Home fortification is likely at the top of the preparedness “to-do” list. If you have very deep pockets, building a fortress is feasible, but for most of us, budget-minded tasks will have to do. Evaluating a home’s strengths and weaknesses is the first and most important step to creating the most secure structure your bank account allows. While creating a home fortification inventory, both man-made and natural disasters should be taken into consideration. Where you live will play a significant role in what types of improvements need to be made to the home, barn and storage buildings present on the property. Regardless of the natural disasters prone to your specific region, everyone should strive to secure their home against any civil unrest which could occur after a major disaster. Panicked and desperate individuals seeking food, water, shelter and weapons could likely see your home as a safe haven. (via 7 Home Fortification Tips For Anyone On A Budget | Off The Grid News)
Self-sufficiency involves a lot more than buying all the cool-looking gear advertised online and in magazines. Embarking on a self-reliant or off-the-grid lifestyle also involves education and training. Regardless of where you call home, there are a plethora of on-site and even online self-reliance training classes you can – and should – consider taking. Here are 10: 1. Disaster Preparedness. FEMA/CERT training classes are routinely used to educate emergency responders and rescue teams around the United States. FEMA definitely does not have a stellar record for quickly and adequately mobilizing during a disaster, but the extremely specific educational courses have been deemed as top-notch by police, EMS, fire, and Red Cross crews. (via Get Smart: The 10 Best Classes For Self-Sufficiency Training | Off The Grid News)
Ted Cruz is appears to never shy away from saying what is on his mind and remained true to form during his CPAC speech. The Senator took to the podium an announced that the United States should abolish the IRS. The Tea Party Republican feels that American should be able to file their taxes on the back of a post card, a statement which drew a near deafening round of applause from the crowd. As the IRS targeting scandal garnered national attention in 2013, Cruz first called for abolishing the IRS and installing a type of flat tax. Although what the Senator suggested would not be a true flat tax since it allowed for deductions for home mortgage and charitable deductions, many Tea Party members, Republicans, Libertarians, and independent voters appear to support the idea. (via What Ted Cruz Said At CPAC Shocked Liberals Across America)
An 85-year-old Texas man is trapped in state custody, all because he went to a hospital for routine surgery. Charlie Fink checked into the Richardson Methodist Hospital late last month for hernia surgery, and now Adult Protective Services thinks he shouldn’t go home anytime soon. Fink’s neighbors, Debra and Kenny McIntosh, look after the 85-year-old North Texan and wholeheartedly believe their friend is being held against his will. (via State Forces Man Into Nursing Home | Off The Grid News)
Russian ammo will no longer be shipped to the United States, if a report issued by Silver Doctors is accurate. The website is an economic watchdog focusing on fluctuations in the precious metals markets. American ammunition manufacturers have been working around the clock seven days a week to handle the demand created after the Sandy Hook tragedy. Concerns about both increases in ammunition prices and availability began occurring after federal and state gun control regulations were proposed. Ammo shortages for some popular calibers were reportedly alleviated slightly due to Russian imports. The 7.62 ammo is used in the AK-47 semi-automatic weapon. Either real or perceived shortages of Russian ammo are now causing bullets made in the Vladimir Putin’s country to vanish off store shelves. (via Russia Halts Ammo Shipments To US, Financial Watchdog Website Claims)
Sending your teenage a text to find out if they are almost home, or calling your spouse’s cell phone to tell him you are heading to a specific location will not be possible if the power grid goes down. We have all become accustomed to the convenience and immediate nature of communicating with our loved ones. While it is handy, we surely should not count on being able to reach those we care about via conventional means during a disaster scenario. During 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, separated family members were unable to reach those in the disaster zone for days, and weeks in some cases. Folks were reduced to posting photographs at Red Cross and FEMA stations and sit anxiously while awaiting word of their loved one’s fate. It would be wonderful if we were all safely huddled inside our homes with our family when disaster strikes, but such a scenario is not very realistic. (via Three Off-Grid Ways To Communicate If The Power’s Out | Off The Grid News)
A no hoodie sign hanging at the entrance of an Indian mall has sparked controversy and claims of racism by some shoppers and local citizens. The Anderson retail complex new hoodie policy says, “For the safety & well-being of everyone, please lower your hoodie.” The Mounds Mall no hoodie policy is being applauded by some, and chastised by others. The Indiana shopping mall story has garnered national headlines due to the heated debated the “lower your hoodie” signs initiated. Anderson shopper Vivian Hardacre told local media that she thinks the no hoodie policy is a “wonderful policy. I’m all for it.” Hardacre walks inside the mall daily and said the recently posted sign makes her feel safer. “it’s for everyone, they are not targeting. I’ve seen grown men in here in their 50s and 60s with their hood up.” (via Hoodie Policy At Indiana Mall Sparks Controversy And Racism Claims)
Two Minnesota sisters lost their father, and now may lose the land he loved due to an eminent domain order by Dakota County. Dakota County wants to build a bike trail on the property and refused to accept a property easement offer by the sisters to accomplish their task. Some properties have been owned by the same family for more than a century. The county is taking the families to court. Sisters Joni Sargent and Nancy Drews offered to sell just over one acre of land to the county for the bike path, even though they did not want to part with any of their father’s property, which has been in the family since 1960. According to statements by the sisters, the county opted against the offer and voted during a closed door session to take the entire 10-acres via eminent domain statutes. “Our father meant to leave this property to us and our children,” Sargent said. (via County To Seize Owner’s Century-Old Property For …. This? | Off The Grid News)
As events this winter have proven, it’s a good idea to have a “get me home bag” (GHB) at all times. That 15-mile drive to work will feel a whole lot further away if you are ever forced to make the trek on foot. Although determining every item that should be included in a get-home bag will differ from person to person, the basic tools and gear needed are the same. When planning a bag supply list, carefully consider the types of natural disasters which are common in your region and address those needs first when budgeting for bag contents. A power grid down scenario, terrorist attack, or civil unrest can occur everywhere, but severe winter storms, tornados, and earthquakes are more prone to specific regions of the country and should be primary concerns when determining how preparedness funds will be spent. (via The Ultimate Starter List For Every Get-Home Bag | Off The Grid News)
The Romeike family will likely soon be deported due to an unwillingness by the US Supreme Court to intervene in a lower court’s ruling. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Uwe and Hannelore, both evangelical Christians, wanted to homeschool their children and fled to America where such a form of education is legal. All went well for the immigrants until the Obama administration’s Department of Justice decided to overrule a lower court decision and decided the Romeike family should be on the first plane back to Germany—where they face steep fines, possible jail time, and the potential removal of their children. In 2010, an immigration judge gave the Romeike family asylum on human rights grounds, but the federal government appealed the court ruling and began the long legal journey which ultimately led to the Supreme Court. The US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently denied the Romeike family’s request for a new hearing on the asylum matter. (via Romeike Family Given Packing Orders By US Supreme Court)
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