Prepper News Update July 30

Vaccines Less Effective Over Time

The FDA has found that the effectiveness of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine drops by about 19 percent to 84 percent over six months.  That’s far better than the Chinese vaccine, which apparently drops below 50 percent after six months.  The news may worry the vaccinated, but Pfizer’s shareholders are probably celebrating.  This news could mean they get to sell booster shots.  According to the wall Street Journal, Pfizer expects to make $33.5 billion selling the vaccine this year.

The Best Places for Survival

A study published in the journal Sustainability rated the top places to survive the collapse of society are island nations in this order: New Zealand, Iceland, the UK, Tasmania, and Ireland.  These countries were chosen for their ability to grow food, protect their borders from mass migration, and maintain their electrical grid.  My guess is that the U.S. failed on the second point, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your retreat a “collapse lifeboat” within the U.S. 

The article is an interesting read for the serious prepper while the actual journal article goes into detail on the problems of a complex society and says it has determined “human civilisation that is in a perilous state, with large and growing risks developing in multiple spheres of the human endeavour.”  While I do not agree with many of the assumptions and predictions of the paper, it is still worth reading and provides many ideas worth considering.

Flashpoints and Future Wars

We’ve talked previously about rising tensions between China and Taiwan and its allies, and how this could result in a war. Here’s an interesting article on flashpoints for World War Three, and Taiwan ranks at the top.

What Kind of Prepper Are You? Guns vs Food

Guns play a role in preparedness, especially in this day and age. But where do they fall in your priority list? Before or after food?

I was watching YouTube yesterday afternoon, and I fell asleep in the middle of a video on beekeeping and woke up about an hour later to a video from a prepper about things that can kill you. (Thank you, YouTube algorithm.) Interestingly, the first and second things on the list were a lack of food and water.

So I restart the video and am surprised to learn that the theme of the video seems to be that prepping isn’t all about guns and you should take some of that cash you spend on hardware and invest it in survival food.

It served as a good reminder that not everyone approaches prepping in the same perspective.

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Survival and Preparedness on the Road: Can RVers be Preppers?

Is it a bugout vehicle? Is it a mobile retreat? Or is it a target on wheels? We examine whether prepping and RVing go hand-in-hand.

RV sales are up and show no sign of slowing down. COVID-19 has allowed more and more people to work remotely, which can mean a nomadic lifestyle. Housing prices are soaring, and some people who cannot afford to buy a home and are opting to live in an RV or trailer instead. People who retire early often spend a few years traveling across the country in an RV.

This raises the question: Can RVing and a nomadic lifestyle and preparedness overlap? Can you do both?

I know of preppers who live in an RV, so the answer is obviously “yes,” but I personally would not do it. To be more specific: I have no objection to going somewhere in an RV for weeks or even months, but I would never sell my house, put all my stuff in storage, and live solely in an RV. I am too tied to my stuff, especially my preparedness stores.

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New Technology for Building the Dystopian Future

My idea of hell is a world of chat bots and automated systems where you can never get to a real human being on the line.

Today, we have companies like Twitter and Facebook determining who gets to say what, deciding about what qualifies as “fact” and what is not, and determining what news most young Americans see daily. If that is not enough of a dystopian nightmare, let’s look at what the future holds.

Three technologies are in the midst of development and rollout that will change the world, starting with the U.S. and other first world countries. They are Artificial intelligence, 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT). While each one seems like a great idea on its own, it’s the combination of all three that leads to potential problems.

While 5G may allow autonomous vehicles to talk to each other on a crowded highway, and will allow you to stream live events from the comfort of your car while it drives itself, it will also allow the collection of greater amounts of data on you. This data will be collected not only by your car and your phone or tablet, but by every Interne connected device in your house. This data is far too much to be analyzed by humans, so artificial intelligence will mine the data, using it to not only to send you personalized advertisement, but to predict your future actions.

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Get Prepared Now for Infrastructure Failures Leading to Collapse

It’s not just our food supply that is vulnerable to disruption. Our critical infrastructure is vulnerable and could isolate cities.

The pipeline hack and resulting gas shortages in the Southeast last week should serve as an important reminder of how vulnerable our infrastructure is to disruption. We also saw recently that traffic was stopped up on the Mississippi River because of damage on the I-40 bridge in Tennessee. Not long before that, a ship stuck in the Suez Canal halted a portion of global trade. The lesson is that it doesn’t take much to upset the carefully balanced apple cart of modern society.

There are a few other natural or manmade disasters that can interrupt the flow of goods and threaten us with a breakdown.

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Clearing Out our Survival Retreat and a Look at What We Stored There

Ever wonder what a prepper stores at their survival retreat? We visited our retreat and here’s a look at the supplies we cached there.

Over the long weekend, we made the long journey to our survival retreat and recovered some supplies we had cached there. Most of them had been there for less than a decade, but some items had been there since before Y2K.

Now that we have our permanent prepper property, the retreat property will be sold. This trip to remove our personal property was the first step in that process. We also met with a realtor and she gave us some ideas on how she would market it. Thankfully, she agreed that we should sell it “as is” and while we won’t be making any renovations or major improvements, she made some suggestions of what might make it more marketable without the need to spend much money. We hope it will be on the market in June.

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Book Review “World Made by Hand” by James Howard Kunstler

Sometimes you pick up a book and its difficult to put down again. This book definitely roped me in and grabbed my attention. A great read!

The book World Made by Hand by James Howard Kunstler is a tale of good and evil, hope and despair, tenderness and love, and mysticism and the supernatural. It overflows with remarkable, well-developed characters and has an interesting take on life after the electricity stops and the cars cease to run. I found it to be a post-apocalyptic story unlike any I had read before.

I was so impressed with this book and the author’s exceptional story telling ability that I did little else but read, putting aside two other books I was reading, so that I could finish it in a day or two.

In many books about the end of the world, the calamity—how the world ended—drives the story. This one is a departure because World Made by Hand is a character-driven story. The people that populate this book make the story compelling, and it would remain as captivating if it took place in the 1850s. That it is set in the near future after a collapse is a bonus.

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Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

If we didn’t expect something bad to happen, we wouldn’t prep. What you prepare for and how you prepare are critical to your success.

Whether or not we know it, we are all sitting here waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Some wait with trepidation, fear and anxiety, certain that something terrible lies in their future. Others look forward to the coming collapse, thinking that it is the only way we will ever get to have a do-over.

Some work to hasten the collapse, the downfall of our country. They are actually people out there that believe that our population is too high and that we need a great die off to save “Mother Earth.” Strange that none of these people seem will to step up and commit suicide to save the planet. They would rather sacrifice you and your family in the name of good.

Some refuse to think about it, either through youth and nativity or possibly denial. Perhaps some are so self-absorbed and live in such a small inward-looking world that they have no idea what the real world is a dangerous place and that life is a terminal disease that no one escapes.

Personally, I like to prepare for something terrible and then live like I don’t care. Maybe the other shoe will drop tomorrow or next year, but by preparing, I feel ready for whatever the future may bring. No fear, no anxiety, and no worries.

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A Survivalist by Any Other Name

There are lots of names for prepping, some may be vaguely threatening or sound darker than others, but in the end, we are all preparing to survive the collapse.

When I started prepping, I had never heard of the term.  I was a survivalist.  I practiced survivalism, I read American Survival Guide, and I used my 56K modem to read alt.misc.surivalism. 

After Y2K was a bust (at least from a survivalist perspective), survivalism became less urgent until the attack on the World Trade Center, the anthrax scare, the start of the gulf war, and the fear that Iraq had developed nuclear weapons.  That caused things survival-related to pick back up for a year or two.

Survivalism never really died out; it was just gradually replaced by “pepping.”  I think it was reality TV shows like Doomsday Prepper that popularized the terms “prepper” and “prepping.”  I believe the term prepper was quickly adopted by the community because it sounds less threatening than survivalist.  The term survivalist conveys crazy camo-wearing guys in the woods with their guns and gold while preppers are just being careful and buying a few more groceries than regular folk. As a result, your wife or your buddy is probably more willing to be a prepper than a survivalist. 

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We Look at the Big Picture as the U.S. Exceeds 400,000 Dead Due to Coronavirus

As the U.S hits a major milestone, we step back and look at COVID-19 in comparison to past disasters, potential future disasters, and even post-apocalyptic fiction.

The United States has seen more than 400,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19, even as the rate of new COVID-19 cases drops. 

Depending on your perspective, that’s either a large number or a tiny one. For example:

  • If you do the math based on a U.S. population of 330 million, that’s about 0.12 percent of the population. 
  • That’s about the same number of Americans killed in World War II (407,316), although our population was only 132 million in 1940
  • It’s far more than died in the Vietnam conflict (58,220) or Afghanistan and Iraq (7,056).
  • It’s below the 675,000 deaths that occurred in the U.S. as a result of the Spanish Flu, which took place when we had a population of 103 million, but it is far more than the 116,000 U.S. deaths believed to have been caused by the H2N2 flu in 1957.
  • It is estimated that small pox killed 300 million in the 20th century and untold numbers before that, including vast numbers of Native Americans.
  • It’s less than the 700,000 or so deaths attributed to HIV/AIDS in the U.S.

Of course, if it has affected you or one of your loved ones has died, then that is more impactful than any number.

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