Patriots want you to prepare


COEUR d'ALENE - If a natural disaster were to strike or the economy were to collapse, would you be prepared to survive?

John Mackey might. He is one of the organizers of the Northwest Patriot and Preparedness Rally that will take place over three days in Farragut State Park next weekend.

The event begins Friday from noon to 4 p.m. with a series of educational presentations on how to prepare "bug-out" bags, which are bags of survival supplies in case you have to leave in a hurry. There are classes on how to operate a HAM radio system, or how to start a fire. You can even learn to make your own colloidal silver.

There is a 45-minute lecture on Operation Sleeping Giant, which is an Oathkeeper's preparedness strategy for when disaster strikes and there is an interruption in the convenience services.

Mackey, who is an Oathkeeper himself, said Operation Sleeping Giant is the underpinning of the event.

"It's a four-part strategy to become more self reliant," he said. "In the event of a natural disaster or economic collapse, we believe communities should be self-reliant rather than looking to the government for help."

The first part is about being prepared, the second part is security and getting to know your neighbors.

"It's things like forming a neighborhood block watch and connecting with groups like the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion and the Vietnam Vets," he said.

The third thing is how to re-build the free market system our country was founded on, Mackey said.

"So many people depend on Wal-Mart to be there every day," he said. "We believe in local commerce, such as farmers markets and stuff like that."

He said many of the events will attract doomsday preppers, tea party types, constitutionalists, sustainers and more.

It's the fourth prong of Operation Sleeping Giant that gets a little more controversial.

The fourth is policy related, or you could just call it politics, Mackey said.

"We want to make sure that in the event of disaster, the First, Second, Fourth and 10th amendments remain intact." he said. "Don't get me wrong, it's not like we are downplaying other amendments, but these are the ones that are most subject to discussion in law making.

"We want to able to politically preserve them as best we can."

He said it really boils down to politically keeping the decision making at the lowest level possible, and creating communities that protect themselves.