Gear

Project Prepper, Part 30: Status

Last week in the “Project Prepper” series of posts I did a recap of what the series is all about for those who didn’t already know.

Today, I’m going to talk about where the project stands after a little over two years in the works.

To start, my girlfriend and I moved out of the city of Chicago last year to a house in the northwest suburbs- with an eye towards eventually settling down in Wisconsin.

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

Concerning security, that’s something that’s been in the works for several years now. Like I wrote on this blog’s “About” page:

Survival And Prosperity is unlike other financial blogs in that SP focuses simultaneously on finance and personal safety, two areas Christopher Hill has spent a lot of time researching these past couple of years and which are intertwined in any serious discussion about surviving and prospering in tumultuous times. Case in point, an individual might pursue a strategy of wealth preservation and growth that would pay off handsomely in a financial crash. Yet, if personal safety was ignored in the process, that same individual might end up a victim of the social turmoil that is sure to accompany the economic collapse. So much for that new-found wealth, right?

(Editor’s note: Blog added for emphasis)

Decent strides have been made in the area of security, although plenty of work remains with all those “innate survival needs.” Physical security on the exterior/interior of the new house has been improved, particularly with landscaping, lighting, and locks. Personal safety gear, supplies, and tools have been acquired, with training having commenced a few years back.

New Tools: United Cutlery Honshu Tantos

New Tools: United Cutlery Honshu Tantos

Purchased @ BUDK.com For $36.99 (Stainless), $39.99 (Black)

Concerning water, the foundation for an emergency water supply is now in place. While utilizing some water storage containers I had prior to this project, I’ve acquired additional containers. To maintain the quality of the water for an extended period of time, I purchased aerobic stabilized oxygen. I’ve also kept a couple of cases of bottled drinking water on hand, along with an emergency water containment system that holds up to 100 gallons of fresh water in a bathtub standing by in the wings. 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.

Concerning food, the foundation for an emergency food supply is also in place. 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.

Concerning shelter, purchasing that house last spring was a pretty big “prep.” And it was certainly an improvement over the multi-family housing arrangement where my girlfriend and I used to live. As much as I love the city of Chicago and would have liked to stay in our northwest side neighborhood, my girlfriend and I are much better off here in a close-by suburb, all things considered.

Concerning sanitation/health, not much work has been done in this area yet. As health is concerned, I’ve acquired a good deal of basic first aid supplies and instructional material in the last couple of years. But it’s been too long since I’ve had any training in this area. It’s one of my goals in 2015 to complete an American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED class and build a comprehensive first aid kit- as well as having the knowledge/skills to use it. In addition, while working around the house has been good for the body, I really need to improve my physical fitness. Not only will it help me cope with the difficult times I see coming down the pipeline, but hopefully it will keep me from having to rely on our floundering health care system as much as possible.

On sanitation, an unforeseen (and somewhat costly) improvement was carried out late last year on our sewer line going from the house. I’ll spare readers the details, but a new cleanout was added on the front of the home, and with it, a check valve. Should the city’s sewer system fail for any reason (extended power grid failure?), the valve should prevent sewage from backing up into our house and through the toilets. At least, that’s how I understand it should work. When it comes to people having to “go to the bathroom” in an extended grid-down scenario and dealing with the waste, I’m already researching a number of possible solutions.

Finally, as energy is concerned, for short-term blackouts I’ve been looking at portable generators to use at first until my girlfriend and I can afford a standby generator that can be hooked up to the natural gas line coming into the house. I’m also exploring if we can’t utilize renewable sources of energy somehow. I really hope so, because it’s probably what we’ll be forced to turn to in a long-term grid-down situation. That being said, we are limited by what we can use due to our location in a major metropolitan area.

So that’s where I stand with “Project Prepper” as 2014 draws to a close. Decent progress has been made in tackling those “innate survival needs,” but there’s still a lot more work that needs to be done. Hopefully, time and money will be on my side in the new year.

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

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BUDK Free Shipping, CHIEF Supply Up To 20 Percent Off Sale

I know I usually don’t blog on Fridays, but I wanted to fire off two more posts before I called it a week on Survival And Prosperity. I received e-mails this morning from affiliate marketing partners BUDK and CHIEF Supply about sales going on this weekend over on their websites. From Moultrie, Georgia-based BUDK:

FREE Shipping!
Online Only!
Limited Time Offer
$39 Minimum Order Required
Discount Awarded At Checkout!
Enter Promo Code BKSHIP775 at checkout to receive this offer

The sale ends December 7 at 11:55 PM EST.

And from Charlotte, North Carolina-based CHIEF Supply:

Friday-Saturday-Sunday
15% OFF Orders Under $79
Use promotional code TAKEOFF15 in cart
20% OFF And FREE Shipping On Orders Over $79
Use promotional code TAKEOFF20 in cart

The sale ends December 7 at 11:59 PM EST.


Chief Supply Corp.

That’s a really good discount from CHIEF. Police, firefighters- pass this CHIEF Supply sale info along to your clothing/equipment person. Maximum order size of $1,000 covered by this offer.

By clicking on the above banner ads and purchasing a product, I receive a commission from any sale(s). Remember to enter those promo codes if you buy anything!

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

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Cheap Price For Rayovac Sportsman 240-Lumen LED Lantern

Now that my girlfriend and I are living in a house, I’ve been looking to add to our emergency lighting capabilities. We’ve been using a Coleman Twin High Power 580-Lumen LED Lantern (blogged about here) as our “go to” lantern in blackouts. The amount of light this thing puts out is phenomenal. I wanted to acquire another lantern or two that was also bright but more compact. The Coleman lantern would stay in the main “living” area. I figured we’d use those other lanterns when moving from room to room where more illumination than a headlamp could provide was needed.

I’ve been looking at the Rayovac Sportsman 240-Lumen LED Lantern for a while now. From Amazon.com:

With optimized beams, rubber grips, and tactical switches, Rayovac’s SE3DLN Sportsman lantern is ideal for use inside and out, whether you’re heading for the hills or camping out in your home during a power outage. Nicely compact and ultra-portable at just 7 inches tall and under 3.5 inches wide, the Rayovac SE3DLN lantern also provides an incredibly bright 240-lumen light that makes it a useful resource for outdoor adventures as well as for emergency preparedness.

This Sportsman green-and-black lantern features durable ABS construction and is engineered to be water resistant, making it ideal for use in rugged conditions. The bottom has a convenient hook that can fold out to light up your space–be it a tent, a basement, a garage, or a backyard patio–hands free. The Sportsman lantern also features a foldout rubberized handle for easy carrying. An easy-find green LED blinks every five seconds when the lantern is off so you can locate it even on the darkest nights. It’s backed by a lifetime warranty…

The SE3DLN’s 4-watt LED bulbs are powered by three D batteries (not included) for up to 40 hours of continuous use on high mode and up to 90 hours on energy-saver mode. The Sportsman LED lantern also includes a strobe lighting mode…


“RAYOVAC Sportsman LED Lantern”
YouTube Video

For months now, I’ve had the Rayovac Sportsman 240-Lumen LED Lantern on my Amazon.com “Wish List.” The price had been hovering was just south of $25 (manufacturer’s recommended price $29.99). However, while on the Amazon website this past Tuesday I noticed the price had dropped to $17.99. I subsequently purchased two lanterns. By Wednesday morning, the price had gone back up to around $25.

But today- Black Friday- the price for the Rayovac lantern is down to $17.99 again.

One of the commenters on Amazon said this usually happens around Thanksgiving.

I’m looking forward to getting my two lanterns. I thought I’d pass that info about the price reduction along to blog readers in case anyone is interested. No idea how long that low price will last. Keep in mind Amazon.com offers free shipping on orders over $35. Two lanterns at $17.99 each meets that threshold.

Please note that by clicking on the ad and purchasing the product, I receive a commission from the sale.

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

(Editor’s note: Item added to “Gear And Supplies” page)

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Friday, November 28th, 2014 Emergencies, Gear, Preparedness No Comments

Chicago-Area Urban Survival/Bug-Out Classes In December

Any Chicago-area readers looking to learn urban survival/bug-out skills in the coming month? Back in the spring I mentioned the C.U.M.A. Survival School in a post about Chicago Reader contributor Connie Vaughn taking such training from the outfit. I blogged:

I’ve come across the C.U.M.A. Survival School website before while researching Chicago-area prepper/survival training, and I’ve made a note to blog about it down the road.

This morning seemed like an appropriate time to talk about the school again as they’re offering survival training in December. From the C.U.M.A. website:

The C.U.M.A. Survival School specializes in no-nonsense training for everyone who is interested in Combatives, Self Defense, Urban Survival or venturing into the great outdoors. It does not matter if you are 45 year old civilian “novice” or a seasoned combat/law enforcement veteran; our goal is to provide quality instruction to anyone who is interested leaning valuable skill sets that can potentially save someone’s life…

The C.U.M.A. Survival School was founded by world re-known martial artist, CQC trainer, Book/DVD author, magazine writer and knife designer “SIJO” Waysun Johnny Tsai…

I e-mailed Waysun Johnny Tsai recently about upcoming survival-related classes they might be offering. From his reply last Thursday:

The Next one day 7 hour C.U.M.A. Urban Survival / BUG OUT classes are on Saturday, Dec 13th, 2014 and Sunday, Dec 20th, 2014.

The hours are 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on either day.

Subject matter will include:

HOME PREPARATION AND BUGGING IN / SURVIVAL GEAR REVIEW (2 Hour Lecture/Near Schaumburg, ILLINOIS).

THE BUG OUT : Basic Winter Wilderness Survival at the BUSSE WOODS (Near Schaumburg, ILLINOIS / 3 Hours)

C.U.M.A. COMBATIVES: SURVIVING THE FIGHT (2 hours/ NEAR Schaumburg, ILLINOIS)

The cost for one day training is $150 per person …


“CBS CHANNEL 2 News on Urban Disaster Survival & Preparedness With The C.U.M.A. SURVIVAL SCHOOL”
YouTube Video

The class sounds real promising. Expert, hands-on urban survival training is hard to come by around these parts for some strange reason (or maybe not, as faith in the “Nanny State” among local residents remains foolishly strong). Busse Woods is a terrific venue (I used to fish there all the time when I was a kid). And I like that part of the instruction is dedicated to wilderness survival in the winter, which can get incredibly-brutal here in the Midwest.

This “keyboard commando” is certainly interested in enrolling some day.

Interested in the Urban Survival/Bug Out course or C.U.M.A. Survival School in general? You can visit the school’s website here for more information.

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

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CHIEF Supply, Pyramid Air 10% Off Sales

Just wanted to let Survival And Prosperity readers know about the following sales going on over at affiliate marketing partners CHIEF Supply (reviewed here) and Pyramid Air (reviewed here). From an e-mail I received from Charlotte, North Carolina-based CHIEF Supply:

Ends Today
10% OFF Select Brands

With promo code OFF10NOW
*Enter promo code in cart. Additional discount codes excluded. Offer expires Thursday, November 20th at 11:59 EST

Looking at the CHIEF website, it looks like those select brands include Blackinton, Damascus, Orion, Shelby, and Smith & Warren.

Click on the banner ad below to check out the one-day event. Please note that by clicking on the ad and purchasing a product, I receive a commission from the sale. And don’t forget to enter that promo code if you buy anything!


Chief Supply Corp.

As for Pyramid Air, the Warrensville Heights, Ohio-based company’s e-mail said:

Sitewide Holidaze
FREE Shipping (on US orders $150+) +10% off (Some items excluded)
AND 2x Bullseye Bucks (Must have a Pyramid Air Account)

Enter code EarlyBF-14 at checkout
Deals expire Nov. 27, 2014 at Midnight EST

What exactly are Bullseye Bucks? From their website:

For each item you purchase, you will receive Bullseye Bucks. Each Bullseye Buck you redeem is equal to one penny (US $0.01). For instance, if you have 1500 Bullseye Bucks that you can redeem, that would be equal to US$15.00 you can subtract from the total of that purchase.

Click on the banner ad below to check out what Pyramid Air is offering. Please note that by clicking on the ad and purchasing a product, I receive a commission from the sale. And don’t forget to enter that promo code if you buy anything!


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

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Trust The Ebola ‘Pollyannas’ At Your Own Peril

“Calm down- America is officially Ebola-free”
-Public Radio International web article headline, November 10, 2014

“America all clear of Ebola- for now”
-Yahoo! News web article headline, November 11, 2014

“Ebola In US Cured, Craig Spencer Released From Hospital, America All Clear”
-Inquisitr.com web article headline, November 12, 2014

One might think reading the above “Pollyannish” headlines that the threat to the United States from the Ebola virus is over. I, for one, remain skeptical. Why’s that? Consider the following from Martha Mendoza on the Associated Press website November 1:

Top medical experts studying the spread of Ebola say the public should expect more cases to emerge in the United States by year’s end as infected people arrive here from West Africa, including American doctors and nurses returning from the hot zone and people fleeing from the deadly disease.

But how many cases?

No one knows for sure how many infections will emerge in the U.S. or anywhere else, but scientists have made educated guesses based on data models that weigh hundreds of variables, including daily new infections in West Africa, airline traffic worldwide and transmission possibilities.

This week, several top infectious disease experts ran simulations for The Associated Press that predicted as few as one or two additional infections by the end of 2014 to a worst-case scenario of 130…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“As few as one or two additional infections by the end of 2014 to a worst-case scenario of 130.”

A number of high-profile preppers with medical backgrounds have weighed-in on the danger posed by Ebola. First, there’s Joe Alton, M.D.- aka “Dr. Bones” of Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy-fame. Sharon Churcher wrote on the Daily Mail (UK) website back on Halloween:

Florida surgeon Joe Alton, who believes the US government is deluding American citizens over the risk of infectious disease, says: ‘Members of the preparedness community are not crazy. What is crazy is not to be prepared for disasters – preppers are the normal people.

‘The US government has a website Ready.gov that says people should always be prepared for natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes and tornadoes and floods. It does not make sense not to also prepare for infectious diseases.’

He says: ‘This is a virus that has a 70 percent mortality rate and the experience we’ve had with the cases in Dallas and New York and with President Obama making ‘fairness’ a priority over public health and safety has made preppers – including doctors like me — suspicious of the notion that we can rely on the authorities to protect us…

‘I think it is highly unlikely that entire communities will be overwhelmed in this country by an epidemic but the situation in Dallas showed that our hospitals are not prepared.’

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

No Ebola epidemic. But likely inside the United States by the sound of it.

Readers may recall that back in August I also talked about Dr. Alton and Nurse and their take on Ebola. From that post:

Joe Alton, M.D.- aka “Dr. Bones” of Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy/The Survival Medicine Handbook-fame- just wrote on the Doom and Bloom website on July 30 in “Ebola Update”:

I recommend stocking up on masks, gowns, eye protection, and gloves, and learn about how to have an effective survival sick room.

He added later in the comment section:

The best masks are N95 or N100, the N95 are more readily available and somewhat more breathable. Masks by themselves are not enough, though, some kind of eye protection and coveralls would be useful additions to your medical storage for pandemics.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Churcher also talked about Tess Pennington, publisher of the Ready Nutrition website and author of The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster. From the piece:

Former American Red Cross staffer and mother of three Tess Pennington says: ‘I was working at the Dallas chapter of the Red Cross on September 11, and having been through that and a Houston hurricane, ‘I firmly believe that every family should be prepared for disasters.

‘When Ebola started migrating to America, I bulked up on N100 respirator masks, which block out more particles than N95s, and also on latex gloves, which are the best for bodily fluids because they are non permeable.

‘I also have purchased DuPont Tychem suits – twelve suits for each of us: my husband, our 12 year old boy and our 10 year old and 9 year old girls.’

Things may be quiet right now in the U.S. as far as Ebola is concerned. But I suspect that’s only temporary based on the above projections.

It’s probably only a matter of time before the next Ebola case is discovered on our shores.

If readers were planning to prep for the virus, this lull in the action might be a good time to take care of that. Otherwise, should more cases start popping up in the U.S. again, you may have a hard time getting what you need.

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

Sources:

Mendoza, Martha. “Scientists Try To Predict Number Of US Cases.” Associated Press. 1 Nov. 2014. (http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_EBOLA_HOW_BAD_CAN_IT_GET?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-11-01-10-25-24). 13 Nov. 2014.

Chrucher, Sharon. “We are NOT nutty survivalists, says Ebola’s Dr Prepper: Medical ‘lunatics’ stocking up on Hazmat suits insist THEY are the only normal ones.” Daily Mail. 31 Oct. 2014. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2812488/We-NOT-nutty-survivalists-says-Ebola-s-Dr-Prepper-Medical-lunatics-stocking-Hazmat-suits-insist-normal-ones.html). 13 Nov.2014.

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REI Offering Beginner Wilderness Survival Class In NW Cook County On Nov. 30

Any Chicagoland blog readers looking to learn about basic wilderness survival? I came across the following on the REI website the other day:

REI Outdoor School

Wilderness Survival: 3-Season Skills

Description: Join REI Outdoor School for a wilderness survival class focusing on 3-season skills that could save your life. During this class you will learn practical tips and strategies that every outdoor traveler should know, including: emergency priorities; how to make an emergency shelter; how to locate and access drinking water; and how to make your own emergency kit with all the essentials. You will also participate in interactive scenarios to practice and hone your skills. This class is designed for anyone who spends time outdoors.

Skills you’ll learn: As a result of this class, participants will gain knowledge regarding

• Emergency Kits/Essentials
• Emergency Priorities
• Emergency Shelters
• Water location and procurement.

According to the website, the class is being offered on November 30, 2014, from 9 AM to 2 PM at Deer Grove Forest Preserve, Grove 5 (Palatine, Illinois, northwest Cook County). Activity level is “easy active,” skill level “beginner,” and minimum age to participate is 13. The cost for REI members is $65, non-members $85. The class size is 12, with 4 spots remaining as I type this. For more information, go to the class web page on the REI website here.

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

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Thursday, November 13th, 2014 Emergencies, Gear, Preparedness, Shelter, Supplies, Training, Water No Comments

BUDK.com 25% Off Sale

Just like I was saying yesterday in their review, BUDK.com- “Featuring the World’s Best Knife Prices”- is having another big promotion. From an e-mail I received this morning from the Moultrie, Georgia-based company:

Employee Discount
Everything! 25% Off Sitewide
Limited Time Offer
Online Only
Restrictions apply
$49 min order req
Enter Promo Code BKSAVE224 at checkout to receive this offer

Please note the following restrictions that were detailed in the e-mail:

Terms & Conditions: This offer expires November 13th, 2014 11:55PM EST and is valid on retail purchased only. To qualify you must purchase a minimum of $49.00 in merchandise. Oversize item shipping charges, non-continental USA delivery charges, and applicable taxes apply. This offer cannot be combined with other offers or discounts. This offer cannot be applied to previous purchases. Just enter promo code BKSAVE224 in your cart or in the check out process. *Offer Excludes the following brands: Lifestraw, Luna, Barnett, Crosman, Gamo, Tapco, 5.11, Sellmark, Blackhawk, Texsport, Cold Steel, Spyderco, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, M48 Gear, Kershaw Zero Tolerance, Dovo and Wise. International orders are not eligible for order or shipping promotions.

Interested? Click on the banner ad below to visit BUDK.com. Please note that by clicking on the ad and purchasing a product, I receive a commission from the sale. And remember to enter that promo code!


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

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Advertiser Spotlight: BUDK.com

I’d been wanting a certain kind of knife for self-defense in the event of any attempted break-in/home invasion at the new place in the Chicago suburbs (not that the neighborhood’s bad at all- but you just never know). I had certain requirements for that personal safety tool- short sword-like length, stabbing capability, good quality, full tang (knife is one solid piece and steel runs length of handle), and affordability (not too cheap as it’s my life/those of loved ones at stake here after all). Eventually, I found what I was looking for at BUDK.com. From the Moultrie, Georgia-based company’s website:

Established in 1989, BUDK Worldwide, Inc. offers you, our valued customer, the ultimate shopping experience. Situated on 10 acres in the community of Moultrie, Georgia, our 85,000 square foot facility serves as the home for customer service, fulfillment and the operations headquarters for The BUDK Catalog.

BUDK offers more than just an ordinary collectible. Our product line consists of thousands and thousands of swords, knives, medieval weaponry, fantasy collectibles, air guns, blow guns, stun guns, and much, much, more! Every BUDK product is backed by our iron clad 100% satisfaction guarantee! If for some reason you are not completely satisfied with an item you have ordered from BUDK you may return it (within 60 days of the purchase) for a refund or exchange.

Do not be fooled by cheap imitations. We are the real thing. We offer the hottest products and the lowest possible prices. If you find one of our products at a lower price, we will match it plus give you an additional 5% off! (Price Match does not apply to online advertisements and Wholesale Customers).

Billed as “featuring the World’s Best Knife Prices,” BUDK states on their website they’re able to achieve this feat because:

We purchase our inventory in large quantities and get discounted prices so we pass the price break through to our customers.

Now, regular readers of Survival And Prosperity might have noticed quite a few “Advertiser Specials” on the blog from these guys. That’s because they run so many darn promotions throughout the year. Lots of good deals to be had on BUDK.com. And don’t forget that price matching program to boot!

Most orders will ship from their warehouse the same day or next business day, and shipping charges for retail orders are very reasonable.

The Better Business Bureau has issued an “A+” rating for this company (BBB accredited since 2006).

At this point, some readers may be wondering what knife I purchased through BUDK.com. Here it is:


United Cutlery Honshu Tanto Knife
YouTube Video

For what I require, the 16 3/4″ overall length United Cutlery Honshu Tanto Knife with leather sheath ($36.99 @ BUDK.com) looks to fit the bill. More about the purchase in a future post.

Click on the banner ad below and see what BUDK.com can do for you. Please note that by clicking on the ad and purchasing a product, I receive a commission from the sale.


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

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Advertiser Spotlight: BulletSafe

“Body armor is not something a lot of people think of. Even people that carry guns, most of them don’t own or consider they need body armor…

But as violence gets worse, as the possibility of a gunfight gets closer and you hear about neighbors, people you know getting shot, you have a much better picture…

Just like your firearm or your fire extinguisher, body armor is the kind of ‘insurance’ you need to buy before you need it.”

-Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre, in a Surviving In Argentina blog post from October 28, 2008

When I think of quality body armor that’s available to the public, BulletSafe comes to mind. From the Troy, Michigan-based company’s website:

BulletSafe.com offers a great bulletproof vest at an unbelievable price.

BulletSafe.com was launched by the team at PriveCo Inc. and Tom Nardone, PriveCo’s CEO. Tom is a former military equipment Test Engineer with extensive experience testing the ballistics capabilities of mechanical components.

Mr. Nardone is taking the challenge of delivering great ballistics protection gear at an affordable price. He ensures that the products we sell are safe, meet the test standards, and are offered at a great price.

The flagship product of BulletSafe is a high-quality-yet-affordable bullet-resistant vest. From their website:

BulletSafe Bulletproof Vests - BulletSafe makes a great bulletproof vest at an unbelievable price. You can buy our vest right here. It offers NIJ Level IIIA protection for just $299. It’s a great vest too, with a large coverage area, plate pockets for ballistic plates, 6 sizes to fit almost everyone, and high-quality materials. Did we mention the unbelievable price? Just $299. Bulletsafe bulletproof vests are the first great, affordable bulletproof vests.

How do we make a great bullet resistant vest for such a low price? Simple, first we decided that we wanted to offer the best bulletproof vest for the price, anywhere. Then we designed the vest. We didn’t need to sacrifice protection or quality, we just had to limit the options available. Our vest is available in one style, six sizes, and you can order any color you want, as long as that color is black (Just like Henry Ford’s Model T). Our vest will meet the needs of lots of people, and our price is attractive to everyone.


“TheGunWriter.com Review: BulletSafe bulletproof vest”
YouTube Video

In addition to BulletSafe ballistic plates ($169 as I type this) that offer Level IV protection when used in conjunction with BulletSafe vests, there’s also the recently-introduced BulletSafe Bulletproof Backpack Panel. From the website:

This bulletproof backpack panel uses the same ballistic materials as our bulletproof vest. It can be used inside a backpack, briefcase, bug-out bag or even a purse. It provides NIJ level IIIA protection, which means it will stop almost all handgun rounds including a .44 Magnum.

The panel is 10 inches by 12 inches and weighs just 20 ounces (1.25 lbs).

Our panel is enclosed in a washable, 600 denier polyester carrier. This carrier provides a tough outer shell so that you don’t have to worry about carrying other items in your backpack. The BulletSafe bulletproof backpack panel is rugged enough for everyday use.

Originally, the BulletSafe Bulletproof Backpack Panel was designed by our company President for his children’s backpacks. Our company then launched a successful Indiegogo campaign and the public responded. People wanted the opportunity to buy a bulletproof panel at a reasonable price and our panel offered additional features (washability, durability) that help it survive in a kid’s backpack.


“The BulletSafe Bulletproof Backpack Panel”
(Warning: Hilarious kids)
YouTube Video

Your price for the backpack panel? Only $99 as I type this.

Did I mention BulletSafe offers free shipping at the present time for vests, ballistic plates, and backpacks with the free shipping code “safe”?

In addition, right now, receive a free gift (looks like a paracord bracelet on the website) with your BulletSafe order.

Click on the banner ad below and see what BulletSafe can do for you. Please note that by clicking on the ad and purchasing a product, I receive a commission from the sale.

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

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Advertiser Spotlight: CHIEF Supply

As I work hard to get caught-up on Survival And Prosperity, I’ll be publishing a number of “Advertiser Spotlight” posts on the blog this week. The following is the first of those.

I was first made aware of CHIEF Supply- a vendor of public safety equipment and apparel- back when I worked for a fire department in Chicago’s northwest suburbs. From the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company’s website:

Since 1977, CHIEF has served the Public Safety and Surveying industries with high-quality supplies spanning hundreds of the most respected manufacturers in the industry. In 1998, we expanded CHIEF to the Internet. Between our professional sales staff and CHIEFsupply.com, we continue to add the latest products, develop new services for public safety professionals, and aid the general public in personal protection and home and family safety. We’ve gotten this far by running our business on the belief that “quality” pertains as much to the way we treat you, our customer, as it does to our products and services. CHIEF is here to provide you with a wide selection of the highest quality products and deliver service that results in your satisfaction as our customer. We want you to turn to us when you need new gear for your public safety department, for yourself or for your family, and we want you to be glad to do business with CHIEF.

For a number of years, I was under the impression the CHIEF Supply catered only to public safety professionals. But as their website points out:

You can still order from us even if you’re not in the Public Safety industry. Of course, certain products require official authorization, but many of our products, such as flashlights, apparel, knives, multi-tools, etc. can be purchased by the general public.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

And man-oh-man do they carry a lot of products. According to their site, CHIEF has “over 55,000 high-quality supplies spanning over 375 of the industry’s most respected manufacturers.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Which helps explain why they’re a favorite vendor among a number of public safety agencies.

To help customers find exactly what they’re looking for, CHIEF makes a 375-page print catalog (Premier Product Guide) available for download by section or in its entirety on their website.

While CHIEF offers plenty of promotions year round, all orders with an order total (subtotal minus any discounts) of $99+ receive free shipping everyday as I type this!

It’s also good to note the Better Business Bureau has issued a “B” rating for the company.

One more thing- this morning I received the following e-mail from the folks at CHIEF about a Veterans Day Sale they’re having:

VETERANS DAY SALE
20% OFF
ORDERS OVER $89

Use Promotional Code OFF20VET in cart
*Maximum qualifying order size is $1000. Offer expires Tuesday, Nov 11 at 11:59pm EST. Current markdowns, additional discount codes and some brands excluded.

Click on the banner ad below and see what CHIEF Supply can do for you. Please note that by clicking on the ad and purchasing a product, I receive a commission from the sale.


CHIEF

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

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BUDK Has 30 Percent Off Sale Today

I received the following e-mail this morning about a one-day only 30 percent off sale from affiliate marketing partner BUDK (review still pending, but I have ordered from BUDK before and I would definitely do business with them again). From the Moultrie, Georgia-based vendor of knives, swords, gear, and more:

Christopher – Tick, Tock… It’s time to take advantage of this 30% Off Sale. We’ve got a ton of products sitting outside waiting to make room in our warehouse. So, let’s get some of it moving with this 30% OFF SALE! Save 30% On your purchase of $39 or more for a very short time! Don’t wait to order because this deal won’t last long! Time is running out! Just use the promo code above at checkout to receive your discount! *Exclusions Apply*

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Like I mentioned, the sale is just for today, Wednesday, September 24. And only online. A $39 minimum order is required. And the promo code BKSALE279 must be entered at checkout to receive the discount.

Check out the one-day event by clicking on the banner ad below. Please note that by purchasing a product after doing so, I receive a commission from that transaction.


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

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Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 Advertiser Specials, Gear, Knives, Self-Defense, Swords No Comments

Chicago-Area Firefighters Survive Hurricane Odile, Escape SHTF Aftermath

“What we went through this weekend, the way we had to get ourselves out, the looting, the vandalism- it was like something right out of a movie.”

-Jim Kotrba, Hoffman Estates Fire Department, in a September 18, 2014, Chicago Tribune article

October 2005. I was in my office at a fire department in the northwest suburbs of Chicago when a firefighter/paramedic by the name of “Mark” stopped by. He had just returned from his honeymoon in Cancún, Mexico- early. The well-known resort had just been pummeled by Hurricane Wilma. “Mark” and his new wife paid attention to the growing number of warnings about the incoming maelstrom, and decided to pack up and leave the popular tourist destination two (?) days before it struck. I remember him saying the airport was pretty much a ghost town despite the ominous weather forecasts. In case readers don’t remember Wilma, here’s what the couple missed. From The Independent (UK) website on October 23, 2005:

Hurricane Wilma pounded the beach resorts and fishing villages of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula yesterday, whipping up 120mph winds and creating a 10ft storm surge that sent sea water racing through the lower floors of some of Cancun’s most luxurious beachfront hotels…

Cancun’s beachfront hotel district, constructed on a narrow peninsula, was completely evacuated yesterday. But in the city itself, only a small number of residents and tourists – 50,000 or so out of a local population of 700,000 – left on buses before the storm arrived. The others, including an estimated 30,000 foreign visitors, huddled in shelters and downtown hotels, where food and drink was due to run out yesterday.

With electricity cut off in advance as a safety precaution, the shelters – mostly in schools, hotels and gymnasiums – were hot, sweaty and crowded. Scott Stout, an American spending part of his honeymoon on an indoor basketball court in Cancun beneath a leaky roof, told the Associated Press: “After one more day of this, I believe people will start getting cranky.”

Weather experts in Mexico and the US said that Wilma’s unexpectedly long sojourn over the Yucatan meant that in effect local people were undergoing several hurricanes, one after another…

Fast forward to 2014. And the last several days in particular. More members of the fire service from that neck of the woods went to Mexico for a wedding-related event, and also ended up the victims of bad timing. Unlike “Mark” however, these firefighters didn’t make it out of town before a different hurricane struck. Becky Schlikerman reported on the Chicago Sun-Times website on September 17:

A group of 16 northwest suburban firefighters are stuck in Mexico after a hurricane ravaged the resort area of Cabo San Lucas.

The group had traveled to a beautiful oceanfront resort for the destination wedding of longtime Hoffman Estates firefighter Tom Mangiameli. About 50 friends and relatives traveled abroad, according to Mangiameli’s sister-in-law, Sharen Mangiameli.

The wedding was to be Saturday, relatives said. On Sunday, Hurricane Odile made landfall as a monster Category 3 storm.

Since then, electrical and water services have been out.

Tom Mangiameli and his group are still at the Hotel Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas, said Sharen Mangiameli, 55, of Naperville.

“There’s no food, there’s no drinking water and there are looters coming into the hotel,” she said. “One of my nephews has been texting saying when they try to leave the hotel they’re being attacked by the locals who are looting.”

(Editor’s note: Bod added for emphasis)

Tourists and residents alike dealt with grave conditions in the aftermath of the hurricane. Pedro Juarez Mejia reported on the Agence France-Presse website on September 18:

Residents of Mexico’s Los Cabos resort armed themselves with guns and machetes in hurricane-battered neighborhoods to defend their homes from looters, as troops were deployed.

The government sent extra federal police and soldiers to the Baja California peninsula to counter widespread looting that erupted after Hurricane Odile tore down homes earlier this week…

Chaos took over this week as hundreds helped themselves to food, water, televisions and any goods they could grab in supermarkets and retail stores after Odile knocked out power and flattened homes.

But now residents fear their houses are next, amid reports of armed and masked gangs roaming neighborhoods.

Dressed in white and holding everything from bats to machetes, sticks and rocks, residents burned tires and wood…

Rodrigo Sanchez Villa, a lawyer for a hotel group, told local radio that masked gangs were pillaging shops, hotels and houses in Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.

“The situation appears to be getting worse all the time. A lack of security is being added to the problem of shortages of food and water and the lack of local authorities,” he said…

(Editor’s note: Bod added for emphasis)

Sound like it’s been a nightmare down there over the past week or so. Thankfully, this group of Chicago-area firefighters eventually escaped the carnage in Cabo San Lucas. John Keilman wrote on September 18 on the Chicago Tribune website:

One person in the wedding party found a transportation company that was willing to send six buses to the resort to ferry the group to the airport, Kotrba said. The buses arrived before dawn Thursday and parked away from the resort, while the group sneaked out of the lobby to avoid attention.

“There were hundreds of people in the lobby,” Kotrba said. “If the buses had been seen, there would have been a riot.”

And upon their return to the U.S., the firefighters’ tale of survival was being shared. Becky Schlikerman and Tina Sfondeles reported on the Chicago Sun-Times website on September 18:

Sandwiches were handed out, then they ran out. Generators kicked in, then died because of lack of fuel and flooding.

“We were at the point where we made rope from a life preserver that was out by the pool and basketball nets and we started to build a little system to lift buckets of water from the waste buckets to flush toilets,” [Daniel] Pearson, 43, of Carpentersville, said from a Phoenix airport Thursday night.

“We had no cellphone service, food and water,” Pearson said. “We did whatever we could make do with. I have no dignity left. I took a bath in a fountain.”

Pearson is a former U.S. Marine. He spent nine months fighting in the Gulf War. And he has fought fires for 18 years. But he wasn’t ready for this.

I was in survival mode. I don’t think I was scared. It just got to the point where we had 48 people. What am I supposed to do? When we have to cut off our ironing boards to make weapons because nobody really cared about our safety?

(Editor’s notes: Bold added for emphasis. And I think that last line should have read “What am I supposed to do when we have to cut off our ironing boards to make weapons because nobody really cared about our safety?)

In addition to using iron boards to defend themselves, that Keilman piece noted the firefighters set up their own security system, with some men sleeping in the hallway outside their rooms and confronting anyone who walked through.

All this reminds me of something the English naturalist and geologist Charles Darwin once said about survival:

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.

I’m grateful these firefighters and the rest of their party made it back to the United States safely. And I wish all the best to the newlyweds.

After learning about their harrowing experience, I’m thinking it’s probably not a bad idea for overseas travelers to bring/put together a small emergency kit if/when it makes sense, adding emergency supplies in the event of some looming threat.

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

Sources:

Gumbel, Andrew. “Hour after hour, Hurricane Wilma batters Cancun.” The Independent. 23 Oct. 2005. (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/hour-after-hour-hurricane-wilma-batters-cancun-512143.html). 21 Sep. 2014.

Schlikerman, Becky, “16 suburban firefighters stranded in Mexico after hurricane.” Chicago Sun-Times. 17 Sep. 2014. (http://www.suntimes.com/29951882-761/16-suburban-firefighters-stranded-in-mexico-after-hurricane.html#.VB83fZV0zIV). 21 Sep. 2014.

Juarez Mejia, Pedro. “Residents grab guns to deter looters in Mexico resort.” Agence France-Presse. 18 Sep. 2014. (http://news.yahoo.com/residents-grab-guns-deter-looters-mexico-resort-230317288.html). 21 Sep. 2014.

Keilman, John. “16 firefighters returning from Mexico after being stranded by hurricane.” Chicago Tribune. 18 Sep. 2014. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/schaumburg-hoffman-estates/chi-16-hoffman-estates-firefighters-stranded-at-mexican-resort-20140918-story.html). 21 Sep. 2014.

Schlikerman, Becky and Sfondeles, Tina. “Firefighter recounts harrowing aftermath of hurricane in Mexico.” Chicago Sun-Times. 18 Sep. 2014. (http://www.suntimes.com/news/29970010-418/firefighter-recounts-harrowing-aftermath-of-hurricane-in-mexico.html#.VBxvp5V0zIU]). 21 Sep. 2014.

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Riot-Inspired Purchases During The Ferguson And 2011 England Unrest

It’s interesting- at least, for me- to see what sort of gear, supplies, and tools are being acquired while the protests continue in Ferguson, Missouri, for another night. Yesterday, Kerry Picket reported on Breitbart.com:

The use of tear gas by Missouri law enforcement has caused a run on gas masks in the St. Louis area. Local residents, reporters, and video production crews are making last minute calls to places like Uncle Sam’s military surplus only to find out that gas masks, gas mask filters, and bullet proof vests are all sold out

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Picket added later in the piece that ear plugs, “bullet proof chest plates” for vests, and tactical vests are in demand as well.

The civil unrest looks to be spurring sales of certain personal safety products on Amazon.com as well. Charlie Spiering reported on the Breitbart website this morning:

As protests continue in Ferguson, Missouri, gas mask sales are skyrocketing at Amazon.com. Sales of the online retailer’s most popular gas mask model have risen 434 percent in the past 24 hours…

Another popular gas mask sold on Amazon, the Israeli Civilian Gas Mask, has rocketed up the sales charts by 250 percent…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

As I type this, that “most popular gas mask model”- the NBC 40mm NATO SGE 400/3 Anti-Riot Military Gas Mask Made In The USA- is running low (only 16 units left in stock), while sales are still up 63 percent over the past 24 hours.

As for the other popular gas mask- the Israeli Civilian Gas Mask with NBC NATO Filter and Drinking Hydration Tube- that’s also still up 58 percent.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Civilian Gas Mask w/ Nato Filter (no drinking hydration tube) has jumped ahead of the other two, racking up a 128 percent increase in sales over the past day last time I looked.

Compare all this to what the English were buying during their 2011 bout with civil strife. I blogged back on August 12, 2011:

Apparently, pots, pans, and rubber hoses just aren’t cutting it for some Brits on the front lines of the rioting and looting. Reuters’ Rosalba O’Brien reported yesterday:

Sales of baseball bats and batons have shot up more than 5,000 percent in the last 24 hours on Amazon’s British website, as London suffered its worst violent unrest in decades.

Seven of the top 10 ‘movers and shakers’ in Amazon’s sports and leisure list were baseball bats of various kinds, their sales since Monday rising between 1,756 percent and 5,149 percent.

A “military police telescopic baton”, described by the manufacturer as useful for “effective self-defence with extra reach”, was the 110th best selling item among Amazon’s sports and leisure customers, up from a ranking of 5,622 just 24 hours ago. Actual sale number of the items are not given.

A look at the Amazon UK site right now shows that the top “mover and shaker” in the “Sports & Leisure” category is a folding shovel by Gelert. This forged steel shovel has a serrated edge for sawing- or for seriously ruining the day of some threatening rioter/looter.

In the past twenty-four hours, the sales rank of this folding shovel has skyrocketed 283,300 percent from 2,834 to number one in the sports and leisure category.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

283,300 percent? While this Gelert folding shovel is still available on the Amazon UK site, I couldn’t find it on the U.S. counterpart. The closest folding shovel I saw on our Amazon looked to be the Wenzel Tri-Fold Shovel- although Amazon customers are raving about the similar-in-function US Military Original Issue E-Tool Entrenching Shovel.

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

Sources:

Picket, Kerry. “Run On Gas Masks In Ferguson.” Breitbart.com. 18 Aug.2014. (http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/08/18/Run-On-Gas-Masks-In-Ferguson). 19 Aug. 2014.

Spiering, Charlie. “Popular Gas Mask Sales Up 434 Percent On Amazon.” Breitbart.com. 19 Aug. 2014. (http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/08/19/Popular-Gas-Mask-Sales-Up-434-Percent-On-Amazon). 19 Aug. 2014.

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Proposed National ‘Enhanced’ Body Armor Ban Details

Speaking of body armor tonight, have you heard of the federal legislation that’s been proposed by a California Democratic Congressman to ban Americans not in the military or law enforcement from selling, purchasing, using, and possessing such personal protective gear? From the website of U.S. Representative Mike Honda (D-CA, 17th District):

Responsible Body Armor Possession Act Keeps Military Armor out of the Wrong Hands

Congressman Honda’s act bans the sale and possession of new enhanced body armor

Jul 31, 2014 Press Release

Washington, DC- Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA17) today introduced the Responsible Body Armor Possession Act of 2014, which allows law enforcement to respond to active shooters more effectively. It accomplishes this by prohibiting the sale, purchase, use, or possession of enhanced military-grade body armor by anyone who is not a member of law enforcement, active duty military, or other authorized users.

“There is no reason this type of armor, which is designed for warfare, should be available in our communities except for those who need it, like law enforcement,” Congressman Honda said. “There’s nothing more dangerous than what a well-armored, unstoppable active shooter can do. This bill is common-sense and long overdue.”

The U.S. News & World Report website highlighted the finer points of the proposed “enhanced” body armor ban. Steven Nelson reported August 8:

Honda’s “Responsible Body Armor Possession Act,” introduced July 31, would prohibit civilians from buying or owning armor – including vests, shields, helmets and other items – rated Type III or higher on the National Institute of Justice’s penetration resistance scale…

Weaker armor rated Type I or Type II would remain available to the public if the legislation becomes law. However, many bullet-resistant items on the market now, such as bulletproof backpacks for school children, are rated Type III and would therefore be banned.

The ban would not apply to body armor already in private hands, but Honda says law enforcement might want to encourage people to turn in the items anyhow. “If there are records of sales [law enforcement] could track those down,” he says…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I’m not so sure this bill has got much mileage.

While those who support it may think doing so will create or enhance a “tough on crime” image, constituents may instead interpret this proposed ban as what some are claiming is yet another attempt by those in Washington to reduce the American citizenry into unarmed, now unprotected sheep ready to be led to the slaughterhouse if it comes to that.

“Oh, behaaave!”

Anyway, below is a copy of the legislation:

Body Armor Ban Bill


H.R.5344, Responsible Body Armor Possession Act of 2014
Scribd File

You can track the progress of the proposed “enhanced” body armor ban legislation over on Congress.gov here.

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

Source:

Nelson, Steven. “Congressman Guns for High-Performance Body Armor Ban.” U.S. News & World Report. 8 Aug. 2014. (http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/08/08/congressman-guns-for-high-performance-body-armor-ban). 12 Aug. 2014.

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Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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