Coping: Sleeping Well with Disaster at Hand

There’s a special kind of prepping that a lot of people don’t do before running down to the store and clearing the selves of anything with a 90-day shelf life – with no refrigeration – in the face of a big storm – the like one that’s about to deliver  serious rain from the first of two eyes watering, at last so reads the tear-down of dream language over at

That first step, often missed, is to continuously keep a personal threat list.

This isn’t something we’ve just sprung on you this morning – it’s a topic going back literally years over on our site.  The idea is simple:  If you’re going to prep, the smartest thing to prep for will be those events that have the highest probability of actually reaching into your live and turning an otherwise organized sequence of parties and adventures into a murky dead-end disaster.

Windows 7 (and I assume 8, 8.1) has a killer app built-in that not too many people use.  It’s called Sticky Notes. 

To access it, if it’s on your computer, just go down to the Microsoft ball in the lower left of the bottom of your (main) screen and click once.  That will open up a search box and if you type in Sticky Notes the program should pop up.

I use it for all kinds of things like book outlines, ideas for Peoplenomics, movies Elaine might find interesting, and so on.  Other notes are a little more topical, like my super-secret coding project that has involved learning Linux and server building for the ultimate “killer ap” which is coming along fine and we can talk about that when it comes to market.

But the one to pay particular attention to this morning is the note (in yellow) that is called simple the “Threat Board.”

Here’s mine… nice and simple…and, as you’ll notice, broken into two categories:  Evolving threats and local actionable responses:

And this gets me around to the reason people actually listen to the drone of “news” day after day:  They are trying to stay ahead of that which could reach out and (language alert) come and “fuck up your shit.”

Statistically (and I’m on all the news mailing lists I can get on – everything from FEMA to CDC to whatever else ) there are historically only so many things that kill people.

These come down to natural disasters, war, and disease for the most part.  Not that revolutions, political movements, and religion haven’t got bloody hands collectively, but our fascination with news is (thanks to all those advocating reporters out there and their secret covens) is an utter waste of time if it doesn’t translate into personal, actionable stuff.

Location, Location, Location

And that gets us around to the little matter of where you want to be when something really bad decides to up  and go really wrong.

It’s not such a simple question.

While I’m a huge advocate a living “apart” from the crowd a bit, there are lots of disadvantages to it.  Things like fire protection, crime fighting, and emergency medicine fall more directly on us rural pioneer types.  That’s why we have so many fire extinguishers around, have quick disconnects for power, own plenty of lead throwers, and have very well-stocked first aid gear.

And speaking of which, we may even add an AED (automatic external defibrillator).  And for incidents of an uncertain future that could turn violent, remember a few years ago I told you about TacMedicine?

I haven’t mentioned them for a long time but has been out teaching first responders all over the country how to deal with gunshot wounds, how to use QuickClot and how to inflate a collapsed lung…the very sort of thing that becomes important on a battlefield, wherever that battle happens to be.

In fact, we picked ours up on 6/23/2013 on a stopover in Nashville – honored to have one of the first and peripherally consult on such fine projects.

And that get’s us around to preparing for our trip next week that will have us “off the ranch” for a month to 45-days.

I’m not worried about things around here.  God help anyone who tangles with Panama, the retired SF brother-in-law.  So, no worries about security at this end.

Taking off on a long-distance driving trip is another matter.  One of the reasons we’re driving instead of flying is that the “preps” for such a trip are much more weight that we’d carry in the plane.  Some of the inventory:

  • A couple of LifeStraw Personal Water Filters
  • The TacMedicine kit
  • One lead pushing device
  • Ham radio gear for local and long distance coms, and yes, that CB for trucker talk enroute.
  • Hiking shoes
  • All-weather clothing
  • Emergency water (5 gallons)
  • MRE’s
  • Space blankets, tent, flashlights, batteries
  • 9 Volt batteries and silver wire to make emergency colloidal silver…

And then there’s the work-related stuff that includes:  three laptops, two phones, may add a Wi-Fi hotspot, books, reference docs, spare wireless keyboards and mice…the list is mind-boggling.

But the point of all this?

Yes we worry about close friends in California facing once in a lifetime drought, but there’s not much we can do to prep for them.  (Besides, they are competent people, saw it coming, and put in a deep well.)  

Overall, we sort of follow the philosophy that comes with being brought up in a first-responders family:  You’ve got to be able to take care of yourself so you can take care of others.

For the past almost dozen years, this “living apart” out here in the outback has been grand.  And when we go on trips, there’s a certain excitement that comes along the way.  We also do wonder from time to time “Gee, maybe as advancing age comes along, we could move closer to emergency medical care, easier shopping and hey, what about somewhere that Amazon Fresh! delivers?”

We sleep well out here – light breezes in the tall southern pines.  Hotels?  I am always one-eye open, seems like. 

I guess going into the actual prepping for the trip, the feeling is like, well…..getting ready to go to the zoo!  Ore maybe, leaving the safety of our room and going out into the halls to wander around the asylum a bit.

As usual, pictures and notes along the way.  Think of it as a vicarious vacation available on your desktop.  Wheels roll next Thursday morning.

Panama can hardly wait for the peace and quiet.

Reader’s Writes: Art and Practice

From Bruce:

“What IF there are certain geometric shapes in nature that actually have some kind of “powers” imbued in them?”

Hi George – Read that note about dodecahedrons & ebola on your site this morning, very intriguing. Of course, it’s one of the series of Platonic Solids, which do seem to have something special going for them. I wrote to you several years ago on this subject, at a time when the sun appeared to be sending me strong subjective impressions about the star tetrahedron (merkaba) and the so-called ‘metatron’s cube’. I have since taken up a meditative practice of constructing the merkaba internally, and I can report without a doubt that, with sufficient concentration, the thing will take on a life of its own and spin off the whole series of shapes, as well as some pretty heady experiences. Research has confirmed that this phenomenon is well-known in various esoteric traditions. It seems to be a primary generative form.

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio…”

or possibly

“There must be some kind of way outta here…”

…said the Joker to the Thief?

Speaking of which, back into Chi Gung for a bit of energy work via Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body: Gain Lifelong Vitality which may be similar to the more widely available Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body: Qigong for Lifelong Health.

Seems that in the study of Eastern medicine/martial arts there’s been a lingo shift from Chi Gung to Qigong in the past dozen years.

Not to be confused with Nei Gung / Nigong.  The one approach (Chi Gung) starts with the “outer body work” and clears the path inward, while the Nei Gung path begins inside and then works outwards.

Having always been better at bulldozers than emotions, Qigong/Chi Gung fits may raging craziness better.

And from Reader Mark:

Hi George, ebola – given that the disease is being passed to heath care workers who are taking some form of protection – what about family members or the general public who take no form of protection? I figure given the “worlds” overreaction response to this outbreak something else is going on. We are being lied to. In Lagos (21 million people) is the most active area at this time.

My thought is this, is there something that is correlated to people dying? Example of my thinking, an instant drop in feed imports, beer imports. Or is it possible to know that genocide was happening based on a drop in “something” or “increase” ? Just my unanswered questions. Mark

A word of caution Mark:  Remember how primitive societies work.  Sometimes in America we get so accustomed to “push-button data crunching” that we forget that in many  – I daresay most countries, press-button reports on minutia like toilet paper consumption just aren’t ain’t happnin’.

WE know that Ebola causes “the runs” and I expect the corporate director of housekeeping for a Hilton or a Marriott would be able to press a button and get consumption rates, but in a chaotic country with shimmering and shifting supply chains?  Not likely.  In American big corps, I’m sure there’s an enterprise resupply paper (ERP) system.  It’s a modular subsystem in most Strategic Hotel Industry Tracking Systems  (Go ahead and work the abbreviation for that out.  I’ll wait…)

But that does spark a fine topic to research this weekend in the event that I have time…is there a seasonality to consumption of toilet paper?

I’m not entirely joking (you look bewildered, bear with me)  as there are serious economic reasons to look at toilet paper consumption as an indicator of flus and other diseases. 

But (or should I say butt) alas, judging by what 10-seconds of research reveals, someone at TBC Dominion has already asked – and answered – the question in detail.

Still, through the magic of marketing, there may still be an opportunity for Big Picture thinker Mark and me to set up a consultancy by flushing out opportunity in this field.

We might, for example, specialize in data on quilted, embossed, or multilayered tissues, only.

As we then extend the question into what exactly are people squeezing,  that’s so “squeezably soft?”  Is it possible we’ve been out here in Sears Roebuck Catalog land a little too long, after all?

Moron Monday, so to speak.  Write when you break-even, or write when you break.  Machts nicht. Aufweiderscribble meine freunde.  The hunch-type of Notre ‘Pute has work to do.


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