This blog is meant to assist you in preparing for an emergency. It also contains other information that you might find helpful and spiritually up-lifting.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

New Record: Pound of Ground Beef Tops $4 for First Time!

(CNSNews.com) –  Although the overall Consumer Price Index dropped by 0.2 percent in August, the price index for food rose 0.2 percent, with the average price for a pound of ground beef rising to $4.013 per pound--the first time it has ever topped $4 per pound.
In July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average price for a pound of ground beef had been $3.884 per pound—which was the record price up to that point.  From July to August, the average price jumped 12.9 cents, an increase of 3.3 percent in one month.
Ground Beef Chart for August
A year ago, in August 2013, the average price for a pound of ground beef was $3.454 per pound. Since then, it has climbed 55.9 cents--or about 16.2 percent.
Just five years ago, in August 2009, the average price for a pound of ground beef was $2.134, according to the BLS. The price has since climbed by $1.879 per pound—or 88.1 percent.
The overall Consumer Price Index measures the relative change in the prices of a basket of goods and services relative to a basis of 100.  Subordinate indexes measure the relative change in price for individual goods or services or categories of goods and services.
The price index for seasonally adjusted uncooked ground beef hit an all-time high of 279.812 in August, up 3.4 percent from July when it was 270.724. In 1947, the earliest year in this index, it was 26.5.
“The seasonally adjusted decline in the all items index was the first since April 2013,” the BLS ssaid of the overall index. “The indexes for food and shelter rose, but the increases were more than offset by declines in energy indexes, especially gasoline.”
“The food index rose 0.2 percent in August after increasing 0.4 percent in July,” said BLS. “The food at home index was also up 0.2 percent, with the six major grocery store food group indexes split between three increases and three declines. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rose 1.5 percent in August, the largest increase among the groups. The index for beef and veal rose 4.2 percent, its largest increase since November 2003.”

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Teach Your Kids to Make a Pill Bottle Firestarter

This is a fun and easy project to do with your kids. It’s also a useful survival skill. A pill bottle firestarter is a versatile tool that works great in a survival situation when other firestarting methods aren’t available.

Teach Your Kids to Make a Pill Bottle Firestarter

Fire is very important in survival situations. It gives warmth, provides light, helps you cook food and gives a reassuring feeling that you can survive any end-of-the-world scenario as well as a simple camp-out on the weekend.
At home it is easy to start a fire, what with the firestarting devices that we always seem to take for granted, like a box of matches, a lighter, or the electronic igniter in the stove or oven.
Out in the wilderness, however, matches and lighters could fail and firestarting becomes a necessary skill. The weather can be both a friend and a foe, making the act of lighting a fire an easy task when conditions are dry or very difficult when it is windy or stormy. A box of waterproof matches would come in handy in this situation.
Children have to learn how to start a fire and there are actually many ways to do so. There is the hand drill, the fire plough, and fire drill that requires two people to start. However, these methods depend greatly on dry wood and grass. During wet weather or damp conditions, it is best to use a waterproof firestarter.
Click here to learn how to make a pill bottle firestarter, a fire starting device that can work in all sorts of weather conditions.

Get Your Kids Involved: How to Create a Pill Bottle Firestarter

One of the best things that you can do for your kids is to teach them to be more self-reliant and knowledgeable about their own survival at an early age. Make it a part of everything that you do and it won’t seem like such a weird concept. Each week, we tackle one skill, one activity, one refresher to do during our home school time (hey, might as well take advantage of the credits, huh?) that helps us learn more. In doing that, I am very Pro-Kid-Led activity, so I tasked my kids to come up with a way to use some old leftover pill bottles we had and create something for our bug out bags. They each did a little research and this is what they decided to share.
(If I was a really good homeschooling mom, I would’ve had them write this article. Homeschool Mom Fail.)
How to Make an Emergency Pill Bottle Firestarter
1. Remove the labels from the pill bottles. You never want to confuse an empty, labeled pill bottle with another. In an emergency, you might not pay attention to which bottle you are grabbing. Be safe, do this step. We soaked our bottles in a little soapy water for a few hours, used a scrubby pad to take off as much of the paper & adhesive as possible, then used a little goo-fighting liquid to remove the last of the adhesive.
2. Collect your ingredients. We used 100% cotton balls, a sandwich bag, empty bottles, petroleum jelly and chopsticks ( we use some hinged chopsticks for kids). If you have chopsticks, use them. You’ll be glad you did. Oh..and not included in the photo, a spoon!
3. Tear the cotton balls up into small pieces. This is a good time to teach your kids about tensile strength in cotton balls. We prefer smaller pieces to allow us to maneuver into our rocket stove and use for small fires, but using the cotton balls full size is just fine.

When your kids learn how to start a fire or at least make a firestarter, you can consider it an achievement.
This is a basic survival skill that every child should learn so that when they are left on their own, they will be able to keep their bodies warm, prepare food, drive away wild animals and see in the dark, too.
Starting a fire is something that every prepper, old or young, should know how to do. Teaching these skills can be made exciting and fun by letting kids participate and get hands-on experience, and making a pill bottle firestarter is a great place to start.
Who knows, when that fateful day comes, your children may turn out to be the ones who will help you survive.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Preparing For Winter in 2014

2015The word is, that this years winter in the United states is going to be brutal compared to what we have been getting the last several years. It is suppose to hit us a lot earlier as well. My sourcessay the end of September or early October.
According to the newest edition of North America’s oldest continuously published periodical, a decline in solar activity combined with ocean-atmosphere patterns in the Pacific and Atlantic will result in below-normal temperatures and above-normal snowfall during most of the winter across much of the United States.
“This winter is shaping up to be a rough one,” says Janice Stillman, editor of The Old Farmer’s Almanac. “Sweaters and snow shovels should be unpacked early and kept close by throughout the season. The good news is that the extra precipitation—which will fall as rain or snow depending where you are—will help with any drought issues left over from the summer.”
Where I currently live we tend to lose power during every storm and with no fireplace or wood burning stove, an alternate heat and cooking source is a must for our survival. This article will touch base on some basic things you will need to consider storing so you and your family will make it through the winter comfortably.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

South Davis County Preparedness Fair, Erroneous Clipper Date Information Correction

As a result of some erroneous information in the Davis County Clipper concerning our preparedness fair, we are asking you to please communicate more information to your organizations.

Last Thursday’s Davis County Clipper on page 6 incorrectly identified the South Davis County Emergency Preparedness Fair as being held today, Saturday the 13th as the date for the fair.  As some residents of the area may think they have missed the fair we would like to get the correct information out to them.

The fair is still being held Saturday, September 20th, 10 am until 2 pm at Woods Cross High School, 600 West 2200 South, Woods Cross, Utah.  We would also like to remind people about the knowledge and resources that we will be making available there.  We will have over 40 vendors and organizations involved, eight different classroom topics held in multiple sessions and over a dozen tabletop demonstrations of various preparedness topics, including:

The New Centerville Home Storage (the former LDS dry pack cannery)
Multi Fuel Generators and Fuel Storage
Helping Children Prepare For and Cope With Disaster
Thermal Cooking
Cooking With a Solar Oven
How Best to Utilize Food Storage
72 Hour Kits and Sanitation
First Aid and Trauma Care
Vegetables Out of the Garden in Winter
Shelter in Place
Emergency Kits for Cars

Please remind everyone in your organization about the fair and encourage their attendance.  We feel this will be a great opportunity to brush up on preparedness ideas and practices, and increase enthusiasm about being prepared and self reliant.

If you would like more information about the fair, please contact Cacey Bowen, with the Bountiful City Emergency Preparedness Council, at 801-809-7590, or by email atcacey_bowen@hotmail.com.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Milk Costs Most Ever to Signal Higher Prices for Pizza...wake up...Milk Price jumps 26% this year alone.

Milk futures rose to a record as exports by the U.S. climbed amid shrinking inventories of cheese and butter, signaling higher costs for pizza and pastries.
The U.S. shipped a record 17 percent of milk production in the first half, according to Alan Levitt, a spokesman at the U.S. Dairy Export Council. Cheesestockpiles in July dropped 8 percent from a year earlier, and butter supplies tumbled 42 percent, the Department of Agriculture said last month. U.S. dairy costs are higher than world prices, signaling imports will increase, said Jon Spainhour, a partner at Rice Dairy LLC.
“Usually, we use the first six months of the year to build the inventory we’re going to sell in the last six months,” Spainhour said in a telephone interview from Chicago. “People are saying that ‘I know those imports are coming in, but in the meantime, I’ve got to make sure I’ve got enough to get on the supermarket shelf.’ ”
Milk futures for September settlement rose 0.7 percent to close at $24.45 per 100 pounds at 1:11 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, the class III variety, used as a cheese benchmark, reached a record $24.47. The price has jumped 26 percent this year.
Dairy consumption increases in the North American autumn as U.S. football fans boost pizza orders and bakers need more butter for holiday cakes and pastries, Spainhour said.
U.S. cheese consumption will rise to a record 4.88 million metric tons in 2014, USDA data shows. Milk use will climb to an all-time high of 93.4 million tons.
“We just didn’t build the stocks we needed to, and domestic cheese buyers are still scrambling to build that inventory,” Spainhour said.
In July, retail whole milk was $3.65 a gallon, the most for the month since 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

3 Disaster Mitigation Items all Households Should Have

shutterstock_136621700Natural disasters are not only becoming more frequent, but more deadly. In 2011, there were 553 deaths in the U.S. as a result of tornadoes, which was more than 2001 to 2010 combined, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. The Oklahoma Insurance Department estimated damages from the 2013 tornado which destroyed the town of Moore to be over $2 billion. The New York Daily News estimated total damages caused by Hurricane Irene in 2011 to be well over $15 billion.
Preparation is key to mitigate damage, potentially save the lives of your family and salvage your home and belongings. These three items are must-haves for anyone serious about disaster preparedness.

1. Generator

A generator will be essential for short-term preservation, and will be a source of electricity for your most essential electrical items. The size and power of the generator you choose all depends on what you need it to power, so start by purchasing a Kill-A-Watt meter. These devices allow you to plug any electrical device into it and get a reading for the amount of power required. Most people want to keep their refrigerator and freezer running, along with some lights for day-to-day activities. Add up the total wattage of all the appliances and devices you would want to run during a power outage, and that will give you an idea of the size of generator your home will need.
The average American home uses about 3,000 watt of power per day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, so a 2000-watt unit should suffice for a refrigerator, lights, and even to charge cell phones and computers. A larger unit will be necessary if you want your home to have the same power capabilities no matter the situation. If you’d like to test before you buy, consider renting a generator fromSunbelt Rentals and conducting a trial run in your home. Keep in mind, the larger the generator, the more fuel it will need to run.

2. Propane Heaters

There are several options for propane heaters on the market, but the Mr. Heater line makes units specifically for indoor use. The Big Buddy model will heat an area up to 400 square feet for well over 24 hours on two of the little green one-pound propane tanks. You can also connect a large 20-pound tank to the unit for extended use.
Despite Mr. Heater building these units for indoor use, some precautions still need to be taken. Carbon monoxide is odorless and can be deadly in minutes when oxygen levels in the room are too low. A cheap carbon monoxide detector should be utilized any time propane is burned indoors. Its also best to leave windows cracked slightly for ventilation. Place the CO detector near your sleeping quarters if you choose to sleep with the heaters running.
These units are also ideal to keep water pipes from bursting as a result of freezing, which can prevent thousands of dollars in damage.

3. Life Straws

Humans may be able to survive a few weeks without food, but they can only live about three days without water. Life Straws can clean harmful bacteria, protozoa, and other microbes from dirty water to make it drinkable. Thus you’ll be able to drink water from any source without the fear of contracting a waterborne illness.
There are anecdotal accounts of individuals filtering their own urine through Lifestraws and sustaining themselves. The filters will not remove the salts and other less harmful impurities, so the resulting water will likely not taste very good. Still, in a survival situation, it could save your life. The Hydro Photon SteriPEN and the MSR Miniworks EX are two more options to consider for quick and portable water purification.
Survival is possible in any situation with the basic tools. This foundation of essentials will provide you with the chance to continue long-term once the smoke clears.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Icahn, Soros, Druckenmiller, And Now Zell: The Billionaires Are All Quietly Preparing For The Plunge

"The stock market is at an all-time, but economic activity is not at an all-time," explains billionaire investor Sam Zell to CNBC this morning, adding that, "every company that's missed has missed on the revenue side, which is a reflection that there's a demand issue; and when you got a demand issue it's hard to imagine the stock market at an all-time high." Zell said he is being very cautious adding to stocks and cutting some positions because "I don't remember any time in my career where there have been as many wildcards floating out there that have the potential to be very significant and alter people's thinking." Zell also discussed his view on Obama's Fed encouraging disparity and on tax inversions, but concludes, rather ominously, "this is the first time I ever remember where having cash isn't such a terrible thing." Zell's calls should not be shocking following George Soros. Stan Druckenmiller, and Carl Icahn's warnings that there is trouble ahead.

Billionaire 1: Sam Zell
On Stocks and reality...
"People have no place else to put their money, and the stock market is getting more than its share. It's very likely that something has to give here."

"I don't remember any time in my career where there have been as many wildcards floating out there that have the potential to be very significant and alter people's thinking,"he said. "If there's a change in confidence or some international event that changes the dynamics, people could in effect take a different position with reference to the market."

"It's almost every company that's missed has missed on the revenue side, which is a reflection that there's a demand issue," he said. "When you got a demand issue it's hard to imagine the stock market at an all-time high."

He also lamented about how difficult it is to call a market top. "If you're wrong on when, that's a problem." His answer: "You got to tiptoe ... and find the right balance."

"This is the first time I ever remember where having cash isn't such a terrible thing, despite the fact that interest rates are as low as they are," he added.

On Obama and inequality...
"Part of the impact of these very, very low interest rates is that we've creating this disparity. The wealthy are benefiting from government policy and the nonwealthy aren't," he continued. "So we have a president who says we've got to fight this disparity and we have a Fed who's encouraging it everyday."
On Tax Inversion...
"This is both legal and accepted. If the government doesn't like the result, change the law," he said. "You have to have a rational tax policy." He said the top tax rate should be changed and the U.S. should not tax worldwide income.
Zell also said it's unfortunate that "this inversion thing has been captured as a political, electioneering item."
* * *
Soros has once again increased his total SPY Put to a new record high of $2.2 billion, or nearly double the previous all time high, and a whopping 17% of his total AUM.
*  *  *
Ironically, Carl Icahn - poster-child of the leveraged financial engineering that has overtaken US equity markets on the back of Central Bank largesse - told CNBC that he was "very nervous" about US equity markets. Reflecting on Yellen's apparent cluelessness of the consequences of her actions, and fearful of the build of derivative positions, Icahn says he's "worried" because if Yellen does not understand the end-game then "there's no argument - you have to worry about the excesssive printing of money!"

*  *  *
Simply put, Druckenmiller concludes, rather ominously, "I am fearful that today our obsession with what will happen to markets and the economy in the near term is causing us to misjudge the accumulation of much greater long term risks to our economy."
*  *  *
And here the BIS explains broken markets so easily, even a Janet Yellen can get it:
Financial markets have been exuberant over the past year, [...] dancing mainly to the tune of central bank decisions. Volatility in equity, fixed income and foreign exchange markets has sagged to historical lows. Obviously, market participants are pricing in hardly any risks.
Growth has picked up, but long-term prospects are not that bright. Financial markets are euphoric, but progress in strengthening banks’ balance sheets has been uneven and private debt keeps growing. Macroeconomic policy has little room for manoeuvre to deal with any untoward surprises that might be sprung, including a normal recession.
*  *  *
So now we have a quorum of billionaires and the BIS all flashing warning signals which can only mean one thing: stocks are undervalued so buy, buy, buy..

Homeward Bound: The Perfect Bugout Location

bugoutYou’ve said it to yourself many times over…
“When shit hits the fan (SHTF), I’ll be in the hills.”
In all actuality, that isn’t a bad plan. In fact, I’d say it’s an optimal plan and in most cases, preferable to bugging in. Especially if the crisis you’re preparing to weather has anything to do with a human-based threat. It’s almost always best to leave densely or even somewhat densely populated zones behind you.
But there might be just one little problem if you haven’t mulled it over a time or two:
  • Where are you going to go?
  • When you get there, how will you be able to live sustainably?
  • If the world is set adrift in anarchy, how will you protect your family, their lives, liberty and property?
  • How will you get there?
These questions don’t amount to some half-hazard plan of selecting a spot on a map, dropping a pin and praying for the best. This is going to require a well crafted, tactically influenced, strategic plan …and one that can operate on the possibility of contingencies.
Ladies and gentleman, it’s about ‘location, location, location’… and how you are setup once you get there. Think WAY Ahead of Your Potential Adversaries.  At the end of the day, you’re going to have to look at your own financial, resource and transportation capabilities.
This means that if you live in NYC, then picking a bug out location in Montana isn’t going to make sense — that is, unless you’ve got plenty of resources to help you stock and supply your retreat, and get there in a hurry.
Here are a few considerations you need to keep in mind for your choice…
• Distance to your retreat
• Your route (avoiding bottlenecks and natural choke points)
• Can you get there on one tank of gas and can you store gas where you currently live?
• Ease of access to your retreat
• The possibility or likelihood of vandalism or theft to your retreat before the SHTF scenario even occurs
• Will this be considered your property? (If you fear focused political aggression and you might be a target, then you may want to avoid connecting your name to the property itself).
• How much space will you need for self-sustainability purposes?
• Is that space sustainable?
• Do you even need a central property or can you survive off the ecosystem, moving from place to place?
Keeping these pointers in mind may help guide you to your own perfect location and setup. If anything, it’s important to think strategically, envisioning your moves every step of the way ahead of time.
Using Geology, Cover and Natural Barriers to Your Advantage I have always been and likely always will be a staunch advocate of sticking with the ‘out-of-sight’ approach to your perfect bug out location and setup. For example, the opposite of the ‘out-of-site’ approach would be constructing a castle on the side of a mountain. While this might be pretty much impossible for a rabble of bad dudes to successfully attack, you’ll eventually attract attention from schools of much bigger fish.
That’s why I recommend having bug out location that is humble, hard to access, easy to miss and only visible at close distances. Here are a few ways you can use the lay of the land to provide you with that advantage:
• Nestle your cabin about a quarter of the way up a ridge or mountain. This will allow you to use elevation to your advantage (against aggressors), yet at the same time, you’re not giving away your retreat’s location by being visible at long distances. Also, this could situate you near a valley or depression, which could provide you with a water source.
• Use the landscape’s natural ecosystem for cover. If it can be helped, try to avoid setting up in areas with lots of open space and little vegetation. If this isn’t possible (desert and plain regions), then you might want to avoid elevation entirely and setup in a depression. When in doubt, it’s just best to remain out of sight altogether.
• While the route to your retreat should avoid geological bottlenecks and choke points, you might benefit from using them to protect your actual bugout location. Using bodies of water, such as lakes or rivers can force possible aggressors to approach from predictable areas, but be sure not to expose your retreat by setting up on a shoreline.
• If possible, setup your retreat on the side of the ridge or mountain, which mostly faces south, so you can take advantage of the sun for cultivating a sustainable homestead garden.
Imagination Is an Inexhaustible Source of Good Ideas
These pointers should provide you with a short list of ideas and a generation point for new strategies on setting up your perfect bug out retreat. My advice here is simple. When shit hits the fan, the survivors will be the ones who can think outside the box and use those unique solutions to plan ahead. When you keep an open mind, you will be able to maximize on your current resources, providing you and your family with protection and stability for when times are at their worst.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September National Preparedness Month 2014 (+ free ebook and NPM special)

NPM 2014September is National Preparedness Month and thousands of private, public and nonprofit groups are encouraging businesses, agencies, organizations, schools and families to take time to help your community get better prepared for disasters and emergencies of all kinds.
Granted a vast majority of preppers are WAY ahead of the general population when it comes to being prepared and self-sufficient, however I’m sure many of you have family members, co-workers and others who are NOT prepared.
For example, USA Today recently wrote… “less than 40% of all Americans have an emergency plan, and just 29% updated their supplies in the past year, according to a FEMA survey made public Thursday. About half said they had some sort of supplies set aside, such as packaged food and bottled water, but less than a third reported having a first-aid kit.”
National Preparedness Month (NPM or #NatlPrep) is a great time to start a conversation about preparedness since the goal is to reach out and help those who don’t have a plan, supplies, kits, etc. Below are several resources and links (including a free preparedness ebook) that you may want to share with your family, friends and community.
Get involved in #NatlPrep and PrepareAthon  
During National Preparedness Month FEMA and Ready organizers are asking Americans to take action by planning a national PrepareAthon! day on or around September 30th. America’s PrepareAthon! helps millions of people focus on simple, specific activities like hazard-specific drills, group discussions, and exercises that will increase preparedness.
Ready organizers are also suggesting important aspects of being disaster-ready each week during NPM:
  • Week 1 (Sept. 1-7): How to Reconnect with Family After a Disaster – If you don’t already have a plan in place, sit down with your loved ones and create a Family Emergency plan (6-pg PDF from our book). If you do have a plan, take time to update your plan and emergency numbers as needed – esp. since this is a new school year for kids.
  • Week 2 (Sept. 8-14): How to Plan for Specific Needs Before a Disaster – If you have seniors, family members with special needs, or pets, make sure they have all items they may need in case of an emergency or life disruption.
  • Week 3 (Sept. 15-21): How to Build an Emergency Kit – Make sure you have enough supplies to last at least 3 days (or longer) after a disaster, and prepare kits for all the places you may be like your home, office, school and vehicle. A great new resource to help families get started is Emergency Bag Essentials written by the APN and Jason Charles of the NYC Preppers.
  • Week 4 & 5 (Sept. 22-30): How to Practice for an Emergency – Now that you have the proper items and plans in place, it is time to practice, practice, practice! Families and businesses should take time (every month actually) to practice their plans with family members and co-workers on what to do if disaster were to strike. America’s PrepareAthon! can help you focus on simple, specific activities like hazard-specific drills, group discussions, and exercises that will increase preparedness throughout the year.
Individuals, families, businesses, church groups, volunteers and others can join the America’s PrepareAthon! campaign and register to participate in the September 30 national day of action. Once you register you have access to guides, social media tools, and customizable materials you can use during drills or exercises on 9/30 and year-round. The key is turning knowing into doing!
Free preparedness ebook + NPM special  
A preparedness resource Bill and I wanted to share with you is a free 58-page mini ebook portion of our 266-page disaster preparedness and basic first aid manual.
During the month of September our company (Fedhealth) is discounting our consumer and business price on our IT’S A DISASTER! books over 50% off list (or only $7.00 U.S. each) on ANY quantity purchase through September 30, 2014. (Note, price drops even further in bulk.)
Our Government / volunteer / nonprofit price is always deeply discounted (75% off) in support of our grant and funding programs.
Books make great gifts for family members, friends, employees, volunteers and co-workers, and our products can be customized for free to include logos and special messages to recipients.
Plus we are donating up to 30% of orders back to APN in support of their efforts.
Learn more at www.itsadisaster.net/apn.html or call Fedhealth at 1-888-999-4325 … and please share the link and mini ebook with others to help your communities get better prepared.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Baofeng Doubles Down on New Handheld Radio

News of Baofeng’s newest & latest handheld UHF/VHF Radio, has all of Amateur Radio keying up & queuing up for what looks to be the culmination of the most popular handheld radio around.
Chinese Electronics Manufacturer Baofeng(Pofung),  new BF-F8HP dual band handheld radio, offers more transmit power, a new generation chipset, compatibility with existing battery options, and clearer, more understandable instructional documentation.
John Miklor, with his Miklor.com’s website, has been an invaluable web resource on all things Baofeng, and has good things to say in his initial review of this newest model in the Baofeng Radio lineup.  Looks like a New Model BF-F8HP is a true 8 watt handheld. It appears Baofeng/Pofung is listening and moving in the proper direction.”
The Chinese Electronics Manufacturer has taken the US domestic Ham Radio market by storm, offering a line of inexpensive handheld 2 meter & 70CM radios. Based upon SDR technology, Baofeng has taken a domestic business band radio, & adapted it for US Amateur Radio use. The UV-3 & UV-5R & variants are leading the wave in sales of affordable handheld radios, popular not just with Hams, but with the survivalist & prepping movement in the US & abroad. 
 Features of the BF-F8HP radio are:
- Tri-Power (1, 4, and 8 watt) 
- New 2nd Generation chipset
- DTMF keypad issue finally resolved (ABCD is actually ABCD)
- Compatible with AA and 3800mAh battery packs
- 76 Page User Guide
CHIRP programming software compatible
The Miklor.com review shows actual side-by-side power level tests between UV5R, UV82, BFF8+, and F8HP performed using a calibrated Telewave 44A. READ FULL REVIEW HERE
Currently the BF-F8HP is available through Baofeng Tech on Amazon.com.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Why The Earthquake Near San Francisco Is Just The Start Of The Shaking In California

Tectonic Plates - WikipediaIf you thought that the earthquake that struck northern California on Sunday was something, just wait until you see what is coming in the years ahead.  As you will read about below, we live at a time when earthquake activity is dramatically increasing.  This is especially true of the "Ring of Fire" which runs roughly along the outer perimeter of the Pacific Ocean.  Approximately 81 percent of all big earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire, and the entire west coast of the United States falls within the danger zone.  Over the past few years, we have seen huge earthquake after huge earthquake strike various areas along the Ring of Fire, but up until now the California coastline has mostly been spared.  However, there are indications that this may be about to change in a big way.
Early on Sunday, a 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck the heart of wine country.  It was the largest earthquake to hit northern California in 25 years.  More than 120 people were injured, scores of buildings were damaged and Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency.
It is being projected that the economic loss from this earthquake will exceed a billion dollars.  Since the initial quake, there have been more than 60 aftershocks, and residents are very much hoping that the worst is over.  The following is how the damage caused by the earthquake was described by CNN...
"Everything and everyone in Napa was affected by the quake. My house, along with everybody else's, is a disaster. It looks like somebody broke in and ravaged the place, room by room." said CNN iReporter Malissa Koven, who was awakened by the shaking at about 3:20 a.m.
"Anything and everything that could fall, did," she said.
The damage in Napa is "fairly significant," said Glenn Pomeroy, the CEO of the California Earthquake Authority, who surveyed the area Sunday afternoon.
"The downtown area is hardest hit, probably because of the age of construction down there," Pomeroy said. In the residential areas, he is "seeing a lot of chimneys that've come crashing down."
That sounds pretty bad, right?
But remember, this was only a 6.1 magnitude earthquake.  As Wikipedia explains, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake would be many times more powerful...
The Richter magnitude scale (also Richter scale) assigns a magnitude number to quantify the energy released by an earthquake. The Richter scale is abase-10 logarithmic scale, which defines magnitude as the logarithm of the ratio of theamplitude of the seismic waves to an arbitrary, minor amplitude.
As measured with a seismometer, an earthquake that registers 5.0 on the Richter scale has a shaking amplitude 10 times greater than that of an earthquake that registered 4.0, and thus corresponds to a release of energy 31.6 times greater than that released by the lesser earthquake.
And the earthquake that happened on Sunday would not even be worth comparing to an 8.0 or a 9.0 quake.  In fact, one study concluded that a 9.0 magnitude earthquake along the Cascadia fault could potentially produce a giant tsunami that would "wash away coastal towns"…
If a 9.0 earthquake were to strike along California’s sparsely populated North Coast, it would have a catastrophic ripple effect.
giant tsunami created by the quake would wash away coastal towns, destroy U.S. 101 and cause $70 billion in damage over a large swath of the Pacific coast. More than 100 bridges would be lost, power lines toppled and coastal towns isolated. Residents would have as few as 15 minutes notice to flee to higher ground, and as many as 10,000 would perish.
Scientists last year published this grim scenario for a massive rupture along the Cascadia fault system, which runs 700 miles off shore from Northern California to Vancouver Island.
And when we think about "the Big One" hitting California, most of the time we think about southern California.  The most famous fault line in southern California is the San Andreas fault, but the truth is that many experts are far more concerned about the Puente Hills fault line.  According to one seismologist, that is the fault that would be most likely to "eat L.A." and cause hundreds of billions of dollars in economic damage...
Video simulations of a rupture on the Puente Hills fault system show how energy from a quake could erupt and be funneled toward L.A.'s densest neighborhoods, with the strongest waves rippling to the west and south across the Los Angeles Basin.
According to estimates by the USGS and Southern California Earthquake Center, a massive quake on the Puente Hills fault could kill from 3,000 to 18,000 people and cause up to $250 billion in damage. Under this worst-case scenario, people in as many as three-quarters of a million households would be left homeless.
So don't get too excited about what happened on Sunday.  Scientists assure us that it is only a matter of time before "the Big One" hits California.
In fact, the 6.1 magnitude earthquake that hit northern California on Sunday was not even the largest earthquake along the Ring of Fire this weekend.  According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake shook the area around Valparaiso, Chile on Saturday and a6.9 magnitude earthquake struck Peru on Sunday.
As I mentioned above, we have moved into a time when seismic activity is steadily rising.  It has gotten to the point where even the mainstream media cannot ignore it anymore.  For example, just check out the following excerpt from a recent CBS News report…
The average rate of big earthquakes — those larger than magnitude 7 — has been 10 per year since 1979, the study reports. That rate rose to 12.5 per year starting in 1992, and then jumped to 16.7 per year starting in 2010 — a 65 percent increasecompared to the rate since 1979. This increase accelerated in the first three months of 2014 to more than double the average since 1979, the researchers report.
Something is happening that scientists don't understand, and that is a little scary.
As I wrote about the other day, earthquake activity seems to particularly be increasing in the United States.  While the west has been relatively quiet, the number of earthquakes in the central and eastern portions of the nation has quintupled over the past 30 years…
According to the USGS, the frequency of earthquakes in the central and eastern U.S. has quintupled, to an average of 100 a year during the 2011-2013 period, up from only 20 per year during the 30-year period to 2000.
Most of these quakes were minor, but research published by the USGS earlier this year demonstrated that a relatively minor magnitude 5.0 quake caused by wastewater injection after conventional oil drilling triggered a much bigger, 5.7 magnitude quake in Prague, Okla.
“We know the hazard has increased for small and moderate size earthquakes. We don’t know as well how much the hazard has increased for large earthquakes. Our suspicion is it has but we are working on understanding this,” said William Ellsworth, a scientist with the USGS.
What in the world could be causing this to happen?
Oklahoma, which used to rarely ever have significant earthquakes, has experienced over 2,300 earthquakes so far in 2014.
That is absolutely staggering.
And of course volcanic activity has been rising all over the planet as well.  In 2013, the number of eruptions around the globe set a new all-time high, and right now persistent rumbling under Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano has much of Europe on alert...
For more than a week the earth has been rumbling beneath Iceland’s looming Bardarbunga volcano. The almost continuous small earthquakes led the government to activate its National Crisis Coordination Centre this week and block off access to the largely uninhabited region around the Bardarbunga caldera.
Major airlines are making contingency plans for a potential eruption that could throw dust into the atmosphere and disrupt flight paths between North America and Europe.
Some scientists are saying that if that volcano erupts, it "could trigger Britain’s coldest winter ever".
Clearly something is happening.
All over the world seismic activity is on the rise.
That means that the shaking in California (and in much of the rest of the world) may soon get a whole lot worse.