Thoughts on preparing for tomorrow in the Garden State...

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine Flu update: 4/28

Being prepard for a flu outbreak is pretty easy. Follow some basic rules about your hygene, stay away from crowds and you should be all right. Of course staying away from crowds assumes that you have all the necessary means to live alone in your house for a couple weeks. Funny, theres that 2 weeks window we talk about when we say "Short Term" preparedness.

Regarding the Flu outbreak, NY has had a school close down after 10 students decided to go to Mexico for a Senior trip instead of going the normal route with everyone else. Oh well, that's the unlucky lottery in my opinion. On the good side of this is that we are in the greatest country in the world and our standard of living and well being far surpasses places like Mexico.

Things seem to be progressing as they should health wise, people taking care, our pharmaceutical industry gearing up and so on. Now my biggest fear is the media and the hysteria they seem to thrive on. This is a time for calculated moves and level heads, not whipped up lunacy by the non-stop talking heads on the network news.

Anyway, use the links provided to keep updated, and stay cool, calm, and collected.

Get this Widget

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Being Prepared - Swine Flu update 4/26/09

Currently at the CDC: Human Swine Influenza Investigation , this doesn't include the NY Tests , hoping those come out negative.

Here's a link for our friends over at Tennessee Preppers:
Biosurveillance, an excellent tracking tool.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Touching Base

A Swine Flu outbreak in Mexico has folks concerned and there was a strange sickness out break in NY this past week. Read more HERE. Make sure you have standard prep items on hand, water, food for 7-14 days, some basic masks and gloves. And be prepared to stay home for awhile in case an outbreak is serious. We live in a densely populated area, germs travel fast.

Our Illustrious leaders in Washington want to be able to control what you see on the Internet, This smells bad. Not sure how you prepare for a government take over of the information systems. HAM Radio anyone?

Speaking of which, I could use some good links for HAM radio operation and education. This is a great thread over at Hotel 23.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Why are YOU prepping?

Hello. My name is njprepper and I fell priveleged to contribute to this blog. I hope to add value to this blog with the benefit of some of my experiences. I also hope to learn from other contributors on this forum and others about prepping and self-sufficiency. Together we may make the world a little better, if only if a single person gets an idea or motivation to get started with prepping.

I currently live in a moderately sized town in northern New Jersey. For most of my career I lived in South Texas, had some land in the Hill Country, gardened and tried to be as self sufficient as possible. Never heard of survivalism or prepping, although I DO own every issue of The Mother Earth News back to No.1. Then in rapid succession I had neck surgery that forced me to change careers, I moved to New Jersey, Y2K came and went as did 9/11. Now we have to hear about anthrax attacks, suitcase nukes, SARS, bird-flu and we may be in the worst economic downturn in the history of the United States. So I now am shifting into high gear, dusting off some of my old supplies and wish to pose this question to the group: What exactly are YOU prepping FOR? Is there any scenario that you specifically fear, and if so, how are you tailoring your preparations?

Are you preparing for when the SHTF? If you have a retreat or bug-out property, how do you have it supplied? Will you transfer your current supplies to the remote location? If so, how and when? Do you expect the roads to be open and accessible? Do you have a job that requires you to be in the city or do you live there full time?

Do you anticipate basic social amenities to continue (water, electric) albeit sporadically, and remaining comfortable due to your preparations while others may suffer? Or do you expect a SERIOUS breakdown in such services, where lack of service may be the norm (similar to a third world or war-torn country) where your neighbors may be in serious trouble? What about short term breakdowns such as hurricanes or serious weather issues?

Or, do you just not want to be dependent on just-in-time stocking and deliveries, so that you will always know you can make it on your own in comfort? Do you prepare for the contingency that you may suffer a work setback such as a layoff or plant shutdown?

I make judgements against no one for their beliefs or expectations. I follow several "survivalist" blogs, and while I find some of their ideas and writings extreme, especially regarding civil unrest and such, I respect their beliefs wholeheartedly and will defend their right to express them.

So, what are YOU prepping for and why?

"Do ... or do not. There is no try." - Yoda, Star Wars VII
(sometimes these campy aphorisms actually make sense.)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Knives and You, it's all bout the edge....

Hey folks, how are your knives? Sharp I hope but if not pay attention, I have some information to share. Knives are an essential part of our preparation for a future in which your regular Henkel Kitchen knife might not be sufficient. For this discussion I'll be breaking knives into 3 categories: Camping, hunting and Survival. I choose this break out because after looking at all the scenarios I could think of I was able to generally group them that way. Kind of boiling it down to essentials if you will. Grab a cup of coffee while I pontificate......

Camping Knives: These knives should be of the multi-purpose variety. A camping/backpacking knife will be used for general cutting and maybe some whittling of an emergency tent stake or cutting some branches so a straight edge blade is necessary. If you are fishing and you have a need to clean your fish then you may feel a requirement for a serrated blade for cutting and or filleting the fish. Now you could pack separate knives but in a scenario of backpacking or camping space and weight are a concern, so a multi bladed knife serves the situation very well. A favorite for this class of knives if a Leatherman like tool that provides you with other blades, scissors, or pliers. Good choices for these types of knives are the previously mentioned Leatherman, The Zillatool, an Everyday Buck Knife, or one of the new Ignitor series. These are just some examples to get you started.

Hunting Knives: This is a special purpose knife that really depends on the user. I can point to some very specific purposes and how they affect the use and utility of this type of knife, but the acquiring of one is a exercise in comfort and competence. Generally speaking a Hunting knife will be a straight edge knife with a strong blade that is fixed and made of full-tang premium 440A stainless steel. Stainless Steel will not rust but it will corrode if you don't take care of it. These knives are used for skinning and field dressing animals, possibly even to cut through bone, so a sturdy blade and handle are of utmost importance. You won't need a serrated blade here as they aren't meant to be used on the type of action that occurs during the dressing of an animal. Small points have a way of breaking of when you use a twisting action so, once again, a stout straight edged blade will suit you well. Make sure the Blade is fixed, folding knives have to many nooks and crannies that can hide blood, fur and bacteria that will only mess you up later on. You'll want to have a small guard as well to make sure your hand won't slip while your elbow deep in blood. And finally the handle should be comfortable and easy to grip. Some new materials that are now available for the grips are Micarta, hardwoods, or stacked leather. Good examples of Hunting knives are CRKT's Russ Krommer Series, Gerber Freeman, and the Buck Vanguard Series.

Survival Knives: This class, to me anyway, is the biggest grouping of knives simply because the term "Survival" can me pretty much anything to anyone. So consequently you can throw any knife into this pile. Basically, survival knives are an evolution of military issued knives that were meant to help downed Airmen and sailors survive a hostile environment until they could be rescued. Today we benefit from many years of these types of knives being developed by both the military and survival experts. Survival knives take into consideration all of the features of a Camping or Hunting knife, yet may not be uniquely suited for either of those purposes. But, we can address the general needs of a survival knife and possibly define the features that you will need to include when you go shopping for that elusive companion to your post apocalyptic days. These knives can be of multiple varieties, Fixed Blade, Folding Blade, Multi-purpose, Multi-tool, and machete-variations. The blade should, in this case, be a High Carbon Steel blade as they are easier to sharpen and hold an edge longer. Try to avoid Stainless steel in this category as they can be difficult to sharpen well and the features of Stainless are not as well suited for survival as they are for Hunting. It all comes down to your local and your preference an location.
For New Jersey it's hard to define a location specific survival knife as we are so diverse. Those folks that live in areas such a Newark, Camden, Trenton, will all need multi-tool type knives, or at least a multi-tool as a companion to the survival knife. A survival or escape scenario from an urban setting could require tools. Examples of of these are mentioned above. If you feel that a multi-tool isn't much of a knife (I agree with you), then you can always carry a companion blade that is more useful for cutting, remembering that it is more weight to carry of course. Those of us in the reaches of Morris, Hunterdon and Sussex Counties will all want a Multi purpose type knife as our area would require more field or woodsman type scenarios. some good examples of Survival knives are Ka-Bar Becker Companion, Bark River Bravo-1 (a little pricey), Gerber LMF-II, Leatherman Wave, CRKT Zillatool, and a Becker Knife & Tool CM-BK7

All in all this topic is so unique to the user it's hard to go in depth unless your a major knife expert. So please take some time to shop and get educated before you purchase and plan. And always remember, safety first, there's no 911 to call after the zombies arrive.

Useful links and Videos: Pack & Carry Video, Emergency Sharpening, How to Choose a survival knife

Slow down darn it......

To Quote Brooks Hatlen "The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry." and THAT my friends is a shame. Last night as we enjoyed my Daughters 18th Birthday dinner we spoke about a new cell phone plan for the family. I stated right off that all I "needed" was a phone, all that other junk was just that, junk and I didn't need it. Of course I was met with jeers and general taunts that I was "old" and out of touch. Well, I am neither, I just don't want to be buzzed all day with the goings on of every little thing. Since when does anything I do absolutely need to be addressed immediately? In fact I would hazard to guess that if everyone just sat still for 15 minutes they would realize that unless someone is bleeding, nothing needs to be addressed NOW.

Preparation for the future takes time, and patience. It requires us to survey our surroundings and our situation, to evaluate threats and environment, and to make decisions based on fact. Do it to fast and you make mistakes, do it to slow and life hangs in the balance.

Take a few minutes each day to sit at your kitchen table and think in silence about where you are and where you are going. Everyone connected to you will benefit.

Enjoy your Monday.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

New Jersey Survival

Quick, how much wilderness does New Jersey have? Ha, you said none didn't you? Well, despite more than three centuries of development almost half of New Jersey is still wooded. The chief tree of the northern forests is the oak. A large part of the southern section is in pine. There is plenty of room to hide and survive off the land. In my part on NJ there is ample farm land, about 1000 acres right behind the house.

As I watch the wildlife in my back yard, which include ample Fox, turkey, deer and bear, I think that I could use more wildlife skills. more than just being able to "exist" outside, I want to be able to survive and live happily.

I'll be following up on that some more in the coming posts. Maybe a tracking class, yeah, that may be the next thing to do........

Monday, April 6, 2009

Mice and your food storage

When the winter comes in my area of NJ, the mice decide that my house is a vacation haven. Now, I'm all for live and let live when it comes to animals I can't eat. But there comes a time when you have to say enough already. I employ two cats, and our relationship is a simple one. Keep the house free of vermin and I'll feed you, keep you healthy and even scratch your ears every now and again. But I have to call foul here, these cats, while catching an occasional rodent and leaving it on the steps for me to step on is good, they aren't working hard enough.

This weekend while clearing the shelves for stock rotation and culling out expired stuff I found the following: One (1) bag of Ramen, half gone, One (1) bag of pecans UNDER the shelves, empty with a small hole in the bag, and finally, One (1) box of Rice-A-Roni, once again UNDER the shelves, empty with a hole chewed into the side. ENOUGH I SAY.

Eh, righteous indignation, I love it. I've been moving to cans for some time now and these little annoyances are slowly going away but it can be therapeutic to rant about them. But the reality of having mice running around in the dark around my food stores is still upsetting to me. So I thought I would talk a little about rodent control and your food supply.

This little tidbit comes from Do it yourself Pest Control : A mouse will eat almost anything, but prefer cereal grains, seeds, or sweet material. They require very little water, obtaining most of their water needs from their food. Mice can consume large quantities of stored seed and grains from farmers and granaries. A truer statement has never been spoken, trust me. and the main point of my discussion here today will be about eliminating the reason the mice come visit: FOOD. During rotations I am restocking almost all of my stored food in cans and or Jars. I have also found that plastic containers such as food grade 5 gallon buckets are a good way to store large amounts of items and keep out unwanted pests. There are also elaborate Canned food rotation racks that you can purchase, they are however very expensive.

When considering Can storage you need to consider space. So FIFO Can storage racks are pretty cool. Availability is pretty good and the price is about $27-$30 for a mini rack that can store 25 cans. Take a look HERE and HERE for some ideas. Of course there's always the super solution and that's pretty cool from a can storage point of view.

As I go through my food storage and move away from foods that need no refrigeration, preparation or cooking I find that I get a more hands on knowledge of what my prep exactly contains. It sort of keeps me in touch and more comfortable in the knowledge. The folks over at Pharoh's Storehouse have a pretty good short section on the 7 Reasons Why Food Storage is Important. We can all come up with 7 reasons now can't we?

Now, back to my fight the the furry little buggers, lets see if they can chew through a can.

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Bug out Bag for your kid

My daughter is heading off to college in Tennessee this summer and it is a little over a 14 drive from my house to her new school. So that got me thinking of what kind of emergency bag she will need to have in her car being so far from home and all. Now, a firearm is out of the question simply because she will be on a college campus as well as traversing many different states going back and forth. As much as I would like her to have one, I don't think it's practical at the moment. So going forward I will be putting together a list of equipment and the bag it will be going in, and share it with all of you here. I'll include the links for purchasing the gear, how much I paid for it, and some pictures of the whole kit and kaboodle as we go along.

So lets start with the bag, or back-pack. In discussing this with some other prepper type folks, the question came up "Well, what's this bag for?". My answer was simple emergencies, being stuck on the road, or having to get home in the event that the whole country comes unglued and she feels the need to head back to NJ. (Although truth be told, I'd tell her to stay in Tennessee, we'll come to her.) So that leads to the question of having to carry the bag for a long period of time. I still lean towards a bag with a shoulder strap, but my pals are trying to convince me that a back pack would be more suitable, and the little lady thinks so as well.

So, I chose a Maxpedition MERLIN™ Folding Backpack for the bug out bag that will go with my daughter to Tennessee. Mainly because it can be carried easily and this particular bag has lots of functionality. Although I would say shop around to see what kind of deals you can get.

Next came the list of "ingredients".
  • Flashlight
  • spare batteries. Check out this spare battery holder I found from County Comm.
  • A prepared First Aid Kit, available on line or from your local camping store. Choose the size you feel appropriate.
  • Space Blanket
  • 2 Rolls of Quarters
  • 1 Roll of dollar Coins
  • 50 Feet of Para cord
  • 1 Liter of bottled water
  • Matches / Fire Starter
  • Compass
  • 12v trouble light w/cig. lighter plug
  • Knife
  • Pad and Pencil
  • Whistle
  • Emergency mirror
That's about it. Although I find that when I build a kit like this, laying it all out on the table in front of me usually leads to modifications in the ingredients of the kit.

Why don't you think about building some kits for your car, office, and around the house. Large or small they can make a difference when stuff collides with the fan. Check out lists over at The Big List.
New Jersey Preppers Network Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. New Jersey Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.