It’s a New Resolution. Really!

It’s a New Resolution. Really!
It’s the New Year, 2018 and like most people, you were probably thinking about all the things you’re going to do differently this year. You’re going to set aside food and water, you’re going to plan for alternative energy sources, read more about permaculture and even eat better and exercise.
(PS – do you know what Gyms call people who make New Years Resolutions and buy 1-year memberships? Profit)
Is it a good thing to set goals? Of course, it is. Should we make plans on how we want to reach those goals? Absolutely. Is it important to set reasonable goals? Yes.
Are you going to have two pistols, a rifle, and shotgun and be fully proficient in all of them by the Summer when you’ve never picked up a gun before? Are you going to have a fully sustainable farm with crops and livestock by years end when you just got a subscription to Backwoods Home/Self-Reliance?
We set goals so we can be focused and accountable. We set our goals a little higher to help us get out of our comfort zone. We need to also set reasonable goals because when we want to lose 10 lbs and only lose 8; we don’t think of how we only missed 10 lbs by 2 lbs but how 8 wasn’t enough. If you can find that ‘sweet spot’ in between “falling off the couch easy” and “requires Olympic level training” you can balance doing what you know you should be doing instead of putting all of your resources into something that’s not feasible (I got a great deal on this army surplus generator and I’m sure the Building Manager won’t mind me putting it on the balcony of my apartment)
Remember the basics: Bullets, Beans, Bunker, and Bandages. What can you use where you are with what you have. Start with that or build your way up to it. Taking some Project Appleseed classes. Finding some co-ops or LDS groups that do canning. Someone who’s already homesteading that might trade some knowledge/crops/meat for some help on site.
Have a goal in mind, look at how you’re going to reach it – and be creative if need be. When that goal is reached, evaluate where you are with your resources and determine what you can do next. If the big investment of your resources was in a Move, or buying that Rifle, or getting a Dehydrator, and you can’t put a lot into another stage, work small or work with what you have and get more familiar with it and when situations change, then you look at your Goals and decide what you are going to do next to stay on task.
Because when you have goals and plans with the end result in mind, you will be able to Respond to your situations and not be limited to Reacting to them.
©2018 Puget Sound Prepper
Joe and Amy Alton have a great site with a plethora of articles and resources for medical kits. They have some great learning tools as well such as their board game, Doom and Bloom SURVIVE. Take a look and see what you can add to your list and get started on your medical supplies.
NO affiliate link – just sharing information!

Presents and Presence

Presents and Presence
‘Tis the season and thoughts turn to Jolly Elves, holiday festivities and STUFF! Aside from birthdays, this is usually the time that preppers think of getting those wish list items that maybe you couldn’t justify just getting during the year. Everyone has different priorities, food/water storage, clothing, utilities, weapons, home upgrades, etc.
Might I suggest an alternative gift? Education. Or, presence of mind enhancement. There are a number of resources that you can use to improve your preparedness efforts. Just having things can be nice, and of course, if you have 3 books on how to use a water catchment system but you don’t have any piping or a container, you aren’t getting very far. But it’s equally important to have some knowledge of how that system works because if someone for instance just gave you one, you might not know how to maintain it, or duplicate it for another person.
Another suggestion to consider is the medium you are getting the education in. It can’t be argued that using an Ebook will let you store dozens or hundreds of books instead of a shelf of books that you can read on the go or wherever. This could reach into the possible realm of End Times/TEOFTWAWKI etc. but if you want to consider having access to that information without electricity, then having those resources in paper format would be a good idea.
A classic resource you should look at is Backwoods Home magazine. For many years, this had a little bit of everything the modern survivalist would need; homesteading, weapons, cooking. They finally transitioned to an online version and the print version is titled Self-Reliance.
Podcasts, of course, have some great information and if you carried them around in a portable MP3 player that had a minimum draw of power.
I hope you’ll find some resources that you find useful and a good balance between analog and digital that will help you grow in your preps and education so that you don’t have to BeWARE but Be Aware.
©2017 Puget Sound Prepper
I thought of Survival Mom, who has some great ideas and might be a format that the ladies might be able to connect with better.
And, all links above are NOT affiliates, just sharing resources with you.

“It’s Quiet, Too Quiet..”

“It’s Quiet, Too Quiet..” usually heard before the attack

I was watching a very informative piece by Canadian Prepper who addressed something we might not take into consideration in either the classic SHTF or even a simple power outage. It will be Quiet, and eventually, it will get Dark.

Obviously, those of us who deal with the potential of power outages know to have flashlights or even candles as a standby and it’s what myself and others who have taken it upon ourselves to share with others about Preparation to use as a start. What might not be considered are the psychological effects of an extended power outage on people who are used to a constant stimulus of electronic input. Watching TV while Surfing the Internet while Texting while Ordering Something Through Alexa. When there’s no power, all that goes away. At best, it will mean having to actually have personal interaction with others and finding ways to entertain yourself, at worst, those people that have become accustomed to, or even addicted to, multiple inputs of data are going to have a rough time of it.

Find someone who spends a lot of time outside, in rural areas or beyond. Ask them what it’s like transitioning from a secluded, un-powered (if they’re in the woods etc.) lifestyle to times when they have to enter “Civilization.” It might be as hard for them as the other group.

Before I continue, a clarification. Am I advocating for everyone to give up high-speed internet and Netflix? No. I am saying that we can have the B4 equation* ready but for some, possibly even ourselves, the Psychological mindset and adaptations that could be needed in a power outage is going to present a new challenge we didn’t take into account.

Of course, the bibliophiles will be chuckling at people staring at dead Tablet Readers, and stocking up a few paper versions of books, both informational AND entertaining is a good idea. I, and others have strongly suggested for families with children that including some books in a bug-out bag or other emergency preps will go a long way to keep them distracted and even informed about what’s going on. Two good resources for that I can suggest is http://booksbyjeanne.com  for a HUGE selection of great books for kids of all ages and even adults and http://train4safety.com/ which a line of books specifically dedicated to teaching children about emergency preparedness. These are not affiliate links – I know both the women who own these and chose to support them.

A common exercise suggested by experts is to test your preparation methods practically by either doing a day/weekend camping trip in the backyard, or more realistically, cutting the power in the residence. The latter will absolutely test what works and what doesn’t in your plans. Without going to that extreme, an option could be a day/weekend Analog Entertainment Only time. Reading, cards, board games, anything not reliant on power. It would serve the purpose of both training younger kids (and adults) on getting used to what could happen as well as a wake up for other kids (AND adults) about what it would be like in a power outage. An old military training adage goes, “The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle” could apply. If a known option and plan is in place for when the house goes dark and the devices stop beeping, you and your family will now have the option to Respond to the Event instead of Reacting and therefore not Beware, but Be Aware.

©2017 Puget Sound Prepper

The Sky Is Falling! Oh wait, It’s just the Weather…

The Sky Is Falling! Oh, wait, It’s Just the Weather…

It happens quite often. We’ve gotten used to a particular season and when the next season arrives a bit more forcefully than we expected, people panic. We’ve been treated to snow the last few days; some of us a bit more than others. It looked rather fierce at first but then settled down and melted off. In the meantime, how many people were lining up for chains, buying wood and water or other ‘necessities’ in advance of the impending disaster?

Being a prepper means you plan ahead for things that you know are going to happen so when they do, you’re not in the lines for gas or water or food, you have these things already set aside and ready to implement as needed. Depending on where you are, wet weather has already passed and now it’s the cold. Do you get high winds? Snow? Freezing rain? All of these things can affect travel, power and ability to access food and get water.

As always, depending on your budget and available space, there are a variety of options for you and remember; Doing Something is Better than Nothing but Not Better than Trying to do Everything.

Consider having ready access to warm clothes for layering

Hot water bottles can go a long way for keeping you comfortable at night

A couple gallons of water for cooking, washing and waste disposal; adjust by resident size (1 gallon/person/day) and don’t forget your pets!

Are your tires ready for winter? Would it be better to have something that works in the snow including chains? How about a blanket and traction assets in the trunk like kitty litter or carpet remnants.

Taking the time Now to have options when things go sideways, even if it’s inconvenient, even if it means spending a little extra money, will go a long way towards peace of mind when everyone else is clearing the shelves at the store or worse, you can’t get to the store.

©Puget Sound Prepper 2017

 

 

 “You’re Not Afraid of the Dark, Are You?”

“You’re Not Afraid of the Dark, Are You?”

R. B. Riddick

This week is Halloween and for some, it’s a time to have a little fun and let the kids dress up and maybe dress yourselves up. The nature of the celebration, for some, is based on fear. How scary/cheap can something be or (personal preference) how scary/realistic can something be. I developed an interest in special effects and horror movies not because I thought it was entertaining seeing someone getting a chainsaw shoved through their sternum but how you could make it LOOK like you had without falling back on the tried and true stuck-under-the-armpit-on-the-opposite-side-of-the-viewer technique.

As I mentioned previously, there are a lot of things we should be scared of. Another quote from a favorite movie reflects this-

” A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. “

Agent K, Men in Black

Crowds can be a challenge when they’re attracting people and growing in size and growing out of control. You should be able to make the determination that an area or a potential event might be someplace you don’t want to be. If you aren’t in a position to be somewhere else, some general precautions and preparations would serve you well. Your pantry of food and other essentials in case you can’t get to a store or the store isn’t available. When someone leaves, let someone else know where you’re going and how long you might be. Yes, there is that feeling of independence and adulthood saying, “I don’t know need to let anyone know what I’m doing.” No, you don’t. You also shouldn’t wonder then if something happens why no one is looking for you because they thought you were at home or doing something else and had no reason to suspect you were in danger.

Another event coming about is Daylight Savings Time. Love it or hate it, it’s going to get dark sooner. What are you doing to be ready for reduced lighting? What about autumn weather changes affecting your power situation? Many have heard of a BugOut Bag; what you’ll grab if you need to leave your home and provide some essentials for three days or so. Do you have a BlackOut Bag? All this simple is will be a centralized area where you know you have flashlights, batteries, matches, etc. that you can access in the event of a power outage. If one happens in the middle of the night, it’s usually not a problem – at least until when your alarm clock was supposed to go off but you’re using one with a battery back-up, right? Some people discover late-night power outages much sooner; nothing will bring you out of a sound sleep faster than your CPAP not working. That’s when you will also need to consider having a battery bank to run that but that’s another article. Having a known storage for lighting goes a long way to calming family members and helping you access your other preps instead of stumbling around and using up the charge on your phone. Make sure you check and replace the batteries regularly so you’re not surprised by a dead battery or someone ‘borrowing’ the flashlight and forgetting to put it back.

A simple pro-active solution to an event you could reasonably have to deal with means that you are able to Respond to the event and not limited to Reacting to it.

PS- Night vision goggles are fun, are effective, MIGHT be a little overkill.

©2017 Puget Sound Prepper

Who Knows What Evil Lurks in the Heart of Men?

A famous quote from the Shadow serial series and the movie (which I liked).

 

Every day, we are treated with more and more acts of violence and terror. Some perpetuated for greed, others caught up in the emotion of the moment, or just for the apparent thrill of the action. A missionary I had the privilege of listening to recently, told stories of atrocities in the Sudan. Families forced to murder one another, bodies stacked and laying where they fell. Abuse and rape against females of all ages took place on a regular basis.

People often justify themselves by saying, “I’m a good person. People are good at heart.” Before I continue, please know this is not going to be preaching or condemning but in full disclosure, I am a follower of Jesus Christ and if that is a relationship you would want to explore, I would talk with you privately or ask you seek out a nearby Bible-based church and pursue that. On with the story…

As another preface, there certainly are people out there who meet the definition of saintly. The person who would give you the shirt off their back, the shoes on their feet and would even say something positive about the devil is that he’s a hard worker.

There are people who live a constant life of what could be easily defined as evil. Contract killers, psychopaths, serial murderers, gang members. They take little or no thought to the morality of taking property or a life from another human being.

There are people who are hardworking, follow a moral code/standard and don’t dwell on or act on acts of violence and depravity on a regular basis. What happens then when someone cuts them off in traffic? When an expected and needed payday doesn’t arrive? When a sporting event goes one way or another with a team they’re passionately involved in? When the grocery store doesn’t have any food or water on the shelves?

<geek moment>

“All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That’s how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day.  You had a bad day once. Am I right? I know I am. I can tell. You had a bad day and everything changed.”

The Joker

All these people out there. And then there’s you. And possibly loved ones. Are you going to live in a secluded place with roaming guards? Will you sit awake at night wondering who’s going to cross your path next?

Don’t BeWARE. Be AWARE. Walking around in life in a state of paranoia isn’t productive or healthy. You can though, know the situation that you’re in and if it warrants a heightened state of awareness or retreat to a safe place. Without calling out places, common sense (hopefully) will tell you of places that might have more of a risk than others. When a disaster or crisis happens, people will be thinking about their loved ones and themselves more than you. The person who smiles and lets you in front of them at the grocery store because you have only 2 items could threaten you with a knife if their child is hungry. And the person who joins others to overturn cars just because their team lost could turn to further violence when the ATM doesn’t have any cash.

There are good people among us. I hope that you’re one of them. What we cannot forget is that there IS evil in the heart of man and as that cackling criminal also said,

“Y’see, madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little…push.”

©2017 Puget Sound Prepper

A New Hope

A New Hope
It’s a Star Wars reference, I’m a Geek. Get used to it.
We’re seeing all nature of disasters (I couldn’t resist) on the Gulf and West Coasts. Americans are losing homes, property, lives. What possibly could be the upside to this? A New Hope. There have been tragedies and there are opportunities. Learning from what didn’t work. Learning from what wasn’t done. And then Doing Something. The goal of being prepared is Doing Something. DS. Not BS. If all that we do is research and learn and study or worse, deny, then even the simplest of crisis situations will hurt you.
We can help our neighbors, we can accept help from our neighbors and set aside the Lone Wolf mentality that can hold us back. We can learn about what we can do to lessen or avoid a crisis and if we have that knowledge, we can share that with others.
It’s not going to be easy. We are at different levels of means and the person who can buy a years worth of food and water living on 5 acres can’t convince someone who lives in an apartment paycheck to paycheck to do this.
I learned from some business mentors long ago that Success means different things to different people. One person sees 3 cars and 4 houses. Another sees taking a vacation with the family once a year.
When we’re learning and sharing information with others, you need to know yourself and the people you’re talking to. Find out what can be reasonably done before you have the truck show up with the pallets of freeze-dried meals and bullets. Ask if they’ve considered what they would do if the local grocery store wasn’t available. We aren’t tyrants. You can’t force someone to make clear choices. You can inspire someone; Hey, remember when the flood happened and the gas stations couldn’t restock and no one had gas? I started setting aside a container a month. We also can, within reason, provide that cold splash of reality to someone who thinks it could never happen to them; Your truck has less than half a tank of gas and you’ve got two boxes of Ramen noodles in the kitchen. Are you going to wait and see what the relief agency is going to spare for you, assuming you can get them?
There is a lot of misery and uncertainty going on. There is hope. If we ourselves grow and realize what could be done and help others set and reach their own goals, there can be, A New Hope.
©2017 Puget Sound Prepper

Woulda Coulda Shoulda

How many times have we heard that? Said that? Suffered through that? It can be caused by procrastination or denial but the results are the same. An opportunity missed which can be minor or major; catching up with an old friend passing through town, looking at the nearly empty gas tank after the evacuation order and stations are closed or empty. To paraphrase one from Arnold S. “Du It NAOH!” (translation – Do It Now). You can’t rewind the clock, you miss the opportunity and then you’re saying, Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda. Didn’t.

Life Happens. Do you respond or react?

Life is going to happen. There is no question, no debate about this. That can range from absolutely NOTHING out of the ordinary happening to the winning lottery ticket blowing through your car window or a catastrophic incident straight out of the “Final Destination” movies visiting you. There are some things you can have some responses for and not doing so can mean the difference to a minor speed bump to a 20 car pileup in your life.

My goal is to give some suggestions, counsel, advice, maybe a cold bucket of water to help you do some things that will give you some control in the chaos that can be life at times.

I hope you’ll find some useful ideas and I’ll be passing along some thoughts that I’ve had, that I’ve happened across and all of that can help you plan to Respond to Life instead of always Reacting to life.

I’m the Puget Sound Prepper.

It’s not a matter of IF, it’s a matter of WHEN.