December 18, 2014

Not In My Backyard

Not In My Backyard

If you’ve been a reader of mine for a while you’re probably familiar with the fact that I don’t recommend people prepare with the TEOTWAWKI events in mind. Instead, I believe the best option it a general approach to preparedness, taking into consideration the events that are most likely to happen in your area.

However, with the exception of weather events, we should not rule out scenarios taking place in our area, simply because of where we live. For example, one would think that if Mexican drug cartel violence was to take place in America, it would happen in a border town. However, this happened in St. Paul Minnesota; from the StarTribune.com

“Three enforcers hired by Mexico’s biggest drug cartel flew from Los Angeles to Minnesota last month, kidnapped two local teenagers, and then tortured them for hours at a house in St. Paul in an effort to recover stolen drugs, according to court documents reviewed by the Star Tribune.”

Acting under orders from the Sinaloa cartel, the three kidnappers were trying to determine who had stolen 30 pounds of methamphetamine and $200,000 from a stash house on Palace Avenue in St. Paul. Before the episode was over, they had issued death threats against the Minnesota pair and their families, demanding that they find the missing drugs or come up with $300,000 to compensate the cartel.”

I’m not sure if I would call this complacency, willful ignorance or just someone having a blind spot. The type of scenarios I am thinking about are mostly security related in nature. I think this happens the most often to people who live in a rural, suburban or urban environment, thinking the problems of the other environments aren’t a concern for them.

The couple who homesteads on their acreage might be under the assumption that in “SHTF” they won’t have to worry about people coming in from the suburbs or the nearest large urban area. If we see an EMP event and it disables vehicular travel, you could be partially right. It would be hard to cover long distances on foot, but not impossible. If we see any other type of event, I actually think you might be more prone to see crime brought in from other population centers.

I was told by my cities police captain that 90% of our crime is drug related and comes from Minneapolis, which is a thirty or so minute drive and is the nearest large population center. Addicts come into town, burglarize homes and cars and sell/trade what they get for drugs in other cities. I also remember reading about the economic collapse in Argentina; that there were very rural homesteads that were specifically targeted because they were so remote and because there was food there. The point? Crime migrates!

I believe there is a chance we could see one of the large scale events like an EMP or a pandemic, but I don’t think it is as likely as an economic shift causing unemployment to go up to 15% or higher and aid programs to be scaled back.

People using welfare, unemployment, food stamps and other aid programs live in rural, suburban and urban locations. But if these programs are cut back and families have to get by on 20% less, for a certain segment of that population, crime is a viable option to make ends meet.

Since the population is higher in urban environments, logic dictates that there are going to be more people in a high population center affected vying for the limited resources in that area. Whether those resources are jobs, other private aid programs such as food shelves, or people to prey upon. Spreading out to other locals is a very distinct possibility.
 
 
What Can We Do?

Um, the number one thing we can do is not steal 30lbs of drugs from a Mexican drug cartel! Duh!

If you live in a suburban or rural area, don’t think that you don’t have to worry about crime from higher population areas in your backyard. If you live in an urban area, you probably don’t have to worry about the smell or peace and quiet from a rural area invading you (LOL). But the poor decisions of your neighbors could import crime from another urban area.

When it comes to security related topics of any kind, if we believe certain types of events are no risk to us, at best we become complacent and worst we put ourselves in danger. I think a good goal for our security in any situation is to not live in fear, but to be aware that there are real dangers. We are not immune because of our size, gender, what we carry for self-defense or where we live.

 
Please click here to vote for Prepared Christian as a top Prepper site!

If you liked this article please think about sharing it on the social media listed below, thanks!

Preparedness Club

Reflecting Over the Last Year

Part of human nature at times is concentrating on what we don’t have, instead of seeing what we do, or how far we’ve come. As a group of people who prepare for the “what if’s,” Prepper’s can easily fall into this, as we see everything we’re still not prepared for.

This last six weeks of the year, among other things, is a time for giving thanks and reflecting over the last year. On a long journey, when concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other, it can be hard to tell how far you’ve come until you take time to look back. With that in mind, I highly suggest you take some time to look back and see how far along you’ve come in your mindset, your finances, your plans and your physical preps and, most importantly, your walk with the Lord.

To give you some idea of what I mean, here is part of my list:

I’m working! Last year at this time, I had been unemployed for several months. This means bills are still being paid, we have health insurance and, while we have had our savings depleted due to the unemployment, a new furnace and health issues for us and the dogs, we’ll soon be debt free again and be able to start saving.

Because money was tight, I wasn’t able to buy many new preps. I was, however, able to barter my services and add some food storage and other goods.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about our country and how things are run. I used to vote down the party line, but came to the realization that the enemy of my enemy is not a voting strategy.

My marriage is stronger. Trudee and I have always had a strong relationship, but this year we grew closer together. If we had an argument, or difference in opinion, we took time to understand the others side, instead of just digging in our heels and not hearing the others point of view. Don’t get me wrong, I am right, she is wrong, (and I let him believe that…even though he KNOWS I proofread every one of his articles! LOL ~Trudee) but at least I know where she is coming from ;) Seriously though, a strong relationship is one of the biggest preps you can have. It makes life easier on the best of days, and bearable on the worst.

We don’t have plans at the moment to leave the country, or any real desire to, but we got our passports. I think they are good to have, call it an advanced prep. They do take some time to get, and we decided if we did ever want to travel abroad, we don’t want to have to wait.

I have developed my own CCW (Carrying Concealed Weapon) content and will be submitting it to the state so I can begin to certify people to carry in Minnesota. Goals for the future are to get the Practical Defense, LLC website up and running, and to get certified to certify others in Utah and Florida as well.

I managed to post to the blog usually twice a week. I have written around 450 posts and covered every topic I can think of that I know anything about. I have struggled this year to come up with topics, but God has been faithful! Several times, I have prayed for an idea, and I get one or two until the next time I pray.

Those are just some of the things I am thankful for and reflecting on. Feel free to share any of yours in the comment section.

 
Please click here to vote for Prepared Christian as a top Prepper site!

If you liked this article please think about sharing it on the social media listed below, thanks!

Preparedness Club

The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend is Not a Voting Strategy

The Enemy of my Enemy is My Friend is Not a Voting StrategyI want to take this opportunity to give you something to think about before you head out to the polls tomorrow. First, a little background on myself. For many years I voted right down the Republican Party line. I now, however, consider myself an independent, with conservative values and libertarian leanings.
I used to follow politics closely, but over the last few years I have learned a lot about the inner workings of government and have become disenfranchised with our broken system.

In 2008 I voted for John McCain. I didn’t like everything he stood for, and while I still believe he was a far better choice than Obama, I have seen some of the things he has said and am embarrassed I voted for him.

I am tired of feeling like I voted for the lesser of two evils. Here is an analogy.

You’re trapped in a coffin and two men are nailing the top down. One is using a pneumatic nail gun and is quickly driving a nail in every half inch. The other man is using a hammer and nails, obviously going slower, and is adding more space between the nails. However, he is still nailing the lid to your coffin.

I have heard people say that the two parties are the same. I don’t believe that but I do believe that the lines that used to define them have become blurred in far too many areas. Both parties have increased our debt to unsustainable levels. They have increased the size of government and they have stripped away our God given rights one by one.

Both parties campaign the same way; candidates slander their opponents instead of building the case for what they have done and why we should vote for them. I have actually thanked God for a DVR so I can fast forward through campaign commercials.

I’m tired of campaign promises that are quickly forgotten about or laughed about and put back on the shelf, only to come out again for the next election. Take ObamaCare for example; how many candidates during the last election took a stand saying they would repeal ObamaCare? If it was their first election they may have believed it and were just naïve. But if they were already in, they knew ObamaCare is here to stay and were pandering /lying to get votes.

Here is an image of my options for the US Senate race along with some questions asked by the Minnesota Family Institute. The answers were gathered by questionnaire, recorded votes, media reports and public statements. If the candidate did not respond to the questionnaire they were given follow up calls and emails.

US Senate

As you can see, the republican candidate chose not to comment on any social issue. In this day and age, and with the level of effort that went into getting answers, if we don’t know the answer, it is because the candidate feels their answer would jeopardize their chances with their voting base. I actually respect Al Franken more; while he’ll never get my vote and I disagree with most of what he says, at least he has the guts to say it.

How am I supposed to be okay with voting for someone who I only agree with on certain key issues? The enemy of my enemy is my friend is not a valid strategy for foreign policy, nor a valid voting strategy. Both lead to problems down the road.

Some of you might be thinking that not voting for the lesser of two evils is the same as voting for the bigger evil. I used to think that way, so I understand it. But that way of thinking is like saying that sitting in a room filled with second hand smoke is healthy because you didn’t smoke anything. What I am doing by not voting for either evil is simply leaving the room.

When you vote for someone, it is an endorsement of that person. I will no longer put my stamp of approval on people that only support a small segment of my beliefs. My integrity means more than that to me.

I still plan on voting; there were a few candidates that answered all of the questions in a manner that I can support. If there isn’t a candidate running for an office that I can support, I plan to write a name in.

I don’t believe that either party has my best interests in mind. I still think they will add debt, grow government, and take liberties when they can. So I plan to make the best life for my family that I possibly can. I plan on continuing to prepare, so that when the cards begin to fall from the weight of the staggering debt, we can weather it and any other storm that may come our way.

My name is Chris Ray, and I approve this message. (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

 
Please click here to vote for Prepared Christian as a top Prepper site!

If you liked this article please think about sharing it on the social media listed below, thanks!

Preparedness Club

Have You Ever Seen Something That You Just Couldn’t Explain?

Have You Ever Seen Something That You Just Couldn’t Explain

Have you ever experienced something that didn’t make sense? Something that did not compute with your rational self, so you convinced yourself you must not have seen things correctly? I would wager we all have. For the most part, these things are harmless, but it is those times where it could be harmful that I want to concentrate on today.

I saw a video years ago of a church shooting. A man walked down the aisle toward the pastor, shooting as he went. I couldn’t find the video now, but I believe he made it to the front of the church, shooting the pastor several times before he was stopped. Later, when parishioners were questioned, some said they assumed it was a play.

If you live in a suburb and see what you think, at first, is a bear, don’t dismiss it as a large dog. I live 30 miles from Minneapolis, in a fairly large suburb. The town next door had a bear wander in just a couple months ago. If you were walking your dog or small child, a hungry bear could be a big problem! The same can be said for any wildlife! In the last five years, I have seen reports of a puma, coyote, and an alligator all within 15 miles of me.

A few years back, while driving to work one morning I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. It was, at the time, what looked like a very large model plane, flying fast and very low, less than fifty yards from the road. This was after we started hearing about drones being used in combat but before we started seeing images of them. I knew this was too big and fast to be a model plane, and too small and low to be even a small passenger plane, not to mention too military-looking to be a civilian passenger plane. At the time, I figured it had to be a drone. Later, when images started popping up of some of the drones used, I saw one very similar to the “UFO” I had seen earlier.

Big deal, I saw a flying object I believed at the time to be a drone. I’ll admit I was fascinated by how this thing was flying. Having been an aviation electrician in the Navy, attached to an Aircraft carrier for four years, I have seen hundreds of planes fly. I had never seen anything this small move like this. The operator was clearly trying to get somewhere before rush hour set in and the sun was fully up.

Now, let’s say this happened ten years from now and drone strikes on American soil are rare but do happen. What if the car in front of me was believed to be a terrorist and the drone opened fire on it? If I don’t trust and believe my eyes and act immediately, I could be caught up in the attack.

In the book The Survivors Club, Author Ben Sherwood explores a theory developed by a man named John Leach called “The 10/80/10 rule”. In summary, the rule states that the top 10% of people in a crisis excel; they think clearly and take immediate action. The middle group comprises 80% of people; they are “quite simply stunned and bewildered”; “reasoning is significantly impaired and thinking is difficult”. The last 10% of people are the “ones you definitely want to avoid in an emergency”.

A few pages later, he explains something called ‘behavioral inaction’; “The current theory of behavioral inaction goes like this: As your frontal lobes process the site of an airplane wing on fire, they seek to match the information with memories of similar situations in the past. If you have no stored experience of a plane crash, your brain can’t find a match and gets stuck in a loop trying and failing to come up with the right response. Hence: immobility.”

We can prepare ourselves for a great many things that we’ve never actually lived through. I do this by inserting myself in situations I see in movies, TV, news stories, books and so on. But we should also try and condition ourselves to take action immediately even if we can’t understand, process or make sense of what we are seeing.

If you ever see something that doesn’t jive with how things should be or normally are, that is your intuition telling you to pay attention! Don’t let your intellect silence it! Pay attention to whatever is out of place, if it turns out to be nothing, move on. If it turns out to be something, your mind is primed to take action.

If you see a 75 foot lizard spewing fire, a spaceship descend from the sky, Super Mario and Big foot playing checkers, someone may have slipped you a funky mushroom. Seriously though, there is a saying that goes, “If you hear the thunder of hooves, think horses, not zebras”. While I agree, you should still get out of the way and make sure what it is once you’re safe.

 
Please click here to vote for Prepared Christian as a top Prepper site!

If you liked this article please think about sharing it on the social media listed below, thanks!

Preparedness Club

Awareness and Security in Crowds

Awareness and Security in Crowds
I did something recently that I have not done in many years! I went to the mall; not just any mall, mind you, but the Mall of America, the nation’s biggest mall! I went for a work event, and since I hadn’t been there in almost a decade, I thought I would walk around and see what I could see.

I came up with several observations and suggestions that could help one stay alert and safe in a crowded situation. This could be a mall, a state fair, or, in an emergency, it could be an evacuation route or center.
 
 
Awareness

Practicing situational awareness in any public setting can be difficult at times. It can be nearly impossible when you add hundreds or thousands of people. I’m a big believer in the Cooper Color Code. For those unaware, this is a system of mental readiness that uses four colors to differentiate the levels.
Read the link above for a deeper explanation. Below is a brief overview.

White: This is a state of being unaware; the state you’re in when at home.

Yellow: Relaxed but aware of your surroundings; the state you should be in any time you’re away from home. This is where you scan for potential threats.

Orange: Alerted on a single threat; must make decision on when and how you will react if the threat escalates.

Red: You are ready to fight.

Using the Cooper color code is an effective way to gauge potential threats in low to moderately busy situations. However, if you are in a situation where you have, not only to scan for threats, but also need/want to take in the sites or look for someone you’re meeting, it is quite difficult to assess every passerby for more than a second or two.

In large groups of people, I change my scanning method somewhat. For example, a young teenage girl who is giggling with a friend is usually not going to be a threat. This being the case, I then dismissed groups of teenage girls as potential threats. The same could be said for a group of elderly gentleman, or any group of similar people. Now, of course, they would get a second look if they did something that got my attention, such as following me.

Because I was in a setting where people were there with purpose, I expected them to act in certain ways; looking at merchandise, walking to or from a store, looking for the next store to shop at, you get the idea. Anyone who did anything outside of these expected behaviors got more of my attention.

For example, there was a group of people sitting on benches. Some of them were talking, others were people watching and one of them was watching me. Because I thought it odd that a man in his late thirties or early forties was watching me, I made a point to look behind me as I passed. I then noticed that he got up and followed me. This could have been a total coincidence, but knowing my biggest threat in the mall is pickpockets, I decided to act instead of waiting to see what happened. I moved off to the side of the walkway and stopped, watching him as he passed. When he got a bit ahead of me, I went on my way again, making sure I knew where he was.

Maintaining awareness also makes you much more polite than the average person. At 6’0 tall and 220 pounds, I’m a fairly big guy. I lost count of how many people I had to dodge to keep from knocking them over or, in one case, getting run over by a motorized scooter. Playing this kind of leapfrog and trying to keep people at as much distance as I could also made me a harder target to pickpocket.
 
 
Sliding Into Condition White

I don’t care who you are, it is impossible to maintain perfect situational awareness at all times, especially when you’re in an environment where you need to split your attention between looking for someone in particular, finding a gift, maintaining a conversation, eating a meal and so on.

One sure fire way to slide back into condition white is using your phone. Below are some tips I used both on the occasions when had to use the phone, or when I was looking at an item.

I only used the phone in a non-busy area, and made sure my back was to the wall. I made sure to continue to scan every five to ten seconds. I also kept the phone close to my body and kept a solid grasp on it. I’ve watched footage of people getting their phones stolen right from their hands. They almost always have it as far from them as possible, yet not quite a full arm’s length away. I had my wrists touching my frame and checked my peripherals frequently.
 
 
Limiting Mr. Murphy

Because I dislike Mr. Murphy and his law and want to limit the amount of things that do go wrong, special precautions should be taken in large groups of people. Below are some random security related ideas when in a large group of people.

  •  Don’t put your wallet in your back pocket. The front is much harder to pickpocket from.
  • Women, if you carry a purse, carrying it cross body won’t keep it from being stolen but can limit pickpocketing.
  • At the mall there were some parents using those kid “leashes”. I used to think those were a bad idea until I watched a young couple with two kids. The wife was pushing the stroller, the husband was carrying bags and had the kid that could walk tethered to him with one of these. He frequently checked on him but the tether gave them a little more freedom than they would have had otherwise.
  •  Men – When using public restrooms, either do like the ladies and use the buddy system, or if going solo, use the stall. There was a crime wave here a few years back where a man was targeting men who were alone standing at the urinal. He would walk behind them and give them an elbow strike to the back of the head, then while they lay there unconscious he would empty their pockets.
  • Women – When using a public restroom, the safest stall is the one with a solid wall to one side. You can place your purse on the floor in the corner. There is then no risk of someone taking it off the door hook or reaching under and grabbing it.
    Always know the quickest way out of the area as well as an alternative route.
  • Pay attention to anyone paying more attention to you than they are anything else. A nod and a smile can let them know you are aware of them. They might just think that you remind them of someone or they may have sinister intentions.
  • If there is an emergency and everyone is heading for the exits; depending on the emergency, it might be best to let the crowd pass by and then leave. If you did as suggested above, you know where an alternate route is.
  • One would think that evil couldn’t hide in large groups of people. However, some very evil things were done at the Superdome during hurricane Katrina. The point here is that even in large crowds of people, those who want to do you harm can find pockets where foot traffic is light. This is one of the reasons to use the buddy system.
  • Make your valuables hard to get to. I usually wear cargo pants and button the pockets. If you carry a bag or purse, make sure it is zipped. If you have one that doesn’t close, while it might be handy, it is not secure from someone willing and with nimble fingers.

Staying alert and secure in crowds of people has different challenges and might need a different approach than around a low population setting. Please add any other thoughts or security ideas to the comments section.

 
Please click here to vote for Prepared Christian as a top Prepper site!

If you liked this article please think about sharing it on the social media listed below, thanks!

Preparedness Club

The Answer to “Prepper’s are Selfish”

Every now and then, I see a story about someone who said prepper’s are selfish. Granted, these comments are often made by non-prepper’s, during a time when they might be regretting not being prepared. If you ever encounter such a person, here are some things to keep in mind.
  

Selfish

Words and their meaning are important! Here are two definitions of the word “selfish”.

1. Devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.

2. Characterized by or manifesting concern or care only for oneself.

I can’t recall ever hearing another Prepper say that they were preparing for themselves exclusively. We say, “I am preparing for myself and my family”. By definition, we are looking out for others’ welfare and interests. “Everyone takes care of their family.” Uh, no! No, they don’t. I have some incredibly selfish people in my extended family who take advantage of family members at every turn and contribute absolutely nothing to society, let alone family.

According to the definition, if you are concerned with anyone else’s well-being, you are not selfish!
  

Acting in Self-interest

There is also a difference between being selfish and acting in one’s self interest. There is nothing wrong with acting in your own self-interest. It’s human nature! It’s when we act in our self-interest to the exclusion of everyone else, that we are selfish, and this is, indeed, a problem!

Every time you board a plane, you’re told that if you’re with a child and the masks fall, to put yours on first. This ensures that you have oxygen and will enable you to assist the child. If you and a friend are on a road trip, and a deer jumps in front of you, causing you to roll your vehicle and your friend to lose consciousness, you must first extricate yourself before assisting your friend. Neither of these makes you selfish! They are prudent decisions!

Acting in self-interest is not bad on a corporate level either! Companies stay in business and are able to employ people by turning a profit. Even a non-profit company needs to make enough money to pay their employees! If their costs go up, so do yours! Where I think corporations go too far, is when they cover up something detrimental because they would lose money if it came to light.
  

Selfishness in an Emergency

Almost every year we see either hurricanes or blizzards, followed by stories of people getting into fights over a can of beans or a case of water. In an emergency, prepping is the antithesis of selfishness for a couple different reasons; the main one is that because we made the decision to get prepared, and buy our preparations when the stock at stores was plentiful, we are not a drain on the system when the stocks are low! Secondly, when we are assured our families self-interests are met, many of us will venture out to help our neighbors, whether by providing a hot meal or lending some muscle and time to clean up!
  

Final Thoughts

Like every subset of people, we prepper’s have some selfish people in our ranks. The next time you hear someone say that people who prepare are selfish, ask them this: if the worst weather event (for your area; hurricane, blizzard, ice storm) in 50 years was scheduled to hit in two days, who is more selfish:

The person who runs out to the store at the last minute and buys the last loaf of bread on the shelf, when another family could also need it, or the person who spent their money months ago making sure their needs were met in case a storm like this ever happened?

 
Please click here to vote for Prepared Christian as a top Prepper site!

If you liked this article please think about sharing it on the social media listed below, thanks!

Preparedness Club

You Don’t Have to Outrun the Bear

You Don’t Have to Outrun the Bear

Two friends are hiking through a remote section of a national park. The subject turns to what they will do if a bear approaches. One friend says “I’m going to run like crazy”, the other reply’s “There is no way you can outrun a bear”. To which the first friend says “I don’t have to outrun the bear, I just need to outrun you.”

The notion that we need to be totally prepared to make it through whatever flavor of extreme survival situation you can think of doesn’t make sense to me for a few reasons. This is a topic I’ve thought about for a while and decided I would share my thoughts with you. Please share yours with me in the comment section.
 
 
You’re On Your Own

I get the feeling that people might be under the impression that everything is going to fall apart and we will not have any infrastructure or any help coming whatsoever. For this to be true, the event would have to be extremely large. That has such a low chance of actually happening that I’m not terribly concerned about it.

The Yellowstone Caldera exploding, a colossal meteor strike or a full out nuclear war are a few of those events. I know some of you are concerned about the Yellowstone Caldera. I think it is something to keep an eye on, but not something that should cause anyone to lose sleep. With all but the colossal meteor strike, I think we would see aid from other countries in time.

With smaller scale events, such as any type of weather related disaster, aid and assistance from other states will pour in soon after the disaster. Images of Hurricane Katrina, and the cries on the news about “Where is our help Mr. President” might come to mind. Here is something you might not know, that I learned from the County Emergency Manager when I went through CERT.. The county needs to invite the state, and the state needs to invite federal help. The reason federal help was delayed during hurricane Katrina was that the local government officials were slow to request it. I think they may have even turned it down at first.
 
 
What Is a Reasonable Goal?

I’m going to use the largest scale event that I believe has the highest chance of happening; a pandemic. The pandemic of 1918 killed 6.5% of the American population. I believe that if we had one today, the percentage would be higher. In 1918 it took much longer to traverse the world, let alone the United States. It could’ve taken a week or more for an infected person to travel from their country of origin and make it stateside. Now one infected person could infect everyone on their flight, they in turn infecting people on connecting flights and within 24 hours we could have infected people in every state.

In 1918 the largest percentage of our population lived in a more rural environment and we were far more spread out. Today we have large percentages of people in high population urban areas and many more in suburbs that aren’t that far away. For more on my thoughts on pandemics, please read What You Need to Know About Pandemics.

So let’s say a pandemic with a high morbidity and mortality rate spreads worldwide. Stories will make it on the news within hours of multiple hospitals reporting being overwhelmed with sick people with the same symptoms. Imposing a self-quarantine for your family before anyone contracts the illness would be ideal.

It could take 4-12 weeks to be able to create a vaccine, so being able to stay in quarantine and have the ability to provide clean drinking water, food and to have enough medications and other supplies on hand with the ability to protect your family for three months should be a long term goal. I can’t see a realistic scenario that wouldn’t see federal or international aid taking longer than that to arrive.

I’m not saying that we should only prepare a little because Uncle Sugar will come to the rescue. What I am saying is that if basic services stop; if trucks stop delivering, for instance, those things will be remedied as quickly as possible. Medications and medical help will be brought in, as will clean drinking water if it is needed. We should be as prepared as we can be, but I fully believe help will be there in time if we need it.

If you’re just starting out, 90 days might seem like a very lofty goal, but it’s not as unreachable as you may think. Many of the things you might need are one time purchases, such as a water purifier. Food and medications are going to be the biggest hurdles for most of us. Here are a couple articles that can help increase your pantry and your medicine cabinet. Copy Canning is one way to inexpensively and quickly build your pantry over a few months. I cover several ways to add to your medical preps in Building a Stockpile of Medicine.

To me, this is a plausible worst case scenario, and I’m going to be very candid. If we see a global pandemic, the death tolls will be staggering. Those unprepared will resort to doing whatever they feel necessary to feed their families. The first month is going to be dangerous as the pandemic spreads and people deal with the breakdown of infrastructure. Any thing you can do to limit your exposure to the public, and to people that might come to you for aid, the better off you are. If you want to help, do so through a local church or food bank, or leave a care package anonymously.
 
 
Out-Running the Bear

I mentioned pandemic and self-quarantine above, but this is just one example. Try not to get tied to the event, but how you are prepared in general. If you are able to provide the Five Basic Human Needs for your family for an extended time, it means that if there is chaos in the streets, you don’t need to subject yourself to potential danger.

There are several things that we should be ready for that will have a far shorter duration than 90 days. However, once you reach 90 days, I don’t think you should stop there. I fully believe we will see serious economic corrections in the next 5-10 years. I think this will make the mess of recent years look mild. If you lose your job and cannot find a new one, having six months or a years’ worth of staples stored will stretch your savings and unemployment much further. I should know, when I lost my job at the beginning of 2013, we relied pretty heavily on our pantry, spending $50 or less some weeks on groceries.

Much like the friend who didn’t need to outrun the bear but only his friend; we don’t need to outlast whatever event takes place. We need to outlast others affected by it.

Eventually things will start being put back together, though they may not go back to the way they were. Whether it is a vaccine or cure for the pandemic, the grid being repaired or correction of whatever the event may be, things will eventually level off. If you can outlast those who were not prepared; those who fell during the event, you will be a part of the rebuilding.

Like I said at the beginning, this is something I have thought about for a while but admit I don’t have completely polished. I would really like to hear your thoughts.

 
Please click here to vote for Prepared Christian as a top Prepper site!

If you liked this article please think about sharing it on the social media listed below, thanks!

Preparedness Club

The Two Most Important Documents in World History

The Two Most Important Documents in World History

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain to cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.”

~Thomas Paine

Today we celebrate the day we declared our independence from England. Because today is a celebration of freedom, I want to share with you my thoughts on the two most important documents in the world’s history; the Holy Bible and the United States Constitution.

I led off with the quote from Thomas Paine because I think it is important to read and understand these documents and the rights they define. If we do not know the freedom we have in Christ, then satan can continue to lie to us and we’ll believe we’re still slaves. If we don’t know what our God given rights are, how can we possibly know or care when they’re being taken away?

These documents can be hard to understand at times. After all, a constitutional lawyer, who has studied them for years, fails to grasp their meaning frequently (sarcasm)! Seriously though, while it can be hard to understand, if you set a high value on your freedom, then the time spent is a small price to pay.

 
The Bible

I have heard the Bible referred to as a guidebook for one’s life. I’ve been reading the Bible frequently for almost ten years and every day for around eight years. Truth be told, I didn’t understand a lot of what I read back when I first started. I stuck with it and researched passages that I had trouble with. It wasn’t always enjoyable reading. Sometimes God uses words written thousands of years ago to point out a modern day sin in your life. Remember: God disciplines the ones He loves.

There are passages I still struggle with but I don’t have to use a concordance as much. While I am far from a saint, I know that because of my time with God’s word every day, I am a better man, a better father, a better husband and a better servant to Jesus.
 
The Constitution

If the Bible is the guidebook for one’s life, the Constitution is the guidebook for a just and balanced nation. I do know the difference between the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence, but for the purpose of this article I am lumping them together.

For millennia, nations were ruled by family line, by those who had the biggest armies, and the rights of their people were controlled by the whim of their leader. What the Constitution does is draw lines defining how government is created; three separate branches with checks and balances on each one. It defines how our leaders are elected and how big the representation for each state should be.

I think that the Constitutions most important accomplishment is that the Founders defined the rights of the people, which they declared were given by our Creator, God.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

There are those, among which I am one, who believe that our Constitution is being trampled on and that we’ve lost many of the liberties we once had. However, I have traveled to several other countries and it is my opinion that we are still the freest nation on earth.

I have written two articles related to this topic; Knowing Your Rights and How to Protect Them, and Trading Liberty for Safety.
 
Camping-Survival

Camping Survival sees great value in the Bible and the Constitution as well, so much so that they sell a variety of Bibles and a pocket Constitution (Declaration of Independence and Constitution). They have agreed to give away one Bible and ten pocket Constitutions to the Prepared Christian readers. To enter this contest, you just need to send an email to: contest (at) PreparedChristian.net. I will pick random winners on Friday, July 11th and will email them, requesting their mailing address. As a thank you, please consider swinging by Camping Survival and perusing their collection of Bibles and preparedness supplies!

 
Please click here to vote for Prepared Christian as a top Prepper site!

If you liked this article please think about sharing it on the social media listed below, thanks!

Everyone Has a Plan Until They Get Punched in the Mouth

I’m not a fan of Mike Tyson, but I do like this quote.

“Everyone Has a Plan Until They Get Punched in the Mouth”

While Mike isn’t the most articulate fellow, this quote is very insightful. I think everyone should have a plan, but life tends throw us unexpected curves.

Normalcy bias is a mental state that people enter into that causes them to underestimate the possibility of, and potential magnitude of a potential danger. If I asked you how you thought the stuff would hit the fan, or to tell me what TEOTWAWKI would look, my guess is that most of you have some opinions. You have your eyes open and are aware of the many possible dangers and, in fact, have prepared with them in mind.

However, there are some of us who have gone too far in the other direction. There are some people who refuse to live life to its fullest because of what might happen. There are also some people who are so sure how things will fall apart that they might just miss things taking another route.
 

The Sky is Falling, or it Will be Anytime Now

I’m a prepper. I firmly believe that bad things can and do happen. I believe in this so strongly that I have spent hundreds of hours to help others understand that prepping is an act of faith and how to get prepared. While I believe it is possible that we could see society fall apart and resemble something out of the movies. I also believe that it is possible that we will see society degrade or have some regional weather related disaster, but, all-in-all, not be too terribly different than it is now. The point is, I don’t know and neither do you.

While I think it is prudent to take weather and political and societal conditions into account when making vacation plans, I do not think it is prudent to never take a vacation because the stuff might hit the fan while you’re away.

While I believe the emotion of fear is a gift from God, He did not give us a spirit of fear. If you feel an immediate sense of fear, listen to it, but if it keeps you locked inside, tell it off and go live life!

 
It’ll Happen Like This

Every once in a while I’ll hear from someone who takes issue with something I have said. Usually it has to do with what I have said not fitting into how they think things will fall apart. I usually try to explain that yes, if things happen just the way they think they will, they are correct, but that there are so many possible scenarios, they can’t be sure how things will unfold.

If you look back one year ago, are you where you thought you would be? Go back two, five or ten. Can you tell me that life has unfolded just like you thought it would? If you look back and life has not unfolded the way you thought it would, how can you possibly think things will fall apart a certain way?

I have always said the best approach to preparedness is very general. Do not prepare for specific events, prepare with them in mind, but not as the focus.
 

“The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men”

First, let me say that I think having preparedness and survival plans is a good idea and I think everyone should have a variety of them. I will also say that if you ever need to use them, the odds are good that they’ll go out the window.

Murphy’s Law states that “Anything that can go wrong, will”. This doesn’t mean that preparing is a waste of time or that we shouldn’t make plans. It just means we need to borrow a page from the Marine Corps, who have a motto; “improvise, adapt and overcome”.
 

First Things First

The most important reason you should have a variety of survival and preparedness plans is because it gets you thinking about possible scenarios. Have you ever read about people who froze when faced with a life and death situation?

When faced with an emergent survival situation, the human brain rifles through your life experiences, trying to find a way to process the information you’re taking in to tell you how to respond. There are people who experience “brain lock” or behavioral inaction when faced with something they’ve never had experience with or never considered might happen to them.

Having a plan in place for different events gives us a reference point to draw from and tells us what to do first. If your plan proceeds as intended after that, congratulations! If it doesn’t, improvise, adapt and overcome!

 
Please click here to vote for Prepared Christian as a top Prepper site!

If you liked this article please think about sharing it on the social media listed below, thanks!

PreparednessClubOne

Be Prepared to Rebel to do what is Right

I got a bit torqued off about a local news story where A ninth-grader says she has frostbite after standing outside for 10 minutes in a wet bathing suit during a fire alarm. According to the student, teachers refused to let her get her clothes before forcing her to go outside in the freezing cold, where she waiting for ten or so minutes before a teacher “received administrative permission” to let the student sit in their car. They waited to get permission to do the right thing! Well, sort of. If I had been the teacher, I hope I would have had the common sense and guts to make sure there was no danger and to let the girl quickly get her clothes.

The term “sheeple” is thrown about as a descriptive term for people who follow along blindly. There are some people who take offense, because as believers, we’re referred to as sheep, and God as our shepherd. To those people, this is not the same term. It’s like using the term “truck” to refer to a Chevy S10 and an 18 wheeler. Both are called “trucks”, but are clearly two different things.

Society has molded us to be sheeple; to follow what is expected of us. From kindergarten on, we’re taught to be quiet, to color in between the lines, to raise our hands and to wait to be called on. To some extent, it continues on through adulthood in the work place; show up at a certain time, you’re allowed to take a certain amount of time for a break, and you can leave at a certain time. Please don’t think I am saying we shouldn’t have rules. In fairness, society has to have a certain level of “sheepleness” to function.

Jesus was a rebel. He rebelled against Jewish leaders who had put Jewish tradition above their relationship with God. He saw people in need and hurting on the Sabbath and rebelled against cultural traditions to heal them. The New Testament is filled with examples of righteous rebellion!

So where should one draw the line? The line belongs on doing what is right!

It is a part of my ethos, my personal philosophy, that I will always try to do what I feel is right, consequences be damned. Sometimes it is easier than others. Sometimes there is a price to pay. But not compromising my integrity and being able to look at myself in a mirror is worth it.

Sometimes following rules is needed. Other times those rules need to be tossed like temple tables!

 
Please click here to vote for Prepared Christian as a top Prepper site!

If you liked this article please think about sharing it on the social media listed below, thanks!

PreparednessClubOne