November 21, 2014

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.

 
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Thoughts on Some Current Events

I don’t normally talk about news stories unless they could directly impact us. Today, however, I want to weigh in on a couple issues and give an update on the Preparedness Club.
 
 
The Preparedness Club

I have negotiated a pretty sweet deal for Preparedness Club members with Wise Foods. Preparedness Club members can now get a 12% discount on all purchases! See the member’s only page for the coupon code. Please know that registering for e-mails is different than subscribing to the Preparedness Club! Paying members have access to exclusive discount codes, while emails are sent to everyone daily for publically advertised sales free of charge.

There are many things I like about Wise foods; one is that you can call and get a free sample of an entrée, a nice option before buying a case of something, and another is that each meal comes in a single vacuum sealed bag. I actually prefer this over a #10 can, as they both have the same shelf life while closed, but, once open, the food in a #10 can needs to be eaten fairly quickly.

Nitro-Pak has agreed to offer a $10 discount on orders over $100 through October. I’m going to let anyone use this code. Simply enter PCNITRO at checkout.
 
 
Ebola

In What You Need to Know About Pandemics, I give my thoughts on pandemics. Here is what I said about Ebola.

“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,”

At the time I wrote this, there had only been one confirmed case of Ebola stateside, and that was a doctor who had been flown to a hospital stateside. In the last two weeks or so AlertsUSA has done a great job of alerting me to several cases of Ebola stateside, often times before the media has the story.
In each of these reported cases, I believe the infected person traveled via airplane, risking the potential infection of everyone on board. I saw that the head of the CDC said that we could not close the boarder stating:

“Even if we tried to close the border, it wouldn’t work,” the top health official added. “People have a right to return. People transiting through could come in. And it would backfire, because by isolating these countries, it’ll make it harder to help them, it will spread more there and we’d be more likely to be exposed here.”

This might just be one of the dumbest things I have ever heard! Yes, I agree that those returning have a right to re-enter the country. If they are returning from a region with a risk of Ebola exposure, I am fine with them re-entering once they have passed a screening. They do not have the right to get anyone else here sick!

By isolating those countries, it does not make it harder to help them. We can still send money to aid in their fight against Ebola. If anyone understands how, by isolating those countries it would make us more likely to be exposed here, please help me understand.

If our government was serious about protecting our citizens from Ebola, we would have already implemented restriction for entering the country from anyone who had traveled to a hot zone. They would be quarantined until passing a screening.
 
What Can We Do?

If you haven’t given thought to when you will implement your own quarantine to avoid exposure, now is the time to do so! If you do not have PPE (personal protective) gear, now is the time! Masks and gloves should be in every prepper’s home at a minimum. We’re actually looking at disposable suits.

Right now Ebola is transmitted by bodily fluids. I have seen some express fear of it becoming airborne. If any of you know if this is in fact possible, and what would need to occur for it to happen, please either add a comment or send me an email!

Because it is transmitted by bodily fluid, if someone is even a little sick, treat it all as infectious. If it does become air born, I plan on hunkering down and taking no chances.
 
 
Islam and Beheadings

As many of you are aware, ISIS has begun beheading Christians in Iraq and in Syria. There has recently been a woman beheaded in Oklahoma by a muslim, who first tried to convert her.

I don’t want this, or the comments to turn into a muslim bashing rant, but there are some things you need to know.

It is my understanding that when it comes to infidels, muslims must either convert them and charge them a tax, or kill them.

Quran (9:5) – “So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them.”

Of course, not all muslim’s are people that want to kill you. However, there are 1,800,000,000 (1.8 billion) muslims in the world and it is estimated that 15-25% of them are radicalized. That means that between 270,000,000 to 450,000,000 muslims are radicalized. As we have seen, they have killed several times on American soil, most recently the beheading in Oklahoma.

I am actually shocked we have not seen this style of attack sooner, and I believe we will see many more. What are we believers in Jesus to do?

Jesus said “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”. Here are my thoughts on this: Islamists made themselves my enemy, not the other way around. I pray for them now. I pray that they experience Christ in their lives. If an Islamist ever poses a real threat to me, I will be a danger to my enemy. If you are someone who believes Jesus called us to be pacifists, I have debunked that in an article called Should Christians Practice Self Defense?

If a muslim attempts to convert you, do not say the prayer or creed that declares Allah as the one true god and Mohamad as his prophet. This would, in fact, be turning your back on your salvation and would not guarantee your safety. One of the men beheaded on camera in Syria did, in fact, say the creed. He was killed anyway.

If a muslim does try to convert me, I realize it does not necessarily mean they have plans to behead me. They will still instantly and forever be placed in condition orange. Knowing me, I will probably poke the bear and declare myself a Christian. If this happened at work, as it did with the woman in Oklahoma, I would seriously consider breaking the rules about being armed at work.

I look forward to your input on these subjects!

 
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How to Grow Red Mustard in your Home Garden

How to Grow Red Mustard in your Home Garden

Mustard is a delicious leafy vegetable that is easy to grow. Mustard is also an excellent nutritional choice as it is a great source of vitamins and minerals your body needs. Mustard is cold tolerant, a prolific producer and when you grow one of the red varieties; it is aesthetically pleasing as well. That makes red mustard perfect for all you front yard gardeners.

The taste of mustard leaves, in my opinion, has a mild to slightly spicy flavor that is just as enjoyable raw as it is cooked or steamed. My personal favorite is to eat it raw mixed with other greens such as spinach, chard or lettuce. Here is a really good step by step red mustard recipe.
 
 
WHEN AND WHERE TO PLANT

You will want to select a sunny location and sow your seeds as soon as the ground can be worked when you are starting them in the spring. If red mustard is going to be part of your fall garden, you will want to plant your seeds 30 days out from your first frost. If you are closer to your frost than 30 days, be sure to start your mustard in a cold frame. Mustard is perfect for cold frame gardening.

For the best results for germination and plant growth, loosen your soil to help with aeration. This also makes it easier for your red mustard’s roots to grow and spread.
 
 
CARING FOR YOUR RED MUSTARD

Red mustard likes the soil to be moist at all times. A moderate watering every other day should suffice. You want to make sure you are not overwatering though. You do not want to saturate your soil. Be sure to keep the garden bed weed free and feed your mustard plants with a good organic fertilizer every couple of weeks.
 
 
HARVESTING

Red mustard (and other varieties of mustard) is a great vegetable to harvest. You can harvest mature leaves, leaving the rest of the plant alone to continue to produce. You can keep doing this so as long as the weather stays cool.

On a final note, as noted before, if your red mustard is going to be a part of your fall garden, be sure to use a cold frame once temperatures drop below freezing. This will help you extend your red mustard season through a good part of the winter.

Enjoy!
 
 
About the Author

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

 
 
 
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Is Preparedness a Sin; Take Two

Is Preparedness a Sin; Take Two

Any time I get questions on the same topic that I haven’t covered in a while, I take it as a sign to go over it again. In the last few weeks, the question has been raised by what I’m assuming are newer Prepper’s who are questioning if prepping is in line with God’s will. I can relate to this, as I struggled with it as well. Study led to the creation of this blog. For some of you, this might seem like a silly question, but this is an important issue for those struggling with it. Because of this, I’m going to ask that you keep any comments that aren’t encouraging to yourself or they’ll just be deleted. Words of encouragement are always appreciated, of course.

I try not to tell people what they should believe or what they should do. Your situation could be very different from mine! For example, what is important here in Minnesota might not be so important in Texas. I, instead, give you my thoughts on issues. This topic is not going to be any different. If asked to give a one word answer to “Is preparedness a sin?” I think the overwhelming majority of answers would be “no”. My answer, however, would be “possibly”. I don’t know your motives, your lifestyle, your finances or your relationship with Christ; so it’s not my place to tell you whether or not it might be sin. Instead, I’ll give you some things to think and pray about.
 
 
Could Preparedness Be a Sin?

The short answer for me is, “possibly”; which I think is the answer to many “Could (You name it) be a sin?” questions. For example let’s use fishing; could fishing be a sin?

Many of the disciples were fisherman, so how could fishing possibly be a sin? If I spend so much time fishing that I neglect my family, I could be walking in sin. If I spend money I don’t really have to buy the latest rod, reel, depth finder, fish finder, tackle and so on, so that I can make the most out of my time fishing, I could be walking in sin. If I blow off family, church, work and other commitments to go fishing, I could be walking in sin.

It doesn’t matter what the issue is, just about anything could be sin! Like many things, preparedness being a sin is a matter of the heart. If you’ve wrestled with this question, I believe your heart to be in the right place. Your concern of the issue shows that you care more about your walk with the Lord than being prepared for “come what may”.
 
 
For Most of Human History

For most of human history people have stored food from the harvest to last until the next. In fact, for much of our history, our ancestors lived subsistence lifestyles; hunting and gathering for food. They had to know how to dry, smoke, salt or otherwise preserve it for later use.

The idea of being prepared is not new! If we were to go back just a couple generations, we would see that the tables were turned. Most people had more than two weeks’ worth of food in their pantry! Many people grew their own garden and knew how to preserve the abundance from it! Many people hunted, trapped and fished, not for sport but for a way to put protein on the table!

I doubt most people from this era thought of themselves as “Prepper’s”. They would have considered the things they did “normal” and “prudent”. Do you think they were sinning?
My personal opinion on self-reliance is: (this can happen in any area of your life, not just preparedness) if, at any point, someone doesn’t leave room for the Lord, they might be acting in pride and God hates pride. What I mean is this; if you don’t talk to Him about your plans, if you feel Him speaking to you, but ignore it, if you (knowingly or not) decide this is your life, and you’ll do “X” because you want to, then you might be acting out of pride. Again, this could be the case for someone who is a fantastic baker and wants to open a bakery or someone who wakes up to how fragile the world really is and wants to make sure they can feed their family if hard times fall.
 
 
Supporting Scripture

I’m not going to cover all of the scripture I have found that I believe supports preparedness. For the full list, see Scripture Related To Preparedness. Here, I will cover just a couple that I think build the case nicely.

 
Proverbs 6:6 –11 (NLT)

“6:6 Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! 6:7 Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, 6:8 they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. 6:9 But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? 6:10 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—6:11 then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.”

To me, this verse makes it clear that God values people storing for hard times. It is also clear that He is accepting of people who did not prepare for facing the hard times that they may fall on.

 
Proverbs 21:20

“The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.”

This one is pretty cut and dry.
 

1 Timothy 5:8 (NIV)

“If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

I look at this verse like this; if someone who could work but is lazy and chooses not to, they have denied the faith. I, however, do not see anything in that verse that says you are not subject to this if hard times fall.
 

Proverbs 27:12

“A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”

This is, to me, the most important verse! I used it to convince Trudee that God gave us permission to prepare for the dangers that I was finding when I “woke up” and started seeing how fragile things are. If you need help discovering some of those dangers, I have written over 40 articles in the category Signs of the Times.
 
 
Opposing Scripture?

There are a couple scriptures that I have seen used as arguments against preparedness, or from people who just want to make sure they aren’t going against God’s will. If you have one that I don’t cover here please let me know.
 
1 Kings 17:1-6 (verse 6 shown)

“The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.”

This was a command to one man, not a dictate on how people should live going forward. The same can be said about the Jews being led out of Egypt with Moses. God commanded them to look to Him for manna a0
nd not to save any. This was God loving His people, and teaching them how to depend on Him, not a command for modern day believers to wait for manna.
 

Mathew 6:25-26

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

This verse is not about preparedness! It is about worry! God cannot contradict Himself! Look again at the scriptures I listed above. He clearly places value on being prepared for the dangers in our lives.
 
 
Other Arguments
 
Aren’t We to Look to God to Provide?

The short answer is yes, of course! However, let me ask you this; do you consider yourself to be a steward of the money you make? If so, are you using that money to provide for your daily bread from the grocery store now, or do you depend on Him for daily manna? If He is providing daily manna please let me know as I would truly love to try some! If you are using His money to provide for your daily bread, do you think He cares if you buy it now or acted as the ants and stored it in the past for a potential future danger?

My view is; our Heavenly Father wants us to be good stewards and to be grateful for the things He has provided for us. I personally don’t think He cares if I use canned goods I bought two years ago, as long as I thank Him for them when I eat them.

I answer several questions on this topic in the first article I wrote on the subject called, you guessed it…Is Preparedness a Sin?
 
 
Final Thoughts

I have spent significant amounts of time studying the Word, thinking about, praying about, and conversing with others on this issue. I have come to the conclusion that not only does God condone preparedness, He actually encourages it! He knows we live in a fallen world that is full of dangers and He wants us to take precautions against them!

I wrote another article where I ask Why Should Christians, Specifically, Be Preparing? In it I build the case for why believers should be preparing now, so in an emergency we can be God’s hands and feet and help others.

 
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Prepared Blogger Mega Giveaway

sep giveaway

In honor of this month being Preparedness Month, The Prepared Bloggers are proud to present a Mega giveaway.

We are proud to partner with 6 great companies for seven great prizes. These prizes are the perfect way to either begin your preparedness journey or add to your preps. We will have seven winners in this giveaway. Each winner will win one of the following prizes listed below. The giveaway starts September 22nd, 2014 @12:15 am (CST) and ends September 29th, 2014 @ 11:55 pm (CST). This giveaway is open to anyone 18 years of age and older who is a US resident of the 48 Continental US States only. Each winner will be sent an email and the winner must respond within 24 hours or another winner will be chosen.

Berkey

1 Royal Berkey System–From LPC Survival–This system is perfect for 2-6 people, filtering 3.25 gallons in about 2 hours. It comes with  2 Black Elements and is perfect for large families but is small enough for travel.
 
 


sun-oven

1 Sun Oven–From Sun Oven–This is a great off-grid cooking solution using only solar energy. This Sun Oven includes a cookbook, dehydrating and baking rack set, two easy stack pots, a WAPI, and two loaf pans.
 
 


new-kelly-kettle

1 Scout Kelly Kettle–From Kelly Kettle–The Kelly Kettle boils water quick and with very little fuel. It’s great for camping trips, hunting trips and emergencies.
 
 


grainmill

1 Wonder Junior Deluxe–From Wonder Mill–This is the perfect solution for making your own bread off-grid. It’s one of the easiest to use hand mills on the market. A great mill to use in an emergency situation, an off-grid environment or for everyday use.
 
 


propur

1 Propur Big with 2 ProOne 7″ G2.0 Filters–From End Times Warehouse–A clean water supply is super important in every situation. This gravity fed water treatment system makes it super easy to always have clean water.
 
 


72-hour-kit

2 Seventy Two Hour Kits–From Survival Based–Be prepared for a sudden storm or power outage with this all in one 72 hour kit. Complete with fuel to cook the food contained in the kit. Keep this kit in your car, house, or grab it if you need to evacuate.  Two lucky people will each win one 72 hour kit.

 

Cox-Honey-two

1 Case of Six 5lb Creamed Honey (30lb total)–From Cox’s Honey–Honey is the prefect item to place in you food storage. It’s also great for a number of other uses. Cox honey is raw and unfiltered making it some of the best honey on the market.

Thanks again to all of our sponsors.
 
 
Enter below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

sep giveaway two

Review of Essential Oil Introductory Kit from doTERRA

Review of Essential Oil Introductory Kit from doTERRA

Essential Oils are something I didn’t have a lot of experience with until this year. I was contacted earlier in the year by Julie “The Oily Old Lady”, who is a doTerra Wellness Advocate. She offered to send me the doTerra Introductory Kit. Here is the write up on it from doTerra.

“As an additional tool for sharing dōTERRA® with customers and new consultants, the Introduction to Essential Oils Kit includes the introductory audio CD and booklet and a 5 ml bottle of dōTERRA’s Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint essential oils. The stunning presentation box also includes suggested uses of the included oils providing your prospects with an immediate experience of the life-changing benefits of essential oils.”

Since, as I said, I didn’t have any experience with essential oils, the CD and booklet were very helpful. Julie also sent me a product guide which you can get an online version of here. This lists all of their products, with some information about them, and general information about essential oils as well. I also did more research on three of the oils online. Here are the oils in the kit, some of the things we used them for, plus some other uses I found!
 
 
Lemon Essential Oil

Soften skin callouses
Ear Infection Relief
Relieve lymph nodes
Freshen air naturally
Get rid of sticky residue
Aroma therapy for improving concentration
Antibacterial agent
Makes Chris want lemon flavored desserts (note from Trudee: that happens if he’s awake! The guy loves lemon desserts!)
 
 
Lavender Essential Oil

Trudee really enjoyed it in a bath; very relaxing.
Effective sleep aid
Insect repellent
Ease pain from bug bites or bee stings
Skin ailments such as scars, burns, oily skin
Ease an upset stomach
 
 
Peppermint

Great at fighting nausea; in fact peppermint can alleviate abdominal cramping and even diarrhea.
Joint pain; the effect was short lived, but that probably has more to do with us then the peppermint.
Great when added to water or tea.
Can help with mental alertness.
Breath in with a meal to feel full faster.
Makes Chris want peppermint candies (are you seeing a pattern here?)
 

I’m just scratching the surface on the many, MANY uses for these three oils. doTerra actually created a list of 101 Uses for the Intro Kit. If you’re just starting out with essential oils, you might also be interested in another document they wrote that covers the following: What is an essential oil? Essential Oils throughout History; Uses of Essential Oils; Extraction Methods and Essential Oil Quality Grades.

There is so much to learn with essential oils that I feel like I am just brushing the snow off of the tip of the iceberg with the information I’ve given you on these three. If you are just starting out, the introductory kit is a great way to go! If you decide to really delve in, doTERRA had buyers programs you can join. If you have questions about that, or any doTERRA products, I recommend you contact Julie. She is passionate about essential oils, very informative and a fellow Prepared Christian! Here is her contact information:

Julie Anderson, The Oily Old Lady
doTERRA Wellness Advocate #217221
www.mydoterra.com/andersonoils4u
andersonoils4u@yahoo.com
815-871-4469

 
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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?

 
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Review of Prepper Pete’s Gun of a Son

Review of Prepper Pete’s Gun of a Son

If you’re not familiar with the Prepper Pete books, let me tell you a little about them! The Prepper Pete books are children’s books that explore preparedness related topics in ways that are easy for children to understand.

Gun of a Son is the third installment of the Prepper Pete books. It is the story of Prepper Pete buying his son Charlie his first firearm and how Pete teaches his son to use the firearm safely and correctly. Going through a gun safety class, and later spending time at the range, and hunting together.

Gun of a Son teaches all of the safety rules as you would expect, as well as what kids should do if they find a firearm.

The book also shows the mistakes made by the grasshopper to show the dangers of making mistakes. This is probably my favorite aspect of the book, as I believe the visual example of why we don’t do things will help some children learn the concept better.

If you have young kids, this would be a great way to introduce these concepts to them. The same goes for all of the Prepper Pete books, which you can find by visiting the See the Books Page.. There are currently three, with more in the works! If you have a good idea for a topic, you can submit it on the See the books link above.

Author Kermit Jones Jr. contributes a free eBook version of Prepper Pete Prepares to one winner every month, and offers all members a free companion eBook with proof of purchase to all Preparedness Club members.

 
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Hesperian Health Guides

Hesperian Health Guides

Many of you will have heard of some of their books, mainly Where There is no Doctor and Where There is no Dentist But I’d wager you haven’t seen their full selection, many of which are given away free as electronic copies! Hesperian Health Guides has agreed to give the Prepared Christian readers a 30% discount on all hard copies for a limited time! See the bottom section of this article, titled “Discount,” for details.

Author of Where There is No Doctor, Mr. David Werner, is a trained biologist and, in 1965, he was a teacher at a small alternative high school. With his students, he visited a small town in western Mexico and noticed people suffering from a lack of basic healthcare. He soon took a year off from his teaching position to dedicate a healthcare project mainly with the interpretation of basic medical information into a language that the local people could understand. He later left his teaching career and has dedicated his life to this cause. To learn more about the author, and the history of Where There is No Doctor, you can listen to this Off Grid Solutions Podcast or read the transcribed here.

Where There is No Doctor was the first Hesperian Health guide. There are a total of nine they’ve published, of which I own four. They sell several other health related books, of which I own one. The below descriptions come from the Hesperian Health Guides website.

The full Hesperian Health guide list is:

• Where There is No Doctor – I own
• Where There is No Dentist – I own
• Where Women Have No Doctor – I own
• A Book for Midwives
• Helping Health Workers Learn
• A Community Guide to Environmental Health – I own
• Disabled Village Children
• Helping Children Who Are Blind
• Helping Children Who Are Deaf
• A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities
• HIV, Health, and Your Community
• Where There Is No Animal Doctor - I own
 

Where There is No Doctor

Where There is no Doctor

Hesperian’s classic manual, Where There Is No Doctor, is perhaps the most widely-used health care manual for health workers, clinicians, and others involved in primary health care delivery and health promotion programs around the world. With millions of copies in print in more than 75 languages, the manual provides practical, easily understood information on how to diagnose, treat, and prevent common injuries and illnesses. Special attention is focused on nutrition, infection and disease prevention, and diagnostic techniques as primary ways to prevent and treat health problems.
 
 
Where There is No Dentist

Where There is no Dentist

The author uses straightforward language and careful instructions to explain how to: examine patients; diagnose common dental problems; make and use dental equipment; use local anesthetics; place fillings; and remove teeth. There is also a special chapter on oral health and HIV/AIDS, which provides the dental worker with a detailed, well-illustrated discussion of the special problems faced by people living with HIV/AIDS, and appropriate treatment.

  

Where Women Have No Doctor

Where Women Have No Doctor

Where Women Have No Doctor combines self-help medical information with an understanding of the ways poverty, discrimination and cultural beliefs limit women’s health and access to care. Developed with community-based groups and medical experts from more than 30 countries, Where Women Have No Doctor is an essential resource for any woman who wants to improve her health, and for health workers who want more information about the problems that affect only women, or that affect women differently from men.

  

A Book for Midwives

A Book for Midwives

Originally published in 1995, A Book for Midwives has proved a vital resource for practicing midwives and midwifery training programs around the world. The revised edition is now available, and has been extensively updated and revised to reflect new WHO/UNICEF guidelines and standards for mothers and newborns. This book covers the essentials of care before, during, and after birth, providing a variety of designs for low-cost equipment and training materials.

  

Helping Health Workers Learn

Helping Health Workers Learn

Helping Health Workers Learn is an indispensable resource for all health educators. This heavily illustrated book shows how to make health education engaging and effective, while emphasizing a people-centered approach to care. It also presents strategies for effective community involvement through participatory education.

  

A Community Guide to Environmental Health

A Community Guide to Environmental Health

From toilets to toxics, from watershed management to waste management, from raising crops to rising temperatures, how we use natural resources affects our health and well-being.

This book contains activities to stimulate critical thinking and discussion, inspirational stories, and instructions for simple health technologies such as water purification methods, safe toilets, and non-toxic cleaning products.

  
Disabled Village Children

Disabled Village Children

Disabled Village Children contains a wealth of clear and detailed information, as well as easy-to-implement strategies for all who are concerned about the well-being of children with disabilities. This manual, written especially for those who live in communities with limited resources, explains how to create small community rehabilitation centers and workshops run by either disabled people or the families of children with disabilities. More than 4000 drawings and 200 photos make Disabled Village Children understandable to all.

  
Helping Children Who Are Blind

Helping Children Who Are Blind

Children develop faster during their first five years than at any other stage in their life. And while children who are not visually impaired learn to move around, communicate, and understand the world “naturally” as they interact with people and things they see, children who are blind need extra help learning how to rely on their other senses – hearing, touch, smell, and taste – to explore, learn and interact with the world around them.

  
Helping Children Who Are Deaf

Helping Children Who Are Deaf

Helping Children Who Are Deaf supports parents and other caregivers in building the communication skills of babies and young children. Packed with activities on how to foster language learning through both sign and oral approaches, this groundbreaking book explains ways to adapt activities and exercises for both a child’s specific abilities and needs, and a family’s unique circumstances. The book also explores how deafness affects a child’s ability to learn language, as well as develop mentally and socially.

  
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities

A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities

Women with disabilities often discover that the social stigma of disability and inadequate care are greater barriers to health than the disabilities themselves. A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities will help women with disabilities overcome these barriers and improve their general health, self-esteem, and abilities to care for themselves and participate in their communities.

  
HIV, Health, and Your Community

HIV, Health, and Your Community

HIV, Health and Your Community is a thorough, easy-to-understand guide for health workers throughout the world. Designed as a manual for people confronting the HIV pandemic in their communities, it is easily accessible to those with little medical or technical knowledge. Topics range from the biology of the virus and the epidemiology of the disease to the mechanics of designing prevention programs and writing grant proposals.

  
Animal Doctor

Where There Is No Animal Doctor

This simply written, heavily illustrated manual was developed to benefit people in the many areas of the world where livestock play an important role in daily life, and animals are crucial to peoples’ survival. Used for food, transportation, work, and wealth, when someone’s animal is ill or unhealthy the whole community can suffer.
  
Why Do I Own These Books?

To me, the worst possible time to have a medical emergency is when…there is no doctor. Yes, we live in a first world country with emergency healthcare just a 911 phone call away; but what if one day it’s not? I can foresee a scenario where 911 isn’t coming due to severe budget cuts, it being too dangerous or in a worst case scenario, I am the healthcare system.

These guides are very well written, in a manner that a layperson can easily understand. The drawings are very well done as well.

I own a few first aid manuals, but a first aid manual is for what to do until the ambulance or doctor arrives. These books are for when there is no doctor coming, or there is going to be a long delay.

I think these would be a great item for people going on mission trips to have as well.

  
Discount

As I mentioned, Hesperian Health Guides has agreed to give the Prepared Christian Readers a 30% discount for a limited time! When you check out, use code PREPAREDCHRISTIAN, which will expire at midnight on 9/23/2014. This discount covers all of the books listed above but NOT the ones Hesperian sells but did not publish with the exception of Where there is no animal doctor.

 
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National Preparedness Month Challenge

National Preparedness Month Challenge

This is the Month the federal government sets aside to talk about Preparedness. There’ve been conversations about their effort in other articles, but I don’t want to get into that. Instead, I want to challenge you with five tasks! All but one of them is free. If you accept and meet this challenge, even if it takes you longer than this month, you will be so much more prepared!
 

1. Create a Living Will

Make your end of life decisions now and have them documented. During that time, your loved ones will be under huge amounts of stress and very emotional. Please do not leave these decisions for them to make during that time. Trudee and I got ours done at Legal Zoom, where the price starts at $39.

 
2. Serial Numbers

Make a list of serial numbers and take pictures of all expensive items. If your house is broken into, damaged or destroyed, this information will greatly increase the speed of getting your insurance claim submitted. I created a Serial Number Recording Form for you. I also recommend taking pictures and storing those images with the list of serial numbers in a couple locations; a thumb drive in a fireproof safe, in any of the online data storage solutions and even on a thumb drive in your trunk!
 

3. Have Redundant Bug Out Plans

If you have a Bug Out Location (BOL), I suggest you document multiple ways to get there. If you don’t have a BOL, you still have options. One option is to have an agreement with a friend or relative that, if needed, you would head there. You could go one step further and ask to store some food and gear there so you have more than what you were able to BO with.

Another option is to pick small towns; one north, one south, one east and one west of your home. We picked towns that are 30-60 miles away, had a population of around 5,000 and, if possible, a small hotel. You don’t have to stay at the hotel but it can serve as a rally point. Another reason for the hotel is that if you and your family don’t bug out together but agree on which direction to take, if someone is delayed, they can call the hotel and ask to leave a message for your family member who is on their way and will be checking in.

The reason I like this idea is that you have a plan to execute and won’t have to try and figure out where to go if things start going sideways. I like the idea of four directions because you don’t know what direction things might be melting down. For instance, many Minnesotans might think about heading ”up north” because there are many lakes, woods and plentiful wildlife. There is a nuclear power plant along one “up north” route for us and a state penitentiary along another. In a worst case scenario such as an EMP, there is no way I want to go near the nuclear plant and I’d like to keep my distance from the prison as well. It might be easier to just go east instead.
 

4. Meeting Location

Have a location outside of your neighborhood designated as a meeting place that everyone in your family knows about. If something happens at your home or very near your home, and people cannot get into the area, everyone should know to meet here.
 

5. 90 Days

Have a plan in place to be self-sufficient for 90 days. I believe that in 95% of situations, battening down or bugging in are better options than bugging out. I believe that 90 days is a moderate goal that we should all be working towards, and when we get there, we should set it out another 90 days!

This can be a lofty task, so planning it out is a great idea. Decide what you will need to provide all of your basic needs; water, food, shelter, energy and security for 90 days. Storing 90 days’ worth of water isn’t realistic if you don’t own a pool, so a water purifier would suffice.

If you are in debt, then getting out of debt should be step one of your plan. One aspect of this plan should also include saving up and stocking away enough money to pay all of your bills for three months.

If you get to a point where you could provide clean water, food, shelter, heat and security for your family, plus pay your mortgage and any other bills for 90 days, you will be better prepared than the overwhelming majority of people.
 

Preparedness Club

Prepping isn’t cheap, but I can help it cost less. Members of the Preparedness Club get permanent discounts to 20+ supporting companies. Infidel Body Armor and Hesperian Health Guides are the two newest. But even if you don’t want to join, please swing by before you make any purchases! We have subscribed to over 100 companies’ newsletters and post the best preparedness/hunting/tactical/fishing/homesteading deals we can find every day, free of charge!

 
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