Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Daily Briefing For Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Caleb's Kids

Back in August, Caleb Causey of Lone Star Medics and I traveled to my high school alma mater, The Webb School, to teach student leaders the basics of trauma first aid and dealing with active shooters.

I wondered what that training would have done for those poor individuals affected by the Sandy Hook shooting.  A properly applied tourniquet or bandage could have saved some lives.  Knowing the difference between cover and concealment could have enhanced their odds.  Having some understanding of basic self defense strategies might have helped as well.

I don't know what the students, faculty and administration knew about these topics.  I am willing to bet they knew precious little.  That's not to say they weren't capable of understanding them - they most certainly are.  It is to say that the conventional wisdom in education management holds that we should not teach those skills to our educators or students.

Consider this quarter's magazine for the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).  Themed "Safer Schools For A Safer World" for this issue, the publication goes into detail about how to deal with the psychological impact of school violence.  It does very little in the way of discussing what students and faculty can do before and during an event to minimize the harm.

Tonight, I'm suggesting we challenge the conventional wisdom and begin training our educators and even our students on what to do during an emergency.  Caleb proved this summer, from the course he provided at Webb, that it can be done effectively.  (The school contacted me on Monday to request we get Caleb lined up for the beginning of the next fall semester to provide the training again, given how much the kids liked it and how pertinent it is.)

The skills we'll be teaching in the fall are applicable anywhere - a mall, at the scene of a car wreck, or in your house after a tornado.  They aren't limited to school hours.  Aside from the coming gun debate and mental health debate, we need to have another discussion: How do we train our kids to survive the perils that face us? 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Daily Briefing For Wednesday, December 12, 2012

 The Dating Resume

It's been years since I've been on the dating scene.  Like many single people in the 21st century, I leveraged technology to help increase the dating experience.

Atlanta Jeff recently posted on Facebook that someone referenced their "dating resume" in a conversation.  He was unfamiliar with that term (as was I), so I quickly researched it and found this link describing what makes for a good dating resume.  You can imagine how I felt when I saw "survival skills" made the list:

At another time, "art appreciation" or "other languages" might have filled this space. But today, when recession, pandemics, and Nancy Grace threaten our very way of life, it's a facility with a Swiss army knife that counts. Now is the time to drop references about your Boy or Girl Scout experience into the conversation; to mention that fallout shelter you're building, and that earthquake preparedness seminar you've signed up for. Do you know CPR? Do you have a basement full of canned goods? Can you build a fire? Yes? Congratulations. How soon can you start?
While this may seem funny to a lot of people, it does reflect a change in the conventional thinking of our fellow citizens - being more prepared and less reliant on others - continues to be in style.
You'll Need Those Skills On Your Dating Resume If You Live In Michigan.
As state legislators in Michigan make various threats, including one prediction of blood in the streets, from the state's passage of right to work legislation, it brings more scrutiny to places like Detroit.  The birthplace of my father has become Exhibit A in what is wrong with America.   Public school teachers there, who are protesting the recent right to work law by calling in sick, have posted some impressive stats indeed:  a U.S. Department of Education report finds a whopping 7 percent of eighth graders in Detroit read at or above their grade level.
What's a bigger problem in Detroit than the dumpster fire that is their education system?  According to residents there, it's the crime problem.  One survey ranks Detroit as the second most dangerous city in America...losing out in a close contest to nearby Flint.
Why all the criticism of Detroit?  Because what's happening there is a prime example of what happens when people become too dependent on government and unions.  It is a great tragedy that this once iconic city has been reduced to its current state. 
Remember - it's the unions who are getting violent when they don't get their way.  Not the tea party.
From Big Brian - Obamacare Taxes Your Gold And Silver Purchases!
You read that correctly.  What health care and gold and silver coins have to do with each other is beyond me.  Brian shared this story with me, which spells out a couple of interesting theories.  And because it's not official unless Larry Kudlow weighs in on it:

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Daily Briefing For Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Coffin As Soap Box

I hadn't planned on weighing in on the recent controversy surrounding Bob Costas' comments on gun control.  But after seeing a number of posts on Facebook about this, I felt compelled to address a few issues.

  1. Calling for Costas' removal from the air isn't censorship.  Censorship is when the government restricts the content of public discourse.  If market pressures and public opinion are brought to bear to remove a commentator from the airwaves, that's a voluntary decision of the commentator's employer.  Just ask Don Imus.
  2. Guns aren't the problem.  Karl Rehn at KR Training provided this catalog of stories from a variety of news sources, evidencing a clear case that in the face of more people owning firearms than ever, crime rates are actually down.  To wit:

    Self Reported Gun Ownership At Highest Level Since 1993

    Forbes: What The Left Won't Tell You About U.S. Gun Sales

    NPR: Violent Crime Down Five Straight Years

    NBC News: FBI Reports Violent Crimes Now At Historic Lows
  3. Costas' comments were a diversion from a different and much more likely problem.  The NFL Players Association has filed a class action lawsuit against the NFL regarding the failure to warn over the concussion risks players face.  The Suburban Dad Survivalist brought this to your attention eight months ago.  The NFL is facing problems with off the field behavior of a number of its players, including acts of domestic violence, substance abuse and suicides.  By blaming guns, the NFL and its proxies (that would be Bob Costas) divert attention away from the real problems facing players and onto an instrumentality that's been a part of American culture and history far longer than football.
I'm not calling for Costas to be fired or punished.  I've never been a big fan of his, perceiving him to be only a sligtly more cerebral version of Brent Musburger.  He is certainly entitled to his own opinion on guns and anything else.  I'd prefer he not share those opinions - even if his opinions were congruent with mine - on a sports show.  Stick to football.  If you want to be a political commentator, go on Meet the Press.

This event serves as a great reminder that we still have a lot of work to do to educate the public on the benefits of self sufficiency in the self defense realm.  Use the data above to bolster your arguments.

Detroit In Free Fall

Back in the late 1930s and early 1940s, a number of people from rural areas moved from their farms and into urban areas for work.  My grandparents on my father's side did just that, relocating from their rural Tennessee home to move to Detroit to find work.  Dad was even born there.

Once known as a working shrine to modern industrialism, Detroit is now in free fall.  Today, a Detroit city councilwoman called on President Obama to bail out Detroit, since Detroit residents voted for him in the recent election. 

The answer to what ails our cities isn't in Washington.  It's in our own cities, with our own people.  That's the crux of what I've been trying to convey for years now.  The Suburban Dad Survivalist nation needs to be prepared to be leaders in our various communities to find solutions amongst ourselves, rather than looking to another governmental agency for a bailout.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Daily Briefing For Monday, December 3, 2012

Suburban Dad Survivalist Preparedness Conference Update

I'm pleased to announce the roster for our first annual Preparedness Conference, slated for Saturday, January 5, 2013 at the Cabela's in Buda. 

Firearms, Ammunition and Training Options for Preppers.  Karl Rehn of KR Training lends his decades of expertise on this subject.  Many people make critical mistakes when selecting firearms to defend their homes and families during extended emergencies.  Karl will draw upon his experience and the lessons learned in previous disasters to provide a coherent plan for acquiring the right kinds of weapons, ammunition and training for the grid down environment.  I'm pleased that KR Training is an official sponsor of this event.

Psychological Aspects of Use of Force and Preparedness.  Glenn Meyer, Ph.D. and Professor of Psychology at Trinity University will present on psychological considerations those who are preparing for short to long term emergencies.  His talk will focus primarily one of his areas of expertise - the psychology of firearms usage.

Financial Planning For 2013.  Amit Agrawal, Associate Vice President and Investment Officer of Wells Fargo, is a first generation Indian American, attorney, and good friend of mine.  He will share his expertise on what we might see in 2013.

Alternative Energy Options.  Vern Williams, an electrical engineer, will present on the various options available to urban and suburban residents, along with the pros and cons of each system.

Food Storage Strategies.  Presented by yours truly, I will share with you lessons learned from my many experiences with storeable foods over the years. 

True Stories From Search and Rescue.  Brian Brown, an operator with Team Rubicon, draws from his vast experience of working in grid down, post-disaster environments to share lessons of what strategies worked for people - and which ones didn't.

Investing in Precious Metals.  Jerid Colwell of Stonewall Constructors has created a very simple strategy to understand the intricacies of investing in physical metals; he will share his system with us.

What EMS Wants You To Know.  Justin Moore, a paramedic from the Bryan/College Station area, will provide guidance on what we should have in our first aid kits and what to do until EMS arrives.

Situation Report for 2013.  I will be providing my thoughts and analysis on what things we should monitor in the coming year.

Building Community With Preppers.  Vern Williams will pull double duty and share lessons learned from the Preparedness Peace project offered in many churches and civic groups.

In addition, there will be various door prizes awarded throughout the presentation - and you must be present to win!

Click here to make your reservation.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Daily Briefing For Sunday, December 2, 2012

The World Won't End December 21.  Y'all Know That, Right?

I think this goes without saying, but we will still be here on December 22 and beyond.  NASA has gone as far as setting up its own website to deal with the flood of calls and emails of people freaking over this Mayan 2012 business.  There are many perils we face.  This is not one of them.

And while I am at it, I would also like to remind you that zombies aren't real.  There won't be a zombie apocalypse.  Ever.  If you're prepping for that, it's my hope that your supplies and efforts will help prepare you for a real threat.

FEMA Fails Again.  Why Are People Surprised?

For all of you who think the single payer health care system is the way to go, I want you to take a good, hard look at how FEMA handles disasters. 

FEMA is supposed to be the agency with expertise in handling disasters.  And it's not like Sandy was some new type of catastrophe.  You would have thought the ass kicking that agency got from Katrina would have been enough to have set them straight and become more efficient at helping communities recover.

On Thursday, over 1,000 New Yorkers attended a FEMA-sponsored town hall meeting to complain that the Obama Administration hasn't cut the red tape as promised to help them. 

Sound familiar?  FEMA's response to Katrina wasn't much better.  Bear in mind this is the same agency that tell you to have a mere three days of food and water in case of an emergency. 

Meanwhile, San Bernadino, CA Tells Residents To "Lock Their Doors And Load Their Guns."

A city official in bankrupt San Bernadino recently advised residents to gun up and start preparing to protect themselves.  In an effort to shore up city finances, the city of roughly 200,000 residents 60 miles east of Los Angeles has laid off 80 police officers. 

Note the city isn't calling FEMA or telling its citizens the government will help you.  It's being realistic in its advice, stressing to the citizens that their well being is the citizen's responsibility, and not the local government's. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Daily Briefing For Saturday, December 1, 2012

Is FEMA Wrong?

I get a tremendous amount of emails from various prepper blogs and sites.  Most of these usually encourage me to buy some product or book that will keep me out of the FEMA Camp or from starving when the stores go empty.  Fear sells, of course (Don't I know it!), and so I suspect these vendors have a fair amount of success in pitching their wares.

Today, I received an email from one vendor with the subject line "FEMA Was Wrong."  According to the email:

FEMA suggests that every citizen be prepared and have the supplies to survive for at least 72 hours after a disaster. FEMA is wrong. Here’s why:


So many factors can cause a massive delay before help arrives, if it does at all. My family was trapped for 7 days without power or any basic utilities, before any help arrived and even then all they were able to do was drop off a few cases of water before returning to areas left in even worse condition.

It was a full two weeks before the crews arrived to clear the debris and life was able to get back to normal.

According to the FEMA website, the government encourages you to have three days worth of food and water in the event of an emergency

Yet a month later, some affected by Hurricane Sandy are still without power, water and food.  If those folks were completely prepared by FEMA's three day standards, they would still be suffering now.

Given that, just how long should people be prepared to live without assistance?  I have to think 90 days worth of food and water, per person, needs to be a minimum for anyone serious about wanting to be prepared for the typical calamity.  This is especially true for those living in high risk areas for hurricanes and earthquakes.

What do you think?  How much food and water should the average person have?