Day 119: 2020 Pandemic. How To Prepare For And Deal With One of the Deadliest Natural Disasters.

Wildfires can be devastating. They’ve wiped out entire communities. They can occur in many different places. They’re fast, often over-running those who wait too long to flee. They push a wall of heat far ahead of the flames that is deadly.

How do you prepare for and deal with it?

Over 30 free survival slideshows are on this page, along with information on writing and various interesting topics. Free Slideshows

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also in Kindle Unlimited.

Day 117: 2020 Pandemic. The Federal Government Has Surrendered. We Can’t Afford To.

Above is the weekly trend. It aint good. To understate a bit.

The Federal government never really took charge when the pandemic struck. At first it denied, then minimized, then threw it to the States.

Now, the mantra will be: live with it.

Which translates to: die with it.

From a purely survival standpoint, this is a rather unprecedented event. We’ve had pandemics before and we will have them again. Indeed, we will have one much worse than COVID-19. In a way, this is a dress rehearsal for something that could be much worse if we don’t learn from our mistakes.

At the individual level the mantra must be: social distance and wear a mask.

Beyond that, don’t despair or grow lax. It’s been hard. Often, we’ve felt as if we’re in a movie, badly scripted. As a novelist who has written a book about a pandemic and a former Green Beret who has written a survival manual and also two books on great disaster of history and how to avoid future ones, I can assure if I had written a novel that mirrored our present situation, it would have been rejected by every agent as being unrealistic and over the top.

Stay resolute. One thing I learned in survival training and on various deployments is that mindset is everything. It makes all the difference, sometimes between life and death. Do not give in to despair.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also in Kindle Unlimited.

Day 116: 2020 Pandemic. We’re Americans. We Don’t Do Science.

We also don’t do logic. Or common sense. We do what we ‘believe’. And what we believe is often wrong.

Why did we even shut down if there was going to be no national policy? The buck didn’t stop with the president, he changed it into pennies and threw them back at the States and turned his back on it.

I watched his press secretary sneer as she held the pandemic response plan they’d inherited from the previous administration (and they only brought it out after denying it existed because, well, it existed and the Senate majority leader had to walk back his denial on it). She tossed it aside saying it was worthless and held up a binder saying it contained their newer and better plan. The problem is, what is it? Because there has been no plan from the start.

Now we have a faction so deeply entrenched in their utter incompetence and ignorance it’s too late. The absolute illogic of the president’s position that numbers are only going up because of “great testing” fails on so many levels.

This is the reality that those of us in reality have to live in. I take some inspiration that more people seem to be accepting reality. We finally, finally, have a mask ordnance here in Knox County. Far too late, but there is no late if we change now!

Ignore the fools who say wearing a mask is ineffective or a health hazard. Like much other propaganda it comes from sources that wish us harm and is rabidly spread by haters.

The reality is grim. Day by day we see record numbers in most states. While proportionally the mortality rate seems down a little, it still means tens of thousands of death this month. Tens of thousand. We will likely top two hundred thousand deaths by the end of July. If the country doesn’t change course radically we could see half a million by the end of the year. All the worst case scenarios are playing out. And being ignored by those in the White House.

It is up to us. Social distance. Wear a mask. Don’t go into crowds. Stay safe.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also in Kindle Unlimited.

Day 114: 2020 Pandemic. Beware The Hot Weather! Heat Wave Survival Information.

As we enter the July 4th weekend and temperatures are soaring, we have to be careful out there. It’s not just COVID-19.

Hot weather can be deadly. Here’s a free slideshow on it, water intake, and various bad things that can happen and what you can do to prevent them and also deal with it.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also in Kindle Unlimited.

Day 112: 2020 Pandemic. We’re Fucked

There’s no other way to title our current reality.

Science doesn’t care what your political beliefs are. Nor your religious beliefs. It doesn’t care what propaganda you listen to and believe in. COVID-19 is a virus.

I am utterly baffled about what people thought was going to happen when we “opened up” given we had no national test and trace policy. We have no national policy at all regarding this pandemic except a president who today, once more, stated it will “simply go away”.

It won’t. Based on the current surge we’ll top 200,000 dead by the end of this month. We still have national shortages of PPE, testing, and more. We have a propaganda channel that publicly is downplaying the pandemic while privately following strict pandemic protocol. I’m at the point where I don’t understand the point. Why? What’s the upside of downplaying wearing masks? Social distancing? Basic, life-saving protocols?

Beyond that, the economy teeters on an abyss with no relief in sight. This is a bottom up disaster so the people at the top pretty much don’t care. But it will get to them.

The only positive note is that the mortality rate seems to be declining percentage-wise of those catching it. The research I’ve done shows we’re not quite sure why. But that might be offset by a slight mutation of COVID-19 that appears to make it more contagious. The numbers we’re seeing in Texas, Arizona and Florida should scare the crap out of people in those states.

Do Americans understand we’ve handled this so badly the European Union has banned Americans? We’re a plague nation as I predicted on Day 98. We’re in a worse place than one of my early posts where I simply linked an article on possible outcomes of this pandemic and one of my West Point classmates said it was a “load of crap.” I guess we’re in a load of shit now?

We’re headed into a holiday weekend where I suspect, based on recent actions, many Americans will ignore basic protocols. They’ll get together for barbeques, attend functions where there are lots of people. Our own president will lead the way at a fireworks display where there will be no social distancing and no requirement to wear masks. Think on that.

The surge we’re seeing now will turn into a tsunami near the end of July. The overload that was feared in New York City on the healthcare system that many people laughed of later saying it was fear-mongering is going to slam rural areas and states that screwed up. Arizona. Florida. Texas. South Carolina. Georgia. And more. I just watched a video of protestors in Florida marching with American flags flying shouting “my body, my choice” about not wearing masks. The problem is, its other people’s bodies too. It’s all of us.

What can you do? WEAR A MASK. Don’t go to parties or firework shows.

Understand we’re not even halfway through this. There will be no miracle.

The science doesn’t care what your beliefs are.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also in Kindle Unlimited.

Day 110: 2020 Pandemic. Do You Have A Grab-N-Go Bag? Here’s A Simple Way to Put One Together

I just redid my free slideshow, with links, for the Grab-N-Go bag, updating a number of items. This is a critical thing everyone should have. It’s your mobile emergency supplies for any disaster. I give an easy way to get a pre-packed one, then go into specifics if you want to customize after doing an Area Study.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also in Kindle Unlimited.

Day 107: 2020 Pandemic. Do You Have A Family Immediate Rally Point and Emergency Rally Point? Free Locator Apps?

IRP stands for Immediate Rally Point. This is a point outside of your home where your family can gather if they have to evacuate the house for some reason. The most likely reason for this would be if there was a fire. It needs to be a place that’s easily identifiable and not far from the house and everyone can find in the dark.

It’s also the place where your A-Team/Survival Group will rendezvous if they can’t go into the house for whatever reason, but need to assemble from other locations, such as school and/or work.

A street intersection near the home works well. Or a neighbor’s home.

ERP stands for Emergency Rally Point. It is where everyone will assemble if they can’t get to the IRP or home. This is also where your A-Team/Survival Group will rendezvous if they have to evacuate the home/work/school during a moderate or extreme emergency and have to stay for at least a day or more, with the possibility of not returning to the home.

We need to consider when you would use it. The most likely scenario is if there is an event where you can’t get to your home or to the IRP near your home. A flood, wildfire, earthquake, etc. could cause this.

Thus, you need a location where your A-Team will meet. This place is where they will automatically go even if there is no communication. After major disasters, many people rue that they didn’t have such a spot picked out because they spent many hours and even days separated and wondering about each other’s status.

There are no hard and fast rules when you should utilize the ERP. Every situation is going to be different. The key is at the very least choose the ERP and make sure everyone knows where it is. It cannot be picked after the emergency has begun.

You can choose the house of a friend/relative that is out of the immediate area of your home. Someone’s school or work place.

Choose the ERP based on the Area Study you’ve just done. If your most likely threat is tsunami, you’d pick an ERP out of range of that event. The same with a flood. It should be out of the range of the most likely threats, yet a point where everyone in your A-Team can get to.

There are apps that can be used to help locate family members; however, like every other thing associated with your cell phone they require power, cell coverage, etc. Be sure to make sure these apps work and that they are installed on all phones. Be aware that some can be heavy draws on battery life if active. Each has pros and cons so do a little research. I use Road ID on a daily basis when out biking or kayaking, just in case. I like that it will send a notification to my emergency contact if I am stationery for more than a designated period or pass an overall time limit, along with tracking my location.

Road ID  Here is their home page with links to both Apple and Android along with information on how the app works.

Life 360 Android:


Sygic Family locator



BOHS stands for Bug Out Hide Site and is only for extreme emergencies where you’ve left your home and don’t plan on coming back. It refers to being on the move and also wherever you may stop, either temporarily or permanently, depending on the extent of the emergency and threats. When to make the decision to ‘bug out’ will be covered in another blog post.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also in Kindle Unlimited.

Day 106: 2020 Pandemic. Why Do Americans Idolize Losers?

Today is the 144th Anniversary of the Battle of the Little Big Horn, or as the winners call it, the Battle of the Greasy Grass. Not so familiar are the names of the commanders on the other side who overwhelmed and massacred Custer and his portion of the Seventh Cavalry. (I was in 1/12 Cav of the 1st Cav Division and a battalion of the 7th Cav was just down the road—strangely, Gary Owen is still proudly played in the Division which seems to ignore not only Little Big Horn but the Washita massacre previously—of course, Custer ignored that too).

Custer is a fellow Alumni of Hudson High, otherwise known as West Point, formally known as The United States Military Academy. Most people don’t know it, but after the Civil War, there was a strong move to abolish the Academy. After all, of the 60 major battles of the Civil War, in 55 of them, West Pointers commanded both sides. That’s a nifty piece of Plebe ‘Poop’ every incoming cadet has to memorize. As if the Academy is somehow proud of it. I always considered it rather odd and, in fact, so intrigued me, I wrote a series that is currently at three books, examining the Academy at the time from the Mexican War into the Civil War: Duty, Honor, Country (PS first book, Duty, free on all eBook platforms).

It’s in vogue these days to speak of the “generals”. Whether it’s Mattis, Kelly, McMaster, Petraeus, etcetera as if they have some particular expertise, even though they’ve never won a war. To be fair, the United States hasn’t fought an actual, correctly declared war, since World War II. However, our generals, during and since, the Vietnam War, have constantly misled about the possibility of “winning”, whatever that was supposed to mean. The Pentagon Papers proved that for Vietnam. The recently released Afghanistan Papers were met with a yawn by the public, yet it showed that these more modern generals knew they couldn’t win, but fought on anyway. Yes, it’s their duty, but isn’t it also their duty to speak truth to action? Perhaps the “can do” attitude of the higher ranks of the military also means doing their true duty and speaking truth? Why do we idolize these generals who have, in essence, failed? Particularly Petraeus who is making his comeback after committing a security offense that would have placed a person of lesser rank in prison?

More importantly, doesn’t it mean the military needs to do a complete review of what it actually means to fight war in the modern age, since we’re not actually fighting wars anymore? Especially in light of “War on Terror” which encompasses far more than military conflict. Yet the focus continues to be on conventional warfare (which, sadly, I must now lump Special Operations in, because it hasn’t adjusted much either) and, of course, getting bigger and more expensive weapon systems. Oddly, the Department of Defense, did not defend us from COVID-19. In fact, it seemed to have a very hard time defending itself from the virus; one wonders what the biological warfare contingencies are in place.

The United States Military Academy used to have this poster. As you can see it featured Robert E. Lee prominently, even in front of Grant and with Eisenhower and MacArthur.

Lee not only lost his war, he was a traitor. Yet there’s even a barracks at West Point named in his honor. Honor?  I think not.

Here’s to Ulysses S. Grant, who finally got his acknowledgement at West Point, many years too late. A winner and a patriot.

MacArthur bugged out and was given a Medal of Honor, but was quite a brilliant strategist with island-hopping and saving lives. He also did a neat flanking move in Korea. But then he got too big for his stars and had to get slapped.

Ike did good, defeating the Fascists.

It’s time to reconsider a lot of things.

Day 105: 2020 Pandemic. For Many States Now Is The Time To Be Most Aware of COVID-19

Yes, it’s day 105. But here in TN we’re seeing cases increase. If you live in Florida, Arizona or Texas, it’s really surging. No matter how weary you are of wearing a mask please do. If 80% of people wore a mask, we’d cut transmissions by 80%.

Note that the east coast of Florida is bright red. A lot of older, retirees down there. Please pay them the respect of wearing a mask and social distancing.

Once more, I’m going to reiterate some old information. There are many people walking around with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic. There are others who show few symptoms and think they can beat it. What you can do is check both your temperature several times a day and also your blood oxygen level using an oximeter. If it falls below 95% you probably want to call your doctor. There have been people showing up at the emergency room who’ve been mildly sick for a week with blood oxygen levels at dangerously low levels. Here is one on Amazon.

The higher number ARE NOT the result of more testing. They are the result of a higher percentage of people contracting the virus.

Also, if you’re in Florida, make sure your hurricane preparation is up to date.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also in Kindle Unlimited.

Day 101: 2020 Pandemic. How Many Phone Numbers do you actually know? Do you have ICE? Health App filled out?

Remember, many of us don’t have phone numbers memorized. We rely on the address book of our cell phone, but in an emergency, that might not work, you might not have your cell phone and have to use someone else’s, or, in emergencies, there are many other reasons to actually have these numbers, at the very least, written down.

Make sure everyone in your household has an ICE (in case of emergency) phone number on their cell phone.

Android users running 7.0 or higher can program emergency information and contact details through the emergency call screen when the device is locked.

On the iPhone go to your Health App, which looks like the one above.

  1. Launch the Health app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the Medical ID tab.
  3. Tap Edit in the upper right corner.
  4. Tap Edit Medical ID.
  5. Under Emergency Contacts tap Add emergency contact.
  6. Select a contact from your list.
  7. Select a relationship.

You can add as much information as you like on this app in the appropriate places. Think about it. If you were found unconscious and your phone is locked, could anyone contact someone who would need to know? Would medical personnel know your blood type and allergies?

To access it, when the passcode screen comes up, you will see emergency in the bottom left of that screen. Tap that and you will get a phone dial screen; on the bottom left it will say, in red, Medical ID. Tap that and you will get all the pertinent information.

You need the following numbers written down in your purse/wallet and next to your landline (yes, I know many don’t have them any more, but they still work!):


WEAR A MASK. Give a damn about people!

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also in Kindle Unlimited.