Introducing Nicholas Herold
Nicholas' passion for emergency preparedness has been a part of both his professional and personal life for many years.
He is a member of the Medical Reserve Corps, a community of trained volunteers who provide and support public health services, such as staffing emergency shelters, vaccination clinics, and responding to disaster situations. He is also a member of the Arlington, MA Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), a FEMA-sponsored community resilience program that can be mobilized by community and regional emergency managers.
In 2012, he created Public Health Preparedness, a blog that provides in depth emergency management analysis and preparedness tips for everything from measles to tornadoes.
This week, we invited Nicholas to share the history of the CERT program. Starting from humble beginnings in Los Angeles, today it is a nationwide life saving force.
Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds. A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Every state is at some risk from this hazard. Some tornadoes are clearly visible, while rain or nearby low-hanging clouds obscure others.
Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that little, if any, advance warning is possible. Get tips from www.ready.gov/tornadoes on what to do before, during, and after a tornado!
Ready Campaign Federal Emergency Management Agency Washington D.C., 20472
Imagine the nightmare scenario of an attack from a terrorist group or hostile nation. It probably involves a radioactive blast and a mushroom cloud, right? What about an attack that involves germs and surgical masks? How does that factor in? The reality is biological attacks may be just as devastating as the typical terrorist attack. How prepared is the U.S., and what’s the history of biological warfare and terrorism throughout the world?
Where We Stand
The news isn’t good — the U.S. is scarcely prepared for a large-scale infection of the population, whether man-made or naturally occurring. And this is despite spending billions to improve response efforts. How prepared is the U.S. for a large-scale contagious disease outbreak? Area Grade Detection and diagnosis D Attribution F Communication C Medical countermeasure availability D (B for smallpox) Medical countermeasure development and approval D Medical countermeasure dispensing D Medical management D
How much does the federal government spend on preparedness? $5.5 billion Annual federal spending on biodefense programs That’s more than the National Institutes of Health spends on HIV/AIDS, immunization, mental health and women’s health. Biodefense $5.5 billion HIV/AIDS $3.1 billion Immunization $1.7 billion Mental health $2.3 billion Women’s health $3.9 billion $1 billion Total spent since 2003 on federal BioWatch program, which aims to detect the release of airborne pathogens as a result of a terrorist attack BioWatch operates in about 30 cities across the country, reportedly including Philadelphia, New York, Washington, San Diego, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, St. Louis, Houston and Los Angeles, though the cities where it operates have never been officially released, and criticisms about the program remain. 149 Positive results for dangerous pathogens reported since the start of the BioWatch program 0 Actual pathogens detected; all results were false alarms
What They’re Looking For
The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list more than 40 pathogens as potential bioterrorism agents; here are a few of the most dangerous: Anthrax Spores are found readily in nature, can be produced in a lab and can last for a long time in the environment. Contact with anthrax can cause severe illness in both humans and animals, though it is not contagious. 10%-15% Survival rate from inhalation anthrax without treatment 55% Survival rate after aggressive treatment Symptoms of inhalation anthrax
Fever and chills
Shortness of breath
Confusion or dizziness
Nausea, vomiting or stomach pains
Sweats (often drenching)
Botulism A muscle-paralyzing disease caused by a toxin made by a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. Foodborne botulism is the most common cause of infection. 6 hours Most rapid appearance of symptoms Symptoms of foodborne botulism
Brucellosis It’s most frequently transmitted to humans through dairy products, but those who spend time around infected animals are also susceptible, such as hunters, veterinarians and meatpacking workers. Death from infection is rare (only 2% of cases), but recovery can take several months. Symptoms of infection
Pain in muscles, joints or back
Plague Plague is caused by Yersinia pestis, a bacterium found in rodents and their fleas in many areas around the world. Yersinia pestis used in an aerosol attack could cause cases of pneumonic plague. Without early treatment, pneumonic plague usually leads to respiratory failure, shock and rapid death. Symptoms
Rapidly developing pneumonia
Bloody or watery sputum
Smallpox Smallpox is a serious, contagious and sometimes fatal infectious disease. There is no specific treatment for smallpox disease, and the only prevention is vaccination. 1949 Last reported case of smallpox in the U.S. 1977 Last naturally occurring case in the world, reported in Somalia Symptoms
Head and body aches
Rash that develops into raised bumps
Tularemia Tularemia is a potentially serious illness that occurs naturally in the United States. It is caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis, which is found in animals (especially rodents and rabbits). Tularemia is not known to be spread from person to person. The disease can be fatal if it is not treated with the right antibiotics. Symptoms
A Brief History
p>The world is no stranger to people using diseases as weapons. 1000 BC Arsenic smoke is used by the Chinese. 184 BC In a sea battle, Hannibal of Carthage hurls clay pots full of vipers onto the decks of enemy ships. 1100s Bodies of plague or smallpox victims are hurled over city walls. 1495 The Spanish offer wine spiked with the blood of leprosy patients to the French . 1650 Polish artillery general Siemenowics fires spheres filled with the saliva of rabid dogs at his enemies. 1763 British officers come up with a plan to distribute smallpox-infected blankets to Native Americans at Fort Pitt, Pennsylvania. 1914 German artillery soldiers fire 3,000 shells filled with dianisidine chlorosulfate, a lung irritant, at British troops. The shells contained too much TNT, which destroy the chemical. 1915 Allied troops make their own chlorine gas attacks; Germany comes up with diphosgene gas; the French try cyanide gas. 1917 Germany introduces mustard gas, which burns the skin and lungs. 1936 German chemist Gerhart Schrader comes up with nerve agent tabun (later called German agent A or GA). Two years later, he develops sarin. 1950s British and U.S. researchers develop VX, a nerve gas so toxic that a single drop on the skin can kill in 15 minutes. 1959 Researchers at Fort Detrick, Maryland breed yellow-fever-infected mosquitoes. 1967 The International Red Cross says mustard gas and possibly nerve agents were used by the Egyptians against civilians in the Yemen civil war. 1969 23 U.S. servicemen and one U.S. civilian are exposed to sarin in Okinawa, Japan, while cleaning bombs filled with the deadly nerve agent. 1972 The U.S. and Russia sign a treaty banning the use of biological weapons, and the U.S. claims by the following year to have destroyed its weapons. 1979 A Soviet bioweapons facility releases a plume of anthrax, killing at least 64 people. Thousands could have died if the wind was blowing the other way. Despite the treaty banning biological weapons, the Soviet program had been going full speed. 1980 Iraq attacks Iran and soon unleashes a mustard agent and the nerve agent tabun, delivered in bombs dropped by airplanes. 1984 Followers of a cult member running for a county judgeship in a local election sprinkle homegrown salmonella bacteria on supermarket produce, door handles and restaurant salad bars in Oregon. Nobody dies, but 751 people become ill. 1994 Residents of Matsumoto, Japan, develop symptoms of illness due to nerve gas. Seven die and 500 are sickened. A second attack in 1995 strikes a Tokyo subway, killing 12 and infecting thousands. 2001 A newspaper editor in Florida dies of anthrax traced to a letter. Anthrax-laden letters also turn up at the offices of ABC, CBS, and NBC in New York. Anthrax is also found in the New York office of Gov. George Pataki. Letters containing anthrax also arrive at the U.S. Senate mailroom.
SOURCES: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ http://www.wmdcenter.org/ http://report.nih.gov/categorical_spending.aspx http://www.securitymanagement.com http://www.cdc.gov http://www.webmd.com
I'm watching this situation in Nevada for several reasons...all DIRECTLY related to Federal overreach in so many ways. Warning...this is QUITE long...but you need to read it.
But, I have to say first, that as an employee of the state of Wyoming, my job requires me to work directly with the BLM Wild Horse and Burro program, and in my five plus years in this job, I've never seen the BLM, with my own eyes, do anything even REMOTELY similar to what is happening in Clark County, Nevada.
What other things AM I dealing with that brings this day's situation and confrontations to the forefront of my mind? I'll list a few for you...maybe you'll understand WHY I'm referencing the Nevada issue tonight.
Read closely. Pay attention to my words, and watch over the next few days what happens in Clark County.
Mr. Cliven Bundy has already stated that he'll stand his ground against the federal government, much like Randy Weaver did...back in 1992 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby_Ridge). Bundy believes strongly in the 10th amendment, and State's Rights.
Strangely, Bundy took his stand against paying the BLM for grazing rights the FOLLOWING year, in 1993, and refused to be extorted further by the state and federal agencies since that time, causing the BLM to begin this week to confiscate the cattle of the Bundy clan out on the public range....but why now? Only God knows what reason.
Remember this...I'm watching as an observer now, a private citizen...and I recall all too well the events of Waco, Ruby Ridge, OKC...and how they changed Americans...and government...and the evil that arose back in those days BECAUSE of it. I moved from Texas to Alabama in a job transfer within the USPS, only weeks before Waco was torched. Being a born and bred Texan, I could not believe what the feds did...or why. It was simply the biggest murder rampage EVER in the history of Texas, by Americans from our own government, against a group people who would have eventually come out when they ran out of food.
Un-fucking-believable. Let's continue with my real connection to the current events in Nevada...Here goes.
1) Bundy made a reference this week to Randy Weaver, a victim of Federal government murder. In October 1999, I met Randy Weaver, while I was attending the 1999 Birmingham pre-Y2k Gun Show. I'd gone with a friend, someone I had validated as a Vietnam Vet, SF, Medic. Between helping him set up, and watching his table, I did some window shopping, and came across Weaver at his table, on the south side of the convention center area of the show.
He was selling copies of his book, of HIS side of the story...something I really hadn't seen covered in the years after his special place in history. He was about 4 or 5 inches shorter than me, graying, grizzled hair, and a quiet and modest man. Certainly not an anti-government domestic terrorist, classified as a separatist, right there...in the heart of Birmingham, Alabama....well known in history for its racial division, KKK, bombings, and so much horrible violence in the 20th century.
If Weaver was a separatist, he wouldn't have stepped a toe in Alabama, much less Birmingham. He was neither a Mark Kournke nor a William Cooper...both loudmouth, conspiracy-laden media hacks who invented stories that made them the darlings of what become the rebirth of American Militias...a bad thing.
Over the day, I chatted with Randy a couple of times. Seriously, if you were a fan of American History, you'd want to take a moment to chat just a little bit, with someone who had been on the wrong-ass end of a Federal Criminal Investigation, AND who had been shot by them, and seen his wife and son killed by almighty federal snipers, right in front of his eyes.
Nothing deep, nothing personal. Just a quiet conversation about time, family, and moving on. That was the only conversation I ever had with him, and I purchased a copy of his book to read later, which he signed for me. A memory of a man haunted by demons YOU AND I will never stand up to. A notch in the gun belt of my life. More on that later.
2) A year later, almost to the day, I moved with my family to Wyoming, resigning a job I loved, as a federal employee...a city letter carrier for the US Postal Service, which I held as a career for almost 10 years. In the late 90's. a friend I'd known since junior high school had convinced me over several months that a trucking venture he had started in Wyoming, held promise for big money, and traveling the USA.
I bit...quit...and we moved. The job was the worst decision I ever made in my life, and it cost me everything I made on the road doing the job, PLUS my postal retirement of tens of thousands of dollars. I hadn't done my due diligence...and we wound up homeless in Wyoming...and started over. But that's not the pertinent part of my backstory. The move, and business failure, eventually led me back to college in Central Wyoming, and I earned three college degrees in under 5 years, in web development, broadcasting, and education. BEST thing that ever happened to me. Now, for the interesting part.
Remember that 2nd degree above, the broadcasting one? Yep...that was with Wyoming Public Television, based at Central Wyoming College. Over the 4+ years at CWC, I did dozens and dozens of live shows, satellite truck video shoots, ran master control, and handled titles and audio on countless shows and events, and was involved in history in the making events (Vice president Cheney entering the public again, after accidentally shooting his friend in Texas while quail hunting...I was the main camera operator shooting head on video during his speech in the opening day of that year's legislature). Dozens of satellite trucks from all over the country taking feeds from our Sat. truck, and I'm keeping steady hands and solid framing of his speech, and it's going out to the entire western world. Wow. Breathtaking...and stunningly huge parts of my life.
During that period of time, on the opening convocation of CWC that year of Cheney's speech, a certain Mr. Gerry Spence, of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, was the main speaker. Mr. Spence was the man who defended Randy Weaver in the federal trial of Weaver, regarding the fiasco of the FBI/ATF operations that cost him his wife, his son, and years of his life.
As a project for my broadcasting degree, I personally videoed Spence's speech that day, and edited it into a full blown hour plus DVD, shooting two cameras at once. He learned about the video a few days later, and requested a copy from me...and I was glad to do it, handling it personally for him.
As I learned during his convocation speech, Mr. Spence had started his law career right here in Riverton, Wyoming decades before, and in his years in town, had made many friends, and many enemies (guess that's par for the course in his line of work), and had made his mark in the judicial world by getting Weaver acquitted of the charges the Feds lobbed at him.
With that video project, and in those few personal contacts with Spence, I did ask him one simple off the subject question, regarding Weaver, mentioning I'd met him years before in Alabama. I asked Spence, "Was he screwed by the feds, made out as an example to scare any one else brave enough to take a stand and just want to be left alone?"
A short pause. A muffled cough of clearing his throat. "Yes...I believe he was".
How the hell was I to know, in my simple, yet sometimes mixed up life, that I'd be meeting both ends of such a tragic, yet massive federally created and managed disaster of such immense proportions that it changed the face of "evil US government" to "Murderous US government"? Under Clinton, our rule of law became one of the most thug-laden cluster-fucks the world had ever seen within our own shores.
Fate? Karma? Shits and giggles from someone on high? I'll never know...but I do know this. The last 20 years of my life has been about learning more about American History, in every way, shape, and form. That ever increasing and deep study has changed my political foundation, from simple conservative, to staunch Constitutionalist. I believe in giving people a hand up, not a hand out. Slaves are made in that way...as we have seen in 2008 and 2012.
The Rights of Man. Pure and simple. The Rule of Law. What we see today is that, which is so abundantly clear and sadly, has been increasingly overt and in your face with such violence and spittle-laden screams from mindless liberal drones...that it can not be mistaken for anything...but what it is.
Those that have the money....rule the law. A direct reference to what is happening to our poor Mr. Bundy in Clark County.
Quick review....#1 - Met Randy Weaver. #2 - Met Gerry Spence 7 years later. Connected the dots from the two people who PROVED it was government malfeasance of the highest order that led to the deaths of his family members, and nearly killed him...direct from the US Department of Justice.
These two items are a forewarning of what Mr. Bundy is up against...and the BLM? WHY? Why are they forming such a formidable force against a cattle rancher who for all intents and purposes, INCREASED the use of unused land, but as a rancher cared for and helped the land be useful and abundant as a reusable source for his herds for decades. This, causing increasingly personal threats from snipers, mulitple uses of tasers on family memers, attack dogs let loose at pregnant women and others, and cancer survivors thrown to the ground by thuggish LEO personnel?
Dear God...where is the common sense in all this? Oh wait, there IS none. It's strictly a show of force against ONE man, over TAXES...with threat of DEATH (with snipers and machine guns, what else would they plan on doing, if things went to the ultimate level of response?).
Why? To remind all of us...you and me...that this is no longer our nation.
It's the MONEY that rules who lives, dies, or grows mushrooms in their butt cracks. The power, ultimate life and death rulings and decisions of who keeps or loses freedom (and liberty), belongs to those who write the laws, pass the laws, take ever growing portions of our personal income, and threaten and berate us and COST us even more income by passing more laws to steal even more money with every waking hour.
One number. $18 trillion.
While they've stolent just over one third of Bundy's beef herd, they're broadcasting on mainstream media that they don't have the funds to continue feeding a certain strain of desert tortoise, and they're going to have to EUTHANIZE them? (read it your self -http://rt.com/usa/desert-tortoises-euthanize-nevada-024/)
Steal someone's herd, and then KILL TURTLES YOU'RE SWORN TO PROTECT AND DEFEND AND MANAGE? Who's running these things....fucking morons?
Regarding Bundy? The taking of rights and practice, held for generations, and extortion enforced by the guys with guns to CONTINUE paying up, or suffer the consequences. Where. Is. The. Justice?
Now...here's part 3. MY personal experience with another Federal Agency over-reaching its bounds...right here in my home town of Riverton, Wyoming.
I've got several dogs in this particular fight...allow me tell you about them.
We've lived here for 13 years, in this small rural western town, on the eastern foot of the Rockie Mountains. I've been all over this state, nearly exclusively with Wyoming PBS filming events, producing live shows or recording for editing, and fucntioned as production personnel in all areas of state government. I met previous governor Dave Fredenthal several times, state and federal legislators, and celebrities, both with PBS, and as a student representative from our college down in the state capital. Haven't met Matt Mead yet, our current GOP governor, though I expect to in the coming months, for reasons I'm not at liberty to say, because of my job in the state.
Here's the turning of the worm for part 3...
You may have heard the huge rumble regarding the Wind River Indian Reservation, and the EPA CHANGING reservation boundaries, to overlook treaties and state legislature decisions delineated in a 1905 congressional change to the original reservation boundaries, AGREED TO by the feds, the state, AND the leaders of the tribes at that time, that split out a the eastern center part of the reservation for homesteaders to get land grants and form cities, specifically Riverton, (map of the issue here http://goo.gl/X4ZyEJ ) Pavilion, Kinnear, and a few other tiny places that really don't qualify as "towns".
The tribes say these towns, and OLD reservation boundaries, are STILL Indian Country, and therefore they should have rights of jurisdiction, 109 years AFTER they ceded the land as stated by the 1905 law. That means where I live now, according to them, is reservation land. That means if I was to buy any land around here, if this EPA unjust ruling stands, the tribes could throw eminent domain around, and just take it from anyone they pleased. Oh, and that job I have with the state, is on the northern edge of Riverton...1000 acres of STATE property. Yep, that would go to.
Our governor is putting up a fight, using the state's attorney general. Our federal legislators in Washington DC, Senator's Enzi and Barraso, and Representative Lummis are writing bills as we speak to fight this federal overreach of land, by the EPA, by ultimate mandate... without any review by the Judicial or Legislative branches of the triad of Federal Government.
Landowners, business owners, local municipalities, and literally everyone with ANY understanding of the American Constitution are paying microscopically close attention to this agency's intentional overreach of the EPA limitations, by setting precedents of LEGAL changes they have NO POWER to make. In other words, a VERY personal example, right in front of my own eyes, of federal governmetn Executive Branch malaise and corruption...ruling by fiat and direction of the worst presidential administration this nation has EVER seen, in all of our glorious American History.
It absolutely makes me so bloody nauseous to see tyranny and theft by law, right in front me...daily...in a town I call my home, in a job that means so much to me, in a state that is one of THE most conservative in the nation.
Wyoming is the EQUALITY state. Individual rights. Justice for all. Not the "screw me out of my business, take my home of 50 years, steal my family ranch of 100 years, nor limit my future forever" changes...because a handful of people in those two tribes (both full of corruption and embezzlement themselves, thanks to the 3 casinos that now exist on the edges of the Rez). Just this week, one of the tribe's general councils fired several business council members, without publicized call or reason, leaving the council unable to operate, since without those people, they don't have enough people to form a quorum. Gee...hindsight is 20/20. Stupidity abounds.
So...Bundy is ready to pay the ultimate penalty of potential death, for his beliefs that he has the rights to graze on public land, without paying for it...because he sees the fees for what they are... extortion...which has driven all the other ranchers from Clark county.
Let me repeat that for emphasis...ALL the other ranchers of Clark County are gone. Bundy is the LAST man standing. He's not standing alone. Thousands of Americans are coming to stand with him.
A cliche coming up, but very poignant and directly related to Bundy and clan.
"Those who fail to remember history, are doomed to repeat it."
Bundy feels he has a God given right to do what he's been doing for 20 years. The feds are ready to kill him for his beliefs...and they have directly related experience in exactly that kind of thing, murdering innocent men, women and children either by gunfire, snipers, or intentionally set blazes.
The feds, again, stealing a man's livelihood, destroying his life, and threatening and abusing the people he loves and cares for...because they can...because previous politicians and political hacks have changed, rewritten, or added new laws that give them the legal act to do...what they are now doing.
Is Bundy right? Is he doing the right thing? Is he doing it to say to the feds, and at the same time, all Americans...that SOMEONE has to make that stand?
I believe HE believes he has the rights. I believe HE feels he's been wronged, screwed over, and left without any other alternatives.
And...yes...I believe that the BLM, their task force, their snipers, gunners, and thugs, and all their federal backup...are ready to kill again.
This is one for the courts to decide. But, in this administration and political environment, how could Bundy, or really, even any of us, trust the courts to do the right thing? AG Holder is not known as anything but a righteous, preening, racist, lying meat puppet, who does nothing to help the "Common Man", which is THE reason for position existing in the first place.
Where does this all end, for Bundy, and real Americans? In the courtroom by a jury of his peers, or in the gutter, an American (or several) lying dead on the pavement with their life's blood slowly oozing away into history.
Watch and learn. Remember what eventually happens with this standoff.
But for the grace of God, could go you and I.
Every parent wants the best for our children but even if your kids don’t have a career as a high paid athlete, find fortune running the next tech firm that makes billions of dollars or invents the cure for cancer, we do all want them to be safe. Safe is a funny word and it can be viewed in lots of ways. I wrote a post about how we need to let our children get hurt some time back on the Prepper Journal. By hurt I meant normal childhood injuries that come with exploring and learning your boundaries. In that article I tried to highlight some of the absurdities that people have come up with to keep anything bad from happening to little junior to the point that they were nearly wrapped head to toe in protective gear when they stepped onto the child safe playgrounds. My grandfather would have gagged.
No, when I am talking about safe, I mean safe from truly bad people. I am not talking about some scraped knees or even a broken arm from a skateboard accident; I am referring to horrible acts that parents everywhere fear deeply, even if we don’t dwell on it too much. One of my frequent prayers is that my family is safe when I am away or not with them. I don’t worry excessively but there is that tingle in the back of your mind when you think about how horrible you would feel if something bad happened to one of your precious offspring.
Praying certainly is something we can all do and I don’t mean to get off on a tangent here at thePrepper Journal. I believe in prayer, but there are other steps I think we can additionally take to help our kids be better equipped to deal with some of the unfortunate aspects of life today. The more we can help our kids with information I think, the better we can prepare them to act when it counts. It may not do anything, but it could be the one thing that keeps them alive. Have you thought about equipping your children to survive?
Equipping them with Knowledge
I think that one of the simplest acts we can do as parents is talk to our children. This is a fine line we walk as parents though because I don’t mean that we should make them fearful of their shadow. At the same time, different children at different ages can handle varying degrees of information so without painting with too broad a brush I think it is perfectly fine to give children information about the world, appropriate to their age that could help them if they were faced with a dangerous situation. Like most parents, I am sure the old “don’t talk to strangers” and “never get into a car with anyone” come to mind and these are perfect examples of the type of instructions I am talking about. We usually start off with this type of information when the children we have raised are away from us and I don’t think this makes them overly fearful; it just gives them some advice for their safety,
As children get older, they are able to handle more information, concepts and theories and depending on how things are in your family, they may be exposed to more news which seems to constantly deliver something to worry about. As it relates to your children, you can share your knowledge with them about threats. What you expect them to do in various situations and some of those may even be counter to what they are told by the authorities over them at various locations. For example I told one child of mine to run like their lives depended on it if they were ever in a situation where someone was shooting and none of their family was near obviously. If they were in school or the mall, they are to run until they get far away from that building. This might rub someone the wrong way, but I think it is crazy to hide while someone walks slowly around shooting everyone they find. Running puts distance between you and who is shooting at you and I want all of my children to do that if possible and they are in the same situation.
Another aspect of knowledge could be simply how to get from wherever they are to your house or a safe location. Have you ever had your children tell you which way to turn as you were driving in order to get back home or to their school? This might sound foolish, but we must have watched every single episode of Bear Grylls TV show Man VS. Wild with our kids. They can all make fires, build shelters and know the basics of a boatload of survival concepts. They aren’t going to parachute into the Alps of course, but if they are watching TV at least it was something I could say exposed them to methods they could use if they found themselves in a survival scenario. Hopefully that counters all the Hanna Montana they saw…
Equipping them with Confidence
This is something I need to do more of but as often as I can, I try to reinforce with my children that they are not helpless. Just because their age or size limits what I or society will let them get away with, that doesn’t mean that they can’t do great things. Your children need to have confidence in their abilities. This could be physical abilities like athletics, but I am talking more about the ability to deal with situations that are or should be out of their league. What will your child do if they become lost? Will they wilt and sit in the floor crying (age appropriate again of course) or would they use the knowledge you have shared with them above to stop and think about how to react to this situation they have found themselves in?
Confidence can be learned in a lot of ways and some parents might even be teaching your kids without even thinking. Confidence can be things so small you might not even consider them like ordering at a restaurant. Can your children clearly and confidently make decisions and communicate those to a stranger? Do you ask them what they would do in certain circumstances to test them?
Confidence is usually increased in an environment in which children aren’t coddled. It may seem counter intuitive to want to protect your children so much but at the same time letting them go to see how they do when they are on their own. Remember that your job is to raise healthy, mature adults who are going to go out into the world and make their mark. At some point they are going to need to rely on the lessons they learned, mostly from you about how to act and what to do and confidence could be the trait they have that gives them the power to get up and move as opposed to freezing in panic.
Equipping them with Tools
One of these days I am going to write an entire post on a Kids EDC kit even though there have been a lot of people who already tackled this subject. Children are a little more difficult to plan an Every Day Carry kit for two reasons. The first is that they can’t usually carry the fun tools that adults can like a concealed weapon or a knife. Can you pack fishing kits and Band-Aids in your kids school pack? Sure, but how helpful would this really be.
The second reason in my case anyway is that no matter how much thought and effort you put into creating supplies they can use, it would get lost, used and not replenished or forgotten. The one day there is an emergency, their survival gear will have fallen out in the library or left at some friends house. That being said, there are some things you can give your children to give them an edge that might not be so easily left.
There are bulletproof clipboards you can purchase that could save them from a bullet or knife. Granted, they would have to have this either in their hands and have the presence of mind to use it, or tucked away in their pack. The pack would additionally need to be on them for this to work, but if you are buying a clipboard anyway this one might be a good option.
Another option would be a bulletproof backpack. Infidel Body Armor sells backpacks with a built-in compartment for body armor panels. With this on, your kids could be saved if someone was shooting at them. Again, something to consider.
In conclusion, just because our children are small or at least not adults, that doesn’t mean they aren’t capable. Size and age are only one measure of what a person can do, but it is their inner strength that can make them accomplish anything. Are you nurturing these abilities in your child?
We all get discouraged from time to time especially when events or results we expect are right around the corner, do not happen. This makes perfect sense with a diet when for example you reach a plateau and all the rice cakes and sacrificing desserts in the world won’t take off a single additional ounce. Another example could be a skill we try to master like golf. Sometimes, no matter how much effort we put into practicing, money we blow on the latest hi tech clubs, how much sweat blood and cursing we expend on that stupid ball, nothing seems to make your score any lower. At a point, you may start to worry if this just isn’t meant to be. That you were born to be a little chunkier, that golf is a lot harder than it looks and you will never be anything remotely close to the next Tiger Woods.
Losing your motivation or interest in something can be very discouraging. What used to occupy your waking hours with such intensity can vanish quietly without as much as a second thought. For some people, prepping is like that. In the beginning, there is a sense of urgency and we scoured the internet for tips on how to grow the best garden, how to store food in plastic buckets. We research the best firearms for self-defense and start making our plan on how to be better prepared for any emergencies with the end goal of living completely off the grid on 50 acres in Idaho. With our Bug Out Bag checklists we head to the camping section at Walmart or online to get the best survival gear and then over time notice that your expensive lifesaving gear that you had, has been sitting alone and quiet in the corner of the closet for a year.
What are you prepping for?
I have said this before on the Prepper Journal but I think it bears repeating and that is Prepping is not something you can ever master. This isn’t a skill that you get a certificate of completion for. There are no expert preppers out there regardless of what any blogger tells you. Prepping is a daily process of taking steps and making decisions that will improve your chances of surviving anything that life can throw at you. Prepping is a lifestyle, not a destination and if you are doing this right, you will always have something you can learn and something else to do.
Most people start out with a single point that drives them to prepare. Either it is the news reports that we hear, or dire warnings from a thousand websites, radio and internet hosts or the ads blaring from websites (mine included) about the “one weird trick” you need to have or the next “big thing” to worry about. For me, it was less specific than something like mutant zombie bikers from Mars, but I had several things that prompted my own personal journey into prepping. I quickly found out that regardless of what it is you think can happen or is likely to happen to you that would turn your world upside down; the survival requirements for everyone do not change.
In most instances. It doesn’t matter what the emergency is that you are faced with. In most survival situations, you are still going to need clean water to drink or you will die. You are going to need food or you will starve and you will need shelter and security or someone could kill you. You always run the risk of being injured or becoming ill, so a way to treat injuries or illness is also important. It doesn’t matter if this disaster you are faced with is an earthquake, an economic collapse, war, disease outbreak, revolution, depression, plague or a polar shift, global warming or alien invasion.
Preppers seem to easily become disenchanted with the whole idea of prepping if their big fear doesn’t materialize quickly. Preppers who are looking for either a government tyranny or an economic collapse are probably the worst at this; second only to people who believe whatever the latest disaster of the year is (y2K, Hale-bop comet, 2012 Mayan calendar). If you don’t see your envisioned future that you are prepping for materialize, or worse the day comes and goes and nothing happens, a lot of people feel foolish and think their prepping efforts were all a giant waste of time.
Prepping should be focused less on any event and more on situations. What if I have to leave my home and can never go back (for any reason)? What if I am unable to pay for my home anymore (maybe due to a job loss)? What if I am trapped in my home with no food (because of a winter storm)?