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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Quick Rifle Scope Zeroing

Watch the above video for a quick way to zero a rifle scope.

Urban Man!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Making Your Own MRE’s

Making Your Own MRE’s Can Be Satisfying and Cheaper
By Cari Schofield January 21, 2013

Have you ever considered making your own MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat) as opposed to buying them? They can be used for more than a BOB. We use them as quick on the go meals and they come in especially handy for that forgotten field trip your child needs a packed lunch for.

In this article I am going to show you how simple it can be and provide a meal or two that we make ourselves. After gathering everything we want to put in the meal, we will put it in a freezer bag, squeeze the air out of it as much as we can and add a small Oxygen absorber to it.

The other method we use is vacuum sealing. However, if you do this, make sure that nothing you add in there that is in a package has air in it, otherwise you have a big bulge of air in the meal. If you’re adding an emergency water pack to the meal then tape it to the outside of the package. You can also put the vacuum sealed meal in a freezer Ziploc and add the emergency water package in there. After we have a bunch of them made we put them all in a bucket or in a storage tote. You can also buy attachments to seal dried foods in mason jars.

Note: One thing to remember when making a shopping list for this project is to buy things that can be eaten raw or only requires water to be prepared. Technically speaking, an MRE is a meal that is ready to eat cold because you may not always be able to prepare (heat) the meal and some of the things listed below do not fit in that category but will still work as a meal. Meals that need to be heated have a trioxane bar included to heat without the use of fire.

Breakfast #1 – I love breakfast, it is literally my favorite meal of the day so I am going to start with the morning meals I put together. A big hit in my house is oatmeal. We will take 1-2 of the instant flavored oatmeal packs, 1 sugar packet, 1 powdered butter packet, and one powdered milk packet. (We pre-measure the butter to our taste and the milk according to package directions) We then add one pouch of dehydrated water. (Kidding!) We add 1 emergency water packet to reconstitute the milk and butter. (You can also purchase a 5 gallon bucket with gamma lid of powdered milk here if you’re looking for long-term storage for milk. If you want to, you can also add dehydrated fruit to add to your oatmeal. Hot cocoa drink mix or a yoo-hoo single drink packet.. (These are used when the weather is cooler.)

Breakfast #2 – This one is simple. Dehydrated sausage and either powdered eggs or crystallized eggs. 1-2 salt/pepper packets. If you want cheese on it then you can also pre-measure powdered or freeze-dried cheese. Once it is re-hydrated, mix together for a sausage and egg breakfast scramble. Single kool-aid mix drink packet. You can also add a hot sauce packet to the meal to put on the eggs.

Now that you get the idea, you can make a grocery list of things to purchase to put your meals together. We try to stick with simple things that don’t require much to eat them or make them. The breakfast listed above require some cooking, but in my opinion it is still a ready to make/eat meal.

Below is a list of some of the things we use in our homemade MRE’s. Make sure to write the date it was made on the outside of the package for rotation purposes.

· Prepackaged meats such as on the to-go tuna, spam, and chicken. Pay attention to the dates though because these don’t last 20 years.

· Dehydrated meals that are already prepared and you simply add hot water.

· Prepackaged crackers like we buy for our kids or out of vending machines. You can purchase these at any store or in bulk at Sam’s or Costco.

· Instant drink mix packs. We purchase the on the go ones because they are pre-measured in single packets for a bottle of water. You can even buy instant coffee now by Folgers that looks like a tea bag. You simply add it to a cup of hot water for a few minutes. Add sugar and cream packets and have a great cup of coffee.

· Instant oatmeal packs

· Salt/pepper packs and sugar packets that we save from fast food restaurants. When you go through a drive through just ask for some along with extra napkins and utensils. You can use all of them in your home-made MRE’s.

· Bouillon cubes or home-made spice packets.

· Trail mixes, nuts, raisins.

· Energy bars

· Dried fruit like banana or apple slices. We love dried pomegranate.

· Canned Tuna, chicken, sardines etc. Although this is a little more added weight than the on the go packs.

· Dehydrated meats. Just like with noodles, powdered eggs etc, you must have water to reconstitute the meat.

· Candy; preferably some that won’t melt. We like weathers originals.

· Rice side dishes, like the Lipton rice or Rice-A-Roni.

· Individual camper meals.

· Instant rice with an added bouillon cube or sugar/butter makes a tasty meal.

· Plastic eating utensils and a napkin if needed. A lot of people carry these in their bags, but if your meals are going to be eaten as a quick-lunch you may need them.

· A single pack wet wipe to clean your face and hands to save on water. This is especially good if you have young children.

· You can add a piece of heavy-duty tin foil to fashion a bowl for oatmeal or other hot meals.

· A pack of matches to heat the food if you need to and have some sort of pocket stove in your pack. If you wanted to go a step further then you can purchase trioxane bars to add to your MRE. (That is the heating source used in the original MRE’s)

· To top it off, add a piece of gum to get the food out of your teeth and freshen your breath. (Who wants fish breath, yuck!)

· Daily vitamin wrapped in a piece of tin foil with a piece of dental floss included for when your meal is done. (Some people can’t chew gum.)

These are just a few things you can use to build your own MRE’s. Use your imagination and make something you will enjoy eating!!

Keepin It Spicy,

JalapeƱo Gal

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Power in the Collapse or Collapse Because of Lack of Power

Two recent pieces of information came out to prompt me to write about each Prepared Family to have a plan on how power sources for their survival during a collapse. And like the title above suggests, if the U.S. Grid is shut down, the collapse will follow.

First, we have the Federal Government warning about power outages. This in and of itself would not raise too many concerns, but in the words of the Government " Be prepared for power outages as we rely on electricity and other utilities for survival, so when we lose power it’s a major problem. A power outage compounds the impacts of a natural disaster and increases anxiety. Having a way to communicate with family, friends, and coworkers is imperative.

The Government goes on to suggest these tips:

Plan for batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out and ensure you have extra compatible batteries for any device that can run on battery power (i.e., cell phones, portable phones, medical or assistive devices, radios). Consider purchasing hand-crank and solar-powered chargers.

Keep your car gas tank at least half full. Gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps. You’ll also have a good method for charging devices in an emergency or, if necessary, moving to a location with power.

Never use a generator, gasoline-powered equipment and tools, grill, camp stove, or charcoal burning device inside or in any partially enclosed area, including a basement or garage.

Install battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors or electric detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home and outside of bedrooms to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide, which is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and potentially deadly gas. Plan to always keep a generator outdoors.

And finally, a friendly word from the Government about communications, which would be sorely affected by a collapse of the Grid,......Don't wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.

During an emergency, communication is critical. We want to know that our family is safe and taken care of. We need to let our family, friends, and coworkers know we’re okay, and be ready to help our fellow citizens by fulfilling the DHS mission. Having a family emergency communication plan with key phone numbers and other information readily available is important.

And then from USA Today, a report that "Attackers successfully compromised U.S. Department of Energy computer systems more than 150 times between 2010 and 2014", from a review of federal records obtained by USA TODAY finds.

Cyber attackers successfully compromised the security of U.S. Department of Energy computer systems more than 150 times between 2010 and 2014, according to a review of federal records obtained by USA TODAY.

Incident reports submitted by federal officials and contractors since late 2010 to the Energy Department's Joint Cyber security Coordination Center shows a near-consistent barrage of attempts to breach the security of critical information systems that contain sensitive data about the nation's power grid, nuclear weapons stockpile and energy labs.

The records, obtained by USA TODAY through the Freedom of Information Act, show DOE components reported a total of 1,131 cyber attacks over a 48-month period ending in October 2014. Of those attempted cyber intrusions, 159 were successful.

"The potential for an adversary to disrupt, shut down (power systems), or worse … is real here," said Scott White, Professor of Homeland Security and Security Management and Director of the Computing Security and Technology program at Drexel University. "It's absolutely real."

Energy Department officials would not say whether any sensitive data related to the operation and security of the nation's power grid or nuclear weapons stockpile was accessed or stolen in any of the attacks, or whether foreign governments are believed to have been involved.

"DOE does not comment on ongoing investigations or possible attributions of malicious activity," Energy Department spokesman Andrew Gumbiner said in a statement.

In all cases of malicious cyber security activity, Gumbiner said the Energy Department "seeks to identify indicators of compromise and other cyber security relevant information, which it then shares broadly among all DOE labs, plants, and sites as well as within the entire federal government."

The National Nuclear Security Administration, a semi-autonomous agency within the Energy Department responsible for managing and securing the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile, experienced 19 successful attacks during the four-year period, records show.

While information on the specific nature of the attacks was redacted from the records prior to being released, numerous Energy Department cyber security vulnerabilities have been identified in recent years by the department's Office of Inspector General, an independent watchdog agency.

After a cyber attack in 2013 resulted in unauthorized access to personally identifying information for more than 104,000 Energy Department employees and contractors, auditors noted "unclear lines of responsibility" and "lack of awareness by responsible officials." In an audit report released in October of last year, the Inspector General found 41 Energy Department servers and 14 workstations "were configured with default or easily guessed passwords."

Urban Man's comments: What this all means is that the prepared survivor must plan for life without the electrical grid. Best case is a completely solar powered home backed up by a fuel generator and wind mills generating electrical power, but alas, only the richest can afford this. 

For the economy prepper this means have battery powered devices with common batteries and a goodly amount of rechargeable batteries - they make them in almost all sizes now. I have six sets of re-chargers that I can power from as 12 volt source (vehicle battery or cigarette plug adapter) and from folding solar panels. 

I have a several solar kits still in the box and keeping them that way in case I have to bug out. my next big purchase will be a power source 1800 Solar Generating unit, which like the name suggest, is capable of generating 1800 watts of power at peak and is re-charged through a 100 watt solar mobile panel. Just get prepared people!

Urban Man

Thursday, October 1, 2015

America Unprepared For Devastating 'Black Swan'

Urban Man- Here is another interesting story I just read in regards to EMP issues.

WASHINGTON – Supply-chain disruptions often are the result of adverse weather, unplanned telecom outages, data breaches or even cyber hacking.

However, the one “Black Swan” event that would make these instances pale by comparison and result in a cascading disruption is a natural or man-made electromagnetic pulse event.

A “Black Swan” is an event regarded at the time of its occurrence as unprecedented and unexpected but later, in hindsight, understood to have been inevitable.

An EMP is in that category, since scientific experts repeatedly warn that a major EMP event is not a question of if, but when.

Barrett Moore, a security specialist and founder of the security company Triple Canopy, told WND that federal officials have modeled the effects of a “Black Swan” event on the timely delivery of food, water, fuel, medical care and technology. But they have done it primarily for the government’s benefit.

Michael Maloof’s “A Nation Forsaken” exposes the catastrophic vulnerability scientists and other experts have been warning about for years

“Seeing potential for large-scale chaos,” Barrett said, “they have mitigated this risk for themselves by investing hundreds of billions of dollars in a continuity-of-government plan that has overseen the construction, equipping and provisioning of over 100 classified ‘haven’ facilities accessible only to families and staff of government officials,” he said.

“No parallel provisions have been made in our country for the general population,” he said.

Years ago, Barrett noted, there were civil-defense centers in which the local population could assemble in the event of an emergency, stocked with food, water and essential medicines. But they disappeared in the 1960s.

Consideration, he said, should be given to bringing them back as one type of “safe haven” for the general population.


A recent survey shows that an EMP event is not on the radar of professionals whose industry is part of the supply chain.

A 2014 Supply Chain Resilience Survey, conducted by the Business Continuity Institute on behalf of the Zurich Insurance Group, asked the professionals to look five years ahead regarding potential, evolving world threats

They ranked the biggest threat as cyber attacks, followed in order by IT/telecom outages, outsourcer service failure, data breaches and adverse weather conditions.

Yet, supply-chain disruption caused by an EMP – a super-burst of energetic radio waves that could knock out the already vulnerable national grid – can either destroy or damage unprotected electronic systems by instantly overloading their circuits.

The immediate result would be catastrophic damage to all the critical infrastructures that rely on the grid, including automated control systems for electric power, telecommunications, transportation, banking and finance, food and water distribution and emergency services.

A natural EMP event would be a direct hit on Earth from a massive solar storm, while a man-made EMP would be a high-altitude nuclear bomb burst instigated by any adversarial country with a nuclear weapon and a missile-delivery system.

Given the level of U.S. unpreparedness, it is estimated that within 12 months of an EMP event, two-thirds to 90 percent of the U.S. population would likely perish from starvation, disease and societal breakdown, according to the Secure the Grid Coalition.

The coalition is an ad hoc group of policy, energy and national security experts, legislators and industry insiders dedicated to strengthening the U.S. electrical grid by seeking the passage of legislation and raising public awareness of the national and international threat of an EMP.

‘Keystone’ infrastructure at risk

One of the coalition’s spokesmen is Peter Vincent Pry, who told WND that “political gridlock” in Washington has hindered the implementation of any of a number of cost-effective plans to protect the national electrical grid.

He said the electric grid is the “keystone” infrastructure necessary to recover all other critical infrastructures. Protection of the grid from an EMP – which Pry said is the “worst threat” – will also enhance overall grid security against all other threats including cyber attack, sabotage and severe weather.

Pry is a former analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency who serves as executive director of the congressional Task Force on National and Homeland Security and director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum.

Pry also was staff director of the congressionally mandated EMP Commission, which in 2008 looked at the impact of an EMP on the nation’s vital infrastructure.

Among other things, the commission recommended an “all hazards” strategy to protect the electric grid and other critical infrastructures against all threats.

Pry said the “all hazards” strategy is the most practical and cost-effective solution to protecting the grid and the other critical infrastructures.

He pointed out that electric grid operation and vulnerability are dependent on two key technologies – extra-high voltage, or EHV, transformers and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems, or SCADAS.

“EHV transformers are the technological foundation of our modern electronic civilization as they make it possible to transmit electric power over great distances,” Pry said.

They cost millions of dollars and are custom-made rather than mass-produced. Making one EHV takes about 18 months under normal conditions, and only 200 are made a year.

While EHV transformers were invented in the United States by Nikolai Tesla, Pry said, they no longer are manufactured in the U.S.

“Because of their great size and cost,” he said, “U.S. electric utilities have very few spare EHV transformers. The U.S. must import EHV transformers made in Germany or South Korea, the only two nations in the world that make them for export.

“An event that damages hundreds – or even as few as nine – of the 2,000 EHV transformers in the United States could plunge the nation into a protracted blackout lasting months or even years,” Pry said.

SCADAS are small computers that run the electric grid and all the critical infrastructures. For example, they regulate the flow of electric current through EHV transformers, the flow of natural gas or water through pipelines, the flow of data through communications and financial systems and operate everything “from traffic control lights to refrigerators in regional food warehouses.”

SCADAS number in the millions and are indispensable as EHV transformers in running a modern electronic civilization, Pry said.

“The EMP Commission found that if the electric grid can be protected and quickly recover from nuclear EMP, the other critical infrastructures can also be recovered, with good planning, quickly enough to prevent mass starvation and restore society to normalcy,” Pry recently told a congressional panel.

“If EHV transformers, SCADAS and other critical components are protected from the worst threat – nuclear EMP – then they will survive, or damage will be greatly mitigated, from all lesser threats, including natural EMP from geomagnetic storms, severe weather, sabotage, and cyber attack,” he said.

Pry said cyber warfare is another existential threat to the U.S., not because of computer viruses and hacking alone, but owing to military doctrines of potential adversaries that call for all-out cyber attack, including an EMP.

Pry told the congressional panel that a 2011 U.S. Army War College study, “In The Dark: Planning for a Catastrophic Critical Infrastructure Event,” warned U.S. Cyber Command that U.S. doctrine should not overly focus on computer viruses to the exclusion of an EMP attack and the full spectrum of other threats, as planned by potential adversaries.

Pry said anti-hacking and anti-virus solutions will just result in an “endless virus versus anti-virus software arms race” that will prove “unaffordable and futile.”

He said the worst-case cyber scenario can be overcome through an “all hazards” strategy recommended by the congressional EMP Commission. He said the worst-case scenario envisions a computer virus infecting the SCADAS that regulate the flow of electricity into EHV transformers, damaging the transformers with overvoltage and causing a protracted national blackout.

But if the transformers are protected with surge arrestors against a high-altitude nuclear EMP attack which Pry said would be the worst kind of attack, they “would be unharmed by the worst possible overvoltage that might be system-generated by any computer virus.”

“While gridlock in Washington has prevented the federal government from protecting the national electric power infrastructure, threats to the grid – and to the survival of the American people – from EMP and other hazards are looming ever larger,” Pry said. “Grid vulnerability to EMP and other threats is now a clear and present danger.”

Urban Man-