Preparing For, What To Do During and Surviving a Power Outage

Power Outage

Preparing For and Surviving

Power Outage Causes: Power outages can occur at any time for a variety of reasons. It’s not just downed power lines. Rolling blackouts during peak usage or high winds are common in many places. The power grid is vulnerable to a computer virus attack. Electricity is vulnerable to electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) from either a nuclear explosion or a solar flare. Recently cold weather caused a massive power outage across Texas. We’ll cover what to do before, during, and after an outage.

It’s too late to prepare once the outage occurs. After every extended outage, most people list these following items as things they wished they had prepared beforehand.

Keep a flashlight within reach of your bed. Keep an inexpensive D-Battery light; a lithium rechargeable lighter/flashlight, and a single AAA light I keep in a sheath with my Leatherman Flashlight & Spare Batteries

A headlamp so you can use your hands. Battery powered and rechargeable.

Since I list rechargeable items, power becomes an issue, especially in an outage. I’ve become a fan of solar, which allows a renewable power source from nature.

I have an entire slideshare devoted to basic Solar Power. One impetus for me to get interested in this, besides the practicality, was to have a power source that we can use as a backup. In our previous house we had a whole house generator, which was nice. We don’t have that in the house we’re currently renting. Also, a generator powers off fuel, which will run out. I have solar panels now, a convertor and backup batteries. At the very least I can run my wife’s CPAP machine all night and recharge the batteries. I also have power for essential items. This power is renewable so for an extended blackout I can recharge. I can also recharge my batteries off my vehicles. In fact, I have a GoalZero 400 in my Jeep with an extra battery. And a 100 watt solar panel on top.

CRITICAL!!!!! If you have medical equipment, particularly life-saving equipment, that requires electricity, it is ESSENTIAL that you have a backup power source. The key is battery power. During a Texas power outage, people died because their oxygen machines, which ran on power, failed. There are other life-saving devices that require power. If you do not have the means to keep them working for at least several days, you must figure out how to do it. Whether it’s a generator, solar, wind, water— get some other power source!

CAVEAT!!!!!  Carbon monoxide can kill. Be very, very careful when using a generator or even getting in your vehicle to run the engine. Do not run your vehicle in your garage. Make sure your generator is properly vented and outside. Don’t put your generator in your garage. I know a couple who died with a generator outside their mobile home, but the vent was near a window they kept open. They passed away in their sleep. Do not bring gas grills indoors to ‘warm up’. It will make you sick or kill you.

SOLAR POWER BASICS TO GET STARTED:  The key components are Solar panels, Convertor, Batteries, and Cables. Most people focus on the panels, but the chokepoint, not just for solar, but for all renewable energy, is the power storage: the battery. For more, view the entire slideshow HERE

If an outage is widespread, your pumping station might lose power. Also, your heating and air conditioning are dependent on power. For an extended outage, you need enough water for at least three days. During the recent Texas outage, potable water becomes scarce because of burst pipes. Minimum is one gallon per person, per day. Double that for warm climates. 8 average 500ml water bottles is just over one gallon. A case of water (24 bottles) is the minimum three days supply per person. I recommend at least two cases per person.

A water filter can be a life-saver. Even the water from our tap can be contaminated. We always have a water filter on the tap for our drinking water.

Non-perishables for three days minimum. Food that doesn’t require refrigeration. Don’t have food that will make you thirsty. Plan for infants and special dietary requirements. Note expiration dates. Mountain Home meals have a 25 year expiration, and are supplied by the company that made our Long Range Patrol meals in Special Forces. It’s what we have on hand and in our grab-n-go bags. Also good for camping. Food

I have a variety of ration bars: ER Bar Grizzly Bear Emergency Food Rations DaTrex 3600 Below are some before going into a ziplock bag and into my Jeep.

A small, portable camping stove is key. Make sure you have plenty of fuel which comes in various sizes from small to larger and heavier.

Know what the emergency broadcast stations are. Have a hand crank/solar radio/flashlight combo.

I carry a SpotX 2 Way Satellite messenging system. I’ve gone many places where there is no cell phone coverage. While going to Hole in the Rock in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, my clutch began to burn out. 120 miles from the nearest civilization. Luckily I managed to sustain in third gear out of there but it made me consider the situation. There are places all over the country, including in the Smoky Mountains, with no cell coverage. I view this as a potentially life-saving investment. Also peace of mind as my family can get hold of me any time and I can update them on my progress. If the outage is widespread, cell phone towers might no longer work.

While we’re all going cellular or wireless, a plugged in landline still works during a power outage. Rotary optional.

First Aid Kit: There are plenty of prepared ones you can buy. Below is one I have in house and in grab-n-go bags. Make sure you have medications to last a week. Extra glasses, contacts, etc.

When power is out ATMs won’t work Store computer systems will have crashed. It will be a cash environment for a while. Until it’s a Zombie environment.

Do you know where the manual release on your garage door is and how to use it? Don’t run your car in a closed garage for heating, cooling, or to charge phones. Always keep your car at least half topped off. Gas stations rely on electricity to pump. In an extended outage, a shortage of gasoline is always a factor. Story at least a five gallon can of gas outside your house, in your garage. Power Outage

DURING a Power Outage

Shuffle away from downed lines, with your feet close together and in constant contact with the ground. When a live wire hits the ground, power goes in all directions. The voltage decreases with distance. Water is a powerful conductor of electricity, so stay away from wet spots. Never drive over a downed line. Even if it doesn’t have power, it can become entangled in your car. Downed Power Lines

Do you have a way to keep warm in cold weather or cool in hot weather without power? A fireplace? Do you use gas or propane for heating? Do you know how to manually start the pilot light if its an electric igniter? In either situation close all shades. Go lower for cool; a basement is best. Do not use gas grills inside. For heat, wear clothes in layers. Never use your oven as a source of heat.

Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. An unopened freezer that is full will keep for almost 48 hours.

Turn off or disconnect appliances and electric equipment that could be damaged by a power surge when the power comes back on. Disconnect and turn off

A power outage that lasts more than a week can cause problems we need to consider. Think through all the things around your house and moving outward that require power. Do you rely on well water? Can you draw via hand pump? What about your septic system and pump? Cell phone service might well be down as the towers will be without power if the outage is widespread.

Generators are like car engines. The more power you draw from them, the faster they use fuel. Turn off all non-essential items drawing power. A portable generator must be vented. NEVER run one inside your house or your garage. Make sure the vent isn’t close to an intake in the house. Over half of the deaths in the last hurricane were from people running generators in their houses and near their houses that weren’t properly ventilated— be careful! Generators

I have a separate slideshow on solar power, but it’s something to consider. Even on a limited level, a few solar panels, convertor and a couple of batteries can run critical equipment such as CPAP machine and charge things like phones and laptops. There are also whole-house battery banks that charge off the grid and can also charge off panels. They are more expensive than a regular generator but they can work for much longer in an extended outage. Even with a large propane tank, eventually your generator will run out of fuel.

AFTER: Throw away frozen food that has thawed or that has an unusual texture, odor, or color. Check with your doctor if medications have spoiled. Restock your emergency supplies.

This information is drawn from a FREE slideshow on Slideshare that contains images and links to all equipment and gear mentioned. It is located HERE along with dozens of other free slideshows.

What You Need to Know for Cold weather Preparation and Survival

Cold Weather

Cold can kill. Without a regulated body temperature, a person can survive only 3 hours. Cold and wet is an even more deadly combination. There are some basics to keep in mind when facing cold weather.

I commanded an A-Team in the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne). 10th Group has the distinction of being the ‘cold weather’ Group, since it’s oriented toward high altitude environments. We learned to ski, then survive and operate in high altitude and cold weather. My first winter operation was an eye-opening experience for me– the image below is on a recon above 10,000 feet altitude in the mountains.

Winter Warfare

Wind amplifies the effect of cold. Your outer garment should be wind and waterproof.

There are two types of cold weather environments: wet or dry. New England, for example, is wet cold. The Rocky Mountains are dry cold. We took more cold weather casualties when we trained in the Adirondacks at lower elevation than when we trained in Utah at high altitude based on the difference between wet cold and dry cold.

Always keep your head covered. You lose a large percent of body heat from an unprotected head and more from the unprotected neck, wrist, and ankles. These areas of the body are good radiators of heat and have very little insulating fat. The brain is very susceptible to cold and can stand the least amount of cooling. I am a big fan of the wool watch cap.

The key to clothing is layering. You start with what’s closest to your body. It is critical to keep not only warm, but dry, no matter where you are. Often, in the desert, while the day might be hot, the night can easily drop below freezing, depending on the time of year.

Layering works in threes: INNER MIDDLE OUTER

Inner layer. Whatever is directly against your skin. The goal is to wick moisture away to the next two layers. Your body heat does the work, so the better the material for this, the less energy your body has to expend. This layer should have a snug fit around your body. The material used should absorb less than one percent of moisture. Common materials are polypropylene, silk, wool and polyester. Never cotton.

Middle layer. This layer is your insulation. Its primary purpose is to keep your warm, while it also helps wick away the moisture to the outer layer. This middle layer must move the moisture outward while keeping heat in. When you think middle layer, consider several garments instead of just one, so you can adjust as the temperature changes.

Outer layer. While the first two layers are focused on keeping warmth in and wicking moisture away, the primary purpose of the outer layer is to battle outside elements, primarily wind and moisture. It should also have some ability to wick away moisture from inside. If this layer only repels rain and wind, it’s called a shell. Usually, though, this outer layer will have an insert that can be added or removed as needed.

A key word to remember is the acronym COLD. C: keep Clothing clean O: avoid Overheating L: wear clothes Loose and in Layers D: keep clothing Dry. Cold Weather Preparation

C: keep Clothing clean This principle is always important for sanitation and comfort. In winter, it is also important from the standpoint of warmth. Clothes matted with dirt and grease lose much of their insulation value. Heat can escape more easily from the body through the clothing’s crushed or compressed air pockets.

O: avoid Overheating When you get too hot, you sweat and clothing absorbs the moisture. This affects warmth in two ways: dampness decreases the insulation quality of clothing, and as sweat evaporates, your body cools. Adjust your clothing so that you do not sweat. Do this by partially opening your parka or jacket, by removing an inner layer of clothing, by removing heavy outer mittens, or by throwing back your parka hood or changing to lighter headgear.

L: wear clothes Loose and in Layers Wearing tight clothing (other than the innermost layer) and footgear restricts blood circulation and invites cold injury. It also decreases the volume of air trapped between the layers, reducing its insulating value. Several layers of lightweight clothing are better than one equally thick layer of clothing, because the layers have dead-air space between them. The dead-air space provides extra insulation. Also, layers of clothing allow you to take off or add clothing layers to prevent excessive sweating or to increase warmth.

D: keep clothing Dry. In cold temperatures, your inner layers of clothing can become wet from sweat and your outer layer, if not water repellent, can become wet from snow and frost melted by body heat. Wear water repellent or waterproof outer clothing. It will shed most of the water collected from melting snow and frost. Despite the precautions you take, there will be times when you cannot keep from getting wet. At such times, drying your clothing may become a major problem. On the march, hang your damp mittens and socks on your rucksack. Sometimes even in freezing temperatures, the wind and sun will dry this clothing. You can also place damp socks or mittens, unfolded, near your body so that your body heat can dry them.

Hypothermia is the lowering of the body temperature at a rate faster than the body can produce heat. The initial symptom is shivering. This shivering may progress to the point that it is uncontrollable and interferes with an individual’s ability to care for himself. This begins when the body’s core (rectal) temperature falls to about 96 degrees. When the core temperature reaches 95 to 90 degrees F, sluggish thinking, irrational reasoning, and a false feeling of warmth may occur. Core temperatures 90 to 86 degrees F and below result in muscle rigidity, unconsciousness, and barely detectable signs of life. If the victim’s core temperature falls below 77 degrees F (25 degrees C), death is almost certain.

Hypothermia: Some people are more susceptible to hypothermia: the elderly, children, and those under the influence of alcohol. Children and thin people loss body heat more quickly. Hypothermia Symptoms: Shivering. Confusion. Uncoordinated actions. Treatment: Get into shelter. Build a fire if you don’t have a shelter. Remove wet clothing and replace with dry. Put in a sleeping bag or cover with blankets. Sip on a warm beverage (nothing with caffeine or alcohol). Do gentle exercises. If necessary, have someone who is not hypothermic cuddle up, to give their body heat. If you have hand warmers, put them in the same place ice would go for heat stroke: neck, armpits and groin.

Frostbite: This injury is the result of frozen tissues. Light frostbite involves only the skin that takes on a dull whitish pallor. Deep frostbite extends to a depth below the skin. The tissues become solid and immovable. Your feet, hands, and exposed facial areas are particularly vulnerable to frostbite. The best frostbite prevention, when you are with others, is to use the buddy system. Check your buddy’s face often and make sure that he checks yours. If you are alone, periodically cover your nose and lower part of your face with your mittened hand. Frostbite can happen fast. I had a touch of frostbite simply be removing my gloves to help load a casualty onto a Blackhawk helicopter in freezing temperatures. The combination of cold and the wind produced by the blades exacerbated the situation. Frostbite

The following pointers will aid you in keeping warm and preventing frostbite. Maintain circulation by twitching and wrinkling the skin on your face by making faces. Warm with your hands. Ears. Wiggle and move your ears. Warm with your hands. Hands. Move your hands inside your gloves. Warm by placing your hands close to your body. Feet. Move your feet and wiggle your toes inside your boots. A loss of feeling in your hands and feet is a sign of frostbite. If you have lost feeling for only a short time, the frostbite is probably light. Otherwise, assume the frostbite is deep.

Frostbite Symptoms: Stinging pain that turns into numbness. You might not even feel the pain, depending on the circumstances and what else is going on in an emergency. The skin becomes cold to the touch and white spots develop.

Frostbite Treatment: As with everything else, medical attention ASAP if possible; frostbite can cause permanent injuries and even amputation. If medical attention isn’t available within the next two to three hours, get into shelter or build a fire. Submerge body parts in water that is between 104 and 108 F; tepid water, not hot. Submerging in hot water will cause extreme pain and even shock. Do not expose frostbite to flame. This tepid water will cool quickly, drawing the cold from the body. Change it often. When drying frostbite injuries pat them. Don’t rub. Rubbing causes more damage. Blisters may appear. Do not pop or lance them as that increases the chances of infection. Apply a loose sterile dressing over the affected area.

When bundled up in many layers of clothing during cold weather, you may be unaware that you are losing body moisture. Your heavy clothing absorbs the moisture that normally evaporates in the air. You must drink water to replace this loss of fluid. Your need for water is as great in a cold environment as it is in a warm environment even though you don’t feel as thirsty. We often don’t want to drink water when we’re cold.

Dehydration: One way to tell if you are becoming dehydrated is to check the color of your urine on snow. If your urine makes the snow dark yellow, you are becoming dehydrated and you need to replace body fluids. If it makes the snow light yellow to no color, your body fluids have a more normal balance. You can also smell the sharp odor of the urine when someone is dehydrated.

You can also do the pinch test. Pinch a portion of skin on the back of your hand and let go. If it remains pinched for longer than usual, you are dehydrated. Dehydration

Shelter is critical. A snow cave or snow trench work well. Get out of the wind. Cold tends to settle in low areas, so avoid the bottom of gullies or ravines. Operating In Cold Weather

Everything takes twice as long as it normally does. Snow is extremely difficult to move through. Food and water freeze. We carried our canteens inside our outer garments and next to your bodies. The same with our next meal. Weapons sweat if you keep them near you when sleeping. They will then freeze. Leave them outside the shelter where they won’t warm up.

Bottom line? Be prepared and be smart.

Valentines Day: Same day, six different years. Six Time Patrol Missions

Valentines Day

“The point in history at which we stand is full of promise and danger. The world will either move forward toward unity and widely shared prosperity—or it will move apart.” President Franklin D. Roosevelt

To change our timeline requires changing six events on the same day in different. The Time Patrol’s mission is to keep our timeline intact, no matter what the cost.

14 February. Valentines Day 1929 1945 1946 278 1779 1945 What do they all have in common? A day when history stood in the balance.

Travel back in time to Chicago, 14 February 1929. The day seven men are machine-gunned in a massacre that will change the public’s perception of the mob. What if that day turns out very differently with seven different victims?

Travel back in time to the Great Bitter Lake on 14 February 1945. The day on which the Roosevelt becomes the first American President to meet a Saudi King and the future of the Middle East is set. Think of the future that can be changed if that meeting turns in a different direction.

Travel back in time to Hawaii on 14 February 1779. The day the great explorer, Captain Cook, is killed. What if he lives?

Travel back in time to Dresden, Germany on 14 February 1945. The day Dresden is firebombed. Where he meets POW Kurt Vonnegut. What if Vonnegut dies?

For her 24-hour bubble in time, Moms travels back to Philadelphia, 14 February 1945. The day the ENIAC computer is unveiled. What if this critical stage in computing, largely worked by six special women, the ENIAC Six, fails?

Travel back in time to Rome, 14 February 278. The day a priest named Valentine is executed and a myth begins. What if the priest isn’t what he appears?

Time Patrol (Valentines Day)


USS Reuben James

“Have you heard of a ship called the good Reuben James, Manned by hard fighting men both of honor and fame?”

The USS Reuben James was a Clemson-class destroyer, built just after World War I in 1919. Clemson-class, also known as four stackers, were the most common destroyer ever built by the US Navy, with 156 built, until the Fletcher-class in World War II.

It was armed with 4, four-inch guns, and 12 torpedo tubes. It also carried depth charges for anti- submarine warfare. The USS Reuben James was commissioned on 24 September 1920.

The ship was named after Reuben James, a sailor who gained fame for stepping in front of Lieutenant Decatur during a battle in the Barbary Wars and taking a sword blow to the head that was intended for Decatur, who went on to gain great fame in the Navy. Interestingly, it appears in retrospect, that story might be in error and another man actually took the blow.

In 1921, she helped escort the remains of the Unknown Soldier of World War I from Europe back to the United States.

The Reuben James was commanded by Lieutenant Commander Heywood L. Edwards. A 1926 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Heywood had wrestled in the 1928 Summer Olympics, placing 4th in the light heavyweight division.

Prior to the outbreak of World War II, she was assigned to the Neutrality Patrol, escorting convoys sailing to Great Britain. They escorted as far as Iceland, whereupon, security was taken over by British ships.

23 October 1941, she was one of five destroyers escorting convoy HX 156 from Newfoundland. As they approached Iceland and the handoff, they were required to spend an extra day in order to insure the task was completed.

On 31 October 1941, Hallows Eve, the USS Reuben James was torpedoed by U-552, commanded by Erich Topp.

The torpedo hit the port bow, detonating the forward magazine, blasting the destroyer in two. Every officer was killed.

The ship went down quickly. Of 144 on board, there were 44 survivors.

Due to the fact that the United States was not at war, the sinking caused a large outcry. However, it was not until 7 December, over 5 weeks later, that the United States entered World War II.

Woody Guthrie wrote a song, The Sinking of the Reuben James.

“Have you heard of a ship called the good Reuben James Manned by hard fighting men both of honor and fame? She flew the Stars and Stripes of the land of the free But tonight she’s in her grave at the bottom of the sea.” Woody Guthrie

But what if the Reuben James encounter with U-552 turns out to be something altogether different?

That is the premise of one of the missions in Hallows Eve (Time Patrol)

Day 324: Pandemic. Are We Seeing a Slow Rolling Larger Disaster in COVID-19?

Reported Cases

I haven’t written about the pandemic in a while; perhaps I’ve been numbed out like many of us. But first, note its day 324 since I started writing about it. What hasn’t happened? We still can’t get an N-95 mask. That seems simple, doesn’t it? Why not? Because the previous administration never had a plan for this. We’re only a couple of weeks into the new administration but I’m seeing worrying signs in the midst of a turnaround in the government response.

We knew there would be mutations of the original virus. That happens in a pandemic. But as we slowly roll out vaccines (my wife and I are hoping for April, maybe???) we’re also seeing variants of COVID that are more contagious. Also, one that seems to be more serious. The new Johnson and Johnson Vaccine that should be rolling out soon isn’t as effective against the new South African variant of COVID-19. That’s troubling.

We’ve lost half a million Americans to COVID (officially 434,000) and I really believe that number is on the low side. Lots of bodies found alone in homes and apartments that haven’t been autopsied. Lots of secondary deaths due to triage and medical appointments and checkups canceled. There are third level deaths from suicides and financial hardships. Overall, it’s been the worst health disaster in the United States since the 1918 Flu. And it’s still peaking. We’re not in a second wave. We’re still climbing the first wave.

The map above is pretty stunning. We’re getting better at treating COVID and keeping the fatality rate down, but it’s spreading like wildfire.

A distressingly high percentage of our population still has willful ignorance of the threat and refuse to change their lifestyle. Or wear masks. Governors are still floundering and in some cases making extremely stupid decisions, such as re-opening indoor dining. Seriously? People can’t do take out? It’s so important to actually sit in a restaurant and eat?

We are in a race against time with the vaccine. Can we get enough people immunized to turn the numbers positive? Much more worrying to me, and why I titled this post the way I did, is whether we might see a COVID variant that won’t be stopped with the current vaccinations, causing us to go through the entire process again? On top of the current variant? What if one develops in reaction to vaccinations that is much more deadly? Every time a new variant pops up, it’s never isolated. Within a week it’s all over the world. I don’t know what fatality rate would cause a panic, but I suspect even a 5% mortality rate would cause a significant breakdown in society. I’m not saying its likely, but I’m picking up a lot of worrisome vibes from experts in the field. It’s what they’re not saying that concerns me. Many economies are already fragile and people are numbed out. Not just by deaths in the hundreds of thousands, but also a year of constant stress.

Hard as it might be, now is the time to get prepared for the possibility of things getting worse. Essentially we’re living downstream from a very large dam and the water is flowing over the top. Hopefully the level will go down and the dam will hold. But there are two frightening possibilities: the water will pour over the top or, worse, the dam will break. And if it does, things will happen fast.

Prepare now. Survive later.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide

Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide.

The Vulnerabilities of GPS


The NY Times ran an article yesterday about the vulnerabilities of GPS. It’s here if you desire to read it.

It mostly reiterates what I’ve written in The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Bottom line: we are way too dependent on GPS– and its used for much than navigation. We use GPS signals for time-keeping. Thus the stock market and many other parts of our society are dependent on it. The one interesting thing the article covers that I don’t touch on is that it’s getting easier to spook a GPS signal. I often wonder if some of those Navy ship collissions occurred because the GPS navigation was spoofed? I hope all naval officers still know how to use compass and sextant? Anyone know?

GPS stands for Global Positioning System. A basic understanding of GPS is useful so we understand what it can and can’t do.

Let’s get a little geeky. The GPS receiver gets a signal from each satellite with the exact time it is sent. By subtracting the time the signal was sent from the time it was received the GPS receiver can calculate how far it is from the satellite. The receiver knows where the satellite is in orbit so it has a fix on that satellite. For our GPS receiver to work it needs to make contact and get a fix with at least 3 GPS satellites for a two dimensional fix (latitude and longitude) and 4 satellites for a three dimensional fix (adding in elevation). If you are only getting 3 satellites and aren’t at sea level, your actual location could be different from what the GPS is showing. If you’re up at a high altitude in the mountains, this can become significant. Usually, though, this isn’t a problem. Of the 31 active GPS satellites, there are usually 6 in range from most places on the Earth’s surface.

Ever notice that it takes your GPS varying amounts of time to get a fix? If the GPS hasn’t been on recently it could take as long as 30 seconds. Tall buildings or other obstructions can also make it take longer. Most GPS accuracy is to within 5 meters.

Cellphone GPS units act a bit differently incorporating Assisted-GPS to get a fix quickly. They use cell phone tower data to assist. Sometimes they can give you a fix without even accessing satellites. This only works though it you are in cellphone and Wifi coverage.

Another thing to consider is whether the map coverage you’re using is in your device’s memory or downloading. Ever have the GPS map become blank when you’re out of coverage? We should always download our local area tiles for whatever mapping GPS we use. When I plan trips, I download the map tiles into memory for the route and destination. This allows the GPS to work faster and gives me a map even if I can’t download it live. For your vehicle’s GPS, are the maps you’re using in the memory or downloading? Put them in the memory.

I’ve noticed when biking and using GPS that every so often it will tell me it has lost the signal. Some of these ‘dead spots’ are the same, but others seem random. Which brings me to this significant point: you can’t count on GPS!

There are other problems with GPS:

They need the satellites working. EMP—electro-magnetic pulse, whether natural (solar flare) or man-made (nuclear weapon) can wipe those satellites out.

The GPS receiver, whether in your vehicle, a cell phone or handheld GPS receiver, requires power to work. Cell phones and batteries can die. Commercial airplanes are required to have backup navigation to GPS. Just in case. We need to do the same.

Sadly, many people no longer carry paper maps in their car. Beyond that, many don’t know how to read a road map, never mind a topographical one.

When I was a brand new butter-bar second lieutenant in the First Cavalry Division, I was told succinctly that a platoon leader had to do two things well: Maintain communications on the radio and navigate. Failing either of those two and your time as leader was limited and your career in the Army over.

In a survival situation, especially moderate to extreme, it is highly likely you will have to move from point A to point B. It also possible you won’t have a GPS to do that with.

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide

We’ve Let Ourselves Be Massacred And It’s Still Going On


I wrote this post before the recent coup attempt in Washington, but it’s all still true. Even more so.

Time to be blunt. The official number of COVID-19 deaths today is over 336,000. 3,725 Americans died yesterday. This in a country that tore the world apart over a lesser number on a single day” 9-11. But it’s a daily occurrence now and getting higher. People are dying outside hospitals because there’s no room for them. And it’s not just COVID-19 people. Don’t you dare have a heart attack or a car accident or a stroke now. You’re fucked.

The reality is that it’s much higher for several reasons: many die alone and are never autopsied and added to the total. They die alone because they have no health care plan and don’t think they can afford to go to the doctor, never mind the emergency room. That they can ride it out, but once your blood oxygen level gets too low, it’s too late.

Secondary deaths will never be known but that’s all the people who’ve canceled check-ups and going to the doctor out of caution and will develop fatal health problems that could have been treated if caught by a blood test, an MRI, an x-ray, etc. Those will eventually number in the hundreds of thousands and last years. Los Angeles is now having EMS personnel triage people even before getting in the hospital. How many are dying?

There has never been a coordinated federal response to COVID-19 from the very start. In fact, the federal government from the highest levels worked to obfuscate and downplay the threat. We were blatantly lied to. We know that because there are audio recordings of it. It’s as if we refuse to believe the rock-solid evidence. Then the president foisted responsibility onto the states, as if a virus knows state’s borders. He literally said he took no responsibility. The buck doesn’t stop there- it gets pocketed there. Not only did he pass it to the states, he then undertook a public attack to undermine the efforts of governors to try to contain the virus.

Already there are millions of Americans who don’t believe the above. Who don’t believe masks help. Who think COVID-19 is no worse than the flu. Who think the numbers are inflated for various reasons. When all facts point to the obvious, they stick to their dogma, egged on by propaganda outlets that make money off them and even an administration that’s currently fleecing them. Those are facts which I no longer bother to argue with those who deny them.

Watch what they do, not what they say. I see members of Congress still whining about lockdowns and masks, but who were first in line to get vaccinations. Members of congress who got privately briefed on the severity, did nothing to help their constituents but invested in companies that made body bags to make a buck of our deaths.

From the beginning I’ve been attacked because people think I’m being political. If being an American who cares about democracy is political, then I am. We have a crime syndicate running this country that doesn’t give a damn about us. And we’ve let it happen. It’s ongoing.

Even the vaccine rollout is botched. It’s estimated at least 40,000 more of us, are going to die because of errors already made. They had a year to plan this and are fucking it up because instead of letting experts run it, they dole out appointments to supplicants and sycophants. In fact, we have a huge movement in this country that denigrates experts. I’d like those people to stop using all the things experts made for them like their cell phones and the internet. You know, stop using all the results of science if you don’t believe in it. They stand on the back of experts, while deriding them. They traveled on Thanksgiving and Xmas because they were special. Some die still not believing that what the experts warned them about is killing them.

“We are not — and will not — be the subjects of an elite class of so-called experts,” she told a national TV audience. “We the people are the government.” Governor Noem of South Dakota.

Are we?

We have a president openly enacting a coup. And we shrug. Oh well. That’s just Trump. Doing what was unthinkable just four years ago. And we let it go on. People claim to be patriots as the very foundations of our country are being jack-hammered by those who wrap themselves in the flag.

The level of incompetence will definitely kill at least half a million Americans, but it’s also the only thing that might give us a reprieve. Note, I say reprieve. A new administration is not a fix. Because the next guy, and there will be a next guy, or woman, will be smarter. Will see how Trump played this wrong, just as Trump, who met and listened to Nixon, learned who that man did it wrong.

I’ve been called a traitor, without honor, a liar, and worse by many. I’ve lost readers. It’s hurt my business, but others have lost their lives, so it’s not a hard price to pay. I do what I can. I’m on day 305 of my pandemic blog. From the start I put out information designed to help. Feel free to us it.  Free survival slideshows HERE. Sign up for my newsletter HERE which I send out at most once a month, but always includes links to free books. I will be giving away The Green Pocket Sized Survival Guide next week via the newsletter.

Stay safe. Look out for yourselves and, as loyal Americans, look out for your neighbors. Remember, most people are good people.

Day 296: Survival Preparation. Task 21. Rotation and Inspection Checklist


Task Twenty-One

Mild: Rotation and Inspection Checklist

Monthly: Test fire alarms

Quarterly: (1 Jan, 1 April, 1 July, 1 Oct): Rotate gas in spare cans

Power bars, emergency water in vehicle

Semi-Annual: (1 Jan, 1 July): Replace fire alarm batteries; check first aid kits

Conduct fire drill

Check all emergency food

Annual: Check Grab-n-Go bags.

Every five years: Replenish emergency bars.

Every ten years: replace smoke/CO2 alarms

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide

Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide.

Day 294: Survival Preparation. Task 19 and 20. Basic and More Advanced Water Preparation

Water is most often our survival priority as we can only last three days without it. So tasks 19 and 20 are basic and then more advanced about what you need.

Task Nineteen

Mild: Water Checklist

3 Gallons of water person.  Rotate every six months.

2 bottles of water in the car (preferably a case in trunk or back). Rotate every six months.

2 bottles of water in work/school GnG bag. Rotate every six months.

Task Twenty

Mod/Ex: Water Checklist

Moderate: 6 gallons of water per person; 4 cases

Moderate: Portable water filter

Katadyn Water Microfilter:

Platypus Gravitywork High Capacity Water Filter:

Extreme: 30 gallons per person or more  (10 cases, 55 gallon drum, etc)

Mod/Ex: location of drinkable water source near home

Mod/Ex: GnG Bag: bottle of water purifying pills

Mod/Ex GnG bag:

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter:

Mod/Ex: One case of water in car.

Extreme: BOHS—drinkable water source near hide site.

WATER! What You Need To Know About Water For Survival  #earthquake via @SlideShare #water #flood #hurricane #ClimateChange #LifeHack 
Water Slideshow

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide

Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide.