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The amount of gold or silver savings you should have

(Survival Manual/7. Warehouse / The amount of gold or silver savings you should have)

What to Do When – Not If – Inflation Gets Out of Hand.
4 Sept 2012, Financial, by Jeff Clark
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“The cheek of it! They raised the price of my favorite ice cream.

Actually, they didn’t increase the price; they reduced the container size.

I can now only get three servings for the same amount of money that used to give me four, so I’m buying ice cream more often.

Raising prices is one thing. I understand raw-ingredient price rises will be passed on.

But underhandedly reducing the amount they give you… that’s another thing entirely. It just doesn’t feel… honest.

You’ve noticed, I’m sure, how much gasoline is going up.

Food costs too are edging up.

My kids’ college expenses, up.

Car prices, insurance premiums, household items – a list of necessities I can’t go without. Regardless of one’s income level or how tough life might get at times, one has to keep spending money on the basics. (This includes ice cream for only some people.)

According to the government, we’re supposedly in a low-inflation environment. What happens if price inflation really takes off, reaching high levels – or worse, spirals out of control?

That’s not a rhetorical question. Have you considered how you’ll deal with rising costs? Are you sure your future income will even keep up with rising inflation?

Be honest: will you have enough savings to rely on? What’s your plan?
If price inflation someday takes off – an outcome we honestly see no way around – nobody’s current standard of living can be maintained without an extremely effective plan for keeping up with inflation.

It’s not that people won’t get raises or cost of living adjustments at work, nor that they will all neglect to accumulate savings.
It’s that the value of the dollars those things are in will be losing purchasing power at increasingly rapid rates. It will take more and more currency units to buy the same amount of gas and groceries and tuition. And ice cream.
I’m not talking science fiction here.
When the consequences of runaway debt, out-of-control deficit spending, and money-printing schemes come home to roost, it’s not exactly a stretch to believe that high inflation will result.

We need a way to diffuse the impact this will have on our purchasing power. We need a strategy to protect our standard of living.
How will we accomplish this?
I suspect you know my answer, but here’s a good example. You’ve undoubtedly heard about the drought in the Midwest and how it’s impacted the corn crop. The price of corn has surged 50% in the past two months alone.
Commodity analysts say the price could rise another 20% or more as the drought continues.

While the price of gold constantly fluctuates, you would have experienced, on average, no inflation over the last 30 years if you’d used gold to purchase corn. Actually, right now, it’d be on the cheap side.
When you extrapolate this to other food items – and virtually everything else you buy – it’s very liberating. Think about it: gold continues its safe-haven role as a reliable hedge against rising inflation.
I believe that those who save in gold will experience, on average, no cost increases in the things they buy and the services they use.
Their standard of living would not be impacted.

I think this kind of thinking is especially critical to adopt when you consider that supply and demand trends for gas and food dictate that prices will likely rise for a long time, and perhaps dramatically.
So how much will you need to make it through the upcoming inflation storm and come out unscathed?

Like all projections, assumptions abound. Here are mine for the following table. I’m assuming that:
•  The price of gold, on average and at a minimum, tracks the loss in purchasing power of whatever currency you use, and that it does so from current prices. Given gold’s history, this is an easy assumption to make.
•  Gold sales, over time, capture the gain in gold and silver so that your purchasing power is preserved. (This doesn’t mean I expect to sell at the top of the market; I expect we’ll be selling gold as needed – if gold has not itself become a widely accepted currency again.)
•  We pay taxes on the gain. This will decrease our net gain, but there should still be gains. In the famous Weimar Germany hyperinflation, gold rose faster than the rate of hyperinflation.

To calculate how much we’ll need, I looked at two components, the first being average monthly expenses. What would we use our gold and silver for? From corn to a house payment, it could be used for any good or service. After all, virtually nothing will escape rising inflation. Here are some of my items: groceries, gas, oil changes and other car maintenance, household items, eating out, pool service, pest service, groceries and gas again, eating out again, vitamins, movie tickets, doctor appointments, haircuts, pet grooming, kids who need some cash, gifts, and groceries and gas yet again. Groceries include ice cream, in my case. How many ounces of gold would cover these monthly expenses today?

And don’t forget the big expenses – broken air conditioner, new vehicle, vacation… and I really don’t think my daughter will want to get married at the county rec hall. How many ounces of gold would I need to cover such likely events in the future?
The point here is that you’re probably going to need more ounces than you think. Look at your bank statement and assess how much you spend each month – and do it honestly.

The other part of the equation is how long we’ll need to use gold and silver to cover those expenses. The potential duration of high inflation will dictate how much physical bullion we need stashed away. This is also probably longer than you think; in Weimar Germany, high inflation lasted two years – and then hyperinflation hit and lasted another two. Four years of high inflation. That’s not kindling – that’s a wildfire roaring through your back yard.

So here’s how much gold you’ll need, depending on your monthly expenses and how long high inflation lasts.

Every corn-based product on the grocery shelf will soon take a lot more dimes and dollars to buy. But wait – what if I used gold to buy corn?

If my monthly expenses are about $3,000/month, I need 45 ounces to cover two years of high inflation, and 90 if it lasts four years. Those already well off or who want to live like Doug Casey should use the bottom rows of the table. How much will you need?

Of course many of us own silver, too. Here’s how many ounces we’d need, if we saved in silver.

A $3,000 monthly budget needs 1,285 ounces to get through one year, or 3,857 ounces for three years.

I know these amounts probably sound like a lot. But here’s the thing: if you don’t save now in gold and silver, you’re going to spend a whole lot more later.
What I’ve outlined here is exactly what gold and silver are for: to protect your purchasing power, your standard of living.
It’s like having your own personal financial bomb shelter; the dollar will be blowing up all around you, but your finances are protected

And the truth is, the amounts in the table are probably not enough. Unexpected expenses always come up. Or you may want a higher standard of living. And do you hope to leave some bullion to your heirs?
It’s sobering to realize, but it deserves emphasis: if we’re right about high inflation someday hitting our economy…

Most people don’t own enough gold and silver.
If you think the amount of precious metals you’ve accumulated might be lacking, I strongly encourage you to put a plan in motion to save enough to meet your family’s needs.

We have top recommended dealers in BIG GOLD, ones we’ve vetted that are trustworthy and have highly competitive prices. We also recommend a service that will deduct whatever amount you chose from your bank account and buy bullion for you automatically. And now, given how concerned we’ve been about the inflation that’s coming, we’ve actually started our own service. You can check it all out in the current issue of BIG GOLD, risk-free. I can tell you that purchase premiums are incredibly low, due to a proprietary system that bids your order out to a network of dealers that compete for your business. We’re already using it, and the response from other investors has been tremendous.

Whatever plan you adopt, my advice is to make sure you have a meaningful amount of bullion to withstand the firestorm that’s almost mathematically certain to occur at this point. And now you know exactly how much gold you’re going to need.

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Survival during social chaos

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

A.  How People Act in Times of Trouble
Pasted from:

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

For those who already have weapons, be sure they are effective models and calibers for self-defense, and that you have stocked plenty of ammunition and high-capacity magazines if needed. Weapons and ammo will quickly disappear, or they will become prohibitively expensive or restricted, once the essential need is more widely recognized.”

B.  Crime Prevention for Home
Prevent robbery, theft, and burglary with a fundamental enemy, a motion sensor light. Motion Sensor lights are your first defense against crime at your home property. Motion lighting will startle a potential thief or burglar outside of your home and will often send them somewhere else instead. Thieves are looking for easy access with the least resistance and they do not want to be seen or caught. Obviously this is only a night time deterrent however this is when many bad guys prowl for cars to steal, entry into yards for property valuables, or look for ways to enter the home. Their success begins under the cover of night and not being seen by the property owner, tenant, or neighbor.

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

C.  Survival Psychology “Deadly Force”
Survival Cache, by Captain Bart, Catholic Deacon, Retired US Army Pilot, Suburban Survivalist
“A great deal of survival talk and survival psychology centers around weapons and their use. The use of weapons for hunting or protection from aggressive animals is a (relatively) morally neutral action, but the use of weapons against another human being is not.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deterrents & defense from criminal assault
Crime                                                Defense
Burglary                             Home security: locks, lights, arms
Armed robbery                 Awareness of  surroundings, Concealed carry
Aggravated assault          Awareness of  surroundings, Concealed carry, Pepper spray
Murder                              Concealed carry
Rape                                    NA

D .  A Guide to Looting When the SHTF (And Your Counter-Strategies)
April 21st, 2011, SHTF Plan, by Mac Slavo, see this article and other invaluable survivalist information at:
Law and order will be the first casualty when the shit hits the fan [SHTF]. Recent historical examples the world over, including New Orleans, Haiti, and Chile show that without policing, looting will become an immediate danger.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

(Survival Manual/7. Warehouse/The eReader: A Prepper tool)
29 April 2012,, by Mr. Larry

[Above: Kindle with leather, lighted cover (not the 3G model mentioned below).]

 A few months ago, during December 2011, I bought a Kindle Touch 3G, eBook reader. I presently have 71 books and 9 PDF files downloaded into the Kindle, as well as 22 books archived in my free Kindle Cloud (web storage) account. The Kindle Touch comes with 4 gigabytes onboard storage, of which I’ve used 1.12 GB, leaving 2.87 GB free. Based on this information I could store between 200 and 250 books on the device. Amazon allows unlimited storage for archived literature bought from them. So, its not a really a matter of my device ever running out of the built in flash memory, I could store all my books on line and download just the one I’m reading! 

[Above: Two shelves from one of my bookcases. The top shelf has 43 books & booklets, the lower shelf has 31 books, for a total of 74 books. My Kindle currently has 71 books downloaded into its memory, or about the same number you see on two these shelves, combined. I also have 22 books, or half the top shelf, stored in Amazon’s Cloud storage, however, the number of books you can store in your free Amazon Cloud account is limitless. This visualization should bring home the value of an eReader, not only for everyday use, but as a Prepper information & general entertainment tool.]

The survival value of the Kindle and other eReaders, is that you can download numerous books into the device and read/ reference the material later.
You can also use your computer to transfer any PDF document to the Kindle. This means that besides the thousands of books that you can purchase or get free from Amazon, you can download many hundreds of free PDF documents from the Internet and place them on the Kindle. The kinds of free PDF documents that can you find for your Kindle, include everything in the PDF file format, ie., military manuals, magazines, reference sheets, etc.

I’ve set up my Kindle with categories/folders for specific information related to my interests, ie: Ecology, Fiction, Games, Economic-Financial, Literature, Reference, and Survival, etc. When I download books or PDF files to the Kindle, they are moved into those categories.
As previously mentioned, I have 22 books stored in my Kindle Cloud account, most of those were free from Amazon. A partial list of these preparedness oriented, free books includes: Agriculture for Beginners, Gas and Oil Engines, The Golden Age Cook Book, Manual of Surgery-2 volumes, How to camp Out, In Time of Emergency, Wood Craft and Camping, and more.

If you’re going out into the boonies/environment with your Kindle, I would advise carrying it in a protective sleeve and carrying the unit in a gallon size, slider type, zip lock baggie or something similar to protect it from rain; no more than you’d do for any other electronics taken to the field.

Here are a few pictures of my device:

 [Above: Kindle Touch showing a page of my ‘category’ folders.]


 [Above: Close up screen shot. The text you see on the screen looks just like what you see in a book, but there is no glare as you’d encounter trying to read from a LCD backlit tablet or computer monitor.]

The Kindle has many capabilities, text can be resized larger or smaller, there’s text to speech if you want to listen to your book being read by a computer voice while your doing something else, passages you want to find again can be quickly highlighted, the readers controls are accessed by touching dedicated areas on the screen, pages are turned by touching the left or rigth margin. While reading a book on your Kindle, you can also read through the pages of the digital book in the Kindle program on your computer.  From your computer you can copy the passages you previously highlighted (or any other text) and paste that text in a seperate document file; for example, if you wanted to make a copy of instructions on how to make Bannock bread, you’d just copy the text off the digital book and paste it to a text or docdument file. When you want a copy of procedural steps, or a lengthy list, this copy/paste capability is a valueable time saver. Its that easy.

The Kindle Touch 3G has a rudimentary wi-fi Web Browser that can be used to create a list of favorite websites; ie., The Weather Channel, Yahoo, WordPress blogs, ABC News, etc. The nature of the electronic ink display, does not allow video. Text and photographs are in black and white. Remember the Kindle eReaders are not tablets they use electronic ink to duplicate a book like reading experience – which works very well.  The 3G version allows you check the Kindle library, buy and download books, magazines or newspapers from anywhere there is 3G service.  It also play music or mp3′s. This means you can download any mp3 such as podcasts and store them on the Kindle for listening to later.

Benefits that a Kindle has for survival preparedness:
1.  It can carry an enormous amount of text (hundreds of books, or more) in a small space, and has access to your Kindle Cloud account where you may      have archived a much larger selection of purchased and free books, PDF and personal files.
2.  eReaders are very  portable and can carried in a jacket pocket, dropped into a backpack, bug out bag or carried along with your camping gear.
3.  Kindle Touch has a very long battery life – up to a month per charge. With a small sCharger-5 solar panel (see below) the unit and most, or all of your other small personal electronics can be charged (you’ll need to buy the adapters seperately, they’re not expensive.).
4.  Relatively inexpensive – the Kindle Touch model starts at $99 (wi-fi only) and goes up to $189 for the a) free 3G model, b) without advertisements.

Some of the best survival and emergency preparedness downloads for the Kindle (or buy them in paperback form):
1.  Crisis Preparedness Handbook
2.  98.6 The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive!
3.  Where There is No Dentist
4.  Where There is No Doctor
5.  When All Hell Breaks Loose
6.  Buckshot’s Complete Survival Trapping Guide
7.  How to Survive TEOTWAWKI
8.  The Survival Retreat
9.  The Encyclopedia of Country Living
10. 5 Acres and Independence: A Handbook for Small Farm Management
11.  Bushcraft: Outdoor Skills & Wilderness Survival
12.  The Ultimate Guide to Wilderness Survival
13.  SAS Survival Handbook
14.  The Survival Handbook
15.  Surviving the Economic Collapse

[Above: The ability to read and search for information at night. Kindle Touch shown in an optional cover jacket with built in swivil-out reading lamp. The small, effective  LED lamp is powered from the Kindle’s built-in battery. Separate AA & AAA battery powered lamps for Kindle are also available.

Suntactics sCharger-5 Solar panel
* 5w, 1 amp, 5v output folding panel for small personal electronics
[The product description from Amazon:] “Solar Charger for iPod, iPhone, Motorola Droid, HTCs, Samsung, Android phones and most all other small electronic gadgets including GPSs, Kindles, Nooks, portable gaming devices and even USB batteries. Works very well on the iPhone 4S. It even charges the iPad in good sunny weather.This is not an ordinary small solar charger. These use high efficiency solar cells like the ones used in industrial grade solar systems.
The sCharger-5 solar charger will not only charge your device, it will run it directly from the sun. And it will last for years. Use the sCharger-5 solar charger to charge your handhelds while camping, on picnics, at the beach, by the pool, or ball games. Use it to solar charge your devices when there is no other power available. Take it hiking with you to charge that GPS device.Use it for emergency power and disaster power relief. Most of the time cell phones still work when there is no electricity. Be the only one with a fully charged phone! No power no problem. Loose your wall charger? Why not start charging from solar?…”

Carry-storage Pouch
Case Logic CDWC-24:  A 24 Capacity CD/DVD zippered, khaki Cotton Binder, used to house my sCharger-5 solar panel. The Folded panel fits iside the pouch as though they were made for one another.

The Survival Podcast Forum
Pasted from <>
Several members discussing the value of  e-Reader in their prep:
•  I keep PDF’s of owners manuals for equipment that I own on it. Most are available online as a download. If not, I scan them and save them as a PDF.
•  I scan magazine articles and put them on the Nook, especially if there are only one or two articles I want to save from a magazine. This works well for recipes, and Sis saves knitting patterns on hers. This cuts down on the stack of magazines lying around, the articles can be backed up and indexed, and also viewed on my laptop. I can then pass the magazine on to other people. I do not keep any secure information on my Nook, so I dont worry about OPSEC with it. If I loose it or break it I only loose the device, my information is backed up on my laptop and my external hard drive.
•  I can see having a kindle for a number of reasons – but having the paper option as well.
One reason I came up with the question is when looking at say a cook book. Do you get the Kindle version or go with the paper version. Both versions you can hand write the recipe on paper,.. But the Paper version I can have cut down and then scan to PDF which I have done to other books and could create own e-book using mobiPocket.
•  I have many megabytes of books, papers, threads, etc – such as the NATO Emergency War Surgery Handbook, Where there is no Doctor, several FM21 series manuals, and much more. I just have a (non-service based) reader on a pocket computer. My notebook computer is connected to the internet, but I try not to allow any service to dictate what I am allowed to have (or not to have) on my computer.
•  If a wildland fire rolls through my neighborhood, I want a way to check e-mails, update facebook, keep my calendar, have my phone directory, watch videos, read books, stream movies (netflix), view google maps, read news stories, listen to  music… and any hotel room with WiFi can do all that for me without having to lug around a laptop. A Kindle, i-Pad, or other device offers some of these same features or in some cases, more. While I still keep a new book in my car at all times, just in case, I also keep a AA battery and lighter charger in the glove box. Even without wifi, there’s plenty of features that make it worth keeping at my side 24/7. An i-Phone or Droid would do all that and more, so there’s lots of valuable technology that’s worth considering as part of your EDC.
•  I have a Sony E Reader and am quite fond of it. I carry a number of survival/prepper books on it, but the true be told I don’t like reading or using reference books on it. It takes longer to find stuff as you can’t just flip through. It will work in a pinch but I prefer paper for reference work. I do have all my member’s brigade ebboks loaded on it. It works great for general reading. It is light and good battery life. I tend to always carry mine and figure it is part of my preps as a great many normal emergencies involve being stranded for periods of time. If I got stranded in a airport due to storms, my ereader is going to be one of my best pieces of kit.
I am military and have spend a good deal of time sitting on my ruck waiting for transport over the last year or so, the ereader has made my life better when times got bad and even when it did not. Note my Sony is not linked directly to the store, like the kindle, so I can’t buy books without my computer and the internet, on the other hand they can’t remove or change a book I have bought.
•  I have converted a number of PDFs and other docs of interest to kindle format and copied them over. Google “MobiPocket Creator” for a pretty decent Windows app to do this. Some files may be encrypted, though I haven’t investigated the mechanism (shared key, etc.)
A few weeks back, I sucked down dozens of those survival genre PDFs (army field manuals, construction plans, first aid, etc.) and batch converted them to kindle for save keeping. Collectively they take little space. In this way, not only may I view them on a kindle, but it’s also a storage device which I can later copy back to another PC.
The battery life is superb compared to using a smart phone, and it charges via USB, so a 12 volt power source and a USB car adapter is the only requirement for long term grid down use.

(end of post)

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Emergency Day Pack

(Survival Manual/7. Warehouse/Emergency Day Pack)

Mountainsmith Lumbar Pack, Day Model with Shoulder Harness

[Internet images above: Mountainsmith Lumbar Pack, Day model, black  with optional Shoulder harness (strapettes).
Both were bought through Day pack $59.95 available in various colors; Mountainsmith strapettes, $18.88.]

Table: My emergency, ‘day pack’ contents

Personal Kit
(gathered in a zippered, multi compartment pouch)
Emergency Kit
(combined in a 1 quart zip lock plastic bag)
$200 cash + 8 ea $0.25 (quarters) 9 LED flashlight
mosquito repellant, Coleman, 0.5 oz. tube • 1 butane lighter
• 7 Vaseline soaked cotton balls (fire starting)
spiral notepad, 3”x5” 25 wooden matches in waterproof container
• mechanical pencil
• ball point pen
• Sharpie black marker
Lensmatic compass
Casio calculator, solar whistle
Kleenex, small  package thermometer
Toilet paper, enough for one use. P38 can opener
First aid kit (in small plastic box) 20 ft. light rope
4 pkd. individual Handi-wipes 80 ft. cord
3 bandages 4 ea 12 in. tie wraps
2 ea 2”x3” non adhesive bandages 1 large plastic trash bag
18” x 1/2 wide medical tape, waterproof. 6 Chlorfloc water purification tablets (purify 6 quarts of water)
1 tea bag, Trim Maxx herbal 2 coffee filter papers (water pretreatment, see below)
2 Tums anti acid (calcium) 2 snelled fish hooks,sinkers.
1 Prilosec anti acid (12 hr. proton block)
2 Tylenol
(stored the packs in main, front & side pouches)
Clothing Kit
(combined in a 1 quart zip lock plastic bag)
State road map, large folding. Cotton gloves, 1 pr brown
Swedish Military Mora knife, 8-1/2” overall & hard case sheath, OD/black Bandana, 27 in by 27 in, white with black pattern.
All Hazards Radio, Oregon Scientific portable,  #WR102. Mosquito head net.
Digital camera, case and 2 spare batteries.
Water bottle & insulating sheath (for Aquafina bottle).
Emergency space blanket/poncho/shelter  with hood and interior pockets, 60”x84’,  corner   grommets; taken from B.O.B. Food Kit
(stored in a tight, 5 cup Rubbermaid storage box)
Binoculars, 10×25 power, Nikon TravelLite V, case • Plastic spoon,
• 1 napkin
1 Mace pepper spray gun. 1 packet Folgers Coffee (makes one cup)
McNett Aquamira Frontier Pro Ultralight Water Filter, filters up to 50 gallons unsafe water (works with coffee filter paper and water purification tablets (listed above) to provide sterile, non turbid drinking water. • 2 Granola bars (17g carbohydrate & 95 cal. ea.)
• 2 pkg Lance sandwich crackers with peanut butter-cheese filling (25 carb & 200 cal/pkg)
• 6 small, hard candies
• 1 can sardines
Stainless Steel Sierra Cup Camping Cup, 12 oz. (emergency cooking, boil   water, etc). 1-Snickers candy bar (35g carbohydrates, 280 calories 4g protein, 140 mg Sodium)
• Garmin GPS and charging block.
• Leatherman, Surge multi-tool.
• 60″ umbrella, tan, for sun or rain shelter.
1 Fiber One Chocolate Fudge Brownie
1 spare house key

Below: My day pack with its contents
(less camera).  d:^)

My ‘Day pack’ is not meant to be used as a replacement for a pack frame or to carry camping equipment, it is a collection of goods taken along in the car on day trips and is primarily geared toward a short-term emergency situation. The Day pack also carries several items that always go with me on an outting, ie.; digital camera, binoculars, Garmin GPS, Emergency Weather radio and some extra cash, the rest of the items are geared toward an emergency.

If you read my post: (Survival Manual/7. Warehouse/Car Carry Kit, generic) you’ll find that I always carry a 12 pack (or more) of bottled water and an Inverter, coveralls and other equipment in a ‘Car Carry Kit, permanently stored in the auto’s trunk.
The small electric power block seen in the picture above, next to the GPS, would be used with the automobiles 12v battery and Inverter to recharge the GPS – should I need to have a fully charged GPS battery before following its maps while walking out of an area in an emergency. When I’m traveling, the day pack is typically left on the back seat, out-of-the-way.
To provide an idea of the Mountainsmith Lumbar Day Pack size, the photos below show some folks wearing them.

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Faraday Cage

(Survival Manual/7. Warehouse/Faraday Cage)

Faraday Cage protection from an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP)

 A.  The Day an E-Bomb Drops on an American City
4 April 2005, Strike the Root, by Jim Moore
[Current thinking is that  the target will probably not be an individual city, but a central location over the continental USA, with the nuclear detonation occurring a couple hundred miles in altitude, at the edge of space. Under this scenario, the EMP would affect the entire US power grid, our infrastructure would not be damaged, but much would be unusable–bad for commuters, bad for retail transactions, bad for high rise dwellers, bad for heating & air-conditioning, bad for aircraft in flight and, bad for people requiring prescription or OTC medicine. Mr. Larry]

“There is sharp cracking sound in the distance. A moment later a low rumbling sound, like an innocent clap of thunder, shakes the ground slightly and the whole city becomes immobile, as if frozen in time. All fluorescent lights, neon tubes, and television sets glow with eerie brightness; even the ones that are turned off at the time. Smoldering plastic seeps from outlet covers, electric wires arc, and telephone wires melt into tangled piles of smoking jelly.

Palm Pilots, DVD players, cell phones, portable appliances, and toys all feel warm to the touch because their batteries have become overloaded and are fried. Computers are toasted, and all the data on the hard drives is burned up and lost forever.

Then, the surroundings go deathly still. The background sounds of civilization in a busy city die out without a whimper. Cars and trucks sit motionless, their internal-combustion engines now stopped, will never start again.

What about the people, on the streets and in their houses? Miraculously, they are all unharmed, at least physically. But as they look around incredulously, unable to adjust their senses to the shock of this strange, silent environment, it suddenly dawns on them that something unexplainable and terrifying has just happened: the entire city is totally without power.
Without the electric circuitry to power their modern lifestyle, the civilization they took so much for granted has been thrown back 200 years, to a time when electricity had no meaning other than a lightning bolt flashing for an instant in the night sky. The city is now vulnerable and helpless.

But now, you say, let’s get real. This is a hypothetical scenario, isn’t it? This is just a trumped-up tale, a make-believe story in the mind of some Sci-fi writer or wacko atomic-scientist, right? No quite. This is a realistic assessment of the damage the Pentagon believes could be inflicted by a new generation of weapons called, E-bombs.
And just to assure you that what you read above is not only possible, investigative reporter Jim Wilson took the time and trouble to lay it all out in basic technological terms that most readers will be able to understand.

The E-bomb (or electromagnetic bomb) has a myriad of bizarre uses, Initially, the Army wants to use the E-bomb to explode artillery shells in flight. The Navy wants to use the E-bomb’s microwave pulses to neutralize anti-ship missiles. And the Air Force wants to equip its strike aircraft with E-bomb capabilities.

But, like all innovations, there is a downside. Once the principle is known, a low-tech E-bomb, with nearly the same destructive power of the big baby, could be built for as little as $400, according to an estimate by Popular Mechanics. The downside is obvious: what a boon for the terrorist who wants to shut down a whole city!”

[Note: This article was written sever years ago, in 2005; those ‘new’ weapons have been  tested and are well along their production schedule for all branches of the US armed forces and perhaps already distributed for deployment. See the following web articles:
1) Chinese EMP Weapons Program Confirmed by Intelligence Agencies; Designed to Attack US Carrier Fleets, Taiwan:
2) The USA Superconducting E-Bomb, 2003:
Mr. Larry]

B.  The Solar ‘Katrina’ Storm That Could Take Our Power Grid Out For Years
07/15/10,, by Lawrence E. Joseph (Author, “AFTERMATH: A Guide To Preparing For And Surviving Apocalypse 2012)

John Kappenman, 55, an obscure electrical engineer from Duluth, Minnesota was a major contributor to the landmark report, Severe Space Weather Events: Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts, published by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in December, 2008. Founded by Abraham Lincoln during the height of the Civil War, the NAS is the closest thing there is to a Supreme Court of scientific opinion for the United States, and much of the rest of the world.

“Electric power is modern society’s cornerstone technology, the technology on which virtually all other infrastructures and services depend… Collateral effects of a longer-term outage [such as would almost certainly result from a massive space weather event] would likely include, for example, disruption of the transportation, communication, banking, and finance systems, and government services; the breakdown of the distribution of potable water owing to pump failure and the loss of perishable foods and medications because of lack of refrigeration. The resulting loss of services for a significant period of time in even one region of the country could affect the entire nation and have international impact as well,” says the NAS report.

As examined extensively in my book, AFTERMATH, (Broadway/Random House, July, 2010) more than 100 million Americans could be affected by this blackout for months or years. Recovering from a future severe magnetic storm would cost $1 to $2 trillion per year– ten to twenty times the cost of Katrina. Of course, the damage would be immeasurably worse if such a massive, protracted catastrophe were to touch off social unrest sufficient to undermine the agencies and institutions in charge of the reconstruction effort.

The World’s Largest Lightning Rod
The world’s power grids, of which the United States has the most extensive, have in essence become giant antennas for space weather blasts. Just as a lightning rod attracts any lightning bolts that might otherwise strike a roof, the power grid, which is designed specifically to be extremely efficient at conducting electricity, attracts space weather bolts. Problem is that, unlike lightning rods, the power grid is gravely vulnerable to such shocks.

According to Kappenman’s research, a repeat of the geomagnetic storm that occurred in 1859 or 1921 would see the copper windings and leads of the 350 or so of the highest voltage transformers in the United States melt and burn out. These transformers connect nearly one-third of the entire US power grid infrastructure, damage levels of unimaginable proportions from any other threat. Transformers weigh over 100 tons apiece and usually cannot be repaired in the field, and because of their size they cannot be flown in from overseas factories where they are now made. In fact, most transformers damaged by space weather incidents cannot be repaired at all, and need to replaced with new units. Currently, the worldwide waiting list for transformers is about three years, and about half of those made fail either in test or prematurely while in service.

“We’ve been stacking risk multipliers on top of risk multipliers. The scientific community has developed a false sense of security regarding the power industry. We’ve got to preserve our capability and prevent wide-spread catastrophic damage to this vital infrastructure!” declares Kappenman.
We have already slept through at least one wake-up call, the geomagnetic storm of 1989,” Kappenman contends.

On March 13,1989, two solar blasts each about a tenth the size of the ones that hit in 1859 and 1921 knocked out the Hydro-Quebec electrical utility, causing it to go from fully operational to complete shutdown in 92 seconds. On the computer simulation, the blast looks like giant red, toothy mouths taking bites out of the top of the Northern Hemisphere. Millions of customers in Quebec lost power but within nine hours power was restored. No big deal in the grand scheme of things. True, a number of nuclear, oil and coal-powered plants as far away as Los Angeles subsequently reported transmission anomalies, but nothing blew up, although one large transformer at a Nuclear plant in New Jersey melted.

Another wake-up call came on Halloween, October 31, 2003. Kappenman was testifying before the Environment subcommittee of the House of Representatives Science Committee on the impact of the blackout of August 14, 2003 and potential impacts for severe space weather. The August 2003 blackout, not space weather related, is believed to have cost between $4 billion and $10 billion in repairs and collateral economic damage. As luck would have it, the day of Kappenman’s testimony turned out also to be a day of a powerful solar storm, known in space weather circles as Halloween 2003.

The utility industry’s objections to implementing a space weather defense program are thus more inertial than economic. Why go to all the trouble of preventing a space weather blackout when no (serious) one has ever happened, at least not in the United States? Then, there’s the commonsense reluctance to complicate a system that has thus far functioned so admirably. Inserting surge suppressors would also require installing high-speed switching circuits to bypass the transformers when necessary, yet another “moving part” that could potentially break down. Aggravating matters further is the inescapable fact that the more complex the network, the less control grid operators have over it…(the preceding paragraphs are an excerpt from the article).

C.  The galvanized metal, trash can Faraday Cage
A galvanized metal trash can, can be a very effective electromagnetic shield. The interior of the body of the galvanized metal trash can should be lined with some material to electrically insulate items stored inside the container from the metal exterior. Cardboard probably works better than any other inexpensive material for this. Liners such as plastic trash bags may be too thin for this because of the momentary high voltages that could be induced on the exterior during an actual EMP. Do not place any insulation at a point where it would interfere with the electrical connection between the metal lid and the metal body of the trash can.

* Direction  for making a galvanized steel Faraday Cage can be seen on YouTube, at: <;
.D.  Mr. Larry’s home assembled trash can – Faraday Cage
I made a cage similar to the one built on YouTube (see web address above), my construction photographs and descriptions follow;

[Photographs above: Left: A  30 gallon galvanized trash can (Home Depot or Lowes) cum Faraday cage. Seen with heavy-duty single strand grounding wire. The ground wire connects with only with the ground terminal of a three prong electric plug and is plugged into the household power grid to provide grounding. The other end of the ground wire attaches to the trash can handle with an alligator clip. The cage is normally covered with an attractive blanket in the house and located out of sight and out-of-the-way from the daily routine.
Right: Interior of can lid, the cardboard insulation is held in place with Velcro. Note a large electronic item is sitting on a cardboard shelf, 1/2 way down in the can. The can interior is sectioned into a top bay and a divided lower portion. The sheet of paper seen laying inside is an inventory list of what is in the can and its location in the divided lower compartment, as well as a list of other items that would need protection if emergency warning was given.]

[Photographs above: Left: Heavy duty cardboard insulation has been cut to shape and taped to fit snug, with a slight overlap, around the interior of can.  All the cardboard edges have been taped to increase their strength and longevity.
The lid interior has been fitted with cardboard and attached with strips of Velcro.
I’m lifting a double thick (2 pieces) cardboard shelf that sits inside the Faraday cage. The shelf is supported by a ‘ X ‘ shaped divider and separates the top bay compartment from the divided, lower compartment.
The sheets of cardboard  forming the interior side insulation, sit on a slightly larger bottom plate of cardboard.
Right: I made a cardboard divider and set it  in the lower compartment. The four  sections of the  divider are lettered A-D, each divider has been filled with stored electronics, batteries, etc. and listed on the Inventory Sheet. Stored items are inventoried with the  Letter label of the divider their stored in.  My stored electronics are further sealed in gallon size zip baggies, mostly for abrasion protection in storage and to keep related parts together.]

 My Faraday Cage  Contents  Inventory Sheet (an example list)

Top What it is and does (below)
Battery Charger Deep cycle battery charger
Flash drive Personal data stored on this portable backup device.
A  Quad:
Rotary phone AT&T 210 black rotary dial telephone, phone cord (land line)
18v batteries Black and Decker variety, for various B&D equipment
USB dome Kensington 7 port USB dome with power pack
B  Quad:
CO Alarm To monitor CO in home or tent (closed quarters) when using propane for heat or cooking during emergency conditions.
 AA batteries  Enloop rechargeable AA batteries

Emergency Additions & Packing
The inventory sheet should also contains a list of electronic items that you use on a daily basis and would need protection in the advent of a massive X5+ solar flare or an escalating threat of military attack, see example below:

Battery operated tools 12v Flood lamp Calculator
AA Battery USB charger with adapters Spare CFL’s (compact fluorescent bulbs) Indoor-outdoor remote thermometer
 IPod/IPad/Kindle  Battery operated wrist watches/wall clocks  External hard drive

Why might it be a good idea to build your own Faraday cage and stock or store some spare electronics in it? Read the next article. 

D.  What You Need to Know About the Likelihood of an EMP Attack on the U.S. : A Multi-Part Preparedness Series
June 15, 2009, EMP 101, By Kellene Bishop

EMP 101: Part I The Likelihood
I recently finished reading two GREAT books, back to back, that are fictional scenarios about an EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) attack on the U.S. Both books are very well written, extremely realistic, and I had a hard time putting them down. The first one (still my all time favorite) was “Alas, Babylon” by Pat Frank. The second, as recommended by many readers on this site was “One Second Afterby William R. Forstchen. (Warning, occasional language in this book qualifies it as “rated PG-13”) Both authors are so expert in their fields of knowledge on the matters which they write, that I feel the books are more a prediction of things to come, rather than a work of fiction. Out of all of the possible scenarios of a man-made crisis, the most likely to occur against the U.S. is an EMP attack. However, what disturbed me so greatly is the majority of the pain and suffering in either of the books could have been substantially negated with the addition of a very legitimate reality in my world—a year’s supply of emergency food, water, and other items.

For those of you who may not be aware, the U.S. has received countless amounts of intelligence that an EMP attack is very likely. (Google EMP attack + U.S.) More recently, China has even admitted to preparing an EMP to “use on its enemies.” It’s no surprise that N. Korea has been playing with nukes lately. And contrary to the naïve understanding of many Americans, the Soviets have also been dedicating a great deal of their resources towards the perfection of nuclear attacks. In all actuality, an EMP attack could be done in such a way that we wouldn’t necessarily have any way of knowing WHO launched the attack against us (as accurately portrayed in Forstchen’s book).

About 8 years ago an officially commissioned report was released about the potential catastrophic consequences of an EMP attack over the U.S. Newt Gingrich specifically stated in response to this report, “this is not idle speculation but taken from the consensus finding of nine distinguished American scientists who authored the “Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack.” Unfortunately, since the report was issued on the very same day as the 9/11 Commissions Report, it went largely unheeded and unnoticed by the press.

So why is an EMP attack more viable than an all out war or a nuclear bomb attack? Well it boils down to dollars and conquering. Why spends billions of dollars and countless lives on fighting an all out war when you can launch an EMP attack, wait it out for several months, and then come in and clean up the few that survived? For only a few thousand dollars each, 3 SCUD missiles can be launched off of a ship in the middle of the waters off of our coast, high up into the atmosphere. It’s not like we’d see “incoming SCUDs”. If we’re lucky we’ll simply see something launched into space. Several billions of dollars can be saved for any enemy when such a strategy is used. With this strategy countless numbers of soldiers, death camps, and an arsenal of bullets is not necessary. Human nature and our reliance on Prozac and technology will easily kill off the weak in a matter of days. Additionally, while the land of the U.S. is rich in resources, access to those resources is impeded if there is no population to harvest them. So using an EMP attack vs. something more deadly that would contaminate the very land an enemy wishes to possess is not in their best strategic interest either. Considering that an EMP attack would make us helpless to communicate or travel effectively, all an enemy has to do is wipe out our electricity, wait several months, and watch how the effects of such an attack kill off the weak, weaken the spirits of the strong, and then come and clean up what’s left. Bottom line, it’s less expensive and less messy for our nation’s enemies to use an EMP attack on us than anything else. Mother Nature and the ugly side of human nature is the ally of our enemy and will work in concert successfully with such an attack. The key to any successful attack is knowing your enemy’s vulnerability. Clearly, technology is our Achilles heel here in the U.S. and it would take very little money and effort to wipe us out.

If an EMP attack were launched against the Philippines, it would make a very small impact comparatively. The Filipinos are used to sporadic technology availability, living off of what they produce, minimal medical access, and a scarcity of food and good drinking water. Heck, they haven’t even progressed to doing their laundry on a washboard yet. They’re still pounding their clothes against rocks in the rivers. But the U.S.? We are a nation of overly medicated, out of shape, pampered, spoiled and indulgent citizens. Don’t underestimate the destruction that can be had simply by the emotional impact of such an attack on the generation of the “entitlement mentality.”

So, what does all of this mean to you? It means that you need to begin seeing your world differently—NOW. While I will be writing a multi-part series on an EMP attack to shed some light on various aspects of your survival, it’s important that you begin NOW to look around you and be aware. What do you currently rely on that is operated by electricity that you would have NO ability to use after an EMP? Cooking. Driving. Medical? Communications? Whatever the answer is you need to prepare yourself mentally and physically to battle such instances. Some scenarios may be trivial ones of inconvenience. Yet some may be life or death—all because the power goes out indefinitely.

As I said in the beginning, the only problem I had with these stories is that the suffering of people portrayed on the pages was not realistic in MY world. A shortage of food, pain relievers, clothing, bedding, personal hygiene items, water, heat, light, and knowledge is NOT going to happen in my home. I’m prepared specifically for such a realistic situation. Ask yourself, are you? Then again, the authors most likely wouldn’t have sold a single book had they focused on how a prepared person would encounter a disaster vs. the majority of the U.S. population. Guess that would be a pretty boring storing only pertinent for the Discovery Channel.

EMP 101: Part II—The Aftermath
The Aftermath, by Kellene Bishop

Yesterday we discussed the reality of an EMP attack on the U.S. and today we will bring the aftermath of an EMP attack a bit closer so that we can mentally go through the various ramifications. If you mentally prepare, even little by little, you will be significantly better off.

#1 The Aftermath Reality: Since an EMP essentially fries anything electric, this means most automobiles post-1970 will be useless. This may explain why my husband’s dream car as of late is a 1967 Ford Bronco.  As early as 1970, key components of automobiles were made with electrical parts. You’re well aware that some models today brag about being completely electrical. This will be problem with an EMP. If you’re driving your beautiful Cooper car when an EMP strikes, you won’t feel the road rattle. You won’t hear a noise. Your automobile will simply stop dead in its tracks. Be prepared mentally for alternative transportation. For me that’s “hoofing it” so I have a couple of pairs of good shoes in storage, and made sure that my bikes have several tire repair kits to go with them. You may also want to consider having a “li’l red wagon” or something that you can easily push and pull with supplies or your passengers therein. This is not to say that you will have to flee where you are when an EMP hits, but as the aftermath becomes a way of life, you will have to travel at some point even if it’s just a mile or so. Personally, I will want to be able to travel so that I can check on other individuals and deliver any aid I may be able to.

#2 The Aftermath Reality: The most vital services that will be destroyed in an EMP attack are communications. Telephones, radio, walkie-talkies, etc. Can you imagine what life will be like in the aftermath without these luxuries? And to think we mock individuals who don’t have texting abilities nowadays.  This is yet another reason why you will want to make sure your walking shoes or your bike are ready for use—delivering messages.

While your challenge will be wide scale, without proper communication you’ll feel like you’re on you very own little planet. One of the recommendations I make to prepare for the aftermath is to take the time to get your HAM radio license, appropriate equipment, and THEN be sure that it’s kept out of range of an EMP strike. This can be accomplished in different ways, but the most popular is a Faraday cage.

You can easily create a Faraday cage which will protect most electronics from an EMP attack. We’ll talk more about Faraday cages later in this series. (Sorry, I haven’t found a contractor yet who can do this to my whole house.) You can actually obtain a Faraday cage from a business that’s going under that has been using one for their server room. I’ve even found decent sized Faraday cages on E-bay. Then again you can also use materials of your own for such storage with aluminum foil, mesh copper or brass sheeting, a cheap “space blanket” made of Mylar, or even an oversized stock pot! There are Faraday blankets available as well.

#3 The Aftermath Reality: The banking industry will be destroyed with one pulse. No ATMs, folks. You will be unable to buy any goods without cash. (We’ll see how long human nature allows such civil transactions to take place before burglary and looting commences.) You will be unable to fill your car with gasoline, even if it is an older model. Gas pumps are operated electronically nowadays. Your home security system will be useless. You won’t be able to rely on the television and video games to entertain your children. And you’ll have to be sure to have an alternative way to cook your meals—as well as the knowledge necessary to cook in such a manner. There will be no refrigeration. So either keep your freezer and refrigerator closed for as long as possible, or start canning meats and such and eating the foods in the freezer first.

#4 The Aftermath Reality: Lastly, consider the medical implications of an EMP attack. Obtaining medications that we are accustomed to using will be virtually impossible. Those individuals who rely on medical technology to survive in their homes will be at the highest risk in the aftermath of an EMP attack. Unlike our food supply which relies on a three-day delivery cycle, our medical supplies largely rely on a one day delivery cycle. So what can you do to prepare? First make sure you have as many medical supplies on hand that you can obtain such as pain relievers, cough and cold remedies, anti-bacterial creams, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, cotton balls, heat packs, essential oils, and your own medications. (Just so you know, since I use coupons, I get the majority of these items really cheap or for free!)

Next, do all you can do now to get as healthy as possible without medication. When I started out this year I had a stark moment of realization. I looked at my nightstand and saw 7 prescription bottles. I knew that such reliance would hinder me dramatically if we were to encounter a true emergency, so I made the goal to get healthy so that I could eliminate all of them. It’s been 6 months and I’ve eliminated all but one of them by focusing on the use of high quality nutritional products. I may not be able to store a year’s worth of medications properly, but I CAN store a year’s worth of nutritional products that help me replace the chemical alternatives.

To recap, prepare your mind and your body for the aftermath of an EMP attack, and you won’t end up being the star of your own Armageddon story.

EMP 101: Part III—Prepare Medically
How to prepare medically for an EMP attack, by Kellene Bishop

When any natural disaster hits a region there will always be devastating consequences, particularly to those who are in ill-health or who rely on medications and modern technology to get through their day. Unfortunately, without preparing medically, these individuals will be the first casualties of such a disaster. I understand that stating such a reality doesn’t make me popular or a preferred guest at your next dinner party, but I do feel compelled to teach you the real consequences of a crisis, while also teaching you to prepare medically so you can avoid being a death statistic.

First get the 10,000 foot view of how an EMP attack or a solar flare will affect your medical preparedness. ALL electrical gidgets and gadgets will be fried and made useless, regardless of whether or not they are turned on, plugged in, or out of their styrofoam box. So, if your “plan” is to race to Walgreens once you catch wind of an emergency, you’re in for a rude awakening. Medical supplies such as prescriptions run on a one day delivery schedule. That means that the most that pharmacies have on hand is ONE day of supplies for their regular number of customers. Regular, as in a peaceful, calm, normal day. If the “fit hits the shan,” you need to understand the mathematical problem in expecting your supplies will be on hand when you need them in a mass emergency situation. You will have LESS than 30 minutes to get there, get it, and get out. So you see why that’s not the best plan to prepare medically? What you should do is to have a frank conversation with your doctor, tell him that you want and need to prepare medically for an emergency, and ask for a 1 to 3 month supply of your medications in addition to what you need to be taking. So long as your prescription is not a controlled substance, you should be able to make a convincing argument to prepare medically.

If you are dealing with diabetic issues in which you need insulin, get what you can as a supply AND store advanced technology ice packs to prepare medically. There are kinds of ice packs that look like a pox-marked quilt that stay frozen and distribute the cold for longer periods of time than simple ice. There are also gel packs that can be heated or frozen. They hold their temperature a lot longer than ice. Keep in mind, if you store your insulin in the refrigerator, dramatically limit opening that refrigerator. You will be able to keep it cool for a 50% longer period of time. Other preparedness methods that you should explore are solar energy generators sufficient only to run a small refrigerator, a “solar oven” that converts to a refrigerator at night and how to construct an electricity free refrigerator (see Google). Our forefathers did without electricity and so can we if need be.

Another suggestion to prepare medically is for you to be certain that you are storing nutritious foods. I hear folks frequently tell me that they will be able to survive off of their food storage simply because of all of the boxes they have of Kraft Mac and Cheese. I assure you, that is not surviving. It’s barely even living. In an emergency situation your body is naturally in a heightened state of stress. Your body needs MORE nutrition to “survive”, let alone to thrive. Stress compromises your entire health system—especially your immune system. Having proper nutrition in a crisis situation is the utmost of importance. Multi-vitamins, essential oils, quality grains, sprouting supplies, etc. will all be crucial to you surviving not only an existing medical crisis, but one that may occur due to your circumstances as well. You can not underestimate the power of nutrition for your health—especially in an emergency.

It’s easy for us in this country to become complacent with all that medical technology will do for us that we aren’t willing to do for ourselves. On New Year’s Day this year, I looked at my nightstand and was struck by how many prescription bottles I had that I needed to take every day. I suddenly became very aware of how those prescriptions would compromise my ability to survive and emergency. Thus in the name of emergency preparedness I made a vow that I would eliminate the need for all of them this year if it were at all possible. As of May, I have eliminated all but one of these meds by being more conscientious of what I eat, how active I am physically, and using nutrition as my medicine instead of just as my food. (Please consult your physician before attempting this.)

For the first 8 years of my marriage, my husband’s breakfast consisted of two handfuls of peanut M&M’s, a Cherry Coke, and a bag of Cheetos (he fondly called it “Vitamin C3”). Throughout the day he would eat Lindt chocolate and any other kind of sweets that sounded appetizing. I couldn’t get that man to eat veggies unless it was on a slab of beef. Healthy, eh? However, one day it hit him that he didn’t want to be a slave to these kinds of foods in an emergency. So he went from a sugar addict to a “no sugar guy” overnight. He’s now 2 years “sober”—all in the name of emergency preparedness. He also runs up “Y” mountain in Provo, Utah every morning while stopping long enough to do a total of 600 push-ups along the way. Each day it’s being prepared for an emergency that motivates him. (Please consult a psychologist before attempting this! )

While it’s not realistic to arm yourself with a year’s supply of medicine, you can arm yourself with as much health and strength as you can possibly store AND you can also have a year’s high-quality nutritional products on hand. I’m not talking about diet shakes. I’m talking about products such as Reliv, Sunrider, Young Living, Xooma’s water sachets, etc. Worst case scenario, stocking up on some Ensure may save your life if you can’t get the other products. I don’t recommend nutritional products such as these to make money in an “MLM.” I recommend products like these to literally save your life. (Which is exactly why I’m NOT going to provide you with contact information for these products. Please Google them.)

Increase your knowledge of the use of essential oils, herbs, and alternative medicines. There is an abundance of information freely available. Even cancer can be appeased with alternative medicine (click here) All of these chemicals we take have their own natural origins. Go to the source. Even diabetes can be made less severe with essential oils and herbs (click here).

Lastly, in order to prepare medically you need to keep in mind that in the event of an EMP attack, it’s not likely that you will have any notice. Unlike a tornado warning, you won’t be able to go underground for safety. BUT…if you DO have such a warning, then be prepared to flee into or to store vital items immediately in a Faraday cage or like protection. (More info on that coming up this week.) If you have a pacemaker or oxygen machine, get yourself as far below ground as possible.

The bottom line is, we do not have to be helpless medically in any event with some concentrated efforts to prepare medically now. Remember, you won’t be able to rely on hospitals, doctors or emergency services to help amidst a catastrophic event (Think Hurricane Katrina). But as you prepare medically, you can be self-sufficient with mental and physical preparedness now.

EMP 101: Part IV—Faraday Cages
Faraday Cages, by Kellene Bishop

We’ve established that an EMP incident will fry all electronics. This occurs whether or not they are plugged in or turned on. This also affects automobiles, batteries, computers, medical equipment, etc. Needless to say, in such an instance, life as we know it will change dramatically. Even more distressing is the fact that the strike of an EMP is not likely to give any warning. You don’t see it. You don’t feel it. You are simply left with the sudden consequences and whatever preparedness you have on hand. So, other than your preparedness supplies, your new best friend may be a Faraday cage. In fact, with the knowledge of the protection that a Faraday cage can provide you, you may be able to enjoy nearly as comfortable a lifestyle as you did prior to any electromagnetic pulse.

While being mentally prepared to live in the Stone Age may be helpful, it’s not necessary. Aren’t you glad?
First of all, allow me to dispel some myths about Faraday cages—and boy, howdy, there are a LOT of them.
•  Whether or not your electronics are plugged in, how long of an antenna you’ve got on something, what voltage it is, or whether or not they operate with batteries—all non-protected electronics will be affected by an EMP.
•  Batteries will be affected, usually in the form of “shorting” as well.
•  Electronic phone systems will also be damaged.
•  Surge protectors are useless in the event of an EMP exposure.
•  Just because your car has rubber tires, it will not be impervious to the effects of an EMP. Rubber containers are insufficient protection against an EMP.
•  And oh yeah—yes, your Faraday cages DO need to be grounded. If it’s NOT grounded, then the Faraday cage merely becomes a reflector or an amplifier.
•  Yes, a microwave can act as a Faraday cage, but why in the world would you want to use it for that? That’s just silly when you can make one simply.
•  Faraday cages do not have to be solid, thus the name “cage” instead of the oft misused term—“box.” In fact, many of them that you can build yourself or will see on the internet will resemble a bird-cage or a very finely meshed chicken coop wire.
•  Also, contrary to what you may see on the internet, a sheet of foil on a box will not protect you. It’s not thick enough to withstand the pulse. However, you CAN protect your items if they are buried a couple of feet underground in every direction (up and sideways.)
•  Last, but not least, a car is NOT a Faraday cage sufficient to withstand an EMP incident. It has some similar components, yes. Most cars made today consist of fiberglass and disjointed parts, not a continuous metal material. In addition to that, they are on tires. Tires on a car do NOT serve as grounding. Folks are simply getting an EMP strike confused with a lightning strike. Now, IF you had an old-fashioned car that was made of metal, that had its tires removed, that was also attached to an Iron or copper pole and that was ALSO on dirt—not gravel—then yes, you may have a car that doubles as a Faraday cage. (Kind of like the old clunker my dad has out in his “back forty.”
•  The cages do not have to be solid, but they do have to be constructed continuously without gaps between the protective material.
There. Now that we’ve discredited 90% of the internet information out there, let’s continue.

Faraday cages are named after Michael Faraday who invented them in 1836. They block out external electrostatic fields and electromagnetic radiation. One mistake many people make when it comes to an EMP is to compare it to a lightning bolt. The effects of an EMP and a direct lightning bolt are very similar, but they are not at all similar in terms of their visibility, and effect on the body. An EMP is more like a radio wave, not a visible bolt of light or electric current.

It’s the substrate layers of the diodes and transistors that make them susceptible to a magnetic pulse attack. Electronics are made up of diodes and transistors and substrate layers. A computer, car, television, and cell phones are made up of tons of transistors. When hit with a powerful magnetic pulse, the substrate layers are destroyed. However, early 1960’s and before electronics did not use substrate layers. They used vacuum tubes. This is why older electronics are less susceptible to damage. This is why a human or animal body will not be affected. Yes, our bodies consist of an electric volt. But understand there’s a difference between electricity and electronics.

I just want to reiterate this again. It’s important that any Faraday cage that you plan to use is grounded. It has to be grounded in order to disperse the energy.

What you should know though is that a Faraday cage is not fool-proof. The higher the frequency of the magnetic pulse, the faster it is. This is what causes the burn out. The cages must be grounded, continuously connecting, and the openings of them cannot be too large. Chicken coop wire would work, but only if you double or even triple layered it as the opening are too large. For a reference of opening size, look at the front of your microwave door. It’s a small mesh. Just a like a snake can slither its way through the right sized hole, so can an electronic wave.

You can have an instant Faraday cage with a galvanized trash can or a large stock pot like they use in restaurants. (Be sure to clamp the lid down. Remember—continuous connection is key. Since Faraday cages are not fool-proof, depending on the strength of the pulse, I would recommend burying such containers 2 feet under the ground, storing survival electrical and battery items. (Including batteries).

An easy way to make a Faraday cage would be to acquire some 2 x 4 brass mesh sheets. (Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel did a couple of experiments using this successfully.) Make a box frame with the 2 x 4′s and staple the brass mesh to the outside. Create a securely attached/connected access entry within the frame. Solder a ground wire to one of the corners and ground the cage. Scrap metal and mesh wires can easily be obtained in junk yards, on E-bay, the clay modeling section of a craft store, or at your local hardware or “farm and feed” store. The important aspect of this to remember though is that mesh or sheet metal only shields magnetic fields if the frequency is up in the RF range. To properly stop the wave, you need some iron, steel, or some slabs of thick copper. Most electronics are useful in the VHF/UHF/SHF range today and will need more substantial protection. Remember when you’re browsing the internet. Protecting against sparks is not the same as protecting against a strong magnetic pulse.

You can make your “cage” as small or as large as you’d like. It wouldn’t be out of the question to continuously line a basement storage room or hole in the ground with copper mesh wire and a grounding rod.

Bottom line, with an appropriately constructed Faraday cage, you can likely protect that which is inside from the electromagnetic attack of an EMP incident or solar flare, thus preserving the function of all that is contained therein.

Be selective in what you protect. It makes no sense to protect a cell phone, for example, as the cell towers will be useless. If it were me, I would protect radios, communication devices (such as a HAM radio), batteries and all of their respective tools, thumb drives loaded with all of my vital information, and a laptop. Keep in mind that a Faraday cage should be your LAST concern in terms of protecting every electronic that you enjoy presently. It’s not like if you preserve your television you’re going to have any “juice” to plug it into. Don’t focus on a Faraday cage and its time, effort, and expense at the risk of neglecting food, water, and medical supplies. It would be better for you to read up on solar power, wind and steam energy instead.

See also the 4dtraveler posts;
(Survival Manual/1. Disaster/Nuclear EMP)
(Survival Manual/1. Disaster/Solar flare EMP)
(Survival Manual/1. Disaster/Long Term Power Outage)
(Survival Manual/2. Social issues/Checklist 100 things that disappear first)
(Survival Manual/3. Food and Water/Develop a survival food list)
(Survival Manual/3. Food and Water/Water)

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Car Carry Kit

(Survival Manual/7. Warehouse/Car Carry Kit)

Car Carry Kit (status ca. 2010)

Emergency equipment carried in my automobile:(Left to right)
In wall-compartment: GoPower 175 watt 12 DC-AC inverter, a Sanyo AA/AAA battery charger and a multi outlet power strip.
On deck: wide brim western hat, aluminum baseball bat and Mace Pepper spray gun (holster is mounted in driver’s seat map door well).
Behind netting: large, black Automobile tool box (see tool box inventory below), 6 ea 24 oz Aquafina bottled water (subsequently doubled to 12 ea 24 oz bottles of water or, 2-1/4   gallons), shovel, 3 ton jack (in box below shovel.
Other   items: carried, but not seen: a LED flashlight, spare AA batteries, umbrella, Kleenex, handi-wipes, Tums, Tylenol, air pressure gauge, 3×5 notebook and ball point pen, GPS mount, several maps, sunglasses,   butane lighter in protective tube.

 Automobile Tool Box Contents

Automobile Tool Box:
Top Left: two small plastic, multi compartment boxes, which are part of the tool chest lid: containing nails, sheetrock screws, rubber bands, S- hooks, cable clamps, cup hooks and empty compartments for more items.
Top Right in the main tool chest: orange coveralls, large white shirt (rolled up), 50 foot nylon rope, 40 yard roll utility Duct tape, snow scraper (raspberry colored   handle), battery jumper cables (yellow cable with red and black battery clamps).
Center left items in tray from tool box: Top half from left, contains used yellow toothbrush for cleaning things, blue multi driver tool with 14 bits located inside the handle, roll of black electricians tape, metal tape measure 10 foot x ¼ inch, 2 small   C-clamps, Metric and US Allen wrench sets.
Middle: blue 2x AA cell Pen flashlight, box cutter with spare razor blades inside handle.
Bottom half of tray: 10 inch crescent wrench, vice grips, 6 inch crescent wrench, 10 inch pipe wrench, pliers.
To the right of the tool box tray: Stanley ‘fubar’ (an 18 inch, 5 pound wrecking bar with protective covers on the ‘working’ ends- enables one to go through walls  & go through doors); below it is a sharpened hatchet.
Below Tool box tray L>R: A  can of WD40 lubricant spray, ‘3 in 1’ lubricating oil, Remington gun oil, fishing tackle box (see fishing tackle box contents below), package of terry cloth   rags and paper towels, pair of brown cotton gloves, orange fabric drop cloth (measures ~4 ft x 4 ft).

Emergency Fishing Gear

Basic emergency fishing gear in a 8”x11” divided case with handle. This case is carried in the   lower compartment of the Automobile Tool Box.
Top Row L>R: 2 round, iridescent plastic floats & 2 oval, red & white wooden floats; 80 “Crappie’ hooks in 5 sizes spread amongst two trays).
2nd   Row: plastic bag with 21 crappie ‘Snells’ with 6 hook sizes.
3rd Row   large compartment: round divided container with 24 barrel swivels in assorted sizes, below is a divided plastic tray with 124 removable split shot sinkers in 5 assorted sizes. Next compartment: tube of pink Berkley ‘Crappie Nibbles’ bait; 1 multi   hook line; 6 each 6 inch wire leaders.
Lower Left compartment: pkg. of 2 jig   spinners;
Lower right: Pkg. of 4 faux minnow baits, below is a pkg. of 3 silver sided faux minnows with hooks.
Outside, to the right of the fishing case: Two ‘paint stirring sticks’ each wound with 125 feet of 20 pound test mono filament fishing line, a hook and sinker.

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Safe Room & Home Security

(Survival Manual/7. Warehouse/Safe room and home security)

A.    Home invasion
Home invasion is the act of breaching an occupied dwelling for the purpose of carrying out a violent crime as a means to rob, assault, rape or murder the occupant(s).  It is not a legally defined offense (federally) in the United States.  Home invasion differs from simple burglary in its violent intent, much the same way as the violent crime of robbery is differentiated from simple larceny.

Today’s Statistics
Because home invasions are typically filed as a robbery, burglary, battery, assault, rape, or murder, keeping the public informed of the frequency of home invasions within their communities is difficult.  However, thanks to data gathered by the FBI and Statistics USA, we’re able to get a better idea
of the prevalence of this sinister crime:
•  From 1994 to 2000, an average of 3,600,000 home invasions occurred each year.
•  In the U.S. alone, 1 out of every 5 homes will be victimized by a violent home invasion or burglary.
•  Home burglaries occur approximately every 15 seconds in the U.S.
•  Most home intruders force their way into homes through the front door.

With more and more commercial targets such as stores, banks, and gas stations taking preventative measures against robbery by increasing the security of their property, the occurrence of home invasions and burglaries is on the rise. This is because criminals have found that many homes and apartments aren’t equipped with alarms, video surveillance systems, protective window films, and other anti-crime devices that commercial dwellings use to deter criminals.

In fact, it’s the home without security devices that criminals seek out when deciding on their next target.  These criminals also know that although a home may have a security alarm in place, homeowners typically don’t activate the alarm until they go to bed—the perfect setting for a home invasion.

Home Invasion Profile
Home invaders are usually bold-faced criminals armed with weapons.  With just one forceful kick to the front door, a family is often at the mercy of the intruder, carrying out demands to hand over cash and other valuables, open safes, provide keys to vehicles, and even submit to brutal assault, rape and murder.

1. Entry:
_a.  Statistics show us that the most common point of entry is through the front door.  If the door is locked, many home intruders will simply kick or slam the door open.
_b.  Some home intruders will knock or ring the door bell and then force their way in when the resident opens the door to see who’s there.
_c.  Home intruders are also known to pose as delivery men, maintenance workers, and even authority figures, such as a police officer, to gain the trust of their victims so they will open the door.  Others will
claim their car broke down and request to use the phone.  Some will even allege to have hit the resident’s parked car.  As soon as the resident opens the front door, the criminal uses brute force and vicious threats to take control of the situation and instill tremendous fear within the victim.
2.  Once an intruder gains access to the home, various demands are typically made to gain possession of cash, jewelry, and other valuables.
3.  Some criminals will tie their victims up while they ransack the home.
4. Others will force one or more of the victims to leave with them, driving them to an ATM machine to withdraw cash, or even worse—to another location to be raped or murdered.

Home Security Precautions Can Reduce Your Risk
Make no doubt about it; home invasion is a terrifying and potentially life-threatening crime.
Being aware of the risks and dangers of home invasions and taking simple safety and security precautions can make all the difference when it comes to protecting your home and family.  Remember:  Criminals look for homes that allow for easy access.  So don’t make the naïve mistake of depending on locked doors and windows as protection.  Instead, make sure to add varying levels of security such as alarm systems, premium dead bolts, window protection films, and door braces to make it exceedingly difficult for thieves and possibly violent criminals to enter your home.

By being cautious and putting in place multiple layers of security, you can make your home less attractive to criminals and drastically reduce your chance of becoming a victim of a home invasion.

B.  The Safe Room
A panic room is used in case of: a home invasion, for property protection during a burglary and as a bio-chemical refuge.

It wasn’t so long ago that panic rooms were thought of as little more than a plot line for a Jodie Foster film or an expensive eccentricity of the paranoid. No more. Nowadays, increasing numbers of homeowners are spending big bucks to have panic rooms, safe cores and other sorts of high-tech security systems installed in their home to ensure their family and possessions are kept safe from intrepid intruders and other calamitous events.

Safe rooms are the single most important means for reliably separating the home owner from intruders while providing a safe place to await the arrival of police or on-site security.

Interior steel doors
[Image right: interior steel doors]
For an apartment dweller, mobile home owner, or where ever construction of a armored safe room is not an option:
Replace your bedroom doors non locking interior door handle with a interior locking door handle. If the master bedroom has its own bathroom, replace the door handle with an ‘exterior door handle/lock. If a home invasion were to occur you would lock the bedroom door, grab your cell phone and run to the bathroom, lock the door and call the police.
While waiting for the law to arrive, you have two locked doors for protection, plus whatever other defenses that are maintained in the bathroom, ie.,
1)  ‘bear grade’ pepper spray, [These are the about half the size of a can of women’s hair spray, not the small thumb sized pocket canisters sold every where; and they don’t just ‘spray’, but lay out a soaking steam of maximum strength Capsaicin. See ‘Guard Alaska’, ‘Frontiersman Bear Attack Deterrent’, and others at  $35 for  about 20 foot range of stop ’em and drop ’em home defense. Mr Larry]
2)  or have a pistol.
Meanwhile, you have water, sanitary facilities, a place to sit, and probably a flashlight, if the power was out.

[If you store valuables in other rooms of the house, i.e. an office, spare bedroom or closet, replace the door handles with keyed, lockable exterior door handle/locks. When your away for the evening, weekend or away on vacation, lock these core doors. They’re inexpensive from Walmart. Mr Larry]

Typically, you think of a safe room as the sort of thing that you really only need if you’re a high profile target, if you work as an ambassador or if you’re in a line of work where you make a lot of enemies. In fact, you don’t need a high profile career to make use of a safe room, just a high profile home or affluent lifestyle. If you live in a gated community or a very large house, your home is a prime target for crooks. A home invasion is almost always done on impulse by dangerous criminals just looking for some fast cash.”

Your goal is to deter or defeat the casual burglar, not a skilled and determined thief.
Skilled and determined thieves are few and far between, and you have home owners insurance. The overwhelmingly vast number of burglaries are committed by unskilled and unmotivated burglars (often teenagers), and anyone truly skilled and dedicated will probably be hunting in nicer areas than most typical town and city neighborhoods.

Make the Safe Room door secure against the most likely form of local burglary- namely, the casual felon who is just rolling around in a pickup truck looking for houses where the homeowner is at work and looking to kick in the door and ransack the place to feed his Oxy or meth habit. As such, it would need to resist the usual smash and pry tactics, but don’t anticipate skilled safecrackers, or someone motivated enough to saw through the floor of the room above to gain access. It would be nice to have it double as a safe room for the wife and kids while you’re at work. With a reinforced substructure, the Safe Room could be used as a storm shelter as well.

Remember that whatever you do, the best primary defense is a multiple layer “defense in depth” strategy.  Relying on a single product or technique is less than optimal.  You work from the most likely threat outwards towards less likely threats, as determined by time and your budget.

C.  How to Prepare a ‘Safe Room’ at Home
In order to be fully prepared for an emergency situation, you should designate a ‘safe room’ or shelter in your home. This is the room that you can ‘seal’ yourself and your family into in the event of an emergency.  The safe room will be useful in the event of a sustained crisis, but should also be prepared
for any kind of attack (short or long). The room you select for this purpose should meet these criteria as closely as possible:
•  It should contain few doors and windows to the outside.
•  The room should be easy to seal off in the event of a chemical attack.
•  If you live in a two-story home, the room should ideally be upstairs (as gases are heavier than air and will remain closer to the  ground).
•  The room should be big enough for you, your family and your pets to be able to live together in relative comfort.
•  You should keep your safe room in a constant state of semi-preparedness by keeping essential emergency items stored there. At the very least, you should keep an emergency survival kit (see next section) there at all times.
•  Here are some of the items that you’ll need to store in your safe room or bring with you when you enter it:
__Gas masks and protective clothing if you have them.
__Strong duct tape to seal off doors and windows once you’re inside.
__A first-aid kit and first-aid instructions. Ideally you, or someone in your family, should take first-aid lessons.
__Emergency lighting (consider keeping an emergency lighting system plugged in this room at all times, so that it will come on automatically in the event of a power cut). Spare batteries.
__A radio capable of receiving AM/FM and ideally short-wave. A TV might be useful and would certainly help pass the time, but is not essential; fresh batteries.
__Comfortable seating for everyone as well as mattresses, blankets and pillows.
__Bottled water, juice, sports drinks or other beverages.
__Food that can be stored for a long time yet requires little or no preparation, such as peanut butter and crackers, peanuts or mixed nuts, energy bars, candy bars, pretzels, pudding packs individual servings of applesauce, etc. Even in the event of a short stay, hunger and thirst are likely to set in, so be prepared. You can find out more about preparing food and water stocks for a sustained emergency in other sections of this manual.
__Chemical toilets and other sanitation needs. Even if your safe room has bathroom facilities, there is always the risk that water supplies be interrupted or even contaminated.
__A telephone, if possible, for emergency use. Be sure to include a list of important telephone numbers (police, fire department, hospital, emergency coordinator etc.)
__Personal medicines and basic toiletries.
__Cleaning tools (broom, garbage bags, etc.)
__A portable fan in the event of hot weather. In case of a chemical, biological or radiological event, you must shut off the air conditioning to prevent it from bring outside air into the safe room. See the three posts in Survival Manual/1. Disaster/War-Chemical, Biological, and Radiological.
__A fire extinguisher.
__Toys, books, games and so on.

.You may also want to consider buying a room filter that has a HEPA and charcoal filter. These can be bought in most major department stores and are effective in preventing the buildup in most chemical or biological agents.

It is very important that everyone in your family is fully aware of the safe room and its function in an emergency.
Everyone should be given pre-designated duties to perform in the event of an emergency (one person is responsible for food, one for seating, etc.). Write out a detailed list of everything you need, so that in the event of an emergency, nothing will be forgotten.
You should start preparing the items for your safe room sooner rather than later and you should conduct emergency drills with your family every three to six months.

D.  Safe room concepts
No Nonsense Self Defence
 “There is an old cliché, “A man’s home is his castle.” Nothing makes that truer than a safe room, and it doesn’t matter what gender you are either. In essence, a safe room is any room you select that has been modified to withstand an all-out assault by a home invader or invaders. Although bedrooms are the usual choice, any room with one door that can be locked can be used. If you live in a multi-level house you can go so far as to have one on each floor, but that would only be if you are being actively stalked or rich enough to be kidnapped. (Although, if you are working in an unstable country where kidnapping of executives is common, that might not be a bad idea).

1)  Why would you need a safe room?
The idea of a safe room is that in case of home invasion (for whatever reason) you have a fortified sanctuary that you can retreat to and summon help. It’s not to bunker down and have a shoot out, it is where a smaller, weaker (or unarmed) person can be safe while waiting for reinforcements to arrive. In one sense, it’s so you don’t have to have a shoot out between you and an intruder. In another, if the intruder does break through the room’s defenses, it is pretty cut and dried that it was self-defense — even in states with a duty to retreat statute.

The creation of a safe room is critical for women who are being stalked. It can be important for families with children of any age. First off, although a woman protecting her child can be the most ferocious guardian, realistically it is far more common for a woman to sacrifice herself in an attempt to protect the child — usually by curling around and shielding the child. This way she, not the child is damaged. The problem is you cannot effectively defend yourself, while protecting a child this way. A safe room makes this whole issue moot.

Second, no child can successfully fight off an adult attacker. The adult’s superior mass will overwhelm the child. However, a child can run to safety. Third, putting it bluntly teenagers do stupid things now and then. And if they do stupid things with not nice people, them having a safe room is a very good idea. (If nothing else it also gives squabbling siblings a means to end the fight).

While home invasion robberies are becoming more common, realistically, with a safe room, just closing your bedroom door at night is the best defense against waking up with a burglar in your room or a break-in rapist on top of you. This is especially true in bad neighborhoods and college towns where such break-ins are common.

2)  An outside door, inside
There is a difference between inside doors and outside doors. In older, wooden doors the difference is between hollow core and solid core.

Primarily for insulation purposes, a solid core door is one solid piece. This also serves as a security measure, as it is difficult to break through three inches of solid wood. Hollow core doors are for use inside. Hollow core doors are far lighter than solid core and they are less effective for both insulation and security. The reason they are lighter is because they are designed like corrugated cardboard (like you see with larger cardboard boxes). In between the two flat surfaces there are thin struts holding them apart.

Hollow core doors are designed to provide privacy, sound buffering and climate control inside your home — not security. The problem with hollow core doors is that they can be kicked or punched through. Worse yet, they are easily shot through and quickly fold to either body checks or blows from a heavy object. As such they are not appropriate for a safe room door. If you are in a home with older style doors, the safe room should have a solid core door.

Most modern houses however come with decorative and molded doors. But again there is still a difference between an inside and outside door. The nice thing about this modern selection is that the same type of door comes in different thickness. To have consistency in the look of the house, the same type of door can come in both indoor and outdoor models. To start your safe room, you simply take an outside door and put it inside. That doesn’t mess up your decor either.

3)  Reinforced doorframe
Any lock is only as good as what is around it. Most door locks can be simply by-passed by applying enough force until the frame breaks. Therefore, for your safe room you are not only going to put in a heavier door, but also reinforce the doorframe.
Doing this in older homes is described on the home security page in the door section. It takes some work, but if you do while re-painting the bedroom, you’ll never notice the embedded security measures.

With more modern homes, the doorframe is usually sold along with the door. So when you upgrade to an outside door, you are also upgrading the door frame. Although you might want to consult with the salesman about also upgrading the frame to something bigger and stronger.

Without going into metal security doors, the general standard you are shooting for is something that can withstand the full force of a 180 pound man repeatedly slamming himself into the door. That’s a lot of force and the salesman should be able to tell you how much force the doorframe is rated for.

We’re going to change tracks here. When it comes to personal safety, Hollywood is our greatest enemy. Not only do they promote the concept of unstoppable bad guys, but they credit them with super-genius. The evil stalker knows how to cut the phone lines and isolate the terrified woman. How in the blue blazes do you cut the “lines” of a cell phone? Cut the power so the alarm system doesn’t work? How does he know to do it exactly when you are in the shower so you don’t know your alarm system is down? Much less the fact that you might just notice the lights going out … even if you are in the shower. As such, you have warning that something is wrong. And yet, these fools were working themselves up into a frenzy because all these things “could” happen. And that is why you need to carry a gun in the shower.

When we mention safe rooms, most people’s minds flash to all the movies where a damsel in distress desperately tries to close the door against an evil attacker who is body checking it from the other side. Not to put too fine of a point on it, but that’s called “Drama.” That scenario is far more dramatic and vivid than heading towards the safe room while the attacker is trying to get in. You don’t wait until he is in the front room, you run when he is crawling through the window. That is what early warning systems are for! So you can get the door closed and locked before you end up in a shoving match over closing the door.

4)  Multiple locks
First off you are going to be replacing indoor door knobs with heavier outdoor locking knobs. A one-sided deadbolt is also not unreasonable. After the doorknob lock is engaged you throw the deadbolt. Multiple locks distribute the impact over a greater area thereby reducing the chance of frame failure. They also share the load between locks thereby lessening the chance of lock failure.

Speaking of lock failure, we are not big fans of “different distance” locks. By this we mean secondary measures like chains or the flip style of locks that you find in hotel rooms. These supposedly allow you to open the door and peer out in safety. Unfortunately these locks consistently prove themselves ineffective against full body assaults; they tear out of the doorframe too easily.

The same physics make them unreliable for secondary lines of security. Any number of people will put these on after locking the door thinking they are added security. They aren’t. The truth is, if your primary locks fail, these will not stop the door from being opened. All it is going to take is another body check.

Therefore, any additional locks that you put on the door must further secure the door into the doorframe. Deadbolts are good, so two are floor bars and foot locks. What you want with safe room locks is once they are thrown, if you don’t have keys that door isn’t going to budge. Anyone on the outside trying to get in is going to have to take the doorframe out of the wall.

If you have kids in the house (or are currently being stalked) you might want to consider putting in a keypad lock. While they are not particularly attractive, they can be set so they automatically lock when the door is closed. If, on the rare chance, you find yourself in a race to the safe room all you have to do is slam the door. This is especially important for kids who might not remember to close and then lock the door. The keypad makes it a second’s work for you to get in without a key.
(This is also why we recommend them for the front door too…especially if your kids are always forgetting, a) to lock the door and, b) their keys). From the inside the door opens as easily as a regular knob so there is no hindrance getting out in case of fire or other nighttime crisis. A keypad lock is also useful for avoiding embarrassing explanations to your kids why the door was locked when you and your SIG want privacy. It was locked because the door was closed…next question?

If you are really determined that nobody is going to batter their way into your safe room there is the old style Fox Police Locks. In essence these are a steel bar  contraption that you barricade the door with. One end goes into the floor and the other end into the door. The bar sits at an angle and serves as a brace. The nice thing about this kind of system is that when not in use, the bar sits unobtrusively behind the door.
The only thing you see is the groove in the floor and the slot on the door. Or there is the ugly side-to-side version that literally bars the door. In either case, nothing short of a police battering ram is going to come through that door.

5) Shatterproof glass
Going back to the movie Panic Room, Jodie Foster had an entirely enclosed, video monitored, high tech control room for her safe room. Well, unless you are a rich paranoid or you just won the lottery, it really isn’t necessary to go that far. However, since — for a variety of reasons — the bedroom is the most common choice for a safe room, you’re going to have to address the issue of windows in your safe room.

Instead of upgrading and reinforcing existing windows, you can buy complete security windows. These come with shatterproof glass and are a bear to break in through. While it would be ideal to replace all the windows in your home with such a system, realistically the only windows you really have to replace are in your safe room.

While it might not seem easier to replace an entire window, the fact is that what you will get by doing so is more complete protection than if you try to piecemeal a solution onto your current windows. If you do not want to go the expense of replacing the windows, then the window security information on the home security page should be followed. However, whatever else you do or don’t do, at the very least, we strongly suggest that you put shatterproof laminate on the windows. While security glass is better, this transparent sheeting prevents the window from being easily shattered. As such, he cannot reach through and open the locks.

6) Heavy curtains
It is important to keep an attacker from being able to see into your safe room. After his attempts to get through the door has failed, odds are he is going to go after the window. While for some unexplained reason there is a tendency not to shoot through doors and walls, the same doesn’t apply to windows — especially if he can see you. That is why heavy curtains or blinds are necessary. They not only cut his view off of you, but you of him.

Let’s take this to the worst case scenario. The odds are against him hitting you while firing blindly through the window — especially if you are either hunkered down or laying in a corner of the wall that the window is in.  It may sound strange to position yourself against the wall closest to the shooter, but
figure that the bullets are going to be traveling down ever- widening angle lines from the shooter’s position. It is easy for him standing in one spot outside the window to spray bullets into the far wall from one corner to the other. That’s why you don’t want to be against it or hiding in a closet opposite the window.

However, in order to hit you when you are against the window wall he would have to run the entire length of the room firing blindly through the walls or stand back with an assault rifle and hose your home with banana clips worth of bullets — neither are particularly likely.

The heavy curtains blind him so he doesn’t know where you are in the room. Nor does he know if you are now armed and capable of firing back. While he may not know where you are in the room, you know where he is…just outside the window. And unlike you, he’s backlit. In another case, if he does manage to break through the window, while he’s trying to get past the curtains to look around and find you, you’re swinging a baseball bat…if he’s lucky. If not, what you’re swinging is much worse.

Those are the worst case scenarios. More realistically — especially when dealing with stalkers — they’ve juiced themselves up on liquid courage. Climbing through rose bushes or up to the second story windows or standing on a roof pitch/in a rose bush while trying to swing hard enough to get through shatterproof glass while drunk often becomes a self-solving problems. Alcohol and gravity are a bad combo, so are thorn bushes and booze. But in either case he won’t see you call the cops…or the ambulance.

There is a final factor as to why heavy drapes or blinds are important. It is a terrifying experience to be assaulted…especially in your own home. By cutting off direct visual contact with him, it is easier for you to remain calm and function. Yes you will hear screaming, yelling, pounding and crashes as he beats on the doors and windows, but you won’t be looking him in the eye, this significantly increases your ability to function. The safe room has bought you time to call the police, activate security systems and — if that is your choice — arm yourself. When and if he gets in, then you will be prepared.

7) Phone
The most important piece of equipment for your safe room is the phone. It is what allows you to communicate with the outside world. It’s what allows you to not only call the cavalry, but to communicate with them and direct them when they arrive.

Again Hollywood has filled people’s minds with lurid images of juggernaut murderers who cut the phone lines before chasing scantily clad women down the hallways of their own homes. The truth is most of these clowns wouldn’t know where to begin to look in order to cut the phone line. If they even had the brains to remember to do so. And quite frankly in these days of cell phones, roam phones, DSL lines, dish networks, etc, cutting a phone line doesn’t do all that much. You just pick up the cell or internet phone.

Basically, most home invasions rely on their speed and ferocity to overwhelm you before you can make
a call. Their problem with you in a safe room is that they can’t keep you from calling out.

When you get 911 stay on the line!
Not only will you be reassured by talking to the operator, but you will be able to tell the police where he is. It also creates a recording of the incident and what is happening. This will be used in court. Staying on line is especially true if you have some kind of home defense weapon. Inform the operator that you are in your safe room and armed.
Police HATE coming onto a property with an armed owner and an intruder, not only because of their chances of getting shot, but shooting you. The constant two way communication of where you each are through the 911 operator is going to go miles to keep lethal mistakes from happening. If they know you’re safely locked in the bedroom than the guy who is popping up with a gun isn’t friendly

8) Safe/Gun safe
We recommend that you have a safe — for a variety of reasons.
•  First, if you have children the gun needs to go into either the home safe or a specially designed gun safe. Really, let’s be truthful, how often do your children listen when you tell them to do their chores? Do you really think they aren’t going to play with the gun even if you tell them not to touch it? Putting it in a safe, keeps that from happening when you are not home.
As the better modern safes have keypads, so too do the better gun safes. Gun safes come in all sizes, but the ones we recommend for home defense hold a single pistol, attach to the wall, have either glow in the dark buttons or are electronically lit (with battery backup) and can be quickly opened. A loaded pistol is in your hands in seconds, but not in your children’s. Even better, you can get these safes with a “three strikes you’re out” system. After three wrong codes are punched in, the system shuts down. This keeps kids from spending hours randomly punching in codes.
•  Second, remember we’re talking safe room here. By definition you’ve bought time. So the need for instant access to blazin’ guns is non-existent. If because of kids and the potential need to come out of the safe room, then that wall mounted unit is the best way to keep your kids safe and give you quick access. Other than that, keeping it in the safe in the closet is nice way to soothe any concerns about having a loaded gun in the house.
•  Third, it’s a good idea to have a safe bolted to your closet floor anyway. In the old days, burglars just grabbed jewelry, TVs and VCRS, now your biggest concern isn’t the burglary, it’s identity theft. If a criminal gets a hold of your important papers you’re in deep trouble. The problem is you don’t know where it will stop. The burglar who steals your papers probably won’t use them, but he will sell them to someone who will. A passport sells on the street for upwards to a $1000. Old driver licenses and credit card statements give an ID thief everything he needs. Boxes of blank checks? There’s an invite to not only having your account cleaned out, but lots of bad checks passed with your name on the checks. There’s even been cases of houses trying to be sold when the deed has been stolen. Keep your important paper work and your gun in a safe in the safe room.

The safe room and the safe give you an additional option for security, and that’s when you are on vacation or at work. Now you have layers upon layers that a criminal must get through before he can ruin your life — especially if you have a keypad on your safe room/bedroom door and you get in the habit of closing it when you leave.

9) Monitors/alarm system/cameras
As we mentioned on the stalkers solutions page advances in security technology have driven prices down to a rock bottom. We have seen a four camera, split screen video surveillance and recording system for as low as $150 dollars… at a SAMS Club. Such a unit can easily be patched into the TV in your bedroom to give you an exact idea where the intruder is and what he is doing. And if you are watching him on the TV, you can bet that you are not only recording it, but you are talking to the 911 operator about his exact location. And that’s being passed onto the officers. How cool is that? You’re both watching and involved in dispatching a real life cop show…from your safe/bedroom.
All you need now is popcorn.
Besides the cops really appreciate the information that you can pass onto them, like what he’s wearing, what he looks like, if he has friends and if he is armed. This last one is important because home invasion types tend to be armed. Which is why having a safe room should be making more and more sense.

In addition, most alarm companies make their bread and butter selling you not the system (which is cheap) but their service (which is not). If you have a safe room and a phone you don’t need them to dial the police for you. As such an alarm system can be rigged for internal warning (Remember early warning?). Where alarm systems that contact outsiders pay for themselves, however, is if you travel often and/or have a lot of valuable items that you could be burglarized for while at work.

On the other hand, it can be argued — whether you have an alarm service or not — that rooms with lots of expensive equipment should be turning into safe rooms as well. If you have  more than $10,000 dollars worth of equipment, collections or financial investments, spend an extra $500 to $1000 to protect it.”  Pasted from <>

E.  Size of a combination storm shelter- safe room
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) suggests there should be six square feet for every seated individual in the safe room. This recommendation is for US homes. It may differ in other countries. Note also that this measurement is the minimum required. Having a bigger safe room is always a good idea.

Requirements for ‘Hardened’ Safe Rooms
The room should be sufficient to house all the inhabitants of the house. The safe room must be able to withstand 75 mph to 400 mph winds. The safe room must also be strong enough to protect the people from the wind, rain and any objects hurled by the wind.

[Image right: Commercial steel safe room, AKA Panic rooms or storm shelters. Located inside the house its designed to protect the inhabitants from storms or tornadoes, also to be used to protect people from a break-in.]

No matter what the size of a safe room is, the room should be anchored properly so it won’t turn over even if your home is damaged. Both the ceiling and walls need to withstand the wind and pressure from debris being hurled.

The connectors on the angles have to be wind resistant. Any interior wall supports for the room have to be separate from the structure. In other words, any damage inflicted by the storm / tornado must not affect the room.

Construction and Design
The safe room can be located anywhere in the house. For many people the basement is the best option as it offers protection against hurricanes and tornadoes.

The design and size of a safe room varies. It can be simple or complex. A basic but effective safe room consists of four concrete walls and ceiling made of reinforced concrete. Other features necessary are good ventilation, heavy door and secondary exit.

The room can be fitted with all the necessary supplies. These will include food, water, medical kits, flashlights, radio and batteries, cell phones and other communications equipment.

Important Facts about Safe Rooms
The cost of adding a safe room to an existing home depends on how large it is. It also depends on the foundation where it will be constructed. The typical cost is between $2,500 and $6,000.

For existing homes, the safe room is usually added as a separate structure. But it can be installed in the basement or the garage. When deciding on the location of the safe room, consideration for any handicapped inhabitants in the house must be accounted for.

Anyone who wants to build their own safe room must be skilled. You can buy some pre-fabricated safe rooms. These will be easier to set up. But if you are buying one, make sure that it meets the standards of FEMA. Avoid buying any structure that doesn’t meet the standards set by FEMA or similar agencies in your country.

The size of a safe room needs to be considered thoroughly. There is no telling when natural calamities or other threats can take place, so it’s important you have one in the house.

[Images above: These are very strong F-5 rated multipurpose steel safe rooms at an affordable price. Tested and certified to meet FEMA 320 standards by the Texas Tech Wind Science and Engineering Research Center. These safe rooms can be installed in any home, garage or building constructed on a concrete slab as long as there is a ceiling height of 8 feet or more. Equipped with dual locks, they can also be used as secure storage as well as a panic/intruder room. Each room is constructed of 3/16” steel “C” channels on 1/4” steel frames. Each plate is mounted to the 1/4” steel roof and floor frames using grade 5 bolts. The floor frame is anchored to your foundation using the Red Head Anchoring System with anchors set every 16” for maximum stability. Each safe room comes standard with a 4 hinge, 32” wide, wheelchair accessible, low threshold door that opens to the inside. The door is equipped with 2 keyed deadbolts and can also be used for safe storage for your personal items. The door is also secured from the inside by 3 tubular steel cross members that are set in place easily once you are safely inside the room. Each cross member sets on steel mounts on either side of the door interior. We can place the door of your safe room in any wall as long as it is at least 8” from a corner. Available in many sizes: 4’x 4’, 4’x 5’, 4’x 6’, 4’x 8’, 5’x 5’ , 6’x 8’, 8’x 8’ . Lowry Construction, 1-866-95LOWRY,
(1-866-955-6979), ]

F.  Home security tips
No Nonsense Self-Defense ( an excellent website filled with information that can help you defeat the potential of criminal action)
“There is no such thing as a burglar-proof home. What there is, however — using a burglar’s double criteria of speedy entry and not attracting attention– are homes that are too difficult to break in to.
The enemies of the burglar are time and attention. The longer it takes to enter and the more noise
he makes increase his chances of being seen and caught. Homes not easily and quickly broken into are most often bypassed for easier targets.
Although the main focus of this is to deter burglars, what is talked about on this page is an example of “walk-aways” mentioned on the Pyramid of Personal Safety page. The same issues that will deter a burglar will also serve to stop a break-in rapist or stalker.

Tip #1  Make your home security system like an onion, not an egg.
Layers upon layers are not only the best deterrent, but the best defense against break ins.
Reason:  It is easy for a criminal to bypass a single line of defense. Multiple layers not only slow him, but serve as a means to alert you or your neighbors that someone is trying to break in. Doing these “layered walk-aways” makes it more difficult for a criminal to meet his criteria of quick and unobserved
entry. If, like the tip of an iceberg, enough of these deterrents are visible, most of the time the would-be intruder will simply choose not to even try. If he does try, then the layers he did not see will impede him. A good example of a layered defense is rosebushes outside the window, double-locked, barred and
safety coated side windows and something difficult to climb over inside under the window.

Tip #2  Pretend to be a burglar
Walk around your property and ask yourself: How would I break in? Examine your house from the street, where are the blind spots?  What are the most vulnerable areas and, therefore, likely to be attacked? Stand outside the windows and look in, make sure no valuables, like expensive electronics or artwork, are visible. If you can see your belongings doing this, so can criminals.
Reason: We on’t tend to think of our homes in these terms. So spend just a few minutes doing this. Find where “blind spots” are (areas where a criminal can work without being seen or would be screened from view of a neighbor looking to see what that loud noise they just heard). Also look for “weaknesses”(easy access points) are (for example, sliding glass doors, doggy doors or louvered windows). These are the areas that will be “attacked” by the criminal. That is also where you must focus your defenses.

Tip #3  Consider the area that the lock sits in
A lock is not enough, you must also address the area around it. You need to extend your thinking about security measures to 18 and twenty four inches around the lock itself. That is the area you must protect.
Reason: A burglar doesn’t care how much damage he causes getting in. The best locks in the world will do no good if he smashes the door in. A pinewood door frame will splinter and give way after a few savage kicks. The backdoor deadbolt can often be bypassed by just breaking a window and reaching through to unlock it. Windows can be broken and locks undone. Many locked gates can be opened by simply reaching around and over. A hasp-and-lock will swiftly yield to blows from a even a small sledgehammer.

Tip #4  As well as locking something, you must also  protect the lock and its components.
A common combination of cheap locks and small construction flaws, that we tend not to notice, often give criminals the “cracks” in security they need to break in.
Reason: Many home door locks can be quickly bypassed with a knife or screwdriver slid in the gap between door and frame. After that the criminal can easily work the tongue of most cheap locks out of the door frame. A thin kitchen knife slid between sash windows can “tap” a normal window lock open. Hasps and locks can be hammered or twisted off in a few blows, or simply cut off with bolt cutters. Many sliding windows and doors can simply be lifted out of place.

•  Door: Look at the gap between your door and your door frame from the inside – can you see the lock’s tongue? All it takes is a flip of the criminal’s wrist while holding a screwdriver while on the outside to break away the thin doorjamb molding and expose that same gap. From there, it is another simple wrist gesture to jimmy the tongue out of the faceplate. Total elapsed time for break-in, about 10
seconds — with minimal noise.
On ALL outside exit doors, buy locks that have locking tongues. Test this by holding the door open and locking the knob. Then attempt to depress the tongue into the door with your finger. Better locks will have a secondary tongue that doesn’t move. The best locks will have entire tongues that don’t move.

•  Window: Put “window stops” on the first floor and basement window frames. These often functionally amount to secondary and tertiary locks. The best kind are those that go through a moveable frame and lock it into place. Something as simple as drilling a hole through both frames when the window is closed and placing a nail in the hole will lock the windows in place.

•  Other: Use hasps with  protective shrouds. These make it harder for the criminal to hammer away the lock. If for some reason you have an outward swinging door, not only get the best lock possible, but place a safety plate (a small formed sheet of metal) over the tongue so it cannot be seen or easily manipulated. These slow down the criminal and make him work hard to get in. This entails him making more noise  for longer periods of time, thereby increasing his chances of being detected.

Tip #5  Brace doorframes and put multiple locks on all  outside doors What he doesn’t know  *will* hurt him. With a little extra work, the bracing can be hidden behind the
doorframe’s internal molding and will not be noticeable from either inside or outside. For the burglar, this is like unexpectedly hitting an invisible wall.
Reason: The most common means of breaking into homes is simply by kicking in the door. Most doorframes are made of 1 inch pine which saves the contractor money. This makes them vulnerable to this basic assault. Multiple locks and bracing under the molding make this kind of entrance unlikely and will not destroy the beauty of your home.

•  Bracing: Take between a 2 and 3 foot piece of flat steel stripping (1/8 x 2 inches is good) and drill a staggered series of holes down its length. When you take the interior molding off the door — in most houses — you will see the 1×6″ (or 1×5″) pine plank of the doorframe. That is nailed to the 2×4″ studs of the wall. (You may or may not be able to see the studs because of drywall, but they are there). That thin 1 inch piece of cheap wood (it is usually pine) is all that was between your possessions and a burglar. A few savage kicks, and it usually breaks off in a 2- to -3 foot sliver and the door swings open.

•  Fast and more secure version: On the inside wall, where the molding was, position the steel strip so that all the lock strike plates are behind it and its edge is along the edge of the 1×6. Screw it into place with long screws — leaving a few holes open. The staggered drill pattern should result in the screws seating into both the 1×6 and the 2×4 studs. Take the molding and shave or chisel out the thickness of the metal strip in the proper place. Replace the molding, using the remaining holes to tack it down over the strip.

•  Putty and repaint: Slower, better looking, but slightly less secure: This version looks slightly better, but requires some precision Dremel or chisel work. Instead of abutting the strip to the exact edge of the 1×6, seat it between 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch away from the edge. When carving your groove in the molding, leave the same sized tongue running down the door side edge. This seats over and covers
the steel, making it invisible. Repaint.

•  Strike plate: Just assume that they did it wrong — and odds are you will be right. Using the same length of screws that you are using for the steel strip, remove the shorter screws that are in the door frame strike plate and replace them with the bigger screws. It is not uncommon for short screws of less than a half inch to be used (or come with the lock assembly), such short screws are easily
ripped out after a few kicks. On the other hand an 1 1/2 or 2 inch set of screws that reach into the house’s very framing is not going anywhere quickly — no matter how hard you kick it.

Multiple locks: Deadbolts, rim locks and floor locks are your friends. All outside doors should have at least two separate locks. Doors that are on the blind side of the house or homes in high-risk areas should have more. The deeper the tongue goes, the better.

Tip #6  Find alternatives to normal deadbolts in doors  that have windows (or windowed frames).
Talk with a locksmith about what is available.
Reason: Most burglaries occur during the day when you are away at work. Unfortunately, many back doors are decorative and windowed. It is easy for a burglar to punch out a small window, reach in and unlock the door. Since they are off the street and out of view this is why most break-ins occur through the back and side doors.

A single-key deadbolt has a key on one side and a handle on the other. After punching out a window a burglar can reach in and, with ease, open the deadbolt then the doorknob – elapsed time five
seconds. Placing a secondary lock (i.e., a floor lock) outside of the reach of  the windows is recommended. If that is too much, a double-key deadbolt is recommended for non-primary access doors. This secures the door while you are not at home. If fire safety concerns you (and it should) at night put your keys in the deadbolt. This not only allows you immediate exit should a fire occur,
but you will also always know where your keys are.

Tip #7  Treat inside garage doors the same as an outside  door: multiple locks and bracing.
Even though it is inside your home, it must be able to withstand a full out assault. Often, the doors that access the house from the garage are hollow-core and have cheap locks (if they are locked at all) which is why break ins through garages are so common.
Reason: Criminals often cruise neighborhoods looking for open garage doors. Once an open garage door is found, they pull in, close the door, park their car and then start piling your possessions into it. Although they might still do it occasionally, criminals no longer need to cruise the neighborhood with a stolen garage door opener and pushing the button to see whose door will open, and incredible number of people just leave the door wide open for them when “just running down to the store.”
For criminals on foot, the side door of a garage is a prime target, as it is often easier and offering better ease of access/escape than a back door. This is why you must treat the door into your home from the garage like an outside door.
If the inner door is locked it is usually hollow core and with minimal locks. Realize that with the garage door closed the criminals can unleash a sustained full out assault against that inside door. Usually the door will give way. By bracing it and replacing hollow core doors with solid core ones, you significantly lessen the chances of that happening.

It should also be noted that many home invasion robberies come through open garage doors and these inner doors. More so than the front door.

Tip #8  Plant rosebushes or cactus in front of all  vulnerable windows.
Thorny landscaping not only adds beauty to your home, but makes even getting close to such windows an unappealing prospect
Reason: The second most common way of breaking into homes is through rear or side windows.
A thief can work on such windows with little chance of detection. Standing in the middle of a thorn bush to do it, however, is not a pleasant experience.

Tip #9  Look into safety-coating the most vulnerable windowsw
Safety coat is an adhesive plastic sheeting that makes breaking out windows difficult.
Reason: It’s not going to be fun for him, standing in a rosebush only to discover that the window isn’t easy to break either. Instead of a quick pop, he now has to stand there and repeatedly pound before he can even reach the lock. Wait until he discovers that the window has window stops as well.
If you can afford it, there are many quality windows that are not only good to keep inclement weather out, but provide serious burglar protection, as well.

Tip #10  Put a secondary lock that prevents the panel from  being moved on all windows.
This is repeating what was mentioned earlier, but it is important enough to warrant such emphasis.
Reason: Put stops on the frame on all sash windows. This allows them to be opened, but only so far. On sliding windows and doors, the best type of lock is a pin that goes through both frame and sliding part. This prevents the window from being lifted out.

Tip #11  Get and close  heavy drapes — especially on rooms where there is expensive equipment. Thin, sheer drapes –although attractive — also allow burglars to look inside.
Reason: It is often amazing how often a home intruder will walk up and look through the windows of a home to see if there is anything worth stealing. Sheer curtains allow him to do this. He knows what he wants to steal before he even breaks in.
Getting into the habit of closing heavy drapes not only keep your home warmer in winter, but lessen the chances of your home being targeted by a burglar. Without this ability to see into the home, there are less guaranteed results for him, which helps to serve as a deterrent.

Tip #12  In really bad neighborhoods, get safety bars on  the windows.
In so-so neighborhoods, you might want to consider putting them on side windows — especially ones that are perfect break-in spots.
Reason: When it comes down to it, windows are always breakable. A set of regular bars on high risk, non-bedroom windows are not likely to destroy the looks or value of your home. And the added security is well worth it. On bedroom windows, it is advisable to spend the extra money and get the releasable bars that can be jettisoned in case of fire.

Tip #13  Make sure sliding glass doors and windows are   installed correctly.
Not everyone in the construction industry is a rocket scientist. And their incompetence and laziness can cost you plenty.
Reason: An estimated one quarter of all sliding glass doors and windows are installed backwards (so the sliding part is on the outside track). This allows the criminal to simply lift out the panel and enter

Tip #14  If you use a pole in the track to secure sliding  doors and windows make sure it is the right length.
It should be within an inch of the track’s length.
Reason: If the pole is not long enough to keep the criminal from slipping his fingers in, it is of no use. Staple or tape a piece of string to the pole to make it easy to pull out when it is in the track.
Better yet get a “track stop” or “track lock”  that you can put in the tracks. They are far better than the “poor man’s version” of a dowel. Better yet get sliding window/door bar (jamb bar).

Tip #15  Install motion detectors in areas where no one should be.
This way, you know something isn’t right when they go off.
Reason: Most people put safety lights where they do the least good. While they illuminate your approach as you pull into your driveway, such lights are often hard to see if you are indoors. Put them along the side of the house or back, so that someone lurking there sets them off.
Position them so you can see when they go on. The lights are adjustable, so even if you have a blind
wall you can turn the lights so they will both illuminate an area and attract your attention. Put them high enough so that they cannot be knocked out of service by someone jumping.
Look into low voltage and/or solar powered outdoor lighting. This kind of lighting illuminates your property at very little cost.

Tip #16  Get a dog.
A barking dog, whether inside the house or in the yard is proven as the best deterrent to burglars.
Reason: It doesn’t have to be a 250 – pound Rottweiler named Spike, even a smaller yappy dog serves as an early warning system. Not only does the intruder risk a bite, but the barking attracts attention. And there is no such thing as a stranger intimidating a dog into silence.
We don’t recommend dog doors. It is not uncommon for thieves to bring small children and send them through these and have the child open the main door. Also, since many burglars are, in fact, teenagers, it is also common for them to bring a younger child with them to do this. If you do have a dog door already, either a) put the dog out and lock the door during the day or b) make sure the access gates to your yard are locked. That way the criminals cannot simply walk by, open your gate to let the dog out and then return when the dog has wandered away.
The truth is a dog, even a small dog, inside a house is not something a burglar wants to deal with.
Getting bit is not fun.

Tip #17  Create a neighborhood watch on your block.
Even just the signs often send would-be burglars elsewhere.
Reason: An alert and involved community is the criminal’s nemesis. It is often reason enough for him to try business elsewhere.
Even if you can’t create an organized program, get to know your neighbors, especially retired folks who are home all day. Let them know who belongs there and who doesn’t. Have them watch your property and pick up your newspaper when you are on vacation. It is also a good idea to hire a trustworthy preteen/young teen neighbor to do such mundane jobs as mowing your lawn or taking out the trash. Such kids then have vested interests in your property and they are home to watch your property when adults aren’t. The kids like it because they get spending money and you get to watch TV on the weekend instead of doing lawn work.

Tip #18  Make sure the gates are locked if you have a  fence.
This is especially important with accesses to the alley.
Reason: Each layer serves as a deterrent. The more layers and hard work the criminal has to do, the more likely he is to pass by your home. A locked fence is something he must climb over while carrying objects. If the gate is left unlocked, however, he can just walk right through it.

Tip #19  Leave  the stereo/TV on
An empty house “feels” empty. There is no vibration or noise inside that indicates someone’s presence. Put the “vibes” in.
Reason: Although this is not a guaranteed deterrent, it can serve as a “bluff” to young, inexperienced prowlers. Even though they have “checked” to see if anyone is home (e.g. knock on the door), the unexpected noise, especially from the back or upstairs (any place they can’t look into), indicates that they made a mistake on their primary recon. Maybe someone is home and just didn’t hear the doorbell.
You might especially want to consider this strategy for vacations. Close the drapes, turn the stereo/TV on in the room where the criminal is most likely to try to break in.

Tip #20  Etch your name on all electronic equipment and then video tape it
Etching, in and of itself serves as a deterrent in case of a break in, failing that it greatly assists the police in the recovery of your property
Reason: Items with your name and address cannot be easily sold. The reason for this is that anyone buying them is buying something that can easily be proven to be stolen property and they know it. What protects most buyers of stolen goods is the fact that it is difficult to prove something is stolen property. However, a name and address on an item combined with a police report is a fast way to end up in the county jail for possession of stolen property — even if the person who has it bought it off the burglar. As such, why steal something that you, a) can’t sell, b) if you are caught with you’re definitely going to jail for___s?

Although it is better to record serial numbers, a faster way to assist the police in recovery is to video tape every room  and all the items in them. As you tape say what it is (for example Sanyo TV,  Hitachi DVD player, etc.,)  Title the tape something like “Family Reunion” or something you will remember and put it in your video collection. This way, if items are stolen you can give the tape to the police, video and the etching will identify your property when the police encounter it. Which quite often they do, being called to homes where stolen property is present, but without a means to identify it as such, they cannot prove it. Also send a duplicate copy to a relative.

Tip #21 Get a safe!
It’s not just cash and jewels that need to go in there, but your important paperwork.
Reason: Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the US. Although many people think burglars are going to go for jewelry, silverware or electronics, what most people don’t realize is that the greatest damage to you will be if the criminal gets access to your personal identification and financial records!!! A criminal can clone your identity and steal everything you have, up to an including selling your property. Passports can sell for as much as a thousand dollars. And a passport and your checkbook…kiss all that money good-bye.
Make sure the safe is bolted through the floor and cannot be carried out. If you are in a situation where you cannot use such measures (such as an apartment) then invest in a large, heavy duty filing cabinet with locks. Do NOT leave the keys nearby.

Tip #22 On top of everything else, get an alarm system.
This is another layer of the onion. You can go anywhere from a basic system to incredibly high tech.
Reason: Now that you’ve made it slow and difficult for him to get inside, an alarm is far more effective since it gives the cavalry a chance to arrive in time. In addition, burglar, carbon monoxide and fire alarms do wonders to keep your home owner’s insurance down.
Know however, that the bread and butter of most security companies is the service they sell you in support of the alarm system (calling the police, paging you if there is a problem or even sending their own guards). While shopping around is important, do your homework on security systems, providers and services first. And remember, you are investing for the long term. That is how you must think when
investing in an alarm system.”

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