15,000 Year Old Technology can Save Your Life – Bow and Arrow

Bow and Arrow have been the weapon of choice for the better part of 15,000 years until the invention of modern firearms.  There are many reasons bow and arrow should be part of your survival plan.

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Bow and Arrow have been the weapon of choice for the better part of 15,000 years until the invention of modern firearms.  There are many reasons bow and arrow should be part of your survival plan.  Here’s a list of reasons you should not only incorporate one in your bug out supplies, but also practice using this tried and true ancient but very effective technology.

Portability:

Bow and Arrows are portable and light.  Take down bows are best suited for travel with out taking up much room.  “Take-down” simply means that the bow comes apart in three pieces: the middle grip section and the two limbs. It is simple to take down – just the twist of a couple lug screws. The fact that it comes apart makes it very portable. You can stash the bow in your pack or Bug Out Bag. It’s perfect for a Bug Out Vehicle or BOL (Bug Out Location) cache as well. And importantly it is very light weight so packing a bow in if on foot is easily accomplished.

There are many types of bows, but they all use the same method of launching a projectile faster than otherwise possible with human strength alone.

Common types of bow include

  • Recurve bow: a bow with the tips curving away from the archer. The curves straighten out as the bow is drawn and the return of the tip to its curved state after release of the arrow adds extra velocity to the arrow.
  • Reflex bow: a bow whose entire limbs curve away from the archer when unstrung. The curves are opposite to the direction in which the bow flexes while drawn.
  • Self bow: a bow made from one piece of wood.
  • Longbow: a self bow with limbs rounded in cross-section, about the same height as the archer so as to allow a full draw, usually over 5 feet (1.5 metres) long. The traditional European longbow was usually made of yewwood, but other woods are also used.
  • Flatbow: the limbs are approximately rectangular in cross-section. This was traditional in many Native American societies and was found to be the most efficient shape for bow limbs by American engineers in the 20th century.
  • Composite bow: a bow made of more than one material.
  • Takedown bow: a bow that can be demounted for transportation, usually consisting of 3 parts: 2 limbs and a Riser.
  • Compound: a bow with mechanical aids to help with drawing the bowstring. Usually, these aids are pulleys at the tips of the limbs.

Arrows:

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An arrow usually consists of a shaft with an arrowhead attached to the front end, with fletchings and a nock at the other. Modern arrows are usually made from carbon fibre, aluminum, fiberglass, and wood shafts. Carbon shafts have the advantage that they do not bend or warp, but they can often be too light weight to shoot from some bows and are expensive. Aluminum shafts are less expensive than carbon shafts, but they can bend and warp from use. Wood shafts are the least expensive option but often will not be identical in weight and size to each other and break more often than the other types of shafts.

Source Wikipedia

Affordable

A good pretty good bow should only cost you a couple hundred bucks and if you take care of it, you can expect it to last your lifetime. Not only is the bow itself affordable, but the ammunition (arrows) are cost effective too. Once you hone your shooting skills, you should be able to retrieve your arrows after shooting and reuse them over and over again. With a little practice, you can also easily make your own arrows using wooden dowels or even natural-found wood and plant shafts.

Versatility

Modern technology of arrows have come a long way. Carbon fiber arrows are ultra lightweight and have a tip that accepts different screw-in arrow tips for hunting everything with small game stunner tips, broad-head razor large game tips, standard practice tips, hook tips and line for bow fishing and even batman style grappling hooks. You can hunt anything from squirrel to deer using a bow with various arrow tips. A large selection of arrow tips can be easily stored and doesn’t take up much room.  Of course there is always flint knapping so that if there was ever a need to make my own arrow points.  With practice you can do it.

Paperwork

Legal limitations and laws are much more lax on the bow and arrow than they are with guns and bullets. You don’t have to mess with paperwork and permits, even though, in the right hands the bow and arrow is equally deadly. The less you have to deal with this stuff the better.

Silent and Deadly

The bow and arrow is a very quiet weapon. You never know when you might need the convenience of a weapon that is nearly completely silent as well as deadly.

Many Uses

Bows and parts of bows can have multiple uses.  The first and most obvious multi-use piece is the bow string. Bow strings range in length from 4 feet to 6 feet and are incredibly strong. You could use a bow string in a variety of ways:

  • Bow drill for fire
  • To build a snare for trapping
  • Emergency Cordage for shelter or tiedown
  • A sling or tourniquet
  • Trotline fishing

If you are packing a bow then you are probably packing a few arrows as well. Arrows can be used as spears and gigs for small game and fish. They can also be lashed to a longer shaft and used as a larger spear for big game such as wild pig. This larger spear can be used in self defense as well. Imagine a spear with three arrows lashed to the end and each of the arrows with a razor broad-head on the tip – you can’t even buy a spear that effective.

Some Negatives

Bow and arrow require skill to use.  It’s not like a point and shoot weapon.  So if you do invest in a bow for packing or survival purposes, so yourself a favor and practice.  There are some guides for bow hunting in our library  to help out with techniques.  It is also a weapon that carries a certain amount of respect. Ninety-nine percent of being able to effectively use the weapon is the skill itself – not the equipment. The skill will always be with you.

Plan, Prepare, Protect yourself and your family.

We would love to hear any ideas you have on the multi-uses a bow and arrow would provide.

http://www.shtfandgo.com/

 

Emergency Medicinal Plants: Useful To Have and To Own

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If you run out of medicine in your cabinet, did you know there are other ways to get medicine besides going to a pharmacy? Here are a list of some of the most valued medicinal plants.

1. Aloe Vera

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Aloe Vera is one the most popular medicinal plants because it can be used externally and internally.  Aloe Vera speeds up the healing process and reduces the risk of infections for wounds, cuts, and burns.  This also can treat ulcerative colitis by drinking the aloe vera juice, poor appetite, and digestive problems.

2. Marsh Mallow

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The root of the Marsh Mallow is to be taken internally to help treat inflammations and irritations of the urinary and respiratory mucus membranes, gastritis, and counter excess stomach acid.  The root for external use is to help with bruising, sprains, insect bites, skin inflammations, and aching muscles.  A bonus is the leaves are edible and can be used to help out in the areas of cystitis and frequent urination.

3. Great Burdock

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The Great Burdock can grow shadeless and the root is used to treat ‘toxic overload’ that result in throat infections and skin disease like burns, rashes, eczema, ringworm, bites, acne, herpes, and bruising.  This plant has leaves and seeds that can be crushed to poultice it to bruising, burns, sores and ulcers.

4. Pot Marigold

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As long as this plant stays moist it can grow in almost any type of soil.  It can be very acidic or very alkaline.  It helps with skin problems and the deep orange flower is applied externally to help ease the pain with bites, sprains, wounds, sore eyes, and varicose veins.  For internal use it can help treat fevers and chronic infections.  To help treat corns and warts just crush the stems and it will soon make them easily removable.

5. Gotu Kola

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The Gotu Kola plant is known for its healing process.  It acts on various phases of connective tissue development and stimulation.  It heals ulcers, decreases capillary fragility, skin injuries, and stimulation of the lipids and protein neessary for healthy skin.  The crushed leaves are poulticed to treat open sores.  As well as treat leprosy, increase attention span and concentration, and revitalize the brain and nervous system.

Drought Stricken Areas Need Rain Water Collection and Storage Systems

Rainwater and snowmelt are the primary sources of all drinking water on the
planet. Rainwater harvesting is the practice of collecting the water produced
during rainfall events before it has a chance to run off into a river or stream or
soak into the ground and become groundwater. Rainwater harvesting can be
classified into two broad categories: land-based and roof-based. Land-based
rainwater harvesting occurs when rainwater runoff from the land is collected in
ponds and small reservoirs before it has a chance to reach a river or stream.

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Rainwater and snowmelt are the primary sources of all drinking water on the planet. Rainwater harvesting is the practice of collecting the water produced during rainfall events before it has a chance to run off into a river or stream or soak into the ground and become groundwater. Rainwater harvesting can be classified into two broad categories: land-based and roof-based. Land-based rainwater harvesting occurs when rainwater runoff from the land is collected in ponds and small reservoirs before it has a chance to reach a river or stream. Roof-based harvesting, on the other hand, involves collecting the rainwater that falls on a roof before the water even reaches the ground. Although roof-based systems generally produce water with lower levels of chemical and biological contaminants, the water produced by both systems is subject to contamination and must be properly treated before it can be used. The level of treatment you need to provide depends, to a great extent, on whether you will be using the water for potable purposes (such as drinking, food preparation, bathing, and dish- or hand-washing) or for nonpotable purposes (such as toilet flushing, clothes washing, and watering). Obviously, rainwater that is intended for potable purposes must receive a higher level of treatment than rainwater that is intended for irrigation purposes.

Government does not set minimum treatment requirements for rainwater that will be used as a drinking water source for a single household nor do they regulate nonpotable uses of rainwater.

If you have access to a public water system, we encourage you to utilize your rainwater
collection system for nonpotable use only. This approach will:
• Reduce your construction, treatment, and operational costs, because less
treatment is required for nonpotable uses than for potable uses.
• Lower your monthly water bill because you will need to buy less of the public
water system’s drinking water for nonpotable use.
• Conserve the natural resources being developed and utilized by your public
water system.

What Kinds of Contaminants Can Be Found in Rainwater?
Rainwater and snowfall are the ultimate sources of all drinking water on the planet. Rainwater and melted snow runs off the land and collects in lakes and rivers. They also seep through the ground and recharge the aquifers that supply drinking water wells. Regardless of where you currently obtain your drinking water, it originally fell from the sky.
The water in a raindrop is one of the cleanest sources of water available. Rainwater can absorb gases such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide from the atmosphere. It can also capture soot and other microscopic particulates as it falls through the sky. Nevertheless, rainwater is almost 100% pure water before it reaches the ground.
Pure water is considered the universal solvent; it can absorb or dissolve contaminants from almost anything it comes into contact with. That is why it is especially important to design and operate your system so that the rainwater picks up as few contaminants as possible before you consume it.
Debris
We use the term “debris” to describe any contaminant that you can see. Debris includes leaves and twigs, dust and dirt, bird and animal droppings, insects, and other visible material. Although debris obviously reduces the aesthetic quality of the water, it can also pose unseen chemical and biological health threats. For example, leaves and dust can contain unseen chemical contaminants such as herbicides and pesticides. Similarly, bird and animal droppings can contain microscopic parasites, bacteria, and viruses.
Chemical Contaminants
Although rainwater can be contaminated by absorbing airborne chemicals, most of the chemicals present in harvested rainwater are introduced during collection, treatment, and distribution. By properly designing and operating your rainwater harvesting system, you can minimize your exposure to a variety of chemical contaminants that include organic chemicals, such as volatile and synthetic organics, and inorganic chemicals, such as minerals and metals.
Volatile Organic Chemicals
Volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) can be introduced when rainwater comes into contact with
materials containing refined organic products. These VOC sources include plastics, glues, and
solvents, as well as gasoline, greases, and oils. Most VOC contamination at rainwater systems
occurs because the materials used to construct the system were not manufactured specifically
for drinking water applications; these materials may not meet the standards set for potable
water products and may release undesirable levels of VOCs into the water. Although most VOC
contamination results from improper construction practices, VOC contamination can also occur when raindrops fall through an atmosphere containing gasoline or solvent vapors.

COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
Harvesting, Storing, and Treating Rainwater for Domestic Use
Synthetic Organic Chemicals
Synthetic organic chemicals (SOCs) are chemicals that are typically found in pesticides,
herbicides, and similar man-made products. Since SOCs are not very volatile, these contaminants are usually introduced when debris such as dust and leaves are allowed to enter the system. However, SOC contamination can also be introduced if you install your rainwater collection and storage system in an area where aerial herbicide or pesticide application occurs. Regardless of how the chemical reaches the rainwater system, SOC contamination is usually the result of environmental exposure rather than poor construction practices.
Minerals
Minerals are inorganic materials found naturally in the environment. Most minerals are
inorganic salts (such as calcium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, magnesium sulfate, and sodium chloride) that affect the flavor of the water but generally do not pose an actual health threat. The most significant exception to this general rule of thumb is asbestos, which is a family of fibrous silica salts used to manufacture a variety of products. Under certain conditions, some of these products can release a form of asbestos that can pose a long-term health threat if ingested or inhaled. Minerals, especially calcium and magnesium salts, are what gives water its hardness. Rainwater contains virtually no minerals before it is harvested and so it is a very soft water. It is also slightly acidic, with a pH around 5.6, due to the carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur dioxides it absorbs from the atmosphere. Because it takes time for rainwater to absorb minerals, most of the minerals present in harvested rainwater will have been leached from materials used to construct the system rather than from environmental sources.
Metals
Metals include lead, arsenic, copper, iron, and manganese. Some metals, such as lead and arsenic, can pose a long-term health threat if they are present in high enough concentrations. Other metals, such as iron and manganese, can affect the appearance and taste of the water but pose no health threat. It takes time for metal to dissolve in rainwater. Therefore, this type of contaminant is usually present only after metallic materials such as lead solder, iron and copper pipe, and brass fittings have been exposed to rainwater for several hours or longer.
Microbiological Contaminants
Rainwater seldom contains any type of microbiological contaminant until it is harvested and stored. The water in a raindrop is extremely pure, but it is virtually impossible to maintain that level of purity during the collection, treatment, and distribution processes. Rainwater can be contaminated by two major categories of microbiological agents: those that cause disease and those that do not. Microbiological contaminants that can cause a disease or infection are called pathogenic, while those that do not are called nonpathogenic. Nonpathogenic organisms can be present in high numbers regardless of where your home is located.
These nonpathogenic microbes include many kinds of protozoa, algae, bacteria, and viruses.
Although they do not cause illness, nonpathogens often reduce the aesthetic quality of the water and can interfere with the operation of the rainwater harvesting and treatment facilities, increasing
COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUAL ITY
Harvesting, Storing, and Treating Rainwater for Domestic Use
operational and maintenance requirements. For example, high concentrations of algae can make the water slimy, plugging the filters used to treat the water, or fungi and bacteria can colonize in the water lines in your home. Pathogenic organisms are not normally found in rainwater. However, they can be present if the
rainwater collection or storage facilities have been contaminated by fecal material such as animal or bird droppings. Pathogenic microbes pose a greater health threat to rainwater users than most chemical contaminants, for a number of reasons, including:
• Pathogens can cause disease after a single exposure, while most chemical contaminants may
require months or even years of exposure before causing a health effect.
• Pathogens do not affect the taste, smell, or appearance of the water. Many chemical
contaminants, on the other hand, make the water taste, smell, or look different, especially if the chemicals are present at levels that would pose a short-term risk.
• Pathogen levels can rise very quickly, while chemical levels tend to remain fairly constant.
Consequently, it is relatively easy (though somewhat costly) to periodically test for chemical
contaminants, while it is both difficult and costly to continuously test for most pathogens.
• A disease caused by pathogens can usually be passed from person to person, while the health
effects caused by chemicals affect only those that actually consume the contaminated water.
• Waterborne illnesses caused by pathogens can be a serious health risk for the elderly, infants, chemotherapy patients, and other individuals with a delicate or weakened immune system. Pathogenic microbiological contaminants include certain types of protozoan parasites, bacteria, and viruses. The infectivity rates (the number of microbes required to cause a disease) and the virulence (the severity of the disease) vary, depending on the type of pathogen present and the immune system of the person that is exposed. Some pathogens can cause an illness if a person with a weakened immune system is exposed to just a few organisms. Some of the pathogens that can be introduced through improperly designed and operated rainwater systems are shown in Table 1.1.

Table 1.1

 

Type of Pathogen Organism Source
Parasite Giardia lamblia cats and wild animals
Parasite Cryptosporidium parvum cats, birds, rodents, and reptiles
Parasite Toxoplasma gondii cats, birds, and rodents
Bacteria Campylobacter spp. birds and rats
Bacteria Salmonella spp . cats, birds, rodents, and reptiles
Bacteria Leptospira spp. mammals
Bacteria Escherichia coli birds and mammals
Virus Hantavirus spp. rodents

 

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Using Ceramic High Efficiency Filters can remove 99.99% of pathogenic debris from water sources for usable potable water.  Setting up a primary storage tank for collection and transferring water via gravity or pumping station to a potable storage tank is the preferred method of insuring water is clean, free from pathogens.

Build a Whole House Rain Water Collector and Storage System.

Traditional System

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2 Types of Emergency Evacuations: Urgent & Planned

Reasons to evacuate generally fall into 2 camps: Urgent Evacuations and Planned Evacuations. You should be ready for these 2 types of emergency evacuations.

a young child is standing in the back of his minivan with a backpack on looking outside and waiting for his family to come for a summer camping vacation
a young child is standing in the back of his minivan with a backpack on looking outside and waiting for his family to come for a summer camping vacation

Reasons to evacuate generally fall into 2 camps: Urgent Evacuations and Planned Evacuations. You should be ready for these 2 types of emergency evacuations.

Before you begin packing that emergency kit, you need to first consider why you might need to evacuate. If you have specific scenarios in mind, and then one of them suddenly becomes a reality, there’s a good chance that your brain won’t lapse into normalcy bias, causing you to waste precious minutes or hours.

Planning for the Urgent Evacuation

An Urgent Evacuation is one in which you have zero time to think; you can only react. If you’ve considered this scenario, have planned for it, and have a routine that you’ve rehearsed, your brain will most likely revert to those memories and your actions will become automatic.

The smell of smoke and realization that your home is on fire is not the time to inform the kids how to get out of the house, run around scooping up family heirlooms, cash, and vital documents, and then yell at everyone to meet you in the front yard! Fire spreads too quickly to allow for any of that.

Instead, planning for this particular Urgent Evacuation is simple. Take time to stash valuables in a fireproof safe, train the kids and other family members to get out of the house ASAP, and have a pre-planned meeting place. Make sure that each room has an exit point that can be accessed by everyone, even if that means keeping a step stool or a sturdy chair in the room. My daughter’s bedroom has one window whose bottom ledge is a good 4 1/2 feet from the floor. In her case, she’ll need to stand on something to get out.

What other Urgent Evacuations might you need to plan for? Tornado warning? Natural gas leak? Wildfires or a chemical spill? All of these events will require you to get out of the house as quickly as you can. A few others are:

  • Avalanche
  • Earthquake
  • Explosion nearby
  • Landslide
  • Floods
  • Nuclear event
  • Riots
  • Terrorist attack
  • Tornadoes
  • Tsunami

Here are a few tips to help you plan and prepare for Urgent Evacuations:

1. Have a packed supply bag for your pets, complete with food, bedding, and food/water bowls. If your pet will be transported in a crate, place all supplies in the crate. Everything will be in one place when you need it.

2. Create a “Last Minute Bag” with things like prescription medications, cash, small valuables. Here’s a complete list to help you with this task.

3. Store emergency kits in an easy to access location, such as by the backdoor. They can also be stored in the trunk of your car, along with a case or water.

4. Be in the habit of having your vehicle ready with at least half tank of gas and emergency supplies.

5. Have some sort of signal for the family members, so they know it’s “Get serious!’ time. Kids, in particular, have a way of tuning out their parents, so establish a code that sends the message of, “Urgent! This is not a drill!”

6. Practice this evacuation drill and keep track of how much time it takes to get everyone out of the house. Emphasize that getting people out is far more important than any belonging, or even a pet.

7. Have written lists of what must be grabbed. Prioritize so that no one is searching for something that isn’t strictly necessary.

With Urgent Evacuations, the longer you wait, the more likely you are to endanger yourself and your loved ones. It also increase the chance that you’ll run into major traffic issues as panicked people also try to get away from harm.

The Planned Evacuation

Not every emergency is one that requires great haste. In many cases, you have several hours or day in which to make your plans and put final pieces in place. A Planned Evacuation requires a different mindset — one that emphasizes checking and double-checking and keeping a constant eye on developing news.

The Planned Evacuation is one of prepare and wait-and-see.

For example, a hurricane is a scary natural disaster that can bring with it an enormous amount of damage, but thanks to modern meteorology, we can track these storms. We know, with a fair degree or accuracy, when and where they will make landfall.

These scenarios allow us to time think, review our plans, and get to safety, beating the crowds as well as the expected disaster. Examples of these are:

  • Earthquake — If your home isn’t too damaged, you may want to plan to evacuate, just in case.
  • Epidemic or pandemic
  • Rising floodwaters
  • “Storm of the Century” — Blizzard or otherwise, you may want to get out to avoid the worst.
  • Volcanic eruption — Usually these give some warning before erupting.
  • Wildfires in the area

Along with the tips for Urgent Evacuations, here are a few to help you plan for a more leisurely escape:

1. Make a date on your calendar to review and refresh all emergency kits every 6 months.

2. Have at least 2 different ways to get information, in case of a power outage or if telephone/cell phone lines aren’t working. A shortwave radio and ham radio are both good choices.

3. If you have a smartphone, install phone apps that provide alerts for inclement weather, tornadoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes. Red Cross makes several, and they are all excellent.

4. If you have larger animals, contact at least 2 locations that could provide temporary shelter as part of your emergency evacuation plans.

5. Give careful consideration how your home can best be protected while you’re gone. You have time to board up windows, drain pipes, etc.

6. Get phone numbers from neighbors, so you can keep in touch and update each other with news. This will be especially important if you do evacuate and want to know how your home and neighborhood are faring.

7. During the school year, contact your child’s teacher and ask for a list of their assignments for the coming week or two.

8. Make sure your vehicle is filled with gas and is ready to go. Pack it with any supplies or gear that you won’t be needing, just in case you decide to leave.

Prep for one, prep for both

The good news about both these types of emergency evacuation plans is that preparation for one is preparation for both. The major difference between the two, other than the actual event, is your mindset. You must be the one to make the call to get out now or wait to see how things unfold. Ultimately, it will be your call. It’s better to err on the side of a quick evacuation if there’s a chance the event could escalate. By then, you might be trapped and unable to get out.

Know which events are most likely in your area and begin planning and preparing.

The post 2 Types of Emergency Evacuations: Urgent & Planned by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

 

6 Wild Plants You Can Eat

It’s spring, and if you’re looking to supplement your diet with something other than factory processed, chemically treated, GMO, now it is time.  You can do this even if you live in urban  areas you can and should be able to find a few common herbs and plants in your environment.

My dad would tell me to, “Go out and dig up some weeds to eat.”  I think he just want me to cut the lawn and pull some weeds, but there is some truth to his words. 

It’s spring, and if you’re looking to supplement your diet with something other than factory processed, chemically treated, GMO, now it is time.  You can do this even if you live in urban  areas you can and should be able to find a few common herbs and plants in your environment.

My dad would tell me to, “Go out and dig up some weeds to eat.”  I think he just want me to cut the lawn and pull some weeds, but there is some truth to his words.

Many wild plants around you are edible and some medicinal. This can be a fun family project to go out into your local world and discover how it feels to become an urban gathering survivor and learn skills to identify edible and medicinal plants.

THE DISCLAIMER: Many plants are toxic, or have toxic parts, or are alternately edible and toxic at various stages of maturity. Also, some people are sensitive to foods that others can consume safely. You need to know what you’re doing when you go out foraging and eating unfamiliar plants. If you have kidney disorders, stay clear. For more detailed information download our free book: Edible Wild Plants, or Wild Mushrooms

Six Common Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants

1:  Dandelion

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The hated dandelion is nutritionally quite dense. It has four times as much calcium, 1.5 times as much vitamin A, and 7.5 times as much vitamin K as broccoli. It has more iron and riboflavin than spinach, and provides vitamin E.  Dandelion greens nutrition facts. It is also diuretic. The tender young leaves are tasty in a salad, and the young blossoms are a real treat when stir fried in butter with a little garlic, salt, and pepper. Show it some love and let it grow, at least in the back yard.

2:  Poke Sallet

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The plant is toxic and must be double or even triple blanched to rinse out the toxins (along with all other nutrients). That’s the official view, anyway; I can’t stand to go to all that work and then just throw out all the food value, so I pick the leaves very young, while the leaf stem is still green and not red, and steam it just like spinach before stir-frying in bacon grease. I eat a spinach-sized serving along with other foods. It has never made me sick, but of course you should experiment very carefully and put safety first, and remember that children are more vulnerable. According to the poke sallet wiki, the lethal dose in mice appears to be about 300 g per kg of body weight. That’s the equivalent of a 175 lb. human eating more than 50 lbs. of the stuff.  Now, if you eat enough it will “clean you out,” if you know what I mean, but sometimes that’s a good thing, right? Just make sure you’re not traveling after your meal.  Don’t eat the roots, no matter how prepared — they can’t be made safe.

3: Lambsquarters

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I love this one. One of my earliest foraging experiences was harvesting lambsquarters with my dad. It grew in dense patches around the farmyard. He prepared them like spinach, and like spinach, it does have a mildly unpleasant “sticky” feel on the teeth. But hey, nothing’s perfect. It tastes better and is a lot less work than cultivating garden greens. It’s also more calorie and protein dense than many of them. Here’s a lambsquarters nutritional comparison with spinach.

4. Dock

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This one is edible, but not all that tasty, with one exception; the stalks are good added to a salad. It’s similar to rhubarb. The roots have a cathartic effect (also called a “stimulant laxative,” in that it accelerates bowel activity; a “laxative” works by softening the stool). The stewed leaves have a laxative effect, but they don’t taste all that good; they’re better used as an herb to flavor gamy meat like grass-fed beef or a tough buck.

5: Wood Sorrel (Sourgrass)

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Wood sorrel is very distinctive and easy to find. It is rich in vitamin C and adds a wonderful tartness to raw dishes like salads, salsas and slaws. My kids pick it and munch on it while doing yard work, and I add it to diced avocado with lemon juice, salt, and onion. It contains oxalic acid, and is officially toxic in excess, or if you have bad kidneys. I think you have to eat a shipload to make you sick, but I’m not sure. You’ve been warned.

It also has medicinal value as a diuretic, antiemetic, appetite stimulant, and relief for indigestion. Further reading about wood sorrel.

6: Thistle

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I used to eat it canned in Europe, but as an adult I learned how tasty it is when fresh. Except for the seeds, every part of the thistle plant provides an edible item. The roots are good if you dig them up when they’re not as fibrous. That’s during the winter when there’s no plant top, which makes them hard to find. The peeled leaf midribs are tricky to get to, but they’re excellent. So are the peeled stalks, picked young, before they get stringy. The ribs and stalks are excellent prepared in a casserole, as you would do for cauliflower. I’ve also baked it like scalloped potatoes. When chopped into two inch pieces and stir fried, they’re superb. Even the flower bud has an edible heart similar to artichoke, but it’s tiny and hardly worth the trouble. Still, it’s good to know.

Source of Plant Pictures and Descriptions: http://www.survivalnewsonline.com/index.php/2015/04/7-wild-edibles-around-your-house/

Have Fun Foraging and Be Safe.  Learn new skills and Plan, Prepare, Protect.

Nepal’s emergency preparedness saved lives in earthquake aftermath – UN health agency

13 May 2015 – The emergency preparedness efforts implemented by the Government of Nepal over the past 15 years have ensured that key elements of the health sector remained ready and able to function during the recent earthquake that devastated large swathes of the mountainous country, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) said today.

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Patients at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Kathmandu, Nepal, are taken outside following the second earthquake on 12 May 2015. Photo: WHO/A. Khan

13 May 2015 – The emergency preparedness efforts implemented by the Government of Nepal over the past 15 years have ensured that key elements of the health sector remained ready and able to function during the recent earthquake that devastated large swathes of the mountainous country, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) said today.

According to WHO, the practice of hospital retrofitting – a process which involves everything from repairing cracks in walls to installing seismic belts and roof bracing – has been a core part of Nepal’s preparedness plans and helped keep the largest hospitals in the capital city of Kathmandu working throughout the 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck on 25 April and the 7.3 earthquake which rattled the country on just yesterday.

“Retrofitting meant that when the earthquakes struck, hospitals did not collapse,” Dr. Roderico Ofrin, WHO’s Health Response Leader, confirmed in a press release, adding that it was “clear that the investment in time and resources paid off.”

“These hospitals that are standing and were retrofitted went through a process of prioritization,” Dr. Ofrin continued. “Emergency rooms, maternity wards, and operating theatres were some of the first areas where retrofitting was applied.”

WHO has also been critical in assisting Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population during their implementation of emergency preparedness efforts. In 2009, for instance, it focused global attention on the need for safe facilities in emergencies through its World Health Day campaign which underscored the need for building strong health systems able to provide medical care in times of disaster and emergency. The UN agency has continued to promote this aim with direct technical and material support.

However, retrofitting alone is not sufficient for an adequate healthcare response in times of disaster, the WHO has warned. Capacity building and staff training is equally important.

Dr. Pradeep Vaidya, coordinator for the WHO-supported Hospital Preparedness for Emergency Programme, has noted that the response to the earthquake by Nepal’s health care providers was resilient because of pre-planning and training initiatives.

“The most helpful part during the earthquake response was the hospital emergency preparedness plan,” Dr. Vaidya explained. “People knew what to do, where to meet and how things will flow when the earthquake happened. The roster management system worked well.”

In Nepal, the WHO has been placing particular attention on training in triage management, putting into practice its guidelines and strategies in mass casualty systems. Due to the training, the agency said, emergency responders could quickly prioritize the injuries and save lives when large numbers of patients began to arrive in the hospitals following the recent earthquakes.

8 Most Important Bush Crafting Skills

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1:  Shelter

Shelter is an important aspect of every outdoor venture or survival situation.  Your first layer of shelter is the clothing on your back, this provides you just enough to stay warm and dry for short periods of time. Your second layer of shelter is a stationary structure whether it is a small tent or a full blown log cabin. Knowing how to either aquire or make shelter for you and your family in an emergency is an important skill.

Take shelter in your vehicle if travelling to your family designated meet zone or safe zone.  If SHTF it’s best to stay away from urban areas and park or set camp off  main roads away from view.  Back country roads and crop fields may provide the seclusion needed to avoid possible unwanted human contact.  If you’re on foot or traveling with a small group, try to set camp near a secluded water source.

2:  Water is Life.

You will need water.  The rule is 1 gallon per person per day in warm climates.  You and your family can survive on less, but it’s always best to have reserves.  You have many options once you find a source of water to treat the water to insure it’s safety and avoid health concerns.  If you know the water source is clean such as a well or city storage then it would be safe to assume it is drinkable.  If your only option is open water sources, you need to treat the water as unclean until treated.

Safe water treatment options.

Boil water after you have filtered out the large debri.  Boiling water will kill any bacteria or protozoa and male the water safer to drink, but will not remove heavy metals or smells.  After boiling let the water stand before consuming.

Add 4 drops of bleach per gallon of water and let stand for half an hour stirring occasionally.  Then consume. This also will kill bacteria and viruses but not address heavy metals.

Mechanical filtering and carbon filtering will remove all bacteria and viruses.  Mechanically treated water can also remove heavy metals, smells and radiation.  See SHTFandGO.COM for their line of mechanical filtering systems.

3:  Carry a Blade

A blade, machete, hatchet, axe or some other cutting tool is the most important tool to the Bushcrafter. It is as important as the sword to knight.  A good Bushcraft blade is sturdy and light and is made from the highest quality materials with the tang running the full length of the knife.  With appropriate use, the Bushcrafter can use this blade to give or take life.  A Survival Knife is just that, survival.  One can clean animals for consumption and make tools for hunting and trapping.

4:  Fire

The ability to make fire under almost any condition is essential part of Bushcraft survival.  Without Fire modern man is nothing more than a wild animal.   There are many techniques to building a fire; a fire drill, smoldering plants and trees, sunlight, striking rock that contains iron such as flint,  and of course matches, lighters, and modern fire starting tools.  Firecraft in the ability to create, control, and use fire to aid in one’s survival.  Another critical skill in Bushcraft is the ability to transport fire, usually by carrying a burning coal around in some type of dry sage grass to keep it smoldering.

5:  Rope, Cordage and Knots

The ability to tie or join two or more pieces of natural or man made material is a vital skill for survival.  By joining two or more pieces together, you not only increase the strength of the material but also the usability as shelter, a raft, a weapon or a sled.  Fishing and trapping are important survival skills and without the ability to tie knots and obtain or create cordage.

6:  Hunting and Trapping

Protien and fats are important to sustain nutrition.  Hunting and trapping is the pursuit of animals and fish for food.  A mastery of many elements in Bushcraft including tracking and ropecraft lead to the ability to hunt for food by use of traps, nets and snares or weapons that stab and cut.  The ability to capture and kill animals for food is a essential skill necessary to live in the wild. Once food has be caught and or procured, food storage and treatment is also a skill necessary to store enough food to last harsh winters.

7:  Tracking

Tracking animals and humans is an important part of Bushcraft survival.  Tracks made by humans and animals on the ground, when read correctly, show a pattern of the habits of the animal or human.  Once you establish this pattern, you will have the ability to continuously and carefully observe the animal’s movements and patterns.  It is important to recognize that animals you find in the forest are as much creatures of habit as human beings.  A particular animal you are stalking will follow the same path to and from water each day or to and from a food source.  It will hunt and forage in the same area and only leave when it is driven out by an outside force, predator, fire, flood or drought.  This pattern forming characteristic of all animals makes it possible for the experienced bushcrafter to predict the animal’s movements, and so he selects the sites for his traps, snares or ambush.

8:  Foraging

If you are just travelling from an emergency hot spot to your safe zone or to meet family, emergency food stores or food rations will be you best saurce of nutrition while you’re on the go. Once you are settled at a camp or in wild yoi’ll need a source of food.

Have you ever looked at a wild plant or bush, and wondered if you could eat it?  For the Bushcrafter, foraging is very important element to survival.  All hunters and fisherman know that if it was easy, they would not call it hunting and fishing, they would call it catching.  Being able to identify and eat plants without getting sick can make the difference between surviving and not surviving.

Staying Safe at Large Events

Posted by: Robet Richrdson

Large, planned events can attract tens of thousands of people and the potential for chaos.

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Security planning for major sports events has become a major concern for the security industry; with so many people packed into one area, these events are an attractive target for lunatics who are looking to make a political statement. Pack 20,000 people into a concert venue or hundreds of thousands of people into a NASCAR race and the possibility for an emergency situation is nothing to laugh off.

In the aftermath of the chaos in Ferguson and Baltimore, and in the shadow of the Boston Bombing, large events and rallies need to be a source of consideration when thinking about threats to your personal security. High profile sporting events, political rallies, and social justice protests are all a major cause for concern, as terrorists and those looking to spread chaos are increasingly targeting these events.

Be aware that large events can be an evacuation nightmare:

When it comes to safety concerns at a large event, one of the largest post-disaster threats is what happens during an evacuation. Even a relatively small disaster – one that doesn’t pose a large-scale threat to the crowd – can quickly spiral out of control. Panic alone can cause a crowd to stampede exits, causing a dangerous situation or providing a secondary target in the case of a terrorist attack.

Large scale events are often logistical nightmares, and a person can easily be caught off-guard and find themselves in the middle of the chaos without a quick way to get out.

Some problems to keep in mind when attending large events:

  • Roadways around the event will likely be blocked off or flooded with vehicles trying to flee the scene.
  • Exit routes will quickly become chokepoints, filled with panicking people who will likely make the situation even worse.
  • Oftentimes large venues have safety protocols in place; these protocols might not always be the safest thing to follow. You should always be looking for alternative ways out, even if everyone else is being told to go a certain direction. In the case of a terrorist attack, an attacker might look for these chokepoints in order to inflict mass casualties by attacking exits.

Even those who stay home could be affected by large events:

Even those of us who avoid these large events might not be able to avoid the dangers associated with them. During any large-scale event that happens near your home, you should always be alert and have a plan to deal with emergencies.

Some problems to keep in mind for those who stay home:

  • If something happens at one of these events that cause people to evacuate, the roads near your home will quickly become clogged. You need to have multiple routes mapped out in case your normal Bug Out routes become compromised.
  • Large events are targets. Political rallies, social justice marches and protests all invite problems. As we’ve numerous times lately, these rallies and events can quickly grow violent; they can also spread into nearby neighborhoods putting even those who stayed home at risk.

Tips for staying safe at large events:

Safety starts with researching the event: One of the best ways to stay safe at any event is to be situationally aware of what’s going on around you; that process starts by knowing exactly what you’re getting in to.

  • How many people are expected at the event?
  • Where are the exit points at the venue? This is something you should know ahead of time. Also, take note of all secondary exit points where less people will be likely to head.
  • Jump on social media and see what people are saying about the event. Have threats been made towards the event? Is the event controversial in any way?

Scan the area: Once you’re at the event you need to stay aware of your surroundings.

  • Take note of emergency exits, restrooms and exit routes.
  • Familiarize yourself with the venue’s layout. Pay attention to the location of a medical tents or first aid stations.
  • Have a plan on where you will head if an emergency happens.

Stay aware of your surroundings at all times. If you get the slightest feeling that something may be wrong, you need to listen to your instincts and act fast.

  • Keep an eye on the crowd. If you notice an abnormal increase in the number of people pouring into your area, or if you notice a loner that doesn’t seem to belong in the area, this could be the first sign that something isn’t right. If you see something that doesn’t seem right, it’s probably a good time to make your exit.
  • Checkout our article on surviving a riot; it will give you some good tips on what to do should violence erupt at or around the event.

Have a meetup plan: Should something happen at the event, everyone in your group should have an evacuation plan and an area to head to when trouble starts.

  • Choose a meeting spot for your family, in the case anyone gets separated from the group.
  • Have a contact outside the event that can be called to coordinate planning should something go wrong at the event.

Source: http://offgridsurvival.com/stayingsafeatlargeevents/

Edible Plants in the Wild

How to Find Wild Edible Plants

Please double check all of these plants using other websites before consumption. Wild edible plants are everywhere you turn. Not only it is free food, but eating wild plants is a huge stride toward wilderness self-sufficiency. Once you know where to look and how to prepare plants you find in the wild, you’ll be well prepared whether you’re planning on surviving on free greens or you just want to try some new flavors next time you go camping. Be careful, though: eating the wrong plant could be fatal.

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Know where the best food is, depending on where you live. Keep in mind that if you live in a humid region, the majority of wild food will be in the sun – whether clearing or ‘edge’. In a dry region, such as the Southwest, most of the wild food will be near water.

Pick up a local plant guidebook. Get guides to the most common edible plants in your area, typically referred to as “weeds.” Learn the top 20 or 25 and try to memorize them — they might come in handy later.

Start with the number-one habitat for wild edible plants — your lawn. Any place that is regularly cleared is loaded with weeds such as dandelion, chickweed, plantain, wild onion, violets, wood sorrel, henbit, clover, dead-nettle and sow thistle — all of which are 100% edible.

Start with grass. All grass is edible. Anything under 6″ is easy to chew and digest. The flavor ranges from intensely sweet to mild to bitter – anyone who’s tasted a shot of wheatgrass knows just how sweet grass can be. Grass that’s over 6″ can either be chewed for juice and spit out, or run through a manual wheatgrass juicer for a healthy shot.

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Visit other areas that are regularly cleared. Try roadsides (note warning below), fields, parks, and so on. They will also have tons of edible plants. Chickweed can be picked by the bucketful. Here’s what to look for:

Dandelion (taraxacum officinale): The young unfolding greens in the center are great raw. The entire plant can be steamed. The flower is the best part. Pick it off the stem, and with your fingers pinch off the green base of the flower, so there’s no white sap (the sap is very bitter). You’re left with a sweet, meaty, filling wild food that can be found in incredible abundance.

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Chickweed (stellaria media): The entire plant can be eaten raw. It has a sweet, grassy flavor. If you want to avoid the stems, and eat mostly the new growth, pluck off the tops and eat those.

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Wood Sorrel (oxalis spp): The whole plant is great raw – it has a nice acid flavor, refreshing. The flowers of the cosmopolitan weeds are yellow, but many varieties grow in the wild with pinkish flowers. If you eat it, try the stem, but not the red part as it and the leaves are bitter. This is a plant extremely common not only in lawns and cleared areas, but also deep in the wilderness. It should not be consumed in big quantity as it contains relatively high levels of oxalic acid, which, while is vital for humans, may cause the gastrointestinal upset or illness when consumed in big amounts.

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Henbit (lamium amplexicaule): Another plant entirely edible raw. It’s a Lamium, a very mild mint. Like chickweed, it has a sweet, grassy flavor – pluck off the tops to avoid the stems. This plant will form huge carpets in places, very early in the year, with an understory of chickweed beneath it.

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Dead-nettle (lamium purpureum): Another Lamium, just like henbit. It’s eaten the same way – and will also form huge carpets covering the ground, especially in spring.

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Plantain (plantago lanceolata): Young leaves in the center are good raw – have a slight salty flavor. There’s both a common and an English plantain, that are very similar.

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Sow thistle (sonchus spp): The young leaves are decent – treat it like dandelion, and try and avoid the bitter latex sap. Sow thistle has excellent yellow flowers very similar to dandelion, yet even better, that’s prepared the same way and eaten raw. Unlike dandelion, sow thistle has an upright stalk and a more prickly-looking thistle-like appearance.

Wild onion (allium spp): Very common in areas that are mowed. A very mild onion that is excellent raw. Harvest bunches of it and use it just like scallions.

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Cress (cardamine spp): This is one of the many wild plants in the mustard family common in cities. When young, the leaves are excellent raw, with a mild mustard flavor. As they get older the full plants can be steamed, just as you would prepare mustard greens at home.

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Berries:Look for berries on ornamental shrubs, such as this silverberry.Ebbing’s silverberry is frequently planted in cities as bushes and hedges – but it will escape into any disturbed habitat and form thickets. The stems, foliage, and berries are all speckled with silver. The red berries are excellent when fully ripe.

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Look for berries on trees. Even in the dead of winter, such as on this laurel cherry. Like most wild cherries, these have a long ripening process and aren’t fully ripe until the fruit starts to soften and shrivel.

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Check out ornamental trees. These are planted for their showy flowers — those flowers can lead to fruit, such as cherries or crab apples or plums. They may be small, but can be very tasty.

Look for nuts beneath trees. Walnuts and hickory nuts can be smashed open with a rock and the edible flesh picked out. Fresh nuts are wet and filling and easy to digest, with a lot of flavor. Acorns are abundant beneath oaks — if the oak has round-lobed leaves, the acorns will need minimal to no processing. Some white oak acorns will have no tannin at all. And keep in mind you get used to it and stop noticing it after the first few — it’s how pigeons eat so many acorns.

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Find fruiting trees. Check roadsides (note warning below), forest edges, and beside water for fruiting trees. Fruit needs sun to ripen – there’s not much fruit in deep woods. The ‘edges’ of any environment are the most productive – trees are fertilized and keep a moisture and humidity from the forest behind them, but have access to full sun at the edge of a clearing or waterway. This is where you will find fruit like persimmons, wild apples, mulberries, autumn olives, hackberries, and so on. Below are persimmons.

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Look for plants that grow in wet areas. Search bodies of water for signs of cattail, bulrush, and watercress. Cattail typically needs an area of stagnant water to thrive, though it will grow in streamsides. Cattail can be in preposterous abundance in lakes and bays. The shoots are wonderful raw, and the pollen in early summer tastes like cake flour. You can gather whole bags of it. Pollen is so nutritious it’s considered a “superfood.”

Nibble on safe flowers. Sample the flower petals of plants you know to be nonpoisonous. Flowers are often very mild to sweet and full of antioxidants. Some excellent blooms are daylilies, violets and honeysuckle. DO NOT EAT AZALEAS! Azaleas are deathly poisonous.

#*The base of flowers can be strong to bitter — it’s better to break off petals and not eat the green material.

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Check out thorny brambles for food. Rose, blackberry, raspberry, and greenbriar are good examples. Rose has edible hips (the common weedy thicket-forming multiflora rose is the best – the hip is small and tangy), blackberry/raspberry has berries, and greenbriar shoots and tendrils, as well as berries that are rather tasteless but still edible. Below is a multiflora rose.

Learn your vines so that you can distinguish grape. Wild grapes are found throughout the U.S. and are one of the best wild foods. There’s a variety which you will see everywhere throughout the South called “muscadine” — the grapes are thick-skinned and very large, with a flavor like bubble gum. Wild grapes have both edible leaves and tendrils as well as fruit — the leaves can be steeped in apple cider vinegar and used to make dolmas. Muscadine leaves are tougher and benefit from a week-long glass jar ferment. Grape vines also make very sturdy baskets.

Find deciduous leaves. Try the deciduous leaves of trees like linden, sassafras, Boxelder, sourwood – all are excellent raw. Beech leaves are also highly edible when young, for the first 2 to 4 weeks. You can pull whole salads off the trees. Linden leaves are so large they can be used as tortillas.

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Pick the new growth off conifers in the spring. The young green shoots at the tips of the branches are great raw – a pleasant acid taste. The male pollen cones on conifers are also edible – some are very sweet. And again, it’s pollen – extremely nutritious. Many species of pine have edible nuts in the cones in late summer to fall.

Ignore the hype about spraying. Most clearings are periodically mowed and otherwise ignored — they are not sprayed. Whereas the majority of grocery store food has been sprayed heavily throughout its life, then allowed to sit and gather germs and dust and mold. The wild plants you pick are the purest food possible. The only areas where you might use caution would be in mulched garden beds where they are deliberately trying to keep down weeds. This kale growing in the back of a bed of pansies is an example – but keep in mind that if they’ve just sprayed, the plant will taste awful. If they’d sprayed a while back rain has washed it down into the soil, to be stored in the roots. Don’t eat the roots.

Go slow with mushrooms. Mushrooms are very difficult to learn, and expertise takes years. Stick with the obvious, such as oyster mushrooms, lobsters, chanterelles, morels, boletes, puffballs – these are easy to identify and understand. But keep in mind mushrooms can affect people different ways, and many can be difficult to digest even after long cooking, such as oyster and lobster mushrooms.

Try sampling wild plants on an empty stomach with a clean palate. If you’ve just had a burger and fries, that dandelion is not going to taste like much.

Avoid plants growing in areas that may have potentially been subjected to the dumping of toxic wastes.

Especially if you live in an urban or high-traffic area, avoid plants growing immediately next to roadsides, or anything with a sticky blackish residue. This could be solidified air pollution!

Don’t try eating wild peas. Even though some can look very much like garden peas – most are poisonous.

Avoid the carrot family if you’re a novice, and you won’t have any worries about being seriously poisoned by wild edible plants. Species like water hemlock and poison-hemlock can kill you. Harvesting plants like wild carrot are not worth the risk of confusing it with a deadly relative, unless you really know what you’re doing.

Source:http://www.wikihow.com/Find-Wild-Edible-Plants

Make an Evacuation Checklist

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You wake with a start in the middle of the night. Someone is banging on your front door. A gas main has broken one block over. You have 10 minutes to get out of your house. What do you do? An up-to-datechecklist for evacuations is the key.

How you respond to a scary scenario depends on a wide variety of things, but comes down to one key factor: How prepared are you to leave your house?

During a wildfire event several years ago out west, our friends had to evacuate their home. They initially believed their home would be safe but an unexpected shift in the wind required them to leave very quickly. They were not at all prepared but loaded up their minivan, drove out of harm’s way, and to a community shelter. Fortunately, their home was spared and they were able to return two days later. When they unpacked their car, they realized that what they took out last was what was packed first.

What was it that they, in their panic, decided to put into the car first to save it from wildfire?

Their bowling balls.

You know what never made it into their car?

Their important paperwork that was in a filing cabinet, which wasn’t fireproof.

They simply weren’t prepared to evacuate and when suddenly told to get out, they weren’t in a proper mental state to make the best decisions.

With some events, like a hurricane, you may have hours or days to plan how to leave your home and to get packed up. Other incidents like a broken gas main, nuclear power plant incident, or a chemical spill require you to leave quickly and usually come with no advanced warning. Being told suddenly you must leave your home is no time to be making important decisions regarding what to put in your car.

Know how to plan for 2 types of evacuations: urgent and planned.

Make an evacuation checklist

Below is our list (made more basic and a little less personal for this article) that we’ll use upon deciding to evacuate our home. Since we have teenagers, all items on the list can be performed by anyone. If you have younger kids, you may want to have a separate list of things they can do.

Our plan is that one person controls the list and assigns the tasks. When a job is complete, the person gets the next task. Each action is placed in order of importance in case the entire list can’t be completed. If time has run out, we drop to the “Final Actions” portion and go.

Evacuation To Do List
Shoes on
Animals in crates
Bug out bags in car
Pet supplies in car
Emergency binder in car
Purses/wallets/cell phones/chargers in car
Fireproof safes in car — (In a house fire, leave the safes where they are and just get out!)
Supply bins in car
Water bottles in car
Pack additional personal items and put in car
Pack additional clothing items and put in car
Pack additional food items and put in car

Optional Actions Based on Situation
Water off
Gas off

Final Actions
Animals in car
Lock all doors (pins in sliding doors)
Set security alarm
All people in car

Each family member has a list of three or four “personal items” that they want to have during the evacuation. This not only helps packing go more quickly (again, because the decisions have already been made), but also ensures that if someone isn’t home, the others can grab the correct items. For my family, these items include specific photo albums, laptop computers and external drives, stuffed animals, and prized possessions.

Use this Last Minute Checklist for items that can’t be pre-packed, such as medications.

Be sure the list is somewhere accessible to all. We keep ours laminated and attached via carabiner to a bug out bag.

“Evacuation Drill!”

As with any preparedness activity, running through a practice drill is the only way to know if your plan will work. Set aside some time when your family doesn’t expect it, and announce, “EVACUATION DRILL!” Go through the entire process of actually loading these things into the car just as if you are actually leaving your home.

Set a timer and see how long it takes to get through the whole list. You may discover that moving a supply bin is a two person job, or that items must be placed in your car in a particular way in order to fit everything in the trunk. You don’t want an emergency to be the first time you test your list and your family.

“If the generals don’t panic, the troops won’t panic.”

Not only does an evacuation list provide you with a pre-determined plan that will ensure you have what you need when you leave your home, but it will also help alleviate panic in the process. As you lead your family to safety, you’ll be doing so in a more calm manner, which will help everyone around you remain calm as well. Evacuating your home will be a stressful time, but with a bit of preparedness, it doesn’t have to be a time of chaos.

Download Free Emergency Checklist

Source:  http://thesurvivalmom.com/checklist-for-evacuations/

No Gas for You

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By: Tom Chatham

The availability of fuels in society is what literally makes the wheels go around. The U.S. is addicted to petroleum products and we would find it hard to suddenly go without. Our fuel supplies and distribution system are just as fragile as our electrical grid and food supply chain and could be cut off for any number of reasons.

An EMP/CME, war or financial collapse are just some of the situations that could cut our supplies and leave the nation in a very bad situation. Without liquid fuels we won’t get to work, go to the grocery store, grow process and transport food, or mine and transport fuel such as coal to keep the power on. We may not be able to get shipments of goods from overseas such as food, clothing, building materials or oil. The sudden lack of fuel would shut down society as we know it.

In a technologically advanced country it is only prudent to have sufficient backup systems to enable society to continue functioning if a catastrophe should happen. Fuel is one of the linchpins of an advanced society and contingencies should be in place to replace conventional supplies in an emergency.

While we have the ability to create several different types of fuel locally in an emergency, most of them require a feedstock that we must grow and process before they can be used. Fuels such as alcohol and bio-diesel are good for emergencies but will be difficult to acquire in many places such as urban areas where the crops cannot be grown in sufficient quantity to be viable. Even if these fuels were produced in rural areas in quantity, we would still need to use a considerable percentage of the fuel for transport to other areas just as we need to burn petroleum for transport of gas and diesel today. A more widely available source of fuel needs to be used to insure availability in most areas.

The most widely available source of fuel that we have is wood. It can be used in many different ways from wood stoves for heat to producing steam power to producer gas for vehicles and generators. Wood is a versatile fuel that can be used on site in its raw form with little modification and can be procured almost anywhere from locally available sources.

The most prominent use of wood fuel today is for heating. Those that have a wood stove and a supply of wood have the ability to produce heat to stay warm and cook food when other forms of power are not available. These capabilities are tremendous in themselves when times of crisis arrive but with a few additions to your wood burning accessories you can increase your capabilities many times.

A wood gas production unit burns wood in an oxygen starved environment to create a flammable gas that can be used to run most gasoline engines. These units can be of moderate size and provide the fuel needed to run a car or generator when needed. A unit can be attached to the rear of a vehicle to provide power for road use to enable transportation when no liquid fuels are available otherwise. The use on agricultural equipment can assure the continued production of food products to insure a supply of food for the population. Wood chips provide the fuel for the unit and 16 to 20 pounds of wood will equal about one gallon of gasoline. In a fuel emergency this type of unit can help to provide transportation and electricity reducing the hardships you will be facing.

An old truck with a producer gas system can provide you with many capabilities while keeping your investment relatively low. Not only can this vehicle provide you with transportation but with a few additional items, can provide you with a backup power source. The addition of a few deep cycle batteries to the cargo area of the vehicle connected together and connected to the vehicles charging system utilizing a battery isolator, they can be connected to a power inverter to provide AC power to your home in a limited way. This system will allow you to not only have emergency transportation but limited power as well.

As mentioned earlier, a fuel disruption can also cause a power disruption if it continues for very long. This can put you in a very difficult position unless you have sufficient backup systems to provide for your needs. This one system can provide many uses while depending on only one fuel source that is locally available in most cases. In an urban environment where a wood stove and firewood can be used, this system is a logical fit to enhance your resources. Where a wood stove cannot be used, a vehicle equipped with the system outlined can be kept anywhere a typical vehicle can be kept. The amount of wood fuel will be limited but can enable you the ability to relocate when others can not.

An enhanced system where a slide in camper is placed on the truck and battery storage is located under the truck bed and the producer gas system is located on a swingout carrier on the rear bumper can provide you with a portable shelter, transportation and power unit all in one. In an urban environment, a unit such as this can make a prolonged disruption of fuel and power a more survivable event by allowing relocation to a less dangerous area while maintaining a reasonable living standard.

While supplies can be cut off in disasters they can also be cut off on purpose in some cases. A terrorist action targeting production and distribution systems can happen at any time and even the government might cut supplies if they wish to restrict movement by the population in any way. While it is possible to store large quantities of fuel it is also required in many places to notify the local authorities of this storage due to fire regulations which may result in them confiscating your fuel in crisis situations. The storage of wood is not as regulated in many cases and allows the stocking of fuel reserves without much notice from locals.

The ability to restock your fuel supply from multiple sources frees you from the limiting factors placed on society by energy sources, regulations and people in general. A producer gas system will allow you the flexibility to take advantage of opportunities that the general public will not. While others will be reeling from shortages, you will remain mobile and well supplied with power.

The ability to fuel your vehicle may also open up job opportunities during a shortage. Products will still be needed by the population and being able to transport some of those products can earn you a regular income and the ability to provide yourself with free fuel will make you very competitive in the transport market.

Where might you get a supply of wood if you own no woodlot? You can buy it of course in the form of cord wood which can also supply a wood stove. You may be able to get a free supply from neighbors in the form of tree limbs and cuttings. Another source is the many tree cutters that clear the power lines around the nation. They cut and chip truckloads every day and must dispose of the chips somewhere. You may be able to get an ample supply just for asking. Having a few hand tools to cut limbs for fuel from local sources is advisable should you find yourself on the road and in need of fuel in an emergency evacuation.

This fuel source has the ability to replace the current fuels we require and provide unlimited energy for independent homesteads in emergency as well as normal circumstances. The ability to produce local energy on a sustainable basis provides the nation with security in many forms that cannot and should not be dismissed for the sake of convenience. The availability of cheap, renewable energy sources at the local level will be necessary in years to come if our energy situation changes drastically in a negative way.

10 ways to involve your family in Prepping

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Prepping doesn’t have to be an individual responsibility, it can (and should be) a shared experience which involves the entire family.  Of course one has to go about it the right way if considering how to involve the kids, no 7 year old wants to be handed a 4 page spreadsheet with the instructions: “go conduct an inventory of the entire food storage room and rotate items as necessary.”  Similarly while one spouse might enjoy the thrill of all things survival and prepardness the other might be less than enthusiastic, so finding ways to break the ice in order to get them involved (and engaged) can be tricky.  Whatever your method might be the end goal should be the same, finding a way to get everyone involved while making the process enjoyable.  Here are a few suggestions on how to achieve that goal.

1. Label turning at the store.  I made this a fun game with my daughter when out shopping for groceries.  We would try to find items that had the longest expiration date, depending on what section we were in.  She would always be so proud to find something that had a 2 to 3 year expiration date,  “hey dad look at this can of beans, it doesn’t expire until 2015!”

2. Altoids survival kits.  I recently made one of these kits, and really there is no rule that says you have to use an Altoids tin either.  Obviously not for small children (unless they are supervised) but if you have a few kids you could challenge them to come up with their own version of a survival kit based on what is lying around the house.

3. Inventories.  While not high on the “most fun ever” list inventories still need to be conducted.  It’s a great way to involve everyone and to ensure that everyone knows the scope and location of the preps in your home.  This way if you ask little Johnny to grab a can of beans from the shelf he will know exactly where to go, and which can to grab (based on shelf life rotation).

4. Television.  There are some shows out there that the entire family can watch together, Doomsday Preppers and Doomsday Bunkers being a couple of the most popular.  During commercial breaks or after the show you could conduct a critique of what was shown, what everyone liked and what they thought could be improved.

5. Tracking hygiene supplies.  How many rolls of TP does your family use in a month?  How long will a tube of toothpaste last in your home?  Assign one of the kids to track the usage of your hygiene items, every time a roll of TP is changed out it gets annotated.  By assigning responsibility and telling that person how important it is you make them feel like they are truly helping the family out (which they are).

6. Construct a bugout bag.  This one can be a fun one because it’s more than just stuffing things into pockets.  This is an opportunity to discuss what each item is, why it is important and also why it deserves a place in the bag (versus other less important items).  Each person in the home should have their own Bugout Bag which creates a great opportunity for them to utilize a little of their own creativity.

7. Use that wheat grinder.  Experiment a little bit with that wheat grinder you bought but have never used, I’m pretty sure all of those #10 cans of winter wheat that came with your year’s supply of food won’t miss one can if you break it open.  Grind up some winter wheat and have a hardtack baking contest, see who can make the least edible out of the bunch (your initial results may be pretty terrible).  By experimenting you learn what not to do if the time ever comes when you can’t afford to waste any precious food.

8. Assign responsibilities.  In one recent article I wrote about how to organize a survival community by assigning various responsibilities (medical, communications, security etc).  The same could be done on a much smaller level at home, putting someone in charge of certain parts of your prepping plan.  For example in my house my wife is in charge of all of the medical supplies.  One of my daughter’s responsibilities is maintaining all of our communications equipment.

9. Learn a new skill.  Often overlooked are the skills involved in a good survival / prepping strategy.  I’m not saying that you should send your wife off to learn how to become a blacksmith, or one of the kids to a welding academy on the weekends.  Rather keep it simple, like learning how to make fire without matches or training how to tie certain knots with rope.  These are skills that are very important but can still be done out on the back patio during an evening after work.

10. Shooting.  Last but certainly not least, get the family involved in all aspects of shooting.  Firearms safety should always be paramount for new shooters and the more training each person gets the less likely they are to be tentative around guns.  Safety training, shooting drills and learning how to properly clean guns can be a family event.  I believe the best way to train kids about guns is to educate them about how serious they are and what great responsibility is involved for those who own them.  This versus hiding a gun in the closet and hoping that little Johnny never finds it (he will).

Chatham Emergency Management continues hurricane preparations

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SAVANNAH, GA. (WJCL) The official start of hurricane season is a little more than two weeks away.

Emergency agencies continue to test out their preparedness.

Wednesday, Chatham Emergency Management and other agencies tested out its Points of Distribution plan.

Chatham County residents volunteered for the exercise by lining up and driving through the POD site to receive free supplies, such as bottled water and other necessities in the event of a disaster.

“What we’re simulating here is folks don’t have access to clean water for an extended period of time,” said Jim Butterworth, Dir.-Georgia Emergency Management Homeland Security. “So we’re providing bottled water, we’re providing filters for water systems, so that as the community gets back up to speed people that are living here can get back to a normal life.”

Chatham Emergency Management, Georgia Emergency Management and the Georgia National Guard all took part in the exercise.

Source: http://wjcl.com/2015/05/13/chatham-emergency-management-continues-hurricane-preparations/

ESSENTIAL SKILLS NEEDED TO STORE PREPPER SEEDS PROPERLY

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  • HAGA Reveals 2 Essential Skills Needed to Store Prepper Seeds Properly

Incline Village, NV, May 03, 2015 –(PR.com)– A spokesman for Home and Garden Americarecently shared two important skills that all survivalists should learn when it comes to storing their prepper seeds for emergency situations. Proper seed storage plays a major role in survival gardening, and should be included in any household’s survival plan.

“Survival gardening is crucial to anyone planning a doomsday preparedness program. The current interest in survival skills and emergency preparedness items has created a whole new market in survival prepping wares. Since most people don’t really have the background necessary to evaluate their needs during a crisis situation, they often overlook the role that a good stock of garden survival seeds would play,” the spokesman stated.




“We have identified two essential skills that survivalists would need when it comes to using any seeds that they had stored away for emergencies. First is the ability to successfully store the seeds so that they will perform right when you need them to. Second is knowing how and when to plant them for the best results,” he continued.

“Planting seeds properly in the right soil will ensure that you have something to eat for the long-term. Storing seeds from the vegetables you grow will provide a never-ending supply of wholesome food for you and your family,” he went on.

“These two things are covered in a downloadable PDF document that we’ve made available to everyone who buys our seeds. The PDF contains all the critical information that a prepper needs to store their survival seeds. There are clear instructions on storing the seeds for either short-term or long-term use, as well as for refrigerating and/or freezing the seeds. Our seeds are packaged in a way that will hold up well when being stored. We don’t vacuum seal our seeds because they are living organisms that require a certain amount of air in order to survive,” he concluded.

More information can be obtained on Home and Garden America’s website.

About
Chuck Harmon is an expert in the field of survival gardening. He collects heirloom prepper seeds to secure a continuous food supply.

Is our Government Preparing for Civil Unrest with Microwave Cannons?

Is our own government preparing for massive civil unrest or civil war?  Our own government is about the launch the largest domestic training exercise in US history and they don’t have conventional weapons that they use overseas.  They are transporting crowd control devices.  They appear to be preparing.  Are you prepared?

What are Microwave Cannons?

Rumors are surfacing and becoming substantiated about a massive military preparedness drill and it is not Jade Helm as the Pentagon claims. According to the U.S. Army website, Jade Helm is a multi-state training exercise  for over seas mission preparedness, taking place July 15 through Sept. 15 with members of U.S. Army Special Operations Command and service members from the military’s four branches. While the exercise is taking place across seven states, the Special Operations Forces are only training in five states: Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado.  Under the cover of Jade Helm some believe another un-publicized training exercise is being conducted.  These covert drills are known as Operation Red Flag.  Operation Red Flag is possibly a civilian suppression drill running at the same time and under the guise of Jade Helm which could be preparation for civil unrest or even civil war.

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The photo to the right of Microwave Cannons or “Military Active Denial System” were being transported through Reno Nevada on May 12th, 2015.  The pentagon had to go public in Texas as a build up of the Jade  Helm 15 exercise begins to prepare for this summer’s training.  They claim these training exercises are in preparation for over seas missions, but this begs the question.  Why are they transporting crowd control devices like the Microwave Cannons.

Popular Culture Promotes the Police State

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The New World Order, designed around a functional police state that is encouraged by continuous popular cultural messages, is apparent to even the most avid establishment apologist. Liberty and freedom, hardly ever mentioned in a positive light by the mass media, is a direct threat to the ruling class. The proliferation of degenerate behavior is lauded so that those who object to such conduct will be demeaned as outcasts of the decadent society. The imposition of a police state is necessary to coerce decent people into forced obedience.

Cultural celebrities and icons come and go, but their art often rings on for good or bad. Political propaganda, embedded in media projects, has transcended subliminal messages and now emphasizes in your face brashness. The breakdown of the traditional value society is so complete, that what was once viewed as insulting political disinformation now passes as a promotion for a loyalist NWO drama.

One such Showtime production is the pathetic Homeland series.

Rachel Shabi offers her review assessment in the piece; Does Homeland just wave the American flag?

“Instead, Homeland presents a retuned version of the same unshakeable assurance that, even when things are really complicated, American values are the fairest, the most right and the best. Sure, the series shows US forces doing terrible things: covering up a drone attack that kills civilians in Iraq; trigger-happy in a US mosque, leaving innocents dead there, too. But these are presented as necessary acts in pursuit of far worse crimes. Homeland’s core message is that the US means well, but sometimes has to do bad things; while the Arab and/or Muslim enemy doesn’t mean well and hence does unfathomably bad things. Not much of a progression really, is it?”

When the postmortem of the Patriotic Act era is dissected, the treason of intelligence community operations will be written in their full horror. The police state glorified in Homeland episodes is meant to prepare the public for the next stage of centralized oppression.

While cable or broadcast TV is so removed from Little House on the Prairie, today’s programming is designed to facilitate the psychological acceptance of the transition into a maximum lock down prison society.

In the essay, Mass Mind Control Through Network Television, Alex Ansary warns of the prison industrial complex.

“Turn on your local newscast. You have a few minutes of blue-collar crime, hardly any white collar crime, a few minutes of sports, misc. chit chat, random political jibber-jabber, and a look at the weather that no one is forecasting correctly. Is that what happened in your town? And we’re supposed to own the airwaves! The mainstream media openly supports the interests of the prison industrial complex. The stories focus on minority criminal groups, and exploit the real threat to appear much more dangerous than they are. Think about the growing per capita number of prisoners in the country. Then remember that this is happening at the same time that our prison boom began. The police on our streets have created criminals. The focus is to keep us in a state of fear, that way the elitists can attack any group they want to without fear of consequence. This is why the media is continuing to craft the timeless art of dehumanization.”

The cutting edge of mind control has long included the use of music and lyrics that produce subconscious meanings. Now the fascist messages in street music indoctrinate not only the youth but target to reinforce the despotic aspirations of TSA flunkies.

The article, The Transhumanist and Police State Agenda in Pop Music, provides two examples of globalist messages disguised as performances by Rihanna and Beyonce.

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“In hip-hop slang, the term “hard” usually refers to someone who is street-savvy, gritty, rebellious and who is decisively “not down with police”. Hard transposes this term to a military context. Her militaristic video features a gang of uniformed men dancing under the orders of “General Rihanna”. We’ve come a long way from Public Enemy’s Fight the Power…it is now Submit to the Power. All of this military/dictatorial imagery is mixed with Rihanna’s sexy moves and outfits, appealing to the masses’ basest instinct: sex.”

“Beyonce walks on stage with a bunch of men dressed in riot gear… the type of unit a police state would use to repress opposition during popular turmoil. What are they doing in Beyonce’s performance? Contributing to permeate popular culture with police-state imagery.”

In the follow-up account, you can read the description mentioned in this report.

“Two recent examples of the perpetuation of the police state agenda in popular culture are Jay-Z and Kanye West’s music video No Church in the Wild and Adam Lambert’s Never Close our Eyes. In spite of, or perhaps because of, the fact that these songs are two different genres that aim to reach two different markets, they both contribute to the saturation of popular culture with police state imagery. While the authorities are not necessarily portrayed as the “good guys”, they are nevertheless there, as if their presence at any kind of public demonstration is normal.”

Contrast this dark brute force portrayal, with an age of optimism and hope. The peace and love themes in the music and political actions of John Lennon offer a rudimentary alternative to the grisly atrocities that the establishment commits routinely in the name of national security.

Gangster rap has little in common with All You Need is Love.

Rebellion of youth is natural, but resigned acceptance for submission to the police state is repression. The thirty-two years since his assassination has been one long road into oblivion. Read the “Interview With Investigative Reporter Jack Jones” for insights into the elimination of a dangerous messenger of peace.What a long way away from John Lennon’s lyrics in the song Revolution.

You say you’ll change the constitution

Well, you know

We all want to change your head

You tell me it’s the institution

Well, you know

You’d better free your mind instead

But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao

You ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow

Now, transition from the mental liberation of the Beetle era, and go back and examine the overt war crimes of the premier American despot, Abraham Lincoln. Biographer and jingoism jezebel LBJ groupie, Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln served as the backdrop of Steven Spielberg’s production of the recent released Lincoln film.

Alec Ryan writes in the American Renaissance:

“In the modern Hollywood narrative, all American history revolves around the Sacred Black Experience. Lincoln confirms this, bending historical truth to paint the most ruthless, bloody-minded, strong-willed American leader in history as some kind of smug, pre-post-modern storyteller croaking gamely through the difficulties like a paleface Obama sans teleprompter. The few Southerners are snarling, greasy bigots, recoiling before the erect, scowling black Union guards as they slink by during a meeting that led to the Hampton Roads peace conference of February 1865.

The film has throughout a sense of hushed awe, as if kowtowing to its own self-evident righteousness. There is no balance, no complexity, no sense of inner struggle or desperation. No opposing arguments. Its simplistic outlook more closely resembles the popcorn-psychology Avengers or Justice League rather than the serious historical movie that it clearly wishes to be acclaimed.”

The point of evaluating the worship adoration of the destroyer of the Republic with the authoritarianism of the newly re-elected president is to equate the despotism of both of their regimes. The imposition of the police state is part of the master plan to enslave the inherent autonomy of free citizens.

The insidious popular culture strips the institutions of traditional constitutional protections and separations of powers by diminishing the will of sovereign citizens to fight tyranny. The goal of imposing savage dehumanizing ruthlessness seeks to spread the Sons of Anarchy mindset into positions of authority. The merging of law enforcement into the ranks of criminal organizations becomes a common occurrence in the police state environment.

Once upon a time, the peace officer maintained order and balance. Now law enforcement deems that natural rights are arbitrary and conditional on obedience to government dictates.

911 provided the excuse to inflict a “War of Terror” under the disguise of national security. The Homeland program scripts that foster the ends justify the means are repugnant to every liberty advocate. Each day, the evolving police state is becoming more invasive and punitive.

A culture that glorifies jack booted thugs that order innocent citizens around as sinister terrorists destroys the essence of the nation. The New World Order essentially uses depressing indoctrination of the inevitability for submission to their mind game matrix.

The walking dead that accept a dependent society administered by bureaucratic goons, willingly tolerant a fate of bondage. Since texting is all the rage and the written language is sorely deficient, maybe the best way to communicate though the popular culture is to withdraw from the experience as much as possible. Try one on one contact; you might be surprised with the results.

SARTRE – December 2, 2012

‘Substantial’ El Nino event predicted

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By Helen BriggsBBC Environment correspondent

  • 2 hours ago
  • From the sectionScience & Environment
  • 185comments

The El Nino weather pattern, which can drive droughts and flooding, is underway in the tropical Pacific for the first time in five years, say scientists.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology predicted that it could be a “substantial” event.

The phenomenon arises from variations in ocean temperatures.

The El Nino is still in its early stages, but has the potential to cause extreme weather around the world.

US scientists announced earlier in April that El Nino had arrived, but it was described then as “weak”.

Australian scientists said models suggested it could strengthen from September onwards, but it was too early to determine with confidence how strong it could be.

“This is a proper El Nino effect, it’s not a weak one,” David Jones, manager of climate monitoring and prediction at the Bureau of Meteorology, told reporters.

“You know, there’s always a little bit of doubt when it comes to intensity forecasts, but across the models as a whole we’d suggest that this will be quite a substantial El Nino event.”

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Aftermath of flooding in California put down to El Nino

El Nino had been expected during last year’s record-breaking temperatures, but failed to materialise.

Weather patterns

The last El Nino five years ago was linked with poor monsoons in Southeast Asia, droughts in southern Australia, the Philippines and Ecuador, blizzards in the United States, heatwaves in Brazil and extreme flooding in Mexico.

El Nino is a warming of the Pacific Ocean as part of a complex cycle linking atmosphere and ocean.

It is known to disrupt weather patterns around the world, and can bring wetter winters to the southwest US and droughts to northern Australia.

The consequences of El Nino are much less clear for Europe and the UK.

Research suggest that extreme weather events like El Nino will become more intense as global temperatures rise.

A Doomsday Prepper’s Guide to Personal Finance

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For Richard Duarte, surviving the end-of-the-world-as-you-know-it isn’t just a possibility; he’s lived it. In 1992, he and his family fled their home in South Florida with only the clothes on their back, after Hurricane Andrew swept through and destroyed their house. Half an hour after the storm passed, and long before rescue or cleanup teams arrived, looters entered his neighborhood. 

“Your whole world is turned upside down,” says Duarte, an attorney and author of two survival books, including his newest one. “Living in Florida, I knew Andrew wouldn’t be the last disaster, so I’ve done a lot of research since to find out what the average person can do.” 

When you think “Doomsday preppers,” you may think of survivalists building underground bunkers, stocking up on a several years’ worth of food, or arming themselves against marauding mobs. And some certainly are doing that. But “prepping” takes a variety of forms and being prepared for a worst-case scenario isn’t as out there as it may seem to some. Whether it’s a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or pandemic — or the loss of a job, or the death or disability of the family breadwinner — you aren’t likely to regret time spent on basic preparation. 

Get Organized 

“Legal and financial preparations are probably the most neglected,” says Duarte, a Miami-based attorney. “People are busy with their lives they’ve got a million things going on,” he says, and essential tasks are often neglected. He explains that every crisis or disaster is also followed by a rebuilding and reconstruction phase. “If you go through an event like I did where the house is blown away, you won’t have the access to those documents,” he says.

Organize your documents into three categories: 

  • crucial
  • important
  • nice to have 

Crucial, for example, would include your will, power of attorney and the title to your home or car, for example. Start there and make copies. It’s also a good idea to back those up digitally, either on a removable hard drive or flash drive. Then make sure the originals are stored in a separate, safe place, such as a safe deposit box. 

Duarte has also been a victim of identity theft — it took him a year to straighten out — so he’s especially conscious of the need for being organized financially. He also advocates the use of strong passwords to help reduce the risk of ID theft. 

Stash Some Cash 

Keeping some cash on hand can be helpful. “One of the biggest vulnerabilities we have as a society is that everything is electric,” he says. “There are very few things that will work if there is a widespread power outage in a large metropolitan area.” ATMs can go down, and store clerks won’t be able to run credit cards. So he recommends keeping some small bills in your purse or wallet in case you need to catch a cab or put gas in the car, for example, and keep some cash at home. 

Many preppers recommend stockpiling gold or silver in case of an economic collapse where currency loses its value. Duarte doesn’t have a problem with owning these precious metals as a way to diversify an investment portfolio, but he is skeptical about their usefulness in day-to-day transactions after a disaster. “Folks can’t eat gold and silver,” he says. 

Remember the Essentials 

Food and water are essential to survival, so having enough on hand to survive a Katrina-like event is wise. The core survival elements, Duarte says, are “food, water, first aid, shelter, self-protection, temperature regulation and sanitation/hygiene and knowing when to stay put and when to get out.” Store at least one month’s worth of emergency supplies if you can, but if you can’t, start with a smaller amount and work your way up. For example, on his blog he recommends spending an additional $10 a week on groceries that store well, and then rotating unused items into the menu periodically so they don’t expire and go to waste. A first aid kit is also a must-have. And you’ll need to think about how you’ll protect yourself in dangerous situations. 

Knowledge Is Invaluable 

Skills can be more valuable than “stuff” in the event of a disaster, Duarte believes. He explains: 

One example is water purification/disinfection. After a disaster it’s not uncommon for water to be contaminated and/or unsafe to drink unless it’s treated. If you purchase a water filter (stuff) and throw it in a closet, you take the risk that the filter may not work, may be damaged or may just plain fail when you need it most. On the other hand there are at least half a dozen ways to disinfect suspect water (skills) if you know how — heat (boiling), chemicals (chlorine bleach, iodine) solar radiation (SODIS), ultraviolet light (UV), etc.  With skills you always have other options, even if the “stuff” fails or you have no “stuff.” 

Another example is first aid and medical. It’s very important to have first aid supplies but it’s even more important to know the proper way to treat a sick or injured person. All the supplies in the world will be of little use if you don’t know how to use them. If you have the skills you can always improvise. Of course it will always be better to have both skills and stuff. 

“Some people will prepare for extreme events yet they won’t prepare for a house fire, or a loss of a job,” he says. “Start with the basics. Start small.”