As a middle school kid, I spent one of the scariest hours of my life lost in the woods. I wandered away from our family’s campsite and didn’t see another human being for the next 60 minutes. The only people more terrified than me were my parents, who split up and went in different directions calling my name until I heard them.
As my friend, Orrin M. Knutson, points out in his book, Survival 101: How to Bug Out and Survive the First 72 Hours, 150,000 people on average get lost in the woods and wilds overnight or longer annually in America. Even more are stranded or caught in natural disasters. Few are prepared and some of them don’t make it out alive.
One of the reasons that some people don’t bother thinking about or preparing for a disaster is because they believe they have enough money to get through it, no matter how bad it becomes. They’re used to drawing upon their wealth to take care of problems, so they assume that their finances will come to the rescue again if necessary.
But if we ever experience a total financial collapse — and some people believe the signs are pointing in that direction — no amount of money in the world will help. Any number of events could thrust North America into that horrific situation, including an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack that could keep funds locked inside banks for weeks, months or, possibly, years.
Gaining food independence is a big step in our overall effort to become self-reliant. Maintaining a good food supply is crucial to being able to both survive and thrive in a post-disaster society.
Growing your own food is one of the best ways to reach your goal in this area, but sometimes little critters can pose a big problem. A standard fence may keep rabbits, deer and other animals out of your garden; but an electric fence will probably be much more effective.
Have you ever seen the television commercials in which lines at a store’s checkout counters move briskly when customers are using the sponsor’s credit and debit cards, but slow down considerably when someone has the audacity to use cash? The implication is that if you don’t use the sponsor’s cards for your purchases, you’re an out-of-touch dweeb who inconveniences all those around you.
Those advertisements always rub me the wrong way because there are a number of reasons why cash can be preferable — including for budgeting purposes. But I’m guessing those commercials are even more offensive to victims of disasters such as Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Katrina and the tornado that devastated Moore, Okla., last year.
With gardening season rapidly approaching, we’re soon going to hear a lot about the importance of soil and how much of a difference the quality of soil can make in a plant’s growth. And it’s true; soil is important. But it’s not crucial for a plant’s growth like water is.
During the 1900s, scientists learned that the important mineral nutrients that are absorbed by plants come from water. Soil does act like a mineral nutrient reservoir in nature, but it is not required for plant growth. If we bring those essential mineral nutrients into a plant’s water supply through an artificial method, soil is not really needed for the plant’s growth at all! That’s what hydroponic gardening is all about.
It’s a common ploy directors have been using for years to surprise audiences. A character gets shot. You think he’s dead. But then, he gets up off the ground, revealing that he was wearing a bulletproof vest.
Hopefully, you are not in a situation in which getting shot is a distinct possibility. But if you have to travel through dangerous neighborhoods or if someone in your life is out to get you, it’s possible that body armor could save your life.
It’s difficult to imagine an emergency situation more potentially horrendous than a chemical attack on U.S. soil. This horrifying possibility — undoubtedly being discussed by America’s enemies on a regular basis — could be an act of war such as we have not seen in this country since Sept. 11, 2001.
But prior to those terrorist attacks that resulted in deaths and carnage in New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Pennsylvania — and forever changed the way Americans live — a chemical attack occurred in Japan that was a wake-up call for the rest of the world.
In the 1982 comedy film “Airplane II: The Sequel,” Peter Graves plays a flight captain who very calmly takes the news that two of his crew have perished after being sucked out of an airlock. But when a flight attendant tells him that they’ve run out of coffee, he goes ballistic, loudly reminding everyone how many times he’s asked for extra coffee to be stored onboard.
While humorous, that movie scene brings up a valid point. Do you really want to live in a world without coffee? If a disaster strikes, coffee will be one of the things many people will wish they had stockpiled — not just for the enjoyment of the taste, but also to help them stay alert in night watch situations and to use as a bartering tool.
At this point, everybody knows how important it is to stockpile food, water and other necessities for an emergency. I can’t imagine anyone saying, following a disaster, “If only someone had told me that I should prepare for something like this.” A few people are well-prepared, many people are somewhat prepared and most people aren’t prepared at all; but nobody can say they weren’t warned that they could be without these crucial items should a crisis occur.
On the other hand, there seems to be much less awareness of the need to have stockpiles of food, water and other items in at least two different places, preferably three. Even many preppers who have amassed serious amounts of bottled water, canned food, toiletries and a host of can openers, flashlights, batteries, radios, blankets, clothing, first-aid kits and weapons are putting all of their eggs in one basket if they keep everything at the same location.
There has been much speculation regarding what the next major terrorist attack in the United States might look like and when it might occur.
Will it be a vehicle used as a weapon, à la 9/11, or perhaps a series of bomb blasts in highly populated areas such as what we’ve seen in the Mideast? Or might it be a cyberattack such as what has been aimed at Iran’s nuclear development facilities?