Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Things You Should Be Doing Toward Preparation Which Require Little or No Money



  When we consider preparing for natural disasters, job losses or other trials, we often consider the items which are high dollar.  A lot of us think about freeze dried food, medical supplies, evacuation bags or luggage, etc. Many of us have emptied savings accounts in order to get our preps up to snuff.   Prepping isn't just an activity, it is a mindset. Some of the most important things we can do toward preparation, don't cost much money, or they don't cost money at all.   Of course, I listed many of these things in my book:

    Rational Preparedness: A Primer to Preparedness

which incidentally, isn't a lot of money itself.

            Many times, once we've shelled out savings for a generator, or perhaps a fully outfitted EMT kit this leaves quite a bit of time while you are saving again for additional preps.

Here are some things you can do toward preparedness during those frugal times:

1.  Inventory and organize the emergency and preparedness items you do have.
   I made the mistake recently of ordering a case of vinyl medical gloves for animal care without realizing that I already owned a case of vinyl gloves that was so large it had to be stored somewhere other than the medical supplies.  Make sure you have notebooks with inventory. It's alright to have inventories on your computer, but there should be a hard copy as well.    

2. Put some time in on training that dog you adopted for family protection or as a watch dog or an alert dog.
  Get a couple of library books on dog training, and use this time to connect with and train your dog.  Most of my dogs are rescues and 100% of them were trainable.

3. Get a library book or two on hair cutting
  Carefully cut a family members hair.  This is a skill that can be learned. I have been cutting my family's hair for years, and I am much better at it than in those first few times. Wal-Mart actually sells quite good hair cutting scissors.

4. Read a couple of library books on Canning.    
  Be clear on which book works best for you before spending money on a canning book.
 This is my favorite book on canning, but you might like another book more.
Mrs Wage's Home Canning Book

5. Actually write out your family evacuation plan and make a family evacuation notebook.
 Review and update this plan with your family members every year.   List out what emergencies would trigger a preemptive evacuation on your family's part.  List out a family evacuation procedure which includes your pets.  Remember to list locking of certain doors including exteriors before your departure.  Find your local maps and place them in your family evacuation notebook.  In a variety of emergencies GPS may not be effective, and often Google maps are quite incorrect in rural areas.  Make sure that your family knows the name and number of an out of state contact you could use, should you become separated and need to contact a person to shuffle messages should communication in your own area become difficult.

6..  Write out each of your family's medical issues and medications they are taking, and put the pages in your evacuation notebook.  
  For the families who had to leave New Orleans in a hurry, this helped them renew prescriptions through doctors and pharmacists in emergency shelters.

7. Xerox copies of your dogs and cats immunization records especially rabies.
 Place these in your evacuation notebook.  Proof of rabies and other immunizations would allow them more boarding options should you need to leave your area in an emergency.

8. Locate a handy place to store your evacuation notebook.  
It should be accessible but not easily picked up, read or moved by others who aren't in your family..

9. Go through your family first aid kits.
   You should have a first aid kit that is prepared and used for family evacuation, and you should have one which remains in your home for use there.   If kept in a cool, dry and dark place a lot of the items are useful beyond their expiration date, however, everything in the kits needs to be looked at and repacked annually. This is done so that you can replace anything truly expired, and also so that you are truly familiar with the items in your kit.

10. Photograph each room of your home and your possessions.
       Whether you have homeowner's insurance or renter's insurance, neither of them will pay to replace lost items, regardless of the amount of insurance you pay, without proof.  A room by room series of photographs of your home's interior and more detailed photos of more valuable possessions should be taken.  Then make a couple of discs with the photographs on them, mark it with black magic marker, and also put the photos on a flash drive.  Put one copy of the disc in your evacuation notebook, one in your safe, and give one to a trusted friend out of the area.  You might want to make a copy of the declarations page of your homeowner's insurance along with the company name, agent name and all contact information including e-mail, fax, phone, and address.  I have known several families who have lost everything to home fire or forest fire in the last few years. This is not a costly endeavor yet it could save you a fortune.

11. Research metal roofing. 
     See if the next time you need to roof your home whether this is an intelligent or viable alternative. For many people, it is.

  There are many things that you can do until you once again have money for prepping. Some of these things are just as, if not more important than some of the high dollar items.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Capsized Boat in Russia

Lake Syamozero

           Having spent time in Far Eastern Russia at an orphanage, I learned many things.  One of them is that orphans in Russian orphanages vacation fairly often, particularly in Summer.  If they are physically able, most of them are taught to swim.  These are often not trips of a couple of days, but a couple of weeks. Often such trips are among the happiest memories these children have. They are also fairly educational trips in that they focus on the flowers and plants of a region, and the children are given opportunities to draw and paint what they see.
             This week, 47 children,  a number of whom are Russian orphans from the Moscow region were vacationing at Lake Syamozero, which is fairly near the border with Finland. This is in the Karelia Region.  This is an absolutely gorgeous place. The children on the trip  ranged from about 9 years old to about 16 and some of them were siblings. While the children were on a large boat in the lake in bad weather, it capsized.  Thirteen children between the ages of about 9-11have died and one remains missing.
             Please pray for the children who lost their lives, the one who has not yet been located, and for the survivors of this accident. We send condolences to their families and their friends.
             This is a good time to review boat and water safety with your own children.

Last Chance for Brexit


The queen supports Brexit

    Angele Merkel's Europe is delusional.  It seems to think that it has unlimited funds with which to accept hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees from Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and anywhere else.  In many places in Europe, the 2008 economic crash has left many unemployed and even more people, particularly the young, underemployed.  Many of them will never be able to marry, have children and support a family, unless they try to do so in their own bedrooms in their parent's homes.  England operates under a similar delusion. All over England, the elderly survivors of WWII watch their pensions cut under austerity. My own aunt lay on her own kitchen floor in London for twelve hours before an ambulance came to take her to a hospital, despite the fact that her primary physician knew she was extremely ill.  Austerity cut their pensions and the assistance to British people, while Muslim immigrants receive free council housing, free groceries, a clothing allowance, free education,free health care and free medication.  There are reasons families are taking unreasonable risks to get to England. I am not opposed to aid for people who need it, regardless of their religion. I am however, opposed to long term highly unbalanced aid to refugees as is presently the case. Muslim refugees aren't the only people on the British gravy train. People from many other countries are presently on welfare rolls while some elderly homeless Brits sleep in London in cardboard boxes.

            England has been a limited member of the European Union. It chose to keep its currency of the British pound sterling.  In the last few years, many British people have wondered if perhaps decisions made in the continent of Europe are hurting their nation.  Later this month there will be a vote as to whether Britain leaves the European Union.  As an American, I do not have a vote. However, as a person eligible for British subject status, I have an opinion on the matter which I will share here.  I support Britain's exit from the European Union.  With so many connections and rules coming from Europe, when hard times and economic collapses come, it will be impossible for corrections to be made on the part of individual nations. All nations will experience economic failures by virtue of their inflexible ties to one another. When one falls they all do, rather than one nation being able to help another in times of economic strife.

             I have no doubt that Jo Cox, a graduate of Cambridge University, and a Member of Parliament for the past year, is a decent person and a loving wife and mother. Her murder by a mentally ill man on a British street is both horrific and devastating.  Mrs. Cox opposed Brexit and she also felt that Britain should continue to accept more refugees.  Until her murder, polling suggested that Britons would likely vote to exit. Now that a supporter of remaining in the European Union has died in such an horrific manner, polls indicate the opposite.

          For a moment, let's decide what is right for England.  Stepping back from the European Union and careful assessment of Britain's resources is in order. With the economic failure of Greece and other nations, it will benefit the whole to have Britain unencumbered by the economic laws of the European Union.

         Let's not allow the death of a politician to sway the public into voting in a manner that is not right for England.  Please, despite the death of Jo Cox, consider carefully a vote for Brexit.

More data:

Thursday, June 16, 2016

A Politician is Murdered in a Place You Might Not Expect

Jo Cox   Labour Party Member of Parliament


     The next time that someone tells you that the US "is the only place in the civilized world where murders are taking place in the street", don't believe it.

                 Today, forty one year old British politician  Jo Cox, was killed after meeting constituents in the street at a planned event. She tends to have such meetings almost weekly.   Jo Cox had worked hard on behalf of immigration and on encouraging Brits to remain in the European Union.   Tempers are high in England with the Brexit vote coming.   A 52 year old man grabbed her by the hair, yelled at her, stabbed her, kicked her, and when bystanders intervened, witnesses say he shot her with a firearm.   Yes, in England where no one has one, and even the police are only issued one if they are special police and it's an unusual circumstance.  The assailant was apparently upset concerning Jo Coxes efforts to admit so many culturally and ethnically diverse people into England that he felt it was threatening Britain's cultural identity.  He was shouting "Britain First !" as he attacked, according to bystanders.

                Jo Cox was the wife of Brandon and the mother of two young children, a precious little boy and a girl.    I don't share her politics, but no one deserves to be attacked in the street while they are doing their job. Jo Cox has been an MP only for about a year, and was very highly regarded.  The assailant has a long history of mental illness, and  is fortunate that Britain has no death penalty presently.

Layered Tragedies for Orlando

Orlando, Florida

        One of my closest and dearest friends lives in Orlando. Why have I not mentioned the layered tragedies there this week ?  First, a young woman who was a favorite on The Voice was signing autographs there, and was shot to death while signing autographs after her concert. Her brother tackled the assailant preventing the deaths of many, but mainstream media will not tell you that.  Second, a young Muslim, born in the US, who had a long history of raising red flags for employers, friends, ex-spouses, and schools, shot to death 49 people in a bar, and injured a bit more than 50 more.  Six of the injured remain in critical condition with more deaths anticipated.  Twice the FBI had investigated him for potential terroristic threats. A police department to which he had applied to work also called Homeland Security about his behavior, and yet, the system did not work in order to protect the people who happened to be in that bar in Orlando that night.
The third tragedy that happened in Orlando this week is that a two year old boy who was visiting Disneyworld with his parents and siblings was snatched from the edge of the lagoon by an alligator. His father was injured while trying to get him back. A number of alligators were euthanized and their stomach contents examined while the specific alligator was located.  Meanwhile, the child's body was found.  A Canadian and a British couple have reported to other news groups that their own children were almost snatched there in the weeks that preceded.  Why would alligators be kept within reach of small children at a family park ?

          Our president may not admit that militant Islamists are at war with the west and specifically with the United States. Of course, most Americans realize that most Muslims here are decent people who just wish to raise families here. However, a militant extreme subgroup of Islamists exists and wishes to create as much death and mayhem as possible here in the US.  Not to admit this truth is not to have an operational and successful plan to battle these anticipated series of attacks.  Look at France which has weathered a series of attacks in the last few years. Such attacks are here now as illegals from the Middle East come through the Mexican border to us illegally and disappear in our nation. Intelligence analysts tell us there are likely to be many many sleeper sells waiting to activate this entire month of Ramadan.


         Our government has not listened to its citizenry in almost eight years. All we can do is obtain concealed weapons permits if we are permitted to in our region by law, and train to be the safest and most reliable shot possible. This is not where the responsibility ends. We must also make sure we are trained well enough to hold on to that weapon if we are ever rushed by an attacker.  We must also keep our children and criminals from gaining access to the weapon. We must protect against accidental discharge of the weapon while cleaning, carrying or maintaining it.   We should absolutely avoid any location which is a gun free zone where we are sitting ducks.   We must train dispassionately for the day when a militant Islamist or other active shooter tries a mass shooting in our own midst.  We must be able to grab our weapon, vanquish the threat he is causing by pumping several rounds into the largest part of his body. We must know enough about our weapon and ammo and be practiced enough NOT to endanger bystanders while we are vanquishing the shooter. Then we must remove his weapon from him, notify police, and render aid to those who have been shot until ambulances arrive.   You notice I did not call them first responders, because WE are the first responders.   This is a large responsibility and a crushing one, but I assure you, it is ours.   The choice is to prepare for such a day now, or stand helplessly as you and your children are gunned down at a birthday dinner at Chipotle or similar restaurant.  Think about this.  We may not be able to catch each nut with radical Islamist thought disorders. However, we can make sure that at any location he might choose that ten of fifty people are licensed, trained and ready to vanquish a mad dog such as he.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Trip to Gander Mountain

This is the store in Chesterfield, Missouri, but it looks a lot like the one I visited this week.

           For those of you who read this blog from another nation other than the US, Gander Mountain is not a mountain in the Blue Ridge west of Shenendoah National Forest.  Gander Mountain is a store chain which sells quality outdoor clothing, upscale camping gear, archery, camping, fishing, boating supplies and much more.  The boots and shoe collection is quite impressive.  They also sell a number of Liberty and other brands of safes.  They also sell a broad range of firearms both new and used, and absolutely everything that goes with them. Yes, they have a computer system which is connected to the Virginia State Police so that all of the requisite background checks can be done prior to gun purchases. Only Virginia residents may buy guns here and they too must endure the required checks.

           My husband took our sons to an action movie I would rather have skipped this weekend, and so I found myself with a few hours with nothing particularly pressing to do.  I decided to go to a couple of the places I never have a chance to stop in when I'm out with family or otherwise chugging to the next destination. Gander Mountain was one of those.

          I hadn't intended to spend two hours there, but somehow I did.   There was quite a bit of nice outdoor clothing including some cargo pants I looked at for my sons, but decided I also wanted for myself someday as well.  They had exquisitely made cargo pants in a variety of sizes and colors for $29.99.    Next, I spent some time looking through some of the clearance racks.  Then, I stopped to look at quality backpacks, push packs, and range bags.   Eventually I found my way to the great selection of handguns and rifles.  I was surprised to see such a large collection of quality used weapons including a fairly large collection of Sig Sauer.
           They also had one of the broadest collections of ammunition I have seen anywhere. Whether you need 7 mm, of 22 LR they had some.   I really enjoyed the really large section of all types of safes, and accessories that would help you organize one, whatever the size.  If you have a chance, take a gander at Gander Mountain. Pun intended.


Friday, June 10, 2016

Winners Announced in the Fiberfix Giveaway

           It was maddening to have the internet down here when I was itching to announce the winners of the Fiberfix giveaway.     The internet came back online just after lunch.

            Two winners were picked from folded papers I placed in a small fishbowl.

One winner is Matt   who lives in Virginia

the other is

Karen      whom I hope will be sending me her address shortly.

(I am keeping their last names private due to potential identity theft.)

Congratulations winners !    Thank you to everyone who participated.

   This was a lot of fun for me and I had a chance to talk to a lot of our readers from the beginning and also some people who are new to reading Rational Preparedness.   I plan to do other giveaways !