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Are We Facing a Future Where Life Only Goes “Back to Normal” for Rich People?

Are We Facing a Future Where Life Only Goes “Back to Normal” for Rich People?

As jobs and businesses vanish, and prices go up, Americans could soon face another expense – the expense of proving that they’re “healthy.”

While the government tells us that the Covid vaccinations are going to be “free,” are they really? Let’s take a look.

How much will it actually cost to get vaccinated against Covid?

While the government is paying for the vaccine itself, it will still cost money for most people to get injected with it.

However, providers will be able to bill you an administrative fee for giving the shot to patients, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This would be similar to paying a charge when you visit the doctor’s office, or for specialized vaccine delivery, such as infusion, a process in which a substance — like medication, a chemotherapy drug or hydration — enters the bloodstream intravenously.

If you don’t have insurance, the medical provider you used should be reimbursed for any COVID-19 treatment you receive through the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund, at no cost to you.

…If you receive a bill for administration fees, it’s still unclear whether or not those will be covered in full. It’s a good idea to contact your local provider or health insurance company for more details on whether you’ll be charged additional fees before receiving a vaccine. It might be that you have more than one option for immunization, including finding a medical provider that would give you the vaccine free of charge, or offer a more straightforward approach to reimbursement if you’re charged. (source)

So it’s kind of free, sort of, unless somebody charges you but then you might be able to get your money back. Multiply by your number of family members.

And what about all the apps for proving you’ve gotten vaccinated? Will that be government-funded or will people pay a few bucks to the app store to download it onto their smartphones? What about people who don’t have phones? What about those who can no longer afford phone service?

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

Urban Survival vs. Rural Survival: A WARNING from Selco About Your Plans

Urban Survival vs. Rural Survival: A WARNING from Selco About Your Plans

Urban survival vs. rural survival is a near-constant debate in preparedness circles. Those who live on acreage sometimes scoff at those who live in cities for reasons of business, education, or families. Those who live in the cities feel obligated to defend their choices. The truth of the matter is that there IS no perfect plan, and even if you had one, SHTF might have other ideas. You need both skillsets to survive, as Selco teaches. In this reality check, Selco explains how even the best survival plans can go horribly wrong when the SHTF. ~ Daisy


I write almost always about urban survival because of a few simple reasons:

  1. I survived SHTF in an urban environment, so I write about it from my own experience.
  2. The majority of us actually live in urban settings, so there is a reason why we need to pay more attention to preparing for urban survival.
  3. Most of us who live in urban settings have a plan (me too) to bug out to some kind of rural setting in order to have a better chance of survival. But the sad truth is that a lot of us will fail to bug out on time because of numerous reasons.

As a result, a number of us who have a good BOL in a rural setting will still end up surviving in an urban area.

Generally, I think it is much better to be out of the urban area when SHTF. But we don’t always get what we want no matter how good our plan. That is why you must learn about not only rural or wilderness survival, but also urban survival. I talk about all of these in my book.

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

SELCO: Everything Is Fluid When the SHTF – Including the Rules of Survival

SELCO: Everything Is Fluid When the SHTF – Including the Rules of Survival

In hard and weird times, everything is fluid.

I bet you have heard many times that expression, but what does it actually mean?

In essence, it means if you do not pay attention to that “fluidity” or let s say if you do not keep paying attention to the timing of everything you are gonna make mistakes, and even more, you may end up dead.

“Rules” must also be fluid.

It is especially important in light of the “teachings” that you can find in mainstream survival where the majority of “masters of survival” give you rules on how to survive, but fail to recognize that rules are there for bending, for changing, even for trashing. It’s all connected with the timing of events, particular or current situation. (Here are some pieces of advice I find particularly bad in the survival world.)

It is fluid.

So, again, if someone is giving you rules (including me), never forget that you need to take it as a starting, point, or let’s say blueprint, or foundation only, that you should refer to when times get tough. BUT you must always be keeping in mind that the situation CHANGES, so the rules might change too.

I know the prepper world today is consistent with 99 percent of “lists what to do in order to survive” and I also know people like to have clear pointers and clear instructions on what to do and how to prepare, which is OK.

The problem is that the majority of folks want someone else to do the job of figuring it out and give them the solution, while they are sitting in a chair in front of their computers.

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

Food Shortages Hit China: There Is “not…enough fresh food to go around”

Food Shortages Hit China: There Is “not…enough fresh food to go around”

Over the past few weeks, I have been writing articles regarding a coming food shortage. I’ve been pointing out that the food shortage is going to hit the United States hard but that it is also going to hit the rest of the world.

A worldwide fit of hysteria over COVID, resulting in the shutdown of the world’s economy, interruption of the supply chain, and the destruction of food products, as well as international trade wars and natural disasters, are going to collide with one another and make this winter one of the toughest on record.

China is publicly acknowledging a coming food shortage.

But while many have dismissed my claims, I’d like to draw your attention to the fact that China is now publicly acknowledging a coming food shortage. (And as noted in this article, when they admit there’s a problem, it’s a BIG problem. ) In fact, China even has an anti-food-wasting campaign going on across the country right this minute encouraging people to eat half portions or at least make sure to finish their plates.

In an October 5, article for the New York Times entitled “China’s mealtime appeal amid food supply worries: Don’t take more than you can eat,” Eva Dou writes,

On the surface, China’s campaign to encourage mealtime thrift has been a cheerful affair, with soldiers, factory workers and schoolchildren shown polishing their plates clean of food.

But behind the drive is a harsh reality. China does not have enough fresh food to go around — and neither does much of the world.

The pandemic and extreme weather have disrupted agricultural supply chains, leaving food prices sharply higher in countries as diverse as YemenSudanMexico and South Korea. The United Nations warned in June that the world is on the brink of its worst food crisis in 50 years.

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

Here’s Why You Should Start Getting Ready for Christmas NOW

Here’s Why You Should Start Getting Ready for Christmas NOW

It’s probably no surprise to learn that what has been one of the strangest years in recent history could culminate in a very strange Christmas. Our nation is reeling from an economy that was crashed by COVID lockdowns, the potential second wave of a pandemic which will result in more economic damage, a broken supply chaincivil unrest, and a presidential election that will almost certainly be hotly contested, regardless of who “wins.”

As Selco likes to remind us, there’s not a whole lot we can do about “big circle” problems like the ones listed above. We need to focus on the “small circle” – things we can do something about, like our response to the crises listed above.

So let’s talk about the upcoming holiday season and the ways that this year could be very different.

Gifts may be difficult to acquire.

You need only to look at the bare spots in your local Target store to see that we could be looking at a shortage of desired gifts. Due to supply chain issues, stores are not getting anywhere near the same amount of merchandise they used to get. That means that once the Christmas rush begins, the things that ARE available could sell out quickly. And it also means that you may have a lot more trouble than usual ticking items off your family members’ Christmas lists.

Retailers are quickly trying to adapt to social distancing rules while still making a buck, which means even more sales than usual will take place online.

Peggy AlfordPayPal’s executive vice president of global sales, told PYMNTS that retailers “are trying to make themselves as ready as possible.”

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

What It’s Like to Live Without a Refrigerator and How to Adapt

What It’s Like to Live Without a Refrigerator and How to Adapt

Have you ever wondered what you would do if you had food items that needed to be kept refrigerated, but did not have a refrigerator or even a cooler? Maybe some of you have experienced your fridge not working

One of the most inconvenient things I’ve had to adapt to is not having the means to keep my food cold. In Venezuela, I had a couple of fridges and a chest freezer. 

Why don’t you have a refrigerator?

The standard of living here is just different. With the cost of energy here, having a laundry machine is not worth it. This country has the potential for hydroelectric, but that would require energy transporting. And energy transporting is expensive because of the rough terrain. 

The same goes for a refrigerator. Many rentals here now do not have refrigerators or laundry machines, or any appliances. Renting a place with furniture? I wish. The half-million Venezuelans who came by the payloads two years ago have already taken up residency in the better vacancies available. 

Many of you probably do not have to worry about a lack of refrigeration in your current situation. Perhaps some of you have even acquired extra refrigerators and other supplies in the event that you should need them. Where I am, and in my current situation, that is not possible.

How do you manage without a refrigerator?

The grocery store is within walking distance, and I can walk to the Mom and Pop shop around the corner. Living without a fridge means I have to do that nearly every day if I buy foods that need refrigeration. I don’t want to have to do that, but I will do what is necessary to feed my boy and myself.

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

A Quick Reminder of How Venezuela RAN OUT of Food: Does This Look Familiar?

A Quick Reminder of How Venezuela RAN OUT of Food: Does This Look Familiar?

We’d all like to believe that the United States is on the road to economic recovery and that things are going to get better. Everyone wants to think the store shelves are just a few cargo ships away from being refilled. People want to believe that once 2020 is over, life will return to “normal” and that we’re just having a really bad year.

But someone pointed out an article I published four and a half years ago and when you look at the things which happened there and compare them to our situation, you may notice some uncanny similarities.

Here’s how Venezuela ran out of food.

In February of 2016, I wrote about what an economic collapse really looks like, using Venezuela as an illustration.

Venezuela:

The article begins when prepping began to be frowned upon by the Venezuelan government.

In 2013, many began to suspect that the outlook for Venezuela was grim when prepping became illegal.  The Attorney General of Venezuela, Luisa Ortega Díaz, called on prosecutors to target people who are “hoarding” basic staples with serious sanctions.

Shortly thereafter, grocery stores instituted a fingerprint registry to purchase food and supplies. Families had to register and were allotted a certain amount of supplies to prevent “hoarding.” (source)

The United States:

Early in 2020, supplies began to be difficult to find due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the potential of a lockdown. When folks couldn’t find basics like toilet paper, fingers immediately began to point at “preppers” and “hoarders.”

The word “hoarding” is being repeatedly used throughout news reports. They’re already working to paint preppers as bad and selfish people. They’re already vilifying those who hurry out to fill any gaps in their supplies. They’re making it seem like a mental illness to get prepared for what could potentially be a long stretch of time at home with only the supplies you have on hand.

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

18 Simple Habits That Create a Prepared Mindset

18 Simple Habits That Create a Prepared Mindset

Look both ways before crossing the street!”

“Take a sweater so you don’t get a chill!”

“Don’t let the gas tank get under half!”

Most of us have heard these and many other parental adages over the years – but how many of us really stop and think about the importance of such advice when it comes to being prepared?

I may drive my family nuts when I ask if everyone has a sweater or sweatshirt before we go out the door, but every time the weather changes on us, they are glad they had something to throw over their shoulders. My teen heaves a big sigh every time I make her change out of flip-flops before a road trip (or bring socks and shoes), but if we break down and have to walk somewhere, she’ll be thankful for mean old mom’s demands.

As someone who has lived around the world and dealt with both personal emergencies and weather-related incidences, I can attest that there are certain habits that, once ingrained, will serve you well some day. These habits may seem silly, neurotic, or just too simple to even think about, but they’ve helped me react more quickly (or better yet, be proactive), have alleviated my worries and concerns, and have even allowed me to help others in stressful and scary situations.

18 Simple Habits That Will Help You Be Better Prepared

The best part about the following list of habits is that the bulk of them are about making the most of what you have and using your brain.

If you’re just starting out on your journey toward preparedness, you can choose just one or two basic concepts to incorporate into your daily routines, making you more prepared almost immediately. If you’re further along, pick something that you could brush up on or use this list to ask yourself how you’re really doing.

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

The Average American Is RECORDED 238 Times a Week

The Average American Is RECORDED 238 Times a Week

Cameras are everywhere.

Do you have a cell phone? Unless it’s an old antiquated flip phone, there’s a camera. Public parks, roadways, the parking garage at your favorite shopping center, police officers wearing body cameras, school…they are everywhere.

There was a time when Americans viewed the presence of security cameras in a private business as a creepy Orwellian intrusion into their private lives. They didn’t want to be recorded and watched as they did their shopping or when they went into the bank to cash their paychecks. Those days came and went and Americans accepted and adapted those cameras.

Then along came public surveillance cameras and traffic light cameras. And, once again people felt their lives were being infringed upon. Not only were private businesses still conducting the surveillance, but the government was now watching too. This left many people feeling as though their privacy rights had been taken away from them.

All that changed when 9/11 happened. Suddenly Americans couldn’t be stopped from stuffing their concerns over privacy as far down the toilet bowl as they could.

Two decades later the “Privacy Train” has left the station.

Everywhere we go, there are cameras. Whether it be a camera in a retail store, at a stoplight, inside a hospital, inside an Uber car, inside a restaurant, possibly even inside your own home. Oh, and let’s not forget the doorbell cameras. like the ones surveilling the entire neighborhood without their consent. If you have a smartphone, it’s tracking everywhere you go and that data is being used to compile incredibly detailed information about you.

Cameras are everywhere…including in our own hands. While the images being posted on social media may just be static images, they are still pictures of someone who may not even know that image was posted.

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

The Supply Chain Is Broken and Food Shortages Are HERE

The Supply Chain Is Broken and Food Shortages Are HERE

If you are a reader of this site, you might be more interested in the food supply chain than most, at least when things are good. So, if you have been paying attention recently, you might find that there have been some severe disturbances in that supply chain.

Several months ago, the immediate disruptions began at the beginning of the COVID-19 hysteria, when factories, distribution centers, and even farms shut down under the pretext of “flattening the curve.”

As a result, Americans found necessities were missing on the shelves for the first time in years. Items like hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes were, of course, out of stock.

Soon other items became noticeably missing as well.

People began to notice meat, and even canned vegetables and rice were soon missing from the shelves. Most of this was simply the result of mass panic buying, although “preppers” were blamed for “hoarding.” Therefore, people who had not been prepping all along and were suddenly caught with their pants down.

But that’s not the whole story.

Manufacturing and packaging facilities and slaughterhouses shut down due to intrusive totalitarian government reactions to an alleged pandemic. Combined with panic buying, those facilities’ ability to replace what was bought up was drastically reduced. As a result, consumers were forced to wait weeks before buying what they needed (or wanted) again. Even then, they had to show up in the morning.

We are still experiencing those shortages, though better hidden. As anyone who shops regularly can tell you, you can find what you need, but you may have to go to three stores to get it, where one would have done in the past. In this article, you’ll find some advice about dealing with the limited varieties of inventory that people are currently noticing at stores.

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

The 7 Pillars of Urban Preparedness

The 7 Pillars of Urban Preparedness

The 7 Pillars of Urban Preparedness is an introductory course that Selco and I teach. This is a foundational module that we refer to often because so much is built from these seven pillars. Selco and I created this framework to hang things in a logical sequence.

When Selco and I first met we shared our teaching material. After sifting through it all we found we had a massive volume of material with very little structure. People were having to process the information and somehow compartmentalize it in their own minds. They could not keep up with what we were teaching in the moment because they were still trying to sort out the previous information. We realized we needed to build structures for people to hang information on.

The preppersphere desperately needs that structure. As the sphere expands, without these structures, the information becomes more and more fragmented and people do not quite know what to do with the information they are given. The 7 Pillars are strong foundational pillars designed to help them with that and to help build resilience.

Please remember this crucial piece of advice:

These pillars are meant to be built together, incrementally, and consistently so the main structure stays level. You don’t want to build one pillar to its highest possible height when you haven’t yet started on the other 6.

What are the 7 Pillars?

  • Pillar One: Water
  • Pillar Two: Shelter
  • Pillar Three: Fire
  • Pillar Four: Food
  • Pillar Five: Signaling | Communication
  • Pillar Six: Medical | Hygiene
  • Pillar Seven: Personal Safety

Pillar One: Water

Water is absolutely vital. Most of us probably already know that. However, what we see consistently is we struggle to contextualize the absence of something. Particularly water. Many people just can not fathom a world without freely available water. Even though academically we know it is possible there may be a time when we are without water, we viscerally don’t feel it.

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

The Preparedness Community’s Dangerous Failure of Imagination

The Preparedness Community’s Dangerous Failure of Imagination

In Northern regions of an unstable country, a battle broke out yesterday in the streets of a small city. Meanwhile, in the Southeastern corridor, protesters continue to clash over control of a monument, and in the North West, rebels have been battling local authorities for control of the Capitol for 80 days. One city in the central part of the nation has isolated itself by raising drawbridges in an effort to quell the violence and destruction of ongoing riots. After a massive crime spreehe largest city in the nation looks like the setting of a dystopian movie.

The formerly prosperous nation has been rocked by disease, authoritarian measures, police corruption, and economic catastrophe throughout the summer. A hotly contested presidential race is spurring further division, and the level of violence is expected to increase as election day approaches.

It sounds like coverage of some distant, war-torn country. I remember when I was in college hearing daily coverage of the situation in Sarajevo and it sounded so far away that at some point, I stopped paying attention.

But now the war-torn country is ours.

The report above is about events currently taking place in KalamazooStone MountainSeattleChicago, and New York City.

And still, I see people saying, “It can’t happen here.” They say, “Our area is different.”

Have you checked your normalcy bias lately?

One of the things that Selco writes about often is recognizing that a new set of rules is in place, and acting on that immediately. The earlier you can accept that the rules of the game have changed, the better off you’re going to be.

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

Venezuela Has Gone Cashless (And That’s Not All)

Venezuela Has Gone Cashless (And That’s Not All)

Writing about the current situation in my country is becoming increasingly difficult. Just checking my personal chats with all the information I receive is heartbreaking. People I have known my entire life are having a very hard time and are being harassed.

Collecting information from friends and acquaintances has been very hard for me. Writing about it all without feeling the effect has proven to be very challenging. Keeping the cold shadow over my heart at bay when I talk with people is the reason for the delay in my writing.

One of the biggest pieces of news recently is that Venezuela has gone almost completely cashless. But that’s not all.

What happened to the reported economic recovery?

Disinformation. That is what happened.

National cash is gone. Electronic is the only currency accepted. Some exceptions are made in border cities, like San Cristobal. USD or Colombian Pesos are accepted there.

Gini Coefficient is used to measure inequality. Ranging from (1) 0% to (1) 100%: a higher Gini coefficient means greater inequality. According to Gini, Venezuela is around 39. One of the lowest in the region, with a trend towards equity.

This is absolutely laughable.

Why? Two factors. The first one being the absence of reliable data on Venezuela. The World Bank estimates, due to lack of information, the economic chaos, and total absence of transparency, it is quite difficult to trace the data. Even if some data is found, it’s going to be very hard to verify it and can’t be trusted. The latest national survey on living conditions (Encovi) indicates this coefficient at 51, which would rank it as the most unequal in Latin America after Brazil.

What about the cost of essential items?

These are a few of the most recent food prices. Amidst crisis, chaos and a pandemic they have remained relatively the same.

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

How to Have a Garden When You “Can’t” Have a Garden

How to Have a Garden When You “Can’t” Have a Garden

Are you itching to grow something for the table in these times of bare shelves, but don’t have space? Well, you’re definitely not alone. Gardening is suddenly very popular, both for the calories and the many other benefits.

Are you renting and your landlord isn’t interested in plowing up the lawn? Or, maybe you’ve only got a small yard that has to double as pandemic playground for the kids. Perhaps the covenants in your neighborhood restrict the area you can put into beds. Or you’re limited to just a balcony. Whatever restrictions you’re dealing with, I assure you that something yummy can be grown!

Let me show you how. Or rather, let my mom show you.

My parents retired from the frigid North to the baking South only recently, and though they own their house, they are prudently moving quite cautiously in altering the outside space. My father Randy is still figuring out what their ultimate needs and abilities are going to be. It would be a real shame to go to the effort of putting in beds and improving soil, only to have to scrape it away because the best garden spot is also the only workable garage site.

But my mother Rose is indomitable. Salad must be eaten, and so it will be grown, whether or not there is a space in the ground for it this year.

First, she made full use of her existing ornamental beds around the east, south, and west of the house. There was crepe myrtle, iris, azalea, and daylily already in those beds. She filled in the gaps with high bush blueberry as well as tomatoes, beautiful red okra, herbs, lettuce, onions, peppers, and even a pumpkin.

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

There’s No Such Thing As “Without Rule of Law” – WROL vs. DROL

There’s No Such Thing As “Without Rule of Law” – WROL vs. DROL

I want to address one specific point. This is a very general application across the preppersphere. But it’s also become a little bit time-sensitive in certain countries just now, so it’s a lesson well worth visiting. And for those that have watched my videos or read the articles or seen me quoted previously, one of my kind of most quoted phrases is “Words have meaning and meaning is important.” And I stand by that.

Selco and I constantly, in lectures or courses, preface everything with definitions and meanings and understanding so everybody’s on the same page. What I want to do here is address one specific phrase and then tweak it. Within the prepper-sphere, and wider world, we have this concept of W R O L

  • ( WROL) Which stands for: Without Rule of Law. This has been written about extensively and the principle is: as normal societal function slows down, or stops, the law is no longer applied. It becomes a Wild West in the classic connotation of it.

In our philosophy, Selco and I believe that WROL categorically does not exist. However, what we do work with is D R O L (DROL) Doesn’t sound like much difference, but it’s critical because of a slight perception and shift change in mindsets.

  • DROL is Different Rule of Law. No matter what the catastrophe is or how bad it gets, there’s always going to be a “law” of some sort. In fact, we could actually stop at the word rule: without rule or different rules. There are always going to be rules.

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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