Dear Black Bag Confidential Reader,
If you, like my colleagues on the East Coast, are stuck inside on this snowy day, don’t worry — I’ve prepared this batch of must-read articles so you can pass the time and brush up on some important safety and survival information.
Let’s get down to business.
Residents across the Northeast are hunkering down while Winter Storm Stella rages overhead. With the potential for one–two feet of total snowfall in certain areas, people spent the weekend preparing for blizzard conditions, tree damage and possible power outages.
Now, let’s get one thing straight: Bread, milk and toilet paper should never be the extent of your winter storm preparations. Bread gets moldy pretty quickly, and milk will spoil if there’s no power to keep your fridge running. And toilet paper — OK, I’ll give you that one, toilet paper is definitely useful.
For future reference, check out the advice from the Red Cross in the article above, published in the Connecticut Post. I’ve covered most of these recommendations in previous posts — tips like assembling a 72-hour kit, dressing in layers, keeping at least a half a tank of gas in your car and staying up to date on weather warnings.
But there is one piece of information I haven’t written about in this context: using technology to stay safe. The Red Cross has created emergency preparedness apps for both iPhones and Androids. According to the article, “The First Aid App has a special section devoted to severe winter weather with preparedness tips and information about coping during and after the storm.”
Check it out and let me know what you think.
As I’ve mentioned time and time again, my goal is to provide you with actionable advice to help you and your family prepare for any number of emergency and survival situations.
One area of survival prep that often gets overlooked is the physical. I don’t mean that you need to be a bodybuilder or a marathon runner to get by, but you do need to get in as good shape as you possibly can.
The piece above outlines 46 natural health tips and tricks to increase your stamina, strength and flexibility — all of which will help you handle a crisis more comfortably.
I know I’ve talked about the survival rule of threes in previous alerts, but I realize I may be taking it for granted that everyone knows what that means. This piece from the folks over at Survival Sullivan examines this “rule” and explains why it’s so critical to keep it in mind when prioritizing your survival needs.
It’s interesting to note that this blog post also references the American Red Cross First Aid app. If I had a more sophisticated cellphone than a flip phone, I’d consider downloading it.
What’s more, this article uses a specific real-life example to show you how to factor the survival rule of threes into your decision making. It’s a great read whether this is a new concept or you’re just looking for a refresher.
Last week, WikiLeaks made public thousands of pages of top-secret documents exposing the CIA’s spying secrets. Since the story broke, there have been hundreds of articles sifting through the information contained in the dump.
This piece runs down six of the most pertinent revelations from the release. One of the more troubling discoveries is that apps using end-to-end encryption for security purposes are rendered completely ineffective if the CIA can break into smartphones.
Also, take a look at No. 3. It’s not just science fiction anymore — your TV could really be watching you.
In a prolonged crisis — especially one where the very fabric of society starts to unravel — money as we know it will likely lose all value. But then how will you be able to purchase goods and services? Well, if that happens, it’s back to the good ol’ barter system.
Which begs the question, what types of items make good barter?
There are some pretty obvious things on this list from The Survivalist Blog — ammo, for example — but there are also a few other items you might not occur to you as particularly valuable. Until the stuff hits the fan, that is.
So take notes and perhaps add a few of these miscellaneous goods to your emergency storage. You never know when they may come in handy.