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Winter is Coming: Here’s Your Vehicle Emergency Kit Checklist

Winter is Coming: Here’s Your Vehicle Emergency Kit Checklist

“Still … in this world only winter is certain.” ― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire)

If you happen to be a Game of Thrones fan, you know the Stark Family motto: “Winter is coming.” It’s inevitable and sometimes dangerous. Many parts of the US will experience an active winter season, with everything from snow, rain, and wintery mixes in store. While winter isn’t technically here yet, the first storm of the year can sneak up on you. Now is the time to double-check your preparations and be certain that you are ready for anything, well before the first snowflake falls.

Many of us spend far more of our waking hours away from home, busy with work, school, or chauffeuring our kids to their various activities. Because of this, a vehicle emergency kit is vital. In recent winters, there were two notable situations during which a well-stocked kit would have been beneficial. During one scenario, a freak snowstorm struck the Atlanta, Georgia area. Because weather like this is such a rarity, the area was completely unprepared, officials didn’t have the experience or equipment needed to deal with it, and traffic gridlocked almost immediately. Hundreds of people were stranded as the freeway turned into a scene reminiscent of The Walking Dead, with bumper-to-bumper vehicles at a standstill. Those without food and water in their vehicles went hungry, and many people ran out of gas as they tried to keep warm. No matter how comfortable you are with winter driving, in a situation like this, you are at the mercy of others who may not be so experienced.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

25 Cozy Ways to Prep Your Home for Winter

25 Cozy Ways to Prep Your Home for Winter

As they say on Game of Thrones, “Brace yourselves. Winter is coming.”

One of the best ways to brace yourselves for the onset of cold weather, winter storms, and potential power outages is to prep your home for the season. And this is one of the nicest parts of prepping – quite a few of the cozy touches that you add to be more prepared are also delightful and decorative.

When summer begins to fade into fall, it’s the best time to begin preparing for the advent of winter weather. None of these tasks are particularly difficult, but they can be a little time-consuming. Waiting until the last minute usually means that you’ll end up fighting the crowds who have also rushed to the store or that you’ll be going without something that could have made your power outage a lot more comfortable.

25 Ways to Get Cozy

Here are a few ideas that will make you snug and safe during the cold months that lie ahead.

  1. Check your windows and doors. Make sure that they are in good condition and fit well. Drafts will not only make you uncomfortable but will let heat escape from the house. Now is the time to replace them if necessary.
  2. Reduce the draftiness of your windows. If you can’t afford to replace your windows (or if you are a renter) you can still do several things to reduce the drafts from older windows. Caulk gaps between frames and brickwork and replace any damaged panes. If you live in an older home with single pane windows, apply window insulation film to help make them more weather tight. Finally, purchase or make fabric draft stoppers to place at the bottoms of your windows.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Is Walmart Working With the Govt. to Distribute EVERYTHING When the SHTF?

Is Walmart Working With the Govt. to Distribute EVERYTHING When the SHTF?

In conspiratorial circles, it’s long been rumored that Walmarts across the country would become FEMA camps after an epic disaster. Some folks even suggested that once you were in the camp, you would not be able to leave. Sort of like those old roach motel commercials.

If you’re not familiar with it, here’s the Wikipedia link for a general overview of the FEMA camp theory. And here are 16 mindblowing facts about Walmart and its arguable quest for world domination.

While the FEMA camp theory has some holes in it, a long-time employee of Walmart contacted me to tell me about a direct link between Walmart and the government. We’ll call him Frank. (I generally hate those “unnamed source” articles, but occasionally the option to reveal a source just isn’t there.)

Some people will dismiss this article because I promised not to disclose the gentleman’s name or the store where he works. That’s totally up to you.

Now, according to what Frank told me, it looks like Walmart’s world domination plan may not have anything to do with housing people after all.

The italicized text is Frank’s own words.

The connection between Walmart and the government

So where do I start? I still work for Walmart, but I’m not sure for how much longer. I’ve been employed by them for 25+ years, but may not survive the next restructuring.

I have seen many things and have witnessed a clear connection between Walmart and the government. Remember after the tragedy of September eleventh all the Walmart TVs had the “if you see something say something” commercials playing 24-7. That’s an example of those connections I was talking about.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

SLOPPY: CDC Shuts Down Military Lab Studying Ebola, Plague, etc. Amid Fears It’s GETTING OUT Through Wastewater

SLOPPY: CDC Shuts Down Military Lab Studying Ebola, Plague, etc. Amid Fears It’s GETTING OUT Through Wastewater

We may not have to wait for a traveler from the Democratic Republic of Congo to visit the United States for an Ebola outbreak. It just might be brought to us by our own military along with the plague and other horrifying germs.

The laboratory at Fort Detrick, the  U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, has been sent a cease-and-desist order by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention after a second inspection showed sloppy handling of deadly germs and viruses.

The CDC inspected the military research institute in June and inspectors found several areas of concern in standard operating procedures, which are in place to protect workers in biosafety level 3 and 4 laboratories, spokeswoman Caree Vander Linden confirmed in an email Friday.

The CDC sent a cease and desist order in July.

After USAMRIID received the order from the CDC, its registration with the Federal Select Agent Program, which oversees disease-causing material use and possession, was suspended. That suspension effectively halted all biological select agents and toxin research at USAMRIID, Vander Linden said in her email. (source)

At this time “no infectious pathogens, or disease-causing material, have been found outside authorized areas.” The New York Times reports that the CDC could not provide more specific details due to “national security reasons.”

What was USMRIID doing wrong?

The laboratory, which is located in Frederick, Maryland, studies different deadly bugs for biological warfare purposes. They have failed inspection specifically by the Federal Select Agent Program, which oversees the possession, use and transfer of biological select agents and toxins that could potentially pose a severe threat to public, animal or plant health.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Here’s How Prepping Can SAVE You Money

Here’s How Prepping Can SAVE You Money

One of the most common reasons that people give for not prepping is the cost involved.  People seem to have this mental image of a  bedroom or basement dedicated to being filled to the rafters with cans of Chef-Boy-Ardee.  They imagine someone going out and spending $5000 at a time for a year’s worth of food.

The fact is, a pantry is a work in progress.

You can save a fortune on your food budget by shopping carefully and in quantity.

A well-stocked food pantry is not just there in case of an epic disaster or TEOTWAWKI.  It can provide a cushion in the event of a job loss or personal economic downturn.  Not only that but as an investment, purchasing food at today’s prices is a great hedge against tomorrow’s increases.  The cost of food will only be going up.

Take peanut butter, as an example: A few years ago, I purchased natural, no-stir peanut butter for $1.88 per jar when it was on sale.  A year later, that very same brand in the very same sized jar was $5.99 on sale due to a poor peanut harvest.  That means that each jar of peanut butter on the shelves represented a savings of $4.11  – there is no other investment that gives you that kind of return.

Before I even knew what prepping was, I had a well-stocked pantry.  When I was first married and had a newborn baby, I was struggling to put food on the table with our tiny grocery budget.  At the library, I stumbled upon a series of books by Amy Dacyczyn called “The Complete Tightwad Gazette“.  This fantastic series gave me a whole new perspective on grocery shopping, and is the shopping basic philosophy I adhere to still. (And I highly recommend the books – there are 3 or you can get one big compendium containing all 3 titles!)

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

First NYC, Then DC…More Power Outages Are Looming: Could Your Area Be Next?

First NYC, Then DC…More Power Outages Are Looming: Could Your Area Be Next?

Anyone reading this probably knows that our American electrical grid is like a groaning, arthritic old man who just keeps on pushing through. We’ve had more than just this one article about massive grid failure.

It seems like we’re seeing more and more power outages this summer for “no reason.”

Last week there was a blackout in NYC.

Last week, New York City suffered a blackout in the heat of summer. Con Edison, the city’s power provider said:

Con Edison said the blackout that plunged parts of Manhattan into darknessSaturday night was due to a substation’s relay protection system that “did not operate as designed.”

The utility company said the faulty system was at its West 65th Street substation.

“That system detects electrical faults and directs circuit breakers to isolate and de-energize those faults. The relay protection system is designed with redundancies to provide high levels of reliability,” Con Edison said in a statement on Monday. “In this case, primary and backup relay systems did not isolate a faulted 13,000-volt distribution cable at West 64th Street and West End Avenue.”

Con Edison said the blackout that plunged parts of Manhattan into darkness Saturday night was due to a substation’s relay protection system that “did not operate as designed.”

The utility company said the faulty system was at its West 65th Street substation.

“That system detects electrical faults and directs circuit breakers to isolate and de-energize those faults. The relay protection system is designed with redundancies to provide high levels of reliability,” Con Edison said in a statement on Monday. “In this case, primary and backup relay systems did not isolate a faulted 13,000-volt distribution cable at West 64th Street and West End Avenue.” (source)

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Are We Really Free? Maybe It’s Time for a Personal Declaration of Independence

Are We Really Free? Maybe It’s Time for a Personal Declaration of Independence

Some time between throwing some burgers on the grill and shooting off fireworks with a beer in one hand and a lighter in the other, ask yourself this question:

How free and independent are you?

How independent are any of us, really? We like to think we live in the “free-est” nation in the world, but do we really?  Think about it.

  • You never own your home outright, even when the mortgage is paid off. Every year, you must make your extortion payment to the city or trust me, you won’t be living in that house for long.
  • The same thing with your car. If you don’t pay your annual extortion payment on your vehicle and pay a hundred bucks for a tiny sticker that gives you permission to drive it, it will be promptly towed away by the city with the government’s blessing. Then, like a hostage negotiation gone wrong, you’ll have to pay even more money to cover their theft and storage of YOUR vehicle.
  • On a regular basis, you must pay a fee and ask the government for permission to do any number of things, such as driving a car, traveling outside the country, running a business, adding another bathroom to your home, or even catching a fish for dinner.
  • Permits and licenses are big revenue generators from start to finish – and if you proceed without asking permission, they will extort more money from you in the form of fines. If you refuse to pay the fines (or if you can’t) they’ll kidnap you and lock you in a cage, where you’ll be forced to perform manual labor for 10 cents an hour for whatever length of time the legal authorities feel is sufficient to teach you a lesson.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

A Look at Finland’s EXTENSIVE Disaster Preparedness Plans

A Look at Finland’s EXTENSIVE Disaster Preparedness Plans

During World War II, the city of Helsinki Finland was bombed relentlessly, leaving the tiny country with a death toll of more than 90,000 people. It is due to these devastating losses that the Nordic nation has one of the most comprehensive preparedness cultures on the planet. Although it’s ranked as the 14th safest country in the world, Finland prepares its people for everything from natural disasters to terror attacks to war.

For example, every building with a floor area of more than 12,916 square feet is required to house a shelter to protect citizens in the event of a crisis. I think it’s always interesting to see how other countries prepare for disaster.

This fascinating video offers a glimpse inside Finland’s civil defense plans.

Not only are first responders ready for a variety of disasters. Even local business owners are trained so they know what to do should a disaster occur. Imagine the difference it could make if more of our workplaces were thoroughly trained to be prepared for a wide variety of disasters.

Finland also encourages individual preparedness

But it isn’t just emergency responders that the Finnish government prepares. They also recommend individual measures. The Department of the Interior website says:

Emergency planning by individuals forms part of society’s resilience

Every person should be prepared for all types of emergencies, such as disruptions to the electricity supply or telecommunications connections. Emergency planning by individuals assists the authorities in times of crisis, since resources do not suffice to help all of those who need help, and must be allocated to the most urgent cases. (source)

Finland isn’t the only country in Europe to urge citizens to prepare.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

All the Cyber Attack Stories from the Past Few Days Can’t Be Linked…Can They?

All the Cyber Attack Stories from the Past Few Days Can’t Be Linked…Can They?

A very important skill for anyone who hopes to be in the know is the ability to put together seemingly unrelated stories for consideration.

Over the past few days, stories about grid incursions, Russians, cyber attacks, and technological failures seemed to be at the top of the headlines. A massive cyber attack could happen far more easily than most people realize.

The good folks over in Prep Club have been posting a lot of interesting links this weekend. Let’s take a peek at each one. All these stories can’t be linked…can they?

The US Is Hacking Russia’s Grid

On Saturday, the New York Times reported (rather irresponsibly in my opinion) that the United States is escalating their “digital incursions into Russia’s electric power grid in a warning to President Vladimir V. Putin” according to nameless current and former government officials.

Of course, this kind of stuff has been going on for a while. A friend of mine with a military intel background said it’s similar to how we have nukes so that other people with nukes won’t nuke us.

But the NYT story goes far beyond the mutually assured destruction theory.

The American strategy has shifted more toward offense, officials say, with the placement of potentially crippling malware inside the Russian system at a depth and with an aggressiveness that had never been tried before. It is intended partly as a warning, and partly to be poised to conduct cyberstrikes if a major conflict broke out between Washington and Moscow…

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Prepping: The Only Way to be Ready for Anything is to be Ready for Anything

Prepping: The Only Way to be Ready for Anything is to be Ready for Anything

Most of the time, no one actually expects the S to HTF on that particular day.

Most folks don’t go through their lives expecting one specific disastrous event to occur, and then have it unfold according to a predetermined script.

Several years ago, I didn’t get up in the morning expecting some jerk to get mad at his girlfriend, light a tree in her yard on fire, and set off a 100,000-acre forest fire. But he did.

People don’t go to work, expecting to sit down at their desks and grab another cup of coffee, only to find the company filed bankruptcy at midnight the night before. But it happens.

The folks in West Virginia didn’t expect that a container would leak deadly chemicals into the municipal water supply. But it did.

Residents of Haiti weren’t expecting it the day an earthquake leveled most of the homes on the island. But they still found themselves homeless.

Some disasters we can expect. If we live on the coast and there’s a hurricane warning, we know that we either need to evacuate or batten down the hatches and ride out the storm. We are usually aware if war is brewing. Often, we suspect we’re on thin ice in the workplace long before the pink slip arrives on our desk.

But most disasters are a complete surprise, either in their suddenness or an unexpected intensity. We can’t prep specifically for every single eventuality, but that doesn’t mean we must face challenges unprepared. By combining adaptability with general preparation, we can be ready for whatever life throws our way.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Self-Reliance Strategies: Resources for Setting Up a Prepper’s Homestead Quickly and Inexpensively

Self-Reliance Strategies: Resources for Setting Up a Prepper’s Homestead Quickly and Inexpensively

This week, the self-reliance report is about the resources and strategies I’ve used for setting up a prepper’s homestead quickly and inexpensively. A lot of research went into swapping environments – I moved from a low country rather dry farm to a cabin in the mountains to set up a homestead in the forest. As always, I followed a thrifty budget to get things done.

The Self-Reliance Weekly Report is a collection of strategies, made up of the articles, books, DIYs, and products that I found useful on my own little prepper’s homestead.

Prepping

I recently spent a great deal of time searching for the perfect prepper’s retreat. This article discusses my search and offers some tips for finding your own perfect retreat. If your plan is to rely on your homesteading ability to survive when the S hits the Fan, it’s essential to get started now. There’s a steep learning curve and many will fail.

Following, find a collection of some of the most interesting prepper resources around right now.

Homesteading

When my focus was on getting my new homestead set up as quickly as possible, here are the resources that I found pertinent.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Garden Rebels: 10 Ways to Sow Revolution in Your Back Yard

Garden Rebels: 10 Ways to Sow Revolution in Your Back Yard

Sometimes I think that the next Revolutionary War will take place in a vegetable garden.

Instead of bullets, there will be seeds.  Instead of chemical warfare, there will be rainwater, carefully collected from the gutters of the house. Instead of soldiers in body armor and helmets, there will be back yard rebels, with bare feet, cut-off jean shorts, and wide-brimmed hats.  Instead of death, there will be life, sustained by a harvest of home-grown produce.  Children will be witness to these battles, but instead of being traumatized, they will be happy, grimy, and healthy, as they learn about the miracles that take place in a little plot of land or pot of dirt.

Every day, the big industries that run our nation take steps towards food totalitarianism.  They do so flying a standard of “sustainability” but what they are actually trying to sustain is NOT our natural resources, but their control.

One of the most inspiring, beautifully written articles that I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a long time is by  Julian Rose, a farmer, actor, activist, and writer. He wrote an article called Civil Disobedience or Death by Design and it is a “must read” for anyone who believes in the importance of natural food sources:

“From now on, unless we cut free of obeisance to the centralised, totalitarian regimes whose takeover of our planet is almost complete, we will have only ourselves to blame. For we are complicit in allowing ourselves to become slaves of the Corporate State and its cyborg enforcement army. That is, if we continue to remain hypnotized by their antics instead of taking our destinies into our own hands and blocking or refusing to comply with their death warrants.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trump Signs Ambitious EMP Preparedness Executive Order

Trump Signs Ambitious EMP Preparedness Executive Order

After years of the government blowing off concerns about an electromagnetic pulse, President Trump has signed an executive order that will put EMP preparedness in the hands of the White House.

What’s in the executive order?

The Executive Order on Coordinating National Resilience to Electromagnetic Pulses is a first step toward learning more about how an EMP would affect us and how to protect critical infrastructure.

An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) has the potential to disrupt, degrade, and damage technology and critical infrastructure systems.  Human-made or naturally occurring EMPs can affect large geographic areas, disrupting elements critical to the Nation’s security and economic prosperity, and could adversely affect global commerce and stability.  The Federal Government must foster sustainable, efficient, and cost-effective approaches to improving the Nation’s resilience to the effects of EMPs. (source)

The Order outlines the responsibilities of specific offices to help get the country ready for a threat to the grid and sets up a 4-year plan.

It is the policy of the United States to prepare for the effects of EMPs through targeted approaches that coordinate whole-of-government activities and encourage private-sector engagement.  The Federal Government must provide warning of an impending EMP; protect against, respond to, and recover from the effects of an EMP through public and private engagement, planning, and investment; and prevent adversarial events through deterrence, defense, and nuclear nonproliferation efforts.  To achieve these goals, the Federal Government shall engage in risk-informed planning, prioritize research and development (R&D) to address the needs of critical infrastructure stakeholders, and, for adversarial threats, consult Intelligence Community assessments.

In 2017, those in the know were aghast when the EMP Commission was defunded by Congress.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Composting for Beginners: $12 DIY Compost Bin, Getting Started, & 50+ Things You Can Compost

Composting for Beginners: $12 DIY Compost Bin, Getting Started, & 50+ Things You Can Compost

Have you ever priced out those compost bins that you can buy? They have all sorts of bells and whistles, like cranks that turn the contents for you and fancy slide-out trays at the bottom. They can also cost hundreds of dollars. Since that was totally out of my budget, I decided to make a simple DIY compost bin for a whole lot less money.

Of course, you can always pile of a heap of compost in your yard or garden, and that’s exactly what I did when I lived in the country.  Now that  I’m living in town, I decided I should be a little more civilized. But, not $300-for-a-container-civilized.

Because we have raccoons, foxes, squirrels, groundhogs, and other varmints, I needed a closed container, lest I lure the little $*%#s into my garden. So, I spent $12 to make a compost bin from a 32-gallon latch tote and it only took about 15 minutes. You can get these in all sorts of colors to blend with your fencing or your outdoor decor. I got a happy, cheerful coral color.

This is the easiest DIY ever.

How to Make a Super-Easy DIY Compost Bin

Drill 6-12 holes in the bottom of your bin, then drill a few holes in each side. (The number of holes will depend on the shape of your bin.

Here’s what mine looked like when I finished drilling the holes.

Then, put the lid on the bin to provide a little bit of stability. Finally, drill another half dozen or so holes in the lid of the bin.

That. Is. It.

Can you believe how stupid-easy that was?

Get your compost off to the right start.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

This Weekend Is Y2K for GPS Systems: Experts Warn the Grid, Finance, & Transportation Are at Risk

This Weekend Is Y2K for GPS Systems: Experts Warn the Grid, Finance, & Transportation Are at Risk

This weekend, on April 6th, we’re having another Y2K. This one is on GPS devices, as they roll over from “week 1024” to “week 1.”

  1. Best case? Nothing happens.
  2. Not so great case? If you have a Garmin or a TomTom on which you rely for navigating, you could run into trouble.
  3. Worst case? Some experts warn that the power grid, transportation, and the financial system could be affected.

What’s this all about?

First, here’s what’s going on.

The rollover issue itself is caused by the fact that GPS systems count weeks using a ten-bit parameter. This means they start counting at week zero and reset when they hit week 1,024. The first count (or “GPS epoch”) started on January 6th, 1980, and the first reset took place on August 21st, 1999. That means the next one is due April 6th this year. (source)

The good news is, devices have successfully been through an epoch before. The bad news is, some devices could go haywire and we’re way more tied into the GPS grid than we were when it happened in ’99.

What’s the worst case scenario?

Relax. I don’t think planes will begin crashing into the ocean.

But, if you have an older device and you haven’t been updating it, there is the possibility that the epoch could cause big problems.

When the rollover happens older devices may reset their date, potentially corrupting navigation data and throwing off location estimates. GPS relies on precise timing data to operate, and each nanosecond the clock is out, translates into a foot of location error.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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