6 Questions you Should Ask About Prepping

Every once in a while, it is important to take a back seat to the process of prepping and do a little planning.  I say this because things change and life evolves, requiring a re-examination of the who, what, and why of prepping.  Let’s face it. You probably remember why you started to set food, water, and supplies aside, and why you began to bone up on off-grid skills.  But in the flurry of preparedness activities, have you ever taken a look at your original plan and made circumstantial changes?

If you are saying “what plan”,  join the crowd!

An Introduction to the Who, What, and Why of Prepping

We all know about the successful reporter’s rule of thumb:  determine the who what where and how for every story.  Let us take the “where” out of the equation and begin with the who, what and why of prepping.

1.  Who Should Prep?

There is only one right answer:  Everyone!

The differentiator is the extent of one person’s preps over those of another person.  Person A may define being prepared as having a three day plan to soldier through a winter storm when the power is out.  (Of course I will try to encourage that person to prep for a week or two at a minimum, but ultimately, three days is considered a decent starting point.)

On the other hand, Person B may not consider himself adequately prepped until he has the supplies, tools, and skills to manage for a year or more on his own.

It all gets down to a matter of perspective.  Like a broken record I will say it again; there is no right and no wrong when it comes to preparedness.  If you prepare enough to ally your fear of a disruptive event, you will have done enough.

Six Questions Every Prepper Needs to Ask and Answer | Backdoor Survival

2.  What is Prepping?

Let us get this one out of the way quickly as well.  Prepping is being able to survive a disruptive event if not in comfort, then at least with a minimum amount of stress.

3.  Who Are You Prepping For?

Now we start to get into the nitty-gritty of your plan.  It is important to understand who you are prepping for.  Is it just yourself and your partner (if you have one), or an extended family?  Are there infants or toddlers involved?  What about physically challenged, or elderly members of your family.  Don’t forget about the family dog or cat, and your farm animals.

As you prepare a strategy to meet your prepping goals, things can get out of hand quickly.  It takes money to prep so even though you may want to take care of everyone, doing so can put a huge strain on the family budget. If you are lucky enough to have family members who are on board with prepping, you can ask them to participate, even if all that means is they clean and repurpose soda bottles so they can be filled with tap water and stored for an emergency.

At the end of the day, though, you must be realistic and remember that having the time and resources to live your life in the here and now is important too.  Go slowly as you expand your preps to include others.  Do not cannibalize your own life for the sake of something that may or may not happen.

4.  What Are You Preparing For?

Are periodic power outages your concern, or is it the the big earthquake that is past due along the Cascadia Fault?  Is it a hurricane or is it global economic collapse?  If you are a prepper newbie, I tend to recommend that you initially focus on disruptive events that are geographically specific to where you live.

If you are new to an area and even if you are not, your county will have an emergency services department with plenty of information describing the types of disasters and freaks of mother nature that can occur in your community.  Take advantage of this information.

5.  Where Do I Start?

Getting started when you are at prepping ground zero can be overwhelming.  I get that. That being said, the fact you are reading this article is a good start.

Beyond that, get your water, food and first aid supplies in order, as well as a stash of cash for those times when the ATM is not working.

6.  How Long Do You Want Your Preps to Last?

This is another reality check.  Although it would be nice to say “forever”, unless you have a self-sufficient farm and everything that goes along with it, a forever goal is not realistic.

Why not start with a week, then expand to a month?  After you have met that goal,, decide whether you would prefer to prep for more people, or perhaps to extend the period to three months or a year.  Have a discussion with yourself and decide what is right for you, your temperament, and your feelings about the likelihood of a major disruptive event. occurring in the near future.

The Final Word

It is easy to say “plan first, prepare second”, but even planning can be overwhelming.  I know that when I first started to prep, I armed myself with a 20 page checklist to use to begin the planning process.  After an hour, I set it aside and chartered my own course.  Thus was the beginning of Backdoor Survival and my own common sense approach to preparedness.

As a call to action, it is time to revisit the basics.  The moment is now.

How To Survive Eating Wild Winter Edibles

how-to-survive-eating-wild-winter-edibles

Recently, we’ve been asked a question about what types of foods are good sources of carbohydrates in the winter.

The reader was specifically worried about his son, who is going on a military survival retreat in Maine and can’t afford to lose the 20 pounds that the program has warned him that he will likely lose. His question was about sources of carbohydrates.

My son will be sent to Maine in the winter for a 3 week military survival course. Others who have experienced this say that the participants will lose an average of 20 pounds during that time. He can ill afford to lose 20 pounds, so I was wondering if you knew a good source for carbs that can be found in abundance in the winter? I think he is fairly good at locating small game for protein. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
Best regards,

Everett

Though there are many great wild sources of carbohydrates to eat in Maine, I’ve had a problem finding exact nutritional values of wild plants. Go figure. Since the main goal is preventing weight loss, we’re looking for plants that can be found in a great enough quantity to thrive, versus simply survive.

Therefore, we need plants that are both high in calories and found in enough quantity to make a substantial meal. The first part was easy, the second part, not so much. So, I’ll share what I’ve found.

Cattails

It turns out that these plants are considered a pest by many because they grow so prolifically in marshy areas and around ponds.

Fortunately for somebody foraging, cattails are a great source of carbohydrates and nutrients year-round. In the winter time, the best parts of the plant to eat are the rhizomes, or roots, and the corms, the little shoots that are the beginnings of next year’s plants.

You probably won’t be able to just rip the cattail out of the mud; you’re likely going to have to dig for it a bit. Just run your hand down the stalk of the cattail and into the mud. Feel for the roots, then follow them down a bit and PULL!

Don’t stop with just one plant; grab several at a time because they’re not that heavy and you can carry them or store them in camp. No need to get wet more than once if you don’t have to.

Now, you’re going to notice little shoots around the base of the plant, which are older corms and are the beginnings of next year’s plant.

You’ll also find little pod-like pieces on the rhizomes and around the bottom of the stalks. These are less mature corms and are also edible. You can eat both types of corms raw. Just peel off the outer fibrous part and eat the delicate interior.

The rhizomes are going to look sort of hairy. Wash them as well as you can, then peel them just like you would a potato. Your goal is to extract the starch from the rhizome and there are a couple of ways to do this.

You can break up the rhizome and then put it in a small bowl of water and squeeze the rhizome pieces in the water until the starch is remove. The water turns a milky white. Let the water settle for a couple of hours and the heavy, starchy flour will settle to the bottom. Pour off the water and spread the flour out to dry.

The second way is to use your knife to squeeze the starch out onto a rock. Just lay the rhizome flat and slide your knife down the rhizome, sort of like you’re squeezing toothpaste from a tube. The starchy paste will collect on the rock.

Either way, you can let the paste dry and smash it with a mortar and pestle into a flour, or you can toss it in the pan and toast it as-is, toss it into a soup along with the corms, or you can eat it raw.

Of course, you can always make a bread with it by mixing it with other ingredients, but in a survival situation, you’re probably not going to have access to yeast and all that good stuff.

rose-hips

Rose Hips

These pretty berry-like plants not only add a pop of color to the winter landscape, they’re also a good source of nutrition and can be found in enough quantity to be worth the effort. Rose hips are the fruits of the rose plant and are usually red or orange but can also be dark-colored. Just open them up, pop out the seed, and eat the flesh.

One cup of rosehips has 206 calories, 49g of carbs, and 31g of fiber. It also provides 110% of your RDV of vitamin A, 901% of your RDV of vitamin C, and more than 20% of your RDV of calcium and magnesium. Eat more rose hips!

Pine

They’re not just for Christmas anymore! Pine trees provide a couple of different sources of food. If you’ve ever eaten pesto, you’ve eaten pine nuts, which are found in pinecones. There is some work involved for the amount of food that you get, but there’s also a tremendous amount of calories and nutrition in them.

Just one cup of pine nuts has 909 calories, 92 grams of fat, 23% of your RDV of potassium and 84% of your RDA of magnesium. They’re also a good source of fiber, so that you have a slower digestion process. You’ll feel full longer.

All pine trees have edible nuts tucked into the pine cones, but only about 20 species produce seeds that are large enough to warrant the effort. Still, in a survival situation, something is better than nothing. Fortunately, there are often many different types of pine trees in the same area, so if you don’t get decent-sized nuts from one, try another.

Wild Berries and Fruits

Even if there’s snow, it’s still possible to dig through the snow to get to fruits, and if you’re lucky, you may even find some grapes or berries, especially cranberries in Maine, above the snow.

One of the advantages of having thumbs is that you can dig through the snow a bit if you find a bush to see if there are berries buried. Apples are another great resource that you can find under the snow.

Yes, they’ll be frozen, but they’re delicious, nutritious, and packed with carbs. They also drop late, so it’s probable that they were frozen before they rotted. Other fruits to keep an eye out for include peaches and pears.

Grass and Grains

Believe it or not, most (99%) of all grasses in the US are edible. They’re often tough for your body to digest, but they’re better than nothing. This includes wheat, oats, and wild meadow varieties. The best part to eat in the winter is the starchy base and the seed heads.

1% of the seeds are toxic and need to be cooked before being eaten, and if seeds are blackish or purple, avoid them because that’s a sign of poisonous fungus. Eat them if they’re green or brown.

I often consult a man very close to me when I have questions such as these, because he’s actually been there, done that as part of his army survivalist training. He made it all the way through the training and has described in great detail (and to my dismay) exactly what a bug feels like when you eat it. He says the trick is this – crunch (chew), crunch, crunch, crunch, swallow!

Aside from his advice about how to eat a bug with minimal “biting back”, he also says that the most crucial step to survival is knowing the plants, animals, and insects of your area. Know what’s edible and what’s not, and most importantly,know what will kill you if you eat it.

If you have a problem with being too thin, it’s important to realize that your body uses more than just carbohydrates for energy – it can also use protein and fat. The bottom line is that your weight isn’t dependent upon eating carbs. It’s a matter of calories in versus calories out. It doesn’t matter if those calories are in the form of carbs, fat, or protein.

There will likely be some energy dips while you’re transitioning from carbs to protein, so if you’re planning to use protein as your main source of energy during a retreat, you may want to do that before you leave. In real life, of course, you won’t have that luxury, but until then, do what you can to survive the survival training.

Linked from: http://www.survivopedia.com/how-to-survive-eating-wild-winter-edibles/#

How to Build a Fire Bed

Did you know that you can have your fire and sleep on it as well?  Most people are content to sleep as close to a fire as possible in order to stay warm at night.  However, we all know that this doesn’t always work as effectively as we would like.  Parts of our bodies get really hot while others receive little or no heat at all.  Let’s explore a really easy trick that can give you the best of both worlds and provide a long-lasting source of heat that your whole body can enjoy.

Did you know that you can have your fire and sleep on it as well?  Most people are content to sleep as close to a fire as possible in order to stay warm at night.  However, we all know that this doesn’t always work as effectively as we would like.  Parts of our bodies get really hot while others receive little or no heat at all.  Let’s explore a really easy trick that can give you the best of both worlds and provide a long-lasting source of heat that your whole body can enjoy.

Teaching Your Kids Not to Rely on the Digital World

Children between ages 8 and 10 spend around 5.5 hours every day using media , according to a media usage report by the Ganz Cooney Center and the Sesame Workshop. But in reality, they’re exposed to eight hours a day of media because they’re often multitasking–watching cartoons while using a gaming system. Meanwhile the American Academy of Pediatrics warns too much media can lead to attention problems, school difficulties, sleep and eating disorders and obesity.

Children between ages 8 and 10 spend around 5.5 hours every day using media , according to a media usage report by the Ganz Cooney Center and the Sesame Workshop. But in reality, they’re exposed to eight hours a day of media because they’re often multitasking–watching cartoons while using a gaming system. Meanwhile the American Academy of Pediatrics warns too much media can lead to attention problems, school difficulties, sleep and eating disorders and obesity.

Technology can be useful in helping kids master valuable skills relevant in today’s digital workforce. There are also plenty of gadgets, tools and digital resources that can help kids learn. But there are life skills every child needs that go beyond technology. Here are five things kids should know without the help of a laptop or smartphone.

Telling time

With smartphones never being further away than arm’s reach, it is rare to see people looking up for a clock on the wall to tell the time. Being able to read a clock is a skill that is fading among the younger generation. Teach your kids the technique of telling time with an old-fashioned wall clock. Busy Teacher offers time telling worksheets illustrated with pictures and shows how to do simple tasks like writing the time and drawing the hands of the clocks. When they’ve got the hang of telling time, show them how to set a watch or clock to the correct time.

Money skills

Kids today see adults putting charges on credit cards and don’t know how to make change or count it back to ensure it’s correct. Children as young as age 4 can understand the concept of earning and saving money. Give them three clear jars and mark one for spending, one for saving and one for charity. Start a chore chart and let them earn an allowance that must be divided into their jars appropriately. When they save up for a big purchase, show them how to calculate how much they’ve earned and how much they still need. The sooner you teach your kids about money, the sooner they’ll develop the confidence to deal with financial matters themselves.

Reading a map

GPS devices make it easy to get from point A to B and never get lost. But a GPS doesn’t work everywhere, and your kids may find themselves in a situation where they need to read a map. Start by showing them how the map on your GPS works and what the different colored lines mean. Next, get out a paper map and show them how it looks just about the same as a GPS map and how to read it. Give them a challenge like how to get to grandma’s house just by using a map and have them write out the directions.

Entertaining themselves

Believe it or not, entertaining yourself is a skill that should be learned and is quickly becoming a lost art. Technology gives kids plenty of options from video games to online chatting without much room for imagination. Make mandatory nature time and get the kids outdoors in your backyard or at a local state park. Let the kids figure out what to do to have their own fun without suggestions from the adults. See what they come up with and remind them how much fun they had the next time they’re bored and looking for something to do on their computer.

Write a handwritten note

Handwriting and crafting a letter are getting left by the wayside with the rise of technology. But every child should know how to write a handwritten note with a structure including an opening and closing. Show them an example of a letter you wrote and its purpose. Whether it was a thank you note or correspondence with a relative, tell your kids why it’s important to learn how to communicate without emojis and text messaging. Give your kids an assignment like writing a note to their grandparents once a month or after receiving a gift.

How To Make Pemmican: A Survival Superfood That Can Last 50 Years

Packed with calories and nutrition and able to be packed and stored for long periods, pemmican is often called the ultimate survival food.

Packed with calories and nutrition and able to be packed and stored for long periods, pemmican is often called the ultimate survival food.

Created by Native Americans and adopted by European explorers of the New World, pemmican is a concentrated blend of fat and protein from lean, dried meat. The word “pemmican” is derived from the Cree root word “pimi” for “fat” or “grease.” Traditionally, the meats used in pemmican included bison, moose, deer and elk.  Beef can be used as well.

The secret to pemmican’s long shelf life is in properly rendering the fat from the meat. The pemmican can be stored in airtight containers without refrigeration in a cool, dark and dry place. If made and stored property, it can last for years or even decades. There are reports of some pemmican lasting 50 or more years.

Let’s look at the steps to making pemmican.

1. Dry the meat. Cut off all the fat, and then slice the meat as thinly as possible before placing it on a drying rack in full sunlight. Another option is to place the meat directly on your oven rack with the oven temperature at its lowest setting. The meat needs to be dry enough that it cracks when you try to bend it. Adding salt will extend the shelf life. The more salt you add, the longer it will last.

2. Grind the meat. Now you need to grind the meat until it is powder form. If you do not have a food processor, mince the meat and then grind it in the blender. If you are in a survival situation, chop the meat into small bits and then crush it into a powder.

3. Render the fat. Now heat the fat in a crockpot, in the oven or on the stove. Use a low setting for several hours, and be sure to stir the fat occasionally until it has stopped bubbling. Then pour it through a mesh strainer to filter out any pieces.

4. Mix the meat with any dry extras. If you are using any nuts or dried fruit, such as raisins, dried cherries or cranberries, mix it with the dried meat in a large bowl (leaving room for the fat). Note: These extras reduce the shelf life.

5. Add the fat. Next, add one part of fat per every two parts of the dried meat mixture (add more fat if needed). Slowly pour the hot liquefied fat into the meat mixture and stir well.

6. Add any wet extras. If you are adding wet ingredients such as honey, maple syrup or peanut butter, mix them in now. If the mixture seems too wet, you can add a little almond meal to get it to your desired consistency. You also may add salt to taste if you like. Note: These extras will reduce the shelf life.

7. Form the pemmican. A popular method is to spread the mixture into a casserole dish. Let it get firm before cutting it into squares or bar sizes. If you prefer, you can form the mixture into balls.

8. Store the pemmican. Once cut, place it into airtight containers and store them in a cool, dark and dry place. You also store your pemmican in zippered bags in your freezer.

There are many varieties of pemmican, but they all use the basic instructions. Many other recipes begin with a 1:1:1 ratio of basic ingredients such as:

1 cup of dried meat

1 cup of dried fruit or berries

1 cup of melted animal fat

Pemmican is surprisingly filling and can supply energy for hours.

You can experiment to find the recipe that works well for you. Label the pemmican you make with the ingredients and proportions you used, so you will know what combinations work well and how you might want to tweak a certain recipe a little in the future.

Could Leaving The U.S Be The Ultimate Prep — And Do You Have What It Takes?

I have to admit, this is a difficult topic to bring up because, to many people, it veers way too close to betraying the country of our birth. However, I’ve been thinking about this a lot. If I truly believe that utter chaos is coming to America in the form of an economic collapse, EMP, or some other horrific event, then why stay here? Why not find a small, obscure country and hole up for a while, thus protecting my family and myself?

ultimate-prep

I have to admit, this is a difficult topic to bring up because, to many people, it veers way too close to betraying the country of our birth. However, I’ve been thinking about this a lot. If I truly believe that utter chaos is coming to America in the form of an economic collapse, EMP, or some other horrific event, then why stay here? Why not find a small, obscure country and hole up for a while, thus protecting my family and myself?

I began researching this subject a few years ago when a reader contacted me and told me about her move to Chile. She and her husband had decided to make the move after much research. They were loving the clean air, pure food, friendly people, and a change in their lifestyle.

I was intrigued. Hmmm…could leaving the U.S. entirely trump food storage, a bug out location, and all the other traditional preps? I began to research residency requirements of various countries.

My first discovery was a shocker. Very few countries want me! They don’t want me, my husband, my family, my parents. Rules for residency can be quite strict, sometimes even requiring the deposit of a large sum of money into one of the nation’s banks. Some countries are quite frank about preventing people like me from coming into their country. To do so, I need to provide:

  1. Proof of health insurance
  2. Proof of regular income
  3. Background check
  4. Health report from a doctor for each family member
  5. Financial information
  6. Birth and marriage certificates
  7. Possibly proof you can speak the language of this country

Additionally, there are strict rules regarding time in country and visa requirements.

This is a stark and startling contrast to the mass human migration we’ve seen in the past couple of years. If citizens of Central America, Mexico, and nearly every other country can walk past our southern border without any of the above, including personal identification, then why do other countries make it so difficult, and, more importantly, where can a law-abiding, hard working American citizen go when they decide to relocate?

(To be fair, the U.S. does have a lengthy process for legal immigration, and it’s quite a difficult path, thus the popularity of illegal immigration.)

Plenty of questions, no easy answers

At one time I thought my family could just pick a country and move there. The entire world was our oyster! Where should we go? Australia? New Zealand? England? Somewhere in Europe? Obviously, we would want to go where English was spoken and where we could quickly blend in.

Well, it didn’t take long to find out that if I’m over 35, Australia doesn’t want me. Other countries may let us visit for a time, but do not allow long-term or permanent residency. The countries that are left are an odd mix:

  1. Chile
  2. Panama
  3. Costa Rica
  4. Hungary
  5. Ireland (ancestry)
  6. Israel (If you’re Jewish or have Jewish heritage.)
  7. Belgium

There are a few more, but the pickin’s are slim when it comes to finding a country that has less restrictive residency requirements.

It boils down to having money, ancestry, time, and/or flexibility. $100,000 will buy a passport and citizenship in Dominica. Ancestors from Hungary, going back 4 generations, can smooth the way for residency in Hungary and Hungarian citizenship. Convert to Judaism and you may become an Israeli citizen, complete with mandatory military service.

If you’re about to have a baby, or are planning one, Brazil is one of only a handful of countries that provides citizenship to every baby born within its borders. Permanent residency can be obtained in Chile, after living there continuously for five years.

As you can see, there is no simple path to residency or, if you choose, citizenship. And then there’s the nightmare of dealing with bureaucrats, long distance phone calls, websites and applications in a foreign language, and, in many cases, visits to a consulate or embassy that could be hundreds of miles away.

Gaining residency in another country is possible. Just not as easy as one would think.

More complications and considerations

If you are able to find a country that will allow temporary residence, and possible permanent residency, then there are tax considerations. The United States is one of only two countries that taxes its citizens no matter where they live and regardless of how long the have been out of the country. I’ve read horror stories of people whose families left the United States when they were very young children, grew up elsewhere, and the were taxed by the U.S. on the income they had earned in that country. Yep, the U.S. and Eritrea share this same tax policy. The only 2 countries in the world.

Something to consider, when researching an expat destination and residency, is what the taxation policy is of your country of choice. Some countries, such as Hungary, has a double taxation policy, which allows them to collect taxes from non-resident citizens — but then there are loopholes and exceptions!

The U.S. is dead serious about collecting taxes from expats. Not sure if it’s out of greed, entertainment for the I.R.S., or stems from a desire to punish anyone leaving the country, but stories like this one are far more common than you might think:

I just found out that despite my income earned and taxed abroad being a) below the foreign income exclusion limit, and b) covered by a bilateral tax treaty between the country where I have lived for the past 49 years, the IRS wants to tax it fully, leaving me with an effective tax rate of 61% from now on.

One of the reasons is that many of the required subforms, e.g. W-2, do not exist in this country (Finland). I sent them my Finnish tax decision along with a translation. They accepted the amount of my earnings, but gave me no credit for the local national tax paid. They have given me three weeks to refile, but the information that they want, such as Social Security and Obamacare payments, doesn’t exist here or is irrelevant to my situation. I am a pensioner whose sole source of income is a Finnish state pension, and I am fully covered by the Finnish health care system. Having worked only in Finland, I never paid into and am ineligible for Social Security and cannot, of course, sign up for Obamacare. They are threatening with draconian fines and seizure of assets so as to leave me destitute for the rest of my life.

So, you may find the ideal country that welcomes you with open arms. You can learn the language and start a new life, but no matter how far you go, the I.R.S. will track you down and demand their pound of flesh.

Oh, and there’s a sweet little federal law, FATCA (Federal Account Tax Compliance Act) that requires foreign banks to reveal the identity of Americans with accounts over $50,000. They have to hand over names, addresses, account balance, account numbers and Social Security or other U.S. identification numbers. Banks who do not comply are punished, by the United States, with a withholding tax of 30% on payments from U.S. banks. Naturally, this has caused many foreign banks to refuse Americans wishing to open accounts, and who can blame them?

The Treasury Department has been unable to cite any constitutional, statutory, or regulatory authority which allows it to compel foreign institutions to collect and share the financial information of U.S. citizens.

Americans living abroad must file an annual report, the FBAR (Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts Report), by June 30, of each year, if they have a foreign account holding more than $10,000. Failure to file that report, and ignorance of the law is no excuse, can result in fines up to $500,000 and up to 10 years in prison!! Spreading that money between multiple banks may help you disguise the sum total for a while, but not forever. And, $10,000 is a pathetically small amount of money, considering the fact that the I.R.S. collected over $1 trillion in the most recent fiscal quarter — October, 2014 through January, 2015.

It looks like FATCA, FBAR, and these draconian policies are here to stay, forever, so it’s just one more consideration if you’re planning on leaving the U.S.

By the way, a little civics lesson here. FATCA was included in a quietly passed jobs bill. If a Senator or Representative would have voted against this bill, they would have been excoriated by the opposing party for voting against a “jobs bill”. The next time a politician you favor is accused for voting against a bill that seems altruistic, dig a little deeper to find out what else, exactly, was in that bill.

Loopholes & confusion

Countries that have lenient ancestry requirements still don’t make it easy for applicants. Take Ireland, for example. You may be granted permanent residency and citizenship:

ultimate-prep2

A couple of years ago I was on New Zealand’s website, looking for information about residency and came away with a massive headache. A few forms on the Switzerland website were in German only.

To complicate matters (is that even possible?), these laws can change quickly and without notice. A country friendly to American expats could become hostile with just the election of a new president.

Lessons learned?

  1. Research, research, research!
  2. Simplify your lifestyle now and prepare to live on less money and with fewer belongings.
  3. Have your vital documents at the ready.
  4. Read the fine print.
  5. Take your time.
  6. Be patient.

Oh, be wary of professional expat advisers. I’ve come across a few that paint an alluring picture of the country and people but after more research, I discovered they were more interested in selling their services than in providing accurate info.

Why leave?

I answer that question and provide several historical examples of relocating — in fact, it’s highly likely your own ancestors relocated and that’s how you ended up an American citizen!

Are you ready to relocate?

After researching, studying, praying, and discussing a relocation, you’ve decided to take the plunge. But! Have you considered whether or not you are a good candidate for this major step?

One of the most critical factors in transitioning to a new location, whether foreign or domestic, is your ability to adapt to new situations. Is your basic temperament and personality one that is flexible? Do you enjoy new experiences and meeting  new people? When faced with an abrupt change in your life, do you adapt easily or do you resist the change? I know one woman who, after several years following a divorce, insists that she’s still married in spite of the fact that her husband is remarried to someone else!

A move to another country is going to plunge you and your family into a world in which most everything is different and new:

  • Language
  • Customs
  • Food
  • Holidays
  • Housing
  • Attitudes
  • Entertainment
  • Technology accessibility
  • Laws
  • Climate

Some personality types adjust to these changes more easily. Others will require more time.

Along with adaptability are expectations. How realistic are your expectations for this move? Are you expecting a smooth and seamless transition? Thorough research, talking with other expats, and then actually visiting and spending time in the country or area of your choice will help keep your expectations well grounded.

Then there are the practical issues of age, health, time, and money. There’s no perfect age for moving out of the country. Younger people are likely in better health but with fewer career skills and less saved money. Young couples have each other to depend on but having younger children will make this quite difficult.

Imagine, or remember, taking all the kids to Target or the grocery store. That’s no easy task! Now, imagine taking them to a foreign country where English isn’t spoken and trying to find a place to live, decipher even the most basic written information, stand in line in various bureaucratic offices to get one license or document or another, and adapt to a completely different lifestyle. No matter how young and fit you are, this just might push you over the edge into insanity!

The process will be easier if your kids are older but then, at the high school age, they often don’t want to leave their friends, sports, and other activities. How easy will it be for them to develop new friendships in this new location and how will they go to college, in particular, if they aren’t fluent in the language?

Growing up in this new country, the kids will probably meet their future spouse, who may very well be a local. Now, with grandkids in a country that is not the U.S., will you ever want to leave them? Those with grown kids and grandkids now, face the challenge of moving away and, possibly, never again being a part of their lives. As we age, health issues ultimately become a fact of life.

The health of each family member may impact whether or not a country allows residency. For example, Australia has been known to prevent families with autistic kids from coming into their country, even when the parents have viable, well-paying jobs waiting for them. And, if there are health issues of any kind, will you be able to find the doctors and care necessary in this new location and how will you pay for those services? Some countries, upon granting residency, require a fee for their national health insurance. Fair enough.

Now, the issue of money. Bottom line: the more you have, the easier it will be to find a country willing to grant residency quickly and the easier it will be to settle into a comfortable lifestyle. No surprises there.

But expenses add up even for the non-millionaires among us. It’s highly recommended that you visit the country, or area of the U.S., first before taking the plunge. That’s going to require travel expenses and time off from work. One family I know had their hearts settled on Belize. They did the research, had contacts in the country, visited once, and on the second visit, realized the country was not for them at all, but by then, they had sunk a few thousand dollars into the venture.

The moving process can be quite expensive. What do you take with you? If it’s just the clothes on your back and whatever a suitcase or two can hold, that’s no problem. Most of us, though, will want to take other possessions. Yes, you can sell it all, but how expensive will it be to replace those items once you relocate and will the quality be what you want? A shipping container costs money and may take several weeks to arrive at the dock of your new country. In the meantime, you may have to live in a hotel or a furnished apartment.

In addition to the expenses of checking out different locations and the moving process is the financial requirements of just about every country I know of. Examples:

  • Costa Rica requires a deposit of $60,000 in a Costa Rican bank for those in the “rentista” category. You are paid $2500 per month out of that balance for 24 months and this becomes your monthly income, at least in part.
  • Antigua has an “economic citizenship” program that requires a government donation of $250,000, plus another $50,000 per family member.
  • Belgium requires that you have a salary of at least € 50,000 per year.
  • Hungary has a residency bond program. Deposit a little over $300,000 in one of their banks and you’ll have to pay another $60,000 as a processing and administration fee.

All countries will have fees for visas and whatever other bureaucratic fees they choose to apply. If the paperwork is not in English, that’s a hurdle to overcome and many countries require a face-to-face interview. In their language.

So what if you have little to no money? Is becoming an ex-pat out of the question? Not at all. In fact, if you’re adventurous, you may even prefer the much simpler lifestyle it brings. Rather than being barricaded in a luxurious neighborhood behind guarded gates, you can live among the locals, shop where they shop, hang out where they hang out, and learn the language and customs very quickly. This is pretty much how I lived when I traveled for months at a time and ended up living in both Germany and Israel.

In this video, I explain a few more considerations before you jump into the decision to leave the U.S.

Emotional ties

I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring up the issue of deep, emotional ties to your home country and the loved ones you’ll leave behind. It’s interesting to see who can do this easily, without looking back, and who can’t. It’s not a matter of being callous and without emotional attachments, as these people wholeheartedly love the family members they leave behind. In some cases, they plan to help move them to their new location as soon as possible.

Deeply felt ties to America aren’t quite as easily cut as many think. “America” isn’t just a land mass but a way of thinking and how you view the rest of the world. And, it works the other way, too. Locals in other countries will have a different worldview and cultural norms. One article asks, ” Does everyone in Chile lie?” You’ll miss living in a country where everyone pretty much has the same social norms.

You’re going to miss favorite foods and restaurants and ease of living. You’ll miss your favorite brands of clothing, your church, holidays spent with friends and family, and Amazon Prime! Depending on where you move, you will probably have to leave pets behind.

On their own, these may not seem like much, but together, combined with the foreign-ness of a different country may make assimilation far more difficult than you’d ever imagined, which circles back to my original question: How adaptable are you?

Is it even worth the bother?

Based on the huge number of hurdles and hassles, is it even worth considering leaving the U.S.? Well, that depends on your reasons for leaving. One family who chose to relocate to Chile did so because they believe a nuclear war is coming, it will mostly affect the northern hemisphere and they don’t care to suffer the long-term consequences. (Both have backgrounds as scientists in the nuclear energy field.) Based on their last email, they are still very happy with their choice.

If you’re convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that war is coming to the U.S., or an EMP, then why would you stay here and subject your family to the aftermath? Some believe that God’s judgment is coming on America — why not escape that, if possible?

My point is that the hassles and hard work of leaving will be worth the effort, or not, depending on your motivation. Once you make the move, remember that it’s not necessarily forever — if that thought helps get you through the rough patches.

A reader on Facebook wrote, “We tried it out in Panama for 2 years. I did not like it at all. I wanted to kiss the ground when we arrived back in the US a year ago. We made a ton of expat friends (and some local friends). But it wasn’t for me. You have to adjust to a very different way of life. I was unable to adjust. For those who are interested in learning more about Panama, there is a group, ExPats in Panama, that my friend admins. There are tons of people who’d love to talk to you about it.

We saved a ton of money by living there. We work remotely for a company (get a paycheck, even though the company was our own company), and so we were able to claim the foreign earned income tax credit for 2 years. It is fairly easy to become a resident of Panama, but I don’t know why you’d want to become a citizen.  If you lived like the locals live, you could easily live on $1,000/mo. If you want to live the same lifestyle in the US, then it would be more toward $3,000/mo as reasonable.”

Could you ever leave the U.S. for good? What is your motivation to leave, or stay?

Midwest: Floodwaters Rise, Residents Flee, Last-Ditch Emergency Steps Considered

A historic December flood continued to send rivers sweeping out of their banks and into hundreds of homes and businesses across Oklahoma, Illinois and Missouri on Wednesday as some residents braced for the waters to get higher and the risk even greater.

Midwest: Floodwaters Rise, Residents Flee, Last-Ditch Emergency Steps Considered

midwest-flooding

A historic December flood continued to send rivers sweeping out of their banks and into hundreds of homes and businesses across Oklahoma, Illinois and Missouri on Wednesday as some residents braced for the waters to get higher and the risk even greater.

“Unusual doesn’t begin to describe it — it’s huge,” said Mark Fuchs, a hydrologist at the National Weather Service’s St. Louis-area office, whose own backyard gauge collected 11 inches of rain from the warm-weather storms that drenched the region between Saturday and Monday. “This is a big, big, big flood for a lot of people.”

That rain has since drained into lakes, rivers and reservoirs and brought a belt of flooding stretching from eastern Oklahoma and through Missouri to downstate Illinois. So far, the storms and floods have killed at least 13 people in Missouri and five in Oklahoma.

It’s only the start of a winter flood-fighting effort that is likely to eventually stretch all the way down to Louisiana as the U.S. Army Corps forecasts major flood levels on the Mississippi River to eventually reach Memphis, Vicksburg, Miss., and New Orleans.

For now, the worst of the struggle seems to be Missouri, where Gov. Jay Nixon activated the National Guard on Tuesday as residents fled their homes in eastern Missouri and reports came in of drivers who died when their vehicles got swept off the roadways. Missouri and Oklahoma are now under a state of emergency, as are many counties in Illinois.

Hundreds of roads have been closed across the state, and temperatures hovered in the 30s as volunteers sandbagged in the cold. In Pacific, a community of 7,077 about 40 minutes west of St. Louis, the bulging Meramec River was nearing a record high and had completely submerged parts of the city’s downtown.

Some businesses near the waters are closed and circled by sandbags, and on Wednesday morning police hollered at onlookers who attempted to sneak past yellow police tape with cameras.

Pacific resident Cynthia Hurst, 45, fell asleep Sunday night after helping sandbag a neighbor’s house only to wake up Monday morning and discover that floodwaters had reached her own home. The waters had reached the floor of their family’s 2003 tan Ford Taurus parked in the street.

“Mom, the car’s underwater!” called out her 12-year-old son, Leviticus. The Hurst family quickly stacked their couches on crates, grabbed some clothes, packed a basket and evacuated.

Since Sunday, Hurst and her son were staying with a friend in Pacific in a one-bedroom, one-bathroom house now housing four adults, two children and two dogs.

Hurst’s daughter, Danielle, 20, is also sleeping in the house along with her fiance. She evacuated her home Monday afternoon when floodwaters approached the nearby town of Union. Neither family knows whether their homes are underwater.

On Wednesday, the family grabbed meals and showers at a local Red Cross shelter set up at a community senior center a few blocks from the floodwaters. A TV was tuned to live coverage of flood rescues while a few dozen people sat around and talked quietly.

Cynthia Hurst, an optician at Wal-Mart, was concerned about some of things she left behind, including pictures of her kids growing up.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do, or what anyone’s going to do,” Cynthia Hurst said.

In downtown Pacific, with floodwaters visible several blocks away, City Alderman Mike Pigg, 47, and volunteer Rita Duncan, 37, fielded questions and directed sandbagging efforts as pick-up trucks moved in and out, hauling sand to where it was needed around town.

Volunteers took Domino’s pizza, cookies and hot chocolate to a white-pop table near a cardboard sign that read “SAND LINE.”

“How much sleep have I had?” asked Pigg, whose voice has grown hoarse between taking power naps and organizing the town’s defense effort with Duncan since Sunday. “What day is it? Wednesday?”

Pigg’s home in Pacific is fine, but floodwaters claimed a clubhouse he owns along the river in the town of St. Clair, southwest of Pacific.

On Tuesday, Pigg said volunteers moved 50 tons of sand under an hour and a half, and he estimates the sandbagging station has moved about 2,000 tons of sand per day since Sunday.

Sand bagging efforts have been hampered because some of the quarries are now underwater. Duncan said sandbagging effort were halted as the Meramec River was expected to crest in Pacific on Wednesday.

The waters gushing down the Meramec River, however, will then head downstream to Valley Park, Mo.

There, the Meramec is forecast to swell higher than 44 feet early Thursday morning — about 4 1/2 feet higher than the previous record. Hundreds have been ordered to evacuate.

In one part of Valley Park, aerial news photos showed an I-44 interstate overpass and buildings protruding from floodwaters that covered the landscape, as if they were bones sticking out of the mud.

The Meramec joins the Mississippi River south of St. Louis, which has already gained monstrous strength.

Historically, the median flow of water rushing through the Mississippi River in St. Louis is 107,000 cubic feet per second for Dec. 30, according to Fuchs, the weather service hydrologist.

But on Wednesday, 780,000 cubic feet of water gushed through St. Louis every second — about 67 billion gallons of water a day — and is only expected to grow stronger, Fuchs said. In St. Louis, officials are expected to see the river reach its third-highest level ever.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has already activated emergency flood-fighting operations with the possibility of activating some of the Mississippi River’s last ditch flood-prevention infrastructure: The Birds Point-New Madrid floodway that would release waters into rural southeastern Missouri, the Bonnet Carre’ spillway that protects New Orleans, and the Morganza floodway that helps keep the Mississippi River from changing course.

The Birds Point-New Madrid floodway was last activated during the flood of 2011, when the levee was dynamited to flood some Missouri farmland in order to protect Cairo, Ill., from becoming submerged.

In a Tuesday statement, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it “began mobilizing people, barges and operational equipment from various locations” to prepare for the possibility of activating the Birds Point-New Madrid floodway once again.

“Although we do not anticipate operating the floodway, we are preparing for any contingency that will protect the integrity of the Mississippi River and Tributaries Project,” the Corps said in a statement, referring to the flood-control infrastructure that it says saved more than $230 billion in flood damages in 2011.

In Oklahoma — where Army Corps of Engineers officials are trying to strategically release water from the state’s reservoir system to control the amount of flooding — 29-year-old country musician Craig Strickland was still missing after disappearing on a hunting trip during the floods.

His friend Chase Morland, 22, was found dead not long after sending a now-ominous tweet: “In case we don’t come back, @BackroadCRAIG and I are going right through Winter Storm Goliath to kill ducks in Oklahoma. #IntoTheStorm”

Near Langley, Okla., on Wednesday morning, Elisa Bridgeman walked toward a flooded section of Oklahoma 82, one of many flooded highways across the lower Great Plains, to see if she could spot her relatives’ evacuated home, according to an account from the Tulsa World.

“There’s my brother’s house,” Bridgeman told the newspaper, as the houses came into view. “It’s up to the windows. There’s Momma’s roof. It looks like it’s underwater. … Everything’s probably ruined.”

Hand to Hand Combat Survival Guide

In this survival guide we will go over some hand to hand combat techniques that will not only help you to defend yourself, but to kill your attacker with your bare hands.  Sound harsh?  Too bad, we live in the real world where murderous intent is requisite for any post-apocalyptic situation.

hand

In this survival guide we will go over some hand to hand combat techniques that will not only help you to defend yourself, but to kill your attacker with your bare hands.  Sound harsh?  Too bad, we live in the real world where murderous intent is requisite for any post-apocalyptic situation.

Here’s the scenario…

It’s 2020, last night’s firefight left you without ammunition, and your knife is a couple miles away buried in one of the attackers’ skull.  Shit happens.  Now you’re traveling through the mean streets of Apocalypse L.A. with no means of defending yourself, other than your bare hands.  Unfortunately, someone ten times more desperate than you has spotted you.  He’s hungry, and you look like filet mignon to him.  You only have one option, defend yourself and kill him.

Hand to Hand Combat Stance

Facing the attacker, have  your feet at shoulders length apart, with your arms forward, parallel to one another, and bent at the elbows.  Your knees should be slightly bent, with your weight on the balls of your feet.  Always maintain this stance when not striking.

Always keep your balance, this day and age with the latest MMA craze people are more than willing to knock you off your feet, and if they get your back…you’re fucked.  I’m not going to pretend to ‘teach’ you jiu-jitsu, having you read articles and look at a bunch of pictures, but it wouldn’t be that bad of an idea to take some classes seeing how it’s the #1 martial art in America.

Aggressiveness through TEMPO

A common thread in with many of our articles relevant to combat is aggressiveness and tempo.  Simply defending yourself will never win any fight.  Once, the first moves been made your aggressiveness and tempo needs to outweigh your attackers.  If you’re aggressiveness doesn’t outweigh your attacker’s, you’ll be his dinner in a couple hours.

Your Body’s Natural Weapons

Natural weapons are parts of your body that can be used to attack someone such as; the heel of your hands, the knife of your edge hand, fingers folded at the second knuckle, elbow, knees, fists, your feet (boots), and teeth. Ladies be advised fingernails don’t count because this is life and death, and scratching doesn’t really do anything…

No Fair Fights in The Wasteland

The days of two men honorably dueling are long gone, especially when the shit hits the fan.  When you’re fighting for your life you use every advantage available to you.  Nothing is off limits, and whatever you have to do to win this fight, do it..

Strike points that can cause death…

Temple – There is a large artery located at the temple, if struck with enough pressure can cause death, and will undoubtedly incapacitate your attacker.  You can use the knife edge of your hand, your boot, or anything that can deliver enough blunt pressure to inflict damage.

Eyes – The eyes are great strike points! You can blind the enemy, temporarily or permanently. Not only can you punch the attacker with a close first but you can fight dirty and gouge their eyes with your thumbs.  Surprisingly, it really doesn’t take much to get to the ocular cavity.

Nose – By hitting the bridge with your first, or the knife edge of your hand will cause severe pain, breakage, temporary blindness, and possible death.  Hitting the base of the nose where the nostrils are with the palm of your hand in an upward motion can launch the nose bone  right into the brain.

Upper Lip – It contains a lot of nerves at the surface, and if its hit hard enough the attacker will be rendered unconscious.

Chin – If you got a wicked right hook, hopefully the attacker has a glass jaw more fragile than Chuck Liddell’s, and you’ll be able to knock out the attacker.  Otherwise use the palm of your hand to keep from breaking your fingers on his chin.

Adam’s Apple – This is one of the most defended areas because people tend to keep their arms up to block any attacks but if you can find an opening, go for it, it’ll throw your attacker off his game, providing an opportunity to inflict more damage in other critical areas.  If you’re lucky enough to land a strong strike you could even crush his windpipe and game over.

Esophagus – Located right below the Adam’s Apple. If you can be in a position to push your thumbs into this spot will block oxygen flow to his lungs and death will be eminent.

Neck – Giving a strong blow to the base of the neck can break it. I wouldn’t waste time trying to be Jonny Kung Fu trying to break a man’s neck with a single blow. Instead later we’ll discuss strangles and holds.

Non-lethal, but very painful strike points…

Refer to the image for the location of these strike points. A couple of these points people will say ‘if struck hard enough’ can cause death, but I’m not talking to a hardened warrior, this guide is for beginners, because hardened warriors know all this and more.  Very painful strike points include; collar bone, shoulders, arm pit, rib cage, solar plexus, spine, kidneys, groin, tailbone, elbows, fingers, knees, and ankles.  Long story short, there’s plenty of places to strike but the ones listed above are the best and most effective.

Chokes and Strangleholds

As I was saying before, people will try to take you to the ground, and the #1 rule is don’t let them take your back. Chokes and strangleholds are an effective way to control or kill your attacker. Choking implies cutting off the air supply, strangling cuts off the blood supply. Strangling is the more affective and painless way to eliminating an enemy, but we’ll go over both. Note, this is sourced from True Death.

Handclasp

  1. Place the left palm facing upward on the enemy’s left shoulder.
  2. Take the right arm across and in front of the neck with the right hand on the left. Ensure that the inside cutting edge of the wrist is towards the throat.
  3. Claps the hands together.
  4. Pull the cutting edge of the right wrist into the throat in an inwards and upwards manner, using the body as a block.
  5. With the legs wrapped around the enemy’s body, work the right arm in front of the throat clasping the left hand. Pull the wrist tightly into the throat controlling the body with the legs. If he pulls his chin in, draw the head back with the left hand , grabbing the arm – drive the right arm into the throat, then quickly clasp the hands again.

Special Points: Essential to pull the enemy into the body for maximum effect, using the cutting edge of the wrist.

Sliding Scarf

  1. Place the right hand round and in front of the enemy’s throat.
  2. Continue the movement round to the back of the neck, placing the thumb inside the clothing.
  3. Take a firm hold of the clothing with the right hand, with the fingers outside and to the rear.
  4. Bring the left arm round in front and underneath the right arm.
  5. Grab the clothing with the thumb inside and fingers out.
  6. Keeping the enemy’s body pulled tightly back into your own pull across and to the right with the right arm and down and across to the left with the left arm.
  7. With the legs wrapped around the enemy’s body work both arms around the front of the neck.
  8. Manipulate the right hand round the back of the neck grabbing the collar with the thumb inside, fingers out, simultaneously grabbing the cloth under the right arm with the left hand.
  9. Apply pressure by pulling the right arm across and back to the right with the left arm pulling across and down to left. Keep the head well in.

Special Points: Essential that the right hand be placed as far round the neck as possible in order to attain the maximum leverage.

Cross Scissors

  1. Place the right hand inside the opponents clothing to the rear and right side of his neck, with the fingers inside and thumb out.
  2. Take the left hand across and over the right and attack it in a similar manner on the left side.
  3. Squeeze the neck tightly by pulling the hands back across in scissors action driving the elbows out to the side.
  4. With the enemy facing – cross the hands and work to the sides and back of the neck grabbing the clothing, fingers inside and thumb out.
  5. Apply pressure by pulling the elbows out to side. This attack is good when the enemy is laying on their back.

Special Points: Essential that the hands are placed well to the rear of the neck for maximum leverage. Can also be accomplished with palms facing down or alternate one up, one down depending on circumstances.

Forearm Choke

  1. Place the right hand thumb inside, fingers out, on the enemy’s clothing to the right side of his neck.
  2. Grab the front of the clothing with the left hand, fingers inside, thumb out. 3. Drive the outside cutting edge of the right arm into the side of the neck grabbing the clothing, thumb inside, fingers out.
  3. Grab the clothing at the front with the left hand and apply pressure by driving the outside cutting edge of the right arm into the throat.
  4. Effective against the floor or a wall where the opponent cannot learn back away from the direction of the force.

Special Points: Essential to keep the right elbow high and use the cutting edge of the wrist.

Wind Pipe Choke

  1. Holding the opponent with the left hand make a vice with the right hand.
  2. Grab the windpipe, fingers on the right side, thumb on the left.
  3. Squeeze the wind pipe tightly trying to make a fist with the right hand.
  4. Grab the enemy around the neck with the right arm spreading the legs wide to ensure a firm base.
  5. Grab the windpipe with the left hand squeezing the fingers and thumb together to make a fist.
  6. In addition to the windpipe choke – adopting the same position – the thumb of the left hand can be driven into the eye applying pressure inside and out.

Special Points: Essential that the windpipe only is grabbed and not too much of the neck. Fingers should be together for maximum effect on the squeeze.

Nutcracker

  1. Place the hands with the fingers pointing to the sides of the enemy’s neck.
  2. Grab the clothing at the sides of the neck with the fingers inside, thumbs out, and make a tight fist with each hand.
  3. Drive the knuckles of each fist into the sides of the neck.
  4. With the legs wrapped around the enemy’s body grab the clothing at the side of the neck with the fingers inside, thumbs out.
  5. Making a tight fist, drive the knuckles into the sides of the neck.

Special points: Essential that knuckles are strongly pressed into the veins and arteries of the neck for maximum effect. For maximum pressure ensure the cutting edge of the knuckles is pressed into the neck.

Arm And Wrist Locks

The are many arm and wrist locks which can be highly effective in controlling an enemy during a situation. However, most locks are enhanced by first shocking the enemy with another technique, such as a punch or kick.

Hair & Hammer Lock

  1. Grab the enemy’s right wrist from the rear with the right hand.
  2. Move forward gripping the right elbow with the left hand.
  3. Bend the arm behind the back hooking the lower arm in your left.
  4. Grip the hair with the right hand
  5. pull the haed hard to the rear.

Special Points: Essential to move forward when hooking enemy’s arm in your left – this will help to bend the arm. Lift the enemy upwards to keep him off balance. This lock can also be used as defense by catching a straight hand strike on the outside of the wrist with the rear hand applying the lock. this method could be followed up with a Japanese strangle hold (see sentry removal)

Chicken Wing Lock

  1. Take hold of the enemy’s right wrist with the right hand.
  2. Slip the left thumb interlock with enemy.
  3. Rotate the back of the left hand around the back of the enemy’s hand.
  4. Retaining the thumb hold, pull the wrist towards the body.
  5. Pull the wrist towards the body with the right hand and slip the left palm under the back of his hand.
  6. Take the enemy’s elbow under the arm and apply upwards pressure.

Wrist Lock And Throw

  1. Grab the enemy’s right arm with both thumbs to the back of the hand, fingers around the base of the palm applying wrist lock.
  2. Twist the hand over to left to begin a large circular movement.
  3. Continue to apply pressure to the wrist by moving the body round to the left, force the enemy to the ground with the wrist lock.

Special Points: After the throw, a follow up technique such as a hand strike could be applied.

Body Throws And Sweeps

Body throws are very effective during close quarter combat when an enemy presents themselves open to the type of technique. Leg sweeps, on the other hand, can be effective from a longer range and are especially useful when moving in on the enemy.

Hip Throw Against Punch

  1. Enemy attacks with a left punch to the body. Move forward to block the punch with a right downward block.
  2. Block the punch as the right leg steps forward and through.
  3. Take the right hand round the back of the enemy smothering and grabbing his right arm with your left.
  4. Bring the left leg into the right and pull with the left hand getting the hip into and under the enemy’s body.
  5. Drive upwards with the legs and hip pulling the enemy over with both arms.
  6. Drop the enemy down in front and raise the right arm to prepare for a counter.
  7. Counter with a downward punch to the face.

Special Points: Ensure that the hip moves well through and into the opponents body with both legs underneath for maximum upward drive. It is essential in throws of this type to pull the enemy hard into the body to assist leverage. The enemy should also be driven strongly into the ground.

Front Body Drop Against Punch

  1. Enemy attacks with a right punch to the head. Block the punch with a left head block.
  2. As you block, grip the clothing pulling the arm down and move forward taking the right hand to the left collar.
  3. Grab the clothing behind the neck with the right hand asthe right leg moves forward.
  4. Continue the movement of the right leg forward and through puliling the enemy hard into the side and twist hard round to the left.
  5. Continue turning to the left pulling with both arms until the enemy falls over the right leg. As enemy drops over the leg release the grip with the right hand so as not to fall to the ground.
  6. Raise the right hand and prepare for a counter.
  7. Counter with a right downward punch to the kidneys.

Special Points: Essential to drive into the enemy pulling back as soon as possible to stop him bending forward out of the throw.

Outside Sweep

  1. Enemy attacks with a left front kick.
  2. Move to the right, blocking the kick with a left low block.
  3. Move forward grabbing the enemy by the arm and shoulder.
  4. Sweep the leg pulling the enemy to the rear with both arms.
  5. Control the enemy on the ground.
  6. Press down onto the side with the left nee and raise the right arm to counter.
  7. Drive the right fist into the face.

Special Points: Essential that the sweeping leg is brought quickly back to regain balance and assist with backward momentum.

Inside Sweep

  1. Enemy attacks with a left punch to the head.
  2. Grab the punching arm with the right hand grabbing the clothing on the shoulder with the left.
  3. Drive the left foot to the inside of the enemy’s left leg.
  4. Sweep the leg pulling forward with the left hand.
  5. Continue to pull taking the enemy over and to the ground. Assist the turn by lifting up and over with the right hand.
  6. Keeping a firm hold with the right hand raise the left arm to counter.
  7. strike down to the face with a left fist.

Special Points: Essential to co-ordinate the pull and the sweep for maximum effect.

Outside Hook

  1. Enemy attacks with a right punch to the head. Evade the punch with a double arm block to the outside of the punch.
  2. Grab the punching arm with both hands hooking the right foot behind the front ankle.
  3. Lift the foot forwards and up pulling to the rear with both hands. As with the ‘outside sweep’ pull the hooking leg quickly back to the rear to regain balance.
  4. Drop onto body with the right knee lifting the right arm to counter.
  5. Drive the right fist down into the groin.

Special Points: Essen tail to hook leg forward and up to break the balance.

Inside Hook

  1. Enemy attacks by grabbing the upper body and attempting a knee strike. Lower the body smothering the attack taking the left arm down under the attacking leg.
  2. Grab the leg with the left arm taking the right arm around the back.
  3. Step forward and through with the right leg hooking around the enemy’s supporting leg.
  4. Hook the leg and drive the enemy to the ground. Pull back before landing to maintain initiative and balance.
  5. Control the head by forcing the right hand into the face.
  6. Stand, lifting the leg, exposing the groin and raise right arm to counter.
  7. Drive the right fist down into the groin.

11 Foods That Last Forever

Although there are many foods that will last for decades when stored properly (wheat, beans, pasta, etc.), there are some foods that last forever without canning, freezing or dehydrating. If you’re new to food storage, these staples are a great way to start. They are the longest lasting foods in the world and are often referred to as “forever foods.”

Next time you’re at the store grab some of these foods, put them

Although there are many foods that will last for decades when stored properly (wheat, beans, pasta, etc.), there are some foods that last forever without canning, freezing or dehydrating. If you’re new to food storage, these staples are a great way to start. They are the longest lasting foods in the world and are often referred to as “forever foods.”

Next time you’re at the store grab some of these foods, put them in the back of the pantry and forget about them. If you ever need them, they’ll be ready to be eaten.

  1. Corn starch. As long as it’s kept dry, corn starch can last indefinitely, so stock up. It’s not only great for cooking, but can also be used for other things like removing oil from the face and hair, soothing sunburns, and diaper rashes. Be sure to reseal it after each use.
  2. Corn syrup. The most common substitute for sugar in America. You can use it for brownies, cookies or candy. Again, reseal after each use and keep it in a cool, dry area.
  3. Hard liquor. Distilled liquor never goes bad, even after it’s been opened. And it’s not just a temporary escape, it’s also important for disinfecting wounds and easing physical pain.
  4. Hardtack. This is a mixture of flour and water forms a hard cracker that keeps for decades. Soldiers carried it with them in the civil war. It’s very hard and doesn’t taste great, but it will keep you going in an emergency.
  5. Honey. Archaeologists discovered ancient honey in the Egyptian pyramids and it was still edible! It crystallizes over time, but all you have to do is warm it up and stir it to get it back to the right consistency.
  6. Salt. This stuff lasts forever, whether it’s sea salt or ordinary table salt. Just make sure it’s not seasoned salt, which is only good for a year.
  7. Soy sauce. As long as it’s never opened, soy sauce also lasts indefinitely. This is mainly due to the high sodium content.
  8. Sugar. Brown, white and powdered sugar all lasts forever. The problem with sugar is it hardens over time, but you can break up the chunks by warming it up and stirring it, just like with honey.
  9. Vanilla extract. Like fine wine, pure vanilla extract actually improves with time because it’s a form of liqueur. It’s more expensive than imitation vanilla, but well worth it. Just reseal it when you’re done.
  10. White Rice. Every type of rice except for brown rice will keep forever if you store it properly. Brown rice, on the other hand, has a lot of oil so it goes bad after several months.
  11. White vinegar – distilled. Like some other items on this list, in addition to cooking white vinegar can be used for cleaning, polishing and deodorizing. When you’re done with it, put it in a cool, dark spot.

10 Survival Uses for Alcohol

First a little background, a chemistry lesson if you will, before we get started. Ethyl alcohol or grain alcohol is also known as ethanol or even better known as “drinking alcohol”. Its chemical compound is C2H5OH, and it is produced by fermentation.

First a little background, a chemistry lesson if you will, before we get started. Ethyl alcohol or grain alcohol is also known as ethanol or even better known as “drinking alcohol”. Its chemical compound is C2H5OH, and it is produced by fermentation.

Ethanol is, different from Isopropyl alcohol (C3H80), which is more commonly known as rubbing alcohol. Do not confuse the two. Both are produced by the fermentation process however, the fermenting agent for isopropyl is a bacterium while, ethyl uses a yeast.

Caution: Isopropyl alcohol is converted in the liver into acetone making it toxic, in other words, it will kill you if consumed.

Ethanol is not converted into a toxin in the liver and so can be consumed.

Okay So What Are the Uses for Ethanol during a Crisis: The Alcohol You Can Also Consume?

1.) Grain Alcohol as a Disinfectant for Wounds

Ethanol can be used for wound irrigation and as a topical disinfectant in an emergency. It works to kill bacteria by denaturing proteins and by dissolving lipids. However, even though it will destroy certain bacteria in and around wounds, it also destroys cell tissue, because of how it reacts to proteins, in other words it is caustic, and can cause tissue damage in some cases.

In an emergency killing deadly bacterium in cuts and wounds is the priority. Just remember you can damage the tissue in and around the area with prolonged use.

How Do You Know How Much Alcohol Is In A Bottle of Vodka for Example

In the United States the actual grain alcohol content is defined as twice the percentage of alcohol by volume. In other words 100-proof equals 50 percent alcohol by volume while, 86-proof equals 43 percent alcohol by volume for example.

When purchasing alcohol for future use as a disinfectant once the SHTF purchase the highest proof available for greater alcohol content by volume.

2.) Disinfectant for Instruments/Surfaces

Ethanol evaporates quickly so in some cases, contact with surfaces may not be long enough to kill the bacteria. Therefore, when disinfecting knife blades, thermometers, scalpels and so on, submerged the surfaces in the solution if possible, versus just wiping or spraying them down with the solution. Pour enough solution in a glass or basin so the entire surface to be disinfected can be submerged. Wipe down eating/food preparation surfaces and leave wet, and then reapply for best results as it dries.

3.) Mouth Wash

Simply swish around for at least one minute and spit out, to help destroy bacteria in the mouth particularly at the gum line and in between teeth. Force the solution between the teeth to remove food particles and to reach crevices where bacteria are harbored.

4.) Destroy Mold Spores

Moisture is what mold spores thrive on, so depriving them of their life blood if you will, can help control its growth and eventually destroy the mold. Alcohol displaces water, and as the alcohol evaporates it creates a gas that floats from the surface with the water molecules clinging to it.

By the way the vapor is what is flammable so stayed tuned for more on this later in the article.

5.) Help remove Water from Pet and Human Ears

Dogs in particular can have problems with their ears because of water collecting in them. A few drops of alcohol can help displace the water in your pet’s ear, as well as, your own ears to help keep bacteria at bay. Some people state that equal parts of white vinegar and alcohol works better than just using alcohol by itself for removing water from the ear canals.

6.) Kill Odor in Clothing and Confined Areas

Vodka is the preferred room deodorizer for some people because it is clear with no apparent odor. It is sprayed in the air to kill odor causing bacteria. Keep in mind grain alcohol is not effective against spores, so it will do little to reduce certain allergens and bacteria in the spores floating in the air. Spray the solution in shoes, on bedding and clothes and then let air dry in the sunlight if possible to destroy odors.

7.) Fire Starter

Bartenders and those that like to experiment will do what is called “float” alcohol on other alcohol to create a floating flame. Bacardi 151 for example, will float on top of a drink with lower alcohol content, and thus can be ignited without igniting the product. The same applies to cooking certain foods. You have probably seen chefs splash a little alcohol in a fry pan and then tilt it so the vapor makes contact with the gas cooking flame.

It is all about the vapor and to use alcohol to start a fire you have to move quickly. Soak a piece of cloth, and then put your dry tinder on top, so the vapor flows up through the tinder. In most cases the cloth itself will not ignite before the alcohol has burned off, so it is important you have dry tinder on top. Otherwise you will simply burn off the alcohol from the cloth without actually igniting the cloth. The flame is nearly invisible in daylight. Typically alcohol at 80-proof or more can be ignited rather easily.

8.) Barter Item

It was debated as to whether or not to mention alcohol and bartering, because some find it so obvious of a choice for a bartering item that it goes without saying. For those that have been prepping for years however, you have to keep in mind some are just getting started and so what may seem obvious to you will not be so obvious to others.

Even if you do not drink alcohol others do. In fact alcohol consumption is at record levels, so someone is drinking it, and just because the SHTF does not mean people will stop drinking it if it is available. Make sure it is available, because it can be traded for other items you may desperately need.

Stockpile a variety and remember you do get what you pay for, so spend a little extra because quality will pay off.

9.) Used As a Deodorant for Body and Feet

Bacteria need moisture to grow and growing bacteria cause odors. We already know that alcohol displaces moisture, which will in turn kill off bacteria. Use it on the body to help with body odor, particularly odor problems with your feet. Some people even soak their feet in vodka, for example, to help control foot odor when you cannot wash your feet regularly.

10.) Bug Repellent

Alcohol blended with certain other compounds, olive oil, for example, can be used as a bug repellent that can be rubbed on the skin. Again, the go to choice for many is vodka. Mix equal parts together and rub on exposed skin.

How it works to repel or kill certain insects is not entirely clear, but studies have shown it does work to some extent. Possibly the displacement of moisture creates certain results or the ingredients in the alcohol are toxic to some insects. There are plenty of myths and rumors surrounding many so-called home remedies, so experiment safely to find out what works best for you.

Obviously, the above listed uses for grain alcohol are not the only uses during a crisis. Do some research and if you experiment do so safely and come up with some more uses for “drinking alcohol” once the SHTF.

Gear to help you survive the first 24 hours after disaster strikes


By Allison Barrie

Published February 26, 2015

First 24 kit. (Taurus)

If disaster struck, how would you survive the first 24 hours?

A new, lightweight, rugged kit contains key tools that would certainly give you an advantage.

Taurus has created a solution to improve your chances in pretty much any crisis you could encounter; from a natural disaster to a zombie apocalypse. The First 24 Kit contains smart components to help people survive the first 24 hours of any crisis and make their way to safety.

The kit includes: a revolver, a knife, a flashlight, emergency signals, fire starter kit, a compass, some 550 Para cord, as well as a battery caddy and batteries – all contained in a robust, practical case.

Revolver

More on this…

War Games: Surviving a disaster

So many judges carry this revolver for self-protection into the courtroom that this weapon is known as the “Taurus Judge.” It chambers both 45 Colt Ammunition for longer distances and .410 2-1/2″ shotshell for short distances. As the company says, this “Taurus Judge is one decision-maker that lays down the law.”

This compact has a matte stainless steel finish and weighs 29 ounces.  It is fully customized with fiber optic front sights, fixed rear sights and the Taurus “Ribber Grips.” The barrel length is 3 inches and it has five round capacity.

The Taurus Judge also features the Taurus Security System designed to provide instantaneous defense. There’s also the option of simply turning a key to render the pistol inoperable. In this mode, the pistol is secured and cannot be fired or cocked – even the gun’s manual safety can’t be disengaged.

Knife

The CRKT Sting Survival Knife, crafted by knife legend A. G. Russell, and customized by Aimpro Tactical, is a fixed blade tactical knife with two edges.

The 3.197-inch blade starts out as alloy, similar to that used in Samurai swords, but is then amped up even more by hot forging and precision grinding into its final, nearly indestructible, form. For corrosion resistance, a black non-reflective powder coat finish is added. The handle is also hot forged 1050 carbon steel.

The handle is contoured for a comfortable fit for both gloved and bare hands. It weighs 3.9 ounces, and when the blade is open, the length is 6.85 inches.

It comes with a custom nylon-stitched reinforced sheath and a strapping option for gear or a clip for belt, pack or boot attachment.

The knife is a smart choice for a survival kit. “Strap it down and take it into any situation. It’s ready to battle with any environment,” says CRKT.

Flashlight

Brite Strike’s EPLI (Executive Precision Lighting Instrument) flashlight won the NRA’s 2013 American Hunter Gear of the Year – enough said.

It looks like one of those expensive pens seen in boardrooms, but it functions as a water and shock-proof sate of the art flashlight.

Crafted from high-grade aircraft aluminum with a graphite-anodized finish, the EPLI is a slim, just over five-inch long, penlight.

The low setting is just right for your average camp needs. Its special design produces a very bright beam that creates light similar to natural daylight.

But in the event of danger, the third setting can emit a blinding strobe to help deflect the threat.

The strobe setting can also be used to set an SOS. It takes standard AAA batteries and uses state-of-the-art power management to maximize light duration to more than six hours on lo mode.

Emergency Signals

APALS, or All Purpose Adhesive Light Strips, also made by Brite Strike, are basically next-generation replacements for chemical light sticks.

Military special operators were keen to have reliable, long endurance, combat identifiers. APALS were designed as a solution to improve a warfighter’s signaling options.

The APALS can be seen at up to a mile and have three modes: fast strobe, slow strobe, and steady.

They are waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof and can be bought in flexible, lightweight, 1.6-ounce crushproof 10 packs that easily fit in a cargo pocket. This innovative packaging approach is important because chemical light sticks have a tendency to accidentally become activated – this design eliminates that risk.

Highly robust, the strips are designed to operate in the most extreme conditions, from the Arctic to the desert, and provide more than 200 hours of runtime.

This kit includes three colors: red, white and green.

Fire Starter

Fire is always fundamental to survival. Zippo’s new bright orange Emergency Fire Starter Kit included in the First 24 makes lighting a fire impossibly easy. It has a reliable flint wheel ignition to light its water-resistant Waxed Tinder Sticks. Everything stays dry inside the Zippo case thanks to its smart design with a water-resistant O-ring seal.

550 Survival Para cord Bundle

The kit also includes 550 Para cord, a lightweight nylon rope that has a breaking strength of 550 pounds or more. Para cord dates back to World War II parachute suspension lines. In a survival setting, Para cord has innumerable useful applications, from securing things and building harnesses, through to using its strands to make fishing line.

As you’d expect from any self-respecting survival kit, there is also a compass, more specifically a 20mm Spherical Survival Compass.

It also includes a Power Pax Slim Line Caddy, originally designed for pilots. The Caddy holds six AA batteries and can be dispensed with one hand. AA batteries are included in this comprehensive kit.

Case

All of these essentials are contained in the SKB Series 1209-4 Waterproof Utility Case, the final component of the First 24. The dimensions are 12 inches long by nine inches wide with a depth of four and half inches.

It has both a waterproof and dust tight design. In addition to impact damage resistance, it is also resistant to UV, solvents, corrosion and fungus. Taurus provides the case in tan.

Altogether, the First 24 goes for $1,499.

Ballet dancer turned defense specialist Allison Barrie has traveled around the world covering the military, terrorism, weapons advancements and life on the front line. You can reach her at wargames@foxnews.com or follow her on Twitter@Allison_Barrie.