Wednesday, 22 February 2017

09:32 – It was 45F (7C) and raining when I took Colin out this morning, with no wind. Today I’ll be working on taxes again and Barbara will be working on kit stuff.

While Barbara was working at the bookstore yesterday afternoon, James stopped by to pick up a load of brush. James is about our age and lives half a mile or so down the road from us. He’s been mowing our yard since we moved up here. Like most people around here, he’s a Deplorable. He’s lived here all his life, and his ancestors have been living around here for at least 200 years, if not before the Revolution.  He’s also part of the 1.25% or so of the county population who’s black.

James loves to talk, and we stood there by the brush pile for half an hour or so talking. He’s very religious, politically and socially conservative, and hard working. In other words, a Deplorable. As we were standing there talking, a girl zoomed past in her little red car. The speed limit is 35 MPH, but as usual she was going about 60. That got us going on the “these kids today” thing.

She lives several houses down the road from James. She’s about 20 years old and has been driving like a maniac since she got her license. James has called the sheriff about her several times, but there’s apparently nothing they can do. Her grandfather set up a trust for her and the other grandchildren, from which she is now drawing $100K per year. She doesn’t have a job, and spends her time drinking, doing drugs, and driving around like a maniac. Every time she gets busted, her grandmother buys her way out of trouble. James and I agree that one day she’s going to kill someone, and that we just hope it’s herself instead of some innocent bystander.

* * * * *

And here’s another guest post from Jen:

Readiness Exercises

by “Jen”

RBT said: “I’d really like to see an article or articles from Jen on planning and running a readiness exercise and talking about the issues they encountered and how they dealt with them. Jen did send me relatively short emails to report after each of their exercises, but I’d like to see a lot more detail.”

Fair enough. Here are some random thoughts based on what we’ve learned doing several weekend readiness exercises and one 10 day exercise from Christmas 2016 through New Years Day 2017.

The first thing I learned wasn’t during a formal exercise, it was when we shifted from cooking mostly with fresh and frozen foods to using lots of LTS food. My first attempt to make no-knead bread was pretty bad, the loaf was so damp that it almost dripped. Then there was the night I decided to make hamburgers from a can of Keystone ground beef. Guess what. It’s already cooked and you can’t form it into burgers. I ended up mixing it with cornmeal and making a meatloaf. There were several other similar fails and we found out pretty quickly that the lesson is to cook from your LTS food BEFORE you need to. Collect recipes that sound good and TRY them. Bob has posted several books and webpages that cover using LTS food. Buy them or download and print them. Do it NOW and then start trying them.

The next thing to think about is privacy. David and I are used to rattling around in our big house, just the two of us. The first time we had Jim, Claire and their boys for a weekend exercise it wasn’t too bad. Our house is big enough that each of the couples had a bedroom and the boys shared one. We didn’t get in each others way. When we did a larger exercise that included our prepper friends that made 12 of us in a house that was big for two, okay for six, but too small for 12, eight of which were married couples. David and I almost never argue but we had two loud “discussions” that weekend and things were also tense at times between two of the other married couples. We talked about this issue and agreed that the key was to consciously give everyone else as much “space” as possible and to think very hard before making any critical remark.

Another thing to think about is pets. We have a dog and the other prepper family that stays with us also has one. The dogs had met at cookouts and stuff where they seemed to get along, but this was the first time they’d both been in a house. Our dog considers this his territory and wasn’t happy about sharing it with a visitor. There wasn’t an actual fight thank god but there was a lot of snarling and raised hackles. The lesson here is to make sure that not only the people in your group get along but also the pets.

Heating water is expensive. We didn’t think about that because like most people it was just part of our electricity or natural gas bill. In our early weekend drills we had no way to heat water except on the woodstove or in an old Coleman solar shower bag that was part of our camping gear. That was just barely workable for washing dishes and what David calls Navy Showers (get in, turn on the water long enough to get wet, turn off the water, soap down, and turn the water back on just long enough to rinse off.) We found we could get two quick showers out of one five gallon solar bag but it had to sit for at least a couple hours in the sun to get hot enough. I’d almost rather take sponge baths with water heated on the stove.

Just before our long readiness exercise at the end of last year we got a propane tank installed and had it piped to our downstairs kitchen where we installed a propane cooktop and a 30 gallon water heater. As it turns out the cooktop and water heater both use a fair amount of propane. The biggest burner on the cooktop is 15,000 BTU, so we can run it for about six hours on a gallon of propane. That same gallon of propane will heat about 200 gallons of well water up to 110 degrees. If there is a long term catastrophe we’ll minimize propane use by turning off the water heater and limiting propane to cooking and cleanup. With careful use we probably have enough to last a year even using the water heater carefully and turning off the propane to it between runs. If things seem like they are likely to go on longer than that we can always go back to heating water with wood and taking solar showers.

Maybe the biggest thing we learned was not to make assumptions. The first time we tried to start the generator it wouldn’t start. We didn’t have any of that ether starter fluid and we never could get it started so for that session we were limited to battery lights and stored water for everything including toilet flushing. We knew we were supposed to test run the gennie once a month but that was one of those things that just kept getting put off. Now we do test run it once a month rain or shine. We also have a bunch of ether spray starter fluid just in case.

On a related issue, as it turned out we actually did have two cans of ether starter spray stored. David swore he’d bought them but we couldn’t find them anywhere. I guess the lesson here is to organize the hell out of everything. If you don’t remember you have it or if you can’t find it you might as well not have it at all. List everything you have and exactly where it is. Not just “big basement storeroom”, but “BBS Shelf E rear side towards right middle”. We’ve been working on such detailed inventory lists. We’re not perfect yet, but that’s what we’re shooting for.

One last big thing. I figured out doing drills no matter how realistic we tried to make them they weren’t even close to real. On Monday morning we’d all be going back to our regular lives. We knew we weren’t really going to be attacked by looters and that all the stuff we’d turned off for the duration would be back on again as soon as we declared the exercise was ended. We didn’t have to worry about the outside world turning nasty or what had happened to friends living in the big cities. In short the stress level was nowhere near what it would really be if SHTF. Pretending David had been badly wounded in a firefight didn’t even begin to approach the reality of that happening. During that exercise, I sat with him sometimes but I mainly just did the things I would have been doing anyway. If that really happened I’d surely be a basket case useless for anything. So if you do run an exercise keep that in mind.

Not that I think running readiness exercises is a waste of time because I don’t. I think it was Mark Twain who commented on the lack of similarity between lightning and a lightning bug. Readiness exercises are just a lightning bug. SHTF is real lightning.

45 thoughts on “Wednesday, 22 February 2017”

  1. Excellent point; the “lessons learned” part on specifics was very good; the comment at the end is the frosting on the cake.

    If there is some kind of major and sudden SHTF, a lot of folks are just gonna panic. And not just ‘out there’ but inside homes and households. Very few people are alive now in this country who’ve lived through a major depression and/or war.

    And we can be just as prepared as can be with food and water storage, weapons and training, etc., and if one of us gets seriously hurt or sick or local goblins attack in the middle of the night, our stress meter is gonna go off the chart.

    42 now and heading to 48, they say; 40s and 50s this week with occasional showers. I’m wondering if that was our only snowstorm this winter. We’ve gotten snow as late as May and some real doozies in March and April, though.

  2. We’ve had a number of motorcycle deaths due to excessive speed nearby recently. Even cars going speed limit + 10mph never pass cycles.

    In a legal context, I call it: “Involuntary Suicide”.

  3. More generally, “dying of stupid”.

    I get it: motorcycles are a lot of fun, and blasting the doors off of cars on the highway makes you feel like your dick is bigger. It’s still a stupid thing to do and a stupid way to die.

  4. What’s even more stupid is that in states (like NH) where it’s legal not to wear a helmet, so many motorcyclists do not. Hey look at me with my long hair blowing in the wind! I feel free! So free!

    Until they end up in one of those medieval-looking stainless steel head brackets at the hospital or half of their face is missing and the other half scored with gravel rash.

    That maniac chick down in Sparta is gonna end up badly, unless and until she gets her head straight, but then again, why should she? We all hope she doesn’t hurt someone else, of course, and what does a community do when one of its members is a clear and present danger to everyone else and the law doesn’t work?

  5. James said she’s already had at least one wreck. She lost control not far from her house and ended up plowing into a row of heavy hedges. She apparently wasn’t charged with anything, and was soon back on the roads in her little red BMW.

    James and his wife now back into their driveway so they can avoid backing onto the road. He says this girl is often hitting 80 or 90 MPH when she passed his house. I believe him, because she’s often going 60 or more when she passes our house, and we’re not very far from the intersection with US21. She must make the turn onto our road and then floor it.

    I don’t think there’s anything the law can do. Even if they pulled her license, I suspect she’d just keep driving. Why should she care? Every time she gets in trouble they let her go without so much as a slap on the wrist. As James said, when she was younger someone should have pulled her pants down and given her some good swats on her ass.

  6. Does ether spray eat up the rings in whatever engine you use it on?

    Local HomeDepot tech says yes, but that may be him prospecting for a fee for checking the psi. “If it degrades your device, just buy a new one. Refurbishing would cost too much”. ?

  7. 59F, 83%RH and sunny. Nice cool day.

    Preps- thanks Jen for the report. Every time I try something, I figure out that I missed 3 other things. You are way ahead of me with getting family involved. (Our IRL hurricanes count, but we didn’t have the kids for the last ones, and we’ve never involved the couple and their kids that are most likely to get help from us.)

    Garden is SLOW. Harvested the last of the radish and will replant today. The Meyer Lemon, grapefruit, and orange are starting to flower, which is crazy ‘cuz the other grapefruit tree still has fruit on it. The peach is just starting to bud. New tomato plants are in the pots. Grape vines are leafing out, red leading white by a week, or thereabouts.

    Wife hasn’t approved the location of the gennie concrete pad, so it still sits in the driveway. I’m gonna just make a choice soon.

    I picked up an AED at auction this week. Ordered the new battery. Got it cheap and it has 2 sets of barely expired adult pads (jan-17) and a set of child pads. While it’s really a ‘grid up’ sort of thing (if you need the AED, you need higher care) my hope is that it cuts down response time and subsequent damage- if it’s needed. After all, anyone having a cardiac event at my house is by definition a disaster/emergency. Given the cost for even new, primary sourced AEDs is ~$1000, having one around, especially if you or a family member has a history of cardiac problems, is cheap insurance. Getting lucky at auction, or buying on ebay (<$500) makes it even more sensible. Anyone more than a 5 minute response time from EMS should REALLY think hard about getting one especially as we age, or if you SHOVEL SNOW.

    Wife and #1 daughter returned from their weekend camping trip. The propane stove and lanterns were a hit. One lantern has a built in piezo sparker, and that was "much easier" to use. Something to look for I guess. I can also install some more of the add on flint sparkers. They took our "good" cooler (the pelican version of the yeti) and the verdict is- too heavy for the amount of capacity. Long term cold storage was not needed. Next time the simple and capacious normal igloo style cooler will go along. Our sleeping bags were a bit warm for even the winter cool temps in TX. The 5 gallon drink dispenser coolers worked well for dispensing Koolaid, and water, but she overestimated the amount that the group would drink. Locally available water would have benefited from a taste filter. (I've got several Brita pitchers with filters for that very reason, but didn't send any with her.) Fun was had, and they learned a bit about the night sky.

    We have settled into "taco Tuesday" using canned taco meat which the kids really like. I like it because it's really easy. Unfortunately, my stocks are dwindling and our local grocery stopped carrying the cans. Amazon shows them out of stock, with no restocking date. I'm thinking they must have stopped exporting them from Brazil. Maybe they need the food at home? The (other brand) pouch meats are still available, but have a spicier flavor that the kids don't like as much. Maybe it's time for me to order some Keystone, and try it with a spice mix. Moral of the story is that even grid up 'critical' supplies can become unavailable. 🙂

    Sales on ebay are down slightly. I expected Jan- Feb to be slow, but Jan was good. Once again I'm finding that the best way to keep volume up is to keep listing new items. A certain percentage of things sell shortly after listing. A percentage sell within a reasonable time (one or two listings), but some items that sell reliably take a long time to sell. To be fair, I sell weird stuff or very specific stuff, and it's stuff with a very limited market. Ebay lets me keep that stuff "in the store" until the one guy who needs it decides to look for it.

    In meatspace I attended the local 'town hall' that lays out capital spending in our neighborhood, and chatted with a couple of neighbors. Got a better appreciation of what's coming our way. Also spent some time chatting with two other dads at a birthday party in the park. Topic was financial planning for retirement, or "wtf is going on in the world?!!!??" A lot of the parents at our school are older than normal for the age of our young kids. (at least the white parents. The hispanic parents are much younger.)

    I am pretty sure I see a real reduction in the number of hispanic 'day laborers' hanging out at the park, waiting for work. Maybe they're self deporting?

    Anyway, tons of projects stacked up…… gotta get started.

    nick

  8. Forgot to add:

    Someone in the comments over at Commander Zero’s blog mentioned some meat bars as a low carb alternative to power bars.

    The bars in question – https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=epic+meat

    I ordered the sampler pack, and then reordered boxes of the lowest carb ones.

    I have mixed reviews. The texture is weird. They are kinda like the old Alpo ‘pucks’ of dog food. The grind is pretty coarse, and they are moist. Because they don’t have much sugar, they tend more towards sour than sweet flavors. They are edible, and some are even ‘good’ but they do take some getting used to. Recommended if you are looking for convenient ‘bars’ but can’t or don’t eat carbs. FWIW, I reordered the pulled pork (best flavor), uncured bacon, and venison. Unless you love oily fish, avoid the salmon.

    Bottom line is they are now part of my daily preps.

    nick

  9. “…when she was younger someone should have pulled her pants down and given her some good swats on her ass.”

    Sigh. You can’t do that anymore.

  10. Regarding trial runs…

    10 years ago I went completely teetotal for eight months. I didn’t have to, I just wanted to see if I could do it in case the doctor told me “give up booze or else!” I started drinking again, not because I was desperate but because I knew I was allowed to.

    This relates to the prepping situation of multiple couples: you fought because you’re allowed to. In a real SHTF situation you may be too busy to fight, it may be all hands on deck just to fight off the zombies.

  11. Maple tapping going OK but slow as the nighttime temps are too high at 32 F. I got about 5 gallons sap about an hour ago. I have 19 taps out now, but only 5 have 1/2 gallon or more. When the weather cooperates, below freezing at night and sunny and +35 during the day I will get 15 – 25 gallons sap each day.

    Countertop roaster works at evaporating sap slowly, about 4 gallons in 11 hours. When I get 10 gallons I will start the propane turkey roaster which will easily do better than a gallon per hour.

    Each year we do this, I try to do 4 to 6 gallons of maple syrup. Sap to syrup ratio is about 30 to 1, so lots of evaporation needed.

  12. In the REALLY FUCKING BAD NEWS dept, a couple of days ago, Aesop posted this NON-fiction. RTWT.

    http://raconteurreport.blogspot.com/2017/02/im-sure-theres-nothing-to-worry-about.html

    Dateline: Los Angeles, July 2016
    Southern California EMS response brought three college-/military-age (20s-30s) males of undisclosed Middle Eastern extraction to two Los Angeles-area emergency rooms, all from one apartment.
    Two of them were found in the bathroom(s) on the premises.
    All were brought in suffering acute respiratory distress, seizures, and coma, after having been found, in one case, vomiting and crapping themselves on the thinking throne when they seized up.
    All were notably tearing, snotting, drooling, sweating, short of breath, and incontinent of urine and feces prior to arrival at two area emergency departments.
    All three subsequently suffered complete cardio-respiratory arrest, and despite the best efforts of medical staff there, expired.

    Avoid crowds.

    nick

  13. If there were anything to worry about, Nick, I’m sure the government and the MSM would have let us know. That’s their job, and they’re diligent, competent, hard-working profess—

    OK, sorry, couldn’t finish typing that without barfing.

    Yah, avoid crowds. It’s just a matter of time before even the most incompetent pack of losers gets manages to pull one off. (Visited the Twin Towers lately?)

  14. We knew we were supposed to test run the gennie once a month but that was one of those things that just kept getting put off. Now we do test run it once a month rain or shine. We also have a bunch of ether spray starter fluid just in case.

    Back in the dark ages, the 1980s, when I was a power plant engineer, we started all of our blackout generators every week and ran them for an hour. We ran them for an hour to get the condensed water out of the lubricating oil. Most of our generators were in the size range of 1,000 kw to 2,500 kw and ran on diesel. Most of them started on electric starters, the locomotive engines, but the older models (think WW II submarine diesels) started on compressed air. If you did not have enough compressed air, there was a manual air compressor …

    In 1988, we bought sixteen brand new GE frame 7 gas turbines, 65 MW each. They used a 400 hp motor on the generator end to bring them up to 2,000 rpm where they had enough air flowing through that we could start fuel flow, light them off, and run up to 3,600 rpm where we synchronized them to the grid. Or they all had their own load following controls running at 60 hz. They used natural gas or diesel. Lots of diesel, hundreds of barrels a day each to keep them online 24 hours.

    Please, please, please use a face shield when starting any motor on ether. Flame backs are common in this mode and eyebrows take a long time to grow back. Eyeballs do not grow back.

  15. Good point. It’s easy for us because we order polycarbonate laboratory splash goggles hundreds at a time, so we always have at least a hundred in stock and usually more. They’re also fine eye protection for shooting or anything else that you need eye protection for. I even have a set lying on the foyer table that I can put on before I take Colin out when it’s frigid and the winds are 60 MPH. In that situation, the regular sunglasses I have lying there just don’t cut it.

  16. but the older models (think WW II submarine diesels) started on compressed air.

    Just like the UH60 Blackhawk.

  17. “In the REALLY FUCKING BAD NEWS dept”

    Fortunately, nerve agents are not practical terrorist weapons other than in enclosed spaces (like the Tokyo subway incident).

  18. From a lethality point of view, you’re right, RBT.

    From a terror point of view, dropping a container in the middle of a crowded pedestrian area would be a kill shot. Doesn’t matter if no one dies. A pile of people would be taken to the hospital, the area would be closed off for two blocks all around, and the news and blogs would be nothing but terror terror terror for weeks. Oh, sure, a lot of the slant would be “no evidence of terrorism” “no evidence of Islamic involvement” and so on (unless it was dropped in front of the NYT office) but that doesn’t matter. It’s all anyone would be talking about, and there’d be demands for increased government crackdown to make sure no American would ever be able to do this again. Kill shot.

  19. Speaking of batteries, one can now order Tesla Powerwalls. 14 kwh at $5,500 each. They advise two powerwalls for my house. I’ll bet that I need four with the pool pump and the two air conditioners.
    https://www.tesla.com/powerwall?redirect=no

    We can get free power from 9pm from 6am. So I wonder if one can charge these powerwalls for free and then use the power all day long ? I wonder how many charge cycles they can take ?

  20. I agree with Mr. SteveF; all the buggers gotta do is throw some powder around in a crowd. S would hit the F really fast and hard in that area immediately and in the nooz cycles globally. A kill shot indeed.

    Now do it simultaneously in a dozen Western cities.

    At the same time, run a few suicide-bomber-shooter capers.

    Westerners would BEG on their knees for State Power immediately applied however.

    And the State, in its usual pigheaded and ignorant and inefficient and corrupt fashion would land on us Normals with both feet and stomp away. In hopes, maybe, of getting the right culprits.

  21. [snip] Eyeballs do not grow back. [snip]

    First day of freshman chemistry class; the professor who was in charge of all labs stands up in front of a large lecture hall and gives his standard safety lecture. The memorable part was “Lots of people learn to walk with an artificial leg. Some people learn to write with an artificial hand. Nobody can see with an artificial eye. SO PUT YOUR GOD-DAMMED GOGGLES ON!!!!!”

  22. from Lynn: “We can get free power from 9pm from 6am. So I wonder if one can charge these powerwalls for free and then use the power all day long ? I wonder how many charge cycles they can take ?”

    OK, here is my treatise on solar energy for the home and what I would tell the salesman:
    1. I want to save 25%, or pay 75% of that which I pay now.
    2. Install all the solar panels, batteries and inverters that you want.
    3. Additionally, one new meter.
    4. Disconnect the outlet wires from the current meter to the house.
    5. Connect the inlet wires of the new meter to the outlets of the old meter.
    6. Connect the outlet of the new meter to the house.
    7. Terminate my subscription with the local power company.
    8. Solar panel company will assume the subscription for my house and be responsible for all payments or credits for buying from or selling to the local power company.
    9. I will take monthly readings from the meter connected directly to my house.
    10. I will go to the local power company website and obtain KWH vs $$$ cost factors.
    11. I will calculate the cost of power as if I were still buying directly all that flows into my house.
    12. I will remit 75% of that sum to the solar panel company.

    Note:
    1. Buying the panels and paying interest on the loan to buying them is not in my savings calculation.
    2. I do not expect my offer to ever be accepted.
    3. That is how a professional thermodynamicist, heat transfer expert, and energy conversion specialist will be unfulfilled.

  23. I have read Mr. CowboySlim’s proposal concerning solar energy and:

    I APPROVE!

    I have also read Mr. Lynn’s comments concerning firearms stuff in this country and:

    I APPROVE!

    On that note, I am wondering how it will work if and when I travel to other states with firearms in checked luggage and I’m coming from Vermont, which has zero laws concerning this stuff. So ferinstance, if I go with wifey to Louisiana next month and wanna take along a heater, wussup widdat? I gotta check into it; it’s not like Vermont has a positive reciprocity thing going on at this time. We just don’t worry about it. If somebody flies into Burlap and brings along his guns that is okey-dokey with us here. But how does it work when we go to some other state, leaving aside commie rat-holes like MA, CT, NJ, CA, etc.

  24. But how does it work when we go to some other state, leaving aside commie rat-holes like MA, CT, NJ, CA, etc.

    You are clubbed and imprisoned. Since you are flying, you have to let the airline known, meet lock requirements, and the airline will let TSA know, who will let DHS know, who will club and arrest you on arrival, you, hetero, Vet, WHITEY!, Christian, Male, proto-ape!

    Don’t do it!

  25. Yeah but I’m also a “hyper-literate” proto-ape! I gotta read all the damn regs, I guess.

    I am given to understand, however, that it is a pretty straightforward procedure, normally, as concerns the airlines and TSA, but my own concern is with the state to which I may be traveling WRT coming from Vermont.

  26. RTFM buddy. I don’t want to go to NO and bust you out of some local huckleberry’s shithole.

  27. You’re all overthinking it. Dave, just arm up normally. When you get to the airport, tell them you’re a member of the Religion of Carrying a Piece and anything you’re carrying is a holy item.

  28. And there it is. I knew I could count on that guy from the Capital District.

    ALHOA SNACKBAR!!!

    Wait–they speak le Francais down there, amirite?

    Aloha Snackbar!!!

    Gee whiz, it comes out the same!

  29. From the Riot Control Department:

    https://westernrifleshooters.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/on-riot-control/

    A four-part series in four relatively short parts. Back in the day, long ago, in Marin County, CA and the Bay Area, your humble and obedient servant up here was what was known then and the case now, I guess, as a counter-sniper. My issue weapon was a scoped M14 and I loved that puppy, too. Heavy to tote around all day in the heat but great for nailing muthafuckas out several hundred yards. Then they sent me back to SEA and gave me The Pig again. WTF?

    Anyway, this is a pretty interesting series from a guy who knows whereof he speaks. And my view is we don’t have any units currently, military or “law enforcement,” that can manage this level of control and formations and tactics. It will be learned the hard way, through regular shitty experience, and continued escalations as we head into the warmer weather.

    Again I urge folks here to avoid cities, crowds and “events,” if at all possible. These fuckers plan to escalate.

  30. If you are using a gas water heater, I have heard of people increasing efficiency by setting it to pilot only, and placing a cap with a small (1/4″?) hole in it over the chimney outlet at the top of the tank. That is, make the chimney appropriately sized for just the pilot. This will be capable of producing maybe one tank of hot water per day for just the cost of the pilot flame. That might be about 600 BTU/hr. Obviously, operating the heater in other than the intended way increases the risk. If someone switches it from pilot only to normal operation without removing the cap, the lack of draw will smother the flame, and some gas will spew out before the thermocouple cools down and shuts it off.

  31. I have heard of people increasing efficiency by setting it to pilot only

    Myth. The heater will lose more heat through the walls than the pilot light can generate. Even the exposed water connections at the top of the water heater would leak more heat than the pilot light can generate if the water heater was perfectly insulated. It takes a lot of energy to heat water.

  32. With regard to “Jen”‘s comments about planning, President Eisenhower had some words of wisdom:

    I tell this story to illustrate the truth of the statement I heard long ago in the Army: Plans are worthless, but planning is everything. There is a very great distinction because when you are planning for an emergency you must start with this one thing: the very definition of “emergency” is that it is unexpected, therefore it is not going to happen the way you are planning.

  33. I think it was Von Clausewitz who said, “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” Or maybe Julius Caesar. At any rate, it’s a good thing to keep in mind.

  34. But that you have planned, and are making decisions about what to when things go sideways, is critical. You’ve practiced handling unexpected situations. So the next unexpected situation, an emergency, will not cause panic. It will instead give you an opportunity to remain calm and be productive.

  35. @JimL

    I agree with that, except “So the next unexpected situation, an emergency, will not cause panic.” Maybe a bit less panic than it would otherwise, but nothing can prepare you for reality, including having experienced that reality before.

    I’ve mentioned before that I used to shoot combat pistol competitions. I’d been out to Paulden to train at Gunsite. I practiced frequently, sometimes going through as much as 1,000 rounds in a day. I thought I was pretty good, and I WAS pretty good. At shooting combat pistol competitions.

    Then one day (night, actually), someone opened fire on me from maybe 20 yards away. I calmly drew my Colt Combat Commander and double-tapped the guy who was shooting at me. He took off running, unhit. But I did succeed in blowing out the windshield of a vehicle that was sitting 15 feet or so to one side of where he’d been standing.

  36. But I did succeed in blowing out the windshield of a vehicle that was sitting 15 feet or so to one side of where he’d been standing.

    Heh. But that’s one windshield which will never threaten you again.

  37. The next thing to think about is privacy. David and I are used to rattling around in our big house, just the two of us. The first time we had Jim, Claire and their boys for a weekend exercise it wasn’t too bad. Our house is big enough that each of the couples had a bedroom and the boys shared one. We didn’t get in each others way. When we did a larger exercise that included our prepper friends that made 12 of us in a house that was big for two, okay for six, but too small for 12, eight of which were married couples. David and I almost never argue but we had two loud “discussions” that weekend and things were also tense at times between two of the other married couples. We talked about this issue and agreed that the key was to consciously give everyone else as much “space” as possible and to think very hard before making any critical remark.

    It really helps if people have somewhere to get away from the drama that always seems to be going on when people get together. I built a gameroom on my house for this specific reason so I could keep my sanity when my wife and daughter start in on something. AKA, a hiding place.

Comments are closed.