I just love this one, this is absolutely the crazy stuff we pulled as kids. I would believe that every kid on my block had a Big Wheel. We could not wait to hear the last school bell of the day only to run as fast as we could to our homes to start the Big Wheel races. Of course you know during this time Evil Kenevil was very popular and every kid on the block, including me, had to see if we could be like him. We just were not satisfied with racing we expanded to jumping. With jumping comes the need for speed, which means big hills. Oh yeah baby those were the days. I am surprised that I made it out of my childhood with all the dumbassery that we got into.
Neil Armstrong Buried at Sea: U.S. Navy personnel carry the cremated remains of Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong during a burial-at-sea service aboard the USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, in the Atlantic Ocean. Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, died Aug. 25. He was 82. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
We really have it good…for now.
Modern engineering marvels such as water sanitation plants, indoor plumbing, and refrigeration all have made the simple task of accessing food and water go unchallenged for most of society. With the audible click and hum, clean filtered water passes into a glass from the opening in the refrigerator door, the lifting of a handle on the faucet at the sink, and even the unscrewing the cap off of a fresh filtered bottle of water amplify just how easy it is to obtain fresh water. However, we need to remember to always incorporate emergency planning regardless of how good things may be right now.
The opened doors of a refrigerator can usually offer the viewer a selection of beverages, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and the like. For the majority, there is little to no concerns except to decide what to eat and drink for our next meal. Choices-it is nice to have so many choices. With a sea of fast food joints, restaurants, and even grocery markets at our calling, we usually have little to worry about when seeking food. How simple the chore of finding something to eat can be with so many choices.
We presently are blessed to see heaping shelves displaying the results of bountiful harvest as one navigates the aisles of fresh produce, meats, and foods in our local grocery stores. We are currently a country consumed with and accustomed to excess. So what happens when something unexpected comes to pass that disrupts this flow of milk & honey we have grown dependant on? Where will you be and will you be ready for what these events may bring?
Seriously, preparing for the threat of Zombies is not bad advice!
With current conditions being what they are, i.e., the abundance of food & water and easy access to it daily, it is not hard to see why most Americans take emergency preparation for granted. This false sense of comfort or security is one of the main contributors as to why so many are not prepared for emergencies, disasters, or as the Department Homeland Security says; “ The Zombie Apocalypse”. The Department of Homeland Security jokingly referenced Zombies in a recent article “Zombie Apocalypse: ‘The Zombies Are Coming,’ Homeland Security Warns” by ALICIA A. in the AP, “Tongue firmly in cheek, the government urged citizens Thursday to prepare for a zombie apocalypse, part of a public health campaign to encourage better preparation for genuine disasters and emergencies. The theory: If you’re prepared for a zombie attack, the same preparations will help during a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake or terrorist attack.” Seriously, putting all Zombies aside, following the DHS advice for preparing is probably a good idea. For most families, spending money to prepare for emergencies that may never happen is an after thought. For them it may be very hard to justify spending money on surplus food and equipment only to see it sitting on a shelf in a state of “break in case of emergency”.
What does it mean to be prepared? Are you prepared? Where do you start in preparing? In order to start preparing you will need to change your perception on how preparing is an essential investment, not an optional luxury. You will need to think of this as an insurance policy for you and your family’s safety and well-being in the time of a crisis.
“Proper planning prevents piss poor performance.”
In order to start to prepare you first need to establish what it is you want to prepare for. You need to identify what you feel is the most dangerous threat closest to you. There are many members of the 20 pound head club out there who have, at a great cost of money and time, attended some of the finest institutions in America to obtain degrees in order to tell us how to do risk assessment and threat assessment. Guess what, we are not talking about National Security here! But seriously, you can do your own simple assessments to help build your plan for preparation. Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” I am sure many have heard the old saying “Proper planning prevents piss poor performance.”
Conduct a risk or threat assessment.
In the military when confronted with a potential enemy we would do a simple test, something called a “Threat Assessment”. We first try to identify the current enemy facing us. Then we need to establish two things, what my enemies’ most probable course of action (MPCOA) will be and what our enemies’ most dangerous course of action (MDCOA) could be. Understanding the enemy basically allows me to employ the right tools of the trade to try to defeat or survive my enemies’ attacks. Having conducted an assessment will now allow you to focus your efforts in a more efficient manner when building your plan and conducting you preparations.
Do not be surprised if you actually come to the conclusion that you have multiple threats or risk that you want to plan to prepare for. You can scour the internet and find all kinds of threat assessment tools and even pay good money for some of this stuff. Below is an example of a simple assessment chart that can work as a template in creating your own threat/risk assessment tool.
Your assessments are not limited to just your home, they can branch out to neighborhoods and communities. You may want to go check out the FEMA website and see more examples of family emergency planning tools and even community planning tools.
Spend your budget wisely.
Through the years I have crossed paths with many individuals that have invested large amounts of money in acquiring useless stuff in their efforts to be prepared. During a time of crisis, many of them came to the realization that a majority of the items purchased were a useless waste of money. Having the budget to prepare is a great start, but having the knowledge to ensure you spend it wisely will most certainly make your budget go a long way toward reaching your goal.
I recently attended the 2012 Survival Expo held in Las Vegas. I was completely taken back by the abundance of poorly made items, useless items, and just garbage that was mixed in with the good stuff. By doing your research and being informed, shows like this can actually be very productive in your preparations. There are many deals waiting for you at trade shows, especially on the last day as the vendors will have items that they do not want to ship home.
Most importantly you need to be able to prepare by making smart purchases with the budget you have established. Do your research and compile a shopping list to help you stay on your purchasing plan. Plan to purchase quality goods that will last and if possible have multiple uses for your kits. Spending your budget wisely, along with getting and staying informed, are critical processes in your ability to prepare well.
Build your emergency kits.
What are home emergency or disaster supplies kit? These kits are simply collections of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. Assembly of your kits well in advance of any emergency or crisis is critical to your success, as trying to prepare during an event will be too late. In the event of a crisis you may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. Having your kits staged and complete will save you precious time rather than trying to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.
You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Your home emergency kit may consist of water storage, shelf stable food storage and other supplies to support you in your home.
In the event you have to move or relocate from your residence you will need to have the supplies to do so. Ever more popular are 72 hour Emergency Go Bags, Bug out Bags, or Grab & Go Bags that were expressly designed for just that…Grab & Go! Specifically, most of these bags are intended to meet the needs of one person for 72-hours. When buying these kits it is important to know that they are not complete. Kits of this sort will need to be tailored for the individual, i.e., medications, spare glasses, personal hygiene items, and etc.
As we can see our emergency plan will consist of several types of kits. Some other kits to consider having ready are, a Vehicle Emergency Kit and Medical /First aid / Triage kit. In the event a crisis happens the local officials and relief workers will eventually be on the scene of the disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. There is potential that you could get help in hours or it might take days.
Additionally, your basic home services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. It is important that your emergency kits contain items to help you manage during these outages.
So in winding up today we can see there is a tremendous amount of information concerning emergency preparation. The importance of getting the information and staying informed cannot be emphasized enough. We have seen today the significance to focus our efforts by doing a few simple steps; Conduct a Threat/Risk Assessment, Make a Plan, Budget for the Plan, Be Informed/Stay Informed, and Build Your Plan!
See you soon, PreparedToday.
After receiving this article from a friend many years ago, I have kept it close in my stash of have to have e-mails. I break it out every so often to remind myself of how true this really is. If you cannot see that these principles are in motion today, take some time to read this article. Then turn on Fox, CNN, maybe read some national media, and then take the time to observe our Country from the top down. See how infested our leadership has become with individuals lacking Honor, Moral Character, Integrity, and the backbone to stand up for this Country.
We can see by the actions of many in today’s society the glorifying of practices, behaviors, and beliefs considered to be so wrong some 40 years ago. This is because people have changed. We have become a society willing to forget what it is we stand up for or hold dear to us. A society focused on the tangible things in their lives more than the intangibles. There is truly far fewer people today willing to be a Sheepdog then ever before! Why? Because it is too easy to be a mindless Sheep in the flock!
On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs (From the book, On Combat, by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman)
|“Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time, that may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution, or as always, even death itself. The question remains: What is worth defending? What is worth dying for? What is worth living for?”
- William J. Bennett In a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November 24, 1997
One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me: “Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident.” This is true. Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another.
Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent crimes every year, a tragic, staggering number, perhaps an all-time record rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million Americans, which means that the odds of being a victim of violent crime is considerably less than one in a hundred on any given year. Furthermore, since many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, the actual number of violent citizens is considerably less than two million.
Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation: We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.
I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me it is like the pretty, blue robin’s egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell. Police officers, soldiers and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful. For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators. “Then there are the wolves,” the old war veteran said, “and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy.” Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.
“Then there are sheepdogs,” he went on, “and I’m a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf.” Or, as a sign in one California law enforcement agency put it, “We intimidate those who intimidate others.”
If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen: a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath–a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? Then you are a sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero’s path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.
The gift of aggression
|“What goes on around you… compares little with what goes on inside you.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson|
Everyone has been given a gift in life. Some people have a gift for science and some have a flair for art. And warriors have been given the gift of aggression. They would no more misuse this gift than a doctor would misuse his healing arts, but they yearn for the opportunity to use their gift to help others. These people, the ones who have been blessed with the gift of aggression and a love for others, are our sheepdogs. These are our warriors.
One career police officer wrote to me about this after attending one of my Bulletproof Mind training sessions:
“I want to say thank you for finally shedding some light on why it is that I can do what I do. I always knew why I did it. I love my [citizens], even the bad ones, and had a talent that I could return to my community. I just couldn’t put my finger on why I could wade through the chaos, the gore, the sadness, if given a chance try to make it all better, and walk right out the other side.”
Let me expand on this old soldier’s excellent model of the sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial; that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids’ schools. But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid’s school. Our children are dozens of times more likely to be killed, and thousands of times more likely to be seriously injured, by school violence than by school fires, but the sheep’s only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their children is just too hard, so they choose the path of denial.
The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.
Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn’t tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, “Baa.”
Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog. As Kipling said in his poem about “Tommy” the British soldier:
|While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, fall be’ind,” But it’s “Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind, There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind, O it’s “Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind.|
The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them. This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door. Look at what happened after September 11, 2001, when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Remember how many times you heard the word hero?
Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed right along with the young ones.
Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, “Thank God I wasn’t on one of those planes.” The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, “Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference.” When you are truly transformed into a warrior and have truly invested yourself into warriorhood, you want to be there. You want to be able to make a difference.
While there is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, he does have one real advantage. Only one. He is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the population.
There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory acts of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language: slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself.
However, when there were cues given by potential victims that indicated they would not go easily, the cons said that they would walk away. If the cons sensed that the target was a “counter-predator,” that is, a sheepdog, they would leave him alone unless there was no other choice but to engage.
One police officer told me that he rode a commuter train to work each day. One day, as was his usual, he was standing in the crowded car, dressed in blue jeans, T-shirt and jacket, holding onto a pole and reading a paperback. At one of the stops, two street toughs boarded, shouting and cursing and doing every obnoxious thing possible to intimidate the other riders. The officer continued to read his book, though he kept a watchful eye on the two punks as they strolled along the aisle making comments to female passengers, and banging shoulders with men as they passed.
As they approached the officer, he lowered his novel and made eye contact with them. “You got a problem, man?” one of the IQ-challenged punks asked. “You think you’re tough, or somethin’?” the other asked, obviously offended that this one was not shirking away from them.
“As a matter of fact, I am tough,” the officer said, calmly and with a steady gaze.
The two looked at him for a long moment, and then without saying a word, turned and moved back down the aisle to continue their taunting of the other passengers, the sheep.
Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I’m proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.
Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When he learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd dropped his phone and uttered the words, “Let’s roll,” which authorities believe was a signal to the other passengers to confront the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers–athletes, business people and parents–from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.
“Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself after that?”
|“There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men.” - Edmund Burke Reflections on the Revolution in France|
Here is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are wolves. They didn’t have a choice. But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision. If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior’s path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.
For example, many officers carry their weapons in church. They are well concealed in ankle holsters, shoulder holsters or inside-the-belt holsters tucked into the small of their backs. Anytime you go to some form of religious service, there is a very good chance that a police officer in your congregation is carrying. You will never know if there is such an individual in your place of worship, until the wolf appears to slaughter you and your loved ones.
I was training a group of police officers in Texas, and during the break, one officer asked his friend if he carried his weapon in church. The other cop replied, “I will never be caught without my gun in church.” I asked why he felt so strongly about this, and he told me about a police officer he knew who was at a church massacre in Ft. Worth, Texas, in 1999. In that incident, a mentally deranged individual came into the church and opened fire, gunning down 14 people. He said that officer believed he could have saved every life that day if he had been carrying his gun. His own son was shot, and all he could do was throw himself on the boy’s body and wait to die. That cop looked me in the eye and said, “Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself after that?”
Some individuals would be horrified if they knew this police officer was carrying a weapon in church. They might call him paranoid and would probably scorn him. Yet these same individuals would be enraged and would call for “heads to roll” if they found out that the airbags in their cars were defective, or that the fire extinguisher and fire sprinklers in their kids’ school did not work. They can accept the fact that fires and traffic accidents can happen and that there must be safeguards against them. Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain. But the sheepdog quietly asks himself, “Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones were attacked and killed, and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?”
The warrior must cleanse denial from his thinking. Coach Bob Lindsey, a renowned law enforcement trainer, says that warriors must practice “when/then” thinking, not “if/when.” Instead of saying,“If it happens then I will take action,” the warrior says, “When it happens then I will be ready.”
It is denial that turns people into sheep. Sheep are psychologically destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness and horror when the wolf shows up.
Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when you are not physically prepared: You didn’t bring your gun; you didn’t train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy. Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically survive, you are psychologically shattered by fear, helplessness, horror and shame at your moment of truth.
Chuck Yeager, the famous test pilot and first man to fly faster than the speed of sound, says that he knew he could die. There was no denial for him. He did not allow himself the luxury of denial. This acceptance of reality can cause fear, but it is a healthy, controlled fear that will keep you alive:
|“I was always afraid of dying. Always. It was my fear that made me learn everything I could about my airplane and my emergency equipment, and kept me flying respectful of my machine and always alert in the cockpit.” - Brigadier General Chuck Yeager Yeager, An Autobiography|
Gavin de Becker puts it like this in Fear Less, his superb post-9/11 book, which should be required reading for anyone trying to come to terms with our current world situation:
|“..denial can be seductive, but it has an insidious side effect. For all the peace of mind deniers think they get by saying it isn’t so, the fall they take when faced with new violence is all the more unsettling. Denial is a save-now-pay-later scheme, a contract written entirely in small print, for in the long run, the denying person knows the truth on some level.”|
And so the warrior must strive to confront denial in all aspects of his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes.
If you are a warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that the bad man will not come today. No one can be “on” 24/7 for a lifetime. Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself… “Baa.”
This business of being a sheep or a sheepdog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-grass sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other. Most of us live somewhere in between. Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously. The degree to which you move up that continuum, away from sheephood and denial, is the degree to which you and your loved ones will survive, physically and psychologically at your moment of truth.
AP | By ALICIA A. CALDWELL
Posted: 09/06/2012 6:05 pm Updated: 09/08/2012 11:55 am
WASHINGTON — “The zombies are coming!” the Homeland Security Department says.
Tongue firmly in cheek, the government urged citizens Thursday to prepare for a zombie apocalypse, part of a public health campaign to encourage better preparation for genuine disasters and emergencies. The theory: If you’re prepared for a zombie attack, the same preparations will help during a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake or terrorist attack.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency hosted an online seminar for its Citizen Corps organization to help emergency planners better prepare their communities for disaster. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year first launched a zombie apocalypse social media campaign for the same purposes.
Emergency planners were encouraged to use the threat of zombies – the flesh-hungry, walking dead – to encourage citizens to prepare for disasters. Organizers also noted the relative proximity to Halloween.
Among the government’s recommendations were having an emergency evacuation plan and a change of clothes, plus keeping on hand fresh water, extra medications and emergency flashlights.
A few of the government’s suggestions tracked closely with some of the 33 rules for dealing with zombies popularized in the 2009 movie “Zombieland,” which included “always carry a change of underwear” and “when in doubt, know your way out.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: The CDC, completely seriously, has denied the existence of zombies to The Huffington Post. Read that story here.