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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: http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/the-big-blackout-why-im-going-low-tech-to-prep-for-an-emp-07302014

* 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 (https://www.facebook.com/TheOrganicPrepper?ref=hl) and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca

 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:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Preppers-Blueprint-Step-By-Step-Disaster/dp/1496092589/ref=as_sl_pc_ss_til?tag=theorgpre-20&linkCode=w01&linkId=&creativeASIN=1496092589)

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: http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/how-to-stay-warm-with-less-heat-2-12042012

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: http://battery1234.com/    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?

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B.  ‘Catastrophic’: Hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer warns of EMP
30 July 2014, Truthstream Media, By Aaron Dykes
Pasted from: http://truthstreammedia.com/hedge-fund-billionaire-paul-singer-warns-of-emp/

 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: http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/what-are-you-going-to-do-when-a-massive-emp-blast-fries-the-u-s-electrical-grid

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: http://4dtraveler.net/2012/03/08/faraday-cage/

Consider this source (and others) for further information: Getting Prepared for an Electromagnetic Pulse Attack or Severe Solar Storm, see at: http://www.futurescience.com/emp/emp-protection.html

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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, BeforeItsNews.com
Excerpt pasted from: http://beforeitsnews.com/education/2013/01/america-has-fallen-victim-to-the-normalcy-bias-do-you-suffer-from-normalcy-bias-video-2442598.html

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.
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B.  50 Signs That Human Civilization Is In BIG Trouble: “Times Have Become Strange, Disturbing and Frightening”
4 Aug 2014, SHTFplan.com, by Be Informed
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/50-signs-that-human-civilization-is-in-big-trouble-times-have-become-strange-disturbing-and-frightening_08042014

 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, SHTFplan.com, by Selco
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/the-reality-of-survival-forget-good-guys-and-bad-guys-the-prepared-guys-win_07212014

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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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

Bartering your supplies

(Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Bartering your supplies)

A.  When the supply line is broken
Bartering is an effective way to get goods and services and basically cut out the middle man. In really hard times, we would be looking to increase these exchanges and find ways to get things done, to feed, clothe and whatever else would be needed- without spending cash.
In a “worst case” economic situation or extreme hyperinflation, bartering goods and services could become an essential family survival strategy.  Having pre-stocked  raw material and manufactured goods that would become scarce will put you in a position to barter for those things you need and don’t have.

•  Crisis Duration
During a short-term crisis that isolates people from goods & services, bartering will probably be done with cash for goods or by simple exchanges of food items.  If you are sure the crisis will be short-lived you can consider providing goods at very low barter cost to assist those in great need.  This will create a tremendous amount of local good will for you during and after the crisis.
Long duration crisis will be evident by a collapse of the national economy that affects production, storage and transportation of goods.  Consider the various natural phases of a long-term crisis when deciding what skills to learn and what goods to pre-stock in preparation.  What will become scarce?
What will people need during each phase?  What goods should be held back for the next phases? What essential material can be refurbished and repaired using low-tech methods and tools?  What geographic specific goods and services will be needed?  As an evaluation example: there will not be much survival demand for a wood stove fabrication capability in Southern Florida.

•  Value of Goods
The value of your trade goods will be determined by essential need and perceived scarcity.  The value of goods will also change over the duration of the crisis as needs, conditions and availability change.
•  Early Phases
Early on there will be some goods that disappear quickly, some will be essential while others will soon become the new luxury items.  When was the last time you considered a bar of soap a luxury or even a necessity that you had to ration?  As bartering becomes more prevalent after the big crunch, you will have to be able to decide, what to barter and when.

•  Alternate Options
When some goods will become scarce or not available, there may be viable alternatives to replace them.  When toilet paper disappears, newspaper will be in demand.  Homemade soap will soon replace dwindling stock of mass-produced soap – homemade disinfectant soap will be the most valuable.  With no electrical power, being able to make candles and candle lanterns can be a money-making skill. As time passes, there will be less and less pre-crisis manufactured consumable goods. Tools and other non-consumables will break and wear out.
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B.  Top 12 Barter Goods for WTSHTF
1.  Water Purification Supplies – Does this really need an explanation?
2.  Prescription Medications – Yes, this is a difficult one to stock up on, but if you come across them in the post-apocalyptic world – SNAG ‘EM. What do you think you could trade a bottle of nitro pills for with someone who has a heart condition? If you require prescription medications I would strongly advise you consult with your physician about obtaining a few month’s extra supplies.
3.  Fuel – We’re talking all types: gas, diesel, propane, firewood, etc. Can you have too much? No, so you’ll likely keep it for yourself, but if you DID need something that you hadn’t already acquired, fuel will be a great commodity for bartering.
4.  Guns –Yes, they’re expensive, but there are MANY people out there who are averse to owning a gun, but once TEOTWAWKI hits, their minds will quickly change. They’re expensive, yes, but to someone that’s unarmed, a single-shot shotgun and a box of shells will be worth its weight in gold.
5.  Ammo– America is the most heavily armed nation in the world, but I seriously question how many people actually maintain an adequate supply of ammunition for those guns. Think about it, how many people do you know that go out and buy a few boxes of shells before hunting season starts?  They don’t have an adequate supply should SHTF. You can have all the guns in the world, but if you can’t load them with bullets – they’re useless. Stock up on common calibers (.22, 9mm, .45, .223, 12 gauge and .308) and you’ll find yourself in high demand with people who need rounds. Now, the flip side of this is do you really want to give away ammunition that might be used against you? You’ll have to decide this depending on the exact SHTF circumstances.
6.  Survival Books – Books with good information will be huge. They’re EMP-proof and don’t require electricity to run (unlike the pc you’re using). I advise you to at least print and save the pages of this Survival Manual.
7.  Batteries – Stock as many as you can use while rotating stock and staying within the recommended life span. A better idea is to stock a few crank radios and flashlights.
8.  Soap, Bleach and Cleaning Agents – Your local grocery store won’t be open. These items are critical for maintaining health and hygiene.
9.  Cast Iron Cookware – People that run out of fuel will be cooking over an open fire – situations that call for cast iron. Settlers used it for a reason.
10.  Survival Seeds – This would be for the pro-longed SHTF situation. Their value will be infinite.
11.  Garden and Hand Tools – Those left alive will suddenly become gardeners and carpenters, whether they like it or not.
12.  Canning Supplies – How will people survive the non-growing season without these?

Some items I’d like to cover that are not included above:
•   Silver and Gold Coins – A lot of people advocate purchasing these for bartering purposes, but their value is entirely dependent on the situation. If you’re lost in the desert for 14 days, would you rather have a gallon of water or 4 bars of gold? Precisely my point. When the cataclysm hits people WILL NOT look for silver and gold coins, they’ll be looking for the items mentioned above.
•   Booze – Yes, alcoholics will do flips and twists for it when they run dry, but what will your typical alcoholic have to offer in trade? Think about it. While I would appreciate a stiff shot of Jack Daniels post-Doomsday, I wouldn’t waste my time stocking up on it for bartering purposes. That being said, if you do drink, and you have a pantry stocked with food, it’d certainly be worthwhile to add the booze of your choice to the shelves and rotate stock. Remember: Shop in your pantry for dinner, shop at the store for your pantry.
•   Toilet Paper –Don’t waste valuable storage space to stock amounts much beyond your typical household needs.
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C.  Internet Blog respondents list what they feel would be important barter items.
Blogger 1:  My wife and I have been talking about things you can not go a day without. 1. toilet paper, 2. hand and bath soap, 3. tooth paste and brush. That is just a beginning. I think the next time we go to the BOL [bug out location] We will have to stock up on these items. I’m thinking a case or half case of each.

Blogger 2:  -Ammo  -Pedialyte  -Canned Goats Milk of Baby Formula -Dried Beans and Rice. This is a big no brainer, because you can have so many portions in such a small area of storage. But it could also be a form of currency if neighbors or others are starving. Start a little black market with dried goods. Only carry small amounts so if your life is threatened -Pain Relievers, and other medicines. I think a small stockpile of medicines is a MUST have if not just for personal use, but for the ability to make amazing personal benefit from it -Fire wood  -Shoes or Boots.

Blogger 3:  I was thinking of the following items: Sweeteners (sugar, honey, molasses, etc…), BIC lighters, vegetable  seeds, OTC medicines, duct tape.

Blogger 4:  In a crisis of months duration, with supply disruptions many people would probably desire the simple things that remind them of being human and civil that currently take for granted.
– I believe toiletries, especially soap, will be highly desirable. When I go shopping, I especially like buying extra tooth-brushes/paste, mineral oil, alcohol (isopropyl), hydrogen-peroxide.
– Coffee. Bean or ground.

Blogger 5:  I like batteries as a barter item. A few common types, but mostly the expensive lithium-ion variety. NiCd, NiMH, Alkaline and old-style carbon-Zn batteries all only have a shelf life of a few years. Lithium batteries last 10 yrs or more. Solar battery chargers are another interesting item, although they’re a little big (charging batteries could be an interesting service to provide). Flashlights, too, esp. the modern compact extra-bright variety. – it wouldn’t hurt to have a few hundred to a thousand candles stashed away, if there is an EMP candles will be in great demand. Matches might also be good.

Blogger 6:  Bathroom products such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, shaving cream, deodorant would be good for trade. Toilet paper will be high up there too. All cheap stuff to get today and last a long time. I can’t help but think that keeping an extra bicycle or two around would be worth their weight in gold.

Blogger 7:  90% silver is popular with the SHTF crowd. Makes good barter material. Can’t trade a K’rand for a bag of apples. But a 90% dime will be worth about $7.25 if silver goes to $100.  So make sure your PM is in small denominations if you intend to barter with it. My ‘survival mentor’ says…”to prepare for the unthinkable one must first think the unthinkable”.

Blogger 8: I would have to go with salt, that’s right plain old salt. I’ve spent a decent amount of time in areas with no/or sporadic electrical services, and have witnessed people getting around this by using salt to preserve extra food, and it takes A LOT of salt. Sugar would be a hot item as well.

Blogger 9: Here is a list of worthy additions to a “barter list”:
Seeds: general garden  Bottled water  Food of any kind – especially those in cans and jars, in small quantities
Alcohol  Matches  Candles
Batteries: primarily AA, AAA, 9 volt  Flashlights  Blankets
Radio  Condoms  First aid kits
Soap Tooth brush  Toothpaste
Water containers  Water filters or any kind  Propane
Mess kits/cookware  Tools of any kind – especially those most common (hammers, saws, hand drills, screwdrivers, etc.)  Nails and screws
Toilet paper  Aluminum foil  Rope/cord/string
Small notebooks, wooden pencils/ink pens Clothes pins
Fishing line and hooks/lures  Bug spray/insect repellent  Duct tape
Tarps  Bleach  First aid kits & supplies
Knives & sharpening stones/supplies  Ammunition (be careful with this one)  Razors for shaving
Clothing of  any kind – especially socks/underwear  Work gloves  Coffee/Tea/Flavored drink mixes
SPAM – I know its in the food category– great barter  item  Cigarettes/Cigars  Gardening tools
Canning jars and supplies  Fire starting supplies – including fire-steels, magnesium, etc.  Spices
Something else to consider – bartering does not always have to involve some-”thing”. In many cases skills can be bartered as well. If you know how to get a garden going and another person can repair a roof – just do a swap and work things out. Maybe someone has some fuel that they will give you if you can fix their vehicle. After TSHTF the bartering of materials and skills may very well become the only method of commerce – as money may be worthless.
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D.  Top Post-Collapse Barter Items And Trade Skills
June 10th, 2011, Alt Market, Brandon Smith
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/top-post-collapse-barter-items-and-trade-skills_06102011

The concept of private barter and alternative economies has been so far removed from our daily existence here in America that the very idea of participating in commerce without the use of dollars or without the inclusion of corporate chains seems almost outlandish to many people. However, the fact remains that up until very recently (perhaps the last three to four decades) barter and independent trade was commonplace in this country. Without it, many families could not have survived.
Whether we like it or not, such economic methods will be making a return very soon, especially in the face of a plunging dollar, inflating wholesale prices, erratic investment markets, and unsustainable national debts. It is inevitable; financial collapse of the mainstream system ALWAYS leads to secondary markets and individual barter. We can wait until we are already in the midst of collapse and weighted with desperation before we take action to better our circumstances, or, we can prepare now for what we already know is coming.

 In today’s “modern” globalist economy, we have relied upon centralized and highly manipulated trade, forced interdependency, senseless and undisciplined consumption, endless debt creation, welfare addiction, and the erosion of quality, as a means to sustain a system that ultimately is DESIGNED to erode our freedoms not to mention our ability to effectively take care of ourselves. We have been infantized by our financial environment. In the near future, those who wish to live beyond a meager staple of government handouts (if any are even given) will be required to make a 180 degree reversal from their current lifestyle of dependency and immediate gratification towards one of self-sufficiency, personal entrepreneurship, quality trade, and a mindset of necessity, rather than unfounded excess.
This means that each and every one of us will not only be driven to form barter networks outside the designated confines of the mainstream, we will have to become active producers within those networks. Each and every one of us will need to discover practical goods and skills that will be in high demand regardless of economic conditions. Being that our society has all but forgotten how this kind of trade works, let’s examine a short list of items as well as proficiencies that are sure to be highly sought after as the collapse progresses…

Top Priority Goods
To be sure, this list is a summary of items that will have high value during and after a breakdown scenario. I welcome readers to post their own ideas for trade goods below this article. The following is merely a framework which you can use to get started, and was compiled using actual accounts of post collapse trade from the Great Depression, to Bosnia, to Argentina, to Greece, etc. These are items and skills that people were literally begging for after financial catastrophe occurred in numerous separate events.
Water Filtration: Stock up on water filters. Learn how water filtration works. Even make your own water filters using cloth, activated charcoal, and colloidal silver. Everyone will want to trade with you if you have extra filtration on hand. During economic breakdowns, especially in countries like Argentina, and Bosnia, which had more modern, city based populations, the first thing to disappear was clean water. Always. In some cases, the tap water still runs, but is filled with impurities, and needs to be boiled. Boiling does not remove bad tastes or smells, however, and clean filtered water will be in demand.

Seeds: Non-GMO seeds are a currency unto themselves. They can last for years if stored properly, and everyone will want them, even if they don’t have land to plant them. Get enough for yourself, and then purchase twice as much for trade.

Fresh Produce: Ever heard of scurvy? Probably. Ever had scurvy? Probably not. Believe me, you don’t want to have it. Your body essentially begins to fall apart slowly, and the result is an ugly boil and sore filled complexion, the loss of teeth and hair, and the eventual failure of internal organs. Don’t think you can live on beef jerky and canned beans for months on end. You need fresh vegetables and fruits, and the vitamins they supply. Anyone with a well-managed garden and a few fruit trees is going to do very well in barter. Vitamin supplements would also be a practical investment.

Long Shelf Life Foods: This one should be obvious, but you may be surprised how many preppers, even though aware of the danger in the economy, do not have ample stored foods.The rationalizations abound, but usually, you are dealing with a person who has a heavy hunting background, and believes he will be able to procure whatever food he wants whenever he wants with his trusty bolt-action rifle and a few hours in the woods. Don’t fall into this foolish trap. Thousands if not millions of other hungry, destitute people will likely have the same idea, combing the forest for deer, only running into (and perhaps shooting at) each other. In every single account of modern economic collapse I have read, the people involved kick themselves brutally for not stocking more food that didn’t require refrigeration. Even those that were moderately prepared stated that they wished they had stored twice as much as they did.
Sealed food kits would be highly valued trade items, as long as they contained necessities like grains (wheat or rice store well), salt (the human body will not function without salt), honey or maple syrup (the body needs sugars), and powdered milk, peanut butter, or any other foods with fat content (the body needs fats). Prepackaged freeze-dried foods are more expensive to stock, but they are, of course, easy to trade.

Food Producing Animals: Chickens are great for eating, but they also produce eggs. Cows and Goats can be slaughtered, but they also produce milk. Sheep can be easily herded towards your dinner plate, but they also produce wool. Rabbits make a good stew, but they also produce lots of other rabbits. In terms of barter, these animals will be life savers, as well as a solid source of trade income. Dual purpose livestock are really where it’s at for those who have even an acre of land, and many of them (except cattle) tend to feed themselves easily if left to wander your property. You can trade eggs, milk, wool, etc, that they produce. Not to mention, fetch serious value for trading the animal itself.

Solar Power: Solar power is so overlooked by most barter organizations and survivalists in general that it’s astonishing. If every home in America had at least two large solar panels on the roof, I would not be half as worried about collapse as I am today. My suspicion is that many ‘preppers’ believe that after a breakdown, we will all return to some kind of Agrarian pre-electric age where everything is lit with oil lamps. This is silly. If I have my LED lamp with rechargeable batteries, I’m certainly not going to rely on less effective burning lamps that depend on a finite fuel supply. And, I’m certainly not going to give up the advantages of night vision, radio communications, or refrigeration if I can help it. The key is to ensure that you have a continuous means of diverting electricity to these goods. This already exists in the form of solar power.
Depending on your budget, you can purchase solar panels that can be folded and carried with you for charging batteries, or, you can purchase entire arrays and battery banks that run your whole house. Those without electricity WILL want electricity, and solar is an excellent barter item. Wind generators, as well as water driven generators (as used often in Bosnia) are also a consideration. People that have the knowledge to set up these systems for others will not have trouble finding trading partners.

Firewood: Even with solar power, home heating will become a major concern for every household during and after a breakdown. If you can avoid running your battery bank out on inefficient space heaters, you will. The best way to do this is with a wood stove, or a fireplace. Those without any electricity will scour their immediate areas for loose wood, then move on to chopping down random trees for fuel. This is one of the few instances, ironically, that those in urban environments would have an advantage, being that dry wood for burning is literally everywhere in the city. During the Great Depression, families would often sneak into abandoned homes and apartment buildings to dismantle sticks of furniture, or even the walls, to use as firewood.
A small, well insulated home can be heated with as little as two cords of wood every winter. Larger drafty homes require as much as twenty cords per winter. A “cord’ of wood is a stack of split timber around four feet wide, four feet high, and eight feet long. This wood is “aged”, or dried for at least a year after being cut, so that it burns cleaner, and creates much more heat than freshly felled timber. When the general public begins to rediscover the need for aged cord wood, those with timberland will have a prized commodity on their hands for barter.
A disciplined cutting routine would be essential. Only cutting enough timber (of the right maturity) to create a decent supply while not erasing the whole forest for a single year of profit. Those traders with the correct knowledge will do very well in a barter economy.

Gasoline And Oil: This is a tough one, because its hard to predict how much petroleum the U.S. will be able to import or produce on its own during a collapse, and its very difficult to store for long periods of time. If you hear news that the wars in the Middle East have expanded even further, or that OPEC is decoupling from the dollar, you might want to run to the nearest station and fill as many storage cans as possible, along with a little bit of added ‘gas saver’ which helps keep it stable longer. Initially, people will be dueling to the death for gas and oil. I have little doubt. After the price hits $15, $30, $60 a gallon due to hyperinflation, and a little time passes, I think people will begin finding ways to live without it, or they will reduce its use to emergency tasks.
Desire for gas will always be there, especially in agricultural areas where one tractor could help sow the seeds that feed an entire town. But beyond storage, I would suggest learning ways to distill your own corn ethanol and alcohol based fuels. This is where the real barter potential is.

Silver And Gold: I placed precious metals in the middle of this list for a reason. Concerns in a collapse situation will be varied, and the manner in which a derailment progresses will also determine the order of needs in a barter community. In a Mad Max scenario where there is little to no community, or the construction of any semblance of economy is impossible; sure, gold and silver will not be very high on most people’s lists. Has this ever happened in recorded history? No. Gold and silver have remained common currencies for thousands of years despite any catastrophe. This is why I have to laugh at those people who undercut precious metals or claim that because you “can’t eat them” they will not be important. In Argentina, in the midst of complete meltdown and monetary chaos, when people were shooting each other in the streets for food on a daily basis, gold and silver became king, and still are.
Barter networks that have formed in Argentina love to trade for anything made out of gold or silver, because precious metals are the only tangible form of currency in existence there. Being able to trade goods is fantastic, but sometimes, you may not have what another person wants.Do you go out to find someone who does, trade with them, then, try to find the guy who turned you down? No. If you have any meaningful localized commerce in place, then you should also have a common medium of exchange, and precious metals are the only thing that safely fits the mold, because they cannot be artificially reproduced or fabricated. Their rarity and their longevity make them the perfect method of common trade. Even if the worst of the worst occurs, rebuilding will result in the immediate resurgence of trade, and the immediate need of a new currency. Gold and silver will come back, as it always has, and always will. Every potential barter network should be including gold, silver, and maybe copper, on its list of accepted alternative currencies, and the values of said metals should be weighed by the inherent supply and demand of the community. The “official” market value ( which is very manipulated) should only be used as a loose guide.

Firearms And Ammo: Another obvious one. The problem is, the selection of calibers is so varied within the U.S. that stocking anything that will be needed by everyone is very difficult. The only recourse is to stick with common military calibers, such as 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP, .223, 7.62 by 39, 7.62 by 51 (.308), 12 gauge, .410, and 20 gauge shotgun shells, and the ever pervasive .22. Stocking these calibers will result in a much greater chance of trade.
I can think of no instance of societal disintegration that did not lead to horrible violence. In places where firearms are outlawed, the carnage is always much worse. Criminals easily get their hands on weapons, while law-abiding citizens are left defenseless. Governments take liberties with the people, while the populace cowers. Accounts of torture, rape, murder, and genocide, are abundant in the face of hard economic times. EVERYONE should be armed, and as reality sets in, even those who clamored to outlaw guns will be clamoring to get one.
Of course, laws today very strictly regulate our ability to barter firearms, but post collapse, no one will care much.
Ammo reloading will be a useful skill in light of the fact that homemade manufacture of ammo is very difficult. The nationwide ammo supply will dwindle very quickly, except for those pockets of people who smartly stockpile for trade.

Body Armor: That’s right. Any kind of body armor is as good as gold in a collapse environment.People in countries across the world wish they had it, and would trade almost anything for it.When you live in a place where a random gun shot (a minute by minute occurrence in many countries), from a criminal’s weapon, or more likely a police or military weapon, could bounce off the curb or through your car windshield, and into your chest, you begin to respect the necessity of Kevlar. The fact that body armor is relatively cheap and is easily obtained in the U.S. should be taken advantage of by barter networks. This advantage may not exist in a couple of years.

Tazers And Pepper Spray: Easy to purchase and stockpile here in America. Better than nothing when facing armed attackers. Disables without death (in most cases), and easier on the conscience. Trades well.

Various Tools: A garden hoe may be a novelty item to most suburbanites and city dwellers now, but soon, it will be a mainstay tool. If you have extra, they will come to you for barter. I’m not going to list every tool in existence here, but I suggest using common sense. What tools do you see being required for daily use? What would YOU need post collapse?

Pesticides: I’m big on organic food and healthy eating, but if my life is on the line, I’m spraying my crops down with whatever poison I can find. Unless you have years of experience with natural pest deterrence methods, then I suggest you do the same, especially in that first year of calamity. A hoard of locusts could annihilate your crop within a day given the chance, and should be dealt with using the most powerful means available.
Cockroach and rat poisons will also be huge sellers, guaranteed. Vermin thrive in unkempt human environments, whether in the country or the city, and with them comes disease.Diseases you thought had disappeared off the face of the Earth, like bubonic plague or small pox, will make a comeback in cities, where streets of death and sewage act like enormous Petri dishes (remember New Orleans after Katrina? Imagine if that had never been cleaned up).
Stock pesticides, even if they offend your environmental sensibilities. You’ll use them, trust me.And, people will trade whatever they can for them.

Warm Clothing: The world is awash in textiles and clothing. Using clothes as your primary means of trade is not necessarily the best plan. However, most of the clothes made around the world are very poor quality, and are not designed for harsh environments. Clothes made specifically for harsh cold or rough wear are harder to some by, and are often very expensive.This is where you would want to focus your investments.
Gortex, for instance, could give you incredible bartering potential. Wool socks are a rarity (how many people do you know with more than two pairs of wool socks?). Water resistant and water proof jackets and overcoats, boots, well made hiking shoes, and waterproofing chemicals and sprays will be needed within trade networks. The ability to make these items, or repair them, will also be valued.

Medicines: This is another difficult item to procure, mainly because doing so often gets you flagged as a possible drug dealer. Certain items aren’t too hard to come by and store, though, and could be life saving barter material in the future. Antibiotics are handed out like candy by doctors today, so storing any extra you have away for trade may be a good strategy. Painkillers are another medical miracle that doctors seem to sprinkle out of helicopters without a second thought. With the risk of injury increasing one hundred fold after a financial tsunami, I suspect even mere aspirin would put a smile on the face of any barter networker.
Eventually, natural medicines and herbs are going to have to move to the forefront, as industry medicines begin to disappear, or become so expensive they are unobtainable. Stocking such herbs and vitamins would be smart, for protecting oneself, not to mention, its savvy business sense.

Toiletries: Yes, yes, we all hear about how great toilet paper will be as a barter item, and how preppers plan to demand cows, trucks, and beach-front property, in return for packages of the silken quilty-soft huggable rolls of goodness. I don’t disagree that it will be highly desired at first. People don’t change their habits that quickly. But let’s face it; toilet paper is a luxury item in a post collapse environment, not a necessity. People are going to eventually go back to older methods of hygiene, like using strips of washable cloth. It might sound gross to us now, but hey, did you think we were going to start using poison ivy and pinecones?
Stock toilet paper, but don’t treat it as a priority. Focus more on cleaning items like soap, toothpaste, and bleach, as well as chemicals that cause human waste to quickly biodegrade.Staying clean is VERY important, because the alternative is catching a nasty bacterial infection that may kill you, when in more peaceful and comfortable times, it may have just given you slightly irritating intestinal distress. The rest of the country will come around to this way of thinking in short order, and many people will come to you for the cleaning goods you stockpiled.

Specialty Items: There are many circumstances that are hard to predict, circumstances that could severely affect barter markets and what items come into demand. For example; a nuclear event, as is in progress in Japan, could just as easily strike the U.S. There are 104 nuclear power plants in the U.S., not to mention the threat of a small nuclear attack (or false flag). The market for goods such as potassium iodide pills and Geiger counters would explode (potassium iodide suppliers were inundated with orders from around the world after Fukushima). How many people do you know with a Geiger counter? I’m one of the few I know with one, and I know preppers across the country! In the wake of a fallout situation, knowing what is contaminated with radiation and what isn’t, knowing if it’s even safe to go outside, is imperative. Having an extra Geiger counter could help you barter your way into any number of goods.
A biological event might bring medical grade particulate masks to the top of people’s lists, as well as disinfectants and even hazmat suits. It’s an ugly thing to imagine, but for those who plan to engage in independent trade, it’s a likelihood that must be considered.

Top Priority Skills
Provided below is a brief list of skills which have served people well in various economic downturns, and will do the same for you in this country. Keep in mind that almost any skill that other people cannot do well has potential for trade, but some skills are more sought after than others. In my research, it is those people who are able to produce their own goods as well as effectively repair existing goods that have the greatest potential for survival in a barter market. Next, are those people who have specific abilities that are difficult to learn and who have the knack for teaching those abilities to others. If you do not have any of these skills, or perhaps only one, then it would be wise to begin learning at least one more now. Keep in mind that competition will very much exist in a barter economy, so knowing as many skills as possible increases your chances of success:
Mechanic, Engine Repair
Welding
Blacksmithing
Firearms Repair, Ammo Reloading
Construction
Architect, Home Reinforcement
Agriculture, Farming Expertise, Seed Saving, Animal Care
Bee Keeping
Doctor, Medical Assistant
Veterinarian
Well Construction, Water Table Expertise
Engineer, Community Planning, Manufacturing, Electrical
Firearms Proficiency, Security, Self Defense Planning
Martial Arts Training
Wild Foods Expert
Hunting
Chemist
Sewing, Textiles
Soap Making, Candle Making, Hygiene Products
Small Appliance Repair
Electronics Repair
HAM Radio Expert
Homeschooling, Tutoring
Again, there are definitely many more trades of value that could be learned. This list is only to help you on your way to self-sufficiency and entrepreneurship in an Alternative Market. Unfortunately, too many Americans have absolutely no skills worth bartering in a post collapse world.

Bringing Back The American Tradesman
Barter networking is a powerful tool for countering the effects of depression, hyperinflation, stagflation, globalization, and beyond. But, networks require that participants actually have necessary goods and services to trade. In only half a century or less, American culture has been sterilized of nearly all its private trade skills. We have lost our desire to produce, and have been relegated to the dregs of a retail nightmare society dependent entirely on consumption and debt. This is going to change, one way, or another.
We can change on our own, or we can wait until fear and desperation force us to make hard choices. I would rather forgo the desperation and the painful fall into the gutter. It makes little sense.
The bottom line is, if you wish to survive after the destruction of the mainstream system that has babied us for so long, you must be able to either make a necessary product, repair a necessary product, or teach a necessary skill. A limited few have the capital required to stockpile enough barter goods or gold and silver to live indefinitely. The American Tradesman must return in full force, not only for the sake of self-preservation, but also for the sake of our heritage at large. Without strong, independent, and self-sufficient people, this country will cease to be.

E.  Trading during an emergency
Know what you need and what’s available: During a “trade-day” gathering, take time to walk around to see what goods others are offering and their relative abundance.  Never make an impulsive buy.  Have a list of what you need for your group and what you may want for future barter as essential goods become more and more scarce.  The longer a crisis lasts, the more people will be bartering for the essentials of life, like food, replacement clothing, salt and sugar, etc.  Consider looking for worn-out items for low-cost that you can restore by repairing (a specific skill) and then resell at a higher price later.
•  On-Display: Don’t keep more than one or two items of a particular kind in view.  Let people make the assumption that there is a very limited quantity.  After selling a “rare” item, you can evaluate whether or not to let the buyer know you have “a few more” for sale.  Having just a few of a kind items for barter may make your “store” look bare, so be prepared to display other things even if you don’t think they will sell.  People are psychologically drawn to seller areas that seem well stocked with all types of goods.
•  Buying: Absent a controlling government for a means of correcting fraud or redressing a trade that was misrepresented the phrase “buyer beware” is even more important. Be very sure you have evaluated and examined all the goods before you accept the trade.  The top layer of a barrel of apples may be fine, but what is the condition of the bottom layer?
•  Contracts:  For high value or large volume exchanges or for situations where goods are to be delivered or picked up, be sure to prepare a short contract that spells out exactly what each party will receive and for what and when. As a minimum, describe the goods, their amount and condition and delivery or pickup date. Never throw way these contracts as they will be the only evidence of ownership you have. Try to ensure buyer-seller goods are exchanged at the same time. Don’t pay for goods and receive only a promise to deliver later unless you know and fully trust the person with who you are doing business.
•  3rd Party Exchanges:  Be on the lookout to buy goods that you know someone else wants. Keep note of what others are looking for that they can’t find.  Being able to acquire these goods and then bartering them for more than you bought them will increase your “goods-wealth”.
•  Beware Bait & Switch:  Don’t assume the goods you receive from behind the curtain or from under the table will be the same quality of the goods you see on display.  Provide payment only after you have examined the exact specific goods you will receive. Check expiration dates on canned and other packaged perishable goods.  Check for wear and damage on all goods.
•  Selling: Consider giving a good initial deal. Give good initial barter value to a new trader and he will return.  It’s also a means to start a good will word of mouth campaign as well as build a positive reputation.
•  First & Last  Offer:  Let the buyer be first to set a price.  They may be willing to give more than you expected.  If you don’t like the price, tell them how scarce and necessary the item is.  This will psychologically reinforce the buyers initial interest in the item.  A poker face is helpful.  If you have to make a first offer, make it higher than what you expect you can get but not unreasonable higher.  A counter-offer will probably be made by the potential buyer.  Options:
Add more goods for a sweetener or remove some to meet the needs of the buyer.  When a potential buyer exhibits an “I can do without it” attitude, you need to decide if you can live with a lower offer or just need to let them walk away.  Never leave a bartering situation with less than you arrived.
o Evaluation of goods by buyers:  Be sure to mention any major faults with your trade goods.  Allow potential buyers to evaluate the minor obvious deficiencies on their own.  If a piece of equipment does not work, say so.  Of course there is no need to tell a buyer about all the rust that they can see for themselves.  A non-functional piece of equipment might be very valuable to someone who needs replacement parts.

F.  Security
Make sure you leave adequate security back home when your group goes to trade days or you may find it stripped to the bone when you get back.
•  Assess trade day area threats: Remember, this is a time of crisis and there are bad and desperate people about. If trade day organizers do not provide perimeter and walk-about security, you need to evaluate how many of your group needs to be at your trade area and how many should move about together during shopping tasks.
•  There may be a need for everyone in your group to be carrying a visible sidearm in a holster to discourage theft and assault. But don’t act as a perceived threat to others.  Be hyper-aware of activities and people around you.  Do not go off with someone alone so they can “show you something”.
•  After making a deal: Once a bargain is made, be sure to quickly close the deal by making the actual exchange.  Take your new purchases back to your group’s area and keep them undercover and under guard.  Trade days will attract thieves.
•  Prevent post-trade day theft: Be on guard for people loitering around your barter area.  They may be “casing the joint”.  Keep all your trade goods inside your roped off trade area and establish a “no goods” zone of more than an arm’s length inside your rope barrier. Don’t be chatty about where you live or the number of people or conditions at your living area. Don’t wear your best clothes to trade days.  Be clean and neat and polite. Strike a balance between appearing not too needy and not to well-off.
•  Make your defense visible: During travel to and from trade days is the time to let your firearms be seen.  Thieves and “highwaymen” will prey upon the least aware and least defended.
•  Beware “Security” services: There may emerge in your area, groups that have only muscle and weapons who offer security services for “guarding” homes and travelers to and from trade days.  These same people may also be engaged in shake-downs, extortion and other scheme of intimidation.

G.  Price gouging
Congress Tells FTC to Define Price Gouging
May 6, 2006,  Washington Post Staff Writer, By Steven Mufson
“In a recent blog entry, Edward Lotterman, an economist who writes a column for the St. Paul Pioneer Press in Minnesota, wrote that anyone trying to define price gouging should consider the following examples: “Paying $12 for two thin slices of cold greasy pizza and two small Cokes in an airport departure concourse; my neighbors selling a house for eight times what they had paid for it years ago; Twin Cities apartments renting for $150 more per month than a year ago; me charging $200 per hour as a consulting expert in a legal case when I get less than $50 per hour teaching at Metro State University.”
Traditionally, the FTC has played a key role in investigating price-fixing or manipulation, offenses that usually involve collusion between two or more players in a market who conspire to reduce competition so they can increase prices. There are many people who allege that major oil companies have engaged in such a plot by limiting output by oil refineries. Schmidt said the FTC was conducting “a very serious substantial investigation that is examining whether there has been unlawful gasoline price manipulation.”
But price gouging is something that usually involves one company or outlet taking advantage of temporary market conditions to charge an exorbitant price. As gasoline prices are going up by the day, many people think that’s what’s going on now.
In a competitive market, that wouldn’t be possible — at least not for long. Consumers would go to some other seller, demand for the price gouger would dry up and he would cut his prices.
Though the FTC has in the past avoided coming up with a definition for price gouging, many state governments and attorneys general have defined it. Usually the definitions are limited to pricing actions taken during emergencies or catastrophes, such as hurricanes. In Florida, the attorney general’s Web site explains that Florida law “compares the price of the commodity or service to the average price charged over the 30-day period prior to the declared state of emergency. If there is a ‘gross disparity’ between the prior price and the current charge then it is price gouging.”
But what’s a “gross disparity”? “Gross disparity would be determined by a jury of Floridians,” said Charlie Crist, Florida attorney general and a Republican candidate for governor. “I don’t think it would be too hard to give it some significant definition in the mind of a juror who would probably be very upset with someone trying to take advantage of a catastrophe.”

Exactly, what is price gouging?
Price gouging statutes seek to stem opportunistic behavior, which is designed to take advantage of an unforeseen opportunity to charge a monopoly price by threatening to withhold output. It is often defined as a 10 to 25 percent increase over prices during the month before an emergency. One state defines “unconscionable price” as an amount charged, which either represents a “gross disparity” or “grossly exceeds” the average price available for these items and services in the same area 30 days immediately before a declaration of a state of emergency.
The term is similar to profiteering but can be distinguished by being short-term and localized, and by a restriction to essentials such as food, clothing, shelter, medicine and equipment needed to preserve life, limb and property. In jurisdictions where there is no such crime, the term may still be used to pressure firms to refrain from such behavior.
The term is not in widespread use in mainstream economic theory, but is sometimes used to refer to practices of a coercive monopoly which raises prices above the market rate that would otherwise prevail in a competitive environment. Alternatively, it may refer to suppliers’ benefiting to excess from a short-term change in the demand curve.
In the United States, laws against price gouging have been held constitutional as a valid exercise of the police power to preserve order during an emergency, and may be combined with anti-hoarding measures. Exceptions are prescribed for price increases that can be justified in terms of increased cost of supply, transportation or storage.
As a criminal offense, Florida’s law is reasonably typical. Price gouging may be charged when a supplier of essential goods or services sharply raises the prices asked in anticipation of or during a civil emergency, or when it cancels or dishonors contracts in order to take advantage of an increase in prices related to such an emergency. The model case is a retailer who increases the price of existing stocks of milk and bread when a hurricane is imminent. It is a defense to show that the price increase mostly reflects increased costs, such as running an emergency generator, or hazard pay for workers.

The true value of higher prices during an emergency
•  A thought experiment: A massive pipe ruptures, tap water grows undrinkable, and consumers rush to buy bottled water from the only two vendors who sell it. Vendor A, not wanting to annoy the governor and attorney general, leaves the price of his water unchanged at 69 cents a bottle. Vendor B, who is more interested in doing business than truckling to politicians, more than quadruples his price to $2.99.
•  You don’t need an economics textbook to know what happens next.
•  Customers descend on Vendor A in droves, loading up on his 69-cent water. Within hours his entire stock has been cleaned out, and subsequent customers are turned away empty-handed. At Vendor B’s, on the other hand, sales of water are slower and there is a lot of grumbling about the high price. But even late-arriving customers are able to buy the water they need — and almost no one buys more than he truly needs.
•  When demand intensifies, prices rise. And as prices rise, suppliers work harder to meet demand. The same Globe story that reported yesterday on Coakley’s “price-gouging’’ statement reported as well on the lengths to which bottlers and retailers were going to get more water into customers’ hands. From <http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2010/05/04/whats_wrong_with_price_gouging/>

Signal value of rising prices during an emergency
•  Water 60c/bottle rises to 2.99/bottle. (400%)
•  Typical 10-30KW Generator rent rises for $45/day to $85/day in winter power outage. (88%)
•  Generators sales price climb from $500 to $900 in wake of Hurricane. (80%)
•  Sheets of plywood rise from $18 to $60 with the approach of a hurricane. (233%)

Rising prices don’t just serve as a rationing mechanism, they also serve as a signaling mechanism.  Rising prices for generators in Dade County send a signal that Dade County needs generators – and that there’s a hefty profit to be made in getting them there.  The $900 price tag thus serves as a signal for people to buy generators for $500 in North Carolina and bring them to where they’re needed.  As more people do this, the supply of generators in Florida moves closer to demand, the price of those generators moves down, and a new equilibrium is approximated.  The lesson: price gouging is not just a static event, it’s part of a larger dynamic market process.
When a hurricane is coming, all the plywood will still be sold, but for more. It isn’t really “above the market” however, because markets change, and the “market price” is naturally higher when demand increases, as it does before a storm. But all that plywood will still be sold in any case, and will be covering windows and protecting houses somewhere.
What the higher price does, though, is more than just put more money in the retailer’s account. It does something else that benefits us all. Higher prices allocate the plywood to better uses.

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F.   Stockpiling vs hoarding
Hoarding vs. Stocking Up, by Deborah in the UP,
Pasted from: http://survivalweekly.com/?page_id=784
When the pioneers began their trek west, they took with them, supplies, food, clothing, animals.. All the things they felt they would need to make the journey. When they got where they felt was far enough, they stopped and set up shop. This was likely somewhere near a town, but not like we know it today. If they were 30 miles from town, (a trip that would take us 30 minutes) it would take them 2-3 days to get there, and the same getting back. Obviously, that trip wasn’t made very often, and certainly not for a loaf of bread or a quart of milk. That milk was gotten from the cow or goat, and bread was baked, from scratch, most often from a sourdough starter.
A food source was THE most important item on the schedule. Land needed to be cleared for a family garden and pasture fenced for the animals. That garden was all important, and meant life or death to the family. The woman’s role was very important for the homestead. While the man/husband/father toiled with the land, kept track of the animals and kept the family safe, a difficult job to say the least, the woman/wife/mother was expected to provide meals, the life sustaining essence. Where did those meals come from? The garden of course! And while the summer may have been bountiful, the winter could be very lean.. if the family/woman didn’t PREPARE. It was expected of the female to can (a different and difficult process back then), preserve, dry, smoke, salt, whatever process fit the food, just so it could be eaten during the time of lean. There needed to be a winter food source for the farm animals too.. or they would die.. The husband/father was the hunter, and the sons as they grew, but the kill needed to be extended as long as possible, by preserving the meat for later consumption. All of this needed to be done to get the family from one growing season to the next. A year. This was standard! This was normal! This is the way things were!
Granted, those trips to town were rare, but they were necessary for certain items: sugar, salt, bolts of cloth for clothing, maybe even new shoes for a growing child. Necessary too to bring barter items in, for exchange. Many times families did without, that was the way of life… but they made do! As long as they were fed, their world would go on. Having a good, healthy pantry full of food, was normal, desired, strived for, admired.
What has changed?

Today, if someone had a year’s worth of food, to get them from one growing season to the next, … they would be called crazy, hoarders, fringe… looked down upon, feared, ridiculed. … survivalists!! Today, those 30 mile trips to town are often made daily!
What has changed? Society perception.

Today, it isn’t the family garden that provides a secure food source, it’s the local grocery store! How dare we question the availability of the next shipment! Therefore we should all have only a week of food on hand… why? Otherwise we would be Hoarders!
From Wikipedia: Hoarding as a human behavior falls in to two main categories. One type of hoarding is triggered as a response to perceived or predicted shortages of specific goods. Hoarding behavior may be a common response to fear, whether fear of imminent society-wide danger or simple fear of a shortage of some good. Civil unrest or natural disaster may lead people to collect foodstuffs, water, gasoline, and other essentials which they believe, rightly or wrongly, will soon be in short supply.
Unlike hoarding immediately before or in the wake of a crisis, hoarding a resource while its supply is abundant can actually alleviate future shortages because those who stockpile in this manner will not contribute to future demand when supplies are reduced.
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G.  Anti hoarding laws are vague and simple to implement
Pasted from: http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=122032.0
•  State Legislation’s Role in Anti-Hoarding
Most states have chosen to enact their own anti-hoarding laws. That means some states may not have such laws, others do and not all are uniform. However, uniformity of state law is something governors are striving for under the Interstate Compact Agreement. The Compact Agreements, much like Executive Orders for the president, really don’t require voters’ input. They are law if the legislature doesn’t object, much like Congress that has 30 days to object to an EO before it becomes law.
At times of “declared emergencies”, each governor cedes (gives over) authority of his/her state to the federal government. When a governor declares it for his state, he becomes the delegated representative of the federal government according to an Interstate Compact Agreement.
Bottom line, even though federal legislation does not directly address anti-hoarding, goods can be seized if national circumstances are felt to warrant it whether or not amounts stored are deemed excessive in your state’s eyes.

•  Hawaii As A Specific Example of Anti-Hoarding
For Hawaii, this information will be found in Title 10 under “Public Safety”. It is located after legislation on militias, state guard troops, etc. Then you find the jewel… In Hawaii you are considered a “hoarder” if you have more than one week’s provisions on hand BUT you have to dig to uncover this information. Here is a specific example:

“HAWAII REVISED STATUTES REVISED 1997, Title 10:
(1) Prevention of *hoarding, waste, etc. To the extent necessary to prevent hoarding, waste, or destruction of materials, supplies, commodities, accommodations, facilities, and services, to effectuate equitable distribution thereof, or to establish priorities therein as the public welfare may require, to investigate, and any other law to the contrary notwithstanding, to regulate or prohibit, by means of licensing, rationing, or otherwise, the storage, transportation, use, possession, maintenance, furnishing, sale, or distribution thereof, and any business or any transaction related thereto.”
In the actual Title document for Hawaii, you will not find the specifics for what length of time constitutes “hoarding” nor an amount. Instead, you must look at the committee notes which describes it as the opinion that one week’s supplies per person is considered adequate food provisions. It is not spelled out what those provisions shall consist of or how much is considered “adequate” until you get to the committee notes.
You will probably have to “dig” for the committee notes as well. Lynn Shaffer, our legislative interpreter, explains committee notes this way. “When the legislature agrees that a law or statute is needed to effect certain governmental goals to prohibit or encourage civilians to respond in a particular way, that statute has attached to it (you will see it printed in the law books) what is called “committee notes.” The courts, when making a determination of how the statute is to be interpreted and applied to the case before it, looks to “legislative intent” or what was recorded in the committee’s notes when the bill was meandering its way through the legislative process.”

•  OK, so If I ‘hoard’, then what?
Again using Hawaii’s Titles as an example, any items in excess of what legislation has deemed appropriate to store (in Hawaii’s case any amount over 1 week) is subject to forfeiture and may be confiscated, ordered destroyed or may be redistributed for public use. See exact text below:
“128-28 Forfeitures. The forfeiture of any property unlawfully possessed, pursuant to paragraph (2) of section 128-8, may be adjudged upon conviction of the offender found to be unlawfully in possession of the same, where no person other than the offender is entitled to notice and hearing with respect to the forfeiture, or the forfeiture may be enforced by an appropriate civil proceeding brought in the name of the State. The district courts and circuit courts shall have concurrent jurisdiction of the civil proceedings. Any property forfeited as provided in this section may be ordered destroyed, or may be ordered delivered for public use to such agency as shall be designated by the governor or the governor’s representative, or may be ordered sold, wholly or partially, for the account of the State. [L 1951, c 268, pt of 2; RL 1955, 359-25; HRS 128- 28; am imp L 1984, c 90, 1]”
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=122032.0

•  Where do Anti-Hoarding Laws come in?
These ideas of anti-hoarding legislation may have stemmed from two areas of confusion:
First is from Executive Orders in place dating back to 1939 which Clinton has grouped together under one order, EO #12919 released on June 6, 1994. The following EOs all fall under EO#12919:
10995–Federal seizure of all communications media in the US;
10997–Federal seizure of all-electric power, fuels, minerals, public and private;
10998–Federal seizure of all food supplies and resources, public and private and all farms and equipment;
10999–Federal seizure of all means of transportation, including cars, trucks, or vehicles of any kind and total control over all highways, seaports and water ways;
11000–Federal seizure of American people for work forces under federal supervision, including the splitting up of families if the government so desires;
11001–Federal seizure of all health, education and welfare facilities, both public and private;
11002–Empowers the Postmaster General to register every single person in the US
11003–Federal seizure of all airports and aircraft;
11004–Federal seizure of all housing and finances and authority to establish forced relocation. Authority to designate areas to be abandoned as “unsafe,” establish new locations for populations, relocate communities, build new housing with public funds;
11005–Seizure of all railroads, inland waterways and storage facilities, both public and private;
11051–Provides FEMA complete authorization to put above orders into effect in times of increased international tension of economic or financial crisis (FEMA will be in control in case of “National Emergency”).
(http://www.millennium-ark.net/News_Files/Exec.Orders/EOs.html)

What has changed? The world has changed. Where once it was expected for a family to provide for itself, now, if they do, it could be taken from them, legally…to provide for those who did not.

Public attitude regarding stockpiling vs hoarding
•  It’s not hoarding! Hoarding is taking more than your share when resources are scarce. In times of plenty, we STOCKPILE to minimize our need for resources when they ARE scarce… Remember – stockpile good, hoarding bad!
•  I agree with the term “stockpile” not hoarding.
•  We survivalists aren’t hoarding, we’re just food collectors. Myself I collect hard red winter wheat……… and a little bit of cocoa powder as well LOL
•  Hoarding is a word with big time negative connotations. Purchasing all the wheat in town during SHTF and charging 3x what you paid (if selling at all) would be hoarding but going to the local big box tomorrow and getting a hundred points of rice would not be hoarding.
•  Stockpiling the basics for your own use is “hoarding”, stockpiling so you can make absurd profits is known as “price gouging”, which is illegal in some states after the TSHTF has happened. In a TEOTWAWKI, price gouging could very well be punishable by facing a firing squad.
•  If I save all my money and put it in the bank is that hoarding or being frugal with my resources? If I invest in things that turn a profit down the road i.e. food stuffs, or commodities, wouldn’t that be considered a wise investment? Perception is always the determining factor.

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Filed under __2. Social Issues

Your minimal emergency electric needs

(Survival Manual/Prepper articles / Your minimal emergency electric needs)

10 Things You Will Miss Most Without Electricity At Home
17 Jul 2013, ModernSurvivalBlog.com, by Ken Jorgustin
Pasted from: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/preps/10-things-you-will-miss-most-without-electricity-at-home/#more-28882

electric light

 To go without electricity for a couple of hours is a bad enough experience for most. But imagine the horror if the power were to stay out for days, or weeks…

The resulting shock to today’s modern man (and woman) would not only be an emotional jolt, but could quickly turn into a life threatening reality for those who have not prepared for such an occurrence.

These ten things will be high on the list for most people; the things that will be missed the most based on the modern lifestyle of today’s generation…   In no particular order, food for thought, People will be forced to deal with the loss of use very quickly…

LIGHTS The most basic of luxury that electricity provides is our light at night, and even during the day. How long will your batteries last in your flashlights? Then what?

CELL PHONES Most of today’s communications revolve around our cell phones / smart phones. They are the lifeblood of our social networks and the primary means of communicating with our family and friends. How will you cope without that ability?

INTERNET AND COMPUTER This category should almost go without saying… it is probably the most relied upon resource in our modern lives today. It is crucial to our communications, our finances, and our entertainment. Many people won’t know what to do without it.

TELEVISION The typical adult watches 4 hours of television per day while the typical child watches 6 hours of television per day including their video-games. It will be a shock to the system without this distraction.

iPODS, STEREO, MUSIC I mention this category due to the observation of so many people walking around with ear-buds attached to their iPod devices while listening to their music. There will be no recharging these little entertainment devices. Like television, music is a major part of the background (and foreground) entertainment for many people.

AIR CONDITIONING, FANS, AND HEAT Many modern buildings will be uninhabitable without it, due to their HVAC design and necessity. We have lived for many decades with the convenience of air-conditioning, and being without it will be a shock. If electricity were to fail in the winter, there will be even more grave consequences.

REFRIGERATOR AND FREEZER This sole appliance is in its own category due to the important role it serves in keeping your food fresh longer and keeping you supplied with food for a time. Your frozen foods will be thawed within 24 hours and will need to be consumed immediately or tossed out. Then what?

KITCHEN APPLIANCES How will you handle first thing in the morning without a cup of coffee brewed in your electric coffee pot? Think about ALL of your kitchen appliances that run on electricity and how you would manage without them. No dishwasher?

STOVE, OVEN AND MICROWAVE The majority of people rely on an electric stove, oven or microwave for cooking their food. Let that sink in a moment…

CLOTHES WASHER AND DRYER Keeping our clothes clean is something that we completely take for granted. It would not take long for this situation to become unhealthy.

 Observations and considerations… Some of the categories listed above are really subsets of “Entertainment”. Although entertainment is not part of the survival basics (water, food, shelter, etc.,) it WILL be a major emotional factor for many people. It is a category that most people rely on for daily distraction. When things go “quiet”, it will be jarring for most who have become accustomed to the constant noise of this distraction. They will be forced to deal with the reality of their own life, and may not know what to do. It could result in a rapid escalation of chaos, particularly in densely populated areas as tempers flare while people are forced to deal not only with the loss of the distraction, but they will be forced to deal with survival itself.

Communications. My observations of the world we live in today reveal that many people, if not most, always seem to be on a cell phone talking with someone else… everywhere they go. In the car, in the store, at home, on the street, at work… It seems to reflect an insecurity of sorts. The need to be in constant contact with their circle of friends. Without this emotional outlet or constant communication, these people will have a very difficult time coping. Even if cell towers are up for awhile during a power outage, once your cell phone battery drains, that’s it… Silence.

Kitchen. You better start thinking about how you’ll manage without these electrical appliances. Do you have the ability to prepare food? Do you have food that doesn’t require much or any preparation? Think of a power outage in various time periods. While it’s pretty easy to survive a few hours or even a day or two, use your noggin and consider being without electricity for longer. Seriously… how will you survive without it?

I haven’t’ mentioned WATER until now… While this resource is number one for survival, during short term power outages you will not lose your water pressure. This will only become a critical issue if electricity is lost for a significant period of time. All water municipalities have power generators for their pumps, and so long as they can get fuel, they can keep the pumps running. A severe enough disaster however could throw a wrench in the works… use your imagination. This is similar for sewage treatment.

Hopefully these thoughts have given you something to think about. If you are inclined to become better prepared for such things, spend a day keeping track of everything that you do and see how many of those activities involve the requirement of electricity. Then imagine life without it. Figure out how you would survive without it.

.

B.  Batteries: How to store them, Myths and Facts
22 July 2013, by Great Northern Prepper.com
Pasted from: http://www.greatnorthernprepper.com/batterry-storage-battery-myths-facts-nicad-vs-nimh-vs-lithium-ion/

Today I want to talk about some myths and facts about storing batteries, how to do it properly so that the batteries you have in your preps will last as long as possible.
First thing is first, before we talk about myths, facts and storage you need to treat your batteries just like your food preps, rotation is the key.  Just like food you need to continually use these batteries in the FIFO (First In First Out) Method, that is use the older batteries first and replace them with newer batteries etc., etc.

What are differences in Batteries?
 Alkaline:  These are the “standard” batteries that we are familiar with, the one time use disposables, however some can be recharged (however this can be chaotic in its results).

NiCad:  Using nickel oxide hydroxide and cadmium, these are rechargeable but newer technologies have made this battery nearly obsolete, however some devices cannot use newer batteries

Nominal Cell Voltage: 1.2v
Cycle durability: 2000 cycles
Charge/Discharge efficiency: 70-90%
Self Discharge rate: 10% per month

 NiMH:  Using Nickel metal Hydride, this battery is similar to the NiCad batter however it offers higher energy density than NiCad, which gives it roughly twice the capacity of the NiCad.  NiCad’s also suffer from what is called “memory” that is the battery will lose capacity when the batteries are recharged after only being partially discharged.  NiMH can also suffer from this but not as sever as NiCad.

  electric eneloopLithium Ion: these batteries produce the same power as NiMH but weigh 20-35% less, they also do NOT suffer from the Memory effect at all.

Nominal Cell Voltage: 3.6/3.7v
Cycle durability: 400-1200 cycles
Charge/Discharge efficiency: 80-90%
Self Discharge rate: 8% @ 69.8 degrees, 15% @ 104 degrees,  31% @ 140 degrees

 Personally I prefer the Sanyo Eneloop NiMH since they seem to have proven to me and through other reviews and studies to be one of the best rechargeables out there.  They are a Low discharge battery that means they lose their charge at a extremely low rate (holding roughly 90% of their power if stored properly).  The Eneloops also charge close to their rate capacities (around 1970mAh – 2000mAh).  Although they are more expensive upfront they last longer and overall are cheaper

electric chargerHowever I would recommend the Power Ex MH-C9000 Wizard One charger which is a “Smart Charger” which analyzes the batteries discharge rate and charges them accordingly to make sure the battery doesn’t suffer from the “memory effect”  these can easily be used with a small solar charger and inverter.

Regardless of what battery charger you get, make sure its a “smart” charger and the maximum charge rate shouldn’t exceed 1/3 the rated capacity of the battery, in the case of the Eneloop (2000mAh) this rate should be 700mAh.  If you can set the chargers discharge rate set it at 100mAh.

STORING BATTERIES:
MYTH: Storing batteries on concrete will “suck” the energy out of it, i.e. it will discharge its stored energy and die.
In the past car batteries were glass jars stored in a wooden case, the moisture on the floor would swell the wood and fracture the glass, so this was true.  Later as plastic cases were used the plastic was still porous and allowed electrical current to conduct through the container to the moist concrete, so thus this was still true.  Today car batteries use a polypropylene which is highly isolative and are not subject to this.  In the end, todays batteries are fine to be stored on concrete, but will still discharge regard of where they are stored, so rotation and use is still the rule of today.

FACT: Storing them in a Freezer/Fridge will make them last longer.
Well this is a mixed message, while energizer and other manufacturers say “not to”, reviews and test show this to be untrue.  Colder temps slow the discharge rate but with Alkaline batteries it is a slightly reduced rate, not really worth the time and space used.  NIMH batteries can see a useful bump in their capacity retention, but with the advent of Low Discharge NIMH batteries it is unneeded.  If YOU DO freeze them make sure you allow them to warm to room temperature before you use it.

electric battery storage

Whats the best way to Store them?
Store your batteries around 59 degrees in a dry area, guess what else you store in a cool dry place– your food preps, so just store your batteries in the same area as them.  It is recommended that every 6 months you discharge them fully and recharge them fully (for NIMH low discharge batteries).

For Lithium Ion Batteries store at room temperature in a dry place and charge to about 20-50%, and charge them about once a year to prevent overdischarge.

Store NiCad at room temperature in a dry location and charge at least once per year to prevent leakage and deterioration of performance.

I keep around 50 NIMH Eneloop AA and around 15 Eneloop AAA batteries, which I rotate through, all year as needed.  I also have some rechargeable D, C and 9 volt batteries as well for batteries and other applications, however I have yet to purchase any solar panels, it is high on my list, but the budget is the budget.  I also keep about 3-4 of those Costco packs of Batteries in the house for use as well.

 

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

Basic food storage

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Basic food storage)

ARainMan.  Bulk Food Storage: Build your Foundation On the Basics
2011, Provident-Living-Today.com, by
Pasted from: http://www.provident-living-today.com/Bulk-Food-Storage.html

 See how to build your One year supply of food . . . for $225
Every storage plan should include bulk food storage items. These basics are needed in everyone’s home storage. Long-term food storage is cheap, and healthy.

These provisions are your survival foods. At the bottom of this page, I’ll show you a simple six-step plan to enhance your bulk food storage. You’ll want to add in the extras; it will make all the difference in your emergency food supply.

BasicFood 1Is the economic depression affecting your family? You can implement the ten money saving ideas and save lots when buying food. The price for whole grains compared to other food is very low. Your food budget will stretch a lot farther if you will buy and use these bulk foods. You can even feed your family on A Dollar A Day per person.

One Year Supply For 1 Adult- Mormon Food Storage
This list is a guideline for storing the bare minimum. The picture below shows you how much food you’ll get to eat everyday if you follow this guideline. And this is all you’ll get to eat. That is why I call it survival rations. You will stay alive, but eating probably won’t still be your favorite pastime. You get 1 cup Wheat, 1 cup Oatmeal, 1/2 cup Rice, 1/3 cup beans, 2 Tbs Oil, 1 glass Milk (2 T powdered milk), 1/3 cup honey, and 2 tsp salt per day. Your daily menu might look something like this:

Breakfast:  Hot oatmeal with honey & milk
Lunch: Tortillas and Sprouted Wheat
Dinner: Rice and Beans

With that said, whole grains are still the foundation of your food storage. You can use them in almost everything you cook. These are the dollar stretcher foods.I can feed my family of 12, breakfast every day for a month on one 50-pound bag of oatmeal (costs about $20). Add peaches, milk, and honey for taste, and you have a nutritious breakfast that children love.

BasicFood items.
A one year supply for 1 adult should include:
400 lbs of Grain,
60 lbs of Legumes,
16 lbs of Powdered Milk,
10 Qts of Oil,
60 lbs of Sugar or Honey, and
8 lbs of Salt.The shelf life on these items is included in the chart below.

The chart shows how much it costs for a one-year supply for 1 adult. Adjust it to your individual needs. For example: rice and oats are a lot easier on a child’s digestive system compared to wheat. Store more of these grains for the children.

See Bulk Food Storage Containers to learn how to store your bulk food.

NOTE: You don’t want to start using wheat when that is all you have to eat. It will be hard on your system. Slowly add it to your diet, my family has been eating wheat for years and we don’t have any problems with a whole-wheat diet. Even my babies eat wheat and do great.

Cost of One Year Supply for 1 Adult
This chart was created in 2009. Because the price of food fluctuates, prices might be different than the ones represented in the chart.

BasicFood shelf life - cost chart

*Not all olive oil lasts this long. Research the shelf life of the oil before buying it.

Wow, look at that. For $224.94 you can get a year’s supply of bulk food storage if you go with the cheaper sugar and vegetable oil. If you go with the Olive Oil and Honey, it will cost you $410.76. Getting your bulk food storage is a great place to start, and it’s cheap!

I found everything on the chart except for the oil, salt, and honey at the LDS Bishop’s Storehouse – bulk food storage at great prices. All are welcome. The shelf life of the food is also listed on their order form. Check it out. Bulk food has a very long shelf life – about 30 years.
Find a location near you in the USA or Canada.

A Note About Honey: When you are buying honey, make sure you can trust your source to give you pure honey. Cheap honey is actually corn syrup. You get what you pay for. Local Honey is actually the best option to buy if you have the opportunity because the bees are using the same plants and flowers that you encounter everyday. It helps you with your allergies

Picture of a 1 year supply of bulk food storage rations for one adult.

BasicFood 1 yr-1 perspn

Adding to the Basics. . . Bulk Food Storage Expanded. . . A Six Step Plan

Add some variety to your bulk food storage.
STEP 1: IF I HAVE Wheat, Powdered Milk, Oil, Salt, Honey or Sugar, Water I CAN MAKE Popped Wheat ,Steamed Wheat, Sprouted Wheat, Cooked Cracked Wheat, Tortillas

STEP 2: IF I ADD Yeast, Baking Powder, Powdered Eggs, Baking Soda I CAN MAKE THESE ADDITIONS: Custards, Puddings, Pancakes, Cookies, Waffles, Muffins, English Muffins, German Pancakes, Crepes, Egg Noodles, Pasta, Breads, Biscuits, Crackers, Mayonnaise. A lot more options huh? Keep reading.

STEP 3: IF I ADD Powdered Butter, Tomatoes, Powdered Cheese I CAN MAKE THESE ADDITIONS: Meatless Dinners, Meatless Casseroles, Cream Sauces These really add flavor.

STEP 4: IF I ADD Unflavored Gelatin, Canned Milk, Canned Fruits I CAN MAKE THESE ADDITIONS: Jello Salads, Whipped Cream Desserts, Baby Formula, fruit dishes Mmm, now we have desserts.

STEP 5: IF I ADD Soup Base, Rice, Legumes (Beans), Beef Broth, Chicken Broth, Alfalfa Seeds, Sesame Seeds I CAN MAKE THESE ADDITIONS: Hearty Dinner Soups, Chili, Rice Puddings, Refried Beans, Rice Dishes, Fresh Sprouts, Gluten This would really expand your dinner menu in an emergency.

STEP 6: IF I ADD Canned Meats, Dried Potatoes I CAN MAKE THESE ADDITIONS: Dinners, Casseroles, Sandwiches. This may not sound like a lot but a meaty flavor can make all the difference.

STEP 7: EXTRAS: Oats, Raisin, Nuts, Peanut Butter, Granola, Juices, Corn Starch, Soup Mixes, Spices & Flavorings, Lemon Powder or Juice, White Flour, Shortening or Margarine, Cream of Tartar, Junket Rennet Tablet, Molasses, Karo Syrup, etc. These are small things that you could do without but really add variety to your diet.
.

B.  Food Storage List
30 Apr 2012, SelfReliantNetwork , by Jessica, Salt N’ Prepper
Pasted from: http://selfreliantnetwork11.blogspot.com/2012/04/basic-food-storage-list.html

BasicFood Warning

My bare bones list for food storage necessities for one adult male. For an average adult woman multiply the amounts by 0.75. For a child ages 1-3 multiply it by 0.3. For children 4-6 multiply by 0.5. Children 7-9 multiply by 0.75. I’ve listed the category along with the weight in food you need. Under each category are the basics this weight should be distributed into. It is up to you how you distribute it. In the space provided before each item write in the amount in pounds you have of each. (This is figured as a 1 year supply) Remember you can adjust things as you need to for your family’s likes and dislikes. But I think Jessica did a really great job of giving everyone a starting point! SRN

Grains – 400lbs

____ Barley
____ Cereal
____ Cornmeal
____ Flour

____ Multigrain
____ Oats, Rolled Quick
____ Oats, Rolled Regular
____ Popcorn
____ Sprouting Seeds
____ Wheat
____ White Rice
____ Pasta Noodles

Milk/Dairy – 75lbs
____ Canned Milk
____ Canned Sour Cream
____ Cheese Spreads
____ Condensed Milk
____ Dried Cheese
____ Dried Eggs
____ Infant Formula (If Applicable)

____ Powdered Milk
____ Powdered Cheese
____ Powdered Sour Cream

Juices/Beverages – 25lbs

____ Apple Juice
____ Baby Strained Juices
____ Cocoa Drink Mix
____ Cranberry Juice
____ Dried Juice Mix
____ Kool Aid
____ Grape Juice
____ Tomato Juice

Fats/Oils – 20lbs

____ Canned Butter
____ Cooking Oil
____ Margarine
____ Mayonnaise
____ Olive Oil
____ Peanut Butter
____ Powdered Butter
____ Salad Dressing
____ Shortening

Meats (Canned, Dehydrated or Freeze Dried) – 20lbs

____ Beef
____ Beef Jerky
____ Chicken
____ Fish (tuna, crab, shrimp) ____ Ham
____ Pepperoni
____ TVP (Textured Vegetable protein)
____ Pork

Fruits and Veggies – 90lbs Dried, 370qts Canned

____ Apple Chips
____ Applesauce
____ Apricots
____ Peaches
____ Berries
____ Fruit Cocktail
____ Olives
____ Pears
____ Pineapple
____ Raisins
____ Tomatoes
____ Celery
____ Potatoes
____ Corn
____ Peas
____ Spinach
____ Carrots
____ Onions
____ Mushrooms
____ Peppers
____ Pickles
____ Asparagus
____ Yams

 

 

 

Beans & Legumes – 90lbs

____ Pinto
____ Pink
____ White
____ Kidney
____ Nuts
____ Sprouting Seeds

Sugars – 60lbs

____ Corn Syrup
____ Honey
____ Syrup
____ Brown Sugar

____ White Sugar
____ Powdered Sugar

Auxiliary Foods – As Needed

____ Baking Powder
____ Baking Soda
____ Cake Mixes
____ Vitamins
____ Cookies
____ Cornstarch
____ Crackers
____ Cream of Tartar
____ Roll/Bread Mixes
____ Instant Breakfast
____ Instant yeast
____ Muffin Mixes
____ Pancake Mix
____ Pectin
____ Pie Fillings
____ Gelatin
____ Salt
____ Survival Bars

Spices & Condiments – As Needed

____ Allspice
____ Basil
____ BBQ Sauce
____ Bouillon Cubs
____ Cayenne Pepper
____ Chili Powder
____ Chives
____ Chocolate Syrup
____ Cinnamon
____ Cloves
____ Coriander
____ Cumin
____ Curry
____ Dill Weed
____ Garlic Powder
____ Ginger
____ Gravy Mixes
____ Ketchup
____ Nutmeg
____ Onion Flakes
____ Oregano
____ Paprika
____ Pepper
____ Sage
____ Salad Dressing
____ Salt
____ Steak Sauce
____ Soy Sauce
____ Spaghetti Sauce
____ Thyme
____ Vanilla Extract
____ Vinegar
____ Worcestershire Sauce

 

 

C.  7 Last Minute Prepping Items
28 May 2013, By Gaye Levy
Pasted from: http://www.backdoorsurvival.com/7-last-minute-prepping-items/

Every single one of us has been in a situation where the weather forecasters and civil authorities have warned of an oncoming crisis.  It might be a winter storm, a spring flood or a wildfire.  It might be a hurricane or a minor pandemic.  All you know is that a crisis is brewing and you better be prepared.

For the experienced prepper, there is comfort in knowing that you have plenty of food, water and supplies to get you through for the short term.  You have candles, flashlights, batteries and light sticks.  You have a extra blankets and the means to cook without fuel.  And of course, you have a bug-out bag.

But imagine a scenario where a disaster is brewing and you have a bit of notice.  There is a possibility, however small, that you might be stuck indoors and in your home for two weeks, possibly longer, without access to common services such as power, sanitation systems, and access to the local supermarket.

Put on your thinking cap – what have you forgotten?  What has been overlooked?  And what can you pick up at the last minute to insure your safety and comfort?

While there are lots of lists floating around telling you what you need and what will disappear first, there is not much out there that addresses those items you might want to consider at the last minute – things that will be useful but of no interest to the mad mob of folks who have done diddly-squat to prepare.

Today I present a list of the last minute prepping items I will seek out when I have some advance notice of an oncoming storm, disaster or crisis.

SEVEN LAST MINUTE PREPPING ITEMS
1.  Bleach The Clorox Company acknowledges that their bleach product has a one year shelf life beginning with the day of manufacture. Allowing a few months for those white jugs to make it to the supermarket, it is best to assume that the jug of bleach you purchase at the supermarket will have a shelf life of about nine months.  Extreme temperatures will reduce this period to about six months.
Now understand that what I am referring to is the use of bleach as a disinfectant.  It has been my experience that old bleach works just fine for whitening your laundry.  But is simply does not make sense at all to stock up on bleach for survival and preparedness purposes.
With a storm brewing, this is the first thing I would purchase as I top off my last minute, short term emergency preps.

2.  Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Sure, as an experienced prepper I have a good supply of freeze-dried fruits and vegetables.  But once a #10 is opened, it’s 25 year shelf life is reduced to one or two years.  So if a short term disaster is predicted, I will want to pick up fresh vegetables and fruits that require no refrigeration.
Let the frantic mobs go after the canned goods.  I will take the fresh stuff since I am already well stocked with canned and packaged items.

3.  Over the Counter Remedies and Prescription Drugs With my survival first aid kit nicely packed and tucked into my bug out bag, I will head over to the first aid section of the drug store and pick up some extra over the counter items such as eye drops, throat spray, and bandages.  If I have refills remaining on my prescriptions drugs, I will get those too.
Of course if things get really serious, I still have my well stocked kit but for just a few days or a week or two?  It will not hurt to pick up some extras while I can still get them.

4.  Cooking Oil, Peanut Butter and Other Short Shelf Life Items These three items have a very short shelf life.  Have you ever opened up a bottle of cooking oil or jar of peanut butter and stepped back due to the overwhelming rancid smell?  If the power is going to be down for awhile, it might be nice to have a fresh supply of these items so that you have no surprises as you try to cook and eat while waiting out the storm.

Another short shelf life item to consider is yeast for baking bread – outdoors if necessary in your cast iron Dutch oven over an open fire.

5.  Wine and Spirits You may or may not have a long term supply of spirits.  If you do partake of an occasional drink, why not pick up a few extra bottles to see you through?  For years, folks in hurricane-prone areas of the United States have had “hurricane” parties where families and friends wait out the storm.
In an adult environment, it is common to have a cocktail or two at these parties.  There is even a famous drink called the “Hurricane”.  Heck, why not?

6.  Aluminum Foil You can use foil to fashion cooking utensils or to line your pots and pans before cooking so that you do not have to waste precious water cleaning up. If you do cook on you pans directly, a crumpled up piece of foil can be used as a handy scrubber to remove the crustiest. You can even use foil to create an im promptu Faraday cage.

7.  Chocolate Let’s face it.  You are going to be stressed so accept that.  Get yourself some chocolate – okay a lot of chocolate – and ride things out while indulging in your favorite chocolate treat.  My favorite is the Endangered Species dark chocolate bar with cranberries and almonds.

If chocolate is not your thing, then perhaps some cookies or graham crackers or just this once, some seriously unhealthy packaged caramel corn.

THE FINAL WORD This list of seven last minute prepping items represents my list and more than anything, is shared so that you can start thinking about your own list of last minute preps.  Personally, the first and the last items – bleach and chocolate – should be on everyone’s list.

I leave it up to you to think about the other things that you may need.  Perhaps there are some tools or utensils that you were waiting to purchase.  Or a heavy duty sleeping bag or hiking boots.  How about some FRS radios?

You might also want to read “5 Things You May Not Have Thought of When Planning for an Emergency” for some other ideas.

The challenge today is to think about the prepping supplies and gear that either have a short term shelf life or that are still on your to do list.  Keep this list handy and located somewhere accessible so that if you have the luxury of some advance notice, you can pick up some uncommon last minute preps.

Plus some chocolate, of course.

BasicFood adjuncts
.

D.  How Much Food Fits in a Container
USAEmergencySupply.com
Pasted from: https://www.usaemergencysupply.com/information_center/packing_your_own_food_storage/how_much_food_fits_in_a_container.htm

Estimated Pounds per Gallon

Estimated Pounds per Gallon

1
Gallon
1.5
Gallons
2
Gallons
5
Gallons

6
Gallons

 

Cracked Red Wheat 5.83 8.75 11.66 29.15 35.00
Hard Red Wheat 7.50 11.25 15.00 37.50 45.00
Hard White Wheat 7.50 11.25 15.00 37.50 45.00
Pearled Barley 7.33 11.00 14.66 36.67 44.00
Whole Corn 7.50 11.25 15.00 37.50 45.00
Hulled Buckwheat 7.00 10.50 14.00 35.00 42.00
Flax 6.33 9.50 12.66 31.67 38.00
Long Grain White Rice 7.33 11.00 14.66 36.67 44.00
Long Grain Brown Rice 7.17 10.75 14.34 35.83 43.00
Par Boiled Rice 7.00 10.50 14.00 35.00 42.00
Rolled Oats 4.17 6.25 8.34 20.83 25.00
Oat Groats 7.00 10.50 14.00 35.00 42.00
Oat Bran (Fine) 5.00 7.50 10.00 25.00 30.00
Rye 7.00 10.50 14.00 35.00 42.00
9-Grain Cereal 6.33 9.50 12.66 31.67 38.00
Hulled Millet 7.17 10.75 14.34 35.83 43.00
Wheat Bran 2.50 3.75 5.00 12.50 15.00
All Purpose Flour 6.67 10.00 13.34 33.33 40.00
Cornmeal 6.67 10.00 13.34 33.33 40.00
Beans 7.00 10.50 14.00 35.00 42.00
Anasazi 6.67 10.00 13.34 33.33 40.00
Black Turtle 7.00 10.50 14.00 35.00 42.00
Black Eye 6.33 9.50 12.66 31.67 38.00
Garbanzo 6.67 10.00 13.34 33.33 40.00
Great Northern 7.00 10.50 14.00 35.00 42.00
Green 1.67 2.50 3.33 8.33 10.00
Green Peas 6.67 10.00 13.34 33.33 40.00
Kidney 6.67 10.00 13.34 33.33 40.00
Lentils 7.17 10.75 14.34 35.83 43.00
Lima 7.17 10.75 14.34 35.83 43.00
Mung 7.50 11.25 15.00 37.50 45.00
Pink 6.83 10.25 13.66 34.17 41.00
Pinto 6.83 10.25 13.66 34.17 41.00
Refried 4.17 6.25 8.34 20.83 25.00
Small Red 6.83 10.25 13.66 34.17 41.00
Small White Navy 7.50 11.25 15.00 37.50 45.00
Soy 6.67 10.00 13.34 33.33 40.00
Pasta – Macaroni 4.17 6.25 8.34 20.83 25.00
Pasta – Egg Noodles 2.67 4.00 5.34 13.33 16.00
Pasta – Spaghetti 5.83 8.75 11.66 29.17 35.00
Alfalfa Sprouting Seeds 7.50 11.25 15.00 37.50 45.00
Diced Carrots 3.33 5.00 6.66 16.67 20.00
Cross-Cut Celery 1.33 2.00 2.66 6.67 8.00
Chopped Onions 3.00 4.50 6.00 15.00 18.00
Potato Dices 2.67 4.00 5.34 13.33 16.00
Potato Flakes 2.50 3.75 5.00 12.50 15.00
Potato Granules 7.50 11.25 15.00 37.50 45.00
Potato Slices 1.67 2.50 3.34 8.33 10.00
Split Green Peas 7.50 11.25 15.00 37.50 45.00
Tomato Powder 5.83 8.75 11.66 29.17 35.00
Applesauce 3.33 5.00 6.66 16.67 20.00
Apple Slices 1.67 2.50 3.34 8.33 10.00
Banana 2.33 3.50 4.66 11.67 14.00
Butter Powder 4.17 6.25 8.34 20.83 25.00
Margarine 4.17 6.25 8.34 20.83 25.00
Cheese Blend 4.17 6.25 8.34 20.83 25.00
Non-Fat Milk 5.83 8.75 11.66 29.17 35.00
Morning Moo White 5.83 8.75 11.66 29.17 35.00
Powdered Eggs 4.17 6.25 8.34 20.83 25.00
Powdered Whole Eggs 4.17 6.25 8.34 20.83 25.00

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Rise of the Preppers

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Rise of the Preppers)

A.  Rise Of The Preppers: 50 Of The Best Prepper Websites And Blogs On The Internet
1 Feb 2013, SHTFplan.com, by Michael Snyder (http://thetruthwins.com/)
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/rise-of-the-preppers-50-of-the-best-prepper-websites-and-blogs-on-the-internet_02012013

 

shtf food

Are you preparing for the collapse of society? If so, the truth is that you are definitely not alone. The number of preppers in the U.S. has absolutely exploded in recent years. It has been estimated that there are now approximately 3 million preppers in the United States, and “Doomsday Preppers” is currently the highest rated show on the National Geographic channel [in 2013]. In fact, you could be living next to a prepper and never even know it. All over America, families are transforming spare rooms into long-term food storage pantries, planting survival gardens, unplugging from the grid, converting their homes over to alternative sources of energy, taking self-defense courses and stocking up on just about everything that you can imagine. The re-election of Barack Obama and other recent events seem to have given the prepper movement even more momentum. For example, in January the U.S. Mint broke all kinds of records and sold nearly half a billion dollars worth of gold and silver coins to the public. Not only that, Americans bought enough guns during the last two months of 2012 alone to supply the entire armies of China and India. When it comes to prepping, nobody can match the passion that Americans put into it.

So what are all of these people prepping for?

Well, the truth is that no two preppers have the exact same motivation. There is a general consensus among preppers that our world is becoming increasingly unstable, but when you sit down and talk with them you find out that there are a whole host of different civilization-killing events that various preppers are concerned about. Some are preparing for the collapse of the economy. Others are extremely concerned about the potential for crippling natural disasters andcatastrophic earth changes. To other preppers, the rise of the “Big Brother” surveillance grid that is being constructed all around us is the greatest danger, and many of them warn of the tyrannical agenda of the New World Order. Terrorism, killer pandemics, EMP attacks, World War III, martial law, solar megastorms, asteroid strikes and societal chaos are some of the other things that many preppers are worried about. There are even some preppers that are not worried about any “threats” at all – they just want to get “back to the land” and want to become less dependent on the system.

Whatever the motivation, it is undeniable that the prepper movement has gotten very large and that it continues to grow.

In fact, there was a recent article in the New York Times about preppers that was actually written by a prepper entitled “The Preppers Next Door“…

To the unprepared, the very word “prepper” is likely to summon images of armed zealots hunkered down in bunkers awaiting the End of Days, but the reality, at least here in New York, is less dramatic. Local Preppers are doctors, doormen, charter school executives, subway conductors, advertising writers and happily married couples from the Bronx. They are no doubt people that you know — your acquaintances and neighbors. People, I’ll admit, like myself.

I was absolutely amazed that one of the key mouthpieces of the establishment, the New York Times, would publish an article that was mostly positive about preppers, because the truth is that prepping is essentially a huge expression of a lack of faith in the establishment. Even the article admitted as much…

PREPPING IS THE BIG SHORT: a bet not just against a city, or a country or a government, but against the whole idea of sustainable civilization. For that reason, it chafes against one of polite society’s last remaining taboos — that the way we live is not simply plagued by certain problems, but is itself insolubly problematic.

And that is exactly right. There are millions of us that are entirely convinced that the world around us is becoming increasingly unstable and that “the system” will not be there to take care of us when everything falls to pieces.

With each passing day, even more Americans lose faith in the system and begin prepping. If you are one of those new preppers, there are actually dozens of great websites out there on the Internet where you can get an education about prepping for free. The list of websites and blogs that I have compiled below contains more articles and resources than you could ever possibly need. Hopefully many of you will find this list to be extremely helpful.

The following are 50 of the best prepper websites and blogs on the Internet…

  1. Survival Blog
  2. American Preppers Network
  3. The Survival Mom
  4. SHTFPlan.com
  5. Survival 4 Christians
  6. Urban Survival
  7. Backdoor Survival
  8. Off Grid Survival
  9. Modern Survival Online
  10. The Survivalist Blog
  11. The Suburban Prepper
  12. The Great Northern Prepper
  13. Prepper Website
  14. The Survival Podcast
  15. Doom And Bloom
  16. Provident Living Today
  17. Prepper.org
  18. Prepared Christian
  19. SHTFblog.com
  20. Survival Cache
  21. Modern Survival Blog
  22. Rural Revolution
  23. Preparedness Advice Blog
  24. Prep-Blog.com
  25. Survival And Prosperity
  26. TEOTWAWKI Blog
  27. The Neighbor Network
  28. The Apartment Prepper
  29. Armageddon Online
  30. The Berkey Guy Blog
  31. The Home For Survival
  32. My Family Survival Plan
  33. Prepography
  34. Prepper Dashboard
  35. Bacon And Eggs
  36. SHTF School
  37. Canadian Preppers Network
  38. Maximum Survival
  39. Survivor Jane
  40. Prepping To Survive
  41. SaltnPrepper
  42. SGTReport
  43. SHTF Wiki
  44. Jewish Preppers
  45. Survival Magazine
  46. Survival Week
  47. Prepper Forums
  48. Survivalist Boards
  49. Tactical Intelligence
  50. The Prepared Ninja
  51. Common Sense Homesteading

The sad truth is that our world is becoming increasingly unstable in a whole bunch of different ways and we all need to learn how to prepare for the difficult years ahead.

Unfortunately, most Americans simply are not prepared for much of anything.

For example, a large percentage of Americans do not even have enough savings to get them through a single financial emergency. According to one recent report, approximately 44 percent of all households in the United States are just one unexpected event away from financial disaster.
(See article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/30/financial-emergency-report_n_2576326.html)

Most American families do not have much food stored up either. One recent survey discovered that 55 percent of all Americans have less than three days supply of food in their homes.
(See article: http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2012/September/Doomsday-Ready-More-Americans-Becoming-Preppers/)

Could that possibly be accurate? Do people really keep that little food in their homes?

Another survey asked Americans how long they think they could survive if the entire electrical grid went down and there was no more power for an extended period of time. Incredibly, 21 percent of those who responded said that they would survive for less than a week, and an additional 28 percent of those who responded said that they would survive for less than two weeks. Close to 75 percent of those who responded said that they would be dead before the two month mark.

So who are the crazy ones?
Are the people trying to become more independent and self-sufficient crazy, or are the people who have complete and total faith that the system will take care of them no matter what happens actually the crazy ones?
I don’t know about you, but I would prefer for myself and my family to at least have a chance to survive if society melts down for some reason

 

 

B. Doomsday Ready? More Americans Becoming ‘Preppers’
28 Dec 2012, CBN news, By Chuck Holton
Pasted from: http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2012/September/Doomsday-Ready-More-Americans-Becoming-Preppers/

BLACK MOUNTAIN, N.C. – When an unexpected summer storm knocked out power across the mid-Atlantic region in July, more than 4 million people went without power for up to two weeks.
Throughout the summer, a severe drought across much of the country also put a serious strain on the nation’s infrastructure.

Couple that with the threat of a currency collapse, civil unrest, and other nightmare scenarios – stocking up for the unexpected is looking smarter all the time.
Now, a small but growing segment of society is asking the question, “What happens when the lights go out for more than just a few days?”

Preparation or over reaction? CBN News Reporter Chuck Holton talked more about the “prepper” movement as well as how and why many Americans are readying for the worst, on “The 700 Club,” Sept. 12.
Many of these “preppers” think the recent record-setting blackout could be just a preview of things to come.
Keith Iton is a die hard prepper and has started a business to help others get ready as well.
“The biggest problem we suffer here in North America is complacency,” he claimed.
“People figure since nothing has happened in ‘x’ amount of years, nothing bad will ever happen,” Iton continued. “So they get comfortable, and they get lazy and then unpreparedness comes in. Then you have other people who look at history.”

From ‘Crazy’ to Common
Survivalists are sometimes seen as wild eyed, crazy people waiting for the ‘zombie apocalypse.’ But with the state of the economy in today’s world, being prepared is more popular than ever.

Recently, some 2,000 people gathered in North Carolina for the Carolina Readiness Seminar to discuss the risks and what can be done about them.
“It’s very environmental, very green, takes us off of fossil fuels, and [is] very easy to do,” prepper Joel Henderson said.
Henderson is co-owner of Green Gold Filters, one of the vendors at the recent convention. His patented filtration system is helping people accomplish something that America has been trying to do for years — run a vehicle without foreign oil.
“If anybody has a diesel engine, truck, tractor, or generator, you can use used cooking oil as an alternative diesel fuel, or motor oil,” Henderson explained.

“If you go to the restaurants, this is a local restaurant here in Nashville, an Indian restaurant, this is their used cooking oil they were throwing away,” he continued. “We picked it up, ran it through our filter system, and now we have a nice alternative diesel fuel that I’ll put right in my tank.”

‘Doomsday Preppers’
The prepper movement is being helped along by a new trend in television shows about the subject. The most popular is National Geographic’s “Doomsday Preppers.”

“‘Doomsday Preppers’ is the highest rated show right now ever on National Geographic,” casting director Brooklyn Bagwell said.
“It’s a show about your average American family, unique people who are prepping for any of life’s uncertainties, whether that be economic collapse to solar flare in 2012. No matter what it is they’re going to be prepared,” he added.

One of the challenges for the show is that most preppers aren’t eager to advertise their stockpiles of supplies, since if the bottom drops out, looting could be a real problem.
“We do understand it could be a risk, but we do respect privacy on the show. We don’t have to say your first name or last name or where you’re from,” Bagwell said.
“We try to get in the lives of many diverse preppers, and have each prepper give a take away to our viewers so they can learn more about prepping,” he said.

prepper crazy vs normal[Top: The general public perception of Preppers (everything including the kitchen sink in a stockpile).
Bottom: Reality (Ordinary things, bulky water, bulky food, bags and cases of sustainability supplies and the means of
protecting those belongings from theft). Mr. Larry]

Prepare with God
Iton said the first step to being prepared, however, has nothing to do with canned food or bottled water.
“Your first step to preparedness, for me personally, is your relationship with Jesus Christ,” he explained. “If you build a solid relationship with Jesus Christ, then you are more prepared than the average Joe.”
“Then after that, if you can get a little food, water stored away, a little safe retreat, it’ll all fall into place,” Iton said. “You want to be able to feed yourself, feed your family, help a neighbor, help a friend.”

A hundred years ago, having extra supplies in the house was considered completely normal. But that has changed.
A recent survey found that 55 percent of Americans have less than three days supply of food in their homes. Many people have no emergency supplies, or even a first aid kit.
But with America’s infrastructure becoming more fragile every day, preppers say it’s a good idea to stock up, just in case.

 

C. The Prepper Movement: Why Are Millions Of Preppers Preparing Feverishly For The End Of The World As We Know It?
26 Oct 2011, http://endoftheamericandream.com
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/the-prepper-movement-why-are-millions-of-preppers-preparing-feverishly-for-the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it_10262011

 

prepper basement storageIn America today, there are millions of “preppers” that are working feverishly to get prepared for what they fear is going to happen to America. There is a very good chance that some of your neighbors or co-workers may be preppers. You may even have noticed that some of your relatives and friends have been storing up food and have been trying to convince you that we are on the verge of “the end of the world as we know it”. A lot of preppers like to keep their preparations quiet, but everyone agrees that the prepper movement is growing. Some estimate that there are four million preppers in the United States today. Others claim that there are a lot more than that. In any event, there are certainly a lot of preppers out there. So exactly what are all these preppers so busy preparing for?

Well, the truth is that the motivation for prepping is different for each person. Some preppers believe that a complete collapse of the economy is coming. Others saw what happened to so many during Hurricane Katrina are determined not to let that happen to them. Some preppers just want to become more independent and self-sufficient. There are yet others that are deeply concerned about “end of the world as we know it” scenarios such as terrorists using weapons of mass destruction, killer pandemics, alien invasions, World War III or EMP attacks.

But whatever the motivation is, the prepper movement is clearly growing. Today, millions of Americans are converting spare rooms into storage pantries, learning how to grow survival gardens and stocking up on everything from gas masks to auxiliary generators.

Recently, the Salina Journal gathered together about two dozen preppers. What they found is that there is a tremendous amount of diversity among preppers, but that they also clearly share a common passion….

It was a diverse bunch. All different shapes, sizes, ages, gender and political persuasions.

Some were ex-military. Some never served. Some were unemployed, some had jobs. A few were retired.

But they all shared a common bond: They call themselves Preppers, and they had gathered to share ideas, demonstrate various skills, enjoy each other’s company and to put faces to the online names they use to disguise their identity.

Never before in U.S. history have we seen anything like this. We are at peace and most of us still have a relatively high standard of living and yet millions of Americans feel called to start preparing for the worst.

A lot of preppers don’t like to publicize the fact that they are prepping. As the Salina Journal discovered, a lot of preppers try very hard to keep their prepping to themselves…..

They are trying to keep their passion for prepping hidden from neighbors and, in some cases, employers who they said would frown on their association with such a group. Two admitted their appearance here would probably get them fired if their companies found out.

Many people believe that it takes a lot of money and resources to be a prepper, but that is not necessarily the case.
For some, the best way to get prepared is to radically simplify things.
For example, a recent article posted on Yahoo Finance profiled a man that lives in his RV and that survives on about $11,000 a year….

I had an apartment in Burbank and was the typical Los Angeles apartment dweller. I started to feel a strong desire to simplify my life. I had a garage full of stuff I never used, my closets were full, and I started to see that it was costing me money to have an apartment big enough to hold all the stuff I never use.

My initial plan was to scale back and move into a smaller apartment. Before long, I realized I didn’t need too much to be happy. I could fit into a small space. That’s when the RV idea occurred to me. I was just sitting in traffic and an RV pulled up. I said, “I could probably fit in that thing.” The more I looked into it, the more I realized how practical it would be. For what I was paying for rent in LA, I could own my “house” free and clear and not pay rent, and own my car as well.

Other people make the most of what they already have. It is absolutely amazing what some families are able to do with limited resources.

For example, there is one family that is actually producing 6000 pounds of produce a year on just 1/10th of an acre right in the middle of Pasadena, California.

This family grows more food than they need and they sell the excess to restaurants in the surrounding area.
You can see video of their amazing garden right here:

Other Americans take prepping to the other extreme. For example, Steven Huff is building a 72,000 square foot “home” (some call it a fortress) in Missouri. Huff is the chairman of Wisconsin-based TF Concrete Forming Systems, and he wants to show off what his firm is capable of. Huff claims that this will be “a home that uses very low energy, as well as having strong resistance to tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, fire, flood and insect damage”.

In reality, what Huff is building kind of resembles a castle. You can see pictures of this remarkable “home” right here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2015900/Can-money-buy-taste-Inside-concrete-tycoons-72-000-square-foot-dream-home-guess&#8211;.html.

But Huff is not the only one taking things to extremes.
In a recent article, I detailed how renowned Texas investor Kyle Bass appears to be very well prepared for the horrible economic collapse that he believes is coming. The following is how one reporter described his recent visit to the 40,000 square foot “fortress” owned by Bass….

“We hopped into his Hummer, decorated with bumper stickers (God Bless Our Troops, Especially Our Snipers) and customized to maximize the amount of fun its owner could have in it: for instance, he could press a button and, James Bond–like, coat the road behind him in giant tacks. We roared out into the Texas hill country, where, with the fortune he’d made off the subprime crisis, Kyle Bass had purchased what amounted to a fort: a forty-thousand-square-foot ranch house on thousands of acres in the middle of nowhere, with its own water supply, and an arsenal of automatic weapons and sniper rifles and small explosives to equip a battalion.”

Do you think that Bass is taking things too far?

Well, there are other big names that are busy preparing for the worst as well.
For instance, Robert Kiyosaki, the best-selling author of the “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” series of books is now a full-fledged prepper.
He says that he is “prepared for the worst” and that he and his wife “have food, we have water, we have guns, gold and silver, and cash”.

So should the rest of us be preparing?
Of course we should be. Our nation is drowning in debt, the U.S. economy is dying, the number of earthquakes and other natural disasters is increasing, and the entire globe is becoming an extremely unstable place. If you read my articles on a regular basis, then you know that there are a whole host of reasons to try to become more independent and self-sufficient.

So what can we all do to get prepared?
Well, in a previous article I listed a few things that can be done by most people….

#1  Become Less Dependent On Your Job
#2  Get Out Of Debt
#3  Reduce Expenses
#4  Purchase Land
#5  Learn To Grow Food
#6  Find A Reliable Source Of Water
#7  Explore Alternative Energy Sources
#8  Store Supplies
#9  Protect Your Assets With Gold And Silver
#10  Learn Self-Defense
#11  Keep Yourself Fit
#12  Make Friends

For those interested in learning more about preppers and prepping, there are a lot of really great resources out there….

*American Preppers Network

*The Survival Mom

*In Case Of Emergency, Read Blog

*The Surburban Prepper

 

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

Personal hygiene after SHTF

(Survival Manual/Prepper articles/ Personal hygiene after SHTF)

A.  Personal Hygiene After SHTF
7 May 2013, SurvivalAndBeyond, by The Maj – Prepper Resources
Pasted from: http://www.survivalandbeyond.net/personal-hygiene-after-shtf/

Staying clean by today’s standards in a post SHTF world will be a task that is close to impossible.  The daily, sometimes twice daily, bath or shower will become a thing of the past and the old joke of  “bath  night Saturday” will no longer be a joke for most people.  The world will be vastly different but the same “bugs” we are so careful to cleanse ourselves of today will be even more relentless.  The only advantage you will have then, that most do not have today, is the fact that contact with other people will be limited to you and the people trying to survive along side of you.  Everyone within that group taking some basic steps in personal hygiene will be a huge benefit to everyone in the group and even the most basic steps by today’s standards will go a long way to making you feel better.

sanitation conditionsThe no brainer here is washing your hands and I am certain that most reading this have an ample supply of hand sanitizer in their stockpile right now.  Since the average person touches their face 2,000 plus times per day and the face (and head) is the most common place where someone will contract a “bug”, it only makes sense that keeping the hands clean will help.  This is especially important to consider when preparing food for yourself and other people.  Hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, vinegar, disinfectant wipes and bleach will all work to clean or sanitize your hands.  Soap and water is probably the easiest and most common mechanism for keeping the hands clean.  Even washing with clean water is better than not washing your hands at all, so do not let being out of a manufactured product keep you from washing your hands.

Let your body air out.  Whether it is the socks on your feet, your underwear, or the t-shirt you have not had a chance to wash in five days, your undergarments are going to be packing a pretty powerful punch even if you have been sedentary the entire time.  Wearing dirty, sweat soaked clothes constantly next to your skin gives bacteria a place to cling to and given enough time they will create a problem for you.  At every available opportunity, get as naked as possible and give your body a chance to air.  This may not be practical in many instances where mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects will have an open door to your body, but letting your body (especially “the dirty” parts) get some air will help to keep you healthy.  I keep a pair of loose fitting shorts and a loose fitting t-shirt in my bugout bag for this very purpose.  Also, while you are airing out, it is a good time for a “buddy check”.  Have someone else look at the areas that you can not readily see, especially your backside.  They will need to be looking for bites, boils, and insects which might have attached themselves to your nether region.  The time for modesty has long since past by this point, so put aside any apprehension you may have concerning having your buddy take a look at you.

When you are airing yourself out, take the time to take a splash bath.  Clean your feet, crotch, underarms, and face with soap and water or disinfectant/baby wipes.  Taking the time to do this will remove a lot of the bacteria that has built up in the area(s), it will help prevent chaffing, and  it will make you feel better than you did.  In a perfect world, I would try to do this before I went to bed but since the post SHTF world will be far from perfect just make the time for it.  If you have packed body powder or foot powder, dust the clean areas with powder to help keep them fresh longer.  Try to stay away from the scented powders for obvious reasons.

While we are on the subject of rank clothes, you will need to develop a plan to wash your clothes and more than likely this task will have to be done by hand.  If possible, you will want to have a “fresh” set of clothes on hand when you do finally find the chance to get a real bath or shower because I do not know of much worse than finally getting clean and then having to put back on some clothes that could stand up and walk by themselves.  You can easily go a week or longer without washing your outer garments but the undergarments and socks typically will not last as long.  Pack extra socks, underwear (or opt out of underwear), and t-shirts if possible.

As weird as it may sound, grooming will help with cleanliness as well.  Keeping finger nails and toe nails neat, clean and trimmed to proper lengths will keep germs from hiding under them.  If you happen to be a nail biter, you might want to consider breaking that habit now.  You will want to keep head and facial hair trimmed as short as possible and run a comb through it daily.  Believe it or not, your hair will get so dirty that it will actually hurt.  Avoid scratching your scalp and let the comb do the work when possible.  If you have not considered nail clippers/files, scissors, and a razor for your bugout bag, now would be the time to consider it.

Treat every scrape, bump, bite, boil, cut, burn, and hangnail as a life threatening condition.  Sanitize the area as soon as time allows with soap and water or other disinfectant, apply an antibiotic ointment, and cover the area with a bandage.  If possible, avoid tasks which will unnecessarily introduce germs into the affected area, avoid food preparation for the group if the troublesome spot is on your hands, and allow the area to get air when you are resting.  If the affected area begins to swell, change color, or worsens, you will need to take additional first-aid or medical measures.

Brush and floss your teeth at least once daily, twice if your supplies allow it.  Use a good quality toothpaste or baking soda to brush your teeth and make certain to rinse your mouth thoroughly with clean water.  If you have an alcohol based mouthwash in your bugout bag or stockpile use it at least once daily.  Alcohol based breath strips help to “freshen” your mouth, but other than that they do not cleanse very well.  Sans mouth wash, you can rinse your mouth with clean water or a saltwater mix to help keep your mouth clean.  If you find yourself without toothpaste, you can still use your toothbrush to break the build up loose and rinse your mouth.  Some brushing is better than not brushing at all.

Shoot for taking a bath or shower once per week, if time and your water stockpiles allow it.  Over the course of a week you will build up a lot of grime all over your body, especially during the warmer months.  A bath will become a real treat and something that you will look forward to.  Wash with unscented soap from head to toe and make certain to scrub the dirty areas very well.  Of course, if it comes down to a choice between having clean drinking water and taking a bath, opt for the clean drinking water. An example of what I have in my bugout personal hygiene kit:

  • Unscented Soap (2bars)
  • Travel Shampoo
  • Travel Bottle of Listerine
  • Hand Sanitizer (small bottle)
  • Toothpaste (1 full size tube)
  • Dental Floss (2 packages)
  • Toothbrush (2 each)
  • Q-tips (2 travel packages)
  • Tweezers
  • Triple Antibiotic Ointment (2 tubes)
  • Baby Wipes (travel package)
  • Band-Aids (travel pack)
  • Safety Razor (with spare blades)
  • Small Scissors
  • Nail Clippers with File
  • Large MicroNet Pack Towel (2 each)
  • MicroNet Pack Wash Cloth (2 each)
  • Needles (one package)
  • Unscented Body/Foot Powder (small container)
  • Travel Washboard
  • Powder Laundry Detergent (small container)
  • Toilet Paper (1 roll)
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Repellant
  • Absorbine Jr. (1 bottle)
  • Travel Mirror
  • Rubbing Alcohol (small bottle)

As with anything else, you can configure your personal hygiene supplies a thousand different ways and there is no absolute “right way” to do it.  I am not female, so I left the feminine hygiene products off of my list and they would have to be incorporated into the supplies for a female.  In a bug-in situation, you can expand this list to include more of the necessary supplies and add many nice to have items that are not very portable for personal hygiene uses.  The important thing is to have personal hygiene supplies on your list and at a minimum have a means of keeping yourself clean post SHTF

 

B.  When the SHTF, you will still have to poop
7 Oct 2012, Prepper-Resources.com, by PJ
Pasted from: http://www.prepper-resources.com/when-the-shtf-you-will-still-have-to-poop/

I have been very close to burning mixtures of fecal matter, urine, and diesel fuel and I can tell you the smell is pretty disgusting.  You never quite get used to it, nor does your appetite fully recover.  Quite often people forget that everybody poops, and should the power go out for an extended period of time in suburbia you will only have a couple options when it comes to dealing with human waste.  You can poop in buckets and bury the contents around your yard, poop buckets and attempt to burn your waste (not a good idea), or you can dig a sanitary pit away from any water supply and hopefully keep your family from getting sick.  Quite often people do not realize just how important it is to stay clean and germ free, especially in a survival environment.  No matter how hard you try to avoid it everyone has to poop.  It would be optimal to find a way to get around the hazards of exposed waste prior to some catastrophe occurring.  I have dug many pits in my day but never a full on functioning pit for an outhouse.  Since I am not the subject matter expert on this topic  I will post is an article from someone who is, take from it what you will and remember that E. Coli can kill you just as easily as a 55 grain FMJ bullet.

Here is the link to the article over on Rogue Turtle: http://www.rogueturtle.com/articles/outhouse.php.
What follows would be some practical potty advice offered up by the author.

sanitation outhousePractical potty advice
If you have small children, be sure you accompany them to the outhouse and help them use the facilities. Since the bottom opening in the potty is considerably larger than a home toilet, the urge to reach in and “play” may be too great for a toddler…with tragic results. Keeping a outside door latch mounted up high will prevent small children from straying inside while you’re not looking. Like a swimming pool, it can be considered an “attractive nuisance”.

In winter, run ropes to and from the shelter and the outhouse. That way, you won’t get lost in the blowing snow when going to the bathroom. Out west, people have died going to potty.

Until you get your first deep pit dug, temporary potties can be made from 5 gallon buckets. The walls can be simple blankets or other coverings to make tent-like walls. Unless you are digging in frozen ground, a hole large enough to use right away can be dug in less than one day. Most military units I have been around use digging latrine holes as a method of punishment. It’s considered a “crappy” job, if you get my drift. If you have an all male outfit, jut run a plank out, cut a few holes, and you are done. It’s not a pretty sight for visitors. Most people prefer walls.

A word about toilet paper: Like ammunition, you can never have too much. I do not recommend you give everyone their own roll of paper, only replace the one in the outhouse when it runs out. Too many people with toilet paper means some gets lost or “borrowed” and I have seen fights break out over this stupid subject. (Remember, I work in a jail in Florida.) One hole, one roll.

If your family is like mine, you need some sort of inside latch so accidental “embarrassing moments” are kept to a minimum. Screaming teenage girls hurt my ears. Make sure the latch can be used by the youngest person in the group who will be using the place without assistance. I’ve seen youngsters accidentally get locked into bathrooms when they don’t know how to unlock the door. It would be even more traumatic in a cold and drafty outhouse in the woods at night. Heck, that would scare me…I have a son named Jason, did you know that? He was born on Friday the 13th, no kidding. I think he owns an axe.

Lighting in an outhouse at night is on a “bring your own” basis. Don’t leave valuable lights laying around in the outhouse. First of all, they may fall into the hole never to be seen again. I’m sure not going after it. Second, someone will leave it on and it will be useless anyway. If I did mount one, the only light I would even consider is one of those “tap lights” advertised on TV. It seems to be about the easiest and cheapest to install. If you lose one of them, you haven’t lost much. Everyone in your shelter should have their own personal flashlight at night anyway.

There are many humorous stories associated with the outhouse. Many people name their outhouses: “Moldy Manor”, “Moon Room”, etc. Name it after someone you hate: “Hitler House” would have been appropriate years ago. How about “Saddam’s Palace”? “Thunder Dome”?

On a practical note, if you bag up all the dirt removed from the hole, you can berm-up the north side of the outhouse to keep the cold winter winds out. Then, when you are ready to cover the hole up, the dirt is right there ready for you. Just a thought. I don’t like doing work twice.

C.  The 4 Most Likely Ways You Can Die If the SHTF
June 2011, Ready Nutrition.com, by Tess Pennington
Pasted from: http://readynutrition.com/resources/the-4-most-likely-ways-you-can-die-if-the-shtf_29062011/

The subject of survival in a long term disaster goes beyond having stockpiles of beans, bullets and band-aids. Those that do survive during a long term emergency will no doubt be tried and tested with a great many things. One of those trying scenarios is dealing with death.

Zombie attacks seem to be a prevalent theme for preppers to prepare for. In fact, the CDC has even posted a preparedness article on how to ward off zombie attacks. See the zombie article at:
http://blogs.cdc.gov/publichealthmatters/2011/05/preparedness-101-zombie-apocalypse/

While I believe these zombies will likely take the form of substance abusers, mental patients, chronically ill or diseased, and desperate individuals whose basic needs have not been met, they will die out in the first few months of an onset of a  major disaster, and there presence will rarely be an issue in a long term situation.

In reality, a majority of those that will die during a long-term disaster will be from illnesses brought on by acute respiratory infections due to cramped living conditions, poor water conditions (or lack of), or bacterial infections from wounds. If we survive a major disaster, America would become a third world country and the aftermath of such a scenario will be similar to those living in Africa, Ethiopia and India.

Illness Due to Poor Water Conditionssanitation germs
Typically, any diseases that are brought on by lack of sanitation and hygiene are controllable and preventable. In a disaster where water sources are compromised, people within a 50 mile radius could be adversely impacted by illness and disease if just one person incorrectly handles water or incorrectly disposes of waste.  Contaminated water, poor sanitation and/or lack of hygiene leads to diseases such as Hepatitis A, viral gastroenteritis, cholera, Shigellosis, typhoid, Diphtheria and polio. If these diseases affect enough people, an epidemic will ensue.

Dehydration and diarrhea are also water-related matters to contend with. Those without adequate water conditions and/or are suffering from disease brought on by poor water conditions could quickly dehydrate. These types of illnesses typically affect at-risk populations such as children, the sick and the elderly. Young children in particular are at high risk for diarrhea and other food- and waterborne illnesses because of limited pre-existing immunity and behavioral factors such as frequent hand-to-mouth contact. The greatest risk to an infant with diarrhea and vomiting is dehydration. In addition, fever or increased ambient temperature increases fluid losses and speeds dehydration. Having knowledge beforehand on how to properly clean drinking water and food, and the symptomatology and treatment of these types of diseases can prevent further outbreaks from occurring.

** Recommended preparedness items: water filtration systems, water purification tablets, chlorine granules, bleach, electrolyte or rehydration powders, anti-diarrhea medicines.

Malnutrition
Malnutrition from either improper water conditions or from lack of nutrients is also a large killer amongst those in impoverished communities.  Medical experts say there is a symbiotic relationship between malnutrition and diarrhea.  Malnutrition increases the severity of diarrhea while diarrhea can cause malnutrition. Either way, prevention for both of these health issues is key.

Those that are malnourished are more susceptible to illness and disease. Individuals who are malnourished will also be vitamin deficient and their health is likely to regress further. Those who survive from malnutrition are permanently affected by this disease and may suffer from recurring sickness, faltering growth, poor brain development, increased tooth decay, reduced strength and work capacity, and increased chance of chronic diseases in adulthood. Adult women with this condition will give birth to underweight babies.

** Recommended preparedness items: dietary supplements, vitamin powders, seeds for sprouting or  seeds for fresh vegetables and fruits, survival bars, knowledge of alternative means to attain vitamins

Acute Respiratory Infections
Upper respiratory infections (URI) will also be a leading cause of death in a long term disaster. Upper respiratory infections include: colds, flu, sore throat, coughs and bronchitis can usually be cured with additional liquids, rest and nourishment. Allowing the illness to exacerbate will lead to secondary infections such as bacterial pneumonia. The germs from pneumonia are easily spread from an infected person to others by coughing or sneezing or through close contact. A major concern about respiratory infections is that there are many drug resistant strands of viruses, bacteria and diseases (including tuberculosis), that regular medicine will not cure.  In a long term disaster situation, many could perish.

To properly prepare for this type of medical situation, learn about the more prevalent viruses and bacteria in your country and how to prevent them in order to provide a healthy living environment in a long term situation.

Not only are URI’s a concern but other air-borne diseases such as tuberculosis will likely fester during a long term scenario. In regular non-SHTF times, treatment for tuberculosis requires 6-12 months of medication.  In a long term emergency, chances of surviving tuberculosis are slim. The best way to prevent tuberculosis is adequate nutrition, vitamin D and living in a properly ventilated shelter.

Survival groups that have multiple people living under one roof will only increase the likelihood of passing air-borne infections and diseases to one another. In addition, those in an at-risk group (elderly, immuno-deficient, infants) are more likely to catch illnesses.  If a survival group is sharing a home, an infirmary or sick room should be prepared for those who have fallen ill.  Isolating the person who is ill will limit exposure to the other members of the group. Adequate nutrition, water, rest, good sanitary practices and ventilation of the home is essential in curbing this.

** Recommended preparedness items: decongestants, expectorants, upper respiratory medicines, antibiotics (for secondary and bacterial infections), knowledge on medicinal herbs, prepare a sick room at your survival homestead

Infections From Wounds
Open injuries have the potential for serious bacterial wound infections, including gas gangrene and tetanus, and these in turn may lead to long term disabilities, chronic wound or bone infection, and death.  Antibiotics will be few and far between and will be more precious than gold.  Without proper medicines, antiseptic and knowledge on proper medical procedures, many will die of bacterial infections.  Learning medical skills, gaining knowledge on natural medicines and alternative medical antiseptic (i.e., Dakin’s Solution) before a disaster occurs could help people survive from wound infections. Also, ensuring the area that you treat medical emergencies is clean and as sterile as possible may also prevent bacterial infections.

** Recommended preparedness items:  stock up on maxi pads for wound absorption, gauze, celox, antibiotics, suture needles and other basic first aid supplies.
**
Additionally, consider developing the following skills: basic first aid class, sign up for EMT classes in your community, an off-grid medical care class such as those offered by onPoint Tactical. Also, consider investing in books such as When There is No Doctor and When There is No Dentist.

Also look into making your own antiseptics utilizing alcohol distillation, such as the custom made units from LNL Protekt.

These illnesses (provided above) have impacted countries all over the world. These illness and conditions, coupled with unsanitary living conditions such as substandard sanitation, inadequate food and water supplies and poor hygiene, make disaster-affected people especially vulnerable to disease. These illnesses will affect us no matter what part of the world we live in, what socio-economic status we currently hold, and no matter how prepared we think we are.

Understanding what can happen and being prepared when it does is absolutely essential. The last thing we want to do when a serious condition arises is to panic. Preparing your supplies, developing your skills and educating the rest of your family and preparedness group on how to prevent, identify and counteract these serious conditions will provide a significant boost to your ability to survive if the worst happens.

[For the maintenance of your health and well being during and in the aftermath of a prolonged period of emergency, consider the topics in each of the following images: sanitation, general medical, OTC drugs, vitamins and key supplements, the ability to attend to temporary fillings, an emergency suture, and eye glass repair. Mr. Larry]

sanitation tools

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