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Seasoned Citizen Prepper is a site devoted to the older prepper that believes in prudent, practical preparedness. Self-reliance, frugal living, and faith are the cornerstones of this site. Our goal is to facilitate sharing of knowledge among our subscribers in order to build a sense of community.
What did I do to prepare this week? While at the dollar store I spotted canned fuel, 2 hour burn, called Fancy Heat for $1 a can, so I bought 5. I tried it when I got home and it seems to work just fine. I’m storing the canned fuel because if something happens in the winter (9 months out of the year it seems in Minnesota) I can cook on it with my
Deadwood Rocket stoves indoors.
The two cob building books I ordered came in this week too. Reviews coming up.
I mucked out a winter’s worth of manure from the barn, put it on the compost heaps. and spent a couple of days cleaning and reorganizing the garage which doubles as my shop. It snowed a bit this week but I was able to get into my flower gardens and do some spring cleaning there. Most of the snowbank on the north side of the house has melted away and we had one oh so warm 50 degree day and I shop vacced the koi pond and refilled it. We are supposed to be getting 60 degree weather this week, so I’m hoping to get at least some of the fish moved out of the basement.
I’m spending Easter with my Mom, kids, and brothers and sisters. I have found myself feeling so grateful that the economy seems to be slugging along, and the world just seems to be going along as usual. I believe that preparedness is important and I have a degree of peace of mind knowing that I am somewhat prepared, but I pray that nothing horrible happens.
And I’m feeling so grateful that my own children have never gotten into drugs. Bob has a daughter in her 30s that just this last year got hooked on meth after an operation that addicted her to prescription pain killers. She has been through treatment once and that seemed to make the addiction even worse. A six year old daughter that she has virtually abandoned (after being a totally devoted mother for five years) to her mother. Grandma is 66 and just went through a breast cancer operation and is coming out of chemo – no husband – and now is raising the 6 year old. She is one of almost a million grandparents in Minnesota who are raising their grandchildren. Drug use seems to be the pandemic in our society – meth, heroin, crack cocaine, etc. – tearing families apart, bloating our prison system, and causing untold billions in economic loss. Unfortunately it seems like everyone I know has been touched in some way by drug abuse – family, friends, theft…
Gardening is an expression of hope for a new season and a fresh harvest. This week on SCP we have more on gardening, a bit on what the state of Missouri is doing to quell the illegal immigrants, and more!
This site is all about YOU! The older prepper. SHARE!
Please email us at: scprepper at outlook dot com, checked a couple times a week by Rourke.
Or email me at my personal box: bcfossillady at gmail dot com, checked a couple times a day usually, when I’m not at my Mother’s. I can’t do it all by myself…
Okay Patriots, how did you prepare this week?
“A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions.
The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”
In God We Trust
This post originally appeared over at ModernSurvivalOnline.com. It can be seen HERE in its original format.
by Junebug Actual
A concern I have about the preparedness efforts of others is that there may be a disconnect between expectations and probable actuality in a grid down situation. Conversations with many others leads me to believe there is a fairly common misconception that TEOTWAWKI will be sort of like camping, admittedly for a long time, without lights and cars. I’d like to discuss my perspective on what I believe we’ll face, why that is, what it will mean if the worst actually materializes, and what can be done now to mitigate the effects.
After a true TEOTWAWKI event transpires, the remaining populations of Western countries will rapidly find themselves operating in an environment, at best, very like that of the earliest American pioneers – but without all the comforts of that historical period. My suspicion, at worst, is that it will be a lot closer to the Dark Ages – but with guns and ammo for a while. Folks will have to truly fight to get what they need, and to keep what they have from others that need scarce resources.
Why it will go dark so fast can be broken down thusly. Imagine our entire nation perched upon a three legged stool. The seat of this stool is our economy, which is the driving force for every aspect of our daily lives, from what we eat and drink, to our politics, our education, and our jobs. Everything is driven by our economy. Holding up this stool are three legs representing oil, electricity, and skilled workers. Oil, and the refined products we obtain from it, is essential to every aspect of modern life. Nothing in our society or economy can function without oil at some point in its operational life span, be it manufacturing, distribution, or application. The same can be said of electricity, and skilled workers. These three legs are mutually supportive of each other. This means that without both of the other two, one will fail. Break or remove any one of the legs from the stool and both of the others will effectively … disappear. In a TEOTWAWKI event, all three legs will be gone completely outside of small localized pockets or prepared individuals and groups.
Briefly, oil is required to make electricity and to feed the workers that deliver and process and distribute the oil that is used to generate and distribute the electricity that is used to feed the workers that build and maintain the equipment that keeps the cycle going, etc., etc., ad nauseum. If something happens to prevent the workforce from going to work, constantly, production will decline and eventually fail. Suppose a pandemic kills or sickens a critical percentage of the very few thousand technical workers throughout the oil refining industry. Regardless of how the pandemic affects the rest of the population directly, the impact on the economy will be sudden, extreme, and negative.
Without sufficient skilled workers to refine oil into fuel and other products, the system immediately begins to fail. Without sufficient skilled workers to produce electricity to power the critical devices we all rely on in modern society, the system immediately begins to fail. Without sufficient skilled workers to maintain the essential elements of the entire house of cards, the system immediately begins to fail. If major breakdown of critical infrastructure related to either production or distribution of either oil or electricity happens, the entire system immediately begins to fail. Once that point is reached, everything associated with the entire economy and our social structure will collapse shortly thereafter, probably less than two weeks is my best assessment.
Because the food supply for the vast majority of the country is absolutely and completely reliant on steady and unbroken access to fuel and electricity, the critical loss of these will mean zero food moving into cities, towns, and even villages. This is not the America of my grandparents’ or even parents’ time. Earlier in our history, most of our population either worked on or worked near farms. A substantial percentage of our people had friends or relatives who lived in rural areas upon whom they could rely to provide shelter from economic storms in desperate times. Family farms or ranches were common and unremarkable, and supplied the food to local communities. Now, most of our food is provided by large corporate farms through a supply chain that is tightly managed across the globe utilizing aircraft, ships, trains, trucks, computers, storage facilities, canneries, etc. All of which require fuel, electricity, and skilled workers.
Because our economy, and therefore our ability to eat food and drink water, is dependent now on the never ending supply of fuel, electricity, and skilled workers, a full disruption of any of these will have ripple effects that will take the entire system down. When the ball finally drops, however it happens, our economic system with all its disparate but interdependent parts will crater. Food will not be delivered to stores, water will not be pumped to homes, fuel will not be available for vehicles, garbage and sewage will not be moved and treated, homes will not be cooled or heated, hospitals will close, and medicines will disappear. Anything and everything that our society relies on for everyday survival, I mean live or die type stuff, will stop. Dead.
Consider the millions of people living in our large, medium, and smaller cities. What will they eat after a week or so after the immediately available supplies are gone, and the area governments’ quick response disaster supplies are consumed? Many, many millions of people will starve within a fairly brief window. Their corpses will lie untended and unburied, and the corruption of their decay will result in an explosion of diseases, insects, and wildlife. A few million others will survive, some will thrive.
There will be warlords and tribalism, with swaths of land that cannot be accessed without conflict. There will be starvation and disease, susceptibility to ecological and geological effects on crops and other food supplies. Really dry times will results in lost crops from drought and a decrease in readily available game. Heavy storms will result in floods and massive damage to broad regions. Crops will be devastated by diseases and insects. Dams will fail, washing entire areas clean of life. People will become less open, more wary of strangers, and the focus will be primarily on obtaining food and water.
The developed world’s economic system itself is unsustainable due to its total reliance on failure points that have high exposure to a broad variety of probable events. In other words, my assessment is that eventual total system failure is certain. The type of society that comes out of the other end will be determined by the level of readiness and preparedness by people of foresight, faith, honor, and courage. It is incumbent on us to seek out like minded people, to connect with them and work together to develop means to mutually support and assist each other in becoming more prepared.
Prepare for the most terrible circumstances you can imagine. It will most likely be worse than you thought, but your prudence now will reap great benefits then. Focus your purchases, after food supplies, weapons, ammunition, and shelter on the types of tools and resources found useful in the 19thcentury. Instructional books from that era will be better than from today that includes tools and techniques that will be useless in a grid-down scenario. As possible, we should develop associations among each other that will foster the development of comparatively self-sufficient micro-communities, with shared values and ideals. These micro-communities of a few families and friends each should pool resources for large or expensive high value items, while still ensuring adequacy in their individual supplies. These small groups should find relatively isolated locations with a steady supply of water, ponds for fishing, year-round strong flow river for microhydroelectric generation if possible, arable land for growing food, nearby timber for cooking, heating, and construction, and as far away from major metropolitan centers and their interconnecting highways as is reasonably possible.
As long as we maintain our faith, our hope, our courage, making prudent decisions now and facing whatever might come as small, yet strong, communities of honorable people, we will be in a position to bring light into whatever darkness the folly of others has brought forth. The pain of loss must be balanced with the joy of rebirth, recognizing that this dim time will be the twilight before night falls for most, or the dawn before a new day begins for others. We choose now whether we will giggle and gossip while in line for the guillotine, ignoring the rumble of approaching wagons and the rasp of the rising blade, or risk the scorn and laughter of those pitiable beings as we turn away from the fool’s path and place our shoulders to the stone of our duty to shield and protect our families and those entrusted to our care.
I prep because I’m a former farm girl who grew up with a year’s worth of food sitting in the cellar at any given time and because I’ve had to start over several times with little more than the clothes on my back. Once you’ve spent some time shivering without enough blankets or skipping meals because there’s no food, you do everything you can to prevent that in the future.
My kids, like many of this latest generation, have never experienced lengthy power outages, financial collapse, war, or being stranded at home for days on end because of the weather. They’d roll their eyes and say “Mom’s getting ready for Armageddon again” every time I’d toss a pound of beans in the grocery cart. “Don’t eat the Chunky soup. Mom’s saving it for the end of the world.”
Well, our TEOTWAKI came when I lost my job. As the only wage earner, we had no income whatsoever until I found work. Taking inventory that first day, we discovered that we had enough supplies on hand to get us through several months, so our savings could be reserved for paying the bills. That doesn’t mean it was easy. We still had to ration everything, and we weren’t as prepared as I’d thought.
Buy more dish soap. Yes, I could’ve grated the bars of Ivory that I have in storage or mixed up a batch of Borax and washing soda, but I like using dish soap on my dishes. When you’re home all day, you use a lot more dishes, so the dish soap is going to go fast.
There is no such thing as too much toilet paper. Again, when you’re home an additional 45-60 hours a week, you’re going to use more than you’d expected. Double the amount you thought you’d need, and then buy as much more as you can.
If you plan to bake bread, you’re going to use 4-6 cups of flour for each batch. That 50 pounds that you carefully packaged in mouse- and bug-proof containers isn’t going to go very far. You’ll also need a lot of powdered eggs. Make sure you’ve rotated your yeast. Don’t wait until you’re in dire straits to try making bread and tortillas. You’ll have a lot of fun laughing at the end result, but you’ll waste your supplies. If you’re getting your recipes off the Internet, carefully read the reviews that follow.
The cold-weather sleeping bags and fleece and wool blankets come in handy when you turn the heat down to lower your utility costs. Socks, slippers, and baggy sweatshirts become the norm 24 hours a day. Those frilly sheers look lovely on the windows, but I really should’ve bought the thermal curtains when they were on sale.
If you’re a regular coffee drinker, buy more. You’re stressing out about finding a job, so you’re going to drink more. And if you’re drinking more coffee, you’re also using more of what goes in it, whether it’s creamer, sugar, or flavorings. I thought we had plenty of powdered creamer set aside, but it went quickly, and I didn’t want to use the powdered milk, because it was needed for cooking.
Buy more powdered milk. I thought we had a decent amount, because the kids won’t drink it. I didn’t stop to consider just how much of that powder is needed to mix enough milk for baking and cooking.
Buy more canned vegetables and meats. Once the real meat is gone, you’ll be more dependent on vegetables to add flavor to your meals, and you don’t realize just how many you use until they’re no longer available. TVP is a great substitute…once in a while. While not big meat-eaters, we’re also not vegetarian, and canned meats can add flavor to a wide variety of dishes.
Stock up on canned and dehydrated potatoes. They’ve always been a comfort food for us, and we didn’t have enough. Canned potatoes taste “tinny” and dehydrated ones never rehydrate fully. Instant mashed potatoes don’t taste real. Deal with it. The only other option is to live without potatoes.
Stock up on a variety of sweets. Hard candies and freeze-dried fruits won’t cut it. You need Jell-O and canned fruit, instant pudding, chocolate chips, and M & M’s. A couple containers of Cool Whip in the freezer is a help. Molasses and cocoa powder store well. We could live without fresh meat, eggs, milk, and pre-sliced bread, but when the chips are down, we want dessert.
Salt. We haven’t used added salt in decades. The ex had high blood pressure and the daughter has potential kidney problems. We always got enough from the processed foods we ate regularly. When you start cooking all your meals from scratch, the only salt you’re going to get is from the occasional bouillon or packaged gravy mix. We were eating well-balanced meals, but I started feeling shaky and sick. Out of liquid Gatorade and unwilling to open the canister of powder, I licked a spoonful of salt. Nasty, but it did the trick. Don’t underestimate your body’s need for salt.
Stock up on garbage bags and bags for cleaning up after the dog. We live in a community that has mandatory immediate dog-doodie duty. When you’re home all day long, the dog wants out more often, just because he can. You’ll also be doing more housework and clearing out all that “Why did I keep this” junk. Your garbage men might learn to hate you, but you’ll only hate yourself if you run out of garbage bags.
Don’t forget dog food. We generally have at least 50 pounds of dry food, but I wish I’d bought a couple cases of canned food. It has a good shelf-life, and it would’ve lowered my stress levels. He’s big, he’s old, and he’d never understand if I tried to tell him to go on a diet.
Fill your gas tank. We’re all advised to keep the tank full for any emergency, and the inability to buy more is about as urgent as it gets. You don’t want to head to an interview or, God forbid, the ER, and realize the gas gauge is on “E.”
Follow Grandma’s advice and always have a little black dress on hand (for you guys, that would translate into a button-down shirt and tie, preferably with dress slacks). Don’t forget nylons and heels. You really don’t want to show up for a job interview dressed in blue jeans, work boots, and a t-shirt, and you don’t want to call the electric company and tell them you can’t pay your bill because you spent that money on a new wardrobe.
Buy several cookbooks. Not the fancy ones using bay scallops, escargot, and spun sugar, but the ones published by your local church, a good old Betty Crocker, or better yet – one from the Depression or war years. You may not need to know how to make a squirrel casserole for 12 people, but knowing how to bake cakes with nothing but flour, water, and a magic wand is a good skill to learn. Be willing to experiment with new dishes and adapt the recipes to the foods you have on hand. My daughter’s a food major, so we made good use of the African and Indian cookbooks she’d collected. They use a lot of lentils, rice, split peas, and root vegetables, all of which we had. Now is not the time to follow a traditional American meal plan.
After all that: Take time to relax. Keep to your old schedule. If you’re used to going to bed early and getting up in the wee hours, keep doing it. Renew your acquaintance with old hobbies. Finish reading that book that’s gathering dust on your nightstand. Call an old friend. Bake cookies with the kids like you did when they were little. Make sure you argue over who gets to lick the spoon. Dance in the rain. Volunteer at the local soup kitchen to remind yourself that you still have a good life. And always remember – “This too shall pass.”
This post originally appeared over at ModernSurvivalOnline.com. It can be seen HERE in its original format.
For those that have never gardened - getting started can be a daunting task.
Getting going in gardening can be accomplished many ways such as using raised beds, containers – and of course in-ground. I highly recommend to get into gardening ASAP if you are not already. It is a skill that is developed over time and much sweat and practice.
If you are just starting off I have one plant – one crop – that I highly recommend trying. This is a vegetable that I have found to be tremendously easy to grow and provides high yields in a small amount of space. Even in mediocre soil – as long as water is provided – you will have food.
What is this vegetable? Zucchini!
Zucchinis can grow large and provide an almost constant food supply once they start producing. Like most vegetables – they are not very high in calories but are flavorful and can be served many ways. I have had a zucchini bread that was just absolutely amazing. My favorite way to eat zucchini is grilled with a little Italian salad dressing on it. Awesome!
Planting a row or several hills of zucchinis can provide a large amount of food just by picking every few days.
For much of the country this is the time to get planting. Consider the zucchini as a important crop – both now as well as post-SHTF.
Take care all -
This post was originally published as part of a Guest Post Writing Contest over at ModernSurvivalOnline. It can be seen in its original format HERE.
By Jennifer S. in Reno
Today I woke up and did some house cleaning, I did some laundry and vacuumed the carpets, I harped on the kids to get them to clean their rooms and I changed the cat litter box, I mopped the kitchen floor and made sure all of my dishes were washed. When I was done with that I went to the grocery store. Actually, I went to four grocery stores because I like to go where the good deals are. I like to come home and put my purchased food away and know that my family will have a good dinner and that I saved money doing it. After I came home and stored away my groceries I went into the backyard to hang out with my husband and work on our backyard.
Six months ago, this was a normal Saturday for me. With that being said I would like to say six months ago, I was happy, but also blind.
It all started on a normal day. I believe it was near the end of November, perhaps early December. My husband came home from work and joined me in the kitchen. I was starting dinner and he began to talk to me about things I had never heard of before and quite frankly never would have considered listening too. His topics included HAARP projects, the TSA and Chemtrails. I remember slicing tomatoes and listening to him talk. I also remember looking at him out of the corner of my eye and, while nodding along, thinking to myself “I have married a crazy person.”
Now ladies, you and I both know that most of us would never be so cruel as to tell the men that we love that their new interests or concerns are either crazy or scaring us to death. We pretend to take interest and listen to as much as we can handle before we tune them out. This is exactly what I did over the following 3-5 weeks as the subject matter got broader. His topics ranged from economic meltdown to EMP catastrophes’, to hidden meanings in the artwork at the Denver Airport. I would listen and listen and listen, and then the next day I would pretend I didn’t hear any of it and do what I usually do, clean and make things pretty. I would read through the news from mainstream media and I would watch American Idol or other useless programming to make my life seem normal. I didn’t do these things because I didn’t believe my husband, but because I was trying to forget what he had been talking to me about and pretend that nothing bad could ever happen to me or my family.
Thinking about unfortunate things occurring and planning to protect your family is scary. It’s very disheartening and it’s very hard to buckle down and look at it in a realistic frame of mind. It is much easier to pretend that we are untouchable and that everything will remain as it always has been. If you don’t see it and don’t think about it, it doesn’t exist right? Wrong.
One day at work I decided to research a bit of what he had been talking to me about, I found myself reading some things on alternative news websites and blogs that pertained to the government and other worldwide issues that caught my interest, and then I stumbled upon a few pages referencing natural disaster. I read some scenarios about what could happen (and most likely would happen) if we were not prepared or protected. After I read those, I read some more. Then I read some more. Before I knew it I had been reading for a few hours and realized I was hooked. It never occurred to me the domino effect that any number of SHTF events could have on the world. I never thought of how it could directly affect my family. I never thought of having to protect my family from others who were simply trying to protect themselves. I actually copied one of those articles and emailed it straight to my husband and titled my email with “We should get ready”. That day, was the beginning of our joint effort to prepare to protect our family.
The truth is, not preparing your family before disaster takes place, means that you are actually harming them more than the disaster.
Through my own research and reading and having extensive night time talks with my husband, I began to prep mostly for a natural or manmade disaster. We live in earthquake country so that is a big priority of mine, although I will admit that after I stopped being so stubborn and took of those rose colored glasses I got right after birth, I started to become aware of disasters that have nothing to do with nature and everything to do with our current political system and world leaders. Our children are not old enough to fend for themselves, nor are they old enough to really understand what we are doing for them so it is our job to make sure that if SHTF, we have a strong support system to defend ourselves and our livelihood.
The purpose of my guest post is to try to reach out to other women like myself. Happy women who have never heard of any of this until their husbands brought it up. Happy women who don’t want to think about it and who would prefer to see the world as a place with singing children, cooperative neighbors, and leaders who care. To those women, please think for yourselves; please be strong enough to do some research and listen to not only your husbands, but to formulate your own opinions and ideas. Think outside of the box. Don’t accept the world as it is presented to you. Your loved ones will Thank you for it when the time comes and you have supplies to keep them safe.
There are some very basic and easy ways that you can begin prepping your family for a disaster. Here are some things to start with:
1.) Water. We all need water. We cannot survive after three days without water. What are you going to do if your stores are out of bottled water (think Japan) and your supply has been cut off? Bottled water and other jugs are the easiest. Gallon jugs typically cost less than $1.00 at any local supermarket or you can purchase the packages of individual bottles. (Usually 24 bottles for around $3.00) I prefer the packages because they are easy to stack and easier to store (although the jugs are easier to grab and run with). You can also wash out old soda, milk and juice jugs and fill them with tap water for storage as well although some of these bottles disintegrate quicker than others so do some research on them before you start using those.
2.) Food. Food is easy, but can also be tricky. First off when you go to the store grab two of anything that stores well that you and your family normally eats. The reason this needs to happen is because your body is used to the food. If SHTF and you start eating nothing but canned corn, your body will have a reaction and you will get sick. Make sure to stock up with food items your body is used too but also make sure you grab some items that are less conventional. My favorites (courtesy of my husband) are dehydrated milks (remember, if electricity is down, that milk in the fridge won’t do any good), 100% natural honey (great vitamins and stores forever), dried beans, spam and even other liquid items such as Tang (tastes good, keeps the spirits up and is a great source of Vitamin C).
3.) Other misc., items: Batteries. And lots of them! If you have re-chargeable batteries that’s great but if you lose power it won’t do you any good. Buy extra batteries for everything you intend to use should TSHTF. Make sure that you have plenty of extra flashlights on hand and stock up on candles. Cheap tea lights are better than walking around in the dark. Grab some matches (big boxes are cheap and you can still find strike anywhere matches if you look in the right places!). Get some extra blankets from the goodwill if you don’t already have some in-case the heat goes out. Another priority item should be a weeks’ worth of clothing for everyone in your family, sealed in a vacuum air tight bag so they are ready to grab at a moment’s notice and stay clean and dry in case you have to leave your home.
4.) First Aid Supplies: This is very important, especially if you have kids. Stock up on band-aids, gauze, fever reducer, pain reliever, diarrhea meds, a thermometer, cut ointment and other first aid items you can think of that you might need in case someone is hurt or gets sick. Remember, depending on the size of the catastrophe, doctors might be unavailable and hospitals might be down or overworked. If you have prescription meds, try to stock up on those. I used to think that it wasn’t possible but found a very reputable nationwide chain store that actually fills up to four months if you pay with cash. Call around and see what you can find. It would be smart to also look into homeopathic medicine if you cannot get your hands on prescription meds.
5.) Your Sanity: It’s easy to think that when the time comes, your fight or flight instinct will kick in and you won’t need some of the normal pleasures of life. This would be wonderful if true but I am not willing to blindly try it if I have the option. Try and stock up on a few things to keep yourself and your family entertained. Some hand held electronics or small board games will help. Perhaps some puzzles and books. If you own a portable DVD player it might be a good idea to have that on hand with extra batteries and some movies. This way you are less likely to lose your sanity (and rational thinking) while you are waiting around trying to make it through whatever catastrophe hits.
6.) Last but not least, firearms: Imagine you have prepared your family and SHTF. You are bunkered in your home with food, water, batteries and flashlights. You and your family are getting by and while it is not ideal, you are alive and doing well. Then there’s a knock at your door, you don’t answer it because you are being cautions. Let’s say that whoever is behind that door decides that they are going to break into the house. They come in and see that you have food and water. That’s when you realize that they do not have what you have. Are you willing to share your families’ rations with total stranger? I would guess not. When you tell them that you are not willing to share do you think that they will politely leave and thank you for your time? I doubt it. You need a way to protect your family. I leave this one up to my husband and he has covered the bases.
Once you make an informed decision and think for yourself, it’s easy to start prepping. It’s easy to take the first steps and turn preparedness into a part of your everyday life.
Please think about it and take the proper steps to prepare for your safety. Don’t let disaster strike without having what you need to get through it and in turn letting you and your family suffer. Other people are not going to help you and it will be nobody but yourself and your family looking out for one another. Morals do not exist when people are forced to survive. Make sure you and your loved ones are covered.
When the power goes out in a community for an extended period of time, there are many people who find themselves feeling very vulnerable. Without power, the lights will not work, most security systems only work for a short period of time, and there are numerous breaking and enterings that occur because of the lack of power. This can create a very scary situation for a family that is not properly prepared for such an event.
Preparing your family doesn’t have to be overly difficult. Having modern body armor for everyone to wear can help to give you and your family peace of mind. There are many people who wonder about the modern body armor effectiveness, but over the years, much advancement has been made to ensure that the armor is as safe as it can possibly be.
In order for a vest to be as effective as possible, you first need to be sure that you choose a vest that fits each person properly. Vests are not one size fits all. Depending upon the person that you are planning to have worn the vest, you may need one that is made for a man or one that is made for a woman. A vest that is made for a female is made differently than the vest that is made for a male because the vest needs to sit differently to provide maximum protection. If a woman wears a vest that is intended to be worn by a male, there is a chance that it will not be as effective as a female vest would be.
Next, you need to be sure to take the time to choose the plates that will go into each vest. There are many families that choose Kevlar panels because they are affordable and lightweight. They provide protection from most firearms that someone would use during a home invasion. The Kevlar panels need to be maintained properly to ensure that there are as effective as they can possibly be. Someone needs to keep them out of direct sunlight and ensure that they do not get wet, if at all possible. This will help to ensure that they stay as strong as possible. If money is of no worry to you, you may want to opt for the polyethylene plates that are now on the market. These plates are even more lightweight than the Kevlar panels and even more protective. They cost a bit more, but are worth the protection, if they are able to save a loved one’s life.
Once you have chosen the plates that you plan to use in the vests and have ensured that the vest fit well, you may want to consider putting steel plates in the side pockets of the vests. If an intruder breaks in with a knife, the steel plates will protect your stomach from being stabbed with the knife and give you a better chance of being able to protect your family. Most vests have pockets that are large enough to fit thick pieces of steel.
Author: Anthony McGrath, SafeGuardClothing.com
The average American drives approximately 15,195 miles per year, reports the Federal Highway Administration. That’s the equivalent of driving from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to the San Francisco Bay area five times. That creates plenty of opportunity for the unexpected to occur. No matter the distance from your daily point A to point B, there are basic supplies every driver should have in their vehicle to reduce the risk of potential danger. Whether you buy a pre-assembled emergency kit or collect the items separately, the information below will help you build the perfect emergency preparedness kit for your car:
Keeping your vehicle on a regularly scheduled maintenance plan is step one in your preparation for an emergency on the road. SafeMotorist.com, a vehicle safety resource developed by the American Safety Council, suggests DIY vehicle maintenance checks, such as oil and fluid top offs, between visits to the mechanic.
Also, stay up to date on auto manufacturer recalls to ensure your vehicle isn’t plagued with defects. You can look up issued recalls by providing the year, make and model of the car.
If you find there has been a recall on your car, don’t panic. In most cases, a recall doesn’t mean your car is unsafe to drive; think of it as an extension of the manufacturer’s commitment to your safety. They are just informing their consumers of the issue. However, some recalls could be potentially serious and it may be necessary to return the car to the auto dealer to have the issue fixed.
In the unfortunate event you end up on the side of the road, there are a few things you do not want to be without. Even if you have roadside assistance coverage, Consumer Reports recommends carrying the following items in your car at all times:
- Vehicle owner’s manual
- Cell phone and charger
- First aid kit stocked with supplies to treat a range of injuries, including child and pet injuries, if applicable
- Fire extinguisher
- Hazard triangle or flares
- Tire jack and lug wrench for changing a tire
- Spare tire
- Jumper cables
- Flashlight and batteries!
In addition to those listed above, the supplies below are suggested for driving long distances:
- Basic tools, including wrench, screwdriver, and pliers
- Hose repair kit and tape
- Extra clothes
- Water and nonperishable food
- CB radio
- Paper maps
For extreme cold weather conditions:
- Extra shoes and clothing
- Tire chains
- Small shovel
- Windshield scraper
So you’ve got the kit, now what?
It’s likely you already know how to work a flashlight, but if you’re unable to replace a tire, the car jack and lug wrench are useless. It is crucial that you educate yourself on how to use these emergency supplies as soon as you can. Luckily, there are several online resources with guides on vehicle maintenance, from how to change a tire to knowing when the job needs a professional mechanic, and even how to avoid getting overcharged for repairs.
I live in the UK on my own, with my daughter, her husband and their two children living nearby. As money is tight for them I prep for them as well as myself. Recently my brother moved to my town; there’s no way I would tell him about my preps as it would be akin to taking out an ad in the local paper. So now I prep for the six of us.
We’re about to have a family reunion making 23 people plus 3 dogs. I’m not too worried that civilisation will collapse over that weekend, but, given the recent unusual weather patterns, it’s possible that we might all be snowed in or cut off by floods. From my preps I can feed us all for quite a while, but I realised that it’s all the other stuff that I don’t have enough of.
If the electricity goes off, then I assume it won’t be long before the pumps stop working and we lose water and gas. Certainly our gas central heating won’t work without electricity to pump it. I have a wood burning stove as well as central heating, but not the space to store a large stock of fuel, and everyone would have to come to me to stay warm. The average house in the UK is smaller than in the US, and I have a smaller than average house – a Victorian terraced cottage. We wouldn’t all fit round the stove and would have to take it in turns being warm.
I have 4 hot water bottles, not enough. My daughter only has the microwave variety. My camping stoves would not be able to cope with cooking for such a large number of people. My daughter has camping equipment and a barbecue; it would be difficult but we could probably manage.
I have half a dozen torches and 4 head torches; the children also have the type which need to be squeezed or wound up but they soon get fed up with doing that. Although I have camping lanterns, we may need to save the fuel to cook for so many. I have plenty of candles and tealights but they may not be safe with so many children around.
I don’t have the room to store 2 gallons of water a day for so many people. I have a couple of dozen bottles of water and 5 rainwater butts, all currently full. I only have a small domestic water filter.
I have a garden shed where we could improvise a toilet if that became necessary, and plenty of toilet paper and wet wipes.
Many of the visitors will have come with just an overnight bag so I’ll have to try and come up with spare clothes.
So, my list of things to do before they come includes buying more wood, charcoal and camping gas; a couple more hot water bottles; lots of long life milk and crackers/crispbreads for if we can’t bake bread. I need to bring down spares of toilet paper, etc, from the attic so it’s not too obvious if I need to go get some. I just want to appear as though I have a full pantry, not that I’m a prepper.
I’d love to hear what preps others make for large-scale family get-togethers, or if you have any suggestions for this ‘probably won’t happen but best to be prepared’ scenario.
What follows is just one part of an ongoing survival fiction series written by John Rourke and has been published on Amazon. It is being made available here for free. A new entry is published every day. The story is written in a daily journal format.
September 12th I’m alive and M has big news…..
What a long night last night was. We arrived near the lumber yard about 8:00pm and stayed well away. Once darkness fell we made our way across the road from the yard behind some bushes and watched…….and waited.
We went over the plan one last time. At 1:00am Karl and Sam took the box of Molotov Cocktails far to the west, crossed the road, and approached the yard. It was agreed that at 2:00am they would act.
At 1:30am Bill and Ryan (Group #1) headed to the brush beside the railroad tracks on the east side. They had to take out the dogs. I had worked since last night on a special surprise for the them. Rummaging through one of the homes that was in process of being built when The Event happened I found several sizes of PVC pipe. I constructed a suppressor that works amazingly well for one of my Ruger 10/22′s. Loaded with CCI Mini-Mag standard velocity ammo the loudest part of the shot is hearing the bolt slap back and forth. Any way’s - Ryan was able to eliminate the dogs at approx 25-30 yards with no problem. Left my 10/22 laying in the brush and Bill and Ryan moved on to the northern ends of the fence.
Phil and I (Group #2) made our way to the southern corner of the fence near the railroad tracks. We waited covering the entire east side of the yard.
Kenny (Group #3) watched the entire front entrance from the east near the railroad tracks. Kenny sat behind the broken down car and waited.
At 1:55am Karl radioed that they were almost in position and would light and toss the Molotov Cocktails in 5 minutes. Those 5 minutes seemed like they lasted an hour. Right at 2:00am Karl pressed the call-button on his walkie-talkie to signal their start. A few moments later I could see the flicker of light from the fire. With the power out any light could be seen easily. Next I saw the fire on top of the building where Karl and Sam threw the last of the Molotov Cocktails. They knew the plan and ran to our meeting location safe from the lanes of fire. Within moments the gang members started exiting the building. Most were all holding weapons of some kind. When they opened the door light from the fire blasted into the night. Shadows could be seen in through the windows and glass doors.
Everyone was ready. Kenny has his .270 Winchester hunting rifle behind the car at close to 85 yards. As gang members exited out the front he started shooting – causing the first to fold like a cafeteria chair. I had a bead on those exiting the east side and began engaging targets at close to 50 yards. The red dot from my Vortex Strikefire rested on moving target after moving target. Return fire from the gang started after several members went down. They just shot randomly into the dark toward the railroad tracks. Out the front and the east-side a few hoodlums exited on fire. This really helped light up the area for continued shooting.
I heard the booms coming from Kenny as he worked the bolt on his rifle. Bill and Ryan could be heard periodically shooting as gang members exited on the northern side. The vast majority exited the building on the east side in mine and Phil’s direction. Phil shot his borrowed Mini-30 and I my Stag M4.
The whole event seemed to last a long time but in reality when I quickly looked at my watch it was only 2:12am. There was a large explosion inside the building followed by several smaller explosions. A large section of the southeast corner of the building was blown out and the roof collapsed. I am guessing propane tanks might have been the cause. The building really started burning at this point. I estimated that I shot 12 gang members. From the look of the building and the lack of anyone exiting – I radioed everyone “BLUEBERRY!!!…..BLUEBERRY!!!” which was code to pull back to our meet up location.
By the way – one of M’s favorite fruits are blueberries. That’s where I came up with the code.
Everyone made it fine. Everyone did what they were supposed to do. Going over the plan time and time again paid off. We retreated back approx 400 yards to where we parked the Jeep and headed home. We estimated 28 killed by each persons account. We don’t know exactly how many were in the building but no doubt the Blue Bandanna Gang received a devastating blow tonight. The glow of the fire burning could be seen miles away.
I was not sure how I would feel after. I feel…… relieved. I am relieved it is over. I know there is more evil out there and no doubt that evil will visit the neighborhood at some point again. We have more work to do. We will be ready.
Everyone was very happy to see us return safe. M squeezed me harder than she ever had. I reminded her that she had something to tell me. She whispered in my ear “a little later”. Eric was there and mentioned that he told me so that I would be fine. I just laughed. Jessie walked up to me and gave me a hug and said “Thank you Jed. Thank you for getting justice for Mark.” Tears came to my eyes as I nodded.
M and I drove the Jeep from the model house to our home. OUR home. I like that. Aaron and Caleb were there and ran over and hugged me. It was great.
We ate breakfast as the sun started to come up. We had pancakes and powdered milk….again. Glad I stocked up on A LOT of syrup. After breakfast M and I walked out back in the backyard and sat in some chairs under some trees. We commented you could feel Fall coming as we noted the lower temperature of the morning. We talked about everything that has happened since the night of The Event. So much has changed.
I told M that I have had enough change to last a lifetime and needed “No more!” M tugged on my arm and looked at me and said that she hated to burst my bubble but there was more change coming. I asked her what it could possibly be?
M said…… “I’m pregnant.”
The End…….for now
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Topic: water purification/filtration
Summary: This download provides excellent educational material on all things making sure water is safe to drink.
Click the button below to download the file.
What follows is just one part of an ongoing survival fiction series written by John Rourke and has been published on Amazon. It is being made available here for free. A new entry is published every day. The story is written in a daily journal format.
September 10th Planning is over – now its time…..
The group has been formed that will hit the gang at the lumber yard.
Phil (from Hwy 72)
Karl (from Walnut Street)
Sam (from Walnut Street)
I had talked to Phil about the plan when the last group was dropped off for the week. He said he wanted to be included – especially after their group had been hit. He said he felt guilty about Mike and Neil – that if it wasn’t for him contacting us they would still be alive. I told him that it was not his fault and we all are responsible for our own decisions.
Karl had already volunteered and I radioed him earlier and told him that tomorrow night was it. I will pick him up around 10:00am. He said he was bringing someone as well.
Bill, Ryan, Kenny and myself got together and discussed the plans for tomorrow night. We went over the plans repeatedly and tried to consider potential problems. Dogs barking, someone coming outside before we were ready, or possible late arrivals to the lumber yard. We said that none of it really mattered as long as the Molotov Cocktails were able to be thrown as planned.
We need 3 Molotov Cocktails thrown through each of the west-side windows, along with 3-4 on the roof. We have the bottles, the fuel, as well as some Styrofoam that will be dissolved in the gas to thicken it and make it stick.
Tomorrow everyone will get together by 2:00pm to go over the plan. Everyone will have a job and everyone will know everyone else’s job in case someone goes down. I spent a decent amount of time tonight cleaning and lubricating my guns. I need to be able to depend on them.
This might be my last journal entry. Tomorrow night is it and if I don’t make it back, well, that’s REALLY it. I talked to Eric today about what might happen and made him promise me that he would take care of M, Aaron and Caleb for me. I radioed Ben and told him that “something” might happen – and if it did would M and the kids be able to stay with him. He said yes. I told Eric I needed him to get them there. Eric promised he would – and tried to laugh it off saying nothing would happen to me.
A lot has happened in the last couple months. This neighborhood has really come together and is surviving. We have teams working on water, food, scouting, educating our youth, caring for the sick. Everyone looks to me as a leader – but they can move forward without me.
To think I waited all those years to be with M and tonight might be the last I will ever have with her – better make it count.
Well – hope to be writing again Wednesday. If not………
PS – M told me she had something important to tell me. What a tease. She said I will have to wait until after I get back to find out what it is. I wonder…..
What follows is just one part of an ongoing survival fiction series written by John Rourke and has been published on Amazon. It is being made available here for free. A new entry is published every day. The story is written in a daily journal format.
September 9th Trip to the lumber yard and folks return…..
Writing this while watching the lumber yard.
Tommy, Brian, Kenny, and Joel came back home today(feels like yesterday as I am writing this at 3:00am). It was a somber occasion as six had left but only four came back with the death of Mike and Neal and all. Another reminder that this attack on the Bandanna Gang must be done.
As promised – they came back fed and brought with them 18 eggs along with 4 chickens. Many in the neighborhood are looking forward to being able to eat more fresh eggs, meat from chickens eventually, catfish, etc.
Carrie and Jessie walked the neighborhood Friday and Saturday looking for volunteers to go back to Hwy 72 for another week. It was difficult but they managed to find six more to go. M and I drove them over this afternoon. A few guns needed to be borrowed. From what Joel said – the folks at the Hwy 72 Farm were fine. They had no issues with them. They said they ate great – especially the catfish from the pond.
At the lumber yard nothing is different. About 9:30pm the last of the gang members entered the building and no one has been seen since. It appeared that the final group of 4 men to come in had a girl with them. She had her hands tied behind her back and was being forced to walk. When they got to the door of the main building she screamed as they pushed her in. I could hear the men laughing as she screamed. My blood has been boiling ever since.
Bill, Ryan and I will be heading back home in a few minutes. Will get some sleep and then start making final preparations.
The time is drawing near.
September 8th It’s almost time…..
Ryan, Bill and I discussed going on another scouting trip tomorrow night. We have some good information on the gang at the lumber yard but a second scouting trip needs to be done.
These guys are slack and over confident. No patrols at all during the night – just their two dogs roaming the yard. We have a map of the yard, building and immediate area. They have limited exits once inside. I doubt they have HAM radio – no external antenna’s so calling for back up is unlikely unless they are close by.
The three of us brainstormed how this would all go down based on what we know now. We figured our group would consist of 5-6 people who would approach from the southern direction.
If no one is visible – two would make their way up in the brush next to the railroad tracks until they reached the northern corner of the fence. This would be Group #1. They would split and separate out so one person covers the rear while the other covers the western side of the building.
Group #2 would make their way to the southern corner of the fence near the railroad tracks. They will cover the entire east side and take out anyone exiting.
Group #3 will watch the entire front entrance from the east near the railroad tracks. Forgot to draw it on the map but I remember there was a broken down car just off the road near the tracks. It and its engine block could provide cover.
Everyone will have to know their fields of fire to prevent a friendly fire situation.
As gang members exit the building they will be taken out. Semi-automatic rifle fire is needed. Range is too far for shotguns or pistols.
The thing is – we need to get them out of the building. No tear gas and no smoke grenades. It has to be fire. The old Molotov Cocktail should do the trick. Thinking we will need one group just to do that – from the West-side of the building through the two windows. Multiple Molotov’s through the windows and a couple on the roof as well. That should push them in Group #1, #2, and #3′s direction.
Still thinking about what to do about the dogs. If they start freaking out the gang could start coming outside before we are fully ready.
The time is drawing near.
I just thought of something. Something I didn’t think about until now. What if there are innocent women and children in the building?
September 7th Scouting trip…..
I am writing this while Bill is glassing the lumber yard. Needed to take a break – didn’t think I would have time to make this entry. Ryan is back behind a tree about 125 yards away watching the area around us. We each have a Midland radio so we can talk.
So far these idiots have no patrols walking the yard. They do have two dogs – looks like pit bulls but difficult to tell – roaming the yard. I guess they are counting on the dogs barking as an alarm.
I drew a map of the building and grounds – with entrance ways, obstacles, methods for cover, and of course windows. It is 3:00am as I write this and we have not seen any activity since about 12:30am. Between 8:00pm and 9:30pm approx 25 gang members entered the yard through the fence. A few were in vehicles, some riding motorcycles, and a couple on mountain bikes. At 10:00pm they let the dogs out to roam free.
I am not real comfortable basing our plans on one evening of surveillance. Will see what happens the rest of the night and suggest we come back in a day or two.
I told M that we were planning an offensive strike against the gang. She started crying and said she doesn’t want to end up like Jennifer or Jessie – alone. I told her I had no plan on dying and was looking forward to many years of looking into her beautiful blue eyes. I told her we would plan this thing out the best we could – and hit them hard. I explained – and surprisingly she agreed – that gangs like this must be dealt with or we remain all at risk. I went on to asked her how would she feel knowing that we could have taken action against them but didn’t, only to have them enter the neighborhood and something happen to Caleb or Aaron? That pretty much convinced her.
She asked when it was going to happen. Told her nothing was written in stone but Monday was looking good.
It’s now 4:00am – still no signs of people at the yard.
September 6th We get some help…..
Karl Faile from Walnut street delivered several barrels of water, heard of the problems – and offered to help. He said he also wanted to participate in the strike against he gang. I reminded him of his family and asked if he was sure. He said yes – that as long as that gang roamed unchecked his family would be in danger. I told him that I would radio him and let him know more in a day or two.
Ryan, Bill and I planned another scouting trip. This one would be at night to see the activities at the lumbar yard. We decided to go there tomorrow just as the sun went down and camp all night.
I need to tell M tomorrow what we are doing – and planning. I have been putting it off but can’t anymore.
Ryan and I discussed how this was going to go down – brainstorming ideas. I said the goal has to be to reduce their numbers….drastically. We need to get information during our scouting trip and then determine positions to deploy neighborhood members. We needed to set up fields of fire to cover all exits….except one. There a sniper would wait and those trying to retreat would be taken out.
Another concern is they could wait it out inside the building. We don’t have the resources to wait them out nor do we want them to radio for back up – if that is possible. The building has got to burn.
Tomorrow night we will scout the property and then a plan will be made.
Tomorrow I have to tell M.
September 5th Finding their headquarters…..
Bill, Ryan and I decided to see if we could find where the gang had their headquarters. We took the Jeep out and headed to what was generally considered the “bad” part of town. We were all nervous, and we were heavily armed. I wore an inexpensive tactical vest I had bought a couple years ago. With it I had my S&W M&P9 9mm pistol, four extra magazines plus one in the pistol, six 30-rd Magpul PMAG magazines for my Stag AR which road beside me along with a couple more in a pouch on my belt. Ryan had his Mini-14 and extra magazines. Bill had his Mossberg 500 along with a pouch full of extra shells. We all hoped no shots would be fired today.
We headed down Saluda Street. Many houses were burned down, and lots of graffiti on buildings that were still standing. We saw an older man riding a bicycle going down a side street so we turned down to talk to him. We pulled up and scared him half to death. He turned and we recognized each other. It was Guy! Guy was one of the first people we ran into after venturing out of the neighborhood after The Event. He asked right away -”Any more peanut butter?” Bill told him no but we had a couple cans of soup and some hard candy – but we needed some information. We asked about the Blue Bandanna Gang and where they hold up. Guy smiled and I wish he hadn’t. I haven’t seen that many craters since I looked at the moon as a kid through a telescope. Guy went on to say that he knew of two places – an old recreation center out at Boyd Hill and an empty warehouse that used to be a Carter’s Lumber. He said they stay at Carter’s but spend time during the day over at the rec center. I asked how many members – he said he guessed around 30 but really wasn’t sure.
We gave Guy his treats and moved on.
We drove over to the old Carter’s Lumber and from a safe distance checked the area out with binoculars. We understood why they choose this location. It was surround with a fence with bob-wire running along the top. We could see a couple of pit bulls running around inside the fence. No one else was seen for over 30 minutes. I sketched a general map of the property and we headed home.
The three of us talked. This is where we would strike. We needed to figure out when and how – and who would be involved.
I am going to need to tell M.
September 4th It’s going to get dangerous…..
Today the Mike and Neil were buried. I told Phil they would not be replaced this week. We agreed most likely the gang that hit Hwy 72 would stay away – for now. Jennifer, Mike’s wife – was absolutely a wreck. Who could blame her. Several women in the neighborhood agreed to take shifts to watch her and help with the kids. The kids. My god those poor kids.
I talked to Ryan about Hwy 72, and the Blue Bandanna Gang. What a corny name for a gang but I don’t know what else to call them. As far as Hwy 72 it will be difficult to find volunteers to fulfill our agreement I suspect after what happened. We decided that Thursday we would start campaigning with everyone in the neighborhood to find 6 more to go for another week.
Now – I brought up the gang and the need to do something about them. Ryan agreed. While we were talking Bill came over and got in on the conversation. I told them that the gang was a threat to all of us and they will continue to wreak havoc in the area and will no doubt hit us again. Any success they have will lead to their numbers growing. We need to hit them and hit them hard. I then told them a quote that I had memorized years ago:
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
Both Bill and Ryan agreed it was time.
We need a plan. The decision was for the three of us to regroup tomorrow and bring ideas on how to do it.
I suspect M will not be happy.
September 3rd Labor Day…..
In the past, today would have been a day that many would be off from work and neighbors, friends, and relatives would get together, cook out, have a few drinks, and just enjoy life.
Phil from Hwy 72 came to the neighborhood. There’s been a problem. To sum it up the Blue Bandanna Gang hit the farm. What awful luck that this happens just two days after our six arrive there. Best account looks like 12 gang members that attacked just before lunch. Six of them escaped with their life – six did not. They killed 8 people – including Mike and Neil.
Oh my god – what have I done? If I had just let everything be Mike and Neil wouldn’t have been on the farm. They would still be here in the neighborhood. Mike would still be with his wife Jennifer, and their 6 children. After Phil left I sat out back behind the shed crying. All I could think about was those poor kids. Now Jennifer is alone. Now those kids have no father.
What have I done?
M came out and tried to make me feel better. It helped – a little. After she walked away and I saw Caleb and Aaron talking to M – I made a decision. A decision that I swear on my parents graves I will fulfill even if it kills me.
Those evil, pathetic low-life’s will pay. The blue bandanna gang will pay for the pain they have caused. They have killed Mark. They have killed Neil and Mike. They have killed countless others including those over on Walnut Street.
I am not exactly how it will be done but it WILL be done.
September 2nd The trouble never ends…..
This morning a small boy on the other side of the neighborhood near the service road was attacked by a coyote. Very rare that coyotes attack humans. Maybe it was the animal was extremely hungry due to the rabbit population decreasing over the last weeks. Maybe it was that the boy was playing with his cat in the backyard. Maybe the coyote was sick or injured. Maybe a combination of all of hose.
The boys mother ran out of the house hitting the coyote with a garden hoe laying nearby. The coyote started running off before one of the patrols in a tower shot it dead. The boy will be OK – several bites. Rose – the neighbor who is in charge of the Medical Team – had to clean up his wounds and give him 24 stitches.
Another danger in a dangerous world. Glad I have a fence in the back yard so I don’t have to worry about this when M, Aaron, or Caleb are out back.
Karl drove over from Walnut Street. I miss male companionship. Alright – no funny thoughts. Mark was my best friend around here. My best friend from High School has long since moved away and lost contact. I love having M here, and Aaron and I are getting along great, but I miss having a “buddy”. Bill and I get along – but he listens to the radio’s all night and sleeps during the day. We just don’t see each other that often. Anyways, Karl and I sat in the garage for a couple hours talking. I ran an extension cord from my battery bank to power a couple fans – it’s HOT. Karl said that things are going OK on Walnut Street. Food is extremely rationed. A book I gave him on finding edible plants has helped a bit. He said he makes a pine needle tea every couple days – good vitamin C. He said one couple this past Wednesday overdosed on painkillers. They couldn’t take living in the world that exists today. The couple used to have the latest gadgets, big screen TV’s, brand new cars every couple years – and now…. all that was important to them is useless. They just couldn’t take it.
Choices. You have to live with them or…..you don’t.
September 1st Six of our own head out…..
This morning Mike, Neil, Tommy, Brian, Kenny, and Joel headed out to Hwy 72. Prior to leaving Ryan and I went over what everyone was bringing with them - especially firearms.
Mike had no weapons of any kind.
Neil had an old Winchester 1300 Defender 12 gauge shotgun with a Sidesaddle shell holder.
Tommy had a Mini-30 semi-auto rifle along with a Ruger GP100 .357 Magnum revolver.
Brian stood there holding a nice Ruger 10/22 with a Hogue stock, bull barrel, and some brand of scope sitting on top.
Kenny carried an AR-15 – a full size A2 model.
Joel – like Mike – had no weapons.
Joel and Mike needed something to defend themselves and Hwy 72. I handed Joel my Remington 870 shotgun along with a bag containing extra shells and a cleaning kit. I asked Joel if he had ever shot and he said he had experience with shotguns – but it had been awhile. Mostly sporting clays. Bill arrived and handed Mike a lever action Marlin in .357 Magnum and a couple boxes of shells. Both Joel and Mike were thankful.
Before we departed Joel led us in a prayer. Afterwards families said their good-bye’s and in two vehicles we headed out.
Within 15 minutes we arrived and were greeted by the folks at the Hwy 72 Farm. Phil, Jack and Mitch came out to greet everyone. Ryan had wrote up a suggested plan using our six men along with six from Hwy 72. Jack said he would take everyone to their living quarters, provide a tour of the property, and get the patrols started.
Phil walked Ryan and I to the Jeep. Just as I was about to get in – I turned to Phil and told him that I am holding him personally responsible for these six men. If anything happens to them in any way beyond the agreed responsibilities - he would be the one to answer for it. He knew I meant every word. Phil held out his hand, I met it with mine and we shook hands. Phil told me they would be fine and well cared for.
On the trip back I told Ryan I would be very interested to hear from the guys next Sunday when they come home. Now we need to see about finding six more volunteers.
August 31st Neighborhood meeting…..
I asked M and Aaron if they could walk the neighborhood and inform everyone of an important meeting today at 2:00pm at the model home. I was surprised to see M, Aaron AND Jessie – with her little girl Addie about 1 hour later walking together. M and Aaron came back home and I asked how everything was. She said just fine. I inquired how Jessie was doing. M said she seemed fine and mentioned that she needed to stop feeling sorry for herself and mingle with the neighbors again. I thought of Mark and my anger toward the Blue Bandanna Gang started growing. I still want revenge.
Regardless – I was happy to see Jessie out and about. I went and charged up my portable DVD player using the battery bank attached to my solar system. I asked M to take it over to Jessie for Addie so she could watch a movie. In today’s world – that 2 hour kids movie is such a huge treat for a little girl. It was the least I could do.
2:00pm came and many showed at the model home. As everyone gathered around I spoke of my trip to Hwy 72 and the opportunity and conditions that were in front of us. I admitted my mistake and explained my efforts to rectify the situation.
I described the agreement that was hashed out and needed their approval to move forward:
- We would provide 6 people to live 1 week at a time to assist in patrolling and security.
- These patrols would be fed and provided shelter.
- The patrols would have to be armed for defense and security.
- In return for our assistance -
- Each week we will receive 4 chickens, every other week a rooster for a total of 8 weeks.
- At the end of each week the returning group to the neighborhood will bring back two dozen eggs, a block of cheese and up to 12 catfish.
- After 2 months we would receive 2 pigs,
- After 4 months we would receive 2 cows
- After 6 months we would receive 2 more pigs and another cow.
At 6 months everything would be reevaluated. To sum it up- if we help for 6 months we would have 32 more chickens with 4 roosters, 600 eggs, 192 catfish, 16 blocks of cheese, 4 pigs, and 3 cows.
This would be a lot more than we have now and would be a big step in a direction of self reliance.
When I finished many were chatting. I asked if there were any questions and several asked at once who would go. I answered that I felt that volunteers should work. If we failed to get the volunteers – the deal would be off. At that point I asked for a show of hands of those in favor of the deal. Most everyone raised their hand.
I thanked everyone and then said that the hard part was next. I needed 6 volunteers. Silence engulfed the crowd. I told them that I need 6 people to travel just a few miles away, live on the farm, assist in providing security and defend their land if need be.
One hand went up – it was Mike from the other side of the neighborhood. He has 6 kids along with his wife. I asked for another and there were no hands. Mike stood up and told the crowd that we needed to do this. He said that people are hungry with limited supplies – this was a way to improve our situation. Neil raised his hand, stood up and declared – “I’ll go!” Then Tommy from around the corner. Brian as well who lives near Mike. Kenny then stood up and volunteered. Silence once again fell over the crowd. An awkward moment was interrupted when Joel stood up and raised his hand. “Yes” – Joel volunteered. I asked him if he was sure and he said confidently – “Yes.”
I thanked them then Ryan and I met with the group of six shortly thereafter. We decided that tomorrow morning they would be taken for their 1st week on the farm.
I am so hopeful that this works out.