Throwback Prepper Stuff
Check out this video providing civil defense announcements from 1961. I enjoy reading about civil defense efforts from the past.
Upcoming LTC (formerly CHL) Classes
Turns out I have a website that I could be using to promote upcoming classes. This website, to be exact. Click here or look under the "Events" tab above for more info. I currently have space available in my classes scheduled for:
I cannot stress enough that these classes fill up quickly these days. I set up a class on Friday for March 13 to accommodate someone bringing several students and filled it within a day.
I cap attendance at six people so as to maximize the attention I can give each student. If you want to attend, please let me know ASAP.
In addition, I can deliver LTC training to your home or office for a flat fee. Use the contact form below to ask for details.
I hope you are paying attention to the zika virus. The World Health Organization is. From the Washington Post:
The WHO said the pathogen, which was virtually unheard of in the region a year ago, is spreading so fast that it could infect as many as 3 million to 4 million people within 12 months. Chan said those numbers and the severity of the possible complications being reported -- from a brain abnormality called microcephaly in children to paralysis in adults -- make the situation dramatically different than what epidemiologists have seen with past outbreaks of the virus.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported on Friday that "US on high alert for bird flu." Such events are generally limited to poultry flocks. It bears monitoring due to the impact it has on food prices.
No doubt people will read more stories about these things and rush out to buy bird flu masks, latex gloves, and anything else they think they need to keep their families safe. Just like they did for bird flu a few years ago. And SARS. And ebola.
The reality is that we are due for another pandemic. This is not some biblical prophesy or conspiracy theory. From the acclaimed New York Times:
When the Next Big One arrives, spreading across oceans and continents like the sweep of nightfall, causing illness and fear, killing thousands or maybe millions of people, it will be signaled first by quiet, puzzling reports from faraway places — reports to which disease scientists and public health officials, but few of the rest of us, pay close attention.
I'm not taking any additional precautions because of zika/ebola/SARS/bird flu or any other pathogen. I've made what I believe are sound preparations for such an event....which look like preparations for many different types of perils. I would urge you to prepare for this distinct possibility when such an event isn't front and center in the news, so that you aren't out with everyone else coming up with your monkey pox survival kit.
What's the best way to do that right now? Check out Dr. Grattan Woodson's excellent primer. I highly recommend that you download and save this document. And if you live in the Atlanta area, consider establishing a doctor-patient relationship with him.
Bear In Mind That The "Best" Strategy May In Fact Be In Error
From this month in Reason magazine: "In April 2015, the editor of the prestigious medical journal The Lancet reported that the participants in a recent conference believed 'much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.'"
When I was writing Pivot Points, I studied (and quoted from) Samuel Arbesman's book, "The Half Life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has An Expiration Date." The premise of the book is startling - much of what we think we know to be true is in fact inaccurate.
These findings have huge ramifications. We take medicines and treatments based upon testing to show they are both safe and effective, although much of that testing may lead to questionable results. We base policy on climate change theories which, despite mantras that "the science is well settled," may not be as settled as we are led to believe. We build infrastructure based upon generally accepted assumptions. Yet much of this, we later learn, was inaccurate at the time.
There's a temptation to say "well, since the experts will just change their minds on this later, there's no reason to take their advice now." While skepticism may be healthy, remember that not all findings and beliefs are deemed in accurate. If we accept the postulate presented in The Lancet, as much as half of what we know is in fact correct and will be considered correct years from now.
That's why it's critical that we never stop learning and challenging our preconceived notions. Preppers need open minds in order to adapt to changing situations. Take the basic, reasonable steps now to prepare for pandemics, power outages, and other emergencies. And then stay on top of news and changing ideas about the best way to do so in the future.
Doug Casey and Going Global
Many of you are familiar with Doug Casey of Casey Research. This week, I read his book "2015 Going Global," with its predictable strategy of moving assets off shore and owning precious metals.
I suspect there is great wisdom in much of what he recommends. The problem, however, is that for most people, the recommended strategies are not cost effective.
For example, he suggests that Americans have money in an off shore account. This is quite feasible for many income brackets, as many of the banks he recommends do not have minimum amounts to open account. (Bear in mind that while it can be quite legal to open accounts off shore, doing so for tax evasion purposes is not.)
But other strategies - holding large gold reserves in offshore depositories and having a second passport to another country - are simply out of reach for the typical American. Including me.
So, if you're worried about the things Doug Casey is worried about and outlines in the first six pages of his book - such as currency devaluation, gold confiscation, and rising income taxes - but you don't have $300K to spend on a second passport, what are you to do?
I'm not a financial advisor or an accountant. I am an attorney, but I don't provide legal advice here. But I do think it's worth us discussing some options that you can raise with the financial or legal expert of your choice. These things include:
Don't let the lack of a hefty net worth discourage you from doing what you can with what you have.
So What's Going Well?
One of the downsides to being an advocate for preparedness is that we're always seen as Debbie Downers, like this character on Saturday Night Live from a few years back. Yet there's a lot going on that's positive in the preparedness movement. We need to remind ourselves of that from time to time. For example:
What Am I Working On Right Now?
I'm in my busy season at work, which runs January through May. So while I am always working on preparedness "to dos," my time is more limited these days.
Nonetheless, here are some of the things I am working on:
Questions? Comments? Let Me Know What You Think.
Here's where I tell you what I think about things I think about.