What We Learned From “THIS IS NOT A DRILL”

Posted on January 15th, 2018 by Felix

Emergency Alert

For 38 minutes, citizens of Hawaii were in an absolute panic after receiving the text message: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL,” It was not until they received another message: HAWAII – THIS IS A FALSE ALARM. THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE TO HAWAII. I HAVE CONFIRMED WITH OFFICIALS THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE.

First, this is an unbelievable breakdown in procedures when one employee can send out such a message with no checks and balances and no way to immediately correct or retract it. Now had there been an actual missile threat, there would have been less than 30 minutes to take action. As frightening as the false alarm was, what was very clear is that most of the population is woefully unprepared for an emergency of this magnitude.

People’s reactions were understandably scared and frighten, not knowing what to do. “Seek Immediate Shelter” Where? People were hiding in their bathrooms and garages. One father was putting his child down a storm drain; others were pulling over and abandoning their cars to hide in tunnels. “Everyone was running around like, ‘What do we do?’ Were they running just because everyone else was? People were quickly realizing there was no where to go, and no help was available. Some tourists asked “where is the nearest nuclear shelter”. Many people were crying and calling loved ones. Others were trying to get to their children and families across town. The knee jerk reaction of others was to turn to Google or social media for more information. Precious time was wasted searching Facebook for more details. Others were able to keep somewhat calm and quickly pack a bag and grab a jug of water and other essentials. One news report even showed someone with the forethought to fill their bathtub with water.

Unfortunately, mass hysteria, panic and confusion in any emergency, even a false alarm can have serious consequences. Communication can quickly become overwhelmed and unusable, making it even more difficult to get in contact with loved ones. 911 call centers are flooded and are unable to respond to real emergencies. Traffic can quickly become congested and snarled blocking escape routes. People fearing they only have minutes to live may react in a way that would cause harm to themselves or others. Some may have even considered suicide. We have seen in previous emergencies such as a blackout where looting takes on a life of its own. Grocery stores and gas stations can quickly turn into a mob scene.

During the cold war, the United States was always under the threat of a missile attack. Back in the 1960’s people were more prepared in the event of a nuclear war. Fallout shelters were more common, civil defense shelters were clearly marked in every city. School children practiced duck and cover. People knew what to do. The prepper and survivalist community know what to do. The general population not so much.

But even back then, on more than one occasion, there were false alarms. The most famous was The Man Who Saved the World  Scary to think just one man prevented WW3

The greatest threat of a nuclear war is one that is started by accident. A technical glitch sets the wheels in motion that shows incoming missiles. With only minutes to decide to launch a counter attack, how will the military respond? In Hawaii the alert was sent when an employee hit the wrong button during a shift change, sending out the push notification that caused instant panic and confusion. What happens the next time when the wrong button is pushed? What happens when the commander in chief is given the wrong information and makes decisions based on false intel. We pray there are enough safeguards in place with checks and balances but as we saw in Hawaii that may not be a case. No, the state of Hawaii did not have the capability to launch a counter attack but the point is human error was at fault.

On Saturday evening, former Defense Secretary William Perry warned it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility that a nuclear war could start by accident if proper safeguards aren’t taken.

“The risk of accidental nuclear war is not hypothetical — accidents have happened in the past, and humans will err again,”

What can we take away from all this? First, just because your friends and neighbors are not prepared doesn’t mean you don’t have to be.

When every second counts, taking time to pack a bag or gather supplies is time you won’t have. A bug out bag that you can grab and go will save precious time.

Where are you going to go? Plan in advance not just one location but several. In Hawaii most people had no clue.

What are your routes out of harm’s way? What are the alternatives?

How will you get in contact with family members? Where can you meet up if you are separated?

How fast can you bug out? You may only have 15 minutes or less. Take time to practice.

If you need to shelter in place what supplies do you have on hand? The recommended 72 hours of supplies may not be enough. Plan on at least two weeks worth of food and water.

What if you were on vacation during an emergency? As many people were in Hawaii. Can you find survival supplies quickly? Do you have a way to escape? Can you download a map of the area for offline use? Or do you plan on asking the hotel staff where the nearest fallout shelter is?

If you are at work, do you have a get home bag? And plans to get home as quickly as possible? Will your family meet you there or will you pick them up along the way?

In a year where we have seen floods, fires, mudslides, storms and false alarms, being unprepared is just not an option.

 

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The Shocking Statistics That Prove You Need a Food Storage Plan For 2016

Posted on December 29th, 2015 by Felix

When asked “How long could you live off what is in your pantry right now?” most people will answer from a few days to a few weeks. Many people visit the grocery store several times a week even after making a major shopping trip once or twice a month. Even more people buy what they need on a week by week basis. But millions of Americans are not even that prepared.
48.1 million Americans live in food insecure households
46.7 million people live in poverty
Over 41 million people are on food stamps
1 out of 4 people eat out every day, that’s over 50 million people every day
45% of adults say restaurants are essential part of their lifestyle
66% of Americans are overweight and 30% are obese

So what do all these numbers mean when you start to look at the number of people who don’t have enough food, those who only have a few days on hand and the millions who eat out on a regular basis? It means we are one disaster away from a major food crisis.
With winter now upon us, most people know enough to stock up before a snowstorm hits. But time after time it is always the same, everyone is standing in line and the grocery stores run out of essentials. Now imagine a grid down scenario, a cyber attack on the power grid that leaves the country without power for weeks or months. Now what happens to those people who only have a few days of food on hand or can no longer get their daily fast food fix? What happens when all the grocery stores are shut down and looted? Within days things will go from bad to worse very quickly. How long could you survive on a can of soup, a half of box of cereal and what ever else you can find in your cupboards? How soon will you and your family start to feel truly hungry?

To be prepared it is essential you start your food storage plan today. How much food? For how long? Those are questions you will have to ask yourself. There are many excellent resources available to help you decide. Whether you stock up on groceries or you buy long term storage food, having enough food on hand to last for two or three months should be your goal.  By being prepared you won’t have to depend on anyone else for your needs during a crisis and knowing that will help you sleep better and feel more secure.

Prepping and Survival Food Storage Tips for Singles, Couples and Small Families

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The Extreme Danger in Sending 3000 Troops to Fight Ebola

Posted on September 20th, 2014 by Felix

“Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it” Once again it looks like Washington has forgotten the past. They are about to send 3000 troops to Africa to help contain the Ebola outbreak. There should be some serious red flags in this mission. The Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918 was a global disaster killing between 20-50 million people. The spread in the United States started with soldiers returning from WWI. While Ebola is different from influenza in the way it spreads it is just as deadly if not more so.

The 3000 troops are being sent directly to the hot zone to coordinate relief efforts. They plan on building 17 additional treatment centers and recruit and train medical personnel to staff them. They’ll be providing logistics, engineering and other non-medical support. The military has said that troops will not have direct exposure to patients infected with the virus.

U.S. troops will receive protective gear and specialized training to avoid contracting Ebola. “We’re going to train. We’re going to equip them the best we can. You can never eliminate risk in a military operation. You deal with it. … and the men and women who sign up and serve in the military understand that when they do,” Kirby said. “And I can tell you that should any of our troops fall ill, we’re going to do everything we can to make them better, and to get them back to the treatment that they need.”

Well that is all fine and dandy when you only have 4 patients to treat in one of only 4 hospitals that are set up to handle infectious diseases. The 4 Americans who were brought to the US for treatment were flown in special isolation equipped planes, and transported in full containment suits directly to hospital isolation containment rooms. It still took a large staff of nurses and doctors in full containment gear to take care of them. So how is the military going to get them back to the treatment they need? What if 10 troops fall ill? Or 100 or 300? Are they equipped to handle the evacuation and treatment? What happens when they start coming home? What if they are not yet displaying symptoms until they are on the way home? Are they going to quarantined for a period of time before they can go home to their families and communities?

The World Health Organization has said it needs foreign medical teams with 500-600 experts as well as at least 10,000 local health workers, numbers that may rise if the number of cases increases, as it is widely expected to.

So our troops may not have direct contact with Ebola patients but they may have contact with health care workers from all over the world who may be treating patients directly? So far over 240 doctors, nurses and health care workers have been infected and over 120 have died. Many of those were wearing full protective gear. So now you will have a melting pot of individuals from all over the world who despite their best efforts may still become infected. Every individual becomes a virtual petri dish for Ebola to find a new host and mutate. And mutate to the point it is easily passed from person to person or becomes airborne. The director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota says that the virus – which currently can only be transmitted through contact with bodily fluids – has proven to be “notoriously sloppy in replicating”, which increases the chances that it could turn into something more contagious.

“US health professionals agree it is highly unlikely that we would experience an Ebola outbreak here in the United States, given our robust health care infrastructure and rapid response capabilities,”

“Nevertheless, we have taken extra measures to prevent the unintentional importation of cases into the United States, and if a patient does make it here, our national health system has the capacity and expertise to quickly detect and contain this disease.”

Well that makes me fell better. The truth is in the event of an Ebola pandemic, our healthcare system will be stretched to the limit. If we examine the numbers we can see the frightening scenario. Based on a “mild” pandemic this is what we are looking at:

Population of the United States: 313,000,000
10-20% of the population becomes ill: 31,300,000-62,600,000
Percentage of people requiring hospitalization 10% 3,310,000
Number of hospital beds nationwide: 955,768
Number of ventilators nationwide: 100,000

Hospitals would not be sitting empty just waiting for Ebola patients, many are already fill to capacity with everyday illnesses, cancer patients, new babies, and emergency patients. Those would not go away, they would continue. Doctors offices, hospital emergency rooms and urgent care centers would be filled to capacity with people who are worried they have the Ebola overwhelming the staff and the need for lab results. Those needing hospitalization would flood local hospitals that would have nowhere to put them. Most hospitals have very limited space for isolating patients that would be required in the case of Ebola. World supplies of PPEs (personal protective equipment, or “space suits”), latex gloves, goggles, booties — all the elements of protection — will be tapped out, shortcuts would have to be taken exposing more people to the virus.

There is no doubt that Ebola is spiraling out of control and growing exponentially. If it is not contained soon there may very well be 250,000 people infected by years end. And the more it spreads to other countries the quicker it will spread world wide. Even the worlds leading epidemiologists don’t know how far or how fast this will spread. The economic effects of a worldwide pandemic would be catastrophic.

Now is the time to prepare. Three months, six months or a year from now it may be too late. And to our brave troops-Godspeed.

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Why You Absolutely Must Bug Out When The Grid Goes Down

Posted on July 27th, 2014 by Felix

Every day when you wake up you are one day closer to the power grid going down and life as we know it changes forever. It is no longer a matter of “if” but “when”. Everyday our aging power grid infrastructure comes closer to catastrophic failure. Modernize isn’t happening fast enough.  Everyday we are at greater risk for a cyber attack that could cripple the grid. Nature can wreck havoc with the grid also, something we have no control over.  A solar flare could literally fry power lines. Physical attacks on power stations are another real possibility such as the one that occurred in April 2013 near San Jose CA. These are just a few of the many events that could cause us to lose power.

We have all lost power at one time or another, usually weather related or some local event. It may have been for an hour or several days or even weeks. We can usually get by in the short term. Break out the candles and lanterns, fire up the generator to keep the fridge going and life goes on. But as we have seen in aftermath of storms knocking out power for a week or more, people start to get a little frazzled and on edge. People’s patience wears thin when the power company hasn’t yet restored their electricity. They don’t like standing in line for limited supplies of gas for their generator. They get tired of unprepared neighbors asking to borrow candles and batteries. Now imagine a widespread power outage that lasts for not a few hours or days but weeks or months. Imagine everything that is tied to electricity failing. No ATM’s, no lights, no refrigeration, no gas pumps, no TV, no internet, no cell phones. Backup generators for businesses and services that need to keep running would eventually stop working. The list could go on and on. How would you survive?

In this scenario life would quickly descend into chaos. Even your normally quiet suburban neighborhoods would become a danger zone. If you have a generator and plenty of gas do you really want to be the only one on the block with the lights on? Life on the street would not be safe after dark. Widespread looting would be the norm, gangs would take the city block by block taking what ever they wanted. Life in any major city is not where you want to be in a grid down situation.

The question every prepper wonders about is when to bug out? If you know the grid is down and won’t be coming back up anytime soon then you absolutely must make the decision to bug out. And when I say bug out I really mean relocate because you probably won’t be coming back. There is nothing wrong with being prepared to bug in for a few days or a week but at some point you will realize you are no longer safe. In this scenario you should be bugging out to a safe secure location outside of major cities. A place you can be self sufficient and off the grid. While this is a major goal and dream for many preppers it does take a lot of thought, preparation and expense. Grabbing your bug out bag to go live in the woods probably won’t cut it. You can begin to prepare by planning for a grid down situation. Keep your vehicle fueled, have cash on hand for when ATM’s stop working, have portable communication to monitor news. Plan on how quickly you can bug out and make your way out of the city.

Someday, maybe not tomorrow or the next day but there will be a grid down scenario in your future. Now is the time to plan for life without electricity.

Modern electric grid fighting cyber vulnerabilities

Aging US Power Grid Blacks Out More Than Any Other Developed Nation

Who Turned Out the Lights? The Coming Mega Sun Storm

Grid Terror Attacks: U.S. Government Is Urged to Take Steps for Protection

Power Failure: America’s electric grid remains a juicy terror target.

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My $200 Prepper Shopping Spree

Posted on November 3rd, 2013 by Felix

$200 Worth of Prepping Supplies

Last week I sold a few things on Ebay. If you are looking to raise extra cash for your preps selling your stuff on ebay and Cragislist is a great way. After paying the bills I still had some cash left […] Continue Reading…

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The Best Bug Out Shelters

Posted on October 11th, 2013 by Felix

In a perfect world we would all have a permanent well stocked survival retreat in an undisclosed location. But the reality is few of us have that luxury. In reading over a number of survival websites and forums there is much discussion about bugging out. Most have well stocked […] Continue Reading…

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Prepping and Survival Food Storage Tips for Singles, Couples and Small Families

Posted on September 15th, 2013 by Felix

If you are new to prepping and food storage then you may already be overwhelmed by the choices of what to buy and what to store. You may be single, a couple, maybe a single parent or only have one child. But for that very reason it is all […] Continue Reading…

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The Most Valuable Survival Skill You Can Have

Posted on June 30th, 2013 by Felix

You probably have your bugout bag all set to go. You are stocked up on food and supplies. And you are well armed and prepared to defend yourself. Many preppers and survivalists are all gung-ho on having the right gear and can’t wait to buy the latest and greatest. […] Continue Reading…

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New Survival and Prepping Boards on Pinterest

Posted on June 30th, 2013 by Felix

I have added several new boards to my Pinterest so check them out!

Cabins: Lots of ideas for small cabins. Perfect for that weekend getaway or bugout location.

Off Grid: Ideas for off grid living. Reduce your dependence on utilities you have no control over.

Homesteading & Self Sufficiency: The dream of […] Continue Reading…

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Prepping 1950’s Style-What You Need to Know

Posted on June 2nd, 2013 by Felix

If you are new to prepping you may think the whole prepping movement is also new. It seems like everyone is jumping on the bandwagon and you may be hearing about survival and prepping for the first time. You may be too young to remember the cold war or […] Continue Reading…

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