Category Archives: Survival Manual

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Survival during social chaos

(Survival manual/7. Warehouse/Survival during social chaos)

A.  How People Act in Times of Trouble
Pasted from: http://www.ki4u.com/guide.htm

“When tough times come, you’ll likely  discover that people today, overall, are not as resilient as they were in times past. For many of us, our grandparents generation included a higher percentage of self-reliant rural folks who both ‘made do’ on less while growing and raising their own food. Today, most people are far removed from the land and the routine of being responsible for supplying their own food; many even have a dangerous government-dependent mentality of entitlement. Fact is, the morality that both sustained and restrained previous generations during tough times is not as widely embraced in this present population. As a result, many people will more quickly rationalize theft, robbery, looting, and rioting when they fear hunger and deprivation. Crime is already a problem today–even with nobody being hungry, and with law enforcement in place. Crime, then, could explode when hunger threatens and law enforcement deteriorates concurrently. It is therefore prudent for anyone making serious preparations to also include plans for maintaining their own security if law enforcement is either unavailable or cannot keep pace with the demands of an overwhelming crime wave. If you do not own or use guns, I would strongly urge you to re-evaluate your personal security.
If you find it lacking, acquire some guns and ammunition immediately, and get some safety and practical tactical training in their use. Ask the clerks at your local gun store for advice on defensive arms and to point you to local resources for that essential training.

For those who already have weapons, be sure they are effective models and calibers for self-defense, and that you have stocked plenty of ammunition and high-capacity magazines if needed. Weapons and ammo will quickly disappear, or they will become prohibitively expensive or restricted, once the essential need is more widely recognized.”
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B.  Crime Prevention for Home
Prevent robbery, theft, and burglary with a fundamental enemy, a motion sensor light. Motion Sensor lights are your first defense against crime at your home property. Motion lighting will startle a potential thief or burglar outside of your home and will often send them somewhere else instead. Thieves are looking for easy access with the least resistance and they do not want to be seen or caught. Obviously this is only a night time deterrent however this is when many bad guys prowl for cars to steal, entry into yards for property valuables, or look for ways to enter the home. Their success begins under the cover of night and not being seen by the property owner, tenant, or neighbor.

According to statistics:
•  The best times for a home break in is after lunch in the early afternoon.
•  The second best time for a home burglary is from 2:00-3:00 pm, people just left from lunch, and nobody is at the house, this provides a short window of time, but comes unexpected.
•  For a military assault or to breach a building, the best time is 4:00AM, right before dawn when the body is just starting to wake up and is still most sluggish.
•  40% of the felonious assaults involved firearms, 12% represented cutting or slashing, and 6% involved other types of assaults.”
•  Most burglars spend six to eight minutes inside a victim’s home and only have time to check the most obvious places for valuables.
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C.  Survival Psychology “Deadly Force”
Survival Cache, by Captain Bart, Catholic Deacon, Retired US Army Pilot, Suburban Survivalist

http://survivalcache.com/survival-psychology-deadly-force/

“A great deal of survival talk and survival psychology centers around weapons and their use. The use of weapons for hunting or protection from aggressive animals is a (relatively) morally neutral action, but the use of weapons against another human being is not.

Note: SurvivalCache.com remains “Religion” neutral, this entry was submitted by a man of the cloth and we felt that it had enough merit to be posted for all.

While you can be a Vegan and a survivalist, it is extremely difficult and even a Vegan might see the need to protect people and crops from predatory animals. The moral dilemma arises when the discussion turns to the use of deadly force against fellow human beings.

For those of us raised in the Jewish or Christian faith, the prohibition against murder is absolute. The commandment is actually, “Thou shall not commit murder”, not “Thou shall not kill” but that is a different discussion.  Let’s address survival, preparation and the use of force against people.

The Scripture, both Old and New Testaments have many examples of being prepared.  Joseph in Egypt is a prime example in the Book of Genesis.  In the New Testament, note that Jesus wasn’t born in a stable because Joseph and Mary were homeless, he was born in a stable because the central government in Rome ordered them to relocate for the purpose of being taxed.  The Holy Family fled to Egypt because the local government was bent on destroying the Infant.

Nowhere in Scripture or the earliest Church writings are soldiers told to put up their arms or to change jobs.  They are told to do their job honestly and to the best of their ability.  Paul explains that government has the power of the sword since it is their God given role to enforce law and punish evil.

The early Church fathers addressed this issue at the same time as they addressed the issue of war in general. Men like Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas explain in detail what constitutes a just use of deadly force. There are three main events that must be met before deadly force can morally be used:
1.  Force may only be used defensively.  Deadly force may only be used against people to protect one’s own or another life.
2.  The amount of force must not be excessive.  You cannot kill someone for minor offensives.
3.  There must be a reasonable possibility of victory.

Defend
The first requirement means that open aggression is never morally justified.  Deadly force may only be used against actual or reasonably threatened force.  The leader of the biker gang who threatens my family and me, gets off his bike and walks in my direction has not actually used force against me.  The threat is however creditable and deadly so a deadly response is justifiable.  It further means that deadly force is never available to an aggressor even to defend his own life.
Shooting a homeowner who is using deadly force against me after I have broken into his home is not self-defense.  It is murder.

“Eye for an Eye”
The second item is rather straightforward but is often misunderstood. The Scriptural “eye for an eye” injunction is not a command to seek revenge but is an absolute limit on the amount of retribution that can be sought. If you break my tooth I may not kill you for it.  I may do no more than break yours in return.  This was a great limitation in a land where blood feuds last centuries.  Interesting arguments crop up discussing what is ‘justifiable’.  There is an old saying from the American West that ‘Horse thieves are hung not because they stole a horse. They are hung so that horses may not be stolen.’  In a time and place where having your horse stolen was often a death sentence, being a horse thief was a capital offense.  In the Eastern cities of today or even of the same era this was not true because the result of being afoot was not nearly as severe.  Horse thieves are not hung today, not even in Texas.

Victory
The final criterion requires a reasonable chance of success in your endeavor.  Attacking an armored column with a bow and arrow is suicidal and suicide is forbidden.  You are not allowed to murder, not even yourself.

The final, perhaps most interesting, point brought out by the Church fathers is that if there has ever been such a thing as a just war (justifiable defense) then it follows that there is such a thing as an unjust peace (failure to act).  As a husband and father, I do not have an option, morally speaking, when it comes to defending my family.  I have an absolute responsibility for their welfare.  This means I must also defend myself, even if they are not present, or I deprive them of the care they are entitled to.

The time to think through this responsibility is before TSHTF.  In fact, it should be done before the first weapon is purchased.  Establish your limits of what is and is not acceptable force. Then, if the time comes to act, there will be no hesitation. The same applies for survival in general.  I know what I believe is my responsibility to my family’s welfare and no person or act of government can remove that responsibility from me.  The Moral and Natural Laws set requirements that man made law cannot alter or remove.

People must decide for themselves what their responsibility is to their family and community.  They must then take appropriate steps to ensure they can carry out that responsibility.
Any other action is not in keeping with the long Christian tradition of just wars and self-defense.
By Captain Bart, Catholic Deacon, Retired US Army Pilot, Suburban Survivalist”

Deterrents & defense from criminal assault
Crime                                                Defense
Burglary                             Home security: locks, lights, arms
Armed robbery                 Awareness of  surroundings, Concealed carry
Aggravated assault          Awareness of  surroundings, Concealed carry, Pepper spray
Murder                              Concealed carry
Rape                                    NA
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D .  A Guide to Looting When the SHTF (And Your Counter-Strategies)
April 21st, 2011, SHTF Plan, by Mac Slavo, see this article and other invaluable survivalist information at:
http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/a-guide-to-looting-when-the-shtf-and-your-counter-strategies_04212011
Law and order will be the first casualty when the shit hits the fan [SHTF]. Recent historical examples the world over, including New Orleans, Haiti, and Chile show that without policing, looting will become an immediate danger.

The following Guide to Looting When the SHTF by Thomas Northrop of No Bullshit Survival shows that survival and preparedness planning does not include just storing food, supplies, guns, and medicine, or creating tactical defense plans for your home and property.
There will be organized gangs, whose sole method of acquiring necessities will be through looting. A friend recently mentioned that when discussing possible collapse scenarios at the water cooler, one of his office coworkers suggested that he would simply take what he needs from other people if it came down to it. Thus the looter mentality is not as isolated as we may think. In all likelihood, this person has already considered what he would do, how he would do it, and how far he was willing to go.

This is a reality, so understanding and accepting it as such is important now – so that you are fully prepared to deal with it if ever confronted by such a situation.

If you’re a law abiding citizen I suggest you don’t read this section. In some historical instances extraordinary measures have been taken against looters during times of crisis. It’s not uncommon in some countries for looters to be shot, either by police, army, or business owners. Some governments will justify the shooting of looters with the excuse of “preventing further damage to the economy”. I suggest you get out of countries that value the economy over your life.
Warnings aside… Let’s get down to business!

What is Looting?
Looting is essentially the act of stealing goods during a catastrophe, riot, war, or natural disaster and can also be referred to as sacking, plundering or pillaging. Looting is almost always opportunistic and usually occurs during a collapse in authority.

Looting can be justified in many ways. Some people may feel that if the goods are not stolen, they will be wasted. Another common belief is that if they don’t steal the goods, it will be stolen by someone else. In the aftermath of a large disaster, these beliefs both hold credence and are good reasons for you to be looting!

 Preparing
As with any endeavor, preparation is the key to success. In order to take optimal advantage of a disaster and loot effectively you’ll want to get several things handled ahead of time. The next few pages will cover all the information you need to become a master looter.

Make a Looting Kit
There are a few items that will make looting a lot easier. You’ll want to keep these items ready and on hand for when shit hits the fan. They should be kept together in the location for easy access so you just pick them up and go when it’s time.
•  Crow bar: The ultimate urban survival tool! A nice, heavy crowbar can be used to break into stores, clear your way through rubble and it can be used as a weapon! Don’t underestimate the crowbar. There are a million things you can do with a crowbar, just use your imagination.
•  Bump keys: These are keys that have been ground down in such a way that they can be used to open almost any lock. Bump keys are used by locksmiths and they’re relatively easy to use. A crowbar will get you through any door or window, but a bump key will get you through without making a mess.
•  Laundry bag: A strong, large drawstring bag is a definite must for looting. Laundry bags are great for the purpose of looting. They have a large carrying capacity and when empty they can be folded to fit in your pocket. You can always go for a large backpack, duffle bag or rucksack but they’re cumbersome, expensive and made for looks more than anything else.
•  A dollar coin or quarter: You may be wondering… a dollar coin or quarter? What the hell for? Well the answer may be a lot simpler then you imagine. The coin is for a shopping cart! Just make sure you get one before the other looters! If you don’t want to use a coin, you can always use the crowbar to break the chains holding them together.
•  Flash light / Lantern: It’s very likely that if the situation permits looting, the power is probably out. Good luck getting over fallen shelves and getting food in the dark. Looting with one hand will also be difficult, but there are a few methods around that. I suggest placing the lantern or flash light in the shopping cart, get a head lamp, or just bring someone along to shine the light and push the cart.
•  Make a Looting Team: Find several friends or family members and make a plan! It’s all about leverage, you can get a lot more done if you work as team. Get everyone together in a room and discuss a plan of action.

Here are the questions you’ll want to have answered:
•  Under what circumstances will looting take place?
•  Where will the goods be kept?
•  Who has a vehicle for transportation?
•  What are the best locations for looting?
•  Should each individual go to a different  store?
•  Should everyone go as team?
•  What goods have priority?

If each person  focuses on acquiring a certain type of item, you’ll collectively save a lot of time and effort. What I mean by this is that one person will collect water filters, one person will collect rice and beans, and the other person will collect fuel. That’s just an example and should be customized to fit your team needs.

Mapping and Creating a List of Target Addresses
Get a detailed map of your city and mark off important looting locations. Make a legend with symbols to represent different types of locations, for instance, use a circle for food stores, triangles for hunting/outdoor stores, squares for hospitals and pharmacies etc. A good resource for finding addresses and locations is Google maps, just type in a store name and Google will give you all the addresses for that store in your area. Copy and paste the results into a .txt file and print it out for future use. This map is extremely important and should be kept in a safe area. The map should be copied and distributed among friends and family.

Here’s a list of some locations to keep in mind:
•  Hospitals
•  Restaurants
•  Grocery stores
•  Large stores and warehouses
•  Police stations
•  Fire stations
•  Factories
•  Shipyards
•  Pharmacies
•  Liquor stores
•  Malls
•  People’s houses
•  Schools
•  Sporting good stores
•  Outdoor living stores
•  Garden stores
•  Hardware stores
•  Military / Armory bases
•  Gas stations
•  Air ports
•  Shipping container sites
•  Hotels

What to Loot
Some items are important to loot and some aren’t. A wide screen TV for instance will not contribute to your chances of survival. The highest priority should be on food and water but depending on location, finding water may be a problem. Water is too heavy to move around so instead of looting water bottles the focus should be on buckets and water filters. The value of money may be worthless in a disaster situation and therefore should not be a high priority.

The most important items to loot are as follows:
(This list of  items should have already been purchased  and included amongst your long term security preparations!
•  Personal medicine (if required)
•  Water filters and water
•  Rice
•  Dried lentils, legumes, beans
•  Salt
•  Oatmeal
•  Whole wheat flour
•  Sugar
•  Cooking oil
•  Coffee
•  Money (preferably in change)
•  Alcohol
•  Cigarettes
•  Energy bars
•  Coolaid/ electrolytes
•  Fuel/oil

Places to Avoid
The family-run corner stores should be avoided as the owners actually have an interest in the store. The best historical example to illustrate this point occurred during the LA riots… remember Korea town?  Go for the Wal-Marts and Super stores where the employees could care less about you looting, they
have no vested interest in the store.

Looting When Shit Hits the Fan
You have a plan and you know what to do, but now we’ll going into the details of what happens next.   It’s my personal belief that violence will not break out in the first stages of a disaster since food and supplies are still in relative abundance and people have what they need to survive. This has been
proven during hurricane Katrina and many other disasters. The first few weeks of a disaster should be spent looting and acquiring resources. Everyone in your team should loot the area and acquire as much as a possible. It’s only after several weeks of looting that gangs and groups will have formed and violence will erupt. Fighting will most likely occur over food and resources. All looting from that time on should be executed with extreme caution.

We will undoubtedly get flack for publishing this “guide,” so to clear things up, we are posting this not so much as an instructional manual for how to loot, but to reiterate the point that there are those, and they are plentiful, who are fully prepared to take what they need at the expense of others.

You may have stereotypes of what a looter looks like and the people they will be traveling with. Stop stereotyping, because the fact of the matter is, that when people are hungry and under extreme stress the line between right and wrong is blurred and very easily crossed, and color or socioeconomic background will not matter.

With respect to the looting guide above, Mr. Northrop’s list of items to loot are, for the most part, necessities. Some might even suggest that instead of looting, we could call it “foraging,” at least when it comes to the essentials. Imagine for a moment that one of your family members has sustained an injury and requires antibiotics. Would you or would you not break into the pharmacy down the street to gain access to Penicillin? The same goes for food. If you’re food stores were wiped out, for whatever reason, and you knew of a train fully loaded with boxes of dry goods, would you or would you not “loot” that train to acquire the much needed food?

Some would argue that abandoned grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals or distribution centers don’t belong to any one individual, so looting in those areas is not as bad as, say, breaking into someone’s home.

Supplies at those abandoned locations, however, will eventually and likely very quickly, run dry as everyone who hasn’t prepared (probably north of 90% of the population) will be scrambling to get as much food as they can.

You can probably guess what happens next. This is why it is important to prepare right now. The last place you want to be when the SHTF is out with the rest of the looters and foragers. It would be much more preferable to be at home finalizing your defense preparations – doing things like setting up barbed wire, firing lines, booby traps and coordinating with neighbors – because if the disaster event lasts for more than a week without outside resupply, gangs and looters are going to be headed your way next.”

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E.   Using your Expandable baton
1.  Display your baton openly. Often, just the presence of this weapon deters an assailant. Holsters are available that attach to your belt so the baton is in clear view of any would-be attackers.
Since criminals usually look for easy targets, simply displaying a baton may help avoid an attack in the first place.
2.  Grasp the baton firmly in your hand and quickly flick your wrist. This will open the baton. You want to maintain a secure, but not tight, hold of the baton. Since fluidity of motion is required to strike effectively, a grip that is too firm will cause tightness in your wrist and arm, decreasing your ability to strike quickly and smoothly.
3.  Create a distance of a few feet between you and your assailant, if at all possible. In order for your strikes to be effective, make room to maneuver. Take a step back or to the side to create the distance needed.
4.  Target your attacker’s weapon to disarm him. Then, aim for the bony areas of the body, including the head, knees, collarbone, ribs, elbows or wrists. This is much more effective than striking areas of muscle. While muscle strikes will hurt, they are not nearly as debilitating as a strike to a bony area.
5.  Block your attacker’s blows, and aim at disabling him, if possible. Stop him long enough to get away and get help. Put your whole body into the strike. Using only your arm for leverage is not nearly as effective as a strike that has the force of your body behind it.
6.  Close your baton by holding it perpendicular to the ground, and strike the tip firmly onto the ground. This will start the retraction process. Continue to tap the ground until all the sections of the baton have retracted, and the baton is in its closed form.
•     Handle length: 8- 1/4″ for the 21″ vs 9- 5/8″ for the 26″.
•     Each state has its own laws regarding expandable batons.
•     In most states carrying an expandable baton is not a problem. Using it is. Carrying a 2 x 4 x 3 is not a problem but using it to hit someone is.
•     I’m certified in expandable baton use for police work and cannot understand why someone would carry one for self defence. They are good for helping to take control or controlling a subject, but I wouldn’t depend on one for self defence. You need to get way to close to your aggressor. I would rather run into the street than allow myself to get that close to an aggressor and try to pull out my baton.
•     For the police, the expandable baton has some advantages. You always have it with you on your belt, the wood batons are great but they were usually in the car when you needed them. Also the expendables make a nice intimidating noise when opened, almost like a pump shotgun, but again that is for police work were you have to get in close to the aggressor, not for civilian life were you should be running away calling for help.
Pasted from <http://au.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071028033543AAwTtOH

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Filed under Survival Manual, __7. Warehouse

Checklists and “things that disappear first”

(Survival Manual/2. Social issues/Checklists and things that disappear first)

If you’re concerned over world events or the apparent track the US economy is following and feel that a serious economic-security issue could occur with in the next year or two, the following checklists may prove helpful.  This post contains three well thought out lists that act as a guide to putting together a  variety of emergency supplies.

A.  To do checklist 
1.  Copy Can: Begin with the “copy can”  procedure of food storage build up: Over the weeks, while grocery shopping, buy two of the things you need so as to slowly fill your cupboard with extra product, without the difficulty of doing it all at once in an emergency situation, at considerable expense. See also the post, Food & Water/Food’
2. Build a 72 hour B.O.B for emergency situations for every person in the family, containing food, clothing, documentation; an Accessory container for water and other items will most likely needed. The Bug Out Bag, Accessories and Water are your GO Kit.

3. Back Up Power Source: Develop a home Back Up Power Source in case the power goes out; suggestions include a power pack, or deep cycle batteries, and /or a small 1KW-2KW generator and stabilized fuel. Have back Up power to sustain your basic systems for a 1-2 week duration.
4. Back Up Heat Source: Develop a Back Up Heat Source, something that does not depend on electricity: For example install a wood burning stove and buy, minimally one cord of cut and seasoned firewood; have a propane stove and fuel. Develop sources for heating and cooking.
5. Cupboard Back Up: Develop a ‘Cupboard Back Up’ to your regular canned and dry goods food supply: Buy two large, covered Rubber Maid tubs and fill them with the non refrigerated foods that you normally eat. With this in place, you must rotate your food, when items from the cupboard are eaten, restock them from the  tubs, then buy replacement items to replace those removed from the tub. With a stocked cupboard and the two Rubber Maid tubs filled, you will have about a 30 day supply of food.
6. Water Storage: You must have a minimum of 50 gallon water storage. This can be composed of bulk storage such as a 55 gallon drum and several cases of bottled water. See also my post, Food & Water/Water.
7. Have two emergency Radios and batteries. Communications: Back up family Communications technology with at least 1 mile range: Walkie-Talkies for everyone in the household, charged and including spare batteries. Could be beneficial to have CB radios in family cars as well.
8. Basic Documentation Package: Build a basic documentation package, including maps for everyone in the group showing routes to your local meeting and alternate meeting locations, maps with marked routes to your Bug Out Location; a list of phone numbers and addresses for everyone-business-motel that you might talk to during the emergency and while on the road. Have general daily schedule for every member of the family along with phone number, contact persons and addresses.
9. 30 Day Supply Commercially Prepared Emergency Foods: Buy a 30 Day Supply Commercially Prepared Emergency Food for every member of the household. Mountain House gallon cans have a 20 year life span. (With a food supply of 30 days quantity stored in the cupboard and back up tubs, plus a 30 day supply of freeze-dried foods, you have a 60 day food supply, better than 99.9% of the population.)
10. Food Storage Procedures: Learn 2 methods of Food Storage, i.e., Dehydration, smoking meat, pickling, etc.
11. Farmers Market & Seasonal Opportunities: find a local Farmers Market and learn about your local, seasonal food opportunities.
12. Cook 5 New Foods: Learn to cook 5 things you’ve never eaten before. Make them out of as many storable products as you can. This increases your food storage/supply/opportunities and teaches cooking.
13. Cash On Hand: C.O.H., maintain at home a Cash On Hand packet of minimally $500, preferably $2000 for ready cash should the power fail, in which case cashiers wouldn’t be able to use credit cards and would rely on cash for payment. Store a case of beer, as beer would be better than cash and act as a barter/bribe tool for services

Affirmation: Affirm your right and responsibility to survive, say it to yourself out loud, “I have a Right and Responsibility to Survive”. An “entitlement to survive” is where people would surround you and maintain you, giving you what you need to survive.

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B.   When SHTF, these 100 items will disappear first When planning for an emergency, think about the worst situation imaginable.  Here is mine: chaos, to get as much food and supplies as possible, gas lines that run out into the street, highways at a virtual standstill, banks not giving out money, looting, fires, babies crying because that have no formula to drink.  It’s not a pretty picture when you allow yourself to imagine it. Having supplies on hand can put a person way ahead of the game.  While some people are battling the lines and the grocery stores, you could be packing your items up and headed for hills before they even attempt to. For any beginning prepper, or those on a budget, the below list may be overwhelming. If you have not yet begun planning and preparation for an emergency or disaster, consider the basics first. In a disaster, your physiological and safety needs will be the most important, begin your preparations accordingly.

100 Things that Disappear First in a Disaster

1.   Generators: Good ones cost dearly. Gas storage, risky. Noisy…target of thieves; maintenance, etc.
2.   Water containers: An urgent item to obtain. Any size. Hard plastic only. Minimum storage volumes of 1 gallon/ person/day. Plan accordingly.
3.   Water Filters and chemical purifiers.
4.   Hand pumps and siphons: For water and for fuels.
5.   Portable Toilets: Increasing in price every two months.
6.   Toilet paper, Kleenex, paper towels: Imagine life without TP.
7.   Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats and Slingshots
8.   Big dogs and plenty of dog food.
9.   Honey, syrups, white & brown sugar: honey is a very long-term storage item.
10. Rice – Beans – Wheat (flour): Quick start, get 15 lb each.
11. Vegetable/olive oil: for cooking, without it food burns/must be boiled, have at least 2 quarts on hand.
12. Milk – Powdered and Condensed: Shake liquid every 3 to 4 months.
13. Canned goods: Fruits, veggies, soups, stews, meats (tuna-in oil, salmon, chicken, spam), etc.: While shopping, buy a couple extra cans every week in order to ‘double stock’ your cupboards.
14. Baking supplies: flour, yeast, salt, baking powder, baking soda: Have at least a double supply of the basics.
15. Pet food, bedding, waste disposal and vet supplies; Double supplies on canned, and long-term with the dry goods.
16. Garlic, spices (esp. cinnamon), Soy sauce, vinegar, bouillon/gravy/soup base.
17. Chocolate/Cocoa/Tang/Punch (water enhancers)
18. Coffee,  Tea
19. Aluminum foil (Reg. and Heavy Duty): Great cooking and barter item.
20. Cigarettes
21. Wine/Liquors: For bribes, medicinal, etc. Tradable units should be in smaller volumes/trade units, ie, 375 ml. or ½ pint.
22. Chewing gum/candies
23. Graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, Trail mix, Jerky
24. Popcorn, Peanut Butter, Nuts
25. Vitamins: Critical, due to potential of having canned food diets over an extended period.
26. Hand-Can openers and hand egg beaters, whisks: are life savers!
27. Garbage bags: Impossible to have too many.
28. Cook stoves: Propane, Coleman and Kerosene
29. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder: Urgent: Small canister use is dangerous without this item.
30. Propane cylinders, Coleman fuel: Definite shortages will occur. Safe to store, with long-term shelf life.
31. Propane Heater(s), i.e., Mr. Heater: and all accessories that go with it: extra propane tanks,heads, hoses, etc.
32. Mantles: Aladdin, Coleman, etc. : Without this item, longer-term lighting is difficult.
33. Grain Grinder: Non-electric
34. Cast iron cookware: Sturdy, efficient, adapt to camp fire use.
35. Matches, butane lighters: “Strike Anywhere” matches preferred, boxed, wooden matches will disappear first.
36. Charcoal and Lighter fluid: Will become scarce suddenly.
37. Gasoline containers (Type II, Metal)
38. Seasoned Firewood: About $250 per cord; wood takes 6 – 12 mos. to become dried, for home uses.
39. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps: First choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile ANY!
40. Coleman Fuel: URGENT $2.69-$3.99/gal. Impossible to stockpile too much.
41. Fishing accessories: line, hooks, bobbers, etc.
42. Lighting sources: For short-term and long-term: Flashlights, hurricane lamps, light sticks, etc. Have Mantles and common repair parts on hand.
43. Batteries: Rechargeable: if possible, try to have all devices work from one or two battery sizes, i.e., AA and/or AAA.
44. Solar panel, storage battery & inverter kit: to recharge your AA & AAA batteries; cell phone, iPod, lap top and other small electronics.
45. Paper plates/cups/utensils: Stock up, folks.
46. Bow saw, axe, hatchet and Wedges, honing oil: For preparing firewood.
47. Seasoned firewood, 1+ cord: (4 ft x 4 ft x 8 ft) Cut & split, takes 6-12 month to dry for use.
48. Coleman’s Pump Repair Kit: 1(800) 835-3278
49. Carbon Monoxide Alarm (battery powered)
50. Fire extinguishers: In every room…In a social breakdown, services may not be available.
51. First aid kits: Topical skin treatments, anti acids, Tylenol, Vagicile, antibiotics, antiseptics, bandages and gauze, anti diahhreal, laxative, eye wash… Google “Patriot Nurse” and see her many YouTube videos.
52. N95 disposable face masks, ½ face respirator/full face respirator with N100 and All hazard filters, Tyvek suit, rubber gloves, Potassium iodide pills: For pandemic, radioactive dust, biological agents.
53. Coleman lantern, kerosene lamps, lantern hangers.
54. Guns, spare clips, ammunition, body armor, Pepper spray, knives, extendable steel baton, bats & slingshot.
55. Writing paper/pads/pencils/solar calculators. Journals, Diaries and Scrapbooks: To jot down ideas, feelings, experiences of the historic times!
56. Insulated ice chests: Good for keeping items from freezing in wintertime.
57. Candles: 9 hour lantern candles are available through Amazon and in Wal-Mart camping department.
58. Plastic containers: bathing (per person); communal: laundry, dish wash & rinse, misc.
59. Laundry detergent, liquid.
60. Garbage cans Plastic: Great for storage, water, transport – if you buy one with wheels.
61. Atomizers: For cooling/bathing.
62. Fishing supplies and tools.
63. Mosquito coils, repellent sprays, creams.
64. Duct tape: Several rolls.
65. Tarps/stakes/twine/nails/rope/spikes: Tarps large enough to make a tent (12×16+) others for ground cloths, to catch rain water, other.
66. Backpacks, Duffle bags (BOB): If no BOB, then a back pack for each member of the family.
67. Scissors, fabrics and sewing supplies.
68. Clorox Household Bleach: Plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite. Water purification, sanitation.
69. Garden seeds (Non-hybrid): A must.
70. Garden tools and supplies.
71. Canning supplies: Jars/lids/wax.
72. Knives and Sharpening tools: files, stones, steel.
73. Bicycles…Tires/tubes/pumps/chains, etc.
74. Sleeping bags and blankets, pillows & mats.
75. Cots and Inflatable Mattresses: For emergency ‘guests’.
76. Survival guide book(s), Boy Scout Handbook.
77. Board games, cards, dice, books, crossword puzzles: To help pass the time. The greater the disaster, the more time you’ll have.
78. Baby Wipes, oils, waterless and Anti-bacterial soap: Saves a lot of water.
79. Feminine Hygiene, Hair care, Skin products: Tampons, shampoo, lip balm, moisturizing lotion, sun tan lotion.
80. Men’s Hygiene: Shaving supplies, shampoo, toothbrush/paste, mouthwash, floss, nail clippers.
81. Basin, washboard, mop bucket with wringer: for Laundry.
82. Clothespins, clothes line, hangers: A must. Have clothes pins in stock and eye bolts for line installed ahead of time.
83. Adequate clothing: Work boots, belts, Levis denim trousers and durable shirts for cool weather.‘Tennis shoes’ and light twill, khaki pants and light-colored shirts for hot climates.
84. Spare glasses, reading glasses.
85. Gloves: Work/warming/gardening, etc.
86. Socks, Underwear, T-shirts, etc: Extras
87. Thermal underwear: Tops and bottoms.
88. Hats and cotton neckerchiefs. Polymer filled, ‘Cool wrap’ neck bandanas.
89. Woolen clothing, scarves/ear-muffs/mittens.
90. Rain gear, rubberized boots, etc.
91. Roll-on Window Insulation Kit, clear and black plastic sheeting: Enough to cover all windows and entry doors.
92. Lumber: All types, a couple of sheets of plywood, some 2×4 and 2x2s.
93. Wagons and carts: For transport to and from open Flea markets.
94. “Survival-in-a-Can”/compact  survival kit.
95. Screen Patches, glue, nails, screws, nuts and bolts.
96. Paraffin wax
97. D-Con Rat poison, MOUSE PRUFE II, Roach Killer.
98. Mousetraps, Ant traps and cockroach magnets.
99. Glue, nails, nuts, bolts, screws, etc.
100. Small livestock: Goats, sheep, chickens
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C.  Advice From a  Sarajevo War Survivor: Experiencing horrible things that can happen in a war – death of parents and friends, hunger and malnutrition, endless freezing cold, fear, sniper attacks.
1.  Stockpiling helps. But you never know how long trouble will last, so locate near renewable food sources.
2.  Living near a well with a manual pump is like being in Eden.
3.  After awhile, even gold can lose its luster.  But there is no luxury in war quite like toilet  paper.  Its surplus value is greater than gold’s.
4.  If you had to go without one utility, lose electricity – it’s the easiest to do without (unless you’re in a very nice climate with no need for heat.)
5.  Canned foods are awesome, especially if their contents are tasty without heating.  One of the best things to stockpile is canned gravy – it makes a lot of the dry unappetizing things you find to eat in war somewhat edible.  Only needs enough heat to “warm”, not to cook. It’s cheap too, especially if you buy it in bulk.
6.  Bring some books – escapist ones like romance or mysteries become more valuable as the war continues. Sure, it’s great to have a lot of survival guides, but you’ll figure most of that out on your own anyway – trust me, you’ll have a lot of time on your hands.
7.  The feeling that you’re human can fade pretty fast.  I can’t tell you how many people I knew who would have traded a much-needed meal for just a little bit of toothpaste, rouge, soap or cologne.  Not much point in fighting if you have to lose your humanity.  These things are morale-builders like nothing else. 8.  Slow burning candles and matches, matches, matches.

Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/when-shtf-these-100-items-will-disappear-first_06032010

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D.   Survival Tools This list could easily run into the thousands of items, but here are a few you should think about having around the house and/or the retreat. These are for the survival situation when TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) occurs rapidly, leaving you without the modern conveniences, little or no resources outside of what you have at hand, and a government that cares more about taking care of itself than caring for you and the thousands of other refugees.

As a general rule, avoid products that require batteries, or use consumables such as gasoline and propane, unless you have large storage tanks for fuel. If you can, look for radios and flashlights that can be powered by hand or contain rechargeable batteries and a self-contained solar panel.

Spend your money wisely, as the hundreds or thousands you spend on a night vision devices could buy you months worth of food.

Note, this is not intended as your bug out bag, automotive survival stash or 72 hour kit. But these are tools you may not have on hand that could be very useful in a survival situation.

  • Chain saw (with spare gas and oil): Great for clearing storm damage, rescuing others or cutting down a tree to block easy access to your house, neighborhood or retreat.
  • Axe and/or Hatchet: If you need to chop some fire wood, split some small logs or clear away some brush, an axe is a good second to the chain saw. Hatchets are great for making kindling and kids can use them, too.
  • A Hand Saw: If you don’t have a chain saw, you can still cut through a pretty good-sized log with a large hand saw. Get one with large teeth made for cutting logs, not mitering corners. This will be much more efficient for cutting logs than an axe.
  • Shovel: You never know when you might need to dig a hole, and it’s tough without tools. If you need to build a latrine, it will be a lot easier with a shovel than the survival knife on your belt. Same for an improvised nuclear shelter. Captain Dave keeps a folding shovel in his car, just in case. If you live where the soil is especially rocky, a pick and/or pry bar would be good additions to the list.
  •  Rope: Thick, thin or in between, there are 101 uses for rope and twine. From an improvised line for drying flooded or rain-drenched items to lashing items to the roof of your bug-out vehicle, you should keep a few different kinds on hand.
  •  Knife: Captain Dave recommends carrying a knife at all times. But a larger knife is useful for dozens of possible tasks, from whittling a tent stake to cutting a fishing spear. Once you have a general-purpose knife or two, you can add skinning knives, folding knives, etc.
  •  Sharpening stone: This will help keep you knife, axe, and other bladed implements sharp and ready for use. Add a file for the axe and hatchet.
  • Big wrench: It’s possible you will need to turn off your gas or water main if your domicile receives serious damage. While special non-sparking wrenches are made specifically for turning off the gas, any wrench will do in a pinch.
  •  Cast iron frying pan and Dutch oven: A properly treated cast iron frying pan is great for cooking eggs or rodents on a gas stove or over a camp fire. And a Dutch oven will cook everything from stew to bread.
  •  Tin cups, and plates: Glass and china products will break, especially in a rough survival environment. Metal products are lighter to carry and can be tossed off the shelf in a quake with no side effects. Plastic is a good alternative, but you cannot heat a plastic cup over an open fire. The enamel products, built for camping, are the nicest available.
  •  Hand powered grinder/mill: If you store buckets of grain, Captain Dave assumes you have thought of this necessity.
  • Bucket: Whether you need to haul water, or carry vegetables from the garden to the house, a bucket is an item you will be hard pressed to make.
  •  Plastic jugs or other water containers: You may need to carry water from a nearby source, and gallon jugs are easy enough for everyone in the family to carry.
  • Fire starter: Once the power goes out, you’ll be depending on a fire to cook, boil water, keep warm, etc. You need to make sure you have plenty of different fire starting materials. Lighters and matches are good, but alternatives such as a flint and steel are  even better in the long run.
  •  Sleeping bag and/or blankets: The value these will provide in keeping warm at night should be self evident.
  •  Multiple light sources: A hurricane lantern that burns kerosene is very convenient, more so than a Coleman lantern. Keep flashlights on hand for short-term use but stock up on candles. It gets pretty dark when the electricity is out for days or weeks, and they are warm and comforting.
  • Tarp/plastic sheets: Ideal when you need to keep something dry, create a temporary shelter or rig a catch system to trap rain water.
  • Gun: You should give serious consideration to owning a gun for self-protection. If you take personal  survival seriously, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to explore the benefits of gun ownership.
  •  Bicycle: After the immediate emergency dies down, you may need to get around your local area, and a bike is an excellent alternative when cars are not practical. Maybe there’s a lack of gasoline or downed bridges and overpasses, as we saw after the big California quake. You can carry a bike over broken cement and can cover much more ground than walking. If society breaks down to the extent that you need to use a bike, they will be very expensive. So get one now and use it recreationally.
  • Shortwave Radio: If the situation is  so bad the local radio and TV stations are off the air, you will need a shortwave radio set to hear news from other countries around the world. For local communications, a CB radio and a scanner are nice additions. Pasted from: http://www.captaindaves.com/guide/tools.htm

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E.  Maslow’s Hierarchy of our Needs  

1.  Physiological needs(base tier) For the most part, physiological needs are obvious — they are the literal requirements for human survival. If these requirements are not met, the human body simply cannot continue to function.

Air, water, and food are metabolic requirements for survival in all animals, including humans. Clothing and shelter provide necessary protection from the elements. The intensity of the human sexual instinct is shaped more by sexual competition than maintaining a birth rate adequate to survival of the species.

2.  Safety needs With their physical needs relatively satisfied, the individual’s safety needs take precedence and dominate behavior. These needs have to do with people’s yearning for a predictable orderly world in which perceived unfairness and inconsistency are under control, the familiar frequent and the unfamiliar rare. In the world of work, these safety needs manifest themselves in such things as a preference for job security, grievance procedures for protecting the individual from unilateral authority, savings accounts, insurance policies, reasonable disability accommodations, and the like.

Safety and Security needs include:

  • Personal security
  • Financial security
  • Health and well-being
  • Safety net against accidents/illness and their adverse impacts

 3.  Love and belonging After physiological and safety needs are fulfilled, the third layer of human needs are social and involve feelings of belongingness. This aspect of Maslow’s hierarchy involves emotionally based relationships in general, such as:

  • Friendship
  • Intimacy
  • Family

Humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance, whether it comes from a large social group, such as clubs, office culture, religious groups, professional organizations, sports teams, gangs, or small social connections (family members, intimate partners, mentors, close colleagues, confidants). They need to love and be loved (sexually and non-sexually) by others. In the absence of these elements, many people become susceptible to loneliness, social anxiety, and clinical depression. This need for belonging can often overcome the physiological and security needs, depending on the strength of the peer pressure; an anorexic, for example, may ignore the need to eat and the security of health for a feeling of control and belonging.

4.  Esteem All humans have a need to be respected and to have self-esteem and self-respect. Also  known as the belonging need, esteem presents the normal human desire to be accepted and valued by others. People need to engage themselves to gain recognition and have an activity or activities that give the person a sense of contribution, to feel accepted and self-valued, be it in a profession or hobby. Imbalances at this level can result in low self-esteem or an inferiority complex. People with low self-esteem need respect from others. They may seek fame or glory, which again depends on others. Note, however, that many people with low self-esteem will not be able to improve their view of themselves simply by receiving fame, respect, and glory externally, but must first accept themselves internally. Psychological imbalances such as depression can also prevent one from obtaining self-esteem on both levels.

Most people have a need for a stable self-respect and self-esteem. Maslow noted two versions of esteem needs, a lower one and a higher one. The lower one is the need for the respect of others, the need for status, recognition, fame, prestige, and attention. The higher one is the need for self-respect, the need for strength, competence, mastery, self-confidence, independence and freedom. The latter one ranks higher because it rests more on inner competence won through experience. Deprivation of these needs can lead to an inferiority complex, weakness and helplessness.

Maslow also states that even though these are examples of how the quest for knowledge is separate from basic needs he warns that these “two hierarchies are interrelated rather than sharply separated”. This means that this level of need, as well as the next and highest level, are not strict, separate levels but closely related to others, and this is possibly the reason that these two levels of need are left out of most textbooks.

5.  Self-actualization “What a man can be, he must be.”This forms the basis of the perceived need for self-actualization. This level of need pertains to what a person’s full potential is and realizing that potential. Maslow describes this desire as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming. This is a broad definition of the need for self-actualization, but when applied to individuals the need is specific. For example one individual may have the strong desire to become an ideal parent, in another it may be expressed athletically, and in another it may be expressed in painting, pictures, or inventions. As mentioned before, in order to reach a clear understanding of this level of need one must first not only achieve the previous needs, physiological, safety, love, and esteem, but master these needs.

 Deprivation Needs The first four levels are considered deficiency or deprivation needs in that their lack of satisfaction causes a deficiency that motivates people to meet these needs. Physiological needs, the lowest level on the hierarchy, include necessities such as air, food, and water. These tend to be satisfied for most people, but they become predominant when unmet. During emergencies, safety needs such as health and security rise to the forefront. Once these two levels are met, belongingness needs, such as obtaining love and intimate relationships or close friendships, become important. The next level, esteem needs, include the need for recognition from others, confidence, achievement, and self-esteem.

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Heat wave

(Disaster Manual/1. Disaster/Heat wave)

What Is Extreme Heat?
Conditions of extreme heat are defined as summertime temperatures that are substantially hotter and/or more humid than average for location at that time of year. Humid or muggy conditions, which add to the discomfort of high temperatures, occur when a “dome” of high atmospheric pressure traps hazy, damp air near the ground. Extremely dry and hot conditions can provoke dust storms and low visibility. Droughts occur when a long period passes without substantial rainfall. A heat wave combined with a drought is a very dangerous situation.

Heat Waves and Energy Crunches: the Future is Now
Alex Steffen, 16 Jul 2010
Two stories I came across yesterday struck me as particularly indicative of the gulf between the speed at which global change is unfolding and our perceptions of the urgency of the issues. There’s often a presumption that we have decades to change (so change can begin gradually) and decades more before we have to worry about impacts. The evidence, though, increasingly points to a much shorter horizon for action and adaptation.

1.  The first story reports on a big Stanford study which combined the latest suite of climate models to understand how climate change already under way is likely to affect the hottest extremes of weather in the Western U.S.: “The results were surprising. According to the climate models, an intense heat wave — equal to the longest on record from 1951 to 1999 — is likely to occur as many as five times between 2020 and 2029 over areas of the western and central United States.
The Stanford team also forecast a dramatic spike in extreme seasonal temperatures during the current decade. Temperatures equaling the hottest season on record from 1951 to 1999 could occur four times between now and 2019 over much of the U.S., according to the researchers.
The 2020s and 2030s could be even hotter, particularly in the American West. From 2030 to 2039, most areas of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico could endure at least seven seasons equally as intense as the hottest season ever recorded between 1951 and 1999, the researchers concluded.
The mean global temperature in 30 years would be about 3.6 degrees F (2 degrees C) hotter than in the pre-industrial era of the 1850s.
Many climate scientists and policymakers have targeted a 2-degree C temperature increase as the maximum threshold beyond which the planet is likely to experience serious environmental damage, the study says.
“Frankly, I was expecting that we’d see large temperature increases later this century with higher greenhouse gas levels and global warming,” Diffenbaugh said. “I did not expect to see anything this large within the next three decades. This was definitely a surprise.”

2.  The second story told of a new report from the venerable insurance company Lloyd’s of London and the Royal Institute of International Affairs (often called Chatham House) finding that Peak Oil, rising global demand for energy and the need for emissions reductions (not to mention the vulnerability of energy infrastructure to climate change and political turmoil) are very likely to bring big shifts in energy prices in the relatively short term:  The review is groundbreaking because it comes from the heart of the City and contains the kind of dire warnings that are more associated with environmental groups or others accused by critics of resorting to hype. It takes a pot shot at the International Energy Agency which has been under fire for apparently under-estimating the threats, noting: “IEA expectations [on crude output] over the last decade have generally gone unmet.”
The report the world is heading for a global oil supply crunch and high prices owing to insufficient investment in oil production plus a rebound in global demand following recession. It repeats warning from Professor Paul Stevens, a former economist from Dundee University, at an earlier Chatham House conference that lack of oil by 2013 could force the price of crude above $200 a barrel.

Both of these studies bear further examination and debate, of course, but the overall trend which I see them contributing to has become increasingly clear: a growing chorus of those tasked most explicitly with responsibility for our future — doctors, generals, diplomats, scientists — all telling us that when it comes to planetary crisis, the future is now.
Contrast that urgency with the political debate in most countries. What we see is an appalling gap between our elected leaders’ perception that these are problems for future generations to solve and the reality that we’re already dealing with them today.
There’s a quote that’s been bouncing around the Worldchanging office recently: “When there’s a gap between perception and reality, more reality won’t close the gap.” The gap between the political perception of our problems being slow and distant and the reality of acceleration and imminence points again at the importance of stories that help change our perspectives on scope, scale and speed.
<http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/011398.html>
<http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2010/07/13/Future-heat-waves-forecast-to-hurt-health/UPI-72121278993750/#ixzz1LjtgnFWo>

Extreme Heat: Know the Terms   (see section, E.  Hot Weather Health Emergencies, below)
•  Heat Wave: A prolonged period of excessive heat, often combined with excessive humidity.
•  Heat Index: A number in degrees Fahrenheit (F) that tells how hot it feels when relative humidity is added to the air temperature. Exposure to full sunshine can increase the heat index by 15 degrees.
•  Heat Cramps: Muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. Although heat cramps are the least severe, they are often the first signal that the body is having trouble with the heat.
•  Heat Exhaustion: Typically occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a hot, humid place where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating. Blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood flow to decrease to the vital organs. This results in a form of mild shock. If not treated, the victim’s condition will worsen. Body temperature will keep rising and the victim may suffer heat stroke.
•  Heat Stroke: A life-threatening condition. The victim’s temperature control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working. The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly.
•  Sun Stroke: Another term for heat stroke.

Heat Emergencies
A. Before Extreme Heat
To prepare for extreme heat, you should:
•  Install window air conditioners snugly; insulate if necessary.
•  Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.
•  Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapes), such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
•  Weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
•  Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers. (Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent.)
•  Keep storm windows up all year.
Pasted from <http://www.fema.gov/hazard/heat/heat_before.shtm>

B. During a Heat Emergency
What you should do if the weather is extremely hot:
•  Stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun. Stay in the shade when possible, and avoid prolonged sun exposure during the hottest part of the day, between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. I know you may want to get a tan.. but trust me, you look just fine the way you are. Skin cancer is not worth it, also tanning speeds up the aging process of your skin.
•  Use sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of about 50—even on cloudy days. Apply a liberal amount of sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
•  Stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine if air conditioning is not available.
•  Consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, and other community facilities. Circulating air can cool the body by increasing the perspiration rate of evaporation.
•  Eat small meals of carbohydrates, salads and fruit, and eat more often. Avoid foods that are high in protein, because they increase metabolic heat. This will help your body regulate in the heat easier.
•  Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
•  Drink plenty of water. Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously even if you don’t feel thirsty. Injury and death can occur from dehydration, which can happen quickly and unnoticed. Symptoms of dehydration are often confused with other causes. Your body needs water to keep cool. Water is the safest liquid to drink during heat emergencies. This is especially true in an emergency.
•  Keep water in your vehicle.
•  Avoid drinks with alcoholic or caffeine. They can make you feel good briefly, but make the heat’s effects on your body worse. This is especially true about beer, which actually dehydrates the body. People who are on fluid-restrictive diets or who have a problem with fluid retention should consult their doctor before increasing liquid intake.
•  Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors reflect heat and sunlight and help you maintain a normal body temperature. Cover as much skin as possible to avoid sunburn and over-warming effects of sunlight on your body. Keep direct sunlight off your face by wearing a wide-brimmed hat. Sunlight can burn and warm and inner core of your body. Also use umbrellas and sunglasses to shield against the sun’s rays. keep a form of shade shelter in your car such as a tube tent for emergencies.
•  Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
•  Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
•  Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat, and take frequent breaks. If you must engage in strenuous activity, do so during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. Try to do outside yard work during these early cool hours or at dusk when the sun is not directly on you.
•  Change into dry clothing if your clothes become saturated with sweat.

Additional Information
An emergency water shortage can be caused by prolonged drought, poor water supply management, or contamination of a surface water supply source or aquifer.
Drought can affect vast territorial regions and large population numbers. Drought also creates environmental conditions that increasethe risk of other hazards such as fire, flash flood, and possible landslides and debris flow.  Conserving water means more water available for critical needs for everyone.
Pasted from <http://www.fema.gov/hazard/heat/heat_during.shtm>

C.  Extreme Heat: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety
•  Elderly people (65 years and older), infants and children and people with chronic medical conditions are more prone to heat stress.
•  Air-conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death. During conditions of extreme heat, spend time in locations with air-conditioning such as shopping malls, public libraries, or public health sponsored heat-relief shelters in your area.
•  Get informed. Listen to local news and weather channels or contact your local public health department during extreme heat conditions for health and safety updates
•  Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages and increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level.

Heat related notes

1.  Heat-related deaths and illness are preventable yet annually many people succumb to extreme heat. Historically, from 1979-2003, excessive heat exposure caused 8,015 deaths in the United States. During this period, more people in this country died from extreme heat than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined. In 2001, 300 deaths were caused by excessive heat exposure.
2.  People suffer heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to compensate and properly cool themselves. The body normally cools itself by sweating. But under some conditions, sweating just isn’t enough. In such cases, a person’s body temperature rises rapidly. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs.
3.  Several factors affect the body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather. When the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly. Other conditions related to risk include age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use.
4.  Because heat-related deaths are preventable, people need to be aware of who is at greatest risk and what actions can be taken to prevent a heat-related illness or death. The elderly, the very young, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases are at highest risk. However, even young and healthy individuals can succumb to heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather. 5.  Air-conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death. If a home is not air-conditioned, people can reduce their risk for heat-related illness by spending time in public facilities that are air-conditioned.
6.  Summertime activity, whether on the playing field or the construction site, must be balanced with measures that aid the body’s cooling mechanisms and prevent heat-related illness. This pamphlet tells how you can prevent, recognize, and cope with heat-related health problems.

D.  During Hot Weather
To protect your health when temperatures are extremely high, remember to keep cool and use common sense. The following tips are important:
1.  Drink Plenty of Fluids:  During hot weather you will need to increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. During heavy exercise in a hot environment, drink two to four cup/glasses (16-32 ounces) of cool fluids each hour.
Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol, or large amounts of sugar—these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
2.  Replace Salt and Minerals: Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body. These are necessary for your body and must be replaced. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. However, if you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage or taking salt tablets.
3.  Wear Appropriate Clothing and Sunscreen:  Wear as little clothing as possible when you are at home. Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. It also causes pain and damages the skin. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) along with sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels) 30 minutes prior to going out. Continue to reapply it according to the package directions.
4.  Schedule Outdoor Activities Carefully: If you must be outdoors, try to limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. Try to rest often in shady areas so that your body’s thermostat will have a chance to recover.
5.  Pace Yourself:  If you are not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, STOP all activity. Get into a cool area or at least into the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint.
6.  Stay Cool Indoors:  Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library—even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area. Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath or moving to an air- conditioned place is a much better way to cool off. Use your stove and oven less to maintain a cooler temperature in your home
7.  Use a Buddy System:  When working in the heat, monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do the same for you. Heat-induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose consciousness. If you are 65 years of age or older, have a friend or relative call to check on you twice a day during a heat wave. If you know someone in this age group, check on them at least twice a day.
8.  Monitor Those at High Risk:  Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others.
•  Infants and young children are sensitive to the effects of high temperatures and rely on others to regulate their environments and provide adequate liquids.
•  People 65 years of age or older may not compensate for heat stress efficiently and are less likely to sense and respond to change in temperature.
•  People who are overweight may be prone to heat sickness because of their tendency to retain more body heat.
•  People who overexert during work or exercise may become dehydrated and susceptible to heat sickness.
•  People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation, may be affected by extreme heat.
•  Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.
•  Adjust to the Environment:  Be aware that any sudden change in temperature, such as an early summer heat wave, will be stressful to your body. You will have a greater tolerance for heat if you limit your physical activity until you become accustomed to the heat. If you travel to a hotter climate, allow several days to become acclimated before attempting any vigorous exercise, and work up to it gradually

Do Not Leave Children in Cars
Even in cool temperatures, cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly. Even with the windows cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes. Anyone left inside is at risk for serious heat-related illnesses or even death. Children who are left unattended in parked cars are at greatest risk for heat stroke, and possibly death. When traveling with children, remember to do the following:
•  Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.
•  To remind yourself that a child is in the car, keep a stuffed animal in the car seat. When the child is buckled in, place the stuffed animal in the front with the driver.
•  When leaving your car, check to be sure everyone is out of the car. Do not overlook any children who have fallen asleep in the car.

Use Common Sense
Remember to keep cool and use common sense:
•  Avoid hot foods and heavy meals—they add heat to your body.
•  Drink plenty of fluids and replace salts and minerals in your body. Do not take salt tablets unless under medical supervision.
•  Dress infants and children in cool, loose clothing and shade their heads and faces with hats or an umbrella.
•  Limit sun exposure during mid-day hours and in places of potential severe exposure such as beaches.
•  Do not leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car.
•  Provide plenty of fresh water for your pets, and leave the water in a shady area.

E.  Hot Weather Health Emergencies
Even short periods of high temperatures can cause serious health problems. During hot weather health emergencies, keep informed by listening to local weather and news channels or contact local health departments for health and safety updates. Doing too much on a hot day, spending too much time in the sun or staying too long in an overheated place can cause heat-related illnesses. Know the symptoms of heat disorders and overexposure to the sun, and be ready to give first aid treatment.

Extreme Heat Protection
Extreme heat exposure occurs when the body’s temperature cannot maintain a normal temperature. Usually sweating will cool the body but sometimes it is not enough. Brain damage and organ damage can happen if the body temperature remains too high for too long. When humidity is high, sweat cannot evaporate quickly enough and prevents the body from releasing heat.

Heat Stroke
Heat stroke occurs when the body is unable to regulate its temperature. The body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. Body temperature may rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat  stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.

Recognizing Heat Stroke
Warning signs of heat stroke vary but may include the following:
•  An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F, orally)
•  Dizziness
•  Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
•  Nausea
•  Rapid, strong pulse
•  Confusion
•  Lightweight clothing
•  Throbbing headache
•  Unconsciousness

What to Do
If you see any of these signs, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency. Have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the victim. Do the following:
•  Get the victim to a shady area.
•  Cool the victim rapidly using whatever methods you can. For example, immerse the victim in a tub of cool water; place the person in a cool shower; spray the victim with cool water from a garden hose; sponge the person with cool water; or if the humidity is low, wrap the victim in a cool, wet sheet and fan him or her vigorously.
•  Monitor body temperature, and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101-102°F.
•  If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.
•  Do not give the victim fluids to drink.
•  Get medical assistance as soon as possible.
•  Sometimes a victim’s muscles will begin to twitch uncontrollably as a result of heat stroke. If this happens, keep the victim from injuring himself, but do not place any object in the mouth and do not give fluids. If there is vomiting, make sure the airway remains open by turning the victim on his or her side.

Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. It is the body’s response to an excessive loss of the water and salt contained in sweat. Those most prone to heat exhaustion are elderly people, people with high blood pressure, and people working or exercising in a hot environment.

Recognizing Heat Exhaustion
Warning signs of heat exhaustion include the following:
•  Heavy sweating
•  Dizziness
•  Paleness
•  Headache
•  Muscle cramps
•  Nausea or vomiting
•  Tiredness
•  Fainting
•  Weakness

The skin may be cool and moist. The victim’s pulse rate will be fast and weak, and breathing will be fast and shallow. If heat exhaustion is untreated, it may progress to heat stroke. Seek medical attention immediately if any of the following occurs:
•  Symptoms are severe
•  The victim has heart problems or high blood pressure.  Otherwise, help the victim to cool off, and seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or last longer than 1 hour.

What to Do
Cooling measures that may be effective include the following:
•  Cool, nonalcoholic beverages
•  An air-conditioned environment
•  Rest
•  Lightweight clothing
•  Cool shower, bath, or sponge bath

Heat Cramps
Heat cramps usually affect people who sweat a lot during strenuous activity. This sweating depletes the body’s salt and moisture. The low salt level in the muscles may be the cause of heat cramps. Heat cramps may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion.

Recognizing Heat Cramps
Heat cramps are muscle pains or spasms—usually in the abdomen, arms, or legs—that may occur in association with strenuous activity. If you have heart problems or are on a low-sodium diet, get medical attention for heat cramps.

What to Do
If medical attention is not necessary, take these steps:
•  Stop all activity, and sit quietly in a cool place.
•  Drink clear juice or a sports beverage.
•  Do not return to strenuous activity for a few hours after the cramps subside, because further exertion may lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
•Seek medical attention for heat cramps if they do not subside in 1 hour.

Sunburn
Sunburn should be avoided because it damages the skin. Although the discomfort is usually minor and healing often occurs in about a week, a more severe sunburn may require medical attention.

Recognizing Sunburn
Symptoms of sunburn are well known: the skin becomes red, painful, and abnormally warm after sun exposure.

What to Do
Consult a doctor if the sunburn affects an infant younger than 1 year of age or if these symptoms are present:
•  Fever
•  Fluid-filled blisters
•  Severe pain
Also, remember these tips when treating sunburn:
•  Avoid repeated sun exposure.
•  Apply cold compresses or immerse the sunburned area in cool water.
•  Apply moisturizing lotion to affected areas. Do not use salve, butter, or ointment.
•  Do not break blisters.

Heat Rash
Heat rash is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather. It can occur at any age but is most  common in young children.

Recognizing Heat Rash
Heat rash looks like a red cluster of pimples or small blisters. It is more likely to occur on the neck and upper chest, in the groin, under the breasts, and in elbow creases.

What to Do
The best treatment for heat rash is to provide a cooler, less humid environment. Keep the affected area dry. Dusting powder may be used to increase comfort.
Treating heat rash is simple and usually does not require medical assistance. Other heat-related problems can be much more severe.

F.   Heat Stress in the Elderly
Elderly people (that is, people aged 65 years and older) are more prone to heat stress than younger people for several reasons:
•  Elderly people do not adjust as well as young people to sudden changes in temperature.
•  They are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that changes normal body responses to heat.
•  They are more likely to take prescription medicines that impair the body’s ability to regulate its temperature or that inhibit perspiration.

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Filed under __1. Disaster

How to stay cool at home

( Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ How to stay cool at home)

RainManA. How to stay cool without AC
19 July 2012 by The Ready Store
Pasted from: http://www.thereadystore.com/emergency-plans/4320/how-to-stay-cool-without-ac?utm_source=rne_ep101_mon_20120730&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ep101&utm_content=main

Summer heat is upon us and it’s important to stay cool. With heat waves rolling across the United States, it’s essential to not get overheated and dehydrated. Many deaths have even been connected to power outages during the heat wave.
These tips will help you and your family stay safe in a power outage situation but might also help you save some money during the summer months.

Heat sunClose Your Windows. Your first instinct might be to open your windows but often this will make your home hotter instead of cooler. Close your windows, blinds and shades during the day to keep the sun and heat out and trapping the cool in. Open your windows at night if it gets cooler outside.

 Eat Cold Foods. Keep your body temperature down by consuming colder foods that will lower the temperature inside of you. This will also prevent you from using stoves and ovens that will raise the temperature in your house. 

Install Attic Insulation. This is a great way to keep that cool air in your home and not escaping through the ceiling. This will allow you to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. 

Plant Trees Strategically. Everyone loves sitting in the cool shade on a nice hot day. Where you plant your trees can have a large effect on where that shade is. Be sure to plant deciduous trees on the east and west sides of your home. During the winter, the sun won’t be blocked from getting to your home. You can also plant trees near sides of your house that have a lot of windows.

- Stay prepared with enough emergency water for your family -

Install Awnings. Just like a tree works to block the sun’s rays and provide you with shade, an awning can do the same thing.

 Wear Light-Colored, Loose-Fitting Clothing. This will keep your body cool and breezy. Wearing dark or black clothing will absorb the sun and make you hotter. Wear light colors like white and tan.

 Food and Refrigeration. If the power goes out for an extended amount of time, the food in your fridge might begin to go bad. You can use a cooler with ice to keep perishable foods good. You should also begin to eat the foods that won’t keep. If you have freeze-dried foods, you don’t need to worry, they won’t spoil!

Avoid Alcohol. To prevent dehydration, avoid drinking alcoholic drinks. Instead, stick to the water bottles and juices.

heat water Drink Water. To avoid dehydration, continue to drink water. It’s recommended that you have about eight glasses of water per day.

 Stay Out Of The Sun. This seems pretty intuitive but, to avoid the heat stay out of the sun!

Responses to How to stay cool without AC
•  I sit in front of computer, TV, or read a book with my feet in a tub of room temp water – it is amazing how cool you feel with wet feet. I also use a wet cloth around my neck and wear as few clothes as possible. I keep a couple cans of pork and beans and veggie soup in fridge and pretend I’m camping and eat them right out of the can. Cold food keeps my internal temp cool and then I try to see humor in it all so I don’t get upset and stressed and heat up gain – lol.
•  After a few a few hurricanes, a fertile imagination has proved fruitful. During our 100° days and 80,90° nights we found that putting our 10″ portable battery operated fans do great when sat between or in front of ice coolers. Making for a great ice box effect. For those that experience respiratory issues this has proved to be a life saver. One set of batteries you can easily get 12- 18 hrs of breeze depending in fan setting. For extended seasons like the months after hurricane Rita, a small solar charger is a must. Using coat hangers you can also hang the small hand held dollar store fans in the window you sleep near and get a breezy nights sleep. Which was a great help to my mother whos health was very fragile during those days. We made it almost 3 months.
•  I worked in the desert for years and now live in the semi tropical heat and humidity of southwest Florida, While out in the desert 100+ degree sun we wet our shirt and hat or bandana. At night I would run cool clean water on a top sheet and wring it out as not to soak the bedding. Lay this over you and if possible add a fan to get the air moving around you to carry away your body heat. This works great with those accidental sunburns also combined with the cooling relief of aloe.
•  We keep our claw-foot tub filled with cold water, like a mini-pool. Everyone has access to it. No washing, just cooling. Then when you wake up in the middle of the night baking hot, unable to sleep, you take a quick, cool dip.
•  keep half gallon cartons of water in the freezer. when it gets too hot place the frozen carton into a tray of water (cooking pan or aluminum ) that is at least 2 inches deep. That’s it ,and it will lower the temp. in your room at least 10 degrees…. really works.
•  I installed a “Whole House” Fan years ago. In the summer when the days are 100+, I get up at 4:30am. I open all the windows and run the fan until 7 am. This pulls all the cool outside air into the house and pushes it through the attic. From 7am on, the house is closed up tight. Stays nice and cool. I also cook outside using a Coleman stove and a crock pot. Keeps all that heat where it should be … Outside!
•  Having fans on will circulate the air so it doesn’t get “stuffy”, thus making it seem cooler even without AC.
•  I went to Texas in August a few years ago and knew I would be miserable because of how hot it gets there. So I did a search on the internet for personal cooling systems and found something called Black Ice. With Black Ice I could get into my hot rental car in the Texas heat and be comfortable until the Air Conditioning kicked in. I also bought the soft ice bag cooler and kept it in the trunk so that I could always have a Black ice charging which takes about 20 minutes in ice water. Plus the hotel had an endless supply of Ice for me to keep my Black Ice charged. I understand it works great for hot flashes too! Here is their website: http://blackicecooling.com/index.html
•  Here’s what we did, when we lost power after a hurricane in Biloxi, Ms in 1985. Prior to the hurricane I had frozen a bunch of the rectangular milk and ice cream buckets I had saved. 1 gallon ice-cream buckets are great; because they will stay frozen a lot longer. Anyway, we put that ice in the fridge and it kept pretty well for a couple of days. But, we also had blocks stored in our upright freezer to help keep that stuff frozen for as long as possible. It was miserable without cool air. but I had filled our bathtub and our washing machine with water, prior to the hurricane, for washing, bathing, and flushing, (and also some other large containers.) It was great to be able to take some of the wash water and put it in a bowl of ice and wash with wash cloths. It helped to keep us cool. There are lots of things you can do to prepare and have a few things to make life a little easier after a power outage and these are just some. Get creative about how you can help alleviate the discomfort of a situation like this, you will be surprised at the things you might innovate. And don’t forget to store drinking water
•  Battery powered fans really help. Keep blinds on the windows closed. We had an attic fan installed and it really helps on a daily basis, but if we don’t have electricity I plan to open the door to the attic and hope the heat will rise into the attic and out the fan, even if it isn’t running. You might also look at solar attic fans. I’ve also read that you should open the windows at the top so the hot air flows out.
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B. Effective Natural Cooling Strategies
Aug 27th, 2012, Off The Grid News, By Nathan F
Pasted from: http://www.offthegridnews.com/2012/08/27/effective-natural-cooling-strategies/

…The dog days of summer are almost over now, as the temperatures in most places are finally starting to moderate into the range of the tolerable. The summer of 2012 has been the hottest we have seen in quite some time, and unless you have been spending the last three months holed up inside your home with the air conditioner blasting away, the chances are that you and your family have been suffering a good bit.

Of course, for those who live off-the-grid, power supplies are always at a premium, and therefore air conditioning is not really an option in most instances. Or at least, it is not a very practical option, since air conditioners are ranked near the top of the all-time energy hog list, and spending precious electrical resources to run such power-hungry machines is hardly consistent with an energy-efficient lifestyle. For this reason, off-the-gridders who live in climates where extreme summertime heat is an issue – and outside of Alaska, Hawaii, and maybe the Pacific Northwest, that is pretty much everywhere in the United States – should be leaving no stone unturned in their search for low-power and no-power ways to keep their homes cool when the mercury begins to rise.

heat fanWhile this year’s heat wave is now water under the bridge (in the form of a river of sweat), we can only imagine how bad things might get next year. So if you are willing to look ahead, there are a number of changes or modifications you may be able to make to your home and the surrounding homestead that will allow you to beat the heat when it returns with a vengeance in 2013. It wouldn’t be a bad idea at all to start making plans to address that situation now, so that you will be organized and ready to roll with your home renovation project come next spring, before those scorching summertime temperatures have the chance to go soaring into infinity.

Energy-Efficient Alternatives To The Air Conditioner While the need to save electricity may preclude the use of an air conditioner in most off-the-grid settings, there are a couple of power-drawing technologies that you may still want to consider using to help keep your home more comfortable in the summertime heat.

Fans of course are the alternative to air conditioners that everyone knows about. How many fans you would like to have going in your house at any one time is up to you, but for the sake of efficiency, you should certainly consider having ceiling fans installed in each and every room where people normally congregate. This low-power, aesthetically pleasing, virtually noiseless type of fan is extremely efficient in its operation and can reduce temperatures in the average room by up to four degrees when kept on for an extended period of time. Ceiling fans can be purchased that turn in either direction, so it is important to make sure you have fans that rotate in a counterclockwise direction in summer, which will create soothing indoor drafts by pulling warm air upwards.

The most powerful and effective type of ceiling fan is what is known as a whole-house fan. These centrally located machines are actually mounted in the ceiling instead of on it, and they work by drawing hot air upwards and funneling it through into the attic, where it can then be vented into the atmosphere. More sophisticated whole-house fan systems are available that can remove hot air from many rooms simultaneously before venting it through multiple interconnected openings, but the cost of a set-up like this can easily run into the thousands – which could be worth it, depending on how determined you are to keep things cool inside your humble abode.

Evaporative coolers are another possibility for those who are willing to cash in some of their electricity chips to keep their homes livable in summer. The appearance of an evaporative cooler is not all that different from an air conditioner, but rather than relying on the circulation of expensive chemical gases to remove excessive warmth from a room, these coolers instead take advantage of the process by which dry air loses heat whenever it interacts with water and causes it to evaporate. Because it operates by exploiting an entirely natural activity, an evaporative cooler only uses about 25 percent as much electricity as the average air conditioner, which can make it a good option for off-the-gridders living in arid areas where high humidity levels don’t interfere with the evaporative process.

There Is No Such Thing As Too Much Venting The thing to remember about the ability of moving air to cool warm humans is that as long as air temperatures are below the 98.6-degree threshold at which our bodies normally function, we can always make our homes feel cooler by encouraging good air movement. The best way – really, the only way – to do this without investing precious power resources is to fill our homes with as many holes or openings as possible, arranged in ways that work with prevailing wind patterns and the laws of physics to facilitate the maximum amount of interior air flow.

The most common type of opening in our homes are of course windows, and it is generally true that the more windows we have, the easier it will be to promote effective air passage. But windows aren’t the only choice available for those concerned with interior cooling; vents that allow air to enter on one side of the house and exit on the other are another possibility, and vents have an advantage over windows in that you don’t have to worry about covering them with shades to keep the sunlight from coming in during the hottest part of the day.

In order to maximize the cooling effects of both windows and vents, there are basically three things that must be done. First, once you know what the prevailing wind patterns in your area are, you will want to make sure that the openings in the walls of your home are set up to work with these patterns and not against them. In other words, if the winds in your area mostly blow from the south to the north, it will not do to have all of your windows installed in the east and west walls, or to have the largest windows on the east and west and smaller windows on the north and south. So when designing a new home or remodeling one that already exists, if good cooling is what you seek then window location is something that you must plan out with intelligence and foresight.

The second thing you must do is make sure that your openings of exit are elevated above your openings of entrance. This is because hot air naturally rises, which means if you let warm summer breezes in at a height of eight feet on the south side but try to sent them back out through vents or windows at a height of four feet on the north side, the air in your home will stagnate instead of flowing freely. Remember, you want to bring the outside air in, but you don’t want it to stick around once it enters your home, so it is important that your arrangement of vents and windows include openings that are higher on the side of exit than on the side of entrance.

The third thing you will need to do to keep air flowing steadily is to put vents, cutouts, or even windows in any walls on the inside of your home that could possibly obstruct the free movement of the air. Few homes are constructed with the principles of smooth and steady airflow in mind, so the idea of adding interior openings is nothing that should be sneezed at.

Roofs Need Venting Too As previously mentioned, whole-house fans can move air out of a home efficiently by sending it straight up through openings in the attic. But there are several other venting options available for the roofs of homes, and given the irresistible urge that all hot air has to rise, these possibilities should not be overlooked.

Some of the best roof-venting options available include:

  • Chimneys – with fireplace or without, chimneys can provide excellent vertical airflow and venting. If you paint the part of the chimney that extends above the roof black, or install a plane of glass at the top facing the southern sun, this will cause air near the top of a chimney to heat and thereby create an even stronger updraft effect than would exist under normal circumstances.
  • Operable skylights – they can be shuttered when the sun is shining directly down on them and opened during the hours of the day when it is not.
  • Turbine ventilators – these neat devices look like spinning tops sitting on top of the roof as they efficiently suck the warm air up from below.
  • Atriums these will add beauty, a feeling of serenity, and high-quality air movement to any home or indoor space.
  • Cupolas – these are dome- or square-shaped rooms that extend upward from the roof of a home. They can be large enough to actually accommodate guests or small enough to provide venting and little else. Cupolas are an attractive architectural innovation that has sadly fallen out of favor, but like atriums, they can improve your house aesthetically at the same time they are improving the interior circulation of air.

Additions to your home like these will obviously require some work and financial investment. But they could very well be worth the expense and effort for those who are truly serious about reducing their indoor suffering index in the months when the outdoor heat index rises into the stratosphere.

Keeping Things Cool On The Outside
Setting up good natural air flow is all well and good, but of course the cooler the air is when it enters your home the more effective it will be at keeping your family cool as it passes through. Shade trees that can provide shelter from the southern sun will help reduce the temperature of the air before it enters your home, and large overhangs or awnings that can keep windows in shadows will do the same. Generally speaking, the more shade you have on your homestead, the cooler things will be, so this is something you should always keep in mind when you are picking a building location or making plans for your surrounding landscape.

Another excellent way to reduce air temperature is to install a pond or fountain near your home, preferably on the side of the house facing into the wind. As we have already seen in our discussion of evaporative coolers, dry air loses heat as it evaporates water, so any time moving air sweeps across a watery surface, it will be cooled quite efficiently and effectively. In a humid climate, this would not work very well since the air is already saturated with moisture, but in an arid climate putting in a pond or a fountain can be an excellent way to help reduce the temperatures of a breeze before it actually enters a home.

One last trick is to landscape your exterior so that the trees and shrubs and outbuildings will naturally channel and concentrate the prevailing winds toward the house. And if the objects used to create this effect are tall enough to provide some shadow as well, then so much the better. ©2012 Off the Grid News

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C. Are You Ready Series: Heat Safety
1 July 2013, ReadyNutrition.com, by Tess Pennington
Pasted from: http://readynutrition.com/resources/are-you-ready-series-heat-safety_01072013/

heat HOT

Heat related deaths are the number 1 weather related killer in the United States. Although this type of death is preventable, annually many people succumb to extreme heat. Historically, from 1979-2003, excessive heat exposure caused 8,015 deaths in the United States. During this period, more people in this country died from extreme heat than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined. In 2001, 300 deaths were caused by excessive heat exposure.

People suffer heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to compensate and properly cool themselves. The body normally cools itself through sweating but under extreme heat, sweating just isn’t enough. In such cases, a person’s body temperature rises rapidly and very high body temperatures can damage the brain or other vital organs.

Several factors affect the body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather. When the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly. Other conditions related to the risk include age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use.

Because heat-related deaths are preventable, people need to be aware of who is at greatest risk and what actions can be taken to prevent a heat-related illness or death. The elderly, the very young, and those with mental illness and chronic diseases are all at highest risk. However, even young and healthy individuals can succumb to heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather. Your risk to heat related illnesses can be reduced by staying hydrated and being in an air conditioned environment. If a home is not air-conditioned, spend time in public facilities that are air-conditioned.

What Is Extreme Heat?
Conditions of extreme heat are defined as summertime temperatures that are substantially hotter and/or more humid than average for location at that time of year. Humid or muggy conditions, which add to the discomfort of high temperatures, occur when a “dome” of high atmospheric pressure traps hazy, damp air near the ground. Extremely dry and hot conditions can provoke dust storms and low visibility. Droughts occur when a long period passes without substantial rainfall. A heat wave combined with a drought is a very dangerous situation.

During Hot Weather
To protect your health when temperatures are extremely high, remember to keep cool and use common sense.

The following tips are important:
Drink Plenty of Fluids. During hot weather you will need to increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. During heavy exercise in a hot environment, drink two to four glasses (16-32 ounces) of cool fluids each hour. Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol, or large amounts of sugar—these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask how much you should drink while the weather is hot.

Replace Salt and Minerals. Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body. These are necessary for your body and must be replaced. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour.  Drinks that have electrolytes can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. However, if you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage or taking salt tablets.

Wear Appropriate Clothing and Sunscreen. Wear as little clothing as possible when you are at home. Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. It also causes pain and damages the skin. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) along with sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels) 30 minutes prior to going out. Continue to reapply it according to the package directions.

Schedule Outdoor Activities Carefully. If you must be outdoors, try to limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. Try to rest often in shady areas so that your body’s thermostat will have a chance to recover.

Pace Yourself. If you are not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, STOP all activity. Get into a cool area or at least into the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint.

Stay Cool Indoors. Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. a) If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library—even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. b) Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area. c) Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. d) Taking a cool shower or bath or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off. Use your stove and oven less to maintain a cooler temperature in your home.

Use a Buddy System. When working in the heat, monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do the same for you. Heat-induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose consciousness. If you are 65 years of age or older, have a friend or relative call to check on you twice a day during a heat wave. If you know someone in this age group, check on them at least twice a day.

Monitor Those at High Risk. Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others.
•  Infants and young children are sensitive to the effects of high temperatures and rely on others to regulate their environments and provide adequate liquids.
•  People 65 years of age or older may not compensate for heat stress efficiently and are less likely to sense and respond to change in temperature.
•  People who are overweight may be prone to heat sickness because of their tendency to retain more body heat.
•  People who overexert during work or exercise may become dehydrated and susceptible to heat sickness.
•  People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation, may be affected by extreme heat.
•  Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.

Adjust to the Environment. Be aware that any sudden change in temperature, such as an early summer heat wave, will be stressful to your body. You will have a greater tolerance for heat if you limit your physical activity until you become accustomed to the heat. If you travel to a hotter climate, allow several days to become acclimated before attempting any vigorous exercise, and work up to it gradually.

Do Not Leave Children in Cars. Even in cool temperatures, cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly. Even with the windows cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes. Anyone left inside is at risk for serious heat-related illnesses or even death. Children who are left unattended in parked cars are at greatest risk for heat stroke, and possibly death. When traveling with children, remember to do the following:
•  Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.
•  To remind yourself that a child is in the car, keep a stuffed animal in the car seat.  When the child is buckled in, place the stuffed animal in the front of the driver.
•  When leaving your car, check to be sure everyone is out of the car.  Do not overlook any children who have fallen asleep in the car.

Use Common Sense. Remember to keep cool and use common sense:
•   Avoid hot foods and heavy meals— they add heat to your body.
•  Drink plenty of fluids and replace salts and minerals in your body. Do not take salt tablets unless under medical supervision.
•  Dress infants and children in cool, loose clothing and shade their heads and faces with hats or an umbrella.
•  Limit sun exposure during mid-day hours and in places of potential severe exposure such as beaches.
•  Do not leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car.
•  Provide plenty of fresh water for your pets, and leave the water in a shady area.

.

D. Deadlier Than Natural Disasters: How to Prevent Heatstroke
24 May 2012, The Survival Doctor, by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.
Excerpts pasted from: http://www.thesurvivaldoctor.com/2012/05/24/how-to-prevent-heatstroke/

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at the period between 1979 and 2003 and found that more people died from heatstroke than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined. And most heatstroke deaths are so preventable.

heat 100FTo Prevent Heatstroke, You Must …Recognize Heat Exhaustion The good news is heatstroke doesn’t just come out of the blue. It’s one problem in a spectrum of heat-related illnesses. First comes heat exhaustion. If you heed its warnings and do the right things, you can prevent what’s sure to follow otherwise—the potentially deadly heatstroke.

The symptoms of heat exhaustion are:
•  A sudden, massive increase in sweating
•  Muscle cramps
•  Extreme weakness
•  Dizziness
•  Headache
•  Nausea or vomiting
•  Fainting

Signs of heat exhaustion are:
•  Pale skin color
•  Goose bumps and skin that has become cool to the touch
•  A weak pulse
•  A pulse rate well below one hundred
•  Low blood pressure
•  Confusion

It is this risk of confusion that makes it very important you work with a partner so you can monitor each other.

To Prevent Heatstroke, You Must …Halt the Exhaustion

Here’s what to do if you have those signs or symptoms:
•  Stop work immediately. Not when you get to a finishing place, not in a few minutes. Immediately. Your body generates heat with activity.
•  Find the coolest spot available, and lie down.
•  Drink water or a sports drink. You’re almost always dehydrated. The fluids will help cool you and help your circulation work more efficiently to cool you off.
•  Don’t drink caffeine. It’s a diuretic and can adversely affect your circulation.
•  Don’t drink high-sugar drinks. They’re harder to absorb.
•  Stay cool the rest of the day. As I explained in my hypothermia articles, our body functions best at 98.6, give or take a degree or two. When you develop heat exhaustion, your temperature regulators go haywire. Your body has lost the ability to cool itself and will only get hotter unless you externally cool off. Your core, where your vital organs reside, have heated to 102 or more. Your whole body needs time to cool because when your temperature gets to 103, you’re getting very close to the shutdown levels of heatstroke.

If that happens, it’s a medical emergency. I’ll give you suggestions on what to do about that in the next post. [immediately below]

 .

E. What to Do for Heatstroke When You Can’t Get Help
29 May 2012, The Survival Doctor, by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

http://www.thesurvivaldoctor.com/2012/05/29/what-to-do-for-heatstroke/

Many years ago, before many of you were born, I trained at a large Dallas hospital. In the summers, the ambulances carried tubs of ice, and if they picked up someone with probable heatstroke, they’d start to ice them then and there.

I don’t know if they still do that, but heatstroke continues to be an emergency, killing hundreds each year and leaving many more disabled. And cooling remains the top priority in treatment.

Heatstroke Warning Signs
In order to know what to do, you need to be able to recognize the warning signs of heatstroke (also called sunstroke). With heatstroke your vital organs shut down. Many people even stop sweating. It’s like your body has given up (or burned out).

One of the first organs that shows damage is the brain. Therefore, many of the signs and symptoms of heatstroke are related to brain function, such as:
•  Agitation
•  Confusion
•  Hallucinations
•  Disorientation
•  Euphoria
•  Seizure
•  Coma

What to Do for Heatstroke When You Can Get Help
Call 911 immediately. Never wait and see if someone with heatstroke is going to get better on their own. Their organs are cooking.heat pool

Until the ambulance arrives, cool the person off as best you can. If they can walk and it’s not far, get them into air-conditioning. Otherwise, have them lie down in the shade. Take off all but their underclothes. Spray or bathe them with cool/cold water and fan them. If the person is unconscious, place them on their side so their tongue won’t impede their airway.

What to Do for Heatstroke When You Can’t Get Help
But what can you do if there’s no ambulance—no way to get expert medical help?

Your only hope is to cool the person off as quickly as possible and get some fluids in them. In addition to the guidelines above, here are more tips:
•  If you have ice, place a pack on the person’s groin and armpits, and under their neck.
•  Even if available, there’s a debate about whether someone with heatstroke should soak in a tub of ice water. The problem is, if their heart stops, it’s going to be difficult to do CPR. I think, whatever gets them the coolest the quickest is what you should do.
•  Soak a sheet in the coolest water possible, and wrap it around their bare skin.
•  Fan them for the cooling effect of evaporation.
•  If they’re alert enough, have them slowly drink as much cool water as possible.
•  If you have access to intravenous fluids, now’s the time to give them.

Even if you fully hydrate and cool someone with heatstroke, they’ll have multiple-organ damage. Get them to a medical facility as soon as possible.

You can see why ideally, you catch heat exhaustion before it becomes heatstroke. Have you or has anyone you know had a heatstroke? What happened? How is the person now?

 .

F. How to Protect Outdoor Workers (and yourself) from Heat Stroke
8 July 2013, ArmageddonOnline.com, by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
Pasted from: http://www.armageddononline.org/protect-from-heatstroke-2013.html

In a typical year 658 Americans die from heat-related causes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This summer extreme heat in the Southwest has left one man dead from heat stroke and dozens of people hospitalized due to heat-related illnesses. Researchers at Columbia University predict an increase in the number of heat waves over the next few years, suggesting a growing need for those who work or play outside to learn how to recognize and avoid heat-related illnesses.

Outdoor workers are particularly vulnerable in extreme heat. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are continuing their Heat Illness Prevention Campaign, a joint project that began in 2011. The campaign aims to educate outdoor workers and their employers about ways to prevent heat-related illnesses. OSHA’s Web site now includes educational resources and training information.

The leading prevention techniques include drinking water every 15 minutes regardless of thirst, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, taking regular breaks in the shade and giving new employees a lighter workload to acclimate them to working in hot temperatures. OSHA also encourages outdoor workers to learn the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. People are often unaware that their exposure to heat is harmful until they need medical assistance. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include headaches, nausea, dizziness, weakness, thirst and heavy sweating. If ignored, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which requires immediate medical attention. Indicators of heat stroke include confusion, fainting, seizures and dry, red skin. OSHA has developed a free smart phone app called Heat Safety Tool that indicates the risk of heat exhaustion and provides recommended precautions based on the temperature and humidity in a given location. The app is available in English and Spanish for iPhone and Android. It can be downloaded free of charge via, OSHA’s Web site or iTunes.
[The  “OSHA Heat Safety Tool” app is also available and free for Android, found at Google Play. Mr. Larry]

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

Biological Warfare

 (Survival Manual/1. Disaster/Biological Warfare)

 When an ill wind blow from afar
Chemical and biological weapons are some of the most dangerous chemicals and diseases known to man. In modern times, these weapons are at the forefront of terrorist and military threats to our safety.
Chemical and biological warfare, or CBW, is considered a “poor man’s nuke,” for the cheapness and ease of manufacture, and the indiscriminate carnage and terror they can cause.

1.  Q: What are Biological Weapons and Their Effects?
A: Biological weapons are diseases harnessed by man as a military weapon. Many diseases have been mentioned as being possible BW agents. However, the most mentioned are Anthrax, Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis, Botulinum toxin, Plague, Ricin, and Smallpox.Biological weapons can be bacteria, viruses, or toxins, and essentially are nothing more than intentionally spread disease. The BW agents mentioned above are selected for their characteristics, including ease of manufacture, incubation period, resistance to treatment, method of dispersal, hardiness in different environments, lethality, and contagiousness. There is evidence Soviet scientists genetically altered diseases at their BW laboratories, making diseases even more lethal and resistant to treatment.
It should be noted, toxins are much like chemical weapons, except that they are made from biological sources.

It cannot be assumed that a BW agent can be treated. As stated in the last paragraph, some of these diseases have been altered to resist treatment, and some diseases, mostly viruses, have no cure. As with chemical weapons, the best defense against these agents is protective equipment and good hygiene.
Biological weapons are disseminated in either aerosol, liquid, or powdered form.
FDA Bioterrorism and Drug Preparedness website:

Q: How Will I Know a Biological or Chemical Attack Has Occurred?
A: Biological and chemical attacks exhibit many distinct characteristics.

  • Dead animals/birds/fish: Numerous animals dead in the same area.
  • Blisters/rashes: Many individuals experiencing unexplained rashes, bee-sting like blisters, and/or watery blisters.
  • Mass casualties: Many persons exhibiting unexplained serious health problems ranging from disorientation and nausea to breathing difficulty, convulsions, and death.
  •  Unusual metal debris: Unexplained munitions like material, especially if liquid is contained. (No rain recently.)
  • Unexplained odors: Smells may range from fruity to flowery to pungent/sharp, to horseradish/garlic-like to peach kernels/bitter almonds to new mown hay. It should be noted, that the smell should be completely out of sync with its surroundings. (I.E. The smell of hay in an urban area.)
  •  Low-lying clouds: Low-lying fog/cloud-like condition not explained by surroundings.
  • Definite pattern of casualties: Casualties distributed in a pattern that may be associated with possible agent dissemination methods.
  • Illness associated with a confined geographic area: Lower rates of illness for people working outdoors versus indoors or indoors versus outdoors.
  • Lack of insect life: Normal insect activity is missing. Check ground/shore line/water surface for dead insects. Also look for dead animals/birds/fish.
  • Unusual liquid droplets: Many surfaces exhibit oily droplets or film. (No rain recently.)
  • Unusual spraying: Unexplained spraying of an aerosol or liquid by vehicles, persons, or aircraft.

The following table is from the US Army Tech Guide 244, The Medical NBC Battlebook.

Disease
(type)

Likely
Methods of Dissemination

Transmissibility
Man to Man

Infectivity

Lethality

Anthrax   – Inhalation(bacteria)

Spores in aerosols

No

Moderate

High

Brucellosis(bacteria)

1. Aerosol
2. Sabotage (food supply)

Via contact with lesions

High

Low

Plague  – pneumonic(bacteria)

1. Aerosol

2. Infected vectors

High

High

Very
High

Tularemia(bacteria)

Aerosol

No

High

Moderate
if untreated

Q fever

(rickettsiae)

1. Aerosol

2. Sabotage (food supply)

No

High

Very
low

Botulinum toxin

(toxin)

1. Sabotage (food / water supply)

2. Aerosol

No

High

Trichothecene
mycotoxins (toxin)

1. Aerosol

2. Sabotage

No

High

Ricin toxin)

Aerosol

No

High

Smallpox (virus)

Aerosol

High

High

High

The government may be able to provide early warning of an attack via the Emergency Alert System (EAS). Having a NOAA weather radio with alarm in your house or on your person may be yet another option to help detect a chemical or biological attack, as well as alerting you to many other emergencies. Still, remember that the government may not know of an attack and broadcast an alert before your chemical detector itself alerts. So, do not rely entirely on EAS, but rely upon your observations and your chemical detector.

Bottom Line: Chemical and biological attacks can be detected early, by watching for signs of dispersal, dead insects/animals, sick and injured people, etc. The government’s Emergency Alert System (EAS) may also be of value in alerting you to an attack. Chemical attacks can also be detected with inexpensive chemical detection gear.

2.  Anthrax attack could kill 123,000
18 March 2003, BBC News
Pasted from:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/2857207.stm
An anthrax weapon aimed at a major city could kill at least 123,000 people even if every victim received treatment, experts have calculated. US researchers have used a computer model to predict the devastation that would result from the launch of an anthrax bomb or missile on a city the size of New York. The figures are based on what would happen if a bomb containing 1 kilogram of anthrax spores was dropped on a city of 10 million inhabitants.

The projected number of fatalities is based on the assumption that antibiotics would not be administered for 48 hours until the first symptoms appeared. If it proved possible to distribute drugs more quickly, then the death toll could be substantially reduced. However, they warn that inadequacies in the current US emergency response plan may make such a rapid response unlikely.

Lead researcher Dr Lawrence Wein, from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, California, said: “The first people develop symptoms within two days of exposure, and many more would develop symptoms over the next week. “Our response needs to be measured in hours, not in days or weeks.”

Intensive care
Five of the 11 people who inhaled anthrax during the 2001 attacks on the US postal system died despite intensive treatment by large teams of doctors.

The researchers recommend distributing anti-anthrax antibiotics such as Cipro in advance of any major attack. If this was not possible, then the aim should be to distribute antibiotics to everyone infected within 12 hours.

In the case of an attack on New York City, that would mean supplying the drugs to 1.5 million people. The only way to do this would be to increase the number of available health professionals dramatically. The researchers estimate that to keep the death toll down to about 1,000, one health professional would be required for every 700 people in the affected population.
This could only be achieved by training non-emergency medical staff and making maximum use of military personnel and volunteers.

Similar findings
Dr Robert Spencer, an infection control expert at the UK Public Health Laboratory Service, told BBC News Online that the conclusions were similar to those reached by research carried out by the
World Health Organization in 1970. However, he said it was very difficult to determine what would happen should weapons grade anthrax be released on a city, not least because of weather patterns, and the complex effect of wind distribution in a built up area.

Dr Spencer said the only recorded case of anthrax release, from a Soviet installation in 1974, had resulted in surprisingly few cases of illness. “It would be very difficult to disprove what they are saying,” he said. “My personal feeling is that anthrax is not a weapon of mass destruction, but a weapon of mass hysteria.
“Terrorists like bombs, they know what happens when they cause an explosion, and can make predictions based on that.”
Dr Spencer also said that to stock up on vaccines and antibiotics to combat a possible anthrax attack would be to drain resources away from more certain demands for health care.
The research is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Bottom Line
Biological weapons are simply diseases. Some have been altered to be more virulent, but all are just the same diseases the world has confronted for years. Remember, smallpox used to be occurring in epidemic proportions before the smallpox vaccine. And, plague wiped out over a third of Europe’s population during the Black Death. These diseases, for the most part, are nothing new.

3.  A Hypothetical Scenario
You may think, “It can’t happen here.” Do you think it could happen in the State of Israel? Do you think residents of that nation are potential targets? Do you think that visitors from that nation, who are unknowingly infected, might take a plane trip to the United States? The smallpox incubation period is nine days.
Suicide squad members could walk into an Israeli airport in a busy time and be searched by Israeli inspectors. They could then sit in the area close to ticket-takers and passport-stampers. That would do it. From then on, airport personnel would become carriers.

The group could send in one carrier per day for a week, just to make sure. Each one gets on an El Al plane and flies to America. Each American city is different. All are large. By the end of the flight, every plane would be carrying dozens of living weapons of mass destruction, all visiting relatives, friends, and business associates.

Meanwhile, three or four will do the same thing in a
London airport.
The next day, the planes’ crews will climb aboard and fly
back home. The flight attendants will serve meals, these being cross-Atlantic flights. You tell me: What is a feasible defense?
There is no feasible defense against this strategy, other than prayer. But the potentially targeted victims are not praying about this. They do not recognize the threat. I doubt that they will until after the strategy has been implemented.
Do you think the U.S. government will ever go public and warn people that this threat exists? When there is no known defense?

If I can figure this out, a terrorist group can. Hammes says that there are multiple Islamic Websites that cover fourth-generation warfare. These people are professionals. We should not underestimate them. As war spreads in the Middle East, there will be recruits.
Of course, you may think that peace will soon break out in the Middle East, that a new appreciation of Americans and Israelis is just around the corner. I do not share your optimism.

Most Americans believe they are immune from threats like this one, just because they are Americans. They are wrong. Increasingly in the future, Americans will become ever-more vulnerable targets, just because they are Americans.

4.  Ten Steps to prepare
1)  The first step in preparing for such an event is mental-emotional. You must face technological reality. This bioterrorism threat is a possibility, not a fantasy. Not many people will make this mental transition this side of the first city’s outbreak. After that, they will have only a few hours to make fundamental changes in their lives. Not many people will understand what is happening and how little time they have to prepare themselves.
2)  Second, you must be spiritually prepared to die for your cause, just as the enemy is willing to die for his.
3)  Third, you must have economic reserves that are not dependent on re-supply by inter-state trucking.
The United States is dependent on inter-state trucking. You must recognize that thousands of truckers will quit when they are told to deliver goods into a city that has been hit by a plague.
4)  Fourth, you must have economic reserves that are not dependent on fractional reserve banking. There will be a run on ATM’s within a day after the first report surfaces. The currency will not be re-deposited in another bank — the ultimate threat to fractional reserve banking. Within a day or two, banks will not allow people to withdraw cash.
5)  Fifth, you must have a primary residence or secondary residence in a small town location that is not in the path of traffic. Not many people will enjoy this benefit. There are some areas inside the United States that would have a huge safety factor.
6)  Sixth, you must have good relations with your neighbors. The division of labor will move down, rapidly. Community quarantines against outsiders will be imposed, once it is clear that the country is under biological attack.
7)  Seventh, you must be emotionally willing to admit to yourself what is happening as soon as the first reports of a major plague or rare disease hit the Web. You must be willing to take decisive, possibly expensive, immediate steps that will not be possible within a few days after the initial report.
8)  Eighth, you must be prepared to risk taking your annual vacation the next day. Your boss won’t like it. But you will need time to complete your defensive plans.
9)  Ninth, it would be best to have an occupation that is mobile geographically.
10)  Tenth, you must be prepared to take in close relatives, which means exposing yourself to risk.
Thus means extra space. The cheapest way to get this is with a used mobile home, single-wide, 10 years or older. This means living in the country: no zoning laws. It could mean buying a second property within a few miles of a small town home.

Most people cannot and will not take these steps in time. They think, “This can never happen.” They also think that, as Americans, they are immune to a world comparable to what millions of Iraqis are facing and have faced since 2003. Two million of them, out of a population of 25 million, have left their country, probably permanently. They faced reality early.

 5.  Dark Winter: A Bioterrorism Simulation Exercise
See more about this exercise at: http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/duffy81a.html
or run a Google search for “Dark Winter”

The National Security Council and Senior  level government officials participated in a simulated terrorist attack on three American cities using weaponized smallpox.

Historically, smallpox has been the most deadly of all diseases for humans, killing between 300 and 500 million in the last century alone, far more than the 111 million people killed in all that century’s wars combined. It is easily spread, kills 30% of those infected, and terribly scars and sometimes blinds those who survive. It was declared eradicated from Earth in 1980, but the Soviet Union has acknowledged maintaining a secret biological weapons program since then that employed 60,000 technicians and scientists. One fear is that some of the smallpox the Soviets worked with has gotten into terrorist hands, or that unemployed Soviet scientists desperate for money have been hired by Iraq, Al Qaida, or other terrorists.

On June 22-23, 2001, nearly three months before the attack that toppled New York’s World Trade towers, the United States conducted a major simulation of a terrorist smallpox attack against three American cities. It was named Dark Winter, and it lived up to its name.

Synopsis: Within seven weeks, one million Americans were dead and the disease had spread to 25 states and 13 foreign countries. In the face of the out of control epidemic, panic had spread across America, interrupting vital services such as food deliveries to supermarkets, and our Government considered the possibility of a nuclear response, although against whom it was not clear.

The goal of the exercise was to increase awareness among Government officials of the danger of such an attack, and to examine the decision challenges the highest levels of Government would face if confronted with a biological attack. The ultimate aim was to improve strategies of response.

Smallpox was chosen as the disease because historically it has been the most feared and deadly of diseases, and one of the more likely choices for terrorists. It is not only easily spread from one person to another, but there is no effective medical treatment. It may also be unstoppable in an unvaccinated population, and since the United States’ mandatory vaccination program was stopped in 1972, the U.S.
population is very susceptible to smallpox. Even that part of the population that was vaccinated as late as 1972 may have little or no protection against the disease.

The exercise took place at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, and was attended by many senior level government officials. Participating institutions included the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Bio-Defense Strategies, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Oklahoma National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism, and the Analytic Services Institute for Homeland Security.

Former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia played the President of the United States, Governor Frank Keating of Oklahoma played himself, five senior journalists who worked for major news organizations participated in mock news briefings, and a number of other participants played various key government positions ranging from the Director of Central Intelligence to key Government health advisors. Fifty people connected with U.S. bioterrorism policy preparedness observed the exercise.

Although the exercise took only two days, it simulated a time span of two weeks occurring between December 9-22, 2002. The exercise involved three National Security Council (NSC) meetings taking place on Dec. 9, 15, and 22, with the participants being made aware of evolving details of the attack and being required to establish strategies and make policy decisions to deal with it.

Exercise controllers acted as special assistants and deputies, providing facts and suggesting policy options to deal with the smallpox outbreak. Simulated newspaper coverage and TV video clips of the ensuing epidemic were also shown to participants, and various simulated memoranda, intelligence updates, and top level assessments of the spread of the epidemic were provided to key players whose jobs would normally require such information.

Each of the three NSC meetings began with controllers giving the NSC players briefings on the progress of the attack, an assessment of who the perpetrators might be, the response of the public, the comments of foreign governments, and any other information they would normally receive in such an emergency.

The game
The game starts with a brief television report that about two dozen people checked into an Oklahoma City hospital with an unidentified illness. Doctors soon find the patients have smallpox, a highly contagious and deadly disease unseen in the United States since 1949.

Similar smallpox cases are reported in Pennsylvania and Georgia. By day six, 300 Americans are dead and 2,000 others are infected.
Cases of smallpox are reported in Mexico, Canada and Britain, according to the scenario.

Meanwhile, the US Heath system is overwhelmed, the 12 million doses of smallpox vaccine quickly disappear, schools nationwide are forced to close, and public
gatherings are limited due to fear of contagion.

Droves of Oklahomans anxious to flee stream toward Texas — but the Texas governor, eager to protect his own residents, closes the border and deploys the state National Guard. Shots are fired.

As the standoff between Texans and Oklahomans deepens, a rift opens between federal and local authorities. Members of the US National Security Council suggest “nationalizing” the national guard, while state governors insist on keeping the local troops under their control.

On day 12 of the scenario, when the death toll reaches 1,000, interstate commerce grinds to a halt and stock trading is suspended. Demonstrations demanding more smallpox vaccines turn into riots. The United Nations moves its headquarters from New York to Geneva, Switzerland.

Less than two months after the outbreak, when the number of dead reach one million and three million more are infected, the president, played in the exercise by Nunn, gathers his top aide to considers imposing marshal law.

End of the Dark Winter exercise
Five lessons were learned from this exercise.

  1. A biological attack at this level would result in massive loss of life.
  2. Current governmental structures are not capable of managing such an attack.
  3. U.S. health care infrastructure lacks a surge capability, thus leaving it open to complete failure in the event of mass casualties.
  4. Managing the media and providing citizens with the right information would be an enormous challenge.
  5. Americans are totally unprepared for the myriad social, political and ethical challenges
    posed by this threat.

Perhaps a more elemental lesson was that people have an innate dread of plagues. It is therefore easy for a situation such as this to quickly degenerate into social breakdown and mob violence.
Particularly with diseases such as smallpox, which are particularly ugly in their symptoms and virulence, it is a fine line between mass fear and total panic.

In addition to raising public awareness of the bioterrorism threat, briefings from Dark Winter, the exercise contributed to the George Walker Bush Administration’s decision to manufacture 300 million doses of the smallpox vaccine.

The “Dark Winter” exercise “demonstrated how poorly current organizational structures and capabilities fit the management needs and operational requirements of a bioterrorism response.
Responding to a bioterrorist attack will require new levels of partnership between public health and medicine, law enforcement and intelligence. However, these communities have little past experience working together and vast differences in their professional cultures, missions and needs. The ‘Dark Winter’ scenario also underscored the pivotal role of the media, and how a productive partnership with media will be paramount in communicating important information to the public and reducing the potential for panic.”

6.  Current situation
Although smallpox was declared eradicated in 1980, two official repositories of the variola virus were kept: one at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and the other at the Russian State Research Center for Virology and Biotechnology in Koltsovo, Novosibirsk in central Siberia. Those supplies were to be used for scientific research and vaccine development, but it is now known that both countries maintained secret biological weapons programs since 1980. By 1990 the Soviet Union had a facility capable of producing 80 to 100 tons of smallpox a year, and it typically warehoused 20 tons. Although Russia and the United States have since abandoned their biological weapons programs, other countries still have them.
It is thought that several rogue states like North Korea and Iraq and possibly terrorists have obtained samples of the smallpox virus.

A terrorist armed with a small hand-held aerosol could easily disperse 300 million smallpox viral particles within a confined area (airport terminal, train station, sports stadium, holiday parade gatherings, concerts). Toxins could also be spread through contamination of food or water.

During either bioterrorist scenario, unless the toxin is immediately known, vaccines are irrelevant. Besides terrorists will likely use a cocktail of agents to confuse detection systems and a major attack will quickly overwhelm the hospital system making immediate help for most impossible.

7.  We need to plan, not panic
If a biological, chemical, or radiological attack occurs in the U.S. the U.S. Department of Homeland Security may instruct you to Shelter in Place  until the pollutants have dissipated. If you live in a typical leaky home then the Department of Homeland Security currently recommends that you seal yourself in a room by using duct tape and plastic sheets. Moderate, or comprehensive, sealing of the exterior can help. One of the Dual-Benefit Solutions recommended by the Department of Homeland Security is to make your home’s outer shell very tight so you will save energy and have all of the rooms available if it becomes necessary to Shelter in Place.

Dr. Henderson recommends preparing your home to be a safer shelter by comprehensively sealing the air leaks in your home’s outer shell and installing a mechanical air supply system that can effectively filter the air coming into your home. He said this is a much better method than using duct tape and plastic sheets to seal yourself in one room after dangerous substances fill the air around your home.

Here is a partial list of the advantages of preparing your entire home so that you can quickly Shelter in Place:

  • Instead of sealing yourself in one room, you will have all of the rooms and air in your home available for your use, while waiting for the pollutants to blow past your home.
  • Microbes (anthrax, botulism, smallpox,…) will be kept outside where the wind can reduce their concentration and the sunshine can kill them.
  • You will have access to all the air in your home, rather than the air available in one room sealed with plastic and duct-tape.
  • Radioactive particles can be removed from incoming air by use of a high-efficiency air filter.
  • Non-filterable gasses can be kept outside by simply turning-off the mechanical air supply system until after the gasses blow past your home.
  • Even if you never have to Shelter in Place,  you can benefit in many ways throughout
    your life:
  • Sealing air leaks can eliminate uncomfortable drafts.
  • Sealing air leaks and providing filtered fresh air at a controlled rate can  reduce your costs for heating, air
  • Filtration of incoming fresh air can remove allergenic, irritating and toxic particles.
  • conditioning, and humidity control.
  • Controlling the ventilation rate will help you to keep indoor humidity below 50% to discourage growth of molds and dust mites.

 

8.  During a Declared Biological Emergency
a)  If a family member becomes sick, it is important to be suspicious.
b)  Do not assume, however, that you should go to a hospital emergency room or that any illness is the result of the biological attack. Symptoms of many common illnesses may overlap.
c)  Use common sense, practice good hygiene and cleanliness to avoid spreading germs, and seek medical advice.
d)  Find out if you are in the area authorities believe to be in danger.
e)  If your symptoms match those described below and you are in the group  considered at risk, seek immediate emergency medical attention

Risk Factors for a Bio-Chem Attack
All biological weapons have a high failure rate in terrorist attacks because even though they are quite deadly dispersal/delivery of them in an effective way is difficult. Changes in ph of air quality, changes in temperature and humidity, changes in environment, and life span of the entity itself make efficient delivery of these bacteria and viruses difficult.

For example, Anthrax is, for all intents and purposes, 100 percent deadly when it enters the lungs of human beings. The minimum fatal dose for a person is one Anthrax spore. Yet spores that are small enough to infiltrate the blood vessels of the human lungs also tend to be highly static.
They clump together and adhere to dust and dirt particles, which then make them too big to infiltrate the lungs. This problem of Anthrax delivery means that any people at “ground zero” of an Anthrax attack would probably be infected if they were directly exposed to a cloud or vapor falling on them. But those who get a warning signal and retreat into sealed rooms would have a good chance of survival.

Anthrax has a very small rate of “secondary uptake,” which means that once it hits the ground, it tends to end its delivery cycle.
People who shelter in sealed rooms would have the unpleasant task of waiting it out for hours (as long as 24 hours) before they could move, and then would have to wait for days to see if they were infected or not, but as long as they remained calm and secluded from sprayed or “treated” (ie, infected) areas, they could escape infection.

Smallpox is far more persistent than Anthrax, (though less fatal, with a mortality rate at about 33% – 66%), and people at ground zero of an attack would fare the worst. But once it has been identified, people secure from the initial infection would have to be prepared to quarantine themselves to avoid contact from victims whose symptoms would not appear for several weeks. As difficult as this is, our society is better equipped to do this than it’s ever been before. Telecommuting is a fact of life.

Dispersing biological agents in a crop dusting plane is currently the quickest, most effective scenario yet envisioned. But the plane would have to fly quite low to drop enough of a concentration in a stable medium. From the evidence of one would-be terrorist who was arrested on September 22, 2001, using crop dusting equipment has at least entered the minds of some terrorist planners. But as of this writing, it has not yet been attempted.

The more likely and dangerous alternative is for a biological weapon to be entered into the water supply. Filtering and water purification in the home may hinder the effectiveness of such a plan, and certainly boiling water for six minutes would probably kill any biological entity. But poisoning could occur and last for several days before symptoms appear. Drinking bottled water or at least boiling all water that comes from the tap (for six minutes) before you drink it might be a good precautionary step, if you fear a biological attack.

Use Common Sense

  1. Stay healthy, eat well and get plenty of rest
  2. Use common sense to determine if there is immediate danger
  3. Wash your hands with soap and water frequently
  4. Stay away from crowds where others may be infected
  5. Wear a face mask to reduce spreading germs

Symptoms
If a family member develops any of the symptoms below, keep them separated from others, practice good hygiene to avoid spreading germs, and seek medical advice.

  1. A temperature of more than 100 degrees
  2. Nausea and vomiting
  3. Stomachache
  4. Diarrhea
  5. Pale or flushed face
  6. Headache
  7. Cough
  8. Earache
  9. Thick discharge from nose
  10. Sore throat
  11. Rash or infection of the skin
  12. Red or pink eyes
  13. Loss of appetite
  14. Loss of energy or decreases in activity

Hygiene
If someone is sick, you should practice good hygiene and cleanliness to avoid spreading germs.

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water frequently.
  2. Do not share food or utensils.
  3. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  4. Consider having the sick person wear a face mask to avoid spreading germs.
  5. Plan to share health-related information with others, especially those who may need help. understanding the situation and what specific actions to take.

9.  Protective measures against bioterrorism

  • The primary civil defense against biological weaponry is to wash one’s hands whenever one moves to a different building or set of people, and avoid touching door knobs, walls, the
    ground and one’s mouth and nose.
  • Washing literally sends the germs down the drain.
  • More exotic methods include decontamination, usually done with household chlorine bleach (Clorox, regular, unscented) (5% solution of sodium hypochlorite).
  • One useful de-contamination is to leave shoes in an entrance-way and make people wade and hand wash in a footbath of bleach. Another useful technique is to periodically decontaminate floors and door knobs.
  • Medical methods of civil defense include stockpiles of antibiotics and vaccines, and training for quick, accurate diagnosis and treatment. Many weaponized diseases are unfamiliar to general practitioners.

Items to have in your possession, as biological threats often cause a breakdown in normal societal routines.
•     An antibiotic such as Zithromax
•     Surgical masks
•     Gas Masks
•     A supply of canned goods, a can opener and packaged non-perishable foods.
•    Bottled drinking water: minimally, one gallon per day per person, for at least seven days.
•     A blanket or sleeping bag for each family member as well as a change of clothes (in the event that you are relocated)
•     Extra eyeglasses and prescriptions
•     Supplies for infants, and disabled family members

The economic consequences of a bioterrorism attack could be “devastating,”  crippling the agricultural based economy of the region and creating a potential food shortage. Appropriate dispersion of even a small volume of biological warfare agent may cause high morbidity and mortality, which may be exacerbated by public panic and social disruption.

10.  Beef up your immune system

  • As soon as you learn of a bio-chem attack (if you are not already doing so), limit your intake of food so your body can devote more of its energies to the immune system rather than digesting dinner. Eat more raw foods, vegetables and juices.
  • One of the best things you can do is load up on antioxidants. Vitamin C is one of the best vitamins to take. Store plenty of the natural variety with rosehips and bioflavonoids. Some recommendations suggest as much as 1000 mg. of vitamin C every two hours which requires fruit or juice intake so it doesn’t make you sick.
  • Antioxidants Vitamin E and B6 have reputations for boosting the immune system as does Vitamin A which helps ward off infections to the eyes, respiratory system and gastrointestinal tract.
  • Eat organic foods as much as possible. No one needs pesticides in his system.
  • Remove the “white” foods from the diet: white rice, white flour products and white (refined) sugar. Two cans of soft drink can add approximately 24 tsp of sugar to your system – enough to suppress your immune system for five hours. If you’re grazing all day on pop and sweets, what ammo does your body have to fight disease?
  • It should be noted that people who are in tiptop shape — those who are physically active and have not subsisted on junk food will have the best chance of fighting these poisons naturally. It’s never too late to exercise! Not only does exercise rev up the immune system, it relieves stress –
    something that makes us more susceptible to disease.
  • Give your body plenty of rest and water. ‘Burning the candle’ at both ends depletes the body of disease-fighting capabilities.
  • Raw garlic exists through the lungs which is what the biological agents are most likely to attack. Raw garlic has both antibacterial and anti-viral aspects. Place raw garlic into a glass of tomato juice and add one small clove. Drink every six hours.

Selecting a gas mask
When demand and fear are high, some retailers charge exorbitant prices for gas masks and related items. Jacking up prices, especially during economic hard times, is simply unconscionable, heartless behavior. If you need to economize, it is better to get a cheaper mask and the best filter.

Read also: Survival Manual/6. Medical/Personal Protective Equipment.

 

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Food: How much & where to store

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Food: How much & where to store)

RainManA. How much food do you need?
Emergency Management Division
Pasted from: http://www.emd.wa.gov/preparedness/WAEMD-Preparedness-PersonalPreparedness-EmergencyFoodSupply.shtml

The Canned Food Alliance recommends the minimum amount of food is two cans of food per person, per day and one gallon of water per person, per day.

For most disasters, we recommend a minimum of three days preparation. This should include a sufficient food supply and a minimum of one gallon of water per person per day.

A health crisis – like a pandemic flu – requires longer-term planning. There is a real possibility grocery stores will need to close to help prevent the spread of the disease.

The Washington Departments of Health and Emergency Management recommend preparing for these types of disaster for a minimum of one week. When you complete one week’s preparation – consider preparing for two weeks.

What should your emergency food supply include?
A variety of canned meats, canned fruits and vegetables, grains, canned milk products, ready-to-eat canned foods, and soup.

So, the next time you are at the grocery store, pick up two extra cans of food for your Emergency Food Supply.
Remember – the minimum amount of food is two cans of food per person, per day and one gallon of water per person, per day.

Some Suggestions:

foodwhere1.
foodwhere2

What size?
•  Regular-sized can = approximately 15 ounce can
•  Small sized can = approximately 8 ounce can
•  1 gallon = four – 1 liter/quart bottles
•  1 gallon = two – 2 liter/half gallon bottles

B. Where to Hide Your Food (And a Few Places Your Shouldn’t 29 Nov 2012, Posted by Ed Corcoran Pasted from: http://www.survivalandbeyond.net/where-to-hide-your-food-and-a-few-places-your-shouldnt/ Originally from; Places to Hide Food – 5x5Survival.com

foodwhere pantryQuick update: This article pertains to long-term stored food. Food that has an expiration under 3 years should be actively rotated in your day-to-day food preparation. The food that you hide away should have a shelf life of 10 years or longer.

There is a lot you can improvise when you are a knowledgeable, skilled prepper. Among what you cannot improvise is food, water, and firearms. As I have suggested in previous posts, a single person should store at least 3 months of food and a family should store at least one year’s worth of food. These are minimums. And I recommend that you continuously build up your food storage program until you reach three years of stored food.

Why three years of stored food? In the first year after the collapse, you need to lay low, hunker down, and try to remain unnoticed, until the mass die off occurs. You need a second year of food to survival through your first planting season. Your third year of food is a buffer for garden mistakes and drought. Or your third year of food will feed the family members who suddenly show up on your doorstep. Or you can donate your third year of food to charity after the collapse. Or swap some long-term stored food in exchange for fresh items, such as eggs or milk. Or you can barter food in exchange for goods and services. I can easily foresee paying someone in food to take overnight security watches.

Of the first year of stored food, I recommend that it consists of canned and dried food that your family commonly eats. This would include canned tuna, canned beans, canned fruits and vegetables, dried pastas, breakfast cereals, etc. It is important to rotate this food, so that none goes to waste. First in is first out. Stack the newer items towards the back and the older items towards the front of the shelves. This way you grab the oldest items first for your daily meal preparations.

The 2nd and 3rd year of stored food should be long-term stored food. This includes dehydrated food, freeze-dried food, and food buckets with grains and beans. The storage life of this type of food should be at least 10 years, otherwise put the food into your daily rotation.

So where do you store all that food? One to three years of long-term stored food takes some serious storage space. Take a tour of your home to find any dead space. Dead space is in the interior of your home which has no functional use.

 1. Here are some common dead spaces, which can store food:
a)
In your food pantry – When I look in people’s kitchen pantries, I often see non-food items. People will put extra pots, pans, and kitchen gadgets in their kitchen pantries. Or paper supplies. Clear out everything except food from your kitchen pantry. You can stack canned goods up to 3 deep and 3 high on the shelves in a pantry. Your first goal of a food storage program is to fill up your everyday kitchen pantry. Do not buy long-term stored foods, until after your kitchen pantry is filled with everyday foods. Beans and canned meat such as spam have long shelf lives, often up to 5 years. Canned salmon and sardines can have a 7 year shelf life. The key to filling your kitchen pantry is a rotation plan. Have a system that prevents you from eating the new items. One of your weekly tasks is to go into the kitchen pantry to find what is nearing expiration. Whatever is nearing expiration is your dinner tonight.
b) Under beds – this is a nice dark and cool space. Under beds are perfect for #10 cans. Buy a bed frame which can be elevated just a bit to accommodate boxes containing #10 cans. My daughter was told one of her friends that her daddy stores rice under her bed. Bad OPSEC on my part. I forgot to instruct my daughter to not talk about stored food.
c) Behind the head-board of your bed. Pull out your bed from the wall just far enough to store food buckets. Stack up food bucket to the height of the head-board, then throw a shamee or other covering on top of the buckets to make the space presentable.
d) Closets floor space – the space on the floor under need the coats and linens.
e) Closet shelf space – often there is dead space high above a closet shelf. You can stack boxes sometimes fairly high above the shelf. Test the shelf to see if it can support heavy weights.
f) Under desks – My home office desk has spare space for food buckets and boxes.
g) Under bathroom sinks – often the space is unused. Make sure any food stored under a sink is in water proof containers, in case of water over flow.
h) Under coffee table – some coffee tables have dead space underneath.
i) Garages – Only store food in a garage if cool enough in the summer. If your garage is shaded and does go above 75 degrees in the summer, then you can store some items in your garage. This is a good place for large bulk A galvanized steel garbage can will hold lots of grains and beans.
j) Under stairwells – Often under the staircase, there is dead space.
k) In an extra, unused bedroom – I have an extra bedroom, which serves as my home office. In the closet of my spare bedroom, it is stacked with lots of stored food. Behind my desk are food buckets. No guest are allowed into my home office (man cave), so I don’t give a darn about appearance.
l) Underneath a sofa with hide-away bed – often there is unused space there. Or unscrew the pull-out bed to give you lots of spare space.
m) In the basement – whether you have a finished or unfinished basement, block off a corner of the room to stack boxes.
n) In the laundry room – Due to humidity in the laundry room, make sure any items are waterproof sealed.
o) Behind couches – Due to the tilt of the back of a couch, there is often dead space at the rear bottom of a couch.
p) A mud room or utility room – If you have such a room and it is cool year round, this is perfect for stored food.

2.  At your bug-out location. If you have a cabin up in the mountains or a vacation home, store extra food there.

3.  Store food with other family members. If you are on good terms with a family member, agree to store food for each other as a back-up. Then if you need to retreat to that family member, some of your food is already there.

4.  Store food with good friends and neighbors. If a good, reliable friend or neighbor whom you trust, who also have extra storage space, then this might be an option.

5.  Store food with your survival group. One of your survival group members is likely to have extra storage space or a basement.

6.  Store food in a rental storage unit. This is a good option if you do not have close-by friend and neighbors. You should never keep all your supplies in just one location, in case your primary home is destroyed. If you do not have a bug-out retreat, the rent a storage unit within walking distance of your home (under 5 miles). Find a storage unit which is well shaded and does not get direct sunlight. You are looking for a cool place to store food. Some storage units get very hot in the summer. Heat is the enemy of stored food. If you can afford it, rent a temperature stabilized unit Some storage units specialize in storing wine or art, which must be temperature controlled. A temperature control unit is ideal, but more expensive. Also make sure the storage unit is accessible when there is a power outage. When you need the store food the most, there will likely be a power outage in your home town.

7.  Store food at work. If you own your own business or have a dedicated office which you can lock, then storing food at your place of business is perfect.

8.  Start a food storage program at your place of worship. Many places of worship have lots of unused basements and closets. If your place of worship has like-minded survivalist, then start a food storage program.

9.  Storage caches on your property. If you can build a proper storage cache to bury or hide on your property, this can be a place to store lots of food. Search youtube.com for southernprepper1, who has very good advice on this subject.

10. An underground shelter is an excellent option for food storage. If you live in a tornado area, then you should have a storm shelter. Store food under the benches or on shelf spaces in your storm shelter.

11.  If you have farmers in close proximity to your home, establish a direct food purchase relationship with the farmers. One of the best way to keep beef fresh is on the hoof, live and ready. You are storing future food in that direct farm relationship.

12.  Nuture the wildlife around your home. Perhaps set up a salt lick or feeding station for deer. Find locations around your home where there a lots of rabbits and squirrels. Have small animal traps and a 22 LR rifle for hunting small game.

13.  Obtain books that describe the wild foods in your region. Within a mile of your home, you can likely find dozens of wild foods. While this is not technically hiding your food, but perhaps you hide the wild food book. (I know this is a stretch on this topic. But hopefully you get the point.
.

Where should you not store food:
1.
  Do not store food in the attic. The summer heat in the attic will likely cause any stored food to go bad.
2.  Do not store food in crawl space. Crawl spaces often take too much heat in the summer and susceptible to rodents.
3.  Do not bury food, even if in sealed, water proof containers. Ground water will eventually rot the containers. Or the containers can collapse under the weight of the earth. Or rodents or other animals will chew through. Or you will lose track of the location.
4.  Sheds and barns – Gets too hot in the summer and attracts rodents.
5.  Do not store any food near fuels and other chemicals. I do not store any food in the places where I store extra fuel.
6.  You not store extra food in your fat belly. If you are over-weight, you have a duty to your family to trim down. An obese person will live 6 years less, on average, than a person with normal body weight. Do not deprive your family of your love and presence in those last 6 years.
7.  At the Grocery store – Time and time again, the pattern is the same. An announcement of a pending large storm sends everyone scrambling the groceries stores. Groceries are then stripped bare within 24 hours. Then groceries stores are not replenished until long after the storm has gone. Do not rely on getting to the grocery store at the last minute. Instead at the last minute, I am testing the power generator, filling up the bath tubes with water, covering the windows, and perhaps topping off my fuel supplies. I can focus on preparing my home for a storm, because I already have enough food to last for months and years.

Food is so tremendously cheap in US and Canada, despite food inflation in the past three years. The story of Joseph in the Old Testament book of Genesis describes how he stored 7 years of grain in anticipation of a famine. The next Great Depression is likely to last 7 or more years. You have the opportunity now to store years of food for your family. When disaster strikes, the opportunity to prepare is gone. A mouthful of food to a starving person is worth more than all the gold in the world.

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Socio-economic decay

(Survival manual/1. Disaster/Socio-economic decay)

Symp·tom: –noun: 1. any phenomenon or circumstance accompanying something and serving as evidence of it. 2. Pathology . a phenomenon that arises from and accompanies a particular disease or disorder and serves as an indication of it.)

 The sign at left is perversely interesting, offering us hope that somehow we can fight the inevitable coming changes by demonstrating or voting for ‘the right congressional or presidential leadership’. But suppose the discussion about national, social and economic decay isn’t about your wishes or my dreams, and isn’t even about America. Looking down from above, seeing the world and times passage from a bird’s-eye view, we might find that, we in the United States and the Western world, are more like a natural resource that has been harvested. “Global wealth” having developed and mined the US population and Japanese work ethic recently moved on to new, more profitable “natural resources”. They’ll develop China, India, and SE Asia, making a huge profit from the development and industrialization of those countries, from the production and sale of all the convenient and enjoyable things that made North America and Japan great — in our past heyday. Eventually, these countries will reach their growth climax and the moneyed powers will move again into fresh, undeveloped resources (populace’s), maybe to South and Central America, maybe Africa.
What remains behind (you, me, our neighborhoods, and cities) are of little consequence to those who control great wealth and develop personal and family power. The previous great nations will need to economically crash (become fallow fields for a few decades), while relearning how to live in relative poverty, while our income expectations are gradually reduced, until we become competitive and frugal again; meanwhile, our infrastructure must degenerate to a point that there is need and demand for a widespread structural over haul.
In maybe a hundred years, maybe 200, or even 400 years,  when the economic wheel has turned full circle, when we have developed true needs, our descendants will see their “Renaissance”.

Until then, your local and state leadership, even our federal elected government has little lasting control over the flux and flow of what is occurring on a global scale.

We can fight our wars for political-industrial-resource-economic positioning, but the money flow and the factories have already left. We are all use to the largess of our incomes and the good life to make the long-term personal and broad economic readjustments; we can however, pretend to bring change with social programs. We are too many people expecting and demanding to receive government subsidies; we have too many tax laws rewarding or punishing groups who are or are not friends of the current political establishment. We have a medical establishment relentlessly sued for every ‘malpractice’ (did you ever get sued for goofing up on your job? Why not?) At the same time, hospitals charge patients and their insurance companies $20+ for a gallon of distilled water, which cost 98 cents at the grocery store, and from which maybe only a pint of that water was used (by the paying patient).

Everyone knows that ‘things’ aren’t right, that someone should give up their advantage — as long as that someone isn’t you. In this manner of thought and action we’ll continue to overgraze the commons, until there is no commons for our combined good, by then all will suffer.
We, the Western nations, the Western Christian culture have simply reached the climax of our civilization, which will now slowly decay/decline. It’s not your fault, nor mine, it’s not the fault of our government, at any level.
It’s nature’s way.
Humans are wired for behavior that replays in rhyme, the same story, told again, and again, across the ages. What works is reused until it doesn’t work, the flow through system eventually breaks, the culture collapses  and social-economic-commodity factors move on to favor another area of the continent/globe.

What arises next will not be petrochemical based, it will not be what were use to today, the conversion will be similar to that which ushered out the ‘horse and buggy days’ of the late 1800s and brought us to the modern era of the 1920s– in the matter of  a few decades. Everything that needs to be done to get us from here, to there, will be done, just not in the order, timing, painlessness, or efficiency that we would prefer. There might occur a major dislocation along the way, something to speed along the conversion, something to reduce the population overburden…global currency collapse, a nuclear war, a few dozen global EMP pulses, a pandemic, a super volcanic eruption…

If for a few moments, we could open our eyes onto the that not so distant future, we’d find our descendants enjoying life’s happiness, as did ours in the centuries leading to us. They may not have iPads or SUVs, but where the sun shines, there is labor, love and  hope for the ‘morrow.
Time marches on.
The Earth abides.
Mr. Larry

A.  American Hellholes
Pasted: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/american-hellholes
The U.S. economy is dying and we are heading for the next Great Depression.  The talking heads in the mainstream media love to spin the economic numbers around and around and they love to make it sound like the economy is improving, but the truth is that it doesn’t take a genius to see what is happening to the U.S. economic system.  All over the nation many of our greatest cities are being slowly but surely transformed into post-apocalyptic wastelands.  All over the mid-Atlantic, all along the Gulf coast, all throughout the “rust belt” and all over the entire state of California cities that once had incredibly vibrant economies are being turned into rotting, post-industrial hellholes. In many U.S. cities, the “real” rate of unemployment is over 30 percent. There are some communities that will start depressing you almost the moment that you drive into them. It is almost as if all of the hope has been sucked right out of those communities.  If you live in one of those American hellholes you know what I am talking about.  Sadly, it is not just a few cities that are becoming hellholes.  This is happening in the east, in the west, in the north and in the south.  America is literally being transformed right in front of our eyes.

If you still live in an area of the United States that is prosperous, do not mock the cities that you are about to read about.  The cold, hard reality of the matter is that economic decline and economic despair are spreading rapidly and they will come to your area soon enough.  Right now we are still talking about
“American hellholes”, but if the long-term economic trends that are destroying this nation are not turned around eventually we will just be talking about one gigantic “American hellhole”.  In the end, no area of the country will completely escape the economic hell that is coming.

B.  So how do you know if your own city has become a hellhole?
Pasted from:  http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/you-know-that-your-city-has-become-a-hellhole-when

Well, a few potential “red flags” are posted below….
1.  You know that your city has become a hellhole when most of the street lights  get repossessed because of unpaid electric bills,
2.  when it announces that it will no longer prosecute domestic violence cases in order to save money.,
3.  when it simply stops sending out pension checks to retired workers,
4.  when it rips up asphalt roads and replaces them with gravel because gravel is cheaper to maintain,
5.  when it eliminates the entire public bus system,
6.  when nearly half of all the people living there can’t read,
7.  when one out of every ten homes sells for under $10,000,
8.  when you can literally buy a house for one dollar,
9.  when you have hundreds of people living in the tunnels underneath your streets,
10.  when three of your past five mayors have been sent to prison for corruption,
11.  when nearly  half of the public schools in the city get shut down because of a lack of money,
12.  when you have dozens of young people rampaging in the streets that are thirsty for revenge and that are armed with bats, pipes and guns,
13.  when it is considered to be one of the 10 most dangerous cities in the world,
14.  when thieves defecate in the back seat after they have broken into your car and taken your things,
15.  when prostitution and drug dealing are two of the only viable businesses that remain in the city,
16.  You know that your city has become a hellhole when the police chief announces that the police department will no longer respond to calls about burglary and identity  theft due to very deep budget cuts.

Let’s take a closer look at what is currently happening in some of the worst areas of the country….
Pasted from: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/american-hellholes

100.  Detroit, Michigan
In the city of Detroit today, there are over 33,000 abandoned houses, 70 schools are being permanently closed down, the mayor wants to bulldoze one-fourth of the city and you can literally buy a house for one dollar in the worst areas.

During the boom days of the 1950s, Detroit was a teeming metropolis of approximately 2 million people, but today the current population is less than half that.  The city of Detroit, once a shining example of middle class America, is now a rotting cesspool of economic decline and it actually saw its population decline by 25 percent during the decade that recently ended.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Detroit lost a resident every 22 minutes between the years of 2000 and 2010.

So why are people leaving Detroit so rapidly?
There simply are no jobs.

At the height of the economic downturn, the mayor of Detroit admitted that while the “official” unemployment rate in Detroit was about 27 percent, the “real” unemployment rate in his city was actually somewhere around 50 percent. Since there are not enough jobs, that also means that not enough tax money is coming in. Detroit is essentially insolvent at this point.

Detroit officials are trying to implement some austerity measures in a desperate attempt to get city finances under control. For example, the state of Michigan recently granted approval to a plan that would shut down nearly half of the public schools in Detroit.  Under the plan, 70 schools will be closed and 72 will continue operating. It has been estimated that the remaining public schools will have class sizes of up to 60 students.

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing also wants to cut off 20 percent of the entire city from police and trash services in order to save money. Essentially that would mean abandoning 20 percent of the city of Detroit to the gangs and to the homeless.

[Images above: Left: One of many vacant/abandoned neighborhoods, homes being  raised and lots returned returning to fields. Right: A single example of  the many abandoned industrial and retail buildings in Detroit.]

The mayor of Detroit has also discussed a plan in which authorities would bulldoze one-fourth of the city in order to save money on services.
So with all of this going on, is Detroit a pleasant place to live at this point? No way. Today, Detroit is considered to be the third most violent city in the United States. In fact, crime has gotten so bad and the citizens are so frustrated by the lack of police assistance that they have resorted to forming their own organizations to fight back.  One group, known as the “Detroit 300″, was formed after a 90-year-old woman on Detroit’s northwest side was brutally raped in August.

If you want to see what the future of America looks like, just take a few hours and go driving through Detroit some time.  But please only do this during the day. Do not do this at night.  Detroit is not a safe place anymore, and you cannot count on the police to help you in a timely manner.

Detroit was once one of the greatest cities in the world. But today it is an absolute hellhole.

99.  Camden, New Jersey
So is there any place in America that is worse than Detroit? Well, many would nominate Camden, New Jersey. Many years ago, Camden was actually thriving and prosperous.  But today the city of Camden is known as “the second most dangerous city in America”.

In a recent article entitled “City of Ruins”, Chris Hedges did an amazing job of documenting the horrific decline of Camden.  Hedges estimates that the real rate of unemployment in Camden is somewhere around 30 to 40 percent, and he makes it sound like nobody in their right mind would want to live there  now….

Camden is where those discarded as human refuse are dumped, along with the physical refuse of postindustrial America. A sprawling sewage treatment plant on forty acres of riverfront land processes 58 million gallons of wastewater a day for Camden County. The stench of sewage lingers in the streets. There is a huge trash-burning plant that releases noxious clouds, a prison, a massive cement plant and mountains of scrap metal feeding into a giant shredder. The city is scarred with several thousand decaying abandoned row houses; the skeletal remains of windowless brick factories and gutted gas stations; overgrown vacant lots filled with garbage and old tires; neglected, weed-filled cemeteries; and  boarded-up store fronts.

Gangs have stepped into the gaping void left by industry.  In Camden today, drugs and prostitution are two of the only viable businesses left – especially for those who cannot find employment anywhere else.  The following is how Hedges describes the current state of affairs….

There are perhaps a hundred open-air drug markets, most run by gangs like the Bloods, the Latin Kings, Los Nietos and MS-13. Knots of young men in black leather jackets and baggy sweatshirts sell weed and crack to clients, many of whom drive in from the suburbs. The drug trade is one of the city’s few thriving businesses.
A weapon, police say, is never more than a few feet away, usually stashed behind a trash can, in the grass or on a porch.

But before we all start judging Camden for being such a horrible place to live, it is important to realize that this is happening in communities from coast to coast.  All over the United States industries are leaving and deep social decay is setting in.

Even the criminals in Camden are struggling.  Things have gotten so bad in Camden, New Jersey that not even the drug dealers are spending their money anymore.

So where are the police? Unfortunately, there is very little money for police.  Authorities in Camden recently decided to lay off half of the city police force. So now the gangs and the drug dealers have more room to operate.

Sadly, this is not just happening in Camden.  It is happening all over New Jersey. Of 315 municipalities the New Jersey State Police union recently surveyed, more than half indicated that they were planning to lay off police officers. So why doesn’t the state government step in and help out?

Well, the state of New Jersey is in such bad shape that they still are facing a $10 billion budget deficit for this year even after cutting a billion dollars from the education budget and laying off thousands of teachers.

New Jersey also has $46 billion in unfunded pension liabilities and $65 billion in unfunded health care liabilities.  Nobody is quite sure how New Jersey is even going to come close to meeting those obligations. Meanwhile, cities like Camden are rotting a little bit more every single day.

98.  New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans had a struggling economy even before Hurricane Katrina struck back in 2005.  But that event changed everything.  It is now almost 6 years later and virtually the entire region is still a disaster zone. New Orleans permanently lost 29% of its population after Hurricane Katrina.  There are many areas of New Orleans that still look as if they have just been bombed.

21.5 percent of all houses in New Orleans, Louisiana are currently standing vacant.  Many of those homes will never be inhabited again.

What made things even worse for New Orleans (and for residents all along the Gulf coast) was the horrific BP oil spill last year.  The mainstream news does not talk about the oil spill much anymore, but those living in the area have to deal with the effects every single day.  Some of the industries in the Gulf region were really starting to recover from Hurricane Katrina but the BP oil spill put a stop to that. Before the oil spill, Louisiana produced more fish and seafood than anywhere in the United States except for Alaska.  But now the seafood industry has been absolutely devastated.  It has been estimated that the cost of the BP oil spill to the fishing industry in Louisiana alone could top 3 billion dollars. Some local shrimpers in the region are projecting that it will be about seven years before they can set to sea again.
New Orleans keeps trying to bounce back from all of these disasters, but times are tough down there.

Today, New Orleans is the 13th most violent city in America.  That is actually an improvement.  Before Katrina New Orleans had even more violent crime.
The truth is that other areas along the Gulf coast are doing a lot worse than New Orleans is doing.  A ton of big corporate money has flowed into New Orleans.  Officials are trying to clean up the city and make it a huge tourist destination once again. But in the surrounding areas things are not looking so bright.  There are areas along the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the panhandle of Florida that are some of the most depressing places in the nation.

It is almost as if there are hundreds of thousands of people that time forgot.  In some rural areas along the Gulf coast the poverty is absolutely mind-blowing. There are very few jobs and there is very little hope.  Meanwhile, large numbers of people in the region continue to get sick from the toxic dispersants
used to clean up the oil spill.

Let us hope that we don’t see another major disaster in the Gulf of Mexico any time soon.  As it is, it is going to take decades for that region to fully recover.  There are a lot of really good people that live down there, and they deserve our prayers.

97. Vallejo, California (And Virtually The Rest Of The State Of California)
Almost the entire state of California is an economic disaster zone. Austerity measures are being implemented in city after city as tax revenues have nose-dived.
The following is an excerpt from a recent New York Times article that describes the brutal austerity that has been implemented in Vallejo, California….
“Vallejo is still in bankruptcy. The police force has shrunk from 153 officers to 92. Calls for any but the most serious crimes go unanswered. Residents who complain about prostitutes or vandals are told to fill out a form. Three of the city’s firehouses were closed. Last summer, a fire ravaged a house in one of the city’s better neighborhoods; one of the fire trucks came from another town, 15 miles away. Is this America’s future?”

In California, things don’t ‘look’ as bad as they do in the cities of the  older eastern and midwestern states, however, California is basically insolvent and are home to very large ethnic populations, many of whom are on government assistance.
[Image left: A middle class gated community. Sadly, that is what the future of America is going to look like.]

Public services are being slashed all over the nation due to budget crunches. Unless there is a major jobs recovery, the situation in California is going to continue to degenerate.  The truth is that the state of California needs millions and millions of new jobs just to get back to “normal”.  For example, near the end of last year it was reported that 24.3 percent of the residents of El Centro, California were unemployed.  Not only that, as of the end of last year the number of people unemployed in the state of  California was approximately equivalent to the entire populations of Nevada, New Hampshire and Vermont combined.

In Stockton, CA, with 43 police threatened to be laid off, a group of concerned residents formed an armed militia to patrol the city.
Businesses are closing in California at an astounding pace.  At one point last year it was reported that in the area around Sacramento, California there was one closed business for every six that were still open. As a result of all of this, home prices in many areas of California have completely fallen off a cliff.  For example, the average home in Merced, California has declined in value by 63 percent over the past four years. California also had more foreclosure filings that any other U.S. state in 2010.  The 546,669 total foreclosure filings during the year means that over 4 percent of all the housing units in the state of California received a foreclosure filing at some point during 2010.

Sadly, things don’t look like they are going to turn around in California any time soon.  Forbes recently compiled a list entitled “Cities Where The Economy May Get Worse”. Six of the top seven spots were held by cities in California.

California is becoming a very frightening place.  When you combine high unemployment with unchecked illegal immigration what you get is rampant poverty. Twenty percent of the residents of Los Angeles County are now receiving public aid of one form or another. In particular, the number of children that are considered to be in need of public assistance is truly scary. Incredibly, 60 percent of all the students attending California public schools now qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches.

Poverty and illegal immigration have also caused a tremendous health care crisis in the state.  The hordes of illegal aliens taking advantage of “free” medical care at hospital emergency rooms have caused dozens of hospitals across the state of California to completely shut down.  As a result, the state
of California now ranks dead last out of all 50 states in the number of emergency rooms per million people.

The bozos in Sacramento keep passing hundreds of new laws in an attempt to “fix” the state, but the truth is that for the poorest residents of the state all of those new laws don’t make a shred of difference.

The following is how Victor Davis Hansen[1] describes what he saw during his recent tour of the “forgotten areas of central California”….
“Many of the rural trailer-house compounds I saw appear to the naked eye no different from what I have seen in the Third World . There is a Caribbean look to the junked cars, electric wires crisscrossing between various outbuildings, plastic tarps substituting for replacement shingles, lean-tos cobbled together as auxiliary housing, pit bulls unleashed, and geese, goats, and chickens roaming around the yards. The public hears about all sorts of tough California regulations that stymie business – rigid zoning laws, strict building codes, constant inspections – but apparently none of that applies out here. Hansen also says that he observed that people in these areas are doing whatever they can to get by….At crossroads, peddlers in a counter-California economy sell almost anything. Here is what I noticed at an intersection on the west side last week: shovels, rakes, hoes, gas pumps, lawnmowers, edgers, blowers, jackets, gloves, and caps. The merchandise was all new. I doubt whether in high-tax California sales taxes or income taxes were paid on any of these stop-and-go transactions.
In two supermarkets 50 miles apart, I was the only one in line who did not pay with a social-service plastic card (gone are the days when “food stamps” were embarrassing bulky coupons).”

Are you frightened yet?
You know what they say – “as goes California, so goes the nation”.

What is happening in California now is eventually going to come to your area. Right now California is also having a huge problem with gangs.  Gang violence in America is getting totally out of control.
According to authorities, there are now over 1 million members of criminal gangs operating inside the country, and those gangs are responsible for up to 80% of the violent crimes committed in the U.S. each year. But instead of ramping up to fight crime and fight illegal immigration, police forces all over California are being cut back.

For example, because of extreme budget cuts and police layoffs, Oakland, California Police Chief Anthony Batts has announced that there are a number of crimes that his department simply will no longer respond to due to a lack of resources.  The following is a partial list of the crimes that police officers in Oakland will no longer be responding to….

•  burglary
•  obtain money by false voucher
•  theft
•  fraudulent use of access cards
•  embezzlement
•  stolen license plate
•  grand theft
•  embezzlement by an employee
•  grand theft: dog
•  extortion
•  identity theft
•  attempted extortion
•  false information to peace officer
•  false personification of other
•  required to register as sex or arson offender
•  injure telephone/power line
•  dump waste or offensive matter
•  interfere with power line
•  loud music
•  unauthorized cable tv connection
•  possess forged notes
•  vandalism
•  pass fictitious check

Not that Oakland wasn’t already a mess before all this, but now how long do you think it will be before total chaos and anarchy reigns on the city streets? Today, Oakland is considered the 5th most violent city in the United States. Will it soon become the most violent?

But Oakland is not the only major California city that is facing these kinds of issues. Things have gotten so bad in Stockton, California that the police union put up a billboard with the following message: “Welcome to the 2nd most dangerous city in California. Stop laying off cops.”
Already the police force in Stockton has been stripped down to almost nothing. A while back, the Stockton Police Department dropped this bombshell….
“We absolutely do not have any narcotics officers, narcotics sergeants working any kind of investigative narcotics type cases at this point in time.” Do you think drug dealers will be flocking to Stockton after they hear that? California was once the envy of the world. Now it is becoming one gigantic hellhole.

During one recent 23 year period, the state of California built 23 prisons but just one university.
So is there any hope for California? No, unfortunately there is not.
In another article, I wrote about some of the reasons why millions of people have been leaving California for good….
“Meanwhile, the standard of living in California is going right into the toilet.  Housing values are plummeting.  Unemployment has risen above 20 percent in many areas of the state.  Crime and gang activity is on the rise even as police budgets are being hacked to the bone.  The health care system is an absolute disaster.  At this point California has the fewest emergency rooms per million people out of all 50 states.   While all of this has been going on, the state legislature in Sacramento has been very busy passing hundreds of new laws that are mostly about promoting one radical agenda or another.  The state government has become so radically anti-business that it is a wonder that any businesses have remained in the state.  It seems like the moving vans never stop as an endless parade of businesses and families leave California as quickly as they can.”

But this is not just a “California thing”.  The truth is that what is happening in California, in Detroit, in Camden and in hundreds of other communities is also going to happen where you live.

The U.S. economy is slowly dying. Only 66.8% of American men had a job last year.  That was the
lowest level that has ever been recorded in U.S. history.
People are getting desperate.  There are ten percent fewer middle class jobs than there were a decade ago and the competition for good jobs has become insane.  More than 44 million Americans are now on food stamps and that number grows every single month.  Millions more American families fall into poverty every single year.

It is time to face the truth about what is happening to America.  Our economy is not growing and becoming stronger.  Rather, the cold, hard reality of the matter is that our economy is very sick and it is dying.  The seemingly boundless prosperity that we have enjoyed for decade after decade is coming to an end.  Our communities are being transformed into absolute hellholes.

Those that are telling you that the U.S. economy will soon be better than ever are lying to you.
The U.S. economy is going to go down and it is going to go down hard.

One thing is painfully clear about the housing bubble bursting in Southern California and that is many of the 20 million residents never venture off their beaten path.  Hit the freeway to work, stay inside, clock out, and head back to your segmented area.  Variety is having lunch within a few minutes or miles from the hub.  You have to wonder how many people are blind o the economic destruction that is hitting from all corners like a financial tornado.  Foreclosures are raging and yet you have people gleefully acting as if real estate is heading back to the previous price levels.  Those days are gone.  If people would only venture out a few miles to see what is happening in their own backyard it would add a new level of perspective.
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C.  How The ‘Progressives’ Ruined The State
Tuesday, February 15, 2011, Good-Bye California, By Victor Davis Hansen
Pasted from: http://www.rense.com/general92/goodd.htm
“The last three weeks I have traveled about, taking the pulse of the more forgotten areas of central California. I wanted to witness, even if superficially, what is happening to a state that has the highest sales and income taxes, the most lavish entitlements, the near-worst public schools (based on federal test scores), and the largest number of illegal aliens in the nation, along with an overregulated private sector, a stagnant and shrinking manufacturing base, and an elite environmental ethos that restricts commerce and productivity without curbing consumption.

During this unscientific experiment, three times a week I rode a bike on a 20-mile trip over various rural roads in southwestern Fresno County . I also drove my car over to the coast to work, on various routes through towns like San Joaquin , Mendota, and Firebaugh. And near my home I have been driving, shopping, and touring by intent the rather segregated and impoverished areas of Caruthers, Fowler, Laton, Orange Cove, Parlier, and Selma . My own farmhouse is now in an area of abject poverty and almost no ethnic diversity; the closest elementary school (my alma mater, two miles away) is 94 percent Hispanic and 1 percent white, and well below federal testing norms in math and English.

Here are some general observations about what I saw (other than that the rural roads of California are fast turning into rubble, poorly maintained and reverting to what I remember seeing long ago in the rural South). First, remember that these areas are the ground zero, so to speak, of 20 years of illegal immigration. There has been a general depression in farming – to such an extent that the 20- to-100-acre tree and vine farmer, the erstwhile backbone of the old rural California , for all practical purposes has ceased to exist.

On the western side of the Central Valley , the effects of arbitrary cutoffs in federal irrigation water have idled tens of thousands of acres of prime agricultural land, leaving thousands unemployed.
Manufacturing plants in the towns in these areas – which used to make harvesters, hydraulic lifts, trailers, food-processing equipment – have largely shut down; their production has been shipped off overseas or south of the border. Agriculture itself – from almonds to raisins – has increasingly become
 corporatized and mechanized, cutting by half the number of farm workers needed.  So unemployment runs somewhere between 15 and 20 percent.

It is almost as if the more California regulates, the more it does not regulate. Its public employees prefer to go after misdemeanors in the upscale areas to justify our expensive oversight industry, while ignoring the felonies in the downtrodden areas, which are becoming feral and beyond the ability of any inspector to do anything but feel irrelevant. But in the regulators’ defense, where would one get the money to redo an ad hoc trailer park with a spider web of illegal bare wires?

Many of the rented-out rural shacks and stationary Winnebagos are on former small farms – the vineyards overgrown with weeds, or torn out with the ground lying fallow. I pass on the cultural consequences to communities from the loss of thousands of small farming families. I don’t think I can remember another time when so many acres in the eastern part of the valley have gone out of production, even though farm prices have recently rebounded. Apparently it is simply not worth the gamble of investing $7,000 to $10,000 an acre in a new orchard or vineyard. What an anomaly – with suddenly soaring farm prices, still we have thousands of acres in the world’s richest agricultural belt, with available water on the east side of the valley and plentiful labor, gone idle or in disuse. Is credit frozen? Are there simply no more farmers? Are the schools so bad as to scare away potential agricultural entrepreneurs? Or are we all terrified by the national debt and uncertain future?

California coastal elites may worry about the oxygen content of water available to a three-inch smelt in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, but they seem to have no interest in the epidemic dumping of trash, furniture, and often toxic substances throughout California ‘s rural hinterland. Yesterday, for example, I rode my bike by a stopped van just as the occupants tossed seven plastic bags of raw refuse onto the side of the road. I rode up near their bumper and said in my broken Spanish not to throw garbage onto the public road. But there were three of them, and one of me. So I was lucky to be sworn at only. I note in passing that I would not drive into Mexico and, as a guest, dare to pull over and throw seven bags of trash into the environment of my host.

In fact, trash piles are commonplace out here – composed of everything from half-empty paint cans and children’s plastic toys to diapers and moldy food. I have never seen a rural sheriff cite a litterer, or witnessed state EPA workers cleaning up these unauthorized wastelands. So I would suggest to Bay Area scientists that the environment is taking a much harder beating down here in central California than it is in the Delta. Perhaps before we cut off more irrigation water to the west side of the valley, we might invest some green dollars into cleaning up the unsightly and sometimes dangerous garbage that now litters the outskirts of our rural communities.

We hear about the tough small-business regulations that have driven residents out of the state, at the rate of 2,000 to 3,000 a week. But from my unscientific observations these past weeks, it seems rather easy to open a small business in California without any oversight at all, or at least what I might call a “counter business.” I counted eleven mobile hot-kitchen trucks that simply park by the side of the road, spread about some plastic chairs, pull down a tarp canopy, and, presto, become mini-restaurants. There are no “facilities” such as toilets or washrooms. But I do frequently see lard trails on the isolated roads I bike on, where trucks apparently have simply opened their draining tanks and sped on, leaving a slick of cooking fats and oils. Crows and ground squirrels love them; they can be seen from a distance mysteriously occupied in the middle of the road.

I did not see any relationship between the use of the (Social Service) cards and poverty as we once knew it: The electrical appurtenances owned by the user and the car into which the (welfare) groceries were loaded were indistinguishable from those of the upper middle class. By that I mean that most consumers drove late-model Camrys, Accords, or Tauruses, had iPhones, Bluetooths, or BlackBerries, and bought everything in the store with public-assistance credit. This seemed a world apart from the trailers I had just ridden by the day before. I don’t editorialize here on the logic or morality of any of this, but I note only that there are vast numbers of people who apparently are not working, are on public food assistance, and enjoy the technological veneer of the middle class. California has a consumer market surely, but often no apparent source of income. Does the $40 million a day supplement to unemployment benefits from Washington explain some of this?

Do diversity concerns, as in lack of diversity, work both ways? Over a hundred-mile stretch, when I stopped in San Joaquin for a bottled water, or drove through Orange Cove, or got gas in Parlier, or went to a corner market in southwestern Selma, my home town, I was the only non-Hispanic – there were no Asians, no blacks, no other whites. We may speak of the richness of “diversity,” but those who cherish that ideal simply have no idea that there are now countless inland communities that have become near-apartheid societies, where Spanish is the first language, the schools are not at all diverse, and the federal and state governments are either the main employers or at least the chief sources of income – whether through emergency rooms, rural health clinics, public schools, or social-service offices. An observer from Mars might conclude that our elites and masses have given up on the ideal of integration and assimilation, perhaps in the wake of the arrival of 11 to 15 million illegal aliens.

Again, I do not editorialize, but I note these vast transformations over the last 20 years that are the paradoxical wages of unchecked illegal immigration from Mexico, a vast expansion of California’s entitlements and taxes, the flight of the upper middle class out of state, the deliberate effort not to tap natural resources, the downsizing in manufacturing and agriculture, and the departure of whites, blacks, and Asians from many of these small towns to more racially diverse and upscale areas of
California.

Fresno ‘s California State University campus is embroiled in controversy over the student body president’s announcing that he is an illegal alien, with all the requisite protests in favor of the DREAM Act. I won’t comment on the legislation per se, but again only note the anomaly. I taught at CSUF for 21 years. I think it fair to say that the predominant theme of the Chicano and Latin American Studies program’s sizable curriculum was a fuzzy American culpability. By that I mean that students in those classes heard of the sins of America more often than its attractions.

In my home town, Mexican flag decals on car windows are far more common than their American counterparts. I note this because hundreds of students here illegally are now terrified of being deported to Mexico . I can understand that, given the chaos in Mexico and their own long residency in the United States . But here is what still confuses me: If one were to consider the classes that deal with Mexico at the university, or the visible displays of national chauvinism, then one might conclude that Mexico is a far more attractive and moral place than the United States. So there is a surreal nature to these protests: something like, “Please do not send me back to the culture I nostalgically praise; please let me stay in the culture that I ignore or deprecate.”  I think the DREAM Act protestors might have been far more successful in winning public opinion had they stopped blaming the U.S. for suggesting that they might have to leave at some point, and instead explained why, in fact, they want to stay. What it is about America that makes a youth of 21 go on a hunger strike or demonstrate to be allowed to remain in this country rather than return to the place of his birth?

I think I know the answer to this paradox. Missing entirely in the above description is the attitude of the host, which by any historical standard can only be termed “indifferent. ” California does not care whether one broke the law to arrive here or continues to break it by staying. It asks nothing of the illegal immigrant – no proficiency in English, no acquaintance with American history and values, no proof of income, no record of education or skills. It does provide all the public assistance that it can afford (and more that it borrows for), and apparently waives enforcement of most of California ‘s burdensome regulations and civic statutes that increasingly have plagued productive citizens to the point of driving them out.

How odd that we over regulate those who are citizens and have capital to the point of banishing them from the state, but do not regulate those who are aliens and without capital to the point of encouraging millions more to follow in their footsteps. How odd – to paraphrase what Critias once said of ancient Sparta – that California is at once both the nation’s most unfree and most free state, the most repressed and the wildest. Hundreds of thousands sense all that and vote accordingly with their feet, both into and out of California – and the result is a sort of social, cultural, economic, and political time-bomb, whose ticks are getting louder.”
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D.  Education: The Dumbing Of America
Call Me a Snob, but Really, We’re a Nation of Dunces
February 17, 2008, By Susan Jacoby
Pasted from: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19382.htm
“The mind of this country, taught to aim at low objects, eats upon itself.” Ralph Waldo Emerson offered that observation in 1837, but his words echo with painful prescience in today’s very different United States. Americans are in serious intellectual trouble — in danger of losing our hard-won cultural capital to a virulent mixture of anti-intellectualism, anti-rationalism and low expectations.

This is the last subject that any candidate would dare raise on the long and winding road to the White House. It is almost impossible to talk about the manner in which public ignorance contributes to grave national problems without being labeled an “elitist,” one of the most powerful pejoratives that can be applied to anyone aspiring to high office. Instead, our politicians repeatedly assure Americans that they are just “folks,” a patronizing term that you will search for in vain in important presidential speeches before 1980. (Just imagine: “We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain . . . and that government of the folks, by the folks, for the folks, shall not perish from the earth.”) Such exaltations of ordinariness are among the distinguishing traits of anti-intellectualism in any era.

The classic work on this subject by Columbia University historian Richard Hofstadter, “Anti-Intellectualism in American Life,” was published in early 1963, between the anti-communist crusades of the McCarthy era and the social convulsions of the late 1960s.
Hofstadter saw American anti-intellectualism as a basically cyclical phenomenon that often manifested itself as the dark side of the country’s democratic impulses in religion and education. But today’s brand of anti-intellectualism is less a cycle than a flood. If Hofstadter (who died of leukemia in 1970 at age 54) had lived long enough to write a modern-day sequel, he would have found that our era of 24/7 infotainment has outstripped his most apocalyptic predictions about the future of American culture.

Dumbness, to paraphrase the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, has been steadily defined downward for several decades, by a combination of heretofore irresistible forces. These include the triumph of video culture over print culture (and by video, I mean every form of digital media, as well as older electronic ones); a disjunction between Americans’ rising level of formal education and their shaky grasp of basic geography, science and history; and the fusion of anti-rationalism with anti-intellectualism.

First and foremost among the vectors of the new anti-intellectualism is video. The decline of book, newspaper and magazine reading is by now an old story. The drop-off is most pronounced among the young, but it continues to accelerate and afflict Americans of all ages and education levels.

Reading has declined not only among the poorly educated, according to a report last year by the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1982, 82 percent of college graduates read novels or poems for
pleasure; two decades later, only 67 percent did. And more than 40 percent of Americans under 44 did not read a single book — fiction or nonfiction — over the course of a year. The proportion of 17-year-olds who read nothing (unless required to do so for school) more than doubled between 1984 and 2004. This time period, of course, encompasses the rise of personal computers, Web surfing and video games.

Does all this matter? Technophiles pooh-pooh jeremiads about the end of print culture as the navel-gazing of (what else?) elitists. In his book “Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter,” the science writer Steven Johnson assures us that we have nothing to worry about. Sure, parents may see their “vibrant and active children gazing silently, mouths agape, at the screen.” But these zombie-like characteristics “are not signs of mental atrophy. They’re signs of focus.” Balderdash. The real question is what toddlers are screening out, not what they are focusing on, while they sit mesmerized by videos they have seen dozens of times.

Despite an aggressive marketing campaign aimed at encouraging babies as young as 6 months to watch videos, there is no evidence that focusing on a screen is anything but bad for infants and toddlers. In a study released last August, University of Washington researchers found that babies between 8 and 16 months recognized an average of six to eight fewer words for every hour spent watching videos.

I cannot prove that reading for hours in a treehouse (which is what I was doing when I was 13) creates more informed citizens than hammering away at a Microsoft Xbox or obsessing about Facebook profiles. But the inability to concentrate for long periods of time — as distinct from brief reading hits for information on the Web — seems to me intimately related to the inability of the public to remember even recent news events. It is not surprising, for example, that less has been heard from the presidential candidates about the Iraq war in the later stages of the primary campaign than in the earlier ones, simply because there have been fewer video reports of violence in Iraq. Candidates, like voters, emphasize the latest news, not necessarily the most important news.

No wonder negative political ads work. “With text, it is even easy to keep track of differing levels of authority behind different pieces of information,” the cultural critic Caleb Crain noted recently in the New Yorker. “A comparison of two video reports, on the other hand, is cumbersome. Forced to choose between conflicting stories on television, the viewer falls back on hunches, or on what he believed before he started watching.”

As video consumers become progressively more impatient with the process of acquiring information through written language, all politicians find themselves under great pressure to deliver their messages as quickly as possible — and quickness today is much quicker than it used to be. Harvard University’s Kiku Adatto found that between 1968 and 1988, the average sound bite on the news for a presidential candidate — featuring the candidate’s own voice — dropped from 42.3 seconds to 9.8 seconds. By 2000, according to another Harvard study, the daily candidate bite was down to just
7.8 seconds.

The shrinking public attention span fostered by video is closely tied to the second important anti-intellectual force in American culture: the erosion of general knowledge.

People accustomed to hearing their president explain complicated policy choices by snapping “I’m the decider” may find it almost impossible to imagine the pains that Franklin D. Roosevelt took, in the grim months after Pearl Harbor, to explain why U.S. armed forces were suffering one defeat after another in the Pacific. In February 1942, Roosevelt urged Americans to spread out a map during his radio
“fireside chat” so that they might better understand the geography of battle. In stores throughout the country, maps sold out; about 80 percent of American adults tuned in to hear the president. FDR had told his speechwriters that he was certain that if Americans understood the immensity of the distances over which supplies had to travel to the armed forces, “they can take any kind of bad news right on the chin.”

This is a portrait not only of a different presidency and president but also of a different country and citizenry, one that lacked access to satellite-enhanced Google maps but was far more receptive to learning and complexity than today’s public. According to a 2006 survey by National Geographic-Roper, nearly half of Americans between ages 18 and 24 do not think it necessary to know the location of other countries in which important news is being made. More than a third consider it “not at all important” to know a foreign language, and only 14 percent consider it “very important.”

That leads us to the third and final factor behind the new American dumbness: not lack of knowledge per se but arrogance about that lack of knowledge. The problem is not just the things we do not know (consider the one in five American adults who, according to the National Science Foundation, thinks the sun revolves around the Earth); it’s the alarming number of Americans who have smugly concluded that they do not need to know such things in the first place. Call this anti-rationalism — a syndrome that is particularly dangerous to our public institutions and discourse. Not knowing a foreign language or the location of an important country is a manifestation of ignorance; denying that such knowledge matters is pure anti-rationalism. The toxic brew of anti-rationalism and ignorance hurts discussions of U.S. public policy on topics from health care to taxation.

There is no quick cure for this epidemic  of arrogant anti-rationalism and anti-intellectualism; rote efforts to raise standardized test scores by stuffing students with specific answers to specific questions on specific tests will not do the job. Moreover, the people who exemplify the problem are usually oblivious to it. (“Hardly anyone believes himself to be against thought and culture,” Hofstadter noted.) It is past time for a serious national discussion about whether, as a nation, we truly value intellect and rationality. If this indeed turns out to be a “change election,” the low-level of discourse in a country with a mind taught to aim at low objects ought to be the first item on the change agenda.”
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E.  The Dumbing Down of America’s Colleges
April 1996, Phyllis Schlafly Report
Pasted from: http://www.ourcivilisation.com/dumb/dumb2.htm
“Finally, a prestigious group of college professors has come right out and said that the emperor (i.e., the Imperial University) has no clothes. Many have long suspected that college education has been dramatically dumbed down (like the public schools), but few have had the courage to say so.

The National Association of Scholars (NAS), the nation’s leading higher-education reform organization, has just published a devastating 65-page report on its investigation of the courses offered and required at 50 top undergraduate colleges and universities. The NAS used U.S. News & World Report’s annual listing of “America’s Best Colleges” (including both private and public). All figures cited below refer to those 50 elite institutions in the particular years chosen for comparison, 1914, 1939, 1964, and 1993.

The NAS concludes that students no longer learn the common core of knowledge once taken for granted as essential to a liberal-arts education. The universities have simply purged from the curriculum many of the required courses that formerly taught students the historical, cultural, political and scientific basics of our society.

The number of mandatory courses has been dramatically reduced from an average of 9.9 in 1914, to 7.3 in 1939, to 6.9 in 1964, and to 2.5 in 1993. The formerly universal requirement that students take a basic survey course in several important areas has virtually vanished.

Universities now offer very few courses that require prerequisites, which means that very few college courses now require any advance knowledge or preparation. In 1914, universities offered an average of only 23 courses per institution that did not require a prerequisite course; in 1964 the figure had risen to 127; today, the number is 582. Only 12 percent of universities now require a thesis or comprehensive examination to get a bachelor’s degree. As late as 1964, more than half of universities did.

The college year has been shortened by about one-fourth (leaving more time for spring break and other frivolities, but, of course, without any reduction in tuition price or professors’ salaries). In 1914, college classes were in session an average of 204 days a year; by 1939 the number had dropped to 195; in 1964, to 191; and today students and teachers are expected to show up in class only 156 days per academic year.

Maybe the reason why young people can’t write good English is that so few colleges teach writing any more. In 1914, nearly all universities had required courses in English composition; by 1964 the figure was 86 percent; today, it’s only 36 percent.

Ditto for math. In 1914, 82 percent of the universities had traditional mathematics requirements; by 1964 only 36 percent did; now, only 12 percent do. In 1914, 1939 and 1964, more than 70 percent of the institutions required at least one course in the natural sciences; that figure has now fallen to only 34 percent.

Maybe the reason why the federal guidelines on the teaching of American history turned out to be such a travesty was that most college graduates haven’t studied any history. In 1914, 90 percent of our elite colleges required history; in 1939 and 1964 more than 50 percent did; but now only one of the 50 schools has a required history course.

Literature courses were required at 75 percent of the institutions in 1914, and at 50 percent in 1939 and 1964. Today, not one of the “best” institutions has a literature requirement.

Meanwhile, the total number of courses offered at undergraduate institutions has increased by a factor of five since 1914, and has doubled since 1964, but that doesn’t mean more opportunities to become an educated citizen. The majority of these additional courses are on narrow and idiosyncratic subjects of interest to the professors but almost worthless to the students. The total includes such trendy
and trivial courses as Stanford’s “Gender and Science” (which purports to study science free from outdated male assumptions), and Georgetown’s “Unspeakable Lives: Gay and Lesbian Narratives.”

Here are some examples of courses given at Yale University for which students can receive college credit: “Gender and the Politics of Resistance: Feminism, Capitalism and the Third World.” “Gender and Technology.” “Feminist Perspectives on Literature.” “Lesbian and Gay Theater Performance.” “The Literature of AIDS.” “Contemporary Lesbian and Gay Arts and Culture.” “Constructing Lesbian Identities.” Such courses are just propaganda and entertainment masquerading as education.

The result is that our best colleges and universities no longer turn out graduates who have an elementary knowledge of our civilization and its heritage. They do not learn the basic facts of our country’s history, political and economic systems, philosophic traditions, and literary and artistic legacies.

Quite apart from the fraud of charging an exorbitant $100,000 for a devalued diploma is the fact that we are in danger of losing the national cohesion of a known and shared heritage which has sustained and nourished our unique institutions of freedom within a limited, constitutional government.

The New York Times quoted a critic of this NAS report as arguing that “the real agenda of higher education today is the concern with problem solving, critical thinking, communicating and learning how to value.”

But how are students going to engage in all those thoughtful processes when their knowledge is so pathetically limited and their composition and communication skills are almost non-existent?

In addition, there is the dumbing down inherent in giving courses that are not college courses at all, but are designed to teach students what they didn’t learn in high school. Sometimes these courses are called “remedial,” but the institutions prefer euphemisms such as “second tier” and “sub-freshman.” Such courses were unheard of prior to 1939, and only three institutions offered them in 1964. Today such non-college-level courses are offered in 70 percent of the elite universities, and most of them award college credit.

California state legislators recently discovered the high cost to the taxpayers of the remedial education courses given at the state universities. Last year, 60 percent of new students needed remedial help. California legislators assert that students have been the victims of consumer fraud perpetrated on them by the high schools that gave them high grades. The legislators want to send the invoice for the cost of the remedial courses to the high schools that deceived their students by giving them a 3.8 or higher grade-point average.

The 1996 Governors Education Summit at Palisades, New York, spent two days discussing “standards” for what students should learn in public schools. Longtime American Federation of Teachers president Al Shanker gave this concept a reality check. He said that when, as a teacher, he assigned homework to his class, the pupils invariably responded in chorus, “Does it count on our grade?” He pointed out the fact of human nature that standards aren’t going to make any difference if, no matter what students learn or don’t learn, they can still get admitted to nearly all U.S. colleges and universities.  The standards question in the public schools could be resolved if colleges and universities would abolish their remedial courses and admit only students capable of doing college work. But they won’t because of the easy flow of taxpayers’ money, which makes it so profitable for colleges and universities to admit all the students they can and then send the bill to the taxpayers.
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F. Infrastructure: America’s Crumbling Infrastructure
One of the key signs that we are in the early stages of an economic collapse and that we are heading towards another Great Depression is America’s crumbling infrastructure.  The truth is that our infrastructure is literally falling apart all around us.  Thousands of bridges are structurally deficient and there have already been some very high profile collapses.  Over 30 percent of the highways and roads in the United States are in very poor shape.  Aging sewer systems are leaking raw sewage all over the place.  The power grid is straining to keep up with the ever-increasing thirst of the American people for electricity.  There have already been some regional blackouts, and unless something is done quickly things promise to get even worse.  The truth is that a nation’s infrastructure says a lot about who they are.  So what does America’s infrastructure say about us?  It says that we are a rusting, crumbling, decaying leftover from a better, more prosperous time.

Consider the following facts about America’s infrastructure from the Pew Research Center
website…..
*  According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than 25 percent of America’s nearly 600,000 bridges need significant repairs or are burdened with more traffic than they were designed to carry.
*  According to the Federal Highway Administration, approximately a third of America’s major roadways are in substandard condition – a significant factor in a third of the more than 43,000 traffic fatalities in the United States each year.
*  The Texas Transportation Institute estimates that traffic jams caused by insufficient infrastructure waste 4 billion hours of commuters’ time and nearly 3 billion gallons of gasoline a year.
*  The Association of State Dam Safety Officials has found that the number of dams in the United States that could fail has grown 134% since 1999 to 3,346, and more than 1,300 of those are considered “high-hazard” – meaning that their collapse would threaten lives.
*  More than a third of all dam failures or near failures since 1874 have happened in just the last decade.
*  According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, aging sewer systems spill an estimated 1.26 trillion gallons of untreated sewage every single year, resulting in an estimated 50.6 billion dollars in cleanup costs.

The following are some additional facts from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce….
*  A decaying transportation system costs our economy more than $78 billion annually in lost time and fuel.
*  The United States must invest $225 billion per year over the next 50 years to maintain and adequately enhance our surface transportation systems. Currently, we’re spending less than 40% of this amount.
*  U.S. transit systems earned a D+ rating from the American Society of Civil Engineers. Transit funding is declining even as transit use increases faster than any other mode of transportation – up 21% between 1993 and 2002.
*  Costs attributed to airline delays – due in large part to congestion and an antiquated air traffic control system – are expected to triple to $30 billion from 2000 to 2015.
*  By 2020, every major U.S. container port is projected to be handling at least double the volume it was designed to handle.
*  Throughout the United States, railroads are projected to need nearly $200 billion in investment over the next 20 years to accommodate freight increases.

Are you starting to get the picture??

America’s aging infrastructure cannot handle the number of people that we have now. With the population of the United States expected to hit 420 million by 2050, there are serious questions about how the national infrastructure is going to hold up under such a strain. Already the infrastructure in many areas of the United States is beginning to resemble that of a third world nation.

So can anything be done about America’s crumbling infrastructure? Of course. State and local governments can spend the money needed to fix and maintain our infrastructure. But that is not going to happen. Why? Because state and local governments are now facing unprecedented financial shortfalls. In fact, it is more likely that expenditures on infrastructure will actually be cut.

According to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, after two years cutting spending on schools, health care, and other public services, U.S. states are preparing to carve even deeper into funding for 2011.

Of course the U.S. government could step in with necessary infrastructure funding, but considering the state of the U.S. national debt, it seems unlikely that state and local governments will be able to count on much more help from the folks in Washington D.C.

So what does that mean? It means that America’s infrastructure will continue to rust, decay and fall to pieces.  Our grandparents and great-grandparents invested a lot of time, energy and money into building up this great nation, but now we are letting it rot right in front of our eyes.
What do you think that says about us?
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G.  Everything Is Falling Apart:  20 Facts That You Will Not Want To Read  If You Still Want To Feel Good About America’s Decaying Infrastructure
5 Jan 2011, TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com, by Michael Snyder
Pasted from: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/everything-is-falling-apart-20-facts-that-you-will-not-want-to-read-if-you-still-want-to-feel-good-about-americas-decaying-infrastructure
If you haven’t noticed lately, America is literally falling apart all around us. Decaying infrastructure is everywhere. Our roads and bridges are crumbling and are full of holes.  Our rail system is ancient.  Our airports and runways have definitely seen their better days.  Aging sewer systems all over the country are leaking raw sewage all over the place.  The power grid is straining to keep up with the ever-increasing thirst of the American people for electricity.  Dams are failing at an unprecedented rate.  Virtually all of our ports are handling far more traffic than they were ever intended to handle.  Meanwhile, our national spending on infrastructure is way down.  Back during the 1950s and 1960s we were spending between 3 and 4 percent of our national GDP on infrastructure, but today we are spending less than 2.5 percent of our national GDP on it.  According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, we need to spend approximately $2.2 trillion on infrastructure repairs and upgrades just to bring our existing infrastructure up to “good condition”.

Does anyone have an extra $2.2 trillion to spare?

If you get the feeling that America is decaying as you drive around this great country of ours, it is not just your imagination.  It is literally happening.

You should not read the list of facts below if you want to keep feeling good about the condition of America’s infrastructure.  There really is no way to sugar-coat what is happening. Previous generations handed us the greatest national infrastructure that anyone in the world has ever seen and we have neglected it and have allowed it to badly deteriorate.

This first set of facts about America’s decaying infrastructure was compiled from a fact sheet entitled “The Case For U.S. Infrastructure Investment” by an organization called Building America’s Future….

#1   One-third of America’s major roads are in poor or mediocre condition.
#2   Traffic on more than half the miles of interstate highway exceeds 70 percent of capacity, and nearly 25 percent of the miles are strained at more than 95 percent of capacity.
#3   Americans waste 4.2 billion hours and 2.8 billion gallons fuel a year sitting in traffic – equal to nearly one full work week and three weeks’ worth of gas for every traveler.
#4   Over the next 30 years, our nation is expected to grow by 100 million and highway traffic will double again. Even if highway capacity grows no faster than in the last 25 years, Americans can expect to spend 160 hours – 4 work weeks – each year in traffic by 2035.
#5   Nearly a third of all highway fatalities are due to substandard road conditions, obsolete road designs, or roadside hazards.
#6   Over 4,095 dams are “unsafe” and have deficiencies that leave them more susceptible to failure, especially during large flood events or earthquakes.
#7   Rolling blackouts and inefficiencies in the U.S. electrical grid cost an estimated $80 billion a year
#8   By 2020, every major U.S. container port is projected to at least double the volume of cargo it was designed to handle. Some East Coast ports will triple in volume, and some West Coast ports will quadruple.
#9   Other countries are leapfrogging past us by investing in world-class ports. China is investing $6.9 billion; the port of Shanghai now has almost as much container capacity as all U.S. ports combined.
#10   By 2020, China plans to build 55,000 miles of highways, more than the total length of the U.S. interstate system.

The rest of these facts were compiled from various sources around the Internet.  The more research that you do into America’s decaying infrastructure the more depressing it becomes….

#11   According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than 25 percent of America’s nearly 600,000 bridges need significant repairs or are burdened with more traffic than they were designed to carry.
#12   More than a third of all dam failures or near failures since 1874 have happened in just the last decade.
#13   All across the United States, conditions at many state parks, recreation areas and historic sites are deplorable at best. Some states have backlogs of repair projects that are now over a billion dollars long.  The following is a quote from a recent MSNBC article about these project backlogs….

More than a dozen states estimate that their backlogs are at least $100 million. Massachusetts and New York’s are at least $1 billion. Hawaii officials called park conditions “deplorable” in a December report asking for $50 million per year for five years to tackle a $240 million backlog that covers parks, trails and harbors.Over the past year, approximately 100 of New York’s state parks and historic sites have had to cut services and reduce hours.
#15   All over America, asphalt roads are being ground up and are being replaced with gravel because it is cheaper to maintain.  The state of South Dakota has transformed over 100 miles of asphalt road into gravel over the past year, and 38 out of the 83 counties in the state of Michigan have transformed at least some of their asphalt roads into gravel roads.
So why don’t our state and local governments just spend the money necessary to fix all of these problems? Well, they can’t spend the money because they are flat broke. Just consider some of the financial problems that state and local governments around the nation are facing right now….
#16   One town in Michigan is so incredibly broke that it is literally begging the state to allow them to declare bankruptcy.
#17   One Alabama town is in such financial turmoil that it has decided to simply quit paying pension benefits.
#18   In Georgia, the county of Clayton recently eliminated its entire public bus system in order to save 8 million dollars.
#19   Major cities such as Philadelphia, Baltimore and Sacramento are so desperate to save money that they have instituted “rolling brownouts” in which various city fire stations are shut down on a rotating basis throughout the week.
#20   Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has come up with a unique way to save money.  He wants to cut 20 percent of Detroit off from essential social services such as road repairs, police patrols, functioning street lights and garbage collection.

The truth is that there are dozens of cities across the United States that are on the brink of bankruptcy.  To see a bunch of high-profile examples of this, check out the following article from Business Insider: “16 US Cities Facing Bankruptcy If They Don’t Make Deep Cuts In 2011″. Google it.

But it just isn’t local governments that are in deep trouble right now.  In fact, there are quite a few state governments that are complete and total financial disaster zones at this point. According to 60 Minutes,  the state of Illinois is at least six months behind on their bill payments.  60 Minutes correspondent Steve Croft recently asked Illinois state Comptroller Dan Hynes how many people and organizations are waiting to be paid by the state, and this is how Hynes responded….
“It’s fair to say that there are tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people waiting to be paid by the state.”

Investors across the globe are watching all this and they are starting to panic. In fact, investors are now pulling money out of municipal bonds at a rate that is absolutely staggering. But if states get cut off from all the debt that they need to operate, things are going to get a lot worse very quickly. Already we are seeing all kinds of troubling signs.  For example, the state of Arizona recently decided to stop paying for many types of organ transplants for people enrolled in its Medicaid program.

Sadly, as much as our politicians try to “fix” our problems, things just only seem to keep getting worse.
One prominent illustration of this is our health care system. Our health care system is absolutely falling apart all around us.  Thanks to the new health care reform law, doctors are flocking out of the profession in droves.  According to an absolutely stunning new poll, 40 percent of all U.S. doctors plan to bail out of the profession over the next three years.

Our economy continues to fall apart as well.  The number of personal bankruptcies in the United States continues to set stunning new highs.  According to the American Bankruptcy Institute, more than 1.53 million Americans filed bankruptcy petitions in 2010.  This was up 9 percent from 1.41 million in 2009.

Not only that, but the housing crisis shows no signs of abating. 382,000 new foreclosures were initiated during the third quarter of 2010.  This was up 31.2 percent from the previous quarter and it was 3.7 percent higher than the third quarter of 2009.

The U.S. banking system is also falling apart.  In 2006, no U.S. banks failed.  In 2009, 140 U.S. banks failed.  So did things get better in 2010?  No.  In 2010, 157 U.S. banks failed. Jan- Oct 2011 another 76 banks failed.

Unemployment continues to remain at depressingly high levels, and in many areas of the country it is getting even worse.  According to the U.S. Labor Department, the unemployment rate rose in two-thirds of America’s largest metro areas during November.Millions of Americans have become so disgusted with the job market that they have given up altogether.  The number of people who are so discouraged
that they have completely given up searching for work now stands at an all-time high.

So who is doing a booming business during these hard times?  Welfare agencies and food banks are.  During this economic downturn, millions of American families have found themselves going to a food bank for the very first time ever. It is getting harder and harder for average American families to feed themselves.  A recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 29 percent of Americans say that it is hard to afford food, and 48 of Americans say that it is hard to afford their heating and electric bills.

So is there any hope for the future?  Well, our new college graduates are supposed to lead us into the future, but most of them are saddled with overwhelming amounts of student loan debt.  Those who graduated during 2009 had an average of $24,000 in student loan debt.  This represented a 6 percent increase from the previous year. Not only that, but these new college grads are not finding jobs.  According to the one recent report, the unemployment rate for recent college graduates was 8.7 percent in 2009.  This was up from 5.8 percent in 2008, and it was the highest unemployment rate ever recorded for college graduates between the ages of 20 to 24.

As if all of this was not bad enough, now the Baby Boomers are starting to reach retirement age.  Beginning January 1st, 2011, every single day more than 10,000 Baby Boomers will reach the age of 65.  That is going to keep happening every single day for the next 19 years.

So where in the world are we going to come up with all of the money to give them the retirement benefits that they are due? The truth is that we are flat broke as a nation and so America’s decaying infrastructure is going to continue to decay. We don’t have the money to repair what we already have, much less add desperately needed new infrastructure. But perhaps it is only fitting.  The decay of our roads and cities will match the deep social, moral and political decay that has already been going on in this country for decades.

So will the American people awaken soon enough to be able to recapture the legacy of greatness that previous generations tried to pass on to us? Unfortunately, the vast majority of our politicians are completely incompetent.
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What Is Outsourcing?
Once upon a time in America, virtually anyone with a high school education and the willingness to work hard could get a good job.  Fifty years ago a “good job” would enable someone to own a home, buy a car, take a couple of vacations a year and retire with a decent pension.
Unfortunately, those days are long gone.  Every single year the number of “good jobs” in the United States actually shrinks even as our population continues to grow.  Where in the world did all of those good jobs go?  Economists toss around terms such as “outsourcing” and “offshoring” to describe what is happening, but most ordinary Americans don’t really grasp what those terms mean.  So what is
outsourcing?  Well, it essentially means sending work somewhere else.  In the context of this article I will be using those terms to describe the thousands of manufacturing facilities and the millions of jobs that have been sent overseas.  Over the past several decades, the U.S. economy has become increasingly merged into the emerging “one world economy”.  Thanks to the WTO, NAFTA and a whole host of other “free trade” agreements, the internationalist dream of a truly “global marketplace” is closer than ever before.

[Images above. Left: Abandoned Firestone textile mill, Gastonia, NC.  Once considered the largest textile mill in the USA. Right: A majestic Methodist church crumbles in Gary IN. Gary, once a major industrial city. When the production jobs went overseas and factories closed, people moved away,  churches were abandoned.]

But for American workers, a “global marketplace” is really bad news.  In the United States, businesses are subject to a vast array of very complex laws, rules and regulations that make it very difficult to operate in this country.  That makes it very tempting for corporations to simply move out of the U.S. in order to avoid all of the hassle. In addition, the United States now has the highest corporate tax rate in the entire world.  This also provides great motivation for corporations to move operations outside of the country.

The biggest thing affecting American workers, however, is the fact that labor has now become a global commodity.  U.S. workers have now been merged into a global labor pool. Americans must now directly compete for jobs with hundreds of millions of desperate people willing to work for slave labor wages on the other side of the globe. So exactly how is an American worker supposed to compete with a highly motivated person on the other side of the planet that makes $1.50 an hour with essentially no benefits? Just think about it. If you were a big global corporation, would you want to hire American workers which would cost you 10 or 20 times more after everything is factored in? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why millions of jobs have been leaving the United States.

Corporations love to make more money.  Many of them will not hesitate for an instant to pay slave labor wages if they can get away with it.  The bottom line for most corporations is to maximize shareholder wealth. Slowly, but surely the number of good jobs in the United States is shrinking and those jobs are being sent to places where labor is cheaper.

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, U.S. multinational corporations added 2.4 million new jobs overseas during the first decade of this century.  But during that same time frame U.S. multinational corporations cut a total of 2.9 million jobs inside the United States. So where are all of our jobs going? They are going to places like China. The United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
In addition, over 40,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been closed permanently during the past decade.

What do you think is eventually going to happen if the U.S. economy continues to bleed jobs and factories so badly?

[Images above: Left: Packard Motors, Detroit. Right: One of the sixteen steel plants that closed in Youngstown, OH.]

As the U.S. has faltered, China has become an absolute economic powerhouse. Ten years ago, the U.S. economy was three times as large as the Chinese economy.  At the turn of the century the United States accounted for well over 20 percent of global GDP and China accounted for significantly less than 10 percent of global GDP.  But since that time our share of global GDP has been steadily declining and China’s share has been steadily rising. According to the IMF, China will pass the United States and will become the largest economy in the world in 2016. Should we all celebrate when that happens?
Should we all chant “We’re Number 2″? Our economy is falling to pieces and the competition for the few remaining good jobs has become super intense.

The average American family is having a really tough time right now.  Only 45.4% of Americans had a job during 2010.  The last time the employment level was that low was back in 1983. Not only that, only 66.8% of American men had a job last year.  That was the lowest level that has ever been recorded in all of U.S. history.

Just think about that. 33.2% of American men do not have jobs. And that figure is going to continue to rise unless something is done about these economic trends. Today, there are 10% fewer “middle class jobs” in the United States than there were a decade ago.  Tens of millions of Americans have been forced to take “whatever they can get”.  A lot of very hard-working people are basically working for peanuts at this point.  In fact, half of all American workers now earn $505 or less per week.

[Images: Some of our modern service workers: Left: Flipping hamburgers at a McDonald’s fast food restaurant. Center: Wal-Mart ‘greeter’. Right: ‘Office work’, telemarketers,  etc.]

Things have gotten so bad that tens of thousands of people showed up for the National Hiring Day that McDonald’s just held.  With the economy such a mess, flipping burgers or welcoming people to Wal-Mart are jobs that suddenly don’t look so bad.

Right now America is rapidly losing high paying jobs and they are being replaced by low paying jobs.  According to a recent report from the National Employment Law Project, higher wage industries accounted for 40 percent of the job losses over the past 12 months but only 14 percent of the job growth.
Lower wage industries accounted for just 23 percent of the job losses over the past 12 months and a whopping 49 percent of the job growth. Thanks to the emerging one world economy, the U.S. is “transitioning” from a manufacturing economy to a service economy. But it certainly doesn’t help that China is using every trick in the book to steal our industries.  China openly subsidizes domestic industries, they brazenly steal technology and they manipulate currency rates.

A recent article on Economy In Crisis described how the Chinese paper industry has been able to grow by threefold over the past decade while the U.S. paper industry has fallen apart….“From 2002 to 2009, the Chinese government poured $33.1 billion into what should be an unproductive industry. But, with the help of government subsidies, China was able to ride export-driven growth to become the world’s leading producer of paper products.” In the same time frame that China pumped $33 billion into its paper industry, U.S. employment in the industry fell 29 percent, from 557,000 workers to just 398,000.

So why should we be concerned about all of this?

Well, just open up your eyes.  As I have written about previously, our formerly great cities are being transformed into post-apocalyptic hellholes. In a comment to a recent article, Trucker Mark described what he has seen happen to the “rust belt” over the past several decades….
“I am a product of Detroit’s northwest suburbs and the Cleveland, OH area, where together I lived almost 2/3rds of my 54 years. As a 30-year semi driver, I am intimately familiar with large areas of the industrial Midwest, the Northeast, and even much of central and southern California, and everything in-between. I am also college-educated, in Urban Planning and Economics. What has happened to not just Detroit, but to virtually every city in the southern half of Lower Michigan and northern Ohio is mind-boggling.
When I was 18, it was quite common to head over to a car plant and get hired immediately into a middle-class job. At one time I had dozens of friends from school working at car plants, dozens more in other large factories, dozens more in major grocery warehousing and distribution, and me, I was a semi driver delivering to all of those places. Between 1979, when I started driving semis, and now, I must have seen 10s of thousands of factories across just the southern Great Lakes region close their doors. Some of them were small, and some of them employed 10,000 workers or more.

The former Packard plant from your photo closed in 1957, and at one time it employed 12,000 workers, and my roommate in 1982 in Birmingham, MI had been laid-off from the old Dodge Main plant in Hamtramck, which once employed over 20,000 workers, which closed in 1981. In 1970 just Chrysler had over 40 plants in the Detroit-area, and now there are just 11 left open. The Willow Run plant, which  at one time turned-out a brand-new B-29 bomber every 40 minutes, and employed 50,000 workers, is long dead too, as is the tank plant north of town too. Even fairly new car plants like Novi Assembly are closed, Pontiac’s ultra-modern robotic car assembly plant too. In Cleveland 100 or more huge old plants stand empty, car plants, steel mills, and machine tool builders, in Akron dozens of rubber plants are long gone, Sharon, Warren, and Youngstown have all lost huge numbers of industrial jobs, Canton and Massillon too, where the NFL started, have been reduced to mere shells of their former selves. Along with the plant closings have gone the hopes and dreams of many thousands of retail operators, restaurant owners, and thousands of other small businesses too. Hundreds of entire major shopping malls stand vacant, as seas of potholes consume local roads. The city of Hamtramck, MI a Detroit suburb of 40,000 people, is bankrupt and has had to lay off all but two employees, one of whom works part-time. The traffic lights are shut-off and stop signs now appear at those intersections instead, as the city can’t even pay its power bill. I could go on & on & on for days but I don’t have the time.

I haven’t driven a semi in almost 2 years as my eyesight has begun giving out early. My last 10 years in the industry was spent delivering fresh and frozen meat on a regular multi-stop route through the Chicago-area and throughout southern Michigan. Between 2001 and 2009, my boss lost 14 of 19 major weekly customers in Michigan to bankruptcy, including three major grocery chains, plus numerous
less-frequent customers. The Detroit News reported before Christmas of 2007 a 29% unemployment rate within the city limits of Detroit, with an estimated 44% of the total adult population not working, and another news story reported a 1 in 200 chance of selling a house across the entire metropolitan area, which still has 4 million people total. Since 2003, home prices within the city limits of Detroit have fallen by 90%, and today there are thousands of houses in move-in condition on the market there for $5K to $10K. The suburbs are not immune either.”

You know what?  Detroit and Cleveland used to be two of the greatest cities in the entire world. Today very few people would call them great.  They are just shells of their former glory. Sadly, this cruel economy is causing “ghost towns” to appear all across the United States.  There are quite a few counties across the nation that now have home vacancy rates of over 50%.

Another reader, Flubadub, also remembers how things used to be….
“I am also a product of that generation and remember well the opportunities that existed for anyone with even a high school diploma in those days. Just within a reasonable commute to where I grew up we had US Steel, 3M, General Motors Fisher Body, Nabisco, The Budd Co., Strick Trailer and others providing thousands of jobs that enabled you to provide a decent living for your family. There were also plenty of part time jobs to keep high school students busy enough to avoid the pratfalls of idle youth and afford the 28 cent/ gallon gas for their used cars. Most of it is gone now and I don’t blame the Mexicans or the Chinese for stealing it. I blame the greed of the globalists and their flunkies, the phony free trade advocates in office, who’ve spent the last twenty years giving it all away. Our jobs are being shipped overseas so that greedy corporate executives can pad their bonuses and our politicians are allowing them to get away with it.”

According to a new report from the AFL-CIO, the average CEO made 343 times more money than the average American did last year. Life is great if you are a CEO. Life is not so great if you are an average American worker trying to raise a family.

Another reader, ‘Itsjustme’, says that things are also quite depressing In New Jersey….
“I live in northern NJ in a suburb a very short ride from  NYC. Our region was hit very hard — we once had a very prosperous and booming industrial area; mixed use with many warehouses and commercial buildings, hi-rise and low-rise. The majority of companies that were in those buildings are gone. Long vacant; the signage is left and nobody is inside them.
One large commercial building with 15 floors now is home to 2 tenants: a law firm and a Korean shipping company.
It’s very sad what’s happened out here.
The only “companies” moving into these buildings are small change tenants that are usually Chinese or Middle Eastern; you’ll see them subletting out 2 or 3 offices in these buildings and they operate out of those offices. They’re mostly importers of apparel or soft goods. My guess is that they are there on very short-term  leases. This will not benefit our local and state economy. These groups usually send the money home.
If this is the shape of things to come, we can hang it up right now. No viable companies are moving into our area; if anything new is being built it is retail and service industry garbage, like crummy fast food chain restaurants. No livable wage jobs are entering our local economy.”

As I have written about previously, the standard of living of the middle class is being pushed down to third world levels.  We have been merged into a “global labor pool”, and what that means is that the standard of living of all workers all over the world is going to be slowly equalized over time.

Our politicians never told us that all of these “free trade” agreements would mean that soon we would be living like the rest of the world.

America used to be the greatest economic machine on the planet.  But now we are just another region of the one world economy that has workers that are too expensive to be useful. In the end, there is not some great mystery as to why we are experiencing economic decline as a nation. If millions of our jobs are being shipped overseas, it was basically inevitable that we were going to experience a housing crisis.
Without good jobs the American people simply cannot afford high mortgage payments.
Today we consume far more wealth as a nation than we produce.  We have tried to make up the difference by indulging in the greatest debt binge that the world has ever seen. We have lived like kings and queens, but our debt-fueled prosperity is not sustainable.  In fact, the collapse of our financial system is a lot closer than most people would like to believe.Things did not have to turn out like this, but we bought into the lies and the propaganda that our leaders were feeding us.
Now our economy lies in tatters and our children have no economic future.

[1] Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, the editor of Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome, and the author of The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern.

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