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Prepper SALUTE Report – An Observation and Reporting Tool

The SALUTE Report, also known as the Spot Report is(as in ‘I spotted something’) is a U.S. Army Skill Level 1 Task (Skill Level 1 Tasks apply to everyone from the brand new recruit to the senior General Officer) that makes it easier for a soldier to observe and report information of intelligence value or information that can be used to immediate advantage.  Essentially the SALUTE Report is an observation and reporting mnemonic and technique.  The Prepper SALUTE Report is an easy skill to learn and it’s definitely worth learning whether you’re a prepper and just a concerned citizen. SALUTE is actually an acronym and does use a little military jargon so I’ll interpret and help you apply this tool to situations as diverse as use in a Neighborhood Protection District (neighborhood watch on steroids when law enforcement can’t be relied upon) or by a concerned citizen who sees potential criminal or terror activity like the recent bombings in Boston. The Acronym: The acronym SALUTE stands for Size, Activity, Location, Unit/Uniform, Time Observed and Equipment.  When properly used this technique guides your observations in order to provide the who, what, when, where and possibly how as well as provide a standardized reporting format.  If you don’t have a method at hand to jot down your report it will also aid you in recalling the details of what you’ve observed. Now let’s look at each element of the Prepper SALUTE Report in more detail: Size:  Report the number of people, vehicles, barricades, etc. that you observe.  Be as specific as possible.  Report “2 cars and 1 sport utility vehicle each with two occupants,” not “several cars” or “a bunch of people.”  With Size, precision counts…pun intended. Activity:  What activities did you observe?  Be as thorough and as specific as possible.  Good examples include “manning a barricade and stealing from cars...

Building a Bug Out Bag – Part VI, Communications

This entry is part 6 of 11 in the series Building A Full Spectrum Preparedness Bug Out BagIn Building a Bug Out Bag Part I we discussed why building a Bug Out Bag is important and what type of bag to select.  In Part II we discussed the Transportation Items to consider, in Part III we explored Water preparedness, in Part IV we explored Food preparedness, and in Part V we tackled Shelter, Clothing and Protection from the elements for your Bug Out Bag.  Today we’ll discuss Communications preparedness and the communications elements to consider while building a Bug Out Bag.  Remember, this is your last ditch, carry on your back, walk away from trouble Bug Out Bag…not what you hope you can get to your bug out location if your car, SUV, or DUKW makes it. Communications Preparedness: Communications preparedness for your Bug Out Bag is about more than just reception and transmission but those are two key elements.  Listed below are a number of ways that you can stay better informed about what’s going on in the world as you bug out as well as reach out and make contact with family members, members of your group and others.  Note:  A number of these options require spare batteries…plan accordingly. Communications Plan:   If your family has established a communications plan then carry a waterproof copy.  Make sure it includes the contact information for key family and friends at the bug out location or out of state.  Don’t trust that you’ll be able to get numbers, e-mail and addresses out of your cellphone.  Here’s an article introducing a VERY BASIC Communications Plan. Cellphone:  Don’t count on it working…but you never know.  Sometimes cell service works when landlines don’t and vice versa.  I’ve got a little portable Solar Cell that will charge my cellphone on the run but I also...

Ham Radio Cheat Sheet

I’m not a licensed Ham (amateur radio operator)…at least not yet.  However, I am familiar with radio procedures from my military experience and radio theory from my time as a Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) Officer.  I found this Infographic from OffGridSurvival to be a great refresher.  Learn more about the licensing process at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) website. FacebookPinterestGoogleRedditTwitterTumblrEmailPrintPocketMoreLinkedInLike this:Like...

Preparedness Alert Code – Alas Babylon

If you’re a military veteran or a fan of the book Alas Babylon you’re likely already familiar with the term or at least the concept of an ‘Alert Code.’  Simply put, an Alert Code is a trigger to move from peacetime, business-as-usual to deployment for war (in a military context) or survival mode in the case of a preparedness alert code. In the military an alert code is an unclassified, ‘for official use only’ phrase that tells the service member to grab designated items, a deployment bag for example, and report to the unit for deployment within a set number of hours (or minutes).  There are usually two types of alert codes, the real alert code and a practice code for ‘exercising’ an alert roster to make sure that the roster is accurate and sometimes perform a dry run of selected actions. If you’re familiar with the alert code concept from Pat Frank’s (pen name used by Harry Hart Frank) 1959 novel, Alas Babylon you may recall that the name of the book was taken from the alert code that Colonel Mark Bragg, a U.S. Air Force STRATCOM Intelligence Officer worked out with his brother, Randy so that Randy would know that nuclear war was imminent. Why Establish a Preparedness Alert Code There are a number of reasons to establish a preparedness alert code and none of them have anything to do with skirting government censors as I can imagine Frank’s character, Colonel Mark Bragg intended. Initiate Action:  Establish a preparedness to set actions in motion.  Perhaps a child in college grabs their get home bag and returns home immediately to beat the anticipated mad rush.  Perhaps the family secures their bug out bags and rapidly moves to a previously identified location, hopefully surrounded by friends and family.  Perhaps everyone just returns home and begins security procedures. Initiate the...

News to Know

Situational awareness is a key element of survival and today, situational awareness must be global.  Today we present news to know from the past week with a dab of commentary: Security Threat News: DHS Admits It Is Unprepared for EMP Threat:  The Department of Homeland Security says that our electrical grid is even more vulnerable to an Electromagnetic Pulse attack than we were a few years ago. Al-Qaeda blamed for Europe-wide forest fires:  If true, Al-Qaeda has found an extremely efficient and low risk way damage Western society. ‘Killing Is The Solution,’ Gang Member Tells Walter Jacobson:  A disturbing look inside the thought process of a street gang member.  Give some thought to what’s between your family and people like this…then take appropriate steps. Communication News: Britain in talks on cybersecurity hotline with China and Russia:  In all the old movies the nuclear hotline phones are red…what color will the cyberhotline phone be…hope it’s not an IP phone. Financial News: Dollar Falls Most Since 2011 as Central Banks Bump Up Stimulus:  Bumped up stimulus means bumpy road ahead…look for ways to hedge against inflation. Drunk broker boosted oil prices for eight months in 2009:  Key phrase “The global barrel price went from $71.40 to $73.05, as Perkins bid higher and higher…”  Automation and centralization adds convenience and efficiencies at the expense of resilience. Nature’s Fury in the News: The 10 Costliest Natural Disasters:  Interesting article from Prepography advertiser The Ready Store. The Drums of War Israelis are prepared — or not — for an Iran attack:  Keep an eye on the middle east… the stakes are high with Israel convinced that 1.) an Iranian Nuke is just months away and 2.) an Iranian Nuke means a nuclear attack on Israel. Turkey PM’s office says Turkish artillery fired on Syria after shelling of Turkish town:  Just one of a number of...

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