This week, we’re going to talk about simple ways to start using your bulk survival provisions on a regular basis, some quick thoughts on self-defense, a video showing the impact of the proposed federal budget cuts, and survival clothing.
Let’s start off on the economic front, since the economy is one of the most clear and present threats that we are currently facing.
Now we can’t blame our current situation on the mistakes of the current administration, or the last one. The events that we’re seeing today have been in the works for over half a century.
That being said, the budget decisions that have been made over the last 10 years are making an economic collapse almost inevitable.
As an example, Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus bill on February 17th, 2009. (I really don’t care if it was a Democrat, Republican, or a pink unicorn who signed the bill…the fact is that the bill got signed and it was bad.)
To date, about 1/2 of that money, or $385 billion has been spent. I guess he’s waiting because he doesn’t want to stimulate things too much.
So, how much has that $385 billion stimulated the economy? The answer is difficult to calculate exactly, but the best estimates are that we’ve seen $116.8 billion in economic growth since the money was given out.
Put another way, we borrowed $385 billion from China, gave it out with the express purpose of stimulating the economy, and we got $116.8 billion of benefit. In other words, we lost $270 billion in borrowed money.
Simon Black put it this way, “Not only can politicians not generate a positive ROI, but they manage to lose 70% of their investors’ capital. If Uncle Sam were an institutional money manager, he would be charged with criminal negligence and hauled off to jail.”
Fortunately, D.C. has a solution…budget cuts. They’re throwing all sizes of numbers around, but most of them are hard to visualize. I can see in my head what happens if I take $10 away from $100, but I can’t really get my head around what it means to take $100 million away from $3.5 trillion.
Here’s a video that describes it better than any I’ve seen. The kid sounds like he’s talking down to the audience and I completely disagree with his definition of “mandatory” spending, but the visualization is still a good one.
Obama Budget Cuts Visualization
10000Pennies — April 24, 2009 — How much is the $100 million dollars in budget cuts compared to the federal budget as a whole? This video imagines the budget as $100 in pennies to provide the answer.
You’ll note that it’s not new, but the message is still timely.
To put it bluntly, this type of reckless spending and lack of respect towards the American taxpayer is going to end badly. One of the next steps in the diabolical plan is to pass Cap and Trade. I won’t get into the details, but the net impact of Cap and Trade is projected to be an additional $829 per family JUST for utility costs. This doesn’t include the increased cost of everything you buy due to shipping costs.
What’s the point of all of this? It’s not to give you something to worry about…the point is to get you to take action! If you can take big steps, take them now. If you can only take small steps, take them now. Whatever you do, don’t wait until things are “perfect” to get more prepared.
Eating your bulk food on a daily basis.
At some point during your preparations, you probably bought bulk food of some sort. We started buying 5 gallon buckets of bulk rice, beans, oatmeal, and other stuff a few years ago. The funny thing is that we kept buying rice, beans, and oatmeal in small quantities from the grocery store.
This is kind of like jerking meat by the pound and STILL buying the stuff you regularly eat from 7-11.
You might be different, but for us, the big buckets were kind of intimidating. Really, it was just a lot of unknowns. How do we reseal it? How do we keep from losing 5-10 pounds to spoilage?
The blunt answer, I realized, kind of like everything else with preparedness, is that it’s much better to have experience with these issues before an emergency than to learn it all when you’re under stress.
When we opened our buckets, we found out that our local emergency supply store uses an inner 7 gallon mylar bag to extend the shelf life out to 20-30 years. Yours may or may not be the same. Regardless of whether yours is the same or not, it would be smart to find out.
So, the process of using our long term storage is pretty straight forward. I’ll mention one way you can do it here:
1. Cut open your mylar bag. It’s best to make as small of a hole as is practical so that you can reseal it easily.
2. Put a week or a month’s worth in a smaller container. You can use zip locks, wide mouth mason jars, or empty plastic containers like what workout drinks and meal shakes come in.
3. Burp the mylar bag in your plastic bucket to get the air out of it. You probably won’t need your O2 absorber if you’re actively using the item. Of course, if you think it will take you more than a few months to use up the entire bucket, you might want to put in some O2 absorbers.
4. Seal your mylar bag. If you have a FoodSaver, you can use it to both suck the air out and seal the mylar.
If not, you can seal the mylar bag by pressing it between a 2×4 and a hot iron. You probably don’t want to use the same iron that you’re going to use on your dress clothes. If you don’t have electricity, you can also heat up an old fashioned iron or piece of metal on a stovetop or in a fire.
One trick you can use if you don’t have a FoodSaver is to seal the mylar bag mostly closed and then suck out the remaining air with your mouth, or with an inflating/deflating pump like what you’d use to pump up inflatable beds and toys. Once you’ve got the air sucked out, finish sealing.
5. Close your 5 gallon bucket with a Gamma Lid. Gamma lids are plastic lids that you can put on a 5 gallon bucket that allow you to unscrew the lids when you want access in the future. They cost between $5-$10 apiece, depending on how many you buy.
Canning is also a GREAT option for taking bulk quantities of food and making them more manageable. One of the biggest advantages is that you aren’t limited to food that happens to come in 5 gallon buckets. You can can food from anywhere…your garden, a local farmers’ market, or your grocery store. Unfortunately, that is a topic that is beyond the scope of this week’s newsletter.
Next, we’re going to talk real quickly about self-defense…specifically about rules. A lot of martial arts training today is geared towards competition. This is good, because it helps develop strong minds and bodies, but it can be a problem if you ever have to use the skills to defend yourself. Simply put, martial arts impose rules on fighters so that people don’t get serious injuries. This makes sense, because hurt fighters can’t make a living fighting, and a martial arts studio won’t be able to pay their rent if all of their students are recovering from serious injuries.
In self-defense training, when people DO get hurt to the extent that they need medical care, it’s normally an accident.
In real violent self defense situations like home invasions, muggings, and car-jackings, you don’t want to find out that you’re the only one playing by the rules, and you want to make sure your attacker(s) are injured enough that they don’t have the ability to attack you again.
In short, take some time to evaluate your thinking on violent encounters. If forced into a situation where you have to defend yourself, do you really want to throw a perfect jab, cross, hook, uppercut to an attacker’s bony face with your bare hand? That’s a good way to break, cut, or otherwise injure your hand. That’s bad in normal times and could be a death sentence in a survival situation.
Do you really want to go back and forth, trading blows when there’s no ref and your life is at stake?
Instead, think about targets you can attack, regardless of how much bigger, stronger, faster, and younger your opponent is like eyes & ears & throat & nose. Back of head, collarbone, knees, and instep…knees and instep. (which you can practice to the tune, “Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes”
When attacked aggressively, these targets will work if you’re tired and hungry, even if you’re a small framed lady against a huge brute.
I’m going to be sharing some incredible resources with you over the next couple of weeks that will help you in this area. I consider unarmed defense to be vital for myself and my family. Why? Because I don’t always have a gun with me, but I always need to be prepared to take responsibility for my safety and for the safety of my family.
GIJeff has written an article on clothing for survival. I’ve already used one of the resources he mentioned this week and encourage you to head over to the blog and check out his article at: http://secretsofurbansurvival.com/en…vival-Clothing