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

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

UBS Advises Investing in "Precious Metals, Tinned Goods, and Small Calibre Weapons"

Excerpt of report by UBS analyst Larry Hatheway:

Simply put, linear thinking doesn’t work in a non-linear world. And break-up is likely to produce a very non-linear set of outcomes.

Which brings me, lastly, to the question I sometimes get about what is the ‘right’ asset allocation in the event of break-up.

I suppose there might be some assets worthy of consideration—precious metals, for example. But other metals would make wise investments, too. Among them tinned goods and small calibre weapons.

Break-up runs the risk of becoming one wretched scenario. Sadly, however, it can’t be ruled out, just as it would have been improper to rule out the horrors of the first half of the 20th century before they happened.
But it is very hard to see break-up as a solution. Let’s hope Europe’s politicians and policymakers agree and take action this week to fix what is broken before itall really breaks up.

Read the entire editorial at Zero Hedge.

Vic Rantala is owner of Safecastle LLC, crisis preparedness provider. Emergency storage food such as Mountain House freeze dried foods, Safecastle steel-plate shelters and saferooms, and other unique survival gear solutions are available at

Friday, December 02, 2011

Will You Run or Gut It Out?

There's a fundamental “either-or” decision that often has to be made in the face of impending crisis. That is, flight or fight ... bug out or dig in ... run or gut it out.

We all need to be prepared for either side of that equation. It's great to have stacks of stored food, tools, and supplies in the basement, because there are plenty of scenarios where all those resources will serve you well. But there are also a myriad of cases where the smart money picks up and gets out of Dodge. In that kind of situation, it's often going to need to be done on a moment's notice, so we need to have some resources packed and ready to go.

It's not easy making the right decision. Some folks have a hard time leaving their homes and possessions behind if there is a risk everything will be lost or destroyed. One memorable example was an old fellow named Harry Truman who, in 1980, refused to leave his lodge on Spirit Lake in the shadow of the building eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington. He had run the lodge since 1928, and his stubborn refusal to abide by evacuation orders was given much media attention at the time. Of course he and his beloved lodge were lost in the catastrophic eruption ... his body was never found.

Stubbornness, fear, or ignorance often prevent folks from recognizing the nature of impending risks and to fairly weigh their options. Or perhaps it is courage that differentiates one man’s action from another.
Clearly, paralysis is far easier to give in to than to overcome. How many folks lost their lives to Hurricane Katrina because they did not evacuate, in spite of the most urgent warnings given by authorities? Certainly thousands.

Sometimes, warnings leave no time for thought or doubt. Imminent dangers leave logical, instinctive survival responses to rule. For example, there in the last several years, there were two devastating tsunamis in Asia. Telltale natural clues and as well as last-minute urgent warnings from authorities allowed many to take immediate evasive actions that saved their lives. Wildfires or forest fires often provide some small window of opportunity for evacuation for those in their path. People who see an approaching tornado do not dally and over-think their options--they either get into their available shelters or they flee if none are available, depending upon their proximity to the funnel cloud.

A list of potential threats would be endless. Sometimes, we are given days to mull over our course of action. Other times only minutes or seconds.

Of course, there are plenty of events where no warning is given ... such as major earthquakes, industrial accidents, terror attacks, and on and on. In those events, survival can be affected by instantaneous reactions. Basic survival instinct can spell the difference between life or death.

The bottom line is, when we are given fair warning of impending disaster, we must be physically and mentally prepared to make the right moves.

Basic Choices and Pre-Positioning Your State of Mind

We can boil down our basic choices in an effort to apply them to most situations and to help you get yourself into a ready position for potential dangers.

Most important--you will ALWAYS be best served by keeping a clear head and calm demeanor in order to rapidly work through what must be done when you are faced with a potentially life-threatening situation. BEFOREHAND, do regular thought-pattern drills …think about the need for self-control and practice that at all times. Mull over basic emergency options in general terms periodically before you are actually presented with an emergency and you will be more apt to react wisely in the chaos of crisis.

Then, when the moment of truth arrives, you will be functional and capable of responding in logical fashion to the circumstances presented. Given your predilection to preparedness, you will also have adequate physical assets, tools, and resources available so that you do actually have a full range of options at your disposal.

In man-made or natural disasters, you will need to either …

1. “Dig-in.” If you are at home or work or on other familiar ground and you know your available resources will provide you with what you need, this is often the wisest choice to make (and the one we often spend the most time building up in our preparedness activities). If you have a hardened, storm-proof shelter with supplies in stock, and you do not face a flooding or fire risk, or there is not an air quality situation that makes staying put a losing proposition, then you may very well opt to "stay home." After all, if most others are having to evacuate the area, you could find yourself in a dangerous gridlock or panic situation out there secondary to the major risk, but just as dangerous. The other major advantage here is community support available that is lost when you hit the road. So, if you are well positioned to stay right where you are and the risk is appropriate to your preparations, then stay put.

2. Or “Bug-out.” If you have no decent shelter and supplies available where you are, or the threatening situation will overcome your position (as in fire, flood, toxic gas), then you must pick up and go. If you are adequately prepared for this kind of event, you will have some needed resources packed and ready to go--in your closet, under your desk, and/or in your vehicle. Commonly called a bug-out bag, you'll want to have at a minimum: some drinking water, food, a change of clothing, cash, credit card, ID, a contact list, flashlight, first aid kit, needed medications, a surgical mask to filter airborne particles, a multitool, and cell phone. This list can be greatly expanded depending on your situation. (In the north, smart folks have blizzard bags in their vehicles that include blankets, food, matches, hand warmers, etc., in case we are ever stranded in our cars in the cold.) Figure that everyone should have at least a 24-hour emergency bag with them wherever they are. Many have a few bags ready to go that provide care and sustenance for a week or more. The Hurricane Katrina aftermath was a good example of the wisdom in that approach.

In any case, “react well.” No-warning disasters or threats require some mental acuity more than anything else. If there are adequate physical preparations on hand, that can often be of great use as well. I am thinking here in terms of a violent assault, a home intrusion, or a sudden geophysical act of God. Other potential scenarios could include a major transportation or industrial accident that releases toxicity or radiation into your area ... or an act of war that would include a chemical, biological, or nuclear event. If you have previously trained or prepared or thought through your options, you will be ahead of the game. If you are surprised with a situation that you have no ability to deal with, good luck. Don't obsess, but give some thought to your potential risks and figure out now what you might be able to do.

Above all, stay calm and within your capabilities as you try to deal with a situation. A human's heart rate reaches a certain level usually seen in "panic situations" when normal brain activity is impossible. (Think mass crowd panic.) Understand that you will not always tend to think or react rationally. Preparation, mental and physical, can help and will often mean the difference between life and death.

Vic Rantala is owner of Safecastle LLC, crisis preparedness provider. Emergency storage food such as Mountain House freeze dried foods, Safecastle steel-plate shelters and saferooms, and other unique survival gear solutions are available at

Thursday, December 01, 2011

How to Persuade Others to Prepare Now, Avoiding Ruination

A majority of the U.S. population understands that a global depression is in process. Yet so many seem not to understand the practical basics of what it is they can do to enhance their ability to pull their household through and survive the chaos and despair that is on the horizon.

Fortunately, millions have seen the cautionary signposts for years. Really, none of what is happening economically, culturally, or geopolitically should be a shock to anyone. After all, so many have taken productive steps to prepare for this or a similar catastrophic event to ensure at least a chance at providing for the needs of loved ones through very difficult times.

If there has been a surprise registered among these observers, it is that the whole process of collapse has been such a gradual, plodding progression—not to be deterred. Many envisioned disaster that would come instantly, perhaps overnight--with a clearly recognizable sign from the heavens signaling it's time to pack up the moped, head for the hills, and never look back. The apocryphal all-out nuclear exchange that decimates the civilized world in minutes is what some doomers had in mind … or in the event of an economic collapse scenario, a financial implosion distinguishable by a hailstorm of stockbrokers leaping from tall towers and pitchfork-wielding peasants storming all the banks and convenience stores for their final entitlements.

But historians tell us that even in the Great Depression of 1929 (and beyond), folks didn't understand it for what it was until they were maybe midway through it. That is, years into the debacle ... one day perhaps realizing, “Hey, boiling up shoe-leather soup is not what we used to call normal dinner-table fare ... when did this happen?”

Fact is, it is a blessing that today’s slow-developing period of pre-ruination allows for so many more folks out there to urgently lay in supplies and gear for the long, cold nights ahead. The more of us prepared for mass shortages and suffering, the better off we all will be. So this is the hand we have been dealt—a last great opportunity to encourage those around us to prepare.

Oozing Persuasive Wisdom

Through the years, one almost-universal complaint I heard from fellow preparedness activists was that they were often unable to convince even those nearest and dearest to them that crisis readiness is important. After all, for many who sailed smoothly through the calm seas of the American Dream, there was the conventional perspective that only kooks and "racist survivalists" prepared for a disaster that would probably never come. It was a view that was cultivated in the public mind by the corporate-driven media for decades. So in spite of the obvious common sense inherent in a balanced approach to life and being prepared for rainy days, there was a wall that needed to be breeched for some folks to recognize the full breadth of reality’s highs and lows.

Indeed it was a tough sell. Discouragement in getting the message across to a spouse, siblings, buddies, or coworkers was a common woe. The spouse factor alone was seemingly insurmountable for some.

Those who were more successful in sharing the pursuit of preparedness were usually those who had the aura of satisfaction and confidence.

How-To Get “the Aura”

This won't work for everyone, but in my personal, extensive experience, this is your best bet. I've been involved in preparedness of various kinds, professionally as well as personally for decades, and with time, you learn that there IS a way to at least get folks to listen to what you have to say.

Anytime you are first bringing up the issue of preparedness with someone (and perhaps EVERY time you discuss it) ...

Lose the emotion. Fear, anger, paranoia ... those are the emotions and "danger signs" many people out there would be turned off by and probably alarmed about. Show it and the cause is already lost.

Be patient, wait for the right clue to bring it up … then take a calm, uncommitted, intelligent tack in which you almost casually relate the view that crisis preparedness is common sense. Be dispassionate, non-threatening ... that's how you need to bring the issue forward. If there is no sign of your companion being in the least bit receptive, drop it. Maybe the next opportunity that arises will be different. Just don't make it an obvious priority in your interactions with the person.

No target-lock on any one threat. This is a big problem for many. It's easy not only to inadvertently zero in on one big threat of the hour when talking about crisis preparedness, it's just as easy to allow it to become all-consuming in one's own actual approach to preparedness. When raising the issue of preparedness, be knowledgeable, but not necessarily "expert." Talk about crises in general if appropriate, unless your friend is needing to talk over an issue that is bothering them today (i.e., the economic collapse today is a likely topic).
Most important, talk more about solutions, not so much about difficulties. Trying to scare someone into seeing things your way never really hits the mark.

Don't play oracle, proclaiming THE END.
Want to be seen as a crank? Set a deadline and start telling folks that you know something ominous they don't. Throughout history, dates of doom have come and gone as have their promoters. Even if you see some risk ahead, keep it to yourself until it becomes painfully obvious to even the most obtuse.

Don't talk about TEOTWAWKI.
See #3. "The End Of The World As We Know It" became a common acronym circa the Y2K computer-scare era. Of course, it is also widely applied to post nuclear-war exchanges, and so on. What most people know in their heart is that life goes on. And that change is inevitable and continuous. To try to counter either of those axioms is to ask to be pigeon-holed into a niche where few can be taken seriously.

Eventually drop the mystery about your own preparedness efforts. Today, more and more people are openly into preparedness, particularly with others who are of like mind. The preparedness market niche in business is practically mainstream at this point. Of course this runs counter to the tendency many have to protect access to and knowledge of their preparedness resources. But to encourage someone else to embark upon a personal campaign toward greater readiness by being more open about your own efforts, is a powerful way to go about it. When it comes down to it, folks are more easily inspired by demonstrated actions over hollow words. Use common sense deciding when it might actually prove to be wise to take this path with someone and to what extent.
If more folks were forthcoming about their own preparedness efforts, then the public impression that normal people don't do this would be immediately laid to rest.

If you are trying to “build your case,” limit the reference points you share to sources in the "alternative media."
There are a lot of very enthusiastic parties out there focusing on specific, preparedness-related issues. They may be off the beaten path and all have their own adherents and do often contribute in their way to crisis readiness in the general population. However, before you refer fence-sitting preparedness prospects to a website or to a book of interest, etc., be sure you consider the kind of first impression they will likely have, given all aspects of that reference work and ALL the content and themes being projected there.
Vic Rantala is owner of Safecastle LLC, crisis preparedness provider.  Emergency storage food such as Mountain House freeze dried foods, Safecastle steel-plate shelters and saferooms, and other unique survival gear solutions are available at

Sunday, November 27, 2011

If You Can't Beat it, Rhyme it

Prep like you mean it.
The world is on fire.
Alternatives receded,
we have to climb higher.

Feel free to add your own verse in the comments below.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Give the Gift of Preparedness & Get a FREE MH Best Sellers Kit

Looking for practical, eye-opening, memorable, and even life-changing for your gift-giving?

Safecastle is now offering eGift Certificates that allow you to easily offer friends and family the chance to embark on the kind of crisis preparedness journey you know is so important these days.

Our eGift Certificates are available in a wide range of denominations for any budget.

And for a limited time, for our buyers club members who purchase eGift Certificates totaling at least $150: we are throwing in a FREE Mountain House Best Sellers Kit.

Tis the season to be ready.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Safecastle Mountain House Sale EXTENDED thru Nov. 21

MH Cans Sale--Our Inventory is Blowing Out the Door--We've Arranged with the MH Factory to Ship Product as Well For Us

I don't need to tell you what's going on out there in the world. There are no bailouts that can rescue us anymore. Your future well-being is solely in your hands today. Prepare for the worst, because that's what's coming.

We are blowing thru all our in-stock Mountain House foods as well as our other food varieties and packages. Folks who know the score are taking advantage of our discounted food prices and free shipping before the looming price hikes that are coming next year (not to mention the societal chaos that also seems assured).

If you are not fully squared away by now--I advise you to get it all together now. The experts I interact with agree that time is now measured in days and weeks. I hesitate to connect such "scare-mongering" with our Safecastle sales, but today, it is what it is. We are all playing the cards that are dealt to us, right?

This is one current silver lining -- Our "Bunker-up" Mountain House cans sale is still in process--we have extended these maximum discounts thru Monday, Nov. 21. You have some great opportunities to maximize your resources and convert them into valuable supplies that are going to seriously appreciate in value in the future if expected food inflation and food shortage predictions are on target..

  • We are offering the maximum-allowed 25% discount on all MH cans.
  • Our buyers club members can capitalize on our current MH Royalty Rewards program  and our 2011 Cache Back program.
  • Needless to say, EVERYTHING ships free to the lower 48 all the time.
More good news:  The MH factory has agreed to immediately ship to customers the foods we run out of so that we can continue to offer you all the available MH varieties, even as our inventory is depleted. (The only item out of stock at the factory at the moment is Bananas and that will be available in early December.)

Shop the sale now.

Reminder:  Mountain House pouches are going up in price across the board--an average of 7%--January 1, 2012. So if you need MH pouches--get 'em now.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Last MH Sale of 2011-Max Discount, Freebies, All in Stock & Ready to Ship Promptly

We're running a four-day 25%-Off Mountain House sale this week--Wednesday, November 16 thru Saturday, November 19.

Note that we're only selling MH cans that are in stock. We're bringing in lots of extra help to get your order out pronto. So there are no worries about long delays on your Mountain House delivery. The last thing you want is to get your order jammed up in the "mails" with the holiday season about to begin--hence--we are getting shipments out within a few days of order receipt to beat the holiday shipping crush.

Of course, everything ships free to the lower 48 all the time.

As for this week's sale-period Mountain House Royalty Rewards Incentives program--we have pumped it up this time around over previous MH sale Rewards, so the time is right for you to make sure your bunker is stocked up going into what everybody is agreed is going to be a very tough year ahead.

Have a look at these new sale-period Royalty Rewards.

And this news just got to us today:  Mountain House is raising pouch case prices across the board for 2012 at about 7%.  So if you need to stock up on MH pouches--do it now.


Tuesday, November 08, 2011

A Limited Number of Canned Bacon Cases Available Today

We've been waiting MANY weeks for our bulk shipment of Yoders bacon to arrive from the factory. The Yoders factory is backed up untold weeks at this point - due to an epic surge in demand for canned meats over the last several months.
Yesterday we received our first bacon shipment in a LONG time. We are now filling some of our own recent bacon backorders and setting aside a number of cases for our many food packages. We've also taken in many orders for the bacon already in the last several hours. So what that leaves us with at the moment is a grand total of 15 cases of Yoders bacon on hand to ship for new orders. Then, we also have 20 more cases arriving in two weeks. After that, we're again at the back of the line in terms of getting more in.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

We Remodeled and Brought in New Products

A New Dried-Food Line in Buckets
and a Mega-Protein Meat & Dairy Variety Pack

1. Have a look at our modestly streamlined, remodeled store. Like it? Don't like it? Let me know. (Notice that we are refocusing our identity on our Safecastle name. The PREPARED.PRO domain still works to get to our store, but we are now using that name as a brand for some special products we make available in our store.)

2. Budget concerns are huge these days. That's why we've brought in a new line of dried foods with lower prices than the Mountain House foods everyone is so familiar with. We are now offering Lindon Farms freeze-dried and dehydrated foods packaged in zipseal mylarfoil bags and plastic buckets. We did our homework with these folks. The food line is new , healthy, and meat-free. Check our low member pricing on these foods (all the packages are based on 2000-calories a day).

3. Speaking of meat, protein in a survival situation is a big necessity. It's also of course the most expensive kind of nutrition out there. In fact, right now, some meats in the grocery store are inflating in price at the annual rate of 10%. Well, we thought this is the time to do what we can to make sure you, our best customers, have a shot at a Mega-Protein Meat & Dairy Pack at a price that soon will be but a fond memory. (Shhh ... check our member price on this.)

4. As many of you know, renowned survival trainer Ron Hood passed away a few months back. Ron was a great resource for us here in his role as a member of our Safecastle Board of Advisors and we continue to look for ways to offer our support to his wife Karen and young son. In that concurrent vein of pride, appreciation, and encouragement, we are offering a handful of the survival knives Ron designed and perfected--which are now getting a great deal of attention and acclaim in survival and blade-crafting circles. Check out the Buck Knives - Ron Hood Hoodlum Survival Knife.

We've got more we could talk about but I'll let you poke around and find a few new gems in the store.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Your Food Prices Today and Tomorrow - Prepare Prudently

The USDA keeps tabs on food-cost data, using a number of different parameters. If you're interested in such things, here's a nice place to start on their website:  a table of Food CPI and expenditures.

From that table, you will find, among other things, that in 2010 the average total per capita food expenditure in the US was $4016. The USDA also just came out with a statement to the effect that they anticipate the 2011 number will be up to 4.5% higher. That means when the 2011 data is in the books, they expect the per capita number could reach $4197.

The most current rate of food price inflation is actually showing higher than 5%, with meats and dairy leading the way (for instance, beef prices are up better than 10% from September 2010 to September 2011).

Your mileage may very well differ from these numbers. Most folks I know would see 5% annual food price increases as far more moderate than what they are personally experiencing. Much depends on what and how you eat. Also, if you have a number of mouths to feed, those per capita increases deliver a magnified impact on a household budget.

Boiled and Mashed

I like to boil these numbers down to cost per day and then cost per meal. The assumption is not that these food costs equate to three meals per day. I know that in reality, Americans snack and eat and drink at times other than at mealtime. But I am in the preparedness food business, and looking at the cost of daily sustenance is pertinent to our marketplace.

The USDA seems to be expecting that our 2011 per capita daily food costs are at $11.50. A family of 4 is spending $46.00 a day on food. You can easily do your own math based on your own household size to cost per meal.

That USDA per capita number is averaged across all income brackets. If you are upper middle class or better, your food cost is no doubt higher--significantly.

Preparing for Higher Costs Tomorrow

There is no doubt that food price pressures are increasing. Growing global populations and emerging markets where populations are entering the competition for limited food supplies will lead to higher food costs down the road. Weather disasters causing crop failures are expected to continue to grow in significance. We won't even go where the USDA does not tread in their forecasting ... such as what might happen in the case of economic collapse or the eruption of major warfare, and how that could affect food supplies and prices.

Needless to say, more than ever, a quality food storage program is the foundation for any serious-minded household preparedness effort.

Preparing by the Numbers

Some folks new to preparedness shy away from making major food investments, even knowing that food which stores well for decades is going to be be far more valuable and critical when the time comes for its consumption.

But the USDA data actually helps some folks to put it all into perspective. Bottom line--do not expect that quality food--the kind you are accustomed to eating--and especially food that is specifically canned and packaged for long-term storage, is going to cost less than what you are spending today for your food. You know--the food that is processed and packaged in volumes meant for prompt consumption in massive consumer-driven quantities.

In other words--if want to be confident in building a truly adequate and satisfying food storage program for your family, start with the $11.50 per day per person number and go from there. Spend less than that, and something somewhere is wrong and you are likely not getting what you may believe you are getting.

It is still in your power to be ready for what is coming.
Get Ready ... Seriously --

Total Collapse - The Build-up to WWIII

Get Ready ... Seriously --

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

One More Day of 25%-Off MH Cans - and Check Our New Inventory

1. Thru Oct. 19, Safecastle is offering the maximum-allowed 25% discounts on all MH cans in stock!

2. No matter what quantity you order, you get FREE SHIPPING (to the lower 48).  

3. Plus, Buyers Club members reap substantial benefits from two separate incentive programs ... first--the Royalty Rewards program which this time around offers $50 gift certificates for every three MH can cases ordered -- no limit. Second, as with all purchases in our store through 2011, purchases count toward our unique Cache Back program for members.

NOTE: We just added MH canned inventory of Lasagna and Oriental Spicy Chicken--so if you were missing those items--cheer up--we have them again in time for this sale now.
ALSO--some other brand new items just listed today:

A case 6 different dried veggies including Jalapenos, Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Broccoli, Carrots, and Scalloped Portatoes

A case of assorted dried fruits to include Kiwi, Apples, Pears, Peaches, Blueberries, and Raspberries

We've many more new food items coming, so stay tuned ...

 Get Ready ... Seriously --

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wow! - See How 90% of Americans Have Gotten Shafted Over the Past 30 Years

The Economic Policy Institute has put together an amazing interactive chart that shows the growth of incomes in the US over the past 90 years--broken down by who the gains went to.

Read this short article by Henry Blodget! Good historical context there, as well as shocking evidence of elite greed.

Bottom line, "In the past 30 years, 96% of the growth of average incomes in this country have gone to the richest 10% of the country. And in the past 10 years, the incomes of the other 90% have declined."

Wonder why global unrest is igniting?
 Get Ready ... Seriously --

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Maximum 25%-Off Mountain House Cans Sale: Oct. 16-19

Heads-up on this coming opportunity ... your chance to get a hold of the best storage food fast, at maximum discount--absolutely fresh from the factory. (We are fully stocked on all MH canned varieties for this sale.)

And you can save three ways! ...

1.  October 16-19 only, Safecastle is offering the maximum-allowed 25% discounts on MH cans!

2.   No matter what quantity you order, you get FREE SHIPPING (to the lower 48).

3.  Plus, Safecastle Royal Buyers Club members reap substantial benefits from two separate incentive programs ... first--the Royalty Rewards program which this time around offers $50 gift certificates for every three MH can cases ordered--no limit. Second, as with all purchases in our store through 2011, purchases count toward our unique Cache Back program for members.

.Get Ready ... Seriously --

Sunday, October 02, 2011

"Meltdown": Watch All Four Episodes

Very important viewing here--a documentary produced by CBC Canada regarding the grim global impact of the financial crash of 2008, which is now returning with a vengeance.

Part 1: The Men Who Crashed the World

Part 2: A Global Financial Tsunami

Part 3: Paying the Price

Part 4: After the Fall

Get Ready ... Seriously --