I just got finished reading a press release for United Van Lines’ 37th Annual Migration Study, which tracks the states the company’s customers move to and from during the course of the year.
I saw that Illinois is the number two outbound state for a second year in a row, second only to New Jersey. From that January 2 press release:
The top outbound states for 2013 were:
1. New Jersey
3. New York
4. West Virginia
9. New Mexico
(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)
United Van Lines added:
New Jersey (64 percent) continued to top the high outbound list claiming the top spot for three out of the past four years. Illinois (61 percent) held steady at the number two spot after falling from the top spot in 2011.
The Northeast is the most prominent region on the high-outbound traffic list. In addition to New Jersey, New York (61 percent), Connecticut (59 percent) and Massachusetts (56 percent) are also included…
(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)
Why am I not surprised to hear about all the people moving out of Illinois and the Northeast these days in this migration study?
As for the top inbound states? Oregon, followed by South and North Carolina, D.C., South Dakota, Nevada, Texas, and Colorado.
Oregon. Like Portland, where all the young people go to retire?
“Portlandia: Dream of the 90s- Portlandia on IFC.”
You can read the entire press release on the United Van Lines website here.
By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)
The National Geographic Channel has been pretty busy with their survival-themed programming this week. First, they aired the two-hour movie event American Blackout on Sunday. And tonight, an all-new season of Doomsday Preppers begins at 9 PM ET.
(Editor’s note: In August, four “summer episodes” of Doomsday Preppers aired. I erroneously labeled these season 3 of TV series. The third season of Nat Geo Channel’s hit TV series actually kicks off tonight. As such, I’ll be going back and making the necessary corrections on this blog.)
Season 3 debuts with the episode entitled “Take Our Country Back.” From the National Geographic Channel website:
Deep in Oregon’s backcountry sits an 80-acre off-the-grid estate that prepper Curt and his family have designed as a fortress in the event of an economic collapse. Isolation is one of their greatest strengths, but the protective measures are endless: a 3,000-square-foot greenhouse, a lake with 1 million gallons of water, infrared cameras and a high-tech software system not to mention the children are trained in marksmanship.
In addition to “Curt,” there’s Rodney Dial in Ketchikan, Alaska, who along with his wife Lisa and daughter Megan are prepping for major earthquakes in the Alaska area and the tsunamis they could potentially unleash.
“Armored for Armaggedon”
I was lucky enough to get an advance screening DVD of two upcoming Doomsday Preppers season 3 episodes from the National Geographic Channel- including tonight’s show. After watching them the other week, I thought the Nat Geo Channel staff were correct in selecting this episode as the season premiere. Keep an eye out for the following on “Take Our Country Back” tonight:
-Rodney’s ingenious way of caching some of his of preps
-The Dial family’s bug-out vehicle, nicknamed the “War Machine”
-Curt’s 80-acre bug out location that he moved his family to (wife Randy (spelling?), kids Crae and Sam) last year. What a nice piece of survival property.
-An incident just beyond Curt’s BOL which looked pretty serious and threw him and the production crew off somewhat
For more information about Doomsday Preppers, visit the National Geographic Channel here.
By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)
I happened to stumble on an interesting TV news segment this afternoon on preppers in Oregon. Wesleigh Ogle for CBS affiliate KCBY-TV in North Bend, Oregon, had this to report on December 27:
I’m really glad that Avery found his “prepper’s paradise.” It looks beautiful- and full of resources- out there in the Northwest.
On Christmas Day, I also came across an article about active military preppers on the UPI website. From the Deep South:
We evidently dodged the Mayan end-of-the-world bullet, but so-called preppers in the United States say they’ll stay prepared nonetheless.
Navy Times reported last week people such as Gunnery Sgt. David Williams of Gulfport, Miss., who are part of the preppers movement — people who say they intend to be prepared for whatever calamities befall us — don’t care if you think they’re crazy. They just take comfort in their stockpiles of food, water, weapons and other vital supplies.
“A lot of the guys in my unit think I’m crazy. I’ll push the zombie apocalypse and the whole 2012 end-of-the-world business. I don’t really believe any of that crap, but it makes it fun,” Williams, a member of a Navy Seabee construction unit who has served in Afghanistan, told the newspaper. “When you’re planning for the zombie apocalypse, you’re still planning.
“Survival really is a community effort. If you’re just one dude or one family living in a bunker, what are you living for? What’s the point? What are [you] trying to stick around for? You might as well go out with everybody else because there isn’t going to be anything when you climb out of your hole.”
Williams — who has served as an instructor at the Marine Corps’ Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, Calif., and has been a survival, evasion, resistance and escape instructor — has written the Survivology 101 blog for the past three years.
“If we all die together, we all die together,” Williams said. “But if we make it through, we become a strong community and we rebuild. It may not be the diehard survival mentality, but there has to be something to live for, too. You have to have something more than yourself; otherwise, you’re a sociopath and probably don’t need to be living anyway.”
Like with a lot of things in life, preppers seem to come in all shapes and sizes.
By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (http://www.survivalandprosperity.com)
Ogle, Wesleigh. “Meet a true Oregon ‘prepper.’” CBS North Bend, OR. 27 Dec. 2012. (http://www.kcby.com/news/local/Meet-a-true-Oregon-prepper-184991621.html). 31 Dec. 2012.
“Preppers’ prepare for the worst.” UPI. 25 Dec. 2012. (http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2012/12/25/Preppers-prepare-for-the-worst/UPI-73881356422400/). 31 Dec. 2012.
On Monday, I previewed episode number 6, “Nine Meals Away from Anarchy,” of the National Geographic Channel TV series Doomsday Preppers. This afternoon, I’ll be doing my review of the episode.
The show focused on three prepper groups this past Tuesday. In order of appearance:
Mike Mester and family, suburb of Atlanta, Georgia
“We’re preparing for civil unrest caused by a global economic collapse.”
Preston White, central Colorado
“Preston believes that a cloud of deadly radiation from Fukushima is heading towards the mainland United States and will soon contaminate food and water supplies.”
Riley Cook and family, Silverthorne, Colorado
“I’m preparing my family to survive a polar shift.”
Here are my thoughts about episode 6 of Doomsday Preppers, broken down by prepper group:
Mike Mester and family
Mike Mester is a contractor who lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife, kids, and dogs. Prepping is a way of life for the entire family, so much so that they’ve been doing it for almost a decade. Mike warned:
The way the United States economy works today is not sustainable. We were once the greatest creditor in the world. Now, we are the greatest debtor. Where will all the money come from? Look at the news, look at the papers. Police departments cut. Fire departments cut. What will we do when there’s no one there?
According to the show:
Mike believes that as the global economy falters, the U.S. economy will fall deeper and deeper into debt. Banks will close. Power will go out. Basic services will grind to a halt.
Which led Mike to ask:
If the grocery shelves are empty, you’re only nine meals away from anarchy. What will happen then? Will you be prepared?
It’s revealed that oldest son Ryan is away at college 250 miles away. Mike declared:
My wife and I, our home is our family. That’s why we want to ensure that we get all our children home when things collapse. We will go to any extent to ensure their safety.
As a result, Ryan’s parents provided him with a “get home” bag full of supplies, including food and water, that will support him for 4 days. In case their son is unable to make it back to the Mester household by himself, his parents have a backup plan in place. Mike explained:
Heaven forbid our oldest boy can’t make it home. That’s why we have plans to retrieve him in 30 days.
From the show:
Mike believes that after an economic collapse, rioting will spread from urban centers in waves, with violence cresting in the first few weeks. So 30 days is a key timeframe for braving the road.
Mr. Mester suspects gasoline will be hard to come by in an economic collapse, so he stores 50 gallons of it out in his garage. He replenishes his stockpile every 3 months to keep the gas fresh. Viewers were also informed in the episode:
He is also teaching his son Kyle methods for stealing gasoline, if necessary.
Nice. How about:
He is also teaching his son Kyle methods for recovering gasoline from abandoned/disabled vehicles in a societal collapse.
It’s just not the humans who are prepping in the Mester household. Their two German Shepherd dogs, Storm and Thunder, both have bug-out bags and were later shown to be receiving training for protecting the home and family.
Putting his logistician background to good work, Mike has amassed and organized an impressive stockpile of food and water. It’s revealed 3 rooms of his 4,500 square-foot house are dedicated to food storage. He estimated they have 2 years of food for 10 people. Viewers are also informed:
Mike stores thousands of cans, sometimes for years past their expiration date. Expired food might not taste good, but Mike knows it could keep his family alive in a crisis.
There’s a difference between shelf life and life-sustaining. In Third World countries, they use rancid cooking oil. Certainly, it will not hurt you.
Another interesting bit of info provided about the Mester family’s preps was the alternative fuel source they were shown fabricating and stockpiling. They collect dead leaves in the fall and combine them with newspaper to create an alternative fuel source. The mixture is soaked in water for 5 days, the slurry is compressed to remove the liquid, and briquettes are formed and air-dried for a week to serve as emergency heating and cooking sources. Very nice.
Like a number of other suburban preppers, Mike and his family recognize the potential threats from living so close to a major American city should a SHTF situation arise- and are preparing accordingly. Mike said:
Security is an important part of the prepper’s lifestyle. If there’s an economic collapse, civil unrest will likely ensue the metropolitan areas, then spread out to the suburbs. Downtown Atlanta is only 45 miles away. We don’t know how fast that civil unrest will get to us, but we certainly will be prepared if it does.
The Mester family possesses a battery of home-defense firearms and a stockpile of ammunition, and trains monthly at the shooting range.
Mike left viewers with this thought:
If you think the government’s going to be there, are you going to sit back and wait for the cavalry? They may never come. So what are you going to do about it? Why don’t you start to prepare? Because it’s your personal responsibility.
In the “Expert Assessment” portion of the Mester segment, Practical Preppers LLC recommended:
You need to put your leadership skills to use in your community. Getting your neighbors aware of, and involved in your prepping, will only make your family more secure in a crisis situation.
Excellent advice. But I’d add, that depends on the neighbors. I’ve lived next to my share of wackjobs over the years. And here in Chicago, where a good number of the residents have bought into the notion of “cradle-to-grave” care and protection by the Nanny State, preppers/survivalists and firearm owners are looked upon with intense suspicion, if not disgust.
Finally, in the “Doomsday Preppers Update” portion, Mike Mester indicated that the family was planning to grow a 1,000 square foot garden in their backyard. Those who lived in Russia in the aftermath of the Soviet Union’s collapse will attest to how important a food garden is when society breaks down.
Preston White is a web developer who lives in central Colorado. The recent disaster at the Fukushima power plant in Japan got him prepping. From the show:
Preston believes that a cloud of deadly radiation from Fukushima is heading towards the mainland United States and will soon contaminate food and water supplies.
People need to know Japan should be evacuated. California, Oregon, and Washington should be evacuated.
Convinced of this radioactive contamination, White makes putting together a seed bank a top priority. From the episode:
Believing that radioactive fallout from Japan will contaminate the American food chain, Preston is creating a seed bank, a store of fruit and vegetable seeds that can be used to grow radiation-free food in a post-apocalyptic world.
White has amassed so many seeds, he is shown displaying 11,000 different types for viewers. He explained:
A non-prepper might look at my supply and say, “Are you kidding me?” But if something happens- I win this game. People that aren’t prepared- they lose this game.
In the episode, Preston White worked with other preppers (Shane Anderson, Richard Dudas) to plant his seeds and create a radiation-free farm. A key component to the farm is the biosphere tent system, which acts as barrier to radioactive fallout while allowing enough light in to grow food year-round. In addition, these tents can be broken down/set up fast and easily transported should the situation call for it.
Besides growing food, these tents were also purchased so people can live in them. At this point in the episode, local Russell Preister brought in and demonstrated an HHO generator/home heater prototype that would hopefully provide energy, clean radiation-free water, and purified oxygen for the plant and human occupants. According to the show:
The HHO generator can turn water into highly-flammable gas by using electrolysis to separate water’s hydrogen and oxygen atoms. It can literally turn water into fire… HHO technology has become increasingly popular, with plans to build home generators readily available on the Internet.
Like the Mester family, White has a battery of home-defense firearms. He said:
If you’re a prepper, there’s 4 guns to have. You’ve got a 30-06 to kill a deer, shotgun, 22 rifle to protect your home, and a 9mm pistol. A sidearm for close contact. The guns I chose, I chose for defense.
Hope he meant to say that 22 rifle is a .223.
After learning a valuable lesson about violating operational security (OPSEC), White remarked:
I was faced with death. Decided I wasn’t going to be a victim. It changed my life the way I live tomorrow. I can affect my picture, and that’s what you do by prepping.
In the “Doomsday Preppers Update” portion of this segment, Preston said:
I’m hoping in the future to pick up a motor home and make it into a really good bug-out vehicle.
I always thought a mobile bug-out location was a neat idea. For those who can’t afford a fixed BOL, it might be worth investigating.
Riley Cook and family
Riley Cook is a welder living in Silverthorne, Colorado, with his wife and four kids. According to the show:
Riley believes that during his lifetime, there will be a catastrophic polar shift, a movement of the Earth’s North and South Poles along the Earth’s mantle. And this drastic geological change will unleash a litany of natural disasters.
The Cook family began seriously prepping 5 years ago. It was revealed they have already spent around $300,000 on prepping.
Prepping has become such an integral part of their lives, the Cook family’s welding shop recently became a disaster shelter building business. Because they construct customized underground bunkers, all sorts of features can be incorporated into a project. Even an incinerator to eliminate pesky intruders. Riley explained:
That’s what you get when you combine a prepper and a welder.
Getting back to the episode:
A bunker buried at a distant bug-out location is only effective if you can get to it. Riley expects that the catastrophic nature of a polar shift will cause severe fuel shortages. So he has used his expert welding skills to solve the problem of transportation. His latest prepping tool is a custom-made Cook original that he hopes will allow his family to carry supplies without needing a car or truck.
Riley designed and built a 100 lb. hand-crafted aluminum cart that allows him to haul almost 9 times his body weight by distributing loads like a horse and cart. In this case, Riley is the horse. It’s also water-tight and can float in a body of water. Pretty cool.
Not surprisingly, the Cook family has an underground survival shelter located at 11,200 feet in the Colorado mountains 10 miles from civilization. During the episode, Riley, his wife Sara(h?), and their kids are shown practicing bugging-out in severe weather up an unplowed, snow-covered mountain pass to the bunker. From the show:
Emergency preparedness experts suggest that you practice evacuating your home at least twice a year, and plot alternate routes in case roads become impassable.
The Cook family eventually made it to their “cabin,” and proceeded to hunker down for the remainder of their stay.
Overall, a really good episode. As I said in my preview earlier in the week, a lot of viewers can probably relate to the Mester family in the suburbs, the Cook family in the small town, and even Preston White out in central Colorado. And this week, a number of ideas (food gardens, HHO generators/home heaters, motor homes, etcetera) were introduced that might be worth looking into.
I wish these three prepper groups success in their endeavors.
New episodes of Doomsday Preppers air on the National Geographic Channel Tuesday nights at 9 PM Eastern/Pacific Time. For more information, go to the Nat Geo Channel website here.
And before I forget, have you seen the new Doomsday Preppers TV commercial yet? When I first heard it, I thought it sounded so similar to the beverage commercials from the late 70s/early 80s it had me wondering if the original crew hadn’t been hired to produce it…
“I’m a Prepper, You’re a Prepper”
Radiation from Japan’s damaged nuclear power plant is being reported in several West Coast states. From CNN’s Elizabeth Landau this morning:
Colorado and Oregon have joined several other Western states in reporting trace amounts of radioactive particles that have likely drifted about 5,000 miles from a quake and tsunami-damaged nuclear power plant in Japan, officials say…
Sampling from a monitor in Colorado — part of a national network of stations on the lookout for radioactivity — detected miniscule amounts of iodine-131, a radioactive form of iodine, the state’s public health and environmental department said Wednesday in a press release.
On the same day in Portland, Oregon, tiny quantities of iodine-131 were also detected by an Environmental Protection Agency air monitor, Oregon public health officials said.
Small amounts of radioactive material were detected Wednesday, too, in Hawaii — just as they had a day earlier, according to the EPA. But while they were above the historical and background norm, the levels weren’t considered harmful to human health.
Washington and California previously reported low levels of radioactive isotopes that likely came from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which has been releasing radioactive particles into the air since its cooling and other systems were damaged by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and massive tsunami on March 11. Efforts continued Thursday to cool down the spent nuclear fuel rods, prevent a further meltdown of the plant’s six reactor cores and curb the release of additional radioactive material.
Federal authorities insist that Americans need not be concerned about the levels of radiation reaching the United States. From the article:
But, on a portion of its website dedicated to tracking such radiation, the Environmental Protection Agency noted Wednesday that these and other readings “show typical fluctuation in background radiation levels” and — thus far — “are far below levels of concern.”
Americans typically get exposure to radiation from natural sources such as the sun, bricks and rocks that are about 100,000 times higher than what has been detected in the United States.
There is no need for anyone as a precautionary measure to take potassium iodide, a medication that can counter the harmful effects of iodine-131, health officials say.
Landau, Elizabeth. “More U.S. states find traces of radiation from Japan.” CNN.com. 24 Mar. 2011. (http://edition.cnn.com/2011/US/03/23/colorado.oregon.radiation/). 24 Mar. 2011.
Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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