The Organic Prepper: Eye Witness Account of Seattle Riots

The Organic Prepper has an eye-witness account from a national guard member of the Seattle riots – An Eye-Witness’s Shocking Account of What’s REALLY Happening During the Seattle Riots. The takeaway? “You can’t depend on anyone to come and save you when unrest shows up in your neighborhood. The people who were there, willing, and able to defend Seattle were forced to stand down. You have to expect to be completely on your own.”

A social media post (which has been removed) by a member of the Washington National Guard has been shared more than 7000 times since it was written on June 12th. It’s a true education in mob mentality.

As Toby Cowern says, “Look how much ‘othering’ has been done already. Once that’s happening there’s a big problem.”

He’s right – and here’s the shocking truth about what’s really going on in Seattle from a person who had a front-row ticket to the mayhem.

An eye-witness account

I previously said I had a lot to say regarding my experiences while in downtown Seattle [Incoming VERY long post…]. When I came home, I was exhausted, angry, and saddened by what I had experienced. I said I needed to share what happened, but I also said I needed some time to rest and reflect. My unit was activated for 12 days. We worked long hours but we continued to stay dedicated to the state and the mission. I can’t stop that now. I’ve been up all night, trying my best to put into words what I experienced and observed. This is too important to wait. I rarely post on social media, but I’m making this post, hoping it reaches those that want to know the truth. I can imagine, given the current environment, this post may cause some controversy. That is not my intention what-so-ever. I agree the excessive use of force in Minnesota was inexcusable but reacting with hatred and violence is contradictory to the message of peace and change. Either way, people need to know what’s actually happening behind the guise of this “movement.” Whether localized or nationalized, what I witnessed NEEDS TO STOP!

Activation:

I was working nights and the day of my phone call, I had difficulties sleeping that morning. I had a lot on my mind, and I decided I was going to stay up and do some yard work. As I was preparing to go outside, I started receiving text messages and phone calls. “We’ve been activated! Hit time at the armory is 1700!” I looked at my watch and I had maybe an hour before hit time. “Well, I’m going to be late…” I thought. I immediately responded to the text messages and phone calls, telling them I would be there as soon as possible. Why was I going to be late?

My unit is in Western Washington and I live in Southeastern Washington… to drive, at a pace much faster than the speed limit, I’d be lucky to make it in three hours… Without hesitation, I grabbed all my staged military gear and threw it into the back of my vehicle. I figured, “Heck, if it’s an emergency, they’re not going to have time to put out a packing list… so, I mise well bring everything.” As I was throwing military gear into my vehicle, I received text messages telling me to pack for at least a week. “Wow, this is serious…” I thought. Being activated and expecting the mission to last a week or more, whatever the activation was for, it was going to be an uphill battle… I threw a few uniforms and a week’s worth of clothing in my rucksack and proceeded to drive to the armory.

Preparation:

I arrived at the armory in the evening and realized I had now been awake for over 24 hours. I contacted my chain of command and determined we’d leave at zero dark hundred for Seattle. I gathered my issued equipment, added it to my ruck sack, and tried to take a one-hour nap. I awoke to people on the move and bright fluorescent lights. It felt like I had just closed my eyes, but it was go-time. I grabbed my bags and met my unit in the parking lot of the armory. There was no time to waste! We loaded every cot we had, all our personal bags, and whatever we could quickly think of that we might need. We loaded our transportation and were off to Seattle in what seemed like minutes…

The Build Up:

On our way to Seattle, I had time to dwell and self-reflect. What’s so out of control that the Guard would be called up? Who and/or what am I going to be protecting? Am I going to be protecting rights, life, property, or all the above? I told myself that no matter what happens, I will do my utmost to remain impartial, to uphold the Constitution, to protect the rights of the citizens of the United States, and to protect life and property to the best of my ability. As a Soldier, we take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic. Regardless of the political climate, a Soldier has the responsibility to remain impartial, to ensure all citizens’ rights are protected and that the Constitution is adhered to. As we approached Seattle, I did so with an open mind and a sympathetic heart. I prayed that I may understand whoever needs our help, that I may do my job to the utmost of my ability, and that the rights of all those involved would be preserved.

The Gear:

Per order of the Governor of Washington State, Jay Inslee, the Washington Army National Guard went into Seattle COMPLETELY UNARMED. We had NO way to defend ourselves and HAD TO rely upon the SEATTLE POLICE DEPARTMENT to protect us… Not all of us had vests or plates that would stop rifle bullets. In the beginning, most of us didn’t even have shin guards… A few Soldiers didn’t have batons… Shields were hit or miss, but we ended up sharing where we could…

The Riots:

Oddly enough, my first day was one of the hardest days. We touched ground and were immediately dispatched to the Seattle Police Department (SPD) East Precinct near the intersection of 11th St and Pine St (Capitol Hill). This location would become very familiar for me, due to all of the “peaceful protesters” rioting here almost every night… Only one other unit arrived the day before we did, and they were sent to Westlake Center due to it being actively vandalized and destroyed.

Before I talk about the first day, I have to admit that my squad was later sent to Westlake. While I was there, I saw remnants of fire and broken glass everywhere I went. Almost all glass areas were boarded up and the area was devoid of business. What I, and most non-locals didn’t know, is that Westlake is a shopping center. It’s blocks upon blocks of popular businesses in downtown Seattle. It’s essentially an outdoor shopping mall… Due to the fact that not a single store was open, I was curious about the extent of damage to the area the night before. While I was looking through photos on Google while on break, one of the Seattle Police Department Police Officers pointed to an area down the street and said, “The bastards torched my patrol car right there.” As she said that, the newspaper headline photo lit my smartphone screen as I could see protesters celebrating around broken business windows and a couple vehicles that were aflame. I thought to myself, “Why would someone do this?” As I read through the headlines, I came to realize the businesses were broken into, looted, and then set ablaze… all in the name of “Black Lives Matter.” I tried my best to connect the dots… but how does social injustice relate to graffiti, theft, malicious mischief, and arson? If there was a specific political statement from these crimes, even the news media didn’t interpret or understand it… it was obviously a crime of opportunity…

Returning back to my first day at East Precinct, I was assigned as one of the squad leaders. My squad, consisting of primarily Soldiers from my unit, were fairly distinct. Like everyone else in my unit, we wore a black vest that distinguished us against every other Guardsman in Seattle. I could explain why, but it’s not relevant. If you want proof of where I was, find the Soldiers with black vests in Seattle… I was one of them.

Anyways…

On the first day, we were initially on the line behind the Seattle Police Officers at the East Precinct. The Officers weren’t carrying shields like us that day. During the protests, I observed Officers shaking hands with those yelling at them. I also saw one Officer approach a male crying in the crowd. The Officer asked the male if he wanted a hug and the protester replied, “Yes!” I watched as the Officer embraced and comforted the crying protester. Seeing these things, I thought to myself “Why am I here? Seattle PD obviously has a connection with the population, what am I supposed to accomplish or prevent here?” It didn’t take long for that to change.

I took up position on our right flank, recognizing a weakness in our line. A female quickly made eye contact with me, while recording me with her cell phone, and started yelling… “HEY! ARMY! Where are you from?!” I told her I was a Soldier with the Washington Army National Guard. She asked if I lived in Washington State. I told her, “Yes, I’m a citizen of Washington State, just like you.” She then abruptly said, “Why do you guys keep killing us?” I told her, “Excuse me?! I haven’t killed anyone…” She looked at me, befuddled, and said… “You guys keep killing us! You know, your training… don’t you have some sort of limitation where you can’t kill people?! You know, where you can only shoot us if we shoot at you?” At this point, I obviously knew she was referring to our Rules of Engagement (RoE) but it was obvious she was trying to provoke me. I tried to explain to her that what she was saying wasn’t true, but she kept interrupting me. Every time I’d try to speak, she’d raise her voice and interrupt me. As she continued to escalate, I recognized she was trying to provoke an exaggerated reaction out of me. I looked at her, shrugged, and proceeded to ignore her as I scanned the crowd. She grumbled and said, “You don’t even know your own regulations?!” I looked at her, shrugged again, and continued to ignore her… As I was scanning, I saw a male protester point out and move towards an African-American Police Officer.

The protester proceeded to yell, asking why the Officer was on the “white-man’s side.” He called the Officer an “Uncle Tom,” a “pretender,” a “race traitor,” and a N-word I’d prefer not to use. Every fiber of my being wanted to lash out. How can you use racist terms and protest racism while using it in a derogatory manner towards someone else? How can you even find fault in someone that is remaining peaceful, that is protecting your rights, and is obviously concerned for the community?! I was furious as the protester continued berating the Officer… We then got replaced by another squad for relief.

During their “protest” I observed multiple people tell others to “shut up” because of their “white privilege.” I also saw two protesters almost get into a fight because one wasn’t “letting the black man speak.” Another protester, when a male had a megaphone, yelled “Listen to him! He’s black!” I was raised, under the impression, that equality means treating everyone equally… Race won’t cease to be an issue until we stop talking about it. All my brothers and sisters are one color: green. It’s cool to honor your heritage, but no one gets special anything due to their skin tone… Everyone is treated the same and everything is equal. How is this (equality) a hard concept?

I talked to my Soldiers during our downtime. I had a few African-American Soldiers in my squad. I pointed out and talked to them about what I had just observed. I told them they may be focused upon, that the racists in the crowd might single them out because they’re African-American. It wasn’t long before we returned to the protest line...(continues)

The Organic Prepper: Unconventional Warfare in the US

Political warfare location within four implements of power

Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper writes about the use of unconventional warfare techniques with the US recently in her article There’s an Actual Playbook for Everything Happening Right Now and the US Wrote It. But Who Is Using It Against Us? Some of this echoes themes written of by intelligence analyst Sam Culper of Forward Observer on low intensity conflict in the US, as you may have seen from articles of his that we’ve posted to this site.

While it might seem like everything that is happening is just chaotically bouncing from one shocking event to the next, that assessment couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s a playbook – a literal playbook – and we’re being manipulated toward the endgame that does not benefit the American people.

What’s the endgame?

Spoiler alert.

It’s widespread guerrilla actions and the destabilization of our country.

What’s this playbook?

The playbook I’m referring to in this article is the US Special Forces Unconventional Warfare Manual from 2010. These were methods that the United States military employed against Libya.

The intent of U.S. UW efforts is to exploit a hostile power’s political, military, economic, and psychological vulnerabilities by developing and sustaining resistance forces to accomplish U.S. strategic objectives. Historically, the military concept for the employment of UW was primarily in support of resistance movements during general-war scenarios. While this concept remains valid, the operational environment since the end of World War II has increasingly required U.S. forces to conduct UW in scenarios short of general war (limited war).

Enabling a resistance movement or insurgency entails the development of an underground and guerrilla forces, as well as supporting auxiliaries for each of these elements. Resistance movements or insurgencies always have an underground element. The armed component of these groups is the guerrilla force and is only present if the resistance transitions to conflict. The combined effects of two interrelated lines of effort largely generate the end result of a UW campaign. The efforts are armed conflict and subversion. Forces conduct armed conflict, normally in the form of guerrilla warfare, against the security apparatus of the host nation (HN) or occupying military. Conflict also includes operations that attack and degrade enemy morale, organizational cohesion, and operational effectiveness and separate the enemy from the population. Over time, these attacks degrade the ability of the HN or occupying military to project military power and exert control over the population. Subversion undermines the power of the government or occupying element by portraying it as incapable of effective governance to the population. (source)

And now this guideline is very clearly being used against the United States. It started years back, but recently, we’ve watched things escalate rather dramatically.

Here’s the guideline.

Consider this a pyramid that begins at the bottom and builds to the apex. This all begins with underground activities and the fanning of legitimate flames, like Selco mentioned in his article about defunding the police.

Does that stuff look familiar? It should because we’re more than three-quarters of the way through this escalation.

The causes are not unjust.

The thing that makes this technique so effective is that the causes themselves are not unjust. They are things that would rightly anger any reasonable, compassionate human being.

Most white people don’t want to see people of other races suffer indignities and violence based on the color of their skin. (I say “most” because there are always outliers and extremists.) Most Americans in general do not want to see police brutality. They don’t want to see families split up or people imprisoned for decades for victimless crimes.

Let me be perfectly clear when I say that it is not unreasonable or wrong to be outraged and want things to change. I hate some of the things I’ve seen our government and police officers do and have written about these misdeeds for years.

But this article isn’t about whether or not our anger is justified. It is an assessment of a playbook.

All of this outrage over injustice forms the foundation of something that can be used against us. The agitation has been building up for years – far longer than President Trump has been in office – so as much as people love to hate him, he isn’t the cause of all this. But he’s certainly not making things go any more smoothly.

An early timeline

Everything I’m writing about today is about how our government in the past has encouraged a resistance in other countries, and how a resistance is being nurtured here in the United States right now.

So what does it take to cause people to be angry enough to resist?

Resistance generally begins with the desire of individuals to remove intolerable conditions imposed by an unpopular regime or occupying power. Feelings of opposition toward the governing authority and hatred of existing conditions that conflict with the individual’s values, interests, aspirations, and way of life spread from the individual to his family, close friends, and neighbors. As a result, an entire community may possess an obsessive hatred for the established authority. Initially, this hatred will manifest as sporadic, spontaneous nonviolent and violent acts of resistance by the people toward authority. As the discontent grows, natural leaders, such as former military personnel, clergymen, local office holders, and neighborhood representatives, emerge to channel this discontent into organized resistance that promotes its growth. The population must believe they have nothing to lose, or more to gain. (source)

There can be more than one resistance going on at a time, too. Currently, everything that is in the news is about the resistance that has sprung up over the death of George Floyd. A few months ago, it was about the sanctuary cities in Virginia standing up against state legislators.

Resistance organizations have been around for years: Black Lives Matter, the NRA, Antifa, the Boogaloo movement, the Black Bloc, the Gun Owners of America. I’m just listing off examples of organizations here, not passing judgment whether they’re good or bad. I’ll bet that most people who join do so because of their own deeply held beliefs. They sincerely feel they’re doing the right thing and have the best of intentions.

But then there are the other people who join – the infiltrators – and they take these kinds of organizations to dark places. Much has been written about the involvement of the Communist Party, neo-Nazis, George Soros, and white supremacists in various groups. And while some of it may be the stuff of legends and propaganda, a lot of it is very likely to be true…(continues)

The Organic Prepper: How to Survive Riots and Civil Unrest

Photo courtesy Reuters

Daisy Luther at The Organic prepper writes about How to Survive Riots and Civil Unrest.

As the world seems to be on fire in countries across the planet, the threat of civil unrest and riots certainly feels like it’s increasing. People are responding with rage to perceived injustices, and whether that rage is warranted or not isn’t the point of this article.

Often when I write about surviving events like mass shootings or riots, people scoff and say, “That was a false flag perpetrated by government operatives” or “Those people got paid by [insert evil billionaire here.]” The simple fact you must understand is that it doesn’t matter who started it, who paid for it, who instigated it, or who is taking part in it. If you find your city or town under siege by irate protesters, none of those things matter at the moment. These are things to be sorted out later.

What matters is how to survive and how to keep your loved ones safe. What we witnessed via social media of the riots in Chile should be enough to make anyone want to be prepared.

The idea of an angry mob appearing in your neighborhood is a frightening one but understanding more about the patterns of civil unrest can make it feel a bit more manageable.

It happens fast

It’s extremely important to understand how speedily riots can occur. In his newsletter, Simon Black of Sovereign Man wrote of his ties to Chile. He shared an eyewitness account.

…this past Friday was a particularly beautiful day. By lunchtime, people were out in the parks enjoying the weather. It was calm, peaceful, and joyful.

Within a matter of hours the city had turned into a war zone. Hours.

One of my team members told me on the phone yesterday, “If you had said on Friday afternoon that Santiago would be in chaos by nightfall, I would have laughed… And then it happened.” (source)

Never underestimate the power, rage, and motivation of a mob. Never think it can’t happen where you are.

There’s a distinct pattern to civil unrest.

Civil unrest can be predicted to some degree. Jose shared some of the warning signs he has observed and they all share their part in this pattern.

Here’s how a protest turns into a riot:

  • A perceived outrage occurs.
  • Good people react and protest the outrage.
  • Sometimes there are not-so-good people in the group, those who want to see violence.
  • Those perpetrating the outrage try to quell the protest because they don’t think that the outrage was actually outrageous.
  • Others react to the quelling and join the protest.
  • A mob mentality erupts. Thugs say, “Hey, it’s a free for all. I’m gonna get some Doritos and while I’m at it, beat the crap out of some folks for fun.”
  • All hell breaks loose.
  • The police and military get called in.
  • The city burns, and neighborhoods get destroyed, and no one in the area is safe.
  • Cops act preemptively, out of fear, and for a time, there is no rule of law.
  • If you happen to be stuck there, know this: you’re completely on your own.

Tess Pennington wrote about societal breakdowns in more detail – read her excellent article for more information on these predictable scenarios.

The mob mentality and Freud

Some people are just waiting for the opportunity to behave in this fashion. They’d love to act like that every single day, but they don’t want to spend the rest of their lives in jail. But when a verdict gets rolled out, when a storm takes out the power, when a disaster strikes, they delight in the chance to rob, pillage, loot, and burn.  Who can forget the day before Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast, when thugs were coordinating looting rampages via Twitter?

I remember learning about “sublimation” in a high school psychology class.

Sublimation is a defense mechanism that allows us to act out unacceptable impulses by converting these behaviors into a more acceptable form. For example, a person experiencing extreme anger might take up kickboxing as a means of venting frustration. Freud believed that sublimation was a sign of maturity that allows people to function normally in socially acceptable ways. (source)

If you believe Freud’s theory, then it’s easy to see that many people look for an excuse to revert to their true natures.  In a situation where “everyone” is doing something, they are able to cast off the normal control of their impulses without much fear of reprisal. The number of looters and thugs far outstrip the number of arrests in most situations, so there’s a very good chance that someone swept up in that mentality can go burn somebody else’s home or business and completely get away with it.

In his course, One Year in Hell, Selco recounts how quickly and shockingly the SHTF in his Bosnian city. He explains that any time a group of people becomes violent, it’s possible for it to turn into a longer-term event than just a few rough days.

Never think “it can’t happen here.”

Remember in 2015 when Baltimore, Maryland was a war zone? It may have given you a sense of deja vu, flashing back to the fall when Ferguson, Missouri was under siege. We’ve seen riots in Sacramento, California; Milwaukee, Wisconsin (which the media lied about); Charlottesville, Virginia; Portland, Oregon; and all over the nation after the presidential election in 2016.

And it didn’t slow down after the election. Portland has been the site of numerous protests that were really just all-out street fights and the police were ordered to stand down.

Some of the following information appears in my book, Be Ready for Anything, which has an entire chapter dedicated to surviving civil unrest.

How to survive a riot or unrest event

When you understand the patterns discussed above, you can make your plan with a bit more authority. But remember that no plan is engraved in stone in the survival world. You’ve got to be ready to pivot to Plan B in the blink of an eye if information arises that makes Plan A no longer the safest.

This article is about the safest ways to survive civil unrest. It’s not about making a stand or teaching those punks a lesson.  There’s always someone who chimes in with a snide remark about how cowardly it is to lockdown with your family in order to stay safe.

Blah, blah, blah. If you want to go get involved in a battle to make a political point, that’s certainly your prerogative. If you want to fight the police enforcing martial law, it’s your call.

However, if your priority is your own safety and the safety of your family, the goal should be to avoid engaging altogether. This article is about surviving, not about How Things Should Be.

Get everyone together

If your area is beginning to devolve, the first thing you’re going to want to do is to get everyone in the family home or to a safer secondary location.)

In a perfect world, we’d all be home, watching the chaos erupt on TV from the safety of our living rooms.  The reality is, family members are likely to be at work or school when things start to break down. You need to have a plan laid out in advance to get everyone together and you need to be flexible enough to know when to move on to Plan B.

  • Devise an efficient route for picking up the kids from school.  Be sure that anyone who might be picking up the children already has permission to do so in the school office.
  • Find multiple routes home. Map out alternative backroad ways to get home as well as directions if you must go home on foot.
  • Find places to lay low along the way.  If you work or go to school a substantial distance from your home, figure out some places to lay low now, before a crisis situation.  Sometimes staying out of sight is the best way to stay safe.
  • Avoid groups of people – it doesn’t take much to turn a peaceful protest into a riot.
  • Keep in mind that in many civil disorder situations the authorities are to be avoided every bit as diligently as the angry mobs of looters. The police won’t stop to ask you questions nicely in a tense situation. You’ll be treated as a threat.

Know when to abandon the plan to get home. Sometimes, you just can’t get there. Going through a war zone is not worth it. Find a different place to shelter. Pay attention to your instincts…(continues)

The Organic Prepper: Bugging Out with Babies and Toddlers

This article from Diane Vukovic at The Organic Prepper is adapted from a chapter in her book Disaster Preparedness for Women. This is an excerpt from Bugging Out with Babies and Toddlers.

Building a Go Bag for just yourself is challenging enough. When you have to calculate family members into the plan – especially babies or toddlers – things can get really complicated.

There’s no one perfect solution. You have to think about what makes sense for your family and what disasters you are preparing for. Here are some insights and things to think about when making Bug Out Bags for babies and small children.

Planning a BOB Bag for Babies or Toddlers

If you have small children, it’s even more important you make a solid evacuation plan which includes a safe bug out location. You need to be prepared to leave quickly and early so you can avoid crowds and worsening weather and travel conditions. Hopefully you have your own vehicle so you can keep it packed and get on the road quickly.

But even the best-laid plans can go to hell.

Always keep Bug Out Bags ready to go. Pack them with the idea you might have to ditch your vehicle and walk, potentially through rain, deep water, at night, or in other really terrible conditions.

Bug Out Gear for Babies and Toddlers

Ideally, a Bug Out Bag should weigh no more than 20% of your body weight. Otherwise the bag will be too heavy to carry, especially if you have to go over tough terrain or run. However, there’s really not a good way to travel light with a baby in tow. They need supplies like diapers, wipes, creams, bottles, and formula.

I personally found it easier to travel with infants than toddlers. Infants might cry a lot and use up more diapers, but they are content to cuddle in a front carrier. By contrast, my toddler wants to constantly run around. I worry about losing her in crowds as well as keeping her clean when she decides to run through a giant puddle.

If you aren’t sure what items you really need for evacuating with your small kids, I recommend going on a family camping trip. Even better, go on a backpacking trip. You’ll get a crash course in what it’s like to get by with minimal supplies as well as what’s essential versus what’s nice to have.

Below are some of the key Bug Out gear you need for babies and small children. At the end of the article, you can find a complete list of baby BOB items.

Strollers and Carriers

My younger daughter is currently 18 months old. She’s already over 20lbs. Combined with the weight of my Bug Out Bag, it’s a lot to carry! Luckily I’ve got a pretty tough stroller I could use to push her as well as haul her supplies. But strollers aren’t exactly the ideal solution for evacuating.

In 2015, I witnessed firsthand the Syrian refugee plight in Europe. I remember seeing Syrian refugees with children trying to roll strollers through thick mud and over rough terrain. Many ended up abandoning the strollers and carrying their kids instead. Others were forced to abandon the strollers when entering cramped boats or buses.

I’d recommend getting a good baby carrier for your child to have as a backup to a stroller. Most carriers are backpack style, which means you’d have to wear your Go Bag on your front. Or you could get a front carrier for your child and wear the Bug Out Bag on your back. Neither option is ideal because you easily get off-balanced and can topple over.

After carrying my heavy baby on many hikes, I’ve learned that trekking poles are a Godsend. They allow me to stay balanced even when carrying a heavy weight and help redistribute the weight so there isn’t as much strain on my back.

Even with a good stroller, be realistic about what shape you are in. Can you actually carry your child and a Bug Out Bag for a long distance? This illustrates how important it is to have a solid evacuation plan and leave as soon as you can and hopefully won’t end up carrying your child.

Clothing

For clothing, choose items that can be worn in layers to regulate temperature better. It also makes it easier to keep kids clean.

Backpacking with my children taught me that rain suits are a parent’s best friend. You can let your kids crawl or run freely without having to worry about them getting wet and covered in mud. When you only have three changes of clothes packed for your kids, you definitely don’t want them to get wet or dirty!

Formula

Even if you exclusively breastfeed your child, you’ll still want to stockpile infant formula. There are scenarios where you could end up injured or separated from your baby and unable to breastfeed. While it isn’t common, there are also situations where a mother’s milk “dries up,” such as from stress, illness, poor diet, and certain medications.

The main issue with formula is that you need to sterilize the bottles and nipples. You’ll also need to make sure your hands are clean beforehand. This is especially important in disaster situations where contaminants are all around.

You could pack a stove, pot, and extra water for sterilizing bottles. However, it takes a lot of time and water to get the bottles and nipples clean. An alternative option is to pack “bottle sterilizing tablets.” To use the tablets, you put the clean bottles and nipples in clean water then add a tablet and let everything soak. Yes, this method still requires extra water, but not nearly as much as with traditional sterilization methods.

You can also avoid sterilizing completely by using pre-sterilized bottles or bottle liners. While these are more expensive, it is probably worth getting at least three days’ worth for your Bug Out Bag.

Diapers

You’ll want to pack at least three days’ worth of diapers in your Bug Out Bag. You can save space by vacuum sealing diapers.

You might end up needing a lot more diapers than this though. As a backup, you could pack several cloth diapers and covers. It’s really impractical to try to clean cloth diapers while bugging out, but it’s better to have them than risk running out of diapers.

Consider packing diapers or Pull-Ups for potty-trained children too. The last thing you or your child wants to worry about during a disaster is potty accidents.

Baby/Toddler Bug Out Bag Gear Checklist

These items are in addition to the other BOB gear you need, such as food, shelter, a knife, and survival tools.

  • • Baby formula or food
    • Pre-sterilized bottles and nipples, disposable bottle inserts, and/or bottle sterilizing tablets
    • Baby medications
    • Diaper changing kit
    • Disposable diapers
    • Several cloth diapers and covers
    • 2-3 changes of clothing for layering
    • Extra underwear for potty-trained children
    • Rain suit
    • Plastic bags for soiled clothes
    • Sleeping bag or sack
    • Toys/comfort items
    • Pacifiers with clips
    • Child harness and leash (for walking children; useful so you don’t lose your child in crowds)
    • Stroller
    • Carrier and trekking poles
    • Child-sized N95 respirator or hood (talk to your pediatrician about this)
    • Multivitamins…

Organic Prepper: Have You Learned These Lessons?

Selco at The Organic Prepper asks Have You Learned These Survival Lessons During the Pandemic?

There are some skills and strategies that survivalists and preppers keep bashing on over and over again as important ones for hard times.
Some of those are good, others are simply wrong, or miscalculated, or let’s say “built” on wrong the foundations for whatever reason.

There is nothing better than learning from your own experiences (other than maybe learning from other folks’ mistakes). We all went (and still going) trough very turbulent times, hard times, so let’s check which of those “strategies” you learned and already experienced, or simply check about those that you did not see yet, but that you might see in the future.

It really can happen anywhere

The core of my writing, teaching courses, and everything else – the core of my survival philosophy is that “it can happen anywhere“.
It is something that you need to adopt as a first step of understanding how the world of survival works, and actually if you cannot adopt words “it can happen anywhere” you’ll never be a survivalist.

Sure, you can call yourself a survivalist, but if you cannot comprehend the fact that “it can happen anywhere” you will never be fully ready.
There are numerous reasons why the S can hit the fan anywhere no matter in what kind of modern country and society you live, and actually there are numerous reasons why the “fall” can be deeper and more painful in more modern societies, but that is a topic for some other article.

The system is fragile.

I think you all by now understood how the system can be fragile in an unexpected situation, and it is true no matter how advanced the system is – it is fragile.

And no, for this particular revelation it is not important at all whether you support the political system that rules, favor a political party or not, or any other personal opinion about the “parts” of the system. Discussing and wasting time about why the system is fragile and why it failed to cope with properly handling the event is simply wasting time. No system is built for huge events, at least it is not built to sustain and cope with largescale events in a way that your lifestyle (freedoms, rights, way of living that you use to, etc.) will stay intact.

A large scale event will affect the system, and depending on the duration and severity of the event, it may do so to the point that the system actually disappears.

The greatest danger when SHTF

Tornadoes, asteroids, dirty bombs, viruses, pandemic, wars… you can not be ready for all of that, and if you concentrate efforts to be ready only for a particular scenario based on a particular danger in that scenario, you’ll very easily fall into the trap of forgetting something extremely important.

Prepping (when it comes to what danger you should prepare for) in your philosophy, should be the simple fact that you are preparing for danger from other people.

In most survival scenarios, other people will be an immediate threat or will become the greatest threat very soon after the event happens.
Yes I know, a tornado does not have anything human in its nature, but if a tornado or serious storm brings the city to halt, it will soon bring a situation where there are more people than resources. Without a system to control it, then those people fighting for resources will become your biggest problem, not the tornado.

So if you are prepping for serious weather only without taking into consideration that actually other people might become a bigger problem than the event, you are doing it wrong.

People carry viruses in a pandemic, weapons in war, hate in a political clash, or they need resources after an economic disaster. Start your prepping for every scenario with the consideration that “other people” will most likely become a problem and threat. At best, simply factor that you will be forced to deal with them, for example through trade, and plan your prepping philosophy from that point.

As I mentioned it is not only the fact that other people may become a threat. It is also the fact that you’ll be forced to interact with people on other levels (trade, negotiations, mutual agreements, alliances…).

It probably will not be a situation where you need to shoot everybody else. You’ll need to interact with those people, to live with those people around you under the new circumstances.

Timing is everything.

Survival could be explained as “being ahead of others”.

Do not mix this with up “looking different than others” which survivalists often think is necessary. It actually can be dangerous to look and act differently than others when the SHTF.

Being ahead of others is about being different, not necessarily looking different.

Timing and “being ahead of others” is not some complicated thing, because if you are into prepping you should already know that you need to keep an ear on the ground all the time and seek information that you can use in your favor before the majority of other folks get it. The run on supplies in America was a perfect example of this…(continues)

Organic Prepper: Dirt Cheap – The Best Frugal Gardening Ideas on the Internet

This article from Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper is a link-fest, bringing together numerous articles across the internet – Dirt Cheap: The Best Frugal Gardening Ideas on the Internet

With the price of healthful groceries going no place but up, lots of thrifty folks are starting a garden to save money on their bills this year. But what about the money to start a garden? It can be a very expensive undertaking, especially if you’ve never gardened before in your particular location.

I’ve been researching ways to start my own garden as inexpensively as possible and thought, “HEY!!! I know some other folks who would absolutely love frugal gardening ideas!” So…here they are.

Step One: What Kind of Garden Are You Going to Grow?

Of course, the very first thing to decide is what type of garden will work best for your situation. This will depend a lot on your soil, your climate, your skillset, and what you have easy and inexpensive access to. Following are some articles and books that will help you make your decision.

Pallet Gardens: Simple, Easy, Free

Straw Bale Gardens Complete

Create an Instant Garden with Sheet Mulching

Lasagna Gardening: A New Layering System for Bountiful

Gardens: No Digging, No Tilling, No Weeding, No Kidding!

DIY Super Easy Raised Garden Bed for Under $30

How to Build a Raised Garden Bed for $12

For those who aren’t build-y: Big Bag Fabric Raised Beds (I have used these with great success for veggies with shallow roots and as a bonus, you can use them on concrete if you’re gardening on a patio.)

Square Foot Gardening: The Revolutionary Way to Grow More in Less Space

15 Fruits and Veggies You Can Grow in a Bucket Garden

PVC Drip Irrigation System for Your Garden

How to Save BIG on Lumber Supplies for Your Square Foot Garden

Step Two: Plan Your Garden

Now that you have figured out how you’ll grow your food, you need to figure out what to grow. A lot of that depends on your goals. Are you just hoping for salad this summer? Or are you planning to grow an entire year’s worth of food for your family? These links will help you make some decisions!

FREE Garden Planning Printables

How Much to Plant for a Year’s Worth of Food

An Inspiring 5000 Square Foot Garden Plan

Last Frost Date Seed Planting Worksheet

Step Three: Start Your Seedlings

While it’s easy and less hassle to buy your seedlings already started, it costs a whole lot more. One plant can be the equivalent of an entire package of seeds!  Starting your own seedlings is not that difficult and you don’t need an indoor growing operation that marijuana drug lords would envy.

Seed Starting 101

Frugal Seed Starting Station

10 Seed Starting Hacks

20 Frugal Repurposed Seed Starting Containers

How to Make Newspaper Seed Starting Pots

Another Way to Make Seed Starting Pots from Newspaper

Chicken Manure Tea for Seedlings

Why Your Seeds Aren’t Germinating

Step Four: Amend, Create, or Prepare Your Soil

No matter how sturdy your seedlings or how efficient your beds, your garden is only as good as your soil. These tips will help you, whether you’re amending what exists, creating soil, or preparing your soil to receive seedlings…(continues)

Some seed sellers on the internet are starting to take orders again, like Seed Savers Exchange.

Organic Prepper: Pandemic Preparedness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Organic Prepper: How to Render Tallow

Here’s an article from Sandra Lane at The Organic Prepper on how to render tallow and a mention of several uses for it – soap, candles, moisturizer, balm, cooking.

While some recipes call for removing or cutting off the fat from meats, a few require the addition of fat. Whether it is oil to coat a soft ball of bread dough, or solid fat cut into a pie crust, sometimes added fat is needed for cooking. Recently I came across recipes for well-circulated survival food, pemmican, that called for tallow, and I had no clue what they were talking about. Being from the South, I knew what lard was, but not tallow. So off to do some research.

What is tallow?

I discovered tallow, real tallow, is the product of rendering suet, which is the white fat layer surrounding an animal’s organs; namely the kidneys and loins. But it’s also been the more modern name for the product rendered from basic beef fat and/or lamb fat as well.

Tallow has been, and still is, used in everything from soap to candles, moisturizers to lip balm, and is a source of nutrients including niacin, vitamins B6, B12, K2, selenium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and riboflavin. From my own personal experience, I can tell you it’s pretty darn awesome.

My tallow experiment

When I was making pemmican to write my article about it, I decided to render some tallow, too.

The first thing I did was pull a few roasts out of the freezer. I’d been wanting to cook a roast anyway and, needing the fat for the tallow, I figured I’d carve the fat off the other one and can some stew with the rest of the beef. It wouldn’t be the good stuff; the fat from the organs, but it would be tallow. And since it was frozen, the fat was easy to work with and remove from the outside. The marbling inside was a bit more difficult to get to so I had to let it them thaw some to get to the rest of it.

After cutting all the removed fat up into smaller pieces about a ½ inch to an inch in size, I put them in a small saucepan and then started to cook them down. It’s recommended that this part of the recipe, making the tallow, be done in a crockpot. But I wasn’t making very much pemmican and so didn’t expect I’d need much tallow. It didn’t take me long to figure out I should have started making the tallow the day before. Turns out the fat has to be melted down slowly so as not to burn it. So, I had hours at minimum to kill.

After a little over 4 hours, I had rendered enough tallow to finish the pemmican (almost 2 cups). I only knew it was done because there were some funny looking things floating on top of a clear yellowish liquid. I was surprised it was a yellow color. Using a cheesecloth over a mesh strainer (that was in turn over a metal funnel sitting in a clean mason jar), I poured the tallow into the jar, leaving out enough for the pemmican.

It’s said that the ‘cracklins’ that are left can be seasoned and eaten, or fed to pets, but honestly, I just threw them away because there wasn’t much, to begin with, and they were mushy. I’m thinking if I’d cooked it longer, or maybe even fried them up, they might have been crispy.

Then I made the pemmican, which was easy, and began wiping my hands off on a paper towel. It was at that point I noticed the little jar of tallow I’d poured.

It was no longer yellow but almost white, and hard, at room temperature. Now, I keep my house cool – right around 69 degrees, so I totally understand that room temperature for me is cooler than it may be for others, but the grease hardening that fast was amazing to me. I then looked down at my hands and realized the paper towel just wasn’t going to cut it. Does anyone remember how an older person would tell us as kids not to pour grease down the sink because it would clog it up? This was the stuff they were referring to. Not the canola oil or the vegetable oil, or even the Crisco. Nope. It had to be Tallow. It was coagulating on my hands. Either I was dead, or this stuff was solid at 98 degrees F.

Turning the hot water knob on I squirted some homemade foaming soap on my hands and start to rub, and ended up making a soapy greasy paste. With a big sigh, I squirted some more, then some more for extra measure. Nope – not gonna cut it. My hands felt like they do after I’ve mixed up a meatloaf and put it in the pan; only they smelled like lemon instead of ketchup. I usually use food handlers gloves when I play around in food but I just had to see how that pemmican felt, and now I regretted it.

Then I spied the Dawn dishwashing detergent, remembered the slogan, and thought ‘What a wonderful time to test that!’. Twice with Dawn and some hot water and my hands were clean. At least Dawn takes this grease out of your way. My hands were clean. And soft… I cannot describe to you how soft and supple my hands were at this point. They weren’t greasy – they were soft. And – I kid you not – they looked like my daughter’s hands who’s 20 years younger than me. This was some miracle stuff!..

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