Wired: The Best Emergency Gear is Other People

It’s nice to see people come to the realization that community is pretty important when a disaster hits. Seeing it in a major, mainstream publication is good, too. This article comes from Wired magazine. It’s pretty brief and the “houses we would pillage” comment is a little worrisome, though hopefully they at least mean unoccupied, but the message of working with the people around you is there.

The Best Emergency Gear Is Other People

All this stuff is great, but who’s going to chop through your floor when you’re trapped in the basement?Photograph: Getty Images

September is Emergency Preparedness Month. I don’t find many National Days to be very useful (I’m still not sure what to do about “Meow Like a Pirate Day”), but for those of us who live in disaster-prone areas, like the hurricane-strewn Gulf Coast or the tornado plains of the Midwest, September is a good reminder to make sure that your emergency gear is up to date.

In my particular part of the country, “our” disaster is the inevitable Pacific Northwest earthquake. I live in a tiny corner of Portland, Oregon, a city that will be affected by any quakes on the Cascadia subduction zone. When The New Yorker‘s in-depth investigation was published in 2015, it kicked off a days-long group text among my neighbors that was only mildly panicked in tone.

About my neighbors on that group text: We all live within four blocks of each other, in wood-framed houses in varying states of renovation or disrepair. Some of us have backyard gardens and chickens; we all have partners, small children, and dogs. Without my neighbors, I’m not sure I would’ve even prepared for an earthquake at all.

I first got a hint that I might need to get my butt in gear when I received a plaintive note: “When the earthquake happens, will someone check on us to make sure we’re not stuck on the second story of our house?” someone asked.

“We’ll make your house the meeting point,” another responded.

“Do we need to get stuff?” I asked, checking the online list. “Water? A toilet?”

“We have water filters and sterilizers,” my husband said to me, since he was receiving but pointedly not participating in the group text. “You know we can just walk down to the river and fill buckets, right?”

It took a few more back-and-forths about which houses we would pillage and when, but it didn’t take me long to realize that the most important resource to have on hand wasn’t my neighbors’ stuff; it was my neighbors themselves.

My Emergency Kit…

Click here to read the rest of the story at Wired.

Forward Observer: Five Lines of Effort for Community – WROL

In this video, intelligence analyst Sam Culper of Forward Observer focuses on the five areas that he want to do for his tribe or community in case of a worst case scenario or without rule of law (WROL) situation. Intelligence drives operations. You can’t respond effectively without knowing what is what and who is who.

  1. Establish local security (legitimacy and protection)
  2. Establish positive control of the situation
  3. Restore essential services (water, electricity, at least in your immediate area)
  4. Support economic & infrastructure development (Local barter system? Safe roads. What can you produce in your area?)
  5. Conduct information management (Get news and local information out to people who need it or to deter suspicious/malicious persons)

Captain’s Journal: So You’re bugging Out, Are You?

From Herschel Smith at Captain’s Journal comes a brief piece on thinking about bugging out and if you would really do it or not — So You’re Bugging Out, Are You? Dude, You’re Not Going Anywhere.

First of all, watch this video in its entirety.  I think John conveys a lot of wisdom in his talk.

This dovetails with a lot of what I have been thinking about the concept of the “bugout” philosophy.  I greatly admire folks like James Wesley Rawles, who made the decision a very long time ago to ensconce in the Northwestern redoubt, although I partial to the Appalachian redoubt being more in my backyard.

Folks like that made a huge decision to leave where they were, plant roots, create a life and lifestyle, make a family, and never leave.  But the problem is that most other people have deep roots too, wherever they are.  Elderly parents need help, children are part of your life, grandchildren need raising by grandparents, friends and family cannot simply be left by the wayside to “bugout” when the going gets tough.

I have a friend who once told me the reason he didn’t “prep” was that he knew where all the preppers in his area were, those who had ammunition, food, and so on, and he had guns and knew whose house to go to in order to find what he needed.

Note well.  He was telling me he would become just like a feral animal whenever the time arose, taking what he needed from his neighbors and leaving trusted folks to suffer in his place.  Now, I know the heart of the man who said this to me, and I know that he would never do that.  So if that man is reading this now, I know that it was all a lot of bluster.  How do I know that?  Because I know you.  You were just giving me excuses for not planning and preparing…

Click here to read the entire article at Captainsjournal.com

Related:

The Preparedness Experience: Don’t Even Think About Bugging Out

Survivalist Prepper: Why Bugging Out Is More Complicated Than You Think

Back Door Survival: Bug Out or Bug in? Making the Right Choice for Your Situation

 

FEMA: We’ve Failed Miserably at Building Community Preparedness

A FEMA report has found that the federal government’s efforts to build disaster-resilient communities has been a failure for various reasons, including that government is not the best entity to reach out with a message of preparedness. It suggests that encouraging a bottom-up approach may be more effective.

Report: We’ve Failed Miserably at Preparedness

A better approach, a new FEMA Higher Education Program report says, is to develop individual cultures of preparedness from the bottom up that could eventually lead to a more resilient nation…

“We’ve achieved our national preparedness goals when it comes to first responders [as per Presidential Policy Directive 8] but when it comes to preparedness of individual households and communities, we’ve failed,” said Laura Olson, a lead author of the report. “To say we’ve failed it putting it mildly…”

The key difficulty with past approaches is that communities across the country lost trust in the government and therefore, the report says, government is not the best entity to reach out to communities with a message of preparedness.

There must be recognition that there is going to be a cultural difference in communication, whether it be communication between emergency managers and communities or any other entities, and to eliminate assumptions…

Click here to read the entire article at govtech.com.

 

Citylab: Vashon Island Community Prepares for Disasters

The Vashon Island community has spent years working to be prepared for an emergency/disaster situation, going as far as forming a non-profit organization – VashonBePrepared – to coordinate the disaster preparedness organizations on the island. From Citylab.com, here is an excerpt from Preparing for ‘The Big One’ in an Isolated Island Town.

…[T]he island community has been building up its emergency preparedness efforts for nearly two decades. The work was initially kicked off when Joseph Ulatoski, a retired brigadier general and island resident, started asking who was responsible if a disaster struck. His questions led to a small group of locals meeting monthly to figure out exactly how they would handle such a situation, Wallace says.

“As time went on, it became clear that we needed to be more organized, structured, and also that we would be in a form that could be recognized by people,” he says.

The result was VashonBePrepared. Today it’s a non-profit, FEMA-sanctioned coalition of the island’s disaster preparedness organizations, including CERT and Voice of Vashon. Its purpose is exclusively to prepare the island for an emergency by helping to coordinate these organizations; it doesn’t actually play a role in real-time response efforts.

“It is a coalition to organize these partner groups to be efficient, avoid redundancy and duplication of effort, and inspire each other to move forward with all these different programs that each of us are running,” says Wallace, who is also the vice president of VashonBePrepared’s executive committee.

One of these key partner organizations is the Neighborhood Emergency Response Organization. Similar, in a sense, to neighborhood watch groups, its leaders have organized hundreds of households into neighborhood groups so they can get to know each other and thus be more likely to help one another if an emergency hits…

Ham radio operators in the emergency operations center radio room. (Courtesy of Rick Wallace)

Click here to read the entire story at CityLab.

Fr. John Peck: The Forgotten Rule

Fr. John Peck has a nice article up on the golden rule and its disappearance from society, The Forgotten Rule.

A rule so forgotten that we have a generation that doesn’t even remember that they forgot it.

A look at the mess of American society reveals a dearth of honest, respectful discourse which revels in the freedom to speak and enquire freely without fear of abuse or belittlement by a multitude whose basic thoughts are generated in 140 characters or less. They have forgotten the most important rule of human society, and they have forgotten it precisely because they have aligned and associated themselves with those who have abrogated this rule from their lexicon of desirable behavior, morality, and even their thoughts.

I mean, the Golden Rule.

For those of you reading this who might not know the Golden Rule without Googling it, it can be found in its most perfect form in the teachings of Jesus Christ, and recorded in the Gospel according to St. Matthew, as follows:

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

We are inundated daily with trumped up accusations about the origins of our opinions, and good order, decency, and good judgment are replaced with the worst kind of propaganda – from vagina hats and lewd ‘rights’ marches which no parent or child should have to endure in public, to pro-fascist groups calling themselves antifascists and acting precisely in the manner of young socialist revolutionaries, to outright lies all the way up the chain of public discourse. Sure we expect politicians to lie, but we had hoped that our journalists would study journalism more than socialism, and that our teachers would teach the Golden Rule rather than class warfare.

The reason for our rapid decline is easy to see. Paid protesters, organized riots, and public figures loading their own pockets with millions and millions literally stolen from the mouths of the hungry and the homeless in their time of greatest need; all these have excited the shallow minds of witless followers with the promise of the power to do as they will, to remake the world in their own shattered, shallow, distorted image. And the closer they get to their goal, the more they get their way, the more rabid and miserable and angry they become.

Forget the amorality of current science, which forges its vision based on whatever they think may be possible, rather than that which can serve and benefit mankind. Forget the wanton destruction of cultural and historical landmarks and memorials which etch the character – good, bad or both – of a nation and a people, and reduce future generations to drones. Forget the inability to call one’s associates to account because they’re ‘on our side’ even though evil deeds have been done, and accountability needs a reckoning to set a people on their proper course again.

Loyalty has trumped principle in the minds of most of our people. This is a darkness from which there is little chance of coming back.

Click here to read the entire article at Fr. John Peck.

Carolina Preppers Network Hurricane Response

The Carolina Preppers Network (CPN) has a write up on their response during and after Hurricane Florence. The CPN started a small group for the purpose of helping people become better prepared in times of crises.

Carolina Preppers Network Hurricane Response

The Carolina Preppers Network hurricane response was something with which to be impressed. For those who don’t know, CPN is an education/support organization with members in North and South Carolina. There are no membership dues and all participants are volunteers with groups meeting regularly in many towns and cities. The organization has been led by Forrest Garvin for the past few years now and during that time, it has grown from fewer than 300 participants to more than 8,500 today. CPN wasn’t created to be a disaster response organization along the lines of the American Red Cross or Samaritan’s Purse, but rather an information swapping and educational resource to help individuals become prepared to be self-supporting in times of crises. But during Hurricane Florence, CPN grew into more. Retreat Realty is proud to be one of the corporate sponsors, especially so after seeing how CPN directly impacted and saved lives during Hurricane Florence.

Days before landfall, Forrest sent out notifications to members via CPN’s Team App calling for those who could assist to help with the gathering of information (intel) and coordination of resources where needed once the hurricane came ashore. This was coordinated with leadership of the Cajun Navy, the Gulf Coast volunteer organization that became famous during Hurricanes Katrina and Harvey during which those volunteers provided their own shallow draft boats to rescue thousands from precarious situations. For several days, the leadership team of CPN worked nearly nonstop using the Zello smart phone app as well as HAM radio operators via AmRRon (the American Redoubt Radio Operators Network) and working with Forward Observer to receive calls for assistance and disseminate that information to Cajun Navy responders among other things. This coordinated effort was a significant example of how a group of loosely organized individuals can operate as efficiently or more so than larger government organizations.

There was one story of ladies stranded in their attic with water reaching up to them who were located by CPN who then notified Cajun Navy responders who rescued them. Other services involved coordinating housing and food for volunteers on the scene. One example is that of a call that came in from a Cajun Navy volunteer at 8:30 PM saying they needed housing for 10 to 30 persons. CPN volunteers called Crosspointe Church which promptly responded “What do you need and where?”, then another church provided a mission house and another had a multi-purpose facility where the volunteers could sleep and park their boats and trailers. Within an hour or so, they had the lodging they needed. All of these coordination efforts were done long distance through CPN volunteers in Charlotte, Asheville, Raleigh, Greenville (SC) and elsewhere. This goes to show that with modern technology, you can help from anywhere.

Something else that impressed me came from listening in on a conference call last night with the leadership team having an Action Review (“AR”) or debriefing of the event. There was plenty of well deserved back slapping and congratulatory words, but there was also a focus on what could have been done better and how to get ready for the next disaster whether it be from a hurricane, power failure or other catastrophic event. I believe Hurricane Florence will be remembered within CPN as the time when CPN “grew up” to become a life changer, putting theory into practice. I congratulate Forrest and all the others who gave up their time to help strangers and am proud to be a sponsor of this fine organization.

Related:

Forward Observer: Intel Support to Hurricane Florence & Disaster Response

Forward Observer: Notes on Hurricane Florence Disaster Response

Forward Observer: An Introduction to Fox Company and “Disaster Intelligence”

Radio Free Redoubt: AmRRON Coverage of Florence and EXSUM

 

 

 

Forward Observer: Community Security eBook

Sam Culper at Forward Observer has written a short (sixteen pages) ebook on Intelligence and Community Security. It’s a ‘quick start’ guide to understanding intelligence for community security and emergency preparedness.

The writing is on the wall. It couldn’t be more clear.

Our power grids are critically vulnerable.

“As an almost 30-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force with leadership experience in intelligence and cyber warfare, and as a current member of the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection, I know we are highly vulnerable to a cyber-attack on our electric grid.

Such an attack could have devastating, long-term consequences for our economy, our national security – for our very way of life.”

Those are the recent words of Don Bacon (R-NE), a retired Air Force Brigadier General who was in charge of the Air Force’s Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) strategy program.

This “news” about the power grid shouldn’t be news to anyone, but it drives home a very good point…

If you care about your wife, children, family, and neighborhood, you should spend some time preparing for the effects of a cyber attack like the one Rep. Bacon describes.

The emergency preparedness community is so quick to focus on “bullets, beans, and band-aids” that they often overlook the value of local intelligence gathering.

Intelligence is probably the single-most overlooked aspect of preparedness, yet it should be a central part of your preparedness plans.

I’ll state the case:

If you’re concerned about a cyber attack or a grid-down event, you’re not actually preparing for those events. You’re preparing for the effects of those events.

But how do you know what the specific local effects will be, and how can you be sure?

Only intelligence can inform you of the second- and third-order effects of an event of this magnitude.

Only intelligence can inform you of very specific threats you may experience in the area.

Only intelligence can inform you of the likelihood that your neighborhood will suffer from looters, even worse criminals, and further systems disruption.

Bullets, beans, and band-aids will get you through periods of emergency, but they can’t inform your expectations of what will happen in the future.

That’s the value of intelligence…

Sam Culper says to share the ebook far and wide.  Click here to download Forward Observer’s Intelligence & Community Security ebook. It may only be freely available for a limited time.

So here’s what I want you to do…

PRINT IT.

Forward this email to your friends.

Give the book away.

Read it this weekend.

Have your friends read it this weekend.

And then act on it.

For the rest of this weekend, you can access the book here.

FO: Building an Intelligence Section for Community Security

Continuing with our recent intelligence theme, here is an article posted by Sam Culper today at Forward ObserverBuilding an Intelligence Section for Community Security. In it, he discusses why an intelligence team is necessary and how to get an intelligence team setup for your community.

First, we need to stress the importance of Intelligence as it relates to community security. The people in your preparedness group, security team — or just members of the community, for that matter — don’t know what they don’t know, and it’s not likely that they understand the value of Intelligence in the first place. The more our leadership, commander, and/or team members understand about Intelligence, the more likely they will see the extreme value of making it a priority. Illustrating the OODA Loop and how Intelligence plays a critical role in making informed, time-sensitive decisions is probably a very good first step. There are those communities which will implement intelligence and be more prepared, and there will be communities who don’t use intelligence. I believe the difference between the two will be visible.

Intelligence is critical in our ability to stay a step ahead of threats. The principles outlined on this blog are the same principles used by intelligence agencies and the military. Those two organizations happen to have roles in fighting terrorism; a mission of which community security is a microcosm. While we aren’t involved in fighting terrorists, what we may face in a worst-case scenario is a modified form of terrorism in our communities: in other words, violence against society. And we know that “no other single policy effort [other than intelligence] is more important for preventing, preempting, and responding to attacks.”

The second thing we can do is to develop some criteria we can include when scouting out potential ACE members; we need to find those mental giants capable of heavy lifting. There are probably individuals in your community who may not be able to physically contribute to security, but can certainly contribute mentally. These are the people we want…

Click here to read the whole article at Forward Observer.

RELATED:

FO: Four Bases of Intelligence and Community Security

FO: Four Type of Intelligence Collection for Community Security

FO: Why Intelligence Deserves a Role in Survival, Preparedness, and Community Security

FO: Why Intelligence Deserves a Role in Community Security

Forward Observer has a nice article up titled Why Intelligence Deserves a Role in Survival, Preparedness, and Community Security.  Sam Culper, the author, explains the difference between intelligence and information and why it is important to you. Between the writings of Kit Perez at American Partisan and Sam Culper at Forward Observer, you can get a pretty good grounding in intelligence matters. Sam Culper has also a written a book, SHTF Intelligence, if you want to delve even farther into these topics.

If the lights went out tomorrow – if some catastrophic event occurred, perhaps the event for which you are preparing – then then my number one concern is the ability to anticipate the effects on our community. For instance, a cyber attack that disables portions of the power grid for 12 hours is going to produce much different conditions than the persistent effects of a viral epidemic.

No matter the cause of the event, one thing that Intelligence does for us is that it allows us to reduce uncertainty about the future. It makes little sense to prepare for a highly unlikely event, when we can establish scenarios that are more likely to occur based on an examination of the facts instead of on the fear mongering that surrounds the highly unlikely scenarios.

One of the largest problems facing our preparedness community is the condition of being the “least-most prepared”. You probably know someone who falls in that category. These folks have the most preparations – the most stored food and water, the most medicine, the most firearms and ammunition – but are actually among the least prepared for the future. They may have have tons of gear but they have no clue how to use it. Or they may be a small island of preparedness in a bottomless sea of needy people. Either way, all their preparations are less likely to sustain their family and more likely to sustain whoever capitalizes on their lack of intelligence and misfortune.

The people who fall into the category of the “least-most prepared” may have all the gear and storage, but they still have lots of uncertainty. They haven’t started to answer some basic questions about what types of threats they’ll face in any given scenario, or what the local effects would be of a national, regional, or local emergency. They don’t know when an event is going to happen. They don’t what it’s going to look like. They don’t know how it will affect their home and community. And they don’t know what specific threats will be posed to them.

Having all the stuff does us little good if we haven’t identified and don’t understand the threat we’re facing. And when we don’t understand the threat, we make ourselves extremely vulnerable to strategic shock; that is, being exploited by a threat we didn’t know existed or for which we weren’t prepared. In one sentence: your stuff is useless to you if you aren’t prepared to defend it, and you aren’t prepared to defend it unless you understand the threats. And that’s where intelligence collection and analysis come in.

I think the proverbial “nine meals from anarchy” is an adequate initial description of any SHTF event. That idiom describes the length of time between a disruption in public services and logistical systems, and empty grocery stores being the least of your worries. The higher the population density, the shorter that window becomes. The more people, the greater the need. How your living conditions are affected may vary greatly in any scenario, but the critical need for threat intelligence will stay the same. It doesn’t matter whether you live in Star Valley, Wyoming or on Staten Island, New York; you will need threat intelligence as part of your day to day survival.

One thing that separates those who are least-most prepared and those who are best prepared is access to early warning information and threat reporting — in other words, access to timely information in order to produce Intelligence. Regardless of the trigger event and your community environment, you’re going to find yourself in one of two situations:

Click here to read the whole article at Forward Observer.

Regular Assembly of the Whole, June 14th, 2018

Please join us at the Patriot barn on June 14th, at 6:30 pm for an LVA barbecue. We will have a short business portion followed by food and fellowship. We ask that everyone bring a side dish and lawn chairs. BBQ chicken will be provided as well as dessert. Also please save the date of Tuesday, June 26th for the Center for Self-Governance screening of the Finicum documentary Dead Man Talking, with Lavoy’s widow Jeanette Finicum. We want to be an encouragement to both of them and their efforts.

Click here to download a printable agenda.

Keep Gov’t Local – Excerpt from “Human Scale Revisted”

On the ability of local communities to better respond to issues than state or federal government, from the book Human Scale Revisited by Kirkpatrick Sale:

To find the government as the root cause of such problems, of course, should not surprise us by now: it is in the nature of the state, we have repeatedly seen, to create the problems that it then steps in to correct and uses to justify its existence. But there is a further point to the process that is pertinent here; in the words of British philosopher Michael Taylor:

The state…in order to expand domestic markets, facilitate common defence, and so on, encourages the weakening of local communities in favour of the national community. In doing so, it relieves individuals of the necessity to cooperate voluntarily amongst themselves on a local basis, making them more dependent upon the state. Teh result is that altruism and cooperative behavior gradually decay. The state is thereby strengthened and made more effective in its work of weakening the local community.

This is important: it is exactly this that accounts for the inability of the Lake Michigan communities to regulate their pollution problems in the first place. Communities that were in control of their own affairs, whose citizens had an effective voice in the matters that touched their lives, would almost certainly choose not to pollute their own waters or to permit local industries to do so, out of sheer self-interest if not out of good sense — particularly if they were small, ecology-minded, economically stable, and democratically governed. (And if by some chance a community or two did go on polluting, resistant to all appeals, their toxic effects would likely not overstrain the lake’s ability to absorb them.) It is this process, moreover, that accounts for the failure of the concerned majority to have cleaned up the pollution once it existed. Individuals and communities conditioned to cooperative and federative behavior, particularly those whose interests are greatest (in this case fishing villages, towns with bathing beaches, beach clubs, marinas, lakefront hotels, boardwalk businesses), would almost certainly work out, and pay for, a way to restore the lake — especially if there were no federal or state governments to siphon off the locally generated money through taxation.

As with pollution, so with the other public services of the state. There is a not a one of them, not one, that has not in the past been the province of the community or some agency within the community (family, church, guild) and that has been taken on the state only because it first destroyed that province. There is not a one of them that could not be re-absorbed by a community in control of its own destiny and able to see what its natural humanitarian obligations, its humanitarian opportunities, would be. Invariably hen the state has taken over the job of supplying blood for hospitals, there is a shortage, even when it offers money; the United States now gets much of its blood from overseas. Invariably when a community is asked to do it voluntarily, and when the community perceives that the blood is to be used for its own needs, there is a surplus. This is not magic altruism, the by-product of utopia; this is perceived self-interest, community-interest, made possible (capable of being perceived by the individual) only at the human scale.

Indeed there is not one public service, not one, that could not be better supplied at the local level, where the problem is understood best and quickest, the solutions are most accessible, the refinements and adjustments are easiest to make, the monitoring is most convenient. If it be said that there is not sufficient expertise in a small community to tackle some of the complicated problems that come along, the answer is surely not a standing pool of federal talent but an appeal throughout neighboring communities and regions for a person or group who can come in to do the job. (This is in fact what the federal government itself most often does today, hence the great reliance on contract firms and $650-a-day consultants.) If it be said that some problems are too big for a small community to hand along (an epidemic, a forest fire, or some widespread disaster), the anser is clearly not the intervention of some outside force but the ready cooperation of the communities and regions involved, whose own self-interest, even survival, is after all at stake. And if it be said that there is not enough money in a small community to handle such problems — well, where do you suppose the government got its money in the first place, and how much more might there be in local pockets if $500 billion of it weren’t spent by Washington, $200 billion by state capitals, every year?

I cannot imagine a world without problems and crises, without social and economic dislocations demanding some public response. I see no difficulty, however, in imagining a world where those are responded to at the immediate human level by those who perceive the immediate human effects and control their own immediate human destinies.

FO with John Mosby on Building Tribe, Community and Preparedness

Sam Culper at Forward Observer interviews John Mosby, a former Army Special Operations soldier, small arms instructor, and author on building tribe, community and preparedness. Mosby writes at the Mountain Guerrilla blog, and is the author of The Reluctant Partisan Volumes I and II, and Forging the Hero.

 

NC Scout: Preparedness Groups and Community

From NC Scout, writing at American Partisan:

log cabin

From my angle, not suffering the myopia of many, the prepper movement seems to be rekindling. After the siesta many seemed to take after November 2016, a large number are waking up to the reality that no, your problems are not solved by simply voting and that no, they won’t be any time after. We can easily see that all of the same issues which motivated the many are still omnipresent- the shaky basis of our economy, the very real threat of domestic discord, and the increasing likelihood of terrorism or even a possible nuclear exchange. I can’t help but wonder if this is what the early 80s felt like. Coming of age in the 90s survivalists were far more concerned with the rise of globalism and the threat of domestic tyranny, listening to William Cooper on our Sony Shortwave receivers that we bought at Radio Shack. Those threats haven’t gone away, but what has changed for the good is the approach many are adopting to preparedness and survival compared to the past- embracing a small group and community model versus the inefficient and socially obtuse ‘lone wolf’ stereotype. Before anyone hisses at their screen while reading this, take a moment to reflect on some of the things that have been either written, filmed, or observed in the past few years. Look at the growth of all things survival, primitive living, or just asking for a simpler and more resilient lifestyle. What was once a fringe notion among social outsiders is now mainstream. Look at the resurgence of the ways of yore and the reembracing of simpler, more resilient and less wasteful lifestyles. The age of tradition is coming back, fueled in part by a need to reawaken those bonds with our past meanwhile recognizing the need for community. The days of the large family gatherings and community get-togethers seems to be returning, and its a welcome sight.

gummer.jpgRugged Individualism doesn’t negate the need for others. I think of myself as a fairly well rounded individual. I can build anything from a lean-to shelter to a radio shack. I can keep a person alive from trauma long enough to get them to a higher tier of care. I can communicate around the world with basic equipment, I can make accurate shots with a 7.62×51 past 1k meters, lead a combat patrol, fix my diesel truck, brew my own beer, hunt any game out there, and can make it into the best smoked sausage you’d want to eat. But those skills at a basic level only serve me. What of my family? What of yours? I have to sleep sometime. Who watches over you when the body or mind shuts down?

And that’s where the confusion comes in. The idea of the well rounded man, rugged individual, or as I like to call self starter, doesn’t mean you don’t need anyone else. Could I live like that, alone, in total isolation? Maybe for a little while, but it wouldn’t be much fun. Without others to share a good laugh, food, drink or the human experience with, what’s the point of ‘surviving’? Many of the libertarian mindset pride themselves on personal liberty, not being reliant on anyone else for anything and accountable to the self alone. While I share those views it cannot negate the reality that I cannot do all things alone nor would I want to. Specialization may be for insects, but we do all have our talents. Groups tend to coalesce around skills that add to the whole. And that brings us to how we stand up communities of preppers.

The first thing to recognize is that prepper groups are voluntary and should be based on respect and friendship…

Click here to read the entire article at AmericaPartisan.

Mosby: Courage Is a Choice; No One Is Coming to Save You

From John Mosby at Mountain Guerilla, Courage is a Choice -an essay about how to be courageous and not a coward.

I am going to discuss some things, from my own experiences and observations, that relate to this, in the context of the prepared citizen, recognizing our current position in the normal cycles of history.

To whit: courage is a choice. It has been said that courage is like the fuel tank on a vehicle, and eventually, if you use enough of it, you simply run out. I don’t know how perfectly accurate that is, but it is a good enough analogy for the moment. Here is the thing about that analogy though, and the point of this: like a fuel tank, you can refill the reservoir before it runs out—or even before it runs low. Running “out” of courage—especially in an occupation or role that demands physical and moral courage—is no different than running out of gas…it is a choice, and rather simply remedied, by topping off the tank regularly. If you read this blog regularly, I will take the liberty of assuming that you have chosen to identify yourself as someone who intends—when the time arises—stand to protect your innangarð, however you define it. This article is intended then, to discuss HOW we might make ourselves more ready to do so, without becoming niðings, when the moment comes.

I have previously written at least one article with Aristotle’s famed quote, “We become what we do,” as the title, and it is a line I have mentioned numerous times over the years in my writing. It is a core part of my personal philosophy on life, and has been since my grandfather said it to me decades ago, before I even knew who said it first (seriously, until I was in my thirties, I thought my grandfather had made it up.).

So, what does that have to do with the choice of courage? We are not born intrinsically courageous. If anything, our evolutionary biology programs us to be rather craven, into at least adolescence, as a survival mechanism. Due to our inherent physiological shortcomings as “hairless apes,” who lack fangs or claws, until we are old enough to manufacture and wield tools, natural selection has made it the role of the adults of our tribe/clan/pack/community, to protect us from harm.

For most of humanity’s existence, the majority of humans have understood that those “bumps in the night” are not just random noises. SOMETHING made those noises, and sometimes those things had claws, fangs, and a taste for the succulence of human flesh. It was understood that the role of any man who considered himself such, was to go out and hunt down and slaughter those things that might harm the young of his tribe or clan or community. It was the duty of every woman, no matter how domesticated she might be; no matter how happy she might be keeping the hearth clean and welcoming, to stand ready to pick up her husband’s extra shield and spear, and stand in the door of their hovel, hut, or fortress, and slaughter those beasts that came looking for the flesh of her offspring, when her husband was absent…

The problem in America, as with every other great civilization in history, is that we—like our forebears—abrogated that responsibility to a selected corps of “protectors,” in favor of doing less dangerous, “more rewarding” tasks like banking and arguing before a courtroom, fixing someone’s plumbing, or working on their computer problems. Even my farmer neighbors, those stalwart representatives of our yeoman agrarian past, when a predator stalks their livestock, are as likely to call in the game warden as they are to simply shoot, shovel, and shut up.

This then, is the most important lesson given the American people by the niðings of Broward County—and perhaps the only thing of worth they’ve done in their lives, if I had to guess—and it is one that many of us have been telling people for a very long time: no one is coming to save you. You are responsible for your safety, your family’s safety, and the safety of your community (and if you think any of those stand alone, then you are a fool).

How then, do we ensure that, when the bell tolls for us, we make the “right” choice, and choose courage over cowardice? We begin by ensuring we have filled the fuel tank, and then we top it off at regular intervals, rather than letting the needle ride the “E.” We choose courage—moral and physical—in our every activity, every day…

To continue reading at Mountain Guerrilla, click here.