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By Kellene Bishop

Preparedness is a full-time job for me. I live it, breathe it, and think about it constantly. Obviously I teach and write about it regularly as well. I used a Saturday this weekend to learn about how I can be better prepared. Then I spent some more “spare” time reading a novel that illustrates other possibilities I may not be prepared for yet. Why? Because I believe that preparedness is about honor. 

US Military in Iraq, February 2008. Photo by Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images

US Military in Iraq, February 2008. Photo by Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images

Many people would label those who strive to be better prepared as paranoid lunatics. And yet they would not think of calling our honorable men and women who serve in the military, who are on night watch with AR-15s in hand right now, “paranoid.” Are those of us who are watching carefully to what is going on around us and trying to mitigate our losses of life and freedom “paranoid?” No. A person who is prepared is honorable. They are willing to carry their own weight to protect themselves and those they love, instead of naively or cowardly delegating that responsibility to others. We are all night watchmen. We all need to honorably command our posts as careful guards over our family’s safety, nutrition, and peace. None can delegate that responsibility without bringing shame upon themselves. It’s hard to think this way when we’re enjoying life’s luxuries or being tossed to and fro with life’s schedule, but it doesn’t change the state of what truly is. There is honor in being prepared, not paranoia.

Police Firearm Training photo c/o SSAA.org.au

Police Firearm Training photo c/o SSAA.org.au

If you’re not paranoid, then surely you must be crazy, right? Tell that to the police officer who disciplines himself to train 3 times a week with his firearm instead of relinquishing his lifesaving skills to the whopping TWO times a year his department pays for firearm training. He’s not crazy. He values the breath of life—whether it be his own, his partner, his family, or members of his community. The Supreme Court says he’s not obligated to protect any citizen—he’s only required to protect the interests of the State, City or County he’s hired by. So certainly he doesn’t require shooting practice 3 times a week to protect a non-living, breathing entity, right? (Yes, that’s sarcasm.) We are ALL defenders of our community, family, and selves. We cannot delegate that responsibility to someone else—not today and certainly not in the future in the midst of some disaster. There is honor in being prepared, not a label of being mentally deranged.

Preparedness isn’t about hoarding. It doesn’t mean you have a scarcity mentality. If that were the case then there are millions of farmers, Amish, and Mennonite people throughout the U.S. that believe that the world as we know it will end tomorrow. (This list would also include the founders of Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s!) It isn’t hoarding to have a year’s supply of food, water, and other necessities. Rather it’s the epitome of the Boy Scout theme! Having supplies of food and water has nothing to do with hoarding. It’s about fighting back against inflation, poisonous food recalls, disasters, crazy crowds, limited time, future “nutrition” manipulation, water contamination, etc. It doesn’t take much more time to pay for 6 cases of chicken than it does to pay for one. And at least one who prepares is PAYING for their items. Would our critics prefer that we simply become looters in a time of trouble and chaos? I watch herds of looters on my television screen every time a disaster of a hurricane or tornado is imminent. And I still have yet to seen one of the cowardly opportunists be prosecuted in court. Is it not more honorable to financially stabilize our homes by being prepared with the bounty that is available now, rather than become criminals or desperate cowards in the future? Clearly, there is honor in being prepared, not a scarcity mentality.

There is honor in being prepared. Image c/o pkuperspectives.com

There is honor in being prepared. Image c/o pkuperspectives.com

Is there one shred of honor in the person who claims “I’m coming to your house when things go south” and means it? How would you respond if a person were to say, “When I run out of money, I’m coming to your bank account”? Or “When I get sick because I was foolish, I’m bringing my disease to your house to let you care for me.” “When I lose my job, I’ll just eat your food, have you pay my bills, and pay for my schooling.” Of course there’s no honor, integrity, or virtue in these thought processes. And yet it is these same individuals who mock and impede those who would prepare themselves for just such occasions. When one takes themselves out of the selfish “me, me, me” mode and begins to think about the care and nurturing of others, there’s honor. When one decides NOT to violate eternal laws by delegating the responsibility of taking care of their fellowmen to some governmental agency, there’s honor. When one looks past today to prepare for the well-being of those they love tomorrow, there’s honor. When one actually prepares to put themselves in a position where they actually HAVE something to share with others who have nothing, there’s honor.

Yes, there is certainly honor in being prepared.

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

Photo c/o AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano

Photo c/o AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano

Why are we hearing the silence of Swine Flu news so loudly?  Why did the fact that the deaths doubled in Utah due to Swine flu not make all of the front page news?  Why is the word quarantine used so sparingly in what little news there is available?  WHO classifies the Swine flu at “Pandemic” status and yet our border officials don’t ask a single health related question still.

I’ll tell you why.  But I warn you, it may actually be a bit disturbing.  At the risk of sounding like a “conspiracist” let me boil it down to two words for you.  Money and power.

Let’s look at all of this logically.

Yes, it will get worse: Yesterday I shared with you an article that warned of a possible quarantine of one week “if” the Swine flu became worse in the colder weather.  Folks, logically speaking we KNOW it’s going to get worse in the colder weather, because we can see what it’s doing now even in the midst of the warm weather.  HEAT stifles a virus wave.  And yet we’re still seeing fatalities.

 

Grocery Store Empty photo c/o underunder.com

Grocery Store Empty photo c/o underunder.com

Grocery Stores Will Stop Their Deliveries: If there is a quarantine issued, then that means that folks will NOT be able to permitted to purchase goods at the grocery store.  So what does that mean to the store?  They certainly won’t want any additional non-perishable good delivered during that week, right? (Although they will likely be cleaned out within 30 minutes of the quarantine being announced)  And then employees of the store will not be able to staff their locations, right?  So this means that no incoming deliveries will be able to come in.  Now apply this to hospitals, pharmacies, gas stations, etc.  That leads us to our next domino.

Businesses will LOSE millions of dollars. Criminals don’t typically strike where they are under watchful eyes, a.k.a. a lot of people.  Now you have all of these businesses laying isolated without the benefit of the coming and going traffic.  They are now ripe for vandalism and looting by individuals who would not have any respect for a quarantine mandate in the first place.  Millions of dollars of damage is anticipated from this very source even in the event of a “short” quarantine was required, let alone a 90 day one. Then you also have the sudden halt of tax generation, not only from sales tax in businesses, but also in employment taxes that will not be paid due to all of the employees who are forced to stay at home.  In a volatile economy, just one day of this kind of a halt in revenue could cripple even the strongest of states or counties.  I’m sure you’ve all read the e-mail which encourages people to not buy gasoline for one day in order to cost the oil companies millions of dollars in protest of their high prices.  Well, a one week quarantine will accomplish the very thing, except on a much larger scale!  Next domino.

Trucking Industry photo c/o AP Photo

Trucking Industry photo c/o AP Photo

The trucking industry: If a quarantine was ordered, even if it was only for 1 week, think about how much affect this would have on the trucking industry.  This industry is already barely surviving financially due to the gas price increases, the fewer crops to ship, etc.  Even if a quarantine was issued for only week, it could literally result in the closure of several trucking companies.  What many Americans may not realize, is that the crazy drivers who don’t signal when changing lanes, drive in the HOV lane when they aren’t supposed to, and who drive dangerously without sleep are actually critical to our way of life.  Without trucking our lives will dramatically change.  If there are only a few trucking companies left as a result of the financial damage of a quarantine, then the price of goods will skyrocket that much more.

Foreclosures: So many Americans are just barely living on the edge right now financially.  More than 80% of us live paycheck to paycheck.  Many of us cannot afford to miss a paycheck for a week, let alone 90 days.  But if that’s the case, how many of us would still be able to pay our mortgage payment or our electric bill, etc?  While those who operate such companies may not have a full staff due to a quarantine, you can bet that the computers will still be ticking your late payment days away.  Your late fees will build up, or your services could be automatically turned off.  This financial threat can compound into even more foreclosures.

The Panic Button photo c/o fastspring.com

The Panic Button photo c/o fastspring.com

The Panic Factor: Let’s not forget HOW a quarantine is enforced—by martial law.  Just the mention of this can cause an understandable panic on Wall Street and on Main Street everywhere.  I think even our Federal Reserve printing press couldn’t run fast enough to fix that kind of a mess.

These are just a few examples of the financial backlash that would occur as the result of a quarantine.  This is EXACTLY why you aren’t hearing more about the Swine flu and why officials aren’t taking more precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.  I can assure you there’s not a politician out there that wants a quarantine to happen “on their watch.”  Because if that were to occur, a quarantine and all of its consequences would indeed be what they were remembered for.

As I’ve said before, our economy is extremely volatile right now.  A quarantine could  cause a financial ripple effect that would truly send us back to the late 20’s.  And that, my friends, is exactly why what little warning you do get about preparing for a quarantine, is buried in a very non-descript manner in a local news broadcast.

The silence of the Swine Flu should be ringing very loudly for all of us.  While this may sound extreme to many of you, in my opinion it’s time to reconsider eating out at restaurants and going to the movie theaters for a while until this all blows over.  I’m thinking that the public pools this summer are not a smart place to go either.  Keep your kids involved in family-only activities vs. large group ones.  And use this time of relative comfort to get ready for the potential chaos that may ensue.

Click here for more from Preparedness Pro on the Swine flu.

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

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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.  

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