Andrew’s Note: When I was a kid I always carried a bandana…maybe it’s time to start again. Looks like these guys who built the 60 Bandana Uses Infographic aren’t around on the internet anymore so there’s no link back to the source website.
Andrew’s Note: A few years ago I took a group of kids out to the woods, broke them down into several groups and challenged them to build a campfire. I had a prize waiting for the first group to successfully start their campfire…it was a very long wait. Knowing how to build a campfire was skill nearly every child learned when I was a kid…not so anymore. This is a critically important skill that’s key to protecting yourself from the elements in cold weather…pass it on.
Preparation through education is less costly than learning through tragedy.
Max Mayfield, Director National Hurricane Center
This article will provide a brief introduction to Risk Management for Preparedness, but it’s techniques can be applied to every aspect of your life.
We each do Risk Management every day of our lives, often without even being consciously aware of the process. Some examples of day-to-day Risk Management are:
The above are some examples of informal Risk Management. Risk Management can also be performed as a deliberate process. The deliberate process is better suited to riskier, more complex activities and operations and is a relatively easy process to learn if you take the time to practice it. In this article I’m going to discuss the U.S. Army’s way of doing Risk Management but simplify it a little and show you how this process can aid you in your preparedness planning and execution.
Note: For those of you familiar with the Army’s Composite Risk Management Process (CRM) I’ve modified the model to better support preparedness planning and survival situations. Also, I’m going to stop short of discussing the CRM Matrix. If there’s enough interest in this topic I’ll do a more advanced article explaining the use of that tool and perhaps tailoring a Risk Matrix specifically to help Prepography readers focus their preparedness efforts and keep safe in disasters, post collapse or survival situations.
As mentioned above the U.S. Army calls their program Composite Risk Management and applies the process to every operation and activity. The Army describes Composite Risk Management as “a decision-making process used to mitigate risks associated with all hazards that have the potential to injure or kill personnel, damage or destroy equipment, or otherwise impact mission effectiveness.”
As a prepper you can use this same tool, apply this same process to your preparedness efforts. This process can help the prepper with decisions as simple as deciding what type of backup heating to install in your home or to a decision as big and complex as deciding how long of a time period you need to prepare your family for. Continue reading
Here’s something that doesn’t weigh a thing to add to your Get Home Bag or Bug Out Bag… a little knowledge about how to build a Dakota Fire Pit. While a fireless camp is the least likely to be observed there may be times when a fire is absolutely necessary…water purification by boiling (when you have no other methods available) or to avoid hypothermia are two possibilities that come to mind. Such situations call for a Dakota Fire Pit also known as the Dakota Fire Hole… the next most clandestine camp to a fireless camp.
Essentially the Dakota Fire Pit is a fire pit with a separate tunnel built to supply airflow directly to the fuel. By keeping the fire below ground you reduce the light signature of the fire significantly and are able to get by with a much smaller fire than you would need above ground to accomplish the same cooking tasks.
Here are some additional hints to make your Dakota Fire Hole easier to build and less likely to be seen: Continue reading
Prepography reader BlueShark recently wrote me to ask what an EMP is. What follows is a very brief introduction to EMP and here’s a hint…it’s not the name of the latest rap star to make it big.
Simply put an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) is an immense charge of electricity created by a nuclear detonation exploding just above the earth’s atmosphere. This electrical pulse will have an effect similar to a lightning strike on all electronics within a line of sight (LOS) that are not specifically shielded from EMP. A single weapon high detonated high enough above the Earth would have LOS to most of the continental U.S. and two weapons launchable from container ships off our shores (Atlantic & Pacific) could easily create an EMP big enough to cover the continental U.S. as well as sizable portions of Canada and Mexico. Think of an EMP as a single event that could send the entire U.S. over a hundred years into our past…no electricity (except batteries), no electronics, no modern communications, possibly (almost) no motorized transportation.
Andrew’s Note: Today we return to our crystal ball…or at least the closest thing that the Department of Defense (DOD) has to it…namely the Joint Operating Environment (JOE) 2010. The JOE is the DOD’s keystone document used to project the world in which it will operate up to 25 years into the future. As I’ve mentioned previously, it’s a sobering read for the prepper and likely to turn the non-prepper into one. Read on to learn what the Department of Defense thinks about our Cyber future, the Cyber Threat and Cybersecurity (highlights are emphasis I added):
The pace of technological change is accelerating exponentially. If the pace of technological advancement continues, greater change will occur over the next twenty years than occurred in the whole of the Twentieth century. The key will be the use to which these technologies are put. In many ways the world of 2030 could appear nearly as strange to us today as the world of 2000 would have to an observer from 1900.
The advances in communication and information technologies will significantly improve the capabilities of the Joint Force. Global information networks enabled by wireless and broadband technologies will link deployed forces to supporting assets at home. Deployed forces will be able routinely to access analysis, research, computation and planning capabilities located outside the theater. Joint forces will conduct globally-ranging cyber warfare, either as independent operations or in support of deployed units, manipulating or overwhelming adversary systems. The creation of virtual models of potential operational areas will allow the Joint Force to train and plan for those environments. Much as flight simulators allow pilots to refine flight skills, immersive training environments could allow future joint forces to practice key operational tasks.
Cyberspace permeates nearly every aspect of societies from personal computers and cell phones to networked transportation and inventory systems. Our society’s very way of life has come to depend fundamentally on the use of cyberspace. In much the same way that we depend on our highways and the oceans, we rely on networks pieced together through the electromagnetic spectrum to conduct business, purchase goods, entertain ourselves, and run our basic utilities. Our ability to maneuver freely in cyberspace amplifies all instruments of national power. In fact, our ability to maneuver in cyberspace is an emerging instrument of power itself.
Many of those same advances also will be available to America’s opponents, who will use them to attack, degrade, and disrupt communications and the flow of information. It is also essential that the Joint Force be capable of functioning in a hostile information environment, so as not to create an Achilles’ heel by becoming too network dependent. Continue reading
Andrew’s Note: Today’s article is on the creating an Intellectual Prepper Paradigm and having the intellectual honesty to face your own blind spots so that you can think clearly and take care of yourself and your family.
At a dinner with my daughters a few years ago I posed a question to them to assess their knowledge of the world, their education and world outlook…I already knew how intelligent they are. The question I asked them is:
Are all cultures equally valid? Continue reading
While I’m kind of partial to Prepography…there are a number of other preparedness related websites out there worth checking out as well. Here are my current Top 10 Favorite Preparedness Websites:
September is Preparedness Month. Here are 10 headlines from the past few days on diverse topics to help keep you focused on your prepping:
Northern Hemisphere. Point hour hand at the sun: South is halfway between the hour hand and 12 o’clock position.
Southern Hemisphere. Point the 12 o’clock position on your watch at the sun. North is halfway between the 12 o’clock position and the hour hand
Note: Digital watches. Visualize a clock face on the watch.
Preparedness discussions often seem to devolve into what another preparedness writer describes as “beans, bullets & bandaids”…the ‘stuff’ of preparedness. However, your most important preparedness resources are the knowledge, skills, readiness and the confidence you develop as you become more self-reliant. You can enhance and develop these traits without spending any money if you are a little creative and put your mind to it.
The Top 10 Free Steps to Preparedness are: