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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Review…Crovel Extreme vs Glock E-tool vs Cold Steel SF Shovel


This is sort of an apples to oranges to pears review. They are all related via the base design, which is the old US military entrenching tool. Each has similarities in that they have a shovel/digging capability, then things diverge wildly in some cases.

Set up…I was looking for a tool that would be easily carried on my get home bag (GHB) and/or bugout bag (BOB). Now remember…as with anything in any review, what works for me (or not) may or may not work for you.

Crovel Extreme (Link)
Cost: ~$109 (without case)
Weight: +5.5lbs
Length:
This is a very interestingly designed item. Basically an e-tool with a crowbar/hammer on the handle end. This is a solid, heavy duty tool, solid construction with a few extra features. Handle is hollow inside for storage of small items, but this does not compromise the sturdiness of the tool. Handle is also wrapped with paracord (nice touch but mine came unraveled after splitting wood). Locking nut is very solid with no chance of slippage out of locked 'pick axe' or shovel head position. Shovel head has serrations on one side for sawing and semi sharpened edge on the other for splitting (not sharp enough to cut wood against grain) plus a bottle cap remover. All main metal parts have a heavy duty powder coating on them. Obviously the designers wanted people to have a shovel, axe, saw, pick axe, crowbar, hammer all in one. Let's see how it performed on each of these tasks…



Digging/Pickaxe: This is by far the Crovel's strong suit. Due to it's sturdiness, weight and heavy duty locking nut, the Crovel beats the other 2 hands down. The crowbar/hammer handle end allowed for extra grip and leverage. The only design change here would be a more pointed shovel head…crucial for getting through the tough shallow root system that exists in the swamp. One drawback was sometime the crowbar head would bite into my forearm if I was gripping the handle instead of the crowbar end while in pickaxe mode.






Crowbar/hammer: Though a neat idea this part gave me problems. Due to the position of the crowbar/hammer, I was very limited on the amount of swing I could use due to the shovel head either getting in the way or biting my forearm (see pics). Also due to the angle of the crowbar head, insertion between a door and door jam was very limited. Zero angle would help somewhat, though the shovel head might get in the way regardless.

Shovel head position limits ability to insert crowbar head between door/doorjam interface.

Regardless of pivot position shovel head makes contact


Saw/chopping: The saw blade side of the shovel head is rather inefficient since the teeth are triangular and not off set. A substantial amount of effort was required. As to being used as a weapon…this would be the side to apply....due to the weight of the tool..probably the most deadly of the 3. The Crovel plain side is beveled, but not enough for chopping. It can be used for splitting seasoned wood…it's heavy weight allows it to be top in this aspect.


Conclusion:
At over 5.5 pounds, it simply is too heavy to add to a GHB. BOB…perhaps if one excludes other tools. The challenge would be it would need to be attached near the torso since heavy weights should be mid/center and as close to body as possible when packing. Problems with the crowbar/hammer head utilization, make this aspect of the tool rather limited. The threaded shaft area the locking lug rides on quickly began to rust and will require a thin coat of grease to prevent future problems (minor issue). Though I like the concept of the Crovel it's use beyond a shovel (or last ditch weapon) is limited in my mind.

Glock E-tool (Link)
Cost: ~$34 (with case)
Weight: 2 lbs
Length:
The Glock e-tool is a simple design digging tool with a small added feature of a saw blade inside the handle. This is the most compact out of the 3.
Tool in it's most compact form. Adjacent pic shows the saw.

Digging/Pickaxe: The pointed nature of the blade help for digging and pickaxe. Handle telescopes out and is locked in place by rotating counterclockwise. Shovel head is fixed in position by a tightening nut that maybe could be a bit larger. The lightweight did transfer 'shock' from striking roots back to the handlers arm/wrist.

Saw/cutting: The saw blade attachment does the job well on small limbs and roots. Also would make an excellent bone saw for quartering large game. This tool has no chopping/splitting function.


Conclusions:
Lightweight/lack of mass require more energy for digging, etc.. Not intended as a weapon. This is the most lightweight of the tools, thus additional tools such as an axe and crowbar will also be needed to be carried. Case is a bit weak and may wear out quickly (I'll update if it does). Since this tool has a few parts that separate…there is the possibility that they could be lost. This will mot render the shovel aspect inoperable, but obviously the saw would be.


Cold Steel SF Shovel (Link)
Cost: ~$26 (without case...+$10)
Weight: 1.66 lbs
Length:
This is the simplest of all the designs, based on the WW2 style. Straight solid wood handle with steel head. The entire edge of the shovel head is VERY sharp. Why the cover is sold separately makes zero sense to me..it is a must have item.
Digging: No problem here…goes through roots and dirt rather well. Handle is easy to grip and sturdy (except when wet..wrap some duct tape for better grip).

Chopping/Splitting wood: The best out of the 3….roots with 1 swing. Very sharp blade, branches 3 inches thick were not a problem. Splitting it was second to the Crovel due to lack of mass only.


Conclusion: Can be used for digging, chopping, zombie head removal…no pickaxe option. Blade is sharp and MUST have a case. Between the Crovel and Glock tool in size. Though listed as lighter than the Glock, it felt a bit heavier/solid. Edge did show some light rust, thus a thin coat of grease will need to be applied. Cold Steel also shows how the shovel can be thrown and impale targets…I'm not a big fan of throwing tools, knives, axes, etc..the penetration done is usually less than incapacitating. If you miss, your intended target now has your tool/weapon.

So which to carry?
-I was excited about the Crovel, but disappointed with the results due to the design issues I mentioned and the weight. It's cost (5 times more than next reviewed), perhaps caused me to be a bit more critical, but I believe this is warranted of any high priced item.

-The Glock tool certainly being the lightest/most compact is the easiest to carry, but it's rather non-solid feel gives me pause. I plan on putting it through a similar abuse the SF tool went through…if it holds up it will get the nod...I will update.

-The Cold Steel, I worked the heck out of it to see at what point the wooden handle would break (hammer, prybar..and yes, I did the throw thing…it did break (10th throw....Cold Steel sells replacements), but I would probably not use it in such a way. At the moment it is my top pick (with case). Yes, you can throw it and it sticks into targets...neato!..not practical unless it is the last thing you have and you want to make your enemy bleed before you expire.


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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Survival Seeds….a collapse experiment.



So I thought I would start an experiment back in September. 
Garden is a 4'x8' section plus a small planter (1.5'x3'). Rainfall was below normal and the dry season has begun, but watering did occur when needed until 5 wks ago when fresh water became scarce.
It was rather simple scenario:
 I'm Joe 6-pack, and I purchased these survival seeds just in case. I don't have much gardening experience. I have put aside some supplies, food, water, etc.. Collapse occurs, but I decide to bug in (suburban area) since most roads are blocked and fuel quickly ran out. It's me, my wife and 2 children (8 and 10). About half the neighborhood stays. Most decide to be responsible for their own food. I quickly put seeds in the ground or in seedling pots that should grow this time of year in Florida. After the seeds are planted, day to day survival takes precedence, I pay little attention to the garden due to other demands such as security, fresh water (I'm surrounded by mostly salt/brackish), sanitation issues and a death in the family. Now it is December, canned food is running low and I'm out of vegetables. Going out and foraging has become increasingly difficult as a few roving groups that have been robbing/violently looting and a population surge into the area due to a nearby metro area where govt food supply lines collapsed. Disease has also broken out such as cholera, dysentery and rumors of malaria. I turn attention back to my garden….
So how did Joe 6-pack's garden do with very little attention paid to it? For all intents and purposes it was a failure. Very few seeds germinated, plus the garden suffered from animal, insect and disease incursions. Overall success rate was about 7% with enough total food for 2 days. Joe didn't know to stagger plantings, and now realizes that he should already have a crop of something else going. Not watching, his son used the planting guide as kindling to get a cooking fire going back in November. 
  I see this as a very standard scenario that most living in a southern coastal area will experience in an case of complete collapse and mentality of more individual/family than larger group cooperation (see previous post). This also plays into the discussion of year round garden production, harvest and storage, as well as seed viability and success with different levels of attention paid. These are all concerns preppers need to keep in mind when making a plan.

 I found it rather interesting though was the seed germination failure rate. Carrots and leafy greens did well, but the rows were heavily damaged/scattered by animal incursion early on (lack of fencing). 


Beets, radishes and onions did not grow well or at all, and were extremely small and 'weak' for how long they have been planted. (lack of fertilizer and suitable planting area).


Cucumbers germinated well, but were quickly destroyed by insects. All that is left are 2 small plants. (lack of fertilizer insecticide).



Fertilizer, insecticide, fungicide and good location are needed as well as dedication to the garden. This is an additional prep item(s)/plans many skip over. I am going to run the experiment again with a bit more of a prepared scenario, and heavier attention paid to the garden. Going into winter should be a bit more challenging, but at the same time…disasters don't occur when convenient. At the end of the second run if I see similar germination failures I will list the product name so people may avoid  wasting their money. 

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cold War re-ignites?

A series of events has rapidly unfolded in the Middle-East/Eurasia.

Just out from CBS: "The U.S. Embassy in Damascus urged its citizens in Syria to depart "immediately," and Turkey's foreign ministry urged Turkish pilgrims to opt for flights to return home from Saudi Arabia to avoid traveling through Syria."


-Weekly naval update from Stratfor, which always has some very interesting if always controversial view on geopolitics, where we find that for the first time in many months, CVN 77 George H.W. Bush has left its traditional theater of operations just off the Straits of Hormuz, a critical choke point, where it traditionally accompanies the Stennis, and has parked... right next to Syria.
(via zerohedge)


-China and Russia have stated they will not let the west attack Syria. Russia was rather forceful beginning to place it's offensive weapons…including nuclear…on standby.
"..in a nationally televized appearance by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev: in response to what the Russian believes is an active incursion and a potential act of eventual aggression on behalf of NATO countries in Eastern Europe (and hence the US), he he said the following (7 minutes in): "First, I am instructing the Defense Ministry to immediately put the missile attack early warning radar station in Kaliningrad on combat alert. Second, protective cover of Russia's strategic nuclear weapons, will be reinforced as a priority measure under the programme to develop out air and space defenses. Third, the new strategic ballistic missiles commissioned by the Strategic Missile Forces and the Navy will be equipped with advanced missile defense penetration systems and new highly-effective warheads. Fourth, I have instructed the Armed Forces to draw up measures for disabling missile defense system data and guidance systems if need be... Fifth, if the above measures prove insufficient, the Russian Federation will deploy modern offensive weapon systems in the west and south of the country, ensuring our ability to take out any part of the US missile defense system, in Europe. One step in this process will be to deploy Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad Region"
My worry is with world economies in a slump, nothing gets people back to work faster than war. Governments may be all to willing to engage in an ever escalating game of 'who will blink first'. Unfortunately, this can lead to an all out conflict, and in this day and age can result in rather large destruction. Personally, I considered conventional much less nuclear attack rather low on my list of possible preparedness scenarios. If things continue down this road, that will have to change.


Preparedness things to consider if escalation to conflict occurs:
-One's proximity to military targets.
-One's proximity to industrial complexes.
-One's proximity to power/utility plants (major metro/industrial areas).
-Fuel shortages/price spikes…this would lead to price spikes in all other items not locally produced.
-Barter items of high vales.
-Ammunition shortages (severe).
-Possibility of limited nuclear exchange. (be sure to check daily, the jet stream flow. An attack elsewhere can still dump fallout on your area.)

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Home invasion…not just 1 intruder…are you ready?



Most people, when they think of home invasion, think of just 1 intruder…what if there are more? The trend lately seems to be 3 or more intruders attacking at night. Reasoning seems to be, instead of searching, home owners can show the intruders were the valuables are more quickly.

Some cases unfortunately, involve more violent and nefarious agenda.

Many say 'no problem', I have a shotgun (or other firearm)…but it is not as easily done as it is said. You are surprised, multiple targets in multiple directions with loved ones in close proximity, in close quarters is not the same as paper targets at a range. Adrenaline is pumping, have to get to weapon (not many people wear their firearm while sitting on the couch watching Monday night football) then have to engage targets.

Some simple steps can be found HERE and HERE.

But preppers should seriously consider going further and getting professional training for home invasion and/or multiple targets.
JB Training (NE FL, SE GA)
CRI (Nevada)
Please note…I have not tried either course, but will probably take JB's course and will post a review. I encourage people to do their own research and find what works best for them.

International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) is also a great way to learn pistol shooting at a whole different level. IDPA uses realistic scenarios to engage multiple targets, moving, loading, shooting from cover, etc..


The situation isn't pretty out there folks. If the present economic down trend continues, we can expect this to occur more frequently. Don't be a target! Prepare and train now.



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Friday, September 2, 2011

September planting guide.


TIme to start working on those fall gardens.

September

  • Prepare for your garden by incorporating organic matter into the soil.  Try planting vegetables in an attractive design which will add interest to your landscape.
  • Plant seeds for radish, beet, carrot, leafy greens, green beans, and cucumber early in the month.  Choose varieties that will mature in 7-8 weeks.
  • Plant strawberries late this month through October. Choose healthy and quality transplants.
  • Set out onions, broccoli, cabbage, collards, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.
  • When planting fast maturing vegetables, make several plantings at 10-14 day intervals to have a steady harvest.
  • Check cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower for caterpillars.



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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tips from Urban Survival Guide.


Urban Survival Guide by David Morris is one of many survival books out there, though it separates itself by being more of a 'bug in' book (survive in place) versus heading out into nowhere land and surviving off nature. Something I point out in a previous post that sometimes it won't matter where you go trouble will be there. The book isn't tremendously detailed, but it brings up many issues one faces in an urban suburban setting. What I really like is that the book wasn't just published and left out there. The author has continued the process of learning and preparing and puts out a newsletter as well as offers classes, equipment suggestions etc..

In light of the recent riots in London as well as continued economic destabilization in the EU and US, the advice and information seem rather timely.

If wide spread riots occur will you be able to get from work to home? Can you survive in place away from your supplies. Can you repel those that wish to take or simply burn the place down? These are tough and even scary questions, but unfortunately reality seems to have taken on a reality of it's own.





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Monday, July 25, 2011

Check list time...just in case.

I used to post this at the beginning of every month, but felt it was too repetitive. In light of the seeming looming govt shut down, which may or may not happen, thought it would be good time to maybe do a check now, before a possible panic. If no deal is reached, even for a short time, there may be some areas of unrest and/or panic....or the people will rejoice. Either way...always good to check items you haven't looked at in a while and check food storage for pest infestation, leaks, etc.



urbanverbal


Time for the monthly rotation checklist. I've adapted this from alpharubicon's site (they have more info than I can ever read). Usually do this the first Friday of every month (you pick best time for you). Some of these actions may only pertain to those living in a moist (and in my case salty) environment. If you have a suggestion of what to add...let me know!

____Check water supply.
____ Check storage containers for leaks, mold, etc.
____Check function of hand pumps.
____Rotate water if needed (every 6 months if possible..use to flush toilet or water garden. (CAUTION! If water was treated with chems may not be good for plants)

____Food storage.
____Check expiration dates on regular foods.
____Check dates on long term survival foods.
____Check for leaks, pest infestation.

____Weapons check.
____Inspect for rust, mold.
____Check stock/grip for damage/cracks.
____Lubricate if needed.
____Rotate/inspect ammo and mags. (Range time!..woohoo!)
____Check slings and holsters for fraying and mold.
____Check cleaning kit supplies.

____Personal Go bag/vehicle bag (not large/main BOBs)
____Inspect contents, for mold, expiration..rotate as needed.

____ Medical
____Check first aid kits for expired meds.
____Inspect bandages and wraps for package frays/tears....loss of sterile integrity.
____Check supply of prescribed meds.

____Vehicles
____Check tires and fluids.
____Check hoses, filters and cables for fraying, clogs or pest infestation (they like to make nests and chew wires).
____Check tool kit (missing parts, rust, mold etc.)

____Home
____Check smoke, CO2 detectors, intrusion alarms.
____Lube window and door locks (important in coastal areas).
____Virus scan computers and system backup.
____ 360 exterior inspection.
____Check battery supply.


3-6 Month checks:

____NBC
____ Inspect masks and suits, gloves, boots for tears, mold, infestations.
____ Check expiration dates and seals on unused filters.
____ Inspect and test NBC detection devices (remember to store batteries outside units when unit in storage mode).

____BOB/ BIN (Bugout/Bug In bags/boxes) "The big stuff"
____ Inspect contents for mold infestation.
____Rotate out expired contents.
____Inspect temp. shelter or tear, mold, infestation.
____Inspect sanitation items (personal hygene, porta pooper, TP, fem. products, etc.)

____Misc.
____Inspect back up communication devices.
____Inspect tools for mold, rust, wood deterioration (apply linseed oil to handles).
____Inspect BO route... has it changed (construction etc.).
____Inspect BOL is everything still the same (plumbing, electrical, back-up power, water supply, etc.)?
____Rotate batteries in flashlights, check bulbs.
____Rotate/inspect fuel supply (gasoline, liquid gas, wood pile, etc.).

____ Test (partial or full) this should be done a minimum of once a year quarterly is best (you pick the scenario).
____Full Bug in test....cut the power...cut the water....no using the toilet (unles you have septic) for one weekend.
____Full Bug out test (family camping trip!!!)... 3 days min.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hurricane season is ramping up...



Hurricane season is beginning to ramp up a bit. It has been fairly quiet for Florida the last few years, but don't let your guard down. I recommend, if possible to check the National Hurricane Center at least twice a day (once in the morning and once at night). Check your preps, go over your evac plan and routes (have more than one). Remember travel times during evacuations typically triple and quadruple. Don't forget important documents and plan for the pets....I know I'm preaching to the choir. Those bugging in, don't forget to check you exterior area for potential flying debris such as lawn furniture or dead trees and branches. Have plan for the furniture and other items. Get those dead trees and branches on the ground.

No threats to us at the moment...though there is a broad area of rotation over Hispaniola slowly moving east. This has the potential to become an issue once out over water.

Another good site for those a bit more into tropical weather is Central FL Hurricane site.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Strategic Advantages of Community Building...or why the lonewolf mentality doesn't work for survival.

A great article on ZeroHedge written by the folks at Alt-Market. Brought up a great real life point as to why going on your own, or just you and your family, is probably a bad idea in times of widespread collapse. Using the example of Argentina in 2002 (collapse actually occurred in Dec of 2001) went relatively unnoticed in the US as we were reeling from the attacks of 9-11.
Argentina was in the midst of total collapse, driven by banker fraud and extreme currency devaluation in tandem with government mismanagement and corruption.

Sound familiar?
The results sound like something from a fictional apocalyptic novel (items in bold are my emphasis).
First, cities exploded with rioting and violence as Argentinian police and military attempted to crush all dissent. Soon after, displaced refugees from population centers along with roving bands of thieves flooded into the countryside, wiping out isolated farms, murdering families, and hunting down any small group of survivors weaker than themselves and flush with supplies. The authorities (and I use the term loosely) were too busy trying to suppress civil protests to bother protecting those who were caught unprepared.

This behavior is part and parcel of economic destabilization, regardless of the time or place in which it occurs. Only nine years ago, a very modern and technologically savvy nation of people, nearly cannibalized itself. Those who survived and thrived did so through family aid and substantial existing wealth, or, the tactical building of communities for the purpose of mutual defense and alternative trade. Farmers armed themselves and formed regional groups along with security measures. City dwellers formed neighborhood watches and barter networks when the mainstream economy disappeared. The bottom line; lone wolves and isolated country families were nothing more than tempting targets at the onset of the breakdown in Argentina.


Let me hit that last sentence again...
"The bottom line; lone wolves and isolated country families were nothing more than tempting targets at the onset of the breakdown in Argentina."

The purpose of APN is to gather like minded people together to gain knowledge and prepare for the worst. What seems to lack is a concerted effort to pursue the 'strength in numbers' mentality. Though there are many groups that get together for events, most of the effort is centered around BOBs, EDC, etc.. Though these are important, a more critical aspect would seem to be the formation of local communities of strength. More of the...ok I have bugged out now what? This seems to be the area of largest weakness.

I see many mention they have land far away or plan to travel to some remote area. As the example of Argentina shows, this almost turns out to be a death sentence. Realistically, anyone who has had to evacuate due to hurricane knows how the roads get. Travel time that normally took 4-6 hours easily turns into 24+hrs. Now add roving bands looking to take what you have and you are trapped on a road, in your car with your family. Not a good position to defend from.

I encourage everyone to read the article completely.

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Mountain House notice on shortage of on-line ordered foods.

An interesting notice up on the Mountain House website, brought to my attention by the head of our local meet-up prep group. FEMA posted a Request For Information (RFI) for suppliers of long term foods. This apparently prompted people to start the rumor that MH was the de-facto supplier to FEMA thus the shortage.

The jist (bold is my highlight not the notices):
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) procures and stores pre-packaged commercial meals to support readiness capability for immediate distribution to disaster survivors routinely. The purpose of this Request for Information is to identify sources of supply for meals in support of disaster relief efforts based on a catastrophic disaster event within the New Madrid Fault System for a survivor population of 7M to be utilized for the sustainment of life during a 10-day period of operations.


The RFI was pulled 7 days after posting. Either they got the info they wanted or people panicked prompting FEMA to pull it. Personally, if that gets people to prepare...leave it up!

Costco seems to have a decent supply on hand either in store or on-line. I buy a couple of cases every quarter.
EDIT!: Costco as of today is basically out of MH foods, but has other brands.
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Vector borne diseases...prevention.



Something many preppers fail to think about...vector borne diseases. The Southeast US seems to be a haven for the little nasty biting bugs, but all across the US, insect vector borne diseases occur.

What the heck are vector borne diseases?!
These are diseases that are transmitted to humans via insects (or some cases mammals and birds)...usually fleas (ex. plague), ticks (ex.Lyme disease) and mosquitos (ex. West Nile and Malaria). These diseases typically run rampant in third world countries due to lack of sanitation and countrywide insect control program. More and more though, they are showing up in the US. Florida had it's first case of Dengue fever in more than 75 yrs. Since this is such a broad range...I'm going to stick to insect borne disease.
CDC Division of Vector Borne Diseases.

So what happens if there is an economic collapse here in the US...even partial? Florida has a very aggressive anti-mosquito program usually handled by counties and municipalities. What happens if the spraying and monitoring programs stop? What have you done to prepare? That can of OFF probably isn't enough.

I have 2 suggestions for you to consider adding to your arsenal of preparedness items.
-A Permethrin clothing spray (ex.Sawyer SP657 Permethrin Premium Insect Clothing Repellent Spray). Runs around $14 for 24 oz bottle.


-Insecticide treated mosquito netting (ex.Pramex Long Lasting Insecticidal Net) for each person. Runs around $35 a net. Lasts for 3 yrs.



The clothing spray is very effective at preventing ticks, fleas and chiggers from getting on you.

The insecticide treated mosquito netting has proven to cut malaria cases by as much as 1/3 to half.
World Health Organization suggestion on mosquito netting...HERE

Though many think of malaria and the plague as non-US diseases, these and others will be quick to show up as spray programs, health provisions and sanitation rapidly decline.

Semper paratus
-PS

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Wildfires...

As many of you know it has been brutally hot and dry in Florida. The result has been water tables in many areas at all time lows and wildfires.



- Information on all active wildfires can be found HERE.
-Important tips on evacuation plan....HERE.
-How to make your yard more fire defensible against wildfires.HERE..the garden hose won't cut it.

Homeowners and neighborhood guide in pdf. HERE.


Be careful out there folks and hopefully mother nature will see fit to dump some rain on us. Though most people aren't fans of tropical systems...it is a natural event that is necessary to recharge our aquifers.




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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Time lapse map showing radiation approach to US


This really needs no explanation. The real issue will be how long the release will continue as now steam is coming from both #2 and #3 reactors signaling continued heating and release of material.

Link to time lapse map.



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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Should we worry about fallout from the nuclear mess in Japan?



Just in case you have been under a rock and missed the whole Japan quake/tsunami/nuclear plant meltdown in progress.

The 2 isotopes we should worry about are Iodine 131 and Cesium 139. I-131 being the nastier of the 2 since as it decays, it releases gamma radiation. This type of radiation penetrates just about anything quite easily except for bunkers etc.. I-131 is very damaging to mammalian cells, cause mutations to out right destruction. This is the main culprit for radiation sickness. Cs-139 emits beta radiation which isn't quite as nasty but can still cause problems over the long term, localized damage and even surface skin burns.

So back to the question...Should we in the US and more specifically Florida worry about possible radiation from this?
Probably not.
BUT we should still be careful and check things out for ourselves. Yes, I'm weird and have 2 radiation survey meters. Typical background radiation for my area ranges from 0.0007 to 0.0020 uSv/hr. But what happens if things change? What happens if certain natural and man made events come together? Suppose things continue out of control and more radiation is released? The key for us will be the weather. Will the radiation be swept up into the atmosphere and transported across the pacific and get dumped on us (most likely from rain)? The potential danger is, such an event could cause small pools of concentrated radiation.


Unfortunately, the US as a whole is badly prepared for nuclear radiation problems. The study shows:
The authors asked public-health departments about their preparedness to monitor the human health effects of any released radiation from these kind of incidents. Across the different methods of monitoring, between 70% and 84% of states reported having completed minimal to no planning. Some 82% of states reported no or minimal plans to collect biological or clinical samples to assess the impact of radiation exposure.


Probably one of the best books in dealing with a nuclear disaster is Bruce Clayton's 'Life After Doomsday'. Though it deals mostly with the impact and subsequent survival of nuclear war, the explanations of radiation effects, and necessary preparations still apply.
Hopefully, this won't become an issue, but it is always good to be ready, just in case.


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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Survival Rations...



Survival rations (SR) should be part of every preppers stock. SR's are different from your standard stock of food in that they provide nutrition in only the most dire situations. Mainstay 3600 emergency food rations are that type of food. Each bar provides 400 calories for a total of 3600 calories per package. The rations are US Coast Guard approved and they recommend 3 bars per day per person on land and 2 bars per person at sea. Thus each package provides a minimum of 3 days of nutrition per person. A case comes with 10 packages or 30 days worth of nutrition for 1 person. A case goes for ~ $53. The rations have a 5 yr shelf life. Each 24 oz package is about 5inx5in by 1in thick.
Ok, sounds semi-spiffy, but how do they taste? Not too bad actually...something similar to a lemon bar. The big aspect is that the bars do not make you thirsty, something many rations cannot claim, but key in getting a USCG approved ration.



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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Florida Preppers Roll Call - All Preppers Please Check In

The American Preppers Network is conducting a network-wide roll call.  Whether you are a member or not please check in and let us know what you are doing to prepare.

This is a good opportunity to network with other preppers near you.

Florida Preppers, to respond to the roll call please follow this link:
http://americanpreppersnetwork.net/viewtopic.php?f=277&t=9252
  • Reply to the Roll Call and let us know what you have been doing to prepare.
If you are not yet a member of the forum you can register here for free:
http://americanpreppersnetwork.net/ucp.php?mode=register

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I-95 and U.S. 1 Closed due to fires

From: CajunDaddys_girl

I-95 is now closed from SR 46 in Seminole County North to SR 44 in Volusia County.
The fire has moved from Brevard County North to Volusia county and is now at 10k acres active burn with a possible 10 0/0 contained.
15 Fire Agencies are currently battling the fire
1 home lost to fire
6 dettached shed have been lost
Homes evacuated.
Shelters open.
School bus service has been suspended from SR 46 north to SR 44 in areas near the fires...
Currentl local state of emergency has been delared for Brevard fire zone.

The great News: We finally have rain which has dropped more water than expected. The fire Dept.has said this will help gain some control of the fires...

Read more here:
http://americanpreppersnetwork.net/viewtopic.php?f=106&t=9084

Some Free Fire Safety, Prevention, and Survival ebooks, and manuals

- ARC - Are You Ready - Fire

- ARC - Are You Ready - Wildfires

- Fact Sheet: Fires

- Fact Sheet: Fire Safe

- WildFires
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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Healthy Home: What You Need to Know Before Hiring a "Pro."

Recent news stories throughout Central Florida remind us to be vigilant when it comes to inviting people into our homes for repairs, maintenance and other contract work.



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Monday, January 31, 2011

No buy February...



With the Personal Incomes and Outlays report coming out this morning showing an increase in spending, increase in costs (i.e. taxes) wages flat and savings dropping dramatically an idea that is spreading on the web seems rather timely. No Buy February.
This weekend I heard about Xan’s No Buy February Challenge. Since I’m a big fan of saving money and being thrifty I joined up. Mr Chiots and I did a no buy year 5-6 years ago and it was a wonderful thing, it really helped us get off that treadmill of buying stuff we didn’t need only to get rid of it a few years later and replace it with more stuff! It was a turning point for us financially, it really made us think about needs vs. wants and as a result we were able to pay off our house last year.


I'm going to give a try and see how much I can save. The real trick will be trying to push the idea onto my teens. Prepper wise, this is probably a good way to rotate through some items, as well as, getting a feel for how dependent we are on the easy supply of items in the different stores.



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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ground Zero

A chance for you to push the button. You pick the size bomb you want and blow up what ever part of the world you would like. See what happens. Just follow this link.

http://carloslabs.com/node/20

Another reason to prep!

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Strange News....Update

Update:
Google map with dieoffs



I'm sure some of you have heard the reports of dead blackbirds falling from the sky in Arkansas. Now reports of similar event in Louisiana.

Could the decline of the honey bee and now the bumble bee have been a warning? Massive die offs aren't unusual except when cross species occurs such as birds and fish. The planet has experienced mass cross species die offs, but usually they are theorized to occur with a massive global disaster.....is it not quite that obvious? This is the question that is beginning to nag in the back of my mind.

Reports on facebook from an ANTS member of dead black bird in Mississippi. This may be just an isolated incident, but it appears whatever 'it' is may be moving south and east.

Remember never touch dead birds. If you find several dead birds please report them to FWC. This can be done via their online form.

Now a report on declining bats.

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sanitation....yes the stinky issue.



I thought I would start the new year off with something usually overlooked....sanitiation during times of disaster. Many stock up on loads of TP and then really don't think about the issue after that. So what to do when the water stops running and the TP runs out? This is a subject many don't like to breach, but it a daily issue that must be addressed.

Sanitation after a disaster is a huge issue. The potential for disease outbreak is massive...the present situation in Haiti is a great example.
Bugging In:
People on sewer systems, especially low lying coastal areas face a serious issue. Though toilets can be flushed by pouring water into the tanks, when flushed it goes no further than your area lift station holding tank. With the power off these lift stations stop working and the holding tanks fill up. Either the waste will begin to flood the streets or it will back up into your house. Neither is a good option. Those on septic systems can continue to flush...though this is a huge waste of water.

If it is a short term disaster solutions are easy...probably the simplest is the 5 gal toilet. Available for purchase from several suppliers or you can make your own. This is also a good option for those bugging out via BOV.


A longer term solution is a 55 gal drum that can be constructed into a composting toilet if you are feeling really adventurous. Additionally a small septic system can easily be constructed.


A great book for waste composting...-The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure, Third Edition - Joseph C. Jenkins .


Bugging out:
Ok so you have to bug out. If going BOV, most think heck I'll just pull over and go (which is exactly what the masses will do). This again sets up the potential for disease spread as well as water contamination. With the BOV you can carry a 5 gal bucket...but I suggest you have one with the bottom cut out...dig a hole and presto..mini loo. But is is good to be responsible..a great book that addresses going in the wild and applies to any mode of bugging out.

-How to Shit in the Woods, Second Edition: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art - Kathleen Meyer

Holy Smokes I'm out of TP?!...now what?
Fortunately, someone has already done a study. Though a bit on the 'bold' side, they try several different substitutes...I'll let you read and decide for yourself.

Have a great new year everyone!


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Happy New Year!

Hope for a happy and prosperous new year. Just a reminder folks....Hurricane season is only 6 months away.

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