Welcome to this week’s newsletter, brought to you by the SURVIVE IN PLACE Urban Survival Course.  The first, and still best, guide to get you prepared to survive short and medium term disasters in your current home, whether it’s because of a terrorist attack, natural disaster, or pandemic.  To learn more, go >HERE< now.

It’s a new year, and for that we can be thankful, but that doesn’t mean that last year’s backlash won’t be a concern in 2015. Today’s article touches upon why we should be concentrating on preparedness (double-timing efforts, actually) and offers a “cheat sheet” on what you need to be prep-ready.

Today is Diva’s last weekly article.  She has been writing for Survive The Coming Collapse every week for the last 2 1/2 years and it’s been a great ride!  We look forward to her doing articles from time to time moving forward.

Is Ebola Really Under Control In The United States?

One of the things that we shouldn’t loose sight of is Ebola. It’s true we haven’t heard a thing about new Ebola cases in the U.S. since Ron Klain was named Ebola Czar, but does that mean we’re out of the woods?

Fox News investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson dropped a bombshell on a December 21st newscast when she reported the CDC confirmed that they are currently monitoring 1,400 possible cases of Ebola in the United States. When she asked where this information was on the CDC’s website, she was told, ” We aren’t putting it on the web.”

The term “possible” was not defined by Attkisson, and I recommend that you watch the Fox broadcast on YouTube to reach your own conclusion. The lesson we can take from this information is the need to continue putting aside personal protection equipment (PPE) based on the CDC’s updated protocol as follows:

  • Nitrile Gloves (get plenty, as they must be doubled up)
  • Disposable Tyvek Zip-Up Coveralls
  • *Disposable Full-Face Shield
  • *Particulate Respirator–N-100’s filter out smaller particulates than will N-95 respirators.
  • Disposable Surgical/Bio-Safety Hood
  • **Alcohol-Based Hand rub
  • Bleach or Hydrogen Peroxide & Disinfectant Wipes–used to disinfect Personal.
  • Rubber Boots

* A Full Face Respirator is a step up from N-100 particulate respirators and full face shields, but the price starts at around $140.00. Filters must be changed between each visit to an isolation room at the approximate cost of approximately $15.00.

** Water will be in short supply in grid-down. Consider storing alcohol based hand-rub, rather than depending upon soap and water.

Wars and Rumors Of War

Since the shooting deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, tensions are high on the streets of America. No matter where you stand on the recent shootings, the backlash has landed squarely on our nations police force. What was once a risky job proved much riskier, when on December 20th, the execution style murder of two NYPD officers occurred at the hands of an Islamic gunman identified as Ismaaiyal Brinsley.

(Ox’s note:  The framing of law enforcement as a different class of people sets up the “us vs. them” mentality that is fueling many of the current protests.  Police are citizens who happen to have a high-risk/low (tangible) reward job to do.  To be clear, this “different class” problem has roots on both the LE side and the non-LE side.  Regardless, when knuckleheads take out frustrations on LE, it pushes LE into a corner, isolates them, and puts them in a position where they have to view their fellow citizens differently.  If/when ONE LE over-reacts, or even uses appropriate force with fatal consequences, citizens become more afraid, posture more, view LE as a different class of people, and the disfunctional cycle continues.)

Looking at the situation square in the face, it appears the media is more comfortable dropping the ball on Ebola than they are ceasing to stir the pot of continued tension that began with the Ferguson shooting.

Abroad, the United States is spread thin between the Middle East, sending our troops to West Africa to fight Ebola, and Russia’s threats to bury us economically. For the immediate future, it appears that plummeting oil prices have otherwise occupied Russian officials while they try to head off a run on the banks. However, if oil prices continue to plummet, the U.S. economy could easily join them.

The recent cyber attack against Sony not only cost the corporation over $200 million in damages, it highlights the fact that our nations technology-driven infrastructure is highly vulnerable.  As preppers we should be prepared for cyber attacks on a much that take down the grid–meaning our food supply,  medical services, emergency services,  the stock market, financial institutions, municipal water, and natural gas and fuel supplies (in other words, all forms of transportation).

The Nations Food Supply

According to a November 6th L.A. Times report, written by Veronica Rocha, the recent rainstorm made only a slight dent on the ongoing California drought.

The following is an excerpt:

The drought eased across the board throughout California, but it was not a dramatic change, according to a U.S. Drought Monitor map.

The map shows the percentage of the state in a severe drought — the third harshest on a five-level scale — improved from 95.04% to 94.42 percent.

The percentage of California under exceptional drought conditions — considered the most extreme –improved from 58.41% to 55.08%.

Bottom line: the nation depends upon California growers to supply affordable vegetables, fruits and nuts, and the pain of this drought is felt at the checkout stand.

California produces 99 percent of artichokes grown in the United States, 90 percent of tomatoes, 44 percent of asparagus, 20 percent of cabbage, 75 percent of carrots, half of bell peppers, nearly 90 percent of cauliflower, 95 percent of broccoli, 95 percent of celery, 90 percent of avocados, 74 percent of lettuce, and 83 percent of spinach.

The nation is just as dependent upon California growers to provide 86 percent of all lemons, 33 percent of oranges, 84 percent of peaches, 92 percent of all strawberries, 91 percent of grapes, and 97 percent of plums.

California growers provide 99 percent of all almonds produced in the U.S., 99 percent of walnuts, and 98 percent of pistachios.

To say that we depend upon California for our food supply is an understatement, and with projections of continued drought in California, now is a good time to stock up on canned fruits and vegetables, or fresh if you home can or dehydrate your storage food.

What We Can Do To Prepare

We may not have the power to control what 2015 delivers, but there’s plenty we can do about preparedness. And it starts with the basics.

If you have put of preparing because of finances, I have good news. Prepping doesn’t have to involve charging your credit cards into oblivion. The expensive bells and whistles like a generator, or a chain saw, or a 4-wheeler would be admittedly nice to have, but the fact is, they represent only temporary fixes in the event of a protracted crisis. Why? Fuel has a relatively short shelf life and it’s not renewable. The best direction to take if you have limited cash reserves is to cover the basics before giving in to temporary luxuries.

See if you have what it takes to survive a crisis.

  • Water should be your #1 priority. This entails finding a dependable source, having water containers to haul the water in, and if the water source is a sufficient distance from your home, investing in a pull cart is a smart move–a 7 gallon jug of water weighs a little over 58 lbs. and you’ll probably be hauling way more water than you think you will. Any open body of water should be considered contaminated after a crisis strikes. You must have a way to purify that water, whether that be by boiling it or running it through a quality water purifier like a Berkey, Katadyn or a Sawyer.  The best authority text on this is: http://urbandisasterwaterpurification.com/
  • Food comes next. Whether you store MRE’s, bulk food, canned goods, or a combination thereof. What type of food you choose should be decided, in part, by your living conditions. If you live in the city, food odors should be avoided. . . they’d be a calling card for looters and opportunists. Consider canned food and MRE’s. Those who live in the country or suburbs may not have the same safety concerns.Indecision often leads to procrastination, and don’t let that be you! Start small, putting aside extra food aside one week at a time as money allows.  You will need a way to heat or cook the food. A camp stove will get you by, but you should also plan ahead for a time when the fuel runs out. Personally, I’d recommend a wood-burning rocket stove for back up, unless you live in a rural location where an open fire pit would be possible, and even then, expect to have nearby neighbors drop in. Hungry people will be driven by the smell of a pot of beans simmering over the fire.

    It’s possible even a one-year food supply will not be sufficient in a prolonged crisis. The solution is having heirloom seeds put aside. The seeds from the fruits and vegetables grown from heirloom seed can be dried and saved for the next growing season.  Preserving the overflow from a garden, or hunting, will need to be preserved. Unless you are set up for home canning or have a root cellar, consider learning how to dehydrate food. Look online for DIY food dehydration, which can be set up for inexpensively, and buy a book on how to dehydrate food properly to avoid food molding and having to be tossed out.

  • Medical Supplies are a must-have. Start with the basics and work up from there. To get a feel for what you may want to put aside, read a previous July, 2012 article, Get Started With Life-Saving Medical Supplies For $50.00.
  • Hygiene products should also be planned ahead for. It isn’t realistic to expect to take daily showers should the grid crash, but sponge baths and the ability to wash your hair is a reasonable expectation. Put aside the basics like shampoo, body soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss, and razors.Don’t forget toilet paper–there is no such thing as too much toilet paper! And to go with that toilet paper, either have a portable camp toilet and a shovel to bury wastes, or put aside the materials to build an outhouse. Forget rules and covenants once a widespread crisis hits, but do expect to have plenty of neighbors over.You will need to have a large tub, laundry soap, an agitator to wash laundry and dish soap to wash dishes–bot of which can be washed in the tub. Add clothes line and clothes pens to your must-have list and you’re good to go! All of these items, with the exception of the tub, can be purchased cheaply at a Dollar Store.
  • Heat, if you live in a northern climate, can’t be ignored. A wood heat stove, or a fireplace insert or a wood cook stove will offer needed heat, even if your home is large. Just cordon off the surrounding area close to the heat source you’ve chosen with floor to ceiling blankets.
  • Lighting isn’t critical for survival, but it’s something few of us would choose to be without. Consider flash lights, headlamps, oil lamps, or long-burning candles, but realize that they will be temporary should a crisis last long-term. Solar lights are a more permanent solution, but they will not throw the light sufficiently enough for tasks like sewing and mending, or to read by. Be sure to have black-out fabric to block light from spilling through windows! Otherwise, you’ll be an instant target.
  • Transportation can cost thousands if you let it, but after that expenditure, there will always be fuel to worry about. Short of owning a horse, which would be everyone’s dream soon after fuel supplies dry up, but few of us have the land or the pocket book to support one. A bicycle, along with plenty of extra parts and tires and patch kits and a dependable manual air pump will get you by. A bike carries the benefit of zero dependence on fuel and they are relatively cheap to begin with.
  • Communications can be as simple as 2-way radios, or it can be an investment in the hundreds to thousands of dollars if you decide on a top-of the line Ham Radio set-up.  The lest you will need is an emergency radio to keep informed during an emergency.

If you found holes in your preparedness plan, now is a good time to check out David’s Survive in Place Urban Survival Course. If things continue to go the direction they have been, preparing for the difficult times ahead will be the best investment you’ve ever made!

David’s survival course will walk you through the tactical side of preparedness as well, which is not always covered in depth in many preparedness books.

Do you feel comfortable with your level of preparedness, or do you still have must-haves left on your prep list? Please sound off with your comments below!

God bless and stay safe,

David Morris and Survival Diva