Tag Archives: SHTF

Not-So-Monday Mania – 7.20.2016

This week on Not-So-Monday Mania: It Hit The Fan, Now What?, Bugging Out: Staying Ready for Evacuation, The Rule of Law, Trash Cans – Overlooked Survival Tool for Preppers?, Survival Recipe: How to make Buckaroo Beans with Storage Foods, In a post SHTF world, when should I travel, during the day or night?, & 10 More

Not-So-Monday Mania – 7.20.2016

Welcome to another week of Monday Mania (even though I am a couple of days late)!

I have found that I feel a more urgent need to be prepared for the unexpected as the world seems to continue to de-stabilize. This seems to be the result of many things, but the recent attacks on police officers in Dallas, TX and Baton Rouge, LA is particularly unsettling to me and the fact that there has almost been a #BlackLivesMatter insurgency that has started is even more troubling.

As I watched the initial press conference about the Baton Rouge shootings on Sunday, I think that Sheriff Sid Gautreaux of the East Baton Rouge, LA Sheriff’s Office probably said it best when he said, “This isn’t so much about gun control as it is about what’s in men’s hearts.”

There is a lot of truth in that. Guns have been around for hundreds of years without these types of events happening. Even if guns were illegal, there are still plenty of mass killings that have occurred in history that were carried out without a single firearm.

My bottom line is that it is vital to take the steps to get prepared for troubling times because I am believe they are here, and they will only get worse as time goes by.

I am going to close this out with my tin foil hat on…

Over the last year or so, and as we get closer and closer to the election in November, I have heard more about the idea that martial law will be implemented prior to the presidential election. This would in turn lead to the ability of Barack Obama to remain as the POTUS past the expiration of his second, and final, term in office.

When I first starting hearing this, I honestly did not buy into the idea that this would realistically be a possibility. I did not think that the American people would ever really let this happen. My confession here is that this does not seem like such a stretch anymore.

Here’s why…

There was a prediction that I made before the identity of the Dallas shooter was revealed, it was that the shooter was a military veteran who had deployed in support of the Global War on Terror. My assumption was also that the shooter was black (based on the claim that the goal of the shooter was to kill white police officers).

Insert rant here ↓

I realize that I said black and not African-American. It is just like the fact that I am white and not Anglo-American. Like most Americans, I am not a first generation American. This makes me more American than any specific group or skin color. Therefore, if you would like to lump me into a smaller group than Americans, you will have to probably go with my skin color which is “white.”

If you would like to subcategorize me even further, you can use my religion (Christian), my sexuality (heterosexual), and gender (male). Does that make you feel any better or worse about me? While I may not agree with all the decisions that other people make, you are who you are (just like the next guy or gal, is the next guy or gal) and to make a decision about you without knowing you, is asinine.

I will even take things an additional step further and say that if we chose to treat others how we would like to be treated, we would find ourselves in a much better world. I truly believe that the only reason that racism continues to be a problem in America is because, in some areas, many believe that we still have to put labels on things. But just like I should be shamed if I say all mankind, as opposed to humankind, when addressing all humans (men and women), it should not be so acceptable to address people by their skin color.

Rant complete.

Unfortunately, I was correct with my earlier prediction and assumption about the Dallas shooter.

As the news of the attack on police officers in Baton Rouge, LA spread on Sunday, I found myself thinking that we were going to find out that we would be in the same situation…a shooter that was a military veteran, who served in combat, and was black. Two strikes. I was right again.

As humans, our concern should be for the completely unnecessary loss of anyone’s life, regardless of any set of identifiers. At the same time, we need to look at each situation objectively and not rush to specific conclusions based on the fact that a law enforcement officer felt forced to take a specific action. One that, realistically, they probably would rather have not taken but, like most of us, that officer is going to do what it takes to survive and make it home to their loved ones at the end of the day.

With all of that said, the continued occurrences (of what I would call a “race war”) will do nothing to solve anything. But they could potentially lead to the imposition of martial law. Think about it, if there are continued attacks on law enforcement agencies across the nation, along with everything else that is already going on, would the idea of martial law be so far-fetched? Would it seem unreasonable at that point to empower the military to lock the country down and reduce, if not remove, most of the constitutional rights of the American people?

It doesn’t sound so crazy now, does it?

Hopefully this is a true tin foil hat moment and not a preview into the future.

I hope y’all have a blessed week!



It Hit The Fan, Now What? – I wrote this article as my monthly contribution to Bob Livingston’s Personal Liberty Digest about some of the immediate actions that should be considered following a disaster or emergency.

Bugging Out: Staying Ready for Evacuation – The ability to get out in a few minutes time is a valuable advantage when faced with an immediate need to leave home, work, etc. The absolute last thing that you want to have happen is for an emergency occur and you have to scramble to gather your things and hope you don’t miss anything.

The Rule of Law – This is an interesting look at the rule of law and how it is breaking down right in front of us. Current events of the last week really paint a good picture of how the rule of law does not apply when those in power do not want it to.

Trash Cans – Overlooked Survival Tool for Preppers? – Trash cans are like buckets (only bigger), and the use of buckets in survival and preparedness is almost endless. I found the idea of growing potatoes in a trash can particularly interesting.

AD: This $28 investment will ensure you'll always be able to access fuel if the SHTF

Survival Recipe: How to make Buckaroo Beans with Storage Foods – This recipes sounds pretty good to me but I think that I might change the beans up a little bit, I am not a fan of kidney beans (thanks mom for forcing me to eat them as a child!).

In a post SHTF world, when should I travel, during the day or night? – My personal thought is to travel by day. If the military or law enforcement is on the “other side,” traveling at night will be a bad idea.

Beating The Heat Old-School Southern Summer Style – It’s the middle of summer and I know that we are trying to beat the heat here in the south. If you are looking for ways to deal with the heat, there are a few good tips here, especially if you are without air conditioning.

Bug Out Bag Documents: The Most Important Papers For Surviving – Keeping vital documents with you in your bug out bag is something that requires serious consideration. Be intentional when making the decision on whether to keep these documents in electronic form, paper form, or both.

Bugging Out: Staying Ready for Evacuation – I like this article because it not only addresses the need to remain ready to evacuate, there are a couple of elements to staying ready for an evacuation highlighted that should be a part of your plan.

5 items You Probably Should Not Stock Long Term – While a short list, it is good to know the limitations in storing items like bleach and some medications that are important to emergency preparedness planning.

Should You Pack Emergency Gear While on Vacation? – This is a question that I find myself pondering every time I go out of town. My belief is that there are definitely some preparedness items that should go with you on vacation. A few items that I try to ensure that I always have with me include a small first aid kit, tape (electrical or duct), paracord, extra glasses, some extra clothing, water, and some snacks.

How to Make and Use Pine Pitch – While not something that I have much experience with (other than getting it in my hair and on my clothes as a kid), these are some great uses for a naturally occurring product.

Are You Prepared for Lockdown? How to Stay Safe When Chaos Erupts in America – The need to be able to shelter in place seems to be more important now then it ever has before. Looking into the future, I see the information in this article being very useful.


Marine Officer Under Fire Wants Same Treatment as Hillary Clinton – This makes plenty of sense to me. She wants to be the POTUS and as the Commander-in-Chief, if the treatment she received is acceptable, then the same should be done for anyone in the military. It’s too bad that we already know that will not happen. During my own military career, I have personally seen numerous occurrences of a leader getting different treatment and what often turn out to be more leniency when compared to a subordinate in the same situation.

Students scared of cops on campus force university to take drastic measures during RNC – This is just ridiculous. Really? The students at Case Western are scared that the 300 police officers brought in as additional security for the RNC will be a threat to them? It is thinking like this that has people thinking it is a good idea to ambush and kill police officers.


Musings of a Southern Anti-Federalist on the Presidential Election – This is a well-written piece about the current state of the United States, states’ rights, and the system of “creditism.”

That’s a wrap for me this week. As always, I hope that you all have a great week and keep getting ready for tough times. It seems like we get closer every day to something unfortunate coming along.

If you found something that you would like to share with the group or have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at tom@thepreparedninja.com.

Come back next week for another edition of Monday Mania.

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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.223 vs. 5.56 – What Is The Difference?

.223 vs. 5.56 – What Is The Difference?

The .223 and 5.56×45 NATO cartridges are nearly identical rounds that have led shooters toward countless debates, confusion, and frustration. But understanding the differences between these two rounds isn’t all that difficult when you cut you through the misinformation. In fact, with just a little background information about each cartridge and an understanding of how you plan to use your firearm, you’ll find yourself better prepared to make a decision between the two calibers. You’ll also know the risks, if any, of shooting a 5.56 round in a .223 chamber.

The History of .223 & 5.56

Remington submitted the .223 Remington round to SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute) in 1962 as a sporting round generally considered a varmint cartridge. Since then, .223 Rem ammunition really hasn’t changed in terms of cartridge dimensions or the pressure that it is loaded to, according to Gun Digest 2013. That makes sense, as SAAMI is pretty rigid with their testing and once a standard is set, it tends to remain that way for the life of a given caliber. While variances on the .223 Remington round have popped up, such as the .223 Wylde, which is a round many feel is a good compromise between the pressures and performance of .223 and 5.56, .223 Remington is far and away the most popular of the .223 calibers.

On the other hand, 5.56×45 NATO has never been submitted to SAAMI because it’s a military round, loaded to a military standard that is quite different from SAAMI’s standards. As you can imagine, military standards are very exact and quite rigid all over the world. That’s not to say military standards are better than SAAMI, it’s simply that the way they each measure different attributes of a round are different so you can’t truly stack the rounds side-by-side and understand the differences between them. This variance in standards plays a huge role in the confusion that surrounds the .223 vs. 5.56 debate today.

In summary, the military measures pressure one way and SAAMI measures pressure in a different manner so the two calculations can’t be compared side-by-side, helping spur more discussion, confusion, and even misinformation about these two calibers.

Are 5.56 and .223 Rounds Interchangeable?

In terms of the exterior dimensions, 5.56×45 and .223 cartridges are just about identical so there are not really any concerns about fitting each round in your chamber, it doesn’t matter if you’re chambered for .223 or 5.56, the round will likely load. However, pressure varies between the two rounds and that pressure change can be significant depending upon your firearm. Generally, 5.56×45 ammunition fires at a higher pressure than .223 Remington ammunition. A typical range round of 5.56×45 will hit a peak pressure of around 60,000 pounds per square inch while a comparable .223 cartridge’s peak pressure will be about 20-percent less.

To help function under those increased pressures, many 5.56 chambers are larger in critical areas than .223 chambers. Specifically, the area of the chamber known as the leade or throat of the barrel will be different. This throat or leade portion is the area of the barrel in front of the chamber just before the rifling begins. So, if you load the same exact round in both a .223 chambered firearm and a 5.56 firearm, the extra area in the 5.56 chamber will help safely handle the pressure loaded cartridge and potentially lead to less potential wear and tear than if you  fired the 5.56 NATO round in a .223 Rem firearm.

Also of note, odds are you’re going to get slightly faster muzzle velocities using 5.56×45 ammunition than you would if firing .223 Remington.

So what does it mean? For most shooters, the general rule of thumb as it relates to each round is that you should not fire 5.56 in a firearm chambered for .223 while you can safely fire .223 in a 5.56-chambered firearm.  But it’s not that cut and dried.

There are several cases where shooters have documented firing 5.56 in their .223 firearms with no major problems and while a major malfunction, such as an explosion is possible, it is extremely unlikely to happen. You see part of what led to this way of thinking is because of the SAAMI standards for testing. Given a highly pressurized barrel, 5.56 rounds in a .223-chambered firearm are not a great idea. Most civilian .223 rifles on the market today, however, are much more forgiving than the barrels used for SAAMI standard testing so you’re likely to not only avoid major malfunctions but you’ll likely not even be able to tell the difference when firing 5.56 in a .223 Remington chambered AR-15.

Keeping that in mind, if you are relying on an AR-15 in a survival situation, you will likely want to invest in ammunition that is ideally suited for your specific chamber. Because of the pressure each round is loaded and the tolerances accepted by most modern sporting rifle barrels, even if not ideal in terms of wear-and-tear, you will likely be able to effectively neutralize a target using either caliber.

How to Tell .223 Remington and 5.56×45 Cartridges Apart

So you’re stuck in a place where ammo is scare and you come across rounds that appear to be appropriate for your firearm. Since .223 and 5.56 are nearly identical in physical appearance, how do you know if it’s .223 Remington or 5.56×45 ammo? The quickest and easiest way is to examine the head of the cartridge. If it’s 5.56, it’ll be stamped be stamped with a NATO insignia, which looks like a circle with a plus sign (+) inside of it. If it’s .223 Remington, it’ll say .223 Rem.

Photo Credit: TheFiringLine.com
Photo Credit: TheFiringLine.com

So Which Caliber AR-15 is Better?

The short answer about which caliber is best for you depends on your particular needs. The .223 Remington is the mostly widely produced caliber and while you likely won’t want to fire 5.56 in your firearm often, in an emergency you could easily get away with firing a few hundred rounds if necessary. The bottom line is this: if you want to be as safe as possible, always shoot .223 Remington ammunition. The .223 Rem cartridges will safely fit and fire in any rifle chambered for either .223 or 5.56.

In terms of pricing, .223 ammunition and 5.56 ammo cost about the same amount per round and both are readily available most of the time on the U.S. civilian market. If you’re not sure what you’ll be using the firearm for, most shooters find 5.56 chambered firearms more appealing because of the flexibility they offer when it comes to firing either .223 or 5.56×45 rounds.

About the Author:

Mark Ollendale is a life-long shooter and firearms enthusiast obsessed with ammunition. Passionate about helping protect the 2nd Amendment while spreading the benefits of firearm ownership to new shooters young and old, Mark works for online ammo retailer AmmoForSale.com.

The End Of The World: The Sequel

The End of the World: The Sequel

by J.V.

For let us make no mistake. If the end of the world appeared in all the literal trappings of the Apocalypse,* if the modern materialist saw with his own eyes the heavens rolled up* and the great white throne appearing,* if he had the sensation of being himself hurled into the Lake of Fire,* he would continue forever, in that lake itself, to regard his experience as an illusion and to find the explanation of it in, psycho-analysis, or cerebral pathology. – CS Lewis

I am in my late 50s, and have seen “end of the world” predictions for a half century.

I also do preparedness.

So… what gives?

I have indeed lived through the “Run for the hills, the end of the world is coming” scares of many past decades: the Cold War, various asteroid, comets and rogue planets making a guest appearance at a planet near you, sundry predictions of WWIII starting, Y2K, the annual end of the world meltdown predictions from the global warming charlatans, and much, much more (including the epic global catastrophes of Jennifer Lopez’s Gigli and Kevin Costner’s Waterworld!)   I have  a particular distaste for the issue of  anthropogenic global warming – on which I have done a 400 page paper – and which I consider to be perhaps the most expensive fraud ever perpetrated on mankind, bar none.

As one writer, whose name escapes me now, once observed, he had lived through many disasters, the vast majority of which never happened.

So, why is it that I do preparedness?

Simple – risk mitigation, a knowledge of history and an understanding that we live in a universe that – like it or not, be it long or short, a culture eventually reaps what it sows (even though individuals may escape).  There clearly is one “possibility” that is indeed certain: I have to die, and I have to live until I die.  In other words, if I don’t die, I have 100% probability of getting old, and then dying (of course, as Keynes famously observed, in the long run, we’re all dead). Thus, one form of preparedness is that I plan for either retirement, and/or make sure my will is in order (it might also be helpful to make peace with God – after all, you are going to be dead a lot longer than you are going to be alive.)  Similarly, it is also likely that if you devote an extreme amount of time to preparedness, your wife and children will either leave you, or you run the serious risk of alienating all of them. Or, if you aren’t married, you will end up with very few friends – and even less prospects of ever getting married!  Preparedness starts with a dispassionate analysis of possible outcomes, based on your understanding of the world and history. It also means the prepper should make sure to take adequate time to smell the roses in his journey to readiness. You do not want to reach the end of next year, next decade, or the end of your life, having lived in a bomb shelter, or never having had the opportunity to actually visit the Corn Palace, in Mitchell, South Dakota. (Ok… well, make that the Pyramids at sunrise, or the Eiffel Tower at sunset, but you get my drift.)  By the same token, one also needs to determine the value of that new Lexus vis-à-vis the value of preparedness and “only” being able to afford a Toyota Corolla instead.  I don’t know your financial situation – however, I do know that a plurality of westerners have chosen to live for today – with the problem being  that the results of  “Live for today, for tomorrow we die” is that tomorrow you don’t die. Rather, you wake up and you have a massive hangover, you wake up and find there is no seed corn for next year’s planting – or you wake up and find you and are in debt (as an individual or society) that you will never  be able to pay back.

This, then, is the initial step in the preparedness journey – prioritizations, and a cold analysis of what is certain to happen, likely to happen, possible to happen, and only remotely likely to happen. Yes, this will certainly be a judgment call – it can’t be helped – but your decisions can be reasonably informed, as much as your – and my – time allows.

So why prep? First, the goal is not to live in fear.  Preparedness – paradoxically combined with faith in God – is the antidote to fear.  In contrast to FDR’s dictum that the government should provide freedom from fear and want, the prepper is one who believes the same thing – only brought about by his own actions, not that  of the nanny state, which inevitably can only do the exact same thing using your money – and do it half as well, using twice the dollars. You also need to weigh how much you believe is self-reliance – can you live with yourself being utterly dependent on everyone and everything. Yes, no man is an island, most of us live in community, and we need to interact, so there is indeed a continuum between total dependence and total self-reliance, with no one at either extreme. However, there clearly is a point where one “depends on the kindness of strangers,” or worse, becomes a ward of the state. If you are comfortable with this, please stop reading!

Another goal is to have the self-respect that can only be found in a reasonable degree of self-reliance. You cannot have true self- respect if you have no preparations made for what you determine are realistic threats, and expect others to rescue you. Further, one also has an obligation to provide for one’s family – not the nanny state, not the government, not the socialists – but you and me, individually. Indeed, the great falsehood about socialism, as Bastiat observed, is that “it is the great fiction, whereby everybody endeavours to live off of everybody else.” It doesn’t work, it hasn’t worked, and it by definition can never work – but that never stops socialists from their “we’re smarter, and this time we will get it right.” As a corollary of this, yet one further goal of the prepper is to not become victimized by the by a socialist mediated economic collapse (and they always end up collapsing) – be is a slow, grinding Argentinian-style collapse, or something more rapid and calamitous.

Am I being overly dramatic about what might result from an economic collapse? Ask someone from  Argentina (which used to be one of the richest countries in the world 100 years ago), from the Weimar Republic, from Greece, Spain, Portugal or Ireland today, or New Zealand in 1986,  or any number of other countries around the world that have experienced this.

History also guides my concern for preparedness. And yes, those who don’t know history – think those people you saw interviewed on Jay Leno’s walkabouts – will indeed watch it repeat… or at least see it rhyme.

And what is that history? Just to select a few examples:

  • The Black Plague of medieval Europe. Ahhhh, but we’re much smarter than that now, you object… that would never happen now. Really? Are you talking about today’s developing antibiotic resistance? Designer germs or intentionally spread diseases by terrorists? Maybe just a “vanilla” global nuclear exchange? Of course, the explicitly stated intentions by globalists is to reduce the world population by a very large percentage, so who knows how that may come to fruition.
  • The Jews in 1936 Germany thought it couldn’t get worse, and particularly the most civilized, advanced country in the world would not go to serious extremes. You know that story – though you may not have taken it to heart.
  • The Haidas on the Queen Charlotte Islands, located off British Columbia, my old home province. This proud tribe – the only Indian tribe that was advanced enough to hunt whales –  saw  80 – 90% of their population wiped out when smallpox and other diseases were accidentally introduced when explorers arrived. The Mayan collapse is another aboriginal disaster many are now familiar with, given the Mayan calendar end of the world scam of 2012
  • Perhaps the history to be repeated will be something more along the lines of Russia in 1918. You may laugh off predictions of disaster, but 61 million people who died in the USSR did, in fact, see their very own TEOTWAKI situation realized, including perhaps seven million who were intentionally starved to death in Stalin’s Holmodor of the Ukrainian Kulaks. In fact, according to Stephane Courtois, around 100 million were murdered last century due to various socialist “solutions.”  No doubt many Russians in 1910, as they listened to Tchaikovsky and read Tolstoy, felt the hell of the USSR just around the corner was not even a theoretical possibility.
  • On the other hand, we may see the slow, leftist devolution of an economy, such as seen in Argentina, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Greece. If you are one of the youth who has been unemployed for the past five years, you are experiencing your own slo-mo TEOTWAKI. (And in fact, if you are one of the 48 million Obama now has on food stamps, up from 32 million when he took office, you don’t need to wait to imagine.) Would preparedness have done a disservice to those Greeks who were “paranoid” enough to have anticipated the future five years ago, and engaged in preparedness?  What are those who mocked the Greek or Argentinian “preppers” thinking right now?  Perhaps Spiros the prepper in Greece prepared for an EMP event, but do you think that since it was an economic collapse that occurred instead, all his work was for naught?
  • What would you have said if, in 2007, I told you that GM or AIG would no longer be functioning companies in a couple years without a slew of free money? Would you have believed me?  There has indeed been an economic collapse in the US – it is just covered over by printed money and ensuring Dancing with the Stars keeps running weekly.
  • The list could go on, from the Irish potato famine to Krakatoa to the possibly collapse of Las Palmas Island in the Atlantic to that occasionally restless magma below Yellowstone, but you can fill in the blanks yourself.

There is a full panoply of potential disasters – admittedly with low probability – but high stakes if they do occur. What is the cost/benefit ratio for you, personally? Only you can figure that one out, of course, but the point is: many times things go on just as they always were for centuries.  Then one day, an 8th century Copt looks up and sees an Arab army in the eastern distance; a citizen from  13th century eastern Europe observes some Mongolian heritage peoples gathering their cavalry before his country’s foot soldiers using something never seen before in battle – stirrups. Or perhaps it is Vladimir Lenin quietly entering a train to be  transported via sealed train car back to Russia for political reasons, or a group of Arab radicals the summer of 2001 finishing flight classes that did not include lessons on how to land their aircraft. Low probability, high impact indeed!

So, what to do? First, recognize that things change, and sometimes rapidly, after years of stasis. A very close friend who was doing his Ph.D. examining chaos theory did one study on what causes sand hills to collapse. Condensing years of study into several sentences, one can pile sand grain upon sand grand, until finally, after a seemingly infinite number of grains, one single grain causes a slide. What number of grains is it, and when is it that this occurs? Suffice to say, at one point there is a hill, and after what seems an imperceptible addition, the slide has occurred. Not a big deal if it is a sand castle at a beach. But it is a giant deal if it is 2008, the week before Bear Stearns collapsed, and you have your life savings in a failing bank – or perhaps it is October, 2015,  the week before the $6 trillion-dollar pyramid of derivatives (which Warren Buffett famously called “weapons of mass financial destruction”) collapses. In fact, the dog’s breakfast of derivatives may never collapse. Maybe the Bernanke Fed really has invented a perpetual motion machine. Maybe they actually have mapped out the cause and correction of economic downturns.  The question is, as Clint Eastwood put it, “So… do ya feel lucky, punk? Well.. do ya?” Less theatrically, does central planning still work – and are you willing to stake your life, and that of your family on it – or does it just make a worse collapse inevitable, as Ludwig von Mises of the Austrian school of economics pointed out: “There is no means of avoiding a final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as the final and total catastrophe of the currency involved.”)  Similar to von Mises prediction, Reinhart and Rogoff’s book This Time is Different  documents that, historically, there has never been a good outcome when a country’s debt exceeds 100% of its GDP.  What is it worth to you to hedge against this threat of economic disaster?

When it comes to economics, warfare, or politics, is mankind fallible or not? Are you willing – after seeing the tech and housing bubbles just in the past dozen years or so – still willing to repeat the  “this time is different” mantra?   What are your assumptions about human nature, and what could possibly result from that analysis? Is the government all-seeing an all-knowing, or even relatively so? Or does bigger government just increase the risk when something does go awry?  (“Hey, Klem – no need to get out of New Orleans… the Army Corp of Engineers know what they are doing). And when it comes to natural disasters, do we really still need to examine what a hurricane can do, or what havoc another Carrington Event from the sun might possibly create (one credible analyst predicted that if an EMP event were to occur, 90% of the U.S. population would be dead in a year). What is it worth to you to protect against that? And if it is not worth a penny, then presumably you do not buy auto or home fire insurance, either.

One final note. A great portion of us still need to keep a job, which in turn means compromises need to occur with time and money, as well as keeping living quarters in or near an urban area. If you are independently wealthy, good for you – go ahead and build, or move to, that retreat. I’d love to join you. Alternatively, you may be able to re-jig your life style by downsizing, changing jobs, or similar, to allow for a move. Well and good. Just be careful you don’t turn into Mel Tappan. Mr. Tappan was a well-to-do banker that – convinced society and the economy were going to collapse – relocated to a rural Oregon retreat off the Rogue River and created the highly regarded Personal Survival Newsletter in the 1970s – yes, getting to be almost 40 years ago now with still no cataclysmic disaster! Unfortunately, Tappaan was not near medical care when he suffered a fatal heart attack in 1980, only in his late 40s. Tappan is thought by many to have been foolish, but that is Monday morning quarterbacking. Perhaps if something like the early 1960s Cuban Missile Crisis occurred in 1979, and the missiles had actually launched, he would be considered prescient by the survivors. We know today that the Cuban missile crisis came within a hair’s breadth of seeing an actual exchange of missiles.

Recall, too, that rural retreats like Tappan’s, in a partial meltdown, may in fact be more dangerous, in that you have no community to rely on for defense, mutual encouragement and practical support. Large cities also may get more attention and funds from a bankrupt government – or, alternatively, they may turn into Detroit on steroids. The truth is, there are too many variables, too many facts, too many websites and too many opinions to arrive at a conclusive answer. We thus arrive back where this article began – risk analysis and risk mitigation – and which is where I leave you.  Risk mitigation is a sober analysis of all the facts that you able to gather at present, then progressively elaborated as you move forward.

In conclusion, consider well this nine minute segment on lack of preparedness from the Twilight Zone, entitled The Shelter:

Long or short, there indeed will come some period in the future when citizens in the West will have wished they prepared. Don’t be one of them.


Two Invaluable Prepping Resources

There are almost an infinite number of survival/prepping websites out there and many of them have a ton of great information on them but there are a some that I would consider to be consistently invaluable. As a side note, since there are so many survival and prepping websites, thank you for taking some of your valuable time to spend it here at The Prepared Ninja. There are many sites that I have spent time and found some useful information but when considering the time spent to useful information found ratio, it leaves something to be desired. Other sites where I have spent time yield a gold mine of information in short periods of time which is what I would like to share with you all today.

The two places I consistently get my modern survival/self-reliance inspiration and information from are:

The Survival Podcast – Jack Spirko is the voice of this daily podcast that is, “Helping you live a better life, if times get tough or even if they don’t.” There is not an episode that I can recall that I did not get something of benefit from it. Jack is also the king of guest interviews and will have just about every subject matter expert on just about every subject in his archives. If for some reason you don’t find the interview you are looking for, let Jack know and he will most likely make every reasonable effort to make the interview happen. As an added bonus, I love the fact that TSP is a podcast which allows me to listen to it while I am in the car. Since I travel a fair amount for work, I can listen to a good amount of modern survival info while I drive.

The Survivalist Blog – MD Creekmore is the keeper of The Survivalist Blog and rolls out some outstanding new content on a regular basis as well as maintaining an archive of over 3,000 survival and self-reliance related articles. My favorite piece of content that I look forward to every week from MD though is the weekly feature, “What Did You Do To Prep This Week?” where MD outlines his weekly preparedness activities for the week and in turn his readers respond with their prepping efforts and usually a healthy discussion ensues.

Both of these resources are outstanding and if there were only two survival/self-reliance communities that I could be a part of it would be The Survival Podcast and The Survivalist Blog.

Some other resources that are extremely valuable that I subscribe to and use on a regular basis include:

The Survival Mom – Lisa Bedford AKA The Survival Mom has a website that is overflowing with information and resources that can help you, your family, loved ones, friends, and community members get through tough times such as natural disasters, economic collapse, or even how to live a simpler life through practicing basic skills. The Survival Mom also offers free online classes and webinars on a regular basis which are a great value that can be enjoyed by anyone without cost.

Modern Survival Online – Run by Rourke, MSO is focused on survival, self-reliance, preparedness, firearms, and thoughts on the world of today. Rourke has a fairly extensive database of downloadable resources ranging from gardening to terrorism and everything in between. If you enjoy writing, make sure to check out Modern Survival Online’s guest writing contest while you are on the site. Another great opportunity that exists on MSO is the list of every post that has ever been published on the site which without having tried, I would have to guess would take just about an entire day to completely digest it all.

SHTF Plan – Mac Slavo runs a great ship over at SHTF Plan. While there is some great information about survival, what I rely on this site for is information about the economy and government operations that you can’t find anywhere else. The SHTF community is also very interactive which allows for its readers to not only benefit from the published content but also from the opportunity to converse with each other in the comments section.

Hopefully you are already benefitting from some, if not all, of these resources but if you are not I would encourage you to take a look at them. One or more of these websites may prove to be a valuable asset in assisting you in preparing for difficult times.

Do you have a favorite prepping resource that I didn’t mention? Mention it in the comments section below!