Shelter

Polls Show Americans More Optimistic On Economy

Despite the significant financial challenges this country faces, a number of Americans seem to be more optimistic about the economy going forward. Jeffry Bartash reported on the MarketWatch website yesterday:

Even though U.S. growth slowed sharply in the first quarter, Americans are more optimistic about the economy now than at any time since President Obama took over the White House in January 2009.

A new CNN poll shows that 52% of Americans view the economy as “very” or “somewhat” good vs. 48% who call it “poor” or “somewhat poor.”

It’s only the second time a majority have expressed a positive view during the Obama presidency — the first time was in December — and it is the highest reading in almost eight years. The last time Americans were as optimistic was in September 2007

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

In addition to that CNN poll, a recent Bloomberg Politics poll suggests the American public is more positive about the economy and how Barack Obama and the Democrats are handling it. Margaret Talev wrote on the Bloomberg website last week:

Hillary Clinton’s presidential hopes may be buoyed by a more optimistic feeling about President Barack Obama and the economy seen in a new Bloomberg Politics poll.

Americans are becoming more optimistic about the country’s economic prospects by several different measures. President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy is being seen more positively than negatively for the first time in more than five years, 49 percent to 46 percent—his best number in this poll since September 2009

Thirty-four percent said the national economy will become stronger over the next year, while just 21 percent said it will get worse and 44 percent predicted the status quo. That’s up from last June, when 30 percent said things were getting better…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Finally, Myles Udland noted in an April 17 piece on the Business Insider website:

Consumer confidence is soaring.

The preliminary reading on consumer confidence from the University of Michigan came in at 95.9, topping expectations for a reading of 94.0.

This is the second highest reading since 2007…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)


National Recovery Administration, The Road Is Open Again (1933)
YouTube Video

I’m not sure where all this optimism is coming from. After all, the nation’s economic woes which reared its ugly head by the fall of 2008 have merely been papered over and kicked down the road a few years.

Meanwhile, the Fed depleted plenty of ammunition (see “About” page Fed charts) keeping the whole setup afloat.

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s probably not a bad idea to take advantage of this upsurge in confidence to try and improve one’s resilience to a financial crash I still see coming.

Each person’s circumstances are different. But I, for one, have been focusing on meeting those six “innate survival needs” from my “Project Prepper” series of posts- among other things like increasing income. To recap, those “needs” are:

• Security
• Water
• Food
• Shelter
• Sanitation and Health
• Energy

In order of priority- for me.

Hopefully, these can be taken care of before the “balloon goes up.”

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

Sources:

Bartash, Jeffry. “American optimism about economy highest since Obama became president.” MarketWatch. 21 Apr. 2015. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/american-optimism-about-economy-highest-since-obama-became-president-2015-04-21). 22 Apr. 2015.

Talev, Margaret. “Bloomberg Politics National Poll Finds Improving Economic Mood.” Bloomberg.com. 16 Apr. 2015. (http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-04-16/bloomberg-politics-national-poll-finds-improving-economic-mood). 22 Apr. 2015.

Udland, Myles. “Consumer confidence soars to second-highest level since 2007.” Business Insider. 17 Apr. 2015. (http://www.businessinsider.com/university-of-michigan-consumer-confidence-2015-4). 22 Apr. 2015.

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April Is Pet Preparedness Month In Illinois

My girlfriend is lucky enough to have an office dog. Meet “Kodi”:

Kodi

Even though we’re not her owners, we’re still planning to sock away some food and other items for her in case of an emergency or “ruff” times.

Illinois readers- did you know April is Pet Preparedness Month in Illinois?

From the Illinois Government News Network website on April 1:

Don’t Forget Pets When Planning for Disasters

IEMA, local emergency management agencies to focus on pet preparedness throughout April

SPRINGFIELD – Pets are treasured family members in more than half of Illinois households. If your family includes a dog, cat, hamster or other furry, feathered or scaly friends, don’t forget to include their unique needs in your home emergency plans.

That’s the message the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies will promote throughout April as part of Pet Preparedness Month in Illinois.

“Every home should have an emergency supply kit and plans for how to stay safe when disaster strikes,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “Make sure your kit and emergency plans address the needs of every family member, including your pets. Your preparedness efforts today can help keep everyone in your family, including your pets, safe when disaster strikes.”

Joseph said home emergency supply kits for people should include a three-day supply of such items as food, water, first aid kit, weather alert radio, flashlights, spare batteries and other items. Pet owners should also have a pet preparedness kit stocked with items such as:

• At least a three-day supply of food and water
• Extra supplies of pet medicines
• Copies of pet registration, vaccinations and other important documents
• Photo of your pet in case you are separated during an emergency
• Collar with ID tag, harness or leash
• Crate or other pet carrier in case of evacuation
• Pet litter and box, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach for sanitation
• Toys, treats or other familiar items to reduce your pet’s stress during the emergency

If it’s necessary for you to evacuate your home during a disaster, take your pets with you. An evacuation could last several days, even weeks, and your pets likely cannot survive without care. Plan now for places you and your pets can stay following an evacuation, as many public shelters do not allow animals inside.

It’s also important to have a back-up emergency plan in case you can’t care for your animals yourself. Talk to neighbors, friends and family to make sure someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so.

Additional pet preparedness and general emergency preparedness information is available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov, the Ready Illinois Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ReadyIllinois and on Twitter at Twitter.com/ReadyIllinois.

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

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Chicago School Of Wilderness Skills Offering Many Survival-Related Training Classes In April

There’s a large number of survival-related training opportunities scheduled this month at the Chicago School Of Wilderness Skills (first blogged about here). From the school’s “Calendar Of Events” page:

flint knapping workshop
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
6:30pm- 8:30pm
monthly flint knapping , stone tools and weapons construction, with Al Eastman. at the american indian center , class cost 35$ includes materials . contact us to reserve a spot.

rope work, climbing, and repeling
Saturday, April 4, 2015
1:00pm- 4:00pm
rope work climbing and repeling workshop with vince hawkins, price and location to be announced.

shelter building
Saturday, April 11, 2015
1:00pm- 5:00pm
shelter building with robert reed , class cost and location to be announced

Foraging Tour
Friday, April 24, 2015
8:00am- 8:00pm
A full day out of the city foraging in the driftless area with Chris Mayor, cost 40$
location: to be disclosed

Wilderness Survival 101
Saturday, April 25, 2015
1:00pm- 4:00pm
The wilderness survival basics course teaches you the necessary tools and skills needed to get by in the unforeseeable event of a wilderness emergency. By the end of this course you will know what tools and equipment you should never leave your home without, how to prioritize what actions you take to not die in a wilderness survival situation, how to build a survival shelter with nothing more than what will fit into your pocket and much more. Every year hundreds of people die in the wilderness because they don’t know these skills. Don’t become part of that static. Be prepared to survive.

Skills to be covered:
Different types of survival kits and equipment
Wilderness survival priorities
Fire craft 101
Basic shelter construction
Water procurement
$30 per person

Wild foods preperation and cooking
Saturday, April 25, 2015
6:30pm- 8:30pm
byob dinner, plant identification , and cooking class featuring all foraged ingredients , paleo friendly, taught by chris mayor 40$ at the american indian center of chicago, contact us to reserve a spot.

For more information and/or to sign up for the above instruction, head on over to the Chicago School Of Wilderness Skills website here.

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

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Chicago School Of Wilderness Skills Offering Survival Basics, Fire Building Classes On February 28

Chicago-area blog readers may have noticed local content has been somewhat heavy on nearby survival-related training opportunities lately.

I hope you’ve enjoyed finding out about them as much as I have.

Back on January 9, I blogged about Chris Mayor and the Chicago School Of Wilderness Skills, and some instruction they were scheduled to provide earlier this month. Looking at the school’s “Calendar Of Events” page last week, I noticed two classes being offered on the last day February. From the calendar:

survival basics

Saturday, February 28, 2015
11:30am-1:30pm

introduction on the essentials: fire, water, shelter, and food. How to plan a successful trip. We’ll also discuss gear and getting properly outfitted for deep woods camping. class cost 25$

we’re meeting at 10:00 am at the heartland cafe and traveling to our destination. contact us to reserve a spot

In addition to basic survival training, the school will be offering instruction on a potentially life-saving skill particularly for this time of year in this part of the country. Also from the calendar:

fire building

Saturday, February 28, 2015
2:00pm-4:00pm

In this class students will learn a variety of ways to start a fire in a survival or wilderness setting,

the class will cover making charcloth and punkwood and how to use them in combination with a flint and steel. we’ll discuss gathering fatwood , identifying various stones that spark when stuck with steel, proper safety, and what to do in worst case situations. location to be disclosed students should bring an altoids tin as well as a piece of cotton fabric or denim. class cost 25$ contact us to reserve a spot

Looking at Dabble.co (not .com), where information about the school’s classes can also be found, it shows only 8 spots left for Survival Basics and 6 places available for Fire Building as I type this.

In early March, I see a Flint Knapping workshop and Field First Aid class on the calendar. Lots of interesting and useful instruction coming out of the Chicago School Of Wilderness Skills these days, which you can learn more about on their website here.

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

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C.U.M.A. Survival School Offering Civil Unrest/Bug Out/Cold Weather Survival Training In Glenview, Illinois, This February

Here’s the latest survival training being offered by Waysun Johnny Tsai and the Chicago, Illinois-based C.U.M.A. Survival School (first blogged about here in April 2014). From the school’s Facebook page in a January 31 post:

NEXT C.U.M.A. SURVIVAL SCHOOL Civil Unrest/ Bug Out/ Cold weather Survival

This class will cover:

Home Prep
Home Defense
The Bug In
The Bug Out Vehicle
The Bug Out
Basic Wilderness Survival Skills
C.U.M.A. COMBATIVES Street Defense

WHEN: Sunday Feb 22nd, 2015

TIME: 10:00AM CST-4:00PM CST

WHERE: OFF THE X-TRAINING CONCEPTS CENTER
4350 Di Paolo Center, Suite H, Glenview, Illinois 60025
AND FOREST PRESERVE in Des Plaines, Illinois… Entrance to be disclosed after you register.

COST: $150.00 (New Students /$75.00 C.U.M.A. SURVIVAL Alumni)

This is a CLOSED DOOR CLASS.

Students MUST Pre-Register / Pre-Pay to attend this class:

Via PAYPAL: Send payment to sifujohnnytsai@gmail.com

By attending this class you agree to having your picture taken/ be video taped in class and allow us to use such materials for marketing purposes.

To reach me call: 773-227-1888 or email sifujohnnytsai@gmail.com

For more information about C.U.M.A. Survival School, you can visit their website here.

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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REI Offering Wilderness Survival Winter Skills Class In Chicago’s South Suburbs On Dec. 28

REI is offering wilderness survival winter skills instruction in the Chicago area at the end of this month. From the REI website:

Wilderness Survival: Winter Skills

Date: 12/28/2014
Event Location: Palos Forest Preserve – Bull Frog Lake
Member: $65.00
Non Member: $85.00
Time: 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM CST
Leader: REI Outdoor School Instructor
Group Size: 10

Description: Join REI Outdoor School for a wilderness self-reliance class that could save your life. During this class you will learn practical tips and strategies that every outdoor traveler should know including winter emergency priorities, how to make an emergency shelter, 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 during the winter.

Skills you’ll learn:

As a result of this class, participants will gain knowledge regarding

• Winter Emergency Kits/Essentials
• Winter Emergency Priorities
• Winter Emergency Shelters

Bull Frog Lake is part of the Palos Forest Preserve, Forest Preserve District of Cook County. Please note there are 8 spots left (of 10 allotted) as I type this, so if you’re interested in taking this wilderness survival winter skills course, head on over to the class web page on the REI website here.

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

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Sunday, December 14th, 2014 Emergencies, Preparedness, Shelter, Training No Comments

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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Disaster Retreat: A ‘Prepped Community’ In Central Virginia

Back on November 13, I blogged about how the 5,000-person Vivos Survival Shelter & Resort that was to be constructed in an existing below-ground complex just outside of Atchison, Kansas, had been cancelled. I wrote:

Too bad the project didn’t pan out. I’ll have to check around and see if a similar affordable private underground shelter isn’t in the works someplace else in the United States.

Well, I did check around, and wasn’t able to find another private underground survival shelter of that size in the works. However, I did stumble on a related project out in central Virginia the other day that caught my attention.

Enter Disaster Retreat. From the website’s FAQ page:

WHAT IS DISASTER RETREAT?

Disaster Retreat is a 160+ acre former private hunting reserve. Now offered as a rural retreat in times of crisis.

Disaster Retreat is a “Prepped Community”. We do the upkeep and tenants have the security of knowing they have a place prepared. Tenants also have greater privacy by not attaching their own names to any government documents.

Disaster Retreat is NOT a vacation home, rather it is an active insurance against disaster. Tenants pay a monthly fee and to lease space and have supplies “Prepped” for the tenants arrival.

A place that will actually PROTECT your Family! An investment that will provide shelter and security for your family, even in the most tumultuous of times.

WHAT DOES DISASTER RETREAT OFFER?

Disaster Retreat offers leases on 1/4 acre and up parcels of land. The tenants are highly encouraged to install their own private underground bunkers. As part of the lease, Disaster Retreat provides all emergency food and water supplies for the tenants.

Our onsite caretaker will rotate these supplies for each individual tenant and ensure all bunkers are in good working order. The objective is to have everything ready at all times.

FOOD AND SHELTER: Sleep well knowing, that no matter what the emergency, you have a home consisting of your private shelter waiting for you and ready. Meals for you and your family can be included in your lease and the stock can be monitored and refreshed, as needed, by our staff.

WATER AND POWER: If you choose Off-the-Grid water and power, you are guaranteed that you and your loved ones will always have the things they need. Our staff will also rotate and refresh your unit’s internal water storage, as needed.

SAFETY AND SECURITY: Disaster Retreat provides you the opportunity to “Bug Out” and retreat to a safe location, complete with your own personal space and all of the necessities of modern living. As we all hope for the best, YOU will be prepared for the worst… from Natural Disasters, Man-Made Acts of Aggression to Nuclear War.

You Can Now Own an Underground Bunker, the Zenith of Emergency Preparedness!

Here is the land, now is the time! Disaster Retreat is giving you the ability to lease your own wooded acreage, with the explicit permission to install your very own Underground Bunker or Fallout Shelter, without you having to take care of it all! Who has the time for that, as time is money. Best of all it is only a short trip from your home now!

We have even negotiated special pricing on behalf of our tenants, with Ultimate Bunker, a premier bunker manufacturer, specializing in family and luxury bunkers…


“Disaster Retreat, Your Prepper Community.”
YouTube Video

There’s quite a bit more information about the “crisis retreat” on that FAQ page, including:

HOW DO I GET TO DISASTER RETREAT?

Disaster Retreat is within driving distance of Northern VA, Washington DC and Raleigh NC. We also offer a private landing strip and Helipad.

WHAT DOES IT COST?

Our pricing is very simple. It starts at $997 per 1⁄4 acre for standard-sized lots. However, the member can chose premium lots or multiple lots in order to meet their individual needs…

WHAT IS INCLUDED WITH A LEASE?

All of the specifics are spelled out in our lease agreement but the basics are the following:

– A 10 year lease to place an underground bunker.
– Maintenance of lease area so that it is ready for you 24/7.
– As much or as little support as you want setting up at the beginning.
– $400 worth of shelf-life food for your initial food stock.
– Year round running streams.
– Confidentiality.
– Pre-event security.
– Private emergency grass landing strip and helipad.
– Shelter maintenance per manufacturer’s recommendations if desired.
– Many other services can be added to the lease agreement to meet individual desires.

Sounds promising. I wonder if someone would build anything like that out in my neck of the woods (Chicagoland)?

For more information, visit the Disaster Retreat website here.

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

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World’s Largest Private Underground Shelter Project Cancelled

There’s been more talk than usual in the news about underground survival shelters due to a recent Wall Street Journal article featuring luxury survival condo builder Larry Hall of Doomsday Preppers-fame (blogged about here in March 2012). Headlining that November 9 piece:

“Affluent buyers worried about doomsday are snapping up well-appointed bunkers built in a former missile silo”

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know the wealthy have been acquiring survival shelters for a number of years now.

But what about those who would like the perceived safety of a bunker but don’t have the financial resources to acquire one? Well, they may have been consoled knowing there were plans for a more affordable 5,000-person Vivos Survival Shelter & Resort (wrote about in June 2013) to be built in an existing below-ground complex just south of Atchison, Kansas. Encompassing over 2 million square feet, it was billed as the world’s largest private underground survival shelter. But checking on the status of the project today, I read the following on the website of Del Mar, California-based Vivos Group:

Vivos has reluctantly decided to pull the plug on the Atchison, KS project for use as an underground survival shelter from our expanding network. Despite our significant investment of time and expense for the intended retrofit and outfitting of the cave system, numerous concerns arose related to the geological stability and safety of the cave structure that we believe may compromise its ability to withstand the anticipated forces of future catastrophic or earth changing events. These are risks we simply cannot take with potentially so many lives at stake.

Our concerns included many issues from a history of previous ‘domeout’ cave collapses, with the potential for unforeseeable and unpredictable future cave-ins; controlling the ongoing humidity and temperature extremes; to a variety of health and environmental concerns expressed by our members and crew who visited the facility with no clear means of mitigation.

We hope to soon be able to offer another shelter within this geographic region of America. In the meantime, please contact us about other immediate Vivos shelter opportunities.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)


“World’s largest doomsday shelter coming to Kansas”
YouTube Video

Too bad the project didn’t pan out. I’ll have to check around and see if a similar affordable private underground shelter isn’t in the works someplace else in the United States.

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

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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

Project Prepper, Part 24: Restart And Recap

It’s been a few months since I last published a “Project Prepper” post.

Considering all the material I have that’s just waiting to be blogged about, I don’t envision another layoff like that one happening again soon with this or one of the other series of posts currently running on Survival And Prosperity.

Today, I want to recap the “Project Prepper” series so far.

At two dozen posts, key topics I’ve blogged about since October 2012- when the first post debuted- have included:

• Starting up the “Project Prepper” series due to an increased awareness of man-made and naturally-occurring threats to life and lifestyle where I’ve decided to acquaint myself more with “prepping” via a sustained “hands-on” program of learning by doing

• Relocating from Chicago to the suburbs with an eye towards eventually settling down in Wisconsin (moved from Chicago to the northwest suburbs in late spring 2013)

• Establishing a prioritized list of 6 “innate survival needs” that my preparedness education will focus on:

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

• Starting and building the foundation of an emergency water supply

• Starting an emergency food supply

Now, in these two dozen posts I’ve talked about items I’ve purchased as part of the “Project Prepper” series. For example, the Scepter 5 Gallon Manual Venting Water Jerry Can with CRC (Light Blue/Military Style) to store emergency water.

Going forward, I’m adding a new page to Survival And Prosperity this weekend entitled “Gear And Supplies” where I’ll be listing gear, supplies, and other items talked about in this series of posts and elsewhere on the blog- and links for where to buy them- if I feel they might offer something to readers.

It’s nice to be back in the saddle again. Until next week…

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

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Free Online Survival Training Summit Starts January 20

Speaking of survival instruction tonight, what do you have planned next week? You see, I got an e-mail last week from someone involved with The Survival Summit, billed as a “FREE, five-day, online training summit where 25 of the world’s most sought-after experts on Survival and Self Reliance will be teaching online classes.” The online event is scheduled to take place starting next Monday, January 20, and continues until January 26. From the Summit’s website:

Join Us For The SURVIVAL Summit?

January 20-26th, 2014

This January, the founders of The Prepper Project will be hosting an exclusive online event that we’re calling ‘The Survival Summit’:

It’s going to be a FREE, five-day, online training summit where 25 of the world’s most sought-after experts on Survival and Self Reliance will be teaching online classes, giving you 5 solid days and over 24 hours of training and strategies with the single focus of keeping your family alive, safe, and fed during a triggered societal collapse.

Topics we’ll be covering during this 5-day event will include:

• How to develop a STRONG ‘Protection Triad’ with detailed Property Security & Threat Planning… Water, Energy, & Fuel Systems… and Self-Reliant Food Production & Storage.
• How to grow your own food supply, without fertilizers, pesticides, or even irrigation. Even if you live in an arid climate.
• How to spot the ideal homestead or survival retreat locations.
• Building concepts for hiding your home in the wilderness.
• Blueprints for setting up your property with its own off-grid water and energy supply.
• Trapping secrets for protecting crops like corn from being stolen by Raccoons, or potatoes from being ravaged by voles.
• How to feed & clothe your family by trapping like the settlers.
• How to protect your loved ones in a world where the police are no longer coming to your rescue.
• Different strategies for defending a suburban versus rural home or property from looters or armed gangs.
• How to fortify your home from being breached. And the skills you need to know to escape from an unlawful restraint or kidnapping.
• Off-grid medical techniques, herbal remedies for fighting potential flu pandemics, how to legally create your own renewable fuels, and much, much more.

And that’s really just the beginning!

Sign up to attend The Survival Summit that kicks off on Monday, January 20th by entering your email address in the form below now, and we’ll send you more details about our speaker lineup in the weeks ahead.

Again, this event is completely FREE to attend!

And you can watch all 25 of the presenters completely online from your home computer, provided you have a secure high speed Internet connection.

So there’s no traveling to a central location; your privacy and identity remain protected.

But again, we want to emphasize, only those who register in advance by entering their names and emails addresses will be told how and where to attend this event.

We won’t be publicly broadcasting these details across the Internet.

So if you know of someone who could benefit from joining this conversation with us, please direct them to this page to register as well.

We Hope You’ll Join Us For The Week of January 20th.


“The Survival Summit”
YouTube Video

I took a quick look at the list of preparedness-related experts booked for the Summit. I’m familiar with the work of a number of them, and I’m impressed they’ll be a part of this project. So much so I might have to schedule my blogging and other activities around viewing the Summit presentations next week.

Now, if you’re like me, when someone uses the word “free” in a pitch, a red flag is raised. How can all this online instruction be free? From the website’s FAQ page:

Each day, a couple of presentations will be posted on the summit website and will be available during the day for people to watch absolutely free. It’s much like if you were attending a regular convention. After the day is over the presentations will no longer be available to watch for free but will be available for purchase as part of the summit upgrade package.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

A summit upgrade package. That’s how The Survival Summit can offer this material for free.

If the “online classes” are as good as I and others hope they are (which wouldn’t be much of a stretch consider the experts involved in the Summit), I can see those packages selling rather well as a resource to refer back to down the road.

Next Monday, January 20, The Survival Summit begins. Register now to book a place at this special online event.

Click on the following banner ad to go to the Summit’s website. If you register for the event via this link and eventually purchase a summit upgrade package, I receive a commission from the sale.

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

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In Print: SAS Survival Handbook

I can’t believe it’s been almost two-and-a-half years since I last published a book review post.

Where does the time go, right?

Now, I recently got the chance to read John “Lofty” Wiseman’s SAS Survival Handbook. I picked this book to restart my “In Print” series because I’m in the process of adding survival-related texts to my home library. Prior to this purchase, the closest thing I had to it subject-wise was my trusty old Official Boy Scout Handbook from 1983.

There are a number of survival manuals out there, including the U.S. Army Survival Handbook, the U.S. Air Force Survival Handbook, and others. There were some pretty impressive reviews floating around out there on this SAS book, so I decided to pick up the 2009 revised edition of the text. From the back cover:

FOR ANY CLIMATE, IN ANY SITUATION

Newly updated to reflect the latest in survival knowledge and technology, the internationally bestselling SAS Survival Handbook is the definitive resource for all campers, hikers, and outdoor adventurers. From basic campcraft and navigation to fear management and strategies for coping with any type of disaster, this complete course includes:

BEING PREPARED: Understanding basic survival needs and preparing essentials, such as a pocket survival kit.

MAKING CAMP: Finding the best location, constructing the appropriate shelter, organizing camp, and creating tools.

FOOD: What to eat, what to avoid, where to find it, and how to prepare it.

FIRST AID: A comprehensive course in emergency/wilderness medicine, including how to maximize survival in any climate or when injured.

DISASTER SURVIVAL: How to react in the face of increasingly frequent natural disasters and hostile situations—and how to survive at home if all services and supplies are cut off.

So who is John “Lofty” Wiseman? According to the back cover:

Wiseman served in the British Special Air Service (SAS) for twenty-six years. The SAS Survival Handbook is based on the training techniques of this world-famous elite fighting force.

A clearer picture of who the author is and what kind of survival knowledge he brings to the table with him in this handbook is found on the website of the Trueways Survival School, with whom Wiseman is an instructor. From that site:

John “Lofty” Wiseman joined the Parachute Regiment in 1958. He applied for service with the Special Air Service Regiment in 1959 and set a record as the youngest person ever to pass selection at the age of 18. John served with 22 SAS for 26 years (and, as he likes to point out, 55 days)! He saw active service worldwide, in every theatre of operations and special operations required of the British Army between 1959 and 1985. Amongst other things, John was Sergeant Major, B Squadron (Sabre Sqn) 22 SAS, Sergeant Major 22 SAS Training Wing, Head of Operational Research 22 SAS, set up the SP Team (Counter Hi-Jack), set up the SAS Counter-Terrorist Team (you know…those chaps who ended the Iranian Embassy siege) and trained the first members of the US Green Berets to return to the USA to form the famous Delta Force (US Special Forces). John also ran the famed SAS Selection Course, deciding who was fit to join the Regiment. By the time he retired from active service in 1985, he was held in such high esteem that it could be said of him, to directly quote the Commanding Officer of 22 SAS at the time, “Lofty is a legend in this Regiment”.

In addition, John ran the Survival Training School for 22 SAS at Hereford, specialising in all aspects of survival training (land, sea, jungle, desert, arctic, mountains – wherever a special forces soldier or civilian might find themselves). After retiring from 22 Special Air Service Regiment, John set up the Survival School at Hereford. John has trained survival instructors and consultants, expedition members, overseas survival training specialists, military and civilian.

Really impressive stuff.

Onto the 576-page book. It’s broken down into the following chapters:

Introduction
1. Essentials
2. Strategy
3. Climate & Terrain
4. Food
5. Camp Craft
6. Reading The Signs
7. On The Move
8. Health
9. Survival At Sea
10. Rescue
11. Disasters
Postscript
Index

In the introduction, Wiseman lays out a solid foundation for understanding survival from which readers are to work from. He says:

Survival depends upon applying basic principles and adapting them to the circumstances. These basic principles form an essential pyramid of learning for the survivor.

Think of a pyramid divided into three layers (largest one being the base, smallest being the tip), where the bottom-most layer is the “Will to live,” the middle being “Knowledge,” and the top-most layer is “Kit.”

In the next chapter, entitled “Essentials,” the former SAS survival instructor points out:

Survival is the art of staying alive. Any equipment you have must be considered a bonus.

Wiseman adds:

The main elements of survival are Food, Fire, Shelter, Water, Navigation and Medicine. To put these in order of priority we use the acronym PLAN. No matter where you are in the world this will never change be it in the Arctic, desert, jungle, sea or seashore.

PLAN stands for (P)rotection from further danger/elements, (L)ocation in terms of alerting rescuers to your position, (A)cquisition of food and water while waiting to be rescued, and (N)avigation where “good navigation will keep you en route and will often avert a survival situation.”

I just love when someone with so much knowledge about a subject can break things down and keep it simple for the rest of us.

The chapter goes on to talk about the “essentials” for survival- being prepared, research, planning, equipment, and the unexpected. It also goes into great detail about survival kits (“a few key items” stored in a tin), the “survival pouch” (“too large to carry in your pocket like your survival tin but kept where it can be grabbed quickly in an emergency”), and knives, before finishing up with a discussion about facing disaster, water, and salt.

The Intro and “Essentials” chapters serve as the launching point for the rest of the handbook, so readers are best served understanding what Wiseman is trying to get across in this section, practicing it, and putting together/acquiring the items he prescribes, especially if the text is being used as a “complete course” as mentioned on the back cover.

The remainder of the SAS Survival Handbook is chock-full of “how-to” information covering those topics broken down above. The accompanying illustrations are both color and black-and-white, and are detailed adequately enough.

I found Chapter 11, “Disasters,” particularly interesting. Drought, fire, chemical and biological warfare, gases and chemicals, flood, hurricane, tornado, lightning, earthquake, volcano, and nuclear explosion are covered, in addition to something called “Home Front.” Wiseman writes in the chapter intro:

Home front faces the problems of coping with survival on your own doorstep if the services and supplies on which we normally depend are cut off.

Wiseman reminds us:

You do not have to be miles away from civilization to be caught in a survival situation. Natural disaster, civil disturbance or military action could cut you off from all the usual services and food supplies. Until they can be re-established, you would be left to manage on your own resources and skills.

The former SAS survival instructor goes on to talk about food stores, priorities, water, fire, food, shelter, and hygiene in such a scenario.

In summary, I really liked this latest edition of the SAS Survival Handbook. Granted, I’m not a survival expert whose knowledgeable enough to point out any shortfalls tucked away in the nearly 600 pages of text and illustrations, nor do I really have anything else to compare it to (unless you count that Official Boy Scout Handbook, in which case, it’s the BSA handbook on steroids). But I do know this. The SAS book has tons and tons of information that I, personally, would want on-tap in case TSHTF. Not only is John “Lofty” Wiseman’s survival reference book a welcome addition to my home library, but I’m thinking about getting the 384-page pocket-size SAS Survival Guide by Wiseman to review as well with an eye towards throwing it in my future bug-out bag that I’ll be putting together down the road as part of my “Project Prepper” series of posts.

The SAS Survival Handbook is available for purchase on Amazon.com via the banner ad below. Please note by clicking on the link and making a purchase I receive a commission on the sale.

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

(Editor’s note: Title added to “Resources” page)

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