Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Trusting in Group Leadership

Episode 132: Season 4 ep.8

Erika and Vince are introduced to the leader of the Texas Free State in the Battle for the South adventure. They leave the meeting with mixed feelings about this leader. Here to discuss the need for trusting in the leader of your group is Ellen Kerr, Leading Seaman in the Australian Royal Navy.


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Featured Quote:

"She always wanted to trust first. She wanted to believe that, deep down, people were good, but she had been proven wrong so many times, she didn't know what to think anymore."

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Trusting Leadership Lessons from Ellen

Trust will be hard in an SHTF situation. Your closest friends may quickly turn into enemies. We know this is true because even now-a-days the majority of assaults and sexual abuse is conducted by people the victim knew and may have trusted.

A lot of times we focus on male leadership but what about female leadership? Women can be just as respected in leadership positions. There are differences between male and female leadership styles though. Ellen identifies two types of women leaders: those without children and those with children. In general if a woman has children and a career, it may have taken her more time to get where she is. Having children means maternity leave and the woman's peers may move up quicker. Generally women with children see their crew as family and treat them as such: loving them and supporting their needs but also firmly correcting unwanted behavior. Women without children may be at the same position as their male counter parts that entered their career at about the same time. These women tend to be harder women with little compassion. You have to have thick skin to make the hard leadership decisions.

Whether you are male or female a respected leader shares the same qualities. They have found a balance between being hard and being compassionate. They need to be able to make tough decisions and not go back on their decision. They need to be mindful of the needs of their group and open to their ideas.

If a leader loses the trust of his or her group it is very hard to earn back. Once your group members are burnt they may not ever come back. A group member that is not related to other members of the group may not have a hard time leaving. However, if we are talking about a family group you have to trust in time to regain trust. A strong family unit can learn to forgive as time goes on and the trust is slowly rebuilt.

Women are sometimes more trustworthy leaders because in general it takes a woman longer to earn the trust of her group than it does her male counterpart. Once the trust is gained it is not likely that the woman will discard it, unless under extreme duress. As time progresses on hopefully this distinction between male and female leadership will decrease but you have to recognize the playing field in order to lead effectively. The group must be based upon teamwork. Often times training together helps to develop a stronger bond rapidly.

When there is a group member within the group that doesn't trust the leader it could destroy the group cohesion like poison in the water. What to do with the person who is not in line with the rest depends on the circumstances and why they are upset. Ellen suggests having a forum with the group that does not include the leader, discuss the problems and possible solutions. Then take the issue to the leader and explain what is going on. The negative attitude or behavior needs to be squashed out immediately.

When SHTF you are going to have to put your faith in someone and learn to take orders. If you don't trust them, they will not trust you. You'll end up getting the worst jobs and resources may not be spent on you if you are in trouble.

There are a few elements of your character that you can work on now to make you a better leader in the future. Your ability to communicate and listen. This applies to both leaders and followers. Make sure you have common goals. The focus of the group needs to be cohesive. You need to allow your group to voice their opinions and not just listen to them but have the wisdom to know when their ideas may work better than yours. You need to have the ability to think on your feet and rapidly change plans for the safety of your group. Finally you need the ability to keep moving forward even when all seems lost. Your group will rely upon you for motivation and you can't be the Debbie Downer.

Ellen Kerr

Born in 1980 in Australia, Ellen Louis Kerr, has been married for 16 years to her wonderful spouse, Brian. They have two daughters Miriam and Emma. Plus, 2 spoiled cats, 2 ducks, 1 budgie and two lizards. (What is a budgie you ask? A budgie is a native Australian Bird short for budgerigar. They are a popular pet in Australia.)
Ellen joined the Royal Australian Navy in 2003 and served for fourteen years. She has earned the rank of Leading Seaman and is an Electronic Warfare Director at sea. When she's on the shore she works in the field of electronic intelligence. Ellen was deployed to the Persian Gulf in 2005 as part of the allied task force on board HMAS Darwin for which she is now recognized as a veteran. She has also deployed to and took part in numerous exercises in New Zealand, Hawaii and South East Asia.
In her spare time she practices Hapkido and works on staying prepared for whatever may come our way. Ellen enjoys camping, fishing, shooting and four wheeling. She loves SIFI and end of the world genre material. Her favorite TV show is Firefly. She loves her ducks and motorbikes.

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, January 16, 2018

Personal and Household Hygiene

Episode 131: Season 4 ep.7

In the Battle for the South adventure Vince and Erika arrive in New Austin and receive a much needed rest. Erika is surprised by the community focus and the stock pile of basic household supplies. Here to talk to us today about personal and household hygiene is Jane Austin, aka Survivor Jane.

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Featured Quote:
"After the fighting, Austin was annihilated."

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Hygiene Lessons from Survivor Jane

Keeping yourself and your home clean is essential! Many diseases are spread through improper sanitation. Maintaining a proper level of cleanliness is easier than you may think.

There are many recipes for making soap but on a day to day basis water and a washcloth are all you need. Using these two simple items you can stay clean and get the dead skin off of yourself. Body odor is caused by bacteria that feeds on protein on your skin. The biggest source of this protein is your dead skin. Use a bowl half a gallon of water in it and wash with a washcloth. When you wash, start with the cleanest areas and move onto the dirtier ones. After you are done allow your body to air dry. You can use a little olive oil to keep your skin soft. Occasionally a bar of soap will come in handy. There tons of recipes available both on the net and in Jane's book, Emergency Survival Hygiene.

There is no excuse for being dirty! Get creative. Jane uses a tool she calls a "hiney hydrant" when there is no toilet paper available. It's basically an altered garden sprayer that she attached to a bottle that she and her husband use as a survival bidet. Great ideas like this can be a game changer when supplies run low.

When it comes to keeping clothing clean, Jane suggests using The Wonderwash. It resembles a 2ft egg. You fill it with water, put the lid on with your clothes inside and spin it. The pressure cleans your clothes. It requires about a Tablespoon of detergent. You pour out the water and repeat the process. It works great. Then when your clothes are all wet you can purchase a commercial mop ringer to squish out the water prior to hanging them on a line to dry. For laundry soap you can find an online recipe or use Borax, washing soda, or graded soap. Alternately you can stock up on laundry chips at the grocery store. They will store for a very long time.

When it comes to the cleanliness of your home, microfiber wash clothes are wonderful dusters. You can put them over your dust mop to increase the dust mop's performance. The microfiber washcloths are reusable and are ready for action after a good washing. When you need to disinfect an area vinegar should be your go to item. It is possible to make your own vinegar but you need to research what will grow good in your area to produce vinegar and start growing it now. You do not want to use your precious first aid supplies for cleaning. Stock up on distilled vinegar. It is useful for multiple application including: cleaning, canning, etc.

You should also stock up on a healthy supply of chlorine and olive oil. Make sure you check out the shelf life information. Chlorine can be bought in tablet form and lasts much longer than liquid.

Hygiene should not be overlooked. Infectious disease is the number one cause of death world wide.

Products that you can easily produce:
  • Shampoo: Use 1 Tbs baking soda in 1 cup warm water
  • Conditioner: Use 1 Tbs vinegar in 1 cup water
  • Makeup bronzer: use coco powder and mix with corn starch.
  • Makeup rouge: use raspberry mixed with cornstarch
  • Makeup mascara: Use Vaseline and charcoal (burn and almond)
  • Lip gloss: Use coconut oil mixed with raspberry
  • Pimple treatment: use olive oil
  • Night time eye lash and brow restorer: Use olive oil in an old mascara bottle and treat lashes and brows with it before bed.
  • Hair restorer: castor oil on scalp before bed. 
  • Tooth paste: use washed, dried and finely crushed duck egg with baking soda and coconut oil
Jane Austin


Like so many women, Jane was a self-professed "oblivious-to-what-was-going-on-around-me" city girl. She was clueless about politics, the economy and the ever changing weather patterns around her.

It wasn't until she personally experienced a life-threatening assault at gun-point, live through several violent hurricanes, and watched as her 401k dwindled down next to nothing that her eyes began to open to what was going on around her.

In 2008 she took a huge leap of faith - quit her corporate job, sold her home for next to nothing, cash-in my 401k which was even more next to nothing - and moved to Western North Carolina to learn to live a more self-sustaining and self-reliant lifestyle.

Giving up the life of eating at different restaurants each night and having her nails and hair done every two weeks - she began to research how to prepare for uncertain times and still retain her "girlie-ness". While searching preparedness web sites she noticed that most were "male-oriented". Frustrated at the need to research a word, phrase or term that she didn't understand each time she went on one of these sites, it began to dawn on her that the reason she didn't understand these sites was because a lot of them were written by men, and as we all know, men and women speak a different language and therefore process information differently.
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Jane decided then and there to make it her mission to educate others; with an emphasis on women, on how to better prepare themselves by creating the website SurvivorJane.com - writing on a multitude of topics dealing with disaster survival and preparedness; while interjecting bits and pieces of humor on personal experiences, discoveries and her journey along the way.

SurvivorJane.com also reaches preparedness-minded men who may have just begun their preparedness journey, or have sent the women in their lives, albeit, girl-friend, wife, daughters, mother, aunts or grandmothers to the site and in the process was also helped to better understand preparedness from a women's perspective.

As an additional outreach, Jane uses social media networks. She is the creator of the internationally recognized hashtag #PrepperTalk on Twitter that brings preparedness-minded people from all over the world together to discuss preparedness ideas, suggestions and information with one another. It is currently the Largest Prepper Community on Twitter.
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Jane has been featured on National Geographic Channel's Doomsday Preppers (Season Four) and in Newsweek Special Edition Off-Grid, Prepper and Shooter Magazine, Prepared Magazine. She is a contributing writer to National Geographic Channel's Doomsday Preppers BlogTV.

"Where There Is No Cosmetic Counter" and it's 1st Revision: "Emergency/Survival Hygiene" were written out of a need to bring more awareness to one of the most overlooked areas in Preparedness: "Personal Hygiene" by showing easy ways to make survival personal hygiene products. After all, infectious diseases are the number one cause of death worldwide.

In her book "What Could Possibly Go Wrong: How To Go From Completely Clueless to Totally Prepared" she "talks to the reader" in easy to understand language about her personal experiences and what she has learned could go wrong around us and how we can better prepare ourselves and family for these uncertain times. 
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Link: www.SurvivorJane.com

Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster Without Land, The Walls of Freedom and Battle for the South. 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, January 9, 2018

Operational Intelligence for your Survival Group

Episode 130: Season 4 ep. 6

Master Sergeant Bennet continues his search for Vince and Erika in the Battle for the South adventure. His access to military intelligence keeps him one step ahead. Today we discuss intelligence operations for your survival group with special guest Samuel Culper, former Military Intelligence NCO and founder of ForwardObserver.com.

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Featured Quote:
"He knew if the Federal Forces found her and her husband, there would be nothing he or anyone could do to save them."

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Operational Intelligence Lessons from Samuel

There are five steps to gaining military intelligence called the intelligence cycle. The first step is intelligence requirements and direction. You identify intelligence requirements and identify and gaps in your knowledge. Figure out what do you know and what don't you know. The second step is collection. Basically, find out what you don't know. Fill in any intelligence gaps. The third step is analysis and processing. You have to find out what is true and what is not. Then you discard the bad information and compile the data. The fourth step is production. During this step, you produce a final report. All the data is formed into a conclusion. The fifth step is dissemination. You spread the information to the appropriate people or areas that need it. 
There are six major areas that must be analyzed in your potential battle space. The first is the terrain. These are the physical things in your neighborhood: houses, sheds, fences buildings, roads, methods of transportation, etc. You must analyze how they can be used to your advantage and how the enemy could utilize them to theirs. The second area is human terrain. This is the understanding of the people in your area: What are their beliefs, culture, emotional statuses? Every member of society is an intelligence sensor. They are hearing, seeing and experiencing unique aspects that can be exploited. The third area is critical infrastructure. These are the critical businesses that keep the world spinning, not just power plants but places like Walmart as well.You need to know where they are. These areas are potential targets and traffic to and from these places could put you into danger. The forth area is politics and governance: the status of the governments, etc. The fifth is economy: What is the current state of the economic and financial landscape? The sixth area is law enforcement and security: How many officers are in the area? Some law enforcement agencies have more training for different circumstances. It's good to know what your local government is prepared for and what type of event would require them to call for assistance from State or Federal Forces. It is also a good idea to find out what type of ammunition they primarily use. In a SHTF situation where volunteers may be needed to help maintain order it would be a good idea to have a weapon that can fire whatever type of ammo they have supplied.
 
There are levels of intelligence or source grades based upon the information's reliability. The elicited information needs to be scrutinized for it's validity. Single Source information is very vulnerable. It is limited to the amount of information the individual has access to. You should try to confirm their information through other sources. That source can be given a grade based on the history of their information's credibility.
 
It is hard to choose a course of action when you are dealing with conflicting information. In a SHTF situation your information may be very limited. You will need to develop a formal process to analyze data. No matter how much information you gather, the decision will ultimately come down to the commander. You have to do your best to try to find false information. Use the FACT filter to check it. F stands for feasible: Is it possible for the information to be true? A stands for appropriate: Does it make sense that the information would be true? C stands for consistent: Is the information in line with past knowledge? T stands for timely: What is the timeline for this information? 

If you realize you are relying upon faulty information, stop digging. Try to repair any damage you have caused. Then you need to assess the impact that your misdirected action may cause in the future. 

Keeping information private, especially now-a-days, is a challenge for all people and organizations both big and small. "The best way to keep a secret is to deny one exists in the first place." (The Grugq) The first thing you need to do is control access to the information. You can build a canary trap when you need to disseminate it. Make each copy a little different and log the tiny errors. Then when the information gets leaked you can look at the copy that was leaked and know where it came from. You always have to understand your adversary's capabilities. If you are trying to avoid NSA spying you need to not carry a cell phone and stay offline. Think like the wolf: How do they gather information? Then think about where you are vulnerable and how your adversary might target you. If you have sensitive data the best place to keep it is on a computer that does not connect to the internet. Get off the chessboard and keep your information secret. You have to know who your adversary is, how they will attack and then reduce or remove threats. 
In today's day and age the biggest threat is identity theft. For example the Office of Personnel Management leaked the identities of people with top security clearance. Not only were their backgrounds, including financial and family history, released but their identities can now be easily traced. The Chinese are responsible for the theft and now their government can check flight records and figure out where our top government representatives are going. The introduction of bio-metrics has made staying off of the grid even more difficult. You can no longer present a fake id and a good story and travel from place to place. People have one set of fingerprints, two eyes and one face. Once this information is stored and change in the id name would cause a red flag. Government collusion disseminates this information between countries and make it even more difficult to travel under an unknown alias.
Once we are in a SHTF situation it will be absolutely essential to understand your adversary's capabilities. If they have signals intelligence capabilities you will not want to use a cell phone for communication. Understand that if something emits a signal, it can be traced. Hand radios are very easy to sniff out. A cheap transmitter would easily do the trick. Know that you should not use them and get yourself a transmitter. Then you can become a signals intelligence hub and understand your adversary's capabilities. Run your own intelligence operation and track movements of groups. Remember that you are not renewable. You should never try to infiltrate another group to illicit information. Instead motivate someone else to do it. Find out what motivates the individual and use it to your advantage. Before you do, confirm that they are even capable of knowing the information you want, otherwise you are wasting your time. Do your research and find methods of eliciting information from people and then begin practicing. Remember that once you have made contact with an outsider, they are constantly gathering information about you: how many are in your group, what weapons you have, how much food, etc.
Samuel Culper

 






"Samuel Culper is a former military intelligence NCO and contract intelligence analyst. He now runs Forward Observer, a threat intelligence services company based in Texas."

Link: ForwardObserver.com



Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster Without Land, The Walls of Freedom and Battle for the South. 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, January 2, 2018

Situational Awareness


Episode 129: Season 4 ep 5

In this chapter of Battle for the South, Erika and Vince navigate the port town, trying to get to safety. Erika utilized situational awareness and watches the number of soldiers increase before the town it locked down. Here to talk with us about situational awareness, and how you can start strengthening your awareness muscle is L. Douglas Hogan, author of Oath Takers, The Tyrant Series, and No Light Beyond.

Listen to the Audio Podcast


Featured Quote:

So much was on the line: life, death, truth and treachery."

Situational Awareness Lessons from L. Douglas Hogan

Situational awareness is absolutely essential because without it you will become lackadaisical and too comfortable in your environment. When this happens and you are in a dangerous environment, there is a huge potential for mistakes to happen. These mistakes could cost you or others your lives.

You must maintain knowledge of your environment. Know the sights and sounds that are common. Know who and what are supposed to be there. Be aware when there is change so you can cue in on it and make important decisions. A rural environment is going to be much different from an urban landscape. Knowing what is normal for your environment will keep you alerted to any present dangers that have entered.

Cell phones are the worst thing for maintaining situational awareness. When you are looking at it, you become a zombie that is totally oblivious to your environment. Stay alert until you are in a safe environment. Then check the phone, put it down and continue on. Cell phones and texting also help to destroy important communication factors that you should be learning. It is important to communicate through language with people. Learn what body language and tone accompanies what emotions. These factors are key in being able to assess risks in your environment.

Situational awareness is a skill that is learned over time through personal or shared experiences. Try to be aware of where you are, what risks may be present, and position yourself in a safe location. Whether that be in a restaurant, on the road, when you are leaving a store, etc. Every situation you approach think through the potential dangers. What is the environment telling you? Is there a potential for a hidden circumstance. If you are unfamiliar with your environment, you must constantly analyze its features. Don't get too comfortable.

Once you begin to develop situational awareness don't get too cocky. Your confidence in your ability to analyze all of the potential dangers could cause you to relax and become lackadaisical. Remember that 10% of the population has the potential to discolor the rest of a group. They behave incorrectly and can destroy a good reputation very quickly. People will remember negative news more so than positive news, making the threat seem worse. Still this 10% does exist and you need to be aware if one of them is meaning to cause you harm.

A good way to raise situational awareness is by going hunting. You need to be aware of what is on the other side of your target when you shoot. You also need to know all of the forest sounds and if they are a squirrel playing or a deer headed your way. Stay alert and pay attention.

Another way you can develop your situational awareness is to put on your author brain. Imagine different scenarios. What might happen? This helps prepare you mentally.

Once you start to develop your situational awareness, you will find yourself alert all of the time. Your awareness muscle will be pumping at full power and your heightened awareness will affect you on a daily basis.

There are three levels of situational awareness. The white level is the first level. This is the level you are at while in your home or a safe, secure location that you know well.The yellow level is the next level. In this stage your alert level is slightly heightened. You understand that there may be risks around you. The final level is the red level. At this level, danger is imminent. Your situational awareness needs to be peaking.

In a SHTF situation you will need to maintain a constant level of at least yellow. Make a habit of constantly studding everyone.


Introducing No Light Beyond
No Light Beyond
Mason Loss was a single father, separated from his seven year old daughter Lydia Nicole, when the United States was suddenly devastated by several massive coordinated EMP attacks. Having sustained life threatening injuries in his search for her, he awakens from a two-year coma to find that the world is not the way he left it. To make situations worse, Yellowstone has erupted and expelled an ancient microscopic organism that threatens the course of human survival. Now, Mason must traverse the ashy suburban landscape in search of his now nine-year old daughter. Along the way, he discovers a far more terrifying enemy than humankind can safely manage.

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