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  • Mike L

Get After It!

Updated: May 15

To my enormous disappointment, I missed the recent solar storm of a few nights ago. The light pollution from the massive footprint of Chicago, and the surrounding communities made it impossible for me to see the effects of the solar plasma as it struck the earth’s magnetic field. I reached out to a buddy, who was in Michigan at the time, and miraculously, he was unaware of the greatest show on earth going on above his head. Fortunately, some of his neighbors told him to get his ass outside right away. He sent me about a dozen of the most awesome pictures of the night sky I’ve ever seen.  

Those of you who visit my site regularly have already guessed where this is going. I can’t help but think that we dodged a bullet. A huge one! You’d have to travel to the remotest corners of the world to find societies not dependent upon electricity and satellite communications. I think even the Amish, to varying degrees, utilize modern technology and electricity in their daily lives. While the storm was well-hyped beforehand, I must confess that I didn’t take any specific steps to prepare specifically for it.

I’m neither arrogant nor complacent; I’m a normal adult who works overnight and deals with Sleep Apnea when I attempt to sleep during the day. This is important; we do what we can as our lives play out daily. Some things, despite their significance or popularity, escape our notice, lost in the monotony and savagery of the grind.

My solar generators are fully charged. I’m all good with the following: food; water; multiple means of cooking and the required fuel; personal care products and OTC medicines; and a plethora of other equipment. I also have a forest of essential paper products. I’m also good on the plastic cup and utensil front, too. My emergency cash cache is solid. My Get Home Bag was excessive given that I walk four blocks to and from work. While I no longer carry it, I keep it ready, nevertheless. I don't have an emergency kit at work given my proximity to home, but I'm always assessing the situation and paying attention to current events.

However, I’ve been aware of some deficiencies for some time now. In fairness, some of the deficiencies are based upon the limitations of living in a second floor, two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in a major city. Within the contraints of what's legal and practical given the space that I have, I can only do so much at the moment.

I have flashlights and lanterns, but they’re somewhat buried so getting to them in a crisis would be a real task. I know what I’d do, but I’ve not acquired the resources that are necessary in the event I can’t flush the toilet.

Bottled water only lasts so long. Most cities use electricity to pump the water into homes. A safe, reliable source of potable water is a matter of life and death. Cooking, hygiene, and sanitation all require water. As a matter of survival, water can’t be rationed.   

The ability to communicate with people at a distance in the event cell phones are no longer functional, eludes me at this time. I've researched two-way radios to identify the best for my needs given the distance I live from my closest friends and network. I plan on getting a Ham radio and operator's license later.  

A hugely obvious deficiency is my lack of firearms. While I have other weapons, nothing captures one’s undivided attention and changes behavior in the way that staring down the barrel of a firearm does. I will correct this oversight shortly.

I’m addressing this because it matters. Sometimes the threat of deadly force is all that’s needed to redirect the behavior of another. I’m not into fear tactics and I don’t speak in code. The ultimate responsibility for self-defense as well as for protecting your loved ones begins at home. In the end, you can only do what your conscience allows. Just be sure that your conscience is speaking from a place of comfort and stability, not fear and desperation.  

The largest and most critical deficiency in my preparations and plans is my lack of a dedicated and prepared community. My family is over 1200 miles away and in a significant catastrophic event, they may as well be on another continent. With one exception, my closest friends are within walking distance. Yes, I consider two hours to be walking distance. As normal adults, they have their own families and family dynamics. We’d help each other as best as possible, but we’ve never gotten into the weeds and made plans to coordinate our efforts to do anything. Once SHTF is a thing, it will be very difficult to coordinate something so important.          


My neighbors are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. We are separated by culture and religion, nevertheless, they’re always friendly, kind, and generous. One of them is my barber! Many of them have young children and with some, there's a language barrier. I’m the outlier. How this would play out in a time of crisis I don’t know. I don’t know how they’d respond when desperate nor can I state what I’d refuse to do if tested or perceive that I'm being tested.

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I always have a plan and I’m always working towards something. I’m serious about building a community and my family and I will reunite soon. From there, we will live well and continue to be guided by the eighteenth-century idiom of hope for the best but prepare for the worst.


The solar storm was a clear reminder that the natural world is incomprehensibly beautiful yet terrible beyond what we can imagine, understand, or control. In an instant, events can unfold that change our lives irreparably.

If you’re new to the site, or a member of my growing online community, read or reread the posts, An Honest Assessment and How I Got Ready.

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1 Comment

May 14

Another good post. I really like that you use your life as an example to illustrate how we can and should be prepping right now. No matter our perceived limitations or constraints there's always something we can do right now to prepare. You show that right now is the perfect time to do what we can. We don't have to wait for the perfect time or place. You see the perfection in the now!

Good work! Thank you

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