Sunday, May 29, 2016

Announcing our Fiberfix Giveaway !

          
This giveaway expires on June 10, 2016




       Some time ago, I sang the praises of Fiberfix, the repair wrap in an earlier post.   I had bought and used some from a local hardware store, here at home. 

    http://rationalpreparedness.blogspot.com/2013/11/more-interesting-survival-devices-and.html

       FiberFix is a two inch wrap that bonds to any surface, hardens and repairs anything from broken shovel handles to broken pipes or tools, and then hardens like steel. I repaired a broken handle to a post hole digger which saved me quite a bit of money that day. 

         Remember that I never endorse anything unless I personally have used something and I like it.   I am also not being paid by the FiberFix people and so I have no axe to grind.   

        Because I really want my readers to try this, I will be giving away 1 package each containing two rolls to two of my readers.

       To enter, just send an e-mail to me at:

       FiberFix Giveaway

Tell me what you think you might do with it.    I will announce and award the two prizes , on June 10th, so please enter quickly.

         At this time, only entries from addresses in the US and Canada can be accepted.

     Good luck ! 





If you are in a hurry and need some now, you can buy some at:

Amazon Fiberfix Link






Saturday, May 28, 2016

Serious Lighning Strikes

   
 
Photo: science.howstuffworks.com





 Regular readers may recall that one of my sons was struck by lightning while inside a building in 2011. He has lasting painful injuries.     Today, is a notable day because today in Paris, at a park,  11 people were struck by lightning while at a birthday party.  Several are in critical condition and eight of those struck are children.    In Southern Germany,  35 people were struck by lightning while attending a soccer match.  At least one person is critically injured.   In Poland, a man was killed while descending a mountain as he was struck by lightning.

Please read our prior posts on the subject of lightning injury and lightning damage abatement:


http://rationalpreparedness.blogspot.com/2012/10/post-lightning-injuries.html

http://rationalpreparedness.blogspot.com/2012/02/protection-from-lightning-hazards.html

http://rationalpreparedness.blogspot.com/2012/02/exploring-possibility-of-adding.html

http://rationalpreparedness.blogspot.com/2013/02/overcoming-long-term-lightning-injury.html

http://rationalpreparedness.blogspot.com/2012/04/professional-lightning-protection.html

http://rationalpreparedness.blogspot.com/2012/05/lightning-protection-for-trees.html

http://learnedfromdaniel.blogspot.com/2011/08/lightning.html


The Avoidance of Firearm Practice Injuries and "Slide Bites"

        
This is the Sig Sauer P938 Equinox
 

          This morning I got all of the normal horse, dog, and alpaca care done between 4 am and 6 before the extreme heat of the day set in so that I would have some time for some firearm practice.  One of my sons would be here and we both like to practice fairly often. He set up the target range on the farm.  I had a particular reason for wanting to practice today in the early morning.  I usually carry a full sized weapon, but with summer coming, the larger sized weapon outline could be obvious at times, as most of us wear less clothing with the heat, and also because my outline is thinner and intentionally a little more muscular than a year ago.In order to carry a smaller weapon regularly, I really need to be as comfortable and as effective with it as I am with the one in which I have years of practice.

               The practice with the new weapon, a Sig Sauer P938, a sub-compact semi-automatic firearm, went quickly and well. In many ways it is similar to my larger carry. Despite the fact that it is completely new, it fed the rounds and fired just as it should.  There were no malfunctions or stoppages.  This is a different weapon than the one I trust so well. Being a smaller semi-automatic weapon I will need to keep my hands in slightly different places than I do with my normal weapon.  When I fired,  the shots clustered on the target where they should.  I was pleased as I had read both positive and some negative reviews of the P938.   I fired quite a few rounds when I heard my husband drive up.  My immediate thought as I realized I had met today's shooting objectives before the extreme heat, was  "We should go for ice cream now".  With that, I returned my attention to the remaining full magazine and fired at the target.   When I fired again, nothing hurt, but blood was streaming from my left hand onto the ground. It took me a second, even in the bright light to see what had happened.  Normally, with my regular larger handgun, I place my left hand well away from the slide as it is cycling. With the smaller handgun, I had cradled my right hand with my left and been too close to the rapid operation of the slide. The new weapon is sharp in many places and the slide as it operated worked like a blade.  When my son saw what happened, he safely took the weapon from me, dropped the magazine from it, and removed the remaining chambered round. He secured the weapon.  I had no particular choice as I made my way to the house, it bled profusely.  I had forgotten that there were complete first aid kits in all of the farm outbuildings.  I got to the house, cleaned the wound and took a look. It could use about four stitches.  If a wound is to be stitched or secured using dermabond, this should be done quickly after cleaning. The longer one waits the less the chances of good approximation and the prevention of infection.  I decided that the skin flaps on my thumb were well approximated when the bleeding was controlled, and that as long as the thumb was both dressed and splinted, so that it would not bend, that it should heal well through second intention. Leaving this wound as it is,  means that it should heal from the bottom up. This should also allow any slight purulent or infected material or serous fluid which forms in the wound to exit safely onto a dry sterile dressing that I will change at least daily.   I sprayed apinol on the wound and neosporin on the gauze to prevent sticking to the wound, and then I dressed and splinted it with my right hand. The wound did not hurt initially, but I did feel nauseated. Later in the day, the wound throbbed and it did continue to bleed necessitating a dressing change later in the day.  It will also be necessary to wear vinyl or nitrile gloves while doing a lot of the things I normally do to help to keep the dry sterile dressing clean. Many people need sutures following such an injury. I was also satisfied that no tendon injury had occurred. Had I been unsure then a trip to the ER would have been necessary to do a double thickness repair of both the tendon with absorbable suture and a repair of the skin above with suture that would have needed removal later.

            What can we learn from my unfortunate experience with my new weapon ?

1.  It's a good idea to have a first aid kit in close proximity when target practicing. Also, always wear eye and ear protection. Understand also that slide injuries do happen. They can be caused by gripping the weapon too high or by crossing ones thumbs inadvertently while using a two handed grasp.  

2.  When going from a larger weapon to a smaller one, it is easier to place your hands too high or nearer to the slide than you should.

3. I have practiced a lot over the years and I have never had a slide injury before.  Realize that this can happen, even if you think you are practiced and good at this. This occasionally happens to police officers who are doing regular qualifying. 

4. There are a number of injuries which can occur while practicing.   

    a. You may receive a slide injury if you are grasping the weapon too high or crossing your thumbs.
    b. Hot brass may burn your face or even enter your shirt. Hot brass has also entered the safety glasses of some shooters.
    c. Your hand can be injured by the hammer, again if your grasp of the weapon with two hands is incorrect.
    d. The web of your hand may become bruised should you shoot a lot of rounds on a particular day.
    e. Never practice if you are tired, rushed, distracted, taking medications which cloud your sensorium (like some antihistamines, for example) or drinking alcohol.  Keep children and small children away not only to avoid distraction, but to avoid potential hot shell injuries.
    f. Always discharge a firearm in a safe and approved location with a proper backstop in accordance with your locations laws.


             Learning to use a semi-automatic firearm properly and practicing regularly is intended to make us safer in situations which may befall us or our families in the future. However, practicing with firearms is not without risk.  Let's manage such risks to the best of our abilities. My hope is that hearing about my own injury will help to prevent yours.

Copyright 2016 Rational Preparedness

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Another High Value Low Cost Preparedness Home on the Market

        Usually, homes that are being marketed as turn key preparedness or survival homes are very expensive. Often, they range into the millions.  Twice in the last two weeks a private owner has placed their own preparedness home up for sale on Survival Realty.

        

Off-Grid Prepper Bug-Out/Vacation Dream

$150,000.  USD       2.5 acres  Debbie Kind 
House 27


PREPPER DREAM: Totally OFF GRID house in Ranch of the Rockies in Hartsel, CO; Stucco Santa Fe Style just built in 2007! MULTIPLE energy systems: solar, back up propane generator, wind generator, underground radiant water pipe heat, fireplace, unlimited firewood, skylights, washer/dryer, range/vent, refrigerator w/ freezer, 2 greenhouses, firepit, barbecue grill, indoor/outdoor media speaker system, flat screen TV, dog run/chicken enclosure, private fishing lake, 40 acres dog/hiking area, picnic tables, hammock. 2 1/2 acres, plus additional National Forest directly across the street and acres and acres of bordering undeveloped land. Tons of privacy, 2 sheds, underground storage, tons of trees and mountain views, hiking trails, well, septic, tee pee poles for tee pee, outdoor jacuzzi available, horse boarding and pastures, free roaming wildlife.
Close to Arkansas River, rafting, river walk, Buena Vista, and Anterio Reservoir. On site fire department. Ranch of the Rockies is your ticket to endless hiking, biking, rafting, camping, fishing, and four-wheeling. It is also located near Breckenridge Ski Resort. PREPPER DREAM. Couldn’t be more valuable. Grab it before the collapse comes! Nothing this cheap in OFF-GRID in the area. Only $150K. Will also trade for silver/gold or other comparable asset.



Sunday, May 15, 2016

Exploring a Free Sale



                   I like to think that I am fairly well informed in all the manner of cost effective ways of gathering animals, tools, and items that may be wise to acquire second hand.  Until recently, I had never heard of a "Free Sale".   Craigslist alerted me to one in an area a fair distance away but with which I had some familiarity. They advertised some things that my adult kids with houses had been looking for.

                   When I discard things I don't generally have a garage sale. I used to have them in the suburbs and they were quite successful, but here in the country, once you find our property, you still would need to find the house, and I am not that sure I want strangers having the layout, or perhaps coming here again. So when I get rid of something, I usually give it to someone who had admired it, or I ask them if they know someone who could use it.  Of course, in a large family, I often wind up giving it to someone in the family. If everyone has one and really doesn't need it, then I take it myself to Goodwill. I am careful to get a receipt for its value which helps on  income tax if you itemize.

                  I was interested as I drove today, as to what would motivate someone not to have a garage sale, and not to drop their discarded belongings at Goodwill, but to have a Free Sale.   Like me, the Free Sale marketers had a home that was a distance from civilization and was hard to find.  Also like me, not everything is accessible via GPS.  Sometimes one must drive, look, and follow the signs, some of which have blown away.  It felt like driving to a treasure hunt.  I finally arrived and I was the first one there.  There were CDs, DVDs, household items, unopened packages of durable food within expiration date, new pillows, new items that were likely gifts to them, rugs, baby clothing, women's clothing, new hats and shoes and some computer peripherals. Yesterday, there had been furniture also. There was some shelving and some rather nice curtain rods.

                   What motivated the family to have a Free Sale ?   They are moving out of the country within a very short time. The items they are keeping are packed and on their way.  These are the items they need to have gone as soon as possible. They have a lot to do and therefore running several trips to a Goodwill doesn't fit their schedule.  I also got the impression that they were doing rather well and that they didn't mind sharing their bounty with others.

                   Since I was first, I was able to gather a number of things my kids would have appreciated.  There were some Jazz, Classical and Celtic CDs that are hard to find.  Most items were new or nearly new. I also picked up some household items. It was worth the trip and I enjoyed the drive.

                 For preppers a free sale may be a chance to buy some things that will free up other money for preps. It may be a way to acquire some things you actually need for your preps.  It could also be a way of learning about your area, the people there, and perhaps even making some acquaintances.    Whenever you travel to a place advertised on Craigslist or similar venue, you should not go alone. You should also file a "flight plan" at your home, so everyone knows where you were going when your car broke down or you otherwise disappeared.  Remember that many places in the US do not have reliable cell service. It is possible to break down and be unable to call for help.

               If you do have a chance to speak to the family providing a "Free Sale", please thank them.  It is a big help to many people to acquire things that are "new" to them.  Most things can be washed, or one can go over them with alcohol and a paper towel.  Their generosity is not only commendable but can influence others to do the same.  I hope you had as enjoyable a day as I.



Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Low Cost High Value Home for Those Who Value Preparedness

          


 
         

 From time to time I profile a preparedness property that has recently come up for sale, and that I believe may be both a good choice and a reasonable buy for someone who is a reader here. I am not generally a fan of manufactured housing, but I think this home may be the exception.

This home is located on ten acres in an area that Joel Skousen has said is a good area for those of us who have preparedness and survival concerns.  It is located halfway between Mountain Home and Harrison Arkansas.  It has access to all the things you really would need, but is not close enough to urban centers to be of concern.  It is a three bedroom, two bath manufactured home which sits securely on a concrete basement.  It has a garage, and an interior basement structure which functions as both a safe room and a safe.
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This is the complete information provided by the owner of the property:

(The information between the two sets of undulating lines is the work product of the owner, Bob Jacobs)





Back property line

A 3 BR two bath manufactured home located on 10 plus acres of land in rural northwest Arkansas. The 27 by 42 ft exterior dimensions and sits sits on a walk out, poured, 8 inch walls. concrete basement that includes a two car garage and a 7 ft by 10 ft poured concrete vault with bank style combination lock door that serves as a gun vault, high value safe storage and storm shelter. The 10 plus acres of land is primarily cleared but contains some standing trees.



From the barn

The house was constructed in 2000 and reflects the original outfitting except a new refrigerator and microwave were installed in the last 3 years. Other appliances are a gas stove/over, a gas fire place, and a washer and dryer. The roof is 5 years old and is composite shingles. Cooking and heat is propane from a 250 gallon rented tank Water is from a 400 plus foot well with a static head that produces good tasting water. The well pump can easily be connected to a single manual throw transfer switch to connect to a generator for Grid down supply and an installed 1500 gallon water storage tank is located in the basement. A larger low pressure captive air tank is installed on the well pump supply side with a booster pump and a second captive air tank on the booster pump discharge side. Sewage is by a septic tank and drain field. Electrical is grid supplied.


From Driveway
Additional structures include a 20 foot shipping container, an 8 by 16 foot shed and a 24 by 36 foot pole barn with a dirt floor. A dry drainage creek splits the property approximately in half with a new concrete water crossing. The front part of the property is fenced with smooth wire.
The property is situated on a gravel/dirt road 9/10 of a mile from a paved county road with an additional 4 miles to a US secondary highway. The property is located in a valley with several neighbors two of which are visible from the house thru woods. Yellville is halfway between Mountain Home and Harrison, Arkansas and both have large Home Depots, Lowes, Wal-Mart Super Centers and large farm stores. Yellville and Flippen provide gas stations, a Wal-Mart, farm and hardware stores. Smaller hospitals in Yellville and Flippen with a a large hospital in Mountain Home. A Helo Medical Evacuation service with a yearly subscription fee exists in the area. Mountain Home is a highly recommended retirement area.


View of house from top of Mountain

The property is in an area listed in Stragetic Relocation by Joel M Skousen which is a study of retreat locations.
The property is equipped with a monitored security system and video surveillance system.
A list of major equipment and supplies that can transfer with the property at additional cost is available on request




Property is listed currently for $140,000 USD
Other equipment present on the acreage could be purchased for additional funds.

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 When this listing has sold, I will notate as such, but I plan to leave this blog post up for those of you who wish to contact a  realtor for other listings in the subject area.  It's also important to see what is possible periodically for comparatively little money. 

I have no axe to grind here. I receive no funds when the property sells and everyone is encouraged to do one's own due diligence, as always.



Wednesday, May 4, 2016

In Good Conscience, Who Can I Vote For ?

        
Rather than having an "embarrassment of riches" where candidates are concerned, we simply have an       "embarrassment of candidates."




           Last evening I was watching France24 when they scrolled as breaking news the fact that Ted Cruz has suspended his bid for the presidential election. For a moment, I honestly thought that it was some type of an error or misunderstanding, until I confirmed the news via the internet. Ted Cruz was not a perfect candidate, but he was a conservative and largely a known quantity. I would have voted for him.  At this point I have no idea whether I will be able, in good conscience, to vote at all in the upcoming presidential election.  The choices are just too flawed or too inept.

            Hillary Clinton has been doing whatever she wants dating right back to working as an attorney in Little Rock, Arkansas.  There have been scandal upon scandal where she is concerned, even without her philandering husband Bill.  She mismanaged the Benghazi affair resulting in the deaths of her employees. She used a private server in violation of the law for her communications as Secretary of State, probably to shroud dealings from official eyes.  She believes that children are the property of the state and that parents, if they raise the children her way, can continue to have some input in raising their children, but if they do not, the village will raise them. We have enough village idiots already. That isn't working. She has also said that she will support Obamacare when everyone concerned with it says it is failing, expensive, and will collapse. She also has health issues which make it less than likely that she will live through a serious crisis in the White House that would not allow her uninterrupted sleep.  I will never vote for her.

            Donald Trump is now the presumptive Republican candidate.  Traditionally, I have gone to Republican rallies and I know a number of the candidates for elected office from Virginia.  I believe in what they say they stand for, even if the Republicans appear at this time, not to.  Donald Trump concerns me because although his family and his children believe he would make an exceptional president, he seems short on the social graces, calm, and the diplomacy necessary in which to deal with the myriad of powder kegs which presently exist in the world. I agree that the president needs to advocate for the United States, and that the one we have does not, and will not. I don't agree with his broad brush criticisms of some groups. So will I be able to cast a vote for a man who appears to be a bully ?  We are chugging toward a world war and I don't know how good a wartime president Mr. Trump would be.

           It would be difficult if not terrible to have to cast a vote simply to block Hillary Clinton from holding the office.  Tell me, what alternatives do we have ?  Someone, please give me some perspective !