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Generators - 1

Post by wannabemountainman on Tue 05 Jan 2010, 17:38

Back Up Power Generators- Part I

By Guest Author, Ted Blanchard
Honda Generator 300x244 Back Up Power Generators Part I

Honda Generator photo c/o hayesequipment.com

I confess. A generator is not one of my chosen tools for preparedness. But then again, I tend to prepare more for a serious survival scenario i.e.: a widespread national crisis, in which case I feel that a generator is useless and simply paints you as a target of the morally deficit and desperate individuals. However, in the event of a more temporary power outage scenario due to a hurricane, snow storm or such, a generator would certainly be a worthwhile tool to have. As such, I have solicited the assistance of Ted Blanchard, last week’s guest author to provide for us a 3 part series on understanding, protecting, and utilizing a generator. So here is part 1.

Power and Sizing of a Generator
Power and Sizing

We’ll start with an easy topic. Power is the ability to do work, plain and simple. It can be measured in horsepower (HP), watts (W) and a variety of other units. For the moment, we will focus on horsepower and watts. Electrical power (in watts) is the voltage times the current or 1Watt = 1Volt x 1Amp. In most houses a 75-watt bulb consumes about 0.625 amps, because US homes are almost all 120 volts AC (alternating current). 75W/120V = 0.625 amps of current passing through the bulb’s filament. You can think of voltage as electrical “pressure” and current as electrical “volume” if you need to wrap your mind around the details. Higher voltage “pushes” harder through any electrical load, including you if you are not careful, and higher current means more “juice” delivered to the hair dryer or overhead lights. For convenience in comparing generators, we can also use kilowatts or kW, which is simply one thousand watts. If you want all the details click on watts, but for our purposes, one horsepower is a bit less than 750 Watts, or 0.75 kW of electrical power. For this reason, you can dismiss as falsehood any claims by a manufacturer that their 8 HP generator provides 10 kW of electrical power. A system’s Efficiency Factor – a number between 0 and 1, and often expressed as a percentage from 0% to 100% – is a measure of the efficiency of the system. A generator with an efficiency factor of 0.8 (or 80%) converts eight tenths of the power developed by the engine into available electrical power, on a continuous basis, to run lights, heaters, appliances and other household items. The rest is lost through engine heat, radiated sound and radio frequency (RF) energy and other “inefficiencies” of the generator. As a result, a fair “rule of thumb” is that a generator can be expected to provide roughly 600 to 700 watts of electrical power per engine horsepower, with 700 being an extremely efficient generator, bordering on impossible. So we have already arrived at Warning One: check the math in the advertisement and if they are claiming an electrical power level that the specified engine simply cannot produce, ignore the nice low price and look elsewhere. As an example, I saw an ad for a generator allegedly rated at 8 kW continuous and 10kW peak, driven by a 9 HP engine. Simple math tells me that 9 HP x 0.7 kW per HP –>6.3kW absolute maximum available continuous power. “Peak power” is the rating that tells how much power the generator can provide very briefly during the first few milliseconds that a load such as a large motor or compressor needs to start up. Examples might be found in your freezer or a furnace blower. If they normally consume 1000 watts, they may actually require 1500 or more watts while they start from zero and approach their normal operating state. Such power levels can be attained briefly because of inertia in the generator’s engine and the generators ability to handle loads above the normal rating for a short period until the peak load brings the generator/engine system speed below normal – at which point you have a “brownout” for all loads connected to the generator. If the spin up time is short enough, you probably won’t even notice the disruption. This dual rating is why you often see generators listed with two numbers, such as 5kW/6kW. Those are the continuous and peak power ratings. Be wary of sellers who list a single number. They may be indicating the peak power and hoping you think it’s the continuous power available.

Use your electric bill to determine the size generator you need photo c/o rrsd.mb.ca

What size generator do you need? This can be determined in a couple ways. The hard way is to add up the watts used by all your home devices and figuring out some sort of nominal percentage that represents the amount that may be on at a given high-usage time. A much simpler way is to take your electrical power bill, divide the number of kilo-watt hours (kWH or KWH) consumed in a month by 720 (the number of hours in a 30 day month) and apply a “loading” factor of anywhere between 3 and 7 which takes into account the fact that there is not much electrical demand during the night and so a straight average will give you a much lower number than what you require during active periods. Using a loading factor of 3 would require you to very carefully manage the household’s electrical consumption to avoid loading down your generator, but it can be done. A loading factor of 7 (or higher if so inclined and if you have the finances to allow it) lets you to pretty much live as usual without fear of placing too large a load on your generator. Here’s an example from my own bill last month. I used 1060 KWH of power over the 30-day span. A straight average would say that I consumed 1.47 kW continuously, but if I relied on a 1.5 kW generator to meet my needs, I would be terribly disappointed, to say the least. In reality, I use a 10kW/12.5kW diesel fueled military surplus generator to power my home when our utility provider is down, for whatever reason. I don’t have to “ration” my usage and my generator hums along happily, never missing a beat. Could I get by with a 7.5kW generator? Sure, and I did so for 3 years, but switched over to the current arrangement for reasons explained in later paragraphs.

Most generators use fuel at a rate that follows the power loading, so if you get a 10kW generator but have household electrical items operating that only consume a total of 3kW it will get much better “mileage” than if you put a full 10kW load on it. Again, the fuel consumption is not linear with load, so try asking sellers what the consumption is at 100%, 75% and 50% loads. Be wary if they give numbers that too closely match 100%, 75% and 50% of the max fuel consumption. It should not be an exactly linear relationship due to the “inefficiencies” described earlier, which are near constant regardless of the power load.

What is your frequency? photo c/o images.odeo.comNow, briefly venturing into the technical realm again, we must consider the frequency of the power generated. North American homes run on 60-cycle or 60 Hz power. Many European homes run on 50 Hz. Ours is convenient because there are 60 seconds in a minute, and 60 minutes in an hour. Analog clocks (those are the ones with the moving hour, minute and second hands for those who have forgotten) maintain their accuracy because the power coming into your home is 60 Hz. The motor simply runs at a multiple of the power frequency and as a result your analog clock is as accurate as the control circuitry at the power generation plant that provides your power. As a kid, we marveled at how the “new” digital clocks always seemed to need adjustment, but the old sweep hand clock in the kitchen stayed right on the money for years, unless the power was interrupted. Digital clocks mostly use internal oscillators as the basis for their time standard and often that oscillator is ever so slightly fast or slow compared to a true 60 Hz.

Any generator worth owning has an engine that runs at a multiple of 60 Hz, but we call it revolutions per minute (RPM) since the crankshaft is spinning in a circle. Most of the very good backup generators run at 1800 RPM, which is just our clocks’ favorite frequency multiplied by 30. It’s fairly easy to “divide down” and have the output power delivered at a constant 60 Hz. Some generators run at 3600 RPM, which is 60 times our reference frequency. There is nothing at all wrong with that, but consider the following: an engine’s noise level is usually related to the RPMs. Rev your car and it gets louder. Also, each revolution of your engine results in a tiny amount of operational wear on the moving parts. Not surprisingly, an engine designed to operate at 1800 RPM will generally last longer than one designed to run at 3600 RPM. The life span is not necessarily linear, however, meaning that an engine running at half the speed does not last exactly twice as long. In diesel engines, for instance, a designed operational speed of 1800 RPM usually means a lifespan that is 5 to 20 times greater than one designed to run at 3600 RPM. The slower engine also usually runs quieter, though for higher speed engines sound attenuating materials can be used, usually at additional cost. At the risk of getting ahead of myself, diesel generator engines built by high quality manufacturers (such as Onan, Detroit Diesel, Caterpillar, and Cummins) which are designed to run at 1800 RPM will generally give you upwards of 20,000 hours of run time before requiring major repair or overhaul. That’s well over 2 years of non-stop use. Gasoline or diesel engines from inexpensive sources (mostly Chinese firms) and built to run at 3600 RPM typically give between 1,000 and 1,500 hours of service before some significant amount of repair or overhaul work is required. So we have reached WARNING TWO: don’t go cheap on something that may save your bacon down the road. Saving a few hundred dollars now could make for some very uncomfortable days and nights if we should ever have grid power issues spanning many weeks or even months. For a little light reading on that look up EMP and ponder for a while, the likely results of such an event. And as an aside, those cheap Chinese generators (gasoline or diesel) have lots of poor quality electronics that are very vulnerable to an EMP. Expensive electronics can be fried too, but they might at least have a decent protective housing that helps to shunt pulse energy to ground.

To be continued…

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved. You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

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Prioritize

Post by wannabemountainman on Tue 05 Jan 2010, 16:43










Wake Up and Prioritize








nice house 300x225 Wake Up and Prioritize

Having a nice house isn't everything photo c/o www.merchantcircle.com



The party was so wonderful. The house was warm with hugs, greetings, and shared tales of joy and heartache from the previous year. So and so had a new baby on the way. The hostess had just received a new customized dining room table so that she could seat her burgeoning family at meal time. A young man had just been honorably advanced in the military. Seeing old friends and making news ones was a great way to start the New Year. So why was I so distraught as I walked home?  What was it that was interrupting my happiness from attending such an event? What a beautiful home.  The food was scrumptious. What a choice person—such great hosts. What a great family. I was thrilled that they had opted to show me what they had done with all of the new food storage space they had built into their basement. That’s practically my favorite part of any home. As I reflected back on what I saw, I realized the source of my distress. A thriving family of nine. Plenty of space. Beautifully decorated. But a large food storage area that was frighteningly sparse.


As I had mentally viewed the intermittent stores of food, my mind quickly calculated that starvation would come to this family within only six weeks if they were required to survive on the fruits of their preparedness efforts. To add insult to injury, it would be a very boring and unappetizing six weeks as well. Oh how I didn’t want that for this family. Fifteen years of friendship makes me feel like an aunt to their children and a sister to her. I adore her. I look up to her. I cringed as I recalled her answer to my question. “Is this your entire food storage?” “Yep”, she replied. I couldn’t tell by her voice…was I detecting a sense of good intentions to rectify the situation or was it a sense of being overwhelmed with the task?


empty pantry 300x211 Wake Up and Prioritize

A half-empty pantry won't be as much of a comfort in times of need as a full one would be photo c/o www.mlive.com


What good is a lovely home when an unexpected need for food, water, clothing, and fuel hits you? Who cares whether or not the sofa is frayed or if there’s a spot on the carpet when your family is hungry?  I don’t know about you, but I’ve moved heaven and earth when I’ve had a specific craving for something. Imagine such a craving occupying your mind regularly, except it is simply for food and water.  I realize that it requires some mental work to accept that such a scenario WILL occur in the future, but I promise you that it will.  The Wii games, the latest reality show, the latest action-adventure film, or even what shenanigans the Administration pulls that week will be meaningless when one is unexpectedly thrust out of their modus operandi and has to actually THINK “how will I provide food for my family?”  Most of us have never had to question the availability of food and water.  For those of us who have, there has usually been a ray of hope right behind such a question in the form of an anticipated new job for the one lost, or even the ability to move in with family until things get better. But will the same hope be present when the supply of food, water, clothing, and fuel seems to be solely reliant on our own previous preparedness efforts?



I completely believe in being content and nurtured by ones surrounding. A home should be a person’s castle, inviting, comfortable.  I love to spoil my family members and friends with gifts of love and acknowledgement. I like to look nice and wish that more “preppers” would portray a more polished and intelligent image to the community lest their message be minimized as an unrelatable and unreliable one. But just as the priorities for college students need to be their education—and thus traditional corners of comfort are cut to survive—so should we do the same in our basic preparedness efforts, sacrificing luxury for the security of being prepared.


ned or want 300x136 Wake Up and Prioritize

As yourself before buying anything--Need or Want?


So here’s my rule of thumb. Don’t even think of gidgets, gadgets, generators, and the non-essentials in your life until you have at least the very basics of food, water, clothing, and fuel (where permissible) taken care of. Yes, you’ll never be satisfied that you are fully prepared for whatever may come your way.  But yes, there IS a finite amount of food and water, etc. that you can at least start with and know that you’ve got a great foundation. THEN you can start building on it. 


Newlyweds, let me address you specifically.  No, you can’t afford a new television or cable or unlimited text messaging until you have your basics obtained and stored. It is a matter of life or luxury. Yes, I know that you’ve been quite accustomed to the leather upholstery, the beautiful automobile, and the abundance of comforts as you grew up in your parent’s home or when you were the sole beneficiary of your salary, but marriage is different. It’s a new life. It’s not a continuation of the one you had with your parents.  Start new. Make it yours. Make it self-reliant. Make it solid by a good foundation of spiritual and temporal strength.



Ok. So what’s the absolute bare minimum emergency survival amount of food, water, clothing, and fuel (where permissible) you should have on hand?


Grain 300x183 Wake Up and Prioritize

photo c/o grain.org



  • 400 pounds of grains (i.e. pasta, wheat, rice, barley) per person per year (whole grains are preferred in order to benefit from sprouting)

  • 40 pounds of honey (or sugar, or molasses) per person, per year

  • 60 pounds of dry milk per person, per year

  • 5 pounds of mineralized salt, such as RealSalt (not iodized) per person, per year.


If you only had these 4 food items, you would at least survive a year in the midst of a major food crisis.




  • 60 gallons of water, per person MINIMUM. (This amount may at least get you through until you can find another water source—again, remember this is bare, minimum, emergency, survival amounts. In actuality, every person needs one gallon, per person per day just to take care of the minimum requirements of hydration, sanitation, medical, and cooking.)


 



  • 2 sets of appropriate, rugged, warm weather clothes and 2 sets of cold weather clothes per person. Anticipate the upcoming year. Store these clothes away, not have them be a part of the everyday fashion repertoire.


 



  • 52 cans of butane and a small butane stove for cooking and cleaning.


 



  • Enough fuel for warmth during the winter months



 



  • Enough fuel for light for about 4 hours a night, for one room, for a year.


 


So, here’s my challenge to you. It’s the very beginning of a new month. How about you put yourself on a non-essential fast when it comes to spending this month? In other words, if it’s not absolutely necessary (such as utilities, groceries, diapers, etc) don’t spend money on it. Instead use that same money on what you need to be prepared with at least the bare minimum amount of preparedness.  If you’re already prepared in the basics that I’ve outlined above, how about you focus on adding to your preparedness this month?


Copyright 2010 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to www.PreparednessPro.com & Kellene Bishop.


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Discretion in Preparedness

Post by wannabemountainman on Sat 19 Dec 2009, 20:22

Don’t you hate it in the movies when you have some intense scene and the person who is told to “keep quiet” or to “stay put” always disobeys that counsel and ends up getting the hero or heroine nearly killed?  I think I hate it so much because it’s so accurate in its portrayal of real life.


Recently our area had a shocking murder of a professor of Brigham Young University. http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=148&sid=9053434 Thieves meticulously broke into his home, slit his throat, and stole his guns that were specifically in his safe.  They committed the crime while two other people were in the home—individuals who were not killed, but rather tied up. Police are just now confessing that the guns were the target of this violent home invasion.  This brings many questions to mind (as well as much fodder for future articles) but the primary question is how did the thieves know that this professor had so many guns and how did they know where to obtain them? (Sorry, I just have to add, what is the use of having firearms in your home, if you’re not adept at using them to protect yourself too?)



First of all, you should consider that the use of a knife in a crime is typically one of familiarity.  Strangers rarely use a knife on their victims. The FBI frequently calls the use of a knife in a crime as a crime of “intimacy.”  It’s safe to say that these criminals knew the professor.


Secondly, it’s apparent that the professor, or perhaps his family members, was a bit too verbal in broadcasting his possessions. As a result, they painted a target on themselves.  Think about this for a moment folks. The target was painted in a time of plenty. Imagine what it would have been like if this broadcasting of information was done during a time of chaos? The other two may have easily met the same fate as the professor as desperation is heightened in a crisis scenario.  This is why I caution those who attend my classes as well as you, my dear readers, from doing anything prior to or during a crisis which will announce to the world that you’re prepared.


How To Survive the End of the World as We Know It

How To Survive the End of the World as We Know It


In James Wesley Rawles’ latest book “How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It” he specifically addresses the issue of discretion when discussing your own supplies of preparedness. Now think about that. This man is a renowned author and a regularly faithful blogger with thousands and thousands of readers. I assure you that though he shares valuable information with all of these individuals, there are probably only a dozen folks in the world who know what he’s truly made of in his preparedness efforts. I’ll be blunt with you. Such dissemination of this kind of information should not go out even to friends, family members, and especially to government officials. Keep it under your hat, folks. If you get asked by your local church what you have available, understand that it’s so that they know how best to help you and are prepared accordingly. But if you’re like me, you may just want to respond “No need to worry about us. We’ll be ok regardless” or something like that.


As I don’t make a secret of the fact that I’m a Utah Concealed Firearm Instructor, I am frequently asked by naïve individuals “Are you carrying right now?”  “What are you carrying?” Etc. I realize that for the most part these questions are simply the result of a genuine curiosity. But there have been very rare circumstances in which I have actually shown anyone my “real” firearm and where I carry it. It’s just as rare that I will actually answer an inquiry as to whether or not I’m carrying a firearm at that moment.  It’s called a “concealed” permit because it’s supposed to be concealed—visually as well as mentally, in my opinion. It’s very much for these same reasons that I haven’t been forthcoming in photos for you all of my preparedness supplies. I simply don’t want those, whether great or small, advertised all over the internet. It’s no one’s business what we have or don’t have.  They need to be concerned with their own preparedness efforts, not those of a neighbor. In fact, when asked to view my supplies, the cautious side of me automatically thinks, “who does this person know that I don’t want to share this information with?” I can easily count the number of highly TRUSTED individuals who have even a partial knowledge of my personal preparedness efforts, whether it be water, ammo, or cheese.



Part of the danger in sharing with folks what you have on hand is the rampant sense of entitlement that is so prevalent in our society today. We cause the rich to pay the majority of taxes, we are taught that since the wealthy have they should give it to those who aren’t wealthy, etc.  This is simply wrong. Generally speaking the “haves” are not villains. They are workers and planners. I’ve generally lived as a pauper several times in my life but that hasn’t stopped me from prioritizing and taking care of my own preparedness. Unfortunately, in a time of crisis, most folks won’t view your provisions as your own.  That mean little entitlement gnat will get under their skin and they will thrust a false sense of charity and compassion upon you and take what they want. Sorry to have to state it so plainly, folks, but charity and compassion cannot be mandated. And when they are, they are of evil, not Christian in nature whatsoever. Anyway, my point being that the sense of entitlement is a screwy tool. It makes people believe the way they are behaving instead of behaving the way they believe. So be aware of this and defend yourself now from it by being discrete in your assertions of preparedness.


I frequently have folks telling me that when all heck breaks loose they will be coming to my house.  Just as sincere as they are in their assertion, I retort with a reminder that I do have a firearm and am perfectly knowledgeable in how to defend myself. While that may sound a bit crass to some of you, I find it no more so than someone telling me (jokingly or not) that they are willing to absolve themselves of any of their own responsibility in being prepared and that they will be helping themselves to my efforts. Tit for tat, if you ask me.


 If you are planning on sharing with others this otherwise confidential information, may I suggest that you back it up with a thorough system of tools and skills to be able to protect yourself and your home? As awful as that thought may be to some, you are not truly prepared until you have taken such preparation into consideration as well.


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Preparation

Post by wannabemountainman on Sat 12 Dec 2009, 13:02

You’re Not (Yet) Prepared


By Ted B.  


So you decided to be a hardworking ant. Photo c/o wisebread.com

So you decided to be a hardworking ant. Photo c/o wisebread.com



You saw the warning signs years ago and decided to be the ant, not the grasshopper. Perhaps you found and purchased the home on land that is now your residence as well as your retreat.  You’ve gathered the materials to survive, perhaps even thrive, during the coming storms of political upheaval, food shortages, social disorder and economic distress.  You took courses on weapons use and feel confident in your ability to defend home and kin with any of the weapons in your personal armory.  You assembled canning materials and learned how to use them.  You consume, replenish and rotate those foods regularly, not just watch them age on the basement shelves.  You have the house wired for 12VDC as well as standard 120VAC.  Your solar panels, batteries and backup generator are all positioned and tested.  The neat stacks of silver rounds lie nestled in protective containers, waiting to be used for purchases when the dollar is finally recognized for the worthless paper it has become.  Medical supplies are all labeled and stored in easy to reach locations in the house, barn and bunker.  Manuals on survival techniques, emergency first aid, growing and preserving your own food, and a host of other critical topics are carefully filed away for future reference in an Internet-limited world.  Stabilized gasoline and treated diesel sit quietly in sturdy underground drums.  Your communications gear includes CB, Ham and FRS radios, and you rigged up wired field sets between the main house and outbuildings.



You even took some steps not normally included in the various “Preparation for Apocalypse” articles that flooded the media and which were read by millions.  You got part of a fresh animal carcass from the local country butcher and practiced your wound suturing skills on real flesh.  You picked up and squirreled away various strengths of reading glasses that you don’t need now but may need in years to come.  You gathered moderate quantities of several multi-use chemicals and a book that shows how to make simple mixtures such as match head material, flash powder, and smoke grenade filler.  When buying and storing your paper goods, you didn’t just lay up three years worth of TP, you also remembered that If The Momma Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy and, setting aside your embarrassment, you bought and carefully stored away a generous stash of feminine sanitary products.  You knew that having beans and rice for months at a time potentially could be considered a fate worse than starvation, so you added hard candy, plenty of dried fruit and other treats to the pantry.


You feel a sense of accomplishment and confidence as you fine-tune your checklists and provisions.  You can’t plan for absolutely everything, but you feel you’ve done all you can to get ready for the majority of scenarios that might come about. You are prepared.  Or are you?



Photo c/o visitidaho.org

Photo c/o visitidaho.org


A vital component that many people forget is preparation as a community. Self-sufficiency tends to lead to some amount of isolation. My own little slice of heaven in North Idaho is a prime example.  Almost every resident of my small rural town is independent, largely self-reliant, skilled, practiced and ready for everything from extreme weather to zombie attacks.  Each of us knows the neighbors who are in our immediate vicinity, and within that small area we all share goods as needed and assist when the situation calls for it.  But until very recently, no one but the Postmaster could say he actually knew the majority of people in our community beyond a wave and a hello as they drove past.


Each micro-community, composed of anywhere from three to a dozen families, had social interaction at backyard barbecues, fireworks displays and 4H meetings, and teamwork interaction at such events as road clearing sessions after a big windstorm or snowstorm.  But these individual micro-communities did not interact regularly, did not know what skills or provisions each could contribute in times of widespread emergency, and most importantly did not know whom to call to rapidly disseminate important, time critical information about events that could impact the entire region.  We had no phone tree, no list of skill sets available within the town, and no plans for assistance beyond what each micro-community did as a matter of practice, informally developed over the years.  We were NOT truly prepared, even though most of us thought we were.



While it is still an ongoing process of refinement, as all preparations tend to be, we took an approach that may well serve your own community – even if you live in a large city.  First, we advertised a local community preparedness meeting, with enough advance notice that people could get it on their calendar if interested, but not so far in advance that it was forgotten by the time it arrived.  The invitation, via signs at the Post Office and Fire Station, and distributed via flyers, had three key elements:


It was to be an informal meeting with no governmental spin or involvement; it was to get folks talking about community preparations for a variety of situations where we could help each other out effectively, while maintaining our privacy and independence, and finally it would include some refreshments. You’d be surprised how many people are drawn by the prospect of home made brownies, fresh coffee and Huckleberry lemonade.


The meeting itself stressed that the purpose was to:




  • Help local citizens to get to know a few more of their neighbors, and

  • Expand preparedness thinking from just individual parcels or immediate neighbors to the entire community.


Also mentioned up front was that the meeting was NOT called in order to:



  • Pry into anyone’s issues with their neighbors

  • Get into political debate

  • Gather information about peoples’ pantry, gun safe contents, or underground bunker…

  • Violate privacy – personal or property

  • Pressure anyone to participate


  • Fill peoples’ calendars with meetings/activities


We reminded attendees that planning was important now:



  • So that preparations can be done when we have time, resources, good weather, low stress levels

  • So that friends and neighbors know how the community as a whole will respond, before any action is needed

  • So that critical preparations are not overlooked


  • So that shortfalls can be corrected before an event makes them a critical issue

  • Because some preparations may take a long time

  • To avoid excessive duplications of efforts


Town Meeting photo c/o thereisaway.us

Town Meeting photo c/o thereisaway.us


We talked about the various scenarios that might require the community to band together instead of trying to deal with the issue on our own, including wildfire, extreme weather, a major transportation interruption, a large scale natural (or man-made) disaster, economic meltdown or further acts of governmental intrusion.


We discussed the focal areas that might be established to get people with specific knowledge or skills involved on teams of resource planners/coordinators to allow the best response to the situation:



  • Communications

  • Emergency Resource planning/coordination


    -         Food/water/fuels (consumables)

    -         Personnel/Equipment/shelter (hard resources)

  • Defensive systems

  • Medical

  • Fire

    -         Advanced Preparedness


    -         1st response

  • Unusual hazards and situations


We asked attendees to sign up, voluntarily, for areas where they felt they could add benefit by thinking and researching, providing leadership or just helping out on a time available basis.


We established a website where residents can find out – at their convenience – about meetings of possible interest; tips from others on various topics such as food preservation, animal husbandry, and ammo reloading; updates to community contact lists; and other information that may be of value but does not warrant continual phone calls or E-mail messages.


We created a phone tree that allows any person to make as few as 3 calls and be confident that within 5-10 minutes the vast majority of residents had either been personally contacted or had a message left on their phone machine.  The mechanism is simple:




  • A small handful of people’s names and numbers are at the top of the tree.

  • The citizen who sees or hears about an imminent danger calls each of these top-tier persons or – if they do not answer – one of the people on the next tier down.

  • Each of those called passes the message along – briefly but specifically – to each of the names just below their own, on the tree.

  • Those people do the same until the bottom of each branch is reached, then those at the bottom make a “close the loop” call to each of the original top-tier residents.

  • [Note: elderly or invalid residents on the phone tree should be physically visited if they don’t answer the phone and the issue is potentially life threatening]


Telephone tree example. Photo c/o nfp2.co.uk

Telephone tree example. Photo c/o nfp2.co.uk


The close the loop step ensures that the community phone tree has been activated, at least partially, from top to bottom and allows cross-trunk communication if the line is severed unintentionally by personal or electronic difficulties.  A community of >1000 people can be reached in just 5 vertical steps if each person makes just 4 phone calls without duplication; six steps if only 3 calls per person are made. For events requiring continued updates, such as wildfire location or direction of approaching zombies, the web site can then be used to stay up to date without tying up the phone lines again and again.  To ensure that the phone system itself does not cause a breakdown in communications, the community should have backup schemes as many layers deep as necessary, including CBs or other pre-established radio lines, “pony express” mechanisms using car, ATV, snowmobile, horse, dogsled or whatever makes sense in your region.  This one step alone can dramatically improve your overall preparedness as you will have 100s of trusted eyes and ears scanning for dangers, hundreds of hands and minds that may be applied to a situation that would overwhelm your own family’s abilities, and a means to call on resources beyond your own wealth – as long as the spirit of give and take is kept balanced and not abused.



Beyond these steps, you might also consider establishing an appropriate number of recurring activities or meetings, whether they are weekly or quarterly as prescribed by the level of availability and interest; fleshing out or refining your community preparedness plans based on detailed threat scenarios that seem likely for your area; establishing response plans, including identification of leaders and supporters; and holding community response drills to see what holes you’ve missed so they can be corrected before a real crisis comes along.  As a final thought for consideration, a hand-cranked 110 dB siren suitable for notifying all locals within a considerable distance that they need to get on “the community net” can be had very affordably on your favorite auction site…


NOW you can go clean your M1A again while gazing fondly at your stuffed pantry shelves, secure in the knowledge that you probably are about as ready as you’ll ever be.


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EMP Strike

Post by wannabemountainman on Wed 09 Dec 2009, 16:27

The Timing of an EMP Strike

By Kellene Bishop

Author’s Note: Before reading this article, I want to be perfectly clear that my objective is not to “freak you out.” Mental Preparedness comes more readily when we allow ourselves to mentally picture scenarios and then allow our brain to strategically work on solving the anticipated problems. I hope this article does that for you today.

There’s no such thing as an opportune time for a trial, right? As such, it’s a bit naïve of us to think that if an EMP strike does hit, it will conveniently do so while we are gathered all comfy and cozy in our homes. If I was a nefarious terrorist, I would plan an EMP strike for a freezing snowy winter day affecting most of the country AND during a late time of day that would most affect rush hour. To add to that timing, I would plan it to occur while Congress was out of session for the Christmas break. That would be a true formula for chaos.
Our autos and other modes of transportation will be the most noticeable initial casualty as the result of an EMP strike. Just think what would happen if you were commuting home on the freeway and all of the sudden your vehicle, as well as all of the other cars around you, had all of their electronics stop functioning. The power steering would go out. The power brakes would go out. And like a synchronized swimming team, all of the autos that were made after 1970 would simple stop operating. Sure they might travel another few feet—until they slammed into another car that suddenly stopped operating. Imagine this scene on your jam packed freeway on the way home from work or while running errands. Now picture that scene duplicated throughout thousands upon thousands of bustling cities throughout the country.
Keeping in line with the disruption of transportation, planes will fall from the sky as their electronics completely fail them. At any given time there are well over 5,000 non-military airplanes over the air space of the U.S. Boeing estimates that one of their 737’s take off or land every 4.9 seconds, although that’s for the world, not just the U.S. Boeing states that they have over 1.5 million planes in the air at all times of the day. Even without that, picture being one of the casualties stranded in the O’Hare or JFK Airport with no lights, no food, and no way to get out of town to your family.
The second part of this impact will be painfully felt in our modes of communication. Your cell phone will be completely useless for anything other than a paper weight. Your car radio will not function or provide you with any information to figure out what went wrong. Regardless of the abundance of injuries that will take place all over the nation, no ambulance, tow truck or life flight will be available to heed your call for help.
The third largest impact that you will notice is in the availability, or rather LACK of available medical care. If you can hobble your way to a hospital from the site of the freeway catastrophe, you will inevitably find the facilities in chaos, overflowing with panicked patients and medical personnel. Their backup generators will be useless in most cases as they typically operate with some electronics. The medical supplies such as bandages and medicine will be exhausted within a couple of hours, not to mention the medical staff. Can you imagine being in the middle of a life-saving surgery and suddenly have the power go off without even so much as a warning beep?
So, what do you do to be prepared? First of all, have your auto supplied with preparedness tools: first aid, water, coat, some food, etc. Be sure that you have a reliable pair of shoes—especially you ladies. Heels are great for partying in, but they make it pretty darn hard to hike in the snow 15 miles should a survival scenario come up. In addition to the obvious tools in your car, you MUST be prepared to defend yourself as well. Violence and desperation will reign supreme in such an environment. There’s no need to be a sitting duck, folks. Act quickly and decisively. When you’ve lost access to communication or news and your cars have suddenly stopped, you will KNOW it’s an EMP folks. Don’t wait around to deliberate with fellow travelers. Get to where you need to be ASAP.
Have a prearranged plan with your loved ones of where to meet in the event of trouble. At least this way your spouse or family and friends will have some peace of mind knowing that you will try to get to that location. Panic is not your friend in an emergency. Peace of mind is, even if it’s challenged by some “what if” scenarios.
Maintaining physical strength isn’t about being able to run a marathon for most people. But everyone’s physical strength will be tested in an EMP scenario. The simple act of getting a glass of water will require work. Flour for a loaf of bread will require arm muscles. Going to the bathroom will require full consciousness. Smile That may not daunt some of you, but keep in mind that you may need to cover longer distances than between your house and the outhouse. Thus having working bikes and wagons you can tow on them may be a lifesaver.
Familiarizing yourself with basic medical care such as breaks, sprains, deep cuts, rashes, colds, and flu will also be important. While an EMP won’t send us back to the 19th century in all regards, it certainly would in terms of medical care. We need to take some of the responsibility for self-reliance in this area.
Again, I hope I’ve given you just a few things to think about today. I also really liked how the books “Alas, Babylon” by Pat Frank, and “One Second After” by William Fortschen helped me through some mental preparedness in this exact type of scenario. If you allow your mind to think about and mentally participate in such scenarios, you’ll have a more sound Mental Preparedness to solve the problems in comfort now, rather than in chaos later.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved. You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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Sprouting Sense

Post by wannabemountainman on Sun 08 Nov 2009, 18:22

By Kellene Bishop


Want to ensure that your vegetables are tasty, nutritious, and void of pesticides and other chemicals? Well, the simple answer is to grow your own. Yes, you can do it—even if you live in a 500 square foot apartment in Upper Manhattan. It’s called sprouting. And I can assure you it’s not just a hobby for hippies. *grin*


You can sprout any whole grain, seed, legume or nut—so long as they haven’t been “killed” by being stored with oxygen absorbers or processed before they get into your home. The sprouting process is SO simple, even a 4 year old can do it. In fact, I accidentally sprouted lentils in my basement last summer. (We had spilled some by the hot water heater drain and apparently didn’t get them all cleaned up. A week later I had a drain full of long lentil sprouts. Oops.) You don’t need direct sunlight. You don’t need to invest in a fancy-schmancy sprouter. You don’t need any special water, and you definitely don’t need a green thumb. All it takes is something to sprout, water, and air.


There is a huge variety of tasty sprouts available. You can put them in soups, salads, sandwiches, cassSprouts are Full of Vitaminseroles, baked goods, or just snack on them. A tablespoon of sprouts provides anywhere from a quarter pound to a half pound of vegetables. Sprouting dramatically enhances the nutritional makeup of the seed, grain, etc. In some instances (such as with wheat grains) the nutritional content is compounded by 500-600% when you sprout! In fact, if all you do is soak almonds for only 30 minutes in water, you will have already increased the nutritional content by another 80%! The only way you can plan on surviving off of bags of wheat, beans, and salt is if you learn how to sprout. Otherwise your body will be seriously deficient in critical vitamins and minerals. I am partial to wheat sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, mung bean sprouts, and adzuki bean sprouts. Radish sprouts also are great when you want a peppery little pick up in a salad.


OK. So here’s the 3 key steps you need to know about sprouting. Soak, rinse, and drain.


In a glass or a thick plastic container, put about 1 inch of sproutable seeds, etc. in the bottom.  This can be a vase, a Mason jar, a bowl etc. Then cover seeds with at least 4 times as much water. Let it soak for 12 hours (or just overnight). Then dump out the water, rinse, and drain. While your seeds are sprouting, they will emit a bit of natural toxins. This is why you want to rinse them off once every 12 to 24 hours. If you allow them to continue to grow in the toxins for several days, they will get bitter, go rancid, or perhaps even mold. So, rinse the contents, then be sure to drain off the water well. For this purpose, some people store their containers upside down. You’ll want to cover your container with some type of fine mesh covering. This will allow the air to get in and the water to get out when your rinsing and draining. You can purchase a special sprouting lid, or you can simply attach some old pantyhose with a rubber band.



Your sprouts will take 3 to 5 days to mature. You will know they have matured when the length of the sprout is as long as the seed. If you don’t allow them to sprout completely, then they could taste a bit bitter. The same goes if you allow the seeds to over-sprout. Once your sprouts have matured you can store them in the fridge for 5 to 7 days, or you can simply make sure that you’re only sprouting enough that satisfies your family’s daily consumption. You can sprout a mixture of sprouts or just one kind at a time in a container. When putting seeds together a mixture, be sure that the maturation process for each kind of seed sprout is about the same.


I have to tell you. When I first started eating sprouts I would put them on a salad at the salad bar, simply because they were there. Then one day my hubby put sprouts on a sandwich for me and I really liked it. Now I’m quite spoiled and prefer sprouts to lettuce. I love the sprouts in my salads, on top of steamed vegetables, which adds another texture and seasoning, and I also love them in soups. Eat healthy and nutritious


Sprouts do not need to be expensive, folks. You can get an entire 50 pound bag of garbanzo beans, adzuki beans, whole wheat, oat groats, rye, amaranth, quinoa, etc. very, very affordably. One 50 pound bag will provide a family of four with nearly a year’s worth of veggies if you sprout them! Enjoy!


Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.


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Stores of Self-Reliance

Post by wannabemountainman on Sun 08 Nov 2009, 18:15

By Kellene Bishop


Recall!2007 and 2008 were the two biggest years in history for food recalls. Meat, peanut butter, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach and even dog food were among the few that were deemed dangerous or downright deadly for consumption. In my view, this is just another reason for the case in favor of having a year’s supply of food and water provisions.


When our country was made up largely of farmers, it was not unheard of for farmers to have one to two years of grain and other food stuffs stored for the future. They knew from experience that one never could rely on the goodness of Mother Nature, the economy, or world peace to guarantee a profitable harvest each year. Thus having a year’s supply of provisions and surviving on an annual paycheck was a necessary way of life. In this same vein of wisdom, our own government stored several year’s worth of grains, fuel, and other reserves to shore up against a “rainy day.” 


Today there our government granaries are completely empty. There are simply NO government owned stores of grains or seeds left. All that remains is false claims by the USDA that this year’s farms will yield “bumper crops” in direct contrast to everything reported from the farmers themselves. As such, the cost of items with sugar, corn, soybeans, or wheat is expected to skyrocket in price this year. Ironically we will have to pay for such items with currency that is no longer backed by anything more than a man behind a curtain saying “all is well.” (Even Fort Knox is empty of its “rainy day” gold stores, folks.)  


In addition to prudent planning that our government used to engage in, the safety of our foods was reliable, the ingredients were easily read, and the process used to bring them to the masses was simply a commercialized version of what a housewife could do for herself on a smaller scale. Today, however, we have meat that’s sold by the pound, infused with water (making it heavier) and coloring chemicals; vegetables that are coated in chemicals that require a PhD just to pronounce, and packaged meals and beverages which brag that they contain a whopping “10% of real” food ingredients which are actually recognizable. Environmental groups have more say about your supply than does does any seasoned medical professional. What gets put on our children’s plate in school is influenced by revenues instead of nutrition. While there is one soda pop machine available for every 97 persons in the U.S., fresh, unadulterated food stands are becoming as rare as an honest politician.Grain silo


Hopefully, by realizing the veracity of this scene I’ve painted for you, you realize that having stores of food on hand in your home isn’t just about being ready for an Armageddon-like scenario. It’s not about being some kind of a paranoid survivalist. It has everything to do with being self-reliant and taking responsibility for the preservation, health, and survival of you and your family.  As such, we need to be more aware and vigilant in being self-reliant in the storing of our most vital everyday needs.



I’ve provided “food for thought” when it comes to reasons for food stores. But please do not dismiss the need for safe drinking water. Only a few days without water will bring catastrophic consequences. During the Great Hungarian War, the soldiers would have literally given their right arm for water. They had food. They had clothing. They had safety in their shelters. They had fuel to keep them warm and dry. But when they had to venture out to get water—that is when the Hungarian soldiers were shot and killed. And yet the water was vital to the health of their organs, sanitation, and thirst. Remember, to be safe, have at least ONE gallon of water per person per day. That may sound like a ridiculous amount of water to you right now, but it will go far too quickly if you find yourself without it.


Ask yourself what you can do to have more self-reliant stores on hand to better protect and provide you with safety and survival.



Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.


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Why Bother?

Post by wannabemountainman on Sun 08 Nov 2009, 17:49

By Kellene Bishop


Your preparedness efforts give you OPTIONS. Photo c/o miamism.com

Your preparedness efforts give you OPTIONS. Photo c/o miamism.com


Let me start by saying Preparedness Is Never Pointless.


Preparedness isn’t about “guaranteeing” ourselves that we will have a particular result. There are too many aspects that are completely out of our control for this to be realistic. Preparedness is about giving ourselves OPTIONS.


Today’s article is in response to a question posed yesterday by one of our readers. I’m sure that he speaks for nearly everyone—at least at some point in their preparedness efforts. I felt that his answer merited more than a one liner response and one that all of our readers may benefit from—at least I hope so.


He writes:



“In a society where less than 2% of people will have any preps, even short term. What are the chances of being able to stay in your home in an emergency? I’m starting to think that I need to have better plans to bug out, unfortunately I don’t have a dozen reliable people to provide defense.


Seriously, how are we supposed to avoid being overrun by hungry, desperate neighbors?


If it progresses to violence or threats of violence it is only a matter of time till someone snipes us when we go outside.


I’m having a hard time visualizing how it can possibly work. Sometimes that aspect makes me wonder if it’s worth putting all this effort in, just to lose it.”

We have all uttered the words “why bother” when it comes to preparedness. Even men and women that I know, admire, and love have succumbed to a moment of emotional defeat and have uttered the words “why bother”. The good news is that there are some great answers to counter such a defeating rationale.


Sichuan Earthquake

Sichuan Earthquake


First of all, remember that there are 10 different areas of preparedness. Even with the most advanced architectural designs and enforcements, there’s no way that we can guarantee our home will not be gobbled up in an earthquake with all of our preparedness supplies therein. But which aspects of preparedness would such an event really destroy? Medical, Clothing and Shelter, Fuel perhaps, Water, and Food. We would still be left with 5 other areas of preparedness that we own regardless of whether our home stands erect. An earthquake cannot rob us of our Spiritual strength, our Mental Preparation and Knowledge, our Physical strength, our state of debts (Financial), and our ability to Communicate. However, had we not prepared sufficiently in any of these other areas, the earthquake would be the least of our problems. Yes, there is a point where after all we can do physically our preparedness supplies may be worthless dust in the event of a fire or an earthquake. But after such an event, are we worse off for having prepared? NO. Perhaps our example of preparedness is why we can find safety and solace in the home of another. Perhaps because of all of our preparedness efforts we’ve learned sufficient knowledge along the way to provide for our family in other critical ways as well.


Next, preparedness in the nine other areas following Spiritual Preparedness actually helps to ensure our spiritual preparedness stays intact. How I’m judged after I die is much more important than how I’m judged here. To keep this perspective, our spiritual preparedness has to be our foundation on which we build all other areas of preparedness. It is the physical preparations which will either tax or ensure our spiritual ones. Our Physical Preparedness efforts give us options so that we do not have to become the ugly person who will do anything, including selling our soul, for something to eat. If we do not take the time to prepare physically, then we are leaving ourselves no options to be level headed, peaceful, and capable of providing for us and our families. Instead we will leave ourselves subject to whatever morality prevails in the moment of need.



Desparate photo c/o jakking.typepad.com

Desparate photo c/o jakking.typepad.com


Yes, in the event of a disaster there will be many desperate souls. Desperation changes even the best of people who are less resolved in their goodness. One of the questions we all need to ask ourselves is, do we want to become one of those desperate souls who will do anything for a meal? We will indeed seal such a fate for ourselves if we do NOT prepare. Our preparedness efforts now will help us to NOT become one of those people. Our efforts provide us with OPTIONS. While a person may have to leave their home to get rid of sanitation waste occasionally, if they are prepared with sufficient supplies, at least they have the option of staying safely inside for a couple of weeks while havoc is wreaked outside. 


In addressing this issue, also keep in mind that those who would harm you also require physical and mental sustenance themselves. If they are hungered or thirsty, their intended right hook or sniping will not be well-placed. Their resolve will be compromised by their physical and mental faculties being weakened. Criminals are creatures of prey. They prey on the easy targets, not the fortified ones. History has shown us that 10 days into the aftermath of a disaster eliminates many of the weak and unresolved. During that period of time, while you gather with your family in safety, you can be making preparations to come off conqueror in the event of future encounters.


A key component of being prepared is to mentally prepare yourself for what “might” come. Once you mentally explore the possibilities, then you have to decide what merits your preparedness efforts. I’m sure that there may have been some soldiers on the beach at Normandy who wondered why they ever bothered to bring their gun only to get shot down immediately. On the other hand, there are soldiers and grateful citizens that are still alive today because these brave and prepared soldiers acted with all possible readiness so that they could survive such a slaughter. For that matter, I suppose that any soldier who goes into battle could consider their rifle as an “optional” piece of equipment. Do they occasionally have the doubts of “What if someone is a better shot than me?” “What if I miss the telltale signs of a roadside bomb?” “What good is my body armor if I take a head shot?” Yes. But they still arm themselves to the best of their ability and let God do the rest.


Self Defense photo c/o threatsolutions.biz

Self Defense photo c/o threatsolutions.biz


Just as the firearm, the body armor, and the countless hours of drills are important to the preparation of a soldier’s survival, so are our preparedness efforts. Why? Because all preparedness efforts boil down to having OPTIONS. What options do we have to stay safe in our homes when others have to flee if we haven’t taken the time to prepare? If you have no food, water, fuel, clothing, heat, etc., then when there is a prolonged electrical outage in the middle of winter, you have no option but to leave your home in hopes that you find a safer environment. If we do not educate ourselves in matters of alternative health care, then someday the only option we have are to trust in desperation and take any vaccine that’s waved before us. If we do not practice and prepare to defend ourselves, then when the first desperate soul enters our home we have no option but to surrender. 


My husband and I like to play strategic games such as Chess, Othello, Sequence, and Stratego. We’re both good at these games because we’re always planning several strategic moves ahead. We specifically plan “now, if he does this, I’m going to do that, and if he does this, I’m going to take this move.” While it messes with my husband’s head when I’ve tried this strategy, I’ve never been able to beat him simply by deploying reckless abandonment in my moves. All it’s really done is finished the game faster.


Ultimately, the moment will come when we will have to meet our Maker and be responsible for how we fought the fight. Will we stand there knowing we gave up on ourselves and our fellow man by simply making defeatist moves, or will we proudly stand knowing we gave it our all to win and accomplish our stewardship? I believe we frequently underestimate our preparedness efforts and the worth of our existence to ourselves, our family and our nations. I hope that we will remember this when we experience moments when we ask ourselves, “Why bother?”



Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.


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When You're Not Ready

Post by wannabemountainman on Thu 29 Oct 2009, 16:25

By Kellene Bishop


Consider the amount of time that you’re out of your home and in an office or work environment. Some of you are “work-a-holics.” You go into work extra early and/or come home past rush hour. On top of this, consider the time in which you’re in your car. Now how about the time you’re in another location other than your home…family visit, the mall, grocery shopping, church,  the doctors, etc. OK. Now look at an average week and add up all of the time in which you are AWAY from your home and the preparedness supplies you have located there. I did this just this week and realized that even though I work intensely from my home, I am still gone over a third of the total hours of my week! In your case, if you work outside the home or are a stay at home mom, you may be surprised to see how much of a chunk of your time during the week puts you in a vulnerable position—vulnerable in the event that a catastrophic event may hit. So, in the name of being prepared and peaceful, instead of panicked, let’s make sure we do our best to get you back safely to your family and the majority of your supplies.


Decide on a family meeting place. tulsapartners.org

Decide on a family meeting place. tulsapartners.org


First of all, educate your family members. Make sure that everyone knows where they are supposed to go when “it” happens…whatever “it” is. 


Next, make sure that you have survival materials for your kids at school, in your car, and at your place of work. The chances of something happening when you’re away from your home is significant. So be prepared for it.


In your car you need blankets, flashlights, water, a first aid kit, and some no-cook, easily accessible rations like granola bars, etc. Think of these supplies as another 72 hour kit. You also need a pair of walking shoes. Ladies, we occasionally leave the house in heels. Wouldn’t it STINK if the trumpet sounded and we had to hike 2 miles in those same heels? Simply be prepared with an alternative pair of shoes in the car so you can always be as stylish as you want. This is also the reason why I suggest that you never let your gas tank to go below half. A spare gas container, anti-freeze, and windshield washer is a great idea to have as well.



I recommend a Conealed Firearm Permit!

I recommend a Conealed Firearm Permit!


A scenario such as this is also just one more reason I believe that folks need to get their concealed firearm permit and have a firearm with them at all times. I know, I know. Some of you are a long ways away from accepting that one… If so, just ignore and read on to the rest of the stuff. <img src=" class="wp-smiley" title="When You’re Not Ready"> (By the way, my husband is teaching a UT Concealed Firearm Permit class this Saturday morning (10/31) in Orem if any of you are interested. It’s only $50 and includes the fingerprints and photo. No, I’m not teaching it, I have a baby shower to be to at. Babies or guns… that’s a tough call for me. Hee hee)


The same needs to be said for having a 72-hour kit at your workplace. It wouldn’t kill you to experiment with how you would get home if your public transportation or automobile were unavailable either. I know some people have a LONG commute everyday. Let’s be realistic. You’ll be far ahead of the game and much more safe if you’ve mapped out a walking trek home from work rather than be a part of the mass of mediocrity who have no plan or believe they are going to panic and try to walk across the freeway.


I usually have 2 granola bars in my purse and some water with me at all times, “just in case,” obviously. I’m also trying to be better about carrying a little bit of cash on me. (Considering I once had to write a check for thirty-five cents at a toll-booth in Maine, you may appreciate just how tough that is for me to get in the habit of.)


Dwight's sword: one of many weapons from his personal arsenal

Dwight's sword: one of many weapons from his personal arsenal


I’m also very realistic when it comes to the need for self-defense everyday and during a time of disaster. I have my pepper spray, knife, asp, and handgun along with the skills and fortitude necessary to use any of the above. (Now that I write this, I feel a little bit like Dwight from “The Office”—emptying out my purse would be a little bit like him emptying out his desk. *belly laugh*)


One thing more you should be aware of. Being truly prepared for such a scenario will naturally put you in a position of leadership. During a disaster, everyone is running around with their umbilical cords hanging out desperately looking for somewhere to plug it in. When you are prepared you will stick out like a Babe Ruth in a swimming pool. (Sorry, couldn’t resist that scene recall from “Caddyshack.”) Your confidence and sense of direction will be very noticeable. So plan on having to give orders, guidance and direction. It’s just part of the territory. I tell you this so that you can take a few minutes now to not only be very clear on what your plan is when all heck breaks loose when you’re not at home, but also so that you are competently able to verbalize appropriate plans and directions for others.


Let’s do a better job of planning for preparedness away from the home as well as in the home so all your bases are covered.



Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.


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Re: A Community of Disaster

Post by wannabemountainman on Thu 29 Oct 2009, 11:56

Monday, October 26, 2009





Thoughts, Observations, And A Few Questions...




It never ceases to amaze me how people can't even fathom the possibility of America devolving into a turd world hell hole. I contend that it's happening right before our very eyes, but most folks refuse to see or believe it. They hold on to some grand notion of nanny.gov swooping in and saving the day, and if you ask me, that notion is pure insanity. Might even prove fatal. Well here's what I say to those people:



Pretty well sums it up if you ask me....

Now don't take this the wrong way folks, don't get yer panties in a twist... The following statements are simply designed to get yer brain engaged and thinking. Sometimes seeing something from a different angle makes the lightbulb come on, so bear with me.

For those of you who are planning to hunker down in urban or suburban locations, answer me this: What'cha gonna do when the turds don't go down the pipe no more? What'cha gonna do when you turn that faucet and nothing comes out, or what does come out is in interesting shades of green, brown, or black? What'cha gonna do when the roving gangs come a-knockin'? At 3 A.M.? Armed with automatic weapons?

Our ability to live in close proximity without coming down with all sorts of nasty diseases comes from modern sanitation systems. In a lot of places, those systems are very old, and in bad shape. Government is really good at building shiny new things to make the voters ooh and ahh, but not so good at maintaining old stuff. It ain't sexy. Doesn't dazzle the voting public, who forgets stuff is even there until it quits working. Nobody celebrates the sewer department, at least not until some malodorous brown stuff comes gurgling up through the shower drain. When the guys with the douchemobile show up and get the turds rollin' again they're yer freakin' heroes. Well, at least 'till Gray's Anatomy comes on...

Since I'm in the movie clip mood today, here's one that I think pretty well illustrates what the urban and suburban folks' reaction to SHTF is gonna look like:



The plain fact is that you can't survive long term on a suburban postage stamp lot, much less in a city apartment. You might be able to hunker down for a while, but eventually the food and water is gonna run out, while the trash and sewage piles up high. Not a very pretty picture now, is it...

Of course I understand that not everyone has friends/relatives out in the boonies, or can afford to buy retreat property. And I understand those who will chime in about "country folk not trusting you", "Can't just move in and expect to be well received", etc, etc.....

Like I said above, many folks don't think there's any way things could ever get that bad here. I say that line of thought is foolish.

I am pessimistic about the future because it seems to me that there just ain't enough folks out there who give a damn about what's happening to us, and what's going to happen. People are too lazy, afraid, greedy, or whatever to stand up for what's right.

The future is not written, it is what we make of it. I think we could make a pretty good one if we had more guys like this:



Stay tuned....



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Got Skills?

Post by wannabemountainman on Thu 29 Oct 2009, 11:42

By Kellene Bishop


Volunteer rebuilding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Volunteer rebuilding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.


Here’s a component of preparedness that few people think about—obtaining the necessary skills now that will aid in the rebuilding of our society in the aftermath.


Picture this. An EMP has wiped out all of our communications and electrical systems. After 6 months, many have died as the result of such a disaster, but what will those who have survived do now that our nation has been thrown back into the 19th century? Sure the wise will be able to survive about a year on what they have stored and prepared for such an event. But what about beyond that? Seeds and farming won’t solve all of our ails. Does anyone know how to work a steam engine anymore? Who will make the shoes? How will we obtain clothes? Who’s got skills such as metal work skills, medical skills, child birth skills, construction skills, weaving skills, etc. We need to prepare for that aftermath as well as the immediate aftermath of a disaster. 



Woodworking skills photo c/o bs2h.com

Woodworking skills photo c/o bs2h.com


This isn’t just about rebuilding a society. This is also about you developing a skill that you can use to provide for your family. Let’s say that you’re a CEO right now. I’m sure the paychecks are great. But in the event you survive a financial collapse or an EMP strike, your paycheck will cease and your skills as a CEO may bring you very little sustenance. People will be forced to only barter for that which they actually NEED, not titles. Your professional customer service skills may provide for your family now, but what kind of skills do you have to back that up with in the rebuilding of a society and providing for others? Even the most advanced computer programming skills will become insignificant if we experience any type of event like I’ve mentioned in previous articles. So think about this, and fix it. Be sure that you are will be a vital part of your community in the long-term aftermath. Start researching and learning these “old fashioned” crafts and trades such as woodworking, leather working, weaving, iron works, steam power, cheese making (yup, that’s what I’m focusing on…hee hee) Who knows. You might really enjoy it!


Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.


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Why I worry About You

Post by wannabemountainman on Thu 29 Oct 2009, 11:33

By Kellene Bishop


Last night I was begrudgingly up until 1:45 a.m. Finally I resorted to a sleeping aid so that I could get some much needed rest. (Thank goodness it kicked in at 2:00 a.m.) In spite of being reasonably comfortable in my personal preparedness efforts to be independent and thrive regardless of the scenario, I do have a nagging thought that plagues me and won’t let me sleep at night. What keeps the Preparedness Pro awake at night? It’s YOU.


I’m sincerely worried about you. If I’ve ever smiled at you in a grocery store, communicated with you via letter or e-mail, attended church with you, or seen you in one of my classes, I worry about you. In fact, even when I get a solicitation call and hear a human voice, I worry about that person. Here they are going on in their life conducting a mundane task and they aren’t the least bit aware just how vulnerable they are. When I sit down for a meal in a public place and watch people walk by, I genuinely worry about them. I find myself very aware of the human connections in nearly every aspect of my life. My postal worker, my doctor, the tellers at the bank, the TV news anchors and even the kids who left an empty beer bottle on my lawn—these are real human beings to me, not just an interaction. I worry because the vast majority of the people are completely unaware as to what I believe is coming soon that will alter their lives tremendously. I worry not that trouble will come, but that when it does, real human beings will needlessly suffer because they failed to take action now. It’s as if they are seeing the rows and rows of beautiful harvest but assuming it will always be there, never spoil, and thus they leave the reaping for another day. There will be much suffering of real people as a result. This is why I worry.


You don’t have to be a Christian to see innumerable evidences that our nation is ripe for a bumpy ride. You don’t have to believe in global warming to notice that our weather patterns have been peculiar as of late and devastating to many. (For the record I am a Christian and don’t believe in the global warming rhetoric.) A person’s political affiliation does not exempt them from cause for concern. An earthquake or tornado does not set its boundaries of damage by voting precincts. Clearly this year’s wheat infestations are no respecter of religion, income level, or astrological sign.


The fact is, our nation’s currency is only one courageous expose away from being worthless. The performers are stoically committed to their charade, but commitment does nothing to alter reality. 


I clearly expect Iran and Israel to be involved in a widely prophesied war within the next 3 months, the ramifications of which will be undeniable to our nation. 


Our nation’s enemies are merely emboldened in their evil intents as they watch our economy fail, our leaders bumble, and our citizens do nothing noteworthy in response.



The swine flu may fall short of its mainstream media billing, but considering the alarming increase in the numbers of tuberculosis and other diseases which we had previously eradicated from our nation, H1N1 is simply a dress rehearsal of what is legitimately to come, in my opinion.


Regardless what the talking heads say, we are about to see a food shortage unlike any since the days of Joseph in Egypt. Even the wealthy will find themselves in want for wheat and sugar in due time. These are just a FEW of the obvious concerns that make up a perfect storm for the unaware and unprepared. This is why I worry about you.  


There are at least 12 different studies which I’ve read over the last month which conclude that less than 2% of the homes in our nation are prepared any differently than those persons were who were involved in Hurricane Katrina—even after we all witnessed their suffering as a result of a lack of preparation. To me, it’s just as ludicrous as watching the 10th season of Survivor and seeing that they STILL can’t start a fire. You would think after a couple of seasons these so-called ardent fans who find themselves as contestants would have had enough time to figure out how to build a fire in the wild! The majority of the homes in this nation do not even have two weeks worth of food and water. In fact, some of you mistakenly believe that the water in the nearby lake is your own personal answer to water storage. That’s why I worry about you.


Some of you refuse to prepare for your own defense, thinking that the military or law enforcement will be miraculously available and trustworthy to aid you in your moment of despair. Over half of the homes that own firearms for self-defense do not have more than a round of ammo to go with them. I worry not only about you in this regard, but for our nation as a whole. No defenseless people have ever been able to obtain freedom and independence.


Some of you are working feverishly at a late hour to get prepared. But in your haste will you remember it all? Will there be enough time before you have to rely on what you have right now? For those of you who have seen a smidgen of light, don’t you wish you had started sooner in your preparedness efforts? I stay up at night wondering if you’ll be ready for what’s coming.


Some of you may have “stuff” but no sense. The solar oven has been sitting in your basement and you’ve never used it. The empty water barrels in your backyard are now an accepted part of the scenery. I once had a gal tell me that she LOVES her pressure cooker but she’s never used it with the lid on it. Some don’t know what a mortar and pestle is for, what to do with a shovel, how to ensure heat remains in a home, or how to filter their water safely. 


Some of you have no plan for how to reunite with your family if you are ever separated. I’m sure there are lots of families who lived through those awful hours following 9/11 wishing they’d had a plan. 



A wise friend once told me “People who stop living the way they believe, start believing the way they live.” In other words, I hear hollow excuses from countless individuals as to why being prepared in any capacity is “categorically crazy, unrealistic, impossible, irresponsible, and futile.” But these excuses will be inconsequential when the real turmoil manifests itself in their lives. This is why I worry about you.


Unfortunately, the problem is that none of you are reading this.  Surely your loved ones have pleaded with you to get prepared, but you’re not inclined your comfort zone and fluffy state of mind to do so. Perhaps they will share this with you in another futile effort to calm their fretful minds. That’s why I worry about you. But that’s also why I do this every day. While I may not know your name, your history, or your dreams, I do know that there exists a beating heart and a soul beyond all of those formalities. I know that you are important to someone. And as such, I feel like you’re important to me. I may not ever benefit or change a single person through my knowledge and passion, but it won’t be because I did not give my all. I can answer to God with clean hands. May you go and do the same.


Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.


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A Community of Disaster

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 26 Oct 2009, 11:48

By Kellene Bishop


New York policemen stand guard. Photo c/o Chris Hondros/AFP

New York policemen stand guard. Photo c/o Chris Hondros/AFP


Even hardened military personnel are taxed to their maximum ability when functioning as sentries for a structure round the clock. Regardless of how much military or emergency training one has, it’s simply unrealistic to think that anything less than 6 able-bodied adults can manage and protect a home in times of peril. Thus at some point it’s very likely that you will need to accept others into your home after a disaster that debilitates society as you now know it. Think about it. Let’s say that a home is “fully furnished” with a dad and a mom. In addition to the necessity of keeping watch on your home, there’s cooking, repairs, fuel acquisition (wood or otherwise) and ensuring that some semblance of comfort and normalcy are maintained. I dare say that most adults already feel strung out to their maximum capacity. So adding a 24 hour watch to your home with just the two of you either won’t happen or it will occur poorly. Either way that compromises your safety, so you will definitely need help. But who you trust and rely on to be a part of your home/community could be one of the most important decisions you make in your life. As such, this decision could be one of life or death proportions.


The circumstances in which you take individuals in will be a primary consideration for your decisions. For example, if the disaster is related to a pandemic illness, then taking ANYONE in could spread death to your home. If the scenario is one of a nuclear nature, then ensuring that they are clean from fallout would be an important consideration as well so as not to bring any radioactive material into your dwelling or spread to the occupants. Most other scenarios that I can think of at this moment are going to require considerations of a different nature yet it is those that I want to lay out what are the two most important considerations today.


die-hard-movie-posterTrust. Although we usually see these types of scenarios portrayed through Hollywood, there is still merit in appreciating how cowards and incompetents compromise the safety of all others around them. Remember the business executive character in Die Hard who thought he would make a move with the terrorists and benefit his own life? Instead he compromised the lives of at least two other people. How many times have we seen a movie in which the person who was told to “stay put” ends up not following directions and costs others their lives? While these examples have only been seen in the movies, they are realistic portrayals nonetheless. Thus those persons you bring into your home and community must be trustworthy. You must be able to rely on them to have a spine, follow directions, and that they will not compromise your safety and survival. In most instances, the cowardly and bullheaded persons around us are just as dangerous as the “bad guys.”


You want people in your community who are willing to contribute.

You want people in your community who are willing to contribute.


Contribution. Anyone who comes into your community should be capable and willing to make a contribution to the survival of the group as a whole. This can be in the form of vital skills, the ability to help with meals and chores, and also in the form of supplies when possible. They also have to be willing to learn to do things in the way that you’ve created as you’ve pre-planned for your scenario. In other words, you don’t want someone to come in, use up your supplies and then move along. They need to be an asset to you and your community. In a disaster recovery scenario, everyone except the sick and wounded must participate in the safety, well-being and functionality of the community. 



If it were me, I would recommend you making a list now while you’re calm and comfortable as to what you would expect from everyone in your community.  Then plan on enforcing it as much as is realistic in your scenario.


Obviously, being competent enough to judge and enforce what folks to bring into your community will require that YOU are properly prepared to defend and fortify your own. If you’re scared of your own shadow, you won’t exactly be in the best shape to play gatekeeper to your world.


Well, that’s my two cents for now. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this community matter as well.


Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.


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