When Worst Comes To Worst-Surviving When The Government Shutdown. Surviving Without The Rule Of Law

As I sit here writing this, the government is shut down. I know you’ve probably heard about it and if you’re like me, you’re wondering what’s the big deal. After all, what most of us would really like to say is some version of “So what?” “Good riddance” or “We don’t need them” in response. But the reality is that we need the government; perhaps now more than ever.

What’s So Tough About Surviving Without The Government?

Don’t get me wrong; I’m no big fan of the government, especially not of big government. As far as I’m concerned, most of the regulatory agencies in the government do nothing useful. They merely take our money to pay their extravagant salaries and expense accounts. Nevertheless, even those agencies have a place in modern society, or at least some of the functions they perform do.

Sadly, we need a few of these regulatory agencies because our country is not currently populated by the moral and religious people that John Adams said our Constitution was written for. Since there are many who lack self-government, we need someone to keep them in line.

“Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

In reality, only a small portion of the government is out of operation. The rest is functioning under partial spending bills which came into effect late last year. Even some of the parts where there is no money to pay workers are still open for business. Moreover, authorities have promised to pay those government workers as soon as Washington approves the budget. They are working because their functions are critical. So, it is illegal for them to leave their posts, even without pay.

Surviving Without The Government During A Total Shutdown

Notwithstanding, what if the government was really shut down? What if something so bad happened that the entire government shut down? What would happen then?

The government exists to do things that we can’t do for ourselves. On a national level, the most important of those are national defense and representing our interests with other countries. At lower levels of government, the most important thing that happens is to protect us from criminal activity through the capture and prosecution of criminals. If the government were to go down, those functions would cease to exist.

Granted, there are a lot of other important things that the government does. Another example would be the municipal water authorities who supply clean drinking water. Nonetheless, these things all pale in comparison to the problems which would exist without the government present to enforce the rule of law.

Surviving Without The Government Means Surviving Without The Rule Of Law

The first thing that happens in countries which lose their governments is that they lose this rule of law. Everything else that happens to them follows after that. Without the government in place and the rule of law, other services that the government provides come to a screeching stop.

However, nature abhors a vacuum and so does humanity. If there is no government in power, there will be people who move in to take control. It has happened over and over again. These people are usually called warlords. By and large, they are nothing more than gang leaders backed by a bunch of bullies with guns. Rival groups fight against each other, thereby seeking to take control. Everything else collapses since these warlords and their backers don’t know how to keep it running. Ultimately, they are more interested in power than anything else. They are thugs and nothing more.

Consequently, surviving in a world without government means surviving in a world run by these warlords. How do we do that? You can forget about bugging in and hoping they will leave you alone. One of the things that warlords always do is steal from people. It’s no different than the mafia making people pay for protection. Once they find out that you have anything of value, they’ll come to take it away. As a result, there are only a few things that you can do.

Surviving Without The Government: Should You Just Join The Bad Guys?

The first option is to join them… which is not a very good option. This entails being just as bad as they are and treating others just as poorly as they do. It also means giving them everything you have. If you kept it for yourself you would show that you aren’t really a part of the group. The leader would decide what you got to keep and I doubt it would be anything worthwhile.

Surviving Without The Government: If You Can’t Join Them, Beat Them

The best time to defeat any warlord or gang that tries to move in is as soon as they arrive and before they can consolidate their power and grow their ranks. You may not want to join them, but there are always people who will, seeing that as the only way to survive. No matter how many followers that warlord has when he arrives, that will be the point where he is at his weakest. It will also be the time when he has the least knowledge of the area. As a consequence, you will have your greatest advantage at that point.

You probably won’t be able to defeat them on your own unless you have a strong survival group. This would consist of individuals who are experts in military operations. Rather, you’ll need to gather other armed citizens together and form a militia to defend your homes and community. This strategy will have to include killing off the invaders before they can kill you off.

When Worst Comes To Worst, Build A New Government

Gathering that militia together is the first step of the next option, along with building a new local government. Men cannot coexist without some sort of governmental order. This is because the rule of law can’t exist without some sort of governmental authority. Even in communes and other social experiments where groups of people have tried to separate themselves from society, there was still some form of leadership and government, even if it was informal.

Whether your existing local government becomes part of this new government or not will depend on the strength, ability, and character of the people in it. Those who feel a responsibility to their community will try to do what they can to establish order and protect the people. Those who don’t have that moral conviction will inevitably fail to do so.

This may seem strange, but for your own protection, you need to be concerned about the safety of your community. I realize that this goes against the isolationist attitude that is typical of preppers, but it is necessary. If there is no local government to protect you, you’ll have to protect yourself. While you may be able to do that against 10 or 12 people trying to steal your food, there’s no way you can do it against 20 or 30 armed ruffians under a warlord.

Out Of Options? Try Bugging Out And Getting Away From The Chaos

Finally, your best option might just be to bug out and get away. Of course, that means having someplace to bug out to. You’ll need a place where you and your family can live in peace, perhaps with your survival team. But that means having a prepared survival retreat you can go to which is equipped and supplied with enough to get you going.

Even then, you will need to establish some sort of governmental order within your survival team or community, along with the ability to defend yourself. Unless you can get away to a place that is sufficiently isolated enough to guarantee that those warlords can’t find you, they eventually will. Then you will be in the fight of your life just to survive.

What are your thoughts on surviving without the government? Let us know in the comments below.

Researchers Claim New Algorithm Will Prevent a Robot Apocalypse

As we watch robots, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence machines and the like slowly (and sometimes rapidly) permeate our world, it’s not hard to imagine them going from permeating to taking over. Reaching that point, even those who don’t watch sci-fi movies can see the possibility of rogue robots and AI machines using computer logic to eliminate the one thing that could stop their takeover – humans – and initiating a robot apocalypse. Fortunately, some computer scientists in California have developed an algorithm that trains robots to always avoid the bad, human-elimination decisions and stay on the path of good, obedient servitude instead. How well do you think this will work?

“We want to advance AI that respects the values of its human users and justifies the trust we place in autonomous systems.”

In a Stanford University press release announcing the publication in the journal Science of the paper “Preventing undesirable behavior of intelligent machines,” Emma Brunskill, an assistant professor of computer science at Stanford and senior author of the paper, illustrates the alleged noble goal of robot and AI developers – making them tools for the good of humankind – and describes the algorithm she and her colleagues have designed to accomplish – and hopefully guarantee – that goal.

FOR MORE THAN 10 YEARS THEY HAVE KEPT THE LID ON THIS
BUT NOW THIS INDEPENDENT DOCUMENTARY REVEALS THE DARK CONSPIRACY

“We show how the designers of machine learning algorithms can make it easier for people who want to build AI into their products and services to describe unwanted outcomes or behaviors that the AI system will avoid with high-probability.”

The idea is to describe bad decisions and behaviors mathematically. While “don’t do this or the patient will die” decisions are easy to describe, behaviors such as gender bias – a line AI is crossing as it’s used more and more to evaluate employment or school applications – requires a sense of fairness that is obviously much harder to define mathematically. The Stanford researchers modified the algorithm in a program designed to predict the future grade point averages of students and it learned to avoid bias toward one gender. While “fairness” is much more vague than “life or death,” the researchers believe it can – and should – be built into all AI using their algorithm.

Does all of this sound familiar? The paper refers to this solution as a “Seldonian algorithm” and fans of Isaac Asimov will recognize that obvious reference to Hari Seldon, the mathematics professor at Streeling University on the planet Trantor in Asimov’s “Foundation” sci-fi series. Seldon developed psychohistory, an algorithmic science that allowed him to predict the future in probabilistic terms. It worked for Hari Seldon … will it work for us?

“Given the recent rise of real-world ML applications and the corresponding surge of potential harm that they could cause, it is imperative that ML algorithms provide their users with an effective means for controlling behavior. To this end, we have proposed a framework for designing ML algorithms and shown how it can be used to construct algorithms that provide their users with the ability to easily (that is, without requiring additional data analysis) place limits on the probability that the algorithm will produce any specified undesirable behavior.”

Why do humans want us to avoid bad behavior when bad behavior is so much fun?

In the paper’s conclusion on using machine learning (ML) algorithms to change robot behavior, that nasty word “probability” pops up. The algorithm is not a 100% guarantee of robot apocalypse prevention and even if it were, it depends on humans using it in all applications. Just as it’s easy to imagine a robot apocalypse, it’s easy to imagine it being caused by unscrupulous businesses leaving the “bad behavior prevention algorithm” out to cut costs or make more profits.

Stephen Hawking, one of the most brilliant men of our time, says artificial intelligence (AI) represents an “existential threat” to humans.

Could artificial intelligence combined with robotics create a machine that could out think the best humans in any contest? What happens if these “devices” decide they want to control the world? Dispensing with humans or enslaving us wouldn’t be hard.

AI isn’t about a computer executing a fixed program. It’s about a computer teaching itself how to do something it hasn’t experienced. These are machines that learn. Meet Brett, A robot learning to fold clothing.

Are we doomed?

If you’re interested in learning more old remedies, you should read The Lost Book Of Remedies.

Lost Book of Remedies pages

The physical book has 300 pages, with 3 colored pictures for every plant and for every medicine.It was written by Claude Davis, whose grandfather was one of the greatest healers in America. Claude took his grandfather’s lifelong plant journal, which he used to treat thousands of people, and adapted it into this book.

Lost Book of Remedies cover

Learn More…

Apps Track You Even After You Uninstall Them: Apps track you because their developers can make money selling consumer data to big corporations

Apps track you even after you remove them from your phone. In fact, some apps track you with targeted advertising after you uninstall them.

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that many apps have built-in uninstall tracking tools. In detail, the tracking tools send data about you to developers after you remove the app.

T-Mobile, Bloomberg LP, Spotify, and Yelp use apps that track users after uninstalling them. The apps track you and keep showing you ads for the company’s products.

iPhone And Android Apps Track You After You Uninstall Them

Both iPhone and Android apps are tracking you after uninstall them. Moreover, apps track you in violation of Apple and Alphabet (Google) rules against such tracking.

Google and Apple designed their mobile phone operating systems to stop such tracking. To explain, each device has a unique advertising ID.

When you remove an app, they should remove the advertising from a developer’s system. However, many companies build “uninstall trackers” into their apps. The uninstall trackers keep following you after you remove the app.

How To Tell If Apps Track You After You Uninstall Them

Companies use the uninstall tracker to target former app users with advertising. As an illustration, Yelp can post ads for new services on web pages you visit.

If you see a lot of advertisements for an app that you removed, you are being tracked. You can tell if you are being tracked because the ads will pester you into reinstalling the app.

As an example, Spotify advertising will tell you about new songs that are available on the popular music app. In addition, Yelp advertisements will remind you of the great deals at local restaurants that their app offers.

How Apps Track You For Big Business

Apps track you because their developers can make money selling consumer data to big corporations.

In particular, entrepreneur Dr. Christian Lange calls consumer data “the oil of the 21st Century.” Lange believes consumer data is as valuable as oil today.

Significantly, Lange values the global data brokerage market at $250 billion a year. Lange also claims that the data brokerage market is growing at a rate of 30% per year.

Consequently, they track you so developers can sell your data to data brokers. Data brokers want to know what products you are searching for online.

For Advertisers

Apps will track you to learn what videos you watch, what news sources you read, what music you listen to, what stores you shop at, what vehicles you drive, and what you are interested in. All that data is valuable because advertisers desperately want to buy it.

For instance, car dealers and automakers want to know when you service your vehicle. Travel agents want to know what vacation spots you are researching.

App developers collect all of this data and then they sell it to data brokers. Next, the data brokers resell the data to advertisers.

How To Keep Apps From Tracking You

On the positive side, there are a few ways to keep apps from tracking you.

First, limit the number of apps on your phone to those you will genuinely use. Stop installing every interesting new app that you see.

Second, run searches for products and services the old-fashioned way, on a computer and not on your phone. For this reason, you should make searches on a computer you do not own. For example, you can use a computer at the public library for your shopping.

Third, change your phone operating system. For instance, switch to an Android phone if you an iPhone with a lot of apps on it. Switching operating systems is the best way to throw tracking apps off your trail.

Fourth, you should use an encrypted messaging service like Telegram Messenger. Tech industry professionals use Telegram because it has more security than most messaging solutions. Additionally, Telegram is an independent company and not part of a tech giant like Facebook.

In the final analysis, you should limit your phone usage because apps will track you. Furthermore, you should avoid payment apps like Apple Pay, Walmart Pay, and Google Pay. Corporations are pushing those apps because they want to track all of your financial transactions.

In conclusion, you must remember that apps can track you and always keep this in mind as you make decisions in your daily life.

What are your thoughts about apps that can track you even after you remove them from your phone? Let us know in the comments below.

Will Globalists Sacrifice the Dollar to Get Their ‘New World Order’?

Trade is a fundamental element of human survival. No one person can produce every single product or service necessary for a comfortable life, no matter how Spartan their attitude. Unless your goal is to desperately scratch an existence from your local terrain with no chance of progress in the future, you are going to need a network of other producers. For most of the history of human civilization, production was the basis for economy. All other elements were secondary.

At some point, as trade grows and thrives, a society is going to start looking for a store of value; something that represents the man-hours and effort and ingenuity a person put into their day. Something that is universally accepted within barter networks, something highly prized, that is tangible, that can be held in our hands and is impossible to replicate artificially. Enter precious metals.

Thus, the concept of “money” was born, and for the most part it functioned quite well for thousands of years. Unfortunately, there are people in our world that see economy as a tool for control rather than a vital process that should be left alone to develop naturally.

The idea of “fiat money”, money which has no tangibility and that can be created on a whim by a central source or authority, is rather new in the grand scheme of things. It is a bastardization of the original and much more stable money system that existed before that was anchored in hard commodities. While it claims to offer a more “liquid” store of value, the truth is that it is no store of value at all.

Purveyors of fiat, central banks and globalists, use ever increasing debt as a means to feed fiat, not to mention the hidden tax of price inflation. When central bankers get a hold of money, it is no longer a representation of work or value, but a system of enslavement that crushes our ability to produce effectively and to receive fair returns for our labor.

There are many people today in the liberty movement that understand this dynamic, but even in alternative economic circles there are some that do not understand the full picture when it comes to central banks and fiat mechanisms. There is a false notion that paper currencies are the life blood of the establishment and that they will seek to protect these currencies at all costs. This might have been true 20 years ago or more, but it is not true today. Things change.

The king of this delusion is the US dollar. As the world reserve currency it is thought by some to be “untouchable”, a pillar of the globalist structure that will be defended for many decades to come. The reality, however, is that the dollar is nothing more than another con game on paper to the globalists; a farce that they are happy to sacrifice in order to further their goals of complete centralization of world trade and therefore the complete centralization of control over human survival.

That is to say, the dollar is a stepping stone for them, nothing more.

The real goal of the globalists is an economic system in which they can monitor every transaction no matter how small; a system in which there is eventually only one currency, a currency that can be tracked, granted or taken away at a moment’s notice. Imagine a world in which your “store of value” is subject to constant scrutiny by a bureaucratic monstrosity, and there is no way to hide from them by using private trade as a backstop. Imagine a world in which you cannot hold your money in your hand, and access to your money can be denied with the push of a button if you step out of line. This is what the globalists really desire.

Some people might claim that this kind of system already exists, but they would be fooling themselves. Even though fiat currencies like the dollar are a cancer on free markets and true production, they still offer privacy to a point, and they can still be physically allocated and held in your hand making them harder to confiscate. The globalists want to take a bad thing and make it even worse.

So, the question arises – How do they plan to make the shift from the current fiat paper system to their “new world order” economy?

First and foremost, they will seek a controlled demolition of the dollar as the world reserve currency. They have accomplished this in the past with other reserve currencies, such as the Pound Sterling, which was carefully diminished over a period of two decades just after WWII through the use of treasury bond dumps by France and the US, as well as the forced removal of the sterling as the petro-currency. This was done to make way for the US dollar as a replacement after the Bretton Woods agreement in 1944.

The dollar did not achieve true world reserve status, though, until after the gold standard was completely abandoned by Nixon in the early 1970s, at which point a deal was struck with Saudi Arabia making the dollar the petro-currency. Once the dollar was no longer anchored to gold and the world’s energy market was made dependent on it, the fate of the US economy was sealed.

Unlike Britain and the sterling, the US economy is hyper-dependent on the dollar’s world reserve status. While Britain suffered declining conditions for decades after the loss, including inflation and high interest rates, the US will experience far more acute pain. A complete lack of adequate manufacturing capability within US borders has turned our nation into a consumer based society rather than a society of producers. Meaning, we are dependent on the demand for our currency as a reserve in order to enjoy affordable goods from outside sources (i.e. other manufacturing based countries).

Add to this lack of production ability the fact that for the past decade the Federal Reserve has been pumping trillions of dollars into financial markets around the globe. This means trillions of dollar held overseas only on the promise that those dollars will be accepted by major exporters as a universal store of value. If faith in that promise is lost, those trillions could come flooding back into the US through various channels, and the buying power of the currency would crumble.

There is a delusion within the American mainstream that even if such an event were to occur, the transition could be handled with ease. It’s fantastical, I know, but never underestimate the cognitive dissonance of people blinded by bias.

The rebuilding of a production base within the US to offset the crisis of losing the world reserve currency would take many years; perhaps decades. And this is in the best case scenario. With a plummeting currency and extreme price inflation, the cost of establishing new production on a large scale would be immense. While local labor might become cheap (in comparison with inflation), all other elements of the economy would become very expensive.

In the worst case scenario there would be complete societal breakdown likely followed by an attempted totalitarian response by government. In which case, forget any domestically funded economic recovery. Any future recovery would have to be funded and managed from outside the US. And here is where we see the globalist plan taking shape.

The banking elites have hinted in the past how they might try to “reset” the global economy. As I’ve mentioned in many articles, the globalist run magazine The Economist in 1988 discussed the removal of the dollar to make way for a global currency, a currency which would be introduced to the masses by 2018. This introduction did in fact take place as The Economist declared it would. Blockchain and digital currency systems, the intended foundation of the next globalist monetary structure, received unprecedented coverage the past two years.  They are now a part of the public consciousness.

Here is how I believe the process will unfold:

The 2008 crash in credit and housing markets led to unprecedented stimulus by central banks, with the Federal Reserve leading the pack as the greatest source of inflation. This program of bailouts and QE stimulus conjured an even bigger bubble, which many alternative analysts have dubbed “the everything bubble”.

The growing “everything bubble” encompasses not just stock markets or housing, but auto markets, credit markets, bond markets, and the dollar itself. All of these elements are now tied directly to Fed policy. The US economy is not only addicted to stimulus measures and near-zero interest rates; it will die without them.

The Fed knows this well. Chairman Jerome Powell hinted at the crisis that would evolve if the Fed ever cut off stimulus, unwound its balance sheet and hiked rates in the October 2012 Fed minutes.

Without constant and ever expanding stimulus measures, the false economy will implode. We are already seeing the effects as the Fed cuts tens-of-billions per month in assets from its balance sheet and hikes interest rates to their “neutral rate of inflation”. Auto markets, housing markets, and credit markets are in reversal, and stocks are witnessing the most instability since the 2008 crash. All of this was triggered by the Fed simply exerting incremental rate hikes and balance sheet cuts.

It is also important to note that almost every US stock market rally the past several months has taken place while the Fed’s balance sheet cuts were frozen.  For example, for the past two-and-a-half weeks the Fed’s assets have only dropped by around $8 billion; this is basically a flatline in the balance sheet.  It should not be surprising given this pause in cuts (in tandem with convenient stimulus measures by China) that stocks spiked through early to mid-January.

That said, Fed tightening will start again, either by rate hikes, asset cuts, or both at the same time. The Fed’s purpose is to create a crisis. The Fed’s goal is to cause a crash. The Fed is a suicide bomber that does not care what happens to the US system.

But what about the dollar, specifically?

The Fed’s tightening policies do not only translate to crisis for US stocks or other markets. I see three primary ways in which the dollar can be dethroned as the world reserve.

1) Emerging economies have become addicted to Fed liquidity over the past ten years. Without continued access to the Fed’s easy money, nations like China and India are beginning to seek out alternatives to the dollar as a world reserve. Contrary to the popular belief that these countries would “never” be able to decouple from the US, the process has already begun. And, it is the Fed that has actually created the necessity for emerging markets to seek out other sources of liquidity besides the dollar.

2) Donald Trump’s trade war is yet another cover event for the loss of reserve status. I would note that the primary rationale for tariffs was to balance the trade deficit.  The trade deficit with China has done the opposite and is continually expanding each month.  This suggests much higher tariffs on China would be required to reduce the imbalance.

It must also be understood that the trade deficit with China has long been part of a larger agreement.  China is one of the largest buyers of US debt in the world and has continued to utilize the dollar as the world reserve currency.  If the trade war continues through this year, it is only a matter of time before China, already seeking dollar alternatives as the Fed tightens liquidity, will start using its US treasury and dollar holdings as leverage against us.

Bilateral agreements between multiple nations that cut out the dollar are being established regularly today. If China, the largest exporter/importer in the world, stops accepting the dollar as the world reserve, or if they start accepting other currencies in competition, then numerous other nations will follow their lead.

3) Finally, if the war of words between Trump and the Fed becomes something more, then this could be used by the establishment to undermine faith in US credit.  If Trump seeks to shut down the Fed entirely, the globalists are handed yet another perfect distraction for the death of the dollar. I can see the headlines now – The “reset” could then be painted as a “rescue” of the global economy after the “destructive actions of populists” who “bumbled into fiscal destruction” because they were blinded by an “obsession with sovereignty” in a world that “requires centralization to survive”.

The specifics of the shift to a global currency are less clear, but again, we have hints from the globalists. The Economist suggests that the US economy will have to be taken down a few pegs, and that the IMF would step in as the arbiter of forex markets through its SDR basket system. This plan was echoed recently by globalist Mohamed El-Erian in an article he wrote titled “New Life For The SDR?”. El-Erian also suggests that a global currency would help to combat the “rise of populism”.

The Economist notes that the SDR would only act as a “bridge” to the new global currency. Paper currencies would still exist for a time, but they would be pegged to the SDR exchange rates. Currently, the dollar is only worth around .71 SDRs. In the event of the loss of world reserve status, expect this exchange rate to drop significantly.

As the global crisis deepens the IMF will suggest a “reset” to a more manageable monetary framework, and this framework will be based on blockchain technology and a cryptocurrency which the IMF has likely already developed. The IMF hints at this outcome in at least two separate white papers recently published which herald a new age in which crypto is the next phase of evolution for global trade.

I predict according to the current pace of the trade war and Fed liquidity tightening that de-dollarization will hit the mainstream by 2020.  The process of “resetting” the global monetary system would likely take at least another decade to complete.  The globalist preoccupation with their “Agenda 2030” sustainable development initiatives suggests a decade long timeline.

Without ample resistance, the introduction of the cashless society will be presented as a natural and even “heroic” response by the globalists to save humanity from the “selfishness” of destructive nationalists. They will strut across the world stage as if they are saviors, rather than the villains they really are.

What Really Happens When SHTF And The World As We Know It Has Come To An End? This Question We Need To Ask Ourselves And Think About Very Seriously

Editors Note: The following article has been kindly contributed by Jonathan Hollerman, a former USAF SERE Instructor and an expert on prepping and survival.  Working as an Emergency Preparedness Consultant through his website GridDownConsulting.com, Jonathan helps his clients prepare for the hard times ahead.  Jonathan will also be releasing a full-length prepping on a budget manual this Christmas.

Lots of “experts” have covered this subject and depending on which survival forum you frequent the most, it will result in completely different and sometimes opposite advice.  In my opinion, some of the advice will prove deadly to most preppers.  So if the SHTF, the easy answer for what to do and where to go is….  there is no easy answer and there are too many variables to give you a definite, “hey, go do this!”  What I am going to try to do is to get you thinking and to show you what NOT to do.  You will have to come up with your own game plan for your family depending on where you live.  I am also going to address some ideas for those of you with minimal preparations.  Now, remember, every family’s situation is different and there is no one size fits all advice or recommendation.

The first thing that you need to realize is that your plan of action will be different depending on what type of SHTF scenario you encounter.  As preppers, we know that things in this country are not as they seem.  We know that the stock market hitting all time highs while at the same time having a record percentage of Americans not in the work force spells trouble.  Fairly soon we will have a nuclear Iran and combined with the threat of North Korea, we face a realistic and imminent threat of an EMP attack.  The Pharmaceutical companies are no longer developing antibiotics and with the over-prescription of them by doctors, a nationwide or global pandemic could certainly be in our future.  With a porous southern border and verified terrorists entering our country at an alarming rate, a physical attack on the electric grid could be in the works.  We can see the writing on the wall.  In my last article, I recommended that you prepare for the worst and hope for the best.  Same theory goes here as well.  The worst case scenario, would be a long-term loss of the electric grid.

LONE WOLF

So what should you do and where should you go if there is a long-term SHTF scenario?  First off I’m going to tell you what not to do.  The #1, absolutely, positively, you’re going to die mistake, is to take the “Lone Wolf” approach.  You know who I’m talking about.  The guy on the prepping forum that plans to move out to the national forest and “live off the land” like the Legend of Mick Dodge.  I would estimate that only 30% of those individuals actually believe they have the necessary skills to pull it off, while the other 70% are too lazy to actually make, preparations and they’ve just convinced themselves that if Rambo can do it, then they can too.  Either way, none of them have ever stopped to actually consider what surviving in the wild looks like AFTER YOU FACTOR IN A SHTF SCENARIO.  While a small percentage of the 30% might make it through the winter in normal times, only a small fraction could do it during the SHTF scenario.

First off, I’m speaking from experience.  I’ve actually done it.  I’ve spent an entire month in the mountains of Washington State during January with six feet of snow, almost no food, and very limited supplies during my training to become a SERE Instructor.  During that month I lost over fifteen pounds of muscle (for a 6′ 4″, 190lb, 19 year old in peak physical shape, that is a lot!).  I can make a solid prediction that 99% of people that go this route will not make it through the first winter.  I can already see those of you who disagree.  You  are your sharpening your hypothetical knives and getting ready to crucify me in the comments section telling me about your amazing prowess as a half-man and half wildling creature that was raised by a pack of wolves in the forest.  Please read through my rational before you keyboard commandos comment.

To begin with, living in the wild during peak conditions is hard enough.  Very few Lone Wolf types have actually done it during the dead of winter for an extended period of time.  Hiking-in your Mountain House freeze-dried food doesn’t count and won’t get you far.  I’m talking about actually foraging for your food when two feet of snow on the ground.  There are no berries to save the day and no dandelion salads to be scavenged.  During my training to become a SERE Instructor, we literally spent as much time during the day chopping and splitting firewood as we did training and instruction.  It takes an incredible amount of time, energy, and calories to maintain a fire in the winter.  It’s not like you can take a chainsaw with you.  Where are you going to get more gas?  Besides, using a chainsaw will bring in other hungry Lone Wolfs from miles around.  Even an axe will bring in unwanted guests from long distances.  Okay, so you’re going to use a handsaw… good luck with that, you’ll never be able to maintain the calories needed to use it long term.  So you have a magic supply of firewood stashed in the woods somewhere, pre-planned for this scenario…good for you.  It will run out faster than you think.

Fire

All this talk of procuring firewood doesn’t really matter anyways because the second you light a fire, you are attracting attention from a long way off.  All the other thousands of Lone Wolfs and the locals who are hunting the big forests will be drawn to your camp like moths to the flame.  And the locals probably won’t take too kindly to you infringing on their favorite hunting spot.  How do you plan to warm yourself, dry your sleeping bag, boil your water, or cook your meat without a fire?  Some will try to convince me about using a Dakota fire hole or a rock ledge overhang etc. to hide their smoke and flame, but that doesn’t work either.  Those methods only minimize a fire’s signature not eliminate it.  When we train pilots who might get shot down behind enemy lines, we teach them that a fire is only acceptable in a life and death situation (i.e. you fall into a frozen lake).  I vividly remember during one of my trips to the mountains noticing a strange, slow pulsing orange glow about a half mile away on the next mountain over.  I asked the instructor what I was seeing and I learned that another element of trainees was on that hillside.  One of them was breaking the rules of evasion, and smoking!  In the dark cloudless night, the entire forest around him lit up faintly each time he pulled in a puff.  Don’t try to convince me how you’re going to hide a campsite, your fire, let alone the smoke and the smell of fresh meat from the thousands of other people wandering around the woods.

Meat! 

That is the number one thing I hear from the Lone Wolf’s on how they will survive: by hunting.  What they don’t understand is that with thousands of other Lone Wolf’s roaming the forests combined with all the other locals who are also going to be hunting for their family’s sustenance, THERE WON’T BE A SINGLE DEER OR OTHER BIG GAME ALIVE within a month of the SHTF.  You might be able to survive off game during normal times, but not during a SHTF scenario.  You’ll be lucky to shoot a squirrel or a rabbit a month.  There are hunting seasons for a reason: to maintain the big game populations.  You figure in 350 million starving Americans and no game wardens; you’re going to find a hunter behind every tree and in every small patch of woods throughout this country during the first couple months following the collapse.  Let’s say you get lucky and shoot a deer.  Guess what, you’re more than likely to have a dozen starving hunters that heard your shot and show up while you’re gutting it out.  I hope you intend to share your prize or be ready to kill a fellow human being to keep what’s yours.  

Desperation

I could go on for ten more pages on the reasons why you don’t want to Lone Wolf your way through a SHTF scenario.  But for now, I will add one more reason, and it’s the biggest one… desperate, starving people!  A very small percentage of you reading this MIGHT be able to convince me of your wilderness scavenging skills.  However, what you will never convince me of is the other 99% of Lone Wolfs who don’t have our skill sets.  Even though you might be able to survive the cold, the hunger, and the depression, you’ll never convince me that you’ll survive the desperate and hungry Lone Wolf’s who are not making it: the ones who have decided they’d rather kill you for your food then die of starvation on their own.  It only takes one starving Lone Wolf to creep up on you at night (don’t forget you are a Lone Wolf so nighttime security details don’t exist) and shoot you from 100 yards away with their Pappy’s 30-06.  I don’t care about your security measures or your hidden trip lines… it’s just a matter of time till someone pops you off from distance on the hope you “might” have something in your pack that they can eat.  Every second of every day in the forest, you run the risk of being shot from a distance.  All the tactical training in the world won’t save you from stumbling upon a hunter who is in a tree-stand or hidden in some brush.  If you Lone Wolf it through the SHTF, you will almost assuredly die!

LOOTER

The next type of survival strategy I would shy away from would be the “Taker” or “Looter” theology.  These are the types of survivalists I hate the most.  They are too lazy to prepare ahead of time and they plan to just take what they need from those of us planning for hard times.  Do not under-estimate these types of people.  This is another reason why it is so critical to keep your preparations private.  Even when sharing information with your closest friend, you can’t be sure who he is talking to about your plans.  Even in an innocent conversation, it only takes one looter to hear your name and the fact that you have plans laid out.  They will eventually show up to take your food when the SHTF.  These types of survival scum will become ruthless, and with no moral compass and no police to stop them, they will be the ones committing some of the greatest atrocities.  If you are a prepper, steer clear of these types on the forums and message boards and especially in real life.  Don’t engage them or try to change their thinking.  You want them to know as little about yourself and your plans as possible.  Matthew 26:52 (the Voice) clearly spells out a warning to these types, “People who live by the sword will die by the sword.”  Even if you aren’t into “religion” there’s still karma that is going to catch up to you.  Again, don’t under-estimate these types.  The “looters” who survive the first couple of months without getting shot, will have figured out a pretty good game plan on how to assault a retreat.

ROAMER

The next segment of preppers would be what I call the “Roamers”.  These are the people who plan to pack up their RV and hit the open road headed for some campsite or trying to drive to some remote area of Canada hundreds of miles away.  First off, if we are hit by a Super EMP, there is a good chance your RV may not even run.  Assuming it does, there are going to be traffic jams of people running out of gas all over this country you are going to have to bypass.  Unless you have a custom built 4WD rig with a winch and reinforced bumper, you may be driving hundreds of extra miles out of your way which takes extra gas (which you have to haul) and extra time (which you don’t have).  Again, during a grid down scenario, it is vital that you leave town immediately and you’ll only have two to three days before total panic develops in the bigger cities and four to five days before things fall apart in the small towns.  The last place you want to be is out on the open road with tens of millions of people fleeing the big cities.  If you are driving around in a big vehicle laden with food and supplies, you are a target.  I hope your vehicle is protected with AR500 steel panels because you are now a bullet magnet.

SUBURBAN BUNKERS

Another bad idea is typically by rich people who want to build bunkers in their back-yards in suburbia.  Now, I am not against bunkers in general, just the ones in town.  Let me be clear here:  cabin fever is a real thing.  While it may not be as crazy as “Here’s Johnny!” from The Shining, it will still make you go crazy.  This is compounded if you have multiple family members and small children cooped up in a small space underground.  Humans were never meant to live underground.  While a good bunker is a great short-term fall back plan or storage location for your supplies, don’t plan to live there long-term.  You will get claustrophobic and start coming up more and more often for sunshine, fresh air and to grow your garden.  Eventually, you’ll get caught.  Living in a bunker isn’t living, it’s marinating.

PACIFISTS

The next group I want to discuss is what I call the “Pacifists”.  These are the Mother Earth News types (don’t get me wrong, I love that magazine).  These are the preppers you often see on Doomsday Preppers who are building a sustainable off grid homestead in conjunction with the small town they live in.  They are the ones who actually have the skills in place beforehand and you would think they would have the best chance of survival.  Similar to the Amish, they grow their own food and operate a small farm stand in town selling and trading free-range eggs and grass fed beef.  The problem is, MOST of these types suffer from two fatal flaws. 

  1. They operate out in the open and the typically the entire town knows where they operate from.  Unfortunately, once those townspeople who absolutely loved you beforehand start to starve to death, THEY ARE COMING FOR YOUR FOOD.  You can’t keep everyone fed no matter how large your homestead is and how badly you want to help people.  They will either consume all your winter stores from your charity or eventually they will take them by force.  Either way, you don’t make it through the first winter. 
  2. “Pacifists” are typically the hippie types who don’t believe in guns and believe in the overall goodness of man’s human nature.  They are the ones you see on Doomsday Preppers running around with Super Soakers filled with pepper spray… clown shoes!  If you are faced with a starving and desperate mob of locals or transients and you bust out your Super Soaker, you are going to get shot and killed at some point in time.  You can’t bring a knife to a gunfight and expect to live.  You can have all the skills and preparations in place, but if you are unwilling or unable to defend them with force when necessary, you will lose everything… guaranteed!  The “everyone works together attitude” ONLY WORKS if everyone has enough food to eat.  Once people start to starve to death, there is no such thing as sharing.  

SURVIVE IN PLACE

Okay, I’m taking a big breath here and exhaling slowly.  For all those Lone Wolfs who are going to react negatively to what I’ve said, there are going to be ten times more people that disagree with my next section.  I am probably speaking to the largest segment of preppers out there… the “Bug-in” or “Survive in Place” preppers.  These are the honorable middle class people who live in cities and small towns across the country and can’t afford to build a remote off grid retreat to bug out to.  I get it!  I was actually one of you at one point myself.  Most of the people that fall into this category are there because they don’t see another reasonable way out.  You know the city around you is going to explode, but what else can you do and where else can you go?  This is the most frustrating part for most preppers, and to some, it makes the point of prepping almost hopeless.  I know there are a lot of people who are storing up hundreds of gallons of water and hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds of survival gear and food in their basement in downtown suburbia.  Now, I am going to throw you “Survive in Placers” a bone here.  If your only fear is a short term disaster, hurricane, or small financial collapse then you will likely be okay.  For anything long-term where we lose the electric grid or there is a total collapse and mass panic for a long period of time, you are screwed.  

Unfortunately, instead of thinking and planning your way through it, there are tons of “experts” out there that stroke your hopelessness and write books and articles explaining how to take the easy road and “hide in plain sight”.  They teach you things like “build a tall fence around your backyard”.  Yeah… like your next door neighbor isn’t going to hear you hoeing and digging up your backyard for a garden.  Also, the looters and raiders roaming around are going to notice a high fence right off the bat.  You might as well hang a sign on your fence that reads “Garden Full of Food”.  They teach you how to turn your suburban home into a “fortress”.  Please, catch me while I fall over laughing.  Your average home CAN NOT be made into a fortress.  Regardless of the action movies you’ve seen, walls do not stop bullets!  Your house is not fire-proof!  You are not Rambo!  And boarding up your windows or installing steel grates or shutters over them will only draw attention to your home.  These groups of looters and raiders are going to become really proficient, really fast at assaulting homes.  If they can’t force you out because every family member in the house was prior Seal Team 6, then they’ll wait you out with superior numbers.  How do you plan on stepping outside to maintain your garden?  You have just become a prisoner in your own home.  If you do go through the enormous expense to turn your home into a fortress, then you should have just bought a few remote acres and built a small off grid cabin!  The other thing you need to be aware of is “firestorms”.  A lot of the big cities are going to burn down to the ground, especially the older ones and city centers where houses are built close together.  It only takes one idiot trying to warm their home with a charcoal grill to set fire to entire city blocks.  If its a windy day, and with no firefighters to stop the blaze, the fires could grow enormous and spread to the suburbs.  These so called “Bug-In Experts” are going to be responsible for the deaths of millions of Americans because they don’t know what they are talking about and don’t understand the concept that a desperate and starving neighbor will eventually kill you for a can of peaches.  They have never been to a third world country and have never done any research or studied human desperation.  

FORTIFY MY STREET

The same philosophy of the “Survive in Place” crowd also spills into what I call the “Fortify My Street” preppers similar to the book Lights Out by David Crawford.  While it is an entertaining read with a few hidden gems of wisdom, for the most part, they never realistically explain how they feed all those people on a daily basis.  This is an area where a lot of preppers aren’t prepared at all.  Most preppers buy a years worth of freeze dried food not realizing that they are actually getting about seven to eight months of actual food (barely enough to make it through a single winter).  Very few preppers, aside from those that homestead already and are currently living off grid, have a clue how much food is is needed to make it through a winter.  And I don’t mean make it until spring, but until your actual crops start producing a harvest where you can replenish your food stuffs.  If you plan to fortify your suburban cul-de-sac, you better be 100% sure that EVERY SINGLE PERSON on your block has the same amount of food, ammo, and seeds as you do.  What is most likely going to happen is everyone is going to talk the talk but very few of them are going to actually put their money where their mouth is and buy long term food.  At the end of the day, YOUR FAMILY’S FOOD is going to be distributed among the group once they figure out that you aren’t starving like everyone else.  The group WILL confiscate your food eventually… guaranteed!  Now granted, as a group you have some strength in numbers, but if your cul-de-sac is on the outskirts of town, I can assure you that eventually there are going to be raiding parties much bigger than your band of merry men.  The moral of the story here is: If you stay in the city, you will be overrun… eventually.

The overwhelming truth in all these scenarios, once again, comes down to a single focus.  It’s not the EMP, the cyber attack, or the solar flare that is going to kill you.  Your plans MUST include staying as far away from the starving masses as possible.  Aside from the resurgence of long-forgotten diseases like cholera and dysentery from poor sanitation and hygiene, the starving and desperate masses (even the everyday Joes) are going to be the real killers.  So maybe I’ve convinced you to second guess some of your plans.  Now what?  Back to square one?  Not quite.  All the supplies and food you’ve already attained is still needed.  You just need to stage them far away from the population centers and you can actually do this on a budget.  Don’t bank on the fact that you are going to have a running vehicle or clear roads to load up all your gear and bug out of town.  Regardless, you must get out of town which means bugging out.  To do so requires a pre-organized plan of action though.  Here are my recommendations.

Some would say to find an existing survival group on a prepping forum, especially if you have some sort of skill or expertise to bring to the table.  That may work out for you if you’re a doctor or surgeon and I am not discounting the idea.  Just be careful.  The TV show Doomsday Preppers is a perfect example of how bats**t crazy some preppers are.  By the way, if you are getting the bulk of your prepping advice from the aforementioned TV show… you are doing it wrong! 

 If you can’t afford a bug out retreat location, I would first point you to family members (even extended family) that live well away from the city.  If you think discussing the whole prepping idea with them will make you the “crazy nephew” at family get-togethers, then just rent a storage unit close to where they live and cache your supplies there.  Once the SHTF is in full effect and you show up at their doorstep with food, your former preparations will make you out to be a genius and a forward thinker.  If you don’t have rural relatives, then I would suggest you take up renting cabins in the mountains for weekend getaways pre-SHTF.  Do your research and make sure the cabins fit within the retreat location parameters.  Also, try to find rentals that are corporate owned and not a cabin that some family rents when they are not using it.  A carefully worded casual conversation with the management company or the person renting you the cabin can go a long way to getting an answer to that question.  Don’t get me wrong, this is a time-consuming process and it may take you multiple weekends to find the right cabin, but it is a lot better option than staying in town.   Again, cache your supplies in a storage unit near that cabin.  On a side note, you are not taking that cabin from someone else, you are hoping it will stay abandoned.  If the owners do show up, please realize that YOU are the intruder, not them.  If you have any savvy whatsoever, you should be able to explain the SHTF scenario to the owners and explain the benefits of joining forces with them for security purposes and extra manpower growing a large garden.  

Last bit of advice     

Knowledge is power, and if you can articulate well what the future holds after a grid down situation, you WILL EVENTUALLY be able to find a rural farmer to take you in.  The key here is having something to trade for room and board, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot.  You need to have a pre-planned bug-out strategy with paper maps of the rural area you are headed for.   Your area should be away from a major city by at least 100 miles.  If you live in New Jersey or Washington DC, you may have to travel much further to get away from the sprawling cities and population centers.  Locate a rural, preferably elderly farmer or couple.  Explain to him what is going on in the world and persuade him that he needs you and your family’s help to survive the coming apocalypse.  The best way to get room and board from him is to have something he needs in trade. This goes back to your basic survival gear, having weapons and ammo to help protect his farm and hunt, offering you and your family’s younger muscles to plant and harvest (this will need to be done by hand, because a tractor will attract too much attention after the SHTF), offering to help keep 24-hour surveillance over the farm and crops, and most importantly having seed to plant the next harvest.  I grew up on a small farm and every farmer I know buys his seed two days before planting.  If you did have a stash of food in a storage unit down the road, it will make this conversation MUCH easier (but keep this information as a last resort, your ace card).  Also, this recommendation is ideally for the first week after the SHTF.  After that, people will be really on edge and approaching multiple farms and knocking on doors will be a far more dangerous of a preposition.  I realize that this is a scary scenario, and the perceived “safety” and “comfort” of staying in your own home is hard to let go of especially when you have lots of “experts” telling you you’ll be just fine.  You won’t!  Please head my advice and get out of the cities IMMEDIATELY while you still can!  The uncomfortable nature of this plan is sure better than figuring out three weeks into the SHTF that your decision to board up the windows in your duplex was a very bad decision, and by then it has become far too dangerous to travel on the open road.

All the recommendations I have laid out in this article are still SITUATIONAL dependent.  Every person’s location and circumstances are different.  If you live in Las Vegas and you’re surrounded by desert for hundreds of miles, Bugging-out by foot would be extremely difficult: almost impossible without caches of water and supplies along your route (hint hint).  Having a classic 4WD pickup to get of the city in this scenario would be almost vital and at the top of the list for your survival needs.  Maybe you do have an old RV that will get you where you need to go… great, then utilize it.  Maybe you’re a “Pacifist Homesteaderinto” but at the same time, you’ve negotiated with a “security team” to come to help you protect your farm after the SHTF… well, that may work for you (make sure they’re trustworthy people).  What I’m saying is to stay adaptable and flexible, but at the same time, never underestimate the starving masses or what your next door neighbor is capable of once his children start starving to death.  Regardless of your circumstances, please don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can “hide in plain sight” in a big city.  You can’t!  It’s just a matter of time till they find you and your food! 

What Happens When You Go Without Power for 7 Days: Life Gets Harder Rather Quickly

I don’t know if you’ve ever lived through a major power outage, but I have. I live in a hurricane zone, so I guess it’s no surprise that I would end up suffering through a hurricane sometime. The one I got wasn’t one of the big, sexy ones which brought in FEMA agents and lots of non-profit agencies to help us recover, but it was bad enough that it took a week for our power to get back on, so we could put our lives back together.

You don’t really realize how much you need electric power, until you are left without it. As a society, we are addicted to electricity. Pretty much everything we do uses electricity in one way or another, even activities which we think aren’t electrified.

When the power goes out, you really notice it; and the longer it is out, the more things it affects. Life gets harder rather quickly, as we wonder how we are going to do even the basic necessities for survival, let alone the day-to-day activities we are used to.

Looking at the way things are in California right now, this may be something we all need to get used to. The rolling blackouts they are having right now are due to a series of errors, some made by the power company and some by the government.

The government blames the utilities for not properly maintaining their lines, while the utility companies are blaming the government for forcing them to invest the money that should have gone into that maintenance, into expensive green energy projects.

With the push for green energy projects across the country, PG&E may not be the only company that is behind on its maintenance. Now that the dam has been opened, we could see forced blackouts anywhere in the country where there is a risk of power lines causing wildfires.

Perhaps you can learn something from my experience. It sure has helped me with my planning since I went through this experience. So, I’ll break down the week here and give you an idea of everything that went wrong.

When the Power Went Out

I first noticed that the power went out when my computer suddenly shut off. This wasn’t the first time that had happened to me, as power outages in the middle of a storm are fairly normal. I figured that the power would come on in a while and in the mean time, I could have a snack and watch the rain.

First Day

There was just one thing… the power didn’t come back on. As I sat there for hours, I counted all the work I wasn’t getting done and all the money I wasn’t making.

Meanwhile, since I live in the south, the temperature was rising. It had been 100°F outside before the rain started and it was rapidly heading that way inside. I opened the doors and windows that I could, without rain coming in, but there wasn’t enough airflow to cool the house much.

I guess that wasn’t as bad as being up north in the wintertime. While too much heat can kill you, too much cold is more likely to. People who live in colder climates than me and who don’t have any alternative means of heating their homes, like a wood-burning stove, are really taking a chance with their lives in the case of a major power outage.

Without power, we really didn’t have much light in the house. Most homes don’t have enough windows and mine is no exception. Between the lack of windows and the heavily overcast sky, it was hard to do much of anything.

Fortunately we had a gas stove, so cooking dinner wasn’t much of a problem. We had plenty of food and for the moment, the fridge and freezer were keeping things cold. We just had to make sure we kept the doors closed to keep that cold inside.

Second Day

Had a hard time sleeping that first night, due to all the heat. For that matter, we had a hard time sleeping all week long. If I had been able to string up some hammocks we could have been cooler, but the only place I could do that was in the back yard, and it was still raining.

I work at home, so I obviously couldn’t work. But neither could my wife. The school she worked at didn’t have any power either, so she was stuck at home. The kids loved it, as kids will, seeing it as a vacation from their classroom. But even if the schools had been open, they would have been stuck at home, as our street looked like a lake; some problem with the stormwater drainage.

The big thing that confronted me that morning was the home’s sump. Without electricity, the sump pump wasn’t emptying it out automatically.

I had to tell the family we were switching over to emergency procedures and they’d have to use a five-gallon bucket toilet we had set up for emergencies. Fortunately, we use greywater recycling, so the water from most of the sinks and tubs went out into the back yard, not into the sewage system.

As afternoon rolled around, the water flow from the sink started diminishing and eventually came to a complete stop. We were without water. Fortunately, I had foreseen this and had stockpiled water. My rain barrels were full as well and I had a good water purification system.

Third Day

The rain has finally let up… at least for the most part. We’re still getting some sudden rainfalls, but we’re also getting dry times as well. Maybe our street will finally dry out and I’ll be able to move the cars. But man, the humidity is horrible.

Up till now the food in the refrigerator has been doing good, as the insulation was enough to keep it cold. It also helped that I had the freezer full, so there was a large mass of cold food there to keep it cold. But today’s crunch day for that food. I’m going to have to start doing something with it or it’s all going to spoil. Time to fire up the smoker and smoke what I can. Too bad it’s too cloudy to use the sun’s power to make jerky.

Bathing is a challenge now, as we don’t have running water; and with the heat, we all need to bathe. I’ve spent a lot of time in Mexico, so I knew how to handle this. All it takes is a five-gallon bucket and a smaller plastic container, something that holds about two quarts.

To take a bath, you get a couple of gallons of water in your bucket and lock yourself in the bathroom, setting the bucket in the tub. You can wet yourself down by pouring water over yourself with the small container.

Once wet, it’s time to soap and lather. Then use the same container to pour water over yourself to rinse. The water is cold, but you don’t want to use more than you have to anyway. I can actually bathe and wash my hair with less than a gallon.

Of course, there are some family members who might not be all that happy bathing with cold water. I won’t mention any female’s names, but I’m sure you know what I mean. That meant heating up the water in a metal bucket on the barbecue grille. Fortunately, I’ve got a gas grill, in addition to the wood-burning smoker. I always keep extra propane on hand, as part of my survival preparedness.

Fourth Day

By now I’d be worried about my firewood supply if I lived up north. Most people stack their firewood in the open, which means that it would have gotten soaking wet from all that rainfall. In olden times, most people either stacked their wood in a shed or built their homes with wide eaves, so that they could stack the wood up against the house, where the eaves would protect it.

Still working on smoking the meat from the freezer and canning the veggies. That’s a bit challenging on an open fire, but not all that bad. We’re using the gas barbecue grille for that as well, when we’re not using it for cooking. I hope my supply of propane holds out.

There’s enough sunlight that I can make jerky from some of the meat, rather than smoking it. I’ve already soaked it in brine, in anticipation of smoking it, so it has salt. That’s not as good for flavor as marinating it, but it will work fine for preserving it.

To make the jerky, I sliced the meat up and hung it over the clothes line. This is somewhat analogous to what the American Indians did, except they used wood racks, instead of a clothes line. Still, it’s the same idea and the meat seems to dry well, as long as the sun stays out.

Neighbors are starting to run out of food and have come knocking. That’s tough. I know many of their kids. Fortunately, we know this isn’t a TEOTWAWKI event, where we know the power won’t be coming back on. So I shared some food with them, giving them rice and beans from my stock, as well as some of the chicken that had thawed out.

I’m concerned about what’s going to happen in a few more days. People have already broken the windows in the local supermarket and raided it for food. What’s going to happen when that food runs out. The average supermarket only has three days worth of food on hand.

Fifth Day

I’ve decided that my plans for alternative power were totally inadequate. The few solar panels I bought have barely been able to keep up with charging phones, flashlight batteries and a few other necessities.

If I had been able to power my fridge, I wouldn’t have had the panic to save my food. If I could have air conditioned at least one room in the house, we could have slept a whole lot better.

It’s more than just keeping cool so that we can sleep better; my wife’s heat intolerant. We normally have to keep her in the air conditioning pretty much all the time, except during our brief winter. Without air running, she’s been unable to do a thing.

I’ve been using evaporative cooling as much as I can to keep her cool, but that’s not enough. There isn’t any ice, or I’d be using that. The best I can do is keep her wet and in the breeze. At least at night it’s a bit cooler and she can move around.

People are starting to talk about organizing the neighborhood so that everyone can eat. I know what that means, it means that they expect me to share what I have. As best I know, there are no other preppers in the neighborhood, so I don’t know where all this food is supposed to come from, unless they are thinking I have enough to feed everyone.

Finally got all the food salvaged. But as much as I care for my fellow man, I didn’t do it for them. Besides, by the time you split up what was in my freezer through the neighborhood, we’ve got enough for one good meal, that’s it.

Sixth Day

More people are coming around, asking for food. I don’t know these people, so I’ve been turning them away. Mostly I do that by telling them to go to the FEMA distribution center.

But as far as I know, FEMA isn’t here yet. If they are, it’s probably just to bring red tape. I haven’t seen anyone who has had food that came from FEMA.

Decided to do some scouting around today, so took the car out to see what’s happening. As best as I can tell, there are a few churches and non-profits up and running, trying to help people. That’s it. But I took that information back to my neighborhood and tried to spread it around.

Almost got carjacked while I was out scouting around. There has always been a lot of gang activity in the area, so I guess the gangs are getting active. I must have looked like an inviting target, driving my car down a nearly empty street. Fortunately, I saw them in time and gunned the engine, before they could reach me. A few twists and turns and I lost them. But it was close.

The radio has gone dead; we’re not even getting information that way anymore. Radio stations are supposed to have some sort of emergency power supply and a stock of fuel to run it. So I guess they ran out. We don’t even know if anyone out there is paying attention to what’s happening here, as we aren’t getting any reports back. It sure feels lonely.

Seventh Day

Things are starting to get ugly. People are hungry and so are their kids. I’m starting to see others walking around with guns strapped on. I carry concealed, so I’ve been doing that all along.

But I doubt all those people have a concealed carry license. They’ve just decided to take it on themselves to carry a gun. And I have to say, they don’t all look like nice people.

Several of them got together and came up my walkway, looking like they were planning on taking over. Since I have a four foot tall hedge around my front yard, they were all bunched up, right there on the walkway… right where I wanted them. I stepped out on the balcony, while the family poked their guns out the windows. As I said, they were right where I wanted them… where we had the upper hand.

That was enough to get them to turn back, after shouting a few threats at the house. I’m sure they’ll come back, just as soon as they’re ready.

Later that Day

Thank God, the lights came back on. We have power once again. Things are starting to settle down. Where it was looking like we were going to have High Noon in the streets of our neighborhood just a few hours ago, things look civilized once again. People have put their guns away again. Some food trucks have shown up and I see smiles on faces once more.

So that was my experience. I’m glad it wasn’t any worse. But what about you? Have you lived through something similar? Have you had the lights go out? How did you handle it? How did your neighbors? What did you learn that you were doing wrong?

Why America Is Not The Land Of The Free And Home Of The Brave Anymore

As the primaries for the 2020 presidential elections warm up, one has to wonder about the direction our country is taking.

Each and every election, it seems like we are fighting more and more to retain the country our forefathers handed down to us.

Politically speaking, I think just about everyone would agree that our country is a mess, regardless of what side of the aisle they identify with. Although agreeing on how and why it is a mess is another thing altogether. To those who identify with the left, it is a mess because it has never and will never live up to their ever-changing definition of utopia. While to those on the right, the mess is caused by the changes that those on the left are constantly forcing on us.

Regardless of where you stand, you’ll be watching and probably even participating in next year’s general elections and all the folderol leading up to it. We tend to hang upon our nation’s elections as if they are going to define whether we live or die; whether we become slave or free and whether or not the nation survives or not.

I have my own opinions on that, just like everyone else; but overriding those opinions are the observation that little changes in Washington, DC, regardless of who is in office. Our federal government’s bureaucracy operates like a giant shock absorber, ultimately forcing politics of whatever brand to resonate to its own, inefficient harmony.

Ultimately, that harmony ends up increasing the size of the federal government, taking more of our money and intruding into more and more of our lives, regardless of which political party is in power. Ultimately, you and I, the taxpayers, end up paying for what is often nothing more than a federal government jobs program for bureaucrats.

The Biggest Political Party

We talk about our country having a two-party system; the Republicans and the Democrats. But I’ve found it to consist of four political parties. The two I just mentioned are the two which run for office, while you and I don’t have any right to vote for the members of the other two.

These additional two political parties are the more powerful ones. They consist of the party of the mainstream media and the party of the bureaucrats. While those two parties tend to align themselves with the Democrats on most things, they have their own ideas about how things should be done and often are the ones which are driving the Democrats farther and farther to the left.

Even so, it is the party of the bureaucrats, not the party of the mainstream media, which is the biggest political party in our country. Bureaucrats, by their very nature, tend to push the government towards inefficiency, as they work to increase their individual fiefdoms, so that they can get promotions, pay and prestige.

You might think that those bureaucrats work for the politicians, and that’s an easy mistake to make. But in reality, they only work for the politicians in the sense that many tie themselves to the mast of one politician or another’s boat, as they go up in rank, hoping to guarantee themselves a cushy supergrade job before they retire.

Throughout their years in office, the bureaucrats spend time moving paper from one side of their desk to the other, generating reports, red tape and jobs for more bureaucrats. But few of them do anything that adds to the country’s efficiency or gross national product.

Yet these bureaucrats work tirelessly to gain more control of our lives. It is they, not the politicians we vote into office, who come up with the myriad of regulations which stifle small business and force their fellow citizens to penalties for not doing something they didn’t even know they had to do.

Regardless of who we vote in, we can count on the party of the bureaucrats to maintain control. Civil Service regulations make it nearly impossible to get rid of them, once they are hired. All any of us can do is wait for them to expire or at least retire. Then and only then, do they stop being a threat to the average American taxpayer.

But politics and the effects of the resulting bureaucracy isn’t what I want to talk to you about today. Rather, I want to talk to you about our reaction to that as preppers and what that means to our long-term survival.

Survival is Non-Partisan

Most preppers and survivalists are political conservatives; but not all are. There are some liberal members amongst us. But what ends up being partisan is our attitude, specifically the fear factor that goes on in our community, depending on which political party is in office.

When former president Obama was in office, there was a lot of concern amongst conservatives that he would do something which would lead to some sort of societal collapse. There were countless articles talking about how the government would be swooping in to pick up conservatives, Christians and gun owners. But none of that happened. The day that Donald Trump was voted in as president, all that stopped and was replaced by leftist cries of how everything that the President did was going to cause a “Trumpocalypse.”

Of course, there hasn’t been any Trumpocalypse. Yet that doesn’t stop the mainstream news media from declaring every potential problem is going to lead to it. Apparently the news media is the conspiracy theorists of the left, just like there are some for the right.

The reality is that most of the things we prepare for are far beyond any semblance of control by our government; even though we act as if they are. I’ve never asked, but I have yet to see a Democrat Hurricane or a Republican Earthquake. Whether North Korea or Iran, both rogue governments, attacks us with an EMP isn’t controlled by who is living in the White House either. They’re just as willing to destroy either brand of government. Nor does the power to stop an asteroid from hitting the Earth reside in the chambers of Congress.

How well FEMA reacts to any of these situation doesn’t have anything to do with who is sitting in the Oval Office or who controls the two houses of Congress. They operate under the same guidelines, bringing the same red tape to the disaster scene, no matter who their political masters are.

Yet this inability of our government doesn’t seem to be taken into account as we approach our prepping. We continue to allow the current political winds dictate our concerns, even though that is unrealistic. Today the supporters of one political party are the ones who are concerned and next year the supporters of the other political party might be.

Are there disasters that one political party or the other can affect? Yes; those which are of a political nature or are closely connected to politics. From what I’ve seen, this means the potential of a financial collapse, more than anything else. Other than that, about the only thing that politics could affect, that would have anything to do with our survival, would be acts of war by foreign nations.

So, let me ask you; of all the disasters that could strike, which ones are most likely? Which ones can the government have an impact on? Is there any connection between the two?

I don’t think so.

The Political Season is Upon Us

So here we are, in another political season. Primary season is in full swing, with various politicians trying to gain the nomination of their party. Campaign promises are being spewed all over the stage, soon to be forgotten, as those politicians try and outdo each other and sway their voter base. These proceedings are looked on with humor by those who support the opposing party, strengthening their resolve to make sure their candidate wins the election.

What this political theatre really means is a lot of distraction for the general public. I’m sure it will distract those of us in the prepping community as well. Rather, than spend our time on preparing for the disasters which are likely to strike us, we’ll be spending a lot of time involved in useless political debate, mostly with people whose minds we aren’t going to be able to change anyway.

Sadly, our politics have reached the point where it is causing the closest of friends to break up, with people spitting vitriol at those who don’t agree with their point of view. All that energy could be spent on better things, such as getting together to figure out how to survive the next disaster.

Billions of dollars is going to be spent by the candidates, their political action groups (PACs) and their political parties. That’s money which could go towards much more important things, such as repairing our crumbling infrastructure, so that when the next disaster strikes, people won’t suffer as much. Yet, not one politician will complain about the cost of their campaign, begging rather, for more money to fill their war chest.

This shows where the priorities of our country have gotten too. Companies, unions and other organizations are preparing to offer tens of millions of dollars to support the candidate which the believe is going to be able to do them the most good. All that money will be a boon to television stations, printers and others who provide the many goods and services needed for a successful campaign. But not one dime of it will really help the people.

You and I can decide whether or not we will allow politics to define us. While I firmly believe in exercising my right and responsibility to vote, I don’t allow politics to control my life. I’ve long since given up getting into political arguments on social media and will rarely bother to even respond to political comments made in my presence.

I have other priorities in my life.

Prep Like Your Life Depends on It

Through all this, the disasters which concern us every day will still be there. Natural disasters will continue to strike. The financial markets will fluctuate up and down with the political tides, making money for some, while others lose their shirt. People will get sick, lose their jobs, need to sell their homes and suffer other setbacks in life.

Those are the things we need to be focusing on, not the political theatre which is going on around us. Yes, we should know where the candidates stand on the issues and yes we should vote; but we don’t need to spend all our time on it. After all, when all is said and done, it won’t stop one hurricane or tornado.

Here’s the thing; many of us have been allowing politics to dictate our prepping, rather than any realistic analysis of potential disasters we might face. Because of that, we’re missing out on some great opportunities and putting out families in danger. We need to be serious about our prepping, regardless of who is in office. Win, lose or draw, next November’s General Elections shouldn’t affect what we are doing or how we are doing it.

I would hate to see any of our brothers or sisters in the survival community fall prey to not being prepared for the next disaster, because they have focused too much on things they can’t change. Worse, for letting their preps slide, because they have confidence in whoever is President. As we’ve already discussed, he or she can’t stop disasters from happening, so it doesn’t make sense to allow them to affect how we prepare for those disasters.