Tag Archive: children


swat raidLet’s face it folks, with the increasing militarization of our public law enforcement we are now seeing more and more SWAT team style ‘raids’ on homes and businesses. Right, wrong, good, bad or indifferent, it’s a growing trend that unfortunately, I do not see ending but increasing in numbers in the coming months and years.
At a highly regarded blog site that I regularly read, someone wrote in about looking for information on how to prepare children for a SWAT team style raid on their organic farm (yes, it happens because of federal regulations, Mr. I HAVE A PEN and a PHONE loves to use regulations to further his Agenda 21 plans and Fascist policies). But this is a side note. It got me thinking about my own situation about 2 ½ years ago which I have blogged about in the past, when State officials decided to raid my house with the SWAT team and FBI, early one morning due to some content that an ex of mine had posted on his facebook page. Mind you, he was no longer living in the house and I was cooperative with the State Police when they first made contact with me regarding my ex and his behavior. I was and still am deeply effected by the SWAT raid on my home in the early hours of a January school morning. My children however, I don’t think they even blinked an eye about it. So, with this person’s question, ‘how do I prepare my children for a SWAT style raid?’ I had to ask myself why my children were completely unaffected by it and why I am still suffering PTSD from it. What is it that happened before the SWAT raid on my home that allowed my children to emerge unscathed?

Interestingly enough, about the ONLY answer that I can come up with is that we, as a family had run a few drills involving ‘home invasion’ by strangers with guns in hand. Now this may sound strange to you, but at the time I owned a bailbond business and live in the middle of nowhere where the average LEO response time is at least 10 minutes. My ex, who had experience in these matters, set out to teach us how to respond and ‘what to do’. Kinda like a tornado drill or nowadays, an active shooter drill that they do at schools. Think in those terms.
My own children were taught to stay absolutely still unless given a directive by an ADULT when there was a potential threat. We practiced different scenarios on what to do depending upon point of entry and time of day. But the bottom line is and still is: following INSTRUCTIONS given immediately and without question. So they stayed right at the breakfast table without moving, because that is what I told them to do. I had no warning, just the red dots on my chest before being manhandled out of the house and out of sight. Just enough time to tell them to STAY PUT.

To my children’s credit, they remained at the table until they were brought out by a female agent into a ‘safe vehicle’ and actually looked very calm. I will emphasize at this point:
MY CHILDREN WERE AND ARE USED TO SEEING FIREARMS IN THE HOME.

So two things to ‘prepare’ children for a SWAT style raid on your home:
1) Get them used to seeing firearms in and around the home. If it is ‘normal’ to see this and be around them, then most likely they won’t freak.
2) Practice what to do if you experience a home invasion (legal or not).
3) And I should mention, that if you do have firearms in the home, be safe regarding them. But at some point, as a LEO told me, they need to understand how to use them and what they do, seems to prevent accidental shootings in the home and takes away the ‘fun’ and ‘I am not allowed to do this’ factor.

These three things will make it easier for you and them. You practice fire drills, tornado drills, and at school they practice ‘active shooter’ drills, why NOT practice home invasion? It’s a growing trend, both legally and illegally so it makes sense to do this. What you do and how you do this is up to you and your unique home situation, but increasingly, home invasions are becoming common place. So, what’s your plan?

Next, I would like to address the otherside of this equation. Having an understanding myself of the legal system and the steps that have to be taken before action can be taken (though more and more it seems like shock and awe is standard operating procedure) I do KNOW for a fact, that you will have contact with some form of law enforcement BEFORE a SWAT style raid occurs. There’s your tip off, your ‘advanced’ warning. If state police, federal agents or regulatory agents are knocking at your door then your alarm bells need to be going off and my advice, at least for the moment is to be polite, answer their questions and do NOT BE HOSTILE. Cooperate and be beyond reasonable with them. If you appear to be a threat then they will react to you as a threat and their law enforcement training now demands overwhelming force to neutralize a potential threat to THEM. This includes your facebook posts, emails, etc. While it is okay to voice your opinions make sure you are not making threats, or even veiled threats. Trust me when I tell you, they do their homework on threat assessment (ie your potential for violence). In my case it wasn’t about my own personal threat to them, but my ex’s potential for violence and I got painted with the same brush. So its not just you, but who you associate with, your family and those who may or may not be there at the time.
Much can be avoided with clear communication and cooperation. Yes, it can be a hassle boarding on pure harassment and irrationality on their part, but if you want to head off a SWAT style raid, then do all you can to avoid it.

Next, lets talk about home/land security. Do you have motion detectors? Security lights? Cameras? How about a mouthy dog who will alert you if something or someone who doesn’t belong there? You can go as far as you want in this matter including denial of entry type setups. But the main thing is this: you are more likely to face in this day and age a true illegal home invasion than a legal one and THIS is where you should aim your security at. But it will also come in handy ‘just in case’. The point behind all of this is to give you, the adult a heads up and a few precious moments to make a decision. Unfortunately, many people have been killed in their homes because they simply did NOT know who or what was coming in and reacted in such a manner that put themselves and their family in harms way.

And finally, lets talk frankly, the thought that if you are doing ‘nothing’ wrong will keep you ‘safe’ needs to go out the door. Unfortunately this mindset gets people killed. Because you feel ‘safe’ because you are doing nothing wrong, therefore there is NO WAY they would come knocking on your door ergo something happens and you pull out your firearm because only someone intent on doing you harm would kick your door in. WRONG. Go back to the above statements and understand one thing, shock and awe works for them, otherwise they wouldn’t do it. Is it potentially used wrongly? Yes, but on the otherhand see their side of it. Most LEO’s are just following orders and commands from higher ups who most likely will forget to mention that you were cooperative, etc. All they know is they are there and wouldn’t be there unless someone knew you could be a threat. Just saying…that is how it is, right or wrong. Better to argue in court and go broke than into the ground.

On the otherhand, illegal activity of any sort can and will get you into trouble. Stay on this side of the line people. If you have had contact with law enforcement or a regulatory agent, then they perceive something is going on and if you are belligerent, uncooperative, etc. then you become a threat. Regulations carry the force of law and while I in no way support even half of the ‘regulations’ that are place, at this moment in time, tis better to argue in court. GET IT? Tis better to let them do their job, see you are not a threat and then sue their butts off later, than to fight back when everyone is running on adrenaline.
Been there, done that, in the heat of the moment, YOU need to be running your own threat assessment. Which is why I make it a point to suggest that you look for tip offs and get in place an early warning system so you can differentiate between an illegal threat and law enforcement threat. That way, you can make an informed and appropriate decision on ‘what to do’ when the invasion comes.

As a side note, in my own experience, those who entered my home unexpectedly that weekday morning were very professional. While I am still angry and I am personally still dealing with their actions (which I did receive an apology for later on), I can say that they treated my children very well. One agent even sat down with my girls and painted finger nails with them! After I got a grip and figured out what was going on I was then able to do what was necessary in dealing with them being there and my own calm in the moment allowed my own children to feel safe and relaxed which allowed everyone else to feel safe and relaxed.

Seriously, its up to you how you want things to turn out.

Home security first and foremost, situational awareness, making sure your children are NOT scared of firearms in the home, practicing ‘active shooter’ drills and attitude will determine the outcome. Unfortunately we no longer live in Camelot and we aren’t in Kansas anymore. While I see the over reaction and mistakes that get made, I have come to understand that I (YOU) truly have control in whether or not you become a victim and in turn, your children.

Stay safe and aware and prepared.

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Lately I have been taking stock of my ‘stock’ (read that preps). Admittedly, I have included my children in getting prepared, but I didn’t realize just how much THEY did not understand the importance of organization, labeling and rotating. Yes, two are under 12 but one is a teenager who is into prepping. We talk about how to store things, what and why we keep extra on hand, safety, the value of being able to be less reliant on the ‘just in time system’ and a whole lot of other things. And many times we work together getting things done or they see me doing it with some help from them. Prepping with children as a single mom has brought up some interesting things, but when I started making extra room in my house to include another person, whoa! I just wanted to bug out and not deal with it…but, here I am, learning and hope that in my learning you can learn something too, especially if you are a single parent with children.

First, I realized just how much ‘crap’ is in my house that has really no value to me, but that’s another subject. Next, I realized that things had just been put behind closed doors so to speak to, just get it out of the way, and instructions were just NOT followed. And before someone has something to say about ‘kids being kids’ I am going to tell you that I am old school and believe that when an adult gives specific instructions on what/how to do something YOU DO IT. Not that I am trying to turn my kids into sheeple and not that I am not open to their ideas of how to get things done, but when you are told to pour the salt into a particular container and then label it, I expect it to be done. Put it in and label it and then put it in the spot I have set aside for it.

HAHAHA…I started cleaning/reorganizing and I found things stashed away like a squirrel stashes his nuts for the winter. Some of what I found was big bags of RICE just tucked away in a storage closet (seriously, that is NOT a joke). That was my teenager. Instead repacking the rice safely, he disappeared the containers and then stashed the rice.

Haha factor aside, I did not find this amusing at all and then I began to wonder about other things and sure enough, Mr. I Play Video Games, had not labeled salt containers or sugar containers, had just thrown can goods haphazardly into the pantry…sigh…really? And yes, I stood over him and things got done but really? At almost 16 years old I have to do that to make sure it gets done properly? Lets just say a few things ‘disappeared’ on him and I told him point blank that if he couldn’t follow simple instructions and put things away properly then how was I supposed to trust him with a crossbow or driving a car. Anyway…My 9 year old at least knows how to put green beans with green beans and to put the oldest up front. Sigh…so the past two weeks has been spent back tracking. Oh, I also found empty boxes that were never thrown away (so I assumed we had that in stock). Really? My 3 year old know how to throw things away.

There were quite a few things I found ‘out’ about, mostly just annoying things but if the little things like putting labels on buckets (so you know what it is), or putting the rice into mouse/bug proof containers or just throwing away an empty box of something can’t even be done, ohhhh…man, my mind just goes nuts over that one.

So what’s my point?

Everyone has to be on the same page at all times and understand the reasons behind why certain things get done. And just talking about it isn’t going to work with some people. Written instructions, establishing routines and expectations and then, being ‘the leader’, following up every time until you are dead sure that everyone is doing what they are supposed to be doing. And unfortunately, having worked in the real world, I have seen this same behavior from ‘adults’. Time consuming? Yes. Pain in the rear? Yes. Should you as ‘leader’ have to micro-manage. No. It would be nice to be able to delegate, but most people are used to ‘getting by’ with little to no consequences to themselves. This go around it was just proper food storage. And we can all go to the what ifs, but it got caught in time. So micro-manage I will until I am sure that we are all on the same page on how things will get done.

Ideas for the micro-management/leader that does work well for both children and adults:

Get a whiteboard…the type you can list ‘to do’ items on daily. Save your breath.

Get another whiteboard…this one won’t be daily but will list chores/responsibilities for the week. Unfortunately, even adults need this (ever worked in a restaurant?).

Have a sit down/write down meeting. In this case, with my 3 children I was able to explain WHY it was important about storing food correctly. THEN a notebook came out and the steps were written down. They took turns writing out the steps and reasons why. In my case it was about food storage, but this will work in any type of situation that you see come up or MIGHT come up, including security tasks. And YES, children can help on that end too. At this sit down ask questions instead of lecturing. You’d be surprised at how well this works.

Don’t overlook abilities. Some people are better at something than others. SWAT analysis is a good thing. Unfortunately, you may find yourself (as in my case with my children) that you have to work with what you got. My case, kids  which means I have to work with what I got, including the attitude.

Have a CLEAR system and keep it simple. Chaos is NOT good! For instance, one place I keep proteins, another certain types of canned goods, another place salt, sugar and another for rice. Its in the same place all the time (that is until someone decides to just do it their way). But I do have a system in place. This allows you to know instantly where certain things are (for instance I have ONE place for all batteries and ONE place for all types of lighting except for candles). By having a few things here and a few things there you wind up wasting time and energy ‘looking’ for things.

Speak up…don’t be afraid, as the ‘leader’ to say what you have to say when it needs to be said. I will admit it, when I found things not done correctly they, my kids, were in the middle of doing homework…guess what? They wound up redoing what they were supposed to do instead of the homework and opps! The homework got done when typically they do what they want to do. Seems to make the impression to just get it done right the first time.

Lastly, DO follow up to make sure things are being done correctly. Don’t make it obvious that you are doing so but just check. If done correctly…give praise (yep, that includes adults too), if not done or not done correctly stop right then and there and do what needs to be done. Food storage case I pulled the bags of rice out, put them on the counter top, called my son into the kitchen and stood there until I SAW him doing it. Then said thank you, walked away and then rechecked a bit later. Done right.

Anyway, that’s my rant for today (well, everyday it seems). Discipline and order and a system and being on the same page with everyone when things are ‘normal’ makes it easier when something comes up later on.

Now, back to clearing out the crap!

One thing that I am always on the look out for is a GREAT deal…after all, what mom who is preparing for SHTF wouldn’t be? Its more important than ever to stretch the dollar, make the most of what you have and get ready for ever increasing self-reliance. So, lo and behold, I found strawberries (organic) at the local grocery store today. On sale by the pound, many on the point of being overripe (but those are the BEST aren’t they?) and I just couldn’t help myself. Had to buy what I could reasonably manage to eat and dry in the next few days. My family loves to eat them enough that I put in about 100 bare root strawberry plants this year, but being small they only produced a handful of small (but sweet) berries this year. Made a mistake though, didn’t get everbearing plants so right now the plants are growing but no fruit for the rest of the summer…oh well, next year unless I can find some everbearing plants on eBay in a couple of weeks. Last years plants were eatten by my greenie Pitbull (the same one who over the past couple of weeks has somehow managed to get 1/2 of my very small peach crop inspite of the fence)…trial and error..yes, pitbulls like to eat plants…especially tasty ones.

Making do for now with my great deal at the store and will be drying them tonight and tomorrow to go with my growing collection of dehydrated foods. Dehydrated strawberries are a great addition to cereal and wheat berries btw. You can also rehydrate them and add to bread or blend into a smoothie at a later date..and the great thing about this is that I saved $$ Am playing around with making my own sorbet too perhaps instead of feeding my children the stuff from the store. A bit of time invested would be well worth the cost savings and knowing that the food is good.

Now for the BEST part strawberries are an excellent source of healing and help for your and your families’ body…check it out:

Eye Care: The primary reasons for almost all the problems of eyes are free radicals and deficiency of certain nutrients. With the growing age and lack of these protective nutrients, the harmful oxidants or free radicals cast heavy damage on our eyes, such as drying up of eyes, degeneration of optical nerves, Macular degeneration, vision defects and make them prone to infections too. The anti oxidants such as vitamin-C, Flavonoids, Phenolic Phytochemicals and Elagic Acid, present in strawberries can help avoid this situation to a great extent. One more factor is ocular pressure, i.e. the pressure of the eyes. Any disturbance in it is also harmful for the eyes. Here too, strawberries are helpful as they contain potassium, which help maintain right pressure.

Arthritis and Gout: The degeneration of muscles and tissues, drying up of the fluid which help mobility of the joints and accumulation of toxic substances and acids (such as uric acid) in the body are some of the ill effects of free radicals present in our body, which are primarily responsible for Arthritis and Gout. Strawberries, with their team of anti oxidants and detoxifiers, can effectively help push away such health hazards forever

Cancer: Vitamin-C, Folate and Anthocyanin, Quercetin and Kaempferol (few of the many Flavonoids in strawberries which possess excellent anti oxidant and anti carcinogenic properties) together form an excellent team to fight cancer and tumors. A daily intake of strawberries is seen to have remarkably brought down the growth of cancerous cells.

Brain Function: It is a very common observation that old people tend to lose their memory and control over their activities, limbs etc. This is because of aging of their brain and the nervous system. Actually, the free radicals, the agents very much responsible for aging, have a very adverse effect on these systems. Due to them, the brain tissues start degenerating and the nerves get weaker. Strawberries can help you out. The vitamin-C and the phytochemicals in them neutralize the effect of these oxidants and also rejuvenate the system. One more thing, strawberries are rich in iodine too, which is very helpful for proper functioning of the brain and nervous system.

High Blood Pressure: Strawberries are very good in potassium and magnesium content, both of which are very effective in lowering high blood pressure caused by sodium.

Heart Diseases: High fiber, Folate, no fats and high anti oxidants such as vitamin-C and those phytochemicals (Flavonoids) together form an ideal cardiac health pack, as they effectively reduce cholesterol. Some of the members of the vitamin-B family present in strawberries also strengthen the cardiac muscles and help better functioning of the heart.

Other Benefits: Folate is known to protect from birth-defects. Vitamin-C effectively prevents from infections and cold. The phytonutrients also have anti inflammatory properties

the above is taken from: http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-strawberry.html

So the next time that you are in the store and see a fruit or veggie that your family loves to eat at an awesome price, why not go ahead and pick it up? Break out your dehydrator, trusty mason jars and 02 packets and save yourself a buck or two down the road and still enjoy the fruit and veggies? Actually, in my house they are munched down on by themselves dried…much better than candy (sweeter) and no mess, no fuss. And be sure to get organic strawberries to avoid high levels of pesticides that can be found in much of the ‘regular’ strawberries.

Simple way to dehydrate:

Just chunk them up (I like to make them about 1/3 of an inch in size so they don’t fall through the screen plate) and then spread evenly around the tray and let it go until nice and crunchy!

Here’s to happy eatting the fruit of summer…strawberries…and helping the health of my family on the cheap.

Just for added thought…here is the nutritional value of strawberries…

One cup of whole strawberries contains 0.96 grams of protein, 46 calories and 2.9 grams of dietary fiber.

Potassium – 220 mg
Phosphorus – 35 mg
Magnesium – 19 mg
Calcium – 23 mg
Sodium – 1 mg
Iron – 0.59 mg
Selenium 0.6 mcg
Manganese – 0.556 mg
Copper – 0.069 mg
Zinc – 0.2 mg

Vitamin A – 17 IU
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) – 0.035 mg
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – 0.032 mg
Niacin – 0.556 mg
Folate – 35 mcg
Pantothenic Acid – 0.18 mg
Vitamin B6 – 0.068 mg
Vitamin C – 84.7 mg
Vitamin E – 0.42 mg
Vitamin K – 3.2 mcg

I get strange looks sometimes when I buy big bags of rice, or 4 packages of diapers or 6 12 packs of toliet paper (all at one time), and sometimes those looks aren’t from strangers. The poor UPS guy who delivers in my rural town (who must think I am sort of crazy survivalist) has delivered, this past week alone, a 50 lb bag of organic hard white wheat and boxes from Auguson Farms and 50 lbs of DE (amongst other things like a huge box of diapers, but that was Fed Ex and that guy knows for sure I am crazy). But its all good. I am just doing my duty as a good parent to ensure that my children are and will be taken care of no matter what. I am making sure that they will have what they need just in case something happens to my income or one of us gets hurt and can’t work or something happens that disrupts supplies (think storms, floods, pestilance of the crops, heck even the banks collapsing). Down where I live, when hurricane Isabel came through, they had no power for 10 days…there were reports of people stealing chickens and killing goats after 3 days…yep and that was just a little bitty hurricane. No power, no grocery store. And those great big trees across the road? well, that would kinda keep you at home wouldn’t they? and the county surely has bigger problem than my road, so no deliveries or movement for several days…but I digress…

When you are pregnant with your child you plan. You start thinking of all the things you will need for the precious child that you will be having soon in your life and next thing you know…you are getting PREPARED! You buy the crib, the car seat, clothing, diapers and any number of a million and one zillion things. You are getting ready for a life altering event…the end of the world as you know it right now…the birth of your child. You pick the hospital, your doctor, make arrangements ‘just in case’ this or that happens, you get your family involved (or not). You start making plans for what you will and won’t do after your baby is born, breast feeding or bottle feeding? Stay home or go back to work or even work from home? Daycare? All these decisions are called making plans which is part of you getting prepared for the arrival of your little one. Preparedness can be so much work! But you know these things that you are prepping for make a good parent…planning, preparing, getting things… being ready for him or her when they arrive and your world changes. Next, after the arrival of your new baby you realize just how much you don’t know about this thing called ‘being a good parent’ so you start asking question and doing more preparing for when they begin to sit up, eat solid foods, crawl, walk, talk. You have to get your house ready after all don’t you? Not to mention get all the information you can lay your hands on so that you can make informed and sound decisions about how you want to raise your child…this is all part of being a good parent. It just goes on and on this getting prepared for your child and it changes, evolves overtime to fit, upon demand, the circumstances and stages that you see coming down the road for your family as your baby grows and circumstances change. A good parent has…foresight, knowledge, leadership skills and techniques, tactics and supplies on hand for whatever may come at any given moment and sometimes, in a strange or odd moment…wisdom from past mistakes…Sometimes things just take you by surprise…can you say forgetting the diaper bag anyone? (this why you put a couple of diapers under the drivers seat)…or a fall or accident (speed dial and first aid kit) or someone notices that you are busy paying attention to something else and sticks the half chewed dog biscuit in the dvd player, managing to close it too…(say bad language and a screw driver when you find it later that night) but that is okay, you have thought things out enough to feel confident that when it happens you handle it with grace and ease (or freak out first, quickly regaining a shred of self-control). But my whole point is this…you planned and prepared yourself into being a good parent!

So, I, ever wanting to be a good parent have just taken things a bit further…preparedness is being a good parent. Being ready for when the crap hits the fan, in whatever form it may come to your door step, (think going into labor!) is being a good parent.   Having things on hand ‘just in case’ or for an emergency, is being a good parent (extra this or that, tools) and most certainly having a means to protect your family is being a good parent. It might seem a little strange at first, this new aspect of being a good parent, simply because you haven’t do so before. But that’s okay, you’ll get over it. You will gain a new sense of pride and confidence (hmm sounds just like what you feel as you get the grove of being a good parent!) as time goes by. You will find that you are less anxious and worried about the future. You will find that this new aspect of being a good parent will actually help you become a better parent as you gain skills in being self-reliant that will be passed onto your child…indeed, preparedness and parenting go hand in hand…and it is all part of the job.