The Challenge To Our Faith

We live in a time when our faith in Christ and God’s word is often challenged. (I believe) we are headed into even darker times when our faith in Christ will be attacked, and living according to God’s will could cost us our lives and family.

I pray that I am wrong.

I also pray that God will strengthen me and my family so we can persevere and hold onto our faith regardless of what we face. Prayer is critical but it is also important to use the gifts He has given us to be prepared for those dark times. So, we pray, we stock up, we train, and we team up with other like minded individuals but faith and prayer remain the bedrock.

God bless.

Notes On War

Before I send the brief the next Intel Brief I wanted to share something. It is a downer but it is important.

Outside of the troop movements and deployments we are seeing, the number of senior officials talking about war or making statements to prepare the public for war is truly scary. Russian officials are now claiming that Poland has already sent troops into Ukraine to fight Russian forces. US generals are telling military academy graduates that they will probably serve in combat against a “major power” soon. China is kicking westerners out of the country and making very aggressive statements as well. Recordings of the Chinese military preparing for an invasion were leaked (nothing is leaked out of the Chinese military unless it is on purpose).

When Russia invaded Ukraine I said it would escalate to a full blown war with the West in 90-120 days. So far I have been wrong but the rhetoric, posturing and propaganda are still ramping up. The bottom line is that the chances of a war between superpowers is growing more likely every day. Unless we get some grownups in Washington, Beijing, Moscow, and Europe it is not a question of if, but when.

This will not be like the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq or Vietnam where outside of some news reports it doesn’t affect us at home. All three nations have missiles, aircraft and ships that can reach just about any target anywhere in the world. All three have massive nuclear arsenals. At a minimum the cost of food, fuel and other goods will skyrocket and they will be harder to get. Attacks on critical infrastructure could knock out water, power and other utilities (Internet) for days or weeks. At worst we could experience the daily threat of airstrikes like they are dealing with in Ukraine today and Londoners experienced during WWII.

Please, please, please start preparing now. Stock up on water, food, meds, personal items, fuel and ammo. If God blesses us and this storm passes over us we just saved some money on future purchases. If not, then we will be better able to survive and protect those we love.

God bless and please pray that this cup will be taken from us.

First Hundred Things That Go In A Collapse (Part 10)

I have referenced this list before, the first hundred things that disappear in a collapse. It was originally created based on the feedback from survivors of the Bosnian war with special attention from the experiences of those who lived through the siege of Sarajevo. The list has been updated (to some degree) to reflect the slightly different world we live in these days and a slightly different culture/economy.

I few weeks ago Wonderful Wife and I reviewed the list together. We did our best to determine what items did, or did not, apply to us. For the items that did apply we tried to determine how well we had that item covered. For the items where we determined there was a gap we put together at least a rough plan for filling the gap.

I thought it might be useful to some of you to share our thoughts on the items, our gaps and our plans. I also thought it might be useful to share these things because many of you might have better ideas than we did. So, feedback is not only encouraged but would be much appreciated.

Here are the next ten items on the list:

91. Teas
I buy tea on a regular basis and vacuum seal it for longer storage life. We have quite a bit stocked away mostly larger tea bags for iced tea. I think I may start stocking up on smaller tea bags for hot tea as well.

92. Coffee
We are not coffee drinkers although I do keep some coffee on hand for guests. With that said, I think stocking some for bad times is a good idea. When times get tough a cup of coffee might be a needed pick me up. It would also be a good barter item. Whole beans would store better but a coffee grinder would be an extra expense so we’ll go with ground coffee in vacuum sealed containers.

93. Cigarettes
No one in the family smokes anymore so we don’t need them. Many recommend them for barter but (in my opinion) they don’t last long enough to stock them for that purpose.

94. Wine/Liquors (for bribes, medicinal, etc.)
I don’t know if wine would be a great choice for this. Wine can be stored, under optimal conditions, for a really long time. Should we need it for bartering I doubt it would optimal conditions. We would focus on hard liquors like whiskey and particularly vodka or even things like Everclear. Clear, high-alcohol, unflavored distilled spirits are better for use as medicinals, to sterilize things and still can be used for barter or consumption.

95. Paraffin wax
Someone help me out on this one. We don’t stock or use paraffin wax and I am not sure what we would use use it for.

96. Glue, nails, nuts, bolts, screws, etc.
Yep, this is a good idea. We have quite a collection already but need to stock up on more.

97. Chewing gum/candies
I think hard candies are a good idea. Many types of candies are damaged by high or low temperatures or go bad easily. Hard candies last a really long time and are more stable in storage. Trust me, I have eaten any number of mints from the bottom of my grandmother’s purse when growing up. Peppermint candies also have the benefit of helping to settle an upset stomach.

98. Air guns and bb’s/pellets/CO2 cartridges
We have a few airguns for training purposes and some CO2 cartridges and BBs for them. Outside of training purposes I don’t see any real value for in them in a collapse. On the other hand I also have an air rifle that packs a pretty hefty punch. It could be used for hunting small game. While I would not rely on if for self defense, I would definitely not want to be on the receiving end of this rifle.

99. Hats and cotton neckerchiefs
Hahaha! Like flashlights, I seem to collect hats and caps to a ridiculous degree. I also use bandanas regularly as a head wrap (bald and sweaty) and handkerchief so I have a stack of them as well. I ordered several more in camo for use when attending tactical training classes.

100. Goats/chickens
My homeowner’s association would definitely not be OK with either one of them. With that said I would love to be able to move somewhere that I could keep one or the other or even both.

Well that’s the list please make suggestions and provide your thoughts on these items.

Be alert, get prepared, fight the good fight!

God bless and God save the Republic.

First Hundred Things That Go In A Collapse (Part 9)

I have referenced this list before, the first hundred things that disappear in a collapse. It was originally created based on the feedback from survivors of the Bosnian war with special attention from the experiences of those who lived through the siege of Sarajevo. The list has been updated (to some degree) to reflect the slightly different world we live in these days and a slightly different culture/economy.

I few weeks ago Wonderful Wife and I reviewed the list together. We did our best to determine what items did, or did not, apply to us. For the items that did apply we tried to determine how well we had that item covered. For the items where we determined there was a gap we put together at least a rough plan for filling the gap.

I thought it might be useful to some of you to share our thoughts on the items, our gaps and our plans. I also thought it might be useful to share these things because many of you might have better ideas than we did. So, feedback is not only encouraged but would be much appreciated.

Here are the next ten items on the list:

81. Plastic sheeting for insulating windows and shelter creation
Plastic sheeting is good for more than insulating windows and creating a shelter. I keep a good bit around because we live in (or at least on the edge of) Hurricane Alley. Hurricanes and tornadoes have a tendency to drop trees into unwelcome places including houses. They also tend to blowout windows. Plastic sheeting is particularly useful for protecting the homes when damaged by winds or debris.

82. Food storage products such as freeze dried food/buckets/pouches
We are pretty good here and looking to increase it even more.

83. Walkie-Talkies/ham radios/CB radio
We have a pretty good supply of walkies (one per person), a few ham radios, and a GMRS radio. No CB radio (yet). I am constantly encouraging my kids to pick up their own radios but so far that has been largely ineffective.

84. Socks, Underwear, T-shirts, etc. (extras)
We have stocked up recently on all of these and we keep pretty well well stock in general.

85. Lumber (all types)
I wish we had the space and money to stock up a bunch of lumber. I have a tiny but around the garage but that’s it. Thoughts on what should be a priority?

86. Wagons and carts (for transport to and from open Flea markets)
We have a couple of collapsible wagons and a wheelbarrow. The only think I can think of that would be better is a small cart that can be pulled behind a bicycle.

87. Cots and Inflatable Mattresses (for extra guests)
Yup, we have extended family stay with us regularly so we have such things on hand.

88. Gloves: Work/warming/gardening, etc.
HAHAHA! I was inventorying our supplies this week. We have a tub full of these kinds of gloves. I guess I over-purchased after the flooding from Hurricane Harvey.

89. Solar panel kits – small for charging batteries and devices
I have added this to the shopping list. I have been thinking about such as solution for a while now.

90. Screen Patches, glue, nails, screws, nuts, and bolts
We don’t have screen patches but we have a pretty good supply of the other items and will be adding to it.

 

We will continue to work through the remainder of the list in future posts but as I mentioned above please make suggestions and provide your thoughts on these items.

Be alert, get prepared, fight the good fight!

God bless and God save the Republic.

First Hundred Things That Go In A Collapse (Part 8)

I have referenced this list before, the first hundred things that disappear in a collapse. It was originally created based on the feedback from survivors of the Bosnian war with special attention from the experiences of those who lived through the siege of Sarajevo. The list has been updated (to some degree) to reflect the slightly different world we live in these days and a slightly different culture/economy.

I few weeks ago Wonderful Wife and I reviewed the list together. We did our best to determine what items did, or did not, apply to us. For the items that did apply we tried to determine how well we had that item covered. For the items where we determined there was a gap we put together at least a rough plan for filling the gap.

I thought it might be useful to some of you to share our thoughts on the items, our gaps and our plans. I also thought it might be useful to share these things because many of you might have better ideas than we did. So, feedback is not only encouraged but would be much appreciated.

Here are the next ten items on the list:

71. Baby Wipes, oils, waterless and Anti-bacterial soap (saves a lot of water)
We discussed baby wipes when talking about toilet paper. I keep a supply of both. The baby wipes take up far less space and are a good supplement to toilet paper. Basically, all the soap we buy is anti-bacterial and we have a decent supply on hand.Water-less soap I haven’t seen unless the mean hand sanitizer in which case we are pretty well stocked as well. We may have some baby oil around but we really don’t use it. What’s it for in relation to survival and preparedness? Ideas?

72. Rain gear, rubberized boots, emergency rain poncho’s, etc.
For boots and emergency poncho’s we are in good shape. Good rain gear is a gap though. I have workable rain gear but it is not as durable as I would like and need something really sturdy. I have been looking but I am not sure what to get so I would welcome suggestions.

73. Shaving supplies (razors and creams, talc, after shave)
All good and stocked up

74. Hand pumps and siphons (for water and for fuels)
Definitely a gap for us. Add this to the checklist.

75. Soy sauce, vinegar, bouillons/gravy/soup base
We are doing well here as well. These will go a long way, along with spices, to help provide some flavor and variety to our diet.

76. Reading glasses
I have one pair. Should stock up and add a few extras to the shopping list.

77. Chocolate/Cocoa/Tang/Punch (water enhancers)
I have been meaning to add Tang to our supply. Right now it is heavy on powdered Gatorade since replacing electrolytes will be important during the nine months of summer down here. A lot of folks warn to avoid the sugar and salt in things like this. I don’t agree. In a collapse calories will be a good thing and in the heat of the south replacing salt lost in perspiration will be too.

78. Rain barrel kits(valve assembly)
This is a big gap for us although we do have a large water source in the backyard and one I am looking to fix. Soon.

79. Woolen clothing, scarves/ear-muffs/mittens
I am looking to add some wool “emergency” blankets to our supplies. Scarves are also a good idea but cold weather is not quite the issue it is for us than for other parts of the country. Today (mid-January) it’s pretty chilly for us…about 50 degrees.

80. US Army Survival Manual FM 21-76
I have a number of survival and preparedness manuals in electronic and physical formats. I do not have this one or the newer one (FM 3-05.70) but I just ordered both and will add them to the reading list.

 

We will continue to work through the remainder of the list in future posts but as I mentioned above please make suggestions and provide your thoughts on these items.

Be alert, get prepared, fight the good fight!

God bless and God save the Republic.

Ten Stages Of Genocide

I don’t recall where I saw this on the InterWebz but it caught my eye and I saved it to my tablet and came across it again today… …just about the time I saw this headline:

Justice Department Creating Specialized Unit Focused on Domestic Terrorism Due to Growing Threat of ‘Anti-Authority’ Ideologies

Huh, well where does that play on the ten stages?

Number 6…

So, where are we on the other stages? Here are my thoughts:

    1. Classification (people divided into us and them) – Any nightly news, most every news conference and most movies and TV shows do their level best to draw a certain part of the population as “others” who need to be corrected, cajoled, harassed and moved out of the mainstream.
    2. Symbolization (people are forced to identify themselves as members of the “othered” group ) – VAX Passports are an attempt to do this. To be honest some of us being “othered” for removal from society do a pretty good job of identifying ourselves; MAGA hats, Let’s Go Brandon (LGB) or FJB swag, not to mention anything patriotic, or supporting law enforcement does the trick.
    3. Discrimination (systematic discrimination) – Yup, those not in lock step with the current powers that be are targeted by government agencies such as the IRS, OSHA, or the EPA. Support the wrong candidate or donate to the defense of a young many who crossed the woke mob and you lose your job. Espouse the wrong opinions and financial institutions will refuse to loan you money or provide banking services. The list goes on and on…
    4. Dehumanization (people associate with vermin or disease) – Another yup. Refuse to be a VAX guinea pig and you are a super-spreader responsible for the deaths of those who are VAXed. Listed to the terms used by the media and leftist politicians to describe conservative, patriotic Americans. “Bitter clingers” was the start, “deplorables” made it worse and it has gone downhill since. Domestic terrorist seems to be the current favorite.
    5. Organization (the government creates special groups to enforce policy) – See today’s headline posted above.
    6. Polarization (government propaganda against the group) – Again, yup
    7. Preparation (official actions to remove people) – Not yet, thank God.
    8. Persecution (beginning of murders, theft of property trial massacres) – How many conservatives have been murdered by the left and their supporters over the last few years? A dozen? More? Does it matter if a conservatives property is destroyed?
    9. Extermination – Not yet…
    10. Denial (government denies it committed the crime) – Not applicable at this time

The bottom line is that the groundwork is being laid. The “othering” has begun and if we were not so well armed we would be loading into boxcars already.

So, what do you think? Am I being too sensitive and exaggerating where we stand compared to the list? Sound off in the comments section below.

Be alert, get prepared, fight the good fight!

God bless and God save the Republic.

First Hundred Things That Go In A Collapse (Part 7)

I have referenced this list before, the first hundred things that disappear in a collapse. It was originally created based on the feedback from survivors of the Bosnian war with special attention from the experiences of those who lived through the siege of Sarajevo. The list has been updated (to some degree) to reflect the slightly different world we live in these days and a slightly different culture/economy.

I few weeks ago Wonderful Wife and I reviewed the list together. We did our best to determine what items did, or did not, apply to us. For the items that did apply we tried to determine how well we had that item covered. For the items where we determined there was a gap we put together at least a rough plan for filling the gap.

I thought it might be useful to some of you to share our thoughts on the items, our gaps and our plans. I also thought it might be useful to share these things because many of you might have better ideas than we did. So, feedback is not only encouraged but would be much appreciated.

Here are the next ten items on the list:

61. Bleach (plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite)
A few things to keep in mind about bleach…
Liquid bleach has a fairly short shelf-life and begins to lose potency in as little as six months and can lose up to 20% of it’s usefulness as a sanitizer per year afterwards. Powdered leach is much more concentrated and has an almost infinite shelf life. It’s also much cheaper (per use) than liquid bleach.
Bleach is extremely destructive should it leak. We had a pinhole leak in a gallon jug of bleach that ruined a stainless steel shelving unit, the wall, and several cases of paper towels. Had we not replaced the wooden floors in that area of the house with ceramic tile it would have ruined that was well. Be careful how and where you store it and inspect for leaks and damage regularly. Powdered bleach is much stronger than liquid and even the fumes can damage items in the vicinity.
Here are a couple good links on the use and storage of bleach:
5 Things To Know About Bleach Storage
DIY Bleach That’s Safe To Use At Home
Bleach is also very dangerous when combined with other household chemicals such as ammonia, acidic cleaners or alcohol which results in the creation chloramine gas, chlorine gas and chloroform which can all result all of which can be deadly (link).
With that said we are well stocked on bleach.

62. Canning supplies (Jars/lids/wax)
Definitely useful, as long as you know how to use them and have everything else you need to make use of them including foods to be canned. Something we have on our skills list for 2022 but do not currently have.

63. Knives and Sharpening tools: files, stones, steel
While I am horrible at sharpening knives I do have plenty of knives and sharpening solutions. Practice makes perfect and I need a lot more practice on that particular skill.

64. Bicycles…Tires/tubes/pumps/chains, etc.
We have bicycles. It is not a bad idea to grab some extra tires, tubes, etc. Going on the list.

65. Sleeping bags and blankets/pillows/mats
We have a few and as we find them on sale or have additional need we may add to our stores.

66. Saline solution for contacts
We don’t wear contacts but it’s a good thought.

67. Board Games Cards, Dice, cards
We keep a stash in the “Hurricane Box” for those quiet times after the storm when the power is out plus we have what we use for family game nights.

68. d-Con Rat poison, MOUSE PRUFE II, Roach Killer
Yup, have it covered. We have a steady supply of unwanted guests coming out of the woods during cold weather…

69. Mousetraps, Ant traps and cockroach magnets
See above, we’re covered here although a few extra mousetraps may not be a bad idea. They might even be useful to discourage raccoons from raiding the trash.

70. Paper plates/cups/utensils (stock up, folks…)
We use them and stock them. Who wants to wash dishes when the power is out, when a hurricane is threatening or when the flood waters are rising/falling.

We will continue to work through the remainder of the list in future posts but as I mentioned above please make suggestions and provide your thoughts on these items.

Be alert, get prepared, fight the good fight!

God bless and God save the Republic.

First Hundred Things That Go In A Collapse (Part 6)

I have referenced this list before, the first hundred things that disappear in a collapse. It was originally created based on the feedback from survivors of the Bosnian war with special attention from the experiences of those who lived through the siege of Sarajevo. The list has been updated (to some degree) to reflect the slightly different world we live in these days and a slightly different culture/economy.

I few weeks ago Wonderful Wife and I reviewed the list together. We did our best to determine what items did, or did not, apply to us. For the items that did apply we tried to determine how well we had that item covered. For the items where we determined there was a gap we put together at least a rough plan for filling the gap.

I thought it might be useful to some of you to share our thoughts on the items, our gaps and our plans. I also thought it might be useful to share these things because many of you might have better ideas than we did. So, feedback is not only encouraged but would be much appreciated.

Here are the next ten items on the list:

51. Fishing supplies/tools
This is a great suggestion, if you live near a body of water with enough fish to make it worthwhile. Which I do.
However…
Fishing to survive and feed your family is very different from recreational fishing (at least in the US). In a collapse, towing your $50,000 bass boat to the lake and blasting across the lake to your favorite honey hole to pull in a couple of fish (even good sized fish) is not a very efficient use of resources. You are burning a lot of fuel towing the boat and running it around the lake. You are probably going to attract a lot of unwanted attention. Casting around a lake or even dunking minnows or worms is not a very efficient way to catch dinner. Instead think about nets. Cast nets or gill nets which may not be legal pre-collapse are far more efficient ways to add fish to the menu in sufficient quantities. You will have to have them, know how to use them and how to repair them. Jug fishing or “trot” lines are also much more efficient ways of catching your food supply. Again, legalities may vary pre-collapse. Instead of a high profile motorboat, think about a canoe or kayak instead. Operational security is a key here. If someone finds your gear, lines or boat you may not have them for very long.

52. Mosquito repellent
Living along the Gulf Coast, I think I think I have an entire bin of various anti-mosquito defenses but don’t limit yourself to what you can buy. Look at what you can grow on your own as well. There are a number of plants that help repel those nasty little bloodsuckers including citronella. Some are herbs that would be nice to have on hand for other reasons as well (link). In addition to repellents, practice good mosquito control practices including getting rid of standing water near your property (link).
Keep in mind that pre-collapse mosquitos can be an annoyance but post-collapse they become a serious health risk. I have been told that mosquito-born illness kills more people in some parts of the world than anything else.

53. Duct tape
Can you ever really have enough of “duck” tape? It is probably the most versatile item in your toolkit. I have used it for everything from temporary car repairs to wrapping presents and making wallets. In one case, I even used it as part of a makeshift bandage, along with a stack of unused fast food napkins, on a knife wound. Get a bunch. I just ordered several extra rolls.

54. Tarps/stakes/twine/nails/rope/spikes
Living in Hurricane Alley (at at least right next to it) blue tarps are a mandatory item to keep on hand. I will grab a few extra before hurricane season start and grab some of the other items listed here as well. I have some but would like more.

55. Candles
We have a selection of these on hand, mostly of the scented or decorative varieties. But we need to add more. To combine this with #52 a bunch will be citronella candles.

56. Laundry detergent (Liquid)
Since COVID we have kept a pretty good supply on hand and will continue to stock up.

57. Backpacks and Duffle bags
Oh Lord, if Wonderful Wife sees me buy another backpack or bag I may have to live out of it. I buy way too many of these and have over a dozen on hand.

58. Garden tools and supplies – manual
This is another area where just having the tools on hand is not enough. You need seeds. You need properly prepared soil. You need to be able to provide water to the plants should it be needed. You need to know what grows well in your environment and when to plant each crop you want to grow. Once you plant your garden it will take several months or week to yield food. The bottom line is that you should gardening now in order to be ready.

59. Scissors, fabrics and sewing supplies
This is an area that falls more in line with Wonderful Wife’s are of expertise and she has quite a bit for sewing and knitting but I think it would be good to add a few small sewing kits to the inventory to have just in case.

60. Canned Fruits, Veggies, Soups, stews, etc.
This is part of our routine food preps. We make sure we have plenty of what we normally eat on hand. I will say I am probably a little light on the fruit side of things so we will start building those supplies up a little.

 

We will continue to work through the remainder of the list in future posts but as I mentioned above please make suggestions and provide your thoughts on these items.

Be alert, get prepared, fight the good fight!

God bless and God save the Republic.

First Hundred Things That Go In A Collapse (Part 5)

I have referenced this list before, the first hundred things that disappear in a collapse. It was originally created based on the feedback from survivors of the Bosnian war with special attention from the experiences of those who lived through the siege of Sarajevo. The list has been updated (to some degree) to reflect the slightly different world we live in these days and a slightly different culture/economy.

I few weeks ago Wonderful Wife and I reviewed the list together. We did our best to determine what items did, or did not, apply to us. For the items that did apply we tried to determine how well we had that item covered. For the items where we determined there was a gap we put together at least a rough plan for filling the gap.

I thought it might be useful to some of you to share our thoughts on the items, our gaps and our plans. I also thought it might be useful to share these things because many of you might have better ideas than we did. So, feedback is not only encouraged but would be much appreciated.

Here are the next ten items on the list:

41. Flour, yeast, and salt
I covered this in the last post on baking goods. Having learned our lesson during the initial COVID lockdown, we are good to go here and are continuing to stock up.

42. Matches (“Strike Anywhere” preferred. Boxed, wooden matches will go first.)
We have been stocking lighters but I will add some matches as well. On one of the podcasts I listen to they suggested vacuum sealing matches for long term storage. I think I will follow that advice.

43. Writing paper/pads/notebook/pencils/solar calculators
I keep a supply of these on hand. Both standard notebooks as well as write in the rain style notebooks. We just restocked on the write in the rain style.

44. Insulated ice chests (good for keeping items from freezing in Wintertime)
I have a collection of these so we are good.

45. Work boots, belts, Levis and durable shirts
I am pretty good on these but I may add a few pair of cargo pants soon.

46. Flashlights/Light Sticks and torches, “No.76 Dietz” Lanterns
We live in hurricane alley (well on a side street anyway) plus I am a bit of a flashlight hoarder so we are good on that perspective. We have a couple of battery powered lanterns as well. I also just stocked up on chemlights (green) and will add another color shortly.

47. Prescription medications/insulin/syringes
This is a bit problematic. I haven’t found a cooperative doctor at this point yet so we really need to get working on this. We are doing the best we can until we find a doctor to assist.

48. Plastic Garbage Cans (great for storage, water, transporting – if with wheels)
We used these for storage when rebuilding after Harvey and for storage I wasn’t impressed and replaced them with tubs once they became available again. I would prefer to use other carts and wheelbarrow for transport.

49. Shampoo, Toothbrush/toothpaste, Mouthwash/floss, nail clippers, etc
Stocking up quickly on toothpaste but need to start stocking up on brushes and the other items on the list.

50. Cast iron cookware (sturdy, efficient)
It is, but we have other cookware that we prefer to use. I may add some cast iron or porcelain coated cast iron soon mainly for camping.

We will continue to work through the remainder of the list in future posts but as I mentioned above please make suggestions and provide your thoughts on these items.

Be alert, get prepared, fight the good fight!

God bless and God save the Republic.