Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Unrest over food shortages spreads through Venezuela

The story below is happening right now, 1-14-18. It is a good, real-life lesson as to what we Preppers can expect to live with should we have a countrywide political or man-made disaster. Even living out in the country is no guarantee of safety for your garden or livestock. Hungry, angry people are ruthless.

Unrest over food shortages spreads through Venezuela

By Anggy Polanco and Francisco Aguilar

SAN CRISTOBAL/BARINAS, Venezuela, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Hungry mobs ransacked a food collection center, and a supermarket in Venezuela's western Andean state of Merida on Thursday and reportedly even slaughtered cattle grazing in a field as unrest over food shortages spread through the country.

An opposition lawmaker from Merida, Carlos Paparoni, said four people had died and 10 were injured in the chaos over the last two days, but he did not specify the circumstances.

Four years of recession and the world's highest inflation have plunged millions of Venezuelans into poverty, and President Nicolas Maduro's authoritarian socialist regime faces mounting unrest.

Venezuela's Information Ministry did not respond to a request for information about the latest disturbances to rock the nation of 30 million people.

Looters plundered a truck carrying corn, a food collection center, and a state-run supermarket, according to Paparoni, and a vet who witnessed the mayhem.

A video on social media also showed around a dozen men running into a lush pasture, chasing a cow, and then apparently beating it to death.
"They're hunting. The people are hungry!" says the narrator of the video, who filmed the incident from his car. Lawmaker Paparoni said some 300 animals were believed to have been killed. Reuters could not verify the information.

Zuley Urdaneta, a 50 year-old vet in Merida, witnessed the looting of a truck along the highway around 2 p.m. on Thursday afternoon. About two hours later, he said some 800 people converged on a food collection center and proceeded to plunder it.
"They knocked down the gates and looted flour, rice, cooking oil, cooking gas," said Urdaneta. "The police and the National Guard tried to control the situation by giving out what was left."

Looting has been increasing in the provinces since Christmas, with food shortages and hyperinflation leaving millions of people hungry, though the capital, Caracas, has so far been largely unaffected.

The opposition says Maduro's failed economic policies and rampant corruption are to blame for the meltdown in the once booming country home to the world's largest crude reserves.

"What we're living is barbaric," said opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido in a tweet referencing the slaughter the cattle. "The dehumanizing regime of Nicolas Maduro is turning a blind eye to the tragedy that we Venezuelans are living."

Maduro's government accuses political opponents and business-friendly foreign powers of trying to foment a social uprising against him by stoking inflation and hoarding food.

In what they said was an attempt to combat "speculation," authorities last week forced over 200 supermarkets to slash prices, creating chaos as desperate Venezuelans leapt at the chance to buy cheaper food.

Some supermarkets were sold out of fruit and vegetables, and staff were unsure if the shelves would be replenished.

(Writing by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

“Hot Jaw” Heat Sealer

Years back, when I first started long-term Mylar Bagged food storage, I wanted this clamshell heat sealer however back then it was $200.00. I’m not rich and couldn’t justify that amount of money then. Over the years this clamshell sealer has been dropping in price where today, it’s just $99.00! So I finally bought one!

It has an inline switch for Off, Low and High settings user selectable when sealing thin or thick Mylar Bags. Also has an LED lamp telling you the power is on.

The part number and power label:
Each jaw is independent (switch selectable, hi-low) and each jaw uses 25 watts. 50 watts total on high.
Also note: The sealer frame is molded from a poly resin and aluminum (metalized resin). This resin is as stiff and ridged as aluminum. Absolutely nothing flimsy about this “Hot Jaw Sealer”!

Here I’m verifying the actual sealing temperature:
To melt and bond the Mylar Bag inside poly liner to itself within 4 seconds, the heat needs to be 300+f degrees. On the LOW setting only one jaw heats-up for thin bags, on HIGH both jaws heat-up to the same temperature for thick bags.
Note: The handles do not get hot to the touch even when on High.

This is what the 9/16ths wide seal looks like on a new bag. No air will leak through this seal.

Here I’m re-sealing a 5-gallon bag of wheat grain I had to open. It is very easy to do with the clam-shell sealer compared to an alligator style sealer. It does not require the pressure grip of Hulk Hogan, just a firm squeeze for 4 seconds and you’re done.

The 5-gallon bag re-sealed.

After re-sealing the entire opening of the 5-gallon bag, I then cut a corner off to insert the oxygen absorber, squeeze out all the air possible and then re-seal that corner.

Corner sealed and ready to go back into storage.

 Some of the reasons why I purchased this sealer?
1.      The width of the seal. 14mm (9/16) vs 2mm found on some alligator style sealers.
2.      Two heat settings, low for thin (under 4 mils) and high for thick (over 4 mils) Mylar bags.
3.      The best tool for sealing a 5-gallon bucket with a large single bag while the bag and food is in the bucket.

Manufacturers Product Description:
Teflon coated, not just covered with Teflon cloth like the majority of sealers. The upper and lower serrated jaws on these will give a high quality, extra wide 9/16" seal x 6 inches long on any Mylar bag. Will seal 6 inches at a time. (For larger bags just make multiple seals and overlap them.)

Source to Purchase:
P/N: IPKHS-606T,  6” Teflon-Coated Hot-Jaw Sealer

This Hot Jaw Sealer is a high-quality Mylar Bag sealing tool and easy to use.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A Husband Laments

A woman awakes during the night to find that her husband is not in bed. She puts on her robe and goes downstairs to Look for him.

She finds him sitting at the kitchen table with a hot cup of Coffee in front of him.
He appears to be in deep thought, just staring at the wall.

She watches as he wipes a tear from his eye and takes a sip of his coffee.
‘What’s the matter, dear?’ she whispers as she steps into the room, ‘Why are you down here at this time of night?’

The husband looks up from his coffee, ‘It’s the 20th Anniversary of the day we met.’
She can’t believe he has remembered and starts to tear up.

The husband continues, ‘Do you remember 20 years ago? When we started dating? I was 18 and you were only 16,’ He says solemnly.

Once again, the wife is touched to tears thinking that Her husband is so caring and sensitive.
‘Yes, I do.’ she replies.

The husband pauses. The words were not coming easily. ‘Do you remember when your father caught us in the back seat of my car?’
‘Yes, I remember’ said the wife, lowering herself into a chair beside him.

The husband continued. ‘Do you remember when he shoved the shotgun in my face and said, ‘Either you marry my daughter or I will send you to prison for 20 years?’
‘I remember that too’ she replied softly.

He wiped another tear from his cheek and said ‘I would have gotten out today.’

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Returning to the Disaster Zone, St. Martin after IRMA

The sailing couple aboard “Sailing Mischief” went to St. Martin two months after hurricane IRMA. It is hard to imagine all the losses there. Their video is far more accurate to the real damage than any major news broadcaster has been.
A very sad situation, but a good lesson on how bad hurricanes are.

The sailors' comments:
“After two months since Irma ripped through St. Martin we return to check on Mischief and see how the people and island are holding up. We are still very grateful to have our health and lives after living through the worst hurricane in recorded history”.

Link to the video:

Saturday, December 30, 2017

What it’s ‘REALLY LIKE’ to live in a Major Disaster Aftermath!

Puerto Rico and St Thomas are a disaster, no other way to describe it. They are a prime, real life example of what we Prep for, and what we can expect if a major disaster hits where we live!

Below is a video link of how the survivors in Puerto Rico are living their daily lives today months after the hurricane. It is an eye opener for those of you new to Prepping. It is miserable beyond description and why water, electricity and food are so important.

The link comes from a blog I read and featured in my side bar. Fernando has lived through government collapses and has first hand knowledge of how bad things can get and has published several books on the subject.

 http://ferfal.blogspot.com/  ‘SURVIVING IN ARGENTINA

The Link to the video. Well worth 15 minutes of your Prepping Time: