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By Kellene Bishop

The second most important aspect of preparedness is your Mental Preparedness. This category isn’t just about attitude, it’s about knowledge as well. Today you will receive some resources for mental preparedness that I have found incredibly useful, all in one article.

James Wesley, Rawles, author of www.survivalblog.com

James Wesley, Rawles, author of http://www.survivalblog.com

To start with, yes, there is an abundance of information available on the internet. However, a word of warning. In order to get the most reliable information for your mental preparedness, use the internet to access university studies, copies of speeches, and previous news articles. Obviously, if you have a website that you trust, use that as well in order to maximize your learning time. I believe that Preparedness Pro is one of those sites you can rely on. Personally I go to www.survivalblog.com since this is founded by James Wesley, Rawles. (He’s the author of “Patriots”, an excellent novel that teaches sound preparedness strategies. He’s truly an expert on matters of preparedness and is also a former US Intelligence Officer.) He has written on his blog every single day for five years, but recently his wife passed away after struggling with cancer. So I’m sure he’s taking a break. In the meantime, you MAY have a chance to catch up on a great deal of his content. I also love everythingunderthesunblog.blogspot.com (corrected link). This is created by one of my heroines, Wendy DeWitt. She was employed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for years to travel all over to teach various aspects of preparedness. The girl knows her stuff! (You can also find some video footage of her classes on YouTube.) Although she doesn’t update her site regularly, there’s a feast of information available otherwise. One last site that I would recommend is www.theheartlandusa.com by Dr. Gregory Evensen. (The site isn’t pretty, but the content is riveting.) Read his editorials and if you get a chance to attend one of his events—DO it! My husband and I attended an all day event of his last Saturday and I can assure you it was worth just about every minute! It’s great to associate with like-minded people, get to the root of concerns, and be educated by knowledgeable individuals instead of just web-spinners.

In addition to reading sites, I’ve found it VERY helpful to get to watch instructional videos for my mental preparedness as well. Videos on making solar powered heaters, or pressure cooking, making wheat meat, etc. I know, I know. You’re probably hollering at your screen right now wondering when I’M going to get on the stick with instructional videos as well. Well, it’s going to be THIS week, so there! :))

This may sound a bit self-defeating, but when it comes to getting information on preparedness, focusing on the internet should not be your only resource. In fact, I smirk a bit every time someone asks me to “post links” to my resources when I write an article—as if we no longer had telephones and libraries anymore. I mean really, folks, not all “facts” are backed up with links to other websites. Seriously though, books are a great resource to have on hand every day—now and even in the midst of calamity.

I personally enjoy and highly recommend the following books for your mental preparedness:

  • “Alas, Babylon” by Pat Frank. (A real eye opener! This is the first book I recommend everyone read who’s thinking about getting into being more prepared.)
  • “Passport to Survival” by Esther Dickey. (Marked up all over with tags, etc.  I use this book all the time. Packed full of information on the use of only 4 food items for long-term survival, it’s also got lots of recipes.)
  • “The Amazing Wheat Book” by LeArta Moulton. (Another book that is all marked up. I’ve never understood the value of wheat so well and felt so confident using it as I did after reading this book. It’s invaluable!)
  • “One Second After” by William Forstchen. (Opened my eyes to components of a disaster I hadn’t thought of before…unfortunately. Note the realistic language in this book does make it “PG-13”.)
  • “Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse” by James Wesley, Rawles.
  • 5000-year-leap“The 5000 Year Leap” by Cleon Skousen. (This one is critical reading to me because it helps me study what kind of a government must be put back into play after the crisis, as well as what kind of government I need to strive for now in order to ensure that our freedoms stay in place.)
  • “How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It” by James Wesley, Rawles. (This book just BARELY came out but I’ve already devoured it.)
  • “Cooking Under Pressure” by Lorna Sass. (I consider her the foremost authority in cooking with a pressure cooker and MOST of her recipes have been great! She’s got many great cookbooks for pressure cooking that I would also recommend.)
  • “When There is No Doctor” by Jane Maxwell. (Great resource book!)
  • “When There is No Dentist” by Murray Dickson. (Another great resource book!)
  • “The Bible” by…well, you know who all wrote that.
  • “The Boy Scout Handbook” (This is also a regular read in my house—and not just by my husband.)

The key is that you actually READ these books–not simply have them on hand as some informational reading DURING a crisis. The time for preparatory learning is before the opportunity manifests itself. I heard a gal the other day claim that one of her preparedness “assets” was the fact that she had so many books on preparedness. Uh, nope. Not unless you think you can learn by osmosis.

If you’re inclined to read books from the LDS genre, I highly recommend Chris Stewart series, “The Great and Terrible.” This 6-book series is addictive! It’s like “Alas, Babylon” but on steroids and I absolutely loved it—when I could sneak it out of my husband’s clutches, that is. I also LOVED the book “Prophetic Statements of Food Storage for Latter-Day Saints” by Neil H. Leash.

Ok, those are the books that I’ve read that are fit to recommend for mental preparedness. (Unfortunately there are at least 50 others I’ve read in the last 18 months that AREN’T fit to recommend.)

May I also recommend that you go to as many classes on preparedness topics that you can possibly handle! Anything that fits within the 10 Areas of Preparedness would be worthy of your time. Take your family with you as much as possible, and understand that getting this kind of information is an investment in your family. I had one gal who drove 200 miles last Friday to attend two of my classes. There is another delightful woman who regularly drives 3 ½ hours to attend my classes whenever she can as well. (Yes, I call her a stalker. Hee hee.) And I don’t want to hear any griping about how I’m not any closer to YOU or in your area. I’ve told you a hundred times that I’d be willing to teach in your area if you just took care of travel expenses. All you have to do is contact my assistant Sarah to arrange for dates. We don’t charge anything to teach the classes–yet. It just can’t cost me anything except for time—otherwise I’d definitely go broke.

Bottling butter photo c/o Adventures in Self Reliance

Bottling butter photo c/o Adventures in Self Reliance

Attending classes is an investment in time, and sometimes money, but with as much as you all think I know, you should be aware that I also attend classes at every possible chance I get. It also presents a great opportunity to “interview” other individuals. In doing so, I’ve been turned onto aspects of preparedness that I never would have thought about otherwise—such as cheesewaxing, bottling butter, canning meat, diatomaceous earth, etc. In fact, last Saturday my husband and I spent a rare “free” Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at a Dr. Greg Evensen event. I loved it. It was also great realizing that my husband isn’t crazy. Hee hee.

To be perfectly blunt, if I could do a “mind dump” to share what I know, what’s in these books that I’ve recommended, and what Dr. Evensen teaches to only 500,000 people in America, I would sure sleep better at night. And frankly, every other American could sleep better at night knowing that there are people like you who care and are 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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Recently we posted the Ten Components of Emergency Preparedness.  There’s a reason these ten components are in the order that they are.  It’s not about ease or difficulty of storage or preparation.  It’s about what you can and can’t fix down the road when an emergency arrives.  Allow me to explain. 

Prepare Physically. Photo c/o thesealquest.com

Prepare Physically. Photo c/o thesealquest.com

The top three areas of preparedness on the list of ten components of emergency preparedness are preparing spiritually, mentally and physically.  Whatever level of preparedness you possess when an emergency happens, that’s what you have to work with.  It’s not like you’ll be able to go and read 30 preparedness books when a disaster strikes and immediately be up-to-speed.

Contrast this with food preparation.  With food, you can go into the mountains to gather food, or trade services to obtain what you need.  If you have no food stored now, this does not automatically preclude your survival in an emergency.  But physical preparation?  You can’t trade any of your food storage for a portion of someone else’s physical fitness.  That’s just not how it works.

Preparing spiritually, mentally and physically is of crucial importance because if an emergency were to strike today, your current preparedness level is what you have to make do with.  That’s why we need to be as prepared as possible, particularly in these three areas.  Even if you have NO money to address the other seven areas of preparedness (medical, clothing & shelter, food, water, fuel, financial, and communications) efforts to prepare spiritually, mentally and physically can be done right now.

Are you adequately prepared spiritually, mentally and physically?  Are you where you would like to be were an emergency to hit tomorrow?  How many people do you know who are sufficiently prepared spiritually, mentally and physically?  What are you doing today to increase your preparedness in these areas?

Feeling Overwhelmed? Photo c/o problogger.net

Feeling Overwhelmed? Start where you are. Photo c/o problogger.net

Even if it’s just small preparedness efforts, it’s important to do something each day to be better prepared in an emergency.  Just do one thing every day and be consistent with it.  Perhaps you’re overwhelmed by the amount of preparation necessary to be adequately prepared.  You don’t have to do it all right now – just start where you are and take baby steps forward. 

The key is to start.  It doesn’t even matter what “it” is that you are doing to prepare.  Just do it and start now. 

Maybe it’s one push-up or one sit-up every day.  That’s acceptable.  That’s one more push up or sit up than you’re doing now.  Maybe it’s reading a preparedness book like One Second After, skipping the soda at dinnertime or doing an extra lap around the track.  Whatever your spiritual, mental and physical preparedness efforts may be, stay consistent and then just increase them a little at a time.

The Right Path. Photo c/o jedchan.com

The Right Path. Photo c/o jedchan.com

Remember folks, it’s not a competition with anyone else – it’s only a competition against yourself.  As long as you’re moving consistently in the right direction, you’re on the right path. 

In closing, your challenge is to do one thing consistently every day to prepare spiritually, mentally or physically for an emergency.  Next week, do two things consistently every day.  If you think doing two things consistently is too much, do one and a half things every day instead.  Just be consistent! 

What baby steps will you take today to prepare spiritually, mentally and physically for an emergency? 

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

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No, You’re Not Crazy
By Kellene Bishop

Do you have a skeptical spouse?

Do you have a skeptical spouse?

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

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

    Pressure canner for canning meat

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

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

    Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank

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

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

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

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

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What You Need to Know About the Likelihood of an EMP Attack on the U.S.
A Multi-Part Preparedness Series

By Kellene Bishop

emp-attack-one-second-afterI recently finished reading two GREAT books, back to back, that are fictional scenarios about an EMP (electro magnetic pulse) attack on the U.S. Both books are very well written, extremely realistic, and I had a hard time putting them down. The first one (still my all time favorite) was “Alas, Babylon” by Pat Frank. The second, as recommended by many readers on this site was “One Second After” by William R. Forstchen. (Warning, occasional language in this book qualifies it as “rated PG-13”) Both authors are so expert in their fields of knowledge on the matters which they write, that I feel the books are more a prediction of things to come, rather than a work of fiction. Out of all of the possible scenarios of a man-made crisis, the most likely to occur against the U.S. is an EMP attack. However, what disturbed me so greatly is the majority of the pain and suffering in either of the books could have been substantially negated with the addition of a very legitimate reality in my world—a years supply of emergency food, water, and other items.

For those of you who may not be aware, the U.S. has received countless amounts of intelligence that an EMP attack is very likely. (Google EMP attack + U.S.) More recently, China has even admitted to preparing an EMP to “use on its enemies.” It’s no surprise that N. Korea has been playing with nukes lately. And contrary to the naïve understanding of many Americans, the Soviets have also been dedicating a great deal of their resources towards the perfection of nuclear attacks. In all actuality, an EMP attack could be done in such a way that we wouldn’t necessarily have any way of knowing WHO launched the attack against us (as accurately portrayed in Forstchen’s book).

About 8 years ago an officially commissioned report was released about the potential catastrophic consequences of an EMP attack over the U.S.  Newt Gingrich specifically stated in response to this report, “this is not idle speculation but taken from the consensus finding of nine distinguished American scientists who authored the “Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack.” Unfortunately, since the report was issued on the very same day as the 9/11 Commissions Report, it went largely unheeded and unnoticed by the press.

(Author’s note: Please don’t pommel me with requests for the references I’ve researched on these statements. I regularly use hard-copy books, library micro-fiche records, internet, personal interviews and read several newspapers weekly. On a cursory view, these statements are verifiable in newspapers abundantly available on the internet. My job as a writer is to condense information so that it’s easily digestible. If you doubt the veracity of what I write, then there is essentially nothing you can rely on in the content I provide.)

emp-attack-area-affectedAn EMP attack is implemented by launching a nuclear bomb high in the earth’s atmosphere (greater than 25 miles). The detonation causes gamma rays to interact with air molecules to produce positive ions while at the same time recoiling electrons. What ultimately happens is that the positive ions overtake the electrons and as such, when they encounter the earth’s magnetic field it radiates an instantaneous electromagnetic pulse. The pulse essentially fries all electrical devices, including batteries. This same kind of reaction is possible with small solar flares. The pulse is intense but it is not visible and it does no damage to the human body. One of these EMP strikes strategically launched over Kansas could obliterate electrical operations throughout the entire U.S.

So why is an EMP attack more viable than an all out war or a nuclear bomb attack? Well it boils down to dollars and conquering. Why spends billions of dollars and countless lives on fighting an all out war when you can launch an EMP attack, wait it out for several months, and then come in and clean up the few that survived? For only a few thousand dollars each, 3 SCUD missiles can be launched off of a ship in the middle of the waters off of our coast, high up into the atmosphere. It’s not like we’d see “incoming SCUDs”. If we’re lucky we’ll simply see something launched into space. Several billions of dollars can be saved for any enemy when such a strategy is used. With this strategy countless numbers of soldiers, death camps, and an arsenal of bullets is not necessary. Human nature and our reliance on Prozac and technology will easily kill off the weak in a matter of days. Additionally, while the land of the U.S. is rich in resources, access to those resources is impeded if there is no population to harvest them. So using an EMP attack vs. something more deadly that would contaminate the very land an enemy wishes to possess is not in their best strategic interest either. Considering that an EMP attack would make us helpless to communicate or travel effectively, all an enemy has to do is wipe out our electricity, wait several months, and watch how the effects of such an attack kill off the weak, weaken the spirits of the strong, and then come and clean up what’s left. Bottom line, it’s less expensive and less messy for our nation’s enemies to use an EMP attack on us than anything else. Mother Nature and the ugly side of human nature is the ally of our enemy and will work in concert successfully with such an attack. The key to any successful attack is knowing your enemy’s vulnerability. Clearly, technology is our Achilles heel here in the U.S. and it would take very little money and effort to wipe us out.

If an EMP attack were launched against the Philippines, it would make a very small impact comparatively. The Filipinos are used to sporadic technology availability, living off of what they produce, minimal medical access, and a scarcity of food and good drinking water. Heck, they haven’t even progressed to doing their laundry on a washboard yet. They’re still pounding their clothes against rocks in the rivers. But the U.S.? We are a nation of overly medicated, out of shape, pampered, spoiled and indulgent citizens. Don’t underestimate the destruction that can be had simply by the emotional impact of such an attack on the generation of the “entitlement mentality.”

Photo c/o Mark Lennihan / AP file

Photo c/o Mark Lennihan / AP file

So, what does all of this mean to you? It means that you need to begin seeing your world differently—NOW. While I will be writing a multi-part series on an EMP attack to shed some light on various aspects of your survival, it’s important that you begin NOW to look around you and be aware. What do you currently rely on that is operated by electricity that you would have NO ability to use after an EMP? Cooking. Driving. Medical? Communications? Whatever the answer is you need to prepare yourself mentally and physically to battle such instances. Some scenarios may be trivial ones of inconvenience. Yet some may be life or death—all because the power goes out indefinitely.

As I said in the beginning, the only problem I had with these stories is that the suffering of people portrayed on the pages was not realistic in MY world. A shortage of food, pain relievers, clothing, bedding, personal hygiene items, water, heat, light, and knowledge is NOT going to happen in my home. I’m prepared specifically for such a realistic situation. Ask yourself, are you? Then again, the authors most likely wouldn’t have sold a single book had they focused on how a prepared person would encounter a disaster vs. the majority of the U.S. population. Guess that would be a pretty boring storing only pertinent for the Discovery Channel. 🙂

  • EMP 101: Part I–The Likelihood.
  • EMP 101: Part II–The Aftermath.
  • EMP 101: Part III–Prepare Medically.
  • EMP 101: Part IV–Faraday Cages.
  • 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!