Friday, November 30, 2012

Daily Briefing For Friday, November 30, 2012

Eleven For Twelve

Tonight, we wrap up the eleventh month of the year.  As we enter December, we often become reflective and make goals on what we're going to do to improve ourselves next year.

I'm working on my list.  One thing I want to continue to focus on is being more willing to challenge the conventional wisdom.  I will tell you from past experience that doing so often puts you in a lonely place.  Most times, I don't mind it - just because few agree with me doesn't mean I ought to change my position or that I'm not correct.

And so along those lines, I'd like to share an article with you that I shared with a couple of friends earlier this year.  This piece from the Miami Herald ran in 1987 and describes a government program known as Rex 84.  Until this year, I'd never heard of this.  In essence, top officials in the Reagan Administration created a shadow government, parallel to one created by the Constitution, which had essentially no oversight from any governmental agency except from those who ran it.

The fifth page of the article is the most troubling.  The idea that our government would plan on building "assembly centers or relocation camps" for 21 million "American Negros" (their words, not mine) blew me away.  If you do the math from data about that era, you realize quickly this shadow government intended to inter every black American in the event of "violent and widespread internal dissent."

Think about that.  An entire race put into a prison camp, presumably with no trial or hearing, because of the threat of civil unrest they might cause.

Friends, I know this sounds crazy.  But I am just sharing with you a story the Miami Herald covered. 

If this sort of thing is happening - where unaccountable government agencies, of which we know nothing, run free of the Constitution, what else do we not know?

Do you care?  Do you want to know?  Does this bother you?

My hope is that in 2013, I will be more open to having my beliefs challenged.  I hope you will be as well.

Vodka Loaded Apocalypse Kits

In Siberia, these are selling well it seems.  This brings us to a good point - what use is alcohol to a prepper?

I'm thinking alcohol would be a great thing to stock up on.  Aside from its traditional usage, alcohol such as Everclear north of 100 proof will burn, making it:
  • a great fire starter.
  • a great anti sceptic.
  • a great barter item (for all of the above reasons)
Of course, over consumption can cause people to mistake you for a zombie:

Usual after-effects of underestimating Everclear. Never again.

The guy on the left is literally blowing chunks out of his nose he's puking so hard.  And don't any of you judge him.  You have done similar things.

Not Deterred By A No Guns On Campus Policy, The Perp Kills Three With A Bow And Arrow.

Brian shared this tragic story earlier today.  Note that the school's security team was unarmed. 

Wake up, America.  Crime and nut jobs are everywhere.  And they don't need guns to go on a rampage. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Daily Briefing For Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Forecast Has Changed.

I should have been a weatherman.  Seriously.  I wanted to be one when I was a little kid.  I obsessed about the weather.  I even had a weather station in my bedroom, complete with a five foot tall weather map of CONUS, a wind speed indicator, barometer and weather radio.  (You can see I was into preparedness at an early age.)  Back about 14 years ago, I even enrolled in the Broadcast Meteorology program at Mississippi State and started to take two courses via long distance learning.  My 60+ hour work schedule in the law firm made me drop my studies mid-semester. 

Want to know one of the many things that's cool about being a weatherman?  You can be wrong and no one cares.  None of my legal clients has ever said to me, "Don't worry if you're wrong or screw up.  We'll still pay you anyway."  Weathermen can totally biff a call and keep their jobs.  Awesome work if you can get it.

The long term forecast for CONUS has changed, and it's not good.  Instead of the above average rainfall we were supposed to get this winter, we're back down to average.  And temperatures, instead of being below average, will now likely be above average.  I'm not complaining about the prospects of a warm winter....but I would like for us to get some rain.  We need it.

So do with this data what you will.  As for me, I think we're safe from any serious winter weather.  Provided they don't change the forecast again.

Christmas Gift Ideas for Preppers

I ran across this article - you may find some ideas on what to get your friends and family for Christmas.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Daily Briefing For Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Another Shameless Plug For the SDS Conference - January 5, 2013

Karl is the ticket taker.  Read more about the conference in his newsletter, and sign up for the conference here.  Later this week, I will be able to announce the roster of speakers and their topics.

I will be giving door prizes away.  Must be present to win!

My Trip To OKC Yesterday

I had extra time in Oklahoma City yesterday before a meeting, and so I took in the OKC Memorial and Museum.  You may recall that in April 1995, Timothy McVeigh detonated a Ryder truck full of explosives in front of the Federal building in downtown Oklahoma City. 

I highly recommend the museum.  It's very well done.  To see the personal belongings - toys, shoes, watches - of the victims was quite emotional. 

The museum and memorial serve as a grim reminder that we are not guaranteed security in this life.  It's up to us to be as ready as possible to withstand hardships and to help others enduring them. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Daily Briefing For Wednesday, November 21, 2012

So Things Are Getting Better, Right?

One of the challenges I face in encouraging others to be better prepared is that of optimism.  Optimism is a great quality, except when it acts to discourage you from taking action to become more self-sufficient. 

We see this phenomenon often.  When the economy improves, people lose their fear of an economic set back.  When we go several years without a hurricane or severe weather, people pay less attention to the risk such weather hazards create. 

I suspect some folks out there are reading the news and drawing the conclusion that since there are signs things are getting better, they can let their guard down.  It's easy to see why:

Given the fact our economy seems to be rebounding, does this mean we're okay to slack off?

I'd like to give you a couple of things to consider.  First, there are still a number of reasons to believe our economic recovery remains fragile.  U.S. News reports that more Americans will use food stamps this Thanksgiving than ever before.  And at one food bank, demand for food is up 400% from last year. 

And second, even if the first point wasn't true (or if you disagree with it), the peril you face may not be the one you're preparing for.  Lots of people prepared for Y2K - a huge non-event - and yet some twenty months later, we were facing the shock of the 9/11 attacks.  And think about New Orleans - years between major hurricanes certainly lulled many there into a false sense of security, only to get a tutorial on how bad things can get if you're not prepared for a large hurricane.

Don't get fixated on this crisis or that threat.  Life is a series of challenges, and even a few disasters every now and then.  We prepare for them the best we can, not getting fixated on the looming crisis nor letting our guard down when it doesn't happen.

I Have It On Good Authority There's No Crime In My Neighborhood.

A few years ago, I took on the (thankless) role of Traffic and Safety Chairman for our HOA.  Failing to heed the old adage that nothing good ever comes from a HOA, I jumped in with both feet in an effort to raise awareness of the various crimes that were being committed in our hood and surrounding hoods.

My efforts were met with ridicule and scorn.  One person disdainfully emailed me to say "we live in a crime free neighborhood" after I shared reports from other residents about a suspicious vehicle that had been seen driving around.  (A few months later, a break in occurred in the very cul de sac where this same complainer lives.) 

On another evening, when the spouse of a frequent reader of this blog called me to say someone attempted a home invasion at her home moments earlier, I emailed the HOA members to let them know what happened.  The reaction was fierce - I was accused by many of "fear mongering."  (The suspect went into one backyard, took a chair from the patio, used that to crawl over the fence into the second backyard where the caller lived, and tried to make entry into the back door of the house, at night, with all the lights on inside.  I'm pretty sure that's a home invasion by definition.)

And so today, I chucked when I read a story in our local newspaper that local deputies had run down a car jacker from another part of town roughly 1,000 yards from where my wife works.  The deputy had opened fire on the suspect vehicle in an effort to get it to stop. 

Just because you live in a "safe" neighborhood doesn't mean you are immune from crime.  In today's instance, law enforcement opened fire on a vehicle less than two miles from our house. 

These things happen.  Prepare accordingly.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Daily Briefing For Monday, November 19, 2012

I Tell You Things.  And On Occasion, I Am Correct.

Back in April, I warned you about an increase in demand for preparedness food supplies.  This evening, 12 of 25 bulk food items sold by Emergency Essentials are on back order.  Check it out for yourself. 

It's hard to discern the precise reason for the uptick in demand.  I can speculate that it's driven by a number of factors.  Let me take this opportunity to once again ask you to start working towards some level of self sufficiency - where you can take care of yourself and your family for a period of time after a major storm, power outage, loss of a job, or some sort of market collapse.

Revamping How We Train

I had a great CHL class yesterday.  Everyone passed, which is always nice. 

I used the class as an opportunity to use a training technique known as force on force.  In its simplest form, it's role playing.  Each student is given an individual script. Some are innocent bystanders who freak out when the action starts, others are CHL holders minding their own business.  Of course, there's a bad guy or two thrown in to see how people react.

In yesterday's class, we had three different scenarios - a convenience store, a restaurant, and at a gas station.  We used my pick up truck in the driveway as the scene for the third one; my neighbors walking up and down the sidewalks added a sense of realism. 

It was interesting to see the decision making process evolve for the students as we went through the scenarios.  Initially, the actor playing the role of the CHL holder wants to pull out their toy gun and shoot the bad guy.  As we debrief each session, we discuss why that's most often the wrong answer: unless your life is in danger, it's best to pull back, take a defensive position, call 911 and be a good witness.   By the end of the force on force training, the CHL holders were making good decisions - utilizing cover, calling 911, defusing situations with nonviolent means.

I don't know how many CHL instructors are utilizing force on force in their classes.  I found it to be a very effective tool, and the students appreciated the opportunity to get more involved in the training rather than listen to me in a classroom setting.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Daily Briefing For Thursday, November 14, 2012

Stop Complaining.  Keep Preparing.

We're now eight days post election.  Like many of you, I'm still processing what can be learned from the results.

In the last several days, I've written at least three drafts for a blog entry.  All of them were quite verbose.  So tonight, I will be more succinct.

First, if you're a Romney supporter, your guy lost.  If you haven't come to grips with that, please do so quickly.  This secession nonsense hurts the conservative movement.  It makes us look like crybabies.  Stop it and man up.  Your guy failed to garner as many votes as McCain did in 2008.  No amount of voter fraud could make up the difference.  And even if he had won, a number of us would have let our guard down and dialed down our efforts to become more self sufficient.  So in a way, his loss is good motivation for many to keep focusing on reducing their personal debt, getting their affairs squared away, taking better care of our health, and having the necessities in quantity to get through the next Hurricane Sandy or economic meltdown in the financial markets.

For my Obama supporting friends, please don't think by returning your man to the White House we're "out of the woods" by any stretch.  Our debt continues to grow, the EU continues to crater, and Bengazi-gate continues to get more convoluted by the hour it seems.  We're growing food stamp rolls seventy five times faster than we're creating jobs.  I don't care who is in the White House - this cannot be a good thing for America.  And simply taxing the rich at higher rates won't fix the problem

The same issues that faced us on November 6 face us today.  There will always be pressures to infringe upon our rights to own guns.  There will always be efforts to expand government intrusion into our lives - be it through taxes, regulations, or elimination of civil liberties.  And guess what?   Romney would not have eliminated any of those concerns. 

It's time to emphasize the prepare in preparedness.  Yes, it's fine to be disappointed that your candidate didn't win - at least for most of you, your candidate had a chance.  My candidate - Gary Johnson - didn't.  It's also fine to encourage our friends in the GOP to start choosing more conservative candidates who are more libertarian in their thinking.  But don't lose sight of what we need to be doing to be better able to care for our families in a time of crisis. 

I know many of you are upset.  Channel that emotion into something positive.

Taking Reservations For The January 5 Preparedness Conference!

I'm excited to formally announce KR Training will be my marketing partner for the First Annual Suburban Dad Survivalist Preparedness Conference on Saturday, January 5 at Cabela's in Buda, Texas.  The conference runs from 10 AM to 4 PM.  Click here to make your reservation.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Daily Briefing For Sunday, November 4, 2012

Going Up Tempo

Sports commentators often say that when a team begins to play at a faster pace, it's calling going "up tempo."  This weekend, I went up tempo on my preparedness efforts.

The time change weekend has traditionally marked the beginning of my personal winter weather preparedness protocols.  This weekend was no exception.  Propane bottles were refilled.  The truck received its major dealership service.  New Rain X windshield wipers were installed (and by the way - they totally kick ass - I cannot tell you how impressed I am with them.  WOW.)  Pantry and fridge were cleaned out and reorganized to make more room for the long term food stores.  I am delaying the replacement of back up batteries in the smoke detectors and weather radios until I make a run to the grocery store to replenish our stores.

I'd be lying to you if I said this week's election didn't play a role in motivating me.  That's not to say one candidate will rescue us from the brink.  But as I type this, we are just under 47 hours from having polls close on the east coast.  And that's when the fun begins.

Today in Sunday School, I led week two of a three week series I created from scratch entitled, "God, Politics and the Economy."  When we were finished for the day, I closed in prayer, thanking God that no matter who wins on Tuesday, we take great comfort knowing the Lord is still in control. 

We are not going to change our efforts based upon who is in the White House.  There is still much to be done.

More On Those Who Are Unprepared

The New England Journal of Medicine reports this sad statistic: "A recent study from a group of medical researchers found that blacks and Hispanics are about 30 percent less likely to be aided by CPR than white people, with the odds being the worst when it involves a black victim in a low-income black neighborhood." 

Couple that with the ongoing tragedy from Sandy.  FEMA ran out of drinking water and won't have any until Monday at the earliest.  Queens residents arm themselves in the post storm blackout from looters.  It's a complete goat rodeo there. 

This goat rodeo could have been mitigated in large part by people preparing themselves.  This is why it's so important that we study the aftermath of disasters like this - they are tragic laboratories of what we should expect in a similar situation. 

Pray for those folks tonight.  And learn from their experiences.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Daily Briefing For Friday, November 2, 2012

Two Emails.  Two Different People.  Two Different States.  Same Message.

You people email me from time to time, which is great, because it reminds me I am not the only brother out there collecting rainwater and canned goods in preparation for some sort of disruption to society. 

Both emails today basically said the same thing.  I'm going to amalgamate them into one email below (I'm not referring to either of the senders by name, but they know who they are):

It's interesting to watch how all these people affected by Sandy expect the government to come in and help them. I am thinking that we are being a bit generous when we say that folks will last 30 days... after the reports that are coming out of NYC and dumpster diving.  How can anyone not have made some preparations for the coming storm - it was all over the news with stories of the Frankenstorm.  Perhaps they believe that the Government should have went door to door with supplies BEFORE the storm hit so that they would be taken care of.....

The heartbreaking headlines are not without precedent.  We see this regularly when a major storm or disaster hits a large urban area. This story repeats itself.  People fail to prepare.  And  they wonder why they are eating food out of a dumpster and why the government isn't waving a magic wand to make everything better again.

Because the government can't.  That's not a knock on the government.  It's just a fact.  Neither the government nor the private sector can feed, clothe, and house everyone affected in just a few hours.  It's impossible.  And yet to hear some of the stories, many storm victims remain incredulous that the Red Cross or Obama or Oprah doesn't drop manna from helicopters.

This storm and its effects are a great case study in what will happen the next time we have a regional emergency.  Please don't be one of those people. 

Falling Back

This weekend, I will be replacing batteries in smoke detectors and weather radios.  We'll also be moving our clocks back one hour on Saturday night.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Daily Briefing For Thursday, November 1, 2012

New York and New Jersey Get To Experience The Grid Down Environment

The stories from tonight's Drudge Report on the situation in the storm ravaged Northeast:

The headline tonight, however, is this:


Here we are, the richest nation on Earth, with the most powerful military on Earth, with people  dumpster diving and living without gasoline for days, dodging fake ConEd employees and people with guns. 

This is our America.

I don't mean to come across as mean spirited - note that just last night I told you I'd lived in a grid down environment for days after Hurricane Andrew.  Yet to this day I still struggle to comprehend how so many people in America could be so ill-prepared for a storm they knew was coming towards them. 

Don't be these people.  Please.  Prepare yourself and your family, if for no other reason you're not the one dumpster diving when the TV crew shows up.

Here's One Way To Help Get You Started

Our friends at Emergency Essentials have put together some great information on preparedness fundamentals.  Quick reading with examples of situations you may encounter - good resource for yourself or others.