Category Archives: Survival Manual

A place where we don’t take for granted, what we’ve taken for granted.

Personal documents

(Manual/ Prepper Articles/ Personal documents)

AHow to Create an In-Case-of-Emergency Everything Document to Keep Your Loved Ones Informed if Worst Comes to Worst
30 June 2011, lifehacker.com, by Melanie Pinola
Pasted from: http://lifehacker.com/5817021/in-case-of-emergency-how-to-organize-your-important-records-in-a-master-information-kit
pdocs how toIf you were hit by a bus today or were otherwise incapacitated, would your loved ones be able to quickly locate your important information or know how to handle your affairs? Many of us have a great handle on our finances, but our record keeping systems might not be obvious to family members or friends who might need immediate access to them in times of emergency. Here’s a step-by-step guide to organizing your vital information so it can be conveniently and safely accessed when needed.

The Goal: A Master Document or Folder with All Your Important Information
Perhaps the easiest method for creating a centralized document or set of files would be creating a Google Spreadsheet that you could share with your family and friends and keep updated regularly. We’ve created a basic Master Information Kit template just for this purpose, see above and copy from: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AurQ-1EcaNVWdERYNFoyazJLYXpqSGRvN1lxeE1Gb2c&authkey=CIW485gI&hl=en_US&authkey=CIW485gI#gid=0.
pdocs info kit

[Master Information Kit template]

The spreadsheet includes prompts for the information below, but you can customize it for your particular needs. To use the template for yourself, in Google Docs go to File > Make a copy… to save it to your Google account (make sure your version of the document’s sharing settings go back to the default “Private”).

Update: Due to high traffic to the template, Google Docs is only showing it in list view, making it impossible to copy. This zipped file has downloadable versions in PDF, XLS, and ODS formats. You can still import these into your Google Docs account.

There are really only a few steps to setting this organizer up: gathering your records, securely sharing them, and keeping them updated. Follow along and you’ll have your kit set up in no time—and a little extra peace of mind.

Step 1: Gather Your Vital Records to Keep in the Master Information Kit
The most important personal records:
First, there are a few documents that you obviously should keep in a secured location (a fire safe or safe deposit box):

  • Social Security card
  • Birth certificate
  • Passport
  • Any other official, hard-to-replace documents
  • Scan these items so you can have a digital record of them as well. If you encrypt the digital files, e.g., with one of our favorite encryption tools TrueCrypt, and you can even upload them to Google Docs and share the files with your loved ones (make a note of them in the spreadsheet). See encryption file discussion at: http://lifehacker.com/5679777/best-file-encryption-tool-truecrypt

You’ll also want to add to your emergency records kit:

  • Contact information: Both your contact information and your emergency contacts’ info. This includes your nearest relatives, your will executor(s), and employers.
  • Will and medical directives: Add a copy of your will/living trust and medical letter of instructions (keep the originals with your legal representative). You can upload a PDF file to Google Docs for this purpose.
  • Insurance: Homeowners, auto, medical, life, disability, and other insurance agents/brokers contact info and policy numbers
  • Financial accounts: Bank, investment, and credit card/loan accounts information, including institution names, phone numbers, and account numbers
  • Health records: Immunization records, allergies, dietary restrictions, medications, medical/surgical treatments
  • Pet information: Description of each pet, vet contact information, and any important medical notes
  • Property: Car information, home purchase papers/deeds, and other home inventory items.

Again, adjust for your relevant information. Our Master Information  Kit spreadsheet includes individual sheets for most of these pieces of information, so just make a copy of the sheet (File > Make a Copy) and start filling it out, in section at a time.

Step 2: Export Your Accounts Information
Account Passwords
: For login information to important accounts, it’s best not to store your logins in an online document like this. Instead you can export your logins from password managers like Keepass, LastPass, or 1Password to a CSV file and then encrypt it so it can be shared securely. Our spreadsheet template includes a sheet specifically for describing your method of storing these files—the location of your vital documents, and any passwords needed to locate them.

Step 3: Share Your Master Information Kit and Vital Documents
The Google Docs spreadsheet is easy to share. Once you’ve filled out your version of the spreadsheet, click on the Share button and you can email people who you want to be able to view or edit the document. (Think people who you’d also consider emergency contacts.)

For your encrypted files, like the logins mentioned above, you could upload them in Google Docs, store on an encrypted USB thumb drive, or use something like Dropbox. Give the recipients your encryption password but for security reasons, only let them write down a hint to the password. E.g., vacation spot 2010 + pet bday + myfavoritesinger’smiddlename. Also, if you use Dropbox, make sure you encrypt sensitive information first. An encrypted zip file seems an ideal solution.

Step 4. Regularly Update Your Everything Document
You’ll need to update your files/master records book when you update your accounts.
Like setting up an emergency plan or a 72-hour emergency kit, this master information kit will need to be reevaluated regularly—consider doing so at least yearly (e.g., at tax time, when you’re already looking at all your accounts) or, better yet, quarterly.

Set up a reminder on your calendar so you won’t forget. When you get your reminder, don’t wait—just quickly look over the items in your document and if anything has changed, update it. If not, you’ve only lost a couple of minutes of your day toward a very good end.

More Resources for Creating a Master Information Kit
If you’re a Quicken user, for example, you may have access to Emergency Records Organizer built into the program, which can compile your emergency documents for you, based on the info you put in Quicken. It should be in the “Property & Debt” menu or you might find the program under your Quicken folder under Program Files.

Erik Dewey’s free Big Book of Everything is a very thorough organizer for all your affairs, with placeholders for you to record your bank accounts, insurance policies, tax records, and more. The 44-page Big Book of Everything is available in PDF or Excel format.  See and download from: http://www.erikdewey.com/bigbook.htm

There are also a few personal documents organizers in dead-tree version, like For the Record with the same purpose, in case you want pre-printed book. See at: http://www.amazon.com/Record-Personal-Facts-Document-Organizer/dp/1589850580/?ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1309395730&sr=1-7&tag=gmgamzn-20

Our Master Information Kit template (listed above) is a simplified version for the most essential information and with an eye towards sharing on Google Docs (or downloading and saving).

Whichever method you choose, having all your vital information in one easily accessible place can be comforting, for both you and your loved ones.

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B.  Why you should pack a Survival Flash Drive
Survival Cache.com,pdocs thumb drive
Pasted from: http://survivalcache.com/survival-flash-drive/

When we think of survival scenarios we don’t often think of packing important documents: Drivers License, Handgun Carry Permit, Passport etc. However, I think this is a bad idea, and here’s why you should pack a survival flash drive in your Bug Out Bag.

Consider Your Odds
First, the chances of you finding yourself in a regional survival situation, such as Katrina or Haiti, are much greater than an end of the world scenario.
So let’s assume you were in an area-wide situation, had to bug out, and all of your stuff that’s not on your back got destroyed.

pdocs bureaucratsFear the Bureaucrats
So you made it out, but with all your stuff gone you might not have any of your important documents with you. While that doesn’t really seem important compared to your life, the years worth of red tape and bureaucratic paperwork that we call a government doesn’t care. In fact, at that point you are a non-person.

How do they know you are who you say you are? You have no proof of identification and a terrorist attack just destroyed your city. How do we know you aren’t the terrorist? (After all you had an escape plan prepared)
While this may sound ridiculous, given the nature of our government these days it’s really not that farfetched.

Survival Flash Drive
To prepare for a localized survival scenario in which you will eventually have to re-enter regular society make it much easier on yourself and back-up your most important documents ahead of time.

All you have to do is buy a cheap USB flash drive, (or a waterproof one) scan all of your important documents, and store them on your flash drive in your Bug Out Bag. Bug Out and you’ve brought your all important “life on paper” with you. You can also keep this USB in a element proof bag like a Loksak Bag.

*Don’t go buy a scanner if you don’t have one, just take the stuff to Kinkos or Office Max and have them scan it all for you.

** Warning: Modern Copy Machine and Scanners have an internal Hard Drive that keep a digital copy of everything they scan. All it takes is one malicious worker at the store to steal your identity. If at all possible find a private copy machine and scanner.

What to put on your Flash Drivepdocs documents

  • Driver’s License
  • Handgun Carry Permit
  • Passport
  • Bank Account Documents
  • Birth Certificate
  • Social Security Card
  • Insurance Information
  • Marriage Certificate
  • All of the above for all Children
  • Important Family Pictures

Be extremely careful keeping up with your Survival Flash drive, back in the regular world that is your identity.

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C.  The Most Critical Survival Tool
10 Feb 2011, Bug Out Bag Quest, by Lee
Pasted from; http://www.bugoutbagquest.com/2011/02/most-critical-survival-tool.html

pdocs smart phone- electronics

I’m often asked by readers: “What’s the most valuable survival tool?” At the risk of offending many people, I’ll share my answer with all of you: It’s not a gun, or a knife, or a way to start a fire, or any of the other macho answers – it’s an iPhone. An iPhone (or similarly featured smart phone) is the only tool that is useful in every type of emergency or survival scenario:

1. Car in the ditch? Call for help.
2. General emergency? Contact your family.
3. Bugout situation? Let your family know your plans.
4. On foot in a bugout situation in unfamiliar territory? Use the phone’s GPS and maps.
5. Want to carry critical personal documents? Store them encrypted in the phone.
6. Need to document what’s happening around you? Use the phone’s HD movie or still camera.
7. Need to be rescued from an unknown location and have cell signal? Take a picture of your surroundings and mail it, complete with geotag.
8. Need your survival library? You can carry 10,000 books with you.
9. Want all this and more for very light weight? You got it – the iPhone is basically a computer that you can put in your pocket.
10. Worried about running out of juice? No problem – the phone can quickly charge from AC, DC, or solar, and will hold a charge on standby for days.

This phone can satisfy all of your communication needs except for a grid-down situation. It can store all of your documents. It can navigate. It is sturdy. It gets my vote as the most valuable survival tool because it is the most versatile survival tool.

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D.  Replacing Your Important Papers
5 November 2013, Fema.gov, Release Number: NR-084
Pasted from: http://www.fema.gov/news-release/2013/11/05/replacing-your-important-papers

DENVER – Not only were Colorado homes damaged by the recent severe storms, flooding, landslides or mudslides, but many survivors also lost valuable personal documents.  The documents include everything from Social Security cards to driver licenses to credit cards.

The following is a partial list of ways to get duplicates of destroyed or missing documents:

Birth and Death Certificates – Birth and death certificates can be replaced by visiting your county vital records office or on line http://go.usa.gov/DFbw

Marriage Certificates – The online link for replacement of marriage certificates is http://go.usa.gov/DFbw

Marriage Dissolutions (divorces) – The online link for divorce decree replacements is http://go.usa.gov/DFbw

Adoption Decrees – The Colorado District Courts link for adoption records – if the adoption was finalized in Colorado – is http://go.usa.gov/DFbw

Immigration Documents – Contact your county office or the site below for citizenship, immigration, permanent resident card (green card), employment authorization, re-entry permit and more. uscis.gov

Driver Licenses – Visit any Colorado driver license office with acceptable identification and proof of address. Fee required.

Vehicle Registration, License Tab or Title – Contact your county motor vehicle office. You will need proof of insurance and Colorado vehicle emissions. Fees administered by county.  http://tinyurl.com/m2hchyh

Passport – Complete form DS-64 from http://tinyurl.com/ld6z28k

Military Records – Request Standard Form 180 (SF-180) from any office of the Veterans Administration, American Legion, VFW or Red Cross, or download from http://tinyurl.com/lnu2pmt

Mortgage Papers – Contact your lending institution

Property Deeds – Contact the recorder’s office in the county where the property is located

Insurance Policies – Contact the insurance company for replacement papers

Social Security Card – Go to a Social Security Administration office. You also can request a copy of your Social Security statement online http://www.ssa.gov

Transcript of Your Tax Return – Call nearest Treasury Department office, IRS office or 800-829-3646; request form 4506. To find your local IRS office, go to http://tinyurl.com/mvk5dvu

Savings Bonds/Notes – Complete Form PDF 1048 (Claim for Lost, Stolen or Destroyed U.S. Savings Bonds); available by calling 304-480-6112 or at http://www.treasurydirect.gov/forms/sav1048.pdf

Credit Cards – American Express, 800-528-4800; Discover, 800-347-2683; MasterCard, 800-622-7747; Visa, 800-847-2911

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Post Collapse: Eyewitness 2

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Post Collapse: Eyewitness 2)

This Is What Crisis Feels Like: A Personal Story: “It All Changed. Literally Within A Day…”
12 June 2013, SHTFplan.com, by Simon Black
Originally published by Simon Black at Sovereign Man.
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/this-is-what-crisis-feels-like-a-personal-story-it-all-changed-literally-within-a-day_06122013

 If you’re one of the 1,000+ subscribers who has take the trip down to Chile, you might have had the pleasure of meeting Marco, my right-hand man in Chile.
One of the great things about Marco is that he intuitively understands our Sovereign Man philosophy. Because he lived through it.
You see, Marco is originally from Argentina. And he has some extraordinary stories about what it’s like to live through a sovereign default and currency collapse.

post collapse riotFrom Marco:
“On December 1, 2001, Argentina’s economy was in trouble. Unemployment was high, debt was high, and recession had taken hold. But life was somewhat ‘normal’.

Basic services still functioned. And no one had to really worry about… food. Or water. Then it all changed. Literally within a day.

On December 2nd, our bankrupt government imposed measures that essentially froze everyone’s bank accounts. You can just imagine– one day having access to your funds, and the next day being completely cut off.

Within a matter of days, people were out in the streets doing battle with the police. The government soon defaulted on its debt, and the currency went into freefall.

I was doing some post-graduate work in Boston at the time. As a foreigner in the US, I wasn’t really able to work… so I was living on a tight budget from my savings.

Yet, overnight, I went from being able to pay my rent and living expenses to being completely cut off from my funds. I had nothing.

But when I spoke to my family back in Argentina, I realized that they had it even worse.

Everything became scarce. The electricity went out all the time. Even food on the grocery store shelves ran low. You would eat what you had available at home.

And in a way, food became a medium of exchange. Within just a few days, people went from having confidence in their currency to not trusting it at all. No one wanted to accept paper money anymore, especially for something as valuable as food.

And if they did, it would be at 2-3 times the normal price. With all of this unfolding, I flew back down to see my family.

My father called me and said he had stashed his life savings in US dollar cash in a bank safety deposit box. He needed my help getting it out.

When we arrived to the bank, there were thousands of people in the streets rioting. The police were there in paramilitary gear. It was so tense, we had to bribe someone just to get inside the bank.

Fortunately we were able to get access to the box. But… we had to walk 3 or 4 blocks to the car. It was half panic, half adrenaline rush walking past an angry crowd with my father’s life savings shoved down our pants.

Looking back, this was crazy. But at the time, it was the only way. Then came the even harder part– getting it out of the country.

We had friends who would take rowboats full of cash to neighboring Uruguay. But this was incredibly risky.

At the time, the only legitimate way to get money out of the country was buying ADRs (Argentine public companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange). And the only reason we were even able to do this was because we had the contacts.

But we got killed on the fees. The commission alone was 20%, and then, of course, the stocks we purchased took a dive.

So my father ended up losing about half of his savings trying to get it out of the country at the wrong time.

What’s funny is that we eventually ended up suing the government. They had destroyed everyone’s life savings, and even seized pensions as well.

The government dragged out the legal process for years, almost a decade. They were hoping that all the retirees who were suing them would simply die off, and the problem would go away.

Eventually, we won the case (along with thousands of others). But the judge gave the government a ‘suspended sentence’. So, no penalty.

There are so many more stories to tell about this… and fortunately I can laugh about it all now. But at the time, it was beyond stressful.

The best way I can describe it is despair. And this is really the worst emotion you can have. Because when you’re in a state of despair, you’re hopeless. It’s a terrible position to be in.

Life becomes hell because you do not know whether you are going to be able to put food on the table the next day.

And in such a state of despair, you’re not in a position to make good decisions. It’s all about survival.

Of course, we kept thinking, “why didn’t we see this coming? Why didn’t we do something sooner?”

If only we had moved some money out of the country before, or taken steps to safeguard his pension, life would have turned out much differently.

It’s like that old saying– better to be a year (or decade) too early than a day too late. Because one should never underestimate the speed with which things can unravel.

B.  Why Most Disaster preparedness Experts have No Clue what the Hello They’re Talking About!
8 Aug 2013, OffGridSurvival.com,  Posted by: Rob Richardson
Pasted from: http://offgridsurvival.com/disasterpreparednessexperts/

Emergency Preparedness Planners Are not Planning on Saving you during a Disaster!
I’ve talked to a number of these people over the years, and two thing always become glaringly obvious. First, these people usually despise anyone outside their Ivy League discussion groups – especially anyone who calls themselves a prepper.  Second, they have no idea how to help people become better prepared, and many of them have no idea how to respond to an actual emergency.

Let’s briefly deal with the first point, because I believe they’re behavior is a huge problem – one that is likely to cost many lives.

 Do Preppers deserve a bad rap?
It really depends on how you look at the situation. While I’ve been very critical of shows like Doomsday Preppers, I have met some of these people, and a lot of them are actually incredibly knowledgeable. Yes, some are only on these shows to exploit they’re 15 minutes of fame, but there are a great number of people who call themselves preppers that could be incredibly useful to the general public.

The problem comes in how the media, and shows like Doomsday Preppers, have chosen to portray these people. Instead of highlighting them in a way that can help better prepare the public, we often only here the word prepping when it’s tied to some psychopath who just killed a bunch of people.

Sadly, and something that leads me into my second point, is the fact that these “preppers” often have more practical knowledge than the emergency preparedness experts our government pays to do this for a living.

 Emergency Preparedness… or just Useless Government Bureaucracy?post collapse fema
I’ve been to a number of emergency preparedness conferences and expos, and the one thing that bothers me the most, is how clueless most  of these people are. While most of our first responders have a pretty good idea of what they’re doing, the bureaucrats – and the idiots who run agencies like FEMA – seem to have more interest in how they look than they do in saving the public from disasters.

 Case and Point: Last year I attended an emergency preparedness summit that literally surprised the hell out of me. I went hoping to get a better idea of how emergency preparedness people plan for disasters, what I came away with was anything but helpful.

Conference after conference was devoted to things like social media, how to respond to the media, and how to basically cover their asses once they screwed something up. Hour after hour was devoted to discussions on how to respond to the media when things didn’t go as planned.

These people were literally reviewing case studies of all the times they screwed things up, and then talking about how they could have better handled the media backlash. I couldn’t believe it; instead of reviewing these screw ups, and then figuring out how to prevent them, they instead choose to figure out how they could better respond to media criticism. Government at its finest!

 You are the only First Responder you can really count on!
A couple days ago, I wrote about my experience of watching someone get sucked under the water while attempting to swim across a cove I was fishing near. This experience, along with my experience at a number of emergency preparedness expos, has solidified my belief that you need to be your own first responder.

Whether it’s being prepared for future disasters, or being prepared to defend your home from intruders, the only person you can really count on is yourself. In most disasters timing is everything, and you simply cannot rely solely on emergency responders to keep you safe. You must be prepared to deal with emergency situations yourself, even if that’s just keeping things stable until emergency responders can respond.

 You are the First Responder during an Emergency, and you need to keep that in mind going forward. It’s your responsibility to do everything you can to learn the skills, and the techniques you need to survive in an emergency situation.

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Post Collapse: Eyewitness 1

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Post Collapse: Eyewitness 1)

post collapse city

A.  Real Life Account of Post-Collapse Argentina: Life in Post-Collapse Argentina, Oct. 2005
10 Feb 2013, Tech Prepper, originally Fernando Ferfal Aguirre author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” (see an image of book’s cover below)
Pasted from: http://www.techprepper.com/general/a-real-life-account-of-post-collapse-argentina/

 The following is an account of a student in Argentina during their economic collapse (source: RapidTrends.com via @ShelfRelianceOH). This is the closest thing I’ve read to a “been there done that” guide to surviving TEOTWAWK (The End of the World As We Know It).

“My brother visited Argentina a few weeks ago. He’s been living in Spain for a few years now. Within the first week, he got sick, some kind of strong flu, even though the climate isn’t that cold and he took care of himself. Without a doubt he got sick because there are lots of new viruses in my country that can’t be found in 1st world countries. The misery and famine lead us to a situation where, even though you have food, shelter and health care, most others don’t, and therefore they get sick and spread the diseases all over the region.

What got me started on this post is the fact that I actually saw this coming, and posted on the subject here at Frugal’s, [frugalsquirrels.com] months before the new viruses spread over the country and the news started talking about this new health emergency, which proves that talking, thinking and sharing ideas with like-minded people (you guys), does help me to see things coming and prepare for them with enough time. So I started thinking about several issues, what I learned (either the hard way or thanks to this forum) after all these years of living in a collapsed country that is trying to get out an economical disaster and everything that comes along with it. Though my English is limited, I hope I’m able to transmit the main ideas and concepts, giving you a better image of what you may have to deal with some day, if the economy collapses in your country. Here is what I have so far:

URBAN OR COUNTRY?
Someone once asked me how did those that live in the country fare. If they were better off than city dwellers. As always there are no simple answers. Wish I could say country good, city bad, but I can’t, because if I have to be completely honest, and I intend to be so, there are some issues that have to be analyzed, especially security. Of course those that live in the country and have some land and animals were better prepared food-wise. No need to have several acres full of crops. A few fruit trees, some animals, such as chickens, cows and rabbits, and a small orchard were enough to be light years ahead of those in the cities. Chickens, eggs and rabbits would provide the proteins, a cow or two for milk and cheese, some vegetables and fruit plants covered the vegetable diet, some eggs or a rabbit could be traded for flour to make bread and pasta or sugar and salt.

Of course that there are exceptions, for example, some provinces up north have a desert climate, and it almost never rains. It is almost impossible to live off the land, and animals require food and water you have to buy. Those guys had it bad; no wonder the northern provinces suffer the most in my country. Those that live in cities, well they have to manage as they can. Since food prices went up about 200%-300%. People would cut expenses wherever they could so they could buy food. Some ate whatever they could; they hunted birds or ate street dogs and cats, others starved. When it comes to food, cities suck in a crisis. It is usually the lack of food or the impossibility to acquire it that starts the rioting and looting when TSHTF.

When it comes to security things get even more complicated. Forget about shooting those that mean you harm from 300 yards away with your MBR [main battle rifle]. Leave that notion to armchair commandos and 12 year old kids that pretend to be grown ups on the internet.

Some facts:

  1. Those that want to harm you/steal from you don’t come with a pirate flag waving over their heads.
  2. Neither do they start shooting at you 200 yards away.
  3. They won’t come riding loud bikes or dressed with their orange, convict just escaped from prison jump suits, so that you can identify them the better. Nor do they all wear chains around their necks and leather jackets. If I had a dollar for each time a person that got robbed told me “They looked like NORMAL people, dressed better than we are”, honestly, I would have enough money for a nice gun. There are exceptions, but don’t expect them to dress like in the movies.
  4. A man with a wife and two or three kids can’t set up a watch. I don’t care if you are SEAL, SWAT or John Freaking Rambo, no 6th sense is going to tell you that there is a guy pointing a gun at your back when you are trying to fix the water pump that just broke, or carrying a big heavy bag of dried beans you bought that morning.

The best alarm system anyone can have on a farm are dogs. But dogs can get killed and poisoned. A friend of mine had all four dogs poisoned on his farm one night, they all died. After all these years I learned that even though the person that lives out in the country is safer when it comes to small time robberies, that same person is more exposed to extremely violent home robberies. Criminals know that they are isolated and their feeling of invulnerability is boosted. When they assault a country home or farm, they will usually stay there for hours or days torturing the owners. I heard it all: women and children getting raped, people tied to the beds and tortured with electricity, beatings, burned with acetylene torches. Big cities aren’t much safer for the survivalist that decides to stay in the city. He will have to face express kidnappings, robberies, and pretty much risking getting shot for what’s in his pockets or even his clothes.

post collapse fernando bookSo, where to go? The concrete jungle is dangerous and so is living away from it all, on your own. The solution is to stay away from the cities but in groups, either by living in a small town-community or sub division, or if you have friends or family that think as you do, form your own small community. Some may think that having neighbors within “shouting” distance means losing your privacy and freedom, but it’s a price that you have to pay if you want to have someone to help you if you ever need it. To those that believe that they will never need help from anyone because they will always have their rifle at hand, checking the horizon with their scope every five minutes and a first aid kit on their back packs at all times…. Grow up.

SERVICES
What ever sort of scenario you are dealing with, services are more than likely to either suffer in quality or disappear all together. Think ahead of time; analyze possible SHTF scenarios and which service should be affected by it in your area. Think about the most likely scenario but also think outside the box. What’s more likely? A tornado? But a terrorist attack isn’t as crazy as you though it would be a few years ago, is it?

Also analyze the consequences of those services going down. If there is no power then you need to do something about all that meat you have in the fridge, you can dry it or can it. Think about the supplies you would need for these tasks before you actually need them. You have a complete guide on how to prepare the meat on you computer… how will you get it out of there if there is no power? Print everything that you consider important.

WATER
No one can last too long without water. The urban survivalist may find that the water is of poor quality, in which case he can make good use of a water filter, or that there is no water available at all. When this happens, a large city were millions live will run out of bottled water within minutes. In my case, tap water isn’t very good. I can see black little particles and some other stuff that looks like dead algae. Taste isn’t that bad. Not good but I know that there are parts of the country where it is much worse. To be honest, a high percentage of the country has no potable water at all.

If you can build a well, do so, set it as your top of the list priority as a survivalist.
Water comes before firearms, medicines and even food. Save as much water as you can. Use plastic bottles, refill soda bottles and place them in a cool place, preferably inside a black garbage bag to protect it from sun light. The water will pick some plastic taste after a few months, but water that tastes a little like plastic is far way better than no water at all. What ever the kind of SHTF scenario you are dealing with, water will suffer.

In my case the economical crash created problems with the water company, that reduces the maintenance and quality in order to reduce costs and keep their income in spite of the high prices they have to pay for supplies and equipment, most of which comes from abroad, and after the 2001 crash, costs 3 times more. As always, the little guy gets to pay for it. Same would go for floods or chemical or biological attacks. Water requires delicate care and it will suffer when TSHTF in one way or another. In this case, when you still have tap water, a quality filter is in order, as well as a pump if you can have one. A manual pump would be ideal as well if possible. Estimate that you need a approximately a gallon per person per day. Try to have at least two-four weeks worth of water. More would be preferable.

POWER
I spent WAY to much time without power for my own taste. Power has always been a problem in my country, even before the 2001 crisis. The real problem starts when you spend more than just a few hours without light. Just after the SHTF in 2001 half the country went without power for 3 days. Buenos Aires was one big dark grave. People got caught on elevators, food rots; hospitals that only had a few hours worth of fuel for their generators ran out of power. Without power, days get to be a lot shorter. Once the sun sets there is not much you can do. I read under candle light and flashlight light and your head starts to hurt after a while. You can work around the house a little bit but only as long as you don’t need power tools. Crime also increases once the lights go out, so whenever you have to go somewhere in a black out, carry the flashlight on one hand and a handgun on the other.

Summarizing, being in a city without light turn to be depressing after a while. I spent my share of nights, alone, listening to the radio, eating canned food and cleaning my guns under the light of my LED head lamp. Then I got married, had a son, and found out that when you have loved ones around you black outs are not as bad. The point is that family helps morale on these situations.
A note on flashlights. Have two or three head LED lights. They are not expensive and are worth their weight in gold. A powerful flashlight is necessary, something like a big Maglite or better yet a SureFire, especially when you have to check your property for intruders. But for more mundane stuff like preparing food, going to the toilet or doing stuff around the house, the LED headlamp is priceless. Try washing the dishes on the dark while holding a 60 lumen flashlight on one hand and you’ll know what I mean. LEDs also have the advantage of lasting for almost an entire week of continuous use and the light bulb lasts forever. Rechargeable batteries are a must or else you’ll end up broke if lights go out often. Have a healthy amount of spare quality batteries and try to standardize as much as you can. I have 12 Samsung NM 2500Mh AA and 8 AAA 800mh for the headlamps. I use D cell plastic adaptors in order to use AA batteries on my 3 D cell Maglite. This turned out to work quite well, better than I expected. I also keep about 2 or 3 packs of regular, Duracell batteries just in case. These are supposed to expire around 2012, so I can forget about them until I need them. Rechargeable NM batteries have the disadvantage of loosing power after a period of time, so keep regular batteries as well and check the rechargeable ones every once in a while.

After all these years of problems with power, what two items I would love to have?

  1. The obvious. A generator. I carried my fridge food to my parent’s house way to many times on the past. Too bad I can’t afford one right now.
  2. A battery charger that has both solar panel and a small crank. They are not available here. I saw that they are relatively inexpensive in the USA. Do yourself a favor and get one or two of these. Even if they don’t charge as well as regular ones, I’m sure it will put out enough power to charge batteries for LED lamps at least.

GAS (Propane and natural gas)
Gas has decreased in quality as well, there is little gas. Try to have an electric oven in case you have to do without it. If both electricity and gas go down, one of those camping stoves can work as well, if you keep a good supply of gas cans. The ones that work with liquid fuel seem to be better on the long run, since they can use different types of fuel. You can only store a limited amount of compressed gas and once you ran out of it, you are on your own if stores are closed of they sold them out. Anyway, a city that goes without gas and light for more than two weeks is a death trap, get out of there before it’s too late.

A DIFFERENT MENTALITY
I was watching the People & Art channel with my wife the other night. It was a show where they film a couple for a given period of time and some people vote on who is the one with the worst habits, the one they find more annoying. We were in our bed, and this is when I usually fall asleep but since the guy was a firearms police instructor I was interested and managed to stay awake. At one point the guy’s wife said that she found annoying that her husband spent 500 dollars a month on beauty products for himself. 500 USD on facial cream, special shampoo and conditioner, as well as having his nails polished! If you are that guy and happen to be reading this, or if you know him, I’m sorry, but what an idiot!! “500 USD, that’s a small generator or a gun and a few boxes of ammo” I told my wife. “That’s two months worth of food” she said. We were each thinking of a practical use for that money, the money this guy was practically throwing away. Once the SHTF, money is no longer measured in money, but you start seeing it as the necessary goods it can buy. Stuff like food, medicine, gas, or the private medical service bill. To me, spending 500 dollars on beauty products, and to make it worse, on a guy? That’s simply not acceptable. The way I see it, someone with that mentality can’t survive a week without a credit card, no use in even considering a SHTF scenario.

And this guy is a firearms instructor?… probably the kind of guy that will say that a handgun is only used to fight his way to his rifle… and his facial night cream…
Once you experience the lack of stuff you took for granted, like food , medicines, your set of priorities change all of a sudden. For example, I had two wisdom teeth removed last year. On both occasions I was prescribed with antibiotics and strong Ibuprofen for the pain. I took the antibiotics (though I did buy two boxes with the same prescription just to keep one box just in case) but I didn’t use the Ibuprofen, I added it to my pile of medicines. Why? Because medicines are not always available and I’m not sure if they will be available in the future. Sure, it hurt like hell, but pain alone isn’t going to kill you, so I sucked it up. Good for building up character if you ask me.

Make sacrifices so as to ensure a better future, that’s the mentality you should have if you want to be prepared. There’s stuff that is “nice to have” that has to be sacrificed to get the indispensable stuff. There’s stuff that is not “basic need stuff” but it’s also important in one way or another. My wife goes to the hairdresser once every month or two. It’s not life or death, but it does make her feel better and it boosts her morale.

I buy a game for the Xbox or a movie to watch with my wife every once in awhile, just to relax. 7 or 10 dollars a month are not going to burn a hole in my pocket. Addictions such as alcohol, drugs or even cigarettes should be avoided by the survivalist. They are bad for your health; cost a lot of money that could be much better spent, and create an addiction to something that may not be available in the future. Who will have to tolerate your grouchy mood when your brand of smokes is no longer imported after TSHTF?

PART II: URBAN SURVIVAL

GRAY/BLACK MARKET
Once the SHTF the black/gray market will take no time to appear all around you.
In my country, gray markets were even accepted in the end. At first it was all about trading skills or craft products for food. Districts and towns would form their own barter markets, and created their own tickets, similar to money, that was used to trade.
This didn’t last long. Those tickets were easy to make on your home computer, there was no control and eventually people went back to paper money.

These markets were usually placed on warehouses or empty land, and were managed by some wise guy and a few thugs or hired security. Anyone can go rent a kiosk inside these markets for about 50-100 pesos (about 20-30 dollars) a day and sell his goods and services. Peace within these markets is usually respected… lets just say that these managers don’t call the police if someone tries anything funny, like stealing, fighting or taking advantage of women. That’s not good for their business and anyone that tries to mess with their business finds out how much pain the human body can actually experience or gets a free ticket to meet the Lord. Sometimes even uniformed cops manage security on these markets, for a small fee of course. As always, you still have to be careful. They may still try to pick your pockets or even attack you once you leave the market. Once you leave the market, you are on your own, as always.

These markets evolved and now a lot of different products are available. Today I visited my local market, a warehouse that is fairly well set up and cleanly managed. They had problems for selling stolen merchandise and fake brand name clothes a few days ago.

What can be found at the local markets? Mostly food and clothing. Some have more variety than others but cheese, canned food, spices, honey, eggs, fruits, vegetables, beer, wine and cured meat are generally available, same as bakery products and pasta. These are less expensive than those found at supermarkets. Fresh fish is sometimes available but not always, people don’t trust many products that need refrigeration, and they get those at supermarkets instead.

Clothes are also popular and you can find copies of brand name clothes, imitations, or even original stolen new clothes, the same goes for shoes and sneakers. Children clothes, underwear, socks, sheets and towels are all very popular. Some sell toys, but they are always China made, mostly poor quality though there are some few exceptions. Others sell tools, also made in China can be found as well, but they are of poor quality. Some offer their services and repair stuff or offer work as handyman.

You would be amazed of the junk that these guys manage to fix: TVs, CD players, Power tools, etc. They even manage to solder the small integrated circuits boards sometimes. Give one of these guys a screw driver and a bar of chocolate and he will fix a nuclear submarine.

After food and clothes, the 3rd most popular item has to be CDs and DVDs, movies, music, play station 2 and Xbox games, programs, it all ends up there just one or two days after the official release in USA. Seems that they have a guy hidden under Bill Gate’s desk or something. Anyway, almost everything can be found there, and if you want, you can ask around, talk to the right guy and buy illegal stuff like drugs or black market guns and ammo. The quality of the drugs is questionable, of course, and a lot of addicts die from the mixtures these guys sell.

Guns are mostly FN High Powers, Surplus 1911s and Colt .45s, Sistemas, and old Colt Detective revolvers in 38 special that found their way from police and military armories into the black market. Condition isn’t very good but if you have money you’ll be amazed of what you can end up with. Everything that is used by the military and police, including SMGs a, Browning 50 BMG Machine guns, and even frag grenades, is available in the black market, if the customer has the amount of money and a little patience, of course. The big guns may take a while, but the handguns and grenades are readily available.

GOLD!!
Someone hit me in the head please because I messed up about the gold issue.
Everyone wants to buy gold! “I buy gold. Pay cash” signs are everywhere, even on TV! I can’t believe I’m that silly! I just didn’t relate it to what I read here because they deal with junk gold, like jewelry, either stolen or sold because they needed the money, not the gold coins that you guys talk about. No one pays for the true value of the stuff, so big WARNING! Sign on people that are buying gold coins. Since it is impossible to determine the true mineral percentage of gold, small shops and dealers will pay for it as regular jewelry gold. What I would do if I were you: Besides gold coins, buy a lot of small gold rings and other jewelry. They should be less expensive than gold coins, and if the SHTF bad, you won’t be losing money, selling premium quality gold coins for the price of junk gold. If I could travel back in time, I’d buy a small bag of gold rings. Small time thieves will snatch gold chains right out of your neck and sell them at these small dealers found everywhere. This is VERY common at train stations, subways and other crowded areas.

So, my advice, if you are preparing for a small economical crisis, gold coins make sense. You will keep the value of the stuff and be able to sell it for its actual cost to gold dealers or maybe other survivalists that know the true value of them. In my case, gold coins would have been an excellent investment, saving me from losing money when the local economy crashed. Even though things are bad, I can go to a bank down town and get paid for what a gold coin is truly worth, same goes for pure silver. But where I live, in my local area small time dealers will only pay you the value of junk gold, no matter what kind of gold you have. So, I’d have to say that if TSHTF bad, gold jewelry is a better trade item than gold coins.
.

PART III: GUNS, AMMO AND OTHER GEAR

After TSHTF in 2001, only the most narrow minded, brain washed, butterfly IQ level idiots believed that the police would protect them from the crime wave that followed the collapse of our economy. A lot of people that could have been considered antigun before, ran to the gun shops, seeking advice on how to defend themselves and their families. They would buy a 38 revolver, a box of ammo, and leave it in the closet, probably believing that it would magically protect them from intruders.

Oh, maybe you don’t think that firearms are really necessary or your beliefs do not allow you to buy a tool designed to kill people. So you probably ask yourself, is a gun really necessary when TSHTF? Will it truly make a difference? Having gone through a SHTF scenario myself, total economical collapse in the year 2001, and still dealing with the consequences, 5 years later, I feel I can answer that question. YES, you need a gun, pepper spray, a machete, a battle axe, club with a rusty nail sticking out of it, or whatever weapon you can get hold of.
A LOT has been written on survival weapons. Everyone that is into armed survival has his or her own idea of the ideal gun battery. Some more oriented to a hunting point of view, others only as self defense means and others consider a little of both, and look for general purpose weapons. Talking about guns, there is one special subject I want to rectify, and it’s the point on what’s the primary weapon for the survivalist, specially a urban survivalist that has to function in a society, yes, even after the SHTF.

The primary defensive weapon for the survivalist is his HANDGUN. It’s the weapon that stays with him when he is doing his business around town of working on the field. The survivalist IS NOT a soldier, even though you are a soldier or you once were the meanest mother on the battlefield, your home town is not a battlefield and it won’t be, even if the SHTF. A LOT of water has to go under the bridge until the situation gets to a point where you can calmly walk down the street with a rifle on your shoulder. People, if you are interested in real world SHTF situation and you want to prepare for the real deal, then understand that this isn’t black or white. You wake up one day and listen on the radio that the economy collapsed and that the stock market closed indefinitely. What do you do? You still have to go to the office/work/whatever. Kiss the wife good bye and walk to the office with your AR across your back, or across your chest, Israeli style, ready to shoot? You won’t get far. Someone will shoot you or throw you in jail, or in a mental institution.

What I’m trying to explain, is that it’s ok to prepare for China invading your country, Germans and UN or Martians. That is the extreme, least likely worst case scenario.
There is an infinity spectrum of gray between the black and white. White being your average normal day and black being total TEOTWAWKI, lizard men invading the planet.
Rifles do have a place in the survivalist’s arsenal, and a very important one. But you have to understand that 90% of the time, the handgun will be the weapon you have available when you need one. You can’t compare to a trooper in Iraq that has his weapon with him at all times. I ask you how many soldiers do you know that keep wearing camouflage and toting their M4s around town when they return home?

What works for war does not work for the survivalist, especially the urban survivalist.
Even if you live in a retreat far from town, you have to work, don’t you? Or do you have employees that take care of all your mundane tasks, leaving you all day to keep watch with your rifle ready? A soldier is part of a huge machine; HIS job is to carry that rifle, while others take care of other needs. A survivalist, one that is not part of a large survivalist group, has no one to cover for him.

When a new guy looks for advice on what to get for defense, some will recommend a rifle or shotgun as a first defensive weapon.

Let’s say race riots start in this guy’s city. He still has to go to work every day. What is he supposed to do? Shove his pump shotgun in his pocket? A handgun, even though less powerful, can be used for home defense AND go with you wherever you need to go. If the place floods, he can still hop into an evacuation boat without leaving his weapon behind. I’m sure no rescue team will pick you if you are carrying a long arm. They’ll ask you to leave it behind for sure. What if your government, realizing that TSHTF and that they lost control of the events, bans all firearms indefinitely? Don’t know about you, but if things are that bad, I’d like to be armed. You can hide a handgun under a jacket. You can’t hide a long arm under your clothes.
I think it was Clint Smith who said that the handgun is only to be used to fight his way to his rifle. Man! That sounds “macho”. I’d love to see him walking into Walmart with his tactical M4, taking the subway, visiting the doctor or going to the bank. “Over here Mr. Smith, you can hang you M4 right next to my coat” I don’t think so. Guys, unless you have your own shooting school, you do not get to carry your rifle to work.

OK, now that I got that out of my chest lets look at some options.
Handguns: Revolver or Pistol? Pistol ALL THE WAY! Yes, I saw the video of the guy that accurately emptied his S&W in ½ a second. I also saw the shooting range and the crowd behind him, watching the event. Can he shoot and reload that way if he is in his car, driving with one hand and shooting with the other, while a bunch of scum bags in another car are shooting at him? Hey, maybe he can. I know I can’t. Can you?

Generally speaking, the revolver is more difficult to master than the pistol. The double action is hard and it affects speed and accuracy. It can be done, but I found that pistols are easier, as did many shooters. Also, even though they seem to be more simple, revolvers are not as rugged as service pistols, the mechanism that cycles the cylinder and cocks the hammer is both complicated and fragile compared to auto pistols.

Before anyone starts casting evil voodoo spells at me for insulting their prized S&W or Ruger: I own revolvers and like shooting them, I just don’t think they are the best option for self defense, and I see that everyone I talk to in my country who is worried about security as I am also chooses pistols. Quality pistols resist sand, mud and dirt in general better than revolvers, where a small pebble locked in the mechanism may render the revolver inoperable.
I personally had a problem with a new stainless steel Taurus Tracker .357 magnum. After shooting it a couple of times I reloaded it and shot all 7 rounds as fast as I could and when I tried to empty it, I found that the empties were stuck because they expanded because of the heat. I had to wait until the gun cooled a little so I could empty the gun. Stuff like this can get you killed, even more in a 7 round handgun.

I once saw a man walk into a gun store wanting to trade his 357 magnum revolver for a 9mm high capacity pistol. He said he was driving when thugs from another car started shooting at him. He was chased for a few blocks. He said that he pulled his revolver and started shooting at them, and ran out of ammo real fast. He wanted more capacity and fast reloading. I could not agree with him more. Some will consider this “Spray and pray”, thinking that all rounds should hit the target and if some don’t then it means that you need more time at the range. Those same people will tell you that they intend to use bolt action rifles as defensive rifles, making each shot count, without ever missing their target, one shot one kill. I don’t agree with this. One shot one kill is ok for snipers, but the survivalist should have other alternatives.

I don’t see anything wrong with shooting four or five rounds at a chasing car. If those rounds make them think twice about their intentions, they are rounds well spent in my book, even if they don’t kill the attacker. Suppressive fire is possible if you have a high capacity pistol. I wouldn’t doubt on using such a tactic if it serves my purposes, or if it buys me time to get out of there. Also keep in mind that criminals are cowards and therefore attack in groups. The survivalist should be able to face more than just one attacker. Getting into a gunfight with two or three armed men while packing a 6 round revolver is rather hard to deal with. A high capacity pistol can load about 15 or 19 rounds, and that can certainly make a difference in a gunfight where you are outnumbered.

A forensic doctor that used to live in my neighborhood got killed last year. He was ambushed when he exited a restaurant by 5 or 6 men. Even though they did kill him he managed to kill 4 of them and severely injure another. He shot regularly and carried a Glock .40. I’m sure he was lucky but I also think that his choice of weapon was also important in the outcome. If anyone is wondering, people in my country that are serious about self defense carry Glocks. Those that don’t have the money for a Glock carry Bersas, FN 9mm High Powers or 1911 surplus .45s. At first I wasn’t sure about the Bersa, but once I tried them I saw that they are very decent guns.

The caliber choice calls for endless debate and it is not my intention here. Lets just say that 9mm , 40S&W and 45ACP are the obvious choices. 40S&W seem to be the most adequate, both in FMJ and HP, while 9mm lacks some stopping power and hollow points should be used if possible. Though the 9mm lacks power compared to the 40S&W, it is more popular world wide, a factor to consider seriously when choosing a handgun for SHTF. Besides, 9mm can also be used in a number of carbines and SMG, another important fact to be considered.

SMGs and carbines chambered for 40S&W and .45 ACP are also available, but they at not nearly as popular as those chambered for 9mm. Whatever you choose keep 500 or better yet 1000 rounds of quality ammo for your handgun at all times. 100 rounds won’t last much if the crisis lasts long. Also consider that once the balloon goes up, governments tend to restrict guns and ammo.

Rifles
I previously stated that the urban survivalist will be using his handgun 90% of the time he needs to defend himself and family from attackers. I didn’t pull this figure out of thin air; it is quite accurate based on what happens here on daily basis, even a little optimistic. Cold harsh reality has shown us that most attacks occur when entering or exiting your home, when you are more vulnerable.

Almost no one is stupid enough to try to enter a barred house with armed occupants. Believe me people; the gene pool will clean itself rather fast once the SHTF. So, is a rifle necessary? Of course it is! There is still that 10%, and that 10% can still ruin your day. And this percentage sky rockets if you intend to use that same rifle for putting meat on the table. If you have to settle with just one rifle, go for a semi auto. Ideally you should have a bolt action one and a semi auto rifle. A bolt action and a semiautomatic 308 would make a nice combination.
Whatever you choose, try to keep it within military calibers and military weapons if possible.
It may seem that I have something against bolt rifles but I don’t. I think they are fantastic weapons, but I think that semi autos are much better fighting weapons. The idea of “picking them out” 300 meters away with your bolt rifle, as they come in a row blowing whistles and firing warning rounds is laughable at best. Bolt rifles do have advantages over semi autos, accuracy not being the most important one. Bolt rifles such as Mausers last forever and are harder than rocks, and THAT’S important. They are simple, easy to repair tools that will serve you (within their limitations of course) longer than any other weapon. For example, the coil spring on my Mauser 1891 safety broke into 3 separate parts, after almost 100 years of faithful service. I dug into my tool box and found a spring left over from a kitchen shelve door. I cut it approximately to the length of the previous spring, replaced it and the rifle was fixed. There are not many weapons that allow this. And it is a very valuable attribute once the SHTF and spare parts are no longer available.

Stick to common calibers, 223, 7.62×39mm, or 7,62×51 (308). 223 vs. 308? I’m not going there. If you prefer 223 because it has less recoil, it’s lighter, or you favor the AR rifle go ahead. If you think that 223 is more powerful than 7,62 sign up to Physics I.
Just remember what I said before, a survivalist is not a soldier serving in Iraq, and you don’t have the entire USMF to back you up. You are on your own. You are not going to pin your attackers down with a questionably effective round and wait until someone hits them with artillery.
About ARs… I wouldn’t trust my life to a rifle that has more versions than Rocky sequels… the way I see it, it means that the basic design was the problem and there is no solution. On AK … all has been said. The most popular rifle on the planet, and popular not because of politics, but because it works. It also fires an intermediate power, effective round, available world wide. SKS are also good, but I’d rather have removable magazines. Again, don’t use voodoo on me because I say I wouldn’t trust my life to a AR. If you keep your weapon clean, know its limitations and feel comfortable with it, go for it please. A couple of rounds of 223 will kill anyone just as well.
If you want a rifle that can do a little bit of everything relatively well, do yourself a favor and get either a M1A or a FAL in 7,62 (308) with a carbine length barrel. Preferably with a red dot scope and some kind of light mount. Leave full length barrels to hunters and bench rest shooters. Do your homework on both guns and you’ll see what I mean.

Choose 308 not because of the added range you can get out of it, but because of its power at all ranges, choose it because it turns cover into concealment. Think about all the possible cover material you can find in a city, like cars, trees, low walls and other structures. The 308 will go right through it, or destroy it after a few rounds. It’s a proven cartridge through out the years.
Shotguns.

Shotguns are good general purpose guns. The main advantage I see is the devastating stopping power and the ability to use special ammo, like slugs and less than lethal ammo. I’m not so sure about the role as an “inside house” gun. The muzzle blast is great and quick follow up are not easy, especially when adrenalin is pumping through your system or, even worse, when someone is shooting back at you.

Pistol caliber carbines and SMG.
If possible , I’d choose a SMG reduced to semi auto (only if necessary, of course, full auto selector is better if possible ) or other kind of short, small, pistol caliber carbine. The combination of a 9mm handgun and a 9mm carbine or SMG reduced to semi auto or full auto class III has lots of advantages in my book and is a fine combination.
Some think that full auto is a waste of ammo. I don’t think so, not if you know how to use your head, and use this feature wisely. If you can get a short barrel and collapsible stock, you’ll also have a weapon that can be hidden under a heavy coat. A red dot scope would enhance accuracy a lot. The advantage of having the same ammo for long and small arm is not to be taken lightly. From the logistical, survivalist point of you, this is one big thumbs up! Think about cowboys and Americans that lived in the west, they also knew the value of using the same ammo for rifle and handgun. They had single action handguns and lever action handguns chambered for the same ammo, the modern survivalist can have the same ammo for his auto pistol and his sub-rifle as well.
Some think that a pistol caliber long arm is just one big clumsy pistol or a rifle sized gun that delivers pistol power and accuracy. This is BS. Anyone that ever fired a pistol caliber rifle or SMG knows that they are much more accurate, hitting torso targets at 100 yards is easy, and a little more if you have a red dot scope. Also, SMGs can manage hot ammo specially made for such guns, much more powerful than the one for handguns. Even if you use regular handgun ammo, the added barrel length adds a few extra feet per second making it more powerful. Just check the information on boy armor. Body armor that is rated to stop 9mm, for example, is not rated to stop the same 9mm ammo out of a SMG or carbine, because the added speed will make that same round penetrate the vest. Anyway, +P ammo is more than enough power out of a SMG or carbine, you don’t have to go looking for special SMG ammunition.

If you can get full auto that’s one nice feature to have, not worth it if you are on a tight budget, but if you can get it, it may come in handy someday. Full auto SMG are giving police in my country a lot of headaches. A criminal with little or no training will put 3 or 4 cops armed with pistols and shotguns on their toes, just because of the sheer volume of fire these high capacity 9mm deliver. There was this case of a bad guy standing in front of a patrol car full of cops on a red light stop, pulling a 9mm SMG out of his coat and emptying it on full auto. The cops didn’t have a chance, he killed them all. The car looked like Swiss cheese with 40 9mm holes all over the vehicle.

SOUND SUPPRESSORS
All I’m going to say on this subject is: Have one if you can. That’s it. I’ll leave the rest of it to your imagination, don’t make me say it. Today it may seem like a “nice to have” feature… after the SHTF, it may be a “O God I’ve got to get a suppressor!!” feature.
I’d buy a good suppressor instead of a ultra high dollar scope like the SOG. Buy a good quality scope, but don’t spend a fortune on it, and use the rest of the money on a suppressor. If you are serious about preparing for SHTF, you’ll thank me one day, just trust me on this one. 9mm and 45 suppress quite well. Not as well as .22 , but there is much more power on the big bore ammo. Combined with a full auto SMG, the possibilities are much greater. Sometimes it’s just better to go unnoticed, especially in a SHTF crisis.

BODY ARMOR
Dear God! Buy body armor PLEASE!! It’s dirt cheap in USA. Preferably, get the police concealable kind (class II) Then continue to work on it and get class III A military armor and some rifle plates, just as you do when you start buying guns. You’ll end up with 2 or 3 sets of armor which are great to have for family members and spares. Just so you know, I got so desperate about body armor I ordered it from USA through internet (bulletproofme.com), I ended up paying a total of nearly 600 USD for body armor that costs 200 USD in USA. Buy it while you still can. When the SHTF you’ll end up wearing it, believe me. I don’t wear mine all day long but I do wear it when I have to go some place dangerous, deal with people I don’t trust, or when I have to go teach Architecture Representation late at night, and must travel through a much dangerous road at 12 PM.”

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

Basic Concepts

(Survival Manual/2. Social issues/Basic concepts)

One of the most amazing points of ‘Preparedness’ is- the sudden awareness of your vulnerability.

1.  Definitions:
•  Wealth is the ability to survive a given number of days forward. Wealth is not measured  in dollars, but in how long into the future you can survive; food is wealth, etc. (Buckminster Fuller)

•  Self Sufficiency
:
  Refers to the state of not requiring any outside inputs or aid, support, or interaction, for survival. Having a bank of batteries that feed power into your systems after the power is out, but which use the power grid to recharge once the power comes back on.
Self Reliance: Is having a solar panel to recharge your battery bank, so you do not need the power grid.
Having a degree of Self Sufficiency does not mean turning your back on the system (grocery store, electric co.), it’s about accepting the fact that the systems can fail and  developing a degree of separation from your dependency. The pioneers who first colonized the New World, Australia, and parts of Africa were self-sufficient because they had to be and, in this context, the term suggests a kind of rugged independence associated with mastering a new and rather hostile environment.

•  Self Reliant: The practice of being dependent only on yourself, and being able to care for yourself in any situation. Still need inputs, but have a back up a limited period of ‘self sufficient’ capability. To rely on something is to depend on it. If you are self-reliant, you rely on yourself.
This can be a good thing if you are independent and take care of yourself. Self-reliance of any kind, political, social or personal, is not an easy goal to reach. “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you like everybody else,” writes E.E. Cummings, “means to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.” It’s a battle well worth fighting-for ourselves and for future generations.

•  Acute: The immediate/abrupt onset/effects of a disaster, i.e.,  the ground shaking during an earthquake, the shock wave and immediate fallout from a blast/nuclear explosion, being fired
from ones job, home invasion, home fire. The period of acute effects is variable depending on the nature of the disaster.

•  Aftermath:  A period of time following a disastrous event in which the consequences of the disaster come to bear on you and your area, i.e. famine follows a severe drought; the aftermath is always worse on the survivors than the brief and often violent phase of the disaster. Survivalists primarily
prepare for the Aftermath.

•  An Event cascade: Engineers used to talk about guarding against the “single point of  failure” when designing critical systems like aircraft control systems or nuclear power plants. But rarely does one mistake or event cause a catastrophe. As we’ve seen in Japan (2011 earthquake, tsunami, nuclear plant explosions), disaster is usually a function of multiple mistakes and a string of bad luck,
often called an “event cascade” or “propagating failures.”

•  True Wealth: True Wealth is having possession of what it takes to keep a full belly, maintain a sense of hope and pay your bills.

•  How long can you survive? People wish to emulate others who live in Mac-Mansion homes, however, the affluent ‘rich’ depend on their job incomes to maintain their lifestyle, shut off the income and they’d be broke in 30-60 days. Their ‘wealth; is based strictly on income. However, a small farmer holding a laborers job in a rural box factory might be considered wealthy,  because he has survivability. In the aftermath of a disaster money may not have value, while goods, i.e., food and water have value. (If I have food and you have gold, before long I’ll have all your gold and you’ll have a small amount of my food.)

Could you live in your home for 3 months if there was a National Epidemic Lockup? Would you have water stored for every member of the family for drinking, washing and flushing the toilet? Would you have enough food, toilet paper, Kleenex, personal medical supplies, and  other auxiliary products on hand?

•  Financial Concerns: Once you are well on your way to acquiring your family’s preparation tools, equipment, and supplies, consider acquiring extra items to help others and to use as future barter
goods. You might be able to trade extra water filters, garden seeds, survival books, cooking fuel, batteries, antibiotics, and ammo for other needed products or services. Some people are even converting a modest percentage of their traditional paper investments into some gold and/or silver coins for trading purposes, as well as for prudent wealth diversification.

Having wealth in forms other than solely paper dollars, plastic credit cards, or a 401k account might make the critical difference in one day being able to buy gas or get your gravely ill child to the front of a mile-long line to see the only overworked doctor or dentist or pharmacist in town. It’ll sure beat only waving around your last mutual fund or bank statement then.

•  Commonality of Disasters: We all share a common circumstance and that is, if the public systems/social structures/political leadership/economic and military systems we depend on fail, then we are left to fall back on our personal resources for survival.

The systems we count on can simply be made non available to individuals or to groups that share a commonality, or they can fail on a local, or larger geographical level. Systems may be available to most
people, but not accessible for others. For example if you lose your job and run out of money and are unable to pay your credit card, then your credit line is closed down. So, while the financial net provided by credit remains available for most, it becomes inaccessible to you.

If there were a series of EMP explosions above the USA, the country’s financial electronic infrastructure would fail, making electronic deposits, transfers, credit checks, electronic debits and
electronic cash registers, checkout scanners inoperable commercial retail trade would have failed. For a short period, trade would be crippled and not available to anyone,  it would become available to persons with cash.

•  The World’s Largest Ponzi Scheme. Ponzi schemes have a tough time existing in “reality”. They typically need the “virtual world” in order to wreak havoc on their victims because in the real world
things are exposed, but in the virtual world it is easy to hide behind lies – because the system in which we live is, in fact, NOT REAL. Our government won’t publish M3 (which tells us how many US dollars are currently in circulation).
What does that tell you about the true strength of the dollars we hold? The US dollar is right now potentially the largest Ponzi scheme in the world because no one knows how diluted its supply really is, yet it is the entire world’s reserve currency. If that doesn’t make you want to own at least some gold
I don’t know what will.

•  Regarding The Federal Reserve: “They will thrash about more as the air gets thinner and thinner. They see the likely end-game. They will push it into the future are long as possible.  And just before the inevitable happens, they will press the panic button – a false flag, a civil insurrection, a world war. And then they will make their escape and hope to pop back up again when it is safe—as the savior
to a devastated and downtrodden citizenry desperate for help.”
The last duty of a central banker is to tell the public the truth.” — Alan Blinder, Vice Chairman of the  Federal Reserve

•  The Virtual World: Our world has become virtual in so many ways; from our bank accounts to our relationships on social networking sites. We judge our wealth by looking up our 401 K’s online at work instead of counting the physical assets in our possession. We judge our support systems by how many people wished us a happy birthday on Facebook. We judge our personal security by the fact that we may live in a community with a reportedly low crime rate instead of our own abilities to defend ourselves. We view the world through our television sets which tell us that economic collapses always happen somewhere else. We couldn’t imagine gas stations that are out of fuel, grocery stores with empty shelves, banks with no money, or a local police force that refuses to respond to calls unless they are deemed a “priority”.

We couldn’t imagine these things because most of us in America believe that our “civilized society” has evolved to the point where we don’t need to produce things anymore. Instead we just need to pay the rest of the world (with the dollars generated from our service based economy) so that they can produce things for us. Regardless of how fragile our social and economic structure has become due to our reliance on the strength of our currency and our inability to appreciate the gravity of a full-blown societal panic, our ability to thrive in this virtual world has led to a false sense of security that is sure to catch the majority of us off guard when things begin to get worse and the reality of this economic depression begins to settle in.

2.  Concept Notes
• 
You don’t know if, or when, or with what severity a disaster might strike, while you do know
the history of your area and the nature of past disasters. You don’t know what will and will not be available to you in the aftermath.
•  Survival is not a right and it’s not guaranteed, you have to make it happen.
•  The typical American’s rainy-day plan: Hope it doesn’t rain.
Poll: 24% of Americans have the recommended six months expenses set aside (mostly older people, in their 50s and 60s), 24% have no emergency savings at all (under 30 years old, and/or incomes less than $30,000/ year.). Fewer than 50% had saving worth 3 months expenses.
•  Where ever you live– the greater the population density of your community and surrounding communities, the greater the resource requirements are, and the faster a breakdown will occur when the supply infrastructure (money, food, water, electricity, auto gas, etc.) is stopped.
•  Once the Welfare and Medicare checks stop ‘the poor will take care of their own family’ by taking from the people with an apparent wealth of material goods, people who are perceived to be their oppressors anyway.  Once you lose that sense of community, it’s basically every man for himself.
•  Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.
•  If I have food and you have gold, before long I’ll have all your gold and you’ll have a small amount of my food.
•  Reality has no compassion, its neutral.
•  A battle plan never survives contact with the enemy.
•  Preparedness activity is difficult to track statistically, since people who take measures are usually highly circumspect by nature. people should “assume the possibility of a breakdown of the civilized
infrastructure.”
•  The veneer of freedom, prosperity and civilization is very, very  thin, and the monetary authorities
can destroy it with a few years of severe inflation.
•  Your safe haven should be as designed to be as self-sufficient as possible and capable of growing some kind of food. It should be well-stocked with seed, fertilizer, canned food, wine, medicine, clothes,
etc. Think Swiss Family Robinson. Even in America and Europe there could be moments of riot, rebellion or other causative factors  precipitating a period when law and order temporarily completely breaks down.
•  Banks only have around 4 cents in cash for every $1 on deposit. As long as the US & world economy and currencies are in decline, the number of nations in revolution and in bankruptcy are increasing, don’t leave any more than the minimum amount of currency in your account.
•  People say, “I would never buy silver or gold at these prices.” But it’s not a matter of price. It’s a matter of possession. At the end of a monetary collapse what matters is what you actually posses, not what you have claims to. Claims quickly become worthless. Wealth is goods. Money is the claim
to goods. Understand this and you will understand why gold and silver have stayed around as money for centuries while governments and their “legal tender” have come and gone. I suggest you get yours before you can’t.
•  The Wall Street Journal podcast (4 June 2011)  reported that a study recently showed that 40% of the businesses forced to close due to a natural or manmade disaster, never reopened.
[My take on this is, should the disaster be small scale, then the town, city, county, state or regional community can step in with support, but if the disaster involves several regions, or becomes national in scope, there will follow massive unemployment that will not promptly recover, but will linger on continuing to degrade the affected areas.]
•  Money: Gold is the money of kings. Silver is the money of gentleman. Barter is the money of
peasants. Debt is the money of slaves.
•  “Invest in anything that Bernanke can’t destroy, including gold, canned beans, bottled water and flashlight batteries.” (David Stockman, Reagan’s Budget Director, October 2010 )
•  When there’s a gap between perception and reality, more reality won’t close the gap.
•  Those who sweat the most during peacetime bleed the least during wartime.
•  The more experienced you become, the more dangerous you become to yourself. (Because you begin to behave according to patterns that may not in fact repeat, setting yourself up for an alternative undesirable  outcomes.)
•  Remember, none of us will ultimately be survivors – we all have to die one day. But the successful survivor extends his or her life beyond an earlier death…a death that was caused by ignorance of how to make that life last longer.

3.  Survival concepts
A.  The Rules of 3:
In any survival situation,  prioritize your activities to protect yourself from the closest, most pressing
element in the Rules of Three. If you are in an area with extreme temps seek to protect your core temp then look for water, if you have adequate temps/shelter  and water, look for food…

Rules  of Three table

3 minutes You can only live about 3 minutes without air/breathing.
3 hours You can live only about 3 hours exposed and unprotected to extreme temperatures. Hyperthermia (body core rises to about 103ºF-106ºF, and usually is slower to kill).   (body core declines to 87ºF-90ºF, can occur quickly if the body/clothing is wet
freezing rain or submersion, then exposed to freezing or near freezing air temperatures).
3 days You can only live about 3 days without safe water.
3 weeks You can live only about 3 weeks without food.
3 months Death may follow without socialization after about 3 months.
3 years Apathy/Disinterested: May only live 3 years without an interest or goal in life

See author and instructor Cody Lundin’s website,  http://www.codylundin.com/

B. It’s a Calorie Game
“It’s a calorie game’. A survival situation is all about conserving energy when you can and expending energy wisely to accomplish something to better your situation. Whether it’s building a shelter for weather protection or using traps to hunt for game while you are busy doing other things, it’s all about
calories. To save calories in a survival situation you need to focus on the essentials and not spin your wheels doing a bunch of things that won’t improve your status or enable a rescue.

 C.  7  Skills used to defeat the 7 Enemies of Life.
The 7 Skills:
•   Fire Starting
•   Water Procurement
•   Shelter Building
•   Foraging for food
•   First Aid
•   Self Defense
•   Signaling
The 7 Enemies of Life:
•   Cold and Heat
•   Thirst
•   Fear and anxiety
•   Hunger
•   Fatigue
•   Pain and Injury
•   Boredom and Loneliness

D.  Can survivalism  be compared to a game of chess?
In chess you have your pawns, knights,
bishops, rooks (castle), queen and king. Good chess players always think several moves ahead, they have plans and backup plans. If one plan does not work out, then the next plan is put into play.
Pawns – stockpiled food, water and other supplies.
Rook (or castle) – Your home, shelter, retreat, bug out location.
Knight – Your weapons and firearms.
Bishop – Your faith,  religion, morals or values – this is what you believe in.
King and Queen – the family unit.

Pawns are the stockpiled food and supplies because you will go through them the fastest. These are
expendable items that you have a lot of. Maybe pawns could also include seed stocks? If you get a pawn to the other side of the chess board, you get a piece back. So if you plant a seed and get something in return, that would be like getting a chess piece back. If you open a case of MREs, you lose a pawn. You
only have so many to go through before you will run out.
Rook, symbolic of a home and shelter. A man’s house is his castle.
Knight, symbolic of old Europe. These are defenders of the faith and crown. They are portable, and able to jump over other pieces on the board. The knights job is to protect the queen.
Bishop, symbol of what is good and holy.
King and Queen, the goal of the game  is to keep them alive. Just as the queen is the strongest piece on the chess board, so are women strong in a survival situation. A lot of times women are more resourceful and cunning then men.
The King, without his queen and other resources, he is nothing. As the game draws to an end, and the king is the only piece left on the board, we realize how important team work is. As he scurries about trying to avoid checkmate, survivors with no friends, family or other resources will scurry around trying to stay alive.
As the opponents pieces move in for check mate, so death moves in to claim its next victim. Only through resources and skillful planning, will the king and queen win the day.
Pasted from <http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=104882&highlight=survival+chess>

 E.  The Five Cs
The Five Cs are the core of what Dave Canterbury teaches in what he calls the Pathfinder System. The five Cs are (in priority)
Cutting – A solid dependable knife.
Combustion – A way to quickly and reliably start a fire in all conditions.
Cover/Clothing- A way to get out of the elements of nature and be protected. Also how to dress
appropriately for where you are.
Container – A way to carry, store and boil water for purification. Also for carrying food,  cooking, etc.
Cordage – A way to tie and lash together available resources for shelter, carrying, traps, etc.
http://www.thepathfinderschoolllc.com/

 F. Three kinds of people: Sheep, Sheep Dog, Wolves
Sheeple: Kind, decent and productive, don’t hurt one another unless by accident.  In denial of the potential for danger and self-sufficiency. They don’t particularly like the sheep dogs as they ‘look’ too much like the wolves and may have a capacity for violence.

Sheep dogs: protect the flock and confront the wolves. People of the front line.  People with the heart of a  warrior, a warrior class. Ones who walk the heroes path,  who walk into the heart of darkness. The military, police and armed Citizens (particularly ones w/ Carry Permits).
Sheep dogs are people who have a capacity for violence, but who’d never consider hurting any of the sheep. Typically, the sheep tend to be afraid of the sheep dogs, referring to the police as ‘ruthless cops’ and others as ‘crazy Survivalists’. Yet every year, more bad guys are shot by armed citizens than by police.
Sheep dogs have one advantage over the Sheep, they are able to survive in an environment that destroys 98% of the other people…Sheep Dogs are not in denial.

Wolves: Have no empathy for their fellow citizens. Criminals target people’s body language,
watching for people who walk bent over, slowly, unsteady distracted and weak. Victims are chosen in a way similar to a large carnivorous cat does, selecting one that looks weak then culling it out of the herd.

 5.  Best of John Pugsley
February 15, 2005, http://www.stealthinvestor.com
“A number of years ago, three friends and I flew by ski-plane into the tiny town of Bettles just south of the Arctic Circle in northern Alaska. We then adventured by dogsled a few miles up a river, where we came across the cabin of a fur trapper and his family.
Fascinated, we looked at the skins that made his livelihood, shared some moose-jerky, and listened as he explained how he tended some 20 miles of trap lines.

It seemed dangerous to us. He’d be gone for days, alone, miles from the cabin, completely at the risk of the violent Alaskan winter storms.
“Not a problem,” he winked, “I’m insured.”
“Insured against being caught by a storm?,” I asked incredulously.

“Yup. Self-insured. Every mile or so I’ve buried a cache of survival stuff, you know, matches, fuel,
food…essentials to hold me for a few days if I get snowed in. The caches are my insurance. Even collected on it a few years back. One cache saved me.”

Clearly, a cache of supplies is a primitive, but effective form of insurance. In exactly the same sense, the
strategies of second citizenships, offshore trusts, foreign bank accounts, and international asset diversification are global caches, and thus forms of self-insurance against political and economic storms.”

6.  Philosophical  & Biblical
•   “What a changed country we have become in our expectations of ourselves. A less affluent America survived a Depression and world war without anything like the 99 weeks of unemployment insurance, welfare payments, earned income tax credits, food stamps, rent supplements, day care, school lunches and Medicaid we have today. Public or private charity were thought necessary, but were almost always to be temporary until a breadwinner could find work or a family could get back on its feet.” (Pat Buchanan)
•   “In early 1964, a Food Stamp Act was signed into law by LBJ appropriating $75 million for 350,000 individuals in 40 counties and three U.S. cities,” say Pat Buchanan in his article, Food Stamp Nation. “Now, 43 million—one out of seven Americans—either can’t or won’t feed themselves.”
•   “I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large-scale.” (Thomas Jefferson, to John Taylor May 28, 1816 )
•   “A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.” – Proverbs 22:3
•   “The wise see danger ahead and avoid it; but fools keep going and get into trouble.” (Proverbs 27:12)
•   “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6)

•   “The way that is bright seems dull;
The way that leads forward seems to lead backward;
The way that is even seems rough.
The highest virtue is like the valley;
The sheerest whiteness seems sullied;
Ample virtue seems defective.” (Tao Te Ching 41)

•   “God will save you from hidden traps and from deadly diseases.
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you can hide.
His truth will be your shield and protection.
“You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day,
Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.
A thousand may fall at your side, or even ten thousand right beside you;
But it shall not approach you.
For He will give His angels charge concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways”. (Psalm 91:2-5)

•   “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

A Final Word
To better avoid  unhealthy and overwhelming angst trying to prepare for all future dislocations
and disruptions, keep in mind, that each step is like acquiring commercial insurance. We all hope and pray we won’t need that insurance, but if we ever do, our families won’t find us lacking in providing for their basic safety and welfare.

Once you’ve started making the type preparations discussed in Survival Manual, strive to stay balanced. Thank God that you have begun, try to awaken others, and begin to confidently relax in your new alert status. You’ll then be able to more fully enjoy life with your family knowing that you’re firmly on the road to better being able to handle just about any event that might occur in this quickly changing world. Mr. Larry

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Food storage layers

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Food storage layers)

A. The One-Year Pantry, Layer by Layer
13 Mar 2013, SHTFplan.com, by Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/the-one-year-pantry-layer-by-layer_03132013

This article has been generously contributed by Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition. After joining the Dallas chapter of the American Red Cross in 1999 Tess worked as an Armed Forces Emergency Services Center specialist and is well versed in emergency and disaster management & response.

She is the author of the soon to be released Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals. You can begin your preparedness journey or extend your existing plans by visiting the FREE 52 Weeks to Preparedness guide.

When planning for emergencies, layering is an ever-constant theme. I often emphasize when one begins to prepare that you start simply by preparing for small-scale emergencies, and then slowly begin adding onto those existing preps to create a longer term preparedness supply. These emergency layers help you create a reliable foundation, and the same layering approach can be used when creating a food storage pantry.

There are some emergency food considerations to keep in mind:

  • The amount of people in the household.
  • Have a good amount of food varieties to reduce food fatigue.
  • The serving size of the food.
  • Vitamin content in the food.
  • The expiration date or “best if used by” labels on the food.
  • Special health conditions for family members.

Additionally, these essential food pantry rules can come in handy when you decide on which food to purchase.

Your Food Storage Layers
Layer 1 (0- 72-hours)
– In the onset of an emergency and the days following a disaster, the first food to go should be from the refrigerator. Keep in mind that refrigerated food will stay cold for four to six hours, assuming the door is left closed as much as possible. In a fully stocked freezer, foods remain safely frozen for approximately two days if the door stays closed. You want to use up your perishable foods first and then begin preparing your foods that are frozen. Plan meals to meet a 1500-2000 calorie diet that are high in nutrients. Once the perishable food has been consumed, it’s time to move onto your secondary layer of your emergency preps. A word of advice – have an ample supply of water on hand!

Layer 2 (4-30 days) – These emergency foods should consist of “just add water” meals or meals that do not require substantial amounts of water, fuel or preparation time. Having some canned, pre-packaged dinners, or meals that are “ready to eat” during emergency scenarios will help you begin acclimating yourself to cooking in a grid-down scenario as well as to help provide some comfort at the same time.

Keep your family’s preferences, any existing health conditions and food allergies in mind when preparing this food storage layer. Another thought to keep in mind, is that a large amount of water will be needed to rehydrate some of these meals. Have a large amount of water stored or a means to filter water during an emergency.

Layer 3 (31-99 days) – I have often said that our preps are our life line. The items we choose should be able to carry us, not only through difficult times, but perhaps through impossible times as well. This layer of pantry foods should consist of multipurpose, everyday pantry items. These foods are relatively inexpensive and easy to acquire. Keep food storage shelf lives in mind and regularly rotate these items in order to maintain a fresh food source. Further, having a fresh source of vitamins will help your body thrive during an emergency. Consider storing a supply of seeds for sprouting – they are cheap, easy to store and require minimal amounts of time for growth.

For those who are preparing for longer term or extended emergencies, at a minimum you should have a 3 month supply of food and build it up to a 6 month supply. This will be the beginning of your longer term food source, and re-packaging these food sources into more durable containers or packages will keep your food’s enemies away. Further it is a good idea to begin storing large quantities of foods that have extremely long shelf lives.

web link
For a list of the 11 emergency foods items than can last a lifetime, click here:
http://readynutrition.com/resources/11-emergency-food-items-that-can-last-a-lifetime_09032011/
.

Another method of bulking up on foods with long shelf lives is to invest in freeze-dried foods. These preserved foods have a shelf life of 20+ years! All you need to do is add hot water and voila!

Some foods to consider for longer term storage are:

  • Carbohydrates: white rice, pasta, wheat, oats, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, sugars, honey, fruits, roots and tubers (cook these well) and cereals. For those with wheat allergies, click here.
  • Proteins: legumes, eggs, nuts, peanut butter, canned meats and fish, oatmeal, grains, wheat, quinoa, seeds, MREs, popcorn
  • Fats: whole milk, ensure, peanut butter, oil (preferably plant based oils), nuts and seeds
  • Vitamins and Nutrients: Vitamin C, Vitamin D, vitamin powders, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, seeds to grow vegetables and for sprouting, survival bars

Layer 4 (100-365 days+)If you find yourself in an emergency for over 100 days, it’s time to get real about the situation you have found yourself in. You must assume this could be your new reality. That said it is time to take steps toward long term survival. Having an understanding of essential skills, homesteading and gardening/farming concepts and learning ways to sustain yourself for the long term is of the utmost importance.

Micro livestock is a group of hearty animals that will help you make the most of smaller pieces of land. To read the pros and cons of this livestock choice, click here: http://readynutrition.com/resources/how-micro-livestock-can-be-used-for-suburban-and-rural-sustainability_08042011/ . For those in suburban dwellings, consider chickens, rabbits and fish stored in aquaponic for a long-term food source.

As a prepper preparing for long term emergencies, you want to continue storing up foods mentioned in the last layer and add freeze-dried or dehydrated foods to your stockpile. Given that you are preparing for an extended or long term emergency means that you will also need to begin looking at ways to prepare or preserve food sources off the grid. Learning how to can, dehydrate and ferment foods will help you maintain your food supply. Moreover, to prevent malnutrition, you will want to concentrate on accruing essential food sources such as carbohydrates, protein sources, fats and essential vitamins and nutrients (see above list of food considerations). Having a vitamin source such as sprouting seeds or stockpiling multi-vitamins during this period will also ensure that you are providing your body with regular doses of needed vitamins.

During an emergency, we are often left to fend for ourselves. Having an ample supply of emergency foods can help your family thrive during the most difficult of times. Take the time now to learn how to make the most of your food supply, learn pertinent skills and the importance of balanced diets and the lasting effects nutritious food has on our body because when emergencies occur, we will need this knowledge the most.
.

foodlayer list

 Visual Pasted from: http://visual.ly/1-year-food-storage

To me, the above chart is a good start and core provision, but I’d add a lot of fruit, vegetables, other dairy and taste accessories to the menu.
.

B.  Preppernomics: Investing in Your Food Supply
June 2013, The Organic Prepper, by Daisy Luther
Pasted from: http://readynutrition.com/resources/preppernomics-investing-in-your-food-supply_19062013/

The first step is to take inventory of what you have – you may be surprised to realize that you already have a week or a month of supplies in your pantry.  Read “If You Don’t Know What You Have, You Don’t Know What You Need!” at
http://readynutrition.com/resources/if-you-dont-know-what-you-have-you-dont-know-what-you-need_02102012/
for more detailed information on inventorying the items that you already have.
foodlayer prepared foods
Note: the 52 Weeks to Preparedness section found at:
http://readynutrition.com/resources/52-weeks-to-preparedness-an-introduction_19072011/
of the website Ready Nutrition contains a wealth of information for the beginning prepper. It’s a budget-friendly approach to getting prepared!)

Once you’ve figured out where you are as far as supplies are concerned, you must figure out a way to finance your prepping endeavors.  Your budget may be so tight that you can barely keep the lights on but there is still hope.  When you change the way you shop, you’ll soon find that some of the budgetary stress is relieved.  But first things first, you have to free up enough money to get started.

If your house is anything like mine, you probably have a whole refrigerator full of leftovers – resist the urge to do your normal weekly shopping trip and feed your family leftovers combined with the goods you have in your pantry.  Take that money that you would normally spend for groceries and let’s get started!  No matter how small your budget is, you can begin building security for your family.  I am basing these prices on my teeny tiny small-town grocery store, this week. You may be able to get more, based on what’s on sale in your area.$

20 List

  • 2 pound bag of rice
  • 2 pound bag of beans
  • 4 cans of spaghetti sauce
  • 2 cans of peaches in water
  • 1 jar of peanut butter
  • 1 jug of white vinegar
  • 5 gallon jug of water

$50 List
everything in the $20 list and

  • 4 boxes of saltine crackers
  • 4 jars of unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 pounds of sugar
  • 5 pounds of flour
  • 1 liter of olive oil
  • 3 cans of green beans
  • 2 boxes of baking soda

$100 List
everything on the $20 list and the $50 list and

  • 1 canister of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 canister of baking powder
  • 10 pound bag of potatoes
  • 5 pound bag of onions
  • 5 pound bag of carrots
  • 2 pounds of powdered milk
  • 6 pounds of pasta
  • 5 bags of dried spices of choice
  • small assortment of treats (candy, chocolate chips, etc – you have $5 to spend on things that make life more pleasant!)

If you’ve ever checked out my website, The Organic Prepper, you may think these lists are in conflict with the “organic” theme.  While I’d certainly love to see everyone give Monsanto the cold shoulder by buying local and organic, it’s just not always feasible, especially when you are just getting started. I’d rather see people begin to take control by having a supply like the one listed here – something that when combined with the foods in the cupboards might see you through a month of hard times.

What’s more, when you have this little bit of security – this one-month food investment –  you can begin to build on this with healthier and more nutritious options.  You can start learning how to be more self-sufficient by growing what you can, by learning to preserve food and by buying in bulk.

See the Organic Prepper website at: http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/

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C.  No Matter How Much Food You’ve Got Stored, It Will Eventually Run Out in a Full-Blown Collapse
1 Mar 2012, SHTFplan.com, by Joe Alton, MD, aka Dr. Bones
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/no-matter-how-much-food-youve-got-stored-it-will-eventually-run-out-in-a-full-blown-collapse_03012012

The following article has been generously contributed by Joe Alton, M.D., aka Dr. Bones, of Doom and Bloom Nation where you can find strategies to stay healthy that include traditional medicine, alternative remedies, and medicinal/survival gardening. For the best in emergency and long-term disaster medical preparedness we encourage you to check out The Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook and follow Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy on their weekly podcast.

To Survive, How Much Land?
Have you ever wondered how likely it is that you’ll be able to produce all the calories you’ll need on that piece of land you have? How much land for livestock? How about those solar panels you were thinking about? How many square feet of panels will provide you with the electricity you’ll need? There are ways to figure this out, and the answers may surprise you.

Let’s start by talking power. In a collapse situation, you’ll probably be able to rely on the sun and wind and not much else, unless you’ve built a watermill. The best answer might be installing some solar panels on your roof. This is a commonly available option that many people are considering nowadays. Let’s say part of your roof is facing south (the best place for a solar panel) and you get 7 hours or so of sunlight, on average. To get the amount of power that an average home uses in a year, you’ll need 375 square feet of panels. These things aren’t cheap, and that much hardware is going to be beyond the average family’s financial reach. This means that you’ll have to make decisions regarding how to ration the power you ARE able to produce. Look around the house, and you’ll probably see lots of things that are plugged in that you can eliminate if the stuff ever hits the fan. This is part of the planning you’ll need to do now, so that you’ll be better prepared for times of trouble.

How about food? If you have a family of four, you’ll want to provide at least 2,000 or so calories per adult, more if you’re a big guy, maybe a little less for kids. The formula is simple: At least 30 calories per kilogram of body weight. One kilogram equals 2.2 pounds, so an 80 kilogram adult would weigh 176 pounds. 30 x 80 = 2400 calories/day. Less for kids, of course. All in all, you’ll need to provide 8,000-9,000 calories a day to maintain your family of four’s weight.

[In order to work directly with pounds, ((your weight in lbs/2.2) x 30 calories) = so that from the example above, ((176 lbs/2.2) x 30) = 2400 calories. Mr. Larry]

So, let’s talk about some hard realities. No matter how much food you’ve got stored, it will eventually run out in a full-blown collapse. For your future success, better get that garden growing. Anyone who’s done it will tell you that there’s a learning curve, and you sure don’t want to plant that first seed in the midst of the “Zombie Apocalypse”.

Now, let’s separate your garden out into three categories: 1)  fruits, berries, and vegetables, 2) then wheat, 3) then corn. If you went totally vegetarian, you would need a little less than half an acre per person to provide all of those calories. That means a family of 4 needs almost 2 acres of farmable land! [in production]

The majority of this land will go to fruits, berries, and veggies. You’ll get the most nutrients in terms of vitamins and minerals from these. To decrease the amount of land you’ll need, consider companion planting. Some organic farmers will plant sunflowers, and then plant peas that will grow up the long stalks. The same goes with corn, squash, and pole beans. Squash will grow low to the ground, pole beans will take the intermediate area, and corn up high. Make sure you don’t put plants in the same family together, such as dill and carrots. They will share the same pests and diseases, which could possibly spread from one crop to the other.

If you stock up on wheatberries and use your handy dandy Wondermill, you can cut the land requirement down a bit. A mix of prepared food storage and gardening will keep you healthy and fed for a longer time. Corn isn’t a very land-efficient crop, but you might need it for your livestock. An alternative if you need to trim that acreage down a bit more is to stock up on bushels of corn feed; that’s about 55 pounds of feed for about $9-10. This is a good idea, but you’ll use a lot of it. It takes 10 bushels of corn to get a hog from weaning to slaughter. Btw, corn prices are going higher; they were less than 5 dollars a couple of years ago.

Don’t forget, you’ll need some land for hog wallows, goats, rabbits and chickens. All of these animals can be raised in relatively small amounts of space, and provide important protein. You’ll need a good 200 square feet for 3 hogs, more if they have piglets. You can get away with less for each of the other animals.

You might have to forget about cows; they aren’t land-efficient. If you want milk, think about goats, especially Nubian Goats. This variety can produce 1800 lbs. of milk a year, according to various sources. That’s a lot of milk! How about eggs? The average family of four will eat 1000 eggs or so a year. To reliably get this quantity, you’ll need about 10-15 birds in your henhouse, depends a lot on the breed and the ingenuity of the local foxes and raccoons.

You could probably squeeze this all in with an acre and a half of land. If you don’t have that much property, now you know you’ll need that much more food storage to make up the difference. This is information I thought was important for me to know, and now you know it too.

[Note: I lived on a large rural property and ran a “hobby farm” for thirty years. At various times I raised sheep, geese, ducks and bees, all the while maintaining an annual garden, a fruit orchard and reducing the electric bill by burning wood chain sawed from my wooded acreage.
From this dedicated hobbyist experience, I learned not to count on the crops nor the livestock. They were really no more than a supplement. Yes, there was food from those sources, but it was not in the quantity you’d expect from SHTF literature.
There are way too many problems, which ranged from:  planting, germination, plant spacing, weeding, plant insect disease, root crop rotation, animal disease and medications, predators, vagaries of the seasonal and annual weather, canning-drying-long term storage, saving viable seed for the next year’s crops.
Professional, lifelong, “real farmers” aren’t any better at small scale survival farming that you, they work from a tractor the same as many of us work from a desk. Real survival farming technology has been pretty much lost and one broken link in the annual cycle of food production would be a FAIL for you and your family if you absolutely depended on the process.

My recommendation is to buy freeze dried and dehydrated foods in nitrogen packed #10 cans and 5 gallon pails, have several means of water purification and bulk storage, put together a small PV system with several panels, deep cycle batteries and inverter, stock up on “Fish” antibiotics, and hope, no, pray that “if things go south”, that you have enough reserves to get you across the gap into the recovery.

In a national or global EMP, full grid down situation, you’d might be best served by “leading your entire neighborhood” to the city’s edge to take control of a food & merchandise “warehouse”. Just a thought. Mr. Larry]

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

The coming SHTF event

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/The coming SHTF event)

A.  What Will The End Be Like For Me If I Don’t Prepare?
13 Aug 2013, SHTFplan.com, by Be Informed
Excerpts pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/what-will-the-end-be-like-for-me-if-i-dont-prepare_08132013

shtf event3This article has been shared with the SHTFplan community by long-time contributor Be Informed. It is a continuation of efforts to alert and inform Americans of the real possibility of a sustained collapse of the world as we have come to know it. We encourage you to read previous contributions from Be Informed that include How Horrific Will It Be For The Non-Prepper? and Life or Death Choices: 35 Excuses That Will Doom the Non-Prepper.

When “The End” is brought up in conversation most people think of a science fiction novel or movie portraying it as some Earth shattering event – boom and it is over.  The almost certain truth behind this is that it will not be the Earth, the Sun, or solar system that gets it.  The real end will more than likely come with human civilization as we know it coming to an abrupt closure.  What you as a person are in danger of is very likely not a mass extinction of all of human life, but the crumbling and complete fall of the structures and foundation that holds up all that most every human being depends on for survival.

There is an old saying that ‘no man is an island.’ It indeed takes a rare, almost unique person who can boast that they are free of dependency of the components of modern day life to make it alone.  If and when human society collapses, someone’s chances of post True SHTF (TSHTF) survival will be partially in proportion to just how self reliant they can become.  The other ratio will be just how well someone can adapt to a new world void of the conveniences which have become totally expected by the masses.

Many will say to the themselves, “here we go again with another doomsday prophesy that will again fail to manifest itself.”

So what makes this warning any different than those of the past?  This is NOT some forewarning of any imminent mega society ending event(s) such as World War 3, an economic collapse, super virus outbreak, colossal solar flare, supervolcano erupting, or some other equally awful horror.  This is about understanding what you are doing as a person, a parent, a son or daughter, a friend. If you awoke one morning and learned that a catastrophic event had broken loose, how well prepared (or how totally unprepared) are you?

Anyone doubting just how terrible life can be need only experience longer term (more than 3 days) power outages at any time of year, but especially during temperature and weather extremes.  These losses of power happen all the time, EVERYWHERE.  Being brutally honest, can anyone say to themselves that that life without power for weeks or months or longer will be anything less than awful for the general population?  This is a mere taste of what an implosion would be like.  The frailness of the infrastructure of any country is incredible.  Few understand or care to think about this, because the prevailing attitude for most is, “it will always be there for me and work for me.”

Again, this is not to convince anyone of a specific event such as a widespread cyber attack that destroys the electric grid or a wide variety of natural disasters that can and do sometimes flatten what someone depends on working to live.  The internet is full of disaster scenarios and even some probabilities of occurrences.  The vulnerability to any place on the planet is there, as recent hurricanes have proven all too well.  It is about how awful life threatening events, a whole host of too many to mention, that ends your modern day life as you know it.  This does not mean it has to end your life and your family’s lives though.

When people think of losing modern day conveniences they think of losing their cell phones, their access to games and other entertainment, mobile devices; in other words, FUN devices.  The list of just how much will be lost that modern humans have become totally reliant on to live is absolutely staggering.  With a civilization collapse you can expect much to be lost immediately, then gradually over the next few hours to days that list will continue growing and expanding to frightening levels.

The following list exemplifies just how much a person has to lose if they have failed to prepare themselves for emergencies. After a large enough catastrophe, the recovery time frame can be very long term, or potentially never for certain critical needs.

1.  No clean water pouring out of the faucets to drink.shtf event2

2.  No hot or cold water to shower, bathe or wash your hands.

3.  No washing machines or dishwashers to clean your clothes or dirty dishes.

4.  No flushing toilets.

5.  No heat or air conditioning, not even fans.

6.  No light at night.

7.   No grocery stores or home delivered food, no restaurants, no food period.

8.   No trash pickup; the waste quickly mounds up, harbors bacteria and allows the  spread of disease.

9.   No medications, especially antibiotics, or simple over the counter remedies.

10.  No vitamin or mineral supplements to help maintain your body.

11.  No 911 emergency help service.

12.  No mechanical transportation; no fuel available.

13.  No protection, no law enforcement.

14.  No communications; no Internet, no TV, no radio, no clue what is going on.

15.  No telephones, no way of talking to people miles away, you’re cut off from your social network.

16.  No refrigeration, no freezers, no food preservation to keep food from going bad quickly.

17.  No stoves or microwaves, no cooking food or sterilizing water.

18.  No easily prepared meals.

19.  No toilet paper, and no good alternative to toilet paper to those unaware of other options.

20.  No feminine toiletries.

21.  No pest control against injurious insects, or from packs of roaming feral animals.

22.  No utilities; no gas, no electricity, no way to make anything in your home function.

23.  No advanced warning of weather, war, or other life threatening events.

24.  No odor control from rotting wastes or rotting corpses.

25.  No healthy food to maintain proper nutrition, leading to weakness and ill health

26.  No proper basic hygiene, lack of bacteria control on the body, especially the teeth.

27.  No repair of tooth cavities or other life threatening oral problems.

28.  No pain control, no aspirin, no way to ease pain, ie., from a bad tooth.

29.  No basic first aid to treat minor injuries to keeping them from becoming infected.

30.  No replacements for worn out clothes, shoes, socks, or underwear.

31.  No replacement parts to fix things that have broken.

32.  No soap or disinfectants.

33.  No outdoor protection from the elements such as sunburns.

34.  No social safety nets: No welfare, no assistance, no government food.

35.  No sexual protection from the wide array of deadly diseases that are transmittable.

36.  No treatment for the sick and dying.

37.  No modern power tools for structural or mechanical repairs.

38.  No way of cleaning up toxic spills that range from irritating to hazardous.

39.  No care, help or chance for medical help for the needs of infants and children.

40.  No protection against rabies.

 41.  No means of easing widespread and intense chronic depression.

42.  No outlets of entertainment to distract people from their overwhelming despair and fear.

43.  No familiar and basic everyday needs that give comfort and security to most people.

44.  No way of contacting family and friends.

45.  No respectable way of laying to rest the body a family member, friend or neighbor.

46.  No way of protecting yourself and family from roaming gangs, unless you have adequate firepower.shtf event1

47.  No workable answers-solutions from the rudimentary to complex problems that will frequently present themselves.

48.  No calling up your local professional help to repair something that is essential to you.

49.  No feeling of being civilized; losing everything, becoming dirty and unkept tends to rapidly reduce everyone’s sense of humanity.

50.  No way out of your predicament without having prepared to some degree for downfall of society.

The need for society and human civilization to remain as close to “normal” and fully functioning cannot be over emphasized as it relates to the life and death of nearly 100% of our population if these systems cease to operate.  The more modern a country is, the farther the fall will be to the bottom when the infrastructure fails to support the people.  The above 50 losses paint a very bleak picture and show the likelihood of a mass die off as almost certain with the breakdown of the foundation that keeps the masses upright.  This doesn’t have to occur to anyone willing to just say no to this addiction of letting society mollycoddle everyone into helpless baby birds unable to live without constant feedings.

To prevent the obvious helplessness of anyone and to strengthen the resolve and readiness of those whom choose to prepare, one must start right now and continue to ready themselves for the day when human civilization will either partially cave in or fully disintegrate.

So what is the answer to someone that wants to survive an end to modern human civilization?

First and foremost you must be willing to do what is necessary and have the conviction to stick to the need for survival.  Each survival situation is vastly different – city vs. country life, arid vs. humid areas, frigid vs. hot climates, etc., etc.  In other words, no survival plan fits all. Our efforts should be focused on having the tools, supplies and skills to cope with a mega, or even lighter weight, disaster.

The best course of action is to be willing to spend the time and effort to learn what survival plan is right for you.

This is where the internet comes in.  While you still have access to it, utilize it.  SHTFplan.com has many excellent ideas and plans in the archives on survival.  Other sites all over the internet and many excellent books on the subject are everywhere. Some excellent resources we recommend:

  • Ready Nutrition
  • The Organic Prepper
  • Survival Blog
  • The Survival Mom
  • Prepper Website
  • Alt-Market
  • The Apartment Prepper

(There are tons of great sites out there, so please feel free to share your favorites in the comments section)

It is the commitment to go that extra mile to obtain this information that is best for you as the individual.  Then you as a person, part of a family, whatever, must do what is suggested and best for you with this wealth of information available to you before anything happens and all is lost.  You and your family has to want to NOT be stuck in the sinking of the tar that society will become someday.  Say to yourself that ‘I won’t accept being the individuals that have nothing’  and that ‘I will act on my desire and need to survive and won’t delay one moment.’

Even seasoned preppers and survivalists can ALWAYS learn that much more and should not procrastinate obtaining that special need that still eludes them.

Today not tomorrow, because time could be running out faster than anyone realizes.

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B.   Beck Warns Of Mass Chaos: “The Likes of Which the Globe Has Never Seen”
14 Aug 2013, SHTFplan.com, by MacSlavo
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/beck-warns-of-mass-chaos-the-likes-of-which-the-globe-has-never-seen_08142013

There will come a time this decade when everything that we have come to believe about the stability of our socio-economics system will be revealed for the underlying disaster that it really is.

When the US dollar is rejected by our lenders, when EBT distributions no longer cover critical expenses because food prices reach unattainable levels, when our debt burdens overwhelm our government, when America’s polarized political factions starting pointing fingers – it is then that we will experience a collapse unlike anything we could ever imagine.

The Constitution and the rule of law will be thrown out the window.
And the people will turn on each other.

I am telling you, we are about to have an economic impact the likes of which the globe has never seen.
When… not if… when the chickens come home to roost you will have mass chaos, not just in the middle east, but it will slide the entire globe into chaos. And, that means an economic impact – because of all of the things that we have done – the world has never seen.

And then comes the giant reset.

If you don’t know history, you are about to repeat it.
And if you think you know American history, where it’s all sunshine and lollipops because we had the Constitution and that we were always good… if you think we’re past the lynching in the streets…
It’s not about black or white. It’s about who has power. Forget racism. Try to put this into the context of humans. Racism is a human defect, not a white defect, not a black defect, not a brown or yellow… It’s a human defect.
And whoever has power lynches the others in the streets…. blames them… and kills them.
If you think I’m wrong on that then read history for ten minutes.

YouTubeGlenn Beck YouTube video
Pasted from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CpCo63uFos0

History has proven this to be true, and if you think humans have changed in the last 5,000 years because of modern conveniences and ideologies, then you’re kidding yourself.

This is coming. The government knows it, and that’s why they have been simulating the collapse of our economic system and its aftermath. That’s why they have militarized our local police forces. That’s why they are stockpiling food, ammunition, weapons and other supplies.

We have created the largest financial and economic bubble in the history of humankind, and it is clearly unsustainable.
Widespread chaos is coming, just as it has done so many times throughout history.
It’s time you take measures to prepare for it, or face the inevitable horrors that will follow.

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C.   The ‘Die Off’ Will Start Immediately After a Complete Collapse
23 Feb 2011, SHTFplan.com, by MacSlavo
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/the-post-shtf-die-off-will-start-immediately_02232011

In his book, One Second After, William Forstchen, paints a grim picture of a post-apocalyptic world in which an electro-magnetic pulse has wiped out the entire power-grid infrastructure of the United States. Utilities like water and electric, transportation systems, cell phones, and even vehicles are disabled by the blast. The book focuses on one particular town and the challenges they face going forward.

One of the key issues becomes what is commonly referred to in the preparedness and survival community as “the golden horde,” a term introduced by James Rawles of Survival Blog:

As the comfort level in the cities rapidly drops to nil, there will be a massive involuntary outpouring from the big cities and suburbs into the hinterboonies. This is the phenomenon that my late father, Donald Robert Rawles–a career particle physics research administrator at Lawrence Livermore Laboratories–half-jokingly called The Golden Horde. He was of course referring to the Mongol Horde of the 13th Century, but in a modern context. (The Mongol rulers were chosen from the ‘Golden Family’ of Temujin. Hence the term The Golden Horde.) I can remember as a child, my father pointing to the hills at the west end of the Livermore Valley, where we then lived. He opined: If The Bomb ever drops, we’ll see a Golden Horde come swarming over those hills [from Oakland and beyond] of the like that the world has never seen. And they’ll be very unpleasant, believe you me!

As the fictional, but quite realistic, crisis in Forstchen’s book grows deeper, and city dwellers spread throughout the countryside looking for essential resources, the people were forced to make hard decisions. They could either share their food and resources with the horde, thereby decreasing their own survival rate, or, they would have to aggressively defend their land. Like most would do in that situation, the town chose to keep what they had to themselves, and send all others packing, by force if necessary.

If the worst were to ever happen – and we’re not talking about a short-term disaster – but, rather, an all out collapse of the world as we know it, including a complete grid-down scenario and a breakdown in food production and emergency services, the majority of the population in the regions(s) affected would likely perish. In a recent report the Center for Security Policy suggested that in such a scenario 9 Out of 10 Americans Would Be Dead Within One Year – a terrifying thought, indeed.

Considering that most people have less than a week’s worth of food in their pantries, no medical supplies, and absolutely no idea how to operate without electricity, one can guesstimate that the die-off would begin almost immediately after the grid goes down. Within several weeks, tens of thousands would succumb to starvation and/or disease. In many cases, dehydration and the elements would also become a key factor. Patriot Nurse recently put together a commentary discussing “Who Will Die First”, in which she breaks down the highest risk groups into sub-categories, which we’ll discuss, in part, below:

Physically Disabled
Those with medical conditions requiring daily drug dosing, as well as those who depend on third party medical care, would likely be the first to go. During Hurricane Katrina hundreds of elderly people were left to die in hospitals and care facilities. They had no food, no clean water and no medicine. Their caregivers, in some cases acting immorally, but in other cases simply acting out of fear, left them without assistance. Those who are dependent on others to stay alive in modern society should consider who their caretakers are, because when the SHTF, chances are that an employee working at a nursing home will choose to go home and be with their family, or flee the area altogether.

 Individuals With Drug Dependent Healthcare Needs
In One Second After, the daughter of the main character is a diabetic requiring insulin. Within hours of the grid going down, pharmacies are overwhelmed with patrons attempting to get their prescription medicines. The electronic systems are inoperable, further complicating matters. Even for those who were able to acquire their meds, the supplies were only temporary, because within a week the shelves were empty and no resupply was coming. There are roughly 1.5 million insulin dependent diabetics in the United States. Because this particular drug requires cold storage, in a grid down situation, effective supplies would be depleted within a matter of weeks. In this particular instance, the fatality rate would be nearly 100%. The same can be said for many other types of medications, including oxygen. We urge those with drug dependent medical conditions to treat this aspect of preparedness like water and food. If you will require medicine, try to create a reserve by stocking up some extra medication. For those requiring cooled medicines, do you have an alternative energy plan to keep a compact refrigerator going?

Physical Handicaps
When faced with a survival situation, in general, the old adage “survival of the fittest,” applies. Those with physical handicaps, especially those requiring external locomotion, like those little scooters we see people riding at Walmart, will be at a disadvantage. They’ll be easy targets for looters, and will likely be incapable of foraging for food and resources. For some, the handicap is self-manifested, such as in the case of excessive obesity. In these cases, an emergency preparedness plan should include getting physically fit. For others, however, conditions cannot be treated easily. Physically handicapped individuals should take steps now to determine their action plan in the event of SHTF. Do you have a caregiver who you trust to get you out of a bind? Perhaps looking to relocate to an area where extensive travel post-SHTF will not be required is a good idea.

The Government Dependent Welfare Class
Patriot Nurse refers to the individuals in this group as those with a “stereotypical”  cradle-to-grave mentality. Of course, not everyone in this category is stereotypical, but we can certainly understand what she’s getting at. The majority of these people live on government subsistence, therefore they likely have no ability to procure resources before a disaster. At the onset of crisis, they will likely be looking for help from the same organizations that have provided it in the past. But those organizations will be unable to assist. Many of those within this category will die-off from lack of food, clean water, disease and violence. Given that, in general, within this category is the highest violent crime rate in the country, it will be from within this group of people that we’ll get our first taste of looters, gangs, and violent thieves. Some criminal elements will certainly survive, but violence begets violence, especially in a battle for resources, thus a good portion will be killed off by those defending themselves.

Yuppies and Neo-Hippies
Another name we can give this category is the urban and suburban city dwellers. Though they may be different politically, and possess different skill sets, the majority of those within this category simply do not have the necessary survival tools to make it. Neo-hippies, as defined by Patriot Nurse are those who may be capable of small-scale agriculture and raising micro-livestock, but their ‘peaceful’ nature has not prepared them to handle aggressive and violent behavior aimed at taking the resources they produce. The Yuppies, generally defined as those who live in suburban McMansion style homes are simply ill-prepared. Rather than preparing for a crisis, they spent their hard earned money on new cars, TV’s, fashion and dinners out. When the SHTF, they will simply not be ready and their pantries will be empty within a week’s time, at which point they, like the looters from the welfare class, will be left with no choice but to head into the streets looking for supplies.

There are, of course, other sub categories, but the above covers the majority of the populace. A good portion of those with the capability to travel, be it on foot or in a vehicle, will eventually head out of the cities. The realization that the system has broken down will not take long – perhaps a week or two – before they hit the highways.

Their destination of choice will likely become National or State parks, lakes and coastal regions, or small towns, where they expect to find food. Most will have no more than a tank of gas, giving them a range of roughly 300 miles from their home city. If you are located near an interstate highway, or even a state highway, within 300 miles of a major city, then you may very well see a golden horde of cars. Those without cars will go on foot. As they get further out of the cities, they will begin to perish due to lack of food and potable water. On foot, their range while lacking in resources will be maybe 50 – 150 miles.

Safety in the Country?
For those living in exurbia or rural surroundings the situation will certainly not be as dire as for those bunched in the cities. However, it will likely be just as dangerous. Eventually, elements from the cities with both, good intentions and bad, will reach you. If you are in a small town, and the town fails to implement defense strategies, then it can be easily overrun by organized and heavily armed gangs.

You’ll also have to deal with those of your neighbors who failed to prepare. Even though people may have gardens or livestock, their ability to maintain these will be threatened as traditional feed stores and tools will no longer be readily available. In One Second After, the story revolved around a small town in the middle of nowhere, yet a large portion of the population died off simply because there was a lack of resources. Even hunting became difficult, as game ran thin because everyone in the area was looking to have squirrel for dinner. The additional threat in the country is that, generally, people in the country are well armed with long range hunting rifles, a situation that presents quite a bit of peril if that person is aware you have resources and they are lacking.

The Die Off is a worst case consideration, and one you should be familiar with before any such event occurs. It will occur only in a complete collapse of the world as we know it and would include a complete breakdown of our electrical and utility grids, communications infrastructure and food transportation systems.

Yes, it’s unlikely. But given that our entire way of life is dependent on modern day technology, such a disruption would have severe consequences for all involved.

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D.   Further reading
1)  Mark Levin: Government Is “Simulating the Collapse of Our Financial System, the Collapse of Our Society and the Potential for Widespread Violence” at:
http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/mark-levin-government-is-simulating-the-collapse-of-our-financial-system-the-collapse-of-our-society-and-the-potential-for-widespread-violence_03082013

2)  Real U.S. Government Debt is Much Worse Than You Think at-
http://www.thedailysheeple.com/the-real-u-s-government-debt-is-much-worse-than-you-think_102010

3)  Shadow Government Bunkers: Security Heightened at Underground Storage Facilities at-
http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/shadow-government-bunkers-security-heightened-at-underground-storage-facilities_05092011

4)  Report: Disaster Looms: FEMA Scrambles To Stockpile Food Reserves at-
http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/report-disaster-looms-fema-scrambles-to-stockpile-food-reserves_08052013

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The SHTF, then what?

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ The SHTF, then what?)

  A.  Houston – We Have a Problem
13 Jun 2011, ModernSurvivalBlog.com, by Ken Jorgustin
Pasted from: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/security/houston-we-have-a-problem/

Set the stage:
The ‘S’ has hit the fan. The dollar has collapsed and is now worth just 30% of what it could purchase just 6 months ago. The reasons for the collapse are not relevant any more. Most people don’t understand why it happened, and are now truly in dire straights. They are just trying to survive.

shtf then market

The DOW has dropped to 5,000 and gold is now $5,000 an ounce. Unemployment has soared to 35%, and those that are still working are sinking fast while food and energy prices skyrocket. Nearly all traditional investments have gone bust. Most people are in despair having lost what savings they had along with the value of their 401K retirement plans. The crash of 2008 is miniscule in comparison to what has just happened.

Many major cities have fallen into chaos. There aren’t enough police to hold back the rioting and roving gangs of desperate humans – many of whom were just ordinary blue-collar working folks just 6 months ago. Now they are congregating in numbers in search of food, fuel, and supplies – just to stay alive and survive. Even some of those working in law enforcement within these large population centers are not showing up for work, being more concerned to secure their own families safety.

The government in a desperate attempt to thwart off the raging populace has begun rationing food supplies and are attempting to re-establish food supply distribution channels (most drivers have stopped hauling due to extraordinary fuel prices and the risk of being attacked for their haul). What supply chains remain into the city regions, are being attacked by organized groups and gangs, while the supplies themselves mostly do not make it to their destination.

You live within the urban sprawl of a major city region, and although not located within city limits, you are surrounded by many thousands of others who themselves are hurting badly while trying to feed their families and keep a roof over their heads.

Burglary is now blatant, even during the daytime. Groups of 5 or more will surge their way through an area or neighborhood and break through homes mostly without resistance, while residents fear for their lives and freely give up what supplies that they have.shtf then control

As the various groups of thugs and gangs slice their way through the chaos and desperation, they organize and grow in numbers to larger and more sophisticated forces. The government has underestimated the threshold at which desperate people will do what they must to get what they need. It is out of control.

You are caught in an unimaginable horror. A horror not even conceivable in your mind just 6 months ago.

Does this sound like something that could only come from a novel? Do you think it is ridiculous to consider something like this actually occurring where you live?

Think again.

shtf then gangsYes, this is a doom-and-gloom scenario, purposely to make you think. It is human nature to be set in your ways and to assume that things will remain as they are now, at least within some reasonable variation, plus-or-minus…

While it is true that often times ‘things’ remain in a similar state (more or less), there are also times when abrupt change will occur after having reached a tipping point or threshold of some kind. If caught unaware or unprepared, these abrupt changes can hit you like a train.

Many people know in their gut that the economic situation within the US and some other countries of the world are teetering at their limits of debt service, having borrowed extraordinary sums to keep their systems going. Having read quite a lot of information from many different sources on this general topic during the past several years, and although I am not a financial or economic expert, I do know that despite what we hear from the mainstream, we are definitely at risk for some economic hardships beyond which we’ve ever experienced in our lives.

Things may not come to this, but then again, they may. Are you the type of person to stick your head in the sand? Or are you the type of person to take precautions and learn to adapt to an extreme situation.shtf then dumpster dive

This article offers no solutions, but instead is purposed with the hope of having you consider that things ‘could’ change, and change for the worse. The first step to recovery is admitting that there is a problem. And as heard from the crew of Apollo 13, ‘Houston, we have a problem…’

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B.  Cash will be King
6 September 2013, ModernSurvivalBlog.com, by Ken Jorgustin
Pasted from: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/security/cash-will-be-king/

How much cash do you have on hand, right now? Do you rely on electronic money for most or all of your transactions? You might want to reconsider that philosophy…

Three in four Americans (73 percent) say they use less cash today than 10 years ago (source: Mastercard). From online shopping with credit, debit and prepaid cards to making purchases via electronic apps, electronic money is convenient and easy to use, and is favored by most merchants because it enables electronic book-keeping methods that eliminate most human intervention.

Electronic ‘money’ is speed, convenience, guaranteed payment for merchants, and provides some security for consumers and merchants, while also enabling transactional records for governments.

shtf then 20

There are two major risks however, when one transacts electronically.
1.  Although not everyone is concerned with this… using electronic money will leave a definitive footprint, captured forever, of your every purchase (‘where’, ‘when’, and ‘what’). Your spending habits are quickly profiled and updated each time electronic money is used, most of it in databases that you don’t even know about.
Cash, on the other hand, is anonymous.
2.  Since nearly all of our modern-day transactional systems are electronic, if these systems fail us for any reason, we will be left without a commonly accepted means of exchange. This could include power failure (local or otherwise), internet/network failures, or even a financial/banking collapse.

Cash, on the other hand, will be accepted (by most), for a while – at least up until such time that it may become clear that TSHTF (if it were to get to that point).
So it seems to me, that cash not only is king, but will be king (for a while) during a system meltdown of some sort.

Consider this…
In today’s electronic world of money, there is only a comparatively very tiny amount of actual cash out there in circulation. If there is ever a panic, and enough people begin withdrawing some or all of their money from the banks, the cash might run out very quickly. Then what?
At least for the short-term, if you have cash, you will be able to procure some things. Long term however, and we’re all in a different boat, so to speak…

 How much cash to keep?
In a world of electronic money, how much actual cash money should one keep on one’s person and how much cash should one keep at home (be your own banker)?

Well that depends if you are going to eliminate most of your ordinary day-to-day debit transactions or not, and how much of a cash security blanket that you feel comfortable with.

shtf then cashWhen I made the transition from using my debit card (although essentially the same as cash) to using cash instead, I started out by simply going to the ATM and withdrawing a few hundred, and when I saw my wallet getting thin, I replenished it.

After a week or two of doing this, you will soon realize the appropriate cash flow for you. Not only that, but by using cash instead of debit (even though it’s the same ‘digits’), you will very likely begin to spend LESS than you did before. For some reason, using cash just seems like more money (because it’s tangible – even though it’s just paper).

A big advantage to using cash for transactions is that you will have more of it, on you, all the time. A merchant will always take cash – provided that their system allows it.

You can use it to get yourself out of a jam in an emergency. Ordinary ‘people’ will accept cash, because they are not equipped to accept your electronic money. If two people were bidding on the same thing or service (especially in an emergency situation), nearly 100-percent of the time the person with cash will win over someone with electronic money (debit or credit). Cash is king.

How much to keep at home (be your own banker?)

While it may sound over-the-top, if you can set yourself a goal to build a supply of 3 to 6-months worth of transactional cash that you would otherwise spend using debit/electronic, you would be doing yourself a favor. Look at it this way… the banks don’t give you any interest, so why should you give them your money?

During normal times, you won’t be tracked. During short-term disaster, cash will be king. It’s up to you…

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C.  Not Prepared: 17 Signs That Most Americans Will Be Wiped Out By The Coming Economic Collapse
25 June 2013, SHTFplan.com, by Michael Snyder
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/not-prepared-17-signs-that-most-americans-will-be-wiped-out-by-the-coming-economic-collapse_06252013

This article has been generously contributed by Michael Snyder. You can follow his regular writings, research and analysis [online] at “The Economic Collapse Blog” and “The American Dream”. Read his recent book, The Beginning of the End, to get an idea of what America may look like in the very near future.

shtf then savingsThe vast majority of Americans are going to be absolutely blindsided by what is coming.  They don’t understand how our financial system works, they don’t understand how vulnerable it is, and most of them blindly trust that our leaders know exactly what they are doing and that they will be able to fix our problems.  As a result, most Americans are simply not prepared for the massive storm that is heading our way.  Most American families are living paycheck to paycheck, most of them are not storing up emergency food and supplies, and only a very small percentage of them are buying gold and silver for investment purposes.   They seem to have forgotten what happened back in 2008.  When the financial markets crashed, millions of Americans lost their jobs.  Because most of them were living on the financial edge, millions of them also lost their homes.  Unfortunately, most Americans seem convinced that it will not happen again.  Right now we seem to be living in a “hope bubble” and people have become very complacent.

For a while there, being a “prepper” was very trendy, but now concern about a coming economic crisis seems to have subsided.  What a tragic mistake.  As I pointed out yesterday, our entire financial system is a giant Ponzi scheme, and there are already signs that our financial markets are about to implode once again.
Those that have not made any preparations for what is coming are going to regret it bitterly.  The following are 17 signs that most Americans will be wiped out by the coming economic collapse…
#1  According to a survey that was just released, 76 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.  But most Americans are acting as if their jobs will always be there.  But the truth is that mass layoffs can occur at any time.  In fact, it just happened at one of the largest law firms in New York City.
#2  27% of all Americans do not have even a single penny saved up.
#3  46% of all Americans have $800 or less saved up.
#4  Less than one out of every four Americans has enough money stored away to cover six months of expenses.
#5  Wages continue to fall even as the cost of living continues to go up.  Today, the average income for the bottom 90 percent of all income earners in America is just $31,244.  An increasing percentage of American families are just trying to find a way to survive from month to month.
#6   62% of all middle class Americans say that they have had to reduce household spending over the past year.
#7  Small business is becoming an endangered species in America.  In fact, only about 7 percent of all non-farm workers in the United States are self-employed at this point.  That means that the vast majority of Americans are depending on someone else to provide them with an income.  But what is going to happen as those jobs disappear?
#8  In 1989, the debt to income ratio of the average American family was about 58 percent.  Today it is up to  154 percent.
shtf food

#9  Today, a higher percentage of Americans are dependent on the government than ever before.  In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that gets direct monetary benefits from the federal government.  So what is going to happen when the government handout gravy train comes to an end?
#10  Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps.  Today, about one out of every 6.5 Americans is on food stamps. [rising from 2% to currently 15%]
#11  It is estimated that less than 10 percent of the U.S. population owns any gold or silver for investment purposes.
#12  It has been estimated that there are approximately 3 million“preppers” in the United States.  But that means that almost everyone else is not prepping. [less than 1% preppers]
#13  44% of all Americans do not have first-aid kits in their homes.
#14  48% of all Americans do not have any emergency supplies stored up.
#15  53% of all Americans do not have a 3 day supply of nonperishable food and water in their homes.
#16  One survey asked Americans how long they thought they would survive if the electrical grid went down for an extended period of time.
 → •  Incredibly, 21 percent said that they would survive for less than a week,
 → •  an additional 28 percent said that they would survive for less than two weeks,
 → •  and nearly 75 percent said that they would be dead before the two month mark.
#17  According to a survey conducted by the Adelphi University Center for Health Innovation, 55 percent of Americans believe that the government will come to their rescue when disaster strikes.

Just because you are living a comfortable middle class lifestyle today does not mean that it will always be that way.

If you doubt this, take a look at what is going on in Greece.  Many formerly middle class parents in Greece have become so impoverished that they are actually dumping their children at orphanages so that they won’t starve…
Scores of children have been put in orphanages and care homes for economic reasons; one charity said 80 of the 100 children in its residential centers were there because their families can no longer provide for them.
Ten percent of Greek children are said to be at risk of hunger. Teachers talk of cancelling PE lessons because children are underfed and of seeing pupils pick through bins for food.

If the U.S. economy crashes and you lose your job, how will you and your family survive?
Will you and your family end up homeless and totally dependent on the government for your survival?

Get prepared while there is still time.  If you do not know how to get prepared, my article entitled “25 Things That You Should Do To Get Prepared For The Coming Economic Collapse” has some basic tips, and there are dozens of excellent websites out there that teach people advanced prepping techniques for free. See the “25 Things…” article at: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/25-things-that-you-should-do-to-get-prepared-for-the-coming-economic-collapse

So there is no excuse.  You can trust that Ben Bernanke and Barack Obama have everything under control, but as for me and my family we are going to prepare for the giant economic storm that is coming.
I hope that you will be getting prepared too.

shtf then pm's

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