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In the wake of a disastrous and unprecedented 2020, many folks have come to grips with the idea that life can fundamentally change in an instant. More than ever, people are thinking about potential emergencies and how to prepare for them.

Fortunately, holiday gift giving can be a fantastic opportunity to help your friends and family become a little more prepared for emergencies (and perhaps even add a few preps of your own). So instead of a new pair of shoes or a mall gift card, why not give a gift that actually matters this season?

If this sounds intriguing, here are a handful of the best preparedness gifts you can put under the tree this year.

Car Emergency Kit: Driving is the most dangerous thing most people do daily. A solid car emergency kit contains items like “Fix-A-Flat,” jumper cables, fuses, basic tools, and more.

A car kit makes an especially great gift for people who might not purchase one on their own (college kids, anyone?). It’s also a good idea to include a few “non-car” items like blankets. Unfortunately, every winter we hear horror stories of drivers getting stuck and dying prior to being rescued. Don’t let this happen to your loved ones.

One-Week Food Supply of Freeze-Dried Food Storage for 4 People: A supply of freeze-dried food storage is long lasting (sometimes up to 25 years), extremely easy to prepare, and decent-tasting. While the ultimate in emergency food storage is to build it out little by little on your own with a well-planned food storage list, a week of freeze-dried can be the perfect springboard to give people a head start and get them thinking about food storage.

Online Concealed Carry Classes: Believe it or not, in most states, the class required as part of the permitting process for legally carrying a concealed weapon can be taken online. They are inexpensive and can be completed in an afternoon. A defensive shooting situation isn’t a scenario that anybody likes to think about, but having a concealed-carry permit increases your chances of being on the right side of it.

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Portable Solar Panel: Like the name indicates, these handy solar panels are small enough to be transported in a backpack, yet powerful enough to charge smartphones and other devices. They make an excellent failsafe in case of power outage, and can be used on extended camping trips or in outdoor recreation, where grid power isn’t an option.

SAS Survival Handbook,” by John “Lofty” Wiseman: Throughout the ages, people have collected and distributed life-saving information in survival guides. Constructing shelters, hunting, purifying water, improvising weapons and a million other things can be learned in the pages of a sturdy survival manual.

While there are scores of survival guides in print, the SAS Survival Handbook is one of the most time-honored and widely-regarded. It is also possible to find lots of PDF survival guides available for download on the internet.

Whole House Gravity-Fed Water Filter: The Berkey water filter is a highly durable, large-capacity water filter that relies only on gravity, and its iconic black filters purify large volumes of water. Having a Berkey in your home ensures that no matter what natural or man-made disasters arise, you have a means of securing clean drinking water. If a Berkey water filter isn’t in the budget, the “Lifestraw” is a less-expensive, personal-sized water filter that’s simple to use and can easily fit in any bag.

Pepper Spray: Pepper spray is a fast-acting means of self-defense against humans and most animals (Caution: don’t try to use it as bear spray). If you live in an area where you are not able to legally own or carry a firearm, pepper spray is an inexpensive, portable alternative.

First Aid and Trauma Kit: A solid first aid and trauma kit has the basics to stabilize an emergency medical situation until professional help arrives. Although they are few and far between, medical emergencies are some of the quickest-occurring and scariest moments that almost all of us will deal with in our lives.

If you are thinking about a first aid kit for yourself (rather than giving as a gift), do what you can to add a small supply of any prescription medications to your kit (or alternative medications if there are any).

Strategic Relocation: Considering a move for your long-term security? You’re not alone. This no-nonsense manual is the first and only of its kind in existence. Its author, Joel Skousen, has been labeled as a “conspiracy theorist,” “nut ball,” and “tin foil hat” doomsday prophet, but no matter what you think of him, he truly is the unquestioned authority on the most “strategically” safe places in North America. An awesome gift for your friends and loved ones who are serious enough to pick up and move, especially as more of that seems to be happening in response to COVID lockdowns.

Self Sufficiency Classes: For somebody who genuinely wants to become a more prepared person, few things can be as transformational as a class, where you have the opportunity to dive deep, ask questions, practice skills, and shorten the overall learning curve. The gift of a class can be extremely rewarding for both the giver and receiver. If interested, this shortlist contains some of the best class classes to up your preparedness game.

We all know that chaos can come in many flavors. This past year has been a testament to that, and unfortunately, we’re not out of the woods yet. Thankfully, with a little forethought and planning, many catastrophes can be at least partially mitigated.

The gift ideas above provide excellent backups and fail-safes to many of the vulnerabilities of life. While we can never be completely prepared for every eventuality, there is a lot we can do to learn from the past, and can exercise a little wisdom regarding the future.

So why not give a gift that matters this holiday season? After all, preparedness is ongoing, and it has to start somewhere.

Photo U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Sean Campbell



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South Carolina House passes bill that would prohibit most abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected

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The South Carolina House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 79-35 to pass legislation that would prohibit most abortions. 

The bill must pass through a procedural vote in the House on Thursday prior to heading to GOP Gov. Henry McMaster who has indicated that he will sign it, according to the Associated Press. Two Republicans voted against the legislation while two Democrats voted for it. The state Senate passed the measure last month. 

The bill requires doctors to carry out an ultrasound to check for a fetal heartbeat and if a heartbeat is identified an abortion can only be performed in certain circumstances.

The legislation would not penalize a woman for obtaining an unlawful abortion, though the individual responsible for performing the abortion could face consequences.

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The outlet reported that other states have approved similar or even more stringent abortion prohibitions which could be implemented if the Supreme Court throws out the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. All of the other states’ abortion bans are currently entangled by court challenges and if the South Carolina bill is approved it will likely face litigation that prevents it from going into effect, according to the AP.

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Son of prominent conservative leader Bozell arrested in connection with Capitol siege

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Leo Brent Bozell IV, the son of conservative leader L. Brent Bozell III, is facing federal charges in connection with the Jan. 6 breech of the U.S. Capitol.

Bozell is charged with obstructing an official proceeding, entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct, according to a federal complaint unsealed Tuesday.

The official affidavit includes photos and videos that appear to show Bozell inside of the U.S. Capitol Building, including the Senate chambers.

At least one photo shows Bozell wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with a logo for a Christian school at which he once coached girls basketball, according to the Huffington Post.

The FBI obtained a photo of him posing with a student of a school, in Hershey, Pa.

His father founder, who founded the Media Research Center and other conservative groups, has condemned the riots, saying, “You can never countenance police being attacked. You cannot countenance our national capitol being breached like this. … I think it is absolutely wrong,” according to NewsBusters.

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Trump calls Limbaugh ‘legend,’ in first TV interview since Senate trial

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Former President Trump on Wednesday afternoon praised the career of conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, who has died of cancer.

“He loved his country, and he loved his fans,” Trump said on the Fox News Channel. “He is a legend.”

The interview was Trump’s first since the conclusion of his Senate impeachment trial last week.

Limbaugh’s wife, Kathryn, announced her husband’s death earlier in the day on his radio show. He had been diagnosed about a year ago with Stage-IV lung cancer. He was 70.

The president also said he had a personal friendship with Limbaugh, who was an early supporter of his 2016 presidential bid and who, like Trump, thought the president won reelection in 2020.

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Trump also pointed out that Limbaugh was a provocateur in his views about conservative politics that often sparked backlash from liberals and other critics. 

Trump last year in his State of the Union address awarded Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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