- A sharp rise of ISIS inspired terrorism (San Bernardino, Paris, Brussels, Orlando, Turkey, etc.)
- The ongoing "open borders invasion" of Europe by Muslims
- The ongoing "open borders invasion" of the United States by whoever wants to walk across our southern border
- A weak (and politically correct) response from most politicians and other "Elites" to those problems
- The outright rejection of Capitalism, personal responsibility, and traditional values by many Americans, including a majority of younger Americans, along with the rise in popularity of Socialism, political correctness, and other forms of Collectivism.
- The frightening example of the failure of Socialism in Venezuela
On a personal level, dealing with health problems (my diabetes and related eye problems which I've previously written about) has also provided new challenges and insights.
My New Recommendations
FOOD IS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT THAN WE THOUGHT
Double your goals for food and water storage. You aren't storing enough. Nor am I. In Venezuela, even formerly middle-class folks have been reduced to dumpster-diving and even eating family pets to survive. The problem isn't just high inflation, or even temporary disruptions in the supply chain. There simply isn't much food to be had for any price. Store shelves are empty, and staying empty. And here's the dirty little secret: food scarcity is even hitting rural areas, as few country folk are fully self-reliant when it comes to food. I am in the process of doubling my food storage.
Increase your ability to produce food. If you have land, even a small yard, maximize your garden space. Plant more fruit and nut trees. Raise chickens (eggs, meat) and/or goats (meat, milk, cheese, butter). Greatly extend the growing season by putting in a greenhouse. Turn your swimming pool into a fish farm. Have very limited space? Get into container gardening. Live in an apartment? Do whatever it takes to move somewhere else, even if you can only afford a small yard. You don't need a lot of land to produce a lot of your own food. Check out the book Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre.
MAKE SECURITY A TOP PRIORITY
Take personal responsibility for the security of yourself and your family. Get your concealed-carry permit if it is legal in your area, and carry! Take a good self-defense shooting course (shooting at a moving target that shoots at you is vastly different from shooting a fixed target at the gun range). Your local gun shop can probably tell you where to get training. I also suggest you double the amount of ammo you have on-hand. Consider learning how to reload, and stock up on reloading supplies. Everyone in your family or group, regardless of their age, should also take a non-lethal self-defense course. Remember that security isn't just about guns & ammo, but also about hardening your home, security doors, dead-bolt locks, exterior home lighting, avoiding bad areas of town, practicing situational awareness, exercising commonsense, and many other things less exciting, yet probably more important, than guns.
Avoid high-density, high-visibility targets. There's a reason terrorists target night clubs, movie theaters, sporting events, bus stations, shopping malls, airports, and the like, especially in large cities and other tourist destinations. There are lots of people to kill, and they will get lots of media attention. Their goal is to spread fear, after all. Depending on where you live, and what your personal habits are, avoiding these kind of targets may require major changes in your lifestyle. I highly recommend you do whatever it takes to Get Out of Babylon!
HEALTH AND FITNESS ARE EXTREMELY IMPORTANT
Food, supplies, guns & ammo, and even skills are ultimately worthless you you aren't healthy or fit enough to use them. Health and fitness MUST be your number one preparedness & survival priority (your relationship to God is your number one Life Priority).
You and everyone in your family/group should get a complete physical exam within the next few months. Also, dental and vision exams this year for everyone. I've chronicled my mistake of putting off a doctor's visit until I absolutely had to, and it cost me dearly in terms of my health, my vision, and my finances. Learn form my mistake.
Start taking your health and fitness VERY seriously. Learn how to eat right (watch this website for future articles on this topic), and then do it! Stop smoking NOW, if you smoke. Confront any other addictions you may have (drugs, alcohol, etc.). Lose weight if you need to lose weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is extremely important. Start and exercise routine (routine meaning you do it consistently, not occasionally), even if all you can do at the moment is walk around your neighborhood everyday. Learn your family's medical history (talk to the your family matriarch's - they usually keep up with such things).
See my January article, Steps to Good Health, for more on health and fitness.