29 December, 2008

TT Coast Guard rescues drifting French family of four

Photo: Guardian

Pascal and Noelle Bazin, daughter Melanie and son Alexis were rescued on Sunday night by a 20-member search and rescue team of the TT Coast Guard. The family had been adrift in a small rubber life raft after their catamaran sank off Martinique on Thursday.

Congratulations to Captain J Ramoutar, Commander Huggins and the search and rescue team.

The family used a flashlight and a flare that helped them to be spotted. They had an emergency plan, emergency equipment and supplies. How many Trini families have a family emergency plan with accompanying equipment and supplies?

- Trini Funshooter

28 December, 2008

Resilient communities

Resilient Communities are communities that are supposed to be able to withstand disruptions and carry on with life, even if other communities are severely affected. Floods, violent crime, interruption of grid-supplied power and other disasters will not stop the community from operating. John Robb, a former US Air Force special ops pilot, and blogger of http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com has been credited with coining the term.

Here in TnT we have seen the effect of a little flooding on transportation, power, food supplies, infrastructure and law and order. Hapless, confused drivers and passengers were robbed on the C/R Highway, near Beetham Gardens, while trying to escape flood waters in our capital city. This was just a couple of hours of rain. Now imagine the compound effect of sustained rain, over several days.

Most of our communities will not qualify as RCs. Many people immediately look to central government for their most basic needs.
Even the umbrella agency specifically mandated with the task of disaster management and prevention seemed underprepared.

Should we look closely at this project, and perhaps learn and model, making adjustments that is suitable to our culture, climate and resources?

- Trini Funshooter

Air rifle club update

Air rifle club update

Another successful meeting of our air rifle club has taken place. Officers were elected, a logo with its elements, a colour scheme and a final draft of a membership application form were finalized and agreed upon. The expected Sport Ministry official did not attend, but she promised to be present at the next meeting.

The new executive got through the agenda in three hours, as opposed to four in the first meeting.


Fifteen of the world’s major gas producing countries, including T&T, attended a meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) in Moscow, last week.

Algeria, Bolivia, Brunei, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Libya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, T&T, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. Equatorial Guinea and Norway were there as observers.

Russian PM Putin offered St Pietersburg as a permanent home for the offices of the new entity, along with full diplomatic staus. but the GECF leaders adopted a charter and agreed to establish a permanent office in Doha, Qatar, instead.

The group signaled the end of cheap natural gas, but were quick to deny any talk of ‘price cartel’. What this portends for T&T’s economic future, we’ll wait and see.


One of the largest national grocery chains had a run on their carts on Monday 22nd Dec. We arrived at the store to find shoppers standing around awaiting other shoppers to return with trolleys from their cars.


Pregnant woman with a couple items in hand, asked shoppers to allow her to skip in express line at well-known supermarket chain. All refused, vehemently. Sounds like the story of baby Jesus.


Bought a pair of steel toe garden boots, a clip-on bicycle pump and some more tinned foods. Took an old towel that lost its ‘fluffiness’, cut it into several smaller pieces, serged the edges and now we have several washrags and hand/face towels for the BOBs.

We are planning a family emergency evacuation and relocation drill. It should be a learning experience. Hopefully we can have someone videotape the entire event for learning and posterity. No point discovering during a real emergency that we overlooked a critical aspect of the plan. Better to find the flaws and glitches now, fix them and make any necessary changes. One prepares for war in the time of peace.

- Trini Funshooter

21 December, 2008

Iguana, preps, meds rotation

Shot an iguana today. It took five or six shots before finally succumbing. A healthy seven-pounder, about 35 inches from head to tail.

Why do iguanas just sit there while you shoot them repeatedly? It seems counterintuitive to survival.

I gave it to someone who loves that type of meat.


Got two more whistles (free, at a childrens party) and immediately put them in the Bug Out Bag (BOB). One more lanyard, and we’ll have one whistle-and-lanyard combo per family member.

Bought a few more tins of pellets, at a good price. Some for target practice; some for the BOB, and the rest for the preps. To that, added mints, vitamins, a knife, pure cocoa butter, ginger tea, plastic forks.

Some of the stashed meds are getting close to expiry date. This is the one ‘downside’ of prepping: you cannot rotate (use and replace) meds out of your stash. It’s a sunk cost. The upside is, it’s there; available for your use in the event of an emergency. Doesn’t matter if there’s a curfew, the pharmacies are closed, the hospitals and health centres are overwhelmed or your insurance doesn’t cover the private nursing homes.

Better to have them at hand and not need them, than need them and not have them.

We have access to medical advice by phone, sms, email and web chat from professionals familiar with our health/medical history. So there would be no self-diagnosis, nor self-prescribed administration of any of the meds (some are quite powerful and effective).

We also keep a personal health record (PHR) for each family member, that is quite detailed and comprehensive; in soft and hard copies.

- Trini Funshooter

17 December, 2008

Charity begins at home

Read in a daily paper that the Rotary Club of Penal recently launched a "Feed The World Project". They leave food collection bins at various locations, and then the food is “distributed to underprivileged families locally and abroad.”

Feeding the poor is both admirable and necessary. It is our duty to help the less fortunate among us. Even when stockpiling our emergency supplies of food, water, medical supplies and a way to protect it, and our loved ones (beans, bullets and bandaids) we must also store enough to share with those who refused to prepare.

But the words “and abroad” caught my attention. Trinidad and Tobago does not produce enough food to feed all our citizens. As a net importer of food we import over $2 billion worth annually. We have hundreds of citizens that go hungry daily. Should we import food, then send it outside the country? Shouldn’t charity begin at home?

The Rotary club should be commended for it’s initiative, but may want to reconsider the ‘food export’ part of the plan, at least while we have so many hungry people here.
- Trini Funshooter

10 December, 2008

Some interesting facts about shooting

Shooting is one of the safest of all youth sports. In 2003, the US Civilian Marksmanship Program implemented new safety standards for all rifle shooting activities. Since those changes, there have been zero gun accidents in all supervised youth shooting sport activities in the USA.

Gender, size, strength, speed, and physical ability are not important factors in determining success in the shooting sports.

Anyone can be a successful shooting sports participant if they are willing to practice.

Shooting sports teach life skills—discipline, responsibility, the rewards of hard work, self-control and respect for others।
Shooting is an Olympic sport.

It’s Fun!

Source: http://www.odcmp.com/

- Trini Funshooter

07 December, 2008


After reading about the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe, one must wonder about the potential risk of such an occurrence in T&T. It is low, but still possible. Prudence dictates that we prepare.

Between August and 30 November 2008 the World Health Organisation has reported over 11,700 cases with 473 recorded deaths. A case fatality rate (CFR) of 4%. The WHO has set a target of under 1% CFR.

Treatment is usually oral re-hydration therapy along with an antibiotic. Tetracycline is most commonly used as the primary antibiotic. There are drug-resistant strains, but rapid diagnostic assay methods are available for the identification of multi-drug resistant Vibrio cholerae.
If treated in time, the mortality rate is less than 1%, but left untreated, it escalates dramatically to 50-60%. The life cycle of the bacterium is five days.

One should err on the side of caution and consider–– if not cholera, at least some other nasty motile organisms––in one’s preparedness plans. Safe, clean, drinkable water is vital for life. Stockpiling more water purification equipment and materials would be advisable.
Household bleach, water purification tablets, boiling, water filters etc are all very effective in making water safe for drinking. Bleach has a short shelf life, so rotate emergency stocks frequently.

Store more than you need, so you can dispense charity.

- Trini Funshooter
free counters