Archive for September, 2015

Tribal Think

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

The following article has been contributed by Michael Lemieux, a combat vet and former Special Forces Intelligence Analyst (please see below the article for a full bio)

Prepping is More Than Just Amassing Stuff

survival-gear
Preparing for the unexpected (prepping) is more than just amassing stuff. It is also about understanding the dynamics and fluidity of what will/may happen in a given scenario. As I have said, and heard others say, “Every plan works great up to your engagement with the enemy.” Unfortunately the adversary, man or nature, is not playing by your plan book or your expectations of how they should behave and the plan will divert very quickly.

Most of us try to imagine what could happen in our locality and then extrapolate from that what things we would need and what training we lack and take appropriate steps to mitigate those shortfalls.

But are we thinking beyond our own “things?”

Face it; there are few families that can provide a competent medic, medical supplies for physical and dental requirements, armory, ammunition, food supplies, power equipment, 24 hour guard/security, and livestock management, gardening/farming and so on. For most of us just managing an inventory is a massive undertaking that requires constant vigilance.

I haven’t even mentioned the mountains of reference material, tools, equipment (both hand and powered), and training required individually and as a family. Just the art of silent communication, arm and hand signals, or some other communication system to facilitate working as a team is nearly extinct outside of combat units.

In a grid down or “without rule of law” (WROL) scenario, how well would you be able to defend what you have accumulated? How many people are in your household, do you plan to “bug out” to a retreat or looking to “bug in” and hunker down at home, you have to be able to defend your property in either case 24/7.

A Potential Real-World Example

Some will say they live in a quiet neighborhood with good people and they would not be a threat. Perhaps, but let’s try this scenario:

A massive solar event has caused a global power outage; it will be months before power is restored. Weeks go by with virtually no outside help and food is running scarce.

Gangs and groups of people have started roaming further and further outside their own areas looking for food, and whatever else they can find.

Many of your neighbors know that you were a prepper and you probably have food in your house. Even if you have been quite about your prepping they may have noticed some of the things you have been doing and suspect you are “one of them.”

Two weeks into the disaster a neighbor is looking at his weakened family and crying children who are hungry and literally starving to death in front of him. And now that the water is no longer flowing and all their supplies have run out, he is becoming desperate to keep his family alive.

He has the family shotgun at his side and he will take it with him when he goes to your house to ask for help. But he has made up his mind; he will feed his family whether you agree to help him or not.

So, in this scenario, do you agree to help? How much? How often? Let’s say you agree to give a little food, water, and medicine. Now you have confirmed you have supplies. He will be back again. What if one of the other neighbors sees you giving food to him? Will they want some too?

You can see how this can quickly escalate. And these are not even the “bad guys.”

So how do you defend your home? How many ways can someone enter your house? Doors and windows, regardless of what floor they are on, are all easy ways to enter a home. Can you cover all of them with just your family and for how long? And if you have security running all the time how can you get anything else done. We all know that we cannot be at a heighten state of security awareness while trying to cook dinner or work chores that must be done.

The average family of 5 may consist of a husband and wife and 3 children. My family, for instance, is my wife and I and two sons and a daughter. If we have two people on “guard duty” or lookout the most we could effectively cover is two sides of the building. Yes we could roam back and forth to each cover two sides. But in doing so we are also telegraphing that we have stuff here we are guarding and drawing more attention. And human nature always kicks in with a nature break every few hours, you have to sleep, you have to eat and we all need down time to break the tension.

You can quickly see that in a 24/7 self-protection scenario things could get very taxing very quick.

I have heard others say they could build a safe room with all their supplies and no one can get in. Really? How long would your safe room/bunker last with the house burning down around you sucking the life giving oxygen from the room. Flames would not need to touch you but the lack of air would have the same effect. Which brings up the next weakness of a “bunkered” situation – even if you bunker is below ground with a bomb proof door you still need to swap air with the outside and all it takes is a green brush fire lit under you fresh air intake and your bunker is now a smoke filled tomb.

Don’t get me wrong I love a good bunker but ones with secondary and preferably tertiary egress routes leading to concealed exits beyond the immediate vicinity of what is going on topside. The problem with these are that they are very, very expensive, and not going to happen if your renting or living in an apartment and in most cities if you try to dig a hole in your own yard the city code enforcement officer is there asking to see permits and plans that must first be approved.

The Importance of a Tribe

So in the real world where you and I live we have to rely on one another. A trusted group of friends and acquaintances that can make up your tribe can and most likely will be the difference between life and death.

Some of your tribe members may not even know they are part of your tribe; they are your intelligence gathering folks, bartering partners, and possibly alternative transportation needs. They may be a neighbor that works at the police department or other city department that can feed information as to what the city is hearing outside the neighborhood.

Communication

Get a ham radio and get licensed; during times of disaster they are sometimes the only ones that have up to date information. Make friends on air in the four cardinal directions, write down their call signs and when the flag goes up start calling and find out what is happening. Many times, like the move of weather across the landscape, you may be able to get a warning of trouble before it arrives.

Don’t overlook local hams either; yes they are close but if two cities to the north hams are telling of bad guys coming south and you have a ham friend to the north of the city you live in you can get updates of movements that can directly affect your planning and decision making.

Get Comfortable Now

You will also need to build a tribe that is personal; I mean sleep in the same room, brush your teeth and pee in the same toilet personal.

4-5 families can group together to fortify a single family home with a decent odds of survival. But you have to start now, get together weekly, assign tasks and responsibilities, train together, plan together, plan down to actual sleep arraignments, and get to know one another like family.

With additional people come additional requirements; increased meal requirements, waste disposal, water usage, medical requirements, etc. But the tribe also comes with a force of arms and the deterrence of multiple eyes and ears holding multiple firearms. This is much more of a deterrence than mom and dad and a few kids asking bad guys to leave them alone.

A Contingency Plan

Though we don’t like to think about it; our best laid plans may not work out, so we must have a contingency.

One contingency may be to fall back to one of the other tribe member’s house (if reasonable) and set up a secondary site. Have some supplies hidden away for just such a contingency and live to fight another day. Alternatively, establish a bug out location that you can pre-stash supplies and tents, etc. to go to if you must abandon your primary spot. Abandoning a losing battle to save the lives of your loved ones is better than dying to hold on to the things you may have.

It is always advisable to have GOOD bags (Get Out Of Dodge) that have food, water, clothes, emergency equipment, small tent, sleeping bag, etc. for each member. If the vehicle is still running, great, if not, each member should be able to pack their own gear. Pre-stage as much as possible and update often to be sure you are ready. After the emergency hits is not the time to start.

No Man is an Island

desert-islandWe have all heard the adage that no man is an island – this is never as true as when you are trying to survive a disaster and especially when you are caring for loved ones who cannot defend themselves.

I have over 20 years of military experience; I have been to more third world countries than I care to count. I have seen the ugliness that is war, have been shot at, and have shot at others trying to kill me and my brothers in arms. I can tell you from firsthand experience that there is no animal more fierce and more inhumane than a ruthless enemy of the human species when they think there is no law or power to stop them.

The most passive and meek gentlemen can turn vicious and deadly when faced with starvation of his wife and especially his children.

Yet we must retain our humanity in such situations and help where we can with the understanding that we can only share our excess and that any attack on us would be met with deadly force. In time that generosity may prove to create an ally that provides you intelligence or skills which can save your life.

Gear and supplies are important, but they’re not enough. It’s a community, your tribe, that will make all the difference when your family’s life is in the balance.

Michael LeMieux was born in Midwest City, Oklahoma in 1956 and graduated from Weber State University in Utah with a degree in Computer Science. He served in both the US Navy and US Army (Active duty and National Guard) and trained in multiple intelligence disciplines and was a qualified paratrooper. He served with the 19th Special Forces Group, while in the National Guard, as a Special Forces tactical intelligence analyst. He served tours in Kuwait and Afghanistan where he received the Purple Heart for injuries received in combat.

Mr. LeMieux left military duty at the end of 2005 after being medically discharged with over 19 years of combined military experience. He currently works as an intelligence contractor to the US government and owns a small Firearms Repair business called Raven Head Arms.

He has traveled around the world living in 14 States of the Union including Hawaii, and visited (for various lengths of time) in Spain, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Korea, Scotland, Pakistan, Mauritius, Somalia, Diego Garcia, Australia, Philippines, England, Italy, Germany, and Puerto Rico.

Michael now lives in Nebraska with his wife, two of his three children, and grandchild. His hobbies include shooting, wood-working, writing, amateur inventor and scuba diving when he can find the time.

Hold the Skepticism: The One Prepper Resource You Can’t Be Without

Saturday, September 12th, 2015

This article was contributed by Jim. Jim was raised by Depression era parents and grew up around prepping skills long before they were called that. Today his focus is on natural health and healing, staying under the radar and sensible prepping. Currently he’s planning the construction of a sailing trimaran – to be used for bugging out ASAP.

Bunches of gear reviews, homesteading primers and futuristic prognostications pass through the pages of various prepping websites and magazines.

Many of them are credible and contain valuable information for those of us who believe that the status quo cannot remain so indefinitely.

The prepper lifestyle is, in itself, a healthier than ‘normal’ why to live. But there is much that can be done to make it more so. Toward this end, I want to introduce you to a methodology that can increase your overall sense of wellbeing and health exponentially. And I’m not exaggerating.

Energy Psychology is a broad range of techniques that spring from the ancient art and practice of acupuncture.

While it’s true that there is little in the way of ‘scientific’ evidence to validate its effectiveness, that has begun to change. And the personal experiences of those who have and do practice the techniques offer hope that there is much that we can do to collectively shift the responsibility for our personal health and wellbeing back into our own hands.

And in the process, away from the toxic environment of the medical/pharmaceutical industrial complex.

The one specific technique that I’d like to introduce you to today is Emotional Freedom Techniques.

And no, it doesn’t involve sticking needles into your body.

An Introduction into EFT

EFT-explained

EFT, or tapping as it is referred to, began to take form in the 80’s when a fellow by the name of Gary Craig took notice of the work and practice of a southern California psychologist, Roger Callahan.

Callahan had developed a modality he called ‘Thought Field Therapy’ and was experiencing results that were uncommon in the field of psychology at that time. His technique was complicated and required the participation of a practitioner along with the person being treated.

What Craig did was to simplify Callahan’s process, make it user friendly, easy to learn – and free to all who wanted to learn it.

Thus was born EFT.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve experienced gut related issues. Most notable among them, pain. I called them Big Pains and it got to the point where I was experiencing them for as long as 48 hours at a stretch as often as twice a month.

The pain was so bad that I was planning what I would do when it became unbearable. Note that I wrote when, not if.

I’ve never had much confidence in what passes for modern medicine and had had an interest in acupressure from the moment I first heard of it.

One evening, while researching alternative healing methods, I stumbled across a reference to EFT. It didn’t strike me as being all that promising but ‘something’ did convince me to print out abbreviated instructions and start tapping on my 5km walk back home.

Something clicked, for the next day I returned to the cyber cafe, printed out the entire manual and had it bound. Then read, studied and began practicing it daily.

Seven months later I experienced my last Big Pain. And that’s been over 10 years ago now.

And my life has continues to improve. In ways that I wouldn’t have thought would have unfolded in the way that they have. I continue to practice the technique daily and believe that if the government and the pharmaceutical industry knew of its effectiveness, it would be illegal.

From the Founder: EFT Explained

There is little I can do to coerce you into giving EFT a try. Other than recount my personal experience with the technique. How about a video…?

Gary Craig put this together himself when EFT was still in its infancy. It inspired me then and continues to do so every time I watch it.

Since its inception many others have jumped on the EFT bandwagon. Some have even added value to it. But Craig is still at the forefront of the movement and is continually working to improve delivery and effectiveness.

And in my opinion he’s still the go to source to get started.

Self Reliance is the Key to Survival

Prepping has become an industry. And it’s oh so easy to get into the mindset that if I just purchase this tool or invest in that resource, then all will work out in the long run.

My contention is that we are each our own most valuable tool and resource. And while I’m sure that there are ‘things’ that can be bought to increase our own individual reliance factor, we each came into this plane of existence without money. And when we leave we won’t be taking any of it with us.

Having access to financial reserves may put a person in a position to endure difficult situations more comfortably than most others. For awhile. Maybe.

But in the long run you will be your own best asset. Insight, intuition, health and your personal character will prove to be of invaluable worth. And these are the assets that EFT and other forms of energy psychology help to engender.

Why not give EFT a try? Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Prepping and Your Health

Friday, September 11th, 2015

The following article was contributed by Dayna Colvin, a holistic organic writer. She is a very active environmental advocate. She and her husband live in the Pacific NW, USA and are happy new parents of an adorable baby boy and share their home with 2 adorable, wonderful, sweet cats, their furry babies. You can reach her via email and social media at:

email: permadeva@yahoo.com
Twitter – notperfume
Facebook Author Page – EarthStewardWriter
NotPerfume Organic Nontoxic Scent Information – notperfume

The Case for Essential Oils

essential-oilsOrganic essential oils are a very important part of my holistic self-care and survival. I suffer from painful chemical sensitivity and asthma and I am often exposed to toxic levels of synthetic scents and cigarette smoke. The horrible exposure hurts my health to the point that I can’t breathe and the only natural remedy that will help me feel better is an organic essential oil.

Essential oils are the life blood of all plants and can save your life. One strong aromatic whiff of peppermint, orange, lemon, and eucalyptus soothes my nose and helps me feel much better. I can feel my lungs clearing and I can breathe better. I must say that I will not leave home without my favorite essential oils. I always carry a bottle of peppermint, orange, and tea tree oil in the event that I need a healing boost and I need an emergency rescue.

Peppermint is wonderful healing for the lungs and helps headaches too. Peppermint is also very energizing. Orange is a natural organic antimicrobial and is great for cleaning the air, as is lemon. Eucalyptus is great for clearing the lungs and is very energizing. I have several bottles of essential oils in my medicine cabinet and I use them to help soothe my baby when he is feeling stressed and needs some calming. Essential oils are a very important part of our first aid kit and they should be in everyone’s first aid kit.

A Warning

Toxic-Chemicals-Danger-SignsI do feel the need to warn people of a very serious health concern.

There are many synthetic scented products on the market, including commercial detergent, deodorizers, and personal care products that claim to contain essential oils, but the truth is to the contrary.

All synthetic scented products contain petrochemicals that were manufactured in a laboratory and there is nothing natural in any of the ingredients. Synthetic scented products contain cancer causing petrochemicals that can cause potentially harmful health hazards and are best avoided. My sensitive sense of smell immediately knows the difference between an organic pure essential oil and a synthetic scent.

The worst part about synthetic scents is that the US FDA does not regulate any scented products and companies are not required to disclose the toxic ingredients in their products. When you see a scented product that contains “fragrance”, you can be sure that it contains more than 10,000 toxic petrochemicals. When I learned this sobering fact, I was shocked and horrified and made the important decision to only purchase my personal care products from a natural food store or make my own healthy products.

Taking Charge of Your Family’s Health

There is a lot to be said about self-sufficiency and do it yourself.

For many people, this can be a slow process if this is new to you and if you don’t have the budget. I can assure you that as a mother who works hard to take care of her family and is on a fixed budget, it can be done.

A good example is that I save money and protect my family’s health with my earth friendly homemade laundry detergent. I use 1 measuring cup of baking soda and 1 measuring cup of white distilled vinegar in my laundry and it cleans very efficiently. There is no toxic residue, no toxic fumes, and the money I am saving is well worth it.

In today’s day and age, we cannot say we cannot afford to make healthy earth friendly choices. Instead, we need to say we cannot afford to make unhealthy choices. Making healthy choices for your family and voting with your wallet is the best thing you can do for survival and environmental conservation.

I highly recommend that anyone who takes survival prepping seriously take important action steps to green their home and learn to become serious label readers. It’s very important to learn what all the ingredients are in the products you buy.

Learn the difference between propylene glycol and sweet orange and pay very close attention to all the products you buy for all your family’s needs. Please do not fall for marketing tactics like “hypoallergenic”, “scent/fragrance-free”, “sensitive skin”. Unfortunately, I fell into the trap of these marketing tactics and my health suffered in painful ways.

If You Can’t Pronounce It Don’t Buy It

essential-oilMy simple approach that I recommend to everyone is, if you cannot pronounce the ingredients, pass it by and leave it on the shelf. If in doubt, do without is my motto and I live by this motto with all my purchases. My family has been using Dr. Bronner’s organic lavender castile soup for 20 years and we also use Earth Mama Angel Baby and we are very happy with both. My other motto I live by is keep it simple.

In my humble opinion, this is the best motto to live by to be a healthy prepper.