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

Monday, July 23, 2007

Looting, Panic Buying - and a Water Shortage

This is what those who prepare aim to avoid. You never know what kind of event will bring it on.

Our prayers are with those in the U.K. flooding, said to be the worst in modern history there.

Read the whole article from the TimesOnline.


The Health Protection Agency is advising people to take the advice of their water companies about the safety of drinking water after evidence that some supplies had been affected. There were also fears of looting in Gloucester as many families were evacuated from their homes and their streets were blacked out after an electricity sub-station was swamped in the flood. West Mercia Constabulary said that looters were targeting stranded vehicles abandoned by flood victims.

Staple food items, including fresh vegetables and salad, are also in short supply because supermarket lorries were unable to make deliveries. Fresh produce grown in the waterlogged Vale of Evesham has also been unable to reach the shops. Kevin Hawkins, the director-general of the British Retail Consortium, gave warning last night that there would be localised shortages but that supplies would be resumed quickly in the next two days ...

... Even those who escaped the floods are suffering. More than 200,000 people have now been left without drinking water. Severn Trent Water said that homes in the north of Gloucestershire would be left without supplies for the next two days after a big pumping plant near Tewkesbury was overwhelmed by the floods.

Carrie Douch, 26, a mother of two children from Gloucester, said that she had driven more than 15 miles to buy water after the closure of the water treatment plant. “We have been to three supermarkets and water had sold out in all of them,” she said. “The queues outside the supermarkets are horrendous. Everyone is desperate to get their hands on some water. We have heard stories of grown men pushing kids out of the way to get to bottles of the stuff. It is disgusting.”

Many minor roads in the flooded areas remain impassable and the police have been advising motorists to take warm clothing and food in case they become trapped in their cars. Rail services between Hereford and Shrewsbury were due to resume last night but other services could be delayed or cancelled this morning in areas hit by the flood water overnight.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

25% Off Mountain House 30-Year Food & Maxpedition Hard Use Gear!

Now through August only, Safecastle Royal members are getting 25% discounts on any Mountain House and Maxpedition products in our store.

Why Maxpedition and Mountain House?

- Maxpedition has just introduced 19 new products!! We have most of them listed (and we can get any others for you too). In total, we are listing 37 Maxpedition products at the moment. There just isn't better utility/tactical gear out there.

- Mountain House is raising their prices for the first time in six years. Effective September 1, Mountain House Emergency Storage food in #10 cans is going up. January 1, pouch prices will go up as well. Shipping fees have already increased. We are holding the line till September 1 ... not only that, we're cutting members some additional slack with a bigger discount than ever before we have to bump up our prices.

- Finally, we're running our own 18-variety, 3-case Mountain House special here one more time before the price increase. We'll need to get the order in before the end of the month, so we will do that special group buy no later than August 24.

As always, everything ships free.

Sometimes it really pays to be a Royal!

Want in? ... Join here.
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"Current Nuclear Threat Worse than During Cold War"

The risks of an accidental nuclear war have increased since the Cold War as Russia's early warning capability has deteriorated, a former U.S. defense official said. William J. Perry, who is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and co-Director of the Preventive Defense Project at Stanford University, said in congressional testimony Wednesday that "the danger of nuclear war occurring by accident" still existed.

For more: link.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Unreported Al Qaeda Activity

A few new details on Al Qaeda activity being reported in certain member-centric circles (bound to be public knowledge soon) include:

1. Increasing terrorist movements are being seen in western Europe, as are communications being relayed to operatives in America. The perceived intent is a massive Al Qaeda strike on aircraft/airports in the USA. Other targets are possible however. WMDs are potentially involved; the goal is casualties in the hundreds or thousands, probably in the summer timeframe.

2. Terror training in the Pakistan/Afghanistan border areas increased of late and agents have been moving into Europe ... and probably from there into North America. Infiltration of North America and the formation of terror cells here have been a growing threat. Capabilities to do this are back in place for Al Qaeda, and they are likely to be taking advantage of a US visa waiver program that eases restrictions on travelers to the USA from the UK, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands.

These details are reported from reliable sources and dovetail with more sanitized publicly reported comments from US officials over the last month.

Get Ready, Seriously ...

Read the Full National Intelligence Estimate on the Terrorist Threat to the USA

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Free Preppers Online Features

If you haven't already saved our Ning network site as a favorite, check it out:

Among the features, all free--an audio playlist for preparedness afficionados, dozens of related videos, a forum and blog that members can contribute to.

Fun stuff! And once you sign on, you get the very same cpabilities to create your own network sites at no charge!

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Pencil In a Full, Blessed Life Ahead, BUT ...

Preparedness. What's it really about?

It's about having a backroom or storm cellar stocked with some emergency supplies IN CASE something happens in our area that makes it difficult to rely on others to continue to supply us with our everyday needs.

It means being suitably equipped to not only consume our emergency supplies, but also to some extent, be able to produce or acquire more via our community and in nature.

It's about understanding how the day could arrive when nothing is easy, and suffering becomes a new reality, for at least the short-term ... and mentally and spiritually positioning for that possibility.

It implies we know that worst-case survival scenarios often demand unusual levels of cooperation between people who find themselves "sharing a life boat."

It acknowledges that very bad and unexpected things happen everyday on this earth to someone out there, and that we consciously choose not to bet the lives of our loved ones on chance.


When all is as it should be, we enjoy life and plan to live every day of it to its fullest.

We hope and pray for blessings and work for prosperity for our households, our communities, and our nation. But being among those who embrace a logical level of personal readiness, we have chosen to ensure we are ready for most anything that can come our way today.

Thus, the odds are strong that at the end of our journey, we will look back with thankfulness and satisfaction at how we handled all our opportunities and risks.

Get Ready, Seriously ...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

"Obsession: The Threat of Radical Islam"

Must-view 2006 documentary, now at a time when more and more are shrinking away from the fight.

To view next part of documentary, click here.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

How to Survive (Almost) Anything

I've been waiting for this August issue of National Geographic Adventure to be posted online. The magazine itself arrived in my mailbox two or three weeks ago. I have to say--this is one of only two magazine subscriptions I keep current--it is absolutely a fascinating and relevant publication--and very well done.

Anyway--here is an excellent series of articles on survival aspects and experiences that you are not likely to come across anywhere else (at least in such an easy to digest form). Wander around the site and read them all--better yet, get the magazine--it's a keeper.

Here's one small excerpt of one article:

The Darwin of Dumb

by Laurence Gonzales

Accidents of all types used to be analyzed in terms of their physical or mechanical causes. When the cause was clearly human error, they were often written off as the result of foolishness or lack of training. But among those who investigate accidents, there is an increasing awareness that this type of analysis does not fully explain why otherwise rational people do what may seem irrational.

For example, in May 1989, Lynn Hill, the winner of more than 30 international rock-climbing titles, was preparing to climb what she called a "relatively easy" route in Buoux, France. She threaded her rope through her harness, but then, instead of tying her knot, she stopped to put on her shoes. While she was tying them, she talked with another climber, then returned to climb the rock face. "The thought occurred to me that there was something I needed to do before climbing," she later recalled, but, "I dismissed this thought." She climbed the wall, and when she leaned back to rappel to the ground, she fell 72 feet (22 meters), her life narrowly saved by tree branches. In her case, more training would not have helped. In fact, experience contributed to her accident. She had created a very efficient model for tying her rope to her harness. She could do it without thinking. So the act of tying her shoes may have been similar enough to tying her rope that it allowed her to reach the unconscious conclusion that her rope was tied, even while leaving a slight residue of doubt.

I've been studying accidents of various kinds for more than 30 years, and I have tried to go beyond conventional analysis to explain why seemingly stupid actions can actually make a type of biological and evolutionary sense at the time and under the circumstances. We can laugh at the Darwin Awards and write off our mistakes as stupidity or bad luck.
But at some level, most of us are like Lynn Hill, with a knot half-tied somewhere in our lives, just waiting for us to put our weight on it. And one of the most frequently ignored factors in many accidents is the way we form models of the world and refer to them—not the world itself—in most of what we do. Understanding this system will help explain why smart people do irrational things. And some of the dumbest things I've done have been in the wilderness.

Get Ready, Seriously ...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Nuke the Enemy?

Many online enjoy playing an alternate-reality role of armchair commander in chief, and they freely and regularly espouse one solution for most difficult issues -- "just nuke 'em."

Not actually having on our shoulders the responsibility for the well-being of millions of fellow Americans in a very complex and dangerous world, we are free to spout off as we see fit online.

Talking about nuking the enemy is gratifying to some extent for those of us who are frustrated by difficulties in the war on terror. Some take to literally hoping for it or even expecting it to happen. On the flip side, there are those who promote the fearfulness of nukes for their own political purposes (claiming and sometimes believing the neocons will unleash nuclear hell upon the world for whatever reason). Either way, I would hope that most folks fully understand that we are nowhere near a potential reality of a U.S. nuclear launch.

It just ain't gonna happen.

We have as a society irrevocably attained a level of civilized restraint and abject horror at the prospect of incinerating thousands upon thousands of innocent people. In fact, our homogenous, all-tolerant level of enlightenment would even cause us to seriously debate similar retaliation (and probably decide against it) in the wake of nuclear attack on the USA.

The ONLY way there is even a possibility of a commander in chief beginning to entertain the idea of nuking the enemy is if he has a very solid majority of political support in government, in his party, and in the population. And of course these days, that is only really possible when the whole country is up in arms and shocked to its core about some great atrocity. (Still however, in that rare window of opportunity, the rule remains applicable that we would not as a people allow for even a strong leader to obliterate a lot of innocent people. It just ain't gonna happen.)

For those who need it spelled out--face the sad reality--IF we were to retaliate in kind with a nuke ... EVEN if we were to take several nuclear hits first within our borders ... most of the rest of the world would fully band against us, isolating us, freezing us out, and they would quite possibly give Russia/China/N. Korea/Iran, etc. the mandate to try to take us down by force. That certainly has to be understood by the American powers-that-be today.

At the very bottom line, political reality is defined today by the popular media in the world. Every selected news story is tinted to achieve a desired perception in the mind of the viewer. One or two stories so managed do not make for a brainwashed populace, but over a period of time ...

Until the day comes when more control is exerted over the media, the west will be largely impotent to go full bore at victory in any war, nuclear or not. Politicians are beholden to the messages projected on issues in the mass media and to resulting opinion polls. We are crafting our leaders today to be flip-flopping, flexible mirrors of what we think we want that day. (Do you REALLY think it's a good idea to have your circle of friends, neighbors, and relatives continuously dictating what's best for our nation?)

In today's war on terror, where so many (out of high-minded politically correct principle) can't even name the enemy for who he is, well ... the best we can pragmatically hope for in today's environment is a strengthened intell capability and the political will to use very precise attacks wherever we find the enemy in the rest of the world ... and of course THAT is even out of reach.

(For the record, personally, I see very valid uses for tactical nukes in warfare, but careful targetting is critical even in all-out, unrestrained wartime.)

American Nukes are Display Pieces, Propped on a Bed of Political Strength

Nuclear weapons in the arsenal of stable nations are for all practical purposes mere chips for deterrence. The USA does not threaten anyone with the use of our nukes. Still, their existence and our technical capability to use them if really needed serves to keep some of the world's actors from doing their worst on the global stage.

Of course, deterrence impacts entities with a geographic/political footprint (physical target). An enemy that can materialize, morph, dissolve, and re-form anywhere in the world is a challenging foe. Obvious targets for even conventional force projection are elusive. Nuclear targets, even if our societal mores and national security demanded it would be few and far between.

Main point: Yes, every sitting president has the nuclear football at hand, but it would take a full-on mass attack from no less than Russia's mega-nuclear inventory before a commander in chief would be able to act in kind. ANYTHING less than in-progress nuclear annihilation of the U.S. and/or its closest allies would require widespread buy-in of key parts of the governmental/political machine before our own nuke card could be trotted out.

Most of the world understands by now that that in turn requires a manageably strong political stance from which the President could exercise his judgment and exert such military will.

When we allow ourselves to effectively pull the rug out from under our political leaders, threatening them with impeachment, etc., we have largely disarmed our nation. That is simply a crime. It is weakness. It is a woeful flaw in our system that our enemies love to have at their disposal since it is so easily manipulated through our own media.

Get Ready, Seriously ...

At Stake in the Iraq War: Survival of a Way of Life

Below is the link to a really timely opinion by Andrew Roberts in today's edition of the Christian Science Monitor.


The English-speaking peoples of the world need to unite around their common heritage of values. And they need to sacrifice their naivet̩ about the true nature of war Рand the losses that inevitably go with it. Otherwise, they will lose a titanic struggle with radical, totalitarian Islam.


Those who still view this struggle as a mere police action against uncoordinated criminal elements, rather than as an existential war for the survival of their way of life, are blinding themselves to reality.

Sending signs of surrender

But recent news suggests the blindness is growing. Antiwar sentiment in America is swelling. As key Republicans desert the president, senators are pushing amendments to force the withdrawal of US troops. All this before US Gen. David Petraeus reports on the surge.
Are the English-speaking peoples really about to quit before Islamic totalitarianism has been defeated in Iraq? Are they seriously contemplating handing the terrorists the biggest victory since the Marines' withdrawal from Beirut? It was that surrender in 1984 that emboldened Osama bin Laden to believe that his organization could defeat a superpower. Surrender in Iraq would prove him right.

Click the link and read the whole editorial, please.

In my own opinion, unwavering national leadership during the many crises of war is critical, as is the ongoing effective selling of the need for personal sacrifice by the population. In the U.S. and other English-speaking nations today, the unprecedented power of the commercial media--traditional and new--have made these challenges a long-term improbability.

Certainly in the U.S., if there aren't enough folks in Congress to hold the line and contribute to that requisite leadership to fight our enemies through all the pain and difficulty, then we are doomed to have to feel far greater pain before we will regroup. We need a few strong leaders to stick to an admittedly costly strategy long-term to defeat an enemy that is not about to throw in the towel themselves in the near future.

Get Ready, Seriously ...

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Eight Al Qaeda Fanatics Working for the Police (But They Don't Dare Sack Them)

This portends a very long and intense war down the road ... (click on title above to view article)

In a nutshell, as many as eight police officers and civilian staff are believed to be linked to extremist terrorist groups, to include Al Qaeda. Thing is, they cannot be fired due to political correctness run amok; not to mention the fact that classified material on individuals is not admissible as grounds for dismissal.

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

"Expert: Britain is Jihad Central"

Sunday, July 1, 2007 1:29 p.m. EDT

"Britain is at War with the Jihadists, that's the bottom line" says Dr. Walid Phares. British officials "need to cope with the reality that they are the target of a Jihad war," Dr. Phares told Jack Riccardi on San Antonio's KTSA Saturday.


... said Phares, the growth of Jihadism is not the result of socio-economic disparities, but of the expansion of Wahabism, Salafism and other forms of radical ideologies. British understanding of the whole picture cannot complete itself unless a clear cut absorption of the fact that what the U.K. (and many other democracies) are facing now and in the future is a "War," not dispersed acts of violence.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Legislation Introduced in Congress to Eliminate GI Bill Time Limit

A small minority of citizens today volunteer to serve our nation in the U.S. military, often putting their lives on the line. Where would any of us be today without these defenders of freedom throughout our history?

A very important and long-overdue piece of legislation has been introduced in Congress that seeks to eliminate the catch in the educational benefits afforded veterans in the GI Bill, the most important "thank you" provided to those who have served.

I encourage you to follow the link below to learn more and to take advantage of the easy online mechanism there to let your elected representatives know how you feel about this bill.

Get Ready, Seriously ...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

National Study on How People Make Sense of Info on the Internet

I was contacted today by a Ph.D candidate/researcher at Stony Brook University in New York. He asked that we make available to our readers this opportunity to particpate in a national study of how people make sense of the information they encounter on the internet.

The survey takes roughly 10 minutes or so to complete, and responses are completely anonymous. Participants will be eligible to enter a raffle for a $50 Gift Certificate to

Link to the survey:
Note: This study has been approved by Stony Brook University's Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

"The Day After - Action in the 24 Hours Following a Nuclear Blast in an American City"

Remember this from last month? ...

Government Initializing Emergency Survival Program for Nuclear Terror--New Civil Defense Fallout Shelters?

It was an initial report about a high-level government plan to prevent chaos in the wake of a nuclear terror attack on a US city or cities.

Now, a thank you to Michael who forwarded the link to the actual pdf report coming out of that government/academic workshop entitled "The Day After, Action in the 24 Hours Following a Nuclear Blast in an American City"

It's well worth reading the report for the group's insights and recommendations, and a view into the future US position on nuclear preparedness for the population of the country.

One of the recomendations as summarized in the report follows:

SHORT-TERM SHELTERING VERSUS PROMPT EVACUATION. Fallout shelters deserve a comeback. Radioactivity, and in particular radioactive fallout, poses a problem peculiar to nuclear terrorism. For most people in the city struck, their best bet to avoid serious radiation exposure would be to shelter below ground for three or so days until radiation levels had subsided and only then to evacuate the area. The alternative – mass and chaotic evacuation during the time when radiation dose rates are greatest – would result in large and unnecessary additional loss of life over and above the fatalities due to immediate blast, fire, and close-in fallout. But while sheltering in place is the plan that would be optimal for most people, it would run counter to their strong impulse to flee the area. For a comparatively few people just downwind of the detonation, moreover, sheltering would not in fact offer enough protection, and their only chance would be to leave as soon as possible, as fallout takes a finite time to reach the ground .

Two distinct fallout regions can be expected. In the smaller, close-in “hot” fallout region the dose over time will be so high that most sheltering will not be effective and evacuation, dangerous as it is, should be attempted. That area is limited, however, to a few square miles in addition to the area affected by blast and fire. People in the hot zone should be advised to leave as soon as possible, preferably during the time before most of the fallout settles. But the great majority of the people will be outside the hot zone, and for them sheltering in place will be the safest course of action.

In view of these facts, a new type of fallout shelter program – very different and much more practical than the 1950s-style civil defense program – should be promoted by the federal government as a cheap and effective way to minimize the radiation exposure of most people downwind of a nuclear terrorist attack. The Cold War “civil defense” shelter program was mocked because it could not offer realistic protection against an attack of thousands of warheads from the Soviet Union. But against one or a few terrorist nuclear weapons, sheltering in place is the best way for most people to protect themselves. The rate at which people are exposed to radiation (the dose rate) subsides in inverse proportion to the time after the blast. People outside the immediate downwind hot zone will receive a smaller dose of radiation if they shelter themselves for a period of three days or so (the recommended sheltering period can be determined and communicated by federal authorities at the time). If they try to leave on the first day when the radiation is strongest, they will receive a larger dose because they will be exposed to intense radiation as they walk or wait in traffic on clogged roads to evacuate. Shelters that will only be occupied for a few days do not need to be equipped with large stocks of food, water, and other supplies.

The absence of the sheltering population from the highways will have another benefit: it will permit emergency workers and those who need to evacuate from the hot zone to move freely. A mass and confused exodus from the city will expose the fleeing population to unnecessarily high doses of radiation and impede the movement of emergency personnel. To avoid this, federal and state officials and first responders should work out ahead of time plans for determining which roads in the affected area should be closed to the public for three days and which should remain open and for how long.

One way to persuade people to stay in shelters and off the roads would be to ascertain the direction of the fallout “plume” from the blast so citizens can be informed whether they are truly in the hot zone or not. Models at the Department of Energy’s national laboratories and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, coupled with the daily weather forecast from the National Weather Service, can predict where the plume will drift and settle. A federal shelter in place program therefore should be accompanied by a rapid plume prediction capability. It should also be accompanied by a program of education for emergency workers and, to the extent possible the press, on the effects of radiation (for example, the fact that the dose rate subsides in proportion to the passage of time after the blast, see Recommendation 4 below). Even given better plans than now exist, putting those plans into practice will clearly be difficult and will require constantly updated communications to the public and all media as well as to first responders. Large-scale panic could lead to subsequent loss of life on a par with that in the detonation zone itself. Experience with previous wartime catastrophes shows that, with leadership and training, this unnecessary additional loss of life can be avoided.

Get Ready, Seriously ...

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Tehran and Damascus Certain US-Israeli Attack is in Store

Debka sometimes unearths intell nuggets that prove to be gems over time ...

Syrian and Iranian Generals in Intensive War Consultations
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
June 9, 2007, 12:07 PM (GMT+02:00)

excerpt ...

The regime heads in Tehran are basing their common front with Damascus on intelligence reports whereby the US and Israel have drawn up plans for coordinated military action against Iran, Syria and Hizballah in the summer.

According to this hypothesis, Iranian leaders foresee the next UN Security Council in New York at the end of June or early July ending with an American announcement that the sanctions against Tehran are inadequate because Russia and China has toned them down. Therefore, the military option is the only one left on the table. The ayatollahs have concluded that US president George W. Bush is determined to bow out of office on the high note of a glittering military success against Iran to eclipse his failures in Iraq.

They believe he will not risk the lives of more Americans by mounting a ground operation, but rather unleash a broad missile assault that will wipe out Iran’s nuclear facilities and seriously cripple its economic infrastructure.

According to the Iranian scenario, the timeline for hostilities has already been fixed between Washington and Jerusalem - and so has the plan of action. The US will strike Iran first, after which Israel will use the opportunity to go for Syria, targeting its air force, missile bases and deployments, as well as Hizballah’s missile and weapons stocks which Iran replenished this year.

Get Ready, Seriously ...

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The QUEST Mission Rig Being Test Marketed Now

Any mission is achievable when the QUEST is with you.

Safecastle Royal buyers club members save $100 using their standard coupon, and of course get free shipping. Existing club members also have been emailed a freebie offer in connection with this launch of the QUEST.

Check out the rig (your choice of colors): The QUEST Mission Rig

Get Ready, Seriously ...

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Dwindling Public Concern Over Pandemic a Dangerous Trend

Pandemic: California is Out Front in Trying to Prepare for Disaster
By Deb Kollars, The Sacramento Bee, Calif. , June 3

excerpt ...

History gives good reason for worry: In the past century, three flu pandemics have struck worldwide, and all came from avian strains. The most recent was the Hong Kong flu in 1968-69, which killed 34,000 Americans. In 1918-19, the Spanish flu killed 550,000 Americans.

"Pandemics are like hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes. They occur," said Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. "Even a mild or moderate pandemic would have tremendous implications."
Osterholm said the dwindling public concern is a dangerous trend. In a serious pandemic, a third of the population could become sick. It would overwhelm not just medical services, but could slow or shut down many corners of the economy if workers were too sick to do their jobs.

Yet, he noted, Congress passed an emergency spending bill last month that was stripped of $650 million for pandemic preparedness.

"People just don't believe it is going to happen," he said.

California's top health officials are taking the threat seriously.

excerpt ...

The state also spent $20 million to buy 51 million face masks, known as respirators, to protect medical staff working with sick patients. The disposable N95 filtering masks, manufactured by 3M of St. Paul, Minn., must be changed many times daily. State officials estimated as many as 100 million could be needed.

According to Grant Barrick, product marketer within 3M's occupational health and environmental safety division, global demand for the respirators has been huge. Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared 3M's respirators for general public use in a health emergency.

"We've been working almost 24-7 since the onset of this strain of avian flu to make sure we can produce the volumes needed," Barrick said.

Get Ready, Seriously ...