Saturday, July 22, 2023

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Sunday, July 16, 2023

20 Simple, Inexpensive, Basic Prepper Tasks

If you are looking for simple, inexpensive, basic ways to get into prepping, consider the following ideas:

  1. Use a bidet.  You can find a simple bidet on Amazon for around $25, installation is an easy DIY task, and you will save loads of money on toilet paper.  It really isn't as weird as it sounds.
  2. Grow some sort of food.  This can be as simple as sprouting, growing food scraps, container gardening, or (with experience) tearing up the entire yard and building a garden.
  3. Learn about HAM radio.  You can pick up a $25 Baofeng UVV-5R HAM radio on Amazon and learn all about how to set it up, find stations, and listen to others broadcasting.  If you want to actually broadcast yourself, you must get a license (a simple process) and you will have a secondary form of communication if the grid goes down.  Note that there are a bajillion videos on YouTube to teach you all you need to know about HAM radio.
  4. Camp outside overnight.  This can be done at a local park, local wilderness, or even in your own back yard and you don't need fancy equipment (years ago we would just take the blankets off our beds, roll out some canvas, and sleep under the stars).
  5. Walk and explore.  This can be done anywhere, anytime, and the only "equipment" you need are a pair of shoes (and you may not even need those).
  6. Create your own electricity.  All you need is a solar panel and a battery bank and you can create usable electricity for your household needs.  This may be a little spendy (around $300 for a basic set up) but the price of these systems have decreased considerably and the quality has improved dramatically over the past few years.  Again, there are a bajillion videos on YouTube on this topic.
  7. Stockpile food.  Begin by stockpiling enough food to carry you through a week-long disaster where you can't get to the grocery store and build up from there.  This can be as simple as buying 21 cans of soup and calling it good (three meals a day for seven days) or you can get more creative and mix it up with some oatmeal, dried soup mixes, granola bars, etc.  
  8. Practice preserving food.  You can dehydrate fruit, vegies, and meat in your oven, freezer jam is super simple to make, and pickle making is also easy.  Once you get the hang of this, you may want to expand into water bath or pressure canning, smoking, etc.
  9. Take any free or cheap classes offered in your community.  Libraries, health districts, fire departments, the Red Cross, etc. often offer free or cheap preparedness curses like CERT, first aid, foraging, etc.
  10. Build basic kits.  You can hit up the Dollar Tree for all of the essentials you need to make a simple first aid kit, maybe check out thrift stores and/or Amazon to make an EDC or Bug Out Bag kit, etc.
  11. Make a disaster tablet.  You can get a cheap Samsung android tablet for around $100 on sale and create a disaster tablet with all of the information you need on it should the grid go down.  The reason I like these tablet is because you can add a micro SD card to greatly expand the memory of the tablet.  Here's an example of what you may want to include on your tablet.
  12. Watch YouTube.  Instead of endlessly scrolling people behaving badly on TikTok, spend your time on YouTube learning things like self defense, shooting techniques, lockpicking, first aid skills, etc.
  13. Take a couple hours to make a family disaster plan.  You can type up the information on your computer or write it in a notebook, but gathering information and creating an actual plan will go a long way towards making you and your family more prepared for a disaster (plan example here).
  14. Get a radio.  I know music services have pretty much all gone online with Spotify et al but having a simple AM/FM battery-operated radio, or, if needed, a NOAA radio can be a lifesaver in an emergency.
  15. Learn to cook and bake.  Bread is super simple to make, as are soups, chilis, stir frys, etc.  Making your own food is a great way to stretch your food dollars, learn valuable skills, and prepare for the day grocery stores and restaurants may be inaccessible. 
  16. Squirrel away money.  Cash can fix many disasters large and small so to insure you always have emergency money at the ready, take every opportunity to squirrel away cash--both at home and in the bank--to use during a disaster.
  17. Do some calisthenics and body weight exercises everyday.  This is an excellent, free way to prepare for a disaster.  You would be surprised at the number of people who are completely unable to run, jump, climb, and do all of the other physical movements needed for basic emergency response simply because they stopped exercising years ago.
  18. Interview the oldest people you know.  Elderly people often have a wide range of knowledge which would be considered disaster preparedness information today (back then, it was called everyday life).  How did they do laundry before today's washing machines were invented, where are the best places to fish, do they use any home remedies for various ailments, what were the biggest challenges they faced in their lives and how did they overcome these challenges, etc.
  19. Take the entire weekend off from all media (no TVs, radios, cell phones, internet, gaming devices, etc).  Extreme? Yes.  Useful and enlightening? Yes.  In a grid-down situation, it is important to know how to entertain yourself without electronic media.  And after the initial shock, your brain will feel like it has been on a much-needed vacation.  If you must know what is going on in the world, go buy a newspaper.  If you are bored, read a book or play chess.
  20. Practice practice practice.  Practice building fires, practice putting out fires, practice fire drills and lock-down drills, practice bugging out, practice bugging in...if you don't practice the skills you learn, you may very well forget them so continually practice the preparedness skills you now in order to keep them sharp.

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Quick Tip: If You Are Going to Use a Burner Phone, Use It Properly

The (alleged) Long Island Serial Killer has been apprehended and one of the factors leading to his arrest was his use of a burner phone.  Apparently he didn't use his burner phone properly.  Tldr; if you are going to use a burner phone for nefarious--or non nefarious--purposes, use it correctly.  Here is how to use a burner phone correctly...

  • Never carry your burner phone when you are carrying your normal phone.  Seeing both phones ping together all the time can tie it to you.
  • Ditto, don't carry your burner phone when you are wearing your smart watch or using other digital devices.
  • Don't allow your burner phone to connect to your home wifi, work wifi, or cell hot spot.
  • When not using your burner phone, remove the SIM, turn it off, and keep it in a Faraday cage.
  • Don't use your burner phone to call people you know.
  • Don't use your burner phone to call the same people repeatedly.
  • Buy your burner phone and burner SIM anonymously with cash.
  • Let the burner phone and SIM age (don't use it for several months after your purchase it).
  • Buy a basic flip phone (not a smart phone) for your burner phone.
  • Use a physical SIM for the phone, not an e-SIM.
  • Optionally, you can de-Google your smart burner phone before you use it.
  • Never log into any of your personal accounts (email, Facebook, bank, etc) from your burner phone.
  • Use the burner phone for a very short period of time, destroy it, then start over with a new burner phone.
  • More info here, here, and here.

Saturday, July 1, 2023

10 Reasons You Need a Bug Out Bag

Whether it's a go bag or a more comprehensive bug out bag (BOB), you NEED to have one of these (or maybe both).  Some people have said they don't need a bug out bag because they won't flee their home and will bug in no matter what, however there are several circumstances where it doesn't matter what one thinks, as leaving your home--AKA bugging out--may be your only option.  Case(s) in point...

  1. Evacuating neighborhoods due to an active shooter situation is becoming fairly common in my city...and many other places.  The evacuation might last for an hour or it may last for days so you might as well have everything you need with you to be comfortable while you wait out the situation away from your home.
  2. Of course there are several other reasons you may need to evacuate including chemical spills, bomb threats, and other man-made disasters which can happen at any time.
  3. And for those who say they won't evacuate no matter what, wildfires and Katrina-esque floods usually change their minds pretty quickly.
  4. One of the most common reasons people are forced to involuntarily leave their homes is due to a medical emergency.  Whether it is a loved one or yourself, ending up in the hospital due to a medical emergency means you need to have basic emergency supplies with you to pass the hours--or days or weeks--in marginal comfort.
  5. Relationship issues can force a person to bug out, often at the last minute, and often as surreptitiously as possible.  It may be a stalker, a violent SO, or a lunatic neighbor that causes a sudden and urgent need to evacuate.
  6. Your house is destroyed by fire.  This too is surprisingly common in my city and pretty much elsewhere else.
  7. War lands on your doorstep.  I was rather astounded that even on the eve of Russia invading Ukraine, many Ukrainians were on social media saying they didn't believe Russia would really invade their country.  Obviously they should have seen the warning signs (like troops massing on their border) and bugged out post-haste.
  8. A deadly pandemic is a good reason to bug out to somewhere more isolated.  So called 'escape communities' are a good example of getting away from the masses to avoid the spread of viral disease. 
  9. Then there is massive civil unrest/martial law/foreign invasion which would force the logical person to bug out in order to live to fight another day (I'd like to think this is so unlikely to happen that I shouldn't even include it here never know). 
  10. Finally, some people choose to bug out...and never be found again.  It's an issue not uncommon in Japan and, checking out the multi-millions of views videos on the topic of 'how to disappear completely' get on YouTube, this seem to be top of mind for many people.

Monday, June 19, 2023

Don't Let America Be Disarmed

The TV was on in the background this morning when this story came up on the Today Show.  My first thought was "that is quite the propaganda piece".  Mostly because US media doesn't give a crap about anything that happens in Serbia, unless, as in the case of this story, it serves to further a US political agenda item.  Since almost all media is owned by a total of six companies, and since the media has a decidedly woke, leftist political bent, what better way to push the message that guns are bad and that everyone in America should be disarmed than having an actor (really, you can't call these people journalists anymore) raving about the wisdom of disarming an entire population, even if that population is in Serbia.  Don't fall for the propaganda.

Friday, June 16, 2023

The UN's Sustainbility Goals

The UN's Sustainability Goals, which are part of Agenda 2030, should concern everyone who cares about freedom.  Below are some examples of things that a global, unelected group of people feel they should have control over--everything from ID and banking to tobacco and other things that should be national policy (subsidies, foreign trade agreement, migration, where to put our tax dollars, etc).  Even though these goals are couched in the friendliest language possible, reading between the lines points to a truly dystopian world we are marching towards.

  • 1.B Create sound policy frameworks at the national, regional and international levels, based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies, to support accelerated investment in poverty eradication actions
  • 2.B Correct and prevent trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets, including through the parallel elimination of all forms of agricultural export subsidies and all export measures with equivalent effect, in accordance with the mandate of the Doha Development Round.
  • 3.A Strengthen the implementation of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in all countries, as appropriate.
  • 4.7 By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development
  • 5.4 Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate
  • 6.4 By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity
  • 7.B By 2030, expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States, and land-locked developing countries, in accordance with their respective programmes of support
  • 8.10 Strengthen the capacity of domestic financial institutions to encourage and expand access to banking, insurance and financial services for all
  • 9.A Facilitate sustainable and resilient infrastructure development in developing countries through enhanced financial, technological and technical support to African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States 18
  • All of SDG 10
  • 11.3 By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries
  • 12.C Rationalize inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption by removing market distortions, in accordance with national circumstances, including by restructuring taxation and phasing out those harmful subsidies, where they exist, to reflect their environmental impacts, taking fully into account the specific needs and conditions of developing countries and minimizing the possible adverse impacts on their development in a manner that protects the poor and the affected communities
  • 13.A Implement the commitment undertaken by developed-country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible
  • 14.6 By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation
  • 15.4 By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development
  • 16.9 By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration
  • Most of SDG 17 

Monday, June 12, 2023

Quick Tip: Buy Filters

Just a quick tip...with wildfire season kicking up, be sure to have a stockpile of filters for your HVAC system, vehicle (engine and cabin), air purifiers, respirators, etc. and change them frequently. They may be in short supply soon due to material shortages and high demand.