Emergencies

Ebola Virus Mutating

A lot of people are writing off the threat posed by the Ebola virus these days. I, for one, still remain skeptical. And with good reason. Tulip Mazumdar reported on the BBC website yesterday:

Scientists tracking the Ebola outbreak in Guinea say the virus has mutated.

Researchers at the Institut Pasteur in France, which first identified the outbreak last March, are investigating whether it could have become more contagious.

More than 22,000 people have been infected with Ebola and 8,795 have died in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Scientists are starting to analyse hundreds of blood samples from Ebola patients in Guinea.

They are tracking how the virus is changing and trying to establish whether it’s able to jump more easily from person to person

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Colin Freeman added on the website of The Telegraph (UK) yesterday:

On Thursday they warned that it was still too early in their research to say whether mutations in the virus thus far would lead to more lethal or infectious strains.

But Dr Anavaj Sakuntabhai, an Oxford-educated geneticist involved in the research, said that claims that the virus might move from being fluid-borne to airborne – and potentially much more infectious – were a near-scientific impossibility.

That theory was voiced last October by Anthony Banbury, the head of the United Nations mission on Ebola, who said it was a “nightmare scenario’ but that it “could not be ruled out”.

However, Mr Sakuntabhai told The Telegraph: “I don’t think is likely. For any pathogen (agent of disease) to change its mode of transmission would it means they would have to adapt to a completely different environment.” He likened it to a fish developing lungs or a human growing gills.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“He likened it to a fish developing lungs..”

Something that happened 375 million years ago, as the Natural History Museum in London points out on their website:

A few species of fish were the first creatures to evolve lungs.

Arapaima, from the Amazon River, is an example of a fish that evolved a lung-like gas bladder to supplement the oxygen from its gills.

About 375 million years ago, land-living animals began to evolve from a species of lobe-finned fish. All animals with lungs share this common ancestor. This species is now extinct, but the living lungfish are close relatives.

Yep. As much as I’d like to, I wouldn’t be celebrating the demise of this bout of Ebola just yet.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Mazumdar, Tulip. “Ebola outbreak: Virus mutating, scientists warn.” BBC. 29 Jan. 2015. (http://www.bbc.com/news/health-31019097). 30 Jan. 2015.

Freeman, Colin. “Ebola virus mutating but will not become airborne, scientists say.” The Telegraph. 29 Jan. 2015. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/ebola/11378361/Ebola-virus-mutating-but-will-not-become-airborne-scientists-say.html). 30 Jan. 2015.

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Saturday, January 31st, 2015 Africa, Emergencies, Health, Preparedness, Science No Comments

East Coast: Last-Minute Snow, Ice Removal Info From Consumer Reports

“The first flakes ahead of a potentially historic blizzard began swirling through New York City on Monday morning, with forecasters predicting up to 3 feet (90cm) of snow in the coming day and millions of people facing snarled transportation.

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a blizzard warning for New York City and surrounding areas beginning 1 p.m. EST on Monday, and warned of two days of winter storms across the East Coast, from Pennsylvania to Maine.

Airlines have canceled more than 2,000 flights so far…”

-Reuters.com, January 26, 2015

Considering the ongoing warnings of severe winter weather for the East Coast, I thought I’d get the following last-minute information regarding snow and ice removal out to Survival And Prosperity readers in that area of the country. I hope a number of you find it useful. From the Consumer Reports website:

“Find the best snow shovel”
The right model can take some of the work out of winter cleanup

February 14, 2014

“All you need to know about clearing snow”
Get the most from your snow blower by working with the weather

January 21, 2015

“Snow removal shortcuts that save time and energy”
How to get the most out of your snow blower and snow shovel

March 3, 2014

“Best ice melts review: Top products for your driveway, walkways, and steps”
Use Consumer Reports’ five steps for smarter, safer deicing

February 2014

On the topic of ice melts, while I’ve got a bag in my arsenal, lately I’ve been using sand instead so as to minimize damage to the newer concrete driveway and older sidewalks at my house in the Chicago suburbs. QUIKRETE All-Purpose Sand (bought a 50-lb. bag last week for a little under $3 at the nearby Home Depot) is the brand I went with- and it works really good as traction is concerned. Just be sure to keep the stuff away from drains.

Good luck out there in the eastern United States, stay warm, and stay safe.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Monday, January 26th, 2015 Emergencies, Essential Reading, Weather No Comments

On TV: The Next Mega Tsunami

Seeing that I don’t have an “In Print” post for readers this week (will be discussing The Ultimate Situational Survival Guide: Self-Reliance Strategies for a Dangerous World by Robert Richardson of OffGridSurvival.com-fame next week though), I want to talk about a National Geographic production I recently watched.

Enter The Next Mega Tsunami.

From the TV show’s “About” page on the National Geographic Channel (UK) website:

Ten years after one of the most deadly tsunamis ever known, scientists are making a shocking discovery.

Experts used to believe that the biggest killer waves were only generated in a handful of regions, but mounting evidence now suggests that more of the world’s coasts, from the Mediterranean to Australia, could be in grave danger.

But where will the next Big One strike?


“The Sea Has Disappeared”
YouTube Video

Obviously, there was a lot of talk about the December 26, 2004, Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami and the March 11, 2011, Tōhoku, Japan, earthquake and tsunami in the production. But it was the discussion about the Cascadia Subduction Zone “megathrust” fault (running the coast from Vancouver Island North in British Columbia, Canada, down to Cape Mendocino, California) that grabbed my attention. The presence of this fault means a real threat exists for an earthquake and mega tsunami to strike the coast from Canada to California at any time. Chris Goldfinger, professor of geology and geophysics at Oregon State University, warned:

We have a repeat time of about 240 years. So where that puts us statistically is we’re now 314 years past the last earthquake- an average repeat time of 240- so we’re actually past the average time… There’s a high chance that in our lifetimes, this may happen. That applies to all of Cascadia, but much more so to the south. If we’re lucky, maybe we’ll go through a long interval and we’ll go hundreds of years. But it could just as well happen tomorrow.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

All you readers living on the West Coast- take heed.

The Next Mega Tsunami should be coming back around on the National Geographic Channel soon. If you can’t wait until then, you can watch it here on YouTube.com.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Signs Of The Time, Part 81

Hunger-relief advocates probably won’t be too happy to hear of the following. Drew Galloway reported over at the WHNT News 19 (Huntsville, Alabama) website yesterday afternoon:

You’ve likely heard of students bringing canned food to school for food drives, but have you ever heard of bringing a canned food item to school for safety?

A letter sent to parents of students at one school in Chambers County requested just that- students were asked to arm themselves with an eight ounce canned food item.

Though it sounds odd, administrators believe the practice could catch potential intruders off guard, possibly even knocking him or her out until police arrive

In the letter, [W.F. Burns Middle School Principal Priscella] Principal Holley said students who are armed with a canned food item will have a sense of empowerment to protect themselves in the event an intruder enters their classroom…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)


“Active school shooter: Throw canned food at school shooters says Alabama school”
YouTube Video

I guess launching “canned heat” at the bad guys is better than nothing. You can read the entire piece for yourself over on the WHNT News 19 website here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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‘Earthquake Lady’ Lucy Jones Helps L.A. Prepare For ‘Big One’

The first time I mentioned Dr. Lucy Jones- aka the “Earthquake Lady”- on this blog was back on December 12, 2013. Back then, the U.S. Geological Survey seismologist was warning whoever would listen that when the “Big One” hits Southern California (59 percent chance of 7.8-magnitude San Andreas earthquake in next 30 years), the damage could be much greater and last much longer than most might imagine. But over the past year, Jones was busy helping the City of Los Angeles prepare for such a tremblor. Andrew Romano reported on the Yahoo! News website on December 12, 2014:

Her name was Lucy Jones — and as the driving force behind [L.A. Mayor Eric] Garcetti’s report, she may one day be remembered as the crusader who did more to save the earthquake-prone city of Los Angeles than anyone else. First by showing people like [L.A. Councilman Gil] Cedillo that the Big One could be 1,000 times worse than they think — and now by showing them that it doesn’t have to be.

“We can never make L.A. perfectly safe,” Jones tells Yahoo News. “But if we follow all of these recommendations, I think we will have avoided the economic collapse. I think we’ll be able to get the city up and running pretty quickly after the big earthquake. And that’s all I want.”

Jones pauses. “I’ve been looking at these problems for a third of a century,” she finally says. “This is the biggest step I’ve ever seen.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I’ve been meaning to share this piece with Survival And Prosperity readers- particularly those in Southern California- for a while now. It’s an insightful read about Dr. Jones, what Los Angeles is doing to prepare for the “Big One,” and how devastating a quake of that magnitude could be for the region and country.

You can read the entire article on the Yahoo! News website here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Former Astronauts Push Effort To Locate, Track Threatening Asteroids

Here’s another natural-disaster related post where I’m going to send you straight to the source. David Perlman, science editor for San Francisco Chronicle, wrote on SFGate.com Sunday:

A group of former astronauts in the Bay Area announced last month they had marshaled more than 100 astronomers and space enthusiasts around the world to call for a major increase in efforts to locate and track all asteroids that could pose a danger to Earth…

At a recent Senate hearing, James Green, director of NASA’s planetary science division, said there may be hundreds of thousands of orbiting asteroids the size of the one that blasted apart over Chelyabinsk. It was not detected in advance by any NEO telescope, he said.

“Right now the amount of warning time that we are likely to get from one of these asteroids is zero,” [former astronaut Edward] Lu told the senators…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)


Chelyabinsk, Russia, Meteor Strike: “Looks like a movie. But it is not.”
YouTube Video

Back in the fall of 1992, me and a buddy were driving his ’65 Mustang convertible (top down) to my family’s old cabin in southeastern Wisconsin when a meteor lit up the night sky- making everything as bright as day- before shooting down the country road we were on. The event was instantaneous, but I remember to this day the contrail left behind from that fireball.

One of the wildest things I’ve ever seen.

By the late 1990s I learned more about the threat posed by asteroids and meteors when I took up astronomy as a hobby, so I’m very happy to hear of such an initiative.

You can read Perlman’s entire article on the SFGate website here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Number Of Large Earthquakes Around The World Fell In 2014

One might think the number of large earthquakes around the globe keeps growing every year with all the news about tremblors these days. However, Stephanie Pappas reported on the Live Science website this afternoon:

Twelve large earthquakes shook the globe in 2014, seven fewer than in 2013, according to a final tally of the year’s temblors by the U.S. Geological Survey.

The numbers are “pretty normal,” said University of Washington professor and Washington state seismologist John Vidale…

At 12 quakes, the past year tied with 2008 for the number of earthquakes with a magnitude of 7.0 or higher. Eleven of those 2014 quakes had magnitudes between 7.0 and 7.9, while the biggest quake of the year came in at magnitude 8.2. That shaker hit Iquique, Chile, on April 1, triggering a 7-foot-high (2.1 meters) tsunami…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Personally, if I lived in a “big earthquake”-prone area, none of the above would give me much comfort. I’d prepare as much as possible and as fast as I could for the next major event. Maybe then would I have some piece of mind. But that’s me.

An insightful article, which you can read in its entirety on the Live Science website here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Monday, January 12th, 2015 Emergencies, Natural Disasters, Preparedness No Comments

NotifyChicago: The City Of Chicago’s Emergency Alert Program

Back when I was living in Chicago I remember reading that the city had a system in place where residents could receive alerts about emergencies going on.

I never signed up for the program, but if I were still living at my old pad on the Northwest side today, I’d give it a try.

Enter NotifyChicago. Via the City of Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management & Communications web page, under “Notification Program Overview”:

NotifyChicago

Notification Program Overview

Welcome to NotifyChicago, the City of Chicago’s tool for providing residents with direct emergency and non-emergency information. NotifyChicago is a city service that supplies residents with text messages and/or e-mail alerts for incidents/conditions such as severe weather emergencies, hazardous materials, traffic impacts, etc. Preparedness and being informed is key in an emergency. The Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) urges residents to subscribe to receive alerts sent directly to mobile phones or email accounts to stay informed. Signing up for NotifyChicago is FREE. However, depending on your service plan, you may be charged for messages and data on your devices. Contact your mobile service provider for details on costs in your plan.

How Does Notify Chicago Work?

In the event of an emergency, the city’s designated personnel will send text messages and/or e-mail alerts directly to the registered phones or email accounts using this NotifyChicago system. Non-emergency alerts may be issued for traffic disruptions to keep public informed of related major street closures or events impacting traffic. Those registering for texts/emails can choose to receive both emergency and non-emergency notifications or just emergency notices. Once registered, alerts will be sent to the mobile phone/email address designated as situations arise…

NotifyChicago sounds like a terrific tool for a Chicago worker, resident, and visitor to have access to during an emergency. I tried to find out if Cook County and the State of Illinois had similar emergency alert programs, but didn’t see any advertised on their respective web sites (I plan to investigate more).

Interested in finding out more about NotifyChicago? Head on over to the program site here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Product Review: Daily Bread Freeze-Dried Food

As part of my “Project Prepper” series of posts, I recently mentioned that I picked up a couple of Mountain House Classic Buckets of freeze-dried food at some terrific prices.

I bought the Mountain House brand despite never tasting it. That being said, I did do a significant amount of research beforehand, and most reviews of that label were very positive.

Still, probably not the best way to go about selecting emergency food. After all, what if it tastes like crap? Kind of demoralizing if WTSHTF I’m stuck eating something I’d rather not.

I’ve decided to conduct some “product reviews” of freeze-dried food on this blog in the coming weeks. While taste is subjective, I’d like to see if I did okay in acquiring those Mountain House buckets, or if other “major-brand” foods of this type are more “tastier.”

First up is Daily Bread (offered by Food Insurance). I blogged on March 21, 2013 (Project Prepper, Part 11):

Now, some time ago, I was introduced to freeze-dried foods by the folks over at the National Geographic Channel as part of a “thank you” package for blogging about Doomsday Preppers. I received a sample of beef stroganoff from a well-known company that prepares and sells such food. Busting it out for lunch one day, I found it to be easy to make (open package, add boiling water, seal, and wait), and rather surprisingly, it didn’t taste all that bad. A little bland, but some pepper cured that.

More recently, I had the opportunity to try some different freeze-dried food samples from a company called Daily Bread, which according to their website is “nationally recognized as the leading brand in the emergency food supply industry.” I understand their products are recommended by Glenn Beck of TheBlaze TV and Sean Hannity of FOX News. I received samples of their beef stroganoff and lasagna with meat sauce and had them for lunch on two different days. Once again I found them easy to make. However, I experienced first-hand why Daily Bread received the recommendations it did from these two media personalities. Their beef stroganoff was considerably more tastier than the other brand (no pepper needed this time). And the lasagna with meat sauce was delicious.

Now, I noticed some of the noodles in each beef stroganoff sample were a little “crunchy” upon eating. I suspected that might have been because I poured the contents of each package into a bowl (which was permissible per the directions for each) upon completing their preparation rather than letting the food sit in their pouches and eating it from there. When I had the lasagna with meat sauce for lunch, I just ate it right from the pouch. And you know what? Perfectly “cooked” with no crunchy food.

Anyway, that’s been my experiment with freeze-dried foods to date. And I’m thinking they’ll probably play a major role in my emergency food supplies based on my experience so far.

Now, sometime after I wrote that, I decided to obtain another sample of Daily Bread freeze-dried food through Food Insurance. A 2.54 oz (72g) pouch containing “Freeze Dried Chicken Teriyaki with Rice” was sent to me. It was billed as “A Sweet Combination of Oriental Flavors.” We shall see…

Daily Bread Freeze-Dried Food Pouch

Preparing the meal was easy. I tore open the pouch, removed the oxygen absorber, added 1 cup of boiling water to the pouch, stirred the contents, pinched the pouch shut, let it sit for the maximum recommended time (9 minutes) to ensure it was perfectly “cooked,” and then busted it open. Here’s the final product:

Daily Bread Freeze-Dried Food Cooked

After bringing the freeze-dried entrée back to life, I grabbed a glass of water (will just be drinking water during this series of reviews to ensure my taste buds aren’t compromised) and carried the pouch plus water over to my front room so I could chow down on what was going to be my lunch.

By the way, the pouch had some heft to it (stirring in the boiling water makes one 10 ounce serving).

Verdict

The Daily Bread chicken teriyaki with rice was thoroughly-“cooked”- nothing crunchy- and was excellent tasting- not too sweet, and definitely not bland.

I was also pretty full after eating that single serving, with no immediate desire for a side dish or dessert.

On a side note, I actually found myself trying to scrape up any last morsel of the meal with my spoon while watching TV.

“Give us this day our Daily Bread.” That’s for sure.

Daily Bread freeze-dried food is sold through Food Insurance (one of this blog’s affiliate marketing partners- reviewed here), and right now the Kaysville, Utah-based company is offering a completely FREE entrée sample to the public- meaning no shipping and handling charges, and no obligation to buy. This free food sample pack is being made available for a very limited time only.

Interested in obtaining a sample or checking out the Daily Bread offerings? Click on the banner ad below and you will be taken to the Food Insurance website. Please note that I receive a commission from any purchases you make on the site.


Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Upcoming REI Survival-Related Classes In The Chicago Area

Chicago-area readers- below is information for survival-related classes being offered by outdoor adventure company REI for the next month or so:

Winter Navigation with Map & Compass, Palos Forest Preserve- Bull Frog Lake (south suburbs), January 10, 9 AM-2 PM, $75 member/$95 non-member, 10 spots left, prior snowshoeing experience recommended
Map and Compass Navigation Basics, Lincoln Park REI (Chicago- Lincoln Park), January 16, 6:30-8:30 PM, $30 member/$50 non-member, 9 spots left
Wilderness Survival: Winter Skills, Palos Forest Preserve- Bull Frog Lake (south suburbs), January 18, 9 AM-2 PM, $65 member/$85 non-member, 12 spots left
Wilderness First Aid with WMI and REI, Ping Tom Memorial Park- Fieldhouse (Chicago- Chinatown), January 17-18, 9 AM-6 PM, $225 member/$255 non-member, 14 spots left
Map and Compass Navigation Basics, Oakbrook REI (west suburbs- Oakbrook Terrace), January 21, 6:30-8:30 PM, $30 member/$50 non-member, 12 spots left
Map and Compass Navigation Basics, Schaumburg REI (northwest suburbs), February 4, 6:30-8:30 PM, $30 member/$50 non-member, 9 spots left

Lifetime membership in REI costs only $20. For more information on joining REI, you can visit their website here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Wednesday, January 7th, 2015 Emergencies, Health, Medicine, Preparedness, Training, Weather No Comments

Resource Of The Week: 122 Of The Best Prepper Websites On The Internet

Back on February 1, 2013, Michael Snyder, publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream blog, and The Most Important News website, named Survival And Prosperity one of “50 Of The Best Prepper Websites And Blogs On The Internet.”

I was grateful to hear that someone thought so highly of the blog.

I was humbled again recently when I learned Mr. Snyder designated it one of “122 Of The Best Prepper Websites On The Internet.” He wrote on December 18, 2014:

Getting prepared for the chaos that is coming to America in the years ahead is not that complicated. Help is out there – if you know where to look. And it doesn’t have to be expensive either. In this article, I have put together a list of 122 of the best prepper websites on the Internet that will teach you how to prep for free. The great thing about the prepper community is that there are always highly skilled people that are willing to freely share their knowledge and experience with the general public…

Snyder is right- The great thing about the prepper community is that there are always highly-skilled individuals willing to freely-share their knowledge and experience with people like you and me.

Check out Michael Snyder’s “122 Of The Best Prepper Websites On The Internet,” starting with his sites. Not only do I read a number of them on a regular basis, but I’ve also met a few of their publishers in person. Good people who really care about America, if you ask me.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Amazon Promotion On Mountain House Breakfast Buckets

Thought Survival And Prosperity readers might be interested in a promotion Amazon is running on Mountain House Breakfast Buckets (freeze-dried food) sold and shipped from them. From Amazon.com:

Mountain House ‘Just in Case’ Breakfast Assortment

With 16 days’ worth of breakfast* each Mountain House ‘Just in Case’ Breakfast Assortment is the perfect way to start your day of adventuring. Each bucket contains the following Mountain House meals:

4 x Scrambled Eggs with Ham & Peppers
4 x Scrambled Eggs with Bacon
4 x Granola with Milk & Blueberries
4 x Breakfast Skillet

Every pouch in every stack-able and portable Mountain House “Just in Case” bucket assortment has a proven 10+ year shelf life, so it is good to have on hand just in case of an emergency or for when you may need to feed a large audience.

*Based on one pouch per day

And the promotion? From Amazon’s website:

Offer expires at 11:59 p.m. (PT) 01/03/2015.

Offer only applies to products sold and shipped by Amazon.com.

Limit one discount per customer and account.

$50 minimum purchase required for savings of 10%.

$75 minimum purchase required for savings of 15%.

$100 minimum purchase required for savings of 20%…

To give readers an idea of how much might be saved, I placed two Mountain House Breakfast Buckets in my Amazon.com cart. At the current price of $73.95 each (that’s seems like a really good price just by itself, considering it was up in the 80-something dollar range earlier in 2014), I’d be spending $147.90 for the two buckets.

With the limited time promotion, the price of two Mountain House Breakfast Buckets plummets to $118.31 (includes free shipping), or roughly $59.16 a bucket in this example.

Interested? Click on the Amazon.com banner ad below. And be sure to check out the “Special Offers and Product Promotion” area for the product and read the applicable restrictions before ordering. Please note I receive a commission from the purchase of this product.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Sky News Investigates Preppers

Our cousins across the pond are taking a particular interest in preppers these days.

Last week, it was the folks over at The Economist (UK).

This week, it’s Sky News.

Dominic Waghorn investigated preppers for a report entitled The Doom Boom which aired on Britain’s Sky News last night. The U.S. correspondent started with:

I’ve reported from around the world on countries coping with adversity. In America, I’ve witnessed terrorist attacks, extreme weather, civil unrest. But I’ve never felt society here is on the brink of collapse. And yet it seems, an increasing number of Americans do. I want to find out why, and what they’re doing to get ready.

Waghorn then met with several preppers (a few of Doomsday Preppers-fame), including:

• Holly Blevins
• Jay Blevins
• Catherine Bryson
• Jamie Bryson
• Braxton Southwick
• Colton Southwick
• Kara Southwick
• Rylee Southwick

Sky News did a pretty good job with the report. It wasn’t the usual hit piece many have come to expect from the mainstream media with regards to preppers.


Sky News: The Doom Boom
YouTube Video

However, some in the preparedness industry who viewed the production may have been a little irked with the association of fear and providing goods/services to the prepper community. Consider the following from Waghorn:

And for those who trade on fear, business has never been better.

Larry Hall has made a name selling to people with a lot of money, and a lot of fear.

Fear is big business in the U.S., but doom and bloom has spawned an industry worth millions.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Finally, there was this exchange between Larry Hall of Luxury Survival Condo (who also featured in a Doomsday Preppers episode) and Waghorn:

WAGHORN: Because there’ll be people I suppose who look at this and think, well, the whole prepping industry has become an industry and you presumably have made a fair amount of money out of this. And in a sense, what people like you are doing is peddling fear and profiting from it. What do you say to people like that?
HALL: Well, again, I don’t think it’s fear. I think it’s awareness. I think that fear has a negative connotation. I don’t think I’m peddling fear. I think I’m peddling preparedness. And there’s a big difference.

“I’m peddling preparedness. And there’s a big difference.”

Nice. And that may be the case with Hall and a lot of other vendors in that industry. But no doubt there are those “peddling fear” these days, so it pays to be aware of that.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Project Prepper, Part 31: How Much, How Long For Survival Needs?

The other week in the “Project Prepper” series of posts I talked about where the project stood after two years in the works. I blogged:

I decided my preparedness education and activities will focus on a prioritized list of six “innate survival needs” (hat tip Jack Spirko @ The Survival Podcast). This includes:

1. Security
2. Water
3. Food
4. Shelter
5. Sanitation and Health
6. Energy

I went on to discuss the status of each “need.”

While working the past two years on meeting these “needs,” questions arose about “how much?” and “how long?” For example, concerning water- do I settle for just having 72 hours of an emergency supply on hand (like what Uncle Sam recommends)? Or do I aim higher, taking into consideration potential emergencies I might realistically encounter living here in the northwest suburbs of Chicago?

I knew settling for “just enough” wouldn’t cut it. As I wrote the other week concerning water:

At present, my girlfriend and I have close to a week-and-a-half supply of emergency water each (based on federal government guidelines of one gallon per person per day). Even though this is significantly more than Uncle Sam’s 72-hour recommendation, I’m not comfortable with this amount.

And regarding emergency food:

Taking advantage of price drops and gift cards, my girlfriend and I scored a relatively-inexpensive 1-week supply of high-quality freeze-dried meals each. Like with the water though, I’d like to increase that amount commensurate with the potential emergencies I’ve identified.

Mountain House Classic Buckets

Mountain House Classic Buckets- breakfast/lunch/dinner for 3.5 days per bucket

Thankfully, after listening to the November 19, 2014, episode of The Survival Podcast, I now have a better idea of “how much?” and “how long?” might be required to tackle those needs. Incorporating Spirko’s suggestions from episode 1468, “The World Won’t End but Your World Could,” with his six “innate survival needs,” we have:

1. Security

2. Water- 30 days for all needs (drinking, cooking, bathing, etcetera)

3. Food- 30 to 60 days without complete boredom (variety of food that we already eat and actually think is tasty)

4. Shelter- Ability to keep home “sound” after suffering non-catastrophic damage

5. Sanitation and Health- Ability to deal with wastes for 30 days. Ability to treat basic injuries and illnesses.

6. Energy- Ability to deal with initial power loss in 5 to 10 minutes. Then, power for 14 days to cover basic needs and comfort.

I’m a lot more comfortable with these targets. I just have to remember that any preps will have to be for two adults (girlfriend and me).

Still, I want to review potential emergencies/disasters we realistically face here in the Chicagoland area/Midwest/United States, and “tweak” the above accordingly.

More next time…

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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The Economist Magazine Investigates Preppers

“Some Americans find survivalists sinister. After Adam Lanza shot 26 people in a school in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012, the media made much of the fact that his mother was a gun-stockpiling prepper. Yet there is no evidence that preppers in general are more dangerous than their compatriots. On the contrary, when natural disasters strike, it is useful to have neighbours who know how to stormproof a house and have bandages to spare.”

-The Economist website, December 17, 2014

Late this morning, I stumbled on an article on The Economist website about preppers. I just finished reading “Preparing for the apocalypse: I will survive,” and thought I’d blog about it a little. The author (couldn’t find a name attached with the piece for some reason) did a pretty good job writing about preppers/survivalists, not falling victim to the usual stereotypes/generalizing echoed in a comment on the article. From “walrusandthecarpenter”:

Preppers are people who are unhappy with their life and can’t wait for the end of the world to come and the tables to turn. They are excited for it to happen.

Me? I like my smartphone. I have a first aid kit though.

“I like my smartphone.” What a goof.

Like I was saying, the author did a pretty good job (points deducted for trying to link those Westboro folks to preppers) with the material. I found what James Wesley, Rawles of SurvivalBlog.com-fame had to say particularly interesting. From the article:

So how might TEOTWAWKI come about? The biggest threat, says Mr Rawles, is a huge solar flare. The last big one, in 1859, known as the “Carrington Event”, disabled telegraph lines. A similar disaster today would “fry the circuitry” of electronic devices and take out the power grid “from end to end”. It would take years to reactivate. Perhaps 60% of the American population could die, predicts Mr Rawles…

I’ve seen some put that die-off figure at 90 percent.

There was also this about present-day preppers:

Survivalists vary politically—just as they are dispersed geographically—and their views colour their apocalyptic imaginings. Many are conservatives, worried about crime, terrorism and hyperinflation and sure that the state cannot be relied upon to protect ordinary citizens. But a fair number are environmentalists, convinced that the planet can only take so much abuse before it becomes uninhabitable. The movement is broad enough to encompass anyone who suspects that disaster is looming, for any reason. It used to be mostly “Bible-believing Christian conservatives”, says Mr Rawles, “But now we have a lot of alfalfa-munching Birkenstock-wearing leftists.” He adds: “The more the better.”

One more reason for me not to bash specific political ideologies/parties- except when they really ask for it, of course.

(Editor’s note: Any former readers of Boom2Bust.com out there remember when I used to savage “Dubya” and Hank Paulson? Thinking of that reminds me this giant economic mess belongs to both sides of the political aisle.)

Jason Charles, a New York firefighter of Doomsday Preppers-fame (blogged about here), is also featured in the piece.

You can read the well-written article in its entirety on The Economist website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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