Practical Prepping Blog

Preparations for a very uncertain future. . .

Memorial Day 2010

Take some time today to remember in your prayers those whose blood has purchased our freedom.

Be safe.   Be Prepared.   Be Grateful.

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May 31, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

No Man Is An Island – Know Your Neighbors

The other day, while mowing the grass in my backyard, I watched my neighbor, Dave, who lives two doors north of me start building the fence along the back of his property he had been threatening to build for a few years now.  I admired his skill as I dutifully lead my mower up and back across my backyard grass and had to smile when I noticed he was building the wooden fence with eight-foot slats rather than the more conventional six foot variety.  Knowing Dave as I do, the additional height had a lot less to do with privacy than security.  After I finished the lawn and had a quick dip in the pool, I went over to Dave’s house to get a closer look at the fence, talk about the upcoming hurricane season and chat about how ‘ready’ we were if we we hit by a storm this year.  That’s when he told me that it wasn’t the weather-type storm he was worried about this year.  We both agreed that an economic storm was at least as likely to occur, then agreed that we would be there for each other if the financial SHTF.

Dave is a an Army vet.  He was a motor pool mechanic and welder in an Army base in Germany during the cold war and can fix anything that rolls (or doesn’t).  I not-so-jokingly refer to him as my ‘Left Flank ‘ and bought him 2 boxes of .30 cal for his M-1 carbine last Christmas to bolster his ammo cache.  How did I know he was a vet, and had an M-1 carbine, and was a ‘prepper’ like me?  I asked.  And that, dear reader, is the point of this blog post.

If things go south and, God forbid, we are forced to protect our families and possessions from those who wish us harm, your chances of success are greatly multiplied if you team-up with like minded neighbors willing to share the watch/patrol responsibilities.  But that cannot happen unless you first get to know enough of your neighbors and are lucky enough to have a few who have the foresight to see the wisdom in teaming-up with you.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I got to meet a lot of my neighbors that I had only previously just waved at, at a Christmas party I threw a few years back.   My wife and I opened our house to our neighbors by inviting them to bring a dish to a very informal party.  We had a great time, got to really  talk with several neighbors for the first time.  It was at that party that I discovered 4 other men on our block that were, to varying degrees, preppers and, shall we say, believers in the second amendment.

With summer coming, allow me to suggest that you hold a block BBQ or 4th of July party for your neighbors with an eye towards making connections necessary to organize like-minded neighbors, or, at the very least, to identify others on your block who own guns or like to shoot or visit the same blogs that you do.  It will be worth the time and expense incurred if you can connect up with a few people on your block if things get bad.

Be Safe.  Be Prepared.

May 29, 2010 Posted by | General, Security and Situational Awareness | | Leave a comment

Taurus PT709 Slim Update: Light Strike (FTF) Problem

After over 400 rounds of trouble-free shooting, my Taurus PT709 Slim has developed a FTF (failure to fire) problem.  It started last week when one round out of a box of 50 failed to fire – even after the 2nd strike (remember, Taurus models have the ability to strike the primer again without a cycling of the slide).  I ejected the problematic round and saw that the primer had indeed been struck, but the round failed to fire.  A similar thing happened at the range this morning with three more rounds.  A Work Order has been prepared and the Slim is being sent to Taurus for repair.

This is disappointing news, but I will reserve judgment until the techs at Taurus have a chance to repair the problem.  Naturally, I will keep you posted on the Slim and have another range report when I get it back from Taurus.

And, before you ask, I DID give it a thorough cleaning after every trip to the range.

Be safe.  Be Prepared.

May 16, 2010 Posted by | Firearms | , | 3 Comments

Opinion: A Telling Comment by ‘President’ Soetoro

“With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations — none of which I know how to work — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation.”

Your President believes that information you obtain from the internet is somehow invalid, second-rate, ersatz,  propaganda.  Information gleaned from this blog and countless others is tawdry – somehow not up to the lofty standards of the government approved media sources like MSNBC, the official media organ of the Soetoro administration, and should be discounted.  If it is not proclaimed from Olympus by Robert Gibbs, it is, by inference, false.  Or, at the very least, a distraction from the real information.

Woe to the nation whose ‘leader’ speaks of factual, valid information as opposed to information that is “mere distraction”, for the advent of Approved Information and Approved Information sources might not be far behind.  Followed logically by the criminalization of other sources – like, for example ALL THE OTHER BLOGS YOU READ!

Now this might rightfully be considered as alarmist until you discover that Soetoro’s head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs,  Cass Sunstein published a paper in 2008 where he suggested that for  internet sites that are deemed ‘anti-government’, the Government or ‘teams of covert agents and pseudo- “independent” advocates’ would be justified in instituting ‘covert programs designed to undermine anti-government conspiracy theories, discredit government critics, and increase faith in government pronouncements.’

Keep a wary eye on this administration vis-s-vis internet regulation and the demonization of dissent.  I see an Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth‘ in the not too distant future.

May 10, 2010 Posted by | My Opinion | Leave a comment

This Is Why We Prep.

This is not fear mongering.  This is not sensationalism.  This is what could be coming to a neighborhood near you sooner than you think.  The photo of the policeman standing on a rock-strewn street was taken in the aftermath of a riot in Greece yesterday.  The riot was over severe austerity measures imposed by the teetering Greek government in a futile attempt to bar the barn door long after the horses have escaped.  This scene will doubtless be replayed all during the summer, first in the PIIGS countries (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain) like some economy-based remake of the movie,  Groundhog Day, then will spread to other EU countries, most notably Britain, whose economic situation is only slightly less dire than that of Greece, as the house of economic cards comes tumbling down worldwide.

Believing that this cannot happen here in America is folly and dangerous fantasy.  Dangerous for you and your family.  For during such times it is highly likely that food deliveries, electrical power, and even the delivery of clean drinking water may be interrupted or cut off completely.  Preparing for this and other eventualities is what this blog is all about.  While we may pray that we never have to utilize our preps during a countrywide crisis such as that facing Greece today, we prepare nonetheless on the off-chance that it will.  Prepping does not make you a ‘doomer’ or somehow reveal a secret desire on your part that you actually want the S to HTF.  Quite the contrary, it shows you as someone who is willing to prepare for and face the future – whatever it may hold – good or bad.  Prepping is what a responsible person does for the ones he loves.  Do it with pride.  Do it with some haste.

Be Safe.  Be Prepared.

May 6, 2010 Posted by | My Opinion | Leave a comment

Copper, Lead, Brass and Silver – Precious Metals for Precarious Times

Part of my Precious Metal 'Portfolio'.

Kind of a tongue-in-cheek title,  I do admit… but not completely.  You seasoned preppers out there may already know these facts, so this post is directed more at the beginning prepper.  We were all there once and can remember the day that it struck us – that haunting realization of the fragility of our comfortable, technology-dependent lifestyles.  Many readers have just experienced that epiphany, or are about to, and that is the purpose of the Practical Prepper Blog.  Specifically though, the purpose of this particular post is to make sure that beginning preppers don’t forget the aforementioned ‘Precious Metals, in their preparations.

The first PMs I want to discuss are the kind that are used firearms – the brass, lead, and copper kind.  Simply put, a set of disaster plans that does not include at least one firearm for personal and family protection is folly,  (My next post will be on the subject of firearms for family protection.) and firearms need ammunition.  Here are three reasons I believe you should include copper, lead and brass in your PM ‘portfolio’.

1.  Ammunition is still scarce and still very expensive.

Hmmm….scarce and expensive -sounds like Precious Metals to me, eh?  And seeing as to how, with the wars still raging on Iraq and Afghanistan (and others on the horizon), it’s not going to get any more plentiful or cheaper for the foreseeable future, the time to start stocking up is now.  Notice I said ‘start’ stocking up, not run out and buy 3000 rounds of 9mm or sell the car and buy several palates of Russian military surplus ammunition tomorrow morning.  Your purchase of ammo should be like that of your food items – that is to say, purchased a little at a time over several months to spread out the cost and minimize the effect on your budget.

How much to buy?  Well, that is up to you, really, but I would suggest having at least a few hundred rounds for each weapon you own as a good place to start.  One trip to the target range to keep your skills sharp will dent that amount considerably, so remember, it’s just a starting point.

2.  When you need it most, you won’t be able to buy it.

The reason you have decided to stock up on food, gasoline and water is because when things begin to go downhill you will not be able to get them, right?  The same goes for ammunition – except more so.  I suspect that if the Shit Hits The Fan, ammo sales are going to be banned immediately in may locations around the country.   Just when you will need it most, it will be unavailable at any price.  You can avoid that unpleasant prospect by beginning to stock up now while it’s still available.  Would you like to be in line at Wal-Mart in the first hectic hours after a disaster occurs fighting over the last box of .223 with seven other desperate people?  I thought not.

3.  Ammo in common calibers is as good as gold for barter purposes.

My wife came home with two cartons of Marlboro cigarettes the other day.  This would not be so unusual except for the fact that neither of us have smoked for at least 25 years!  When I questioned her about it, she said that they would make good barter items if the SHTF – my wife is obviously a Keeper!!!  She was right, of course, and those two cartons of smokes have been vacuum-sealed and put away with the rest of our supplies.  The point here is that having items available for barter is a prudent thing to do and there will be few more valuable items if things go south than a box of ammunition.

One good reason to consider storing more than the minimum of a few hundred rounds per weapon I proposed earlier in this post is so that you may be able to trade some of it for needed items in case paper money has lost its value and is no longer accepted.  I would even suggest, if you have the spare funds, that it would be prudent to even have a few boxes of ammunition in popular calibers for which you do not posses a corresponding weapon.  For example, you may not own a weapon in .308 (too bad…) or .45 ACP, but many, many people do and, again, if you can afford it, having a box of ammo in those calibers or other popular ones would be a good idea.  The decision is yours, of course.  Should you spend that $25 on a box of ammo for someone else’s weapon or on a silver coin?

And that brings me to the other PM mentioned in the title of this post: Silver.

First thing you should know is that I am NOT an expert, or a PM dealer, nor do I play one on TV.  What I’m going to tell you is just my opinion.  I’m just relating what I have chosen to do and why.  I offer the advice not as some pearl of great wisdom, but rather because I know many of you are beginning preppers are still acquiring information before actually beginning your prepping in earnest.  And you’d like to know what others are doing and why.

With the disclaimer out of the way, let me offer my two-cents vis a vis buying silver or gold.  I decided several years ago to buy a little silver every paycheck or so when I can afford to do so. Now I’m talking about actual silver coins NOT a piece of paper telling me that I own the metal.  The reason I do this is my reason number one for buying the actual metal:

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May 3, 2010 Posted by | Firearms, General | 4 Comments

   

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