Elderly & Disabled Prepper needs

A.  Taking Care of the Elderly for Preppers
25 July 2014, Preparedness Advice Blog, by admin
Pasted from: http://preparednessadvice.com/medical/taking-care-elderly-preppers/#.U9ZuSIl0zmi

 elder handRecently, my life was thrown into disarray by the loss of my mother and now we have to take care of my father.  With all of this going on, we have learned quite a bit of what is required to take care of the elderly and now we are going to try to pass some of this knowledge on to you.

My mother was 92 and lived a good life.  She was able to die at home with the help of friends and family.  My father still lives in the same home, again with the help of friends and family.

Congestive heart failure and old age was the cause on my mother’s death, although she also suffered some affects from a stroke she had 15 years ago.  There is a whole list of things that you should stock to help keep someone as comfortable as possible during their last days.

    • Commodes
    • Adult diapers
    • Walkers and possibly a wheelchair
    • Canes
    • Any special medications or medical apparatus.
    • If they need oxygen and you have a concentrator, can you power it?
    • You need to keep a list of medical conditions, prescriptions and other important information.
    • Extra sheets and blankets
    • Pads and medications for bedsores.
    • Pain killers, at least over the counter
    • We used the Cleanlife Shampoo and body wash that requires no rinsing. See a post on these products No Rinse Shampoo and Body Washes  See at:  http://preparednessadvice.com/medical/no-rinse-shampoo-and-body-washes/#.U9ZvSol0zmh

FEMA estimated that the majority of those over 70 years of age and those who are functionally disabled or medically dependent will die within the first thirty-days of a full-scale national disaster.
To help make their last days more comfortable, talk to them, spent time with them, if they are coherent get them to talk about their past.

As you can see from the FEMA studies most of you who are taking care of functionally disabled or medically dependent will be faced with the death of a loved one shortly after a major national disaster.  The above items will help you keep your patient comfortable during their last days.
After they pass, you will have to clean and dress the body for burial.  In our case my wife and one of our granddaughters prepared my mother’s body for burial.  Treat the body with respect, but be prepared to dispose of the body rapidly, depending on the weather the body can start to decompose rapidly.  A body bag or sheet plastic may be a useful item to have.

I know that this is a gruesome subject, but it is something that we will all have to face at some point in our lives.  In our case, our faith in a living God helps.  But you each have to find your own way to deal with this; it is not a subject from which you can hide  We will write more later on caring for bedsores and how to handle hygiene problems.
The time that you spend taking care of the elderly will have great meaning to you after they pass, you will know you have done the best.


B. Emergency Preparedness for Your Elders – How to Take Care of Grandma in a Crisis
11 March 2013, Mom With A Prep, by Jane Baldwin
Pasted from: http://momwithaprep.com/emergency-preparedness-for-elders/

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for continuing to support Mom with a PREP with your purchases.

elder natureBeing the primary caretaker of an elderly or disabled family member is hard. Even if they are living on their own,  living in assisted facilities, living with in-home nursing and care staffs, living in a long-term care facility or you have huge extended family that all help out, the responsibility of being the primary caretaker for Grandma is  an awesome and somber responsibility, especially in light of preparedness.

What I’ll be discussing are our senior members whose health has affected their mobility or mental acuity, not healthy, active senior who could probably kick MY butt on any given day!

Here are some tips for preparing for your elders:

In home

  • Emergency Bag – make sure Grandma has a bug out bag/72 hour kit and supplies specifically for her (do you need special dietary supplements, medical needs, incontinence supplies, glasses, hearing aids and batteries, monitors, oxygen, extra walker or cane, etc.) Mostly likely, you or another family member will be carrying it if you have to leave, but you should have it stored in your home, nonetheless.
  • Comfort items – make sure, in your checklist, you allow for grabbing Grandma’s favorite sweater or family photo. You’d be surprised at how quickly her mental status can fall when they become scared and overwhelmed. A comfort item can give her a focus and something that makes her feel somewhat safe.
  • Safe Passage – make sure that whatever exit strategy you have for Grandma gives you and she a safe passage without crawling over, through or around things, especially if mobility or sight is an issue for her. Try to make her exit the easiest exit possible for your situation.
  • Emergency exit – If Grandma is completely immobile, make sure your plans include a quick way to get her out of the house – whether it’s to knock out a window/sliding glass door to get a bed out, extra sling to help carry her to safety with other family members or neighbors
  • Consider a bug-in plan that allows for safety of your family and support for Grandma.
  • Backup generator for Grandma if she needs to sustain medical equipment. Talk to your doctor, local fire department and elderly care facilities to find out best ways to ensure long-term power outage situations.
  • First Aid/CPR – know that in this situation, unlike others, the mere situation may cause need for first aid because Grandma is already in some physical distress and an emergent need because of her health. Having first aid knowledge is a huge bonus in these situations (as in all, but this is a unique situation), to be able to assess and quickly treat those issues that arise.
  • Have an updated list of medications handy in case you have to call for replacement meds. Your pharmacy will likely have a record if you still have power, and will have to contact Grandma’s doctor for confirmation on replacement, but there may be quite a few they can release for a short-term emergency until a doctor can be reached. Otherwise, keep a list handy to give to any interim doctor you may have to use.In  care facility – this is a harder situation for families. You cannot create a complete safety net at a long-term facility for Grandma because it’s impossible. Supplies that you tuck there may disappear, staff may not be able to follow your guidelines because of state regulations, etc. Of course, if Grandma is in an Assisted Living facility, options to store supplies is much easier. But you can prepare as much as possible given Grandma’s particular situation including:
  • Make sure the facility has well thought out, recorded, and state-approved emergency response guidelines. This includes the guidelines they have for hurricanes, tornadoes, fire, evacuation, etc.
  • Have your emergency contact information on file with both the office and the nurses station as well as in Grandma’s room.
  • Have a pack at home for you to grab and go in an emergency that you can use one you’ve reached the facility to help Grandma in any way you can.
  • Have backup gear in your vehicle for things like walkers, canes, and have her emergency bag ready.
  • Keep a locked bag of luggage in her personal storage area (closet, etc.) with items that you would need if you could get to the facility in a time of crisis. This may contain extra eyeglasses, equipment, and things that you know are needed for backup. It could be her get out bag, or if leaving without the aid of facility personal is impossible, it can be your bug-in bag until a plan can be implemented.
  • Make sure to have all-season clothing and shoes available at all times of the year for Grandma to wear in case evacuation is necessary.
  • Have a meet up plan with the facility in case evacuation does happen and you know where they plan on taking Grandma. They may transfer her, temporarily, to another facility and you don’t want to lose contact on where she has been taken.
  • Have a 72 hour kit/bug out bag available for Grandma, even if you store it at home. If you can get to the facility and bug-in with her for a short-term emergency, you have the supplies you need for both of you.
  • Be sure to have an updated medical record available (medications she is taking, treatment plans, etc.) available so that any interim medical staff will know how to treat her. If you have a chance to get to her before an evacuation, it would be a good idea to keep a copy with her in case you are separated.
    Know that Grandma will probably be scared and confused. Do the best you can to help calm and reassure her. Be realistic about the situation and what will be feasible for you to accomplish, and what won’t so you can make the safest decisions you can make to keep you, your family and Grandma as safe as possible.
    YouTubeI want to thank The Patriot Nurse for making this video to talk about this very issue.
    Patriot Nurse video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HDAyGNvLqs&feature=player_embedded


C.  Disaster Preparedness for Seniors and the Elderly
10 Aug 2011, Backdoor Survival, by Gaye
Pasted from: http://www.backdoorsurvival.com/disaster-preparedness-for-older-adults-seniors/

This week I would like to explore some of the special preparedness needs of the senior and elderly members of our families and communities.  At first blush, you may be saying, “Yes, I understand that there are elderly people but how would their needs be any different than mine?”.elder cameo

That is a great question and certainly one that I have asked myself.  But consider this:  the elderly are less mobile and far less likely to be able to evacuate on their own.  Their eating habits may be more finicky and, for health reasons, restricted.  The need for life-sustaining prescription medications and medical devices increases with age, and perhaps most difficult of all, the a sense of fear may result in profound depression as the familiar and comforting world around them has changed.

For those embarking upon the family preparedness lifestyle, it is important to consider the special needs of elderly adults and to help educate and assist them now, before they experience a true SHTF situation caused by natural, man made or economic disasters.

The checklist below is designed to be shared one on one with members of our older adult population (our moms and dads, grandparents, and neighbors).  Review this list and use it as a guideline for initiating a discussion with these important members of our community.

1.  Prepare Now for a Sudden Emergency In the event of a disaster, local and rescue workers will do their best to arrive quickly but there may be physical or other impediments to a swift recovery effort.  The key is to prepare now for a sudden emergency.  Here are some things you can do: 

  • Assemble a disaster kit that includes food, water, first aid items, a flashlight, batteries and some cash.
  • Arrange to have someone check on you on a periodic basis.
  • Plan and practice the best escape routes from your home.
  • Get to know the types of emergencies most likely to occur in your geographical area and find a safe place to shelter in your home if disaster strikes.
  • Create window signs that you can use to signal the need for assistance.
  • Post emergency phone numbers close to your phone.  Do not rely on your memory.  If you require special equipment (medical devices, oxygen, wheel chairs), keep a list and the location of operating instructions handy so that rescue workers can find them.
  • Be prepared to defend yourself.  Get some pepper spray or even some aerosol hair spray to squirt at an intruder who is trying to loot or otherwise steal your stuff.

2. Take Care of Your Medical Needs
      •  Assemble some spare medical supplies in an easy-to-carry, transportable container such as a backpack, shoulder bag, or duffle bag.  Include a 7 to 14 days supply of prescription medicines and be sure to include written instructions regarding the dosage, and a list of allergies, if any.
•  Pack up an extra pair of glasses (even if they are old) and hearing aid batteries
•  Label your stuff.  This includes your bags or other containers, walkers, canes, wheelchairs or anything else that you are likely to need.
•  Make a copies of your medical insurance and Medicare cards and include them with your medical supplies along with a listing of your doctors.  Also include a list of the style and serial number of medical devices such as pacemakers.  Share copies of these documents with a trusted family member or friend.

3. Prepare for a Possible Evacuation
•  Learn how to shut off water, gas and electricity.
•  If you can, take your pets with you.  But, also keep in mind that pets may not allowed in shelters.  Ask!  If not, you will need to allow for sufficient food and water for an extended period.  Put a sign in the window indicating that there are pets inside.
• Leave a note taped to the refrigerator or elsewhere indicating when you left and where you are going.

4. Assess Your Physical Limitations and Coordinate a Plan for Assistance in Advance

  • Contact a friendly neighbor in advance and make them aware that you have limitations that will preclude your evacuation in an emergency.  Ask for their assistance in helping you or in contacting family members.
  • In the event of an evacuation, wear warm clothing (even if it is hot outside) and sturdy shoes.  You can always peel away the extra clothing later if you are too warm.
  • Make sure that someone you know has an extra key to your home and knowledge of where you keep your emergency supplies.
  • If you don’t already have one, get a cell phone.  In most recent disasters, cell phone service was active long before land lines became functional.

What else can you do?
In addition to having a discussion with the older adults in you life, I would like to suggest that you help them gather supplies and educate them regarding the proper storage of extra food and water.  You know what I am talking about:  keep your supplies sealed and keep them cool.

You also might want to consider putting a Bug Out Bag together to give to them as gift, or to take them shopping to purchase the necessary supplies.

Perhaps most important of all, you can start to educate the elderly so that when and if the time comes, they are less fearful and less inclined to panic or worst case, shut down completely.  I highly recommend that you download this free  booklet, Red Cross Disaster Preparedness for Seniors By Seniors which was written a group of older adults who experienced a two-week power outage during a ice storm.  It is excellent.

 D.  Preparedness Tips for People with Mobility Challenges
28 February 2013, Backdoor Survival, by Gaye
Pasted from: http://www.backdoorsurvival.com/six-preparedness-tips-for-the-mobility-challenged/

elder cartIf you have ever had an injury that limited your mobility, you will understand why knowing how to deal with mobility challenges following a disaster are important.  A sprained ankle, a broken leg, a fractured arm – all of these can severely restrict your ability of evacuate or bug out following a disaster.

Now put yourself in the shoes of an individual with a permanent disability – someone who requires a walker, a wheelchair or a scooter to move around.  Clearly, an evacuation will be slow and ordinary objects such as furniture, stairs, curbs, and doorways become obstacles or even barriers to escape.  Add to this the challenge of moving about during chaos and panic and you can understand why planning in advance for survival tactics is important.

Today I am going to share some preparedness tips for people with mobility challenges.  But please take note.  These tips are for everyone because when and if the time comes, it may be you with the challenge and not your neighbor, your spouse or your friend.  Having an awareness of the obstacles that a person with mobility issues faces will make you a better prepper.

Regardless of any physical challenges, the basics of prepping still apply.  Accumulate food, water, first aid, self defense and the other items to get by under dire conditions.  Have the gear you will need to stay warm and the means to cook your food when the grid is down.  Practice your homesteading skills and develop a community of like minded people to watch your back as you will watch theirs.

These are the things you will do because these are the things that all preppers do.  And for now, that is all that I will say about that.

Store Your Stuff
Store emergency supplies in a pack or backpack that can be attached to crutches, a walker, a wheelchair, or a scooter.
Store the needed mobility aids (canes, crutches, walkers, wheelchairs) close by in a consistent, convenient and secured location. Keep extra aids in several locations, if possible.
Keep specialized items ready, including extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, prescriptions, food for service animals, and any other items you might need.

2. Put Together a Specialized Emergency Supply Kit
Keep a pair of heavy gloves in your supply kit to use while wheeling or making way over glass or debris.

If you use a motorized wheelchair or scooter, consider having an extra battery available. A car battery can be substituted for a wheelchair battery, but this type of battery will not last as long as a wheelchair’s deep-cycle battery. Check with your wheelchair or scooter vendor to see if you will be able to charge batteries by either connecting jumper cables to a vehicle battery or by connecting batteries to a specific type of converter that plugs into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter in the event of loss of electricity.  And if so, get some of these cables to keep in your emergency pack.

If your chair does not have puncture-proof tires, keep a patch kit or can of “seal-in-air product” to repair flat tires, or keep an extra supply of inner tubes.
If possible, store a lightweight manual wheelchair.

3. Know your surroundings
Arrange and secure furniture and other items in a manner that will provide a clear path of travel and barrier free passages.
If you spend time above the first floor of a building with an elevator, plan and practice using alternative methods of evacuation.

If you cannot use stairs, determine in advance which carrying techniques that will work for you. Understand that there will be instances where wheelchair users will have to leave their chairs behind in order to safely evacuate a structure.

Sometimes transporting someone down stairs is not a practical solution unless there are at least two or more strong people to control the chair. Therefore, it is very important to articulate the safest mode of transport if you will need to be carried.   As an example, for some, the traditional “fire fighter’s carry” may be hazardous due to respiratory weakness.

Plan at least two evacuation routes; you never know when your primary means to exit will be blocked or inaccessible.

Communication Skills are Important

4. Communication Skills are Important
Practice giving clear, concise instructions regarding how to move you. Take charge and quickly explain to people how best to assist you. 
Determine in advance how much detail will be needed and drill your “speech” with a trusted friend that will give you some feedback.

You know your abilities and limitations and the best way that someone can assist you or ways in which you can assist them. Again, practice giving these instructions clearly and quickly, not in four paragraphs but a few quick phrases, using the least amount of words possible.

5. Community
Create a network of neighbors, relatives, friends, and coworkers to aid you in an emergency. Discuss your needs and make sure everyone knows how to operate your equipment.
Discuss your needs with your employer.
If you live in an apartment building, ask the management to mark accessible exits clearly and to make arrangements to help you leave the building during a disaster.  The more people who know where you are and the need for assistance the better.

Other Important Itemselder w-chair
•  Be sure to make provisions for medications that require refrigeration.
•  Keep a list of the type and model numbers of the medical devices you require.
•  Wear medical alert tags or bracelets to identify any disabilities that may not be visually obvious to a stranger.
• Just like any other survival skill, it is important to practice your emergency plan through regular drills.  Imagine the worst and practice for that.

The Mobility Challenged are Not Helpless
Let me be clear on one very important point. While mobility challenges are real, the mobility challenged are not helpless.  If they are preppers, they garden, tend farm animals, preserve food, practice self-defense, teach, sew, entertain, and embrace self-sufficiency with gusto.

Whereas in an emergency, the mobility challenged may need some extra assistance, at the end of the day it is the grey matter between their ears that counts.  The ability to think, reason, and take appropriate action is a key component to being a prepper.  Do not lose sight of that when working with your mobility challenged neighbor and comrade as you pursue your preparedness journey.

(Survival manual/Prepper articles/Elderly & Disabled Prepper needs)

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Survive the Collapse

A.  How to Survive the Collapse of Civilization
Nov 2012, SecretsofSurvival.com, by James Roberts
Excerpt pasted from: http://www.secretsofsurvival.com/survival/collapse_of_civilization.html


“…Priorities considerations in the event of total social breakdown (the order here doesn’t matter, as it could conceivably change greatly depending on the situation)

 Find food and water - If you are someone that believes the world is on the doorstep of Armageddon or could be in for some tough years ahead, you may want to plan for this one in advance. If everything breaks down, one of the first things you’ll need is an immediate supply of food and water.

Best case scenario: you thought about this before the problem and have emergency supplies on hand at your home and / or office. This will help you get through that first week or two.

If not, this could conceivably become the first order of business. Sustain yourself for long enough to come up with a plan. By the way, in speaking of a long term plan…

Find a group ( if there is one available to you )- Under circumstances where complete social chaos is reigning, you might not want to be by yourself. First, there’s physical safety in numbers (on Jericho there have been several situations where outsiders have come to the town intent on doing folks harm; on Lost, of course, there’s the Others).

Regardless, a group will help you protect your family and yourself when and if further danger arises.

Beyond that, group membership will help to meet your need to belong later. That’s right, like the world famous psychologist Abraham Maslow has indicated, all human beings need to feel as if they belong and are safe.

Regardless, look to those you can trust: people within your own neighborhood, for example. Further, if the availability is there – as in the case of Jericho, Kansas – look to your town.

Pick a leader - Football teams need a head coach and some assistants. Without this, any player or coach will tell you that chaos would reign. Every form of government also has a set of leaders. Don’t believe – even for a second – that you can survive chaos without installing some kind of power structure. Everything that is civilization tells us different. Further, by implementing a power structure of sorts, you’ll have in essence brought some order to the chaos, even if only within your own group.

Therefore, small groups would be wise to elect a leader early on (this will be easier within groups that truly know one another). Further, plans regarding the future power structure should be made at this time ( will there be voting?). Such discussions might serve to quell the jealousy of those who are not elected to lead.

Bigger groups could go the democratic route and have mini parliament of sorts, if they chose. Or perhaps an elected official might serve the purpose (like a town mayor).

Protect yourself from the elements with a shelter - Do you still have a house? If so, great! If not, look for natural shelters (like the caves in Lost). Or if no manmade or natural shelters are available, consider building some (like the contestants always do on the hit CBS show Survivor).

By the way, do this quickly. Further, if total social breakdown occurs in an area where the elements are a big problem, this may need to be your first order of business.

Heating and cooling - Is the electricity working (not in Jericho, Kansas, it isn’t)? Are there any heat sources available? If not, we’re talking fire. Which of course requires something to burn.

It would be smart to have a plan for dealing with this.

Can you defend yourself?

Are you in danger? - In other words, are people walking down your road with guns intent on stealing or otherwise doing harm to you? Obviously, if this is the case, then defending yourself becomes first priority.

Perhaps it’s an opposing military; perhaps it’s our own citizens trying to better their own situation. Regardless, here are some ideas to consider.

Fortify your area - There are all types of things you could try. You could line cars, busses, or trucks around you for protection. You could try to build a wall if time permits. You could even attempt to build a fort of sorts. Here’s the problem with all of those ideas.

They let people know where you are.

Thus, the best course of action would likely depend on the situation. If you’re a relatively large group that has weapons and capability, doing some fortification work may not be a bad idea. However, if you’re a small group that wants to remain nameless, the last thing you may want to do is line a bunch of trucks around four houses, particularly if there are groups out there to fear. After all, fortification strategies like that tend to scream, here we are!

In such situations, search for natural barriers to live near (lakes, mountains). These won’t bring any obvious unwanted notoriety. However, keep in mind that if you live near fresh water, expect others to eventually come calling (food and water would, of course, be of paramount important to survivors of social breakdown).

Collect weapons - This is an obvious one. Just remember that if someone wants to be a part of your group, their weapons are too. It can’t just be a band of individuals.

Remember the power structure - When it comes to military maneuvers, a power structure is absolutely of paramount importance. In fact, when you’re electing or deciding on a group leader, their ability to lead you in a military sense should be high on the list.

This leader, if they’re worth a grain of salt, will devise a guard schedule. If there is any truly conceivable danger at all, a watch should always be put into place along with a way for the guard to contact others without alerting attention to him or herself.

Finally, think long term when it comes to food - How are you going to sustain yourselves in the long term? If there is true social chaos that could go on indefinitely, this needs to be considered in great detail. Some things to think about are:
a) Rationing the food you have.
b) Freezing food that might go bad (if you have the means). If not, then eat that first.
c) Farming possibilities (present and future).
d) Cattle availability.
e) Winter rations.

In sum, total social breakdown has never happened in the United States. During periods of specific social unrest, this country has always been able to recover. Regardless, there could be any number of situations that could change America’s luck.

Terrorists, a nuclear war, the consequences of global warming, etc.

Further, total social breakdown can occur in other ways (think Lost). So are you ready? Would you know what to do? Here’s what’s certain.

This article is only meant to get you thinking in the right direction. If the real thing were to ever hit, survivors would have to do a lot of thinking on their feet. Of course, if you thought some of this through before the event, that might save some time and effort…

That’s for you to decide. “


 B.  Long-Term Security, Perimeter Defense and Lethal Tactics
5 October 2012, SHTFplan.com, by Max Velocity


This article first appeared at Ready Nutrition as part of the 52 Weeks to Preparedness Series and is written by Max Velocity of Max Velocity Tactical.

Max Velocity has been kind enough to dedicate his time and professional insights to our preparedness community. He has an extensive military background, having served in both the British and the U.S. armies and also as a high threat security contractor. He has served on six military operational deployments, including to Afghanistan immediately post-9/11, and additionally he spent five years serving as a security contractor in both Iraq and Afghanistan. During his career in the British Army he served with British SOF (The Parachute Regiment), to include a role training and selecting recruits for the Regiment. More recently, he has served in a Combat Medic and Civil Affairs role in the US Army Reserves. He is the author of two books: Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival and Rapid Fire! Tactics for High Threat, Protection and Combat Operations. With his vast military background and real world experience, Max provides the kind of information that every prepper needs to learn, understand and integrate into their long-term security and home defense plans.

defenseIn this article for the final week of ‘52 Weeks for Preparedness’ I will discuss long term security and defense of your retreat location. We cannot predict now exactly what conditions will look like after a collapse and as such I urge you not to make too many assumptions based on your particular idea of what such a post-SHTF situation will look like. The purpose will be to give you the general principles and techniques of defending a location, which you can tailor and apply as necessary and appropriate. It is best to adopt a mindset of flexibility and gather mental and physical knowledge and ‘tools’ in order to be able to develop your response and put some of these measures in place as you find them necessary and appropriate. For the article I will assume a broad post-SHTF situation of societal collapse with a general absence of law and order.

What is the threat? As a prepper hunkered down at your home, with food stores, the most likely threat will be from looters and marauders. These could take many forms from a simple beggar, through starving neighbors, mobs, tricks and deceptions, to a tactically organized group with weapons and equipment. The worst case is some sort of organized paramilitary style force with heavy equipment bent on forced redistribution. Therefore, remain flexible and have an emergency rally point and extraction route should you be overmatched. Know when you have no alternative but to bug out. You can make this decision if you have the information before the threat arrives and conduct the bug out in good order. Alternatively, you may be forced to make the decision as the attack progresses and have to ‘break contact’ and withdraw under enemy fire; this is one of the most difficult tactical maneuvers. Work on your leadership, decision making and decision points so that your response under the pressure of both time and enemy is optimal. Tied in with this is the need for clear rules of engagement and for the use of force appropriate to the threat.

This short article is mainly concerned with defense of a single location and as such will not go into techniques such as mobile and area defense, which could be useful for a larger community. Remember, the best form of defense is to avoid the fight. But that may not be possible and you have to always plan and prepare for that fight. You can better avoid the fight by adopting a lower profile at your location, attempting to conceal your supplies and capabilities. The opposite of this is to have a high profile and try to use threat of force as a deterrent. But remember that a good rifleman could sit out at long range and simply shoot your defenders in their sentry positions. In my opinion, the best approach for a small survivor group is to adopt a lower profile while maintaining the capability to defeat threats as they are encountered. The following are some principles of defense that you should consider and apply to your location and plan:

  • All Round Defense, in order to anticipate a threat from any direction.
  • Depth, in order to prevent penetration of your defended position.
  • Mutually Supporting Sectors of Fire, in order to increase the strength and flexibility of a defense.
  • Concealment and Deception, in order to deny the adversary the advantages of understanding.
  • Maintenance of a Reserve.
  • Offensive Action (where appropriate), in order to seize or regain the initiative.
  • Administration, to include:
    • Appropriate numbers of trained personnel.
    • Appropriate weapons, ammunition and equipment.
    • A watch system for early warning.

Most modern family homes do not lend themselves to defense. The structure is vulnerable to high velocity rounds which will pass through multiple frame, wood and plasterboard walls, and also simple mechanical breaches are possible with tools and even vehicles used as rams. They are also very vulnerable to fire. If you try and defend your house from the windows, then you will not be protected by the walls framing those windows and the room can be filled full of high velocity rounds by an attacking group. There is a real danger of being suppressed by superior firepower. If you stay back from the windows as you should, then you limit your fields of fire and unless there are enough of you defending then the enemy will be able to take advantage of blind spots to close with and then breach the house. You need a basement or other ballistic protected safe room for your noncombatant personnel (kids etc.) to shelter in; otherwise they will not be protected from the violence and from the high velocity rounds ripping through the walls.

One of the key things for a prepper defense of a location is to have an appropriate number of trained personnel with appropriate firearms, ammunition and equipment. You will also have to take measures to harden the building to slow down attempts to breach. You need to consider whether or not you want your property to look derelict; this could be good or bad in the circumstances. It would be worthwhile to consider boarding up or shuttering at least the ground floor windows and think about putting up door bars or even board up some of the doors. This will also help with light discipline. External boards can make the place look derelict, but looking derelict could also encourage approach by potential squatters. You could put up the boards internally, or something similar, in order to maintain a low profile and slow any breaches. There a lots of pros and cons each way. When boarding up doors, ensure that you have at least two independent exits that can be used both for routine tasks but also for egress if you have to escape. Boarding up your windows and doors does not make them ballistically hardened. You could have sandbags ready to go, and you will need to consider a big pile of dirt to fill them from. Consider the benefits of simple mass of soil in protecting you from high velocity rounds, and for the construction of fighting positions. Sandbags need to be at least two deep to protect against high velocity rounds. If you try stacking enough of these on a modern upper floor, or even a ground level floor with a basement beneath, then the weight of a constructed fighting position may cause a collapse. You could stack sandbags externally around designated window fighting positions on the ground floor, but you will need a lot of them. Other alternatives would include filling a chest of drawers with soil to create firing positions, or maybe even material such as steel plate that will weigh less but will provide ballistic protection.

From the principles of defense it is clear that we need to establish a plan which provides early warning, all round defense and mutually supporting sectors of fire. We also need to create depth, which is best utilized outside the building rather than with fall back positions inside the house. We can create depth using external fighting positions to keep attackers away from the house, which will also aid mutual support. A key thing that will really help defense of a house is to have a second or more positions outside of the main building that can provide fire support, thus these positions support each other by keeping enemy away from the house and each other. This position(s) could also be another house or cooperating neighbor if it works out that way. This creates a ‘cross-fire’ so you must enforce fire discipline and allocate sectors of fire to ensure you do not cause ‘friendly fire’.

A very important concept is that of ‘stand-off’. This can be created with a combination of fighting positions in depth and cleared fields of fire with obstacles. If you have an obstacle, such as wire, it must be covered by fire to be effective. Utilize stand-off distances to keep enemy away from the property, combined with obstacles to slow vehicle and dismounted approach. Examples like wire are good for dismounted personnel and also vehicles if it is correctly laid concertina wire. Obstacles such as steel cabling, concrete bollards or planter boxes and felled trees will work well against vehicles. This will also have the effect of reducing the risk of attackers getting close to set the place on fire, which they are likely to try if they can’t get in to get your stuff. If we expand this concept we can see how a mutually supporting neighborhood with checkpoints/roadblocks and observation/fighting positions will provide a great advantage. Stand-off is also important in terms of engaging the enemy with accurate effective fire at the longest range that is physically and legally possible. If you are competent and have the equipment for long range effective suppressive fire, this can have the effect of keeping the enemy at arm’s length and reducing the accuracy and hence effectiveness of their fire, which will prevent them successfully suppressing you and subsequently maneuvering onto your position to breach or burn the property. In addition, consider the presence, placement and potential hard protection of any flammable sources on your property and close to your buildings, such as propane tanks and fuel supplies. Ensure they cannot be repeatedly fired upon by the enemy to cause a fire or explosion. The ability to generate accurate effective long range defensive fire depends on skill, equipment, positioning of fighting positions, your policy for the use of force and also the way the terrain affects weapons killing areas and ranges. To engage at long range you have to reasonably fear that the enemy presents a threat of lethal force against your defended location. However, if you are in a closer urban or wooded environment you may find some of your fields of fire are limited and you will have to plan and position accordingly.

Administration is a key factor. While you are maintaining your defense you need to look after the welfare of the team, equipment and the site itself. Administration is what preppers usually concentrate on. This is your “beans, bullets and band-aids”. This is an area where those that are non-combatants can really pull their weight and make a difference. You must maintain a watch system which will be tied in to ‘stand to’ positions and maybe some form of ‘Quick Reaction Force’ or reserve, depending on the resources and numbers available to you. Your watch system can be augmented by other early warning sensors such as dogs and mechanical or electronic systems. Day to day you will need to keep the machine running and this will be the biggest challenge as time goes on. Complacency Kills! Depending on the extent of your preparations, stores and the resources within your property, this will have a knock-on effect to your ability to remain covert and the requirement to send out foraging patrols. People will also start to get cabin fever, particularly kids, and you will need to consider how to entertain them. Consider that while mundane tasks are being completed, there is always someone on watch. People that are not on watch need to have weapons and ammunition carrying equipment close or on their person while doing other things. Consider carrying long rifles slung as well as handguns everywhere you go on the property, with at least a light bit of web gear with some additional magazines in pouches. Rifles should never be out of your arms reach if there is any kind of threat of attack. You should put rifle racks or hooks/nails on walls in key rooms, out of reach of kids, so that rifles can be grabbed quickly if the alarm is sounded.

Regarding your noncombatants or protected personnel; what you do with them depends on who they are. The younger kids will need to be protected in the safest location you have. Others will be useful to do tasks such as re-load magazines, distribute water and act as firefighting crews. Note that you need to have fire-extinguishers and buckets of water and /or sand available at hand during a defense to put out any fires. The more tasks you give people during a crisis, the more the activity will take their minds off the stress of the situation and the team will be strengthened. Ammunition replenishment, water distribution, casualty collection point, first aid, watching the rear and looking after the younger kids are all examples of tasks that can be allocated to make people a useful part of the team when personnel resources are tight.

Firearms and equipment has been covered under the home defense article. For this kind of defensive situation you will be well served by the ability to detect, observe and accurately engage enemy at the longest range possible by day and night. This is easily said, but would take throwing money at it to get all the equipment you need to best do it. In terms of firearms, I would recommend tactical type high capacity magazine rifles for the main work, backed up by handguns and pump action 12 gauge shotguns. The shotguns are good for close work and if the enemy gets in to the building, last ditch stuff. Long range hunting type rifles are good for observation (scope) and longer distance engagement. You would be best served with good optics for your weapons and also observation devices such as binoculars. Think about night vision and even thermal imaging if you can afford it. You will also have to consider that even if you can afford a night vision device, it will only work for whoever has it so how will the rest engage? What type and configuration of these night vision devices, on weapons as sights or not? Without night sights you can fire at muzzle flash or use whatever illumination is available, white light or whatever. A good option is to have parachute illumination flares. Loose barking dogs on your property are perhaps the best low budget early warning system; however consider that they may give away your position if you are trying to be totally covert. Decide on your priorities and strategy and tie that in with what money you have to spend on equipment. You can get expensive systems such as ground sensors, lights and alarms, but these cost money and you have to consider their use in a long-term grid down situation. I would prefer to spend money on optics and night observation devices which will last without grid power (but will require batteries) and can also be taken with you if you have to move locations. Here are some basic suggestions for equipment to augment such a defense:

  • Appropriate tactical firearms & ammunition
  • Web gear and magazines
  • Ear and eye protection
  • Body armor and helmets, NIJ level IIIa or Level IV
  • Barbed wire, coiled (concertina) and for low wire entanglements
  • Sandbags or other ballistic protection options
  • Night vision devices
  • Binoculars plus optical rifle sights
  • Black out curtain and pre-cut plywood for windows
  • Parachute illumination flares
  • Trip-flares
  • Trauma medical kit incl. CAT tourniquets
  • Range cards
  • Two way radios and/or field telephones
  • Multiple fire-extinguishers and/or buckets of water

If you have put a group together for such a defense, they need to be trained on not only tactical shooting and basic small unit tactics and movement, but also briefed and rehearsed on the defensive plan including fighting positions and sectors of fire. Consider that depending on your circumstances and the terrain, you may be benefited by running periodic clearance patrols around the property to mitigate against surprise attack, and to do this your team need to be able to patrol and move tactically, as well as respond to any enemy contact. You will preferably have a medic with a trauma bag. You do not want to ever run out of ammunition, so make sure you have as much as you can reasonably purchase. Like tactics, ammunition quantities are a subjective argument with many solutions. I recommend a personal load of six to eight thirty round magazines on the person, with at least as many full magazines for resupply. And once you have used that, you need another resupply! In a real life contact you will likely use less ammunition than you may during training and you must concentrate on effective accurate fire rather than simple quantity. Train your team to engage positively identified enemy, or suppress known enemy positions. A rapid rate of fire is 30 rounds per minute; a deliberate rate is 10 rounds per minute.

Practice and rehearse the command and fire control procedures at your location, including the communication of enemy locations and actions. Use range cards to tie in sectors for mutual support and to prevent ‘friendly fire’. Run ‘stand to’ drills like a fire drill by day and by night and be able to call out which direction the enemy threat comes from. Be aware of diversions and demonstrations intended to distract you from the main direction of attack. Always cover all sectors, even with just one observer looking to the flanks and rear in a manpower crisis. Keep unnecessary noise and shouting down, allowing orders and target indications to be passed around the position. Every team member is a sensor and a ‘link man’ to pass on information.

Having said all that, you are not going to open fire on just anyone coming to your location. Any actions that you take should be justifiable as self-defense. Do be mindful of tricks and the potential for snipers. However, don’t give up on morality and charity and don’t illegally open fire on anyone that comes near your defended location. You need to agree on rules of engagement for your sentries and you should apply escalation of force protocols to meet a threat with the proportionate and appropriate force necessary to stop that threat. Have the ability to warn anyone approaching, whether you have permanent warning signs or something like a bullhorn that you use as part of your escalation procedures through warning to non-lethal then lethal force as you begin to identify them as posing a threat. Remember that escalation of force is a continuum and you can bypass the early stages and go directly to lethal force if taken by surprise and faced with a lethal threat that must be stopped.

Max Velocity is an author and trainer providing tactical instruction and advice for those preparing for disaster survival and high threat, protection and combat operations. He is the author of two books on security issues: Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival and Rapid Fire! Tactics for High Threat, Protection and Combat Operations .
Visit http://www.maxvelocitytactical.com/

 (Survival manual/ Prepper articles/ Survive the Collapse)

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Precious metals in your future

9 June 2013, Gold-Eagle.com, contributing editorial by Roxanne Lewis
Pasted from: http://www.gold-eagle.com/editorials_12/lewisr060913.html

economic support“When the Federal Reserve decides to move interest rates higher the bond market will collapse.  It will be the biggest bubble the world has even seen and all will suffer!” “In the end it will not matter if you were early purchasing gold and silver…but that you were too late!” Roxanne Lewis

The failure of economic theory has led us down this path to ruins!  The powered elitist’ who own the central banks and their bought politicians are stumbling in the dark groping for the magic pill to jump start the world’s economy.  Or is this their plan to destroy the economy so the masses will starve?  Their infinite egos dictate that they control and manipulate the entire world’s economy in their plans for their “One World Order”.

They planned new business growth for clean energy that is too expensive to accomplish, they instigated business regulations that stifle small businesses, tax codes that behoove businesses to leave the U.S. and a government that believes America can survive with a populace that is beholden to them for food, housing and medical care.  The past 30 years in America have produced nothing but devastation to our once thriving cities.  We have lost our steel and iron industry, our automobile manufacturing and production sectors dominance, and the loss of our fabric production and garment industries.  These job losses have decimated once thriving cities like Philadelphia, D.C., Detroit and left millions without work and destined to lives of welfare.

Today one sees the systemic problems on even the streets of your home town.  We are witnessing the results of our governance’s inept policy failures every direction we look.  Once productive neighbors are out of work, homes are for sale or in foreclosure, friends and families are now using food stamps, neighborhood businesses are in foreclosure or shuttered, new empty store fronts daily while bloodsucking pawn shops have sprung up in their place with rows of pawned vehicles out front.   Inequality has always been evident around the globe but is now happening in your backyard. Our country is stagnated and our world’s economy is close to total collapse.  Americans are suffering because our government no longer supports a free America.  They no longer support self reliance but suggest dependence, no private ownership but corporate fiefdoms, no freedom of choice but dictates of labor, wages, healthcare and religion.  Why?  So the politicians can retain their jobs and the elitist’ receive more land, more corporate profits, more money and their mission of “a new Atlantis”!

Leaders, throughout history, have looked to economists for guidance in financial matters and have utilized their explanation of the facts they see.  They are relegated as the “experts” who possess some infinite wisdom that the common man could never discover, express nor less understands.  The “Economist” spells out the problem and the solutions to aid the world’s economic malaise.  They give long theories, offer opinions, recommendations and then dispense supposedly unbiased, objective, apolitical and unemotional analysis of our state of affairs.  The economists continue their din of words reminding us that “the cost of money is determined by dropping or rising interest rates, when interest rates rise, the cost of money goes up, inflation drops therefore gold topples.”  The economist’s dictate these movements as foreseeable, right?   Wrong, because today everything has been “fixed” with zero percent interest rates for 4 years and manipulation through counterfeiting money which they have injected into the system like a continuous shot of morphine to deaden the pain and make everyone feel good.  Their economics have simply not changed as our world has changed.  The world initially had an abundance of natural resources and little capital to extract these resources.  Today we have fewer resources with added regulatory costs and too much capital chasing a multitude of projects.    CAPITAL NO LONGER FLOWS TO ITS BEST USAGE BUT TO A MULTITUDE OF AVERAGE TO POOR USAGES!  This is just a part of the reason we see so many abandoned office buildings, closed businesses, abandoned housing projects and forced, failed government supported business expansions such as Solyndra who got $35 M before they too claimed bankruptcy?   I wonder who got the bag of money and why aren’t they being fined for the hazardous waste they left behind?

Today, the economist states, we are resetting to the “new normal”.  This resetting only supports the large private banks that include the Federal Reserve, in printing and propping up every financial mechanism available in an effort to maintain our country & world’s fiscal health.  This includes stocks, Treasury and Municipal bonds while accepting low trade volume as the “new normal” as well.  They are sitting back and enjoying the fact that private investment has disappeared.  They know that in order to prosper the populace needs them for credit investments.  Our federal government is even beholden to this central bank for its own existence and the Dow Jones as well.  It reminds one of the old Soviet Russia before their fall!

Our nation’s leaders are but puppets for the elitists who have “hired gun economists” dole out the same failed recipe other nations have followed in this “Les Miserable” opera.   Economies like Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal, France, Turkey and others all topple.  Who will be next, Japan, England or the United States?   Probably in that order I’d suspect!

Next we the taxpayers get the bill for the politico’s salaries, benefits, and retirements, bail outs, bail ins and every give away they can dream up while the corporations never pay any taxes.  Next it will be the theft of your dollars again from an idolatry of the stock market and the nationalization of the minorities 401k’s.  The politicians will then start all over with the same problem or another insignificant problem they dream up e and make a big deal about nothing, just a different day, while blowing the whole experiment over and over again.  They never get it right because they fail to listen to their citizenry who already knows the correct answers yet never gets called on by the teacher to report it.  Where are the real “economists” who have the common sense to state that this failed experiment must be dumped and a new currency created with the solid backing of precious metals?

What we need is a shakedown of the whole bloated, corrupt, failing and problematic governance we have in America.   We need government to implement and show the entire world what needs to be done to get people back to work.  We need to get rid of N.A.F.T.A. (Numbskulls Attempting To Fool Today’s Americans).  We must return our manufacturing jobs to our once great cities and to accomplish that we must revise our seven foot tax code making it conducive to business start ups, reinvestment and corporate relocation. We must rebuild our failing infrastructure instead of bailing out banks.   America must take the lead and provide the guidance needed to assist the Euro Zone, England and Mexico to nourish the people with jobs.  Maybe build new high speed rail systems to move people and products like China has.  The side asset would be savings in fossil fuels while improving the much touted green house gases.  WE NEED OUR GOVERNMENT TO USE THE TRILLIONS THEY WASTE GIVING MEN A FISH, TO ALLOWING MEN TO FISH!  

We need to term limit all the inept, parasitic lifers that are the root of the problem and no longer allow them to serve from “cradle to grave”.  Every government entity needs to be stripped down to the bare basics.  If one lies, cheats or fails to support the laws of our constitution it should be one strike you’re out!  Keep the good meat and throw out the bad.  There simply is not one good program, few good politicians that are worth keeping and the new programs that appear to be corrupted by the old regime.  If you can say you support the system we currently have and believe in their decisions keep doing what you have been doing.   If you have your doubts make the change now to get out of their systems, their banks, their stock markets and shopping their corporations.  Get your dollars into real money by purchasing gold and silver.   The bankers will never refer to gold and silver as “real money” but it has been proven to be just that over thousands of years whenever paper money is debased.   Protect your family before it’s too late by purchasing gold and silver!

 PM grab

[If it's worth your owning, it's worth their trying to steal. Mr. Larry]

 B.  Don’t Dismiss The Possibility Of Gold Confiscation
6 June 2013, Gold-Eagle.com, commentary by Jeff Thomas International Man
Excerpt pasted from: http://www.gold-eagle.com/editorials_12/thomasj060613.html

If you hold precious metals in your portfolio, there is a good chance you fear hyperinflation and the crash of fiat currencies.

You probably distrust governments in general and believe they are self-serving and have no interest in your economic well-being. It is likely that your holdings in gold are your lifeline – your hope to get you through these times while holding on to your wealth.  But have you ever given any thought to the possibility of having this lifeline confiscated by the authorities?

In my conversations with friends and associates, I have often raised this question. The typical responses:
“They’d never do that.”
“I’ll deal with that if and when it happens.”
“I just wouldn’t give it to them.”
I consider these “wishful thinking” responses.

It’s an interesting thought that the greatest threat to gold and silver investment might not be the possibility of losing on the speculation, but the government taking it away from you. It’s a thought that I’ve found few want to even think about, let alone discuss.

If you fall into this camp, you’re in good company. Some of the forecasters whom I respect most highly also treat it either as unlikely or at best, “something we may need to look at in the future.” To date, in conversing with top advisors worldwide, the two primary reasons they believe gold will not be confiscated are:  1. “Confiscation would mean the government acknowledges the reality of the value of gold.”  Yes, this is quite so. They would be changing their official view… which, of course, they do all the time. But I submit that all that they need to do is put the proper spin on it.
2. “They would meet greater resistance than they did back in ’33.” I expect that this is also true, but that a plan will be put in place to deal with that resistance.

We’ll address both of these assertions in more detail shortly, but first, a bit of history.

In 1933, Franklin Roosevelt came into office and immediately created the Emergency Banking Act, which demanded that all those who held gold (other than personal jewelry) turn it in to approved banks. Holders were given less than a month to do this. The government then paid them $20.67 per ounce – the going rate at the time. Following confiscation, the government declared that the new value of gold was $35.00. In essence, they arbitrarily increased the value of their newly purchased asset by 69%. (This alone is reason enough to confiscate.)

Today, the US government is in much worse shape than it was in 1933, and it has much more to lose. The US dollar is the default currency of the world, but it’s on the ropes, which means the US economic power over the rest of the world is on the ropes.
I think that readers will agree that they will do anything to keep from losing this all-important power.

The US government has essentially run out of options. At some point, the fiat currencies of the First World will collapse, and some other form of payment will be necessary. Yes, the IMF is hoping to create a new default currency, but that, too, is to be a fiat currency. If any country were to produce a gold-backed currency in sufficient supply, that currency would likely become the desired currency worldwide. Fractional backing would be expected.

As most readers will know, the Chinese, Indians, Russians, and others see the opportunity and are building up their gold reserves quickly and substantially. If these countries were to agree to introduce a new gold-backed currency, there can be little doubt that they would succeed in changing the balance of world trade.

That said, the US government is watching these countries just as we are, and they are aware of the threat of gold to them.  The US government ostensibly has approximately 8,200 tonnes of gold in Fort Knox, although this may well be partially or completely missing. Additionally, it ostensibly holds a further 5,000 tonnes of gold in the cellar of the New York Federal Reserve building. Again, there is no certainty that it is there. In general, the authorities don’t seem to like independent audits.

In fact, there are rumors that the above vaults are nearly or completely empty and that the above quoted figures exist only on paper rather than in physical form. While there is no way to know this for sure, it’s not out of the question.

Either way, if the US and the EU could come up with a large volume of gold quickly, they could issue a gold-backed currency themselves. It’s a simple equation: The more gold they have = the more backed notes they can produce = the more power they continue to hold. By seizing upon the private supply of their citizens, they would increase their holdings substantially in short order.

Either that or they could just give up their dominance of world trade and power… What would you guess their choice would be?  It is entirely possible that the US government (and very likely the EU) has already made a decision to confiscate. They may have carefully laid out the plan and have set implementation to coincide with a specific gold price.

 PM developing-safety

[Global readers of this post, please understand: “Different folks, same evil.” It’s all about money, you got it, they want it. Don’t turn in your valuables, starve their need and they will be replaced. It’s better to bury this part of your wealth in the ground and tell your children or relatives where to find it in a friendlier future,  than to “turn it in” to a criminal, predatory regime who will use it to continue feeding on others. 4dtraveler]

So how would this unfold? Let’s imagine a “fairly extreme” scenario and ask ourselves if it could be pulled off effectively:

STEP 1:  The evening news programs announce that the economic recovery is being hampered by wealthy private investors who, by hoarding gold, are skewing the value of the dollar and threatening the middle and poorer classes. The little man is being made to suffer while the rich get richer. A press campaign to equate gold ownership with greed ensues.

STEP 2:  The government announces the Second Emergency Banking Act, advising the public that “the first EBA was instituted by FDR to solve this same problem during the Great Depression. This act was instrumental in helping the little man ‘recover.’” (As the average man on the street doesn’t know his history nor how wrong this statement is, he’ll believe it. Besides, the announcement has a “feel-good” message, and that’s all that matters.)

STEP 3:  Possessors of gold, who make up a small minority of the population, would become pariahs. It won’t matter that the guy who owns two gold Maple Leafs is not exactly a greedy, rich man. No one will wish to be seen as resisting confiscation. Neither will they wish to go to prison for resisting, no matter how remote the possibility.

STEP 4:  The US pays for the gold in US dollars, which are rapidly headed south. Yes, the Fed will need to print more fiat dollars in order to pay them off, but this suits their purpose, as it inflates the dollar even more. Those who have turned in their gold will do whatever they can to unload the US dollars as quickly as possible and will need to find another investment at a time when there are very few trustworthy investments other than gold. The stock market would likely rise, showing the public how the gold confiscation program is “working.”

STEP 5: One last scary possibility: The government demands that gold is turned in immediately and that settlement will occur following confiscation. After confiscation, it announces that, as there has been such a large number of cases of rich people ripping off the little man, processing them all could take months, possibly even a year or more. A further announcement states that some investors have made an unreasonable profit on the backs of the poor and that they should not be granted this profit. This profit must be returned to the people. (You can almost hear the cheers of the people.) Then it sets about making assessments. The bureaucrats find that most investors do not have formal, acceptable receipts for every coin in their possession. So if you paid $1,200 for a Krugerrand a couple of years ago, you get paid $1,200. If you bought it at $250 in 1999, you get paid $250. But if you have no receipt in an acceptable form, you get a “fair,” median payment, say, $500, regardless of when you bought it. Appeals: Each investor will be allowed up to one year to appeal the decision of the Treasury as to what is owed him. Of course, the investor knows that the dollar is sinking rapidly and that he would be wise to shut up and take what he is being offered.

Again, this hypothetical scenario is an extreme one. The reader is left to consider just how likely or unlikely this scenario is and what that would mean to his wealth.

But bear this in mind: If the above scenario were to take place soon, the average citizen would have mixed feelings. They would be glad that the “evil rich” had been taken down a peg, but they would worry about the idea of the government taking things by force, because they might be next. It would therefore be in the government’s interests to implement confiscation only after the coming panic sets in – after the next crash in the market, after it becomes plain to the average citizen that this really is a depression and he really is in big trouble. Then he will be only too glad to see the “greedy rich” go down, and he won’t care about the details.

As terrible as the thought is, it seems unlikely to me that the government will not confiscate gold, as they have little to lose and so much to gain.  Those who own gold would prefer to think that this cannot happen, but they have quite a lot riding on that hope and precious little evidence to support it.  It is entirely possible that this scenario will not take place, just as it is possible that confiscation will not take place. The purpose of this article is to spark some serious discussion – both for and against the possibility.  Investors are, by their very nature, planners. It may take a community of investors to develop a legal plan to deal with the above eventuality. Time to get started.

The government can’t easily confiscate what’s outside its own borders, which is why it’s working night and day to make it as difficult as possible for you to protect your assets abroad. This sad reality means that you need to take action before it’s too late.

(News & Editorial/Collapse & precious metals)

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Must have kitchen items and survival skills

RainMan38 Must Have Kitchen Items for Any Survivalist
16 September 2012 , The Emergency Food Supply, by Michael
Pasted from: http://theemergencyfoodsupply.com/archives/38-must-have-kitchen-items-for-any-survivalist by SurvivingSurvivalism.com

Regardless of how many #10 cans of “just-add-water-ready-to-eat” stuff you have, at some point you’re going to have to learn to use a kitchen in much the same way as your granny, or your great-granny, did. So we’ve put together this list of 38 essential kitchen items for any survivalist.

1.  Matches - If you don’t smoke, why on earth would you need matches? But if we’re going to learn to cook like granny, for most of you that would include cooking on top of a wood heat stove, or on a wood cook stove with an oven. I know there are ways to start a fire with a magnifying glass, some straw and some kindling, but believe me, matches are easier. If you’re really good at starting and keeping a fire throughout the 3 daily meals, you could use as little as 1 match a day. If you’re not, 20 may not be enough. We have found that the most economical matches are book matches, like you get with a pack of cigarettes. They come in a box of 50 books, 20 matches per book, for about $1.50 in many stores. That’s a lot of lights for cheap. Wooden kitchen matches go for about $3.50 for 250 matches. See the difference?
kitchen openers2.  Can-Opener -we’re not talking about the kind that plugs into a wall. Have at least 2 good, sturdy hand operated can-openers . The newer ones from China do wear out. We’ve worn out a few. We also have an Army C-Ration P-38 can-opener. It takes a little practice, but once you get the groove going on it, you can open a #10 can in a few seconds.
3.  Hand Grain Mill - We have said this before, but we personally like the Wondermill Junior Deluxe Hand Grain Mill. (This is not a compensated endorsement, it’s just what we use and like.) For the money, it’s the best we have found. What can you do with it? Grind wheat, rice, barley, oats, rye, lentils into flour. It can also be used to make nut-butters, like pinion butter, walnut butter, chestnut butter. It will also make cornmeal. The uses are virtually endless, especially if you eat a lot of whole, natural foods.
4.  Cast Iron/Stainless Steel Cookware - If you are going to be cooking over a wood stove of any kind, you need durable stainless steel or cast iron cookware. Aluminum (besides not being good for your health) tends to warp on wood cook stoves. Black, cast iron pans heat evenly, hold the heat for a long time and do not warp., not to mention giving you a little dose of iron in your food.
5.  Roasting Pans – Enamelware is best, and so is stainless steel. Make sure the roasting pan will fit into your oven! Wood cook stoves don’t have the same huge ovens as gas or electric stoves.
6.  Tea Kettle - Stainless Steel or Copper. In the winter, a steaming tea kettle on the wood stove not only serves as as-the-ready for tea or coffee, the steam warms and moisturizes the air. Just don’t let it boil down all the way before refilling it.
7. Colanders - Metal (stainless steel) is best. If you have or want some plastic colanders, understand that they will break over time, and most of them are made with BPA in the plastic.
8.  Cookie Sheets - for breads, biscuits, cookies, for drying fruits or veggies… Avoid Teflon coatings or aluminum cookie sheets, get stainless steel.
9. Cooking Utensils- Again, metal (stainless steel) is much better than plastic, and with stainless steel and cast iron cookware, you don’t have to worry about scratches:
- Ladles
- Serving Forks
- Slotted Spoons
- Pastry Cutter
- Rolling Pin
- Sharpening Steel
- Cheese Grater/Slicer
- Potato Peeler
- Whisk- Meat Tenderizing Hammer

kitchen utensils
10.  Measuring Cups and Spoons- Once again, stainless steel is the best choice for these. A 4-cup glass measuring cup with a pour-spout would be a nice addition, too.
11. Good Knives - Good Knives are ones that will keep a sharp edge for a reasonable amount of time, not go dull instantly upon use. If you can find old, carbon-steel knives in yard sales or flea markets, they are best, Old Hickory, Old Timers, Imperial are some brands to look for.
12. Sugar (or honey or molasses), Essential for coffee, tea, baking, preserving, and much more. Get Turbinado or Demarara Sugar, which is unrefined and still contains nutrients.
13.  Salt - Sea salt may seem more expensive that “table” salt (I didn’t know you could get salt from a table!?!), but it has many minerals and nutrients still in it. It also tastes better.
14.  Baking Soda -there are soooooooo many uses for baking soda besides baking: antacid, drawing poultice, kitchen cleanser, vegetable rinse, fire extinguisher, food preservative, water purifier, toothpaste, bathing, hair rinse, facial exfoliant are just a few.
15.   Vinegar - white distilled vinegar, apple cider vinegar, wine vinegar all have their uses. Distilled vinegar can remove lime deposits from cookware, use in salad dressings, rinse minerals from hair, preserve/pickle vegetables.
16.  Spices - this will be different for different people (no accounting for taste!), but here are some suggestions:
- Garlic powder
- Paprika
- Dill
- Basil
- Oregano
- Onion Powder
- Cinnamon
- Chili Powder
17.  Dried Veggies - these can also be used to season dishes, or to make soups or stews. Again, this is not a paid recommendation, but http://www.sfherb.com/ (San Francisco Herb Company) has a great bargain.  1 lb of dehydrated veggies for around $7. A pound lasts me about a month, and I cook a lot.
18.  Cooking Oil - In our opinion, there are only 2 types of cooking oil safe for human consumption… Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Peanut Oil.


B. 25 Must Know Skills For Surviving The Coming Nightmare
3 April 2012, SHTFplan.com, article contributed by Be Informed
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/25-must-know-skills-for-surviving-the-coming-nightmare_04032012

kitchen fireThe following article was generously shared with the SHTFplan community by regular contributor ‘Be Informed’ and provides skills that will be essential for surviving any number of catastrophes that may befall us.

Many people nowadays are quite aware that the world they live in is going to the toilet. Aside from the geophysical part that “seems” to be going haywire and could be nothing other than the planet’s cycles, there are plenty of manmade catastrophes that loom on the horizon. Never has the planet had as many people as now and the more people there are the more competition there is for resources. More countries seek nuclear devices than ever before and with advancements in technology this is a much easier process than anytime before. Biological and chemical weapons are also much easier to manufacture because of leaps of technology in regards to computers. Oil markets are much tighter because of the countries of China and India and their increasing need of energy to fuel their booming economies, and new finds of oil fields cannot keep up with the demand. The debacle of the world economies needs no introduction. In short, bad times, really bad times could and probably be coming to a neighborhood near you. Unless you and your family take quite seriously this possibility, if and when something extremely horrible happens, you could very well end up one of the large number of statistics.

Many survival sites have informative and excellent advice on survival that can help you make it through a limited amount of time when everyday life is totally disrupted. However, what exactly does a person do IF the society that almost all of us have become way too dependent on, fails to recover for an extended period of time, if ever again? What IF civilization implodes and only begins to recuperate after centuries have gone by? If you watch some of the ideas people have on survival being interviewed on television, you have to wonder what exactly these people are thinking. The people that have prepared for problems with the world are woefully ready for any disaster lasting for more than a few days at best. One lady thought having a flashlight was being prepared. Even those that have invested in years worth of food and supplies, there are some basic survival skills that need to be learned and understood to better increase one’s chance of making it through a possible long-term survival situation.

The following are 25 suggestions on those survival skills that will likely be needed after a nightmare has hit human civilization with a vengeance. Each of these 25 skills can fill an entire article on learning and teaching of it. So only a brief overlay of each of these will be discussed to avoid pages long descriptions. Further information can be obtained through many survival books and the many articles on each subject. Situations and personal handling of SHTF situations will differ widely, but the foundation will likely be there for almost everyone. The main objective is to get people into learning and practicing these survival skills so when something cataclysmic does happen, they can better deal with and make it through intense human tragedy.

1.  Prepare for the worst. Individuals can still hope for the best, but something lacking with many preppers is that they still cannot even think about something really awful happening. Too many of those that do ready themselves for disasters cannot find within themselves to even discuss with their families and friends a calamity that is horrid and what to do if it should manifest itself. This denial leads to a failure of preparing enough beyond usually a couple of weeks or so. To them, there is still that government or other safety net waiting for them when their preparation runs out.

2.  Learn and train your mind to expect the totally unexpected. The bizarre oftens happens, and there are events that are going to freak out even kitchen thoughtssome the better prepared survivalists. A lot of people will prepare and practice all sorts of drills for various horrors, which is wonderful training. There still lurks the possibility of something so strange and weird that it shocks practically everyone. By addressing this possiblity in your thoughts before it actually happens, you have conditioned your mind to at least accept this. Training for something strange can be done through other individuals within your circle of allies coming up with sudden scenarioes that only their imaginations can fathom.

3.  Learn to live meager. This is practicing for when times become lean for everyone. If a person wants to avoid the shock of living well to living under a rationed way of life, now is the time to get used to it. We all take so much for granted – the modern conveniences – it becomes an automated habit to turn on a light switch, flip on the internet, TV, cell phone, without even considering this could be wiped out within an instant. We open the refrigerator and there is food, or put food already pre-cooked into the microwave to warm it. We go to the supermarket and get what we need. We have entertainment at our fingertips. If this is all gone, how will people handle it? Horribly if they have not gotten used to going without it for at least part of their lives. A “time out” each day from what we so rely on that could disappear is quite helpful to being ready for if it does go away suddenly.

4.  Find personal motivators to continue on. When it looks hopeless after a mega SHTF episode, having some concrete reason to fight and continue on is an absolute necessity to avoid giving up. Many people will feel, “what’s the point?”, and just stop trying to survive. Someone’s child sitting next to them, a parent, a sibling, a spouse, a friend, someone that means something to you can be that inspiration to continue on. It can be just someone’s desire for life that helps them over the hump. Finding that personal reason to survive and fight on is so important.

5.  Understand the world and potential disasters that await. When you can better expect what could happen, you are less likely to be caught off guard. Timing is everything. An individual that can bug out before something hits is going to be way ahead of the pack. While predicting the future is probably going to be unlikely, seeing a situation developing and acting on it before it occurs can be a life saver. By monitoring the news of the world with vigilance you can see something others don’t. By becoming more informed about earth science if you live in an area prone to geophysical disaster prone areas can help much. The old adage about knowledge is power is very true, but knowledge is also part of survival and the more you have the more likely it is that you will survive.

6.  Make plans and stick to them. After a disaster your mind is going to be racing around like a car on a race track. Pre-planning and having a written down set of measures to take will make someone’s life go much smoother when SHTF. Your own personal plan is ONLY what best fits what you are going to do during and after a disaster. People should also have back-up plans, PLAN B and C and D at least because nothing ever seems to go as planned. Haphazard approaches to the aftermaths of catastrophes are kind of like a chicken running around without a head.

7.  Understand how you’ll react. Some people just cannot handle stress, they freeze up and panic overwhelms them. Everyone reacts to stress and fear in different ways, and even the most calm in control person can become ballistic or paralyzed with fright. Addressing this issue before something happens and attempting to come to grips with it is essential. People have remarkable levels of tolerance for bad times and most can dig down and come up mentally with what is necessary to survive. Any phobia or fear is usually better dealt with before being put to the test. A first step is to admit to oneself that these disasters can and do happen and then thinking over, even writing down how one will handle it. Talking this over with another is invaluable.

8.  Understand the psychology of desperate people. This is a difficult one. After a SHTF event people are going to, simply put, go crazy. That neighbor that was in control during many minor emergencies may be the one pounding on your door with whacked out eyes demanding what you have because they did not prepare for anything. Someone in your own survival group may just blank out in a zombie-like stare. Unexpected times brings out the worst in people and people should prepare for this possiblility. You yourself could lose it. Again, preparing for this will help should it occur. You always hope that disasters will bring out the best in your fellow person, but often this is not the case.

9.  Be clever and inventive. When the world falls apart around someone, there is likely not going to be anyone there to repair what you have or somewhere to replace it. You will either have to go without, repair it yourself, or jerry rig up some contraption that will function for you. Much can be learned by practicing going without your power tools and fixing things using only hand tools and what you can find in spare parts laying around. Using junk to come up with unique devices that work for you will become a necessary skill you will need to master should society fail to come back.

10.  Learn and condition yourself into a survival mentality. Homeless people become experts at seeing what others consider pure trash as survival tools. The fine art of scrounging around will become a chore that people will have to do to find what they need. That bottle on the ground after a disaster can be used for many purposes including collecting something you can use. People must first try to see in their minds what certain items can have use for them. Homeless people have become quite good at this during stable times, everyone will have to learn this skill after times become nightmare-like.

11.  Know where you are going. Whether someone is going to bug in or bug out to somewhere safer, they need to know where they plan to take a stand and stay. Transportation is a very important issue to consider and how much of what they have can be moved to where they are planning to go. Fuel will be a huge consideration as the lack of it prohibits how far someone can go. Something else everyone should understand is how to read maps. You will likely not have any GPS system to guide you and the good old fashioned paper map may be the only way to show you where you are going. Understanding topographic maps is also key here.

12.  Learn how to maintain light at night. One of the most depressing situations is to spend night in near to total darkness. Besides this, not being able to see at night is dangerous. Learning how to make candles and wicks should be a skill to consider learning. Fats and other oils will burn and can be obtained throughout nature and the outdoors. Long term solar battery rechargers for flashlights and LED battery powered lanterns are another option.

13.  Learn how to hide. There will almost certainly come a time after a bad disaster that you will want to avoid being noticed at all. Learning how to camouflage yourself is a good start. Avoiding detection is concealing yourself from sight, sound, and smell from others. Any activity that a person engages in can be magnified many times when the normal sounds of a busy city or town are now quiet. Much careful consideration must go into taking this into account if a person wants to remain unbeknownst to others that mean them harm. Remaining inconspicuous can be difficult in some cases, but it can be done.

kitchen sanitation14.  Maintain proper hygiene. This is one of the top priorities within the armed forces because disease and sickness can and do take down the toughest of soldiers. People must realize that after a terrible disaster it is not like someone that goes camping, comes back dirty, and takes a nice long shower or a hot bath. After SHTF the water to the faucets, as well the hot water heater, may not work. Bathing on at least a semi-regular basis is necessary to avoid all sorts of bacteria from building up on the skin and causing a variety of health concerning ailments that will then have to be treated. People should plan on just how they will keep themselves clean, even thinking about sponge baths as an option.

15.  How to dispose of waste and proper sanitation. In third world countries and the pre-flush toilet era one of the leading causes of illness and death was and is waste not properly discarded. If the toilets won’t flush because there is no water to make them work, human waste is going to be a huge whopping problem for people trying to survive. Even improperly burying human excrement can lead to disease. Portable toilets, toilet paper and disinfection (bleach for one) should be one of the top items in any survival kit, lots of it. Also disposal of other trash is an issue that can bring hungry dangerous animals around drawn to the stench. Burning of trash can be choice of some, while plastic trash bags and the means to find some place to dump them is another alternative.

16.  Learn to control pest and other vermin. This is a problem that led to about half of Europe dying several hundred years ago with the black death. Fleas and ticks carry some terrible diseases. Even people that stay inside their own homes will have to deal with this problem. People outside will have to contend with the fleas, ticks, flies, mosquitoes, mice, rats, etc., etc., etc. There are many repellents in nature that can help a lot such as citronella, even the smell of garlic that most vermin do not like much at all. Stocking up on insect and other commercial repellents is always an excellent idea. It only takes one bite to make a person deathly sick.

17.  Understand radiation and fallout and how to protect yourself. This is one of the least understood of the survival precautions taken. There are hundreds of nuclear power plants that could fail after the world goes to the toilet. There are still tens of thousands of nuclear weapons available for war should countries decide to use them. Fallout is something that you might not even see and until you are sick might not even know you have been contaminated. Purchase of a radiation detector that is protected against EMP is a wise idea. Even building what is called a Kearny radiation detector is something someone can do that doesn’t have much money to work with. Understanding about radiation accumulation dosage RAD’s and how to shield oneself against it is paramount.

18.  Learn how to forecast the weather. Without knowledge of what to look at before a storm system comes in, someone could be trapped and die when they are are buried under snow or a wall of water from a flashflood. Even one of those pocket weather forecasters that can be purchased at most sporting goods stores is a good start. Other weather forecasting books are available to help someone get a better idea on what the future weather holds for an area that they are at. Weather is still one of the deadliest killers in the modern age. It will become magnitudes worst when people cannot get weather warnings over a radio or other source. People will have to forecast it themselves.

19.  Learn first aid. Treating yourself and or others will probably be the only thing someone can do as medical professionals are going to be few and far between. Many places offer free classes on first aid because they want people in the community to be prepared. A good first aid book along with a first aid kit is something every household should have before, during, and after a disaster. Primitive conditions should be expected when anyone is helping someone after a catastrophe. A stockpile of antibiotics are always a good idea. Even acquring the skill of making your own antibiotics can save lives as infection is something that will become an epidemic, especially with minor cuts and abrasives that are sure to be plenty.

20.  Learn about nutrition. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are nothing to fool around with. Just look what scurvy, the lack of Vitamin C, can do to someone. Many survivalists and preppers make the critical mistake of only being concerned about calories to keep them going. Vitamins; A, B1 through B12, C. D, E, K, Minerals; Calcium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium, Zinc, and trace minerals are necessary to keep a body going. Many survival foods have some of what your body needs, but sadly lack in others. Each person needs different amounts and any survival food supply should take this need as important as the food itself. Vitamin and mineral supplements should be stocked with food if someone is unsure about what they are getting. Trace mineral drops are a liquid that offers much and are a good addition to any emergency supply someone has.

21.  Learn to keep body temperature uniform. The Goldilocks analogy here, not too hot, nor too cold, but just right. Your physical body should remainkitchen water as near to what your body has been use to as possible. It is not only uncomfortable being freezing cold or roasting to death, it puts a lot of stress on the body making someone more susceptible to becoming sick. Trying to stay cool uses up a lot of water, and trying to stay warm uses up more calories. Plan ahead with good warm clothes and blankets for the cold. Find places that are cooler during hot weather. Keeping out the elements where you are is essential and should be given much thought. If living outside, having a good shelter is beyond important. Insulation is something everyone should become more familiar with.

22.  How to start and maintain a fire. This is for everyone. Having a fire and keeping it going when you need to has been the essence to the very first people on the planet surviving. Fire cooks, heats water, keeps you warm, sterilizes items, and gives light. Having a lighter, matches, any starter is one thing, but actually keeping the fire going is another. Making sure the fire does not cause damage to your home or shelter is something not everyone thinks about. Burning of toxic wood or other material is something to remember never to do. Keeping a fire not too noticable to others is something everyone should remember because normally a fire means FOOD to a hungry person. While most everyone thinks that using a fire is rudimentry, there is much more to it.

23.  Obtain water and purify it. This is one of the most rehashed subjects of survival but probably the most important one. Most people just assume the taps will continue to flow and water will be there. Preppers that take water as extremely urgent often forget just how heavy water is and the hauling of water back and forth from a source such as a stream can be difficult as well as hazardous if it is wiser to stay inside for whatever reason. People need to know that unless water is from a spring it will likely need to be purified and this means some reliable filters or boiling it which requires heat from a fire, along with pots to boil it in. Aside from drinking, water is also needed to rehydrate food, make milk from powder, and of course cleaning yourself with. We all have to have a certain amount of liquid a day, and juice and other sources will suffice, but water is something that everyone still needs in order to keep their bodies healthy and functioning, as well as to remove toxins in the body. Water need and how much water will be used is something that is often vastly underestimated by many.

kitchen scavange24.  Learn how to grow food and or find it. People’s supplies will only last so long, and eventually self sufficiency with acquiring food will become necessary. Many people are into seed storing, and in many cases growing your own food will feed the family. However growing food has many drawbacks that people need to look at. Water is an issue in dry areas as irrigation is very manpower or animal power dependent. Growing season is a huge consideration as most of the U.S. is under 300 days of rain a year. Pest problems are enormous as pest control, pesticides both natural herbicides and chemical, are not going to be readily available. One of the gravest things to contemplate about is actually guarding your yield, as two legged problems could be a bigger issue to your crops than some beetle infestation. Hungry people will see food growing and take it, 24 hours a day. No one can grow enough food to feed all those seeking food. From a practical sense, it might be a better idea for some to go the hunter and gathering approach.

25.  Learn how to defend yourself and be willing to do it. This almost certainly means owning a firearm and knowing how to use it and be willing to use it to protect yourself or others. Many TV survival documentaries shows have people that feel they can defend themselves with knives, clubs, whatever, but in reality against someone else with a firearm they are going to lose 95%+ of the time. A firearm is an extension of a weapon that has speed and force behind it. Even the humble .22 caliber can stop any person. Many people think that they cannot use a firearm against another person, but this feeling changes abruptly when they see one of their family members at risk. Some people still cannot use a firearm, and in this case should consider some form of self defense such as the non-lethal devices including stun batons, pepper sprays, TASERS, even ball bats. NO ONE should ever consider themselves to be safe after a SHTF event, NEVER. People can feel that everyone will come together and rebuild society, many good people will, but there are plenty of bad people in this world. It may come down to you or them. Everyone needs to practice and practice with any self defense armament they have, so there is no hestiation when it comes to saving one’s life from someone that is willing to take yours.

These are 25 suggestions that people need to address now, before trying to survive the aftermath of a horrible event that sends the normalcy that everyone has become accustomed to down the drain for extended periods of time. People that prepare have to realize that when civilization stops functioning so does everything that most of us depend on. There may never be that safety net there for us to fall into WHEN our stocked up survival supplies run dry. Much of survival is having supplies, as well as backups for when food, water, and other necessities cannot be found. The other part is being ready for everything our new life could throw in our way. For this we all need to learn survival skills. At least think about it and then hopefully act upon it. When someone thinks about their personal needs, an individual can probably add many more survival skills to these 25. They should become quite proficient with the skills they personally need and can use NOW before SHTF so they have a better chance of surviving some nightmare series of events that “seem” like an inevitability in the not too near distant future.

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Must have kitchen items & survival skills)

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Food expiration dates

A.  The Real Expiration Date for Common Foods
15 March 2014, Natural Blaze.com, by Heather Callanghan
Pasted from: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/the-real-expiration-date-for-common-foods_032014

cheeseBy Heather Callaghan
The regulation guidelines for expired foods are few and arbitrary, really. They are also voluntary. They sprang up in the 1970s for more consumer information and perceived freshness. Expiration labels are only required by law for infant formula and baby foods; other laws regarding dairy are left up to some states and vary. There is waste before, during and after a food item’s grocery stay. Now, more than ever, when throwing out food we’re unsure of, it feels like trashing bags of money – and most of it is completely unnecessary. But nobody wants too read yet another scolding article about it. So…

Now that we know our expiration labels don’t tell us anything at all – where do we go from here? What can we eat with confidence?

First, let’s define some terms for the dates printed on food products:

Expiration – This is an estimated date for when the item is expected to go bad and the consumer is expected to proceed with caution. Still, a surprisingly large amount of these can be expanded, with some exceptions.

Sell by – That’s for the retailer, not for you. It’s about peak quality, like with flavor. It’s for store display and maddeningly, much of this gets tossed – prompting a “dumpster dive” revolution. Wouldn’t it be nice if people didn’t have to relegate themselves to a dumpster to get this perfectly good food? But in the dump it goes first.

Best if Used By/Before and Use By – Again, these refer to quality, not safety.
Pack or Born On – This is the manufacture date stamp and often refers to canned goods and beer.
Guaranteed Fresh – This is mostly the baker’s way of letting you know how long you can enjoy the baked good before it possibly goes stale. It doesn’t mean it’s harmful, but could be stale.

Yogurt and deli meat can last a week to 10 days more than the “sell by” date. Salami at two to three weeks. Most fresh meats, especially poultry and seafood, should be cooked and eaten within days. Eggs a whopping five weeks after expiration. When in doubt, gently place eggs in a big bowl of cold water filled to the top. If the eggs float, toss them. If they “stand up” that just means they are not as fresh but are still okay to eat.

Packaged items can last a long time after expiration but after months you may notice a staleness and waxy taste which could be rancid oils. Packaged and canned items can generally last a year or more after the stamped date.

The key to keeping storable foods the longest, is cool, dry and airtight. Canned goods included. If you see bulging cans – do not open! It’s rare, but it could be botulism. Bill Nye made this crystal clear to me as a kid.

Real Simple and iVillage offer a list of items and a “true” expiration, some lasting for years, but again, take with a grain of salt. Throwing out opened juice after a week in the fridge? No way! Of course if you make your juice yourself, ideally, it should be consumed immediately for best benefits. Whole, natural foods and drinks do not generally last as long as the grocery store – but you knew that! For instance, when I buy homemade bread I know to freeze it, otherwise mold is great indicator I waited one day too long. Lesson learned. Raw honey can last forever and honey and brown sugar indefinitely.

Cheese can have a long fridge life too. According to one naturopath, Kerrygold cheese from grass fed cows can be bought in bulk at Whole Foods and sit in the fridge for six months – mine is still fine after one month.

Is it really a great idea to be eating old food? Debatable. Some fruits like bananas can have added benefits with age. Ayurvedic principles frown on old or rotten food for its effect on the body or bio-rhythms (except for items better with age or fermentation). But, I’ve seen depression-era folks charge through their 80′s having lived a frugal life eating the bad fruits first, expired foods and keeping the fridge well above the suggested 40 degree mark. (Where can I get an immune system like that!)

The bottom line is that expiration is perception and to follow your nose and your gut. If something smells or tastes funny, do not risk it! Common sense and intuition are our friends and thankfully, we are much less likely to get sick in a clean home than from a restaurant. If you think you might get food poisoning, immediately take homeopathic Arscenicum Album 30c and Activated Charcoal.
What have you noticed that you can eat after the stamped date?

Two websites devoted completely to real expiration dates:


All Recipes allows you to type in what ingredients you currently have and pulls up recipes you can use. You can save favorite recipes in your own online recipe box.
Love Food Hate Waste is an English web site devoted to helping people use food on its way out

- See more at: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/the-real-expiration-date-for-common-foods_032014#sthash.iOuVubo3.dpuf


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 B.  Shelf Life for Long-Term Food Storage
Pasted from: http://prepperswife.blogspot.com/p/shelf-life.html

The following may be stored indefinitely (in proper containers and conditions):
Vegetable oils
White rice
Bouillon products
Powdered milk (in nitrogen-packed cans)
Vitamin C
DRY Pasta

PRETTY GOOD REFERENCE FOR LONG TERM FOOD STORAGE ~ Your mileage may vary ~ not a complete list but a good start.  Shelf life data provided below gives specific foods and average shelf life assuming optimum storage conditions.  Foods kept at lower temperatures extend their shelf life. Foods vac sealed – last longer

“A hungry man decides for himself what’s fit to  eat, A hungry Mom decides what’s fit to eat for the family” ~ The Prepper’s Wife 2011 Shelflife of Food Items * NOTE: Shelf life info from various sources.  Conflicts are researched through multiple resources.

Baby Food, canned – 12 months
Baking Powder – 18 months (unopened)
Baking Soda – 18-24 months
Beans, Adzuki – 8-10 years (at 70 degrees F.)
Beans, Blackeye – 8-10 years (at 70 degrees F.)
Beans, Black Turtle – 8-10 years (at 70 degrees F.)
Beans, Dried – 12-24 months ( in their original container)
Beans, Dried – indefinitely (resealed in a food grade container w/oxygen absorber or vacuum sealed in a food grade bag)
Beans, can, Baked, Bush – 24-36 months 1-423-509-2361
Beans, can, Black, Progresso – 24 months 1-800-200-9377
Beans, can, Bush Beans Brand – 26 months
Beans, Garbanzo – 8-10 years (at 70 degrees F.)
Beans, Great Northern – 8-10 years (at 70 degrees F.)
Beans, Kidney – 8-10 years (at 70 degrees F.)
Beans, Mung Beans – 8-10 years (at 70 degrees F.)
Beans, Pink – 8-10 years (at 70 degrees F.)
Beans, Pinto – 8-10 years (at 70 degrees F.)
Beans, Refried – 5 years (at 70 degrees F.)
Beans, Small Red – 8-10 years (at 70 degrees F.)
Beans, Soy – 8-10 years (at 70 degrees F.)
Bouillon – 24 months (Keep dry and covered)
Bouillon (Cubes) – 24 months
Bouillon (Granules) – 12 months
Bouillon, Herb Ox – 24 months
Bouillon, Tone – 24 months
Bread, Crackers – 3 months
Bread, Crackers, Saltines – 8 months
Bread, Crackers, Ritz – 8 months
Bread, Crackers, Whole-wheat – 48 months
Bread, Crumbs, dried – 6 months (Store dry and covered)
Bread, fresh, store-bought (original container @ 70° F. basement) – 5 days
Bread, frozen, store-bought (original container @ 0° F. freezer) – 6 months
Bread, Mix, Biscuit Mixes (most) – 9 months
Bread, Mix, Biscuit Mix, Krusteaze, any flavor except mix for bread machines – 24 months
Bread, Mix, Hot-roll mix -18 months (If opened, store in airtight) container
Bread, Rolls (commercial) – 3-5 days (frozen 2-3 months) Homemade breads may have shorter shelf life due to lack of preservatives.
Bread, Tortillas, Corn – 1-2 weeks (refrigerated 2 weeks) May be frozen
Bread, Tortillas, Flour – 1-2 weeks (refrigerated 2 weeks) May be frozen
Bread, wheat, homemade (polyethelene bag @ 70° F. basement) – 3 days
Bread, white, homemade (polyethelene bag @ 70° F. basement) – 5 days
Butter, dehydrated – 5-8 years
Butter (refrigerated) – 1-2 weeks (frozen 6-9 months) Wrap or cover tightly.
Buttermilk Powder – 24-36 months
Buttermilk (refrigerated) – 10-14 days Cover tightly. Flavor not affected if buttermilk separates.
Cake Mix (most) – 9-12 months
Cake Mix, Angel Food – 9 months
Cake Mix, Betty Crocker – 8-12 months
Cake Mix, Jiffy – 24 months
Cake Mix, Pillsbury – 18 months
Candy, hard – 24 months
Casseroles, mix – 9-12 months (Keep cool and dry)
Cereals, cooked – 6 months
Cereal, Corn, dry Ready-to-eat – 12 months
Cereal, Cream of Wheat – 12 months
Cereal, Hominy Grits – 12 months
Cereal, Oatmeal - 12 months
Cereal, Processed (in a Box) – 6-12 months
Cereal (Publix) – 12-18 months 1-800-242-1227
Cereal, Quinoa Cereal – 1-3 months
Cereals, Ready-to-cook, oatmeal, etc. – 12 months
Cereals, Ready-to-eat (unopened) – 6-12 months (opened 2-3 months)
Cereals, ready-to-eat (opened) – 2-3 months (Refold package tightly)
Cereal, Rice cereal, dry Ready-to-eat – 12 months
Cereal, Wheat, shredded, dry Ready-to-eat – 12 months
Cheese, Brick (Hard and wax coated) (opened/refrigerated) – 2 months
Cheese, Brick (Hard and wax coated) (unopened/refrigerated) – 3-6 months (frozen 6 months)
Cheese, Cheddar (Hard and wax coated) (opened/refrigerated) – 2 months
Cheese, Cheddar (Hard and wax coated) (unopened/refrigerated) – 3-6 months (frozen 6 months)
Cheese, Cottage cheese (original container @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 10-15 days
Cheese, Cream cheese (original container @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 21 days
Cheese, Cream, Neufchatel (refrigerated) – 4 weeks
Cheese, dehydrated – 5-8 years
Cheese, Dry cheeses (original container @ 60 – 70° F. basement) – 3 months
Cheese, Edam (Hard and wax coated) (opened/refrigerated) – 2 months
Cheese, Edam (Hard and wax coated) (unopened/refrigerated) – 3-6 months (frozen 6 months)
Cheese, Gouda (Hard and wax coated) (opened/refrigerated) – 2 months
Cheese, Gouda (Hard and wax coated) (unopened/refrigerated) – 3-6 months (frozen 6 months)
Cheese, natural (vacuum package @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 6 months
Cheese, Parmesan, grated – 12 months
Cheese, Parmesan, Romano (opened/refrigerated) – 2-4 months
Cheese, Parmesan, Romano (unopened) – 10 months
Cheese, processed (vacuum package @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 8 months
Cheese, Powdered – 36 months
Cheese, Processed Cheese Products (refrigerated) – 3-4 weeks (frozen 4 months)
Cheese, Ricotta (refrigerated) – 5 days
Cheese spreads/dips (original container @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 21 days
Cheese, Swiss (Hard and wax coated) (opened/refrigerated) – 2 months
Cheese, Swiss (Hard and wax coated) (unopened/refrigerated) – 3-6 months (frozen 6 months)
Chocolate ( An Import ) – 12 months
Chocolate, Hot Cocoa Mix, Nestles (Individually Wrapped) – 24 months
Chocolate, Nestles Quick – 24 months
Chocolate, Premelted – 12 months Keep cool.
Chocolate, Semi-sweet – 18-24 months Keep cool.
Chocolate syrup, (unopened) – 2 years
Chocolate syrup, (opened) – 6 months (Refrigerate)
Chocolate, Unsweetened – 18 months Keep cool.
Chocolate syrup (opened) – 6 months
Chocolate syrup (unopened) – 24 months
Cocoa – 5 years (in Mylar pouch)
Cocoa mixes – 8 months
Condiments, Catsup – 12-24 months
Condiments, Mustard, prepared yellow (opened) – 6-8 months
Condiments, Mustard, prepared yellow (unopened) – 24 months
Condiments, Mustard, French’s (Jar) – 18 months
Condiments, Mustard, French’s (squeeze bottle) – 12 months
Cookie Mix, Basic – 5+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Corn Meal – 6-18 months (Keep tightly closed. Refrigeration may prolong shelf life.)
Corn Starch – 18 months
Corn Starch, Argo – 24 months (indefinitely resealed in a food grade container w/oxygen absorber or vacuum sealed in a food grade bag)
Cream, Half and Half, Light and Heavy (refrigerated) – 7-10 days (frozen 2 months)
Cream, ultra pasteurized (unopened/refrigerated) – 21-30 days
Cream, Sour (refrigerated) – 2 weeks
Cream, Sour, Dips, commercial (refrigerated) – 2 weeks
Creamer, non-dairy, Creamora – 24 months
Creamer, Non-Dairy – 9-36 months
Drink Mix, Country Time Lemonade – 24 months
Drink Mix, Crystal Light – 24 months
Drink Mix, Fruit, powdered – 10 years (in Mylar pouch)
Drink Mix, Orange – 10+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Drink Mix, powdered, Kool Aid, Kraft Foods – 18-24 months 1-800-543-5335
Drink Mix, Tang – 24 months
Eggs, dehydrated or freeze-dried powdered – 5-8 years
Eggs, fresh (original package @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 120 days
Eggs, pickled – 1-12 months (cool storage is recommended)
Eggs, powdered – 5+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Eggs, processed (original package @ 70° F. cool basement) – 15 months
Extracts; i.e. Vanilla – 18 months
Flour, Rice flour – 1-2 months
Flour, White – 6-9 months (some sources say up to 5 years)
Flour, White enriched – 12 months
Flour, White – 5 years (in Mylar pouch)
Flour, Whole-wheat – 6-9 months (some sources say up to 5 years)
Flour, whole wheat graham – 2 weeks
Frosting, canned (opened) – 3 months (Refrigerate)
Frosting Mix – 8-9 months
Fruit, Apples (can), Comstock – 24-36 months 1-800-270-2743
Fruit, Apples, fresh (separated in boxes @ 32° F. mod. moist cellar) – 6 months
Fruit, Apple Chips, dried – 8+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Fruit, Apple Slices, Dried – 24 months [8 years (in Mylar pouch)]
Fruit, Applesauce, Motts – 12 months
Fruit, Bananas – 2-3 days (until ripened, then refrigerate)
Fruit, Banana, Dried Chips – 8 months
Fruit, Bananas, fresh (ventilated container @ 60 – 70° F. basement) – 1 week
Fruit, Berries, fresh (ventilated container @ 38 – 40 F. refrigerator) – 1-2 weeks
Fruit, Canned – 12-24 months (in the original container at 70 degrees F. in a dry basement)
Fruit, Canned fruits (original container @ 70° F. dry basement) – 2 years
Fruit, can, Del Monte – 18-26 months
Fruit, can, Comstock – 18-26 months
Fruit, can, Libby’s – 36 months+ 1-888-884-7269
Fruit, Citrus fruit, fresh ventilated container @ 32°F. mode. moist cellar) – 8 weeks
Fruit Cocktail, Canned – 24 months
Fruit, Cherries, Bottled – 24 months
Fruit, Coconut, shredded, canned or packaged – 12 months
Fruits, dried – 6-12 months (Keep cool, in airtight container; if possible)
Fruit, Dehydrated – 6-8 months
Fruit, Dehydrated – 5 years (Hermetically sealed in the absence of oxygen at a stable temperature of 70 degrees F. – They should keep proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures.)
Fruit, Dehydrated fruits (air/moisture proof @ 70° F. dry basement) – 8 months
Fruit, Frozen fruits (original container @ 0° F. freezer) – 12 months
Fruit, Jams & Jellies (original container @ 70° F. dry basement) – 18 months
Fruit, Peach, canned – 24 months
Fruit, Peaches, Del Monte – 24-30 months 1-800-543-3090
Fruit, Pear, canned – 24 months
Fruit, Pear halves, Del Monte – 24-30 months 1-800-543-3090
Fruit, Pears, fresh (ventilated container @ 32° F. mod. moist cellar) – 4 months
Fruit, Pie Fillings, Comstock – 18-26 months
Fruit, Pineapple, canned – 24 months
Fruit Smoothie, Del Monte – 12 months
Gelatin – 18 months
Gelatin Mixes  18 months
Gelatin, flavored, Jello, Kraft Foods – 24 months
Grain, Barley, Whole (a soft grain) – 5-8 years (at room temperature sealed without oxygen)
Grain, Barley, pearled – 12 months
Grain, Buckwheat (a hard grain) – 10-12 years+ (at room temperature sealed without oxygen)
Grain, Buckwheat (kasha) – 6-12 months
Grain, Corn, Whole, dry – 2-5 years (indefinitely resealed in a food grade container w/oxygen absorber or vacuum-sealed in a food grade bag)
Grain, Corn, Whole, dry (a hard grain) – 10-12 years+ (at room temperature sealed without oxygen)
Grain, Flax (a hard grain) – 10-12 years+ (at room temperature sealed without oxygen)
Grain, Kamut (a hard grain) – 10-12 years+ (at room temperature sealed without oxygen)
Grain, Lentils – 24 months (indefinitely resealed in a food grade container w/oxygen absorber or vacuum sealed in a food grade bag)
Grain, Millet (a hard grain) – 10-12 years+ (at room temperature sealed without oxygen)
Grain, Oat Groats (a soft grain) – 8 years (at room temperature sealed without oxygen)
Grain, Oats – 2-5 years (indefinitely resealed in a food grade container w/oxygen absorber or vacuum sealed in a food grade bag)
Grain, Oats, Rolled (a soft grain) – 1-8 years (at room temperature sealed without oxygen)
Grain, Quinoa, Whole (a soft grain) – 5-8 years (at room temperature sealed without oxygen)
Grain, Rice – 24-48 months (indefinitely resealed in a food grade container w/oxygen absorber or vacuum sealed in a food grade bag)
Grain, Rice, brown  1-6 months
Grain, Rice, white  24-48 months
Grain, Rice, white – 4 years (in Mylar pouch)
Grain, Rice, wild  24-36 months
Grain, Spelt (a hard grain) – 10-12 years+ (at room temperature sealed without oxygen)
Grain, Triticale (a hard grain) – 5-12 years+ (at room temperature sealed without oxygen)
Grain, Wheat, Whole (a hard grain) – 10-12 years+ (at room temperature sealed without oxygen – possibly indefinitely)
Granola – 1-3 months
Herb, Garlic – 5-8 months (Keep in cool, dry, ventilated area.)
Herbs, ground – 6-36 months (in airtight container in dry place away from sunlight and heat)
Herbs, whole – 12-48 months (in airtight container in dry place away from sunlight and heat)
Herb Leaves, flowers, roots, and other herb parts – 12 months after harvesting (in cool place)
Herbs, Frozen (in freezer bags) – 6 months
Herbs, Green, Leafy – 12-36 months
Herbs, Whole Seeds – 3-4 years
Herb or Spice Extracts – 4 years
Herbs, Seasoning Blends – 12-24 months
Herbal Essential oils – indefinitely
Herbal Extracts (Commercially prepared) – expiration date
Herbal Infusions – Make fresh daily. Store in refrigerator or cool place.
Herbal Decoctions – Consume within 48 hours. Store in refrigerator or cool place.
Herbal tablets or capsules (Commercially prepared) – expiration date
Herbal Tea (comfrey leaf or root) – 24 hours
Herbal Tinctures (Alcohol based) – 2-4 years
Herbal Tinctures (Vinegar based) – 12-24 months
Herbal Tinctures, syrups, and essential oils – Keep for several months or years. Store in dark glass bottles in a cool environment away from sunlight. Store syrup in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Herbal Ointments, creams, and capsules – Keep for several months. Store in dark glass jars (or plastic containers.)
Honey – 12-24 months (Some sources say indefinitely. Gently heat to remove crystallization.)
Honey – indefinitely (in an airtight container at room temperature) (Watch out for additives in the honey. It is possible to buy honey with water and sugar added. This honey generally doesn’t crystallize like pure 100% honey does when stored for a long time. If there are additives, there is no saying how long it will last.)
Hormel (all canned products) – indefinitely in original container
Ice Cream (frozen) – 1-2 months
Ice Milk (frozen) – 1-2 months
Jams – 12-18 months
Jellies – 12-18 months
Juices, can – 12 months
Juice, Apple, Motts – 12 months
Juice, Apple (Whitehouse), Nat’l Fruit Prod. Co. – 24 months 1-800-551-5167
Juice, can, Dole – 24-36 months (800) 232-5942
Juice, Canned fruit juices (original container @ 70° F. dry basement) 24 months
Juice, Dehydrated fruit juice (air/moisture proof @ 70° F. dry basement) – 12 months
Juice, Frozen fruit juices (original container @ 0° F. freezer) – 12 months
Juice, Fruit (canned) – 18-36 months (in a cool, dry place)
Juice, Fruit, Dehydrated – 12 months
Juice, Orange, Bluebird – 24 months 1-800-237-7805
Juice, Pineapple, Del Monte – 18 months
Juice, Snappy Tom Cocktail Juice, Del Monte – 18 months
Juice, Tomato, Del Monte – 24 months 1-800-543-3090
Ketchup (glass & plastic) – 24 months
Legumes, bottled or canned – 24-36 months
Marshmallows – 2-3 months
Marshmallow Creme – 2-3 months
Mayonnaise – 3-4 months
Meat, Beef, canned (original package @ 70° F. cool basement) – 30 months
Meat, Beef, canned (in chunks with natural juices)  30 months
Meat, Beef, Dried, canned – indefinitely
Meat, Beef, dried (can @ 70° F. cool basement) – 18 months
Meat, Beef, fresh (original package @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 10-14 days
Meat, Beef, frozen (air & moisture proof @ 0° F. freezer) – 10 months
Meat, Beef, Roast, can – indefinitely (in original container)
Meat, canned (most) – 12-36 months unopened (1-2 months opened, refrigerated)
Meat, canned, Tyson – 36 months
Meat, Chicken, canned – 12-36 months
Meat, Chicken Breast, canned  36 months
Meat, Chicken Breast (can), Tyson – 36 months
Meat, Chicken, canned, Tyson – 36 months
Meat, Chili, canned  indefinitely
Meat, Chili w/beans and without, can – indefinitely (in original container)
Meat, Chili w/beans, Hormel – indefinite 1-800-523-4635
Meat, Chili, Seafood Cocktail – 24 months
Meat, Fish or shellfish, canned  12-18 months
Meat, Ham, canned (shelf stable, unopened) – 24 months
Meat, Ham, Country style (unsliced) – 12 months
Meat, Ham Chunks, canned – indefinitely
Meat, Ham, Deviled, can – indefinitely in original container
Meat, Lamb, fresh (original package @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 7-10 days
Meat, Lamb, frozen (air & moisture proof @ 0° F. freezer) – 8 months
Meat, Pork, cured (vacuum package @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 4 weeks
Meat, Pork, fresh (original package @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 4 days
Meat, Pork, frozen (air & moisture proof @ 0° F. freezer) – 4-6 months
Meat, Pork, sausage (original package @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 4 days
Meat, Poultry, fresh (original package @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 5 days
Meat, Poultry, frozen (air & moisture proof @ 0° F. freezer) – 8 months
Meat, Seafood, canned  48-60 months
Meat, Spam, canned – indefinitely (in original container)
Meat, Spam, Hormel – Indefinite 1-800-523-4635
Meat substitutes (air & moisture proof @ 0° F. freezer) – 4 months
Meat, Tuna, canned  48-60 months
Meat, Tuna, Starkist – 4-6 years 1-800-252-1587
Meat Turkey, can – 12 months
Meat, Turkey and Gravy canned dinners – indefinitely in original container
Meat, Veal, fresh (original package @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 6 days
Meat, Veal, frozen (air & moisture proof @ 0° F. freezer) – 8 months
Meat, Vienna Sausage, canned  24 months
Meat, Vienna Sausage, Libby’s – 24 months 1-888-884-7269
Milk Alternate, Morning Moo brand powdered – 5 years in original bag (7 years in bucket) Food storage and gluten-free food products – Augason Farms
Milk, aseptic packaging – Pkg. date
Milk, Canned, Condensed – 12 months
Milk, Canned, Sweetened Condensed – 24-36 months
Milk, Canned, Evaporated – 12-36 months (Invert can every 2 months.)
Milk, Evaporated, Publix – 18-24 months
Milk, Powdered (Instant Non-fat) – 6-15 months
Milk, Powdered (Nonfat dry) – 3 years (in Mylar pouch)
Milk, Powdered (Non-Instant) – 24-48 months
Mixes, Biscuit – 5+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Mixes, Bread Mix, White – 5+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Mixes, Brownie (most) – 9 months
Mixes, Brownie – 5+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Mixes, Cookie mixes – 12 months
Mixes, Cornbread – 5+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Mixes, Muffin Mix (most) – 9 months
Mixes, Muffin, Blueberry – 5+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Mixes, Muffin Mix, Krusteaze, any flavor except mix for bread machines – 24 months
Mixes, Pancake Mix (most) – 6-9 months
Mixes, Pancake, Buttermilk – 5+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Mixes, Pie Crust Mix – 8 months
Mixes, Sweet Roll Mix – 5+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Molasses (opened) – 6 months
Molasses (unopened) – 12-24 months
Mushrooms, Freeze Dried, Tone – 24 months
Mushrooms, Green Giant – 48 months
Nuts (in the shell)  24 months
Nutmeats (in vacuum can)  3 months
Oils (unopened) – 18 months Store in cool place away from heat
Oils (opened) – 6-8 months Store in cool place away from heat
Oil (some) – indefinitely (in original container)
Oil, Canola, Best Foods – 18-24 months 1-800-338-8831
Oil, Corn, Mazola (Best Foods)  18 months from pkg. Date1-800-338-8831
Oil, Olive – 24 months
Oil, Salad – 6-9 months
Olives (canned, unopened) – 1-3 months
Pasta – 24 months  to indefinitely
Pasta, American Beauty – 36 months (in original package)
Pasta, Cup-O-Noodles – 24 months
Pasta, Fusilli – 8+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Pasta, Macaroni – 8 years (in Mylar pouch)
Pasta, Macaroni & Cheese – 12 months
Pasta Mixes 6 months
Pasta, Noodles & Sauce, Chicken Flavor, Lipton – 24 months
Pasta, Noodles, Fettuccine, Montalcino – 18 months+
Pasta, Penne – 8+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Pasta & Sauce, Lipton – 12 months
Pasta-Roni  Exp. Date
Pasta Sauce – 24 months (unopened) (2 weeks opened, refrigerated)
Pasta Sauce – Lipton 5 Brothers – 24 months
Pasta Sauce (Ragu-Jar), Lipton – 24 months 1-800-328-7248
Pasta, Shells – 8+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Pasta, Spaghetti – 8 years (in Mylar pouch)
Pasta, Spaghetti – 10+ years vac packed
Pasta, Spaghetti – 18-24 months
Pasta, Spaghetti, Montalcino – 18 months+
Peanut Butter (opened) – 2-3 months Refrigeration prolongs storage time
Peanut Butter (unopened) – 6-24 months Refrigeration prolongs storage time
Peanut Butter (Jif), Proctor & Gamble – 24 months 1-800-543-7276
Peanut Butter, Jiffy – 24 months
Peanut Butter, Skippy – 24 months
Peanuts 24-36 months
Peanuts, Planter’s – 24-36 months 1-800-622-4726
Pectin, Dry – 3 years
Pectin, Liquid – 12-18 months
Pectin, liquid (opened) – 1 month (Refrigerate)
Pickles (canned, unopened) – 1-3 months
Popcorn – 8+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Popcorn, both microwaveable and regular – 24 months
Popcorn, whole kernels – 12-24 months
Popcorn, Pops Rite – 24 months
Potato chips (original container @ 70° F. basement) – 1 month
Pudding Mixes  12 months
Pudding Mix, Chocolate or Vanilla – 5 years (in Mylar pouch)
Ready Meals, Chicken and Dumplings, can – indefinitely in original container
Ready Meals, Chicken & Dumplings, Sweet Sue – 24 months
Ready Meals, Chicken & Noodles, Sweet Sue – 24 months
Ready Meals, MRE (Meals Ready to Eat)  3-10 years (stored at 80 degrees or cooler)
Rice, flavored or herb mixes 6 months
Rice, Minute Rice, Kraft Foods – 18 months
Rice Mixes – 6 months
Rice, parboiled – 6-12 months (stored unopened in cool, dry place)
Rice, White Emerald – 12 months+
Rice & Sauce, Lipton – 12 months
Rice-a-Roni  Exp. Date
Rye (a soft grain) – 5-8 years (at room temperature sealed without oxygen)
Salad dressings, bottled (unopened) – 10-12 months (Store on shelf)
Salad dressings, bottled (opened) – 3 months (Refrigerate after opening)
Salad dressings, made from mix – 2 weeks (Refrigerate, after mixing)
Salt – 24 months (indefinitely resealed in a food grade container w/oxygen absorber or vacuum sealed in a food grade bag)
Salt – indefinitely if stored free of moisture
Sauce, Barbecue – 12 months
Sauce, Chili – 12 months
Sauces, Gravies, powdered mixes (most) – 12 months
Sauce, Hot sauce (commercial) – 24 months
Sauces, powdered mixes (most) – 12 months
Sauce, Salsa (commercial) (unopened) – 12-18 months
Sauces, Sloppy Joe Sauces – 24 months
Sauces (steak, etc.) – 24 months (stored unpacked in cool, dry place)
Sauce, Tabasco Sauce, McIInenny – 5 years
Sauce, Worcesterhire (commercial) – 24 months
Sherbet (frozen) – 1-2 months
Shortenings, solid – 8 months
Shortening, Crisco, Proctor & Gamble – Indefinite 1-800-543-7276
> Shortening, Crisco – indefinitely (in original container)
Shortening, Powdered – 5+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Soup Base, Tone – 10 years
Soup, Bear Creek – 36 months (435) 654-2660
Soup Broth, Chicken Broth, Swanson – 18 months
Soup, Campbell – 18-24 months 1-800-871-0988
Soup, canned – 3+ years
Soup, Country Kitchen – 36 months
Soup, Progresso – 36 months 1-800-200-9377
Soup Mix, Chicken Noodle, Bear Creek – 18 months
Soup mix (dry) (most) – 12 months
Soup Mix, dry – 5 years (in Mylar pouch)
Spaghetti Sauces – 24 months
Spices – 24 months (indefinitely resealed in a food grade container w/oxygen absorber or vacuum sealed in a food grade bag)
Spices, ground – 6 months (in airtight container in dry place away from sunlight and heat)
Spices, whole – 12-24 months (in airtight container in dry place away from sunlight and heat)
Spice, Cinnamon sticks, whole – 24 months+ (in airtight container in dry place away from sunlight and heat)
Spice, Cloves, whole – 24 months+ (in airtight container in dry place away from sunlight and heat)
Spice, Nutmeg, whole – 24 months+ (in airtight container in dry place away from sunlight and heat)
Stew, Beef, Dinty Moore – 24-36 months 1-800-523-4635 (some sources say indefinitely in original container)
Sugar – 24 months (indefinitely resealed in a food grade container w/oxygen absorber or vacuum sealed in a food grade bag)
Sugar – indefinitely if stored free of moisture
Sugar, Brown – 4-18 months
Sugar, Confectioners – 18-48 months
Sugar, Granulated 24-48 months (indefinitely resealed in a food grade container w/oxygen absorber or vacuum sealed in a food grade bag)
Sugar, Granulated – 20+ years (in Mylar pouch)
Sweetener, Artificial – 24 months
Syrups – 12 months (Refrigerate, after opening)
Tapioca – 12 months (stored unopened in cool, dry place)
Toaster pastries – 2-3 months (Keep in airtight package)
TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) Meat substitute (bacon bits) – 4 months (Keep tightly closed)
TVP, unflavored – 5+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Vanilla Extract (opened) – 12-18 months
Vanilla Extract (unopened) – 24 months
Vegetables, Beets, fresh (ventilated box @ 32° F. moist pit or cellar) – 6 months
Vegetables, Cabbage, fresh (ventilated box @ 32° F. mod. moist pit/cellar) – 6 months
Vegetables, canned – 24-48 months (unopened)
Vegetables, Canned veggies original container @ 70° F. dry basement) – 2 years
Vegetables, can, Bush Beans Brand – 26 months
Vegetables, can, Del Monte – 24 months
Vegetables, can, Green Giant – 24 months
Vegetables, can, Progresso – 24 months
Vegetables, Carrots, fresh (ventilated boxes/bags @ 32° F. moist pit or cellar) – 6 months
Vegetables, Carrots, dehydrated – 10 years (in Mylar pouch)
Vegetables, Corn, canned 24-36 months
Vegetables, Corn, can, Green Giant – 36 months
Vegetables, Corn, can (whole & creamed), Del Monte – 24 months 1-800-543-3090
Vegetables, Dark green, fresh (flexible package @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 7 days
Vegetables, Dehydrated veggies (air/moisture proof @ 70° F. dry basement) – 8 months
Vegetables, Dehydrated – 8-12 (at room temperature sealed without oxygen)
Vegetables, dehydrated flakes – 6 months
Vegetables, Green Beans, Del Monte – 24-30 months 1-800-543-3090
Vegetables, Hominy – 12 months
Vegetables, Libby’s – 36 months+ 1-888-884-7269
Vegetables, misc. fresh veggies (flexible package @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 1-2 weeks
Vegetables, Onions, dry – 2-4 weeks (Keep in cool, dry, ventilated area.)
Vegetables, Onions, dehydrated – 8 years (in Mylar pouch)
Vegetables, Onions, fresh, dry (net bag @ 32° F. cool, dry area) – 6 months
Vegetables, Peas, dry – 12-24 months (indefinitely resealed in a food grade container w/oxygen absorber or vacuum sealed in a food grade bag)
Vegetables, Peas, dry – 8+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Vegetables, Pillsbury – 24 months 1-800-328-6787
Vegetables, Potato, canned (original container 70° F. dry basement) – 30 months
Vegetables, Potato, dehydrated (original package @ 70° F. dry basement) -30 months
Vegetables, Potato Flakes – 3+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Vegetables, Potatoes, fresh 4 weeks (Keep dry and away from sun. Keep about 50 degrees for longer storage.)
Vegetables, Potato, fresh (ventilated boxes/bags @ 35 – 40° F. mod. moist pit/cellar) – 6 months
Vegetables, Potato, frozen ) original package @ 0° F. freezer) – 8 months
Vegetables, Potatoes, sweet 2 weeks (Do not refrigerate sweet potatoes.)
Vegetables, Potato, sweet, fresh (ventilated boxes/bags @ 55 – 60° F. dry) – 6 months
Vegetables, Potatoes, Instant 6-12 months
Vegetables, Potatoes, Instant – 3 years (in Mylar pouch)
Vegetables, Potatoes, Instant, Idahoan (in a can) – indefinitely (in original container)
Vegetables, Pumpkin, fresh (ventilated box @ 55° F. mod. dry basement) – 6 months
Vegetables, Squash, pumpkin – 6 months
Vegetables, Squash, acorn – 6 months
Vegetables, Squash, spaghetti – 6 months
Vegetables, Squash, butter-nut – 6 months
Vegetables, Squash, winter, fresh (ventilated box @ 55° F. mod. dry basement) – 6 months
Vegetables, Tomatoes, canned 30-36+ months (unopened) (2-3 days opened, refrigerated)
Vegetables, Tomatoes, can, Crushed, Flavored Diced – 24 months
Vegetables, Tomatoes, can, Diced, Wedge, Stewed, Whole – 30 months
Vegetables, Tomatoes, can, No Salt Added Stewed – 18 months
Vegetables, Tomatoes, fresh ripe (flexible package @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 2 weeks
Vegetables, Tomatoes, green (flexible package @ 55 – 70° F. mod. dry basement) – 4 – 6 weeks
Vegetables, Tomatoes, Libby’s – 36 months+ 1-888-884-7269
Vegetables, Tomato Paste – 30 months
Vegetables, Tomato Powder – 5+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Vegetables, Tomato Sauce – 12-24 months (unopened) (3 days opened, refrigerated)
Vinegar (opened) – 12 months
Vinegar (unopened) – 24 months (some sources say indefinitely in original container)
Yeast – 24 months (or expiration date on package)
Yeast (Fleischman’s), Freshlike – 24 months 1-800-435-5300
Yeast, Fleischmans (800) 777-4959 Date is stamped. If you use it past the stamped date, you must first “PROOF” it. Proof it by bringing ¼ cup of water to the temperature in the instructions on the back. Stir in 1 tsp. of sugar and one packet of yeast. After five minutes it should begin to bubble. At the end of 10 minutes, it should have a rounded crown of foam on it. If this happens, yeast is active. (Be sure to deduct ¼ cup of liquid from your recipe)

We use our best judgment NOT the date stamped on a can or box.!


(Survival manual/ Prepper articles/ Food expiration dates)

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Nuclear & Radiological Warfare, Part 2 of 2

(Survival Manual/1. Disaster/Nuclear & Radiological Warfare)

This article is continued from: Nuclear & Radiological Warfare, Part 1 of 2, posted Monday, 3 November

7.  List of supplies to acquire locally
If stores are still stocked and safe to go to, try to buy as many of the following items as possible… IMMEDIATELY! There are no quantities listed here on the Warning Signsfood items below as family size because, as the emergency and panic widens, many items will be quickly sold-out or quantities restricted, and you’ll need to try to get more of what does remain on the shelves. At a minimum, you should be looking at two weeks of provisions, but much better to be aiming for two months or more. The reality is, if/when we are attacked, it will be a very long time before anything is ever ‘normal’ again, especially at any grocery stores. Hurricane victims can attest to the prolonged misery and disruptions from such a localized disaster, even with the rest of the country still able to help out. Nobody can begin to imagine how bad the suffering will be, and for how long, if nuclear weapons have gone off… and in multiple locations!

The half-dozen top listed and UNDERLINED food items listed below are primarily for use while in the shelter. They are mostly ready-to-eat that requires no cooking or preparation, just a can opener at the most. (The iodine solution is included here because of its importance for its thyroid-blocking topical use detailed above, IF you do not have KI pills, but it’s NEVER to be ingested or swallowed.) The other foods listed below there are better cost/nutrition staples for later use during the extended recovery period. Then follows general non-food supplies, tools and equipment.

Go Acquire It All Now, QUICKLY!
Better to risk being a little early when securing your families essential food and supplies, rather than a few hours too late and going home empty-handed:
›  Canned goods (pasta, soups, chili, vegetables, fruit, tuna, meats, beans, peanut butter, etc.)
›  Ready-to-eat foods (pop-tarts, raisins, cheese, granola/energy/protein bars, snack-paks, etc.)
›  Some perishable foods (breads and fruits like bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, etc.)
›  Assorted drink mix flavorings (with no cold drinks, just plain water, kids will appreciate it!)
›  Plenty of potent Multi-Vitamins, Vit C, Pepto Bismol, other meds, etc.
›  Iodine solution, like Betadine (16 ounces)- NOT TO BE INGESTED OR SWALLOWED!
›  Largest bags of rice, beans, flour, potatoes, pasta, quick oats and other grains
›  Multiple big boxes of dried milk (Could include/use some inside shelter, too.)
›  Multiple big boxes of pancake and biscuit mix & syrup
›  Large bag of sugar and jar of honey
›  Large 2 gallons or more of cooking oil
›  Baking powder & soda & yeast & spice assortment pack
›  Bottled water (especially if home supplies not secured yet)
›  Paper or plastic plates/bowls/cups/utensils and paper towels
›  Quality manual can opener, 2 if you don’t already have one at home
›  Kitchen matches and disposable lighters
›  New metal garbage cans and liner bags (water storage & waste storage)
›  5 gallon bucket and smaller garbage bags sized for it (toilet)guide shelves
›  Toilet seat for the bucket (or use one from inside the house)
›  Toilet paper and, if needed, sanitary napkins, diapers, etc.
›  Baby wipes (saves water for personal hygiene use)
›  Flashlights (ideally LED) and more than one portable radio
›  Plenty more batteries, at least three sets, for each of the above
›  Bleach (5.25%, without fragrance or soap additives)
›  Alcohol and Hydrogen Peroxide and hand sanitizers
›  Aspirin/Tylenol/Motrin, Pepto Bismol, etc.
›  Prescription drugs filled, and as much extra as possible
›  First aid kits
›  Fire extinguishers
›  Plenty of inexpensive N95 particulate respirator masks
›  Plenty of cheap plastic hooded rain ponchos for everyone
›  Water filters and all other camping type supplies, such as portable camp toilet, cook stove and fuel, ammo, etc., if any sporting goods stocks still available.
›  And, of course, rolls of plastic sheeting, duct tape, staple guns, staples, etc.

Fallout topography and density for the USA following a extensive nuclear attack
  Pasted from <http://www.remm.nlm.gov/nuclearexplosion.htm>


C.  What’s the Difference Between Alpha, Beta and Gamma Radiation?
Updated 15 Feb 2012, Nuclear Fallout Shelter Plans & Nuclear Civil Defense-Part2
Pasted from <http://www.radshelters4u.com/index2.htm>
Answer:  Everything in nature would prefer to be in a relaxed, or stable state. Unstable atoms undergo nuclear processes that cause them to become more stable. One such process involves emitting excess energy from the nucleus. This process is called radioactivity or radioactive decay. “Radiation” and “radioactivity” are often confused, the proper relationship is that “radioactive atoms emit radiation.”

The three main types of nuclear radiation emitted from radioactive atoms and included in all nuclear fallout are:
1.  Alpha:  These are actual particles that are electrically charged and are commonly referred to as alpha particles. Alpha particles are the least penetrating of the three primary forms of radiation, as they cannot travel more than four to seven inches in air and a single sheet of paper or the outermost layer of dead skin that covers the body will stop them. However, if alpha particle emitting radioactive material is inhaled or ingested, they can be a very damaging source of radiation with their short-range being concentrated internally in a very localized area.  (Alpha-these waves are easily stopped by normal clothing).

[Diagram above: Summary of fallout effects from a hypothetical 10 Kt nuclear explosion. The level of fallout decays quickly, declining by a factor of 10 for     every 7-fold increase in time.]

2.  BetaThese are also actual particles that are electrically charged and are commonly referred to as beta particles. Beta particles travel faster and penetrate further than alpha particles. They can travel from a few millimeters up to about ten yards in open air depending on the particular isotope and they can penetrate several millimeters through tissue. Beta particle radiation is generally a slight external exposure hazard, although prolonged exposure to large amounts can cause skin burns and it is also a major hazard when interacting with the lens of the eye. However, like alpha particles, the greatest threat is if beta particle emitting radioactive material is inhaled or ingested as it can also do grave internal damage. (Beta – these rays travel a few millimeters up to a couple of centimeters, and can penetrate exposed skin. These rays are generally emitted from light fallout that lands on the ground, skin, and vehicles. Having a proper chemical suit will help, but may not keep you from receiving Beta radiation.)

3.  Gamma: Gamma rays are similar to x-rays, they are a form of electromagnetic radiation. Gamma rays are the most hazardous type of external radiation as they can travel up to a mile in open air and penetrate all types of materials. Since gamma rays penetrate more deeply through the body than alpha or beta particles, all tissues and organs can be damaged by sources from outside of the body. Only sufficiently dense shielding and/or distance from gamma ray emitting radioactive material can provide protection. (Gamma- you can only protect yourself from this type of radiation by encasing yourself in dense cover, i.e.: 2′ of concrete all around, 3′ of densely packed soil, 6″ of lead, etc.)

Bottom Line: All three of the primary types of radiation above can be a hazard if emitted from radioactive nuclear fallout that was inhaled or ingested. Protected food and water and even a simple inexpensive dust protector face mask can go a long ways to denying this route of entry. However, for the penetrating gamma rays, it is essential to be able to identify the best protected shielding and distance options available, covered in the next, and last, Part 3 section. Pasted from <http://www.radshelters4u.com/index2.htm>
 D How Much Radiation Is Too Much?
A: Before you can begin formulating a radiation protection shelter strategy (that will be covered in the next, and last, Part 3 section) you need to first understand and then determine the levels of radiation exposure one should be most concerned about in a nuclear emergency. Then the correct strategy best suited for the job will begin to reveal itself.

 _1. Table: Effects of radiation poisoning based on the millisievert mSv/hr dosage rates, the standard international measurement for absorbed radiation.

_2.  Table of expected health effects (below) for an adult assuming the cumulative total radiation (rads) exposure was all received within a week’s time. A rad (Radiation Absorbed Dose) measures the amount of radiation energy transferred to some mass of material, typically the human body.
One roentgen (R) of gamma radiation exposure results in about one rad of absorbed dose; measurement used in USA in the 20th Century.

Tables were prepared for measurements in RAD and R, I’ve pasted them together below; note that they are overlapping, the break down gives you a better idea of what medical consequences to expect at different exposure artes.
Bottom Line: Cutting through the above confusion, for purposes of practical radiation protection in humans, most experts agree (including FEMA Emergency Management Institute) that Roentgen, Rad and Rem can all be considered equivalent. The exposure rates you’ll usually see will be expressed simply in terms of roentgen (R) or milliroentgen (mR).

Table: Expected health effects from exposure to radiation

0-50   rads No   obvious short-term effects.
30 to 70 R From 6-12 hours: none to slight incidence   of transient headache and nausea;
vomiting in up to 5 percent of personnel in upper part of dose range.   Mild  lymphocyte depression within 24 hours. Full recovery expected.   (Fetus damage
 possible from 50R and above.)
80-120   rads You   have a 10% chance of vomiting and experiencing nausia for a few days.
70 to 150 R From 2-20 hours: transient mild nausea and   vomiting in 5 to 30 percent of
 personnel. Potential for delayed traumatic and surgical wound healing,   minimal clinical effect. Moderate drop in lymphocycte, platelet, and   granulocyte counts. Increased susceptibility to opportunistic pathogens. Full   recovery expected.
130   -170 rads You   have a 25% chance of vomiting and contracting other symptoms.
180-220   rads You have a 50%   chance of vomiting and having other severe physical effects.
150 to 300 R From 2 hours to three days: transient to   moderate nausea and vomiting in  20 to 70 percent; mild to moderate   fatigability and weakness in 25 to 60 percent of personnel. At 3 to 5 weeks:   medical care required for 10 to 50%. At high end of range, death may occur to   maximum 10%. Anticipated medical problems include infection, bleeding, and   fever. Wounding or burns will geometrically increase morbidity and mortality
270-330   rads 20%   chance of death in 6 weeks, or you will recover in a few months.
300 to 530 R From 2 hours to three days: transient to   moderate nausea and vomiting in 50  to 90 percent; mild to moderate   fatigability in 50 to 90 percent of personnel. At 2 to 5 weeks: medical care   required for 10 to 80%. At low end of range, less than 10% deaths; at high   end, death may occur for more than 50%.  Anticipated medical problems   include frequent diarrheal stools, anorexia, increased fluid loss,   ulceration. Increased infection susceptibility during immunocompromised   time-frame.  Moderate to severe loss of   lymphocytes. Hair loss after 14 days.
400-500   rads 50%   chance of death.
530 to 830 R From 2 hours to two days: moderate to   severe nausea and vomiting in 80 to 100 percent of personnel; From 2 hours to   six weeks: moderate to severe fatigability and weakness in 90 to 100 percent   of personnel. At 10 days to 5 weeks: medical care required for 50 to 100%. At   low end of range, death may occur for more than 50% at six weeks. At high   end, death may occur for 99% of personnel. Anticipated medical problems include   developing pathogenic and opportunistic infections, bleeding, fever, loss   of appetite, GI ulcerations, bloody diarrhea, severe fluid and electrolyte   shifts, capillary leak, hypotension. Combined with any significant physical trauma,   survival  rates will approach zero.
550-750   rads Nausia   within a few hours ; no survivors.
830 R Plus From 30 minutes to 2 days: severe nausea,   vomiting, fatigability, weakness,  dizziness, and disorientation;   moderate to severe fluid imbalance and headache. Bone marrow total depletion   within days. CNS symptoms are predominant higher radiation levels. Few, if   any, survivors even with aggressive and  immediate medical attention.
Greater   than 1000 rads Immediate   incapacitation and death within a week or less.

In a widespread nuclear event, there may be no escaping some radiation most everywhere. It would be very hard then not to exceed the conservative govt agencies peace-time usual advice to try to limit your normal exposure to 5 rad per year and 25 rad for lifetime and emergency workers to 50 rad. (Limits lower for children & fetuses.)

You always want to try to minimize any radiation exposure to As Low As Reasonably Achievable, ideally <100 rads, as that’s still 100% survivable for healthy adults, if not exceeded. “Very few of those receiving acute doses (received within 24 hours) of less than 100 R would become sick, even briefly.”

The response to radiation varies widely amongst people and the longer the time frame over which a specific dose is accumulated the better your body can respond to, and recover from, that radiation damage. In other words, a normally fatal (to 50% of a group exposed to it) cumulative dose of 530 R, if received all within a week or less, would create few noticeable ill-health effects if it was received, but spread out over a years time at the rate of about 10 R per week. That would be less than 1.5 R per day.

_3.  RadSticker’ dosimeter

[Image above shows a RadSticker dosimeter with different levels of exposure to radioactivity. Available through many site on the Internet. I bought mine for about $5 through Amazon.com.  PS. If you have a need for the dosimeter, you might also by a packet of KI pills while placing that order. Mr Larry]
.E.  Protection:
KI4U, by Shane Connor (consultant and developer of Civil Defense solutions to government, NPO’s and individual families)
Pasted from <http://www.ki4u.com/illwind.htm>
“Potassium Iodide: KI tablets’, taken a half hour or more before exposure, and then for the next 7-10 days, saturates your thyroid gland with safe stable iodine where if you then later inhale or ingest radioactive iodine your body simply eliminates it. It provides nearly 100% protection from radioiodine and resulting thyroid cell damage and abnormalities, such as loss of thyroid function, nodules in the thyroid, or thyroid cancer. There is a cheap and effective preventative method to protect yourself and family from radioactive iodine. As of January 2005, Iosat, ThyroSafe, and ThyroShield are FDA approved KI products.

Safe room: Civil Defense and the Federal Emergency Management Agency recommend a safe room made from duct tape and plastic sheeting. However, the Israeli’s use this method of safe room in conjunction with a protective mask, as the safe room is not trusted to protect against aerosol agents, only liquid droplets. FEMA has neglected this in its recommendations. [Hence you might want to look at ‘gas masks, see: Survival Manual/6. Medical/General Clinic/Protective Equipment. Mr Larry) Even still, this is a minimalist method, and definitely not the best one out there, even when combined with a good protective mask. If you are, however, caught in a crisis situation when a good positive pressure safe room kit is unavailable, this may be your best option. Purchase the thickest plastic sheeting you can buy (6 mil is the thickest usually sold at most hardware stores.), and the silver looking duct tape, which is the stickiest available. Use pins to hold the plastic sheeting to the wall, then use the duct tape to seal it. Still, you will not be able to achieve an airtight seal, no matter how hard you try, make it the best you can, then don your mask.

Evacuation may be another possibility. However, just with radioactive fallout, chemical and biological weapons can shift as easily as the wind. You may be going upwind, but then have it change and blow the cloud of deadly chemical or biological agents right on top of you. Only consider evacuation if you have protective suits and masks, have a place to evacuate to, and have supplies already stored there. Otherwise, stay in place, and take shelter in a safe room or inside a protective mask and suit.

Either way, preparations made in advance and supplies pre-positioned, will be essential to assuring success. For instance, Chemical and biological agents can easily contaminate drinking water supplies. Therefore, it is imperative that you keep your water supplies in a tightly sealed container, and decontaminate the outside before opening.
It should be noted, that many of the current production NBC protective masks, such as the M-95, have a drinking attachment. The attachment allows you to drink from a special canteen without removing your mask. Check for, and decontaminate if necessary, biological or chemical agents on the canteen’s connection to the mask before use in a contaminated environment. Make sure you keep the canteen top well sealed on the canteen so agents do not leak inside.
There are special chemical detection kits that will allow you to detect certain chemical agents in water. The only one available to civilians is the M-272 kit. This kit will detect nerve, blister, and blood agents in water.
Bottom Line: Protection against chemical and biological weapons is possible. A safe room is probably the best option, but have quality protective masks and suits available as a backup. Evacuation may not be the best choice, for upwind may just become downwind easily.

Some Final Thoughts…
As mentioned above, this guide was written assuming it would not be read by the majority of its intended audience until a nuclear crisis is already fully upon us–when remaining time and resources to prepare will be extremely limited, maybe with only hours remaining before ‘the music stops’.
For that reason, the food, equipment and supplies listed above has been restricted to only the most common and typically available from local resources.
If you are fortunate enough to be reading this well before a nuclear threat (or other major disaster) occurs or appears imminent, there’s a great deal more that you can and should do beyond the scope of this brief guide.

Surviving the initial threats of a nuclear ‘event’ and radioactive fallout is relatively easy with the proper knowledge and even the most modest of preparations, as we’ve detailed above. The ongoing bigger challenge, though, will be the one brought on by the extensive and much longer-lasting disruptions of services after you survive the nuclear event and emerge safely once the fallout threat has diminished.

You might go many months with little or no new food supplies, along with disruptions of water, sewer, gas, electric, and telephone services, little or no gasoline, and severely limited medical and banking services, law enforcement and fire protection.

With more time to research, make plans, and order supplies, families are well advised to acquire more in-depth training, reference books, longer-term food and water stocks, fuel, medical supplies, personal security, communication equipment, radiation monitoring instruments, camping equipment, supplies and tools. Many informative web sites and suppliers make available all of the above, including military MRE’s ready-to-eat meals, dehydrated and freeze-dried foods, as well as buckets of beans, rice, and grains. They also offer solar cookers, water purifiers and barrels, camp and compost toilets, comprehensive medical kits and manuals, shortwave and local two-way radios, perimeter alarms, alternative energy and heating systems, fuel preservatives, long-term packaged seeds, gardening tools, canning equipment, etc. Survivalblog.com has many of the best advertising there. For radiation meters, potassium iodide, etc., see www.ki4u.com.

If all of this preparation seems daunting, here’s one strategy to make it a little less overwhelming: Think in two’s. First, acquire all the equipment and supplies your family would need to survive for two weeks if totally cut off from stores and utility and municipal services. It might help to consider all you would need during an extended camping trip in any season. Then, once you’ve accomplished that, expand your preparations and supplies to meet the goal of surviving at home for two months with no utilities or services. After that, continue adding provisions for two more additional months, with the eventual goal of gathering enough supplies so that your family can survive under these distressed conditions for a year or more.

A year might seem like overkill, but you’ll no doubt discover that in any disruptive event, numerous friends, neighbors, and relatives will be in need and you will want to help them if you can. Of course, ideally, they should also be preparing their own families for surviving coming disasters, so sharing this information with them might help get them started. Also, for your own family’s security, you always want to try to surround yourself with a buffer of like-minded people who are also doing the right things to prepare so they will become helpful allies instead of only a drain on your limited resources. Reality is, they could possibly even become an outright threat for your family retaining enough supplies for the full duration if difficult circumstances were to drag on and became ever more desperate.

Everyone that ‘prepares’ will be one less family standing in line for hours (or days) ahead of others who failed to, awaiting a hoped for arrival of a FEMA handout of food or water. Being prepared makes a ton of sense and will one day soon be seen by all, many painfully, perhaps even fatally, as clearly obvious and self-evident.

If you’re trying to convince yourself or a spouse to make the investment in prep equipment and supplies, also keep in mind this fact: Many of the supplies save money because buying in bulk and stocking up now is less expensive than buying smaller quantities later, especially as inflation ramps up and/or shortages appear. Further, if nothing bad ever happens, you can eventually eat the food and use most of the supplies, like toilet paper, fuel, etc., so they won’t go to waste.
They will also be useful in many disasters besides nuclear events. For example:
Job loss — Having two to four months of food at home would certainly relieve much of the stress of losing your job and being without an income while looking for another.
Pandemic – We could someday see a pandemic unleashed that would require families to self-quarantine themselves at home for many weeks to avoid catching the disease. Having these supplies and having made these preparations would make that extremely difficult time more endurable.
Natural disasters, economic dislocations, civil disruptions — Your family could ride out any number, or cascading combination, of these events in much better shape if you are sufficiently prepared.

Being prepared and stocking up makes sense on numerous levels, especially during this age when costs for many essentials, such as food, fuel, and ammunition, will surely only continue to increase. Stocking up now both saves money today and may well save your family tomorrow.”

[Image at left: The M-28 or M-29 Davy Crockett Weapon System(s) was a tactical nuclear recoilless gun for firing the M388 nuclear projectile that was deployed by the United States during the Cold War, photo taken at  Aberdeen Proving Grounds, 1961. This weapon had a maximum range of 1.24 miles to 2.49 miles. The XM-388 casing weighed 76 pounds, was 30 inches long and measured 11 inches in diameter at its widest point.   The Davy Crockett was developed before the Vietnam war, imagine what we have today, imagine the delivery systems: suitcase, launch from ship, drop from small private airplane, leave it in a car trunk parked at a major sports event; imagine the explosive power a device this size has today!…the thought is sobering! Mr. Larry]

(End of post: Nuclear & Radiological Warfare)
See additional in-depth discussions of protective techniques in the 4dtraveler, Survival Manual posts Categories: Social Issues, Food & Water, and Medical/General Clinic

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Nuclear & Radiological Warfare, Part 1 of 2

(Survival Manual/1. Disaster/Nuclear & Radiological Warfare)

* Your own customized, nuclear weapons, ‘Thermal Damage Indicator’ map:
If you’d like to see a the area of thermal damage caused by a nuclear explosion shown on a street or satellite map, for any location in the USA, go to: <http://www.carloslabs.com/node/16> select your city and state, then from the drop down list, select the weapon’s size, press the “Nuke It” button and you have it.

A.  How to Kill America in 30 seconds or less
May 4, 2011, God like Productions, by John Galt
“On last night’s radio show, I outlined the absolute worst case scenario for America should the threats, which we must pray are hollow, of Al Qaeda and the Wikileaks information turn out to become reality. The twist is that instead of thinking “inside the box” I adopted the strategy that our nation’s war gaming community and others would and decided to identify the logical location inside the United States which would benefit one group of nations and enable the Al Qaeda terrorist movement to receive a virtually unlimited amount of funding which could allow them to parallel other Islamist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas in their civilian and military dual purpose roles within Arab societies.

The first thing to consider is the dangerous situation the United States and West now find themselves in. Killing Osama Bin Laden (OBL) was a necessity and as he apparently served little more than a figurehead role in recent years, that position still gave him great weight with the most radical extremists within the Islamist community. The other aspect which should give one pause is the failure of European and American governments to seriously secure the borders of their nations and accepting the open border policy as a solution to promote understanding and world peace, a long time goal of globalists and internationalists since the emergence of Marxism in the 19th century. This combination creates the formula for accessibility any radicalized terror cell would need to infiltrate and create another serious incident, perhaps one thousand times worse than the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The information gleaned from the Guantanamo Bay detainees also may indicate a cause for alarm if Al Qaeda has the existing capacity they are reported to have. From the U.K. Telegraph on April 25, 2011 article titled Wikileaks: Guantanamo Bay terrorist secrets revealed: Al-Qaeda terrorists have threatened to unleash a “nuclear hellstorm” on the West if Osama Bin Laden is caught or assassinated, according to documents to be released by the WikiLeaks website, which contain details of the interrogations of more than 700 Guantanamo detainees.

While the AQ boys have been known to write checks with their mouth that they cannot cash in reality, this is a disconcerting piece of information considering the wide open borders in our nation and the politically correct approach to dealing with terrorism until recently. The assassination of OBL may be the trigger event or signal which gives terrorists in the United States the green light to proceed; that does not necessarily mean just the Islamists either, as the internationalist movement has been looking for that one seminal event which forces the American population to ask for and accept an internationally structured system of finance and governance.

The information above might sound like something from an episode of the television series “24” or one of the conspiracy movies but think about the consequences of a nuclear attack on United States soil. If Al Qaeda does possess a functioning warhead or device, odds are it is from the old Russian nuclear arsenal, probably in the 10 kt to 25 kt range from the tactical warhead stockpile. In a worst case scenario it could even be a 100 kt or larger device from the Russian ICBM arsenal, yet it is highly unlikely that such a device would escape the Russian Republic, even during the confusion of the 1990′s.

The larger concern as outlined in Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons by Amy F. Woolf issued on February 2, 2011 from the Congressional Research Service is the estimated 15,000 to 25,000 non-strategic devices from their arsenal which were deployed throughout the old Soviet Union and its republics during the late 1980′s and early 1990′s. This report has one disturbing revelation on page 19 (See photocopied image below):

Unfortunately, like it or not, this gives the AQ threat a little bit more credence as even the Russians continue to refuse to acknowledge the numbers of nonstrategic weapons in their arsenal nor provide an inventory for review. This blind spot in the various nuclear weapons treaties is countered by the Russian argument that there is nothing to worry about as they have closed all storage facilities across their nation and consolidated all of the warheads in one central location. By using deductive reasoning is it not a major reach nor requirement to develop an extravagant conspiracy theory to assume that it is possible that one or more of the nuclear devices have escaped their oversight and control. That begs the question then; if Al Qaeda has studied the various documents about nuclear attack scenarios on U.S. soil provided by FEMA, the Department of Defense, and other agencies over the years, what location would cripple America for decades and kill our nation in thirty seconds or less?

Note the location, as the terrorists already have, of our petrochemical, refining, and other oil facilities in the Houston area. A detonation in the Deer Park area just southeast of the city destroying several large refineries, storage facilities, and natural gas electrical generation sites. The problem after the initial explosion beyond the immediate fatalities, panic initiated in one of America’s largest cities, contamination, and destruction of infrastructure is the spread of radioactive debris or fallout. An important difference between a surface burst and an air burst is, consequently, that in the surface burst the radioactive cloud is much more heavily loaded with debris. This consists of particles ranging in size from the very small ones produced by condensation as the fireball cools to the much larger debris particles which have been raised by the afterwinds. The exact composition of the cloud will, of course, depend on the nature of the surface materials and the extent of their contact with the fireball. I created the inset map to highlight the regions that would be impacted the greatest by a nuclear event in the Houston, Texas energy complex region. The fallout from a surface explosion based on the prevailing winds in the early autumn assuming a cold front is dropping from the north. The contamination for a small device would not be as widespread as the map displays but the terror to civilians would be palpable and create massive refugee flows away from coastal regions in the projected impact zones.

Unfortunately the areas most likely areas to receive a measurable threat from a sub 100 kiloton detonation would be more of the primary oil production and processing facilities from Beaumont, TX and coastal platforms through southern Louisiana, again depending on the upper level wind patterns at that time. Thus not only would a sizable percentage of our refining capacity be impacted directly in the blast zone, other areas would be temporarily unusable until the radiation levels decreased sufficiently for clean up and civilians were assured that they could work in those areas safely and returned.

This type of attack would remove close to thirty percent of our refining capacity not to mention an emergency evacuation of our platforms off the coast of that region, the shutting down of one of our most important military and commercial seaports, and the cessation of a large percentage of the oil and gas via pipelines originating from this region into the Midwest, Northeast, and South regions of the country. The United States economy would fall immediately into a depression, the dollar would collapse overnight, rationing of energy and foodstuffs would become a fact of life, and large quantities of our troops overseas would have to be recalled home to help maintain law and order. That begs the question, beyond Al Qaeda getting their “headline” and alleged revenge for the destruction of their leadership, who are the big winners?
•  Russia
•  China
•  Iran
•  Indonesia

Those nations either have strategic benefits extracted from the conversion of the U.S. from a superpower into a second world state or the much-needed boost into becoming an economic superpower. Russia would enjoy a renaissance as they would own Europe as a colony with the energy dependency they would gain as the American power vacuum expands instantly. China would achieve a strategic advantage over the Pacific and East Asian region as America would be economically incapable of stopping any actions they desired to engage in. Indonesia and Iran would instantly have the energy card to play and shift the OPEC dynamic from a consideration for the destabilized Arab states to a new cartel based on Venezuela, Iran, Indonesia, Nigeria, Angola, and other nations not experiencing domestic instability and dependent on the U.S. for their security needs. Thus one has to consider the economic benefits for promising Al Qaeda billions of dollars in gold or other financing to execute such an attack from some of the nations listed above. It would also give AQ the necessary funding so their organization could expand into programs similar to the infrastructure and political programs developed by Hezbollah and Hamas, and allow them to engage in activities in Arab nations which were allied with the U.S. as an ally or adjunct to groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, their old allies.

The biggest loser besides the U.S. would unfortunately be the nation of Mexico, already in the throes of domestic instability with a narco-terrorist war approaching the level of an internal civil conflict. The illegal and legal resident aliens would probably flee the U.S. as the border would instantly be militarized after such an event. With millions of unemployed citizens returning home plus the loss of one of Mexico’s largest crude oil customers (why would we buy oil we can’t process; remember that fact) the formula for a massive civil war to develop would be in place, putting further stress on our nation. One shot like this one and the United States is off of the geopolitical stage in less than thirty seconds.

These facts are nothing new to the terrorists nor those within the national security apparatus in Washington, D.C. or elsewhere. The government began taking measures to improve security and monitoring of these facilities and regions several years ago based on threats received from intelligence overseas and they have made no secret of their acknowledgment of the importance of these areas in our country. Unfortunately a nuclear device in a rental or stolen box truck with a suicide bomber at the wheel driving on the Pasadena Expressway or the Beltway would be unstoppable once the weapon is armed and he or she is on the road filled with evil intent.

Let us all pray hard that political correctness is under suspension again and those dedicated law enforcement and military personnel are doing everything in their power to prevent such an event. There are few choke points within the U.S. that could be called a “kill shot” location, but unfortunately the lack of an intelligent coherent energy policy to diversify and decentralize our energy infrastructure has created such an opportunity. I advise my readers and listeners to prepare for the worst case scenario as none of the information presented above is top secret nor classified in any way shape or form; it was all readily available on the internet and believe me, the enemies of our nation, foreign and domestic, are quite aware of this fact.”

B.  Where are the potential targets for nuclear attacks?
In general, potential military targets include:
•  Strategic missile sites and military bases.
•  Centers of government such as Washington, DC, and state capitals.
•  Important transportation and communication centers.
•  Manufacturing, industrial, technology, and financial centers.
•  Petroleum refineries, electrical power plants, and chemical plants.
•  Major ports and airfields.

Potential terrorist targets include:
•  Large cities such as NY, Boston, Washington, Atlanta, L. A., Dallas, Houston, Portland, Charlotte, Denver, etc.
•  Symbolic American cities such as Philadelphia, Hollywood, or Orlando (Disney Land).
•  Heartland cities such as St. Louis, Memphis, Chicago.
•  Cities or locations on the West Coast (taking advantage of maximum casualties created through east-traveling fallout).
•  Major sporting event such as Super Bowl or other sports game.

A bird’s eye views of events
Unlike the Cold War era when we would have some warning of an attack, in today’s world where the greatest possibility of a nuclear explosion will be delivered via terrorists, you will not receive notice of an impending attack. The unfortunate souls who are vaporized by a terrorist’s nuclear blast would probably be reserved to an area 1 mile in diameter.
The blast wave will move out so fast that people within 5 miles won’t have time to escape unscathed.
Those located 5 to 20 miles from the blast will probably see the mushroom cloud or panicking people and be able to make a hasty entrance into an underground bomb shelter in time to escape fallout hazards. Many baby boomers (people in their 50s) will race to local fallout shelters once maintained by the Civil Defense plan but no longer stocked with supplies. They are the ones who grew up doing monthly “duck and cover” drills in elementary or junior high school. The decision will improve their chances of receiving less radiation than most. But, many will die.

Within half an hour, most Americans will probably know a nuclear strike has taken place, and when and where it happened. Fallout charts will pepper the news and warn people in the predicted area.
Those of us who have built a shelter will have ample time to secure ourselves within the shelter.
Everyone else within the expected fallout zone will frantically pack their bags and hit the road in hopes of escaping the fallout, which will be falling 50 miles from ground zero an hour after the explosion. The traffic jams will see large numbers of people exposed to the radiation within the fallout. Those poor souls will be dead within hours. Some people within the traffic jams will escape with their lives by heading in a direction perpendicular to the expected fallout zone.

C.  What to do if a nuclear disaster is imminent!
This guide is for families preparing for imminent terrorist or strategic nuclear attacks with expected blast destruction followed by widespread radioactive downwind  fallout.
IF ONLY A ‘Dirty Bomb’ Attack (Not the vastly more devastating nuclear weapon blasts with fallout discussed below.) – You can expect localized and downwind contamination from the explosion and dispersed radioactive materials. If you are near enough to see or hear any local bomb blast, assume that it includes radiological or chemical agents. You should move away from the blast area as quickly as possible. If the wind is blowing toward you from the direction of the blast, travel in a direction that is crosswise or perpendicular to the wind as you move away from the blast area. If possible cover your face with a dust mask or cloth to avoid inhaling potentially radioactive dust. Upon reaching a safe location, remove your outer clothing outside and shower as soon as possible. Refer to local news sources for additional instructions about sheltering or evacuation. The government is better prepared to direct and assist the public in ‘dirty bomb’ emergencies, unlike more serious nuclear weapon attacks below.

In a national crisis of imminent nuclear weapon attacks, read all the way through this guide first, THEN TAKE EFFECTIVE PROTECTIVE ACTION, WITH CONFIDENCE… FAST!

1.  Stay or go?
If you are considering evacuation, your decision requires very high confidence that it is worth the risk. You do not want to get stuck between your current location and your hoped for destination, as there will probably be no easy getting back. If you fail to get to your destination, you may be exposed without shelter, in a dangerous situation with little effective law enforcement, perhaps among panicked hordes of refugees. Whatever supplies you have may be limited then to what you can carry on foot. IF you are in a big city or near a military target, AND you have relatives or friends in the country that you know are awaiting you, AND the roads between you and them are clear, AND the authorities are not yet restricting traffic, AND you have the means and fuel, evacuation may be a viable option for a limited time. DO NOT attempt evacuation if all of the above is not clearly known, or if the situation is deteriorating too quickly to assure the complete trip. You do not want to get stuck and/or become a refugee being herded along with panicked masses. If evacuation is truly a viable option, do not wait – GO NOW! Do so with as many of the supplies listed in #7 as possible. Better to be two days too early in arriving than two hours too late and getting snagged mid-way, potentially exposing your family to a worse fate than having stayed where you were. Because of the very real danger of getting caught in an evacuation stampede that stalls, almost all families will be better off making the best of it wherever they currently are.

2.  What you need to do first
Because time is of the essence, you need to first delegate and assign to different adult family members specific tasks so they can all be accomplished at the same time. Your first priorities to assure your family survival are: Shelter, Water, and Food/Supplies. While some are working on the water storage and shelter at home, others need to be acquiring, as much as possible of the food and supplies.

See related 4dtraveler posts in Survival Manual  Categories: Social issues, Food & Water, and Medical/General Clinic

3.  Food supplies
Because much of the food and supplies listed at #7 of this guide may quickly become unavailable, you need to assign someone NOW to immediately go to the stores with that list! Get cash from the bank and ATM’s first, if it can be done quickly, but try to use credit cards at the stores, if at all possible, to preserve your cash.

4.  Water
With one or more adults now heading to the stores with the list at #7, those remaining need to begin storing water IMMEDIATELY! Lack of clean water will devastate your family much more quickly and more severely than any lack of food. Without clean water for both drinking and continued good sanitary practices in food preparation and for bathroom excursions (which could be much less sanitary than normal), debilitating sickness could rampage through your family with little hope of prompt medical attention. That is a likely but, avoidable, disaster, ONLY IF you have enough water.

Every possible container needs to be filled with water RIGHT NOW! It will be very hard to have stored too much water. When the electricity/pumps go down or everybody in your community is doing the same thing, thus dropping the water pressure, what you’ve got is all you might be getting for a very long time. Empty pop bottles (1-3 liter) are ideal for water storage, also filling up the bathtub and washing machine. (Remember, later you’ll have some in your hot water tank.) If you have any kiddie pools or old water beds, pull them out and fill them up, too. (Water from a water-bed should be used only for bathing or cleaning, not for drinking as it may contain traces of algaecide and/or fungicides.) Anything and everything that’ll hold water needs to be filled up quickly RIGHT NOW!!

One of the shopping items listed at #7 is new metal garbage cans and liner bags which you’ll also use for storing water. If you can’t get any more new cans, you could clean out an existing garbage can and scrub it throughout with bleach, then put in a new garbage bag liner and fill it with water. Even sturdy boxes could be used with bag liners. (Use two liners if they are very thin/flimsy.) Choose well where you fill up garbage cans with water because they won’t easily be moved once full and many of them together could be too heavy for some upper floor locations. Ideally, they need to be very near where your shelter will be constructed and can actually add to its shielding properties, as you’ll see below. BE ASSURED, YOU CANNOT STORE AND HAVE TOO MUCH WATER! Do not hesitate, fill up every possible container, RIGHT NOW!

5. Shelter
The principles of radiation protection are simple – with many options and resources families can use to prepare or improvise a very effective shelter. You must throw off any self-defeating myths of nuclear un-survivability that may needlessly paralyze and panic and then seal the fate of, less informed families.

Radioactive fallout is the particulate matter (dust) produced by a nuclear explosion and carried high up into the air by the mushroom cloud. It drifts on the wind and most of it settles back to earth downwind of the explosion. The heaviest, most dangerous, and most noticeable fallout, will ‘fall out’ first closer to ground zero. It may begin arriving minutes after an explosion. The smaller and lighter dust-like particles will typically be arriving hours later, as they drift much farther downwind, often for hundreds of miles. Once it arrives, whether visible or not, all that will fall will have done so usually in under an hour, then blow around everywhere just like dust does on the ground and roofs. However, rain can concentrate the fallout into localized ‘hot spots’ of much more intense radiation with no visible indication.

This radioactive fallout ‘dust’ is dangerous because it is emitting penetrating radiation energy (similar to x-ray’s). This radiation (not the fallout dust) can go right through walls, roofs and protective clothing. Even if you manage not to inhale or ingest the dust, and keep it off your skin, hair, and clothes, and even if none gets inside your house, the radiation penetrating your home is still extremely dangerous, and can injure or kill you inside.

Radioactive fallout from a nuclear explosion, though very dangerous initially, loses its intensity quickly because it is giving off so much energy. For example, fallout emitting gamma ray radiation at a rate over 500 R/hr (fatal with one hour of exposure) shortly after an explosion, weakens to only 1/10th as strong 7 hours later. Two days later, it’s only 1/100th as strong, or as deadly, as it was initially.

That is really very good news, because our families can readily survive it IF we get them into a proper shelter to safely wait it out as it becomes less dangerous with every passing hour.

What stops radiation, and thus shields your family, is simply putting mass between them and the radiation source. Like police body armor stopping bullets, mass stops (absorbs) radiation. The thicker and heavier the mass, the more radiation it stops, and the more effective it is with every inch more you add to your fallout shelter. The thickness in inches needed to cut the radiation down to only 1/10th of its initial intensity for different common materials is: Steel 3.3″, concrete 11″, earth 16″, water 24″, wood 38″. The thickness required to stop 99% of the radiation is: 5″ of steel, 16″ of solid brick or hollow concrete blocks filled with mortar or sand, 2 feet of packed earth or 3 feet if loose, 3 feet of water. (BTW, lead is nothing special, same as anything else pound for pound.) You may not have enough steel available, but anything you do have will have mass and can be used to add to your shielding – it just takes more thickness of lighter wood, for example, than heavier earth, to absorb and stop the same amount of radiation. Increasing the distance between your family inside and the radiation outside also reduces the radiation intensity.

[Concepts to learn from the images above: 1) If you have a basement in your home, or at a nearby   relatives' or friends' house that you can use, your best option is probably to fortify and use it, unless you have ready access to a better/deeper structure nearby. 2) Leave a small crawl-through entrance and more mass  there that can be easily pulled in after you, but with a gap at the top to allow exhaust air out. Have another gap of 4-6" square low at the other  end for incoming fresh air. Make bigger if crowded and/or hotter climate. A small piece of cardboard can help fan fresh air in if the natural rising  warmer air convection current needs an assist moving the air along. This   incoming air won't need to be filtered if the basement has been reasonably   sealed up, however any windows or other openings will require some solid mass   coverage to assure they stay sealed and to provide additional shielding  protection for the basement. More details on this in #6 section below]

The goals of your family fallout shelter are:
•  To maximize the distance away from the fallout ‘dusting’ outside on the ground, roof and trees.
•  To place sufficient mass between your family and the fallout to absorb the deadly radiation
•  To make the shelter tolerable to stay in while the radiation subsides with every passing hour

While a fallout shelter can be built anywhere, you should see what your best options are at home or nearby. Many structures already provide significant shielding or partial shielding that can be enhanced for adequate protection. If you do not have a basement available, you can still use the techniques shown below in any above ground structure, you’ll just need more mass to achieve the same level of shielding. You may consider using other solid structures nearby, especially those with below ground spaces, such as commercial buildings, schools, churches, below ground parking garages, large and long culverts, tunnels, etc.. Some of these may require permissions and/or the acquiring of additional materials to minimize any fallout drifting or blowing into them, if open ended. Buildings with a half-dozen or more floors, where there is not a concern of blast damage, may provide good radiation protection in the center of the middle floors. This is because of both the distance and the shielding the multiple floors provide from the fallout on the ground and roof.

Bottom Line: choose a structure nearby with both the greatest mass and distance already in place between the outside, where the fallout would settle, and the shelter inside.

For an expedient last-minute basement shelter, push a   heavy table that you can get under into the corner that has the soil highest   on the outside. The ground level outside ideally needs to be above the top of   the table shelter inside. If no heavy table is available, you can take   internal doors off their hinges and lay them on supports to create your   ‘table’. Then pile any available mass atop and around the other two open   sides such as books, wood, cord wood, bricks, sandbags, heavy appliances, full   file cabinets, full water containers, your food stocks, even boxes and pillow   cases full of anything heavy, like earth. Everything you can pile up and   around it has mass that will help absorb and stop more radiation from   penetrating inside – the heavier the better. However, be sure to reinforce   your table and supports so you do not overload it and risk collapse.

With more time, materials, and carpentry or masonry   skills, you could even construct a more formal fallout shelter, such as the   FEMA lean-to on the right, but you will need to assure structural integrity   is achieved and adequate mass is utilized.

An effective fallout shelter constructed in a basement  may reduce your radiation exposure 100-200+ fold. Thus, if the initial   radiation intensity outside was 500 R/hr (fatal in one hour), the basement   shelter occupants might only experience 5 R/hr or even less, which is   survivable, as the radiation intensity will be decreasing with every passing   hour.   Adding mass on the floor above your chosen   basement corner, and outside against the walls opposite your shelter, will   also increase your shielding protection. Every inch thicker adds up to more   effective life-saving radiation shielding.

As cramped as that table space fallout shelter might   seem, the vital shielding provided by simply moving some mass into place   could be the difference between exposure to a lethal dose of radiation and   the survival of your family.

The majority of people requiring any sheltering at all   will be many miles downwind, and they will not need to stay sheltered for   weeks on end. In fact, most people will only need to stay sheltered full-time   for a few days before they can start coming out briefly to attend to quick   essential chores. Later, they can begin spending ever more time out of the   shelter daily, only coming back in to sleep. As miserable as it might seem   now, you and your family can easily endure that, especially compared to the   alternative.

It’s really not so difficult to build an effective family fallout shelter, not to get it completed… RIGHT NOW!

6. Essential details
If you’ve accomplished the above; securing your supplies, stored water, and built your family fallout shelter, CONGRATULATIONS! You have now succeeded in improving the odds of survival for your family a 100-fold, or more! Now, you need to expand your knowledge and fine-tune the tactics that will make the most of your family survival strategy. .
_a)  If you are close to a target, your first indication of a nuclear detonation may be with its characteristic blinding bright flash. The first effects you may have to deal with before radioactive fallout arrives, depending on your proximity to it, are blast and thermal energy. Promptly employing the old “Duck & Cover” strategy, immediately upon the first indication of the flash, will save many from avoidable flying debris injuries and minimize thermal burns. Those very close will soon experience tornado strength winds and should quickly dive behind or under any solid object, away from or below windows. Even in the open, laying flat, reduces by eight fold the odds of being hit by any debris. A very large 500 kiloton blast, 2.2 miles away, will arrive about 8 seconds after the detonation flash with a very strong three-second wind blast. That delay is even greater further away. That is a lot of time to duck & cover IF alert and you should stay down for 2 minutes. If not near any target ‘ground zero’ you will only, like the vast majority, have to deal with the fallout later.
_b)  Government information and guidance is a vital resource in your response to a nuclear crisis, but for many reasons it may be late, incomplete, misleading or simply in error. While evacuation might be prudent for individuals who act quickly in response to a threat, governments will be slow to call for mass evacuations before an event because of their potential for panic and gridlock. As the past government calls for duct tape and plastic sheeting led to sold-out stores, anxiety, and derision from the press, there will be great reluctance to issue similar alarms. If you want to assure that you have adequate food and supplies for your family you must act BEFORE the panic without first waiting for government instructions that may never come or as urgently as warranted. You alone are ultimately responsible for your family.
_c)  Filtering the air coming into your home shelter won’t be required. Air does not become radioactive, and if your home is reasonably tight, there won’t be any wind blowing through it to carry the radioactive fallout dust inside. Simply sealing any windows and other openings prevents significant fallout from getting inside. To improve both the radiation shielding inside and to protect the windows from being broken and letting fallout blow in later, you should cover them all with wood, and basement windows with boards and earth, sandbags or solid masonry blocks, etc. on the outside and inside too, if possible.
If the basement air gets seriously stale later on, you could re-open a door into the upper floors of the still closed house, or secure a common furnace air filter over an outside air opening leading into your basement.

[The medical effects of radiation exposure are shown in a table in Part 2 of 2 of this post.]

_d)  Regarding fallout contamination, any food or water stored in sealed containers, that can later have any fallout dust brushed or rinsed off the outside of the container, will then be safe to use. As long as the fallout dust does not get inside the container, then whatever radiation penetrated the food/water container from the outside does not harm the contents.
If you suspect that your clothes have fallout on them, remove your outer clothing before you come inside and leave them outside. A cheap plastic hooded rain poncho that can be easily rinsed off or left outside is very effective. Have water and baby shampoo near the entrance to wash and thoroughly rinse any exposed skin and hair.
Exposure to fallout radiation does not make you radioactive, but you need to assure that you don’t bring any inside. If any are stricken with radiation sickness, typically nausea, it is when mild, 100% recoverable and cannot be passed on to others. Before fallout arrives, you might also try to cover up items you want to protect outside for easier rinsing off of the fallout dust later when it’s safe to come out and do so. For instance, if you have a vegetable gardening spot or cord wood for heating, you might try covering some of it with plastic or tarp and weighting them down.
_e)  If without sufficient time to acquire radiological instruments of your own, like survey meters, Geiger counters and dosimeters, you’ll need to be extra sure that your portable radios function properly from inside your shelter and that you have plenty of fresh batteries stocked for them. Without radiological instruments, listening for official guidance about the radiation threat levels in your particular area will be the only way you’ll know when it’s becoming safe to venture out. It might also be the only way you’ll know when you first need to take your initial maximum protective action.
When not in use, emergency  radios should not be attached to any outside antenna or even have their own antenna extended. And, they should be wrapped in any non-conducting insulation, like layers of paper or bubble wrap plastic and then stored in a metal container or wrapped in aluminum foil to minimize the potential of EMP ruining the electronics. Having back-up radios would be very prudent. With extra radios, you can have one always tuned to the closest likely target city and, if it suddenly goes off the air, that could be your first indication of an attack.
_f)  When fallout is first anticipated, but has not yet arrived, anyone not already sheltered should begin using their N95 particulate respirator masks and hooded rain ponchos. Everyone should begin taking Potassium Iodide (KI) or Potassium Iodate (KIO3) tablets for thyroid protection against cancer causing radioactive iodine, a major product of nuclear weapons explosions. If no tablets available, you can topically (on the skin) apply an iodine solution, like tincture of iodine or Betadine, for a similar protective effect. (WARNING: Iodine solutions are NEVER to be ingested or swallowed.) For adults, paint 8 ml of a 2 percent tincture of Iodine on the abdomen or forearm each day, ideally at least 2 hours prior to possible exposure. For children 3 to 18, but under 150 pounds, only half that amount painted on daily, or 4 ml. For children under 3 but older than a month, half again, or 2 ml. For newborns to 1 month old, half it again, or just 1 ml. (One measuring teaspoon is about 5 ml, if you don’t have a medicine dropper graduated in ml.) If your iodine is stronger than 2%, reduce the dosage accordingly. Absorption through the skin is not as reliable a dosing method as using the tablets, but tests show that it will still be very effective for most. Do not use if allergic to iodine. If at all possible, inquire of your doctor NOW if there is any reason why anybody in your household should not use KI or KIO3 tablets, or iodine solutions on their skin, in a future nuclear emergency, just to be sure.
_g)  When you know that the time to take protective action is approaching, turn off all the utilities into the house, check that everything is sealed up and locked down, and head for the shelter. You should also check that you have near your shelter additional tools, crow bars, and car jacks for digging out later, if required, and fire extinguishers handy, too. Also, any building supplies, tools, sheet plastic, staple guns, etc. for sealing any holes from damage. Your basement should already be very well sealed against fallout drifting inside. Now, you’ll need to seal around the last door you use to enter with duct tape all around the edges, especially if it’s a direct to the outside door.
_h)  You don’t need to risk fire, burns, and asphyxiation trying to cook anything in the cramped shelter space, if you have pre-positioned in your shelter enough canned goods, can opener, and other non-perishable foods, that are ready-to-eat without preparation. More food, along with water, can be located right outside your crawl space entrance that you can pull in quickly as needed when safe to do so.
_i)  For lighting needs within the shelter have some small LED flashlights or LED head-lamps to stretch your battery life. Try not to have to use candles if at all possible. Bring in some books for yourself and games for the children. Throw in a small/thin mattress, some cushions, blankets, pillows, etc.
_j)  Toilet use will be via a portable camp toilet or a 5 gallon bucket with a seat borrowed from one of the house bathrooms, if you did not purchase a separate one. Garbage bag liners, preferably sized for it, should always be used and a full-size and bag lined garbage can should be positioned very close outside the shelter entrance for depositing these in when it is safe to do so quickly. Hanging a sheet or blanket will help provide a little privacy as shelter occupants ‘take their turn’. The toilet needs to have its new ‘deposits’ sealed up tight with the plastic liner after each use and hand sanitizer towelettes nearby. Use a very secure top on the bucket and position it near the wall entrance with the outgoing upper air vent.
_k)  Pets, and what to do about them, is a tough call if you fail to make provisions for them. Letting pets run free is not a humane option, both for their potential to die a miserable death from radiation exposure outside and/or to be a danger to others, especially with dogs running in the inevitable packs of multitudes of others abandoned. Preparing for them is ideal, if truly realistic and not a drain on limited resources, while ‘putting them down’ might eventually become a painful, but necessary reality if the disruption of food supplies becomes very long-term.
_l)  Boiling or bleach water treatments will be used for cleaning questionable water later for drinking. (This is for killing bacteria, not for radiation contamination, which is never a concern for any stored and covered water containers or even sealed food.) Tap water recently put into clean containers won’t likely need to be purified before using.
To purify questionable water, bring it to a rolling boil and keep it there for 1 minute. If you don’t have the fuel to boil it, you can kill the bacteria by mixing in a good quality household bleach at the rate of 10 drops per gallon, and letting it sit for at least 1/2 an hour. The bleach should be at least 5.25% pure, like regular, Clorox,  be sure it has no additives such as soap or fragrance. You can later get rid of the flat taste from boiling, or some of the chlorine taste when using bleach, by pouring it from one container to another several times.
_m)  If still available and enough time to be overnight shipped your own radiation detection and monitoring instruments, potassium iodide anti-radiation pills, Nuclear Survival handbooks, etc., check at… http://www.ki4u.com/products1.php

Continued in (Survival Manual/ 1. Disaster/Nuclear & Radiological Warfare, Part 2 of 2)

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