Saturday, May 2, 2020

My NEW Recommendations for Preparedness and Survival

By Timothy Gamble

Preppers and survivalists should constantly be reviewing, updating, and changing their plans to reflect current circumstances and concerns. Recent events, especially the current worldwide pandemic caused by a Chinese bio-weapon,* and its many repercussions, should give us plenty to think about and consider. The ongoing example of the failure of Socialism in Venezuela also provides many lessons. On a personal level, dealing with my ongoing health problems (my diabetes and related eye problems) has also provided new challenges and insights for me to consider in my planning. Here are my new recommendations.


Increase your ability to ride out disruptions in supply chains. This is about much more than just food. A big lesson from the current pandemic is how dependent we are on China for not only cheap clothing and electronics, but also for medicine, vitamins, medical equipment, first aid supplies, cleaning supplies, auto parts, and other finished goods, as well as components and basic materials for a stunning range of other products. Procter and Gamble recently released a statement admitting that as many as 17,000 of their products depend on materials supplied from China. Returning manufacturing to the United States is a job for politicians and corporate leaders**, so it probably won't happen anytime soon. For us as individuals and families, we can stock up on food, water, and other supplies, AND become as self-reliant as possible. Use the current situation to discover what you are running out of or having a hard time replacing. Learn how to produce for yourself (gardening, fishing, sewing, woodworking, etc.). Learn how to maintain and repair what you have. Have the tools and supplies you need to do so.


Double your goals for food and water storage. Two weeks isn't enough. A month isn't enough. You aren't storing enough. Nor am I. In Venezuela, even former middle-class folks have been reduced to dumpster-diving and even eating family pets to survive. The problem isn't just high inflation, or even temporary disruptions in the supply chain. There simply isn't much food to be had for any price. Store shelves are empty, and staying empty. And here's the dirty little secret: food scarcity is even hitting rural areas, as few country folk are fully self-reliant when it comes to food. I recently accomplished my goal of doubling my food storage, and will likely add even more in the coming months.
Increase your ability to produce food.  If you have land, even a small yard, maximize your garden space. Plant more fruit and nut trees. Raise chickens (eggs, meat) and/or goats (meat, milk, cheese, butter). If you live outside the city limits and don't have a HOA, you may be able to have chickens in your suburban neighborhood. That is the case in my neighborhood, where at least three neighbors I know of have chickens. Greatly extend the growing season by putting in a greenhouse. Turn your swimming pool into a fish farm. Live in an apartment? Do whatever it takes to move somewhere else, even if you can only afford a small yard. You don't need a lot of land to produce a lot of your own food. Check out the book Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre Don't have a yard? Get into container gardening. Learn to grow food in containers on your porch, balcony, or window sills. Consider using grow-lights to grow some veggies indoors. Look into joining, or starting, a community garden.


Get your finances in order. We have seen how quickly an economy can tank. How how easily it can be tanked. Get back to the basics of personal finance. Make sure you are spending less than you earn. Avoid taking own any new debt - don't use credit cards, payday loans or installment payment plans of any type. Pay cash or make do without. Pay off credit cards, auto loans, and other installment loans. Get on a budget or spending plan and stick to it. Avoid impulse purchases. Scale back your lifestyle sharply. Find the best bargains by using shopping lists, clipping coupons and doing comparison shopping. Start an emergency fund. These are the basics of personal finance, and you probably already know you should be doing these things. But are you?

Prepare to lose your job (if you haven't already)*** and to make a living without one. This pandemic has shown us how quickly a job working for someone else can disappear. Be ready to lose your job at a moments notice. No job is secure, not even yours. Learn new skills. Be willing to work outside your preferred field. Better yet, go into business for yourself doing something really useful. Maybe learn a trade such as plumbing, electrical work, welding, auto repair, small engine repair, carpentry, or HVAC work. Not only do these jobs pay a decent wage, but there are ample opportunities to be self-employed in those fields.


Take personal responsibility for the security of yourself and your family. During this poandemic, some police departments have stopped responding to non-emergency 911 calls. Low-level crimes are not being investigated in many areas. Criminals are being released en masse from jails. You are now in charge of your family's security. Get your concealed-carry permit if it is legal in your area, and carry! Take a good self-defense shooting course (shooting at a moving target that shoots back at you is vastly different from shooting a fixed target at the gun range). Your local gun shop can probably tell you where to get training. I also suggest you double the amount of ammo you have on-hand. Consider learning how to reload, and stock up on reloading supplies. Everyone in your family or group, regardless of their age, should also take a non-lethal self-defense course. Remember that security isn't just about guns & ammo, but also about hardening your home, security doors, dead-bolt locks, exterior home lighting, avoiding bad areas of town, practicing situational awareness, exercising commonsense, and many other things less exciting, yet probably more important, than guns.

Avoid high-density urban areas. I'm not saying you have to move to an isolated homestead in the middle of nowhere. If that type of rural living isn't for you, then consider moving to a town or small city (the smaller the better, but at least keep it below 100,000 in population). And make sure it is well away from one of the mega-cities (I suggest at least a two-hours drive away under normal conditions, more if possible).  If there is anything that the current pandemic proves beyond any argument, it is the dangers of living in or near large cities. Not only are big cities major incubators for disease, they are high-profile targets for terrorists, they are almost always controlled by authoritarian, socialist types. And, if a hot war breaks out with China, a realistic possibility at some point, mega-cities like New York, Washington, Chicago, and Denver, among others, will make likely targets.


Food, supplies, guns & ammo, and even skills are ultimately worthless you you aren't healthy or fit enough to use them.  Health and fitness MUST be your number one preparedness & survival priority (your relationship to God is your number one Life Priority).

You and everyone in your family/group should get a complete physical exam within the next six months. Also, dental and vision exams this year for everyone. I've chronicled my mistake of putting off a doctor's visit until I absolutely had to, and it cost me dearly in terms of my health, my vision, and my finances. Learn from my mistake.

Start taking your health and fitness VERY seriously. Learn how to eat right, and then do it! Stop smoking NOW, if you smoke. Confront any other addictions you may have (drugs, alcohol, etc.). Lose weight if you need to lose weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is extremely important.  Get fit. Start an exercise routine (routine meaning you do it consistently, not occasionally), even if all you can do at the moment is walk around your neighborhood everyday. Learn your family's medical history (talk to the your family matriarchs - they usually keep up with such things). Get enough good sleep on a regular basis. Deal with chronic illnesses now. The truth is most chronic illnesses may be reversed or at least managed without drugs **IF** you are willing to make serious and substantial changes to your diet and lifestyle. It can be done, but it takes a lot of effort and sacrifice, which is why most people simply choose to take the drugs.


* There is no doubt that the coronavirus is a bio-weapon created by the Chinese government. Pay attention to what epidemiologists, bio-weapons experts, various intelligence services, and others in a position-to-know, are saying. Covid-19 is a bio-weapon. The only question if it is 1) an escapee from the Wuhan bio-weapons lab, 2) released by the Chinese on a small segment of their society as a test, of which they then lost containment, or 3) intentionally released worldwide by the Chinese. Why does this matter? If the answer ends up being #2 or #3, we will be in a very hot war with China within a year or so, guaranteed. 

** Read the opion piece, Coronavirus unmasks America's real national security vulnerabilities, written by Brig. Gen. Robert S. Spalding (USAF Ret.) for more on this topic. You may alse be interested in his book, Stealth War: How China Took Over While America's Elite Slept. Highly recommended! Another good read by a different author is China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America's Dependence on China for Medicine.

*** Read the articles Fifteen Commandments for Keeping Your Job and What To Do BEFORE Losing Your Job.

How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times, by James Wesley, Rawles.  Rawles is a well-known name within the survivalist community, and this book gives coverage of most topics within survivalism and prepping, not just food storage and bugging out.


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