Prepping In Real Life: It is Never Too Late to Change Course

Prepping In Real Life: It is Never Too Late to Change Course | escape-from-fishy-life-background-700x438 | PreparednessSurvival

There is no other way to begin this article than to simply begin.

Back in the day, meaning 2011 and 2012, survivalist preppers were a curiosity. Those of us that chose this journey ended up soldiering their way through a maze of trial and error, amassing supplies and traditional skills that would carry us through the next apocalypse.

Early on, I chose to refer to the next apocalypse as a “disruptive event” and the label stuck.  Whether a natural disaster, economic collapse, or manmade event, it was always my feeling that a broad foundation of self-sufficiency would carry us through the worst of times.

And so it has been for all these years.

Do you ever feel like a fish out of water? If so, you are not alone.

Unfortunately, so many years later, I find that prepping has become an industry filled with bad information, shoddy ethics, and fraud.  I am saddened by all of this, so much so that there are days I want to give it up lest I am caught up in a cycle where raw capitalism supersedes common sense education.

But I digress.

In this newest Backdoor Survival think piece, I would like to challenge you to take a look at yourself and your needs and judge yourself by your own standards and not those of someone else.  I ask you to walk the walk and stay true to your core belief system so that you can become as prepared as you need to be.  No more, and no less.

To help you along, I am including an excerpt from Dan Chiras’ book, Things I Learned Too Late In Life: It’s Never Too Late To Be Who You Might Have Been.  It has helped me a lot, and I hope it helps you, too.

It’s Never too Late to Be Who You Might Have Been

Most of us live two lives: a secret inner life decorated with high ideals and moral principles, and an outer real life in which we often abandon or compromise our morals and ideals, sometimes our most cherished ideals, for the sake of expediency, fitting in, getting by, or hundreds of other flimsy excuses.

In essence, each of us is a complex mixture of who we are and who we’d like to be. No wonder that we’re each a conflicting maze of emotions and ideas and actions.

At a keynote address at a conference at the University of Colorado in the 1990s, a prominent health-food advocate told her audience, “Don’t judge me by my cupboards.” She went on to explain that her children insisted on her buying all kinds of less-than-healthy goodies – cereals loaded with food dyes and, of course, dripping with sugar. All these products violated her beliefs – and teachings — about sound nutrition.

I fully understand and sympathize with her and don’t stand in judgment. All parents know how difficult it is to get our children to eat right. I offer this anecdote, however, as an example of one of many often powerful forces that steer us off the path of being – or becoming — who we really want to be – in this case, our children’s unrelenting and plaintive whining.

This speaker’s proclamation was just one example of how we all live lives nagged by many niggling little white lies – believing in one thing, acting in ways that contradict our beliefs.

Bottom line, however, when all is said and done, we have to judge ourselves by what’s in our cupboards, not by the slogans on the bumper stickers on our cars or the T shirts we wear on weekends.

What we do is who we are. We are not what we believe in but fail to do or be.

The Final Word

When it comes to prepping, talk is cheap. It is the doing that is expensive.  As I learned from Dan’s book, “walking your talk” takes time, energy, money, and commitment.

My wish for all of you is that you continue to walk your talk. Do it your way.  And when in doubt, ask a lot of questions.  If something smells wrong, most likely it is wrong. Go with your gut instincts, instead.

Prepping, and being a survivalist prepper, is hard work so define your needs, and go from there.  Be true to yourself and your moral compass and you can not and will not go astray.

And that, as I like to say, is all I am going to say about that.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


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Source: Alternative news journal

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How to Survive World War 3: Prepping for an Off-Shore Conflict

How to Survive World War 3: Prepping for an Off-Shore Conflict | How-to-survive-an-off-shore-conflict | PreparednessSurvival Sleuth Journal Special Interests War Propaganda

If an all-out war erupts, it will be like nothing the Earth has seen before. All of our “progress” means that each side now has the weapons at their disposal to destroy their enemy many times over. Because of this, we can’t as readily look back in history to learn how to survive World War 3.

Most of the time, when I write an article, it’s based on research or personal experience. I can find times when the incident has occurred in the past and study them. I can learn what catastrophes came hand-in-hand, and analyze what we need to know ahead of time to survive. The potential of a conflict like WWIII is quite different because, during the last World War, our technology was a drop in the bucket compared to what is now available. The situation we have now is called MAD – Mutually Assured Destruction – and the acronym couldn’t be any more accurate because it’s utter madness to destroy our world.

I have to be honest. This is based on speculation because we just don’t know how it would play out. It’s based on the most likely consequences, on what I know of our economy, on how wars have played out for ordinary citizens in the past, and on what I know of general preparedness. Earlier this week, I posted a compilation of reader’s comments about what we could face if we went to war. You can read that article here.

If there are developments, I’ll send out alerts via email, so make sure  you’re signed up to the newsletter.)

What this article is not about

There are some topics I won’t be covering in this article.

Current events: This won’t cover the current bombings, sabre-rattling, and incidents. I recommend the following sources for that coverage:

The dubious morality of war: A lot of folks seem to be thrilled at the concept of war. They don’t seem to comprehend that whatever our military does to another country, someone else could come along and do to us. The stuff I saw on social media reminded me of that naive scene in Gone with the Wind, when Civil War was declared and all the young men at the barbecue were whooping with excitement, having no idea of the horrors and brutality that would soon occur.

The United States is not untouchable, and I won’t even discuss the dubious morality of war. All I’ll say to those folks who are cheering from the sidelines and treating it like a football game, “You have no idea what you’re asking for.”

Nuclear war: Although a nuclear strike is a possibility, that isn’t a topic that will be covered in this article. That horrible prospect requires far more than I can provide in the scope of a single article. (Here’s some basic information on surviving a nuclear strike and you can look for a very thorough upcoming crash course on the topic at Preppers University – sign up here to get on the email list so you’ll be alerted when it is available.)

Attacks on American soil: This article is pretty long already and that topic deserves its own article – look for it next week.

Rainbows and Unicorns: And finally, before we get started, a quick note to all of the people who scorn articles like this as “fear-mongering:

Is it less frightening to face a situation with no knowledge of how it might play out? Is it preferable to be blithely unaware of what might befall us? Would you rather it all be a horrible shock for which you are completely unprepared? If that’s your philosophy, stop reading now. I’d hate to ruin the surprise for you. Go ahead and believe in unicorns and rainbows.

For the rest of us, who want to give our families the best possible odds, read on.

Prepping to Survive World War 3

In a non-nuclear conflict, there are two possible scenarios: fighting in distant lands and conflict on our soil. Many of the preparations are the same, so we’ll start with involvement from a distance.

Economic Ramifications

While some people will become mind-blowingly wealthy due to war, it won’t be ordinary folks like us. If previous World Wars are a good indicator, we’ll be asked to make sacrifices to “support” our soldiers.Think about all of the WW2 propaganda posters that encourage people to raise their own food, to go without certain items, and to whole-heartedly embrace rations. I can assure you that people who own stock in defense companies won’t be dining on pigeon and squirrel, but I can’t say the same for the rest of us.

Whether you wish to live frugally or not, it will be forced upon all but the most well-to-do.  This is in part due to shortages (which we’ll discuss below) that will drive up the cost of consumer products. The price of transportation will also increase due to inflated gasoline prices, and this will affect the cost of every single good that has to be transported across any distance.

It’s likely that jobs will be available, due to increased enlistment in the military. (This could be due to a draft or simply voluntary sign-ups.) However, the money you make will have to go much further to combat the price increases.

Here are some immediate steps you can take to help counteract these potential economic ramifications. And if nothing bad happens, this won’t go the way of the Y2K preps. All of these are logical and reasonable steps for anyone to take to protect themselves from a financial downturn.

Stock up NOW. There’s no time to waste, given current global tensions. You need to have as much food quietly stashed away as possible. Remember that hungry friends and neighbors can be a threat later if you have food and they don’t, so keep your preps on the down-low.

Enact your self-reliance strategies NOW.  If you’ve been idly pondering the idea of a garden or a few chickens, put those plans into action. Raising food isn’t as easy as throwing some seeds in the dirt or erecting a chicken coop and tossing the birds a handful of grain now and then. Thinking that a survival homestead is something you can do later, on the spur of the moment is a terrible – and potentially deadly – mistake.

Keep cash on hand. In a crisis, banks often close and if this happens you won’t be able to access your money. Another possibility is that a cyber attack could cripple the financial system. Keep at least enough cash for a month’s worth of expenses. Have the cash in small denominations so that you won’t have to try and get change during an emergency.

Invest in precious metals. For many of us, the best investment is tangible goods like food, tools, and homesteading supplies. However, if you are in a situation in which you have wealth to guard, the best way to do this is with precious metals. Gold and silver will hold their value even if the dollar goes under.

Learn to live frugally. Living beneath your means will help you survive potential economic woes.

Focus on general preparedness. Aside from the specifics mentioned above, do everything you can to become more prepared in a general way. This will help you take any difficulties in stride.

Shortages That We Could Expect

Another issue that comes hand in hand with war is shortages. We live in a country that runs on imports. The US has a trade deficit of over $500 billion. (source) This means that we import far more than we export, which could be a massive issue in the event of a war. This could happen in a few different ways:

  • Another country could halt our supply routes
  • Other countries could refuse to do business with us
  • Prices could rise dramatically due to the conflict from increased transportation costs, worries about safety risks during transport, or by the countries from which we import suffering their own shortages.

When President Trump was inaugurated and said that he was going to tax imports, many articles were written about how an import tax could affect our cost of living. The same information is applicable if you look at it through the scope of war. Although the imports wouldn’t necessarily be taxed, we’d be looking at similar shortages. (This article on Consumer Reports gives an excellent overview on what could be affected due to an import tax.)

Here are some of the shortages we could anticipate and supporting links to help you prep for them:

Gasoline: A fuel shortage will, quite literally, affect everything. It will increase the cost of goods because getting them from one side of the country to the other will be more expensive. It will cause shortages because importing the goods into the country from elsewhere will be more difficult and costly. The ability to travel or commute will be affected for many people, causing it to be more difficult to get to work or school. Our worlds will get much smaller in such a situation.

This could happen in a few different ways. First, our fuel could be diverted to the war effort, or secondly, since a quarter of our petroleum comes from other countries (source), a shortage could evolve the same way as shortages of consumer goods, as addressed above.

Food: For all of the reasons mentioned above, we could be facing food shortages. America imports $130 billion per year worth of food, and we have all become accustomed to blueberries in December and bananas on demand. In 2011, statistics showed that 20% of our food is imported with particular emphasis on seafood (70%) and produce (35%).  With droughts and weather concerns plaguing agricultural hubs of the country over the past few years, this percentage has surely risen, although I was unable to find specific recent statistics.

Prescription medications: We are also a nation that is heavily reliant on prescription medications, many of which are made offshore. A whopping 80% of our prescription drugs are imported, according to the FDA website. In the event of a war that halts imports, the almost 70% of Americans who regularly rely on prescription drugs will be in big trouble.

Shortages of prescription medications could result in increased use of medical facilities due to uncontrolled heart conditions, diabetes, or other chronic ailments. This could cause reduced access to physicians, fewer available beds in hospitals, and higher prices for drugs that are available.

  • Sign up here to get a special report on Venezuela that discusses the medical crisis there that erupted due to pharmaceutical shortages. (It also lists the other things that they ran out of first during their own economic crisis.)
  • Look for options other than pharmaceutical for a backup plan. This book is loaded with natural remedies in the event that meds are no longer available.
  • Do your best to reduce your reliance on prescription medications if you can at all. Some health conditions can be managed with good nutrition. If you have an underlying issue that can be taken care of, do so now.

Power: In previous conflicts, power has been rationed in some parts of the world. This could be anything from predictable rolling blackouts to cutting power entirely in order to “support the war effort.”

Of course, during WW2, people were less reliant on electronics for every facet of their lives. Now, we are all completely hooked into the grid. Most folks rely on it for everything: information,  warmth, communication, money, and food storage. If that grid was no longer reliable, everything would change and some people would have a lot of difficulty adapting.

If your budget is tight, I strongly recommend against investing in a generator. First of all, they’re expensive and that money can be spent elsewhere. Unless it is solar, you’ll have to have fuel to run it. And it’s a pretty safe bet that if electricity is rationed, fuel will be outrageously expensive and difficult to acquire.

What if the conflict hits American soil?

The last time there was war on the American mainland was during the American Civil War. The next article in this series will discuss ways to prepare for the potential of conflict if it comes to us. Be sure to sign up for the newsletter so you don’t miss it.

Part 1: Is World War 3 Coming? 18 Preppers Discuss Effects, Shortages, and How to Get Ready

Part 2: How to Survive World War 3: Prepping for an Off-Shore Conflict

Part 3: How to Survive World War 3: Prepping in Case the Fight Comes to Us (coming soon)


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Source: Alternative news journal

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How to Survive a Nuclear Strike

How to Survive a Nuclear Strike | nuclear | PreparednessSurvival US News

Learning what to do in the event of a nuclear strike just took on a whole new urgency now that Kim Jong Un just threatened to nuke the US.

We don’t know if Kim Jong Un actually has the capability to nuke the United States, but we do know that little dictator in North Korea is batcrap crazy. So if he actually does have the ability to hit the United States with a nuclear weapon, do you have any doubt whatsoever that he’d do it?

Last week, it was reported by numerous sources that Seal Team 6 had been deployed to do away with Kim Jong Un. At the time, I thought that seemed a little weird, because wouldn’t that be a top secret mission? Why would they actually warn Un that they were coming?

Weirdness aside, the leader of North Korea responded with an incredibly unsettling warning via his Foreign Ministry:

“The Korean People’s Army will reduce the bases of aggression and provocation to ashes with its invincible Hwasong rockets tipped with nuclear warheads and reliably defend the security of the country and its people’s happiness in case the US and the South Korean puppet forces fire even a single bullet at the territory of the DPRK.”

According to a report on SHTFplan, the Secretary of State said that Americans “patience has ended” with the antics of Kim Jong Un.

If you were one of those people who felt such a sense of relief when Trump became president instead of Hillary Clinton that you stopped prepping, you might want to rethink that. A nuclear attack could mean one of two things – a missile sent to some location on American soil or even an EMP that detonated above the country, wiping out the power grid.

If there is anyone is crazy enough to start a nuclear war, it’s this guy. He has already shown that he refuses to cooperate with the demands of neighboring countries. Even though he has to be aware that retaliation would be swift and brutal, if he thought he could get in a sucker punch, I believe he would do it.

Do you know what to do in the event of a nuclear strike?

Preparing for a strike vs. an EMP are very different. For the purposes of this article, we’ll talk about a direct strike.

Contrary to popular belief, a nuke won’t kill everyone within hundreds of miles. If you aren’t in the immediate blast radius, a nuclear strike is absolutely survivable.

If you are within 10-20 miles of the blast, the winds will be coming at about 600 miles per hour. This will take down buildings and cause a tremendous amount of pressure. Some experts recommend that you keep your mouth open to try and reduce the pressure on your eardrums.

If you manage to survive that part, you have about 10-15 minutes to evacuate the area before you are exposed to a lethal amount of radioactive fallout. It’s time to get the heck out of Dodge if at all possible. The advantage you will have is that most people will still be trying to figure out what on earth happened. The disadvantage is that roadways may not be clear due to damage from the blast.

Your other option is to immediately get to shelter.

During a talk on surviving a nuclear attack, professor Iwrin Redlener, US specialist on disaster preparedness, said: “In that 10 to 15 minutes, all you have to do is go about a mile away from the blast.

“Within 20 minutes, it comes straight down. Within 24 hours, lethal radiation is going out with prevailing winds.”

Prof Redlener said you should feel for the wind and begin running perpendicular to it – not upwind or downwind

He said: “You’ve got to get out of there. If you don’t get out of there, you’re going to be exposed to lethal radiation in very short order.

“If you can’t get out of there, we want you to go into a shelter and stay there. Now, in a shelter in an urban area means you have to be either in a basement as deep as possible, or you have to be on a floor – on a high floor – if it’s a ground burst explosion, which it would be, higher than the ninth floor.

So you have to be tenth floor or higher, or in the basement. But basically, you’ve got to get out of town as quickly as possible. And if you do that, you actually can survive a nuclear blast.”

The most hazardous fallout particles are readily visible as fine sand-sized grains so you must keep away from them and not go outside if you see them. (source)

If you take shelter, you should plan to stay there for a minimum of 9 days.

A few other nuclear survival tips:

  • If you are in your car, make certain to turn the vent to recirculation so that you don’t bring any outside air into the vehicle.
  • If you have duct tape on hand, use it to seal up any entrances to the room in which you are taking shelter. (Hint: You should always have duct tape on hand.)

If you are far enough out to have a bit of time, you can fortify your home to prevent much of the fallout from getting inside.

  • Use duct tape and tarps to seal off windows, doors, and vents.
  • Turn off any type of climate control that pulls the outside air into your home.
  • If someone enters the home, make certain that there is a room set up that is separate from other family members so that they can decontaminate.
  • All clothing they were wearing should be placed outside and they should immediately shower thoroughly.

Have enough supplies on hand to wait out the danger.

As with many emergencies, you need to be prepared to survive at home without help from anyone.

  • Stock up on emergency food.
  • Have a supply of water for all family members and pets that will last throughout the 9-day waiting period that you need to remain indoors.
  • Make certain you have an iodine supplement on hand to protect your thyroid gland.
  • Be prepared for the potential of a power outage.
  • If you have pets, have supplies on hand for their sanitation – you can’t let them go outside because not only would they be exposed, they would bring radiation in with them.
  • Make sure to have a supply of any necessary prescription medications.
  • Have a well-stocked first aid kit.

Finally, print out this manual from the US government about surviving a nuclear emergency. It was written with first responders in mind, but much of the information would be applicable for us, too. It discusses:

  • The effects of a detonation in an urban environment
  • Shelter and evacuation recommendations
  • Medical care
  • Decontamination
  • Preparedness steps you can take well before an emergency occurs

None of these preps are completely outrageous items that you’d never use. I’m not suggesting that you go set up a bunker in an underground cavern. (Although that would be pretty cool.)  These are common sense preps that many of you may already have on hand.

Personally, I’d rather know what to do ahead of time instead of trying to figure it out after the fact when I only have 10 minutes to save the lives of my family members.


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The post How to Survive a Nuclear Strike appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: Alternative news journal

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Without Rule of Law: How to Survive a Real Life Purge Like the One in Brazil (VIDEO)

Without Rule of Law: How to Survive a Real Life Purge Like the One in Brazil (VIDEO) | civil-unrest | Civil Disobedience Collapse Multimedia PreparednessSurvival Sleuth Journal Society Special Interests US News World News

In southeastern Brazil, a real-life version of the movie The Purge is going on.

Police officers in the state of Espirito Santo went on strike Friday. Their families have barricaded the exits of eleven law enforcement barracks, preventing any officers from performing their jobs.

And the state has descended into a kind of anarchy usually reserved for post-apocalyptic movies.

The Brazilian website Globo.com reported on the dire situation.

Murders have increased by a thousand percent, with 62 people being killed over the course of three days.  While that sounds like a normal weekend in Chicago here, the state only had four murders in the entire month of January. There are so many dead that they’ve exceeded the capacity of the morgue to hold them all, and corpses are lying on the ground.

Stores have been vandalized and looted, some of them utterly destroyed. Many merchants have boarded up their windows and will remain closed for the duration of the crisis.

Banks, schools, parks, public hospitals, and public transit have all closed.

Gangs have taken over the cities, and the military has been dispatched to regain order.

This has been pretty much blacked out by the media but I was able to find one video showing what it really looks like down there.

Without Rule of Law

This is a classic example of what can happen when society is Without Rule of Law (WROL), a common term that preppers use to describe a complete breakdown of society and the rules that maintain order. (Here is the best book you can buy for surviving this type of scenario.)

Now, look at the situation here in American cities right now. Thankfully, we haven’t devolved to this point yet, but the protests about the Trump administration just keep escalating. We have cities, even states, that are willfully refusing to comply with executive orders regarding changes in immigration policies.

But what’s worse is that we have outraged Leftists who are talking about escalating the situation. There is much discussion over whether or not violence is justified to silence Trump and his supporters.

At the very least, a lot of people seem totally unbothered at the thought of politically motivated attacks against people they think of as Nazis — a group that’s so extreme and evil from the perspective of everyday Americans that it merits extreme action to fight. In this way, that an explicitly racist person’s safety is considered a non-concern sends a message about how unacceptable bigoted views like Spencer’s are in America.

There is a political strategy to this. A key part of the anti-fascist movement — often called “antifa” — is that fascists can’t be allowed to have a platform at any cost. Under this view, the punch isn’t about simply feeling good about beating up a “Nazi” (even if it does feel good to some) but about robbing people like [Richard] Spencer of a voice.

Antifa protesters are clear that this is a strategy explicitly to deal with fascism, not just any political view that you disagree with. Neo-Nazi, fascist, and racist views, the argument goes, are so extreme that they justify extreme tactics. The worry: If these views aren’t completely robbed of any kind of platform, they could gain legitimacy — and take advantage of liberal ideals like free speech to, ironically, promote their very illiberal messages. (source)

Take a moment to guffaw at the irony in the above quote of free speech being a liberal ideal, as the entire premise of punching the person is to silence his unpopular free speech. And these people aren’t alone. After the recent riot in Berkley, California, a student published this Op-Ed explaining how they had to get violent in self-defense because people were saying stuff they didn’t like. I wish I was making this up.

Anyway, I digress.

What I’m saying is that the insanity in Brazil is not so far-fetched. We’re currently going down a road in America in which we are being programmed to be at each other’s throats. We’ve been set up to turn on each other and to fear each other. We’re being set up for Civil War.

Watch this quick video about how we’re all being brainwashed. (Note: you may not like it, but if you watch with an open mind, you’ll see that it’s the truth.)

How do you prepare before the violence reaches the streets of America?

Now, whether or not you believe this is a deliberate attempt to cause a crisis, the fact remains that we are right on the cusp of our own version of the Brazilian Purge. Most of us prefer peace, and that’s why I’m recommending a defensive strategy in the event things go south.

You need to plan to hunker down in your home. If there is unchecked violence on the streets, you don’t want to be there. Right now in Brazil, going to the corner store (assuming it’s even open) to pick up a gallon of milk is to risk your very life.

Many of you reading this will already be well-prepared to face a week or two in lockdown. If you’re not, you must realize that when violence erupts, there will not be time for a last minute run to the store.

The vital first step

It is absolutely essential to stay on top of the news. The earlier you realize something major is occurring, the sooner you can get your family locked down safely. (Go here to sign up for daily email tips and alerts.)

Here’s a quick stock up list:

Food. Get at least one bucket of emergency food for each member of your family. Each bucket is a one month supply for one person.  It is shelf stable (in case the power is affected) and only requires the ability to boil water. (Gluten-free buckets are also available as are options with larger quantities.)

Have a way to boil water. This inexpensive stove can be used indoors. Be sure to stock up on butane canisters to use with it.

Stock up on dry milk. The very first thing that most families run out of in an emergency is milk, so be sure that you have a shelf-stable option. A case of hormone-free dry milk is an excellent investment.

Medicine. Make sure you have at least a one month supply of any necessary prescription medications.

Store an emergency water supply. Consider the possibility that a municipal water supply could become tainted. (Go here to learn more about emergency water.)

Also be certain to have these items on hand:

How to stay safe

Below, find an excerpt from my article “Are You Prepared for Lockdown?” with further security measures you should be prepared to take in the event of extreme civil unrest.

Try to stay under the radar.

Your best defense is avoiding the fight altogether. You want to stay under the radar and not draw attention to yourself.  The extent to which you strive to do this should be based on the severity of the unrest in your area. Some of the following recommendations are not necessary for an everyday grid-down scenario but could save your life in a more extreme civil unrest situation.

  • Keep all the doors and windows locked.  Secure sliding doors with a metal bar.  Consider installing decorative gridwork over a door with a large window so that it becomes difficult for someone to smash the glass and reach in to unlock the door.
  • Put dark plastic over the windows. (Heavy duty garbage bags work well.)  If it’s safe to do so, go outside and check to see if any light escapes from the windows. If your home is the only one on the block that is well-lit, it is a beacon to others.
  • Keep pets indoors. Sometimes criminals use an animal in distress to get a homeowner to open the door for them. Sometimes people are just mean and hurt animals for “fun.”  Either way, it’s safer for your furry friends to be inside with you.
  • Don’t answer the door.  Many home invasions start with an innocent-seeming knock at the door to gain access to your house.
  • Keep cooking smells to a minimum.  The goal here is not to draw attention. The meat on your grill will draw people like moths to a flame.
  • Keep the family together.  It’s really best to hang out in one room. Make it a movie night, go into a darkened room at the back of the house, and stay together. This way, if someone does try to breach your door, you know where everyone is who is supposed to be there. As well, you don’t risk one of the kids unknowingly causing a vulnerability with a brightly lit room or an open window.
  • Remember that first responders may be tied up.  If the disorder is widespread, don’t depend on a call to 911 to save you – you must be prepared to save yourself.  Also keep in mind, as mentioned earlier in the article – the cops are not always your friends in these situations.

Be prepared to defend your family.

If despite your best efforts, your property draws the attention of people with ill intent, you must be ready to defend your family. Sometimes despite our best intentions, the fight comes to us.

Many preppers stockpile weapons and ammunition for just such an event.  I know that I certainly do. Firearms are an equalizer. A small woman can defend herself from multiple large intruders with a firearm if she’s had some training and knows how to use it properly. But put a kitchen knife in her hand against those same intruders, and her odds decrease exponentially.

  • Don’t rely on 911. If the disorder is widespread, don’t depend on a call to 911 to save you – you must be prepared to save yourself.  First responders may be tied up, and in some cases, the cops are not always your friends.  In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, some officers joined in the crime sprees, and others stomped all over the 2nd Amendment and confiscated people’s legal firearms at a time when they needed them the most.
  • Be armed and keep your firearm on your person.  When the door of your home is breached, you can be pretty sure the people coming in are not there to make friendly conversation over a nice cup of tea.  Make a plan to greet them with a deterring amount of force. Be sure to keep your firearm on your person during this type of situation, because there won’t be time to get it from your gun safe. Don’t even go to the kitchen to get a snack without it. Home invasions go down in seconds, and you have to be constantly ready.
  • Know how to use your firearm. Whatever your choice of weapon, practice, practice, practice. A weapon you don’t know how to use is more dangerous than having no weapon at all. Here’s some advice from someone who knows a lot more about weapons than I do.
  • Make sure your children are familiar with the rules of gun safety. Of course, it should go without saying that you will have pre-emptively taught your kids the rules of gun safety so that no horrifying accidents occur. In fact, it’s my fervent hope that any child old enough to do so has been taught to safely and effectively use a firearm themselves. Knowledge is safety.
  • Be ready for the potential of fire.  Fire is a cowardly attack that doesn’t require any interaction on the part of the arsonist. It flushes out the family inside, leaving you vulnerable to physical assaults. Have fire extinguishers mounted throughout your home. You can buy them in 6 packs from AmazonWithout Rule of Law: How to Survive a Real Life Purge Like the One in Brazil (VIDEO) | ir?t=prepping0a-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00002ND64 | Civil Disobedience Collapse Multimedia PreparednessSurvival Sleuth Journal Society Special Interests US News World News . Be sure to test them frequently and maintain them properly. (Allstate has a page about fire extinguisher maintenance.) Have fire escape ladders Without Rule of Law: How to Survive a Real Life Purge Like the One in Brazil (VIDEO) | ir?t=prepping0a-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B000H5S96A | Civil Disobedience Collapse Multimedia PreparednessSurvival Sleuth Journal Society Special Interests US News World News that can be attached to a windowsill in all upper story rooms.  Drill with them so that your kids know how to use them if necessary.
  • Have a safe room established for children or other vulnerable family members. If the worst happens and your home is breached, you need to have a room into which family members can escape.  This room needs to have a heavy exterior door instead of a regular hollow core interior door. There should be communications devices in the room so that the person can call for help, as well as a reliable weapon to be used in the unlikely event that the safe room is breached. The family members should be instructed not to come out of that room FOR ANY REASON until you give them the all clear or help has arrived. You can learn more about building a safe room HERE.  Focus the tips for creating a safe room in an apartment to put it together more quickly.

Even if your plan is to bug in, you must be ready to change that plan in the blink of an eye. Plan an escape route.  If the odds are against you, if your house catches on fire, if thugs are kicking in your front door… devise a way to get your family to safety.  Your property is not worth your life. Be wise enough to accept that the situation has changed and move rapidly to Plan B.

Stay home.

If trouble comes to your neighborhood and you decide to stick around, stay home.

It’s the number one way to keep yourself safer from during a civil unrest situation. If you find yourself in an area under siege, the odds will be further on your side for every interaction in which you avoid taking part. Every single time you leave the house, you increase your chances of an unpleasant encounter.  Nothing will be accomplished by going out during a chaotic situation.

Be ready for this.

There will be no last-minute runs to the store. If a WROL situation goes down, you will have to stay home and make the best of what you have on hand. The steps that you take now to prepare can determine how well that goes for you. You don’t want to look back and wish you’d done more to protect your family.


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The post Without Rule of Law: How to Survive a Real Life Purge Like the One in Brazil (VIDEO) appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: Alternative news journal

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How to Survive an Earthquake

How to Survive an Earthquake | earthquake | PreparednessSurvival Special Interests US News

If you were caught up in the midst of a massive earthquake – the kind that takes down buildings and buckles roads – would you know what to do?

I’m not talking about a minor temblor that shakes a glass off the counter and sends it to shatter on the floor.

I’m talking about The Big One. The one for which we are long overdue.

The United States has several active fault zones, and some of them are capable of producing extremely destructive quakes. While most people think of the West Coast (and for excellent reason), there are massive faults in other places in the US, too.

ALL of these fault lines have ruptured before, and they will rupture again. In fact, according to this map, more than half of the continental US could expect a major quake within the next 50 years.

How to Survive an Earthquake | Earthquake-within-50-years-768x564 | PreparednessSurvival Special Interests US News

Photo Credit: National Geographic

And that is just the continental United States. Alaska is at a very high risk of earthquakes and Hawaii is in danger from tsunamis due to earthquakes in other parts of the Pacific.

National Geographic summarizes the risk:

…while all U.S. states have some potential for earthquakes, 42 of the 50 states “have a reasonable chance of experiencing damaging ground shaking from an earthquake in 50 years,” which is generally considered the typical lifetime of a building. Sixteen of those states have a “relatively high likelihood” of damaging shaking.

With those odds, it’s pretty likely that most of us will experience a significant earthquake in our lifetime.

This article isn’t about the long-term aftermath of an earthquake, during which you’d be unlikely to have power, safe water, or access to the stores for supplies. It’s about surviving the event itself.

For more information on general survival and preparedness, go here to get a free self-reliance library and daily email updates.

Here’s how to survive an earthquake.

So what should you do when the ground starts shaking?

It depends on where you are. We’ll go over three different scenarios. It’s critical to note that sometimes people are just in the wrong place at the wrong time and that the situation will be very fluid. Be ready to adapt quickly if plan A doesn’t work. (Check out this article on the three steps to survival.)

Standard advice is to

  • Drop: get as low to the ground as possible
  • Cover: Cover your head, get under something, bend forward to protect your vital organs
  • Hold on: Hold on to your shelter with one hand and move along with it if it shifts

Depending on the severity of the earthquake you may not get emergency announcements advising of evacuation routes or refuge centers. The emergency services themselves may be unable to function, and communications may be down.

You could be on your own for a considerable length of time before rescuers get to you.  It’s vital to think clearly and logically, which is not always easy in an emergency situation. That’s why it’s important to think these things through ahead of time – so that you’ve already made many of the necessary decisions well before the first sign of a tremor.

What to do if you’re outside during an earthquake

If you’re outside the biggest risk is being hit by something that has been structurally damaged by the quake.

  • Move away from building to avoid getting hit by falling masonry.
  • Avoid being near power lines.
  • Move to the most open ground you can find – a park or open space – which will decrease the danger from falling buildings or downed power lines.
  • If you are within 10 miles of the coast, head for higher ground immediately.
  • If you are in your vehicle, stop in as open an area as possible. If you are on a ramp or a bridge, do not stop! Get off of it immediately.
  • Be alert for emergency announcements. If so, follow the advice.
  • If not, start to consider your next move – which will hopefully be following a plan you and your family made well ahead of time for a place to meet up safely.

What to do if you’re at the beach during an earthquake

The biggest danger of experiencing an earthquake when you’re at the beach is during the aftermath. A tsunami can travel as far as 10 miles inland, wiping out everything in its path. You will have no way of knowing where the epicenter of the quake was. The highest risk occurs when the epicenter is at sea. Here’s a quick tsunami primer:

Most tsunamis are caused by earthquakes. As a result, most tsunamis occur near or at fault lines. When a tsunami is generated, it is not only 1 wave. Instead it is a series of waves, known as a wave train. These waves travel together and can be up to 1 hour apart. Tsunami waves travel extremely fast with speeds of up to 500 miles per hour—the speed of a jet.

They can be as wide as 60 miles and cross entire oceans without losing momentum. When a tsunami is traveling, it may be less than a foot in height. This causes it to be unnoticed by sailors who are at sea. As the tsunami approaches land, it hits shallow water and begins to slow down. The top of the wave, however, continues travelling, causing the sea to rise dramatically. Tsunamis are extremely destructive on land. The waves can surge up to 100 feet in height and completely devastate a coastal area. (source)

Tsunami waves travel at hundreds of miles per hour. You must act immediately.

  • Move inland and to higher ground as far and as fast as you can.
  • If there are tsunami evacuation routes marked, follow them.
  • If you see the water recede dramatically, get the heck out of dodge – you have only moments before the tsunami hits.

After the initial wave, it is extremely likely that more will follow. These waves can be up to an hour apart. Do not return to lower ground until officials have given the all-clear.

What to do if you’re indoors during an earthquake

If you are inside when a quake occurs, your priority is to protect yourself until you can escape the building.

  • Move away from the windows immediately. They can shatter.
  • Move away from exterior walls. In a very severe quake, the sides of buildings can give way.
  • Move away from any shelves, cabinets, or other loose items that could fall on you.
  • Take shelter in or under the sturdiest thing you can find. Stairwells can be a good option if you are close to one. Otherwise, duck under a sturdy desk or table. (Not the cruddy fiberboard kind, obviously.)
  • Cover your head as added protection. Grab whatever you can find: large books, a chair, or even a briefcase held over your head can help protect you from falling debris.

If you are at home when disaster strikes, the same rules apply. Don’t let familiarity with your surroundings lull you into a false sense of security.

The danger of aftershocks

Remember that aftershocks can often be as powerful (or even more so) as the initial event. There is no reliable way to predict how soon those shocks will arrive.

What to do immediately after the earthquake

As soon as the shaking stops you need to assess your situation as quickly and calmly as possible.

  • From your sheltered position, survey the area for hanging light fixtures and exposed wires. These could be live and cause electrocution.
  • When you move from your temporary shelter, scan the area ahead of you.  Look for open wiring, broken pipes, holes in floors, and other hazards.
  • DO NOT use the elevators to evacuate from a higher floor, even though it may seem quicker. Not only could the power go off, trapping you, but there could also be damage of which you are unaware. Don’t risk plummetting to your death because you didn’t want to take the stairs.
  • Move slowly and carefully towards the nearest exit, then pause and assess the outlying areas. Are the stairs still intact enough to use? If not, is there another flights of stairs that you can get to from your current position?
  • Be prepared to move laterally to other areas to find the safest escape route if you are trapped on upper floors. Look for “staff only” doors which may lead to service stairs ways and exit doors that may be less damaged.
  • When you reach the ground floor (or if you’re already on it), don’t just rush out of the building. Pause and see if anything is falling in front of you. The risk from falling debris immediately after an earthquake is extremely high.
  • If your exit to the outside is blocked, be very cautious moving debris to escape. Try to assess what that wood, concrete, or metal is holding up before you move it. The slightest shift has the potential to cause a collapse. Before moving the debris, see if other exits might be less risky.

How to safely evacuate after an earthquake

If you need to leave the immediate area, there are a few things to keep in mind to travel safely.

  • Avoid underpasses, overpasses, and bridges. They may be structurally unsound.
  • Stay as far away from building as you can.
  • Be on the lookout for potential hazards such as downed power lines or leaning trees.
  • Crevasses caused by earthquakes can be very deep. Injury or even death could occur if you step or drive into one.
  • Stay as far away as you can from dikes and levees, which may have sustained structural damage. If they rupture, the force of the water will be immense.

Have you ever been in a major earthquake?

Do you have any tips that should be added to this article? Have you got any stories of your experiences during or after an earthquake? Share them in the comments section below.

More about earthquakes:

Full-Rip 9.0: The Next Big One

Cascadia (a novel about a massive earthquake in the PNW – great read!)

San Andreas for Preppers: 12 Earthquake Survival Lessons from the Movie


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The post How to Survive an Earthquake appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: Alternative news journal

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What It Feels Like To Be Homeless For The Holidays In America

homeless

Could you imagine spending the holidays in a homeless shelter, in a tent city surrounded by drug addicts and prostitutes, or in a sleeping bag on the cold, hard streets of an urban jungle?  Unfortunately, that is what real life looks like for an increasing number of Americans.  Most of the time when we think of “homeless people”, the image that comes into our minds is one of a grizzled old man asking for some spare change, but the truth is that vast numbers of women and children in our country do not have anywhere to live.  In fact, Poverty USA has reported that last year a grand total 1.6 million U.S. children stayed either in a homeless shelter or in some other form of emergency housing.  And you never hear the mainstream media report this number, but the truth is that the number of homeless children in the United States has risen by 60 percent since the “end” of the last recession.   For the moment the wealthy are getting wealthier, but meanwhile things have just continued to get harder and harder for those that are struggling to survive in this economy.

In Wal-Mart parking lots and campgrounds all over America tonight, you will find formerly middle class families that are living in cars, trucks and recreational vehicles during this holiday season.  Most of them will never complain and will try to put on a happy face outwardly, but inside the worry and fear are eating them alive.

As the weather gets cold, many homeless Americans head for warmer climates, and this is one of the factors that is fueling the unprecedented homelessness crisis in Los Angeles.  The following comes from L.A. Weekly

By nearly every metric, Los Angeles has the worst homelessness crisis of any city in America. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are more people suffering from chronic homelessness in L.A. than anywhere in the country, and their number is growing at a faster clip than those in New York City.

One homeless man in Los Angeles has decided to do what he can to make the best of his circumstances.  He has transformed a depressingly bleak area underneath a freeway underpass into his own “personal paradise”

A homeless man who turned a freeway underpass into his personal paradise by furnishing it with a make-shift jacuzzi and four-poster bed has become a viral hit and unlikely tourist attraction.

Ceola Waddell Jr, 59, began living in the underpass in L.A.’s  110 freeway near Coliseum six months ago.

He has since foraged two porcelain toilets, discarded refrigerators, couches and two beds to transform the space into his personal refuge.

You can’t help but smile when you read what Mr. Waddell has done, but the truth is that the homelessness crisis in the state is rapidly getting way out of control.  In fact, Los Angeles is swamped by so many homeless people at this point that the L.A. City Council has asked California Governor Jerry Brown to officially declare a state of emergency.

On the east coast things are getting really, really bad as well.

You may find this hard to believe, but the number of homeless people in New York City has never been higher

The number of homeless people living in New York City has reached a record-high.

The Department of Homeless Services reported there were 60,252, up 200 in two weeks.

Now, some are saying the city’s current plan to combat homelessness isn’t working.

So why is this happening?

The stock market is at an all-time high and the mainstream media keeps telling us that things are getting better, and yet poverty just continues to rise.

Other than the very wealthy, the truth is that things are not getting any better for virtually everyone else.  In fact, it has been reported that over half of all New Yorkers “are teetering on the brink of homelessness”…

More than half of all New Yorkers are teetering on the brink of homelessness — without enough cash in the bank to cover them in the event of a disaster or lost job, a troubling new study has found.

Nearly 60 percent of all New Yorkers don’t have enough emergency savings to cover at least three months’ worth of household expenses like food, housing and rent, according to a recent report from the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development.

This is one of the reasons why I am always encouraging my readers to build up their emergency funds.  Sadly, the cold, hard reality of the matter is that most of the country is only a couple of paychecks away from losing everything.

To give you an idea of how deep the suffering can be this time of the year for those that have already lost it all, I want to share with you a story of a precious little dog named Ollie

When Ollie was found, his fur was matted and so long you couldn’t see his adorable little eyes. He was clearly in need of dire help.

A woman and her sister saw Ollie outside her apartment, shivering in the freezing cold. They brought him in and quickly called the Michigan Humane Society to help take care of the dog.

Once Ollie was brought in, it was discovered just how sick he is. Had he not been rescued, he would have suffered a very painful death alone in the streets.

Very few people could come across a hurting dog like Ollie without helping him out, but what about the countless numbers of our fellow Americans that no longer have a warm home and will spend the night shivering in the cold?

Look, the truth is that you don’t have to have a whole lot of resources in order to make a difference.  In Tennessee, there is a group of elderly women that refer to themselves as “the bag ladies” that are turning old plastic bags into sleeping mats for the homeless

It all starts with cutting plastic bags into strips, tying those strips together, and rolling them into a ball.

The Bag Ladies call it “plarn,” instead of yarn. They then crochet the “plarn” into mats.

It takes 600 bags to make an 18 square foot mat. So far, this year, they have used 52,000 bags to make 88 mats.

“This is not young ladies doing this. This is older ladies with the arthritis,” said Akin.

How marvelous is that?

A single act of kindness can make a world of difference.

In the months ahead, temperatures are only going to get colder and economic conditions are only going to get tougher for those that are already living in poverty.

I would encourage all of us to think about what we can do to make a difference for those that are deeply hurting this time of the year.

The post What It Feels Like To Be Homeless For The Holidays In America appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: Alternative news journal

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How To Survive A Personal Economic Collapse

How-to-Survive-a-Personal-Economic-Collapse

With all that is being written about the economic collapses of nations around the globe, people in America seem to be waiting for some huge event.

But what if it isn’t a huge event like  a stock market crash or a currency collapse that you actually need to be concerned about? What if our disaster starts out looking nothing like the economic crises in ArgentinaVenezuela or Greece? What if the real financial disaster in the future is more personal?  What, if that financial disaster has already happened?

It’s here and it’s not what anyone expected.

Despite the lack of fanfare in the media, for many North Americans, the collapse is here. In homes across the country, the struggle to survive has already begun. And it isn’t what you think. This isn’t relegated to only lower income neighborhoods.  As an article from a Cinncinnati new station stated, “Hunger doesn’t know a zipcode.”

For many people who were formerly financially comfortable, the economic collapse has already happened, in the form of a job loss, hours that have been cut back due to Obamacare requirements for employers, an exorbitant medical bill or other crushing debt, or simply an inflation rate that has outstripped your pay increases.  Despite all of the warnings, many people are still going to be absolutely blindsided.

For many families, personal finances have reached a catastrophic level – they are left to make terrible choices:

  • Which utility can I live without?
  • Should I walk away from my mortgage?
  • Should I eat something so I can work harder or should I skip meals so my kids have food?
  • Should I use the grocery money to take my child to the doctor or should I wait and hope he/she improves without medical intervention?
  • Do I risk the IRS-enforced penalties by forgoing enrollment in Obamacare or should I skip that whole grocery shopping thing so I can pay the monthly premiums and enormous deductibles in order to stay in the government’s good graces?

These are the kind of decisions that people across the nation are grappling with every day. And it’s not the people who you’d expect that are having these problems.

I’m talking about good people, hardworking men and women who have always been employed and paid their bills. A personal financial crisis does not just strike those stereotypical “welfare queens” with the long manicured nails, Gucci knock-off purse, and a grocery cart full of EBT-funded lobster.

I’m talking about the person next door, who seems to have it all together. I’m talking about that quiet family that sits two rows in front of you at church. I’m talking about that two-income family with two children and a car in the driveway that takes them to work and school 5 days a week. I’m talking about people just like you and me.

Here are the signs of a personal economic collapse.

A personal economic collapse is a little different than the major crises you see all over Europe right now, where huge segments of the population can’t feed their children or stay employed. It is a crisis that just hits your family due to a given set of circumstances.  (In actuality North Americans are on the brink of the kind of collapse that is occurring in Europe, but because of easy access to credit and a buy-now, pay-later society, many of us still have the appearance of prosperity.)

Here are some signs that you may be in the midst of a personal economic collapse:

  • You can only afford to pay the minimum payment on most of your bills.
  • The same dollar amount you used to spend on groceries doesn’t buy enough food to feed your family for the week.
  • You can’t afford to go to the doctor when you’re sick.
  • You are taking dangerous steps to “stretch” needed medications because you can’t afford the prescriptions.
  • Your utility bills are past due and your power is in danger of being cut off.
  • You skip meals in order to save money or to have enough food for your kids.
  • You’ve lost your job or had your hours cut.
  • You have lost property due to foreclosure or repossession (such as your home or your vehicle).

Surviving the crisis

Times are tough but you can survive this.  This article is written for people who can still hang on and maintain a modicum of their current lifestyle. If your situation is worse than this, here’s an article for those times when no matter how hard you try, you simply can’t pay your bills.

1.) First you have to see exactly where you are.

It’s time for a brutally honest assessment of your finances.  If you use your debit card or credit card for most expenditures, you’ll easily be able to see what you’re spending and bringing in.

Print off your bank account statements for the past 2 months.  On a piece of paper, track where your money is going.  List the following

  • Rent/Mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Car payments
  • Vehicle operating expenses (fuel, repairs)
  • Insurances
  • Credit card and other debt payments
  • Telephone/Cell phone
  • Cable/Satellite
  • Internet
  • Extracurricular activities for the kids
  • Extracurricular activities for the adults
  • Dining out
  • Groceries
  • School expenses
  • Clothing
  • Recreational spending
  • Gifts
  • Miscellaneous (anything that doesn’t fall into the above categories gets it’s own category or goes here)

Don’t say to yourself, “Well, I usually don’t spend $400 on clothing so that isn’t realistic.”  If you spent it, then it’s realistic.  You are averaging together two months, which should account for those less common expenses.  Brutal honesty isn’t fun, but it’s vital for this exercise.

So….what do you see when you look at your piece of paper with your average monthly expenditures for the past two months?  Are there any surprises?  Did you actually realize how much you’ve been spending?   Most of us will immediately see places that we can trim the budget.  Those $1-$5 purchases can really add up.  Reining them in may just allow you to take care of an important need that you thought you could not meet.

It can’t continue like this.  The economy will not withstand it.  Step one is to see where you can cut things out right now from the above expenditures.  Can you reduce your grocery bill?  Slash meals out?  Budget more carefully for gift-giving and school clothes?

2.) Rethink necessities.

If your finances are out of control, the best possible reality check is a stark look at what necessities really are.  It is not necessary to life to have an iPhone, a vehicle in both stalls of your two-car garage, or for your children to all have separate bedrooms.  People in parts of Europe and South America right now will tell you, as they scramble for food, basic over the counter medications like aspirin, and shelter, that necessities are those things essential to life:

  • Water
  • Food (and the ability to cook it)
  • Medicine and medical supplies
  • Basic hygiene supplies
  • Shelter (including sanitation, lights, heat)
  • Simple tools
  • Seeds
  • Defense Items

Absolutely everything above those basic necessities is a luxury.

So, by this definition, what luxuries do you have?

3.) Reduce your monthly output

Reduce your monthly payments by cutting frivolous expenses. Look at every single monthly payment that comes out of your bank account and slash relentlessly.  Consider cutting the following:

  • Cable
  • Cell phones
  • Home phones
  • Gym memberships
  • Restaurant meals
  • Unnecessary driving
  • Entertainment such as trips to the movies, the skating rink, or the mall

4.) Waste not, want not.

We live in a disposable society.  Food comes in throw-away containers.  People replace things instead of repairing them.  If you throw out more than a couple of bags of garbage each week, that’s a very good sign that you may be wasting resources.

Before throwing anything away, pause and think about how it might be able to be reused.

  • Food: Many times small amounts of leftovers can be recycled into a brand new meal. Meat bones can be used to make broth or stock.  Small amounts of veggies or grains can be frozen and added to a future soup or casserole. Leftovers can be frozen in meal-sized portions to take to work for a brown-bag lunch. (Learn more about repurposing leftovers HERE.)
  • Clothing: Clothing that is torn or damaged can often be repaired with only rudimentary sewing skills. If it has been outgrown or cannot be repaired, often the fabric or yarn can be reused for other purposes, from cleaning rags to fashionable accessories like scarves and headbands, or home items like throw pillows, potholders or rag rugs.  When all else fails, the fabric can be used for cleaning rags or patches to repair other items. Keep jars full of buttons, elastic, and other notions that can easily be removed before you throw  a clothing item away or relegate it to the rag bag.
  • Electronics: Obviously, initially you should attempt to repair (or have repaired) electronic items that are not working. If this is not feasible, are there components of the item that can be reused, either now or in the future? What about hardware such as screws or fasteners?
  • Containers:  Most food comes in a container of some sort.  Before throwing the container away, consider whether or not it might be useful. Glass jars, plastic tubs, and plastic bags can often be reused to store food in your refrigerator or to contain food in brown bag lunches.  Clean aluminum cans can hold all manner of items, from hardware and tools in a workshop to sewing and craft supplies. Use your imagination.

5.) Take control of your food budget.

The price of food is skyrocketing.  Who hasn’t been to the grocery store recently and been shocked at the high price of that cart full of groceries or at the mysterious shrinking food packages that are the same price as yesterday’s larger ones?

  • Stockpile:  Create a stockpile of nutritious, healthy staples at today’s prices to enjoy when the cost goes even higher tomorrow.  (Learn how to create a frugal food stockpile HERE.  Find high-quality emergency food for long-term storage HERE.)
  • Preserve: Learn to preserve food yourself when you come across a windfall.  Pressure canning, water bath canning, freezing, and dehydrating can allow you to take advantage of great sales or end-of-season scores.
  • Eat less:  This suggestion isn’t for everyone, but many of us could stand to shed a few pounds.  Perhaps now would be a good time to cut back a little and shrink both your waistline and your weekly food bill.  Lots of people eat for the sheer entertainment of it or out of habit.  Next time you’re watching TV, grab some mending or a crossword puzzle instead of a bag of potato chips. Dish out slightly smaller servings at dinnertime to leave enough to stretch the leftovers for a brown bag meal the next day.
  • Drink water:  Skip the beverages and drink water instead. At less than $1 per gallon for purchased water you simply can’t beat the price.  It’s better for you than sugary drinks.  If you are lucky enough to have well water or access to spring water, your drinks don’t have to cost you a penny.
  • Focus on nutrition instead of convenience:  Buy the best quality of food you can,  and skip the processed, nutritionless convenience foods.
  • Grow your own.  In the summer, grow the biggest garden you can. In the winter, or if you are an apartment dweller, put some sprouts and greens in a sunny windowsill to add some fresh produce for pennies.

6.) Reduce your dependence on utilities.

Energy rates are skyrocketing. As the prices begin to rise, more and more people will be unable to pay their bills and eventually their power will be shut off.  Check your bill each month and as prices increase, use less power. Try some of these ideas to reduce your reliance and drop your bills.

  • Hand wash your clothing
  • Hang clothes to dry
  • Cook on a woodstove or outdoor grill
  • Can foods to preserve them instead of relying on a large chest freezer
  • Turn the heat down a few degrees and use non-grid methods to keep warm
  • Use rain barrels to collect water
  • Direct the gray water from your washing machines to reservoirs
  • Turn off the lights and open the blinds
  • Use solar lighting whenever possible

How do you intend to weather the storm?

There are bleak days ahead.  Have you planned for this?  What strategies do you intend to use to weather the financial crisis that is coming for all of us?  What suggestions do you have for families who are undergoing their own economic collapses? Please post questions and ideas in the comments section below.

The post How To Survive A Personal Economic Collapse appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: Alternative news journal

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May 2016: Will Deutsche Bank Survive This Wave Of Trouble Or Will It Be The Next Lehman Brothers?

Euro-Question-Public-Domain

If you have been waiting for “the next Lehman Brothers moment” which will cause the global financial system to descend into a state of mass panic, you might want to keep a close eye on German banking giant Deutsche Bank.  It is approximately three times larger than Lehman Brothers was, and if the most important bank in the strongest economy in Europe were to implode, it would instantly send shockwaves rippling across the entire planet.  Those that follow my work regularly know that I started sounding the alarm about Deutsche Bank beginning last September.  Since that time, the bad news from Deutsche Bank has not stopped pouring in.  They announced a loss of 6.8 billion euros for 2015, Moody’s just downgraded their debt to two levels above junk status, and they have been plagued by scandal after scandal.  In recent months they have gotten into trouble for trying to rig precious metal prices, for committing “equity trading fraud” and for their dealings in mortgage-backed securities.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

A month after admitting to rigging precious metals markets, Deutsche Bank has been hit with a double-whammy of more alleged fraudulent behavior today and the stock is sliding. First, Reuters reports that the bank took a charge of 450 million euros for “equity trading fraud,” and then Bloomberg reports that The SEC is looking into Deutsche’s post-crisis mortgage positions.

This is a bank that is steadily bleeding money, and so the last thing that it needs is for government agencies to be putting immense pressure on it.  Unfortunately for Deutsche Bank, the SEC seems determined to kick it while it is down

Troubled Wall Street giant Deutsche Bank is under another investigation, this time by the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the pricing and reporting of certain mortgage-backed securities.

The SEC wants to know whether the Frankfurt, Germany-based bank artificially raised the value of mortgage-backed securities in 2013 and later hid those losses for an extended period of time, Bloomberg first reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

But even if there were no scandals and no government investigations, the truth is that Deutsche Bank would be a deeply troubled bank anyway.

At one point, it was estimated that Deutsche Bank had 64 trillion dollars worth of exposure to derivatives contracts.  That is an amount of money that is approximately 16 times the size of the GDP of the entire nation of Germany.

So nobody wants to see Deutsche Bank fail.  It would be a financial disaster unlike anything the world has ever experienced before.

But right now things are not looking good.  As you can see from this chart, the steady decline of Deutsche Bank’s stock price is eerily similar to what happened to Lehman Brothers during the months leading up to the time when it finally completely collapsed…

Deutsche-Bank-Lehman-Brothers-Zero-Hedge-460x255

Earlier this year, Deutsche Bank’s stock price set a new record low, and since that time it has been hovering just above that record low.

Clearly it is no secret that Deutsche Bank is having big problems, and the outlook for the immediate future is not good.  I included the following quote from Berenberg analyst James Chappell in a previous article, but I think that it bears repeating…

Too many problems still: The biggest problem is that DBK has too much leverage. On our measures, we believe DBK is still over 40x levered. DBK can either reduce assets or increase capital to rectify this. On the first path, the markets do not exist in the size nor pricing to enable it to follow this route. Going down the second path also seems impossible at the moment, as the profitability of the core business is under pressure. Seeking outside capital is also likely to be difficult as management would likely find it hard to offer any type of return on new capital invested.

In the end, I believe that Deutsche Bank will ultimately implode, but it won’t be the only one.

Meanwhile, we just got some more very disturbing news out of Asia.  According to Bloomberg, Japanese exports have now fallen for seven months in a row…

Japan’s exports fell for a seventh consecutive month in April as the yen strengthened, underscoring the growing challenges to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to revive economic growth.

Overseas shipments declined 10.1 percent in April from a year earlier, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday. The median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for a 9.9 percent drop. Imports fell 23.3 percent, leaving a trade surplus of 823.5 billion yen ($7.5 billion), the highest since March 2010.

When your imports are 23 percent lower than they were a year earlier, that is a clear sign that consumer demand is way, way down and that your economy is in the process of imploding.

So I will repeat what I have said a number of times before…

Watch Germany and watch Japan.

I believe that they are going to be two of the biggest stories as this new global financial crisis begins to play out.

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The post May 2016: Will Deutsche Bank Survive This Wave Of Trouble Or Will It Be The Next Lehman Brothers? appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: Alternative news journal

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How To Survive A Terrorist Attack (VIDEOS)

How To Survive A Terrorist Attack (VIDEOS)

When horrible events happen, people want to know why. Why was a random group of people targeted to have their innocent day destroyed by violence and terror? Why did the culprit choose that group of victims, that day on the calendar, that specific location? And who? Who was the mastermind behind the event? Who were the members of the group that perpetrated the horror?

This is always followed by the speculation that things are not as they have been presented to us.  Most people in the preparedness world have a very valid mistrust of the corporate-sponsored mainstream media. We look to other sources for our news, and rightly so.

Every time, that speculation includes accusations that our own government is behind it, pulling the strings. Other frequent theories are that the events never actually happened at all and that the victims are 100% made up of crisis actors.

The pursuit of the truth is an important quest. Some journalists have dedicated their entire lives to uncovering the Machiavellian plots of those who pull the strings and it’s a noble and meaningful calling.

And that is why what I’m about to say is controversial and probably won’t be well-received.

Strictly from a survival point of view, it doesn’t matter at all who committed the acts of terror that occurred on 9/11, on the streets of Boston, or on the other evening in Paris. It doesn’t matter whether the shooting at Sandy Hook was perpetrated by a kid with behavioral issues or by operatives with an agenda.

If your focus is preparedness and survival, the most important thing you can be doing right now is learning from these events.

Whether you believe what happened in Paris was at the hands of Muslim extremists waging a jihad or a state-sponsored act of terror to clamp down and take away more freedom, the single most important thing you can take away from this is a lesson in survival.

This article is not a debate about the different conspiracy theories. If you are present during a terror attack, my opinions on the culprit don’t matter and neither do yours. All that matters in those minutes or hours is surviving.

Survival is the focus

Massive disasters happen when people are going about their daily business. People go to concerts, fly to visit relatives, take vacations, run marathons, walk to work, take public transit, and shop at the mall. No matter who you are and where you live, if you aren’t an agoraphobic hermit, there are going to be times when you are part of a target-rich environment.

And if you find yourself in the midst of an attack, the motivation of the people attacking doesn’t matter at all. You are in just as much danger whether the perpetrator is a member of ISIS or a member of a secret government agency. A bomb is a bomb, an AK-47 is an AK-47, and a machete will lop off your head, regardless of the motivation of the person wielding it.

So stop with the accusations and focus on what is really important – your survival.

Think about what you would do in an event like the ones that have taken so many lives and harmed so many people. Thinking through events before they occur is what allows us to act quickly when they do happen. Believing in the possibility of bad things helps you to accept it and move to save yourself and your family, while others stand there in shock, making targets of themselves. It’s time to consider what you would do to survive a terrorist attack.

What would you do if you were swept up in a terror event?

The world has always been populated with those who seek power, attention, and control. Acts of terror are nearly always about one or all of those things. The perpetrators are predators, and the victims are the prey. If you are a target of the first wave of the attack, there may not be a lot you can do about it. If you’re hit in the back with gunfire, if you happen to be on a plane that is hijacked and crashes into a building, if you are going about your business and your location blows up, there isn’t a lot you can do.

But if you are fortunate enough not to be a victim of the first wave, then you can survive. And often, before the first wave occurs, there are minute details that can tell you something is wrong. One of my favorite movies is The Bourne Identity. If you haven’t seen it, despite Jason Bourne’s amnesia, he possesses skills that are ingrained into his psyche. As a former operative, he was trained to be highly observant and to make rapid assessments of what he has observed.

While most of us haven’t been trained as operatives, we can still maintain a high level of situational awareness merely by being observant. One way to develop your skills is to play something called Kim’s Game.  My friend Scott, at Graywolf Survival, used to use the game to train his soldiers in situational awareness. He wrote:

Situational awareness is key to understanding your environment so you can know better both your circumstances and your options. There are myriad examples that could be given but would you notice the bulge (called printing) of someone’s ankle from a concealed weapon if you were asked to follow him to barter for goods? Would you remember enough details of the turn of a path you passed two hours ago to be able to find it again? If you were attacked, would you be able to give a good enough description of the subject and getaway vehicle to have him identified?

Kim’s Game comes from a novel by Rudyard Kipling and is something you can play with your family, any where, any time. Go HERE to learn more about how to play it.

A higher level of situational awareness can help you in many ways, should you be unfortunate enough to be present during an active of terror.

It can help by:

  • Allowing you to identify a threat before it becomes active
  • Allowing you to locate exits and routes to the exits
  • Allowing you to determine sources of cover

If you can identify a potential threat before it exists, you can sometimes prevent an attack or at the very least, you can protect yourself and your family more effectively. A book by Patrick Van Horne and Jason A. Riley describes this as being on the “left of bang”. The left of bang is a term used to describe the moments before something bad happens, when you have an inkling that something is wrong, but you just can’t put your finger on what it is.

The book, Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps’ Combat Hunter Program Can Save Your Life, discusses how establishing a baseline can help you to identify a threat. (I can’t recommend this book strongly enough.)

A baseline is a “normal” for your immediate environment. Once you have a baseline for behavior in a specific environment, then it’s easier to spot anomalies. According to Left of Bang, it’s the anomalies that should put you on high alert. “Anomalies are things that either do not happen and should, or that do happen and shouldn’t.”  Watch this video with Patrick Van Horne to learn more about positioning yourself to realize something is wrong before a disaster actually strikes.

Acceptance is the first step to surviving an attack

If you don’t realize ahead of time that something horrible is going down, that doesn’t mean that you won’t survive. It’s the actions you take immediately upon the realization that have the potential to save your life. And the first step to that is accepting that a terrible thing truly is happening. In an article called How to Survive Anything in Three Easy Steps, I wrote:

No matter what situation comes your way, the first step is to accept that whatever the event is, it really happened.  This is tougher than it sounds, because our minds are programmed to protect us from emotional trauma.  Cognitive dissonance means that when a reality is uncomfortable or doesn’t jive with a person’s beliefs, that person may opt to believe in something false just to assuage his desire for comfort. Psychologist Leon Festinger, who identified the principal of cognitive dissonance, suggested  “that a motivational state of inner tension is triggered by logically inconsistent ways of thinking.”

If you’re wondering exactly how powerful cognitive dissonance can be, check out Amanda Ripley’s book, The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes – and Why.  Ripley, a journalist, covered many disasters of immense scale: plane crashes, natural disasters, and 9/11.  She became curious about the difference between those who survived, and those who did not, wondering if it was dumb luck or if there was some other quality that made survival more likely. She interviewed hundreds of survivors and got her answer.  The ability to immediatelyaccept what was occurring was the quality most of the survivors possessed.

The story that stands out in my mind the most was the one about the people in the World Trade Center on September 11. They described the last time they saw some of their coworkers.  There were many people who simply could not accept the fact that a plane had crashed into the building and that they must immediately evacuate. They gathered their belongs, tidied their desks, finished reports. They didn’t feel the same sense of urgency that those who survived did, because the situation was so horrible that they just couldn’t accept it. Their inability to accept the scope of the danger caused many of them to perish in a tragic incident that other people, who acted immediately, survived.

When disaster strikes, you can’t spend 5 minutes thinking, “This can’t actually be happening.”  It is happening, and moving past accepting that propels you through the first step into the second one.

The people who freeze in a mass shooting have done nothing but make themselves easier targets. Freezing is an innate reaction for some people, but you can train your way through that. Training in self-defense, first aid, and disaster preparedness can help to offset the brain’s neurobiological response that leaves some people paralyzed with fear.

Pat Henry of The Prepper Journal recommends action plan simulations to help you become more prepared for a sudden crisis. He wrote:

When you are out in public, try going for an hour without looking at your phone to start with. Instead, observe your surroundings. Who is near you and who is walking toward you? Does anything seem suspicious? If something were to happen, what would you do and where would you go. Do you know the quickest way to get out if needed? Can you access your concealed weapon if you need to? Imagine what you would do if you were out at a mall with your family and someone started shooting. Where would you take cover? What would be your escape route? What if that was blocked?

When you have a preparedness mindset, you’re a step ahead of those who never even considered the idea that something bad could happen.

Three Courses of Action

We can’t always predict when an attack is about to happen. There might be no indications in your immediate surroundings to alert yourself to the fact that something is going down. You may be blithely unaware until the moment that a bomb goes off or a gun gets fired.

If you find yourself suddenly in the midst of an act of terrorism, your actions should be one of the following:

1) Escape. Get as far away from the threat as possible. This is where your early observant behavior comes in handy, because you’ll already know the escape routes. If you are in charge of vulnerable individuals like children, your first choice of actions should be to get them to safety if at all possible.

2) Take cover. If you can’t get away, get behind something solid and wait for your opportunity to either escape or fight back. This is something else you may have observed when doing your earlier reconnaissance.

3) Take out the threat. If you are armed (and I really hope you are) and/or trained, use your abilities to help remove the threat.

The most important thing to consider here is not necessarily which action you will take. It’s that you will take an action, not just stand there in shock. You can be a victim or you can be a warrior.

In Paris, unarmed hostages were at the mercy of their captors. One hundred people were kept in line by just a few men with guns. Keep in mind that fighting back doesn’t always mean a fancy Krav Maga move that takes down two armed men with one trick maneuver. There are many ways to fight back, and not all of them require physical prowess. Don’t let fear incapacitate you. Your brain is a weapon too.

Are you going to wait for someone to save you or are you going to save yourself? Don’t be a kamikaze, but look for your opportunity. There comes a point in some of these situations in which survival is unlikely. Don’t go down without a fight. These two videos from Mike Adams offer practical tips for fighting back.

You have to train

As a wise friend pointed out, while a plan is important, you have to train to be able to carry out your plan. If you don’t have the fitness level or skills, you won’t be able to accomplish what you’re planning to do.

  • Are you working out?
  • Are you fit?
  • Do you practice your self-defense skills?
  • Are you spending time at the range?
  • Are you comfortable with your firearm in a variety of settings and applications?

If the answers to these questions are not “yes,” all of the planning in the world will be of little avail.

The Goal of Terrorism

The goal of terrorism is to spread panic, fear, and instability. By arguing amongst ourselves, we concede the victory to the terrorists.

After the fact, when we point fingers, belittle the victims, make broad generalizations, and deny the event occurred, we aren’t winning. We’re falling neatly into the plan of the terrorists.

The most important thing you can take away from a horrible event like the one in Paris is knowledge. Don’t lose your compassion, don’t become arrogant in your opinions, and don’t make sweeping generalizations. When you do those things, you become willfully blind to the nuances of your surroundings. Your situational awareness becomes shaded by your biases, which can cloud your observations.

Of course it’s important to learn the truth, but don’t lose sight of the fact that if you are IN a terror situation, all that matters at that moment is survival.

It’s time that we stopped getting distracted. While we argue with each other over which news station is full of hot air (I think we all know the answer to that) or which government funded an attack or if the attack even actually happened, our enemies are busy, too. They aren’t arguing about things like news coverage. They are enjoying watching us chase conspiracies and fight with each other. When we become increasingly divided, we become easier targets.

Have you considered what to do in the event of an attack? Do you have some special skills amd training that will help? Please share your advice in the comments below.

Remember this, my friends:

Right now, someone, somewhere, is making plans to kill you. Does it really matter who when the bullets start flying or devices begin exploding?  Are you arguing over theories, or are you making plans to survive a terrorist attack?


Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor who lives in a small village in the Pacific Northwestern area of the United States. She is the author ofThe Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy writes about healthy prepping, homesteading adventures, and the pursuit of liberty and food freedom. Daisy is a co-founder of the website Nutritional Anarchy, which focuses on resistance through food self-sufficiency. Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca

The article How To Survive A Terrorist Attack (VIDEOS) published by TheSleuthJournal – Real News Without Synthetics


Source: Alternative news journal

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