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Monday, April 11, 2011

Guest Post: Firestorm Chapter 13a, by Christopher Young

Sam's Treasure

Sunday was an eventful day, for so many people. In Tenn, the kids had gone to a real fire and brimstone church. They didn't much know what to think. The kids in NY had also gone to church, a bit more peaceful at church. But, Faith had gone to her death. In the New World Order, death was the constant companion. In some cases, it cheated the living out of people they wanted to keep. And in some cases, death was a gentle relief from pain or suffering. Often imposed by other people on citizens who had done nothing to deserve this.

The USA had been separated, for many years. The powerful, and the weak. The politically connected, and the great masses. This was still the case. But there was another separation coming to play. The prepared, and the unprepared. The people who had put back some food were doing fairly well. Farmers, who had a pantry full of produced food. And the survivalists. Who were living off MRE, and other military rations. And the other prepared peoples. Having lost the USA as an economic trading partner, many other nations were suffering. Self sustaining nations such as India and Pakistan, hardly noticed. England, Japan, Korea, and China were among the many who were hard hit.

As the sun set in the west, the President took to the airwaves, to try to spread reassurance, and calm among the nation. The President spoke for several minutes, but said nothing of any importance. he reassured anyone who was listening. (And that number grew fewer eery day, as the radio batteries wore out.) There were vague promises of rebuilding. But no details were forthcoming.

At the dining room table, Sam looked across, at the Mormon missionaries. "Well, now, that's an experience I've not yet had. I'e sure enjoyed you boys visiting, and you're always welcome. But now we got to get you home some how. You want some food to take with you? The Elders gratefully accepted, and Brenda went in the pantry to find some food that didn't need any cooking. "Hey, honey, how about send them home with some of them nutty power bars?" Sam called. Brenda replied from the pantry "We've only got two left!". Sam looked puzzled. He was sure they had over 100 of those power bars. He got his crutches, and hobbled off to the pantry to look for himself.

Came back, and apologized to the boys. Still looking confused. "Well, I'm sure we had a heck of a lot more food, there, but I'll be damned if I know what all happened to it!". Chris broke the uncomfortable silence. Said he'd be happy to drive th e boys home. The Elders siad they had some families bring them food at the other town, they would be OK.

As the three left the house, Sam remarked "that musta been some huge rat, ate all them power bars."

In Tenn, they were getting the kids ready for bedtime. Martha was upstairs, drawing a bath. Peter was sitting out on the front porch, rocking in a chair. A loud noise came from the front of the house. Madison jumped and exclaimed "What was that!" Jade looked at her like she had gone dumb, or something. "A gun, stupid." Martha, the diplomat, said it was likely okay, but she'd best to be checking with Pete.

Out on the front porch, there was Pete. With a shotgun balanced on his knees. He looked up, and raised one eye brow. "Huh?" Martha asked what was all the noise about. "Rats. All over the place. Just blew up a couple of them out in the yard. Load of fours." Martha agreed that shooting rats was important. But asked him to use a quieter gun.

"Women!" Peter replied. Took the shotgun in the house, and came out with a rim-fire .22 rifle. Just as Martha was going in the house, he squeezed off another round. And another rat dropped over, dead.

Dead wasn't totally accurate way to describe Gomer, but he wondered if he'd have felt a bit better, if he were dead. A useless lump of flesh, how he was thinking to describe himself. Away from his compound, and now he was about 10th in the chain of command. Riding around as a passenger, in a Chevrolet to boot.

Sam announced it was quiet time, and asked Brenda to get things ready. She started to head up the stairs. Gently, and quietly. Sam turned to Chris, and opened his mouth to speak. "WHAT IN THE HELL ARE YOU DOING!!!!!" a voice echoed through he house. But, it wasn't deep enough for Sam's voice. Confused, he turned around and looked. Then he and Gomer and Chris looked at each other. Chris figured it out first, it was Brenda's voice from up the stairs. Chris quickly drew his revolver, and ran up the stairs. Gomer was half a pace behind him, also arms at the ready.

At the top of the stairs, Chris peeked around the corner, not sure what to expect. He saw Brenda, standing in the hall, looking very shocked, and concerned. He didn't see any immediate threat, so Chris slowly edged around the corner. "Put on some clothes!" Brenda yelled. Chris saw Sammy get up from the floor, behind the bed. And then a second head of hair showed up behind the bed. "Come downstairs, now, your father and I need to talk to you." And then Brenda glared some more.

Realizing the incident was winding down, Chris turned to go down stairs. Sam was at the foot of the stairs, on his crutches. "Looks like your boy was getting a piece of action" Chris said. Sam's expression changed from concerned, to proud. Chris and Gomer went to the living room, and sat down. For once, Gomer didn't turn on his electronic toy, and didn't put in the ear buds.

Things were a bit more calm, at Martha and Peter's house. Martha went back upstairs, she wasn't all that comfortable with guns. It wouldn't do for Peter to be shooting the big loud one, and keeping the kids awake. She glanced into the bathroom, as she got to the top of the stairs. The bath tub was drained. The pink towel was neatly hung, on the towel rack next to the toilet. The blue towel was crumpled in a pile, in the corner. Such a boy.

Martha knocked on the bedroom door, and then cracked the door open a bit. Madison was in bed, laying on her side facing the wall. Jade was sitting on the floor, pushing a toy car. "Into bed with you, boy!" Martha exclaimed. After all, it had been a long day.

Bedtime was the moment, for Heather, and her kids. Now, she had two more children as charges. She considered what to do, about Faith's untimely end. Should she call the police, or maybe the coroner? Petition the courts for custody of the kids? Well, nothing would happen until Monday anyway. And best not to trouble the kids with such thoughts.

Heather reached into her purse, and pulled out the cell phone. Turned it on. The screen said in big letters "NO SERVICE". Odd, she thought. the cell phone had been dependable, until that point.

In Ohio, things were getting good. Sammy came slowly down the stairs, and the teenage girl, behind him. They walked over to the dining room tale, and sat down. Sam, with some effort, managed to sound stern. "So, what is this all about?" Sammy replied that they were in love. For the last several years, they had been sweet on each other, and more recently they discovered again how much the loved each other.

As the details came out, Chris and Gomer tried to act like they weren't paying attention. But, they were listening to every word. Hadn't had excitement like th is, in ages. Better than television, even. Chris looked at his watch, and then pulled out his cell phone. Called Faith, and got an error message. Called to Bill's cell phone, and got another error message. Asked Gomer to try his cell. But, Gomer's cell had the same results. "Time to head for home?" Chris asked. Gomer nodded. "In the morning." Gomer replied.

What Chris and Gomer didn't know was that the UN had been sending troops to the US, in large numbers. These troops were ignorant of US constitutional protections. But they were good at following orders. And the provisional US Government was sending out orders, that would not have made the Founding Fathers rather unhappy. The roundup of truckers was just the beginning. The Rex 84 plan was in full swing, internment of red list citizens was in progress. A couple more weeks, and all the red list people would be interned. The world would be safe for the New World Order.

Since they hadn't turned on the radio yet that night, they also didn't hear the Presidential proclamation, that all privately owned firearms needed to be turned in, for national safety.

50 Survival Prep Questions from the Japan Disaster

Question markImage via Wikipedia

Original Article

As you are preparing to survive the next disaster that hits your area, ask yourself these questions (inspired from the Japan disaster):
  1. What kind of natural disasters are common in your area?
  2. What kinds of natural disasters are uncommon in your area but could still happen?
  3. What are potential man-made disasters could happen in your area (ie: chemical plant, nuclear plant, dam that could burst, etc)?
  4. Are there disaster warning signals in your area (ie: sirens, reverse 911 calls, etc)?
  5. Do you know where your local evacuation routes and evacuation centers are located?
  6. Is your bug out bag (BOB) ready to go at a moment's notice?
  7. If you've had your BOB at the ready for a while, have you emptied it and made sure everything in it (food, batteries, etc) is up to date?
  8. Do you always keep your car's gas tank at least half full?
  9. Do you have extra gasoline safely stored in case you need to evacuate and gas is unavailable?
  10. Do you have an evacuation plan?
  11. Are you able to evacuate both via car and on foot (or maybe on a bicycle/motorcycle)?
  12. Can you navigate even if there are no more landmarks left in your town?
  13. Where would you evacuate to (near, further, and furthest locations)?
  14. How will you obtain water after a disaster?
  15. How will you obtain food after a disaster?
  16. How will you contact friends and family after a disaster to let them know you are OK?
  17. How will you obtain news and information after the disaster?
  18. Have you determined additional sources of news and information apart from the regular media?
  19. Do you have a comprehensive first aid kit?
  20. Do you have a broad base of first aid knowledge?
  21. How will you get specialized products that you need after a disaster (baby formula, diapers, oxygen and medications for yourself or others in your home who need it, etc)?
  22. Are there specialized medications that you may need after a disaster and how will you obtain them (ie: iodine pills, etc)?
  23. How will you care for/transport your ill or elderly relative after a disaster if they live with or near you?
  24. Do you have the proper gear to survive outdoors if the disaster happens during the winter?
  25. Do you have the proper gear to set up your own shelter in case your home is unlivable?
  26. How will you protect your things from looters and others who will want what you have after a disaster?
  27. How will you handle unprepared friends and loved ones who show up at your door with nothing after a disaster?
  28. Are you in good enough shape to be able to do the physical work required after a disaster (lifting, climbing, moving stuff, etc)?
  29. Do you have connections who you will be able to call on after a disaster (doctor, grocery store owner, politician, construction people, etc)?
  30. Do you have special skills that will be useful to yourself and others after a disaster?
  31. Do you have cash on hand that can be used right after a disaster to purchase available items?
  32. Do you have a significant emergency fund in the bank that you would eventually be able to access after a disaster?
  33. Are you debt free?
  34. Do you need very little money to support your lifestyle (if not, are you easily able to ratchet back your lifestyle on short notice)?
  35. Do you have items that would be useful for bartering after a disaster?
  36. Do you know how to barter (from experience, not from a book)?
  37. Do you have a plan for where to meet with your family if you are all separated during a disaster?
  38. Do you have important information in written form (phone numbers, medications, etc) in case you can't access your computer or cell phone?
  39. Do you regularly back up your computer files and keep a copy of this in your BOB, at your office, in your safe deposit box, etc?
  40. Do you have copies of all of your important documents (including scanned copies on your computer)?
  41. Do you have insurance (including specialized insurance such as flood insurance, earthquake insurance, etc)?
  42. Do you have a cell phone that allows text messaging as well as access to the internet (this is how most people communicated during the Japan disaster)?
  43. Do you have a plan for powering your phone and other electronic devices in the event of a prolonged blackout?
  44. What will you do for entertainment after a disaster (there is usually a lot of waiting after the fact)?
  45. Do you hold regular fire/lockdown/earthquake/evacuation drills so that your family will know what to do during and after a disaster?
  46. Do you have any search and rescue knowledge/experience?
  47. Have you considered that you may have to store your own dead, at least temporarily?
  48. Do you know what your city, county, state, and federal disaster plans are (so you will know what to expect)?
  49. Do you share your disaster preparedness knowledge and skills with others?
  50. Do you continue to educate yourself in order to keep up with the latest in disaster prep skills/gear/knowledge?

What’s Your Annual Radiation Dose?

Internationally recognized symbol.Image via Wikipedia

Original Article

Did you know that we are exposed to radiation levels on a daily basis?  Radiation can occur naturally and by man-made instruments or appliances.  Radiation comes up from the ground, from space particles, from our home, even our smoke detectors.  Although, we typically receive small, minute levels at a given period of time, our bodies still absorb the radiation nonetheless.  The annual average dose per person from all natural and man-made sources is about 350 mrems, but it is not uncommon for any of us to receive more than that in a given year (largely due to medical procedures).  In fact, 80% of our radiation is from naturally occurring means.

Because radiation is an everyday part of our lives, we cannot avoid it.  Our home appliances emit small amounts of radiation, as do our cellular phones.  Even though we may not like the idea of being exposed to radiation; we can, however, reduce our risks by controlling, to some extent, our exposure to it.  This calculator can assist you in finding out how much radiation you receive on a yearly basis from natural means and from un-natural means.
Annual Radiation Calculator
Natural Ways to Reduce Radiation in The Body
According to the website, survival-spot, the author provides natural alternatives to assisting the body in ridding itself of radiation exposure rather than ingesting potassium-iodide.  Foods such as kelp, rosemary, spirulina, miso soup and niacin all assist the body in fighting radiation damage.  Making these foods a regular part of your diet, could help lower your chances of radiation damage to the body.

Other foods that may help in combating radiation sickness are foods that naturally detoxify the body.  Foods such as reishi mushrooms, green and black teas, garlic, nettles, dandelions, ginseng, lentils, collards and mustard greens.
Educate Yourself
Everyone is so concerned about radiation levels increasing due to the disaster in Japan.  Ironically, we absorb radiation everyday.  Knowing the proper levels of radiation we are exposed to each year can help us stay healthier.  Those that are concerned about limiting their exposure to radiation can eat foods that have detoxifying properties, as well as staying away or limiting exposure of appliances and machines that radiate radiation.

Guest Post: Dry food Storage Using 2 and 3 ltr. Plastic Soda Bottles

plastic bottle

Original Article

Over the years I have tried several different methods of dry food storage with varying degrees of success and cost. I’ve tried buckets, Ziploc bags, and canning jars. What I finally stumbled upon almost by accident was 2 and 3 liter soda bottles.
I like sodas but hate to throw the bottles away! I had been making whirly-gigs out of them for the garden to keep the birds away but there are only so many whirly-gigs a garden needs and I had extra bottles and wanted to do something with them.
Looking at the bottles, I realized that they are durable, light weight, water tight, and once the soda is gone, free. What more could you ask?
I had saved up about a dozen of the 2 ltr. bottles and had a few 3 ltr. ones as well. they have wider openings and are good for large beans like limas, or for flour or meal.
To begin, I wanted a sterile container so I mixed about a tbs. bleach in a quart of water and rinsed and swished each bottle then rinsed with clean water and turned upside down in the dish drainer.

Another way to dry thoroughly is sit them in the warm sun without their lids, or, if you have one of those big Excalibur food dehydrators like I do, take out the shelves and lay some bottles inside. Remember to remove the lids. You can dry them in there on low heat usually in a few hours or just let run overnight. The point is, you want your bottles bone dry.
Next, get your space ready. you’ll need your bottles of course, as well as a funnel or another bottle cut in half to use as a funnel, clean work space, marker and dry food for storage.
I like to pre-treat my beans, rice, grains, meal, flour etc. with a couple weeks in the deep freezer, take out and allow to come to room temp and then put back in for a week or two. This really helps kill off any mealy bug eggs that might be lurking in your food.  You’ll want to take your beans and flour treated in this way out of the freezer and allow to come to room temperature. Just sit on the counter overnight.
(You can also just put the filled tightly capped bottles in the freezer too.)
Now, all you have to do is, using your funnel or cut off bottle, fill your bottles with the rice, or beans or whatever you have, cap, use your marker to date and tell what’s inside and you’re done!
I have to say that this is one of the best storage containers I’ve come across yet.
Your food is safe, easy to move or store, won’t pop open, and is practically unbreakable.
You can also fold and insert oxygen absorbers if you like or desiccant packs for added protection and longer storage. Of course with things like sugar or salt, only the desiccant pack would be useful.

These are also excellent to store things like dried bean soup mix in for camping or for putting in your bug out bag (BOB). Being light weight and extremely durable, they are good to have in the BOB and once empty can serve other purposes like storing water.
You can also use 20 ounce bottles for smaller amounts of food that you want to store, or you can store seeds in them provided of course attention is paid to thorough drying.
I also leave the original labels on for the most part as I feel they offer some measure of added protection and aid in keeping out the light.
If you make your own dried soup mixes, or dried vegetables you can store them in the smaller bottles to take camping or in the event of a bug out situation. Dehydrated re-fried bean mix is delicious and easy to store in bottles like this, as well as ready to cook rice dishes.
Also, if you are able to get coke lugs, the heavy plastic bottle trays that the supplier uses, you can use those to put your bottles back in and stack them that way as well.
My husband was able to get a few of them from the coke man where he works and they are ideal for holding the bottles and stacking them. Otherwise, you can use cardboard boxes or just put your bottles in the cabinet if they are used often.
So, to recap. The pros of using these bottles.
1. they are cheap/free and easy to come by
2. they are durable, designed to withstand 200 lbs. of pressure, definitely tough

3. they hold foods in manageable amounts
4. water tight.
5. they are reusable
6. you can see the contents without opening to check for any problems before opening
(important if you worry about mealy bugs and the like)
7. fit easily into the BOB!
The 2 ltr bottles have a rather small mouth and so you are limited to what you can store in them, however, the 3 ltr bottles have a wider mouth and you can often use those for larger things like pasta or the big lima beans.
Other than that, I can’t really think of anymore cons.

Just one more thing.
It is important for everyone to have some food stocked up. Regardless of a person’s income of lack of it. Encourage your family and friends, neighbors and co-workers to put up at least a little food for the future. This is likely the single most important thing you can do to protect your own family because, if your neighbors and friends are provided for, you won’t have to worry about them being in need and perhaps turning to you for food. Many people are put off by all the recommended methods and supplies like Mylar bags or special drums or buckets. For those people that can’t afford those things try using what is freely available and perhaps even superior as a storage container. The ubiquitous soft drink bottle!
p.a. turner – http://endofempirenews.blogspot.com/
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