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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Whirlwind of a Month

I apologize for lack of posting. This month has been flying by with multitudes of activities and problems. One of which was my computer. I sit around sometimes and imagine it air born from the window.
This weekend we had a little bit of a teaser of warmer weather only to go back to wet and cold. I have the garden planned out for the most part and finally broke down and bought four blueberry bushes to go along the north fence in the bed I hate to garden in. I can't say that the winter hasn't been useful. It made me realize the holes I have in being prepared, we learned how to make cheese and let me tell you only a prepper would be making cheese on New Years Eve lol. It has also reinforced my resolve to prep on and double my efforts. Why more now? Taxes. Hope you have all been watching the news. I would be doing it any way considering taxes have been going up, my house for instance, over the last three or more years you would think my slab was paved with gold, but I will digress. I don't want to pay taxes for anything that I can provide for my home and family and that comes mostly in the way of food. We may or may not use a neighbors plot for additional garden space, still weighing the pros and cons on that one, but I think with succession planting I can double my efforts. I also hope to use planters and such to add even more. A pressure canner would help with more canned food variety and I hope to have one right after everything gets put into the ground. So, what are your plans? Even though it doesn't seem like it right now, spring will be here before you know it!
Good things to come:


Monday, February 15, 2010

Waiting For Spring

This past Friday the powers that be closed down the schools for "in climate" weather. I guess they didn't want to use the S word but it was a snow day. Probably the first snow day in my 13 years living in the south. We had sleet mixed with rain and some fat snow flakes mixed with rain. Enough to flood the yard. As I trudged through the yard and cleared the back drains it hit me, normally this would have been the time of year I get excited. Time to plant soon! I would have normally scoured the seed catalogues which at this time come once or twice a week, seeds would have been ordered in January and I would have had seedlings in trays. Too many, of course, and I would be giving plants away the first week of March to neighbors. Talk about letting winter get the best of me! Poor Will's Almanac said something about the 15th being the last worry of frost for most of the region.... we'll see, it sure is cold out there. My cabbage is still growing strong and today would be the perfect day to plan out what I will plant, when will be another matter but maybe I will have a hand at succession planting. I did that with the peppers last year. Soon this long, cold, record breaking winter will be behind us so for the next few days I will have this image dancing in my head:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A conversation with a new prepper

An excellent post from Tim for new & 'old' preppers alike. Tim was on James T. Stevens Family Preparedness Guide Blog Talk Radio with Tom Martin (founder of the American Preppers Network) and I last evening. You can listen to the podcast here.

Sorry it has taken so long to write this post, the reserves and life have kept me running.  I recently had to travel to South Carolina do my reserve duty.  While waiting for a briefing to begin I overheard one of the people in my squadron talking about a new hand gun he had purchased.  I then heard him talking about long term storage food which really got my ears up.  I joined the conversation and realized that this person had started prepping and was trying to get his long time friend on board.  I let him know that I too was a prepper and inquired how long he had been prepping.  

This article is some of my observations and thoughts on what transpired.  For this article I will refer to the person that I had the conversation with as Joe.  Joe is a highly educated officer in the USAF reserves; he is also an airline pilot.  He has been through the basic military survival school, and is an avid outdoorsman.  He lives in a major southeastern city in a subdivision.  I learned that he had been “prepping” for about nine months.   I asked him what he had done so far to get his family prepared.  What he told me next I have heard before.  It seems that I have had many conversations like this over the past couple of years and they always seem to go the same way.

The first thing that Joe told me about was his primary battle rifle that he had bought, and the ammo that he had to go with it.  Next he rattled down the list of the other fire arms he had purchased, it read like he used one of the postings from a survival website as a shopping list.  All of the guns that Joe purchased were the top of the line best that money can buy loaded with the fanciest gadgets that can be attached to them.  I hope that the guy at the dealer had a good Christmas, because Joe spent more money than I make in a month.  I to have guns and believe in keeping them, but you need the skills to go with them. 

The next thing that he talked about is the cases and cases of survival food he had purchased.  He had all the best MRE’s and freeze dried food you can think of.  He had spent another small fortune on these. Now some will say I am just jealous that he had the money to do this and I don’t, I’m not.  I am glad that there is one more person out there that I don’t have to feed if things go bad.  Where the conversation went from here is what I want to get out to as many preppers as possible.

Right now there are hundreds of thousand of people that are waking up to the fact that there is freedom and power in being able to take care of yourself and family.  I went through it myself.  There is almost a pattern to the process. It usually goes like this.  First is the realization that our society is fragile.  This brings fear and anxiety knowing that you aren’t prepared.   In this phase most people go out and spend money.  In this phase people don’t have a direction; they just know that they need to do something.  Most people go to the web looking for information.  There are many great sites out there, like this one, but there are three times as many that are either trying to get attention through scare tactics or sell the latest survival gadget.  Joe stumbled across one of these sites and thought that he wouldn’t be prepared until he had the money to buy all the cool stuff.

I then started leading the conversation in a way that I thought would help Joe relieve some of his stress.  I wanted him to realize that it wasn’t just the things that he bought, but his skills to work through a problem.  I started asking some questions that I hope would make him think.  The first question I asked was what he was preparing for, now I know this is a simple question but it is one that we all need to ask ourselves.  If you are getting ready for the end of the world as we know it than the things that you do are different than if you are just trying to be ready for the next winter storm.  If you are getting ready for civil unrest you do some things different than if you are preparing for bad economic times.  It is up to each person as to what they believe.

After realizing that Joe was like most of us and wanted to be ready for just about all events that might come, it was time to change his thinking.  I feel that prepping is not just what you have at your bunker; it’s a mindset that you have to enter into.  It should change the way that you look at every day situations.  The next question I asked was what his plans were if something was to happen right where we were, he was three hundred and fifty miles from his family.  I asked him how long it would take him to walk home if there was no gas.  His answer was pretty typical; he said that he could do it in three or four days.  Most people that are in shape can walk about thirty miles a day if conditions are good.  He hadn’t thought about this.  Next I asked what equipment he had with him to make a ten to twelve day trek on foot.  He had nothing.  I asked him if he had thought about a bug out bag to keep with him when he traveled, he informed me that he had planned to buy one that he had seen on the net for sale, he even showed it to me on his smart phone.  This BOB was being offered by one of the online retailers for $625.  It had the neatest gismos and gadgets; it had 72 hours of food for four people, it was quite slick.  I then asked if he trusted the stuff in that bag.  He told me that he did because it was offered by this great survival guru.  I asked if he had added up the cost of the things in that bag and compared getting everything separate.  Later that day I added it up, and could have bought it all plus some for just under $325.  This also brings me to another point.  Those of us that have been doing this for a while have a responsibility to help the new preppers.  We have been through these trials and errors and know the best deals on the things that we need.

Next I asked Joe what his plans were if the situation that he prepared for lasted longer than his food or if his extended family showed up on his door step.  Our conversation lasted about three hours and we talked the gambit of prepping topics.  It appeared that Joe walked away with a little better outlook on where he was, and where he needed to go.

For most that read this site this stuff is old hat, but there are many out there that are just realizing that they are not prepared.  For those people I would like to give this advice.  There is so much info on the web and in great books that it can be daunting.  Just realize that there are many people that make their living selling survival products, look at what there motives are, if they have found that people will through money at there fears than they are probably not the person that you want to deal with, but if they are someone that has a heart to help then they probably are offering a great resource.

For the Prepper that has been doing this I charge you to step up to the plate and teach.  Teach what you know to people that are just getting started.  Let people know about your mistakes so that they might not repeat them.  If you find a great deal let people know about it.  For every person that we get just a little bit better prepared that is one more person that might not be a burden on the rest of us. 

Tim

Signs of Spring

 

Maybe it's just wishful thinking but I am noticing the throats of the male goldfinches are getting more yellow (getting pumped up for dating season), and that there's a faint redish & brownish tinge to the trees.

In other news

INITIALLY PRECIPITATION LOOKS TO START AS A MIX OF LIGHT RAIN AND SLEET FROM LATE THURSDAY AFTERNOON INTO EARLY EVENING BEFORE CHANGING TO ALL SNOW. WHILE THE DETAILS ON WHERE AND HOW MUCH SNOW WILL FALL CONTINUE TO BE DETERMINED.CONFIDENCE IS INCREASING THAT THE MOST LIKELY AREAS FOR SNOW ACCUMULATION WILL BE ALONG AND SOUTH OF I-20. LATEST INDICATIONS CONTINUE TO SUGGESTS THAT SOME PART OF THE SOUTHERN FORECAST AREA MAY SEE AMOUNTS UP TO 2 TO 4 INCHES. EVERYONE IS URGED TO STAY UP TO DATE ON THE LATEST FORECAST AND OUTLOOKS CONCERNING THIS POTENTIAL HEAVY SNOW EVENT.

Monday, February 8, 2010

This week: 2-4" snow possible

I would dearly like to think the folks at National Weather have made a mistake, wouldn't you?

HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE JACKSON MS
550 AM CST MON FEB 8 2010

ARZ074-075-LAZ007>009-015-016-023>026-MSZ018-019-025>066-072>074-
091200-
ASHLEY-CHICOT-MOREHOUSE-WEST CARROLL-EAST CARROLL-RICHLAND-
MADISON LA-FRANKLIN LA-CATAHOULA-TENSAS-CONCORDIA-BOLIVAR-
SUNFLOWER-LEFLORE-GRENADA-CARROLL-MONTGOMERY-WEBSTER-CLAY-LOWNDES-
CHOCTAW-OKTIBBEHA-WASHINGTON-HUMPHREYS-HOLMES-ATTALA-WINSTON-
NOXUBEE-ISSAQUENA-SHARKEY-YAZOO-MADISON MS-LEAKE-NESHOBA-KEMPER-
WARREN-HINDS-RANKIN-SCOTT-NEWTON-LAUDERDALE-CLAIBORNE-COPIAH-
SIMPSON-SMITH-JASPER-CLARKE-JEFFERSON-ADAMS-FRANKLIN MS-LINCOLN-
LAWRENCE-JEFFERSON DAVIS-COVINGTON-JONES-MARION-LAMAR-FORREST-
550 AM CST MON FEB 8 2010

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR CENTRAL MISSISSIPPI...
NORTHEAST LOUISIANA...AND EXTREME SOUTHEAST ARKANSAS.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT

NO HAZARDOUS WEATHER IS EXPECTED.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...TUESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY

NORTHWEST WINDS OF 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 35 MPH WILL AFFECT THE
REGION ON TUESDAY. A LAKE WIND ADVISORY WILL BE REQUIRED FOR MUCH OF
THE REGION ON TUESDAY...AND A WIND ADVISORY COULD BECOME NECESSARY
FOR THE LARGER LAKES. THESE WINDS WILL FOLLOW A STRONG COLD FRONT
THAT WILL MOVE ACROSS THE REGION TONIGHT. THE WINDS WILL COMBINE WITH
QUICKLY FALLING TEMPERATURES ON TUESDAY TO RESULT IN WIND CHILL
READINGS IN THE TEENS NORTH OF INTERSTATE 20...WITH WIND CHILL
READINGS IN THE 20S FURTHER TO THE SOUTH.

SNOWFALL ACCUMULATION IS EXPECTED ACROSS THE AREA THURSDAY NIGHT
INTO THE FIRST PART OF FRIDAY
AS AN UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCE AND GULF
LOW COMBINE TO BRING WINTRY WEATHER TO THE REGION. WHILE THE DETAILS
ON WHERE AND HOW MUCH SNOW WILL FALL IS NOT KNOWN...CONFIDENCE IS
INCREASING THAT SNOW ACCUMULATION WILL OCCUR AND THAT SOME PART OF
THE FORECAST AREA MAY SEE UP TO 2 TO 4 INCHES. EVERYONE IS URGED TO
STAY UP TO DATE ON THE LATEST FORECAST AND OUTLOOKS CONCERNING THIS
POTENTIAL HEAVY SNOW EVENT

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Saints!



Just taking the time to ask...Who dat? Geaux Saints!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Spam and Comments

If you have tried to post lately, you might notice I have the keyword box up. Now that the Network has grown in popularity we have become a spam magnet. This is going to be addressed on the main APN board as well and if you respond to posts older than 14 days it will be moderated so it's not going to show right away. I am sorry for this because I don't like having to type in the decipher for those wavy words any more than you do, but unfortunately it is a necessary evil now. Please don't let that discourage you from commenting. I love hearing from you.
Mississippi Preppers Network Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. Mississippi Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.