Everyone’s a Prepper at Heart

Who doesn’t want free electricity?  Who doesn’t want to know that their food supply is taken care of?  Everyone wants to be independent, don’t they?  I know we do.  Why should we pay for something we can get for zero cash if we just put forth a little effort now and then?  Why should we continue to put food in our children that is questionable at best?

If you have made any effort at all to tackling those issues, you are a prepper at heart.  Yes, you are.  Don’t shake your head at me.  I know you like more Prepper lifestyle can save money.money in your pocket at the end of the week.  Depending on your location, you can tackle most of these issues.

While it is true that people living in rural or suburban areas have the easier prepping atmosphere, there are still things you can and should do.  Maybe you can’t get free electricity because you live in a high-rise apartment building in NYC, but you can make your apartment as energy efficient as possible.  The acre of garden is out, but you might be able to plant a garden on your balcony, on the roof, and all year long inside your apartment.  Doing both of these things will give you more money in your pocket at the end of the week.  How nice will it be to pick your own beautiful red bell pepper instead of paying $5.00 for one in January?


Talk is Cheap, Especially for Preppers

In his December 30, 2012 Boston Globe article, “How to talk like a doomsday prepper, Useful jargon for the zombie apocalypse“, Ben Zimmer writes about preppers as if he is standing on the fence.   He doesn’t say anything particularly harmful, but he does point out that some people think we’re crazy.  On the other hand, he points out that not everyone who preps is a “crazy loon” or survivalist living out in the boonies, isolated from society.  His final comments include, ““Prepping,” after all, is about meticulously taking stock of what one might need for the aftermath of anything from a mega-earthquake to a nuclear detonation” by which he recognizes what we are doing.

Anyone can learn the language of prepping.  Living it is another story.  Being a prepper requires a level of discipline and planning that few people can achieve in their daily lives.  These days, rarely do you see this level action planning carried out except by the military.   Is this where people get the idea preppers are some sort of quasi-military-type of organization?  Even if it is just one household?  Are people assuming because you plan and prepare to take care of yourself after an emergency that you have some militant mindset?

People are smarter than that.  They have to be, don’t they?  If the average person were to stop to think about what preppers do, they would all have to admit they should be prepared as well.  Everyone can think of several incidences in recent history where people were not prepared and whole regions of the country were caught “without”.   Imagine how differently the aftermath of those natural disasters would have been if the people were prepared for it.  They should have been prepared.  They live in places where those things happen on a regular basis.  It’s no different than preparing for your child’s college, wedding or retirement.  You know it’s going to come sometime and you better be ready.   Don’t plan on FEMA.  The more you count on government to bail you out, the more government can control you and the rest of us, but that is another post.

It’s wrong to expect others to take care of something that you should have prepared for in advance.  That is why you buy insurance for your property.  That is why you keep a cash reserve.  That is why you keep a supply of medications.  We don’t prep out of fear.  We prep because we know disastrous events have happened and will happen again.  We don’t want to be one of those people living in horrible conditions because we chose a cruise over the well-being of our family.  If we can afford the cruise and to take care of our family, fine.  If not, the better choice is family.  We always choose family.

We live in a disaster prone area.  Disasters such as drought, fires, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes happen often.  We won’t be happy when an event happens to us, but we won’t be wondering where we will sleep or what we will eat.  We won’t be desperate and become a target for ripoffs and scams.  Time is on our side.  We will shrug our shoulders and set up camp.  We will use our camp stove for cooking the meals we prepared in advance and start the clean up process.  We will get on with our lives.  My job will be waiting for me, and I won’t miss a day of work because we are prepared.  Then we will prepare for the next event.

Reference:  The Boston Globe, December 30, 2012

Frost Free Date Fast Approaching

By Joshua Livengood

While the new year is only 19 days old, the frost free date is fast approaching.  Early to mid March will be upon us soon.  Those of us planting gardens as a major part of prepping need to plant our seeds indoors 6 to 12 weeks before the thaw if we want to have a successful growing season.

Living at this latitude requires long term planning because the growing season is short but the winters are long.   Since the actual frost free date changes from year to year, it is important to have your plants ready to go in the ground
Source: Illinois Prepper Network

Who Has the Right to Take Our Rights?

Civil rights are being eroded with each passing bill in government.The government, if we let them.  Right now the public is focused on the second amendment rights we face having restricted even further.  We should be paying attention.  If we don’t, before you know it, it will go the way of our right to assemble, our right to free speech, and our right to travel freely amongst the states, along with a long list of other rights and freedoms we have systematically had removed.

Unfortunately, the citizens of this country have bought the big lie that all can be equal.  As long as people have self-interest, there will be inequality.  People naturally want to get as much “stuff” like food, clothing, shelter, and luxury items as they can so that they and their families are well cared for.  It is hardwired into our beings.  Even the most adamant anti-rich youth begin to find ways acquire wealth as they marry and have families.  When you ask them about it, they try to justify it by saying they are ‘just looking out for their family”.  Most of them say it with their flat screen T.V.s on the wall and smart phones blaring some ring tone.  They did the same thing in the 1960’s and 1970’s and so on.  Nothing has changed.  They don’t really care about equality or equity as long as they get what they want.

What does equality and gun ownership have in common?  In a Utopian society, a perfect commune, there would be no need for guns.  There would be no crime and no need for protection.  Just like Utopia never actually happened, so too is the way of people.  People will continue to have self-interest.  Not all people will try to meet those needs in a lawful way.

The first time a presidential candidate was proven to have used illegal drugs or engaged in any other illegal activity, everyone should have rejected him right then and there.  People who do not respect the law should not be making or enforcing the law.  How do you trust a government made up of people who can’t be trusted to look after your best interests?  You can’t.

No one but you will ever have your best interests at heart.  You are only one among millions.  But the millions can and should unite to remove the threats to our freedoms.  Demanding the Constitution be followed to the letter of the law as it was written by the founding fathers is right.  People and groups who seek to take our rights are unlawful.   There are legal ways of dealing with criminals.  We should start at the top.

Emergency Preparedness: How Prepared is Your Community?

As long as I can remember governments at all levels have had an emergency preparedness plan.  I remember those early grammar school years when Air Raid Drill-Life Mag about 1942 Descend to Basement Bomb Shelterthe nuclear war sirens would sound and we would all walk single file behind the teacher out of the classroom, down the stairs, down the long hall and line up against the wall.  When I looked to my right and to my left, the wall was filled with every child from the school.   As we were instructed to sit down “Indian style” we were also told to put our head down and cover our heads.   The teachers all stood in their dresses and sensible pumps next to the the first student in line from her class.  No teacher sat down, nor covered her head.  I always thought they were going to die for it.

In later grades we were shown emergency preparedness films.  From this we learned we could get fresh water from the toilet tank.  The films showed everyone going to the local nuclear war shelter.  Then came the local tours.  They were all windowless basements filled with barrels of water and crates of food.  A single bare light bulb hung from the ceiling of each room in the shelter.  It  was clear there wasn’t enough food, water, or bedding for the whole town, even to this grade schooler.

One day, as a young adult, I realized it was all hog wash.  Yep.  The government at all levels, had spend millions of dollars teaching people to run to a shelter where all would be taken care of for them.  By the time I was 18 years old I knew the government, with all its good intentions, couldn’t really protect or help everyone.  The knowledge that it was up to me to look out for myself, and the family I hoped to have, changed the way I thought.

All that has changed.  Or has it?  After looking at the civil preparedness plans of communities around the globe, it’s pretty much the same.  The local government proudly announce on their web sites, on the radio, and on television that they have a plan.  They try to reassure the public that they are prepared for almost every possible event, even a dirty bomb.  While they offer words of comfort to citizens, they don’t tell people what events they are not prepared.  The list… dirty bomb, check…. tornadoes, check…. blizzards, check…. earthquakes, check…. and so it goes.  There are rumors that governments have begun implementing plans to protect certain things from possible EMP events and major solar events.

But, let’s face it.  No public entity can truly prepare for a long term situation.  What they want is for people to go about their lives in a confident manner believing there is a safety net in case it should all go south in a handbag.  Believing that is like believing the kid in the desk next to yours really wants to do your homework.


Space Weather Announcements

The sun as space weather predictions are made.The government, in conjunction with the U.S. Dept. of Commerce sector of society, provides space weather alerts, reports and forecasts, just like they do for weather in our atmosphere.  The data is fairly difficult to find, sort and interpret into usable information.

The problem with space weather is that for some events there is only a 20 minute warning, but many other events are predicted for the next three days.  When you think of it, a three day warning is enough for the prepared person who knows enough to pay attention to the warnings.  Unfortunately, if an event is going to be severe or catastrophic, three days in advance is too little time to prepare.  It’s not a matter of “if” there is an event.  It is a matter of when.

For example, over the next three days (January 18 20, 2013) it is predicted that people in northern Michigan and Maine will be able to see an aurora.  Those of you who own spacecraft or satellites located above those areas might want to move them or they may sustain some minor issues.  Minor issues to me can be just as much of a PIA as major issues.  The power grid in that local region?  Some weak fluctuations can occur.  So, make sure you have a surge protector on all your electric outlets.

Let’s Talk About Glorious, Sometimes Dangerous, Sunshine

Whether you want to call it solar wind, solar radiation, or a solar flare, there is a great deal to be considered if you are prepping for a geomagnetic event. When one realizes the seemingly limitless power of the sun you have to take a step back and wonder if a geomagnetic storm is the one event that everyone should prepare for as if they expect it to happen tomorrow.

Geomagnetic storms are increasing in frequency and severity even as I write this. The government has created special tools that any user can use to monitor the activities of the sun. Geomagnetic-Storms-effects-space-weather-technologyWhile the instrumentation used to collect and interpret the data is quite complicated, the reporting features used by NOAA are as simple as clicking a few check boxes.  Now, solar activity is monitored like the weather.

When insurance companies like Aon Benfield begin producing products to insure the losses of their customers because a geomagnetic storm caused severe damage,we should pay attention. While Aon Benfield believes that the risk is small they believe it is a viable market because the damage would be severe and have far-reaching consequences for both industry and the economy.   Aon Benfield has determined that the graphical representation of the risk is pear-shaped. This means they believe the likelihood of a geomagnetic event has a relatively low probability, but a high consequence.  Most likely, a solar event will cause damage in a localized area, much like a blizzard or hurricane.  Such a situation happened some years ago in Canada causing people in the local area to be with out power for a few days.

In the past insurance companies have covered damages to property as it normally occurs.  Except, in some incidents where they have been allowed to call an incident an act of God. An act of God is considered non-insurable. An example of such an event may include a cow standing in the middle of the road, in the dark of night, and someone would hit it with their car.  Most locations have since legislated that insurance companies must cover such things. The act of God clause still exists along with some added things such as government, military and terrorist act exclusions.

Another example of how an insurance company may or may not cover damages to property is mold. When toxic mold first became known as a danger to health and structure, people had to sue their homeowners insurance company to get them to pay for damage caused by mold. Shortly after these lawsuits were made public, insurance companies began specifically excluding mold from homeowners policies because it was a high frequency and high consequence risk. For a while the same companies sold a rider policy to cover mold damage. Today most companies do not ask if you would like mold coverage.

In the same way, many insurance companies may or may not cover damages caused by solar events.This is important to know because many things in your home and car could be damaged and you might want your insurance to pay the cost of repair or replacement.  Because Aon Benfield is launching an insurance program to cover this specific cause of damage, it would be my guess that this event will not be covered and could very easily be considered an act of God and not covered under a standard auto or home insurance policy.

Aon Benfield believes it can only cover minor to moderate solar events and that severe events would be catastrophic beyond the scope of their new insurance policy.  Their plan is to use the fears of people to make money selling policies while they hope there are no solar events.  Since terrorist attacks and military actions are excluded from almost all policies, they would not have to pay out for an EMP event as a part of war.  In the case of a naturally occurring, wide scale event, insurance companies are willing to take the risk that they may not be able to afford to pay out claims and could bankrupt themselves.  As a prepared society, we should measure the risks for ourselves and determine if we need to plan for such an event, maybe even buy a little insurance.