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Thursday, August 26, 2010

12 Events That Will Change Everything

I though this article was pretty interesting.

Polar Meltdown
Extra Dimensions
Extraterrestrial Intelligence
Nuclear Exchange
Creation of Life
Room-Temperature Superconductors
Machine Self-Awareness
Cloning of a Human
Pacific Earthquake
Fusion Energy
Asteroid Collision
Deadly Pandemic


Prepare: SHTF Summer Reading

The economy stinks but I like to read. I can't afford to set foot in a bookstore and leave with something, so I do most of my reading online or at the library. If you enjoy good SHTF fiction online, here are some neat sites and particular stories to check out!

All Roads Lead Somewhere
On Frugal Squirrels Forum
Synopsis: Father takes son and daughter to old family farm as the infrastructure of the US tears itself apart due to terrorist attacks. As the world falls apart, headstrong and independent minded daughter has to lead extended family as they deal with the collapse of society.
Yes, FS requires registration, but it is one of the oldest prep communities online and worth the free membership.

Honey Grove
On Frugal Squirrels Forum
Synopsis: Frugal family in rural area of Michigan deals with consequences of crippling EMP strike. While this story line is familiar, the family and their lifestyle is noticiably different than characters in other stories. The story is not completed, but regular installments have been coming. Well written and lots of good information without going overboard on details and instructions.

Life As We Knew It
On WhenSHTF forum
Synopsis: Mega earthquake and subsequent eruption of Yellowstone caldera disrupt life in the US and around the world. Construction inspector takes his mother home to Oregon and ends up having to deal with an end of the world messianic preacher and the fall of the US. Very different point of view in SHTF fiction. This is a completed story so read the whole thing. Note: there are a few chapters which have little content other than the author's opinion on politics, religion, etc. but still a very good read.

On WhenSHTF forum
Synopsis: Isolationist US president sets in motion the collapse of the US economy and thus the rest of the world. A family who had been in the process of relocating to a rural home is caught in the middle with a group of friends and neighbors. This story has some chapters which are extremely detailed (grocery lists, inventories, etc) but is a good read. The story is continuing but there are several hours of completed work available.

The Fall of Europe (and the sequel Fall From Glory)
On SHTEconomy Blog
Synopsis: Very interesting take on the SHTF story which follows a young American IT consultant as he gets stranded in Europe after a natural disaster and collapse of several EU governments. Follow the tale as he fights his way from one location to the next in his bid to return home to Idaho. Fall of Europe is part one and Fall From Glory is part two and in process.

Preparedness Society
Check out the fiction section. Most of the stories come from Jerry D Young, but there are two complete stories from "Gypsy Sue" which are very good.

The above should provide hours of late night computer reading for SHTF fiction fans out there. Enjoy and let me know what you thought.

Prepare: When is it time to leave the shelter?

Most of us prep so we do not end up at the mercy of others for food and shelter. However, there are scenarios where we may end up in a public shelter of some sort or another. For planning purposes, when is it best to get out of the shelter once one is inside?

We all remember the scenes from New Orleans during Hurrican Katrina. The thousands pressed into the convention center without food, facilities or medical aid. The trash, waste and despair. All of us said silently, yet in unison, "That will never happen to me..".

Sadly, there are some scenarios where any of us could end up in a public shelter. For instance..

- You and others, (co-workers, family, etc) are away from home in a strange city and a natural or man made disater happens. Without a permanent address, travelers, such as yourself, are being relocated to a central facility.

- Your neighborhood or home is in the path of the disaster and you and family are forced to flee. Homeless, you are relocated to a shelter or camp.

- You are picking up children or loved ones from a school, hospital or place of employment and the authorities force you to shelter in place rather than return home.

The best plans of mice and men can go up in smoke in almost any disaster.

If in a public shelter, make the best of the situation. Do everything possible to stay together as a group. Volunteer to help out as those who cooperate often end up with better living conditions and may be able to make requests of the authorities such as permission to leave first. Be aware of security and band up with others who have the same mindset as there is safety in numbers.

However, unless things get better, than the shelter situation will deteriorate. Here are some warning signs to look for.

- Supplies start to run low and resupply is sporadic.
- Utilities, (water, electricity, etc) fluctuate.
- Uniformed and trained aid workers start diminishing their presence.
- Self management by shelter residents is encouraged or implemented. This means the authority figures are about to pull out; Anarchy is around the corner.
- There are signs that segregation is coming; families are to be separated, children from parents, etc.
- Mandatory work duties are imposed (i.e. draft or indentured servitude).

When any of the above starts to rear their heads, it's time to get out of Dodge.

- Start self rationing meals and water as you will need food and water once you leave the shelter.
- Locate maps and exit routes from the shelter and surrounding areas.
- Band up with others who are willing to leave the shelter as well. Make a plan and have alternate plans in case the authorities try to stop you from leaving.
 - Know where you are going to go, how you will get there and how to avoid being detained and returned to the shelter.
- Accept that most likely the situation outside of the shelter is going to be worse, but there is a chance that once away from the disaster area you stand a better chance.

Some advice from my own experiences..

Whenever I travel for business or vacations, I make a list of anyone I may know in the area.  A friend's or relative's home is far better than a public shelter.

Have alternate transportation. Taking a plane to another city and depending upon public transport leaves fewer options. Consider having a rental car or other means of transportation no matter where one goes as it means a way out.

Always, always, always know the lay of the land wherever you go, how to get home and alternate routes.

Always have a fall back location in the event your home is uninhabitable.

Sometimes a public shelter is inevetiable, but make a plan to get out when things go south.

Self Reliance in 4 Steps

As many of you know I have been on a month long excursion.  While trekking across the Eastern side of the United States, I have had to give up the luxury of a home, washing machine, electricity and my all time favorite — air conditioning.  But being without was really not as bad as we make it out to be.  Just by cutting out all of the clutter and junk in my life, I have never felt more at peace and free.   All I have are items to sustain my basic needs.
While I am traveling, I am keeping certain prepping concepts in mind and applying them every chance I get.   As preppers, we have learned over the years to apply these concepts to our life in order to move toward the ultimate goal of self reliance.   Once these concepts are applied to one’s life, the unnecessary clutter in your life is removed, the right mindset sets in, and  freedom ensues.

Adapt to Change

Adapting is how humans evolved, so it is not too far off course to think we can adapt to unforeseen changes.  The only way to survive change is to work with it, rather than against it.  When a person is out of their comfort zone, taking the good with the bad will keep one’s mindset positive.  The only  constant in this world is change.


Simplify your life and keep only what you need to live.  In this day and age, over consumption is almost encouraged through commercials, advertisements in magazines, and even through friends and family.   In all honesty, most of the items we have around our homes are more for aesthetic reasons rather than for need.  But, when a person is on the road, one must do away with certain so called “luxury” items in order to utilize needed space for necessities. The perspective of simplifying is not a new one for preppers, but we can always find another way to simplify our lives.  Getting out of debt is a way of simplifying life, as well as finding ways to not use electricity, or even having a garage sale to get rid of unneeded items is a great way to simplify and make money.

Be Efficient

Keeping essential items organized and put up properly will keep everything organized for when you need it.  As much as I like my ”organized piles,” they are not efficient, and I need to make the necessary changes in my home.  Finding new ways to keep order of needed preps, tools and essential gear in the home will save on headaches and frustration of searching high and low for misplaced items.  Begin by making lists, and organizing and grouping like items together.  For example, if a person is organizing their toiletry items, group the items together and organize them appropriately in a spot where you can get exactly what you need when it is needed.

Share Your Knowledge

Self education and self reliance go hand in hand.  In a blog I recently read, it stated that “to show self-reliance is to manifest great moral success.”  The only way for real change to take place is to share knowledge with others.   Have you ever heard of the hundredth monkey effect?  The hundredth-monkey effect is a supposed phenomenon in which a learned behavior spreads instantaneously from one group of monkeys to all related monkeys once a critical number (100) is reached.  By generalization it means the instantaneous, paranormal spreading of an idea or ability to the remainder of a population once a certain portion of that population has heard of the new idea or learned the new ability.
Just think of the effects that the movement of self reliance and personal responsibility would have on a society!  Perhaps, this is what the world needs to get moving in the right direction.  If enough people step out of their comfort zones, and learn to do things on their own accord, this could catapult the self reliance movement.