Wisconsin

Survey Emphasizes Illinois ‘One Of The Least Friendly States In The Nation Towards Small Business’

Here’s something else I came across during my recent break. Not sure if the local mass/alternative media really picked up on this at all. But even if they did, I think it’s worth mentioning again to highlight the state’s ongoing reputation for being business-unfriendly.

Posted on the website of Internet marketplace Thumbtack recently:

Thumbtack, in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, has released Illinois’s results from the third annual Thumbtack.com Small Business Friendliness Survey. The study, drawing upon data from over 12,000 small business owners, provides new insights into state and local business environments across the nation.

“After a two-month survey of thousands of small business owners nationwide, Illinois’s small businesses have rated it near the bottom as one of the least friendly states in the nation towards small business,” says Jon Lieber, Chief Economist of Thumbtack. “Creating a business climate that is welcoming to small, dynamic businesses is more important than ever, and Illinois could be doing a lot better in creating this environment.”

Some of the key findings for Illinois include:

Illinois received a grade of F for its friendliness towards small business, one of the worst grades in the country.
• Illinois earned four grades of F across eleven rated categories, and received no grade higher than a C from its small businesses.
• Illinois small businesses were the most pessimistic in the nation about the prospects for the state economy…
• The top rated states overall were Utah, Idaho, Texas, Virginia and Louisiana. The lowest rated were Rhode Island, Illinois, California, Connecticut and New Jersey…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Pathetic.

Makes me want to explore starting up my future business in Wisconsin (only “C-”, but still better than “F”) by my family’s place rather than here in the Chicago suburbs.

You can view the entire Small Business Friendliness Survey on Thumbtack.com here.

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

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Wednesday, June 25th, 2014 Business, Government No Comments

Oconomowoc Gun Ban Demonstrates Importance Of Knowing Gun Laws

Speaking of Wisconsin this morning, I’ve been following an interesting story in Oconomowoc (Waukesha County) which highlights the importance of keeping on top of applicable firearm laws.

(Editor’s note: According to the latest version of Gun Facts (6.2), there are more than 22,000 gun laws at the city, county, state, and federal level)

AWR Hawkins reported on the Breitbart website yesterday:

Following complaints by an Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, mother that a father violated a gun ban by being armed while playing with his children at a public park, Oconomowoc Police Chief David R. Beguhn said he will not enforce the ban.

According to local NBC affliate TMJ4, the mother, Heather Karenz, reported the armed father. She said, “There’s a lot of debate. There are people saying that’s his right, and I agree, 100 percent. But when it’s illegal for it to be on city property, everybody needs to obey that.”

An Oconomowoc city ordinance “does not allow firearms on city property.”

However, Chief Beguhn reviewed the local ordinance after Karenz’s complaint and found that the ordinance is no longer valid

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Why’s that? State of Wisconsin preemption statute. Dean Weingarten wrote on The Truth About Guns website yesterday:

Outraged Second Amendment supporters flooded the station and the city with emails and tweets, citing state law. Yesterday afternoon the police chief finally took the time to read the relevant statutes… and admitted that under Wisconsin’s preemption statute, the local law was unenforceable. Nik Clark of WisconsinCarry sent an email that the Chief had called him, and is in the process of correcting the error:

I’m pleased to relay that I received a call from the Oconomowoc Police Chief today who let me know that he has reviewed their local ordinance banning open carry in parks and realized it no longer fell within state law. He said he will be asking the city council to remove the ordinance at the next meeting. In the meantime, it will not be enforced

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Weingarten added:

Perhaps other police officials around the nation will learn from his example, and take the time to check the relevant statutes when asked a simple question about the laws they’re charged with enforcing…

One might hope so.

Hat tip to Chief Beguhn and other City of Oconomowoc officials/staff for looking into and doing something about the matter when they realized the conflict with the state statute.

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

Sources:

Hawkins, AWR. “Wisconsin Police Chief Will Not Enforce Concealed Carry Ban.” Breitbart.com. 8 May 2014. (http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/05/08/Wisconsin-Police-Chief-Will-Not-Enforce-Ban-On-Concealed-Carry). 9 May 2014.

Weingarten, Dean. “Second Amendment Supporters Win in Oconomowoc.” The Truth About Guns. 8 May 2014. (http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/05/dean-weingarten/second-amendment-supporters-win-oconomowoc/). 9 May 2014.

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Union Grove Gun Show Next Week

Local readers of Survival And Prosperity may be interested in knowing of a nearby gun show taking place next week in Union Grove, Wisconsin. From the Bob and Rocco Gun Shows website:

May 16, 17 & 18
Union Grove Gun Show @ Racine County Fairgrounds

Friday 3-8 Saturday 9-5 Sunday 9-3 Admission $6 ~ Vendor Fee $40/8′ Table – (250 Tables)
19805 Durard Ave, Union Grove, WI 53182

You can visit the website here for more information on the event.

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

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Quote For The Week

“Ladies and gentlemen, the armed citizen made America free, and the armed citizen will keep America free.”

-Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr., speaking at the 143rd NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits, NRA-ILA Leadership Forum, on April 25, 2014

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

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Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke’s Advice To Chicago

Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr., recently spoke at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention. Sheriff Clarke, who first grabbed national headlines with a memorable Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office PSA he recorded around the beginning of 2013 (blogged about here), was interviewed right after his speech by Guns.com and had this to say about Chicago’s ongoing violence and its police superintendent, Garry McCarthy:

I’ve been at this for 35 years. I know what works. I know what doesn’t work. When it comes to policing, the first thing you have to do is establish a relationship with the community you serve in- because the people have got to be on your side. The overwhelming majority of people in these neighborhoods that are under siege by the criminal element- they are good, law-abiding people. I’m talking like 95 percent of them. They may be poor, they may be uneducated, they may be unemployed- but they’re good, law-abiding citizens that want to help and they just want to live in peace and they want safe neighborhoods for them and their families. So you create that relationship- they will help you identify the bad guys. Then you arrest the bad guys and you put together cases that will stand up in court. And after that you need a judiciary- judges at the state level- and you need prosecutors that are on the same page with the police that don’t undo the work and send those criminal right back out that revolving door and you keep them locked up for the longest period of time allowable by law. They did it in New York and you saw historic drops in crime and violence in New York. This is the model they used – it’s kind of the quality of life, broken windows theory. That stuff works. But everybody’s got to be on the same page.

My advice to the city of Chicago would be to get a new police chief. Because he doesn’t appear to get it. Just blame the gun stuff, blame the gun, blame the gun. The gun’s not the problem. It’s the person behind the gun, and that’s usually the career criminal that keeps being shown leniency, gets put back into circulation in the neighborhood, re-arms himself, and goes on to kill and maim, and rape and rob good law-abiding citizens. That would be my advice to them.


“Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke’s advice to Chicago: ‘Get a new police chief’”
(Chicago segment starts around 6:41)
YouTube Video

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

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Chicago-Area Lakes Hit By Bad Fish Kill

A number of Chicago-area preppers/survivalists might be planning to fish the local lakes to supplement their diet should TSHTF.

If that’s the case, be advised of the following, which I read in a weekly roundup section in my Sunday Chicago Tribune:

Fish kill worse than usual, expert says

Another legacy of the harsh winter: The fish kill in small lakes around the area was worse than what one state fisheries official said he’d seen in 34 years on the job.

Here’s hoping this won’t jeopardize my shot at landing a big pike or largemouth at my family’s place in southeastern Wisconsin this summer/fall…

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

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Wisconsin Now Recognizes Illinois Concealed Carry Licenses

Wow. A morning where’s there’s not too much in the way of disturbing news coming out of Chicago, Cook County, Illinois?

Just wait until the end of the day when the so-called “document dump” and bad news is then released to a public who is already in weekend mode, right?

Anyway, the Illinois State Rifle Association reported on their website Monday:

According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, those with Illinois concealed carry permits are now recognized in Wisconsin.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The provided link takes one to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Law Enforcement Services, web page, where under “CCW Reciprocity” the following is published:

Permit(s) Honored In Wisconsin:
Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virgin Islands, Washington, Wyoming

Good information for Illinois Concealed Carry License holders to know, should they ever plan to “Escape To Wisconsin” for pleasure- or in an emergency.

You can view that CCW Reciprocity page on the Wisconsin DOJ website here.

For more information about the Illinois Concealed Carry License, go to the Illinois State Police Concealed Carry web page here.

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

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Friday, April 11th, 2014 Firearms, Government, Self-Defense 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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Must-Watch Speech: Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke On Responsibly-Armed Americans

Heading north past the state line, Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr., is in the headlines again. Sheriff Clarke’s name may ring a bell with regular readers of Survival And Prosperity due to a memorable Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office PSA he recorded around the beginning of 2013. I blogged back on January 27, 2013

North of “Madiganistan,” there’s a new ad being aired on the radio:

I’m Sheriff David Clarke and I want to talk to you about something personal- your safety. It’s no longer a spectator sport- I need you in the game. But are you ready? With officers laid off and furloughed, simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option. You could beg for mercy from a violent criminal. Hide under a bed. Or you can fight back. But are you prepared? Consider taking a certified safety course in handling a firearm so you can defend yourself until we get there. You have a duty to protect yourself and your family. We’re partners now. Can I count on you?

This safety message brought to you by the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office.

At a recent United States Concealed Carry Association Open House Event held in West Bend, Wisconsin, Sheriff Clarke spoke of that PSA and subsequent ones, including the support and disdain he received from them. Clarke told the USCCA open house audience:

I got tired of seeing the Second Amendment becoming the bastard child of the Bill of Rights. As far as I’m concerned, the Second Amendment is as important as the First Amendment, it’s as important as the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures, it’s as important as the Fifth Amendment right to counsel, it’s as fundamental as the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, and on and on and on.

And but for the Second Amendment, the other ones are not possible.

Because what leads to despots in our history- you first disarm people, you gain control of the media.

That gives rise to despots. And that’s the importance of an armed citizenry…

It’s a terrific speech about responsibly-armed Americans, which you can watch in its entirety (less than 15 minutes) below…

“Gutsy Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Delivers Unforgettable Speech at USCCA Event”
(Speech from 2:46 to 17:07)
YouTube Video

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

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Seen On The Streets, Part 11

Potholes. Tons of them. Christopher Borrelli reported on the Chicago Tribune website on Monday:

It’s officially spring. We’re deep into pothole season, which, like other holiday seasons, seems to grow longer every year. This pothole season could be the longest yet. Potholes are out of control. The Chicago Department of Transportation said last month that pothole complaints have tripled in the past year; and since New Year’s Day alone, the city has filled more than 350,000 potholes. And because, according to CDOT, which assumes there are at least five unreported potholes for each reported pothole, their conservative estimate of the number of potholes remaining is, well, about 60,000 potholes.

At the very, very least…

Personally, I think the roads have been crap in many places around the Chicagoland area for a number of years now.

One spot in particular that’s incredibly chewed up and which I drive through on a regular basis is that portion of Thatcher Road right outside the Oak Park Country Club in River Grove.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the report of the shotguns being fired nearby on certain days at the Club- in conjunction with the cratered road- reminds some veterans of being in a warzone.

As a high school kid, when I could scrape together several bucks I would buy the latest duPont REGISTRY (magazine of luxury autos for sale) at the old Crown Books on the corner of Harlem and North. Lots of daydreaming would ensue where I’d be piloting some hot sports car around Chicago.

A number of years have passed, and practicality along with fate has left me driving an older, high-mileage Toyota instead.

Still, my lust for a high-performance vehicle has never subsided.

Although, the crumbling streets I’d encounter around the Chicago area made me remark to my girlfriend one day that owning a nice sports car (or even a “regular” one) may not be practical around these parts. For starters, there’s the city traffic. Second, there’s the high price of gas- especially if the vehicle requires the premium stuff. Finally, the increasingly crummy roads will “eat up” the bottom of the vehicle.

Case in point. While watching the local news one day this winter, I spotted a reporter doing a live broadcast about how bad the potholes were in the city. As they were doing the shoot, a hipster’s car went over one of these holes, tearing off a big piece from the underside of her vehicle. I felt really bad for the young lady as she proceeded to talk about what just happened on camera.

Further evidence of just how bad the local streets have gotten can be seen in a Craigslist.org post I saw the other day while taking in some car porn. From March 29:

Porsche 914 (1974) – $10500 (chicago)

Tired of winter and potholes, the car is 99% of the time in the garage…Selling my ’74 914,wide body from Sheridan Motorsports,custom interior,disk brakes front and rear,1.8l engine with double webers(40mm)pulls strong with no leaks,transmission rebuilt less than 500 miles ago,75k miles

Considering trading for a WRX of similar or lesser value…

“Tired of winter and potholes, the car is 99% of the time in the garage”

That trade request for a Subaru WRX makes sense, as things considered.

Still, even that rugged all-wheel drive vehicle may have too low of a ground clearance for some of the “surface anomalies” I’ve been spotting for some time now.

After I told my girlfriend about sports cars perhaps being impractical to own around these parts, I suggested for one to really experience what a sports car is really capable of performance-wise, one would probably have to head out to the back roads.

When I finally get my hands on one of these cars, “Escape to Wisconsin” will take on a whole new meaning for me…


Jamiroquai, “Cosmic Girl” (1996)
YouTube Video

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

Source:

Borrelli, Christopher. “Making potholes into art.” Chicago Tribune. 31 Mar. 2014. (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-03-31/entertainment/ct-pothole-art-20140401_1_pothole-season-mosaic-marble). 3 Apr. 2014.

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Wisconsin Cuts Taxes While Illinois Looks To Make 2011 ‘Temporary’ Tax Hikes Permanent

Throughout the years, I’ve known/met a number of Illinois residents who can’t stand Wisconsin. Mostly from the Chicago area, they equate Wisconsin and its residents as being unsophisticated clowns.

I wonder if they haven’t noticed by now that the only circus around is in the “Land of Lincoln.”

While Illinois falls deeper into an economic abyss (public pension fix my butt), Wisconsin seems to have gotten their finances under control and look to be on the path to prosperity.

So much so they’re cutting taxes. Again.

Patrick Marley and Jason Stein reported on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel website Monday afternoon:

Lowering taxes for the third time in less than a year, Gov. Scott Walker signed his $541 million tax cut bill in a ceremony Monday at a farm in Cecil as he travels through central and northern Wisconsin touting it.

Speaking at Horsens Homestead Farms, about 35 miles northwest of Green Bay, Walker called it a great day for Wisconsin taxpayers and a sign of the state’s shifting financial fortunes in recent years.

“Now, instead of billion dollar budget deficits, we have a surplus — and today that money is on its way to the workers, parents, seniors, property owners, veterans, job creators and others. You deserve to keep as much of your hard-earned money as possible — because after all, it is your money,” Walker said.

With growing tax collections now expected to give the state a $1 billion budget surplus in June 2015, Walker’s tax proposal will cut property and income taxes for families and businesses, and zero out all income taxes for manufacturers in the state.

Though the state’s tax revenue is increasing, GOP lawmakers and Walker are trimming state spending slightly for the next three years rather than increasing it

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Meanwhile, across the Cheddar Curtain in Illinois there’s this on the website of The State Journal-Register (Springfield). Doug Finke reported Friday:

Hundreds of employees would be laid off, state facilities would be closed and thousands of prison inmates released without supervision, state agency directors told senators Friday during a hearing to gauge the effect of possibly severe spending cuts next year.

During a more than three-hour joint hearing of the two Senate Appropriations committees, agency after agency warned of drastic consequences should they be forced to cut their current budgets by 20 percent.

“There would be extreme consequences for the economy across Illinois,” warned Ben Winick of Gov. Pat Quinn’s budget office. “Over a dozen state facilities would have to close. Thousands of state employees would have to be laid off.”

The hearing occurred just days before Quinn is scheduled to finally deliver his budget outline for the fiscal year that starts July 1…

Translated? Illinois residents, this is what will happen if you don’t support making the Democrat-led temporary 67 percent personal income tax hike and 46 percent corporate income tax hike implemented in January 2011 permanent next year.

I hear Governor Quinn will be delivering his budget plan tomorrow.

Instead of ridiculing Wisconsin, us FIBs (F***ing Illinois Bastards as we’re known by up there) might want to start emulating our neighbors to the north in certain respects before we completely destroy Illinois.

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

Sources:

Marley, Patrick and Stein, Jacob. “Scott Walker signs tax cut legislation.” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 24 Mar. 2014. (http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/scott-walker-set-to-sign-tax-cut-legislation-b99231851z1-251936261.html). 24 Mar. 2014.

Finke, Doug. “State agencies outline cuts if forced to make 20% reductions.” The State Journal-Register. 21 Mar. 2014. (http://www.sj-r.com/article/20140321/NEWS/140329821). 24 Mar. 2014.

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Growing Illinois Fiscal Fiasco Makes Wisconsin Relocation More Attractive

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity may recall me blogging from time to time that as things stand, Wisconsin- not Illinois- looks to be my primary state of residence down the road. For example, I wrote back on January 29 of last year:

By the time I started this blog back in November 2010, I already had a pretty good idea I’d eventually be leaving the city of Chicago to reside someplace else. And every once in a while, I’d query the “best places” to live in America- should TSHTF or not. While the area of southeastern Wisconsin I’m looking at moving to in a few years is probably not “ideal” (even less so the suburbs of Chicago) from a prepper’s perspective, practitioners of modern survivalism would probably see more positives than negatives with the location. Keeping in mind that not only do I envision a certain lifestyle for myself down the road, but I also think I have a pretty good idea of what will be required to “survive and prosper” in America in the coming years, this part of the Midwest really appears to be a nice fit not only for me but my girlfriend as well. Here’s hoping it is…

Sure, certain Wisconsin taxes tend to be higher than in the “Land of Lincoln.” But at least it’s not a fiscal basket case, where I can envision Illinois one day leapfrogging our neighbors to the north when it comes to levels of revenue collection.

Chicago Tribune columnist Dennis Byrne reminded the paper’s readers just how precarious our financial situation has gotten here in Illinois… in addition to suggesting a state we might want to consider emulating. He wrote on the Tribune website on January 28:

Illinois is a stinking mess.

A steaming heap of suffocating debt, endless greed, blind self-interest and numbing incompetence. How we’ve been able to survive this long without plunging into the abyss is beyond me, and all reason.

No need here to document all of the state’s failures. Way behind on its bills. The nation’s worst credit rating. Higher unemployment than the nation. Business wanting to scram, fed up with an unfriendly entrepreneurial climate. Crushing pension obligations so far into the future that no one alive today, even if they ponied up every cent they made (after taxes, of course), will ever see the end of it.

Illinois is run by a self-renewing, power-hungry, piggish oligarchy so impervious to change (I hesitate to use the word reform, because true reform is as rare in Illinois as is the sight of Pike’s Peak) that it makes feudalism look good.

Don’t try to argue that a recent package of minor changes to the public employees’ pension system, grudgingly enacted by the serfs in the state legislature, is reform. Even if it were, it’s going nowhere because it will be dead on arrival in Illinois’ courts. That’s because the hoggish public employee unions were able, at the last minute, to ram into the state constitution a provision that guarantees their cupidity will be fed, well, forever.

What makes it all so vexing is how close the answer to our problems is: Wisconsin.

While Illinois is circling the drain, Wisconsin has saved itself from a similar fate and, in the aftermath of the longest-lasting recession since Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, is actually doing OK, if not prospering…

“Prospering.”

It’s been a long time since I’ve heard/seen that word associated with Illinois.

Which is too bad, because I really do love this state and my fellow Illinoisans.

But seeing as my goal remains not only to survive but prosper as the times become more tumultuous, Byrne’s observation further convinces me my future still lies up north.

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

Source:

Byrne, Dennis. “Illinois Should Look To Wisconsin.” Chicago Tribune. 28 Jan. 2014. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/site/ct-oped-byrne-0128-20140128,0,5528813.column). 3 Feb. 2014.

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Study: Illinois Receives ‘F’ For Disaster Preparedness, U.S. Gets ‘C-’

This past Thursday, I blogged about how federal government funding for disaster preparedness and response at the state and local level has plummeted since 2008.

That afternoon, an article appeared on the Chicago Tribune website which talked about a report card that was released the same day from the American College of Emergency Physicians (the professional organization of emergency medicine physicians in the United States) that looked at emergency care on a state-by-state basis. Peter Frost discussed the 2014 edition of America’s Emergency Care Environment, A State-by-State Report Card and wrote:

An updated national report on emergency medical care awarded Illinois two “F” grades for its lack of protection for doctors against malpractice suits and poor disaster preparedness, dropping the state’s ranking to 45th in the nation for supporting emergency care…

The state also failed to keep pace with other states in improving disaster preparedness, dropping to 43rd in the nation from 9th in 2009. The report urged Illinois to increase the number of its health care professionals who participate in a disaster response registry.

“Our state continues to be a … difficult environment for medical professionals which increases the risk of our losing qualified physicians and medical professionals to other states,” said Dr. Edward Ward, president of the Illinois Chapter of the emergency doctors’ group. “This threatens access to care for our patients in Illinois every day but especially during a mass casualty event.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

“F” for disaster preparedness. Real nice.

I pulled up Illinois on the ACEP Report Card. Frost was too generous. The “Land of Lincoln” fell from number 8- not 9- in 2009 to 43 in 2014. And here’s what was written about the “F” the state received for disaster preparedness:

While changes in a number of Disaster Preparedness indicators from 2009 may partially explain the significant grade drop, Illinois now ranks well below most other states in this category. In 2012, the state’s Department of Public Health sought legislation to enhance immunity for its health care responders during an emergency but was unsuccessful. Adopting liability protections might help the state increase the per capita numbers of physicians, nurses, and behavioral health professionals registered in the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals, which are currently among the lowest in the nation…

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Surprisingly, our neighbors to the north and east- Wisconsin and Indiana- both were awarded “F” grades in disaster preparedness as well.

As for the United States as a whole in 2014, disaster preparedness dropped from a “C+” in 2009 to a “C-” this year.

Not good news in these tumultuous times. And I have a feeling the grades for both Illinois and the rest of the country will continue to keep slipping as federal funds are diverted elsewhere. Where does that leave the general public? Possibly without outside help any time soon for a good many of them in the event of a major disaster.

But wasn’t that the case anyway (Hurricane Katrina comes to mind here) when resources were more plentiful?

You can read the entire ACEP Report Card (.pdf format) on their website here.

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

Source:

Frost, Peter. “Study ranks Illinois 45th in emergency care.” Chicago Tribune. 16 Jan. 2014. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-illinois-45th-in-emergency-care-20140116,0,1355455.story). 19 Jan. 2014

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Greetings From Chiberia!

Record-breaking cold grips Chicago area

The Chicago area has already set a new record low today, with temps hitting minus 16…”

-Chicago Tribune website, January 6, 2014

When it comes to preparing for emergencies/disasters, as much as getting ready for some zombie apocalypse or other low-probability event might be more interesting, it’s the routine stuff that really shouldn’t be overlooked.

Case in point, severe weather.

I’ve lived in the Chicagoland area for most of my life. And I’ve seen my share of extreme weather. But all the recent snow and arctic temps have already made the winter of 2013-2014 a memorable one.

It’s so cold and snowy outside, last night the banner of the Chicago Sun-Times website read “Chicago Sun-Times.com, Cloudy, 2, Horror.”

As I type this Monday morning, it’s now been updated to read “Chicago Sun-Times.com, Cloudy, -14, HOTH.”

That’s 14 degrees Fahrenheit below zero. Not factoring in wind chill.

As for “HOTH,” at first I was like, “What’s that an acronym for?” And then I remembered…


“Stars Wars Empire Strikes Back Battle of Hoth (Full)”
YouTube Video

Funny guys over at the Sun-Times.

Speaking of the rebels’ main generators on planet Hoth, by Sunday evening, I had kept up on the shoveling and snowblowing throughout the weekend and the house was pretty much buttoned-up for the “polar vortex.”

And then we lost power.

I thought to myself, “I knew I should have picked up a portable gas-powered generator when they went on sale in the fall.” I told my girlfriend, “God forbid the power is off for an extended period of time. With those falling temps outside and now inside, I’m worried about the pipes freezing up.”

When I called the electric company, I was told there were 1,500-plus other customers in our area who were in the same boat. Cause being investigated. Expected restoration time? About two hours.

Thankfully, the electricity came back on after fifteen minutes. By that time, I had already busted out a battery-powered lantern and some other items.

It’s been a crazy couple of days. Saturday morning I was up at my family’s place in Wisconsin checking on things and turning the thermostat up a few notches in anticipation of more snow and the deep freeze. While driving there on a Wisconsin highway, I came across two car accidents. The first involved a car that was sitting in the grassy median with the roof partially crushed and the windshield and other windows broken. A sheriff’s deputy was already on scene. The second was a pickup truck that was resting on its side in a ditch adjacent to the opposite lanes of traffic. Again, the police were already there. Funny thing was, the weather wasn’t bad (30 degrees Fahrenheit, no snow, highway plowed nice and clean), yet there was still all this carnage. On the way back to Chicagoland, I got caught by a snow storm. Driving became really tricky real fast, so much so I witnessed in my rear-view mirror a semi-trailer truck almost jackknife a few car lengths back after getting cut off by a sedan. The semi-trailer heaved to the left, then to the right, before the driver managed to regain control.

At which point the truck driver looked like he was trying to sideswipe the sedan before its driver escaped via an exit ramp.

Like I said- crazy.

Watching the local news this morning they said this was the coldest the region has seen in twenty years. Hearing that took me back to the winter of 1993-1994, when I was an undergrad at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I remember temperatures being just as cold, and having to attend a certain class. Go figure, this stupid college kid didn’t have any winter clothes down at school with him except for a coat. No hat, no scarf, no gloves. Plenty of baseball caps though. I ended up taking the blanket off my bed, wrapping it over my head, around my face, and stuffing it inside my coat before walking out the door to class. My classmates must have thought I looked pretty funny wearing that thing in my seat. Then again, considering the circumstances, they might have been envious. When I returned home, I noticed my ears were incredibly red. Turns out, I still got frostbite on the extremities of my ears despite wearing a comforter.

Twenty years later, the weather outside is eerily similar. But this time, I’m much better prepared for the frigid temps- multiple winter coats, gloves, hats, etcetera. No need to bust out a bed comforter this time around.

Stay warm. Stay safe. And as much fun as it may be buying that bio-hazard themed katana sword to fight the zombie hordes, you might be better off picking up a quality shovel, a portable generator, even just a winter hat, to successfully deal with the severe weather at this time of year.

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

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‘No Guns Allowed’ Signs Bad For Illinois Businesses?

A while back, I read something in one of the local papers about suburban Chicago businesses debating whether or not to post “no guns allowed” signage at their establishments once concealed-carry is in place in Illinois.

Their worry is that should they post these signs, will they lose business?

It’s a legitimate concern, if you ask me. Consider my experience with such signage…

Regular readers know I travel back-and-forth between the Chicago area and my family’s home in Wisconsin. I used to be a frequent visitor at the gas station down the street from the Wisconsin place. Not so much anymore. One reason why that’s the case is that shortly after the State of Wisconsin enacted concealed-carry in late 2011, I noticed a “no guns allowed” sign hanging near the entrance.

I expect violent crime will get steadily worse down the road. I suspect a significant number of gas stations are going to be robbed. I also suspect those stations posting signage prohibiting firearms may be at more risk of being targeted.

Personally, I already feel safer conducting business at gas stations which don’t turn away patrons permitted by the State of Wisconsin to carry a firearm on their person and who may keep the bad guys at bay by causing them to worry about whether or not they’re armed.

I respect the right of the Illinois business owner to decide how he/she wants to run their enterprise. At the same time, should they post “no guns allowed” signage at their establishment, they shouldn’t be surprised when I avoid doing business there.

IL No Guns Allowed Sign

Illinois State Police-approved “no guns allowed” sign
Or is it just “no Beretta 92s allowed”?

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

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Tuesday, December 31st, 2013 Business, Crime, Firearms, Self-Defense No Comments


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