Category Archives: Prepping

The Apocalypse Problem

There’s nothing wrong with escapist fantasy. The problem comes when we confuse reality with fiction. Some people are doing that right now. In an actual emergency, that’s dangerous.

One of my favorite reviews of This Plague of Days mentioned a scene that takes place at a mall. A large group of young people have gathered together to find shelter. What pleased the reader was that it wasn’t about kids coming together to form a Lord of the Flies situation. They’re doing their best to look out for each other. No warlords need apply. Sadly, some folks seem to be taking the wrong lessons from apocalyptic fiction.

The common fantasy goes a little something like this: My name is Dirk Badass and I’m a prepper/former Special Forces hero/king with what might as well be a castle, an infinite supply of ammo, and all the guns. All of ’em. I have no idea how to grow cabbages but I’m here for the shootin’ without regrets or consequences. Society has fallen and I am the law. Zombies are fair game. Screw all y’all! Also, anyone else trying to survive isn’t an innocent and desperate scavenger like me. They’re all looters and they’re easy targets, too. No, I can’t even spell PTSD. Why do you ask?

As I mention somewhere in This Plague of Days, reality doesn’t reflect that narrative. We came down from the trees and managed to survive many thousands of years camping without ergonomic pillows and CPAP machines because we worked together. We formed tribes that eventually became communities which evolved to countries. Like it or not, we all rely on each other. Something as simple as a #2 pencil requires resources from two or three countries.

Sure, there are a few hermits out there, but those are outliers (and tend to be crazy.) The longest surviving hermit in modern history lasted in the woods almost 30 years. He survived because he broke into other people’s cottages for supplies and shelter. Nobody’s alone, especially in a pandemic that touches everyone and everything.

On Walden Pond was a nice experiment. Henry David Thoreau had a small garden and supposedly lived off the land because he felt the most free in nature. That’s not the entire story. He managed to live there for a couple of years, but he also extolled the virtue of visiting neighbors. He found it especially nice to be social just about the time his poor neighbors were putting dinner on the table. Fans of Thoreau play down that he was a mooch. Not exactly the independent type, after Walden he became a house sitter for Emerson.

We didn’t make it as a species because we are rugged individualists. That’s almost entirely a myth. Cowboys worked farms and ranches. The Inuit worked together to survive. Even lower primates have mutually beneficial social structures. Fight alone, you die. Fight together, we have a chance. Since we’re on a war footing with COVID-19, working together is the attitude we have to take. Rambo would die quickly. Band of Brothers is a realistic military template because that’s how you really fight a war: together.

Right about now, some guy with a stack of food barrels he bought from a televangelist or Alex Jones is getting antsy.

Let’s let that guy talk

“I know how to grow my own food! I don’t need anybody!”

If you know how to grow enough food to support your family, that’s a good thing. Many preppers and doomers do miss that step. How big is your harvest? Will it come in time? Do you know how to deal with mites that rot the roots of vegetables? Do you know not to plant your squash next to your zucchini? Are you good at canning, too? Are you on the grid? Have you got a generator? How long can you keep that going if the power goes out?

“I’ll…uh… I’ll steal fuel for the generator and freeze everything!”

Not sure how long that’ll be sustainable, but try not to get shot when you go out for fuel for that generator.

“I’m not afraid! I’ve got guns!”

Other people have guns, too. But, okay, let’s assume you’re a crack shot and a little sociopathic so you don’t mind shooting your neighbors if they object to you siphoning gas. Do you sleep?

“Huh?”

If you take my means of transportation and you’re terrorizing my family with weapons, I’ll cooperate. Then I’ll come back at 3 a.m. to poison your well, steal your crops and burn your house down with you in it. Remember the cardinal rule of every zombie apocalypse: Save a bullet for yourself.

“We’ll establish a perimeter! We’ll have guards.”

Sounds like a big operation. You’re going to need more crops and more scavengers to meet everyone’s needs.

“Then we’ll do that.”

So you’ll have a community.

“A small community, like the Amish. They don’t have to pay taxes. I like that. They seem to do fine.”

Yeah, living Amish could be…interesting, I guess? Here’s something I know having worked with a Mennonite community much like the Amish: When their kids get tumors, they step out of the 18th Century and head for the hospital. How are you set for medicines, hypothetical prepper guy?

“I took first aid in Boy Scouts. We’ll be fine.”

“Excellent! Everyone should have first aid training. How are you set for root canals? Or prostate cancer?”

“Uh…I guess we’ll have to take medical personnel into our community.”

By force?

“If necessary. It’s a survival situation! Anything goes! We do what it takes!”

For a guy so concerned with freedom…never mind. Cool, cool, cool. Who’s going to do the blood tests? Got a lab in the back forty? Where you going to get the MRI machine and the dude who fixes the MRI machine? You’re going to need medical supplies at some point. Everybody does.”

“We’ll get everything we need to survive.”

Uh-huh. So you’ll need to establish some kind of set up so somebody can take care of your kids and your grandchildren and teach others how to set a bone and pull teeth without the anaesthesia that mostly comes from China.

“Like I said, whatever it takes, smartass. We’ll gather everyone with the skill sets we need.”

I see. Like the civilization we have now?

Harumph. I’m starting to think you’re weak and not in the survival mindset. Stop it. Alarmists are tools of the establishment.”

I wonder what establishment you mean, but I want to be fair. This is not the apocalypse you were prepping for. You talked a lot of shit about fighting back against the federal government that was supposed to take your guns away. Obama didn’t and now you’re…what? Pissed at the new government that’s not trying to take your guns away? Conflict is your thing, man, but who’s making you a victim?

“It’s about freedom! For instance, me and mine protested forced house arrest so we could go out.”

That’s not what house arrest is, but even if it were, you got so angry because you wanted to go get haircuts. Gotta be honest, that doesn’t sound very badass.

“We don’t like being stuck inside. That’s no way to live.”

Dying on a ventilator is no way to live. You do want to protect you and yours, right? That’s what the guns are for, I guess.

“You betcha!”

You can’t shoot a virus so I guess the guns are to intimidate…who? Cops working crowd control and issuing citations? I thought you were pro-police.

“We carry guns to defend ourselves, from whoever.”

Protection. That’s what all that canned soup in your basement is for, too, right? In case the food supply chain breaks down, I think having food set aside as backup is a good idea. I’m starting a garden. That said, you know governments are asking you to isolate for your protection.

“I’m uncomfortable that you’re agreeing with me on anything so I’ll move the goalposts back and say this virus is a hoax and I need to work to eat.”

Second thing, first. I understand not having money set aside for emergencies. I’m not rich, like, at all. Huge companies claim to have nothing set aside for a rainy day, so why should people like you and me? I sympathize with that problem. How about we take 90% of the money that goes to the Pentagon and save every citizen of the USA, starting with you.

“Communism!”

Enlightened Socialism. The threat is disease and economic collapse, not terrorists. More terrorists are getting killed by COVID-19 right now, not drones.

“I don’t believe in handouts.”

“It’s almost May 1st. How are you going to make rent? That $1,200 bucks that’s coming should help, right?”

“My sister got her check but it’s already gone for essentials. I haven’t got my check yet. I didn’t file taxes in time so I might never get it.”

I am sorry to hear that. I’ve got a lot of friends in the same situation. That $1,200 sure won’t last ten weeks like they said, huh? How about another emergency stimulus check to stop you from becoming homeless? I don’t want you to starve. For everyone’s sake, testing and treatment should be provided free of charge to the individual.

“A check would be helpful but the government doesn’t move that fast and probably won’t do it. Besides, how are they gonna pay for it? Freedom ain’t free.”

By reallocating tax dollars. Social programs aren’t free and no one ever said they were. It’s about getting your money’s worth from the taxes you pay. I have to say, you’re a very good person.

(Eyes me suspiciously) “Yeah? How’s that, libtard?”

You have to be a very good person to be so concerned about how the government is going to pay for your bailout.

Whut?

I mean, it’s so selfless. You’re willing to go homeless and starve rather than let anyone help you. Is that pride? I want you to know, I don’t look down on anyone who needs help. Mega-corporations don’t get embarrassed for all the tax breaks and assistance they get, so we shouldn’t feel bad. Everybody needs help now and then.

“Don’t talk down to me! Obama — “

Obama’s not in charge. Hasn’t been for years.

“China — “

Covered up how bad things were, but they weren’t the only government to downplay the danger of a worldwide pandemic, were they? (Smiles.)

“The media — “

Also not in charge of the pandemic response.

(Prepper Guy mumbles inaudibly and curses.)

I guess we could wait for the billionaires to save us. They’ve got plenty of spare money to fund research, expand research, supply PPE, ramp up testing —

Prepper Guy laughs. “Never gonna happen. No such thing as spare money to those people.”

You’re right, Prepper Guy. Those same people want you to rush back out to feed the economy, especially the funeral home industry, I guess. Sounds like we actually need to pool our money and use government in an organized way to get things done. It’s possible. Other governments have been successful in curbing COVID-19 death rates.

“Yeah? Name one.”

New Zealand.

“Shit. I heard about that. Name two more.”

Germany and Cuba.

“IT’S ALL A HOAX!”

Oh, yeah, We were going to get back to that, weren’t we? Dude, if you honestly think the world pandemic is a hoax, I am sorry. Are you also a Flat Earther? Did you not see the chaos in Italy? If it’s a grand conspiracy, what’s the goal? I don’t understand why all these doctors and nurses would cooperate with that and keep the plot a secret. Surely, these can’t all be crisis actors.

“The plan is to make my president look bad!”

The same president who hasn’t expressed a word of condolence to the victims and their families? The guy who ignored repeated warnings from the intelligence community and tried to wish it away? The leader who never says sorry and blames everyone but himself?

“Saying that stuff would imply guilt!”

Gee, I wonder why that would be?

(Pauses. Eye widen.) “Shut up.”

The same guy who, in the middle of a horrific crisis, mused about injecting disinfectants? And then claimed it was sarcasm? Even if that were true, doesn’t riffing about this to bait the media on a national stage make it worse that he did that? Do you really think now, when you and your family is in danger is a time to joke around, just to see what would happen? I don’t think now, with 56,000 dead Americans and more to come, is the best time to yuk it up.

“Okay, people are dying but more people die of other things!”

Shouldn’t we try to prevent death, though? Isn’t that what governments do? To work for the national defense to protect their citizens? I thought you were a pro-life kind of guy. Suppose you choose which of your loved ones will perish. You don’t want to be that guy. You’re better than that.

“If we all stay inside, we’ll all starve to death.”

False choice. That’s what the bailouts are for. When a ship is sinking, you bail it out. I know this isn’t easy and there aren’t a lot of choices. When the options suck, you choose what’s least damaging. If you get a flat tire, you don’t shoot the other three.

“But, stupid, if everybody keeps in isolation, the economy will go in the shitter.”

You could give everyone the all-clear today, but not many people will go out tomorrow. Telling people it’s safe isn’t enough. It actually has to be safe.

“The president says we’re doing the most testing in the world. #1!”

You’re #41 in testing across the world. To reopen the economy, the science says test and contract trace so the contagion doesn’t spread.

“This is all nonsense. You just want me to be scared. I’ll go out.”

That won’t save us from another depression. Your way, more people die a horrible death and the economy implodes, anyway. I’m worried you’ll make other people sick and spread the disease, starting with your own family. I guess that’s the difference between you and me.

“Oh? How do you figure?”

You don’t care about my life but I want to save yours, because we’re all in this together. The virus doesn’t care who you vote for, but it does hit the poor and otherwise disadvantaged harder. Plus, I’ve got some dangerous comorbidities going on.

“Don’t be silly. I’m not trying to kill you– “

But you don’t care if I die. I don’t think you want to commit murder on a mass scale. You’re not evil. You’re just misguided by people who don’t care about you. You follow people who don’t care about you and I worry you’ll only realize it on your deathbed. Or at a memorial service for people you care about.

“It appears this hypothetical conversation has played out.” (Crosses arms.) “I’m not going to admit I’m wrong.”

That is the pattern. Look, I only mean well. I don’t expect you to admit you’re wrong, certainly not to me. By now, you hate me. If it makes you feel better and less invested, I don’t need your capitulation. Just please think about it and consider what’s more likely. If you don’t have empathy, no one can teach you that. But look at it as self-interest: It would really stick it to your perceived enemies if you lived.

Please note: Though a fiction that will probably only make the like-minded nod, Prepper Guy is a composite of many people I’ve observed in comment threads on Twitter and Facebook. I wish them well and hope they get the help they need.

~ I am Robert Chazz Chute, author of two zombie apocalypse trilogies, This Plague of Days and AFTER Life. I’ve written a bunch of killer crime thrillers and novels about the end of the world. My latest, Citizen Second Class, pits the rich against the poor in the hellscape of Atlanta.

Check out all my books at my author site, AllThatChazz.com.

Further Recommended Links

Podcast listening:

COVID Tests are free, except when they’re not

Like a fire with no one to call

If I get COVID-19, what good will my insurance do me?

Why Fear-based Democracies Aren’t Free

Reading:

5 Common Beliefs That Make Disasters Worse

What good and bad people have in common



(#VIDEO UPDATE) Apocalypse Now: What does the threat bring out in you?

Someone asked, “Do you really believe we’re headed for an apocalypse?”

Dude! The apocalypse is already here!

Sci-fi writer William Gibson said the future arrives at different speeds. Same is true of the end that could throw us backward a hundred years.

I look around and I see the power of antibiotics fading as the bugs come back stronger. There’s an excellent chance we won’t be able to have the surgeries we have now because our antibiotics will no longer work. Do you want to go back to pre-1928 medicine? Of course, not. Nobody wants to die of a sore throat, a bladder infection or appendicitis. But that is our present course. 

I see fracking causing earthquakes and flammable water in kitchen sinks.

I see perma-war.

Most disturbing, I see an unwillingness to change, anti-science and anti-intellectualism. 

Worst? I see a lack of compassion.

Citizens are in big trouble on Spaceship Earth and a lot of people, speaking from fear and ignorance, seem determined to be dicks about it.

One reviewer of This Plague of Days asked, “Why does everyone have to act like assholes in the apocalypse?”

I answer that reviewer directly in Season Three, but look around. The answer is obvious. People don’t think we’re in an apocalypse now (if they aren’t from Detroit or along the Mexican border or in Uganda.) But there already assholes everywhere. Panic and pressure brings out the nastiness stronger. It’s a scary world and people can be monsters. I didn’t invent it. I reflect it. You need look no further than the instincts of your average Internet troll.

But pressure makes diamonds, too.

Heroes can emerge. Will they? I don’t know. Are you willing to be a hero? An apocalypse — to nature, to people and to human dignity — is everywhere.

If you’re waiting for the siren call to action, it’s already howling. If we wait for the actual civil defense sirens to crank up?

Too late.

~ I am Robert Chazz Chute. I write suspense fiction. The scariest stuff I write doesn’t feel like fiction. (But you can hang out for the jokes, too.) If you’re looking for thought provocation along with action amid monstrous destruction and desolation, have a look at This Plague of Days, Season One. The whole first season is on sale for only a buck on Amazon.

Click here for my Amazon page.

All three seasons are now available on Kobo.

To get the This Plague of Days trilogy all at once for an awesome binge-read this summer, read This Plague of Days Omnibus Edition and find the secret video link to get another free thriller.

TPOD OMNIBUS ON AMAZON

TPOD OMNIBUS ON KOBO

 

 

 


This Plague of Days: Is it me, or are things really getting worse?

As I begin to work again in my Massage Therapy practice, I’ve noticed a difference in clientele since my sabbatical began two years ago. People are poorer and their conditions are worse. I’m seeing people at the clinic with very serious problems and very long lists of medications that: help/hurt/they are addicted to. Lots more Oxycontin than I remember ever dealing with, even though my practice often focused on chronic pain patients. There’s a shift in the landscape that I might have missed if I weren’t coming back to it with fresh eyes.

Today I passed through a mall that is close to a senior’s community. Between the awkward gaits and bent over postures, it was impossible not to think of zombies on the lunch lurch. I’d seen that before, and maybe this was just a fluke, but it seemed too prevalent. Maybe it’s just the bubble of the baby boom generation out and about, but the way is littered with walkers, wheels, crutches and canes. And sad people. I saw a lot of sad people today, concentrating furiously on taking their next step. People in need of help and rejuvenation are everywhere.

As a news junkie, I’m aware of the dysfunctional governments around the world and, as a horror author gathering material, there’s no shortage of bad omens. Sure, there are glimmers of hope here and there. New research points to the cause of fibromyalgia. Obama and Kerry have a deal with Iran over no nukes which could stabilize the region and lift the punishing sanctions that hurt more than they helped.

However, when you look at all the spewed hatred, racism, the collapse of civility, fraud, hypocrisy, failing infrastructure and all the plain bad information and bad news put out there, am I right in saying things are generally getting worse?

That was an honest question.

Are things really getting worse or is my serotonin low?

I just wrote a scene in Season Three of This Plague of Days about grief and foreboding. One character (no spoilers!) anticipates the impending loss of another. That’s kind of how I feel about the world. It’s slipping away from us. We’ve lost our grip on what’s important and everything on mainstream news seems so depressing and disempowering. Generally, we’ve lost the can-do in our attitudes.

Consider this:

Millions of empty homes and millions of homeless, and yet…

The troops are honoured in speeches but no food stamps for veterans and their families…

Despite all the research, when was the last big medical discovery that really shook us in our socks with pride?

If not only for moral reasons, how about stimulating the economy? Ford paid his factory workers so they could own the cars they built. Germany does pay their autoworkers well and have a very healthy auto industry with great profits. Workers need a living wage so they can buy things and capitalists should want that. Still, Wal-Mart and many companies like them (and don’t forget oil companies’ corporate welfare!), with profits in the billions, are subsidized with tax dollars at the expense of the working poor.

Much of the “middle class” falls under the category of that more honest label: Working poor.

The average age of a fast food worker is now 29. Working midnight at the drive-through window isn’t a way to save up for college. It’s the second job to try to pay for the hyper-expensive college degree that didn’t get you a paying job.

Patriotic declarations are ubiquitous. Patriotic actions are not.

We’re in serious danger of living in a post-anti-biotic world in a few years. That’s not the nanobots-in-your-bloodstream-to-solve-all-your-medical-problems future we’ve been talking about. The Singularity may be nothing but a pipe dream because we’ve stopped fighting the bug war and antibiotic-resistant diseases are on the rise.

Most journalists aren’t journalists anymore. They’re carnival barkers inviting you to tweet your opinions in the debate they’ve failed to inform you about. They aren’t seeking truth anymore. Reporting is all about “balance” now. Few but alternative media are telling you there actually are people to blame and pointing fingers really is good as long as the blame is hooked up to facts. (“Facts? What’s a fact?”)


 

This week I heard a guy say we should not worry about global warming.

He wasn’t denying it’s a problem. He just figured it’s too late and governments are committed to not committing so too bad, so sad, give up and forget about it. (Presumably, we’ll remember when a good chunk of New York City is under water.)

So, if all is hopeless, it’s up to us now, as individuals.

We can try to prevent the apocalypse in all its many forms and, failing that, prepare for the worst while, somehow, finding it within ourselves to hope for the best.

Good luck with that. As you can probably imagine, optimism is not in my nature. I sure hope it’s in yours.

 


If you survived the apocalypse, what would you miss most?

The Walking Dead is about to come on, but I had to dash this off quick.

I was just listening to a TED talk about medical breakthroughs with gene sequencing, growing artificial bones and organs and individually tailored drug therapy. Despite how bad our schools often are and how nasty society can be, a lot of great things are coming our way, if the human race survives long enough to see the dawn of these discoveries.

In This Plague of Days, the Sutr flu killed sixty percent of the world’s population. That leaves a lot of screaming eating for the Sutr-Zs and the Sutr-As, but what does it leave for the surviving humans? Would you really want to survive such a harsh, uncertain future?

In World Made By Hand by James Howard Kunstler, the protagonist is a former businessman who, after the fall of the world as we know it, becomes a fiddler and carpenter. He has useful skills, is well-liked within his little community and things are fairly peachy for him. One thing that stands out for me about his new life is he doesn’t really seem to miss his old one. There’s no processed food to eat so most everyone’s healthier and, it seems, just about as happy.

I liked World Made By Hand plenty, five out of five stars, but that one detail didn’t ring true, for me at least. If and when the world collapses and there’s no steady power to depend upon, it shall sucketh.

In This Plague of Days, Jack and Anna lament the loss of Facebook. I would, too. Maybe that makes me pathetic, but getting together with people on social media and keeping in touch with friends is a worthy thing I don’t want to do without. I’d adjust given no alternative, of course, but I sure wouldn’t embrace being Amish.

Most of us went without the Internet for many years. We didn’t know what we were missing, but now that we do… There’s an old song about WWI that asks, “How you gonna keep ’em down on the farm, after they’ve seen Paree?” That about sums it up. Nobody wants to go backward in time.

Here are things I’d miss, post-apocalypse:

Clean, running water and a hot shower each morning, as easy as turning on the tap. Working toilets also rock. Outhouses stink.

Hot coffee (Starbucks and Williams and even Tim Hortons.)

Access to medical care. Like I said in TPOD about the ever-so-cool Walking Dead, what are these people fighting so hard for? I don’t want to die of appendicitis or pray for death, enduring an abscessed tooth, waiting for the septicemia to shut down my brain.

Facebook, Twitter, news, politics, and easy access to the world’s knowledge with a Google search? I love being plugged into the hive mind.

While looting is easy and cheap, everything I would want runs on electricity!

My secluded fortress/log cabin in the woods is awesome. Love the fireplace and the stock of wood out back…but when you don’t want to cook, it’s great to be able to pick up the phone and order in Chinese food, isn’t it?

Gosh. I hope we make it. I’d rather live in a world with working hospitals and medical miracles on the way.

What about you? What would you miss most?

 

 

 

 

 


What About BOB? A Guest Post from Jordanna East

jordanna 1No, not the early 90’s movie starring Bill Murray. B.O.B. = Bug Out Bag Every household should have one. Our household has two. (But we also have some kick ass weapons, so when the lights go out, don’t try to steal our stash.) You might think you don’t need one. But you do. One only needs to think back a few years to confirm this. Hurricane Katrina is the obvious example that comes to mind, with the Boston Bombing Manhunt (and subsequent city lockdown) as the most recent. But think about Hurricane Sandy or the NYC blackout last winter, which was related to Sandy. The people who were prepared surely had the easiest go of it. Hubby-pants and I weren’t always so prepared. Then I read Run by Blake Crouch. Then Half Past Midnight by Jeff Brackett (Now that dude was prepared!). And most recently, Stephen King’s Under the Dome. (Chazz’s This Plague of Days is next!) These books will terrify the pants off you if you’re not prepared for tragedy to strike your area. So last year, Hubby-pants and I started watching Doomsday Preppers on TV. (We admit, some of those people are just plain and simple whack-jobs. Others were just trying to be prepared. We learned from the latter) We took notes, had our Amazon wish lists at the ready. And here’s what we ended up with:

  • FOOD – Not only did we invest in canned goods (and a dozen can opener tabs in case there’s no electricity), but our BOB’s are full of Emergency Rations. They’re kind of like RTE’s (Ready to Eat meals), but simpler, high-calorie, cracker thingies. Quick to ingest. No water or heat needed. Probably taste like pasture patties (AKA cow dung), but we won’t starve. And if we need to raid some stores, we have three-in-one utensils so we don’t have to eat with our hands. (We’re animal enough to scavenge around abandoned stores and homes, but we firmly draw the line at eating with our freaking fingers.)
  • WATER – We have a bunch of water packets. Lighter-weight than bottles, shelf stable for the foreseeable future. We also have water sanitation tablets in case we run out of water and have to visit the not-so-fresh Cooper River up the street.
  • SHELTER – If for some reason we’re driven from our house, we have a simple tent that drapes over a branch or line of rope to keep us out of the elements. We also have ponchos. (Those fold up into nothing. You should definitely get a couple.) And mylar blankets for warmth…or in case the sight of blood causes one of us to go into shock. (Which we highly doubt. We’re a tough pair of peeps.)
  • MEDICAL SUPPLIES – We have a fully stocked first aid kit and can do anything short of perform surgery. We plan on adding some Canadian antibiotics to our supplies, but as of right now we might just die of an infected scraped knee.
  • LIGHT & WARMTH – We have two LED flashlights and an LED lantern. All of which are bright as hell. Loads of extra batteries. As for keeping warm, we have a magnesium flint stick (to generate sparks) and waterproof matches with ready-made kindling. If we still can’t get the fire started, I’m fully prepared to spray aerosol sunscreen on it.
  • UTILITIES – Sometimes you just need “stuff.” So we have rope, binoculars, a collapsible shovel, duct tape, and various knives.
  • PROTECTION – We’ve all read enough books and seen enough movies and television shows to know that crisis brings out the best in some, the worst in others. If anyone tries to bully us for our supplies, they’re gonna be met with an axe, a machete, and a crossbow pistol. Boom! (We’d like to get some actual firearms, but golly-gosh they’re expensive!)
  • BOOK BAGS – This post is about bug-out BAGS, right? Well, of course we need something to put all our stuff in. We bought two durable book bags with lots of pockets and whatnot. The supplies are as evenly distributed as possible, in case we lose one. They’re heavy, but not too heavy for either of us to handle. We keep one in the front half of the house and one in the back so if disaster strikes we don’t bottleneck the hallway trying to get everything from one location.

  Of course, we’re still missing a lot of stuff, but we continue to add to our stash. It’s a start. If there’s a natural disaster, a city-wide lockdown, or a PLAGUE OF DAYS, we’re more prepared than most. Can you say the same about yourself?

Jordanna 2BIO Jordanna East readily confesses that she started writing a novel one day when she was broke and unemployed. Her cable had been turned off. SHE WAS BORED. So she sat down on her bed and started writing…and she hasn’t stopped. Though, now she has cable and pens her Psychological Thrillers at an actual desk. Blood in the Past is the prelude novella to her debut Blood for Blood Series, which follows three lives entwined by deaths and consequences, revenge and obsession. Blood in the Past is scheduled for release June 19, 2013.

 


Scary news on MERS from the Middle East

A coronavirus that may cause SARS. (transwikie...

A coronavirus that may cause SARS. (transwikied from en.wikipedia.org) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reblogged from Business Insider:

There are still many things researchers don’t know about the new SARS-like virus now called MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus) that’s been infecting people in the Middle East.

There’s no vaccine against the new virus, but a study published in the journal Scientific Reports on March 27 showed that the anti-virals ribavirin and interferon-alpha 2b seem to stop the virus from copying itself in the lab. About half of the 40 infected people have died.

Here’s what we know happens when you get infected with MERS…

Read the rest here.

 


What do we really need to survive disaster?

I just ran across a great website called Survival Cache!

Follow this link to their 100 suggestions about stuff you need and what disappears first in a disaster. 

It’s a thorough and fascinating list. In the first four episodes of This Plague of Days (to be released soon!) the Spencer family is under siege from the world flu pandemic.

Until the Sutr Virus hits here, you could read these books by Robert Chazz Chute. Just sayin'.

Until the Sutr Virus hits here, you could read these books by Robert Chazz Chute. Just sayin’.

They stock up on what they can as prices soar and canned goods are flying off the shelves. 

I’ve seen that happen personally on a small scale. During the SARS crisis, you couldn’t buy a bottle of hand sanitizer for any price where I live. The supplies were all gone in the worry and panic over SARS.

Then, at the end of the first season of This Plague of Days, the crisis shifts. Over the next four episodes, The Spencer family loses a lot, including much of their cache of emergency supplies. Once they’re on the run, they can’t take everything they need. Then they can’t carry everything they need. When traffic jams block all escape routes, survivors have to get innovative.

So we need to think carefully about our go-bags.*

What do we absolutely need and what luxury will feel like it weighs a ton by the fifth mile of our hike to safety? Individual capacities will vary. Maybe you’re a Marine who can huck a heavy ruck 25 miles a day, but what weight can your ten-year-old daughter carry? Is the weight in the harness rig on your dog balanced? Can grandpa walk out of the flood zone unassisted or should he stay behind and hope for a helicopter? Do you have alternate escape routes and fallback positions? What’s the backup plan behind the backup plan behind the backup plan? 

What’s in your backpack?

When many people think of prepping, they picture a fortress, panic rooms, a bunker, a defensible Wal-mart or a castle with a moat. They picture infinite supplies and relative comfort. But what if the hurricane takes away your supplies and screws up your plans for holing up and waiting out the flood, fire and armies of crazed zombies?

To be zombie-ready, we have prepare to be mobile, too. Get out your clipboards, pack and repack and weigh. Start crossing stuff off your awesome list. Figure out what gets packed in the basement, the family van and what you can carry on sore, aching shoulders to safety.

*More on go-bags in a coming guest post by friend and fellow author Jordanna East.


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