Using Close Calls To Spur You To Action

by David Morris on September 22, 2011

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I just got back from speaking at the Taipan Publishing Group’s Survival Summit in Las Vegas. They put together a solid event and had a great bunch of people. We had some fun with shirts from and I got to answer some questions at the end, but wish I would have had time for more. Welcome to those of you who were at the summit who are joining us for the first time.

Back in March, I talked about how the last 3 times the comet Elenin lined up with the Earth and Sun, that there were major earthquakes in Haiti, New Zealand, and Japan and that I was waiting to plan any trips for the last half of September at the time. I didn’t know if there was a causal or coincidental relationship between Elenin and the earthquakes, but I wanted to wait and see before planning on being away from home.

Time passed, Elenin got closer, and it became more and more evident that it was going to be a non-event, so we did the Vegas trip. Ironically, it’s believed to have been hit by a solar flare/coronal mass ejection from a recent solar storm and is rapidly breaking up.

This has been interesting to watch.  The fact that 3 major earthquakes happened when Elenin was lined up with the Earth and Sun was hard to dismiss off hand.  In addition, the incredibly unprofessional and condecending way that NASA dismissed the theories, seemed to be more like calculated deflections from a White House press secretary rather than the scientific arguments I would have liked to see from NASA.  In any case, I’m glad that it’s not going to be a problem.

Back in March, I also said that the theory that Elenin might cause earthquakes in September wouldn’t really affect us between March and September, no matter how likely or unlikely it was. There were a few reasons for this…first, if it destroyed life on Earth, we’re right with God so that won’t really be a problem for us. Second, we knew that if we got overly excited about every possible disaster that came on to our radar, we’d probably die of heart attacks before ever being affected by a disaster. And third, we knew that the general preparedness steps that we’ve taken would help us regardless of what kind of a disaster happened or when it happened and that the potential threat of Elenin was just one more potential life changing disaster to add to the dozens of others that I continually monitor.

There’s still a LOT of interesting things going on from now through the end of the month, but only time will tell whether it’s a bunch of coincidences or something else. With everything going on in Denver especially, reading up on theories is one of those things that you can spend hours of time on (that you’ll never get back) and not get an inch closer to your preparedness goals.

This brings up an important lesson of preparedness…single event based preparedness seldom pays off.

What I mean by this is that if you prepare with a fury for a single disaster—like Y2K, Hurricane Irene, or Elenin—and it comes and goes without ending or upending your world, there’s a tendency to feel a little bit let down. It’s like preparing for a game or a fight and having it canceled minutes before it was supposed to start.

In addition, panicked buying for a single disaster usually ends up having multiple gaping holes, like 6 months of food and 6 days of water or 6 months of water and food and a generator to run the whole house, but only half a bottle of critical medication.

I DO still use impending potential disasters to help me get prepared, but it’s in a controlled manner.

As an example, I used a blizzard a couple of years ago to add another set batteries to my deep cycle battery bank. (As a note, don’t hook up deep cycle batteries that were purchased at different times. Switch back and forth if you need to.) I used the threat of approaching wildfires as a impetus to verify that we had supplies sufficiently distributed between locations so that we wouldn’t be wiped out by a single fire. I used the threat of rolling blackouts to upgrade my inverter from a modified sine wave to a pure sine wave inverter & fill the empty spaces in my fridge/freezer with water.

You get the point. Basically, I looked at my list of preparedness things that I wanted to do at some point in the future, figured out which one would have the biggest impact if the impending disaster actually did happen that I had the time/money/space to do, and I used the disaster to create the urgency in my mind to get it done.

It’s also wise to use “almost” disasters to help get you in motion, like the San Diego power outages that knocked out power for 5 million people. I don’t know how much more of a wake up call people need…in an instant, people lost electricity, water, the ability to buy with credit cards, get cash from ATMs, and there was a 1.9 million gallon sewage spill that made water that some may have planned on drinking in a disaster undrinkable. If you live in San Diego, I HOPE you’re redoubling your preparedness efforts.

The key is that I use my long term list of things that I want to get done for general preparedness that I had already come up with when there wasn’t an impending disaster instead of making spur of the moment decisions.

So, I encourage you to do the same thing. Make a list of the skills/items you would need to feel prepared for a range of disasters lasting a particular length of time and then use events in the news, natural disasters, accidents, and man-made disasters to give you the additional boost to get things knocked out.

That’s it for this week. I know it’s shorter than normal, but it’s also a VERY important concept to get your head around. Questions? Clarifications? Personal stories? Please share them by commenting below:

God Bless and stay safe,

David Morris.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Steve
September 23, 2011 at 7:37 am

I agree, that prepare for a single event will catch you off guard. I subscribe to the Navy Seals way of doing things. Plan for everything that can possibly go wrong. Prepare for that.


+2 Vote -1 Vote +1texan
September 23, 2011 at 8:00 am

in someone’s book, i came across the idea of ” normalacy bias. ” As in yesterday was fine, today is going great, therefore, tomorrow will be ok. Single events in the news help to keep us focused ( or refocused ) on being prepared, but it’s a constant battle against complacency. As in sports, much of the struggle is between the ears.
Well written articles. Keep up the good work.


Vote -1 Vote +1Murray Nabors
September 23, 2011 at 8:03 am


I am Murray Nabors, Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Missouri Western State University. I am the host of a weekly talk radio show on The name of my show is “Achieving Your Dreams in a Crazy World.” We chat about things that keep people awake at night including the economy, cancer, health, children out of control, energy supply, rogue asteroids, inflation, and the like. Recently I’ve had guests an economist who talked about inflation, author Dr. Bernie Siegel, author Michael Losier, and integrative physician and supplement maker, Dr. Issac Eliaz.

I’ve very much enjoyed your book and newsletter and think my listeners would profit from your advice about survival in these difficult times–the “new normal.”

I would very much appreciate a 15-50 minute phone conversation with you about what you think is headed down the pike and how my listeners can best prepare.

The interview would be positive, and supportive of your ideas and mission. The idea would be to promote your products and philosophy to my listeners and to give them a source of additional information.

I’m at [email protected] or 816-244-0354 (cell).

Murray Nabors


Vote -1 Vote +1Joyce from Loris
September 23, 2011 at 8:18 am

Hi David. Thanks for the article. I always learn something from your newsletter. I just wanted to ask you a question. I recently watched a series of videos about a man named John R. Moore and his theories of “things to come”. I wondered if you, too, had seen these and your reaction to them. They are scary, especially considering that I live near the coast of South Carolina. Hope you will have the time to respond.
Thanks so much


Vote -1 Vote +1joe
September 23, 2011 at 8:28 am

Hey, thanks for the great info. I must ask though, besides the terror drill in co., Whats going on in denver? Thanks, Joe.


Vote -1 Vote +1brescon
September 23, 2011 at 8:29 am

Hi Dave,

can you alert us to any other “prep” conferences / expos planned for the rest of the year? I was every dissapointed I couldn’t get to the denver expo. I even have a son who lives there but the timing was bad. Is there a website for these?




+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Tankster
September 23, 2011 at 9:04 am

Elenin is disintegrating as we speak, its 5000 times more likely the AQ members can be coming into the US from mexico, lock and load


Vote -1 Vote +1Bobbie
September 23, 2011 at 12:10 pm



Vote -1 Vote +1Dan
September 23, 2011 at 12:48 pm

I was on campus when the lights went out in San Diego. Everybody got a text telling them to go home, classes were cancelled for the rest of the day. If there’s a mantra that I’d like to suggest to your readers if I might, it is this; “what good is it to you if you don’t have it with you?” When the power went out all the registers were siezed tight. If you didn’t have it you couldn’t get it. Money couldn’t buy it. You’ve better have enough gas to get home through gridlock traffic, and that’s if the roads are intact.
I’ve got to give credit where credit’s due. Mr. Morris, amongst others, insistance on physical conditioning as a survival tool I thought was at least a little overstated. I didn’t regret it when I was passing gridlocked cars walking home on foot. I can only imagine that’d be more important if/when I got back to my apartment and had to clear debris to get to supplies.
Another item I’d like to share is, don’t just crank up the generator, turn on the radio & fire up the grill when you get home unless you want people showing up like you’re the only guy on the block with a pool in summer..
I used it as a suprise earthquake drill. I came out OK. So did people who didn’t prepare. It wasn’t an emergency, it was an inconvenience. Hopefully it was a wake-up call for those who didn’t prepare.
I wrote more about this on “the five most important items” page of this blog, if you’re intrested.
Anyway, thanks again Mr. Morris!
Justin Case


Vote -1 Vote +1juan o aguirre jr
September 23, 2011 at 2:00 pm

steve is right do the navy seal way prepare for every contigency under the sun so when the shit hits the fan it wont take long to get ready for the senario. one example here in el paso texas we had a winter storm and hard freeze of north eastern united states weather which is hardly ever happens here in west texas and el paso was caught with its under were around its ankles and our stupid mayor say i cant come back to el paso i am to busy in austin what a f%*(&( joke so i went into survial mode and put the water to boil and started up the generaters in the garage with the door open to let out the exaust fumes and we were back up and running in 20 minutes but stayed and sleped in the den for the next two days and family showed up and it turned into a camping trip indoors point being when you think like a navy seal your chance of survival goes up 95 percent so most fools who depend on the govt are as dead as a pound of hambeger meat patty and whe the cdc wanting to prepare people for the zombie apocalypse i am 20 steps ahead of you to and with the walking dead season 2 coming up i will be dvr the programs to learn more so see you later all the prepers here in the united states from a prepper here in el paso texas


Vote -1 Vote +1Peter D Sowatskey
September 23, 2011 at 6:20 pm

The website is being developed. I’m a writer, (on Kindle) and often stress survival situations in my stories. I’m 72 and prepared for Y2K, seriously. More as an exercise than any real threat. I came from a really poor childhood, subsistance crop farmer/coal miner father who had two sunstrokes cranking a Fordson tractor–crippled him. So, life was a survival situation, all the time. One can get by on very little, if the spirit doesn’t falter. Important to remember that corn and beans add up to a complete protien. Just as good as meat. Quinoa (South American grain-Inca’s magic grain- is supposed to be a complete protien, also), which kept their civilization alive. Think long term simple, and add the nice trappings as you go along.

Glad to hear from anyone.



Vote -1 Vote +1David Turner
September 23, 2011 at 6:30 pm

What is going on in Denver? I have a daughter, son in law and two grandsons in Co.
David T.


Vote -1 Vote +1Joe
September 23, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Did I miss something? Whats up with Denver activities? I live in the burbs of Denver! lol


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
September 25, 2011 at 7:52 pm

FEMA disaster drills


Vote -1 Vote +1Sean
September 24, 2011 at 6:52 am

I thoroughly enjoy reading your newsletter. Keep up the great work.



Vote -1 Vote +1Bill
September 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm

There is no need to GUESS at the effects of a comet, or any other heavenly body whose mass is even approximately known. Newton’s law of gravitation (the inverse square law) has been around since the 1700s.

There was a crappy book of pseudoscience out a decade or so ago, called, as I recall, “The Jupiter Effect.” It concerned the alleged effect the planets would have on earth when most of them were all lined up in a nearly straight line. Of course, the predicted catastrophes never took place — and COULDN’T have. A scientist who did the math demonstrated that the change in gravitational pull on the earth was about like the change in gravity’s pull on you when you go from the 2nd floor to the 1st floor of a building.

I never heard of the comet in question, but the gravitational pull of ANY comet (as opposed to something as near and massive as earth’s moon) is going to have a NEGLIGIBLE effect on us.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
September 25, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Well Bill, that “it’s obvious” dismissive attitude is exactly what was so frustrating about NASA’s comments on Elenin. They never addressed the odds of major earthquakes happening 3 times in a row when Elenin, Earth, and the Sun were in alignment…they just flippantly dismissed the possibility that there was ANY chance of something happening the 4th time.


Vote -1 Vote +1rick kates
September 27, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Hey Dave

Really appreciate all of your newsletters and also your book. And I have a question for you.
My wife and I live in an older house, that has no bathtub, just a shower. Well today after work,
while I was shaving I had to urinate and then was going to take a shower. Well long story short,
I just urinated in the shower, then I jumped in to clean up. In my military days many of us
would do both at the same time, as we were taught that urine could kill some foot fungus.
Which got me to thinking. In a SIP situation instead of using the toilet for urinating or going outside
which may not be feasible to whatever the situation may be. Why not just use the shower for that purpose instead of the toilet.
I know I can make the toilet flush by both methods of putting water in the tank and also dumping
water in the bowl which will cause a vacuum and flush this way. But this would eat up my stored
water supply, but using this method of the shower drain would make water supply last longer.
All we would have to do I think to help with smell is to pour bleach or other cleaners down
the shower drain. And we have adequate supplys of water and bleach for purification and other
cleaners on hand. We live in a small town of around 2000 to 3500 people so we would have some time before
sewage system would back up and cause other problems. Also we have a medical toilet we obtained when
my wife had both hips replaced, whic we plan on using with trash bags and five gallon bucket for toilets
which could be dumped outside if possible. Also we have on hand supplies of baby wipes hand sanitizer
to clean our bodies with. Many sites talk ablut prepping for disaster but many do not talk about
the basic’s for hygiene and body waste, but at least in your course you do. so I wanted to hear your thoughts
on our plans and ideas.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1LiLBKP
October 3, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Once you realize the dangers facing America it changes your mental outlook. Learning to be prepared is a mindset. We are learning to live the lifestyle that was custom for our ancestors. We have grown up with the technology that allowed us to simpily everything in our life. Now we must look at every area of our life with the thought of surviving. Considering whether or not our ideas will aide us in our ability to become more self-sufficient. I find it helpful to keep a list (purse) of items that are of high priority. My lists covers all areas from foods, tools, to medicine. When out shopping or surfing the net I pick up those needed items when they are on sell. I also shop at the local flea market, craigslist, and yard sales. I found a great deal on (5 gal. @ $3, and 55 gal. @ $15), food grade barrels that were previously used to hold Dr. Pepper syrup. Not long ago I would have walked by the barrels never noticing them. Now that preparation is always on my mind I notice things I would have never seen before. Using an impending diaster as a movitator to prepare is an excellent way to assist you in developing the prepardness mindset.


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