Organic Prepper: What Preppers Can Learn from Chile Riots

This article at the Organic Prepper talks about some lessons learned surviving the ongoing riots in Chile. Civil unrest has been spreading around South America. Will it continue to spread? Could we see these levels of unrest in the USA?

…Much worst was once the tear gas started to get into our patio. Our house is entirely open. Even the dogs were having a hard time. Vinegar spraying in the face was quickly started.

Get more information on surviving civil unrest and riots.

It´s a good moment to remind you all: adding a good gas mask (one for each family member) and after bought, everyone must learn how to wear it in a hurry, and do it properly. This can make an important difference.  Small children are going to be the most severely affected. Seen it happening in Caracas. Guards attacked a hospital. Jeez. If you´re hunkering down adults must take turns to monitor the surroundings (AND. DON´T. OPEN. THE. CURTAINS).

A face covered with a gas mask sticking out an apartment window is very likely to be targeted. So don´t do that. “Regular” “Normal” people do not have gas masks. But we know this is a good tool. Perhaps some drops of Valerian herb essence in a cup of water will help with those nerves, something I strongly recommend. Just put some music, and grab a book while installing yourself in an observation post that allows you to check to see what´s happening outside. If you have (as I indeed have recommended in some previous articles) to have an array of 2 or 3 remote cameras to see what´s happening outside without sticking the nose outside of a window, this is the moment to use them. Quietly and unnoticed. This will work as a means to calm down yours, too.

Don´t leave your place unless it´s extremely necessary.

I´m sure someone thinking they´re smart cookie will call me Mr. Obvious and other stupidities. But try to dialogue with your (non-prepper) wife once the food is gone and her rattle is shaking as if there´s no tomorrow. Trust me, the streets are not going to be safer once this rattling starts. Jokes apart, not because you don´t see anything from your window doesn´t mean something is NOT coming your way.

If you feel the need to make it to the supermarket 4 miles away with the best prices, maybe you can get there. Maybe you could even buy your stuff if the place hasn´t been looted. And maybe, too, a turmoil gets between you and your home and can´t be surrounded. You could get yourself into trouble just because. No need to do it. Keep your place supplied, be creative and use your brains. What I mean is, if the water, power or phone gets cut off, it´s stupid to leave the place believing that you´re going to make it to their offices to make a claim. I know there is plenty of people that would do this. So don´t call me Cap. Obvious. You´ll be underestimating the endless human potential for dumbness.

OK now, let´s elaborate a little bit. Suppose you are in your apartment in downtown Chile. On the second floor. Going higher in one of the countries of the Fire Belt is not wise. Anyway, tear gas is starting to feel. You pull out your gas masks, or even your swimming glasses and a cloth soaked in vinegar over your mouth. The 3 supermarkets nearby have been looted. Not just looted, they have been destroyed. Cashier machines, transport belts, even the shelves island have been demolished. Some reports have told that even factories have been burned. Senseless, irrational violence. And you don´t have where to buy fresh vegetables, nor fruit. You have still water and power.

But it´s here where our preppings are going to shine and your kids will learn that it pays off to play squirrel, at the end of the day.

Your horizontal freezer is filled up with supplies. Your pantry is stocked from floor to roof with canned vegetables, beans, pasta and whatnot, enough for six months. You have toilet paper to wipe off an entire primary school battalion for one year (if you have children under 10 you know how they go through toilet paper FAST). Toothpaste, shampoo, and soap? No problem. That couple of cases of beer is still safe under your bed.

Depending on your level of preparedness, defined according to your real needs, you could leave once you find it´s safe and make it to your bug out location.

One of my friends informs me that in Chile his job was not affected. He could attend to his office, just walking carefully…and a cab every now and then. The train is not functional. There are massive demonstrations. When these start, people just leave the office and go home. Usually, the turmoil starts when these people reach a certain point…

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

Peak Prosperity: Survival Learnings from a California Fire Evacuee

Today’s survival lesson comes from Peak Prosperity‘s Adam Taggart enumerating some of his lessons learned from mandatory evacuation from California fires.

As I type this, there are over 16 large wildfires currently burning across northern and southern California. Hundreds of thousands of residents have been displaced. Millions are without power.

My hometown of Sebastopol, CA underwent mandatory evacuation at 4am Saturday night. I jumped into the car, along with our life essentials and our pets, joining the 200,000 souls displaced from Sonoma County this weekend.

Even though I write about preparedness for a living, fleeing your home in the dead of night with a raging inferno clearly visible on the horizon drives home certain lessons more effectively than any other means.

I’d like to share those learnings with you, as they’re true for any sort of emergency: natural (fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, blizzard, etc), financial (market crash, currency crisis) or social (revolution, civil unrest, etc).

And I’d like you to be as prepared as possible should one of those happen to you, which is statistically likely.

Your survival, and that of your loved ones, may depend on it.

No Plan Survives First Contact With Reality

As mentioned, I’ve spent years advising readers on the importance of preparation. Emergency preparedness is Step Zero of the guide I’ve written on resilient living — literally the first chapter.

So, yes, I had a pre-designed bug-out plan in place when the evacuation warning was issued. My wife and I had long ago made lists of the essentials we’d take with us if forced to flee on short notice (the Santa Rosa fires of 2017 had reinforced the wisdom of this). Everything on these lists was in an easy-to-grab location.

The only problem was, we were 300 miles away.

Reality Rule #1: You Will Be Caught By Surprise

There are too many variables that accompany an unforeseen disaster to anticipate all of them. Your plan has to retain enough flexibility to adapt to the unforeseen.

In my case, we were down at Parents’ Weekend at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, where my older daughter recently started her freshman year.

As the text alerts warning of the growing fire risk started furiously arriving, we monitored them closely, reluctant to leave the festivities and our time with our daughter. But once the evacuation warning came across, we knew it was serious enough to merit the 6-hour mad dash home to rescue what we could.

The upside of that long drive was that it gave us time to alter our bug-out plan according to the unfolding situation. We decided my wife and younger daughter would go directly to safety; that reduced the lives at risk in the fire zone down to just 1 (mine). And I used the phone to line up neighbors who could grab our stuff should I not be able to make it home in time.

The learning here is: Leave plenty of room in your plan for the unexpected. If its success depends on everything unfolding exactly as you predict, it’s worthless to you.

Reality Rule #2: Things Will Happen Faster Than You’re Ready For

Once an emergency is in full swing, things start happening more quickly than you can process well.

Even if developments are unfolding in the way you’ve anticipated, they come at an uncomfortably fast rate that adrenaline, anxiety and fatigue make even more challenging to deal with.

Just as The Crash Course chapter on Compounding explains how exponential problems unfold too fast to avoid once they become visible, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed or caught off-guard by the pace required to deal with a disaster.

The Kincade fire started at 9:30pm the night before I left Sebastopol for Cal Poly. When I went to bed that night it was a mere 300 acres in size. Two days later it was 25,000 acres. (it’s currently at 66,000 acres).

It went from “nothing to worry about” to “get out NOW!” in less than 48 hours.

Watching who fared well during the evacuation and who didn’t , those who took action early out of a healthy sense of caution had much more success than those who initially brushed off the potential seriousness of the situation.

Here’s how much of a difference timely action made:

The ‘evacuation warning’ advisory became a ‘mandatory evacuation’ order at 4am on Saturday night. My car was ready to go and I was on the road out of town within 5 minutes.

Several friends of mine left home just 45 minutes after I did. By that time, the fleeing traffic made the roads essentially immobile. My friends had to turn back to ride things out in their homes, simply hoping for the best.

So I’m reminded of the old time-management axiom: If you can’t be on time, be early. In a developing crisis, set your tolerance level for uncertainty to “low”. Take defensive measures as soon as you detect the whiff of increasing risk; it’s far more preferable to walk back a premature maneuver than to realize it’s too late to act.

Reality Rule #3: You Will Make Mistakes

Related to Rule #2 above, you’re going to bungle parts of the plan. Stress, uncertainty and fatigue alone pretty much guarantee it.

You’re going to forget things or make some wrong choices.

Case in point: as I was evacuating, the plan was to take a less-traveled back route, in order to reduce the odds of getting stuck in traffic. But, racing in the dark and checking in on the phone with numerous friends and neighbors, muscle memory took over and I found myself headed to the main road of town. Too late to turn back, I sat at the turn on, waiting for someone in the line of cars to let me in.

It then hit me that perhaps no one might. Folks were panicked. Would someone be willing to slow down to let me go ahead of them?

Obviously someone did, or I wouldn’t be typing this. But that mistake put everything else I’d done correctly beforehand in jeopardy.

So, as the decisions start to come fast and furious, your key priority is to ensure that you’re focused on making sure the few really important decisions are made well, and that the balls that get dropped won’t be ones that put your safety at risk.

Forget to pack food for the cat? No big deal, you’ll find something suitable later on. Miss your time window to evacuate, as my friends did? That could cost you your life.

Reality Rule #4: When Stressed, All You Care About Is People & Pets

A good bug-out plan covers preparing to take essential clothes, food & water, medications, key documents, communications & lighting gear, personal protection, and irreplaceable mementos.

But when the stakes escalate, you quickly don’t care about any of those. It’s only living things — people, pets & livestock — that you’re focused on.

The rest, while valuable to have in an evacuation, is ultimately replaceable or non-essential.

I very well might have rolled the dice and stayed down at Cal Poly if it weren’t for the cat. But family is family, no matter how furry. I just couldn’t leave her to face an uncertain fate. And I believe strongly you’ll feel the same about any people or pets in your life — it’s a primal, tribal pull to take care of our own. If you don’t plan for it, it will override whatever other priorities you think you may have.

So prioritize accordingly. Build your primary and contingency plans with the security of people and animals first in mind. If there’s time for the rest, great. But if not, at least you secured what’s most important (by far)…

Click here to continue reading at Peak Prosperity.

Mountain Guerrilla: “When” the SHTF

This lengthy piece comes from Mountain Guerrilla blog‘s Patreon page. This one is a public posting, so no Patreon membership is required to read it.  Some people get turned off by the way John Mosby writes; try to get past it. Mosby consistently writes insightful commentary. You may not like what he says, but think about it before rejecting it, and you may find your mind changing. In this article, Mosby talks about supposedly prepared people who ended up not being prepared for simple disasters and the kinds of things you can do to be self-sufficient in a way that makes you prepared for these short term disasters.

“When” the SHTF

One of the things I’ve spent a lot of time and bandwidth on is pointing out the inanity of focusing preparedness on some potential future cataclysmic event that will bring about The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI)… like overnight, total economic meltdown leading to a catastrophic failure of modern society, EMP or CMP destroying the electrical grid, terrorists detonating “dirty bombs” in multiple major metropolitan centers, zombie or other pandemic disease outbreaks, and the like are cool to theorize about. The problem is, they’re cool to theorize and fantasize about because they are so unlikely.

That’s not to say that it wouldn’t be super convenient. That sounds facile, but it really isn’t. Sure, the idea that “90% die-off” of the American population being “convenient” seems ridiculous. The idea that spending the rest of your life in a tooth-and-claw fight for sustenance and survival would be “convenient” seems like something a testosterone-poisoned teenage boy would claim. The reality is however, compared to the reality we are facing, the popular images of “TEOTWAWKI” are exactly that: they’re convenient.

You wake up one morning, and nobody, anywhere, has any electricity. The banks and banking computers no longer work, so nobody, anywhere, has any money left, and those who did have a couple hundred or thousand in cash, stuffed into a pair of underwear, are … out of luck, because every quickly realizes that cash is valueless. You no longer have to worry about soccer practice, band recitals, or math tutors, for Little Suzie and Sam, because it’s time to crawl into the Crye Multicam jammies you bought, strap on your plate carrier, load and zero your 1970s vintage, Belgian-made FN/FAL with wood furniture (because real men carry rifles made of wood and steel, by Gawd!) and iron sights, and prepared to defend hearth and home, and the virtue of the little Missus!

No more fighting about what’s for supper, and whether we should eat at home, or go out, because we’re going to be living on beans and rice for the next year. No more worrying about who is watching what on television, because the power grid is down, and the satellites got fried by the CME too, so there’s no DirecTV, even if you did have a generator to hook the television up to. No more worries about making it to the gym to work out, and try to treadmill that “freshman fifteen” you put on your first year of college….twenty years ago, because it’s going to be physical labor from now until you die, trying to gather supplies, and cut and split wood.

No more dealing with attorneys to battle it out with the neighbor over the boundary dispute because one of you built the privacy fence incorrectly. Now, you can just smoke check the dude with a thirty caliber round from your FAL, because the police are no longer working. It’s not like you have to worry about him fighting back, because he’s “sheeple,” and you’re pretty sure he doesn’t even own a gun. You’ve certainly never seen him carrying one, and he doesn’t have any cool guy gun bumper stickers on his truck, like you do.

Yeah, it would be convenient.

———————————————

Reality is dirtier, and far, far less convenient. Reality is PG&E shutting down the power grid to millions of people, for weeks, because they’re worried about lack of infrastructure maintenance causing runaway wildfires. Reality is those wildfires happening anyway, and closing down your “Bug Out” route, because of traffic congestion, as everybody else tries to flee the dangers at the same time.

Reality is a tornado sweeping across two counties, knocking power out to thousands of homes, and sending 300 year old oak trees through roofs, and blowing barns and sheds into the next township. Reality is the electric company subsequently telling you that, “Yeah, your power is going to be out for awhile, because we’ve got several hundred miles of line to replace, and you’re at the bottom of the priority list. Oh, you have a newborn baby? A disabled grandmother living at home? Not our problem. Sorry.”

Reality is a winter storm blowing in and knocking out the power for the next week, as temperatures plummet to single digits, and nobody in your subdivision has a wood stove for back-up, because covenants in the HOA agreement.

Reality is what happened to parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas this summer, when the Arkansas River flooded to historic record levels, and destroyed entire communities worth of homes.

————————————–

I have a friend who lost power recently. Their power was out for a week. They ended up going and staying with family, because the weather was cold, and they didn’t have any back-up systems in place at the house. Dude is one of the most all-around competent, handy, people I’ve ever known. He’s a super hard worker, self-employed, and has dozens of employees. He’s genuinely, just an all-around competent dude.

This friend has tens of thousands of dollars worth of guns. He wears a concealed pistol everywhere he goes, and he keeps a rifle locked up, inside the cab of his truck, along with a plate carrier, “just in case.”

I asked him, “Why do you carry a gun?”

“Well, because there are bad people in the world, and I can’t rely on the police to be on hand to protect me and my wife and kid!” He’s right. It’s a really good answer. It’s solid. It’s legitimate.

“Cool. So, why don’t you have a back-up generator wired to the house? Why don’t you have a woodstove in the house, and a couple cords of wood in the backyard? What if, instead of a storm knocking out the power for a few days, this had been THE EVENT? What if your family had lost power too?”

He didn’t have an answer. Most people I’ve had similar discussions with, over the years, haven’t had answers…

Click here to continue reading at the Mountain Guerrilla Patreon page.

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.

2019 Great Washington ShakeOut, Oct. 17th

Millions of people worldwide will practice how to Drop, Cover, and Hold On at 10:17 a.m. on October 17* during the annual Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills!

Washingtonians can join them today by registering for the 2019 Great Washington ShakeOut. As of the first week of October, 1.24 million Washingtonians have registered to take part. Participating is a great way for your family or organization to be prepared to survive and recover quickly from big earthquakes– wherever you live, work, or travel. Learn tips on how to get 2 Weeks Ready and craft your own emergency kits here.

Start here to be included in the 2019 Washington ShakeOut!

Related:

Tri-City Herald: The Tri-Cities Is Earthquake Country

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.

Wales Prepares for Brexit

As the Welsh are the most stolid and practical UK citizens, the Welsh government is leading the way in preparing for the UK’s exit from the EU (aka Brexit). The government of Wales recently published a preparedness planning document for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. While the document is mainly aimed at apprising citizens of the actions the government is taking, it also lays out some probably effects Brexit would have on people so that they can make their own preparations. As some people have wondered just what the dangers are of a Brexit that one would get worked up over, here are some excerpts:

  • Major transport disruption for people and goods at the borders. As additional checks are required once the UK is no longer part of the Single Market and Customs Union. This is particularly significant at the Northern Ireland/Ireland border, the Channel crossings and atsea ports, including in Wales, where the role of Welsh ports is key to trade  with Ireland. There is also potential for delays at airports. Any delays could have significant knock-on impacts on the wider transport network, for example requiring “stack” operations on major highways and roads to ports. A number of the economic and other risks outlined below are linked to the critical issue of ensuring a smooth flow of goods through major ports–any delays could cause issues for the availability of some (fresh) food products and medicines and have a damaging impact on some trade sectors. The recently released Yellowhammer assumptions suggest a reduction to the flow rate to 40% to 60% of current levels of goods moving across borders compared to current levels if there is no mitigation. This could last up to three month safter exit day before it improves to around 50-70%.
  • Welsh Government has secured agreement for a UK-wide table top exercise, to test the co-ordinated response for the disruption to food supply and the potential public response, scheduled for the end of September.
  • Local authorities have been assured they would be able to continue to provide food in schools in the event of a no deal Brexit. But menus may need to be revised, although healthy eating in schools will be maintained
  • Contingency plans are in place to mitigate the risks of disruption to water supply chemicals.
  • Economic turmoil. The potential for major disruption to international trade (particularly, but not only, with the EU) impacting on exporting businesses, import supply chains and inward investment, could risk the sustainability of some businesses and have a negative impact on jobs and wages. This could be compounded by workforce impacts (see below). We are already feeling the consequences of a weaker economy as a result of three years’ of Brexit uncertainty –the Bank of England has estimated households are £1,000 worse off every year as a result of Brexit, compared to before the EU referendum. Some further impacts could happen very quickly after exit day, with some emerging over time. There is likely to be a further fall in the value of the pound relative to other currencies–Sterling has fallen markedly in value since the referendum and as the prospect of a no deal Brexit has intensified. This could, over time, translate into rising inflation on some products and lower economic growth
  • Some of the above factors, individually or in combination, could become too acute to manage locally. In that case, it may be necessary to assess the issue and treat it as a civil contingency

So, only things like food, water, medicine, jobs, and money may be materially affected. Minor stuff. Other information for Welsh preparing for Brexit can be found at the following websites:

https://gov.wales/preparing-wales

https://llyw.cymru/paratoi-cymru

 

Forward Observer: SHTF Intelligence Gathering

Sam Culper at Forward Observer continues his video series on how an intelligence analyst prepares for an SHTF situation with this video on SHTF Intelligence Gathering.

THIS INFORMATION WILL BE ON THE TEST…

In today’s video, I’m talking about the importance of intelligence for emergency preparedness and some ways to get started in local intelligence gathering.

There will be an SHTF Intelligence webinar held by FO on Thursday, September 19th, 2019. Register here. http://shtfintel.com

FEMA: Americans Need to Start Saving for a Rainy Day

This was written as an opinion piece in The Hill by FEMA Deputy Administrator for Resilience Daniel Kaniewski. TL;DR – The government isn’t coming to save you. Better start getting prepared to take care of yourself/your community.

Every day our nation faces some risk whether it be from flooding, earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes, tornados or other threats. While none of us want to think that the next disaster will happen where we live, the fact is our communities can never truly be prepared for disasters if the people who live in our communities are not.

One of FEMA’s core missions is to educate the public on disaster preparedness, both at home and in the community, and the results are encouraging. Every year, more Americans are taking preparedness actions. But, we need to address an essential component of the preparedness message —  savings and insurance.

We need individuals to take charge of their own preparedness both at home and in their communities. It starts with discussing the importance of financial health and its relationship to being ready. Americans must adopt the habit of saving for emergencies, both large and small. An emergency fund can help cover evacuation expenses or pay for supplies to get a home ready for a hurricane. After a disaster, these funds can be used to replace damaged items or pay for necessities before an insurance company can settle a claim.

Research paints a compelling picture of the link between financial wellness and disaster preparedness. We also know that emergency savings make a big difference in helping families recover more quickly after disasters. However, a 2017 Federal Reserve report found 40 percent of adults would not have the cash readily available if faced with a $400 emergency expense. Additionally, a 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found that 8.4 million households in the United States have neither a checking nor savings account.

So, at a time when the evidence points toward the importance of savings, many Americans are not in a position to act. Even those who do have bank accounts often do not take the action of ensuring they have immediate access to cash at home. Having liquid assets in the bank and cash at home are both essential steps in building a prepared household. ATMs and credit card machines might not be functioning after a disaster and you will likely have to use cash for food, water or fuel in the immediate aftermath.

Americans should focus on building up their financial wellness to protect themselves and their families. FEMA and its financial wellness nonprofit and private sector partners continue to share messaging and resources that can be used to help build financial resilience in communities. Through PrepTalks “Financial Literacy and Overcoming Liquid Asset Poverty,” and the FEMA Podcast “Making ‘Cents Out of Disaster Financial Preparedness,” we have compiled resources to provide individuals and communities a greater understanding and awareness of financial resilience.

We continue to share the message of the importance of saving, but we also have to expand the definition of financial preparedness. A large part of protecting every family’s financial future is insurance. There is not a more important or valuable disaster recovery tool than insurance. This of course includes flood insurance, which is usually not included in standard homeowners’ and renters’ policies. But it’s not just flood insurance. All types of insurance have a role to play in reducing financial risk. Unfortunately, we have an insurance gap (the difference between what is insured and what is insurable) in this country; approximately 70 percent of disaster losses are uninsured. Those who lack insurance will take longer to recover — and some may never fully recover–adding further stress after a disaster.

Survivors working toward their recovery should understand that FEMA’s Individual Assistance program grants were never intended to cover all disaster losses. The average FEMA Individual Assistance grant to disaster survivors in Texas following Hurricane Harvey was approximately $3,000. The average flood insurance payout was more than $117,000.

Enhancing financial preparedness and closing the insurance gap can help reduce the impacts of disasters. We have to get ahead of the risks we may face and not just respond to them. Making a more resilient nation must be a shared goal, and a shared responsibility.

Daniel Kaniewski, PhD, serves as FEMA’s deputy administrator for resilience and is currently FEMA’s second-ranking official.

Forward Observer: SHTF Security Planning

Samuel Culper at Forward Observer has up another video in his SHTF preparedness series. This one is titled SHTF Security Planning.

In this video, I continue my five-step security and preparedness planning process. Let’s start matching missions to threats, and then break down some basic mission planning.

Forward Observer will also be holding an SHTF Intelligence webinar on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019 at 1900/7pm Central. Register by clicking here.

AF Magazine: AF Researches Call for National EMP Preparation

From Air Force Magazine, Air Force Researchers Call for National Electromagnetic Attack Preparation.

Everyday Americans aren’t worried enough about the threat of a massive electromagnetic attack, according to a new, 130-page Air University report on electromagnetic spectrum vulnerabilities.

During the Cold War, the public was aware of the threat of nuclear attack and took it seriously, participants in the Electromagnetic Task Force’s 2019 study said. They concluded the US should mount a similar national campaign encouraging individuals, the military, and industry to adopt electromagnetic protection and resilience plans, just as citizens built bomb shelters during the Cold War.

An electromagnetic pulse attack is essentially a surge of energy, caused by a nuclear detonation or a solar storm, that could overload electronics and cause them to fail. While national leaders and industry are more aware of the potential impacts, the Air University study said, an effort akin to the “Smokey Bear” wildfire-prevention initiative could better alert the public.

The second annual study, undertaken by hundreds of scholars, industry experts, and military officers earlier this year, argued that the proliferation of “efficient but delicate” computers, networks, and other electronic infrastructure leaves the US particularly vulnerable to electromagnetic attacks on a grand scale…

Click here to read the entire article at Air Force Magazine.

Forward Observer: Intelligence Analyst Prepares for SHTF, Part II

From Sam Culper at Forward Observer comes part two of his SHTF planning series. For Part I click here.:

My mission is to build a network for information sharing and to bring everyone up to par in terms of preparedness and security planning.

The logic: I may be very well prepared, but if I’m not aiding the area in becoming better prepared, then we risk mission failure for the entire region. And that’s bad for us.

If you agree that building community or tribe — or as I call it, “developing the human terrain” — is important, then I’d like to invite you on this journey with me.

I started a new video series entitled “How an Intelligence Analyst Prepares for SHTF” where I’m breaking down in detail how I’m preparing locally for our future challenges.

Here is Part II:

Forward Observer: How an Intelligence Analyst Prepares for SHTF

From Sam Culper at Forward Observer:

My mission is to build a network for information sharing and to bring everyone up to par in terms of preparedness and security planning.

The logic: I may be very well prepared, but if I’m not aiding the area in becoming better prepared, then we risk mission failure for the entire region. And that’s bad for us.

If you agree that building community or tribe — or as I call it, “developing the human terrain” — is important, then I’d like to invite you on this journey with me.

I started a new video series entitled “How an Intelligence Analyst Prepares for SHTF” where I’m breaking down in detail how I’m preparing locally for our future challenges.

It has five steps. If you follow aong with these videos and implement these concepts locally, then I believe you’ll catapult your readiness above and beyond your peers.

And I want to encourage you, if you haven’t already, to begin thinking or planning for a regional preparedness network of your own.

If you’re expecting me to talk about bug out bags and fire starters, then you’ve come to the wrong place. But if you want to learn how to develop local intelligence and how to achieve realistic expectations of the future… – if you want to learn about tactical- and strategic-level planning for those future threats, events, and conditions, – if you want to learn how to get ahead of the competition, then you’re in the right place.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ei86otQr9ss

OH8STN: Grid Down Communications for Preparedness

Amateur radio enthusiast, blogger and vlogger OH8STN (Julian) has posted a video on Introduction to Grid Down Communications for Preparedness. As he says, planning for a grid down scenario covers around 99% of the scenarios that a person may face (earthquake, pandemic, civil unrest, etc.) Julian covers a lot of useful information in the video, not just for amateur radio operators but anyone trying to prepare to communicate in such a scenario.

Here is the first video of the series:

Related:

Suggested Radio Equipment for Community Safety – but there is no “one size fits all” communications solution as pointed out in OH8STN’s video above. Julian’s video discusses some of the assumed background information of this article in more detail. This article discusses the equipment that is working for the LVA.