Thursday, September 22, 2011

An unbelievably bad idea

Recently a reader, a fellow who is enthused and admiring of our Preparedness efforts dropped my husband an email, urging us to enter a contest for preparedness. All we had to do was submit a one-minute video that details our preparedness efforts.

"We are encouraging individuals and organizations to take action before disaster strikes," announces the website, "by making an emergency kit and plan, and talking with their networks about how to respond during a disaster."

Okay, this all sounded fine and good until we noticed the suffix on the website address:

--> .gov <--

You got it, this contest is being sponsored by our government.

From the website:

September is National Preparedness Month and CDC wants to know, Are You Prepared? We are challenging YOU to make a 60 second video that shows how you’re prepared for any emergency and reinforces the key message: “Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Be Informed.” Individuals, groups, and even zombies can enter the contest. Participants are encouraged to use creative ways to prepare for an emergency.

Videos must not contain profanity, violence or weapons, explicit content, or personal attacks on people or organizations. Only videos that do not contain obscene, hateful, offensive or slanderous material will be considered. Videos must not have any visual or verbal mention of any websites other than CDC’s Emergency Preparedness website.

The only "prize" is to have the winning video posted on the CDC's official webpage. Whoo-hoo.

And in exchange, all you've given up is your mortal soul. Well, maybe not that dire... but you've given up all OpSec, all privacy, all illusions that the government won't know exactly what you have stored and exactly where to find you when they wish to liberate you of your hard-earned supplies.

We're not exactly deep into the OpSec. We can't if we're going to do what we do, which is convince, encourage, and teach others to be prepared. But most Preppers take OpSec very seriously, as they should.

By entering this contest, you are voluntarily blowing your OpSec in a major major way.

DO NOT ENTER THIS CONTEST. It's a really really bad idea.


  1. BTW, forgot, since you two are the 'parents' of my little blog, how I'm doing....

  2. Must be a "thing" to do this month....we're volunteer firefighters and our County OEM handed out some prepardness sheets for us to fill out at our training night yesterday. DH & I threw them out at home, but I think there were several questions like "do you have internet" and "do you rent or own" and I think maybe even the price range of your home. Just more data-mining from the feds as usual.

  3. very, very bad idea!

    Patrice - my husband and i have really enjoyed The Simplicity Primer and i love the fact that i have a signed copy - who knows - one day it might be worth a fortune when you are as famous as Elvis - woohoo!

    anyway - i have you listed in our blogroll - we just recently started a blog - and i hope that you don't mind that i mentioned you in our first post.

    you can find us (if you want to AND have the time!) at

    please keep up the excellent work that you do. and please let us know when the next book is coming - i know that you have another brewing in your head!

    thanks so much for providing all of the needed advice here and in your book (and future books!). you are really helping people!


  4. Oh definitely a BAD idea to enter it!

  5. Exactly what good would any video like that be anyway? You're not allowed to talk about (let alone have) weapons or violence, both of which are almost always inherent to an emergency situation. You're also not allowed to share websites or resources of where you bought your kit and it's components. What exactly are you supposed to learn from such useless 1 minute long commercials?

  6. Unforced errors are never good.

    In a post-EOTWAWKI situation they'd be fatal.

    No preps here.

    Nothing to see.

    Move along now folks.

    A. McSp

  7. If you're a prepper we consider you to be aggressively challenging your government.

    Tell us who and where you are.


    The Government


  8. As bad of an idea as it is, I'm curious what kind of person would send in a video... and what kind of video would some pencil necked bureaucrat choose as the winner.

  9. Wow, I'm amazed... 10 points for trying, huh. Surely no-one serious about preparedness would do this... surely!

  10. I saw this advertisement to be prepared at my local mall!! I live in Lincoln, NE. Not to enter the contest, but "get a kit, make a plan, be informed." I tried to take a picture with my cell phone, but it was acting up. Figures. When I go back there I'm going to take a picture and send it to you, Patrice. Modern day propaganda??

  11. Oh, but I have the PERFECT video to submit!! Our local weatherman, who was in the movie TWISTER, was giving the craziest instructions to prepare for a tornado that was on the ground. We thought it was so funny that we taped it. Our plan is to do a video of my husband doing exactly what the weatherman is instructing: Put on heavy clothing, a jacket, a helmet, heavy boots, goggles and gloves and do the same on your kids. What???? We have dealt with tornadoes for many, many years but trust me, our preparedness plans are "Get to the fraidy hole now!!!!" Preparedness encompasses all things! I think I should yank their chain! :-

  12. Just how stupid does Big Brother think we are?
    A storm is a-brewing....

  13. On the other hand, it might be the perfect time to make a video. Hey! Look! I am PREPARED! I've got my two weeks of emergency supplies! (No need to mention the other 50 weeks stashed away from the camera.)

  14. Won't be sending in a video!! What a crazy idea. Prepardeness to us is more than storing stuff it is a lifestyle change of doing more with less (save for a rainey day) learning new skills to keep our family feed when the grocery store is closed (winter storms) improving our garden a little each year (better food creaper price. Thank you for your blog and all the wisdom you are willing to pass on to others!!!

  15. My preparedness plan involves standing out on the front sidewalk with the rest of the neighborhood, weeping and wringing my hands and saying, "lawdy, lawdy whatever are we gonna do til the gummint shows up to help us?"

    Then I wish everyone well, go back inside, bolt the security door, sling the AR, cook up some delicious storage food, and kick back with The Simplicity Primer.


  16. I am thinking the type to do these videos are the type that follow FEMA's instructions to store three days worth of canned tuna and water under your bed... Not real preppers. These people will show their car kits that have flashlights and granola bars and a map to the closest FEMA shelter...

  17. I was wondering about Berkey; I see they advertise on your site. Does that mean that you use their product(s)? And if so, what model(s) and how do you like them? How long do the filters last with your family use?

    Thanks for all you share!

  18. Why doesn't the director of FEMA (William C. Fugate) show us what preparations he's made for disasters? He should put up or shut up.

    Anonymous Patriot

  19. Sounds to me like the kind of scheme where they "catch criminals" by sending out notices that they just won Super Bowl tickets and the fools show up and get caught...only the Prize is to be on the website (joke)... nope, I think I'll pass on this one...

  20. As I read this post, and the comments, it brought to mind the White House's new initiative, We the People, where any one can log in, start and petition and gain the attention of the White House.

    I learned of it when I saw a request on another blog asking for signatures on her petition to get Obama to resign immediately. I clicked on the link without checking the final destination first, and when I saw it was an official .gov web site and signing required registration, I thought, "No way."

    I might as well report myself to ATT-A-A-CK WA-A-A-TCH!!!!