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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Guest Post: What Brings You To Prepping?, By Northern Raider

© 2011Northern Raider
From the new British Serious Preppers Forum http://britishpreppers.freeforums.org/index.php

What has brought you to the prepping community, what is it that sets you apart from the rest of society, this brief article will attempt to explore this issue.

In my own case I started thinking about survivalism and preparedness for my family many years ago as a soldier in the British Army on exercise in Germany. We had laagered up for the evening and were stat around talking with our company commander, we had just received a new issue of the latest NBC equipment, Masks, Filters, Charcoal Impregnated Suits, Atropine pens, Cartons of Fullers earth etc.  We had chatted about the protection available to us as front line troops then one of the NCOs asked the Company Commander a question.

“Sir we have all this kit plus overpressure systems on our vehicles etc and I just read about the super bunkers being built in Corsham and Liverpool etc for the government and another in Canada for the Royal family to survive in. What shelters and supplies are available for our wives and kids back home if the Ruskies attack”

“Nothing, Nada, Zip”, was the reply from the Company Commander looking highly uncomfortable. Our government and Royal hangers on whilst ensuring their own safety and continuity in multi million pound shelters had decided it was not economically viable to provide similar protect not only for our families but also for the rest of the British people.

That was the trigger for me and the realisation that the government was NEVER going to offer any level of protection and support to my family that I could not do better myself.

From there I discovered other Brits with a similar viewpoint who were writing articles and letters to magazines such as Survival Weaponry and Techniques and Guns n Ammo in the US.

More and more people realised that the western governments propaganda that a nuclear war was unsurvivable and thus not worth preparing for was a load of rubbish, the UK government and its hangers on were digging holes all over the UK and commonwealth, the US was building NORAD and GREENBRIERS to protect its ruling and social elite.

News kept slipping through the net about the rich building safe havens on remote islands, and how both Russia and China were digging shelters to house and support millions of city dwellers.
Items about huge warehouses across the UK stocked with grain, frozen meat, etc were popping up as were tales about huge reserves of coal, oil, diesel and petrol being stored separately from the militaries war stocks.

The rich, influential and powerful were spending billions of pounds ensuring THEIR survival whilst telling us that any efforts to prepare were pointless. These ‘establishment’ lies have continued for decades but thanks to groundbreaking magazines like the AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE and the development of the INTERNET the truth has not only got out, but its also helped millions of people with similar concerns find other people just like themselves.

After the collapse of the USSR and the destabilising effect it had on global politics, plus the sudden massive influx of former soviet citizens wanting consumer goods like we have in the west and the same quality food, fuel, vacations, cars and electronics on top of their new found freedom.

The newly freed economies placed huge demands on the oil, gas, and food producers which started to push up prices, this occurred just as the threat from climate change, the threat to our energy supplies from Islamic extremists and an exponential increase in demand from China started causing not only price increases, but fluctuations and flaws in the chain of supply.

Weird weather, more demand from the increasingly wealthier eastern Europeans and Asians, ethnic unrest and Islamic terrorism started to push prices higher and higher at the very moment when we in the west started to see just how vulnerable our supply chain was. The guarantee of the lights coming on every time when the switch was turned or the gas fire lighting when the igniter was pressed was over. A crazed terrorist with a stick of dynamite could now severe a gas pipeline in some remote region of the world instantly creating chaos in multiple western nations.

Suddenly our food, power and fuel supplies were exposed as being very vulnerable and weak and the days of cheap reliable fuel and food were over.  In places like the US it was made worse by the realisation that the power distribution grid was worn out, dilapidated and life expired with the bill to replace it likely to cost billions of dollars scared the living daylights out of millions of Americans. It got worse when places like California found that due to new state laws it even as the richest state in the world could not generate enough electricity to serve its own needs, and was forced to buy in power from Canada.

Those issues drove even more intelligent people to question the status quo and decide to take steps to insulate and isolate themselves from the ever more expensive and insecure energy and food chain.

More people started looking into Prepping and Survivalism as they became truly alarmed by the constant wave of scandals over our food. Eggs infested with Salmonella, Mad Cow Disease and its subsequent skill of jumping species, Cattle being injected with steroids and hormones, Foot and Mouth outbreaks seeing entire regions stocks of cattle wiped out, Baby Formula tainted with toxic chemicals, Imported vegetables being fertilised and contaminated with untreated human waste as fertiliser, dangerous chemicals used as pesticides remaining on our food and not breaking down. Over fishing of our oceans, crops being converted into boil-fuel etc all made people stop and think.

The food issue triggered millions of people into looking at producing on a small scale their own healthy, pure and secure supplies of food supplies, small scale farming, homesteading, allotmenting all expanded massively in the late nineties and many of the people following this route also saw the wisdom in adopting more of the habits of self reliance many serious preppers use.

A further trigger for many people was the rise of Tribalism, Gang Culture, Civil Unrest and Ethnic Issues that grew to feature prominently in urban centres. The attempts by the Liberal left to force people to accept Multi-Culturalism only succeeded in creating more division as many indigenous native peoples found their own culture and value systems being changed to benefit the newcomers less tolerant attitudes. Recently national leaders such as Germany’s Angela Merkel, France’s Nikolas Sarkosi and Britain’s David Cameron have admitted that Multi-Culturalism has been a disaster but the damage has now been done.  Many of our cities boroughs are now clearly divided along race, religion and skin colours and hostility is never far from the surface.  The Islamic community in Britain is now wrongly blamed for intolerance of the majority white community and for the undeniable support for many extremist Imams and even terrorists their community harbour. This issue was made worse by the former Labour governments open border policy to immigrants, asylum seekers and false refugees many who turned out to be criminals, terrorists and petty thieves, some even terrorists from nations we were at war with.  Whilst sensible migration benefited Britain with things like migratory tradesmen from Poland helping the British economy, the cause was crippled by millions of ill educated, poor, unskilled foreigners arriving at our shores whose total grasp of English was to be able to say “Social Security” and “I claim Asylum”.  All these migrants pouring uncheck into many of our cities caused huge problems for the native peoples who found schools spending more on translators than on teachers, Briton who had waited decades on the waiting list for public housing found themselves being overtaken by large numbers of immigrants with large families in tow getting housed before they were.

Many of these recent arrivals formed gangs that preyed on the indigenous people; they also displaced many British families to a point that in many London boroughs white people became a minority. This caused the city dwelling Brits to adopt a practise first seen in Chicago USA called WHITE FLIGHT, where when unemployment and crime decimated the once thriving cities of Chicago and Detriot it caused the white community to migrate out to the suburbs or even out of the city itself leaving the poorer and less mobile black and Hispanic communities to dominate the city centres. It was to this vacuum both Asian migrants and Muslim fundamentalists found a welcoming place to fill. Much the same is happening now in London, Birmingham, Sheffield, Leeds etc.  The more rural areas of south west England, North east England, Cumbria, central Wales and northern Scotland, (with a healthy number heading to NW France) are seeing a steady flow of former city dwellers seeking self reliance and a more secure lifestyle than they had in the city.

White Flight more aptly called Middle Class Flight (many middle class Asian and Black families also fled to the suburbs) saw these professional families also question the status quo and many of them sought out places to live where self reliance was a key part in their decision making.
They sought places with big enough gardens to grow some food in, they dug wells, installed wind turbines and PV arrays many formed almost self reliant GATED COMMUNITIES that clearly made the point of “outsiders not welcome”.

Now when you add the crazy storms, ice storms, floods, droughts, fire storms, mud slides, tsunamis, quakes, power outages, mass riots, acts of terrorism, and shortages of essentials to the mix you can see why more people than ever (especially environmentalists) become Preppers and Survivalists and the stigma of the old camouflage wearing gun nut living in the woods has long since been laid to rest.

For some people it was the simple realisation that everything they needed to live was so interconnected that their very existence relied on the absolute 100% reliability of the supply system. For example domestic heating gas for central heating is moved by electrically powered pumps, most modern central heating boilers no longer have pilot lights they rely on electrically powered igniters to work, most domestic water and sewage systems are utterly reliant on electrically powered pumps and treatment works. Most rail systems are utterly reliant on electricity as it the banking and telecommunications systems.
Most of the UK’s electricity is produced by burning imported oil, coal or gas, supplied from pipelines stretching over 8000 miles in places.
If the power failed for any length of time most city based societies would collapse in 72 hours. No water, no heat, no fuel, no sanitation, no transport, no food deliveries, no communications. That scenario alone has set thousands of people on the road to self reliance and prepping.

Quite simply more and more people have lost all faith in their governments to care for, sustain and protect them in the 21st century and those people are wise enough to realise they must change and adapt from unquestioning, unthinking consumers, to thinking, preparing self reliant Preppers.

These are some of the reasons, but by no means all of the reasons more and more people are looking and choosing to changing how they live their lives. They are the enlightened are YOU?

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Law Enforcement during a SHTF Scenerio?

Military and Law Enforcement when the SHTFDuring an extreme SHTF scenario it is very likely that law enforcement and emergency responders will be nonexistent. When things go bad ( empty grocery stores, no utilities, mass riots, etc) chances are you are going to have to fend for yourself.
When it comes to law enforcement during a SHTF event there are a couple of things that you need to consider.
You need to be able to defend yourself.
During an extreme situation emergency the lunatics of the world are going to be roaming the streets looking for easy victims to target.  If you are serious about survival then you need to train yourself to defend against a violent attack. This means arming yourself with not only weapons but knowledge and self defense skills.
Your preps will be targeted.
If the aftermath of Katrina taught us anything it showed us that even the police might be out to take your preps and weapons.  During the chaos of Katrina the military and the local police confiscated guns, forced people to evacuate with or without there goods and even looked on as people broke into local businesses.
You need to watch out for fakes.
Although it may seem counter intuitive to some, until things settle down you may want to avoid everyone including law enforcement.
In a SHTF Scenario you need to be on the look out for everything, including people impersonating law enforcement and military personnel. If things get real bad, you will most likely see criminals preying on the innocent by pretending to be police or military officers.
Before anyone gets the wrong idea, I think our police and our military are heroes and I believe a majority of them would do everything they could to help people in the beginning. But when it comes down to a SHTF scenario human nature is going to take over and most of them will likely leave to take care of their own families. And who could blame them! There are not many people who would not do the same thing.
In the end you need to be able to defend and take care of yourself. You and only you are responsible for your safety.

Corn Starch

“The Christian is like the ripening corn; the riper he grows the more lowly he bends his head”
- A. B. Guthrie, Jr.
Earlier this week I mentioned corn starch as a food storage item that won't go bad if kept dry and out of sunlight. Since I've never covered what to do with corn starch, here are some ideas:

Thicken gravy - This is the classic use that I'm aware of. Corn Starch has twice the thickening power of flour.

Help rubber gloves slip on easily - Sprinkle Corn Starch inside the gloves. (I once worked for a man who was an international rubber glove exporter.)

Kill cockroaches - Mix equal parts Corn Starch and plaster of Paris, then sprinkle the mixture in cracks and crevices. Cockroaches will eat the mixture and die.

Cure athlete's foot - Sprinkle Corn Starch on your feet and in your shoes to absorb moisture and reduce friction. (Not sure this is a "cure." But it could be preventative.)

Relieve sunburn pain - Add enough water to make a paste and apply directly to the burn.

Deodorize a carpet or stuffed toy - Sprinkle, wait thirty minutes, then vacuum.

Clean blood or grease stains - Immediately cover the spot with a paste made of Corn Starch and cold water. Rub gently then place in the sun until dry to draw the stain into the corn starch, then brush off. Repeat if necessary.

Substitute for baby powder and talcum powder - Corn starch is more absorbent than talcum powder.  Apply lightly since it does cake more readily.  To protect baby’s skin, add 1/4 cup Corn Starch for each gallon of bath water.

Shine your car - When buffing your car, sprinkle a tablespoon of Corn Starch on the wipe rag to remove excess polish easily. A Corn Starch paste can also polish furniture and Silver.

Shampoo your hair - Work Corn Starch into your hair, then brush out for a dry shampoo. Works on dogs, too.

Prevent or kill mildew in damp books - Sprinkle Corn Starch throughout the book to absorb the moisture from damp pages, wait several hours, then brush clean. If the pages are mildewed, brush the corn starch off outdoors to keep mildew spores out of the house.

Detangle knots - Sprinkle a stubborn knot with a little Corn Starch.

Prevent pastry dough from sticking to the cutting board and rolling pin - Sprinkle the cutting board and rolling pin with Corn Starch before rolling out the dough.

Soothe skin irritations - Apply a Corn Starch paste for hives, insect bites, poison ivy, etc.

Bottom Line

Corn Starch is much more than just a thickener.