Connor

Utah Gun Exchange: A KSL Classifieds Replacement

After the Newtown shooting last week, many people looked for a way to respond. Companies stopped offering firearms for sale online, and KSL joined them by terminating their firearms section in their online classifieds.

Within hours, a few friends and I launched a new Utah gun classifieds website. Called the Utah Gun Exchange, it aims to fill the void left by KSL’s decision, offering Utahns the ability to privately buy and sell their firearms and firearms-related supplies.

If Americans are to learn any lesson from the atrocity which occurred last week, it’s that more precaution needs to be taken. As we regularly advocate on this website, individuals should be prepared for any scenario, and have the appropriate training and tools necessary should an emergency occur.

Our goal with the Utah Gun Exchange is to encourage exactly this, and enable Utahns to network with one another and obtain the supplies they feel are necessary to protect what’s most important to them.

I hope to see you in the exchange!

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What Would You Do? Car Edition!

When disasters, emergencies, or accidents occur to others, they can serve to us as a learning opportunity. When the Herriman fire broke out last fall, we posted information regarding how to prepare for such an emergency. When a couple earthquakes struck just west of Lehi this past January, we posted how to prepare for that event, and what to do in its aftermath.

A family in my congregation just went through a grueling experience of their own. Their story can be read here.

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Keep Your Emergency Preparedness Plans Updated!

For the past several months, I have been serving as the emergency preparedness specialist in my ward (for the non-Mormons: a volunteer position in my local congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). A few weeks ago, I was asked to serve in the same position at a stake level (for the non-Mormons: this means I’m overseeing the preparedness activities of 15 different congregations).

I have a lot to work on! One of the things I’m doing right out the gate is to update our stake’s emergency preparedness plan. Our stake was formed only five years ago, so when it was organized, they got the preparedness plans of a nearby stake, and basically copied and pasted the name of the new stake over the other stake’s name in the plan. Reading over that plan now, I curiously wonder how long it had been since that other stake had updated it.

Why, you may ask? Get a load of this… In a section dealing with what to do after an emergency, it says:

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Another Water Tank Group Buy — Act Fast!

Two years ago, we organized a water tank group buy and received a good response. I’ve now organized another water tank group buy.

These are new (unused) food-grade plastic bladders housed in new/used metal cages. 285 gallons! And it stores in a lot less space than you’d think. While I’m aware of others having stacked their tanks three high, due to space constraints (and a lack of a death wish) ours are stored two high. I’ve now had mine stored in the garage for three years without any incident; I rotate one tank every six months.

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How Prepared is the Average Latter-day Saint Ward?

It has become cliché for people to suggest that their preparedness efforts consist of a gun and ammo, so that in the event of an emergency they can forcefully demand that their Mormon neighbors give up some of their food storage. But do Mormons store as much food as people think they do? Do we all have a year supply of wheat, beans, rice, and freeze dried snacks?

A few weeks ago, I was called by my Bishop (pastor) to be the new emergency preparedness coordinator for our ward (congregation). In order to better serve those in the ward and help them prepare, I thought it important to begin my efforts with a survey to gauge where our ward stood. I had a fairly good idea due to previous surveys conducted over the past couple of years in our community (see here and here), but wanted a bit more detail, and with the high turnover in our ward, needed updated information.

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Volcano Stove Group Buy #2

The following is from one of our readers who has organized another group buy on Volcano Stoves. See here for my review, or here for a similar group buy we did two years ago.


I’ve contacted the Volcano Grills company and they have agreed to a group buy on the Volcano Collapsible Propane regularly $149.95 with 20 orders we can each receive a 20% discount on this amazing product. The group price will be $120.15. The deadline for this buy is April 15th (See details below). This is a great product; see the review post to make sure it’s something you want. Some of the stove’s highlights: it uses three types of fuel – propane, charcoal or wood. It is built to work with a regular 12″ dutch oven and collapses to 5″ for easy storage. The stove is also very efficient, it only needs 12 briquettes to cook one meal.

Now a bit of the background story on me and the stove. I’ve been gathering the necessary preparations for my own family and my thoughts have turned to cooking stoves and fuel. After doing a bit of research on this website I found Connor’s review of the Volcano Stove. After reading that I’m now fully convinced of the design and efficiency of this product and must have it.

I made several calls to a few local retailers and found the product to be out of stock nearly everywhere. Following Connor’s example, I decided to call Volcano Grill company and they are very friendly and willing to offer a group buy discount. The people at Volcano Grill tell me the recent popularity of this item has caused shortages everywhere. Most places are backordered 6 weeks and the places like Costco may not receive delivery even as late as this fall. I’m excited to receive a discount and share this with as many as possible.

So thank you Volcano Grill and Connor for helping out. Here are the details on the group buy.

Please spread the word to your community and groups. Ask any questions below in the comments section. Thanks.

Feeling the Shakes? Here’s a Brief Earthquake Review

In the past few days, there have been a few earthquakes just west of Lehi. As this page shows, we’ve had three small earthquakes (2.5-2.8) in the past three days. Events such as these provide us a great reminder of the need to be prepared. If the earthquake were much larger, would you know what to do? What immediate action should you take?

The following is some information which may prove useful for your review, in preparing for a future earthquake that affects us at a substantial level.

First, as a summary of the situation here in Utah living along the Wasatch Fault, this 10 minute video by the Utah Geological Survey is a great starting point.

One question you might have is whether this succession of small earthquakes is indicative of a larger one in the near future. Here’s one answer on that:

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Turtle Tuff Shelter Demonstration

As a web developer who freelances in addition to my full time employment, I sometimes take advantage of bartering opportunities. Last year one such opportunity presented itself—I was on the lookout for a military surplus tent of some sort, and came across a company (based here in Utah) called Turtle Tuff Shelters who made yurt-like geodesic shelters. Their website at the time was very.. ahem.. lacking, so I suggested a barter. They agreed, and a few months later I became the owner of a 24′ Turtle Tuff Shelter.

The interesting thing about these shelters, and the reason I opted to get one of these as opposed to some other form of tent/shelter, is that the structure is a geodesic frame which helps greatly with load bearing, wind resistance, with lightweight, high-strength, tempered, aircraft aluminum alloy rods. The dome shape distributes any weight or force across a broader area, thus minimizing any impact it receives. Each of the individual hubs/joints hold over 300 lbs. because of this design. The frame is designed to withstand almost 150mph winds when staked to the ground.

Putting the shelter together has been on my to-do list since last year, but not until today have I made the time to do it. With the help of a friend of mine, I spent the morning putting the tent together—partially, anyways. We assembled the frame and covered it; due to time constraints, we weren’t able to proceed with setting up the floor. Additionally, once the shelter is assembled you determine where you want your door and window to be, and you then cut out material, apply adhesive zippers, etc. I preferred to wait until if/when I actually have to use the shelter before making any permanent alterations to the materials.

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Preparedness on People’s Minds

Today’s edition of the Deseret News carries a story about the subject of preparedness being on people’s minds in increased fashion.

A recent poll of New York City residents found that about half are now thinking about preparedness, compared with 18 percent who were considering it in 2004. And increasingly there are associations of and websites for so-called “preppers.”

Earthquakes and economic meltdowns have made the need more “believable,” said Emergency Essentials co-owner Don Pectol, who has seen an uptick in interest in emergency preparedness.

The problem, Pectol notes, is that money and time are both tight. While desire is higher, it might not be as easy to accomplish in this economy. And those who are not at all prepared for an emergency feel like “they’re being asked to eat an elephant.”

It’s our hope at Utah Preppers that we can make the subject of preparedness easier, more affordable, and more realistic for those who understand its importance. It’s been a slow Spring around here since we’ve all been busy, but expect things to pick up over the next few weeks and months as we share some important information on how you and your family can better be prepared for the future.

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Do We Learn from Others’ Mistakes?

History and hindsight allow us the opportunity of learning and improving. But we must decide whether or not we will learn from the past — from our mistakes and those of others — to plan for a better future.

We saw disaster strike in Katrina, and saw the hordes of people suffering, starving, and sleeping in the stadium. Looters went after such unsustainable items as beer and potato chips, rushing in a frenzy to find whatever they could to “survive” until things blew over.

As one example of many, consider the following news report of the massive looting that took place after the hurricane had hit:

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Procrastinating the Day of Preparedness

(Cross-posted from my blog; for anybody wondering who Alma is that I reference at the bottom, it’s from a book of scripture from my religion—FYI)


photo credit: Michelle Cordes

Fancy televisions. 4-wheelers. Boats. Video game systems. Fancy clothing and jewelry. These and a slew of other material objects are some of the distractions by which people refuse to prepare themselves and their families for the storms on the horizon. In our culture of consumerism, instant gratification is a given; rarely do people acquire an adequate supply of goods to see them through troubled times.

This perpetual mode of procrastination has ill effects felt not only by those making such choices, but by those around them as well. Of course, those in this narrow state of mind do not even consider the consequences of their choices, let alone how they might affect others. Their focus on the here and now blinds them of any need to reflect on the future. A constant stream of entertainment pacifies them into a brain-numbing trance where, like the drug addict looking for the next fix, their cares take no thought of distant events.

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72 Hour Kit Rotation

Many products and services bill themselves as a “set it and forget it” way of getting things done. Adequate preparedness, however, clashes with this approach. Knowledge fades, food spoils, and medicine expires. One of the most important aspects of preparedness, then, is a refresh or rotation of your supplies or knowledge.

I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (like many people in Utah). Why do I mention that on this blog? Well, every six months our Church has a huge conference over two days. Since it’s such a frequent and expected event, I (like many others of whom I’m aware) have used the weekend as an easy reminder for me to rotate my supplies. Specifically, I rotate the food in my 72 hour kit (I refer to it as a “bugout bag” since it’s got more goodies than your average kit) and one of my water tanks.

This may be fairly basic for many, but here’s what I did for our bugout bags:

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