New Mexico Urban Homesteader

Hello, I am A 50 Something, Prepper ;-}; former 60's Flower Child, don't believe in taxpayer subsidized special interest groups (political parties), DO believe in the Constitution and Bill of Rights (1st 10). Long time Independent & Informed Voter. Lover of the outdoors and firm believer that History Teaches - if only we will listen!

(No longer Urban or in NM. Now Rural in the mountains of Maine.)

This blog was started at the request of some dear friends that wish to become Preppers.

“No man who is not willing to help himself has any right to apply to his friends, or to the gods.”

Demosthenes (384–322 BC, Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Disasters Happen - Even Here!

Yes, Virginia
Disasters DO happen even in New Mexico!

A disaster, emergency or crisis can happen anywhere, at anytime; they come in all shapes and sizes.

These crises will NOT be convenient.

They will NOT wait until you and yours are all at home and ready.

No, instead they will happen when we least expect them.

In the opening sentence of the New Mexico Family Emergency Preparedness Guide (pg 4 found in PDF @ by New Mexico Department of Homeland Security it states:

“Even in New Mexico – disasters happen. Every community in our state is vulnerable. As New Mexicans, we face the threat of a variety of natural disasters and the threat of man-made disasters. In the last year, New Mexico has dealt with an unprecedented series of emergencies from drought to fire, flooding to severe winter weather, and even tornadoes.”

In the New Mexico Family Emergency Preparedness Guide (pg found in PDF pg 3 @ by New Mexico Department of Health states:

“Communities throughout the Southwest are subject to a number of potential natural disasters such as fires, tornadoes, flooding, severe storms, earthquakes, dam failures, landslides. While we all hope that such occurrences never happen, it has been shown time and time again that being prepared for disasters is prudent. Emergency services and government agencies may not be able to respond to your needs immediately. Their buildings, equipment, personnel, communications, and mobility may be severely hampered by the event. …”

I have lived all over the United States so please believe me when I say that the quotes above can apply to any state in the United States of America.

To top it off check out the some federal preparedness sites:

From FEMA @ it states:

“The need to prepare is real.

  • Disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives every year. Each disaster has lasting effects, both to people and property.
  • If a disaster occurs in your community, local government and disaster-relief organizations will try to help you, but you need to be ready as well. Local responders may not be able to reach you immediately, or they may need to focus their efforts elsewhere.
  • You should know how to respond to severe weather or any disaster that could occur in your area - hurricanes, earthquakes, extreme cold, flooding, or terrorism.
  • You should also be ready to be self-sufficient for at least three days. This may mean providing for your own shelter, first aid, food, water, and sanitation. …”

At the DHS site @

“Preparedness, Response & Recovery

In the event of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other large-scale emergency, the Department of Homeland Security will provide a coordinated, comprehensive federal response and mount a swift and effective recovery effort.

The Department assumes primary responsibility for ensuring that emergency response professionals are prepared for any situation. …”

Preparedness, Response & Recovery Activities & Programs ..."

The DoD has what they call the Domestic Preparedness Support Initiative or DPSI @ to aid local, state and federal level First Responders. To quote their home page they plan to do this through:

“Through the DoD Domestic Preparedness Support Initiative, the DoD fulfills Congress’ intent to support public safety and homeland security by leveraging taxpayer investments in defense technology and equipment. Partnerships with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), and communications with first responders, are critical for success in this important mission! Working closely with DHS and DOJ, we promote the advancement, commercialization, and transition of high priority DoD projects that can result in first responder capability improvements.”

The agencies above and many others strive to help us in a time of crisis – Yet they are ALL telling us that we will most likely be On Our Own for at least 3 Days (72 hours).

Preparedness is NOT being a doomsayer; it is NOT being irrational and it is most definitely NOT crazy to be prepared.

Take Responsibility
Make a Plan
Have a Kit
Stay Aware

Read about the 10 Preparedness Tips that you and your family can take at

It has a list of resources to help you along ;-}

a list of New Mexico disasters see New Mexico Crisis History & Information

Today is the Tomorrow

that you worried about Yesterday


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Safety & Security

Is your Crisis Retreat Defensible?

Follow the link and test your retreat ... The Defensible Retreat Checklist

Is your home Burglar Proof?

Follow the link and take the Home Security Audit ... Public Hazard–Crime: Home Burglary Prevention

"In business or in football, it takes a lot of unspectacular preparation to produce spectacular results."
Roger Staubach, Hall of Fame Football Player


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Back-up Plans

“I am prepared for the worst
but hope for the best”

Benjamin Disraeli
(British Prime Minister & novelist 1804-1881)

What is a back-up plan?

Well dah, it’s the plan you use when your # 1 plan isn’t working out.

How does this work in preparedness?

Most people plan for the best and then maybe make a back-up plan or two, in case things don’t go as good as planned. To me this is the hard way to do things.

Plan for the worst FIRST, then make each successive plan just a bit of a better scenario than the worst case scenario primary plan.

Remember it is far easier and quicker to adjust a worst case scenario plan to a better or best case plan than it is to do the reverse.

“Learning is not compulsory... neither is survival.”
W. Edwards Deming

With this in mind; How do you make a back-up plan?

Keep all those human “conditions” that we have to balance in mind. Apply that to plan making – plan for the worst, underestimate just about everything and make a plan for that scenario. This is your primary plan.

First Plan for the Worst Case Scenario

Then play the What-IF game with your primary plan to make additional back-up and contingency plans.

  • Your most knowledgeable and skilled people are NOT with you
  • You lost or have NO access to most of your goods
  • You can’t get to your primary or secondary retreat or those retreats are unavailable
  • Usual modes of transportation are NOT available
  • Usual routes are NOT available
  • Usual and routine modes of communication are NOT available
  • Second Underestimate
  • Goods (supplies)
  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Competencies
  • Capabilities
  • Family and Friends
  • Transportation (vehicles and roads, etc.)
  • Communication (any method)
  • Power (electricity from any source)

Second - Underestimate what you can do and how well you can do it. Expect and plan for the unexpected.

Third - Overestimate your weaknesses and enemies (including bad luck)

If you feel that you can do without a bed and drink canned milk if need be; draw your plans up around NOT being able to sleep on the ground and puking when trying to drink canned milk.

If you think you can hide or outsmart any dangerous “enemies”, center your plans around NOT being able to outpower, out maneuvor or outsmart your enemy – even if that enemy is Mother Nature.

Fourth, Plan Your Back-up Plans - Which now become “second nature”, require little if any thought or effort, as each back-up plan is one step better than worst case scenario.

Since you have done your hard work with your primary, worst case scenario plan it is now time to create your backup plans that are soo much easier.

Fifth Put Your Plans (worst case scenario) in Writing

With your worst case scenario as your primary plan and your better case scenarios as your backup plans you will be good to go and ready for just about any FUBAR that could head your way.

Taking the time to formally put your plans into writing is step 1 to a psychological exercise that is designed to have us remembering this plan without really thinking. The second step is to practice, practice and practice.

If you are a household plan for what to do if your most knowledgeable and skilled members do NOT make it to your retreat. Plan what to do if NONE of you can make it to either retreat – primary or secondary; if you’ve lost your supplies, etc.

Do the same for any preparedness group. What will your group do if your most skilled and knowledgeable members do NOT make it to the gathering place or retreat? What will the group members do if the MAJORITY of your members can’t make it to your rendezvous place?

“The more you depend on forces outside yourself,
the more you are dominated by them.”
Harold Sherman

Consider these examples:

Recently there was a person in a wildfire area that was complaining that she had to turn her horses loose and let them “fend for themselves” and she had no time to pack her valuables - all because she only got a 15 minute warning to evacuate. Now, how could this person have been living in a wildfire area; with all of its smoke, haze and ash for over a month and NOT have packed and moved un-replaceable items or had her horses moved out PRIOR to the evacuation notice?

This individual obviously did NOT have a plan, was NOT observant, had little real knowledge of wildfires or of what was going on around her and expected some outside “entity” to tell her, in sufficient time, when to evacuate so she could take care of her animals, pack and go.

Then there is a preparedness group that is running around accumulating skills for only a small, specialized team within their group. They are practicing, getting tools, supplies and ‘uniforms’, etc.. They don’t have a single plan, yet alone a back-up plan, on what to do to help the rest of the group (or themselves) if this team cannot show up in force or their supplies are unreachable. So just how successful do you think this group or this team is going to be in a SHTF world when they are needed most?

This group does NOT have a plan or back-up plan, they are feeding a psychological “feel good” need and accumulating “stuff”, rather than taking care of their physical basic needs.

“To be prepared is to anticipate risk and
to prudently act toward prevention.”
Wes Fessler
(born March 10, 1970 in Arcadia, California) is an American author.

4 Key preparedness aspects are ignored in the above examples:

  • Plan and Practice for the Worst Case Scenario and hope for the best. This gives you easy best case scenario plans, even on the fly, in the quickest timeframe.
  • Situational Awareness - Keeping an eye and ear on what is happening around you. Your own senses and gut instincts will alert you to pending danger faster than any news media or authoritive entity.
  • If an authoritive entity suggests or orders an evacuation, they have waited until the last possible moment to issue the order.
  • You CANNOT count on any authoritive, government or emergency agency to come to your rescue in a timely fashion. The only things you can count on are yourself (physical, emotional & spiritual), your knowledge, skills, supplies and tools you have on hand – At That Time.

“If it is to be, it is up to me.”
William H. Johnsen
Depression-era realist/impressionist painter

As your household or group becomes more knowledgeable, supplied, skilled, practiced and working from a written worst case scenario plan, your back-up plans will fall into place quite easily with hardly any effort at all.

I know – it sounds simple in theory and is far from it in practice. This is another reason why it is better to Keep It Simple from the get go.

Do all your difficult soul searching, self-evaluations and decision making first - while you are free of the stress and pressure of the crisis itself.

Don’t consider high-tech gadgets or a warehouse full of goods as the backbone to your plans. These can be supplements, just not the mainstay.

Then just do it ;-}

"What we anticipate seldom occurs;
what we least expect generally happens."
Benjamin Disraeli


Sunday, July 3, 2011

July 4th A Day to Reflect

Most of us tend to think that we celebrate the Fourth of July because that is the day we received our Independence from England. We are the right track, yet not entirely correct. What happened to those men who signed our Declaration of Independence? When did we start using fireworks to celebrate?

A 4th of July Quiz

1. When did the Continental Congress actually pass a resolution of Independence?

a) July 1
b) July 2
c) July 3

2. Who was on the committee assembled to draft the declaration?

a) Richard Henry Lee, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston, and George Washington.
b) Samuel Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston, and John Hancock.
c) John Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman.

3. What was one of the reasons that Adams told Jefferson, the youngest man on the committee, to draft a declaration?

a) Jefferson was from Massachusetts, a politically powerful state.
b) Adams knew that he was unpopular and considered obnoxious by many delegates. In order for the declaration to be accepted, he had to keep a low profile.
c) Adams wanted to challenge Jefferson to improve his writing skills by drafting an important document.

4. Which of the following was something Congress cut out of Jefferson's draft of the declaration?

a) They removed all references to slavery.
b) They removed all references to women.
c) They removed a paragraph written in Latin.

5. Which two key players in the history of Independence died on the fiftieth anniversary of the declaration?

a) Thomas Jefferson and John Hancock
b) Thomas Jefferson and John Adams
c) Benjamin Franklin and John Adams

Take the quiz, scan the trivia, say a prayer of thanks and reflect.

To find out the history behind this day of Independence and the answers to the quiz see: July 4th a Day to Reflect

For a Safer Fireworks

Try to attend public fireworks displays. The shows are safer and are meant for better displays than what might be achieved at your home.

For a list of Albuquerque public displays see:

However, if you must use fireworks, be sure to follow certain safety rules.


New Mexico is under a fireworks ban due to a severe drought and existing wildfires. So, the first thing you should do is to check out with the fire department if the fireworks are legal in your community.

Each year people suffer burns, loss of eyesight, burst eardrums and other injuries, and property is damaged because of fireworks.

Words of caution:

Common fireworks are explosives and must be handled with care and respect to prevent injury and property damage.

If fireworks are allowed in your community, know the rules to be followed (no bottle rockets, etc) and some common sense do's and don'ts:

The Do's

  • Obey your city or town ordinance on the use of fireworks.
  • Always purchase high quality fireworks from reliable sources.
  • Follow the printed instructions carefully, and use common sense.
  • Never use fireworks in glass or metal containers.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Use fireworks outdoors only in a clear area away from houses and buildings.
  • Light only one item at a time, then move back quickly once the fuse is ignited.
  • Keep all other fireworks at a safe distance from where they are being discharged.
  • Never experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Make sure adults supervise the firing of all fireworks.
  • Always wear safety goggles when using fireworks.
  • Have an adult supervise the use of all fireworks.
  • Always read and follow label directions.
  • Have an adult present.
  • Buy from reliable sellers.
  • Use outdoors only.
  • Make sure to have all flammable and combustible materials removed from the area of shooting and landing.
  • Always have water handy (a garden hose and a bucket).
  • Light only one firework at a time.
  • Use a "punk", instead of the lighters and matches, for a safer ignition.
  • If necessary, store fireworks in a cool, dry place. And, away from any source of fire.
  • Soak the burnt out fireworks in water and dispose of them in a trashcan.
  • Make sure to wear eye protection while shooting.
  • Stay away from illegal explosives.

The Don'ts:

  • Never try illegal explosives.
  • Never experiment or make your own fireworks.
  • Never give fireworks to small children (below 12).
  • Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
  • Never re-light a "dud" firework (wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in water).
  • Never have any part of the body over the firework.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
  • Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
  • Never ignite aerial fireworks near, or, below a tree, overhead wires, or anything that may obstruct the flight.
  • Never ignite aerial fireworks near an opening, e.g. a door, a window. ENJOY !
“Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency;but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
Benjamin Franklin


Saturday, July 2, 2011

WILDFIRES - New Mexico Burning

With July 4 just two days away; a month of smoke haze and air quality warnings in Albuquerque; bans on fireworks (even though the vendor stands are still up and selling like crazy) and road and public land closings. I have to seriously wonder where we humans have our priorities. Ah, yes the all mighty dollar and our own amusement or S & G’s.

We humans will have our fireworks, legal or not and who gives a darn if the woods catch fire and some people lose their homes or worse, their lives – as long as it is not us and we had fun, what’s the problem right?. After all with this economy, the vendors have to make their money and with the depressing troubles in the news we need a little entertainment and fun to chase the blues away. We don’t really need all those trees to release oxygen into the air do we? So what if we are in a drought, the plants will grow back fast enough to prevent landslides, right?

Think living in the city or town will save ya? Better think again - In Albuquerque we have a heavily wooded Bosque that runs through the center of town; the Sandia and Manzano Mtns are a tinder box waiting to go up on Albuquerque’s east side - Ask Luna and Ruidoso or Silver City how much being in town protected them.

A FIRE - woodland or urban is inhuman – it is all consuming; it doesn’t care what country we are from; what our political affiliation is; if we are rich or poor or what color our skin is and it most assuredly doesn't give a dam if it is convenient or not. It is a beast, a fire breathing dragon running amok and our only “dragon slayers” are our firefighters!

If you currently live in the High danger zones for this July (2011): (New Mexico, west Texas, southern Colorado, western Oklahoma, Nevada, southern Utah, southern California, eastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi or southwestern Alabama or small areas of: Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Montana, Massachusetts or Wyoming) you had best pay particular attention to this information.

To keep abreast of Wildfires check out the U.S. Forest Service @ and For New Mexico see,, or any of the local news outlets.

For information on fireworks and the 4th of July in New Mexico see:
City promises big consequences if fireworks spark fires

Public Fireworks Displays

For detailed information on Wildfire prevention and safety see WILDFIRES - New Mexico Burning - Safety Tips & Prevention @

For additional downloadable information see Wildfire Tips -Downloads & Links @

This July 4 let us be responsible for our own actions or inaction.
Be Smart – Be Safe