Saturday, February 13, 2010

When the Levee Breaks...and a Group Order...

Led Zeppelins rendition of the famous blues song..."When the Levee Breaks" is about the Great Mississippi flood of 1927...which is touted as being the most destructive river flood in US history. If you can keep your rockin' out down to a minimum and really think about the lyrics...they are pretty sobering. It is the soliloquy of a poor misery over losing his home...way of life...and love.

While we can feel bad for the man and the circumstances he found himself in...the fact that he was in them should come as no surprise. We might be prone to scoff at the stupidity of the little piggy who built his house out of straw and then had it blown down by the wolf...and yet we in the US do the same thing. We do not generally build our homes suited to the environment and possible disasters...and then we pay for it sooner or later.

Here are a couple of examples...

The Hollywood hills...where the movie stars build their huge multimillion dollar homes...are covered with chaparral. The leaves on chaparral plants contain many flammable substances, such as oils, fats, resins, alcohols, and terpens that actually encourage fire. Every once and the natural life cycle of these plants...they will burst into flames and spread to what is around them. And chaparral burns HOT!! The wind whips over the hills and as there is no structure to impede it's blow...the the homes are consumed.


In other countries that have the Phillipines in the photo...they do not try to lift up their puny arm to try to stop natures course...they simply build their homes on stilts. Throughout our would be a surprise to see a home on stilts...we build levee's to keep the water out and put our homes flat on the ground...and then mourn when our home on a flood plain is filled with water.  Then point fingers at someone for their ineptitude for letting it happen.  Such has certainly been the story of those who battled Hurricane Katrina. While I am not advocating that we all have stilt homes...I am saying that we should know the risks associated with where and how we build...and locally we do have risks.

Sacramento...the Next Katrina

A while back...the history channel did a piece called "Sacramento...the Next Katrina".  The basic thrust of the show was to make the case that we in the Sacramento region are the most likely...of any other place in the have a Hurricane Katrina type flooding disaster.  Not that it would come because of a hurricane...but because of our failing levees letting water through during excessive rain or an earthquake.

This threat actually spurned the actions of Governor Schwarzenegger to declare a State of Emergency for California's Levee System. He said that "extreme peril to the safety of persons and property exist within the California levee system". Read closely what the California Department of Water Resources had to say!  While levee work has been done since that time...they are in no way impervious to breach.  Perhaps one day...if Arnold is still Governor...he will share one of the biggest "I TOLD YOU SO's" in US history.

Preparing for Flooding

Take the time to read and obey the instructions on this free pamphlet "So you live behind a levee" that is published by the American Society of Civil Engineers. It will help you get prepared. You might also learn from the people of Katrina...and avoid making the same mistakes.  Like not having an emergency evacuation pack filled with supplies and a way to get water!

When surveyed...those that went through Katrina said that the two things they worried about the most were medical care...and drinking water.  If you recall...most had all the water in the world at their feet...but not a drop to drink.  Their water supply had been compromised and the streets were filled with water that was a mixture of sewage and who knows what else.  There was only so much water that a person could carry when evacuating...and after that was used up...many went thirsty.  People fought over water...children cried for water...they were helpless.

"You could filter raw sewage and drink water cleaner than bottled water!"

That is what the people at Sawyer told me today on the phone about their Zero point two water filters.  Water filtration technology justs get better and better.  I have a couple of water filters already...that were the best available at the time...but I will be buying a Sawyer Zero point two water filter...why?

1.  It is proven.  This is a filter that is being used to provide water for WHOLE VILLAGES of people with very unsafe drinking water.  The kind of places where the ponds that they get their water from...are the same ponds where their animals bathe and drink...and yes...even poop.

2.  Unlike other filters...this one NEVER NEEDS TO HAVE CARTRIDGES REPLACED!!!! It could go for a million gallons and keep on working!

3.  With many water filtration systems out have to run a hand pump to filter the water.  People have problems with seals leaking...their hands get tired...not with this feeds with gravity.

4.  There is no scarcity mentality with this.  Because it never requires replacement of a don't have to think..."If I let the community use this...I am wearing out the life of my filter...and could put my own family in I'd better keep it for myself".  You could truly be a good samaritan...without the risk!

5.  From the Sawyer website...

  • Viral Purification The first (and thus far only) portable filtration device to remove viruses mechanically. It does so at a 5.5 log (99.9997%) rate, exceeding EPA and NSF recommendations.
  • Biological Filtration: removes 7 log (99.99999%) of all bacteria like salmonella, cholera, and E. coli. And 6 log (99.9999%) of all Protozoa such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium. You will find these removal rates to equal or exceed competitive options. Therefore Sawyer offers the highest level of filtration available.
  • It removes...
    • Bacteria Which Cause:
      Cholera, Botulism (Clostridum botulinum), Typhoid (Salmonella typhi), Amoebic Dysentery, E. Coli, Coliform Bacteria, Streptococcus, Salmonella
      Protozoan (Cyst):
      Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora
      Viruses:Hepatitis A (HAV), Poliovirus, Norwalk, Rotavirus, Adenovirus, Hepatitis E (HEV), Coxsackievirus, Echovirus, Reovirus, Astrovirus, Coronavirus (SARS) 
In laymens terms...that means that it will get out the stuff that will make you ill or kill you.  With so many is not the actual event that kills people...but ingesting the things on that list after the fact.  2.2 million children die each year from diarrhea caused by unclean living conditions.  If you think that is just a third world country problem...a widespread flood could prove otherwise.

Here is some information on how the Sawyer water filter compares to other filters.


I really...really want people to have these.  The reason for my calling Sawyer was to discuss with them price breaks for larger orders.  We are still working out the details...but basically they are willing to give people who order with me a 20% discount for whatever quantity we purchase.  If we purchase a yet to be determined large quantity...(probably 50+) they will make the discount greater.

The two items I would like to do in bulk this time are...

1.  The Point Zero Two bucket filter.  This I consider a base camp kind of filter.  You set it up for lots to use.  The prices are rough at this point but...REI is selling the Point Zero Two bucket adapters for $130.  20% off of that would be $104.  Remember...that is really rough at this may be more or less.  As soon as I have more concrete information...I will do a post on the details.  


2.  sp135 - The water bottle version of the point zero two.  This is more of an "on the go" product.  It requires no bucket and gets the same filtration...just on a smaller scale.  Great for backpacking or emergency bags.  I don't have a price on this yet...but I don't expect it to be much less than the bucket filter...if at all.

Basically how my group orders have worked in the past is people email me at and let me know the quantity of what they want...and commit to it. I set a time frame for how long I will accept orders.  People contact everyone they know to invite them to participate in the order.  When I know the quantity and the final price...I will request that everyone send me a check made out to Stephen Nix.  Only those that send money will have items ordered.  I write one check for the order...and then when the order comes...I contact you to come and pick them up from my home.  If you have ordered for your ward or would take them back for people to get them from you.  If you are in a geographically undesirable distance from rare instances I have shipped (with the receiver picking up the shipping cost).

I generally round up to the nearest that we aren't dealing with pay for any returns of defective products...and any unforseen costs.  (I don't want to get stuck paying out of my pocket for anything!)

Go ahead and pass the word around that things are brewing for an order...and let me know via email what kind of numbers you might be looking at.

One last thing.  I am telling you...a filter in the $100 range might be a lot of money to you.  Especially now with the economy.  This in my mind is a foundational piece of preparedness equipment.  If the day comes that your family has not a drop of water to drink...I bet on that day you might think of some ways that you could have afforded to take care of this!  Perhaps just giving up a few frivolous expenses might be enough!  Regret doesn't quench thirst.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Preparing for a Global Debt Bomb...

When the housing market was at it's peak a few years back...and people were seeing only rainbows for their financial future...I started to preach the opposite. I believed then that it would not last...and that we were in for some substantial economic hard times. In fact...I was advising my clients to start getting their money out of the markets and to start buying food storage and stocking up on supplies. This is one of the reasons I had to leave financial services...because I could no longer make money at a planner who doesn't put their clients into investments...makes no money. Also because I started to feel as if I was trying to peddle cigarettes to I was contributing to something morally wrong.

When I left that firm I was with...the manager called me up to try to get me to stay. I told him in no uncertain terms that I believed that another great depression would be short on the horizon. He tried to convince me that the market trends are up...that there may be bumps...but that it will continue up. He mentioned how strong the auto industry numbers were...and the housing numbers. I told him that I believed the "Indicators" to be full of bologna...and that he would see that I was right...that there would be a day of economic reckoning. He ended the conversation by saying..."Well...I hope you are wrong...because then we'll all be out of a job".

And he is. The firm he was with...a large firm...has closed it's doors. The auto and housing markets fell into the dumps...and my forecast...which I take no pleasure in...continues to come true. While I may have sounded insane at the time to many of my clients...and my manager...I'm sure that many of them wish that they would have taken my advice. Many wouldn't have lost a third or more of their savings.

As bad as things are with the economy...I say they will get worse. I say that now more than ever we should question every purchase we make and ask "Will this have any worth during the depression?". "Can I eat it...can I wear it...will it provide the basics to keep me alive".

I am progressively not a lone voice in the wilderness. While the less than mainstream media has supported my beliefs for some my views are progressively mainstream.

Here is an article from the WALL STREET JOURNAL...that sings my song. This is not some guy plunking out articles in his basement. This is one of the most influential and well known publications in the US with regards to investing. An interesting and sobering read.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Ray Mears is a hero of mine. His genuine love of nature is infectious...his lifelong determination to master the skills of bushcraft are inspiring...and his gentle quality have endeared him to me. He has done a variety of videos that are available on DVD...where he travels the world practicing various bushcraft skills with indigenous peoples. I trust him. If he says something is good...then it is.

On one of his videos he had a camp set up with a "Tentipi" tent. A wood burning stove that was
set up inside the tent had a flu that went out the top...and was keeping the inside toasty warm. It looked dreamy. It peaked my I researched...and found Ray on some of Tentipis marketing materials as a supporter of their products...and I was won over as to why Tentipis are a superior tent.

Here are the features of the Tentipi that I feel make it a tent to consider...

1. If you are tall like can actually stand up inside! Always crouching over in a tent can be a drag.
2. They are vented at the you can actually have a fire inside the tent...or have a stove that sticks out the top that can also be a cooktop. No more warm front...and freezing cold back!
3. They don't require a whole bunch of poles that can be broken. Just one main pole up the middle. That could mean a reduction in weight...and less equipment to break.
4. The shape lends itself to shedding moisture...and cuts through the wind.
6. They are well known for how well made they are...and how they will last.
7. They come in a variety of sizes and materials to fit your needs.

Tentipi is based in Northern Sweden near the Arctic Circle. Those people know what inclement weather is...and have built these to withstand the worst. Arctic expeditions down to Summer camping can be accomplished with the tent.

Americans should recognize this tent it was used by our indigenous people!!! There is a reason why this shape was...and will be used for generations...because it works!

Tentipi's are not sold in the US. Nordic Outdoor is the only supplier I know of that will ship to the US. They have information on their site to help you choose the right Tentipi tent. Here is the beautiful Tentipi catalog. And here is some info that compares Tentipi to other tent shapes to contrast strengths and weaknesses.

To find out what the price is of the tent you are looking divide the price by 1.15. So this one would be $849.13. That may sound like a lot...but will get what you paid for! A high...high quality tent...that should last a very long time.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Atomic Holocaust Which Surely Shall Be...

I don't remember a lot of Jr. High...but one thing I do remember is sitting in a dark room in History class...watching videos of the atrocities of war. The two videos that are indelibly etched upon my brain were of the evils done in the Holocaust...and those of the aftermath of the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The suffering of those people was almost more than my spirit could bare.

Of the aftermath of Nagasaki and Hiroshima...I remember the skeletons of incinerated bodies strewn all about. They seemed to me to be the lucky ones as they were dispatched to meet their God quickly. Of those that remained behind...that were exposed to the radiation...many died slow and painful deaths...or carried deformities and sickness for the remainder of their lives. Many maladies have been passed on through the generations.

I remember practically stumbling out of the classroom...full of grief...saddened and sickened at man's inhumanity to man.

(On a tangent note...I will say that I could never be a history teacher...perhaps especially in this I believe our textbooks to be riddled with propaganda...and misinformation. If we were to write a textbook right now about what is going on in the US...could we possibly agree on what is going on? Why are we at war? Why is the economy struggling? etc... If you got a group of people in a room to discuss it...arguments would break out...and that is with current events! If we hold onto our man's history as if it is the gospel truth...we may one day find how we fell prey to deception. Read Ezra Taft Bensons view of secular history and see that I am not alone in my disdain. See heading "Inaccuracies of Secular History")

R of the greatest voices for constitutional government in the US...Chuck Baldwin...wrote an article where he recommended watching a TV program called "Jericho". My wife and I sat down and watched the first two episodes...and I can see so far why he recommended it. It is not my desire to be a spoiler...but I will say that it let's you look in on a small American town that one day is operating normally...and the next day is flopped on it's head with disaster. It will get you to think about areas where your own preparedness plan has ask yourself if you really believe in constitutional government...even when times get tough...and to ask yourself some tough moral questions.

A major topic that the show brings up is with regards to how to be prepared for nuclear bomb detonations and the subsequent fallout.

Could America Be a Target?

Is America the great liberator of the world? Or are we an imperialist force seeking to rule the world? There are certainly people that hold both points of and out of the US. Regardless of your does not take much imagination to understand that we have lot's of enemies in this world...that hate us for our occupying their countries...and a variety of other reasons. Enemies that would love to have us disappear or bow to them.

When confronted with this reality...there are some people that would puff out their chests and say something like "America is the greatest country on the one can destroy us!!" Such sentiments are reminiscent of the Jews that believed that Jerusalem couldn't be destroyed (1Nephi 2:13)...or of the Ammonihahites who believed that the great city of Ammonihah was too strong to be destroyed...especially in just one day!(Alma 9:4) And yet obviously they were both wrong.

Some Latter-day Saint people might turn to scriptures in the Book of Mormon and share the many great promised blessings that have been given to the inhabitants of this land as if to say that we are above such destruction....but then smooth over...or skip the many references that clearly show that those blessings are contingent on righteousness! We must serve the God of the land or be swept off. I would ask..."Are we righteous?"..."Are we serving the God of the land?" How many more of the signs of being "Ripe in iniquity" will need to happen before the wicked punish the wicked (vs. 5)?

Do we have doctrinal reasons to suppose that super-bombs will detonate in the US?

When words are spoken in General Conference...that means something. The prophet presides over the meeting...and would correct any incorrect doctrine if it was spoken. It is like the spoken canon of the church.

Understanding this doctrine makes conference that much more we go to hear the actual word of the Lord to us...not flippant words spoken off the cuff.

This understanding makes the words spoken by Bruce R. McConkie in General conference in 1979 that much more sobering. In one short breath he spoke prophetically of a future... "atomic holocaust which surely shall be"... Here it is in it's context...

"We do not say that all of the Saints will be spared and saved from the coming day of desolation. But we do say there is no promise of safety and no promise of security except for those who love the Lord and who are seeking to do all that he commands.

It may be, for instance, that nothing except the power of faith and the authority of the priesthood can save individuals and congregations from the atomic holocausts that surely shall be."

While we know that the "atomic holocaust...surely shall be"...there is no indication as to where it will take place.

In a 1961 Improvement Era article authored by Elder Harold B. Lee, written in honor of J. Reuben Clark on his 90th birthday. Quoting from Elder Lee's article:

"We heard him reply in answer to a question as to why he had put his life's savings into his presently owned Grantsville ranch: ' This is all I have to leave my family when I die, and if they are not too lazy to work it, they won't starve. I have told them that when the first atomic bomb is dropped here in America, that they are to go out there on the ranch and stay until it is all over.' This last seemed not only to be wise counsel, but also a prophesy. . . ." (Harold B. Lee, "President J. Reuben Clark, Jr. An Appreciation on his Ninetieth Birthday" The Improvement Era, Sept. 1961 pp.632-633.)

So there you read the witness of one apostle Elder Harold B. Lee(who would eventually be President of the church)...quoting the witness of another apostle...J. Reuben Clark...and it being "witnessed" out a third time into a printed church publication!!

Then there are a scriptures that could be interpreted to be nuclear bombs going off. Some of them speaking of "Vapors of smoke" in 1 Nephi 22:18.
There is a book called "Superbombs, Saints, and Scriptures"..that explores scriptural passages that could be speaking of atomic events. You can get it for really cheap if you want to look into that more.

Getting Ready

Bruce R. McConkie said just after his comment about the atomic holocausts to...

"Take heed; prepare; watch and be ready. There is no security in any course except the course of obedience and conformity and righteousness."

We need to prepare! We must not fall into the lie that is perpetuated by the lazy that "All you have to do is have faith and be righteous" THE LORD HAS TOLD YOU TO BE PREPARED for the many things that will come...not just to have faith without works!! Part of being "righteous" is obeying the command to prepare...not just cherry picking at the one's we like to keep best. Your Dad told you to put a jacket on before you go out into the cold! Don't expect Him to keep you warm when you step outside in your short sleeves!!!

Here is a really large book that is available online that I printed off and put into a binder. You can also purchase it bound. Here is another book I want to read...that also covers chemical and biological preparedness. You want a hard copy of such books so that you will have them to get prepared for such events...and during so that you can speed read what to do!!

It is good to also understand some other major events that are likely like an EMP blast...and what could happen as a result.

After you do some will get the idea that there are all kinds of supplies that would be good to have (in addition to your normal prep supplies). One could really spend a lot of money getting completely prepared for nukes by building bomb shelters...buying a geiger counter...fallout suits...etc. Make sure that you do your research...and don't fall prey to spending your hard earned money on products that aren't necessary...and may prove ineffectual. There are myths out there regarding what works and doesn't...that have been perpetuated in movies and books. Here is some info on that topic...

One small step you might take is to purchase some potassium iodide pills for your family emergency packs that will provide some protection for your thyroids against radioactive iodine.

Now is the time to get your act together with this stuff. Fear is exacerbated by ignorance and being ill-equipped during a crisis. He that is prepared shall not fear.