesterday. The response has been overwhelming so it will take a few days to work through the backlog of orders. Also, just a reminder: We pulled the entire process, except for credit card processing, in-house this year. When you make an order, be sure to use a valid e-mail address so the system can send you updates on your order. When your order has been completed, we will destroy the information that the system has collected.

o o o

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today features another entry for Round 75 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 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. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value), and
  8. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  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 gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  5. A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
  6. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
  7. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:



One of the World’s Most Useful Skills, by S.V.

My father impressed upon me a useful skill that has saved my life on more than one occasion. Whether it be traveling on dangerous highways in the saddle of a motorcycle or watching for a gun in the hands of a suspect, constant and consistent situational awareness is a critical survival skill. When the grid shudders to a stop or money becomes more useful as toilet paper than currency, our exercise of practical situational awareness will mean the difference between life and death on a daily basis. This is why we should take actionable steps to continually hone this perishable skill.

Basis of Almost Everything We Do

First and foremost, it is important to understand that situational awareness is at the basis of almost everything we do. It will help determine the choices we make and the situations we find ourselves in. For example, a veteran police officer once asked me a hypothetical question, “What is the best way to win any gunfight?” The answer he gave was simple. He said, “Never end up in a gunfight in the first place.” His point was that many dangerous situations can be completely avoided if we are aware of our surroundings and know what to look for. If we have our eyes up and head on a swivel when we are walking down the street, we are more apt to spot potential dangers ahead of time. Then we can anticipate them and take appropriate action.

Continue reading



Letter: Asking for Preparedness Advice

Hi there!

I heard JWR on InfoWars speaking on investing. This evening, my husband and I looked up your website and found the investment area and read your wisdom. We really already knew what to do, but I find myself overwhelmed and then get distracted. Your advice was to get prepared for a crisis first with beans, bullets, and Band-Aids! I love that. So now we’ll get going back in that direction.

We have 13 children. And that’s not a joke. We were wondering if your readers could please point me in a direction that would give me a simple guideline of what my family needs in case of a crisis? It needs to be basic to start with. We live on a 120 acre farm in the east and raise beef cows, dairy cows, hogs, and chickens and have learned how to grow food on a large scale now. We know God has led us to learn these things for a time of crisis. Not only for ourselves but to help others. We’re happy to be introduced to you!

In Him, A.P.



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 “HJL”. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and families in the Florida shooting.

National Debt is Unsustainable

A top intelligence official, Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence, is warning that the U.S.’s national debt isn’t just unsustainable, but it puts national security at risk. This warning comes after Trump signed a two-year budget deal that basically wasn’t a budget. Instead, it boosted domestic and military spending by $300 million and which is projected to add $1.5 trillion to deficits over the next 10 years. This is the same ol’, same ol’ that we’ve been dealing with for the past 30 years. Congress controls the purse strings and if they don’t get their act together soon, the U.S. will be finished. Thanks to G.P. for the link.

Total Household Debt

Of course, it’s not just congress that has a spending problem. Reader G.P. also sent in this link showing how the total household debt has soared to a record $13 trillion dollars. Mortgage balances rose by $139 billion and credit card debt had the second largest increase ($26 billion). This is the fifth consecutive year of annual household debt growth with increases in mortgage, student, auto and credit card categories. We wonder why the congress critters can’t get control of the national budget, but we are the ones who repeatedly vote them in and we can’t get control of our own household budgets. Consumerism will be the death of this nation.

Continue reading



The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“Mars had been a colony for a long time and it was filled with the best scientists and technologists humanity had to offer. We were ready to govern ourselves and start a new nation of our own, but everything we built, or mined, or made, was still the property of old mother Earth.” – Solomon Epstein, from the television series The Expanse. (Based on the novels of James S.A. Corey)



Preparedness Notes for Wednesday – February 14, 2018

February 14 is the birthday of Medal of Honor recipient Jack Lucas (born 1928, died June 5, 2008). During the Iwo Jima campaign, this 17-year-old won the Medal of Honor for unhesitatingly hurling himself over his comrades upon one grenade and for pulling another one under himself. One of the grenades exploded, and Lucas absorbed the entire blasting force of it with his own body. PFC Lucas was the youngest Marine ever to receive the Medal of Honor. (He was just 13 when he forged his mother’s signature to enlist.)

o o o

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today features another entry for Round 75 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 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. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value), and
  8. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  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 gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  5. A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
  6. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
  7. RepackBox is 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, LLC,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
  6. 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).

Round 75 ends on March 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.



Selecting a Portable Handheld Two-Way Radio, by R.

Recently I purchased a good two-way HT (slang for a hand-held Ham radio), and I thought I would share my thinking process behind picking it.

General Points

Here are a few general points. (Later I will get into the specific details.)

Conditions and Reasons May Differ

First off, I want to say that these are the conditions and reasons I used to make my choice. Yours may be different. I have a Ham radio license. This means I can operate within a wider frequency range than those frequencies covered by an off-the-shelf radio (FRS/GMRS). If you just don’t want to get licensed, I’m sure you can use the criteria I will go over to help you choose a FRS/GMRS/CB hand-held radio.

Not My Only Hand-held, Two-way Radio

Second, this is not my only hand-held, two-way radio. I have others that are inexpensive ($30 each). They do not match my criteria for a critical radio. Those $30 HT radios are made with $15 worth of parts and by what I would call “Chinese slave labor”. They work, are fun, and are inexpensive enough to take apart and hack. Get them. Learn with them, but I would never bet my life on them.

Continue reading



Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest 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 JWR. (SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor.) Today’s focus is on becoming rare wristwatch pickers.

Precious Metals:

Hedge Funds Sell Gold, Silver As Turmoil Hits Equity Markets

o  o  o

Gary Tanashian: Silver In Position To Lead Gold

Stocks:

Record $23 Billion Flees World’s Largest ETF

 

Cryptos:

Bitcoin Daily Chart Alert – Price Recovery Continues (Feb. 12th)

 

Taxes:

The IRS Takes Its Tax Evasion Hunt to the Blockchain
Continue reading



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 garden hose repairs. (See the Gear section.)

Books:

Principles of Protection: U. S. Handbook of NBC Weapon Fundamentals and Shelter Engineering Design Standards

o o o

How to Build the Perfect Off-Grid Home. Sadly, this very useful book went out of print when Paladin Press recently closed its doors. I recommend grabbing a copy while they are still available at reasonable prices.

Movies:

I’m sure that most SurvivalBlog readers have heard the phrase “Jews In The Attic.”  Well, here is the true story of a Polish teenage girl who successfully hid 13 Jews in her attic for two and a half years, under the Nazi occupation. Yad Vashem! Although this was produced for television on a modest budget, it is well worth watching: Hidden In Silence.  (Available on DVD, also available for free streaming to those with an Amazon Prime membership.)  From what I’ve read, the movie is quite close to the historical record.

o o o

And here is an unusual movie about  World War I, in the Tirol region of Austria:  The Silent Mountain.  (Available on DVD, or for free streaming to those with an Amazon Prime membership.)

Continue reading







On Chemistry: Making Activated Carbon and Hand Warmers, by R.T.

The practical usefulness of chemistry is often overlooked. In the video game State of Decay, there are various monologues that characters can randomly give. One such monologue speaks about how one person is amazed that all of the toilet paper disappeared after the zombie apocalypse. He jokes that while everyone else was worried about food and ammunition, someone realized that they’re going to continue to use the bathroom, so they’d better stock up on two-ply. In many ways, this represents the two modes of thought on preparedness. You have the people whose first thought is rightfully their immediate needs. You need food, water, shelter, and safety. And then you have the people who think beyond these needs. Both are equally important. Surviving today means little if you’re going to die tomorrow. However, tomorrow means nothing if you can’t survive today. Basic knowledge alone can help a person in both. Chemistry is often overlooked, but can provide vital supplies to us, both immediate and what might be viewed as luxury. Let’s examine two ways that chemistry can help us in these matters.

Grid Down, Bug Out Scenario

Let’s look at our first scenario. The grid has gone down and we have decided to bug out.

A Method to Make Safe, Purified Water

While we have a method to boil water, this doesn’t mean that it’s purified and perfectly safe to drink. Rivers and streams contain some degree of industrial or agricultural runoff. Let’s assume that we somehow forgot, lost, or broke our filtration method. Can we make a method of filtration with only what’s in our vehicle? If we assume that we have one common household item and a suitable container, we can.

Continue reading



SurvivalBlog’s News From The American Redoubt

Here is SurvivalBlog’s News From The American Redoubt. This weekly column features news stories and event announcements from around the American Redoubt region. We also mention companies of interest to preppers that are located in the region. The emphasis this week is on Guardian Security Structures of Montana. (See the Montana section.)

Region-Wide:

This may sound repetitive, but… Once again, most of the Redoubt States rank well: The Most (and Least) Healthy States in America. (A hat tip to T.Z. for the link.)

 

Idaho

The left of center Spokesman-Review (of Spokane) reports: Idaho’s PERSI the ‘envy’ of most other state pension plans. JWR’s Comments: Yes, Idaho presently has one of the nation’s best-funded pension plans. But part of that is because of the current stock market bubble. The rest of their success can be attributed to their proving only modest and realistic benefits to state employees. Thankfully, most of the Redoubt States don’t have pension plans for their legislators (unlike California.) For most Idahoans, serving as a legislator is not a career. Their annual stipend barely covers their expenses for the short legislative sessions. I believe that they have the right perspective: It is just a part-time bit of statesmanship, not a career with a pension!

o o o

Idaho to send 250 inmates to Texas

Continue reading



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 “HJL”. The media is still hysterical over the Ghost gunner this week.

Domestic Terrorism Bill

Reader H.L. sent in this article on the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2018. While the title certainly evokes a response that no reasonable person could object to, the content of the bill contains some disturbing language. The bill makes reference to “patriot” groups as well as “anti-government militias”. That sounds like the FBI wants to criminalize first amendment actions such as those that occurred in Nevada. Speaking out seems to be a precursor to terrorism and exercising rights is suspicious. We are still dealing with the fallout from another government agency (IRS) targeting any group that had an affiliation to the word “patriot”.

Real Terrorism

Meanwhile, on the Mexico border, the Mexican army has stepped up it’s pressure on the drug cartels and has discovered many weapons caches buried near the Rio Grande. The caches contained AK-47, fully automatic rifles, claymore mines and grenade launchers. The U.S. state department is discouraging all travel to 31 Mexican states and has raised five states to Level 4, the equivalent of a war zone. Thanks to H.L. for the link.

Continue reading



The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“It killed humans, therefore it was a weapon. But radiation killed humans, and a medical X-ray machine wasn’t intended as a weapon. Holden was starting to feel like they were all monkeys playing with a microwave. Push a button, a light comes on inside, so it’s a light. Push a different button and stick your hand inside, it burns you, so it’s a weapon. Learn to open and close the door, it’s a place to hide things. Never grasping what it actually did, and maybe not even having the framework necessary to figure it out. No monkey ever reheated a frozen burrito.” – James S.A. Corey, Abbadon’s Gate