Faraday Cage Contents

What Should You Keep In a Faraday Cage?

First, a quick reminder of what a Faraday cage is, and how it works to protect electronic devices/components.

A Faraday cage or sometimes called a Faraday shield is an enclosure that is formed from conductive materials. The material can also be mesh as long as it is conductive material. The material blocks external static and non-static electric fields. It does so by channeling electricity along and around, but not through the enclosure. The conductive material provides constant voltage on all sides of the enclosure.

Faraday cages are named after Michael Faraday an English scientist who invented the cage in 1836.

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Ham Radio License

Communications During a Crisis: Do You Have A Ham Radio License?

The first thought of some is that a license to operate a ham radio is worthless when the SHTF. Do what you have to do during a crisis is the thought of some regardless of rules and regulations. There of course, is some validity to this, but the point is that you are not in the middle of a crisis yet.

To practice and get familiar with a ham radio you need to get on the airwaves, and you absolutely need to know what you are doing to be able to communicate effectively using an Amateur Radio. An operator gains experience through use. To legally transmit however, you need a call sign, which is only assigned to you by the FCC after you have passed a written test and have paid all the fees.

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10 Reasons Aluminum Foil Should Be in Your Bug Out Bag

Aluminum Foil Bug Out Bag

First, the technical stuff, which may be boring to some, but it may also give you some additional ideas for its use if you know what the properties of aluminum foil really are.

Aluminum foil replaced “tin foil” around 1910. Prior this to this time tin was commonly used and used similar to how aluminum foil is used today. Tin of course left some food tasting “tinny” and it rusted over time, as well as being hard to work with. It could not be wrapped or shaped around objects as easily, and it certainly did not have the properties of today’s aluminum foil. In Europe today, aluminum foil is still commonly referred to as tin foil.

All foil is not made equally, so when choosing foil for a survival kit or for your emergency supplies for the home, make sure it is foil that is at least or as close to 1mil (.001) as possible. Why 1mil, well because foil 1mil or thicker is permeable to water, gases and oxygen. In other words it would act just like a Mylar bag as far as not allowing contaminates to flow through the skin. Foil less than 1mil can have microscopic pinholes in it that over time would allow the transfer of oxygen, gases, and moisture.

Typically aluminum foil labeled “Heavy Duty” is between .0008 and .001 (1 mil) thick.

1 Mil is 1 Thousandth of an inch.

1 Mil numerically is .001

Okay Shiny Side or Matte Side, Does It Make a Difference

There is a shiny side and a matte side when it comes to household foil. The difference is slight however, and for general use around the home, and for cooking, the difference is not likely to be noticed. On the other hand, in a survival situation any advantage is a plus, so when foil is used as heat reflectors use the shiny side to gain the slight benefit. (alufoil, n.d.).

1.) Because foil reflects heat it can be used as you would a Mylar emergency blanket. It can be used in an emergency to prevent the rapid cooling of the body. Because heat conducts to cold, a human body is constantly conducting its warmth to the colder air surrounding it. Foil can be used as a reflector to prevent the conduction of heat, in other words, it will reflect body heat back to the body, so get your tin hats ready.

2.) Tape sheets of foil on the inside of your shelter to reflect heat back, the heat given off by your body and heat from a fire. Tape sheets of foil to a piece of canvas or to cloth and position it (by hanging or other means), so it reflects the heat of your fire into your shelter or onto your body. You can even wrap foil around larger rocks and place near the fire to reflect the heat in whatever direction needed.

3.) Shape heavy duty foil into a vessel for boiling water for purification. Foil will stand up to the heat and can be used multiple times for food preparation and for water boiling.

4.) Use foil to reflect UV-sunlight to disinfect drinking water. Fill a clear water bottle with contaminated water and place on a sheet of foil in direct sunlight. Slightly bend the foil up so it reflects more directly onto the bottle. This method works best if the water is filtered first, because debris can block the rays. If filtering is not possible then you would allow the debris to settle. Allow at least six hours for the sunlight to do its job. Once done if you did not filter the water first then pour the water off carefully, so that the sediment remains in the bottom of the bottle.

5.) Foil will provide a barrier against gases, water, and oxygen so in other words, foods wrapped in foil will not give off odors, which can help to keep four legged predators from snooping around your camp.

6.) Because it reflects light, foil can be used as a signaling device. Cut a square of foil, and either hold the square, or tape it to a flat solid object so it can be held and positioned easier.

7.)  Heat small stones in your fire and then roll onto the shiny side of the foil. Pick up the foil with the rocks and carry into your shelter. Make sure the rocks are sized properly so you can carry them on the foil, without them tearing through. Bend the sides to direct the heat in whatever direction needed.

8.) If the ground is wet or damp lay sheets of foil down in which to to build your fire upon.

9.) If stranded in a vehicle tape foil, shiny side to the sun, to the windshield to reflect sunlight. The reverse would be true if trying to retain heat inside of a vehicle in the winter time.

10.) Foil conducts electricity so thin strands can be used to create fire by shorting across the negative and positive posts of a battery. If the foil is shaped into thin enough wire it can be used with batteries that power your electronic devices. To help it along you can wrap some dry tinder around the foil before you short it to create enough heat to ignite the tinder. Use cotton, jute or any dry organic cordage, dried grass, or small strips of cotton clothing would work as well.

Obviously the above is not the only uses for aluminum foil in a survival situation, but now that you have some idea of its properties, you can come up with even more uses with a little imagination.

alufoil. (n.d.). Retrieved 2015, from http://www.alufoil.org/properties.html

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Threat Assessment Power Grid/Communications Going Down

Power Communications Grid Down

Probability Low to Medium

The thought was originally to put an EMP threat in the title, it was left out however, because it is becoming increasingly obvious that the power grid can be damaged, or even destroyed by other than an EMP attack. 

This does not mean however, the threat of an EMP is any less, it simply means there are other ways of damaging, or destroying the power grid, ways that do not require the detonation of a nuclear device. In other words, our power grid and communication infrastructure is extremely vulnerable, and it would take little expertise or effort to cause significant damage.

A small group of dedicated individuals with some knowledge of the infrastructure could conceivably shut down virtually any sized city.

The threat also includes the loss of Internet, cable, cell service and other electronic communications. Remember Northern Arizona a few days ago, and even though the disruption only lasted a few hours it created a serious situation for many of the residents.

It would take considerable effort, the effort of a nation state in most cases, to shut down a large portion of the United States, so the more imminent threat for now is localized, as it was in Northern Arizona. Cities here and there can be shut down for a few hours, or a few days, causing serious damage to the financial, as well as, the physical well being of the residents.

If there is a coordinated effort multiple cities could be shut down at the same time. The communication infrastructure would likely be targeted first to slow the response by the authorities (slow down not stop), and then power stations would be sabotaged immediately after communications were disrupted. This would take considerable effort, but again not nearly the effort to detonate a nuclear device.

There would be no need to smuggle any device into the country, because all materials to carry out the plan could be obtained in virtually any city or town, and the people involved would not need extensive training. They would need practice drills, and have the ability to work, as a team, but sophisticated training and expertise would not be required.

As you by now know, a shovel or an ax in the hands of someone bent on creating trouble can create problems for thousands of people with one or two whacks. Imagine if a group decided to do this and they put some effort into the planning and execution.

Prepare For the Most Likely

Essentially you can awaken on any given day and find that your cell phone does not work, your Internet is out, and the Television is blank. It has happened, and it will likely happen again.

It may only be your town or city but that is of little comfort to you and others affected. You need to be able to use your debit card to pump fuel into your vehicle so you can get to work in the next town, you need groceries, and you need medications for your children all of which are denied to you, because no one can process debit or credit cards. Fuel pumps may not even work at all, and if they do you need to pay with cash before you pump.

Things to Have On Hand

  • Cash to fill your gas tank at least once and twice is better
  • Cash for medications and small food purchases enough for three days
  • Two-Way radios (Walkie Talkies) for emergency communications, each member of the family should have one, and of course know what channel for family communications
  • Citizens Band (CB) radios can also be used along with ham radios in some cases
  • Radios for news broadcast because you cannot rely on Televisions, Smart phones or the Internet for information gathering

If someone severed a fiber optic cable supplying your city, 911 services may be disrupted, so this means that if you have a medical emergency, or need the police they may not be able to receive your call, let alone respond to an emergency. This also applies to the fire department.

People of course will take advantage, so once it becomes known that the police cannot receive emergency calls then certain people will act out, there may even be some minor looting and attempted robberies of homes and businesses. This is something you have to be prepared for.

You should know already what the emergency plans are for the local school system. You will want your children with you, so you have to know the procedures for picking them up during a crisis of this nature.

If possible stay home and avoid driving. You simply do not know what effects the crisis will have on signal lights, draw bridges, toll booths and so on.

The Internet only needs to be down for a few hours to create havoc in any sized city. Be prepared for when it happens in your city or town next.

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The Lone Wolf Prepper Continued

Lone Wolf Prepper Continued

The Lone Wolf Prepper versus Prepper Groups: Is There a Middle Ground Somewhere

Some of you may be under the impressions that if you are not in a Prepper group then you are considered a lone wolf Prepper. There is a middle ground, however. It is not an either or situation, and you do not have to choose, and frankly, you should thoroughly investigate any Prepper group you are considering joining.

This article is not advocating for or against any position, only you can decide.

The facts are that most people today cannot survive living alone for an extended period away from society, or away from others that have certain skill sets and training. You may have training in a particular field, you may even be a skilled surgeon, but this does not mean you know everything. Even skilled professionals need other professionals.

A lone wolf can be described as someone that shuns society and the company of others hence the name lone wolf. The generally accepted definition of a lone wolf is someone that once lived among others, but then left the pack, if you will, to survive on their own. In the animal kingdom once a wolf leaves the pack there is no going back, either the wolf survives or not, the pack has moved on.

Are You Occupying the Middle Ground?

You are a Prepper, you have a family, and everyone in the family pitches in. Your neighbors may or may not know you are a Prepper and you may not even call yourself one. You do what you do because it makes sense to be ready for anything. You have no desire to spend weekends dressing up in radiation suits to see how fast you can evacuate your home suited up. You really do not want everyone in town to know your business. 

You know you may need medical care, for example, during a crisis so you make a point of knowing who your neighbors are without letting them necessarily know whom you may be. You also know that money may not be acceptable currency at some point, so you have stockpiled goods for bartering.

You have some skills that can be traded for other skills. The dentist that lives down the block may need your help during a crisis, and you may need his or her help, so you prepare for this. You do not form a group however to try to gather certain professionals together, because they may gather now during the good times, but when disaster strikes the rules change.

You do know you will need others if the crisis is an extended one. Long-term planning is important, and yet you do it in such a way that you know whom to contact, but no one seemingly knows to contact you. You simply cannot have those that failed to prepare showing up on your doorstep begging for handouts. You and your family’s survival is the first priority.

If you are in a group then everyone knows your business. Regardless of promises made, once you join a group things change and certain people, the leaders in particular would get possessive. What is yours is everyone’s to share under certain circumstances.

Groups that band together for survival can become altruistic societies. This means that to benefit the group, as a whole, you, and others would have to give up something, and sacrifice for the betterment of the group. Some people may enjoy this lifestyle, one similar to a commune where everyone participates, gives back and does their fair share until some are convinced they are getting the short end too often.

However, in a life or death situation you need leaders that can make decisions for the group without consulting with everyone in the group. Prepper groups are a conundrum. There needs to be a well defined leadership chain, and yet everyone in the group would essentially have to give up their possessions for the groups’ use, because the main concern is the welfare of the group. You would be obligated to some extent to benefit others in the group and not act to benefit only yourself.

The lone wolf decides they do not need anyone so they find a place where they can be alone. This lifestyle may work for awhile, and for some it may work for the rest of their lives. For most people however, this would not work. People need doctors, help with crops, help with construction projects, help with animals, and if nothing else people would want the company of others.

If society were to collapse people would gather to form communities. You would not call this a Prepper group however, because people would have their own possessions and would guard them closely, people would live close to each other but not with each other. People would help others in the community but once the project was over everyone would go back to their shelters to work on their own projects away from prying eyes.

Would Prepper Groups Fail During a Crisis?

People in this country for the most part have never experienced a collapse of a society that would spawn Prepper groups.

There are Prepper groups of course that have formed, but the concept is untested. Baptism by fire, if you will, is the only true test and that has not happened, yet. Once disaster strikes people within the group will look to their own first, this is natural, and it cannot be denied. The groups’ needs would take a back seat during a true crisis. What member is going to stick with the group knowing they have elderly parents, other family, and even friends in need outside of the group?

Some might say then you would have to recruit certain people. This may work, but those people without ties to the community, without friends and relatives would not be loyal to the group. They would use the group to their own advantage, and when things got rough they too would abandon the group in all likelihood.

Is the Lone Wolf Doomed?

People right now may believe they can go it alone but they say this knowing they can call for an ambulance if their appendix happens to burst and people can even get rescued from a mountain top if their day of skiing or hiking went bad. Even those in remote cabins have communication with the outside world just in case.

Mick Dodge even has a support group to help him out when he needs it, and most would consider him a lone wolf.

Is The Middle Ground the Safest Ground?

There are no guarantees, each individual and each family will have to decide how much they are willing to participate in the betterment of those besides their families during a crisis. In the short-term most people will have all they can do to keep their loved ones fed and safe, let alone worrying about the welfare of a group of people?

Over time people will begin to gather so they can benefit from others. Doctors and engineers for example, will become known, and people will seek them out to trade services. In days past communities as a whole provided shelter and food for doctors, school teachers, sheriffs, ministers and so on because the community demanded theses services.

Overtime individuals paid the professionals for individual service instead of the village itself, because the skilled professionals demanded more than just shelter and food they wanted currency, gold and silver.

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A Prepper Group Is Not Necessarily a Democracy

Prepper Group

Not everyone in a Prepper group would have an equal say and in some cases, the rank and file would not have a say at all. If everyone had equal billing and standing then nothing would get accomplished, because everyone would have a different opinion on how something should be handled. Decisions have to be made that benefit the group as a whole, and not ones that benefit just one or two people. Typically one or possibly two people would be tasked with making a final decision.

Essentially groups are formed because of safety in numbers, and so the group as a whole can benefit from the collective knowledge as well. Groups need a leader that can gather information and input from experts within the group and from information outside the group, and then make a decision on how to proceed. Not any one person can do it all, so a good leader should encourage those with knowledge and certain expertise to be part of the group.

Group Needs

Security is a main factor so all groups will need people experienced in security such as those with prior military and law enforcement experience.

Medical personnel are important as well. Everyone at some point will need medical attention, and during a crisis diseases will be more prevalent because of contaminated water and food products. Medically trained personnel will likely be as important, if not more so than security personnel during an extended crisis.

People with bush craft training will be an essential part of any group. Groups may have to abandon their area as a group to seek safety in a wilderness environment. You will need people that can teach others how to survive in this type of environment.

Groups will need people that have agricultural experience. Groups may have to begin raising crops and animals. Along with raising animals comes the need to treat those animals, so veterinarians would be needed as well.

Groups will need people that can cook and process wild game, mend clothing, and tend to children. To survive long-term, food surpluses will have to be preserved and stored so people will be needed to oversee the preservation and storage of foods. Camp chores will have to be performed, and some of the tasks will be mundane and general in nature, but they must be done for the health and welfare of everyone in the group.

Leaders can appoint themselves and then others can join up or small ad hoc groups can form and then a leader can be appointed by the group.

Most successful leaders know how to take advantage of talent from within an organization. The leaders themselves may not have any specific skill (s) other than being able to manage a group of people and their various levels of expertise. Leaders or managers should have a working knowledge of certain things, but they cannot be expected to be a doctor, cop, and chief cook and bottle washer all rolled up in one. A leader’s talent lies in getting people to perform at their peak and to perform the jobs they were trained to do efficiently.

There should be a second in charge or command if you will, that can make decisions in the absence of the leader, or if the leader becomes incapacitated. As stated earlier not everyone gets a vote, because it would be too confusing, and would simply take too long to make decisions. In some cases a decision to bug-out may have to be made quickly, and there is simply no time to consult with everyone in the group to get their opinion on the matter.

If a person is not willing to accept this type of situation then a Prepper group is not something in which they should be involved. There are those that believe they can do it on their own and some can but many will not be able to survive on their own if the crisis is an extended one.

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What Do You Really Need In a Bug Out Vehicle (BOV)

Bug Out Vehicle BOV

First, you need one that runs when you need it too. Your bug-out vehicle cannot be covered with a tarp inside of a barn somewhere waiting on the apocalypse. You need to know what it is capable of  doing under various road conditions, so it has to be driven, tested, and maintained. Even those vehicles not driven much will need their fluids changed to keep rubber seals and gaskets lubricated to prevent drying out and shrinkage. Belts and hoses will need to be inspected and replaced as needed as well.

You will need more than a working knowledge of the mechanics of your vehicle, so repairs can be made by you. For starters, you need to know how to change the oil and filter, air filters, tires, transmission fluid/filter, and you must know how to replace all belts and hoses.

You probably do not need a vehicle that looks like it was in a Mad Max movie. Bells and whistles while impressive only means more maintenance, so unless a gadget or accessory enhances your survival prospects do without it.

Four wheel drive is a given, because off road driving is very likely in a grid down scenario. You will need to move around obstacles, and other vehicles along the highways, so this means off road driving. The vehicle’s clearance has to be high enough so you can navigate over rocks, logs and other low lying obstacles, otherwise you will have to blaze a trail the entire way by moving things out of the way.

Cargo space, most SUV’s have some, but it is not likely to be enough room for supplies for an extended period for you and the family. A trailer is an ideal addition to your vehicle, but there are downfalls, because a trailer means more maintenance and expense when it comes to tires, lighting and so on.

However a closed trailer provides protection from the elements for your supplies, and of course allows you to carry much more in the way of supplies and equipment, and it can be used as an emergency shelter as well. Even an open bed trailer can be used as a shelter by stringing tarps, because the bed of the trailer gets you off the ground. Therefore, you should have a vehicle that is capable of pulling a trailer.

You may not be considering a trailer right now, but things change so make sure your vehicle has the hitch capability whether you think you need it or not. In a crisis you may come upon a trailer, so you have to be prepared to take advantage of certain situations as they arise.

A mounted winch would be the best case scenario, but if this is not possible then at least have come-alongs (cable pullers) of adequate size. Having one too small for the job is the same as not having one at all so make sure you size it correctly.

For most people, their BOV would be used to get out of a dangerous environment to a safer environment. You cannot just jump into your vehicle and drive aimlessly for days however. You need a destination and the fuel capacity to get there, and then move locations possibly, and ultimately get back home.

How far can you go on one tank of fuel. You need to know, and then factor in that you may have to backtrack, move around obstacles, and possibly even circumvent large bodies of water. You need to have multiple routes mapped out, and know how many miles it is to your final destination when using any of the routes. You need to know so you can stockpile enough fuel.

Fuel is heavy and you cannot just toss it in the backseat with the children. Without fuel you would have to abandon your BOV and probably much of the supplies you are carrying. Again a trailer is an ideal addition, because you could easily carry enough fuel in or on the trailer.

Hauling a trailer will make off road driving more difficult, but there are tradeoffs with everything you do, so you have to weigh the pros and cons of having one versus not having one.

Your cargo space can be increased with roof cargo boxes or rails that can be used to tie down supplies and equipment. Some of your cargo room will be taken up by bug-out-bags, tools for repairs and spare parts/materials such as batteries, tires, oil, antifreeze, and so forth.

Your objective is to move from one place to another with as little problem as possible. Any vehicle you have could be a BOV, but if you have a choice then choose wisely, by considering among other things,  maintenance, cargo space, off road capability and can you and your family shelter and eat inside the vehicle when needed.

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Prepper Journal: Food Safety During a Crisis

Food Safety Crisis

According to the Federal Government there are approximately 48 million cases of food borne illness annually. This equates to 1 in 6 people, and the illnesses result in 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Anyone can be sickened, but the very young, the very old, and those with weakened immune systems are particularly susceptible (FDA, 2014).

Why do people become sick, they become sick because of bacteria in and on the foods that in some cases is not destroyed during the cooking process, in other words, the foods were not cooked to a high enough temperature to destroy the bacteria.

Others reasons include cross contamination, caused by food handlers that use cutting boards and counter tops to process a raw chicken, for example, and then fail to properly sanitize the area before processing foods, which may not be cooked at all, or not cooked to a high enough temperature to destroy bacteria present.

Certain vegetables, lettuce, and breads should never be cut up on a cutting board that was used for raw meats, unless the board is thoroughly disinfected between uses. Raw meats can also contaminate other foods in the refrigerator that may not require cooking if the raw meats are stored near or above the foods were juices can drip to contaminate other foods.

1.) Before handling any foods ensure your hands are cleaned properly so you do not contaminate the product especially if that product will not be cooked or heated to a sufficient temperature. If you handle raw meats and then fail to clean your hands, any surface or food you touch could possibly be contaminated with deadly bacteria.

2.) Separate your foods beginning in the supermarket. Use dedicated cutting boards for fresh meats and poultry and never use the boards for any breads or salad preparation. It is recommended that you have cutting boards just for raw meats and one for handling foods that would not be cooked such as breads, leafy greens for salads and so on. Separate all foods in the refrigerator so raw foods cannot contaminate other foods.

3.) Certain food products must be cooked to the correct internal temperature to ensure all bacteria is destroyed. See below for a chart with the proper cooking temperatures. This means you will need a quality thermometer to test foods before consuming.

Safe Cooking Temperatures as Measured With a Food Thermometer

  • Ground Meat & Meat Mixtures Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb160°F
  • Turkey, Chicken 165°F
  • Fresh Beef, Pork, Veal, & Lamb 145°F with a 3 minute rest time
  • Poultry Chicken & Turkey, Whole 165°F
  • Poultry Parts 165°F
  • Duck & Goose 165°F
  • Stuffing (cooked alone/in bird) 165°F
  • Ham Fresh (raw) 145°F with a 3 minute rest time
  • Pre-cooked Ham (to reheat) 140°F
  • Eggs & Egg Dishes Eggs Cook until yolk & white are firm
  • Egg Dishes 160°F
  • Seafood Fin Fish 145°F or flesh is opaque & separates easily with fork
  • Shrimp, Lobster & Crabs Flesh pearly & opaque
  • Clams, Oysters & Mussels Shells open during cooking
  • Scallops Milky white or opaque & firm
  • Leftovers & Casseroles 165°F

Once the power goes out the perishable foods in your refrigerator if it is full, will last up to six hours, if half full or less, then only four hours. Freezers if full can maintain a safe temperature up to 48 hours. Obviously opening the doors too often will have an impact on how the long the foods can last.

Freeze plastic jugs filled with water to take up space in freezers so the foods stay cold longer during an outage. Any perishable foods held at 40° F or higher for longer than two hours are not safe to eat. Once cooked, foods must be held at 135°F. This is important if you are heating or reheating food using gel fuels under serving pans.

Once the power has been out for longer than six hours the perishables in your refrigerator should be disposed of. Bacteria can grow rapidly once foods begin to warm up and spoilage will begin. Breads can be allowed to go stale by removing the packaging. Once the moisture has been evaporated mold growth will be slowed. Breads can be toasted, if you have the means to do so, to preserve the product.

Most produce and fruits with the skin still on can be left on the counter up to five days. Dry any produce thoroughly once you remove from the refrigerator, because bacteria thrives in a moisture rich environment. You will be able to tell if the fruits and vegetables are edible or not by inspecting the product.

Eggs purchased from a retail store cannot be safely eaten if stored for more than two hours above 40° F degrees. If you raise your own eggs there are procedures you can follow that allow you to keep eggs out of refrigeration for an extended period. Make sure you know the procedure and do it correctly. Certain procedures include “water glass”, or coating the eggs in oil or lard.

Eggs processed commercially are cleaned and the outside sanitized, which in some people’s minds is the very reason eggs “store bought” have to be refrigerated. Eggs do not spoil setting under a hen so it is likely it has to do with the outer shell’s pores being cleaned, and thus, bacteria can penetrate the porous shell if left out of refrigeration.

You should have bleach available during a crisis so all food handling surfaces and cooking utensils can be disinfected. Clean water for washing hands and surfaces is critical along with an ample supply of clean cloths and/or paper towels. Disinfecting wipes can be used as well but read the label carefully to ensure they are not just cleaning wipes but that they also disinfect surfaces. Sanitation wipes are not for cleaning human hands or any part of the body.

FDA. (2014, December 18). Retrieved 2015, from http://www.fda.gov/food/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm255180.htm

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You Think You Can Live Without Internet? Think Again!

Cut Internet Connection

People living in Flagstaff and other parts of Northern Arizona discovered just how much they depend on technology. A fiber optic cable was cut, supposedly cut by vandals leaving close to 70,000 residents without Internet, ATM services, cell service, cable television and not to mention the disruptions in 911 services, transactions at supermarkets, gas stations and the list goes on.

Stores immediately posted signs saying cash only, but people could not withdraw cash from ATM machines, and banks suffered as well because nearly every institution today relies on communication technology, which by the stroke of an ax or shovel was severed in the small town. It ended up a vicious circle of disruption that lasted for hours.

Students could not access online college courses and the so-called Internet Cafes suffered financial losses because people could not access free Wi-Fi, so why stick around and just drink coffee. It is not just about the coffee anymore.

Joseph Hobbs, an information technology consultant and contractor in the area explained why cell phone customers were experiencing problems as well.

“The information from a cell phone call is collected by cell towers and concentrated from low speed to high speed fiber optic carriers at various points” (Associated Press, 2015).

A person familiar with the situation stated that typically fiber optic cable is buried just two to four feet underground. Anyone knowing where to dig, and with a few rudimentary tools could uncover the cable and create an outage without much effort at all.

There seems to be no doubt in most people’s minds that this was an intentional act.

Next time it could be a larger city and regardless of size, disruptions in certain services such as 911 could create a life or death situation.

Questions

Was this situation a dry run, a test to gauge the response by the authorities, to see how long the services were disrupted? Did someone think that by cutting the services to the city that they could then waltz in and rob a bank or store and not have police respond, or was this a prelude to something bigger.

Did whoever cut the cable have a grudge against the provider or the city, was it an employee of the service provider, or was it an employee of the city for that matter. Was someone’s bill too high so they decided to cut the cord so to speak, or was this just a random act of vandalism.

It is hard to imagine someone or more than one person were out driving around and just decided to start digging, and then come upon a buried cable, and then deciding just hack it in two while they are at it, very hard to imagine. Someone had to know where to dig and had to know it was not a high voltage line before cutting it, it seems some planning went into this. Someone had prior knowledge and planned to cut the cable, someone set out that day to create havoc.

What is apparent is that we all are much too dependent upon technology. Store clerks are so accustomed to their machines that they may not have been able to do the simple math required to count change back when people pay with cash. People were literally in tears because of the disruption.

In today’s age of technology it defies logic that a person with a shovel and/or ax or even with a large knife could create such havoc for 70,000 plus people. It makes one wonder what could be next and will it be my town or your town, will it be my place of employment or my child’s school.

You Have To Be Prepared For Anything

Of course this will not be the last time. Until service providers whether they provide gas, water, electric or high speed Internet decides to step up their security it will happen again and possibly on a much larger scale with deadly consequences.

Next time it could be water main break, or someone could poison a water reservoir or decide to shoot up a power station and turn the lights out.

You cannot put all of your eggs in one basket. Even though debit cards are widely used as you can see they are no good however, when there is a disruption in communications. You cannot pump gasoline, cannot buy anything anywhere, and if you do not have cash then you go without until, and if the problem is fixed. Next time it could be days or even weeks.

Have enough supplies on hand so you do not have to rush to the bank or ATM machine to try and get cash only to find out they have failed as well. Make sure your vehicle is always topped off with fuel, and that you have enough food and water for short and long-term outages.

Some people if not many people simply cannot communicate without cellular service because they do not have landline service in their homes. People do their banking on smart phones, control their home security with smart phones and many alarm systems for homes and businesses today rely on cellular networks to alert the authorities when an alarm is triggered. Some people even control their entire businesses over the Internet and with cell phones and tablets. Even a short disruption creates major headaches for many people.

Be prepared to get along without the Internet, and cell service, and learn to carry some cash so when debit card transactions cannot be processed you can still put fuel in your car, and put food on the table. You know how to do it, but everyone is so accustomed to reaching for their phones, tablets and debit cards they have forgotten how to do without them, but you can, and you may have to in the very near future.

Associated Press. (2015). Retrieved 2015, from http://azdailysun.com/news/local/cut-cable-downs-internet-service-for-northern-arizona/article_904b4c69-c3d7-59ca-bc72-f8cb64313a29.html

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5 Ways to Sharpen a Knife Without a Sharpener

Ways To Sharpen Knife
A dull knife is dangerous, but sometimes you end up with a blunt blade out in the field. If you find yourself without a sharpener you are still in luck. This video shows you 5 ways to sharpen a knife with common everyday items. It is surprising that if you understand the mechanics of sharpening a knife, you’ll know what to look for to sharpen it in an emergency.

 

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