Category Archives: I.P.N. News & Events
By Sam Singh I.P.N.
The I.P.N.’s own Executive Director Aton Edwards has kicked off our Ready-UP! America & NOW! programs with a bang with a special appearance Monday on the Katie Couric Show “Katie.” On the show, Edwards spoke about the importance of disaster preparedness and what you need to know and even own.
The LifeGear Go-Bag was featured in the segment along with Leatherman Multi Tools. Edwards is working to help direct the general public toward equipping their homes with Go-Bags and other potentially life saving preparedness equipment as part of the Ready-UP! effort. Several major companies have joined the Ready-UP! team and many more are signing on.
Edwards goal for the Ready-UP! program is to help direct Americans to cutting edge information, equipment and techniques that will allow them to become prepared, self-reliant and live sustainably.
By Kendell Cobb
Like most mothers, I was fearful of what the big bad world had in store for my children and was a “prepper,” readying-up my family long before I realized it. Not the extreme prepper type with an underground bunker and AK-47’s, but I did stockpile non-perishables and supplies, had all kinds of exit plans depending on the crisis and trained my daughters how to handle various situations and to think on their feet to survive. My girls showed me what they were made of when we faced our first big challenge.
We were attending Caribana for the first time. It’s an enormous annual parade in Toronto held on the QEW highway, parallel to Lake Ontario that draws locals and visitors from around the world. We had never seen anything like it before. Our senses were engaged—live bands were playing soca, reggae and calypso from floats; costumes were themed, bright and outlandish- men, women and children were dancing and gyrating from the floats as well as those that followed behind on foot, some with giant head pieces with feathers and shimmering body make-up; spectators were just as much of the show; food vendors lined the highway tempting attendees with tantalizing Caribbean flavors that wafted through the air. We were mesmerized.
Our festivities came to an abrupt end when gunshots rang out. The crowd panicked and stampeded down the highway and on the grassy shoulders. It was mayhem. When I looked down to grab my children, my eldest was climbing up a tree. My little one had the same idea that I did and we dropped and rolled under a parked Econoline van. While grown people were running in the herd like sheep and being trampled, my daughters had presence of mind to think quickly and independently in a crisis situation. It was a proud moment, amongst many, that I’ll never forget!
From the time my girls were very, very young, they were taught to think critically and independently– a very conscious decision. I knew it was key to their survival in all areas of life.
As mothers, we are usually our children’s first teachers. Obviously, how we handle this overwhelming responsibility will greatly influence how our children grow, how independent and confident they are and how they handle stressful or dangerous situations. Children should be taught skills that match and challenge their abilities. Sometimes these lessons or skills come organically as you go through your day. Some lessons will be cerebral- well thought out and planned, others physical. Both are important.
Some children don’t enjoy or excel at sports, but your child must be physically fit to be able to endure what may come. (My daughter was safely up in that tree in seconds!)
My upcoming posts will explore family-focused techniques that we moms can use to prepare our families that are inclusive of our children at their various ages and stages.
By Rev. Darren Ferguson
Back in 2012, my Church, Mount Carmel Baptist in Far Rockaway was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. We have rebuilt since then, but I remember the hard lessons we learned during that period. One of the most important is that — we are horribly unprepared for disasters and emergencies.
It is only a matter of time before another Sandy passes our way, and I believe that it is time for us to build an infrastructure that can help us to prepare for disasters, respond to them while they occur and recover when they pass.
It is for these reasons that I have joined the Ready-UP! effort. I know that with the information, resources and skills it can provide, I can not only help to prepare my congregation, but also my community and city. I’m looking forward to getting started and hopefully with God’s blessings, we can be ready for the next storm or any trouble that comes our way in the future.
I don’t ever want to be in the position I found myself in on Oct. 28 2012, when I was shocked into a cruel reality. I remember receiving an urgent text message as I was about to preach my Sunday sermon. We were told to evacuate immediately, and that both of the bridges that lead to and from the western portion of the peninsula would be shut down. Hurricane Irene had proven to be a false alarm in 2011, and we mistakenly thought that Sandy would be as well. I instructed all of our parishioners to leave immediately after service. My family and I packed up and headed out to my sister’s place in Bloomfield, N.J.
When I ventured back on Halloween, it took more than five hours to get to Far Rockaway, a peninsula that lies between Jamaica Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. What I saw on the way was sobering, if not devastating: boats in the middle of the street, debris everywhere, no electricity for miles and miles of Queens and Long Island, and homes – hundreds, if not thousands flooded — many destroyed. My own home and church in Arverne took on nearly 7 ft. of water. At Mount Carmel, our offices, fellowship hall, kitchen, and bathrooms were destroyed.
Immediately, we set up the church as a help center. We gave out literally tons of food, clothing, and water in the wake of the storm, all through generous donations from organizations, churches, and individual supporters. A few weeks later, God gave me a vision: a tent set up in the church parking lot on Thanksgiving Day. I prayed, then e-mailed and called everyone I could think of. On Thanksgiving Day, we set up a 30 x 60 foot tent. Under this shelter, the saints provided every conceivable Thanksgiving food, both traditional and cultural. We served hot Thanksgiving meals to more than 300 residents of Far Rockaway. When I arrived on that day, I walked from the entrance of our lot to the parking area where the tent was set up. I saw people of all colors, cultures, religions, and orientations, working together for the common good. There were no Blacks or Whites, Republicans or Democrats, no Liberals or Conservatives, Straight or Gay, but only people – together. This great quilt of caring lavished love and hope on the people of our community by providing a true Thanksgiving fellowship and meal. I was moved to tears, at points sobbing because of the sheer beauty of this sampling of humanity. At Christmas, we gave out more than 1,000 toys to children in the community who had their joyous celebration snatched away by a Grinch named Sandy.
Eight months later, the community has come back, but not entirely. Stores and businesses are still boarded up. Construction still goes on in homes whose owners have to do it themselves because money from FEMA and Insurance has proven inadequate or, in some cases, non-existent. As the attention of the population has shifted to our upcoming mayoral election in New York City, catastrophes in other places, and Supreme Court decisions, people of faith must continue to do the work of evangelists, fighting for the continued support that we need to truly rebuild – which is more than just better infrastructure or additional government grants.
We must insist that greater attention is paid to climate change – more than just speeches from the executive branch. God has given us dominion over the Earth, but we must be good stewards over this great responsibility. To ignore this is to risk another super storm in another major East Coast city – with the unfortunate risk of greater loss of life and property.
People of faith in particular must stop trying to figure out the letter of God’s law, and engage in the spirit of God’s law – a law that demands love and respect as standards of care for all of God’s creation, including the very planet on which we live. We cannot raise the temperature of our planet, rob the earth of all of its precious minerals, and build with no regard for the delicate balance between nature and progress that must be maintained in order for our world to be preserved for future generations. As one who has witnessed firsthand the devastation nature can dole out, I will pray and act toward greater faithfulness over the Earth. True evangelism must include a sense of “environmental evangelism.” We must preserve and protect our planet, even as we await the return of our Lord and Savior. This is an integral part of the “well done” for every “good and faithful servant.”
Rev. Darren A. Ferguson is a preacher, teacher, singer, motivational speaker, and social activist. He serves as the Pastor of the Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Arverne (Far Rockaway), N.Y., and is the leader of the Starve The Beast Campaign – to reduce violence and recidivism in NYC. He is the author of How I Became An Angry Black Man: From Prison to the Pulpit an autobiographical account of his story of redemption. Most importantly, he is a proud and devoted father to his daughter, Naia, and a loving husband to his beautiful wife, Kim.
By Sam Singh, I.P.N.
As the brutal winter of 2013-14, draws to an end, the I.P.N. is busy preparing a series of Ready-UP! presentations in the great Canadian city of Toronto. The ice storms, blackouts and other harsh weather related troubles have hit the area hard and Ready-UP! can provide the residents with the information and tools they need to prepare for the next winter and the approaching summer.
Ready-UP! Canada will also help them learn how to prepare for many other different types of disaster and emergency including large blackouts like the type experienced during the 2013 ice storm, pandemics such as the 2003 SARS outbreak that killed 44, and placed over 25,000 in quarantine, or something that many around the world fear, a global economic collapse.
The recent conflicts in Russia and the Ukraine, Syria and economic instability in nations such as Greece, Spain and France could easily worsen, sending global markets into a free-fall. This would have major repercussions for Canadians and all who live in North America. Ready-UP! will show all who attend the presentations how to prepare for this contingency along with great self-reliance and sustainable living information too.
Classes will be taught by our Executive Director, Aton Edwards and several other experts from team “Ready-UP!” Edwards is a top preparedness, self-reliance and sustainable living expert who has trained thousands around the world to mitigate against, respond to and recover from a multitude of disasters and emergencies. He has appeared in many international television and radio programs such as National Geographic, Discovery, MSNBC, Fox, and many others.
The presentations will be staged at local area Churches, schools, and other meeting areas across the city. Ready-UP! is working to build alliances with the local government, faith-based organizations, community groups and all who are working to make Toronto safe, self-reliant and green.
Contact us @ RUCanada@readyforanything.org to learn how – or for event booking, classes or general information.
By King Simon Kweku, I.P.N. Senior Operations Officer, Ready-UP! America/NOW team, UR Conductor.
I’ve been with the I.P.N. for over 16 years and have trained hundreds of people in our discipline “ia” (improvisational adaptation) Considering the number of disasters and other situations that have arisen over this period of time, I feel confident that my students were prepared to meet these challenges and overcome them. What concerns me are those that aren’t in the know and unfortunately, there are far too many of them.
This is a dangerous situation that must be remedied immediately. Large numbers of unprepared people create a multitude of problems when disasters strike. Not only are they in need of assistance, critical resources, (water, food) first responders are often overwhelmed and stretched to their limits by the enormous demands placed upon them. As we have seen many times in the past (Katrina) and even recently with Hurricane Sandy, F.E.M.A. (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and other governmental organizations, cannot be counted upon to come to the rescue. The time has come for us to recognize that we must learn how to do-for-self, or suffer the consequences.
My upcoming free Ready-UP! event, Wednesday, March 12, 2014, 7:00 PM at the Brooklyn Christian Center, 1061 Atlantic Avenue will help to inform all who attend on how to prepare for a wide variety of disasters and other emergencies. It will also provide information about how to become self-reliant and how we can help protect our sacred planet Mother Earth for future generations to enjoy.
This is the first of many events that I will be staging and participating in as part of our Ready-UP! America & NOW! Movement and coalition. I’m very excited to get our program rolling again! Our goal is to help underserved areas across the nation such as inner cites, rural areas and indigenous communities to become prepared, safer self-reliant and sustainable. If you are interested in: 1. attending my upcoming event, 2. joining I.P.N./the Ready-UP! Movement/coalition 3. joining K.I.S.S. or, 4. booking a presentation, please contact me directly at Kingsimonlive@gmail.com.
Peace and blessings!
By Pam Everett, I.P.N. Officer
This Saturday, February 22, at 9 PM join the I.P.N. Executive Director Aton Edwards and Judge Jeanine Pirro as they discuss the vulnerabilities of our national electrical grid to cyber and physical terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and EMP (electromagnetic pulse) weapons.
They are joined by Navy Seals, the CIA and other experts as they discuss the methods used to protect yourself and your family.
Two years ago in 2011, the film Contagion was released. The story is about a deadly virus that spreads around the world and wreaks havoc with society.
A few years earlier, ABC-TV presented the movie Fatal Contact, Bird Flu in America, a fictional account of the devastating effects of a bird flu pandemic in the United States. It followed the virus as it traveled from a market in Hong Kong and mutated into a human-to-human strain that quickly spread across the globe. After it was broadcasted last year, nearly 2000 of you wrote I.P.N. asking questions about the program and our official position on it. Normally, we would have dismissed programs like these as entertainment designed to attract viewers and exploit their fears about the subject for ratings & ticket sales. In this case, it wasn’t. It dramatically illustrated just how bad things could become if the H5N1 strain of flu mutates into a human-to-human transmissible form.
Currently, humans have no immunity to H5N1. Fortunately for all of us, this form of avian flu hasn’t spread yet, however, as most virologists & epidemiologists already know, the odds are high that very soon a global pandemic will develop and due to modern transportation systems, spread internationally with unprecedented speed. In past pandemics, influenza viruses have needed more than six months to spread. The recent 2009 H1N1 virus outbreak in Mexico spread in less than six weeks.
A short time after it was it was first detected in Mexico City in April 2009, H1N1 killed over 1,154 people worldwide. Most of the deaths were in the Americas. Eventually, there were over 1 million Americans infected.
The most troubling aspect of this development is that a virus of this type could conceivably combine with the avian flu H5N1 or other viruses and trigger a global pandemic similar to the Spanish flu pandemic (another avian flu virus) of 1918 that killed 675,000 Americans and approx. 50-100 million people worldwide.
With the numbers adjusted for the increase in world population, a similar pandemic would kill upwards of 2-3 million Americans over a period of 9-15 months and quite possibly, 150-300 million worldwide. As frightening as it may seem, it could even be much worse than this. In poor countries like Africa, Southern Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, there are no buffers to prevent the spread. It could sweep across these countries like a biological brush fire, leaving a trail of death and suffering in its wake on a scale not seen since the “Black Death” swept through Europe in the 14th century. See link: http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/plague.htm
The H5N1 Avian flu strain has a 50-100% mortality rate. See: http://www.medicinenet.com/bird_flu/article.htm this means that in a hypothetical situation where 100 people are infected, between 50% & 100% of them will die upon contracting the virus. Even a mild pandemic would increase the annual death for influenza by a factor of 10 from approximately 36,000 to about 360,000.
The only question here is: Are you prepared if the worst happens?
(Or even the least?)
If you aren’t read on. The following document will outline all of the major survival strategies needed to help you survive any type of pandemic.
The Ready-UP! program was created by self-reliance/preparedness/sustainable living expert Aton Edwards in Spring 2011 to function as a mechanism that trains the general public in the aforementioned disciplines. Edwards believed that the government created preparedness programs was not connecting with the public and that something more dynamic was needed to spark interest.
Drawing from his extensive experience in teaching preparedness to large audiences, he designed a program that he knew the public would enjoy. He then enlisted the aid of several of his colleagues who worked in the same field to join him; including his friends and radio partners on the KISS-FM (now WBLS-FM) popular radio program Open Line.
The creator of the Open Line, Peabody Award winning radio personality Bob Slade, convinced his management to sponsor the event. His partners two-time Grammy Award winning composer/musician and activist James M’tume, former Federal Judge and Garden State Association of Black Journalists award winner Bob Pickett also believed in the idea and, the first presentation was at St. Francis College on July 8th 2011.
It featured the program hosts, along with the participants: Bedford Stuyvesant Volunteer Ambulance Corp director Rocky Robinson and members of his organization. Representatives of the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Riverkeeper, and several other similar groups and organizations were also in attendance.
The event was a smash success. It was due to Sadly on August 13th 2011, Edwards mother, Doris succumbed to a stroke.
His mothers death combined with other family responsibilities forced Edwards to discontinue activities with the Ready-UP! program for several months.
He along with his friends and colleagues began to reactivate the program in late 2012, holding Ready-UP! workshops called “Escape From The Grid.” As they gained popularity, his group began to plan their next large forum corresponding television program and fundraiser, all slated to begin in the summer of 2013.
The upcoming main event is titled “Ready-UP! America” It will be held at a large capacity New York area venue. For the main live presentation, The Open Line radio show team will return along with most of the original participants & organizations. The target date for the kickoff program will be Saturday, June 1st – the beginning of Hurricane season.
Ready-UP! Events will continue through the summer and ending with a gala event in September, 2013.
By Aton Edwards, Executive Director I.P.N.
Happy belated new year to all of our members, friends and associates! I haven’t posted a information update in quite sometime so, I’ve decided to put together a short video that will not only fill you in on all the details regarding our upcoming activities in 2013, it will also allow me to avoid typing – a task that I dread…
Hurricane Sandy Aftermath Ready-UP! Workshops To Be Presented New York City-Wide Beginning November 12, 2012
By Aton Edwards, Executive Director I.P.N.
As my hometown struggles to recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy, I along with my friends, colleagues and associates have decided to stage several self-reliance and preparedness workshops across the New York City and tri-state area. This will provide the people who were hit by the storm with critical information about resources that they may need to recover, and others with details about how to prepare for disasters and, remain self-reliant after they occur.