Tag Archives: preparedness

The Ethical Side of Preparedness – or – “What are you prepared to do?”

I have, on The Takedown, posted various articles about preparedness and being prepared. As a reminder, when I speak on this subject I am not speaking about bunkers, doomsday, tons of ammo and years of food, or being ready for TEOTWAWKI. (The End Of The World As We Know It) I’m referring to being prepared for those emergencies and disasters, both manmade and natural, that you are likely to encounter in the area in which you live. Realistic preparedness, as I have heard the term used, many times and in many forums.

The Boot of Truth is, however, that there is a part of this that few discuss, or even look at; the idea of ethics and morality in a situation in which you have, and others do not. You’ll find a wide range of variation in responses to this idea: some call it OPSEC (OPerational Security – the idea of not broadcasting what you have), some call it “Screw you, it’s me and mine first!”, some even advocate the idea of being the “Gray Man” and not letting anyone, even friends or family, know that you are prepared because if you do, you’ll be the first one they come to. I admit freely that I had given it only cursory thought, myself. That changed, today, though, when I ran across an interview between Bob Crane (of Hogan’s Heroes fame, who also had been a disc jockey) and Rod Serling, the creator of The Twilight Zone. The interview dealt with episode #68, titled The Shelter and the reactions to the episode itself. In a nutshell, a warning is announced that a nuclear attack may be imminent. A doctor takes his family into their bomb shelter, only having enough supplies for himself and his family, while the neighbors are left with nothing, having not prepared. The episode deals with the breakdown of humanity and civility that ensues but, as Sterling mentions in the interview, it brings up a very real point as well. What would we do? What would we be willing to do to survive? What are the moral/ethical issues with that decision? He brings it back to himself and in doing so, brings that question to each of us as well. What do you do if you are safe and secure in your shelter, and your neighbor, your friend, your sister/brother/mother is at the shelter door, begging to be let in? What if it’s a child, sobbing and alone?

Here’s a link to the interview: Rod Serling talks to Bob Crane

Now, let me be clear – this is a question that each person who engages in preparedness has to answer for themselves. No one else can, or should, try to answer it for them. For myself, I do not know what I would do, as I have never been in that situation. I know what I believe I would do, but I cannot say, absolutely. I do believe, however, that it is imperative that each person who engages in preparedness to any degree address this question to themselves and their family, if they have one, and do so before you are in a crisis situation. Also, ensure that when you do ask this question of yourself, make it a question grounded in reality, and not in an abstract. It’s easier to answer “Could I turn someone away?” than it is, perhaps, to answer, “Could I turn my best friend/a child/my mother away?” Make it real, and personal, to you. Leaving things in the abstract is why we obsess and fret over the deaths in a school shooting such as the one in Newtown, Connecticut, (which are, statistically, a blip on the radar) yet say and think little to nothing of the over 1000 shot (400+ killed, 400+ of those were black) thus far in this year, alone, in Chicago.

One is an abstract, to us, while we make the other personal. Think about it for a moment.

Then, whatever you decide, be prepared, and be ready for the fact that someday, you may need to act on that decision – or not act, according to who you are.

God bless, my friends.

 

A new Year, and a new beginning – and a new review!

Hello again, friends! I’m sure you have noticed by now that there has been a dearth of posts here at The Takedown, and although my reasons were good ones (life does that to you, sometimes) that’s something I intend to correct, starting today.

I am starting my classes today to become an EMT and, as such, have taken this month off as far as volunteering at our local ambulance corps. That time has proven, thus far, to be a great blessing to me as it has allowed me to do some “taking of stock,” as it were as to what I believe, why I believe it, and where I want to go. It’s reaffirmed to me that I want The Takedown to be a place of encouragement, of information, and of knowledge, instead of just another blog that gossips, posts about what I had this morning or what my children wore to school, or goes on endlessly about the current political/social justice issues. God knows there are enough of those around. I believe I had begun to lose that focus both here, and at my work, and am glad to have gotten my priorities straight again, thanks be to God! To that end I may go back and get rid of some old posts that do not serve that purpose; we’ll see.

And so without further ado, here we go!

In 2015, a campaign was launched entitled Stop The Bleed (https://www.dhs.gov/stopthebleed), and was aimed at informing (I loathe the word “empowering” due to its overuse) and giving bystanders the confidence to know what to do to help someone who may be experiencing serious or life threatening bleeding. It’s worth noting that, according to the Stop The Bleeding Coalition (http://stopthebleedingcoalition.org/):

  • Hemorrhaging is listed by the U.S. military as the #1 cause of preventable deaths on the battlefield
  • 35% of pre-hospital deaths are caused by hemorrhaging
  • 80% of mass casualty victims are delivered to medical facilities by non-ambulances

To that end, I began looking into what products may be out there that would help an average person in that situation. “Average” in this sense is by no means a pejorative, but instead is used to distinguish between those who (a) have medical training, (b) carry medical supplies in their vehicles or (c) both, and the average layperson who is generally not prepared and does not have any training. As things happened, I received an email from Amazon suggesting that I may be interested in the following item, which I ordered. It is the Adventure Medical Kits ‘Trauma Pak,’ and I will say that thus far, I am very impressed with it. Sealed in a waterproof bag and able to be fit into a cargo pants pocket, a large purse, glove compartment or backpack/bag, this would truly be an item I would include in my EDC (Every Day Carry) items, as well as my car and medical bag.

The listing for the Pak can be found here: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B003BS2PW4/ref=sr_ph_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1483966878&sr=sr-1&keywords=trauma+pack

It contains the following items, in a package approximately 7″x5″ (the top portion of the package can be folded down, however, making the height somewhat less):

(1) QuikClot 25g (1) 5” x 9” Trauma Pad (1) Pair Nitrile Gloves, One Hand Wipe (1) 2” x 26” Duct Tape (1) Triangular Bandage (1) 4” x 4” Sterile Gauze Dressing Pkg./2 (1) 2” x 2” Sterile Gauze Dressing Pkg./2 (1) 3” Conforming Gauze Bandage (4) After Cuts & Scrapes Antiseptic Wipe (1) Resealable Bag for Bio-Waste and Sucking Chest Wounds

(QuikClot, for those who may not be familiar with it, is a line of FDA approved hemostatic agents that accelerate the body’s natural clotting factors without the use of animal or human proteins, shellfish or botanical agents, and thereby remove many of the causes of allergic reactions common to prior agents. For more information on Quikclot and how it works, feel free to look at http://quikclot.com/ )

If you are a hunter, a person who regularly visits the range, works outdoors or in any field that is prone to injury involving bleeding,  I would recommend this. Please note: this pack contains a QuikClot Trauma Pad. It is designed to be used externally, on the wound site and promoting clotting. If you are concerned about potentially deep wounds/bleeding, i.e. someone who is at an archery/gun range, consider adding a hemostatic gauze such as Celox Rapid Gauze to your kit. This gauze can literally be packed into a wound and has been shown to stop arterial bleeds in the battlefield. REMEMBER: Hemostatic agents are used IN CONJUNCTION WITH direct pressure, not IN PLACE OF it. This segues into the last point.

As marvelous as these items may be, nothing can surpass the value of training and watchfulness. If you decide to get this pak, or any other equipment such as this, familiarize yourself with it and how to use it. You can have all the lifesaving items in the world and if you don’t know how to use them, even in the most basic sense, your effectiveness is going to be severely curtailed. If you aren’t paying attention to what’s going on around you, chances are good you’re going to become a casualty and thereby not be in a position to help anyone else. Friends, we live in a violent world. We always have because it’s an endemic part of humanity and the human condition. We won’t legislate it away, and we won’t get rid of it by ‘just being nice to one another.’ Get some training. Pay attention. Be prepared, and have a plan. Become involved in something like Stop the Bleed, and pass the information on to your friends. Most of all, don’t be afraid to help.

God bless today, my friends.

 

Wow! Time has passed, but here I am with some more preparedness info to pass along!

Hello again, all! My thanks to those who have stayed around, as well as to new readers and those who keep track of when new posts go up on the page. I know that sometimes it can seem like a goodly number of days go by without new posts, but that’s mainly because (as I have said in the past, but for the benefit of those who may be first time visitors) I don’t post JUST to post. I want this to be a blog of encouragement, of information, and of worthwhile things to read, as opposed to the standard gossip-y, “Hey I did this yesterday/had this for breakfast” type blogs that are out there.

That being said, I have some more information to pass along regarding preparedness. Here in my part of the US of A, we’re getting ready to head into the winter months. The temps are already dropping, and with those temps come the possibility of snowstorms, ice storms, power outages and the like. As heat usage goes up, and depending on the type of heat used (pellet stoves, wood stoves, etc), there is also the chance of fire – and fire means that you may need to get OUT, and get out QUICKLY. To that end, I wanted to first pass along links to a couple of videos which I found VERY interesting, and that deal with what is known as a “Bug Out Bag” (or Bail Out Bag). As I have mentioned in other posts, this is designed to be a “Grab it and get the heck out of Dodge” bag, and is designed to help you survive in the event of a situation in which you need to get out and don’t have the leisure to pack up your car with everything you want to take. I especially enjoyed the videos because (a) they’re easy to understand, (b) they’re practical, as opposed to the “YOU NEED THIS AMAZING STUFF BECAUSE THE ZOMBIES ARE COMING AND WE’LL ALL DIE IF WE DON’T HAVE IT!!” types of ‘preparedness’ videos out there, and (c) they’re able to be customized according to what you may be facing.(For example, in the first video, the author makes it very clear that this is NOT a “I’ll take this bag and survive in the bleak wilderness” bag)

Here are the links:

72 Hour Bug out Bag – supplies from Walmart

DIY Premium 72 Hour Bug Out Bag – Walmart Style

Home Depot “Urban Survival Kit”

I know – some of you may be thinking “Wal Mart? Home Depot? Is he kidding? That’s all junk!” Well, all I’ll say is, watch the videos. I believe you’ll be every bit as amazed as I was.

On a personal note, the ONLY change I would make to his suggestion would be this – if you have the time (and unless you’re getting nailed by a disaster right now, you have the time), I would consider these for your water needs:

Datrex Emergency Water Pouches (I bought mine through Amazon, but this is a link to the manufacturer) They have a lot of advantages, IMO, over carrying bottles of water, are used by the USCG in life boats along with Datrex Emergency Ration Bars (which I’ve had and they aren’t bad, actually – and surely better than starving) and have a storage life of 5+ years.

Stay tuned – my next post will deal with an item I have coming in the mail, courtesy of http://www.oldgrouch.com – MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat), complete with heaters to warm them! Needless to say, I’ll let you know how they are, how they work, and whether or not I feel they’d be a good add-on to your emergency food supply/pantry.

In the meantime, be safe out there, and God bless, my friends!

National Preparedness Month – are you Ready?

Hello again, faithful friends and readers! I had the chance to once again sit and put fingers to keyboard and felt that this month being National Preparedness Month here in the USA was a more than good reason to do so. In truth, it’s a subject near enough to my heart that I’d have made time to do it!

What is National Preparedness Month? I’m glad you asked. Here’s the official statement, taken from www.ready.gov/Septemberr :

“September is recognized as National Preparedness Month (NPM) which serves as a reminder that we all must take action to prepare, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and also where we visit. Due to the success of last year’s theme, “Don’t Wait, Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today,” will be returning for this September with a continuing emphasis on preparedness for youth, older adults, and people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.  Thank you for taking time help make America more prepared for emergencies.”

Preparedness is something that we all can do, and in my opinion, should be doing. As the image that goes with this post says, “Today is the day before.” We have seen, here in the States, unprecedented flooding in Louisiana, a hurricane (although a weak one, thank God!) hit Florida, as well as other disasters strike in different areas. In each case, as there is in every moment of crisis, there are those who were prepared, and those who are not. Take a moment and ask yourself – if something like that happened right NOW – which side would I fall on?

It’s a scary thought when we stop and consider how quickly life and the world we are used to can change, which is why so many simply don’t do it. They rely on “The Government” or “The Police” or “The Fire Department” or “The EMS” to help them in time of need, little realizing that these groups are still run by human beings and as such, they take the most precious resource one has in a crisis – time – to respond. What do you do in the meantime?

That’s what this is all about. You CAN do something. You CAN make plans. You CAN be prepared. You owe it to yourself, to your family, to your loved ones, to your children and your spouse, your friends, your neighbors to be prepared. Contrary to TV it’s not about building bunkers, stockpiling ammo and preparing for the apocalypse. It’s about being ready in case the realistic disasters happen for the area in which you live. (Flooding, for flood-prone areas, severe weather for others, cold and snow or heat for others. Some have a chance of all of them.) It’s about preparing for the most basic essentials needed to take care of yourself: water, food, shelter, warmth, health and sanitation. Even though some may find it distasteful, don’t forget to consider ways to protect what you have and/or your loved ones if, God forbid it becomes necessary. In some people, a crisis brings out the most savage survival instincts.

Do it now – while you have the chance. ANY preparations you make are better than none. Use the link as a jumping off point, and then go from there. Remember, in a race, even the person walking is still further ahead than the one standing at the starting line, or sitting on the couch at home.

God bless, my friends!

 

I’m still here – and a reminder to “be careful out there!”

Friends, I know it has been over 2 weeks since a post was made here on The Takedown. I plead being busy with my new volunteer work (and on that note, I thank any and all of you that offers prayers, well wishes and/or good thoughts as I went to work at the Ambulance Corps!) and the online work I needed to do as I began to be brought up to speed. It is work that never fails to teach me something new every single day, and I am enjoying it thoroughly.

However, there’s a more serious reason why I came back. Permit me, for a moment, to give vent to my feelings. By now, I’m sure most if not all of you are aware of the treacherous act of villainy that occurred at the nightclub in Orlando, FL, this past week. No matter who we are or what we believe, no one deserves to be gunned down and slaughtered simply because they are gay or lesbian. The pandering and outright dodging by so many of our elected officials is, to me, not only a slap in the face to those who were brutally murdered – for murdered is what they were, in a vile act of terrorism – but is akin to treason, given their oaths to protect and serve the people and its citizens. The hijacking of memorials and gatherings by members of the BLM movement in a weak attempt to somehow use the deaths of these people to further their own agenda is a tasteless, classless act of the highest order. They deserve, in my opinion, only our scorn and our ridicule for these actions.

Thank you for that chance to vent. Now for my concern; I believe that more of these attacks are coming. Aided and abetted by the petulant, pompous person occupying the White House, as well as those within the Congress and House who are more interested in blaming the gun, gun laws, or using this tragedy to push an agenda rather than looking at the fact that we are facing elements of a determined, evil enemy who wants anyone DEAD who does not fall in line with their beliefs, it is believed and I agree, that this is only the beginning.

It’s a scary thought, and I admit that, freely.

Friends – now, more than ever, we need to be careful. We need to be vigilant. We need to not become paranoid, nor begin profiling people JUST because of their race or religion, but we need to accept the fact that there are beliefs out there that justify and condone violence of this magnitude, so long as it is done to the right people – and that there are people willing to accept that and do it. Keep your eyes open. Stay alert, and be informed. I am currently reading an excellent book called “Left of Bang,” and along with “The Gift of Fear,” I’d recommend them most highly. As someone who has just started in EMS, they are helping me remember that not all people who call for help have good motives in mind and sometimes, even those who NEED help can be a danger to you or those who are trying to help them. Scene safety, they call it, first, middle and last.

For yourselves, for your loved ones, and for your family – “let’s be careful out there!” You’re the only you there will ever be, and you’re just as special, just as precious as anyone else for just that reason. Stay alert – stay, as the book says, “Left of bang.” (That’s an unashamed plug – read the book and you’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s that good.)

Remember, it may not be a feel-good, warm and fuzzy thought but it is a true one; you can’t reason with evil – you can only avoid it, temporarily, or confront it.

God bless today, my friends.

 

Moral Equivalence just before Memorial Day. How “convenient.”

You know, it takes a lot for me to put a politically themed post on my blog. I tend to avoid them like the plague, namely because like many other subjects, politics can be a highly charged, highly emotional thing. However in this instance, I believe it is warranted.

Memorial Day in the United States is a day in which we remember those who have paid the highest price – the giving of their lives – to secure the freedoms that we enjoy in our country. To many, it’s just another day. To far more, it’s a day to remember, and appreciate what we have, and why we have it. For that reason, if no other, it makes the timing of our current President’s trip to Japan; his “apology tour,” as many are describing it, quite suspect. He made it a point to speak at length about the “horrors” experienced by the people of Hiroshima, and how terrible it was for the nuclear bombs to be used. In his remarks, although he may not have been foolish enough to have said it outright, he equated Allied forces with Axis forces in a statement of moral equivalence.

Strangely enough, he failed to remember a lot of other horrors; horrors done BY Imperial Japan during the course of the war and the unimaginable suffering it inflicted on the people to whom it was done. He also failed to mention the reason why the US ultimately used the bombs on the Japanese empire; the attack on Pearl Harbor, which drew us in, and their government’s refusal to surrender. He also forgot to mention the millions of lives, on BOTH sides, that were estimated to have been saved by their usage.

I guess when it doesn’t “fit the narrative,” it’s not important, but I digress. The article follows:

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/05/27/war-crimes-imperial-japan-lesson-moral-equivalence-mr-obama/

Whatever you may think of the website in question, its veracity or anything else, please read the linked article and remember that these are not things you’ll hear a lot of, if anything, in our age of apology, revising history, and flat out ignoring what the realities of history. Remember it the next time you see a WW 2 movie in which the only bad guys are Nazis – because, well, the Nazis are safe and no one will be “offended” if you portray them as bad. Above all, remember that moral equivalency, a great many times, is a refuge for the lazy; for those who aren’t able or willing to stand and say, “No. What was done was right and just at the time, given what had gone before. You sowed the wind, and reaped the whirlwind.” It also is lazy in that it isn’t equally applied, all the time. Outage over the usage of atomic bombs, but zero over the 300,000 to 1,000,000 estimated killed in the sustained bombings of Japan prior to their usage. As mentioned before, zero outrage over the atrocities committed against others BY Japan.

See the pattern?

To our current President I’ll say this: must be nice to stand some, what, 70 years after the end of WW 2, in the comfort and security given to you by those who had the courage to do what you, in all probability would never have been able to do, and criticize them in order to make yourself look good, isn’t it?

This is one of the very few times you’ll probably ever “see” me be angry on this blog. I won’t apologize for it, but I do hope I haven’t driven anyone away. Please – feel free to not read the blog posting or article if you feel so inclined.

God bless today, my friends, and let’s all remember those who died so that we may be free.

 

Preparedness item reviews #1 – Some essentials!

At last! Here we are. I’ll avoid a long winded introduction and cut to the chase, saying simply this; these items are things which I have either (a) bought and used or (b) researched and THEN bought, even if I have not yer had the chance to use them. In some cases, (b) is a good thing, as I’m sure you’ll see as we go though the successive posts that deal with first aid and trauma supplies. (**Note: I order 99% of my items from Amazon. You do not have to. If you can find them elsewhere, go for it! It’s not like they send me a check or Christmas cards for telling you about the items. The items themselves are the important thing; make sure you’re getting the real thing, not cheap knock offs, no matter where you order them from –The Doctor)

In an emergency, your main concerns are going to be the most basic ones; food, water, shelter. Along with that go several sub-categories such as the ability to care for injuries, large and small, since help is not always immediately there, or a way to keep track of what’s going on during and after the situation. In this posting I will focus primarily on a few of these items, and continue in later postings. (First aid, for example, is a post all its own!)

Before I begin, let me say this: I also believe that security, i.e., a way to protect yourself and your family, is of paramount importance, and more so after a disaster. However, this is not an area in which I feel I have confidence to speak, save in a very general way, and so I will not. As with the decision to own/carry a weapon, that is a decision that you must make on a personal level, and based on your situation. I would, however, encourage you to do the research and have some form of defense not only for your family in general, but especially in the event that a disaster occurs and those who want what you have come looking for it. Much as we don’t like to admit it in this country, violence is still a very human condition across all races and ethnicity groups and disasters tend to bring that part out in many of those in the situation itself. Forewarned is forearmed.

 First up, we’ll look at being able to keep informed and keep in touch with others. To that end, invest in a good, reliable emergency radio. I have a portable NOAA Weather Radio which I carry, being a SKYWARN volunteer, but it is limited in its usage, only being able to pick up NWS broadcasts and SAME alerts. (I won’t go into the details of why I recommend being able to pick up SAME alerts, but should you be interested, you can obtain more information here – loathe as I am to recommend Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specific_Area_Message_Encoding ) For a reliable emergency radio it’s advisable that it be durable, have multiple power options and be able to pick up multiple types of transmissions. After doing my own research and comparisons, I picked up this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Eton-Crank-Emergency-Weather-Alerts/dp/B00KFDPCVY

As you can see from the description of the item itself, it appears to meet and/or exceed the criteria laid out above. From having used it, I can attest to that fact, personally. It is durable and weather resistant, as well as having an ambient light and flashlight built into it. The entire back of the device is a solar panel and it not only charges rapidly, but provides ample power even when using the radio itself. It picks up AM/FM/NOAA bands, has a digital tuner, good reception, and can be run from batteries or the internal battery, which can be charged by solar power or the hand crank. The internal battery and crank can also be used to “dump” a charge into a device such as a cell phone to give you emergency power for communication.

Second is an alternate energy source for keeping your devices charged. If you hunt, if you fish, or if you just want to be prepared, I would recommend this device:

http://www.amazon.com/Anker-2-Port-Charger-PowerPort-iPhone/dp/B012YUJJM8/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1463055710&sr=1-1&keywords=Anker+21W

Having purchased and used it, I can attest to its durability and reliability, as well as its ability to quickly and reliably charge two devices at once (I generally charge my tablet and cell phone) in both direct and indirect sunlight. Bright, direct sunlight will charge the devices more quickly, obviously, but I have tested it in instances in which I put it in a sunny room but not IN the sunlight and it still charged. It folds into a neat, compact package, and has eyelets on it which allow it to be hung from a backpack for on the go charging, or hung up while camping. Although not waterproof, it is splash resistant and can sustain limited exposure to moisture, especially when closed.

Finally, let’s look at food and water. Yes, you may have a pantry full of food and all kinds of water, but what happens if you can’t take the time to pack it up and take it with you? Fire, evacuation of your home – any number of scenarios can make that impractical or impossible. To that end, I recommend these two items, both of which I have purchased and tried:

http://www.amazon.com/Datrex-Emergency-Survival-Water-Pouch/dp/B00Y1VTC62

Datrex emergency water pouches have a shelf life of approximately 5 years (there are debates as to whether or not they would be good past that time, or if the bags might degrade and affect the quality of the water – my feeling is that it’s a good investment and if I have to use them when I get close to 5 years, I’ll use them and get more) and are the emergency water pouches that are stored as survival supplies in lifeboats and used by the US Coast Guard. The bags themselves have emergency directions on them as to their usage (Basically, unless sick, injured or in the desert, no water for 24 hours, then 8oz a day – the cases have 66 4 oz packages in them, which comes out to approximately 33 8 oz servings, so you can see you’re not getting shortchanged, to be sure) and the individual pouches, as well as the case itself, can easily be picked up and taken with you. The pouches are durable and can easily be stored in your car, in heat or cold, in your backpack, etc, wherever you have space. I currently have one case and will be buying more.

http://www.amazon.com/DATREX-Emergency-Disaster-Survival-Calories/dp/B01DUTZ4JE

I purchased these and promptly opened one to try them out. Like their water counterparts, these are used by and approved of by the USCG, and are included as survival items in lifeboats. The bars are individually packaged, making them easy to store and pass out on an individual basis, and like the water they also have emergency instructions on them as to their usage. I found that they had a pleasant flavor, similar to a coconut flavored cookie and although I wouldn’t want to eat them on a constant basis (they are emergency, survival food, after all) I also found that they did not provoke thirst in me, and were filling. (I used them as a snack at different times, in my experiment) They have, according to the research I did, been tested and found to have the widest appeal even to children, in terms of flavor. An important caveat regarding potential allergens – it is my understanding that these do contain some degree of nuts in them. At the very least, they contain coconut products, so be responsible and, if all else fails, call Datrex at (337) 738-4511 and check into it before you purchase them. If these contains allergens, there are alternatives. When in doubt, check it out!

Whew! Well, that was a long one, wasn’t it! Thanks for reading the whole thing, and I’d be happy to answer any questions if you have them. Keep coming back and next post, we’ll go into the first aid/medical supplies aspect of emergency preparedness.

God bless today, my friends and hey – let’s be careful out there!

 

 

Prepping 1: Prepping pitfalls or, “the dangers of unending “what if?”

Hey there! If you are a return reader, thank you for coming back! I truly appreciate the fact that people find things on this blog worth reading. If you are a new reader, then welcome aboard! You’re just in time for a series that I am starting for people like myself; people who want to be prepared, and want to be realistically prepared, as opposed to trying to prepare for every scenario and every situation and for The End Of The World. I hope that something here, first of all, proves to be of use to you, and secondly that it keeps you coming back!

In the world of prepping, there are as many opinions as there are people, I have found. Some say to be as prepared as you can be for anything, some say to prepare realistically. Some say as many years of food, water and fuel as you can have and store, some say 6 months, some say one month. Some say have a bunker, some don’t; the list goes on and on. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and, even worse, it’s easy to simply throw ones hands up and say “What’s the point? I’ll never be prepared for everything.” That’s what I went through, on a personal note. Interestingly enough, that’s also one of the “prepping pitfalls” I have read about in different sources dealing with preparedness; the dangers of the never-ending “What if?”

There is also the argument of “skills” vs. “stuff.” In an article on The Prepper Journal, author Pat Henry puts forth the idea that one does not always outweigh the other. Yes, you can spend $1200 and more on a tricked out assault rifle, complete with scope, laser sight and all the latest mods, but if you can’t hit a bull in the backside with a bass fiddle (a cleaned up version of what my dad used to say) are you better off than the person with the hand-me-down .22 caliber who can clear a jam, reload under stressful conditions and consistently hit what they aim at? Yes, no matter how much food you have or water you have stored, eventually it will run out, and a person who can survive “off the land” is going to have an advantage in a complete TEOTWAWKI scenario (provided there isn’t fallout, roaming gangs of savages, etc) but as has been said before, are we more likely to face a scenario like that, or a scenario in which you are forced to be on your own for a time, using only what supplies you have and skills or things you have on hand, because of a natural disaster or man made occurrence?

So what’s the point, then? What’s the “Boot of Truth” in this case? The BoT is this: as has been said before – prepare according to what you feel is best, is necessary, and is likely, according to your needs, abilities, and location. Take an honest assessment of your skills, knowledge (or lack of them) and work to improve them. Start small, and build from there. Beware taking in every piece of advice, every opinion – even mine – because I’m not you. Did you catch that? Even my opinions may not work for you – and I’m o.k. with that.

Find what does. Here are a couple of good starting points to give you a jumping off point:

http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2013/06/12/prepping-101-a-step-by-step-plan-for-how-to-get-started-prepping-pt1/

http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/02/26/preppers-list-of-supplies/

Next up – reviews of some emergency/preparedness items that I have purchased, have used, and can highly recommend for anyone to add to their general safety supplies at home!

God bless today, my friends – and let’s be careful out there – and stay safe!

 

 

 

A happy ending – and a reminder that protection starts with YOU

I saw this headline, today, and as God is my witness, burst right out laughing when I read the story. No, it is NOT because I delight in the death of others, nor that I’m some kind of bloodthirsty fiend who enjoys seeing people get killed. I am, however, (1) a firm believer that anyone, male OR female, who abuses another person takes whatever consequences come their way and (2) a firm believer that things like “restraining orders” are about as useful as nothing in most cases.

How you react to the story is up to you but let me leave you with this: if nothing else, this lady was prepared, and she took steps to protect herself when the man came to abuse her, in spite of the restraining order.

Whatever her relationship was like, one thing is certain – he will never again menace nor harm another person.

YOUR PROTECTION BEGINS WITH YOU. As the old saying goes – “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”

God bless, my friends – and be safe out there!

Man violates protective order, dies from shotgun blast to chest

“Disasters 101 – for those who think ‘it will never happen to me.'”

In keeping with my ongoing posts regarding realistic preparedness, I have what I consider to be an excellent post, courtesy of a blog/web page called Backdoor Survival. It is a page I frequent, and one that I have gleaned a great amount of helpful and useful knowledge from. I encourage any of you who are following these posts to check out their page, as well.

It’s a sobering (although far from comprehensive – think of that!) list of the possible disasters, both man-made and natural, that could befall us. To me, it’s also a good reminder to not become complacent and join in the oft-repeated refrain of “It won’t happen here/won’t happen to me.” Every one of us that lives on this planet (and if you’re reading this and NOT on this planet, PLEASE put something in the comments section – I’d be honored!) is potentially in the path of one of these disasters, and can stand to take the common-sense precautions that are appropriate for them.

I also am including a second link to an article on that same page, which is entitled “Beyond SHTF: How to keep your home safe from fire.” I have read, and may have even repeated here, that one of the pitfalls for those who seek to be prepared is that many of the “preppers” you see are portrayed as wild-eyed individuals who are preparing only for the worst case scenarios. Are those scenarios possible? Well, yes. In theory, I suppose anything is. Are they probable? That’s a much more realistic approach and question. A person is much more likely to lose everything due to a house fire, for example, than a nuclear war/zombie apocalypse/complete societal collapse.

Remember – prepare for the most probable, and then expand if you so desire. The links to the articles are below.

God bless, my friends, and remember – preparation doesn’t produce anxiety; denial does.

Disasters 101

Beyond SHTF – How to keep your home safe from fire