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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"Bugout Versus Hunker" Short Story by Christopher Young - Chapter 4


Sunrise began about 7:15 AM. When the sun started to
shine in the window, Charles and his wife woke up. It
was after their usual wake up time, but they were fairly
sure work would not need them today. Both worked in
places that required power. The house was cold. Charles
got on his heavy bathrobe, and slippers. Went to the
cellar. Find that the fire had gone down to coals.
Charles blew on the fire, and the orange provided some
warmth. A couple sticks of kindling lit up, and then
some heavier wood. Soon, the heat was coming out of
the wood stove.

Charles wife had plugged in the coffee pot, and poured
a pot of water into the back of the pot. The coffee
grounds were in the filter in the basket. She was
looking at the power switch that usually glowed orange.
"Lectric is off, honey...." Charles said. "What to do?"
she replied. Charles turned the burner knob on the gas
range. The familiar hissing noise occured, but not the
tick, tick, tick of the electric igniter. Charles turned
off the gas, as the familiar mercaptan odor came into
the kitchen. Charles went to the cellar, and came back
with a new Aim N Flame, and opened the package. He turned
the knob on the gas range, and lit the burner with the
Aim N Flame. The warmth felt good, so he turned on a
second burner. From a kitchen cabinet, Charles brought
out a camping style coffee pot. He took the glass decanter
from theddrip coffee pot, and used it to fill the camping
coffee pot. Pulled the basket of grounds out, and poured
them into the basket for the camping coffee pot. "Looks
like we're camping in, for a while, dear."

Charles opened the freezer. The familiar fan blower was
silent. He removed a can of orange juice, and pulled the
plastic seal. Put the frozen OJ into a pitcher, and added
three cans of water. "We'd best to use up all the frozen,
first. Won't last long, with the power off." "How long you
figure the power off" his wife asked. "Dunno. But we better
figure for a long time."

Charles son came down the stairs, from the bathroom.
He pulled out a chair and sat at the table. "What's
going on?" he asked. Charles told him as much as he
knew from the radio. "No school, Dad?" the boy asked.
"No. At least not for a couple days." The boy started
to drink orange juice, and asked what was for breakfast.

Butch had decided that he'd have to get his family
as far out of the city as possible, gasoline or not.
He left the truck stop, and driven away from the city.
His wife asked at one point, should we head for home
instead? Butch gave her a look that was a bit too
cruel. She decided not to say anything more. They
had gone about 20 miles out the old logging road,
when the truck sputtered, and died. "Everyone out!"
Butch called back over his shoulder. Things would be
rough, but they would be sure to survive.

Butch opened the back door of the truck. He started
to load bags and equipment onto the ground, along
the road. Tent, bug out bags, cooking equipment, and
so on. Truly, they would be survivors. "My feet are
cold!" his daughter said. Butch looked down. Four
inches of fluffy white snow, along the side of the
road. There wasn't enough light from the stars, so
he took his six cell D Mag light, and pointed it at
her feet. Fuzzy pink slippers. The twins saw the
slippers, and started to giggle.

Butch realied she must have left her good boots in
the truck. He went and looked. The floor of the back
seat was empty. "Left em  home?" She nodded. Fortunately,
he had a spare pair of insullated boots in the back of
the truck. He got them out, and put them on the ground
for her to wear. "Why don't we just go home?" She asked.
He didn't have the time to explain that they were out of
gas. He just knew that they had to bug out to the hills
if they were to survive.

"Get all the gear you can. We might not be back for a
while." Butch's wife and three kids picked up their
bug out bags. Butch started for the tree line, which
was about 100 feet from the road. They would be safe,

At Charles house, his wife figured they should at least
call work, and be sure that they could stay  home. The
battery radio was on the kitchen table.  The radio
reporters had  predictably said that all school
districts were closed. They read through the list of
school closings, which took several minutes. Charles
wife picked up the cordless phone, and pushed the
button. Waiting for the dial tone. "Honey...." Charles
said. "Won't work without power. Have to use the old
phone." She didn't quite understand phones, but the
cordless phone handset still had some power, but the
base wasn't working. She went to the living room, and
picked up the corded phone. Now, she had dial tone.
Called work, but the phone there just rang and rang.
Charles was thinking about the complicated phone
systems they had, and probably no backup battery. Well,
with most of the world shut down, they could be
excused from missing a day of work. The boy finished
his breakfast, and decided to go back to bed. The
girls decided this would be a good day to play in
the snow, in the back yard.

About this time, Butch's family was about 100 feet
into the woods. Butch had managed to get the tent
set up, and the entire family was crammed into a
four man tent. This turned out to be a good thing,
because they had forgotten to bring sleeping bags.
They had put the one sleeping pad in the bottom of
the tent, and had piled on. The several people
helped to keep the tent warmer than it would other-
wise have been. Butch had gone out in the middle of
the night to pee, and had dragged back some branches
that would make a good fire.

Surviving Winter - Boosting Your Body's Immunity

As the winter season approaches, our body’s immune system needs to be healthy and strong enough for us to fight off the germs and viruses that can make us sick. A proper diet of foods that contain the necessary nutrients will help to boost your immunity during winter weather and keep you healthier as a result. A bad cold or the flu can easily sneak up on you if you fail to maintain a healthy diet. Eating healthy is the best way to maintain your immune system and thwart the germs and viruses encountered during the fall and winter seasons. A healthy immune system is your body’s best defense against the viruses and bacteria that can make you sick.
There are numerous foods that can boost your immunity and should be a part of your regular meals each day. There are numerous foods that can help you avoid the illnesses that can ruin your day. Here are just a few of the foods that can help you boost your immunity to the germs of winter.
1.) Fish which is high in Omega 3 is a great way to boost your immunity. Try to include servings of things like tuna, salmon or sardines in your diet.
2.) Foods that are rich in the mineral zinc can also help to boost your immune system. Try to include whole grain cereals such as oatmeal, along with nuts and seeds. Pumpkins seeds are a great source of zinc to help boost your immune system.
3.) Citrus foods such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes are great sources of vitamin C and will help to boost your body’s immune system.
4.) Onions and garlic are also helpful in giving your immune system a boost and always add flavor to your meal. You can also use red or green chili peppers in your meal plans.
5.) Yellow vegetables such as squash, pumpkin and sweet potatoes are also great foods to help boost your immune system and keep you healthy.
6.) Don’t forget the broccoli. Broccoli is an important vegetable in helping you maintain a healthy immune system.
Take some time to make sure you eat a proper diet and you’ll be able to survive the winter and avoid a bad cold or the flu in the process.
Broccoli….gotta love it!
Staying above the water line!

The Best Outdoor Motion Detector Light



How to choose the best outdoor motion detector light

There are three main criteria to picking the best outdoor motion detector light to fulfill your needs, be it for security or for convenience.

How far away, or at what distance will the motion detector sense movement before the light turns on

The sensing distance is very important for outdoor security when it is dark outside. If the purpose is for security, you definitely want the maximum distance possible. Being able to sense motion at long distances is where high quality motion detectors shine. This is where you get your money’s worth. If distance is not a big concern, then most any typical motion light will be OK.

How wide of a detection area does the motion detector sensor “see”

Outdoor motion detector lights are also rated by their detection pattern, including coverage width, or their sensing angle measured in degrees. For the best security protection, a 360 degree full circle coverage is absolutely the best. This will leave no dead zones whatsoever. A 180 degree half circle coverage may be good enough if the motion detector light is mounted against, or on an outdoor wall.

How much power or wattage, or how big or bright a light will the motion detector handle, or switch on

An outdoor motion detector light is also measured by how many watts that the total number of bulbs can be. The typical maximum total bulb power is often 150 or 300 watts, but high quality motion detectors can switch 300 watts and more. For security purposes, you want it bright, so a 300 watt rating is very good.


RAB Super Stealth

Having owned quite a lot of outdoor motion lights over time, I have found my absolute favorite, the RAB Super Stealth 360.
It will detect motion out to an incredible distance of 60 feet when mounted properly.
It has a 180 degree coverage detection pattern and also a 360 degree full circle coverage detection pattern facing down underneath it.
It will handle and switch 1,000 watts of power and comes in various light configurations including one with two 150 watt lamps.
There are many more high quality features integrated into this model including temperature compensation, high voltage spike protection, scanning LED’s, and RF immunity.

You get what you pay for, and this one is worth it. In fact, it is so good, that I have been inspired to post this review and recommendation to you for your protection and security.

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Modern Survival Blog

Make yourself valuable!

I think one of the things a lot of preppers don't think about, is a viable skill which will be in demand when SHTF and afterwards. If the power grid is down, there won't be a lot of work for telephone line repairmen.

I also doubt that tech support, office workers and food service folks, stock brokers, lawyers and such will be in much demand, either.

If you plan on surviving during SHTF and post-SHTF, eventually you'll need to barter for the things you need. Most currency will be worthless (Doesn't even burn long enough for warmth) and we'll be back in a situation where a man/woman survives based on the skills they know and their prosperity will be directly linked to what they can bring to the table.

So as I sat here thinking about that, I wondered what skills I could personally offer up that I might be able to provide a service to someone in exchange for a meal or clothing. I came to the realization that I don't have nearly enough proficiency in any "off the grid" skill to make myself valuable to others. Sure, I can start fires, but anyone with a lighter and some dry fuel can do the same thing.

So, for those of us who have cases of ammo in the closet, food stockpiled and think we're ready, what do we do when just having the basics isn't enough and the time comes that you need something? What do you have to offer that'll set you apart from the other 200 people who are trying to barter for the same things you want?

Here are some skills off the top of my head that I think would be valuable to learn before SHTF:

Soap making.
Soap will be highly valued when SHTF since grooming will be extremely important. With no hospitals, an infection could kill.

The ability to identify a game trail and make a successful hunt is a valuable skill that can provide meat, horn and hide to your inventory for bartering.

Sewing. (by hand)
A lot of people could probably stitch a torn article of clothing closed. But the ability to take someone's measurements and put together clothing that is comfortable and reliable seems to be a dying art in America.

Horse/Livestock grooming.
Horses need their hooves tended to and some livestock need special attention. Identifying potential domesticated animals in your area and perhaps getting some basic How-To books how their care might be a good investment.

Kind of unrealistic for most people, but if you were ever interested in the skill, now would probably be the time to invest by building a forge and getting a bellows and tools so you can practice. I doubt we'll be down to swords and axes but if you can produce nails, tools, horseshoes, hinges, fasteners, files, sharpeners, braces and other metal pieces, you could be the most valuable person in your area.

A gunsmithing kit could enable someone to effect basic repairs on broken firearms.

Ammo reloading.

First aid.
For your own personal saftey and to make yourself an asset, having some first aid skills will be important when SHTF.

Automotive mechanical skills
I don't know crap about vehicles. If SHTF and my car broke down I'd be high and dry. I'd have to trade some of my food or ammo for someone to change a part out.

Rope making
I'm not even sure what basic rope is made out of. This idea may not be realistic unless you live wherever the basic components for rope making are available.

Candle making
The Amish have us beat on this one for sure. I'm not even sure where to get the right kind of wax for candle making, let alone actually do it. But we'll all be using candles. It'll be in massive demand.

So, anyway. This is just a sort of off-the-cuff list. I'm hoping to jump start some brainstorming and get people thinking.

Prepping For: A Medical Disaster

I stopped into a client's office last week. As usual, I had a great conversation with his office manager who has been like a fixture in his office for nearly a decade. She is always there, morning to night, any time I stop by. She runs everything smoothly and effortlessly, she is a relatively young 40-something, and everyone relies on her--her kids, her husband, her extended family, the people in the office, and especially my client--she's like his right arm.

Fast forward to Sunday morning when I get a panicked call from my client (also a friend) saying that his assistant had had a massive stroke and had been flown to a Boston-area hospital and would I want to meet him there since I happened to be in the city this week. Of course I met him at the ER then checked back in with him the following day and found that the lady was still in a coma with a not-good prognosis.

If you would have asked me last week about the lady, I would have said that she looked like she would live to 90, now it looks like she may not make it through the week. The lesson here is that, like everything else we prep for, prepping for a medical emergency is something that needs to be done now, while we are still able to do it. Here's how:
  • Make sure that you have an updated Will, Living Will, and Medical Power of Attorney (where people can find them!).
  • Life and disability insurance is something that everyone who has debts/dependants should have.
  • If you don't have debt or dependants and have the cash available so that your next of kin can pay for your funeral, you may not need life insurance but disability insurance is a good idea for every adult. Health insurance is a must.
  • Although you/your staff/your spouse may be indispensable, the things that they know how to do shouldn't be a mystery to you/your spouse/your other staffers. Job action sheets or a Standard Operating Procedure manual are a good idea, both for your home and your business.
  • Cross training is also another good idea. I have seen small businesses where the one person who knew how to write paychecks was out ill/in the hospital/fired/etc and no one else knew how to do paychecks. Not something you want to try to figure out on a Friday afternoon with employees chomping at the bit. This goes for home-type activities as well. If there is something that the spouse "always does", you should probably learn how to do it as well.
  • Having a BOB at home and a BOB in the car for each family member is always a good idea. When the lady collapsed, her entire family hopped in the car and drove the few hours it took to get to the hospital while she was flown there. Obviously people aren't in the frame of mind to stop and pack a bag and remember to feed the cat and all of the other things that you need to do to adequately prepare for being away from home for a period of time. At least with a BOB, all of your must-haves will be with you.
  • Having a neighbor or friend you can rely on with a key to your home is also a good idea. Note the cat feeding above. They also may need to pick up your kids from school, check in on your elderly parents, etc.
  • You also need to have a contact list with you at all times. I have this list on my computer, on my cell phone, and in a printed version in my BOB. Medical emergencies usually require calling lots of people and providing lots of info, this is easier to do if you have the list of people to call at your fingertips.
  • If you or a loved one is in the midst of a medical emergency, this website (http://www.caringbridge.org/) is an excellent way to keep everyone updated without making/answering a hundred calls a day.
  • Have a responsible person with you at the hospital if at all possible. If one spouse is severely injured/ill, it is always best to have a stable/responsible person with the other spouse at the hospital because in the midst of trauma, the waiting spouse often hears "blah, blah, blah, serious, blah, blah, critical...". The friend can more easily take in all of the information and help with calls to relatives/explaining things to the waiting spouse/etc.
  • You need an emergency fund. The family of the lady I told you about above is now holed up in the hospital waiting room, and they also have a room at the hotel across the street from the hospital (in one of the more expensive cities in the country I might add). You will need extra money during a medical emergency for everything from food and beverages for the waiting family to hotel rooms, to gas to get back and forth from home to the hospital, and various other sundries.
  • Leave your final instructions with your attorney or in your safe deposit box. There may be many things that you are responsible for in your daily life that no one else will be able to figure out. What will happen with your blogs and websites? Have you been secretly sending support to a child your spouse doesn't know about? All of these sorts of things need to be planned for in the event of your demise/extended incapacity.
  • Don't keep stuff that you don't want others to know about. While cleaning out the (massive amount) of papers at my aunts place, I came across a few things that she probably never intended anyone to see. If this is the case, get rid of the items now.
  • Don't forget that it is important for all family members to know the basics about emergency first aid response.
So we are still in a holding pattern as far as the lady goes. Many prayers are being said on her behalf and there is always the possibility, no matter how remote, that she will recover, but her family, and indeed my friend's entire office is still reeling from the incident. Take the time now to prepare for this possibility.