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Sunday, May 14, 2017

CVS survival pre-pack review

While waiting for a prescription the other day I looked over and spotted this item. Figured I would pick up a couple and see what they might be good for. To start the price was about $6.50 a piece.


Not to be a complete ass BUT.... the package states this is a "first aid survival prep-pack". Guess what is not inside the package? One piece of first aid kit! The packaging does say this contains supplies for emergency survival situations which it does.


The back of the package does have some good advice if you have no prior planning or training and suddenly find yourself in a bad situation. You can not fault the advice to "Stop, Think, Observe and Plan". The direction on how to use the included whistle is accurate also. The directions on the back are a pleasant  surprise considering some of the stuff we have seen being passed off as emergency equipment.


Inside you find two emergency blankets, two whistles, a button compass and instructions. Not much but if we had to pick between nothing and this, this is a good start. The enclosed items come from Adventure Medical Kits. A good company with decent quality products for the prices they charge. I personally have a few of their kits for my own use. Which is probably the reason this kit is of higher quality then some other low priced kits we have seen which are similar to this one. 

The directions are good to go even if the kit does not include items you would need to follow the directions. The whistles are loud, kids tried them out for me. Compass worked, unlike some we have come across. Blankets are the same kind we see time and again. To thin, rip easy and are impossible to fold back into the little bag they come in. Overall this was not bad for six dollars and the Ziploc bag it comes in allows you room to add things.

A suggestion would be to take these items out the package they come in, find you a gallon zip lock bag and throw them inside. The zip lock is thicker and allows for easier opening and closing multiple times. While you are tossing things into the zip lock grab a few others things and toss them inside.

Throw in some band aids. A small kit like this one would fit.


Something sharp, swiss army knife or a multi-tool. Nothing to big or fancy but something with a blade at the very least.

Finish off with something to start a fire with. Odds are you could pick up a lighter at the same time you picked up one of these packages.

This is not the worst kit I have seen sold in stores. For six dollars it wasn't that bad. Given it says first aid supplies a few band aids could of been included. Over all if I wanted to give someone something to start from scratch with, something to throw in the truck or glove box and forget about until you need it, this is not a bad place to start. You would have to add a few things to keep from being really disappointed if an emergency did find you trying to stay alice with this kit alone.

As Always,

Stay Safe!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Venezuela update.

A while back we talked about Venezuela and the crisis they are having in which people could not find food or other basic items to survive. Again we will try to stay out the politics and focus on what the people are doing to survive. By doing this maybe we can pull ideas or answers which can assist us in our own emergency preparedness. If the opportunity presents itself we should learn from other people's experience instead of having to learn the hard lessons ourself.


Here is link to the original post. 

http://broadheads.blogspot.com/2016/05/venezuela-reality-check.html

Not much has changed from the time we originally looked at the situation. This is a really good example of why people need to realize emergencies can last long than a day or two. Help just might not be coming along any day soon, preparedness needs to be thought out for both the short and long haul and at the end of the day, you are responsible for your family.


The bridge talked about in the link below. Read the article. These people traveled by public transit and walked to secure food for themselves. Then look at the photo of what they came home with. These were not people already close to the poverty line or part of an underserved community. No, the husband was an auto mechanic and had his own garage before things started going south. The wife has a good job but with the situation spiraling downward her income is not enough to sustain the family.

  

I hope you read the article but if you did not here is what they brought home. How long could you and your family live on this amount of food? 


Here is what another family brought home after "shopping". They expected to eat for two weeks off of this amount of food.


Daily people stand in these lines hoping they can afford the prices of what little might be in the store.


Everything you might have stored up is likely to be used up after what, two weeks, a month, six months? Most of us do not have the space to stock up on much more than a maybe a weeks worth of food.


Yet food is not the only thing in short supply. Medicine is also lacking with doctors and hospitals not having anyway of getting more.


How long could you last on this? Heck do you even have the cooking skills to utilize these ingredients? Some of us have no idea how to cook from scratch and for these folks at this point in their situation all there is to work worth is items to make food from scratch.


http://todayvenezuela.com/2017/01/10/venezuela-set-for-murderous-2017/

The situation is not just one in which people can not find food. Read the article linked above. Not only are they looking for food people are more and more having to defend what little they have. Protecting their supplies not only from other hungry people. They have to defend themselves against gangs and the government. Problem for most of this people is when they try to defend themselves the gangs, police and military are the only ones who have firearms.

This is starting to get kind of long. Let's bring this around.

Prepare for the 'quick' emergency. Three days maybe a week.
Always be mentally prepared to go longer.
Utilize whatever supplies you have but always work to add more. Do not wait till you are running out of supplies to try and acquire more, everyone else is probably doing the same thing.
Be prepared to defend what you have, even from people you shouldn't have to defend things from.

As Always,

Stay Safe

Sunday, March 19, 2017

7.4 - Ok I will just say what I believe folks need!!

Some folks want to give me a rough time about not just coming out and saying what types of guns I think you need to have. Well there is a reason for this. I want folks to increase their knowledge on the subject by researching things, trying things out and taking responsibility for their choices. Remember a big part of all these conversations if you taking responsibility for you! Ok, here we go......

Well here we are, what do you need for planning when talking about guns! Guess what? You need training! Yeah not what you thought I would write. Here is a link to NRA certified instructors. I happen to be one and think the program gives you a very good BASIC foundation of knowledge. Especially for someone with no or very limited experience with firearms. Of course like anything else, the quality of instruction varies by instructor. 


Follow the link and you can find something in your area. They offer classes from basic pistol, to home defense and even reloading ammo. Again quality may very depending on the instructor. 

Let's cut to point of all this. When we are discussing planning for emergencies and the subject of guns comes up we are only thinking of one reason off the tops of our heads. Protecting the family. Now maybe some of us live in areas where this is not the first concern. Your nearest neighbor is down the road there, about three miles or so, as the crow flies. Groovy, for the rest of us we got people living a stones throw or closer who are the reason we lock our doors at night. Hence protection is the first reason we can think of for owning a firearm. Heck I got a dude across the street I thought I was going to have to shoot a few years back during a normal day. He is on the short list if everything goes to hell!! 

Let's be realistic here, the world is full of bad people, idiots and during some situations people will do things they might not have done during a regular day. We need to take this reality in to consideration when planning for emergencies. To not take this into consideration....... well if you choose not to that is your decision.......

So, what do you need? You need the right tool for the right task. We have already talked about that in other post. Just like in our post about fire starting or other subjects let's try to give ourselves the greatest amount of options with each choice we make when it comes to firearms. 

Before we go any further, I am not going to suggest anything I do not do myself. Unlike some folks I will not sit at the keyboard and suggest things, firearms or otherwise, I do not rely on myself for my own family. 

Revolvers

He is a good place to start. We all need something in the home we can get to if something is happening right now. Revolvers fit this need. They can be left loaded almost indefinitely, their a few moving parts on them and they are simple to use. 

You can easily conceal a revolver and they are easy to transport if you have to leave. In a really bad situation even the worst marksman just has to put the barrel against the bad guy and jerk the hell out of the trigger. A good thing about revolvers is they are not meant to have a bunch of fancy gadgets strapped to them and have no duehickys to confuse anyone in the house on how the operate. Every home should at least have one. Kept in a pistol box, somewhere the kids can't reach.

This would be my baseline for home defense, emergency situations, bugging in (staying home) and bugging out (leaving home). Yes we have one in our house. No I am not telling you where it is. Yes it is in a pistol box. Yes it is where the kids can't get to it. 

Side note on kids and guns. I have two grown children who were around guns all the time but had no idea. It wasn't until recently I told my 20 something son where I kept the guns when he was little. He admitted they knew I had guns but he and his sister had no idea where they were at. Sooooo do not give me an BS about guns are too dangerous to have in the home. The danger comes from having parents who do not know how to handle firearms....................

Pistols 

Next on the list of options are pistols, these are the most common to see. Most people do not own revolvers now days. Modern pistols allow you to carry much more ammunition then a revolver. Why would you want a pistol compared to a revolver? For the reason I just wrote. More is better if you are involved in a self defense situation with firearms! What? Having more rounds increases your chances of stopping the attacker and gaining control of the situation. Also, unlike hollywood shows people do not allows stop when they are shot once and believe this or not, you might miss!!! I know shocking!! 

As we talked about before I personal feel the M-9 or 92f is one of the best pistols for people with little experience or training. WHAT? WHY? Easy one to answer. You have to take the weapon off safe and the first round is double action. What this means is even in the fractions of a second these two things take you have time to decide not to fire a round. They also make it difficult for the firearm to fire when you do not want it to. 

I realize this can get expensive once you start investing in these tools. Every adult in your home should have a pistol. These are tools you keep in the safe for a really bad day. If you carry them otherwise make sure you have the appropriate licenses for your area. 


I wish I could hear they yells when people read this next part!!! My next choice would be a Glock. (oh how the moans and screams feed my soul) Something in 9mm. They are simple, lightweight and have been proven to work. My downside to them is they do not have a safety most people would understand and the whole having to pull the trigger to disassemble the pistol bugs the hell out me each time!! You can adjust the grips and other parts to fit the needs of the user and you can even put all kinds of extra stuff on them if you want. 

  
Try not to get caught up in all the hype of strapping on flashlights, laser beams and super cool sights to your pistols. Sure those things help if you train with them enough. Most of us will not train enough, because we have to work, go to soccer, etc etc, for all these cool add ons to really be of any use to us. 

Whatever you buy try to keep it simple and train with what you buy. It would take me a minute or two to figure out this pistol if I picked it up. Some pistols come with all kinds of levers and buttons I have a hard time figuring out what they are all for! If you have experience with a certain type of pistol stick with those. Remember during a bad day you only rise to the lowest level of your training. Do not set yourself up for failure!

Moving out a bit, increasing the range some, increasing the ability of the tool and giving the user more options we have to move to the shotgun.


If you have no idea about firearms, have a small budget and want a simple yet proven tool to add to your toolbox the Winchester 870 shotgun can not be beat. (if you are yelling about a different type, shhh) These shotguns have been around a long time. They have been used by the military, police, hunters, farmers and grandmothers everywhere. You can defend the family and put meat on the table with this tool. If you can not afford anything else, afford one of these. Every home should have at least one shotgun. Shotguns do not need to have a lot of fancy gadgets on them, they can be fired by anyone in the home, after some very basic training and the types of rounds they can fire are impressive.

Unlike other firearms shotguns have the ability to fire more than one projectile at a time. This means you get a bigger pattern coming out of the barrel and increase your odds of hitting something at the range the rounds are designed for. On the left of the above photo is bird shot, used exactly for what it is called. You can drop birds to put on the table. The rounds on the right can be used for hunting, I have never done it, and for defense. What is called double odd buck "00", will put a hurting on anyone hit within range. A slug round, far right, is only a single round coming out of the barrel but packs a devastating punch. Slugs can go through the door of your house, walls, cars and can really screw up a vehicle engine if they are fired into an engine. (don't ask how I know the last one) Loading a shotgun with buckshot and slugs is a standard loading for self defense.


You can even fire Less Then Lethal rounds just like law enforcement uses. Giving you an option you do not have with other firearms. With a shotgun you can also fire other 'exotic' rounds.
 
Flechette rounds are mostly used for anti personal uses.
"Dragon Breath" rounds fire well, fire out of the barrels. Before you get all excited about the exotic rounds you can fire CHECK THE LOCAL LAWS! In California almost all of the exotic rounds are illegal!

I can tell you first hand the exotic "salt rock" round works really good! Especially when deployed against dumbass kids trespassing. My leg and ass burned soooooo bad I stood crying in the yard while my buddies mom used a hose to get the rocks out. I think she could of got them out faster picking them out but I think she was teaching use a lesson or two.



Even if all you can afford is a single shot 12 gauge you would do good to purchase one. The shotgun is really a kind of all purpose emergency planning tool. Yes they kick. With a little training you can still get everyone in the family to use one. And just to be fair, my shoulder hurts also after a dozen or so rounds.

Long guns, rifles or carbines. Anything you can use to reach out over a hundred yards and hit a target.   They can be the humble bolt action rifle or a lever action as in the picture above. These are just another tool which gives the user a different set of abilities.

With one of these you can put food on the table and defend yourself if need be. The sight of a rifle now days has kind of taken over the place of shotgun for the intimidation factor. Not long ago a shotgun racking was enough to make people run, now days the sight of rifle will make people panic! This could be an asset or cause you more problems than you need.

These fellas were able to defend themselves and their property during a riot. Side Note: having seen these guys first hand I can tell you it was intimidating. They also caught flak during and after the riot because they had the rifles........ welcome to California. Take note those rifles are not the scary black ones but just as effective.

Most of us are never going to be in a situation where we have to kit up like this just to make a run to Starbucks. They need for most of us to purchase these rifles has more to do with training than need. I know lots of folks who were trained on the M-16 or AR-15 platform and are comfortable with the system. Remember stay with what you know if you can.

Of course some people like the "this is cool" effect of having a tool like the military or police have and there is nothing wrong with this. If the tool works for those groups of people why would you not want to use what they have proven to work?

Just do not get caught up thinking because you can carry the gear and dress like the military or police, you have the skill level they have with the tools. Ladies do not get mad, here is a "tacti-cool" fella for you.

It would suck to have to feed this fella during an emergency............... just saying.

Remember, Keep It Simple Stupid, KISS. You do not need to run out and buy the latest gear or the newest gun. You need the kit and tools for the problem you are dealing with or could have to deal with in reality.

The humble M-16A2 and it's grandchildren are all the rage in the news. Every gun fearing person sees them as an enemy of peace, love and happiness. They are just a tool and just like every other tool they have a purpose. Long guns are just that, guns which allow you to send rounds further. You can feed the family and defend yourself with one. They are not as easy to use in confine spaces, buildings, homes or cars. This is why you see shorter versions. You might not want this to be your first line of home defense for this reason. They are hard to use effectively inside of the house. These tools are for use at longer ranges and primarily for hunting. Deer and such do not like to let people walk right up to them and shoot them with a pistol or stab them with a knife. Every home should have at least one rifle. Be it a AR-15 type rifle or a bolt action hunting rifle each person old enough should have a rifle.

Do not think you are doing the "gun thing" wrong if you do not look like this guy. Honestly, he has too much crap on that rifle. You can plan, prepare and utilize firearms as tools without having to break the bank or scaring the family. As with everything we discuss here, tailor your planning to your needs not what someone else is doing. Each of us is unique and we have our own situations. To rap this up, it became longer then I thought it would, here is what you should consider having for emergency planning.

Revolver - home defense, easy to conceal, simple to use. At least one.
Pistol - home defense, primary side arm. At least one, preferable one per adult in home.
Shotgun - home defense, hunting. At least one.
Rifle - home defense, hunting. At least one, preferable one per adult in the home.


Something to think about...........

As Always,

Stay Safe! 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Riots, mass attacks and no law enforcement.....

We talked about civil disturbances awhile back. When we did the post focused on what could be called "run of the mill" disturbances. You know after a sports team wins a game (never understood that) or a single event happens which causes a one time event. Here is a link to the earlier post. review it if you have time.


The earlier post focused on just leaving the area for the most part. Why? Because this is the easiest and simplest action to take in order to ensure you make it home. When the original post was written things seemed to be a bit different then they are now. Recently people have had to deal with situations which are not spontaneous or unorganized.

We are not going to dive into the right or wrong aspect of anything which is going on with this post. Those discussions can take place elsewhere. What we are going to look at is what is going on. Social media is being used by people to organize what they call protest but more and more are likely to turn into acts of violence. We need to have a plan if we are caught up in the violence. Hopefully anyone reading this would not be one of the people committing the violence! Yet we do need to understand we can become caught up in the violence.

Let's just get to the point, most of the violence going on in the U.S. right now, is driven by politics. Folks on both sides are worked up and they just keep having issues. Problem is people are in a place right now they feel their side is justified in committing violence against the other side. (notice I ain't picking a side? Not the point of this!) Only in a few occasions can we really say violence is justified and a disagreement on politics is not one of them!!!! 

Recently people have been planning ahead of time on causing issues during a protest. There are even cases of people using social media in what can only be described as "mob rule" to quickly organize protest and violence. An event takes place recently and people are swarming to protest. Take this incident in California. (I am not judging the Officer one way or the other. This is just an example of what has happen and seems to be happening more.)


With in hours a mob formed at the Officers home! Not at City Hall or somewhere else you might expect these kinds of demonstrations to form. This happened in a residential neighborhood. These "protestors" thought it was within their rights to take over the neighborhood. They set up public announcement systems, gave speeches, spray painted slogans on people's houses and destroyed other people's personal property. Why? Because when the village grabs torches and pitchforks they find safety in numbers. Especially if the mob tells them they are justified in what they are doing. 

Imagine you are sitting at home and suddenly the mob shows up at your house because your neighbor has supposedly done something the mob disagrees with. Think it can not happen? It did in this neighborhood.

Officers had to surround the house in this neighborhood after the "protesters" decided it was a good idea to seek revenge by throwing rocks through the homes windows and vandalizing the cars parked in front of the home. Sad part is they had the wrong house at first and vandalized the home of a person not involved in the original situation. 


Organizers had to tell the mob they had the wrong house.......... 

This fella set up a PA system and started pumping the mob up. When he was asked about the wrong house being targeted and the violence he was not really too upset about innocent people having property damage or their rights violated. To him the actions were not what they were supposedly there for but he seemed to be okey dokey with what happen......

This incident is just a small scale example which seems to be taking place nation wide. Giving rise to the odds of one of us being caught up in a situation like this through no action of our own. 

When the mob rules you must be prepared for a situation where the police are not going to be in position to help you. Why? Because in most cases the police are outnumbered. Recently the police have been officially and unofficially told to allow the protest to take place. The reasons for which are better addressed else where. The point is you have to take charge of yourself and those you care about. 

In the U.S. we have a special ability to gather and protest what we dislike. No really my fellow Americans in other countries people can not assembly as we can here........ Nothing wrong with joining a protest, march or gathering to voice your ideas with like minded folks. 

When people start expressing the need to turn to violence you might want to start thinking about distancing yourself from the event. Do not allow yourself to become part of the mob! Remember the people you see as the "enemy" have rights also. Those stores people break into are owned by people who have rights. People traveling have a right to not be stopped. At no point do you have a right to attack others because they do not believe or see the world the same way you do! NO! You can not call them a name and then use that as an excuse to attack them, regardless of how much you dislike them. Period! 

We want others to treat us the way we would like to be treated. Remember they have rights and every action has a reaction. 

When the situation has deteriorated to this the time to go has already passed and you are behind the power curve. 

When something like this happens you know it is time to go. 

If you wait till this part...... well we need to discuss your decision making skills. No matter how fun, exciting or exhilarating you find the situation just leave if any violence begins or Law Enforcement says it is time to go. 

And if these........ (can't say anything nice about them) show up it is a really good idea to leave. Why? They are the embodiment of mob mentality and a crystal clear indication the event is going to turn violent. Why? Because that is the only reason these (insert insult) are there. Here is an example of what we are discussing. The report covers the violence, lack of police response and the need of folks to look after themselves.


Here is another incident.

Why do I think it is important to show some of these videos? Because we should look at what is happening with the best aids we can. Nothing better than seeing with your own eyes what is going on.

We could spend a lot of time talking about the effects of mob mentality but that would take to long on here. Let's move past just not being there or leaving at the first sign of trouble. The next thing we should consider is the 'pack mentality' of a mob or any predatory animal.

What? Are you calling these protesters predatory animals?

Yes. Look at their behavior, not the cause they claim to be supporting. Look how they act, maneuver and attack the prey. You do not see to many stand up fist fights going on do you? You do see people attacking others from behind the cover of the mob, from the back and ambushing their victims. The same way animals attack their prey. Never seen a lion just walk up to a gazelle and kill it. No they attack from a position of advantage. They attack from ambush. They attack in groups.

Watch they way these wild dogs attack these hyena. They use the cover of the mob. They attack from behind. They try to ambush their prey from the sides.


Now watch the videos of the violent protesters. Drop all the other labels you might want to put on the people involved, nobody is talking about who is right or wrong. We are discussing behavior of the group or the behavior of the mob.

People will chase you if you give them your back. This behavior is somehow embedded in our wiring. Somewhere in our brains lay the ideas the animals still use to survive. Given the right circumstances we let these instincts take over.


Notice in this picture how everyone chasing this guy is angling to attack him from behind? No? Draw some lines to the prey and you can see where each of the predators are planning on attacking. In most cases turning your back to an attacker, group or mob is a bad idea! Everyone wants to increase their odds of surviving the attack, even the attacker. The predator tries to attack from the most advantage position. Attacking from the rear or sides gives the attacker the best position to attack from because the preys weapons (hands, feet, claws, teeth) are pointed away from the predator. Attacking in a group spreads out the chances of one predator being injured.


Now watch the video again. This time take a moment to see how the hyena are attacking, we will wait..................... 🙂🙂🙂............ Ok now think how the hyena counter the attacks. You might want to watch the video again. No you should watch the video again, I insist. But this time pay close attention to the tactics used by the hyena to survive. Remember these creatures are not playing, they are not passing out what they consider "justice", they are engaged in a life and death struggle. The same as you are when cornered like these creatures. Think not? You could easily be killed, maimed or sustain permanent injuries in one of these encounters.

What was the first thing the hyena did? They got out of the ambush zone. They fled while trying not to give their backs to their attackers. Notice the dogs came at them every time they had a shot at the hyenas backs. If you are caught in this type of situation movement and not giving your back to the attackers is vitally important to you making it home. When confronted with the preys weapons the predators hesitate and give the hyenas time to move.

Using the terrain is the next thing you see the hyenas utilize. They find some piece of terrain which protects them from an attack coming from behind them. The bush also helps to funnel the dogs to the front, where the hyenas can use their tools.

Notice the hyenas use the bush and go back to back. This cuts down greatly on the area one hyena has to protect. See how they are working together to defend each other. Even given their limited numbers they have taken a tactical superior position to that of their attackers. They in effect have 360 degree coverage even if each of them is only physically having to watch what 30 degrees? Limiting the area they have to watch makes it much easier for them to defend against a numerical superior force. The funneling effect makes it difficult for the attackers to use their larger numbers to attack from multiple angles at the same time.

Why don't the dogs just charge and overwhelm the hyena? Because the dogs realize the hyena will hurt them! They realize there is a chance they could die if they just charge in. Nobody wants to be the one who is hurt or killed when the situation is not just fun and games. You must understand you have to be willing to use violence to defend yourself. When the hyena bite they are not doing it to scare away their attackers. If they could they would hurt, disable, maim or kill their attackers with each bite and the dogs know it. If you are ever in a position like this you have to make the predators understand they will be hurt, disabled, maimed or killed if they attack you! Yes you have to be mentally prepared to kill another person. Only by giving off this 'vibe' will the attackers realize this is not a game. Here is the video again so you do not have to scroll back up if you want to view it again. I suggest you do.


Notice how the dogs try to get the hyenas to come away from their position? Notice how the hyena do not? If you can find a tactical superior position do not get caught up in fighting someone. Do not allow emotions or ego to cause you to give the position up. This what the predators want you to do. They do not want to risk injury, your position gives you to many advantages and they want you to move to a position where they have the advantage. Do not let your ego cause you to give up the position or your emotions to overwhelm you to not be able to do what you need to survie!

See how the dogs become...... I am not sure they feel the same emotions but.... the only word I can think of is bored. They realize they are not going to have an easy victory here. Slowly they start to focus on something else. Which leads to the pack walking away.

The hyenas leave when the threat is a safe distance away. Let me say that again. THE HYENA LEAVE when the threat is a safe distance away. You do not see the hyena trying to run out and regain their manhood by attacking the dogs. You do not see them yapping at the dogs. One of them turns and starts putting space between her/himself and the predators. The video ends before we see the second one go. If it is time to go take all of your group with you at one time.

I did not intend to make this entire post about a group of dogs attacking two hyena yet when I was looking for videos to express the points I am trying to make this one seemed to fit the bill perfectly. There are more actions you can take, more situations or variables which can come into play during an encounter. I wanted to focus on just these ideas with this post.

First thing, do not put yourself in this situation to begin with.
Second, be willing to leave if things start to go south.
Third, if you are caught up and singled out as a target do not turn into helpless prey. Move away while trying to protect your back, turning and running encourages the predator.
Fourth, utilize terrain to slow down, disrupt, protect your back/flanks and to funnel your opposition to your weapons or tools.
Fifth, be willing to hurt others to defend yourself. This does not mean be a loud shit talker. This means let them know by your stance, vibe and actions there will be a price to pay for attacking you.
Sixth, only give up a tactical superior position when the situation has changed to a point where it is safe to do so.
Last one..... DO NOT LET YOUR EGO CAUSE YOU TO CHASE THE PREDATORS ONCE THEY ARE LEAVING!! This means either physically try to chase them or verbally chase them. Do not reengage the predators once they have decided something else is more worth their efforts or more interesting.

More and more often violence is taking place at rallies or gatherings of any kind. Going blindly into the crowd and just having a good time might lead you to being a unwilling victim to someone else's idea of justified violence. I am not saying you shouldn't take part in these gatherings. What I am saying is have situational awareness, be mentally prepared if something happens, take action when you need to and be able to keep your emotions in check to allow you the ability to make positive decisions in the situation you find yourself. Fellas, when things go south check your fucking ego and do what you need to get home!!!

As Aways,

Stay Safe!


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Water, the good, the bad and the ugly.


Water, we all need it. Every single one of us, does not matter where you live or how you live, you need water. We can only go a few days without water before the body starts to turn on it's self and shuts down. Depending on the weather, what you are doing or how much water you had on board before a situation arose this can take only a couple of hours.

Being in sunny Southern California we learn to deal with droughts, especially over the last few years. For some of us out there the idea of not having water near by must seem alien. When I travel outside of the area I always marvel at the "real" streams, rivers and lakes some of us are blessed with. Southern California is basically a desert, even if most of us living here do not understand this.

Where does the water come from to bath, wash cars and simply drink for all of the people in Southern California? The dam in Oroville California has been in the news and I know people this far south have a "Whatever, glad it ain't me living near that thing!" attitude. Well some of us might want to reconsider our attitude. See the dam in the news is part of the system which provides water to Southern California! In fact the city of Los Angeles receives water from four sources and this dam is the start of one of the sources.


Found this cool website for learning about the water system in California.
http://www.watereducation.org/general-information/state-water-project

"In 1960, California voters approved financing for construction of the initial features of the State Water Project (SWP). The project includes some 22 dams and reservoirs, a Delta pumping plant, a 444-mile-long aqueduct that carries water from the Delta through the San Joaquin Valley to southern California. The project begins at Oroville Dam on the Feather River and ends at Lake Perris near Riverside. At the Tehachapi Mountains, giant pumps lift the water from the California Aqueduct some 2,000 feet over the mountains and into southern California."

The other three sources of water for the Los Angles area are The Colorado River, the Owens River and ground water sources. Right now there is a chance the Oroville Dam could have problems which would have a greater effect to the state and not just to the people living under the threat of flooding. 

An overview of what the issue is.
Looks kind of cool.
Won't be so cool if this gives way.

Just think if this dam fails...... How would this affect the Los Angeles area and surrounding areas? For sake of argument let's say LA suddenly had to deal with 25% loss of water? How soon would people panic if they turned on the TV and learned they might have to cut down their water usage even more than they are used to? This situation is a really good example of why we need to prepare prior to an event. 

If you live in the California area go to the link below and see where your water comes from. 

http://www.watereducation.org/all-california-water-sources 

According to this site the water I use every day comes from one sources. Kind of scary to realize if this one method of water delivery fails we have to go without. I also know there are wells here which could be used but the powers that be have decided to rely on the state water...... something I have no control over. 

While reading up on this situation and the California water system, I was again reminded how with the exception of one aqueduct the majority of the water being brought into the LA area needs to be pumped over the hills leading into the area. Loss of power would also mean a significant loss of water to the area. 

Of course most of us living in Southern California do not have access to rivers, streams or even a creek. We do have lots of dry rain gutters, dry creeks and cement lined rivers which are also dry most the time. This means in the event of an emergency we have no external sources of water. External sources of water would be water gained by another means then through our taps. (stop giggling everyone who lives elsewhere! it is not nice and hurts our feelings) This means we should have a minimum amount of water on hand to deal with situations. 

Something like this could be a really good idea........ but, most of us do not live in a home or apartment which would allow for a tank this big. Why? Because all those people who were laughing a minute ago want to live here which makes the property values so high we can not afford the space! (that made me feel a little better) If you are in an area with this kind of space installing something like this is a really good idea. Of course you might not want it right outside the backdoor. 

This might be a better idea for most of us. Something which we could install along the side of the house or apartment. Along the side we never use. Plus this gives us a project we could do and do it yourself projects are always fun, once you are done with them. Keep in mind water collected off the roof is not safe to drink and must be filtered. Why? Think of all the bird poop on your roof!!! For some roofs the water might not be safe even after you filter it using most commercial filters. This is due to the chemicals used in the construction of the roof.

For most of us something like this water brick system would work. We all have spaces under sinks or in closets we could use to store these bricks. In fact I personally know of one family who found this worked for them in their condo. Here is a link to the water bricks. You should check amazon or other websites to see about getting them on sale.

http://www.waterbrick.org 

If nothing else having a small supply of these in the closet, fridge or under the sink would be better than nothing. Plus these are more portable than the other storage methods. 

Maybe you have a pool at the house or there is one in the condo complex? Your thinking "Heck I do not need to worry about any of this. There is hundreds if not thousands of gallons of water right there to use." Yes there is water to use, how often do you drink the water from your pool? Most of us do not just go to the pool and fill a pitcher of water for drinking. The chemicals in the water can make you sick. causing cramps, diarrhea and other symptoms similar to food poisoning. 


Living in a condom or apartment complex with a pool you might think you have access to a supply of water just the same as someone who has a pool in their back yard. Only thing is you have a few more problems than they do if an emergency comes up. Not only do you have to deal with the chemicals in the pool you have to deal with all the people in the pool.

Do you really think no one is peeing in the pool? How many babies or others have had an accident in the pool. How many of your neighbors have decided to have "sexy time" in the pool late at night? Yes I am trying to be gross here but there is a point to this. Chlorine only kills so many germs. Would you want to drink someone else's bath water? Hopefully not! 

Having a pool or other open source of water near by does not mean you are covered during an emergency. Utilizing these sources of water could add to your issues and we do to want to add any more negatives to our situation. How do you utilize these sources and others safely? We have to clean the water and filter the water to give us the biggest chance we do not get ourselves sick. Anyone who has ever been to Mexico and did not watch where the water came from knows why this is a very important issue. 

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/food-poisoning/tc/travelers-diarrhea-topic-overview#1 

Now you may think "I'll just boil the water and it will be good." Yes boiling water will kill the germs. The catch is how many people know how to do this? Ok your thinking "What is he saying? Everyone knows how to do this!" I can tell you first hand this is not the case. A fella I know was caught in a typhoon and in the aftermath he became sick from contaminated water! Remember common sense is not that common and not everyone thinks about dealing with emergencies. This issue is extremely important if you live in an area where your body is used to drinking clean water. Your body is not equip to deal with anything other than clean water!! Even cleaning your hands with untreated water can cause you to get sick. The fella I know was not sure if he drank, cleaned with or had food prepared with contaminated water. No he had no idea he would need to boil water or how to do it...... 

Well where do we start? Planning and part of planning is knowledge. Let's back up for a moment. The beginning of having clean water comes when you decide to gather water. Where you collect the water from will determine how you have to deal with the water. This is where common sense comes in. Do you collect water from a mud puddle or river?

Or maybe here

  Do animals pee in the pool?

Our first step is to pick as clean a source of water as we can find. Second step is to start filtering the water. Easiest first step is to use cloth or some other barrier to keep out the big stuff. 

I know this seems like common sense but it isn't. The more you filter the better your chances are of having clean water. Filter out the big parts with a piece of cloth, a bandanna, wash cloth or any other thing which will let the water come through will work. Make sure you are filtering the water into a clean container! 

Boiling water;

Fill a pot with water
Heat water until bubbles are rising from the bottom of the pot

Let the water boil for a minute
Turn off heat and let cool down

If your doing this over an open fire it is going to take longer than you think. have some patience and build a good fire. 

Alright, so you are think this is simple. Yes it is! What do you put the water in after you boiling it?

Do you put the clean water back in the pitcher you just used to collect the water? "Well yeah the water is clean now!" NNNOOOOOO!!!! THERE IS STILL UNCLEAN WATER IN THE PITCHER!! Any water not cleaned will contaminate the clean water!!! You have to think about this before you start cleaning the water. Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance! This includes the water on your hands and the cloth you used. Do you wash your face with the cloth you used to filter the water?

A first level system we all should invest in is a simple filter you can use almost anywhere. The same rules still apply to these tools. Pick a good source of water, filter the water if you can first, then use these commercial filters. 




Both of these systems are portable and easy to use. Even with these simple looking systems the directions say you have to watch out for unclean water contaminating your system. They all say they do not kill all the germs you might be faced with. Again, location of water collection and pre filtering are important. 


A good system for anyone having to care for several people is one of these camping filter systems. 



Here is a really good system which has tons of real world use behind it. Of course pre filtering the water still applies. Yes, this is an investment but one well worth the price! Especially if you have a group to care for. Filtering the water this way gives you time to handle other issues and not be tied down to boiling water all day. Here is a link to the website


This is getting long so we will try to wrap this up. Yes we could discuss making DIY water filters. Talk about solar stills etc etc BUT let's not go to far into the weeds right now. 

When planning for emergencies or dealing with one we need to take water into account. When thinking about water we need to think about where we will collect water from. When collecting water we need to think about how the collection point affects the cleaning method. When thinking about cleaning water we need to think we can not take shortcuts! 

Choose the cleanest water you can to draw from.
Pre filter at the point of collection.
Have a dirty area and tools.
Have a cleaning area and tools.
Have a clean area and tools. 
Consider using multiple methods to clean your water. (boil then use commercial filter)  

As with anything we should plan on having multiple layers to our water planning. Knowledge on how to collect and boil water is step one. Commercial filters inside of our Get Home Bags or 72 Hour Bags is the next step. Large camping filter systems inside of our Bug Out Bag or at the house is another step up. Berkey filter system at the house is as far as some of us need to go. Learning how to build gravity feed filter systems using sand, charcoal and other items might be a bit more than most of use need to know (we will talk about those later). 

As always,

Stay Safe!