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December - "Preparing for the Future"

This month’s theme is preparing for the future. As Benjamin Franklin once said: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail,” and this can be applicable to all aspects of life. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the phenomenon known as “prepping.”

Week One

There are many misconceptions around prepping, while it is simply the act of taking steps to prepare for the future. In the past few decades, there have been many events and disasters that have caused a spike in prepping across the nation. These include the 9/11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the 2007 Recession, and the rising threat of violence and terrorism, among others. Unfortunately, disaster can strike anywhere, at any time. Though this is a harsh reality to face, it is necessary to take adequate steps to prepare for one of these events. Depending on the nature of the disaster, necessary resources and care may not be readily available, and medical services and personnel may be unpredictable. This can devastate individuals and communities alike, leaving thousands without adequate food, water, medicine, electricity, and other basic necessities. Keeping food, supplies, and extra resources on hand is the best way to ensure preparedness for any type of disaster.

Many people put off preparing with the intent to do it “later,” due to finances, lack of time, or other priorities. But in reality, preparing is not as daunting, expensive, or time-consuming as it may seem. Many people think that disaster won’t occur within their community, but that is a high risk to take when one’s safety is at stake. Technically, most people are already preppers; we all prepare for life to varying degrees. Buying insurance, stocking your cabinets and fridge with food, and putting money into a savings account are all forms of preparing.

Taking a few small steps each month can add up over time and have long-term benefits. Starting the prepping process can be as simple as buying extra food and water during your next trip to the grocery store. When prepping, it is recommended to keep a 2-week supply of food and water on hand for all individuals in a household. Start off this month by stocking up on enough water for all family members. If you don’t own one already, consider buying a can opener and enough non-perishable foods to last two weeks for all household members.  Some options include: canned chicken and beef, canned beans or chili, mac and cheese, and peanut butter. These options are fairly inexpensive, and are high in fat and calories. Each month, stock up little by little during each trip to the store. With each month, add more essential items, such as flashlights and batteries, a first-aid kit, blankets, and lighters. Allocating a portion of money each month to preparing is worth the peace of mind it will bring. Our NIJ IIIA Bulletproof Survival Pack and Safety Kit is a great option for an emergency supply kit. The backpack has both a well-stocked first aid kit and a basic survival supplies kit with a 5-year guaranteed shelf life. The first-aid kit contains enough supplies for 25 people, and includes bandages, antiseptic towelettes, cold compresses, and gloves, among other essentials. The basic survival supply kit includes water, blankets, a flashlight, crank radio, a whistle, tools, and tissues, among others.

All preppers start with making the decision to be proactive and in charge of their own safety and well-being. As said earlier, disaster can strike at any time, so it is crucial to be prepared in terms of having the basic necessities and adequate resources on hand. 

November Marks Military Family Month"

Military Family Month was established by the Armed Services YMCA in 1996, and the U.S. Government has acknowledged the occasion every year since then. Each November, the President signs a proclamation that pronounces November as Military Family Month. With thousands of service members deployed overseas, it is important to take adequate time to recognize the sacrifices made by military families across the country. In former President Barak Obama’s proclamation last year, he encouraged Americans across the country to honor military families through private actions and public service, and to respect the contributions they make to support the service members of our Nation. This year, President Donald J. Trump encouraged all communities and sectors of society to acknowledge and honor the services and contributions of veterans and military families. Throughout the month, our Bullet Blocker family will recognize and appreciate the immense sacrifices Military families make. 

Week Four: How to thank a Veteran

Throughout this month, we have recognized Military Family Month by providing tips and advice on how to show appreciation and respect towards Military service members and their families, particularly during the holiday season. As we near the end of Military Family Month, we will focus this week on how to thank a Veteran. While military family members face hardships and challenges of their own, Veterans do as well. It is important to show respect and appreciation for these individuals not just on Veteran’s Day, but throughout the year.

            One easy way to show support is to get involved. Attend a Veteran’s event in your area, get involved in Veteran’s organizations within your community, and give of your time. Visiting a nearby VA hospital is a great way to interact with and get to know Veterans firsthand. Many of these hospitals offer volunteer opportunities in terms of clerical support, activity assistance, and transportation. Even if you never interact with a Veteran, helping out at a facility is a great way to give back. Another way to show support is to fly a flag. It is important to make sure you are observing the proper rules for display. As seen in our previous weeks’ posts, there are a variety of organizations and companies dedicated to serving the Military community, but many rely on donations. Donating to a Veteran’s organization such as the “Wounded Warriors Project” or “Homes for Our Troops” is another way to show appreciation to Veterans while supporting a worthy cause. 

Task & Purpose, a news site that covers issues related to veterans, posted an article with quotes from 25 veterans and service members sharing how people should thank them for their service. Chad Storlie, a U.S. Army veteran, said that the best way to thank a veteran is to “take a brief pause in your day and really listen to what a veteran has to say about their experience.” To him, thanking someone for their service means you are willing to learn about their military service and personal sacrifice. Welton Chang, another U.S. Army Veteran, said there are three important ways to show thanks: “get involved with veterans’ organizations, get politically involved, and vote. There are many worthy organizations out there that both do good and bridge the civilian-military empathy gap.”

As previously mentioned this month, Bullet Blocker continues to offer a 5% discount on all products for military service members as a way to express our immense appreciation and respect. In addition to our variety of tactical gear, we offer many clothing products ideal for the colder months. Our jackets are a popular option for men and women alike, as we offer a range of styles to suit individual taste. The NIJ IIIA bulletproof Farm Coat is a popular option constructed of heavyweight sandstone duck with discreetly placed ballistic panels. The nylon lining is quilted into an artic-weight polyester insulation will keep you comfortable, while the rib-knit storm cuffs and corduroy collar lock in the warmth. There is ample storage space for gear with two inside pockets, two chest pockets, and two front hand-warmer pockets. The split-back with bi-swing design guarantees comfortable wear and the pleated elbows promise ease movement on the job. For women, a popular item is the Eagle Flight Jacket. Its NIJ IIIA body armor protection has a slimmer fit through the body and sleeves than our other flight jackets. In addition, it features a removable faux mouton collar and tonal color lining for a sleek look. The shell lining is made of a water-resistant nylon twill and contains a 100% polyester fill. The body armor is designed for an inconspicuous fit when worn while standing and walking.

As we near the end of Military Family Month, do your part to show appreciation to Military Families, service members, and Veterans alike. With thousands of service members deployed overseas, it is important to take adequate time to recognize the sacrifices made by military families and service members across the country.

Week Three: Holiday Support For Military Families

             As the holiday season approaches, it is important now more than ever to express support and respect for military service members and their families. As we saw last week, there are many organizations in place to support military families throughout the year, but what about during the holiday season? Many companies and organizations have started to implement seasonal support programs to help give back to the military families that sacrifice so much throughout the year.

Many organizations across the country are hosting Thanksgiving dinner events this year for military and veteran families who will spend the holiday away from their loved ones. These include Bridge Church in North Carolina, Homefront America in California, and Hugs for Soldiers in Georgia, among many others. The goal of these events is to bring the military family communities together during a time of family and togetherness when many will be apart from their loved ones. 

Spirit of Sharing allows individuals to “adopt” a military family in need to provide direct assistance to local active duty military families and veterans during the holiday season. Adopting a military family through their organization allows individuals to help out as much as they are able to, by purchasing grocery cards, hygiene products, and Christmas gifts for families. The goal of their company is to support military families, and to build a relationship with each family to gain better insight and understanding of individual family needs.

Operation Holiday Joy is a program implemented by the Armed Services YMCA to make holidays easier for military families. It is a donation-based program that has raised over $1.5 million for military service members and their families since it was founded in 2004. These donations have allowed the company to distribute over 300,000 toys and 25,000 food baskets for Thanksgiving and Christmas to families across the country. This organization is a great option for anyone looking for a good cause to make a donation to this holiday season.

As the holidays approach, finding the perfect gift for all family members and friends can seem overwhelming. Our backpacks are a great option for individuals of all ages—making BulletBlocker a one-stop shop for everyone on your list. We offer a wide selection of versatile backpacks that will fit any style. Our Everyday Backpack provides a discrete layer of anti-ballistic protection that is metal detector and tourist friendly. This is a great option for students, commuters, or frequent travelers, as it is lightweight and adjustable, with adequate room for storage. My Child’s Pack is our smallest bag designed for young children who need a backpack that is light enough to be worn safely. Designed with the same lightweight, semi-flexible NIJ IIIA ballistic panel used in all our products, this backpack is guaranteed to keep your child safe at school and on-the-go. We offer many other backpacks and backpack panel inserts that are sure to please everyone on your list. This holiday season, show your loved ones that their safety is a priority by choosing to shop at BulletBlocker.

Week Two: How to Support Military Families

             Last week, we kicked off National Military Family Month, and we will continue to honor this occasion over the next few weeks. This week, the focus is on how to best support and express respect for military members and families alike throughout this month and the rest of the year. As we saw last week, military families across the country endure hardships that most of the general public are unaware of. These include frequent relocations, separation from family and friends, financial difficulties, and a general lack of emotional and social support.

There are many services provided locally and nationwide to show appreciation during Military Family Month. The Armed Services YMCA provides specialized programs and support services to military members and families. The goal of their programs is to help families come and stay together in the face of difficulty. Some of their services include Operation Hero, which is a free afterschool program tailored to the unique struggles of military children, designed to help military kids get back on track in school and at home. Another one of their programs is Operation Holiday Joy, which aims to make the holidays brighter for military families. Since 2004, supporters have donated more than $1.5 million for military families, ensuring that each family will have gifts for their children and food on their table for the holidays. As the holiday season approaches, consider making a donation to this great cause to honor the sacrifices made by these families and service members.  Sears Heroes at Home is another organization committed to providing support to military service members, veterans, and their families through joint efforts with non-profit organizations. Operation Homefront is just one of their partnerships, with the mission to build strong, stable, and secure military families so they can thrive in the communities they work hard to protect.
            There are also ways that you can help directly within your community to increase awareness and provide support to military members.  Writing a thank-you note to a family or service member for their sacrifices is an easy and inexpensive way to show gratitude. Making a spouse or service member Care package is a great way to ease stress during a deployment. Some things to include would be toiletries, forms of entertainment such as books, magazines, or DVD’s, and clothing. Making a donation to a military organization is another great way to support members and their families, especially as the holiday season approaches.

As mentioned last week, we sell a variety of tactical gear and body armor ideal for any law enforcement, federal, military and public safety professionals seeking extra protection on the job. The Gabriel Ballistic Base Layer Compression Vest is our featured product this week. As one of our classic items, it provides the same anti-ballistic protective coverage area as traditional law enforcement body armor vests. It meets threat level NIJ IIIA, which is the highest level of protection available in soft body armor. Its covert design makes it an ultra-concealable and lightweight option, ideal for military, police, and civilians alike. Its customizable fit and features ensure comfort and ease of mobility for all wearers.

As we near the halfway point through National Military Family Month, show support and respect to military service members and families in whatever ways you are able. And to all the brave military members who served our country, we want to express our gratitude and immense respect this Veterans Day. Thank you for your service!  

 Week One

This week, we will focus on bringing light to the top issues and stressors that military families face.

Military families across the country endure hardships along with those who defend our Nation. Blue Star Families conducted a military lifestyle survey in 2010, and found that 92% of military families felt that the civilian population did not understand or appreciate the sacrifices they are forced to make. Regardless of whether that is a perception of reality, it is a problem nevertheless. It is necessary to bring light to the hardships that military families have to make. They can be separated from their loved ones for months on end, and relocated across the country, or even around the world. Because of the frequent relocations, they can be estranged from their extended families, and have to celebrate holidays and milestones with empty seats at their table. Military spouses have the responsibility of making ends meet while their loved ones are away, and of securing new employment with each relocation. Children of service members often grow up without one true place to call “home,” as they are often moving to new cities, schools, and neighborhoods.

In last year’s survey conducted by Blue Star Families, military families ranked their top stressors related to time in the military. The top response was employment, followed by deployments, financial issues, and relocation issues. Over half of the spouses rated separation as a top stressor, as well as isolation from family, and limited social support. Despite the hardships that arise with the frequent change and transition, military families are a continual example of strength and nobility in the face of difficulty.

For years, Bullet Blocker has offered a 5% discount on all products for all military service members as a way to express our immense appreciation and respect. We sell a variety of tactical gear and body armor ideal for any law enforcement, federal, military and public safety professionals seeking extra protection on the job. Our bulletproof backpack panel inserts are a great product to keep the whole family safe and protected while at school, work, or travelling. As military families are frequently relocated to unfamiliar and new places, having the peace of mind that the whole family is protected and safe on the way is crucial. Our discrete backpack panel inserts come in two standard sizes, but can also be customized to fit your own backpack’s unique dimensions. They covertly make your pre-owned item bulletproof by offering Level IIIA anti-ballistic protection while still remaining compact enough to fit into purses, notebook portfolios, and backpacks. 

This month, we hope you will join us in recognizing November as Military Family Month.  As you go about your week, support military family members by attempting to empathize with the hardships they face, and offer help in whatever way you are able.

 Survivalism and Survivalists

Survivalism and Survivalists encompass a very wide range of interests focusing generally upon disaster preparedness - for any type of disaster. When the power goes out, and stays out, what do you do? Well, if you're smart, you've done something to prepare for this possibility. Planning for virtually any disaster equates to planning for all natural and man-made disasters. Different situations may call for modifications, but the things you absolutely need are food, water and shelter. There are a lot of things that make being without electricity a lot easier. Flashlights and batteries, matches and lighters, canned goods and other foods with a long shelf life, gardens, fishing and hunting. Survivalism is about a lot of things - not just being prepared, but being self-sufficient, and practical education on how things work. There's more to cover about Survivalism, than I can cover here. To your right, you will find a great blogroll of the best Survivalist sites, blogs and forums available online. Below this article, you will find some short reviews on them, too.

"Something" Hit the Fan: Not knowing which disaster is on the way makes it easier to sleep at night. On the other hand, if you enjoy life, you want to do everything you can to preserve it and the lives of those you love and care for. The global economy is front and center, and has everyone's attention. The state of the dollar and other currencies, banks, financial institutions and government solvency are just one set of very critical issues that have many people very concerned. Disasters are "Something Hits the Fan Scenarios". The global financial crisis was a long-time in the coming. It is the direct and explicit result of not taking steps to confront risks. We have in the United States single companies requiring hundreds of billions of dollars in bail outs of taxpayer money. These companies did not take steps to reduce, eliminate or even balance their risks. That, unfortunately, is the mainstream.

Global Financial Crisis: Mass Coronal Ejections and Polar Shifts may sound far fetched, the global financial crisis is not. It is real. It is here, now. The only real question here is how much worse will it get? More than survivalists are preparing now. The United States is the world's largest economy without counting the European Union, being a collection of sovereign states. The State of California alone ranks 8th in overall world GDP - and could stand as a nation unto itself. California in addition to 40 more of our 50 states are in the midst of major budget issues. The United States has been significantly dependent upon China, of all countries, to buy US Government Bonds. On June 28, 2009 even the Chinese banks were deemed to be in financial trouble.

The Theoreticals - What If...? It's appropriate to ask a lot of questions. What happens if... your employer goes out of business? What if... your bank gets closed down? Odds are you are probably safe on up to $250,000 per account by the FDIC, but even that has limits. What if... California goes bankrupt? Okay, so that won't happen because it will probably get a Federal Stimulus Package. So, what happens if any one of the other 40 states without a balanced budget does not get a stimulus package? What happens when you go to your bank and you can't get money out? Even if you are prepared, how is everyone else going to handle any of this? How prepared are the millions of people who live from paycheck to paycheck to handle any one of these situations?

Fear Mongering! Promoting fear is to encourage people to run away from problems. Fear is trying to avoid problems knowing they aren't going away. Turning and facing them, planning and preparing for them is not promoting fear - it's promoting courage and decisiveness. Hope is not a strategy. Looking at what the numbers have been saying and are saying now is rational. Relying upon what may or may not exist in 3 or 6 months is not rational. Not being rational is what got us into this global economic mess. Watching Wall Street is not rational. It is normal to be scared when confronting problems. It is irrational to be dominated by fear. Oh, sure...the economy, it'll be fixed in three months. The banks? They're fine, just need a few billion more - no sweat. Jobs? Green shoots are on the way, man! That'd be fine if cows were unemployed.

Survival Community Blogs and Resources SurvivalistBoards.com - Extensive, friendly and educational. Just about anything you could want to know about everything related to disaster preparedness, contingency planning, and large portions of what is also associated with LOHAS (lifestyles of health and sustainability) is on file here. Health, Fitness and First Aid is one section, Wilderness Survival, Hiking and Camping is another. Urban Survival to Farming, Gardening and Recipes - feature everything from how-to's to lists of things you will need and want. There's active conversation and debates on many topics, most of all you will find it to be a very friendly site more respectful of others than you're likely to find on any political forums. Think you are alone in your concerns? No.

SurvivalBlog.com is dedicated to family preparedness, survival, self-reliance, and self-sufficiency. Written by author and former military intelligence officer Jim Rawles, his site is viewed in over 100 countries. Lots of very good information - hundreds, if not thousands, of posts.

The Survivalist Blog - An independent blog with some pretty good articles, including quick tips on assembling your own "Grab And Go Survival Pack" also known as a "bug out bag".

Urban Survivalist Blog - This would ordinarily be too small and inactive to include in this list for having only three articles. They focus on short-term disaster preparedness, quick and easy.


Featured Articles
American Survival Magazine Article
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Urban Survivalist Blog

Past Blogs;

-Lighten the Load: Backpack  

-School Lockdowns                  

-October "Crime Prevention"    

-September "PREPtember"       

BulletBlocker Video Demonstration:

BulletProof Panels

You can save money with BulletBlocker by getting our Bullet Proof Panels and Inserts and fitting them to your existing backpacks, briefcases, or just about anything. We can also make custom-made panels to fit whatever you need at just $ .92 per square inch.