Monday, September 27, 2010

Next Years Disaster Planning?

Just a quick post regarding your preparedness plan for next year. I know everyone out there on the planet wants to sell you something. However our goal is to become more self sufficient. One way we can be more self sufficient is to plant a garden. Hopefully you got a chance to plant a garden this year. Better yet I hope you purchased heirloom variety seeds. Why heirloom varieties? Many seeds on the store shelves are hybrids. If you choose to save seed from these hybrids many times the plants you will get from those saved seeds will not be the same as what you planted the first time and saved seeds for.

So the best insurance you can get is to save seeds from this years garden. This will be your garden next year. This is part of our disaster plan and part of our being prepared and sustainable. This isn't about what you can go out and buy, but about our taking actions to allow some plants to go to seed and save it. It is about selecting the best fruits and veggies and saving seeds from those best examples. This insures your saving the best genetics and hardiest varieties.

By using heirloom varieties of seeds you have the ability to save seed from season to season. By having your own seed and ensuring that you have a good seed store your taking probably one of the biggest insurance policies out you possibly can. Many times when you see a disaster take place people will just say, but they can just grow a garden for food. Nice thought, but where will they get the seeds for that garden? And what do they eat while they wait for that garden to grow?

Food security is probably even more important now than during an emergency. Your planning and action while things are amply available ensures that you will not be one of those people caught off guard no matter the circumstance. Of course we can buy food at stores, we can copy can each trip and make sure we have supplies, but ultimately we are still relying on the food system to keep delivering food. Now is the time to diversify.

It doesn't matter if you live in an apartment, a house, a condo, townhouse, or on a farm. You can grow some of your own food even if in a window, on a patio, a deck, a small yard. We are now in the fall crop planting time frame and you can still be planting. You will need to know your growing zone on a map so you know what and when you can plant specific items. You can be planting cold hardy plants, lettuce, spinach and those that can handle the colder temps. If you use row covers or simple hoops you can cover and protect your plants even from those early frosts.

So how do you save seeds? Well here is a cool video on how to save tomato seeds:

Gardening for the Survivalist explained:

Survivalist Seed saving:

If you haven't checked out hop over there and check it out. It is an active forum with lots of great information and experts there on just about any topic imaginable. Saving seeds isn't complicated and it is one of those skills we all should know how to do. I want you to think about something maybe a little broader than your plan, but what about those around us? Saving seed and having extra seed could be one of the biggest gifts you could give someone in these hard times and those times that are approaching on the horizon. Have seed to give to your neighbors, friends, relatives. Show them how to save seed themselves. These skills are sought after today. Your not as odd or unique as you think you are anymore. More and more people are coming around and starting to realize what is going on and they will be looking to anyone who has the ability to help. Growing a garden and saving seed is a life preserving and life saving skill. Having the ability to give a gift this important could mean a world of difference for how your community, neighborhood, and family takes on the challenges ahead. Food will be either a destabilizing factor or a stabilizing one. Having emergency packs of food to help your neighbors, and seed packs to make sure that they have the ability to grow food could be the game changer for you and your family. Remember we get back what we give!

So if you grew a garden this year I hope you chose heirloom seeds. You can start your disaster planning for next year by saving seed this year. If you didn't get started with your garden this year it isn't too late to do a square foot garden with simple raised beds that can be put anywhere. Get started in your quest for self sufficiency now by starting that fall garden. Your action now with a garden is one of the best things you can do in your disaster planning right behind securing your water supply. Saving seed is not hard and it will save you a lot of money. Besides what could be better than knowing your fruits and veggies are taken care of as long as you do your part to collect and keep those seeds and make sure they are stored and kept fresh? And since you know where the seed came from you don't have to worry about pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers that can contaminate your food. Keep your garden organic and it will pay you back many fold. I recently purchased a few videos on farming and gardening that I will share my take on those in a future installment of the blog. There are few things that are more liberating than having your own renewable sustainable food supply. So get started today!

God Bless,

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Quantitative Easing - What it means for you

Welcome to another episode of the Be Prepared Channel. Today we do a quick post on the state of things in the prepper world and some of the things you might want to consider doing in your own prepper plan.

Economy Slowing from Sugar High
Once again the economy is slowing. The sugar high from all the stimulus and government spending is wearing off. The housing markets across most of the country are still collapsing, foreclosures are up, and most of the news if you dig through the spin machine headlines is negative. The Federal Reserve is talking about quantitative easing by buying US debt outright so that we can float more funny money in the economy. Everyone knows that the more cash they dump in the markets the weaker the dollar gets and the more expensive things are for the consumer to buy. So the Fed is preparing to step in with more funny money so that we can continue our spending insanity.

Well in case you have been asleep for the last couple of decades and are unaware of the fact that most everything has been exported overseas to include the clothing industry. This means the price of most items including clothing are subject to pressures as the dollar falls. Now at the moment the Chinese are still participating in economic warfare on the world by pegging their currency to the dollar which means even as the dollar falls in value around the globe the Chinese currency goes down in value with us. For the time being this means we shouldn't see a lot of cost pressures in the price of Chinese imported goods. This is a temporary situation of course. Everyone fully expects as the dollar continues it's decline the Chinese will finally decide they are getting the short end of the stick and diversify their investments and break this peg. They promised to break this peg earlier this year, but it has not happened. What this means if they do finally decide to break the peg is that goods that are imported from China will climb in cost dramatically.

Now the clothing industry doesn't appear to be all in China as I still notice clothing coming from other countries and as that is the case we can expect to see the cost of those goods climb. This inflation is going to put serious pressure on the US consumer, and of course on our prepping plans since so much is imported. One of the things that my best friend reminded me of last year was just how hard things have gotten for him and his family with the lack of work and no income. A couple of things that stood out to me when he was talking was the fact he mentioned he hadn't had money for a couple of years to buy clothes at all. Of those clothing items he missed most was underwear and socks. These are the items that seem to wear out the fastest and need replaced the most often. So when he made mention of this I made a mental note. I went to look and see where these items are made and see if any of them are still make in the US. Sadly I didn't find anything on the local store shelves that indicated they were still made in the US. Times are hard enough, but when the cost of things are going to see 20-50% price increases in a year due to devaluation of our money maybe it is time to think about where the things you buy come from, and think about the frequency you replace them. Those items might be just the sort of thing you should be putting in your prepper plan. As funny as it might sound to recommend buying socks and underwear I think it is an important thing to mention that we are very exposed and vulnerable on so many levels. Don't make something as simple as a daily use item something we forgot to put in our emergency plans.

Fake left right paradigm
Well the big promises are pouring in from the politicians trying to get your votes. It is really sad for those who are interested in the content and depth of the real proposals beyond the sound bites. Sadly both the left and right are making the list of promises that sound all to familiar, but never get done. Some of them point blank shouldn't get done if we have even one or two firing braincells. So what is in the deal for us and will any of it make any difference to the outcome that many of us see coming?

From the Right:
The Republicans are talking big smack this year. They are talking repealing the Healthcare. I say this is fat chance as they won't have the votes to get it done. The only real chance of getting this repealed is if the courts overturn portions of the bill as unconstitutional and render huge portions of it illegal. That could happen, but electing a Republican won't get it done. They are talking about cuts to 2008 levels. Well I hate to break it to you but running a 560 billion dollar a year deficit like we did in 2008 is not going to save this country from the financial demise of the country. I know it sounds refreshing compared to the last couple of years of 1.6 trillion dollar deficits and 1.3 trillion dollar deficits, but it is still deficit spending. The repubs want to talk about tax cuts and spending cuts, but rarely do they ever pay for these things. They decided to exempt huge portions of the budget from cuts like military spending, security, and the whole big brother system while they continue to ramble on about the evil Muslims that supposedly are the cause of all evil in the world. Considering the portion of the budget that make up the military spending and that which is social security there is not much left on the table you can cut. So the numbers just don't add up. Again the Republicans talk smack, dance around facts, and are still in the camp of bigger government and we are all suppose to applaud and clamor to vote for them.

The left wing spin:
Well the left is out there trying to say that voting for evil Republicans is a vote for things that didn't work in the past. Who am I to argue with that!? To counter that argument? The dems seem to think you can tax, spend, and use debt to dig your way out of a hole and into prosperity. Now as stupid and disconnected as the Republicans are on reality I have to say the democrats really have outdone themselves in looking like absolute morons. The economic reality is that we cannot afford 90% of the government we have and until someone finally does the math and figures out the way this is going to play out we are forced to see that this is a train wreck in progress. The dems are out talking about how they are going to keep jobs from going overseas... Well that all sounds good until you open your eyes and look at the job market of the places that are getting these jobs. You look at an auto worker in China who makes transmissions for Honda who is making 170 Yuan a month, and a Yuan exchange rate today is .1492 Yuan to the dollar. That autoworker in China is making $25.36 a MONTH! Now the only way your going to stop jobs from leaving the US is if our wages are competitive with the competition. Oh, let's dispel another myth. In China these workers do not have free housing, free medical, and all the freebies we are told that they have. So this isn't a case of they worker makes 25 bucks a month and has all of his/her big bills items paid for by the government. So there it is folks we can continue to bury our heads in the sand or wake up to the economic reality that our country is not economically competitive and that unless our standard of living, wages, and lifestyles were to collapse there is very little that the dems are going to do that will change the nature of this global economy. As long as the large multinational corps are allowed to just shop for the cheapest labor and materials around the globe and there are no tarrifs or common sense measures taken to protect your local economy from those that would dump on local markets to crush the competition and own everything in sight we will continue on this race to the bottom. So what is the dems plan? Well tax, spend, tax, spend, regulate, and have the government run everything... oh and debt, deficits, and economic collapse well that is just stuff that crazy conservatives talk about.

What is the answer?
Well until we start looking for independents and 3rd parties to inject some reality into this conversation we are on a glide path to collapse. I don't see much so far to change that trajectory yet. The Tea Parties appear to be co-opted by the Republican spin machine. I hope I am wrong, but there is little coming out of the Tea Party "candidates" that gives me reason to believe much if anything will come out of all of this. I am a supporter of Ron Paul's son Rand Paul in the KY senate race. There are a few other bright spots around the country, but not enough at this juncture to turn the tide toward freedom, and abolishing the out of control and insane government we are dealing with or the monster corporations that have grown out of the massive lobbying and live and grow fat on market controls and government subsidies and protection as they exploit these global markets. So when you see a bright spot and someone doing it right please support them. The momentum is finally building in a few places around the country for real change. As the country gets more angry with the trajectory of this mess there is a real chance that more positive change will happen. Sadly it will mean that the state of our affairs will be a disaster and that appears to be what it will take to get the sleeping masses off their butts to finally get involved. I just hope it happens before the people who created this crisis can spin doctor some fake solution and get our politicians to pass more bills or ratify new treaties basically giving our country over to the world government crowd. If that happens then I seriously have my doubts that we can get out of this mess without it turning seriously ugly.

Wheat crisis?

Well all kinds of crazy is going on in the global wheat market. Sadly our farmers didn't get to profit from it as they sell their crops early in the spring with wheat. The announcements from Russia that they were banning wheat exports didn't happen until much later in the year and the world grain supplies are at very low levels. This combination has sent wheat skyrocketing in price. Everyone is very aware if you have been paying attention that world grain supplies have been low for a while now and we have seen shortages in many markets causing fear and panic. Some of this I think it is speculation and manipulation, but some of it is very real and the threats to our food supply are very real. The US is a net importer of food so we are just as vulnerable as everyone else in this regard. Those who buy and store wheat in their food plan know that you can keep these grains if properly stored for 30+ years. Food price inflation is a fact and it is these spikes due to shortages, and to devalued currency are going to play a key role in our standard of eating and living going forward. If you don't grow it yourself you can expect to pay a lot more for it going forward. The Russian wheat story is important, and how the market reacts to these stories is an important indicator of some of the things we may see shortly as a daily problem. In our planning it is a good idea to think about what your going to grow, what others are growing and how you might be able to barter, and trade with each other as things become even more crazy. Do be caught flat footed. Since you know that grains like wheat, rice, beans, lentils keep for a very long time we have no excuse not to be buying and storing these items while they are still affordable.

Well enough rambling for now. Our thoughts and prayers are with you that you may prosper and have abundance even in these hard times.

God Bless,

Friday, September 10, 2010

Quick Movie Review - and some things to be aware of

Welcome to another episode of the Be Prepared Channel. Today I just want to mention a few things that have come up and things to be aware of. Also a quick movie review that you might enjoy.

Prepping can be expensive

One of the things that everyone is probably all to aware of is the fact that prepping can get expensive very very fast. It doesn't take long to sink a pile of money into this "hobby" of ours. For many this can be a source of great frustration and maybe even a few arguments with spouses and family members when your talking about putting your vacation money, or even some savings into supplies and preps. Trust me I think we have all been there and done that. So I thought now would be a good time to mention a tool that can help you if you live in an area where this tool is useful to you. The tool is called Craigslist. Craigslist is a free classified type advertisement web site. You can advertise something for sale, post that you want to buy something, and there is even a section called free where people have stuff to just give away. Of course there is the typical news paper classified ads you can check as well. But these online resources are an excellent way to find stuff you need for your preps, or even good stuff that you can barter for or get at a good price and sell it or barter with it. So if you haven't checked out Craigslist go to Find your state, and look to see if there is a posting for a town or area that your nearby or in that can help you.

Don't forget to check out garage sales, flea markets, Goodwill Stores, estate sales, and storage facility seizure sales. There is no reason to spend a fortune if you don't have to. Use all the tools at your disposal.

Movie Review - The Book of Eli

I watched the movie called "The book of Eli". It is a end of the world as we know it flick with Denzel Washington. I am not a fan of Denzel, but I have to say I thought he did a good job in this movie. It is about a world after some major solar event has fried the planet. The main character is Eli(Denzel Washington) who has a mission to go west. The encounters in this movie are fairly realistic. The typical Capital One hoards raping, killing, stealing everything in sight. Overall fairly well done. There are a few things that make you scratch your head and ask just how that would be possible, but luckily the movie has an interesting story and the story sticks together fairly well. Overall I would give it 4 out of 5 stars. It is certainly worth seeing if your a survivalist, or prepper. Some stuff to make you think, and some good entertainment value. Here is the trailer for the movie:

Current state of the economy
Fortunately it appears that the fraudsters and tricksters have managed to keep this sinking ship floating longer than many people would have thought possible. The funny money from the massive stimulus and debt is running out and big business is sitting on a pile of cash. They aren't willing to spend it because there is no demand. Last weekend I went out to eat for the first time in I don't know how long. I cannot recall the last time we actually went somewhere and ate. Well we did last weekend and the restaurant was practically empty, no waiting to be seated, only 4 or 5 tables busy and the waiter was hovering over our table. So things don't look so rosey. The economic indicators are clearly showing an economy that is slowing, and of course the talking heads are saying we won't see a double dip. Well they seem to have a creative definition of double dip. You see to get a double dip you would have to first recovered from the first dip by getting back to where we were when this all started and we have not even done that. So by the very definition we are still in the first recession. So the dishonesty continues by the talking heads and the media outlets. Really I would love to see the film and news papers of the day during the great depression. I bet they told the same filthy lies while trying to cheerlead the economy and markets. Never fails that those with the most to lose and are largely tied to or are responsible for these types of events are the ones to rush out there to spin their web of deceit.

Overall the economy continues to slow. Housing sales and values continue to fall. The stock market is still as rigged as a Vegas Casino and the poor poor president is out today saying "The poor economy might affect Democrats this November!". OMG this guy is either dense or so disconnected from reality that he must from Mars or some far away land where they don't habla. It appears the Greeks lied about the amount of debt and massively raising taxes has brought in a small fraction of what they expected. Looks like Ireland is in the same boat. So it is just a matter of time for the roosters to come home to roost.

The good news out of all of this is we still have some time to get our preps together. Hopefully you have worked on your garden this year, found your local farmers market, or have gotten involved with a CSA and are establishing a relationship with a local farmer. Hopefully you have been thinking about your water situation, water capture, filtering, storage, and treatment. Hopefully your thinking about your energy needs, transportation needs, fuel needs. And of course there is always the security needs. So each day that the fraudsters push the ends of the economic string even an inch they are buying us time that we all need. So don't waste a day without getting something done, learn something, acquire something, make something that gets your basic supplies and needs together. Of course this is yet another day you can tell a friend or family member what they need to do.

We will make it through this, and those that are preparing will fare the best out of this mess. Hopefully we will be able to build community locally, but also we can hope that this internet community will stay online. It is such an incredible resource. Don't take it for granted. Any time you can buy, or barter for good reference books you should get them. If we lose this resource called the internet our sources of information will be word of mouth, things you know, and whatever reference material you have or can find. Books could once again become a hot commodity. So don't overlook the obvious. Movies, computers, cdroms all require electricity. Books don't have this constraint so don't overlook books.

Take care,