Friday, July 31, 2009

Idiocracy

By Flea - Be A Survivor

This is a bit of a follow-up on my Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff post, I pondered the topic a bit more and I have some additional conclusions I want to share. It also borrows a bit from the excellent post RangerSquirrel did here on Fact or Fiction.

It is also a bit of a commentary based on an interesting movie called Idiocracyin which an average soldier wakes up in the future surrounded by a severely dumbed down mankind. While he was in his slumbering state we dropped a few rungs on the evolutionary ladder and this soldier is now the most brilliant person alive.

I really believe that we as a country and possibly as a species are getting “dumber”. Not everyone mind you, there are plenty of very intelligent folks out there with boat loads of common sense. However, I do think and argument can be made that as a collective we are growing dimmer by the minute.

One could contest that everyone when they reach a certain age develops a different view of life; that new take on things makes what has “always been” suddenly appear to be stupid and ridiculous. I will be the first to admit when I was younger I had a MUCH different outlook on life. As I grow older and live life, that has definitely toned down and changed and I question EVERYTHING. I wonder if when I have kids they will look at me like I did my father and say, “Man you just don’t get it.”

Conversely, I look at some people out there today and say to myself are they that DUMB or do they just not give a hoot? I guess there is a little of both (stupidity and complacency) out there but common sense seems to be going the way of the dodo bird.

There are people out there who will absolutely ridicule you for not sharing their beliefs and everyone is so quick to be brainwashed by whatever "movement" they became a “true believer" in, they refuse to listen to a rational argument. I am not saying that everyone needs to agree with everyone else but at least hear each other out.

Let’s get back to the brain washing thing though because that is important and if you have kids in college you need to pay attention to this.

Kids and younger folks are easier to impress your will on and no one does that better than the colleges across America and the boob tube. I experienced it first hand when I attended Rutgers University for a few years. All I am going to say is take an interest in what your kids are learning because you may be surprised what is being drilled into their heads in the halls of academia. That’s all I have to say about that.

I don’t know, sometimes it seems folks are just impressionable or are looking to be part of something. I watch people latch onto "something" and drink the proverbial Kool-aid and ask what triggered that? Is it plain old stupidity? I am not so sure.

I think part of the problem is the very thing that should be our intellectual salvation; the Internet. Bullshit spreads in seconds where it once took considerably longer. Someone say X causes this and doesn’t provide a lick of proof; suddenly people across the country refuse to do Y. I could tell everyone buying a Ford will give you hemorrhoids and there is a large chunk of people out there that just might believe it and not only that, Ford’s stock will drop 10% on the rumor!

A good example of how messed up we are is the simple egg. Eggs “were” good for you, and then they suddenly became bad for you, now they are good for you again (for how long is unknown, hell it could have changed since I wrote this). No one knows at this point if they will spontaneously combust if they eat an omelet. Me, I said screw it a LONG time ago and enjoy eggs as a staple of my breakfast diet. I could give a shit at this point if a study comes out and says eggs will cause me to grow horns and tail, I am gonna continue eating them.

So what’s yer opinion? Are we getting dumber? Or am I just getting grumpier as I get older?

...that is all.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Antibacterial Irony?

By Flea - Be A Survivor

I did this one a week or so ago as a guest post for MD Creekmore at The Survivalist Blog, but here it is again in case you missed it...

There is a growing trend in America where everything from soaps to slippers is “antibacterial”; there has been a growing debate that this trend is doing more harm than good. How is this possible you may ask?

Let’s start with a story; once upon a time a doctor named Fleming discovered penicillin. It was put into medical use to treat a wide variety of infections from venereal disease to septicemia. This glorious wonder drug was used and used and used again and used again and used some more. What is the problem you ask? Bacteria are like any other living creature, they evolve. Using penicillin the wrong way allowed some bacteria to be beat down but not killed. The old saying goes what does not kill me only makes me stronger. If you are bacteria, this saying is your motto.

Penicillin is its original incarnation is all but useless due to overuse and misuse. There are a multitude of other drugs that are heading that way or have already reached that point. In fact there are only a handful of drugs that actually have any effect on some of the “super bugs” we have created through our negligence, and guess what…bacteria are quickly become resistant to them as well.

What does antibacterial soap or hand sanitizer have to do with this? Well the AMA and FDA say that antibacterial soap is NO MORE beneficial than washing your hands properly with regular soap and in fact is creating more resistant bacteria. We are unloading the best weapons we have during the beginning skirmishes of the war and when the real BATTLE begins we will have NOTHING that works!

What can you as an individual do at this point? I honestly don’t have an answer for you. I never go to the doctor to get a prescription when I don’t feel well; I have to be practically dying to do so. I usually tough it out and get better about as quick as I would have had I gone in for a script. Unless you are really sick you may want to abstain from the current abuse of antibiotics that is raping us of the only defenses we have, it is up to you.

Many times the doctor is guessing if it is a bacteria or virus making you sick. Antibiotics don’t work on viruses so you may be taking them and still not get any better. In fact taking antibiotics when it is really a virus making you sick not only doesn’t make you better but exacerbates the problem of bacterial resistance to drugs. Taking unneeded antibiotics only puts pressure on the bacteria in your body (we all have varying levels in our body at any given point), if it is not killed off it becomes that much more resistant to the drug you are taking.

I can say this without hesitation, don’t waste your money on antibacterial soaps, use a regular soap to wash your hands, you will be just fine. Maybe, just maybe, if enough people do that and stop with antibiotic abuse we can buy ourselves a few more years and pray the drug companies find something new that works against the super bugs we have created.

CDC article on the cause for concern with the abuse of antibacterial products

Plain soap as good as antibacterial from WebMD

Antibiotic Resistance: Delaying the Inevitable

...that is all.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Failure

By Flea - Be A Survivor

There are times in all of our lives when we have all failed at something. If you are reading this and swear you haven’t you are lying; not to me, I don’t know you, to yourself. There is nothing to be ashamed of, the best of us fail. The key is what you do with that failure that separates the proverbial men from the boys.

Heck some of us fail a lot, there a ton of things I wish I could push the “do over” button on in my own life but I certainly don’t sit around wallowing in self pity eating a quart of ice cream obsessing on it. That takes some will power and talent I won’t try and kid you.

It is in fact human instinct to look at failure and say “I am not going to do that again.” That instinct had a place in the development and evolution of mankind as a species to keep us alive. I call this the self-preservation instinct and it was meant to keep us alive during a more rough and tumble time. We are programmed to avoid the things we suck at so we don’t get hurt or killed. I can say this, if we ALL still thought that way there certainly wouldn’t be as many people on the golf courses I live around.

The self-preservation instinct had its place and still does but we need to avoid using that instinct in situations that are not life threatening in some way to us. The only way to get better is to fail and learn. There is no easy way or shortcut I can give you, you need to try and try again, until you master whatever it is you are attempting.

When you fail at something the key is to make sure you learn from that failure. What was the straw that broke the camel’s back? What can you do better next time? How can you approach the situation differently next time to help set you up for a more successful attempt? These are the things you need to think about and remember.

Dust yourself off and get back at it as soon as possible in order to prevent the self-preservation instinct from kicking in and if it does fight it tooth and nail. The only REAL failure is failure to learn from your failures. If you don’t take something positive from your experience then you can truly call yourself a failure and break out the Ben & Jerry’s.

It all goes back to what you are probably sick of me preaching at this point, the survivor mentality. Learning from failures is a critical part of this thought process and contrary to the self-preservation instinct will help you make your situation infinitely better if practiced in real life. Don’t let pride or ignorance prevent you from trying to conquer your personal failures; it is the only way to get better as a person and as a survivor.

That is what this is all about people; taking your life, attitude and circumstances and improving them. THAT is what being a survivor is.

This blogs "vehicle" is disaster but you don't have to be an alarmist, prepper, survivalist or anything else to want to make yourself and your circumstances better. That is just being human...

...that is all.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Getting Out Of Debt

By Flea - Be A Survivor

I have said many times before that debt is the evil that hangs like and albatross around the necks of many hard working Americans. The key to freedom is financial freedom as well; you cannot have the former without the latter unless you consider indentured servitude freedom.

Debt has grown and grown in this country and has reached a tipping point, people extending themselves, buying more than they can afford because damn it, they have “THE RIGHT“ to that iPod and cable TV. People actually believe that somewhere in the Constitution there is a clause that guarantees cable, telephone and Internet access.

Living beyond your means is a mistake and one that can quickly spiral out of control. Living within your means is a skill because we are brainwashed from a very young age to be good little consumers. Spending our money for the good of the hive (hive=economy), capitalism at its best. Don’t get me wrong I am no socialist or communist, capitalism is where it is at…we have just perfected selling people shit they don’t need.

You don’t need to throw money away on trinkets to support a capitalist economy but I must digress before I stray too far off topic, back to financial freedom.

I have always been good with money, I am not a spendthrift and I don’t fancy fast cars and the latest electronic gear. I do spend money on things I need and sometimes even want…geez I am human, I do “want” things occasionally.

I am lucky enough to be married to a woman who is a mirror image of me financially in female form of course. Together we have managed to do some pretty amazing things with our money mostly because we are on the “same page”. We just paid off her vehicle and are working on paying mine off. We wanted a pop up camper, we saved and paid cash for it, we want a small boat and we are scraping money together so maybe next year we can go get one and pay cash!

Other than our mortgage we don’t have any debt, none, zip, zero, nada. We have one credit card that we pay off every month. How did we do it?

Debt snowballing…

Let me give you an example because that will clear it right up. Say you have 3 bills:
Car - $10,000 your payment is $300 a month
Credit card - $15,000 minimum payment is $45 per month
Student loan – $5,000 payment is $125 a month

I would pick the one with the lowest balance and attack that first. In the above example it is the student loan, if our payment was $125 I would find a way to pay extra on it and pay the minimum on the other two. Say I paid $175 or $50 extra, once I pay that student loan off I now take the extra $175 I have by paying the bill off and add that to the payment of the next debt.

In this example that would be the car, you paid the student loan off and have an "extra" $175, add that to the car payment and send them $475 a month instead of $300.

Once the car is paid off take the "extra" $475 you have and add that to the last debt. Instead of sending your credit card $45 you now send $520 ($45+$475).

You will be amazed how fast debts get paid doing this. How quickly you pay things off depends on how much “extra” you can afford to start with and if you have the discipline to avoid adding NEW debt. Avoiding new debt is key, if you can’t pay cash for it don’t buy it. You may have to sacrifice or even get a second job to try and come up with extra cash but continuing status quo will surely get you nowhere.

One book I recommend highly is Debt-Proof Living: The Complete Guide to Living Financially Freeby Mary Hunt. My wife and I BOTH read it a few years back and she covers debt snowballing in great depth. She offers A LOT of good advice on breaking free of the chains of debt. It is a quick and easy read and can change your whole outlook on your finances.

...that is all.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

How To Barter

By Flea - Be A Survivor

One of the skills you should work on is bartering and make no mistake about it, bartering is a skill. Yeah, yeah…I give you something you need I get something I need, I know how bartering works. Let face it the REAL objective is to get something you need and give AS LITTLE as possible to get it. No one is saying to outright screw someone but the objective SHOULD be to try and get a bit more in return for what you shell out.

This skill is something that is useful now but will be an absolute necessity in any post apocalyptic economy. Money will most like be used for tinder so having lots of that won’t do you any good and it is really hard to get your return back when using precious metals (depending on how bad the situation gets) so goods for goods, goods for services and services for services will be where it is at.

I hope Warren Buffet and Bill Gates know how to shoe horses, reload shell casings, or perform medical miracles using prehistoric methods because their money will be for shit. I can’t see “Windows 2020” being much use to anyone; neither will be the stock picks of the “Oracle of Omaha” once Wall Street is a ghost town.

If you have ever bought a new car you have most likely bartered with someone and most likely lost. You may think you did well (or even won) but you lost trust me. You don’t want to be a loser when it counts and you are bartering for your next meal or for something to protect your family with. I can share some simple bartering techniques with you but you will have to develop them yourself because you can bluff and lose, and lose badly, so as Kenny Rogers once said you need to know when to hold them and know when to fold them.

The first thing you need to do to barter successfully is to have something the other person “wants”. One of the best things to do is to make sure you have extra supplies that will most certainly be in demand in a barter economy like: food, ammunition, medical supplies, clothes, water, tools, batteries, spare parts, fuel, etc. You can never have enough of this stuff. The problem is you cannot stockpile an endless supply of anything, you will eventually run out of those items and that is when you situation just got interesting.

Never fear because there is something that you can have that will never run out and that is skill. Learn a skill that is hard for the average person to grasp and learn it well. That skill will be your meal ticket. If you have a skill that is in demand you can forgo the whole goods for goods concept (keep your stockpiles) and head straight for the goods for services or services for services aisle (three aisles down next to the pampers and baby wipes.)

Skills that will most certainly be in demand in a barter economy will be: mechanics, doctors, vets, tailors, blacksmiths, midwives, gunsmiths, machinists (if they have access to a shop), experienced farmers, etc. These skills will be invaluable in a barter economy because Jiffy Lube will most likely be closed after the big one hits and Dr. Smith won’t be making house calls. You can barter these services over and over again for either goods or services in return and it never runs out, I promise.

Now that we have something to barter we need to make sure we now “how” to barter. The good thing is there really are only two things that you need to know when bartering: how to assign a value to something and how to make something “appear” more valuable to the other person. One way to do this is something you probably struggle with when playing Texas Hold’em with your buddies on Saturday nights. You need a good poker face, you may need what that person has desperately BUT YOU CANNOT let them know that. Once they know you are in a bad way for something you have lost because they will rake you over the coals. So practice your poker face now…

The next thing you need to know is what the value of something is and that will be a skill you just need to acquire because to be honest, something is only as valuable as the demand for it is. You may have a shitload of .303 rounds; sure it is valuable to SOMEBODY. If you have .223, 9mm or .45 ACP then you have a larger demand pool because they are more common calibers and therefore will most likely have more demand for them. Some may argue with this but it is simple fact, the law of supply and demand, if there are 1,000 people that have weapons that use 9mm and there are 50 who have weapons that use .303, having a stockpile of 9mm will benefit you more. Some may argue well the guy who needs the .303 will pay more, not if he is smart…he will ditch the .303 weapon and get himself something that uses a more common caliber.

The point is the value of things will fluctuate and you will need to stay on top of that to ensure that you aren’t getting screwed over.

So the keys are to know what the current value of what you have and what you want are and to play it cool like a cucumber when bargaining. Never let on you really need anything, keep a poker face going and don't lay any cards on the table. Be prepared to make changes to the arrangement fluidly BUT be VERY SPECIFIC when talking about what you want and what you are providing in return. The less confusion and/or assumptions in the transaction, the better.

My advice to you is to make sure that you have something that someone will want in a barter economy. Your best bet is to make that a skill that you can use over and over again, learn it now so that you have ample time to master it before you need to do it for real, when your life may depend on it.

At the very least make sure to have a large stockpile of items that will be desirable that you can barter because eventually you will need something. Start now and get a plan together because when it all comes crashing down you won’t be able to buy your way out of it.

...that is all.

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Weekend Roudup Vol. 29

By Flea - Be A Survivor

It's official, I think I am a Libertarian...

ONE YEAR AGO THIS WEEK ON BE A SURVIVOR:
5 Most Important Tools You Should Have
Assorted Tidbits
Cash Is King!
Came Across Something Cool In The Garden
Book Review: When All Hell Breaks Loose

THE USUAL BUSINESS
PLEASE help us out! Spread the word, tell your friends and family about us.

If you have a website or a blog throw up a link to me, I will be eternally grateful, I will also do the same for you.

For those who may have missed it, if your are the "letter" type and want to send me some snail mail, you can do so using the address below:

R.F.
P.O. Box 51181
Summerville, SC 29485

Please also remember to support our sponsors:
Prepared Planet
Berkey Sales

If you know anyone who might interested in advertising here let me know. I can give you a very reasonable monthly rate for a banner.

MY STORE:
Support Be A Survivor, Thanks!

...that is all.

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Nuclear War Survival - Ark Two - FREE Resource

By Flea - Be A Survivor

I was doing some research for a post and came across the now defunct Ark Two shelter, very interesting stuff.

You can read about the project on their webpage.

More importantly you can download a two CD library (via a torrent file) here for free full of information on surviving as well as recovering from a nuclear war. I haven't checked it out completely but some of you will probably find it interesting.

You will need a torrent client to download it, I use BitTorrent myself (also free).

...that is all.

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Quote Of The Day

By Flea - Be A Survivor

"I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb... and I also know that I'm not blonde."

- Dolly Parton

...that is all.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

5 Great Books On Survival

By Flea - Be A Survivor

Here are 5 really good survival type books I have read. I enjoyed all of them thoroughly and Jack Spigarelli's book should be required reading for anyone interedt in survival.

SURVIVAL RELATED
1.) When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need To Survive When Disaster Strikes– Cody Lundin - This a great all around book and I recommend this one as well as Cody's other books. Very informative and entertaining as well!

2.) Crisis Preparedness Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Home Storage and Physical Survival– John Spigarelli - This book is the best book for getting into survivalism. This is a classic for sure and required reading as far as I am concerned.

3.) Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Family Safe in a Crisis– Peggy Layton - Best food book out there, period.

4.) Starting a New Life in Rural America: 21 Things You Need to Know Before You Make Your Move– Ragnar Benson - Not survival per se but an excellent primer on country living which is directly related to survival. I recommend anything Ragnar Benson writes...

5.) Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life– Neil Strauss - This guy went above and beyond as far as his preparations go. Not everything is completely practical but my hat is off to him...

...that is all.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Importance Of Neighbors

By Flea - Be A Survivor

It can be kind of nice to live out in the boonies with no one around for miles. No one around to bother you, no one around to ask to borrow something, no one around to hear your screams after an accident leaves you incapacitated and unable to walk.

Therein lies the problem my friends, being alone is just that. Not having anyone to help you in the event of a crisis situation, there will be no running to the neighbor’s house to use a phone or get some assistance lifting that heavy object off your family members crushed legs.

Hey don’t get me wrong, some neighbors are total pains in the ass, but me personally I would like someone within a half mile or mile of my house given a choice. Not screaming distance for sure but if I had to haul ass over there it would be less than 10 minutes or so running (I have put on a few pounds since my 6 minute mile days).

Therein lies the second dilemma, having a good relationship with those around you. My wife and I have never had problems with neighbors and we have lived in several locations across two states. The reasons for this are simple:
1.) We are relatively quiet.
2.) We mind our frickin business.
3.) We are friendly – a friendly wave or saying “hi” never hurt anyone.

Those are the golden rules of being a neighbor; if you abide by them your neighbor will never have a problem with you.

Third problem, what if I am a good neighbor but the “other guy” never heard of these rules you speak of. Unfortunately, if you have bad neighbors I would suggest you move. Having bad neighbors is a source of unneeded stress that can make your blood boil. You will hate coming home because that “jerk” is standing on his front lawn reporting your recent troop movements to the rest of the desperate housewives crowd on the block while his degenerate horde of demon spawn are using your brand new F-250 pickup as a backstop for the one amongst them who can’t catch a baseball to save his life.

All kidding aside, depending on how bad things are you may be able to deal with it. I will say this though, if things are bad, they will never get better, trust me. Your best hope will be that they move…

Having good neighbors though really does make your situation better. There is someone you can count on if there is an emergency. There is someone you can have watch your property when you are away. There is someone to help you with that helping hand, whatever it may be for, when you need it. You, in return, should extend the same courtesies to your neighbor as they do to you; never let the relationship become one-sided in either direction.

The fine line becomes staying friendly and crossing that nosy neighbor boundary we all have. One way to do that is don’t offer up to much information about yourself unless you feel it is necessary for the relationship to develop. My mom had a bad habit of reporting all the family issues to the nosy lady upstairs when I was a kid and before I knew it everyone in the neighborhood knew our business.

Have a cordial relationship and offer up the standard fare like what you do for a living, name, rank and serial number. Keep it that simple unless you start to feel the relationship warrants it. "Those relationships" with neighbors are few and far between unfortunately.

Maintaining OPSEC is critical, we do it with our family as well. No one knows how much money my wife and I make or what bills we have or what any of our “problems” are and to be honest we like it that way. If we don’t share this with family, I sure as hell am not sharing it with a neighbor.

I don’t want to know that little Suzie is pregnant or that you have problems with your mother-in-law. That is more information than our neighborly relationship requires. If you keep it simple, the relationship will flourish and you will have that lifeline a few hundred feet away when you need it should a crisis develop. Be a good neighbor will ya?

...that is all.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ode To Shakespeare

By Flea - Be A Survivor

One thing you need to do and you should start doing it as soon as possible is carry a small notepad and paper.

One can never know when creativity will hit you or a brilliant idea will pop into your head. How many times has this happened to you? A great thought pops into your head and you say you will work on it later, later comes and for the life of you the brilliant idea simply escapes you. No, this in not the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s disease, it happens to the best of us.

We have so much going on that we simply cannot remember everything that we think of on a daily basis. Think of our brains as having two types of memory like a computer does; RAM (Random Access Memory) and ROM (Read Only Memory) and some hard drive space to go along with them.

The ROM is where things that you need permanently are stored like your name, who you are, what makes you, you. The hard drive space is where you store things you deem important, it can be overwritten when it is no longer needed and new “permanent” things take its place.

The RAM is where these brilliant ideas and important thoughts go; alas this type of memory is the least reliable as it is with a PC. All it takes for a computer to lose what it has stored in RAM is a momentary blip in power and you work the same way. Something happens that resets your RAM and that thought or idea is gone.

The best remedy for these momentary lapses is to carry a small notebook and pen with you at all times. Make it part of your EDC (Every Day Carry) along with your keys, wallet, purse, CCW or whatever you lug around on a daily basis.

I swear I used to have a brilliant idea for a blog post every ten seconds and then forget about it completely just as quickly. Since I have started carrying my small “journal” I am not losing these ideas and now have a dozen or more posts prewritten waiting to be posted.

Think of your pad and paper as an aid to help you keep track of your hectic existence. This aid will help bridge the gap between your “RAM” and “hard drive” space (in your brain). It can make the task of keeping track of important things easier. Who hasn’t at some point or another wished they had a pen and paper available to them; this usually happens when you need directions or meet the girl of you dreams and write her number on your hand then forget and wash your hands…bummer.

Another thing I encourage people to do is to keep a journal; NOT an electronic journal, a good old fashioned paper journal. It is an intellectually stimulating exercise to keep a journal of the days events and will be fun to look back at as times passes. I would keep it short and sweet, write down what you did that day, how you felt, what the weather was like, and anything else that you thing would be useful for you to get off your chest and onto paper.

I think I got this outlook from my dad who kept a journal (unknown to us - family) until the day he died. In fact, it was an absolute joy and pleasure to find it after he was gone and to go through and read it. Reading it actually brought some tears to my eyes; to see my dad’s thoughts and feelings on the paper IN HIS OWN HANDWRITING was powerful. I think that is why I am so fervent that the journal be the paper and pen type, coupled with the fact that actually writing thoughts down on paper reinforces the memories gained from them in your brain.

So go get yourself a small pad and a pen and make sure you carry it around with you wherever you go, you won’t regret it, I promise you.

...that is all.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Protecting Important Documents

By Flea - Be A Survivor

It is critical for you and your family to protect all the “important” documents in your household. These documents are not always needed but in many cases they are critical to have when they are. The documents that you should be worried about are:

- Social Security Cards (don't carry this in your wallet or purse)
- Marriage Licenses
- Baptism or religious papers
- Birth certificates
- Passports
- Car/trailer/boat titles
- Vaccination records
- As well as any other critical records your family needs to protect.

These documents should be stored in a safe place in your home in a firebox or possibly at a bank in a safety deposit box. Please ensure you protect them in some fashion and not just stacked in the corner or in a shoe box.

My family has envelopes labeled with each type of document and we store all of the family member’s documents in the envelope. For example we have an envelope labeled passports and both my wife and I keep our passports in that envelope.



I place the envelopes in the firebox and it is locked and stored in a safe location in our home. I choose not to use a bank because I do have the firebox and I like the convenience in case the documents are needed.


You will be grateful for taking the time to organize these documents and spending the money on the firebox should the worst happen. You will have the peace of mind knowing that the important documents your family needs to get back on track will be protected, safe and most importantly IN ONE PLACE.

...that is all.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Guest Post: John Mellem - Escaping Your Own Home

By John Mellem - Survival Stew

Bugging out is a term that has come to the attention of the most astute survivalists who have the foresight to realize that escaping your own home may be necessary in the soon-to-be possible reality. With a scarcity of food and water, the tendency is for people to form large groups in order to gain the strength needed to overpower individuals or smaller groups. If you and your family become the target of members of these groups, known as zombies, you will need a good plan to implement in order to survive.

The best way to avoid the potential disaster you may encounter in this scenario is by escape, not confrontation. You will need somewhere to escape to and a way to get there safely. Pack a "bug out bag" and keep it light weight and handy. I will outline some basic ideas and you can fill in the blanks by using your imagination or doing further research as it is not within the scope of this article to cover in-depth detail.

Imagine a marauding gang, going house to house trying to stay alive at the expense of others. A very distinct possibility in the situation that may lie ahead for most. If you life in the woods, that is the best case scenario since you will have cover for your escape. Night vision goggles could come in handy also. Look around your domicile. What would be the most likely attack point and point of escape? What about alternative routes?

Are there any things you can think of that could cause a distraction, giving you valuable time to get away? What about firecrackers with the fuses stuck in different length cigarettes that you can light to slow the time til ignition? Or cherry bombs you could lob? Maybe we can brainstorm and come up with a lot of other ideas.

These gangs will likely be armed so it may not help to use your guns except as a last resort. So, lets continue with the escape plan. If you have found a way out with cover, where are you going? Do you have to drive to the place? Is there a friend or relative within walking distance that you can get to? If not, it would be a good idea to have a bug out vehicle. This should stay gassed up, in good working order, parked where you can get to it and loaded with supplies you will need. That way you won't be too much of a burden if you have to show up at someones place to hang out awhile.

If you have a cottage or want to put up a large shed somewhere, stock it and lock it to use as your retreat and do everything you can to ensure that you will be able to get to it and stay awhile. The gangs might move on quickly but may be followed by others and you may have to stay away for an extended period.

- John

Flea - "Thanks John!"

...that is all.

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Weekend Roundup Vol. 28

By Flea - Be A Survivor

ONE YEAR AGO THIS WEEK ON BE A SURVIVOR:
Jayco Jay Series 1007 Pop Up Camper
Be Prepared: Insurance
5 Ways To Save Cash
Doom And Gloom
Basic Gun Maintenance

THE USUAL BUSINESS
PLEASE help us out! Spread the word, tell your friends and family about us.

If you have a website or a blog throw up a link to me, I will be eternally grateful, I will also do the same for you.

For those who may have missed it, if your are the "letter" type and want to send me some snail mail, you can do so using the address below:

R.F.
P.O. Box 51181
Summerville, SC 29485

Please also remember to support our sponsors:
Prepared Planet
Berkey Sales

They support this blog and MANY others, so let support them back, shall we.

If you know anyone who might interested in advertising here let me know. I can give you a very reasonable monthly rate for a banner.

MY STORE:
Support Be A Survivor, Thanks!

...that is all.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Foxfire Books 1-3 For FREE

By Flea - Be A Survivor

You can download the Foxfire books volumes 1-3 for free.

I have to thank MD Creekmore for this one. If anyone missed these please grab them now.

Download the Foxfire books for FREE
Foxfire One

Foxfire Two

Foxfire Three

...that is all.

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Quote Of The Day

By Flea - Be A Survivor

"Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one."

- Thomas Paine

...that is all.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Guest Post On The Survivalist Blog

By Flea - Be A Survivor

I have a guest post up on "The Survivalist Blog" called "Antibacterial Irony?"

My thanks to MD for letting me post there. If he isn't a daily read for you, he should be...

...that is all.

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Prepping For Your Pets

By Flea - Be A Survivor

Your pets are part of your family and when you prepare for the worst you should ensure you have them on your list. Your pets need the staples just as you do but they may also have some special needs that you must take into account when you put your preparedness plan into motion.

As with most living creatures your pets will need food, make sure you put back enough of whatever is required to ensure you can keep them healthy during a crisis. Many times items can be substituted, in many cases pet food is specially formulated to ensure your pet is getting a balance diet. Ensure you have put back enough bird seed, rabbits food, dog food, mice, crickets, or whatever else your pet eats. This should be a part of your food stores and storage plan. Something as simple as fish food for example is relatively cheap and can be stockpiled in large quantities without taking up a lot of space.

Pets like most living creatures require water, so put back some with them in mind. Ensure you have adequate water storage to keep them hydrated and healthy.

Having adequate first aid materials to treat your pet if they were injured is very important. Many of the same items we use to treat human injuries will also work fine with pets. Have adequate gauze, tape, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic cream on hand to treat not only the humans in your “pack” but also the members from the animal kingdom as well.

We need to get a bit more specific with regard to the special needs of certain animals. Make sure you have any additional items that are needed for your particular pet. In the case of dogs, items like heart worm prevention medication and for many of species (cats, dogs, etc.), flea and tick preventatives. These items can be quite costly but a several months supply can be had for a reasonable amount of money.

Ensure you have any items you need to care for your pets such as grooming brushes, harnesses, leashes, cages, stakes, tie downs, feeding bowls, etc. These items are required to help keep your pet safe, out of the way and secure. They may not be available for quite some time so have them on hand with you and keep spares.

This type of preparedness becomes infinitely more important when you a start to talk about live stock animals because these animals are directly tied to YOUR survival. They may be part of your “food storage” program. Most of what I am saying will apply to them as well.

If you have to evacuate your immediate surroundings, please try to evacuate your pets as well. Human life comes first but in many cases animals are helpless to help themselves and will be relying on you to ensure their safety. Take them if you can, if you can’t please ensure your leave them in a safe environment with enough food and water to get them through until you can come back for them. I will say this again: Please take your pets with you if you have the choice!

MAKE SURE you have all your pets documentation especially things such as vaccination records (rabies is especially important) and medical history. Have these items with you and make sure if you have to evacuate that information is not left behind. A shelter may not accept your pet without PROOF of a rabies vaccination!!!

Some great resources for further research:
Community Pet Preparedness Toolkit

Pet Friendly Hotels and Motels

The Humane Society Disaster Preparedness Resources

Taking Trips With Pets

American Human Protecting Animals

Prepare.org Animal and Pet Owners

...that is all.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Surviving A Zombie Attack

By Flea - Be A Survivor

Max Brookshas done a much better job at preparing the masses for the ZPAW (Zombie Post Apocalyptic World) than I ever could but I will throw in my two cents on the subject. I can see the emails already, this guy is off his rocker, zombies don’t exist. Don’t be so quick to dismiss, ever see The Serpent And The Rainbow? I fully understand that there are no zombies shambling around now eating brains and rising from the grave but who is to say it can never happen. Does a zombie EVEN need to be dead? I know most of you have seen 28 Days Laterand that proves my point nicely.

Anyone in an altered state or infected by some disease now becomes your “zombie”. Sometimes fantasy is the best indicator for reality and there are lessons to be learned from those fantasies. Many of these lessons can be applied in situations not only dealing with the undead but also the living. The classic way to kill a zombie is to destroy the brain in some fashion…hmmm my hunch is that works on the living as well, possibly not on those with nothing between their ears but I digress.

The two classic types of zombies are:
Shambler – slow moving, slow to react and usually only dangerous when in large numbers.

Runner – this would be the 28 Days Latervariety where they run at full speed, never tire and generally scare the shit of everyone. This is generally worst case scenario in my opinion because your options are limited due to their dexterity and speed.

Regardless of the type of foe you face one thing is certain you need to be prepared.

1.) Clothing should be tight fitting and cover your body, don’t give them anything to grab onto. Make sure to wear glasses of some kind to prevent splatter from entering your bloodstream through the eyes.

2.) Hair should be short, once again to prevent grabbing and holding while you are consumed alive.

3.) Communications should be via handheld radios for short range and HAM radio for long range.

3a.) For the love of God don’t move your party to a place based on some recording that is continuously playing over the frequencies. That “place” has most likely been overrun or will be manned by hostiles (like rogue military looking for helpless females to "mate" with or a crazy biker gang that has already resorted to cannibalism).

4.) If you find a good place to hole up (like a frickin MALL!), stay there until you absolutely have to move.

5.) Weapons should be two fold, something with bullets and a backup that operates on pure muscle power. Have a short barreled rifle and a sidearm and back them up with something like a nice aluminum baseball bat for some manual brain bashing.

Golden Rule: Always save one bullet, it really would suck to get eaten alive.

I was contacted the other day by some enterprising individuals who are writing some zombie fiction in blog form and are being sponsored by Permuted Press.

You can read the email below:

"Flea,

Chris here from Dead Meat. I was looking at your blog and thought, "well our novel is a survival story.. why not?" So I figured I'd send you the link and let you take a peek.

Dead Meat chronicles the journey of two survivors--Gavin and Benny--as the town of River’s Edge falls to pieces around them. The destruction of River’s Edge begins with an influx of rodents and “rabies” cases leading to a quarantine of the city. Those who remain in town are attacked and fed upon by packs of the living dead. Labeling the infected residents “bees” for their tendency to travel in swarms, Gavin and Benny must do their best to survive the chaos in River’s Edge while making their way north in search of sanctuary. No one knows what waits outside River’s Edge, but Gavin and Benny know that to survive, they must escape.

The novel is based more on the emotional side of surviving a zombie outbreak than the "guts and glory" side. We are sponsored by Permuted Press. If you decide to read it, let us know what you think. If you like it would you be interested in reviewing it or maybe even interviewing us? Anyway We hope to hear back from you.

Thanks for your time.

Chris & Patrick Williams"


The story is called DEAD MEAT and you can click the link and read it for yourself.

...that is all.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Guest Post: Ranger Squirrel - Fact Or Fiction?

By Ranger Squirrel - RangerSquirrels Ramblings

The preparedness community is full of intelligent, independent, and above all passionate folks.

Intelligent people ask questions. Intelligent and independent people ask questions about authority. There is nothing wrong with that. If no one questions authority…well, things get bad.

As for passion – well, there may be nothing more important in life than being passionate about what you do. No fault there.

We share an interest in being prepared for the worst. That’s just common sense.

If preparedness minded people have a weakness it’s that we keep to ourselves too much and that’s understandable. Passionate, intelligent, and independent is rare. When we find others with those same characteristics who also share a common interest in preparedness, we naturally latch on to one another.

The problem comes when we start isolating ourselves from people who aren’t like minded. We spend a lot of time worrying about WTSHTF. We theorize on the possible causes so much that we start to see them around every corner and in every news story. Most of the time however, we got our news stories from a like minded source to begin with, because we’ve eschewed mainstream media as biased.

We have to branch out and get news from sources outside our comfort zone. When I encounter a comment or a story about a secret government program, I need to ask “how do they know?” and then I need to search for the original source, and folks, YouTube doesn’t count. If someone can’t produce a reliable source, then whatever they’re saying is either rumor or commentary. Being rumor or commentary doesn’t necessarily make it false or wrong, but it does mean it isn’t fact.

If you want truth, do the research. I’m talking about US and International sources BEFORE they get filtered by the media, commentators, and yes, our friends. Ria Novosti. Al Jazeera. BBC. Reuters. Associated Press. These organizations, as a group, aren’t loyal to any one government. Two of them aren’t even particularly friendly to our government, so if you want the honest truth about the potential evil on Capitol Hill – look no further. I’m not saying trust any one of them in particular. I’m saying read them all and use that intelligent, independent, and passionate mind you’ve been blessed with to come to a tentative conclusion (one that you’re willing to adjust as you learn new facts).

If someone tells you that a statute is currently being considered by the House or Senate that offends you in some way, ask for the bill number, and then ACTUALLY READ THE BILL. If they can’t produce it, ask how they heard about it and then do your own research.

Every piece of news I read has to pass my 5 part smell test before I’ll consider it factual. I recommend you adopt something similar:

1) Any statement of fact must be attributed to a named source.
2) Any mention of an article from another news source must have the name of the article and the name of the publication so I can find it myself (a link is even better). Any mention of a law being considered must have the bill number.
3) Phrases like “In my opinion,” “I think,” “I heard,” “they say,” and “I’m pretty sure” either appear nowhere in the story or are not attached to any factual claim.
4) The source is not MSNBC, FOX, YouTube, or Wikipedia. For all 4 of those sources, pretty much anyone can write anything and it will get published first and fact checked later. Moreover, the first two have obvious political slants.
5) The story must fit the source. For example, a small town newspaper reporting on a major national conspiracy raises serious questions in my head. Similarly, a story by the New York Post talking about a small town in Arkansas has an obvious perspective problem.

Now, some of you may be pretty mad at this point. That’s not my intention. I know there are scary things happening. I’m not singling anyone out. I just felt compelled to write this piece because I find it strange that a group of intelligent, independent and passionate people don’t do it already with our news. Especially since we do it with everything else…from guns, to generators, and even storage buckets, we do our research and we check our facts.

Folks, there are real threats and perceived threats, and they’re equally dangerous. Think about that for a minute.

Now realize that the only weapon against perceived threats is factual information.

- Ranger Squirrel

Flea - "Thanks RS!"

...that is all.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gun Safety

By Flea - Be A Survivor

Gun Safety is no laughing matter; there will be no jokes or cute and witty quips in this post. Gun safety is literally a matter of life and death. Every year a lot of innocents lose their lives or are maimed because someone refused to follow a few simple rules.

Gun safety is really just a bunch of common sense but some people just don’t get it. The ignorance of a few makes the rest of the responsible gun owners across the country look bad and it is starting to piss me off to be honest.

Lets not give the gun grabbers more "ammunition" by doing stupid stuff people. I firmly believe in our 2nd amendment rights as I am sure most of the readers of this blog do but a few bad apples can ruin it for everyone.

There are two rules, yep that is it. If you follow these two simple rules no harm will come to you or anyone else involving your guns.

The first simple rule you need to follow is to make sure your guns are locked up and OUT OF REACH of your kids. Do you love your kids? Do you want to see their brain matter all over the back of the bedroom wall? Do you want to have to look you neighbor in the eye after your little Johnny blew their kid into kingdom come? This is a no brainer and if a child is injured because you were too lazy to lock your guns up, you deserve what you get, in this life and the next.

The second rule that you would think would be common sense is, don’t point a gun at something you don’t want to kill, EVER. There is no such thing as an unloaded gun, period. Don’t wave your gun around while you are talking, don’t play secret agent man; don’t check your sight picture using Rex the family dog. If you point the gun at it you intend to shoot it…simple as that.

The two BIG rules will prevent most of the "accidents" that happen.

There are, of course, other rules like trigger discipline; keep your finger OFF the trigger until you want to shoot something. Be totally aware of the area you are shooting in, don't shoot at a target unless you are sure the area around and behind the target are safe to be shot at.

Gun Safety is not a laughing matter, it is a NO BRAINER.

...that is all.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

TV Causes Brain Rot

By Flea - Be A Survivor

Don’t think I will get much of an argument from most of the folks who read this blog, but TV will rot your brain. I am amazes me when I sit with neighbors and listen to the bullshit they waste their time watching. The biggest load of bullshit is reality TV. As if most Americans lives aren’t screwed up enough we have to watch people with EVEN more screwed up lives.

It amazes me that people watch so much TV and yet I ask people what they think about issues facing Americans, like cap n’ trade and health care and they have no idea what is going on or what I am talking about. You would think with all the TV being watched everyone would know what the hell is going on in DC, what the heck is everyone watching? Well a month or so ago it was American Idol next week in will be Real Housewives of {INSERT NEXT CITY HERE}.

I was guilty of watching too much TV but I have seriously cut down on the time I spend watching the boob tube. I watch mostly the news, The Discovery Channel, The History Channel and not a whole lot more. I am not a big sports guy, so I was never one to go into a TV induced coma on Sundays during football season.

The one show I do find a little entertaining is House and if I am bored I will watch it. I know people who spend hours watching TV. I spend a lot of time on the computer but I consider what I am doing on the computer more intellectually stimulating. Most of the time I am doing homework, writing articles for this blog or doing research…at least that sounds intellectual to me. It forces me to think, will my words offend? Will they inspire? I edit these posts MULTIPLE times changing wording and placement...seems to do a decent job stimulating my brain.

My one real weakness is movies, I do enjoy those and we watch about 2 a week utilizing our Netflix account. TV to me really is brain numbing entertainment and most folks would be better off reading a book or even going on the old computer and doing something productive; AND NO playing Bejeweled on Facebook IS NOT productive.

I speculate that the reason we appear to be getting dumber as a species (I have an upcoming post on that) is partly because of TV (and the Internet). We become zombies that stare at a magical box for hours on end. TV's have become the babysitters of the world. How many people are guilty of parking their kids, even babies in front of the TV and leaving them there for hours on end...a shit load I assure you.

My nephew watched more TV in the first 10 years of his life than I have to the PRESENT day (I am currently 36 years old). My sister would put DVDs in leave him in front of the tube and walk away to do chores or whatever.

We wonder why our kids beg and scream for the latest trinkets made in China?

Would you wonder why your kid was addicted to crack if you left him 9 hours a day in the capable hands of the town crack-head?

The TV's JOB is to drill evil thoughts like, "YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT THIS SHIT, BUY IT NOW!" into you and your families heads.

You have no right to yell and scream at your kids for "wanting" crap when you are partly responsible for them being brainwashed.

There is still time to save yourself and your family from a brain numbing, consumer driven, and a destined for debt lifestyle...turn off the TV.

It reminds me of the famous Apple commercial years ago where all the lemmings are watching big brother on the screen and some lady tosses a hammer at the monitor before the jack boots can grab her. There will be screaming and carrying on when you cut down on the families TV time, I can assure you, BUT this is a battle worth fighting.

Like any drug you need to wean people off of it...cold turkey will not work.

Here is something you should try with your family, if you guys watch 2 hours of TV a night cut it back a half hour and do something else. Read that bookyou have been wanting to, pick up that new hobby, play a board game with your kids, organize your stuff…do anything to fill that half hour a night EXCEPT watch TV. Give your brain some stimulation, challenge it, get the old neurons firing before your gray matter shuts down completely and withers away.

Turn off the TV for a bit and read something would ya? You could also get your Bug Out Bag (BOB) together, organize all your crap, clean your guns, organize your preps, make lists of what you need, clean your equipment, can some food, plant or weed your garden, play with your kids, take a walk, go hunting, go fishing, go camping...DO SOMETHING besides waste your life in front of the boob tube.

...that is all.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Quote Of The Day

By Flea - Be A Survivor

"A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have."

- Barry Goldwater

...that is all.

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Weekend Roundup Volume 27

By Flea - Be A Survivor

You will notice the twitter badge at the beginning of each post, if you have a twitter account help us out by "tweeting" my posts!
THANKS!!!

CALLING ALL WRITERS...do you have what it takes to "Be A Survivor"? If you think you have the right stuff to guest post send me an email with your best articles.

I prefer a word doc or text file if at all possible but any format will work.

Your writing will reach almost a 900 readers daily here folks, so this is your chance to be famous!

When you submit your post to me let me know if there is a blog or website you want me to link to within the post as well. Thanks!

For those who may have missed it, if your are the "letter" type and want to send me some snail mail, you can do so using the address below:

R.F.
P.O. Box 51181
Summerville, SC 29485

Please also remember to support our sponsors:
Prepared Planet
Berkey Sales

They support this blog and MANY others, so let support them back, shall we.

ONE YEAR AGO THIS WEEK ON BE A SURVIVOR:
Be Prepared: Hurricanes
Equipment Review: SureFire 6P
Book Review: Day By Day Armageddon
Be Prepared: Prescription Medicine
Popup Camper Updated Redux

THE USUAL BUSINESS
PLEASE help us out! Spread the word, tell your friends and family about us.

If you have a website or a blog throw up a link to me, I will be eternally grateful, I will also do the same for you.

If you know anyone who might interested in advertising here let me know. I can give you a very reasonable monthly rate for a banner.

MY STORE:
Support Be A Survivor, Thanks!

...that is all.

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Some Excellent Gardening Resources

By Flea - Be A Survivor

Stephanie sent me some useful links to share:

I thought I'd pass along these useful gardening sites.

To know what to do when in the garden - from starting seeds to setting out plants, both spring and fall gardens:
http://www.chestnut-sw.com/growform.htm

This is a list of guides for growing vegetables in Arkansas. I know that most of your readers do not live in Arkansas but the general information - soil, sun and water are the same. Combined with the garden calculator page above most things should be covered.
http://www.arhomeandgarden.org/fruits_nuts_vegs/Vegetables/publications.htm
Other states have their own info so a quick search using extension+vegetable+guides+state needed should bring what is needed.

For canning information:
http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publications/publications_usda.html

Hope this is helpful,
Stephanie in AR


Flea - "Thanks Stephanie!"

Quote Of The Day

"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew."

-Abraham Lincoln

...that is all.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Guest Post: Crazy Joe - Location, Location, Location

By Crazy Joe - Be A Survivor

The title of this article is the mantra for all realtors. It is what buyers yearn for and most sellers wish they had. As this is a "Survival" oriented site then bug out locations must be real estate - therefore you as survivalist buyers yearn for the perfect bug out location.

I will begin with what this site owner "Flea" stated recently in a post.- He comes from North Jersey - (about 7.2 million people occupying 1/3 of the land area of NJ) but now lives in Eastern South Carolina which is nowhere near as congested or populated. He enjoys his new location. He then stated that down the road he would enjoy moving to the more western part of South Carolina as it is even less populated and has the two huge Sumter National Forest areas. I have always lived in South Jersey which is one half of the state but only having about 1.1 million people.

Believe it or not there still are farms in South Jersey. Not like it was when I was growing up but still some large rural areas considering it is New Jersey. I have disliked suburban and urban areas since I was a child. You could not pay me to live where Flea grew up. Both of my parents had relatives or friends who still owned farms in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the 1950’s and 60’s.

Pennsylvania has been my location goal since age 5 long before the term “bugging out or bunker” meant anything to me. I own 5.25 acres deep in South Jersey. I am 46 miles to a real mall, 20 miles to a basic hospital, 1.3 miles to the marina on the Delaware Bay, 3 miles to 18,000 acres of State Game Land and 135, 000 acres of Coastal Wetlands Preserve. Philly is about 65 miles to the northwest and North Jersey and NYC are 80 to 110 miles to the north/northeast. There are 5 small airports - all within 35 miles in any direction of here.

My location provides me with a fairly rural area but with land, air, river and sea routes to anywhere on the East Coast of the USA. I am where I am. I totally enjoy the eco system and natural beauty of South Jersey. I work here, have friends and family here but still yearn for that Pennsylvania location. I enjoy fishing in the nearby lakes, Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean. Hunting is also another thing I enjoy doing and that too is here.

My friends who grew up and live all over Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland cannot wait for summer and that migration to the South Jersey shore. The beaches and boardwalks are now packed with 1.2 million of their kind. They have their home location, their jobs, and their families in the semi-suburban and rural areas of their states. About 30 years ago our network closely examined real estate and that all important "Location" in regards to dozens of survivalist variables.

Some of us took our respective states realtor course (I am one that did) in order to better understand the ins and outs of buying vacant land, farms or houses. Our agenda was not the normal real estate agents competition for that almighty commission - we worked across the state lines for the benefit of the network. With the advent of computers and all of its knowledge at our fingertips "STUDYING" real estate for that "camp retreat" or "bug out" location is greatly simplified and detailed.

How many long distance phone calls it took 30 years ago just to find the one person that knew how much the taxes were on a piece of property. Yes it is best to work with a "professional realtor" but researching a town, county and state on your own is just a mouse click away. I have been surfing close to 100 survivalist sites and blogs these past 3 1/2 months and am amazed at the lack of knowledge so many have to this topic - and it seems to be close to the majority of readers and members of these sites and blogs. Yet the common theme of “bugging out to” means going to a location - a piece of real estate.

It is not necessary to get your realtors license to find your perfect first home, second home, vacation home or perfect "bug out location" for you and your friends. I must assume many of these bewildered readers are already home owners. Therefore they have a place and experienced the walk through and closing procedure. When the topic is posted on "where shall I run to?" it seems no one understands real estate procedures - simply - what area interests you - what are your requirements - find out what is available there BY GOING THERE AND SEEING THE LOCAL REALTOR and those properties - then - buy the land or a house there. See! Done! That easy! For those willing to have multiple names on the mortgage how much cheaper is it to get that 50 acres adjacent to the National Forest and split the monthly payment 10 ways - OH and taxes too!

Recently I replied off post to a woman whose reply to this "end of civilization bug out location" topic bordered on frantic. Over and over "Location" filled her query. She lives at sea level in a Mid Atlantic state but wonders if heading inland 140 miles and being at 3000 feet elevation is OK or not? This was just one of her concerns. It took 2 detailed emails back and forth to reassure her 3000 feet should not because nose bleeds among her other 10 concerns. I assured her I had 2 dozen friends or more living in her state all of their lives and some were pre civil war families. They were not going to "bug out" the minute CNN had a newsflash.

What is the reason for you wanting another location? Job transfer? Tired of the 2 hour drive on the backed up interstate every morning to just go 8 miles to work? Tired of urbanites? Just wanna get away? Or perhaps a secondary remote property for you and your friends to use - the joy of playing horse shoes and drinking a cold beer after a rough morning of canoeing with the children. First and foremost is why the need for another location from your current one - then where - and from there it is just a walk through the park.

My current location is a sunny 82 degrees and a nice breeze off the Atlantic Ocean as it blows across the cape and bay. Oh I shall be in the mountains of Pennsylvania next weekend researching first hand more locations. I have my eye on 4 lots (4 to 18 acres) but there will not be any bikinis laying on the beach...Just mountains and streams with young trout.

-Crazy Joe

Flea - "Thanks Crazy Joe!"

...that is all.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

3 Biggest Money Black Holes

By Flea - Be A Survivor

I have found there are typically three things that people tend to waste money on or over pay for. Most people don’t even realize they are doing it, I routinely hear people saying they are struggling to pay their bills and yet they are usually in deep for all three of these money black holes.

Any survivalist will tell you to be truly free and ready to face the uncertainty of the future one must first liberate themselves from debt and consumerism. Recognizing your mistakes may be hard to do and I, of course, am to help point out the totally obvious to you. Many times I get emails that say to me what you post is common sense; I also get emails from people thanking me for pointing out those “obvious” things to them. What is common sense to one person may not be so obvious to another.

So what are you wasting a good portion of your money on?

1.) Without a doubt most Americans spend entirely way too much money eating out. People are dumping massive amounts of cash into this activity and may not even realize this is a problem. Eating out is expensive, unhealthy and HABIT forming. Once you get into the routine of getting your food out it is extremely hard to “kick the habit”.

When I was a child it was a big deal for us to go out to eat and was reserved for special occasions. Today folks have become addicted to fast food and Starbucks coffee. A typical meal out will cost you at least triple what you could have had the home made version for, if not more. A typical latte at a coffee shop is four bucks! If you spend a few bucks more you can buy a large can of coffee capable of producing a dozen POTS of coffee or MORE!

I routinely hear my neighbors complain that they are just making it and yet they eat out as a family three times a week! If I were having a tough time making ends meet I wouldn’t eat out at all!

2.) The next thing that people routinely get in over their heads on are vehicles. People buy more car than they can comfortably afford. This may come as a shock to many of my more frugal readers but it is not unheard of for people to have $500 car payments on a single car! Add to that most families have at least two cars and that adds up to a lot of money! NADA estimates that the AVERAGE car payment in America is $400. That is a staggering amount of money to have tied up in a vehicle every month. Take that with the fact that the average length of the payment agreement is five years.

That is a boat load of money to be tied up in just cars. The lesson here is match a payment with what you can afford worst case scenario not based on living month to month. Do not get a car that costs $500 a month just because you can afford it right now. Circumstances could change and you will be in BIG trouble when they do and you can only afford $280 a month.

Look at used cars, a car loses at least 15-20% of its value the second you drive it off the lot and most of the depreciation is in the first year. Let someone else take that hit for you and buy used.

3.) Everyone needs clothes right? Yep but not everyone needs clothes that sit in a closet with tags on them and never get worn. Kids also don’t need $100 sneakers they will destroy or outgrow in a few months. Don’t fall into the designer trap, run of the mill tee shirts and jeans are just fine. You will be just as warm in Lee jeans as you will be in Calvin Klein’s and you will be that much richer for it.

Clothes are like food, get the generic brand and you will be just fine. Stay away from the stores that peddle the “hip” crap because you will pay dearly for the privilege of “looking good”.

...that is all.

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