Organic Prepper: How to Survive Uncertainty About the Future

From Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper, What Will the Future Bring? Here’s How to Survive the Uncertainty

…Three months ago, we all had dreams, goals for the future, or at least some idea of what the upcoming year would hold for us.

I’ll bet none of us even considered on New Year’s Eve that we’d spend the first half (at least) of the year dealing with a deadly pandemic. Heck, I sat on a balcony in a little seaside village in Montenegro, toasting the new decade with a friend and some Jack Daniels, watching fireworks over the Adriatic Sea, and planning what European destination I’d be heading to next.

It probably never crossed anyone’s mind that there’d be some crazy new virus that nobody had ever heard of which would leave us under the equivalent of house arrest for months. Few of us imagined that suddenly, over the course of just a few weeks, more than ten million Americans would suddenly become unemployed.

Dreams have been shattered.

Goals have been put aside.

Lives have been lost.

Everything has changed.

And nobody knows what the future will hold.

A lot of the things we do know are horrible.

How utterly terrifying to know that we’re all likely to lose somebody we love to this virus or to a medical condition that would have been survivable if the local hospital hadn’t been overflowing with COVID patients.

We know there’s nary a roll of toilet paper to be found in a huge swath of the United States. We know that our supply chain, if not broken, is at the least, badly bruised. We know that if a person we love goes into the hospital with COVID-19, there’s a frighteningly large chance they may never come out again unless it’s in a body bag. We know that medical professionals in New York City don’t even have personal protective equipment to keep themselves healthy while they try to keep people alive. We know that yesterday in the state of New York, 23 people died every hour of the day from the coronavirus that has destroyed the world as we know it.

We nearly all know people who have been laid off. Maybe it’s someone in your family. Maybe it’s you. And if you haven’t yet lost your job, are you waiting for that hammer to drop? We all know of businesses that aren’t going to make it through months of this shutdown.

We know people who couldn’t pay their rent this month. We know people who pulled it together this month but won’t be able to pay May’s rent if this lockdown should continue. We know it’s so bad that the government has said landlords can’t evict tenants in many states – which means the landlords may not be able to pay their mortgages.

We may not know much right now, but we know that the economy is a f*cking disaster.

And we have no idea when this current purgatory will end…

We’d all like to think that one day this will suddenly be over. The kids will return to school. We’ll go back to our offices and our commutes. We won’t be struggling over money anymore. Life will return to the pre-COVID days.

But is this the healthiest way to look at the situation?

Spending all your time looking forward to the day when this is over is an exercise in frustration because nobody knows when that will be. And more than that, nobody knows what “normal” is going to look like when all the lockdowns are over. A lot of things will never be the same.

You can help yourself by learning to adapt now to changed circumstances. This will help you learn to live with the new normal, whatever that turns out to be. Major events are bound to cause major and long-lasting changes. This has happened throughout history.

In reality, the things we’re experiencing right now, while not necessarily easy, aren’t so bad. Things will probably get worse before they get better, but eventually, some form of “better” will come.

Your ability to adapt is indicative of your ability to survive. So let’s get through this lockdown and keep our mindsets positive.  Let’s get through the part that comes next.

Then, eventually, we’ll come out on the other side, ready to tackle the new normal, whatever that ends up being like…(continues)

Click here to read the entire article at The Organic Prepper.

Organic Prepper: Ways to Prep When There Are No Supplies and You’re Out of Money

Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper has a timely article out 12 Ways to Prep When There Are No Supplies to Buy and You’re Out of Money. Anyone reading the news knows that many preparedness/daily living items are in short supply, and with millions laid off or working reduced hours money is tight for many more.

If you’ve been prepping for the Covid-19 pandemic recently, you’ve probably noticed a couple of things.

  1. The stores are quickly running out of the supplies people want.
  2. People are quickly running out of money.

Both of these things are important. Of course, if there are no supplies, you can’t buy what you need. But secondly, you need to still consider your budget. This situation with Covid-19 will be personally costly. At this point, we all still have bills to pay and your stockpile won’t do you much good when it’s sitting on the curb beside you because you couldn’t make your mortgage payment.

So while I advise doing everything you can to be prepared, I also encourage you NOT to go deeply into debt now of all times. People are getting laid off by the tens of thousands right now. Everything is changing.

We’re at a critical point right now when there’s a crisis bearing down on us and we want to get prepared. But there are very few supplies left on store shelves to buy and many of us don’t have much money left to spend. This does not mean there’s nothing you can do. In fact, you’re at one of the most crucial junctures of preparedness right now.

How to prep without buying more stuff

Here are some things you can do to prepare for the possibility of quarantine when you’ve put a halt to the frantic spending. Make yourself a checklist and get cracking.

  1. Fill up all your containers with water. A Mason jar full of water takes up the same amount of space as an empty Mason jar. Go through your house and fill up every vessel you can with water.
  2. Organize your supplies. If you bought a whole lot of stuff in a frenzy – and let’s be honest, a lot of us did – you may have them stacked in a precarious pile in some area of the house. Take the time to organize your food. You can go about this in different ways – put ingredients for meals together, put all the veggies in one area, all the grains in another area…however you decide to go about it, getting organized will help you see what you have on hand.
  3. Make a menu. While you’re organizing your food stockpile, create some meal plans based on the supplies that you have.
  4. Organize first aid and medical supplies. Put all your first aid, over-the-counter medications, prescription meds, and medical supplies together so you can see what you have. Think about how you can improvise anything you’re missing.
  5. Organize other supplies. I keep my supplies in kits. I have a power outage kit with candles, lighters, flashlights, batteries, solar chargers, etc. I have a pandemic kit I created back in 2014 during the Ebola scare with masks, gloves, Tyvek suits, booties, and other things specific to a pandemic. I use big Rubbermaid tubs for these kits but you can use anything: cardboard boxes, even space on a shelf.
  6. Do a home-security check.  Go outside and take a walk around your house. Are there things that need to be addressed to make your home more secure? Do you need to trim back some shrubs to keep the area under windows visible? Should you secure downstairs windows so they can’t easily be raised up from the outside? Can you put a locking latch on the gate in the back yard? Does your shed need a lock on it? Focus on the small tasks you may have been putting off to make your home more secure.
  7. Make a family security plan. Would your family members know what to do in the event of a home invasion? If not, you need to make a plan. Vulnerable family members need to get out of the way, and family members who are engaging the criminals need to know who is doing what so they don’t get in each other’s way. Place weapons and potential weapons in strategic areas around the home.
  8. Figure out a long-term water plan. Where could you acquire water if no longer came from the taps? Identify places where you could get water – creeks, ponds, rivers, lakes, even fountains if you’re in the city. If there’s nothing like that, figure out how you could capture rainwater the most efficiently. Make sure you have a way to purify this water.
  9. Take a look at your budget. Are there things you can cut right now to help you get better prepared for a long-term financial crisis? Slash unnecessary expenditures now. Call your insurance company for a better rate. Cancel subscription boxes.
  10. Spend some time learning. If you’re already in lockdown, make the most of your time by learning new skills and acquiring knowledge. The best thing you can do right now is to subscribe to Selco’s Patreon that he’s running with his business partner Toby. It’s only $1 a month and the information on there is timely and PURE GOLD. Learn to make things, repair things, grow things, and take some time to look into old-fashioned solutions. This is a great time to pick up some new skills. Read some of those books in your to-read pile and check out how-to videos on YouTube.
  11. Clean and do laundry. This may not sound like a prep at all, but in the unlikely event that the power is interrupted, it would really be bad to start out with a house that needs to be vacuumed and a sky-high pile of dirty laundry.
  12. Assess your neighborhood. If it’s still okay to go for a walk (without coming in close contact with others) take a stroll around your immediate neighborhood. Identify resources, like creeks or fruit trees in the park. Think about which neighbors are more likely to be allies and which ones you expect could be troublesome. This isn’t something you need to act on now – you’re just gathering information.

When you complete these exercises you may find that there are a few things you still need to buy. At the time of this writing, you can probably still do that. The good news is, these things are unlikely to be the stuff that everyone else is buying in a frenzy – think about essential hardware, high-level medical supplies, and tools.

There’s a lot more to prepping than simply buying stuff and piling it into a closet. The time you spend now on non-purchase prepping is also very important. It’s a whole lot easier to think things through right now when you are calm and well-fed than it is to try and figure them out when you’re under stress. This isn’t the time to sit around streaming Netflix or doing a crossword puzzle. There’s a lot of work to be done before we reach the point that we can’t do anything more.

So close that Amazon window on your computer and get to work…

Click here to read the entire article at The Organic Prepper.

Organic Prepper: How to Talk to Creditors When You Can’t Pay

Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper has an article on How to Talk to Creditors When You Can’t Pay Your Bills. With some businesses closing permanently and others temporarily closed over the coronavirus pandemic, many people are put in an economic bind with no income coming in. While Washington state has announced some coming benefits for workers who are quarantined or laid off because of the coronavirus, we don’t know how long it will take to file, eligibility, or how it affects hourly workers who are not laid off or quarantined, but are not working because they business is closed or slow.

As our economy gets rocked by the coronavirus outbreak, lots of folks are already beginning to have financial problems. For others, they see money trouble on the horizon.

These issues are occurring for several reasons. Some businesses are cutting back staff or hours preemptively so they can survive financially. Other businesses are laying people off because of supply chain shortages – if you can’t get parts to repair furnaces, you can’t pay people to repair furnaces. The travel and shipping industries are already feeling the pain from the global outbreak.

So if you aren’t having money problems now, it’s very possible you will be soon.

What to do when your income slows down

This is something I’ve written about in detail in more than one article. Here’s a detailed article about job loss but the strategies would also work if your hours are cut. The basics are:

  1. Know your rights. You may have some recourse if your hours are cut or if you are laid off. If you have any type of employment contract, now is the time to go over it with a fine-tooth comb. Don’t sign anything until you’ve taken the time to calm down and think things through.
  2. Begin a total spending freeze. Give it a couple of days before you spend a dime. You’ll need to re-assess your budget.
  3. Apply for unemployment. Whether you lost your job completely or your hours were cut, you may qualify for unemployment or other benefits. You’ve been paying taxes for just this reason, so don’t be too proud to accept the help.
  4. Create a budget for necessities. Sit down and create a budget for the absolute bare minimum expenditures.
  5. Slash luxury spending. Now isn’t the time to go on a vacation, join a gym, or eat out at restaurants.
  6. Look for new streams of income. If you can, look for odd jobs, start a small business that doesn’t require an investment, or use your expertise to begin consulting in your field.
  7. Sell stuff. All that stuff you’ve been meaning to go through in the basement just might be the key to keeping a roof over your head.  Sell things online or in person, keeping in mind your personal safety.
  8. Audit your budget. Take the time to see where you can slash your spending. Can you cut your fixed or variable expenses?

Take action right away to stop the bleeding of money. A few dollars may not seem like much right now but it could be a much bigger deal in the future. You may need to make drastic cuts.

Make a list of your creditors.

Once you have created your new emergency budget, it’s time to take a look at those to whom you owe money. Some of these will be necessary expenditures. Keeping a roof over your head, the utilities on, a car in the driveway, and remaining insured. are likely the most important expenses.

Other expenditures are things like unsecured debt: credit cards, student loans, and personal loans. You may have some secured debt on things with which you’re willing to part – second cars, recreational vehicles, etc.

Write down all these expenses, your account numbers, your minimum monthly payments, and contact information for the creditor.

Before anybody jumps in and says, “You shouldn’t have any credit card debt” or “I bought my car in cash,” remember that I’m writing about a change in circumstances here. Sure it’s better to be debt-free, but when you have found yourself in a crunch, it’s all about surviving the rough time, not about beating yourself up for previous decisions.

Contact them one by one.

Next comes the part that may be difficult for some – you need to contact your creditors and see if they can help.

Keep in mind that many people are running into difficulty right now and these companies know it. Some places may have already authorized negotiations with debtors in expectation of the difficulty in which you currently find yourself.

Contact them in order from most essential to least. Below you’ll find some tips to help you guide the conversation.

How to talk to creditors… (continues)

Click here to continue reading at The Organic Prepper.

Organic Prepper: China’s Control of Pharmaceuticals

In this article from The Organic Prepper, Daisy Luther discusses China’s corner on the pharmaceutical market – 80% of pharmaceutical ingredients are made in China – and recent threats (or merely boasts?) that China would or could cut off drug exports to the US.

As China allegedly conquers the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak that began in Wuhan, it appears that they’re right back to considering the United States an enemy. On Xiahuanet, the Communist Party news outlet, they threatened to withhold all medical exports to the US, at the same asking for an “apology” from the US and “gratitude” from the rest of the world.

This comes at the most crucial point of an outbreak that originated in their own country.

Why is China angry with the US?

Xinhuanet is the biggest news agency in China, and very “influential.” The outlet is the official state-run press agency, so anything found on the website is straight from the Chinese government. An article titled, “The World Should Thank China,” which was published on March 4, covered the outbreak of Covid-19 in the United States.

The article suggests that the US’s data is suspicious because all cases of coronavirus must be confirmed by the CDC. (I can’t disagree with them that our numbers are questionable.) It shows a photograph of people praying in the White House to underline how “nervous” President Trump is about the virus. (This photo was actually of a meeting that the Vice President had about the rapidly spreading virus, as opposed to the President.)

Xinhuanet goes on to tout the control they have taken over the outbreak, saying that Trump admires their handling of the crisis and that his “remarks came from the bottom of his heart.”

At the same time, Xinhuanet criticized the US’s perceived mistreatment of China, citing the travel ban and the evacuation of American citizens from Wuhan, the heart of the outbreak. This caused, according to Xinhuanet, other countries to also “isolate” China from the rest of the world, causing them economic harm.

A translated version of the article says:

These practices in the United States are very unkind. They can be described as falling into the ground and killing people while they are ill. (source)

And now, if it is to be believed that China has contained the outbreak and they’re back to business as usual, they may want to exact some vengeance for this “unkindness.” (And of course, this remains the question – do they even currently possess the capability to manufacture these medical products or is this all a way to save face because their workforce is decimated and the virus is actually not contained at all?)

How did China threaten the US?

In the article, China suggests that they could easily get even with the United States for their perceived mistreatment of China during the outbreak by cutting off medical supplies while we are in the midst of our own outbreak.

If China retaliates against the United States at this time, in addition to announcing a travel ban on the United States, it will also announce strategic control over medical products and ban exports to the United States. Then the United States will be caught in the ocean of new crown viruses.

According to the US CDC officials, most masks in the United States are made in China and imported from China. If China bans the export of masks to the United States, the United States will fall into the mask shortage, and the most basic measures to prevent the new crown virus are Can’t do it.

Also according to the US CDC officials, most of the drugs in the United States are imported, and some drugs are imported from Europe. However, Europe also places the production base of these drugs in China, so more than 90% of the US imported drugs are Related to China. The implication is that at this time, as long as China announces that its drugs are as domestic as possible and banned exports, the United States will fall into the hell of the new crown pneumonia epidemic. (source)

In the next paragraph, Xinhuanet basically says, “Nah, don’t worry. We are filled with love.”

However, there is a great love in the world. The Chinese people and the Chinese government have never done so. They have not insulted the United States, nor have they banned the export of masks and medicines to the United States. (source)

Then the article suggests that the United States, if not the entire world, owes China an apology due to our media coverage of the outbreak in Wuhan and comments made about the outbreak by government officials like  Secretary of Commerce Rose, US Secretary of State Pompeo, and US White House Economic Adviser Navarro. They say these officials “gloated” about the coronavirus outbreak and saw it as an opportunity to pull US manufacturing out of China…

Click here to read the entire article at The Organic Prepper.

Organic Prepper: Thinking about US Quarantine Effects

In this article at The Organic Prepper, Daisy Luther and Selco Begovic think about what kind of effects a strict quarantine in the US might have if it is as severe as the quarantines currently in effect in China. The WHO has suggested that up to half the world population could be infected if the virus isn’t contained. Early studies suggest that the coronavirus has a fatality rate of around 2.3%. If half the world catches it, that’s approximately 100 million fatalities. If half the US population gets infected, that’s around 5 million US fatalities. There is a lot to think about on how that many fatalities and that number of sick people would affect your work, government services, private services, and everyday life.

How long do you think a pandemic quarantine could go on with power, running water, the internet, and trash pick-up continuing to run as normal?

If Covid-19 (also known as the Wuhan coronavirus or nCoV-2019) were to spread where you live as it has in China, it’s possible that extreme measures could be taken. Possibly even a China-style lockdown, where people are told to stay in their homes and where businesses are closed. I’m referring to something much more extreme than just a handful of us self-isolating. 

While I certainly hope such a situation is unlikely, it’s something we should all consider a possibility and get  prepared for, just in case. Considering whether or not this would be an off-grid scenario would play an extremely important part in your preparations.

Selco and I had a very interesting chat about this after I’d raised the point in a group discussion. I thought you might be interested in our thoughts. Of course, there’s no way to know exactly how this might go down, so it’s pure speculation on our part based on the research of similar situations, knowledge of our systems, and personal experiences.

Would we have utilities and services during a quarantine scenario?

…A lot of things are automated, which makes me believe we could potentially have a month or two of relative normalcy with regard to utilities, even if folks aren’t going to work. Garbage pickup would be another matter.

First things first, electrical power, natural gas, water, and the internet could run a long time automatically or with just a bit of input from someone on a computer. A pandemic isn’t going to fry our circuitry like an EMP would, for example. There’s nothing general-infrastructure-wise that would immediately compromise these utilities.

But this assumes that everything besides the pandemic is smooth sailing – that we won’t have any tornadoes, any hurricanes, any blizzards, any earthquakes, unfortunate bolts of lightning, or accidents. And it also omits manmade problems like riots that damage the infrastructure or even deliberate sabotage.

In a full-on pandemic, there’s likely going to be nobody to go out there and repair potential damage. And it’s possible that even if people were willing, they might not have access to the necessary supplies or equipment if these are items that they get on a “just-in-time” basis.

As for water, it could run for a long time but it might not be safe to drink. We’d need to be alert that there’s nobody there testing the tap water and adding chemicals. I don’t love chemicals like fluoride in my water but I do love essential chemicals better than I like amoebic dysentery and shigellosis and cholera. That being said, even if the water wasn’t drinkable right from the tap, it would certainly make life easier if folks not on septic systems could still flush their toilets, and water could be purified in a multitude of different ways

A good question is what would happen with electric power and all other utilities once the SHTF.

And yes answer is not simple. It is based on type of event and severity of the event, but I think we can have some good guesses about it.

UtilitiesPower, running water, communications (internet, cell phones…) and similar utilities up to waste management in all modern societies are brought to an advanced level of functioning.

All that is so “modernized” in a way that most of us usually do not notice or actually do not care how it is being delivered to us. People don’t care how these things work.

I also do not know in depth how all that works, but I know that most of the utilities today are being brought to us in a very automated and interconnected way.

So, as a result, it works good, until it does not.

I think the price for that is the fact that when ONE thing goes out soon another thing will go out too. Even if something goes out FAR from you, it may still mean it easily may go out at your home.

Maintenance

Do not forget, things (services) no matter how modernized need to be maintained, so, if there are no people around to do maintenance, services will not work.

It depends on how bad the event is, and the control the government has over the event, and the society in which the event happening. It is a question of are people gonna be there to maintain services.

As an example, if some serious event is happening, are people willing to go maintain services or they are more willing to go home and protect their loved ones? They are all just humans, do not forget.

People

Also, if there is still a system functioning, the government or some kind of system, does it have enough power to FORCE people to maintain services? People will want to go home to their families.

The important fact is: if the event happening here is serious enough to bring problems to utility services, it is probably serious enough to make other services like the police force or medical services no longer working. So, as a result, the security situation will be deteriorated, so that is another obvious reason why people would want to be more with their families instead of at their job.

A deteriorating situation with utilities will usually go with a deteriorating situation in behavior between people, so it is not like our only problem will be city services and everything else will be fine at home (and safe)…

Click here to read the entire article at the Organic Prepper.

Organic Prepper: Pandemic Preparedness

Daisy at The Organic Prepper has an article up about the Wuhan Coronavirus and what you can do now to prepare. From what is currently known, this coronavirus has approximately a 2% mortality rate. That is considerably lower than some other viruses that have made the news over the years, but while it is low it is about the same as the Spanish Flu pandemic that killed millions around 1918. Should you be worrying? It’s too early to tell right now. We don’t know if containment will be achieved or how easily it may spread. But if not this one, at some point another pandemic will sweep the world causing mass casualties, so it is good to have some preparation for the event.

…In Wuhan, supermarket shelves were empty and local markets sold out of produce as residents hoarded supplies and isolated themselves at home. Petrol stations were overwhelmed as drivers stocked up on fuel, exacerbated by rumours that reserves had run out. Local residents said pharmacies had sold out of face masks.

“When I saw the news when I woke up, I felt like I was going to go crazy. This is a little too late now. The government’s measures are not enough,” said Xiao, 26, a primary schoolteacher in Wuhan, who asked not to give her full name.

Few pedestrians were out and families cancelled plans to get together for the new year holiday. Special police forces were seen patrolling railway stations. Residents and all government workers are now required to wear face masks while in public spaces. Most outbound flights from the city’s Tianhe airport were cancelled. (source)

Those who wish to be prepared should note the speed at which quarantines were put in place in China. Don’t delay placing orders for supplies, fueling up your vehicle, and adding last-minute preps to your stockpile. You may already have many of the supplies you need, so be sure to do an inventory before panic-buying.

However, if you discover you do need supplies, get them now. If you wait until a quarantine is announced, you’ve waited too long and you’ll be out there fighting for resources with everyone else in your area.

Whatever your plan is, don’t delay taking action. Otherwise, you might find yourself in the same situation as 20 million Chinese people who were suddenly quarantined.

Click here to read the entire article at The Organic Prepper.

Organic Prepper: Northam Declares State of Emergency in Virginia

In Northam Declares State of Emergency in Virginia Because “armed militia groups plan to storm the Capitol” Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper, pulls some info together while discussing how Virginia Governor Northam has declared a State of Emergency for the January 20th Lobby Day protests. By declaring the state of emergency he bans firearms and other weapons from the grounds. In addition to the rights-destroying bills that have incited the most unrest, she notes that when the people of Virginia said they would vote out the representatives next term in response to the introduction of the bills, Dems introduced a bill to eliminate voter ID. Then when the people said they would petition to remove the legislators from office, Dems introduced a bill that would nearly triple the amount of signatures needed.

Interestingly, former Virginia House member Mike Watson said of the declaration:

Perhaps he should take a look at VA Code first: Del. Tony Wilt & I patroned this bill in 2012 so that no one could declare an emergency in an effort to prohibit citizens from exercising their 2nd Amendment rights. Signed into law 3/1/2012

Supposedly the governor has declared the capitol grounds an emergency “shelter” in order to give a façade of legality to his declaration.

GOA and VCDL challenged the ban on Jan. 16th seeking an injunction, a few hours later the judge denied the challenge. GOA and VCDL are appealing to the Virginia Supreme Court.

Here is an excerpt from the Organic Prepper article:

…Citing violence that erupted in Charlottesville during a Unite the Right rally in 2017, Northam said that there are credible threats that “armed militia groups plan to storm the Capitol” during Monday’s rally. In an executive order,  he announced he is banning all weapons from Capitol Square for the day.

Credible intelligence gathered by Virginia’s law enforcement agencies indicates that tens of thousands of advocates plan to converge on Capitol Square for events culminating on January 20, 2020. Available information suggests that a substantial number of these demonstrators are expected to come from outside the Commonwealth, may be armed, and have as their purpose not peaceful assembly but violence, rioting, and insurrection. Assuring that Virginia’s Capitol Square and surrounding public areas are sheltered safe places for those who come to participate in the democratic process, as well as those who work on or near Capitol Square, is my greatest priority.

The anticipated effects of the potential convergence of tens of thousands of demonstrators on Capitol Square, some of whom may not come to assemble peacefully, constitutes an emergency as described in § 44-146.16 of the Code of Virginia (Code)…

When you push a population to the brink, threatening them with gun confiscation at the hands of the National Guard and telling them that their lawful actions of rebellion are meaningless, you have to expect that population to push back. Particularly a rural, gun-loving population that makes up most of the counties in Virginia…

On their Facebook page, they said of Northam’s emergency declaration:

VCDL is going to have our attorneys investigate this situation once we hear Northam’s statement on Wednesday and we will let you know what we find out. (source)

Based on the comments on the VCDL Facebook page, a lot of Virginians are not planning to comply and it looks like there could be widespread civil disobedience on Monday. You can find out more information about Lobby Day here

Click here to read the entire article at the organic prepper.

According to an article at VPM, Virginia House Democrats have repeatedly said they were acting on the recommendation of the Capitol Police in restricting firearms. However, Police Chief Pike has told reports that neither he nor his agency recommended the ban, but they did comply with a Democrat request to figure out how to put such a plan into effect.

Also, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. has said that he is “pretty sure” that he will call for civil disobedience if the Virginia bills pass.

The VCDL issued a statement on the ban today, Jan. 16th: Continue reading “Organic Prepper: Northam Declares State of Emergency in Virginia”

Organic Prepper: How the SHTF in Bosnia – Does This Sound Familiar?

Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper interviewed Balkan war/Sarajevo siege survivor Selco about similarities between what he saw in Bosnia prior to the war and what he sees of the US now.

How the SHTF in Bosnia: Selco Asks Americans, “Does this sound familiar?”

US and Yugoslavia (in 1990) on first look do not have anything in common because people are going to say, “The USA cannot have anything similar to any socialistic system.”

This is true but only on first look…

Things that I experienced in my case prior to SHTF, and things that you might recognize:

  • Things that make differences between people are more and more problematic (race, religion, political opinion).
  • Polarization is getting obviously stronger.
  • People want to come to your country, but they do not want to “assimilate” or contribute to the greater good. They want to preserve their way of life which is often absolutely contradictory to the way that your country (society) works.
  • The political way of solving those problems often fails, because, in essence, those problems are hard to solve in a democratic way (in the spirit of democracy).
  • Your freedoms are “shrinking” as a result of that.
  • Calls for “radical solutions“ for the problems are stronger and stronger.
  • The media is absolutely working a dirty job, and it is hard to find out what is the truth anymore.
  • Suddenly people and events from history are “brought back” so people can judge and argue about it, to write history again, to build myths sometimes.

…rioting over the statue of a general from WW2 which was about to be destroyed because for some people he was a war criminal and for others he was a hero and important political figure.

It was a big event, and people were brought into that event in big numbers, arguing and fist fighting and rioting…

…it is about dehumanizing, no matter who or what group. It is about adopting opinions like “they are so different that they do not deserve…( to live here, to have rights…)

Once that happens a whole new set of rules jumps in and those rules mean that lot of your liberties and rights gonna be taken too, and that is the problem actually.

When that happens, you will understand that it is not really important who is who. The only thing important is that somehow you do not have your rights anymore (for example the right to carry a firearm) and then you are in s..t…

…Hope in something new and something better was exactly what I was experiencing just prior SHTF, new leaders, new democracy, freedom…

It clouded my perception, I trusted too much….

…I have seen many people killed, a lot of women and children too, civilians. A huge number of people suffered, were hungry and cold and were terrified through that period.

But I can count on one hand the dead or hungry politicians in that time.

Things were good for them through that period. Some of them ended up even richer. A lot of them are still powerful in the same or different parties, and are still talking about “their people” or “ causes” or “fear from others”.

It is the way it works.

Click here to read the entire article at the Organic Prepper.

Organic Prepper: Winter Is Coming – Vehicle Emergency Kit

Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper has a good article up on making sure that your vehicle is ready for emergency situations – Winter is Coming: Here’s Your Vehicle Emergency Kit Checklist

Many of us spend far more of our waking hours away from home, busy with work, school, or chauffeuring our kids to their various activities. Because of this, a vehicle emergency kit is vital. In recent winters, there were two notable situations during which a well-stocked kit would have been beneficial. During one scenario, a freak snowstorm struck the Atlanta, Georgia area. Because weather like this is such a rarity, the area was completely unprepared, officials didn’t have the experience or equipment needed to deal with it, and traffic gridlocked almost immediately. Hundreds of people were stranded as the freeway turned into a scene reminiscent of The Walking Dead, with bumper-to-bumper vehicles at a standstill. Those without food and water in their vehicles went hungry, and many people ran out of gas as they tried to keep warm. No matter how comfortable you are with winter driving, in a situation like this, you are at the mercy of others who may not be so experienced.

The take-home preparedness point here is that it doesn’t matter how great of a driver you are in the snow, whether or not you have moved to the tropics from your winter chalet in Antarctica, or whether you have huge knobby tires and 4WD. Over-confidence in your own ability can cause people to forget about the lack of skills that other folks have. Many times, people end up in a crisis situation through no fault of their own and are at the mercy of other people who have no idea what they are doing. (source)

The next situation had a lot more potential for a tragic ending, had it not been for the survival skills of a father of 4 small children. A family of six had taken off for a day of snowy adventure when their Jeep flipped over in a remote part of the Seven Troughs mountain range in Northwestern Nevada. James Glanton, a miner and experienced hunter, kept his family alive and unscathed for two days in the frigid wilderness using only the items from his vehicle and the environment. Due to his survival skills and the things he had on hand, none of the family members so much as suffered frostbite while awaiting rescue. You can learn more about the hero dad’s resourcefulness HERE.

Before adding any preps to your vehicle, make sure that it is well maintained because not having a breakdown in the first place is a better plan than surviving the breakdown. Change your oil as recommended, keep your fluids topped up, and keep your tires in good condition, replacing them when needed. As well, particularly when poor weather is imminent, be sure to keep your fuel level above the halfway point. If you happen to get stranded, being able to run your vehicle for increments of time will help keep you warm. Build a relationship with a mechanic you can trust, and pre-empt issues before they become vehicle failures at the worst possible time.

What’s in my vehicle emergency kit?

Disaster can strike when you least expect it, so now is the time to put together a kit that can see you through a variety of situations. I drive an SUV, and I keep the following gear in the back at all times. You can modify this list for your amount of space, your environment, the seasons, and your particular skill set. Some people who are adept at living off the land may scale this down, while other people may feel it isn’t enough. I make small modifications between my cold weather kit and my warm-weather kit, but the basics remain the same. While you should have the supplies available to set off on foot, in many cases, the safer course of action is to stay with your vehicle and wait for assistance.

Some people feel that having a cell phone means they can just call for assistance. While this is a great plan, and you should have a communications device, it should never be your only plan. What if there is no signal in your area or if cell service has been interrupted? What if you simply forgot to charge your phone? In any scenario, calling for help should never be your only plan. You should always be prepared to save yourself.

How-to-Create-a-Vehicle-Emergency-Kit1-300x236

My SUV is small, but I manage to fit a substantial amount of gear in it, still leaving plenty of room for occupants. The tub on the right hand side just has a couple of things in the bottom and serves two purposes. It keeps the other tubs from sliding around, and it contains shopping bags after a trip to the grocery store. You can also place purchases on top of the other containers if necessary. I have two 18 gallon totes and a smaller 10-gallon tote, with individual components in small containers within them.

Tools

tools

knife

First Aid

first aid

I use old Altoids containers for small items like band-aids and alcohol wipes. They stand up far better than the flimsy cardboard boxes those items come in. (Also, that means we get to have Altoids.)

altoids tin

Light

The police flashlight is also a taser.

Individual Kits

individual kit

It’s sort of hard to see but in the photo above, the container is a stocking hat for warmth and a waterproof hat that will also provide some sun protection. Inside the container are two pairs of socks, a rain poncho, a Berkey sport bottle (it can purify up to 100 gallons of water), and a space blanket. Each of these is topped off with a hoodie in warmer weather. In the winter, gloves and scarves replace the hoodie.

Shelter

shelter

Obviously, THIS is not the Taj Mahal of tents. But it fits easily into a backpack and would be sufficient for day-to-day emergencies in warmer weather.  In the winter, and anytime we are going further from home, we have a bigger sturdier tent that we put in the vehicle. This would be used in the event that we were stranded but for some reason, unable to use the vehicle for shelter. Generally speaking, your vehicle will provide better shelter and safety than a tent.

Emergency Kit

All of the above mini-kits go into one big 18-gallon tote.

Emergency kit

Also included are a few different types of rope, a compass, a road atlas (I like the kind that are spiral-bound), WD-40, duct tape, and a 4 pack of toilet paper. There is room for 2 warm blankets folded on top.

Food

I use a separate smaller container for food and hygiene items.

food

Our food kit contains graham crackers with peanut butter, pop-top cans of soup, pop-top cans of fruit, antiseptic wipes, hand sanitizer, baby wipes, garbage bags, spoons, forks, a survival guide, and plastic dishes. Not shown: ziplock bags of dog food in single servings…

Click here to keep reading at The Organic Prepper. More categories and itemized kit list through link.

Organic Prepper: Gov’t Still Wants to Backdoor Encryption

Daisy Luther at the Organic Prepper has written an article summarizing some of the recent press and government meetings discussing the government’s desire to be able to reverse encryption on communication devices, web pages, etc. – The Govt. Wants to OUTLAW Encrypted Messaging in iMessage, WhatsApp, Signal, Wickr, Telegram, Etc. If you’re tuned into the modern fight over privacy, they probably isn’t news to you. The government always wants more control over your data, communication and information. They say they need it to keep you safe.  Luckily there are still entities with some pull who are arguing that putting in encryption backdoors will harm the United States, but they’re fighting on the basis of economic harm. No one cares about your privacy. No one in government, anyway.

If you ever use the encrypted messaging options on programs like iMessage, WhatsApp, Signal, Wickr, Telegram, or any other service, your time to discuss things privately over the phone may be running out. The US government doesn’t like for anything to get in the way of their ability to spy on investigate even the most mundane of conversations.

Instead of seeing privacy as a right, they see it as suspicious. Your devices are already being searched at quadruple the previous rate in airports. And the attack on free speech is now going as far as our private messages to our friends and family.

Because the only reason we’d want privacy is that we’re criminals

This was the topic of a National Security meeting last week.

The encryption challenge, which the government calls “going dark,” was the focus of a National Security Council meeting Wednesday morning that included the No. 2 officials from several key agencies, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Senior officials debated whether to ask Congress to effectively outlaw end-to-end encryption, which scrambles data so that only its sender and recipient can read it, these people told POLITICO. Tech companies like Apple, Google and Facebook have increasingly built end-to-end encryption into their products and software in recent years — billing it as a privacy and security feature but frustrating authorities investigating terrorism, drug trafficking and child pornography. (source)

So, which government agencies are hot to make encrypted messages illegal?

The DOJ and the FBI argue that catching criminals and terrorists should be the top priority, even if watered-down encryption creates hacking risks. The Commerce and State Departments disagree, pointing to the economic, security and diplomatic consequences of mandating encryption “backdoors.”

DHS is internally divided. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency knows the importance of encrypting sensitive data, especially in critical infrastructure operations, but ICE and the Secret Service regularly run into encryption roadblocks during their investigations. (source)

It looks like the simpler answer is the few who understand there are reasonable, non-criminal uses.

There are plenty of legitimate reasons we might want to encrypt our conversations.

Of course, we know there are dozens of reasons we might want to use the encryption function on our favorite messaging apps. For example, when I was recently traveling in Europe, I needed to give my daughter credit card information to pay a bill for me. I used the encryption function on Telegram to send it because who wants that out there floating around?

Indeed, there are many legitimate reasons to use end-to-end encryption…

Click here to read the entire article at the Organic Prepper.

Organic Prepper: No, You Can’t Use Electric Pressure Cookers for Canning

An important food safety article from Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper.

Instant Pots and other countertop pressure cookers are great for getting a meal on the table fast. But for all the people asking if you can use them for pressure canning low acid foods, the answer is a decisive NO.

First, let’s backtrack to some pressure canning 101. If you plan to preserve meat or vegetables, they must be pressure canned because of their low acid content. Low-acid foods have to be preserved at a higher temperature than high-acid foods. The low-acid environment welcomes the growth of bacteria like botulism, a form of food poisoning that can cause permanent nerve damage or even death.

Pressure canning exceeds the temperature of water bath canning, getting your product into the safety zone.  The temperature must reach 240 degrees Fahrenheit, which can only be achieved through steam under pressure. All vegetables (except for tomatoes which are botanically a fruit), meats, seafood, and poultry, must be preserved in a pressure canner.

Pressure canners and pressure cookers aren’t the same things.

A lot of folks think that using a pressure cooker for canning foods will work and part of this is because of the incorrect information included in the package of the cookers. According to Food Safety News:

Some manufacturers of electric multi-cooker appliances have been including directions for home canning with their products since they began marketing them, according to the National Center for Home Food Preservation. The companies have not done process development work to document temperatures throughout the units remain at a given pressure and throughout the whole process time, according to the Center. (source)

But pressure cookers haven’t been proven by the National Center for Food Preservation to reach and maintain the correct temperatures to keep your food safe…

Click here to read the entire article at The Organic Prepper.