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The Alaskan Outlaw is an internationally published, weekly show about health, safety, and the security needs of common Americans. Responding to questions posed by listeners and members of the Outlaw's personal social circles. With experience in law enforcement, emergency management, security, and survival skill training the Alaskan Outlaw offers advice for listeners to thrive in this modern-day world of strife and highly dynamic environments around the world. Regardless of whether you are a security professional, a concerned parent, or just interested in this field of study, we bring you solutions that can be molded to assist you.

Here is a comprehensive list of shows by the Alaskan Outlaw.

Alaskan Outlaw Podcast Season One

Deciphering the News
Published on June 25th, 2020

Individual Freedom vs. Pandemic (Mandatory Masks)
Published on July 1st, 2020

Back to my Roots. Personal Security.
Published on July 15th, 2020

Ramifications of defunding the Police 
Published on July 22nd, 2020

Securing the Nation during the Pandemic 
Published on July 29th, 2020

Our greatest societal threat, misinformation.
Published on August 5th, 2020

Outlaw Thoughts. How far has America Fallen?
Published on August 8th, 2020

What is Freedom? What about the pursuit of happiness?
Published on August 12th, 2020

Combating Terrorism inside the United States Border 
Published on August 19th, 2020

Outlaw Thoughts. What were we thinking?
Published on August 28th, 2020

Discussing your personal safety plan.
Published on September 2nd, 2020

Reality Check. Staying sane with today’s media.
Published on September 9th, 2020

I just bought my first firearm. Now what? 

Published on September 16th, 2020

Outlaw Thoughts. What exactly is society?
Published on September 23rd, 2020

Doomsday Prepping. Where did it go?
Published on September 30th, 2020

Safety in numbers. Avoiding unnecessary risks

Published on October 7th, 2020

Supply lines in America. 

Published on October 14th, 2020

Survival mindset, being ready to win.

Published on October 21st, 2020

Opinion Time. Are you awake Americans? 

Published on October 28th, 2020

Loss of Technology. Going back in history for the future.

Published on November 4th, 2020

Bare Naked Necessary Skills. What must be maintained?

Published on November 11th, 2020

How-To Survive. A guide to getting the whole family involved.

Published on November 18th, 2020

Mitigating Unnecessary Risks.

Published on November 25th, 2020

The Mental Balance. Staying sane in these modern times.

Published on December 2nd, 2020

Canine First Aid and Field Care

Published on December 9th, 2020

Air Safety. Infection potential in the air we breathe.

Published on December 16th, 2020

Celebrating Christmas during this crazy year of the pandemic.

Published on December 23rd, 2020

Speaking of Apocalypse, welcome to 2021.

Published on January 5th, 2021

Doomsday Prepping 101. How to get started.

Published on January 12th, 2021

Why do we blame Public Safety?

Published on January 19th, 2021

Let’s talk about survival at its core.

Published on January 26th, 2021

Is this nation really that divided? A look into the plan to keep us separated.

Published on February 3rd, 2021

Potential Injuries of the Zombie Apocalypse.

Published on February 10th, 2021

Self-Preservation how to be found when you are lost.

Published on February 17th, 2021

Speaking about the evil of the human condition.

Published on February 24th, 2021

Impossible Conspiracy Theories.

Published on March 3rd, 2021

Household Chemical Safety. Do you know what you’re storing together?

Published on March 10th, 2021

Video game players. Are they really prepared for the apocalypse?

Published on March 17th, 2021

Weaponry through the ages. Learning the best defensive weapons.

Published on March 24th, 2021

Choosing to live in a Community.

Published on March 31st, 2021

Rubber on the road, being prepared for a natural disaster?

Published on April 7th, 2021

Creating the Personal Security Plan.

Published on April 14th, 2021

ElectroMagnetic Pulse (EMP). It’s impact on society.

Published on April 21st, 2021

Outlaw Thoughts. The Anarchy doctrine, a fool’s errand.

Published on April 28th, 2021

Survival Strategies. Urban versus Rural settings.

Published on May 5th, 2021

Non-Weaponized Defensive Posturing.

Published on May 12th, 2021

Alternative Energy Sources.

Published on May 19th, 2021

Necessary communications after a total societal implosion.

Published on May 26th, 2021

Without the grid. Retaining our Basic Utilities.

Published on June 2nd, 2021

Salvaging modern-day technologies.

Published on June 9th, 2021

Conspiracy theories. Training for the worst.

Published on June 16th, 2021

Outlaw Thoughts. How I imagine the end of civilization will happen.

Published on June 23rd, 2021

Visit our profile on Spreaker to listen to all our podcasts

Air Safety. Infection potential in the air we breathe.

Podcast Episode 121620
By: Alaskan Outlaw

As you investigate the residence for any signs of life, following the recent 9.0 earthquake that rocked your area for over 35 seconds, leaving many buildings, like this one, as a partial pile of rubble spread out across the landscape of your town. The front door, still intact, still holds out the elements from the area directly behind it, although much of the building has crumbled and left much of what used to be the interior exposed to the elements. You call out, hoping for a response, then pound on the door. No response. You try the doorknob to find the door unlocked. As you attempt to open the door, a larger piece of furniture presses back against the door, causing you to force the door open. Upon entry to the room, you note that the ceiling has caved in, leaving larger pieces of lumber exposed with jagged edges. You call out again. Slowly you climb over broken and scattered furniture, around the exposed lumber, being sure to visually inspect the floor before you place your foot down. At first, you feel the pressure across the bridge of your nose, you can feel your sinuses filling up. Even though you haven’t been excessively physical, you are finding that you need to breathe more rapidly. Unable to get a full breath. As you continue through the rubble, you begin to feel the heaviness settling in on your extremities, making it challenging to pick up your arms, and move your legs. As you enter the area near where the home attached to the garage, you find yourself unable to breathe without difficulty, and your eyesight has just started to become blurry. As you open the interior door to the garage a gust of air rushes out, and your knees buckle, you are now feeling highly intoxicated, and the rooms are moving around. You are unable to remain upright, and find yourself crawling on your hands and knees. You note that behind you about 25 feet away is an exterior door leading to the outside. You claw your way to the door, breathing is incredibly difficult, and you are unable to get enough air. You find that during your crawl to that exterior door, darkness is beginning around the edges of your vision, forcing an almost “tunnel vision”, you use what feels like the last little bit of strength to reach up to the doorknob and pull the door open. As the door opens, the frigid air from outside rushes in, the sting of the cold air on your face provides you with a little more energy, allowing you to crawl completely outside the home. This has been a case of carbon monoxide poisoning, and probably one of the most dangerous situations faced by first-responders every day. 

Greetings my friends, family members, fellow veterans, and Americans around the globe, and thank you for joining us here at the Alaskan Outlaw. I am the Alaskan Outlaw and I will be your host in what I hope to be an informative podcast about keeping yourself and family members safe, regardless of what gets thrown at you. I hope this episode finds you as healthy as can be expected during these crazy times, and that you are able to remain strong. As you know, I invite you to research all of the topics that I discuss for yourself and ensure that you deploy multiple sources to ensure you are validating the information you are getting. Our show this week speaks about airborne injuries. Whether those particles be man-made such as smoke containing ash, or other substances, or gases released in the wild, or microscopic viruses that can wreak havoc on society at a fundamental level, we need to be sure that we talk about, and plan for, these types of injuries, as well as ensuring that we include first aid measures in our kits.

In just a few moments, I’ve invited Doctor Anne Zink, the State of Alaska’s Chief Medical officer to the show to answer a couple of straight-forward questions for us. We’ll have her answers here in just a few minutes, but first, let’s talk about being prepared to survive an uncertain future.

Being prepared for natural disasters is really just imagining yourself in your home without utilities, or possibly stranded without the ability to resupply yourself and your family. Right? Wrong. Depending on the disaster, first-aid and basic construction understanding may be needed to keep you and your family safe and secure. However, you may not be aware, but according to the USFA, 37 percent of residential fire victims succumbed to smoke inhalation. What is smoke inhalation? There are many different dangers of smoke inhalation, however, most victims suffer from asphyxiation or suffocation. In other words, something that is burning is replacing the oxygen that you need to breathe. In addition, thermal injuries stem from breathing superheated particles or air, which in turn burn the airway, and the lungs, creating scar tissue that is then unable to pass the oxygen inhaled to the bloodstream. Even if you're not near the fire, the wind may bring these particles to you, this is why we need to seriously consider our airways when determining our preps.

When starting to gather the necessities for being prepared for whatever happens we need to be cognizant of the similarities between airborne viruses and harmful particles. While they may differ in what they can do to the body we need to be focused on what might happen if they were to combine. If a massive volcano were to erupt nearby and the ash plume was to combine with the current virus on water droplets, this could have cataclysmic effects on the population. So, think of the pandemic as a training ground for other natural events that may occur, and being able and prepared to keep yourself safe, healthy, and breathing.

While masks have been proven somewhat significant in the reduction in passing the virus from host to host, the remaining new infections are primarily due to the improper wearing of masks, insufficient mask materials, and the lack of mask-wearing by private citizens throughout the world. While we know that most, closer-net, materials seem to successfully prevent the passing of the microscopic droplets which harbor the virus, which in turn gives the virus a ride from host to host, thereby infecting a new host.

When considering the idea of being prepared for a natural disaster, one has to consider ALL types of hazards that may occur. The real possibility of broken pipes carrying natural gas, and/or raw sewage, which in higher concentration could contain methane gas. In addition, we could conceptually have a large gas cloud that passed through our area. Especially given the colder temperatures over the winter, the gas cloud could get trapped at a lower altitude and pose a threat to humans on earth. These are very real possibilities within the natural disaster type of scenario. In addition, both: summer wildfire season, and winter residential fires could pose a substantial threat, as it may concern different particulates that could pose serious health hazards to both humans, and their pets given the time of year. 

As we've witnessed now for about a year here in the United States, a microscopic virus can move throughout the civilized world in a matter of weeks. This latest version of the corona family of viruses, literally infected the whole world in a matter of months. With the limited threats from its cousins SARS & MARS in previous years, COVID-19 was able to live airborne for some time, leaping from host to host easily in the crowded cities throughout the world. One of two major viruses within the US to actually affect the economy, at the same time, the behavior adjustment of its citizens. I know, some of you are convinced this is just another conspiracy theory platform, but I'm here to tell you it's not. It is an absolute reality. I sat down with the chief medical officer for the State of Alaska, Doctor Anne Zink, and asked some frank questions about keeping ourselves safe. 

{Online Interview Transcipt}

As you may have heard, GREAT things on the horizon for the US as vaccines begin to ship out within weeks, or days from this podcast. I want to make sure we keep in mind the similarities with other airborne particles. While she did address the particle attachment to small water vapor droplets contained within our breath, that can and does distribute the COVID virus from host to host.  In much the same way as smoke particles that can be attached to raindrops, and delivered to our respiratory systems via splashes and microscopic droplets, or radioactive particles contained within those same raindrops, affectionately called “black rain”. This and air pollution chemicals are things that we must take into consideration when wanting to be prepared for an uncertain future. Taking care of our respiratory system should be one of our primary functions. 

What else I'm hoping that you took away, was the benefits of not being indoors, and direct sunlight potentially killing the virus. While the virus seemed to fair well in cold weather, it was easily destroyed with common hand soap. All of these points should be taken into consideration when preparing for, or dealing with the many other possible scenarios we've identified here. Just food for thought.

So, let’s talk about the ways that Doctor Zink advised us about.

  1. Be healthy, consider ensuring you’ve got good health.
  2. Enjoy the outdoors. Get some open air.
  3. Following the mandates given to us by health officials.

Dealing with the COVID and influenza virus should be no different than dealing with any other particle threats. We need to be prepared, and being prepared means we protect ourselves and our community neighbors. Protecting ourselves from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic should be no different than protecting ourselves from the fire season, or volcanic eruption. Making choices to keep ourselves healthy and safe should be our priority.

Well, there’s my two cents for what that’s worth nowadays. I hope I’ve assisted you in understanding the value of keeping ourselves healthy and safe, thereby increasing your chances of survival success. As always I am humbled that you have chosen to join us for this discussion, I look forward to enjoying more conversations with you, the American people, and a beautiful part of the human race. God bless you all, and God bless the United States. Peace.


Interview with Doctor Anne Zink MD. FACEP on Dec. 8th, 2020

Well, guys, we have arrived at that anticipated moment where I have a distinct honor and welcome Doctor Anne Zinc to this week's show. Doctor Zinc is the Chief Medical Officer for the State of Alaska and an expert on the impact that the Covid 19 has had on the State of Alaska's population.

A fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, she has a very strong background in emergency medicine, serving for over 20 years as both the emergency medicine physician for 11 years at MatSu Emergency department, and then if that wasn't enough, she then served another 11 as the medical director, for the MatSu Emergency Medical physicians Corp. Thank you so much for taking time out of your crazy busy schedule to provide my listeners with some answers they can use.

Great. Thanks. So much for having me, Mark. Thanks for the group tuning in. It wasn't quite that many years as medical director, but it has been an honor to serve in Alaska. So great to be here.

Well, outstanding. And I know, on a personal note, Doctor Zink I want to sincerely thank you for doing such a great job with your team at keeping the citizens of Alaska safe and informed at hopefully mitigating the effects of this pandemic. Hopefully, you've had an opportunity to review the questions I sent over. And with that, I'd like to get right after it. Are you ready?

I'm ready. Let's go for it.

Outstanding. Well, we've all heard that wearing a mask is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID to others. Why exactly is this and how does a mask help?

I really appreciate that question. I think it's really important to think about the way that masks works. We talk a lot about this virus, and it's a very small particle, but the particle lived on droplets, and it's transmitted on droplets. For the most part, droplets are much bigger, Um, and so a mask is an important way to catch those droplets that tend to carry the virus that allow it to spread from one person to another, COVID 19 is caused by a virus called SARS CoV two that can easily spread prior to someone being symptomatic. So when you don't even know that you're ill and just with talking and then particularly with singing or shouting, those droplets come out of your mouth, spread into the air and last longer, and can spread to other people. And a mask is essential, uh, like a net to catch them catches those droplets.

The follow-up question then is comparing this infection to the 1918 influence. The spread. What is it about the masks that make them more protective now than, say, in 1918?

Yeah, so great question. Uh, we know that a well-fit, cloth face mask that multiple layers and layers and tightly woven works much better than, say, a gauze face covering. During 1918, there was a lot of gauze face cover that we used. Not as much tightly. woven. We've learned a lot about droplets and viruses since that time. Uh, and the more that we can catch those droplets, uh, the better off we are. There's also differences between the virus that causes COVID as well as influence a spread more when people are that influence us. More days of that, uh, we also see it has a much longer incubation period. And this is a big difference between, the 1918 pandemic and the pandemic that we're having right now. You know, very short incubation, period. So people knew they were sick. They felt very ill, and they quickly got sick. Here. You can have the disease for a while and be infectious, be spreading it to others. And many people are asymptomatic. Very mildly symptomatic, uh, and can spread it to others, and when people get sicker from covid, they actually don't spread as much as they do earlier. So there are some differences between the influenza virus and SARS CoV two, which causes covid.

Oh, alright. So essentially, what I just heard for clarification purposes, folks are more opt to spread these pre-showing symptoms, than they are once they are actually visibly ill if you will.

Yeah, that's one of the real challenges you really peak at how much you spread right at the very, very beginning of your symptoms. You're most contagious. Two days prior to symptoms right in your symptoms. Stop your symptoms. Start Excuse me. And then the following two days. But as one gets sicker, you actually spread less of the virus. And that's very different than some other viruses. Even SARS CoV one, the virus that causes SARS, spread more the sicker someone gets. As an individual, you feel fine. You feel like I'm fine. There's no way I have COVID and I'm trying to interact with others. Yet you can be highly infectious, uh, and unfortunately, the spreading it to other people. And that's one of the major challenges influence spread of this virus.

Got it? That's good information right there. Throughout the world, we've heard that many people have recovered from the infection. What are some, and I say details, but I mean, obviously, without violating any HIPPA or anything, what are some of the factors that separate those who go from all the way through their whole interaction with COVID without ever showing symptoms to those whom we hear about are, you know, using the breathing machines? They're really, really sick. Where are the factors? That kinda I mean, have we identified anything that separates those two classes?

Yeah, it's a fantastic question. It's a million-dollar question in so many ways because you're exactly right. Some people can have no symptoms. Most people have very mild symptoms. Most people do very, very well, but some people get very sick, and some people get sick initially, and some people get sick later in their disease course. And as you mentioned, some people really need a lot of respiratory support or support of other organs and end up in the hospital in the ICU and unfortunately, passing away. We don't fully understand why some people get sicker than others. I was actually just reviewing an article last night, with identical twins who both got COVID at the same time and had very different outcomes, which I thought was really fascinating. Yeah, and trying to understand why two identical twins would have a different response. We do know from our population standpoint, the older someone is the more underlying health conditions they have, particularly obesity the higher they are being at risk for being hospitalized or, unfortunately, passing away. But it's not dichotomous like one or the other. It's not that if you're 80, you're gonna die. And if you're 20 you're gonna live. We see eighty-year-olds all the time who get it and do very, very well. And unfortunately, we see 20-year-olds get quite sick, and need hospitalization. So when you look at a whole population of older and more underlying medical conditions, the worst people, men actually do worse than women. However, when you're looking at an individual to understand how they're gonna respond, there's a lot of variabilities that we're still trying to understand. A lot has to do is, we think the body's ability to respond to their immune system. Your ability to clot, and so some people look at heart attacks or blood clots afterward or strokes. And we also think there's probably a degree of dose dependency. So how much virus we were exposed to? Likely place to a degree. A role in how sick you get. And we also think that that's part of our masks working. Not only do they catch those droplets, but they are also reducing the amount of virus that you're getting. Helping it to be that you're more likely to be asymptomatic or mild symptomatic if you get the disease.

I can see why you guys are staying up all night. Yeah, talk about pin the tail on the donkey in a hurricane. My goodness. Okay. From our perspective and I mean our as in the kind of separating us from the medical community. Common sense tells us, you know, you guys have been telling us and I'm just shot here. You guys have been telling us for a while the wear a mask, social distance, wash our hands, do the things that we normally do when? Normally during flu season, but now we're doing essentially all the time. That should kind of as long as we follow those guidelines, we should be okay. I'm guessing? I mean, there is no rhyme or reason to who's getting sicker, who gets sick and gets better. Who gets sick and gets worse? It sounds like a crazy zoo that I am very thankful that you are driving. Guys, we've heard from Doctor Zink some great information, some good news, and just kind of the awareness again of deploying a little common sense following the mandates, following the instructions that were being provided. It's not an attack and freedom. And so that it is a preservation of life.

Doctor Zink, I need to take a real quick minute for a couple of commercials, but when we return, I want to continue to talk a little bit about a little bit more. As I mentioned before we started, talking about comparing influenza and, COVID and other things that are gonna come out near just kind of talking about those. In a general sense and so kind of applying some of the logic that we are learning here, through COVID to some of those other scenarios. We're gonna take a real quick break. And when we come back, we'll get back after it again with Doctor Zink and it's more answers and, hopefully, get you guys, knowledgeable in what we got going on here. We'll be right back after this message.

Alright, you guys. Hey, we are back speaking with Doctor Anne Zink, the State of Alaska's Chief Medical Officer about common sense preparation for protecting our breathing. Uh, it's important, particularly following a natural disaster. Local emergency. We've been talking with Doctor Zink more about the COVID, as that's her major fight here in the state. Just talking about that hopefully can kind of give us some ideas about some other airborne particulates. It's that we've got to be conscious of when we're preparing. So when we left, Doctor Zink has just covered some of the factors that separated, If you will, or identified maybe the survivors from the victims when it comes in this case, the COVID but certainly any particulate. Because, you know, when we talk about viruses, we can compare them to smoke inhalation. We can compare them to gasses, in the environment. So anything that's kinda gonna be hazardous. That's what we're kind of protecting against here. So Doctor Zink from what you understand other than just surviving it, is there any way other than what you guys prescribed? The handwashing, the masks, the social distancing that can better set us up for beating this thing back or avoiding it altogether? You know, something like vitamins or supplements or healthy eating or whatever?

Yeah, that's a great question. Absolutely. I think about it in a couple of different chunks. So I think about what you can do as an individual to take care of your health.  We know that the healthier someone is, the less likely they are gonna become really sick, require hospitalization or die. So that includes, making sure that your weight under control. A friend of mine, recently lost 100 pounds since the pandemic started because he thought it's such a huge risk factor and he took control over that. We know that if your vitamin d deficient, you do worse, and that you're more likely to be hospitalized associated with covid 19. You wanna make sure that you're not Vitamin D deficient people who have high blood pressure underlying lung disease, Uh, making sure that those are well controlled. A really great time, to make sure that your underlying health we also know that people's mental health and physical health go hand in hand, and it's been a long pandemic. And it's really important for people, to stay connected and, do what makes sense for them, to keep track and to care for both our mental and physical health. And then there is trying to make sure that you don't get the virus. And so, as you mentioned washing your hands, wearing your mask, keeping your distance, I like to think about a little bit like you know, my kids going outside and it's negative 20. I wouldn't tell them to just put the gloves on, just put their mask on, and also tell them to put a jacket on, hat on, and their snow pants on. When we got a lot of covid is going along, we need a lot of layers to be able to keep it at bay. And so, it's not just one or the other. It's, the more we have more we need to layer up, and the more we need to kind of, use multiple tools, to be able to minimize. So that's masking and distancing and washing your hands. Other things to consider. We know that COVID spreads, particularly in indoor places when you cannot mask and, and so any time you're an indoor place and you need to be masked and distance and then also continue to look at anything else that can be done, such as air ventilation and circulation. There's a lot of good resources now on how to increase your circulation and cleaning up the air to make sure that's a safe place. Remember other places that may seem safe, but maybe at risk. So carpooling in a car with other people, you know, with the windows open and having that closed we see again and again is when people let their guard down. With those that are closest to, you know, I know Bob, my friend, And he's fine. He doesn't feel sick at all. I'm gonna have him over for dinner, or he's just gonna come in and help me fix a few things in my house. Quickly. And then he's gonna close indoor space potential without a mask without distancing, and that's how we see it spreading again and again throughout the time. Unless as you mentioned the mask also, then helps to minimize how sick you are. There are a couple of treatment options later. That kinda can help minimize how sick people get. But like anything on prevention is the best tool. I wouldn't tell you to go hit a tree with your car just because your car has airbags and seat belts. So I still telling people to avoid the virus, and that's your best bet.

Outstanding. Yeah, that's exactly right. Yeah. No point in testing. If they just keep it on the road and you'll be fine. Well, worst-case scenario. Alright, we get infected with the virus. Is there anything from a natural source that we can use to destroy the virus?

Yeah, so a really good question, you know, there are many things that naturally destroyed the virus without but before it gets into your body, so it's actually a very fragile virus. It's destroyed really easily by it's destroyed by soap with water. It's destroyed by high temperatures. It's not destroyed by cold temperatures, which is a bummer for Alaska. Actually, stabilize by the cold temperature. 

Wow, that it is a bummer.

Probably see more of it is, we're all headed indoors, and these colder temperatures lipid outside of it is stabilized by cold. And so that you wanna think about, you know, the things that you can do to kind of minimize your closure as we talked about before. Once it's inside of you, you wanna do everything you can to keep your immune system strong, and so that's interesting. That's drinking plenty of fluids. The only thing I would add is you wanna make sure your oxygen level stays adequate. You wanna say at least higher than 90%. But I really suggest higher than 92%. And sometimes people will become what we call happy hypoxic won't realize their oxygen level is dropping low and they won't feel short of breath until it's low enough that it's starting to cause damage to their heart, their kidneys to other organs. So people get cold. But I always encourage them. If you have little measurements to their finger to make sure that their oxygen level isn't dropping too low so that they know to go and get help if it's getting below 90% that we become concerned about that many people we see have a headache, vomiting. It can cause diarrhea, into making sure you keep up, you know, electrolytes,  keep making sure that you're protecting and taking care of your immune system during that time. Really? Keep it up with those fluids can be super important. It can cause clots. And so particularly people are at higher risk for, there are starting to be recommendations on treatment and to kind of prevent clots moving forward. This is not something you want to take beforehand because you don't want people to bleed. But there are certain people who are at risk. And then there are now what we call antibodies manufactured antibodies that can be used early on, in the disease course for those who are higher risk, that may help antiviral medication. And the biggest thing that we've seen is later in the disease course some people's immune system overreacts, and a very,  it's probably more a medication that touches many different things in your body. Called can It can help later in the course. But it's not something you want to take early, and it's really only showing to be beneficial for those requiring hospitalization. So we're learning a lot more about treatment, and there are more treatment options across the board. But just really taking care of your immune system to make sure option level drops are critical things for the general public.

Wow. Wow. Okay, alright. Well, sounds like some of that. I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, but some of that what we would normally kinda deploy for, like, influenza every year about this time of year. As a matter of fact, we're kind of looking at eating right, making sure everything's healthy. Everything's up and going, and you know, we've talked about before where had some, making sure we were keeping up on the vitamin d. Keeping up this time is keeping up on oxygen. And so,  awesome. That completely makes sense to me. It really does to the point about Airborne's safety. Now, we've kind of talked about having it how we're gonna get through this. But realistically, from a prevention perspective now it's cold out. It's there. And we've always said 6 ft, is our social distance is, But I'm in my backyard, my neighbors in their backyard. And the only thing separating us is a wooden fence. Should we increase the distance, Particularly if we've got some kind of breeze going, I guess, is what I'm I'm saying here. I mean, does this thing move around like that? And what about like, in the wilderness or something where you don't really have any kind of somebody could be right on the other side tree line. So is there a distance from an outdoor perspective that maybe is larger than the six?

Yeah, it's a really great question. And in general, outdoor space just has so much more air mixing, um that even if the wind's going one direction or the other, there's just a lot more than that virus to kind of break apart and to spread apart and to not move on one person to the other. So in general, outdoors is much safer than indoors. Um, the sixth one is really where when you look at these models where the drop was kinda hit the ground most consistently within 6 ft of someone. And that's why that barrier is there. And when we if you're in an indoor space for a prolonged period of time, you can easily spread the virus non 6 ft to anyone kind of help from that room. Indoor spaces. And clearly, you can imagine a scenario outside where maybe you were downwind to someone and 2 ft away, close by and be getting nailed, uh, right there by the respiratory droplets. So they're shouting. They're singing, uh, really close to you. Those are we? We have seen a couple of events where we believe there were outdoor settings. Um, but it is much less likely, much less comment to have outdoor-related, um, spreading events. They tend to be more like weddings that took place outside where people are sitting next to each other for a prolonged period of time outdoors and maybe, you know, foot or 2 ft away, or even three or 4 ft away. Um, but sitting there for a long period of time. So in general, I'm just, you know, continue, recommend. I know when I'm outside people outside my household and I'm running or biking. Um, and people are really exerting themselves. I tried to increase that. I try to spread it out, you know, 20 ft or so. You know, great science behind, uh, that we do see some model that shows some spread, you know, really, up to anywhere from 15 to 30 ft. And so, if you're really exerting breathing hard, just increase that space a bit more. Particularly when you're outside

Outstanding. So it limits my outdoor caroling this year. Okay, I'm good with it.

Just stick with your household family because

I can't carry a tune in a bucket. So I'm saying um, so understanding that this is really part of the natural world. There's not really anything we can do about the wild transmission of the virus except to prevent it from entering our body. Really? The infections begin life as a respiratory issue, but we've heard too many times on the news. And this may be misreporting, which is why I'm asking the question. But then once it's in the body, it spreads to other systems. Question mark. And we heard that underlying symptoms seem to catapult this virus essentially into the next level where it becomes life-threatening. Can you speak to that? I mean, what does that?

Yeah. No, absolutely. So it enters our system. They are the respiratory system, our nose or mouth. It can enter from the eyes as well. Um, but it can affect almost every organ in the body so it can affect your nervous system. Uh, we see people can have some confusion. Chronic fatigue. We see people the sense of taste and smell. It can affect your kidneys. It can affect the reason for the sufficiency. Uh, we also see, as I mentioned previously, quite a few clots and so numerous people who have a heart attack or a blood clot, either in their lungs or the brain, as a kind of recovering from Covid because they become what we call hyper platform. Usually, um, we also see people's immune systems kind of overreacting in all age groups, but particularly in a few cases, we do see in kids uh, the most common. It happened a couple of weeks after infection, where they can have a new response with their body. Sort of overreacts to the virus as a whole, but it is. It's much broader than just a respiratory virus, that is for sure. Um, reducing it in multiple organs and it can affect multiple organs short term.

Wow. Wow, that is certainly, uh, concerning, uh, given the knowledge. And again, it's all Wikipedia knowledge, unfortunately, which is where what I'm trying to do is kind of stem the Wikipedia knowledge and actually get real knowledge. So I thank you so much for all that information that you've given. I know that I speak for many of my listeners when I say how helpful it has been to have you kinda guide this, um, and guide our populations in the attempt to flatten the curve of the pandemic here, particularly in Alaska. Speaking for myself, I know I remain hopeful that our friends and neighbors understand the power and just the overall necessity of wearing a mask. Enforcing those social distances is particularly during these times, and hopefully, soon we can get back to normal and a real normal, not the new normal that I keep hearing about. Um, thank you so much for your time today. The show, um, coming out on the 16th. So, uh, hopefully, it can provide guidance as we get into this next holiday season where everybody's gonna is gathered around the table or Christmas tree. And, um can you think of, I mean, other than arm entre social distance mask?

Can you think of anything else that might help our listeners as they ready for this Christmas and New Year's holidays?

Yeah, I appreciate those things that you mentioned are really important. Um, a couple of the things that I would say if you're really gonna get together with people outside your household, uh, consider quarantining for a bit of time beforehand, and getting tested at the end of that somewhere between 7 to 14 days to really not mixing with anyone else. And they're getting tested prior to getting together and then get tested again afterward to make sure that you didn't pick it up and asymptomatically spread it to others. So these are tools, all of this public. All things are really tools of power. You, uh, to keep yourself safe to keep your loved one safe. And then the other thing that we haven't really talked about this vaccine, uh, we are full-fledged planning and all the details of vaccines right now. And while they will not be generally available to the entire public right away, they were gonna start available in limited quantities That will help to preserve our hospital capacity, protect those terminals vulnerable. And I think that is a real game-changer in this pandemic. I see a great light at the end of the tunnel right now, and it's gonna be a rough few months. Um, but we're getting to a much better place. Uh, and so I know for, uh, you know, my holiday season this year will be connecting to people virtually um, But, man, I'm planning to really, uh, get together with people I miss. I miss my parents. I miss my friends, hugs, and, uh, this summer, uh, next fall is gonna I think gonna be a very different place, Uh, for all of us in this country. And so I just I want people to know how much hope there is. And then if we're fatalistic about this, we do have control the spreads and are impacted and encourage people to really use these tools to keep their friends and family safe, particularly when we're so close, uh, to a really good, uh, prevented tool coming up around the corner. 

Outstanding. Yes. And I am. I have been watching the news with bated breath as well. Um, as as I've seen the, uh, multiple, um, vaccines can coming to fruition, and I'm just flabbergasted. And I use that word only because in 1918, uh, influence as they developed that vaccine, the amount of time as they develop that vaccine working, I'm sure as diligently as the doctors did this time. But how much faster? The vaccine for covid, uh, came to fruition and was able to be a little bit more flexible in that, um they looked at a whole bunch of different parts to make it happen if I'm not mistaken, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but, um, where this vaccine is going to be, as you mentioned, a real game-changer in the the the quest to crush covet.

Alright, completely. 100% agree. No steps were skipped, Um, that we went to all the normal processes. Uh, it looks to be both a safe and applied vaccine. The two things that we wanted to be, um it's just that there were a lot of people, a lot of time, a lot of money, and a lot of previous science on vaccine technology that was built upon to be able to build these vaccines. Um, from my seat in this, it kind of feels like I'm watching a man landing on the moon. It's amazing to watch the technology and what we have learned about this virus. Uh, when really we had a scientific community that has been collaborating and putting a lot of effort into this, uh, to make sure that we have the tools and resources for people to keep themselves healthy and safe. And so it's pretty exciting to see how far we've come and to think about how it happened in a short time frame yet not skipping the steps, just doing them in working collaboratively together. It's pretty amazing.

Outstanding. Well, thank you so much for all your information and for taking the time. Because I know you're crazy busy. I see you on the news two and three times a day, so I know you're crazy busy, so I really appreciate it. The time that you've taken with us today. Ladies and gentleman, Doctor Anne Zinc. Thank you so much. Have a great day and stay safe, Doc.

Thanks. You too. I appreciate you taking the time. And, uh, thanks for listeners. Uh, we all have a role to play in this. But, man, each individual asking really has the power to slow the spread. So thanks for all you're doing and stay safe. Be well and we'll talk soon. Thanks.

Canine Care and Field Treatment

Podcast Episode 120920
By: Alaskan Outlaw - December 9th, 2020

It's a quiet Thursday night, you are relaxing in front of the television when your dog begins to whine an instant before you feel the bang. Your whole home shutters, then within seconds, the floor moves back and forth, your armchair swaying in synchrony to the floor. Plates and glasses rattle within the kitchen cabinets with doors tapping, and inevitably something falls off a shelf and shatters on the floor. You are surrounded by creaking and moaning as your home struggles to absorb and dissipate the energy of a 6.5 earthquake that is obviously pretty close and shallow. Instantly, you and your family rush to climb under your dining room table, latching on to the table legs, and each other. Meanwhile, your dog stands in the center of the dining room watching you, while attempting to keep all senses activated for any danger. The dog remains out in the open until someone in your family yells out for them to come to you. When the dog arrives under the table, he is greeting with an embrace, the dog panics and bites the holder. The dog is under an enormous amount of stress and is incapable of understanding what is going on. Your family members are upset and panicking, thereby further stressing the animal. Within moments the home comes to rest, and things seem to calm down. Within seconds the first aftershock hits with similar actions, although not as strong, it lasts for about 10 - 15 seconds. When the dust settles, and once again the earth is quiet, you and your family climb out from under the table and begin to survey the damage. Your dog also emerges, and it seems he has transformed again to the sweet dog you had before the quake, although somewhat disorientated. There are tons of reasons we need to include pet control in our emergency plans, and we need to be very cautious about guessing the disposition of the animal under duress.

Greetings, and welcome friends, family, neighbors, fellow veterans, Alaskans, and Americans wherever you are. Welcome to the Alaskan Outlaw podcast, I am the Alaskan Outlaw, and I will be your host, for what I hope will be an informative discussion about a subject that is near and dear to my heart. During any news broadcast regarding a natural disaster, I always see a stray pet, lost and afraid in the background. In all the chaos, a human partner forgot their commitment. This has led me to culminate my thoughts about caring for our pets (particularly canines) before, during, and after, a natural disaster, or community emergency. In addition, in my opinion, many dog owners fail to remember that the commitment we make to our pets include helping them understand the chaotic sights and sounds associated with these interruptions to our normal lives. Without the intrinsic knowledge of what is happening, many animals resort to their natural instincts, which can lead to a giant misunderstanding with the pets bearing the brunt of the misguided repercussions.

Many of those pet owners out there seem to forget about their dogs during a natural catastrophe, essentially demoting them to property during an emergency. This changed for me decades ago when I was introduced to the term "working dog". If you've never worked with a "furry tornado with laser-beam focus" before, I am here to say that my canines are my partners. They are not "my kids", nor are they just "my dogs", I have formed a life-long partnership with them. As I learned to understand the mind of my canines over the years, it struck me that many pet owners don't fully understand the responsibilities of being a K9 dog handler. Because whether you considered it or not, the day that little heart stealer came home to your house, you became one. From that day, until he/she passes, their whole world revolves around you. As the "alpha" of your pack, your job is to teach them everything, and responding to emergencies is just one very small part.

Today I'd like to talk about keeping your canine safe, and healthy. I'm not going to discuss anything about what's the best of this, or that. I am going to discuss some basic first aid, and general field cares for your partners. Every time I see a natural disaster happen on the news, I instinct fully look for and find, somewhere in the background, is a homeless pet wandering around aimlessly. They are confused, they do not comprehend what just happened, or why their owners abandoned them. So, with this vision in our minds, I'd like to introduce you to my bible of canine care. Written by Dr. Randy Ackerman DVM originally written in 1994, the book, "Field Guide to Dog First Aid", has become my "go-to" for field care of injuries to my canines. With that said, I'd like to introduce you to some of the injuries you're likely to see, some basic first-aid, and finally some behavior changes you may see in "old yeller" when they are injured, or scared.

Later in the show, I've invited an awesome dog handler from here in south-central Alaska. With more experience, and success than most of us will ever see, I've put some questions to him to get his perspective on ensuring that we do the right things to help our furry partners get through to the other side, safe and secure.

So, let's start with some common injuries as well as the basics of first aid. When talking about common treatments with dogs, we need to cover the same basic A, B, C's that we cover when we are with human patients. 

  1. A is Airway. Is their airway clear of obstruction? Breathing cannot happen without a clear airway. Check your dog's airway as far back as you can see, if there is something close attempt to dislodge it, otherwise, you can perform a modified Heimlich maneuver on the dog to attempt to clear the airway. If you know the item may be sharp, attempt to get to a vet hospital quickly.
  2. B is Breathing. Can the animal breathe on its own? Dogs need oxygen just like humans, so ensuring that they can breathe is paramount. They can last about three to five minutes without oxygen before brain and organ damage occurs. So, is your dog breathing is the first task in first aid.
  3. C is circulation. There are plenty of locations to identify a dog's heartbeat and take their pulse. The bigger the dog, the slower the heart rate, but it should be between 60 and 120, remember that with any stress the dog's heart rate might be slightly elevated. If there is bleeding attempt to stop it by applying a bandage just like you would a human. TIP: Take your canine's pulse tonight, this way you are familiar with what it feels like. Too weak, or too strong a pulse could be indicative of something far more serious.

Common sense right? We all know about the superpower of common sense, but I have faith that you all have it, so let's consider some common injuries your partner might get during the scenario we described at the top of the show. 

A. Cuts and lacerations. Whether it be from a falling object or shattered glass on the floor, your partner may need some bandaging. In the case of stepping on glass, you'll want to make sure any shards are removed. Rule of thumb, deeper than a half-inch, bandage it in place, make sure the animal is immobilized and that the dog can't get to the puncture site, get to a veterinarian hospital. Depending on the amount of damage, this might also include punctures by nails or screws in boards that have come loose and now lie on the floor. Much the same as human first aid, if possible splint it all together, however, chances are good the dog will immediately attempt to free itself. In which case, direct pressure on the puncture site, get to a vet hospital.

B. Broken bones. In most cases, these can be treated the same way you would for a human. Splinting the dog into a natural position as possible is the key to success. Be extremely careful here, as broken bones can be excruciatingly painful, so the dog might become very aggressive, so both of you don't need injuries, keep your eyes fixed on the animal's disposition as much as possible. Snarling is an instant stop sign, that might indicate that there is a mouthful of pain about to be unleashed. Keep your small children away from the animal during field treatment.

C. Burns. This becomes a little more complicated when the animal is covered in fur. Sometimes dogs can be burned severely without a visible injury due to their fur. The best thing is to start cooling down the area. A sopping wet towel covering the area, with water slightly lower than room temperature is ideal to start the process. A modified "cone of shame" will reduce the possibility of infection by preventing the dog from licking the site.

D. Poisoned. This should be a major concern, as canines have no idea what carbon monoxide is. Some may also become confused with fluid in the house after the shakeup, thinking it's safe to drink. This is one of the reasons I ensure that part of our earthquake exercise is to secure the animals on a leash, to ensure they don't eat or drink something they're not supposed to. However, you are going to have to rescue them from carbon monoxide or other poisonous gas, they don't know. 

E. Smoke or dust inhalation. This is similar to poisonous gas, as the dog may see their mission as trying to save you, they don't recognize the smoke or dust as problematic. They are going to rely on you to make sure they are safe from this hazard. Many animals are killed each year because of smoke inhalation, and it's because they don't know what to do.

F. Weather related. Many of us don't think about something with a fur coat having a possibility of getting hypothermia, but you can bet your favorite boots they can, and do. In addition, while they do have an undercoat, when all of that is wet and cold, they very easily can get frostbite, or hypothermia, from being exposed to the elements. In much the same way we would treat humans, we need to gently warm the affected areas, get them warmed up (slowly), and dried off thoroughly. Just a tip, watch the animal as if they have gotten frostbite on their toes or pads, they may try to chew off the afflicted part, so keep an eye on the animal's behavior.

In most of these cases, dogs may go into shock, and while it may look very different, it can still be just as fatal as it is in humans. The key ingredient that I have found is comforting the animal. "Good dog" goes a long way here, soothing, and comforting voices, if the dog allows it, a gentle rub, or scratch behind the ears should have a calming effect. You will also want to make sure it keeps its head up. Again, try to make any movement of the animal (into the truck to go to the vet hospital) as easy and as comfortable for the dog. If you have to keep everyone together, try to maintain the space around the dog from other humans.

I definitely recommend getting the book identified before and keep it in your first aid kit, so you'll have everything together should you ever need it. The book lists dozens of injuries of canines and some basic first aid for them. If you have made the commitment to this animal, you owe it to them to help them in their darker times. Having the book at least, allows you to have some idea should you ever find yourself in a survival situation with a canine.

When an animal is stressed, regardless of the cause, we can witness some possible behavior changes that may be detrimental to the understanding of the human partner. Many fail to remember that dogs are descendants of natural predators, the wolf. Under extreme stress, animals may resort to their natural instincts, which may be more primal in nature, leaving their human partners confused and disenfranchised by the behavior. While we may misunderstand it, this is completely natural and normal, and being prepared for it is what will separate successful partnerships from unsuccessful ones. 

Recently I had a chance to catch up with a good friend and awesome dog trainer/handler, Josh Cropper of HPR Working Dogs in Wasilla, Alaska, or as I have come to know him as THE REAL "dog whisperer". We shared a phone call where I asked home some basic questions, and I got his take on taking care of canines. A formerly active duty Marine, Josh has decades of experience training canines at all levels of performance, and quite honestly he has become my role model (even tho he's much younger than I am).

{Phone Interview Transcript}

Possible Action Steps

Talk to your vet

Do your research


More information about the book. is the website for Dr. Randy Acker DVM 

More information about Josh Cropper and HPR Working Dogs is Josh’s website, and 907.351.1771 is his phone number for any questions about canine training is the site Josh mentioned for constructing the diet for your furry partner. is the site Josh mentioned for the flat collar that can include your contact information.

Obtaining a balance between prepping and hoarding.

By: Alaskan Outlaw
December 11th, 2020

A visit to the local supermarket prior to a major weather event can suggest that Americans are convinced that having a substantial store of particular objects will save them from whatever is coming with a natural, or human-induced substantial event. While being prepared should be an absolute requirement for every American, the idea of buying everything off the shelf at the local market, at the last possible moment, could conceptually be counter-productive to the survival of one's family members. The idea that each of these natural, or human-induced, events to include locally imposed "lock-downs”, produces a run on the local markets that clearly demonstrates that many individuals are not prepared for what could happen at any time. More concerning is the ability of many Americans to quickly forget their needs following these substantial events that happen within our communities, quickly after the event subsides.

Whenever we are engaged in a conversation about the effects of a major weather event, or human-induced catastrophe, we must take into consideration our local supply chain. When considering the fragility of the global supply chain, one has to consider that even a small run against the local markets will produce empty shelves, as well as limit the availability of particular products via mail order due to the supply being diverted from the manufacturers to the retail outlets, thereby eliminating the availability potential to online retailers. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the nation's retail outlets converted to a "just-in-time" inventory management system, meaning that the required storage for mass inventories, such as warehouses, were minimalized to an absolute minimum, usually leaving the retailer dependent on just what was in the store itself. This meant that even small runs could potentially empty store shelves as the retailer joined the other retailers in the area, and scrambled to re-acquire the missing inventory objects from manufacturers. Most, if not all, of the automated inventory systems deployed throughout the retail industry, do not factor in the potential for these "runs" caused by a localized event, which added to the potential of failure under the strain of the runs caused by these localized emergencies.

If you will recall, the imposition of localized "lock-downs" back in March of 2020 created a nationwide shortage of toilet paper and hand soap, and while many made online memes mocking those perceived needs, the reality was, most Americans tipped the scales in favor of hoarding in-lieu of preparedness during that event. Yes, in some cases, the hoarding was driven by greed, as they attempted to capitalize on the perceived needs offering those items to unprepared families at a substantial profit margin. We see this same cycle repeat itself over and over, particularly when nature rears its head. Massive snowstorms, hurricanes, earthquakes, as well as flooding events seem to drive many Americans to recognize the need to have everyday supplies within their local residences. However, the disconcerting aspect of these events, is that many American's quickly forget their needs of preparedness soon after the event completes and life returns to normal. However, there are other national events that have just as much potential of crippling the supply chain, that may, or may not, be visible to the end customer. Throughout the nation, we have witnessed an unprecedented infection of American's, with, thankfully, only a small percentage of the nation's shipping industry workforce affected. However, even this small impact has had a rippling effect throughout the overall retail industry, causing other manufacturers to increase their production to fulfill their needs.

There is, however, a key to success for each American, to escape this vicious cycle that repeats itself every time something outside the normal scope of everyday life happens. That key is to become prepared. Now, as I've mentioned above, there is a difference between being prepared, and becoming a hoarder. The idea here is to become prepared for one’s family members, remaining self-sufficient throughout the event’s lifecycle. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), an agency within the United States Department of Homeland Security has created a multitude of documents to help us become and stay prepared for these events. Here are some general "rules-of-thumb" when it comes to becoming prepared for natural or man-made disasters.

FEMA recommends having at least three (3) days of emergency supplies (i.e., food, water, hygiene essentials, etc,). However, I would submit, that if you do not reside in a major metropolitan area, you might want to include several weeks instead. With the fragility of the supply chain to the local retailers, receiving a re-supply may be a little further than three days out. Here in Alaska, and many other locations throughout the country, I think it's safe to include three (3) weeks as the base supply. That way when the event subsides and life returns to a semi-normal state, we can simply restock what was used during the event. If each American created a food store that would last three weeks, this would permit the local retailers to be able to bulk up their inventories thereby allowing many to resupply after the event. This would allow individuals whose food stores were damaged during the event to have the availability of life-sustaining products to purchase and use during the recovery period.

This is what local preparedness would look like. With each participant storing a portion of the food stores, thereby allowing the local retailers to focus on getting in additional inventory, for the replenishment of individual smaller stores, as well as the support of individuals directly impacted by whatever event happened. So, what does three (3) weeks of supplies for a family of four (4) contain? Let's break it down.

  • 4 members x 3 meals a day for 21 days
  • 63 meals per individual, for a total of 252 meals
  • Extreme weather (either hot or cold) will adjust this number by 1.5 due to the increased caloric need for survival.
  • One gallon of water, per person (and pet) per day for a total of 84 gallons of water.

One of the greatest gifts we can offer ourselves and family members is consistency. By switching diets to "get-through" the disaster, we could potentially set our family up for failure and/or sickness, so keeping stores that contain familiar foods would be optimal. Serving meals at "normal" times further supports the consistency mantra, and allows our family members a multitude of benefits:

  1. Allows us to remain healthy, by keeping our bodies regular.
  2. Allows us to essentially tell time, by knowing what meal it is. This is critical here in Alaska where the sun may not be up for breakfast or dinner.
  3. Provides normalcy for small children, allowing them to receive some comfort.

We all know by having ingredients goes further than if we purchase pre-packaged meals. The other facet to consider here is having the resources to prepare the meals, as well as an alternate. If you have an electric stove for preparing the meals, what is the plan if the electricity is out, due to local flooding? Having a safe alternative for preparing the food for consumption by family members, is a critical aspect of being prepared. The idea behind becoming prepared is that we are completely self-sufficient in providing as much of normal life as possible, regardless of the scenario happening around us. Being able to prepare meals, maintain hospitable temperatures, and dry, clean, space within a residence to “rest and restore” is what survival (or emergency preparedness) all boils down to.

To properly define the difference between prepared and hoarding is to identify who the supplies acquired are going to be used for, and for how long are we relying on those supplies. If you can honestly say that the supplies are going to be used for family members, and for less than six months, then this is emergency preparedness. Any other answer to either of those questions, and now, the balance shifts towards hoarding, and is counter-productive to the community's survival.


Transcript recorded on December 2nd, 2020

AO Well, hey, I wanna welcome Josh Cropper from HPR Working Dogs of Wasilla, Alaska. Is that correct? 

JC That is correct. 

AO Outstanding. Well, as I mentioned, in the previous part of the show, you've become kind of my role model for dog training. So I've been kinda following you on Facebook and some of the other points of interest that you've put out there, and so it's a great honor to have you on the show today, Josh. I appreciate you taking the time to answer just a few questions that hopefully helps me and our listeners talk about keeping the dogs prepared. And primarily I'm focused on dogs because we all know cats don't listen to humans anyway. So primarily we're kind of talking about the canines. And, again, I just really want to thank you for taking time out of your busy day. I know the roads are really messy right now, so I appreciate you taking the time. 

JC No problem.

AO Outstanding. Well, I gave you a kind of an outline as to what we were kind of looking at. So, what would you say? Do you think, in your opinion, is the most overlooked part of canine care?

JC Well, I'm very biased on this topic. As a trainer, I'm definitely gonna think that training is the most neglected component to animal care. I would say that there are two main things that I thought of before this phone call, this podcast, and that was training, and then healthy diet and body condition, and things like that. So when we come, and when we look at animals in the 1970s, a golden retriever will live to about average, about 17 years old. And now we're seeing an average age a 10 to 12 if we're lucky. And so I'm a really big proponent of a healthy diet, a proper body condition, and pre-active, proactive, training regiment so that we don't find ourselves in these situations that we easily could've been prepared for. So the vast majority of dogs eat a really processed diet. I'm big on trying to get the diet as natural and as healthy as possible. There's a website if people are interested in maybe just reconsidering the way they feed their dog, and that is, which was created for dogs that have cancer. You know, so they can go on there that you can get a formulation for your pet. And it's not just for dogs that have cancer. It's that's just one of the components that is created, for. They have all kinds of different information that you can plugin, and they'll formulate what I consider a superior diet.  Then I also thought about right, for we started talking another element of this when it comes specifically to the topic of the discussion that we're covering today, which is preparedness, which is, how can we be proactive when it comes to natural disasters? And that is the concept of less is more. I often see people that really overextend themselves when it comes to animal husbandry. They've got chickens and goats and five dogs and three cats and a horse and a small sled dog team. And there's no way that they could really effectively manage that situation when it comes to a wildfire or a catastrophic earthquake and so much less, you know, civil unrest. So not saying don't have all those animals, but really take that into mind when it comes to developing your emergency plan of what do I do? What vehicle do I have that can be prepped? Maybe you have an old F150 that has a trailer that you can, in a pinch, put the animals on and get out of dodge. Try not to overextend yourself. We're having one dog. You have a great relationship. Is always gonna be better, in my opinion than having six dogs. A lot of times we like to start collecting because, well, dogs are awesome.

AO Well said, Well said. And just so that I can clarify and that we did it. Put down. That's

JC Yep. 

AO All one word, no dashes. 

JC Yeah, they will create a formula for your dog based upon the criteria you put in there whether you're actually trying to fight cancer or whether you're just trying to really focus on more healthy longevity with your pet.

AO Outstanding. Well, I I definitely made note of that. So I'll keep that one down. I'll put that on the blog post for this so that they can also have that link. All right. So, following along with that train of thought. What would you say is the most important step to help following a natural disaster. Now, you covered some of it. When we talk about, you know, you and I have, I would say I wouldn't say diabolically opposed. But I will say a difference of opinions, and that's with America's all about. Right? A difference of opinion is, is about how animals are trained. Like I have a very old, she is a lab, Akita mix. A great big 105-pound horse dog, a wonderful dog. She's 12 years old, she's now blind but wonderful, and living the good life, right? However, at some point in her 12 years, I'm guessing there was an incident where there was gunfire or BB guns or nail guns in her past. I've had her since she was a puppy, so I can't imagine what happened, but she freaks out over fireworks. Absolutely will chew through a door to get away from the fireworks or get close to us anyway. And so when we talk about animals after a natural disaster thinking, tornado, thinking hurricane, thinking earthquake is great, you brought up the forest fires. These are great examples of how do we make sure we're helping the canine follow? You know, those immediate hours following a natural disaster?

JC Yeah, prevention is being proactive, and prevention is gonna be a huge element, but one of the things that I recommend, alright. Just with that mantra be prepared is to keep an ID collar on your dog. A lot of people, they just get out of the habit of it, you know, and having a nice, tight collar. That's not gonna be a snag issue that has your phone number printed right on it. Dangly tags are easily lost, and they easily get ripped off. So I have a nylon flat collar with your name and your number written across the outside, or they make on I believe it is, one of the hunting websites. They sell a nylon flat collar with a brass plate, and it's super cheap. That you can order and just leave right there. It doesn't snag. It's just every day type of collar. Leave it on your dog and you take it off once a week? Yeah. Make sure that they're brushed out, you know, but really be proactive on having that ID and number is the fastest way to get your dog back in the case of a natural disaster, an emergency or even just regular life gets a hold of you. You know, your dog gets startled because of a fireworks or gunshots or but, you know, on those charges or whatever it might be, you know, really the fastest way to get your dog back. Sure. Microchipped. And that's an amazing thing also. But having that collar is the first thing that everybody looks for.

AO Well, yeah. And then, of course, the individual having that reader to be able to read the microchip, obviously. 

JC Yeah. Especially in the time of the natural disaster. I mean, dogs, they're gonna be plenty of them. So, you know, that's gonna be low on the priority when it comes to public safety and the concerns of the public.

AO Correct. Okay, awesome. Alright.

JC Another, Another element. That same train of thought. No, no problem is having, you know, I don't know about you, but you know, one of the main things when it comes to preparedness and prepper having to go back and really think of your animals in conjunction with that go back. You know, if you have a pack that has a pocket on the top, that's a perfect place for your leash for a couple of that leashes, for having a leash. Those are great not only for your own dog but if you have three or four leashes that they pass out at the vet for free, you can throw them in there. You can daisy chain them together, get a little more distance you can have them for when you come across another animal, whether it's a cat or whether it's somebody's dog. You know, a lot of times these dogs have gone through. We saw when it came to the Australian fires. Animals are just all kinds of hurt because they're going. They're walking through these coals and, you know, they went up a tree, but then they got flames licking on them. And if we just reach out to help them, if they're domestic animals. We don't know their temperament. And if they're wild animals, obviously that's gonna even be worse. You know, it's a lot easier just to throw a slip on them, drag him to a post or a tree or a stump, go around that and then be able to pin them down with your jacket and basically pick them up in a purse, drop them in a crate and try to alleviate their stress as much as physically possible.

AO Right, which is an awesome segway, I'm glad you brought that up, is you know, many injuries injured animals are gonna become aggressive when they are hurt. What are some tips? And it sounds like, you know, it kinda hurries up, tag and bag them and get them in a crate so we can get them to somewhere to get some help. But what are some tips from you to get past that aggressiveness and to actually get to them and to provide some care?

JC Well, it really depends on the dog, whether it's a dog that we own, that we can be proactive and really focus on training. If that's the case, having some of these elements of these building blocks in place is really important that One, we have food motivation, and we have a general understanding that we can communicate effectively with our dog. And what I mean by that is if I have food motivation and they're really food motivated and looking for opportunity, that's not going to alleviate their pain. But it will put it in more of a productive ratio rather than their pain being all they're focused on 80% of their attention on their pain. It helps us mitigate and really compartmentalized what's going on in the environment. So, you know, it's like, Yeah, that hurts, But it's not all they're focused on. And another thing is, we teach a dog pressure release, right? Watch Most people walk their dog, their dogs out there into their leash, and you're just going on this journey with your dog on the leash, and they're just kind of doing their own thing, and that's fine. That's fine for exercise. That's the normal way most people handle their dogs. But a more productive way from the training perspective is to teach the dog that when you apply pressure on em when? Whether it's a slip lead, whether it's on a prong collar, whether it's a flat collar or you touch the, you know, above their hips to get him to sit, teach them to yield to that pressure. And if that is understood, then when we have extenuating circumstances, we're gonna have a lot more ability to help them understand what we're trying to do. I already have that down. So we apply pressure. They already know how to yield to it. So while flailing around, we can apply pressure and kind of give em that common denominator when it comes to communication.

AO Excellent. Well, that's a great point. You know being able to have some level of communication, particularly with a scared and potentially injured animal. To be able to do that,  that's a great point where the concern I would have, I guess, is when you approach the strays. You know, you mentioned before we really don't know that their temperament I don't want to reach out and try to apply pressure on an animal I just don't know is going to understand what I'm trying to do there.

JC For sure. Yeah. In a situation like that, you know, if we can get a good slip lead on them, you know, just a good slip lead, the quicker you get it on them and the quicker you redirect them, you're not allowing them to over-analyze the situation. You know, do good people with good intentions. You know, they wanna stick their hand out and let the dogs can smell you from across the room. They don't need your hand in their face. Get that slip on them, get them pinned down with a blanket. Do whatever it takes to do it as quickly as possible for a dog that you don't know. Don't let them over analyze it and cascade into more fear. Now, for a dog that you do know your neighbor's dog, your own dog, a dog that you're familiar with, Sure, we can expect the unexpected. They might be in pain. They might be scared. They might be whatever it is, but get that slip on them and then just pause and breathe and give them space. Don't keep crowding them. Let them calm down. Let them quit screaming. I mean, I have a dog that jumped up to get a disc one time out of the air and another dog did the same thing. And, you know, the other dogs clawed her eyelid, and she is just freaking out. And what did I do? Absolutely nothing. Because if I would have grabbed her and I would have got it would've just made matters worse. I waited until she stopped screaming. And then I had the, I got the confirmation that she didn't lose her eye. Right? So, like, the more that I would have done in that situation with the dogs that I know is stable and that I have a relationship with, I'm just gonna make it worse. She would say, I don't know how severe it is, but I'm not gonna start screaming. I'm not gonna panic. I'm just gonna stop and wait. So what we do when it comes to reaction really depends on the dog and our understanding of the dog. If we don't know that animals, it's a wild animal or if it's a strange animal, whether it's feral or whether it's just a stray, you know, we want it as soon as we can potentially get control of that animal, the better. We're not gonna allow them to, to panic and, like, throw in the towel and runoff. If we can get a slip-on them and then bam, hurry up and drag him into a create or time off or whatever it might be. A lot of times that's gonna be the best option, and then the opposite advice for the dogs that we do have a relationship with. Get that leash on them. But then give them some space. Let him calm down. You breathe and then reassess the situation.

AO Outstanding. Well, you kinda lead right into my next question, which was, is leashing, following a natural disaster. A good practice, in a previous show, I mentioned that you know, as I was putting together my emergency plan, I made sure that I assigned tasks to my children that they had some visual confirmation on the right so they could do something. We'd see that it was done and they could build that self-confidence. Hey, I got this done, and so we were able to build the confidence of the kids and make them feel like part of the overall operational team of our recovery from a natural disaster and their task My nine-year-old, his task is to get, our old blind, Labrador on a leash so that she's not panicking. There are sounds because there's obviously going to be emergency vehicles and all kinds of sounds going on. So we're gonna get her on a leash, get her kind of comfort. And our GSD, she's gonna get at least that's my 10-year-old job because she's a little bit more little wiry, the little fancy of foot and still a young dog. She's only four so still in the prime of her sprinting career. So, their job is to get them on leads. And so is that a good idea? In your opinion?

JC Absolutely. There there's There are two things that are really imperative in a time of stress or of chaos, and that is a leash should always be the default in every situation. Whether you're starting your dog on a walk, start him on the leash. If they're great off-leash and it's appropriate after you start on it and then and your hike or your walk or your training session back on. So that's always just the normal expected way that the dog lives so that when we do need it, we can be proactive, productive, and effective when it comes to proper care and husbandry. Other. The other thing is, being off-leash should be a rewarding experience for the dog. So if we reward them for success on a leash, for being engaged and walking next to us rather than distracted and pulling us down the street, if we get success and then give them more opportunity, it amplifies that reward rewarding opportunity activity. The other thing is, yes, it's leash first and foremost always, you know, have that be a normalized part of your dog's life. You know, so many times with clients like, Well, I never really use the leash anymore. Well, it's like the seat belt, right? Just because I'm not 15 anymore with a learner's permit or 14, just because I know how to drive doesn't mean that I just don't use my seatbelt anymore, right? It's just I don't rely on my seat belt. It's there if I need it but I don't rely on it. So I have a leash. And even more importantly, is having good create conditioning and create that is readily available to use. You know, if you've got a great create trained dogs, sometimes when those soft crates soft candles are gonna be really, really convenient and productive and an opportunity like that or a situation rather that you can just have one fold it down. And it just is the common denominator between what's normalized to the dog to help them, succeed in this situation of stress you're paying whatever the situation might be,

AO Outstanding. Well, that is some great information. And I'm so glad that I'm following along with, many of it. Sounds like most of my emergency plan follows right into what you're suggesting. So I'm feeling like I followed the dog whisperer here and made the right choices. I, definitely want to tell you how much I appreciate all of this information and we got some more coming, but real quick, we're gonna take a real quick commercial, and when we come back, we're gonna continue to talk with Josh and kind of pick up some more pieces. I know he's covered a lot of it, but I really want to drill down on just a couple more pieces, before we let just back into the wonderful city that we've got here on our streets and Anchorage. So, we'll be back right after this message,

AO All right, and we are back. I definitely appreciate you guys taking that time with us. Helps us pay a couple of bills anyway. Still change, but, hey, every penny counts when it comes to this stuff. Absolutely alright. So when we left, we were kind of talking kind of finished up talking about leashing and how that is kind of a default action. This brings up another question, when you know, a lot of people have asked me, Oh, you know, my dog is a pet dog. It's not a working dog, and so I don't really do all that creating and the and the training and stuff because he's just a pet. What would be your kind of retaliatory, discussion points in that kind of discussion?

JC Well, they're considering their dog a pet. You know, the dog doesn't consider itself a pet. They consider themselves a dog. So a lot of times we look at these pets these animals that we live within love. We look at it kind of from a backward perspective, and I don't have this written down, so I'll try not to mess it up too much. But the kind of the way that we look at a dog is what is their name? And then what is their breed? And then what is their species? And then we realized that they’re an animal lastly, you know, and a lot of times that's just diabolically opposite of what we should be. Look, we should understand that they're an animal and that they can't understand all these human constructs that we put on them. So we know that they're an animal first and foremost, and then we look at okay, it's a dog that's their species. So it's an animal. Obviously, we can't just treat them like a human because that will lead them to fail because they can't comprehend all the construct of our society. So we look at my dog snoring in the background. Hopefully, she's not bad, so we look back. They are an animal. We understand that, Yes, we love them. Yes, they're part of our family. But we cannot lose sight that first and foremost they’re an animal. Then there's a dog. And then there is a certain breed, whether it's a husky or a lab or a German shepherd or a terrier, whatever they are a mixture of those. And then we look at them. Their actual personality. Last. If we look at it from that perspective, we're going to avoid a lot of issues because we're not gonna get derailed by the love that we have. We're not gonna get sidetracked with the fact that we care about them more than some other human beings.

AO Do you think that looking at it from that angle from the animal forward angle does that? Should that change the amount of and I'm gonna call it domesticated training? Only because I can't think of anything else but the things like creating and, you know, food sharing and playtime and those things that I don't want to use the word expect either. But I mean, that's kinda the best fit I can put. I mean, does that train of thought starting with the animal change, the level of training, or the dedication to training that we should put into our animals?

JC I really don't appreciate the difference between a working dog and a pet dog very much because, really, they have to understand how to succeed. And if we don't treat our pet like a working dog, then we're limiting their ability. Because whether a German shepherd has worked for a police department or a German shepherd lives in your house, it takes more ability to succeed as a pet than it does to be managed and handled and trained as a working dog. Like it takes a lot more ability for a hunting dog to be okay in your house and in the field rather than one or the other. So a lot of times when we have a Jack Russell, you know, they're very high. I just did a lesson with a Jack Russell client and one of my favorite breeds, but they're really easy to mess up on because we see them on the packages of dog food. We see them on the packages of dog diapers, you know, like these things that were marketed, too. So that influences our perspective of the animal. That really all they wanna do is jump in a hole and battle with Badger, you know, and you know, a lot of times we can neglect their genetics by, limiting our perspective. It's really easy for a pet dog. Actually, it's easy. It's really possible for a pet dog to succeed in the house and just annihilate it when it comes to working in the field. You know, it's really easy. I keep saying that it's not easy, but it's very possible for a police dog to go home and be part of the cop's family and really succeed at work, and the same thing with a service dog. You know, the same rules should always apply, but you're not as strict and precise when you're in your living room as you are when you're in Walmart. So it's really important that we don't limit our dogs by using that he's just a pet as an excuse. You know, they are very, very, very capable. But any working dog could be a pet. Not every pet dog can be a working dog, but it because of driving genetics and desire. But at the end of the day, it's up to us to create jobs for them as surrogate opportunities. So if I'm teaching my dog how to hunt, I don't need him going and find the neighbor's cat. If I don't have that job for them to do, I need to provide those opportunities.

AO Got it, and that's where you would make a duck and hide it somewhere. Or you would somehow invent opportunities for the animal to then engage in a skill set that they enjoy.

JC For sure. I'll give a few examples. You know, if we're not into guns and if we're not in the hunting and we have a retriever, then we the surrogate, is gonna be a bumper. If we have a Jack Russell terrier and we don't want them hunting Fox because it's not legal or it's not our gig, Then we provide that substitute with a tug with a rope whatever it might be. We have a husky and we're not running to Nome. We still give them that opportunity of running in a productive and effective manner through having a sled with us, you know, teaching them how to skijor or cross or whatever it might be. And so it's up to us to fulfill those opportunities. And it's even more, necessary. When our dog is just a pet because it's hard to be a pet, they just want to be a dog. And we're shoving him into this pet lifestyle, right?

AO Whether they want to or not. Yeah, awesome. That, you know, it does put a very different perspective on when you talk about, you know, uh, prepping as a survival lifestyle. You know you and I hear it all the time. Everyone. So we gotta get GSD. We gotta get, you know, these big, beefy Rottweilers, Dobies, you name it because we're gonna do this. And what I've always caution people against is that you may get, my German shepherd is an example of insane prey drive. Insane prey drive. She chases snowflakes, leaves, she loves ants, because they move. She's she has an insane prey drive. But once she gets it, she has zero treat drive or zero toy drive. If it's not moving, it's not important if it's moving. It's exciting when we talk about the survivalists out there who are getting these dogs based more on reputation, and then trying to hammer them into some role that they may or may not want to. So fail and exactly what you were just saying about. You know, I've never considered a pet as a role that I'm trying to force the animal into. I had never considered that before.

JC Yeah, yeah, and kind of the concept is, the stealth bomber, you know, great, great piece of equipment. You know, it's been around for, I think, over 30 years now. It's just an amazing airplane. You don't use that to learn how to fly. You don't use F15 much less than F22 to learn how to fly. You know you don't jump into a semi-truck that has, you know, 33 sets of gears. You gotta, you know, use a splitter and I mean, that's ridiculous. So if you don't know how to train the lab, please do not consider getting chesty If you don't know how to train a dog, probably don't consider a German shepherd, and definitely don't consider Malinois, it a lot of my favorite breeds are dogs that I appreciate that I would not recommend to other people. And the shortlist of those are Jack Russels, Malinois, and Australian Cattle Dog. I love all three of them, you know, absolutely. Love them, respect them. They are a joy for me to train because I just love to fulfill that drive. But I mean 60% of all dogs. That train is German shepherds. And it's not because of the German shepherds a bad dog. It's just because the people don't know how to train any dog, much less a German shepherd. It was really easy. Just a set ourselves up for failure by trying to learn on an animal that's above our pay grade. So who is the guy from Fast and the Furious is Paul Walker, I think.

AO Oh, yeah, that sounds right.

JC So you know he died. He was in his. I think he was in the passenger seat of his Porsche Carrera. I think it was called and he let his friend drive and his friend wrapped it around a telephone pole, pulling out of a parking lot and all fire, and they both perished. Well, that's a great car. There's nothing wrong with that car. It was just a car was too much for the driver, and that's really easy to do is just bite off too much, much for our ability getting a Malinois because its a tactical dog, getting a German shepherd or a feel for like, you know, something that's rare and exotic and sound, even a pit bull, You know, like pit bulls are amazing dogs. They really are. But a lot of times it's the owners that don't respect the dogs. They're on the top of the hill saying Respect, you know, don't bully my breed, but they don't even understand their breed. Act like a pit bull. It's like, Oh, that's the dud. Well, no, it's not the dud. That's what they were bred for. At one point for this tenacious attitude, this tenacious ability to fight through pain and stress. And if all your dogs ever did is lay on the couch? Well, then, when that genetic beast rears its head, it's like, Oh, my gosh, what happened? Well, you didn't respect the dog. You know you didn't train for the unexpected.

AO You didn't understand the the the breath of the beasts that live beneath the surface of the water. Yeah, yeah, I've seen it too many times. Unfortunately,

JC yeah, I take my, Malinois out, and a lot of people nowadays, it seems like everybody knows what a Malinois is. And that wasn't the case when I got him, and they're like, he's such an ambassador for the breed. No. No, he's not. The breed doesn't need an ambassador, because that breeds not right for everybody. So I don't need to use him to pitch the breed because I respect the breed. And you know what? I didn’t need a Malinois, I adopted him because he needed a home, not because I needed another dog. 

AO The other direction Tradeoff? Yeah. No, I hear it a lot. Without going too much further down that hole, wanna just touch on the next two points. Real quick, keeping them on the normal diet. Is that a good practice? I've had a good experience. When my dogs, even when they go out and search and rescue and whatnot, we keep them on the same kibble so that their diets aren't getting all kinds of goofed up while they're out in the field, and, you know, So I've had a bunch of folks ask, you know what happens? You know, do have you considered not you personally, but do I consider a dog chow or whatever food I feed my dog to be a normal part of my prep? My answer is yes. Your answer. It sounds like would be. 

JC Yeah, So there are two perspectives of this, so I will piggyback off of your perspective first, and then I'll give you a different perspective. So my piggybacking off of your perspective is don't change something up that your dogs gonna have an issue with. If it's the fall and my dad has a bunch of apple trees, there's nothing wrong with me eating an apple. But if I eat a whole bucket of apples or if I go hunting and I eat a huge grocery bag full of blueberries, that's gonna create a reaction in me that might be a little bit explosive. So, you know, moderation is a good thing. But if your dog doesn't have a varied diet, there's no reason to vary it in time of excess stress of the change of, you know, a new location, whatever it might be. So one element is Yeah, sure, keep him on a familiar diet. Now the whole other perspective is my dogs on a very, very, extremely, varied diet. So in their world, variety is the spice of life. So for them, their normal diet is very varied. So I prefer that I think that it makes more sense to keep their diet variable, just like we don't eat pancakes every dinner. You know, we don't eat breakfast cereal every morning. You know, we have a normal, varied diet, and sometimes sure, we might get diarrhea or whatever it might be. But our diet is variable and our bodies are used to that. So if your dog is on a normal kibble and you just don't rotate protein sources and you don't even switch brands, will then certainly be prepared with that formula when stuff is the fan. But at the end of the day, it really depends on the perspective. My dog's diet, you know, their proteins. Today it was a pig's head, and yep, yesterday it was fish. And the day before it was moose burger. And, you know, it's just their normal diet is varied. So if your normal dog's diet is varied. Then you need to be prepared for that because if you go from this meat-based diet to, like puppy chow, you're gonna have issues, you know? So stuff like that, Yeah, But if you go from puppy chow and then all of a sudden switch diets, you know, and you're going from a corn-based food to, wheat-based food well, then we can also see that create a big issue. The good medium, The good way to get around. This is in a time of need, where you don't have your normal dog's diet. Don't give him a bucket full of apples to eat right away. Don't shock the system. It is way easier to handle eating half an apple. If all you eat is protein, then it is if you try to overindulge. So don't give them a bunch. Spread it out throughout the day. And I've never seen an issue when it comes to dog switching diets because the way that I do it is moderation and small quantities at a time.

AO Got it. Okay, Great points, and I hadn't considered, you know, and again, I think I'm like, Well, many Americans, try to keep make sure the dog doesn't, beg or look for table scraps and food. So I've always kind of limited that, but thinking about where you're going. Now that's a great choice. Because as we vary things, this gives us a little bit more flexibility. You know, if we look at supply chain interruption or something, that's dramatic. Now at least we have some options. Whereas if obviously the kibble or, you know, his normal diet was interrupted for, a period of time, at least we can keep him going without adding any more stress to an already stressful situation. So no, that's good. That's good. 

JC It'd be like if your dog is on a commercial brand of cable and you go by the coffee hut and they say, Can your dog have a treat? Made a dog biscuit? There's gonna be no fall out from that. 

AO Yeah, they just pour the whole box in the window, right. 

JC It's gonna be a real mess, you know? So So it really depends on making sure that we're not shocking their system, especially in the state, in time of more state of more stress to begin with,

AO Right? No, that's good practice. I like that. I'm going to I’m gonna change up a few things start slow. Of course. the next question, obviously, creating your good for stressful situations. We've always, always taught our kids that the crate is the dog's bedroom, and so you don't go in their room and they don't go in your room. That's the trade-off, kind of giving them their space when particularly when we have stressful situations going on or something high energy. They need time to decompress and kind of let things go. That's their place. How are your feelings on creating and, creating for a stressful situation?

JC I think every child should be crate trained. Um, you know, I mean, I mean, yeah. No, it really depends. So a lot of times, people never use the crate or they only use it when they need to, and then they kind of fade away from it. Well, it's just like wearing a seatbelt. I'm gonna use that analogy. Just a little angle off of it. I wear a seatbelt. I didn't even notice it's on. But, you know, I remember being a kid and having my grandparents say wow, you know, I know somebody who died that would have been fine without, you know? I mean, it's just what are they used to? So be proactive, Especially from day one. If you don't have a dog and you're gonna get a dog, crate train from the beginning and really have a plan and follow it, Otherwise, we're just creating a lot more work, stress, and certainly for situations for ourselves. So I would say that the most important thing in a dog's life is having an understanding of how to earn food, having the food be relevant so that we have a form of currency to pay the dog for what we wanna emphasize. And then the next thing is, we have what I call markers, and that is like a clicker would be one form of the marker. But I use verbal markers. So this word means this word means this. I have four main markers that mean different things that that I condition that I teach the dog. The next most important thing in the crate, and we teach that all at the same time. So food combined with markers in the crate that 12 and three all done right from the first time that I either start training the dog or when I get a dog. So don't give your dog more privilege when they're young. Then they're capable of succeeding with, you know, we don't have a kid, and then when they're six years old, drop him off the bar and say, We'll see you when you're 21 you know? So don't teach them as this puppy. That's still not even, you know, it's still mouthing and still learning to deal with the stress of being alone rather than being in a litter. Don't teach them they're gonna live on your bed. I'm not saying they should never be on your bed. That's a personal choice. But don't give them more privilege than they're able to succeed and handle. Good. A good rule of thumb is to use the crate at night. Use it during the day when you are home and you can build the value of it through reinforcement through awarding them with their normal daily diet for being in the crate and then, over time, make it variable if you choose so that you know, one day one night they sleep in the crate and they're just fine. And the next night they're loose and they're just fine. But don't jump the gun and provide more opportunities than they're capable of handling. 

AO Got it piece by piece. It sounds like I'm the common rule of thumb I'm hearing throughout. Our discussion today has been kinda moderation

JC For sure. Less is more, you know, the more the less treats that we give, the more valuable they are. You know, the less physical attention we give them the more valuable it is when we do give it to him. The less we talk, the less that we become Charlie Brown won't you know? So we are verbal creatures. We over talk, we over-communicate, we overfeed, you know, 60 to 80% of dogs in America or clinically obese, like less is more, the fewer dogs we have. Better relationship, we have. The less, you know less is more of a concept that I talk about a lot when it comes to verbal communication. It really applies to everything. Why throw a tennis ball and tell your dogs is all right? I don't want it anymore. You can throw it 10 times and leave them wanting more and later on, and they throw it 10 more times rather than 30 times at once until they quit. Picking it up. You know, less is more is a really important concept. Is real important people. It's, you know if I try to hire a millionaire to come to my yard and pick up dog poop, it's probably not gonna work out too much. You know too well because you know less is more the less they have, the more motivated they are. So I don't really make sure that we don't overindulge just because we think our dog is awesome. I'm sure they are awesome. I know my dogs are awesome. So we have to really keep ourselves in check because we want to show our attention by signing up for those subscription toy boxes. And pretty soon they've got more toys than they could ever play within a lifetime, where they just learn to ignore him or destroy him. 

AO Right, right.

JC Another thing is when it comes to crate training, there's something that we wanna try to emulate, and that is a den. So, yeah, sure, they're crate. Is there a safe place? You know, we don't use it for punishment. These are things that you know. A lot of people say and think and feel, and that's awesome. But what are we trying to emulate? We're trying to emulate a den, so if it's a little on, the smaller side is gonna be less stressful than if it's a little bigger. If it's enclosed like a den is and they go in there and they just kinda check out that's gonna be less stressful than if it's a cage. So think about if you go to a friend's house and their dogs in a crate and their dogs just chilling,  laying down and not make a noise compared to when you walk into the animal control and it's just loud and noisy and stressful. Well, a small crate, it's gonna be awesome. That's why they don't allow these big wire cages on airplanes because it's a stressful experience and the dog's not very secure. And once they learn that they can break out of a wire crate, which really easy to break out of, well, then it's gonna be their mentality that I can get out of this metal box and they're gonna break their teeth trying, you know? So you know what? I really wanna make sure that they're motivated to be in their exercise, exercise, exercise, crate alright. Training session crate, you know, have that be the default. Just like the leashes, the default.

AO And I can definitely tell you my GSD started her life in the crate when she came home, we gave her her space and now she sleeps in her crate with the door open. But that's her spot. Yeah, that's her spot. The kids know they don't go in there. So, with grandkids over this week, my boys are kinda corralling keeping little ones away from dog crate saying Hey, no, that's their room. You can't go into their room. So it's been an interesting exercise. Also, that's Yeah, that's perfect. What can you think of? We've covered. We have covered a lot here today, what can you think of that? Would the best benefit? I'm gonna speak to two groups. Okay? The first group will be beginners. The folks who have just had the lights dawned and they want to become prepared for a local natural disaster, the zombie apocalypse or whatever, but they're going into this preparedness stage in their lives and, you know, somewhere another. They read some article that a dog is man's best friend and feel they need one. And what? What advice do you as a trainer? Give them, they haven't chosen the dog yet. No breed. No nothing yet.

JC Yeah. I mean, as a trainer, I wanna tell everybody don't get a lap because it's probably not gonna hire me because most labs don't need training. But at the end of the day, you know they're the number one breed in America for a reason. You know, they are the most common police dog. A lot of people don't realize that. You know, there's more sniffer dogs out there than there are dual trained bite dogs. You know, like so picking the right breed for the job is gonna really stack the cards in your favor when it comes to success. And if you do wanna really up the ante and get a Malinois, German Shepherd, Jack Russell, any of these breeds you know, you know, whatever it might be. If we really want to up the ante, then be proactive. Be prepared, you know, prepared for preparing, train for the unexpected. Expect the unexpected and have a plan in place before you run into issues. You know, the best time to train the dog is from 8 weeks to 16 weeks. That is the most critical and important time of a dog's life and the most neglected. That's when we're treating him like a puppy and we're missing all that imprinting period, which the imprinting period is like when a duck sees the person that thinks a person's mom, right? Well, everything that the dogs learning in that early imprinting period is becoming part of their brain doesn't mean we can't change it in the future. It means that it's gonna be a very prevalent concept. The dog if they sleep in the bed from Day one in there warm and they sleep all night versus they make a little noise in the crate and learn to accept to crate like it's really easy to neglect the most important period of the dog's life, which is that imprinting period of 8 to 16 weeks.

AO Awesome. Well, that's relevant because again, we're trying to think like Josh and that we're saying we're thinking of them as animals first. So it really doesn't matter if you know you've gone out and you've bought a $100,000 working breed, or you went to the animal shelter and got a puppy. Yeah, I use a puppy because I want to be in your window that you just described. It matters not either of those two scenarios. The idea is the same. It's 8 to 16 weeks. Those are the times a relevant of where they literally where they come from.

JC For sure. I'm going to give a scenario that I run into a lot, and that is the rescue mentality. I cannot stand the term. He's a rescue or she's a rescue or we rescued. You're limiting your dog. Your dog doesn't look at itself as this charity case. It looks at itself, is a dog. And if it came from a bad past, whether it's real or just potentially imagination, whatever it might be, don't limit your dog by mislabeling them and limiting them. He's a rescue that's just putting a badge of honor on your chest and really is just not productive. A rescue dog goes and finds lost people, the highly trained member of society. And so if we have a puppy and we think, Oh, we're gonna get a puppy so we don't have any behavioral issues, well, then you better know how to train, because otherwise it's better to get an adult dog that you know what you're walking into rather than a puppy, and you can't determine the future. So if you don't have a training plan, if you don't have training experience, if you're not confident that you're gonna succeed, either considered an adult dog that you can, you know, go to one of these rescue group and you can foster it and see if it's a good fit for your family. And if not, you find one that is, you know, or you say, All right, I'm gonna start training from day one. Don't get a dog before they're eight weeks. Please don't do it. Don't support people that are, you know, getting rid of the dogs. That's a critical period of their life that they need. They called bite inhibition, which means basically, they get bit by their mother to learn about biting. If they latch onto the nipple too hard, she might nip them. And a lot of times that's like, Oh, they pull the puppies away from the mom and they're six weeks, and that's a critical learning period. Don't get them before eight weeks and really consider not taking a dog that let me rephrase that also consider the fact that when we're trying to get a dog, we're trying to build a relationship with it. So if we get two puppies or we get a puppy that's been in a litter until it's four months old, it's also like it's creating this pecking order, and it's creating this unproductive like the dogs are a team versus, like the team is us and the dog. So before it's eight weeks, we're kind of shooting ourselves in the foot, and if we leave them together for four months, then we're also limiting ourselves. So there's that sweet spot, you know, a good puppy. Ideally, especially if we're getting one from a breeder is 8 to 10 weeks is when it comes home with us, not before and ideally, not after, got it. But if we have that opportunity, it doesn't matter because at least we can see and we can train and training works at any age. It really does. It's just super easy when they're really young,

AO Right, and it has the potential of lasting longer because it becomes part of their for lack of a better phrase, personality. Almost.

JC Yep, it's just imprinted right into their motherboard.

AO Yep, that's awesome. Then the other group was those seasoned veterans, who, and I'm gonna call them preppers or the prepper subculture, which are the doomsday, the extreme prepping. And now we're talking about having a canine as part of our emergency plan. What tips can you give that says, You know, these are some of the things that you really need to make sure you think about when including a canine in your plan, even if it's a familiar dog, even if it's your, you know, being your dog since it was a puppy. These are some ideas. That you should make sure you include in your emergency plan. What would those be?

JC I would say having a leash if your dog is the caller trained, Um, having a knee caller having a way to charge that having food, whether you know, for me, if I'm a raw feeder and I feed my dogs, meats, and vegetables, you know, maybe I need to have some dehydrated meat just for the rare occasion or some freeze-dried meat or something like that, just really making sure that you have the ability to grab and go and set yourself up for success. So and create a create train dog, a leash, any collar. You know, having your go bag, having the brain of your pack dedicated to your fight. 

AO Outstanding, and you brought up before, and I'll just add just to reiterate with before and that was transportation. Making sure that you know, you've got enough room. You brought up having a whole barnyard of animals and making sure that, you know, you had a plan that should you see wildfire or a massive quake? Or, you know, if you were in the South, or hurricanes or floods or what? Not being able to responsibly take care of all those animals and not just say, Oh, yeah, I've got him because I just got them. Yeah, I know. I need a plan. What's the plan? And so and I know on quite often on my shows here we talk about the plan always going back to the plan because I tried to promote folks having a written plan so that you know when it really hits the fan and things are really ugly. We have a tendency to kind of our brains lock up and panic for sure.

JC Yeah, and just have that good plan. We can look at the plan, follow the plan, have a plan, use the plan, and change the plan. When you find a better way, you know, that is the best formula that I can. That I can offer somebody to consider is when, when I'm training a dog, it looks nothing like it did 10 years ago. Like it looks nothing like that. But my training 10 years ago worked, I had a plan. I followed the plan and I've changed my plan as I found better ways. It's the same thing with our emergency preparedness or life preparedness, whether it's a natural disaster or not. We have a lot of things in Alaska, you know, a lot of different things to consider. We have crazy people. We have a lot of dependency on substance abuse up here in Alaska. When it comes to drugs and alcohol, you know the winners get dark, we have mental illnesses. We got a high prevalence of veterans we have a lot of things to consider when it comes to people. We also have wildfires, earthquakes, strong winds, potential flooding situations. There are just a plethora of things to consider, so we can't prepare. We can't expect everything that could go wrong, but we can have a plan to be ready for when things will go wrong when they do go wrong,

AO Right? And that's critical, and we've talked about that. Josh, I know our backgrounds matching that we both know about adapting, overcome, and how that whole mantra kind of forces us to think a little differently when it comes to emergencies and where. But we've also come to know that you know those first critical steps that we make following the natural disaster, the actual event, and I'll use the seven quake we had back, what year and a half two years ago? A perfect example is once the shaking the initial shaking stop. What were your first steps? And we've covered in previous shows. So but we knew that here is step one. Step two. Step three. We were walking down through our list, and it allowed our brain to be able to focus on those so that as things dynamically happened, as we all recall, what was it like? 18 minutes later, we had the first aftershock. Okay, adjust, adapt. Okay, what's happening now and move forward, and we kept that process going. So I'm making sure that folks understand my listeners, and, all of those who support the show really understand that that not only do we need to be prepared mentally and physically, but we need to have a plan for our partners. Our teammates, our furry four-legged teammates who may not have the wherewithal and understanding of what exactly is happening. They understand the earth is shaken. They get that good, but I'm trapped in a wooden house. I'm not free to just wander around where I need to be to get away from this thing. Um, I'm trapped within a certain boundary, and I've got these other things. These two-legged things that are running around me screaming like their hair's on fire,

JC Right, just makes matters worse. You know that. It's when when when we have dopamine when we have adrenaline when we have, you know, existential stress, environmental stress. Rather, when we have all this going on, it's really difficult to be able to not excite our animals in a nonproductive way or our spouses or our children. And even though I can't say, Don't panic, because then you're gonna think about panicking, the more that we have prepared and the more plan that we have, the easier. Just like Alright, well, this is what I needed to focus on. I need to focus on getting to the basement, grabbing our 72-hour kit, making sure all five kids are accounted for and running them to the neighbor's house, checking on them, and then proceeding to our predetermined location. Whatever plan might be. But if we don't prepare, if we don't have a plan, then, of course, we're gonna be overwhelmed. It's like, Oh, my gosh, the world on fire! And it is and it is. So rather than focusing on the fundamental building blocks that we can use to keep ourselves focused, we're gonna be screaming, and I mean It's just really difficult to stay calm. The more prepared, the easier that is, if I just look at Yeah, right now I'm living in, you know, the edge of Wasilla. And if I just look at that general area of Willow, the valley, since I was a kid even before I moved to the valley, we there was a big lake fire, you know? And then there was a Sockeye fire, and then there was the fire of last summer, the summer before, you know? I mean, there's a lot of opportunities that we know we can expect. Wild disasters, wild neighbors, wild animals, wild whatever it might be, that we have to be more prepared than those people that live in suburbia.

AO Agreed, and yeah, you guys are definitely and I say that for my listeners who are not in the state, Wasilla is about 45 miles by the crow flies from Anchorage. Anchorage is a population of probably about what, 380,000. Just in Anchorage, and then Wasilla, with probably population 20,000 or 30. Maybe, 

JC City limits are, you know, pretty low. 20,000 to the general borough area is gonna be in the 50,000 or more, 

AO That's my point is when we talk about Matanuska/Susitna (MatSu) Valley. Um, while Josh and I are here saying, Oh, yeah, it's right down the street. I understand that Valley is the small is the size of several states within the United States.

JC Yeah, the borough, which would be for the listeners, is the equivalent to a county is absolutely mind-boggling. Big. I mean, I can drive so far and still be in the borough. So basically, as far as population goes, we have half the state a little more than half the state that lives in Anchorage Municipality, which is like the borough. So the municipality, from Girdwood to, the edge of the MatSu borough. About half the state population lives there, and then right next to it is the borough, which is a huge chunk of the state. And between those two areas of Alaska. Man, that's three-quarters of the state population. I mean, when we look at them when we look at Juneau, which is the capital, it's minuscule compared to the population of even So you know, I mean, we're like Kodiak Island, the second largest island, you know, besides, the main island of Hawaii, Kodiak Island is the biggest island in the country besides the main island of Hawaii. And the population of the town is 56 7000 people. You know, the whole island, maybe 8000. We've got space up here. 

AO We have lots of it and that enhances the real reason that I want to keep addressing and I hope, Josh, I hope I can count on you to visit with us again in the future. Because I really see a need, and again, this all stems from, as I mentioned in an earlier part of the show when I watch the news, and I see the stray animals and I just know in my heart that the owners, just were not prepared, they may have prepared for them and their families and they too often the animals are left out of the emergency prep. And so and it's either, you know, we're not thinking about them from a security perspective or injury perspective. We're not thinking of them from lost and found, adding taxation on the first responders who now may have an injured dog, aggressive, injured dog between them and someone they need to help.

JC So I'll give a couple of different scenarios, and that is Katrina and the flood of Houston. In these two scenarios that we saw tons of dogs and animals in general, like horse horses that were tied defenses and the water is about to go over their head. I mean all kinds of scenarios. But then I'll tie it back into an everyday situation that we might find ourselves in. And that a couple of summers ago I saw some black smoke and I just told the guy I was with I say, Hey, drive to that black smoke. It's probably just the neighbor burning trash or, you know, a stump pile or something. But let's just check it out and we pull around the corner and there's a house on fire, and so we fly down the driveway. The poor owners are standing in the driveway trying to spray a house fire out with the garden hose. And I knew that they had dogs. I didn't know these people, but I knew they had dogs. So I'm like, where are your dogs? Where are your dogs? And they're like, three of them are in the house, and one was running around the yard with them. And so I broke out the back window, climbed in this burning house, like, went through the house, and I couldn't find the dogs because I didn't know their layout and they weren't willing to go in, you know, which I don't blame them, and I couldn't even locate these dogs before they ended up perishing from the smoking. And it would have been so much easier to say. It's against this while they're in a crate or they're downstairs, you know? I mean, I went up and down, up and down, and I couldn't see I couldn't figure out where these dogs were. It's been a lot easier if they just said this is where they were. 

AO That brings up. A great point is several years ago, um, there was a big rush, and I know I have them here at the house, little stickers that go on the window that says your child's room so that, you know, if our house were to be engulfed in flames, um, the firefighters would know. Okay, here's the Children's room. If they're not standing at the street post, then we need to go in. And this is where we can make our entry. So and having some type of, you know signage that says, you know, pets, pet room pet and, you know, location here. Now that I'm talking to you and saying it aloud, I might get some stickers for the window. The back window of the house, which is where the dog's crates are and say dogs great inside to the left. So should again

JC Perfect. Having them create trained is gonna calm them down. Having them in the crate is obviously gonna be easier when it comes to location, locating them, and handling them. You know, it's really gonna be productive, but, you know, there's a lot of other things we have to worry about. Like somebody breaks into our house, shoots our dog because it's barking at him because they got criminal intent, or just let it run out the door and we don't know. You know, a cop knocks on the wrong door, and all of a sudden the dogs, you know, trying to attack them. It doesn't happen much in Alaska, but they kill dogs frequently in the lower 48 for barking at them for chasing them for threatening them, you know? And so we have to understand that maybe the fire department's gonna show up. We can't have these aggressive dogs, so let's be proactive before it becomes aggressive. We don't wanna cop shoot it out of self-defense because they didn't come to work to get mauled by a dog. You know, like there's just so many different things, that man, we can't prepare for them all, so we kinda have to prepare in case of them all.

AO Yeah, and kind of a generalist preparedness. When we talk about you know, you bring up a great point when we talk about animals, aggressiveness towards what it sees as strangers, and how do we handle that? How do we deal with that? And obviously, there's nothing we can do about the criminal intent piece. You know, the overall objective there would be to just keep them out of the house. But you can as the dog can give you two barks That gives me enough time to get around in the chamber, and hopefully we can remedy just some other way to where the dog doesn't get hurt.

JC Right, Yeah. Don't have an aggressive dog. It's just gonna be, it's gonna lessen their likelihood for success. But feel free to put warnings dog on-premises. You know, like, feel free to do that. Not because you need it, but because people don't realize that your dog is friendly. They don't know, you know, like, let it be known, you know, have a security sign at the end of your driveway. Have one on your door. You know, all of these little steps that we can do a ring doorbell. Amazing, amazing thing. You know, like, you know, some sort of security system. There are so many things that we can do to lessen the likelihood of becoming the victim,

AO Right, and with the rise and technology and the reduction of costs, it really now is becoming a lot easier to protect your home, without having to put a life at risk, whether that being animals or your own. So absolutely great advice. I can only begin to express my appreciation. You've taken a whole hour with me. Josh, I can't begin to appreciate. I know your busy schedule

JC I am not driving back. I'm not driving home tonight.

AO All right, well, then you'll be all right. Anything else? Anything else that you think could help, as kind of a parting shot,

JC Train today. Don't delay. If you need help with your canine. I obviously work in Alaska, but I also work in Canada. I work throughout the U. S. I train all over the place. I do phone consultations. I'm more than happy to work you into my schedule to give you a good understanding of how to overcome a pre-existing behavior or, more importantly, how to prevent aggression, how to prevent fear, how to mitigate fear. How to address aggression, fear, stress, anxiety, all of these different things and a lot of it's gonna boil back down to having that food motivation. Having those building blocks of communication in place that I call the markers and having that create implement, conditioning, and implement to create into their life is just super important. If you need to get a hold of me, I have a website HPR that sounds for hunt, point, retrieve. So I'm on Facebook, Instagram. I'm not using social media as much as I used to, but I have a website. My phone number is 9073511771 if you want to shoot me a message, that's cool. Or you can send your questions in and I'll be back if there's a need for it.

AO Awesome. Well, and that brings up a great point. All these links that we brought up, uh, we talked about pets sanctuary. We talked about dogs dot com. Um, we talked about, uh, certainly HPR working dogs. All those links will be available on the blog post for this, and so you can check them out there. Uh, I will also include a link of, uh, Josh is uh, site on my site at h t t p s ://akoutlaw dot com. Which, you know, you can get all the media that, we've talked about today and, uh, the Associated blog poster all there. So, um, you'll be able to get them all there. 

JC That that website for the They have a lot of stuff that's related to hunting, but they also have thought of here. That would be, uh, good for everybody.

AO Alright, Well, I will make that. I just put that on there so I will make sure that link it's on the blog post so that, uh, everybody has a direct path of that. Josh, I appreciate your time today, man. You have been so informative. Uh, actually, even as I've told everybody before, uh, we picked up the phone today, Um, the dog whispers the real one, not the one in LA, I've taken away some tips for my own, that I'll use. I will be implementing here with my dogs.

The Mental Balance. Staying sane in these modern times.

By: Alaskan Outlaw -  December 2nd, 2020

Here in the Alaskan winter, with the longer nights and colder temperatures, the population is more prone to depression than any other time throughout the year.  Darkness naturally increases the level of anxiety in many, and the colder temperatures force most people inside, where there is a perceived lack of freedom. These two major factors are the driving force behind this phenomenon we call the “winter blues”. This can probably be said for any location throughout the world far from the equator. This year, a worldwide pandemic has added an even greater burden to an already challenging time of the year, especially given the fact that it has now lasted for almost a year with many repeated community lockdowns. As many throughout the country wrestle with unemployment, possible homelessness, and the repeated lockdowns, the level is consistently being pressed higher and higher into unprecedented levels of societal stress. In addition, the actual infection and/passing of associates and family can pack an insane psychological punch on our already overtaxed mental state.

Greetings, and welcome friends, family, neighbors, fellow veterans, Alaskans, and Americans wherever you are. Welcome to the Alaskan Outlaw podcast, I am the Alaskan Outlaw, and I will be your host, for what I hope will be an informative discussion about maintaining our mental health, particularly given the current mental health challenges. We all know the effects that have been placed upon all of us as the pandemic continues to lock us all down, and attempt to threaten our freedom and our lives.  One of the greatest mental boosts we can give ourselves is the self-confidence of being a survivor. My ultimate goal is to ensure that all of you are successful in surviving catastrophes, whether they be natural, or human-induced. To be successful in survival, 90% of survival is a mental game, therefore we have to be mentally ready for whatever happens, and not be mired down in depression. 

As you may remember from the show on October 21 of 2020,  called “Survival Mindset” where we talked about getting the mind right for successful survival. One of the points I made was talking about providing activities for kids to do during and after a local disaster, that was within their level of understanding. I explained that these visible actions would allow the kids to build a level of self-confidence. Well, this same practice applies to adults too. During my tour with the US Marines, we had an unwritten code that we lived, or died, around. That was “adapt and overcome” and it meant that we (Marines) had to be able to think independently and adjust our plans of attack to whatever dynamic element tried to intercept our forward momentum. I hope that I can help you come to embrace this mental exercise for your own needs.

Another fond memory is US Navy SEAL Admiral William McRaven, who, during a commencement speech at Texas at Austin University in 2014 spoke of ten things he learned in SEAL training that he has kept. The number one thing was "making your bed every morning". That it became a task completed successfully, it gave you a boost to tackle bigger things throughout your day. These small tasks completed could culminate into multiple successes, thereby helping build your self-confidence. Again, our quest is to stack as much in the win column as we can.

The remaining nine (9) suggestions that the Admiral made in that speech were:

2. Find someone to help you paddle.

3. Measure someone by the size of their heart, and not by the size of their flippers.

4. Get over being a “sugar cookie” and continue to move forward.

5. Don’t be afraid of the circuses.

6. Slide down the obstacles headfirst.

7. Don’t back down from the sharks.

8. You need to be your very best during the darkest moments.

9. Start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.

10. Don’t EVER ring the bell.

Honestly, I live by these tips to success. When I begin to feel like I’m being overwhelmed, I remember that I have to be at my best during the darkest of times. It has become a psyche for me, and I encourage you to watch his commencement speech on youtube.

With all the chaos of an international pandemic, civil unrest, political turmoil, as well as natural disasters happening everywhere, it may have caused even the most staunch beacons of mental fortitude to bend a knee under the pressure. Having the ability to release the pent up stressors is going to become more and more critical, as time marches on for humans on earth. To this end, many recommend yoga and breathing exercises, and while there is validity in those suggestions, I would like to offer a few additional solutions, however, the key to relaxing is really having fun. The real take away from this is to learn what you consider “fun”. Now, I know some of my friends have a few suggestions that might border into the legal fringe, so when considering your idea of fun, I have to request that you keep it legal. As I ponder this topic, I am reminded of Doctor Frazier Krane from the television show, of the same name, who entertained us, not with his psychology, but his antics. While there are expensive psychologists who will take our money for detailed exercises in futility, or we would be prepared for anything else, we acquire the skill and tackle this as well. It really all comes down to distracting ourselves so we can lose the focus on the negative points, and center our focus on “happy thoughts”. If you get a chance, check out the movie “Hook”, which stars Dustin Hoffman and Robin Williams as a grown-up Peter Pan who has to find his “happy thoughts” to be able to fly again. A wonderfully played Captain Hook, played by Dustin Hoffman attempts to crush his ideas by trying to convince him that he is just an old accountant. Long story really short, he is able to find them and it’s a cute story. Check it out sometime.

They say that you’ll never see a motorcycle in front of a psychiatrist’s office and there is probably more truth in that than one would think. The idea that there are passionate motorcycle riders who “throw a leg over” and get some breeze therapy is undoubtedly one way to go. There are so many different methods that are available for us to have fun and relax, however, I’d like to recommend that we take notes from any two to four year old you might know, as they are the absolute masters of having fun where ever they are. So, let’s think about some underlying principles about this idea. Young children are not bound by "rules" or societal approval, they know what makes them feel good. They have no article connection, so it's perfectly acceptable to use a kitchen pot as a helmet, or a cage for a stuffed animal who committed some imaginary crime. Imaginary play incites pure joy and multiplies exponentially the brain's capacity for growth. When is the last time you picked up a "GI Joe", or "Barbie" and had them riding a dinosaur over to where the stuffed animals awaited you for the tea party? Now, we can go into all types of psychological mumble-jumble, or we can look at some real-world realities, and maybe some ideas how to break out of your blues. So, young children have the added benefit of saying whatever they feel without any reason to lie, thereby allowing them to remain happy. Again, taking lessons from the kids

Be honest. Honesty has a way of lifting our shoulders a little and putting some pep in our step. Be honest with yourself, your kids, your partners, everyone. This very basic principle comes from the underlying physiology in holding onto an untruth told to someone else. By misrepresenting something intentionally, our brains actually place a physiological strain on our systems by releasing epinephrine in an attempt to brace for the repercussions (remember fight or flight?). This flood of adrenaline creates almost imperceptible, involuntary muscle spasms, or actions in addition to activating glucose release to all major muscle groups. There has been an entire study on “micro-expressions”, where the expressions of the subjects produce small, involuntary muscle movements of the face. However, in much the same way that moving a cord of wood, muscles tense up, causing a psychological strain, ultimately exhaustion takes place, thereby continuing the downward spiral. .

Don’t stress the things you can’t change. As humans, there is only so much we can physically do. By mentally holding onto things you can’t change, it has a negative psychological effect by diminishing your self-worth. This attack on your self-worth can be strengthened by one's inability to conquer whatever it is, “machoism” can increase this substantially as can the “independent” mindset. One needs to accept the limitations as they are, and not take it as a personal definition of who or what you are. Going back to our mantra of adapting and overcoming, maybe it’s a case of brains over brawn. Conceptualize a way to work around the limitation that still allows you to get that task complete. I am reminded of a commercial on the television. In this commercial, where a young boy steps onto a baseball diamond. He says “I am the greatest hitter in the world”. He then steps up to the home plate and tosses the ball up in the air. After several tosses and swings without a single hit, his little shoulders drop down a little as he stands there considering what’s happened. Then, a broad smile spreads over his face, and he says “I am the greatest pitcher in the world”. That is exactly the mental picture we need to have to find happiness in our lives. If you seek angst and stress, you will find it. However, if you seek peace and happiness, you will find it too. Seek happiness.

This couldn’t be a piece about finding peace without a segment on mindfulness. In this portion we’ll talk about yoga and meditation, finding that inner peace. In ancient China there evolved an intense understanding of the power of meditation. Allowing the mind to surgically remove those negative thoughts. There are plenty of studies done throughout the history of the advantage of rest and restoration. The opposite of epinephrine is the autonomic nervous system which provides the repair of the body and brain. This system is responsible for the restoration of damage caused by the rush of adrenaline through the system. It flushes lactic acid caused by overworking muscles of the body. In much the same way it assists in the repair of the neural transmitters in the human brain, thereby allowing us to think more clearly.

So, almost anyone who knows anything about physical fitness and psychology will tell you that taking a walk lowers the old blood pressure. By getting a little adrenaline going the brain can “flood out” those thoughts of depression and angst, essentially distracting ourselves. Exercise doesn’t mean running a marathon in your mask, it might mean a leisurely stroll with your family, and/or your pets. The idea is to relax and forget about your troubles for just a little while, however, in many cases, I think you’ll find a lot less anxiety when you return home. I’m not saying anything new here, almost any overpaid psychiatrist on the radio or TV is going to say this one is the greatest key to finding stress relief. However, I’m here to tell you it really does work wonders, many of my shows are dictated to my phone during these walks. Sometimes I argue with myself, but I always makeup by the time I get home.

However, for my personal exercise, I choose to roll around the yard with my young children, or grandkids, thereby focusing on time spent with family. Which brings us to, spending time with friends and family.  Yea, we all know the drill, social distance of at least six feet, and mask up (unless they are a part of your everyday living bubble), or better still, meet up outside somewhere and hang out, have fun. Any way you slice it, enjoying some good company, good laughs, as this allows our bodies to release those hormones that make us feel better, more hopeful, and best of all, heal and grow. These are just the things this doctor orders for the mental break we all need.

Real stress relief can not be found in a bottle or other mind-altering drugs. While maybe seemingly helpful for a short stint, the depression will return with a vengeance making the situation far worse. These momentary losses of judgments, unfortunately, drag down more people than any other single situation and leads down the trail of both: self, and family, destruction. While having fun with a few drinks, or a little smoke is not a bad thing, moderation needs to be the order of the day to ensure that we stay off the slippery slope of substituting one for another.

The key is to find something that makes you happy and relish in it. During these, and any future times when the pressures of society are wearing you down, take a break. You don't have to spend any money to sit down for a minute and play a board game with your children, or partner, or even a friend, be creative and just take a break.

Potential Action Steps

1. Let the youngest member of the family design the game, and totally immerse yourself in it. Really visit neverland.

2. Take a stroll around your block, or up and down your street. No time limits, no hurry. Check out all the things you don't remember seeing before.

3. Play games. Board games, or silly In-Real-Life games. Pretend to be three again. Bang on pots and pans, use some safe things inappropriately.

4. Enjoy the sport? Figure out how to go curling in the summertime. Again, let your imagination take control, let yourself become exhausted having fun.

5. Take a road trip to somewhere nearby, just to be away. The idea here is to break the boundaries of being stuck at home. Be free for a little while.

During my undergraduate studies at Wayland Baptist University, I had a professor explain to me a method that he used to get through medical school. 

He explained that his wife and he had planted a tree in their front yard, strategically between the driveway and their front door. The doctor would come home from a 13-hour shift at the hospital. His day would have been filled with pain and stress, as he worked a rotation in the emergency room at the local hospital. He would wearily step out of his car and stop at the tree. He would then take off an imaginary jacket and hang it on the tree branch, promising himself to get it the following morning. It was a mental shift that he described as something that he had to focus on. A deliberate task that he completed religiously, allowing him to enjoy his wife’s, and children’s, time, and company during the evening.

By confining ourselves into negative, or even neutral places, we can multiply the stresses, worry, and angst we are all feeling, especially, now. Some of you have mentioned being a hardened worker or entrepreneur that considers "fun" a waste of time. That couldn't be any further from the truth. I mean really. As a private business owner, or having a successful career, do you remember your first success? Yes, this isn't a hypothetical question. Think back. Close your eyes and really concentrate. Whatever it was that catapulted you to winding up here. That moment when you figured out you did it, you conquered a challenge. Maybe in was getting code to act right, or landing that big client, or even changing the oil in your car by yourself. Whatever it was, I want you to remember that exhilaration. Now imagine that's how a three-year-old feels when they stack two blocks on top of one another. Ladies and gentlemen, let me re-introduce you to happiness... Welcome back.

One last idea about getting on the right side of your mind. Personally, I find much joy and relaxation in knowing that my preparations are as good as they can be. I admit, I’m kind of a stickler for organization, and establishing clearly defined action steps. I find that I receive relief and a good feeling about offering my family the best chance for survival. By inspecting my stores and preps, it does provide a level of comfort and removes that stressor.

Joy and happiness can be found in every nook and cranny throughout all of existence, we are responsible for keeping it going. Responsible to pass it on to generation after generations, that really becomes our legacy. I'm reminded of documentaries about the early 1900s where children played with sticks, and dolls of straw, and they loved every minute of it. I'm here to tell you, fun involves letting your inner child come out and immerse us in the aged old activity of play. Forgetting about the worries of adulthood m, if only for a while. My next request may seem weird at first, but bear with me, I would like you to take one and a half hours, two times a week to be three. Oh, and you will definitely want to be potty trained. Have fun, liberate your cares and worries.

So, whether we are in the grips of an international pandemic, or facing life after a zombie apocalypse, the idea of engaging our imagination to have fun at play is what will allow us to stay sane. I will continue to enjoy this life as long as I am above the daisies, I pray you can do the same. As you may recall from previous shows I have reminded you of the skill of using mental exercises to sharpen one's focus and I stand by that same level of dedication for committing oneself to the current engagement, whatever that may be. This is no different to engage in this reckless abandon to have fun. Have fun with all your might.

Well, there’s my two cents for what that’s worth nowadays. I hope I’ve provided a foundation for you to continue to research the means to decrease the amount of stress and mental struggles among you and your families. As always I am humbled that you have chosen to join us for this discussion, I look forward to enjoying more conversations with you, the American people, and a beautiful part of the human race. God bless you all, and God bless the United States. Peace

Mitigating Unnecessary Risks

Podcast Episode 112520
By: Alaskan Outlaw -  November 25th, 2020

It’s 28 below zero outside your front door, and the postman has just delivered that package you have been waiting weeks for. He deposited said package in your mailbox. There are seventy-five feet between your front door and the mailbox with three wooden steps to get off your front porch. Your driveway is covered with a snow/ice mix. You really want that package, but it’s ridiculously cold outside. You are currently dressed for the 67-degree temperature inside your home.  What to do? If everything goes right, you could make the trip in 2 minutes or less, no muss, no fuss. If there is no windchill you got around 20 to 30 minutes before frostbite becomes a concern, so plenty of time to avoid that. What if you slip and fall on the stairs, or driveway ice? Now, you’ve put yourself needlessly into Mother Nature’s crosshairs. Why do people do this? Why take these small risks that could cause lifelong damage? 

Greetings friends, neighbors, fellow veterans, and Americans and welcome to the Alaskan Outlaw podcast. I am the Alaskan Outlaw and today I’ll be your host for a journey into a level of safety and security for you and your family. I hope amidst the ongoing worldwide pandemic, and constant threats of unrest around every corner, that you and your family are safe and prepared for the future, whatever it may hold for the human race. From my family to yours we send a very Happy Thanksgiving. While some may lament over this idea, we here at Alaska Outlaw are very thankful for the plethora of emails and messages we receive from you every day. We are also thankful for the many tips and discussions that you all provide to us. My family is thankful for our health, and my wife and I are truly thankful for our grandchildren. We are truly thankful for all the Armed Services members for their constant protection of our freedoms and way of life here in the United States. As a resident here in South Central Alaska, I’ve worked hard, lived, and played hard in this extreme weather, including time spent on the north slope of Alaska in the depth of winter. This has given me a great appreciation of protective equipment, particularly cold weather protection.

Throughout the years I have interacted with thousands of people who have needlessly challenged the extreme weather here in Alaska. Some have gotten away with it, while others were not so lucky. Whether it was losing extremities due to extreme frostbite, or losing their lives due to hypothermia. As my older boys were growing up they constantly challenged the Alaska winters, and for the most part, they were a part of the lucky ones. However, I would say that one of the most avoidable injuries are injuries dealing with hot and cold weather. As a boy growing up in Southern Arizona, I learned, sometimes painfully, that extreme heat can be just as dangerous as extreme cold. Heatstroke, exhaustion, and sunburns can be very dangerous, and painful. But, in the big picture of things, the most overlooked type of injuries are weather-related. In my experience, there are really two schools of thought when it comes to weather injuries; first is the “macho man” mentality who foolishly thinks they are tougher than the weather, and the other is the “quick tasks” that underestimates how fast weather can change, or what degree of impact a short dash of weather can have.

The more I listen to any of the news, or social media, the more I am convinced that the days of "common sense" must be behind most as they go about their everyday lives in these modern times, oblivious to anyone else but themselves. In some cases, some have neglected their own children to remain "plugged in". Between scantly covered teenagers hurrying to the early morning school bus throughout the winter here in Alaska, and (as some teacher friends have told me) that some children show up to school here in Alaska with the weather in the single digits without even so much as a coat on. Some that live among us have lost the value of self-preservation. On the business front, thousands of workplace injuries are reported every year that could have been prevented with very little forethought and a tighter focus on the task at hand. To this point, Workman's Comp insurance in 2018, reported there were 900,380 claims made, at about $41,003 averaging per claim, that adds up to about $36 billion dollars (USD). Now motor vehicle crashes took home the trophy for most claims as well as the most costly, while burns, falls, caught, and misc rounded out the top five by cause. As another report pointed out, in 2015, workers comp paid claims to the tune of $61.9 billion dollars, with medical benefits eating $31.1 billion, and lost wages eating the remaining $30.7 billion dollars. Suffice to say, lawsuits over “smart suits” I guess. This information was reported by the National Council on Compensation Insurances (NCCI) in their annual reports available on their website. 

We need to differentiate necessary risks by ensuring that we know that there remain some risks that must be undertaken to continue our pursuit of happiness.

So, we need to make sure that we cover our “fab five”, and understand that they may incur a level of risk that we’ll have to engage in to ensure our safety and survival. Our fab five have set timelines that have to be met and some are non-negotiable, and therefore may be more important to engage in risky activities to ensure accomplishment.

With necessary risks filed away, today I want to talk about unnecessary risks. I want to talk about taking the idea of preparedness to an everyday level. More importantly, I want to discuss the idea of mitigating unnecessary risks to ensure our future preparedness. During our discussion about “the rule of three” or “fab five,” I added the idea of a fifth item, protective gear. Remember that? Trust me when I say there was a reason I made it that important. When we talk about our most important, “bare naked” skills, the idea of including a section on protective gear was paramount to the success of all the others. A critical piece to survival. Yea, it’s that important. So, in today’s show, I want to discuss making a risk analysis on any given task, thereby determining if it’s really worth it. However, those who live in “the land of plenty” seem to disregard self-preservation and take their safety for granted. As a former Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in southern Arizona, I personally witnessed the reckless things people did, especially without the advances in protective equipment. Sometimes it feels like people are wanting bad things to happen just to participate in the litigation process in hopes of that big payday. The precedent is set by parents wanting the big payday for their children, who really have a minimum value of self-preservation for different reasons. Yet, hundreds of thousands of dollars are paid to provide the most simplistic workplace training, to very little avail.

I'm reminded of several years ago when I was employed in the oil production industry here in Alaska. This employment took me to the North Slope of Alaska to the oil fields of Prudhoe Bay. There are several points that I took away from my visits to the most northern part of our state in February. The first thing to say that at one point during my last trip up there the ambient temperature was 82 below zero. If you have ever been in that extreme, you know, anything exposed would freeze, and that meant the very thin film of moisture over your eyeballs could freeze... Protective gear was mandatory, and there were signs everywhere that told you to keep your gear on while outside the buildings, even within heated vehicles. 

In addition, most of the platforms were fifteen to twenty feet, or more up off the ground, so there were metal grated stairs everywhere. The thing that struck me was during the briefing to go up there, we were told that most injuries that happen on stairs, happen within the last four steps. Their thinking was that many people who fell had shifted their brains onto whatever they were doing next, before completing the task of navigating the stairs.

Probably the first thing that we should consider when discussing the protection of our health is that are some things that can’t be repaired. Damage to the eyes, or ears, can’t be fixed without the extensive intervention of medical science, and then, it's a device to assist us forever. Should you find yourself separated from the medical community, there are certain things you might want to be a little more cautious about. Certainly sight and sound, but mobility as well. We've all heard stories of people who got lost high in the mountain ranges, miles from anything, and somehow break a leg. This turns what could have been an awesome adventure into a painful, sometimes even fatal, ordeal.

This brings up the fact that the reliance on today’s medical community may be problematic should the “shit hit the fan” (SHTF). Without specialists and surgeons, putting pieces of humans back together could come down to something out of a Frankenstein movie. Being properly prepared means that we seek out medical attention when it is warranted, and learn to handle most of the small stuff ourselves. But, it also means that we strive to avoid needing the medical community’s attention at all.

I see memes all the time about growing up without all this safety stuff and being ok all the time, and I sit back and sigh. 

I sigh knowing that it's the lucky ones who are here to celebrate their survival. It’s because of those uncelebrated injuries that the safety stuff was developed, ensuring that the next generation would not have to endure the same pains. I’ve seen interviews with former daredevils and stuntmen whose bodies can clearly demonstrate the evolution of safety equipment. This should become a mantra that we must seat deep into our psyche if we want to survive, there is absolutely no value in taking unnecessary risks.

Recently I joined a local utility company and we started with safety training, which coincidently included a section that I had completed earlier while part of the oil patch here in Alaska, which spoke to the fact that the closer we get to the completion of a task, the more relaxed we get with our safety concerns.  This couldn’t be any more true. We do tend to relax our vigilance when “it’s only for a minute”, or “let me do this last task”, and more often than not, this is where the accidents occur. While shortcuts may be cool and faster, they can also cause a metric shit ton of issues.

Let’s talk for a minute about some classes of safety gear in relation to their associated unnecessary injuries:

1. Weather-related - while this seems pretty clear cut, that’s obviously not the case. Being protected against the elements ensures that we stay healthy. While the potential that extremes can definitely have an immediate impact, prolonged exposure to even a median amount of weather can be as problematic.

2. Blunt trauma-related - obviously getting hit by a falling tree or sliding car can be more than likely fatal, however, a little bit of preparation can go a long way in avoidance. Even a residential piece of lumber can cause substantial injury if applied correctly.

3. Senses protection - this is where we can talk about protecting the eyes, ears, nose, taste, and touch. Remembering always that those little extensions of us outside the core, are more susceptible to freezing or burning, or other damage.

4. Tool usage related - this is where we see broken bones, large lacerations, and sometimes, the really talented, can puncture their body with a tool loaded with bacteria and other toxins. I reminded of stories where individuals have missed splitting a log and drove the ax through their lower leg.

5. Biological protection - this is what we are currently living with the worldwide pandemic. Microbic viruses are present everywhere, and yet, the tool to protect the airway is “too inconvenient” for some among us. While some “old wives tales” speak of promoting the eating of dirt in younger kids, to build up antibodies, there is some merit to minimization here. In addition, drinking brackish water because we forgot our water bottle could have dire consequences.

6. Motion related - these are the injuries that I feel have the highest potential for mitigation. This section deals with humans smacking into stuff that doesn’t like being smacked. Included here would be traction injuries were slipping on ice, or other slippery surfaces, wet floors, or even flour. Tripping over cords, or carpets are also included here. Just as dangerous, are caught injuries, ie starting to fall, instinctively reaching out and grabbing something to prevent the fall. Depending on what we grab, it actually could be quite dangerous. Some sheet metal, as an example, can be razor-sharp, as can some corrugated roofing. Just things we need to take precautions for, knowing what’s there before we go is most of this battle.

What about some of the scenarios we’ve discussed in previous shows? What if America should enter another Civil War? What if your area was struck by a natural disaster, and the medical system was overwhelmed, as it’s already pushed to the brink by this ongoing pandemic. What happens when your first aid kit runs out of antibiotics and you are weeks or years away from any more? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself, especially in a survival situation. Without a safety net of the medical community, these reckless behaviors become foolish, as if they aren’t now, but now you really are risking everything. This is the scenario that you should have in your head as you are becoming prepared for whatever life throws at you.

As long-term security and safety guy in a plethora of work environments, I have found that the common mistakes with unnecessary risks, particularly in the survival arena fall into two categories:

1. Inaccurate weather understanding is the number one situation that many people find themselves in trouble most quickly. By adding cooler temps (maybe not even cold), but add a little precipitation and you can get in trouble fairly quickly without much warning.

Shifting focus too early is my number two. Way too many times I see people forget to step correctly on the last two steps of a stairway, or changing their focus away from walking on ice. Both of these scenarios claim thousands of hours of medical staff involvement. These two don’t even address the international phenomenon of “face in phone” accidents that happen everywhere. Distractions are just another way of calling this one out.

When we talk about protective equipment, many may ridicule the use of some, but each piece has a function. Remember hearing can’t be repaired, sight repair requires advanced surgery. So there are reasons that we try to keep those two the safest. But, while I know that there are many who don’t, I know that you all can apply a little common sense.

Let’s consider a natural disaster, or zombie apocalypse, where there isn’t any medical care available. Whenever we discuss the idea of being without our local medical safety net, we have to be cognizant of this reality.  This should be the ultimate game-changer when it comes to risks taken in trade for smaller gains.

So, whether the local medical system being overloaded by a natural disaster or a complete failure in a scenario of social implosion (we’ll call zombie apocalypse) the idea of being without any type of advanced medical care will definitely cause the possibility of life-threatening infections of smaller (avoidable) injuries to gain substantial consideration. This knowledge should change our game when it comes to risks, however, we all know that even if we witnessed a real zombie apocalypse, we can avoid all risks, so again it comes down to mitigating what we can. We can eliminate unnecessary risks, and that’s what I’m talking about here today. Just something to put into our thought process when thinking about an uncertain future.

Being prepared doesn’t mean that we are removing risks, as that is impossible. Our hope is to mitigate the risks, to balance them against the gain. Honestly, as you all know, my Harleys need breeze therapy every year, as does my fat tire bicycle. Both of these activities include a substantial amount of risks, however, it is offset by the sheer joy and relaxation I get when out for a ride. So, I understand the risks, I wear appropriate safety gear, and I exercise safe riding practices, thereby mitigating the risks. So, there are risks we have to take to live, I mean we can’t live wrapped up in bubble wrap, however, finding a balance between reward and risk is a part of our lives.

Well, there’s my two cents for what that’s worth nowadays. I hope that I’ve helped you understand the dangers involved in taking unnecessary risks, and while most of the time, many may slip by unnoticed. If there is no more medical community support, the potential for the termination of life becomes a lot higher for those smaller injuries. So I hope you know what you're risking for.

Honestly, I hope I’ve provided a foundation for you to continue to research the means to increase your level of personal safety while continuing to have fun. As always I am humbled that you have chosen to join us for this discussion, I look forward to enjoying more conversations with you, the American people, and a beautiful piece of the human race. God bless you all, and God bless the United States. Peace.

How-To Survive. A guide to getting the whole family involved.

Podcast Episode 111820
By: Alaskan Outlaw - 18th Nov. 2020

Greetings friends, neighbors, and to all my brothers and sisters-in-arms, both: actively serving, or not. As always I hope that you stand ready to keep your friends, family, and communities safe and secure as our country plows forward into these uncertain times. My prayers are with you as you stay strong, and be true and steadfast in your beliefs. My family remains safe and healthy although the State of Alaska confirmed cases continue to set daily records. Otherwise, my family is good and moving forward. However, the world continues to spin around the sun, so with all of the stresses of modern-day descending upon us, we need to come together as a family, as a community, as a nation, as the human race.

In almost all the episodes of “Doomsday Prepper” that was aired back in its day, all of them included the whole family when preparing for whatever they concluded was coming. This was not a design of the producers, as one of the critical elements to any level of survival, is that all members of the team are moving in the same direction. They are working harmoniously to create a defined path forward. In some cases there exists tension between spouses when one doesn’t support the level of preparedness the other deems necessary, however, as you all know, being part of a family means that sometimes we have to compromise a little when establishing our level of prep. I am a strong advocate of the strength of a team, so having another pair of eyes looking over our preparations will guarantee better success.  In addition, when you’re family is involved, recovery activities can be better independently addressed. This is the optimal scenario for survival techniques for your family. Having assignments for smaller kids can help ensure that they are controlled, and can distract them from the scenario that you may find yourself in. As I mentioned last week, the requirement to quash the fear and panic, and continue to move forward with your plan is paramount to the overall success. We must take into account the primary reason we started to prepare in the first place, our family. We go through the process of being prepared to make sure that we are all safe, regardless of what happens. Even if we are single, and living far from home, knowing that we have the resources or communication methods in place to make a stand as a family. Ultimately we add value to our society by reducing the number of resources needed, by being prepared. 

Today I want to talk about getting the family together around being prepared. Today I’d like to give you some tips to help get, your family involved in your preparedness. Desiree P from Billings, Montana brings us this week's topic. My conversation with Desiree really highlighted this topic, as her husband is one who doesn’t think that it’s necessary at all. He has suggested that they allow the Red Cross or other organizations to handle things when the unexpected happens. He doesn't understand the value of being independent and self-reliant. Being a prepper doesn’t make us crazy hermits hold up on some ramshackle cabin out in the wilderness. I find it hilarious that many of those who ridicule preppers require preparation for many things they do each day. In the same manner, we get tools together to tackle a project, or data together to present to the board, we prepare for an emergency. That’s really all there is. Being ready, and able to take the necessary steps to assist ourselves, and our community to achieve a speedier recovery following a disaster situation is why many of us do what we do. While actually preparing for the onslaught of mythical creatures seeking brains is mostly the ridicule of those who seek to undermine the security of our communities. They will be the ones who place a heavy burden on an overwhelmed emergency medical system world-wide, potentially crashing that system.

While allowing local agencies to assist us (or save us) following a disaster is one school of thought, however, I personally think that being prepared and able to be self-sufficient during (particularly) the early hours after a disaster, that frees up first responders and the medical community as-a-whole, to assist those who really need it. I personally feel as if my immediate survival abilities following a natural disaster is my responsibility to my community, and by doing so, I further assist my community by freeing up those first responders to be elsewhere, not to mention the knowledge that my family is taken care of allowing me to be an additional public resource to help others. Ultimately assisting our community to recover more quickly. That really is the name of the game here, getting my community back on its feet quickly. As humans, we are social animals at the genetic level, so having a society to be a part of, regardless of size, is the reason we become prepared.

So, let’s talk about some of the reasons for being prepared for a local emergency. One of the first concepts I want you to know is scope. No, it’s not just mouthwash anymore. The scope defines the extent of damage or community involvement. A house fire would have a very limited scope, one or two families depending on who lived there, whereas an apartment complex fire could potentially have a larger scope of impact. A natural disaster (earthquake, tornado, or hurricane, etc) would have a much larger scope, possibly affecting thousands of families. When it comes to being prepared, many simply ignore the need because the first responders are there to save us from these threats, because our taxes pay for that, while others think they have to go “full-tilt” right out of the gate and sink thousands of dollars into their “preps” which therefore seems overwhelming to them. Well, while I have witnessed both these levels of preparation, I would like to use these two extremes as our navigational beacons as we go further here today. A big point here to remember after an event of substantial magnitude (no pun intended), is response times. When first responders are able to respond, it could be hours later, whether that be caused by the obstacles in the road or the sheer volume of requests that they have to prioritize, and only so many people to handle those calls. When the rescues resort to the use of helicopters or otherwise specialized equipment, the possible elapsed time between event and rescue could be extended even further. So, let’s talk a minute about how my wife and I agreed to prepare. Some of the discussions we had when deciding to become “preppers”. As you can imagine, based on this discussion, our single largest point was how can we avoid using the 911 system. How can we ensure our safety, and help our neighbors?

My wife and I talked about food availability following any type of disaster. For example, after example, we see that grocery stores are unable to keep up with the demand before, and following, any type of large-scope disaster. Store shelves are very quickly emptied, leaving those who don’t have their own stocks without necessary items, My wife and I agree that we need to avoid the chaotic scenes of those local stores. Many will race to the markets to secure everything from toilet paper to generators, as well as what food items are left. Case in point, we witnessed during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic (particularly during and lock-downs), people rushing to horde certain supplies in an effort to profit generously from the ill-prepared, and panicked population. Others rushed out to secure things they really didn’t understand and had no idea how to use, in desperate hopes of retaining their lifestyles based on partial information, many not realizing how to even properly utilize the items they just bought, only “knowing” they needed it. On many occasions, I’ve heard from you all about neighbors who visit other neighbors inquiring about how to use their brand new generator. In some cases not realizing that the generator requires a fuel source, whether it be gasoline or natural gas, thereby rendering their acquisition useless. In other cases we witnessed retail outlets not accepting returns for many different products, and purchase limits on products, in an effort to prevent hoarding. Tons of space heaters and other electrical appliances, purchased during power outages, without the benefit of a working generator demonstrates the level of preparedness some people have. In some cases, we witnessed violence being engaged in over those supplies from the local stores.

The displayed violence led my wife and me to talk about witnessing the typical chaos outside our community following these large-scale emergencies, and after serving in plenty of roles in the “emergency personnel” roles outside our home, I agreed with my wife that we had to have enough to keep her, the kids and dogs safe and secure until I could get home, knowing it might be hours, or even days before I could. In addition, my mission of quickly getting, and staying home, wouldn't be adding to the chaos on the streets either, by being prepared in advance, I could stay home and tend to my home, and family, and not be trying to navigate streets packed with emergency vehicles, utility vehicles, and those unprepared citizens racing to get enough food or other needs. Depending on what type of disaster, might determine whether the roads and streets are even usable at all. I reminded of watching the news about several of our nation’s last hurricanes and seeing people going house to house in boats because of the flooding. So, having food storage that you can rely on allows you to “hunker down in place”, as long as it’s safe for you and your family.

Finally, we, like you, witnessed the frequent opportunistic crime following the violent protests throughout the lower-48, as well as Hurricane Katrina in August of 2005, as well as many other natural disasters, so the final reason I would say I personally prefer to be prepared is for security reasons. As there are some among us who would use this type of opportunity to loot homes for their material gains. The unfortunate times we live in currently displays a marked increase in these opportunistic crimes nationwide, and unfortunately, natural disasters typically leave our homes prone to this type of victimization. So, by staying at home you are better able to assist in the security of your property. If nothing else, your property is not left unprotected.

In my case, due to a substantial experience in the survival and emergency response fields, as soon as I know my family is safe and secure, I will venture out to my neighbors and verify their safety. One of the greatest thoughts I carry with me is knowing my wonderful bride is fully capable and willing to exercise our plans independent of me being there or not. This understanding allows me to reach out to neighbors and friends, continuing to assist our community in a more rapid recovery. This really is the benefit of having the entire family involved in the plan. It is the crown jewel in any emergency preparedness plan.

In the quest to bring everyone on board, particularly school-aged children we need to have age-appropriate explanations for them, as well as tasks they can complete. The trick here is to remember the “age-appropriate” part, keeping in mind that they are not capable of the complex thoughts needed, and therefore cannot be expected to perform outside of their level. My sons, who are just under eleven years old, my wife and I determined, based on their ages, what their jobs were after any type of natural disaster. Jobs like “reporting in”, “get your flashlights”, and “getting our dogs on leashes” were assigned and practiced. In much the same way they attend earthquake and fire drills at school, we periodically practice their assignments. Working within their scope, we keep their assignment simple, yet visible so they can garner a level of self-confidence. Small steps will reap huge rewards to their self-confidence and independence.


The place to start, for spouses/partners that think you might be losing your marbles with the whole “prepper” thing, is the open conversation about the reasoning I discussed here and your honest concerns. Typically it’s not about the “zombie apocalypse”, it’s about being prepared for those local catastrophic events that happen in every corner of the world, every day with millions of victims. For real-world examples, search the internet for catastrophes, there are tons. Now, having said that, there are some regional expectations too, as Desiree and I discussed, her plans probably don’t include hurricanes, but honestly, the weekend before last we witnessed a magnitude 5.0 earthquake in Maine of all places, so nothing should be left off the table of discussion and/or preparation plans. Many of the serious groups for everyday survival, use the term “zombie” as a metaphor for anything stacked against us. Both natural and man-made disasters are included in this metaphor, so really explaining that might help get a common ground of understanding. The key to prepping is to take the weight off the shoulders of the system and carry that responsibility ourselves. That’s the take-a-way from this. Taking the burden on ourselves to not being a victim, but a champion for your community.

So, let’s get down to the reality of prepping, there are two schools of thought I’d like you to consider when starting to become prepared. The first school of thought, I call “prepping in stages”. Now you can divide it up any way you want, but my suggestion would be to look at the stages of immediate recovery as I mentioned in our show “Survival Mindset” back in mid-October. Do you remember the stages?

First is the airway, so in all scenarios, we know that being able to breathe and continue to breathe, should be a critical concern. That has to happen in less than three minutes or really bad things will happen. So, things like locating the natural gas shutoff valve to your home or apartment, and have the tool to shut it off with, and masks (you should plenty of them laying around), but ensuring to have multiple levels of protection. In last week's show, we talked about the possibility of chemicals being mixed together during some type of event potentially causing toxic fumes, you will need to know how to dilute it enough to continue to breathe. Honestly consider all the things that can wrong with this, and be prepared for that. Think long and hard about what could wrong? Again, be mindful of any special concerns here, whether it needs to include asthmatic concerns, or COPD, or possibly even an infant.

Next is housing and/or shelter. While your home may not be damaged, it is a kind of safe practice to huddle in a designated area of your home that meets the “nest” criteria. 

A “nest” is a smaller, defensible space within your home that can cordoned-off. This area would be more easily temperature-controlled and is typically stationed along a weight-bearing wall of the home that has minimal traffic, and nothing stored in an elevated position.

Once your nest is established, think about all your needs for that portion. 

At the same time consider the possibility of having to relocate for either: too much damage, and/or inadequate security possibilities are given the structure evaluation. Leaving your home is called "bugging out" in the “prepper” vernacular, however, it may not involve heading out to a secured bunker in the wilderness, it may be to a friend's place, close by that has less structural damage. It could be your neighbor’s place.

As we mentioned in our “fab five” in last week’s show, the next item on your priority list is drinkable water for you and your family. This can come together in a multitude of ways, it could be the collection of rainwater, or melted snow with a level of purification, all depending on the scenario involved, or it could be stored bottled water. The FEMA website recommends having three days worth of water (keeping in mind that it’s a gallon per day, per person), I think I’ll double that number, also remember to calculate enough water for pets as well. Pets should be calculated at the same rate as humans.

Next, we look at nourishment, this is big. Again, looking at the FEMA recommends having several days, but be mindful of special dietary needs. The key here is to stay away from having any type of food needs shortly after this type of event. I’d also include prescriptions and medicines (other than the standard first aid kit stuff) here too. Again, the general rule of thumb is to start with enough for two weeks, then build from there. Finishing out this point is pet food, remember if you switch up their food during a crisis, it may cause unexpected results, so keep everything as normal as possible, for both pets and kids.

Throughout the years I’ve spoken to thousands of individuals who think that prepping begins with a thousand dollar shopping trip to Costco that initiates the food stores necessary for this prepper thing, so I’m here to dispel that myth. This brings up the second school of thought I have about being prepared.

The best way to establish your food stores is to take small steps towards preparedness, don't try to get everything together on a weekend, take deliberate small steps. My wife has become an expert shopper for our food preps, by shopping for the "on-sale"  and “clearance” items (especially the less perishable items), she has been able to slowly assemble our emergency food stores. By picking up single, or very few items each week, she has substantially reduced the upfront cost, and we have now built up a sizable store. However, adding smaller amounts each shopping trip allows you to build the store, without breaking the bank.

Finally, in conclusion, bringing in a resistant partner may be a challenge, particularly given the negative connotation associated with the term “prepper”. However, the major discussion should be about keeping your family members safe and secure, in these uncertain times, particularly following a natural or man-made disaster. Whether you live in a major city and are concerned with natural disasters, violent protesting, and opportunistic crime, or the rural USA where the interruption of the supply chain could be devastating, being prepared for these types of events is simply an intelligent decision for you and your family. However, there are ways that you can communicate with your partner about your honest concerns. Do your research, study the possibilities, we all know that imperial data is the best option in support of your perspective. If you still have some concerns, by all means, have them listen to my show! Just kidding, but be honest with your concerns, and explain that the difference between survivor and victim can be usually directly linked with the level of preparedness.

There are my two cents, and I hope it helps you have the ability to alleviate your concerns and feel better about being prepared for whatever you feel is your threat. I also hope that your partner realizes what a hero they have in you. By making the choice to be prepared, you have committed yourself to make your community that much better. I say “Thanks” for stepping up your commitment to your community, and to the human race as-a-whole, you have become a beacon of hope for the human endeavor on this rock we call home. Thanks for spending the time with us here at Alaskan Outlaw. We look forward to hearing from you about your stories about convincing your partner to commit to your prep. Next week we’ll be talking about mitigating risks that I hope will help keep you safe and protected. Until then, my friends, be safe out there and be true to who you are... Peace.

Bare Naked Necessary Skills. What must be maintained?

Podcast Episode 111120

By: Alaskan Outlaw - 11th-Nov-2020

To illustrate my point, I’m reminded of a time in my past where I had gone on extended Search and Rescue operations that led us deep into the high northern Cascade mountains of Washington State. During one particular event, the partner I was teamed up with was incredibly unprepared for what turned out to be a very long, and challenging, night. It had been raining for most of that day, and the prior one, so the ground was heavily saturated. This led to a substantial landslide that pinned us in a medium sized valley, soon after scouting for another exit, it became dark. I located an large enough alcove and made camp, and pitched my two man tent. As a K9 handler, I typically let the K9 have half the tent, but this time we all wound up sharing. With the temps hovering in the low 40s, and soaking wet, I used the cover provided by the alcove to help block the weather and start a fire, for warmth, cooking, and clothes drying. This team member didn't understand the first thing about survival, for his sake, it's was a good thing I knew quite a bit. While he packed a standard lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and granola snacks, my K9 had her kibble and I an delicious, warmed, MRE and snack. We were in contact via radio, and had a GPS, so although we were trapped for the night, we knew the helicopter could get us by daylight. This memory flooded into my mind when breaking survival skills down to the lowest common denominator. The difference really is “prepare for the worst, hope for the best.


I hope to provide some insight into the world of the prepper subculture, and offer ideas and suggestions to help prepare you, and your families, for whatever happens. With the results of our national election still being tallied, and/or lawsuits being filed and dismissed, now is certainly a good time to be prepared for the upcoming aftermath. But, what if (my favorite thought process), the outcome causes the implosion of the experiment we call democracy? What if, this event causes the absolute worst-case scenario? Are you ready? For how long?

Today, I want to get away from all the rhetoric, and propaganda, and talk about getting out alive. In today’s show I want to talk about the bare minimum skills necessary to survive. We’ve talked about the mental skills necessary to survive, and we’ve glossed over the physical skills, but what about the actual technical survival skills necessary to come out on the other side. Those precious seconds following a dramatic event that can mean life or death, simply put. I want to thank Myron L. from Lafeyette, Louisiana for this week's topic, and thank you for listening to the show, as well as your email conversation. I sincerely enjoy providing information to those who are new to the prepper subculture. Myron asked me about securing his brand new family, especially living in a seismically active area.

Today I want to strip away all the publicity, all the smokescreen, and get down to the brass tacks to survival. Real world survival.

{Identify the skills} Lets talk about a situation that you are going to need to have a survival toolbox at-the-ready. The scenario we are going to use as our example today is a 7.4 quake that leaves the residential home heavily damaged, and all utilities are not functioning. No vehicular traffic in, or out of the community, as the only road to your community has a fifteen foot gap in the roadbed with a six foot elevation difference. All of the nearby homes are just as damaged, if not more damaged than the one you're in, The outside local temps are in the mid 40s, and the sky is overcast and dark.

Now I’m not trying to wear a tin foil hat on this one, simply throwing out three different scenarios that will need a different set of skills to ensure one comes out on top. Let’s take each scenario and identify some bare naked skills necessary to be successful. We should all know by now, that having a plan is critical to getting, and staying, safe and healthy. One of the things I used to teach my survival students is, it’s a mental game. With infant children, through young adults, they will feed off of your energy. If you begin to demonstrate panic, or fear, they will amplify it. So whenever you find yourself in a serious situation, the first step is to quash the fear and do not let panic seep in. This is the mental game we’ve discussed throughout other shows, the key here is to remain calm, think deliberately, follow your checklist, live to tell the story.

As I mentioned before, our scenario is today is a massive quake. In many cases, earthquakes can be one of the most destructive and emotionally damaging. So we need a step-by-step guide to get us through until it’s safe and we reconnected with the society we live in.

So, you’re trapped in personal residence. This is one of the most probable scenarios that many of us will face, particularly along the ring of fire around the Pacific Ocean. Here in Alaska we had a pretty good shaker back in late 2018, and although it ended up doing very little structural damage to my home, but I know North of us here in Anchorage sustained a lot more. Had it lasted a little longer, it could have been substantially more destructive and probably be more deadly. So let’s look at this scenario and determine our first steps toward recovering. As I mention each of these points, we need to consider those who live with us, do they some level of compromise? Are the physically handicapped, making movement to other parts of the home challenging. I reminded of a story that another listen told me about surviving Katrina many years ago. As a wheelchair bound individual, while he had an upstairs, his only way up there was an electronic stair climber, which he had no power. As the water rose, his family members helped him upstairs, out a window, to the roof where they were rescued by helicopter. There are many pieces that we need to be sure we consider when preparing for worst-case scenarios.

So, let’s look at our scenario in step-by-step fashion:

1. Do you have clean, breathable air? After any structural damage like this, natural gas lines could be severed, or two chemicals within the house could be combined to make a toxic gas. So, our first mission here is to ensure that we can breathe.

2. Is the structure safe to stay in? In all homes there are “weight bearing walls”, and non weight bearing walls. When considering the safety of your residence after a quake, or other natural disaster, we want to ensure that the weight bearing walls are in good condition. Not all exterior walls are weight bearing depending on the build of the home. Learn what to look for, and make sure they are safe.

3. Is anyone hurt? This could be a big one, depending on the disaster. Many of the immediate care facilities are going to be overrun within a very short time following a substantial crisis, so being able to treat many of the smaller injuries yourself could become the difference.

4. All right we’ve made it over the initial impact of the event. We’re not out of the woods yet, but we’re moving in the right direction. Our next big quest is to obtain a lighting source, and we’ll need a heat source fairly soon. Right now if we can secure jackets or, even blankets, that will give more time to get a heat source. But for now, having a flashlight, or light source. As I mentioned in our scenario, it’s overcast and darker. The reason we want light is a couple fold, firstly we really want to avoid unnecessary risks of bumping into something and causing injury. The second reason is that depending on the amount of damage, again we could unnecessarily step on something that has fallen or broken apart, so we really want to see where we’re stepping. Our goal here is not adding to an overburdened medical system.

5. If you have openings to the outside, now would be a great time to get them covered up if possible. Ideally you would try to secure yourself in a less trafficked area of your home. The less traffic, the less openings, the better chance you’ll have at maintaining a normal temperature. So this really becomes the next focus. Getting an area with some type of heat source that the family can hold up in.

6. The immediate concerns are tackled, this is making sure the family is safe. Next is the outside of the home. We’re looking for obvious problems, water or gas line breaks, maybe even power lines down. Remembering our safety briefing about power lines, they can energize you through the ground, so keep an eye out for them. In many parts of the country energy now enters homes underground, but be careful around that junction box. Look for fires and other damage, as well as possible future issues (tree leaning towards the house). So, just take it all in, tip here is don’t spend too much time out there. Remember your smaller heat source will take a little longer to get the temp back up.

7. Ok, outside noted, family safe and starting to build up heat. Now we can start moving up through the remainder of our “top five”. Water, then food, and protective gear. The key here is that we want to eliminate any unnecessary risks, as the first responders and medical system as a whole is overwhelmed, so we need to careful both inside and out.

As we discussed with this scenario, our five bare necessities (top five) came into play.

1. Clean air with 3 minutes.

2. Shelter within 3 hours includes temperature.

3. Drinkable water within 3 days.

4. Nutrition within 3 weeks.

5. Protective clothing/gear

If we boil anything down to its core, we discover that our “fab five” are really the difference between success and failure in the world of survival. We have to secure these in order, but, we need to make sure we consider what the future holds for each of them. With a disaster type of event it will be a very dynamic environment which may cause further changes in plans. Especially with earthquakes, you may have after shocks which could cause further instability, so securing your scenario as quickly as possible is super important.

One of the other points that we glossed over in our scenarios was the idea that, off the beaten paths in many parts of our beautiful planet, humans are not the top of the food chain. While the number of aggressive animals are small, the large lumbering type animals can be quite deadly when cornered, or in some cases, by accident. So, not only will you have to content against the five items above, you may have to fend off hungry predators. In addition, there are those among us who will take advantage of the situation, so security may become a requirement fairly quickly.

So, where do we get the skills? Where do we start? Great question. The key is to do research now. Plenty of sources on the internet, tons of courses out there. A little study goes a long way here, and starting by looking at the FEMA website, the Red Cross site, or many others. Do your research, research where you get your info, but there is tons of it.

Some tips that I discussed with Myron was:

1. Earthquake straps for larger pieces of furniture. This will prevent them from falling and potentially injuring someone.

2. Museum putty for items on high shelves, essentially this minimizes the chance them falling and/or shattering.

3. Baby proof all the cabinetry to prevent them from being pushed open during this event.

4. Have tarps and extra blankets that can used to block off rooms, or broken windows.

All right, well there we have my two cents. I sincerely appreciate you spending this time with me. I hope that this informations sets you on a path of discovery that allows you to keep your family and self safe. As always, have questions or comments, by all means drop me a line. Remember to stay safe, and be true to who you are. Peace.

This story submitted for publication with the US Press Association

Loss of Technology. Going back to move forward.

Loss of Technology. Going back in time for the future.
Podcast Episode 110420

By: Alaskan Outlaw - 4th-Nov-2020

As many of you know, I'm pretty involved in surviving and getting my family and me to the other side of whatever Mother Earth may throw at us. With a constant knowledge that any minute of any day, some lost soul in some far-away place could depress the button to send us all back to the ice ages, I work tirelessly sometimes to think of all the "what ifs?" What are we going to do after the apocalypse? How do we, your average citizen, colonize Mars? What I mean by that is how do we function without all the conveniences we have today? This week I'd like to talk about going back in time, before the modernization, and pick up some ideas to move into an uncertain future with confidence.

We all hear a lot of stories about “the end of the world as we know it” and some people among us have even demanded it with their anarchy rhetoric, I really wonder if people really know what they’re saying? Do they really understand the implications of a societal collapse? The world has become complacent with the arrival, and now dependent on, the first responders who show up and save us from whatever threat we might be facing. The concept behind an apocalypse, however, would be that many conveniences we have come to rely on would be gone forever. Sure we might lose our cell phones and vehicles, but ultimately anything man-made would fail, and then what happens when the resources for making it are no longer available? Can the individual process crude oil into gasoline, or create metal from ore? Depending on how you look at this “end”, or if we find ourselves in a position where this “end” really was the end of our society, the necessary skills become a lot longer. What about writing, and speaking?

The good news is, that our ancestors were able to do this for millennia before much of what we use today was thought of. The bad news is, most of the people alive today wouldn’t last long enough to figure out how they did it. From the movies, we get visions of “Mad Max” or “The Book of Eli” that depict abandoned vehicles and material objects scattering the ground as the Earth reclaims everything. We’ve witnessed, time and time again, the striping of store shelves during disasters, or larger scale emergencies, quickly depleting local distribution points and all local food resources.

Several podcasts ago I talked about securing the skill sets necessary before they were needed, well this show will hopefully alert us to what conceivably could happen, and give us some serious thought about “life after the holocaust”. What about considering the skills that have been given to the children?

I was thinking about what would happen if COVID was just the precursor to something far more lethal. At the rate of international infection, COVID disseminated the economy and severely crippled manufacturing around the world. But, what if is was only an appetizer before the main course? What if this was just a delivery vessel testing? Now I'm not trying to start any new conspiracy theories here, but my mama always said "prepare for the worst, and hope for the best". So, let's look at a couple of scenarios and then, ponder what life on earth would look like.

When thinking about possibilities that could impact life as we know it, we need to take a minute and throw ideas up at the wall to see what sticks. Not saying any of these items will happen, as a matter-of-fact I’d be more likely to believe that the end of civilization will happen due to a rapid succession of several different catastrophes. So, I’m going to call out a few here:

  • Societal Zombie programming completed. I talked last week about the large social media companies laying the foundation for real society-level people programming, and their level of success. The team that up with the reduction of education (“dumbing down” of many school curricula) particularly here in the United States and the stage is set to initiate any programming these corporation management want. I mean have you seen people throughout our communities nowadays? The government literally had to make laws about not using cell phones while one is driving. Duh. So, in conjunction with the cyber-bullying and other cyberterrorist activities, the society-level programming is getting pretty close to a completed product. Ready to sell to the next bidder. The fact that a group of people followed a sarcastic solution for the virus remedy should prove that this societal-level programming is very powerful.
  • Civil War. In many locations throughout the country, this has every indicator to be just around the corner. Whether it be a racial conflict that starts it, or anti-government anarchists, or just hateful people in general. The writing is on the wall for this tinderbox to explode at any minute. Much like the original civil war, this may pit family members against other family members, in a war that will be a lot of things, except civil. The other unfortunate side to this is that it might lead to another country seizing the opportunity to invade.
  • Natural Disaster. This concept has been floating around for as long as I can remember. From the supervolcano in Yellowstone to the big one in California that makes Arizona beachfront. We have already witnessed unprecedented forest fires ravaging the southwest, and a new record level hurricane season on the eastern seaboard, all the while increased seismic activity can be felt around the ring of fire. While I don't discount this category, I'm really thinking that the United Staes could survive most of these, albeit it might take some time. This might include a weather phenomenon that causes enormous amounts of damage, potentially driven by the natural disaster.
  • Foreign invasion. This one is the wildcard. While I think that this one is very unlikely, the outcome of this would be a global catastrophe. In an all-out head-to-head conflict, I really doubt that this one would have very much success, however, if you were to start adding in the others in this list, with a softening provided by a more lethal version of COVID, and now you may have something worth betting on. The other side to this coin would be some type of nuclear conflict, which everyone agrees would cause M.A.D. or mutually assured destruction, which many theorize would usher in the next ice age. The good news with that is, no more global warming.

Honestly, there are governments being overthrown throughout the world right now, so is it any big surprise that this would appear on our list? While the idea here was not to instill fears of any of these theories coming to fruition, the question arises, would you be ready? While this is certainly not an exhaustive list, the idea here is to think beyond an initial event, being sure we ration our stores to survive the initial impact, then continue to thrive during the rebuilding phase. Then, continuing to reserve some stores until they are no longer available locally. We need to think about the longer-term preps necessary after we consume our current preps. Are we prepared for the end of society?

To this point, let's look at some principles we will utilize to function in society today, and its importance in an uncertain future.

  • Food preparation and Cooking. We know based on anthropological findings that it was a fire that turned an evolutionary page for the humans of that time period. By cooking the food, there were different nutrients released that caused the human brain to multiply exponentially in complex thought, and evolve to what some of us have today. Although honestly, sometimes I'm not sure some of us actually completed that migration. Hence, I digress. The idea that some foods could be stored longer gave humankind an evolutionary boost up the wall of fulfillment. However, this is fairly easy as the creation of a fire is a well-understood skill by most humans. However, ensuring proper preparation of meats (cooked all the way) is a requirement that many might have issues with. Taking our queue from our ancient ancestors, food prep and storage would instantly be an important factor to survival, in addition, growing our own food would become the best method to ensure our growth.
  • Hygiene and medical treatment. This is a huge one. While most of us don't even think about it, I am reminded that, up until the nationwide distribution of Penicillin, many individuals would die from a simple infection (some still do with penicillin), potentially caused by a minuscule laceration from a tree branch. Death during childbirth was common-place a mere century ago, while today it rarely happens because of the advances in medical science, without that science, we'd step back in time. If we judge the medical community's ability to research and develop vaccines for influenza, SARS/MARS, and now COVID, hopefully, we caught notice of the benefit of cleanliness, however the need for some germs is what allowed us to build a resistance. In a scenario where professional medical care was eliminated, or out of reach, diseases once eradicated would roam the earth again. Potentially minimizing the proliferation of the human race.
  • Hunting. Obviously, some feel content to hunt and fish at the local grocery store, however, the necessity of proteins (red meat and fish) in the human diet is incredibly beneficial and provides the underlying building blocks for complex brain growth. However, without the modern-day weapons, much like today in Alaska, humans wouldn’t be at the top of the food chain anymore. While the usage of modern-day firearms would support us for quite some time (depending on the stores of ammo), eventually we are going to utilize all our ammo, and then those individuals who are capable of reloading ammo will run out of resources to make more. At which point we (the human race) might be up a creek without a paddle. The potential to replenish the weapon store will make all the difference in our position within the food chain.
  • Transportation. This is another area that humankind has taken for granted for sure, especially us here in Alaska. While we know that there are miles to go between locations, we may not realize that if we had to walk or even engage in horseback riding, the time spent in travel would multiply exponentially. Instead of air travel, trips to the lower-48, for us, would take weeks (if not months) to complete. Without cars, trucks, motorcycles, airplanes, or large sea-going vessels, trips to areas away from our immediate surroundings would be a much bigger endeavor. In our conversations about transportation, a huge part of that becomes the infrastructure leftover from civilization as we know it today. Bridges and roads would eventually give way to the reclamation by Mother Earth, leaving the survivors needing to find new routes.
  • Shelter, and temperature control. While in most areas this could involve a matter of seeking shade, here in the north, this will include the use of a heat source during the winter months. In addition, staying warm and dry would mean having to be sure our shelter didn’t leak and protected the occupants from the elements. There would also need to be a method of security, as desperate people do desperate things to try to survive.

While we see many people stocking up on the supplies we use every day in these modern times, however many of these items require the use of electricity for full usage, or they are made from materials that are not from nature. What value will these products have when you haven’t had power for a while, and the backup generator is out of gas finally? This would be my concern, or what happens when there is no more brass to make bullets with, or no more gunpowder to make the cartridge, or no more plastic to make tools, or other used itemize?

As we can see, the majority of today's humans will become scavengers during the time following a holocaust. Within months, hundreds of thousands will die of starvation or be medically expired. More will perish in the fight for remaining food scraps, or other resources. One of the other points here is that (particularly in the United States) we really live in the land of plenty and have “super-sized” just about everything when it comes to meals. There will be a huge transition back to a diet of rationing, or hunt to eat. Many in today’s society won’t make it through that transition. Some, like many Alaskan native villages, won’t have any transition at all.

Just some tips I came up with;

  1. Learn to, and start a garden. To ensure that we will have enough nutrition to carry us through whatever the future holds we will need to have plenty of food on-hand. To do this we have several options: A) Hunt for red meat, B) Shepherd our red meat, and C) grow our vegetables. While the hunting/shepherd activities will provide us with protein and other nutrients we need, it will need to be balanced with vegetables to create a balance.
  1. Reduce dependency on things that don't come from nature. Ultimately all things that cannot be replaced (or remanufactured) from nature will expire. It will break, or eventually just quit. So think about what are your needs and then determine how to accomplish that need from a minimalist point of view. The less complex, the less dependent on modern electricity you are, the easier it becomes to transition to a survival scenario.
  1. Learn to hunt, and fish. Just knowing how to "field-dress" a kill will add to your value. This is a big one. If things really go south, you’re going to have to bring home the red meat, and most of it needs to be dressed beforehand. Things even as small as hares, small bears, or other animals need to be prepared before they will do you, or your family, any good. In addition, we will need to understand how to fish and prepare the fish for dinner. These are skills that you should get now before they are needed.
  1. Figure out how stuff works so you can keep it as long as possible. This is another big one. Even if we go back in time and locate those simplistic tools of the early 1900s, we need to ensure they remain functional for as long as possible. Proper maintenance will go a long way in keeping tools functional as long as possible.
  1. Go back in time and identify tools and other practical stuff that you can use without electrical power, and can possibly make yourself. This is a big thing for me. I like looking at tools of the late 1800s and early 1900s to incorporate into my prep. Manual can openers, and cast iron cook pots are critical to keeping things functional as long as possible.
  1. Figure out, and learn your weapons now, so that you can always be ready. This is a prep I’m currently working on. While having modern firearms with appropriate ammo will support us for the foreseeable future, when the bullets are all gone, the firearms become great paperweights. Something to think about. I am currently researching the creation of gunpowder for black powder weapons of the 1700/1800s from natural resources, here in Alaska, in addition to the bow and arrow, slings, and traps. These are weapons that don’t require a completed bullet cartridge, that can be used far down the road if it truly is the end of the world as we know it.

Being prepared means that we have the knowledge of going without modern-day conveniences that we have come to depend on. It means that we are willing to apply manual labor to tasks that we would normally automate. The best time to figure all of these older technologies out is before things go from bad to worse. Now is the time to gain the skills and tools that will be necessary should the worst-case scenario come to fruition.