Safecastle | One Shop For All Emergency Essentials: January 2008

Food Storage, Emergency Preparedness, MRE's, Freeze Dried Food, Water Storage, Dehydrated Food, Survival tips

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pakistan is the Front Line

He says he's "not interested" in Pakistan's nukes. Uh, OK then.

More Dangerous Than Osama
Militant Leader Claims He Is Fighting a 'Defensive' Jihad to Destroy the White House


ISLAMABAD, Pakistan Jan. 28, 2008

He is more dangerous to Pakistan than Osama bin Laden, analysts say. He may be the single most important person in Pakistan's fight for its future. And for the first time, he has described the goals and the details of the network of militants responsible for the most violent time in Pakistan in 60 years.

During a 25-minute sit-down with al Jazeera, Baitullah Mehsud, the man Pakistan blames for killing former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, claims he is fighting a "defensive" jihad with the goal to destroy the White House, New York and London.

[snip] Click article title to read on.
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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Cost Analysis on Preparedness Foods

As a part of the work that went into our new calorie-based/budget-options food listings, we did some pretty in-depth research.

We found that the best estimates today, are that Americans spend an average of $2.88 per meal per person.

That's over $3100 a year per person to keep them fed (and in America, that really means, over-fed).

As a percentage of disposable income, food expenditures average between 10% and 11% per household.

How Does that Matter?

For our latest preparedness food packages, we were aiming to put together convenient, good-tasting foods that would not only satisfy nutritional/caloric requirements, but budgetary requirements as well.

Our calorie-based variety packages come in at over 2200 calories a day--not far under the average daily caloric consumption (after spoilage and plate-waste adjustments). Cost-wise, at three meals a day, we are looking at an average of $2.70 per meal in these packages--well under the current budgetary demands Americans are currently putting up with.

Much to Consider

It's important for people to know that a smart food preparedness program accounts for a number of factors:

1. Budget--obviously a key. People want to be sure they do not over-pay for their emergency rations. (With the rapid rise in food prices these days--well-packaged, properly stored emergency food actually appreciates in value with time.)

2. Nutritional value--nutritional value and caloric requirements are often not adequately considered, strangely enough, by those who put food away for a rainy day. If you want to eat like you're used to, you may need to store enough to eat about 2800 calories a day. Americans should have a minimum of 2000 calories a day stored away.

3. Variety, ease of use--perhaps the most important rule of all in food storage--"Store what you eat, eat what you store." In times of stress, it's important you have food that you are familiar with, that you enjoy eating, that you do not have food allergies to. Beans, rice, and wheat serve a purpose in most food storage efforts, as they are cheap and high in caloric value. But if that does not define your diet now, then you should be sure to also have on hand the kinds of foods you DO eat regularly--meats, pastas, stews, etc. And you should be comfortable with how your storage foods need to be prepared. Freeze-dried and dehydrated foods, you need to add water. Staples require more processing and cooking.

4. Shelf life--most foods at your local grocery store are good for months to a couple of years on the shelf. 50-pound bags of staples you might buy locally or online should be stored away in vacuum-sealed buckets to maximize storage life--as long as 10 years for many of those staples if done properly. MREs are good for a few years only, and as with most foods, they are very sensitive to storage conditions. Wet-packed meats, canned cheeses and dairy products canned for storage are often going to be good for 10-15 years. Freeze-dried and dehydrated foods will be good for 15-30 years.

The longer the shelf life and the better the storage conditions (consistently cool and dry are the ideal), the less you will need to rotate and replace the stocks.

Bottom Line

There is much more to a good and effective food-storage program than initial price. If you consider all the factors above for your personal situation before you make your emergency food purchases, you will arrive at THE best value. And THAT is what will result in peace of mind and real security.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

"When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need to Survive When Disaster Strikes"

Safecastle just purchased a quantity of Cody Lundin's new book, "When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need to Survive When Disaster Strikes."

Do you know Cody? Two things: he's an animal! ... but he's an articulate animal!

I wanted to get copies of this uniquely powerful survival manual in the hands of as many of our friends as possible. So here's the deal--new Safecastle Royal members signing up get a FREE copy by entering this coupon code on the payment page of the checkout process: FREEWAHBL (while supplies last).

The book will take 3-4 weeks to arrive.

Established club members--you can of course get in on the deal as well. You can purchase the book (see link above) at the standard 20% member discount (let me know if you need the member discount code again). OR, you can get a free copy with any purchase of more than $150, after your universal member discount is applied. Simply mention the book offer in the comments section in the checkout process and we'll get you your free copy.

Want to know more about the author? Watch the YouTube clip of Cody at the bottom of our listing. (If you are sensitive about language or primitive survival methods, you may not want to play the vid.)

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Personal Reflection on the Times

Seems like all I've been posting here lately is a wide variety of threatening headlines from around the world.

Although there should be no denying the fact that our shrinking globe is getting more dangerous on an almost daily basis, I really want to keep this blog's primary message front and center ...

That is, there is NO reason to freak out. In fact, since you presumably are approaching things properly today, if and when the day ever does arrive when most of your neighbors are running around with their hair on fire, you will have no reason, even then, to lose your cool.

Boiled down, there are two main rationales for household preparedness.

One--it is a very good thing to have in place the supplies, gear, knowledge, and frame of mind to deal with a sudden crisis or disaster. Crises happen. One MAY happen to you, so do you want to be equipped to deal with it if it does? Or do you want to put your family's welfare on the line strung between government competence and local benevolence and community teamwork?

Two--more immediate and universal ... when you are prepared, you invariably feel better and more at peace with your place in the world. Whether hell ever comes a calling or not, you DO have an increased measure of substantive peace of mind, and the only way that is taken from you is if your preps and your pre-positioned learnings and mindset disappear.

Beat the Rush ... Panic Now

Just kidding. But really, if there is anxiety and a sense of urgency out there today ... it is among those who have delayed in putting together their readiness plans and acting on them. It's almost never too late to get started, but plainly, more and more people out there are feeling the urge. That only makes things more difficult if you are in competition with others for limited resources.

Get yours in place before all the emergency-storage food companies are back-ordered. Related gear providers, guns and ammo dealers, and shelter builders to mention a few other resources also can get quickly swamped. It happens in times of national stress--two or three times in the last several years that I recall. And we haven't even really experienced a real national crisis yet in our day. Not the kind that is materially relevant to most everyone in every home.

If that ever does happen (think pandemic, think economic calamity, think coordinated NBC attacks, think outright global warfare), your chances for getting squared away suddenly drop to nil.

Contingency planning is smart. It's logical. We expect it from our government, corporate, and church leaders. But even if they live up to their obligations--there is little overlap with your needed household contingency planning needs.

Get with the program. No one else can do it for you. When you do, you'll be breathing easier.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

H5N1 Gaining Momentum in India

This is a scary example of how important education is in pandemic preparedness. One region where education is lacking COULD come back to haunt all of us.

India faces bird flu 'disaster'
By Sailendra Sil in Kolkata
January 22, 2008 08:12pm

INDIA'S worst ever outbreak of the virulent H5N1 strain of bird flu could turn into a disaster, an official warned, as five people were reportedly quarantined with symptoms of the virus.
Eight districts in the eastern state of West Bengal have been hit by the virus, with dead birds being sold to locals who are said to be "feasting" on cheap chicken.

The state's animal resources minister, Anisur Rahaman, said authorities were "determined to cull all poultry in the districts in three or four days, otherwise the state will face a disaster".
More than 100,000 bird deaths have been reported, and teams are racing to cull two million chickens and ducks.

The Times of India reported five people in West Bengal have been quarantined with "clinical symptoms" of avian flu - including fever, coughing, sore throats and muscle aches - after handling affected poultry.

If the tests are positive for H5N1, this will be the first case of human infection in India, home to 1.1 billion people and hit by bird flu among poultry three times since 2006.

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NATO Needs Preemptive Nuclear Strike Option

Things just keep getting "interestinger" and "interestinger."
Ian Traynor in Brussels
Tuesday January 22, 2008
The west must be ready to resort to a pre-emptive nuclear attack to try to halt the "imminent" spread of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, according to a radical manifesto for a new Nato by five of the west's most senior military officers and strategists.

Calling for root-and-branch reform of Nato and a new pact drawing the US, Nato and the European Union together in a "grand strategy" to tackle the challenges of an increasingly brutal world, the former armed forces chiefs from the US, Britain, Germany, France and the Netherlands insist that a "first strike" nuclear option remains an "indispensable instrument" since there is "simply no realistic prospect of a nuclear-free world".
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Monday, January 21, 2008

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Russia Entitled to Use Nukes Preemptively

Never hurts to be reminded that Perestroika, Glasnost, the end of the Cold War and the beginning of a new age of global harmony were but a mirage ...

MOSCOW. Jan 19 (Interfax-AVN) - To protect its national security, Russia feels entitled to use any methods, including nuclear weapons, said Russian armed forces chief of staff Gen. Yury Baluyevsky.

"We are not going to attack anyone, but we believe all our partners in the international community should understand clearly and have no doubts that, in order to protect its and its allies' sovereignty and territorial integrity, Russia will use its armed forces, including nuclear weapons, and it can do it preemptively," Baluyevsky said at a scientific conference in Moscow.
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Friday, January 18, 2008

Prep Like You Mean It!

At Safecastle, we've been working very hard for a good long while to pull together the best possible, comprehensive food packages we could arrange.

It feels great to have pulled it off, and to be able to now offer our buyers club members package deals that are really the first of their kind, to our knowledge.

In a Nutshell

The linked page lists a couple of brand new 6-module food packages that are by far the best deals we've ever offered in the area of prep food. (And you know that we offer the best deals out there to begin with.)

These two packages are calorie based, aimed at providing delicious, well-balanced storage foods that will provide all of what is needed to remain healthy and strong through periods of about 8 months and 12 months (over 2200 calories a day for those periods of time).

Just as important as the premier quality of the products in the packages, the 6 modules that make up each of these packages are paid for and delivered according to a schedule of your choosing, making them economical for most anyone out there, and totally fool-proof.

Bottom line--based on 2000 calories a day, these packages keep a person well-fed for less than $2.70 per meal. Consider that this food is money in the bank at that price, with the various product shelf lives averaging decades!

Given the continuing rise in food prices, these packages make sense every which way you look at them.

Please note that these listings are specially priced and posted for buyers club members only. No discount coupons apply, as they are already priced as low as they go. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Still need to join the club? It's a one-time fee of $19. Get it done right here.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Lou Dobbs for President?

Now this IS interesting ...

Prepare in Order to Find Peace of Mind

A thank you to Lauren, an author who mentioned this to me yesterday during an interview we did in preparation for her book project.

Note that the general topic in the article below is fear vs. physical health. We always emphasize that folks need to prepare for threats out there in a logical, systematic way, and that the greatest benefit is not necessarily readiness, but peace of mind. Do it to ease your anxieties. If you can make that work for you, then you are in a very good place.

Living in Fear and Paying a High Cost in Heart Risk
Published: January 15, 2008


“The fear response causes the heart to pump harder and faster, the nerves to fire more quickly,” Dr. Siegel said. “Excess triggering of this system of response causes the organs to wear down. For a person who is always on the alert, the result is a burned out body.”

It’s not fair to blame public officials alone for this fear epidemic. We in the news media have done our part to scare people. (More on how the “terrorism industry” distorts risks can be found at But since there hasn’t been an attack in America for six years, for domestic drama we’ve had to rely on dire predictions of politicians and security officials.

What if the alerts stopped? What if the security officials looked at this new medical evidence — or at their own perfect record of false alarms — and decided that the nation did not need to be in a perpetual state of yellow alert? What if they even decided that Americans could survive without any color at all?

I guess that’s a hopeless fantasy. No politician wants to be blamed for failing to anticipate a terrorist attack. No bureaucrats willingly abandon a system that keeps them employed.
But maybe these officials could be induced to take one more precaution. The next time they raise the threat level to orange or red, they could add, “Warning: Heeding this alert may be hazardous to your health.”

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Foods Prices Continuing Upward Climb

Not that you necessarily have the wiggle room in your household budget, but it looks like you'd better plan to allocate more and more money to food expenditures.

Please click on the title below to view the article. There are many significant factors that point toward higher prices near term and beyond. (I'd be remiss if I did not point out the logic in this kind of market in locking in today's prices with long-term storage food.)

‘Panic Buying’ in the Grain Markets
Agriculture Sector Developments
by Joseph Dancy, LSGI Advisors, Inc. January 4, 2008


In summary, we have record low grain inventories globally as we move into a new crop year. We have demand growing strongly. Which means that going forward even small crop failures are going to drive grain prices to record levels.
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Busy Times on the Ramparts and in the Tower

Safecastle is swarming with activity these days.

Membership continues to grow in our buyers club, and that's no surprise with the way things are going around the world. Not to mention the serious uptick in shelter purchases by folks who see the lengthening shadows.

But we've also got a few key initiatives keeping the lights on into the late night hours here.

One, we're reaching out into several major social networking sites on the web, taking our preparedness message and opportunities to whole new groups of people. It's interesting to "climb out of our bunker" to see what the world is up to at places such as Facebook and Second Life, to name just a couple. We'll have more to report on that in the future.

Two, we're in the middle of building a whole new webstore for our buyers club members that will be more intuitive and easier to shop. Needless to say, we're excited about that. We plan to be launching that baby in two to three weeks.

Three, perhaps most exciting for our customers ... we're almost ready to offer a first-ever program for food prepping that will knock your socks off. Can't say more than that at this point, but we will be going BIG with this deal.

Stay SAFE!

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Looks very much like a dry run ... testing our ships' response ... how close they could get, etc.

Shape Of Sugar Molecule Could Be All That Is Stopping Bird Flu Pandemic

Hmmm ...


US scientists have found that the shape of sugar molecules on cell surfaces in the upper respiratory tract determine how easy it is for influenza viruses to infect humans, and suggest that if the deadly strain of H5N1 bird flu were to adapt a way to bind to this shape of sugar molecule it would spread easily from human to human and provoke a world pandemic.


Read article.

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

How the U.S. Seeks to Avert Nuclear Terror

Excellent reading here.

The forensics study is trying to assess how authoritative the U.S. could be in attributing a nuclear device to a particular source and in making its case to the American public and the rest of the world.Davis said it was hoped that nuclear forensics could determine the size of a detonation within one hour; the sophistication of the bomb design within six hours; how the fuel was enriched within 72 hours; and the peculiar details of national design -- "Does this look like a Russian, a Chinese or a Pakistani device, or something we have never seen before?" -- within a week.

What next? That part of the strategy is still evolving. Retaliation is one option that counter-terrorism officials have suggested in congressional testimony. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Pasadena), who has sponsored legislation to increase funding for nuclear forensics, suggested that any policy had to be flexible."

It would be left to the administration in office to determine what the repercussions would be," he said.

Deterrence might depend simply on the perception that the U.S. could respond with a counterstrike. But if nuclear fuel were traced back to Russia, would the U.S. start a nuclear exchange? And what if the nuclear materials came from the U.S.?

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Nuclear Preparedness--What Does that Mean?

We've been putting a focus here lately on the growing threat out there with regard to nuclear proliferation. Nuclear warfare or nuclear terror are clearly among the worst-case scenarios we face in the 21st century.

The Current Terror Threat, Byte-Sized for Easy Consumption

1. Islamic nation Pakistan has nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technology. The moderate government there is in real danger today of falling to radical Muslim forces, including the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

2. Iran's ongoing bold pursuit of nuclear-weapons-producing capability has slipped to page 2, even while the Iranian momentum picks up speed. This should tell you something about the escalating overall danger civilization is facing at this moment in time.

3. It is obvious to most at this point that well-funded terror groups WILL get their hands on nuclear weapons in the near future. How to define "near future?" I hawked my crystal ball shortly after Y2K, so I don't have that answer for you.

Recent History & Political Reality

The world was fortunate that Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) worked as well as it did as a nuclear deterrent through the Cold War years. Today, there is no such solution in reach.

So governments are increasingly going public with programs and appeals to their populations to be aware and to prepare for the day when the nuclear genie escapes once again. The urgency with which that is taking place is largely a measure of proximity to the Middle East or Western Asia. However, even in America, oceans away from the tinderbox, you should be able to detect the civil defense frame of mind re-emerging little by little.

We have to pray that it isn't too little too late.

Figure You Are On Your Own

It may be many years before American sentiment drives government officials to foot the immense bill required to shelter the population from nuclear fallout and/or equip the nation for realistic recovery efforts following a serious nuclear event. In fact, the rebirth of civil defense in the USA likely won't happen until AFTER a radioactive ground zero appears on the map.

So if you hear the rushing wind today, you have to know that you are responsible for taking protective measures for you and your own.

The good news, in a nutshell, nuclear preparedness is simple, as long as you have an understanding and respect for the risks present in nuclear fallout. (Forget surviving a nuclear blast--that may require a lot of luck--or a lot of determination if you prefer to simply move out to the boonies today, away from potential targets).

Your Basic Needs

What does it take to be ready for the post-nuclear America? We sell most everything you need at Safecastle, but I'm not going to go commercial here and provide a bunch of links. I'll just keep it simple to get your thought processes humming. You take it from there.

Note: There are a lot of educational resources out there on the web if you want to become fluent in nuclear survivability. If you are so inclined, that's great. It won't hurt you a bit, as long as you keep a balanced outlook on the world and retain the view that nukes may never fly after all in our lifetime ... Stay positive, while offsetting the possibility of the negative.

1. Shelter--You need to have a living space that is well-shielded from radioactivity that might fall outside. Figure radioactive particles will be on your roof, in your yard, and on anything that is exposed to the elements. The best achievable, cost-effective solution is to strive for at least 30 inches of earthen shielding between your living space and any sources of radioactive fallout.

For most, that means getting underground--in a prepositioned shelter, in an expedient shelter (if you have time to dig one), or in a full basement. Short of being able to depend on a well-buried shelter, you would be well-served to have on hand a supply of sandbags, a couple of shovels, and a source of easy-to-access fill. Those sandbags can be used to shore up your shielding in home, or basement, or even can be used as a key component in building an expedient basement shelter.

If you live or work in a high-rise building, it may be that your best shelter would be had in an interior room in the center of the building, well off the ground and well below the roof.

2. Basic gear--Nuclear targets are going to be strategic in their choosing for either population density, industrial/commercial/government capacity, or all of the above. If you are near ground zero, you will not have to give thought to what happens next. On the other hand, most people will need to deal with the aftermath and struggle with possible exposure to radioactive fallout. In assessing your risk, look upwind (wind directions are not always predictable, so in the preparatory stage, don't just look at where the wind most often comes from). Fallout could come from hundreds of miles away.

At least two things you need here:

a. a radio or other communications receiver so you can monitor what the authorities are advising in terms of fallout danger.
b. some type of radiation meter/detector/dosimeter so you can assess for yourself conditions in your immediate environment.

3. Life-sustaining supplies--Everything you and the other members in your household would need to hole up for at least two weeks. Think water, food, medication and medical supplies, light sources, heat sources if applicable, and entertainment (to keep some level of normality and optimistic outlook in place--especially for the youngsters).

You may not need to stay sheltered for the whole two weeks all day long, depending on the type and level of fallout in your vicinity, but two weeks is a common period most of us use as a benchmark.

4. Faith and courage--Lastly, I would strongly suggest that you are well-armed ... with some effective means of self-defense AND with a means for feeding your faith in heaven. Guns and Bibles ... sounds quaint or maybe downright primitive. But if you think about what it might actually be like, stuck in a shelter for any length of time ... you do not want your fears to get the best of you.

One final note in this simplistic nuclear survival primer ... I did not mention Potassium Iodide or Potassium Iodate here. Those chemical compounds ARE helpful in blocking radioiodine uptake by the thyroid gland, helping to prevent thyroid cancer years down the road. In reality, thyroid cancer is not an immediate concern and would be most helpful to children and young adults, should they survive near-term post-nuclear events. In other words, get some, but do not think of those chemicals as a magic bullet versus radioactivity. Heavy doses of radiation pose a wide range of physical threats to anyone who is unshielded and exposed for a period of time. There is no antidote for that near-term danger.

First and foremost, you need to find that physical shelter from radiation and fallout. Survive that first, then think about cancer risks 10-20 years down the road.

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Official Public Assurances Aside, Pakistan is Crisis Priority #1

Famed Harvard scholar Graham Allison was reported today by NTI to say:

“A witch's brew that includes political instability, a burgeoning Islamic insurgency, a demoralized army and an intensely anti-American population, puts Pakistan's nuclear weapons at risk."

NTI paraphrased Allison--Pakistan’s nuclear security measures were mostly designed to prevent India from locating the weapons. Those measures have included dispersing weapons components at multiple sites.

“But these arrangements by necessity increase the likelihood that corrupt officials could successfully divert weapons or materials,” Allison said.

Read the whole article, "Experts Differ on Pakistani Nuclear Security."

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

10 Resolutions to Help You Survive the Coming Bear Market

May the coming year be healthy, happy, and prosperous for you!

In case it isn't all of that, do resolve to remain prepared for challenges.

In terms of your financial situation, Paul B. Farrell offers a fair advisory on how you might keep your head above water and dog-paddling in the right direction ...

Winning attitude
Ten resolutions that will help you survive the coming bear market
By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch
Last update: 5:01 p.m. EST Dec. 31, 2007

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. (MarketWatch) -- In a rare Fortune interview several years ago Warren Buffett warned that America was "selling the farm" to live "high on the hog." Forget the hog: that dream's gone, and the farm may not be far behind.

"Selling the farm" was a perfect metaphor for the coming downturn. During the recent bull, Wall Street became totally addicted to easy credit, junk mortgages and snake-oil derivatives. The Fed and Treasury loved it, too, denying the massive bubble buildup, adding fuel to Wall Street's greed. Deja vu the 90's "irrational exuberance."

Now the crisis is metastasizing: Hundred of billions of dollars in write-offs reducing shareholder equity, hundreds of millions of dollars in severance pay to CEO losers. Worse yet, Wall Street's insiders rubbed salt in their shareholders wounds by passing out $38 billion of the shareholders' profits in bonuses, averaging more than $600,000. [snip]

To read the whole article, including Paul's 10 suggested resolutions, click here.

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