Go-Bags and Emergency Provision Kits for Disasters or Evacuation Reply

GO-Bag_Family

Prepare GO-Bags for each family member.

What is a GO Bag?  It’s a pre-packed provisions and gear knapsack, and it is a core element for disaster and emergency preparations.  Whether you are forced to evacuated from your home due to a storm, or you have made the choice to flee due to civil unrest or some other cause, you need a pre-packed GO-Bag (sometimes referred to as a GOOD Bag — Get-Out-Of-Dodge, or BOB — Bug-Out Bag).

A pre-packed GO-Bag makes it possible for you to instantly flee in a disaster or emergency situation   If this is the kind of situation that you encounter, at that point it is too late to pack.  It’s literally too late.  You will either throw things into a bag and leave, with only a few of the things you actually need; or you will take the time to do it right, and the window of opportunity will close and it will be too late to get to safety.  Either way, you will expose yourself to unnecessary danger.  A GO-Bag, pre-packed and ready to use, is an essential component for disaster and emergency preparedness.

Advice from the Experts:  A suitcase or duffle bag is inadequate for use as a GO-Bag.  You need to be able to carry your GO-Bag on your shoulders, comfortably, perhaps for an extended period of time and considerable distance if you end up on foot.  

You may flee from your home or work in your car, but you may end up on walking.  Anticipate this situation.  You may have more supplies in your car but you may be forced to leave almost everything behind.  If this is the situation, a pre-packed GO-Bag may literally be a life saver.

A GO-Bag is a knapsack containing 10-15 lbs of essential supplies.  For most people, a knapsack is a better choice because a large backpack can be ungainly if you need to move quickly.  And, if it’s too heavy you might be tempted to leave it behind, and a large bag may make you more of a target for criminal assault or unwanted attention.  

Keep your emergency supplies and your GO Bag protected inside a duffle bag, and store it in your car’s trunk.  The colors of your clothing and GOOD Bag should be subdued and similar to the color of the terrain, but not camo or military-like. Don’t store batteries in flashlights or electronics.  Frequently replace water and other items susceptible to quality or safety degradation.  Check your kit regularly.  Storing your GO Bag in a plastic trash sack may keep it clean, but it may encourage mold or other problems.  Excessive heat or cold will damage some of your GO Bag provisions, so storage must be appropriate to your environment.

Young Children, Elderly, and those With Physical Limitations

Each member of the family or group that is bugging-out (fleeing), who is physically able, should carry their own GO Bag, even if it’s small.  Young children, elderly, and physically feeble individuals may not be able to carry everything they need, but they should at least carry the important items that are unique to their personal needs.  This will include essential clothing, their medicines, their spare eyeglasses and other personal-needs gear, plus at least some water and Power Bars (food).  You may shutter at the thought of becoming separated from them, but if that does somehow happen, or if you need to transfer them to the care of another, you’ll want your loved one to have those things they actually need.

Seasonal Clothing / Needs for Environment or Conditions

In addition to your GO Bag, you need to have a seasonal bag containing such items as warm/cold weather clothing, rain/sun/heat protection, boots and durable clothing to immediately change into when an emergency situation occurs.  Having multiple changes of clothing is overrated.  What you need are the right clothes for the situation.  Change into your situation-appropriate clothing early, and leave the impractical items behind.  More about clothing will be covered later.  The point we’re making here is that these items should be in a separate bag, but stored with your GO Bag.

What to Get? / Where to Buy?

Though a sporting goods store may offer a good selection of suitable clothing items, their “camping” or “backpacking” departments are often stocked with goods that are of insufficient quality.  Shopping online from a trustworthy vendor such as REI (http://www.REI.com and Brigade Quartermaster (http://www.BrigadeQM.com) are usually a more reliable resource.   REI has stores nationwide which offer training and product-comparison materials, and sales staff who are better informed than those found in most stores.

On this website, brand recommendations (italics) are made only when quality or specifications are highly important.  This doesn’t mean that these items are your only choice, it just means that you need to pay particular attention to the specifications and quality.

Specific Provisions & Gear

You can’t have all of the below items in your GO Bag as it would become too large and heavy.  But if you have a number of people in your family or Bug-Out Group, all of these items can be included.

As finances allow, you need to stockpile as much of this as possible.  Again, the below list is a place to start as you develop your own emergency preparations. This list needs to be revised according to your own needs, your financial ability, and your own geography and environment.

Remember to remove unnecessary packaging from all items, and compress clothing in Ziplock-style travel bags.  Everything should be stored together, and protected from excessive heat/cold, moisture, insects, and other things which might cause damage.

Your Emergency / Disaster Supplies List

Below is a basic list of provisions and gear to create a 2-Week Emergency and Disaster Preparedness Kit, and a GO-Bag (Evacuation Supplies).  The items selected for inclusion in your GO-Bag knapsack will be only a small portion of this list, and the contents of your GO-Bag should be selected based on your location and situation.

This list of provisions and gear is provided only as a place to start, to help you develop your own list of supplies.  We hope that you will find this generic list helpful, but it is not intended to take the place of personal planning for your own circumstances and situation.  Be sure to add, remove and make changes to this list as appropriate for the number of people being served, the special needs of children, elderly and infirm, and for health, weather and other environment conditions where you will be operating.

GO-Bag:  Use either a medium-size internal frame backpack or a stout knapsack as your bag.  It should be equipped with a 100-fl. oz. water bladder, stored empty until needed; and your bag needs to be constructed of waterproof materials and designed to be carried on your back using padded shoulder straps.  If finances are tight, go to a Good Will store and buy an old school-bag knapsack.

The decision to use a medium-size backpack vs. knapsack should be based on the fitness of the individual who will be carrying it, environmental conditions, and terrain.  For most reasonably-fit and healthy people the weight of the fully-packed GO-Bag (weight of bag and contents) should not exceed 20% of their body weight.

In an emergency situation, always keep core essentials with you in your pockets, or in the pockets of a vest or fanny pack which is worn constantly, even while sleeping.  The GO Bag is for essentials, but the critically important “core” essentials such as a small flashlight, lighter or fire-starter, water purification tablets, a collapsible water container, face-covering scarf, self-defense pepper spray, and a pocketknife, should always be kept on your person. 

A change of clothing for an emergency situation can be stored in a separate bag and kept with your GO Bag, but be sure to change into these clothes as soon as practicable when an emergency strikes.  Hand carried items reduce mobility and increase fatigue.

Again, the following list is only a place to start.  It is provided to help you develop your own a GO Bag, and your 14-Day Emergency Provision Kit (for home use, office use, or transport in a vehicle).  Personal needs, environmental conditions, health, children, pets, and the need to assist others must also be considered when developing your personal supply lists.  

If you are new to this, and just getting into preparedness, this list will be daunting.  So start by purchasing the most important items first, and add to your emergency provisions as finances allow.

Assembling your GO-Bag, a sufficient quantity of drinking water, food, emergency medical supplies, and preparations for shelter (protection from cold, rain, sun, etc.) are your first priorities.  Concentrate on these supplies first.

BASIC CLOTHING:

–  Hiking Boots; made from waterproof but breathable material, and tops which extend above the ankle for lateral support and protection (wear these).

–  Water shoes or lightweight tennis shoes.

–  Moisture-wicking liner socks, 3-pair (wear 1-pr).

–  Backpacking socks , 3-pair (wear 1-pair).

–  Underpants (3-pr); and for women add a sports bra.

–  Gloves (work gloves AND surgical/latex gloves).

–  Wool watch cap.

–  Boonie or full-brimmed hat with retention strap.

–  Bandana, cotton or water- wicking synthetic.

–  Ripstop BDU pants, 2 pair (wear 1-pair).

–  Polyester long underwear (1 pair).

–  Long underwear shirt (1).

–  2 Polyester T-shirts, one w/ long-sleeves (wear 1).

–  Gore-Tex rain pants or snake-proof gaiters.

–  Heavy-duty belt with strong buckle.

–  Polar fleece long-sleeve pullover (1).

–  Shirt (long sleeve, roll-up sleeve style (wear).

–  Gore-Tex shell or parka.

–  Camouflage GI poncho or Gore-Tex poncho (can also be used as shelter, or to hide unattended gear).

 

EMERGENCY SHELTER and FIRE

–  Disposable butane lighters (3+).

–   FireSteel or Ultimate Survival fire-starter tool (2).

–  Fire NuggetsTinder Dust, or combustible tinder.

–  Strike-Anywhere or Storm-Proof matches in a watertight plastic container.

–  Magnifying glass (small size, for starting fires, etc.)

–  Space All-Weather Blanket or SOL Thermal Bivy.

–  Tarp (6 x 8’ fiber-reinforced plastic tarp).

–  550 7-strand braided GI paracord (100-feet).

–  Sleeping bag, foam pad and nylon bivy sacks are valuable, but may be too large or heavy if using a H.A.W.G. or other knapsack-size GOOD Bag.


WATER & FOOD

Of the two, pure water is more important than food.  You can live as long as 3-4 weeks on almost no food, but your body and brain will start to suffer greatly after just one day without pure water.

Water and food supplies should be sufficient for 14-days, but you will probably not carry more than 200-oz in your GO-Bag, so water purification tablets or a purification filter is essential.  Prepare for extra people, too.  (Some equipment can be shared, but water supplies and food, shelter, and related supplies must be on a per-person basis.

A 14-day supply of canned food per-person may be difficult to store, but it may be impossible to transport in an average car.  Even a 7-day supply of military meals (MRE – Meals-Ready-to-Eat) would be unreasonable to carry in a GO-Bag knapsack.  So for your transportable supplies, be sure to include quantities of dry goods such as pasta and instant rice to create a more lightweight and compact food supply.

Practice loading your supplies into your vehicle, to make sure everything fits.

For your GO-Bag, pack food such as MRE Entrees (just the meal, not the entire package) or dehydrated meals made for backpacking.  Freeze-dried prepared food, such as those made by “ Mountain House,” are the lightest weight and most easily packed.  And since you only need to add hot water to prepare these freeze-dried meals, it’s an easy and practical way to eat when you’re on the go.  However, keep in mind that when the product label indicates “Serves 2,” it is generally only adequate for one active person.  Power Bars, and lifeboat survival rations (available at a marine-supplies store), can augment these MRE or freeze-dried GO-Bag meals.

Low Cost, Easy to store long-term, and sufficiently lightweight to pack in a GO-Bag, are such things as:

–  Peanuts or trail mix (dried fruits, nuts and seeds), ideal in foil packaging.

–  Power Bars (8+), and Beef Jerky (4+ packages).

–  Gatoraid or similar powder to add to water, to provide carbs and electrolytes.

–  1 -gal Ziplock bag of oatmeal, and a 1-gal bag of rice.

–  Raw honey, cinnamon, salt & pepper, plus a small  bottle of Tabasco sauce or other strong seasoning to help make any food more palatable.

–  1-quart Nalgene bottle, filled with some of above.

–  Drinking water (minimum of 100-oz) of pure drinking water should be in your GO-Bag, plus the capability of purifying water.  Water filtration is not enough.  You need to purify other sources of water.  This can be accomplished by boiling it for at least 5-7 minutes, or by using using purification tablets, or using a water purification system that filters to at least 1-micron.

–  “MSR” water filter (1-micron filtration) or similar is fairly expensive, but can be a life saver.

–  Potable Aqua Iodine water purification tablets (2 bottles, even if you have a water filtration system).

Cooking  at home: Propane camp stove with at least 7-propane bottles, or a one full 5-gallon propane tank.  (Keep in mind that you may be without electricity or natural gas, so your kitchen stove and conventional cooking methods may not work).

Cooking equipment for an extended-duration GO-Bag:

–  “MSR DragonFly” multi-fuel stove, full fuel bottle.

–  Pot w/ lid and heat exchanger (store stove inside).

–  MSR windscreen and heat reflector for cooking.

–  Insulated mug with lid and handle (Size: 16+ oz).

–  Stainless steel spoon, plus sturdy plastic or aluminum spork (fork/spoon combination).

–  Dish/pot scraper and brush.

* Use Hefty OneZip Click plastic bags to organize by category and to protect items as appropriate.

  

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS:

–  Small, strong plastic backpacking spade (small shovel).

–  Backpacking saw (blades for wood and metal).

–  Pry bar, 15”+.

–  Leatherman Wave multi-tool knife/pliers.

–  Knife sharpener or stone (pocket-size).

–  Topographic map GPS receiver (expensive), or
–  NSGS map of bug-out location and route alternatives, laminated or sealed in slide-lock plastic bag.

–   Heavy duty Dacron sail-maker’s thread and needles, or upholstery needles and thread.

–   Insect repellent – 98% DEET (in slide-lock bag).

–  SPF 50 sun-block and Chapstick.

–  Polarized sunglasses, rated also as eye protection, with protective case and floating retainer strap.

–  Molefoam Padding, tape and blister relief items.

–  Cortisone cream (sm. size; poison ivy & bug bites).

–  Benadryll (travel size, for insect stings).

–  Epipen (for severe allergic reactions to stings).

–  Medication for both diarrhea and constipation, as well as for upset stomach.

–  Ibuprofen and aspirin (20 of each).

–  Field guide to edible plants (region-specific).

–  Photocopy of ID (driver’s license / passport / medication prescriptions).

–  Cash, plus items to barter.

–  P-51 military (pocket) can opener.

–  Swiss Army  Explorer-model pocket knife.

–  Sheath Knife 4+ inch stainless steel blade.

–  550 Paracord (braided, 7-strand nylon, military).

–  Nylon fishing net (9 x 3’ min, 1” mesh).

–  Toothbrush and baking soda.

–  Wilderness concentrated soap (1-3 oz plastic bottle).

–  Safety razor, comb, backpacking toilet tissue.

–  Signal mirror (metal, lightweight; protect surface).

–   Greatland Laser Rescue Flare (or a laser pointer).

–   Flashlight: Mini Maglight w/ extra batteries.

–  Petzl or Black Diamond LED headlamp.

–  Rechargeable batteries and solar battery charger.

–  Heavy-duty duct tape (20’ minimum).

–  Gun Oil: Royal Purple or Militech-1  (1-oz  size).

–  Super Glue (6-small tubes, store in Ziplock bag).

–  Sharpie and Fisher Space pens (black ink).

–  “Rite in the Rain Outdoor Journal”-  5 x 3” notepad.

–  Portable radio with hand-crank and cell phone charger / adapters  (operates on AM-FM-NOAA weather bands).  Or, an ultra-small radio such as Kaito KA1121, plus a hand-crank battery charger.

–  Suunto (or similar) backpacking compass.

–  Plastic whistle, with lanyard.

–  Trash Bags (2) 3-mil, 42-55 gal. construction-grade plastic garbage bags for: shelter, raincoat, to bury gear, for water collection and many other uses.

–  Lightweight mesh bag (food foraging and carry).

–   Bible, New Testament w/ Psalms & Proverbs small-size.  (Even non-religious people will find this a source of comfort and wisdom during difficult times).

HUNTING, FISHING, and FORAGING:
For information on firearms and ammunition, see article: “Firearms & Tools for Defense and Hunting.”  For training on hunting, and hunting education for children, contact Trinity Oaks: www.TrinityOaks.org.

Supplies for Hunting, Fishing, and Foraging:

–  Selection of fishhooks, lures, flies, bobbers, line-weights, and a spool of mono-filament leader.

–  Wire snares or traps suitable for small game.

–  Wrist-Rocket slingshot (or, 5’ surgical tubing to make a slingshot, and for siphoning fuel, water, etc).

–  Binoculars (small & lightweight, 8 x 25 or greater).

 

As you develop your list of supplies, remember that there are at least 4-levels of equipment and food/water preparations that are required:

a) Home and Work Preparations (for yourself and co-workers);

b) Vehicle transported supplies, and/or

c) Mountain Bike or Motorcycle Carried Supplies (Optional). These extra items will be in addition to your GO-Bag;

d) On Foot Bug-Out  (Go-Bag for each individual, required in addition to the above).  Note:  GO-Bags, also referred to as GOOD Bags (Get-Out-O-Dodge) or BOBs (Bug-Out Bags), can be either a pack as used for backpacking, or a knapsack which is more convenient to handle, run with, as well as lighter in weight if you find yourself in the situation of having to walk for a long distance;

e) Pocket-Kits. (Items carried in your pocket, purse, briefcase, everyday/always— just in case).

 

Recommended Retailers for These Products:

REI:  www.REI.com  REI specializes in quality backpacking and camping gear, and these compact and transportable items can form the basis for emergency and disaster preparations.

Brigade Quartermaster:  www.BrigadeQM.com  Brigade Quartermaster is a prime supplier of goods to the military and soldiers serving overseas.  Many of these items are also useful for emergency and disaster preparedness.

Note:  36ReadyBlog does not have a relationship with these retailers, nor do we receive any compensation from them as a result of our making these recommendations.

Viability of EMP Threat Reply

Experts conclude that Iran may be actively preparing an EMP attack against the U.S.  If successful, the effect will be the failure of the power grid and all electronic devices in the effected zones.

Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, report:  “Countering the EMP Threat: The Role of Missile Defense.”

Excerpt from Report:
Among the threats facing the United States are short-range ballistic missiles launched from vessels such as freighters, tankers, or contain­er ships off our shores to detonate a warhead that could have cata­strophic Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) consequences for the United States. No national strategy addresses either the EMP threat or un­derwrites a serious program to counter the delivery of EMP by a bal­listic missile launched from a vessel off our coasts.

Commis­sions, studies and hearings have produced no action beyond the byproducts of efforts to defend the United States against ICBMs that might be launched by a country such as Iran or North Korea, or our overseas troops, friends and allies against shorter range ballistic missiles.

While in no way discounting the need for effective mis­sile defenses against the growing ICBM threat, it is also im­perative that the United States address the more immediate threat posed by the possible attack by shorter-range missiles, and the EMP threat in particular. Although some enemies of the United States are developing long-range missiles, they and others already have short- and medium-range missiles that could be launched from ships near our coasts. Several years ago, Iran tested a short-range ballistic missile in a way that indicated an interest in developing an EMP capability—so this threat is not hypothetical. It also must be remembered that terrorists might purchase such missiles—even possibly armed with nuclear weapons.

The above is the introduction; the full report can be downloaded here: IFPA-Countering_the_EMP_Threat
Click Here to learn more about the effects of EMP and solar storm events, and what you can do to prepare.

Are we facing a major national disaster? Reply

The Prayer at Valley Forge, by Arnold Friberg.

Situation:  In the United States we are influenced by a “normalcy bias,” and this hampers our recognition of the ‘red flags’ which warn us of disaster.  These warning signs of the times are usually present before major disasters and emergencies strike, so we need to look for them.  Plus, we need to properly evaluate what we see.  For those of us who want to do what we can to prepare for the future, including disasters and emergency situations, it is imperative that we recognize the key indicators.

This might include simple activities such as monitoring weather reports, or more complex such as seeking-out news reports on economic and social conditions.  When we are armed with this information, we have the opportunity to make informed decisions.  We can formulate a plan and incisively prepare for the future.  At the very least, we can generally avoid the full impact of a disaster.

Since most of our news media is useless for this type of news monitoring, consider using a news consolidator website such as Drudge Report  www.DrudgeReport.com, and trusted independent news sources such as World Net Daily http://www.WND.com.  Using sources such as these, it is a quicker and simpler task to find relevant news stories and track developments.

But first, we must learn to recognize the signs of the times.  (Below you will find a sampling of topics to watch).  Then, we need to have the will  and determination to skillfully prepare, remembering that knowledge without effective action is useless.

The heart of the U.S. problem:

A vast majority of the U.S. population has never faced serious adversity.  This absence of adversity, coupled with the physiological condition of  “normalcy bias,” encourages most people to think that life will continue as it always has, with relatively minor ups and downs but without major change.  We need to recognize this natural tendency, and then overcome it.

We need to look for, and evaluate the signs.

“But He [Jesus] replied to them, ‘When it is evening, you say, It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’   And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’  Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?”

Matthew 16:2-4, NASB

What are our signs of the times?  Consider a few of the indicators…

In the U.S. we have out-of-control government spending.  Plus, we have accumulated a staggering national debt which now exceeds our entire annual Gross Domestic Product.  (GDP is $15.5 vs. our national debt of $16+ trillion).  This costs taxpayers $3.9 trillion each year just in interest on this debt.  Inconceivably, despite our financial predicament, the federal government is expanding its spending binge.

The U.S. government now spends more than $3.5 trillion each year on government programs and services, despite the fact that our Income Tax revenue is only $2.4 trillion.  And this total does not include State debt, which adds another $1 trillion to our national deficit.  Consider this—the total assets of all U.S. companies combined, adds up to $25 trillion; while the unfunded liabilities of our government exceed $121 trillion.

The United States is bankrupt—and there’s no one to bail us out.

The magnitude of our problem is epic.  To better understand the scope of our situation, consider this illustration:  If you had established a business the day Jesus was born (two thousand years ago), and you lost $1 Million each day since then, you would not accumulate $1 trillion in debt until the year 2737.

Unfortunately, along with our astronomical financial debt, we suffer under a pervasive public attitude of entitlement, too.  This now controls who is elected to public office.  Political candidates who stress austerity and the need to cut spending are not elected.

Despite the financial precipice which is before us, half of all Americans are still demanding more government-funded freebies.  As these people seek unreasonable benefits, they disregard both their own future and the survival of our nation.  “Tax the rich” and other painless solutions have no basis in reality, yet placebo cures continue to be touted.  Head-in-the-sand delusional thinking with self-centeredness reigns, so our ‘normalcy bias’ has become increasingly dangerous.

When serious adversity arrives, it will be a surprise for most people.  They have ignored the signs of the times, and they will be totally unprepared.

We can expect that when the government finally starts to respond, the first baby-steps of belt tightening will result in rioting.  This can quickly escalate into serious widespread lawlessness, so the government will likely back-off and fail to implement the essential spending cuts.

Less than 1% of the population is prepared to handle the adversity which now seems unavoidable.  For those who are not already prepared, time is short.  Preparation needs to become a priority.

The United States is a divided country, and these divisions are now greater than that which preceded the U.S. Civil War.  

“Compromise” is considered to be the art of politics, but this becomes difficult or impossible when the individual’s foundational principles and basic beliefs are at stake.  With a number of contemporary issues, compromise is literally impossible.  For example, if a Pro Life person believes that abortion is the murder of children, how can that individual ever come to a position of compromise with a Pro Choice advocate?  An agreement to murder fewer children will not pacify either side in this conflict.

We’ve all seen the effects.  When a country has a sufficient number of people who hold strenuously to a different bedrock viewpoint, these factions will become increasingly hostile to each other.  If people with the same viewpoint congregate in the same geographic area, this leads to natural division.  But when people from one area take resources from the other group to advance the abhorred cause, it is perceived as theft.  When one group seeks to impose their agenda or subvert the beliefs on the other, this is seen as something akin to guerrilla warfare.  This conflict is not diminished even if these actions are accomplished under the color of law.

Similarly, when one group sees the Constitution and Bill of Rights as inviolate, and yet another sees them as a “living document” and malleable, and subject to modification when expedient, this is another conflict which can’t be solved by compromise.  It requires the laborious Constitutional amendment solution, a process which those who disrespect the Constitution are unwilling to accept.  For the former the Constitution is the cornerstone for all other laws of the land, while the latter group sees it as an inconvenient obstacle to overcome.  Again, there is no compromise position.

Today, many Constitutionalists recognize that they do not have an obligation to obey any law which is clearly out of step with the original intent of the Constitution.  At the same time, the other group continues to use sympathetic activist judges to pass unconstitutional laws which facilitate their social agenda.  This leads to disrespect for the law, a condition which is intensified when the U.S. Attorney General and Justice Department openly refuse to enforce the laws they don’t like.  This puts the bedrock principle of justice and the rule of law at risk.

Developments such as these are more than divisive, they involve different foundational principles on which to build the nation and society.  

Widespread disputes such as these which have their basis in core beliefs, are indicators of coming hostilities.  The incidents and clashes rooted in these foundational differences are spreading seeds of division into the U.S. population.  Once planted in the hearts of fellow countrymen, they will either produce healthy social transformation and reform, or destructive resistance and rebellion.

When opposing factions become frustrated, they often work to manipulate the law to their own advantage.  This is seen as subversion by the other camp, and these laws or regulations become signs of oppression.  When a group’s sense of justice is offended, open hostility and civil disobedience is not far behind.

We are now seeing the development of both real and perceived oppression, but the tipping point may be reached by economic crisis, not an escalating trend of social dysfunction.  Patience and tolerance will become brittle, perhaps to the breaking point, once adversity surfaces.  Hardship and affliction seem unavoidable, and open hostilities are becoming increasingly likely.

Signs of the times which lead to social upheaval are often not the result of one factor such as an economic meltdown.  It is a combination of factors which produce the perfect storm in a society.  And, this confluence of events can produce disaster quickly.

Like a watchman on the wall, we need to monitor our growing financial crisis, the growing Constitutional discord, issues which are perceived as relating to justice and justice denied, and any new incident which might quickly fan these glowing embers in the tinderbox of social discontent.

This smoldering tinderbox may be fanned into fire by an unrelated problem.  When combined, overnight these can “tip” our frail economy into disaster.  Here are some unrelated issues which have this disruptive “tipping” potential: 

We are suffering under a dramatic decrease in the value of the dollar.  Salaries are stagnant, and the buying power of most Americans is diminishing.  The cost of food, fuel, and other essentials is increasing, requiring changes in lifestyle.  Some people will resist these changes.  Additionally, at some point a large number will have insufficient resources to meet their basic life-sustaining needs.  During this period, family debt may rise to unsupportable levels, and bankruptcies will become a far larger problem than mortgage foreclosures.  Consumers will eventually riot once a sufficient number of people are adversely effected, or the added burden of a massive number of debt defaults will accelerate into widespread corporate financial default.

The role of government is expanding; personal liberty and privacy diminishing.  Politicians are using race and class warfare to manipulate voters.  Historically, this technique easily spirals out of control and produces unintended consequences.  The activities of our elected officials are no longer transparent and visible to the citizenry.  Special interest groups have inordinate influence.  We have conflicting laws, and overbearing government agencies.  This makes it difficult and costly to engage in routine business.  This creates an environment of uncertainty, instability, and distrust which inhibits business growth and economic recovery.

Disruption in shipping systems will adversely affect the availability of goods.  Whether instigated by union strikes which lock-down our ports or trucking companies, or by skyrocketing fuels costs or fuel shortages which make transportation unprofitable, the reduction and delay of shipments to our stores may create a buying panic.  Combined with other “fear” factors, this may initiate a domino effect.

Our welfare and education programs don’t work.  Young people graduating from school are unable to find the jobs and salaries they expected.  Nationally, unemployment and those who have become discouraged and given-up looking for work, is a predicament for more than 23 million Americans.  Last year the number of families on food stamps grew from 17 million to 47 million.  A seventh of the nation apparently can’t feed itself, and this number is growing rapidly.

Our borders are porous, acts of terrorism are on the increase, and there is a worldwide resurgence of  al Qaeda; militant Islam is expanding rapidly.  Iran will soon have nuclear weapons, and they state their intention to annihilate Israel, Jews, Sunnis, and Americans.  U.S. and Western governments have failed foreign policies of appeasement which project decadence, weakness and vulnerability.  The number of radicalized Muslims is growing exponentially as a result of the Madrasa school movement, which actively teaches students to hate all non-Muslim people.  The world is becoming increasing unstable, additionally so as these radicalized Muslims believe it is their duty to conquer the world.

At this same time, we are experiencing an increase in the number and severity of natural disasters.  We are also facing a growing risk of pandemics.

Christians are denigrated, anti-Semitism is increasing, and the biblical principles on which our nation was founded are intentionally hidden.  More Christians have been martyred in our lifetime, and more people now live in slavery, than in all prior history.

The institution of marriage and family are under attack, and we sacrifice unborn children on the altar of convenience.  Moral and spiritual decay is rampant, and those who extol virtue are publicly ridiculed.

Our news media suppresses truth, and mainline churches embrace political correctness at the expense of biblical truth.  And, we have a citizenry which Madison Avenue has coerced into mind-numbing busyness and trivial priorities.

These problems of the U.S. are mirrored throughout the world.  We are all facing an increase in economic and social instability, and the collapse of nations.

Can we continue down this path and maintain normalcy?  Absent divine intervention, collapse or major change is inevitable.   This may occur in a few months, or in a few years, but absent revival and painful austerity, we are quickly progressing down a path which leads to crisis and social unrest.

How will this play out?  What will happen?  No one knows.

What we do know is that we can’t depend on our government to solve our problems.  For example, even after our recent experience with hurricane Katrina, we still weren’t prepared for hurricane Sandy.  In both cases, we had warning, but still our government and fellow citizens failed to adequately prepare.  These are powerful reminders that we can’t depend on our government to solve our problems.

The United States government is preparing for major upheaval.  Here are two of the many documents which illustrate this effort which is unprecedented in scope:  US Army manual on emergency internment camps for US: FM_3-39dot40-USArmy-InternmentResettlement , also just one of the many Executive Orders issued by the U.S. president: National_Defense-Authorization_Act-March16-2012-ExecutiveOrder-PresidentObama.  Yet, despite the billions of dollars now being spend by the government on preparations, FEMA, Homeland Security and the other agencies that are preparing, will not be able to cope with a major incident.

It’s up to us.  We must become self-sufficient and self-reliant.

Since we have the ability to recognize the signs of the times, we have the opportunity to get ready.  To get ready, we must embrace each aspect of preparedness.  We must prepare financially, prepare with provisions, and we need to prepare to defend ourselves and our family.

Are you equipped and ready?  Are you self-sufficient and self-reliant?  Do you have a plan?  Are you ready for an extended period without being able to shop for what you need, without the protection of the police and fire department, and without any government assistance?

What are you going to do?  Will you delay, effectively putting your head in the sand?  Will you bemoan our state of affairs and complain to your friends, and wring your hands and fret about it?  Or, will you actually prepare, and help others become prepared?

Are you sufficiently prepared?  Are you ready to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a future which is unlike our past?

— Sig Swanstrom

2 Chronicles 7:14
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
NKJV
God is in the business of changing hearts — including our own.  As the above picture of George Washington reminds us, we must put God first.  We must be righteous and humble, and fervently pray for God’s intervention, His Guidance, and His help.
God provided General Washington with miraculous assistance on many occasions.  Not the least of which was that the rag-tag troops of the United States were able to conquer England’s army, at that time the world’s foremost military machine, as well as well-trained and experienced mercenaries.
______________________________

Prayer of George Washington,  New York,  June 8, 1783

“I now make it my earnest prayer, that God would have you, and the State over which you preside, in his holy protection, that he would incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government, to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow Citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the Field, and finally, that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all, to do Justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility and pacific temper of mind, which were the Characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation.”

The above prayer was sent by Washington as a “Circular to the States.”  It was delivered to each State governor for distribution to the people of the United States.

No Power. No Heat. No Problem. Reply

Hurricane Sandy left 4.5 million people without power.  How would you survive the cold for a protracted power outage?  What would you do if you were stranded for days in your home or office, and it started to get cold?

Even houses equipped with generators rarely have sufficient fuel to maintain a household for more than a few days, so how would you handle a situation like hurricane Sandy?  What will you do when there is no power, no heat, and you are stranded?

Those who live in cold climates generally know what to do, and they are usually at least somewhat prepared.  But even if you live in a warm climate you can be hit by a freakish winter storm.  Even if the outside temperature isn’t close to freezing, you and your family can experience serious problems if your furnace isn’t working.  Temperatures in the 40s and 50s can still be life threatening, if you aren’t prepared.

Fortunately, with just a little preparation, you can easily survive such an event.  The easiest way is indoor camping.  An inexpensive tent, the size to fit your family or a little bigger, is perhaps the easiest solution.

Set up your tent in the warmest room in your house.  Close all the doors leading to that room, and use duct tape to seal any drafty doors or windows.  If there is an unused fireplace, make sure the damper is closed, and use duct tape to seal several layers of cardboard over the fireplace opening.

For comfort, a family of 4 should have a 6 person tent (a family of 2, a 3-person tent, etc).  A larger tent will be more comfortable, but much harder to heat using body heat.  Because of this, it is  best to select a tent size that is not much larger than what is actually needed for the number of people you have in your family.

Once the windows and doors of the tent are closed with your family tucked inside, you will be surprised how little time it takes for body heat to warm the tent’s interior.  As long as you aren’t sleeping, you can use a few carefully placed candles to speed the warming process.

If you don’t have warm clothing and sleeping bags, wear your baggiest clothes and stuff wadded-up newspaper between you and your outer layer of clothes.  This will produce an air-gap that your body will heat.  Though this isn’t as effective (or fashionable) as expensive winter clothing, it is extremely effective for maintaining warmth.

If you don’t have warm sleeping bags, you can make a newspaper-insulated quilt.  Simply sew, pin, or duct-tape the edges of two blankets (or sheets) together to form an envelope, leaving just enough space unsealed so that you can insert crumpled newspaper.  Then fill the interior space with wadded-up newspaper, and finish sealing the envelope.  Ideally, fill the envelope with sufficient wadded-up newspaper to maintain space between the two blankets (or sheets) when you are tucked underneath.  This will work like a down comforter to keep you warm.

Wadded up newspaper and corrugated cardboard boxes are very effective insulation.  Windows which radiate cold can be covered with cardboard (or even garbage sacks).  Be sure to leave a little space between the glass and the cardboard, as this gap will increase the insulation effect.  Seal the edges of the cardboard to the wall or window frame using duct tape, or small nails or staples and duct tape.  (It’s important to use tape on the edges as this helps prevent the insulated air from escaping).

Wear a cap.  Even a baseball cap will help you stay warmer.  We lose an amazing amount of body heat through the top of our heads.  If you have a stocking cap or a sweatshirt with a hood, that’s even better.  If you don’t have a hat, wrap a scarf (or item of clothing) over the top of your head like a hood, especially when you are sleeping.

If you get wet, be sure to immediately remove your wet clothing, towel dry, and put on dry underwear and clothing.   Unless you are wearing wool or one of those unusual fabrics which insulate when wet, remove ALL wet and damp clothing.  When cotton and most synthetic fabrics get wet, they suck heat away from the body, and this can quickly become dangerous.  This is a problem even when goose down winter clothing gets rain soaked.  Don’t risk becoming chilled.  Get out of those wet clothes.

Once your body temperature drops, it is very difficult to bring it back up.  It’s far easier to maintain body temperature than to try and increase it after you’ve become cold.  Being naked under a blanket is warmer than wearing wet clothes under a blanket.

If you are stranded with others, you can increase a cold person’s body temperature by cuddling together with them in a “spoons” position.  Since a healthy body radiates a lot of heat, this is much more effective than trying to get a cold body to radiate heat for itself using blankets.  Skin-to-skin transfer of heat has saved many lives.

Remember, too, that open flames consume oxygen.  Carbon monoxide poisoning claims many lives each winter, so don’t be tempted to use a barbecue indoors.  Be extremely cautious about using a camp stove indoors, or a propane or kerosene heater in a confined space.  Adequate ventilation is essential. Headaches, or unusual drowsiness, are indicators of carbon monoxide poisoning.  Use a carbon monoxide sensor inside your tent, or wherever the family congregates.

In addition to the standard at-home survival kit and preparedness items, and in addition to the more sophisticated cold-weather supplies you might be able to afford, be sure to have the following items available for cold weather emergencies:

1.  Sleeping bag for each family member, or lots of extra blankets.

2.  Tent, with floor and doors which can be tightly closed.  If the tent has windows, these must have covers.  Tents designed to be watertight in a rain storm are best.  (As opposed to a summer tent which uses mesh rather than waterproof fabric).

If you don’t have a tent, you can make one using plastic tarps, blankets, sheets, or even plastic garbage sacks pieced together using duct tape to form a tent.  Do the best you can to seal the edges, and the doorway.  This will help eliminate drafts, and prevent heat from leaking out.  Use paracord, heavy twine, or clothesline to form your tarp into a tepee or pup-tent shape.

3.  Duct tape (minimum of 6-rolls).

4.  Paracord (lightweight rope, 50-ft minimum).

5.  18” stack of newspaper (or more).

6.  Corrugated cardboard (collapsed moving boxes, etc.)

7.  12-hour (long-burning) candles (50), plus at least 4 safety bases (to prevent burning candles from being knocked over).

8.  Carbon monoxide sensor, battery operated.  (Similar in appearance to a smoke detector, but for detecting carbon monoxide).