Preparing For More Than Just Yourself

by David Morris on August 3, 2012

I want to start off by thanking everyone who’s reading this for your continued support over the last 4 years.  This blog, the course,,, and more recently, wouldn’t have been able to impact nearly as many lives as possible if it weren’t for your help.

As you may have noticed, we moved the blog to a new URL.  It’s kind of a big deal.  It represents a small part of a major shift in gears that our team is taking in regards to survival and preparedness.  As a result, This is one of the most important and most foundational articles that I’ve written in the last 4 years. is going to become one of the early steps of helping to create not only more prepared households but more prepared and resilient communities across the country—and I need your help to make it happen.

Over the last year and a half, the fervor for preparedness has shot through the roof.  The upside of this increase in awareness and action has been that more families have become moderately prepared for disasters than at any time since people began abandoning the preparedness lifestyles of the greatest generation and adopting just in time lifestyles that only recently became possible.

Just to be clear on this, preparedness is real to me.  The threats that I write about are not marketing ploys…they’re clear and present threats that could quickly and dramatically change our way of life.  The personal stories that I share are from my daily life.  I write everything with the thought that my friends, family, or even my wife and kids when I’m out of town, might find themselves in a situation where they thrive or suffer based on the quality of products, information, and training I’ve given them.  As an example, the course grew out of the research that I did for my own family’s survival plan.  The course grew out of a need to be able to answer panicked calls and emails from friends who thought that they might only have a few weeks to get everything put in place.  The decks of cards I’ve created and smaller reports have all followed the same pattern.

You see, I think that it’s incredibly likely that we’ll see an Earth shattering disruption of our way of life in the not too distant future.  The particular incident that becomes the tipping point doesn’t really matter…many of the consequences will be the same regardless of whether it is natural, manmade, or a combination.  In any case, the advances in technology and just in time supply chains that have made our lifestyles so unbelievably convenient have also made our society unbelievably fragile.

As a result of the sheer number of threats and the consequences of any one of them actually happening, I’m introducing a 4 part push moving forward to prepare for, survive during, respond to, and rebuild after upcoming disasters.

They mesh with our mission statement of:

  • Prepare families so they can be the answer to other people’s prayers when disaster happens.
  • Equip them to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.
  • Give them the tools they need to quickly create stable micro-environments from which recovery can happen, regardless of whether or not outside help is available.
  • Help people prepare in such a way that their lives will be enriched, regardless of whether disaster ever happens.

This mission statement gets fulfilled by breaking up the preparedness process into 4 phases…People try to make the phases linear and sequential but, as with many things in life, it’s not quite that simple.  The simplest thing to do is to tell you what they are:

Prepare:  This is the most basic of the phases.  It includes not only stocking up and learning skills to take care of essentials like psychology, food, fire, water, and shelter, but also areas like medical, trauma, security, general repair, power, mobility, and more.  I have and will continue to help people prepare with a mix of trainings that are as fast as possible to implement and trainings that are much more in-depth.

Survive:  When a catastrophic collapse happens, the first phase, in many cases, will be survival.  It may or may not include lawlessness.  It may or may not be any more dramatic initially than losing basic utilities and communication.  This is where the fruits of preparedness ripen and have the most value.  It is difficult to definitively state what this will look like because of the many ways that we could end up in a survival situation.  Is the breakdown in infrastructure and/or civil order local, regional, national, or global?  Did it happen because of a virus, catastrophic collapse of the electrical grid, war, total economic collapse, a series of dirty bombs, or something completely different?  In all of these cases, the specifics of how things play out will be different, but solid, fundamental preparedness and survival skills and tools will provide a solid foundation to build from.  Just as has been a valuable resource for survival and preparedness information for the last 4 years, will continue to be a valuable resource moving forward.

Stabilize:  In the event of a breakdown in civil order after a disaster, it’s important to return to a stable situation as soon as possible where it’s relatively safe to walk the streets, conduct commerce, and transport goods from one end of the supply chain to the other.

One theory of stabilization in situations where an insurgent force is trying to destabilize/overthrow a government is to create stable micro-environments.  In short, it is the idea of stabilizing an individual block or neighborhood and gradually expanding the stabilized area by creating/repairing infrastructure and eliminating destabilizing forces.

As individuals, we can do this by learning medical skills, learning or honing trade crafts, learning HAM radio communications, becoming a full time, part time, or reserve peace officer, firefighter, or EMS personnel.  We can also help our local CERT agencies and/or other volunteer disaster response organizations.

Soft skills, like leadership, decision making, encouragement, nurturing, and counseling are vital during these times as well.  If you don’t have the time, ability, or inclination to join any of these organizations, you can still support the ones that you believe in and have the most affinity for.  In a disaster situation, first responders have families, homes, and pets that need to be cared for.  They have meals that need cooking, errands that need to be run, clothes that need to be cleaned, and sometimes they simply need to be told to stop and take a break.  You may not be the point of the spear, but you CAN do things to keep the point of the spear sharp.

I’ve been incredibly fortunate over the years to become friends with US Army Special Forces personnel who have implemented counter-insurgency (stabilization) practices in various hell-holes around the globe.  Their door busting stories are fascinating, but their techniques of providing for basic needs and creating safe, stable areas to win “hearts and minds” are what are most valuable and applicable here and I’ll be sharing them with you as we go along.

This is where things get very interesting.  There are two distinct types of stabilization: post-event stabilization and pre-event stabilization.  Everything I’ve mentioned so far is post-stabilization.  Pre-event stabilization is, in many ways more powerful because it can prevent disastrous events from becoming long term collapses.  In short, the more stable, resilient, and able to self-support a neighborhood, city, or region is, the quicker it will be able to fix itself and move on when a disastrous event happens.  It won’t have to wait on centralized, top down help to show up…it will fix itself from the bottom up.  Not only that, an area that has multiple ways to provide for it’s people’s basic needs won’t be impacted as much when one or more of those ways is disrupted.

Finally, as the Godfather of the Resilient Community movement, John Robb, has stated, when insurgents/terrorists are looking for targets, they look for critical points that will give them as much bang for the buck as possible.  By focusing on developing stabile and resilient communities, we’re not only increasing our ability to recover from disastrous events, but also making those communities less appealing targets for insurgents/terrorists.

Recover/Rebuild:  God forbid we have a “One Second After”, “Jericho“, (EMP) or “Patriots” (total societal breakdown caused by economic collapse) event, but if we do, there needs to be an emphasis placed on long term rebuilding and recovery as quickly as possible.  Having a long term goal like this will not only give people a goal and the promise of something better down the road to live for, but also will serve to act as a moral compass.  Many inner-city kids who go to jail for murder at a young age have a similar statement when asked why they did their horrific deeds;

“Nobody in the hood lives past 20 (25, 30, or any other young age) so I’m just going to get mine while I can.  What do I have to lose?”

Interestingly enough, this same justification for horrific actions has been used by child warriors youngsters committing atrocities around the globe throughout history.  Take away hope and the prospect of a future and morality will soon follow.  In short, hope is a key component to survival and a vision of what life could look like after recovery and rebuilding will provide that hope.

The rubber hits the road for recovery and rebuilding by taking a look at basics like shelter, long term food security and drinking water.  Basic preparedness and short term survival can be taken care of with several storage bins of food, but there has to be a plan in place for sustainable sources of food and water when the larder runs out.

I’ll be introducing you to groups from across the country who are bridging the gap between government agencies and volunteer agencies to quickly and effectively help families after disasters.  Stabilization and recovery after long term disasters gets a little more complicated and gets into primitive living skills like gardening, animal husbandry, long term high-volume water purification, and the ability to take care of medical and trauma issues with items that can be found locally or predictably transported, but we’ll continue to cover solutions to these basic, but vital, areas.

Recovery and rebuilding also involves the leadership, strategic and tactical planning, and encouragement skills that we touched on earlier.  At some point during recovery, it’s natural and in many ways beneficial to begin specializing and depending on supply chains again…so long as the preparedness and self-reliance skills aren’t abandoned.

As an example, if I ever need brain surgery, I hope I get a surgeon who is a specialist who does nothing but brain surgery.  I hope he makes enough that he can pay to have every other task in his life taken care of for him.  The last thing I want is to need brain surgery during calving season from a brain surgeon who also happens to raise cattle and who just did an all-nighter pulling a stubborn calf.  (There ARE individual and societal benefits to both knowing how to being a jack-of-all-trades / Renaissance man AND having a specialty and outsourcing many of your basic needs to other people.)  It would be wise for jacks of all trades not to be too critical of specialists and for specialists to not be too critical of jacks of all trades…the world needs both, and situations may require that you switch back and forth between the two.

What is the intended result of this approach to survival and preparedness?  In short, it goes back to the statement I’ve made several times over the years that the more prepared families that an area has, the more stable and resilient it will be when a disaster strikes.  By addressing not only the core needs of survival and preparedness but also post-incident stabilization and recovery, we’ll be able to, in some cases, avert disasters and in other cases mitigate the cascading consequences.

But I need your help in a big way.

If you’re active on social media (I’m not, other than announcing new articles) and open about encouraging people to prepare, than I’d ask you to share links to articles and +1 things you like.  This not only helps by directly sending people, but the search engines reward sites that have high social media activity with better rankings in the search engines.

If you share preparedness articles with others by email, I’d ask you to share links to articles when I send them out.  If you’ve got products that you’d like to write reviews on to let other people know what works and what doesn’t, please let me know.  If you’ve got expertise in any area that we write on, please comment.  If you’ve got articles that you’ve written on survival or preparedness topics and would like to reach a large audience, let me know.  If you’ve got a blog and you’re looking for articles, please feel free to repost articles in their entirety with attribution and working links back to the site.  If you have a preparedness website or business and are interested in selling some of our high quality products, please let us know by commenting (start it off by using the comment box where it says “Speak Your Mind” (not the Facebook box) and saying, “please don’t post”) and we’ll give you all the details.  If you’ve got a great (completely finished) product that would be a good fit for the preparedness market, please let us know.

In short, we’ve got something special with this audience.  A HUGE percentage are military and law enforcement who see the threats and vulnerabilities that we’re facing on a daily basis and want to protect their families.  It’s also an incredibly educated bunch…both in terms of street smarts and book smarts.  It’s also an incredibly helpful and collaborative bunch, as evidenced by the conversation threads after each week’s article and on the forum, and we are in a position where we can really make a difference if we work together.

With that, I want to invite you to check out the new forum at  There are over 2500 posts in covering almost 500 survival and preparedness topics, including getting spouses on board, firearms, religion and prepping, local meet-ups, and more.

What are your thoughts on the new site?  The new forum?  How about our mission statement?  Anything you’d add/remove?  Please share your thoughts by commenting below:


God bless and stay safe,
David Morris

P.S.  If you haven’t taken advantage of the $7 special this week on my Tactical Firearms Training Secrets, I encourage you to do so now.  This is an incredible book at an equally incredible price.




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Wild Edible Plants Can Save Your Life

by Survival Diva on July 26, 2012

As a kid I remember my grandmother telling me about the Great Depression and how she picked potatoes in the fields with her family for ten cents a day, and when food was scarce, they would pick dandelions and fry them in a pan. When I scrunched my face over the thought of eating dandelions, she shot me a serious look. “No, you don’t understand. They were good. People have to eat. Eating dandelions was filling, and just because they’re called weeds doesn’t mean they weren’t tasty.”

Many years later this came back to me when I went in search of a book on edible and medicinal wild plants. Because an edible plant book could save your life it’s worth considering including on in your 72 hour survival kit, car survival kit, bug out bag, GOOD bag, or INCH bag. For a detailed explanation of the difference between these emergency kits, read David’s article

I found two books; one on North American edible wild plants and the other more specific to my region. Both have taught me a lot over the years and have given me peace of mind. You might be surprised how many wild foods are available to you when you most need it. But, before we get started, if you plan to forage for food; a book on edible wild plants that will cost only a few dollars is a MUST. It will tell you what not to eat. Make sure you get a reference book that shows detailed, color photographs, because look-alike plants have the potential to offer life-sustaining nutrition, or they can make you deathly ill.

As a rule of thumb, in humid climates most edible plants will be found growing in the sun. In drier regions, you’ll find a higher concentration of wild foods growing near water. In northern regions, foraging for food becomes more difficult in winter.

It’ll be interesting to check out what grows in your area that may be looked upon as an annoying weed today that could become diner tomorrow. I’ll list a few here, but each region varies with regard to plant life. If possible, get a book on edible wild plants specific to your region. The list below is just food for thought–there are hundreds of wild, edible plants that grow in every climate zone. Always make sure you avoid wild plants that have been treated with pesticides! If you are taking prescription meds, research what natural foods, eaten in quantity, might negatively react with your medication.

Plants Have Many Uses

Wild plants have many uses besides life-sustaining nutrition and natural medicinal purposes. For instance, not only is the “fluff” of cattails nutritious, it can be used for tinder to start fires and can also be used as insulation. Milkweed down can also be used for insulation. Hardened sap from resinous trees can also be used to start a fire. Sassafras leaves make excellent insect repellant, as does burning cattail seed and its hair fibers. Camouflage dyes can be made by boiling onions for yellow dye, walnut hulls for brown dye, and pokeberries for purple dye. Stems from the nettle and milkweed, yucca plants, and the inner bark of the Linden Tree can be used to make cordage.

Medicinally, plants can be lifesavers

Treatment of Diarrhea can be made from the roots of Blackberries into a strong tea.

Fungal Treatment can be made from Acorns, Oak Bark, or Walnut leaves to treat ringworm and athlete’s foot.

To Control Blood Loss Use the leaves of Plantain, Yarrow, or Woundwort. Prickly Pear or Witch Hazel helps to shrink blood vessels.

Antiseptics can be made from the juice of a Wild Onion, or Garlic, or from the juice of Dock or Chickweed.

Fever-Reducers; Tea made from Willow Bark or Yarrow helps to reduce fevers. Willow Bark contains the raw component of aspirin.

Colds & Sore Throats can be improved with Plantain Leaves or Willow Bark. You can also make tea with Burdock Root, Mallow, or Mullein (both the flower & the root).

Inflammation can be remedied by making a poultice from Dock, Plantain, Chickweed, Willow Bark, Garlic or Sorrell.

Antihistamines are found in Jewelweed or Witch Hazel and will relieve insect bites, sunburn, and skin rashes from plants such as poison Ivy.

Sedatives can be made into a tea by using mint leaves or Passionflower Leaves.

Natures Pantry—Edible Wild Plants

Barrel Cactus: The pulp of a Barrel Cactus can be eaten raw or boiled.

Cattail: Grow in stagnant water and beside streams, lakes and bays. Every part of a cattail is edible. The shoots can be eaten raw. its pollen, the “Fluff” that looks like thick fingered spikes has a flavor similar to corn that is extremely nutritious. It can be mixed with water and baked or fried into patties, or it can be ground and used in place of flour.

Chickweed: Has a sweet, grassy taste. The entire plant can be eaten raw.

Clover that most of us battle with in our lawns is abundant with edible leaves that can be used in salads and is high in protein. Some may have trouble digesting them and will want to juice them instead. The heads of clover and the seed can be dried and used as a replacement for flour.

Conifer Trees: The young shoots at the tips of branches of Conifer Trees can be eaten raw. 

Cress: Often found in cities growing between cracks in cement or in yards and landscapes is a member of the mustard family and can be eaten raw or steamed.
Dandelion: Can be eaten raw or cooked by steaming or frying. Eaten raw, many prefer eating the flower which does not have a bitter flavor.
Dead-Nettle: Don’t let the name put you off. This plant is edible and has a slight mint flavor. It is often used for groundcover.
Deciduous Leaves: Leaves from the trees of Box Elder, Linden, Sassafras and Sourwood are excellent raw foods, and can be used for salads when the leaves are young.
Fireweed stems taste a lot like asparagus and can be pealed and eaten raw or boiled.
Flowers: Many flowers are edible and are flavorful when you eat the petals and not the bitter center. Look for Azalea, Daises, Daylilies, Honeysuckle and Violets.
Fruit & Berries: In cities and in the country, wild fruits such Apple, blueberry, Chokecherry (NEVER eat the pits—they contain cyanide which can be fatal), Elderberry (range in color from blue to black—NEVER eat red Elderberries, as they are poisonous), Gooseberry, Pear, Blackberry, grapes, Cranberry, Raspberry, Strawberry are just some of the fruits that grow wild and can be foraged for and eaten raw.
Grass: Shorter grass can be chewed and swallowed (depending upon your digestion—but beware of pesticide use), longer grass can be chewed and the pulp should be spit out. Our bodies can handle only so much roughage!
Grass Seed can be collected by shaking the tops over a piece of fabric, or a tarp, or clothing to be collected and eaten raw or ground into a flour consistency.
Henbit: Is a mild mint and can be eaten raw by plucking off the tops of the stems.
Juniper Trees grow either white or gray berries, depending upon the species, which are edible—but have a bitter taste. They can be eaten raw or sun dried to improve the flavor.
Lambs quarters is a weed that can be eaten raw, both the leaves and the seed. Its seed is high in protein
Laurel Cherry: Produce edible cherries once they have matured and softened and has begun to shrivel.
Lichens (AKA Moss) are edible once they are soaked in water to rid them of the natural, but strong, laxative they contain (or not if that’s what the doctor ordered—consult a natural herb site before hand). It can be eaten raw or dried and boiled.
Milkweed is valuable for its tasty seed pods, which can be picked mid-summer and boiled. The young leaves and stalks can be eaten raw, but have a bitter taste. You can boil them to improve their flavor.
Mushrooms are popular with just about everyone and grow wild and sprout, seemingly overnight in our yards and wooded lots. But some varieties are deadly! Take a book to identify which are edible and which aren’t and when in doubt…pass. The most popular edible varieties are: Morel, Puffballs, Shaggy Mane, Coral Fungi, Bearded Tooth, Oyster, Chanterelles, Boletes, Sulfur Shelf, and Hen-Of-The-Woods. Warning: Whatever you do, watch out for Amanitas that will kill you dead and it only takes one because they contain one of the deadliest poisons found in nature! If in doubt, don’t touch mushrooms that you can’t identify 100%. As an example, a Korean family in Washington mis-identified a mushroom that they thought they knew from home, had liver failure, and 4 out of the 5 had to undergo emergency transplants. Mushrooms are VERY powerful, as food, as herbal treatments, and as poisons.
Nettles: Yep, you heard right! Nettles are almost indestructible; therefore will be plentiful in a Schuster-hits-the-fan scenario. Pick while wearing gloves and juice them (the juice is safe) or dry them for use in tea. Some swear young leaves do not contain the sting of more mature nettles and are safe for salads, but I haven’t tested this theory and probably never will.
Pine Cones: The nuts found in pine cones are edible in the late summer and fall. Roast the cones in a fire, and break open to get to the nut.
Plantain: Best eaten by plucking the young leaves found in the center of the plant and can be eaten raw. Older leaves can be boiled to tenderize them.  You can also harvest string from the leaves and use individually or braid them into a cord.
Prickly Pear Cactus is not only a good food source, but they also contain water. The fruit of this cactus can be eaten raw.
Purslane is a weed with plump leaves that grows abundantly. It is nutritious and can be eaten raw.
Rhubarb is popular for just about everything, especially when combined with sweetener like sugar or honey, just make sure to discard the leaves because they contain toxins.
Silverberry: Are used as an ornamental plant for bushes and hedges. When fully ripe, the berries are edible. As with any berry, always consult an edible wild foods reference book. Some berries are poisonous!.
Sow Thistle: Are those prickly weeds found just about everywhere. Their roots can be eaten raw, boiled, or roasted. Their yellow flowers can be plucked and eaten raw, avoiding Sow Thistle’s bitter sap.
Water Lilly is edible. The roots and tubers can be eaten raw or can be boiled to remove their bitter taste.
Wheatgrass contains most vitamins and minerals necessary for human health and is considered a “whole” meal with complete protein. It contains Chlorophyll which builds the blood AND has calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and zinc.
Wild Onion sometimes found sprouting in lawns can be eaten raw and has the flavor of mild onion. It can be used in cooking in place of scallions.
Wild Rose; The flower can be eaten as well as the fruit (rose hips) which can be eaten raw and contains high concentrations of vitamin C.
Wood Sorrel: can be found in lawns and gardens , but grows wild as well. This plant can be eaten raw or boiled and has a tangy, refreshing flavor similar to Swiss Chard or cooked Spinach.
Yucca Plant: All species of the Yucca can be eaten raw or cooked along with the flower buds and stock.

~ ~ ~

Warning Watch out for the following red flags if you are unable to identify or are unsure of any wild plant: A milky or discolored sap; Any wild bean, bulb, or the seed found inside pods; A bitter or soapy taste; Plants with spines, fine hairs, or thorns; Foliage that mimics dill, carrot, parsnip, or parsley; Almond scent in woody parts or leaves: Any grain that has heads with pink, purple, or black spurs; Plants with a three leaf growth pattern.

~ ~ ~

Why not take a walk around your neighborhood or investigate your lawn to see what grows in your location that can be consumed or used for medicinal purposes in an emergency? It’ll be interesting to exchange notes on what people discover in different climate zones. For those who have studied wild edible foods/medicinal plants, please jump in and share your knowledge by commenting! You never know when someone may find themselves on an unexpected trek and will need to put your wisdom to good use.

David’s note: This is a topic that I’m passionate about and have foraged on a regular basis all over the country. While it’s very difficult in most areas to feed yourself with only foraged food, the ability to properly identify food in your environment is incredibly empowering.

Three things that you may want to consider doing, if it’s possible in your area, is to transplant and cultivate edible wild plants in your area to your yard or to a pot. It’s MUCH easier to grow plants that are able to grow wildly in your area than fight with plants that don’t like your climate or soil.

The second thing to consider if you find patches of highly desirable edible wild plants is to leave them in place, but fertilize them and/or add worms to the soil around them so that they’ll grow better. There are obvious potential issues with doing this if the plants are in a park, private property, or public property, so check your local laws before “helping” any plants.

And finally, if you find a wild plant that you can harvest the seeds from, you may want to take several and plant them near where the original plant is growing with the hope that if the ground supported one plant, it may support several.

Please share your favorite wild foods and wild plant uses by commenting below:

Until next week, God Bless & stay safe.


Survival Diva and David Morris


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Buying Bugout Property On The Cheap

July 19, 2012

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you this week by Jeff Anderson’s “Collapse Survival Secrets.” If you haven’t yet, I want to strongly suggest that you check it out. He’s slashed the price on it this week and is including “Flash Mob Survival” as a free bonus. With the sheer volume of […]

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DC Disaster Debacle and our Fragile Electrical Grid

July 12, 2012

I messed up!  If you’re looking for the “Buying Bugout Property On The Cheap” article, I sent the wrong link.  You want to go here: Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you this week by Jeff Anderson’s “Collapse Survival Secrets.” If you haven’t yet, I want to strongly suggest that you […]

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Get Started With Life-Saving Medical Supplies For $50

July 5, 2012

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by the family preparedness course. If you are looking for the FASTEST way to get your family prepared for disaster, this course can get you started in just a few minutes from now. To learn more, go >here<. We’ve been watching the events unfolding […]

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Banding Together For Survival

June 29, 2012

Survival Diva here. The comments you shared last week was incredible and went a long ways towards survival for many who visit Secrets Of Urban Survival. I mentioned upcoming posts to highlight the many aspects of survival and we’re launching it with banding together for survival. Before we dive in, it must be said not […]

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Five Types Of Looters You Must Prepare For

June 21, 2012

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, sponsored by “Tactical Firearms Training Secrets,” the critically acclaimed book by David Morris, featuring Dustin Ellermann, winner of Season 3 of History Channel’s “Top Shot,” demonstrating skills throughout.  You can buy the book or the Kindle edition on right now! It’s Survival Diva again with some food […]

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Grid-Down Water and Sewer

June 14, 2012

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by David Morris’ course. Survival Diva here…Prepping is a lot like putting together a puzzle: leave out a piece, and there’s bound to be trouble on down the line. If your preparedness plan hasn’t taken into consideration a grid-down scenario, you’d better reconsider. Most […]

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In The Trenches: Combat Food Storage Tips From a Pro

June 7, 2012

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by, the step-by-step online course that will get you prepared for short, medium, and long term breakdowns in civil order as quickly as humanly possible. (David’s note: This week, I want to introduce you to Barbara Fix, A.K.A., “The Survival Diva.” You’re going to […]

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Do People STILL Think You’re Paranoid For Preparing?

May 24, 2012

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by the Urban Survival Course and the ultra-fast preparedness course. This week, we’re going to talk about whether or not you’re paranoid for being a prepper. 🙂 Also, I’ll tell you about a special promotion that we’re doing with the Special Operations Warrior […]

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Raised Bed Gardening From Recycled Materials

May 17, 2012

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by the famous Urban Survival Playing Cards, which is a deck of playing cards with 52 tips, tricks, and tactics for surviving breakdowns in civil order after a disaster in a populated area. These are things that you’re likely to forget under pressure and having […]

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DHS Is Gaming Civil War…Are You?

May 10, 2012

There was some big news this week that I want to address about DHS “Preparing for Civil War.” In short, a highly respected security expert was recently approached by a DHS informant who told him that DHS is preparing for Civil War due to a collapse of the dollar, hyperinflation, and the resulting chaos that […]

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Food Independence (even if you don’t have a green thumb or time)

May 3, 2012

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by my new book, “Tactical Firearms Training Secrets,” which you can buy on right now for less than $10! Thanks to those of you who bought the book last week and thanks especially to those of you who bought 10 & 15 copies at […]

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Tactical Firearms Training Secret #1-Airsoft

April 26, 2012

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by my recently released book, “Tactical Firearms Training Secrets.” As any shooter can attest, ammo prices have shot through the roof over the last few years. I went to an indoor range near my house a couple of weeks ago with 1 gun to test/confirm […]

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Generating Water Out Of Thin Air (Atmospheric Water Generation)

April 19, 2012

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by my course, a 6 module on-demand preparedness course that will show you the shortcuts, tactics, techniques, and procedures to get your family prepared for breakdowns in infrastructure due to natural and manmade disasters as fast as humanly possible. In addition to having a desiccant […]

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Caches for Tornadoes and Other Disasters

April 5, 2012

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by my re-released OnDemand video preparedness course. To start with, I want to wish you a Happy Easter.  Of all the holidays, this is the one that I’m most thankful for.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend and safe travels if you’re moving […]

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How YOU Can Help Stop The Next Terrorist Attack

March 29, 2012

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, sponsored by  They’re the one survival tool that EVERY bug-out bag, 72 hour kit, GOOD bag, and  INCH bag and vehicle should have. The United States has woken up to the threat of foreign terrorists since the 9/11 attacks, but most, if not all, of the emphasis here in […]

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Improvised Weapon You Can Find Almost Anywhere

March 22, 2012

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, sponsored by Jeff Anderson’s course on surviving home invasions, “Home Defense Tactics.”  In it, Jeff talks about how to avoid being targeted, psychological strategies and tactics based on who your attackers are, hiding weapons, and improvised weapons.  With that in mind, I wanted to write about improvised weapons […]

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Glocks, Grip Angles, and Picking Handguns for Combat & Self Defense

March 16, 2012

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter.  I’ve got limited internet connectivity this week, so this week I’m not going to talk about anything current…simply a timeless piece of self defense wisdom that’s pure meat. I like Glocks.  That statement is guaranteed to divide the audience.  If you didn’t know, Glocks are a polarizing brand in firearms.  Like […]

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Solar Flares, Coronal Mass Ejections, And Electromagnetic Pulses

March 8, 2012

Welcome to the March 9th Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by the Urban Survival course…a 12 week course that will teach you practical and pragmatic strategies for preparing for breakdowns in civil order after disasters, regardless of where you live. This week, we got a reminder of the fact that we’re in the […]

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Internet Trunk Lines Cut and Real Inflation Over 8 Percent

March 1, 2012

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by the famous Urban Survival Playing Cards, available at They’re not only fully functioning playing cards, but they also include 52 urban survival tips, tricks, and techniques that you’re likely to forget in a stressful survival situation. Before we get started, I just want […]

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Picking the Ideal Permanent Retreat Location

February 24, 2012

This week’s newsletter is going to be quite a bit different than normal…it’s going to primarily be a conversation among readers (and myself) and it’s an article that you’re going to want to come back to throughout the coming days to read and reply to the comments and responses. One of the most common lines […]

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Balancing OPSEC and Resilient Communities

February 17, 2012

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by the Preparedness Course…designed to help you create a plan to survive wherever you spend the majority of your time, even if that happens to be a non-ideal location. Many people who have been watching “Doomsday Preppers” on National Geographic are wondering why in the heck these […]

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Review of Episode 3 of Doomsday Preppers on Nat Geo

February 14, 2012

Episode 3 of Doomsday Preppers had an interesting twist to it…NGC said that they’d examined cultures from around the globe and that Doomsday Preppers was a part of their “ongoing look at American outliers.” Outliers? Really? I guess it’s crazy, in hurricane country to prepare for hurricanes, in blizzard country to prepare for blizzards, in […]

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Preparing for Hand Sanitizer Resistant Viruses

February 9, 2012

This week, I was reminded about the importance of being able to self-support after a breakdown in the supply chain from a completely unexpected source…the cruise lines. You see, hundreds of passengers on two cruise ships (one had outbreaks on 2 cruises in a row) contracted a norovirus that caused extreme “digestive system distress”. This […]

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Review of Episode 2 of Doomsday Preppers on Nat Geo

February 7, 2012

Episode 2 of Doomsday Preppers featured 4 more preppers, starting with David Sarti from Nashville, TN. David’s main concern is electromagnetic pulses. David does a regular preparedness video at David has enough grain for 1 year for 7 people and, interestingly enough, he uses hand warmers as oxygen absorbers. He lives on a farm […]

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Review of Doomsday Preppers on Nat Geo Channel Episode 1

February 7, 2012

In the first episode, Doomsday Preppers interviews 3 preppers. First up, Paul and Gloria Range from Floresville, TX. They’re retired and are full-time preppers, spending up to 50 hours per week. Some notables: -They’ve got 50,000 pounds of food -Their house is made out of 9 40 foot long steel shipping containers -In the show, […]

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Be Your Own Bodyguard, Pt2 of 2

February 2, 2012

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by my famous and popular course–a vital resource for anyone who wants to prepare for disasters and who thinks they might have to interact with other people after a disaster (yes…this means you : ).  This week, we’re going to do the second of a […]

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Preparedness Lessons from Executive Protection (pt 1 of 2)

January 26, 2012

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by my famous and popular course–a vital resource for anyone who wants to prepare for disasters and who thinks they might have to interact with other people after a disaster (yes…this means you :).  This week, we’re going to do the first of a […]

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This One Self-Defense Mistake Could Get You Killed

January 19, 2012

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter. This week, we’re going to talk about the problems of hostile confrontation in a disaster situation as well as a couple of tricks to keep firearm components from working their way loose and folding knives opening smoothly. There was a story that came out of San Antonio this […]

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Why You Should Own a Silencer (Suppressor)

January 12, 2012

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by Jeff Anderson’s Social Chaos Survival Guide. If you order it before Saturday, you’ll also receive a copy of his soon-to-be-released “250 Collapse Secrets.” Social Chaos Survival Guide is a great book that you’ll be very glad to have on your shelf. Learn more now […]

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Geocaching as a Fun Family Preparedness Activity

January 5, 2012

From time to time, I like to share ideas for fun activities that you can do on your own or with other members of your family that have a “hidden” preparedness component. Geocaching is an activity that fits into that category incredibly well, and it can be as much pure-fun or as serious as you […]

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How to Stretch Your Food Storage

December 30, 2011

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by the Urban Survival Course and Hopefully you had a wonderful Christmas and have had a chance for some down time between Christmas and New Year’s. Both last year and this year, my article on Mary and Joseph’s journey brought up a couple […]

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Local Day After Christmas Sale Idea For Preppers

December 26, 2011

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.  Thanks to all who sent me such heartfelt emails and notes.  I’m trying to spend as little time in front of my computer as possible for a few days, but I wanted to get this quick TIMELY tip out to you today. It’s a tip that I’ve suggested for […]

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Ancient Christmas Bugout Wisdom

December 23, 2011

This week’s newsletter is on the lighter side, and is brought to you by my Fastest Way to Prepare survival course. The core of it comes from an article I wrote last Christmas called “Mary and Joseph’s 90 Mile Bugout” that I added to this year.  Even though it is light hearted, there are some […]

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Supply Chain Breakdowns In The News & Last Minute Christmas

December 15, 2011

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter. With the threat of yet another Government shut down over spending playing out like a Kabuki dance in Washington, I thought you’d find this ‘serious spoof’ informative… As you watch it, know that it’s not real, but it could be all too soon: This week’s issue is […]

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Urban Survival Gardening After Disasters

December 8, 2011

Welcome to the December 9th Urban Survival Newsletter! In a moment we’re going to talk about survival gardening after disasters. But first I want to make sure you heard about the unexpected way to save your retirement that I mentioned a few days ago. With all the financial disasters in the last few years, many […]

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Prepping Your Car For Winter & The MAD Euro Bailout

December 1, 2011

This week’s Urban Survival Newsletter is sponsored by my Urban Survival Playing Cards. These aren’t simply playing cards…they’re a powerful survival tool for you and your loved ones to use if you need to survive in an urban area. Last year Glenn Beck and Stu loved them and said they’d make great gifts. Get yours […]

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Finding Other Preppers & Flu Prevention

November 10, 2011

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by my new Fastest Way To Prepare survival course. I want to start off by wishing all veterans happy Veterans’ Day and all Leathernecks a belated happy birthday.  I’m reminded on a daily basis how fortunate I am to have generations of people who came before […]

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Stealth Holster, & “Hidden” Water

November 3, 2011

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter.  This week, I’m going to tell you about a great concealment holster, as well as some ways to find “hidden” water on a large scale. But first, recently I told you about a Maryland doctor’s radical retirement plan and got positive feedback, so I thought I’d mention it […]

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Will Occupy Wall Street Turn Violent…REALLY Violent?

October 27, 2011

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by my monthly print newsletter, The Lamplighter Report and the Social Chaos Survival Guide, a book by my friend, Jeff Anderson, that goes in depth into how to survive riots.  It’s great information to have in this day of flash mobs, flash riots, and general […]

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Prepare Alone or as a Group?

October 20, 2011

This week’s newsletter is sponsored by a Maryland doctor with an unconventional retirement plan.  If you meet 2 simple requirements, he can show you how to live a rich retirement with just $10,000 in savings.  Click here for full details… One of the early realizations that people have as they’re starting to get prepared […]

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Solar Storms and Nukes Hidden in Container Ships

October 13, 2011

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, sponsored by my new survival plan. It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about solar flares, Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs), and Electromagnetic Pulses (EMPs), and I wanted to touch on them again today. You’re going to want to read today’s article so that you know what they are, and […]

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San Diego Power Outage-Occupy Wall Street-Anonymous Hacktivists

October 6, 2011

Last week’s newsletter on firearms confiscations and FEMA camps created a firestorm of comments.  It was interesting to see people passionately criticizing me for not taking the threat seriously enough while, at the same time, people on the other end of the spectrum said I was “fear mongering” by even talking about it.  Good thing […]

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FEMA Detention Camps & Gun Confiscation

September 29, 2011

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by Jeff Anderson’s Social Chaos Survival Guide. Here’s a question that I get fairly often: “There’s a violent knocking at door followed by command to open door and evict the premises by at least 5 uniformed armed military personal (not necessarily U.S. troops) possibly United […]

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Using Close Calls To Spur You To Action

September 22, 2011

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, sponsored by an intriguing Stansberry Research report that reveals why ‘source rocks’ are the most profitable gold investments. Previous gains from source rocks have been an astounding 100,000% and 99,800%. Could it be true? Click here to learn more: I just got back from speaking at the […]

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“Prepping” on a Budget

September 15, 2011

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by Greg Schmidt’s You Are Prepared. Urban Survival Skills You Can Learn When Money’s Tight Before I talk about what we’ll cover this week, I wanted to let you know about Greg Schmidt’s tell-all preparedness presentation. Greg is the brother of my good friend and […]

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Top 5 Items for Urban Survival Situations

September 8, 2011

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter. Before I answer a great questions for a reader, I wanted to share an eye-opening “Speech” by an Obama impersonator that is sending shock waves through the financial community. Keep in mind, this is fiction, done by an impersonator. But still, it could forever change how you think […]

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Multi-use survival and preparedness items

September 1, 2011

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by my new Fastest Way to Prepare survival course. Even though Hurricane Irene “fizzled out” last week, it still managed to go down as one of the 10 most expensive disasters in US history. To add insult to injury, since the winds died down, but […]

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Walled Neighborhoods After TEOTWAWKI and What Happened to Gold?

August 25, 2011

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by my new survival training course, “Fastest Way To Prepare”.  This week, we’re going to talk about a slightly “dark” topic…the role I see walled neighborhoods playing after a breakdown in civil order. We’re also going to discuss why the gold roller coaster happened this […]

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Lasers, Shotguns, & Dog Food, Oh My!

August 18, 2011

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by my new Survival Course. This week, we’re going to talk about some preparedness and survival myths that many people have bought into that could get them seriously injured or killed including “lasers and pump shotguns”, “Wasp & Hornet Spray”, “Rappelling With Paracord”, and “Dog […]

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The TIME Component of Survival and Preparedness

August 11, 2011

This has been a crazy, but not surprising 7 days. Riots in England, S&P downgrade, an X7 Solar Flare and subsequent Coronal Mass Ejection from the sun, gold bouncing up and down like a yo-yo, silver barely moving, and the stock market drop has caused households to lose approximately $2 TRILLION in wealth since August […]

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The difference between a real survival plan and being prepared for ‘anything’

August 9, 2011

Have you seen the rioting and looting in London in the last few days? Most of our media in America isn’t covering it much so you may not have heard about it, but the truth is it is yet another reminder that society can get turned upside down in the blink of an eye.  Here’s […]

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Debt Ceiling, Chicken Little, and the Collapse of the Dollar

August 4, 2011

Wow!  I feel so much better now that we’ve raised the debt ceiling and averted default on US debt!  This is a shallow attempt at therapeutic black humor.  You know, the kind that you use when things are really bad in an attempt to lighten the mood.  This week was somewhat of a watershed moment […]

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Norway, media lies, and the consequences of not being prepared

July 28, 2011

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Urban Survival Newsletter, sponsored this week by and Target Focus Training. Last Friday, a mentally deranged individual in Norway named Anders Behring Breivik detonated an explosive at a government building in Oslo, killing 8 and then killed 68 people at a youth camp on a local […]

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Surviving Extreme Heat and Power Outages

July 21, 2011

We’re to the part of the summer when the heat seems to be one of the big news stories. Conveniently, everyone seems to forget that it gets hot EVERY summer, so it makes good news. Along with heat comes power outages, primarily from increased air conditioner use. Several cities are experiencing localized and/or regional brownouts […]

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Survival Fiction and Debt Ceiling Myths

July 15, 2011

I picked up a novel awhile back at Barnes & Noble. I need to preface telling you what the title by saying that I got it for purely entertainment purposes. I didn’t expect to learn anything from it, and my expectations have pleasantly been met. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I simply wanted a […]

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Business Continuity and Personal Preparedness

July 7, 2011

This week, we’re going to talk about preparedness from a slightly different angle that’s widely accepted in business circles—business continuity plans.  Whether you own a business or not, everyone has the “business of running your household.” This has been front and center for me for the last couple of weeks because of a rash of […]

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This Week’s Natural Manmade And Economic Threats

July 1, 2011

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by the Urban Survival Course and the, my monthly print preparedness newsletter. I want to start off by wishing everyone a Happy Independence Day and welcome all of our new Sovereign Man readers this week. Whether you are new to the Urban Survival […]

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10 Minute Bug-Out Drill

June 24, 2011

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, sponsored by the Urban Survival Course and, my monthly EMP proof print newsletter. This week, we’re going to go over another fun preparedness activity that you can do alone or with your family…bug-out drills. A short time back, I decided to run through a solo 10 […]

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After A Disaster, Who Will You Be?

June 16, 2011

After a Disaster, Who Will You Be? I really appreciated reading the comments and feedback last week on “Charity vs. Self Preservation.” It was very interesting to see how people aligned in their desire to be prepared for upcoming disasters had such different views.  If you didn’t get a chance to read the article or […]

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Charity or Self Preservation After a Disaster

June 9, 2011

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, sponsored by the Fastest Way To Prepare Urban Survival Course. Because of things that I’ve written in the past on the importance of operational security, sometimes it’s assumed that I think that people should stockpile supplies, keep them secret, and NEVER share them in a survival situation. As I […]

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Tornadoes Caches Obama vs Texas and SOWF

May 26, 2011

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend. I’m so thankful to all of you who served our country, and thankful to those of you who lost friends and loved ones in the service of our country. We’re doing something special for Memorial Day that I’ll tell you about in a minute, but first… On Saturday, we […]

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Will You Be Collateral Damage?

May 19, 2011

We’ll continue our series on fun activities that you can do with friends and family to get better prepared next week, but this week there’s a timely series of events happening that caught my attention. In the continual debate between whether you’re better off being in a populated area or an isolated rural area during […]

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Obstacle and Adventure Racing as a Survival Tool

May 12, 2011

For the next couple of newsletters, we’re going to talk about some activities that are both helpful for preparedness AND are fun activities to do alone, with your family, and/or with friends. One side of me thought that this was the wrong time to be covering something light hearted. There are many reasons to be […]

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Don’t Let Osama Distract You

May 6, 2011

I was not only excited to get the news about Osama being killed on Sunday night, but as I said earlier this week, it was a great time to be at the Pentagon. The trip went well, but it was only a launching point and I’ve got a LOT more work ahead. Back to Osama…I […]

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Bin Laden’s Dead

May 2, 2011

I woke up this morning to see a cryptic text on my phone from a buddy at the Pentagon telling me to “check the news”.  I figured something major must have happened, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the news was that Bin Laden got shot in the head by Navy SEALS last night and his body unceremoniously dumped […]

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Time to Batten Down the Hatches?

April 28, 2011

I’ve been on the road for most of the last 2 weeks and was fortunate enough to miss out on hearing the news for several days. To start with, my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone effected by the tornadoes and storms in the southern US. As I got caught up, it has been […]

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Bugging Out and Strategic Relocation

April 21, 2011

Welcome to the April 22nd edition of the Urban Survival Newsletter. Before I get into what we’re going to talk about this week, I wanted to share a few timely thoughts on disaster preparedness from my friends over at, where I am a regular contributor. Disaster Preparedness Equals Self-Reliance… Be Ready to Go No […]

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Prepper Skill Training Resources

April 15, 2011

Last week, I asked for your help in crafting an argument to present to DHS and local law enforcement to help them more accurately differentiate between preppers andpotential domestic terrorists. More than 160 of y’all wrote in and shared your thoughts and ideas on how to accomplish this! I’m thrilled with the response and appreciate […]

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Preppers, Survivalists, and Domestic Terrorists?

April 7, 2011

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by the Urban Survival Course and Tim Larkin’s Target Focus Training.  This week, we’re going to talk about a very sensitive topic:  How to tell the difference between preppers, survivalists, and domestic terrorists…and I’m going to tell you how to get free access to the […]

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Preparedness for Road Warriors and Vacationers

April 1, 2011

I’ve received several emails from readers since the Japan earthquake and subsequent tsunamis about what I carry when I travel. Some people get to the point in their preparations where they never want to leave the comfort and safety of home. There’s nothing wrong with this if it works for you, but my wife and […]

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Survival Calorie Demands, Predicting Earthquakes, and Hydroponics

March 24, 2011

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Urban Survival Newsletter, sponsored by Secret Survival Garden and our monthly print newsletter, the Lamplighter Report.  It seems like I get into conversations about the number of calories that people burn through in survival situations on a fairly regular basis.  The normal line of thinking is that since […]

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