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Pandemic preps: Don’t count on government agencies for protection or help

A. Homeland Security Isn’t Ready To Combat A Deadly Pandemic
9 Sep 2014, ThinkProgress, by Tara Culp-Ressler
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The Department of Homeland Security is “ill-prepared” to take the necessary steps to stem a future outbreak of a deadly disease — like a particularly ebola2 govdangerous strain of the flu, or even the continued spread of the Ebola virus — according to a federal audit released this week.

In 2006, Congress gave $47 million to DHS to take the necessary steps to prepare for a national medical crisis. So, for nearly a decade by now, the department has been stocking up on supplies like surgical masks, antiviral medications, and hand sanitizer. But that process hasn’t been undertaken in the most effective way. The audit discovered that many of those supplies are now totally useless because they’re either about to expire or because they’ve already surpassed their expiration date.

For instance, more than 80 percent of the department’s antiviral drugs will expire by the end of next year. Most of the hand sanitizer is already too old. A stockpile of about $5 million worth of antibiotics might not be effective because they’re being stored incorrectly. And because DHS hasn’t kept accurate records of its materials, employees don’t even know how to locate their emergency gear, like personal protective masks.

“As a result, the department has no assurance it has sufficient personal protective equipment and antiviral medical countermeasures for a pandemic response,” the report, which was prepared by the Office of the Inspector General, concludes.

DHS is specifically tasked with protecting the United States from external threats, including weather disasters and potential disruptions to the nation’s infrastructure. “A severe influenza pandemic presents a tremendous challenge, which may affect millions of Americans, cause significant illnesses and fatalities, and substantially disrupt our economic and social stability,” the report points out. “It is DHS’s responsibility to ensure it is adequately prepared to continue critical operations in the event of a pandemic.”

We already saw the firsthand consequences of that type of crisis during the 2009 H1N1 outbreak — popularly called “swine flu” — which killed more than 12,000 people. Experts anticipate similar health disasters in the future. For years, the public health community has been worried about an impending global flu pandemic, which is expected to be even more deadly than previous outbreaks of respiratory illnesses like SARS. [And now they have it, Enterovirus D68.–Mr Larry.]

Previous reports have found similar gaps in the country’s readiness to address potential public health disasters. An annual review from the Trust for America’s Health on whether we’re prepared to protect Americans from “diseases, disasters, and bioterrorism” has consistently found that too many states are cutting their public health budgets. States are also falling behind on initiatives to prepare for the impending health consequences of climate change. And a 2012 study found that, despite the 2009 swine flu outbreak, most U.S. schools haven’t improved their ability to respond to infectious diseases.

Congress has recently attempted to take some steps forward in this area. Last March, lawmakers approved and President Obama signed the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act, or PAHPRA, which authorizes more funding for medical preparedness programs. PAHPRA is an update to the original 2006 legislation that first designated the $47 million in funding to the Department of Homeland Security.

In response the release of this week’s audit, a spokesperson for DHS said that the department was previously aware of the issues and has already begun taking steps to address them.

 B. SHTF Medical: Basic Pandemic Preps
21 July 2014, The Rebel Prepper Network, by Rebel
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With the recent rise in global epidemics, including the flesh eating Ebola virus spreading from Africa to Italy, I was not surprised to receive messages asking if I could cover the subject of preparations to prevent exposure to a pandemic level threat. With the US/Mexican border crisis bringing thousands of disease carrying children in to the country and their relocation being kept from the general population the next Spanish flu may be closer than you think. In the last week (article written 7/21/14) there have been four confirmed cases of pneumonic plague in Colorado, this stands as a reminder that not all enemies are on two legs.

The fact is that viruses and bacteria have it out for us. Nature has developed many forms of transmission to spread disease; insects, birds, mammals, surface exposure, person to person, water borne, and the most frightening of all transmission, air borne. The mission is to multiply and when humans become the carriers then we become the battle field and the enemies secret weapon. Coughing, sneezing, mucus secretions, blood contact all aid in transfer of the illness.

If you are looking to survive a pandemic then your best bet for survival will be preventing yourself from becoming infected. This will mean a drastic change in your daily life once it is announced that the given illness (we will be using a flu for this article) has reached the epidemic level. Advanced preparation will save you from further risking exposure when the initial word goes out about what steps should be taken to help reduce chances contracting the illness.

The irony is that the CDC would put out a message to the general population to stay indoors, cover windows, avoid large groups of people and in response the vast majority of the general public would rush out to the stores for supplies exposing themselves to the conditions they should be avoiding.

Knowing that people will be the enemy in most pandemic situations you will stock up well before the CDC makes its panic inducing announcement.

1)  First you need to stock up on duct tape and 3mm plastic sheeting for doors and windows. I recommend spending the extra money on gorilla brand tape and choosing clear sheeting rather than the “fogged” type or black, you will want to be able to see through your windows. Creating a barrier is your first line of defense. I recommend covering the interior and exterior of your windows, this will create a makeshift air seal. You should also have enough to quarantine members of your family showing symptoms for observation.

ebola mask

2) Latex or polypropylene gloves are another excellent item to stock up on, but touching your face will make your efforts pointless so it should be at all costs. If the illness is air born then there is a higher risk of transmission person to person via touch which is more likely.

3) Purchasing a quality gas mask, disposable 3M dust masks, or even a bandana coated in vapor rub will help filter the air if you have to leave the safety of your home. Make sure to change filters, dispose of used dust masks and sterilize bandanas after use.

4) Next you will want some way of sanitizing yourself and your home. Rubbing alcohol between 70% – 90% (hand sanitizer could also be used) and soap will help clean/disinfect you after venturing out of your home.

5) In a bad situation stripping down, sealing your clothing in a trash bag and showering in an outdoor shower before reentering the house will be an additional step for the cautious. Washing clothing in hot water should prevent the spread of infection. Keeping your home clean will be a daily chore, bleach and room temperature water should be used to wipe down all smooth surfaces in the home including counters, floors, door knobs, toilets and refrigerators.

ebola glovr & alcohol

6) Having basic medications is always a good idea. Things like cough drops, anti-inflammatory, fever reducers and the like may help you hang on a bit longer, especially if hospitals become over crowded. However in a true epidemic a vaccine will need to be produced or nature will just have to run its course. Remember that if you are stocking antibiotics they are useless against flu viruses, so do not waste them if you have them.

7) Bolster your food and water stocks, will keep you from having to leave your home unnecessarily. It can take quite some time for scientists to come up with a cure and at a minimum flu season is three months long. Knowing this I recommend having at least three months of food stored, not including what is in your pantry or fridge, if you are prepping for pandemic. You should also have a 3 month supply of multivitamins as well as an additional stock of vitamin C, D, E and calcium. When it comes to water I believe that four months would be the smart course of action using the two gallons per person per day, so 240 gallons. Why so much water? Staying hydrated while ill is imperative to healing as well as regulating body temperature. If you cannot store that much water then you will need to make sure you have a way to obtain, filter and purify large amounts on a regular basis.

ebola2 food & water

Some diseases like plague are spread by blood sucking insects fleas, ticks and mosquitoes rather than contact with humans. In a dire situation you may be forced to choose between your families safety or your pets life. I am sure this will cause outrage to some people, but in all honesty there should be no second thought when it comes to your families well being.

Be warned that once you have made your preparations, especially those to your home, you have marked yourself to the outside world as target of possible resources. As always there will be those who did not take heed to the warning and will want to take what you have, putting you and your loved ones at risk. All the defensive safeguards in the world will not save you if someone infected busts your door down and comes in to contact with your family. You must be ready to stop all threats. Make sure you are justified in all life or death situations. Security cameras or even cell phone video could aid in you defense if you must take a life. Remember that after a WROL situation laws will return and you may be held accountable for any lives you take.

The information above is just a basic overview, if you would like more specific info let me know and I will do my best to get the information out. These points should go hand in hand with your everyday preps As always being prepared for the worst will not guarantee your survival, but anything you can do to increase your odds will not hurt. Having ways to pass the time will help from going stir crazy; playing cards, board games, art supplies are all useful tools that do not rely on electricity. As a Christian I believe that this rise in illness is just the beginning of the horsemen “Pestilence’s” run and more sickness is on its way. Having faith in something will help you deal with loss, regardless of your religious views I guarantee that in your darkest moment you will talk to something in the darkness about finding the light.

C. Why An Epic Food Crisis Will Follow A Pandemic
August 25, 2014,, by Ken Jorgustin
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ebola2 retail closed

While the pandemic assaults the population, stores will shut down and a devastating food crisis will rapidly develop – starving millions – even those who have escaped the deadly grasp of the virus itself.

While the current Ebola virus rages in Africa, and although the mainstream media is keeping it mostly quiet, the problems there are mounting in ways which we should take notice – because one day, a pandemic will happen here…

As fear grips the population, many will stop doing their jobs as they begin to realize that their lives will literally be in grave risk while in proximity to others.

Given our ‘just in time’ (JIT) delivery systems – especially our food chains – grocery stores will rapidly deplete their food supplies (days, not weeks).

When the truckers stop delivering, when people stop showing up for work, it’s over. It will happen faster than you think.

Excerpts from a recent news report exemplifies what will happen – and what is happening right now in Africa as a result of the Ebola virus:

The first food source that disappeared from markets was “bush meat,” meat from forest animals. Other foods have become scarce as a side effect of efforts to keep the virus from spreading. Governments stopped people from moving from country to country, or even from one town to another, it stopped traders from delivering food to the markets. Imports are down. Ships are reluctant to dock in places affected by the epidemic. The Ebola came in at a time when farmers were ready to go to the field to work together, in groups, but people now have been advised to avoid such activities. Coming together in groups could spread the disease. So essential work is not happening. —, A Food Crisis Follows Africa’s Ebola Crisis

When you consider the follow-on effects of a deadly pandemic such as mandatory shut-down’s, the breakdown of ‘just in time’ delivery systems, people not showing up for work, coupled with the death toll itself, there will no doubt be a food crisis during and after a Pandemic.

You can prepare for a pandemic. You will need food storage.

For prepper’s, I’m ‘speaking to the choir’, but for any of you who might happen across this article who have not yet established at least a 3-month food storage, please consider it for your own life’s sake.

Set food storage goals. 3 weeks. 3 months. 6 months. 1 year. etc.

A deadly pandemic WILL happen here: 1) Given the 7 billion people on the planet, 2) given our modern world of global travel, 3) given the increase of drug-resistant strains, 4) given the tampering with biological weaponry, 5) given the reportedly careless activities at some of the world’s most dangerous biological labs, something is bound to happen one day.

The flu pandemic of 1918 infected half a billion people (that was way back then!) – before the days of world travel, etc. Don’t let your normalcy bias cloud your thinking…

(Survival Manual/ Prepper Articles/ Pandemic preps: don’t count on government agencies for protection or help)

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Questions & answers for the Non Prepper

A.  Mark Levin: Government Is “Simulating the Collapse of Our Financial System, the Collapse of Our Society and the Potential for Widespread Violence”
8 Mar 2013,, by Mac Slavo
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guide disaster formsAlong with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, leading conservative radio host Mark Levin reaches tens of millions of listeners weekly, and what he talked about recently on his nationally syndicated show has sent shivers down the spines of many of them.

A few years ago this was fringe theory, restricted only to the sphere of alternative (conspiracy) news.

Warnings of a massive economic collapse, government stockpiling of weaponry, and the idea that Americans could be broadly classified as terrorists and then detained indefinitely or killed often fell upon deaf ears.

Today, as more information ‘leaks’ into the mainstream, it is no longer just conspiracy theory. We now have some of the most influential journalists and commentators in the country alerting Americans to the possibility that everything the government has been preparing for the last several years may soon be realized.

I’m going to tell you what I think is going on. I don’t think domestic insurrection. Law enforcement and national security agencies, they play out multiple scenarios. They simulate multiple scenarios. I’ll tell you what I think they’re simulating. The collapse of our financial system, the collapse of our society and the potential for widespread violence, looting, killing in the streets, because that’s what happens when an economy collapses.

I’m not talking about a recession. I’m talking about a collapse, when people are desperate, when they can’t get food or clothing, when they have no way of going from place to place, when they can’t protect themselves.

There aren’t enough police officers on the face of the earth to adequately handle a situation like that. I suspect, that just in case our fiscal situation collapses, our monetary situation collapses, and following it the civil society collapses – that is the rule of law – that they want to be prepared. There is no other explanation for this. Sourced via Red Flag News

YouTubeLevin: Government Simulating the Collapse of Our Financial System and Widespread Violence
YouTube video:

The Pentagon and military have been war-gaming large-scale economic collapse and civil unrest for nearly four years. Those within our government who understand the ramifications a massive breakdown in our systems of commerce, transportation and justice are preparing by stockpiling weapons and ammo, tens of millions of food rations, and even emergency shelters. They are spending hundreds of billions of dollars on continuity of government programs and exercises, preparing for what they know is coming.

Now why would the government be doing this if there wasn’t a reasonable chance that such events could come to pass?

We’ve urged our readers to prepare a well thought out contingency plan for the very scenarios our government is spending your hard earned tax dollars on.

  • Have, at a minimum, two weeks worth of emergency food and water in the event of a breakdown in the just-in-time delivery systems that keep our grocery store shelves stocked. (Two weeks is a bare minimum, plan on 90 days)
  • Plan on having to defend yourself, your home, and your food stockpiles, because if law and order breaks down, you’re on your own.
  • Learn critical skills that may be the difference between life and death including basic medical skills, survival skills and self defense strategies
  • Have physical precious metals on hand as a mechanism of exchange should the monetary system fall apart.
  • Look for a home or retreat in strategic locations that will help insulate you from widespread chaos in high population areas.

The government may be stockpiling and preparing, but understand that none of these emergency supplies are reserved for you and your family. Only essential personnel involved directly with government operations will have access to these critical survival supplies.

So you’d better have your own reserves. For those who fail to prepare, it will be horrific. See article at:


B.  50 Shocking Questions That You Should Ask To Anyone That Is Not A Prepper Yet
17 Jan 2013,, by Michael Snyder of Economic Collapse Blog Pasted from:

fail1Share this list of shocking questions with everyone you know that needs to wake up. Sometimes asking good questions is the best way to get someone that you care about to understand something. When I attended law school, I became very familiar with something called “the Socratic method”. It is a method that has been traditionally used in law schools all over the United States. Law professors will bombard their students with questions, and the goal is to stimulate critical thinking and allow students to discover the answers for themselves.

Many times those of us that can see what is happening to this country get frustrated when we try to get others to see what is so apparent to us. But instead of preaching to them, perhaps asking questions would be more helpful. When you ask someone a question, they are almost forced to think about what you just said and come up with a response. And without a doubt, the fact that America is in decline is undeniable. Those that would choose to blindly have faith in the system are foolish, because it is glaringly obvious that the system is failing. Our economy is heading for collapse and the world around us is becoming more unstable with each passing day. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that the number of preppers in the United States is absolutely exploding. Some estimates put the number of preppers in the U.S. as high as 3 million, and the movement continues to explode.

So exactly what is a “prepper”? Well, the truth is that there is a tremendous amount of diversity among the people that fall under that label.

To me, you don’t have to move to Montana and store 500 cases of MREs in a nuclear fallout shelter to be considered a prepper. I believe that anyone that can see a very serious crisis coming and that is taking steps to prepare for that crisis would be considered a prepper. You might be living next to one and never even know it. Many families have converted spare rooms into food pantries or are taking survival training on the weekends. Others have renewed their interest in gardening or have started to invest in precious metals. As far as I am concerned, anything that you can do to become more self-sufficient and more independent of the system is a good thing, because the system is rapidly failing.

Perhaps you are reading this and you are thinking that people who are “preparing for disaster” are being rather foolish. Well, I encourage you to read the list of questions that I have compiled below and come to your own conclusions.

The following are 50 shocking questions that you should ask to anyone that is not a prepper yet…

#1 Why are sales of physical silver coins breaking all sorts of all-time records? The U.S. Mint is on pace to sell more silver eagles during the first month of 2013 than it did during the entire year of 2007.

#2 Why has Germany announced that it will be moving gold from New York and Paris to its own vaults back home? Is this a sign of a breakdown in trust among global central banks?

#3 Why is China systematically hoarding gold.unbank silver eagle2

#4 Why have billionaires such as George Soros and John Paulson been hoarding massive amounts of gold?

#5 Why are billionaires buying up so much ranch land up in Montana?

#6 Why is Russia warning that we are rapidly approaching a global “currency war”?

#7 Why has Barack Obama chosen this moment to launch an all-out attack on the Second Amendment?

#8  Why does Barack Obama want doctors to ask their patients questions about firearms?

#9  Why is there an incredibly severe nationwide ammunition shortage all of a sudden?

#10 Why has a bill been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that “would ban Internet or mail order ammunition purchases“?

#11 Why are gun control advocates such as Piers Morgan pushing for us to become more like the UK when the UK actually has a much higher violent crime rate than we do?

#12  Why was a Forbes article that made a connection between the use of psychiatric drugs and the mass shootings that we have seen in recent years almost immediately taken down from the Internet?

#13 Why does the federal government want to start putting “black boxes” in all new motor vehicles?

#14 Why are some U.S. states now using computers to predict “future crimes“?

#15 Why are “black-clad federal SWAT teams” raiding farms and ranches all over the United States?

#16 Why are we all being trained to spy on one another?

#17  Why are highly advanced facial recognition cameras being put up all over the United States?

#18  Why have police departments all over America begun to deploy unmanned surveillance drones in the skies over our cities?

#19 Why are schools all over America beginning to require students to carry IDs with RFID microchips in them wherever they go?

#20 Why are more Americans not outraged that nearly 400 TSA employees have been fired for stealing from travelers since 2003?

#21 Why are Americans not more outraged that TSA goons are manhandling the private areas of our women and our children in the name of “national security”?

#22 Why is an elderly survivor of the Nazi occupation of Austria, Kitty Werthmann, warning that America is heading down the exact same path that she experienced?

#23  If the economy is in good shape, then why are more than one out of every four U.S. workers with a 401(k) raiding those funds in order to pay current expenses?

#24 Why does the Federal Reserve continue to insist that the economy is “improving” when it obviously is not?

#25 Why can so few Americans explain how money is created in the United States?

#26 Why has the U.S. dollar declined in value by well over 95 percent since the Federal Reserve was created?

#27 Why is the U.S. national debt more than 5000 times larger than it was when the Federal Reserve was created?

#28 Why isn’t the mainstream media in the U.S. discussing the fact that the U.S. dollar is in danger of losing its status as the primary reserve currency of the world?

#29 Why don’t more Americans know about the quadrillion dollar derivatives bubble?

#30  Why did the U.S. national debt grow during the first four years of the Obama administration by about as much as it did from the time that George Washington took office to the time that George W. Bush took office?

#31 Why is the middle class in America bringing home a smaller share of the overall income pie than has ever been recorded before?

#32 If the U.S. economy is producing a healthy number of good jobs, then why are we spending nearly a trillion dollars a year on welfare?

#33 If the U.S. economy is not collapsing, then why has the number of Americans on food stamps grown from 17 million in the year 2000 to more than 47 million today?

#34 If America is still an economic powerhouse, then why have we lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001?

#35 Why are we losing half a million jobs to China every single year?

#36 Why were one out of every ten homes sold in the state of California last year purchased by Chinese citizens?

#37 Why has the percentage of men with jobs in the United States fallen so dramatically? Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs. Today, less than 65 percent of all men in the United States have jobs.

#38 Why are so many Americans poor today? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 146 million Americans are either “poor” or “low income”. Why is this happening?

#39  Why does the U.S. government have a website that teaches immigrants how to sign up for welfare programs once they arrive in the United States?

#40 Why has the number of gang members living in the United States risen by an astounding 40 percent just since 2009?

#41 Why does approximately one out of every three children in the United States live in a home without a father? Can such a society prosper in the long run?

#42 Why are our supermarkets being flooded with genetically-modified foods when a whole host of studies have shown that they are potentially dangerous to human health?

#43  If the economy has “improved” during the Obama years, then why are hunger and poverty still absolutely skyrocketing in the United States?

#44 Why are more than a million public school students in the United States homeless?

#45  Why are more than 50 percent of all children in Detroit living in poverty? Detroit used to be one of the greatest cities in the entire world. How did such prosperity turn into such desolation?

#46 Why did a violent riot break out at an event where government-subsidized section 8 housing vouchers were being handed out in a suburb of Detroit earlier this month? Is this the kind of unrest that we can expect to see all over the country when things get really bad?

#47 Why are cities all over the United States making it illegal to feed the homeless?

#48 Why is the UN trying to take control of the Internet?

#49 Why have global food supplies sunk to their lowest level in nearly 40 years?

#50  Why is global power concentrated in so few hands? According to the Swiss Federal Institute, a network of 147 mega-corporations control 40 percent of all the wealth in the world, and in a previous article I described how just six obscenely powerful corporations completely dominate the media industry in the United States. Is it good for such incredible power to be concentrated in the hands of so few people?


C.  First Things First: Key Questions Facing The Beginning Prepper
16 May 2012,, by Norse Prepper
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 The following article has been generously contributed by Norse Prepper.
SHTFplan Editor’s Note:  While there may be three million Americans preparing for a paradigm shift which promises to change our very way of life, that leaves roughly 99% of our population that has failed to take any serious steps to insulate themselves from catastrophe. Earlier this week we asked “How Horrific Will It Be For the Non-Prepper?”, in which we detailed the disastrous consequences that await those who will get blindsided by a widespread natural or man-made disaster. Hopefully, that article will be enough to convince some “non-preppers” to start putting their well-being into their own hands by developing personal and familial preparedness and response plans for far-from-equilibrium scenarios that may strike at anytime. 

shtf foodAs Norse Prepper points out in the article below, one of the key motivators for ramping up your personal larder, supplies and skill sets is to avoid ever putting yourself and family into a situation where you are left with no choice but to tell your loved ones that you’re, “going to get us some food and will return with it or die trying.” In a scenario like that your odds of survival diminish significantly.

If you’ve turned the corner, or been ‘awakened’ as we like to say in alternative media, then the notion that the system as we have come to know it could fall apart around us without warning can be very overwhelming at first. So, too, is the daunting task of determining what steps to take next and how to go about creating your own personal preparedness plan to shield you from whatever may befall us.

The following questions, suggestions, considerations, and topics of discussion are a primer for those who have chosen to take control of their personal safety and security, and may help to point beginning preppers in the right direction.

First Things First: Key Questions Facing The Beginning Prepper by Norse Prepper 

Inspired by the article regarding how horrific it’s going to get for the non prepper, I thought I might also submit the following article on what it is like to be a new prepper. See article at:

The purpose of this article is not to tell my story, but to give perspective on how overwhelming it was for me as a beginning prepper. With the amount of knowledge that readers at this website display, what could I possibly add? My answer to that is perspective.

Many on this site and others have been preparing for years and are prepared.  I know one of the first replies will be that you can never be fully prepared and it’s a journey more than a destination and I subscribe to that 100%.  I personally will never be done prepping.  One thing that I have found in my years of work is that after someone has done something for some time, it’s hard to remember what it was like in the beginning.  I work in an engineering field and things that are very simple and seem like basics can be complicated and not easily understood by someone who is new in their engineering career.  Hopefully this article takes you back to when you first began prepping and helps you relate to us newbies.

Think back to when you first felt the tugging of something in the back of your mind leading you to do more research and eventually coming to the conclusion that you must become a prepper.  It may have been as blunt as a Katrina event, or possibly it was just little things here and there that eventually and gradually led you to where you are at today.  Regardless of the journey, I believe it to be important to remember your roots and by doing so you will be more armed to help other people to come in to the light of what is going on in the world around us and help them get more prepared.

How I was first awoken from my state of unpreparedness was when I watched the End of America video produced by Porter Stansberry.  What I saw scared the heck out of me and after watching what he had to say and showing the facts of our economic system, I went from being a SHTF ostrich with my head in the sand, to fearful that time is running out for our country as we know it.  Even after seeing the End of America video, I still wasn’t aware of what it was to be a prepper.  I focused more on investing in silver and things like that to hedge against the coming hyperinflation.  It wasn’t until about six months ago that I came across the term prepper and dug in to see what this movement was about and frankly, I found it extremely overwhelming.

Below is my top ten list of the thousand questions that came flooding in to my head upon my awakening as well as what I am doing to answer these questions.  I believe these are all questions that every new prepper should answer as fast as possible and take steps to prepare for immediately.

  1. What am I preparing for?  I needed to identify what it is that I’m going to try to protect myself from.  If I was going to prepare for a one week loss of power in a winter storm then there isn’t much to prepare for.  If I am preparing for a global collapse of the financial system or EMP that would send us back to the early 1800’s I’ve got some work to do.  At a minimum I would suggest that new preppers start with a plan for being self reliant for 3 months.  By the time you are prepared for this, you will have learned much and can then set out on whatever your phase II duration will be.  I live in a northern climate with harsh winters so my phase I goal is to be prepared for six months.  Personally, I am still in this stage of prepping, but phase II will be for preparing for a multi-year grid down scenario.
  2. Am I going to bug in or bug out?  I agree with the opinion that bugging out should only be considered if you have somewhere to go.  Heading out torefugee2 crowd2 the woods is not an option unless you are trained in surviving under these conditions.  I’ve got a wife and three kids, heading to the woods is not an option for me.  If you are going to bug out, it needs to be earlier in the collapse rather than later or you will find yourself stuck at a road block.  Read the book, One Second After, for a detailed description of what happens to refugees attempting to flee to already starving communities.  Personally, I have chosen to bug-in.  It is where my preps are located as well as familiar neighbors.
  3. Can I defend my family, property and preps?  Let’s face it, when the SHTF, my preps will be viewed as “their” preps to the golden hoard.  Is a stranger more likely to watch their children starve or are they more likely to tell their wife “I’m going to get us some food and will return with it or die trying.”  The prepared need to ask a different question.  When they arrive at my doorstep, what will I do?  Will I give them some of my preps as charity?  Every meal I give out gets me closer to the time when I will be telling our family, as I head out the door, “I’m going to get us some food and will return with it or die trying.”  This is a huge decision to make because we need to have resolve in our minds what we are going to do when this day comes.  In a SHTF situation there can be no indecisiveness.  I won’t go in to any detail on how to defend yourself as there are novels of information on this subject.  I believe a defense plan is more important than a food plan because if you can’t defend it you might as well not have it.
  4. Do I have enough to feed my family until order is restored?  That is assuming order will be restored.  Personally, if it gets as bad as it can, I do believe eventually a new nation or nations will form and there will again be public services.  I had to figure out what my comfort level is for the amount of time that I will need to eat from my preps, supplemented by gardens, hunting, fishing…etc.
  5. How will I heat my home?  Since my plan is to bug-in in a northern climate, I need to figure out how I will heat my home. I live in suburbia and it scares me to see that relatively few people have wood burning…anything.  I have a fireplace in my house and will secure enough firewood this summer to heat my house for two winters.  All of my neighbors depend on electrical or natural gas for heat.  I personally have seen the temperature in my location get to -60 degrees below zero with a wind chill of over 100 below.  Many in my surrounding area will die of exposure unless they can be in my living room.  I honestly don’t know the answer to the question of what will I do when people in my area are freezing and there is smoke coming out of my chimney.  Anyone who has driven past a house burning wood in the winter knows it is fairly impossible to not alert people to a nearby source of heat.  To me, this poses one of my greatest threats.  Suggestions here would be helpful.
  6. How will I keep clean?  Personal hygiene will be a huge issue in a SHTF scenario.  I realized quickly that I need to stock up on toothpaste, TP, laundry/dish/hand soaps, medical supplies, and everything else needed to keep sanitary conditions in an unsanitary world.  I made lists of lists of all of the things I will need. [Lists and more lists] See list at:
  7. 25May14 4 panels flatHow will I provide light and electricity?  In an EOTWAWKI situation having some rechargeable batteries to use will be a luxury that we currently take for granted.  I plan on getting a stockpile of rechargeable batteries and solar equipment.  I have a basement with a sump pump, when the grid goes down what will keep my basement from getting inundated with groundwater?  I picked up a secondary battery powered sump pump that runs off of a deep cycle battery.  Solar rechargers can be purchased to ensure that the batteries can be kept charged.  How great would it be to be able to watch a movie on a laptop?  With respect to light, when there is no power, it will be very dark.  Children (and some adults) can get spooked easily when there is 14 hours of darkness per day in the winter.  I am going to stock some solar powered garden lights.  These can be placed in the light during the day and provide for a night light during the hours of darkness.  Radios, flashlights and other things can be hand cranked for power.  Anything that is sustainable and will produce light or energy will become extremely valuable.
  8. How will I keep up on information and communicate with the outside world?  Obviously my TV will become useless. Who knows if there will be radio stations transmitting, and if they are, what is the source of the information?  Personally I plan on eventually getting a HAM radio and learning the trade.  I believe this will be the best information available as it will probably be filled with info from other preppers in the nation.
  9. What do I have to offer others?  In a collapsed society, skills, knowledge and items for trade will pay off in a huge way.  The only thing that will help me acquire supplies that I don’t have or want will be the ability to offer something to someone who has it and they find the value of my goods or services to be more than what they have.  If they don’t, then they will not be willing to trade.  I have personally chosen to stock up on more of the convenience things for these situations.  I plan on stockpiling coffee and lighters.  People will trade for a hot cup of coffee and from my perspective, coffee is a convenience.  People will need to be able to start a fire for cooking or heating their homes and a source of fire will be invaluable in a SHTF scenario.  Personally I won’t be bartering away guns or ammunition because the person who I just armed would also realize that if I can spare these essential items I probably have other essential items and now they have a way to get them from me.
  10. How will I fight off boredom?  One thing that has haunted me is when the SHTF, how can I pass the time without going completely stir crazy?  Obviously, there will be many chores and a lot of labor involved in daily life after a collapse, but there will also be hours upon hours of sitting in a quiet house.  My kids will be involved in chores of the day, but what can I do to reduce the monotony of a grid down situation?  I plan on stockpiling books on many different subjects.  Fiction and nonfiction.  How to’s and stories.  A bow and arrow can provide hours of target practice as well as developing a survival skill.  Decks of cards can provide entertainment as well as bartering potential.  If you go to a casino, you can get decks of cards for 50 cents.  Puzzles, board games, pads of paper and plenty of writing utensils.  Anything that can hopefully make life more fun for the family to escape reality, even for a moment.  Don’t forget the most important book of them all, the Bible.
  11. How do I pay for all of this?  OK, I know I said top 10, but this question needs to be taken care of pre-SHTF where as my top 10 deal with issues post-SHTF.  Most are living paycheck to paycheck, so how can preps be paid for when we are in survival mode?  My plan is to sell off anything that I don’t feel is necessary.  Have a garage sale and go to garage sales – you would be amazed at what you will find.  I recently found three oil lamps for 50 cents each!  Sell things on Ebay and Craigslist.  Get a second job and dedicate all income from it to preps.  Don’t worry, if the SHTF doesn’t happen and you are prepped, you can always go back and replace these items, but get prepared first.  I would rather have a stocked supply room than shares of Google.

What am I preparing for?  Will I bug in or bug out?  How will I defend myself, family and home? What will I eat?  How will I heat my home?  How will I keep clean?  How will I produce light and electricity?  How will I get information and communicate with the outside world?  What skills do I have and items can I use to barter?  How will I fight off boredom?  These are but the tip of the iceberg of questions needing to be answered for when life as we know it comes to an end.  When talking to and dealing with anyone new to prepping, please remember that they are entering a large and complex world where their decisions on what to do next could mean the difference between life and death.  Help them to make a list of priorities and offer them advice on what the list should contain.  This article is just a primer, but is more than what 99% of people have done to prepare themselves and their families for what is coming.

Also, please let me say thank you to Mac, the contributors and people who comment on the web site for helping me and my family prepare.  You truly are today’s patriots.  God bless.

(Survival Manual/Prepper Articles/Questions & answers for the Non Prepper)

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

Prepare with Cash and Equivalents

(Survival Manual/2. Social issues/Prepare with cash and equivalents)

Prepare with Cash and Equivalents

 Our financial system needs growth to sustain it, so that loans can be paid back with interest. Once  peak oil hits, growth will be gone. Economic growth may even be replaced with economic decline. It is not clear our financial system can handle this.

When it becomes serious, you have to lie”, Jean-Claude Juncker, Chairman of the Euro zone finance ministers and the currency union’s key spokesmen, May 2011.

Projection from early 2005
Today’s fiat money system is in joint peril with other paper assets during the upcoming worldwide depression. Unlike the last depression, our Federal Reserve paper money is backed by nothing but
air, hot government air, redeemable in like units. And nearly as cheap as air to give to the body economic, Rubin and Greenspan (Plunge Protection Team) will work like crazy to inflate the bursting economic bubble with huge quantities of this air.
•  I would expect the discount rate to drop to near 0% enticing us to borrow more, refinance again and to help them float the market and the world on the sinking U.S.S. Titanic. [Local bank interest rates 0.1% in 2009-2010, 0.05% during 2011.]
•  But eventually this ploy will become unworkable as we find ourselves mortgaged to the hilt and questioning our ability to repay. (July  2011]
•  Mass bankruptcy will follow and the good faith and credit of the U.S.A. will look to be in real trouble to the rest of the world. [First international bankruptcy 2010-2011]
•  There will be a flight to quality, dollars around the world will be sold at any price as they go through a confidence crisis. This is the reason that the next depression will eventually end up being inflationary
and not deflationary. [Gold started its long-term rapid rise in the summer of 2008. Silver ‘took off’ in April 2010]
•  Money then is a commodity (pretty printed paper, cheap metal slugs, barter items, and/or precious metal coins) that you can use in trade for other commodities you would like. You choose each day what you will trade your labor or stuff for, to use as money.  You are wealthy only if you own and control the means to sustain life for yourself and possess items that can be traded with others.
•  Paper assets are about to be destroyed in the upcoming years during a stock market crash. These overvalued pieces of colorful paper, with the engraved images of our national forefathers, will not feed or take care of you because nobody will be willing to trade anything worthwhile for them. These include Stocks, Bonds and any other debt based paper asset like Federal Reserve Notes and your bank account valued in Federal Reserve Notes.
Additionally copper-clad coins will eventually be viewed for what they are –  Slugs – imitations of the real thing. What then will be used as money?

Four Characteristics of Money
1)  It must be divisible.
2)  It must have high value in relation to its volume and  weight.
3)  There must be widespread recognizability.
4)  It must have transportability.
Gold and silver coins satisfy all these requirements.

A.  How much and what kind of money should I own?
To prepare for the  coming depression please consider the following:

1)  Newer Coins
You will want to have on hand a significant amount of pennies, nickels and copper-clad dimes and quarters.  This is for when limits on bank withdraws begin and cash is scarce. You do not want to use your gold and silver coins then, they are to be used when things start leveling out and the economy restarts. Most people will not initially know the value of gold and silver. Therefore, use the copper-clads until the populace gets educated. If you are on a budget, start by collecting a few hundred dollars face value. A wealthy individual could have thousands of dollars face value of copper-clad coins
tucked away.

2)  Paper Money
You will want to start by having enough paper cash money on hand to cover at least one month’s
personal expenses: mortgage payments, car and truck, taxes, utilities, household supplies, etc. If you are well enough off I would recommend that you have much more. According to the experts you must have cash on hand, not in the bank, to satisfy your obligations or you may be forced to forfeit your assets. Also, as the stock market crashes and banks suspend withdraws, you will be able for a  short time to buy pennies on the dollar. Additionally, banking services will be non-existent and checks, credit cards, etc. will be useless. An assortment of $1, $5, $10 and $20 bills is recommended (it may be difficult to get change for larger bills). The amount you feel comfortable storing is up to you. Keep the cash where you can easily get your hands on it.
You may not have access to your safe deposit box because of an extended bank holiday.

3)  The Transition Period Between Fiat Money To Real Money
Eventually, the liquidity crises, during and after the bank limits will pass, and paper dollars will be devalued (they become worthless), the federal government will begin taking over the failed banks, they will make good on the FDIC and FSLIC government bank guaranty and other government commitments by printing new larger denomination paper money.
$500, $1,000, $5,000 and then $10,000 bills will be reissued by the federal reserve in huge quantities, and/or they will circulate a new type of currency. Copper-clad coins, and small bills will become worthless, unless you have wheel-barrels full of them. Run-away Inflation. This will be a hyper-inflationary period for people holding paper assets, paper money and copper-clad coins. When you get wind of the coming currency devaluation dump your paper and copper-clad money for anything of real value. This is the time to already have your silver, gold and any other items you will want and to barter with.
Look for a new National Value Added Tax (V.A.T.) on all purchases and services. Government-controlled rationing will be setup and the Black Market will be in operation.

4)  Silver Coin
Now the importance of having gold and silver coin is evident after seeing the stock market crash scenario and the destruction of paper assets. The only money that is real is that which has intrinsic value. Currency like gold and silver money will be the only real store of money value. The wealthy individuals to emerge from the coming stock market crash and depression that follows, will be the ones who have preserved their wealth during the destruction of paper assets. Face it, after having a roof over your head, food to eat and clothes to wear, you will be wealthy only if you have things of real value to others and if you can turn that into opportunity for yourself. Barter any commodity that you can but the two commodities historically that always become real money and a reserve of value are gold and silver.

You will want now to buy as much silver as you can, before the VAT becomes law, and while the rest of the world is chasing after paper assets. Today, silver is a good value compared to how it will appreciate. Although you will want to acquire gold, silver is better suited for small exchanges and will be used more for the day-to-day purchases. Get plenty of junk silver, pre-1964 dimes, quarters and half dollars by the bag ($1000. face value), 1/2 bag or smaller amounts. You are basically getting old U.S. silver coins that have been picked through to remove the rare pieces. The price is currently about 5 times the face value. Old silver dollars are much more expensive costing about 30.88per dollar (based on 39.90 spot price of silver, 29 July 2011). Your best value for silver dollars is to get newly-minted US American Eagle silver dollars, the US mint has been minting the new silver coin since 1986 and they are about $44.60 each (29 July 2011) and contain 1 troy ounce of 99.9% silver, this is about a 0.3 ounce more silver than carried by the old silver dollars (0 .714 troy oz.).
All these coins contain a specific amount of silver and are recognized by the whole world as to their size and weight. U.S. coins are better than other coins or bullion because of their recognizability, so don’t hold anything, but U.S. gold and silver coins.

5)  Gold Coin
The best value in U.S. gold coins are the ones minted by the U.S. Government. US American Gold Eagle coins are currently minted, ranging from about $180, May 2011, for the 1/10 oz. coins to about $1,627, July 2011, for the 1 oz. coins. There are also 1/4 oz. and 1/2 oz. coins, but I prefer either the 1/10 oz. or the 1 oz. coins.
•  1/10 oz. gold coins should be used to barter on small items; items that are larger than what you can buy with your 1 ounce silver coins.  The 1/10 oz. coin is ‘valued/stamped’ at $5.00 and would be an easy way to buy something worth a fraction of  the 1 oz. of gold.
•  The 1/4 oz. gold coins are improperly valued at $428, May 2011 because of their weight;  the 1/2 coin is not a good value because of its increased commission.
•  The 1 oz. coin is the best way to store large quantities of gold and is the most cost-effective method.
Each coin contains 1 oz of 91.6 pure gold in troy ounces plus a small amount of hardening metal to strengthen the coin, each coin weighs slightly more than its stated value.

After socking away new copper-clad coins, paper money and silver coin, you will want to buy as much gold coin as possible. You will preserve your wealth through the coming paper asset destruction and will emerge as a rich individual.

My advice
(Note: Do your own research and come to decisions that fit your personal circumstance. I’m not a qualified financial advisor. Mr. Larry)
If you are financially capable of storing (your long-term ‘savings account’) gold  and silver, you should have different types of gold and silver holdings. I would suggest starting your bullion holdings with cash and junk silver, then progressing to American Eagle silver and gold bullion coins.
Besides being  the historical standard for money, silver and gold are also barter commodities.
You will want to have the right denominations/weights of silver and gold coin to transact business. Which silver or gold coin you will use, depends on the cost, situation and who you are working with. People familiar  with the old ‘junk silver’ coins would rather trade with them than with bullion coins. Some people will see your US gold or silver Eagles and feel secure that they can count on that coin to be what it  says it is and will be more willing to make a trade with you.

During shortages and government controlled rationing, a store keeper may have a limited supply of a desperately needed item like medicine that he can only sell at the government set price. Who will get
this item? The person next to you with a 50 dollar bill of questionable value, or  you with 50 dollars in silver or gold coin – the store keeper or trader will recognize that your coin has a much higher intrinsic value. Of course you will get the medicine; however, if you only had an unrecognized bullion coin or a ‘junk silver’ coin from another country you may not.

Buy as much junk silver and American eagles as you have the means for. The bullion coins will preserve your wealth through to the other side of the collapse of paper assets and you will have the means to get going financially.
Old junk silver coins are meant for dealing with local stores for small transactions during and after the upcoming paper asset collapse. Deciding what and how much to store all depends on your situation, will you have the desired money medium for the opportunity/life style you are pursuing?

You only want enough cash on hand to sustain yourself in the event of bank withdraw limitations, and until worldwide dollar confidence crashes and the world dumps dollars on the market in a race
to get any value they can from it. Other than a pile of small bills to see you through a crisis, cash is a bad thing to hold because of possible hyper-inflation and the fact that it is backed by practically nothing.
Obviously the bulk of your investment money placed in a good fund tied to the performance of the stock market is the best place to be right now; long if you see the market rising and a ‘short’ ETF (DXD and others) if you see a decline coming.


B.  Forces which cause gold and silver to rise in value.
•  Bank Failures
•  Rising inflation or the expectation of rising inflation
•  Devaluation of the dollar
•  Other currency-related crises
•  Increased Industrial and Investment demand for gold
•  Price increase in other commodities
•  Stock and bond market collapse
•  A New World War
•  International tensions

Gold serves as an increased hedge, though volatile in the short-term, against the erosion of the purchasing power of paper money. This is why you want to hold your portable gold coins for 3 – 7
years on the average. However, if a deal or situation presents itself that is extremely advantageous such as gold appreciating in value to quadruple or more what you paid for it–consider selling– you can always buy property with the proceeds.

Just before the peak of another depression, gold, is estimated to possibly rise to $3000 – $6000 an ounce. And if the President bans gold altogether; then places the U.S. back on the Gold Standard—as it is felt in many of the bearish financial newsletters, gold could a lot higher!
Spot silver prices are closely  connected to the same factors as those driving gold; however, because of  the low supply of available silver, it may become nearly as valuable as Gold.

You have five things working to drive the price of gold up:
1.  Increasing Gold Lease Contracts
2.  Increasing Consumer Demand- in China and India, as well as Europe.
3.  Gold Investors Needing Gold- international banks
4.  IMF: “By the IMF’s [International Monetary Fund] own documentation, the international banking community is trying to create a new global currency that will be backed by gold valued at between $3,000 to $5,000 per ounce.” –The Economic Outlook; Vol. 7. #1. January 1998.
5. Deflation: “To avoid outright economic collapse-Asian governments are devaluing currencies. Currency devaluation is a hidden form of hyper-inflation–the last desperate act before outright economic collapse. How do you protect yourself from currency devaluation? Gold &  silver.”
–The Economic Outlook; Vol. 7. #1. January 1998.

The following table provides my personal thoughts on the way to split up assets in order to cover most contingencies. I recommend you set aside the cash mentioned in the top half of the table first, and when this is done, do what you can to develop the funds to buy some combination of the bullion listed below.

Number to have on hand(minimum) Item cost
in each denomination
$50 bills none
$20 bills 200 $20 $4,000
$10 bills 50 $10 $500
$5 bills 50 $5 $250
$1 bills 300 $1 $300
$1 coin $1 none
Quarter (25¢)
10 rolls $10 $100
Dime (10¢) coin 10 rolls $5 $50
Nickel (5¢) coin 10 rolls $2 $20
Penny (1¢) coin 10 rolls $.50 $5
Currency   & coin• $5,150
Pre 1965 ‘junk -90% silver coins $200 face
$2844 $2844
Silver Eagle 1 oz 500 ea $19.87 $9,935
Bullion bar, 100 oz none
Gold Eagle 1/10 oz 20 ea $138 $2,760
Gold Eagle 1 oz 8 ea $1295 $10,360
Bullion $25,899
Currency, Coin and Bullion ‘On Hand’ $31,049

Table above updated on 16 Oct 2014

When faced with hyperinflation or other major calamities, you should have a pre determined  list of items to purchase ‘at the last-minute’ and/or items to invest your  cash in, things that will survive the
currency collapse or become more valuable in the post disaster period. When the window of opportunity is seen about to close, you must immediately transfer the bulk of your extra cash into some combination of ‘commodities’, such as; food, land, housing, other real estate, and barter items.

The totals shown in the table above are approximately the current annual gross wage of a mid level
US worker. With slightly reduced circumstances, this sum will provide 1) Four to five years of  supplemental income, or 2) in a severe depression it would provide about two years worth of 50% pre-crisis  income, or 3)  in a catastrophe, provide one full years income.

Coupled with your food  and water storage plan, as discussed in, 1) Survival Guide/ Food&Water /Develop a Survival Food List, and in 2) Survival Guide/Warehouse/Food, you should have the capacity to weather a serious dislocation.
With the adoption of other support systems, discussed and enumerated in Warehouse/… your resilience and survivability  should see you through most of the abrupt physical catastrophes that may impact a region or a national or global economic collapse.

While watching the short term, keep in mind that there are very long term cycles of human conduct and behavior toward one another, in our exploitive relationship with  the natural environment, our  modern civilizations energy use and resultant population numbers, as well as environmental ‘black swans’. The interplay of flux and flow between these relationships, trends and surprise events show themselves in the changing levels of human prosperity.

During the late 20th Century the world was very prosperous, we all poured our wealth into entertaining material goods, desiring ‘thing’s more than the traditional stores of value, gold and silver, hence the price of silver was the cheapest it has been in almost 700 years (Google ‘650  Years of Silver Prices’ or see

On 19 April 2011, the spot price of silver reached $43.07 and began an overdue correction. As technology developed the steam engine and later, our petroleum-based civilization with electricity, mining technology brought about an easier extraction of minerals. Now, as we moving through the brief peak oil plateau period, our open-pit mines have grown huge and underground mines extend for miles.
There are no more easy surface ‘finds’ of most of our civilizations industrial mining needs. When our oil supply declines there will be a diminished amount of minerals extracted from mines and at higher real prices (above what ever inflation will be). There will be less because the huge quantity of almost free labor provided by oil driven machinery will be declining, but also because we will have already extracted the bulk of the available resources.
The coming extended rise in silver prices will reflect not only scarcity, but difficulty and cost of extraction. The same shadow will fall across
all mined minerals, lumber, paper products, aluminum, rare earths and uranium. Costs will rise rapidly during the coming few years irrespective of whether there is inflation or deflation. The things we have grown accustomed to around the turn of the 21st Century will become increasingly difficult to obtain at ‘reasonable’ prices, the cost of ‘things’ will go up in real terms.
The decade from 2011 to 2021 will be wild.

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How to pull a tooth

medical iconA.  How to Extract a Tooth
3 October 2012,, by Joseph Alton, M.D. (Dr. Bones)
Pasted from:

Many of our readers are often surprised that a medical doctor and nurse devote a portion of their writing to dental issues. Few people who are otherwise medically prepared seem to devote much time to dental health. History, however, tells us that problems with teeth take up a significant portion of the medic’s patient load.  In the Vietnam War, medical personnel noted that fully half of those who reported to daily sick call came with dental complaints.  In a long-term survival situation, you might find yourself as dentist as well as nurse or doctor.

The basis of modern dentistry is to save every tooth if at all possible.  In the old days (not biblical times, I mean 50 years ago), the main treatment for a diseased tooth was extraction.  If we find ourselves in a collapse situation, that’s how it will be in the future. If you delay extracting a tooth because it “isn’t that bad yet”, it will likely get worse. It could spread to other teeth or cause an infection that could spread to your bloodstream (called “sepsis”) and cause major damage.  Like it or not, a survival medic, will eventually find himself or herself in a situation where you have to remove a diseased tooth.

Tooth extraction is not an enjoyable experience as it is, and will be less so in a long-term survival situation with no power and limited supplies.  Unlike baby teeth, a permanent tooth is unlikely to be removed simply by wiggling it out with your (gloved) hand or tying a string to it and the nearest doorknob and slamming. Knowledge of the procedure, however, will be important for anyone expecting to be the medical caregiver in the aftermath of a major disaster.


Before we go any further, I have to inform you that I am not a dentist, just an old country doctor.  Please note that this is an introductory article, and that tooth extraction can be a complex procedure. Also note:  It is illegal and punishable by law to practice dentistry without a license.  The lack of formal training or experience in dentistry may cause complications that are much worse than a bum tooth. If you have access to modern dental care, seek it out.

The anatomy of the tooth is relatively simple for such an important part of our body, and is worth reviewing.  The part of the tooth that you see above the gum line is called the “crown”.  Below it, you have the “root”.  The bony socket that the tooth resides in is called the “alveolus”.  Teeth are anchored to the alveolar bone with ligaments, just like you have ligaments holding together your ankle or shoulder.

The tooth is composed of different materials:
Enamel:  The hard white external covering of the tooth crown.
Dentin:  bony yellowish material under the enamel, and surrounding the pulp.
Pulp: connective tissue with blood vessels and nerves endings in the central portion of the tooth.

toothextract2To extract a permanent tooth, you will, at the very least, need the following: A dental extraction forceps (#150A is a good general one for uppers a d #151 is reasonable for lowers; they get much more specialized for each type of tooth, however).

A periosteal (meaning “around the bone”) elevator instrument to loosen the ligaments holding the tooth in place. A typical dental elevator (see above) Gauze or cotton rolls or squares and a “pickup” forceps or tweezers. A very cooperative patient or a good local anesthetic.

Proper positioning will help you perform the procedure more easily. For an upper extraction (also called “maxillary extraction”), the patient should be tipped at a 60 degree angle to the floor and the patient’s mouth should be at the level of the medic’s elbow.  For a lower extraction, (also called a “mandibular extraction”), the patient should be sitting upright with the level of the mouth lower than the elbow.  For right-handed medics, stand to the right of the patient; for left-handers, stand to the left.  For uppers and most front lower extractions, it is best to position yourself in front.  For lower molars, some prefer to position themselves somewhat behind the patient.

To begin with, you will want to wash your hands and put on gloves, a face mask, and some eye protection. Floss the teeth and give the patient an antibacterial rinse.  Keep the area around the tooth as dry as possible, so that you can see what you’re doing.  There will be some bleeding, so have cotton balls or rolled gauze squares available.  These may have to be changed from time to time if you place them between the cheek and gum.


The teeth are held in place in their sockets by ligaments, which are fibrous connective tissue.  These ligaments must be severed to loosen the tooth with an elevator, which looks like a  small chisel.  Go between the tooth in question and the gum on all sides and apply a small amount of pressure to get down to the root area.  This should loosen the tooth and expand the bony socket.  Expect some bleeding.

Take your extraction forceps and grasp the tooth as far down the root as possible.  This will give you the best chance of removing the tooth in its entirety the first time.   For front teeth (which have 1 root), exert pressure straight downward for uppers and straight upward for lowers, after first loosening the tooth with your elevator.  For teeth with more than 1 root, such as molars, a rocking motion will help loosen the tooth further as you extract.

Once loose, avoid damage to neighboring teeth by extracting towards the cheek (or lip, for front teeth) rather than towards the tongue.  This is best for all but the lower molars that are furthest back.


Use your other hand to support the mandible (lower jaw) in the case of lower extractions. If the tooth breaks during extraction (not uncommon), you will have to remove the remaining root.  Use your elevator to further loosen the root and help push it outward.

Afterwards, place a folded gauze on the bleeding socket and have the patient bite down. Occasionally, a suture may be required if bleeding is heavy.   In a recent Cuban study, veterinary super glue (N-butyl-2-cyanoacrylate) was used in over 100 patients in this circumstance with good success in controlling both bleeding and pain.  Dermabond has been used in some cases in the U.S. for temporary pain relief, but more research is needed.

Expect some swelling, pain, and even bruising over the next few days.  Cold packs will decrease swelling for the first 24-48 hours; afterwards, use warm compresses to help with the inevitable jaw stiffness. Also, consider antibiotics, as infection is a possible complication.  Liquids and a diet of soft foods should be given to decrease trauma to the area.


Use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine such as Ibuprofen for pain.  Some recommend staying away from aspirin, as it may hinder blood clotting in the socket.

The blood clot is your friend, so make sure not to smoke, spit, or even use straws; the pressure effect might dislodge it, which could cause a painful condition called Alveolar Osteitis or “dry socket”.  You will see that the clot is gone and may notice a foul odor in the person’s breath.

Antibiotics and warm salt water gargles are useful here, and a solution of water with a small amount of Clove oil may serve to decrease the pain.  Don’t use too much clove oil, as it could burn the mouth.

In a long-term survival situation, difficult decisions will have to be made. If modern dentistry is gone due to a mega-catastrophe, the survival medic will have to take on that role just as he/she may have to take on the role of medical caregiver. Performing dental procedures without training and experience, however, is a bad idea in any other scenario.  Never perform a dental procedure on someone for any reason, if you have modern dental care available to you.

Dr. Bones

Here are some very useful links and references:
Molar extraction:

Slideshow on extraction techniques – important to review:

An extraction performed at Mt. Everest base camp – note positioning of the dentist, use of the opposite hand for support,  and improvisations: 

Guide to extraction forceps and procedures:

Prepper Barbie:
Reply October 3, 2012
“Upper molars generally have 3 roots, 2 on the outside/cheek side, and 1 on the inside…like a tripod. Keep this in mind while loosening. Don’t rush the loosening process, this is the most important part of the extraction. If you have trouble stopping bleeding, bite on a moistened regular tea bag for about 45 minutes. Do not extract a tooth if you are on a blood thinning medication…this includes many “G” herbs such as Ginko and Ginseng…stop those meds or herbs for at least 5 days prior to extracting. Warm salt water rinses the next day…a pinch of salt in an 8oz glass. After that, antibacterial rinses”

Michael Camp
“you can buy lidocane on line, the injectable solution, but you have to be careful using it, there are or can be problems related to the use of lidocane, but I think it is essential when working on teeth.”

Dr Bones
Reply December 15, 2012
“The issue with lidocaine is that accidental injection directly into a blood vessel may cause heart arrhythmia and seizures. Always aspirate the plunger of the syringe before injecting; if blood enters the syringe, pull out and try again.”


 B.  How To Pull A Tooth in a SHTF/TEOTWAWKI
25 Nov 2011,, by Mark Ducati
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I thought I’d pass on a little knowledge that might help you guys if the SHTF…
First off, dental anesthetic and syringes. You’re probably not going to have any. But holding a shot of strong whiskey (do NOT use Isopropyl/rubbing alcohol) or ethanol over the tooth for 5 minutes may help dull the pain a little bit. Even holding a cotton ball soaked with Oragel or Anbesol may give some relief (these contain Benzocaine). Another old fashioned dental anesthetic is good ‘ol “Clove Oil”.

Unless you can inject an anesthetic at the nerve, you will not achieve 100% profound anesthesia… the above methods might give you 10-15% at best, but its better than nothing in a crisis when out in the field.

 2% Lidocaine with 1:100,000 Epinephrine is probably the gold standard of dental anesthetics (we haven’t used “Novocaine” brand anesthetic in dentistry for almost 60 years now, too many allergic reactions).
IF you have access to a syringe, in a pinch, you can use liquid Diphenhydramien (benadryl), for an adult, no more than 100mg’s. Injecting Benedryl does have some anesthetic properties, estimated about 50%.

Another substance you can use in lieu of dental anesthetic is Ethanol (EtOH) alcohol… I don’t know how much that would “burn/sting” while being injecting, but it works by literally chemically cauderizing the nerve… it works, but the damage to the never can take several months to repair. Sometimes patients will have a permanent “paraesthesia”, that is, the numbness never wears off.

So, no anesthetic and holding alcohol, anbesol/oragel, or clove oil over the tooth isn’t enough to make the tooth comfortable enough to extract it… sometimes waiting, living in pain will help…. assuming you survive the spreading abcess.

As the infection/abcess progresses, this is nature’s way of trying to get rid of the tooth… the periodontal ligament becomes inflamed and during the inflammatory process the bone around the root starts to soften up… the tooth then starts to become increasingly mobile. Enough that you can either grab hold of it with your fingers to wiggle it out, or it will literally fall out all of its own accord.

Forceps: even though dental forceps may look like some fancy pliers… posterior teeth are hard to get “pliers” on as most people can’t open wide enough to get the pliers on the tooth perpendicular to the roots long axis. Secondly, hardware pliers have sharp corners on them that can score/cleave the enamel/root structure increasing the chance that the tooth will break. Dental forceps have rounded edges and have a curved contour on the beaks to engage the tooth to minimize cracking/breaking it. The head/beaks of the forceps are also specifically angled in regards to removing a tooth on top or bottom. Typically, a general maxillary (top) forcep is called a 150 Forcep and the one for the mandibular arch (bottom) is a 151 Forcep.

When grasping a tooth, even though the forceps may resemble pliers… NEVER “pull” a tooth! You “push” a tooth instead. Think of it like removing a fence post or tree stump out of the ground… put a chain around it, hook it to your bobcat and pull straight up, more often than not, the post/stump is going to break. So, you push the post/stump to one side, then the other, back and forth, again and again gradually loosening the soil to gently remove it.

Same for a tooth. Unfortunately, looking at an x-ray or in the mouth, you can’t tell if that tooth is in Rock, Clay, or soft Topsoil. As a general statement, front teeth are easier to luxate (push/wiggle) back and forth than the back teeth and the top teeth are generally easier to remove than the bottom teeth because the bone on top is softer.

So here’s what I do, I first start with an “elevator” which is kind of like a screw driver with curved tip and rounded on one side while the other side is flat. I stick that between the teeth first and rotate the edge of elevator against the tooth which I wish to remove, fulcruming off the bone and the adjacent tooth. This starts the process of loosening the tooth:



 Then you switch to your Forceps (150 for the top, 151 for the bottoms). The forceps usually cost about $50-60 bucks a piece… there is no regulation against a non-dental person owning them. But you have to buy them from a dental supply company. I’d be willing to bet that if you asked your dentist nicely, they would order some for you at cost if you explained your preparedness for SHTF.


Back to the “pushing”… the first thing I do is get the forceps on the tooth, I seat the beaks as far down on the root as I can get them, then I push “luxate” the tooth facially towards the cheek with steady pressure and hold that pressure for about a minute. Then I push the tooth in the other direction, towards the lingual and hold that pressure again for another minute. Then we go back and forth like this for about 5-10 minutes and then usually the tooth is loose enough that you can wiggle it out like wiggling out or removing a stuck/tight drawer.


On a front tooth that has a round and straight root, not only do I push the tooth facially and lingually, but I often will rotate the tooth clockwise and counter clockwise like a cork screw:


Now… what to do if you get the tooth out and the root breaks? Unless you’ve got a drill, root tip pick, and good light source, you’re going to have to leave the broken root tip in place… the majority of the tooth nerve is located in the coronal aspect of the tooth (the part of the tooth visible in the mouth) in the pulp chamber… if you break a root tip off, in most cases the body will “encapsulate” the root tip and it should be fine. As a general statement, in a dental office, the standard of care require that all root tips be removed, and if I can’t get it, I am obligated to refer to an oral surgeon. But I can’t tell you how many broken root tips I’ve seen on x-rays that are just fine.

You’ll likely need to follow up with an antibiotic for a week as well.

Anyway, in war, the #1 casualty is tooth related and in a SHTF scenario, I imagine dental related problems to be of great concern as well.

These are the basics of tooth removal in 5 minutes…. I suggest that you search and watch a few videos on dental extractions for further clarification.
I hope this info may be of some use to you and also hope you’ll never need it.


C. How to Extract a Tooth at Home
eHow, by Charlotte Johnson, eHow Contributor
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Tooth extraction is a procedure that can be done at home. You should know, however, that there are pros and cons. The pro of at-home extraction is avoiding the cost of a visit to the dentist. The con is the tooth possibly could break off, you might not be addressing potential infection and/or abscess and there may be more pain involved since you probably don’t have the same training and tools a dentist does.

Things You’ll Need:
•  Gauze
•  Pain reliever (optional)

1 . Determine the looseness the tooth. If the tooth is not loose at all, you are in for an extremely difficult extraction; it would be best in this situation to call the dentist. If the tooth is loose–especially if it’s dangling–you will have a greater chance of pulling it successfully with minimum pain. Baby teeth and teeth that are loose due to gum disease are easiest to extract.

2 . Brush your teeth to make sure any extra food particles are out of the way. If you are not able to do this, swish water in your mouth and spit it back out a few times.
 3.  Grasp the tooth by using a small square of gauze. Pull firmly. If the tooth does not come out fairly quickly, you may want to stop this process and seek a dentist’s help. Continuing to pull on a firmly embedded tooth may aggravate it and cause you a considerable amount of pain.

4. Rinse and spit a few more times once the tooth is out. Hold a clean piece of gauze next to the gum where the tooth came out for a few minutes to help stop the bleeding. If the bleeding continues, is very heavy, or if you have significant pain, call a dentist. Otherwise, you can treat the soreness with over-the-counter medication.

5. Monitor your mouth and body for signs of infection. If you notice redness and swelling at the site of extraction, if there is a foul smell or pus in or near the tooth cavity or if you generally feel bad and have a fever, call a dentist. If infection begins, make sure you receive any necessary antibiotics so your condition doesn’t worsen.

Tips & Warnings
Warning: Most dentists advise strongly against pulling your own teeth or the teeth of others due to the chances of complications.

Excerpt pasted from:
Antibiotics are prescribed for oral conditions related to endodontic, oral surgical, and periodontal manifestations. The antibiotic prescribed most frequently is penicillin or an analog, especially amoxicillin.

(Survival Manual/6. Medical/ a) Dental/ How to pull a tooth)

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Human Carrying Capacity

(Survival manual/2. Social Issues/Human carrying capacity)

I     Our numbers
II    Overpopulation and peak oil: The perfect storm
III   The effects of overpopulation on the environment
IV    Population Concerns in the United States
VI    Our food  and water needs
VII  North  America’s Ogallala aquifer
VIII World  fish stocks over-exploited
IX    The State of the World’s Food and Soil

I.  Our numbers

Approximately 6.6 billion humans now inhabit the Earth. By comparison, there are about 20 million mallard ducks and, among a multitude of threatened and endangered species, perhaps 100,000 gorillas, 50,000 polar bears, and less than 10,000 tigers, 2,000 giant pandas and 200 California condors. Notably, the human population has grown nearly ten-fold over the past three centuries and has increased by a factor of four in the last century. This monumental historical development has profoundly changed the relationship of our species to its natural support systems and has greatly intensified our environmental impact.[Photo left: Feb. 2011, Smog on main street of Linfen, China. Dense populations and heavy industrial zones produce the most smog in an area. About 4% of deaths in the United States can be attributed to air pollution according to the Environmental Science Engineering Program at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Photo right: Fresh Kills Landfill, Staten Island, NY. At 4.6 square miles and 225 feet high, it’s the largest manmade structure in the world; a 53 year accumulation of local, household garbage.]

A. Current demographic trends
Until recently, the growth of our numbers  was slow and variable. A pronounced expansion began with the advent of the Industrial Revolution, about two centuries ago. Whereas tens of thousands of years passed before our species reached the one billion mark, around 1800 AD, it took only 130, 33, 15, 13 and 12 years to add each succeeding billion. This accelerating rate of increase is what is meant by the term population explosion. Around year 1970, population growth reached a maximal rate of about 2% per year—perhaps a thousand times faster than growth in prehistoric times. The annual increment has since dropped from 2.0 to 1.1% (or, as demographers prefer, to 11 per thousand), and it is still going down. The greatest annual increment in population, about 90 million individuals, occurred in 1995, while our numbers grew by only around 76 million in 2004. Nevertheless, this cohort is comparable to adding the population of Germany to the planet each year.

Excluding migration, the rate of change of the number of individuals in a population is the difference between birth rate and death rate. The explosion in human population thus reflects the excess of births over deaths fostered by the Industrial Revolution. Until about two centuries ago, birth rates and death rates were both high. Because these two rates were about equal in magnitude, the population grew slowly and unevenly.
For example, human numbers grew at roughly 0.25% per year in 1700 C.E. Soon thereafter, as discussed below, institutional and technical advances caused death rates to fall in one nation after another around the globe. But because birth rates remained high, population growth rates soared, an unintended consequence of the alleviation of human hardship in the modern era.

Why birth rates have declined
Children are naturally loved and valued for themselves. But, especially in traditional (i.e., pre-modern) settings, children are also economic assets: a ready source of capital and security when alternatives are out of reach. Sons are of particular value, since it is they who typically inherit both the family plot and the responsibility for caring for aging parents. For practical reasons, daughters are often less desired: they may be regarded as not as productive and as likely to marry and move on, often with a costly dowry payment. Thus, time-honored wisdom might suggest an investment strategy of having, say, eight offspring. A parent can then expect four sons, one or two of whom will hopefully survive childhood and be there to serve with devotion in the distant future. Such views become institutionalized in cultural norms and shared practices.

While it is possible for a woman to bear as many as 15 children in her lifetime, this is rare. Rather, parents universally chose to limit family size because too many children present costs in excess of benefits.
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B. Human Overpopulation
Overpopulation is a condition where an organism’s numbers exceed the carrying capacity of its habitat. The term often refers to the relationship between the human population and its environment, the Earth. Steve Jones, head of the biology department at University College London, has said, “Humans are 10,000 times more common than we should be, according to the rules of the animal kingdom, and we have agriculture to thank for that. Without farming, the world population would probably have reached half a million by now.” The world’s population has significantly increased in the last 50 years, mainly due to medical advancements and substantial increases in agricultural productivity.

[A parabolic rise in an environmental factor as shown above, should be considered the same a wall. A barrier. Consider the time scales. It has only taken a few generations of steam and petroleum energy exploitation to bring about an explosion in population. Our bodies survive to grow and reproduce on a short time scale cycle of 20-25 years. Long term human organizing activities such as   infrastructure, government, culture and religion are following the population explosion, each in its own slower operative time frame. All are approaching ‘the wall’.
A sustained decrease in the energy supply, namely, peak oil and the back side down slope, will be occurring as each of mankind’s organizing structures impact the wall.  The result will be Infrastructure scaled back and in decay; Governmental changes come next, within a couple of years from now;  Cultural disruptions  will occur as we have to extend our personal time scales from todays ‘immediate gratification’ to thinking in terms of ‘next month’ and ‘next year’. Religious organizations should survive largely unchanged, albeit with a more fundamentalist bent. Religion is the longest human tradition and changes very slowly, the crises will be largely ‘resolved’ in the lower Cultural time frame level. Mr Larry]

The recent rapid increase in human population over the past two centuries has raised concerns that humans are beginning to overpopulate the Earth, and that the planet may not be able to sustain present or larger numbers of inhabitants. The population has been growing continuously since the end of the Black Death, around the year 1400; at the beginning of the 19th century, it had reached roughly 1,000,000,000 (1 billion). Increases in life expectancy and resource availability during the industrial and green revolutions led to rapid population growth on a worldwide level. By 1960, the world population had reached 3 billion; it doubled to 6 billion over the next four decades. As of 2009, the estimated annual growth rate was 1.10%, down from a peak of 2.2% in 1963, and the world population stood at roughly 6.7 billion. Current projections show a steady decline in the population growth rate, with the population expected to reach between 8 and 10.5 billion between the year 2040 and 2050.

The scientific consensus is that the current population expansion and accompanying increase in usage of resources is linked to threats to the ecosystem. The InterAcademy Panel Statement on Population Growth, which was ratified by 58 member national academies in 1994, called the growth in human numbers “unprecedented”, and stated that many environmental problems, such as rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, global warming, and pollution, were aggravated by the population expansion. At the time, the world population stood at 5.5 billion, and optimistic scenarios predicted a peak of 7.8 billion by 2050, a number that current estimates show will be reached around 2022.
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II. Overpopulation and peak oil: The perfect storm
18 January 2008, Napa Valley Register, By Jim Lydecker
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Americans have recently become aware of converging crises that can end life as we know it, though experts have been warning us for many years. (TEOTWAWKI =The End Of The World As We know It)

For example, many economists have been warning for decades of the severe consequences resulting from runaway national debt and an imbalance of trade.
And the current mortgage/liquidity crisis was first discussed in the early ‘90s by a number of financial experts.

Global warming, a phenomenon universally accepted as fact within the past five years, was first discussed by the Swedes in the 19th century. Several papers published at Stockholm University warned of global warning with the advent of the industrial age.

For a variety of reasons, humans usually don’t react to problems until they become a crises. All these crises are semi-connected, where one will trigger one or more of the others. However, there are two crises marching toward us now, shoulder-to-shoulder, that will trigger every other, both large and small. At best, they will end our industrial civilization. At worst, they may depopulate most of our species. These two comrades-in-arms, overpopulation and peak oil, are of such complex magnitude, no amount of financial or scientific commitment may stop them. They are creating the perfect storm of which there may be no survival.

The ever-quickening rise in oil prices partly attributed to the ever-weakening dollar. However, oil prices would still be increasing as demand outstrips supply. The slide down peak oil is unstoppable.

Most want to believe oil is limitless. The fact of the matter is it’s a finite resource, a geological gift of nature, half of which we’ve run through in less than 150 years. You only have to look as far as the mature, collapsing fields as the North Sea, Mexico’s Cantarell, Alaska’s North Slope, Russia’s Caspian and various Middle Eastern countries to know we are in deep trouble. In December’s OPEC meetings, it was made public that they were supplying 15 percent less than two years ago despite pumping as fast as they can. The massive Saudi field, Ghawar — by far the world’s largest — has only been able to maintain its five-million-barrel-a-day output by injecting nine million barrels of sea water daily. It’s said as goes Ghawar, so goes Saudi Arabia.

No substance is more interwoven into life as oil. Most of us see it as gasoline and believe more fuel-efficient autos will save the day. This is a fallacy as cars take much oil to manufacture, so if we replace all gas guzzlers with fuel-efficient vehicles, it will make matters worse. And using grain-produced
ethanol is proving to be a mistake. Agriculture is one of the most oil-intensive industries and the more we grow, the quicker we use oil up.

Oil is necessary for drugs and pharmaceuticals, energy, fertilizers and pesticides, chemical production and everything plastic. With the advent of oil came a revolution in medicine, agriculture (where 2 percent of the population now feeds the rest of us, while it was the opposite in 1850), transportation,
information, machinery and industrial production. Never before has life changed so much and oil was directly responsible for this modernization.

If peak oil is the sharpshooter with modern industrial civilization in its crosshairs, overpopulation is the hangman with the noose around our necks.

In 1850, the world population lingered at 1 billion; in America it was 23 million.
The world population is now closing in on 7 billion while here it nears 310 million. It was oil, and its cousin natural gas, that allowed the population to grow to unprecedented proportions as quickly as it did. As oil is depleted, it’s correct to assume the population will decrease proportionately.

In 1974, the government released a study (NSSM 200) that concluded the world population needed to be decreased drastically for humans to survive after peak oil without dire consequences. This was followed by the Carter administration’s  ‘Global 2000’ document that said an immediate goal of less than 2 billion worldwide is necessary. Others suggest a world of no more than 500 million is more realistic.

Knowing so much about a near future of mass migration, epidemics, famines, society collapse and die-offs of biblical proportions, one should ask: Why are we not making population and oil conservation the primary issues? I always wonder why towns are proud welcoming in the first-born of the year when, in the overall scope of things, having a baby is the most selfish thing a person can do. Why encourage our species to breed ourselves toward extinction?

Energy and population are the two subjects you never hear politicians discuss. Columnists, on the left and right, have recently written how it is only OK to talk about conserving oil and decreasing population until it’s too late.

III.  The effects of overpopulation on the environment
31 January 2008,, by Aidan Luce
Around the world, as populations grow, deficiencies in available freshwater supplies are starting to take their toll on already fragile economies, particularly those in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), where Tony Allan of SOAS in London insists “water demand began to exceed supply in the early 1970s for the region. Some countries have faced deficits since the 1950s”.

Each person needs to have 1.8 cubic yards (365 gallons) of good quality water to drink each year in order to be considered water sufficient. The amount they require for domestic use depends on the technological level at which they live, for example someone living in rural Africa can get by with about 4 cubic yards per year, whilst someone in Europe uses about 100 cubic yards per year. These numbers are small, however in comparison to the amount of water needed to produce the food an individual consumes – and where that food is produced has a lot to do with how much water is needed to produce it. An example for you: Wheat grown in temperate latitudes requires about 1 cubic yard of water per 2-1/4 lbs of crop produced, most of it sourced from rainfall; wheat grown in drier climates like the MENA region requires 3 to 5 yards of water per 2-1/4 pounds of crop produced and 99.9% of it is sourced through irrigation and is extracted from rivers and aquifers.

The water required to produce these crops is known as virtual water. Meat products require even more virtual water to produce, because in addition to the water the animals consume, they are more often than not fed on cereals, which themselves have a virtual water content. (Allan 1998)

It is with this in mind that many water scarce countries have since the 1970’s been sourcing much of their staple foods from outside their countries. This end to their food sovereignty is not something which they like to publicize, but it is happening nonetheless. Jordan import 88% of their foodstuffs, Israel 80% and Palestine 65%. (Shuval 2005)These countries and many others throughout the
middle east are becoming increasingly dependent on water rich countries to supply the food they require to keep their population fed.

The US and the EU export 40 million tons of grain to the MENA region every year, using 40 billion tons of virtual water this is the amount of water flowing down the Nile into Egypt for agriculture every year. The word rival comes from the Latin root rivus, which literally means to share a river. The concept of rivalry is intrinsically tied to the competition for water security.
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__A. Planet could be ‘unrecognizable’ by 2050, experts say
A growing, more affluent population competing for ever scarcer resources could make for an “unrecognizable” world by 2050, researchers warned at a major US science conference Sunday.

The United Nations has predicted the global population will reach seven billion this year, and climb to nine billion by 2050, “with almost all of the growth occurring in poor countries, particularly Africa and South Asia,” said John Bongaarts of the non-profit Population Council .

To feed all those mouths, “we will need to produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have in the last 8,000,” said Jason Clay of the World Wildlife Fund at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

“By 2050 we will not have a planet left that is recognizable” if current trends continue, Clay said.

The swelling population will exacerbate problems, such as resource depletion , said John Casterline, director of the Initiative in Population Research at Ohio State University. But incomes are also expected to rise over the next 40 years — tripling globally and quintupling in developing nations — and add more strain to global food supplies.

People tend to move up the food chain as their incomes rise, consuming more meat than they might have when they made less money, the experts said. It takes around seven pounds of grain to produce a pound of meat, and around three to four pounds of grain to produce a pound of cheese or eggs, experts told AFP.

“More people, more money, more consumption, but the same planet,” Clay told AFP, urging scientists and governments to start making changes now to how food is produced.
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__B. Population and environment, a complex relationship
Between 1960 and 1999, Earth’s population doubled from three billion to six billion people. In many ways, this reflected good news for humanity: child mortality rates plummeted, life expectancy increased, and people were on average healthier and better nourished than at any time in history. However, during the same period, changes in the global environment began to accelerate: pollution heightened, resource depletion continued, and the threat of rising sea levels increased. Does the simultaneous occurrence of population growth and environmental decline over the past century indicate that more people translate into greater environmental degradation?

In The Environmental Implications of Population Dynamics, Lori Hunter synthesizes current knowledge about the influence of population dynamics on the environment. Specifically, her report examines the following:
•  The relationship between demographic factors– population size, distribution, and composition–and environmental change.
•  The mediating factors that influence this relationship: technological, institutional, policy, and cultural forces.
•  Two specific aspects of environmental change affected by population dynamics: climate change and land-use change.
•  Implications for policy and further research.

Hunter concludes that population dynamics have important environmental implications but that the sheer size of population represents only one important variable in this complex relationship. Other demographic dynamics, including changes in population flows and densities, can also pose challenging environmental problems.
1)  Environmental Implications of Specific  Population Factors
According to recent United Nations estimates, global population is increasing by  approximately 80 million–the size of Germany–each year.
Although fertility rates have declined in most areas of the world, population growth continues to be fueled by high levels of fertility, particularly in Asia and Africa.
In numerous Middle Eastern and African nations, the average number of children a woman would be expected to have given current fertility levels remains above 6.0–for example, 6.4 in Saudi Arabia, 6.7 in Yemen, 6.9 in Uganda, and as high as 7.5 in Niger. Even in areas where fertility rates have declined to near replacement levels (2.1 children per couple), population continues to grow because of “population momentum,” which occurs when a high proportion of the population is young.
2)  Population Size
No simple relationship exists between population size and environmental change. However, as global population continues to grow, limits on such global resources as arable land, potable water, forests, and fisheries have come into sharper focus. In the second half of the twentieth century, decreasing farmland contributed to growing concern of the limits to global food production. Assuming constant rates of production, per capita land requirements for food production will near the limits of arable land over the course of the twenty-first century. Likewise, continued population growth occurs in the context of an accelerating demand for water: Global water consumption rose six fold between 1900 and 1995, more than double the rate of population growth.
3)   Land Use
Fulfilling the resource requirements of a growing population ultimately requires some form of land-use change–to provide for the expansion of food production through forest clearing, to intensify production on already cultivated land, or to develop the infrastructure necessary to support increasing human numbers. During the past three centuries, the amount of Earth’s cultivated land has grown by more than 450 percent, increasing from 2.65 million square kilometers to 15 million square kilometers.

A related process, deforestation, is also critically apparent: A net decline in forest cover of 180 million acres took place during the 15-year interval 1980 to ­1995, although changes in forest cover vary greatly across regions. Whereas developing countries experienced a net loss of 200 million acres, developed countries actually experienced a net increase, of 20 million acres (see chart).

[Chart left: Forest Area in 1995 Compared with 1980. SOURCE: Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), The State of the World’s Forests, 1999, Rome, Italy: FAO, 1998.  NOTE: Data exclude the countries of the former Soviet Union.]

These types of land-use changes have several ecological impacts. Converting land to agricultural use can lead to soil erosion, and the chemicals often used in fertilizers can also degrade soil. Deforestation is also associated with soil erosion and can lessen the ability of soil to hold water, thereby increasing the frequency and severity of floods. Human-induced changes in land use often result in habitat fragmentation and loss, the primary cause of species decline.
In fact, if current rates of forest clearing continue, one-quarter of all species on Earth could be lost within the next 50 years.

4)      Global Climate Change
Recent years have been among the warmest on record. Research suggests that temperatures have been influenced by growing concentrations of greenhouse gases, which absorb solar radiation and warm the
atmosphere. Research also suggests that many changes in atmospheric gas are human-induced. The demographic influence appears primarily in three areas.

    • First, contributions related to industrial production and energy consumption lead to carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use;
    • Second, land-use changes, such as deforestation, affect the exchange of carbon dioxide between the Earth and the atmosphere; and
    • Third, some agricultural processes, such as paddy-rice cultivation and livestock production, are responsible for greenhouse gas releases into the atmosphere, especially methane.

According to one estimate, population growth will account for 35 percent of the global increase in CO2 emissions between 1985 and 2100 and 48 percent of the increase in developing nations during that period. As such, both attention to demographic issues and the development of sustainable production and consumption processes are central responses to the processes involved in global warming.
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IV.  Population Concerns in the United States

A.  Population
At the present growth rate of 1.1% per year, the United States’ population will double to about 560 million in about the next 60 years, if current immigration and related trends continue.  Each year over 3 million people are added to the U.S. population.
•  Over 70% of the United States’ annual population growth (and over 90% of California, Florida and New York) results from immigration.
•  Every person leaves an “ecological footprint” on the Earth — that amount of land which, assuming it is endowed with an average amount of resources, is necessary to sustain one human being indefinitely.  The average American’s ecological footprint is about 25 acres, an area far greater than that taken up by one’s residence and place of school or work and other places where he or she is.  Those 25 additional acres supply the average American with food, fiber, and other resources, as well as capacity for waste assimilation and disposal. (The average footprint of everyone in the world is about 7 acres.)

B.  Land & Food production
One acre of natural habitat or farmland is converted to built-up space or highway for each person added to the U.S. population.
•  More than 99.3% of the U.S. food comes from land, while less than 0.5% comes from aquatic systems.
•  Of the nearly 470 million acres of arable land that are now in cultivation in the U.S., more than 1 million acres are lost from cultivation each year due to urbanization, multiplying transportation networks, and industrial expansion.  In addition, about 2 million acres of prime cropland are lost annually by erosion, salinization, and water logging.
  Iowa has lost 1/2 of its fertile topsoil after farming there for about 100 years.  Their topsoil is being lost about 30 times faster than sustainability.
•  If present population growth and other trends continue, over the next 60 years, both degradation and urbanization will diminish our arable land base of 470 million acres by 120 million acres.
•  Only 0.6 acres of arable land per person will be available in 2050, whereas more than 1.2 acres per person are needed to provide a divers diet (currently 1.6 acres of arable land are available).
•  A doubling of the American population will accelerate the need for food.  For every 1% increase in food demand, the price at the farm gate increases 4.5%.

C.     Food Exports & Oil Imports
•  Currently the U.S. earns $40 billion per year as the largest food exporter in the world.  About 60% of the oil used in the U.S. is imported at a cost of $75 billion per year.  About 400 gallons of oil equivalents are expended to feed each American, about 17% of all energy used, each year.
•  If present trends in population growth, domestic food consumption, and topsoil loss continue, the U.S. food exports (and the income from them) will cease by 2030.
•  Fossil energy use in the U.S. has increased from 20 to as much as 1,000-fold in just four decades.
•  Currently, 92% of U.S. energy needs are provided by finite fossil fuels, with 6% of the total energy used for agricultural production.
•  Renewable energy sources, like hydropower and biomass, provide 8% of the U.S. energy and are increasing very slowly.
•  Approaching 2050, most of the oil and natural gas in the United States will be exhausted, and world supplies will be ever closer to depletion.
•  A renewable energy source, solar energy, would require the use of about 20% of the U.S. land area (about 450 million acres) to support a system that would supply only 1/2 of all current energy consumption, and the U.S. oil and gas reserves will have nearly run out by 2050, leaving us with environmentally problematic coal, or nuclear energy.  The advantage of the land space required for solar is that the solar can be above the ground, allowing for multiple use of the land space, such as grazing, agriculture, and warehousing.

D.   Energy
Fossil energy use in the U.S. has increased from 20 to as much as 1,000-fold in just four decades.
•  Currently, 92% of U.S. energy needs are provided by finite fossil fuels, with 6% of the total energy used for agricultural production.
•  Renewable energy sources, like hydropower and biomass, provide 8% of the U.S. energy and are increasing very slowly.
•  Approaching 2050, most of the oil and natural gas in the United States will be exhausted, and world supplies will be ever closer to depletion.
•  A renewable energy source, solar energy, would require the use of about 20% of the U.S. land area (about 450 million acres) to support a system that would supply only 1/2 of all current energy consumption, and the U.S. oil and gas reserves will have nearly run out by 2050, leaving us with environmentally problematic coal, or nuclear energy.  The advantage of the land space required for solar is that the solar can be above the ground, allowing for multiple use of the land space, such as grazing, agriculture, and warehousing.

E.   Water
Water is essential for all life, including productive agriculture. Agriculture consumes about 85% of all fresh water consumed by Americans. In the West, water shortages are increasing.
•  Rainfall is used directly by crops, is stored in diverse water bodies and in underground aquifers.  Groundwater provides 31% of the water used in U.S. agriculture.  Groundwater is being depleted 25% in excess of recharge rates.
•  Even if water management were to be substantially improved, by 2060 the 560 million Americans will have only 700 gallons/day/capita, considered a minimum for all human needs.
This assumes even distribution, which is not the case — much of our population and agricultural production is in arid and semi-arid regions.
•  Almost every house that can afford one now owns some type of water filter. Water quality is decreasing, as are our sources of potable water, due to development, salinity, and pollution.
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€ The ‘bathroom metaphor’”
If two people live in an apartment, and  they had two bathrooms then they both have freedom of the bathroom. You can go to the bathroom anytime you want, stay as long as you want, for whatever you need, and everyone believes in the freedom of the bathroom. It should be right there in the constitution.
But if you have twenty people in the apartment and two bathrooms, then no matter how much every person believes in the freedom of the bathroom, there is no such thing. You have to set up times for each person; you have to bang on the door, “aren’t you through yet?”, and so on.
Kasanov concluded with one of the most profound observations I’ve seen in years, he says, in the same way, “…democracy cannot survive overpopulation. Human dignity cannot survive over population. Convenience and decency cannot survive over population. As you put more and more people into the world, the value of life not only decline it disappears. It doesn’t matter if someone dies, the more people, there are the less one individual matters. And so, central to the things that we must do is to recognize that population growth is the immediate cause of all our resource and environmental crisis”.

V.  Consequences of peak oil
There are indications that peak oil is either imminent or even may have passed a few years ago. Although the consequences won’t be immediate after the peak, on the long-term they will be dire. We will discuss what the possible solutions to peak oil are in a moment but first, what are we talking about? Let’s start by a few facts:
•  There is only a limited amount of oil on the planet – because the planet is round.
•  The world’s first commercial oil well was drilled in Poland in 1853, and global production reached 4 million barrels a year in the 1860s (one barrel is about 42 gallons).
•  Today’s production hovers just above 70 million barrels a day.
•  2005 was an all-time high at 73.72 million barrels a day. Production is nearly flat since.
•  The Industrial Revolution brought a better understanding of how to use energy and allowed global population to increase ten times compared to what has been constant over millennia. It is  quite clear that our population would never have reached this level without access to all the cheap energy sources we currently have.
•  Our industry, food system and economy have become wholly dependent on cheap fuel.
•  India and China demand for oil is set to quadruple by 2030.
•  Some 64 million barrel per day of additional gross capacity – the equivalent of almost six times the daily output of Saudi Arabia today – needs to be brought on stream between now and 2030 (World Energy Outlook 2008)
•  So if the amount of oil we have is limited, if our demand is growing exponentially and  if production has been stationary for 5 years, how much oil have we left?
•  First we have to realize there aren’t any massive oil field discoveries those days. It is estimated that the peak of oil production lags behind the peak of oil field discoveries by 30 to 40 years depending on the urgency with which new fields are brought on-line. The graph below shows the rate of discoveries of
conventional oil field:

I’d like to stop a moment to let this sink in and consider what actually depends on oil.
•  Most of our transportation: cars, planes, boat, trucks.
•  Commercial shipment: bringing food to the supermarket, shipping building material, most of the industry.
•  Tires: It takes 3.6 billion gallons of crude oil to produce tires for all of the cars in the U.S. and 7 gallons of crude to produce one tire; therefore, should we all switch to electric cars we would still have a problem.
•  Mining equipment, farming and forestry equipment. The energy density of any commercially available battery makes it very heavy to move around and therefore a poor replacement of liquid fuels.
•  Most plastics. Plastics are everywhere. Look around you, starting by your computer and your phone, and the chips inside of them, and then try to imagine a world without plastics.
•  Many pesticides are derived from petroleum. Fertilizers are derived from natural gas, which ultimately will be confronted to the same issue.
•  Motor’s lubricating oil.
•  Asphalt.
•  Our entire food production and distribution network is heavily dependent on oil and fossil fuels. It is estimated that for every calories you eat, 10 calories of fossil fuels (mainly from oil and gas) is being used.
There is no need to panic: we have only consumed half of the amount of oil there is on the planet. However, there is clearly a case to seriously rethink our way of life.

Oil availability and social implications–Past & Future
The effect of energy decline on population will completely overwhelm the underlying reductions in carrying capacity. Those ecological effects will be gradually revealed as our aggregate supplies
decline, and will add to the population-reducing effects to energy loss.


VI.  Our food and  water needs
The basic need of humans is food. We need food to have energy to perform vital body functions, to reproduce, to work and to have fun. The unit of energy used by dietitians is the Calorie (or kilocalorie), that is, 4200 joules of energy, enough to raise the temperature of one kg of water by one degree Celsius.

The energy need of a typical adult is 2500 Calories per day. Children and elderly need less than that. That brings the average to 2000 Calories per day for all.

The caloric values must come 55% – 60% from carbohydrates, 12% – 15% from proteins and 33% – 25% fats. The variation based on climate, culture and personal preferences. For our calculation we take the most recommended 60% from carbohydrates, 12% from protein and 28% from fats. It must be kept in mind that this is an attempt to summarize highly complex and variable data into a meaningful format. There are hundreds if not thousands of food items available for human use, which particular item one uses depends a lot on one’s religion, culture, climate, personal preference etc.
Food productivity differs a lot on the basis of geographical location.
•  Most people live on a diet based on one or more of the following staples: rice, wheat, maize (corn), millet, sorghum, roots and tubers (potatoes, cassava, yams and taro), and animal products such as meat, milk, eggs, cheese and fish.
•  Roots and tubers are important staples for over 1 billion  people in the developing world. They account for roughly 40 percent of the food eaten by half the population of sub-Saharan  Africa. They are high in carbohydrates, calcium and vitamin C, but low in protein.
•  Ranked in order of their annual production, the world’s 15 most important food crops are: sugar cane, wheat, rice, corn (maize), white potatoes, sugar beets, barley, sweet potatoes, cassava, soybeans, wine grapes, tomatoes, bananas, legumes (beans and peas), and oranges.
•  Nine of the most important animal species include: cattle, horse, ass, pig, sheep, buffalo, goat, chicken and duck.

A.   A scheme of balanced daily  diet

Pounds of food needed/ person/ year for a balanced diet. Avg.  global food output lbs/acre/yr before
the petroleum intensive Green Revolution began (pre ca 1940)
Square yards Land Needed/person for a balanced  diet
Pounds/year Lbs/acre/yr
Grains & Cereals 220 880 1200
Milk 220 (26 gal) 440 See pasture
Fruits 220 1760 469131
Vegetables 55
Meat (goat, horses, sheep) 55 220 See pasture
Oil 27.5 (~3 gal) 440 300
Sugar 27.5 440 300
Dry Fruits / Eggs 27.5 440 300
Spices 27.5 440 300
Pasture NA NA 1200
Other (coffee, cotton, tea, wool) NA NA 600
4800 sq. yds. overall=1


  • Land Needed/ capita =4800 square yards = about 1 acre per person. There are  4840 square yards /acre.
  • It is estimated that egg production in pounds would be at least twice that of chicken meat per acre. That is because of the savings in energy when eggs are used directly in the diet, which would otherwise be used by the chicken in its life time-hatching, growing up and gaining weight up to age of a few weeks before slaughter.
  • Land needed for vegetables is so little (55 vegetables needed/1760 lbs per acre*4200 = 131 sq. yds.=1180 sq ft=a plot 12 ft x 100 ft long) that a side crop along with grains/cereals can be grown for that. That’s the traditional Chinese method of having a crop of vegetables along with rice. A nitrogen-fixing crop is needed anyways as a side crop on land where grains/cereals are grown to maintain soil fertility.
  • A quarter acre dedicated to pasture grows 440 lbs of fodder per year. The total fodder requirement for milk and meat is 880 lbs., 4.4 lbs of fodder is converted to 2.2 lbs of milk and 17.6 lbs of fodder converts to 2.2 lbs of goat/camel/horse meat. The other 440 lbs of fodder comes from crop-residue, leaves etc from grain/cereals, fruits and vegetables. 220 lbs of grains/cereals leave 352 lbs fodder, 220 lbs fruits leave 440 lbs fodder, 110 lbs of miscellaneous (oil, sugar, spices and dry fruits) leaves 176 lbs of fodder. Assuming it would have half of the caloric values left when finally consumed by animals that is equivalent of 440 lbs of fodder.
  • Conversion factors: 1 kg=2.2 lbs, 1 m2=1.2 yd2, 1 ft3=7.48 gal water, 3.79 liters=1 gallon, 1yd3=202 gal water, 1 acre =4840 yd2=43,560 ft2, 1 hectare = 2.47 acres.

A simplified division of land is as follows:

Farm (for grains/cereals) 1/4 acre per person, (100 ft x 100 ft)
Pasture (for growing fodder) 1/4 acre per person, (100 ft x 100 ft)
Orchard (for growing fruits) 1/8 acre per person, (50 ft x 100 ft)
Farm (for tea, cotton, wool) 1/8 acre per person, (50 ft x 100 ft)
Oil (for vegetable oil) 1/16 acre per person, (50 ft x 50 ft)
Sugar (honey or sugar cane) 1/16 acre per person, (50 ft x 50 ft)
Dry fruits 1/16 acre per person, (50 ft x 50 ft)
Spices 1/16 acre per person, (50 ft x 50 ft)

B.  Water
Water is another important factor in farm productivity. A land rich in organic material and minerals is of no use without a supply of water. The primary source of water is rain falling directly on land. Secondary sources like canals are also used to increase productivity. Finally tertiary sources like wells and tube wells are used which to some degree recycles the water already used at the farm.

A 10 inch rain fall on one acre provides 1000 tons of water. For a summer crop, at least in my part of world 80% of rain falls during the monsoon, right when the crop needs it. So 800 cubic meters of water
directly from rain is enough to grow the food per person per acre using these water requirements, assuming 20% loss of water at the farm due to evaporation and soil absorption before being used by plants. The calculation includes water needed for world average use of 7.7 lb  cotton, 2.4 lb coffee and 1.1 lb tea per capita per year.
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C.   Water Footprint
A ‘water footprint’ is quite simply the volume of water used. At the individual level, this is expressed in gallons.
But at the national level, this becomes complex – The water footprint of a nation is equal to the use of domestic water resources, minus the virtual water export flows, plus the virtual water import flows.

The total ‘water footprint’ of a nation is a useful indicator of a nation’s call on the global water resources. The water footprint of a nation is related to dietary habits of people. High consumption of meat brings along a large water footprint. Also the more food originates from irrigated land, the larger is the water footprint. Finally, nations in warm climate zones have relatively high water consumption for their domestic food production resulting in a larger water footprint. At an individual level, it is useful to show the footprint as a function of food diet and consumption patterns.
•  1 cup of coffee needs 37 gal of water.
•  1 qt of milk needs 264 gal of water.
•  It takes 5 liters of water to make 1 liter of bottled water.
•  1 lbs of wheat needs 162 gal of water.
•  1 lbs of rice needs 359 gal of water.
•  1 lbs maize needs 62 gal of water.
•  The production of 1 lbs of beef requires 2,638 gal of water.
•  The water footprint of China is about 930 cubic yards per year per capita. Only about 3% of the Chinese water footprint falls outside China.
•  Japan with a footprint of 1,320 cubic yards per year per capita, has about 60% of its total water footprint outside the borders of the country.
•  The USA water footprint is 3,120 cubic yards per year per capita.
•  The average American Individual uses 100 to 175 gallons of water per day.
•  The average African Family uses 5 gallons per day.
•  A human adult requires 1.81 cubic yards drinking water per year=365 gallons or 1 gallon per day, another gallon per person per day is required for minimal sanitation and household use.
Source: UNESCO-IHE – Water Footprint

Virtual Water
Virtual water is the amount of water that is embedded in food or other products needed for its production. Trade in virtual water allows water scarce countries to import high water consuming products while exporting low water consuming products and in this way making water available for other purposes.

For example, the virtual water content (in yds3 water/ton product) for potatoes is 192 (cu yards water to produce 1 ton potatoes). Others examples: maize=1,080; milk=1,080; wheat=1,620; soybean=2,760; rice=3,600; poultry=3,360; eggs=5,640; cheese=6,360; pork=7,080; and beef=19,200.
Behind that morning cup of coffee is 37 gallons of water used to grow, produce, package and ship the beans.

Sustainable human carrying capacity?
Assuming that we can sustainably use 40% of world’s food production for our use leaving the rest for all other species, we can have food for 6 billion people on this planet if our population is distributed evenly, but. since it is not, long-term human population support ranges from 2 billion to 4 billion. Taking the average 3 billion as sustainable, this is roughly the population of the world at the end of the World War II.


VII.   North America’s  Ogallala aquifer
America’s breadbasket is facing an environmental crisis of unimaginable proportions and most Americans have absolutely no idea what is happening.  The water that is used to irrigate much of America’s Great Plains comes from a massive underground lake known as the Ogallala Aquifer, which.   is being drained at an alarming rate, and that means that the Great Plains could soon turn into the Great American Desert.  If that happens, American could very well see a devastating repeat of the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s.

The Ogallala geological formation of the American Midwest is home one of the most vital water sources for American agriculture—the High Plains aquifer.  Commonly referred to as the Ogallala aquifer, it covers an area of 174,000 square miles across eight states and holds over 978 trillion gallons of fresh water.  The aquifer currently supplies approximately 30% of the nation’s irrigation water, whereby it sustains 15% of the domestic corn and wheat crops as well as 25% of the cotton crop.  Since ground water mining of the aquifer accelerated in the last century, the water table has dropped 10-50 feet  in-depth in most regions, with several recorded drops of over 100 feet.

Shown as the shaded region in the figure above.   The quality and depth of the Ogallala groundwater is rapidly declining as water is pumped from its reservoirs far faster than fresh water can replace it.

The Ogallala aquifer was virtually untouched until the 1910s, but the post-depression wartime government of the 1940s readily subsidized irrigation projects drawing from the aquifer as drilling technology improved.  The dry grassland states of the central United States were quickly developed into major crop producing regions.  As of 1980, “20% of the irrigated land in the United States overlay the Ogallala, 30% of the irrigation ground water in the United States was being pumped from it, and 40% of the grain-fed beef cattle slaughtered in the United States were being fattened in the six states of the High Plains.”   This extreme reliance on the Ogallala aquifer has taken a dramatic toll on the ground water supply, both quantitatively and qualitatively.

One of the most critical sites is in the Texas High Plains, where roughly ten times as much water is being pumped out of the aquifer as is being replaced by rainfall.

The Ogallala aquifer is being used today to supply residential and agricultural communities across eight Midwestern states.  For nearly 80 years the nation’s breadbasket has been irrigated from Ogallala groundwater—a practice so unsustainable it severely threatens an aquifer that had flourished for over a
million years.  Farmlands are already shrinking on some portions of the Ogallala that have been mined of water.  As the water table continues to plummet the High Plains will have to take drastic measures, whether communities import costly water or abandon the most profitable farming in the nation.
Either way the decision has to be made soon because the aquifer that once held enough water to cover the entire United States under 1.5 feet of water is rapidly running out.

A.  The Ogallala aquifer running dry: U.S. farmers fear return of the dust bowl
It’s the largest underground freshwater supply in the world, stretching from South Dakota all the way to Texas. It’s underneath most of Nebraska’s farmlands, and it provides crucial water resources for farming in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and even New Mexico. It’s called the Ogallala Aquifer, and it is being pumped dry.

Without the Ogallala Aquifer, America’s heartland food production collapses. No water means no irrigation for the corn, wheat, alfalfa and other crops grown across these states to feed people and animals. And each year, the Ogallala Aquifer drops another few inches as it is literally being sucked dry by the tens of thousands of agricultural wells that tap into it across the heartland of America.

The problem with its use is that the aquifer isn’t being recharged in any significant way from rainfall or rivers. This is so-called “fossil water” because once you use it, it’s gone. And it’s disappearing now faster than ever.

In some regions along the aquifer, the water level has dropped so far that it has effectively disappeared — places like Happy, Texas, where a once-booming agricultural town has collapsed to a population of 595. All the wells drilled there in the 1950’s tapped into the Ogallala Aquifer and seemed to provide abundant water at the time. But today the wells have all run dry.

There used to be 50,000 head of cattle, now there’s 1,000,” says Kay Horner in a Telegraph report (…). “Grazed them on wheat, but the feed lots took all the water so we can’t grow wheat. Now the feed lots can’t get local steers so they bring in cheap unwanted milking calves from California and turn them into burger if they can’t make them veal. It
doesn’t make much sense. We’re heading back to the Dust Bowl.”

The reality is that the Great Plains have not always been a great agricultural area. Way back in 1823, a U.S. government surveyor named Stephen Long was mapping out the Great Plains, and he was quite unimpressed by what he saw.  In fact, his geographer wrote the following in a report about the

“I do not hesitate in giving the opinion that it is almost wholly unfit for cultivation, and of course, uninhabitable by a people depending upon agriculture for their subsistence.”

Well, thanks to irrigation, the Great Plains are not only “habitable”, but that region is currently one of the great breadbaskets of the world.  What Long’s mapping expedition referred to as “The Great American Desert” has been turned into an agricultural wonder thanks to an expanse of green circles defined by the reach of central pivot irrigation systems. But all of that is changing as the Ogallala Aquifer rapidly becomes depleted

 B.  Water Now More Valuable Than Oil? Savvy Investors and Successful Companies are Turning Water Into Gold,
By Larry West, Guide
The most valuable commodity in the world today, and likely to remain so for much of this century, is not oil, not natural gas, not even some type of renewable energy. It’s water—clean, safe, fresh water.

__Follow the Money
When you want to spot emerging trends, always follow the money. Today, many of the world’s leading investors and most successful companies are making big bets on water. Do a little research, and it’s easy to see why. There simply isn’t enough freshwater to go around, and the situation is expected to get worse before it gets better.

According to Bloomberg News, the worldwide scarcity of usable water worldwide already has made water more valuable than oil. The Bloomberg World Water Index, which tracks 11 utilities, has returned 35 percent to investors every year since 2003, compared with 29 percent for oil and gas stocks and 10 percent for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

“There is only one direction for water prices at the moment, and that’s up,” said Hans Peter Portner, who manages a $2.9 billion US Water Fund at Pictet Asset Management in Geneva, according to a report by Bloomberg News. The value of the fund increased 26 percent in 2005, and Portner expects water to provide 8 percent annual returns through 2020.

__Freshwater Becoming More Scarce
The United Nations estimates that by 2050 more than two billion people in 48 countries will lack sufficient water.
Approximately 97 percent to 98 percent of the water on planet Earth is saltwater (the estimates vary slightly depending on the source). Much of the remaining freshwater is frozen in glaciers or the polar ice caps. Lakes, rivers and groundwater account for about 1 percent of the world’s potentially usable

If global warming continues to melt glaciers in the polar regions, as expected, the supply of freshwater may actually decrease. First, freshwater from the melting glaciers will mingle with saltwater in the oceans and become too salty to drink. Second, the increased ocean volume will cause sea levels to rise,
contaminating freshwater sources along coastal regions with seawater.

Complicating matters even further is that 95 percent of the world’s cities continue to dump raw sewage into rivers and other freshwater supplies, making them unsafe for human consumption.

__The Need for Freshwater is Increasing Rapidly
Yet, while freshwater supplies are at best static, and at worst decreasing, the world’s population is growing rapidly. The United Nations estimates that the world population—approximately 6.5 billion in 2006—will grow to 9.4 billion by 2050.

The cost of water is usually set by government agencies and local regulators. Water isn’t traded on commodity exchanges, but many utilities stocks are publicly traded. Meanwhile, investments in companies that provide desalinization, and other processes and technologies that may increase the world’s supply of freshwater, are growing rapidly.

C.  Tap Water in 42 States Contaminated by Chemicals: EWG Tap Water Probe Reveals 141 Unregulated Chemicals Flowing into U.S. Homes Guide, By Larry West,
Public water supplies in 42 U.S. states are contaminated with 141 unregulated chemicals for which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has never established safety standards, according to an investigation by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

__Tainted Tap Water Used by Millions of Americans
Another 119 regulated chemicals—a total of 260 contaminants altogether—were found by the
environmental group in a two-and-a-half-year analysis of more than 22 million tap water quality tests. The tests, which are required under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, were conducted at nearly 40,000 utilities that supply water to 231 million people.

 __Pollution Threatens Tap Water Quality
 According to a report by the EWG, the top 10 states with the most contaminants in their drinking water were California, Wisconsin, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, New York, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Illinois—in that order.  EWG said the biggest sources of contaminants were agriculture, industry and pollution from sprawl and urban  runoff.

__Utilities Need More Enforceable Standards for Tap Water
EWG’s analysis also found that almost all U.S. water utilities comply fully with enforceable health standards once they are developed. The problem, according to the environmental group, is the EPA’s failure to establish enforceable health standards and monitoring requirements for many tap water contaminants.  [Photo above: Royal Berkey water filter]

Our analysis clearly demonstrates the need for greater protection of the nation’s tap water supplies, and for increased health protections from a number of pollutants that are commonly found but currently unregulated.” said Jane Houlihan, vice president for science at EWG, in a prepared statement. “Utilities routinely go beyond what is required to protect consumers from these contaminants, but they need more money for testing, and for protection of vital source waters.”

World fish stocks over-exploited
Feb. 1, 2011, UNITED NATIONS
Global consumption of fish is at a record high, a report says, leaving world fish stocks depleted from over-exploitation.
The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization says fish consumption reached an average  of 37 pounds per person and fisheries and aquaculture supplied the world with about 145 million tons in 2009. That amounts to about 16 percent of humanity’s animal protein intake, the BBC reported Tuesday.

Thirty-two percent of the fish stocks monitored by the FAO were depleted or in the process of recovering from over-exploitation, the U.N. report said. Most stocks of the Top 10 commercial species, comprising almost a third of global catches, were fully exploited, the U.N. report said.
“That there has been no improvement in the status of stocks is a matter of great concern,” Richard Grainger, a FAO senior fish expert, says. “The percentage of over-exploitation needs to go down, although at least we seem to reaching a plateau.” Fish continued to be the most-traded food commodity, worth $102 billion in 2008, the U.N. report found.

Overall, fisheries and aquaculture support the livelihoods of an estimated 540 million people, or 8% of the world population. People have never eaten as much fish and more people than ever are employed in or depend on the sector.

All stocks of currently fished, wild seafood species are projected to collapse by 2048 according to a study published in the November 3 issue of The Journal Science. The four-year analysis by an international group of ecologists and economists shows the marine biodiversity loss is reducing its resilience due to overfishing, pollution, and other stresses like climate change.










[Photo left: Florida Keys, same spot: Change in the typical catch between,ca. 1956 to 2007.]

In the paper, Impact of Biodiversity Loss on Ocean Ecosystem Services, an international team of ecologists and economists studied the role marine biodiversity plays in maintaining ecosystem services, which are those goods and functions that are essential for the growing human population.

“Worm and colleagues provided the first comprehensive assessment of the state of ecosystem services provided by the biodiversity of the world’s oceans to humanity,” said Science International Managing Editor Andrew Sugden. “At this point,” Worm said, “29 percent of fish and seafood species have collapsed — that is their catch has declined by 90 percent. It is a very clear trend, and it is accelerating.

Seafood has become a growing part of Americans’ diet in recent years. Consumption totaled 16.6 pounds per person in 2004, the most recent data available, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That compares with 15.2 pounds in 2000.

Joshua Reichert, head of the private Pew Charitable Trusts’ environment program, pointed out that worldwide fishing provides $80 billion in revenue and 200 million people depend on it for their livelihoods. For more than 1 billion people, many of whom are poor, fish is their main source of protein, he said.

IX.      The State of the World’s Food and Soil
 •  “Ninety percent of the world’s food is derived from just 15 plant and 8 animal species.”
“Biodiversity – and especially the maintenance of wild relatives of domesticated species – is essential to sustainable agriculture.”1
 •  75% of the genetic diversity of crop plants has been lost in the past century.

[Chart above: While the amount of irrigated agricultural land increased 98% during the 41 years from 1961 to  2002, the human population doubled from 3.08 billion to 6.2 billion, the effect has been to essentially reduce the amount arable land per person by 45%.]

“In 1960, when the world population numbered reached 3 billion, approximately 1.25 acres of cropland per capita was available, the minimum area considered essential for the production of a diverse, healthy, nutritious diet of plant and animal products like that enjoyed widely in the United States and

  • Increases in grain production brought about by irrigation and synthetic fertilizer-pesticide inputs have peaked and begun declining. As consumption surpasses production, the world’s stocks of stored grain have been falling relative to each year’s use. When supply can no longer meet demand, free market price competition may starve the poor.
  • “Nitrogen production requires a large and affordable supply of natural gas.” 5
  • “Natural gas is a key feedstock (up to 90 percent of the total costs) in the manufacturing of nitrogen fertilizer for which there is no practical substitute… Nitrogen fertilizer prices tend to increase when gas prices increase.” 4

“10 kcalories (kilogram-calories or ‘large calories’) of exosomatic energy are spent in the U.S. food system per calorie of food eaten by the consumer. Put another way, the US food system consumes ten times more energy than it provides to society in food energy.” 6

Definition:exosomatic energy, as contrasted with endosomatic energy (bodily metabolism), is the useful energy throughput outside the human body.
In the above example, the exosomatic energy is the energy used to drive the farm inputs (plant, fertilize, pest-herbacide and harvest), processing, packaging, and transportation.

[Chart upper left: Fertilizer consumption is increasing worldwide- to maintain and maximize soil productivity. Chart uper right: Grain production has peaked and is declining, meanwhile consumption/demand continues to climb, the shortfall is being made up grain stockpiles which have dropped 75% and are still declining.]

Grain production has peaked and is declining, meanwhile consumption/demand continues to climb, the shortfall is being made up grain stockpiles which have dropped 75% and are still declining.

Who’s eating what and where?
About 2 billion hectares of soil, equivalent to 15% of the Earth’s land area (an area larger than the United States and Mexico combined), have been degraded through human activities.
•  “Over the past 40 years, approximately 30% of the world’s cropland has become unproductive.”2
•  “During the past 40 years nearly one-third of the world’s cropland (1.5 billion hectares) has been abandoned because of soil erosion and degradation.” 7
•  “About 2 million hectares of rain fed and irrigated agricultural lands are lost to production every year due to severe land degradation, among other factors.” 8
•  “It takes approximately 500 years to replace 25 millimeters (1 inch) of topsoil lost to erosion. The minimal soil depth for agricultural production is 150 millimeters. From this perspective, productive fertile soil is a nonrenewable, endangered ecosystem.” 3,9

Food and Soil text sources:
1.  World Summit on Sustainable Development 2002, “A Framework for Action on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management”
2.  “Food, Land, Population and the U.S. Economy”, Pimentel and Giampietro, Nov. 1994
3.  “Soil as an Endangered Ecosystem”, David Pimental, Bioscience; Nov 2000
4.  US GAO report: “Natural Gas: Domestic Nitrogen Fertilizer Production Depends on Natural Gas Availability and Prices”, Oct. 2003,
5. The Fertilizer Institute,
6.  “The Tightening Conflict: Population, Energy Use, and the Ecology of Agriculture”, Pimentel and Giampietro, 1994,
7.  “Food, Land, Population and the U.S. Economy, Pimentel and Giampietro, Nov. 1994
8.  World Bank: “Land Resources Management”,
9.  “Population Growth and the Environment: Planetary Stewardship”, Pimental, Dec 98,
10.  UN World Water Development,

Population Growth Escalates Food Prices
Summer 2008, By The Social Contract press
Food shortages have plagued mankind over millennia. But twentieth century agronomists came up with ways to keep food production on a pace with population growth in most places. Cheap food became a given in post-World War II America. In 1960, Americans spent 17.5 percent of their income on food; in 2006, spending on food fell to 9.9 percent. Alas, the bonanza only encouraged dietary imprudence. As Michael Pollan points out in a new book, In Defense of Food: An  Eater’s Manifesto, the modern American diet of refined white flour, polished rice, soy and corn oil, corn sweeteners and corn-fed animal fats means that “an American born in 2000 has a 1 in 3 chance of developing diabetes in his lifetime.” Obesity in America is pandemic, too — a result of what one nutritionist calls “a national experiment in mainlining of glucose.”

Astonishingly, the U.S. is a net food importer. About 40 percent of our fruit comes from overseas.
Ten percent of our red meat is imported, often from as far away as New Zealand and Australia.
While we import luxury foods, much of the rest of the world must scramble to find basic food supplies. The cereal import bill for the neediest countries is expected to increase by one-third for the second year in a row. The World Food Program (WFP) hopes to feed 73 million people this year, but high prices may lead to reduced rations or fewer people helped. According to the WFP, “hunger’s global hotspots” in February included Afghanistan, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Iraq, Syria, the Gaza Strip, Somalia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe. Flood, drought, civil war, and harsh winters were blamed.

How many Americans can U.S. agriculture support in the future? Right now, we have an ample diet and are still able to export nearly one-fifth of our grain production. But Lindsay Grant, in a pamphlet published by Negative Population Growth, Inc., warns that if production and per capita consumption stay where they are, and U.S. population continues to grow at the present rate, “we will be consuming all the grain we produce in less than two decades, and running a deficit in agricultural trade; from then on, we will face mounting shortages.” Satellite maps are said to show that Earth is rapidly running out of fertile land.

The end of cheap food was delayed for half a century by the “Green Revolution.” [started ca 1940] It involves planting mono-cultures of hybrid plant varieties and by applying large amounts of inorganic fertilizer, irrigation water, and pesticides. Using these technologies, global grain harvest has tripled since 1961, while world population doubled. In the U.S., average corn yields climbed to 153 bushels per acre, from just 26.5 million in 1932. (A cost of expanded yields has been a decline in nutritional quality.)

The researchers also used past land-use data to create maps showing how agriculture has spread over the centuries. In 1700, for example, just 7 percent of the world’s land was used for farming.

Figures from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations suggest that total farmland increased by 12.4 million acres (5 million hectares) annually between 1992 and 2002.

World Population Growth
Year   Population
1             200 million
1000       275 million
1500       450 million
1650       500 million
1750         700 million
1804      1 billion
1850      1.2 billion              [Globally supportable human population
1900      1.6 billion              estimated at 1.2 to 1.6 billion.]
1927      2 billion
1950       2.55 billion
1955      2.8 billion
1960      3 billion
1965      3.3 billion
1970      3.7 billion
1975      4 billion
1980     4.5 billion
1985      4.85 billion
1990      5.3 billion
1995      5.7 billion
1999      6 billion
2006      6.5 billion
2009      6.8 billion
2012      7 billion      [A return to sustainability seems to indicate a 77%
2027      8 billion         reduction in the human population numbers –
2044      9 billion         with 23% remaining, after – the oil decline?! ] 
2050      9.2 billion                                       8-|    (gulp!!)

“The satellite data tells us where cultivation is occurring with good spatial accuracy, while the census data is able to tell us what is being grown there. The maps suggest that an area roughly the size of South America is used for crop production, while even more land—7.9 to 8.9 billion acres (3.2 to 3.6 billion hectares)—is being used to raise livestock.

Connecting the dots, contemplating the future- Mr. Larry
‘The world’s  population was 3.3 billion in 1965, it is now nearly 7 billion, it has doubled  in 34 years. During this time, we have doubled the amount of land under irrigation, while seriously draining the Ogallala aquifer, are losing snow fields and mountain glaciers that have traditionally fed rivers for irrigation on old world continents, we have only a couple of decades before the world’s fisheries have all collapsed to 10% of their former size and have become unproductive, we have by 2011 reached peak oil and will hence forth be experiencing a decline in all things petroleum with an increase in real prices, less fertilizer will be used and grain production will decline faster, the soil will be ‘mined’ faster’and its quality diminish at a faster rate, grain stocks will be reduced to near zero, with harder economic times everywhere, the quality of our drinking water will continue to erode. Currently, with 7 billion people in need of food, we have an area roughly the size of South America used for crop production and the area size equivalent to most of North America used to raise livestock. Where do the continents come from to feed the next doubling of the population, for 14 billion people? Clearly, we have reached a plateau in overall food production. Within this decade, as previously hospitable environmental systems are diminished, our dependant human population will have a ‘numbers’ adjustment.

Prognosis: A less satisfactory life style will be experienced globally, everyone will be taking a step backward toward ‘less’, there will be increasingly ‘harder times’, there will be war over resources, and pestilence will follow. The human population has been, growing explosively for a century due to technologies- all based on fossil oil, now with peak oil it’s becoming apparent that we are numerically out of balance with our resource base. The possibility of an ‘overshoot’ during the coming oil/population decline makes all social matters worse. Gosh…what kind of world will we be navigating into if, during the next 50, 100 or 150 years we collapsed back to an 1850 to 1900 population level of 1.2 to 1.6 billion people?
Yet, how can it be otherwise?’

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Power out? Being prepped for the EMP

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/Power out? Being prepped for the EMP)

A. The Big Blackout: Why I’m Going Low-Tech to Prep for an EMP
30 July 2014, of The Organic Prepper Contributed by Daisy Luther*
Pasted from:

* Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook ( and Twitter, and you can email her at

 emp blackout

This might be stating the obvious, but in the event of an EMP, things will not be the same, no matter how great your generator is.

Aaron Dykes of Truthstream Media wrote an excellent article about the extreme likelihood of a catastrophic event that could take out our power grid:

Billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer is warning investors – and more broadly, lawmakers and leaders – about the potential destructive power of an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, which could be triggered by solar events or artificially, via blasts in the atmosphere.

According to Singer, research shows that no other incident, including a nuclear bomb, has the potential for such wide-scale devastation, coupled with the relative likelihood of occurring. While a nuke would primarily impact on the location of a such (such a city), an EMP could occur globally or across large-scale regions, wreaking havoc on the entire electric grid and devices…

…Government agencies, such as NASA and Homeland Security, have taken some preliminary steps towards preparing for an EMP attack – regardless of the potential for natural of man made causes – but the public at large remains cripplingly unaware of the dangers present to modern life, and its reliance on all things electronic, digital and, thus, transient. (Check out the rest of this MUST-READ article, ‘Catastrophic’: Hedge Fund Billionaire Paul Singer Warns of EMP, see below.)

We’ve all read many articles about the likelihood of grid failure. We’ve been warned again and again that it isn’t a matter of if, but when, it happens.

Because of this, a lot of people are preparing for a very different future.  Folks are getting ready for the Big Blackout.  The thing is, I am not sure everyone is thinking this through.  Many people are spending buckets of money on preparations to try to keep their lives as similar as possible to how they are today. They’re investing in diesel generators and Faraday cages to protect their electronics. They are buying propane-fueled appliances.  They’re stashing away fuel to run these gadgets.

Generators are not a practical investment for EMP preparation.
The problem with that method of preparation is, the fuel-generated lifestyle will only last for as long as you have…well…fuel. Very few of us have enough storage space or the proper facilities to store 5 years’ worth of fuel.  If the power grid goes down in a catastrophic way, it’s going to take at least 5 years to get things up and running again, and that’s assuming things ever get up and running again in the way they are now.

That means that people are spending thousands of dollars investing in items that will only sustain their lifestyles for a brief period of time.  Generators are not a long term solution unless you have renewable power. (More on that later). While a generator would be a blessing in a short-term emergency (think a week-long power outage due to a storm), for a permanent way of life they are completely impractical.

Furthermore, in the event of an EMP strike, if your generator is not protected, it may not work no matter how much fuel you have stored.

Maybe the fact that I’m not rolling in money is the reason I feel this way. Maybe people with lots of money to spare have ideas about how to keep their generators running forever. But for my personal situation, this is a preparation strategy that is completely impractical.

A low-tech lifestyle is the best way to prep for grid-down survival.
If money is an object in your preparedness endeavors, (and let’s face it, money is an object for most of us these days), then focus your dollars on preps that are sustainable without electrical power.  Instead of trying to live the exact same life you are living right now, only fueled by an individual generator, look for low-tech solutions instead.  This reminds me of people who stop eating gluten but still want to eat exactly like they have been eating their entire lives, only now with expensive gluten-free baked goods that cost 4 times the price of their wheat-filled counterparts.  When things change dramatically, accept the change and adapt to it, instead of trying to maintain the illusion that everything is the same.

Whether you can get power from an outlet in the wall or not, the necessities of day-to-day life will remain the same:

  • Water
  • Shelter and Warmth
  • Food
  • Sanitation and Hygiene
  • Light

The ultimate preparedness goal should be to provide those necessities without any help from the power grid, generators, or fossil fuel. (LEARN MORE about planning for a long-term disaster, The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster:

When my youngest daughter and I lived in the North Woods of Canada, we lost power frequently throughout the year. Lots of folks in the area had generators that they would fire up when the power went out, and that was a viable solution, since gas stations were available and fuel was pretty much unlimited as long as you could afford to go get it.  We were on a tight budget, however, and we adapted our situation to live without power during those outages.  After the first couple of outages, we had worked out most of the bugs and we even began to look forward to our time without power – it was like a little vacation from the regular workday.  As plugged in as our society is, power is not actually a necessity – it’s a luxury, and we can live without it as long as we are adaptable, creative, willing, and prepared.

Let’s look at some specific examples of low-tech ways to take care of our necessities.  These ideas are just food for thought, based on my own preparedness plan – they may not be the solutions that will work best for you, but the goal here is to brainstorm your own situation and figure out how to live your life low-tech if the need occurs.

Off-grid Water

If you haven’t located water sources near your home,  it’s time to break out the topographical maps of your area and find them!  A low-tech water plan might include some or all of the following:

Off-grid Shelter and Warmth

Homes these days aren’t built to function without a connection to the power grid.  If you aren’t fortunate enough to live in an older home that was designed for off-grid living, look at some ways to take your home back a century or so. A secondary heating system is vital in most climates.

  • An antique oil heater can use lots of different oils and requires little effort for installation.
  • Have a woodstove installed
  • Clean your chimney and get your fireplace working
  • Set up an outdoor fireplace with large rocks to bring inside for radiant heat (this won’t get you super warm but it’s better than nothing)
  • Have a good supply of blankets, warm clothes, and cold-rated sleeping bags
  • Learn techniques to stay warm with less heat; see article at:

Off-grid Food

Not only do you need access to food, but you also need a way to cook it and a way to keep your refrigerated and frozen items from spoiling.

Off-grid Sanitation and Hygiene

How will you keep clean and deal with human waste in the event of a long-term emergency?

  • If you are on a septic system, store water for flushing and have a collection system to save your used water in the future
  • If you are not on a septic system, devise a plan and get supplies for an outhouse or cat hole
  • Learn how to do your laundry off-grid (I use a janitor’s bucket for wringing out clothes – get the best quality you can afford – the cheap plastic ones will break when you use them for laundry)
  • Learn how to make your own cleaning products

Off-grid Lighting

The world is a scary place when it’s dark, and most of us have forgotten how dark true dark really is, due to light pollution and the proximity of neighbors. Here are some lighting solutions for an off grid world:

Renewable power is practical power.

25May14 4 panels flat

home battery bank everything on table

[Above photographs: Top 4 ea 130watt solar panels that supply electricity to a 12 volt battery bank composed  of 4 Vmaxtanks AGM 125ah batteries. The system runs a 4.4 cu ft back up refrigerator and charges all of the household’s rechargeable batteries. Lower picture shows the type of common household items that can be charged from a 12 volt system, see Steven Harris website at:    Mr Larry]

One exception to my no-generators rule is renewable power. If you can afford a solar set up for your home, then very little would change about your day-to-day life, aside from you being one of the few people with power.  You don’t have to go totally solar to have power for a few important items. Assuming you have electronics in working order, they can be powered with solar, wind, or water.

Most of us can’t afford an entire set up but these are some options to consider:

What will you do when the electrical power goes out?

Do you have plans in place for a long-term (or permanent) power outage?  Are you planning to use generators and maintain your current lifestyle, or are you planning to go low-tech?


B.  ‘Catastrophic’: Hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer warns of EMP
30 July 2014, Truthstream Media, By Aaron Dykes
Pasted from:

 emp strike

Imminent: ‘Only a matter of time’ until entire electric grid destroyed by natural or man-made event…
Billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer is warning investors – and more broadly, lawmakers and leaders – about the potential destructive power of an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, which could be triggered by solar events or artificially, via blasts in the atmosphere.

According to Singer, research shows that no other incident, including a nuclear bomb, has the potential for such wide-scale devastation, coupled with the relative likelihood of occurring. While a nuke would primarily impact on the location of a such (such a city), an EMP could occur globally or across large-scale regions, wreaking havoc on the entire electric grid and devices.

CNBC reported:
“(A natural EMP event) today would cause a massive disruption to the electric grid, possibly shutting it down entirely for months or longer, with unimaginable consequences,” Singer wrote. “Only two years ago, the sun let loose with a Carrington-magnitude burst, but the position of the earth at the time prevented the burst from hitting it. The chances of additional events of such magnitude may be far greater than most people think.”

“It would not cause any blast or radiation damage, but such an attack would have consequences even more catastrophic than a severe solar storm. It could not only bring down the grid, but also lay down a very intense, very fast pulse across the continent, damaging or destroying electronic switches, devices, computers and transformers across America,” the letter said.

Members of Congress and other officials based in Washington have previously conferred on the threats rendered by an EMP, with Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) – a senior figure in the House Homeland Security Committee – warning that The Likelihood of a severe geo-magnetic event capable of crippling our electric grid is 100%.

The Center for Security Policy, along with other officials, have similarly warned:

And experts forecast if such an attack were a success, it effectively could throw the U.S. back into an age of agriculture.

“Within a year of that attack, nine out of 10 Americans would be dead, because we can’t support a population of the present size in urban centers and the like without electricity,” said Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy.

Government agencies, such as NASA and Homeland Security, have taken some preliminary steps towards preparing for an EMP attack – regardless of the potential for natural or manmade causes – but the public at large remains cripplingly unaware of the dangers present to modern life, and its reliance on all things electronic, digital and, thus, transient.

We reported in August 2013 on then Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano’s claim that a collapse of the grid was an imminent ‘if not when’ scenario… unsettling, whatever one’s read on the looming government agendas at work.

What You Can Do: Preparing for the Worst
The prolific writer Michael Snyder, warning that an impending EMP event that could bring down the entire grid is “only a matter of time,” outlined some steps that individuals can take to prepare, protect their devices, and plan for adjustments to life off the grid, which could take months or even years to repair in some areas. See article at:

In short, consider your own reliance on electronic banking, credit/debit cards, ATMs, heating, lights, Internet/TV/radio, phones, ATMs, gas/fuel, and government/commerce at large.

With this in mind, hedge your preparation for emergencies with as much physical currency, food, fuel, candles, water as you can reasonably store/save up, as one would for other emergencies.

Also, with some planning, you can create Faraday cages and bags to shield electronics (perhaps backup units and parts) from damage. You can convert such common objects as metal trash cans into safe storage areas, but it must be done in advance. See article at:

Consider this source (and others) for further information: Getting Prepared for an Electromagnetic Pulse Attack or Severe Solar Storm, see at:

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

Normalcy Bias

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Normalcy Bias)

AAmerica Has Fallen Victim To The Normalcy Bias, Do You Suffer From Normalcy Bias?
25 Jan 2013,
Excerpt pasted from:

AENThe Normalcy Bias condition is well known to psychologists and sociologists. It refers to a mental state of denial in which individuals enter into when facing a disaster or pending danger. Normalcy Bias leads people to underestimate and minimize both the possibility of a catastrophe actually happening, as well as its possible consequences to their health and safety.

The Normalcy Bias often results in situations where people fail to prepare for a likely and impending disaster. The Normalcy Bias leads people believe that since something has never happened before, that it never will happen. Therefore, like an infant with a security blanket we cling to our habitual, repetitive, and normal way of life, despite overwhelming proof that serious danger lies ahead.

The Normalcy Bias is part of human nature and, to some extent, we are all guilty of participating in it. Unfortunately, the Normalcy Bias inhibits our ability to cope with a disaster once it is underway. People with Normalcy Bias have difficulty reacting to something they have not experienced before. The Normalcy Bias also leads people to interpret warnings and to inaccurately reframe information in order to project an optimistic outcome which leads to the person to infer a less serious situation. In short, it is kind of a pain-killing drug which numbs a person to an impending danger.

B.  50 Signs That Human Civilization Is In BIG Trouble: “Times Have Become Strange, Disturbing and Frightening”
4 Aug 2014,, by Be Informed
Pasted from:

 Editor’s Note: The signs of collapse are all around us. From naturally occurring phenomenon to man-made influence, one can’t help but notice that something just isn’t right with the world. Most people ignore the possibilities, often making up excuses for why they shouldn’t be preparing for a significant change to our way of life. But the evidence, as outlined in the following analysis by long-time SHTFplan Community contributor Be Informed, suggests that failing to prepare for it could have a horrific outcome

normalcy bias1It is not just you that has seen that life has begun to stink for the human population around the globe.  Like a sick person there are symptoms of a much more aggressive underlying condition that can become or IS terminal.  Life is not just like it was a generation or two ago.  This is not just some sort of nostalgic longing for people’s youth.

Times have become strange, disturbing and frightening for most.  Even the most elderly and long lived of the people can tell you that during their lifetimes there has not been such a disconnect with the dreams of people and their futures looking bright.

A negative cloud hangs over human civilization and the following 50 examples show why we all should be quite unsettled.

  1. Fukushima. This is a catastrophe that is poisoning the regional western Pacific Ocean that will become worldwide sooner than later unless repaired or contained. [You do understand that the problem at Fucushima is NOT contained and is threatening a much worse disaster to humanity than the tidal wave did to Japan. Mr Larry]
  2. Bee and butterfly die off. Butterflies are the canary in the coal mine warning of a toxic environment.  Bees are the difference between food and about 1/2 less the needed amount we all depend on if bees are not around to pollinate flowers.  Bees help fuel the agriculture industry.
  3. Genetically modified foods and poor unhealthy livestock.  We are not meant to eat frankenstein food that our bodies don’t recognize or don’t properly assimilate.  Eating animals that are shot full of chemicals or that eat GMO foods or other substandard feed is a human health problem starting with all forms of cancer.
  4. Lack of arable land.  At a certain point people won’t be able to grow enough food to feed the world.  This is normally reached at between 1500-2000 people per square mile of arable land.  Right now the world stands at about 1400 people per square mile of arable land.
  5. Antibiotic resistant diseases. This is very serious for humans as a very contagious and highly fatal bacteria could wipe out massive numbers.  It is also an issue with animals on the farm and plant life people depend on to consume.  An agricultural blight would be just as devastating as centuries ago if uncontrollable.  People go hungry.
  6. Chemical poisoning of the water ways.  This is from the creeks to the streams to rivers and lakes to the ocean.  Clean water is necessary for health.  Food sources are being contaminated at a very alarming rates from toxins all around the world.
  7. Fresh water scarcity.  One only has to look to the American Southwest to see just how important fresh water is and what any drought can do.  Famine becomes more and more likely when someone cannot give crops enough water.  Cities can cease to function without enough water.
  8. Toxic processed foods being the normal staple people eat.  Junk food by any name, people become extremely malnourished which causes an overwhelmed health care system.  People simple don’t function well when they live on bad food.
  9. Super germs, both human, animal, and plant. There are life forms in the plant and animal kingdom that go extinct all the time.  Recently Ebola has become more virulent, new diseases such as MERS shows an increase of the chance of a super pathogen killing off large percentages.
  10. Human beings becoming more frail. Lack of good food, proper exercise, clean safe water and food has helped create a creme puff type of people.  These people lack hardiness and will wither in the face of any real hardship.
  11. Invasive introduction of species not meant to be part of certain ecosystems. People continue to accidentally or on purpose bring in plants, animals, and germs into places that just can’t handle them.  Look at the Burmese Python snake in Florida that has decimated the animal life there.  Asian fish and mollusk species into American waters have caused horrible damage.
  12. Pharmacentical poisoning of humans. MEDS, as people call them, have caused side effect after side effect and left exploding health care costs that have bankrupted individuals all over the place.  On top of this it has left the population in a state of being almost half dead.
  13. Over vaccinations. There is still much debate over Autism and vaccinations being the cause, but why is it necessary to overtax our immune systems with every practical inoculation against every disease ever thought of?  Especially something someone has extremely little chance of ever catching?
  14. Difficulty in maintaining proper crop production. In many areas the ground is no longer able to sustain itself because of over fertilizing creating a brine of salt and other minerals.  More and more already scarce water to help water down the soil becomes necessary.  Plants suffer disease and need even more fertilizer treatments to give out a decent crop.  These plants also need more pesticides.
  15. Expansions of human settlements into known disaster areas. Much of these terrible calamities such as intense flooding can be avoided by proper planning and never putting buildings into known danger areas such as flood plains.  This expansion continues at an alarming rate each year.
  16. Little or no protection given to people’s businesses and homes from catastrophes.  Flood walls, buildings constructed to better withstand earthquakes, pre-established fire breaks, etc.  The whole country and other countries are mostly still at the mercy of Mother Nature because of lack of insight to safeguard property.  See #1 Fukushima.
  17. Crumbling infrastructure. Someone can drive around and see all the bridges and roads in desperate need of repair or replacement.  The power grids and nuclear plants are at the top of the lists in need of help, and would cripple the country if and when they fail.
  18. Over populating urban areas worldwide. This is a problem that is waiting to become a cataclysm should the economy collapse or other widespread disaster occur.  Large cities depend entirely on outside aid to continue to operate.  Without this, large cities die and with them most of the people that live there.  Congestion is adding much to the stress level of hundreds of millions from these concentrated number of people living like matchsticks on top of each other.
  19. Almost total inability of most people to adapt to harsh change. A sudden drop off of “necessary” reliances have put most people on the brink of individual collapse when what they need is not there for them for days, weeks, months or longer.
  20.  Failure of solutions and problems. Like Fukushima, other big problems are lost for concern as there is a near universal acceptance of just living with it no matter how terrible it is.
  21. People depending on safety nets to bail them out of ALL circumstances. So many now just know that no matter what happens, the government, FEMA, or other agency will save them.  People have become reliant on others that might or might not be there.  Setting up for failure.
  22. No monetary accountability. As people care less and less, future financial disasters build up steam and are allowed to get worse.  New 2008-09 type economic collapses become more likely as phantom money and fudged numbers go by without much thought about what is really happening.
  23. Exploding debt.  The U.S. debt is following E to the X expansion in which inflation not only becomes hyper, but infinite and limitless.  This is the way expontential E to X works as the line of increase starts out gentle and almost flat and grows to almost 90 degree vertical increase.
  24. More percentage of world’s money in less percentage of the people’s hands. Money simply means power, and less people have this power.  This means fewer people with more control over more people, a lot more control.
  25. Main stream media and government deception. Most people are naive and even more so want to think everything is rosy and wonderful.  We are being fed a constant stream of information that doesn’t begin to scratch the surface just how awful things are and how close to everything falling apart life as we know it is.
  26. Lack of privacy and government intrusion into our lives. Besides the drone problem, you just have to ask how much NSA and others pries into our private lives and makes honest good citizens into suspects of everything and anything.
  27. People wanting to be linked up to everything. While people complain about the government looking in like peeping Toms at others’ lives, the public wants to be connected with everything.  This is opening all sorts of windows to everyone’s lives that they’d rather not have others observing.
  28. Credit cards and taking physical money from society. Cashless societies means that every single thing someone purchases is monitored.  One thing bought could send your friendly neighborhood Gestapo to your door to see why you purchased what you did.  People depend more on plastic cards than anytime in history.  This also of course leads to bankrupt type debt from so many that are irresponsible with credit.
  29. Allowing a machine or government to do someone’s thinking for them.  People will not even act on anything anymore without asking their SMART phone to do everything for them.  They rather have those in authority tell them how to think and behave, it is far easier.
  30. Total dependence on technology and gadgets.  People cannot function the most rudimentry tasks or problems anymore.  Mental laziness is gripping this world.
  31. Lack of concern for anyone but oneself.  Self indulgence and living for the moment at other people’s expense.  Just look at the most popular word now filtering around the world, SELFIE.
  32. Worship and practice of weirdness and perversion. There is a loss of wholesomeness that was once praised and admired.  The following of these music idols shows this all too well.
  33. Human self mutilations. You look at some of the face jewelry that pierces their lips and cheeks that looks like some has been blasted by shrapnel and you wonder how anyone would want to look like they were hit by some suicide bomber.  A trendy look that is a frightening example of how much certain people dislike or hate their bodies and lives.
  34. Listlessness and stagnation of humans. There is a strong lack of any drive in people anymore.  Like a sloth people just exist and wander around like zombies oblivious to much around them.
  35. Political correctness and conformity. This is a plague, as people are losing their rights to say anything that might be offensive to anyone.  The First Amendment is dying slowly in front of our eyes.  It doesn’t matter how well thought out or true something is, only that NO ONE has hurt feelings from what is said.
  36. Taking people out of the decision making processes. As technology grows so does the elimination of people.  This is not only job losses, but allows fewer and fewer to make important decisions in business, military, and everyday life.  It sets up for failure that is not easily correctable when the status quo does flop.
  37. Destruction of people’s rights as humans and as life forms to defend themselves.  Those that would attempt to control everyone by forcing their idealism of what means to be civilized is the taking away of people’s self defense all over the world.  Some areas even prohibit the use of your own personal body to save yourself from being brutally attacked.
  38. Numbness of other people suffering. Even to the point of enjoyment of seeing others in pain, sadism is becoming more intense each day.  Music songs talk about this barbarism all the time.  Pain for everyone is the new norm that individuals are gravitating towards like a moth towards fire.
  39. People’s lack of convictions.  Just look at the 90% disapproval ratings given to the U.S. congress.  Each election cycle however the same politicians that get so much hate and flank are re-elected over and over again.  Most people talk and that is it.
  40. Indifference and falling apart of the family unit. There has been, over the course of humanity, much strength and security in families.  This is dying off as families have grown so far apart that they interact only for short amounts of time each day with each other.  A common response to this is a cop out – we have to let others live their own lives.
  41. Escapism. Human beings are so miserable with the horrors of the world that they take drugs, create fake worlds of fantasies in video games, and do anything they can to get away from it.
  42. Death of the human conscience.  This is one of the most distressing of human problems that there is.  People have lost that special side of them that defines wrong and right.  Morality is way more than what others tell you what is correct, it is knowing what is fair and just towards others.
  43. Widespread unhappiness, depression, despair, fear, anger, and hopelessness. Those that choose not to escape from this, deal with this ugliness each day.  The stress level of so many is higher than anytime in history.
  44. Increase of rampant insanity. Whether it is from brain chemistry toxins or just human beings losing it, lunacy is becoming commonplace everywhere.  Then 2nd Amendment rights are vilified and blamed on firearms rather than the person that needs mental help and would have used some other tool to murder others anyway.
  45. Loopholing of long established laws and freedoms. All over the world peoples’ rights are being attacked by their government to gain more control.  This is fueled further by the majority of the population accepting and supporting this power grab.   Many in the U.S. actually want to rewrite the Constitution, something that has worked remarkably well for more than 200 years.
  46. Terrorism and other mass attacks becoming easier and easier.  With technological advancement comes the ability to manufacture very deadly weapons of mass destruction.  The worst of any of these are biological weapons that can kill millions or billions, not just directed at humans, but possibly at livestock and crops.
  47. Willingness of countries to fight over less and less. Natural resource depletion, especially fresh clean water, has always been a war starter.  Now with so much less to go around it has become an even larger issue.
  48. Many so called leaders now feel that nuclear war is winnable or the ONLY option. Nuclear weapons are now on more of a hair trigger than they have been for decades.  Countries are itching for a fight like North Korea and China against Japan and South Korea. Those that are overmatched in conventional weapons feel they can make this up with nuclear warheads.  Human civilization is almost living on borrowed time with this one.
  49. Intensification of religious hatred. In the past few years peoples’ disgust towards each other based on their religious belief has grown to the most dangerous level in decades and is continuing to get worse.  Look at all the examples of savage attacks based solely on someone’s faith every week.
  50. Lack of preparation by 99%+ of the population. This is something that should be of grave concern to everyone.  People are simply not ready for the next human catastrophe, which will eventually come violently.

Number 50 is the most essential.  It is a simple choice by an individual if they want to have a chance to live for themselves and their families and see through a SHTF disaster, or die a hard ugly death.

There are countless more than 50 abominations that humans are rotting through now.  It is the choice of the individual to either attempt to do something about the storm that will come, or live in self denial that this could ever happen.

Do you live in a world where your government will come to the rescue like the cavalry? A world where you need not self prepare for anything because 9-1-1 calls will link help within minutes?
Or have you come to terms with the fact that, as we saw during Hurricane Katrina, you will be totally on your own and failure to prepare will leave you without food, water, or anything else necessary to survive?
A lot of problems with human civilization add up in the future to a collapse of most of everything we depend on.
The choice is up to each individual, as the signs of impending big problems in the future cannot be dismissed no matter how far in ground someone wants to bury the truth.

C.  The Reality of Survival: “Forget Good Guys and Bad Guys… The Prepared Guys Win”
21 July 2014,, by Selco
Pasted from:

The following article has been generously contributed by Selco of the SHTF School web site. For those who have never seen Selco’s work, he’s the real deal. He was there in the 1990′s when his city in the Balkans was surrounded by a hostile army. From one day to the next life as he and those around him knew it had changed drastically. The media, of course, told people that everything would be fine. But As Selco highlighted in a previous article, the reality of collapse was brutal. Peace and stability very quickly turned to war and madness. He details his experience in his One Year in Hell survival course. In the article below, Selco shares his views on what it means to survive when your entire way of life has been cut off from the rest of the world. 

Do you want to know what it’s really like when it hits the fan? Then keep reading.

normalcy bias2

 Survival Among Humans By Selco
TV news and internet are covered with headlines like “shocking, captured Iraqis beheaded” or “they are killing everyone on their way” and “prisoners executed” and similar.
And folks who watch and comment on the news and videos who still live in a “normal” world without this kind of craziness going on, are shocked of course.

First comments are that those people and groups who are doing that are animals and they need to be “bombed to stone age”, or “they are not deserving better anyway” and then goes “they are all same there, let them kill each other” and similar.

While I would definitely like to see that fanatics getting “eradicated” there, there are more things that should be considered.
Most of the folks are not going to watch video of that violence, because it is too much for them they will change channel, or simply open the page with news from the “celebrity world.”
People do not want to watch or think about bad things, people want to forget that, and yes, at the end there comes again that famous “it cannot happen to us” idea.

  • Do you really think that when (not if) SHTF events would be much different in your part of the world?
  • Do you think that when collapse happens, you and people around you in your town will be somehow able to organize food distribution, security and safety for residents, and all those criminals and sick bastards will somehow disappear, and there is going to be new better society?
  • Are you under the influence of movies and you think that good guys win almost always and that there is justice and sense in everything?

I hope you do not because I highly doubt anything like this is going to happen anywhere.
Forget good guys and bad guys. Prepared guys win, they can be good or bad, or both.
Problem is in the fact that simply too many people are waiting for S. to hit the fan so they can go out and play their own version of God. Just ask yourself this question: Who is more experienced living in place without any law, criminals or regular folks?

 Criminals, sick folks, small Napoleons, guys who suddenly think that they have solution for building new society without including morale in story…
There are guys who wait for SHTF to go out and rule, to take your food, enslave you, recruit your older kids, or to take your wife maybe for fun.

Maybe how and when everything happens in your neighborhood would be different when SHTF then in those news articles that we talking about, but lot of things gonna be the same, lot of people, not enough resources, and fight for power.

 It is often hard to imagine for regular people how nasty other humans can become. If you have been to prison, war or deal a lot with criminals you know better.
And again, I am taking this from my own experience. Again.

 One day I had job, family, car, restaurants, cinema, girlfriends, I was listening Guns n Roses and was angry about last album of Metallica. Life was nice and good to me, I had problems but they were in the range of am I lazy to go and rent video tape, or just spent afternoon reading something.
Then BAM!
I suddenly realized that I am living among guys who are finding amusement in taking women and teenage girls to “rape prisons”, or kill for fun and not for survival. I suddenly realized that I was living all the time among whole bunch of weird sick folks who when SHTF just went out to have fun.

And yes, I heard and read many times “they are just different down there, they are all the same, let them kill each other, they are different.”
And I am sure that if tomorrow SHTF in Sweden, there s gonna be folks who gonna write “oh, leave them, they are animals anyway, not like we here, they are different.“
It is the easy answer. It feels good to think like that.

But forget that, forget about image of “we are nice and decent folks here, and it is impossible to happen to us, these kind of atrocities.”

 Be prepared.

Whenever someone I know tells me about bad situation here something like “OH, it is gonna be OK, it is not gonna happen to us, situation will be better,” in that same moment I get a strong urge to go out and buy more ammo.
Or whenever someone says to me “do not worry, we have system here, they gonna take care of everything,” I feel like I am gonna throw up.

Screw the system, you need to build your own system.
It is like people live in their own little pretty house. Outside you have monsters knocking on windows looking at the people inside but they look away. Facing reality is uncomfortable and most believe monsters never come in. Bad news is that closing your eyes does not make you invincible. You are just blind and more vulnerable.

 Lesson here is, do not discount what you can learn from ongoing crisis half way around the world. I never expected people could turn into monsters all around me so fast, I adapted and survived, but you have chance today to understand this and be prepared for this.

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