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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…

25 Prepping Excuses the SHTF Won’t Care About

25 Prepping Excuses the SHTF Won’t Care About

If disaster was a human named SHTF, it would be that person who takes delight in dropping by unannounced and seeing you at your worst: still in your PJs, out of coffee, and taken utterly by surprise.

The kind of person who takes advantage of your unpreparedness to ask to borrow the keys to your new car while you’re still in shock at his arrival. The kind of person who acts surprised that you’re surprised and makes you feel like 12 kinds of an idiot for being surprised. The kind of person you must always plan for like an unpleasant in-law, whether you want them to come by or not.

SHTF doesn’t generally drop by at the most convenient of times, nor does SHTF care about your prepping excuses.  In fact, SHTF thrives and grows exponentially under more adverse circumstances.

25 Excuses That Won’t Matter When the SHTF

So, suck it up, put on your boots, and power through it – SHTF doesn’t care about your prepping excuses.

  1. SHTF doesn’t care about inclement weather – snow, hail, tornadoes, pouring rain, and hurricanes all just add to the party atmosphere for SHTF.
  2. SHTF doesn’t care that you sprained your ankle, broke your leg, or are otherwise less than ambulatory. If you have to bug out without a vehicle, you have to bug out, regardless of your injury status.
  3. SHTF doesn’t care that you decided to start prepping after you take that trip to Disneyworld (because how can you do it before? That trip is expensive!!!!)
  4. SHTF doesn’t care that you are on a boat in the middle of the ocean, regardless of what you paid for the luxury cruise.  (Check out recent ill-fated Carnival Cruise of the Triumph or the Viking Sky if you don’t believe me!)

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

Prepping for Normal People: How to Prep When You’re NOT an Epic Wilderness Survival Guru

Prepping for Normal People: How to Prep When You’re NOT an Epic Wilderness Survival Guru

Did you ever read a blog post on a prepper site and sigh, because the person writing the post seemed to have been born a survivalist?

In your mind’s eye, you could envision them at the tender age of six, weaving a snare from some vines that they wisely assessed not to be poison ivy, catching a rabbit, skinning and gutting it with a pocketknife, and cooking it over a fire they started with two sticks that they rubbed together, while wearing their little elementary-school-sized camo outfit.

Discouraging, isn’t it?

But not everyone can be Daryl Dixon.

Normal people can survive, too.

Prepping for normal people often seems out of reach, but it’s not as outrageous as it sounds.

In fact, I really don’t believe that the majority of preppers actually are rugged survival gurus. Most of us had to make a conscious effort to learn. Most of us aren’t wilderness guides or professional hunters or military special forces operatives.  We don’t regularly pop a deer in the backyard with a homemade bow, we don’t have a bunker with 30 years of storable food and an aquifer we can access from within the safety of its walls, we don’t isolate our children from all forms of popular culture, and we don’t live in the middle of nowhere, so deep in the woods that we have to carefully climb a tree while clenching a laptop in our teeth to get an internet signal. We aren’t all off-grid homesteaders that weave our own fabric from the sheep we nurtured through a Himalayan winter.

Nope.

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

Here’s How You’ll Die When the SHTF (and How to Prevent Your Untimely Demise)

Here’s How You’ll Die When the SHTF (and How to Prevent Your Untimely Demise)

When it hits the fan…I mean REALLY hits the fan in a permanent kind of way, the most likely outcome is death.

That’s not pretty, and I’m well aware of it. I always try to be positive and optimistic, because for me, preparedness is the ultimate act of optimism, but sometimes we have to look at the numbers and face some things that are pretty terrifying. The first reality check is that some research says that only 3 million Americans are preppers.  That means that 315 million Americans are not preppers. Some experts predict that within 30 days of the power going out, 50% of Americans will be dead. Within a year, an astounding 90% of the population will be dead.

Do you want to survive such a scenario? Do you want your children to survive? When you read this information, you have to realize that it’s very unlikely that you and your family would live through a grid failure of a year or more unless you are proactive and develop a preparedness plan that takes all of these causes of death into consideration.

The Top 10 Ways to Die in a Long-term Disaster

So here are the cold hard facts. One of these is the way that you are most likely to die when the SHTF, particularly in the event of a long-term grid failure. The good news is, now that you know this, you can take steps to prevent your untimely demise.

  1. You die of thirst or waterborne illness.  Most people have a case of water bottles kicking around, and perhaps a 5 gallon jug for the water cooler. What they don’t have is a gallon a day per person for a long-term emergency.

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

Here’s What an American Economic Collapse Could Actually Look Like (And How It May Be a Lot Different Than Folks Expect)

Here’s What an American Economic Collapse Could Actually Look Like (And How It May Be a Lot Different Than Folks Expect)

When we think of “economic collapse” our imaginations usually lead us immediately to the desperation we’ve witnessed in places like Venezuela or Greece. We think of starvation, a complete lack of medical care, and waves of suicide by people who simply can’t survive. We imagine an apocalyptic societal breakdown that is immediately visible.

Here in America, I suspect the collapse is going to look a lot different than it has in these other countries…at least, at first. And in my description, it’s entirely likely you’ll see that many of these signs have been happening all around us for years.

It will be gradual.

The thing with collapses that we see in the media is that we are seeing the end results of events that have been slowly declining for years. Venezuela was one of the wealthiest countries in the world back until the mid-1980s, due to their rich oil reserves. Then oil prices collapsed and their fall began. It was actually several decades though before it was truly evident that the country was in trouble.

Preparedness bloggers here have been sounding the warning bell since 2008 (at least) when our economy went into a recession. While the US managed to dig its way out of that to at least an illusion of renewed prosperity, it’s questionable how much of that return was real and how much of it was propaganda.

It’s unlikely that we’ll see just one event that says clearly to everyone, “Hey, our economy has collapsed. The Great Depression 2.0 has arrived, today, January 14, 2019, due to X event.”

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

How to Get Prepped This Year with Just 5 Tasks a Month

How to Get Prepped This Year with Just 5 Tasks a Month

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to make this the year that you get better prepared? If it is, we’ve got you covered. You can easily and inexpensively get prepped by doing just five tasks per month.

Take the overwhelm out of prepping.

If there’s one thing you can say about prepping, it’s that your work is never done. There’s always something new to buy, some skill you need to learn, or a disaster that you know you just aren’t quite ready for yet. It can be downright overwhelming, especially if you happen to be new at the whole thing, but also, even when you’ve been at it for years.

It’s enough to make some folks just give up. They know too much to completely turn a blind eye to the happenings of the world, but they just can’t summon up the energy to work at preparing on a regular basis.

Others sort of halfway prepare. They have a few supplies but they know there’s a lot more they should be doing. If only they had the energy and money to do it.

It’s enough to make others stop before they ever start. Perhaps they know that bad things can happen but then they go and check out a prepping website and see the huge tasks that others are accomplishing, view the pantries of folks who have been at it for years, and mentally tally up the cost of the things they don’t yet have. All they can see is the things they have yet to do and thousands of dollars spent. They immediately close out of the page and ask themselves, “Who has time for that? I’m not rich and I have a life!”

…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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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai III: Cataclysm
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