Sunday, February 21, 2021

75 Items People Needed During the Recent Winter Storm

There were a lot of people in the south who were caught off guard by the massive snow and ice storm that hit Texas and other southern areas of our country last week.  Among the after-storm reports on various social media services were lists of items people wished they had/added to their "to buy" list both during and after the storm.  Needless to say, it is both easier and cheaper to buy these items long before you need them instead of when people are mobbing the stores during the adverse weather event.  Maybe add some of these items to your "to buy" list in case you find yourself in such a situation in the future...

  1. Generator and extra fuel.  This is a very popular item during power outages, on the other hand, these noisy generators certainly draw attention to your place.
  2. A solar panel/storage battery set up.  Quieter than a generator and no need for fuel if you live in a place that gets enough sun even during the winter.
  3. 5 gallon buckets.  There are a million uses for these from hauling and storing water to using it as an impromptu wheelbarrow.
  4. Rags and old towels.  You can pick these up for cheap at thrift stores and they have hundreds of uses during a disaster.
  5. Tarps.  These also have many uses from wrapping the chicken coop to keep the girls warm, to wrapping plants and trees, to making a shelter within your home.
  6. Duct tape.  Again, a million uses during a disaster, from repairs to wrapping insulation around pipes, etc.
  7. Winter clothing.  Many people head south and leave their winter clothes behind; everyone should have at least one complete set of warm winter clothes--jacket, gloves, hat, boots, socks--in storage.
  8. Clothes to keep warm at home.  Big warm socks, long underware, big fleece jackets, onesies for the kids...basically have clothes you can layer to wear at home to keep you warm.
  9. Snow shovel.  People were trying to move snow with Tupperware lids in some reports!
  10. Electric space heaters.  With power or a generator, these small space heaters can be used to keep an entire room warm.
  11. Alternate fuel space heaters and extra fuel.  Portable space heaters which use fuel like kerosene or propane are a great emergency source of heat if the power goes out (be sure to keep the fuel rotated).
  12. Matches and lighters.  Some people who still had gas service but no electricity realized their electric starter didn't work on their stoves and they didn't have a manual way to light them.
  13. Gas patio grill.  These grills (preferably with a side burner) became the only way to cook food and boil water for some people.
  14. Carbon monoxide detectors.  These were extremely valuable as people used alternate ways to heat their homes and cook their food.  Unfortunately a lot of people didn't have these vital detectors and many ended up in the hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning.
  15. Lots of extra stored, easy-to-eat food.  With no power and no way to heat food, people realized that all the beans and rice in the world are less than useful when what they really needed was canned and packaged food that could be easily eaten without cooking or with minimal cooking (granola, cereal, jerky, canned tuna, etc).
  16. Lots of extra stored water.  Most people don't think they will end up at the community water faucet to get water but it happened in some areas.  Having multiple sources of stored water and multiple ways to carry water is a good idea.
  17. Multiple ways to purify water.  Many areas had boil water orders which were problematic for a few reasons--people's water stopped working, they had no way to boil water, and they didn't know how to boil water to purify it.  Learn how to purify water now and have several methods for doing so on hand.
  18. Camping gear.  Even though people were stuck in their homes without heat, many really could have used camping gear--tent, sleeping bags, sleep pads, etc--to create a warm "inner room" in their homes.  As it was, some people didn't even have enough blankets to keep warm!
  19. Alternate ways to clean up.  Wet wipes, hand sanitizer, a spray bottle or garden sprayer...there are many alternate ways to clean yourself up (take a cue from van dwellers on how to do this when you don't have water or power).
  20. Bleach.  From purifying water to sanitizing around the house, bleach has a lot of uses during an emergency so always have some on hand (but never mix it with other cleaning agents!).
  21. Fire extinguisher.  Stopping a fire when it was small would have been preferable to the infernos that happened because all of the hydrants were frozen.
  22. Toilet paper, kleenex, paper towels.  Needless to say, when a storm hits, paper goods are one of the first items to disappear from store shelves.
  23. Cash.  Some stores didn't have electricity so credit cards couldn't be processed, ditto gas stations and ATMs.  It's always a good idea to have emergency cash on hand.
  24. Extra stored fuel.  Gas stations quickly closed during the storm either because they had no electricity to pump the fuel or because they were so overwhelmed with people filling their gas tanks that they ran out.  Never be caught in this situation by having your own (rotated) fuel stock.
  25. Snow chains.  Most people leave their tire chains behind when they head south.  Obviously these would have come in handy during this once-in-a-decade storm.
  26. Battery banks.  It seems like most cell service kept working during the storm but with no power people were trying all sorts of ways to keep their cell phones charged.  Having several power banks on hand and keeping them charged up when you have access to power is a very good idea.
  27. Extension cords.  These were useful for everything from running power from a generator to sharing power with the neighbors.
  28. Alternate ways to cook food.  If your electric stove doesn't work, how will you cook food?  Some people used their patio grills, some people broke out their Coleman camp stoves, some people cooked over their tiny backpacking stoves or used their fireplace.
  29. Fireplaces.  How useful is your fireplace during a power outage?  If you have a fireplace insert and lots of cured wood, you would have been set during the storm.  A gas fireplace, not so much as gas service cut out in many places.
  30. Firewood.  People ended up burning furniture and books to keep warm!  Even if you just have a small bonfire pit in the back yard, having firewood on hand is a much better option than buying it piece by piece at the grocery store (many of which ran out of wood almost immediately).
  31. Propane cylinders.  It's always a good idea to have an extra cylinder or three on hand to use with your gas grill or propane heater.  These sold out quickly at stores in the storm-affected areas.
  32. Pipe wrap.  Again, in cold places wrapping heat tape around exposed pipes is a given but this isn't done in warmer areas.  Have a way to insulate your pipes so they don't burst during a hard freeze.
  33. Duct tape.  Literally a hundred uses during a disaster.
  34. Plastic sheeting.  People with poorly insulated windows put up plastic sheeting to keep cold and drafts out of their homes during the storm (again, this stuff sold out quickly at home stores during the storm).
  35. Flashlights and extra batteries.  Flashlights and headlamps were extremely valuable when the power was out for days.  Be sure you have enough batteries on hand to keep these light sources going.
  36. Candles.  If you run out of batteries for your flashlights you can use candles.
  37. Lanterns.  Lanterns are an even better idea if you want to provide light for an entire room.  These can be powered with rechargeable batteries or fuel.
  38. Entertainment options.  Preferably of the non-electric variety.  There were many days of just waiting and hanging out and without power people had to resort to old fashioned ways of entertaining themselves from books and games to puzzles and crafts.  Have plenty of these supplies on hand.
  39. Hot water bottles.  These are another old fashioned item that were invaluable for keeping warm when the power went out.  Boil water, fill the bottle, put the bottle in the bottom of your sleeping bag and you will stay warm for hours.
  40. Extra specialized food--for babies, for pets, for livestock, etc.  People couldn't get out to the stores/the stores were closed, but everyone still needs to eat so always keep your specialized food (baby formula, baby food, pet food, livestock feed, etc) topped off.
  41. Chemical hand warmers.  If you have to wait in line in the freezing weather for food/water/store entry/etc, having these chemical hand warmers in your pockets are a nice treat.
  42. Battery powered radio and extra batteries.  These were great for getting information from the outside when TV and radios didn't work.  Note that the emergency radios which can be powered by batteries, regular power, and hand crank are even better in case you run out of batteries and these often have a port for charging your cell phone as well.
  43. Extra blankets and bedding.  Some people had unexpected guests during the storm (friends, family, a delivery driver) so it makes sense to have enough extra bedding and blankets for everyone.  Also, blankets can be used to make an impromptu tent for the family, can be used over windows to doorways to seal out the cold, etc.
  44. A way to protect yourself.  I actually didn't hear about people taking advantage of the power outage to rob people's homes but no power means no security system and at the height of the storm first responders were few and far between so people were on their own when it came to their own security and protection.
  45. Thermos.  Again, an old fashioned concept since there is a Starbucks on every corner, but a thermos is the best way to have already made hot coffee/water all day.
  46. Basic tools.  Hammer, saw, nails, wrench, plumbing supplies, staple gun...if any damage was done during the storm, people needed to mend the mess and wait, often for days or weeks, for professional help.  If you could cap off a broken pipe, hang tarps, and use a chainsaw to clear downed trees, you were miles ahead of the general public, especially in the cities that were hard hit by the storm.
  47. Cast iron pans/Dutch oven.  These are the best pans to use when you have to move your indoor cooking to the gas grill/fire pit/fireplace.  
  48. Silcock key.  Rumor has it that while household water went down there was still plenty of water to be had in commercial building water systems.  YMMV
  49. Extra medication.  While the best course of action for people in severe medical distress (on a ventilator, dependent on oxygen, on dialysis, etc) would have been evacuating far from the storm, people with general medical issues were still on their own for a while so things like having as stockpile of prescription medication is a good idea when stores/pharmacies are shut down.
  50. Power strips/surge protectors.  With the rolling blackouts that happened in many storm affected areas, many people had to both charge as many devices as quickly as possible and ensure that their delicate electronics didn't get toasted when there were power surges.  These two devices take care of both problems.
  51. Shop vac.  These durable vacuums are great for storm clean up (or any kind of clean up that the spouse would object to you using the Dyson on).
  52. Yaktrax or spikes for your shoes/boots.  If you must be out and about in a snow and ice storm, having traction devices on your shoes is a good idea for your safety.
  53. Car BOB.  Many people got stuck in their cars in the storm in the middle of the freeway.  For hours on end.  Having a car bug out bag makes this situation much more bearable.
  54. Materials to extricate your vehicle from the ditch.  If you do drive during a storm and get stuck in the snow, there are several things to have with you to get yourself out of your predicament including a shovel, cat litter,  car traction mats, gloves, winch/come-along, etc.
  55. Funnels.  These can be used for transferring fuel from storage containers to car tank, from storage to heater, water from storage to pitchers in the refrigerator, etc.
  56. Hand pump/siphon.  For people who have difficulty lifting heavy gas or water storage containers, being able to pump or siphon the water out of these and into smaller containers is a good idea.
  57. Ice scraper and snow brush.  In south Texas no one keeps an ice scraper in their vehicle so people were using credit cards, knives(!), and even fire to clear ice and snow from their vehicles.
  58. Coolers.  These can be filled with snow to keep food cold if the fridge has been out of power for too long.
  59. HAM radios.  Some people reported using their HAM radios during the storm to connect with other people and receive local information.  When cell towers go down, this may be your only communication option.
  60. Thermometers.  People kept these in their fridge and freezers to know what temperatures these appliances got up to--too long in the danger zone and the food would spoil.
  61. Car USB charger.  As a last resort, people would use these to charge their cell phones in their vehicles.
  62. Down.  Down throws, down sleeping bags, down booties...as long as it doesn't get wet, down items are really warm and really lightweight.
  63. Tools to turn off water, gas, and electricity in your home.  Electricity is pretty simple as you just flip the main breaker, gas shut off should be done with a special non-sparking tool, water shut off is usually done by flipping a lever in your home or using a tool to access the water shut off at the street.
  64. French press.  A simpler way to make coffee than electricity-intensive coffee makers.  Instant coffee was an even easier option.
  65. Paper plates/napkins/plastic cutlery/aluminum foil/plastic wrap.  When there was no hot water to wash dishes, using paper products became pretty popular in the storm-affected area.
  66. Mylar emergency blankets.  Pretty good for another insulative layer, pretty noisy if you are trying to sleep in one.
  67. Drain cover/water BOB.  For people who filled up their bathtubs with water before their water was shut off, having a drain cover was a good idea (one guy filled up his tub only to find the built in drain plug didn't seal well and the water drained out).  A WaterBOB is an even better idea.
  68. A good first aid kit.  Accidents can happen any time but when 911 response is slowed or even unavailable, having the supplies on hand to deal with basic medical emergencies is a good idea.
  69. Ways to preserve meat.  When it looked like the power outage would last for quite a while, people went online looking for information on preserving meat via dehydrator, smoker, salt preservation, canning, etc.  Needless to say, having the supplies on hand to do this is necessary especially when local stores are all shut down.
  70. Gutters and rain barrels.  When the water is off long-term, rain and melting snow funneled into a rain barrel can be another source of emergency water.
  71. Disposable diapers.  For babies or for the infirm/elderly.  People may be OK using cloth diapers under normal circumstances but when there is no water and no power, disposable is the way to go.
  72. Garbage bags.  Small, medium, and large plastic bags have a number of uses during a disaster.
  73. Spare parts.  For your generator (spark plugs, oil), for your lanterns (wicks), basically any part you would have to run to the home store and buy should be stocked at home since during a disaster these stores will probably be shut down.
  74. Treats.  Treats have a positive psychological impact during trying times.  New toys or coloring books for the kids, quality chocolates for the spouse, favorite foods...you can buy these during regular times then bring them out during a disaster and make everyone's day.
  75. And here is a list of more items that disappear first in an emergency.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

10 Lessons from This Week's Winter Storm

With 150 million Americans under a winter weather advisory, I probably don't need to tell you that the weather has been pretty awful this past week.  For most folks in the northern parts of our country, a huge snow storm isn't such a big deal but for the millions of people who live in Texas, this week's storm has been unexpected, unprecedented, dangerous, and even deadly for some.  So far there has been little resolution as it is still snowing and it is still icy and many people are still without heat, water, and in some cases, food.  Here's ten lessons learned from the storm so far:

  1. Don't rely on the government to help you.  The Texas government and ERCOT knew their grid had serious issues a decade ago, and didn't do anything about it.  Plus, it's Texas, and they have nowhere near the cold weather supplies (sand, snow clearing vehicles, etc) that northern states have.  The governor of Texas, when asked when people will get water and power back, pretty much just shrugged.  And then there was this response to suffering constituents from this mayor.
  2. Besides having no warning that the power (and thus heat) would be going out for an indeterminant amount of time, most folks in Texas had no idea how to keep warm when their usual sources of heat weren't available.  Here's several tips.
  3. If possible, be prepared to stay where you are for the duration of the storm.  If you are home, stay home; if you are at work and if possible, stay at work.  Driving on the roads this past week was both dangerous and deadly.
  4. Everyone needs to know how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, a common occurrence when people try to heat their cold homes with unapproved devices.  More than 300 people have been poisoned by carbon monoxide over the past week in Texas with some even dying.
  5. Coming along on the heels of wide-spread power outages in Texas were long-term, unexpected water outages due to frozen pipes and lack of electricity to run water pumps.  Obviously a disaster on top of a disaster.  Here's how to prepare for that possibility.
  6. Have the gear you need for cold weather before you need it.  For most years, this is a non-issue in Texas and the gulf-coast states as the weather doesn't usually get very cold for very long in these areas so most people don't even have cold weather gear in the first place.  Needless to say, people in Texas this week probably wish they had prepared for the worst a while back (this goes for everything from mittens and down blankets to snow shovels and food).
  7. Speaking of food, and something I found surprising after the whole covid thing, many people were still unprepared for a disaster when it came to having food in their homes.  Of course some people may not be able to afford to stockpile several week's of food but after seeing how the pandemic so easily cleared store shelves, EVERYONE needs to keep a "storm cache" of food on hand.  Here's what to get.  Note that with no power, no heat, and no water, having easy-to-open, easy-to-prepare, and easy-to-eat food on hand is quite important.
  8. Many people will never experience a long-term power outage, but it can happen (ask anyone in Texas this week) so preps for this situation should be on your "to do" list.  Here's how to prepare.
  9. Learning from people who are in the midst of/have survived such a disastrous event is a good way to educate yourself as well as add to your own preps/skills.  This can be done by perusing news articles, subreddits, and news aggregators
  10. Help others if you can.  There have been numerous reports of people helping neighbors and checking on the elderly, Mattress Mack was doing his usual thing during the disaster, and restaurants as well as ordinary people were helping those in need where they could.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

50 Things You Need for Disaster Clean Up

While most people prepare for actual disasters (food, water, supplies, etc), they often forget to prepare for after the disaster.  This usually involves a copious amount of clean up--and a need for clean-up supplies just when everyone else in the area is hitting up Walmart and Home Depot because they didn't prepare for the clean-up part either.  Here are the basic items to have on hand to clean up after a disaster...
  1. Steel-toed work books with puncture-resistant insoles
  2. Rubber boots
  3. Gloves: nitrile gloves, rubber kitchen gloves, leather work gloves
  4. Face mask: N95 masks, respirator with extra cartridges
  5. Safety goggles
  6. Baseball cap or other head covering
  7. Hardhat
  8. Disposable PPEs/coveralls
  9. Duct tape
  10. Garbage bags: small, medium, and large
  11. 5 gallon buckets
  12. Large trashcans
  13. Paper towels
  14. Bleach
  15. Household cleaner (never mix this with bleach)
  16. Rags/sponges/scouring pads
  17. Scrub brushes
  18. Broom and dustpan
  19. Mop
  20. Wet/dry shop vac
  21. Shovel
  22. Rake
  23. Wheelbarrow
  24. Cutting tools: utility knife, tin snips, bolt cutters, scissors
  25. Basic tools: hammer, pliers, screwdrivers, wrenches, etc
  26. Repair materials: screws, nails, zipties, staple gun, etc
  27. Water/gas shut-off tool
  28. Prybar
  29. Saw/chainsaw/ax
  30. Sledgehammer
  31. Rope
  32. Tarps/plastic sheeting
  33. Cordless power tools with extra batteries: screwdriver, drill, circular saw, etc
  34. Flashlights, headlamps, lanterns
  35. Ladders
  36. Wench/come-along
  37. Plywood/assorted framing material
  38. Power source: generator, battery bank, etc.
  39. Garden hoses
  40. Extension cords
  41. Fans/portable heaters
  42. Caution tape/high-viz safety vest
  43. Sanitizing supplies: wet wipes, Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, etc
  44. Earplugs
  45. Spare: gas, batteries, propane if using a propane heater, etc.
  46. First aid kit
  47. Knee pads
  48. Sharpies
  49. Worksite amenities: Port A Potty, tent/other shelter, sleeping bags, personal protection (gun, Mace, etc), camp stove, etc.
  50. Personal care items: food, water, sunblock, cell battery bank, change of clothing, cash, battery powered radio, etc
And some cautionary notes:
  • Do not start clean-up until you have thoroughly documented the damage and have the go-ahead from your insurance company which may want to send an adjuster before any clean-up has started.
  • Do know how to safely clean up after a disaster (study this topic BEFORE you need the information).

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Who Can You Trust in a Crazy World?

Unfortunately the only person you can really trust in this world is yourself.  And maybe your friends and maybe your family (this is highly dependent on your friends and family, sometime these people can be the least trustworthy people you deal with on a regular basis but I digress...).

So you need to be responsible for you.  To do this...
  • Take responsibility for your own health and fitness and maybe even grow your own organic food.
  • Go low consumption, low spend, buy-it-for-life, anti-consumerism, etc.  Barter, buy used, make due, and do without if possible.
  • Disconnect from social media, big tech, big corporations, etc.
  • Make it very hard if not impossible for tech to track you (use a VPM, de-google your phone, etc).
  • Don't believe everything you see, hear, and read.  Do your own research from a variety of reputable sources in order to draw your own conclusions.
  • Don't follow the crowd.
  • Be ready to pivot on a moment's notice (this can be everything from having a bug out bag to being debt free to having multiple money-earning skills).
  • Don't rely on the government to help you (some people left unemployed by the pandemic have been waiting nearly a year for unemployment compensation to come through).
  • Do operate reasonably within the law (or at least have plausible deniability).
  • Avoid interacting with the government as much as possible (this can be everything from not doing things that get you involved with the legal system to living in a freer state than, let's say, California).
  • Have a means of escape (maybe become a dual citizen, always have untraceable cash and other financial instruments, keep your activities on the down low, etc).

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

What's In Your Tech EDC Bag?

Although most of us haven't been schlepping our tech gear very far over the past several months, people are getting tired of working from home and opting for a few hour's respite at coffee shops or parks or other locations for a change of scenery, which means it may be time to revamp the tech EDC bag.

Here are items you might want to consider having in your tech EDC bag (depending on your needs, you may carry a few, several, or all of these items):

  1. Messenger bag/daypack and assorted pouches to organize gear (I use a daypack)
  2. Laptop (my preference is the Dell XPS 13" i7 laptop)
  3. Tablet or e-reader (I use a Tab S6)
  4. Cell phone (I use an S 20 Ultra)
  5. Switch/gaming system (I don't game but I think every grandkid carries one of these Switch systems with them at all times)
  6. USB fast wall charger/cables (I use a fast charging brick that can charge all of my devices at the same time)
  7. 10k-20k battery bank (depending on your needs, bigger may be better)
  8. Camera/lenses (if you are a photographer or vlogger; I just use the camera on my cell phone)
  9. Drone/GoPro/batteries (if this is your hobby)
  10. Wireless bluetooth mouse (this can work with my cell, tablet, and laptop)
  11. Wireless earbuds (my go-to for listening to music/podcasts/YouTube/etc)
  12. Wired ear buds (used in an emergency when my wireless earbuds/headphones are out of battery)
  13. USB-C headphone adaptor cord (goes with the wired earbuds since my phone and tablet don't have headphone jacks)
  14. Wireless noise canceling headphones (the best option for listening to music or podcasts and block out outside noise)
  15. Spare batteries (for mouse, camera, etc)
  16. Solar charger/power bank (if you will be far from power something like this is a good option)
  17. Spare USB flash drives (I keep a few USB-A/USB-C flash drives on hand for moving or sharing files)
  18. Spare memory cards (ditto)
  19. Micro SD to type C card reader (one of these will allow you to pop the memory card from your dashcam to transfer the files to your cell phone/tablet/laptop)
  20. Type C to type A adaptor tip (if you have older electronics to charge this tip works on your type c cords)
  21. Power strip (for when you need to plug in more than one charger at a time)
  22. Tripod/selfie stick (for taking photos or videos)
  23. Gimbal (for taking steady videos)
  24. External hard drive (if you are saving or moving large files or just want a secure external backup for your files, one of these works great)
  25. External speaker (if you often share your music with others this type of speaker is a good idea)
  26. Watch or smart watch (either one or the other is a must-have for many)
  27. AM/FM radio (good idea when the radio apps on your phone don't work)
  28. HAM radio (an alternative way to communicate if you are licensed to do so)
  29. Folding bluetooth keyboard (can be used with your cell phone and tablet)
  30. Wireless microphone (for vlogging)
  31. Hackerware (if you are a hacker you will have many additional items to add to your tech  EDC bag)
  32. Faraday bag (to isolate your electronics from hackers, EMP, tracking, etc)
  33. Hero clip (a very useful carabiner)
  34. Burner phone/prepaid phone plan (always nice to have one of these which isn't linked to your name)
  35. Small flashlight or headlamp (for looking behind furniture for an outlet, etc)
  36. Scanner/printer (if you regularly scan or print documents, receipts, etc; these come in very small sizes)
  37. Notebook (for making notes, etc)
  38. Fisher Space Pen (ditto)
  39. $100 in back of cell phone case (cash in case of an emergency)
  40. Cell number/cell phone plan (get the best plan for your needs)
  41. VPN (for relatively secure access to the internet)
  42. Apps and software (download the apps and software you usually use)
  43. Domain name/website (optional but a good idea if you are a professional)
  44. MiFi/service plan (if you want a hotspot that won't drain your cell battery, this is a good option)
  45. Leatherman Wave (a useful tool for everyday use)
  46. Email addresses (several for various purposes; personal email business email, spam, etc)
  47. Social media accounts (set up as needed)
  48. Tile tracker (to track your expensive electronics in case they get jacked)
  49. RFID blocking wallet (to secure your ID and credit cards from hackers)
  50. Multi charging cables (I carry something like this mostly to loan to others when needed)

Friday, January 22, 2021

Next Time You Attend an Insurgency, Can You Be a Bit Less Obvious?

I had to shake my head at the idiocy displayed during the capitol riots a few weeks ago.  I am especially disappointed in the military members who were there.  Were they taught nothing about covert operations?  If you plan to commit a felony/treason/sedition/insurgency, consider how these fools were storming the capital one day then sitting in jail the next.  To keep your next mission on the downlow and avoid being caught, consider these tips...


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Onward!

The inauguration went probably better than many people expected.  Now that stability seems to have taken up residence where instability was on display only a couple weeks ago, it's time to move forward both politically and individually.

Now that we have seen what can happen (I mean, who expected to see a riot inside the capitol building?), it should inspire people to prepare even more diligently than we have in the past.  When literally anything can happen, it makes sense to be prepared for everything.  Moving forward with our preps, we need to concentrate on all facets of preparedness including...

  • Financial (can you survive a year of financial disaster in your own life?  Many people are still dealing with this very situation)
  • Privacy (the vast, and often unknown, ways technology can be used against us was exactly how protestors at the capitol have been rounded up by law enforcement in the past weeks)
  • Physical fitness and health (there's covid, a severely lacking healthcare system, a severely lacking health insurance system for many, obesity rates that are off the charts...people's health and fitness needs to be rebuilt from the ground up and it's one of the most basic preps anyone can do)
  • Knowledge (when people are freaking out over not having toilet paper and having no idea what they can use instead, it points to an extreme lack of knowledge at the most basic level.  A deep and vast level of knowledge of all topics should be a daily preparedness activity)
  • Self sufficiency (if there is one thing the pandemic has taught us, it is that we can't wholly rely on our usual supply chains to bring us everything we need to our local retailer.  We need to work on this)
Now our country and ourselves will move onward and upward.