September 2, 2014

72 Hour Bug Out Bag List; by GraphixStation.com

Some years ago, I had the pleasure of getting to know the owner of GraphixStation.com through email. Over the years, they have created all of the logos for the Prepared Christian blog, facebook and twitter pages, as well as the Preparedness Club. Sometimes I have an idea of what I want but don’t do a very good job expressing it. They knock it out of the park every single time!

I recently got an email with a .pdf attachment containing a very nice looking 72 Hour Bug Out Bag List. The email said that after so many friends and family asked what should go in one, they made this list so they could just hand it out! What a fantastic idea! I have been given permission to hand it out to all of you!

You might need to tweak the list but, for the most part, I think it is pretty solid. It being in .pdf form means you can print it, download it or email it to loved ones who can benefit.

72 Hour Bug Out Bag List; by GraphixStation

To download the 72 Hour Bug Out Bag List; by GraphixStation, right click on the link or the image, and “save file/target as”.

If you are ever in need of graphics design work, I cannot recommend GraphixStation highly enough! Fellow Prepared Christian and very talented!

Are You Willing to be an Ark?

My mom told me years ago that she had a dream that people were coming to Trudee and I for help. We would give them a white container of supplies and send them on to a safer location. I’m not claiming this dream to be prophetic, but it has been on my mind lately. I was emailing with a reader a couple years ago and she said she felt like God was calling believers to prepare so we could be sent out like thousands of Noah’s Ark’s. This too has been on my mind lately.

I’m not going to tell you that it is your Christian responsibility to take care of those who didn’t prepare. In Why Should Christian’s Specifically Be Preparing? I cover this in greater detail, so I’m only going to touch on it here.

There are examples of us being told to care for the needy, and examples where God clearly states that if people do not prepare, they must suffer the consequences; what are we to do?

God told His people through Joseph’s interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream to stockpile food to last through a seven year draught. But when He called His people out of Egypt He had them depend on Him for daily manna. What are we to do?

Be obedient.

I’m not being holier-than-thou here; I struggle with this. I am of the belief that you get out what you put in. One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 27:12: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simpleton pass on and suffer for it.”

I have spent a lot of time, energy and money to prepare for my family. I feel, like I am sure many of you feel, that I am not going to take care of those who chose not to take care of themselves.

However, what if God is telling some not to prepare? What if there are people that, through no fault of their own, find themselves in need during a time of turmoil?

Does this mean that we have to help everyone who ever needs anything, regardless of the reason? “The simpleton passes on and suffers for it” tell me this isn’t the case.

So what do we do? How do we reconcile and make peace with the two viewpoints that could be seen as competing? Being prudent and preparing, and possibly being God’s hands and feet and taking care of someone who “Is suffering for it”?

Listen for the still small voice and be obedient!

I believe that everything I own is God’s, and I am just the steward of it. A good steward doesn’t give away everything he is charged with taking care of. But a good steward isn’t prideful, thinking “I have spent a lot of time, energy and money to prepare for my family and everyone else be damned.”

Like I said, I am struggling through this.

Bringing this back to the top of this article; are you willing to be an Ark? Maybe that means giving aid to someone in dire need; maybe that means giving them some meager supplies and sending them on to a safer place. It could mean you do nothing, as sometimes I think Father just wants to see that we’re listening and willing.

I’ll ask again, are you willing to be an Ark?

EDIT:

There have been some comments made about how to give, and it was mentioned that James Wesley Rawles encourages people to give to their local Church. I do as well, for a few different reasons, you can read about it here: Lessons from the Bible on Anonymity

 
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The Art of Silence and a Look to Go With It

The Art of Silence and a Look to Go With It

Today I am going to share two tips with you that I have used many, many times. I have used them to stop arguments, to win arguments, to stop pushy sales people, to shut down “alpha male” loudmouths, to frustrate frustrating people, to stop myself from saying things I would regret and to keep from embarrassing myself. The list of ways that silence and “the look” have worked goes on and on.

I don’t say a word.

This sounds much easier than it really is. A good salesperson knows that after they make their pitch and ask you to buy, to shut their mouths. Often times, the first person to speak loses. Here is a tip on dealing with salespeople; if you’re not interested, don’t give any reasons or excuses, just say “no”. If you don’t shut them down with a “no”, you’ve given them more time to try and convince you.

This isn’t just true in sales; I have won arguments with people in different areas of my life by saying my piece and shutting my mouth. My goal here is to give my perception and not enter into the “tit-for-tat” type of argument that often occurs.

“A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” ~ Proverbs 29:11

I try to live by this verse. I don’t always succeed, but thank God for His grace. Here is my theory on arguing; if your stance is correct and your argument is logical, make your point and be quiet. If two people are in an argument, odds are that emotions are heightened. You will, most often, not sway someone in an emotionally irritated state by a logical argument, even if it is the correct and right stance. Continuing to argue often leads to even higher emotional volatility, which can lead one to sin against the person they’re arguing with.

Trudee and I are blessed with having fewer heated arguments than I can count on one hand in the almost ten years we’ve been married. When one has happened, I say my piece and try to keep my mouth shut. Sometimes that has led to each of us feeling like we got to say what we felt needed to be said. Sometimes it has led to me vacating the same space so I can keep my mouth shut.

“It is better to be thought a fool, then to open ones mouth and remove all doubt.”

I have Asperger’s Syndrome. For those of you who don’t know, Asperger’s is a high functioning form of Autism. My social skills are pretty good for someone with Asperger’s, but I learned early in life that I don’t know how to respond in many social situations. If I don’t know how to respond and do anyway, many times it comes out awkward and forced. If I keep my yap shut, I might come off as quiet, stand-offish, or in some cases rude. I’ll take any of those instead of looking and feeling like a fool.

Where not saying a word works extremely well is with pushy people who aren’t taking “no” for an answer. Don’t keep saying “no”. Just say it and then stare at them in the manner I’ll describe below.

Women, please learn this! If you have a man who is making you uncomfortable, you do not need to explain yourself or worry about hurting his feelings or his opinion of you! He might call you the big bad “B” word! So what!? Your safety, self-respect and general well-being are far more important than him expressing his opinion of you!
 
 
The Look of Looks

Part of my Asperger’s Syndrome is a difficulty picking up on social queues; especially matching facial expressions with emotions. Because of this, I have spent hundreds of hours throughout my life studying and analyzing facial expressions. There is one look I have seen that is particularly effective that I have used countless times to great effect.

This expression is really a total lack of any expression. Your face is totally void of any emotion. Relax all of the muscles in your face; no clenched jaw, no grimace, no flared nostrils; just nothing.

To me, this expression conveys a sense of meaning business. I have seen it used by women to shut down pushy men, parents to stop a nagging child, men use it instead of posturing to let another man know they’ll not be taking any more crap and it’s time for them to back down.

I have actually used it in all of those situations (except I shut down a pushy woman) very effectively. Probably the funniest use of it was recently; I have an account rep at work who thinks his problems are the most important thing going on. He is a “hoverer” on top of it. He frequently shows up at people’s cubes and expects them to stop what they are working on to address his issue. I let him know I didn’t have time at that moment but would be able to help him in 30 minutes and then gave him the look. He didn’t know what to do! He just walked away! He hasn’t been back to my cube since.

To use silence and this look effectively, you have to be comfortable with the awkward silence that will follow. If you smile when you’re nervous, if you clench your jaw when angered, if you feel the need to power up to intimidate, or countless other things, you’ll need to train it out of you!
 
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Preparedness Club Re-Launch is Here!

We are very happy to announce the re-launch of the Preparedness Club! For those who might not know, the Preparedness Club is a premium membership offering permanent discounts to several preparedness and related companies.

Members are automatically entered for a chance to win a gift every month. One permanent giveaway is a copy of one of the best-selling preparedness manuals, Making the Best of Basics! Another monthly giveaway will be a an eBook copy of Prepper Pete Prepares, winners choice of .epub or .mobi version.

As an added feature, we have subscribed to several newsletters in the preparedness/survival/self-reliance/gardening/hunting areas and have started posting sales to help save you money! We will also post giveaways and other deals that are appropriate as they come up! Only one email per day will be sent at 6pm EST.

Congratulations to Brady and Royce on winning a one year membership!

The following is a list of the Preparedness Club Supporting companies along with the discount they are offering.

AlertsUSA 25% off yearly membership
Best Prices Storable Foods 5%-10% off depending on purchase
Camping Survival 5% off all purchases
Earthstraw; hand well pump 5% discount
First Aid Products 10% off all purchases
Global Healing Center 10% discount
Guardian Survival Gear 10% off all purchases
LPC Survival (AKA The Berkey Guy) 7% off all purchases
Lucky Gunner 3% off all purchases (yes including ammo)
Paladin Press 15% off all purchases
Paracord City 10% off all purchases
Portable Solar Power Biz 10% off all purchases
Prepare NOW Outfitters 5% off all purchases and free shipping
Prepper Pete Books Free companion eBook with purchase of a paperback.
Quick Stove 10% off all purchases
Ready Made Resources 10 pre-65 dimes with every $100 purchase of Mountain House
Ready Reserve Food 10% off food only
Ready To Go Survival 5% off all purchases
Seed of the Month Club 30% off Yearly Membership
SurvivAMINO $5 off each bottle
Survival Gear Bags 10% off all purchases

We are always working to include more discounts that will add value to the membership. Specials will be available to everyone but discounts are available only to members! Stop by now and then to check out the specials we’ve been able to find!

To celebrate the re-launch, there is a 25% discount on the yearly membership; $30 for the first year and $40 thereafter. This sale will run until midnight 8/24/2014. There is also a monthly option at $4 per month, as well as a new six month subscription at $20!

If you would rather not pay online, we now accept check, cash, money orders and .999 silver (AOCS, Eagles, rounds); one ounce for seven months, 2 ounces for 14 months. We also take pre-1964 coins; $1 face value for 6 months, and $2 face value for a year. Prices will adjust with silver rates. We also consider other items of value (barter). If you have something in mind, send an email with your offer to Chris {at} preparednessclub {dot} com

To join the Preparedness Club please Click Here to select your preferred subscription!

 
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Review of The Survival Key

Quite some time ago, I was approached by The Survival Key and asked if I would be interested in writing a review. Before I go any further, I need to apologize to them for the length of time it’s taken to do this review. Looking at the product then and again recently has given me some insight that I wouldn’t have had if I’d written the review right away.

The Survival Key is a software program unlike any other. If you’re preparedness minded, you know the vast amount of topics there are to research. The Survival Key went out and found some great articles, videos and documents from preparedness and survival websites and organized them by type of information. Think of it as a huge collection of bookmarks, organized by topic and presented in a graphical interface.

Here is a video they play on their site, though at the time of this writing, only the audio is playing.


 
 
While this software has a huge amount of potential, I have some problems with it; below is a pro and con list.

 

Pros

Provides you with the ability of downloading the information to your hard drive, making it available should the net go down. Just because you view the information, does not mean you have downloaded it and saved it. There is a button that must be clicked to download the document.

Wide variety of categories covered.

Each category has subcategories, many of those have multiple documents available.

The documents that the Survival Key created, called “Essentials” in the program, are very well done.

 
Cons

When I evaluate something, I tend to do it the first time without reading the manual because I want to see how intuitive it is. Be it a new handgun, a fire starter or piece of software. I had a few problems with the software until I read the manual. If you purchase it, do yourself a favor and read the documentation first.

When I first looked at the software and again the second time, I would say that 15%-20% of the links I went to were dead. Either the site had removed the information or the site had been shut down. There is a button provided to report broken links, and they say in the manual that they will find a replacement document when one is reported. If people are using this product and reporting the bad links, I would not expect to find as many broken as I did; so I don’t know how actively they monitor this.

Several of the documents they provide links to, are copyrighted documents that someone created a .pdf file of. By downloading the file you are stealing.

While they provide a means of downloading any and all of the information presented, if you downloaded everything, you would need a large hard drive to devote to it. With the size of modern hard drives, this may or may not be a problem for you. However, if you have an inexpensive computer and limited hard drive space, you will want to pick and choose what you download.

Some of the articles linked to aren’t very good.
 

My Take

The software has a huge amount of potential, and with a few tweaks like providing a means to add documents to the library yourself from sources you trust, fast removal of broken links, and replacement of a new one, to name just two, would increase the value in my eyes.

They have three price points; $14.95, $69.95 and $99.95. (For full info check the site.) In my opinion at this time, there isn’t enough value to warrant the price. If they created a fourth option that had all of the features of the cheapest option, but added a means to add your own library, I would feel comfortable paying $25-$30 for it.

I have made hundreds of documents available in the Link Library. Simply look on the main toolbar (it was previously in the general preparedness dropdown). I found non-copyrighted documents on a huge amount of topics. All of the links worked when I made them. Some might be broken now, but, hey, it’s a free service! LOL (if you find a broken one, let me know and I’ll fix it ASAP).

If you have the money to spare and want a large collection of data presented in a graphical interface, this product is worth buying. If money is a concern, you can create your own directory structure, find articles that are worthwhile, and save them as a .pdf on your hard drive.

 
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3 Tips to Fix Blossom End Rot

Todays article is written by Mike the gardener from the Seed of the Month Club.
 
backet_of_veggies

 

Blossom end rot is one of the easier vegetable plant diseases to spot and the most asked about as well.  A few times each week someone will post a picture on our vegetable gardening Facebook page asking “Why are my tomatoes doing this?”

 

When your tomatoes have blossom end rot, they look great at the top, but on the bottom of the fruit, is a dark, mushy spot, that makes the tomato look inedible.  Blossom end rot typically looks like the picture below.  Along with tomatoes, blossom end rot also affects peppers, squash, cucumbers, and melons.

 
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
 

THE CAUSE OF BLOSSOM END ROT

In short, blossom end rot occurs when your plant is not getting enough calcium.  However, it could be because your plants are not getting enough water either.   While your soil may have ample amounts of calcium in it for your plants, there still needs to be sufficient water in order for the plant to carry the calcium to where it needs to go.

 

Before you start heavy watering your plants though, it would be best to check the type of soil that you have and take a reading of your soil to see if it has the nutrients, in this case calcium and pH level that your plants need to avoid this disease.

 

Typically, soils that are acidic, sandy, or coarse often contain less calcium.  Also, overusing fertilizers can cause calcium deficiency as well.   Overusing fertilizers can increase your phosphorous levels which creates an environment where the calcium that is present is unusable by your plants.

 

FIXING BLOSSOM END ROT

Now that you know what blossom end rot looks like, what it is and what can cause it, the next logical step would be to understand how to fix this issue.  Your first step with blossom end rot, and just about any plant disease, is to mix in plenty of organic material, i.e., compost.  By mixing in plenty of compost, you are keeping your soil healthy and that creates a well suited environment for your plants.

 

The next step would be to check your soil’s pH level.  If your soil is too acidic you can add some lime to it to bring the pH level up.  The pH level of your soil will depend upon what you are growing, but you are shooting for 6.0 to 6.5 which is an ideal range for most plants in the home vegetable garden that are susceptible to blossom end rot.

 

Unfortunately, once your fruit has blossom end rot, that particular fruit cannot be reversed back to a healthy fruit.  Therefore you have to take steps to ensure that future fruit on that plant do not meet the same fate.  An immediate solution, so as to not lose your harvest for the season, is to use a liquid fertilizer that is enhanced with calcium.  There are plenty of organic options on the market.    Also, be sure to water daily so that your plants can actually move that calcium throughout the plant.

 

Again, blossom end rot cannot be reversed on particular fruits.  Once the fruit has it, it has it.  That does not make the fruit inedible though.  Just cut off the end that is dark and mushy.  To me, the fruit tastes the same.

 

mypicAbout the Author

Mike Podlesny is the author of the bookVegetable Gardening for the Average Person as well as the creator of theSeeds of the Month Club where members receive non gmo, heirloom variety seeds every month. You can listen to Mike each week on theVegetable Gardening Podcast where he interviews gardening industry experts.

Simple and Straightforward Tips For Keeping Food Fresh

Today’s article was written by Lee Flynn


Simple and Straightforward Tips For Keeping Food Fresh

If you’re sick of noticing your food go bad in what seems like the blink of an eye, you don’t have to sit back helplessly. A few handy tips can go a long way in keeping your food fresh for a longer period of time.





Fresh Onions and Pantyhose





If you’re a big onion household, then you might want to consider stashing these veggies away inside of pantyhose, oddly enough. If you do so, they’ll be able to stay good for upward of 8 months. Make sure all of the onions are apart by tying knots in the middle of them.





Routine Refrigerator Cleaning





Regular, thorough fridge cleaning can be beneficial for keeping your food fresh. If you allow any rotten food items to linger inside of your refrigerator, they’ll rapidly get to all of your other food. Always throw rotten food away immediately. Keep all of your food in top-notch condition by routinely disinfecting your refrigerator.





Berries and Vinegar Solutions





As soon as you purchase berries from the supermarket, cleanse them using a vinegar solution. After you do this, you can store them. Make your solution using 10 parts H20 and a single part vinegar. Whirl them around in the blend, drain them, clean then off and finally place them inside of the refrigerator. Thanks to the dilution, you don’t have to fret about an unpleasant vinegar flavor taking over your delicious berries. If you love strawberries and raspberries, this easy-peasy technique can be extremely useful.





Freezing Bread





It’s common for people to purchase loaves of bread only to notice much of it going to waste in the end. Bread goes stale extremely quickly, after all. If you’re tired of squandering perfectly good food, start freezing your bread. As soon as you bring home a loaf of bread, cut it in half and place the rest inside of the freezer. Once you’re ready to eat the frozen bread, thaw it. Say goodbye to hard, moldy bread for good.





Crispy Lettuce





If you enjoy nothing more than the taste of a salad full of crispy, fresh lettuce, then you can accomplish that quite easily. When you store lettuce, wrap it up inside of tinfoil. Doing this will ensure that it remains crisp and delicious for a longer time.





Mushroom Storage Etiquette





Refrain from stashing mushrooms away inside of plastic. When you do this, you confine moisture which then leads to spoiling. Instead of using plastic for mushrooms, opt for a paper bag. Put your mushrooms in a paper bag in an environment that is both dry and cool. If you put your mushrooms in a paper bag, you can also keep them in the refrigerator.





Suitable Potato Storage





Maintain the freshness of your potatoes by never storing them alongside onions. If you store potatoes and onions together, your potatoes will go bad markedly quicker. If you store potatoes alongside apples, on the other hand, you’ll stop sprouting from occurring.





Prompt Fruit Storage





Fruits such as cherries, pineapples, citrus, watermelons, raspberries, grapes and strawberries never become riper post-picking. Because of that, leaving them outside is a pointless effort. If you leave them out, they’ll simply spoil. If you want to keep these fruits fresh for as long as can be, store them inside of your refrigerator as soon as possible.





No Cheese in Plastic Wrap





Refrain from storing your cheese by wrapping it up in plastic wrap. Instead of going for plastic wrap, opt for either wax paper or cheese paper. Wax paper and cheese paper will both keep your cheese good for a longer time. After you wrap it in wax or cheese paper, insert it inside of a plastic bag.





Meat and Produce Belong Apart

As far as freshness goes, keeping meat and produce in one drawer together can be a bad idea. If you do so, that can bring upon frustrating cross-contamination. If you want to refrain from practically throwing food out the window, store your meats and produce separately all of the time.





These easy and straightforward food storage tips can be extremely beneficial for ensuring that valuable food doesn’t go to waste quickly. Start using them today.

What You Need to Know About a Pandemic

I have covered this topic in the past, but with the outbreaks of Ebola popping up and the number of new readers, I decided I would cover it again. A true pandemic is one of the “big ones” that scares me the most, partly because we are so limited by what we can do to prepare for it, and partly because I think it has a better chance of happening then an EMP over American soil.

I used the word “true” because the last pandemic we had, H1N1, aka the swine flu, wasn’t a true pandemic. It had the “morbidity rate” or rate of infection, but the mortality rate was actually lowered compared to past requirements.
 
 
Modern Day Pandemic Dangers

The last worldwide pandemic was the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, killing 20-50 million people, including 675,000 in the United States. The population of the United States in 1918 was 103,206,000, meaning that roughly .65% of the population was wiped out.

I believe that if we were to see a pandemic today, we would be in much worse shape. In 1918, if someone wanted to come to America, they had to take a boat. I don’t know the travel time of a vessel in 1918, but I would guess 10-14 days. With modern day air travel, an infected person could make it stateside in 24 hours, infecting everyone onboard in the process. In turn, those passengers would infect everyone on their connecting flights and eventually their families. One infected person could literally infect people travelling to the majority of states within in 24 hours.

The scare right now is Ebola. While Ebola is incredibly nasty and I mourn for the families who’ve been affected by it, it isn’t what scares me the most. Ebola most often comes from West Africa and patient zero is infected by direct contact with infected animals, some of which are used as a food supply, such as bats. It is then possible for human to human infection via the exchange of bodily fluids. Some of the numbers I have seen for mortality rate of Ebola are 50%-90%. However, I found data that suggests there have been less than 4,000 cases since Ebola was discovered in 1976, including the cases from the recent outbreaks.

What scares me is the illness that doesn’t exist yet or a mutation of an existing one that takes on more deadly qualities. For example, if a form of SARS, which has a high mortality rate, married a version of H1N1, we could then be faced with something that infects a large percentage of people and kills 15%-25% of those infected. To be clear, I am not saying that Ebola isn’t a threat. It is decimating countries in Western Africa, killing civilians and healthcare workers. We need to be vigilant and stay informed on any local cases of it. I’m just not sure Ebola has the same threat level as a more virulent strain of the flu. Here is an article from Canada published on June 23, 2014 where a physician and professor stated the following:

“If we had a case in Canada we’d isolate the case, the patient would live or die, and we’d be highly unlikely to have it transmit,”

While it is true that medical care has made incredible strides since 1918, there were no antibiotic resistant superbugs either, such as the recent Resistant ‘Nightmare Bacteria’ Increase Fivefold in Southeastern U.S. While we have far advanced scientific ability and equipment, for a vaccine to be developed, the scientists first have to be able to reproduce it, successfully test it, and then get FDA approval. This could take three months or more.

In case you were wondering, current US population is 318,559,000. If we saw 6.5% of our population die, that would be 2,100,000. When you consider the number of people taken out of the workforce, not just from death by pandemic, but those who are sick, those who are taking care of the sick and those self-quarantining, you can begin to see how quickly essential services could be overwhelmed and collapse.
 
 
What Can We Do?

In Flu and Pandemic Preps to Buy Now, I list three items that I own and believe you should as well; Hibiclens, Surgical N-95 NIOSH-certified masks and latex free gloves. Read the article for in depth information. Below are the highpoints.

Hibiclens was prescribed to me during an MRSA scare a few years back. Not only does Hibbiclens kill viruses and bacteria on contact, it will protect you for up to six hours after use.

Surgical N-95 NIOSH-certified masks are not the same as the N-95 masks you can buy at the big box store. These are the masks OSHA requires for medical personal exposed to potential pandemic victims.

After the masks, Latex free gloves are quite possibly the most important PPE (personal protection equipment) you can own. The two most common ways to spread a virus are through the air and through contact. If you wash with Hibiclens and wear gloves, you’ve greatly reduced the risk of direct contact.

We can also be prepared to hunker down and shelter in place to ride things out until we’re sure there is either nothing to worry about or there is a vaccine. This is one event I believe bugging out might be best, if you live in an urban environment and have somewhere else to go.

To either shelter in place or bug out before things take a bad turn, you need to stay on top of current events and be alerted for any stateside outbreaks, especially those in your local area.

One of the best resources for this is one of my sponsors, AlertsUSA. I have received alerts from AlertsUSA for quite some time now and they consistently provide news faster than I can find on mainstream media. They have important connections who pass information along to them, which they in turn pass along to their subscribers. As a reminder, Preparedness Club Members get a 25% discount at AlertsUSA.

Another site you can keep an eye on is the page that the CDC is keeping up to date on the Ebola outbreaks.

My personal plan would be to put the entire house in quarantine when I either a.) hear of multiple cases near me or b.) see local cases announced on the local news. I am lucky enough to be able to work from home occasionally, so I can pull the trigger faster than if I had to go in every day. If I had to go in, I might still impose quarantine and take a couple days of impromptu vacation time.

As stated above, it could take 90+ days to develop a vaccine. For this reason, I think we should have a minimum of 90 days’ supply of food and medicine on hand. The water will probably continue to run, but we should be prepared for waterborne illnesses as well. Having that much water stored is not realistic for 99% of us. Have some stored as well as a means to purify more.

Around the time I started blogging 4 years ago, I read an article that spoke of how woefully ill prepared large communities were for a pandemic. Since that time, some state governments have started taking action. Minnesota is just one of many. I attended a conference on how local hospitals will respond. They said that if any clinic or hospital begins to see an increase in patients with the same symptoms, they activate a call center who then calls other local clinics and hospitals to make them aware and to see if they have any patients to report with those same symptoms.

There are several sites that have been predetermined to use for housing patients. Cots and medical supplies will be brought in quickly. There are caches of medicine scattered around the area, which can be distributed to these locations very quickly when needed. The local media will be kept up to date so they can relay information to the public. There are also various locations around the area that have been chosen as mass vaccine distribution centers. I was also invited to attend a meeting at my church, with high ranking law enforcement officials, local Emergency Managers and medical personnel to discuss the church being one such center. The discussion focused on the best way to quickly and safely distribute the vaccine. One potential option was drive thru style; with people pulling their cars up, vaccine given and they go on their way.

My first thought is that a mass vaccine center is the last place I would want to be. However, when looking at this from a logistical standpoint, it is the fastest way to get the vaccine to the public.

Here is an article from the CDC with information on the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). While this isn’t a perfect solution, I am glad to see that government is being proactive on this topic.

 
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The Preparedness Club is Moving!

Preparedness Club

For various reasons we have decided to move the Preparedness Club to its own domain. There are a couple software hiccups that need to be worked out but we are close to re-launch! For those who might be unaware of what the Preparedness Club is, here is a quick explanation.

The Preparedness Club is a premium membership, costing $40 a year or $4 a month. The Preparedness Club provides discounts on some of the biggest names in preparedness! There are currently 17 supporting companies and we will be adding four more upon launch. We will continue to add more as time goes on.

The following is a list of existing Preparedness Club supporting companies and the discount they offer.

AlertsUSA 25% off yearly membership
Best Prices Storable Foods 5%-10% off depending on purchase
Camping Survival 5% off all purchases
First Aid Products 10% off all purchases
Guardian Survival Gear 10% off all purchases
LPC Survival (AKA The Berkey Guy) 7% off all purchases
Lucky Gunner 3% off all purchases (yes including ammo)
Paladin Press 15% off all purchases
Paracord City 10% off all purchases
Portable Solar Power Biz 10% off all purchases
Prepare NOW Outfitters 5% off all purchases and free shipping
Quick Stove 10% off all purchases
Ready Made Resources 10 pre-65 dimes with every $100 purchase of Mountain House
Ready Reserve Food 10% off food only
Ready To Go Survival 5% off all purchases
SurvivAMINO $5 off each bottle
Survival Gear Bags 10% off all purchases

 
 
The four new supporting companies are:

Prepper Pete Books Discount in the works.
Global Healing Center 10% discount
Hesperian Foundation Books 30% on all books
Earthstraw; hand well pump 5% discount

 
Following re-launch, for one week only, yearly memberships will be $10 off! A bartering option will be available at that time as well!
 
 
As a thank you, Prepared Christian will be offering discounts from two supporting companies for a limited time; ending on August 11th 2014. Those discounts will be as follows:

First Aid
A 10% discount on all first aid supplies from First Aid Products.com Coupon Code: P302425
 
 
LPC Survival

A 7% discount from LPC Survival, home of the Berkey Guy; Coupon Code: PC7OFF
 
 
 

I’ll be giving away two year memberships, going active as soon as the re-launch takes place. to enter send an email to contest (at) preparedchristian (dot) net. I will run the contest until Friday 8-8-14, and email the winners to let them know.

 
 
One of the features of this site will be sales advertising; updating you about specials and giveaways from preparedness, survival, homesteading, the outdoors, tactical and any other preparedness-related area that advertises sales you could benefit from! Instead of signing up for 50 different newsletters to watch for sales, register to receive an email from the Preparedness Club and find them all in one spot! Emails will be batched and emailed as much as possible, as my goal is to send just one email a day. These updates will be starting in the next week or so. You can sign up to receive updates by clicking here and filling out the form on the top right.

If you have a product or service and are interested in offering it to the community, please visit go here for details. In exchange, Prepared Christian will host your banner on the front page, across the side alphabetically and rotating across the top. We will also provide space for you to tell subscribers about yourself and your company. In return, we ask for a discount for any product or service you might offer that would be useful and beneficial to the membership. If you have an affiliate program, please consider passing the commission Prepared Christian/Preparedness Club would make on to the membership. This way, you make the same profits and we can work out a way to protect the coupon code.

Be watching for the re-launch announcement in the near future! If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to ask them in the comments section, or via email at chris (at) preparednessclub (dot) com.

Thank you!

Willingness to Use Force and the Permission to do so

Willingness to Use Force and the Permission to do so

It is my belief that there is a small percentage of people who are freely willing to use force at a moment’s notice. There is a larger percentage who, because it is not something in their normal routine, have to grant themselves permission so to speak and still another group of people who resist the use of violence, even at their own peril.

If I asked you if you were willing to use force to protect yourself or a loved one, I believe the majority of you would say “yes”, but the speed at which we give ourselves permission could vary greatly and can have a drastic impact on the outcome of the altercation.
 

Willingness

I am not a violent man; I personally see it as something that should be used as a last possible option, but it must be an option. To those people who say that violence doesn’t solve anything, I would say “it absolutely does.” Violence, in the form of war, ended the Holocaust and slavery, to name just two horrible things. Violence or the threat of violence in the form of self-defense has stopped violent crimes of every type. The police use violence and the threat of violence to stop crimes of all kinds.


“All it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.”

It is my belief that we have an obligation to confront evil. If we see evil being visited on someone and do not attempt to stop it, we incur some of the guilt that is being inflicted. We could personally intervene or call the police to do so.

I also believe we have a moral obligation to use violence to stop violence being visited upon us. If we do not, I believe we incur guilt for any future evil this person inflicts. We also bare guilt for preventing any future good the victim may have done.

I have heard the argument from Christians in the past that they don’t want to use lethal force because they don’t know the condition of the person’s soul. Their soul is not your personal responsibility in that moment. Being there for your family, providing for them, and living the life God has called you to is your responsibility.
 

Permission

The word “permission,” used in this context, feels a little clunky to me but is actually a good fit. As I stated earlier, violence is not something most of us use often. Because of this, when we must use it, we often have to grant ourselves permission. Depending on our background, our self-talk could be a very short “do it” or we might have to convince ourselves that while we may not like it, this person/situation is forcing us to do this and that if we do not, we may be severely hurt or even killed.

To me, the use of force of any kind is a two part equation; one part moral and the other part legal. If standing before God or a judge, I could explain why I felt justified in using force; for fear of bodily harm or worse. I then have all the permission I need.

In the heat of the moment, you might not have time to consider an explanation to God or a judge. For this reason, it is important to give yourself permission to use force under certain conditions. The amount of force used should also scale with the threat. Here are a few of my personal thresholds.

I don’t think anyone should participate in the posturing that often takes place in street fights; the pushing and chest bumping, insulting and cursing at each other and so on. To me, this is the same as a warning shot. De-escalation here is the prudent thing to do; walk away but remain alert. If your safety is truly in danger, don’t flex, just act. If your safety is not in danger and you take part in the posturing, using force as things escalate, your actions will not be viewed as “self-defense” in court.

That being said, if someone is yelling and threatening me, I will get ready to use force, both mentally and possibly physically, by getting in a fighting stance, for instance, if, for example, walking away isn’t an option because of being backed physically into a corner. Now, if the person threatening has a weapon and is making threats, the use of force is more than likely called for.

Once someone places their hands on someone else in a violent manner, from a slap, push, punch or choke, the attacker has given the victim permission to use enough force to stop the aggression.
 

Preemptive Strike

I think preemptive use of force can often prevent a more violent outbreak. For example; you’re out to dinner with your children or grandchildren and someone who has had too much to drink is being verbally abusive to everyone around them. You get up to leave, which draws attention to you, and the man starts cursing you and threatening you as he blocks your exit to the door. Knocking him on his backside could very well stop him from escalating even more and physically attacking you or your loved ones.

Here is another example; a woman is walking by herself in a parking garage. She is approached by a man she doesn’t know. He grabs her by the arm and tells her not to scream. If she either used a combative, aka a punch or kick to cause enough damage to stop the aggression, or pulled a firearm and demanded he leave, she could very well prevent herself being kidnapped, raped and killed.

In neither of these examples did the attacker have a visible weapon, but because of their actions, I believe the victim has a very viable case of using force in self-defense.

 
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