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16 February, 2010

Snow Traps Man for Three Days in his Car in National Forest and He Survives

Good for this guy! He kept his wits about him and he survived. Just imagine how much easier the ordeal might have been, however, had he had the foresight to stock his vehicle with a proper emergency survival kit? I'm just sayin'...
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Snow Traps Indiana Driver for Days in Rio Grande National Forest - The Denver Post: "An Indiana man survived three days in his SUV stuck in deep snow in the Rio Grande National Forest before he managed to make his way to a road Sunday morning to get help.

Jason Pede stayed in his Lincoln Navigator, surviving on soft drinks and melted snow until his gasoline — and engine heat — ran out.

He then left the safety of his sport utility vehicle, fearing a night in the cold.

He made it through the melting snow to a more-traveled road 7 miles away, where passers-by helped him...

... Pede, 31, says he watches television survival shows. The one lesson he has learned is to stay with the vehicle. So from Thursday morning until Sunday morning — when the last of his gas ran out — he and the dog stayed in the vehicle. They drank a couple of cans of soda, a bottle of water his kids had left in the car and snow that he melted with a fire made from eight chairs that he was delivering to a woman in Topeka, Kan.

When the gasoline ran out, Pede said, he knew he had to try to walk out. The weather wasn't bad; the sun was out. He thought he would freeze to death with temperatures dipping to 6 degrees at night if he stayed in a non-heated vehicle.

He started walking...

... Seven miles down the road, he came across another road, and there he saw a convoy of five vehicles. He waved his flashlight at them and collapsed..."


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04 February, 2010

New Government TV Spot Encourages Emergency Preparedness

Here, folks, is proof that you hold your own life and that of your family in your own hands in the event of a disaster. Your government is outright telling you that, in the worst of times, they will not necessarily be swooping in to the rescue and, if you don't want to end up like those poor folks in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, then you had better get to making your own preparations for harsh times.

Of course, in my opinion, they could have done a better job of getting the point across. For instance, the survival kit or Bug Out Bag retrieved by the Father before evacuating is never clearly identified, meaning some viewers may have been left with the impression that they should keep an overnight bag ready without understanding that it needs to contain things like food, water and a first aid kit.

All in all, though, I have to applaud any effort that helps to push more folks toward a higher level of self-sufficiency and emergency and disaster preparedness.
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03 February, 2010

Regarding Climate Change

While Global Warming (and especially the viewpoint that it is principally caused by human activity) represents a proverbial powder keg of conflict that I intend to steer clear of, it is as plain as the noses on our faces that *SOMETHING* fishy is going on with the weather that doesn't seem to bode well for we humans. Therefore, I prep for climate-based disruptions, regardless of the cause.
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Are more Katrinas in our future? : Discovery News: "Scientific differences over the effect of global warming on hurricanes in the North Atlantic are being resolved, but the news is not so good. While a warming climate is likely to produce fewer hurricanes, more researchers agree now that the storms that do reach hurricane strength more often will be the kind that wrecked New Orleans in 2005.

In fact, new modeling work by U.S. government researchers sees a doubling in the frequency of the most intense and destructive Category 4 and Category 5 hurricanes by the end of the century. Other studies show that the top 24 percent of hurricanes making landfall in the U.S. account for 86 percent of all the
damage..."
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Pentagon to rank global warming as destabilising force | Environment | The Guardian: "The Pentagon will for the first time rank global warming as a destabilising force, adding fuel to conflict and putting US troops at risk around the world, in a major strategy review to be presented to Congress tomorrow. The quadrennial defence review, prepared by the Pentagon to update Congress on its security vision, will direct military planners to keep track of the latest climate science, and to factor global warming into their long term strategic planning.

'While climate change alone does not cause conflict, it may act as an accelerant of instability or conflict, placing a burden on civilian institutions and militaries around the world,' said a draft of the review seen by the Guardian..."

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01 February, 2010

How Things Can Go Awry in a Real-Life TEOTWAWKI Scenario

I received the following as a forwarded email today and thought I might share it with my readers. Unfortunately, I have no link to provide, nor an author whom to credit; I am simply sharing it with you the same way it was shared with me. I believe it is an important piece in that it puts into perspective the thought process of many that they are sure they could make it when TSHTF because they are good at hunting, fishing, et cetera, and describes just how things can go awry in a real (though admittedly self-imposed) TEOTWAWKI scenario.
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"I wanted to share a story from my past that might give some insight into real life SHTF and how it really unfolded. This may be helpful, it was one of those very few life experiences that was seared on my brain.

Shooting pool and having fun with some buddies one night, one thing leads to another and we were talking about who was the biggest bad ass of the woods. You know, a bunch of 20 yr olds, full of testosterone and confidence talking smack. So, one thing leads to another, and me and two other buddies have bet that we can make it in the woods for a week with nothing more than a tent, a backpack with knifes, food seasoning, matches, mosquito spray, etc, our fishing poles, and one rifle/ammo each. No food.

It is worth noting that all three of us grew up on farms and had been hunting and fishing all of our lives and had been through cub, boyscouts, and Tom and I did claim Eagle scout. It did not seem, really, like a challenge at all.

The setting where we would be dropped off was in our minds ideal. A bit downstream of a dam, on the water, surrounded by woods we had hunted most of our life. The time was early Fall. The nearest store was about 7 miles down the road, a small bbq place.

So, they drop us off around 2pm on a Friday night (and like real believers, they checked our bags for food, bill gets caught sneaking in a ziplock full of corn meal to batter up the fish and some bourbon - but they let us keep it). We get the campsite set up, get some water boiling to drink, and fish for an hour or so. Nothing but a couple of small perch, not worth eating. We give up by 8-9pm, sit by the fire and yuck it up for a while, half heartedly talking about fishing/hunting the next day.

Sat: We spent all morning fishing and somewhat goofing off, but getting fairly hungry by lunch time. The fishing was awful, and no-one realed in anything worth eating (maybe 2-5 small fish). So we all sit around the fire by mid-afternoon, and focused on what to do. Not panicked mind You, just hungry and focused. So we concluded that one continue to fish, and the other two go out and hunt. By 8pm, we were all finally back together. We had zero fish, one decent sized turtle and two squirrels (this took approximately 6 hrs). Whereas I never had tried them before, You would have thought they were candy by the way we ate them. But this was really not much food for three 20 yr old fellows, and it really did not even make a dent in my hunger. I remember listening to my stomach grumble for an hour or so before I fell asleep.

Sun: All three of us wake up before 6am, wet. After we got out of the tents, we firstly realized why the fishing was so awful. They were adjusting the lake level ( heavy water flow the dam), and we were soaked because we put out tents to close to the shore (~ 10-15 ft, but it was level). I do remember looking around at them and thinking - they look as serious as I feel. Wet, very hungry, and many days to go. We figured it best for all of us to hunt, and try the fishing later.

We hunted our butts off (like I have never hunted) but to no avail and I don't think we even wet a line. By Sunday night, it became apparent in retrospect (not then) that we were all starting to panic. Bill and Tom got into a fight (more wrestling than fists, but blood nonetheless) over Tom putting Bills ammo in the corner of the tent that got soaked by the rising water.

Finally, around ~10pm, Bill suggested we give up and this was a stupid idea, and just go down to the convenient store and load up. It took a nano-second to concur. We pussed. Notwithstanding the fact that we brought everything , but a bloody flashlight, we finally make it to the store with Tom twisting an ankle on the way stepping into a groundhog hole. We loaded up on food and try to call our friends to come and pick us up (none of us had mobiles then). No-one bloody answered the phone, so we hoof it back and crash with full bellies at about 5am, as we could see the sun coming up. We did try half-heartedly that morning to make a go at the fishing / hunting, but it was lame and we simply wanted to go home - back to our beds and the comforts of home. I finally walked back down to the store, and called to get picked up.

Yes, I know we wussed and I also know we had bad luck. We didn't even make it 3 days! It was quite a shame to live through in a small town. 20 yrs later, I look back at that memory with the relatively new awareness of our global situation and when SHTF I started a list here of the following lessons I learned from that dreadful trip:

1. Real Survival is NOT easy, and it is not fun after a few hours when things don't go as you optimistically predict. Survival is not the LL Bean catalog, with the latest Leatherman, sipping Earl Grey tea. It can get quite scary (I can't imagine what it would be like if my family now was depending on me at 43 yrs old, for food).

2. All of the heavy equipment and expensive gadgets, guns, and equipment doesn't always put food in your mouth like You think it will. You cannot necessarily 'buy' survival.

3. We all have breaking points and hunger dramatizes the reaction upon reaching this point. Your friends or family may have longer or shorter breaking points, and You may not know until it is too late.

4. Although motivated, Hunting and fishing is a very different feeling when Your hungry. You are keenly, keenly aware and it is frustrating. I would not call it fun. In fact, I have not been sport hunting since, but I have fished a few times with my boys.

I hope this is helpful or at least entertaining. Sorry for being so long winded.

I'll close with this one last curious observation. I still see Bill and Tom from time to time. In the 20 yrs since that weekend, not one of us has ever spoken to each other about it. Not once."


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