Paul's Note: I sent the following email, verbatim, to my co-workers Friday evening. Like me, all of these individuals travel a fair amount as part of their job. It's my hope some of you may find this information useful.
Friday, 9:10 PM NAMIC Time
Operators: I trust your weekend is off to a good start.
I wanted to share a few thoughts as you make your travel plans for the next week or so. By now, you have seen the news that President Trump and others are expressing grave concern over the possibility of war with North Korea.
I am no national defense expert, of course, and so I don't know how credible this threat really is. I am not overly concerned. Nonetheless, I am taking certain precautions when I travel over the next couple of weeks should we find ourselves in the middle of a national emergency. You may find some of these helpful to you as well.
First and foremost, make sure you have the resources to get yourself home in case of an emergency. For most of us, this means making sure that any rental car you have stays gassed up as much as possible. While you're at the convenience store getting gas, make sure your car has a water bottle in it, along with some high energy snacks. Note well - if there is some sort of emergency and people begin to become fearful, anticipate longer lines at the gas station and grocery stores, along with possible shortages of gas, food and water.
Speaking of rental cars, if something big happens and you don't have a rental car, consider getting one immediately. When 9/11 happened, Kendel had just landed in Houston with co-workers. The airspace system had shut down, and the rental car companies quickly ran out of cars. If you don't have one when the airspace system closes, get one ASAP. Be reluctant to give up your rental car if you already have one.
If you're not accustomed to carrying cash with you, I would suggest that you do. Any sort of shut down of the banking system due to a hack or other disruption will make your credit card useless. You want to be able to buy food, water, gas and even a rental car if you don't have one using nothing but cash.
What is the best route to get home? I always send Julie and Joe, along with Kendel, my itinerary which includes my best estimate of my "get home" route if I have to drive home instead of fly home.
Plan to be out on the road longer than you expect. I generally carry enough "stuff" to manage out on the road about twice as long as I think I will be there. For me, this means additional clothing (usually in form of additional underwear, socks, and a pair of comfortable tennis shoes) and supplies (toiletries and snacks) in addition to whatever cash I am carrying on me. This would also include extra medications you might be taking.
Lastly, I have shared these before, but I will share them again just in case. Here's my packing list for business travel, and for you more adventurous souls, here are my thoughts on when, why and how I carry gold and silver when I travel.
I want to stress to you I don't think we're going to end up in an armed conflict with North Korea. We should be mindful, nonetheless, that conflict with North Korea would not be akin to bombing Syria. An attack would have significant world security ramifications. In the unlikely event that happens, you want to be in a position to get back home quickly.
I join with those of you praying for our nation and for peace. Let me know if you would like to visit further about this.
Building the culture of preparedness isn't hard work. It's just work.
It means talking to people who might be interested in the message. Of course, if you can tailor and target that message to those most likely to be receptive of it, you'll increase your chances that the message will stick. Plus, it will do your soul good to talk to people who appreciate what you are saying and take it to heart.
Last weekend, we had a perfect example of it here in Texas. Friend and fellow KR Training assistant instructor John Kochan spoke at the Fifth Annual A Girl and A Gun (AG&AG) Conference near Burnet, Texas. John spoke on creating a culture of preparedness as well as being prepared for home emergencies, both large and small.
Here's what he had to say about the event:
As John points out, many people are already preparing for other risks in life. Preparing for a wider spectrum of perils is a logical extension of that interest.
When we are advocating preparedness, one of the best things we can do for ourselves is to identify groups of people with whom the message will resonate. And so I'm not surprised that this had such a strong interest at AG&AG. What I am finding is that the gun community remains one of the top prospects for recruiting people to become prepared themselves as well as to be preparedness advocates.
We are also finding - and John's experience is anecdotal evidence of this - that the message of preparedness resonates strongly with women in the gun community.
Along these lines, Australian public policy experts began to look at how gender plays a role in making preparedness decisions. A series of deadly bush fires in 2015 prompted researchers to examine why more men die than women in such situations. I recommend you read the short article on this, as it really highlights some interesting data points in how different genders view preparedness.
One of the first things that jumped out at me in this article dealt with how men and women responding to the survey viewed preparedness:
The influence of gender on planning and preparation was evident in interviews with survivors. Men often talked about “hard” preparations, such as reducing fuel and setting up sprinkler systems. Women often spoke about “soft” preparations, such as planning household responses and measures to ensure the safety of children and other household members.
Perhaps the most important conclusion from the article is this:
The tendency for women to reflect more critically on their level of planning and preparedness suggests there are opportunities to develop bushfire awareness and education programs designed specifically to engage and meet the needs of women.
Similarly, the finding that women were more receptive to bushfire-related advice suggests opportunities for tailoring and communicating information, advice and warnings to women. It is also important that residents in bushfire risk areas plan and discuss the intended responses of all householders to avoid last minute disagreements and decisions.
The Australian research and our recent efforts here locally to encourage preparedness seem to support one another. Preparedness advocacy is not a one size fits all approach. It needs to be tailored so that it resonates with a diverse audience. Gender, faith, political leanings - these are all factors we should consider when helping others find their Pivot Point. We have to present the idea to them in a way that touches on their values and priorities.
I'm pleased to announce the development and scheduling of the next evolution in preparedness training I've helped create. In collaboration with Karl Rehn at KR Training, we've developed (and continue to develop) a series of training courses to help prepare people for a variety of situations.
On July 15 and 16, we will be offering two courses, one day in length, designed to help you get started or to advance your efforts if you've been prepping for a while.
One of the great features about this training is your ability to tailor it and just purchase the portions of it you wish to choose.
Preparedness Training (Level 1) or PT-1 is a 7 hour class which involves both live fire on the gun range and a classroom component. The live fire portion will be conducted in the morning, before the heat of the day becomes challenging, and the indoor classroom portion will be held in the afternoon.
The live fire training is designed to help students in home defense situations. After covering safe gun handling and marksmanship skills, students will advance to shooting from cover and moving with a firearm in homes, businesses and other locations where you might find yourself in an emergency. Students will have the opportunity to train with both handguns and long guns during this session.
The classroom portion of PT-1 focuses on how to get started in preparedness, using strategies and skills the student can implement right away. We plan to cover such things as how to get started in preparedness without feeling overwhelmed, making a "get home bag," building a food and water plan, doing some taste tests with storable foods, creating a home defense plan, and other topics.
Preparedness Training (Level 2) or PT-2 is also 7 hours long, building upon the skills learned in PT-1. Like PT-1, we'll be on the range in the morning and in the air conditioned classroom in the afternoon.
During the range portion, students will run drills with pistols and long guns useful in situations occurring outside the home.
In the afternoon classroom portion, we will help students develop a home medical emergency plan and a robust neighborhood watch, practical gold and silver investing, creating a 60 day plan to become disaster ready, preparing your workplace for emergencies, and other topics as well.
You can mix and match this training - if you only want the firearms training with PT-1 but you also want the classroom portion for PT-2, you can do that. If you only want the classroom on both days, you can do that as well. We have designed this so that students can customize their training opportunities to meet them at their skill level.
We've kept the registration fees reasonable for the amount of training offered:
All day: $150
Half day: $90
I hope you'll sign up and take advantage of this opportunity. After two days of training, you will be much better equipped to develop full spectrum emergency plans for you, your family and your place of employment.
Click here to get registered.
I don't know when "gender reveal" parties for a baby became a thing. But let's appropriate that new tradition for our own benefit.
Back in 2005, we bought the home we currently live in. It was about that time that I filled three water jugs with tap water, treating each with some bleach (a half cup or a full cup....I can't remember) before storing them in my garage.
I put the jugs sit on the concrete floor (and yes, I know that's a controversial practice) where they've sat, summer, winter, spring and fall for twelve years, three presidents and a high school graduation. Until now.
Tonight, I opened them up. Behold - The Great Water Stored In Jugs Sitting On Cement In A Texas Garage For 12 Years Reveal!
I'd drink that water, with some additional filtering through a Berkey or similar filtration device.
A few thoughts from this:
Here's where I tell you what I think about things I think about.