Why are we Preppers?

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People ask us why we are preppers and sometimes I ask myself the same thing. Looking at our country…our world, I have to wonder…are things getting worse? I observe things going along day by day fairly normal fashion. People go to work or school; families spend time in the parks or other family events. Life seems good most of the time, even though costs for basic wants and needs are climbing.  So sometimes, it’s hard for me to envision how far our country will have to fall in order to bring us to the doomsday many preppers (including my husband and I) are preparing for. To think food and fuel shortages, electrical blackouts and other difficulties could arise seem far-fetched.  Yet it could happen overnight.

The tornadoes in Moore OK brought devastation in the matter of minutes. Hurricanes, earthquakes and so many other natural disasters can as well. These are usually localized, but consider what would happen if something on a national scale.

News of government corruption brings the possibility of hard times rushing back. We grasp the national scandals and doubt whether our leaders are being truthful. Our politicians have legislated everything from our health-care, safety, and morality plus anything else they can get away with. These same politicians are spending our nation into ruin. They play God taking from the working and giving to those who cannot, will not or can’t find work. All the while taxing the rest of us into poverty.

On the local front, a friend took his boys into the mountains for a day of camping and hiking only to be hassled and ticketed by the rangers…they were not even in the park. Feds show up at the door of another friend demanding to know where his well is. They say they are going to gps it so if they need to tap it later they can and will. The feds claim rights (through the EPA) that all flowing water belongs to them…state, local or property owners have no rights. Unelected (appointed) officials are regulating many industries beyond what is necessary for safety. They believe they know what is best so they make regulations to force their beliefs on everybody. This is only the tip of the iceberg.

All this brings us to speculate about the future. The fact is I’m amazed things are holding together at all. I find it hard to understand why the public is not questioning and pushing back already. Are they so self-absorbed they don’t comprehend what is happening because it has not touched them yet? Or do they see it and figure, ‘That won’t happen to me or my industry.’?

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What will it take to wake them up? In Germany, the people did not see the evil until it was upon them. Everything done to change the country was accomplished under the guise of ‘This is for the good of all.’  Our government is following a similar playbook. Their spread the wealth and social justice follows the same path that leads to tyranny.

We are at a turning point. If we continue down this road, it leads to slavery. Government will expand its hold on our personal lives and regulate us into submission. Or we turn back to personal responsibility, freedom and self-direction. The question is…are we already too far down the path to serfdom?

Well, for me and my house, we will hope for the best and prepare for the worse. We are preppers and will continue to be.

 

http://fleetothemountains.com/

 

Privacy is Important, but is Overlooked by Some Preppers

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Facebook: The privacy saga continuesLet’s face it.  Some topics seem to be taboo.  Privacy needs for individuals and couples is one of those seemingly taboo topics among preppers.  Unfortunately, there is evidence that people design shelters that do not provide privacy even though it will house a certain number of family members and friends.

Designs are basic in nature with an open area for dining and such, a bathroom, and a large bunk style sleeping room that sleeps as many as 10 people.  In these designs the only privacy is the bathroom.  Therein lies the trouble in waiting.

Ask any mother if she ever locked herself in the bathroom to get away from the kids.  Honest ones will either say yes, or that they have a job outside the house so didn’t feel penned in.  If the only place to get privacy or alone time is one tiny bathroom, then the bathroom will be busy almost all the time.

Instead, shelters should be designed with a partition system between bunks.  Even if the partition is nothing more than heavy duty, ceiling to floor draperies, it still provides privacy for sleeping. dressing, spending time alone, or other necessary actions.

Everyone needs his or her space, even children.  Children spend many hours playing in the mud hole exploring their minds and the world.  If there is no place they can play uninterrupted, they can’t develop those thought processes that playing provides.  Playing is hard work.

How can you send your unruly teenager to his room if there is no defined space as his room?  Worse yet, what will you do when your angry teenager can’t stomp off to his room?  Instead he will sit right there and antagonize you since he can’t get away to some private zone.

Along this line of privacy, there is also the need for personal storage space.  And easy way to get some of that is to attach a storage box to the bottom side of the bunks.  In this way, everyone will maintain a sense of ownership of their space and all persons should respect others by not invading the private storage spaces of others.

Lastly, to help provide an appearance of privacy and alone time, consider implementing a “down time”.  This is a time when people will be engaging in only quiet activities and will not engage in conversation with others while inside their closed spaces.  This could be anything from a 30 minute reading period to drawing or painting.  Any quiet creative activity will refuel the people who are bugging in with you, but they need to choose the activity themselves.

Failing to consider privacy needs and personal down time of each person, regardless of age, will be a mistake that could cause emotional and mental distress during an already stressful situation.

photo by: opensourceway

Knowledge: The Most Important Commodoty

While we all agree everyone should be prepared for just about any emergency as reasonably possible, not everyone agrees about the details of preparing.  How much food to stock, weapons or no weapons, water storage and a host of other topics are reasons for disagreement.

Then there are those who want to know what is going on in the world and around town so as not to be caught unaware.  These people are thinkers and pay attention to the news so they know what the most likely threats might be and when.  These preppers act accordingly.

Still another philosophy comes from preppers who don’t want to pay attention to world events and think those who do are wasting their time.  Their thought is that it doesn’t matter when or how a disaster happens if you are prepared.

It all comes down to one thing really.  Knowledge.  Not only knowledge, but belief in that knowledge.  Own the information.  Make information based decisions without having to think about them when time is important.  That means learning something so well that you don’t second guess yourself when the worst is happening.

 

 

 

Ducks Don’t Know They’re Not Chickens

Did you ever go to dinner with someone who never once took a drink of beverage during the whole meal?  Did it seem weird to you?  Most people drink a beverage during the meal, but not everyone.  Chickens are like the person who doesn’t drink during the meal.  Ducks on the other hand, are like people who drink a beverage during their meal.

Ducks are good egg layers.Why are poultry drinking and eating habits important to preppers?  Because it will help determine how to house  ducks and chickens.  From the beginning, chicks and ducks raised together do great, from a social standpoint.  They don’t know about breeds.  But some important things to consider before making that decision come to mind.

  • While it’s a fair bet that most of you have eaten and like chicken and their eggs, it might not be true about ducks.  Before purchasing ducklings, closely examine why you want them.  If it is for their prized eggs, go for it.  Do the math about how many eggs you can use and sell per year.  If using the ducks as meat birds, be certain you like the flavor of duck.  Look on craigslist to find one to purchase for that purpose.  The duck may be expensive, but if you don’t like the flavor, at least there won’t be a whole flock in the barnyard waiting for you to eat them.
  • How many birds?  The more birds there are, the more feed, water, work and the more eggs and meat production.  It’s important to do the math before your buy your first flock of birds.  How many times last year did you serve chicken?  Or, how many pounds of chicken did you use?  What about ducks?  Did you prepare even one duck in the last 12 months?  Will you use duck in addition to chicken for meat or will you substitute one chicken for one duck?  Once you have done the math order the chickens and ducks to be delivered on the same day if they are to be housed together.  You can separate them later if you like.Chickens can lay almost as many eggs as ducks.
  • Are you going to sell the eggs?  Canvas the area to find out how many people will buy them.  You’ll be surprised how many people will say they want the eggs.  If you are going to have ducks, check local restaurants or bakeries too!  If a particular breed lays nearly 300 eggs a year, and you have ten birds, you will get close to 3,000 eggs per year.  That is nearly 20 dozen a month.
  • After you know how many birds, when?  Consider how often to butcher birds.  Some people do it once in the spring for the whole year.  Others in warmer climates do it two or three times a year. Birds ordered for butcher will be ready at the same time.  How old will they be when butchered?  This is important!  Breeds mature at different rates and max weight varies between breeds.  Do you want to be butchering chickens and ducks at the same time?
  • If you are going to use housing, what kind of housing should be used?  The more birds, the more space you need in order to maintain a healthy flock.  There are other things to consider such as which predatory wildlife needs to be abated.
  • Housing ducks with chickens will require a water system that provides constantly flowing clean water, or frequently cleaning the water container, since ducks leave floaters in the water as they enjoy beverages with their meal.  Water pans are not suitable for the water supply since ducks will get in and defecate in the water.  Chickens might get in the water, but they don’t like it and will get right out.
  • How much time do you have?  Babies take up a good amount of time, and chicks and ducklings are no different.  In a few weeks they will be old enough to be left alone all day as long as they have an uninterrupted supply of food and water.

While there is a great deal to consider before choosing to raise poultry of any kind, it is both satisfying and rewarding to know that you have a supply of eggs and meat as well as an income from selling your meat birds and eggs to customers.  Enjoy your birds!

Keep Your Flock Healthy

It is important to be sure your flock is well cared for, receive appropriate food and water and have ample space to remain healthy.  Clean the water and food containers daily to prevent disease.  If birds are housed in a building, it will be necessary to clean and disinfect the floors often or daily.  Housed animals of all kinds need adequate fresh air.  

Those who allow their animals in the barnyard to roam about and forage have healthier birds.  This is how most preppers raise their birds.  We know how important it is to treat the animals with regard to their health instead of only trying to get the biggest meat birds or most eggs.  There is a trade-off, but it is worth it to make sure the flock and humans are healthy.  The consequences of not providing proper care to the flock can be costly.

Which brings us to the concept of putting distance between the home and the flock.  It is important to keep the flock in a location as far away from the home as is possible.  If you have to take a little hike to look after them, good.  It is better for you and them.  If you want to see what they are doing and if they are safe, add one or two security cameras to the pen and barn.  Then you will know if there are foxes in the hen house day and night.  The distance from the coop and good hygiene and safety practices will help prevent the risk of salmonella or other livestock related diseases.

Let’s not let prepper flocks become a source of concern as the global poultry industry, including China’s recent H7N9 outbreak that caused many farmers to panic and destroy their flocks.

Last month’s news about H7N9 virus (avian flu) in Chinese flocks brings to light the differences between a family farm and a commercial operation, not only in China, but around the world.

Given that commercial farms often raise fowl in large buildings with little wiggle room, it is no surprise that diseases spread through a flock quickly.  The fear of H7N9 virus infecting humans who tend them and then spread through the human population caused Chinese farmers to decide to destroy their flocks of chickens, ducks, and all manner of fowl.

The possibility of finding H7N9 in the Chinese farmers’ flocks seem to bring panic to these farmers with good reason, as you will see in the following video.

  It seems they have good reason to act out of fear.  Make sure you read the subtitles clear to the end.  You may have to click pause to read all of them since they go by at the speed of the speaker.

Preppers and Veterinarians

Preppers and Veterinarians Make a Good Team.While prepping, most of us make sure we have enough supplies for our family, including furry friends.  That supply of pet meds and animal food is important to the well being of the whole family.  Dog and cats will bring in fleas and ticks, among other parasites if left untreated.  So, what about the relationship between a preppers and veterinarians?

Some animal parasites can be transferred to people, a lesson very well learned from watching Animal Planet’s “Monster Inside Me”.  Perhaps someone to have on your prepper team is the local veterinarian.  Even the American Veterinary Medical Association agrees having a veterinarian during an apocalypse is a good idea.  While veterinarians are best trained for the zombie apocalypse, they can transfer those skills over to any other doomsday event.

From their website:

Now, under normal circumstances, of course, we would never recommend that a veterinarian treat a human, but in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, well … physicians might be hard to come by, governing boards and malpractice laws are out the window, and if one of your party is bleeding to death, a veterinarian just might give that person the best chance of survival.
It makes sense.  The article is entertaining, but still practical in a quirky way.  Finish reading it here.
photo by: Army Medicine

Prepper Dogs

Will this cute dog bite?If you are like many preppers, there is a dog or two, or maybe more, on your property.  Maybe they live in your house as a member of the family.  Even the yippie little ones are usually good at alerting their owners to an intruder.  A well trained dog can be a vital part of a security plan.

On the other hand, dogs bite people.  Maybe not your dog.  Maybe not yet.  They mostly bite children, men, and old people.  But, according to the CDC, 4.5 million people get bit by dogs each year.  Of those 885,000 get bit seriously enough to require medical attention.  If the bite is severe enough to cause large medical bills or death,or the injured sue dog owners, policy holders file claims against their homeowners policy if they have one.

Dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claims paid out in 2011, costing nearly $479 million, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.)”.  That is quite a staggering amount of preventable claims.  Insurance companies are in the business of gathering money, not spending it.

Since insurance companies do everything they can to reduce risk, they pay attention to trends, including dog bites.  The increase in bites over time and the increase of claims has gotten their attention.  However, each company is different in its philosophy towards dogs.  Each state makes its own laws regarding insurance companies excluding breed specific dogs.

Insurance companies differ in opinion too.  If a company denies you coverage or excludes Fido, shop around.  Other companies may well not worry about dogs by breed.  Or you may be able to buy a rider or separate policy to cover any potential claims.  Certainly be sure to read your policy to see if dog bites are covered or specifically excluded in your policy.  When reading the policy, pay attention to the dollar amounts of coverage.  If someone wins a case against you and your insurance company pays out it’s part, you could be held liable for the rest or the other party might settle for the payout.  Or any number of other possibilities could happen in relation to the judgement.

Lastly, do everything you can to prevent dog bites.  Make sure your dogs are up to date with their veterinary care and shots.  The CDC offers tips on reducing the risk of dog bites.  All responsible dog owners need to do everything they can to assure their dogs are controllable and controlled.  If they don’t, and the dog bites, there is risk of losing the dog to city, county or state regulations.

References:
CDC
Insurance Information Institute

Hermetically Sealed Seeds?

20130504_142425_5According to the U. S. Food and Drug Administration, “Hermetically sealed container means a container that is designed and intended to be secure against the entry of microorganisms and thereby to maintain the commercial sterility of its contents after processing”.

That’s wonderful for food because it will keep much longer than foods packaged in some other ways.  But what does that have to do with seeds?  It means they will keep longer too.

Currently, people who save seeds or purchase them in cute little envelopes store them in the freezer to increase the shelf live of the seeds indefinitely.  Even so, the germination rate drops over time.

Many of us collect seeds, partly because we are preppers, but also because it is fun to get seeds from as many sources as possible.  What ever the reason you collect seeds, you will notice immediately that NK Seed packages feel differently in your hands than the other brands.

NK Seeds, part of Plantation Products, Inc., packages their seeds in hermetically sealed envelopes made from more durable and protective materials.  While their process and packaging is still patent pending, preppers can make the most of their seed stash with seeds that will store much longer than traditionally packaged seeds.

Some states require seed packaging to provide the germination rate of seeds for retail sales.  The lower the germination rate, the lower quality or older the seeds.  In some states, since germination rates drop over time, seeds packaged in the usual manner are not allowed to be sold after their expiration date and are required to be pulled off the shelves by that date.

Although the NK Seed package states the seeds are packaged for a certain year’s planting season, according to documents found at the Wisconsin.gov web site, hermetically sealed seeds may be labeled for 36 months instead of 12 months.

This means they have a 36 month shelf life even before they find their way to the freezer.  NK Seeds does not make this claim on their Texas packaging.  It simply states it was hermetically sealed and patent pending.  The products are affordable compared to the prices of heritage, organic and regular seed brands.  This shows dedication to the success of the home gardener.

**We gain no financial reward for this article, we just like the seeds**

References:
F.D.A.
Wisconsin.gov

 

CNBC’s “America’s Gun, the rise of the AR 15”

Law abiding citizen using America's gun, AR 15.How many of you watched the show?  If you didn’t you should.  It’s on their website.  It starts out benignly.  But don’t let that fool you.  The plot thickens as Brian Sullivan, the narrator, starts changing his tone.  In the beginning his words sound like conversation about anything.  When he gets to the  discussion about gun control, his own bias shows in his tone.  He sounds like a used car salesman who wants to sell you a bill of goods.

True, he does admit that the AR 15 is not responsible for a disproportionate number of deaths, that very few are actually killed with the AR 15 rifles.  But that doesn’t prevent him from attempting to make more people afraid of gun owners.

Sullivan blames the NRA because people no longer trust the government to take care of them.  Seriously?  With Supreme Court rulings that say the police are not required to protect people from criminals, who is left to protect them?  That puts the responsibility squarely on the family with no real hope that any police officer will absolutely come to their aid.  But, more to the point, a lot can happen in the three minutes it takes police to arrive, assess, and act if they are going to.  What if it takes longer, as it does in large cities, say five to ten minutes?  Or, what if they just don’t show up at all?  What if they wait until it’s over and then go in to clean up?

The fact that people don’t trust the government has nothing to do with any actions of the NRA.  Actions speak louder than words.  The government has taken plenty of actions.

Of course they had to bring up Preppers.  Even though the word wasn’t used, inference that anyone who prepares for bad times is crazy was there.  Tell that to people in Spain who have an unemployment rate of 27%.  That is more than double most places in the United States.  Spanish citizens probably wish they were preppers and had food and medicines in their pantries now.  It is a known fact that when unemployment raises so does crime.  It would be interesting to know how people in Spain plan to protect themselves during crime waves.

Sullivan then talks about women and daughters who use and own guns as if it is a bad thing.  What?  So what if a female owns a gun she decorated with pink, purple or some other customization. She is trained and knowledgeable about her weapon.  She is obeying the laws and learning a skill that will teach her respect for human life, and respect for the art of shooting. She will be able to defend herself from a would be attacker.  No longer are women considered tomboys like Elly May Clampett.  Women finally got some equality!  That’s a good thing.  Men shouldn’t have to worry about leaving the wife and kids home alone.  But they do.  It helps if men know their families are safe and can protect themselves when no one else can.

Then we hear about Cody Wilson and ATF agent Charles Houser.   Clearly Mr. Wilson is well educated and thinks clearly.  He understands human nature and sees how government is seeking to control that which is uncontrollable, the human masses and the one in billions crazy guy.  He recognizes that freedoms are being taken away from law abiding citizens every day.  His plans level the playing field so that people on capitol hill, with their own private protection detail, can’t dictate to the average person how to protect themselves.

Houser, on the other hand, merely states that only people with a criminal intent would want a “ghost gun”.  Really?  And they call preppers paranoid.

CNBC – America’s Gun, the rise of the AR 15.

Supreme Court Rulings

Police Won’t Arrive

 

Raising Turkey for Meat

Preppers overlook turkey as poultry to raise for meat.When considering fowl for meat, people often overlook raising turkey.  Most people, preppers included, only prepare the obligatory holiday bird for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  What a shame!  More shameful is the fact that turkey, like all livestock, is better when you raise it yourself.

There are several varieties of turkey from which to choose.  The “modern” breed of white turkeys is the most common in grocery stores.  However, other breeds produce good meat as well.  Choosing to keep turkey will provide a great source of protein with a unique flavor compared to commercially produced birds.

Turkey, like other creatures, need to be handled when young and through out their life so they are not fearful of you.  All birds will try to protect their homes from invaders.  The trick is to get them to see you as a friend.

When deciding which turkey breeds to raise, it is important to know if you plan to use the birds for breeding.  Some varieties, like the Broad Breasted Bronze Turkey, can’t naturally breed.  If you want them to breed naturally, consider the Standard Bronze Turkey instead.

Also, consider the skin color of the birds you choose.  The dark skin of the Broad Breasted Bronze Turkey isn’t as pretty to look at as the modern white breeds when on the table.  But the taste is amazing.  If you think your family can get used to a different appearance, you will be better off in the long run.

The males of both varieties can reach 30 pounds while the females reach 12 to 15 pounds.    Given these are good meat producers, don’t limit your selection to the most popular.  Take a look at heritage turkeys.  These birds are beautiful and some of them reach weights of 36 pounds.  A quick search for “Heritage Turkey hatchery” will bring up several options.  Try to choose a hatchery close to home.

Our favorite choice for looks is Royal Palm Turkeys *Heritage Breed.  But we will choose for meat production and the ability to reproduce.

If you are going to order turkeys, plan ahead.  They will need about six months before butchering.  Some people want to wait a year to gain the most fat and juicy meat.

Have you raised turkey?  Please tell us about it!  Post a comment!

 

photo by: TurkZilla