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Ten Simple Strategies to Avoid a Crisis - Thu 23 Jul 2015, 6:41 pm
Ten Simple Strategies to Avoid a Crisis
By Kellene Bishop, Preparedness Pro on 19 March 2015
Let’s face it. Even when we’ve had our car broken into and find nothing missing, it’s still very disturbing emotionally. It haunts us that some complete stranger was rummaging around in our world without any sense of decency that we’ve come to expect in our little world, even if it’s naively so. This type of experience causes us even the most stalwart soul to feel violated somehow. And the vulnerability of it all lingers with us for a very long time.
More than 25 years ago my old beater of a car was broken into just so that someone could steal the piece of garbage TV that I had in my back seat—destined to be donated to Goodwill the next morning. I could have cared less about the TV missing. What threw me into crisis mode was the broken window that was going to cost me more than $50 out of my pauper of a pocket. Even though it happened more than 25 years ago, if I think about it, I still can taste the acrid medicine called Consequences. I could have avoided the whole incident if I hadn’t been so foolish in my placement of the TV. We hear of “wealth attraction” a lot nowadays. Well this article is to help you prevent “Crisis Attraction”. If you think about it, much of what we prepare for is to prevent us from attracting any more crises in our lives, right? There will be plenty that we have virtually no control over; random; to no fault of our own. But it sure would be nice if we could bypass those awful experiences that we bring on ourselves, right?
Today I’m going to share with you just 10 suggestions so that you can avoid “Crisis Attraction”. These are EASY disciplines to do. Unfortunately, that which is easy TO do is just as easy NOT to do. Fortunately, our readers tend to be proactive as a whole.
1. Keep ALL valuables, or even PERCEIVED valuables, from view in your car or your house windows. Don’t tempt the stupid criminals, Friends! Remember, ALL criminals are stupid.
2. ALWAYS lock ALL of your car doors as soon as you get seated in your vehicle. Carjackings are thwarted with this method!
3. MANUALLY unlock your driver side door when you’re going to fill up your tank with fuel. Too many cars nowadays unlock ALL of the doors when you go to exit your car which leaves your purse or other valuables ripe for the pickings for prepared criminals who sneak into your unlocked passenger side door and take what’s handy.
4. ALWAYS keep your house doors locked. When you enter your home, you lock the door behind you. No excuses. Do I really need to rehash all of the horrific crimes that could have been prevented if this one rule had been observed? If you want to help someone needy, DONATE. Don’t put your emotional and mental any physical health in jeopardy just because you think you’re somehow being more Christlike by never locking your doors. (Seriously, I’ve actually heard the excuse “if they need it more than me, then they are welcome to it.” Rubbish! ) You wouldn’t believe the tens of thousands of crimes that could have been prevented with this ONE discipline!
5. NEVER answer the door to someone you do not know! Being SAFE is the priority. Do you really care if someone that you don’t know perceives you as being rude just because you insist on talking to them through the door? This means that you don’t answer the door unless you have a way to IDENTIFY who’s at the door! I strongly suggest you get a telescopic peephole if you’ve got a regular door. It allows you to stand back from the door as far as 6 feet and still be able to see clearly who’s at the door.
6. NEVER take a uniform for granted. Nowadays, it doesn’t take much for a person to convert their criminal wardrobe to a respectable wardrobe that resembles a police officer, UPS/Fed Ex, or power company worker. They have a uniform? So what? If you don’t know them, you don’t open the door to them. Period.
7. NEVER give out personal information to a person that YOU did not call. My father taught us kids this habit early on. Periodically there’d be a caller ask “To whom am I speaking” when calling the house. Dad would always respond “Who were you calling?!” He never provided personal information to anyone calling him. Period. No exceptions.
8. If it has your name AND address on it, SHRED it, don’t just throw it in the trash. An identity thief can simply establish identity with a piece of mail that has “their” name and address on it. Don’t give them the ammo, friends. I likewise suggest that instead of keeping your registration IN your car, you merely keep a PICTURE of your registration in your phone. Don’t give your friendly neighborhood car thief your home address too!
9. Always leave room between yourself and the cars around you for you to “get away” if necessary. I confess, learning how to drive on the busy Connecticut parkways, I learned to tailgate like the best of them. But when it comes to driving defensively, I’ve learned to overcome my tailgating ways ESPECIALLY when stopped at a light or in traffic. Bottom line, when you’re stopped, you’re an easy target. So leave yourself some options by not pulling up so close to the car in front of you.
10. Last, but definitely not least, you can be friendly and strike up conversations with people. Frankly, we need more of that. But for crying out loud, DON’T GIVE AWAY PERSONAL DETAILS ABOUT YOUR LIFE to people you don’t know AND trust. If they aren’t someone that you would trust your children with, then don’t trust them with any information that would give them access to your children. This includes social media. I can not believe how many times people just volunteer personal information to me within 30 seconds of meeting me. If I was a bad person, I could have made out like the #1 bandit by now! “Trust, but verify” is our household motto. ;-)
[img(220.39999999999998px,165.39999999999998px)]https://ci5.googleusercontent.com/proxy/p0dRJJzYcF50To_Q_ijCzUCHZZrPmlFvxh2ODCRrVPC827bMM8RHgC8KV7Tt0sgD-XoTLOUQiwWCoFtdq5J4_Ey__MAfbDSH8akJKLAn5i-vI3xQZysbQHNz1vFcdwXEJ5h3xxKFpULgEZwkSR2izkouCaid18MkDeonuB3uFFJPX_y1WxME=s0-d-e1-ft#http://www.preparednesspro.com/sites/default/files/styles/medium/public/volunteering_for_crime.jpeg?itok=m_EMJ_oQ[/img] One of the most important ways to prevent being the target of a crime is to fully accept responsibility for preventing as much as you possibly can whilst still exercising your unalienable rights. You’ll notice that I did not use the word “victim” anywhere in this article. The reason being is that with a few obvious exceptions, I believe wholeheartedly--There are No Victims, Only Volunteers. Take the picture to the left for an example. I personally took this picture of the interior of this person’s car in a Wal-mart parking lot. Yep, you can bet that I was shaking my head whilst doing so. If the wallet wasnt' enough of a target, how about the camera? (personal info in the pic was modified to protect the Volunteer) So what if there are cameras everywhere we go nowadays? In less than 15 seconds a skilled criminal could have been in and out of this car and wreak havoc on this person’s lifestyle for many years down the road. I was SO shocked at how brazenly foolish this person was to leave their wallet so clearly visible in their car, that I even thought for a moment that I was witnessing some kind of sting operation in an attempt to catch a car thief.
I hope this brief list helps some of you to prevent you from volunteering to attracting a crisis!
Read more at http://www.preparednesspro.com/ten-simple-strategies-avoid-crisis#Y4iXgTjU0Eq8yK4D.99
When It Comes to Mosquitoes, Which Repellent Works Best? - Mon 20 Jul 2015, 5:57 pm
When It Comes to Mosquitoes, Which Repellent Works Best?
Consumers learn repellent lingo as mosquito borne illnesses flourish.By Thermacell
Photos courtesy of Thermacell
West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (Triple E), Malaria, Dengue Fever and now we can add Chikungunya to the list. As mosquito borne illnesses continue to become more prevalent in the United States, consumers want and need to become more familiar with reading mosquito repellent labels. What is the active ingredient that makes one repellent more effective than another and when should a specific repellent be used? There are dozens of insect repellent formulations and hundreds of products today. When in doubt, it is best to look to the experts for advice.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the use of products containing active ingredients that have been registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These products have brand names that consumers recognize such as OFF, Cutter, and Thermacell — an area repellent that is up to 98* percent effective and is quickly gaining popularity. Area repellents are a good solution for parents who do not want to put harmful repellents on their child’s skin. When the EPA registers a repellent, it evaluates the product for efficacy as well as potential effects on human beings and the environment. EPA registration means that the EPA does not expect a product, when used according to the instructions on the label, to cause unreasonable adverse effects to human health or the environment. Repellents registered with the EPA have demonstrated a high degree of efficacy and contain active ingredients such as:
Allethrin: a synthetic analog of a natural insecticide found in chrysanthemum flowers that is odor-free and is an alternative to lotions and sprays which must be applied to skin. Allethrin is an area repellent that is dispersed into the air and is up to 98* percent effective in fighting mosquitoes, black flies, and no-see-ums.
DEET: (N-diethyl-m-toluamide). Repellents containing DEET are safe for adults and children when used according to directions. Don't put repellents with DEET on kids’ hands because it may get in their mouth or eyes. The CDC warns: Use these repellents carefully as DEET in high concentrations may be harmful to kids.
Permethrin: a cousin to allethrin, is recommended for use on clothing, shoes, bed nets, and camping gear. Permethrin-treated clothing repels and kills ticks, mosquitoes and other arthropods, and retains this effect after repeated laundering. Permethrin is not to be used directly on the skin.
Picaridin: (KBR 3023) forms a barrier on your skin, which blocks an insect’s ability to locate humans. Picaridin was tested against mosquitoes, flies and ticks in both field studies and in laboratory cage tests. Picaridin provides equal or longer protection than identical concentrations of DEET. Efficacy against ticks has been demonstrated in laboratory cage tests.
Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus [p-menthane 3,8-diol (PMD)]: is a plant-based repellent. In two recent scientific publications, when oil of lemon eucalyptus was tested against mosquitoes found in the U.S., it provided protection similar to repellents with low concentrations of DEET.
What repellent should be used when?
|Hiking, biking or walking in cooler weather||Applying permethrin to your clothing ahead of time will provide protection.|
|Enjoying the patio, at a campsite or spectator sport; gardening at dusk or dawn||Area repellents, such as Thermacell products that use allethrin, provide hours of protection, are highly portable and create a 15 x 15 ft zone of protection. The hand-held units and lanterns are up to 98%* effective in fighting biting insects and are affordable. The Thermacell lantern was voted #1 Tabletop Mosquito Repellent by the Good Housekeeping Institute.|
|Playing a sport at dusk or dawn||For many hours outside (over 3-4 hours) and/or where biting is very intense—look for a repellent containing more than 20% DEET.|
* Hacettepe University, Turkey, page 1 Abstract and page 3 Results and Discussion. “These results indicated that reduction in sand fly and mosquito biting rates in treated groups ranged from 87.5% to 97.7%.”
20 Things You Will Need to Survive When the Economy Collapses and the Next Great Depression Begins - Sat 11 Jul 2015, 5:12 pm
20 Things You Will Need to Survive When the Economy Collapses and the Next Great Depression Begins
Today, millions of Americans say that they believe that the United States is on the verge of a major economic collapse and will soon be entering another Great Depression. But only a small percentage of those same people are prepared for that to happen. The sad truth is that the vast majority of Americans would last little more than a month on what they have stored up in their homes. Most of us are so used to running out to the supermarket or to Wal-Mart for whatever we need that we never even stop to consider what would happen if suddenly we were not able to do that. Already the U.S. economy is starting to stumble about like a drunken frat boy. All it would take for the entire U.S. to resemble New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina would be for a major war, a terror attack, a deadly pandemic or a massive natural disaster to strike at just the right time and push the teetering U.S. economy over the edge. So just how would you survive if you suddenly could not rely on the huge international corporate giants to feed, clothe and supply you and your family? Do you have a plan?
Unless you already live in a cave or you are a complete and total mindless follower of the establishment media, you should be able to see very clearly that our society is more vulnerable now than it ever has been. This year there have been an unprecedented number of large earthquakes around the world and volcanoes all over the globe are awakening. You can just take a look at what has happened in Haiti and in Iceland to see how devastating a natural disaster can be. Not only that, but we have a world that is full of lunatics in positions of power, and if one of them decides to set off a nuclear, chemical or biological weapon in a major city it could paralyze an entire region. War could erupt in the Middle East at literally any moment, and if it does the price of oil will double or triple (at least) and there is the possibility that much of the entire world could be drawn into the conflict. Scientists tell us that a massive high-altitude EMP (electromagnetic pulse) blast could send large portions of the United States back to the stone age in an instant. In addition, there is the constant threat that the outbreak of a major viral pandemic (such as what happened with the 1918 Spanish Flu) could kill tens of millions of people around the globe and paralyze the economies of the world.
But even without all of that, the truth is that the U.S. economy is going to collapse. So just think of what will happen if one (or more) of those things does happen on top of all the economic problems that we are having.
Are you prepared?
The following is a list of 20 things you and your family will need to survive when the economy totally collapses and the next Great Depression begins....
#1) Storable Foo
Food is going to instantly become one of the most valuable commodities in existence in the event of an economic collapse. If you do not have food you are not going to survive. Most American families could not last much longer than a month on what they have in their house right now. So what about you? If disaster struck right now, how long could you survive on what you have? The truth is that we all need to start storing up food. If you and your family run out of food, you will suddenly find yourselves competing with the hordes of hungry people who are looting the stores and roaming the streets looking for something to eat.
Of course you can grow your own food, but that is going to take time. So you need to have enough food stored up until the food that you plant has time to grow. But if you have not stored up any seeds you might as well forget it. When the economy totally collapses, the remaining seeds will disappear very quickly. So if you think that you are going to need seeds, now is the time to get them.
#2) Clean Water
Most people can survive for a number of weeks without food, but without water you will die in just a few days. So where would you get water if the water suddenly stopped flowing out of your taps? Do you have a plan? Is there an abundant supply of clean water near your home? Would you be able to boil water if you need to?
Besides storing water and figuring out how you are going to gather water if society breaks down, another thing to consider is water purification tablets. The water you are able to gather during a time of crisis may not be suitable for drinking. So you may find that water purification tablets come in very, very handy.
You can't sleep on the streets, can you? Well, some people will be able to get by living on the streets, but the vast majority of us will need some form of shelter to survive for long. So what would you do if you and your family lost your home or suddenly were forced from your home? Where would you go?
The best thing to do is to come up with several plans. Do you have relatives that you can bunk with in case of emergency? Do you own a tent and sleeping bags if you had to rough it? If one day everything hits the fan and you and your family have to "bug out" somewhere, where would that be? You need to have a plan.
#4) Warm Clothing
If you plan to survive for long in a nightmare economic situation, you are probably going to need some warm, functional clothing. If you live in a cold climate, this is going to mean storing up plenty of blankets and cold weather clothes. If you live in an area where it rains a lot, you will need to be sure to store up some rain gear. If you think you may have to survive outdoors in an emergency situation, make sure that you and your family have something warm to put on your heads. Someday after the economy has collapsed and people are scrambling to survive, a lot of folks are going to end up freezing to death. In fact, in the coldest areas it is actually possible to freeze to death in your own home. Don't let that happen to you.
#5) An Axe
Staying along the theme of staying warm, you may want to consider investing in a good axe. In the event of a major emergency, gathering firewood will be a priority. Without a good tool to cut the wood with that will be much more difficult.
#6) Lighters Or Matches
You will also want something to start a fire with. If you can start a fire, you can cook food, you can boil water and you can stay warm. So in a true emergency situation, how do you plan to start a fire? By rubbing sticks together? Now is the time to put away a supply of lighters or matches so that you will be prepared when you really need them.
In addition, you may want to consider storing up a good supply of candles. Candles come in quite handy whenever the electricity goes out, and in the event of a long-term economic nightmare we will all see why our forefathers relied on candles so much.
#7) Hiking Boots Or Comfortable Shoes
When you ask most people to list things necessary for survival, this is not the first or the second thing that comes to mind. But having hiking boots or very comfortable and functional shoes will be absolutely critical. You may very well find yourself in a situation where you and your family must walk everywhere you want to go. So how far do you think you will get in high heels? You will want footwear that you would feel comfortable walking in for hours if necessary. You will also want footwear that will last a long time, because when the economy truly collapses you may not be able to run out to the shoe store and get what you need at that point.
#8) A Flashlight And/Or Lantern
When the power goes off in your home, what is the first thing that you grab? Just think about it. A flashlight or a lantern of course. In a major emergency, a flashlight or a lantern is going to be a necessity - especially if you need to go anywhere at night.
Solar powered or "crank style" flashlights or lanterns will probably be best during a long-term emergency. If you have battery-powered units you will want to begin storing up lots and lots of batteries.
#9) A Radio
If a major crisis does hit the United States, what will you and your family want? Among other things, you will all want to know what in the world is going on. A radio can be an invaluable tool for keeping up with the news.
Once again, solar powered or "crank style" radios will probably work best for the long term. A battery-powered until would work as well - but only for as long as your batteries are able to last.
#10) Communication Equipment
When things really hit the fan you are going to want to communicate with your family and friends. You will also want to be able to contact an ambulance or law enforcement if necessary. Having an emergency cell phone is great, but it may or may not work during a time of crisis. The Internet also may or may not be available. Be sure to have a plan (whether it be high-tech or low-tech) for staying in communication with others during a major emergency.
#11) A Swiss Army Knife
If you have ever owned a Swiss Army knife you probably already know how incredibly handy they can be. It can be a very valuable and versatile tool. In a true survival situation, a Swiss Army knife can literally do dozens of different things for you. Make sure that you have at least one stored up for emergencies.
#12) Personal Hygiene Items
While these may not be absolute "essentials", the truth is that life will get very unpleasant very quickly without them. For example, what would you do without toilet paper? Just think about it. Imagine that you just finished your last roll of toilet paper and now you can't get any more. What would you do?
The truth is that soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, toilet paper and other hygiene products are things that we completely take for granted in society today. So what would happen if we could not go out and buy them any longer
#13) A First Aid Kit And Other Medical Supplies
One a more serious note, you may not be able to access a hospital or a doctor during a major crisis. In your survival supplies, be absolutely certain that you have a good first aid kit and any other medical supplies that you think you may need.
#14) Extra Gasoline
There may come a day when gasoline is rationed or is simply not available at all. If that happens, how will you get around? Be certain to have some extra gasoline stored away just in case you find yourself really needing to get somewhere someday.
#15) A Sewing Kit
If you were not able to run out and buy new clothes for you and your family, what would you do? Well, you would want to repair the clothes that you have and make them last as long as possible. Without a good sewing kit that will be very difficult to do.
#16) Self-Defense Equipment
Whether it is pepper spray to fend off wild animals or something more "robust" to fend off wild humans, millions of Americans will one day be thankful that they have something to defend themselves with.
#17) A Compass
In the event of a major emergency, you and your family may find yourselves having to be on the move. If you are in a wilderness area, it will be very hard to tell what direction you are heading without a compass. It is always a good idea to have at least one compass stored up.
#18) A Hiking Backpack
If you and your family suddenly have to "bug out", what will you carry all of your survival supplies in? Having a good hiking backpack or "survival bag" for everyone in your family is extremely important. If something happened in the city where you live and you suddenly had to "go", what would you put your most important stuff in? How would you carry it all if you had to travel by foot? These are very important things to think about.
#19) A Community
During a long-term crisis, it is those who are willing to work together that will have the best chance of making it. Whether it is your family, your friends, a church or a local group of people that you know, make sure that you have some people that you can rely on and work together with in the event that everything hits the fan. Loners are going to have a really hard time of surviving for long.
#20) A Backup Plan
Lastly, it is always, always, always important to have a backup plan for everything.
If someone comes in and steals all the food that you have stored up, what are you going to do?
If travel is restricted and your can't get to your "bug out" location immediately do you have a Plan B?
If you have built your house into an impregnable survival fortress but circumstances force you to leave do you have an alternate plan?
The truth is that crisis situations rarely unfold just as we envision. It is important to be flexible and to be ready with backup plans when disaster strikes.
You don't want to end up like the folks in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. You don't want to have to rely on the government to take care of you if something really bad happens.
Right now the U.S. strategic grain reserve contains only enough wheat to make half a loaf of bread for each of the approximately 300 million people in the United States.
How long do you think that is going to last?
Now is the time to get ready.
Now is the time to prepare.
The United States economy is going to collapse and incredibly hard times are coming.
Will you be able to survive when it happens?
12 Bad Strategies That Will Get Preppers Killed - Mon 06 Jul 2015, 5:37 pm
[size=33]12 Bad Strategies That Will Get Preppers Killed[/size]
If you’re involved in the preparedness lifestyle, you’re probably into planning. Most likely, you research and study the excellent preparedness strategies put out by experts. Whether we prepare for incidents small or large, we all ponder what we’d do if something world-as-we-know-it-ending went down.
The trouble is, a lot of the plans that get made are more likely to get you killed than to save you. And people post these plans online, then new preppers read them and think, “Wow, what a great idea.”
I really love being involved in the preparedness lifestyle. I get to meet and correspond with lots of like-minded, down-to-earth people. We have those awesome conversations that you just can’t have with the checker at the grocery store cash register. I get to engage in email and social media discussions too, the likes of which would never occur with my second cousin who thinks that missing a pedicure appointment is a disaster worthy of government intervention. But sometimes, I kind of cringe. Not all preparedness plans are well-thought out and practiced. In fact, there are several recurring themes that I hear or read that are not good ideas for most preppers, and I bet that many of you reading have also privately rolled eyes at one of the following strategies. (Or maybe even publicly.)
I’m truly not trying to be mean when I share them with you here, nor am I trying to say that I’m the Queen Prepper of the Universe, who knows absolutely everything. I’d just like you to consider the variables if one of these plans happens to be your default strategy.
Bad Strategy #1: “I’ll just hunt and live off the land.”Oh my gosh. No, you probably won’t. You might try to hunt, but guess what? Loads of other people have this same idea. Unless you live hundreds of miles from civilization, the population of deer and wild turkeys will be quickly decimated in an event that renders the food delivery system inoperable.
Furthermore, hunting is not as easy as simply wandering into the woods, taking aim with a rifle, and popping a wandering buck in the head. Have you ever hunted? Have you done so recently, and by recently I mean within the past year? Have you ever field dressed an animal? Can you hit a moving target? Do you know how to set up snares? Do you know how to butcher and preserve meat? Are you in good enough shape to drag a 200 pound carcass through the woods?
If you can’t say yes to every single question listed here, hunting should probably not be your go-to plan for feeding your family.
Bad Strategy #2: “I’ll go into the woods and live there.”This is closely related to Bad Strategy #1.
But it’s worse. Living in the wilderness is not going to be a marshmallow roast. First off, there are no marshmallows out there. Just lots of predators and food that has to be killed and skinned before you can eat it.
In this strategy, people like to talk about their proximities to a national forest. “There are thousands of acres, just on the other side of my fence.”
Okay. But when is the last time you went into that forest more than a few miles on foot? Did you spend more than a couple of nights there? Was the weather inclement? What are your local predators (not including the human variety)? Do you have a camping kit that you can carry in on foot? Will your children and spouse be able to also carry supplies? Are you planning to build a house with some tarps and a Swiss Army knife? What will you eat and drink? Are you adept at foraging in your area? For how long can you actually survive on what you can carry? How are your First Aid skills and what supplies will you have? Can you handle the loneliness? And what about the other, perhaps less than moral, individuals that have the same idea? Have you ever lit a fire with wet wood? Have you ever camped, outside of a campground area? What if it rains? In many climates, getting wet is a death sentence.
Bad Strategy #3: “I’ll bug out on foot for 73 miles through the mountains, even though I don’t regularly exercise.”If bugging out on foot is one of your plans, I’d like to suggest you pick a clear day, put on a loaded backpack and some hiking boots, and go for a practice hike to your location. Go ahead. I’ll wait here.
This one really bothers me. There is a large contingent of armchair preppers who have this idea. However, they don’t exercise regularly. They look back 20-30 years to their high school or military glory days, when they played football, ran track, or had a drill sergeant screaming right behind them as they ran. Just because you were once very physically fit, that doesn’t mean you are still able to hike up a mountain in bad weather with a 50 pound kit on your back.
This is a classic recipe for a heart attack, by the way. Extreme over-exertion. High-stress situation. High-sodium, easily packable food. Out-of-shape person. A few miles into the journey, particularly if it includes a steep climb, the person will experience a pounding heart, dizziness, and faintness, as the body tries to shut down to protect itself from the unaccustomed demands. If the physical stress continues, the heart won’t be able to keep up with the demand to pump blood. Game. Over.
Embarking on an overly ambitious bug-out journey can endanger not only you, but the people making the trek with you. What if you have a heart attack half way up the mountain? What if you have an asthma attack? What if you injure your out-of-shape self? Who is going to help you? If the situation is bad enough that you’re bugging out, you aren’t likely to be airlifted to a hospital for medical care. Will someone put their own safety at risk to hang out with you while you recover, thus forcing the family to divert to Bad Strategy #2?
I’m not trying to talk anyone into staying in a bad situation when bugging out ould be the wiser course of action (like in Bad Strategy #11). But if your bug out route is a long distance or over difficult terrain, you need to get out there and start training before you put the lives of everyone in your team or family at risk.
Bad Strategy #4: “I don’t need a group. I’m going to go it alone.”Ah, the rugged loner.
This is not a winning plan for many reasons. Being with a group, even a small one, has many benefits. As Scott, from Graywolf Survival, wrote:
[size=20]Humans started banding together to survive millions of years ago. They did this for one thing: because there’s safety in numbers. If you live by yourself, you can’t collect food, improve your fighting position, patrol the area, chop wood, filter water, and be on all sides of your property – all at once. Plus, you have to devote a large amount of your day to sleeping each night. And besides, who are you gonna bitch to about your day if you’re all alone?
…Even a small group of 12 has a HUGE advantage to defending an area and continuing on with other operations at the same time. With an adequate number of personnel, not only can you have a rotation of assignments to support 24 hour operations, you can afford people to specialize in certain tasks. This specialization increases the efficiency of the group overall (synergy) and was one of the largest reasons why we developed into a society.[/size]
It isn’t just enough to have a team, either. You need to train with your team, tactically, with an expert if possible. And by training, I’m not talking about going out to play paintball in the woods. Max Velocity, [url=http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&field-keywords=max velocity&linkcode=ur2&sprefix=max v%2cstripbooks&tag=prepping0a-20&url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&linkId=3OKYCUCYKNN2QLVM]author[/url] and founder of a combat school in West Virginia explains:
[size=20]‘Tacticool’ training is not only designed to simply make you look and feel good, but more insidiously it will give you the idea that you are tactically trained and proficient, when you are not. It is the sort of training that will give you enough to really get yourself in trouble. For example, basic marksmanship and square range training have a solid place in the training progression, but you must move beyond the static range to tactical field firing training in order to be tactically trained. You have to understand how to operate your weapons ‘out in the wild,’ and to maneuver in real environments. Often the problem with ‘tacticool’ training is that among the instructors there is not the experience or facility to move beyond the square range, and there is only so much you can do, so instructors make stuff up that may in fact be disadvantageous to your heath. At Max Velocity Tactical the tactical ranges have been designed out in the woods and utilize electronic pop-up targets, bunkers and other such training aids to bring a realistic tactical environment, This allows a certain amount of stress and battle inoculation to be brought to the students in training. And critically, this is all done in a safe and practical manner. (You can read the rest of his interview HERE)[/size]
Maybe you only have a handful of people you trust. Maybe you only want to be with other military dudes. Keep in mind that there are things that you will need in a SHTF scenario that are a bit kinder and gentler. It’s not just about brute force and protecting the camp or retreat. It’s about food, building a future, farming, sitting down, and even relaxing from time to time. Not every moment in a situation like that will be like a scene from an action-adventure movie. We’ll still eat dinner, read a book, talk with others, sleep, and have relationships.
Bad Strategy #5: “I don’t need to store food, I’ll just take everyone else’s because I’m a bad-ass.”Who can forget that episode of Doomsday Preppers that was shared all over preparedness social media and websites, in which a redneck and his team of merry marauders discussed their plans to take everything that preppers living nearby had stored away?
I wrote about Tyler Smith and his plan a couple of years ago:
[size=20]Most preppers, Smith says, are concerned with marauders taking their supplies. It’s not an unfounded fear, he says.
“We are those people,” he says. “We’ll kick your door in and take your supplies. … We are the marauders.”
We’re not in it to stockpile. We’re in it to take what you have and there’s nothing you can do to stop us,” Tyler Smith says. “We are your worst nightmare, and we are coming.”
Smith, 29, is the leader of Spartan Survival. The group has more than 80 dues-paying members. Smith founded the organization in 2005 to train and prepare others on survivalism.[/size]
Smith (a paroled felon who incidentally went back to jail shortly after his televised waving around of firearms) might be a joke, but you can’t ignore the danger of groups with similar plans. This yahoo had 80 people on board with him, for crying out loud. And if you happen to have such a plan, you should probably realize that those of us who are really prepared won’t stand around wringing our hands and crying when you come to attempt to relieve us of our supplies. We’ve prepared for people like you, too. The post-SHTF life expectancy of those who plan to survive using Bad Strategy #5 will probably be a short one. You might manage to raid a few people’s retreats (particularly those using Bad Strategy #4, but if the situations is WROL (without rule of law), it’s pretty much a given that the justice which will be meted out by the intended victims will be swift and final.
Bad Strategy #6: “I have lots of weapons and tools. I’ve never used them. But I have them.”Do you have prepper tools that are still in the box? How often do you make it to the shooting range? When’s the last time you actually felled a tree then chopped firewood? When did you do it without a chainsaw?
There are loads of different examples that I could give about tools that just sit there in their boxes, awaiting their moment of glory when it all hits the fan. For the purposes of Bad Strategy #6, I’m including firearms as a tool. Skill with an axe is not a given. Accurate aim doesn’t stay with you if you don’t practice. Have you ever attempted to pressure can over an open fire? Even building a fire is not easy if you’ve only done it once or twice. (See Bad Strategy #9 for details.)
Not only is it vital to practice using your tools during good times, when you have back-up options available, but you need to test your tools to be sure that they operate as intended. I once purchased a water filtration system for use during off-grid situations. It was missing an essential gasket. Without that gasket, it would be totally useless. Sure, I could have tried to MacGuyver something, but the point of buying all of this stuff is to save your MacGuyvering for things you don’t have. Because I checked out my tool before I needed it, I was able to send it back and get a replacement.
Bad Strategy #7: “I don’t store food. I store seeds.”I really love gardening and have stored an abundance of seeds. Seeds are a very important thing to store. However, if you store them to the exclusion of food, you’re going to have a really bad time.
The problem with depending on seeds for your food supply is that Stuff Happens. Stuff like droughts. Stuff like aphids. Stuff like blossom-end rot. Stuff like the thrice-damned deer that managed to get past your fence.
Furthermore, if this is your plan, have you grown a garden recently? Have you produced food on your current property or your retreat property? Do you have a compost system? Have you developed your soil? First year gardens almost never produce what you expect them to. Do you know how much produce your family will consume in a year? How are you at food preservation? What about off-grid food preservation?
Because of these concerns, a garden should not be a stand-alone survival plan. It is a vital part of a long-term preparedness scenario, but you must also be prepared for the potential of failure.
Bad Strategy #8: “I’ll just run a generator and continue on like nothing ever happened.”Generators are loud, smelly, and finite.
If you want to bring attention to yourself in the midst of a down-grid scenario, the surest way to do it is to be the only house in the area with lights blazing in every window. Generators are commonly stolen, because they’re impossible to hide, rumbling away beside your house. A person following Bad Strategy #5 would be likely to think that if you have a generator with extra fuel, you might have some other awesome stuff that they’d want too.
It goes further than simply drawing attention to yourself though. Gas, diesel, and propane generators can be dangerous. They can produce high levels of carbon monoxide very quickly, so if the plan were to enclose it to deter thieves, it could be deadly. Trying to power your entire house by backfeeding while still hooked up to local utilities could endanger the lives of neighbors or utility workers. Refilling a generator that has not completely cooled is a fire hazard. Make sure that your generator doesn’t fall into the category of Bad Strategy #6. There’s more to it than simply flipping a switch and having power. You need to learn to operate and maintain the generator long before you have to rely on it.
Keep in mind, if you do opt to use a generator, that this is not a long-term solution. There’s only so much fuel that anyone can store. Eventually, it’s going to run out, and if your plan was completely dependent on being able to run a generator, what will you do then? My personal preparedness plan is to revert to a low-tech lifestylethat doesn’t require electricity.
Bad Strategy #9: “I’ll just use my fireplace for cooking and heating.”This is one that I learned about the hard way, myself. A few years ago, my daughter and I moved from the city to a cabin in the north woods of Ontario, Canada. I figured that with a giant lake at our disposal, a well, our supplies, and a woodstove, we’d have all we needed to surive an extended power outage.
Unfortunately for us, born and raised in the city, lighting a fire and keeping it going was not that easy. The mere presence of a fireplace or woodstove does not warmth create. It took me an entire month of daily trial, error, and frustration to master a fire that would warm the house. I also learned that cooking on a woodstove was not as easy as sitting a pot on top of it. Dampers had to be adjusted, heat had to be increased, and the food required far more monitoring than expected. The year we spent there taught us more than we ever imagined about what we didn’t know.
If using your fireplace or woodstove is part of your survival plan, how much wood do you have? Is it seasoneed and dry? Can you acquire more? Have you actually chopped wood before? Recently? When is the last time you prepared food using your stove or fireplace?
The good news is, you can make this strategy work, as long as you don’t go all Bad Strategy #6. Ramp up your wood supply and begin using your fireplace or woodstove on a regular basis to work out the bugs in your plan now.
Bad Strategy #10: “I’m going to hunker down in the city and scavenge what I need.”This is a terrible idea on so many levels it’s hard to know where to start.
First of all, when utilities are interrupted, those in large metropolitan areas are left with few options. It’s hard to dig a latrine in the concrete jungle. Remeber when New York was hit by Superstorm Sandy? People were defecating in the halls of apartment buildings to try and keep their own apartments moderately sanitary. Unfortunately, sewage built up in the pipes and spewed into apartments, filling them with deadly human waste.
Store shelves will quickly be emptied before and after disasters, leaving little to scavenge. If you happen across the wrong place, you’re likely to be shot by a property owner defending his or her goods. If you wait too long to evacuate, roadways will be blocked, and you can end up being a refugee, with no option but camps. Cities will be populated with desperate people, some of whom were criminals before the disaster struck. Even those who were friendly neighbors before the disaster can turn on you, because desperation can turn anyone into a criminal in order to feed their families.
Highly populated areas without outdoor space will quickly become death traps in the wake of a disaster.
Bad Strategy #11: “I’ve got my supplies, and now I don’t need to think about gloom and doom.”Some people like to stock their goods and then forget about preparedness. They don’t like to consider the threats they might face. But mentally preparing for disasters is a very important step. I recently made a list of prepper movies (you can find it here) and suggested that they be used to run scenarios in your head.
This very vital step can help you to do the most important thing when a disaster occurs: accept that it has actually happened. The prepper mindset is one of problem-solving and flexibility.
[size=20]It’s a unique way of looking at a situation, assessing the options, and acting that defines the prepper mindset. Think about any stressful situation that has ever happened to you. Once you accepted the fact that it had happened you were able to set a course of action. Once you had definitive steps to take, you probably felt much calmer. You took control of the things you could, and you executed your plan. Only by taking that first step – accepting that this mishap had indeed occurred – could you take the next two.[/size]
By refusing to consider the things that could happen, you run the risk of being unable to immediately accept it when it does happen. This sets you up for a very dangerous period of hesitation that could mean a death sentence for you and those who depend on you.
Bad Strategy #12: We’ll set up a perimeter and shoot anyone who breaches it.With folks like the ones who intend to practice Bad Strategy #5 around, it’s no wonder that some people intend to practice Bad Strategy #12.
However, there are a few reasons that this is a bad idea.
First, instead of just protecting you, this can actually make you a target. Less than ethical people may start to wonder what you are protecting so stringently, and may work to develop a plan to overtake you. Alternatively, more ethical people may decide they don’t want a group like yours in the area and plan to forcibly evict you. If the situation doesn’t start off like the wild west, people who adhere to this Bad Strategy will turn it into that scenario.
And finally, the real kicker: those who survive some life-changing event will be the new founders of our society. Do you really want to live in a place where people have to shoot first and ask questions later? How we choose to live will set the course for how we continue to live.
There’s time to adjust your plan.There’s good news, though, if I just peed all over your favorite plan.
There’s still time to make adjustments to make your plan more workable. You can brush up on your hunting and foraging skills. You can start an exercise plan so you don’t die when hiking. You can test out your tools and find your weak points. You can adjust your plan to be more ethical. You may not need to chuck the plan altogether, but merely test and modify it.
The key with all things preparedness is to practice, to drill, and to make it your lifestyle. Work out the bugs now, while back-up is as close as the hardware store or grocery store. Get yourself mentally prepared to accept the situation and change your plans on a dime if necessary.
Finally, consider the kind of world you want to live in. If there was a giant reset, those who survive would pave the path for a different society. By our plans and actions, we can create a different type of world. One with justice, kindness, ethics, and freedom.
Right now, our society is led by criminal corporations, sell-out politicians, and thugs, both in and out of uniform. I’d like to believe that we can do better.
Resources to help you build a better plan:The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster
Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival
Rapid Fire!: Tactics for High Threat, Protection and Combat Operations
The Organic Canner
The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months
Prepper’s Home Defense: Security Strategies to Protect Your Family by Any Means Necessary
12 Simple Things You Can Start Doing Right Now To Prepare - Thu 02 Jul 2015, 8:44 pm
[size=36]12 Simple Things You Can Start Doing Right Now To Prepare For The Coming Financial Apocalypse[/size]
It is becoming increasingly apparent that the U.S. economy is heading for complete and total disaster. State and local governments across the nation are uncontrollably bleeding red ink. The federal government has accumulated the largest debt in world history. Every year we buy hundreds of billions of dollars more from the rest of the world than they buy from us. That means that we are getting hundreds of billions of dollars poorer as a nation every single year. Meanwhile, thousands of factories and millions of jobs continue to be sent overseas as American cities turn into post-industrial wastelands. Incomes are down, unemployment remains at depressingly high levels and very few of our politicians seem to have any idea how to fix things. Yes, things are really, really bad. So what are some things that we can all be doing to prepare for the coming financial apocalypse?
Well, the truth is that we all need to start becoming less dependent on "the system". If the economy does completely fall apart at some point, your employer is probably not going to take care of you. Neither is the federal government - just look at what happened in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. In the end, you are going to have to take care of yourself and your family.
So are you ready?
Now is the time to prepare. If you wait until things totally fall apart it will be far too late.
The following are 12 simple things that you can start doing right now to prepare for the coming financial apocalypse....
#1 Become Less Dependent On Your Job
Many people define a job as the state of being "just over broke". The truth is that it is incredibly difficult to become financially independent working for someone else. Now, the truth is that most Americans would not be able to survive without a job, but what would you do if someday you suddenly lost your job during a financial apocalypse? Now is the time to start investigating alternate sources of income and different ways to build wealth. Today it takes the average unemployed American over 33 weeks to find a job. You may not always be able to count on being able to get a good job, and the economy is only going to get worse over the long-term. All of us should be operating under the assumption that any jobs we now have will someday be taken away.
#2 Get Out Of Debt
Some people disagree with this, but unless society degenerates into complete chaos or we experience Weimar Republic-type hyperinflation, the truth is that your debts are going to continue to hang over you wherever you go. Getting out of debt can be completely and totally liberating. It will give you much more freedom and will make you far less dependent on your job. In fact, it looks like a lot of Americans are already moving in this direction. It was recently announced that 8 million Americans have stopped using their credit cards over the past year. Why not join them? When things start really falling apart and it is incredibly difficult for anyone to get a job, the last thing you want is a huge amount of debt hanging over your head.
#3 Reduce Expenses
For decades, most Americans have been living far beyond their means. In the future, times are going to be really tough and we are all going to have to learn to tighten our belts. Do you and your family waste money right now? If you can eliminate that, you can live on a smaller income and you will have more money to invest in the things that are really going to matter.
#4 Purchase Land
Real estate is still priced too high in most areas of the United States, but the truth is that you don't want to wait forever to get your hands on a piece of land. If a "financial apocalypse" does happen, you don't want to be stuck in a big city with no place to go. You always want to have somewhere that you can "bug out" to. The U.S. real estate market is continuing to struggle right now, so hopefully prices will come down even more and there will be some really great deals available over the next couple of years.
#5 Learn To Grow Food
Another reason why you want to purchase some land is so that you will have somewhere to grow food if you need to. 100 years ago almost all Americans knew how to grow their own food, and most of them also knew how to raise farm animals. Today, relatively few Americans have those skills. A great way to begin is by starting your own "survival garden". If you are not already doing this, then why not start this upcoming year?
#6 Find A Reliable Source Of Water
Water is going to become a very, very valuable resource in the years to come. It will be absolutely key for you and your family to have a dependable source of clean drinking water. If you do not have water you will not be able to survive for long. In the event of an economic meltdown, basic services such as power and water may not be there. So be certain that you and your family have an alternate source of water to depend upon.
#7 Explore Alternative Energy Sources
This point is similar to the one above. Do you think that if a financial apocalypse happens that you will always be able to depend on the power company? The truth is that there is a good reason why so many Americans have been trying to go "off the grid". Without power, life gets really difficult very quickly. But if you are generating your own power then you won't have to worry about that.
#8 Store Supplies
In the event of a major disaster or emergency, store shelves are going to empty really fast. If supplies are disrupted on a permanent basis, you may have to get by on what you already have in your home. So do you and your family have enough warm clothes, personal hygiene products and medical supplies to last for an extended period of time? Hopefully your local stores will always be able to supply what you need, but we need to prepare as if that is not guaranteed.
#9 Protect Your Assets With Gold And Silver
The way that the Federal Reserve is abusing the U.S. dollar, it is only a matter of time before rampant inflation sets in. Even now, the U.S. dollar has already been seriously declining and precious metals like gold and silver have been shooting into the stratosphere. In the future, your paper money may not buy much for you at all, but if you have some gold or silver coins you can always exchange them for the things that you are going to need.
#10 Learn Self-Defense
Did you see what happened at stores from coast to coast this past Black Friday? Americans were literally trampling one another just to get their hands on some cheap foreign-made plastic crap. So what do you think is going to happen once these people have been without food for two or three days? Now is the time to think about how you will defend your home and your family from crazed looters. It is not a fun thing to think about, but unfortunately we are heading for times that will not always be pretty.
#11 Keep Yourself Fit
As Americans, we live such "cushy" lives. But when times get hard things will not be so cushy. In fact, the years ahead are likely to demand quite a bit of physical activity. So keep yourself in good physical condition right now. In the future you will be very glad that you did.
#12 Make Friends
It is really, really hard to "survive" by yourself. Those who will thrive the most in the future are those who will have a community that they can depend on. Americans are always at their best when they work together. Don't be afraid to reach out to your family and friends. In the times ahead the world will be a very cold place, and a little love and compassion will go a long way.
FLEE Babylon - The Steps To an Expat Life – MUST READ - Sun 28 Jun 2015, 12:55 pm
[size=23]FLEE Babylon - The Steps To an Expat Life – MUST READ[/size]
Gay Marriage has officially passed and will be recognized in all 50 states. I honestly beleive that this will be the last straw and that we will see God's Judgment upon our nation because of this very bad decision.
The repercussions of this decision will ripple throughout our nation. This decision has basically gutted the first amendment and the freedom to practice and live a religious life of one's own choosing.
With the freedom of religion gone, so goes freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of opinion, freedom of press, freedom of expression and many other freedoms.
Already we are getting emails from Christians who are reading the writing on the wall and wish to Flee America (Babylon).
Scripture says ...
Jeremiah 51:6 Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence.
Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
Trouble WILL Come to Your ChurchIn reading scripture we learn that one of God’s principles stated in His Word is that judgment begins in the house of God, i.e., the church. (I Peter 4:17)
Prophecies that tell us that shame will cover the faces of God’s people because “strangers” will come into God’s sanctuaries (Jeremiah 51:51), before its ultimate destruction.
In other nations, pastors have been charged with hate crimes because they preached sermons based on the Biblical view of traditional marriage.
A pastor in Sweden was convicted, though an appeals court said a European higher court might overturn his conviction, but the Court let stand on the record his conviction of a hate crime. Just for preaching the Bible.
Don’t be at all surprised if your pastor is arrested if he preaches the Word of God, when supporters of same sex marriage don’t like his words and seek his arrest. The pastor who was to give a prayer at the Inauguration was removed from the agenda when it was revealed that he had given a Bible-based sermon on this issue, twenty years ago. The pastor who replaced him asked for God’s blessing so “we can see that we are created in your image….whether gay or straight”.
Because of this newly passed law, we WILL see increasing persecution not only of pastors, but of their church members who support their "non PC" message.
Remember the President said, “name calling” cannot be treated as “reasoned debate”. Why does God warn us that “strangers” will be entering our sanctuaries? God allowed His Jewish people to be arrested, incarcerated and many killed in Europe in the last century.
Do we, as Christians, have a higher standing with God than the Jewish people? How could we make such a claim? When Christians are killed every day in various parts of the world, how can we truly believe that it can’t happen here in America? Revelation 17:6 tells us that in the end times the nation that is Mystery Babylon will witness the shedding of the blood of the saints. Flee!!
FLEE Babylon - The Steps To an Expat LifeLearning about what it is like to be an Expat is daunting. Believe me we know. There are TONS of places on the internet that tell you this and tell you that. Some of it is true, a lot, well is just showing the “sugar coated” country.
Folks, we have seen many people head back to the US with their dreams dashed and I know of at least 5 couples in the last 60 days who bailed. A few of these couples we tried to help and gave them warning, but they did not want to listen.
All these people who could not hang; they did things the “Lone Ranger” way and that is the last thing you want to do. To be a successful expat you need to have a safety network for your first year living outside the country.
You will have questions like…
- Where do I pay my bills?
- What is the best place to shop for groceries?
- How do I get phone, electric and water service?
- What is the best pizza in town?
- Who is the best doctor, dentist or veterinarian?
And the list goes on…
Every country that Tracye and I have visited and relocated to, we have always hired an expat consultant to show us around, introduce us to the right people, and take us to great places.
Over the years we have learned some real insight into being a true expat and we have successfully helped folks ourselves.
Here is what Dave & Carol said…
Ray and Tracye were great hosts. The day we arrived they met us at the B&B and we went for a late lunch. Mar y Tierra was a great everyday restaurant that served wonderful “tico” food and the ceviche is to die for. We got to sit and get to know the Gano’s and they answered all kinds of questions. Ray even gave us some quick “survival Spanish” lessons which I still remember, K S S O, see Ray, still remember
We are excited about them moving to Panama, we want to come back down for another visit to look at the Boquete area.
Ray & Tracye are very knowledgeable about a lot of topics. Ray has a Bible Prophecy & Survival website (http://www.prophezine.com) that has some great information. We now understand why they are here and their mission that God called them to here in Central America. They are good solid Christians and want to help other Christians who see the need to get out of the US.
We now have some good people we call friends in Central America and we know that they are there for us.
David & Carol M – Independence, MO
Now that we are in Panama, we want to expand on what we were doing in Costa Rica. We want to help people who are feeling the need to get out of the US, and try to make that decision and process as smooth as possible.
Costa Rica is great, but the country is restrictive in who they allow to immigrate. They basically want retirees and they have set up a great immigration plan to help folks in that category.
Tracye and I are not in the category and will not be for some time. This is why Panama is so attractive because Panama wants people like us who are income earners and will come live and spend our money as well as create new jobs and businesses for the country of Panama.
Tracye and I are living the life that so many people just dream of. Here is the secret; YOU can live that dream too if you have that adventurous spirit and willing to take that step of faith. If you are reading this, you have that adventurous spirit. All you have to do now is take that step in faith.
Our Advised StepsWhat we have learned in our travels and adventures is that there are steps to take in becoming an Expat. You just don’t pack it all up and jump on a plane to your designated country and hope it all works out. That is a recipe for disaster.
We have put together a proven set of steps that will put as many of the odds in your favor so that you can learn what it is like being an expat, what to expect, how, and where you can live.
Step 1 – Hire an Expat ConsultantWe did the same thing 7+ years ago when we hired an Expat consultant and it was money well spent. Based on our experience and the experience talking to other expats, those who make it, get a consultant to help them.
That is what Tracye and I want to be your consultant , to help answer questions and clear up some of the grey areas in this life changing process.
Step 2 – Ask questionsIN FACT, ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS. Ask a whole month’s worth of unlimited questions. We charge $50.00 for the entire month and we will answer as many questions as you want to send us. We do ask that you give us some time and we will get back to you within 48-72 hours. But a lot of times we get back almost that same day.
If spending time writing emails is not your thing, we can help with our phone consultations. We charge $50.00 an hour with a two hour minimum. I have done these sessions in the past and what I do is record the session and send it to you in an unedited MP3 format. Believed me, I will be throwing a LOT of information at you to the point that your brain becomes pretty worn out; you will be glad that you have this MP3 to listen to again and again.
Again we did the same thing and we found that once we moved, we were WAY MORE informed than other expats who just did it the “Lone Ranger” style trying to get information on their own via Facebook or forums. The problem with that is you ask 20 people, you get 20 answers.
Step 3 Plan A Recon Visit
There is nothing like feet on the ground for you to get the full idea if being an Expat is for you or not. It is easy to watch all the You Tube videos, read all the guide books and get the stars in your eyes. We got that way with Jamaica when we were considering there as a place to expat. Boy, were we in for a HUGE surprise. Yes it is beautiful, yes the people are on the nice side, but step off the beaten path and you are asking for nothing but trouble. We learned that one first hand when we were almost ambushed by a bunch of men. If it wasn’t for this gal selling bracelets kind of stepping in, who knew what would have transpired. She helped us get out of there in one piece.
We were being “Lone Rangers” and we almost paid a high price for it too.
So, if you are interested in living an expat life, the best person to give you the skinny is another expat.
There is a lot to see and a lot of friends we can introduce you to, so you can get a true grasp of what it is like to live here in Panama. This will also give you a chance to talk to other expats and ask them questions too.
Step 4 – Trial Run Living HereIt is a good idea to do a trial run and spend about 30 days – 90 days living here. You will get a good feel of what it is like living as an expat, the goods, the bads and the uglies too. This is something that a lot of folks skip on if they have made multiple recon trips. In both cases you will get a good feel and something we recommend you doing. Again, your key issue of being an expat is remaining to be an expat. If you skip some of the things we advise, you are putting yourself at risk to returning to the US within a year. We have seen it happen to many couples and most of those did not listen to us when we have had their ear. The sad thing is that they blame the country for their horrible time when they should have better educated themselves and also listened to advise given.
Step 5 – Residency Trip #1
So, you have come down for a recon or two or spent some time down here and you love it. If you have spent time here, we have probably already introduced you to our recommended attorney, real estate person, and other important connections that you will need to know. Living as an expat is all about networking and staying abreast of the ever changing information.
If we have not introduced you around yet, this is the trip that you need to do. We can help you open a bank account, introduce you to our immigration attorney, our GREAT real estate person and just about anything else you need to start getting your feet on the ground.
If you are coming down for residency, you will also need to have your paperwork in order and believe me there is a lot. Wedding certificate, passports, driver’s license, back ground checks. Oh, bringing pets? There is paperwork for that too. You are kind of paper worked to death and if you do not have it in order and proper dates adhered to, you will be having a very bad day.
We have put together a document that tells you what paper work you need to get first, second, third so that all your dates correspond. For example, your background check is only good for 6 months, where your pet paperwork is only good for 10 days if traveling by air, 30 if by land; lots of logistics.
Once you arrive, we can pick you up or help you rent a car. Get you to your hotel and then introduce you around and help you open a bank account.
We will hold your hand as much as you want, or just be there as a safety net if you need questions answered.
Once you have submitted the residency paperwork you will eventually have to travel to Panama City where our attorney will meet you and guide you through the process there. This time frame is up to you and the attorney, but we are putting you in very trusted hands. They are the ones who helped us.
Step 6 – Find A Home & Get Stuff Turned OnSo you want to make the jump but where are you jumping to? We have a great Real Estate agent that is the best in town. He can help you find the home, furnished or not furnished and keep within your price range.
Here is our home and the view from our back yard…
A lot of the homes already have the electric and other utilities turned on, you just have to get things put into your name. This can be a hassle at times, but we can also help you with that.
Step 7 – The Move DownWell you stepping out in faith and taking the plunge? So who do you hire to move your stuff? How much stuff do you need or want to bring? Is it worth shipping your car or should you buy one here? There are a ton of questions that need to be asked and first and foremost finding a good mover that will get you from there to here. Again, we are here to help advise you as to movers, times of the year, idea for cost, what you should and should not bring, etc.
For us, we sold a LOT of our stuff. You may want to take advantage of de-cluttering your life and weed out stuff that you just never use or will ever us again.
For example, all that leather furniture, not a good thing to bring down to the tropics. Why? Leather attracts mold and it will get moldy in several weeks. You can bring it with you if you love babysitting leather furniture and keeping it treated, or you can sell it and buy furniture down here that is built to withstand the tropical environment.
The great thing about selling a lot of your stuff is that it will help pay for your shipping container and possibly instead of a 40 foot, you only use a 20 foot. That is money saved and plus selling all our stuff, helped pay for our own shipping container.
There are ways to get your house hold items down here for about $2000 - $3000 for a 40 foot container. Contact me and I can give you more info.
Step 8 – Getting To Know Your NeighborsThis is one of those things that you really need to do. See, this is one area that will send you back to the faster than molasses in January, that being not getting to know people and integrating yourself into the expat community.
Listen, you want to be a lone hermit, you could have done that in the US.
Let us introduce you around or maybe even let us host a welcome dinner with a number of friends that are good to know in town.
All in all, Tracye and I are here to help. We know what it is like and we have “been there, done that, got the T-shirt” to prove it.
We have a lot of services we can offer. One great place to start is our free newsletter. We send out information pretty regularly and if there is a special article the crosses my desk, I send those out right away. So make sure you subscribe.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and please contact us if you have any questions.
Ray & Tracye Gano
Expats & Adventurers
VISIT OUR EXPAT WEBSITE
Unpacking Central America - http://unpackingcentralamerica.com
Storage Life of Dry Foods - Sun 21 Jun 2015, 5:21 pm
In Consultation with Stephen Portela
Jump within page to:
- Four Factors That Effect Food Storage
- Moisture Content
- Container Atmosphere
- Storage Container
Four Factors that effect food storage:
Factor #1: The Temperature:
Temperature has more to do with how long well dried foods store than anything else. The USDA states, "Each 5.6 C. (10.08F) drop in temperature doubles the storage life of the seeds." Obviously, there is a limit as to how far this statement can be taken. However I expect it basically holds true from room temperature down to freezing. No doubt, the inverse could also be considered true. "Each 5.6C. (10.08F) rise in temperature halves the storage life of seeds." This theory holds true for non-garden seeds as well.
Depending on Temperature
Temp in degrees F In Years
39.76 - - - 40
49.84 - - - 30
59.92 - - - 20
70.00 - - - 10
80.08 - - - 5
90.16 - - - 2.5
100.24 - - 1.25
Note: the above chart is not for a specific food but shows the relationship between temperature and storage life.
Lets look at a couple of real life examples of good and poor food storage practices:
About a year ago we got an unopened paper bag of white flour which had been stored at 70 degrees F, in a dry climate. It had been sitting for 3 years in a closet. It made fine looking bread but had such an 'old' and bad flavor that it was difficult to eat. For another example, a couple of years ago in the Puget Sound area we were given a 4 gallon can of wheat that had been stored up high in a garage for about 30 years. This part of the country is not as hot as some places, yet in the summers the average garage still gets up into the 90's. Even though wheat will store for 30+ years under good conditions, the bread from this particular wheat was very bad tasting and after a few batches we ended up throwing the wheat away (something I always dislike doing).
Counter these stories with several examples told by Mr. Stephen Portela, Walton Feed's manager: He stores his long term food storage in his basement where the temperature hovers around 60 degrees F. The experts give brown rice a 6 month storage life because of all the oils in it that go rancid. Yet, Mr. Portela has been eating from a supply of brown rice that has been in his basement over 10 years. It is still wholesome! In another example, there is a family living near him who purchased a supply of food in #10 cans 30 years ago. Their basement hovers around 58 degrees F. After 28 years, Mr. Portela took a sample of many of these items to the Benson Institute at BYU to have it tested. The results can be seen at the bottom of Mr. Portela's welcome page. You will see everything tested had a 'good' to 'satisfactory' rating except for the eggs which had a 'minimum passing' rating. After 28 years I think it is most interesting that it passed at all. Mr. Portela tells me as 30 years have now passed, their storage is still in very good condition.
The bottom line is even with the very best packaging methods, if you are planning on storing your food in a warm environment, it will only last a fraction of the time it would last if stored in a cool, dry place. You can expect good storage life if your storage temperature is at 60 degrees F or below. Optimum storage temperature is at 40 degrees F or less. It is important you also find a place where the temperature remains constant. Frequent temperature changes shorten storage life. If you don't have a cool place for your food storage, plan on rotating your storage quickly enough to prevent food loss. See ourunderground storage area pages for ideas.
Factor #2: Product moisture content:
By looking at the USDA nutritional tables, dry beans, grains, and flours contain an average of 10% moisture. Although it is very difficult and unnecessary to remove all moisture from dry foods, it is imperative that any food be stored as dry as possible. Foods with excess moisture can spoil right in their containers. This is an important consideration when packing food with dry ice as moisture condenses and freezes on the outer surface of the dry ice. For long term storage, grains should have a moisture content of 10% or less. It is difficult to accurately measure this without special equipment. See the misc.survivalism faqsfor a quick and easy way of getting a rough estimate of the water content in your foods. It is also important to know that you can not dehydrate foods at home that reach these levels. Food that is dried to a moisture level of 10% moisture crisply snap when bent. Those of you who dehydrate foods at home know dehydrated foods from your dehydrator are quite pliable when bent, especially fruits. These will not store well long term.
Factor #3: Atmosphere the product is stored in:
Foods packed in air don't store as well as in oxygen free gasses. This is because air contains oxygen which oxidizes many of the compounds in food. Bacteria, one of several agents which make food go rancid also needs oxygen to grow. Food storage companies have a couple of different processes for removing the oxygen:
- Displacing the oxygen: This is done by purging out all the air in the product with an inert gas. Nitrogen is almost always used because it is the most inert gas known. People doing their own packing occasionally use dry ice which gives off carbon dioxide gas, and probably works just about as well.
- Absorb the oxygen: Oxygen absorber packets do just that. Air contains about 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen, leaving about 1% for the other gasses. If the oxygen is absorbed, what remains is 99% pure nitrogen in a partial vacuum.
If oxygen absorber packets are used, care must be taken to use a storage container that can stand some vacuum. If it's not air tight, air will be sucked into your container as the oxygen is absorbed, reintroducing more oxygen that must be absorbed. Before long, the oxygen absorbers will have absorbed all the oxygen they can. Obviously, your product won't be oxygen free under these circumstances.
Seeds store better in nitrogen. On the other hand, seeds you plan on sprouting, such as garden seed, or seeds set aside for growing your own sprouts store better in air. For this reason Walton cans their garden seed packs in air.
Oxygen absorbers also contain a minute amount of moisture to activate the absorber. Sometimes, with the heat generated by the absorber, they can cause sweating if you use glass bottles or tupperware type containers. Factor #4: The container the product is stored in:
To get the best storage life out of your product it must have a hermetic (air tight) seal. Containers that do this well are:
- #10 Cans (Use only cans that are enamel lined, otherwise your food flavor will be tainted by the steel it comes in contact with. An enamel lined can also prevents the inside of the can from rusting.)
- Sealable food storage buckets
- Sealable food quality metal (lined) or plastic drums.
Whatever container you use, be sure it is food grade as your product can be tainted with whatever the container is made from. Plastic sacks are not good air tight containers, for even if they are sealed, the relatively thin plastic 'breathes,' allowing air to pass through. Paper sacks are of course even worse.
There is some concern as to how good a seal is made by the lids on plastic buckets used by food storage companies. Manufacturer studies show an extremely small amount of air transfer. This amount is so small, however, that it can be considered a hermetic seal. It has also been found that the lids can be re-used several times without dramatically degrading the performance of the seal.
People who purchase products from food storage providers are often concerned about receiving their buckets bulging or with one side collapsed in. Collapsed buckets occasionally occur when ordering from Walton's as the elevation of their packing facility is above 6,000 feet. As the buckets are shipped to a lower elevation, the increased ambient air pressure can sometimes push in one side. If a side is popped in, it is a great indication that the bucket is indeed sealed. And this also holds true for buckets that might be under a slight amount of pressure. If either condition concerns you, crack the lid to equalize the air pressure. You can do this without seriously degrading the storageability of the product within the bucket. Remember to re-seal the lid after doing this.
Bulging cans: Some bulging cans have been returned to Waltons. In almost every case, these cans held mixes that contained baking powder or soda. It is believed that occasionally the extremely small amount of moisture found in the product interacts over time with the baking powder or soda and creates a small amount of carbon dioxide gas. Oxyten absorbers can also react with the baking powder causing the cans to buldge. These cans have been sent off for bacteria analysis and and in each case came back negative.
The Soft Grains
|Soft Grains have softer outer shells which don't |
protect the seed interior as well as hard shelled seeds
and therefore won't store as long. Hermetically sealed
in the absence of oxygen, plan on a storage life of
8 years at a stable temperature of 70 degrees F. They
should keep proportionately longer if stored at cooler
The Hard Grains
Hard red wheat
Hard white wheat
Special bake wheat
|The Hard Grains all store well because of their hard |
outer shell which is nature's near perfect container.
Remove that container and the contents rapidly
deteriorate. Wheat, probably nature's longest storing
seed, has been known to be edible after scores of years
when stored in a cool dry place. As a general rule for
hard grains, hermetically sealed in the absence of
oxygen, plan on a storage life of 15-20 years at a
stable temperature of 70 degrees F. They should keep
proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures.
Black Turtle Beans
Small Red Beans
|As beans age they lose their oils, resist water |
absorbtion and won't swell. Worst case, they must
be ground to be used. Storing beans in nitrogen
helps prolong the loss of these oils as does cool
temperatures. Hermetically sealed in the absence
of oxygen, plan on a storage life of 8-10 years at
a stable temperature of 70 degrees F. They should keep
proportionately longer if stored 10-20 degree F cooler
|Dehydrated vegetables store well if hermetically sealed in the absence of oxygen. Plan on a storage life of 8-10 years at a stable temperature of 70 degrees F. They should keep proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures.|
Dehydrated Dairy Products
|Dehydrated Dairy Products generally store very well if stored dry in hermetically sealed containers with the oxygen removed. Plan on a storage life of 5 to 10 years if stored at a stable temperature of 70 degrees F. They should keep, probably 5 years longer, if stored at cooler temperatures.|
One exception is Morning Moo. As a new whey based product, it hasn't been tested for long term storage. Plan on rotating this product after 5 years.
Our dairy powders (excluding our sour cream powder) contain no fat, an agent that markedly decreases the storage life of dairy products.
Flours and Other Products
Made From Cracked/ground Seed
|All Purpose Flour|
Whole Wheat Flour
|After seeds are broken open their outer shells can no |
longer protect the seed contents and seed nutrients
start to degrade. Don't try to store unprotected
flours longer than a year. Hermetically sealed in the
absence of oxygen, plan on a storage life of 5 years at
a stable temperature of 70 degrees F. They should keep
proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures.
Note: Granola is not a long storing food because of the nuts. They contain high concentrations of oil which go rancid over the short term. Expect granola to last about 6-9 months.
|Pasta will store longer than flour if kept dry. Hermetically sealed in the absence of oxygen, plan on a storage life of 10 - 15 years at a stable temperature of 70 degrees F. Pasta should keep proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures.|
|Fruit doesn't keep as well as many dehydrated items. Hermetically sealed in the absence of oxygen, plan on a storage life of 10-15 years at a stable temperature of 70 degrees F. They should keep proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures.|
Honey, Salt and Sugar
|Honey, Salt and Sugar should keep indefinitely if stored free of moisture. Watch out for additives in the honey. It is possible to buy honey with water and sugar added. This honey generally doesn't crystallize like pure 100% honey does when stored for a long time. If there are additives, there is no saying how long it will last.|
Peanut Butter Powder
|Peanut Butter Powder will not store as long as wheat flour. Hermetically sealed in the absence of oxygen, plan on a storage life of 4-5 years at a stable temperature of 70 degrees F. It should keep proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures.|
Brown and White Rices
|Brown and white rices store very differently. Brown rice is only expected to store for 6 months under average conditions. This is because of the essential fatty acids in brown rice. These oils quickly go rancid as they oxidize. It will store much longer if refrigerated. White rice has the outer shell removed along with those fats. Because of this, white rice isn't nearly as good for you, but will store longer. Hermetically sealed in the absence of oxygen, plan on a storage life for white rice of 8-10 years at a stable temperature of 70 degrees F. It should keep proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures. Stored in the absence of oxygen, brown rice will last longer than if it was stored in air. Plan on 1 to 2 years. It is very important to store brown rice as cool as possible, for if you can get the temperature down another ten degrees, it will double the storage life again.|
or Sprouting Seed
|All viable seeds are hibernating tiny living plants that only need moisture and warmth to sprout. And much like a chick in an egg, all the nutrients this little life needs to spring into existence is contained within it's shell. Like boiling an egg, heating a seed will kill that little life within it. However, unlike an egg, a seed can withstand cold temperatures. As seeds usually remain edible after the life within it dies, we must use different criteria when determining sproutable seed storage life. And again the big deciding factor is temperature. Plan on a storage life of 2 to 3 years at a stable temperature of 70 degrees F. They should keep proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures. And remember, you want to store all of these seeds in air. Packed in nitrogen, the viability of some seeds will last longer than others. This is still to a large degree an unexplored science, and therefore we recommend you store all the seeds you plan on sprouting in air.|
Alfalfa is a unique seed as it actually germinates better if the seed is 2 or 3 years old. Most any sample of alfalfa contains 'hard' seed and 'soft' seed. Soft seed germinates within two days while hard seed germinates in about a week. The problem is, by the time the soft seed sprouts are ready to harvest, the hard seed may not have germinated yet. As storage time draws on, the hard seed turns into soft seed. Older seed germinates closer together. Stored in cool conditions, alfalfa seed should have a good percentage of germination up until it is 8 years old.
Total Vegetable Protein
|Total Vegetable Protein, made from soy beans, has an unusually long storage life. Hermetically sealed in the absence of oxygen, plan on a storage life of 15-20 years at a stable temperature of 70 degrees F. meat substitute should keep proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures.|
|Yeast, a living organism, has a relatively short storage life. Keep yeast in the original metal foil storage containers. If the seal remains intact, yeast should last 2 years at 70 degrees F. However it is strongly recommended that you refrigerate it, which should give you a storage life of 5 years. Frozen yeast should store for a long time.|
Tips & Advise (finally came accross them)! - Fri 17 Apr 2015, 9:09 pm
Tips and Advise!
Feb 20, 2012
This message contains blocked images.
These are tips and advice-check with professionals regarding tax and investments in your area. Not all may apply to your situation.
I posted this last year, and I just wanted to bring it forward again for people whom may have not seen this. For those that did, please bear with me..
Things to consider with your new found wealth. Some items you will use, others may not be for you. Do what you feel comfortable with, as I am just trying to help you round out your plan…
1) Do your due diligence, Choose your bank (s) carefully, and set up CDARS (Certificates of Deposit Account Registry Service) accounts and all accounts should be POD (Paid on Death) accounts.
For an added level of protection consider insuring your money with lloyd’s of London. Even most brokerage accounts are fully insured.
If you know someone who is wealthy, and I mean really wealthy, ask them. You can also check here [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] Set up your family’s trust(s).
3. A guide: Set aside 15%-20% of your new wealth for your “mad money” and use this amount for your flings into wealth. This is your payoff for your dreams and frustrations.
If you spend more than this on new homes, automobiles etc., you are on a well known pattern of blowing it all. Of course this will depend on how much you have invested and how much it RV’s for. This is “just a guide”
4. Invest the remaining 80% -85% [after taxes] in safe high paying interest insured CD's etc. Your in the big leagues now, banks will want your business. They have private bankers and high wealth options for investing. That have proven track record. Again, do your due diligence here…
And don’t forget, you can look out side the US for good rates, Panama is paying up to 7% on large CD'S. Dubai is paying up to 10% on the same amounts, Check Cyprus as they have been in the 10% bracket also. Pay the interest to a debit account, spend and live on the interest with a Debit card.
These monies can be split up in multicurrency account to help keep depreciating currencies from taking your earned monies. Depending on how much Dinar you have to cash in, there could be a lot of interest; to be almost as exorbitant as you like, living the life so to speak.
A 10M savings here or off shore could bring you interest of $700,000 to more than 1M a year in income. I am sure you could survive on that …lol Always do your due diligence and seek professional help to setting these up.
5. Get an unlisted telephone number. for your home, with caller ID. For a private home phone, use a company name or your Trust when setting up a new phone account, rather than your own.
6. Keep things low key and quiet as you don't want long lost friends and family members bothering you. Some will eventually find out, but you need time to put your plan into action.
7. Remember [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], everything you buy will be taxed yearly either in Real estate taxes, sales taxes and or personal property/ luxury taxes, and if you live in one of the States with State Income taxes, you will pay the State on all interest earned and not to mention on the principal amount when it is received initially.
Think about this statement.... Maybe move to a State that has the lesser of the applicable taxes or no state taxes at all. All States are creating new taxes daily to preserve their bloated Beauracracies under the guise of service.
Check with the professionals on this, but most states have guidelines on how long you must live there before you can take advantage of of the lower taxable income/ no state taxes.
8. Pay off ALL debt.
9. Fix everything that needs repair.
10. Upgrade your insurance; medical, personal/ life, home, auto and really consider getting umbrella insurance it’s cheap enough.
11. Stock up provisions, necessities, medical and survival items to get you and your family through any type of emergency. Get enough for 8-12 months. You will have the money. Hopefully you won’t need it, but you will be thankful if you/ family/ friends do...
12. Set aside enough liquid funds for you to survive for 8 months to 2 years. What ever you feel comfortable with.
13. When prices come down (which they will post-RV) Invest in precious metals (gold & silver). Do your due diligence here. Everybody has their own preferences, do what you feel comfortable with. Make sure you have access, but it is secured. Never tell anybody, except maybe your spouse how much you have and where it is kept. No exceptions…nuff said This is why I mention having two safes below item [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] One hidden, one obscure.
14. Attend seminars to learn to make money through GOOD investments, not schemes .
Learn about your investments, understand them, watch them like a hawk. As a good steward, it is your responsibility and no one else’s…
15. PAY YOUR TAXES!
16. Pay your tithe
17. Pick your friends judiciously.
18. Contribute to Charity on a fixed rate yearly; do not over contribute as they ( most of them ) spend money like drunken sailors as they contribute increasingly lower subsidies to the needy.
This should be done through your corporation/ trust for benefits and anonymity. This is another area that should be discussed and planned with your tax/ CPA professionals.
19. Change your lifestyle to a calmer existence; find peace and harmony with yourself. Find a compatible travel mate if you are single, travel the world into safe places and educate yourself to their way of life, as it helps you understand how they think, rationalize and perceive americans.
This promotes peace and harmony within you, while hopefully building perspective and insight. Do NOT flaunt your wealth, especially when your are out of country. You can very easily become a victim of crime not to mention a victim of abduction.
Consider getting a second citizen passport that will let you travel freely but not as an american citizen. Many law firms can help you with this. It not as expensive as you may think.
20. Someone will be "watching you" so you'll want to do the following:
Be very low key (non-descript) Lower your profile; do not flaunt your new wealth as the tort laws in this country allow Trial Attorneys to target you as a defendant. Trial or Tort lawyers are the only profession that never contribute to society but just create misery so they can take your rewards for your hard work.
There are some good books on becoming invisible, buy one and follow as much as you feel comfortable with. Your Trust will help you in these some of these areas. You will want to heed this advise when traveling outside of the united states, you can and will become a target. Do Not become a victim…
21. Think about personal/ family safety.
A) Open up a secure Email address.
B) Get a new cell phone number; cancel the old one. Get a cell phone with two sims cards, one number is for family and close friends, the other for business or ???
To add a further level of phone privacy, purchase a prepaid cell phone – such as those offered by Trac Fone through Blockbuster, WalMart, and Staples.
No name, address, credit check, etc. is required to set up an account, and you can buy phone cards for cash to add more time.
C) Get a P.O. Box. Receive all mail personally addressed to you at a nearby mail drop, such as Mail Boxes, Etc. (about $15 a month), or an Executive Office Service ($50 to $150 a month), or at the address of a friend who owns a nearby business (free).
Then use this address for your driver's license and car registration. Naturally, your car will also be registered in the name of your corporation/ trust.
D) Put a monitored security system in your house. Install high security locks. Medco and Mul-T locks they are pick, bump and drill resistant. Schlage Primus are good locks too. I believe these locks all have a patented key systems.
Only a locksmith can duplicate keys for you and only the people you list, can go in and get a copy done.
E) Install reflective film on your home windows.
F) Consider building a safe room.
G) Install two safes, one hidden and the other obscure.
H) Get training in self-defense / firearms.
I) Use PGP (or better) encryption on your computer and Email.
J) Don't trust anyone ... keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
K) Shred or burn important documents. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that it's 100% legal for snoops to rummage through your curbside trash and keep any papers they find.
So never throw any important papers in the trash without shredding them – including bank and credit-card statements, utility bills, letters from Social Security or other government agencies, information from your stock broker, etc.
At a minimum, use a cross-cut shredder ($100-$150) which reduces documents to confetti, rather than a less-expensive shredder that cuts paper into strips which can be pasted back together.
I will use a level 5 or 6 shredder, because I will have the money and security will be important to me. For ultra-sensitive documents, nothing beats burning them.
L) Isolate sensitive computer files from snoops. As we use our computers more and more to keep sensitive records and correspondence, it becomes more important to protect them from snoops.
The [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] threat to your sensitive files is your modem, fax, or DSL Internet connection – anything that electronically connects your computer to the outside world.
Thanks to cookies, e-mail wiretaps, and other techniques, when you're browsing the web or reading your e-mail, snoops at the other end can download files from your computer hard drive.
The only sure way to protect yourself is by keeping all sensitive information on a different computer (or at least a different hard drive with its own, separate operating system) than the computer you use for web browsing.
In other words, you use Computer [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] to browse the web and send e-mail; and you use Computer [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] for word processing, accounting, and storing important information. Computer [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] has no important files or sensitive information.
Computer [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] has no electronic connection to the outside world.
To minimize expenses, your two computers can share the same keyboard and monitor, by the addition of a network hub (about $100).
M) Keep your web browsing and e-mail private. Whenever you contact a company or organization on the Internet, the computer at the other end will often insert a "cookie" into your computer – enabling merchants and government agencies to keep track of your web browsing.
The information that can be collected about you in this way is absolutely mind-boggling and includes your name, address, phone number, detailed information on the type of computer you are using, your Social Security number, credit-card numbers, a list of your friends and business contacts, and much more.
To keep your web browsing private, use an anonymous connection service, such as Anonymizer ([You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]).
Another alternative is Hushmail, based in Anguilla, which offers a free e-mail service that allows you to encrypt e-mail using ultra-powerful 1024-bit encryption.
For further protection, encrypt your e-mail, using high-level, 1024-bit encryption software, such as Pretty Good Privacy (PGP). [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Zero Knowledge Systems (ZKS) offers software called "Freedom" which also uses 1024-bit encryption and which:
1) Allows you to use multi-pseudonyms that can't be traced to your real name
2) Prevents the receipt of Internet cookies
3) Provides multi-layers of encryption
N) Keep your medical records more private. Information in your medical files can be used to deny you insurance, jobs, and legal benefits. It could be even used by a government just slightly more authoritarian than the one we now have, to take away your children or commit you to a mental hospital.
Unfortunately, each time you see a doctor or check into a hospital or clinic, they will usually demand your Social Security Number, which in turn will be used to file and locate your medical records.
You can protect yourself from unwanted snooping by getting an alternative Medical photo ID from ID Network (IDN). No SSN is required, and medical records are kept in your own handwriting. $9.95. Call 1-888-329-3686 or 314-416-7411, [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
O) To keep your home address private, rent or buy your home in the name of an out-of-state corporation (Delaware and Nevada corporations (NOT LLC.) or trust are the best).
Also put your utilities in the name of the corporation/ trust, as well as your phone, and magazine and newspaper subscriptions. This is precisely what TV personalities, professional athletes, and film stars do to protect their privacy.
And it's not expensive. A Delaware corporation can be set up for as little as $150 and maintained for $50 a year! Trust will vary in cost (Just my two cents below)
22. Pray for guidance but please do not turn into zealot, as this can override your mindset to a point you will not recognize happiness when you see it.
Everything in moderation, be truly happy for you are blessed. Be a friendly person not someone who is critical of others lifestyles and their views on faith. Recognize everyone is born free and with their own opinion.
23. Make sure to personally change at least one persons life for the better, pay it forward… Personally, I will pick 5 people and change their lives forever….I am hoping they will do the same. Whether they do or don't, makes no never mind to me. I will know in my heart, and God sees everything. Maybe one by one, we will help to rebuild this great country again.
If you have faith the size of a mustard seed-Nothing shall be impossible onto you.