Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Reply: Oklahoma Tornado

           Anonymous said...
I respectfully disagree with your recommendation of a biometric safe. I had one, I also had a laptop with fingerprint identification. As a technician, any injury to my fingertips (frequent) would leave me 'locked out'.
Imagine now, the fury of a tornado bearing down on you, and you possibly have just moved glass, wood, whatever, and you have a couple of minor scrapes on your fingertips. You are well and truly screwed at that point!
A battery operated safe with four number coding is far superior, in my book.
Thanks for your blog, it truly is a welcome read everyday. fantastic source of information. Well done! 
Anonymous said...
I was in the path of both tornadoes on Sunday and Monday. Fortunately all I sustained was some hail damage.

One thing that is particularly useful is to listen to the police channels on radioreference.com. I keep those bookmarked on my smartphone and home machine, so I
can keep tabs on what is going on.
At while you can get internet connectivity.

I bugged out on Monday when it looked like I was going to be right in the path of the tornado. I did grab my portable TV, but it turned out to be almost useless because the local TV stations I could receive were all focused on the damage in Moore. I needed to know what was going on with the storm. It also turned out I could not get internet access where I went to so I could not get listen to radioreference.com. That problem is now fixed, as I bought a scanner today and also a bug out bag that will have everything I need for a quick evacuation.

For me, the past to days have been a good lesson in being better prepared.

  Anonymous said...
I was in the area of the tornado and I'm a regular reader of your blog, so I had to comment. A friendly neighbor came to offer space in her shelter for me and my children (4 and 2). I had not been watching TV because my kids were napping. I got my kids up, threw together the diaper bag, edc bag, and bug out bag and went across the street to go underground. The tornado didn't quite reach my area, but I'm glad I sheltered. It was good practice.

My edc bag was valuable. It had phone numbers of all of my family, a comb to fix my kids' soaking hair, mints to bribe the kids, keys, knife, etc. I didn't have to spend minutes looking for all my pocket stuff. My bug out bag, on the other hand, needs work. It was so heavy, and soaking wet, I thought my elderly neighbor was going to hurt himself as I handed it down the ladder. In the future, I will break it into two bags, with the heavier stuff like food spread out. Also, I'll work to make it more waterproof. I suspect that many disasters come with rain. Hopefully, the small lessons I learned are valuable.
Thanks folks for sharing your experiences!

Monday, May 27, 2013

10 Years of Kirchner Regime in Argentina

 Just wondering if you had seen this article and your opinion of it:


What do you think?
Is this just propaganda or can economic collapse from excessive
sovereign debt and hyperinflation be turned around in 10 years?
Do you think the US will recover in 10 years or less?

 Supporters of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner gather at Plaza de Mayo square in Buenos Aires on May 25, 2013. (AFP Photo / Juan Mabromata)

The guy from the Union drops by the shop and says “Everyone has to go to the president’s parade. Now ”. The bus is waiting outside, and as the last of the workers leaves, my sister-in-law closes the door of the family business. Another day lost.
What a lot of people may not know when watching these photos of the parades and political rallies in favor of Cristina Kirchner is that those attending may have other motives for assisting. Many may not even have a choice.
If you are recipient of a welfare program of some sort, you have to go if you expect to keep getting paid. Like in school, attendance will be checked. If you belong to one of the unions that is affiliated to the K government, you have to go too. You don’t have a choice, or is it that you don’t support the national and popular revolution…? 

It used to be that white collar workers were spared from being dragged like cattle to these demonstrations, but that’s changing too. Banks affiliated to the government, municipal workers, media agencies under the wing of the K government, anything directly or indirectly linked to the K regime or any of its social and political offsprings, they all have to go and show their loyalty to the “chief”, Cristina Kirchner.  True K militants are a minority, but while they may be there out of their own free will, their intentions are anything but idealist: Anyone joining the Kirchner political party, Front for Victory, or their youth organization known as “La Campora” do so knowing that they are joining an intricate network of corruption and crime. They know well what they are getting into and want part of the action, and who can blame them? 
After ten years of running Argentina like their own private company, the Kirchner family has amassed not only a fortune measured in billions, but also a network of followers, not only most governors and politicians, from judges to senators, but also actors, musicians, journalists and  entrepreneurs. Those that have been loyal have been rewarded with riches. Those opposed have been dealt with. And I mean dealt with as in dragging three business partners that weren’t playing along and putting a bullet into each of their heads (Sebastián Forza,Damián Ferrón,Leopoldo Bina. The ear of Ferrón was cut off and sent to another associate, who committed suicide 12 days later). 

For a seven or eight year old child, Kirchner rule has been all they’ve ever known, and those loyal have achieved success, getting the promotions denied to others, driving new cars and having plenty of cash. By the time they are out of school, joining the K ranks is an opportunity in a country where those don’t exactly abound.  

As Cristina Kirchner toys with changing the Argentine constitution for indefinite reelections, there’s not much hope in the horizon. The brainwashing and corruption of the young has already been achieved. Even if a new political party eventually raises, the K generation will still be there and it will be well over half a century until the younger ones start to die off. That’s a long time.
Either that, or a very bloody civil war. Those are the only choices left for a country ruined by the festering rot that took over Argentina after its economic collapse.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

My take on INCH bags (Im never coming home bag) BOB, GHB, GOOD bag and what not

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Oklahoma Tornado

This is why we do what we do people. This is why we prepare.

Unfortunately there’s only so much you can do, and while preparing does save lives nothing is 100% guaranteed. While some students took shelter in a nearby church, at least seven children died at Plaza Towers Elementary School. Given the short warning, sheltering in place was the only option they had left.

Check the photos to see the level of destruction in the before and after images.
The tornado hit fast and 15 minutes is barely enough to find shelter or evacuate to a safe distance. Some people had underground storm shelters and that saved their lives. Others moved a few miles away from the path of the tornado.  The general recommendation is to find an underground shelter or cellar, or move to the interior rooms at the lowest level of the building away from doors and windows. Having said that, the tornado completely leveled entire blocks of houses and no person staying inside would have survive using the wood frame structures alone for shelter. With an EF-5 tornado ripping everything around you apart, if you have a shelter you survive, if you don’t you die. It’s that simple.

In tornado prone areas it is crucial to prepare accordingly. Its only because the people in the area are experienced when it comes to tornadoes that there weren’t even more deaths.
Some thoughts that come to mind:

*Have a shelter or identify the nearest one to you. 
*Have a NOAA weather emergency radio so as to receive warning and receive updates on the situation, path of the tornado, etc. 
*Have a Bug Out Bag ready to go, and keep your passports, birth certificates, titles, emergency cash and other important documents all together in a small travel bag, satchel or fanny pact, something compact that you’ll probably want to leave in a safe. If there’s only one thing you can grab before leaving this will probably be it. Why not keep it together with your BOB? Maybe you don’t have time, maybe you are injured or are carrying a kid and cant deal with a bigger bag. Again folks, 15 minutes to escape is hardly enough time.

*You want a safe which you can access fast under stress. A biometric (fingerprint) safe would be a good idea. Mounting them on the floor means there’s more of a chance for it to remain there even if the house is completely destroyed. Floor safes are more secure and easier to conceal anyway.

*Its not a bad idea to add the GPS waypoint of your house. Rescue personnel both in Oklahoma and the tsunami in Chile and Japan have the exact same thing to say: There’s no streets, no landmarks or buildings anymore, so its very hard to tell where a house used to stand. This isn’t just about finding your floor safe in case you didn’t have enough time to grab it before evacuating, but also about finding people that may be buried in a shelter under the debris. 

*If possible, work and live as close as possible from your kid’s school so as to get to them fast during an emergency. I can get to my kids school in ten minutes, probably five if I speed a little. While you can’t plan for everything, being able to get to them fast during an emergency sure helps.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Why carry and EDC bag? Who needs a Bug out Bag?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Venezuela Is Running out of Toilet Paper and other Supplies

So besides butter, milk and cornmeal, Venezuela is also running out of toilet paper among other basic everyday life staples.  Like food, soap and general toiletries, TP is something that you’re going to use anyway so it’s a good idea to have plenty if you’ve got the room for it.

How did this happen you ask? Well, when commie authoritarian governments take over, these kind of problems are unavoidable. Like the government did in Argentina, the Chavista government decided to fight inflation by controlling and freezing prices. If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail. It’s the same way with dictators and authoritarian governments, they think they can force things to be the way they want and completely deny the root causes that provoked the events in the first place.  What do importers and distributors do when dealing with mandatory minimum prices? They stop selling, producing and importing until the prices reflect the reality of inflation once again.

So, two things to keep in mind here people. First, have enough supplies for a few months. When you use up half of it, rotate and restock. Food, yes, but also cleaning and personal hygiene supplies and other toiletries.  Second, communism doesn’t work. Never has, never will. If you ever hear even a hint of prices being forced or controlled in any way, expect trouble and empty shelves soon.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Spy Gear: EDC of the CIA Agent caught in Russia

1) Following news reports has some photos showing the
EDC kit of a CIA officer arrested in Moscow today:
2) Has some items like yours.   I can’t make out the black rod
attached to his keyring — looks like a Kubotan:
3) Note that the arrested officer is wearing the same type of checked/plaid shirt
as was worn by Raymond Davis –the CIA officer who shot the two motorcyclists
in Pakistan over a year ago.   I suspect that pattern is used to obscure
the print of items carried concealed under it.    However, it can become a
handicapping signature if someone notices that use.
4) Note that translation of the note to the spy being recruited has some
interesting advice on how to do clandestine communications internationally.
What is very strange  is that the CIA note did not include a one time key pad (OTP) for
encryption along with instructions.   Von Neumann supposedly proved that the
OTP is unbreakable,  even by the strongest computers, and OTP has been used
by both the CIA and Russia.
Normally, I would think Russian monitors can see the texts of gmail crossing
their border,even if they can’t pinpoint /identify the source.
Nor did the CIA note specify frequencies/times of a shortwave
numbers station for the agent to monitor for more secure , encrypted contact
instructions.  Nor are dead drop locations specified.
The English translation of the CIA note (which was written in Russian) supposedly
was supplied by Russia Today news.  Maybe RT left out the good stuff.   They did leave
the CIA gmail address in, so I expect the CIA will shortly be getting a lot of email
explaining how it can enlarge its penis.
4) An alternative explanation is that Google is being naughty and has put an encrypted,
backdoor/tunnel into gmail for some customer accounts.   I’m speculating –
hackers would have a better idea of what’s possible.
Don Williams

Thanks Don for the heads up, interesting comments too.
It seems that the shirt is common among spies. Untucked shirts are better for concealing weapons or other items and I suppose it looks like normal casual wear for an American traveling on business on his day off.
Lets take a look at the items:
*150.000 Euros in 500 bills. Three straps in ziplock bags.  Man, that has to be the most useful piece of kit right there. Remember the video I did just a few days ago about 500 Euro notes.
*2 Wigs. Disguise.
*3 Sunglasses.  Disguise, or an obsession with ugly shades.
*Mini Maglite. Not a bad torch if it’s the LED model. It seems to have something on the head of the flashlight. Proably this Mini Maglite, with the anti roll device.
*Knife. It’s a black SOG Flash 2, half plain, half serrated edge. It’s a nice knife both for utility purposes and defense. The handle provides a good grip and enough of a finger guard to use safely for stabbing. The assisted opening system means its more dependable when opening under stress or reduced motor skills. The clip allows for deep pocket carry. All black model.
* Victorinox Classic. All around handy SAK.
*Keychain Kubotan. A simple rod of plastic or metal that can be used as a weapon.
*LED button light. Probably a red Photon II for night map reading.
*Cellphone. Looks like a rugged Samsung GT-B2710 which is quad band, impact resistant and waterproof model.
*Baseball cap.
*OC spray. A gun would have made more sense than carrying spray alone, but it still has a place.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Birdshot For Home Defense?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

“The Modern Survival Manual” Discount price and New Book on the Way!

 I’m happy to see that Amazon brought down the price of my book, “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” to $22.46 from the standard $24.95 price. It’s a decision made by Amazon alone so I don’t know how long it will last. If you’ve been thinking about buying it now would be the time to save some money. “The Modern Survival Manual” just reached the 200 review mark, most of them five starts out of five.

If you noticed me posting more randomly lately there’s a reason for that: I’ve been trying to wrap up my second book and make it available as soon as possible.  The title is “Bugging Out and Relocating”. Its about… well, bugging out and relocating. :-)
My first book was about surviving after an economic collapse, living with high crime, failing infrastructure and increasing government corruption. It covered a broad variety of topics that had never been addressed in a survival manual before like how to drive when there are higher carjacking risks, avoiding kidnaps and home invasions, dealing with ever increasing inflation, unemployment and sporadic civil unrest like looting and riots.  

My second book will cover what to do when you decide to escape all that, both bugging out locally due to a short or medium term emergency, or leaving for good, relocating or even bugging out abroad. It´s about the plans I had in case of having to leave in a hurry as well as the different countries I analyzed and considered. I explain what I was looking for, the criteria applied. In a way this second book is my homework. Like my first book, its what I learned through my own experience. Its not about “what I believe”, “predict” or “guess”, regarding bugging out and relocating, its what I planned and successfully executed in real life.
I’m trying to keep the book as short and to the point as possible. Given the epic (impossible would be a better word) proportion of trying to cover every country and every USA state in every detail, I instead chose to focus more on themethodology used, and only cover some of the key aspects of those locations, countries and USA states, which I consider suitable. This book will complement my first one nicely, covering that other side of preparedness: What do to when bugging in simply isn’t an option.

I still fight my natural tendency to derail and go along the tangent of this and that topic, but with a bit of luck “Bugging out and Relocating” will be available… soon. :-)


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Improvised Body Armor?

Greetings from Malaysia.
I have read your advice on body armor being useful in various situations. However, in this part of the world, the law prohibits body armor (ballistic vest) from being imported by civilians. Though there is no law against the possesion of body armor, it is impossible to deal with a local supplier as they only provide to defence, law enforcement and security entities.
The possesion of firearms is severely restricted in civilians. Normally, only those who hunt for a livelihood or require self-protection in remote plantations are issued with a licence.
Unfortunately, there were enough cases of criminal use of firearms e.g. robberies, though the majority of criminals use knives and parangs (the local version of a machete).
Would you have any suggestion for body armor besides a ballistic vest? Something that can be useful against blades. Of course, I would not want to wear it the whole time so it is only for those special situations which carry risk of bodily harm e.g. transactions involving large sums of cash.
Thank you
Hi Ken,
High levels of crime and restrictions to owning guns and armor sure is a bad combination!
I would suggest looking into the surplus market or second hand sales. Sometimes police officers or security guards sell their armor when quitting their jobs or going for another line of work.
Unfortunately armor isn’t that easy to improvise. Kevlar and other BP fabrics are very specific and you need a number of layers to provide ballistic and stab protection.

If you cant get body armor, you may be able to buy armor plate carriers and then have steel plates made to fit it. You need thick steel (+1/4 inch) and you should test it before trusting your life to it. Some synthetic resins are very hard and I believe 1 inch thick plates made of harder resins will stop most handgun calibers if not rifle rounds. Again, it’s a matter of experimenting. 

There’s not much you can do against attacks with machetes. Arms and head will be pretty vulnerable. While not as good as an actual stab proof vest you might want to look into getting a reinforced biker jacket. Some of the better ones are made for real protective materials, thick leather, Kevlar and hard plastic inserts. Again, this isn’t made for protection from knife attacks but it is tough material intended for skipping along the road at high speed after you fall. A good motorcycle jacket and a pair of cut resistant gloves might be a good combination. 

Remember people, the second amendment does NOT cover body armor. Its getting more and more restricted around the globe. Buy new if you can afford it, or look around on ebay for used one but do get it while you can.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Amateur Radio and Preparedness

Hey, FerFAL
About 6 months ago, I got my amateur radio operator license. Let me tell you, it's another good tool to have in your box when the SHTF. I find lots of benefits in getting it. I have a General, which gives me access to the High Frequency bands, besides the VHF and UHF (which the Technician class provides). So I can communicate locally with my community when disaster strikes and cell phones are nothing but paperweight, but also long range communication to see what's happening in some other part of the world. I've already done experiments with a battery and a solar panel simulating a power outage; it works fine. Imagine still being able to talk to your loved ones when the grid goes crapola in your area. The FCC exams in the USA are faily easy. Please take a look at this link, since it's from your current area.
Hope you get motivated so I can hear you over the airwaves. I know many fans would love to hear some survavalism rag-chewing in ham frequencies.

Hi Carlos,
It is indeed.For people interested in survival and emergency preparedness the Amateur Radio Emergency Service ARES is a good way to get involved and network. http://www.arrl.org/ares
For those of you that are Technicians, recent changes in rules gave Technicians some new HF privileges. http://www.hamuniverse.com/frequencyallocations.html 
Amateur radio is one of those skillsets that has several benefits beyond the obvious one of communications when more traditional methods are down:
*It allows you to link with people that probably share your same interests.
*It’s a good family activity as well, kids usually find it very interesting.
*It can be linked to other fields of knowledge (electricity, general home repairs)
I remember when I was little my old man had a HAM radio. It was the internet’s great granddaddy. I fondly remember the few occasions when we used it to talk with other people. I wish we had used it more back in the day.
Today, you have some pretty impressive rigs available. As this guy suggests, if you are serious about it and you want to get long range HF, better clarity, etc., its better to go for the more complete all band, all modes models. Something like Yaesu is known quality.

Yaesu FT-897D All-Mode HF thru UHF Transceiver AM-FM-CW-USB-LSB

Yaesu FT-857D Amateur Radio Transceiver - HF, VHF, UHF All-Mode 100W

Yaesu FT-450D 100 Watt , 6 thru 160M HF All-Mode Amateur Ham Radio Transceiver with Built-In Automatic Antenna Tuner & DSP Filtering!
These radios are pretty expensive but are not the same thing as much cheaper VHF, UHF and CB radios. These have a place as well, but the range you can cover with a CB is much shorter. Still, they usually make good additions for staying communicated while on vehicles while on the road: 
Midland 75-822 40 Channel CB-Way RadioTip on getting an antenna for next to nothing: Drive around town and when you see an antenna, don’t be shy about asking if they are interested in selling it. Sometimes people move into a house and don’t even know what the thing is there for and are happy to see that ugly antenna go, or even make a couple bucks out of it! Sometimes they simply lost interest. If they are still using it, well you just met another radio operator in your area. Win-win situation if there ever was one.