All information is web only or FEMA doesn’t know that TV and Internet don’t work during outages!

October 30, 2012

During the last few disasters there have not been any Federal or State outreach via AM/FM radio bands and everyone is directed towards TV or the internet.  I know for a fact that the Government recommends having a wind up or battery radio supposedly for information and updates in your preps. But what’s the damn point if they PTBs never use radio stations for information or updates?  Using your TV, cell phone or PC will not work without power, cable,  internet connection or if all cell towers are down.  Like what is happening in Manhattan right now!

During the Wind storm riverrider complained if he had not had a little power via solar and his laptop he would not have got any info at all. I gave the PTBs a break because the storm happened so quickly. Now it’s just out and out stupidity and laziness by FEMA and DHS.

Hell during Snowpocalypse, DHS had no updates for over 7days even though the website was active.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/10/30/Powe-Fail-Obama-Sends-Storm-Victims-to-internet

Telephone landlines and battery-powered radios have always been important sources of information during natural and man-made disasters.

The biggest failure here is that the most vulnerable storm victims, the elderly, are all asking themselves, “What’s a social media?”

This is disaster preparedness at the most basic 101 leve,l and the White House has failed miserably.

“That’s a problem,” said Matt Thome, spokesman for the Safe America Foundation, a non-profit disaster preparedness advocacy organization based in Marietta, Ga. “As we get further away from a time when people aren’t relying on smartphones to do everything for them, people are going to lose focus that not everyone’s going to connect to the Internet. What happens when it goes down? That basic level of preparedness has been lost.”

Maybe if the White House had been paying more attention to the basics instead of the optics, who knows how many people currently sitting in a dark house and watching  their mobile phone battery die would know what to do.

For the next storm try this to connect to twitter via phone

 CONNECT YOUR VIA  PHONE TO TWITTER:

• Text the word “START” to 40404.

• Twitter will send you text, reply to 40404  with the word “YES”.

• Now text your username to 40404.

Do not use the @ symbol. For example, @WashingtonPost would be WashingtonPost.

• Finally, send your pasword to 40404. It is case sensitive.

Now do yourself a favor and save 40404 as a contact on your phone.

SEND TWEETS:

Text tweets by sending them to 40404. From Twitter:

• @[username] + message – shows your tweet as a reply directed at another person, and causes your tweet to save in their mentions tab.

• D [username] + message – sends that person a Direct Message that goes to their device, and saves in their web archive. You can also use M [username] + message to send a private message!

• RETWEET [username]  – sends that user’s latest tweet to your followers (also known as a Retweet).

• FOLLOW [username] – allows you to start following a specific user, as well as receive SMS notifications.

TURN OFF MOBILE NOTIFICATION, SAVE BATTERY LIFE
The flood of tweets you receive after connecting your phone to your Twitter account might be too much for your sanity and your phone’s battery. To turn off Twitter notification via SMS, text the word “OFF” to 40404. If you want to pick and choose what kind of notifications you receive, here’s a list of commands from Twitter.

You have to be able to take care of yourself, friends and neighbors because FEMA and DHS level of incompetence is staggering.  After all this practice they can’t get something as basic as updates via Radio done correctly, I wouldn’t trust them with one of my dogs,  and certainly not my own life!


Started the shopping list for the Week

October 29, 2012

Still have some room in the freezer so I’m getting a bit more pork. C & C has spare rib slabs for $1.53 a pound and will make a nice change up in the menu. Pork sirloins for $1.76 a pound are great for a roast, pots of beans as well as a breeze to slice in to steaks.  I got a new cookbook on how to cook Chinese food and a lot of the recipes start with pork.  It has a very different way of doing meats from marinades to boiling or slow cooking,  so I need to practice!  After reading through the cookbook I should be able to modify many of the recipes to use canned meats. That will really brighten up the menu and fight food fatigue but I need to get some different oils, spices and dried veggies that I have seen at C & C.

Buying  some extra cooking fuels for next year. It looks like another 40 pound bag of mesquite charcoal for $14.00 will do the trick.  Charcoal is very energy dense and very safe to store  as a cooking fuel.  I’ll try to remember to weight the charcoal before I start cooking to see how long  a 40 pound bag would last cooking a big meal once a day.   It’s easy to cook a smaller turkey (10-12 pounds) in about 3.5 hours in my smoker/grill and the leftovers make the best tacos and soups.  As Alton Brown say “Never pass up a chance to add flavor”.  Plus using the BBQ for turkey it leaves the indoor oven free for cooking and baking.

It looks like a meat heavy shopping list again of about 40 pounds or more counting the turkeys.  The turkeys will start coming into the stores about the 10th if not a bit earlier.  I have to buy with this check as my SSD check comes only a day before Thanksgiving, no way I can thaw a turkey in a day!  I didn’t see any great sales on turkey this year like I did last year.  I had my all of my turkeys by September in 2011 paying about 99 cents a pound. This year about the lowest price I have seen is $1.70 a pound for turkey. I have to say it has me a bit concerned about the price we might be paying for Thanksgiving dinner.   If you pay under $20.00 for a small 10 pound turkey you’ll have around twenty 8 oz. servings of meat so still a bargain if you make stock and soups with the bones. If  you can  get it under a dollar a pound it will be a great meat for canning or freezing.

This should put me over the top for enough meats to stay healthy next year. Figuring about 2 pounds per week  per person of protien at a min.  I’m good on most everything for a year but I think it will take more than a year if we spiral down in a collapse type scenario like Greece. Time to get to work on storing Year two  stuff and having things in place to meet your own needs as much as possible.  I figure having at least a year’s worth of food can sustain you as you work out more ways to be self-reliant. With a little timing and luck that could see you through two harvests or sustain you past a bad one!


A few ideas for Storm preparations to do at home Updated

October 28, 2012

If you are worried about losing power to your fridge or freezer or think you may have to bug out. Put you frozen and fridge food into garbage bags an set the food back inside the fridge. Kind of a pain to open the bag  but if the worse happens it will make cleaning up a lot easier.

Got soda or water bottles?  Keep some outside at night. If the freeze they can be used to keep food cool or frozen for an extra day or two.  Same thing if you have a camp cooler. Use smaller water bottles to fill any gaps in your freezer. A full freezer is a cold freezer!

Get all your laundry,  dishes and clean the house tonight. Pre- position candles, matches, lighters flashlights in each room. Trim the wicks and fill up oil/kerosene lamps tonight.  If you are going to use your grill to cook makes sure all grates are clean or toss them in your self-cleaning oven tonight.

If dried beans are a part of you food storage why not start soaking some tonight? They will be ready to cook Monday and you can add any leftover veggies or meat from the fridge to make a nice meal or two.

Make sure you know how to turn off the gas and water if you need to leave or for safety.  Put a couple of ice cubes in a Ziplock bag in the freezer if they melt then refreeze you should toss the food as unsafe.

Have tarps, plastic and all tools ready for broken windows. A bow saw / axe  or chainsaw is gassed up and ready to go for down trees.

Flood waters can take out sewage plants so be ready with your porti-potty or buckets.

These are a few things I thought up that may help and I didn’t see on other hurricane prep sites.  Please feel free to add anything else you think of in the comments section!

Update:  I just remembered I picked up a six in one power pack, the kind with an air compressor, jumper cables and a 400 watt inverter…  I used a smaller Black and Decker for running my router for a short outage this year and after riverriders adventure I got the Mobile Power 400 for $80.00 and Sportsmansguide.com I haven’t had to power anything and only aired up a tire over the last couple of months and It’s still fully charged!


Storm Warnings…..

October 24, 2012

Hurricane Sandy might hit the Eastern Seaboard , DC to Boston next week.  Hopefully people have had enough practice this year and are ready though I doubt it, riverrider is in that general area and he says folks have already gone back to “normal”.  I just can’t wrap my head around that kind of thinking since I began preparing.  I may have been a bit blinded by my normalcy bias prior to prepping but I didn’t sell or give away anything I bought for a storm.

We have had the “Cloud” servers fail 2 times that have screwed up data and some very popular sites, my Credit Union was one this week. Not a big deal I was just seeing my balance and making sure all bills had been paid, but this server is in Northern Virginia and storing data in the cloud is no good if a single point of failure takes it down. If you are using the cloud server start doing your backups and critical files stored at home on a hard drive or jump drive. Even if you are not on the east coast, Hurricane  Sandy could still take out your data!

I’ve been watching some sites like twitchy.com and folks seem to be getting awfully worked up about this election. Lots of talk of riots, killing and some really crazy rumors like Romney will outlaw tampons, hair weaves and the dollar menu at McDonald’s.  Perhaps it’s just internet trolls and dingalings pushing these ideas and tweets but if you live in a place that has had riots for crazy reasons before it might be wise to be ready for any kind of problems on the 7th November.  Don’t forget we have seen people riot because a sports teams have won or lost a big game. I could see see riots happening if people feel their guy won or loss the presidency.

Winter is coming so you should have your shovels, sand, salt for clearing snow and adding traction if you deal with ice.  Candles, lanterns and flashlights for lighting and a backup heat source if you depend on electricity.  Have you checked your smoke alarm/carbon monoxide detector and changed out the battery?   Are your fire extinguishers are fully charged and perhaps buy an extra one for the Christmas tree or stove?  Time to run that generator for a test and have oil and gas along with making sure all those electrical cords are working and not frayed.  Tires, chains, anti-freeze and the Battery on your car ready to go for cold weather.  If you use rain barrels make sure they are only 2/3 full if you don’t drain them. That will give the water some room to expand if it turns to ice without cracking the barrel.  Is your BOB updated for winter?

This is my first year that I feel very confident that I have all my winter preparations in place. Just in the last couple of days I have realized I let my tires go to long before replacing them.  I can tell the difference in how the Kia drives and brakes.  I got the bucket of candies ready for Halloween, popcorn and beer ready for the election, most of the Christmas gifts bought and just waiting for turkeys to get in the store next month for the holidays.  Sand salt and shovels for any snow and plenty of backups for any power outages.

 

 


Mail delivery! and don’t have your tires installed on a Monday

October 22, 2012

My little fold up solar panels and wind up flashlight came today from American Science & Surplus.  The flashlight comes with a DC power outlet that can charge up a cell phone or a small electronic device. A nice feature I did not know it had and I really like how you can turn on 1 to 5 of the LEDs based on needs and power.

The fold-up solar panels are compact and can be charged via the panels, via  DC power with the cigarette lighter cord for the car or via an AC outlet.  Both panels come with multiple phone charging cords but I think the larger  “notebook” panel offers a lot more options via the 3.3 v and 5 v plugins and a built in flashlight.  Both of these items are about the size of a deck of cards so they would make a nice addition to a BOB or your car’s emergency kit.  The 2 fold-able solar panels, the crank flashlight and ten P38 can openers cost $30.00 including shipping.  I’ll be doing some more testing on how the solar panels charge using all methods but I have to say I’m already pleased with the light output of the crank flashlight.

I’ve been doing a lot of small solar panels and the the power packs based on cost,  and  have a lot of options and redundancy.  Having a series of backups saves you from any one failure point stopping you in your tracks.  Plus even a little power for gadgets is better than no power at all. You can feel a little better and more in control of your situation. Just like adding the P38 can opener to your keys, you know you will always have a can opener with you at all times for EDC,  BOB, BOV or your get home bag.

The tires involved a long wait time to get installed.  Looks like everyone saw the weather report of  cold,  rainy and possibly snow this week and decided today was a good day to get tires.  They had a small mistake on them putting on two tires instead of all four, but luckily I caught the error before going out the door and they got right on putting all four.  I could feel a difference right away as the city was kind enough to do some street work and I had a nice little slalom course on wet roads to test  the tires out.  I figure on just based on the tires mile warranty, I shouldn’t have to buy tires for about seven years. Les Schwab tires can be a little more expensive but they are super for service and warranty after you have bought the tires. That’s great for me as rotating tires and other stuff mechanically is a bit beyond me physically!  They do all kinds of work so my brakes and other under carriage items must look okay as they are good about giving you a heads up if you need more work done.  Plus Les Schwab is local to the Pacific NW so it’s a good fit of having lots of locations but still not a Big Box tire store.

Made for a long day waiting on the tires but defiantly worth it for safety on the road and if oil spikes up again,  paying more for tires is one less thing to worry about the next few years.


Everything done and $6.00 leftover

October 20, 2012

Doing a little running around today. I picked up the Mr. Buddy Heater from True Value so I’m set on heaters and cooking for the winter, backups and  barter if the electricity goes out.  I’ll be adding more fuel the next couple of months but overall that staying warm in the winter is done as far as equipment needed.  The tires will be installed Monday and because I got 4 I have a coupon for free siping so the Kia is ready. A big bag of salt and 100 pounds of sand for traction and keeping the walk clear of snow and ice.   I  have to say it feels great to have every thing ready before the end of October.

I saw the youtube video for making mead at Brock’s  Free North Carolina blog and thought that would be a great way to use my Mr. Beer Kegs that are gathering dust. Picked up several packages of champagne yeast for the mead and I have plenty of honey in the pantry for this new project to do up a couple of small batches so only $1.20 for the yeast to get the mead started we will see how it turns out.

There was small 2.5 gallon cube for doing small mead/wine batches that I got for my sister’s birthday present next month.  She will be able to ferment and bottle via the cube after I add a bottling wand. A hydrometer and some bottles and she will have nice little system for doing  mead or wine.  She has talked of doing both wine and mead but I don’t think she realizes that mead takes 3 months to a year for a good product.

I got the Brown ale bottled, I like this batch much better. I went with cascade and Willamette hops rather than the traditional variety and  I’m doing a lot better on keeping records of all my readings and recipes in my little beer journal, that takes some of the guess work out beer making.  Got a batch of the all-grain Weizen brewing up and the color looks good according to the recipe. More grain is needed for this recipe and I’m really glad I do half size batches the bag was about at my upper limit for lifting.

It has been very tempting to buy silver with the price holding under $35.00 per oz. But I think my focus on hard goods, fuel  and food will payoff next year.  I’m not buying silver to barter/pay for my daily needs, it’s more of an emergency fund since I don’t trust the banks or government not to confiscate or revalue dollars. I know some folks will think they can always buy what they want but I know how I value the stuff I have prepared and I think they will be surprised at the cost will be in PMs.

Sure I know the PTBs can ban and confiscate whatever they want.  I don’t think  a lot people will meekly stand aside or just turn in stuff because the PTBs say so.  I think what the PTBs  will do is offer a trade of food and water, perhaps healthcare if a person turns in a gun or they must turn give up guns for gov.  assistance.  I’m ready to rely on myself and not make that trade!


Helping people to prepare without looking like a wingnut

October 18, 2012

I don’t know if everyone who prepares goes through that annoying stage of trying to get others to prep.  I know I went through it and I don’t think anyone I talked too decided to start and I may have made things worse for them ever starting.   At Pompeii there were people that left before the eruption and other people said “It’s just a little smoke” or “There have always been earthquakes” and “It’s in the hands of the Gods” or some other reason not to consider life might change very quickly.

So I gave up on telling people to prepare. I started this little blog to give a person a place to start and to let them know that you can do it even if you don’t have a lot of money or you are disabled.  People must seek out the information themselves and start preparing in a way that works for them and their family!  You can use what I have learned or hit my blogroll and see how others have prepared.  I no longer have to see people look at me like I have lost my mind, sure you can still think it but I don’t have to deal with that or the rejection.

The problem is I still want to help the people I know and see locally without turning them off and I found the solution is telling people about a great sale at the stores every couple of weeks.  I have already done the research, I have signed up at a lot of the stores websites and get the ads from 2 days to a week early so I know what sales are coming up. While anyone can do this, most don’t give the ads more than a quick glance because work, family and stress has them worn out. I don’t think many people write out a shopping list other than a few things and as they wander the aisles the see something they want/need and grab it.  Personal observation by me but when I do my shopping in a big box store I might pass 40-50 people and perhaps 2-5 have a list.

Back to helping out others I just tell people about the sales that are happening or where I got a great deal. Most everyone I know are probably around middle class some are on SS, SSI or use food stamps and they need to save money as well as get the most bang for each “Dollar” they can.  I like sharing the news of case lot sale at a local grocery store and the store is having a great buy on pork chops.  Telling people about my “Beer Lady” that has all kinds of great stuff for making things besides beer including cheese classes or a wine and cider press you can pay a small fee to use.  I can support  local  companies and not big box stores.

It’s not just about groceries, my area just had a windstorm blow through and many folks lost power.  Very short term but with winter coming it was a great time to tell people about the sale on the Mr. Buddy heater at True value Hardware.  A relatively cheap way to have a backup heat source and then I could tell them about the test I did in Feb. this year and how long a 1 pound tank lasts.  We have a local farm store and they have great deals on barrels from recycled food safe to rain barrels.  I use the rain barrels as the “hook” so to speak to get them thinking about saving and using rain water here in the desert.  When they pick up the rain barrel they will see the food safe water storage barrels and start thinking about having one on hand “Just in Case”.  I can tell them that these rain barrels are a super buy because they cost about $35.00 for a 50 gallon barrel, heck next lowest price I have found  is over $55.00 via Amazon and that doesn’t include shipping.  Or the little 15 gallon food safe barrels I got from the beer lady for $25.00 that fit in a closet and a little heavy for 1 person to move at 120 pounds,  they won’t strain the floor like a 60 gallon barrel that weighs 480 pounds.

I want to help folks to prepare, but there is a selfish reason I want people to be as ready as they can afford. I don’t want them to suffer and possibly die. I really don’t want them to get desperate to feed a child or if a child gets sick. Being rational will go right out the window and  they will get what they need or die trying.  I don’t want that to happen or be the one that kills them because they will steal and kill me to get what they want/need.   My life is valuable to me and I have worked for several years to give myself a chance at survival. While I can understand and even sympathize  about how a parent will feel.  I won’t feel much pity because if I can prepare almost anyone can do the same as I have done.

Times and technology change people don’t, that’s why the bible and history are great to read and understand. The Bible is a history of the human condition and even if you are not religious it can give you great insight about human beings.