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.

Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

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.

Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

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By Kellene Bishop

In my opinion, any person who claims to be an expert on emergency preparedness but does NOT address the issue of firearms as a necessary component to  preparedness, is either a coward for not wanting to discuss such “delicate” yet vital issue, or still has a long way to go in their quest for knowledge.  I have read and studied literally hundreds of books and “expert websites” on the topic of emergency preparedness and I have NEVER seen firearms addressed for any other purpose other than for “hunting” or the need to kill a roving pack of wild dogs.  This verges on malpractice in my book.  Whether or not you can start a fire with a twig and a rock, or make winter clothing out of foam, or make yeast from the wild is useless if you are dead.  The whole purpose of getting prepared with proper food, water, and other key items is so that you will be able to provide for yourself and your family during an emergency state.  And you will NOT be able to do so if you are not able to suitably defend yourself as well. 

If you are one of those who are foolish enough to say “I don’t want to have to survive.  I hope I’m just killed in the earthquake (or whatever crisis),” then I’m sorry to be so blunt, but you think like a selfish coward, or at the very least, someone who has not thought about the ramifications of such a philosophy.  Get off your whiney butt and figure out what you have to survive and thrive FOR, think outside of yourself, and then get to work.  I thank God that our Founding Fathers never hoped for a short life just so that they would not have to endure a “bit” of discomfort.  

pp-small-wheatOK, now that that’s out of the way, let’s go down a more diplomatic path.  If you’ve been considering (wisely, I might add) including a firearm or two for self-defense AND hunting purposes in your supplies for surviving an emergency, this is definitely the article for you.  Also, if you already believe you’re suitably “ready” to defend yourself in a crisis because you have the necessary firearms, this is ALSO the article for you to use as a gauge to ensure you’ve considered all of the necessary information.  In my opinion, there are six absolute necessary basics any prepared home needs—and a firearm is one of them.  The six absolute basics are wheat (or alternative grain), powdered milk, honey, salt, water, and firearm defense.

Just a quick reminder as to WHY your emergency preparedness supplies need defending—think strung-out druggies who can’t get their hands on their “fix”, desperate souls who will do ANYTHING to compensate for their lack of preparedness, criminals suddenly loose from the fallen walls of a prison due to a large earthquake, or the most organized and violent gang in the U.S. roving your streets believing that what’s yours is theirs—MS-13.  Remember, this isn’t about whether you will or won’t share your stores with others—although sharing should always be YOUR choice, not mandated by the threat of violence from another.  This is about you protecting your life, your virtue, and your safety in the midst of chaos that will inevitably ensue after a economic collapse, major disaster, or an attack on our citizenry.

A firearm is only the beginning.  A firearm is useless without two other very obvious components—at least 1,000 rounds to go with it, and every adult in your home possessing the skill and knowledge of how to competently use it—even in a situation of climatic emotions and stress.  Let’s start with the firearm.

There are three vital firearms I would recommend that no home be without.  First, a handgun.  Second, a shotgun.  And third, a rifle, in this order. 

In selecting a handgun, consider ALL of the adults in your home who will be using it.

Side note: Ladies, PLEASE don’t let me hear you utter the words, “My husband will be the only one who needs to use the guns.”  That is a ridiculous notion coming from an otherwise smart, independent and uber-prepared sex.  What IF your husband isn’t around?  What IF your husband is severely ill?  What IF the would-be criminal decides to automatically take him out because they see him as the “obvious” strong one in your home?  Then what do you do when you need to defend yourself?  It’s absolutely naïve to believe that the woman of the home does not also need to obtain this information and skill or that she would not want to have it.  I assure you that in the event that your children and other loved ones may be threatened, that inane motherly instinct will kick in and you will NEED such information and skill.  Storing food and supplies and knowing how to use them is one thing.  Knowing how to defend it is JUST as important as knowing how to make yeast rise though.  (See also http://womenofcaliber.wordpress.com/2009/03/16/why-this-woman-carries-a-firearm/

A handgun is portable and ensures the element of surprise.  And the element of surprise will be critical in defending yourself when a state of lawlessness, looting, and pillaging occurs.  The ammo is less expensive (for practice et al) and it is typically your least expensive firearm to obtain.  It is useful for defense inside and outside of your home without exposing yourself to being armed unnecessarily. 

Your primary concerns in selecting a handgun should be

  1. Grip
  2. Ease of loading
  3. Ease of use (such as mechanics, ability to clear stoppages, etc)
  4. Reliability (and safety)
  5. Cost of ammo
  6. Ease of assembly/disassembly

Be sure to select a handgun that fits well in your hands, first and foremost.  Don’t get caught up in what caliber it is.  As long as it’s a .9 mm or higher caliber, it will work well enough for self-defense.  It’s not a bad idea to have one handgun for each anticipated adult in your home.  While that is more costly, it is a worthy goal.  (I know that I will be asked this question, so just so you know, I prefer my Glock as my handgun.  I can’t get that thing to fail, even when it’s dirty, wet, or muddy.  And in an emergency, I don’t have time for my form of self-defense to fail.)

The next firearm I recommend is a shotgun.  Again, don’t get caught up in caliber or brand.  Go back to the previous 6 criteria I’ve provided in making your choice.  A shotgun is ideal for in-home self-defense.  There’s nothing that rattles the nerve and resolve of a criminal more than that famous sound of a shotgun being “racked” for defensive use.  As shotgun rounds spread out into a 4 to 8 inch circumference when they are expelled, they have a sure stopping power regardless of where they hit your opponent.  Also, a shotgun round does not penetrate through walls of a home as a rifle or even a handgun round can.  (I recommend using the hollow point self-defense handgun rounds for home self-defense for this reason, among others.)

Rifles give you the power of self-defense at a greater distance from your opponent.  The element of surprise is definitely present when you’re shooting from 50 meters and you’re less likely to manifest your defensive position this way.  As such, they are ideal for protecting a larger radius area as opposed to using in face to face combat.  A good rifle will typically be your most expensive self-defense investment.  The ammo rounds are more expensive as well.  However, I consider them a necessary component to not only protect my home and family, but my community as well should the need arise.

Be sure that you have at least 1,000 rounds of ammo for each caliber type in your home.  Ammo will indeed be a high-value trade item in an emergency, and this amount of ammo will ensure your readiness for most circumstances.

Lastly, be sure that you get appropriate skill and knowledge of the use of your firearm, not just in the mechanics, but the mentality that is required to use them as well.  There are a number of classes, I’m sure, in your area which can improve your shooting skills and maximize your comfort with your firearm.  My husband and I also teach a proprietary self-defensive firearm class regularly here in Utah, and we travel elsewhere for groups of 24-30.  (Visit www.womenofcaliber.com for more information)  So you don’t have an excuse not to learn, right? 

woman defending herself

Remember you don’t pull a firearm to scare someone.  You use a firearm to stop someone, plain and simple.  And THAT’S how you ensure your ability to use all of your preparedness supplies that you’ve so faithfully worked to accumulate.

If you would like Kellene Bishop to present an Emergency Preparedness message for your community or church group, please contact us at 801-788-4133.  Ms. Bishop is an experienced speaker and demonstrator on Emergency Preparedness topics and has created a great “Preparedness Party” platform which makes the learning of such a topic more enjoyable for all.

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

ms13-groupWith all that is going on in your life, why should you be better informed of a gang of illegal immigrant rebels?  Because they are a realistic face of the harm which threatens your life, even your everyday life.  They are not an obscure gang.  In fact, the FBI defines MS-13 as the most organized crime entity in the U.S.  They are feared not solely because of their horrific violent acts, but due to their organization.  They specifically target middle and high school for recruitments.  They have no compunction of committing violent acts upon their fellow citizens, as they fear no repercussions.  Their greatest criminal focuses are on human and drug trafficking, and contract killing combined with unspeakable violence.  A crime will never be committed by one of these members without it being accompanied by a beating, a rape, a murder, a dismemberment, or all of the above.  They also have known ties and alliances to Al-Queda.

 

Who are they and why should you care?  They are MS-13, otherwise known as Mara Salvatrucha.  And yes, they have invaded your community.  Visual evidence of such will be manifested by graffiti in your area that says “MS,” “Mara,” or “MS-13.”

Their violent organized traits stem from the fact that the majority of their founders are well trained in guerilla warfare in El Salvador.  As such they possess a level of methodical training and skill set than any rival gang.  Their very initiation is bloodcurdling.  After enduring a slow 13 count beating, minimum, the inductee must then commit a violent act—either a beating, a rape, or murder—prior to being to be accepted.  If they fail in their efforts within 13 hours, then they are murdered themselves in order that the MS-13 does not get spread by “incompetents.”  (If you are a girl, the right of passage would include an obligatory gang rape).  The more violent they are, the more elevated they are among their “military” crime group.  One MS-13 member claimed during questioning, “The crazier you are known to be, the more respect the gang gives you.”  On November 26, 2008, Jonathan Retana was convicted of the murder of Miguel Angel Deras, which the authorities linked to an MS-13 initiation. 

ms13-symbolsAs further evidence of their organization skills, there is a unique communication which takes place among them.  Gang “signs” are also used by MS-13 including the infamous “devil horns” sign which gang members “throw” to signify their ownership of their turf.  The devil horn sign, when turned upside down, forms the letter “M”.  Members also use multiple hand signals to communicate.  Known as “stacking”, these signs can be used to indicate their clique or to coordinate an attack.  Pulling up on the shoulders of the shirt indicates an imminent attack while rubbing the belly indicates a shooting.  A brush on the left shoulder indicates a stabbing attack.  One of the defining factors of MS-13 is their absolute intolerance for anyone who informs the police of their activities.  Court papers in Nassau County detail recorded telephone conversations where a MS-13 member bragged how he had put a stop to an informant—”I put one in the chest and three in the head.”

Once a member is brought into the gang, they are in for life.  They cannot act without the boss’s consent—they cannot kill without reason, cannot talk to the police, cannot skip gang meetings, nor can they leave the gang.  MS-13 has no tolerance for gang members who drop out.  A MS-13 member and even their family members must die in order to exit MS-13, no exceptions.  On May 13, 2006, Ernesto “Smokey” Miranda, an ex-high ranking soldier and one of the founders of the Mara Salvatrucha, was murdered at his home in El Salvador a few hours after declining to attend a party for a gang member who had just been released from prison.  Not only had he offended his “brothers” for not attending the party, but he had threatened dissent by studying law and working to keep children out of gangs.

The majority of these gang members are in the country illegally.  As such they are deported regularly.  Going along with the fact that MS-13 members can’t simply get out, the much reported incident of Edward Guzman, a 14-year-old MS-13 members proves the more significant punishment of deportation.  Guzman left Guatemala to escape the gang lifestyle and illegally came to the U.S.  At the age of 16, on March 10, 2004, he was deported back to his home.  He hid in his home for several days.  His first day to venture out was March 20, 2004.  He made it only 5 blocks where he was shot multiple times.  MS-13 grudges never die.

Wikipedia mistakenly states that this gang originated in Los Angeles.  In fact they originated in El Salvador and were the largest formalize gang there.  The gangs then infiltrated the Los Angeles area as it was already rampant with a gang culture.  While they originally consisted of Salvadorans, Hondurans, Guatemalans, and Nicaraguans, their desired “market” penetration has forced them to take on any Central American individual who can suitably pass their initiation and sub-sequent performance requirements.  Their targets are indiscriminate so long as they can wreak horror and obedience to their reign in their communities.  Case in point, in the minds of an MS-13 member, the term “road rage” means nothing to them.  It is their road, and they allow you to drive on it.  Obstruction of such means death.  On June 22, 2008, in San Francisco, CA, a 21-year old MS-13 gang member, Edwin Ramos, shot and killed a father, Anthony Bologna, 48, and his two sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, after their car briefly blocked Ramos from completing a left turn down a narrow street.  In spite of their cache of firearms, most MS-13 members are adept in the use of a machete.  

 

They are not a criminal gang so much as they are much more focused on political power.  As such they have been ordered to focus on eliminating border patrol guards along the Arizona border as it interferes with their money-making activities.  (see:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2005/mar/28/20050328-125306-7868r/ and http://www.dailybulletin.com/news/ci_3386933)  In Honduras, MS-13 executed a son of the son of Honduras President Ricardo Maduro after kidnapping and torturing him.  (1997)  All over Central America, their acts of death and defiance are intended to taunt government officials.  Members also left a dismembered corpse with a note for the Honduras president that “more people will die… the next victims will be police and journalists.”  In 2004, Guatemalan President Oscar Berger received a similar messages attached to the body of a dismembered man from MS-13 members.  As such, this gang operates with no fear of government reprisals.  Since they were able to sufficiently overcome any such consequences with their own Salvadoran government, every country, state, and community they enter with the same haughty view of the Laws’ inability to deliver suitable consequences.  They do not fear a prison sentence.  Rather they return to their gangs upon release as an elevated veteran.  Thus there are uninhibited in the horror of their criminal acts.

 

ms-13-faceThey have sufficiently permeated every state in the U.S.  Even our nation’s capital holds no borders for them, in fact, they flaunt the fact that they are the strongest gang in the D.C. area.  In northern Virginia and southern Maryland, around the Washington D.C. area, local authorities estimate MS-13 membership to be between 5,000 and 6,000 members.  In July of 2003, the Washington DC area encountered three known murders attributed to MS-13.  The first was the murder of a federal informant.  The second was the shooting death of a 17-year-old boy.  The third was the death of a 16-year-old boy who had both of his hands completely chopped off. 

 

In December of 2004 in Honduras, a local MS-13 chapter stopped a traveling bus mostly filled with women and children and sprayed it with automatic gunfire.  No robbery was attempted.  No rape or kidnapping.  Simply murder and mayhem which resulted in the death of 28 people.  Their motive was to cause horror in the government as indicated by a note left behind promising the government that more killings of this nature would take place.  

 

So why should YOU be concerned about them?  Because they are yet one more aspect of a potential emergency situation for which you need to be prepared.  Do not underestimate their violence.  You will not be able to reason with them.  You will not be able to give them what they want and have them simply go away.  Horrific violence is at their very core.  You will need to be mindful of them and to defend yourself appropriately.

 

If you would like Kellene Bishop to present an Emergency Preparedness message for your community or church group, please contact us at 801-788-4133.  Ms. Bishop is an experienced speaker and demonstrator on Emergency Preparedness topics and has created a great “Preparedness Party” platform which makes the learning of such a topic more enjoyable for all. You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.

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.

 

You’ve Got it All—Now How Do You Keep It?

 

food-storageAfter years of concerted efforts, budgeting, canning, lifting, organizing and educating, you feel reasonably confident that you finally have enough food, water, and other emergency supplies to last you one year.  But here’s the real question.  Now that you have it all, how are you going to ensure that you’ll get to use it when all heck actually does break lose?

 

I’ve posed this question to many and I’m dismayed to hear many of their responses.  

 

Some say that they will willingly share their supplies with others. Guess what? So will I, if necessary. But don’t you want to be able to decide who you will share your goods with?  Unfortunately, that’s not likely to happen with any reasonable regularity.

 

Here’s why.

 

Suppose that an earthquake hits your area. (Where I live in the Wasatch Front of Utah, we’re right on a fault line and scientists say we’re due for a doozey of an earthquake. If you live in the Midwest near or in the states of Missouri, Tennessee, (comprising the Mississippi Valley) you are squarely on the New Madrid fault which is expected to have a 6.7 magnitude earthquake any time now.  So I think this is a reasonable scenario for many, if not all of our readers.)  Suppose that your home was somehow miraculously spared any severe damage to the point that you aren’t forced to flee elsewhere for shelter.  What are the ramifications that you will still have to concern yourself with?

 

jail-openFirst, ask yourself how many prisons or jails are within a 60 mile radius of you.  Are their walls built to sufficiently withstand an earthquake?  If they are, will there be sufficient security available in the midst of a catastrophic earthquake to keep the prisoners confined inside?  In the event of structural damage, do you really think that the criminals who are suddenly released from their prison walls, with no family or friends nearby, aren’t going to be on the prowl for survival supplies? Do you think they would just stroll into their local grocery store and purchase what they need?

 

ms-13-faceHow many violent gangs do you have in your area?  There are over 21,500 active gangs in the U.S. at present.  According to the FBI, there are estimated to be over 1,000,000 gang members in the U.S. who commit 80% of the crimes in our country.  Are you aware that MS-13 is the most violent gang of them all and has permeated at least 42 states in the U.S.?  One has to commit murder to get in the gang, and die to get out.  (see http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-01-29-ms13_N.htmDo you really think that in a time of chaos that they won’t be in search of appropriate supplies to sustain their group at all costs?  Think they are going to ring your doorbell and ask you nicely for some rice and water?  For more on MS-13, please visit MS-13 101 here.

 

Now let’s consider the abundance of drug addicts who live among us. There are currently over 7 million regular illicit drug users in America. Of course some of them will perish in such a catastrophic event, but the statistic of drug addicts comprising 2% of our current population will still hold true. Are you prepared to ward off 2% of the population suddenly unable to access their drugs?  Due to the force of nature, millions of drug users will be unable to obtain their “fix” and will do whatever they need to do in order to obtain more drugs.   (http://www.policyalmanac.org/crime/archive/drug_abuse.shtml) 

 

What if it’s not something so sinister?  What if a desperate mother or father finds themselves in need of vital food, water, and medical supplies for their children? Can we rely on all of society, including desperate parents, to behave rationally as they watch their loved ones struggle? How long could you watch your children suffer before you’re desperately inclined to press the borders of honesty and decency to get what you need for them?

 

looting-new-orleansLet’s not forget the overall lawlessness and rampant looting which has consistently erupted in the event of chaos and panic (Can you say New Orleans or Los Angeles anyone?).  Then there are the issues of actual law enforcement making an appearance, but attempting to infringe unconstitutional requests on the survivors. (See http://tinyurl.com/cpb7m9)

 

Do any of these issues potentially expose your family to the risk of being subjected to violence? Do these instances compromise your security or survival in the event of a catastrophe? So, don’t you think it’s just a bit naïve to believe that you’ll be fully permitted to go along your merry way and freely use your emergency preparedness supplies as you see fit?  I think so. And yet so many I discuss preparedness with fail to recognize this important aspect of truly being prepared. 

 

Let’s leave the motivation for food and supplies for a moment.  Being subjected by irrational people with a sense of entitlement to your wares is not the only reason why lawlessness may come into your life.  What about the paranoid, desperate individuals who are only capable of dealing with stress and chaos by taking virtue and life from others?  This isn’t just about whether or not you’d be willing to share your food and water with complete strangers. This is also about protecting the health and well-being of your loved ones in a time of chaos. 

 

national-guard-streets1Please don’t be misguided into believing that the streets will be patrolled by the U.S. National Guard or your local law enforcement. The local law enforcement doesn’t show up in record time now, and not until the crime has already been committed.  Do you think you’d get any kind of a worthwhile response time when the streets are littered with all manner of huge debris?  In all likelihood, as we saw from Hurricane Katrina, the law enforcement personnel will either be taking care of their own families or they will be answering the call of their Commander in Chief to what he sees as a priority.  A rape here, a robbery there, and a shooting there are not going to mean much to a military leader when he’s dealing with other emergencies such chaos can unleash.  Yep. You’re on your own folks.  FEMA government officials have announced repeatedly that it could be days, if not weeks before they would be present in a disaster zone. 

 

glock-firearm1So, the next time you decide who you’re going to share you emergency supplies with, you may want to consider your friends Glock, Winchester, and Smith & Wesson as a part of those decisions, along with enough ammo and SKILL to properly defend.

 

 

Preparedness Pro Note: If you would like Kellene Bishop to present an Emergency Preparedness message for your community or church group, please contact us at 801-788-4133.  Ms. Bishop is an experienced speaker and demonstrator on Emergency Preparedness topics and also has created a great “Preparedness Party” platform which makes the learning of such a topic more enjoyable for all.

 

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

Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

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