Ozarks Self Reliant Living University for 2017

There’s nothing like meeting face to face with other preppers and tapping into the knowledge of experts in various fields related to prepping and survival. And why not see some beautiful country while you’re at it?

If you live within a few hours drive of southern Missouri, take the opportunity to participate in the Ozarks Self Reliant Living University (OSLU) when it comes around each year. The event for 2017 took place January 28th and 29th.

According to information from event organizer Mike Slack, “This is year 8 of OSLU founded by the late Debbie Slack who felt a mission to teach homesteading skills and did so freely for years. She always hosted the two day special event in January and her family continues her tradition.”

The 2017 speakers and topics include:

  • Dave Lohr, Mountain Man–survival in the wilderness, making pemmican and parched corn
  • Francine Frank, author and animal care expert–caring for pets and livestock
  • Allen Busick, Preparedness 101
  • Jessica Baker–Essential Oils for medical usage and for health
  • Mary Price, RN–When there is no Pharmacy or Doctor
  • John Price–Ham Radio Communications
  • Robin Gilbert, Medical Missionary–foods that heal and natural cures
  • Dr. Mobley–Medical Care When No Doctor is Available
  • Craig Wiles–Solar Power and alternative energy
  • Dawn McPherson, Medical Herbalist–healing with herbs
  • Dave Doughtery, author, history professor, Army Intelligence Officer–Killing the Beast, Reclaiming Your Rights and Country
  • Doreen Hanes, The Truth Farmer–Healing Power of Cannabis
  • Tony Piche, Down to Earth Foods–Long term food storage

This is an event people will travel considerable distances to attend. Click here for the complete OSLU schedule and more info.

If you’re curious you can click here to see what I wrote about my conversation with Mike Slack regarding the 2016 OSLU.

Paratus Business News – A “Big Picture” Resource for Preppers

Many industries and professions have trade journals devoted to news and information relevant to their particular industry or profession. But what about a trade magazine that serves as a “big picture” resource for preppers? Wouldn’t you like to know what’s going on in the world of preparedness at large?

On this week’s DestinySurvival Radio show I visit with Morgan Stewart who has put together just such a trade publication called Paratus Business News. It’s for you and me as well as businesses who are involved with and interested in preparedness.

It’s published online once or twice a week. And it’s free.

The Man Behind the Magazine

I met Morgan Stewart this past September at the Gateway Preparedness Expo in St. Charles, Missouri, outside of St. Louis. I recorded a brief conversation with him, which I included it in one of two podcasts I did about the Expo. He’s a knowledgeable, likeable guy, and I knew I wanted to invite him on DestinySurvival Radio so you could hear more from him.

At the time of this writing, Paratus Business News is only a few months old. But Morgan plans for his online publication to be around a good while. He isn’t some fly-by-night, fear mongering huxter.

Morgan will be the first to tell you he’s not an expert in survival tactics or gear. He is, however, very knowledgeable about business, the media/public relations and crisis planning.

Here’s his background info.

“The editor and publisher of Paratus Business News is Morgan Stewart, a marketing, promotions, public relations and media relations expert with more than 25 years experience. Morgan served at the government and Fortune 500 “Executive Suite” level including two Fortune 200 corporations and scores of businesses big and small.

“Morgan has worked with hundreds of reporters and media outlets nationwide. A key component of his experience with the media was working with trade publications covering the retail, consumer electronics, and the energy industries.

“Morgan holds a Bachelors degree from LSU in journalism. He was an associate editor of the Washington, D.C.-based political trade publication Campaigns & Elections Magazine. Morgan has been published in local newspapers and one of his articles was required reading at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government (for what it’s worth).

“He’s been prepping and studying the preparedness industry for nearly 10 years.”

The Magazine for You

If you’re like me, you like to read a little “inside baseball” about your hobbies and interests. For example, if you’re a gardener, you may like reading a magazine that includes profiles of movers and shakers in the garden seed industry.

Who’s raising and selling produce for restaurants or the farmer’s market?

What news and trends do you need to know about to be a successful gardener?

You get the idea.

Now consider Paratus Business News. It profiles leading individuals and companies who provide preparedness products and services. It lets you know who’s trustworthy and who’s not. That’s good for you and me as consumers.

Or if you’re in business to provide preparedness products and services, you can keep up with what other businesses and people are doing in the field.

Paratus Business News isn’t a “how to” publication. And there’s not an emphasis on product reviews.

It’s designed to look at the bigger picture of what’s going on in the world of preparedness and survival.

I could give you specifics, but I encourage you to hear how Morgan explains what the publication is about.

And More Interesting Stuff

Morgan and I also talked about…

  • Sorting out the false or sensational from what’s true and trustworthy.
  • Determining what the real threats are.
  • Prospects for preparedness in the wake of the 2016 presidential election.
  • How Morgan became involved with preparedness.

By the way, you’ll find several of the companies Morgan recommended during our conversation in the DestinySurvival Prep Mart. Take a look, if you haven’t lately.

The Means for You to Go Deeper

As is always the case with such a post as this, I can’t possibly cover everything discussed on this week’s show. Therefore, I urge you to hear my conversation with Morgan Stewart by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for December 8, 2016. (Right click to download.)

Of course, you’ll want to check out Paratus Business News at ParatusNews.com. Sign up for the e-mails so you’ll know about the latest articles and features. You’ll get hooked…and well informed, too.

The more you and I know, the better we can be prepared for come what may. Pass the word. Let other preppers know about Paratus Business News.


FiberFix – A Review

A representative contacted me from the FiberFix company to see if I’d be interested in reviewing their product. I agreed to accept a sample and do a review because I think FiberFix has a number of uses which will prove useful to preppers.

FiberFix is repair wrap that is said to be 100 times stronger than duct tape. It’s useful if you’re in need of a quick, strong fix.

It was featured on the “Shark Tank” TV show and is apparently growing in popularity.


Suitcase Handle Repaired with FiberFix


This past weekend my wife’s cousin helped me wrap a broken suitcase handle. He read the instructions, and I applied the FiberFix.

The concept of a FiberFix repair is easy, but doing the job was a little trickier than I expected. Several extra steps are necessary in comparison to using duct tape. And it doesn’t help that I’m not that great at handyman tasks, even little ones.

I received the hard sided suitcase as a gift back in the 1970’s. Somehow the handle broke in two after years of use, and we wrapped it with duct tape. It held that way for many years, but eventually the tape gave way.

The first order of business for the repair was to cut and tear off the old duct tape. I used rubbing alcohol to remove as much of the sticky tape glue from the handle as I could. I didn’t get it all off, but I did what I could.

In keeping with the FiberFix instructions, I used the sandpaper, which got a little more crud off the handle. In this instance, it may not have been necessary to do this because the handle had a rough texture, and it was still somewhat sticky.

Normally the coarse sandpaper should be used to roughen up a smooth surface so the FiberFix tape can adhere better.

I put on a set of plastic gloves that came with the package. They’re small, and I wasn’t sure they’d fit. But they stretched and were adequate.

The gloves are meant to protect your hands from the resin in the FiberFix tape. Including them is a good idea, but one size may not fit all.

I took the FiberFix roll out of its wrapping and dunked it into water in the kitchen sink for several seconds. I wrung as much water out of it as I could.

Next came the task of rolling the thick tape around the suitcase handle.

As you can see from the picture above, the repair job is bulky. It’s possible I didn’t wrap the tape as tight as I could have. There was a lot of tape for the task at hand.

My wife said she would have cut off only the amount that seemed necessary, if she had been there to do the repair. But the directions say to use the whole roll. So that’s what I did.

Having a premeasured amount of tape seems to me to be a distinct disadvantage. I don’t see how any unused tape could be reused. It would be better to have a good sized roll that would allow you to measure out the amount you need before getting it wet and wrapping it around the object being repaired.

I realize that, as with any kind of tape, multiple layers adds strength. But if you wanted to repair a crack running lengthwise along a pipe or wooden chair leg, you might need more tape than what you’re allowed in the FiberFix package.

That said, there are different sizes of FiberFix. But you’ll need to determine what length and width you need for the job you have in mind.


Boxes of FiberFix Repair Wrap


Next in my repair of the suitcase handle came the application of an outer plastic wrap, which is supposed to be wrapped tightly around the FiberFix tape for a few minutes to help the tape to seal better.

My wife’s cousin misread the directions, so I kept the outer wrap on for less than a minute, rather than the ten minutes specified. I’m wondering if this also contributed to the bulkiness of the repair.

I put my hand on the FiberFix shortly after taking off the outer wrap, and the tape felt warm. I assume that indicated a chemical reaction as the tape hardened. And it does get hard. There’s no flexibility when it’s set.

One corner edge of the wrap I’d done was jagged, so I cut it off with a pocketknife. That didn’t help much, so I’ll have to sand it down a bit. This showed me it’s possible to cut through FiberFix, but I’m guessing it would be difficult to cut through more than one layer of it.

FiberFix is rough to the touch, which wouldn’t be a problem if you’re repairing a pipe, which you fix and forget. But it’s noticeable on the suitcase handle, since a person’s hand comes into direct contact with the handle repair job any time the suitcase is lifted.

The same could apply if you fix a tool handle at the point where your hand needs to touch it to use the tool.

My repair job may not be pretty or perfect, but I don’t think the handle will ever come apart again.

Here are a couple photos of examples of FiberFix offerings.


2-inch Single Roll FiberFix

2 Rolls Repair Wrap FiberFix


Incidentally, FiberFix isn’t meant to be used as a patch. It works when you wrap it around something.

FiberFix is said to be available in 30,000 retail outlets. If you can’t find it, or if you need more info go to www.FiberFix.com.

Click here to view a brochure on uses for FiberFix.

Below are two YouTube videos that tell you a little more. The second video is a demonstration of how to use it to repair PVC pipe.

If you don’t mind that FiberFix is messier and more tedious to use than duct tape, give it a try. When you need a good, strong bond to hold what you’re repairing, FiberFix will do the job.




Ozarks Self Reliant Living University

The Ozarks Self Reliant Living University, held in the Missouri Ozarks, was originally schedule for January 23rd and 24th, 2016. But because of the massive snow storm in the eastern half of the U.S. that weekend, it took place January 30th and 31st.

This is an annual preparedness seminar you’ll want to attend if you’re within driving distance of southern Missouri.

Event organizer Mike Slack was my guest on DestinySurvival Radio, and he filled in more of the details than I can relate here. Though the event was postponed after our conv ersation, Mike says everything was to be the same as before.

By the way, if you’re reading this post after the event has taken place, I invite you to listen to the DestinySurvival Radio episode linked below to find out what an event like this is all about. Plus, Mike and I talked about what to do if you want to conduct your own expo for fellow preppers.

Ozarks Self Reliant Living University took place January 30-31, 2016, from 9 AM to 5 PM each day.

Saturday it was at the Faith in God Church near Koshkonong, MO. Sunday it was at the Next Step 7th Day Adventist Church, West Plains, MO. As unusual as such an arrangement sounded to me, Mike said it’s been done in two separate places like this for several years and has worked out fine.

Seminar topics covered include…

  • Surviving Disaster with Nothing
  • Self Defense
  • Tiny House Homesteading
  • Ham Radio Communications
  • Stocking Your Medical Bag
  • Staying Healthy with the Right Foods
  • Medicinal Uses of Hemp
  • Energy Self Reliance
  • GMO’s and Heirloom Seeds
  • Seed Saving
  • Preparedness 101–Social, Financial, Working Together as a Community
  • Cherokee Traditions and Self Reliance

For the full schedule and roster of guest speakers, click here for the OSLU flyer for 2016. The flyer was printed before the date of the event was changed to January 30-31.

For more backgroundon OSLU, hear my conversation with Mike Slack by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for January 14, 2016. (Right click to download.) For inquiries about this or other events organized by Mike Slack, call (417)264-2435. Or e-mail mike65807(at_yahoo.com. Replace (at) in the address with @ when e-mailing.

Mike says it’s worth the drive to attend one of his events. You’ll get info you’d get at bigger expos. You’ll meet with like-minded preppers. And you’ll get to see some beautiful country.

Click here to see an overview of OSLU 2017.


Preparing Veterans for a New Life

A podcast came to my attention about HirePatriots.com, an organization geared toward preparing veterans for a new life. This is a little off the beaten path of the usual topics related to preparedness, but I know many vets are into preparedness and survival.

And there is another preparedness connection I’ll mention below.

Transitioning to the civilian way of life can be difficult for vets. It calls for a different way of thinking from that which has been learned in the military.

As if that weren’t enough, exposure to the horrors of war can leave a person altered for life. There could be mental changes, physical wounds, or both.

Enter HirePatriots.com. They provide helpful programs for vets and their families, such as:

  • One day jobs board–Veterans are connected with businesses or individuals for temporary employment to help make ends meet.
  • Full time employment–Veterans get help with resume writing and other aspects of finding employment.
  • Business Startup–Veterans get help with developing a business plan, setting up a Website, marketing, and other skills involved with starting their own business.
Hire Patriots believes in the hard working, self disciplined character of veterans because vets are not only good team players, but they know a thing or two about self reliance. If you are one, you know about that already.

There is also a specific preparedness angle to what they do. One of the projects they’d like to bring to fruition is the creation of sustainable communities throughout America.

In the podcast I mentioned above, Steve the underground prepper–a veteran himself–interviews Mark and Tori Baird, founders of HirePatriots.com. I encourage you to listen to the interview with HirePatriots.com.

If you can help Hire Patriots with a tax deductible financial contribution, or if you or someone you know could use their help, check out their site at HirePatriots.com.


Emergency Responders – What Can We Expect When Disaster Strikes?

What can we expect from public officials and emergency responders in the aftermath of a disaster?

I spoke to Janet Liebsch about that previously, and, because it’s such an important topic, this week on DestinySurvival Radio I’m replaying a significant portion of that conversation. I’ve edited out the other subjects we talked about to focus on this one thing.

When might first responders come to our aid? Could martial law be put into place? I hope what follows will put some worries and fears to rest while helping you know better how to prepare.

My Informative Guest

Janet Liebsch is co-founder of FedHealth and co-author of It’s A Disaster! …And What Are YOU Gonna Do About It? At the time of this writing she was Executive Vice-President and Disaster Specialist for the U.S. First Responders Association, and is the Arizona state moderator on American Preppers Network.

Order Out of Chaos

Many in the general population expect to see FEMA come to the rescue in the wake of a disaster, such as when there’s an earthquake, hurricane, flood, and the like. On the other hand, I’ve heard of some in the prepper community say, “Don’t need ’em. Don’t want ’em.” Does that ring a bell?

But should we expect chaos? Martial law?

Who can say for sure? Much depends on the nature and scope of the disaster. And, while FEMA has been roundly criticized for not arriving on the scene in a timely manner, would you believe their actions are by design?

As Janet explained, there’s a structured system or chain of command which keeps FEMA at a distance. If local First Responders become overwhelmed, the state governor’s next step is to ask for assistance from the federal government. There has to be a reason for a state of emergency to be declared.

You could consider this to be a safeguard mechanism. FEMA can’t just come in on their own. In fact, their hands could be tied up in red tape, making timely assistance difficult. Janet went into some detail in our conversation on how all of this works.

The bottom line is that you and I must be prepared to ride out what could be a long wait before outside help comes along. That’s partly because one of the first things officials concentrate on when a disaster happens is restoration of infrastructure–roads, bridges, buildings, etc.

Fortunately, there’s National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD). It consists of nonprofit groups, churches and faith based organizations, and people in local communities who know how to coordinate resources and get them where they need to be.

Meanwhile, FEMA continues to evaluate how to coordinate the private sector and public sector to function efficiently once a disaster happens. They have much to consider. Often the private sector is quicker at getting supplies and help to where they’re needed.

But you and I should be as prepared as we can be, and that involves more than storage food, blankets, flashlights and the like. For example, you and I would do well to make insurance a key part of our prepping strategy. How well are you or your business insured with coverage to help out with specific natural disasters?

Here’s something else to keep in mind. Stringent rules pertaining to federal relief funds are in place. Much of those funds may not come as grants, but as loans, which have to be paid back. These funds aren’t designed to make you whole or put everything like it was before. A staggering number of businesses never reopen after disasters.

Our Response to the Responders

Janet was quick to make the point that First Responders in our local communities are looking out for their community first. If you and I have questions about what will happen in a crisis, she recommends we get to know our local firemen, police, etc. We may find they don’t want federal intervention or martial law any more than you and I do.

In his book, Urban Emergency Survival Plan, Jim Cobb also recommends finding out what local officials have planned when disaster strikes. In so doing, we can better define our own preparedness plans.

Find Out More

Hear my Conversation with Janet Liebsch by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for February 26, 2015. (Right click to download.) Also, check out the additional resources listed below.

Additional Resources


A Missouri Conference Addresses the Dangers of GMO Foods and the Benefits of Organic Farming

Many of us as preppers are keenly aware of concerns with GMO foods. We’ve heard about the benefits of organic farming and gardening. And we see the need to support those who produce locally grown food. These issues came together at the annual conference held by the Missouri Organic Association, February 5-7, 2015, in Springfield, MO.

How much do we really know about genetically engineered crops? How safe are glyphosates (the weed killing chemicals in Roundup and similar herbicides)? Aren’t modern farming practices supposed to guarantee safe, inexpensive food? The government and mainstream media tell us everything’s OK. Do you believe them?

My guest on this week’s DestinySurvival Radio was Sue Baird, Executive Director of the Missouri Organic Association. (My thanks to Mike Slack, a previous show guest, for putting me in touch with her.) During our conversation we talked about that conference and other topics. It promises to be of special interest to those who want to grow, and perhaps sell, organic produce and livestock. We also talked about the dangers of GMO foods and the use of glyphosates in crop production.

You certainly don’t have to be from Missouri for this kind of conference to be of interest. In fact, as many as 40% of the attendees aren’t from Missouri. Also, if you come across this post and show after the conference has past, you’ll still glean good info from my visit with Sue Baird. Check out my notes from our conversation, listen to what we talked about, and explore the Additional Resources below.


A Note About MOA

The Missouri Organic Association (MOA) is a nonprofit organization seeking to educate farmers and consumers about the value of producing and eating locally grown, clean, organic food. While the majority of members consists of farmers and producers, the number of consumers is growing. In fact, the GMO plenary at this conference was specifically meant for you and me as consumers.

MOA is growing. Sue Baird has been instrumental in revitalizing the organization in recent years. And the annual conferences draw in new members, especially as people wake up to the value of wholesome, safe food.


A Note About the 2015 Conference

This conference offered 54 hands-on workshops and 73 vendors to provide information and products on a wide variety of topics for farmers and gardeners. Such a meeting is a great place to network, too.

You can find out specifics about workshops and sessions at http://www.moaconference.org, but broad categories at the 2015 meeting included…

  • Grain farming
  • Raising livestock and poultry
  • Growing vegetables and fruits
  • Marketing
  • Food policy
  • Consumer education
  • Cooking
The big attraction was the GMO plenary held on Friday, February 6th. It featured world renowned scientists and activists who shared vital information about the dangers of GMO crops and glyphosates.


A Few Notes on the GMO Plenary

Would you believe the use of Roundup has doubled in the past five years? Weeds have developed tolerance to it, which was obviously not the intended outcome.

Glyphosates have been portrayed as harmless. Now there’s real scientific evidence to the contrary. What are they really doing to our soil and environment? Our food supply? Economics? Animal and human health? The featured speakers at the GMO Plenary were there to enlighten conference attendees on these areas of interest. Panelists included…

  • Dr. Robert Kremer–a soil microbiologist, who has done years of research for USDA and is an adjunct professor for the University of Missouri and knows the negative impact of glyphosates and GMO’s on soil
  • Robyn O’Brien–a leading advocate in the fight for GMO labeling
  • Dr. Brian Baker–Founder of Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), on the effects of GMO crops on the environment
  • Jim Gerritsen–President of the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, who filed a lawsuit which went all the way to the Supreme Court concerning contamination and cross pollenation of non-GMO crops
  • Steven Druker–Executive Director, Alliance for Bio-Integrity, an attorney who initiated a lawsuit against the FDA for the lack of risk assessment of GMO’s on human health. He’s author of Altered Genes, Twisted Truth.
Sue mentioned a few more presenters, such as a plant pathologist, an MIT researcher to speak about glyphosattes and autism, and others.

As it happens, it may not be science that swings a number of farmers to grow organically. Money could be a big factor. It’s expensive to buy GMO seeds and the chemicals to put on the fields. When crop prices are low, Sue says that’s the time to get the message to farmers that there’s a better way.


A Few Notes on Organic Certification

Sue and I talked for a while about the steps farmers must go through to be certified as organic growers here in the U.S. I won’t try to spell it out here, but there seem to me to be plenty of safeguards to assure that something labeled as organic really is. She has a thorough knowledge about this process because she’s a certified organic inspector who helps determine whether a farmer is truly an organic grower. Sue mentioned there are those who figure out ways to get around the system, but they’re heavily fined when caught.

We also talked about small growers who sell to farmers markets. Can they call themselves organic growers? It’s possible to be organic in practice without being officially certified as an organic producer. Small producers who want to claim they’re raising organic food would do well to stay informed, keep good records, and play fair.


A Note About Listening

Hear my conversation with Sue Baird when you listen to DestinySurvival Radio for January 19, 2015. (Right click to download.) Get more info about the Missouri Organic Association’s annual conferences by going to http://www.moaconference.org.

Plus, take time to check out theAdditional Resources below. Read the articles, watch the video presentations, and I think you’ll agree with me that what we know about the negative impact of GMO seeds and glyphosates is nothing short of frightening.


An Additional Note

There are other organic associations around the country. If there’s one near you, support it.

And, by all means, support your local growers. Why should so much of our food come from as far as 1,500 miles away? Find out about farmers markets in your area. Get involved with CSA, community supported agriculture, which enables you to support local growers by buying produce directly from them. To connect with local growers, start with the farm map feature at http://www.missouriorganic.org.


Additional Resources

Sue Baird graciously provided links for most of the following material. You can see her in the Show-Me Ag interview below. Bookmark this page, then come back to view each video.







Previous posts on this site feature other resources and documentaries, and include…