Tag Archives: blackout

big houses

I am hell bent on bugging in. I spent 20 years close enough to the federal government to believe the dog was eating its tail at a terrific rate.  So I pulled the string and strategically relocated most of the family to a sleepy, creepy small town where I believed retirement dollars were maximized, churches were full and the locals were of similar mindsets and globally diverse.  Coming from the west coast, somewhere south of Los Angeles, we were used to 1500 square feet, ten feet from the next floor plan, and mortgaged for life after the bubble burst.  As normal consumers, we were memorized by our new towns housing market and what money could buy.

My strategery was first to have enough footage to provide for my two adult daughters and a son in law, who had decided to drop everything and journey with us. Second was to ensure the location was well hidden, protected by trees/forest and had natural water within walking distance, as in, “lake in the backyard”. At $90 per square foot, we ended up with 4500 square feet.

Everything was fine while the kids owned downstairs. It meant we only lived in about 2400 square feet. Then, all three kiddos found careers and bought (and built) their own homes. Exciting for parents to see moving trucks pull up for their kids when they are embarking on one of the last American dreams. Then it hit me, what am I going to do with another 2100 square feet for my husband and I and our three year old son named “holy shit, howd that happen!”

The extra space including a full kitchen, baths, great room, mud room and three bedrooms was perfectly empty. Heat it, cool it, maintain it, furnish it? We don’t even entertain (much) so do I rent it out for extra jack?

I’ve shared my recent discovery and enthusiasm for preparing and after weeks of walking through the vacant underbelly of our castle, it hit me. This space will become a fortified prepper’s Mecca. Not something you would expect to see on an episode of “Hoarders” rather a well designed functional living space with normal things that hide un-normal things like weapon systems, fortification, safe rooms, bulk food and water, radio room, solar backup station, etc. But first I had to lower the costs of monthly bills to bare minimums with the size of the property.

I did this by dumping cable and delivering content through WiFi and available tower bleed. I replaced all fixtures with single bulb, high efficiency, timed power delivery, heating and cooling has been difficult because the HVAC system was designed for high flow, meaning vents cant be closed without driving efficiency down.  Winter is not bad but summer is cash pit. I killed one of three lawns and changed irrigation for entire lot to the lake source with an efficient submerged pump system. Critical watering can be done with hand pump. All exterior lighting is solar. I reduced costs by about $380 per month which is re-invested in food and water storage.

How odd is this? My hubby measuring for things like theater screens and home brewing equipment and I’m looking for hidden space cavities, tactical rooms, escape routes, defensible positions and of course, evac routes.  So here’s the rough draft with future updates promised:

  • Main food and water storage room climate controlled at 58 degrees. One hidden entry protected by a ballistic hallway and one normal entry.
  • A cement safe room between then ballistic hallway and the main living space.
  • A guest master suite with closet fed evac route to safe room via the ballistic hallway.
  • A tribe quarters with wall mounted bunkers for 10.
  • A radio room with significant capabilities with grid and solid functionality off grid.
  • A normal kitchen primarily designed for brewing beer, yep, I said it.
  • A normal great room with excessive screen space, record player and most if not all the 1970-1990 classics on LP.
  • Exit through sliding storm doors to deck 1 which is two rocket stove stations and wood storage.
  • Deck 2 is raised bed planters for a host of grow prep’s and yes, a hop garden.
  • Weapons systems are in four tool segments
    • Pistols
    • Shotguns
    • M4’s
    • Sniper rifles
    • All weapons are identical set ups and calibers for user familiarity and ammo sustainability.

So there you have it. As this money suck starts in March, I will keep you posted.

the discretionary bag

CONSIDERATIONS FOR A DISCRETIONARY BAG (DB)

There is nothing cooler and expensive than a well stocked bug out bag. But, as I continue to learn this prepping craft, I don’t see priority in the bug out concept.  I understand it from the, “I’m single living in an apartment in Burbank, CA”, but not from the mission of “bugging in”. The second coolest pack-crack is the “everyday carry” or EDC.  Here’s my problem with the EDC, I can’t stroll into a corporate environment everyday with an olive drab EDC and continue to get paid. Does this mean I’m out of the prepper culture? Somehow, I’ve just revealed I’m the antithesis of a prepper but still believe that the end is near and preparedness is the only insurance policy that will actually payout when the SHTF. Ironic because I’ve been paying into massive insurance policies for decades and probably won’t see it secure my family. Finger’s still crossed for retirement accounts!

I want to share my hybrid idea of personal functionality called a, “Discretionary Bag”.  The DB is a fully functional EDC but not carried everyday.  First, admission, I have already strategically relocated my immediate family to an optimal zone so some luxuries I’m afforded. I don’t need an EDC. I have designed my DB as something I grab when:

  • I’m going to be farther away from base than 10 miles
  • Uncertainty in daily Intel exists
  • I’m visiting a community event or location where people congregate
  • Severe weather is expected
  • Hair on my neck is up
  • Someone reported seeing a zombie

I won’t bore you with the norms like multi-tools, knives, a compact firearm and band aids, but I will share that my DB is more tech than weaponized. Some of the items I count on are:

  • Bland tablet to hack into any WiFi network I can find
  • Designed radio to ping my tribe leaders and geo locate each other
  • Stored power for all tech assets
  • Secured emergency channels to patch into regional Intel nodes
  • An MP3 player loaded with Led Zepplin II, headphones and a joint.

The last item is in case my DB has failed me and the zombies are closing in. I will be enjoying the best record ever produced with that joint lit when the final blow hits me.

The $40,000 Bet

TRYING TO INSPIRE A MILLENNIAL

My family plan was as abruptly authored as my decision to start prepping.  In hindsight, I should have worked on a marketing plan to deliver said plan to my millennial children and son in law.  I think my 23 year old daughter seriously thought I was joking as she read a well thought out plan filled with contingencies, zero day events and smoke signals.  Four days later, she and my son in law came over to check my temperature and give me season one of, “Doomsday Preppers”.

I laid out the basics; a 72 hour plan based on a normal emergency like an ice storm but then proceeded right to power grid failure. Oops. She refused to believe a word of it. My son in law was “All In” because as I was hammering on my oldest daughter, he was Googling words like, “prepper” finding plenty of reasons to buy guns and ammo. I lost him when I declared we would start with food and water storage.  Ultimately, my daughter realized I knew things she did not but even so, I could not put dates on any prediction. So she asked, “How long do we have and how much do you want to gamble on your nutty predictions?” I thought about it as I topped off my drink and returned to her with the following;

“Within the next ten years we will no longer connect freely to the internet, supply chains will be non existent, ATM’s will have stopped spitting out $20’s, power and heat will be scarce and the government will be incapable of helping us.”  She replied, “How much do you wart to bet?” I said, “a car.” She said, “how much of a car?” “$40,000 car”. She agreed to begrudgingly begin to assist in the acquisition of preps with the insurance plan of a new car if the shit has yet to hit the fan by 2024.

Any takers on the same bet?

[Infograph] Emergency Comm Devices Explained

Critical.

TheSurvivalPlaceBlog

By Tess Pennington – Ready Nutrition

Consider, for a moment, what our lives would be like without access to communication channels telling us what is going on? How vulnerable would we feel not getting our daily dose of local, and world news? For that matter, how would we get in touch with loved ones to let them know how we are?

Having emergency communication devices will provide you with contact to the outside world, as well as help you ensure you have a way of letting family and friends know you are alright. Moreover, these key prepping supplies can also allow you to make critical decisions based on unfolding events that are happening around you. Choosing the proper communication device is a big decision and completely dependable on your location and type of disaster.

This infograph is great way to decide which comm device is good for you.

(click on the image…

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learning

Apocalypse-wallpaper-of-cityTwo months ago I had no idea what preparedness meant even in the framework of FEMA guidelines.  47 years of living on the Loma Prietal fault line and not even a gallon of stored water. When we moved to the country in middle USA, I literally woke up one day and wondered what I would say to my kids if it all went south and I had no answers except to call the government. It was weird.  I have learned so much from the preparedness community in two months. Not an expert, not familiar with an actual event but I have answers and a plan now.  Our food, water, shelter, defense, bug in, bug out, comms, and medicine acquisition is underway.  We feel significantly more confident, we understand the most likely threats to our nation and out of near blind luck, live in a prime location for an increased chance of long term survival. Thanks freaks!

mcDonalds and the millennials

millennial-consumers-engaged-optimistic-charitable-study--0097218000With all the minimum wage protesting happening around the fast food space, it has caused me to wonder about McDonald’s.  Arguably the pinnacle of branding and quality control in our lifetime, the chain has begun to suffer with customer service and quality control as pressure mounts to pay their employees more. But is one the product of the other?  At the American entry level job position you have three choices in your talent pool:

  • Non citizen workers
  • Broke seniors
  • Millennials

If you thought the middle America teenager is still an option, your mistaken. That demo is in perpetual schooling and debt trying to finance their way to $40k per year.  Let’s take them one at a time:

NON CITIZEN WORKERS

This group has two hurdles; They don’t want to pay taxes and two, they can’t pass a live scan for employment.  Interesting what amnesty might deliver for those employers who need servant workers who won’t strike or demand livable wages.  With respect to the consumer/customer, this could be positive.

BROKE SENIORS

Yuk. Creepy, but at least a sense of pride and generational culture will get them to their first break before their 22 year old boss scolds them for missing a timer alarm.

THE MILLENNIAL

If you can find one coming out of high school auto shop, it will be tough getting them to care in anyway about your brand. As a matter of social media fact, they will look for every opportunity to “post” something destructive to the brand that pays them not because they hate you rather its their right to communicate freely.  Any notion that pride and quality equals pay is unexplainable to a millennial.  So here sits McDonald’s, my favorite fast food growing up, sickened with workforce decline syndrome. A condition that requires acknowledgement of the symptom not the disease. Rebrand to a lower socio-economic denominator of customer who doesn’t mind the fluctuation of quality, you know, a millennial.

Ah the intangibles of the self…