Tactical Wisdom: Being Ready – Nehemiah

The following comes from Joe Dolio’s Tactical Wisdom blog, Being Ready – Nehemiah.

When the Jews returned to Jerusalem with Nehemiah, they were returning to a destroyed city, completely surrounded by enemies. The lessons taught in the Book of Nehemiah are just as valid today in either a Without Rule of Law (WROL) situation, or even in everyday life.

Nehemiah 4:23 says “Neither I, nor my brothers, nor my men took off our clothes, each had his weapon; even when he went for water.”

This isn’t bad advice, no matter what century.

The point of the advice is to remain aware and ready to defend yourself at all times. This was referred to by the legend Jeff Cooper as “Condition Yellow”. It means remaining engaged and being aware of the people around you, your environment, and potential issues that may develop, rather than being distracted by your phone or daydreaming.

When I approach a commercial building, like a store or gas station, I glance through the door or windows first, then as soon as I enter I take in the whole scene, noting all potential exits. It only takes two seconds and could potentially save your life.

In a true WROL situation, this becomes even more important. Nehemiah’s admonition to always be armed takes on special significance in the wake of a natural disaster, mass quarantine, power grid failure, or economic collapse.

In urban areas, the average house has about 48 hours worth of food in it. After the ability to quickly restock food from the corner store has gone away, hungry people will get desperate and remaining armed at all times can be the difference between safety and injury, or worse.

In that situation, you and your team should be fully armed and in “full kit” (sidearm, fixed blade knife, long gun, spare ammunition, and RADIO) at all times. When sleeping, be clothed, like Nehemiah suggests, with all your gear within arms reach. Luke 11:21 says “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his house, his possessions are safe.”

I also recommend highly the “3 Blade Rule”. You should always have available in everyday carry (EDC) and on your body in a WROL situation, 3 blades. First, a folding blade knife, which can be carried in a pocket for EDC or on your gear otherwise. Second, some type of multi-tool. For EDC, my Gerber Suspension and my Gerber M600 are in my laptop bag and in WROL, they have pouches on my web gear. The third blade is a full-size fixed blade knife. For EDC, the fixed blade knife is in my “Emergency Egress” backpack in the rear of my SUV (I carry either a Gerber LMF Infantry or my trusty USMC Ka-Bar). With these three blades, you can solve nearly any emergency, self-defense, or survival need.

As far as EDC carry of a firearm, Nehemiah said they carried their weapons everywhere, even to get water and it’s solid advice. There is no purpose is obtaining a Concealed Pistol License and then not carrying a pistol. I recommend carrying whatever your EDC gear is, whether it’s a handgun or a knife (and it should be both) everywhere that you legally can. You can’t possibly predict when evil or flawed ideology will touch your life, so it’s your responsibility to always be ready.

One more point about EDC: Whether or not you choose to arm yourself for EDC, you should ALWAYS carry a first aid kit. If you do choose to lawfully carry a firearm or knife, you MUST carry a first aid kit. Carrying first aid supplies really isn’t hard and can save lives in any emergency. I’ll do a full post on these, but here’s a recap of what I carry and where:

  • Laptop bag: Ziploc bag of various band-aids, some gauze, a pressure bandage (for gunshot wounds or any penetrating trauma), a tourniquet, and a CPR mask/gloves.
  • Emergency Egress Backpack: Full kit with band-aids, wipes, antibiotic, gauze, pressure dressings, triangular bandage, Cellox, EMT shears, gloves, CPR mask.
  • Trunk of SUV: Full Size med kit with multiple pressure dressings, tourniquet, band-aids of every size, combine pads, gauze, triangular bandages, tape, wipes, antibiotic, conforming bandage, EMT shears, minor medications, CPR mask, and gloves.
  • IFAK (moves between bags): Full kit like above, but also with Cellox for blood clotting.

The first aid kits may seem to be a bit much, but I’ve been blessed to be able to help injured people at accident scenes many times in my life. Having the right gear and never needing it is FAR better than needing the gear and NOT having it.

Thanks for reading!

Jack Lawson’s Review Of The Tactical Wisdom Series 

Jack Lawson is the author of Civil Defense Manual and co-author of the older and now out of print A Failure of Civility. Here he gives a review of Joe Dolio’s Tactical Wisdom, another preparedness book series. All of the works above are worth your time. Jack’s books have a larger format with many photos and diagrams, while Joe’s are smaller with only text, but also may be written in more easy to read style.

Tactical Wisdom (2 Book Series)

Rare does a book catch my attention like Tactical Wisdom. It could have been authored by my alter ego. But the Author, Joe Dolio, has created what I consider a companion and must-read book to my book the Civil Defense Manual. His book “Tactical Wisdom TW-01 Baseline Training Manual” has almost every procedure in it that my book has… presented in a concise and superb manner. He also has a great writing style.

The man clearly must be a genius, if by his definition of the word, we think alike. For those unaware of what I’m talking about, you’d have to read Joe’s opening line in his review of my book. But Joe and I, regardless of our level of intelligence and I’m definitely not a genius, agree on the way to Preparedness, Survival and organizing with others for Strength Through Numbers for protection.

This review is not a ‘trade off’ knee jerk evaluation of the Tactical Wisdom Series from me because Joe wrote a generous review for me… because anyone who knows me well, knows that I won’t praise a poor presentation, incompetence and or misinformation for any reason. The fact is that this Marine Corps Veteran has written a classic in writing the “Tactical Wisdom Base Line Training Manual.”

I know that Joe is more intelligent than me by one item… as he quotes The Ultimate Base Line Book… the Bible… in his book. That incredible Guide Book that I’ve seemed to wandered away from… despite being brought up by it. Some people that know me would say… “Lawson, you reading the Bible!?”

Well, I am drifting back to the Bible and Christianity… probably from the insanity of what illogic is bringing our society. I am not reading it because “I’m looking for a loophole” for my transgressions, like W.C. Fields said when one of his friends questioned him astounded that he was reading the Bible on his death bed. I have a pretty good idea where I’m going… and it won’t be pretty… but I still hold out hope for Valhalla.

That being said, I believe our exclusion of God, his Son and the Holy Spirit by many ‘enlightened’ and ‘elite’ people is the basis of the on-going destruction of the fabric of society, decency, the family, Free Enterprise (instead of Fascist Corporations), Individual Rights and Constitutional America.

When the huge egos and twisted values of those who become legends in their own minds represents the aggregate essence of a world of peoples… in lieu of the righteousness and principles of an Immortal and Benevolent Higher Power… mankind is well on the way to catastrophe… if not extinction.

I have read just about every survival book out there. Good ones… and bad ones. Fiction and non-fiction… handbooks, manuals and riveting fiction plots… some with excellent common-sense survival information and storylines… and then there are those with the ‘expert’s fantasy’ on how to survive.

What started me off was the late British Author John Christopher’s 1957 science fiction novel “No Blade of Grass,” first published as “The Death of Grass,” and made into a movie in 1970. A post-apocalypse story where food crops fail, and the world descends into chaos.

But novels cannot convey to you all the necessary methods and explain all the critical information on Preparedness and Survival no matter how good a story they are. However, novels will get you thinking in the right direction and sometimes point out stark issues that imaginations cannot conceive of in normal civility.

A case in point… William Forstchen’s “One Second After.” I said bull shytte when his story had 90% of Americans dying within one year after a High-altitude Electro Magnetic Pulse event (HEMP or EMP) happened. I retracted my words after reading the story and understanding why he would be correct in his assessment.

All the books you will read on apocalyptic events, Preparedness and Survival will give you basic, and in some cases extensive, information necessary to survive disaster and Catastrophic Events… however some will also give you and yours an early meeting with your Maker for inaccurate and erroneous information. Deadly.

But both fiction and non-fiction books on Preparedness and Survival create in you something critical… a valuable thought process that gives you a different perspective and understanding of the frailty of we humans on this planet.

And regardless… almost every book you read leaves you knowing something you didn’t know before you picked it up, if you check the accuracy of the information. Life is a process of learning… up to the second you pass from this world into the next.

What you’ll get in Tactical Wisdom Series is the solid information and procedures on what you must do to prepare for calamity and how to survive it. We both tell people what and how to do it, but Joe brilliantly puts a synopsis and summary at the end of each of his chapters called Base Line Standards.

I look at his Base Line Standards summary at the end of each chapter as the “get up and go… do it if you’re for real…” or don’t… if you’re an arm chair commando and couch potato. When I write a new edition of the Civil Defense Manual… I’ll do the same… put a summary of what people must do in ‘one-line sentences’ at the end of each chapter. A true motivator. A “Shytte… or get off the pot!” motivator.

I was astounded page by page in the similarity of Tactical Wisdom Base Line Standard ‘TW-01’ to the Civil Defense Manual. I haven’t finished Tactical Wisdom Fieldcraft TW-02 yet, but I will and will review that also.

This Marine Corps Veteran has also seen the boogeyman. That ‘qualification’ of combat experience alone does not convey a super mythical power that enables an author to write Preparedness and Survival books… but it does make you hyper-vigilant towards obvious and hidden threats… and creates a “what if mindset” from all the butt puckering of war like going through a hamburger grinder. Some people get this mental state without combat… but most people never do.

Like Robert Preston said in “The Music Man…” “There’s trouble in River City!” Only this trouble coming is real and is not a con job. You will live in exciting times in the next decades… make sure you have water to drink, food to eat and neighbors and friends to help protect you and your family… as well as you, them. Your “Tribe.”

Buy Tactical Wisdom and learn. I am excited that Joe plans to put out more in his series, as he indicates he will… books that will compartmentalize what each facet of Preparedness and Survival skills should teach you. I bought them and am learning from them… you should too.

Joe’s definitely a ‘get up and go’ type of guy with a visionary approach to Preparedness and Survival…

…so, my Base Line Standard advice to you is to ‘get up and go…’

First… get Joe’s books… read his “Tactical Wisdom Base Line Training Manual TW-01” …and start putting together your plan… but with his books’ guidance.

TACDA: Neighborhood Preparedness Webinar, Thurs. June 9th

TACDA is holding a webinar on Thursday, June 9th, 2022 at 5:00 pm Pacific (6pm MDT) on the topic Are We Ready? Neighborhood Preparedness. There are 45 minutes for the presentation and then fifteen minutes for questions.

Topic: Are We Ready?

Presenter: Sharon Packer

Sharon Packer has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a minor in physics, and a master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering. She has served on the TACDA board of directors for over 20 years in several different capacities. Sharon is an expert in civil defense and in NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) shelter design.

Date: June 9, 2022 6pm (Utah time)

Link: Click HERE to join the meeting. (Everyone invited to this meeting. No subscription required!)

Sharon will give us an overview of Neighbor helping Neighbor with the basics of emergency preparedness:

  • Nuclear threat
  • Food storage
  • Evacuation
  • First Aid
  • Power outages
  • Emergency Communications
  • Water storage
  • Sanitation
  • Neighborhood Watch
  • Alternative Energy

Live Zoom presentation will be on Thursday June 9th, and the recording will be available to watch by the following Monday.

Link for Recorded Zoom Presentation: Coming

Neighborhood Preparedness Plan: Click HERE

The Organic Prepper: Last-Minute Preps on a Shoestring Budget

The Organic Prepper has an article on Last-Minute Preps on a Shoestring Budget. No one knows what’s going to come next, but you can still be prepared for the unexpected. Recently I spoke to a friend whom I hadn’t had a chance to talk to since before the pandemic. She lives and Portland and recounted the very hectic 2020 she experienced there – particularly the pandemic and the rioting. Said friend had some preps put away in case of earthquakes and found herself digging into them with the combined problems of lockdowns, supply chain disruptions, and safety issues attendant to going anywhere during the street violence. She had no problems but she did realize that she wished to have more appealing foods stored, primarily to keep up her morale during difficult times. Even substituting something as simple as more white beans instead of less liked lentils was the type of thing she meant, but keeping morale and occasional treats should be kept in mind. It doesn’t have to be expensive.

…This piece will present you with some ideas for cost-effective preps to help round out your stockpiles and give you an extra edge. We’re all feeling the “bite” caused by the price increases everywhere: at the grocery stores, the gas stations, the drugstores, and the hardware stores. It’s only going to get worse before (and if) it gets better.

There are plenty of long-term food supplies and companies you can use for foods with shelf-lives of twenty-five years or more, I understand. I also understand that many of us can’t afford them. First, let’s put out one precept I hope you’ll adopt as your own:

There’s no shame in not having enough money for something: you do the best you can with what you have and keep a positive outlook on it. 

There! Now, let’s get into it!

Food

Regarding food supplies, there are different camps and different schools of thought. I’m a big believer in cans. Yes, I can my own stuff (always in wide-mouth Mason jars to better resist a freeze here in Montana), but this doesn’t stop me from stocking up on canned goods packed in good-old-fashioned cans made out of steel. I recommend canned goods for long-term storage on a budget.

Dried stuff (such as beans, rice, etc.) will keep for a long time, but they don’t really give you a lot in return, not to mention the fact that you have to prepare them.

Here are some basics about macronutrients for you to keep in mind:

Protein: The basic building block of life and absolutely essential for tissue repair and recovery. Protein has a high thermogenic factor. It takes more energy to digest, but you get more return on your investment.

Fats: Also very important as sources of energy and also as macronutrients that the brain (and other organs) rely heavily upon.

Carbohydrates: Believe it or not, you should stay away from these as much as possible, but they do have uses when not consumed to excess. One example is after you perform strenuous activity. It is good to replenish your body with protein, but also with some carbohydrates. This prevents catabolism, which occurs when your body is starving for sugar. Without carbohydrates or simple sugars, your body will “cannibalize” your muscle tissue.

The protein in your muscles is then converted into glycogen, which your body burns for energy. It can be devastating because replacement of protein lost in this manner is neither quick nor easy. This is a “deep” subject that I can go further into in another article, but I think you grasp the point.

A couple of references to help you on these topics: Grain Brain by David Perlmutterand Primal Body, Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas. The first book will take you into topics such as glycation: how excessive sugars and carbohydrates in the diet disfigure proteins and cause them to form blockages in vessels. The latter work details the differences in the way our ancestors ate and how our “system” of food production is causative, not curative, of problems.

Canned Foods

Cans can take a beating, handle a freeze, and most contain foods that are cooked. Go with organic stuff as much as possible, and if that can’t be done, “sift” the ingredients. Buy (in this order) generic brands and then name brands. Compare them. The store brands are sometimes much better in quality and at half the price.

  1.  Prepared “dinners” in a can: Most of this stuff is not optimal for your body, but this is about survival, plain and simple. My objective here isn’t to recommend any brand but just to give you a “feel” for what you’ll need. Look closely at the ingredients. You’re searching for the least amount of preservatives, artificial ingredients, or “substances” that are unfamiliar. You’re searching for high protein, moderate to low carbohydrates, and moderate fats. Canned chili is good, as are some of the soups and stews. Think beef stew with high protein content. Think lentil soups, bean soups, and pea soups. These all have protein, and you can augment them with the next category.
  2.  Canned meats: Canned chicken is your best bet. It’s already cooked, and you can either add something to it or add it to something (such as the soups mentioned in “item 1”. Once again, make sure it’s really meat, without a whole bunch of “fillers,” such as potato-starch, or some other grains. Tuna fish, sardines, fish steaks. All of these you can find even in the dollar stores.
  3.  Canned fruits: Avoid the ones in the high-fructose corn syrup. Go for things with high vitamin C content and some fiber. Canned grapefruit, pineapples, and mandarin oranges are among your best bets. Incidentally, bromelain is a chemical constituent found only in pineapples. It stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid in your stomach and enables you to digest meats more easily…

You can obtain these for reasonably-low prices and store for fairly long periods of time.

  1.  Summer sausage, beef jerky, and fish: They can be good for years if protected from light, changes in temperature, moisture, and pests. Once again, go for quality, but an eight-ounce stick of summer sausage can be split between a family of four and lend protein for a quick meal when the lights go out and the music stops playing. There are also Mylar pouches of tuna fish and salmon, good for single servings. Make sure these pouches are made entirely out of Mylar; some pouches have a transparent plastic “bottom,” and that won’t cut it in the end.
  2.  Dried fruit: Raisins, apricots, banana chips, pineapple. The ones in mylar pouches will give you some longevity for storage. Dried fruits will help alleviate cravings for sugar. Make sure you drink plenty of water when you eat them, or else they can “rob” your body of its fluids and dehydrate you in the course of digesting them.
  3.  Nuts and seeds: Peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds. The “buttered” forms will keep longer, and remember, they all tend to become rancid after prolonged storage, but they’ll help. You can store peanut butter for a fairly long time. They’re high in protein. Once again, drink plenty of water when you eat them.

The reasoning behind everything I’ve mentioned thus far is simple:

In a grid-down survival situation, you don’t want the whole, hungry neighborhood to smell that tasty stew you’re cooking on the Sterno stove. You want to crack open those cans and pouches, eat that meal, and seal up anything left over. Don’t leave any signs or signatures that let others know that you’ve stored food, or your “popularity” will suddenly rise, and “company” will drop by…uninvited, of course.

You can eat all of this stuff “as-is” without resorting to a stove.

Food storage: If possible, try to buy some of those large, three or 5-gallon food-grade buckets from the bakery department of your local food store. They only run about $5 a piece or less. Get the ones with rubber gasket rings on the inside of the lids. These “clamp” down into place. If you can’t get the gasketed ones, don’t despair. Use the ones you can find. Seal your cans and packages into these, and then make sure you store/stack them raised up off the floor. Mark the outside of your buckets so that you know their contents at any given glance.

With an absence/shortage of buckets, you can use bins, but I recommend Rubbermaid “Roughneck” bins, the 10-gallon size. They usually run about $10 to $12 or so. They’re worth it. The reasons: they’re durable, stackable, and each bin won’t weigh so much that it makes it impossible to move if the need arises. They’re also dark-colored and will block off light and sight (if you should have to move things, and being spotted by neighbors is possible)…(story continues)

Task & Purpose: How to Layer Your Survival Kits for a Real-world Disaster

U.S. Air Force Senior Airmen Brittany Cup Choy, 20th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment journeyman, packs an ACES II ejection seat survival kit at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., March 7, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Maldonado)

In How to layer your survival kits for a real-world disaster U.S. Air Force Senior Airmen Brittany Cup Choy, discusses five basic survival kits to help you prepare for real world disasters. Read the entire article at Task & Purpose with more pictures.

Zombies, an alien invasion, or any other of your favorite apocalyptic scenarios are often used to spur interest in survival planning because each one forces you to think about being self-reliant. While it’s fun to plan for unrealistic situations, a good layered survival system actually prepares you for known and likely scenarios.

What would you do if your car slid off of an icy road at night in an area without cell service? How would you prepare if your house was built in a wildfire area? Or, will you be ready if you’re unlucky enough to have your house destroyed by a tornado? 

If any of those questions apply to you and you don’t have answers, keep reading because we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll show you how to create a survival system for real-world disasters. We’ll cover things like layering survival kits, general safety tips and best practices, and overall preparedness.

Why you should trust us

During my 17 years as an Army infantryman, I’ve had to survive in environments with extreme temperatures and severe weather with limited gear for extended periods of time. I’ve also graduated from Survive Evade Resist and Escape (SERE) school, and now I train military advisors. I’ve also applied this training in my everyday life for everything from flat tires to power outages to tornados. Through all of these experiences, I’ve developed a survival mentality in which I understand the importance of a layered survival system. The following information was based on training, experience, rehearsals, and extensive research. 

A layered survival system

A layered survival system means preparing a survival kit for the situations you are most likely to encounter. You probably have some kind of layered survival system in place already. Most people have an everyday carry (EDC), a road kit in their vehicle, and a go-bag in their house. But an optimal layered survival system is more than just a bunch of kits adding up to a bunch of stuff. It’s a way of planning and thinking to get the most out of your system, so you end up with gear that you actually need and redundancies you could actually use. In this article, we’ll cover five basic types of survival kits, which will prepare you for most real-world disasters. These include:

  • Everyday carry
  • Vehicle loadout
  • Cache
  • Go bag
  • Weapons package

In the survival community, we’re guided by a saying: “We live out of our bag, fight out of our kit, and survive out of our pockets.” The point of the saying is to prompt you into thinking about your relationship — both literally and figuratively — with your gear. 

In layman’s terms, to “live out of your bag” means that you should pack an actual bag so you and your family can survive for an extended period of time. A good standard is to pack so you’re covering all your needs for 72 hours. 

To “fight out of your kit” refers to protection. It’s a kit designed solely to protect you and your family from harm. This kit often consists of a firearm, ammo, and armor, as well as a trauma kit or medical pouch. 

Finally, to “survive out of your pockets” means having the necessary gear for survival on your person. This involves developing a proper everyday carry, which is your first and probably most important survival kit because it may be all you have if you cannot access your other kits. 

Everyday carry

Your everyday carry, or EDC, refers to the items you carry on a daily basis. They’re different for everyone, and if you’re anything like me, you might add, remove, or upgrade items every once in a while. A full EDC looks something like this: 

  • Money: Always carry some form of payment like a credit or debit card and cash. While cash is king, you can get away with about $100 of local currency. That should cover basic needs like transportation, information, food, etc. 
  • Knife: A good folding knife or small fixed blade. Think of it as a tool rather than a weapon. Survival should always be at the forethought of your choices. 
  • Cordage: A piece of paracord is monumental in making traps, lashing, or repairing things. Five to six feet of cord is more than enough. Braided keychains are very useful. 
  • Flashlight: A light source always comes in handy whether you need to signal for help or just need to see in the dark. A small penlight is more than sufficient.  
  • Handgun: If you decide to carry for self-defense, find a pistol or revolver you’re comfortable with using and carrying, which means training and finding the right holster. 
  • Reload: If you end up carrying a weapon, you should carry a reload as well, like a spare magazine or moon clip.  
  • Lighter: Always carry a fire-making device. Stormproof matches, butane lighters, etc. If not, a small ferrocerium rod will throw a spark even in the wettest of conditions.  
  • Jacket: Always take a warm- or wet-weather layer with you (even if you just stash it in the car). Even in the desert, you can become hypothermic. Your clothing is always your first layer of shelter. 
  • SnackA protein bar, energy bar, nuts, dried fruits, etc. This could be a mental gain or give you the energy to keep going. At the very least, it could calm the kids while you plan your next move.
  • Water bottle: Water is life. The average person needs about two to three liters a day to maintain good health. I recommend a water bottle with a built-in water filter.  

If you make everything on this list part of your EDC, you will be able to find a practical solution to almost any small-scale problem you encounter. Now, you might think that it’s a lot of stuff to carry, and you wouldn’t be wrong. If you do decide to carry everything on this list, you might want to consider getting a sling bag or fanny pack. 

Vehicle loadout 

Your vehicle loadout should prepare you not just for a flat tire or dead battery, but also for what you might encounter or, depending on your location, what you might not encounter (like a gas station). You might have enough gear to get by in most towns or cities, but what if you’re in a rural area and you: get two flat tires; run out of gas; hit a deer; experience an electrical fire: or get stuck on the side of the road on a freezing night? Will you be ready for any of those situations? If the answer is no or maybe, the following lists will ensure you are prepared. 

Recovery kit

  • Jack with a locking bar
  • Full spare tire and wheel package
  • Breaker bar or battery-powered impact gun
  • Fix-a-flat and/or tire-plug kit
  • Portable power station with air compressor and jumper cables
  • Wheel chock
  • Work gloves
  • Warning triangles
  • Flares

Spare fuel package

  • 2.5- or five-gallon fuel can
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Vehicle-specific fuel inlet funnel (if applicable)
  • Shop towels

First aid kit

  • Burn gel or bandages
  • Chest seal
  • NPA (Nasopharyngeal tube)
  • Tourniquet
  • Gauze
  • Iodine tincture
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Assorted band-aids
  • Israeli bandage
  • Medical shears or seatbelt cutter
  • Applicable medications
  • Medical tape
  • Splint

Sustenance

  • Snacks or emergency rations
  • One gallon of water

Shelter

  • Extra set of clothing
  • Cold-weather jacket
  • Camp hammock or tent
  • Tarp

Miscellaneous

  • Road atlas
  • Traction mats
  • Shovel
  • Toilet paper and baby wipes
  • 3.5 pounds of baking soda (for fuel spills, battery explosions, and brushing your teeth)

NOTE: Before you go loading your vehicle with everything on this list, you should know that some of the items (like gasoline) can be extremely dangerous to store inside your vehicle. They can be even more dangerous if you’re in an accident. Therefore, you should take proper precautions and comply with state and local ordinances regarding such issues.  

An emergency cushion

Preparing a cache of emergency supplies is just good practice. It doesn’t matter if you stick it in a hole in your backyard, inside an old storage unit, or in a safety deposit box at the bank — an emergency cushion will help if you’re in a jam. You might be wondering what kind of jam am I in? In pop culture, such things are used when a character decides to go on the lam. Instead, think of a small disaster like a house fire or tornado. Those sorts of things can take a while to sort out, so for an emergency cushion, you’ll want:  

  • Money: $500 to $1,000 as a general rule. Certainly, enough to get you into a hotel and feed the family until you can figure out the next step.
    • You also might want to store items of value for bartering
  • Copies of keys, if applicable, for storage units, friend/family home, transportation, etc. 
  • Personal documents like insurance information, licenses, medical information, etc.
  • Communication tools like a prepaid cell phone, or a satellite phone with a plan, which is useful if in an area where fires or weather can damage cell towers. 

Go bag

Although there’s a lot of overlap, a go bag is very similar to a bug out bag. One is meant for a temporary evacuation of your residence while the other is meant for a long journey. While the difference between the two might be semantics, it’s important to understand the differences before you pack it. 

For this article, we’re focusing on go bags. It’s something you stow by your front door or inside your car and fill with essentials meant to get you to a temporary shelter or back home. The packing list might be similar to a day hike. They include: 

Shelter

  • Poncho
  • Poncho liner
  • 25-foot cordage

Fire

  • Ferro rod
  • Stormproof matches
  • Lighter
  • Cotton balls soaked in Vaseline

Water

  • Bottle filtration system
  • Iodine tablets
  • Water bottle

Food

  • Emergency food rations
  • 10-foot snare wire
  • 50-foot fishing line 16 pounds test
  • Small to medium fishing hooks

Medical

  • Burn gel or bandages
  • Suter kit
  • Tourniquet
  • Israeli bandage
  • Medical tape
  • Band-aids
  • Quick-clot gauze
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Personal hygiene items

Navigation

  • Compass
  • Local map

Tools

  • Folding saw
  • Settlers tool
  • Multitool
  • Fixed-blade knife
  • Canteen cup
  • Headlamp
  • Hatchet

Miscellaneous

  • Electrical tape
  • Zip ties
  • Sewing kit
  • Batteries

By now, you have probably noticed some overlap between the go-bag and vehicle loadout. It’s true, there are some, but the reason for the redundancies is if one system fails for whatever reason — lost go-bag or missing car — you have the backup. It’s another layer in your layered survival kit.

Weapons package

A weapons package should be designed to prepare you for the worst-case scenario. Think about a natural disaster that disables critical infrastructure and outpaces government resources. A good example is Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Many all over the Gulf Coast were left stranded without electricity, running water, or protection by local authorities. And since then, multiple states have loosened carry laws during a state of emergency. With that being said, a weapons package in this setting is intended for protection and defense (rather than offense). A weapons package typically consists of three weapon systems: an emergency EDC, a backup, and a main gun. 

Emergency EDC

  • Sub-compact to full-sized handgun (tailored to attire)
  • IWB holster
  • Extra mag/speedloader/shells

Backup

  • Compact to full-size handgun
  • Gun belt with holsters and a survival knife
  • 2x magazine pouch or more, plus ammo for the main gun
  • Small medical pouch (built for hemorrhage/gunshot wounds)

Main gun (trunk gun) 

  • Long gun
  • Fighting load carrier or plate carrier
  • Extra magazines or shells (no more than 3x magazines/35 shot shells)

Additionally, whenever you’re handling weapons, you should practice proper gun safety and comply with all local, state, and federal laws… (continues)

TACDA: Preparing Your Neighborhood for Emergencies

The following video is a recording of a webinar presented by The American Civil Defense Association earlier this year on Preparing Your Neighborhood for Emergencies. It goes over getting your neighbors on board, planning for possible emergencies, HELP and OK signs, training, and how the neighborhood responds. As it is a recording of a webinar, there are questions and answers throughout the presentation.

The Organic Prepper: Hits Against the American Food Supply System Keep On Coming

Spokane Valley firefighters responded to a fire at Spokane Seed (Courtesy of the Spokane Valley Fire Department)

Jeff Thompson at The Organic Prepper writes about ongoing problems in the food supply system with Hits Against the American Food Supply System Keep On Coming. The Organic Prepper previously wrote about these problems with Why Do All These Food Facilities Keep Catching Fire? While it may or may not be related (Food Processing says not), in April the FBI warned the food and agriculture sector about cyber attacks (link opens a pdf file).

Continuing the discussion on the current happenings within the American food supply chain, we have a series of strange events that have taken place over the course of the past week or two that you may want to catch up on.

Perdue Farms catches fire in Chesapeake, Virginia.

April 30 at 8:30 PM, a fire was reported at the Perdue Farms grain processing and storage facility in Chesapeake, Virginia. When firemen reported to the scene, they found a large soybean processing tank that was on fire. Crews were able to get the fire under control within an hour, and no injuries to employees of the facility were reported.

According to the plant manager, the damage from the fire will have a “minimal impact” on the facility’s production or operation capacities.

Spokane Seed Co catches fire in Spokane, Washington

Early on April 29, the Spokane Seed Co in Spokane, Washington, reported a fire just after midnight. The fire was in a multi-story seed storage silo. The company is known for its processing of chickpeas, peas, and lentils. Firemen responded to the scene and were able to contain the fire in two hours but apparently had a difficult time in doing so.

According to the fire department, “The difficulty involving the fire was that it was located in multiple locations as the origin was the auger unit that moved material from ground level and delivers it to the top of the silo; therefore, there was smoldering material located at the bottom of the auger and burning material that had been delivered to the top of the silo.”

(For the record, Powder Bulk and Solids published two pieces of late on April 26 and April 28 claiming that the uptick in fires at food processing facilities was a myth. They then reported the Spokane Fire on April 29 and the Chesapeake fire on May 2. They appear to have largely used Snopes to determine that the uptick in food processing fires was a myth and declared that “the continued spread of the rumor in the news media and on social media is perhaps attributable to a lack of awareness of industrial fire safety issues among the general public.”)

Oklahoma reports highly pathogenic avian influenza and will now monitor backyard chicken flocks.

According to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, as well as the US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), a case of HPAI was found in Sequoyah County, Oklahoma, at a commercially run chicken farm.

As of this past Sunday, all chicken swaps, sales, and exhibits have now been declared by these two agencies to be illegal in the state of Oklahoma until July 30. Oklahoma says that it is “working diligently with federal partners to prevent further spread of the virus.”

Both state and federal officials will now begin to conduct surveillance of all poultry flocks in the area around the Sequoyah County case – both commercial and backyard flocks.

Officials are asking chicken owners to alert them if their birds produce strange eggs, don’t produce eggs, have diarrhea, cough, sneeze, have low energy, die, or show signs of respiratory distress. (continues)

For more on worldwide dangers of food shortages, you may refer to Bayou Renaissance Man and his article The food crisis is showing the first signs of real famine.

Here in North America, we’re unlikely to face the full effects of the worldwide famine that appears to be developing, and that we’ve discussed in these pages on several previous occasions.  However, it’s biting hard in several regions and countries, and getting worse.  For example, see these articles (selected at random from many others I could have linked):

Even though I think we’ll probably still have food on US supermarket shelves, there are almost certain to be local and regional shortages of various products;  greatly increased prices;  and disruptions in normal consumption patterns, as people are forced to buy what’s available rather than what they really want.  It’s not going to be easy for anybody.

A few days ago, Michael Yon stuck his neck out with a more dire warning than he’s ever issued before on this subject.  I hope he’s wrong . . . but given his very extensive background in reporting around the world, I’m sure he absolutely believes what he’s saying.  Given my respect for his track record, I’m taking him seriously…(continues)

Parade: Here Are the Groceries You Might Be Missing On Store Shelves Due to Food Shortages In 2022 

(iStock)

This mainstream news item from Parade details many items which may be in short supply in grocery stores in 2022, including canned goods, meat, toilet paper, and more. Here Are the Groceries You Might Be Missing On Store Shelves Due to Food Shortages In 2022 

If you’ve seen your local grocery store with empty shelves, you’re not alone: Food shortages are still haunting us in 2022. Find out below what food shortages are most common, why there’s a grocery shortage, and why shelves may be empty where you shop.

Food shortages 2022

“Shortages may depend on where you buy your groceries as there are regional differences in supply,” Josh Brazil, VP of Supply Insights at project44, a supply chain visibility solution, says. That means some of you may be lucky enough to not have any food shortages at all!

What’s missing from local grocery shelves may vary depending on where you live, as well as the climate where you live: Winter storms slow down supply chains in the short term (plus everyone rushing to buy bread and milk before a blizzard hits). Different regions may have shortages of different things, especially depending on whether you shop at big box stores or other shops, like local farmer’s markets.

Related: 100+ Non-Perishable Foods

Grocery Stores Shortages

There are a number of variables at play in the grocery shortages we’re seeing this year. “It is a combination of factors: supply chain issues and driver shortages, scarcity of packaging, labor shortages at manufacturing and production plants as the workforce has not returned as facilities restarted from COVID closures,” Keith Daniels of Carl Marks Advisors told us. And, yes, COVID-19 plays a huge role, especially the latest variants.

“Omicron infections impacting employees reporting to work at manufacturing and grocery stores, higher demand from consumers—particularly impacting the last few weeks as consumers revert to eating at home from restaurants out of fears of Omicron,” Daniels said. “The recent, abrupt winter weather is also slowing down distribution.”

Current Food Shortages

Meat shortages, especially beef and poultry, will plague us again in 2022.

Daniels says that meat and poultry are in short supply in many supermarkets. This is due to several factors, with manufacturing plant labor shortages causing most of the issues. Beef will likely see the most shortages because work in beef plants is more labor-intensive, according to Food Business News.

Related: How to Save Money on Gas

Dairy may be in short supply this year.

A combination of expensive crops to feed livestock and chickens, combined with high transportation costs and shortages of packaging materials (especially plastics) may cause dairy shortages at your local supermarket. In addition to material shortages, labor shortages may also impact grocery shelves in terms of transportation workers as well as grocery workers to stock the dairy case. As a result, you may have fewer options in terms of your usual purchases of milk, cheese (especially cream cheese), yogurt, and other dairy items.

There may be an egg shortage in 2022.

iStock

(iStock)

Similar to other food shortages we’ve encountered, COVID-related supply chain issues have interrupted the business side of commercial egg production. Increased expenses (feed, freight, labor costs), supply shortages, and government regulation have put a strain on the overall bottom line. As a result, producers may be reducing flock sizes, stopping shipping to some states, or selling eggs previously sold to consumers to manufacturers who use them as ingredients in other products, thus reducing the eggs available in supermarkets.

Related: Having Trouble Finding A New Ride? What’s Behind the Car Shortage—And When It May Finally Be Over

Sorry, vegans: Plant-based proteins may be in short supply this year.

If you thought not eating meat or dairy would spare you from shortages, sorry to burst your bubble! Rick Williams, practice lead—operations and supply chain of JPG Resources, says that plant-based proteins (think tofu, almond milk, soy-based cheeses, etc.) has seen shortages, explaining, “Plant-based saw a huge rise in demand as animal-meat processors were forced to shut down operations.”

We may see shortages of fruits, vegetables, and other goods made with produce…(continues)

19fortyfive: The Ukraine Crisis Could Spark A New Cold War (Or A Nuclear War)

What will be the long term term effects of the Ukraine-Russia war for which an American may need to be prepared? In the article excerpted below, Doug Bandow of the Cato Institute writes for 19fortyfive about how The Ukraine Crisis Could Spark A New Cold War (Or A Nuclear War). While much has been written over time on nuclear war survival and preparedness, what are the effects of a cold war? While many of have lived through at least part of the recent cold war between the US and the Soviet Union, would a new cold war even look the same?

Some of the main domestic effects of the last cold war were increased military spending (and attendant rise of the military-industrial complex) and high taxation. Toward the end of the cold war, during the Reagan presidency, the populace had become upset with high taxes and the administration switched from high taxation to high borrowing. High levels of government borrowing has continued to the present. High taxation leads to poor business conditions which leads to a weak economy as seen in the US in the late 1970s. High government borrowing leads to strange market and economic conditions, the result of which has yet to be realized, but in the worst case leads to financial/political crisis.

That said, would a new cold war necessarily be the same? Post World War 2 the US was in an enviable economic situation and was headed into its years of vast economic growth in world trade. The US was entering into its years of world hegemony, powerful and strong. Now, the US is a weakened nation and is coming out of two years of COVID-induced economic weakness with many citizens out of work or having closed businesses. There is little domestic support for a new war, cold or hot. A party that attempts to raise taxes or debt in order to finance a new cold war may not stay in power for long.

I am no expert on these matters, so my conclusions may be incorrect. I don’t know if the US is capable of sustaining a cold war like the continuous military buildup that occurred during the cold war with the Soviets. But it does appear that we entering a time of at least increased hostility and competition with Russia and China.

If China moves to establish control over Taiwan (which may be considered an invasion), will the US defend Taiwan or will we stand by as we have with Ukraine? Some people believe that the US is obligated to defend Taiwan, but there is actually no agreement to do so, and the US has followed a policy of strategic ambiguity in that regard. Failure of the US to defend either Ukraine or Taiwan may lead to further reduced US influence worldwide and reduced trust in US assurances. Reduced trust and influence may result in more rapid de-dollarization, all of which would have their own effects on the US economy for which to prepare.

From 19fortyfive:

Having sown the wind in Ukraine, Russia is reaping the whirlwind.

Its aggression is criminal and unprovoked. The US and its allies contributed to the conflict. But the decision for war—which already is resulting in significant death and destruction—was Russian President Vladimir Putin’s.

If there is one lesson of Moscow’s brutal and unjustified invasion, it is that aggressors should choose their victims carefully. As the Balkan Serbs learned decades ago, it is best not to attack people in Europe, which guarantees heavy media attention in Western capitals. This may be the first conflict in which the public is driving sanctions and boycotts, in this case against all things Russian, including individuals who had nothing to do with their government’s decision for war.

In contrast, Washington has been bombing and invading nations in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia for years. Despite wrecking entire states and ravaging their peoples, US policymakers have never been held accountable. The total number of victims in these wars—killed, wounded, displaced—the number in the millions. Washington typically tires of fighting and either downgrades its role or simply leaves, as in Afghanistan, without even apologizing. But no American has ever faced economic sanctions or been charged with war crimes.

Today Ukrainians and to a lesser degree, Russians are suffering. The long-term consequences for Americans and Europeans will be serious as well. No one knows how the fighting will end, but Washington should begin planning for the aftermath…

Washington’s chief responsibility today is not to save Ukraine but to prevent the US or allied involvement and possible war, especially nuclear war, with Russia. Washington and Moscow avoided such a cataclysm during the Cold War when the stakes were global and civilizational. Moscow’s brutal attack on Ukraine is a moral outrage but does not pose the same level of threat as the Soviet Union. There is no excuse for risking their societies and the planet’s survival today…

Finally, Washington should prepare for the endgame. The world is headed toward another Cold War, with a new Iron Curtain likely to rise wherever the reach of Russian troops ends.

Facing domestic unhappiness over the human cost of the war, deceptive cover-up, and impact of Western sanctions, the Putin regime likely will become even more repressive. Observers indicate that the situation already approaches martial law. Moreover, diplomatic retreats, economic penalties, and cultural bans have dramatically deepened Russia’s isolation. Some countries would make the West’s economic war essentially permanent. Opined Poland’s ambassador to the US, Marek Magierowski: “We have to be ready and determined to uphold the sanctions. Perhaps even for a decade or for 15 years or for 20 years, in order to see the real effects.”

Although Russia is a much-reduced version of the Soviet Union, significant dangers would remain. It likely would respond to a new Cold War by reinforcing its military. Most notably, what has been largely a political struggle would turn into an enduring military confrontation.

If so, Russia might become something akin to a giant North Korea, only better developed and with many more nuclear weapons. With less at stake in the international system and greater resentment toward adversaries turned enemies, Moscow would be more dangerous than today. Frontline European states would be even more insistent on American military protection. Violent competition would intensify in battleground areas elsewhere, such as Syria and Africa…(continues)

The Organic Prepper: How to Prep for the Ukraine-Russia War

What’s going to happen with the Ukraine-Russia War and how will it affect us here in the USA? Some things are hard to predict, while others can already be seen. Provocations on all sides seem to be increasing. BCA Research, an independent global investment research firm, recently wrote in a strategy report “we would assign an uncomfortably high 10% chance of a civilization-ending global nuclear war in the next 12 months.” So, many unlikely scenarios, recently thought unthinkable, are now being thunk.

Here is an excerpt from an article by Aden Tate at The Organic Prepper on How to Prep for the Ukraine-Russia War…and What Comes Next

…As has been pointed out here at The Organic Prepper before, the United States is going to experience a fertilizer shortage this year, and that is going to be just one factor impacting our food supply. I’ve discussed the other factors HERE.

Yes, I do think that stocking up on seed for your garden is a good prep idea, but I also think that you really need to consider canned goods at the moment. They’re ready to eat, they’re highly portable, and they store well. They make good barter currency, to boot. Canned goods don’t have to worry about radioactive fallout, as does a growing corn crop, either.

I’m a fan of freeze-dried meals, but I sincerely think that cyberattacks against our power grid are highly likely in the near future. You need warm water to make those. With a power outage likely (Cyber Polygon, anyone?), boiling water is just another step between you and eating a meal. If you are forced to shelter in place, inside, without power, this makes for a bit of difficulty with meal preparation.

MREs are another fine food item to consider at the moment. I have no knowledge as to whether or not the heat packs for MREs give off dangerous gasses as they heat up the food. (Let me know in the comments!)

This food supply not only allows you to shelter in place but helps you to avoid probable food riots in the future. Read history. Literally, every single time there is a shortage of food, violence increases.

(For more information on prepping your food, check out our free QUICKSTART Guide on building your 3-layer food storage system.)

Should you prep water?

Life without water sucks (haha, but not for long). You need it to stay alive, for cleaning, for cooking, and more. If you are forced to shelter in place without any access to power, are you going to have water to drink? A gallon jug of water currently sells for around a dollar. Why would you not pick up a few and stow them away?

I would look at solar options for keeping your well running if that is your primary water source as well. If you rely on city water, at the very least, have an EPIC Nano filter. I would highly recommend looking into Berkey filters right now as well. Neither of these is a radiation-reducing option, but instead are used to keep you in clean water should your city no longer have the electricity needed to create pure water.

If you are forced to evacuate, let’s say, from fallout being brought via wind, do you have water filtration that is portable?

Prep your communications.

China is one of the largest sources of electronics to the United States. We’re already seeing problems getting many electronic components because of a shortage of chips.

This is likely to continue in the near future, and should China invade Taiwan, you are going to see worldwide sanctions be leveled against China. The US will be no exception. When this happens, those supply lines are going to dry up overnight.

Your ability to get radios will then vaporize…

Having proper information can be the difference between staying alive and dying. Right now, you need to pick up a copy of Cresson Kearney’s Nuclear War Survival Skills. You do not want to be caught in the same situation as many Hawaiians did years ago when they found themselves at a loss for what to do when they received alerts via text that an ICBM was on the way.

PDF versions are available online for free, but I highly recommend picking up a print copy as well. Then, read it. This is an easy prep to accomplish.

I recommend looking into a shortwave radio as well. Should the grid go down within the US, you are going to want to be able to pick up information from the outside world so that you have some notion of what is going on. Anne Frank wrote about the importance of their radio and the hope it brought in her journals…

Practical Self Reliance: Cooking with Animal Fat

Ashley Adamant at Practical Self Reliance has a good article up on Cooking with Animal Fat. In some sort of long term disaster scenario, it will be easier for most people to procure animal fats than vegetable fats. Lard, as one example of animal fat, is shelf stable for four to six months at room temperature, which also happens to be the same amount of time that it took for pioneers to travel the Oregon Trail. A family of four on the Oregon Trail would take around two hundred pounds of lard with them for the journey. An excerpt from the Practical Self Reliance article is below:

Animal fats can be a healthy part of any diet, especially from a grass-fed and pasture-raised animal.  Learning to cook with lard, tallow, and schmaltz is easier and healthier than you might think.

Whether you’re rendering fat from scratch or buying good quality animal fat, there’s never been a better time to reintroduce this classic kitchen staple back into your culinary repertoire.

Animal fats have been through a lot in the last 30 years. Once a staple in kitchens across the country, lard and tallow were largely eliminated from American cuisine in the early 90s when fat-free diets became popular.

At the time, margarine and vegetable shortening became the new popular kids on the block — it was down with natural fats and in with super-processed, high-in-trans-fat alternatives! 

We now know that those synthetic, processed trans fats have nasty health consequences, and studies are now confirming the wisdom of a traditional diet with plenty of natural animal fats. (And grass-fed bone broth too!)

Now the pendulum seems to be swinging in the opposite direction and animal fats are making a resurgence. Maybe you’ve noticed the appearance of duck fat-fried potatoes on your local bistro menu or you’ve made an astonishingly perfect pie crust using lard instead of shortening.

Or perhaps you’ve read about the health benefits of using animal fats, many of which are rich sources of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. Whatever your reason for wanting to introduce more animal fats into your diet, there are plenty of reasons and resources to get you started. 

BENEFITS OF ANIMAL FATS

Animal fats have been vilified for so long that it’s refreshing to see a resurgence in public interest around the once-taboo ingredient’s many health and culinary benefits. Both lard and tallow are high in vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids and lack any of the trans fats which are prevalent in commercially prepared vegetable shortenings. 

Depending on the recipe, food that has been prepared using animal fats tends to be crispier, flakier, and ultra-flavorful. If the fat is prepared properly before rendering, that is, all the meat has been removed, it should be fairly flavorless and odorless.

Instead of introducing a “gamey” flavor, the rendered fat should work to enhance the natural flavors of the remaining ingredients.

Readily available animal fat is an added bonus of the tip-to-tail lifestyle, it would be incredibly wasteful to dispose of fat instead of finding a use for it — whether that’s in the kitchen or elsewhere.

Even small animals like squirrels are a potentially good source of animal fat, I’ve found it largely comes down to trial and error in terms of which fats are best for cooking with. 

TYPES OF ANIMAL FATS

The world of animal fats is vast and varied, with many different factors contributing to taste, texture, and usage.

The type of animal is top of the list, but other factors include where on the animal’s body it’s harvested from, how and what the animal is fed, and the season it’s harvested…(continues at PSR)

Coffee or Die Magazine on Ukrainian Civilian Preparedness

Inside a bomb shelter in Kyiv, Ukraine, in December 2021. Photo by Nolan Peterson/Coffee or Die Magazine.

‘Emergency Suitcases’ and Mass Evacuation Plans: Ukraine Preps for Worst-Case Russian Attack appeared in Coffee or Die Magazine in January. It’s a lengthy piece detailing Ukrainian civilian preparations and preparedness recommendations as the country faced the build up to the current Russian invasion. Some recommendations seem fairly optimistic such as recommending that a citizen’s emergency suitcase not exceed 50kg (110lb). This must assume a vehicular evacuation, as that is far in excess of what most civilians could carry very far. Some portions of the article are excerpted below.

The walls are freshly painted inside this Cold War-era fallout shelter located deep underground in Ukraine’s capital city. Even so, the aged wood paneling, as well as an outdated rotary phone, offer evidence that this facility was one of hundreds built by Soviet authorities in Kyiv during the 1950s and 1960s at the height of the Cold War. At that time, an American nuclear strike against the Soviet Union was the looming threat. On this day in late December 2021, the threat of a Russian blitz has spurred Kyiv city authorities to designate this shelter, and thousands more across the city, as places where civilians can seek refuge.

Standing inside a ventilation equipment room, Anatolii Lazurenko, civil security chief of the Kyiv City Council’s Shevchenko District, reflected on the historical irony of this shelter’s contemporary utility.

“You understand that life moves very fast,” Lazurenko told Coffee or Die Magazine. “We — the Soviet Union — used to see the United States as our enemies, but now they are our friends. And now our so-called Russian brothers are our enemies. This is unfortunately our reality.”

Situated beneath a district government building across the street from the 19th-century National Opera of Kyiv, this emergency shelter was originally designed to house 60 people. Yet, in a pinch, the facility can hold some 300 people, Lazurenko said. From ground level, a nondescript metal door opens into a staircase that descends multiple stories underground. The shelter has a special air ventilation room (originally intended to protect against radioactive fallout) and is connected to the city’s water main. Lazurenko said daily deliveries of food and medical supplies would sustain occupants in the event of a drawn-out Russian bombardment or siege.

“This security structure is ready to be used as intended,” Lazurenko said…

The Kyiv City Council has posted an interactive online map, which shows the locations of the roughly 5,000 official locations where residents can shelter from a military attack. Of that number, 514 shelters are purpose-built facilities dating back to the Cold War where people can remain for days on end.

Known as dual-use facilities, the remaining 4,500 shelters include basements, underground parking lots and passageways, as well as Kyiv’s 47 metro stations.

However, many of Kyiv’s ad hoc, dual-use shelters have fallen into disrepair and are not ready for use in an emergency. And for the shelters that are available, many are only useful for immediate safety during an attack — they are not equipped to house occupants for more than a few hours…

On its website, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine outlines in detail the steps civilians should take in the event of “emergency situations of a military nature.”

Each citizen should prepare an “emergency suitcase” ahead of time, the service advises. This should be a backpack with a capacity of at least 25 liters, a little more than 6.5 gallons, containing “clothing, hygiene items, medicines, tools, personal protective equipment, and food.” The service also recommends carrying important documents and cash in the backpack.

“The emergency suitcase is intended for the fastest possible evacuation from the zone of emergency,” the service says, adding that the bag’s overall weight should not exceed 50 kilograms, or about 110 pounds…

The [State Emergency] service also advises citizens to stock up on food and first-aid supplies, as well as flashlights, candles, cooking gas, and lamps. Important documents should be consolidated and packed away in advance…

Supply Chain Woes and Related Shortages Continue

Supplies of many types of items continue to be uncertain or lacking in many areas of the economy as difficulties with supply chains continue. Seed shortages are reported nationwide. Vehicles can’t be built because of computer chip shortages. Appliances and computer shipments are delayed for months or years. Even teachers and substitutes, and many other kinds of employees, are in short supply in some places.

Reuters reports that it could be next year before chains start to mend, in World’s damaged supply chains brace for painful recovery.

Signs are growing that a global supply chain crisis which has confounded central bank inflation forecasts, stunted economic recoveries and compressed corporate margins could finally start to unwind towards the end of this year.

But trade channels have become so clogged up it could be well into next year before the worst-hit industries see business remotely as usual – even assuming that a new turn in the pandemic doesn’t create fresh havoc.

“We’re hoping in the back half of this year, we start to see a gradual recession of the shortages, of the bottlenecks, of just the overall dislocation that is in the supply chain right now,” food group Kellogg CEO Steve Cahillane told Reuters.

But he added: “I wouldn’t think that until 2024, there’ll be any kind of return to a normal environment because it has been so dramatically dislocated.”

The global trade system had never contended with anything quite like the coronavirus…

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds said in a letter to customers:

1) Unbelievable demand for seeds is causing national shortages. Our growers and our in-house production team are redoubling their efforts to produce more rare seeds, but global demand is causing many items to be temporarily unavailable. We apologize that many popular items are again selling out.

2) The volume of orders have been a challenge for our packing and fulfillment teams, who now work 24 hours a day in three shifts. We are working harder than ever to ship a record amount of orders, and we apologize for any delays you may have experienced in the last month.

3) Global paper shortages will greatly affect catalogs this year. We expect the paper costs for our 2023 catalogs to increase by 110%; we also face the possibility of having a supply shortage. The cost of seed packets, paper mailers, etc. is also quickly rising, and supplies are very short. We are currently out of both of our seed catalogs and copies for 2023 will again be limited…

KSAT/ABC: COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain issues change car-buying experience, dealers say

Bloomberg: Goldman Commodity Veteran Says He’s Never Seen a Market Like It

“I’ve been doing this 30 years and I’ve never seen markets like this,” Currie said in a Bloomberg TV interview. “This is a molecule crisis. We’re out of everything, I don’t care if it’s oil, gas, coal, copper, aluminum, you name it we’re out of it.”

Parade: Here Are the Groceries You Might Be Missing On Store Shelves Due to Food Shortages In 2022 

There are a number of variables at play in the grocery shortages we’re seeing this year. “It is a combination of factors: supply chain issues and driver shortages, scarcity of packaging, labor shortages at manufacturing and production plants as the workforce has not returned as facilities restarted from COVID closures,” Keith Daniels of Carl Marks Advisors told us. And, yes, COVID-19 plays a huge role, especially the latest variants.

“Omicron infections impacting employees reporting to work at manufacturing and grocery stores, higher demand from consumers—particularly impacting the last few weeks as consumers revert to eating at home from restaurants out of fears of Omicron,” Daniels said. “The recent, abrupt winter weather is also slowing down distribution.”

American Partisan: Building Mutual Assistance Groups

Crusoe at American Partisan has several articles about building mutual assistance groups (MAGs) which may be worth your time to read. Crusoe mentions this, but know that the examples of standards and equipment which he mentions are what his specific group decided. Your MAG may have different goals which will dictate more or less stringent standards or entirely different standards and/or equipment.

Mutual Assistance…So You Want to Build a MAG

Excerpt:

I believe it is important to build a mutual assistance group (MAG) based upon sound principles and shared values.  Using history as a guide, it was bands of people who gathered that ensured survival.  Quite frankly, hiding in a bunker by yourself is one of the quickest ways to get rolled up, all your stuff taken, and ultimately killed.  Humans are tribal by nature and require community to function optimally.  We were not made to exist within a digital world, and it is human-to-human interaction that brings out the best in us.   I commonly say, “practice analog leadership in a digital world.” For a great (and fun) book to read that illustrates the need for community defense check out Warwolf by Hermann Lons.

Building a MAG takes a lot of work, but in the end will be worth every minute you spend building it.  Whether you are creating a new one or trying to gain purpose with your existing group there are key steps to take.  For the purpose of this article, I will talk about the initial steps of building a charter and why this is important.

A charter is nothing more than the guidelines on how your group is structured and expectations of each member.  It really is not rocket science; it just takes a lot of thinking to get it right.  If building a new group, I would recommend you start with only a couple founding members that share your values and basic expectations.  When trying to do anything with numbers greater than that it quickly devolves into ‘group think’ and bickering over minor details.  Remember…this is your group, and the end results will be influenced by these first steps.  The ultimate goal is to build professionalism which spurs deliberate actions.  Professionalism is also how you will recruit worthwhile members as they will see you are not a bunch of old fat men who only shoot guns and talk about the impending apocalypse.  Instead, they will see you as squared away and thinking about the bigger picture.

When starting to write your charter I recommend you buy a big white board and brainstorm your purpose.  If you have read any of my other articles you will know I am a proponent of defining requirements before doing anything. Ask the questions: Why are we building this MAG?  What is our overall purpose?  What does the end result look like? and What do we value?  From this mental exercise the next steps are to build mission and vision statements.  This is important because it will define what it is you are trying to accomplish.

Mutual Assistance Groups: Defining Values

Mutual Assistant Groups: Decision Making

Mutual Assistance Groups: Vetting New Members

Mutual Assistance Groups: Standards

Mutual Assistance Groups: Removing the Dead Wood

Mutual Assistance Groups: Team Building