TMIN: Everyone in America Needs to Be a Prepper in 2020

Michael Snyder at The Most Important News writes Why Every Person In America Needs To Become A Prepper During The Second Half Of 2020, citing what he sees as the events ahead.

It has been on my heart to write this article for a few days, but I knew that it wouldn’t be easy to write.  2020 has already been one of the worst years in modern U.S. history, and it looks like the next six months are going to be extremely challenging as well.  But even though most Americans are expecting that things will return to “normal” in 2021 and beyond, the truth is that the “perfect storm” that we are witnessing is only in the very early stages.  All of the old cycles are ending, all of the bubbles are bursting, and we are starting to experience the consequences of decades of incredibly foolish decisions.  So even though the remaining months of 2020 will be chaotic, the truth is that things are going to get progressively worse as the years move along.  That means that you should use this period of time to prepare for what is ahead of us, because at some point the window of opportunity to prepare will be closed for good.

COVID-19 should have been a wake up call for all of us.  Lockdowns were implemented very suddenly once the virus started to spread in the U.S., and shortages of key items began to happen.  To this day, many retailers are still limiting the number of items that you can buy in certain categories.  Hopefully this has helped people to understand that if you have not stocked up in advance, you may not be able to go out and get what you need when a major crisis strikes.

During the initial stages of this pandemic, a lot of people ended up being stuck at home without enough supplies.  In the event of a truly historic emergency, you can certainly survive without toilet paper, but if you run out of food you could find yourself in big trouble quite quickly.

The good news is that COVID-19 is not going to kill us all.  About half a million people around the world have died so far, and the final death toll will be a lot lower than the tens of millions that died during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 to 1920.

But if our society was extremely ill-prepared for a pandemic of this nature, what is going to happen when a pandemic that is much more severe hits us?

Scientists assure us that it is just a matter of time before a killer plague sweeps across the planet, and the Bible tells us that there will be “pestilences” in the last days.  If you find yourself isolated at home for an extended period of time as millions of others are dying from a virus, will you be able to survive on what you have already stored up?

If not, you need to get to work.

Big economic problems are ahead as well.  So far in 2020, more than 47 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits, more than 100,000 businesses have permanently closed their doors, and it is being projected that U.S. GDP will decline by 46.6 percent on an annualized bases during the second quarter.  Those are absolutely disastrous numbers, but so far trillions of dollars of emergency government spending has helped to ease the pain.

But those emergency measures were only meant to get us through a few months, and it is now becoming clear that this new economic depression will be with us for a very long time to come.

Of course deteriorating economic conditions will fuel even more civil unrest.  We have seen rioting, looting, arson and violence in city after city, and much more civil unrest is on the horizon.

If you live in one of our major urban areas, you may want to move while you still can.  Due to a huge surge in demand, property prices in the most desirable small towns and rural areas are already starting to go through the roof.

On top of everything else, food shortages are starting to occur all over the globe.  According to the head of the UN, we are on the verge of seeing “unimaginable devastation and suffering around the world”…

The U.N. chief on Thursday warned the largest gathering of world leaders since the coronavirus pandemic began that it will cause “unimaginable devastation and suffering around the world,” with historic levels of hunger and famine and up to 1.6 billion people unable to earn a living unless action is taken now.

Giant swarms of locusts the size of major cities are devouring crops in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, African Swine Fever has already killed about one-fourth of all the pigs in the entire world, and crazy weather patterns have been playing havoc with crop production all over the planet.

And now on top of everything else COVID-19 is greatly disrupting food distribution systems all over the world.

We have never seen so many severe threats to global food production occur simultaneously, and the Bible clearly tells us that there will be “famine” in the last days.

Meanwhile, a major war could erupt in the Middle East at any moment.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that he will begin the process of annexing portions of Judea and Samaria in July, and Israel’s Arab neighbors have promised a very forceful response if that actually happens.

The region has constantly been on the precipice of war for years, and this could potentially be the trigger that finally causes it to happen.

If everything that I have discussed so far wasn’t enough, the planet that we all live on is becoming increasingly unstable.  We have witnessed a number of very alarming earthquakes this week, and a truly catastrophic event could literally happen at any moment.

As my regular readers already know, I am particularly concerned about seismic activity on the west coast and about the potential for a historic earthquake along the New Madrid fault zone.

But even considering everything that I just shared with you, there is no other time in human history that I would have rather been alive than right now.

All of human history has been building up to this point, and we are so fortunate to be living during this moment.

However, it is going to be exceedingly difficult to thrive during the historic events that are ahead if you have not made any preparations for what is coming.

I realize that things may seem very chaotic now, but the truth is that this is your window of opportunity to prepare.

I would take full advantage of that opportunity, because the clock is ticking.

Rainier Redoubt: Zello Emergency Communications

Rainier Redoubt has posted a brief article on using the Zello app for emergency communications. Zello is available for iPhone, Android, and for Windows PCs. The Zello app does require an internet connection, so why might you use it? In a disaster that doesn’t destroy cell towers or backbone fiber links, you may still find that you can’t make outgoing phone calls because all of the circuits are busy. You may be able to text or email, but using Zello may be your easiest voice option to contact someone outside of your area. It may also be available if authorities have blocked phone calls. If yu have radio mesh applications for emergencies in your area, you may still be able to get internet service even if the cell towers are down, but you’ll need to know about its availability.

Zello is an application startup located in Austin, Texas. The application emulates push-to-talk (PTT) walkie-talkies over cellular and WiFi networks. The app is available for Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows Phone, Windows PC, rugged mobile devices and two-way radios. Zello is free for personal use, while the Zello@Work application is free for up to five users. For more than five users Zello@Work costs $6.00 per user / per month. Perks that Zello@Work offers include private networks, dedicated servers, management interfaces for users and channels, higher security, cloud history and tech support.

Zello turns your phone into a walkie talkie and works anywhere in the world as long as you are connected to the Internet! Please note however that the Zello app cannot function without an Internet connection. According to the Zello Support page: “Zello cannot work without internet access, but if both you and your contact are within one network, the voice will be transferred using the shortest way – WiFi network in your case. Internet will be used only to log into Zello network and do some service data exchange, it will be less than 1 kiB per second.”

Once connected, users can join channels and instantly send voice messages or photos, and the app even works over older 2G networks.

…Zello made the news in June 2013 when Turkish protesters used it to circumvent government censors. As a result, Zello was the top most downloaded application in Turkey during the first week of June 2013. In February 2014, it was blocked by CANTV in Venezuela. Zello issued workarounds and patches to overcome the blocks to support approximately 600,000 Venezuelans who have downloaded the application to communicate with each other amidst protests. It “has been one of the most downloaded applications in Ukraine and Venezuela.” In April 2017, the Roskomnadzor instructed Russian Internet Service Providers to block mobile access to Zello. Under Russia’s data privacy law passed in 2016, all companies processing the personal data of Russian citizens are obliged to store it on servers within the country’s borders for a half of the year and provide it to law enforcement if necessary. Zello had more than 400,000 users in Russia. In August 2017 during relief efforts following Hurricane Harvey in Texas, Zello became a popular method for communications between volunteer rescuers and people stranded by the widespread flooding. The app received over 6 million signups in one week as Florida residents prepared for Hurricane Irma. In 2018 Zello had over 120,000,000 subscribers world-wide…

King 5: Prepare to Be on Your Own in a Major PNW Disaster

King 5 News actually had a pretty good article back in December about preparing for a disaster. They did a decent job of listing supplies in order to prepare, other than the expected failure to mention anything about self defense (they do mention having a knife at least). But they cover water pretty well, making plans, preparing for pets, footwear, medication, and using cash so it’s still one of the better mainstream articles I have seen on preparing for a major earthquake. They do fail to say that if you’re living in an outlying area, you may be on your own for well over two weeks, but it’s at least a little implied when they mention responders passing you by to get to more populated areas.

Prepare to be on your own in a major Pacific Northwest disaster

You’re on your own.

If a 9.0 earthquake or a tsunami wipes out homes, roads, bridges, communication, and other infrastructure in the Pacific Northwest, keep that thought in mind. You have to assume no one is coming to help you, and you may not be able to get anywhere to find help, at least for a few days.

It’s not because responders don’t want to help. It’s because, as disaster preparation experts agree, they aren’t ready to jump with a region-wide response when something that big happens.

It’s a sobering thought, and that’s why you need to be ready — now — to be on your own.

“You’re either ready, or you’re not ready (when it strikes). There’s no ‘getting ready’ from that standpoint,” emergency response expert Eric Holdeman said…

If you call 911 because you broke your leg in the quake, guess what. Everyone else is calling 911, too. First responders won’t be able to respond to all of you. They will likely first go to places where there is the highest concentration of people so they can do the most good at once, Holdeman said. That will be schools or nursing homes. If your house is on fire, firefighters may pass you by to get to another, larger disaster scene…

There are some simple things you can start doing now to prepare, and you don’t have to do it all at once.

Prepare for three days?

Nope. Try two weeks…

Thankfully, people are finally understanding that three days of supplies are simply not enough for major disasters. Unfortunately, two weeks is short, too. As we’ve covered before, emergency management officials know that two weeks isn’t enough, but they think they need to slowly introduce you to the idea or you’ll reject it out of hand.

 

Organic Prepper:: The Disaster Myth Narrative

The Organic Prepper has an article up detailing something that I have noticed before, how during disasters here in America there are frequently reports and news articles of looting and violence, but then later, after the disaster has passed, all the articles are about how wonderfully everyone worked together and that there was no looting, panicking, violence, etc. Are the initial reports wrong? Sensationalized? Misleading? (But there was video…) Here is an excerpt from The Disaster Myth Narrative: No One Panics, No One Loots, No One Goes Hungry.

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”  ~ George Orwell

I was recently doing some research about the aftermath of some natural disasters that took place here in America. I was shocked to find that the articles I was looking for – ones that I had read in the past – were pretty hard to find, but articles refuting the sought-for pieces were rampant.  Not just one event, but every single crisis aftermath that I looked up, had articles that were written after the fact stating in no uncertain terms that the hunger, chaos, and unrest never happened.

Apparently we, the preparedness community, are all wrong when it comes to the belief that after a disaster, chaos erupts and civic disorder is the rule of the day.

According to “experts” it never happens.

Panic?  What panic?

According to newspaper articles written after Superstorm Sandy devastated the East Coast and after Hurricane Katrina caused countless billions in damage in New Orleans, people were calm, benevolent and peaceful.  Heck, they were all standing around singing Kumbayah around a campfire, sharing their canned goods, calming frightened puppies, and helping the elderly.

Apparently studies prove that the fear of anarchy, lawlessness, and chaos is nothing but the “disaster myth”.  Reams of examples exist of the goodness and warmth of society as a whole after disaster strikes. All the stories you read at the time were just that – stories, according to the mainstream media:

Yet there are a few examples stubbornly fixed in the popular imagination of people reacting to a natural disaster by becoming primal and vicious. Remember the gangs “marauding” through New Orleans, raping and even cannibalizing people in the Super-Dome after Hurricane Katrina? It turns out they didn’t exist. Years of journalistic investigations showed them to be racist fantasies. They didn’t happen. Yes, there was some “looting” — which consisted of starving people breaking into closed and abandoned shops for food. Of course human beings can behave atrociously – but the aftermath of a disaster seems to be the time when it is least likely. (source)

The Disaster Myth

The Disaster Myth is a narrative created by the establishment and delivered by their stoolies in the mainstream media.  The Disaster Myth points fingers at many of the things that are commonly believed to be true by the preparedness community.  Included in this narrative:

  • People do not panic after a disaster – instead, they pull together.
  • The official government response is always speedy and appropriate.
  • You will be taken care of if you simply comply peacefully with authorities.
  • There is little increase in post-disaster crime.

Looting?  Only hungry people getting food from unmanned stores. Who wouldn’t do that?

Beatings and assaults?  Didn’t happen. Disturbed people made these stories up for attention...

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

Yakima Herald: Trained Volunteers May Be the First to Reach Victims

The Yakima Herald had an article on CERT volunteers and training last year – In an emergency, trained volunteers may be the first to reach victims. Yakima County has an active CERT program. Benton County does not. If you live in Yakima County, you can take advantage of the training from CERT. They do a “CERT Basic Course” for volunteers which includes:

Disaster Preparedness: Addresses hazards specific to the community. Materials cover actions that participants and their families take before, during and after a disaster as well as an overview of CERT and local laws governing volunteers.

Fire Suppression: Covers fire chemistry, hazardous materials, fire hazards and fire suppression strategies. However, the thrust of this session is the safe use of fire extinguishers, controlling utilities and extinguishing a small fire.

Medical Operations Part I: Participants practice diagnosing and treating airway obstruction, bleeding and shock by using simple triage and rapid treatment techniques.

Medical Operations Part II: Covers evaluating patients by doing a head to toe assessment, establishing a medical treatment area and performing basic first aid.

Light Search and Rescue Operations: Participants learn about search and rescue planning, size-up, search techniques, rescue techniques and rescuer safety.

Psychology and Team Organization: Covers signs and symptoms that might be experienced by the disaster victim and workers, and addresses CERT organization and management.

Course Review and Disaster Simulation: Participants review and practice the skills that they have learned during the previous six sessions in a disaster activity.

Excerpt from the Yakima Herald article:

If an earthquake, volcanic eruption, wildfire or flood hits the Yakima Valley, you might not see firefighters or paramedics in your neighborhood for a while.

The experience in other disasters has shown that professional first responders can be overwhelmed as they deal with urgent needs, or they might not be able to get to where people need help because roads and bridges are out.

Instead, help for your neighborhood may come from people in green vests and hard hats like Paul Jenkins, a volunteer coordinator with the county’s Community Emergency Response Team

The team has quarterly training exercises and participates in events such as a recent drill at the Yakima Air Terminal, as well as activations of the county’s emergency operations center in Union Gap.

While some people may think that firefighters, police and paramedics will be on the scene right away when a disaster strikes, Jenkins said they could easily be swamped with calls for help in an emergency, or the nature of the disaster might cut off access for a time.

Jenkins has been called out for flooding in West Valley, wildfire near Moxee and the Miriam Fire, where he helped distribute literature and provide security at the site. He was also sent to Outlook to help get information and bottled water to residents after an overflowing manure pond contaminated local wells.

While there are 60 people currently trained, Ward and Jenkins would like to see more people get involved, as it will give them skills to cope in a disaster…

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

 

 

 

NBC News: How Going Ham Could Save Hawaii

NBC News’ Left Field reporting unit recently did a report on communications in Hawaii and how ham radio could help in a disaster.

Hawaii’s recent false nuclear missile alert showed us how reliant we are on cell phones and modern technology—and how unprepared we are if they become inaccessible. But in case the unexpected happens, an unlikely group of hobbyists—ham radio operators—are standing at the ready and may save us all.

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Yakima Officials Eye State Fair Park Buildings for Possible Medical Care in Case of Disaster

From the Yakima Herald

Yakima Health District officials are exploring the possibility of using State Fair Park as a medical care facility during a disaster.

The district is seeking proposals for a feasibility study of installing generators at the Yakima Valley SunDome, Pioneer Hall and the Deccio and Modern Living buildings, which would allow the facilities to be used as places to care for nonemergency patients if needed.

“The circumstances surrounding Rattlesnake Ridge show why planning is necessary,” said Health District Executive Director Andre Fresco, referring to the slow-moving landslide on the ridge near Union Gap.

 Fresco said that if feasible, the fairgrounds would be used as a place to take care of the nonurgent health needs of people displaced in a major disaster, such as flooding or an earthquake. The Health District is working with the Yakima County Commission, the county’s emergency management officials, the city of Yakima and the state Department of Health’s Disaster Preparedness Division on the proposal, he said.

The fair park is ideally located to serve as a place for nonemergency medical care in Central Washington in the event of a disaster, Fresco said.

Having generators is a prerequisite to being able to use the site as a backup medical facility, as planners would need to be able to provide heat and power in the event of a blackout, Fresco said.

The study is preliminary and will look at whether it is possible to outfit the buildings — some of which date back to before World War II — for emergency medical use, and how many generators would be needed to power the complex in an emergency.

It would not be the first time the fairgrounds was pressed into service in a time of emergency. During World War II, the fairgrounds housed a training school for military pilots and a factory for building Army trucks for use in the Pacific Theater.

 Greg Stewart, State Fair Park’s president and general manager, said fairgrounds in other parts of the country have been used as emergency shelters for people and livestock during wildfires and other disasters and that he welcomes the study.

“The fairground has been the salvation of many communities,” Stewart said.

Puerto Rico Disaster Reports, Oct. 16, 2017

Puerto Rico continues to struggle following the recent hurricanes.

Here is a link, to an ARRL report on ham radio operators sent down to assist with communications. Note the references to generator fires, generator failures, hospital evacuations, and shortages of food, fuel and water.

This week, the team relayed a request for Culebra Hospital, which reported that a generator fire had forced relocation to a nearby clinic. In addition, volunteers relayed a request from Culebra Hospital that it needs temporary housing from FEMA for necessary staff members who lost their homes in the hurricane. The team also relayed a message for Hima San Pablo Hospital in Fajardo, which needed specialized IV fluids for a 4-day-old infant.

Rob Landon, KE8AMC, stationed at the hospital on Vieques, learned from the hospital administrator that they needed to evacuate dialysis patients, who require air conditioning that the hospital is unable to provide. “We made their day,” said Hotzfeld. “They were not aware of our presence and were impressed with our communications capabilities.”

Val Hotzfeld, NV9L (left), and ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, KI1U.

An Amateur Radio operator has been assigned at Centro Medico (Medical Central) to provide communication between the center and other hospitals. “This happened just in time, because the Menonita (Mennonite) Hospital in Caguas had both generators fail,” Hotzfeld said. The emergency room doctor at Medical Central and the ham embedded there, Juan Trujillo, N0PSF, coordinated with Dennis Perez, WP4Q, at the Mennonite Hospital in Caguas to transfer four critical patients to the Mennonite Hospital in Cayey.

Volunteers at the EOC relayed a request from Guayana Hospital for snacks, water, and a generator. Their second generator was reported to be about to fail. They also relayed requests from hospitals for fuel and water, and they provided communication for fire departments contacting the EOC.

Brushbeater blog posted a short Reflections on Puerto Rico, discussing communications preparations in light of lessons from Puerto Rico.

So upon reading this, a serious skill assessment should be in order. If you’re the communicator in your group:

  • Can you rig your own wire antennas?
  • Do you have the rough calculations to make them resonant?
  • Do you have the current consumption of your various radios written down and a way to monitor it?
  • How long can you operate battery-only?
  • Do you have enough spare equipment to keep your station up if Murphy happens?
  • Do you have a working knowledge of different propagation modes (such as why NVIS does what it does)

But most important- how many people can also do what you do in your group?

Four deaths and ten suspected of infection are being investigated as possible cases of leptospirosis, a disease spread by animal urine, possibly from drinking contaminated stream water.

Meanwhile some desperate Puerto Ricans are reported to be drinking possibly toxic water from superfund cleanup sites. 34% of Puerto Ricans are still without access to fresh drinking water.

Rotting garbage may be the next health crisis there.

Three weeks after Hurricane Maria ransacked this island leaving at least 44 dead, Jose Vargas surveyed street after street lined with mounds of soaking garbage mixed with mud, trees and sometimes dead animals.

You couldn’t make a better breeding ground for rats, roaches and all sorts of nasty diseases, the public health volunteer said. And every day the fetid piles stay there, the risk of an epidemic grows.

“We’re already building the next disaster,” he warned.

ARRL: Radio Amateur on St. Lucia Relays Hurricane Reports

From ARRL.org, Radio Amateur on St. Lucia Relays Reports of Hurricane Devastation on Dominica, a reminder of the usefulness of alternative communications methods during a disaster:

As “potentially catastrophic Hurricane Maria” is headed for the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Frans van Santbrink, J69DS, on St. Lucia checked into the VoIP Hurricane Net to relay damage reports he gathered via repeater conversations with hams on Dominica, which was hit by Category 5 Hurricane Maria.

He recounted a damage report from Kerry Fevrier, J69YH, in Roseau, Dominica. “Trees down, river has flooded half the village, cars are all over, most houses have lost their roofs or are destroyed, the area between his house and the church is just flattened…in his words, ‘devastation is total,’” van Santbrink told the net.

He also heard from J73CI, who has lost his roof; J73WA on the northern end of the island, who lost his tower and was uncertain how he was going to weather the back end of the storm, and J73MH, who also lost his roof and was “just hunkering down and hoping for the best.”

Click here to read the entire article