Storms in Europe displaces hundreds of thousands

Luke Macgregor/Reuters

You would think it only happened in the movies, but just yesterday powerful storms ripped through much of Britain, and Europe, disrupting public transport and shutting down airports. The survivors are left without power as nuclear reactors are shut down for safety.

While it may not be the first of such storms, it may be the sign of recurrent natural disasters that may strike at any moment, hence the reality and need of being prepared.

Once the power grids are shut down and restoring power becomes a gradual exercise, many will be left in the dark for days or weeks. During that time, a scramble for essential supplies such as water, food and portable power supply such as batteries will be in high demand. More than likely demand will be higher than supply, and when that happens a test of man’s civility will likely ensue.

Being prepared means you have the choice to stay put and defend the fort if chaos forms below. It means you can better protect and provide for your family when the next incident occurs, and that’s the best insurance policy you should be looking at.

EDC SERE Belt [beta]

Based on the Ultimate Paracord Bracelet, a few of you have asked if I could make a belt version of it, and from that the EDC SERE Belt was born. I thought it was an interesting idea for a few reasons, first of which nobody makes a low profile EDC Tactical belt, especially not with a 1″ Cobra buckle, most of these belts are 1.5″ and most commonly 1.75″. When we are talking about a 1.75″ belt, that’s the width of the belt webbing, not the buckle itself, which will be over 2″, which explains why you can never loop the buckle through any belt loop of any pants, tactical or otherwise.

By downsizing the belt width to only 1″, the buckle is around 1.5″ which loops through almost all tactical pants, and my khakis. The idea is really to maintain the convenience of having a Cobra buckle release without having to unloop and re-loop the webbing throughout the day, as well as to maintain the 4000lb load rating of the whole belt.

Some people have had concerns on whether reducing the width of the belt means that the load rating is reduced. But it really is about finding the right material for the job. By using a dual adjust Cobra buckle and 1″ tubular nylon webbing, it is still mil-spec rated to 4000lbs, of course with single layer nylon weave it will only be 2500lbs, and polypropylene webbing is only rated for about 500lbs. The only visible drawback is if I only use single layer webbing it will never be stiff enough, as we are quite used to our stiff tactical belts, but of course the real question is what are you using this belt for? Honestly it is a bit too soft to support holsters, and most holster and magazine loops are sized 1.5″ and above.

So I would say that this is good for civilians who don’t carry, the whole idea of this belt is to be overlooked and underestimated, and still have the SERE capabilities if required. I went a step further after sorting out the webbing and buckle, to add some more functionality to the belt without affecting its comfort. A lot of SERE belts try to put too many things in there like fishing hooks and line but I think in a survival situation you wouldn’t really be fishing. If I had all the time to sit down and fish, I’d rather weave a makeshift net from the paracord inner strands and save myself some time, so for my test belt I decided to incorporate the following items: 12″ Hacksaw, about 12″ of duct tape, a Derma-safe razor, and 40 feet of Type 4 750lb paracord.

The Derma-safe razor is secured next to the buckle for comfort because it is the next flattest surface of the belt apart from the back. The razor is not inserted into the tubular nylon webbing because I figured its the first thing you’d need access to once you undo the paracord to cut the ends and to get the hacksaw out. If I had hidden everything inside the belt, you might not be able to get to the stuff inside without any tools. The hacksaw is inserted into the tubular nylon webbing to act as a belt stiffener, as most paracord belts have a shoddy appearance simply because the material is too soft. Having a stiffener greatly improves appearance, and having a hacksaw in hand may just get you out of a situation where you are illegally detained against your will such as a kidnapping for example.

As you can see I have left the other side of the buckle free for the velcro closures so that the belt is adjustable. Initially I tied black paracord over the Olive drab belt and felt that it contrasted too much. I eventually re-did the whole belt with Olive drab. I would have liked to make an all black belt, but this one is just for testing anyway, so I reckon color is not important for now.

The length from the belt buckle to the velcro for my belt is only 26″, and I managed to fit about 40′ of type 4 paracord along that width. For me, I think that’s a fantastic amount of paracord to be on hand and at the ready. Kind of puts my bracelet to shame, but of course they are all for different uses.

As these are really custom made, I don’t have a lot of Cobra buckles in hand, please send me a mail at Echo@epi.asia to reserve yours if you are interested, or if you have an idea on how you want your belt made differently. I will need your exact waist measurement with your pants on, this is not your pants size, as it normally is about 3~4″ wider, and also the distance between the buckle and the first belt loop, to make sure that the belt has enough lead on it for the velcro to secure properly.

In the pipeline, I will also be making some 1.5″ belts using the all polymer GT Cobra buckle, which is a collaboration between ITW Nexus and Austrialpin. The targeted load is only 500lbs, but with an all plastic buckle operators doing a lot of naval ops who are constantly exposed to salt water will not have to worry about equipment failure due to rust. For civilian applications, it makes sense to have an all plastic belt as it won’t set off any alarms walking through airport security. I for one never like taking my belt off when walking through the scanners, and having one less thing to worry about saves a lot of time, and keeps your eyes on your important stuff, not your belt loops. For now I always use a 5.11 belt with the plastic buckle when I travel, but getting used to the convenience of a Cobra buckle, you will appreciate the simplicity and convenience of not having to constantly readjust your belt everytime you visit the washroom.

To get an idea of how the belt looks like with various pants I took some photos of it, the one above is with a regular pair of Dockers. The entire belt weaves effortlessly through the belt loops. Imagine if it were completely in black, I think that would look quite nondescript, which is what I am aiming for.

This is on a pair of 5.11 Tactical pants, which incidentally is my work pants. By the time the paracord is weaved onto the webbing, it is about 1.5″, the same width as the Cobra buckle.

This is on a pair of Vertx Tactical pants. These are great tactical pants because the whole philosophy is the same, to be overlooked in an urban environment, the cargo pockets are all hidden and the cutting makes it look like any dress pants. I’ve worn it to many official functions and weddings, but then again I’ve never been the fashionable sort.

To give you an idea of how it would look on green pants, these are 5.11′s Covert khaki pants in OD. Notice where the Derma-safe razor is secured to the left, the flash is reflecting off the duct tape, but in reality it is quite well hidden, so to use the razor, just undo belt, undo paracord, peel razor off. Easy.

Finally a look at the hacksaw belt stiffener, it retains the shape of the belt so it looks neater, and also provides some support. The entire belt is quite comfortable due to the cushioning from the paracord, and I’ve tested it over the whole week and am quite happy with it, just don’t go walking into an airport with this belt and think that you will not get yourself into any trouble.

EPI Bracelet – Ordering info

To order your own EPI Bracelet, first measure your wrist size with a tape or some string. Make sure that its not too snug, and about 1 inch from the base of your palm. In the example above, the measurement will be 7.1/4 inches. If you want the bracelet to be snug at the wrist then your ordering size will be 7.1/4 inches.

However, the way that I wear it, I will recommend ordering a 1/4″ ~ 1/2″ size larger, as shown below, which is a 7.3/4″ bracelet:Why I don’t recommend a bracelet that’s too snug at the wrist is because our wrist size changes over time, sometimes over the same day, it can vary. A larger size also means that you can slide the bracelet up when you are washing your hands so it doesn’t get wet and you end up with a damp, gummy bracelet the rest of the day.

Once you get the sizing down, all you have to do is choose the type of paracord. What paracord should you choose?

CHARLIE – Commercial 550 Paracord, has 7 inner strands but no identifying strand. Commercial spec paracord has a large variety of colors available such as various camo colors to purple. 550 in this case is not tested so the cord will most likely fail at much less than that, but for recreational or as a fashion statement as well as being at an affordable price point, you can’t go wrong with it. Regular widths are RM30 / Wide widths are RM40

MIKE3 – Mil-spec Type 3 paracord is rated for 550lbs with 7 inner strands and 1 identifying strand. Currently only available in Olive Drab. A versatile cord at a slight premium over CHARLIE models. Regular widths are RM50 / Wide widths are RM65

MIKE4 – Mil-spec Type 4 paracord is rated for 750lbs with 11 inner strands and 1 identifying strand. More inner strands means more capability for tarp, clothing lines or weaving your own fishing net. A premium cord for those who want the best. Available in only mil-spec colors Olive Drab, Desert Sand, Red, Black and Foliage Green. Regular widths are RM80 / Wide widths are RM150

Regular widths hold roughly 10 inches of paracord per inch of bracelet for MMF closure bracelets, and 1 foot per inch of bracelet for ITW Nexus buckles. Wide widths hold twice as much paracord per inch of bracelet. The MMF closures itself has roughly 18 inches of cord in its constuction. The pros of the MMF closure is that it is silent, and in the event you need to untie the outer cord, the inner core remains intact, so re-ties at half price for all MMF closures for MIKE models will be valid. The cons of the MMF closure is that you get less outer cord per inch, but considering the capability you get from this system, its a good trade off. The inner cord for the MMF closure and outer cord colors can be different so you can mix and match.

ITW Nexus buckles can only be ordered in Wide widths only. Depending on the type of cord you choose, the buckles will be an additional RM8 per bracelet. These bracelets are only made in solid colors. This means you get one continuous strand of 16′ of cord for about an 8″ bracelet. I do not make them in dual colors as they require 2 cords to be fused together, and I rather have a continuous length of cord with its load rating intact than to butcher it in the name of fashion.

NanoSilver treatment can be added to all bracelets at RM10 each.

Please send all orders and enquiries to echo@epi.asia 

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Disclaimer for EPI Bracelets

Comparison of Mil-spec Type 4 cord and actual climbing rope

Mil-spec Type 3 and 4 cord conforms to specifications stated in the MIL-C-5040H documents and test procedures of 550lb and 750lbs, and the cord should be able to meet the minimum break strength of the specified cord. That does not mean, however, that you should be rappelling off the building with just a strand of paracord. Climbing rope for use as a safety line, for rappelling operations, or caving and spelunking usually have a tensile strength of about 5700lbs to 10000lbs depending on diameter and application. Climbing gear such as carabiners usually is rated for 24kn which is approximately 5000lbs.

For this reason, the EPI Paracord bracelet cannot be used as replacement for proper climbing equipment. Doing so risks your life and the lives of others, so be reasonable with your use of the paracord. If you look at the picture above, you will immediately notice the difference between real climbing rope and our highest spec Type 4 paracord.

Climbers normally calculate load safety and take into consideration gravitational forces that need to be multiplied by mass, and because of this, even though you may weigh 200lbs, a 750lb of cord will fail if you jump off a building with it. Simply put, using a 5700lb rated climbing rope, with you weighing at 200lbs, there is a factor of 28.5, where else if using Type 4 paracord, there is only a factor of 3.75. This difference can mean life and death.

Also environmental factors such as how long the cord has been exposed to the elements, can mean that the cord degrades over time. If exposed to heat, nylon cord will melt and should be retired for all but general purpose use.

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NanoSilver treatment

EPI Bracelets is the first to use NanoSilver to treat selected products. What this means for you is advanced odor management never before thought possible.

NanoSilver is literally nano-particles of silver ions that bond with any material it comes in contact with on a molecular level. This means that the treatment is not just only on the surface of the product, but is impregnated into the core fibers of the product. Bracelets that has just rolled out of treatment will exhibit a slight metallic shimmer, as pictured above. However, this shimmer wears off after it’s been exposed to air after a few hours.

Our NanoSilver treatment is non-toxic and anti-bacterial as silver particles inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi, which is primarily the cause of odor and bacterial or fungal infection. Treated bracelets also have the added advantage of reduced washing cycles, which in turn prolongs the life of your paracord bracelet.

We use a full strength 1000ppm treatment for all treated bracelets, this ensures you get the maximum strength possible. Sure, we can dilute the treatment down to 50ppm and still claim that it is NanoSilver treated, but if you, like me, want the very best, there is only one way to do something, and that is to do it right.

By using a full strength treatment, lighter colors will exhibit the tendency to turn a dark purple due to the silver oxidizing when exposed to air and sunlight. For this reason, we are only doing the NanoSilver treatment on Black paracord bracelets only. Olive Drab bracelets will turn a different burnt purple hue that I find quite attractive as it will give it an aged look, although that may not be for everyone. However, the color change does not affect the silver’s efficacy and anti-bacterial properties.

With that in mind, any bracelet can be treated for a flat fee of RM10/each. Remember to let us know when you order. All NanoSilver treated bracelets will contain the suffix AG+ in the item code.

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EPI : Bracelets

EPI Bracelets

Paracord bracelets are common nowadays and popular with outdoor, adventure seekers looking to increase their capability by having several foot of paracord with them at all times. With an almost endless selection of different colors available, it has also transversed into becoming a fashion accessory, at home in the streets or in the wilderness.

While most, if not all paracord bracelets out there indicate that they are made from ‘military spec 550 cord’, a true paracord made according to military specifications has to meet various criteria before it can be certified as Mil-spec. The quickest way to identify whether a cord is mil-spec or not, is the color. If the cord is camo, purple or neon green, it most likely isn’t mil-spec. Mil-spec colors are only available in Black, Coyote, Tan, Foliage Green, Olive Drab, Red, Orange, Royal Blue, Silver, White and natural (off-white). A true military spec cord has to have a minimum load strength rating of 550lbs, thus the 550 nomenclature, and should correctly be called MIL-C-5040H Type III Paracord. Type III cord should have a minimum of 7 inner strands in the core, with 3 twills per strand, and an identifying colored strand to identify the manufacturer of the cord. Additionally, the spool of cord should come with a Certificate of Conformance to ensure that it passes military spec testing to be able to be called a true mil-spec cord. MIL3 Paracord

Type IV Paracord has an 11 strand core, with 1 identifying strand, and has a minimum strength of 750lbs. Any cord outside of these specifications should be considered as ‘Commercial spec’ cord and not ‘Mil-spec’ as some of them incorrectly advertise. MIL4 Paracord

EPI Bracelets are the only ones in the market that uses true Mil-spec cord for the MIKE line of bracelets. What this means is that you are getting a properly specified cord, and in times of emergency where you really have to use it, you can be assured that it will be able to meet the specifications it was built for. In fact, we are proud to say that we are the only manufacturer of Type IV paracord bracelets, among other unique customs that we do, such as the Ultimate paracord bracelet below using a true AustriAlpin Cobra buckle that is CNC machined from 7075 aluminium and tested to 18kn(4000lbs), with an inner nylon tubular core that also has a 4000lb rating. Having the increased capability of a buckle that will not open under stress on your wrist means that you can be creative and instantly rig a quick release system with the buckle, webbing and 750lb paracord to quickly secure or release important gear on the fly.AustriAlpin Cobra buckleModified Monkey's Fist

The regular EPI Bracelets in both CHARLIE(Commercial-spec) and MIKE(Military-spec) models come standard with our own unique Modified Monkey’s Fist closure system. This is a departure from the regular plastic buckle bracelets you find elsewhere, the MMF closure is strong, silent, and perfect where a low sound signature is required. Bracelets with the MMF closure form what we call an inner core, and the paracord outer core wraps around this inner core. With conventional buckles, once you open the paracord, you’d only be left with the plastic buckle, which basically means you’d have to get another bracelet. For this reason, most people will hardly ever open their bracelets to use the cord. The MMF closure on the other hand is different in that once you untie the outer core, you’ll still have the inner core. This inner core retains your sizing information so all you have to do is send your inner core back to us and we’ll retie your bracelet at half price for all MIKE3 and MIKE4 bracelets. We encourage you to use your cord! EPI Bracelets

We also make a plastic buckle paracord bracelet for those who insist on using buckles, and only use the Contoured SR buckle made by ITW Nexus, a military supplier of plastic buckles and other hardware. While the ITW Nexus buckles aren’t load rated, they are definitely high quality buckles, and we currently only make them with Type IV cord, in Wide widths. This is a great way to carry about 16′ of Type IV cord, and we also offer a free blood type ID sticker, just let us know when you order.ITW Nexus Bracelet

All bracelets are made to order, so to ensure you get your sizing right, measure your wrists with a string, and make sure its not too tight, to the nearest quarter inch size (eg. 7.1/4″ or 8.1/2″). Of course you can drop by the shop to get a feel of the sizing. As these are truly custom utility bracelets, we make sure that what goes in there serves a purpose, so you won’t be able to request garish chrome buckles or fancy attachment decorative rings on an EPI Bracelet. We also offer NanoSilver treated bracelets in Black only. NanoSilver is a treatment that bonds Silver nanoparticles to the cord on a molecular level, inhibiting the growth of bacteria and other pathogenic microorganisms. We use a full strength 1000ppm NanoSilver treatment and is particularly effective for odor management, plus reduced washing cycles will also mean a longer cord life by reducing its deterioration.EPI Bracelets

Every EPI Bracelet come packed in its own protective ziploc bag, and MIKE models will always have a short ‘proof-strand’ included so you know what your bracelet was made of. So the next time you’re thinking of wearing a paracord bracelet, or if you’re already having one as part of your EDC, make sure you’re carrying the best. Contact us for more information, or drop by the shop to check it out.

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Tomahawks – Practical Tactical

Custom BARR+EPI Damascus Hawk

Even before the tomahawk was invented, early man’s instinct to chop with a sharpened stone indicates that our most primal motor function was not to slice, slash, or stab, but it was to chop. Whether cutting down a tree or dressing captured wild game, this cutting motion is man at his purest form.

Fast forward till today, the tomahawk has transcended into the tool it is today. Whether for sport that North Americans engage in with tomahawk throwing, or as a utility tool for camping, for self defense, to tactical hawks for elite military units that use it as a secondary weapon or as a breaching tool, the tomahawk design has remained timeless and mostly unchanged. In fact, little needs to be changed with a design that is so effective for close quarters combat, and deadly in the hands of a trained operative.

The design for different applications of the tomahawk varies with the expected use of this tool. Utility hawks generally look like camp axes except they are lighter, and feature a hammer end for nailing tent stakes or other utility tasks. While most people feel that camp axes do the job well, I generally prefer the reduced weight of the hawk. The ability to instantly deploy the hawk as a self defense tool in the outdoors outweigh the fact that the lighter head will mean more effort in chopping wood. Looking at it from a hiking perspective, every ounce saved in my backpack lets me cover further distances so that works for me. The Cold Steel Trail Hawk is a great example of this utility hawk.

While most tomahawks are now made overseas in China or Taiwan, there are people who still insist on American made tomahawks, and who can blame them? Most US made hawks are small batch, custom made models that are hand forged so no two are alike. I personally am a big fan of DM Forge’s tomahawks that Craig Barr makes out at Colorado. The custom damascus ones are simply the finest in what I call hard-use, exhibition grade hawks like the one at the top of this page. These are hawks you will be passing down from generation to generation, and worth every penny spent.

Custom BARR+EPI Damascus Hawk with leather sheath

And then there are the tactical hawks. RMJ Tactical has always been much sought after for their Tactical hawks, but the waiting list and the price goes slightly into the custom territory so it has been prohibitive for most regular folks…until now. The CRKT Kangee and Chogan tactical hawks designed by Ryan Johnson of RMJ Tactical bridges this gap with production hawks at half the price. The main difference between both of them is that the Kangee has a spiked end, with a sharpened top, while the Chogan has a more reserved hammer end with an unsharpened top. Both hawks come with a kydex sheath for multiple attachment options to MOLLE gear. It even comes with an included shoulder strap, although I really think it isn’t the best way to be carrying this hawk. I have attached a single short MALICE clip on mine with 2 screws and I think by far it has proved to be the best option for belt carry. This method also allows for the quickest and safest deployment which works for me.

The Kangee is designed more of a tactical breaching – close quarters combat tool, while the Chogan is more of a utility version of it, so depending on your needs and skill level, you can choose accordingly. Be careful of the Kangee’s spike though, if you aren’t trained for it as you can seriously injure yourself with almost every edge on the top sharpened, but for breaching doors or windows with something weighing just 1lb 8oz, it is wicked effective at its job.

For more info, or to have a closer look at the above tomahawks head over to the EPI.shop.

The basics of vehicle preparedness

We commute everyday, spending a sizeable portion of our lives in our vehicles in the process. As we have mentioned earlier in the Color code system, the moment you are outside your comfort zone, you have to make it a point to have situational awareness, to be alert. Your vehicle should not be treated as a comfort zone, you are surrounded by glass, and glass is breakable.

While you may think that if you have already sorted out that bit by tinting your windows with security film, remember that the film is just a very thin layer of protection meant to hold the glass in place in case there is impact, preventing entry. What this means is that it will delay an attacker from gaining entry into your vehicle, but if the attacker was persistent enough or is using a tool that pierces the film, then you will find yourself in a very dangerous position to be in as your ‘shield’ would be very quickly compromised. With that being said, having that barrier is definitely more sensible than having nothing at all, but it doesn’t mean that if you are attacked you should remain stationary, always drive off immediately.

I’ve learnt many years ago that  you should always look for an exit the moment you enter a new unfamiliar place, and the same holds true when you are driving, especially in unfamiliar roads. Always remember landmarks, signs, or anything that will help you identify your position. This also can be applied to when you are reversing into your home, which is my preferred method of entry as you have full awareness of oncoming vehicles. If you sense something is amiss, for example unfamiliar vehicles randomly parked outside your premises, or vehicles suddenly accelerating towards you as you are entering your premises, always move yourself into a position where you can accelerate forward and out of the way. If possible try not to get boxed in with nowhere to run.

Other unforeseen circumstances that will likely happen is that you get stuck in traffic. Its not uncommon to have stalled vehicles or accidents that take hours to clear up, and you are stuck in the middle of the highway, unable to reverse, or find an alternate route, and all you can do is wait. During these moments, you probably would wish you had some food, water, and something to pass your time. The ER Bar, which is a high-calorie cookie bar is perfect to stash in the glove box. Vacuum sealed, with a 5 year shelf life and able to withstand temperatures of around 60 degrees Celcius, its a perfect food for emergencies because of the simple fact that you don’t have to think about it for the next few years until when you need it. Always keep at least a bottle of water before any journey to remain hydrated throughout your trip, no matter how short it may be.

The next thing is fuel. I make it a point to refuel when the gauge hits about a quarter. Letting your vehicle run till the last possible minute or when the re-fuel light is flashing isn’t wise as you may not have the chance to do so when you need it most. Getting stuck in traffic isn’t fun, but getting stuck in traffic with almost no fuel left, and turning off the air conditioner to save fuel while you are baking inside your own vehicle, is foolish.

When I choose a preferred vehicle as a daily driver, one of the things I look at also is the placement of the fuel cap. Most cars nowadays have the refuelling cap on what I call ‘the wrong side’, meaning to say, if the driver’s side is on the right, the cap should be on the right, not left. This is probably done because of the way vehicles are globalized nowadays so they are sharing platforms globally, and making a vehicle that has the cap on the same side might cost more money to do. But think for a moment how you refuel your vehicle: If it is on the wrong side, you would have to pull up to a kiosk, get out of the vehicle, walk to the other side to refuel, and at this moment most people would probably just leave their cars unlocked, and unlocked cars are vulnerable cars. There really is no quick way to get back into your vehicle and drive off in case of an emergency (this design helps car thieves get away quicker though, especially for those who leave the keys in the ignition).

Now, if the fuel cap is on the same side, what I do is I pull up beside the kiosk, keys are off the ignition, door open. By keeping the door open I create a barrier and close off that bit, so even if someone charges at me, I can hold them off with my vehicle door. Then I will proceed to refuel, but I have created a somewhat ‘safer’ workspace. At least if someone tries anything funny, I can just hop into the driver’s seat, and drive off.

I think its about time we start thinking ahead, its all these little things that matter and by thinking that nothing is going to happen, you will start slacking off little by little, and people with malicious intent always prey on the weak and vulnerable, and take advantage of any openings. Do not let them have an upper hand, and please do not leave valuables, keys, or children in your vehicle. It only takes a split second for your life to change forever.

The year in review

Now that the so-called Mayan Apocalypse has passed and nothing happened, quite a number of people are holding true to their belief that there is no need to be prepared. But think about it, apocalypse does not happen like what you see in the movies where the earth splits apart and there is fire and explosions everywhere. The end of the world can very simply mean something catastrophic happening to you or your family, whenever, or wherever you may be. Take for instance, the recent landslides that caused evacuations in Puncak Setiawangsa, or the flooding in Pahang, these are natural disasters that can happen to you, it doesn’t take a lot to displace your comfort zone and way of life.

In fact when you look at the year in review, 2012 had a lot going on, the earthquakes in Chiba, Japan, and Northern Italy, Yunnan, China and Afghanistan, flooding caused by hurricanes and tornadoes that caused about US$4.8 billion in damages, wildfires in Colorado and Oklahoma, or the drought in Sahel. With these events happening, it is difficult to argue with the fact that nothing is happening, or to maintain the ‘it won’t happen to me’ mentality. But you know what, there will always be the unprepared, the last minute shoppers, the people who out of desperation will want to speak to the manager to get some answers or results when things do happen. Here’s a hint, when something does happen and you’re not self-sufficient, most likely aid will not come until much later. The best thing to do is always to have an exit strategy.

The problem has to do with marketing as well. The way the apocalypse was marketed last year, part fear-mongering, part mockery, part cashing in on it, led many to believe that it was just hype. Indeed it was, I saw apocalypse sales, or apocalypse parties and the like. You have Doomsday Preppers with even more crazy characters that reinforces the idea that, if you are prepping, then you really must be nuts.

But that’s what people want you to think. Prepping moves you a little off the grid from being dependent, to being independent. Its like buying a flashlight for emergencies, because flashlights run on batteries, it is an independent power source, so you are moving off the grid that supplies electricity to your fluorescent lighting or fancy downlights. If you look at it from a bigger perspective, suppose you decide to run your entire eco-home on solar or regenerative energy, that would mean you are fully off the electrical grid. While its great for you and your eco conscience, the local electrical company will never be able to make any profit off your home, and that’s where the problem starts. If enough people start getting off the grid, that affects the profits of large corporations, and these are the guys that has the capital, power, and influence to do some marketing for their benefit.

As long as the people don’t know what they really want, however, it will definitely be easy for marketing guys to sell you something – anything, even an idea as absurd such as ‘it will never happen to you’. Like they say, if you don’t believe in something, you will believe in anything.