Tag Archives: Lessons Learned

Survival Sunday – 4/12/2015

Survival Sunday

Another week has come and gone and I would imagine that most of us are still living a fairly normal life by most standards. My week was absorbed by work and not much more than that. One thing that I am very confident about is the fact that the world has not gotten any more stable than it was last week. In my opinion, things are looking worse this week than they were last. In all fairness, I base part of this conclusion on the fact that Hillary Clinton announced her bid for the presidency today. Does anyone really think that Hillary in the white house is a good idea?

Preparedness

Here is the week’s haul of my favorite finds in the preparedness world:

12 Bad Strategies That Will Get Preppers Killed – There are many ways that a person could be killed and sometimes it is a result of the decisions that we make. This is a scenario that some preppers may face if certain decisions are made. These are twelve potential things that might get a prepper killed and I have heard all of them before.

What Type Of Survivalist Are You? – I have heard several of the stereotypical types of preppers that are out there before, like those who prepare for peak oil and economic collapse but this is a very interesting list that includes several that I have not heard before.

Speaking of types of types of preppers…10 Reasons To Prepare For An Economic Collapse outlines some of the very real events that could happen in response to an economic collapse. They are also ten very real reasons that being a prepper makes sense.

18 Ways Owning A Bike Can Prepare You For Anything – There are many potential benefits to owning a bike. I have thought about the fact that I could use my bike in a disaster if I needed to but this list far exceeds the reasons that I have come up with up to this point.

Lesson’s Our Family Learned Before, During, And After A Hurricane – Anyone who has survived a natural disaster has a few takeaway lessons that they learned during the experience. Here is one family’s account of the experiences they went through during Hurricane Hugo. This is invaluable information because you will get the lessons without having to go through the experience. You will also be better prepared if you ever do find yourself in the same position.

That’s it from me for the week. If you found something that you would like to share with the group or have any questions, email me at tom@thepreparedninja.com.

Come back next week for another edition of Survival Sunday.

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What Convinced Me To Change My Lifestyle Choices For Good

The following is a guest post about one person’s story and what convinced her that prepping was the right choice to make…

When does preparation ever become over-reaction?  In my mind, never.  And my guess is: people who have lost their homes to disasters, lost their loved ones to an epidemic, and lost all they have to tragedies feel the same way. The bottom line is: you have to be prepared to survive.

The “polar vortex” officially became a thing this year as it turned weather conditions upside down. Epidemics and viruses, threats of war, and economic meltdown — these are some of the occurrences no man could stop from happening.  In June 2012, four million people went without electricity when an unexpected summer storm knocked out power across the mid-Atlantic region.  Hardest hit were the Washington suburbs of Northern Virginia and Maryland.  A storm during the summer? Who would have thought?

On that fateful day, I decided to never compromise the safety of my loved ones.  On that day, I decided to be a prepper.  Yes, a prepper — a growing community that gave National Geographic its highest ratings ever.  The majority of people who saw the “Doomsday Preppers” series were not very kind, calling preppers crazy and wild-eyed people waiting for the end of the world as we know it.  But the thing about preppers is they don’t wait, they prepare and not just for the apocalypse (as most assume) but for emergencies and occurrences that most people don’t take seriously.

However, if you were with my family who huddled in the basement as the storm ripped through our neighborhood, tearing our roofs, slamming windows, and blowing down trees, you would probably understand.  More than 20 people died.

Source: Flickr

Photo 1 via Flickr

The next day after the storm, temperatures reached triple digits again. The extreme heat was hurting recovery efforts. Our house was damaged, we had no power, supermarkets and shops were mostly closed, and we ran out of food.  During those weeks, I thought: I will never let this happen to my family ever again.

A Prepper In All Of Us

It dawned on me that I was not alone.  I was not the only one who will do whatever it takes to keep my loved ones safe.  I was not the only one who fights hard to survive.

As many as three million Americans call themselves preppers.  They are regular people who like regular things.  They are professionals, couples, rich and poor, old and young. You could be living next to a prepper and not know it.  They are the new breed of survivalists whose preparedness guide and practices go beyond the norm.

A prepper’s emergency management includes not just a 72-hour survival food kit.  Prepping means sustainability.  Keeping a stockpile of food and artillery, getting survival training, and having an escape plan are among prepper practices that make people cringe and laugh.  But the truth is: there is a prepper in all of us.  Preparing for the future, preparing for simple home emergencies, preparing for hurricanes make everyone preppers.  The difference probably lies not in magnitude but the extent and degree of wanting to survive which transcends beliefs, orientation, and practices.

Being A Prepper

It is not easy to be a prepper.  The “Doomsday” series was more like a weekly invitation to laugh at us, “lunatics”.  Some imagine preppers as armed zealots hunkered down in bunkers.  When visitors drop by my house, I still don’t have the courage to show them my own survival kit.  We call them bug-out bags: our own array of disaster swag.  Members of the New York City Preppers Network proudly exhibited them at a church in Washington Heights last year.  They contain: compasses, hand-cranked radios, solar-powered flashlights, fire starters, road maps and pills.  Some preppers tweaked bug-out gear to suit their needs and interests.

Source: Flickr

Photo 2 via Flickr

Preppers often have their own checklists and preparedness guides. Prepping seems like a tough practice and the common question is: “where do I start?”  If you are the type that will do everything to protect your family, then prepping should not be a difficult task.  Everything will come naturally with training and practice.  There is no single formula for prepping — emergency survival kits must be patterned with what you and your family need and the training required varies with what specifically you are preparing for.

However, for beginners to have an idea of what prepping is all about, the basics are food kits, the art of stockpiling food and preserving it, first aid kits and skills, keeping your place warm or cold, locating sources of water and power, and disaster training.

Preppers And Pop Culture

Preppers are an ever-growing community, thanks to television shows, documentaries, movies, businesses and dedicated websites that make the idea of preparing popular and common.  Taking after the National Geographic’s “Doomsday Preppers,” the Discovery Channel launched its own series called “Doomsday Bunkers” and the TV special “Apocalypse Preppers.”

Movies such as “2012,””Contagion” and “World War Z” show viewers that, while fictional, the world is not safe from disasters and epidemics.  Like these movies, preppers do not intend to cast paranoia among people.  They simply remind that complacency has no place in this world.

There are also hundreds of websites and blogs, personal or official that are dedicated to preppers.  Top websites such as SHTF Plan and Survival Blog get as much as 60,000 visits a day combined.

Whether for long-term or short-term emergencies, people seem to be taking action and industries cashing in on preppers are proof of this — from ordinary household items to bug out gear.  The demand has made prepping a multi-billion industry.

Prepping is often seen as overly-dramatic but to me it is nothing but preparing to survive.  It is survival revolution.  No one deserves to feel the pain of losing someone we love or losing everything we worked so hard for.  Prepping is more than just a phenomenon; it is here to stay because danger does not discriminate — it can happen anytime, it can happen to anyone.  Preppers are regular people who will do everything to keep themselves and their families alive. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

About The Author

Jona Jone has been a mortgage originator in Philadelphia, PA. She is also a Business and Property Specialist. She has been writing articles about real estate investment, business, and sustainability. Know more about her by following her Twitter.

As We Engage In The Fight For Freedom

The following is an open letter that I received from a reader regarding the current struggle that we are experiencing for our freedom and individual liberty and what history has to teach us…

“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”       ~Winston Churchill

As we engage in the fight for freedom, we repeatedly find ourselves horribly handicapped by seemingly overwhelming problems – we are often massively outspent by grotesquely rich and well-connected Learjet leftists and limousine liberals; the left – given that power, not truth, is paramount, is able to lie with impunity, while we have no such freedom to do so; the “Bombs-Away Billy” Ayers types and their “long march through the institutions” – the most recent incarnation of which is seeing the military being co-opted by multiple generals being fired, possibly for refusing to fire on their fellow American citizens, as well as the placing practicing homosexuals in foxholes – continues apace; Hollywood, the “lamestream media,” and the co-opted education complex all have, as Churchill said about a lie, run around the world before truth could even get her boots on.

Frankly, what hope do we realistically have? Is it true that our hopes are slim to none – and Slim has just left town?

Actually, there is hope. Looking at history, we see an Invisible Hand time and again. Where exactly did that mysterious fog come from when Washington crossed the Delaware to avert utter disaster? Why did the dive bombers at the Battle of Midway make the “chance” turn they did for just one more look before their fuel ran out? Was it just an accident that Reagan didn’t have a major artery severed when he was shot? Unless you believe all is mere chance, we know that history generally has a way of eventually – long or short – resolving the perfidy, arrogance and lies of the Saul Alinsky types that have roamed the world over the centuries. No, it’s not a slam-dunk given – sometimes evil has had a very, very long run. Islam and the USSR are but two examples. But where there are willing, courageous people who pair that with faith in the Unseen Mover, many things have happened in history the bear engender hop. Here are two for your consideration, where faith (in God, freedom or justice) paired with courage resulted in almost unbelievable historical events:

The British aeroplane, the Fairey Swordfish, introduced in 1936, was almost obsolete before its maiden flight touched down. As a matter of fact, by the end of WWII, the German Me262 – along with a few other airplanes – featured jet propulsion… not the Snoopy-like biplane wings reminiscent of WWI airplanes found on the Swordfish. Nor was it well armed. Militaryfactory.com notes that, “The standard armament of the Swordfish was something more akin to the fighters of World War I than the Second World War.” Top speed was 138 MPH – a speed perhaps one or two readers may have come close to in their automobiles (though I admit nothing!) at one time or another – as opposed to the Me262 top speed of 541 MPH, or propeller driven Mustang P-51 top speed of 437 MPH. The more common German opponent, the Me109G, had a maximum speed of close to 400 MPH, dependent upon the model. Long story short, the Swordfish was like putting your grandmother in the ring with Mike Tyson.

Arrayed against the Swordfish during one critical battle of WWII was the most modern warship of its time, the Bismarck, brought to life by the same vaunted German engineering the world still respects today.  And the ship was not just modern – it was absolutely bristling with every kind of impenetrable defense armament imaginable, against any kind of attack conceivable. Impenetrable? Arranged with defenses to repel any attack? Does this remind you, perhaps, of a similar political situation today? It sure does me.

In a feat of daring, the Bismarck got out into the open Atlantic after the Battle of Denmark Strait, sinking one major British warship and damaging another. With its unmatched armament, firepower and speed, the whole course of history was about to be changed by Hitler’s National Socialists by shutting down the lifeblood of the war, the convoys, which brought every necessity needed by the Allies to survive.

Enter the tiny, under-powered, under-armed biplane, the Swordfish, armed with a single torpedo. Launched in a seeming suicide mission against the Bismarck (in a previous attack, the aviators had mistakenly attacked one of their own ships!), they struck desperately – and with what seemed to be in failure (only one torpedo hit a heavily armored section, with virtually no damage resulting). Except for one other thing: another torpedo scored a – shall we say – “lucky” hit, striking at the very far stern, hitting the port rudder shaft. In fact, the torpedo came an eyelash from missing completely. But it did hit, and by happenstance – or Providence – the Bismarck’s rudder was damaged and  now locked into a 12 degree turn to port, turning it from indomitable – and having survived numerous previous encounters – to almost defenseless. The end, as you know, was not long in coming after that, and the Bismarck – along with its threat to change the war – was no more.

The Swordfish aviators had no way of knowing if they would be successful when they launched; they had no way of knowing whether they would be shark chum in the water in few hours or not. But launch they did, and now we consider them heroes.  The application to you, dear reader, need not be spelled out – except that our literary (make no mistake – our battle today is one of the pen, the microphone and the blog, not the sword) Fairey Swordfishes are fighting the supposedly indomitable battleships found in today’s leftist journalism, politically correct educational systems, an utterly corrupt and decadent entertainment complex, and worse.

A similar story during the same war occurred in the Pacific, while the US lay prostrate after Pearl Harbor, when all was seemingly lost. You may know the name of the battle, Midway, but perhaps not the fine print of what happened. Long story short, slow, underpowered torpedo bombers were again used against a superior Japanese force, resulting in one attack where all fifteen TBD Devastators of flight VT-8 were shot down without being able to inflict any damage, flight VT-6 losing 10 of their 14 Devastators, and 10 of Yorktown’s VT-3’s 12 Devastators shot down with no hits to show for their effort. Imagine yourself at that moment: almost all of your attacking aircraft have been lost, with your country’s back already against the wall. You have just watched almost all your friends die in a courageous, but utterly futile attack.

But just one second. Unknown to you, as a flyer in one of the ill-fated attacking torpedo bombers (assuming you were one of the few that lived), in order to shoot down these lumbering American albatrosses, Japanese fighters had to come down to low altitude to shoot them down. Thus, no Japanese fighters were “up top,” watching for enemy aircraft. And there might not have been any American aircraft “up top” if it weren’t for two plucky American dive bomber squadrons – who just happened to be critically low on fuel because of the time spent looking for the enemy, but decided to push a little longer, and a little harder. In fact, squadron commander C. Wade McClusky, Jr., putting his life at risk, decided to continue his search just that little bit little longer, and by good fortune – or Providence-  spotted the wake of the Japanese destroyer Arashi, steaming at full speed to rejoin the Japanese fleet after attacking a US submarine. This “happenstance” led the dive bombers directly to the Japanese fleet, which was now bereft of fighter cover at high altitude after engaging – and wiping out – the American torpedo bombers. And those few Japanese planes able to try to mount an attack were low on fuel and ammunition. Happenstance? Providence conjoined with courage? I ask you this: Why was there no fog to cover the Arashi as there was with George Washington?

Perhaps you, as a blogger, feel very akin to those torpedo bombers. You may well be the modern day equivalent, doing a thankless task that has seen little to no success. Yet, may it be your courage, your perseverance, your integrity that could well be opening the path for others? You, like the torpedo bombers who went to their deaths, may never know. But that doesn’t mean your effort is meaningless or insignificant. In fact, it may very well be your sacrificial work that opens the door for someone else. Or, it may be you, yourself, that finds success when you have only 10 minutes of emotional (or financial) fuel left. You may never know, but we do know from these stories about how courage combined with Providence won the day against insurmountable odds. Can we do any less, during a similar time of despair?

There is a third, fictional story that might encourage you, if you are a person of faith, as I am. CS Lewis’ third book his magnificent space trilogy, That Hideous Strength, foresaw a day much like ours now, in which, as Churchill warned while fighting the fascism of that day “But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.” Does fascism (the merger of the socialist state and big crony corporation) aided by perverted science ring a bell for anyone? In Lewis’ dystopic vision of the future, he imagines one of the leading ministries, N.I.C.E – National Institute for Co-ordinated Experiments, created for the betterment of mankind – leading the charge into state backed utter evil and darkness. (And in a fitting irony, the unsuspecting bureaucrats in England actually obliged us by creating a real, live government department actually called N.I.C.E – National Inst. for Health and Care Excellence. Not that anyone in the British government was aware of this!) In Lewis’ novel, evil progress rapidly across this future “unEngland” – perhaps as rapidly as it is progressing across the West today. But, in the book, the powers that be – by the very nature of who they were and what they were doing – also began to dabble in a science-cum-black-arts, engaging them – all in the name of a perverted science paired with  a lust for power – with entities called “macrobes.” Unknown to the elite of Lewis’ N.I.C.E, these “macrobes” were simply demons, shorn of their horns and red suits, all to make them more palatable to the sophisticated elite. Of course, these macrobes easily duped their urbane Agenda 21 literary alter egos, and led them down – as is always the case with demonic forces – paths ending in the destruction of both their programmes as well as their very selves. Devoured by their own flirtations with evil, the result was, as  Jacques Mallet du Pan wrote of yet another evil, socialist era, the French Revolution, “la revolution devore ses enfants” – the revolution always eats its own young.

All of the above is to say that we have hope. There is no honor among thieves, and very regularly throughout history, evil eventually turns inward and starts hacking at its own members. Yes, there are indeed times when evil has had a very, very long run. Think of peaceful Coptic Christians in Egypt who have faithfully suffered for a thousand years as dhimmis under Islam as but one example. But God is indeed active in history, or as Lewis put it in his Narnia Chronicles, “Aslan is about.” We don’t know how, or when – but we can be ready, and doing what we can to peacefully, creatively and courageously bring justice and light.

And if Aslan tarries? Then we remain faithful to the calling of faith and freedom. We may indeed perish in that battle against slavery Churchill noted above. But a few stories here, during which freedom hung by a thread, shed at least a glimmer of hope in the current situation we find ourselves.

How can you do a battle of wits with an unarmed person?

History Repeats Itself!

I wholeheartedly believe that history does repeat itself. The only way to prevent this is to alter the course of current events. As it was once said…

If you have doubts, consider this account as it appeared on the Facebook page of ReadyAim Bid.com:

For anyone who doesn’t think that their guns will be next, and that it’s okay for those evil, black “assault rifles” and “95 round clips” that just inflict maximum damage and are designed solely for killing to be banned, here’s a story for you. After World War II, a writer came up to an educated German priest who had spent the end of the war in a death camp but managed to survive, “How could your people have let this happen”?

The man said, “When they came around in 1934 and rounded up the guns and radios with short-wave capability to get international broadcasts, I didn’t complain–I had neither. When they came around in 1936 and rounded up the Jews, I didn’t complain, we’d all been told the Jews were the cause of economic collapse after the first war. When they came around and gathered up the handicapped, Jesuits, homosexuals and intellectuals in 1940, I even agreed with much of what they said. After they banned the Catholic church in 1941 it started to hit close to home. Finally when they came around for me in 1944 it was too late”.

Any of you who have a gun of ANY kind and you want to keep it: if you don’t stand up for people with “assault rifles”, just like in Britain now, there will come a day when you have to get your weapon checked out from the police station on certain days. As the minutemen said, “If we don’t hang together, we all hang separately”.

I do not know if this is true or not. But even if it is just a story, there is a lesson to be learned here.

Will you be a part of the change? Or will you wait until they come for you or your guns?

Prepper Gems From The Web

It’s Friday again and that means another dose of the best preparedness, survival, and liberty-minded stories that the internet has to offer. This week brings stories of tragedy, precious metals as currency, stylish concealed carry, alternatives to a bugout location, and some of the oft-forgotten survival preps.

4 Lessons From Our Personal SHTF Event by Todd Walker from Survival Sherpa

In this article Todd takes us through a very difficult time in his life and shares how his own personal disaster has taught him four lessons that can help the prepper deal with life’s curveballs. On a personal note, I would like to thank Todd for putting his story out there so that other’s may benefit from the difficulties he has been forced to endure. You are respected for your intestinal fortitude, sir.

13 States Now Considering Gold and Silver as Money by Simple Man from Backwoods Survival Blog

This post is an interesting tidbit on thirteen different states within the Union that have either passed legislation, are in the process of, or are considering legislation that makes gold and silver bullion legal tender.

The Stylish Man’s Guide to Concealed Carry by Antonio from The Art of Manliness

ZZ Top would love this article. This is the how-to guide for the sharp dressed man that will assist him in concealing his firearm while out on the town. The approach in this article is methodical and covers choosing a firearm, selecting a method of carry, assembling your wardrobe, and enlisting the assistance of a tailor to accomplish this mission.

Alternatives to a Bugout Location – What You Should Consider by Holly Deyo from SHTF Plan

This is a great article about facing the realities of having a bugout location. A hard look is taken at some of the threats that Americans face during our current economic and political climate as well as what some of the realistic options are for bugging out or getting away from these tough situations. One of the greatest offerings in this article is alternatives available to those who don’t have the financial resources to purchase a bugout location.

The Most Often Forgotten Survival Preparations by Brandon Smith from Alt-Market

Brandon Smith from Alt-Market takes a look at some of the overlooked considerations, skills, and preparations that are commonly missed by the modern-day prepper. Some of these things may seem obvious to some and others may seem obscure but it never hurts to be reminded of what we could do better or what we might need to tighten up.

Hope you all had a great week and have great plans for the weekend. Stay safe as the cold weather approaches!