Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Chemical Contamination Following a Global Catastrophe


Episode 59: Season 2 ep. 24



For the first time in nine years, Erika and her family get a view of the world outside the climate refugee camp. The story of Without Land describes contamination from nuclear power plants and chemical refinery factories that has caused massive dead areas throughout the country. Here to discuss the risk of contamination and the possible ramifications for your survival is Dr. Joe Alton a.k.a. Dr. Bones, author of The Survival Medicine Handbook.


 
Featured Quote:

"They already had a plan in place for this kind of disaster and they started following the steps one by one, deciding who would live and who would die."

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Chemical Contamination Lessons from Dr. Joe Alton

There will be a lot of people at risk of chemical contamination following a global catastrophe. Anyone who lives near a chemical refinery factory or nuclear site will be in danger. An EMP (electric magnetic pulse) would be a big problem for both nuclear and chemical plants. This would cause their safety systems to fail. A nuclear meltdown or core melt accident happens when the coolant systems in a nuclear plant fail and there is nuclear breakdown. Earthquakes, floods, human error are all possible causes of a nuclear meltdown. As infrastructure breaks down the chance for human error will increase. Damaged systems in both nuclear and chemical plants are going to be a big problem.

Children are most at risk to chemical and nuclear contamination because their little bodies are more sensitive. Thyroid cancer in these children will be a major threat to their futures. Nuclear fallout will travel on the dust and debris downwind of the event. Potassium Iodide, available commercially as Thyrosafe, is an important item to have on hand if you will be in a nuclear danger zone. Dr. Alton recommends 130 mg daily for adults for as long and they are exposed and seven to ten days after exposure. Children will require about 65 mg daily and infants should receive less than that. An alternative to potassium iodide is betadine. You can paint betadine on an exposed individual's chest and abdomen to protect them. Use 8 ml in adults, 4 ml for a child and 1 ml for a baby. Betadine will also protect your animals. Iodized salt will not work to protect you from radiation. You would need about 250 teaspoons per day, which would destroy your body.

Chemical plants are often found in common areas where you might not expect them. A chemical plant will be built and a town may develop around it. You need to know what's around you. You need to be aware if it will affect your water supply. If a disaster occurs and maintenance lacks there will be spillage and leaks in their systems.

The biggest threat to your survival is anything that will contaminate the water supply. It is hard to narrow down which chemicals will be the most threatening because there are so many potential chemical contaminates existing in our world today. Water is very easy to contaminate and without our water treatment facilities any water supply might be in jeopardy. Waste treatment plants will turn from a blessing to a threat as they pour over with untreated waste contaminating the water they used to clean. Ammonia or any other chemicals that increase certain metals in the water will also become a major threat. Lifestraws and water filters will not be up to the task of cleaning the water of these industrial contaminates. They only get rid of microbes and organic threats. Even M95 or surgical masks will not filter the air enough for you to survive. You would have to have an actual gas mask intended for this purpose. Boiling water will not remove the contaminates either. Boiling does the same thing as a filter and only removes organic threats. You have to get a lay of the land and know where your water is coming from before you drink it.

Radiation poisoning from nuclear accidents has some very identifiable signs. Normally we are exposed to .6 rads yearly. This is considered safe but when your exposure increases to an amount over 30 rads you are at risk of radiation poisoning. An individual will experience headache and nausea. Vomiting signifies advanced exposure. To protect an individual you need to limit unprotected exposure. Leave the area where high levels are detected. Twenty four house after a nuclear event the level of radiation will be about 1/10 of the original level. The most effective way to protect someone is to shield them from exposure. Nuclear shelters are lined thickly with lead. About 1/2 cm of lead drops the exposure level by half. You will want "10 halving thicknesses." One inch of concrete will reduce the exposure level to 1/1000. 36 inches of soil is effective as well.

There are some steps you can take to prepare for a chemical or nuclear contamination event. 
  1. Find out what risks exist near you: Search topographical maps, google, etc. about what potential threats exist in your area. Make sure you check up river if you are near a river system. 
  2. Stay away from contaminated areas: Because you know what exists around you, you will have a firm understanding of the local threats and which ways to travel in a bug out situation. Do not go near any contaminated areas unless you absolutely have to. When you have to, make sure you have a personal supply of clean drinking water.
  3. Have a gas mask and hazmat suits on hand: These suits are hard to be in for a long period of time and each suite must be discarded after use. Ensure you have many of them on hand and be prepared to take frequent shifts with other group members to limit time in the suit.
  4. Make sure you have a sick room setup ready to deploy: For directions on how to set that up head on over to Dr. Alton's website and read all about it.

Dr. Joe Alton, aka Dr. Bones


Joe Alton, M.D., aka Dr. Bones, is an M.D.  and fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American College of OB/GYN. Amy Alton, A.R.N.P., aka Nurse Amy, is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner.  Together, they’re the authors of the #1 Amazon bestseller in Survival Skills and Safety/First Aid “The Survival Medicine Handbook”, well known speakers, podcasters, and YouTubers, as well as contributors to leading survival/homesteading magazines. You will find over 700 posts on medical preparedness on their website.
Their mission:  To put a medically prepared person in every family for disaster situations.

Links:
Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Survival Skills To Ensure Your Team's Survival


Episode 58: Season 2 ep. 23


In this chapter of Without Land, Erika meets with her team as their leader. Her team can sense a change in her that gives them confidence. Here to discuss qualities of a leader and what you can sharpen your own leadership skills is L. Douglas Hogan author of The Tyrant Series.



Featured Quote:

"She knew where she was going and how."
Leadership Lessons from Doug

Doug has faced many experiences where his leadership skills have been called into play. He developed these leadership skills while he was in the marines working as a marksmen instructor. He had to deal with 12 new recruits every week for a year. Then he became a preacher and through the church government experience he was called upon again to improve these skills. He had mentors he respected and he made it his goal to learn as much from them as he could. He compiles notes on these skills and put his notes together in his book Oath Takers.

Doug feels it is important to have a leader in a survival situation. People will not have the comforts they are used to and they will be looking for someone strong and confident to follow. When you don't have confidence you do not have hope. People want to have hope and they want someone they can trust to give them this hope. Being in charge is a heavy burden for the leader. When you can safely follow someone it takes the weight of your team off of your shoulders.


Doug's top eight leadership qualities are:
  1. Knowlegeable 
  2. Courage
  3. Decisiveness
  4. Dependable
  5. Tact
  6. Just
  7. Enthusiastic
  8. Has bearing

Some people are born leaders and sometimes leadership it thrust upon you. there may come a time when you will be required to step up for the good of your group. If you have the foundation of a leader just the act of stepping up will set you apart. Be familiar with situations you may find yourself in if thrust into a survival situation. Remember it is okay to be a follower. The followers empower the leader. You can't nominate yourself leader, without violence. The people you lead are the reason you are a leader. A leader needs to be knowledgeable and if not they need to be humble enough to know when to appoint a delegate to handle and issue they are not knowledgeable about.

L. Douglas Hogan

L. Douglas Hogan is a U.S.M.C. veteran with over twenty years in public service. Among these are three years as an anti-tank infantryman, one year as a Marine Corps Marksmanship Instructor, ten years as a part-time police officer, and seventeen years working in state government doing security work and supervision. He is the best-selling author of “Oath Takers”, has authored four books in a series titled Tyrant, and is working on the sixth a final book of the series. He has been married over twenty years, has two children, and is faithful to his church, where he resides in southern Illinois.

Links:
Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

How to Forecast the Weather

Episode 57; Season 2, ep 22

Description of Today's Episode: As the weather changes in the Without Land adventure so do Erika's perspectives. Here today to discuss the weather and how to predict it's changes is Survival professional and author of Urban & Wilderness Survival, Emergency Preparedness, James E. Hart.


Featured Chapter Quote:
"He was just as stuck as she was, as we all are..."

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Weather Forecasting Lessons From James

There are specific signs that indicate rain is on the way. Watch the animals and what they are doing. They will tell you if change is coming. Birds, specifically swallows, will be flying low if no change is expected but if they fly high that means high pressure is moving in. Squirrels and other animals will start to scurry around just before a storm, making sure they have their shelters shored up and their food supply in order. Watch these animals and see what their activities are in relation to the weather so you can make better future predictions.

Rhymes to Remember
Red sky at night, sailor's delight. Red sky in the morning sailors take warning.
- Refers to a red sky formed by sunlight shining through dry air. When air is dry in the west, the westerlies are moving in. When it's in the east, the storm has passed.


In the morning mountains in the evening fountains.
- Refers to towering cumulus clouds that almost always bring in rain.

When the moon or sun is in his house, likely rain without.
Refers to a sky filled with with cirrocumulus clouds and indicates that a front is approaching. When a cold front hits a warm front it usually brings rain.

If the clouds are gathering thick and fast, keep sharp lookout for sail and mast but if they slowly onward crawl shoot your lines and nets to trawl. 
- Refers to thick fast clouds, indicating a cold front is coming fast or a in-coming slow, warm front that won't move in for a while.

Short notice soon will pass. Long notice long will last.
- Refers to the speed at which fronts approach. If it comes in fast it will likely blow over quickly but if it takes a long time to roll in chances are it's going to be there for a while.

 
Types of Clouds
High clouds are clouds that exist between 20,000 feet and above. These clouds can exist as high as 200,000 feet in the air. High clouds include: 
                Cirrus                            Cirrocumulus                 Cirrostratus
 Mid-level clouds are clouds that exist at an altitude between 6500 feet and 20,000 feet, including:
                Altostratus                                             Altocumulus
Low clouds are clouds that exist lower than 6500 feet, including:
           Cumulus                         Cumulonimbus                       Stratus

Low clouds consist of little drops of water but high clouds are the most dangerous. This is because high clouds are caused by serious winds. This wind will push the little water droplets into the upper atmosphere where they turn to ice and fall. If the wind pushes the droplets back up before they can fall to the earth the hail will continue to grow larger and larger, depending on how many times the drop goes up-freezes-falls and gets pushed back up.

If you have an anvil shaped cirrostatus cloud it is because the upper air current has blown the top of the cloud. 
Clouds look like they are billowing because water is accumulating so fast you can see it, like a wave. When this happens it can turn into one heck of a thunderstorm.Watch which way the cloud is moving because if the bottom is low enough wind will start swirling that bottom and form a tornado. Tornadoes are more bothersome than hurricanes because the wind is more intense and unpredictable. 

There are also miscellaneous clouds. Fog is actually microscopic water droplets floating close to the earth. Green clouds are actually light reflecting off the green vegetation below but these green clouds are also very closely related to severe weather. 

You have to know the weather patterns in your area, the surrounding area and any areas you may plan on bugging out to. Try to predict the weather the night before and see if you get it right on the next day.


James E. Hart
A veteran of 2 tours of duty in Vietnam, James began his survival training at the age of 7 when he was stranded in the Mojave Desert for 7 hours without food or water during a family move in 1954. Since then he has been through the scouting program where he attained Life scout, served as Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Venture Advisor, and earned the Badden Powell Award. An avid outdoors man, he has winter camped in Utah and northern Quebec, Canada, snow shoed in upstate New York, Utah and Quebec, and camped in the Mojave Desert of California, the Uintah Mountains of Utah, and the Piney Woods of East Texas, among numerous other locations. James has traveled and been through 42 of the 50 states of the US. Three provinces of Canada, sailed the Pacific Ocean, and crossed the Equator and 35 countries from jungles of South America to the Himalayas of Nepal. Having earned an Associates of Photography Degree from Houston Community College, he has beautifully captured many of his travels with his camera.

Now retired from a career with the Trinity River Authority of Texas, James resides in Dallas, TX, where he lectures on Wilderness and Survival Training. He is the author of SWET Survival & Wilderness Experience Training, Urban & Wilderness Emergency Planning, 35 other booklets on wilderness training, monthly articles for Survival Life Magazine, and a column and articles for The Garland Messenger Newspaper. James also does workshops and speaking engagements.
Links:


"Urban & Wilderness Emergency Preparedness": http://preparedwithjameshart.blogspot.com/p/buy-book.html

Sara F. Hathaway 

Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Rib Fracture, In a Long Term Survival Situation

Episode 56: Season 2 ep.21




The Without Land adventure finds Erika recovering from her training session in the ring.  The nurse assesses her for physical injuries and among them is a broken rib. Here to talk with us today about how to identify, treat and reduce pain from a rib fracture in a long term survival situation is Lisa Goodwin author of Prepping A to Z, The Series of Prepping Books and How to Be Prepared and co-host of The Survivalist Prepper Podcast.



 

Featured Quote:

"She felt so good wrapped up in his love."

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Lessons from Lisa

During her day Lisa Goodwin specializes as a nurse in orthopedics. Having started as a certified nursing assistant and then getting a bachelors degree in nursing, she is currently working on getting her certification in wound care. She is concerned about wound care in particular because she understands that something as simple as a cut or blister could be life threatening in a grid down situation.

Rib fractures, like the one Erika sustained, could happen in a number of ways. Generally the rib is fractured from a sharp blow to the chest. It could be from an altercation or a fall. I could happen in a car accident or if you are involved in a large animals incident. Many accidents are potential causes of a broken rib.

Certain symptoms the victim displays will let you know that they did indeed break their rib. They may complain of moderate to severe pain in their chest. Severe pain when breathing. Make sure you take special note of their ability to breath deeply, if there is any sign of an issue, this individual should be evaluated by a medical professional immediately. Since the ribs guard our chest cavity, a fractured rib can puncture a lung or lacerate the spleen. There are also many major blood vessels located under the rib cage, which could be severed due to a fracture of the rib.

If three or more ribs are fractured at once it can wreck the chest support system and collapse the victim's lung, referred to as flail chest. This condition requires the lung to be re-inflated using a tube. A medically trained professional has the expertise to do this but it would not be a good situation in a long term survival scenario. Someone who has had a pheumothorax or a collapsed lung in the past are more susceptible to having this occur again in the future. 

You should try to include an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician), paramedic or medically trained professional in your survival group. Someone needs to know medical procedures! EMT courses are available at local colleges so you can take the class yourself and study survival medicine sites online but a person in your survival group has to know this stuff.

Dental concerns will also have a major impact in a long term survival situation. Lisa recommends the book When There is No Dentist as an important book to add to your survival library.

When a victim is identified as having a fractured rib, they should rest and their activities should be restricted. They should not do any lifting for at least six weeks and it may take longer to heal if the victim's nutrition is lacking.

There is going to be a lot of pain. Ice should be applied. In a grid down situation you should have the ice packs that crack and become cold so you don't have to rely upon your freezer. The ice should be applied for 10 min on and then 10 min off. Do not leave it on to long or the ice can cause damage to the victim's skin. Tylenol or acetaminophen is the pain reliever of choice. Ibuprofen, Aleve or nonsteroidal medications can increase the risk of a hematoma or bleeding under the skin. These nonsteroidal medications can also interfere with bone healing. 

In the long term the patient should be concerned with receiving another blow to the same area. In the healing process a spur may have been left behind. This spur can cause internal damage if it is driven back into the chest cavity. You will have to face that risk in a long term survival situation. Nowadays it is recommended that people with these concerns wear a chest protector when engaging in physical activities. It may not be a bad idea to try and fashion one in a long term survival scenario if you have this concern. 

Do not use a compression wrap for a fractured rib! You can't breath deeply with it on and you want to do all you can to encourage the patient to breath. Without proper breathing the lung can collapse or fluid can build up and cause pneumonia. Encourage the person with the fracture to take 10-12 deep breaths, 3-4 times a day.

Survival Foraging: Peppermint, Not Just a Christmas Candy


Lisa Goodwin
Lisa Goodwin published her first fiction novel in 2011, and has subsequently been adding more titles as the years have passed. With a love of horses, and thrifty living, "Building Your On Horse Jumps" began the non-fiction journey.

Lisa is also a part of the popular podcast duo of Survivalist Prepper with her husband Dale, a weekly podcast covering ways to become more self-reliant, and learning skills that many have forgotten, the book series "A to Z Living a More Prepared and Self-Reliant Lifestyle" became a reality. Check back to Amazon.com often for new titles!

















 Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
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Purchase Day After Disaster


 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Evacuate Now!

It was a quiet Tuesday night. My family and I had an early dinner because I was headed off to martial arts. After participating in class, I returned home. We showered off the day's grime, brushed my four year old's teeth and put him down for a long night's sleep. My fifteen year old son was finishing up his video gaming and heading to bed as my husband and I enjoyed a few minutes of quiet time. We finished watching America's Got Talent and as we prepared for bed, we heard a siren in the driveway.

My first thought was the police were at my home and I wondered why. We live out on forty acres in the foothills of California and sirens are not something we hear often. I immediately headed out onto the balcony to see what the problem was. To my surprise it was an ambulance. Now my curiosity was going crazy. Who was hurt? Why were they here?

They informed my husband and I that there was a fire and our house was in the direct path of it's blaze. It was time to evacuate, right now! Even though I pride myself on preparedness, my mind still skipped a beat when reality came knocking on our door. This wasn't something that really happened, it is just something you see on tv, right? Wrong! My husband immediately ran and shut down our computer and then began pacing the floor back and forth. He asked me, "what do we do?" My son told me, "just tell me what to do." Calming my brain, I told them, "guys, we have a game plan, execute it!"

The first thing we did was make a pile of our essentials that needed to be loaded into vehicles before we left. That way while I was gathering the essentials my husband and son could be loading everything into the vehicle. First on the list was our "go-bags". They are backpacks that we keep ready for just this type of emergency. If you want to know what we keep in there, I give a free "go-bag" guide away when you sign up to The Changing Earth Newsletter on the right of this article. Included with our "go-bags" are our sleeping bags and tent.

The second thing we grabbed was any item that had a high monetary value, for example: money and valuable jewelry (leave the cheap stuff behind). The third thing on our list was our guns and ammo. The next thing I grabbed was a folder that I keep all of our important documents in. These documents include birth certificates, social security cards, our marriage certificate, and insurance policy numbers.  I work from home so the other essential thing that I grabbed was a back up hard drive that I have for my computer.

While everything was being loaded, I had my fifteen year old son go and calmly wake my four year old and get him dressed. We tried to remain very steady with my young son so he would not freak out. We put him into his car seat and then turned our attention to the dogs. We have an older great dane-boxer mix that rides well in a car but we just got a new puppy. We quickly found out we would need to use the smaller crate that we have for her. With our family, pets and valuables loaded, we headed out of the driveway.

I was proud of my family. It took us about fifteen minutes to load all of our essentials and leave the house. I would like to get it down to five minutes but for a family of four and two dogs that's not half bad. We went to our friend's home and waited. It didn't take me long to realize that I had left book three of The Changing Earth Series, all my character outlines and notes behind. I write all of my books by hand first so none of this was stored digitally. My husband and I left the kids and dogs in safety and headed back to the home. Luckily, we have the very best fire crews in California and they had the fire firmly under control by the time we made it back to the home. We grabbed my documents and headed back to my friend's house, just in case there was a resurgence during the night.

The whole experience was very surreal. I don't think any amount of preparation really prepares you for the day you are faced with losing everything. Even though the house was fine, we still walked around shell shocked for the next day. The bottom line is: You have to be ready! Emotionally an evacuation experience is going to rock your whole world so you need to have a clear plan that you can execute if you are ever faced with the moment when you are told to evacuate now!

These are some steps you can take if you face evacuation. Number one, remain calm. Your family will need a calming energy to avoid going into freak out mode. Number two, have a predertimed game plan and all of your items that you will be taking with you in a centrally located area so it is easy to gather and load into vehicles. Number three, your family and pets come first. If you can't take the time to get your valuables, forget them. Make sure your family is safe. Number four, be prepared to lose a lot of things you love. It is not easy but you will have to take a look around and decide if items are worth bringing or not. Finally, move quickly and with purpose. Don't waste your time in a frenzy. Maximize each movement's purpose so you can accomplish a lot of things in very little time.

It is my hope that readers can learn from my experience and prepare yourselves. Sometimes the knock comes on your door and you have to move.

 Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
Purchase Without Land
Purchase Day After Disaster


 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Survival Sparring

Episode 55: Season 2 ep.20




Erika finds her tiny self in the sparring ring, facing multiple opponents, as the Without Land story continues. The lessons she learns in the ring are essential. Here to talk with us today about sparring and its critical role in survival is Ben Branam author of ModernSelfProtection.com and host of The Modern Self Protection Podcast.



Featured Quote:

"This girl was nothing but piss and vinegar."

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Lessons from Ben

"You have to do it! You have to go full force with someone who can physically dominate you."

Unless you get this experience of being physically dominated you don't know how it feels. When you are put into these circumstances you find the true weaknesses within yourself and feel the true panic the situation induces. When you face these feelings you can begin to relax, think and play the game of chess that happens during a fight. You get the feeling of actually being hit, which most of us don't experience as adults. You will know what you can take and what you can't. Plus, you can emotionally conquer the feelings you get when you are being hit. You will learn to take that hit and keep on trucking. 

Getting into a sparring ring is essential because you need to learn to relax and breath during a fight.
The experience pushes you personal fortitude to new levels. Sooner or later you are going to get hit and you have to be able to keep functioning. You can't be knocked out or give up. Then you are at the mercy of your attacker or a mob of attackers. In a SHTF situation there will be no help and you will have to know how to take care of yourself.

Everybody can benefit from sparring. There are some great health benefits to staying physically active enough to participate in self-defense training. If you have never sparred before, never fought, never been hit, or have never been in a street fight, you better start practicing because it is a rude awakening when you do. People who have only a small amount of training can also benefit from additional practice because you think you know more than you really do. Also people that only train one style of fighting need to get out and spar folks who practice different disciplines so you are ready for anything. Remember in a real fight there are no rules so you need to think beyond the rules of traditional sparring but not necessarily use those techniques when you are practicing with a partner.

Illegal moves in a sparring situation will be the moves that dirt bags will resort to. You have to learn them so you can end a real fight as fast as possible. To learn how to fight and spar, you will need a quality instructor. Jujitsu is a great place to start. In class you will get challenged everyday. Then get a good stand up art instructor and start learning more. Also community colleges are great places to find instruction in self defense.

When applying sparring concepts to firearms practice a lot of principles remain the same. Static practice with a firearm teaches you the basics and how the gun works. You need to move beyond that into advanced techniques that center around shoot and move concepts. Getting shot sucks and you probably won't die in today's society but in a SHTF situation health complications will come into play. Your body armor is the one piece of gear you don't want to use because that means YOU GOT SHOT! If you can move faster than your opponent and still hit your target accurately, you will win. Concealed carry holders need to learn to move, draw and shoot. That skill will win  90% of the time. Break the static habits so you don't stop to shoot every time you take a shot. Being able to maneuver wins the day. If you can be fluid and your opponent spends too much time "getting into shooting position" just like they've been taught, you will win.

Just like sparring, it is a good idea to get a good shooting instructor. Having an instructor will significantly shorten your learning time. Ben Branam is a top notch instructor with classes all over the south. Ben also recommends learning from Gabe Suarez. His two day course will teach you to shoot and move proficiently. You can teach yourself. Go slow with an unloaded weapon or fake blue gun. Get used to drawing and shooting as you move slowly. Start with moving forward and backward after that start moving left to right and then right to left.

What difficult decisions are you willing to make to protect you and your family?


Ben Branam

"I’ve loved shooting since the first time I pulled a trigger at age 8. During high school I volunteered at my local PD where I learned more about handguns. I joined the Marine Corps Infantry after high school. I was a reserve for 10 years with 2 years of active duty and 1 tour in Iraq in 2003. I worked for an armored car company for almost 7 years mostly in the LA area of California. During all that I also got a degree in law enforcement and went through two different police academies. Being a cop never worked out, but through it all I’ve always been training people to fight. I spent all of 2008 in Iraq again as a private contractor defending a base. There I got to teach and train with the US Army and others. Now I want to bring that experience and my joy of teaching to others. I love teaching firearms and want the good people of the world to be able to defend themselves. It’s now my mission and purpose in life.." -Ben Branam
Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
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