Photos of the SunJack solar panel unit and battery pack to accompany the SunJack 14W Portable Solar Charger and 8000 mAh Battery Pack review.
Survival-minded readers will appreciate the latest series of books coming from Whitman Publishing’s Second Amendment Media: Grid Down Survival.
The Grid Down Survival Guides offer preparedness information that would be vital in many disaster situations although, as the name implies, they focus on a grid down scenario in which infrastructure fails and societal norms begin to collapse. Grid Down could be anything from minor disruptions in every day creature comforts to SHTF/TEOTWAWKI (s**t hitting the fan /the end of the world as we know it) and, in the spirit of “hope for the best but prepare for the worst,” the guide series puts a good deal of focus on the latter end of that spectrum. Such a scenario may sound far-fetched but, realistically, we could be one relatively minor disaster away from a grid-down situation at any moment.
Consider the devastating aftermath – both natural and man-made – when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. Consider the events that unfolded during the nationwide “protests” stemming from the situation in Ferguson, Missouri over the past year: violence, looting, burned buildings, national guard mobilization, police shootings, interstate highway shutdowns and more. Consider the fragility of our power grid in the scope of threats like the 2013 sniper attacks on California power stations, which knocked out 17 transformers that took over a month to repair, solar flares, or enemy attacks and the amount of time it would take to recover given the production capacity for power station equipment and the existing stock (or lack thereof) of replacement parts.
The “war on coal,” the fight against hydraulic fracturing (fracking), pushback against the Keystone XL Pipeline and other factors may even further imperil our energy infrastructure – even if only by causing increased economic strain on the industry and consumers. Crumbling bridges and non-existent “shovel ready” highway projects might show cracks in our transportation grid. With economic turmoil in the European market (Greek tragedy?), Russia tangling with Ukraine and annexing Crimea, Iranian nuke talks, conflict with the Norks over hacking allegations, and countless other examples of instability in the world, it just makes sense to be prepared. Continue reading
“Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare”
September is National Preparedness Month (NPM). For many people, when they hear about “preppers” or “prepping,” the first thing to come to mind might not be so glamorous – maybe a doomsday fanatic hiding in their secret bunker with enough gear to outfit an army against hordes of roaming zombies or gangs of post-apocalypse thugs.
Popular media certainly does their part to further that stereotype, which can turn some people off from the idea of prepping and make starting a conversation on the topic difficult. However, most preparedness activities are much simpler than that. Forward-thinkers can take their prepping as far as they want – which could very well be a well-stocked secret bunker – but preparedness can be quite basic and start with small, easy steps. Something as basic as keeping a few days worth of food on hand, agreeing on a location to meet up (or simply communicate) with your family in the event of a disaster, or knowing what to do in an active shooter situation could save your life.
Ready.gov’s National Preparedness Month website has a number of resources on how you can be prepared for a disaster, ways to get involved, how to create a readiness kit (e.g. a “bug out bag,” “go bag,” or “get home bag”), and more. You can find out about and take part in preparedness month activities by visiting America’s PrepareAthon.
FEMA isn’t the only big organization taking part. The Red Cross NPM site has links to download preparedness apps for your smartphone as well as tips to create a disaster plan and build a readiness kit. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also offers a number of resources and tips for staying prepared. The National Weather Service NPM site has resources to help mitigate the risk posed by severe weather.
While National Preparedness Month is a great reminder to be prepared and an easy way to start the conversation with your friends, family and co-workers, it should not end there. Keep the conversation going year round by conducting family drills, going over plans, maintaining your supplies and visiting the Training, Survival and Prepping board on the GunLink Forums.
The scout motto is “Be Prepared.” From Robert Baden-Powell’s Scouting for Boys:
[Being prepared] means you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your DUTY.
– Be Prepared in Mind by having disciplined yourself to be obedient to every order, and also by having thought out beforehand any accident or situation that might occur, so that you know the right thing to do at the right moment, and are willing to do it.
– Be Prepared in Body by making yourself strong and active and able to do the right thing at the right moment, and do it.
Many GunLink readers have undoubtedly outgrown their scouting years, but that is no reason not to abandon those principles. Life comes with many uncertainties and the world around us is filled with the potential for unexpected situations which could turn out to be dangerous. Spending one’s entire life in a secret underground bunker isn’t feasible (or, likely, healthy) so one must venture forth into the world and meet those dangers head-on. The best way to do that is to be prepared for those situations ahead of time.
Don’t misunderstand – obviously not all of these situations are life-and-death scenarios. Preppers are often derisively dismissed as end of the world whack jobs preparing for some just-over-the-horizon doomsday. Those who choose to carry a concealed handgun are sometimes seen as paranoid.
The truth is, prepping can be as little as carrying a multi-tool or learning a useful skill or as much as stocking your de-milled missile silo with a decade worth of food and water. Training can be as little as hitting the range with your single-shot hunting rifle or practicing your family’s fire escape route or as much as taking a lengthy course from a professional. Survival skills can mean as little as navigating back to town when your vehicle runs out of gas to staying alive when your three hour boat tour turns into an extended stay on a deserted island.
Whatever you’re training for, preparing for or planning on surviving, you can share your tips, ask your questions and join the discussion in the Training, Survival and Prepping board on the GunLink Forums. See you there.