Sunday, January 21, 2018

From This Weekend's News

It's been a busy weekend in the news...

Saturday, January 20, 2018

20 Multi-Use Items for Your EDC Bag

Many of the items we carry in our EDC (everyday carry) bags have one function and one function only (a pocket knife for example, it's good for cutting things).  But there are several items you can carry in your EDC that will work for multiple purposes:
  1. Alcohol wipes.  Good for disinfecting things and is excellent to use as a fire starter.
  2. Condom.  Prevents babies (usually).  Can also be used to carry water (get the non-lubed kind) and can be used as a tourniquet.
  3. Tactical pen.  Can be used for writing.  Can also be used to stab someone in self defense as well as to tighten up a tourniquet.
  4. Paracord.  Can be used as a guy-line to make a shelter.  Can be used to tie up assailants.  Can also be used to start a fire, as an emergency belt or shoestring, and many other uses.
  5. Cell phone.  So many uses: making calls or texts, flashlight app, alarm app, taking scene photos, securing documents, and many more things.
  6. Small notebook.  Good for taking notes, giving information to someone else, starting a fire, leaving a trail, leaving a message for someone, etc.
  7. Floss.  For flossing teeth of course, also for making repairs, tying things up, and a couple dozen other survival uses.
  8. Bandaids.  For bandaging wounds, using in place of Scotch tape, covering the camera on your laptop, etc.
  9. Safety pin.  For pinning up tears in clothing.  Can also be used to pop blisters, as an emergency fish hook, and to remove splinters.
  10. Mylar space blanket.  Wrap up in it to keep warm, use it for signalling, to make a tent or lean-to, and for these 50 other uses.
  11. Garbage bag.  For packing out garbage, of course, and carrying things in it that you want to keep dry.  Also these ingenious uses.
  12. Ziploc bag.  I've used these more than one time to keep my cell phone dry and once as a barf bag (not for myself).  There are many other good uses for ziploc bags here.
  13. USB drive.  To carry all of your backup files with you, to save files from another computer, to leave files for someone else.
  14. Zipties.  Can be used to secure the zippers on your luggage, to attach gear to your bag (or to something else), and for these other uses.
  15. Tampons.  For its intended female use as well as to staunch bleeding from a wound, as a fire starter, and for these other uses.
  16. Packet of aspirin.  For use as a pain reliever, to thin someone's blood when they are having a heart attack, to treat bug bites and stings, and apparently they can also be used to revive a dead car battery.
  17. Packet of tissue.  For its usual intended use (blowing your nose), as emergency toilet paper, for use as a fire starter, to leave a signal for someone, and to wrap up things you need to take with you.
  18. Bandanna.  I've used the bandanna I always carry with me for several things: washing a baby in a third world country, as a diaper for said baby (never did get that bandanna back), as a sweat rag, to cover my face in a dust storm, and to stop bleeding.  Here are dozens of other uses
  19. Credit-card sized fresnel lens.  Comes in handy when I need to read small print (these old eyes aren't getting any younger) also can be used as a firestarter and to signal with.
  20. Strike anywhere matches.  To start a small fire to keep warm, to start a signal fire, to hold near a smoke detector to set it off, to see in the dark if you don't have a flashlight, etc.

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Las Vegas Shooting Preliminary Report

On my task list for today, reviewing this preliminary report from LVMPD about the 1 October mass shooting.  I've briefly scanned it and noted some things that still don't make sense.  While I usually have the utmost respect for Metro (the Las Vegas police department), the clusterfuckery that is this event boggles the mind. 

I've seen Metro and their SWAT team in action--their tactical response skills and training are excellent.  I am well aware of the scum of the earth that they need to deal with on a daily basis.  In general this is a really good department.  But this event, at least all of the "official reports" that came out after the event, seem like a dozen people are trying to write a narrative of events without using the same facts.

We'll see what the report says...

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Did You Know an Entire Major City Will Soon Be Out of Water?

I'm not talking about some time way in the future.  Cape Town South Africa is scheduled to run out of water within 100 days.  Can you imagine what would happen if your city ran out of water completely?  In the case of Cape Town, four million people will be severely impacted by this.

Scientists have been saying for years that the world will run out of fresh water at some fuzzy point in the future but maybe now people will take this catastrophic event more seriously when they see how a major city will deal with millions of people and no water for them to drink.  And while Cape Town may be many thousands of miles away on another continent, this drought map shows that there are many places around the US that are getting low on water.

A severe drought, or in this case, completely running out of water, is not only a huge problem for the locals (having to go get a daily ration of water, no green lawns, not even enough water to properly bathe with) but it will impact every facet of society (tourism, economic, civil breakdown, possibly many people fleeing the city).  Here are other ways the lack of water will impact the city.

While there is not much we, as individuals, can do about drought and civic water conservation projects, we can plan for the future.  Maybe moving to a place with a good supply of water and a lower chance of drought?  Learning some extreme water conservation skills?  Here are some ways to prepare for a potential drought (this is by no means a long-term plan).  Most importantly, pay attention to what is happening in your community.  Is your community proactive about drought planning?  Does your community rely on a variety of water sources or only one?  Does your community have a comprehensive water management plan?

This is definitely a topic preppers will need to keep an eye on in the future.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

5 Threats This Week

Here are some things to be aware of this week:

  1. Flu season is in full swing and it can be deadly.  If you are having severe flu symptoms, don't hesitate to seek medical attention.
  2. A huge snowstorm is hitting the east coast.  If you live in affected areas, try to stay off the roads and securely inside if possible.
  3. The recent mudslides in California are a good reminder that when an evacuation is ordered--whether voluntary or mandatory--it probably means you should get out.  These orders aren't issued lightly and are done for people's own safety.
  4. Here's a good reminder to take what the media says with a grain of salt.  It's hard to tell what to believe anymore.
  5. Another day, another false missile attack warning.  Among the lessons learned: warning errors can happen, people weren't prepared for such an event and didn't know how to react, and panic..so much panic.

Monday, January 15, 2018

10 Ways to Bulk Up Your Emergency Fund

As I've said before, the best way to survive many disasters is to have the money on hand to fix whatever problems come along with the disaster.  Need to evacuate?  You will need money for a hotel.  Have to hole up in your house for a few weeks?  You will need money to stockpile food, water, toiletries, and toilet paper.  Need to leave the country in a hurry?  Paying full fare for an airline ticket will be financially painful but if you have the money on hand, no problem.  Here are 10 ways to bulk up your emergency fund and help you become more financially prepared for a disaster:

  1. See if you are due any unclaimed money.
  2. Have a garage sale.
  3. Sell your body (parts).
  4. Sell stuff online that you no longer need.
  5. Get a seasonal, temporary, or part time job.
  6. Set up a side hustle business.
  7. Ask for a raise at your current job.
  8. Get a higher paying job.
  9. Use apps to make money.
  10. Cut your monthly spending.