Tag Archives: survival

40 Ideas for the Prepper Gift Giver

Black Friday Blues? 40 Ideas for the Prepper Gift Giver
Amanda Warren
Activist Post

The blinds are down. The doors are bolted. You slept in. You still bask in the euphoria of a pleasant evening with friends, family, and grateful feasting. Maybe you even helped others.

Congratulations – you had a great Thanksgiving! And you didn’t cave to the pressure to freeze in the cold night, suspend empathy and stampede your fellow man, pregnant woman*, child, old lady, disabled veteran, for overpriced made-in-China trinkets.

So you’re indoors, away from Black Friday’s most dangerous zombies – these ones can run! – and maybe wondering what you could give your loved ones that circumvents the mainstream fishies’ way of life. There’s still a pressure to get the coolest gadget and maybe you’ve gotten or made handcrafted gifts that seemed chintzy and cheap. Ever notice how thrilled people are when someone has donated to a charity in the recipient’s name? Not so much.

I could kick myself, because, again, I put stock in consumerism to show a token of friendship with gifts. I bought bulk organic makeup for my non-prepper friends – it wasn’t – it claimed it was from the Amazon with clay – it wasn’t – and I wasted money for foreign crap thinking it was a better way through the season. And I felt like a cheap snob. I quit!

I mean, I really want to walk away from it all, no matter how difficult. Isn’t it too late to be yearning for things that won’t matter in the upcoming months concerning the times we live in? Too late to condone the 5-sense way of life with fake money? If I give a gift it will be one they can actually use to prepare for the future, or a gift that includes making a memory.

My father inspired me with his new hobby of making birdhouses and what some call “junk art.” People have offered him money for it – now there’s a thought. Instead of watching TV he used his spare time to do something he enjoyed, that others will later enjoy.

Here are some gift ideas for your friends that will be there when the time is right and that your non-prepping friends and family won’t spit on (mostly):

Things that are storable, but do not take up too much space:
Seeds, kitchen herb garden sets
Silver
How about colloidal silver
Prepping type books
Classic books, or print out a free .pdf book and bind it
Recipe book, assemble, print, done – try outdoor cooking, camp burner, dutch oven ones
Food storage sampler
Ammo – NOW is the time, it’s running out
Gardening gift sets you assemble with separate items in a basket
DIY body care products
DIY anything
Simple alkalizing detox bath, could be a footbath. Simple recipe: 1/4 cup Epsom salts, 1/4 baking soda – could add herbs or just a couple drops of essential oils
Essential oil and homeopathic emergency or coldcare kits
Any kind of coldcare package
A month of organic food delivery or fresh farm co-op membership – or just buy the stuff and make sampler baskets
Upcycle some clothes – lots of blogs and Pinterest pics on that
Upcycle the giftwrap, boxes, and ties – better yet, use prep tools like paracord
Use jars to mix up the dry seasonings & other ingredients for a dinner or dessert and include the recipe
Could also make jars with sauces, dressings, and marinades – if you made it, it’s gourmet
A microbrewery kit
With some meal prep, you could deliver frozen meals, homemade ready meals, homemade pie
Make winterwear – sometimes as easy as just cutting some fleece
Upcycle junk into something else
Burn a CD with shared favorite songs or an online music mix
Photobook – easy to make online. Many women say that photos are the one thing they wish they could carry from a burning house
Different colored duct tapes are really in right now, especially among youth

Things that aren’t things:

Coffee and dessert at home
Create a video with a favorite song and pictures for the backdrop
Local music or event
Farmers market trip
Work on a project together – see all ideas above
Take a cooking or meal prep class
Try something new together
Refinish something
Write something
Repairs
Host a movie night with a meaningful movie (Like They Live! Kidding)
Shooting range time, or Women in the Outdoors and Project Appleseed events
Grab a friend and both do something for someone else together – do you know how many elderly are completely alone? Go on a mission to find them.
Just visit

Use any type of skill, gift or talent to contribute to another person – it shouldn’t go unappreciated. Giving gifts isn’t the only Love Language.

Anything that involves not buying prepackaged garbage and does not support overseas money or economic gobblers here. Your family “who doesn’t get it” might roll their eyes, but wouldn’t they be grateful later? You think about their well being enough already, you can show it without actually showing what you’re doing. And if people have the gall to scoff at those thoughtful gifts, then maybe ask Santa for new friends.

Please add your own in the comment section below!

*True story: I know a young girl who was 7 months pregnant out on Black Friday who got slammed and toppled over by a ruffian and she had to go to the hospital for early contractions! The older man did not help her but instead shouted “Iss not my fault! I didn’t do that! Y’all saw it – you can’t sue me!” Then everyone blamed her for going out. Wait a second, shouldn’t a pregnant woman be able to shop without the fear of losing her baby? But, as for me: PASS.

SOURCE

Subculture of Americans prepares for civilization’s collapse

Subculture of Americans prepares for civilization’s collapse

By Jim Forsyth

– When Patty Tegeler looks out the window of her home overlooking the Appalachian Mountains in southwestern Virginia, she sees trouble on the horizon.

“In an instant, anything can happen,” she told Reuters. “And I firmly believe that you have to be prepared.”

Tegeler is among a growing subculture of Americans who refer to themselves informally as “preppers.” Some are driven by a fear of imminent societal collapse, others are worried about terrorism, and many have a vague concern that an escalating series of natural disasters is leading to some type of environmental cataclysm.

They are following in the footsteps of hippies in the 1960s who set up communes to separate themselves from what they saw as a materialistic society, and the survivalists in the 1990s who were hoping to escape the dictates of what they perceived as an increasingly secular and oppressive government.

Preppers, though are, worried about no government.

Tegeler, 57, has turned her home in rural Virginia into a “survival center,” complete with a large generator, portable heaters, water tanks, and a two-year supply of freeze-dried food that her sister recently gave her as a birthday present. She says that in case of emergency, she could survive indefinitely in her home. And she thinks that emergency could come soon.

“I think this economy is about to fall apart,” she said.

A wide range of vendors market products to preppers, mainly online. They sell everything from water tanks to guns to survival skills.

Conservative talk radio host Glenn Beck seems to preach preppers’ message when he tells listeners: “It’s never too late to prepare for the end of the world as we know it.”

“Unfortunately, given the increasing complexity and fragility of our modern technological society, the chances of a societal collapse are increasing year after year,” said author James Wesley Rawles, whose Survival Blog is considered the guiding light of the prepper movement.

A former Army intelligence officer, Rawles has written fiction and non-fiction books on end-of-civilization topics, including “How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It,” which is also known as the preppers’ Bible.

“We could see a cascade of higher interest rates, margin calls, stock market collapses, bank runs, currency revaluations, mass street protests, and riots,” he told Reuters. “The worst-case end result would be a Third World War, mass inflation, currency collapses, and long term power grid failures.”

A sense of “suffering and being afraid” is usually at the root of this kind of thinking, according to Cathy Gutierrez, an expert on end-times beliefs at Sweet Briar College in Virginia. Such feelings are not unnatural in a time of economic recession and concerns about a growing national debt, she said.

“With our current dependence on things from the electric grid to the Internet, things that people have absolutely no control over, there is a feeling that a collapse scenario can easily emerge, with a belief that the end is coming, and it is all out of the individual’s control,” she told Reuters.

She compared the major technological developments of the past decade to the Industrial Revolution of the 1830s and 1840s, which led to the growth of the Millerites, the 19th-Century equivalent of the preppers. Followers of charismatic preacher Joseph Miller, many sold everything and gathered in 1844 for what they believed would be the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Many of today’s preppers receive inspiration from the Internet, devouring information posted on websites like that run by attorney Michael T. Snider, who writes The Economic Collapse blog out of his home in northern Idaho.

“Modern preppers are much different from the survivalists of the old days,” he said. “You could be living next door to a prepper and never even know it. Many suburbanites are turning spare rooms into food pantries and are going for survival training on the weekends.”

Like other preppers, Snider is worried about the end of a functioning U.S. economy. He points out that tens of millions of Americans are on food stamps and that many U.S. children are living in poverty.

“Most people have a gut feeling that something has gone terribly wrong, but that doesn’t mean that they understand what is happening,” he said. “A lot of Americans sense that a massive economic storm is coming and they want to be prepared for it.”

So, assuming there is no collapse of society — which the preppers call “uncivilization” — what is the future of the preppers?

Gutierrez said that unlike the Millerites — or followers of radio preacher Harold Camping, who predicted the world would end last year — preppers are not setting a date for the coming destruction. The Mayan Calendar predicts doom this December.

“The minute you set a date, you are courting disconfirmation,” she said.

Tegeler, who recalls being hit by tornadoes and floods in her southwestern Virginia home, said that none of her “survival center” products will go to waste.

“I think it’s silly not to be prepared,” she said. “After all, anything can happen.”

(Reporting by Jim Forsyth in San Antonio; Editing by Corrie MacLaggan and Greg McCune)

SOURCE

Revealed miracles and Divine protection in Manhattan on 9/11

Revealed miracles and Divine protection in Manhattan

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By Eytan Kobre

Ten years ago this Sunday, Muslim terrorists rained death and destruction of unparalleled magnitude on an unsuspecting America at New York’s Twin Towers and the Pentagon outside Washington. And while so many first responders gave their lives in their attempts to save others, one group witnessed a succession of open miracles — and no losses. A decade later, the leaders of Hatzolah, an EMT group whose members are comprised entirely of Orthodox Jewish volunteers, relive the Divine Providence of that horrifying day, which they didn’t believe they’d survive

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I arrive at Hatzolah’s Flatbush headquarters on a brightly sunny August day so very much like the morning of September 11, 2001. I’ve always felt that that day of horror, now seared into the collective consciousness of humanity simply as “9/11,” was somehow made all the more terrifying by the serenely pleasant morning into which it burst with maniacal intensity.

I’m here to listen to some prominent Hatzolah members share their recollections of 9/11 for the tenth anniversary coverage of that tragedy of tragedies — but I fail. Because as I sit across from Heshy Jacob, Hatzolah’s indomitable president, it quickly becomes clear I’ve gotten it all wrong: For Heshy, as for Hatzolah CEO Rabbi Dovid Cohen and board member Zelig Gitelis, who joined our conversation, there are no 9/11 “anniversaries,” tenth or otherwise. They — like the 185 other Hatzolah members who spent September 11, 2001, in downtown Manhattan — relive those frightening hours every day of their lives.

Before sitting down to talk, Heshy insists that we listen to the first few minutes of the tapes of the Hatzolah dispatcher receiving the initial frantic reports of the attack from the field, sending every possible unit speeding toward the Twin Towers. It’s a deeply surreal experience to sit there, knowing how events would unfold, hearing human beings trying to comprehend the incomprehensible. The eight or so of us packed into that tiny room, riveted to that recording, are listening to a world that was just minutes away from losing its pre-9/11 innocence forever.

With that bracing introduction, Heshy frames the conversation to follow: “This isn’t a story about Jacob, or Cohen, or Gitelis, or about any of the 185 or so Hatzolah members who were there that day. You know what it’s about? About a year and a half ago I was asked to speak at an NCSY event on the subject of ‘Are miracles seen in this generation?’ And the answer I gave was an emphatic ‘Yes.’

“This is a story,” Heshy continues, “about how the Ribono shel Olam [Master of the Universe] preformed nissim v’nifla’os [miracles and wonders]for us on that day to the point that at the end of the day, when the head of the Emergency Medical Service [EMS] system, Chief Robert McCracken, asked Itzy Stern, ‘How many guys did you lose?’ Itzy didn’t want to tell him how many we lost, because we hadn’t lost any, and they had lost hundreds. So he began describing a broken leg here, a broken arm there. Chief McCracken interrupted him: ‘No, I mean how many died?’ So Itzy sheepishly said, ‘None.’ The chief thought for a moment and said, ‘Tomorrow I’m staying with you. It’s evident G-d was with you today.'”

I look at Heshy and he’s not here, he’s there, in that place, as he continues in a voice thick with emotion: “For ten years I’ve walked around wondering, ‘Why?’ We were in the Towers, we were close on all sides, so why did the Master of the Universe do that miracle for us openly? And I believe the answer is because we all came b’achdus [unity of purpose].”

Heshy says this was the message of the dispatcher’s tape. “You heard where they came from: Boro Park, Flatbush, Williamsburg, Crown Heights, Upper East Side, West Side, Lower East Side, Riverdale, Canarsie, Queens … Every single neighborhood came for one reason: because Jews and other people needed them. So the story here is that if Klal Yisrael [Jewry] is unified, we would also be able to see miracles in many other places.”

He pauses, a sob caught in his throat.

Heshy Jacob is a doer, a leader, made in the tough-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside mold. His role as Hatzolah’s president is a volunteer one — he’s been a member since 1968, about a year after its founding. A former Wall Street trader, his current “day job” is that of managing the East River co-ops. One might call Heshy, whose roots in New York’s oldest Jewish neighborhood go back over a century, “Mr. East Side.” So when he begins to cry, it might catch you by surprise. But then, a lot of grown men cried on 9/11.

“I was at the Vista Hotel ? and when I got down there, there were exactly two fire trucks, an FDNY ambulance, Naftoli Solomon’s ambulance, and ours on the scene. What did the Master of the Universe do? As I came down Vesey Street, I saw those two buses [i.e., ambulances] were on the left, so G-t hot geholfen [G0d helped] and I made a right and parked by the telephone building. Had I made a left, I would have been under the building. So the Eibeshter One Above openly guided our decisions. It’s not for nothing that Rabbi Reuven Feinstein ruled for us that a member who was there that day, and hasn’t gone by the site for thirty days, is obligated” to recite a special blessing said when one passes a place where a miracle was preformed for him.

EVERY CAR CRUSHED

Zelig Gitelis takes his cue, beginning in the matter-of-fact tone of the veteran paramedic that he is, one who in his decades of Hatzolah work had seen it all — until that day. “Driving in from Flatbush, I came out of the Battery Tunnel, south of the Towers. That’s where the Brooklyn members were stationed. We had five buses lined up there. The Upper and Lower East Siders and Riverdale stayed on the west side near the Vista Hotel, and Queens and Williamsburg were to the east, on Broadway and Church. So we surrounded the buildings from all sides.

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“As I entered the tunnel the second plane hit, and when I came out of the tunnel I had to zigzag between body parts and airplane parts, because after the first building, the North Tower, was hit, people started jumping, nebach, right away. I drove to what we thought was going to be the staging area to wait for the wounded, but even though we were lined up neatly, Chief McCracken came over to us and asked: ‘Can you guys move one block further south?’ They wanted to set up the space we were in, on the corner of Liberty Street and South End Avenue facing the South Tower, as a triage area, where, in a mass casualty situation, the wounded get tagged and those who have the best chance of survival get treated and transported first.

“Fortunately, we all listened and moved all our ambulances further south onto South End Avenue; it was one of those days where nobody said ‘Who are you to tell me what to do?’ That spot, where we were originally, is where the building fell and every car that was left in that area was crushed. So had we not moved, that would’ve been our fate, too.”

I ask whether the field hospital-like triage areas that EMS had set up were ultimately used for that purpose. Zelig’s reply is a shocker: “EMS felt the hospitals were going to be overwhelmed, so they set up triage centers — essentially field hospitals — one on the north side, at one of the piers on 17th Street, and another on the south side at one of the ferry terminals, which is where I was. All the EMTs were to be on one side with the less critically wounded, and all the doctors and paramedics on the other side with the critical patients. We thought we’d be treating patients there for hours. Never happened — not one single patient. The few patients they had, they were able to take to area hospitals. At the hospitals, they were waiting outside expecting to get massive numbers of wounded, which we never delivered to them.”

Heshy adds: “The few people I had were people with some debris in their eyes, some cuts, some minor abrasions, because those who got out of the buildings were only hit by debris, and those who didn’t get out were dead.”

In total, of course, Hatzolah members, as the primary first responders on the south and west sides of the World Trade Center, ended up treating hundreds of wounded persons. According to Rabbi Mechel Handler, Chevra Hatzolah’s executive director, just between the attack on the North Tower at 8:46 a.m. and the South Tower’s collapse at 9:59, the twenty-four Hatzolah ambulances at the scene transported close to 140 patients to area hospitals, each loaded up with four to six victims, many with severe burns. Its members also took the lead in evacuating over a thousand people onto various boats that took them across the river to Jersey City.

HOLDING HANDS
Zelig shares an episode of personal salvation: “I was together with a group of other Hatzolah members across West Street from the Towers. All of a sudden, we heard the rumble of the South Tower — which was hit second but fell first — starting to come down. Remember, nobody in their wildest dreams thought it would implode downward; everyone thought that, at most, the upper section would topple over on its side. So we all ran like crazy. We ran into a parking garage, because it was the easiest thing to get into. But when the building fell, the opening filled up with debris and closed off the exit, and all the other doors were sealed shut, so there was now no way to get out.”

Heshy interjects: “I must tell you that when that announcement came over the transmitter — I didn’t even know Zelig was in there — ‘We have fifteen members trapped in the garage,’ the thought that came to my mind was ‘My goodness, I’ve got to go home tonight and tell fifteen women that they’re widows.'”

Zelig continues: “There were about ten members with me and about a dozen other people whom we found there. They were in there for quite a while, until they finally decided either they were all going to get out or they were all going to be trapped there. So we decided we’d all hold hands. There was absolutely no light and we couldn’t see a thing, so the only way to make sure we didn’t leave anyone behind was by agreeing to all hold hands together.”

Heshy Jacob had used that word, “together,” in describing Hatzolah members’ headlong rush to the Twin Towers, and now Zelig had too, in speaking of their escape from the jaws of death. They’d come together from every direction to save others, and now, one short hour later, they were clasping hands together, this time to save themselves.

The entire group went up and down the stairs that way until they found one exit they were able to force open. When they emerged from the building, he says, “It was really like one of these descriptions of the morning after a nuclear war and, you know, you think you’re the only people alive. We didn’t see anybody else, just white dust all over.”

When the South Tower collapsed, says Heshy, “the first thing that came to my mind then was Plague of Darkness [of the Exodus story], because the darkness was felt with your hands, it was so dark from the dirt, and I said to myself, ‘My goodness gracious, are we going to live through this?’ Even if you saved yourself physically, if you opened your mouth, you got concrete and asbestos dust in, so that you couldn’t get a breath into your mouth. By that time we had run out of water, and there was a Poland Spring delivery truck there that the guy abandoned, so I said, ‘Guys, it’s ownerless, get the water, empty the truck out,’ and they did.”

At one point, Heshy recalls, he was frightened to see that suddenly, all the local utility company people jumped onto their trucks and started driving off. “I see Con Ed leaving,” he says, “so I stop one of them and ask him what’s going on. He says the main gas line ruptured and it’s going to explode under this entire part of Manhattan.” What they didn’t realize, however, was that because the gas was blowing out of the lines with such intense pressure, the flames couldn’t be sucked in to ignite the gas. So the feared huge explosion never happened, and instead the system eventually just shut down.

“I’VE LOST MY SON”
In an earlier telephone conversation with Heshy Jacob, he’d mentioned a story involving his son, Shalom, who’s also a Hatzolah member, and I ask him if he would mind sharing it. So he rewinds, back to the beginning of the day when he was one of the first ambulances on the scene: “At about 8:45 that morning, I was running late and was about to head down to an 8:30 minyan, when my son, who was on his way to work near Park Row, called me and said, ‘Dad, a plane hit the World Trade Center.’ I envisioned a little Piper Cub, and figured, ‘Okay, so it went in.’ But I then looked out the window, from which you can see — you could have seen — the Twin Towers and I saw the smoke. I came downstairs and met my in-law, Chaim Lazar, who said to me jokingly, ‘Heshy, you go downtown and I’ll take care of the East Side.

I headed down East Broadway in the ES-2 ambulance, driven by Davey Weinberger, and in a few short minutes, we were on Vesey Street, where we could see Mayor Guliani standing at West Broadway gazing at the inferno atop the North Tower. A call came in of an unconscious man in front of J&R Music World on Park Row. I ran to Park Row, and it turned out that somebody had fainted, and there was another lady with severe cuts and wounds. We put them in the back of my bus and took them up to Beth Israel. We unloaded the patients, and with First Avenue totally empty, we were back at the World Trade Center before the second plane hit.

“When it did, I turned around and I saw the jet fuel of the plane come down as a river of fire. That’s why they couldn’t find anyone, because they were incinerated. Thousands of gallons of burning fuel fell to the ground and every fireman, every policeman that was under there.? The mistake they made was that they set up their command center on the plaza between the two towers — how were they supposed to know a second tower would be hit? — so when the second plane hit they were all vaporized.”

Zelig interjects: “I gotta tell you, I was with a member who’s in the construction business and he told me right away, ‘Zelig, that building’s gonna collapse.’ And this was way before it collapsed, a half hour in advance.”

Heshy picks up the story thread: “When the building came down, we realized how bad it was, because we saw the plume of smoke and dust and dirt coming towards us. So I told the driver, Davey Weinberger, ‘Move the bus.’ But we only went about twenty feet, because we couldn’t see an inch in front of us, and we were afraid we’d drive into pedestrians or crash into the back of a fire truck. We stopped the ambulance and I bent my head down, like they used to tell you to do in an attack. But then I said to myself, ‘Why are you bending your head down? If this building comes down we’re dead anyway, so sit straight, they’ll find you better.’ For the next seven or eight minutes, there was virtually no visibility, you saw nothing.

“As it started to clear up a little, I remembered that my son was down there, much closer to the buildings than I was, and I was struck with the horrible realization: I’ve lost my son. I didn’t know where he was. At that very moment, the frantic voice of Naftoli Solomon from the East Side-3 ambulance came crackling over the airwaves: ‘I’m buried alive, I’m buried alive!‘ So over the bus radio I said, ‘Naftoli, we’re going to find you.’

But at that moment, I started thinking about where my son was, and I remembered a story told about Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman, who was walking in the street with both a disciple and his son, when a menacing dog ran toward them, and Rabbi Elchonon grabbed his son. Somehow they got away, and when he came home, Rabi Elchonon started to cry, Why didn’t I grab my disciple?’ So I said to myself: ‘Here I am thinking of my son, but Naftoli Solomon is buried alive.‘ I asked the Master of the Universe to forgive me, and just then Naftoli’s voice came over the air: ‘I got out!’ He had been buried under soft debris.”

Heshy shares Naftoli Solomon’s later comment. He said that when he was screaming, “I’m buried alive,” and Heshy answered him, “Naftoli, we’ll find you,” Naftoli thought to himself, “Here I am already in the World of Truth, and all I’m hearing is Heshy Jacob — he’s in charge up here too?!”

“At that moment,”
Heshy continues, “I’ll tell you what I did, I promised a thousand dollars to charity if I find my son. Twenty minutes later, I found him — he’d driven away through the thick plume as the South Tower came down. As a young guy he didn’t care, he just drove in the dark! I ran up to him and I kissed him and hugged him and I exclaimed, ‘You know, I just gave a thousand dollars to charity to find you.’ He said to me, ‘Dad, that’s all I’m worth? You didn’t give ten thousand dollars? Only a thousand you gave?’ Laughing through my tears, I said, ‘Shalom, I didn’t know you were alive, here I was thinking a few moments ago that I was gonna have to go home tonight and tell your wife and kids you’re gone.'”

Pointing to a picture of an ambulance coated in white ash and surrounded completely by mountains of metal, bricks, and glass, Heshy explains that this is the retrieved East Side-3 bus that was first on the scene.

“This will give you an idea,” he says. “Someplace under this debris, Naftoli was trapped when he ran out of the ambulance. See the windshield? Had he stayed inside, what would have happened to him? He would have been dead. Normally, you would think the best place to stay would be inside the vehicle, but there’s a hole where a boulder came right through the front window. There was a similar incident, where a Hatzolah member was standing talking to a fireman sitting in his truck. When the building came down, the member dove down on the floor next to the tire, and after the debris finished raining down, he got up. But unfortunately, a brick went through the front window of the fire truck and the firefighter was killed.”

SAVED BY THE STARTER

Nothing better exemplifies the truth of the concept of Divine Providence than stories like these and others that emerged from this day, in which each individual met his own tailor-made fate. Heshy tells the story of his son-in-law, Yitz Klug, also a Hatzolah member, who worked for the Securities and Exchange Commission at 9 World Trade Center. On his way to work that morning, Yitz saw a Williamsburg ambulance making its way down to the scene, and he opted to clamber aboard the ambulance rather than go in to work. They loaded up seven or eight walking wounded with cuts and bruises and broken arms, and took them to Beekman Hospital.

After unloading their patients, they got back into the ambulance for the return trip. No such luck: the brand-new ambulance wouldn’t start. For fifteen minutes they kept trying to start it, and finally the engine turned over. Ten seconds after they pulled out of the bay, the North Tower came down. Had the bus started right up, it would have been under the building when it came down.

“So is that a miracle?” Heshy asks rhetorically. “Yeah. In other words, the Master of the Universe said to the bus, ‘You sit still, you’re not going anywhere.’ So everybody on that ambulance was saved because it didn’t want to start.”

Were there changes to Hatzolah’s operating procedures based on the impact of those experiences?

Hatzolah members have undergone training with Israel’s national ambulance corps, Magen David Adom. Several classes were held in the Flatbush center, and a hundred members traveled to Israel for additional sessions. Rabbi Cohen, whose current role as Hatzolah’s CEO follows a long career in Jewish communal leadership, observes that “not everything is a mass casualty scene; we have many midsize calamities. We had an incident a couple years ago here in Flatbush where a large group of schoolgirls fell down a grate. Within five minutes, we had fifteen ambulances there between Boro Park and Flatbush, and forty or fifty members — but the important thing was that we had coordination. The coordinators from the two areas took over and it was orderly. Any member who didn’t need to be there was kindly asked to leave.”

CROWN OF KINDNESS
Hatzolah has grown from being an idea in the mind of one Williamsburg Jew, Hershel Weber, into the largest volunteer ambulance corps in the world, one that has a save rate — the percentage of cardiac arrest victims who are brought into a hospital with a heart rhythm — of over 14 percent, as compared with a general New York City rate of less than 1 percent.

SOURCE

20 Signs That A Horrific Global Food Crisis Is Coming

20 Signs That A Horrific Global Food Crisis Is Coming

By Michael Snyder – BLN Contributing Writer

In case you haven’t noticed, the world is on the verge of a horrific global food crisis. At some point, this crisis will affect you and your family. It may not be today, and it may not be tomorrow, but it is going to happen. Crazy weather and horrifying natural disasters have played havoc with agricultural production in many areas of the globe over the past couple of years. Meanwhile, the price of oil has begun to skyrocket. The entire global economy is predicated on the ability to use massive amounts of inexpensive oil to cheaply produce food and other goods and transport them over vast distances. Without cheap oil the whole game changes. Topsoil is being depleted at a staggering rate and key aquifers all over the world are being drained at an alarming pace. Global food prices are already at an all-time high and they continue to move up aggressively. So what is going to happen to our world when hundreds of millions more people cannot afford to feed themselves?

Most Americans are so accustomed to supermarkets that are absolutely packed to the gills with massive amounts of really inexpensive food that they cannot even imagine that life could be any other way. Unfortunately, that era is ending.

There are all kinds of indications that we are now entering a time when there will not be nearly enough food for everyone in the world. As competition for food supplies increases, food prices are going to go up. In fact, at some point they are going to go way up.

Let’s look at some of the key reasons why an increasing number of people believe that a massive food crisis is on the horizon.

The following are 20 signs that a horrific global food crisis is coming….

#1 According to the World Bank, 44 million people around the globe have been pushed into extreme poverty since last June because of rising food prices.

#2 The world is losing topsoil at an astounding rate. In fact, according to Lester Brown, “one third of the world’s cropland is losing topsoil faster than new soil is forming through natural processes”.

#3 Due to U.S. ethanol subsidies, almost a third of all corn grown in the United States is now used for fuel. This is putting a lot of stress on the price of corn.

#4 Due to a lack of water, some countries in the Middle East find themselves forced to almost totally rely on other nations for basic food staples. For example, it is being projected that there will be no more wheat production in Saudi Arabia by the year 2012.
#5 Water tables all over the globe are being depleted at an alarming rate due to “overpumping”. According to the World Bank, there are 130 million people in China and 175 million people in India that are being fed with grain with water that is being pumped out of aquifers faster than it can be replaced. So what happens once all of that water is gone?

#6 In the United States, the systematic depletion of the Ogallala Aquifercould eventually turn “America’s Breadbasket” back into the “Dust Bowl”.

#7 Diseases such as UG99 wheat rust are wiping out increasingly large segments of the world food supply.

#8 The tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis in Japan have rendered vast agricultural areas in that nation unusable. In fact, there are many that believe that eventually a significant portion of northern Japan will be considered to beuninhabitable. Not only that, many are now convinced that the Japanese economy, the third largest economy in the world, is likely to totally collapse as a result of all this.

#9 The price of oil may be the biggest factor on this list. The way that we produce our food is very heavily dependent on oil. The way that we transport our food is very heavily dependent on oil. When you have skyrocketing oil prices, our entire food production system becomes much more expensive. If the price of oil continues to stay high, we are going to see much higher food prices and some forms of food production will no longer make economic sense at all.

#10 At some point the world could experience a very serious fertilizer shortage. According to scientists with the Global Phosphorus Research Initiative, the world is not going to have enough phosphorous to meet agricultural demand in just 30 to 40 years.

#11 Food inflation is already devastating many economies around the globe. For example, India is dealing with an annual food inflation rate of 18 percent.

#12 According to the United Nations, the global price of food reached a new all-time high in February.

#13 According to the World Bank, the global price of food has risen 36% over the past 12 months.

#14 The commodity price of wheat has approximately doubled since last summer.

#15 The commodity price of corn has also about doubled since last summer.

#16 The commodity price of soybeans is up about 50% since last June.

#17 The commodity price of orange juice has doubled since 2009.

#18 There are about 3 billion people around the globe that live on the equivalent of 2 dollars a day or less and the world was already on the verge ofeconomic disaster before this year even began.

#19 2011 has already been one of the craziest years since World War 2. Revolutions have swept across the Middle East, the United States has gotten involved in the civil war in Libya, Europe is on the verge of a financial meltdown and the U.S. dollar is dying. None of this is good news for global food production.

#20 There have been persistent rumors of shortages at some of the biggest suppliers of emergency food in the United States. The following is an excerpt from a recent “special alert” posted on Raiders News Network….

Look around you. Read the headlines. See the largest factories of food, potassium iodide, and other emergency product manufacturers literally closing their online stores and putting up signs like those on Mountain House’s Official Website and Thyrosafe’s Factory Webpage that explain, due to overwhelming demand, they are shutting down sales for the time being and hope to reopen someday.

So what does all of this mean?

It means that time is short.

For years, many “doom and gloomers” have been yelling and screaming that a food crisis is coming.

Well, up to this point there hasn’t been much to get alarmed about. Food prices have started to rise, but the truth is that our stores are still packed to the rafters will gigantic amounts of relatively cheap food.

However, you would have to be an idiot not to see the warning signs. Just look at what happened in Japan after March 11th. Store shelves were cleared out almost instantly.

It isn’t going to happen today, and it probably isn’t going to happen tomorrow, but at some point a major league food crisis is going to strike.

So what are you and your family going to do then?

You might want to start thinking about that.

http://www.blacklistednews.com/20_Signs_That_A_Horrific_Global_Food_Crisis_Is_Coming_/13521/0/0/0/Y/M.html

Going underground? Sales of spaces in U.S. doomsday bunker soar 1000% after Japan quake reawakens nuclear fallout fears

Going underground? Sales of spaces in U.S. doomsday bunker soar 1000% after Japan quake reawakens nuclear fallout fears

Aerial of Scientology bunker in New Mexico

By Daily Mail Reporter

Artist’s impressions of luxury shelter to house 950 people in Nebraska

Reservations for a doomsday bunker in the U.S. have rocketed since Japan’s catastrophic earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown.

The 137,000sq ft bunker – designed to house 950 people for a year and withstand a 50 megaton blast – is currently being built under the grasslands of Nebraska.

Vivos, the California-based company behind it, is taking $5,000 (£3,100) deposits, which will have to be topped up to $25,000 (£15,600) to secure a place.

Our bunkers are safety and survivability in a durable, scientifically-designed structure. It is rock-solid protection from the widest imaginable array of potentially deadly events, from armed or explosives attacks to the worst hurricane or tornado. It’s there to keep people alive and functioning when little else can.


Cower in luxury: Vivos’s doomsday shelters are to be kitted out with all the modern conveniences American consumers would expect

Social space: The company is building one bunker under the grasslands of Nebraska with the capacity to house 950 for a year



Paranoia: Vivos says applications for its luxury bunkers have gone up 1,000 per cent since the Japan earthquake

It says applications have soared 1000 per cent in the wake of the disasters in Japan. And the bunkers will be kitted out with all the modern conveniences the American consumer has come to expect.

Once finished the complex will feature four levels of residential suites, a dental and medical center, kitchens, pet kennels, a bakery, a prayer room, a fully stocked wine cellar and even a prison to detain any misbehaving residents.

There will also be a 350ft tall lookout tower so residents can see what is going on around them – and if it’s safe to emerge.

‘People are afraid of the earth-changing events and ripple effects of the earthquake, which led to tsunamis, the nuclear meltdown, and which will lead to radiation and health concerns,’ said Vivos CEO Robert Vicino.

Self-contained community: Once finished the bunker complex will feature four levels of residential suites, a dental and medical center, kitchens, pet kennels, a bakery, a prayer room and a fully stocked wine cellar



Limited space: The firm is taking $5,000 deposits for their bunker, which will have to be topped up to $25,000 to secure a final spot

The news comes after low levels of radiation were detected in milk in two U.S. states, the first sign Japan’s nuclear crisis is affecting American food.

At least 15 states have now reported radioactive particles from the stricken Fukushima reactor. Earlier in the week the Environment Protection Agency confirmed radiation was found in air filters in Alabama and in rainwater in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

Though the trace levels are very low and not hazardous to health, residents have been warned not to use rainwater which has been collected in cisterns.

Rebuilding society: The bunker even features a prison in case any residents misbehave and become a liability to others

Safe space: The company claims its bunkers are designed to withstand a range of catastrophic events, from nuclear terrorism to the gravitational havoc caused of a rogue planet sweeping across the solar system

Intimate: Space is limited in the bunker, the floor-plan of which resembles a youth hostel in this graphic

Mr Vicino added: ‘Where it ends, I don’t know. Does it lead to economic collapse? A true economic collapse would lead to anarchy, which could lead to 90 per cent of the population being killed off.’

The company claims its bunkers are designed to withstand a range of catastrophic events, from nuclear terrorism to the gravitational havoc a rogue planet sweeping across the solar system could cause.

Interest in doomsday bunkers has grown over recent years, but critics say developers are simply trying to cash in on public panic. Oleg Repchenko, the head of Russian analytical centre ‘Indicators of Real Estate Market‘, told The Voice of Russia: ‘These fears emerged in the US a long time ago back in the Cold War era.

‘September 11, 2001 has seriously affected the psychology of common Americans and part of the population is afraid of disasters and terrorist attacks.

‘Panicking is quite typical for Americans even when a disaster happens not on their territory but across the ocean in Japan. Once something terrifying happens it makes people think more about their future.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1372289/Japan-earthquake-tsunami-Sales-doomsday-nuclear-bunkers-soars-1000.html#ixzz1IJELNCOu

Garden As If Your Life Depended On It, Because It Will

Garden As If Your Life Depended On It, Because It Will

By Ellen LaConte

30 March, 2011
Countercurrents.org

Spring has sprung—at least south of the northern tier of states where snow still has a ban on it—and the grass has ‘riz. And so has the price of most foods, which is particularly devastating just now when so many Americans are unemployed, underemployed, retired or retiring, on declining or fixed incomes and are having to choose between paying their mortgages, credit card bills, car payments, and medical and utility bills and eating enough and healthily. Many are eating more fast food, prepared foods, junk food—all of which are also becoming more expensive—or less food.

In some American towns, and not just impoverished backwaters, as many as 30 percent of residents can’t afford to feed themselves and their families sufficiently, let alone nutritiously. Here in the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina where I live it’s 25 percent. Across the country one out of six of the elderly suffers from malnutrition and hunger. And the number of children served one or two of their heartiest, healthiest meals by their schools grows annually as the number of them living at poverty levels tops twenty percent. Thirty-seven million Americans rely on food banks that now routinely sport half-empty shelves and report near-empty bank accounts. And this is a prosperous nation!

In some cases this round of price hikes on everything from cereal and steak to fresh veggies and bread—and even the flour that can usually be bought cheaply to make it— will be temporary. But over the long term the systems that have provided most Americans with a diversity, quantity and quality of foods envied by the rest of the world are not going to be as reliable as they were.

What’s for Supper Down the Road?

As they move through the next few decades Americans can expect

§ the price of conventionally produced food to rise and not come down again,

§ prices to rollercoaster so that budgeting is unpredictable,

§ some foods to become very expensive compared to what we’re used to

§ and others, beginning with some of the multiple versions of the same thing made by the same company to garner a bigger market share and more shelf space, to gradually become unavailable.

Tremors in food supply chains and pricing will make gardening look like a lot more than a hobby, a seasonal workout, a practical way to fill your pantry with your summer favorites, or a physically, spiritually and mentally healing activity, or all four. Gardening and small-scale and collective farming, especially of staple crops and the ones that could stave off malnutrition, could become as important as bringing home the bacon, both the piggy and the dollar kind. Why?

Why’s Gardening So Important Now?

There are at least five reasons why more of us should take up spade, rake and hoe, make compost and raise good soil and garden beds with a vengeance, starting this spring and with an eye toward forever.

1) Peak oil. Most petroleum experts agree that we shot past peak oil in the US around 1971. Lest you’ve missed the raging ( http://www.postcarbon.org ), that’s the point at which more than half the readily, affordably retrievable oil in reserves has been used up, what remains is more expensive to retrieve, and the dregs are irretrievable. We’ve shot or are about to shoot past peak worldwide, estimates of when ranging from 2007 to 2013, with many oil company execs agreeing to at least the latter. There are no new cheap-easy oil fields coming on line. Any new fields you hear about or new methods, like tar sands drilling are expensive, water guzzling, dangerous, environmentally disastrous and unlikely to produce more than a few years worth of oil, and that a decade or more down the line. That means abundant, cheap oil is about to be history. What difference does that make?

For one thing, there is no replacement for oil that can do all that oil has done as cheaply and universally as oil has done it. I offer an exercise in Life Rules, “The ABC’s of Peak Oil” which helps readers imaginatively subtract from their lives everything that depends in one way or another on cheap easy oil. It doesn’t leave much. (See Beth Terry’s website ( http://myplasticfreelife.com/plasticfreeguide/ ), for example, for what subtracting plastics may entail.)

The global economy that presently supplies us with our food, runs on cheap oil and lots of it. It runs slower and less predictably on expensive oil that’s hard to get because it’s located in hard-to-reach or high-risk conflict-ridden zones. Cheap, abundant food on the shelves of grocery and big box stores and food banks, on our tables and in our bellies depends on cheap abundant oil for fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, and to power farm machinery and transport food from fields to processors and packagers and then to purveyors and consumers, around the world. Past peak, that system’s going to have the half-life of the strontium 90 that’s escaping the Fukushimi Dai-ichi reactor: 29 years, or there abouts. One good global crisis, and not that long.

2) Peak soil & space: A couple of links between peak oil and peak soil: First, it matters that one of the proposed alternatives to oil is biofuels. Acreage around the world is being converted from production of corn, wheat and soy for human and animal consumption—i.e., food—to production of ethanol and biofuels to put in trucks and cars and . . . Which makes remaining corn, et al, more expensive. Some energeconomy geniuses are proposing that Afghanis, for example, convert the fields of opium poppies that are their primary agricultural export, not to growing grains or legumes or other staple foods, but to biofuel ( http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/03/putting-poppies-in-the-gas-tank/8379/ ), which would, not coincidentally, make the gasoline that goes in American military equipment much cheaper and provide Afghanis with a profitable market item rather than food.

According to a 2009 National Geographic staff report, ( http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/06/cheap-food/bourne-text ), “The corn used to make a 25-gallon tank of ethanol would feed one person for a year.” Tell that to Archer-Daniels-Midland, Al Gore’s deep-pockets friend and mega-ethanol and corn products producer.

Second, the huge oil-gluttonous machinery that has made factory farming possible has compacted soils, literally crushing the life out of them.

Arable land in the developing or so-called Third World has been at a premium since time immemorial, thanks to geographic location and/or persistent plundering by empires old and new. Revolutions in north Africa and the Middle East are occurring not just to obtain more democratic governments but also to obtain more food and more affordable food. Revolutionaries are barking up a tree that’s seen better days.

In the United States and elsewhere in the developed, read “First” world, arable land has reached peak production. All those petroleum-based products that fueled the Green Revolution of the last century, also produce so many crops, constantly, with support from toxic chemicals and without concern for the microbes that make soil a live, self-regenerating system, that most American farmland—if its farmers didn’t go organic a while back—is comprised of dead soils. Peak oil makes a repeat of the petroleum-driven 20 th century Green Revolution impossible ( http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/06/cheap-food/green-revolution-illustration ), which is good for soil and other living things, not so much for food prices and supplies.

After peak, in soil like in oil, comes descent. Adding insult to injury, every year farmers lose thousands of acres of arable land to urban and suburban sprawl and more tons of topsoil than they produce of grain and other field crops to attrition. Half the Earth’s original trove of topsoil, like that which once permitted the American Midwest to feed the world, has been lost to wind and erosion. Millions of years in the making, it has been depleted and degraded by industrialized agriculture in only a couple of centuries. China’s soils ride easterly winds across the Pacific to settle out on cars and rooftops in California while the American Bread Basket’s soils are building deltas and dead zones at the mouth of the Mississippi. Like oil, that soil isn’t coming back. We can only build it, help it to build itself and wait.

3) Monoculture : We can cut to the chase on this one. The food we eat is produced on industrial-strength, fossil-fuel-driven super farms. Those farms practice monoculture: the planting one crop, often of one genetic strain of that crop, at a time and sometimes year after year over vast landscapes of plowed field. When thousands of acres of farmland are sown with the same genetic strain of grain, uncongenial bout of weather, disease or pest to which that strain is susceptible can wipe out the whole crop. At present the Ug99 fungus, called stem rust, which emerged a decade ago in Africa, could wipe out more than 80% of the world’s wheat crops as it spreads, according to a 2009 article in the L. A. Times ( http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jun/14/science/sci-wheat-rust14 ). Recent studies follow its appearance in other countries downwind of eastern Africa where it originated, including Yemen and Iran (where revolutionaries are already protesting rising prices and shortages), which opens the possibility of its emergence further downwind in Central and Eastern Asia. The race is on to breed resistant plants before it reaches Canada or the U.S. But it can take a decade or more to create a universally adaptable new genetic line that is resistant to a new disease like stem rust that can travel much faster than that. The current spike in the price of wheat is due in part to Ug99 which might properly be renamed “Ugh.”

4) Climate instability. Bad — uncongenial — weather has lately devastated crops in the upper Midwest, Florida, Mexico, Russia, China, Australia, parts of Africa and elsewhere. Many climate scientists believe we’ve passed the equivalent of peak friendly and familiar weather, too. And while increasing heat will bedevil harvests ( http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/06/cheap-food/stanmeyer-photography ), intense cold, downpours and flooding, drought and destructive storm systems will make farming an increasingly hellish occupation if profit is what’s being farmed for. The transitional climate will be unpredictable from season and will produce more extremes of weather and weather-related disasters which means farmers will not be able to assume much about growing seasons, rainfall patterns and getting crops through to harvest. If the past is precedent, the transition from the climate we’ve been used to for 10,000 years to whatever stable climate emerges out of climate chaos next, could take decades, centuries or even millennia. Especially if we keep messing with it. When a whole nation’s or region’s staple crops, especially grains, are lost or on-again-off-again, everything down the line from the crops themselves become more expensive, from meat, poultry and dairy to every kind of processed food. I.e., the food we shop for as if supermarkets were actually where food comes from.

5) The roller-coaster economy . This isn’t the place for me to offer my explanation for the probability of global economic collapse. (See ( www.ellenlaconte.com/excerpts-from-life-rules/#chpfour ) for that.) No pundits, talking-heads or economic analysts (well, very few) deny there are rough economic times ahead. Even many of the cautious among them acknowledge that we may be looking at five or six years of high unemployment and many of the lost jobs won’t be coming back. The less cautious, like me, predict the collapse of the whole fossil-fueled, funny-money, inequitable, overly-complicated global economic system in the lifetimes of anyone under 50. Well, at the rate we’re going in all the wrong directions politically and economically, I hazard the guess, anyone under 80.

Clearly, depending on the present system to provide us with most or all of our food reliably or long-term, is unwise in the extreme. Which is how we get back to why we need to garden as if our lives depended on it. Bringing food production processes and systems closer to home is going to prove vital to our survival. We need to take producing our own and each other’s food as seriously as we’ve taken producing a money income because growing numbers of us won’t have enough money to buy food in the conventional ways and there will be less of it to buy. So what’s our recourse?

Gardening Like Everybody’s Business

Under the influence and auspices of the prevailing economy, most Americans have forgotten how to provide for themselves. We’ve become accustomed to earning money with which we buy provisions. That process is about the have the legs kicked out from under it. Instead of earning money (or its funny-money kin like credit cards) to buy the things we need, we’ll need to start providing more of those things for ourselves and each other locally and (bio)regionally. Gardening — and small-scale farming — while they will need to be undertaken in a businesslike fashion will be less about doing business than about everyone’s having something to eat and more people being busy providing it. And while not everyone will be able to garden or farm, we are all able to get up close and personal with those who do.

In a subsequent column I’ll review five variations on the theme of gardening to counterbalance the five reasons I think we need to.

§ Back-yard, back-porch, back-40 gardening

§ Community gardens

§ Community Supported Agriculture

§ Urban gardening

§ Taking the ‘


Ellen LaConte, an independent scholar, organic gardener, freelance writer, speaker and editor, living in the Yadkin River watershed of the Piedmont bioregion of North Carolina, is a contributing editor to Green Horizon Magazine and The Ecozoic and Advisory Board member at the EarthWalk Alliance. She was assistant to the late homesteader and bestselling Living the Good Life author, Helen Nearing, and as Nearing’s executor helped found The Good Life Center at Forest Farm in Harborside, Maine. Her memoir of Nearing, On Light Alone was published in South Korea as well as the US. Her most recent book is the controversial Life Rules: Why so much is going wrong everywhere at once & how Life teaches us to fix it (Green Horizon/iUniverse, 2010) can be examined at www.liferules-thebook.info . LaConte publishes a quarterly online newsletter, Starting Point, and can be reached at ( www.ellenlaconte.com ).

http://www.countercurrents.org/laconte300311.htm