Archive for July, 2011


Hi all! Been away for a while dealing with one of the worst migraines I have had in over a decade…ugh…yuck…they are muscular from stress and lack of sleep and I finally broke down and went to the doctor and am on the mend now, thank goodness.

But as always, this was a learning experience for me…be prepared and don’t rely on one way to take care of yourself and family if TSHTF. Built in redundancy is another way to think about it…either food, medicine, self-defense measures, water or what have you.

Having one way is a good place to start when becoming prepared for what may come, but having a back-up just in case is even better and a ‘last resort’ is the best.

Food wise for me this means a good mix of can goods, MRE’s, freezed dried foods, dry goods and of course, keeping my frig full (not to mention keeping your refrigerator full saves you money because, as counter-intuitive as it may seem, it has to work less as food stays cold longer than air does). Under food I including cooking methods too…electric stove, wood stove, gas grill, gas camping cooker and eventually I want charcoal too and perhaps a solar cooker. And then don’t forget can openers (I have two in the house and 2 stashed away), plates (paper and/or extra regular dishes). Paper/plastic cups are good too.

Medicine– its no secret that I am a practicing herbalist so I have one aspect covered, but I do stock Tylenol, ibuprophen, aspirin, Excedrin, cough syrups (both OTC and herbal) and my own supply of needed pharmaceuticals. I also have a good stock of essential oils and homeopathics. But as I found out this past week, sometimes I will need other types of prescriptions and I am now on the march to find a few more common ones ‘just in case’ all else fails. I have what seems like a zillion and one bandages of all sorts and types, but you know, I have also stocked up on female sanitary pads too as part of ‘medical’…these make GREAT wound absorbers in a pinch.

Self-defense– While I don’t personally know karate or anything like that (though I am not afraid to use my hands if need be) I do have dogs, weapons of various sorts and have been thinking about adding pepper spray to my personal protection plans…but this area also covers escape routes and knowing them (do you know several ways out of your area if need be?) and what about where you frequently shop or go to work? How many ways do you know how to get home from there without using GPS? Knowing the roads around you is important. And what about home security which is ‘self-defense’ also? I can’t maintain OPSEC (operational security) and tell you what I have done personally, but suffice to say things are moving along nicely…some ideas for home security are nice rose bushes under your windows (or even the medicinal plant Oregon Graperoot, which is similar to Goldenseal in its uses), a home security alarm system, motion detector lights, nice tall wooden fences, a gate at the end of your driveway. If you have a large piece of land, barbwire all the way around your property at three different heights could slow someone or something down a bit, high tinsel wire fences that are electrified…the list goes on and on, but the point being is that you use more than one way to protect your home, some seen, some not seen.

Water– having more than one source or way to get water is important too…bottled water, both by the gallon and small drinking water bottles…ways to purify water, chemical, boiling, filtration, and where would you get it? Know at 3 places in your area if possible that you can get water. You can also collect rain water in most areas of the US (check first please, I know some places out west it is illegal to collect rain water). This is a just a basic start to building in redundancy into your preparedness plans, there are other aspects such as ‘money’ or things to barter with, jobs- have multiple sources of income is a good thing, computer files too (how many of you have lost files because your computer crashed? Well, having no electricity is about the samething, what are different ways you can access the information without your main computer? The Kindle accepts PDF files, thumb drives for small laptops, most smart phones take those micro-cards which you can put files onto…and as my recent health issue showed me, I need a few other ‘just in case’ things in case my original plan of taking care of myself doesn’t work.

Things have a way of not working out when you least expect it (which is part of SHFT) and knowing what to do just in case plan A doesn’t work out or runs out having plan B and C will make life easier and give you the breathing room you need…just in case and you never know…it just may save your life.

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It never ceases to amaze me how quickly money and life can change…seemingly because of random events (yeah no joke right? isn’t that why we prep?)

Usually, we only see the ‘bad’ changes , but this time, the change in fortune for me was a good one and I get pay all my bills with grace and ease this month (after holding my breath the past few days because until 10 am this morning, I didn’t even know where money for gas was coming from) and get to spend a little money on items my partner in life calls ‘survivalist stuff’ hahaha…(he didn’t know he ate dinner from that ‘stuff’ last night, joke on him!). But that is my life now that things are slowly hitting the fan…sometimes it feels like Chinese water torture!! And then suddenly…RELIEF!

But last night I was thinking (again, what’s new?)…If I am this close to the edge and things aren’t that bad yet…well, let’s just say we had a serious discussion last night to this effect and it has been agreed upon to step things up as much as possible and he is going back to finish his bachelor’s degree this fall and that would change things a bit around here…change happens… on the dime sometimes…but life is like that you know (like the power window on the car deciding to stop working at the half-way up position after being ‘possessed’ for time before that…don’t ask, you don’t want to know, let’s just say it did what it wanted randomly and at strange times). Often times it is just plain out of our control these changes that happen suddenly…the weather, the economy to a large extent, what others do or don’t do…but the thing about getting ready and being prepared for WHEN tshtf is to mitigate how far down the rabbit hole you go before hitting bottom or slowing the decent enough to give you time to adjust…and really, that is the hardest part about change that is suddenly thrust upon you, the adjustment to the change. My other half trys to see my ‘survivalist stuff’ through his lense…’its no different than what I used to do’ (he used to work Loss Prevention at the retail level). However, he still thinks a few things are great and still doesn’t get the BIG picture most of the time and thinks I am nuts but that is a whole ‘nuther story…

 Many times, when things happen suddenly it is considered a ‘loss’. We humans have this habit of kicking and screaming about it (change) before we get over it (and some never do) and get a grip. And I sometimes wonder how it is that in our culture, businesses plan for shtf, we get insurance for certain ‘knowns’ but we as people just can’t grasp the big picture many times…seems strange to me since business is run by people…reminds me an ostrich really.

I mean, Life is life, and shtf happens, people lose jobs, tornados hit, cars break down and shtf just happens all the time. Right now, a big snowball is coming in many different forms for all of us (if you care to pay attention) but you know, so are blessings and miracles and it is my firm belief that they happen all the time if we care to see them for what they are! We just take the good changes, miracles and blessings for granted too many times and do nothing for when life changes suddenly in a not so good way…almost as if to name it would make it happen. But either way, it will come, the good and the bad and my family was blessed this morning so, I am spending a bit of the found money we received this morning on a few preps (finally bought a small grinder (grin), had one for herbs but not for grains) and will added into the pantry a little more canned foods. I am going to be a good steward of the gift that landed in our laps for no good reason. It makes me feel better, just knowing that I could ‘do’ something this week and take this blessing and do right by it…it also buoys my faith that I have not been brought this far only to be dropped after a series of drop kicks this summer. It was really starting to hurt a bit I must say, but life is like that…change on a dime. I just share this with you to help you keep the faith…follow the guidance you get, you will not be misled and remember, life changes on a dime, for the good and the bad, faith pulls you through until the miracle. Remember not to take the miracle for granted.

Okay, I admit it, somedays I feel like chicken little, ‘the sky is falling, the sky is falling’, not that I am Chicken Little, but many around me make me FEEL this way, so hence, I feel like Chicken Little. There are just TOO MANY SIGNS to ignore and I wish that somehow I could just wave a magic wand and go back to being unaware and asleep. But I know better than to fall back asleep. To sleep, or ignore what I see would eventually mean that I would be ‘one of those’ caught in the chaos of the change…

Change is coming, without a doubt, it is coming, one way or another. It is a natural cycle of life and all things are cycles…what goes up, must come down…and surely this includes civilizations, money and life in general, but I have to add this too, what goes down will come back up. It is this thought that helps me get prepared for when the down happens so that I can be around when it goes back up. And IT WILL, perhaps not as I know it to be now, most likely not, but it will eventually ‘get better’ and a new ‘normal’ will be established after freefall. But it is tiring, feeling like Chicken Little all the time. Going around on ‘alert’ status all the time is not very conducive to my mental health which has a direct correlation to my physical health. But I know that I need to be aware of what is going on so that I am ready for ‘it’ in whatever form it may ‘come’ ‘in’. Getting a plan is supposed to HELP me feel better spiritually and mentally, it is not supposed to drag me under. But somedays it just overwhelms me…that the cycle is going down and there will be problems as society sorts itself out into something better, into a more sustainable way of being. So, with this in mind, I have thought about how I can stop feeling like Chicken Little and lower my stress/alert status and I hope you find something here that will help you too if you are feeling a bit SHTF fatigued.

1)      Get a Plan—yeah, yeah, yeah…I know, kinda redundant and makes you focus on the problem instead of shifting away from thinking about it, but I do know that when we start to get a plan and generate ideas that we feel more in control of the situation which in turn makes us feel better. Maybe you have a plan already but maybe it just time to do it instead of worrying.

2)      Write it down! It is one thing to ‘think about it’ but another entirely to put it into writing. But I do know this from helping others with ‘problems’ and in solution finding, that when we write down our plan of active it allows us to ‘dump’ it from the brain so its not just ‘something out there’ and thus ratting around in our brain all the time.

3)      Turn off the news for a bit…no brainer here…junk in junk out, fear in fear out, etc. While it is prudent to pay attention to what is going, a constant stream of ‘bad news’ stimulus is not exactly the making of a healthy attitude nor does it lower the stress, only increases

4)      Leave the bone alone! If you have a plan and are doing things to make sure your plan is in place for ‘when the sky falls’ down then drop it and leave it alone. If you are really committed to surviving it becomes a lifestyle and a lifestyle is something you ‘don’t think about’…so have you made it a lifestyle yet? It is easier of course to have the same lifestyles within the home so maybe its time to have that sitdown with your spouse or partner and other family members so that you can all get on the same page. A problem or burden shared is halved.

5)      Do what you can, when you can, where you can and if you can’t, put it on your list.

6)      Take time out to enjoy TODAY…the past is gone and woulda, coulda, shoulda are mean little monsters best not played with…the future is not yet here and isn’t promise nor set in stone…miracles do happen you know and more often than you think.

7)      Count your blessings and ‘be grateful for’ everyday…it is amazing what focusing on the ‘thank you’, ‘thank goodness’ and ‘I am grateful for’ can do for you. And by the way, writing these down in a journal helps alot.

8)      Learn TRUST…you haven’t been brought this far only to be drop kicked or punched in the face. Faithfulness and trusting in what you know to be true is a bedrock to feeling better in uncertain times.

9)      Lastly, do something each day that is NOT preparedness oriented. It can become an OCD this preparedness and prepping. Take a break each day, read something uplifting, take a nap, go swimming or meditate…something that takes the mind away if only for a few minutes.

 

Anyway, I hope this gives you some ‘plan’ on not feeling like Chicken Little yourself and becoming TEOTWAWKIt fatigued. It’s a long-term race my friends and no long-distance runner just runs flat out everyday…that would kill’em.

Take a mental health day or moment and relax, what will come will come without you worrying about it. Its all about Just For Today in the end isn’t it?

I grew up in a family where we kept months of basic food stuffs on hand and only went ‘shopping’ 2 or 3 times a year and yes, this included toilet paper, dog food and laundry detergent. My father was a Reservist and we didn’t have access to the commissary all the time, so we just ‘stocked’ up when he was ‘on’. At the time, I didn’t think anything about it, but my mother tells me that this was drilled into their heads by the military during the ‘60’s ‘just in case’… so it was natural for me to carry this behavior into my adult life, even when I was living on the edge as a young mother and wife in my early 20’s. You just kept food in the house beyond your immediate needs. You only went to the grocery store to get bread, milk and eggs twice a month. I was just what I did and I was very happy to have that mindset in me as I started my own businesses…I always had at least a month’s worth of food on hand and tried my best to have more, but never let it fall below that level…you never knew or know when or if ‘pay-day’ would come and you have to eat right? So I was quite comfortable with my food storage even though I wasn’t a prepper, it was just the prudent thing to do given the circumstances of my life. But over the past few years, and especially this year, it has really come to my attention that our way of life here in this country is in a very precarious position and looking at my ‘storage’ which seemed so smart to me just even a year ago, I now realize just how unprepared I am/was when it cames to food storage and even I must do something to ‘fix’ that to be prepared for more than what I am now.

For those needing help in getting started, I have made some suggestions below to get you started:

Getting Started:

First, check your mindset: If you are not running to the grocery store every other day then you are probably already ‘storing’ food! Perhaps only for a week at a time, or even for just a few days, but you can take that and turn it into a solid food storage mindset and easily start extending that time out of what you already do to ‘store’ food. Instead of 6 cans of green beans that week, get 8. Instead of just 1 package of rice, get two and so on and so forth. Start looking into bulk storage items such as ‘staple’ dry goods or cases of canned goods that you use regularly this if you can afford it. Sam’s Club and Costco are great places to buy in bulk (just be aware that sometimes they aren’t the cheapest).

However, if you don’t already keep more food in the house than is needed on any given day then you need to ask yourself why you don’t keep a bit of food beyond the cheese-its on hand.

Ask yourself this:

What would happen if a storm hit and you couldn’t get out? Being a part of the stampede at the market before a storm hits isn’t too smart is it? Long lines, not enough food available and can be dangerous in the wrong conditions.

What would happen if you lost your job? Having a bit of food on hand for this emergency can save you money and give you a peace of mind that is priceless.

What would happen if your sole source of transportation (car) broke down or you couldn’t get gas?

Next I want you to think about these things:

Remember Katrina? There were people who DID all the right things, had extra food, water, basic first aid and STILL had problems surviving after a week.

Look at what is and what did happen inJapanin the aftermath of the earthquake and resulting tsunami…the shelves CLEARED in less than 6 hours and this country was considered ‘prepared’.

Then look at the list below:

Natural Disasters
Terrorism
Labor Strike

Economic Depression/Collapse
Drought
Crop Failure
Personal Tragedy
Civil Unrest

Unemployment

Inflation/Hyperinflation

What would you do if any of this happened to YOU? Do you really want to be apart of the horde that descends upon the Walmart or local grocery store? Or have to ‘get in line’ just to eat? I don’t mean to be a fear monger, but these things DO happen and they happen almost everyday somewhere in the world. You buy auto insurance, medical insurance and all sorts of ‘insurance’…just think of storing extra food as ‘insurance’…after all, without food you can’t live! So next time you are out, just pick up an extra meal or two. Get in the HABIT. Its pretty easy once you get going.

Now that you are getting the mindset…

Get a plan!

With pen in hand and paper in front of you (or your keyboard)…figure out what it is that your family LIKES TO EAT on a regular basis. Fresh fruit and veggies? Heavy meat eaters? Rice and pastas? I am not referring to fast food or convenience foods (though they do have a place in your food storage plan), but what I am referring to is this: what does your family eat if you MAKE the food yourself?

Staple items such as cereal, milk, rice, beans (or not), pasta, vegetables and meat will make the ‘core’ of your food storage preparations and you need to know what they are…my family doesn’t do beans that much so I won’t be ‘stocking’ up too much on these, but we do eat meat, so I spend my money ensuring meat and the occasional beans.

If you don’t cook yourself and rely upon convenience foods, take out and such that is okay! There is a solution for you too! Just figure out what types of foods you like to order  or pick up to eat at home (or microwave at home).

Make the LIST of your most common foods, from this list will come all your food storage items. List the drinks, the bread (if your family does sandwiches or eats rolls), the types of veggies and fruits, diary products, etc. You want a list that would show your dietary habits.

After the ‘LIST’ is made you then need to sit down and make another list…this time I want you to write down all the condiments that you use daily and even occasionally…ketchup? Salt? Vinegar? Spices? Mixes? The little things in your food life that often times we overlook as ‘using’ and being a part of our diet.

With both lists in hand you can then move onto the next stage of planning…just how much do you use and of what in any given week? (you can then plan from there on how much to buy and of what). This might seem challenging at first to figure out, but a simple way to figure this out is take the time to think about what your meals over the past week have been…this will give you a good idea of ‘how much’ you use in any given week, if need be, write a family food diary for a week, noting the ‘what and how much’. This even works for those of you who eat out a lot or use a lot of prepared food items.

For instance, if you eat cereal for breakfast each morning…how long does a box last for you or your family…1 week? A few days? A month? And don’t forget the milk! If you eat sandwiches and soup for lunch each day (lets say on the weekends) then how much do you use for you or your family? 1 can? 3 cans? For dinner, lets say you eat a steak, rice and salad with a veggie on the side or baked potato. How many steaks? How much rice? How many potatoes? You get the idea now…even if you eat out a lot or bring home meals that are ready made from the grocery store or buy those TV dinners you still know what is in them and you know what you like to eat. Just write it down. What is in your normal meal?

If you are into meal planning then figuring out what you will need should be easy. If not, make the lists to figure out what you need to get started. We can worry about drilling down to the details later.

Put your list into action!

With both lists in hand now you are ready to get going on your preparedness food storage…you know the basic ‘what’ and about how much without too much effort exerted. An extra box of mashpotatos, a few extra cans of green beans, an extra bag of rice, canned meat if you are meat eater. If you are a shopper who makes ‘lists’ when you go shopping, pick up an ‘extra’ of each of the basics you buy each time you go out. If you coupon or shop sales, more the better! Saving money is a great way to go and get prepared at the sametime.

For those who don’t know how to cook from scratch or don’t cook at all, go with can goods and MRE’s or other prepackaged meals that all you have to do is add water, like the ready made meals that many campers use. You can google MRE’s or camping food to find out where to get these. Walmart sometimes carry them in their sporting goods section. Ebay and Amazon are good places to look also as well as Dick’s Sporting Goods. But only buy what you KNOW you will eat. Or maybe its time for a change in your habits…learn now how to cook and prepare food yourself, only you can make that judgment call. But don’t let the fact that you can’t or don’t cook stop you from storing food.

Don’t try to do it over night, each time you go to the store add to your storage. Make a goal of having 3 extra days worth at first, then a weeks worth, then a months worth. Just keep at it. I understand that for many it may be hard to find the extra money to be able to store food…use coupons, shop sales, buy in bulk, cut back on fast food, eat a ‘cheap’ meal. Examine your expenses to find the extra money. It is there if you look. Do what you can when and where you can. If you find meat at a reduced price then buy all that you can afford and either dehydrate it or freeze it for food storage use. But make the commitment to have your food storage ‘just in case’. It will give you peace of mind by taking one less worry out of your life if something were to ever happen.

There are lots of ways to prepare your preparedness pantry…some people buy in bulk and store large quantities of ‘raw’ food stuff such as wheat, powdered milk, rice and beans and gather freeze dried foods in #10 cans. Others pick and choose between store bought items (can goods) and ‘raw’ food stuffs, #10 cans and canning and dehydration (this is what I personally do). Others go with can goods only. Others still go the MRE route entirely and there are a whole host of in betweens. No one ‘way’ or ‘type’ of food is perfect for everyone. That is why I ask you to make a list of what you normally eat and then buy that for your food storage.

 

REMEMBER the GOLDEN RULE OF FOOD STORAGE!!

 

Get what you will use!  people have this funny habit of NOT eating when they aren’t used to eating it. In fact, children will starve themselves rather than eat something unfamiliar. If you don’t eat beans, don’t get beans, if you don’t eat pineapple then I don’t care how good of a deal it is, it will go to waste and don’t fall prey to the ‘this is what is recommended’ food storage guidelines that are found everywhere. Store what you use and eat ONLY…it can’t be repeated enough…if you won’t it eat or use it, then you are wasting your time and money. As a by-product of getting what you will eat and use, you will also gain a sense of comfort and stability when things aren’t so good. Familiarity gives a sense of well-being that is priceless, and this includes food too!

At this point I should address something. If you like to eat bread or like ‘fresh’ veggies or fruit and want to incorporate pressure cooking or baking into your food preparedness plan, I will offer this caution. Learn to do it now and stock up while you are learning how to make your own basics. I can tell you that making breads and canning is more difficult than it seems and I applaud those who can do it with the grace and ease that escapes me at the moment. So for right now, I am buying a bit of the ‘from scratch’ basics and putting more money and effort into getting what I know I can cook with with ease until I am sure that I know what I am doing with the ‘basics’. This goes back to the ‘get what you will use’. If you can’t or don’t know how to use it then it will not be used.

General Guidelines for Food Storage

Once you are getting into the swing of the food storage mindset and acting upon it you will need to use the following guidelines:

If you decide to buy in bulk such items as wheat, dry milk, rice or other such items (dry goods) then be sure you have containers and packaging ready when you get home to put them into storage. There are a few ways to store dry good long-term such as bucket, mylar bags, air tight plastic containers, mason jars etc. You will need these items if you store in bulk. Do your research to select what will work best for you, your needs and what you will be storing.

Learn proper storage techniques: general rule of thumb, no extreme temperatures, no moisture. Food lasts longer the cooler and dryer it is.Think about where you can store your food storage. Your cabinets and pantry will get full. Think about the garage, under beds, in closets…I know some people who even put can goods behind books on the book case! Get creative.

LABEL your storage with what it is and date you put it into storage. This is especially important for bulk storage.

Rotate your food storage! The MOST IMPORTANT thing I can tell you about food storage is that it is necessary to ROTATE your food. Use the container (or can or package) that’s been stored the longest and replace it with newer stored containers behind the older ones. Food storage that spoils or lies untouched is garbage. This is especially important if you are freezing any items such as meat or buying frozen veggies. Don’t waste your time, effort and money by forgetting to ROTATE YOUR FOOD! Develop a method to rotate your food that works for you. Use what you store…this helps to rotate the food so you don’t waste your time and money.

So that is the ‘get you started’ basics in food storage. It is really just about recognizing the need, figuring out what you do eat and then getting a little more than you normally do. If you can afford to do so, do it quickly and if you are like me, do it one trip at a time, one item at a time as you can afford to do so. Just get started.

Here’s a good one that is rather telling: Yesterday in my mail I received a ‘renewal’ notice for my ‘new’ car tags. The tags which I just got at the end of May are good until May of 2013…and the DMV sent me a renewal notice that noted my tags were due for renewal (but clearly stated they were set to expire in 5/13)…now, I can understand a glitch that would send this out…but I am not the only who got something like that this week…Me thinks that the State is getting creative in finding money, after all, how many people get something like that and unthinkingly pay for it without a second thought? It is ‘just one of those things’ that you do, that you are trained to do. Of course I am not paying it and actually sent it back to them pointing out that I am not paying forward on a vehicle that I may not even have then (not exactly those words, I was a bit more creative).

Now, what does this have to do with surviving SHTF? It is part of the preparedness mind set. Understand, we have been taught to, more or less, as good little sheeple, to pay things like this on demand, without looking at it, simply because we get it from the state or the Feds or whatever ‘authority’ (including telephone companies, credit lenders, etc.) sends it to us. Many people get it and pay it without taking the time to look at the ‘bill’ to see if it is indeed valid. It is called ‘questioning’ what is the ‘truth’ or appears to be ‘true’ just because an ‘authority’ says it is true. Those who will survive turmoil in whatever manner it may come, will have the ability to openly question and spot BS or something that is not true. This is a survival skill folks, it is a mindset. And that mindset starts with LOOKING at what is being said to be ‘true’ and either confirming or denying it instead of just ‘assuming’ it is true. This means that you think for yourself and not follow the crowd or authority unthinkingly and without question. And yes, we are taught from birth to unquestioningly ‘follow’ authority even when everything inside us says that it is not right. We are taught, in this society that still holds to ‘conformity’ (and there is nothing inherently wrong with ‘conformity’ as long as it serves the good of both the individual and the whole), that to break away from the ‘herd’ means becoming an outcast and way back when, this meant death. People were cast out (literally) for not conforming to ‘community’ standards and group think. Think the Inquisition, Salem Witch Trials and even NOW, a woman faces jail time for going against ‘normal’ in growing her own food in the front yard. Yes, we are taught that to go against ‘norms’ and not conforming can get us in trouble.

In the media, the ‘survivalist’ movement and mindset is continually attacked with labels as ‘extremists’, fear mongers, and even the word crazy…uhuh. But what is really going on, underneath the surface in most cases, is that the people who live the preparedness lifestyle and have that mindset are going against ‘norms’ and groupthink. You are strange if you don’t have a college degree (or lazy or not smart) and the slavery known as student loan debt (and I have this puppy myself, but not a big one). You are strange if you put food up ‘just in case’ and don’t run to the grocery store every other day or don’t have a 401k plan and horrors…you are even stranger if you work for yourself or attempt to provide for yourself and have a weapon! You are going against the grain, against the group, against what ‘they’ are trying to say is ‘normal’. You think for yourself in most cases and this makes you QUESTION almost everything that you come across, simply because you don’t just ‘go along’ with the standard program and for someone who has the preparedness mindset, this is just ‘normal’ and becomes automatic. I like to think of this as the BS detector.

The powers that be know and understand that people are growing aware and asking questions, that their BS detectors are starting to go BEEP! They are just beginning to realize that perhaps, just perhaps, that they won’t survive if they don’t start questioning. But many people are still just going with the flow, ignoring their early warning BS detector beeps, which is just enough to encourage the ‘authorities’ to try things like sending out renewal notices or adding strange charges and such because they are playing the odds that you will ‘just do it’. Many people, who are questioning ‘the truth’ and just beginning to get prepared because they hear the faint beep, beep, go with the flow because they are afraid that if they don’t they will be labeled, cast out or thought of as ‘not being a good citizen’…they are afraid that if they are ‘found out’ they will get into trouble somehow. But as someone who is firmly set on her path of surviving SHTF in whatever manner it may come, I see it, I see what they are up to and call a spade a spade…yep, caught ya!  All because I question what the ‘truth’ is and am prepared to think for myself instead of just handing over my money, my property and liberty all for the illusion of safety and being ‘safe’. Does this make me or you a ‘radical’ or ‘unusual’ because of going against the ‘norms’? Hmm, seems to me the ‘norm’ goes against the natural order of things…

In my mind, one day, this non-sheeple mindset might just might save my home, my business or my life and that of those I love, but at the very least, yesterday it  saved me a nice chunk of change which I can put to better use right now. I am not going with the crowd, I am not giving up my liberties and I am definitely not being quite, but I am not an extremist and certainly not ‘unpatriotic’ nor ‘not a good citizen’…in fact, the exact opposite is true. But my mindset is preparedness oriented, on the look out and ready for whatever may come. I think and question and take action based on what I see to be the truth instead of being a part of the sheeple crowd…I can’t afford to be otherwise and neither can you…get your BS detector out folks…the beeps are coming hard and fast.

Today a few things have come to my attention that bears ME looking at my own personal GOOD plans and preparedness and perhaps you should too…first on the agenda of things that will come to pass…The state of Minnesota went into shut down mode a couple of weeks ago over an impasse in the budget (hmm, sounds familiar) where a lot of people who worked for the state have been placed on an indefinite leave of absence, but today, the Miller Brewing Company announced, that because no one is available to process licensing, they may have to shut the plant down and pull all their beer from store shelves and bars. While this in and of itself doesn’t bother me too much, it’s the large picture that does. We are so regulated in our everyday lives that even a partial shut down of the big gov brother would cause untold misery. Not that not having the beer of your choice is a big deal (though I suppose it will wake some people up to the impending reality of economic crisis) but it’s the fact that we take for granted so much of a government running (somewhat) efficiently that when it stops, even for a short time, that it can have dramatic impact on our personal and daily lives, especially if you are a business owner such as I am, let alone our food supplies that are so heavily regulated… This is troubling…and is starting me thinking even more about the little things that I take for granted in being able to get right now…liquor for my herbal medicines, herbs from out of the country, heck, right down to the envelopes that I use for mailing things (which aren’t made in this country). It also makes me wonder about law enforcement (which is already hurting from cut backs) and what the roads and areas are like up there right now and what it could be like in my neck of the woods if my state every went into meltdown mode (or my country for that matter since the state is so hooked on that feeding trough). My other business is dealing with the courts…and right now in the state I live in they are backed up to the hilt (which has other consequences) and are not hiring even to replace key people such as court clerks that make the wheels of justice MOVE with speed…what would happen if this continues along as it is and people quit or get laid off? Nothing will happen, no one get anything done in the courts and it basically would become a septic tank back up that would take years to unravel…definitely not a pleasant thought on top of everything else…in China yesterday a 12 year old bridge came apart…and in California they are closing a 10 mile stretch of a major highway for a couple of days…THEY ARE WARNING people to expect 30 mile back ups and to BE SURE TO HAVE A FULL TANK OF GAS…(and this happened in China not too long ago…took DAYS for people to get home) What’s my point here? From a survival and preparedness stand point it reminds me that we are so dependant upon our infrastructure that isn’t being taken care of (I vaguely recall somewhere where a large section of highway peeled up because of the intense heat) or that is getting hit hard by the weather this year that it becomes imperative to keep that full tank of gas and know all of the get out of dodge routes that you can possibly know and don’t depend upon that navigation system either that thing is programmed for major roads and doesn’t know its head in the ground sometimes. But escape routes are important no matter where you are at and for many reasons. I for one don’t want to be caught at the grocery store and not know how to get home if something happens to my normal route or having to leave home or the area for some reason in all haste and be stuck having to use major routes with everyone else (think Houston during that hurricane). And having a full tank of gas, well, that’s nice too but getting caught in a 30 mile back up? Just how long will that tank last…and the highway authority is TELLING people NOW over construction work that was planned…hmmm…just something crossing my mind today…

In short, I am reassessing my GOOD plan today and need to remember to top off the gas tank too this afternoon. This GOOD plan (get out of dodge) should include escape routes, mode of transportation, what you will take with you (food, water, clothing, personal items, pets, valuables, you have to make choices and doing so now, having that plan will make it easier just in case) and knowing where you will go in the advent of such and such. You should also have a GOOD Plan for if the SHTF when you are work…same drill…and this means having in your car a good BOB (bug out bag) that would or should conceivably get you home or to the agreed upon location with your family. I am thinking about the ‘what if’ plans for my businesses too and need to make some decisions soon about particular things dealing with my businesses. Continuity type things…And again, I am thankful today that I don’t live inMinnesotaorCalifornia…they are dealing with some major SHTF issues and its not even bad yet.

Do you have a GOOD Plan? A BOB bag? Know the routes that can save your life and get you out of Dodge without facing the hordes and zombies? (Yeah, the very same ones who no longer have their beer) And yeah, I know it sounds funny that way, but humor keeps you sane you know?