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Thursday, December 22, 2011

More Odds and Ends
My boss asked me to attend a Red Cross seminar for him the other day. He knew I would get more out of it than he would and it was a good excuse for him not to go to another meeting. Since I like that kind of stuff I jumped on the chance and learned a few things I want to share with you.
The seminar was meant to show employers the services the Red Cross offers, for a fee, to help them keep their employees trained. The main training that the RC offers in the first aid and CPR certification. Many organizations like my employer are mandated by the state to have certain classifications and percentage of employees trained. The RC not only offers the training but also makes a clearing house for record keeping for those folks.
According to the RC for every dollar that is spent on training and preparedness the return is between $4-$6. First Aid and/or CPR given to someone within the first few minutes of need can increase their chances of survival by up to 40%. They state that first responders are an average of 15 minutes from arriving on the scene. For those of use that live in the hinter boonies the VFD is even a longer response time.
One interesting thing I learned is that you can take refresher courses on line to keep your skills fresh. You still need to get re-certified every two years but the on line skills lab will help keep you sharp between sessions. The Red Cross offers a number of classes that might be of interest and useful to preppers. They might be a good resource for you to check out.
My wife and I cleared out a bunch of the deposit bottles and cans we had in the garage. We came up with over thirty dollars from them. I also cleared out the newspaper for recycling and loaded up some trash to dump off at work. We want to get the junk out and have more room to move around in there. Heavy winter coats and the shovels for clearing snow always seem to make it tighter during the winter.
Toolman is clearing out his garage for a different reason. He e-mailed me the other day to tell me he found the wrench he couldn’t find a month or so back when he borrowed mine. I have the same problem. I borrowed a book from him once and it took me over three years to find it. It got put in a box for storage and moved to the basement. One thing I find is that my lack of organization cost me valuable time and money when I can not find something I know I have. I am always trying to improve on it.
One of my Labs is always trying to catch any of the critters that hang around the farm. He will spot one from the deck door and whine to be let out. He howls enough to scare the bejeezus out of anyone in the township and makes a mad dash for the critter. The critter runs away long before he can get to them. Well, up until today. He spotted a rabbit out by the field. I let him out and the rabbit sat for minute until it realized the dog was bee-lining for it. The rabbit went to hop off and it couldn’t move. The poor thing’s legs slipped on the ice and it fell over and rolled. It was still trying to stand up when the dog slid to a stop over it.
I have always told the dog that I didn’t know why he chased those animals; he wouldn’t know what to do if he caught one. Well, I was right. He stood over the rabbit and just sniffed it. He looked back at the house and wagged his tail and then nudged the rabbit off the ice and watched it hop away. My wife was terrified the dog was going to kill the “bunny” and dashed out to stop the carnage. Nothing to stop. The dog finally caught something and proved to me he has no idea what to do with something he caught. I laughed for a long while watching everything unfold.
I will not be posting until after the first of the year. I am getting surgery on my shoulder to repair a rotator cuff that has been bothering me for a long while. I am not even sure how it happened but suspect it wasn’t one event but rather the cumulative effect of my years yanking on wrenches and moving heavy items. Look for me to return sometime in January or February with weekly postings.
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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Now More Than Ever
Have you seen any of the articles on the fact that you can be a terrorist if you have over seven days food supply stored? Coupled that will weapons, ammunition, and fuels and you could well be on the inside looking out.
Now, I must say I really question that. First of all, think about all the non-prepping people you know. How many of those folks have a freezer full of food. Surely that would more than seven day’s worth. How about the people that get paid only once or twice a month? When they shop they usually buy for the time frame between paychecks. They will have more than seven days food supply on hand. Any Cowboy Action shooter will have a nice arsenal and supply of ammo. I am sure you get my point; just about anyone can fall in that category.
Now, IF the rumor about that is correct just how in the hell can it be enforced without having half the population locked up? I suspect that there is more to this then we now know.
Look, how many times have you read about some poor guy that got in trouble and police raided his home and found a large number of guns and “thousands of rounds of ammunition.” The raid had nothing to do with guns and ammo but the guy is crucified for having them. Go out and buy a couple bricks of .22s and you too will have the same thousands of rounds of ammo headline. Toolman and I used to shoot up between five hundred and a thousand rounds on a Saturday afternoon. Needless to say in order to do that we need to have that much ammo on hand.
Prepping is hard enough without people going off half cocked about something they “heard”. We can all make a long list of stuff we have heard over the years that we can not verify. I for one would love to get my hands on that 100 mile per gallon carburetor I have “heard” about since the late 1960s.
I refuse to let them scare me into not prepping. I am not a terrorist. I spent the better part of fourteen years wearing a uniform and training to protect my fellow citizen and my country. My supply of food, guns, ammo, and fuel does not make me a terrorist, my intent to harm does, and I do not have any intention of causing harm unless I am defending myself or my family. As an old friend of mine used to say, “Don’t let the bastards get you down!” Stay positive and keep prepping, now more than ever.
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Detours Ahead

Remember a couple months ago when I told about the note from Vince asking about bugging out of the city? I want to re-visit the bug out theme for a minute. Recent events have made bug out plans something you should review.

If you live near Southeast Michigan you have probably heard about the flooding on the River Raisin. This is one of the wettest years in history and the water levels all over are up. With the rain that got dumped on us last week the river is swollen over its banks and traffic has been closed down on two bridges over it. Michigan routes 223 in Blissfield and M-50 in Dundee were closed at the River Raisin bridges. That is two major routes away from large cities.

I grew up in that area so I know several back road routes that would get me out of the area. Someone that is not from the area will have to rely on the posted detours to travel out of the area. What type of bottleneck and hazards can you see there?

Bridges are a choke point in travel, plain and simple. If you have any on your bug out route you may want to take the time now to figure out ways to avoid the population centers and most used routes. While you are doing that you need to make sure that you have the extra fuel you will need to travel the extra distances. If I had wanted to go into Dundee I would have had to travel thirty miles extra, one way, to do so. Most of that would have been over rough country roads too.

I know this sounds redundant, but being prepared means being in a constant state of preparedness. You have to constantly re-evaluate your preps, your emergency plans, your stock of supplies, and generally keep your preparedness at the forefront of your thoughts.

One time my oldest son and I, on a whim, took a farm lane across country for a few miles. We stayed off the main road and traveled dirt lanes across a couple of farms just to see if we could. Probably not the smartest thing we ever did, but it was a real learning experience. We wouldn’t do it again except in an emergency. However, we now know what to expect if we do and some of the hazards that it could evolve.

On a different topic, my youngest son and I were talking the other day and he informed me that one of the guys he went to college with is now starting to get involved with prepping. I want to take a minute to say welcome Jonathan glad to have you aboard. Next time you come to the farm to shoot we can talk more about prepping.

Finally, this is coming to the end of the year. You will be reflecting back on what went well, went poorly, and on what you need to do in the future. Always be encouraged that as long as you are prepping you are ahead of the game. It is the poor sheeple that do not think anything bad will happen that are the ones I worry for. I have no doubt that while there may be holes in our preps that when the S hits the F we will find each other and shore up our holes and get through what is coming. Just keep doing what your doing and we will make it, even with detours ahead.

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

It Is Up to You

I finally watched a couple of shows I had taped a while back. Both shows were from the National Geographic channel. One show was called Electronic Armageddon. It was a look at what might happen if an EMP bomb went off over America.
I must admit I was surprised at the depth the show went into. I frankly never considered that the EMP would shut down factories and processing plants. Food and fuel production would cease and there would be months if not years before supplies could again reach the population. It sure did make few months of food storage look pitifully inadequate.
The other show I watched was called Aftermath: The World without Oil. It looked at what we had in store if the world runs out of oil and we can no longer make fuel, plastics, and all the vital items that petroleum products allow us to produce.
Both shows paint a bleak picture of course. Our whole lifestyle will end as we know it. Both shows hinted that we would have to revert back to an “older” type of lifestyle where things were done much more locally. Fruit from California and Chile will be a thing of the past. Fresh seafood from the Eastern Seaboard will be but a memory. Even if they can find there way here the cost will be prohibitive.
One thing that frosted my cookies was the fact that several key parts that will be needed to bring us back up to speed after these events are no long produced in this country. Key electrical gear comes from overseas. If the world loses juice then how will we get those parts over here?
We have politicians arguing whether we should cut spending or raise taxes. Neither of those parties seems to have our best interest at heart. Why would you argue to raise taxes and tell me you are thinking of me? Leave me my money and that will help me. If you in Washington and Lansing really want me to believe you have my best interest at heart why don’t you figure out a way to protect the gird, find ways to reduce oil use or increase our own production, and help me keep more of my money.
They say that there is a stretch of road up near Detroit that was put in during the 1930s and they have never touched it since. When the built it they over engineered it and because of that they have not had to resurface it or do anything to it. If they had done that to all our roads how much money would we have saved over the last thirty years? Imagine driving all over Michigan, or any state, and not having construction zones and slow downs. That folks would have our best interest at heart!
As preppers we look ahead and see any number of assaults on our lifestyle. It could be an EMP. Loss of oil, hyper inflation, or simply losing our jobs. We are better prepared than a lot of our peers and could really be ahead of the game if those clowns in the capitols would actually put themselves last and represent the people as they claimed they would. Keep prepping folks because it sure looks like it is up to you.

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