Faith and Preparedness

The motto of the Boy Scouts of America is “Be prepared.”  Be prepared for what, you might ask.  And the answer would be to be prepared for anything.  While this has long been the motto of the scouts, the idea goes back much further than this.  God wants us to be prepared as well.  And just as with the scouts, we should be prepared for anything.

Jesus often told parables – short stories with a point – in order to illustrate a particular idea that he was trying to convey.  Rather than just issue a command, he would communicate the idea in a story that was memorable.  In Matthew 25, Jesus tells the story of ten virgins who were awaiting the arrival of a groom.

Five of the virgins were prepared for a delay in the groom’s coming while the other five only thought of the moment and did not bring needed supplies in case things took longer than expected.  Each had what they needed for the moment – a lamp to light their way – but only the five wise virgins planned ahead for what may come later.

At midnight, the call came that the groom was coming and the virgins should get ready to go.  But only the five wise virgins had enough oil with them as they had brought extra in case of a delay.  The foolish virgins had to go in search of more oil and were not back in time for the arrival of the groom.  He took the five wise virgins into the wedding banquet and the unprepared ones were shut out.

Biblically speaking, this parable is about the return of Christ and how no one knows when it may be so every Christian should live their life prepared for it to happen at any time.  There is a broader application to this story however and it teaches us about preparedness.

We may think we know what may happen in our life.  We make plans based on our goals and what we anticipate will be required to meet those goals and we even may make contingencies if those goals don’t come to fruition as expected.  It shouldn’t be a surprise that Jesus taught us to do this as well.

Luke 14:28 says “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?”  When you make those plans, you do so in faith that you’ll be able to complete the project.  As much as you plan, you also know that you cannot control every contingency.  There is a certain amount of faith that is involved with even the best laid plans.  You do your part and then trust God to handle the rest.

There’s also a broader issue of faith that comes into planning.  While we say that we should be prepared for anything, we know that’s technically impossible.  A healthy 30 year old does not make plans for a cancer diagnosis nor could anyone possibly plan how to deal with the loss of a child.  It is at this point that there can be no plan and the only thing left to cling to is faith.  Trials bring out the best and the worst in people.  While we plan in faith for as much as we can, when the unplannable occurs, we will only have faith to rely on.  These events will truly show the strength of one’s faith after all of the planning is accounted for.

Seed Experiments Opens Eyes to Requirements

Saving seeds.Over the past three years we have been experimenting with seeds to see which ones are best suited for our long term food supply system.  The results have been quite eye opening.

Theoretically, seeds are supposed to keep indefinitely in a sub-zero freezer.  We decided to to do a three year test to see how such a plan could be implemented in a home situation.  We chose pepper and tomato seeds from reputable companies for this experiment from each of the three year lots.  Some of the packages were placed in the freezer and some were left unopened in the house.  Since they are clearly marked by the manufacturer as to the years of use, it was easy to track how the seeds performed.  So, how did they perform?

First, the three year old seeds, the oldest seed group.  The bell pepper seeds that remained at room temperature did not germinate.  Neither did the seeds stored in the freezer.  However, the room temperature tomato seeds produced three plants out of 50 seeds, that’s a 6% germination rate.  The frozen seeds germinated at a rate of about 50%.  None of the plants were viable.  They did not produce fruit.

In the next seed group, two year old seeds were bell pepper and tomato.  Five of the room temperature bell pepper seeds germinated, but the plants either did not survive or did not produce any peppers.  Almost half of the room temperature tomato seeds germinated, and half of those plants died before maturity.  Two tomato plants are producing fruit.  The tomatoes have a 2% fruit production rate.

The current year seeds produced interesting results.  None of these seeds were frozen.  The pepper plants, of various varieties, but including bell peppers, germinated at a rate of about 50%.  All of the tomato seeds are now producing fruiting plants.

The cause of failure to germinate and produce plants can be any argument about the conditions of the seed quality, soil, temperature, location, water supply and so on.  One also has to consider how many times during the last three years the freezer was opened as it would be by anyone who stores frozen foods.

The take away from this is that if we were going to try to save seeds, either purchased or saved from our own crops, it is important to note that freezing 50 seeds could result in no harvest during a time when the harvest is needed most.  So what is a person to do?

Complete your own experiment!  Each person’s situation is different.  Location, temperature, soil, and any number of other variables come in to play.  If you have old seeds, test them!  How else will you know if they are still viable and will produce food for your family?  If you find a seed lot that does not produce, replace them with new seed.

For us, this means we will need to save many more seeds than the number of plants we need.  If we expect a 3% success rate over time, we will need 100 seeds to get three plants.  If by chance all 100 seeds grow, we will have plants for barter.

Considering the relatively low price of seeds compared to other preparedness items, it makes sense to buy extra seeds in bulk both to use and to save for a world changing event.

 

Special Consideration for Babies in Evacuation Situations

Babies Are EmotionalAmid all the planning for the basic needs of everyone in the group, people might forget that babies require more than the basics.  There are several things to consider when making a preparedness plan when infants are part of the group.  Traveling with infants is much more stressful and difficult because their life depends on you and babies are unpredictable and helpless in all areas.  Babies need routines and get cranky when their lives are disrupted too much.  Add to the cranky baby to the more stressed caregivers, and the baby becomes crankier.  Here are some ideas which could help alleviate stress for you and baby.

  • Consider your plan carefully.  Once you have developed an evacuation plan, practice it regularly so that you are not stressed when the time comes to implement it.  Evacuation can be stressful.  If you are stressed, so is baby.
  • Be certain that all items you need for babies is available through all parts of the plan.  If you run out of supplies for baby, both you and baby will be stressed.
  • Be sure to keep a papoose in your emergency kits.  Carrying a baby in this manner relieves baby stress by being close to you.  It also keeps the baby out of trouble and your hands free.  Be sure to use the papoose from the beginning or they may not want to when you need them to ride quietly.
  • The papoose is a double duty item.  Because using a papoose can calm your crying baby, it can also calm you.  When your baby is stressed and you want relief, put the baby in the papoose and just go about your business without the crying of the baby.
  • Remain calm.  Your calm, and the calm of the people around you will help the baby be calm.  Think about that person you know who is always calm and you feel calm or at peace when with them.  That is who you need to be for your baby, not just in emergencies, but all the time.  If you are worried and stressed, the baby will sense that something is wrong.  They will be worried too, and their response to stress is to cry.
  • As the baby ages, change your plan and supplies accordingly.   Add to your supply items like gels to relieve teething pain and other age appropriate medicines.

If you need to choose a baby carrier pack, do so wisely.  It needs to be light weight and sturdy.  Remember, if you are carrying a baby, you likely Baby carriers can help relieve stress for babies and their family.won’t be able to carry a backpack too.  Unless of course you carry the baby on front and the back pack on your back.  This makes it faster, easier and safer to tend the baby.  Baby carriers have come a long way in 27 years.  The new models have padded wide straps and comfort fabric.

I often put the backpack on first and then the baby carrier on front.  There was a time when I had a toddler on my back and an infant on my front.  I still had my hands free, babies were not able to get in trouble, and I got things done.

With these thoughts in mind, take another look at your plan.  If you are not pregnant, but might be during a life changing event, go ahead and pick up some items to have on hand for the future.  Planning ahead is the only way to be sure the baby in your family will not suffer great stress and neither will you.

The Game Is Rigged and Preparation is a Must

The Game Is Rigged and Preparation is a Must

by
Matt Moody

Many of us in the United States today see a country we don’t recognize. As a “Boomer” I have watched transitions in this country that really concern me. Regardless of your political persuasion, changes have, and are, making the citizens of this nation less free. There is a police state on the rise and most of those individuals working in those positions are the product of a specifically designed educational and training program.

Mural inside the Denver International Airport

 

(Mural inside the Denver International Airport)

Water, food, and other items are starting to be controlled by major corporations and new government regulations seem to be a directed attack on religious organizations that produce massive amounts of food for emergency purposes and family storage.  (See http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865579566/LDS-home-storage-centers-tweaking-cannery-policy.html?pg=all ) Insiders have informed me that this is due to new government regulations. More and more we see that some element of top down control is being implemented. We also see shortages of firearms and ammunition, reloading supplies and equipment, and other preparedness items. I was once able to openly purchase sutures and can no longer do so due to The Affordable Care Act restrictions.

georgia_guidstone
(Georgia Guidestones)
implant
(http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-implanted-radio-frequency-identification-chip-smart-cards-in-a-surveillance-society/10097)

Over the last year I had been working on a Master’s degree in Emergency and Disaster Management (EDM) from a university on the east coast. As I pursued the coursework I began to see a trend building – one that concerned me. I began to be referred to as a social scientist and much of the work dealt with social theory that looked exactly like that of Agenda 21 structure and New World Order ideologies. In fact, I had been invited to attend a webinar in which the discussion of “chipping” of human beings was a major topic of discussion and would allow for greater ease in identifying individuals after disasters in which they had been injured or killed. I am totally opposed to chipping of any kind due to my personal religious beliefs. That’s not to say that others would openly accept the chips for their own personal reasons.  

My point in this article is simply to state that there is a concerted effort underway by individuals, corporations, and others to control every aspect of our lives. I am very opposed to such a situation and encourage the readers of this article to seek out your own answers. I have done extensive research and have found enormous amounts of factual information on the subject matter. The more I research and the more I discover the more I am convinced that we need to really need to take preparedness very, very seriously.

eye
(Stock artwork, Matt Moody)
( http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/12-pictures-that-demonstrate-how-the-new-world-order-openly-mocks-us)

Whether you believe it or not we are all in “The Game of Life” and we are NOT the one’s holding the best hand at this time. It seems that we have all become pawns to the powers that be and to an out-of-control government determined to oppress each and every one of us. I’m simply stating what you all already realize. Either, you understand that fact, you are asleep at the wheel, or you are in complete denial. Those are the only three options people have in this scenario.

global_bank
( http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/12-pictures-that-demonstrate-how-the-new-world-order-openly-mocks-us)

 

In the end I am sure that those who have prepared will have the advantage over others who have not prepared should the times and seasons become very difficult. There is great wisdom in preparing for whatever may come. The essence of storage should be water and food.

desertWe need to understand that we control very little in our lives and so we need to be more determined than ever to control what we can and use wisdom in doing so.

There is a direct correlation between what our government, the powers that be, and what we are being subjected to as we live out our lives. We all need to do more research – open our eyes – and see what is really being thrust upon us today. So far, I don’t like what I’m seeing and it concerns me because I have children and grandchildren that will have to face this uncertain future. Truth seems to be the only thing that sets people free and it is in short supply when it comes from our leaders. The truth is that we as “preppers” are on the right track and we should continue to educate and help our friends and neighbors to understand the need for preparing for any disaster, economic collapse, or otherwise.

(Photo: KOCO.com)

On a final note, it is my hope and prayer that those whose lives were impacted by the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma and other states will be

Photo: KOCO.com
Photo: KOCO.com

uplifted and comforted by our support on their behalf. What a tragic situation. It is also my hope that those of you who have prepared for such a disaster in the area are prepared to give of their substance to those who need your help right now. Share your good fortune with others – food – water – clothing – your home – your extra car – whatever is needed and you will be better for it. Let’s learn to be reliant on ourselves and each other and not the government.

**Images in this post belong to Matt Moody, or are his responsibility.**

What We Can All Expect in The Aftermath of a Disaster, And What you Should be Doing Now

Members of the preparedness community are often reminded to cover the basics.  And nothing is more basic than food, water, first aid, security/self-defense and hygiene/sanitation.  If you have thought about all of these things, and secured the proper supplies as part of your preparations and planning, then you are ahead of 99% of the population.  No, it’s not a typo and I’m not exaggerating.  To bring the point home with more specific numbers – according to the U.S. Census there are an estimated 315.9 million people in the U.S.  Of those, less than 1% or about 3 million are prepared for a natural or manmade disaster.  These numbers are pretty shocking, especially when you consider that the majority of these people live and work in tightly packed, highly populated urban centers.  By implication, if less than 1% of the population is prepared, then over 99% is unprepared – that is almost everybody!  Even assuming that the estimated number of “prepared” people is somehow vastly underestimated, which I really don’t believe to be the case, the number of unprepared people is just so disproportionately large that after any major crisis we can safely assume the worst and expect the following:

  • The vast majority of the population will be completely ill-equipped to effectively deal with the disaster and resulting aftermath if it is longer than a few days in duration.
  • Electrical, water, sewer, garbage pick-up and other vital public services will be suspended or drastically cut-back, and may not be reestablished for quite some time.
  • The supply chain will be partially disrupted or completely shut-down.
  • In the absence of this vital infrastructure, food, water and other medical and sanitary supplies will quickly become unavailable.
  • Most stores will rapidly be stripped bare.  Think of your local bank, if 99% of its depositors all of a sudden decided to withdraw their money, the bank would be unable to pay everybody.  Why?  The bank operates on the assumption that the majority of their customers will never have a reason to all show up at the same time, and they plan accordingly.  Stores do the same, maintaining limited inventories to effectively reduce their costs and the amount of necessary storage space, since deliveries arrive almost daily and are tailored to the typical levels of consumer demand.  During a disaster, however, deliveries may not arrive for many days, weeks or maybe even longer.
  • The stores that are not stripped clean will be looted and destroyed by the criminals.  This is a very common phenomenon, during times of trouble we can expect to see the worst in people, and we usually do.
  • After any major crisis, even the law abiding members of the 99% will find themselves in a very desperate and dangerous situation where they are forced to leave the relative safety of their homes to venture out into the chaos in a frantic attempt to secure even just a small amount of food, water and other necessary supplies.
  • During these times people will probably find themselves without cash or other means of paying for the necessities they so desperately need.  As we all know, most people don’t carry cash and probably don’t have any at home either.  The majority pay, even for small purchases, with a credit or debit card.  If the power is off, or if communications are somehow disrupted, some goods may still be available for sale, but only for cash, something the majority of people will not have and will not be able to obtain from their ATMs anytime soon.
  • Police, fire, paramedics and all such first responders will be overwhelmed and vastly understaffed.  This is not hard to imagine since many states are deeply in debt, many are bordering on bankruptcy, and almost none have managed to escape the deep budget cuts that have affected even the most basic public services.  After any major crisis these folks will be asked to do the impossible, and I am sure that they will give it a heroic effort, but every human body has limits and the clock only has 24 hours.  Without the proper staff and the proper equipment many calls for emergency services and for help will sadly go unanswered.
  • The police will not be able to protect everybody from the resulting violence and unrestrained crime spree.  The chaos and confusion will be a wind-fall for criminals, charlatans and other societal parasites.  The unlawful elements are always among us, but during normal times they usually try to stay under the radar to avoid detection and arrest.  During a public emergency these vermin will operate out in the open and will not hesitate to take whatever they want, however they want, with little or no regard.
  • People who are prepared will be forced to hide from the hordes of criminals, looters, and just plain desperate folk.  If you have supplies, you will be a target of interest for just about anyone who is looking for what you have.  If you are unable to leave to a safer, more secure and less populated area, that is willing to accept you, you will have very few options.  One of those options will be to Bug-In and keep a very low profile.  (Bugging-in is the act of retreating into your home or other secure location and keeping an extremely low profile in an effort to remain undetected.)
  • If you’re somehow able to get out of an urban area in one piece, and you manage to make it to the countryside, don’t expect a warm welcome.  People outside the cities are not eagerly awaiting your arrival.  In fact, they will probably not welcome you at all.  You represent an unacceptably high level of risk to their security and well being   And in all fairness, during a disaster it will often be difficult to distinguish friend from foe, why take the risk?  Unless you have an established relationship and plans with someone in a rural community, think long and hard before showing up on someone’s doorsteps unannounced.

 

That was pretty brutal, but it’s also a fair assessment of the potential reality of the situation.  Now for the good news – you have choices and you have options.  Your basic preparations will only get you part of the way.  To get the rest of the way, you must make plans and prepare for how you will deal with the unprepared after any major disaster.  Here are 5 tips and ideas to get you started:

  1. Assess and understand your vulnerabilities in advance of any disaster.  Don’t wait until the last minute and think that you will be able to play it by ear.  You can of course do it that way, but you will drastically reduce your viable options.  Think it through now, make your plans and always have back-up plans.
  2. Always secure the core survival elements – food, water, first aid, security/self-defense and hygiene/sanitation.  These are the foundation upon which all else is constructed.  Without the core elements you have now firmly established yourself in the 99%.
  3. Have a plan for bugging-in, bugging –out, and bugging back home.  There are times when it is appropriate to leave, yes even if you don’t have a place to go.  If you are unlucky enough to lose your home to fire, destruction, criminals, etc. you will be forced to leave.  This is where good planning comes in.  Sheltering in place requires a solid stock of supplies and a good plan to remain safe and undetected.  Bugging-out requires supplies, a plan, a destination, an alternate plan and destination, and the means to get you there safely.  Plan, plan, plan, and always expect the unexpected.
  4. Make sure that your plans are realistic and viable.  I know people that have drafted incredibly detailed plans, had the pages laminated, studied the steps down to the most minor details and have set themselves up for a miserable failure – they never tested their plans.  Have you ever planned a vacation, and nothing works out the way you envisioned?  Of course you have, that is life, and things are almost never what we expect them to be.  Having an untested plan is almost as good as having no plan at all.  Test your plan and then test it again.  See just how realistic your expectations of yourself and others are.  And if your plan fails, that is actually good because now you have an opportunity to fix it, before it hits the fan.
  5. Reach out and join a group or form your own.  During difficult times cooperation is key.  If you hope to go it alone you may quickly realize that lone wolf style survival only works in the movies.  In real life no one person can do it all.  Reaching out to other like-minded people in advance will help you form relationships that will come in handy when times get tough.  But also don’t underestimate your ability to influence others.  Teach what you know to anyone who is willing to learn.  I am not suggesting that you hang a banner in front of your house advertising that you have supplies, but there are many people who are eager to learn how to prepare and your assistance may help one more family get prepared.

Richard is a practicing attorney and an urban survival and firearms enthusiast.  He is the author of Surviving Doomsday – a Guide for Surviving an Urban Disaster, and he currently teaches and consults in the areas of urban survival planning and preparation.

You can follow Richard on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/survivingdoomsdaythebook and Twitter https://twitter.com/SurvivingDoomsd.

 

Is Solar Activity Linked to Earthquakes?

The USGS tracks earthquakes and other earth events globally.  Scientists have been looking for a way to predict earthquakes.  Certainly being able to evacuate an area before such an event would save lives.

Some scientists have been working on the premise that some or most earthquakes can be predicted in a region based on solar activity.  The USGS says this is not possible.

However, The author of this video believes solar activity can be used to predict earthquakes.  Interestingly, in the comment section after this video, the author comments about the field returning to Japan within eight hours.  Following, the USGS noted a 5.3 earthquake at approximately two hours, during the prediction time window.

Co-incidence?  Reliable?  Who knows?  But, the USGS thought this theory bore enough weight to investigate, and to continue to investigate these possibilities.  Preppers and preparedness workers would plan differently if they knew earthquakes could be predicted hours or days in advance.

Enjoy the video.

 

References:

USGS:  Does Solar Activity Cause Earthquakes?

USGS:  Japan Earthquake; April 18, 2013

USGS:  Japan Earthquake; April 21, 2010

 

 

Emergency Preparation: No Toilet Paper – No Problem

by

Matt Moody

Over the years I’ve taught numerous emergency preparation classes to more people than I can count. In that time one of the things I have learned is that most individuals and families are taking one thing for granted – the availability of toilet paper. Like comfort food during emergencies we need toilet paper, or something else, to complete the process.

Empty Roll?  Whatcha' Gonna Do? Emergency Preparations Need to Include Lost of Paper Products.What happens if supplies of toilet paper, like so many other things, is disrupted or canceled altogether? When I ask that question to the students I often get laughter followed by their sudden realization that they are clueless as to what to do about a replacement for toilet paper. The answer is simple – toilet cloths.

cloths

We then put them into bundles of twelve (12) and used rubber bands to hold them together. We now have them in every bathroom in the house. A few years ago the local Sears™ store was going out of business and had everything on sale. My wife and I went in and grabbed up every washcloth we could find.  We picked up every color they had because the color doesn’t matter. We took then home and using a serger, which sews the edges as they are cut, we cut them into fourths.

The only addition to the toilet cloths is the necessary bucket to throw them in once used.  Do not flush them down the toilet! I acquired a 5-gallon bucket and placed a mixture of bleach and water in the bottom. I use about four to five inches or more of the bleach and water combination in the bottom of the bucket. Once full one can use a homemade “agitator (5-gallon bucket, lid, and toilet plunger combination) and wash them in hot water and bleach as you would wash other things under austere conditions. If your washer and dryer are working then use them. If they are not working then use another similar bucket with rinse water to finish the cleaning process.

 I know some families that have gone totally to the toilet cloth concept and are saving money not buying toilet paper at all. Most will not do that but at least now you have an alternative to no toilet paper at all.

 Okay, I can hear it now, Matt, we use toilet wipes so your toilet cloth idea is pointless. Hey, toilet wipes are a super idea until You'll run out of these too!you run out of those as well. If you have a warehouse full in your emergency storage then I applaud you. However, what happens when those run out or are no longer available? Utilizing toilet cloths will save you money and you will already be comfortable with the idea of using them when an emergency occurs.

Remember, these ideas and concepts are for camping or emergency situations. Personally, I prefer not to have to use leaves or the phone book should an emergency bring about tough times. I believe that this simple idea will relieve some stress under dire circumstances.

Matt Moody is a former Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps and a former Army Signal Officer.  He has been a licensed amateur radio operator (Amateur Extra Class) for 36 years. He has been a Platoon Sergeant and a Platoon Leader/Team Leader. He was involved in numerous air assault operations in the late 70s and in Special Operations in the 80s. He was a member of the Marine Corps Base 29 Palms Shooting Team (’77-’79), shot in numerous Division Matches, and is sniper qualified. Matt is also a graduate of the rigorous Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center and the Marine Corps Escape and Evasion (E&E) Course. Matt holds an AAS degree in Special Studies (Military Science) from Ricks College and a BS in Criminal Justice from Utah Valley University. He is a former Supervisor with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) where he was assigned to the Salt Lake City and New York City (JFK) airports. He enjoys teaching emergency preparedness and communications courses to individual and groups.

© Matt Moody 2013

Selfishness and Preparedness: An Article by J. Vanne

Selfishness and Preparedness

by J. Vanne

Recently, a small firestorm was ignited by Valerie Lucus-McEwen, a government Emergency Management employee, who had the temerity to accuse preparedness types of “selfishness.” While your immediate reaction may be – as mine certainly was – “Are people really and truly this thoughtless?” this question does deserve a proper answer, particularly as those who are easily influenced by the leftist media, or who believe the state really and actually is the omniscient, omnipotent savior of our personal and corporate lives, are actually asking this question. So, let’s examine the issue:

First, many preparedness types have, as part of their goal, the intent of helping neighbors and family who were unable – or unwilling – to prepare. In Preparedness in the face of a storm.my own case, part of what I have in mind is assisting a large group of mentally retarded and Down’s syndrome children that my church has taken under its wing (a group the state would do no more than “warehouse” if it were under their direction!). Not all preppers feel this way, but I would bet my bottom can of stored tuna fish there is an exceedingly large percentage of preparedness types who feel similarly.

One significant point of observation – that has significant ramifications relative to preparedness – is that, in my experience, the non-prepper type is generally of a socialist orientation. Of course, as most of you know, this approach was tried – and found wanting – all the way back in the Pilgrim era. Many of you are aware that when the Pilgrims first arrived, they worked out of a communal system. The result was starvation and death. As this approach did not work, they then “privatized” their system – and of course flourished. You can easily research this history yourself, but if one has any experience with human nature, it is immediately apparent why this didn’t – and has never in history – worked. The issue is that human nature is imperfect and selfish, just as Adam Smith wrote about in the Wealth of Nations. A simple recognition of this basic aspect of human nature – and finding a way to work with this reality, rather than against it, provides the most good for the largest number of people – exactly as Smith wrote, and exactly as history has shown for anyone who has eyes to see. To do otherwise impoverishes people, and in times of crisis, will lead to otherwise avoidable deaths. Working with this reality of human nature, rather than against it, has brought the greatest good for people overall in both good periods of history, as well as difficult. And for those of you with Judeo-Christian worldviews, this issue is why Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn called Communism “a Christian heresy” – viz., the Communist assumptions about human nature were completely off-base. Long story short, the question is: Is man perfectible (particularly with the best and brightest, such as Hilary, George Soros, Al Gore and Obama telling – nay, forcing – us what to do!), or are all men fallible, and the dictum of Lord Acton correct that absolute power corrupts absolutely correct. There is an unbridgeable divide between these two assumptions, and this divide makes itself manifest in the Hamlet-like “to prep or not to prep” debate.

The Fleet Street Letter put this matter perspicaciously a number of years ago, and is worth quoting at length:

 “There are two major traditions in Western political thought. The first is Aristotelian, logical, rational, centrist, mechanistic. You concentrate power and truth in the centre and apply it outward, shaping the world according to plan. This was the guiding principle of the Roman Empire. It evolved into the Holy Roman Empire and the Church of Rome. Except for Switzerland, it has dominated politics on the continent ever since. Most recently, it has morphed into the European Union. The principle is simple – smart people can figure out how to run things, and should be allowed to do so. This was the idea behind Hillary Clinton’s health care task force (and now ObamaCare), as well as Japan, Inc. and even Adolph Hitler’s National Socialist Germany. It has animated nearly every politician (each one of whom, as Garrison Keilor notes about Lake Woebegone children, are above average) in this century. But there is another tradition that is much less well understood. It is the tradition of the Roman Republic… of English common law… of Adam Smith and Emmanuel Kant… of Austrian School economists such as Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek and of pre-Rooseveltian American. It is organic, rather than mechanistic – the tradition of tradition, based on the recognition that people, no matter how smart, cannot replace thousands of years of accumulated experience.Experience is embodied in the evolved systems of values, customs, rules and traditions that people use to order and give meaning to their lives. A free market and a free society allow people to express these preferences, as well as allowing the process of social and civil evolution to continue. This tradition, in other words, is neither liberal nor conservative in the modern sense, but anti-political. Indeed, it is often seen as “anti-intellectual” because it denies the authority of intellectuals to tell the rest of us what to do (through the political process).”

Prepared for war?Perhaps you, like I do, remember the “best and the brightest” who led the Vietnam war? How did that one work out? Or, if that news is too stale, perhaps you care to visit present day Detroit – which was the first city to adopt the socialist “Model Cities Program” under Mayor Coleman Young a number of decades ago. Similarly, Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” was a quasi- socialist endeavour, which was intended to end poverty. You can judge for yourself what all those $9 trillion dollars spent on this “war” resulted in (hint: we now have just under 48 million on food stamps, up from 32 million when Obama took office, and with more poverty than ever).

The basic misunderstanding is, as Frederic Bastiat wrote in The Law:

 “Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”

There is yet another misunderstanding to clear up for those of Christian persuasion, as exemplified in the Book of Acts, 2:24, in the New Testament, which states about the early believers “And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common.” Dr. Jay Richards addresses this superbly in his book Money, Greed and God: Why Capitalism is the Solution and Not the Problem by simply noting that the early Christians held things in common privately, voluntarily and without compulsion. This is light years away from state forced sharing, and under compulsion.

One more important observation, that is applicable to the prepping community to consider is about charitable donations. When I donate my own money at present, I watch like a hawk where it is going, and what it is doing. When my money goes for taxes to “help” others – for the few dollars that actually make it past the money sucking gauntlet of bureaucrats – how much actually reaches its destination? Some research shows as little as 10% or so. As the saying goes, it is much better to teach someone to fish, rather than just gives them a fish for a day. I can do a thousand times more, with a million times more love, for 1% of the money, that the government could ever dream of doing, if I were left with my own money to donate as I wish.

Similarly, preparedness is most optimally left to the individual, not the state. I am clearly not saying there is no place at all for the state to assist. However, it should be ancillary and very secondary in function. To do otherwise is to set expectations that can only be dashed – exactly as was seen during hurricanes Katrina or Sandy.

So, how does this relate to preparedness with potential future catastrophic disasters?  In a collapse – whether it be Argentinian/Greek/Zimbabwe style, or EMP, or a global war, compassion must be personal and voluntary. Not only is it more effective, it is more ethical because it is more caring, more direct, and more efficient. In a collapse, there should be a voluntary exchange, and for those that are not prepared, there should be some type of assistance rendered by the one who has not prepared (it could be cooking, gardening; perhaps doing guard duty or carpentry). Where this is not possible, simple humanity and compassion should – and undoubtedly will be – the hallmark of many preppers.

In a serious collapse, there may well be a need to choose whom one would help, or not, but that is a decision that will be very personal. For myself – in contrast to the government representatives who so condescendingly accuse preppers such as myself of being self-centred, I will indeed (as noted above) look to help the weak and helpless. You may object by saying “A lot of good that will do – we should, as per people like Dr. Peter Singer, just let the weak die.” To which I reply “A society that only values those of utility is not a society worth keeping – and in fact, is precisely the type of society – with its abortions, euthanasia, etc. – that got us into this mess in the first place.”

Another point: I would be remiss not to mention in the context of this article the very self-apparent fact that for every person who is prepared, that is one less mouth to feed in a real crisis. This needn’t be addressed further, as it is patently obvious, but is yet another reality that the debunkers always seem, somehow, to neglect to address, though it is staring them right in the face. The regular silence by these debunkers about this very issue is a stark testimony to what is either a lack of critical thinking, or a purposeful lack of honesty when examining the relative merits of preparedness.

God – or for the non-believer, nature herself – has written self-preservation into our very DNA. Certainly, from a Judeo Christian perspective, each individual person has the right to self-preservation. The Bible is replete with laws allowing for self-defense in the Old Testament, and even in the New Testament – while unequivocally admonishing believers to be peaceful and forgiving. Even Christ instructed His disciples to be prepared in Luke 22:36 when he said, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.”

There are, historically, several approaches to defense in the Bible – complete pacifism, the use of “police” force, and just war, but that is beyond the scope of this paper. Suffice to say, self-defense is well within the historical understanding of options for Christians in a violent world, although admittedly this can be a difficult issue to navigate, and there is a range of conclusions which sensible people can come to within the pale of faith. Similarly, I extend this self-defense conception into the realm of preparedness. I think the extension is fair and reasonable, about which reasonable people can disagree in some areas.

Also, relative to preparedness and faith, Proverbs 27:12 explicitly states – and which passage many preparedness types are familiar – “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.” In a world where well-regarded individuals like Dr. Lawrence Kotlikoff of Boston University state the total amount of unfunded liabilities – federal, state, municipal and corporate – are now a staggering $222 trillion, where the amount of derivatives (which Warren Buffet famously once called “financial weapons of mass destruction”) world-wide makes that amount look like a molehill, in a nation where people like Jon Corzine can “lose” $1.6 billion and simply walk away without a day in jail, where lives are lost during Fast and Furious and people just shrug their shoulders, or a in nation about which Billy Graham’s wife Ruth once said “If God doesn’t’ judge America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah,” is preparedness unwise? Leftists may object, and that is their prerogative. However, if they wish not to prepare, then perhaps they ought to take to their own hearts and written commentary the one thing they forcefully invoke for everyone else in every other situation – tolerance. What business of theirs is it?

With all due respect to them, why is it our non-prepper friends, as exemplified by the written commentary of Ms. Lucus-McEwen noted above, why cannot they practice what they presumably preach about tolerance? Why must people like this actively vilify those with whom they disagree?  But of course, the answer is obvious – just as in the days of Imperial Rome, everyone but everyone must bow to the all-encompassing supremacy of the state. To do otherwise means crucifixion – 2,000 years ago, this was in the arena; today, it is the high tech lynching of a Clarence Thomas, the fashion execution of a Sarah Palin, or the just the “mere” thuggery against those of us who beg to disagree with big government by modern day Kristalnacht Alinsky ruffians.

The whole area of faith and preparedness admittedly needs much further and deeper exegesis – but hopefully this scratches the surface of the subject, and opens up additional conversation.  But even for the non-believer, one’s body is wired for self-preservation. And if nature is all that exists, logically one has no basis to “backtalk against one’s DNA,” which has written self-preservation into the body. From either a Biblical or non-Biblical perspective, self-preservation is an intrinsic “good.” Why should preppers then be castigated?

One final – and extremely telling – point about “selfish preppers.” The woman who wrote this disparagingly of preppers was a government worker. ThisHigh taxes makes preparedness difficult. means she makes a good living off of private sector people such as myself. As a matter of fact, I cannot currently make adequate preparations for my family because I have to provide a “princessly” salary and retirement package for her (the average government worker may make a third more in salary than a private sector worker, and retires much, much earlier). But here is the kicker: If there is a disaster – it will mostly likely brought about by yet another miscalculation by the self-proclaimed “best and brightest,” (again, think Vietnam, the internet bubble, Long Term Capital Management, Jon Corzine, the housing bust, etc.). Do you know where these “important” will people go? They will go to official locations called continuity of government shelters!

In other words, if there is a miscalculation, and a nuclear war starts, or an EMP or biological attack starts, they are all set to retreat to giant, specially built, lavishly equipped caverns – while you and I fend for ourselves, due to a mess of their creation! Any word from our “preppers are selfish” commentariat on that? Why not? If nothing else in this article sinks home to you, this should make crystal clear the hypocrisy behind the prepper criticism. The truth is, just as we see with today’s cronyism in high places, as George Orwell so aptly noted, “In the socialist workers’ paradise, we’ll all be equal… only some of us (usually them!) will be ‘more equal’ than the others.” Just ask Nancy Pelosi why her Congress exempted themselves, their cronies and their districts from ObamaCare if you don’t believe that.

In sum, I prepare the same reason my all my ancestors did each fall: I don’t know what the winter (or in this this case, the future) will bring. While for believers, God has promised to be with us and sustain us, as the old saying goes, we can’t ask God to direct our steps if we are unwilling to move our feet. I trust, and my feet move.

Free Prepping Series, part 4: Attitudes

AttitudeToday we are talking about money and things we can do at no cash cost.  But first a little primer about attitudes and misconceptions about the financial aspects of prepping.  Attitude is everything.  Everything you do was an attitude first.

Many people don’t prepare because they think they have to have a lot of extra cash to properly prepare.  While that is partially true, it isn’t the whole story.  Consider the fact that people do that which is important to them.  People say things the way the wish they were.  Most people will say they think it is important to prepare for emergency situations.  But the fact of the matter is if they don’t really believe there will be an emergency, they won’t plan for one.  Other people think they can’t do it because it is a monumental task.

This is exactly the same thinking about saving money.  People know they should have a three month supply of money, but most households don’t have even one month’s supply.   In America, many people, even those who make a good income, are one paycheck away from poverty and one month away from homelessness.  This serves as an example of the mindset people have that prevent them from setting aside money for preparations.

Would you like to have a guaranteed supply of food and clothing for your family should you find yourself without a paycheck next month?  Everyone would like security for their family wouldn’t they?  If you are in the situation where you live paycheck to paycheck but want to prepare, there is a way.  It isn’t “easy” but it is “simple”.  The first step to preparedness is free.  No money required.

If you read the series Getting Prepared:  A Primer for Beginners Series and the other parts of this series, you know many things you do require time but not money.  When you engage in these activities, your thought processes will change over time.   You will make choices more in line with what you want to accomplish over time.

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Meat Production in Nevada for Preparedness

By Joshua Livengood

I have met several people who are having a difficult time figuring out their food supply in Nevada.  Specifically, their meat supply.  Since many rural preppers meat supply includes livestock grazing on their farm. it makes sense that people in Nevada would want to utilize their land for the same purpose.  Unfortunately, in the desert, it is acres per cow rather than cows per acre.  This means the herd of cattle could be vulnerable to straying out of sight of the farmer, and straying into the sights of wildlife.  In the event of some disastrous event, the cattle will also
Source: Nevada Preppers Network