firearms


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By Kellene Bishop

Today I’m going to provide you with just a few “just in case” words of wisdom. These aren’t necessarily the most important or the most commonly forgotten “just in case” things I think about. But they would probably be the first ones I teach to any client. So here you go.

Photo c/o Jupiter Images

Photo c/o Jupiter Images

Always keep your gas tank as full as possible. Set the half full mark as your “refill mark.”  What if you need to bug out of town, or dash for an emergency of some other kind? The last thing you want to do is stop and get gas.

Always keep a first aid kid in your car—for you and others.

Always keep a full gallon of water in your car. It’s not just for you, but also for your car, care of others, etc 

Keep a “bug out box” in your car. Say you suddenly find yourself outrunning a tornado. Don’t let the location of where your home is guide your path and thus put you in danger. Get away from it ASAP and have the materials you need to survive for at least 3 days.

Yes, always keep spark plugs and a full spare tire in your car.

Be sure you know how to change a tire—just in case.

CPR Photo c/o Neatorama

CPR Photo c/o Neatorama

Learn CRP—just in case.

Keep your firearm ON your person—just in case. Statistically speaking it’s safer on your hip than in any part of your home. And it’s readily usable in a serious self-defense instance. Oh, and by the way, don’t go telling everyone that you’ve got a firearm and where it is. (See below.)

Have an alternative weapon in which you could use in close quarters such as an Asp, a knife, or a taser—just in case. I can’t even begin to tell you how many “attacks” actually are initiated between a known and “trusted” person and in close encounters. If they are known and trusted, you may be inclined to tell them where you carrying your firearm or alternative weapon. Don’t do it. If you do, then you’ve lost all of your potential to defend yourself. (“Trusted family only” is our rule.) I tend to live by the saying, “Ultimately everyone you love will hurt you. You just have to decide whether or not they are worth hurting for.”

Whenever possible, back into a parking space so that you can quickly pull out—just in case.

When you pull up to a light or a stop, never pull right up to the car in front of you. Always leave some “wiggle” room so that you can get out of there of your own accord—just in case. If you can see the bumper of the car in front of you, you’ve given yourself enough room. The same goes for when you’re stuck in traffic. Always be sure you have an “exit strategy.”

ice-in-case-of-emergency-just-in-casePut a “ICE” phone number in your cell phone address book. This is universal to law enforcement and other aware individuals that it’s who you want contacts in case of an emergency.

Have 1,000 rounds of ammo for each firearm caliber you own—just in case.

Be sure your family knows EXACTLY where to go in the event of an emergency—just in case. And also be sure that you have a Plan B and a Plan C.

Make sure that everyone in your family knows a code word for “entrance” and a code word or phrase for “we’re in trouble.” This is critical. Make sure that you practice it. Make sure that it’s not common, but that your family members practice delivering it in casual conversation—just in case.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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By Kellene Bishop

Fashion-sense-Shooting-range-t-shirtI’ve only written a few articles for Preparedness Pro related to firearm self-defense but I often hear questions from folks asking how a city girl got “converted” to this form of self-defense. Self-defense is a necessary component of preparedness. The escalating crime and violence inflicted on our law abiding citizens is indicative of this. If this is what is happening when “times are good” imagine what will transpire when the slightest amount of chaos and discomfort occurs. I believe that a firearm is the ideal form of self-defense. And because I believe that, I’m going to share with you my story of how I went from a city girl who wasn’t raised around such thoughts and tools to becoming a firearms instructor and marksman.

People assume that as a self-defense and firearms instructor that I’m some kind of super bad “you know what” and have always been “fine” with guns, etc. Well, they would be dead wrong.

When I married my husband I was a city slicker from Columbus, OH. I had never been around guns. I was raised that guns were super bad, super dangerous, etc.

As my brand new husband (a Utah mountain boy) and I were moving items into our new home just a week after our wedding, I found myself bringing in a couple of heavy black cases. The cases were small and I couldn’t fathom what in the world could be inside them that would be so heavy. Finally, curiosity got the better of me and I asked my husband what the heck they had in them. He sheepishly looked at me and said “Oh. I guess we should have talked about that before we got married.” As it turned out, the cases had handguns in them. As it turns out, I didn’t get a mountain boy. I got a real cowboy.

This day of discovery began the long 12+ months of him trying to convince me that it would be perfectly OK for me to “allow” him to get his concealed carry permit. I just couldn’t stomach the thought of him carrying a gun around all the time. To his great credit my husband was patient in educating me and waiting for me to be OK with him taking a more proactive stance in his 2nd Amendment rights. So finally I relented and “let” him get his concealed carry permit, with the understanding that I wasn’t yet ready for him to actually “carry.” So his patience continued. Finally, I decided that he was perfectly capable and competent and this was important to him so I put aside my inhibitions and relented my “permission” as a “birthday present” to him. (Boy howdy did it make him happy!)

Beretta Tomcat photo c/o mk70ss

Beretta Tomcat photo c/o mk70ss

As a natural course of progression, he patiently attempted to get me to try and shoot a gun. So we finally went to a range. He taught me forEVER about safety, handling, etc. All the while I’m thinking, “let’s just get this over with and let me shoot and get out of here, already!” He had me shoot a little Beretta TomCat .32. (This is a little bigger kick than a .22 but less than a 9mm.) Terrified, but trying to be brave, I shot it six times and then began crying, shaking inside, and informed my husband we were done with the shooting exercise. 

After this I couldn’t watch action/adventure movies (my favorite genre up to this point) for several weeks. When I saw someone on screen shooting a gun, it suddenly felt much more real to me—no longer pretend. I no longer had the desire to cheer for the good guy and yell “Get ‘em!” Instead, I recalled what I felt were the heavy bass reverberations that I experienced shooting for the first time. After shooting a firearm I felt just how real, instant, and deadly a gun was. And that kind of power in my hand initially scared the crud out of me. I certainly didn’t want to relive it in a movie. 

Several weeks later my husband chose to make use of my competitive spirit and convinced me that I should try again and not let this fear get the better of me. So I did. This time he had me shoot a Glock 9mm. I lasted an entire 20 minutes of shooting this gun, hitting the target occasionally, and then informed him that I had met my quota for the day. At least this time I didn’t cry.

So what transpired between the crying, the stress, and such and my now being a firearms and self-defense instructor to women?

First: Purpose. I realized that as our world becomes more volatile, the more likely we will need to defend ourselves in such a manner some day, whether it be protecting our homestead, a family member, virtue, or other scenarios I won’t get into here. It’s naïve of me to think that my “Rambo” of a husband will be there to save the day when I’m in trouble. There is a great likelihood that when something does “go south” my husband will be the one out patrolling the neighborhood, or coming to the aid of others. I realized that I didn’t want to be a liability for him and wanted to be able to stand on my own when it may be necessary. 

women-and-guns-silhouetteSecond: Vision. I realized that there were a lot of other women that are in the same shoes as me—their husband may be confident in defending himself physically or with a firearm, but the wives are not. I’m sure it would give a greater peace of mind to those who love their wives to know that their wives can be a protecting asset to the family too. Yet I also know just how hard it was for me to overcome my stigmas about guns, safety, protection, preparedness, and self-defense. Frankly, in spite of my husband being an excellent and patient teacher with me, there are some things that a man would never think of when instructing a woman, things that I think would have made it easier for me to come around and be more confident in my ability to defend myself without hurting innocent bystanders. I think learning from a man is difficult for a woman…especially when it’s a husband or a boyfriend. There’s already an enormous amount of pressure in this new experience without stressing that you’re disappointing or not measuring up to the expectations of someone you love as well. 

Additionally I realized that there were also a lot of non-married women that aren’t sufficiently protected simply because of a lack of knowledge. When I was Marine-trained to learn physical self-defense (by a couple of men), I realized that there were better ways to communicate and thus properly train a woman in order for her to be effective and proactive, rather than reactive to fear or potential “what if” scenarios. I felt that it would be better to prevent those scenarios from ever happening rather than trying to educate someone traumatized after the fact. 

Assault crimes have continued to rise in our nation. Criminals are becoming more brazen in their efforts to win the “Oscar” for the biggest, boldest, most gruesome assault. I realized that simply maintaining the status quo for women and their ability to truly defend themselves really was no longer an option. And yet they didn’t have a lot of viable answers and training access that fit them perfectly.

Third: Confidence. It’s one thing to have a Concealed Firearm Permit. It’s another to have the mindset that you will be able to use a firearm if necessary, and that you can do so without harming others. I was very fortunate in that I was able to get some unique training that enabled me to hit exactly what I was aiming at, without the “fog of war” intruding, and in a quick-draw fashion. This SKILL made me very competent and confident. This made a HUGE difference in my acceptance of this new responsibility. I was ready to take it on. This confidence made a significant impact on my view of circumstances around me. I no longer seemed to worry as much about things which were out of my control, because I felt in control of the most vital matters, protecting myself and others. 

Fourth: Clarity. Martial arts and boxing training are great for physical activity, confidence, and discipline. But for the majority of ALL students, they are ineffective, and even dangerous (because of the false sense of competence they may invoke) in the heat of a real assault. I’m sorry to offend anyone when I say this, but reality can’t be subject to a popularity. Martial arts training is popular. But it’s unrealistic to think that someone can get the kind of instruction necessary to effectively defend themselves physically against a psychotic perpetrator in the heat of the moment. Unless you’re Chuck Norris or Jackie Chan, it’s not likely you’ve instinctively mastered the skills necessary to make these disciplines life-saving. There are too many “moves” to master. There’s too much thinking necessary.

Additionally, it’s too often portrayed that only “beautiful, skinny, and fit women” were capable of using martial arts and boxing techniques in an attempt to protect themselves. Considering that I am over 200 pounds, only 5’ 2 ½” and overall out of shape, I don’t like that idea very much. I don’t care for the social insinuation that chubby women are ideal marks for perpetrators. That’s why I had an “Aha Moment.” My personal discovery was that the competent use of a firearm far surpasses the effectiveness of a “crouching tiger” or a “right cross” and it is no respecter of what you had for breakfast, lunch or dinner for the last decade! While the knocking someone unconscious may be a more compassionate approach to defending yourself, I had to come to a point where I no longer fostered compassion towards someone who would take me away from my family, cripple me, harm my children, or others that I loved or who were helpless to defend themselves. And whether one is scrawny, hefty, young, or ancient, the competent use of a firearm coupled with some street smarts is a sure equalizer between good and evil.

After commiserating with so many women over the years who were just like me in their fear and other inhibitions of defending themselves, I SO wanted to share my relatively newfound knowledge with as many women as I could. I wanted them to have the opportunity to learn from a very REAL woman who completely understood and overcame their same fears—not just learn enough so that they can legally carry a firearm, but to learn enough so that they can skillfully use one when necessary, and can defend themselves when necessary. I also saw value in training women real street smarts with the proper use of other methods of self-defense in the event a firearm isn’t readily available, malfunctions, or could endanger others. 

Utah Concealed Firearm Permit Certified Instructor.

Utah Concealed Firearm Permit Certified Instructor.

To this end I’ve spent years becoming certified as the most highly certified female NRA instructor in the Western States as well as a certified Utah CFP Instructor (Concealed Firearm Permit). In addition I’ve endeavored to learn and master as much as my military, DEA, and other helpful experts have to teach me so that I can expertly pass on real life skills to people (especially women) all over. I’ve also worked closely with my husband to create an exclusive technique that enables a shooter to consistently hit exactly what they are aiming at, and ONLY what they are aiming at, with only a couple hours of hands-on instruction!

And that, is my story. 

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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This blog has moved. Please visit us at www.preparednesspro.com.

By Kellene Bishop

elephant-in-the-roomIt’s a critical consideration for any person who intends to be prepared for whatever comes their way and yet it seems too taboo to discuss.

It will assuredly save your life or that of your family, and yet many shrug it off.

In the name of goodness many folks ignore it. Yet true goodness is willing to battle evil.

It’s the difference between being prepared and being able to access your preparedness supplies. So why is it dismissed and vilified?

Self-Defense is the 3rd most critical component of preparedness (as it falls under the Physical Preparedness category), and yet it’s treated by many as the elephant in the middle of the room. We dance around it. We whisper about it. Our discomfort excuses ourselves from a conversation relating to it. Very few are willing to embrace that elephant as an asset instead of as an unwelcome guest.

Make no mistake about it. I’m not keen on taking someone’s life. However, I am more committed to protecting my life and those that I love than I am against taking someone’s life. Make no mistake about it. If my life, liberty, or virtue is threatened I will fight back decisively and in a very final manner. I’m under tall, over weight, and out of shape. I have no misconceptions that I will be able to handle a drug-crazed violent attacker with a karate chop to the groin, a “dancing flight of the beetle” move, or my sheer will. While I’m proficient at street fighting self-defense, that’s only for “just in case” when I may not be armed with my ultimate equalizer—a firearm.

concealed-carry-beltYes, firearms are dangerous—to an attacker. Yes, accidents to happen with firearms—by those who refuse to follow the rules of safety. But they are indeed the self-defense of choice in my home because they provide a critical element of surprise, an effective defense when distance is preferred, and an element of strength that I simply cannot create even with a daily 3 hour workout regime. In the name of preparedness and acknowledging the darker side of some human nature, I’ve gone from being “no way is a gun going to be in my home” to being a proficient firearms marksmen instructor, Utah Concealed Weapons Permit instructor, and the NRA’s highest certified female instructor in the Western States. Yup. That path didn’t come overnight. But it wouldn’t have come at all if I hadn’t acknowledged that elephant in the middle of the room.

Just as an example, let’s take the scenario of a mandatory quarantine. So, everyone is supposed to stay in their homes and not venture out, right? Does that mean your streets will be quiet? Does that mean that EVERYONE is going to respect the quarantine order? How about the individuals who are woefully addicted to pain medication? The pharmacies will be cleaned out after only 24 hours. So, no way for the addicts to get their prescriptions filled. No pharmacies to rob. Even if, for some reason, all of the drug dealers are able to avoid getting sick, where are the addicts going to get their supply? It will run out eventually, right? So their only hope is to rob a home in hopes that someone has some pain medications on hand. So, he chooses your house. What are your plans? To just give him the pills? To reason with him and convince him to enter rehab? Remember, you’re not dealing with a sane person. You’re not dealing with a person who has boundaries. In fact, by all intents and purposes, you’re not dealing with a person. You’re dealing with an addiction that’s clearly out of control. Do you really plan on risking everything you’ve done to protect and preserve your family for a time of crisis just to appease one drug-crazed addict? So you simply give him what he wants perhaps. If you think it’s this easy to decide and this cut and dry, I think you’ve been watching too many movies.

Photo c/o diabetes.org

Photo c/o diabetes.org

Let’s forget the drug addicts for a moment. Let’s consider a scenario that perhaps more of us can relate to. Suppose you have a 5-year-old daughter who has a serious form of diabetes. Your supply of insulin has run out. What do you do? Do you try to get more from the pharmacy as soon as you hear of a possible quarantine? Sorry, but you will be sharing that thought with hundreds of other concerned, desperate parents. Your success is not likely. So then what happens? Do you become desperate like a drug-addicted criminal? It’s possible. And I think that we don’t fully appreciate just how desperate folks can become in the name of taking care of their family—especially their children.

The obstacle for many people when they think of having to defend themselves against a crazed attack of another is they emotionally view that attacker as a human being. Unfortunately though, a person who would physically harm, maim, violate, or kill another person to get gain is NOT a human being any longer. They have instead taken on the characteristics of a wild animal. When it comes to defending yourself, you must not view the assailant as a human being. If you want to stay alive and safe, you must view an attacker as the sub-human that they have become.

This kind of a mindset does not happen overnight. You must mentally prepare yourself for what you will do, under what circumstances you will do it, what tools you need, what skills you need, and what safety procedures you will implement in order to ensure your safety in any scenario…but particularly in one which will foster looting, plunder, and violation of independence, virtue, and safety. Then you must physically prepare yourself with the SKILL and physical muscle training to put your plan into place. Remember, no one defends themselves with a firearm successfully without having mentally rehearsed it first.

bourne-self-defense-magazineIn closing, I just want to point out the obvious. Your Jason Bourne moves are only powerful in your dreams. You should be armed with a serviceable firearm as well as a decent supply of ammo. This will effectively defend you at a distance in spite of the strength and rage of an assailant. This will also give you a fighting chance against multiple assailants. My rule of thumb is that you have 1,000 rounds of ammo per caliber of firearm. Anyone who’s capable and mature enough to handle a firearm in your home should be trained to do so. While this may sound like a apocalyptic scenario, the fact of the matter is you don’t truly know how long a survival situation may last, how much hunting you may have to do for food, nor what kind of security your community may require when lawlessness steps in. Once a true emergency hits your community, your civilized way of thinking and living will be altered dramatically.

Ultimately you need to be prepared for the worst, and pray for the best.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

This blog has moved. Please visit us at www.preparednesspro.com.

By Kellene Bishop

Natural Disaster photo c/o history.com

Natural Disaster photo c/o history.com

Typically when I mention emergency preparedness to someone they automatically think of “food storage” or “the Mormons.”  Unfortunately, a focus on either will not save your family in a time of crisis.  There are actually ten vital areas to being prepared for an emergency whether it be a natural disaster, act of war or financial collapse.  Food is only one component that we’ve addressed recently.  So let’s take a look at all 10 areas of being prepared.

I’m listing them for you in the area of importance.

  1. Component of Emergency Preparedness #1: Spiritual. This category has everything to do with your belief system.  It’s where you draw on peace even in the midst of chaos.  It’s also where you draw on knowledge and understanding of that which is to come.  Your spiritual preparedness needs to be fed on a regular basis.  It will be incredibly invaluable in a time of great need, such as a catastrophic emergency.  If your spiritual preparedness is lacking, not much else you focus on will be of benefit to you.
  2. Component of Emergency Preparedness #2: Mental. This category has to do with your knowledge level, skills, and mental rehearsals for chaotic scenarios.  This area requires constant nourishment, education, and deliberate thought.  Unless you mentally prepare for a situation such as self-defense, or mass chaos, or the fact that all hell can really break loose, then you will be physically and emotionally paralyzed from being a leader and a protector to anyone, let alone your family and loved ones.  The mental preparation is what prepares you in spite of the crazy looks and comments you get from friends and loved ones.  Immerse yourself in movies, books, and conversations relevant to emergency preparedness (see #5).  Expose yourself to as much learning experiences as you are able.  Work that mental muscle as much as possible.  It will serve you well in a time of crisis as well as long-term survival.
    The key to your mental preparedness is Attitude, Skills, and Knowledge. Fortunately all three of these aspects can be obtained without monetary cost as there’s so much available through classes and online.
  3. Component of Emergency Preparedness #3: Physical. This area covers a great deal.  Physical preparedness has to do with your physical strength and ability to maximize your physical strength, such as the
    Exercise photo c/o healthspablog.org

    Exercise photo c/o healthspablog.org

    use of wagons or wheel barrels, your ability to protect yourself and your family, as well as planning for any necessary travel needs.  Keep in mind that your physical strength will be your primary asset when it comes to travel.  Since most of us aren’t trained extensively in military tactics and maneuvers, firearms are a key consideration for physical self-defense.  Make sure you have tools like small wagons, bikes, wheel barrels, etc.  You can strengthen your physical preparedness by adjusting your diet now to avoid foods that impede your performance or you won’t have access to later.  And no, I’m not going to rattle them off because you already know what you’re doing wrong in that regard.  Exercise is critical for your physical preparedness as well.  You will inevitably be called upon to be more physical in your survival efforts in an emergency.  Perhaps you will need to trek 30 miles.  Or perhaps you will need to do some heavy lifting to create a suitable shelter.  You will also need to function without air conditioning or heat like you’re accustomed to.  Take precautions now so that you are better physically prepared later.

  4. Component of Emergency Preparedness #4: Medical. This includes having what you need for first-aid, solutions for your existing medical needs, as well as sanitation.  First-aid needs includes bandages, a field surgical kit, pain relievers, herbs and essential oils, as well as the knowledge to use such items.  Your existing medical needs will be a challenge since most individuals can’t get a year’s supply of prescription medicines.  If I were you, I would make sure to study up on alternative options available, such as herbal nutrition, essential oils, homeopathic care, etc.  Recently, as a result of my goal to be more prepared medically, I set a goal to eliminate all of my prescription drugs.  I started the New Year with seven prescriptions on my nightstand, and I’m now down to one.  The most recent I was able to get rid of was my thyroid medicine by incorporating quality nutrition products into my diet instead of my thyroid medicine.  While my doctor wasn’t happy with the approach, he did acquiesce just this last Friday that my blood tests showed that I was no longer in need of my thyroid medicine!  I feel much more independent and capable now.  While I can’t supply a years worth of pharmaceuticals safely, I sure can keep a year’s supply of various nutritional products.  (Just FYI, I elect to use Reliv products.  No, I don’t sell them but you can locate them easily online.)
    As far as sanitation is concerned, you have to be sure you’ve thought this one through.  Digging a hole out in your back yard will not do.  You’ve got to have the chemicals on hand to break down the waste.  I assure you that if the hole in the back yard was everyone’s strategy, everyone within a 50 mile radius will be dead within 30 days!  The holes have to be dug deep.  Plan on using some type of a disposal breakdown chemical regularly.  Disposing of the waste, keeping it covered, and minimizing its location and effect on everything else around you will be critical in a time of emergency.  Understand that this aspect of preparation will not be simple.  You should expect a lot of diarrhea initially as a result of stress, different foods, and drinking less liquids.
  5. Component of Emergency Preparedness #5: Clothing/Shelter. This category is a higher priority than food and water.  Many folks really overlook this critical area.  While being able to survive in your own home is ideal, it’s not necessarily possible for a myriad of different reasons.  Be sure that you’ve got SPARE clothing available for all of your children’s ages and have it readily accessible.  This may mean you need to go to a local thrift store and purchase clothes for a year in advance of your children’s sizes right now.  Sturdy shoes will be critical—especially if you have to walk long distances to get to safety.  Also, be mindful of your clothing and your shelter accommodating either warm or cold weather.  Be sure to have hats and gloves for everyone—spares so that there’s no chance of them “getting lost” in the event of a crisis.   Even if you are able to survive in your present dwelling, be sure you have tools on hand to reinforce it, such as hammers, nails, sheeting, duct tape, and even some plywood.  (My preferred sheeting is purchased at Costco.  It’s twice as thick as others, you get twice as much, and it’s less expensive.)  Be sure that you don’t have to rely on electricity and batteries for the use of your tools as well in the event of a solar flare or an EMP attack.
  6. Component of Emergency Preparedness #6: Water. Let me be perfectly clear on this.  A two week supply of water is NOT sufficient.  That’s short-term.  I hardly EVER address short-term preparedness in my articles, and am almost always focusing on long term.  As overwhelming as it may sound, you need one gallon of
    Water Barrel Storage photo c/o homelandpreparedness.com

    Water Barrel Storage photo c/o homelandpreparedness.com

    water, per person, per day.  That’s 365 gallons per person.  Yes, that’s a lot of barrels.  But that’s just the MINIMUM.  You’ll be using water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, sanitation, and bathing.  There are a myriad of different ways to conserve water, but you’ll want to employ those even if you do have the 365 gallons per person.  Water is the only thing that will keep your organs functioning properly.  You need water just as much in the cold as you do in the heat.  Your kidneys process hundreds of gallons worth of water each day.  You do not want to treat your kidneys like a teenager treats their oil filter, right?  You’ve got to continue to give your organs new water in order that they will not shut down.  Your body uses flavored water very differently than it does real water.  You use more energy to benefit from the flavored water than you do just straight water.  In addition to storing enough water, I also store a lot of paper goods that I can use that won’t require cleaning afterwards.  I also store cleansing cloths.
    You don’t need to treat your water before storing it if you’re using tap water.  Plan on treating it afterwards if necessary (8 drops of Chlorox for each gallon of water).  You can rotate your water once every 5 years and be just fine.  Stale water can taste a LOT better if you simply aerate it—such as pouring it back and forth from one container to another before serving.

  7. Component of Emergency Preparedness #7: Food. As I’ve shared in the last 8 part series, be familiar with the food that you’ve stored, be prepared to cook it without electricity, and be sure that it’s nutritious.  90 days of food is SHORT-TERM.  It’s not the end result.  One year of food supply for your family is absolutely necessary.  Also be sure that you have all of the tools on hand you will need that don’t require electricity.  Be sure you have nothing in your equipment stores that you have not used yet.  (In other words, don’t just buy that solar oven and put it in your basement.  Use it.)
  8. Component of Emergency Preparedness #8: Fuel. Your fuel should be usable on as many tools as possible, and every responsible member of the family should be familiar with its use.  I store butane for my small oven, propane for the grill, and kerosene for my lights, heaters, and another stove.  I also have some
    Butane Stove photo c/o manventureoutpost.com

    Butane Stove photo c/o manventureoutpost.com

    charcoal and some wood for other forms of cooking.  I’ve experimented with my cooking fuel coupled with my pressure cooker and have learned that I can cook 2 meals a day for 3 weeks on one can of butane.  It’s critical that you know how much fuel you need for your family.  It’s also critical you know that the lights you’re relying on can actually put out enough light.  We bought these “100 hour candles” only to discover one night that they barely put off enough light for us to see the match and the wick so that we could light the next one.  I recommend to all of my clients to try a day or two without electrical lighting.  I also recommend that they go a whole week without using any electricity to prepare their food—including the refrigerator.

  9. Component of Emergency Preparedness #9: Financial.  Financial preparation isn’t just about having debt.  Most of us will have a mortgage if nothing else.  I recommend my clients pay their utilities and their taxes in advance whenever possible.  It’s also critical that you have goods with which to trade such as wheat, sugar, and other stores that will be in high demand.  Anything more than $500 cash on hand is a waste, in my opinion, as a crisis will quickly make money worthless.  If you don’t already have what you need, you will NOT be able to buy it amidst a mob of crazy people who are unprepared. 
  10. Component of Emergency Preparedness #10: Communication. All of the other areas of preparedness I discussed are focused on you and your family.  This is the only area of preparedness that focuses on reaching out to others.  In order to be prepared for communication in an emergency, you should have a very specific plan of communication with you family and friends.  You should have a specific point of gathering agree upon for everyone to meet in the event of a disaster.  Additionally, plan on other forms of communication such as a HAM radio, accompanied by the license and skill to operate.  Also plan on good old fashioned message delivery.  (Another good reason to employ physical preparedness.)  Being able to coordinate with the outside world will become important during and after your initial crisis reaction.

Don’t get overwhelmed with all of this.  Just put it on your radar and start chipping away at it.  Look for opportunities to learn and strengthen your spiritual and mental preparedness first and foremost.  Everything else will appropriately follow.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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No, You’re Not Crazy
By Kellene Bishop

Do you have a skeptical spouse?

Do you have a skeptical spouse?

How to influence that skeptical spouse when it comes to emergency preparedness efforts is a query I hear frequently in my line of work.  I affectionately call it the “$64 million dollar question.”  Surprisingly, the question isn’t dominated by one particular sex or the other, either.  I guess both men and women are equally skeptical when it comes to this topic.  Obviously, it is tough to have one member of the family focused on something so important without the support of knowledge, enthusiasm and additional expertise from the other.  Being on the same page for this sort of thing boils down to more than just being able to “share in a hobby”—it’s literally lifesaving.  That’s why I address this query with some very specific and deliberate strategies.

  1. Money.  Money is usually the number one reason why a spouse is not on board with food storage acquisition.  The minute you go out and put a bunch of money on a credit card to obtain some emergency preparedness supplies, you’ve created a valid barrier.  Even if your spouse was on board with preparedness, that shouldn’t be an acceptable action.  Be just as prudent in acquiring your supplies as you are in the fact that you DO prepare for a rainy day.  I assure you that when you come home with a couple bags of emergency preparedness supplies and are able to tell your spouse that you got them for nearly free or cheap, you will have successfully taken down one of their most strident objections.  Just as many divorces ultimately end as the result of a disagreement about finances, emergency preparedness efforts are thwarted the same way.  If you are prudent and consistent in your preparedness efforts, you’ll be able to prepare without starting World War III in your home.
  2. USE and Familiarity.  Any spouse would be understandably frustrated to have their partner bring home a relatively large or significant investment such as a solar oven, a pressure cooker, a Glock handgun, etc., only to have it collect dust and take up valuable space.  No purchase you make for emergency preparedness should be disconnected or “foreign” to you.  You should incorporate it in your life on a regular basis.  It’s really not so much about “emergency preparedness” as it is just plain “preparedness.”  For example, I have a lot of folks who attend my “Bring on the Sun” solar oven class and tell me that they have owned one for ages but never knew how to use it.  Obviously they bought it “for emergencies.”  Argh!  That makes me cringe.  I have to wonder how their spouse felt about tripping over this big lug of inconvenience that was purchased “just in case the aliens attack.”  If you don’t use it folks, it’s no help to you and it doesn’t get attached to a realistic scenario in your spouses mind.  When you can present a delicious meal that was prepared in your pressure cooker, for example, the doubting spouse will simply see the meal as a yummy, simple, and efficient way of cooking—not another expense for a “fantasy ‘what if’ scenario” that they don’t believe will actually occur.  If the use of your tools and preparedness supplies is sporadic, it sends the wrong message to the doubters in your life about your level of commitment to preparedness.  If you’re committed enough to use money out of your family budget to acquire it, then you really should be serious enough to utilize and be familiar with the item as well. 
    Pressure canner for canning meat

    Pressure canner for canning meat

    I have the luxury of being equally yoked with my husband in our emergency preparedness efforts, but I can assure you that if I were to ask him to get me something that costs more than 50 bucks, I darn well better be prepared to show him the WHY I would like such a tool, and then immediately use it when it comes into the home.  For example, he bought me a large pressure canner for our anniversary recently.  I made sure that I was canning meat that very weekend, showed him how easy it was, and then followed up with making a couple of yummy meals from the results of that canning.  You can bet that he didn’t feel like the purchase was a waste.  (Especially now that I brought home over $50 of FREE steak to can this weekend. :))  If you bring home that handgun, be prepared to practice with it and participate in as many classes as you can.  If you purchase the Food Saver, start using it.  I think you get my point.  (By the way, I’ve discovered that the best bang for your buck on a Food Saver is ONLINE at Costco.  The Food Saver comes with all of the necessary attachments, plus the bags for only $78 bucks, including shipping.  Even in comparison to Ebay, that’s a great deal.) 

  3. Education.  Use every opportunity to factually educate your spouse—not preach to them.  For example, make a scrumptious casserole or brisket in your solar oven.  When you present it to your spouse and family for dinner, tell them how easy it was and how it didn’t require any electricity.  You don’t even need to mention the word “preparedness.”  The dots will get connected eventually so that you don’t have to translate everything into plans for an emergency.  If you aren’t able to spend the money on something until your spouse is “converted”, then borrow someone else’s and demonstrate it for them.  You’ll be better off mentally for having used it successfully, and you’ll be better for putting your mind in the position of a student, then a teacher.  It’s a win/win situation with this approach.  In order to properly educate those around you, be sure to be fully educated yourself so that your “teachings” aren’t just theory or supposition.  They are much more readily accepted when delivered this way.
  4. Patience.  Your own preparedness efforts take patience and faith.  The same holds true in educating the doubters in your life.  Patience is usually only fortified by consistency.  If the doubting spouse in your life sees a crack in your resolve, they tend to go after it mercilessly.  Make your plan and then execute it with the resources that you have available to you.  Be patient and faithful that those around you will receive their own enlightenment about preparedness little by little as well.  Your example will go a very long way in helping them to understand and internalize for themselves the importance of this mindset.  
  5. Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank

    Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank

    Immersion.  A lot of folks believe that “doomsday” will never come.  They have heard about it for so long that they are just plain tired of hearing it and being beat up by it.  In other words, it’s not a reality to them at all.  To the unbeliever, it’s just a fantasy created by the makers of bottled water, camp stoves, and generators.  One of the easiest ways to educate someone on the reality of preparedness is to help “immerse” them in a world in which such may be needed.  Movies, books, and even “hypothetical questions” like “what do you think we would do if…” are very helpful in educating the mind of someone who may not “get it.”  As I’ve shared previously, I loved the books Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank, One Second After by William Forstchen, Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse by James Rawles, among many others.  These are enjoyable books but also enlightening, causing even the most educated “prepper” to consider the reality of areas or possibilities that they may have missed previously.  I also have found the right movies to work towards this purpose as well, such as “Independence Day,” “Twister,” “Outbreak,” “Red Dawn,” etc.  These tactics are beneficial to those who need to mentally expose themselves to the possibility of unexpected events, but they are also great ways to strengthen your mental preparedness, too, as you find yourself mulling over what you’ve read or viewed and ask yourself “What would I do if…?” kinds of questions.

    Clearly I wouldn’t be a preparedness pro instructor if I didn’t also encourage you to take advantage of various classes offered to help you and your family better prepare for disasters.  CERT training for example, doesn’t have to be about handling “the end of the world.”  It can simply be about being a better asset to a community.  But it will also go a long way in helping to transition the mind and the heart of resistant “preppers.”

     Obviously, getting those you love and care for on board with preparedness is an important task.  Unfortunately there isn’t a quick fix for it.  Your efforts will need to be informed, consistent, prudent, and patient.  But I can assure you that by using these efforts, you have the best chance of being successful.  Good luck!

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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This blog has moved. Please visit us at www.preparednesspro.com.

By Kellene Bishop

Gasonline Generator photo c/o germes-online.com

Gasonline Generator photo c/o germes-online.com

Obviously, given my line of work, I’m frequently told by people that they are prepared because they have a generator.  Well, I see a whole lot of downsides of owning and relying on one, so I thought I’d share my two cents as to why I don’t plan on ever owning a generator.

  1. Generators are relatively expensive.  If I had to opt between a generator and a firearm, I would definitely select the firearm.  There’s a whole heck of a lot of wheat or water or other emergency preparedness supplies that I can buy in lieu of a generator.  I’d much rather have items that run off of solar power rather than being reliant on a generator.
  2. In many instances, many generators will be destroyed in the event of an EMP strike.  Some older generators may have points and condensers but most of them today are electronic fuel injected, making them useless in the event of an electro-magnetic pulse hit.  So there goes all of the other necessary supplies you could have obtained instead of the generator.
  3. A generator usually takes gasoline to operate.  Gasoline is combustible/flammable.  It’s frankly hard to store it safely.  It also gets old easily.  Generators are temperamental.  The gasoline needs to be clean in order to be effective.  Yes, you can buy a gasoline additive to keep it clean, but that’s that much more money you need to spend on the generator and the gasoline.  Also, the gasoline will not be available to buy once the electricity goes out.  Most pumps are electric.  So you will have to rely solely on the gasoline you have on hand.  And I can think of a whole lot of more important uses for gasoline other than a generator.
  4. Except in the case of emergency medical assistance, I feel like a generator is a temporary luxury that most homes simply can’t afford to have.  If you don’t have a year’s supply of food, fuel, water, ammo, clothing, shelter, financial reserves, medical supplies, and entertainment, then you can’t afford a generator.  It’s not like you’re going to use a generator to keep your refrigerator going or to watch movies on you computer.  Generators should be used for emergency purposes only, not to live off of otherwise.  In my opinion, if I come across the need for a generator, it will be very temporary and for that I can work in trade to obtain the use of or trade with some of my supplies.  Bottom line, if you ever saw me with a generator, it’s because I got it for free along with the fuel I needed for it, or I had so much money to burn and everything else I wanted, I just couldn’t resist.
  5. Solar Oven photo by Preparedness Pro

    Solar Oven photo by Preparedness Pro

    A generator is simply not as necessary as many folks believe.  As I said previously, other than keeping life-saving equipment on, I can’t think of another reason to have one. Yet most folks think they will need one in order to eat, cook, light, cool, and heat with.  They are incorrect.  You’ll have to let Mother Nature do the cooling for you.  You can cook with more stable fuels such as wood, propane, butane, kerosene, isopropyl alcohol, rolled newspapers, charcoal, and solar.  You can live off eating plenty of items that don’t need to be cooked or refrigerated.  You can have light via a candle and several other fuels I’ve mentioned previously.  And the same fuels, as well as quality cold-weather clothing, blankets, and sleeping tents and bags, will provide you and your family with the heat you need.  Sure, when the power goes out you’re going to have some spoilage with the meat.  But you don’t need electricity to recover from that.  You need Mason jars, and a canner, and voila—you don’t need that freezer anymore.  Sure there will be a few things you can live without, but considering all of the non-electrical technology that you can rely on today, losing electricity isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you.  

targetIf you rely on electricity for physical life sustainment, then I recommend that you diligently research the best kind of generator to obtain that will not be affected by an EMP hit, and a way to store fuel for it around your home so that it’s safe.  Also be mindful of the fact that if you have a generator running in hard times, you will be the target of crime and looting.  Be sure that you have a way to secure it so that you can have the use of it when the fit hits the shan.  Don’t plan on using a generator if you’re the lone dweller of a suburb home.  You’ll need some help keeping it running and defending it.

Ultimately, before you rush out to the store thinking you need a generator, think about all of the other priorities that should come first on your preparedness list.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

This blog has moved. Please visit us at www.preparednesspro.com.

By Kellene Bishop

boring-emergency-preparednessOh my gosh!  No wonder why more people don’t get involved with emergency preparedness!  If you do an internet search on emergency preparedness, at least the first 20 pages of the links are downright BORING!  Ugh!  I’d rather actually be in an earthquake than try to live through another internet search on emergency preparedness again!  Make Al-Qaida prisoners of war read government articles on emergency preparedness and you’ll have no problem finding Bin Laden in a heartbeat!  Do these people get a raise for being boring?  If so, then I can understand why the government is out of money, ‘cause a heck of a lot of these government sites are more boring than watching paint dry, and in many of the articles which I read, they were just plain incorrect or overly simplistic in their advice. 

superwomanBut here’s the good news!  Emergency preparedness doesn’t have to be boring at all.  Instead of thinking “beans, rice, and dehydrated water” emergency preparedness can mean safety, strength, gourmet meals, family time, and peace.  And if you really think about it, there’s something almost heroic about “saving the day” like MacGyver by having the knowledge and the right tools to survive a disaster in comfort and security.  Don’t you think?  I have to admit, I DO feel like Superwoman sometimes knowing how to preserve eggs for up to a year, pasteurizing water with nothing more than the sun, starting a fire with seemingly nothing, cooking an awesome pot roast with no electricity in less than an hour, or being able to defend myself unquestionably with my “trusty tools.”  I mean, even Spiderman may very well starve if the transportation industry were interrupted for more than 3 days, or a natural disaster hit, or our financial system collapsed.  But me?  I feel pretty good about things.  What’s that kind of feeling and security worth to you?  I can assure you, with that kind of feeling, it’s definitely NOT boring.  Knowing that I’m ready for such an event has got to be a feeling similar to what someone feels who finishes the Boston marathon in one piece, or climbs Mt. Everest, snags that high-paying job against 200 other candidates, or a person who aces their thesis statement!  

Creating a pound of herbs out of three little seeds that I would normally pay five bucks for in the store is exciting to me! 

Flipping and appropriately confining a 280 pound, 6’4” ex-Marine in my self-defense training is exciting to me!

Getting closer and closer to living “off the grid” without feeling like Laura Ingalls is exciting to me!

Photo by Thomas Hawk

Photo by Thomas Hawk

We watch folks on reality TV live on an island, race across the world a million different times, or trek through Africa—presumably because it’s exciting.  But to me, being prepared is just as great of an adventure and instead of watching someone else live it, I get to each and every day as I better myself, gain more knowledge, and implement what I learn.  Real life as a prepared person is a heck of a lot more fun than watching a reality television show, a 30 second roller coaster ride, or a brief skydiving experience. 

Is emergency preparedness boring?  Nope, definitely not.  And it will indeed SAVE YOUR LIFE SOMEDAY, of that I am 100% certain.  So, how about joining me on this little adventure?  Come on!  It’ll be fun!

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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