For several months I’ve been exploring different options for generating electricity in a TEOTWAWKI scenario. My initial search revolved mainly around gasoline generators, and I decided that I would get a Honda EU2000i. This is a great unit that can also be converted to accept not only gasoline, but propane and natural gas as well. This makes it a versatile unit worth considering if you have a source for any of these three fuels.
However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this was not a good option for my needs. I ultimately decided not to buy the generator for a couple reasons. First, generators are loud. If you are in a crap-hit-the-fan scenario and are using your generator, then you are likely the only one in the area making that much noise. You will stand out and attract unwanted attention very easily. Second, the usefulness of this generator is directly dependent upon the source fuel. When your supply runs out, then the generator becomes a heavy paperweight. You could barter for additional fuel, sure—but in a dire emergency, the general supply of oil-based fuels will likely quickly deplete. Prompted by Wade’s post, I had been considering acquiring a propane tank for long-term emergency use. But even still, the usefulness of this item has a hard limit that acts as a barrier for utility.
Ham (“Amateur”) Radio is a reliable form of communication that is used in all sorts of scenarios, from hobby/recreation use to emergencies. This type of radio use is termed “amateur” because such communications are not allowed to be made for commercial or money-making purposes. Note that ham radios are a “step up”, as it were, from FRS/GMRS “walkie talkie” devices.
Regulated by the FCC, Ham Radio has three classes—different levels of competency and licensed use. These are Technician, General, and Amateur Extra. Each class offers a wider spectrum of authorized use. In previous years, otherwise interested individuals were often discouraged from Ham radio because of the morse code requirement. However, the FCC phased out this requirement in 2007 for all class levels.
After a short class and a fairly easy exam, any individual (regardless of age) may obtain a license. Once a license is given, a callsign will be assigned as well (as an example, mine is KE7LMI).
In 1624, the English poet John Donne wrote in one of his Meditations that “no man is an island.” His poem explains how our common humanity ties us together in one common thread, and that as individuals we cannot thrive in isolation. Christians have been taught likewise, their common identity as followers of Jesus binding them together into a body focused on one purpose. Whatever the commonality that brings us together, the simple fact is that our spiritual and physical survival depends on our willingness and ability to help one another along our shared path.
This principle is especially important in terms of preparedness. When a catastrophe comes our way, each family will quickly discover a need for things they didn’t think to keep in supply, and only through bartering and buying from others will they be able to obtain those things. Isolated individuals will be easy prey for roving gangs and other desperate groups. Lack of communication will increase frustration, loneliness, and ignorance. Only by becoming part of a trusted network beforehand will we be able to more easily deal with whatever disasters may strike.
“This has happened before, and it resolved itself just fine. There’s no reason to worry about this time, either.”
In the past couple days, I’ve seen this argument made in all sorts of variations, with people asserting that there have been other non-threatening flu virus strains in the past, as well as other pandemic threats. Despite the media hype, these non-events have faded into history with only a minuscule amount of death and injury. While I agree in part, I believe that there is a “boy who cried wolf” danger to simply ignoring current and future threats, all on the assumption that since previous ones did not escalate, that other ones will not as well.
Any minute now, I might become a father. My wife is (very) pregnant with our first child, and the seconds are ticking until our lives change significantly (for the better!). As the months have gone by, we have dedicated a great deal of time to readying, studying, and researching how best to do everything we’re soon going to need to do.
Preparedness has played a large role—indeed, a central role, since what we’ve been doing up until now is preparing for our son’s birth. Having an end result in mind forces us to think in the long term, and purchase things, learn skills, and become well versed in all that will be necessary. Too often we get wrapped up in the here and now, and let our long-term preps take a backseat.
Preparedness. There is perhaps no other word that conveys so much, yet so little. What does it mean? To what areas of life does it apply (or not apply)? Being adequately and generally prepared of a necessity requires that we ask ourselves all sorts of questions, plan for various scenarios, and abstract our preparations enough such that they can apply to various circumstances, if possible.
For example, having a lot of food stored will help you if there’s an earthquake, fire, flood, unemployment, famine, etc. So, this preparedness item is quite versatile in its applicability and usefulness. Other, more specific items, such as a portable toilet or potassium iodide tablets, fill a much smaller niche and can’t be used for too many situations other than the ones they’re intended for.
Yet, they’re all important. Preparedness in this context means acquiring the knowledge, skills, and physical possessions that would enable you to comfortably survive whatever may come our way. In most cases, external circumstances outside of your control dictate what you must go through, and thus you cannot reliably foresee what will happen. So, preparing for the unknown can be daunting, but it is by no means impossible.
Life Caps are a new and fairly recent product on the market in the emergency preparedness category. I’ve heard of them on a few websites, and then I attended an emergency preparedness fair last weekend where several women were recommending them.
The product is promoted as an “emergency preparedness pill”—you take one capsule three times daily, along with drinking plenty of water, in order to provide your body the nutrients it needs throughout the day. The creators claim that these pills satisfy your body’s needs such that you aren’t hungry for food, which is ideal in an emergency scenario if you don’t have access to your normal daily amount of food.
Gentlemen (and some of you ladies), prepare to drool. I’m still drooling.
Last night I returned from a four day defensive handgun training course at the Front Sight Training Institute near Pahrump, Nevada (read: the boonies of the Nevada desert). I’ve been waiting for this weekend for a few months now, and it was worth every penny (stay tuned for how you can attend a course with fewer pennies than you might think!).
The following is a review of my experience and some of my thoughts on Front Sight’s training in general.
One of the related risks to a nuclear attack is an EMP blast. Rather than detonating the nuke at ground level and thus destroying infrastructure and human life, the bomb is deployed in the atmosphere, and an EMP blast results. In the former scenario you’d be dead immediately; in the latter, many would die slow deaths, widespread panic would result, and terror would take a drastic toll—all because people wouldn’t have access to their machinery and gadgets that enable them to do all of their basic, day-to-day activities.
Just think about all the things you do on a daily basis that require electricity: turn on the sink to brush your teeth; get in the car to get groceries; withdraw cash from the ATM; refrigerate your food; use the internet to follow the news; call your parents; turn on the lights at night. All of these simple, daily tasks require the electricity we enjoy in abundance today.
There are several markets that are booming in the current economic climate, and one of those is emergency preparedness and food storage. People are quickly realizing that fiat dollars and credit cards won’t feed the family, and are working quickly to stock up on needed supplies. Many people are flying blind in their pursuit of food storage, and are unsure as to what to store.
Filling this niche and marketing themselves to these customers (and others), several companies offering freeze-dried products have begun to more aggressively promote their products and fill a need in the marketplace. I looked into several companies based in Utah, and ultimately ended up making a small purchase through Tomorrow’s Harvest.
Attention, preppers! We’ve been given the opportunity to organize a group buy on the Volcano II Stove I wrote a review about a couple days ago. Now is your chance to get one for a great price.
To make things easy, we’re going to focus on offering only one of their products: The Volcano II Stove with propane attachment. This kit sells for $150 on the website; with the group buy, you’ll be able to grab one for just $108 (before tax)!