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There are two ways to sleep well at night ... be ignorant or be prepared.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Scaring Up Preparedness

A good article here. Interesting to me that those finally embracing readiness in the last year have totally swamped existing preparedness supply lines ... and yet so very many more need to still wake up. The guy whose response was that he'll wait to get whatever he needs till the storm is on the horizon is typical. Most folks don't understand about our "Just in Time" supply-line limitations.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/31/us/31prepare.html?ei=5090&en=467e4e2eb6fdbce3&ex=1306728000&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=print

May 31, 2006
As Hurricane Season Looms, States Aim to Scare
By ABBY GOODNOUGH

MIAMI, May 30 — Convinced that tough tactics are needed, officials in hurricane-prone states are trumpeting dire warnings about the storm season that starts on Thursday, preaching self-reliance and prodding the public to prepare early and well.

Cities are circulating storm-preparation checklists, counties are holding hurricane expositions at shopping malls and states are dangling carrots like free home inspections and tax-free storm supplies in hopes of conquering complacency.

But the main strategy, it seems, is to scare the multitudes of people who emergency officials say remain blasé even after last year's record-breaking storm season.

To persuade residents to heed evacuation orders, the Florida Division of Emergency Management is broadcasting public service announcements with recordings of 911 calls placed during Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

"The roof has completely caved in on us," a woman cries as chilling music swells, only to be told that rescuers cannot come out during the storm.

Speaking of the tactics, Craig Fugate, Florida's emergency management director, said last week at a news conference in Tallahassee, "We're going to use a sledgehammer."

This save-yourselves approach comes after government agencies were overwhelmed by pleas for help after last year's storms and strongly criticized as not responding swiftly or thoroughly enough to the public need. Now, officials have said repeatedly, only the elderly, the poor and the disabled should count on the government to help them escape a hurricane or endure its immediate aftermath.

Mississippi, where more than 200 residents died in Hurricane Katrina, unrolled a "Stay Alert. Stay Alive" hurricane awareness campaign in April. State officials told residents what to pack in a "go-kit" for evacuating (flashlight, radio, nonelectric can opener) and, like many others, commanded them to stockpile at least three days' worth of water and food.

Horry County, S.C., home to Myrtle Beach, held a hurricane exposition last month and is giving similar presentations at Kiwanis clubs and homeowners associations.

"The big shortfall is complacency with the community," said Randall Webster, director of Horry County Emergency Management. "Our main theme is, take interest as an individual and make preparations."

But will it work? Emergency management officials groaned this month at a poll by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research Inc., which found that of 1,100 adults along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, 83 percent had taken no steps to fortify their homes this year, 68 percent had no hurricane survival kits and 60 percent had no family disaster plan.

"I can't rightfully say I see any increased sense of people getting ready," said Larry Gispert, emergency management director in Hillsborough County, Fla., home to Tampa. "It's like a psychological issue — 'If I don't think about bad things, bad things won't happen.' "

In Nags Head, N.C., Jimmy Austin, a former commercial fisherman who now operates his own seafood market, said he was unfazed by this year's predictions, some of which suggest that the Carolinas will be especially hard hit. He keeps his insurance current, Mr. Austin said, but sees no need for special precautions.

"I don't pay these things a whole lot of mind," said Mr. Austin, 69, a native of the Outer Banks. "Because they say so doesn't mean it's going to happen that way."

In Galveston, Tex., Keith Patterson, a resident there for 30 years, dismissed the urgency of a hurricane survival kit on Thursday. No use worrying about a hurricane until it is near, he said.
"When one is coming, I'll make preparations," said Mr. Patterson, 68, a retired purchasing clerk. "I'll get what I have to get then."

In Florida, the second annual tax holiday on hurricane supplies, from May 21 through June 1, has not drawn an overwhelming response, several store representatives said. But at least one store, the Lowe's in South Fort Myers, was selling more generators than barbecue grills last week, said John Sandford, operations manager there.

At a Home Depot, Brenda and Jerry Dyche of South Fort Myers were shopping for a generator last Wednesday. With that and a new roof, they said, they had no reason to flee.

"We'd just as soon be in our house," Mr. Dyche said. "Where are we going to go? I-75 is a parking lot by the time they evacuate everybody."

Likewise, Ronda Burke, who did not go inland last year to avoid Hurricane Rita but stayed on South Padre Island, Tex., to watch over her new health food cafe, Naturally's, said she would probably do the same this year if necessary.

"We feel about our store like you feel about a person," said Ms. Burke, whose husband took their two young children to higher ground as Hurricane Rita neared the Texas coast (and eventually came ashore far from South Padre Island). "We'd probably ride it out again."

Meanwhile, government agencies are preparing more thoroughly than ever, stockpiling water and food, improving communication technology and outfitting supply trucks with global positioning systems.

Hattiesburg, Miss., is buying $4 million worth of generators for its public buildings and water system. Broward County, Fla., bought a $500,000 command post vehicle to shuttle emergency managers among crisis spots. Many areas will offer more hurricane shelters this year, though officials like Herminio Lorenzo, the Miami-Dade County fire chief, are portraying them bleakly to encourage people to make their own plans.

"The very last place you would want to go is a Red Cross shelter," Mr. Lorenzo said last week at a community hurricane preparation meeting. "You're so close to the people sleeping next to you that you can feel the hair of their mustache on the side of your head."

Some communities are coaxing the public to prepare in a piecemeal way, like saving old milk jugs as emergency water containers and buying one extra can of food on every grocery trip. Escambia County, Fla., is publishing weekly shopping lists to try to get residents to stock up little by little. Martiza Vazquez of Miami said that approach had made preparing more manageable.

"Every time I go to the supermarket I buy four or five cans of tuna or soup or whatever," Ms. Vazquez, 37, said. "I have a checklist that came with the paper the other day, and I am using that to figure out how much is enough."

Waiting for a taxi to take her to her job at McDonald's, Chanavia Williams of Galveston, who makes $5.75 an hour, laughed at the notion of buying provisions to sock away.

"We got food, but I got none saved," said Ms. Williams, 17, the single parent of a 2-year-old, who lives in public housing.

Ms. Williams said she would have to sacrifice buying diapers and baby clothes to afford a hurricane survival kit.

Still, Ms. Williams, who evacuated on a bus as Hurricane Rita neared, said she wanted to prepare, echoing others who had frightening experiences last year. Wayne P. Sallade, emergency management director in Charlotte County, Fla., which was devastated by Hurricane Charley in 2004, said the Mason-Dixon poll numbers on hurricane preparation were skewed by people in states that had not had hurricanes recently.

"You talk to people in cities here, and there's an absolute fever for information," Mr. Sallade said.

That is also true in New Orleans and along the Mississippi coast, where post-Hurricane Katrina anxiety has compelled many to prepare diligently this year.

But in Houston, Joe Laud, spokesman for the city's emergency center, said only 1,000 people with special needs had registered for public transportation to pick them up in an evacuation. During Hurricane Rita, Mr. Laud said, 25,000 such residents needed help evacuating.
Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, at his annual hurricane conference this month in Fort Lauderdale, sourly recalled the chaos after Hurricane Wilma last year, where throngs of residents lined up for free emergency supplies that quickly ran out.

"It makes it a lot harder when people line up in their Lexuses or Mercedeses to get ice and water at a public distribution site when the Publix is open a block away," Mr. Bush said.
As his audience of emergency workers applauded, he added, "I don't know about you, but it sure made me feel better to get that off my chest."

Get Ready, Seriously ... www.safecastle.com

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

How to Protect Yourself from Bird Flu, from the Harvard Health Letter

Very much worth considering:

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/060523/netufns1.html?.v=12

How to Protect Yourself from Bird Flu, from the Harvard Health Letter
Tuesday May 23, 5:20 am ET

BOSTON, May 23 /PRNewswire/ -- News media are full of scary headlines about the H5N1 bird flu virus and the possibility that it might spread among the human population. Yet researchers note that no human flu pandemic has ever involved a flu virus of the H5 subtype. On the other hand, the H5N1 virus has already jumped from birds to pigs and cats, as well as infecting some people, suggesting it might have the capacity to develop into a flu that passes directly from one human to another. So should we be afraid -- or cynical?

Neither, says the June issue of the Harvard Health Letter. No one knows for sure if H5N1 is going to explode or fizzle, or whether a different flu virus with greater pandemic potential might be out there.

Whether the H5N1 virus will "make the jump" and spread among humans is uncertain, but here are some tips you can take now to protect yourself just in case:

  • Get a regular flu shot this fall. It won't protect you from bird flu,
    but it will reduce your risk of getting regular flu and bird flu at the
    same time.
  • Don't count on antiviral medications. Some experts say there is "no
    credible evidence" that these drugs help against bird flu, and their
    use may create resistant strains.
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Stay away from birds and their droppings.
  • Stock up on water and nonperishable groceries.

Source: Harvard Health Publications

Get Ready, Seriously ... www.safecastle.com

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Resolve to Repel Radical Islam

The recent letter to President Bush by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seems to have been largely ignored in the West as being irrelevant bloviation and just all-too typical denunciation of the ways of the west.

However, there are some who view it as being a rather formal religious pronouncement or even a pseudo-diplomatic declaration of war on the United States. Whatever its purpose, it does paint an expansive picture of the intent of the Iranian regime, as it positions itself to inspire and drive the global jihad beyond the level of Bin Laden-esque hit-and-run operations.

The article linked below is a thoughtful look at what may be transpiring in the foreign Islamic world. I include here only the concluding passage, but I'd encourage you to read the entire article to be sure you remain adequately aware and prepared for the growing risk of large-scale warfare waged across lines of religious ideology. (Note that the author's reference to "liberal democrats" encompasses the entire traditional political spectrum of the west.)

Reading Ahmadinejad in Washington
The Iranian president's letter needs to be taken seriously.
by Hillel Fradkin 05/29/2006, Volume 011, Issue 35
http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/012/246utlpf.asp?pg=1

... what is known, or what should be known and deeply grasped, is that everything Ahmadinejad--and for that matter the radical movement as a whole--does is guided by an ideological vision and commitment. It needs to be addressed as such. For the moment and not only for the moment, this requires that liberal democrats declare that they have no intention of abandoning their way of life and see no need to do so, since they are fully prepared to defend it and because that way of life provides the resources--political, economic, and military--to defend itself.

It is necessary to inform Ahmadinejad and his radical allies that they are in for a real fight. This may not suffice to lead them to question their fundamental assumption and inspiration that we are on the run. But it may give pause to the many Muslims and non-Muslims standing on the sidelines, who see radical success and do not see American or Western resolve.

Of course the best person to make the first such declaration is President Bush--not as a Christian but as the world's leading liberal democrat. And not to Ahmadinejad, for whom a direct reply would be a victory, but to the Iranian people, the Muslim world, and the non-Muslim world.

Hillel Fradkin is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and coeditor of Current Trends in Islamist Ideology.

Get Ready, Seriously ... www.safecastle.com

Thursday, May 11, 2006

What is it that Worries Us Today?

The 21st century is turning out to be the age of panic and anxiety ...

... or at least a time when we're bombarded with unprecedented reinforcement from the media that we OUGHT to be worried about something, by golly.

Every week there's something new to absorb through our outer calm. Sometimes, there are DAILY developments that need to be swallowed and digested. Eventually we get our fill.

Top 10 "Final Tomorrows"

Let's see ... in the last month or so, I've been told by customers that THIS is it ... the time and issue that is undoubtedly about to be our undoing ("... and so please be sure to send that order asap, 'cause I want to be sure to take delivery before TSHTF") --

1. The impending attack of Iran by the U.S. and Israel, using nuclear weapons, which will surely bring about a global apocalypse.

2. The impending attack by Iran on the U.S. and Israel, using nuclear weapons, which will surely bring about a global apocalypse.

3. The Bird Flu is about to start (or already has started) going head-to-head in the beginning of a human pandemic that will surely bring about a global apocalypse.

4. The Bird Flu is a total fabrication by the media (or by the global elite) designed to bring about a global apocalypse.

5. The U.S. and global economies are about to catastrophically deflate, bringing about a global apocalypse.

6. Numerous countries around the world are about to stop trading in dollars, a move which will collapse the US economy and end up bringing about a global apocalypse.

7. Certain communist/socialist South American countries are joining together with U.S. enemies elsewhere to counter the power the U.S. wields in the global economy. (Which may or may not create a global apocalypse)

8. The illegal immigrant issue is about to spiral into a divisive civil war in the U.S. that will result in a global apocalypse.

9. Al Qaeda is moving into position to launch a massive, coordinated attack on the U.S. and western interests. The hope is to create the beginning of a global apocalypse and a Muslim paradise.

10. Geez ... I'm at 10 already, and I haven't yet mentioned cometary fragments, warmer waters in the Gulf of Mexico before the start of hurricane season, earthquake swarms, floods, droughts, caldara volcanoes, NSA spying on Americans, conspiracy and intrigue reaching across all organizational boundaries, political hunting and driving accidents, etc.

Get Anchored

Here's the real deal. For all the scary headlines and for all the antidepressant medications that are part of our daily life today, a person needs to develop a seriously oily disposition that will allow for all the stuff raining down to roll right off.

How to do that?

1. Connect spiritually with your Creator.

2. Disconnect literally from the media and the internet amateurs who daily are competing for your adrenaline.

3. Enjoy your family, friends, and your everyday life.

4. Nurture a healthy passion that you can feel good about feeding.

5. Allot a small amount of your time and resources to preparing logically for bad times. Do it, then forget it.

THE END (or not)

Get Ready, Seriously ... www.safecastle.com

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Ideal Time to Place a Mountain House Order is Right Now

Mountain House's production cycle replenishing their #10 can inventory will be completed in the next week. All backorders will be shipping post haste. For those of you holding your breath waiting for your March order, you should have your food by the end of the month.

For those of you anxious to get into the queue, now is the ideal time to do so. Any orders placed in the next week should deliver in about a month.

FYI, a couple of weeks from now, for all I know the situation could be totally different and there could again be inventory issues cropping up, once the demand surge starts peaking again.

Here are the larger package deals that I am always taking orders on (email me to discuss, if you'd like): http://stores.ebay.com/REFUGE-offered-by-Safecastle-LLC_Mountain-House-Food_W0QQcolZ2QQdirZQ2d1QQfsubZ15QQftidZ2QQtZkm

Get Ready, Seriously ... www.safecastle.com

Friday, May 05, 2006

Bird flu fears hike survival gear demand

This article is right on the mark reflecting the situation for those of us in the preparedness business. What it doesn't mention is that only about 10% of the U.S. population who are familiar with the Avian Flu have done anything in the way of preparing for a pandemic to this point (see poll results). Even that 10% has swamped our little industry. Consider what will happen when a significant portion of the rest are prompted to suddenly do something.

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/living/health/14500986.htm

Bird flu fears hike survival gear demand
JIM GRAHAM
Associated Press


HEBER CITY, Utah - Harry R. Weyandt worries about a deadly flu pandemic reaching the United States for a different reason from most people: It would overwhelm his business.
Nice on the bottom line. Murder on the nerves.

There's no pandemic yet, and bird flu hasn't shown up in North America. But the staff at Weyandt's disaster preparedness store is already scrambling to keep up with demand for everything from freeze-dried foods to first-aid kits.

"What I'm not looking forward to is when they announce the first bird with avian flu is in the country," said Weyandt, owner of Nitro-Pak Preparedness Center Inc. in Heber City, about 35 miles southeast of Salt Lake City. "Because I know what will happen. It'll be crazy here."

Sales of emergency supplies are booming amid growing fears of a virulent global flu. Across the country, suppliers say they're already struggling to keep stock on hand, and it's taking longer to fill orders.

Phyllis Hopkins of Best Prices Storable Foods in Quinlan, Texas, said the business barely had a breather between the Gulf Coast hurricanes last year and bird flu warnings that intensified over the winter.

"We can't keep product in stock," said Hopkins, who runs the business with her husband, Bruce Hopkins. "As soon as it comes in, it goes right off the shelf."

Pandemic panic buying means heady times for such businesses, which are typically family owned and have no more than a handful of employees.

Weyandt said Nitro-Pak's March sales this year were up 600 percent from last year. He wouldn't reveal the company's finances, but said total sales last year were in the "mid-seven figures."

Nitro-Pak's storefront warehouse looks like a cross between a Costco for survivalists and the post office before the Christmas holiday rush. Cardboard crates stacked floor-to-ceiling spill over with long-burning emergency candles, mini-rolls of toilet paper, waterproof matches and freeze-dried foods ranging from eggs with bacon to blueberry cheesecake.

Scurrying between boxes, workers race to fill orders and load them onto heavy pallets that ship out every afternoon.

Even Weyandt's office, a sparsely furnished affair not much bigger than a typical master bedroom, has desks overflowing with backpacks, compasses and space blankets.

A strain of bird flu known as H5N1 has killed millions of chickens and more than 100 people worldwide since 2003, mostly in Asia. While the deaths are blamed on close contact with sick poultry, experts are afraid the virus could mutate to spread easily among people.

If it arrives in North America, even businesses that stand to make a fortune say they're not prepared.

"This industry is so teeny, that if something happens to get everybody in a panic, it can't handle it," said Richard Mankamyer, owner of The Survival Center in McKenna, Wash.
In recent months, federal and state officials have been urging Americans to stock up on emergency supplies.

At Oregon Freeze Dry in Albany, Ore., orders for its No. 10-size cans, which hold eight to 17 servings of food each, have jumped tenfold since the Gulf Coast hurricanes last year, said Melanie Cornutt, assistant manager. The company's Mountain House division is well-known for its line of backpacking foods.

"We've gone through these spikes for 35 years now, but we don't try to keep a huge amount of inventory on hand because it's so hard to predict when the next one will hit," Cornutt said.
In a worst-case scenario, federal officials say a pandemic flu might kill up to 2 million Americans and keep up to 40 percent of the work force at home for several weeks.


(for more, see the link)


Get Ready, Seriously ... www.safecastle.com

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Influenza Pandemic Simulation - MUST READ

This well-done pandemic simulation and resulting report by Booz Allen Hamilton is a must-read for anyone keeping an eye on the threat for a pandemic on the horizon.

It's easy reading and there are many worthwhile, thought-provoking points to take in.

One such point to ponder ... "ALL SYSTEMS will fail by day 28." We're not talking one company or one industry or one sector's systems--but rather all global systems--infrastructure, utilities, corporate, emergency response, communications, governmental, etc.

http://www.boozallen.com/media/file/Influenza_Pandemic_Simulation.pdf

Get Ready, Seriously ... www.safecastle.com

A Few of My Favorite Prep-Related Sites

For some odd reason, a couple of months ago, the Blogspot template I use (and other Blogspot templates I tried as well) started dropping my left-column info--bio, favorite links, etc.--down to the very bottom of the page if I did anything at all to alter the basic format. So I had to remove all those favorite links to keep that left column floating to the top of the page. Blogspot has been non-responsive in my efforts to get a fix.

Anyway, FYI, here are a few of my current favorites that keep me going back for more:

www.survivalblog.com ... James Wesley Rawles' blossoming compilation of some excellent articles and snippets of survival and preparedness advice.

www.goldismoney.info ... A well-attended forum focused on precious metals, preparedness, and more.

http://www.timebomb2000.com ... A prep-related forum that has been around since before the turn of the century.

http://www.falfiles.com/forums/ ... A very comprehensive forum site with a focus on guns and ammo, but also with an excellent Marketplace section.

www.survivalmonkey.com ... A core group of solid, well-balanced individuals camp-out here, in a growing discussion forum.

http://jrnyquist.com/ ... Jeff Nyquist's scholarly commentary is always thought-provoking.

http://counterterrorismblog.org/ ... Not given over to hyperbole, this site is a gem for prospecting golden nuggets of insight into the counterterror challenges faced around the world.

www.safecastle.com ... I need to plug my own store site when I get the chance, don't I? If I do say so myself, a rather unique blend of product offerings, form the premier line of prefabricated steel storm and fallout shelters to Katadyn water filters, Mountain House freeze dreid emergency food, and on and on.


Get Ready, Seriously ... www.safecastle.com

Sunday, April 23, 2006

ATF should be a convenience store, not a government agency





I wish I could sell some of these T-shirts, but the folks who sell them are alright folks who retain all rights to selling them online. Give 'em a look-see if these tickle your fancy as they do mine. There are plenty more than what you see here.

http://www.thoseshirts.com/tshirts.html

Get Ready, Seriously ... www.safecastle.com

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Are You Adapting Well?

Being prepared for a new dynamic most often conjures up images of sudden, catastrophic change. One such nightmare-come-true was when Hurricane Katrina transformed life on the Gulf Coast for hundreds of thousands. Who knows when life will get back to normal there for residents in southernmost Louisiana and Alabama?

Yes, that is a type of scenario most of my customers envision and prepare for. They also talk about impending dangers from global war, WMD terrorism, economic catastrophe, pandemic, and more. The general expectation is a sudden, total dissolution of the world of convenience and safety we are comfortable in today, and they want to be ready for the chaos that will surely ensue.

There are always ominous signs on the horizon of major cataclysms brewing. But few ever come about and when they do, they most often only impact limited populations. Yet, our deeply-rooted Hollywood frame-of-reference keeps many waiting for the apocolyptic hammer to fall in the next scene.

Weathering Carves Canyons, Shapes Mountains

The plain truth is, life is about constant change and adaptation. In our modern world, change can come about in singularly spectacular fashion, though almost always it is actually incrementally and as a result of countless contributing factors.

More often than not, the great life-changing events we ought to be prepared for are recognizable coming around the bend. Yet most people are equipped only to be spectators in the big game and not suited to jump on their horse and ride.

The sharpest prepared individuals anticipate, adapt, reposition continuously, and ultimately thrive in the continuously newer realities being born daily.

Little by little, our lives are being weathered by circumstance. Sometimes, it's a slow drip ... occasionally a series of deluges and gales that recast our perspective.

Survive or Thrive?

There really isn't much difference between those who want to survive and those who are prepared to thrive. The dividing line is attitude.

Few, if any, really embrace change for the sake of change, but when you can accept that it is inevitable and you see it coming, you might as well go with it and make sure you and yours can stay ahead of the pack.

There's not much point in being among the multitude who choose to try to stand fast and grumble and complain about things, when it only serves to delay them from taking action and adapting to the earliest opportunities that are there for those who will seize them. In fact, sooner or later, that tendency will trample most who choose that path.

Put Some Purpose in Your Program

The global dynamic IS changing. There are going to be some heart-rending and painful collisions and upheavals. The world is full of people who like to gripe about new directions, but there are very few who try to do something to make a difference ... in even the smallest, productive way. I'm not talking about changing the course of history ... I mean just taking the rudder of your own boat.

Preparedness in it's most basic manifestation means being adaptable to change--sudden or gradual. Are you adjusting your course in life to ensure you come out ahead, rain or shine?

Get Ready, Seriously ... www.safecastle.com

Monday, April 17, 2006

Mistaken Entitledness is a Core Global Issue

Short and sweet ... we are experiencing a period in history when most people don't feel required to earn their way in life. Instead, they are "entitled" to their place in the sun, whatever they deem that position to be.

It's an attitude that can can be found at the core of much of the unrest across the globe today. It's an attitude fostered by certain religious beliefs, by a few international organizations, and by political groups clearly leaning in one alarming direction.

The ultimate result of promoting entitlement, in whatever flavor a people will buy, is turmoil. Where we as a society are arriving today is at an intersection of animosity, distrust, and fear. People everywhere are being pushed and pulled together in a calamitous chain reaction.

The solutions to our various crises are not topical remedies to be applied like a soothing salve. It will take a major collective mindset change ... and that will not come about easily.

As You Sow, So Shall You Reap

Those who embrace a responsible work ethic are always the ones who come out on top, historically, eventually ... individually and culturally.

This is no time to allow yourself to be sucked into the sweeping flow down the chasm, becoming one of the majority who choose to emote and obstruct rather than being among those who are determined to promote and construct.

The principal value that will always be the way to least risk and greatest reward is to do for yourself and to apply yourself according to what you hope to accomplish. Talking about it won't cut it.

If you feel tough times are around the corner, now is the time to prepare. You have to do something about it. No one else will do it for you ... nor should they.


Get Ready, Seriously ... www.safecastle.com

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Gold, Guns, and Grub - the Rebirth of Preparedness

There are a number of possible technical economic explanations for the ongoing surge in precious metal prices, but there's no denying the fact that the prices of gold and silver ARE climbing steadily with worldwide popular demand. And although there are always efforts afoot to whittle away at our right to bear arms, U.S. gun sales continue to cook.

I don't commercially deal in either of those commodities, but I CAN personally testify to the fact that freeze-dried food sales as well as selected other key preparedness product types are similarly enjoying strong, even unprecedented growth across the U.S.

Gold, guns, and grub (that stores for lengthy periods of time) are traditional refuges for the crisis preparedness "investor." As the number of disturbing and disastrous headlines multiply and speculators editorialize about scenarios for the doom of our life of comfort and convenience, more and more people buy into the logic of prepositioning their household, just in case.

And why not? These are unusually practical and low-risk uses for one's discretionary funds. Better to invest in insurance for the future than in transitory entertainment that delivers nothing beyond momentary detachment from reality.

It's a trend still in relatively early stages. The corporate monarchies are yet to recognize the implications, but with a bit more time or a couple more Katrina-like wake-up calls, it's inevitable.

H5N1's potential for worldwide disruptions, far beyond what was ever envisioned for Y2K, does have the attention of the movers and shakers. It's a big impetus for current movement in this market. Are you ahead of the curve?

See: "How the Bird Flu Experts Prepare"

Get Ready, Seriously ... www.safecastle.com

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Prudent Prepare

In the Crisis Preparedness sandbox we play in, most "veterans" come to adapt to the market rhythms that are fairly regular in cadence and which are being pounded out by the media.

From a large media perspective, it's 100% about engaging increasingly jaded and numbed audiences; gaining marketshare; and commanding higher ad revenues. Simplified--sensational angles equate to growing shareholder returns. And fledgling media outlets play the same game, just on a smaller scale.

For vulnerable readers, viewers, and listeners, the incessant news cycles thumping out the thrill or outrage of the hour sometimes means getting hooked to a roller coaster, and eventually yearning to regain some feeling of control over one's course in life.

Emotion Drives Reaction

I wish I had the time and resources to conduct a proper survey of the markets, but without it, I can only guess ... so I will ... I'd wager that half the folks who come into crisis preparedness, do so out of an emotional reaction to some news story or stories that are eliciting a sense of helplessness.

Suspicion, fear, anger, anxiety, hopelessness ... it can all channel people into feeling the need to do SOMETHING to counter whatever it is they are in the shadow of.

Reacting can be a healthy and productive response. Or if taken to an extreme, it can become a greater problem than the original anxiety source.

Methodical Remedies

I believe in preparedness as being a logical, intelligent way to position one's self for the future ... a future that in many ways is beyond our real control. To have a partial focus in life toward systematically and appropriately preparing for life's less-pleasant possibilities helps build personal peace of mind.

In fact, that's really how I present my crisis preparedness business--I am in the business of selling peace of mind.

Different folks need different measures of security and they instinctively come to realize what it is they need to find some improved inner peace. Oftentimes, it's going to mean a systematic approach to preparedness, wanting to build up one's household defenses against a wide range of perceived threats. Occasionally, it's more about reacting to one imminent threat that looms large. Either way, taking proper steps to offset or counter the risk is a material remedy that can deliver peace TODAY.

Real Threats Need Real Responses

The world today is full of real threats to our well being, but at the same time, it's important to note that those threats are almost always overinflated in the popular media because of the nature of that business. Today, the Doom du Jour is a selection of three specials: an H5N1 pandemic, the Iranian nuclear crisis, and surging ethnic tensions around the world. Pick your poison, then seek your personal antidote.

Do what you need to do, then disengage and focus your attention on life's other real demands.

For perspective--the world has always been a dangerous place. It was quite a while ago Euripides said: "Chance always fights on the side of the prudent."

Get Ready, Seriously ... www.safecastle.com

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Still Need Mountain House Emergency Food?

The stampede for Mountain House emergency food (as well as other storage foods) over the last several weeks happened to coincide with our extraordinary March opportunity to get in on some special bulk buying at prices unseen in years.

Those of you who took advantage--thank you. You helped make our buy a stunning record-breaker no matter how you look at it.

Though we weren't the main problem in the mid-March depletion of Mountain House's emergency food, our volume was indicative of what was and is happening all over--people are preparing for the worst. As are government and corporate groups. H5N1 is a major risk on the horizon, and stocking up on storage food is one important step in starting to circle the wagons.

Still Taking Orders

Our very best pricing offerings in March were a limited time opportunity. But we continue to establish Safecastle LLC as the very best place to get your Mountain House food, at the best prices possible.

The need for storage food remains critical. If you are not where you want to be with your emergency food, and you'd like to get the best available freeze dried food out there--stuff that is officially rated at a 30-year shelf life ... contact me directly for the best prices.

See our current packages listed in our store. Note that, as Mountain House rebuilds inventory, our ordered varieties are shipping in stages over the next several weeks, with the latest foods produced and delivered by mid-May. (Not too bad, considering how things MIGHT get in the near future.)

Get Ready, Seriously ... www.safecastle.com

Friday, March 24, 2006

Last Week of Special Mountain House Deals

Only seven days left of the extraordinary opportunity to stock up on the best long-term storage food on the planet, at the best prices anywhere ... and with free shipping to the entire U.S.A.

I will not be able to repeat this offer in the future, so if you need emergency food, please consider this as the best chance you'll have. I have 150-can and 48-can packages to which you can make substitutions ... or you can custom-build your own bulk package.

Note that demand for this food is so high right now, last week Mountain House was wiped out of inventory in the #10 cans. That means our orders are now shipping in stages as the food is made available, with the last of the food in an order possibly shipping as late as mid-May.

To get the prices, email me at jcrefuge@safecastle.net

Payment must be received and cleared by noon, Central time, March 31 to qualify.

To check out the packages, see my store: www.safecastle.net

Monday, March 20, 2006

Being Buoyant in Stormy Seas

I woke up this morning to a mind-pic of three inflatable buoys bobbing around in frothy waves.

My immediate understanding was that those buoys were the proverbial "faith, hope, and love" holding me up through the churning realities of day-to-day life.

There is of course the obvious spiritual meaning of that choice biblical nugget that "these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13
If you haven't embraced that truth as yet, I would encourage you to find the substantive meaning in that insight as it applies to your place in the universe. They are virtues that abide all.

Still, for many readers, another immediate and relevant context for these treasures can be had right here on the ground where we live today--in a modern life filled with difficulties and dangers. Yes, establish your relationship with your maker and cultivate it. But beyond that, so too, these virtues serve you well applied to developing your own self confidence, to your household and community relationships, and even applied to your preparedness activities.

Preparedness Delivers Peace

Along the same lines of the principle that has proven itself through history--that there is peace through strength--so too is there peace of mind to be had via personal readiness. That is, if you are reasonably equipped to deal with whatever life can throw your way, then you are going to be feel pretty good about your future.

In terms of my own preparedness and how I keep my head above water ...

Faith: I trust that God always provides for me as needed, and that He blesses my household accordingly. I also believe that He has steered us onto our present course and that we are well situated for events anticipated and unanticipated. It's a good feeling to be able to trust that we have done what is wise and reasonable.

Hope: With a Christian faith, we always have hope of eternal life in Christ Jesus. We also have hope in this life of coming out on top of any trials and tribulations, since we are given only that which we are capable of enduring. Being physically prepared bolsters our position of strength and allows us to extend a positive and beneficial outlook toward the future. It also permits us to be able to afford to cheerfully influence and impact the lives of others around us.

Love: "The greatest of these is love." Love God, love yourself, love your family and your neighbors. It's a powerful virtue--to be able to reach out and give of what you have and of who you are. I fail in that more often than I care to admit, but in terms of preparedness and being involved in the business, I can truthfully say that it is a labor of love ... a heartfelt effort to encourage others to find peace and buoyancy in a balanced, systematic approach to the future.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Tornado and Hurricane Seasons are Around the Corner

Depending on where you live, the weather forecast will be taking on new importance again soon.

Hurricanes, tornadoes, and strong storms with straight-line winds wil shred parts of America this year, as they do every year. One only needs to be in the crosshairs once or twice before you start to think that maybe there's a smarter way of dealing with mother nature.

Two years ago, after a couple of run-ins with tornadoes, I found the ideal prefabricated steel shelter to put underground beneath my new addition. It was strong, full-featured, and reasonably priced. I financed it into my home addition deal and we have had the most reassuring sense of well-being ever since.

In fact, after living with that peace of mind for a while, I decided I wanted to help bring that well being to others as well ... and I started working with my shelter builder to bring his best-in-class product into new markets. (We build the shelters to spec--these listings are just straightforward examples of what can be done--your project may be much smaller, cheaper, or even a lot larger--no problem--let us give you a quote.)

Backlog Season

This is the time of the year when people around the country start thinking seriously of building homes, additions, and even just putting in that much-needed storm shelter. Our builder has been doing his thing for almost a dozen years, with about 500 shelters installed all over the U.S., including many FEMA projects. His product is unsurpassed in safety and quality by anyone out there regardless of price.

If you're thinking this is the year you might finally get your own all-risk peace of mind, the time is now to get your homework done and get on our list. The list is growing as it always does this time of year.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Are the Good Old Days Gone Forever?

The future never turns out the way we envision. Back in the '60s, when I was in elementary school, the future was epitomized by "The Jetsons." Everything was going to be sleek, fast, and cool. Problems were going to be trivial compared to the technologies we would be able to bring to bear on them.

In the '70s, there were hints that in our future, the world was headed for globalization. The progressive idea was about eliminating international tensions and utilizing available resources to improve the average condition of all the world's people. Environmentalism was at the forefront in people's minds at this stage. Compassion was embraced as common sense.

In the '80s, technological advancements, to include the genesis of personal computing, started to actually shrink the gaps and spaces between the world's cultures. And it was of course the emerging global economy and the sudden demise of the Cold War mindset that threw popular perception of the future onto a whole other level.

The '90s saw geopolitical advances that tried to keep pace with the continuing techno-compression of the collage of global cultures. The corporatization of life everywhere seemed to be driving us toward a future that would eventually blur the boundaries between our differences. We would all one day get along because we would all be the same, watching, thinking, buying, eating, and believing the same things, wherever we happened to be on the earth. "Don't worry. Be Happy."

Then the long-anticipated new millenium and the false fear of Y2K chaos surely implied a bright and sunny future for all. No regrets, keep on stoking the global engines of progress as we understood them to mean. We think we can, we think we can ...

But then, we seemed to reach the end of the pavement. The bumps and potholes started to jostle us around and indeed we had to overhaul our collective view of the future because a small but menacing segment of the global population did not like where the future was taking us. Violence on innocence entered the equation.

The future suddenly was put on hold.

The war on terror, we are reminded continuously, will be a long-term struggle. The segment of radical Islam that is inexplicably growing its core base of adherents to wage war with a future of commercial and cultural pluralism is a large shadowy enemy that leaves few targets for our sophisticated political and military sensibilities.

But how much time do we have to adapt to the new reality? At stake is the future and the power to envision it. The enemy seeks to define what life and death on this planet should be about. How long before we come to grips with the dangerous intent and growing potential rolling toward our best laid plans?

It will take another major assault on our comfortably superior way of life ... probably one far worse than we care to even imagine today before we become willing to do what needs to be done. So we are allowing the enemy time ... essentially giving away this precious time to those who are investing it in creating an abominable future for all of us.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Weapon of Mass Hysteria

A good reminder for us that the dreaded "dirty bombs" that could one day soon be visited upon the west will not likely be nearly as dangerous as many seem to shriek.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1139395520314&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Mar. 2, 2006 10:54
Weapon of Mass Hysteria
By ERIK SCHECHTER

Around four years ago, a team of security professionals from a Washington think tank played a game of Let's Pretend. The group parked a yellow, 66-passenger school bus on Independence Avenue, on the National Capitol Mall, near an overhead rail line.


Congress was in session that morning; people were flocking to national monuments. The weather was also nice that day - sunny, warm, with low humidity - and there was a steady breeze blowing in from the southeast. All the necessary conditions were there.


The team from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) then imagined that their bus was packed with 4,000 pounds of TNT and a pound and a half of radioactive cesium-137. What would happen to Washington, DC, they wondered, if the bus went ka-boom?


Interestingly, most of the pretend casualties were caused by the regular old TNT and flying debris; the damage from the cesium was negligible by comparison. However, notes Phil Anderson, the man who headed the CSIS team, the fact that radiation was involved in the blast "had an enormous psychological impact on the public." The so-called dirty bomb proved to be a weapon of mass hysteria.


Radiation is "something unseen and mysterious for most people," says Ivan Oelrich, a nuclear physicist with the Federation of Atomic Scientists.


Even if the radiation levels are not particularly high, they will not return to their homes or places of business. Unfortunately, terrorists know this as well and while a nuclear weapon is beyond their grasp, radioactive materials are not. In fact, the modern world is filled with the stuff. ...



... Fortunately, even if al-Qaida or another terrorist group was to detonate a dirty bomb in a city and radioactive material would be dispersed over a wide area, it is unlikely that it would be enough to do any real harm.


"The so-called safety limits for radiation exposure are exceedingly conservative," explains Fred Singer, physicist and president of the Arlington-based Science and Environmental Policy Project. "You can exceed them by a factor of 10 or 100 and not suffer any damage."


In fact, a dangerous concentration of radiation would melt most containers - but try telling that to the public right after a non-conventional terrorist attack. Citizens would clamor for a very expensive clean-up, draining the public coffers; businesses would come to a halt.


So how does one overcome the fear?


"The answer is more education," Anderson insists.


So while others may be shrieking, you don't have to be freaking. Understand the threat and know your risks in a given attack before chucking your sanity in favor of bolting with the herd.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Mountain House Food Dealin'

So where have I been of late?

Well, fair reader, I've actually been toiling away at some real work. This happens to be a time when some cool new crisis-preparedness products are coming online, so I've been getting in synch with some of that. I'm also marching forward in building a new shelter-business thrust that is nothing short of exciting.

But in addition, there are plenty of folks around the country starting to emerge from their winter slumbers, thinking about how to get ready for what the warmer weather will bring, and so it's a welcome obligation to be responding to their needs.

Most significantly at this moment, I am scrambling to keep up with demand for a very special and unique discount program on Mountain House food. The discounts I'm offering up are significantly greater than what are reflected in my store (see: http://stores.ebay.com/REFUGE-offered-by-Safecastle-LLC_Mountain-House-Food_W0QQcolZ2QQdirZQ2d1QQfsubZ15QQftidZ2QQtZkm) and they are yours for the asking ... simply email me for details: jcrefuge@safecastle.net

I can't emphasize enough how significant this opportunity is--to include discounts AND FREE SHIPPING. Be advised, due to circumstances beyond my control, I can only offer this monster opportunity during the month of March.

By the way, for those who are unfamiliar with Mountain House--it is the premier freeze-dried food in the world. Campers, backpackers, outdoorspeople of all stripes swear by the easy to carry and prepare pouches of some absolutely delicious food.

For emergency preparedness, the #10 cans which store for 30-40 years (no, that's not a misprint), are the best insurance a household can have against lean times.

Consider yourself notified.