Monthly Task Reminders

Tomorrow's The First Of The Month
Have you...

Test run your generator?
Rotated you gasoline stores?
Tested your smoke and/or carbon monoxide detectors?
Checked your household and vehicle fire extinguishers?
Given your dog his heart worm pill and flea/tick treatment?
Changed your HVAC filters?
Test run all your small engine equipment?
Checked the tires, belts, hoses and filters on your vehicles?

Thanks For A Record Month!

Thanks to all who stopped by for the first time and then stuck around!  July of 2012 was our best month ever with over 16,200 visits.  We also are at 667 Facebook fans.  My readers are the best!


Free Gun & Gear Giveaways

.300 Blackout Upper

The .300 Blackout is the latest and greatest in AR15 technology.  The .300 round is essentially a 5.56 that has been necked down and out to take a 200+ grain .30 caliber bullet.  This gives you roughly 7.62x51 ballistics with everything except the barrel and chamber the same as standard 5.56 ARs.  I've fondled one, but have yet to shoot it (hopefully after the state rifle range reopens in Sept.).

The gang at gun review website, http://www.fourguysguns.com/ are giving away a .300 Blackout upper, along with a bunch of other great gear.  Go to thier website and follow the instructions (you need to have a Facebook account) and enter once a day.

Riot Shotgun

Grim Industry is giving away a riot gun.  Go to their Facebook page and follow the instructions to enter.

Massive Gear Collection

ISurvivedTheZombies is giving away a huge collection of gear to celebrate reaching 10,000 fans on Facebook.  Go to their FB page to enter.

If you are on FB, there are always great gear giveaways going on.  Of course, don't forget to like If It Hits The Fan's FB page.  I'm planning a giveaway when we reach 750 and 1,000 fans, so please tell your friends too!


Prepper Ponderings

More Jerry Ahern

I thought I'd pass on some links to other tributes or past interviews with Jerry.

Modern Survival Online Interview

Brian Drake Interview

Survival Weekly Tribute

K9 First Aid

Two weeks ago, our dog, Louis, was in the back yard with me when I noticed he was carrying is left rear leg up and "tri-podding."  He's limped in the past, so we didn't think too much of it, and gave him a baby aspirin for a couple of days.  When it didn't get any better I took him to the vet where he was diagnosed with a torn ACL.  We had a choice of keeping him crated and off of it for months, and probable healing after 6 - 8 months, or going in for surgery with a healing time of 2 - 3 months and much less confinement.

This past Tuesday, he went in for the surgery and about $1,000 later, is pretty pitiful right now.  It got me to thinking, what would we have done if we were in the middle of a long term SHTF situation?  If it was a more personal one, and we couldn't afford it or if it was a widespread one and there just wasn't major medical treatment available?  Louis is not only a beloved family pet, but he is also a part of our home's defense, serving as an alarm for people coming on the property.

Merck has two free on-line manuals.  One for pet owners and one for veterinarians.  Might be a good idea to download or print out some of the pertinent sections.  Does anyone have any other free or low-cost resources?

A Classic Title Returns

So I'm pushing my cart (the small cart without a baby seat - but that's another story) through the Food Lion and as I passed the magazine rack, I had to do a double take.  There it was, a blast from the past, American Survival Guide.  ASG was a staple of my youth, from the early 80's up through Y2K before the magazine went out of business.  I was even a photographer and uncredited co-writer for an article in the mid 90s.

The new ASG is put out by Gun World magazine, and other than the title seems to have no relation to the original.  It looks like it is starting off as a quarterly, and the cover price is $8.99.  It's very glossy and many of the articles and features are set up with lots of graphics, bullet points, and smaller sub-articles... very much like a Men's Health or similar magazine.  Sections include Urban, Wilderness and General Preparedness, along with a number of Buyer's Guides and some columns.  The only name I recognize among the editorial staff and contributors is Cody Lundin.  I have an original ASG with an article about Cody and his aboriginal survival school in Arizona.

I haven't done more than skim the magazine yet, but will give it a thorough reading this week.  I really hope it lives up the name, American Survival Guide, and that it becomes a regular, monthly magazine.  If it is well done, there will be a market for it.


Book Review: Unbroken

Unbroken - A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, by Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken is not survival fiction.  There are no zombies, EMPs, or an economic collapse.  There are two nuclear explosions.  This is the true story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic track star was in a B-24 crash in the Pacific, survived 47 days adrift in a life raft before being captured by the Japanese.  He was held as a special, unregistered prisoner of war for over two years, and subjected to unbelievable torture and deprivations.

The book is well written, and is a true page turner as exciting as any adventure novel.  I knocked out the roughly 400 hardbound pages in about 5 nights of reading in bed.  It was really hard to put down.  As a prepper, the biggest message I got out of this book is that the human spirit is probably your most important survival tool.  All the guns, gear, food and stuff will be useless if you lose the will to go on.

I'm not going to go into the story itself,  to do so would really take away from it.  Just suffice it to say that what Louie went through was truly amazing, and I highly recommend this book.

Two Other WWII Survival Stories

One reason that Unbroken resonated so greatly with me was that I used to know two men who's combined experiences were similar to Louie's.

When I was a kid, my folks had a friend named Jaguar John.  He was a free spirit, a WWII veteran with a shady past, a wild mane of gray hair and a beard, a talent for abstract art, a wooden leg, and, as his name suggests, a penchant for classic Jaguar cars.  Jaguar John was larger than life and his story would make a great book or movie.  He lost his leg as a tailgunner in a Pacific bomber, and spent several days adrift in a raft.  Some years later, in the late 50s or early 60s, he supposedly escaped from a Mexican jail after being locked up down there for being engaged in the business of... "herbal" remedies.  He left behind a mint condition antique Jaguar in a Mexican garage. 

We had a sailboat when I was a kid, and I remember one Independence Day, probably '78 or '79, and we had about 20 people on our boat, sailing alongside a friend who had another 25 or so on his boat.  Keep in mind that both boats were under sail, and probably 50-75 feet apart.  I was up on the forward deck with several folks, including Jaguar John.  All of a sudden, that crazy son of a gun stands up, pulls off his wooden leg and hands it to me.  He then stripped naked and dove into the bay.  He swam across to the other boat and grabbed ahold to a line that was tossed down to him, climbed aboard and popped open another cold beer.  That's the type of thing that really makes an impression on a 10 year old kid.

We had a local Saturday morning kid's show here called "Jack and the Jukebox."  A little educational, a little entertaining... an aging hippie with his anthropomorphic jukebox taught kids life lessons.  Imagine my surprise one morning to turn on "Jack" and see my pal, Jaguar John as the special guest, playing his harmonica with Jack.  Jaguar John's hard living caught up to him and he has been dead for many years now.

The other man was a former co-worker, Bill Delaney.  I once wrote an article for our department newsletter about Bill, a Marine veteran of WWII and Korea.  Wish I could still get my hands on it.

Bill was captured by the Japanese in the Philippines and was in the lesser-known Second Bataan Death March in May of '42.  He survived the forced march with his fellow Marines being bayoneted for sport, and head shot for falling behind.  On the ship to Japan, he was on deck trying to signal to US planes that Americans were on board in hopes of not being sunk.  Once in Japan, he was subjected to beatings, starvation diet, constant illness, and being slave labor in a Mitsubishi factory.  Bill was about 6'4" and when he was freed at the end of the war, he weighed about 90 pounds.  Bill recovered and stayed in the Corps, later serving as a Drill Instructor on Parris Island and going to war again in Korea where he survived the "Frozen Chosin" Chosin Reservoir campaign.  After retiring from the Marine Corps, Bill worked another full career in the post office.  After his second retirement, he worked part time for us watching camera monitors.  Bill folded his long, lanky frame into a VW Beetle, but refused to drive a Japanese car.  Last I heard, he and his wife moved to Florida, and I would guess he has probably passed away by now.

Louis Zamperini, Jaguar John, and Bill Delaney... three men of the Greatest Generation who used their mental toughness and spirit as the ultimate survival tool in circumstances that most of us couldn't even imagine.


Guest Post: Food Storage

A Guest Post from Harper

Food Storage for a Safe, Worry-Free Future

Having a food supply in case of emergency or hard times is essential in the world today. There is so much uncertainty about the future. You can never know when a natural disaster, major war, crop failure, economic collapse or other calamity will strike, affecting you and your family. The only thing you can do is be prepared. Let’s face it, we are currently living in a world of peace and plenty. You have no trouble accessing food and other basic needs. But this could change suddenly. Times could truly get hard, and the best thing you could do now is be prepared.

Let’s face it, having an adequate supply of food storage in case of an emergency is not a luxury. It is a necessity. Our current climate of prosperity, peace, and plenty is tenuous and fragile at best. It is foolish to assume that nothing bad will ever happen. Think about it. What would happen if a large-scale disaster closed the supermarkets where you live? How long would you be able to feed yourself and the other members of your family? How long would you last? What would you do if help didn’t come for months?

These are not far-fetched, purely hypothetical questions. Natural disasters, economic crises, and violent wars frequently thrust millions of people into these conditions. Disasters of this magnitude occur virtually every year, and you never know who will be affected next.

Various government agencies recommend having a food storage supply of up to one year for your family, in case of a truly cataclysmic local or world event. Of course, it is very difficult to purchase six months or an entire year’s supply of food all at once. The best way to prepare yourself for the worst is to prepare consistently and gradually. You can gradually build up your food storage supplies to safe levels in a matter of months or years, depending on your circumstances. For example, one can easily acquire a year’s supply of food storage in only six years by buying a month’s worth of food storage every six months. In matters as important as an emergency food supply, constant, consistent preparation is best.

There are many places to buy good, long-lasting food storage products. One that I recommend is shelfreliance.com. Shelf Reliance sells high quality, flavorful food with an extremely long shelf life. They also sell food storage organizers and rotation systems, as well as emergency preparedness kits packed with supplies that are essential during a short-term natural disaster such as a flood, hurricane, or minor earthquake. Shelf reliance is also an excellent choice because 5% of the company’s food storage profits go to charity, helping starving people all around the globe.

No one knows what the future holds. If hard times should come, do not be among those who wish they had done more to prepare. Don’t let your family go hungry. Be prepared. Begin collecting food stores now. Ensure your family’s safety no matter what happens.


Tribute to Jerry Ahern

Rest in Peace, Jerry... and Thanks for Decades of Great Writing

Jerry Ahern

Back in the early 80's, there were two writers that really got me in to survivalism.  One was Mel Tappan with his tome, Survival Guns, which I checked out of the library dozens of times over several years.  The other was Jerry Ahern, best known as the author of the series of novels, The Survivalist.

The Survivalist was "men's adventure," science fiction, and survival skills training all rolled into one.  Jerry wrote as someone who truly understood the guns and gear that his vivid characters used.  The protagonist, John Thomas Rourke, was instantly recognizable with his Ray-Ban Aviators, blue chambray shirt, blue jeans, USGI leather combat boots and battered, leather bomber jacket.  In his double Alessi shoulder rig, Rourke carried a pair of twin Detonics Combat Masters with extra mags on his belt in a Milt Sparks Six-Pack and in the musette bag slung over his shoulder.  The Metalifed and Mag-na-ported Colt Python on his hip was joined by the A.G. Russel black chrome Sting 1A at the small of his back.  He rode a black Harley Davidson Low-Rider and told time with a Rolex Submariner.  Rourke was everything a teen aged boy could hope to be... doctor, CIA agent, survival expert... with unbelievable skills.  Jerry could spin a heck of a good yarn with amazing descriptions and details.

I devoured The Survivalist stories as they came out for well over a decade.  To this day, I still have part of the series and reread them every now and then.

Jerry also authored dozens of other novels, both series and one-offs.  He was a prolific magazine writer, with thousands of articles in gun, survival and knife magazines, as well as a monthly column in the Dillon Blue Press.

Among his more recent books were the time-travel adventure, "Written In Time" and the how-to book, "Survive!: The Disaster Crisis and Emergency Handbook." 

In the past couple of years, I got to know Jerry a little bit on Facebook where he interacted with folks on his personal page, as well as in a group dedicated to fans of The Survivalist.  A few months ago, his daughter came on his page and told everyone that Jerry had taken ill, but that he was fighting.  Today his family announced that yesterday he lost his battle with cancer.  He taught thousands how to survive everything from a flood to a nuclear war, but he met his match.  I always meant to see if I could send him a couple of books to autograph, but I never got around to it.  I really wish I had.

Jerry was devoted to his family, including his wife of 43 years, Sharon.  My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.  The survival/prepper community has lost a legendary leader, but they have lost a loved one.  I thank them for sharing him with us for so many years and for the positive influance he has had on the past 30 years of my life.

Jerry's Obituary

Send a Message to the Family


Another Free Book

Disaster Ready People

This company, Firestorm, is a business continuity consulting firm, that also promotes personal disaster preparedness and planning.

On their website, they offer a free download of their book, Disaster Ready People for a Disaster Ready America.  I have not had a chance to read it, but after a quick skim, it looks like good, basic introductory information for a novice or beginning prepper, or for a good way to introduce the subject to friends and family.


New Documents in the Library

More Free Library Resources

I've added some new documents to the Library Resource page.

In the Terrorism Awareness and Defense section, I've added a Dept. of Homeland Security document entitled, Performance Venues: Indicators of Violence and Protective Measures.  This document has been out for a while, but DHS just republicized it in response to the Aurora theater killings.  Not a whole lot of useful information in it, but you might glean a nugget or two.  If your boss at work expresses concern about planning for an active shooter, then you can give him this and look like Johnny on the spot.

I've added a section entitled Crime Prevention and put the first document in it, The Little Black Book of Scams.  This booklet was put out by our friends from the Great White North in Canada.  It outlines different mail, internet and phone scams that are out there.  It would be great to print and share with that older relative who might be a prime candidate to be a scam victim.

In the General Preparedness Information section I've updated the link for the latest edition of the LDS Preparedness Manual.  It is newly updated and expanded with tons of great information.  It has some LDS theological information in it, but the vast majority of it is useful to any (or even no) religion.  This is the only link on the Library Resources Page that goes to a site that I do not control.

Free Herb Book

I found this fee guide to herbal medicinals today thanks to Survival Mom.  It is available as a free Kindle download on Amazon.  You don't need a Kindle, you can download a Kindle reader app to your smart phone, iPad, or regular computer.  I've started skimming it, and it looks like a really useful guide... and you can't beat the price.  I don't know how long it will be free, so snap it up ASAP!


Some New Friends

More Blogs To Check Out

There are a ton of prepper/self-reliance/survival blogs and websites out there.  Most of us don't have the luxury of time enough to check out dozens of them each day.  I have a few that I visit nearly every day, and a handful more that I check out every week or so.  There are a bunch of others that I look at every now and then.

I really hope that If It Hits The Fan is one of your daily, or at least weekly visits.  Here are a couple more sites that I have recently become acquainted with that you ought to check out and see if they meet your needs.

Backdoor Survival is done by Gaye, up in the San Juan Islands region of Washington state.  She offers a lot of great information from a woman's perspective, but plenty that is also of use to men.  One of her recent posts that I have enjoyed reading is "Getting Started With Handguns Is Not For Wimps."

Off-Grid Survival is by Rob, a guy experienced in wilderness survival, HAM radio, and the martial arts.  He has a great layout to his site, and a combination of his own articles and news links.  I enjoyed his recent post on "Flash Mobs."

I've added both of these to my "Links I Like" page.

Why Have We Developed A Passive Society

This morning Prison Planet (Alex Jones' site) had a great editorial on the passivity of the crowd in the Aurora theater massacre.

Call For Guest Posts

As I mentioned last night, I'd love to get some guest posts from anyone who has attended any type of survival training or school, telling us about it and reviewing it in case some other readers might want to attend.  I'd also like to get guest posts from anyone who has attended an Appleseed event or who has used the services of an LDS Cannery.  If you'd like to write up your experiences about these (or really, any other subject that you think our readers might enjoy - product or gun reviews, how you became a prepper, how you set up your BOB or BOV, etc...) please send them to me here.


One For The Ladies

Women's Outdoor Weekend

I was asked to share this information with you all.  I don't know these folks personally, and have no first hand experience with them.  This course looks like it would be very interesting for a woman who is gaining an interest in the outdoors or wilderness survival.  Looking at their website, it looks like they have a ton of experience to share and pass on.

Their website is at TrackingSurvival.com  Edited to give a better website: http://www.trackingsurvival.com/W.%20O.%20W..htm 

If any of you go to this class (or any other survival school, firearms course, etc...) I'd love to get a guest post from you reviewing the course and sharing your new found knowledge.



Could It Be Prevented?

I'd first like to offer up prayers to the victims and their families in the Aurora theater attack.  I pray the wounded can find strength and healing and that the families of those killed can find peace.

This type of attack cannot be prevented.  The threat of a determined lone killer cannot be eliminated in advance.  He CAN be stopped.  The number of victims CAN be minimized.

I'm not going to sit here and claim that one armed citizen WOULD have saved lives and prevented dozens of injuries.  But I will guarantee that one COULD have. 

Sheepdogs, Sheep and Wolves

I have had the honor of hearing Lt. Col. Dave Grossman speak on two different occasions.   If you are not familiar with him, he is the author of On Killing, a study of the psychology of killing... both the kind perpetrated by evil doers and that done by the protectors.

Col. Grossman promotes the idea of the sheepdog...
"One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me: 'Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident...Then there are the wolves,' the old war veteran said, 'and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy.' Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? ...You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial...Then there are sheepdogs,' he went on, 'and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf.'"

Col. Grossman further promotes the idea that those who are sheepdogs, whether by nature or by training, have a duty to carry the tools to be an effective protector.  It is immoral to be able to protect, but to be unwilling to do so.

If you are legally able to carry a gun in public, don't you have the moral obligation to do so to protect yourself, your family, and other innocents if possible?  You may not have an opportunity to engage the target, but you might. 

Attacks can happen anywhere at any time.  We can't hide out and never go in a public place.  The best we can do is stay aware of our surroundings, leave a dangerous or questionable situation if we can, and fight back with explosive violence if we need to.

Be a sheepdog.


Big Brother Is Up

Did The Balloon Go Up?

Today I went to day one of a two day homeland security symposium.  It was pretty interesting, and I'll share some of what I learn this weekend.

When I got there, I saw this overhead

Of course, my immediate thought was that "the balloon went up" and the SHTF.  Then I figured that we were on a college campus, so it was probably something to do with a new student ort or something.

But then, inside the symposium, I'm checking out the vendors and sponsors and I see these

Seems that the innocent looking balloon was actually an unmanned aerial surveillance device.

It will broadcast images for 10 hours by battery, or indefinitely while tethered to power.  The images were not great, jumping as the balloon was buffeted by the wind, but it could zoom in pretty tight.  The images were also in black and white, and almost appeared to be like looking through some night vision.

Edited 7/20/12 - I got this shot today, it seems as if the camera can take high res color shots as well

But the point isn't how good they are, it is the fact that there is yet another method of keeping an eye on folks.  I could see legitimate use for this type of thing at a state fair or a festival or something where they could use it for crowd safety and management.  I could also see some illegal search and seizure uses for it.  Got a tall privacy fence so folks can't see into your property from the road?  They could just launch this over your land and take a peek while you are at work.  Maybe you have a long wooded driveway and no trespassing signs, but no fence.  They could send this up to see what you are up to.  Yeah, it is a balloon, and a well placed piece of lead will probably bring it down, but I imagine they'll have some law on the books to really hammer you if you do that.

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about it is the name of the company.

Skynet sound familiar?  That's the name of the artificial intelligence that ends up taking over the world, enslaving humans, and sending the Terminator back in time to kill Sarah Connor.  The company wouldn't have done that on purpose... would they?


News Notes

Storage Food Smack Down

I got an email last night from a public relations firm discussing a new study released by Mountain House that allegedly showed that their products had far less oxygen in them than Wise Food Storage products.  The email had a chart and everything. 

Now, for a time in my misspent youth, I studied advertising and PR in college and did an internship with a marketing firm.  I looked at this information from that standpoint... Why were they  focusing solely on Wise?  Why not look at other storage food manufacturers?  Who did the testing, and what is their background?  Why test (or report) only on oxygen levels?  Was this comparing apples to apples or to oranges?  In short, it just struck me as "funny."

Two of my sponsors, Directive 21 and Essential Packs, are Wise Food Storage dealers.  I gave Jeff "The Berkey Guy" Gleason of Directive 21 a call, and he told me that Wise had responded and that he had the information on the blog at his site.  Instead of me interviewing him and redoing what has already been done, I'll just link to the information that he posted, which includes the press releases both from Mountain House and from Wise.  I'd encourage you to check out the information for yourself.  As for me, I have some Wise in my food storage and I plan to have more in the future.

Crazy Critters

It's been bad enough lately that we've had to be on the lookout for face eating bath salt zombies, but there has been a rash of bizarre animal attacks over the past couple days too.

Maryland woman attacked by rabid deer

Oregon man gets the plague from a cat

Virginia girls attacked by a beaver

Alligator on the loose in Detroit River

SC Wind Tunnel

This giant wind tunnel in South Carolina is used to subject building materials and styles to simulated natural disasters ranging from hurricanes to fires to hail storms.


A Look Back In Time

Survival Self-Test

I was going through some old survival magazines today, and thought it might be fun to do the Survival Self-Test from the November 1983 issue of Survival Guide (the predecessor of American Survival Guide).

1.  In fitting an axe handle to an axe head, you should use:
a. soft pine wedges and boiled linseed oil.
b. wood screws and epoxy glue.
c. bolts and glycerin.
d. oak wedges and water.

2.  At 0 degrees Fahrenheit and wind velocity of 40 mph, the wind chill is:
a. -3 degrees F.
b. -5 degrees F.
c -35 degrees F.
d. -53 degrees F.

3.  In a beehive, the super is:
a. where the queen lays eggs.
b. where workers make honey, but the queen is excluded.
c. where drones live until they fertilize a new queen.
d. where the new queen is reared to maturity.

4.  When practicing practical pistol shooting, fire:
a. only one round at each target you engage.
b. two rounds at each target you engage.
c. three rounds at each target you engage.
d. four rounds at each target you engage.

5.  Hiding keys outside your home:
a. helps prevent lockouts.
b. should be done carefully.
c. is an invitation to burglars.
d. will fool burglars.

6.  In a tactical situation where silence is required, the hand signal "thumbs up" means:
a. yes or affirmative.
b. no or negative.
c. look or observe.
d. hear or listen.

7. The best emergency treatment for minor frostbite:
a. is to rub the affected area with leaves.
b. is to rub the affected area with snow.
c. is to thaw the affected area with 105 - 110 degree F water.
d. is to bundle the affected area in warm woolens.

8.  In an urban survival situation:
a. you are in no danger from an attack launched from hundreds of yards away.
b. you have plenty of time to escape and hide.
c. you may be threatened by long-range weapons and have no time to hide.
d. looters will always be bound by the Geneva Convention.

9.  You are driving through an unfamiliar big city.  You should:
a. keep your windows rolled down so you can ask directions.
b. keep packages visible on the seat so you won't lose them.
c. keep your doors and windows locked.
d. keep your lights on to prevent accidents.

10.  You are forced into hand-to-hand combat with an adversary.  You should immediately attempt to land a blow on:
a. his groin.
b. his jaw.
c. his eyes.
d. his nose.

11. Hypoxia is a lack of sufficient oxygen available to the body cells.  It is most commonly accompanied by:
a. sweating and increased breathing rate.
b. light-headedness, dizziness, tingling and warm sensations.
c. all of the above.
d. none of the above.

12.  In weatherman's parlance, a trough is:
a. an elongated area of high atmospheric pressure, extending from the center of a high pressure system.
b. an elongated area of low atmospheric pressure, extending from the center of a low pressure system.
c. an elongated area of low atmospheric pressure, extending from the center of a high pressure system.
d. an elongated area of high atmospheric pressure, extending from the center of a low pressure system.

13.  Radiation sickness:
a. makes infections more likely and harder to treat.
b. kills viruses and bacteria, so infections are less likely.
c. is always fatal.
d. is more harmful to adults than to children.

14.  Alpha, beta and gamma carotene:
a. are radioactive particles.
b. are measurable with a dosimeter.
c. cannot be detected in humans.
d. are provitamins that may be converted into vitamin A in the body.

15.  The best way to win a fight is to:
a. avoid it.
b. employ superior firepower.
c. use sniping and stealth tactics.
d. surround the enemy.

16.  Fungi in stored grain:
a. is harmless to humans.
b. indicates poor storage conditions.
c. has no effect on pigs and chickens that eat it.
d. does not attack the germ.

17.  A woman who lives in an apartment alone should:
a. list her last name and initial of her first name in the telephone directory.
b. open the door when the doorbell rings.
c. get on an elevator with a strange man.
d. not carry a weapon.

18.  Skunk cabbage is:
a. totally inedible.
b. poisonous.
c. a natural herb, good for hay fever.
d. a provider of edible roots.

19.  The Soviet Kalashnikov automatic rifle will accept:
a. American .223 ammo.
b. American .30-06 ammo.
c. Israeli 9mm ammo.
d. Egyptian 7.62 ammo.

20.  If you are fishing in the ocean and catch a spiny fish, you should:
a. handle it with care.
b. not touch it as those spines may be poisonous.
c. carefully skin the fish, avoiding the spines.
d. throw it back.


1 - A
2 - D
3 - B
4- B
5 - C
6 - A
7 - C
8 - C
9 - C
10 - D
12 - B
13 - A
14 - D
15 - A
16 - B
17 - A
18 - D
19 - D
20 - B

How'd you do?

In other 1983 news...

The H&K 94A3 (semi-auto version of the MP5 submachine gun) got a great review.  The Man-Pack was a portable solar panel that folded down to 9 x 5 inches and would provide 800 milliamps at 13 volts.  It cost a mere $795 (a similar, but more efficient and smaller product is available these days for $149).  There is an interesting article on the storage life of various medications.  Need to tune up your Mini-14?  They've got the scoop for you.  There's a piece of feral dogs.  For wilderness survival skills, there is a cool way to make a "hot rock bed."  The back cover ad is for the H&K P7 pistol, with a MSRP of $599.  A quick check of GunsAmerica finds several available for between $1,150 and $1,250.  Looks like solar technology would have been an awful investment, but quality firearms always are.  And no look at an old magazine would be complete without a comment on how cool (or unusual) the old ads were.


Disaster Preparedness Fair

Free For Folks In The Tidewater Area of Virginia

I saw this flyer today advertising a free Disaster Preparedness Fair that the LDS church is putting on in Newport News, Virginia on Aug. 11 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

In addition to free admission they will have door prizes.  Topics covered include: 72-hour Emergency Kits; Long & Short Term Food Storage; Water Storage & Purification; Family Disaster Plans; Canning/Preserving; Gardening; Suburban Livestock; First Aid; Couponing; Document Handling; Financial Preparedness; Cooking & Lighting w/o Power; Generators; and Outdoor Demonstrations

It looks like they have some great topics, and a little more focused on overall self-sufficiency and preparedness than the county "Survivor Day" seminar that I went to this past winter.

I'm planning to attend with an old friend.  I'd love to meet some If It Hits The Fan readers if you are in the area and will also attend.  I'll bring it up again when we are a couple of days out.  I've tried calling the church for a website or contact person or something, but no one answered.  I'll keep trying and see if I can donate a couple of our If It Hits The Fan Survival Wrist Straps to the door prizes.


500th Post!

A Milestone!

I started this blog in May of 2009, not really sure where it would end up.  I was doing a couple of posts a week, and was pretty amazed when I passed 500 page views in October of that year.  In January of 2010 I bumped it up and started trying to hit five or six posts a week.  Since then, I've had thousands of readers from all over the world, got to know many of you through your comments, emails and Facebook, and gotten some sponsors that help keep this going.  I'm really grateful and thankful for all of you who take time out of your day to read what I have to say.  I'm really looking forward to the next 500 posts and hope that all of you (and many more) will stick around for the ride.


If you are one of our fans on Facebook, you might have seen the news article that I linked to on Thursday about an X-class coronal mass ejection that was due to hit Earth early Saturday morning with possible effects throughout the day.

Saturday midday, we were in the kitchen whipping up some homemade salsa when the GFI on the outlet that we were using the food processor on tripped.  The processor wasn't going at the time.  A few minutes later, we tried to turn on the microwave for something and that GFI had also tripped.  We've never had any problem with those outlets before, and the fact that nothing was actually going when they tripped, kind of makes me think that it may have had something to do with the CME.

On the subject of defending against EMP/CME...

We were watching Cool Tools this morning on the DIY channel.  They were at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and took a look at the ioSafe.  This thing is a "disaster proof" external hard drive for backing up your computer on a regular basis.  They have several different models that are of various sizes that are fire and water proof such as you might need to protect your backup during a house fire or flood.  The one they showed was their portable model and to demonstrate its resilience, they had a guy in a Faraday cage suit, with a Tesla coil shooting off lightning bolts directly into the portable ioSafe.  They then tested it and saw that it had no damage nor loss of data.  The ioSafe looks like a "must have" if you are truly concerned about catastrophic loss from an EMP or CME.

Project BOV Update

Friday evening we had the old Jeep at the local hot rod cruise-in when my brother rolled up on his 1973 shovel head Harley.  I told him that I had gotten all of the lights working except my brake lights.  He pulled the wires off of my brake light switch and we found that they would activate the lights, so they weren't the trouble.  He took off my master cylinder cover and we found that the rear section had very little brake fluid in it.  I walked over to Target and got a couple of bottles.  We topped off both sections of the reservoir, but there was no real change.  By the time we got home that evening, the brakes had all kinds of feeling to them, and the brake lights were working.  The only problem now is that the brakes grab so hard that it pulls sharply to the right when I apply them.  That's how old rigs go... get one thing working, and something else pops up.  But when all is said and done, my 72 Jeep Commando will be EMP-proof with decent cargo capacity and go-anywhere capabilities.


Surviving Police Stops

I Am Not A Cop Basher

Let me preface this by saying that I was a police officer for over 15 years, serving as a lieutenant for the last few years of my career.  Most of my friends are or have been police officers.  I have a great deal of respect for the law enforcement officers who help keep our communities safe and lock up the bad guys... while understanding and supporting our rights.  I think the Oath Keepers organization has an awful lot going for it and support what they do - in fact, I put my money where my mouth is and just switched away from typing this to join as a full member.  I understand that officers have to enforce laws that some might consider stupid or useless.  If we don't like the laws, it is up to us to get them changed. 

I do not support officers who abuse citizens, violate rights, use unnecessary force, flex their authority as bullies, or believe that they are "better" than the rest of us.

I decided to write this tonight primarily because of a video that seemed to make the rounds on Facebook today.  One of our readers, Shanna, posted it, as did SurvivalMom and an old friend of mine.  It is a video of a young man getting stopped at two different Border Patrol checkpoints well inside our country... not at a border crossing.  You can watch it here:

I really admire people like this guy who put their safety and liberty on the line when they are right.  There is another video that shows this same guy getting brutalized and abused a couple of years ago at a similar checkpoint.  The guy puts himself in these situations on purpose, but he is in the right and stands up for not just his rights, but all of ours.  He is similar to the people who open carry in places and video their encounters with the police.  Some officers do the right thing and others get abusive or authoritative.  The people who take these chances don't know what kind of officer they will encounter, and put themselves at risk to stand up for their rights.  The guy in this video stirs some of this up... he comes across as a jerk at times.  He could get the same thing accomplished without calling the officers Nazis.  He also has some other issues with some of his sermons (he's a preacher) that supposedly call for the death of homosexuals and others.  But that doesn't take away from the fact that in this case, he was in the right.

I'm going to offer up some advice for you if you get stopped by the police.  This is NOT legal advice.  Different states and localities have different laws.  It has also been about 5 years since I was a cop, laws and interpretations have changed.  Use my advice at your own risk.  Research your laws and consult a lawyer if you think you should.  This is also not advice for you to go out and become an activist like the guy in the video or other folks.  This is for regular folks who get stopped by the police on a legitimate traffic stop or in a DUI or seatbelt checkpoint.  It is not advice to get out of or beat a ticket... simply some suggestions on ways to ensure that you protect your rights.  Most cops are decent, good "guys." 

1. Drive it like you stole it - I've never understood why people say that when they are talking about driving fast and crazy.  I've always thought that if I ever steal a car, I will make sure all the lights and accessories work, I wear my seatbelt, I'm sober, I drive within a few MPH of the speed limit, I use my turn signals, etc...  In other words, don't draw attention to yourself and obey the laws of the road.  That's the best way to not get stopped by the police in the first place.

If you are getting pulled over:
1.  immediately slow down and pull over in a safe location as quickly as you can; pull as far of the road as you safely can; put the car in park and turn off the radio; if you are on the phone, maybe don't hang it up, but set it down so the person on the other end can hear what is going on; turn on your hazard lights
2.  roll down your window and rest your hands on top of the steering wheel - if it is after dark, turn on your dome light
3.  many officers are trained in Verbal Judo and will initiate the conversation with something like: "good afternoon, I'm officer jones of the capital city police department.  I stopped you because you were driving 62 in a 45 zone.  Is there a reason you were driving that fast? ...pause...  Please tell me where your license and registration are and hand them to me."  Go ahead and comply.  Don't argue... but don't admit either.  Other officers might walk up and simply ask for your license and registration.  It's tempting to ask them why they stopped you before you had over your documents, but just hand them over.  He'll tell you why after he gets them.  You don't have the right to know why you are being stopped before you identify yourself.  Arguing the point will get you nowhere... plus remember, don't argue or admit anything... simply acknowledge.  If he asks where you are coming from or going, you don't need to answer.
4.  If your state requires you to notify the officer of your concealed weapon, do it.  If you are not required to, don't.  No officer is going to give you a break because you have a concealed weapon permit.  Find out what your local laws are if the officer asks you if you have a concealed weapon.  Don't do something stupid like keep your drivers license tucked behind your holster or keep the pistol in the glove box with your registration.  If you are not required to answer, don't... but don't lie either.  Simply tell him that you don't want to answer.  That will likely make him more cautious, and maybe even aggressive, be prepared.  If you are carrying legally, you can tell him you are if you want.  Some officers will tell you simply to please not make any sudden movements or ask you where it is.  I think most have gotten away from taking it from you and unloading it or holding it until the stop is over.
5.  When the officer comes back, he'll probably have a summons (ticket, citation) for you or tell you he's giving you a warning.  Accept what he has for you, sign the summons if you get one.
6.  He may say you are free to go, but he would like to ask you a few questions.  Confirm you are free to go and then leave.  You don't need to answer his questions.
7.  He may ask you if you mind if he searches your car for illegal items.  Ask him if you are free to go and leave if you are.  If he evades an answer, keep asking, but maintain your cool.  If he is asking to search, do not ever give permission or consent.
8.  When you leave, leave cautiously.

Short answers: drive legally; don't argue or admit; obey state laws regarding concealed weapon notification; don't argue, admit anything, or lie; if he tells you that you are free to leave... leave; never grant consent to search; if he is "fishing," ask if you are free to leave.

If you get stopped at a checkpoint:
(Here I am going to talk about regular local or state police DUI/Seatbelt/License checkpoints-not federal border patrol ones-I have no experience with those)
1.  Again, make sure you and your car are legal whenever you drive
2.  These checkpoints are legal - don't argue
3.  Roll the window down, follow instructions about showing ID or whatever - you do not need to tell them where you are coming from or going; you do not need to chat or answer questions.  They may say something like, "I'd like you to pull over to the secondary screening location."  Ask if they are telling you or asking you... ask if you are free to go.  If you are wearing your seatbelt, have a valid license and registration, and no alcohol on your breath, you should be free to go. A checkpoint should take no more than 15-20 seconds if you are legal.
4.  Again - do not consent to a search and ask if you are free to go.  If you are, then go.

If all of this goes bad for a checkpoint or a traffic stop, submit without threat, force or violence.  If you get arrested, go willingly.  It will be a pain in the butt, but if you are in the right, it will come out in court.  Don't fight the police on the street, fight them in court.

After a kind of heavy topic, here's a little comedy on the same topic.  I first saw this when I was at the police academy for an instructor recertification class.  It's Chris Rock, and does have quite a bit of profanity, so don't watch if you don't want to hear it.


Hip Shots

Lawn Mower Pistol

I usually carry my North American Arms .22 mini revolver when I am working in the yard and riding the lawn mower.  I changed up the loading on it this past weekend.  The first two rounds are CCI snake shot.  The other three are hollow points.  Good for snakes or to distract 2 legged varmints long enough to get to a larger gun.

Survival Podcast

Good stuff today on The Survival Podcast about dealing with long power outages.  I picked up some ideas I want to integrate into our plans and preps.  He's got a part 2 on it tomorrow.

On-Line Fiction

I'm really enjoying the story arc as Rourke builds it at www.ASurvivalStory.com

Blue Helmet Bastards

Have you heard about the so-called "Arms Trade Treaty?"  The UN is working on it right now and word is that Iran will actually be the member state that is in charge of it.  The progressives claim it is just to keep international arms trades on the up and up, but in reality, if Obama signs it and the Senate ratifies it, it could subject American gun owners to international laws, restrictions and bans.  Supposedly 57 senators have pledged not to vote for ratification.  That's nice, but what if the progressives get a 60 member majority in the future.  They could then ratify it.  For instance, my two senators, Mark Warner and Jim Webb, are both Democrats, but both have pretty good records on the 2nd Amendment.  Webb is not running for reelection this year, and former Governor/Senator George Allen is running against former Governor/DNC chair Tim Kaine.  Allen is pretty good on guns (although he voted for the 93 AWB when he was in the House), but Kaine is a hard core anti.  As mayor of Richmond, he used taxpayer dollars to hire buses to carry people to the Million Mom March against guns in DC.  Here's a good article about some other unforeseen concerns about the ATT.


Tactical Cowboy?

This Is Funny

The last words of Doc Holliday as he died in bed looking at his sock feet.  Not the topic of this post, but a good segue to the latest in gunfighter weaponry.

Have you seen these new interpretations of some Old West favorites?

Mossberg 464 SPX

It is the venerable .30-30 lever action, but with an M4 stock, rail fore end, fiber optic sights, and a flash hider.  I really don't know what to think about this...  Part of me thinks it is ridiculous, but part of me thinks it is really cool.  The .30-30 is a great round for deer-sized game, and in this configuration, a lever action rifle could be your best bet if you can't have a regular M4 or other "tactical" semi auto.

Stoeger Double Defense

It's a "Coach Gun", a side by side double barrel, matte finished, synthetic stock, and rails on top and bottom.  It's also available in over/under.  I have a standard Stoeger coach gun that I use for Cowboy Action Shooting, and for home defense, there is little as intimidating for a bad guy to see than two 12 gauge barrels staring back at him.  I imagine it would be even more so with a light kit and/or a laser teamed up with them.  I actually suggested this for a friend who was moving back to the US from overseas and had personal reasons for not wanting a pump or semi shotgun for home defense.

I just picked up a 2013 gun buyer's guide a couple of nights ago.  The creativity and technology in today's guns never ceases to amaze me (even with the dozens and dozens of AR15s and 1911s).

Welcome Back

I want to reintroduce one of our sponsors, Essential Packs who just renewed their sponsorship for another year.  They offer a huge variety of emergency kits for home, car, office, school, and even your pets.  They also have Wise Food Storage, and a great selection of Wegner genuine Swiss Army Knives.  Please check out their website and tell them that you heard about them here at If It Hits The Fan.


What's In Your Wallet?

Backup ID

It is not unusual for me to forget my wallet.  I've shared some stories about that in the past.  A new law here in Va. says that if you don't have your concealed weapon permit with you if you get stopped, it could be a $25 fine, but that the judge can waive the fine.  That got me thinking, if I forgot my wallet, sure I could eventually get out of a charge, but what else could I do to prevent the need to go to court in the first place.  I also thought back to when I was a cop and how many people that I pulled over that were licensed and had legal tags, but just didn't have their license and registration with them.  It was kind of a pain in the neck for me to write down all their info in my notebook before going back to my cruiser.  If they came back valid, I never wrote a single person for not having it in possession.  It just slowed me down and slowed the driver down in getting done with me.  So here's my idea...

Use my iPhone to take a closeup picture of my retired LEO credentials, my DL, my registration, and my car insurance card.  There are a couple of things to give me pause... I've got to protect the info if I lose the phone - it locks and has to be opened by a password, I should probably make that time shorter...  I would not let an officer take my phone back to his car with him, but I would offer to send him the photo by text message if he wanted.

This is certainly not a cure all.  If a cop were a hard case, he or she would probably still write me no matter what, but I think the majority of officers would appreciate the effort.  Am I missing anything here that makes this a bad idea?  Does anyone know if there is "an app for that?"  Some sort of ID Duplicate App?  At least that way I wouldn't have to scroll through 378 photos of my dog and me smoking a cigar.


Time To Restock

Post-SHTF Recovery

The storm is long gone.  The power has been back on and the house is finally cooled off.  But what if another storm comes tomorrow and we lose power again?

Something that is often overlooked is restocking and reorganizing supplies after an event.  The 50 gallons of gas that my generator drank up need to be refilled and retreated.  That's about $160, so for me it is not something I can do right away, but I got about half done this weekend and will get the rest done next payday.

I'm redoing our blackout kit.  I've got a basket on a shelf outside of our pantry that holds our blackout supplies.  I've got two headlamps, a couple of flashlights, a LED lantern, some extra batteries, a poncho (in case it is raining when I need to fire up the generators), and the phone number to the power company.  We also have flashlights and a lantern beside our bed.  For redundancy, I have the number to the power company on the bulletin board over our kitchen wall phone (hard wired and usable as long as the Verizon relay box down the road has power from its UPS batteries) and loaded in the directories on our cell phones.

SHTF Lighting

With the current technology in LED lanterns and small-scale solar, I truly believe that kerosene lanterns are of no further use to us, or are at least on the way out.  The wick lanterns are not that bright, anyway.  The Aladdin mantel lanterns are very bright, about a 60 watt light bulb, but they are expensive, fragile, and a fire hazard.  The chimneys crack, the mantels disintegrate if not treated very gingerly, and they can shoot flame up an out the chimney for no apparent reason - it happened to me one time.  You have to store kerosene, along with extra mantels and chimneys.  I think LED lanterns, either solar or battery, are really the way to go.  I still have two Aladdins, one antique, and one bought for Y2K.  I have a half dozen or so mantels and a couple of extra chimneys.  I don't store kerosene and really don't plan to.  I should probably put them on Craig's list or something and use the money for LED lighting.


Product Review: Galco Paddle Back Holster


The Galco Paddle Holster

I've long been a fan of the paddle backed holster.  I first started carrying a Safariland one for my SigSauer P220 back in the early 90s and used that one for over 15 years until the paddle just broke down.  I like the paddle because it can be used with any size belt, or even no belt at all.  It holds the pistol securely through the normal day's motions, even with nothing but friction for retention.  It's easy to take off and put on, and the pistol does not have to be removed.  They are generally not for deep concealment, as they have a bit wider profile than a quality pancake or inside-the-pants holster, but they work to keep the pistol concealed from the casual observer.

About a year ago I got a Galco model CCP224B paddle holster for my Glock 17 and have been wearing it off an on during that time.  It is of the typical high quality that I have come to expect from Galco.  Where my old Safariland one had a leather paddle with some sort of fiber sandwiched in it, the Galco has a Kydex or similar plastic for a paddle.  The holster body is of heavy leather with tight and even stitching holding it together.  The paddle is held on with a large screw and is adjustable for cant or angle.  I've always liked a fairly straight up and down carry, but if I ever drop some of my "portliness," I'd try it with some forward angle to it.

The leather has held its shape well, and is not producing any wear on the pistol.  It has good retention friction and is easy to reholster with one hand.  It is easy and comfortable to wear.

About the only negative is a slightly rough edge on the paddle that is easily remedied with a fingernail file.


Can You See The End?

It's Easier When There Is A Light At The End Of The Tunnel

When you have a local or personal SHTF, in most cases you have some idea of how long it might last and that can go a long way toward keeping your outlook positive.  Going through our recent power outage, we didn't know how long it would last, but we knew that it was being fixed.  We could log into the power company's website and see how fast repairs were progressing, and where the crews were working each day.  That allowed us to plan accordingly.  If it were showing two to three weeks for repairs, we would have had to alter our plans and responses considerably.  It would probably also have let the heat and the stress get to us much more than it did.  What about if there had been a coronal mass ejection of the likes of the Carrington event in 1859 and half the country was down with the electrical grid melted or in flames.  We'd know that it could be fixed at some point, but communications would be primitive, at best, and it could be months or years before power could be restored for everyone.  In addition to the basic power loss from a CME, stores, gas stations, and other businesses would be unable to function.  Schools and hospitals would be out of service.  Water and sewage systems would go down without power.  If we were in that type of situation, it would require a whole new psychological outlook.  I would imagine that thousands would die simply from giving up.  A key to surviving a major SHTF will be the ability to maintain a positive attitude, despite not having knowledge of the big picture or when the situation might end.  It will also require flexibility and the ability to to alter plans and improvise.\

If, by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!


Lessons Learned

We're Back Up

We were at a friend's for burgers and illegal fireworks last night when our neighbor called and said the power was back on.  They came on up and flipped our breakers for us.  It ended up being 95.5 hours for this outage for us.  I've got some observations from the past few days that might be of help to you in your preps.  Some things I did right, some I did wrong, and some that I saw others do.

When we were in DC on Friday, I couldn't even carry a knife because we rode the subway in from Virginia and got screened by metal detector at the Marine Barracks when we arrived for the parade.  I did have a backpack with some basic emergency gear and we dressed appropriately for a potential long hike.  Not willing to go defenseless, I carried my Cold Steel Blackthorne walking stick.  For most of the trip, it gave me a convenient thing to lean on and get a little weight off of my feet, but at 10:30 p.m., walking through southeast DC from the barracks to the subway, I felt a whole lot better having it with me as we walked past the closed business that had quite a few unsavory looking characters hanging around in front of them.  Having the emergency backpack and good, sturdy shoes, gave us options to consider when the subway system was delayed due to the storm.  I would have hated to have to hike out, but we could have done something.

Driving home from DC/Northern Va. at 2 in the morning and not seeing any lights along the interstate was kind of creepy.  It is very densely populated and it is never completely dark up there.  Newt Gingrich compared the DC outage to a preview of an EMP attack.

Fast forward to Saturday evening and the tornado warning.  I learned that in a crisis situation you really can't bellow and bark orders at young kids and expect the same reactions that you might get from Marines and police officers.  Apparently I kind of freaked out our young nephew.  If you are a parent, you probably already know this.  If you have not spent a huge amount of time around youngsters, this may be new to you as it was to me.

Weather extremes really suck in an off grid situation.  We've been power down with temps in the teens, and now in the 100s.  In both cases, we were able to cocoon up in a small controlled environment, but doing simple chores outside, or even living anything close to a normal life inside is very difficult.  If I had my druthers, I'd prefer to lose power when it is about 75 during the day and in the upper 50s at night.  I don't think I have much say in the matter.  But, being able to make that controlled environment cocoon allowed us to stay in our house and not have to evacuate.

If you are going to depend on generators, make sure you have gas on hand in sufficient quantities.  If you don't have power, your local gas station might not either.  We keep adequate gas stores, and now need to replenish.

I've always hated the idea of text messaging.  It's one of my last Luddite ideals that I've held out on.  In the past, when I've told the cell phone store to disable my text message capabilities, and they've tried to sell me on it, I've actually said, "do I look like a 14 year old girl?"  My wife and I are probably two of the only people who bought iPhones but had texting disabled.  Intellectually, I've always known that text messages can get through even if phone calls can't, but I've never taken the leap.  Last week I had to break down and get my texting turned on because I needed to get a code from YouTube to post videos longer than 15 minutes.  Turned out to be a good idea.  After Saturday's storm passed and we were trying to get the kids back to their parents, cell phone traffic could not get through reliably.  I was able to use my new found text messaging to communicate updates to my sister-in-law.  I'm now a believer in the texting for emergency uses.  (For any of my friends that read this, don't send me stupid messages, just call me if you want to tell me something - I got the minimum level of texting each month, so if you send me stupid stuff that runs up my bill, I'm charging you back for it.)

Don't forget the old ways if you lose power.  A clothesline, cooking on the grill, and using frozen water bottles to maintain refrigerator temps are all simple, electricity-free ways to keep going.  On a side note, during a winter power outage, don't forget that outside is Mother Nature's refrigerator.  I'm always puzzled when I hear about people losing the food in their Frigidaire when it is 25 degrees outside.


Hip Shots

Hip Shots are my very short and quick thoughts on prepping...

Still No Power

We're now at 72 hours in this power outage... + the 30 hours earlier in the week... inconvenient, but not too bad with the generators running the house and the new window A/C unit.  The rest of the house is about 85 degrees, probably 70 in the bedroom.

New Show Coming

I found out today that Dave Canterbury is coming back on TV partnered up with Myke Hawke on Outdoor Channel with a show aimed at teaching wilderness survival to youngsters.  Having been through Dave's training class with a couple of youngsters with us, he will be great at this.  The production schedule is much shorter than Dual Survival was so Dave will still have time to devote to his YouTube videos, training schools, and family.  Now I have to get Outdoor Channel.

Legal Again

I just got my renewed retired law enforcement credentials that allow me to carry concealed nationwide.  I'm against needing a permit to carry a weapon in general principal, and also against police having more "rights" than mere mortal citizens.  That being said, since I am eligible for this, I'd be foolish not to maintain it.  Funny thing is, it is actually more of a pain in the butt to maintain each year than a regular concealed weapon permit.

Independence Day

Tomorrow is, of course, Independence Day when we celebrate our Declaration of Independence from the tyranny of King George.  I'm a direct descendant of Carter Braxton who was hesitant to sign the Declaration and was hopeful that war would not be needed.  But when he did, he went in whole hog and spent his fortune helping to finance the Revolution.  A big thanks to great great great great great great great great grandfather Carter and all of the Revolutionaries who risked it all for our freedom.  I hope we don't squander what they left us.


Prepper Ponderings

Video Review

I FINALLY got a video posted to the You Tube channel reviewing FloodSax.  I think these things have a huge potential for community level flood mitigation efforts, and could also be very useful for the homeowner in a flood zone.

We'll be doing a contest to win a couple packs of FloodSax in a couple of days.

The Great East Coast Windstorm/Heatwave/Power Loss

I've already shared our tale up through Saturday night.  By Sunday morning we had lost phone service and the temperature was rapidly rising.  We got the kids back to their parents and saw a lot of devastation along the roads with trees uprooted or snapped off and falling across power lines and on to houses.  When we got back home, I changed the oil in the primary generator.  I noticed that it had 147 hours on it, and we only bought it 10 months ago before Hurricane Irene.  Counting time we were away from home or using the backup generator, we've probably been 180 hours or so without power in just 10 months.  Crazy.

No School Like Old School

We had to get some laundry done to get ready for work this morning.  The generator will run the washing machine, but not the dryer.  So, after we dropped the kids off, we stopped at Home Depot and picked up a couple of turnbuckles.  My wife already had 100' of clothesline from a sewing project, so I strung it up between two fence posts.  The line streteched out some, so some scrap 2x6s pushing up took out the slack and got it high enough for beach towels.  Not sure why I never thought of that before.

From Prison to the High Life

It was just sweltering, oppressively hot in the house yesterday, even with fans going.  I thought back to a part of G. Gordon Liddy's autobiography, Will, that I remembered from his time in prison.  He had described a basic air conditioner made from a rag, a jug, a pan of water and an electric fan.  I used our canning pot, a cookie cooling rack, a piece of towel and the fan.  The water was wicked up the towel from the pot, and the fan blew across it.  It was slightly cooler than just the fan going by itself.

We're at over 48 hours without power as I type this (never mind the 30 hours we had last Monday into Tuesday).   It is still in the mid-upper 90s during the day and the house is sweltering.  Last night we had three fans (incuding the one with my prison A/C unit) and the cieling fan going, and it was miserable.  Today we bought a 10,000  btu window A/C unit and I installed when I got home from work.  Our bedroom has no windows, but the master bath has one, so I put it in there and we can close off the rest of the house.  It is super comfortable in here right now.  Using our smaller, newer generator, I can run the A/C, refrigerator, well pump, a fan and my CPAP.  That's what we'll do when we go to bed.  Right now, while watching TV and some lights on, I've got the A/C running directly from an extension cord to the older, bigger generator and the rest of the house on the newer one.  We've been through a number of hot power outages... again, I don't know why I hadn't thought of it before.  This morning, I had been thinking about it when my wife called me with the same suggestion.  Great minds think alike.


Off Grid Tonight

Still on Generator with No Internet I'm doing this on my phone so it will be brief. It's brutally hot but we are making do with the generator running fans. I've tried a couple of new ideas that seem to be working well. Hope I can post details tomorrow It's the first of the month so don't forget your scheduled tests, checks, and rotations.