Safecastle | One Shop For All Emergency Essentials

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

Monday, April 04, 2011

Get a Safecastle Survival Toolbar for your Browser!

This is outstanding ...we have put together a FREE customized (and customizable) preparedness toolbar for use with IE and Firefox browsers.

Give it a try (click here).
Get Ready ... Seriously --

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pull your head out of the ground!


We just debuted this ad at tonight.

I think it has a little more to say than meets the eye. But fun every which way!
Get Ready ... Seriously --

Thursday, March 24, 2011

11 Days of Food in the Supply Lines?

Presumably, this academic has no related agenda; but in passing he matter of factly states that America has "an 11-day food supply within our massive food chain." Not a shocker, but indeed a clear indicator of our vulnerability to crisis.

The author of the article, "High fuel prices hit farmers, food supply hard," is J. Scott Angle of the University of Georgia. He is dean and director of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

 Get Ready ... Seriously --

Saturday, March 19, 2011

State of Preparedness

First off ... prayers for those in Japan struggling to overcome!

I haven't had much time of late to keep this blog updated. Whew--we have been buried in Safecastle order processing and related business activity ... and I had thought the last few months were crazy in the preparedness biz. Nothing like a bonafide, world-class disaster to stir-up interest in (panic about) self-preservation.

Thought I'd better make a little time this morning to update our members and friends about our little slice of reality. Needless to say, preparedness is moving front and center around the globe these days for a majority of folks with a job and reason to live. Things just keep getting more volatile and increasingly likely that more doom is around the corner. (Can you find five people in your circle of friends who would disagree?) You pick the brand and flavor of risk ... no matter what you choose to focus on, eventual probabilities could make prophets out of all of us.

A few FAQs to respond to quickly ...

1.  Do we have Potassium Iodide?

Edit, April 9: Yes, we now have Potassium Iodide in stock.
Sorry--no, we sold out a while back. It's very tough to get a reliable supply now, obviously, at a reasonable price. Best bet might be your local pharmacy. Many of you have older stocks on hand. Even if past the expiration date, your pills should be stable and effective if they have been kept sealed and stored well. If the tablets are yellowed when you open them, that would be a sign that they have become unstable.

That said, at this point--U.S. residents are not presently at risk from the Japanese fallout.

2.  Gas masks, radiation detectors?

Yes--we have Venus gas masks, NP8000 filters, and K8 personal radiation detectors on hand, in dwindling supplies.

3.  What's the situation on Mountain House freeze dried food?

Mountain House recently closed off new orders for the MH canned foods. They also have temporarily discontinued some pouch food varieties ... all in an effort to work through a glut of backorders that built up over the last several months, from all over North America. Those who have orders in are waiting for their orders to be completely filled.

And MH is working to greatly expand their production capacity. They already are the world's number one freeze dried food producer. MH quality and dependability have built an unsurpassed reputation that more and more folks are counting on. We understand we will likely be able to relist MH cans in another month or two. Stand ready on that because the pent-up demand will be overwhelming again, even though at that point they will have finally gotten back to an equilibrium in being able to respond in a timely manner to new orders. We'll hope that MH/OFD will be ready for that next wave of panic buying.

4.  What about other food brands?

We continue to offer excellent emergency food storage options in many different food options:  Yoders, Honeyville Grains, American Family Supply, Grandma's Country, Bega, Red Feather, Future Essentials, and more.

We've been approached by a few other newer brands (and older brands with troubling histories) aiming to take advantage of the void left at present by the MH situation. We've had some experience with some of them and done research on others. We have reason to be concerned about the brands out there that we have chosen not to sell. If you are buying other brands--do your due diligence.

5.  How's business?

Well, obviously, business is unbelievable at Safecastle. For the last 8 months or so, we have been dealing with ever increasing order volume. And we thought we were near capacity previous to that. It's kind of surprising to learn how far you can extend one's endurance and energy when necessary. We're doing our utmost to deal with the needs of our club members and customers.

Supply lines are extremely stressed in many areas. But every one of our suppliers are working overtime to react to the demand.

6.  Is it the government that's buying up everything?

This is a popular one. It always seems to be a popular conspiracy theory to float at times like this. In this case--the answer is no. This is 100% about civilian consumer demand exploding within the last year.

More specifically, what we are seeing is a surge of new buyers coming into preparedness who are very anxious to spend LARGE amounts of money to get crisis-ready immediately. It seems the economy was an initial trigger and now we have global unrest and natural disasters feeding the beast. Fear and anxiety are roiling the populace. I suppose there has always been some element of that in play for whatever reason, but right now the contagion is spreading rapidly through middle and upper income levels in America (and elsewhere of course).

7.  What's next?

A loaded question if ever there was one. The big picture, from where I sit ... America and most of the world seem to be well down the slippery slope of chaos and ruin. I really had hoped this was not going to play out like this so soon.

Nonetheless, our job is to help folks deal with it, so Safecastle is about to expand our capacity and reach. More on that in the future.

Most of our suppliers too are recognizing the increasing need and they are doing similar things to be able to better respond. Of course, there are some conditions that are beyond control. Most significantly--material and food sourcing quantity and prices are a concern. Then there is always the potential for supply transport lines to be suddenly cut by natural or man-made circumstance. So while we deal in the increasing need for personal and corporate preparedness, there WILL come a time when some of those conduits get closed off (look at Mountain House already).

There are actually more questions about the future than answers. We can only do what we can do to anticipate and prepare.
Get Ready ... Seriously --

Monday, February 28, 2011

Go For It! -- 2011 Safecastle Freedom Awards -- a "New Media" Survivalist Contest

"I'm pleased to announce the 2011 Safecastle Freedom Awards--a program in which we will provide the talented, deserving winners with some great preparedness-related prizes!" said Vic Rantala, owner of Safecastle.

"What we aim to do is find and recognize the best, original, web-based content of the year, related to survivalism and preparedness."

This is essentially a contest of skill. Eligible entries will include new non-fiction articles written and originally posted online at a recognized, participating blog or forum and new survival/preparedness videos originally posted this year and "sponsored" by or posted at a participating blog or forum (see below for participating websites).

Every one of our finalists will be a winner and will receive an engraved "Safecastle Freedom Award" as pictured here, signifying the noteworthy achievement of contributing materially to our country's preparedness.

The creators of the articles and videos judged to be the very best of the best will be awarded the prizes described further below.

Competition Guidelines are few, but what there are, are there for good reason:

1.  Keep it clean and family-friendly.

2.  Modern attention spans are short. That means, in this new media, we are looking for articles that are concise. 1500 words in a non-fiction article is the maximum length please. For the short-form video, 6 minutes is the limit. Note that shorter just may be better.

3.  Submit your own original article or video to ONLY ONE of the participating blogs or forums for entry into this contest. Note your intention to enter this contest with that submission to the participating website so that there are no mistakes. If it becomes apparent that an entry was submitted to multiple websites as an original sole entry, it will be disqualified from the contest.

4.  Do not plagiarize anyone else's work. The author is solely responsible for the content of his or her article or video. Plagiarization results in the forfeiture of any prizes that may be awarded as well as any potential legal ramifications.

5.  Article and video submissions must be posted originally at a participating blog or forum. For videos such as those first posted to YouTube, they must appear on the sponsoring blog or forum within one week of that YouTube posting to qualify as an original creative eligible for prize consideration in this contest--and not appear somewhere else first.

6.  Original article authors and video creators can enter as many different stories and videos as they wish--but again--see #3 above. To be clear--you MAY submit one creation at one participating website and another creation at another participating website--but not the same original piece at more than one site.

7.  Authors and video producers retain ownership rights to their work, but they also agree that those articles and videos may be subsequently posted at Safecastle's blog, Refuge and/or on Safecastle's store site, without further renumeration.

8.  Contest prizes are awarded only to residents of the continental U.S. where there are no legal constraints to such a contest awards program. Prize winners are responsible for paying any taxes that may be due as a result of their prize awards.

9.  Each participating website will be fully responsible for selecting their own article and video finalists (one of each if they have suitable submissions) by Dec. 31, 2011. Then in January of 2012, a panel of expert judges assembled by Safecastle LLC will manage a playoff judging system to determine the prize winners from among the many finalists.

10. Owners, employees, and their family members of Safecastle and the participating blogs and forums are NOT eligible for participation, recognition, or prizes in this contest.

11.  Contest winning decisions are final and cannot be challenged or altered, except at the sole discretion of Safecastle LLC.

The PRIZES are very nice! ...
September 26 note: The economic collapse and marketplace difficulties have forced Safecastle to reduce the prize package in this contest from what was previously announced.

1.  First prizes in the article and video categories will be awarded a Katadyn Pocket , value $320.

2.  Second prize in each of the two categories will be Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrators, value $275.
Excalibur Dehydrator

3. All finalists will receive a Safecastle Freedom award trophy.

4.  Sponsoring blog/forum owners for the grand and first-prize winners will receive Safecastle gift certificates worth $250 each.

More on the Judging

Participating forums and blogs will solicit original entries from their readers. It is up to those websites to use whatever method works best to determine their chosen contest finalists (one for each category--article and video). Entries must have been first posted to those websites during 2011.

In January of 2012, the various finalist entries will be submitted to Safecastle LLC. The final prize winners will be determined by selected playoff system managed by a panel of judges chosen by Safecastle. Prizes will be awarded no later than February 2012.

To Participate:

Contact the webmaster/site administrator at one of the following 15 survival-related blogs and forums to find out how to submit your work and to make sure it fits their particular perspective on things. (Note that our blog here, Refuge, is NOT posting contest entries until the finalists themselves are identified.).

Of course, do be sure to frequent these sites to marvel at the ongoing quality of preparedness-related knowledge being shared so freely:

If there are any questions about this contest, please submit a "comment" here on this blog entry and I will do my best to answer it or clarify the rules as needed.
Get Ready ... Seriously --

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The System is Taut and Fraying

Time for some anecdotal reflection ...

I've got my fingers in a lot of different business pies--and what I want to talk about here is mostly the operational aspects of the many businesses I am connected into--transportation, technology, internet, commerce supply lines, food production, and manufacturing.

We all know and have been following the macro numbers (however true or untrue they may be) reflecting the current state of the economy and how many of our neighbors are unemployed. We are perfectly aware how much of America has literally been exported and outsourced, to even include unimaginable sums of our precious tax dollars.

But what I want to bring up here is the very real sense I am getting in my day-to-day work that what we do have left in America is reaching the breaking point ... functional systems operated by those who remain employed and overworked, who are trying to keep things running and maintaining ... it's increasingly obvious that understaffed, under-qualified, under-capitalized business operations all around us are beginning to come apart under the strain.

Performance to previous standards of quality is suffering in MANY areas and expectations are falling. We are left now to settle for whatever we can get whenever we can get it. The next phase in this process is to add "at whatever price."

From where I sit, I now have to call a near-term risk of total system failure. It won't take much to make it happen. "The system" is operating beyond capacity and we don't have the means, financially or spiritually, to recover and rebuild anytime soon.

It's beginning to look and feel like eastern Europe could be our future, sooner than later.
Get Ready ... Seriously --

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Our New Bugout Teardrop Trailers

Check out our new Bugout Trailer video. It provides a good view of our sweet, new teardrop trailer line--customized for off-the-grid escapism.

Running from the four horsemen of the apocalypse or fleeing the 9-to-5 weekday humdrum--these handy little vehicles deliver just the right balance of adrenaline and peace of mind.

Each of our four models are constructed to exacting measures by Amish craftsmen. The trailers are built standard with such features as aluminum alloy mag wheels, insulated fiberglass and aluminum walls and ceiling, steel frame undercarriage, heavy-duty axle, entry doors on each side, rear hatchdoor galley, carpeting, mattress, cabinetry, ventilation, and a powerful 12V solar/marine battery package. You also receive a trailer cover and wheel lock at no extra charge.

Available options include heater/ac, sink & stove, a sight & sound DVD player/monitor/radio package, and an external toolbox, not to mention a side-mount room tent for added space.

Well-worth the bargain price

Our trailers, as with everything we sell, ship free to the lower 48. Our buyers club members just need to login to the store to get their 20% off these teardrop trailers.

But for the next two weeks, thru February--buyers club members ALSO get $600 off each trailer purchased, simply by adding this coupon code in to coupon field during checkout:

Need I also remind you? - For 2011, members also have our Cache-Back program which these trailer purchases count toward! Can you count all the savings here?

We have several trailers built and ready to ship. If they go fast, it will take up to 6 weeks to get yours built for you. And yes--you can have any color trailer you'd like, on request ... black is just our trademark color for these bad boys.
Get Ready ... Seriously --

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Egyptian Doctor: "Right now, I'd settle for a gun, but I can't even find one of those."

You know--I wasn't going to mention this, but here goes ... it was about 4 weeks ago now, I suddenly sensed that something was dramatically changing. Globally, there was a new dynamic springing up and spreading across the internet--it felt dangerous and ugly and more than anything else--powerfully threatening to the status quo. Now I'm not a sensing kind of person. I'm not even touchy-feely.

But this was a strong intuition that slapped me across the face about a week into the new year after the Pakistan governor's killing by his own bodyguard (who was then given a hero's welcome in court the next day) and then a Philippine councilman was shot and killed as he was inadvertently taking his assassin's photo (shown here).

I don't know why those crimes struck me, other than the fact that in this media-saturated world--everyone saw that Philippine image--it was shocking and it seemed to have the potential of creating a lot of copycat thinking to emerge--given the fact that there was already an obvious amount of frustration and anger out there due to the economy and a multitude of other stresses.

Of course then, the Tucson Congresswoman shooting happened a week or so later. Following that, the riots in Tunisia, Algeria, and Egypt have erupted ... which threaten to bring about an even greater potential for violent upheaval throughout the Middle East and elsewhere.

It seems I may indeed have detected an early disturbance in the force. Can YOU hear the sound of falling dominos rippling away in the distance?

Egypt: My Practice for a Gun

I was just scanning an article about the latest situation in Egypt. The excerpt pasted below, to me, captures perhaps a sentiment that speaks to many around the world today at a base level ...

Read the whole article on Egypt's current chaos right here:


A growing number of governments - including China, France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Finland, Russia and Poland - warned against travel to most parts, if not all of Egypt. Arab nations, including Iraq, either sent in jets to take their citizens home, or offered to do so.

"If I had a visa to anywhere, I'd join them. But that's not going to happen," said Mohammed Khaled, a 28-year-old Egyptian doctor. "Right now, I'd settle for a gun, but I can't even find one of those."

Second amendment anyone?
Get Ready ... Seriously --

Only 47% of Working Age Americans Have Full-Time Jobs

Well isn't this a kick in the pants? ...
Get Ready ... Seriously --

Monday, January 24, 2011

"When Trucks Stop, America Stops"

How fragile our intricate, modern weave of social and economic interdependence!

A document prepared by the American Trucking Associations a few years ago is an excellent reference for what WILL happen when one of any number of proverbial monkey wrenches gets tossed into the gears of our smooth-running existence today. Read the whole doc here.

Below, I've captured the last page summarizing what we can expect when America's trucks stop running (think such causes as pandemic, war, social upheaval, fuel disruption, border crossing delays, material or parts importation halts, security clampdowns, earthquakes, etc.) ...

"When Trucks Stop, America Stops"
A Timeline Showing the Deterioration of Major Industries Following a Truck Stoppage

The first 24 hours
• Delivery of medical supplies to the affected area will cease.
• Hospitals will run out of basic supplies such as syringes and catheters
within hours. Radiopharmaceuticals will deteriorate and become
• Service stations will begin to run out of fuel.
• Manufacturers using just-in-time manufacturing will develop component
• U.S. mail and other package delivery will cease.

Within one day
• Food shortages will begin to develop.
• Automobile fuel availability and delivery will dwindle, leading to skyrocketing
prices and long lines at the gas pumps.
• Without manufacturing components and trucks for product delivery,
assembly lines will shut down, putting thousands out of work.

Within two to three days
• Food shortages will escalate, especially in the face of hoarding and
consumer panic.
• Supplies of essentials—such as bottled water, powdered milk, and
canned meat—at major retailers will disappear.
• ATMs will run out of cash and banks will be unable to process
• Service stations will completely run out of fuel for autos and trucks.
• Garbage will start piling up in urban and suburban areas.
• Container ships will sit idle in ports and rail transport will be disrupted,
eventually coming to a standstill.

Within a week
• Automobile travel will cease due to the lack of fuel. Without autos and
busses, many people will not be able to get to work, shop for groceries,
or access medical care.
• Hospitals will begin to exhaust oxygen supplies.

Within two weeks
• The nation’s clean water supply will begin to run dry.

Within four weeks
• The nation will exhaust its clean water supply and water will be safe for
drinking only after boiling. As a result gastrointestinal illnesses will
increase, further taxing an already weakened health care system.

This timeline presents only the primary effects of a freeze on truck travel. Secondary effects must be considered as well, such as inability to maintain telecommunications service, reduced law enforcement, increased crime, increased illness and injury, higher death rates, and likely, civil unrest.
. .

Nuclear Explosion

Came across this video posted by a Russian in Zimbabwe, near as I can tell. It has to be an animation, no? ...

Get Ready ... Seriously --

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Fourth American Revolution

Strauss and Howe, in "The Fourth Turning," were very accurate in their mid-'90s assessments of where we would be at this point in time. And Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform does a great job of syncing us up to the minute ...

The next Fourth Turning is due to begin shortly after the new millennium, midway through the Oh-Oh decade. Around the year 2005, a sudden spark will catalyze a Crisis mood. Remnants of the old social order will disintegrate. Political and economic trust will implode. Real hardship will beset the land, with severe distress that could involve questions of class, race, nation and empire. The very survival of the nation will feel at stake. Sometime before the year 2025, America will pass through a great gate in history, commensurate with the American Revolution, Civil War, and twin emergencies of the Great Depression and World War II. - The Fourth Turning - Strauss & Howe -1997

Be sure to read in its entirety this column and recalibrate to where we are in this grand swing of the pendulum.
Get Ready ... Seriously --