Maryland

ABC7 News Investigation: ‘Chicago Is A Crossroads Of Home-Grown Terrorists’

Friday night, Chuck Goudie of Chicago’s ABC7 News reported the following concerning an I-Team investigation into home-grown jihadists. From the TV station’s website:

Two new investigations of American terrorists portray a chilling image of terrorists living in our midst, and concentrated in the Midwest.

Targeting the jihadist next door in the Midwest would have to become a priority according to new data compiled by House Homeland Security investigators. They lay out an “unprecedented spike in the homegrown terror threat, primarily driven by the rise of ISIS.” That, along with a new University of Chicago report on the American face of ISIS, paint a frightening picture of the threat growing among us.

First for Al Qaeda and now for ISIS, Chicago is a crossroads of home-grown terrorists.

According to new findings by the House Homeland Security Committee, the tentacles of terror cases in Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin since early 2016 touch Chicago

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Researchers Say American Terror Threat Is Home-Grown”
ABC7 News Video

Besides home-grown jihadists, in May 2015 a threat attributed to the Islamic State posted on anonymous message board JustPasteIt claimed the following:

We have 71 trained soldiers in 15 different states ready at our word to attack any target we desire. Out of the 71 trained soldiers 23 have signed up for missions like Sunday. We are increasing in number bithnillah. Of the 15 states, 5 we will name… Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, California, and Michigan

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Bithnillah” (“bi’ithnillah”) can be translated as meaning “with the permission of Allah.” The post was signed “Abu Ibrahim Al Ameriki,” a U.S.-born terrorist with the group.

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

Source:

Goudie, Chuck. “Researchers Say American Terror Threat Is Home-Grown.” ABC7 News. 10 Feb. 2017. (http://abc7chicago.com/news/researchers-say-american-terror-threat-is-home-grown/1748712/). 12 Feb. 2017.

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Monday, February 13th, 2017 Government, Public Safety, Religion, War Comments Off on ABC7 News Investigation: ‘Chicago Is A Crossroads Of Home-Grown Terrorists’

Survey: Illinois Runner-Up State For ‘Worst Climates For Small Business’

Continuing Tuesday’s discussion about Illinois not being business friendly, I spotted a piece last night on the MarketWatch website entitled, “The best state and city for small business are…” Caitlin Huston reported yesterday afternoon:

The best state for small business owners is Texas and the worst is Rhode Island, according to an annual survey revealed Tuesday.

The survey, conducted by technology marketplace Thumbtack, contends that the friendliest states and towns for small businesses offer easier or non-existent licensing requirements. On a city basis, the report called Manchester, N.H., the best and Hartford, Conn., the worst for small-business climate…

Huston noted that survey responses came from 17,633 small businesses, with most having 5 or fewer employees.

As for Illinois? It’s the state runner-up under the “Worst Climates for Small Business” category, losing out to Rhode Island but ahead of Connecticut, California, and New York, in that order.

From the Thumbtack.com survey web page:

Small business owners gave California, Connecticut, Illinois, and Rhode Island an “F,” while Massachusetts, Maryland, and New York earned a “D” grade…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Digging deeper into the Thumbtack.com Small Business Friendliness Survey, the “Land of Lincoln” received an “F” for “ease of starting a business” and “overall friendliness.”

Nice. Real nice. Congratulations Illinois policymakers (not Rauner’s fault)- local and at the state level- on a “job” well done.

Then again, what would one expect from folks (not all of them, to be fair) who have never started/run a business in their lives?

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

Source:

Huston, Caitlin. “The best state and city for small business are…” MarketWatch. 18 Aug. 2015. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-best-state-and-city-for-small-business-are-2015-08-18). 19 Aug. 2015.

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Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 Business, Government, Main Street Comments Off on Survey: Illinois Runner-Up State For ‘Worst Climates For Small Business’

The Survival Podcast’s Jack Spirko On Nationwide Riots

If you’ve been following the news the last couple of days, you’re probably aware of the renewed tension in Ferguson, Missouri, on the first anniversary of the riot there. Back when I started this blog in 2010, I suspected civil strife would pick up due to worsening financial conditions and other developments.

Regrettably, I think Ferguson is just the tip of the iceberg.

I’m not the only one who sees more civil disturbance on the way. Modern survivalist and host of The Survival Podcast Jack Spirko has been issuing warnings as of late. And I’ve been listening attentively. Back on May 20 I blogged:

Speaking of The Survival Podcast, I was listening to a different episode (number 1566, “What the Baltimore Riots Say about our Future”) some time back and took note of some advice host Jack Spirko shared with listeners. He warned on April 28:

You know those trendy areas in downtown that everybody thinks are great places to live as a hipster, because you can walk to the donut shop and the coffee shop? Sooner or later in most of our big cities those are going to be burned to the ground. Don’t live there. Don’t live there. One more time, don’t live there. Get out of the urbanized areas. I don’t care how you do it, just do it. You’re better off anyway…

Spirko added later in the podcast:

I wish I had better news for you. I wish I could tell you that this is an isolated incident. But here’s what I believe. The potential for this type of a riot exists in every major city in America. And it actually would be relatively easy to set them off like fires. It really would. I think the right people, with the right messaging, the right agitation, the right insiders, could cause a riot like this in any city with a population over 500,000 in America today. And quite a few smaller venues too. I really do. That should scare the shit out of you. But the response should scare you even more. It’s not going to be pretty. That’s why you need to be prepared…

Spriko wasn’t about to leave listeners “hanging” on this topic, so on July 29 he released episode 1614, “The Danger Of Nationwide Riots.” From that show:

So here’s what I think you need to do for your own protection. Number one, you need to be at some level of in touch with your local law enforcement. Sheriff’s department, local PD, whatever. You need people that will tell you what they know if things are starting to go sideways. And they will know when they start to go sideways long before a TV says so. You need to be paying attention to chatter with a police scanner or a scanner app or something like that in your general community on an ongoing basis. Just once in a while. Couple times a day just checking in to see what’s going on. Some local PDs have like online now where you can go online and see all the police activity…

The closer you live to a city, the more you need to have a plan to eventually say, “As much as I want to stay and defend my home, it’s not worth it, I’m leaving.” And I know the survivalist mentality is strong in our community. And I will stay here, I will pick up my guns, I will do no harm to anybody, but if you come here and take what I have, I will lay you flat out. I know that is in you, because it’s in me. I mean, that’s how I feel. And in many instances, it’s the course I would take. You can do whatever you want until you mess with me or my neighbors and then it’s on bitches. But you have to think about the result. If your home’s burnt to the ground, that’s what insurance is for… And I would rather rebuild my life with fire insurance, than I would want to try to rebuild my life from behind the bars of a penitentiary, which is a place you may end up if you take that stance. There may come a time when you have to, where you have no choice… I mean what you need is a neighborhood banded together. You’ve seen the signs after hurricanes and stuff- 20, 30 friggin’ rednecks with guns. “You loot, we shoot.” Usually that is enough to defer and cause avoidance. But the closer you live, the less likely that is to be. So the closer you are in, the more you need to have a plan to bug out, which you should have anyway because hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, they are also reasons you might have to bug out. Illnesses, pandemic… There’s times getting out of the way make sense.

You also have to have a good, solid bug-in plan. The bug-in plan is the most important plan you need for this. For most of us, we do not live in the streets where these types of things actually happen. The spillover into suburbs, etcetera will be limited. And it will be more like one-off type things. It will not be wholescale rioting. The safest course of action for most people is going to be for a month or more to hunker down, live off of what you have, go out as little as possible, coordinate with your neighbors, coordinate with what’s left of local law enforcement, and wait this thing out if it happens. It’s going to be the most sane, rational thing that you can do. It going to be the only way no matter how good your intentions are you’re not going to be part of one of the groups pouring gasoline on the fire. So the bug-in plan is important, which means all your basic preps- food, water, energy, medical, health, etcetera. It means if you live in a city that is particularly vulnerable to this and you work where they will be a problem, or you’d have to cross the problem to get to work, this is the time now to start talking to your boss about and say, “Hey look, if something did go sideways in this town, don’t you think it would make sense if we had ways for our people to work remotely, so that the company’s operations can continue, but nobody’s life had to be at risk.”

You need to be tied in to your neighbors. You need to have agreements with your neighbors… There’s some neighbors you really can’t go deep with them about this, but you just need to know them. What’s their name? What’s their spouse’s name? When do they work? When do they come home? What are they like? So when this stuff starts to go sideways, instead of telling them it may go sideways, it’s going sideways right now, let’s work together to protect our neighborhood. You need to be part of your neighborhood, part of your community. Whether it’s a rural one or an urban dense one, doesn’t matter. You need to know as many people’s names as possible.

You need to be trained in self-defense and you need to be armed. In spite of what I said about the fact that you could get into a situation where if you defend yourself you could be prosecuted, there’s a point at which that goes out the window. When you legitimately feel that your life or the life of a loved one is being threatened, and lethal force is the only alternative, the time to use it is two-and-a-half seconds ago. But you can’t go back two-and-a-half seconds so the time is now…

But overall what you need is a plan… I don’t know anything about you individually, okay? So in the end, you have to say to yourself, “Self, this is something that could happen. If it did, near me, what would we do, and when would we act.” In other words, when would we say, “Okay, nobody is going to school or work.” What would be the level of danger that we would have a clearly-defined border, and once that occurred, how long could we be okay? How long would we be alright?… If we did leave where would we go? What would be our basic rules of engagement? When would we act? Who would I contact first in the neighborhood? What would I say? You just need to mentally run the scenario in your head. Not to the point where you start to fear from it or have apprehension from it. Just to the point where if it does occur, it’s not like, “Holy shit, what do I do now?” like you’ve never thought about it before. See, that’s the big thing I want to leave you with today… What matters is that you’ve mentally drilled into yourself that there’s something I can do and these are the things that I would do. That’s what makes you able to adapt and survive.

Whew. Wise words from Spirko on dealing with a disturbing event that I predict Americans will be experiencing more frequently in the coming years.

You can listen to episode 1614 in its entirety here, and episode 1566 here, on the The Survival Podcast website.

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

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Tuesday, August 11th, 2015 Civil Strife, Communications, Crime, Emergencies, Energy, Europe, Food, Insurance, Main Street, Man-Made Disasters, Medicine, Natural Disasters, Preparedness, Public Safety, Self-Defense, Technology, Water Comments Off on The Survival Podcast’s Jack Spirko On Nationwide Riots

Islamic State Claims 71 ‘Trained Soldiers’ In ‘Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, California, And Michigan’ Plus 10 Other States?

“The next six months will be interesting.”

So claims a threat attributed to the Islamic State posted on anonymous message board JustPasteIt, per Sasha Goldstein and Jason Silverstein over on the Daily News (New York City) website late last night. From the message entitled “The New Era”:

The attack by the Islamic State in America is only the beginning of our efforts to establish a wiliya in the heart of our enemy…

We have 71 trained soldiers in 15 different states ready at our word to attack any target we desire. Out of the 71 trained soldiers 23 have signed up for missions like Sunday. We are increasing in number bithnillah. Of the 15 states, 5 we will name… Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, California, and Michigan…

“Illinois.” Yet another list we’d really prefer not to be on.

According to various sources on the Internet, “wiliya” (“wilayah”) means “province,” and “bithnillah” (“bi’ithnillah”) can be translated as meaning “with the permission of Allah.” The post was signed “Abu Ibrahim Al Ameriki,” a U.S.-born terrorist with the group.

Last August, I blogged about a Twitter post supposedly connected with the Islamic State which contained a photo of the Old Republic Building, 307 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, along with the following:

#AmessagefromISIStoUS

We are in your state
We are in your cities
We are in your streets
You are our goals anywhere.

In that same August 27, 2014, post, I noted retired General Michael Hayden, the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency, had just told CNN’s Jim Sciutto in an interview:

HAYDEN: Well, Jim, you’ve outlined it perfectly. This is a question of timing. Not of inevitability. Not of intent. And right now, I think it’s fair to say, that ISIS is very powerful local terrorist organization, and probably a reasonably powerful regional terrorist organization. But it’s one that has global ambitions. And it has the tools, as you suggested. American passport holders, European passport holders. It’s expressed the intent. And so, if it’s not Tuesday, it’s at a time and place of their choosing. And will come probably sooner rather than later. Look, they’re in a competition now with Al-Qaeda Prime, folks along the Afghan-Pakistani border, and there’s no way more powerful to express their street credentials among the jihadist community than a successful attack against the West.
SCIUTTO: So, to be clear, you’re saying it’s just a matter of time before ISIS attempts to attack or attacks the U.S. homeland?
HAYDEN: I think so…

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

Source:

Goldstein, Sasha and Silverstein, Jason. “ISIS threatens anti-Muslim blogger Pamela Geller in message boasting of ’71 trained soldiers in 15 different states’” Daily News. 5 May 2015. (http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/isis-appears-threaten-pamela-geller-claims-militants-article-1.2211913). 6 May 2015.

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Chicago Should Prepare For Baltimore-Style Civil Unrest

Have any readers been following what’s been going on in Baltimore as it concerns the protests and riots over the death of Freddie Gray?

Do Chicago-area readers think such civil strife could happen here someday?

It’s happened before. And considering the potential flash points that currently exist (ongoing racial tension, limited economic opportunities in lower class neighborhoods, growing divide between the economic/political elite and everyone else) which could be sparked by intense financial pain as the business cycle inevitably turns down and/or some crisis, I think it could definitely happen again. I’m not the only one. Early Tuesday I was watching the WGN morning news when Corey Brooks, Senior Pastor at New Beginnings Church of Chicago, came on. The South Side reverend advised:

I’m hoping and praying that it never happens in Chicago. But it would be best if we would prepare.

“But it would be best if we would prepare”

Amen to that.


“Chicago Pastor Corey Brooks headed to Baltimore to help stand against violence”
WGN News Video

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

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Thursday, April 30th, 2015 Civil Strife, Class Warfare, Employment, Poverty, Preparedness, Recession, Wealth Comments Off on Chicago Should Prepare For Baltimore-Style Civil Unrest

Gallup Poll: Half In Illinois Want To Move Elsewhere

Last week, the Gallup website had this to report about Illinois:

Illinois has the unfortunate distinction of being the state with the highest percentage of residents who say it is the worst possible place to live. One in four Illinois residents (25%) say the state is the worst place to live…

It doesn’t get any better for the “Land of Lincoln” this week. Lydia Saad wrote yesterday:

Every state has at least some residents who are looking for greener pastures, but nowhere is the desire to move more prevalent than in Illinois and Connecticut. In both of these states, about half of residents say that if given the chance to move to a different state, they would like to do so…

50 percent of Illinois respondents said they would leave the state if given the opportunity, according to Gallup.

Saad also added:

Nevada, Illinois, Maryland, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, and Connecticut all appear particularly vulnerable to losing population in the coming few years: high percentages of their residents say they would leave if they could, and larger-than-average percentages say they are at least somewhat likely to do so in the coming year…

19 percent of Illinois respondents indicated they were planning to move out of the state within 12 months, according to Gallup.

Mind you, this particular poll was conducted from June through December 2013- early on in that brutal winter Illinois just had.

How many more residents since then are ready to throw in the towel?

So not only have Illinoisans been moving out of the state in droves already, but even more are making plans to do so down the road.

Sad. Just sad. But understandable considering the direction the state’s been going in.

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

Source:

Saad, Lydia. “Half in Illinois and Connecticut Want to Move Elsewhere.” Gallup.com. 30 Apr. 2014. (http://www.gallup.com/poll/168770/half-illinois-connecticut-move-elsewhere.aspx). 1 May 2014.

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Thursday, May 1st, 2014 Demographics, Population Comments Off on Gallup Poll: Half In Illinois Want To Move Elsewhere

On TV: Doomsday Preppers ‘Whatever It Takes’ Review

Yesterday afternoon I watched the third episode of the “summer season” of Doomsday Preppers, “Whatever It Takes.” From the National Geographic Channel website:

Could an explosion on the surface of the sun cause mayhem on Earth? Jason and Jacob are a father-son team from Alabama who are prepping for exactly that: a global solar flare with the potential to wipe out power grids around the world. Jason was almost stranded for good in the wilderness when he was 19, but that will not stop him from prepping in those very same woods by molding his own ammunition and preparing his 20-piece bug-out pack.

The show also introduced Brian and Sheila Moffatt and their seven kids out in Arizona who are prepping for an economic collapse, and Grayson Smith and Mike Umberger out in Maryland who are prepping for the next world war.

Here’s what went on in “Whatever It Takes,” along with some of my thoughts about the episode:

Part 1: Prepper “rite of passage”

Season 3, episode 3 of Doomsday Preppers opened with a segment about Jason, who grew up and still lives in a charming wooded area of Alabama. He told viewers:

We’re preparing for a solar flare, and the civil unrest that follows.

While the part of Alabama where Jason lives is quite scenic, the nearby forest is also where he almost died from exposure when he was 19.

Jason is a family man now, and lives with his wife and 18-year-old son Jacob.

He fears the nation’s electrical grid is going to get fried from a coronal mass ejection (CME) along the lines of the 1859 Carrington event, which the show called the “biggest geomagnetic storm in history.”

(Editor’s note: Back on August 1 I noted that reports had surfaced about the Earth just missing getting clobbered by a “Carrington-class” CME in July, with some experts saying it could have led to an electromagnetic pulse “catastrophe” on the planet)

As a result, Jason has been doing some serious prepping. From the show:

To get ready for the life without grocery stores, running water, and electricity he fears, Jason stocks more than twice as much food as he thinks he needs, and at least two of every survival item he owns. He believes having backups is essential to survival.

It’s revealed the Alabama prepper has 1,000 meals and 300 gallons of water socked away.

And on the topic of redundancy, Jason hammered home to viewers the oft-heard prepper saying:

Two is one and one is none.

Meaning, always try to have two of an important item, because when one breaks or goes missing, without a replacement you’re left with nothing.

Son Jacob has joined his dad in ramping up the family’s preparedness, taking time off from school to do so.

In this segment, the 18-year-old underwent a prepper “rite of passage,” participating in a scenario concocted by Jason where the family’s 6-month food supply had been exhausted, and they had no choice but to leave the house and bug-out to the woods, taking only the gear and supplies they could manage to carry on their backs (or Jacob’s back if you bought that “old man” comment of his). From the show:

Tonight, Jacob will be expected to complete all the tasks he’d need to survive in the woods on his own.

About their bug-out bags and their contents? According to the show:

Each pack holds 20 items, 2 of each basic tool Jason believes is necessary for wilderness survival. He calls them his 10 “Cs.”

Those 10 “Cs” are:

-“Candleing” device (headlamp)
-Canvas needle
-Cargo (duct) tape
-Combustion device (fire starter)
-Compass
-Container (steel water bottle)
-Cordage (paracord)
-Cotton bandana
-Covering
-Cutting tool

Jacob performed a number of survival tasks using a variety of the above “Cs.” He fabricated animal traps (choking snare, “twitch up” trap), built a tree branch hut, started a fire out of rope match, flint, and steel. He successfully completed his rite of passage, making dad real proud.

Two things stood out for me in this segment:

First, at the conclusion of the “rite,” Jason gave his son Jacob a lead bullet the two of them fabricated earlier in the episode. I don’t know about you, but I thought that casting process was pretty cool.

And black powder guns as an alternative to semi-automatic firearms WTSHTF? That’s an idea I first came across when Frank Belcastro of Independence USA-fame demonstrated their worth (acquiring ingredients for and making black powder and bullets may be quite feasible during TEOTWAWKI, as opposed to getting ammo for more “modern” guns) when the show was still Apocalypse PA.

Man, I miss that TV series. I sure hope it’s reincarnated soon.

Second, Jason and his family received the following assessment concerning water from Practical Preppers:

Water: Your stores and proximity to fresh sources are excellent. 19 out of 20 points.

It was revealed that the family of three had 300 gallons stored, or 100 gallons of water per person, in addition to those “fresh sources” somewhere nearby. 19 out of 20 is one of highest scores in this department I’ve ever seen on Doomsday Preppers. Nice job, especially as water often plays second fiddle to more “sexy” preps like firearms.

Part 2: Doomsday academy

In the second part of “Whatever It Takes,” viewers were introduced to Brian and Sheila Moffatt, both self-defense instructors, along with their seven kids. This family lives on a 15-acre Arizona homestead.

The Moffatt family revealed they were prepping because of their concerns over run-away inflation and an eventual U.S. economic collapse.

Brian explained:

My kids, my wife, are the best preparation that a guy could have.

He wasn’t kidding. In addition to homeschooling their children in reading, writing, and arithmetic (arithmetic- now there’s a word I hardly hear anymore), as episode 3 said:

Their curriculum is customized for doomsday.

A day in the Moffatt’s “doomsday academy” looked like this:

-1st period: Self-defense (children practiced Krav Maga hand-to-hand combat)
-2nd period: Camouflage and Evasion (kids played hide-and-go-seek in ghille suits)
-Field Trip: The family fired handguns at the local range

According to the show:

Brian said he educates all his children in firearm awareness. But only allows those 10 or older to fire handguns.

And boy could his two oldest girls shoot. 13-year-old Gabriela and 11-year-old Mariah practiced handgun quick draw drills for speed and accuracy. From the show:

Brian teaches his kids a technique that’s been called the modified Israeli Mossad draw in which weapons are carried without a round in the chamber until the gun leaves the holster, creating an opportunity to assess a threat before deciding to destroy it.

The segment ended with a practice home invasion drill to test a perceived lack of perimeter defense skills among the children, and in which Brian was the home invader. The Moffatt kids, putting into practice what they’ve been taught, excelled in the exercise.

From the episode:

All the different skills and tactics the Moffatt children have been taught are meant to be brought together for one purpose- the defense of the family home against desperate people following an economic collapse.

Brian Moffatt confided:

My greatest fear is having to actually put to use what we practiced. I hope that we all have plenty to eat. I hope that we all have plenty of water. That we’re all happy. And have more children.

Wild yet impressive stuff, and considering the ages of the children involved, a segment I’m sure the National Geographic Channel will be hearing about from certain viewers for quite some time. But consider what Steve H., the leader of that Washington prepper group which includes his young son Steven James, said in the prior week’s episode:

My mother says that our prepping is a negative influence on our 8-year-old son. But I say it’s a positive influence on my son. Reality is what reality is. And the sooner that we face reality, the sooner that we’re going to be able to do something about it. I don’t want to lose anybody in our family. I don’t want people in my family to be hungry. I don’t want people in my family to be discomforted or in pain. And so I’m taking these steps beforehand, to see to it that that doesn’t happen to us.

Part 3: The “Odd Couple” preppers

In the last part of season 3, episode 3, of Doomsday Preppers, Grayson Smith and Mike Umberger, skateboarders from Maryland-turned-preppers were introduced. They told viewers:

We are preparing for World War 3.

These two guys predict China will replace the United States as the world’s next superpower, which will eventually culminate in a blockade of America’s coasts and another World War. Therefore:

Fearing a global war over oil and other natural resources, Mike and Grayson packed up their city apartment, and moved to 100 acres of land owned by Mike’s father, Larry. They plan to turn this traditional farm into a self-sustainable ecosystem providing 100 percent of their survival needs…

50 percent of the fresh fruit, and 20 percent of the vegetables eaten in the U.S. come from other countries. Mike and Grayson fear a global war could cut off all these imports, leaving it up to every American to grow their own food.

The funny thing about Grayson and Mike is, they are very much polar opposites when it comes to a number of things. Grayson is a pacifist who spent time in a Zen Buddhist monastery. Mike, on the other hand, served in the U.S. Navy in the Shore Patrol.

Yet, both are preppers and each brings something different yet valuable to the table. At the farm, Grayson spends a number of hours every day building self-sustaining agriculture preps. Mike works on security and provides weapons instruction to Grayson.

Still, the two young men are newbies at preparedness. From the show:

But after 6 months of prepping, all these two have to show for it is 20 jars of preserved vegetables, and only 1/16 of an acre of productive farmland.

And since Mike is still unsure about Grayson’s weapons skills, he decided to utilize “booby traps” as part of the farm’s security features. Grayson and Mike were shown constructing a “mace trap” (swinging log with spikes) in the episode.

That’s not all the two fabricated in last week’s show. In their efforts to achieve a self-sustainable ecosystem at the farm, the preppers built a cold frame ( a transparent-roofed enclosure built low to the ground used to protect plants) and a chicken tractor (portable chicken coop for fertilizing the soil). Neat stuff.

The segment ended with Grayson and Mike throwing a party at the farm for the purpose of meeting local people and possibly building a prepper network from these folk.

Bust out the botas, crank up the music, and assess partygoers for prepping potential. Check, check, and check.

A really good episode- one that focused on preppers from different areas of the country and in different life situations.

For more information about Doomsday Preppers, visit the show’s web page on the National Geographic Channel site here.

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

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States’ Response To Health Emergencies Analyzed

How prepared is your state for major health emergencies?

From a press release issued earlier today by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF):

In the 10th annual Ready or Not? Protecting the Public from Diseases, Disasters, and Bioterrorism report, 35 states and Washington, D.C. scored a six or lower on 10 key indicators of public health preparedness.

The report, issued by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), found that while there has been significant progress toward improving public health preparedness over the past 10 years, particularly in core capabilities, there continue to be persistent gaps in the country’s ability to respond to health emergencies, ranging from bioterrorist threats to serious disease outbreaks to extreme weather events.

In the report, Kansas and Montana scored lowest—three out of 10—and Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Vermont and Wisconsin scored highest—eight out of 10…

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

“There continue to be persistent gaps in the country’s ability to respond to health emergencies, ranging from bioterrorist threats to serious disease outbreaks to extreme weather events.”

I’m not surprised. Just one more reason preparedness makes an awful lot of sense these days.

Illinois, where I currently live, received a score of 5 out of 10 possible points in the report.

Boo!

Wisconsin, where I’m planning on moving to down the road, received 8 out of a possible 10 points (as noted in the report).

Nice.

You can read Ready or Not? in its entirety here on the RWJF website or here on the TFAH site.

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Wednesday, December 19th, 2012 Emergencies, Government, Health, Man-Made Disasters, Natural Resources, Preparedness, Terrorism, Weather Comments Off on States’ Response To Health Emergencies Analyzed

Hurricane Sandy Preparations

(Update: Just got done watching The Weather Channel after eating a late lunch. They’re telling viewers Hurricane Sandy starts now (2:40 PM ET) and to hunker down. Good luck everyone.)

One of the potential severe weather events I used to write about in my old blog, Boom2Bust.com, “The Most Hated Blog On Wall Street,” were hurricanes rolling up the East Coast of the United States and impacting the Mid-Atlantic/New England states.

From what I remember, these blog posts weren’t too popular, despite some hurricane experts saying such storms could visit the area with increasing frequency in the coming years.

I’m guessing since hurricanes didn’t hit this part of the country often enough, and not too many people were still around who were old enough to really remember the “Long Island Express” of 1938, such a threat didn’t register on area residents’ radar.

Then Hurricane Irene visited the Northeast in 2011. From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website:

Irene first struck the U.S. as a Category 1 hurricane in eastern North Carolina, then moved northward along the Mid-Atlantic Coast. Wind damage in coastal North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland was moderate, with considerable damage resulting from falling trees and power lines. Irene made its final landfall as a tropical storm in the New York City area and dropped torrential rainfall in the Northeast that caused widespread flooding. More than 7 million homes and businesses lost power during the storm, and Irene caused at least 45 deaths and more than $7.3 billion in damages.

Irene was the first hurricane to hit the U.S. since Ike in September 2008 and was the most significant tropical system to make a direct landfall in the Northeast since Hurricane Bob in 1991.

Despite all the carnage from Irene, a number of inhabitants from this area claimed the storm was “overhyped.”

Enter 2012- and Hurricane Sandy.

From what I saw on The Weather Channel this past weekend, some are taking this threat to the region seriously, while others- not so much. At one point Saturday morning, The Weather Channel’s Stephanie Abrams was on location at an oceanfront hotel in Delaware and seemed to suggest that local residents were taking the approaching storm- and preparing for it- in stride. Saturday afternoon, TWC’s Jim Cantore was down in New York City’s Battery Park, where visitors were going about their business as if the “Frankenstorm”- as some in the media are calling it- wasn’t headed their way. Last night, The Weather Channel visited a grocery store in Chatham, Massachusetts, saying that “last minute shoppers were stocking up on hurricane supplies,” although shelves still looked stocked with plenty of bread and bottled water. One shopper even went on camera and informed viewers she was stocking up essentials- wine, cheese, and crackers.

And consider the following from the ABC News website this morning:

Many forecasters expect Hurricane Sandy to be the storm of the century, a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon.

Such dire warnings conjure up images of disaster movies such as “The Day After Tomorrow” or “The Perfect Storm,” but some New Yorkers have heard it all before, and they’re not buying it.

“Good Morning America” found New Yorkers who don’t believe the hype.

Part of the reason is that last year’s much-hyped Hurricane Irene was a non-event in New York, although it did a lot of damage to the city’s outlying areas.

Anyone else getting the impression a lot of people aren’t taking Hurricane Sandy seriously?

On the flipside, a quick look at the prepper/survivalist website SurvivalistBoards.com late last night revealed there are plenty of other Americans who are prepared for what Mother Nature throws at them. And if Sandy fizzles out- great. Their attitude is at least they’re ready for the next potential emergency or disaster down the line.

Good for them.

Prepared or unprepared, I pray for everyone in the path of the coming “superstorm.”

Stay safe!

Source:

“Hurricane Sandy: Some Don’t Believe the Hype.” ABC News. 29 Oct. 2012. (http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/10/hurricane-sandy-people-dont-believe-the-hype/). 29 Oct. 2012.

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Monday, October 29th, 2012 Emergencies, Natural Disasters, Preparedness, Public Safety, Weather Comments Off on Hurricane Sandy Preparations

Report: Rising Sea Levels Threaten U.S. Coastal Population

There is strong evidence that global sea level is now rising at an increased rate and will continue to rise during this century.

While studies show that sea levels changed little from AD 0 until 1900, sea levels began to climb in the 20th century…

Records and research show that sea level has been steadily rising at a rate of 1 to 2.5 millimeters (0.04 to 0.1 inches) per year since 1900.

This rate may be increasing. Since 1992, new methods of satellite altimetry (the measurement of elevation or altitude) indicate a rate of rise of 3 millimeters (0.12 inches) per year.

-National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website under “Ocean Facts”

March 1992. I remember driving north on Florida State Road A1A after spending spring break in Daytona Beach. While the magnificent views of the Atlantic come to the mind, it’s those homes built on stilts that really stand out when I recall that small part of the journey. And if what a recently-released report claims comes true, taller stilts may not cut it for a number of these coastal Florida residences. From Princeton, New Jersey-based Climate Central, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think-tank the focuses on climate and energy issues, in a press release earlier today:

Sea level rise due to global warming has already doubled the annual risk of coastal flooding of historic proportions across widespread areas of the United States, according to a new report from Climate Central. By 2030, many locations are likely to see storm surges combining with sea level rise to raise waters at least 4 feet above the local high-tide line. Nearly 5 million U.S. residents live in 2.6 million homes on land below this level. More than 6 million people live on land below 5 feet; by 2050, the study projects that widespread areas will experience coastal floods exceeding this higher level…

In 285 municipalities, more than half the population lives below the 4-foot mark. One hundred and six of these places are in Florida, 65 are in Louisiana, and ten or more are in New York (13), New Jersey (22), Maryland (14), Virginia (10) and North Carolina (22). In 676 towns and cities spread across every coastal state in the lower 48 except Maine and Pennsylvania, more than 10% of the population lives below the 4-foot mark.

Tidal gauge records show that the sea has already risen 8 inches globally during the last century, and projections point to a steep acceleration…

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Whether one believes in global warming or not, sea levels look like they’re rising. Something to consider if you currently live on the coast or plan to move there someday.

You can read the entire report, entitled “Surging Seas,” on the Climate Central website here.

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Wednesday, March 14th, 2012 Man-Made Disasters, Natural Disasters, Weather Comments Off on Report: Rising Sea Levels Threaten U.S. Coastal Population
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