Tag Archives: disaster

Modern Living: Part V of V (Infrastructure deterioration)

(Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Death by 1000 cuts/ Modern Living)

Topic: Part I
1.  What happened to the American dream?
2.  Entertainment galore
Part II
3.  Cigarette smoking

4.  Illegal drug use

Part III
5.  Antibiotics and super bugs
6.  Antibiotics in meat
7.  GMO in crops
Part IV

8.  Household Pollutants and Chemical spills

Part V

9.  Infrastructure deterioration

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9.  Infrastructure deterioration

System 2009
‘Grades’
5 yr. funding requirements(Billions $ projected shortfall) System 2009
‘Grades’
5 yr. funding requirements(Billions $ projected shortfall)
A.  Aviation D $40.7 Public Parks & recreation C- $48.1
Bridges C $549.5 D.  Rail C- $11.7
Dams D $7.5 E.   Roads D- $549.5
B.  Drinking water D- $108.6 Schools D $35.0
Energy D+ $29.5 Solid waste C+ $43.4
Hazardous waste D $43.4 Transit D $190.1
Inland waters D- $20.5 F.  Wastewater D- $108.6
C.  Levees D- $48.8

Red topics in table above = Topics discussed below

 A.  Aviation

  <http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/fact-sheet/aviation>
Air travel in the U.S. rebounded from its post-September 11, 2001, downturn and reached new highs in both domestic and international travel. Enplanements on U.S. carriers for both domestic and international flights totaled 669.2 million in 2000. By 2006, that number had risen to 744.7 million; in 2007 alone, the number increased an additional 25 million to 769.6 million. A sharp increase in the cost of aviation fuel, followed by the recent economic downturn, however, has slowed the demand for air travel. The number of domestic and international passengers on U.S. airlines in October 2008 was 7.1% lower than in October 2007. From January to October of 2008 there were 630.1 million enplanements, a decrease of 2.6% from the same 10-month period in 2007. It is estimated that air travel will increase in 2009 though, the latest forecast (March 2008) projecting an annual increase of 2.9% in domestic U.S. commercial enplanements and 4.8% in international enplanements—a system increase total of 3%.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has a goal of ensuring that no less than 93% of the runways at National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS) airports are maintained in good or fair condition. That goal was exceeded in 2007: 79% were rated good, 18% were rated fair, and only 3% were rated poor. However, there were 370 runway incursions in 2007—up from 330 in 2006. Due to the FAA’s 2008 change in definition for a runway incursion, this number is likely to increase further. A runway incursion is defined as an incident involving the incorrect presence of an aircraft, vehicle, person, or object on the ground that creates a collision hazard for an aircraft taking off, intending to take off, landing, or intending to land.

Top 10 U.S Passenger Airports 2006-2007
Rank Location Airport
1 Anchorage, AK Ted Stevens Anchorage International
2 Memphis, TN Memphis International
3 Louisville, KY Louisville International
4 Miami, FL Miami International
5 Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles International
6 Indianapolis, IN Indianapolis International
7 New York, NY John F. Kennedy International
8 Chicago, IL Chicago O’Hare International
9 Newark, NJ Newark Liberty International
10 Oakland, CA Metropolitan Oakland International
U.S. DOT, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 2008

Every year the industry incurs avoidable air traffic control delays that, while beyond the immediate control of air traffic control personnel, waste hundreds of millions of dollars. In 2007, airlines reported an on-time arrival record of 73.3%, the second worst in history; the worst record—72.6%—was recorded in 2000. The air traffic control system remains outdated and inefficient, and modernization efforts continue to meet with delay. The FAA is seeking to implement its NextGen system; however, drawn-out congressional reauthorization of the FAA funding mechanism is causing delay and confusion among airport sponsors across the nation.

Top 10 U.S. Cargo Airports 2006-2007
Rank Location Airport
1 Atlanta, GA Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International
2 Chicago, IL Chicago O’Hare International
3 Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles International
4 Fort Worth, TX Dallas/Fort Worth International
5 Denver, CO Denver International
6 New York, NY John F. Kennedy International
7 Las Vegas, NV McCarran International
8 Phoenix, AZ Phoenix Sky Harbor International
9 Houston, TX George Bush Intercontinental/Houston
10 Newark, NJ Newark Liberty International
U.S. DOT,  Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 2008

The old airline business model is being replaced by a newer low-fare, low-cost model. Between 2000 and 2006, U.S. airlines’ domestic operations reported combined operating and net losses of $27.9 and $36.2 billion, respectively. However, in 2007—for the first time since 2000—the airline industry posted a $5.8-billion net profit. And, cargo carriers continue to report strong results with net profits of $1.4 billion.

Generally, there are four sources of funding used to finance airport infrastructure and development: airport cash flow; revenue and general obligation bonds; federal/state/local grants, including the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants; and passenger facility charges (PFCs). Access to these funding sources varies widely among airports. Since fiscal year 2001, AIP grants have exceeded $3 billion annually, and for the past five years, PFC collections have exceeded $2 billion annually. Together, AIP grants and PFC collections account for 40% of annual U.S. airport capital spending. Since 1990, annual funding for airport capital needs has been in the range of $5.5 to $7.3 billion.1 Since congressional authorization for the AIP expired in September of 2007, the program has operated under a series of continuing resolutions, making long-term planning difficult.

An additional challenge to airport capacity-building is the fragmented nature of airport ownership. Local governments and the private sector represent the majority of owners and investors in air transportation infrastructure, and they tend to focus primarily on their own needs, and only secondarily on national, system wide concerns. According to the NPIAS, there are 3,356 existing publicly owned, public-use airports in the United States, with an additional 55 proposed. There are also 522 commercial service airports, and of these, 383 have more than 10,000 annual enplanements and are classified as primary airports.

Resilience
Aviation’s rapid movement of goods and services, as well as its support of tourism, is critical to the economic vitality of the nation, and air travel is often chosen over other modes of transportation on the basis of convenience, time, and cost. Thus, the consequence of failure is severe. Additionally, shifts in demand corresponding to threats, delays, and fuel pricing contribute to the volatility of the industry. In a highly complex system like aviation, resilience is not simply a matter of technical or facility upgrades. Future investments must consider dynamic system changes, security, capacity, life-cycle facility maintenance, technology innovations, and redundancy.

Conclusion
Just as the industry was recovering from the events of September 11, 2001, it was dealt another blow from the impact of surging oil prices, volatile credit markets, and a lagging economy. In the face of recent FAA estimates that predict an annual 3% growth in air travel, the continuing delays in reauthorization of federal programs and updating of the outdated air traffic control system threaten the system’s ability to meet the needs of the American people and economy. To remain successful, the nation’s aviation systems need robust and flexible federal leadership, a strong commitment to airport infrastructure, and the rapid deployment of NextGen.

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B.     Drinking water

Report Card for America’s Infrastructure
http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/fact-sheet/drinking-water
The nation’s drinking-water systems face staggering public investment needs over the next 20 years. Although America spends billions on infrastructure each year, drinking water systems face an annual shortfall of at least $11 billion in funding needed to replace aging facilities that are near the end of their useful life and to comply with existing and future federal water regulations. The shortfall does not account for any growth in the demand for drinking water over the next 20 years.[Tip: Fix that leak!
A faucet dripping just once per second will waste as much as 2,700 gallons of water per year. Fix any leaking faucets.]

[Image at left: Samples of contaminated tap water from Maywood, Calif.]

Of the nearly 53,000 community water systems, approximately 83% serve 3,300 or fewer people. These systems provide water to just 9% of the total U.S. population served by all community systems. In contrast, 8% of community water systems serve more than 10,000 people and provide water to 81% of the population served. Eighty-five percent (16,348) of nontransient, noncommunity water systems and 97% (83,351) of transient noncommunity water systems serve 500 or fewer people. These smaller systems face huge financial, technological, and managerial challenges in meeting a growing number of federal drinking-water regulations.

In 2002, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued The Clean Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure Gap Analysis, which identified potential funding gaps between projected needs and spending from 2000 through 2019. This analysis estimated a potential 20-year funding gap for drinking water capital expenditures as well as operations and maintenance, ranging from $45 billion to $263 billion, depending on spending levels. Capital needs alone were pegged at $161 billion.

Water Usage: 1950 and 2000
1950 2000 % change
Population (Millions) 93.4 242 159%
Usage (Billions of Gallons per Day) 14 43 207%
Per Capita Usage (Gal. / Person /   Day) 149 179 20%
SOURCE US EPA Clean Water and Drinking Water   Infrastructure Gap
Analysis Report, September 2002

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) concluded in 2003 that “current funding from all levels of government and current revenues generated from ratepayers will not be sufficient to meet the nation’s future demand for water infrastructure.” The CBO estimated the nation’s needs for drinking water investments at between $10 billion and $20 billion over the next 20 years.

Resilience
Drinking water systems provide a critical public health function and are essential to life, economic development, and growth. Disruptions in service can hinder disaster response and recovery efforts, expose the public to water-borne contaminants, and cause damage to roadways, structures, and other infrastructure, endangering lives and resulting in billions of dollars in losses.

The nation’s drinking-water systems are not highly resilient; present capabilities to prevent failure and properly maintain or reconstitute services are inadequate. Additionally, the lack of investment and the interdependence on the energy sector contribute to the lack of overall system resilience. These shortcomings are currently being addressed through the construction of dedicated emergency power generation at key drinking water utility facilities, increased connections with adjacent utilities for emergency supply, and the development of security and criticality criteria. Investment prioritization must take into consideration system vulnerabilities, interdependencies, improved efficiencies in water usage via market incentives, system robustness, redundancy, failure consequences, and ease and cost of recovery.

Conclusion
The nation’s drinking-water systems face staggering public investment needs over the next 20 years. Although America spends billions on infrastructure each year, drinking water systems face an annual shortfall of at least $11 billion in funding needed to replace aging facilities that are near the end of their useful life and to comply with existing and future federal water regulations. The shortfall does not account for any growth in the demand for drinking water over the next 20 years.

Design Life of Drinking Water Systems
Components Years of design life
Reservoirs and Dams 50–80
Treatment Plants—Concrete Structures 60–70
Treatment Plants—Mechanical and Electrical 15–25
Trunk Mains 65–95
Pumping Stations—Concrete Structures 60–70
Pumping Stations—Mechanical and Electrical 25
Distribution 60–95
SOURCE US EPA Clean Water and Drinking Water   Infrastructure Gap
Analysis Report, September 2002

Of the nearly 53,000 community water systems, approximately 83% serve 3,300 or fewer people. These smaller systems face huge financial, technological, and managerial challenges in meeting a growing number of federal drinking-water regulations.

In 2002, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued The Clean Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure Gap Analysis, which identified potential funding gaps between projected needs and spending from 2000 through 2019. This analysis estimated a potential 20-year funding gap for drinking water capital expenditures as well as operations and maintenance, ranging from $45 billion to $263 billion, depending on spending levels. Capital needs alone were pegged at $161 billion.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) concluded in 2003 that “current funding from all levels of government and current revenues generated from ratepayers will not be sufficient to meet the nation’s future demand for water infrastructure.” The CBO estimated the nation’s needs for drinking water investments at between $10 billion and $20 billion over the next 20 years.

In 1996, Congress enacted the drinking-water state revolving loan fund (SRF) program. The program authorizes the EPA to award annual capitalization grants to states. States then use their grants (plus a 20% state match) to provide loans and other assistance to public water systems. Communities repay loans into the fund, thus replenishing the fund and making resources available for projects in other communities. Eligible projects include installation and replacement of treatment facilities, distribution systems, and some storage facilities. Projects to replace aging infrastructure are eligible if they are needed to maintain compliance or to further public health protection goals.
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•  That Tap Water Is Legal but May Be Unhealthy
16 December 2009, New York Times, by Charles Duhigg
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/17/us/17water.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1305695093-MB1uD14BF9hUOpPKG+6vzg
“The 35-year-old federal law regulating tap water is so out of date that the water Americans drink can pose what scientists say are serious health risks — and still be legal.

What’s in Your Water
Only 91 contaminants are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act, yet more than 60,000 chemicals are used within the United States, according to Environmental Protection Agency estimates. Government and independent scientists have scrutinized thousands of those chemicals in recent decades, and identified hundreds associated with a risk of cancer and other diseases at small concentrations in drinking water, according to an analysis of government records by The New York Times.

But not one chemical has been added to the list of those regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act since 2000. Other recent studies have found that even some chemicals regulated by that law pose risks at much smaller concentrations than previously known. However, many of the act’s standards for those chemicals have not been updated since the 1980s, and some remain essentially unchanged since the law was passed in 1974.

All told, more than 62 million Americans have been exposed since 2004 to drinking water that did not meet at least one commonly used government health guideline intended to help protect people from cancer or serious disease, according to an analysis by The Times of more than 19 million drinking-water test results from the District of Columbia and the 45 states that made data available.
In some cases, people have been exposed for years to water that did not meet those guidelines.
But because such guidelines were never incorporated into the Safe Drinking Water Act, the vast majority of that water never violated the law…”

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C.  Levees

 http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/fact-sheet/levees
The state of the nation’s levees has a significant impact on public safety. Levees are man-made barriers (embankment, floodwall, structure) along a water course constructed for the primary purpose of providing hurricane, storm and flood protection. Levees are often part of complex systems that include not only levees and floodwalls, but also pumps, interior drainage systems, closures, penetrations, and transitions. Many levees are integral to economic development in the protected community.

Federal levee systems currently provide a six-to-one return on flood damages prevented compared to initial building cost. Despite this, baseline information has not been systematically gathered through inspections and post-flood performance observations and measurements to identify the most critical levee safety issues, quantify the true costs of levee safety, prioritize future funding, and provide data for risk-based assessments in an efficient or cost-effective manner.
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[Image at right: Rising waters cresting levee along Mississippi River.]

There is no definitive record of how many levees there are in the U.S., nor is there an assessment of the current condition and performance of those levees. Recent surveys by the Association of State Dam Safety Officials and the Association of State Floodplain Managers found that only 10 states keep any listing of levees within their borders and only 23 states have an agency with some responsibility for levee safety. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimates that levees are found in approximately 22% of the nation’s 3,147 counties. Forty-three percent of the U.S. population lives in counties with levees. Many of those levees were designed decades ago to protect agricultural and rural areas, not the homes and businesses that are now located behind them.

In the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, Congress passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2007. The Act required the establishment and maintenance of an inventory of all federal levees, as well as those non-federal levees for which information is voluntarily provided by state and local government agencies. The inventory is intended to be a comprehensive, geospatial database that is shared between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the states.

While the USACE has begun the inventory of all federal levees, to date few states or local agencies have provided any formal information, leaving the inventory far from complete. In addition, there is still much to be determined about the condition and performance of the nation’s levees, both federal and nonfederal. As of February 2009, initial results from USACE’s inventory show that while more than half of all federally inspected levees do not have any deficiencies, 177, or about 9%, are expected to fail in a flood event. The inventory data collection process is ongoing and these preliminary findings are expected to change as the process continues.

WRDA 2007 also created a committee to develop for the first time recommendations for a national levee safety program. The National Committee on Levee Safety completed its work in January 2009 and the panel recommended that improvements in levee safety be addressed through comprehensive and consistent national leadership, new and sustained state levee safety programs, and an alignment of existing federal programs.

Damages from Flooding in Levee-Related Areas
Location/year Damages in Dollars
Midwest 1993 $272,872,070
North Dakota/Minnesota 1997 $152,039,604
Hurricane Katrina 2005 $16,467,524,782
Midwest 2008 $583,596,400
National Committee on   Levee Safety

Often, the risk of living behind levees is not well-known, and the likelihood of flooding is misunderstood. For this reason, little focus is placed on measures that the public can take to mitigate their risks. Though the 1% annual chance flood event (“100-year flood”) is believed by many to be an infrequent event, in reality there is at least a 26% chance that it will occur during the life of a 30-year mortgage. The likely impacts of climate change are expected to increase the intensity and frequency of coastal storms and thereby increase the chance of flooding.

During the past 50 years there has been tremendous development on lands protected by levees. Coupled with the fact that many levees have not been well maintained, this burgeoning growth has put people and infrastructure at risk—the perceived safety provided by levees has inadvertently increased flood risks by attracting development to the floodplain. Continued population growth and economic development behind levees is considered by many to be the dominant factor in the national flood risk equation, outpacing the effects of increased chance of flood occurrence and the degradation of levee condition. Unfortunately, lands protected by levees have not always been developed in a manner that recognizes the benefits of the rivers and manages the risk of flooding.

FEMA’s Flood Map Modernization Program, which remaps floodplains using modern technologies, is resulting in a reexamination of levees throughout the United States to determine if they can still be accredited. Before accrediting a levee, FEMA is requiring many communities to certify that their levees meet the 1% criteria.

Flood insurance is one of the most effective ways to limit financial damages in the case of flooding and speed recovery of flood damaged communities. Currently, many people who live behind levees do not believe that they need flood insurance, believing that they are protected by a levee structure. Requiring the purchase of mandatory flood insurance is intended to increase the understanding that living behind even well-engineered levees has some risk. This may encourage communities to build levees to exceed the 1% annual-chance protection standard that has mistakenly become a target minimum.

Resilience
Levees serve to protect the public and critical infrastructure and to prevent flooding. With increasing development behind existing levees, the risk to public health and safety from failure has increased. To address the current lack of resilience in the nation’s levee system, DHS has included levees within the critical infrastructure protection program in an attempt to identify those levees that present the greatest risk to the nation. DHS has also funded research to increase the robustness of levees—for example, armoring the slopes to resist erosion should floodwaters exceed the design elevation—and technologies are currently under study to rapidly repair any breaches that may occur in a levee. To ensure system integrity, future investments must also focus on life-cycle maintenance, research, development of emergency action plans for levee-protected areas, and security.

Conclusion
Much is still unknown about the condition of the nation’s tens of thousands of miles of levees. The residual risk to life and property behind such structures cannot be ignored. Due to their impact on life and safety issues, and the significant consequences of failure, as well as the financial burden of falling property values behind levees that are not safe and are being decertified, the nation must not delay addressing levee issues.

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D.  Rail

Freight Rail
<http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/fact-sheet/rail&gt;
The U.S. freight rail system is comprised of three classes of railroad companies based on annual operating revenues:
8 Class I freight railroad systems;
30 Class II regional or short-line railroads; and
320 Class III or local line-haul carriers.

Approximately 42% of all intercity freight in the United States travels via rail, including 70 percent of domestically manufactured automobiles and 70 percent of coal delivered to power plants.  As of 2006, Class I railroads owned and operated 140,249 miles of track. However, most traffic travels on approximately one-third of the total network, which totals 52,340 miles.

After years of shedding excess capacity, railroads have been increasing infrastructure investment and spending in recent years. In 2006, overall spending on rail infrastructure was $8 billion, a 21% increase from 2005. More specifically, spending on construction of new roadway and structures increased from $1.5 billion in 2005 to $1.9 billion in 2007. Increased spending on maintenance of railroad networks and systems has become necessary as investments are made in more costly signaling technology, heavier rail, and the improved substructure necessary to accommodate heavier trains.

Demand for freight transportation is projected to nearly double by 2035—from 19.3 billion tons in 2007 to 37.2 billion tons in 2035. If current market shares are maintained, railroads will be expected to handle an 88% increase in tonnage by 2035.However, as many look to rail as a more efficient and environmentally friendly freight shipper, rail’s market share could increase and lead to additional increases in freight rail tonnage.

An estimated $148 billion in improvements will be needed to accommodate the projected rail freight demand in 2035.Class I freight railroads’ share of this cost is estimated at $135 billion.Through productivity and efficiency gains, railroads hope to reduce the required investment from $148 billion to $121 billion over the period 2007 through 2035.

Passenger Rail
Amtrak, the nation’s only intercity passenger rail provider, carried 28.7 million riders in fiscal year 2008, an 11.1% increase from fiscal year 2007. Further, the 2007 ridership represented a 20% increase from the previous five years.  Corridor services linking major cities less than 500 miles apart, such as Milwaukee-Chicago, Sacramento-San Francisco-San Jose and the Northeast Corridor, are experiencing the fastest growth. 5

Increased ridership has led to increased revenue, and Amtrak received $1.355 billion in federal investment in fiscal year 2008. However, an additional $410 million in immediate capital needs have been identified, including acquiring new cars to add capacity. In addition, upgrades to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and improve overall conditions of the 481 stations in its network are estimated at $1.5 billion.

While electrical power in the Northeast Corridor cushioned some of the blow of increased fuel prices in 2008, it also represents a major infrastructure challenge for Amtrak. Upgrading the electrical system in the Northeast Corridor, parts of which were installed in the 1930s, is among the immediate needs identified. Failure of these critical systems could bring the entire line to a halt, which would impact not only Amtrak, but also the eight commuter railroads that share the Northeast Corridor.

Amtrak anticipates reaching and exceeding capacity in the near future on some routes. For example, approximately half of trains traveling on one northeast regional line were 85% full and 62% were at least 75% full during one week in July 2008. Even though the current economic downturn has dampened growth, trains will soon reach capacity as the economy rebounds and the growth patterns of recent years are reestablished, and the fleet of cars and locomotives continues to age.

In the long term, the Passenger Rail Working Group (PRWG), which was formed as part of the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, determined that an annual investment of $7.4 billion through 2016, totaling $66.3 billion, is needed to address the total capital cost of a proposed intercity rail network. It is further estimated that an additional $158.6 billion is needed between 2016 and 2030 and an additional $132.3 billion between 2031 and 2050 to achieve the ideal intercity network proposed by the PRWG.  These costs do not include the mandated safety upgrades for freight rail lines that carry both passenger as well as freight traffic and for those routes that carry toxic chemicals as required by the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008.

While the investments set forth by the PRWG are significant, the benefits would be significant as well. The PRWG estimated a net fuel savings of nearly $4 billion per year by diverting passengers to rail if the proposed vision was adopted. In addition, the investments would reduce the need for even greater capacity investments in other modes.

Intercity passenger rail faces particular concerns not faced by other modes of transportation, such as the lack of a dedicated revenue source. Amtrak owns and/or operates 656 miles of track that are maintained and upgraded using funds from its general operating budget, impacting its ability to fund other projects. The annual congressional appropriations process has provided minimal funding in recent years, leading to a major backlog of deferred track maintenance on the track that Amtrak owns and operates, more than half of which is shared with commuter and freight railroads. For the remainder of its 21,095-mile network, Amtrak relies on freight rail lines that make maintenance and upgrade decisions on the basis of their own business models and shareholders’ interests while preserving Amtrak’s statutory rights for access. Freight and passenger rail interests are becoming more aligned as both require increases in rail network capacity, but successful alignment of interests will require both a public and private investment.

Resilience
Because of its efficiency and reduced energy consumption, rail is an important component of the nation’s transportation network, supporting the economy through both commerce and tourism. But due to a lack of adequate investment, limited redundancy, intermodal constraints, and energy system interdependencies, the rail system is not resilient. Current rail security strategies are risk-based as determined by corridor assessments, corporate security reviews, intelligence analyses, and objectively measured risk metrics. To improve resilience, future investments must address life-cycle maintenance, rapid recovery, multihazard threats and vulnerabilities, and technological innovations.

Conclusion
Rail is increasingly seen as a way to alleviate growing freight and passenger congestion experienced by other modes of transportation. In addition, rail is a fuel efficient alternative for moving freight long distances.
Anticipated growth over the coming decades, as well as demographic shifts, will tax a rail system that is already reaching capacity in some critical bottlenecks. A substantial investment in rail infrastructure will maximize efficiencies and ultimately reap broad benefits for passengers, shippers, and the general public.
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E.  Roads

 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure
http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/fact-sheet/roads
Our nation’s economy and our quality of life require a highway and roadway system that provides a safe, reliable, efficient, and comfortable driving environment. Although highway fatalities and traffic-related injuries declined in 2007, the drop is most likely attributable to people driving less. Still, in 2007, 41,059 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes and 2,491,000 were injured.  Motor vehicle crashes cost the U.S. $230 billion per year–$819 for each resident in medical costs, lost productivity, travel delays, workplace costs, insurance costs, and legal costs. These findings are clearly unacceptable.

Next to safety, congestion has become the most critical challenge facing our highway system. Congestion continues to worsen to the point at which Americans spend 4.2 billion hours a year stuck in traffic at a cost of $78.2 billion a year in wasted time and fuel costs–$710 per motorist. The average daily percentage of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) under congested conditions rose from 25.9% in 1995 to 31.6% in 2004, congestion in large urban areas exceeding 40%. And as a result of increased congestion, total fuel wasted climbed from 1.7 billion gallons in 1995 to 2.9 billion gallons in 2005.

        Poor road conditions lead to excessive wear and tear on motor vehicles and can also lead to increased numbers of crashes and delays. According to the Federal Highway Administration, while the percentage of VMT occurring on roads classified as having “good” ride quality has steadily improved, the percentage of “acceptable” ride quality steadily declined from 86.6% in 1995 to 84.9% in 2004, with the lowest acceptable ride quality found among urbanized roads at 72.4%. 2 These figures represent a failure to achieve significant increases in good and acceptable ride quality, particularly in heavily trafficked urbanized areas.

Compounding the problem are steadily increasing demands on the system. From 1980-2005, while automobile VMT increased 94% and truck VMT increased 105%, highway lane-miles grew by only 3.5%. From 1994-2004, ton miles of freight moved by truck grew 33%.  The increase in freight traffic is of particular concern because of the increased dependency of commerce upon the efficiency of the roadways and the added wear and tear caused by trucks. Without adequate investment and attention, the negative trends will continue, as will the adverse consequences. It is clear that significant improvements and system maintenance will require significant investments.

The National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Commission studied the impact of varying investment levels (medium and high) and produced the following ranges of average annual capital investment needs (in 2006 dollars):

  • $130 billion-$240 billion for the 15 year period 2005-2020;
  • $133 billion-$250 billion for the 30 year period 2005-2035;
  • $146 billion-$276 billion for the 50 year period 2005-2055.

The lower end of the ranges reflect the estimated costs of maintaining key conditions and performance measures at current levels, (the status quo), while the higher end ranges would allow for an aggressive expansion of the highway system, which would provide improved conditions and performance in light of increasing travel demand.  Even at the lower range of estimates, an enormous gap exists between the current level of capital investment and the investment needed to improve the nation’s highways and roads.

Resilience
The Interstate Highway System was constructed as part of the nation’s strategic homeland defense, illustrating the important role of transportation in mitigation, defense and recovery.

Top 10 Most Congested Cities in the U.S.
Rank City Hours of Delay per traveler
1 Los Angeles/Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA 72
2 San Francisco-Oakland, CA 60
3 Washington, DC-VA-MD 60
4 Atlanta, GA 60
5 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 58
6 Houston, TX 56
7 Detroit, MI 54
8 Miami, FL 50
9 Phoenix, AZ 48
10 Chicago, IL-IN 46
Urban   Mobility Report: Texas Transportation Institute, 2007

The ability of our transportation system to withstand threats from hazards of all types, both natural and human-caused, and to restore service promptly following such events, is known as resilience. Resilience includes a variety of such interconnected aspects as structural robustness, system redundancy, security posture, emergency response capabilities, recovery measures, business continuity alternatives, long-term mitigation strategies, cross-sector interdependencies, regional impacts, and supply chain disruptions.

Building disaster-resistant roads and highways reduces hazard mitigation costs, limits exposure, and maintains operational continuity. A multihazard approach utilizing next-generation codes, standards, and practices is necessary to minimize the extent of a disaster.

Conclusion
The challenges imposed by our highway infrastructure require a large increase in capital investment on the part of all levels of government and other sources as well. The failure to adequately invest in the nation’s highways and roads will lead to increased congestion and delays for motorists and the further deterioration of pavement conditions and will pose increased safety concerns. An overstressed infrastructure will also slow freight delivery, create unpredictability in supply chains, diminish the competitiveness of U.S. businesses, and increase the cost of consumer goods. There must also be a significant change in the way we manage the system, which should include the use of emerging technologies and innovative operational strategies.

While acknowledging the need to move to a new, sustainable funding system in the long term, the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission has recommended an increase of 5-8 cents per gallon per year over the next 5 years to address the current projected shortfall.  Clearly, we cannot continue to rely upon gasoline and diesel taxes to generate the HTF revenues, especially when national policy demands a reduction in both our reliance upon foreign sources of energy and our nation’s carbon footprint. While in the short term an increase in the gas tax is clearly necessary, our national policy must move toward a system that more directly aligns fees that a user is charged with the benefits that the user derives.
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F.  Wastewater

Crumbling U.S. Sewage System Undermines Public Health
20 Feb 2004, Environmemental news Service, By J.R. Pegg
http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/feb2004/2004-02-20-10.html
WASHINGTON, DC, February 20, 2004 (ENS) – The United States has a million mile network of sewage collection pipes designed to carry some 50 trillion gallons of raw sewage daily to some 20,000 treatment plants. But parts of this complex and aging infrastructure are crumbling, environmentalists warn, posing a health risk to communities across the nation.

There is no shortage of communities that have already suffered adverse effects from the failure to regulate or upgrade sewage collection and treatment. Their situation is documented in a report issued Thursday by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP).
•  “Swimming in Sewage” details how sewage pollution costs Americans billions of dollars every year in medical treatment, lost productivity and property damage.
•  “We have a looming public health crisis on our hands that will take billions of dollars to fix,” said Nancy Stoner, director of NRDC’s Clean Water Project.

In fact, it may cost even more.

A statement on the report by the Association of Metropolitan Sewage Agencies says the Congressional Budget Office, the Government Accounting Office and the EPA all agree there is a national funding gap estimated to be as high as $1 trillion for water infrastructure. Some 87 percent of the more than 12,000 beach closures and advisories in 2002 were the result of high bacteria levels in the water.
[Photo at right: Water treatment facility.]
The report features seven case studies from around the country that illustrate how exposure to sewage pollution has killed or seriously injured people and harmed local economies. The case studies are from California, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Washington, DC.
•  The report cites figures from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that found in 2001 there were 40,000 sanitary sewer overflows and 400,000 backups of raw sewage into basements.
•  The EPA estimates that 1.8 million to 3.5 million individuals get sick each year from swimming in waters contaminated by sanitary sewage overflows.
•  Many older municipalities, many in the Northeast and Great Lakes regions, have sewage collection systems designed to carry both sewage and stormwater runoff.
•  These systems are often overwhelmed with a mixture of untreated sewage and stormwater, and the EPA estimates that some 1.3 trillion gallons of raw sewage are dumped each year by these combined sewer overflows.

A large part of the problem is one of aging infrastructure, some pipes still in use are almost 200 years old, although the average age of collection system components is about 33 years.

Federal officials predict that without substantial investment in the nation’s sewage infrastructure, by 2025 U.S. waters will again suffer from sewage related pollutant loadings as high as they were in the record year 1968.

Wastewater treatment is expensive and plant operators say federal funds are needed for vital upgrades to occur. But the greater problem is not one of engineering, Stoner says, it is the lack of political will to address and fund solutions. Under the Bush administration, the political will to deal with sewage infrastructure problems is weaker than before he took office, according to the report.
[Image at left: New Mexico Environment Department, Emptying into the Rio Grande.]

The President’s 2005 budget request, for example, cuts some $500 million from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which provides grant money to state and tribal governments for development and upgrades of sewage treatment plants. This is the biggest cut in the Bush budget for any environmental program and Stoners says it will result in more beach closings, more contaminated shellfish beds, more polluted drinking water supplies, and more waterborne disease, which now sickens nearly eight million Americans every year.

“Waterborne disease outbreaks are on the rise across the country,” added Michele Merkel of the Environmental Integrity Project. “Most often, Americans get diarrhea, skin rashes or respiratory infections, but waterborne illness can threaten the lives of seniors, young children, cancer patients, and others with impaired immune systems. Now is the time to boost funding to protect Americans, not cut it.”

The administration has also shelved a Clinton era plan to require new controls aimed at preventing raw sewage discharges and has issued a new proposal to ease existing sewage treatment regulations.

The Bush proposal focuses on the practice of blending, which occurs when large volumes of wastewater, caused by heavy rainfall or snowmelt, exceed the capacity of secondary treatment units at a sewage treatment facility.

At most sewage treatment plants, incoming wastewater is treated by the primary units, which separate and remove solids. Then it is sent to secondary treatment units where the remaining solids are broken down by biological treatments, and most of the pathogenic organisms and other pollutants are removed.

The wastewater is then disinfected before it is discharged into waterways. But during heavy storms the capacity of the secondary treatment units is exceeded at many plants and the excess is diverted around these units, then later recombined or blended with the wastewater that has been treated by the secondary units. These blended flows are disinfected and discharged – the practice is allowed under the Clean Water Act only when there is no feasible alternative.

Under new Bush proposal, blending would be permitted regardless of feasible alternatives.  Upgrading sewage treatment plants to handle peak flows would cost billions of dollars, say industry officials, who call blending a “longstanding, sensible practice.”

In addition, EPA officials and industry representatives note that the blended waste must still meet discharge standards, but environmentalists say those standards do not cover viruses or parasites and believe the plan violates the Clean Water Act.

“Swimming in Sewage” cites a recent study that finds the risk of contracting the diarrheal illness giardiasis from untreated parasites in blended wastewater is a thousand times higher than from fully treated wastewater.

End of > (Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Death by 1000 cuts/Modern living/Part V of V: Infrastructure Deterioration)

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Survive the Collapse

A.  How to Survive the Collapse of Civilization
Nov 2012, SecretsofSurvival.com, by James Roberts
Excerpt pasted from: http://www.secretsofsurvival.com/survival/collapse_of_civilization.html

survive

“…Priorities considerations in the event of total social breakdown (the order here doesn’t matter, as it could conceivably change greatly depending on the situation)

 Find food and water – If you are someone that believes the world is on the doorstep of Armageddon or could be in for some tough years ahead, you may want to plan for this one in advance. If everything breaks down, one of the first things you’ll need is an immediate supply of food and water.

Best case scenario: you thought about this before the problem and have emergency supplies on hand at your home and / or office. This will help you get through that first week or two.

If not, this could conceivably become the first order of business. Sustain yourself for long enough to come up with a plan. By the way, in speaking of a long term plan…

Find a group ( if there is one available to you )- Under circumstances where complete social chaos is reigning, you might not want to be by yourself. First, there’s physical safety in numbers (on Jericho there have been several situations where outsiders have come to the town intent on doing folks harm; on Lost, of course, there’s the Others).

Regardless, a group will help you protect your family and yourself when and if further danger arises.

Beyond that, group membership will help to meet your need to belong later. That’s right, like the world famous psychologist Abraham Maslow has indicated, all human beings need to feel as if they belong and are safe.

Regardless, look to those you can trust: people within your own neighborhood, for example. Further, if the availability is there – as in the case of Jericho, Kansas – look to your town.

Pick a leader – Football teams need a head coach and some assistants. Without this, any player or coach will tell you that chaos would reign. Every form of government also has a set of leaders. Don’t believe – even for a second – that you can survive chaos without installing some kind of power structure. Everything that is civilization tells us different. Further, by implementing a power structure of sorts, you’ll have in essence brought some order to the chaos, even if only within your own group.

Therefore, small groups would be wise to elect a leader early on (this will be easier within groups that truly know one another). Further, plans regarding the future power structure should be made at this time ( will there be voting?). Such discussions might serve to quell the jealousy of those who are not elected to lead.

Bigger groups could go the democratic route and have mini parliament of sorts, if they chose. Or perhaps an elected official might serve the purpose (like a town mayor).

Protect yourself from the elements with a shelter – Do you still have a house? If so, great! If not, look for natural shelters (like the caves in Lost). Or if no manmade or natural shelters are available, consider building some (like the contestants always do on the hit CBS show Survivor).

By the way, do this quickly. Further, if total social breakdown occurs in an area where the elements are a big problem, this may need to be your first order of business.

Heating and cooling – Is the electricity working (not in Jericho, Kansas, it isn’t)? Are there any heat sources available? If not, we’re talking fire. Which of course requires something to burn.

It would be smart to have a plan for dealing with this.

Can you defend yourself?

Are you in danger? – In other words, are people walking down your road with guns intent on stealing or otherwise doing harm to you? Obviously, if this is the case, then defending yourself becomes first priority.

Perhaps it’s an opposing military; perhaps it’s our own citizens trying to better their own situation. Regardless, here are some ideas to consider.

Fortify your area – There are all types of things you could try. You could line cars, busses, or trucks around you for protection. You could try to build a wall if time permits. You could even attempt to build a fort of sorts. Here’s the problem with all of those ideas.

They let people know where you are.

Thus, the best course of action would likely depend on the situation. If you’re a relatively large group that has weapons and capability, doing some fortification work may not be a bad idea. However, if you’re a small group that wants to remain nameless, the last thing you may want to do is line a bunch of trucks around four houses, particularly if there are groups out there to fear. After all, fortification strategies like that tend to scream, here we are!

In such situations, search for natural barriers to live near (lakes, mountains). These won’t bring any obvious unwanted notoriety. However, keep in mind that if you live near fresh water, expect others to eventually come calling (food and water would, of course, be of paramount important to survivors of social breakdown).

Collect weapons – This is an obvious one. Just remember that if someone wants to be a part of your group, their weapons are too. It can’t just be a band of individuals.

Remember the power structure – When it comes to military maneuvers, a power structure is absolutely of paramount importance. In fact, when you’re electing or deciding on a group leader, their ability to lead you in a military sense should be high on the list.

This leader, if they’re worth a grain of salt, will devise a guard schedule. If there is any truly conceivable danger at all, a watch should always be put into place along with a way for the guard to contact others without alerting attention to him or herself.

Finally, think long term when it comes to food – How are you going to sustain yourselves in the long term? If there is true social chaos that could go on indefinitely, this needs to be considered in great detail. Some things to think about are:
a) Rationing the food you have.
b) Freezing food that might go bad (if you have the means). If not, then eat that first.
c) Farming possibilities (present and future).
d) Cattle availability.
e) Winter rations.

In sum, total social breakdown has never happened in the United States. During periods of specific social unrest, this country has always been able to recover. Regardless, there could be any number of situations that could change America’s luck.

Terrorists, a nuclear war, the consequences of global warming, etc.

Further, total social breakdown can occur in other ways (think Lost). So are you ready? Would you know what to do? Here’s what’s certain.

This article is only meant to get you thinking in the right direction. If the real thing were to ever hit, survivors would have to do a lot of thinking on their feet. Of course, if you thought some of this through before the event, that might save some time and effort…

That’s for you to decide. “

.

 B.  Long-Term Security, Perimeter Defense and Lethal Tactics
5 October 2012, SHTFplan.com, by Max Velocity
http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/long-term-security-permieter-defense-and-lethal-tactics_10052012

This article first appeared at Ready Nutrition as part of the 52 Weeks to Preparedness Series and is written by Max Velocity of Max Velocity Tactical.

Max Velocity has been kind enough to dedicate his time and professional insights to our preparedness community. He has an extensive military background, having served in both the British and the U.S. armies and also as a high threat security contractor. He has served on six military operational deployments, including to Afghanistan immediately post-9/11, and additionally he spent five years serving as a security contractor in both Iraq and Afghanistan. During his career in the British Army he served with British SOF (The Parachute Regiment), to include a role training and selecting recruits for the Regiment. More recently, he has served in a Combat Medic and Civil Affairs role in the US Army Reserves. He is the author of two books: Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival and Rapid Fire! Tactics for High Threat, Protection and Combat Operations. With his vast military background and real world experience, Max provides the kind of information that every prepper needs to learn, understand and integrate into their long-term security and home defense plans.

defenseIn this article for the final week of ‘52 Weeks for Preparedness’ I will discuss long term security and defense of your retreat location. We cannot predict now exactly what conditions will look like after a collapse and as such I urge you not to make too many assumptions based on your particular idea of what such a post-SHTF situation will look like. The purpose will be to give you the general principles and techniques of defending a location, which you can tailor and apply as necessary and appropriate. It is best to adopt a mindset of flexibility and gather mental and physical knowledge and ‘tools’ in order to be able to develop your response and put some of these measures in place as you find them necessary and appropriate. For the article I will assume a broad post-SHTF situation of societal collapse with a general absence of law and order.

What is the threat? As a prepper hunkered down at your home, with food stores, the most likely threat will be from looters and marauders. These could take many forms from a simple beggar, through starving neighbors, mobs, tricks and deceptions, to a tactically organized group with weapons and equipment. The worst case is some sort of organized paramilitary style force with heavy equipment bent on forced redistribution. Therefore, remain flexible and have an emergency rally point and extraction route should you be overmatched. Know when you have no alternative but to bug out. You can make this decision if you have the information before the threat arrives and conduct the bug out in good order. Alternatively, you may be forced to make the decision as the attack progresses and have to ‘break contact’ and withdraw under enemy fire; this is one of the most difficult tactical maneuvers. Work on your leadership, decision making and decision points so that your response under the pressure of both time and enemy is optimal. Tied in with this is the need for clear rules of engagement and for the use of force appropriate to the threat.

This short article is mainly concerned with defense of a single location and as such will not go into techniques such as mobile and area defense, which could be useful for a larger community. Remember, the best form of defense is to avoid the fight. But that may not be possible and you have to always plan and prepare for that fight. You can better avoid the fight by adopting a lower profile at your location, attempting to conceal your supplies and capabilities. The opposite of this is to have a high profile and try to use threat of force as a deterrent. But remember that a good rifleman could sit out at long range and simply shoot your defenders in their sentry positions. In my opinion, the best approach for a small survivor group is to adopt a lower profile while maintaining the capability to defeat threats as they are encountered. The following are some principles of defense that you should consider and apply to your location and plan:

  • All Round Defense, in order to anticipate a threat from any direction.
  • Depth, in order to prevent penetration of your defended position.
  • Mutually Supporting Sectors of Fire, in order to increase the strength and flexibility of a defense.
  • Concealment and Deception, in order to deny the adversary the advantages of understanding.
  • Maintenance of a Reserve.
  • Offensive Action (where appropriate), in order to seize or regain the initiative.
  • Administration, to include:
    • Appropriate numbers of trained personnel.
    • Appropriate weapons, ammunition and equipment.
    • A watch system for early warning.

Most modern family homes do not lend themselves to defense. The structure is vulnerable to high velocity rounds which will pass through multiple frame, wood and plasterboard walls, and also simple mechanical breaches are possible with tools and even vehicles used as rams. They are also very vulnerable to fire. If you try and defend your house from the windows, then you will not be protected by the walls framing those windows and the room can be filled full of high velocity rounds by an attacking group. There is a real danger of being suppressed by superior firepower. If you stay back from the windows as you should, then you limit your fields of fire and unless there are enough of you defending then the enemy will be able to take advantage of blind spots to close with and then breach the house. You need a basement or other ballistic protected safe room for your noncombatant personnel (kids etc.) to shelter in; otherwise they will not be protected from the violence and from the high velocity rounds ripping through the walls.

One of the key things for a prepper defense of a location is to have an appropriate number of trained personnel with appropriate firearms, ammunition and equipment. You will also have to take measures to harden the building to slow down attempts to breach. You need to consider whether or not you want your property to look derelict; this could be good or bad in the circumstances. It would be worthwhile to consider boarding up or shuttering at least the ground floor windows and think about putting up door bars or even board up some of the doors. This will also help with light discipline. External boards can make the place look derelict, but looking derelict could also encourage approach by potential squatters. You could put up the boards internally, or something similar, in order to maintain a low profile and slow any breaches. There a lots of pros and cons each way. When boarding up doors, ensure that you have at least two independent exits that can be used both for routine tasks but also for egress if you have to escape. Boarding up your windows and doors does not make them ballistically hardened. You could have sandbags ready to go, and you will need to consider a big pile of dirt to fill them from. Consider the benefits of simple mass of soil in protecting you from high velocity rounds, and for the construction of fighting positions. Sandbags need to be at least two deep to protect against high velocity rounds. If you try stacking enough of these on a modern upper floor, or even a ground level floor with a basement beneath, then the weight of a constructed fighting position may cause a collapse. You could stack sandbags externally around designated window fighting positions on the ground floor, but you will need a lot of them. Other alternatives would include filling a chest of drawers with soil to create firing positions, or maybe even material such as steel plate that will weigh less but will provide ballistic protection.

From the principles of defense it is clear that we need to establish a plan which provides early warning, all round defense and mutually supporting sectors of fire. We also need to create depth, which is best utilized outside the building rather than with fall back positions inside the house. We can create depth using external fighting positions to keep attackers away from the house, which will also aid mutual support. A key thing that will really help defense of a house is to have a second or more positions outside of the main building that can provide fire support, thus these positions support each other by keeping enemy away from the house and each other. This position(s) could also be another house or cooperating neighbor if it works out that way. This creates a ‘cross-fire’ so you must enforce fire discipline and allocate sectors of fire to ensure you do not cause ‘friendly fire’.

A very important concept is that of ‘stand-off’. This can be created with a combination of fighting positions in depth and cleared fields of fire with obstacles. If you have an obstacle, such as wire, it must be covered by fire to be effective. Utilize stand-off distances to keep enemy away from the property, combined with obstacles to slow vehicle and dismounted approach. Examples like wire are good for dismounted personnel and also vehicles if it is correctly laid concertina wire. Obstacles such as steel cabling, concrete bollards or planter boxes and felled trees will work well against vehicles. This will also have the effect of reducing the risk of attackers getting close to set the place on fire, which they are likely to try if they can’t get in to get your stuff. If we expand this concept we can see how a mutually supporting neighborhood with checkpoints/roadblocks and observation/fighting positions will provide a great advantage. Stand-off is also important in terms of engaging the enemy with accurate effective fire at the longest range that is physically and legally possible. If you are competent and have the equipment for long range effective suppressive fire, this can have the effect of keeping the enemy at arm’s length and reducing the accuracy and hence effectiveness of their fire, which will prevent them successfully suppressing you and subsequently maneuvering onto your position to breach or burn the property. In addition, consider the presence, placement and potential hard protection of any flammable sources on your property and close to your buildings, such as propane tanks and fuel supplies. Ensure they cannot be repeatedly fired upon by the enemy to cause a fire or explosion. The ability to generate accurate effective long range defensive fire depends on skill, equipment, positioning of fighting positions, your policy for the use of force and also the way the terrain affects weapons killing areas and ranges. To engage at long range you have to reasonably fear that the enemy presents a threat of lethal force against your defended location. However, if you are in a closer urban or wooded environment you may find some of your fields of fire are limited and you will have to plan and position accordingly.

Administration is a key factor. While you are maintaining your defense you need to look after the welfare of the team, equipment and the site itself. Administration is what preppers usually concentrate on. This is your “beans, bullets and band-aids”. This is an area where those that are non-combatants can really pull their weight and make a difference. You must maintain a watch system which will be tied in to ‘stand to’ positions and maybe some form of ‘Quick Reaction Force’ or reserve, depending on the resources and numbers available to you. Your watch system can be augmented by other early warning sensors such as dogs and mechanical or electronic systems. Day to day you will need to keep the machine running and this will be the biggest challenge as time goes on. Complacency Kills! Depending on the extent of your preparations, stores and the resources within your property, this will have a knock-on effect to your ability to remain covert and the requirement to send out foraging patrols. People will also start to get cabin fever, particularly kids, and you will need to consider how to entertain them. Consider that while mundane tasks are being completed, there is always someone on watch. People that are not on watch need to have weapons and ammunition carrying equipment close or on their person while doing other things. Consider carrying long rifles slung as well as handguns everywhere you go on the property, with at least a light bit of web gear with some additional magazines in pouches. Rifles should never be out of your arms reach if there is any kind of threat of attack. You should put rifle racks or hooks/nails on walls in key rooms, out of reach of kids, so that rifles can be grabbed quickly if the alarm is sounded.

Regarding your noncombatants or protected personnel; what you do with them depends on who they are. The younger kids will need to be protected in the safest location you have. Others will be useful to do tasks such as re-load magazines, distribute water and act as firefighting crews. Note that you need to have fire-extinguishers and buckets of water and /or sand available at hand during a defense to put out any fires. The more tasks you give people during a crisis, the more the activity will take their minds off the stress of the situation and the team will be strengthened. Ammunition replenishment, water distribution, casualty collection point, first aid, watching the rear and looking after the younger kids are all examples of tasks that can be allocated to make people a useful part of the team when personnel resources are tight.

Firearms and equipment has been covered under the home defense article. For this kind of defensive situation you will be well served by the ability to detect, observe and accurately engage enemy at the longest range possible by day and night. This is easily said, but would take throwing money at it to get all the equipment you need to best do it. In terms of firearms, I would recommend tactical type high capacity magazine rifles for the main work, backed up by handguns and pump action 12 gauge shotguns. The shotguns are good for close work and if the enemy gets in to the building, last ditch stuff. Long range hunting type rifles are good for observation (scope) and longer distance engagement. You would be best served with good optics for your weapons and also observation devices such as binoculars. Think about night vision and even thermal imaging if you can afford it. You will also have to consider that even if you can afford a night vision device, it will only work for whoever has it so how will the rest engage? What type and configuration of these night vision devices, on weapons as sights or not? Without night sights you can fire at muzzle flash or use whatever illumination is available, white light or whatever. A good option is to have parachute illumination flares. Loose barking dogs on your property are perhaps the best low budget early warning system; however consider that they may give away your position if you are trying to be totally covert. Decide on your priorities and strategy and tie that in with what money you have to spend on equipment. You can get expensive systems such as ground sensors, lights and alarms, but these cost money and you have to consider their use in a long-term grid down situation. I would prefer to spend money on optics and night observation devices which will last without grid power (but will require batteries) and can also be taken with you if you have to move locations. Here are some basic suggestions for equipment to augment such a defense:

  • Appropriate tactical firearms & ammunition
  • Web gear and magazines
  • Ear and eye protection
  • Body armor and helmets, NIJ level IIIa or Level IV
  • Barbed wire, coiled (concertina) and for low wire entanglements
  • Sandbags or other ballistic protection options
  • Night vision devices
  • Binoculars plus optical rifle sights
  • Black out curtain and pre-cut plywood for windows
  • Parachute illumination flares
  • Trip-flares
  • Trauma medical kit incl. CAT tourniquets
  • Range cards
  • Two way radios and/or field telephones
  • Multiple fire-extinguishers and/or buckets of water

If you have put a group together for such a defense, they need to be trained on not only tactical shooting and basic small unit tactics and movement, but also briefed and rehearsed on the defensive plan including fighting positions and sectors of fire. Consider that depending on your circumstances and the terrain, you may be benefited by running periodic clearance patrols around the property to mitigate against surprise attack, and to do this your team need to be able to patrol and move tactically, as well as respond to any enemy contact. You will preferably have a medic with a trauma bag. You do not want to ever run out of ammunition, so make sure you have as much as you can reasonably purchase. Like tactics, ammunition quantities are a subjective argument with many solutions. I recommend a personal load of six to eight thirty round magazines on the person, with at least as many full magazines for resupply. And once you have used that, you need another resupply! In a real life contact you will likely use less ammunition than you may during training and you must concentrate on effective accurate fire rather than simple quantity. Train your team to engage positively identified enemy, or suppress known enemy positions. A rapid rate of fire is 30 rounds per minute; a deliberate rate is 10 rounds per minute.

Practice and rehearse the command and fire control procedures at your location, including the communication of enemy locations and actions. Use range cards to tie in sectors for mutual support and to prevent ‘friendly fire’. Run ‘stand to’ drills like a fire drill by day and by night and be able to call out which direction the enemy threat comes from. Be aware of diversions and demonstrations intended to distract you from the main direction of attack. Always cover all sectors, even with just one observer looking to the flanks and rear in a manpower crisis. Keep unnecessary noise and shouting down, allowing orders and target indications to be passed around the position. Every team member is a sensor and a ‘link man’ to pass on information.

Having said all that, you are not going to open fire on just anyone coming to your location. Any actions that you take should be justifiable as self-defense. Do be mindful of tricks and the potential for snipers. However, don’t give up on morality and charity and don’t illegally open fire on anyone that comes near your defended location. You need to agree on rules of engagement for your sentries and you should apply escalation of force protocols to meet a threat with the proportionate and appropriate force necessary to stop that threat. Have the ability to warn anyone approaching, whether you have permanent warning signs or something like a bullhorn that you use as part of your escalation procedures through warning to non-lethal then lethal force as you begin to identify them as posing a threat. Remember that escalation of force is a continuum and you can bypass the early stages and go directly to lethal force if taken by surprise and faced with a lethal threat that must be stopped.

Max Velocity is an author and trainer providing tactical instruction and advice for those preparing for disaster survival and high threat, protection and combat operations. He is the author of two books on security issues: Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival and Rapid Fire! Tactics for High Threat, Protection and Combat Operations .
Visit http://www.maxvelocitytactical.com/

 (Survival manual/ Prepper articles/ Survive the Collapse)

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Nuclear & Radiological Warfare, Part 2 of 2

(Survival Manual/1. Disaster/Nuclear & Radiological Warfare)

This article is continued from: Nuclear & Radiological Warfare, Part 1 of 2, posted Monday, 3 November

7.  List of supplies to acquire locally
If stores are still stocked and safe to go to, try to buy as many of the following items as possible… IMMEDIATELY! There are no quantities listed here on the Warning Signsfood items below as family size because, as the emergency and panic widens, many items will be quickly sold-out or quantities restricted, and you’ll need to try to get more of what does remain on the shelves. At a minimum, you should be looking at two weeks of provisions, but much better to be aiming for two months or more. The reality is, if/when we are attacked, it will be a very long time before anything is ever ‘normal’ again, especially at any grocery stores. Hurricane victims can attest to the prolonged misery and disruptions from such a localized disaster, even with the rest of the country still able to help out. Nobody can begin to imagine how bad the suffering will be, and for how long, if nuclear weapons have gone off… and in multiple locations!

The half-dozen top listed and UNDERLINED food items listed below are primarily for use while in the shelter. They are mostly ready-to-eat that requires no cooking or preparation, just a can opener at the most. (The iodine solution is included here because of its importance for its thyroid-blocking topical use detailed above, IF you do not have KI pills, but it’s NEVER to be ingested or swallowed.) The other foods listed below there are better cost/nutrition staples for later use during the extended recovery period. Then follows general non-food supplies, tools and equipment.

Go Acquire It All Now, QUICKLY!
Better to risk being a little early when securing your families essential food and supplies, rather than a few hours too late and going home empty-handed:
›  Canned goods (pasta, soups, chili, vegetables, fruit, tuna, meats, beans, peanut butter, etc.)
›  Ready-to-eat foods (pop-tarts, raisins, cheese, granola/energy/protein bars, snack-paks, etc.)
›  Some perishable foods (breads and fruits like bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, etc.)
›  Assorted drink mix flavorings (with no cold drinks, just plain water, kids will appreciate it!)
›  Plenty of potent Multi-Vitamins, Vit C, Pepto Bismol, other meds, etc.
›  Iodine solution, like Betadine (16 ounces)- NOT TO BE INGESTED OR SWALLOWED!
›  Largest bags of rice, beans, flour, potatoes, pasta, quick oats and other grains
›  Multiple big boxes of dried milk (Could include/use some inside shelter, too.)
›  Multiple big boxes of pancake and biscuit mix & syrup
›  Large bag of sugar and jar of honey
›  Large 2 gallons or more of cooking oil
›  Baking powder & soda & yeast & spice assortment pack
›  Bottled water (especially if home supplies not secured yet)
›  Paper or plastic plates/bowls/cups/utensils and paper towels
›  Quality manual can opener, 2 if you don’t already have one at home
›  Kitchen matches and disposable lighters
›  New metal garbage cans and liner bags (water storage & waste storage)
›  5 gallon bucket and smaller garbage bags sized for it (toilet)guide shelves
›  Toilet seat for the bucket (or use one from inside the house)
›  Toilet paper and, if needed, sanitary napkins, diapers, etc.
›  Baby wipes (saves water for personal hygiene use)
›  Flashlights (ideally LED) and more than one portable radio
›  Plenty more batteries, at least three sets, for each of the above
›  Bleach (5.25%, without fragrance or soap additives)
›  Alcohol and Hydrogen Peroxide and hand sanitizers
›  Aspirin/Tylenol/Motrin, Pepto Bismol, etc.
›  Prescription drugs filled, and as much extra as possible
›  First aid kits
›  Fire extinguishers
›  Plenty of inexpensive N95 particulate respirator masks
›  Plenty of cheap plastic hooded rain ponchos for everyone
›  Water filters and all other camping type supplies, such as portable camp toilet, cook stove and fuel, ammo, etc., if any sporting goods stocks still available.
›  And, of course, rolls of plastic sheeting, duct tape, staple guns, staples, etc.

Fallout topography and density for the USA following a extensive nuclear attack
  Pasted from <http://www.remm.nlm.gov/nuclearexplosion.htm>

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C.  What’s the Difference Between Alpha, Beta and Gamma Radiation?
Updated 15 Feb 2012, Nuclear Fallout Shelter Plans & Nuclear Civil Defense-Part2
Pasted from <http://www.radshelters4u.com/index2.htm>
Answer:  Everything in nature would prefer to be in a relaxed, or stable state. Unstable atoms undergo nuclear processes that cause them to become more stable. One such process involves emitting excess energy from the nucleus. This process is called radioactivity or radioactive decay. “Radiation” and “radioactivity” are often confused, the proper relationship is that “radioactive atoms emit radiation.”

The three main types of nuclear radiation emitted from radioactive atoms and included in all nuclear fallout are:
1.  Alpha:  These are actual particles that are electrically charged and are commonly referred to as alpha particles. Alpha particles are the least penetrating of the three primary forms of radiation, as they cannot travel more than four to seven inches in air and a single sheet of paper or the outermost layer of dead skin that covers the body will stop them. However, if alpha particle emitting radioactive material is inhaled or ingested, they can be a very damaging source of radiation with their short-range being concentrated internally in a very localized area.  (Alpha-these waves are easily stopped by normal clothing).

[Diagram above: Summary of fallout effects from a hypothetical 10 Kt nuclear explosion. The level of fallout decays quickly, declining by a factor of 10 for     every 7-fold increase in time.]

2.  BetaThese are also actual particles that are electrically charged and are commonly referred to as beta particles. Beta particles travel faster and penetrate further than alpha particles. They can travel from a few millimeters up to about ten yards in open air depending on the particular isotope and they can penetrate several millimeters through tissue. Beta particle radiation is generally a slight external exposure hazard, although prolonged exposure to large amounts can cause skin burns and it is also a major hazard when interacting with the lens of the eye. However, like alpha particles, the greatest threat is if beta particle emitting radioactive material is inhaled or ingested as it can also do grave internal damage. (Beta – these rays travel a few millimeters up to a couple of centimeters, and can penetrate exposed skin. These rays are generally emitted from light fallout that lands on the ground, skin, and vehicles. Having a proper chemical suit will help, but may not keep you from receiving Beta radiation.)

3.  Gamma: Gamma rays are similar to x-rays, they are a form of electromagnetic radiation. Gamma rays are the most hazardous type of external radiation as they can travel up to a mile in open air and penetrate all types of materials. Since gamma rays penetrate more deeply through the body than alpha or beta particles, all tissues and organs can be damaged by sources from outside of the body. Only sufficiently dense shielding and/or distance from gamma ray emitting radioactive material can provide protection. (Gamma- you can only protect yourself from this type of radiation by encasing yourself in dense cover, i.e.: 2′ of concrete all around, 3′ of densely packed soil, 6″ of lead, etc.)

Bottom Line: All three of the primary types of radiation above can be a hazard if emitted from radioactive nuclear fallout that was inhaled or ingested. Protected food and water and even a simple inexpensive dust protector face mask can go a long ways to denying this route of entry. However, for the penetrating gamma rays, it is essential to be able to identify the best protected shielding and distance options available, covered in the next, and last, Part 3 section. Pasted from <http://www.radshelters4u.com/index2.htm>
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 D How Much Radiation Is Too Much?
A: Before you can begin formulating a radiation protection shelter strategy (that will be covered in the next, and last, Part 3 section) you need to first understand and then determine the levels of radiation exposure one should be most concerned about in a nuclear emergency. Then the correct strategy best suited for the job will begin to reveal itself.

 _1. Table: Effects of radiation poisoning based on the millisievert mSv/hr dosage rates, the standard international measurement for absorbed radiation.

_2.  Table of expected health effects (below) for an adult assuming the cumulative total radiation (rads) exposure was all received within a week’s time. A rad (Radiation Absorbed Dose) measures the amount of radiation energy transferred to some mass of material, typically the human body.
One roentgen (R) of gamma radiation exposure results in about one rad of absorbed dose; measurement used in USA in the 20th Century.

Tables were prepared for measurements in RAD and R, I’ve pasted them together below; note that they are overlapping, the break down gives you a better idea of what medical consequences to expect at different exposure artes.
Bottom Line: Cutting through the above confusion, for purposes of practical radiation protection in humans, most experts agree (including FEMA Emergency Management Institute) that Roentgen, Rad and Rem can all be considered equivalent. The exposure rates you’ll usually see will be expressed simply in terms of roentgen (R) or milliroentgen (mR).

Table: Expected health effects from exposure to radiation

TOTAL EXPOSURE ONSET & DURATION OF INITIAL SYMPTOMS   & DISPOSITION
0-50   rads No   obvious short-term effects.
30 to 70 R From 6-12 hours: none to slight incidence   of transient headache and nausea;
vomiting in up to 5 percent of personnel in upper part of dose range.   Mild  lymphocyte depression within 24 hours. Full recovery expected.   (Fetus damage
 possible from 50R and above.)
80-120   rads You   have a 10% chance of vomiting and experiencing nausia for a few days.
70 to 150 R From 2-20 hours: transient mild nausea and   vomiting in 5 to 30 percent of
 personnel. Potential for delayed traumatic and surgical wound healing,   minimal clinical effect. Moderate drop in lymphocycte, platelet, and   granulocyte counts. Increased susceptibility to opportunistic pathogens. Full   recovery expected.
130   -170 rads You   have a 25% chance of vomiting and contracting other symptoms.
180-220   rads You have a 50%   chance of vomiting and having other severe physical effects.
150 to 300 R From 2 hours to three days: transient to   moderate nausea and vomiting in  20 to 70 percent; mild to moderate   fatigability and weakness in 25 to 60 percent of personnel. At 3 to 5 weeks:   medical care required for 10 to 50%. At high end of range, death may occur to   maximum 10%. Anticipated medical problems include infection, bleeding, and   fever. Wounding or burns will geometrically increase morbidity and mortality
270-330   rads 20%   chance of death in 6 weeks, or you will recover in a few months.
300 to 530 R From 2 hours to three days: transient to   moderate nausea and vomiting in 50  to 90 percent; mild to moderate   fatigability in 50 to 90 percent of personnel. At 2 to 5 weeks: medical care   required for 10 to 80%. At low end of range, less than 10% deaths; at high   end, death may occur for more than 50%.  Anticipated medical problems   include frequent diarrheal stools, anorexia, increased fluid loss,   ulceration. Increased infection susceptibility during immunocompromised   time-frame.  Moderate to severe loss of   lymphocytes. Hair loss after 14 days.
400-500   rads 50%   chance of death.
530 to 830 R From 2 hours to two days: moderate to   severe nausea and vomiting in 80 to 100 percent of personnel; From 2 hours to   six weeks: moderate to severe fatigability and weakness in 90 to 100 percent   of personnel. At 10 days to 5 weeks: medical care required for 50 to 100%. At   low end of range, death may occur for more than 50% at six weeks. At high   end, death may occur for 99% of personnel. Anticipated medical problems include   developing pathogenic and opportunistic infections, bleeding, fever, loss   of appetite, GI ulcerations, bloody diarrhea, severe fluid and electrolyte   shifts, capillary leak, hypotension. Combined with any significant physical trauma,   survival  rates will approach zero.
550-750   rads Nausia   within a few hours ; no survivors.
830 R Plus From 30 minutes to 2 days: severe nausea,   vomiting, fatigability, weakness,  dizziness, and disorientation;   moderate to severe fluid imbalance and headache. Bone marrow total depletion   within days. CNS symptoms are predominant higher radiation levels. Few, if   any, survivors even with aggressive and  immediate medical attention.
Greater   than 1000 rads Immediate   incapacitation and death within a week or less.

In a widespread nuclear event, there may be no escaping some radiation most everywhere. It would be very hard then not to exceed the conservative govt agencies peace-time usual advice to try to limit your normal exposure to 5 rad per year and 25 rad for lifetime and emergency workers to 50 rad. (Limits lower for children & fetuses.)

You always want to try to minimize any radiation exposure to As Low As Reasonably Achievable, ideally <100 rads, as that’s still 100% survivable for healthy adults, if not exceeded. “Very few of those receiving acute doses (received within 24 hours) of less than 100 R would become sick, even briefly.”

The response to radiation varies widely amongst people and the longer the time frame over which a specific dose is accumulated the better your body can respond to, and recover from, that radiation damage. In other words, a normally fatal (to 50% of a group exposed to it) cumulative dose of 530 R, if received all within a week or less, would create few noticeable ill-health effects if it was received, but spread out over a years time at the rate of about 10 R per week. That would be less than 1.5 R per day.

_3.  RadSticker’ dosimeter

[Image above shows a RadSticker dosimeter with different levels of exposure to radioactivity. Available through many site on the Internet. I bought mine for about $5 through Amazon.com.  PS. If you have a need for the dosimeter, you might also by a packet of KI pills while placing that order. Mr Larry]
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.E.  Protection:
KI4U, by Shane Connor (consultant and developer of Civil Defense solutions to government, NPO’s and individual families)
Pasted from <http://www.ki4u.com/illwind.htm>
“Potassium Iodide: KI tablets’, taken a half hour or more before exposure, and then for the next 7-10 days, saturates your thyroid gland with safe stable iodine where if you then later inhale or ingest radioactive iodine your body simply eliminates it. It provides nearly 100% protection from radioiodine and resulting thyroid cell damage and abnormalities, such as loss of thyroid function, nodules in the thyroid, or thyroid cancer. There is a cheap and effective preventative method to protect yourself and family from radioactive iodine. As of January 2005, Iosat, ThyroSafe, and ThyroShield are FDA approved KI products.

Safe room: Civil Defense and the Federal Emergency Management Agency recommend a safe room made from duct tape and plastic sheeting. However, the Israeli’s use this method of safe room in conjunction with a protective mask, as the safe room is not trusted to protect against aerosol agents, only liquid droplets. FEMA has neglected this in its recommendations. [Hence you might want to look at ‘gas masks, see: Survival Manual/6. Medical/General Clinic/Protective Equipment. Mr Larry) Even still, this is a minimalist method, and definitely not the best one out there, even when combined with a good protective mask. If you are, however, caught in a crisis situation when a good positive pressure safe room kit is unavailable, this may be your best option. Purchase the thickest plastic sheeting you can buy (6 mil is the thickest usually sold at most hardware stores.), and the silver looking duct tape, which is the stickiest available. Use pins to hold the plastic sheeting to the wall, then use the duct tape to seal it. Still, you will not be able to achieve an airtight seal, no matter how hard you try, make it the best you can, then don your mask.

Evacuation may be another possibility. However, just with radioactive fallout, chemical and biological weapons can shift as easily as the wind. You may be going upwind, but then have it change and blow the cloud of deadly chemical or biological agents right on top of you. Only consider evacuation if you have protective suits and masks, have a place to evacuate to, and have supplies already stored there. Otherwise, stay in place, and take shelter in a safe room or inside a protective mask and suit.

Either way, preparations made in advance and supplies pre-positioned, will be essential to assuring success. For instance, Chemical and biological agents can easily contaminate drinking water supplies. Therefore, it is imperative that you keep your water supplies in a tightly sealed container, and decontaminate the outside before opening.
It should be noted, that many of the current production NBC protective masks, such as the M-95, have a drinking attachment. The attachment allows you to drink from a special canteen without removing your mask. Check for, and decontaminate if necessary, biological or chemical agents on the canteen’s connection to the mask before use in a contaminated environment. Make sure you keep the canteen top well sealed on the canteen so agents do not leak inside.
There are special chemical detection kits that will allow you to detect certain chemical agents in water. The only one available to civilians is the M-272 kit. This kit will detect nerve, blister, and blood agents in water.
Bottom Line: Protection against chemical and biological weapons is possible. A safe room is probably the best option, but have quality protective masks and suits available as a backup. Evacuation may not be the best choice, for upwind may just become downwind easily.

Some Final Thoughts…
As mentioned above, this guide was written assuming it would not be read by the majority of its intended audience until a nuclear crisis is already fully upon us–when remaining time and resources to prepare will be extremely limited, maybe with only hours remaining before ‘the music stops’.
For that reason, the food, equipment and supplies listed above has been restricted to only the most common and typically available from local resources.
If you are fortunate enough to be reading this well before a nuclear threat (or other major disaster) occurs or appears imminent, there’s a great deal more that you can and should do beyond the scope of this brief guide.

Surviving the initial threats of a nuclear ‘event’ and radioactive fallout is relatively easy with the proper knowledge and even the most modest of preparations, as we’ve detailed above. The ongoing bigger challenge, though, will be the one brought on by the extensive and much longer-lasting disruptions of services after you survive the nuclear event and emerge safely once the fallout threat has diminished.

You might go many months with little or no new food supplies, along with disruptions of water, sewer, gas, electric, and telephone services, little or no gasoline, and severely limited medical and banking services, law enforcement and fire protection.

With more time to research, make plans, and order supplies, families are well advised to acquire more in-depth training, reference books, longer-term food and water stocks, fuel, medical supplies, personal security, communication equipment, radiation monitoring instruments, camping equipment, supplies and tools. Many informative web sites and suppliers make available all of the above, including military MRE’s ready-to-eat meals, dehydrated and freeze-dried foods, as well as buckets of beans, rice, and grains. They also offer solar cookers, water purifiers and barrels, camp and compost toilets, comprehensive medical kits and manuals, shortwave and local two-way radios, perimeter alarms, alternative energy and heating systems, fuel preservatives, long-term packaged seeds, gardening tools, canning equipment, etc. Survivalblog.com has many of the best advertising there. For radiation meters, potassium iodide, etc., see www.ki4u.com.

If all of this preparation seems daunting, here’s one strategy to make it a little less overwhelming: Think in two’s. First, acquire all the equipment and supplies your family would need to survive for two weeks if totally cut off from stores and utility and municipal services. It might help to consider all you would need during an extended camping trip in any season. Then, once you’ve accomplished that, expand your preparations and supplies to meet the goal of surviving at home for two months with no utilities or services. After that, continue adding provisions for two more additional months, with the eventual goal of gathering enough supplies so that your family can survive under these distressed conditions for a year or more.

A year might seem like overkill, but you’ll no doubt discover that in any disruptive event, numerous friends, neighbors, and relatives will be in need and you will want to help them if you can. Of course, ideally, they should also be preparing their own families for surviving coming disasters, so sharing this information with them might help get them started. Also, for your own family’s security, you always want to try to surround yourself with a buffer of like-minded people who are also doing the right things to prepare so they will become helpful allies instead of only a drain on your limited resources. Reality is, they could possibly even become an outright threat for your family retaining enough supplies for the full duration if difficult circumstances were to drag on and became ever more desperate.

Everyone that ‘prepares’ will be one less family standing in line for hours (or days) ahead of others who failed to, awaiting a hoped for arrival of a FEMA handout of food or water. Being prepared makes a ton of sense and will one day soon be seen by all, many painfully, perhaps even fatally, as clearly obvious and self-evident.

If you’re trying to convince yourself or a spouse to make the investment in prep equipment and supplies, also keep in mind this fact: Many of the supplies save money because buying in bulk and stocking up now is less expensive than buying smaller quantities later, especially as inflation ramps up and/or shortages appear. Further, if nothing bad ever happens, you can eventually eat the food and use most of the supplies, like toilet paper, fuel, etc., so they won’t go to waste.
They will also be useful in many disasters besides nuclear events. For example:
Job loss — Having two to four months of food at home would certainly relieve much of the stress of losing your job and being without an income while looking for another.
Pandemic — We could someday see a pandemic unleashed that would require families to self-quarantine themselves at home for many weeks to avoid catching the disease. Having these supplies and having made these preparations would make that extremely difficult time more endurable.
Natural disasters, economic dislocations, civil disruptions — Your family could ride out any number, or cascading combination, of these events in much better shape if you are sufficiently prepared.

Being prepared and stocking up makes sense on numerous levels, especially during this age when costs for many essentials, such as food, fuel, and ammunition, will surely only continue to increase. Stocking up now both saves money today and may well save your family tomorrow.”

[Image at left: The M-28 or M-29 Davy Crockett Weapon System(s) was a tactical nuclear recoilless gun for firing the M388 nuclear projectile that was deployed by the United States during the Cold War, photo taken at  Aberdeen Proving Grounds, 1961. This weapon had a maximum range of 1.24 miles to 2.49 miles. The XM-388 casing weighed 76 pounds, was 30 inches long and measured 11 inches in diameter at its widest point.   The Davy Crockett was developed before the Vietnam war, imagine what we have today, imagine the delivery systems: suitcase, launch from ship, drop from small private airplane, leave it in a car trunk parked at a major sports event; imagine the explosive power a device this size has today!…the thought is sobering! Mr. Larry]

(End of post: Nuclear & Radiological Warfare)
See additional in-depth discussions of protective techniques in the 4dtraveler, Survival Manual posts Categories: Social Issues, Food & Water, and Medical/General Clinic

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Filed under Survival Manual, __1. Disaster

Nuclear & Radiological Warfare, Part 1 of 2

(Survival Manual/1. Disaster/Nuclear & Radiological Warfare)

* Your own customized, nuclear weapons, ‘Thermal Damage Indicator’ map:
If you’d like to see a the area of thermal damage caused by a nuclear explosion shown on a street or satellite map, for any location in the USA, go to: <http://www.carloslabs.com/node/16> select your city and state, then from the drop down list, select the weapon’s size, press the “Nuke It” button and you have it.

A.  How to Kill America in 30 seconds or less
May 4, 2011, God like Productions, by John Galt
http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1475105/pg1
“On last night’s radio show, I outlined the absolute worst case scenario for America should the threats, which we must pray are hollow, of Al Qaeda and the Wikileaks information turn out to become reality. The twist is that instead of thinking “inside the box” I adopted the strategy that our nation’s war gaming community and others would and decided to identify the logical location inside the United States which would benefit one group of nations and enable the Al Qaeda terrorist movement to receive a virtually unlimited amount of funding which could allow them to parallel other Islamist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas in their civilian and military dual purpose roles within Arab societies.

The first thing to consider is the dangerous situation the United States and West now find themselves in. Killing Osama Bin Laden (OBL) was a necessity and as he apparently served little more than a figurehead role in recent years, that position still gave him great weight with the most radical extremists within the Islamist community. The other aspect which should give one pause is the failure of European and American governments to seriously secure the borders of their nations and accepting the open border policy as a solution to promote understanding and world peace, a long time goal of globalists and internationalists since the emergence of Marxism in the 19th century. This combination creates the formula for accessibility any radicalized terror cell would need to infiltrate and create another serious incident, perhaps one thousand times worse than the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The information gleaned from the Guantanamo Bay detainees also may indicate a cause for alarm if Al Qaeda has the existing capacity they are reported to have. From the U.K. Telegraph on April 25, 2011 article titled Wikileaks: Guantanamo Bay terrorist secrets revealed: Al-Qaeda terrorists have threatened to unleash a “nuclear hellstorm” on the West if Osama Bin Laden is caught or assassinated, according to documents to be released by the WikiLeaks website, which contain details of the interrogations of more than 700 Guantanamo detainees.

While the AQ boys have been known to write checks with their mouth that they cannot cash in reality, this is a disconcerting piece of information considering the wide open borders in our nation and the politically correct approach to dealing with terrorism until recently. The assassination of OBL may be the trigger event or signal which gives terrorists in the United States the green light to proceed; that does not necessarily mean just the Islamists either, as the internationalist movement has been looking for that one seminal event which forces the American population to ask for and accept an internationally structured system of finance and governance.

The information above might sound like something from an episode of the television series “24” or one of the conspiracy movies but think about the consequences of a nuclear attack on United States soil. If Al Qaeda does possess a functioning warhead or device, odds are it is from the old Russian nuclear arsenal, probably in the 10 kt to 25 kt range from the tactical warhead stockpile. In a worst case scenario it could even be a 100 kt or larger device from the Russian ICBM arsenal, yet it is highly unlikely that such a device would escape the Russian Republic, even during the confusion of the 1990′s.

The larger concern as outlined in Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons by Amy F. Woolf issued on February 2, 2011 from the Congressional Research Service is the estimated 15,000 to 25,000 non-strategic devices from their arsenal which were deployed throughout the old Soviet Union and its republics during the late 1980′s and early 1990′s. This report has one disturbing revelation on page 19 (See photocopied image below):

Unfortunately, like it or not, this gives the AQ threat a little bit more credence as even the Russians continue to refuse to acknowledge the numbers of nonstrategic weapons in their arsenal nor provide an inventory for review. This blind spot in the various nuclear weapons treaties is countered by the Russian argument that there is nothing to worry about as they have closed all storage facilities across their nation and consolidated all of the warheads in one central location. By using deductive reasoning is it not a major reach nor requirement to develop an extravagant conspiracy theory to assume that it is possible that one or more of the nuclear devices have escaped their oversight and control. That begs the question then; if Al Qaeda has studied the various documents about nuclear attack scenarios on U.S. soil provided by FEMA, the Department of Defense, and other agencies over the years, what location would cripple America for decades and kill our nation in thirty seconds or less?

Note the location, as the terrorists already have, of our petrochemical, refining, and other oil facilities in the Houston area. A detonation in the Deer Park area just southeast of the city destroying several large refineries, storage facilities, and natural gas electrical generation sites. The problem after the initial explosion beyond the immediate fatalities, panic initiated in one of America’s largest cities, contamination, and destruction of infrastructure is the spread of radioactive debris or fallout. An important difference between a surface burst and an air burst is, consequently, that in the surface burst the radioactive cloud is much more heavily loaded with debris. This consists of particles ranging in size from the very small ones produced by condensation as the fireball cools to the much larger debris particles which have been raised by the afterwinds. The exact composition of the cloud will, of course, depend on the nature of the surface materials and the extent of their contact with the fireball. I created the inset map to highlight the regions that would be impacted the greatest by a nuclear event in the Houston, Texas energy complex region. The fallout from a surface explosion based on the prevailing winds in the early autumn assuming a cold front is dropping from the north. The contamination for a small device would not be as widespread as the map displays but the terror to civilians would be palpable and create massive refugee flows away from coastal regions in the projected impact zones.

Unfortunately the areas most likely areas to receive a measurable threat from a sub 100 kiloton detonation would be more of the primary oil production and processing facilities from Beaumont, TX and coastal platforms through southern Louisiana, again depending on the upper level wind patterns at that time. Thus not only would a sizable percentage of our refining capacity be impacted directly in the blast zone, other areas would be temporarily unusable until the radiation levels decreased sufficiently for clean up and civilians were assured that they could work in those areas safely and returned.

This type of attack would remove close to thirty percent of our refining capacity not to mention an emergency evacuation of our platforms off the coast of that region, the shutting down of one of our most important military and commercial seaports, and the cessation of a large percentage of the oil and gas via pipelines originating from this region into the Midwest, Northeast, and South regions of the country. The United States economy would fall immediately into a depression, the dollar would collapse overnight, rationing of energy and foodstuffs would become a fact of life, and large quantities of our troops overseas would have to be recalled home to help maintain law and order. That begs the question, beyond Al Qaeda getting their “headline” and alleged revenge for the destruction of their leadership, who are the big winners?
•  Russia
•  China
•  Iran
•  Indonesia

Those nations either have strategic benefits extracted from the conversion of the U.S. from a superpower into a second world state or the much-needed boost into becoming an economic superpower. Russia would enjoy a renaissance as they would own Europe as a colony with the energy dependency they would gain as the American power vacuum expands instantly. China would achieve a strategic advantage over the Pacific and East Asian region as America would be economically incapable of stopping any actions they desired to engage in. Indonesia and Iran would instantly have the energy card to play and shift the OPEC dynamic from a consideration for the destabilized Arab states to a new cartel based on Venezuela, Iran, Indonesia, Nigeria, Angola, and other nations not experiencing domestic instability and dependent on the U.S. for their security needs. Thus one has to consider the economic benefits for promising Al Qaeda billions of dollars in gold or other financing to execute such an attack from some of the nations listed above. It would also give AQ the necessary funding so their organization could expand into programs similar to the infrastructure and political programs developed by Hezbollah and Hamas, and allow them to engage in activities in Arab nations which were allied with the U.S. as an ally or adjunct to groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, their old allies.

The biggest loser besides the U.S. would unfortunately be the nation of Mexico, already in the throes of domestic instability with a narco-terrorist war approaching the level of an internal civil conflict. The illegal and legal resident aliens would probably flee the U.S. as the border would instantly be militarized after such an event. With millions of unemployed citizens returning home plus the loss of one of Mexico’s largest crude oil customers (why would we buy oil we can’t process; remember that fact) the formula for a massive civil war to develop would be in place, putting further stress on our nation. One shot like this one and the United States is off of the geopolitical stage in less than thirty seconds.

These facts are nothing new to the terrorists nor those within the national security apparatus in Washington, D.C. or elsewhere. The government began taking measures to improve security and monitoring of these facilities and regions several years ago based on threats received from intelligence overseas and they have made no secret of their acknowledgment of the importance of these areas in our country. Unfortunately a nuclear device in a rental or stolen box truck with a suicide bomber at the wheel driving on the Pasadena Expressway or the Beltway would be unstoppable once the weapon is armed and he or she is on the road filled with evil intent.

Let us all pray hard that political correctness is under suspension again and those dedicated law enforcement and military personnel are doing everything in their power to prevent such an event. There are few choke points within the U.S. that could be called a “kill shot” location, but unfortunately the lack of an intelligent coherent energy policy to diversify and decentralize our energy infrastructure has created such an opportunity. I advise my readers and listeners to prepare for the worst case scenario as none of the information presented above is top secret nor classified in any way shape or form; it was all readily available on the internet and believe me, the enemies of our nation, foreign and domestic, are quite aware of this fact.”
..

B.  Where are the potential targets for nuclear attacks?
http://www.undergroundbombshelter.com/bomb-shelter-questions.htm
In general, potential military targets include:
•  Strategic missile sites and military bases.
•  Centers of government such as Washington, DC, and state capitals.
•  Important transportation and communication centers.
•  Manufacturing, industrial, technology, and financial centers.
•  Petroleum refineries, electrical power plants, and chemical plants.
•  Major ports and airfields.

Potential terrorist targets include:
•  Large cities such as NY, Boston, Washington, Atlanta, L. A., Dallas, Houston, Portland, Charlotte, Denver, etc.
•  Symbolic American cities such as Philadelphia, Hollywood, or Orlando (Disney Land).
•  Heartland cities such as St. Louis, Memphis, Chicago.
•  Cities or locations on the West Coast (taking advantage of maximum casualties created through east-traveling fallout).
•  Major sporting event such as Super Bowl or other sports game.

A bird’s eye views of events
Unlike the Cold War era when we would have some warning of an attack, in today’s world where the greatest possibility of a nuclear explosion will be delivered via terrorists, you will not receive notice of an impending attack. The unfortunate souls who are vaporized by a terrorist’s nuclear blast would probably be reserved to an area 1 mile in diameter.
The blast wave will move out so fast that people within 5 miles won’t have time to escape unscathed.
Those located 5 to 20 miles from the blast will probably see the mushroom cloud or panicking people and be able to make a hasty entrance into an underground bomb shelter in time to escape fallout hazards. Many baby boomers (people in their 50s) will race to local fallout shelters once maintained by the Civil Defense plan but no longer stocked with supplies. They are the ones who grew up doing monthly “duck and cover” drills in elementary or junior high school. The decision will improve their chances of receiving less radiation than most. But, many will die.

Within half an hour, most Americans will probably know a nuclear strike has taken place, and when and where it happened. Fallout charts will pepper the news and warn people in the predicted area.
Those of us who have built a shelter will have ample time to secure ourselves within the shelter.
Everyone else within the expected fallout zone will frantically pack their bags and hit the road in hopes of escaping the fallout, which will be falling 50 miles from ground zero an hour after the explosion. The traffic jams will see large numbers of people exposed to the radiation within the fallout. Those poor souls will be dead within hours. Some people within the traffic jams will escape with their lives by heading in a direction perpendicular to the expected fallout zone.

C.  What to do if a nuclear disaster is imminent!
This guide is for families preparing for imminent terrorist or strategic nuclear attacks with expected blast destruction followed by widespread radioactive downwind  fallout.
IF ONLY A ‘Dirty Bomb’ Attack (Not the vastly more devastating nuclear weapon blasts with fallout discussed below.) – You can expect localized and downwind contamination from the explosion and dispersed radioactive materials. If you are near enough to see or hear any local bomb blast, assume that it includes radiological or chemical agents. You should move away from the blast area as quickly as possible. If the wind is blowing toward you from the direction of the blast, travel in a direction that is crosswise or perpendicular to the wind as you move away from the blast area. If possible cover your face with a dust mask or cloth to avoid inhaling potentially radioactive dust. Upon reaching a safe location, remove your outer clothing outside and shower as soon as possible. Refer to local news sources for additional instructions about sheltering or evacuation. The government is better prepared to direct and assist the public in ‘dirty bomb’ emergencies, unlike more serious nuclear weapon attacks below.

In a national crisis of imminent nuclear weapon attacks, read all the way through this guide first, THEN TAKE EFFECTIVE PROTECTIVE ACTION, WITH CONFIDENCE… FAST!


1.  Stay or go?
If you are considering evacuation, your decision requires very high confidence that it is worth the risk. You do not want to get stuck between your current location and your hoped for destination, as there will probably be no easy getting back. If you fail to get to your destination, you may be exposed without shelter, in a dangerous situation with little effective law enforcement, perhaps among panicked hordes of refugees. Whatever supplies you have may be limited then to what you can carry on foot. IF you are in a big city or near a military target, AND you have relatives or friends in the country that you know are awaiting you, AND the roads between you and them are clear, AND the authorities are not yet restricting traffic, AND you have the means and fuel, evacuation may be a viable option for a limited time. DO NOT attempt evacuation if all of the above is not clearly known, or if the situation is deteriorating too quickly to assure the complete trip. You do not want to get stuck and/or become a refugee being herded along with panicked masses. If evacuation is truly a viable option, do not wait – GO NOW! Do so with as many of the supplies listed in #7 as possible. Better to be two days too early in arriving than two hours too late and getting snagged mid-way, potentially exposing your family to a worse fate than having stayed where you were. Because of the very real danger of getting caught in an evacuation stampede that stalls, almost all families will be better off making the best of it wherever they currently are.

2.  What you need to do first
Because time is of the essence, you need to first delegate and assign to different adult family members specific tasks so they can all be accomplished at the same time. Your first priorities to assure your family survival are: Shelter, Water, and Food/Supplies. While some are working on the water storage and shelter at home, others need to be acquiring, as much as possible of the food and supplies.

See related 4dtraveler posts in Survival Manual  Categories: Social issues, Food & Water, and Medical/General Clinic

3.  Food supplies
Because much of the food and supplies listed at #7 of this guide may quickly become unavailable, you need to assign someone NOW to immediately go to the stores with that list! Get cash from the bank and ATM’s first, if it can be done quickly, but try to use credit cards at the stores, if at all possible, to preserve your cash.

4.  Water
With one or more adults now heading to the stores with the list at #7, those remaining need to begin storing water IMMEDIATELY! Lack of clean water will devastate your family much more quickly and more severely than any lack of food. Without clean water for both drinking and continued good sanitary practices in food preparation and for bathroom excursions (which could be much less sanitary than normal), debilitating sickness could rampage through your family with little hope of prompt medical attention. That is a likely but, avoidable, disaster, ONLY IF you have enough water.

Every possible container needs to be filled with water RIGHT NOW! It will be very hard to have stored too much water. When the electricity/pumps go down or everybody in your community is doing the same thing, thus dropping the water pressure, what you’ve got is all you might be getting for a very long time. Empty pop bottles (1-3 liter) are ideal for water storage, also filling up the bathtub and washing machine. (Remember, later you’ll have some in your hot water tank.) If you have any kiddie pools or old water beds, pull them out and fill them up, too. (Water from a water-bed should be used only for bathing or cleaning, not for drinking as it may contain traces of algaecide and/or fungicides.) Anything and everything that’ll hold water needs to be filled up quickly RIGHT NOW!!

One of the shopping items listed at #7 is new metal garbage cans and liner bags which you’ll also use for storing water. If you can’t get any more new cans, you could clean out an existing garbage can and scrub it throughout with bleach, then put in a new garbage bag liner and fill it with water. Even sturdy boxes could be used with bag liners. (Use two liners if they are very thin/flimsy.) Choose well where you fill up garbage cans with water because they won’t easily be moved once full and many of them together could be too heavy for some upper floor locations. Ideally, they need to be very near where your shelter will be constructed and can actually add to its shielding properties, as you’ll see below. BE ASSURED, YOU CANNOT STORE AND HAVE TOO MUCH WATER! Do not hesitate, fill up every possible container, RIGHT NOW!

5. Shelter
The principles of radiation protection are simple – with many options and resources families can use to prepare or improvise a very effective shelter. You must throw off any self-defeating myths of nuclear un-survivability that may needlessly paralyze and panic and then seal the fate of, less informed families.

Radioactive fallout is the particulate matter (dust) produced by a nuclear explosion and carried high up into the air by the mushroom cloud. It drifts on the wind and most of it settles back to earth downwind of the explosion. The heaviest, most dangerous, and most noticeable fallout, will ‘fall out’ first closer to ground zero. It may begin arriving minutes after an explosion. The smaller and lighter dust-like particles will typically be arriving hours later, as they drift much farther downwind, often for hundreds of miles. Once it arrives, whether visible or not, all that will fall will have done so usually in under an hour, then blow around everywhere just like dust does on the ground and roofs. However, rain can concentrate the fallout into localized ‘hot spots’ of much more intense radiation with no visible indication.

This radioactive fallout ‘dust’ is dangerous because it is emitting penetrating radiation energy (similar to x-ray’s). This radiation (not the fallout dust) can go right through walls, roofs and protective clothing. Even if you manage not to inhale or ingest the dust, and keep it off your skin, hair, and clothes, and even if none gets inside your house, the radiation penetrating your home is still extremely dangerous, and can injure or kill you inside.

Radioactive fallout from a nuclear explosion, though very dangerous initially, loses its intensity quickly because it is giving off so much energy. For example, fallout emitting gamma ray radiation at a rate over 500 R/hr (fatal with one hour of exposure) shortly after an explosion, weakens to only 1/10th as strong 7 hours later. Two days later, it’s only 1/100th as strong, or as deadly, as it was initially.

That is really very good news, because our families can readily survive it IF we get them into a proper shelter to safely wait it out as it becomes less dangerous with every passing hour.

What stops radiation, and thus shields your family, is simply putting mass between them and the radiation source. Like police body armor stopping bullets, mass stops (absorbs) radiation. The thicker and heavier the mass, the more radiation it stops, and the more effective it is with every inch more you add to your fallout shelter. The thickness in inches needed to cut the radiation down to only 1/10th of its initial intensity for different common materials is: Steel 3.3″, concrete 11″, earth 16″, water 24″, wood 38″. The thickness required to stop 99% of the radiation is: 5″ of steel, 16″ of solid brick or hollow concrete blocks filled with mortar or sand, 2 feet of packed earth or 3 feet if loose, 3 feet of water. (BTW, lead is nothing special, same as anything else pound for pound.) You may not have enough steel available, but anything you do have will have mass and can be used to add to your shielding – it just takes more thickness of lighter wood, for example, than heavier earth, to absorb and stop the same amount of radiation. Increasing the distance between your family inside and the radiation outside also reduces the radiation intensity.

[Concepts to learn from the images above: 1) If you have a basement in your home, or at a nearby   relatives’ or friends’ house that you can use, your best option is probably to fortify and use it, unless you have ready access to a better/deeper structure nearby. 2) Leave a small crawl-through entrance and more mass  there that can be easily pulled in after you, but with a gap at the top to allow exhaust air out. Have another gap of 4-6″ square low at the other  end for incoming fresh air. Make bigger if crowded and/or hotter climate. A small piece of cardboard can help fan fresh air in if the natural rising  warmer air convection current needs an assist moving the air along. This   incoming air won’t need to be filtered if the basement has been reasonably   sealed up, however any windows or other openings will require some solid mass   coverage to assure they stay sealed and to provide additional shielding  protection for the basement. More details on this in #6 section below]

The goals of your family fallout shelter are:
•  To maximize the distance away from the fallout ‘dusting’ outside on the ground, roof and trees.
•  To place sufficient mass between your family and the fallout to absorb the deadly radiation
•  To make the shelter tolerable to stay in while the radiation subsides with every passing hour

While a fallout shelter can be built anywhere, you should see what your best options are at home or nearby. Many structures already provide significant shielding or partial shielding that can be enhanced for adequate protection. If you do not have a basement available, you can still use the techniques shown below in any above ground structure, you’ll just need more mass to achieve the same level of shielding. You may consider using other solid structures nearby, especially those with below ground spaces, such as commercial buildings, schools, churches, below ground parking garages, large and long culverts, tunnels, etc.. Some of these may require permissions and/or the acquiring of additional materials to minimize any fallout drifting or blowing into them, if open ended. Buildings with a half-dozen or more floors, where there is not a concern of blast damage, may provide good radiation protection in the center of the middle floors. This is because of both the distance and the shielding the multiple floors provide from the fallout on the ground and roof.

Bottom Line: choose a structure nearby with both the greatest mass and distance already in place between the outside, where the fallout would settle, and the shelter inside.

For an expedient last-minute basement shelter, push a   heavy table that you can get under into the corner that has the soil highest   on the outside. The ground level outside ideally needs to be above the top of   the table shelter inside. If no heavy table is available, you can take   internal doors off their hinges and lay them on supports to create your   ‘table’. Then pile any available mass atop and around the other two open   sides such as books, wood, cord wood, bricks, sandbags, heavy appliances, full   file cabinets, full water containers, your food stocks, even boxes and pillow   cases full of anything heavy, like earth. Everything you can pile up and   around it has mass that will help absorb and stop more radiation from   penetrating inside – the heavier the better. However, be sure to reinforce   your table and supports so you do not overload it and risk collapse.

With more time, materials, and carpentry or masonry   skills, you could even construct a more formal fallout shelter, such as the   FEMA lean-to on the right, but you will need to assure structural integrity   is achieved and adequate mass is utilized.

An effective fallout shelter constructed in a basement  may reduce your radiation exposure 100-200+ fold. Thus, if the initial   radiation intensity outside was 500 R/hr (fatal in one hour), the basement   shelter occupants might only experience 5 R/hr or even less, which is   survivable, as the radiation intensity will be decreasing with every passing   hour.   Adding mass on the floor above your chosen   basement corner, and outside against the walls opposite your shelter, will   also increase your shielding protection. Every inch thicker adds up to more   effective life-saving radiation shielding.

As cramped as that table space fallout shelter might   seem, the vital shielding provided by simply moving some mass into place   could be the difference between exposure to a lethal dose of radiation and   the survival of your family.

The majority of people requiring any sheltering at all   will be many miles downwind, and they will not need to stay sheltered for   weeks on end. In fact, most people will only need to stay sheltered full-time   for a few days before they can start coming out briefly to attend to quick   essential chores. Later, they can begin spending ever more time out of the   shelter daily, only coming back in to sleep. As miserable as it might seem   now, you and your family can easily endure that, especially compared to the   alternative.

It’s really not so difficult to build an effective family fallout shelter, not to get it completed… RIGHT NOW!

6. Essential details
If you’ve accomplished the above; securing your supplies, stored water, and built your family fallout shelter, CONGRATULATIONS! You have now succeeded in improving the odds of survival for your family a 100-fold, or more! Now, you need to expand your knowledge and fine-tune the tactics that will make the most of your family survival strategy. .
_a)  If you are close to a target, your first indication of a nuclear detonation may be with its characteristic blinding bright flash. The first effects you may have to deal with before radioactive fallout arrives, depending on your proximity to it, are blast and thermal energy. Promptly employing the old “Duck & Cover” strategy, immediately upon the first indication of the flash, will save many from avoidable flying debris injuries and minimize thermal burns. Those very close will soon experience tornado strength winds and should quickly dive behind or under any solid object, away from or below windows. Even in the open, laying flat, reduces by eight fold the odds of being hit by any debris. A very large 500 kiloton blast, 2.2 miles away, will arrive about 8 seconds after the detonation flash with a very strong three-second wind blast. That delay is even greater further away. That is a lot of time to duck & cover IF alert and you should stay down for 2 minutes. If not near any target ‘ground zero’ you will only, like the vast majority, have to deal with the fallout later.
_b)  Government information and guidance is a vital resource in your response to a nuclear crisis, but for many reasons it may be late, incomplete, misleading or simply in error. While evacuation might be prudent for individuals who act quickly in response to a threat, governments will be slow to call for mass evacuations before an event because of their potential for panic and gridlock. As the past government calls for duct tape and plastic sheeting led to sold-out stores, anxiety, and derision from the press, there will be great reluctance to issue similar alarms. If you want to assure that you have adequate food and supplies for your family you must act BEFORE the panic without first waiting for government instructions that may never come or as urgently as warranted. You alone are ultimately responsible for your family.
_c)  Filtering the air coming into your home shelter won’t be required. Air does not become radioactive, and if your home is reasonably tight, there won’t be any wind blowing through it to carry the radioactive fallout dust inside. Simply sealing any windows and other openings prevents significant fallout from getting inside. To improve both the radiation shielding inside and to protect the windows from being broken and letting fallout blow in later, you should cover them all with wood, and basement windows with boards and earth, sandbags or solid masonry blocks, etc. on the outside and inside too, if possible.
If the basement air gets seriously stale later on, you could re-open a door into the upper floors of the still closed house, or secure a common furnace air filter over an outside air opening leading into your basement.

[The medical effects of radiation exposure are shown in a table in Part 2 of 2 of this post.]

_d)  Regarding fallout contamination, any food or water stored in sealed containers, that can later have any fallout dust brushed or rinsed off the outside of the container, will then be safe to use. As long as the fallout dust does not get inside the container, then whatever radiation penetrated the food/water container from the outside does not harm the contents.
If you suspect that your clothes have fallout on them, remove your outer clothing before you come inside and leave them outside. A cheap plastic hooded rain poncho that can be easily rinsed off or left outside is very effective. Have water and baby shampoo near the entrance to wash and thoroughly rinse any exposed skin and hair.
Exposure to fallout radiation does not make you radioactive, but you need to assure that you don’t bring any inside. If any are stricken with radiation sickness, typically nausea, it is when mild, 100% recoverable and cannot be passed on to others. Before fallout arrives, you might also try to cover up items you want to protect outside for easier rinsing off of the fallout dust later when it’s safe to come out and do so. For instance, if you have a vegetable gardening spot or cord wood for heating, you might try covering some of it with plastic or tarp and weighting them down.
_e)  If without sufficient time to acquire radiological instruments of your own, like survey meters, Geiger counters and dosimeters, you’ll need to be extra sure that your portable radios function properly from inside your shelter and that you have plenty of fresh batteries stocked for them. Without radiological instruments, listening for official guidance about the radiation threat levels in your particular area will be the only way you’ll know when it’s becoming safe to venture out. It might also be the only way you’ll know when you first need to take your initial maximum protective action.
When not in use, emergency  radios should not be attached to any outside antenna or even have their own antenna extended. And, they should be wrapped in any non-conducting insulation, like layers of paper or bubble wrap plastic and then stored in a metal container or wrapped in aluminum foil to minimize the potential of EMP ruining the electronics. Having back-up radios would be very prudent. With extra radios, you can have one always tuned to the closest likely target city and, if it suddenly goes off the air, that could be your first indication of an attack.
_f)  When fallout is first anticipated, but has not yet arrived, anyone not already sheltered should begin using their N95 particulate respirator masks and hooded rain ponchos. Everyone should begin taking Potassium Iodide (KI) or Potassium Iodate (KIO3) tablets for thyroid protection against cancer causing radioactive iodine, a major product of nuclear weapons explosions. If no tablets available, you can topically (on the skin) apply an iodine solution, like tincture of iodine or Betadine, for a similar protective effect. (WARNING: Iodine solutions are NEVER to be ingested or swallowed.) For adults, paint 8 ml of a 2 percent tincture of Iodine on the abdomen or forearm each day, ideally at least 2 hours prior to possible exposure. For children 3 to 18, but under 150 pounds, only half that amount painted on daily, or 4 ml. For children under 3 but older than a month, half again, or 2 ml. For newborns to 1 month old, half it again, or just 1 ml. (One measuring teaspoon is about 5 ml, if you don’t have a medicine dropper graduated in ml.) If your iodine is stronger than 2%, reduce the dosage accordingly. Absorption through the skin is not as reliable a dosing method as using the tablets, but tests show that it will still be very effective for most. Do not use if allergic to iodine. If at all possible, inquire of your doctor NOW if there is any reason why anybody in your household should not use KI or KIO3 tablets, or iodine solutions on their skin, in a future nuclear emergency, just to be sure.
_g)  When you know that the time to take protective action is approaching, turn off all the utilities into the house, check that everything is sealed up and locked down, and head for the shelter. You should also check that you have near your shelter additional tools, crow bars, and car jacks for digging out later, if required, and fire extinguishers handy, too. Also, any building supplies, tools, sheet plastic, staple guns, etc. for sealing any holes from damage. Your basement should already be very well sealed against fallout drifting inside. Now, you’ll need to seal around the last door you use to enter with duct tape all around the edges, especially if it’s a direct to the outside door.
_h)  You don’t need to risk fire, burns, and asphyxiation trying to cook anything in the cramped shelter space, if you have pre-positioned in your shelter enough canned goods, can opener, and other non-perishable foods, that are ready-to-eat without preparation. More food, along with water, can be located right outside your crawl space entrance that you can pull in quickly as needed when safe to do so.
_i)  For lighting needs within the shelter have some small LED flashlights or LED head-lamps to stretch your battery life. Try not to have to use candles if at all possible. Bring in some books for yourself and games for the children. Throw in a small/thin mattress, some cushions, blankets, pillows, etc.
_j)  Toilet use will be via a portable camp toilet or a 5 gallon bucket with a seat borrowed from one of the house bathrooms, if you did not purchase a separate one. Garbage bag liners, preferably sized for it, should always be used and a full-size and bag lined garbage can should be positioned very close outside the shelter entrance for depositing these in when it is safe to do so quickly. Hanging a sheet or blanket will help provide a little privacy as shelter occupants ‘take their turn’. The toilet needs to have its new ‘deposits’ sealed up tight with the plastic liner after each use and hand sanitizer towelettes nearby. Use a very secure top on the bucket and position it near the wall entrance with the outgoing upper air vent.
_k)  Pets, and what to do about them, is a tough call if you fail to make provisions for them. Letting pets run free is not a humane option, both for their potential to die a miserable death from radiation exposure outside and/or to be a danger to others, especially with dogs running in the inevitable packs of multitudes of others abandoned. Preparing for them is ideal, if truly realistic and not a drain on limited resources, while ‘putting them down’ might eventually become a painful, but necessary reality if the disruption of food supplies becomes very long-term.
_l)  Boiling or bleach water treatments will be used for cleaning questionable water later for drinking. (This is for killing bacteria, not for radiation contamination, which is never a concern for any stored and covered water containers or even sealed food.) Tap water recently put into clean containers won’t likely need to be purified before using.
To purify questionable water, bring it to a rolling boil and keep it there for 1 minute. If you don’t have the fuel to boil it, you can kill the bacteria by mixing in a good quality household bleach at the rate of 10 drops per gallon, and letting it sit for at least 1/2 an hour. The bleach should be at least 5.25% pure, like regular, Clorox,  be sure it has no additives such as soap or fragrance. You can later get rid of the flat taste from boiling, or some of the chlorine taste when using bleach, by pouring it from one container to another several times.
_m)  If still available and enough time to be overnight shipped your own radiation detection and monitoring instruments, potassium iodide anti-radiation pills, Nuclear Survival handbooks, etc., check at… http://www.ki4u.com/products1.php

Continued in (Survival Manual/ 1. Disaster/Nuclear & Radiological Warfare, Part 2 of 2)

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Earthquake

(Survival Manual/1. Disaster/Earthquake)

What Does the Richter Scale Really Mean?
Earthquakes are measured using the Richter Scale. Here’s a breakdown of what the numbers really
mean:
Less than 2.0: Micro: Micro earthquakes, not felt. About 8,000 per day.
2.0-2.9: Very minor: Generally not felt, but recorded. About 1,000 per day.
3.0-3.9: Minor: Often felt, but rarely causes damage. 49,000 per year (est.).
4.0-4.9: Light: Noticeable shaking of indoor items, rattling noises. Significant damage unlikely. 6,200 per year (est.)
5.0-5.9: Moderate: Can cause major damage to poorly constructed buildings over small regions. At most slight damage to well-designed buildings, 800 per year.
6.0-6.9: Strong: Can be destructive in areas up to about 100 miles across in populated areas. 120 per year.
7.0-7.9: Major: Can cause serious damage over larger areas. 18 per year.
8.0-8.9: Great: Can cause serious damage in areas several hundred miles across. 1 per year.
9.0 or greater: Rare, Very Great: Devastating in areas several thousand miles across. 1 per 20 years.
12.0: Would be strong enough to split the earth in half.

1.  California overdue for major quake, study says
Scientists say tremblors along San Andreas Fault happening more often previously thought.
21 Aug 2010, Our Amazing Planet
“Earthquakes strike along California’s San Andreas Fault more often than scientists previously thought, a new study suggests.
Researchers at the University of California, Irvine and Arizona State charted tremblors that occurred there stretching back 700 years. They found that large ruptures have occurred on the Carrizo Plain portion of the San Andreas Fault — about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles — as often as every 45 to 144 years. But the last big quake was in 1857, more than 150 years ago.

The researchers said that while it’s possible the fault is experiencing a natural lull, they think it’s more likely a major quake could happen soon. “If you’re waiting for somebody to tell you when we’re close to the next San Andreas earthquake, just look at the data,” said UCI seismologist and study leader
Lisa Grant Ludwig. “What we know is for the last 700 years, earthquakes on the southern San Andreas fault have been much more frequent than everyone thought,” Akciz said…

For individuals, that means having ample water and other supplies on hand, safeguarding possessions
in advance, and establishing family emergency plans. For regulators, Ludwig advocates new policies requiring earthquake risk signs on unsafe buildings and forcing inspectors in home-sale transactions to disclose degrees of risk.”

 2.  Comparable earthquakes in the New Madrid
The New Madrid Fault System spans a 120-mile stretch from Charleston, Missouri and Cairo, Illinois,
down Interstate 55 to end up in Marked Tree, Arkansas. The massive zone crosses  five state lines and cuts across the Mississippi River in three places and the Ohio River in two.

It’s true that the greatest risk of earthquakes in the United States is definitely along the West Coast but, although the tremors may not be as frequent, when they do occur along the New Madrid Fault Line, the damage covers more than 20 times the area.

How about another event like the series of quakes felt in 1811-1812?
Researchers predict that these types of events occur only once every 500-600 years, which  means they don’t expect another for 100 years or more. However, experts including emergency planners, engineers and seismologists have given the event a 3 percent chance of occurring by the year 2040.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Center for Earthquake Research and
Information of the University of Memphis, it’s estimated that in the next 50 years along the New Madrid Fault Zone:

  • There’s a 7 percent to 10 percent chance of a magnitude 7.5-8.0 earthquake occurring in this region.
  • There’s a 25 percent to 40 percent chance of a magnitude 6.0 or larger earthquake occurring.

The EMD has given it an even greater chance, saying there’s a 90 percent chance that a 6.0 earthquake will be felt in this region by the year 2040. They say it’s events of this size (6.0-7.6) that concern them the most, since they are the ones most likely to occur within the lifetimes of our children, and have
the potential to cause great damage.

If an Earthquake Hits the  Midwest … Are They Prepared?
According to an investigation by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Repeated recommendations from all levels of government in an eight-state region of the central United States have been largely ignored on how to best brace for an event that scientists expect will kill thousands and cause widespread chaos.”

“We are entirely unprepared,” said Amr Elnashai, who runs the Mid-America Earthquake Center at the University of Illinois. “It is really amazing –really amazing. How can a country as rich and prosperous as the U.S. leave itself in peril this way?”

The Post-Dispatch investigation, in a review of studies and reports and interviews with more than 150 government officials, researchers and preparedness advocates, found:

  • Many government agencies haven’t estimated what kind of damage a major earthquake
    will cause to their emergency facilities, which could cripple response efforts.
  • No plan is in place to renovate older schools to more up-to-date, stricter building codes or even to use low-cost fixes to strengthen them.
  • Utilities are not required to report on hazardous material spills and other problems that could occur during an earthquake, nor their plans to remedy them.
  • Key bridges are vulnerable to earthquake damage, and some states have no programs in place to fix them.
  • Over 80 percent of counties across the region are late to file required plans on how they will prepare for earthquakes and other natural disasters.
  • Some communities haven’t held earthquake drills in more than a decade.

3.   The Cascadia Subduction Zone (with earthquake & tsunami and/ or volcano)
The biggest earthquakes in the country are not in California. A much greater hazard, at least in terms of sheer magnitude, exists to the north of the San Andreas Fault where the ocean crust is being forced beneath the North American continent.

Known as the Cascadia Subduction Zone, this 680-mile long stretch of colliding land mass 50 miles offshore of Oregon, Washington state and southern British Columbia is capable of generating magnitude 9 earthquakes 30 times more powerful than the worst the San Andreas can dish out.

“There are lots of other earthquakes that may happen first, but they won’t be as big,” said marine geologist Chris Goldfinger of Oregon State University in Corvallis.

In less than 50 years, a number of great Cascadia-like earthquakes have occurred around the Pacific Rim, including Chile (1960), Alaska, (1964), Mexico (1985) and Japan (2011). A unique aspect of a great Cascadia earthquake is the strong likelihood that the three greater metropolitan areas of Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver will simultaneously feel the effects of strong and sustained ground shaking. This wide-spread earthquake, combined with accompanying elevation changes, and the likely generation of a tsunami along the Pacific coast, will cause loss of life, property damage, and business
interruption in vulnerable locations throughout southwestern British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and northwestern California. The broad geographic distribution of damaging impacts will generate special challenges and severely stress the response and recovery resources of the three Pacific states and British Columbia.

An earthquake of this size would completely devastate the region, which includes Portland, Seattle and Vancouver. There could be thousands of deaths and unprecedented damage for a quake in this country. Major travel routes will be impassable. The shaking could last a full four minutes, which would damage or bring down structures that could have survived a shorter duration.

On top of the danger from shaking, within minutes, a tsunami would likely inundate the low-lying coastal areas. Cascadia is the same type of fault that caused the 2004 Sumatra quake and tsunami[1].

Fortunately, these mega quakes only come around once every few hundred years. Unfortunately, the fault may be due for another big one any day now.
The last monster quake that ruptured the entire length of the Cascadia fault occurred in 1700 and was around a magnitude 9. It created a tsunami that crossed the entire Pacific Ocean and caused damage along parts of the Japanese coast.

Recent findings concluded the Cascadia subduction zone is more hazardous than previously suggested.
It was previously calculated that the average time between these major quakes was around 530 years. But Goldfinger’s recent research on marine landslides caused by earthquakes over the last 12,000
years has revealed many magnitude 8 earthquakes on the southern portion of the fault in the intervening years, bringing the average down to 270 years.

“It’s been 308 years since the last one so the probability is much higher,” Goldfinger said. The feared next major earthquake has some geologists predicting a 10% to 14% probability that the Cascadia Subduction Zone will produce an event of magnitude 9 or higher in the next 50 years, however the most recent studies suggest that this risk could be as high as 37% for earthquakes of magnitude 8 or higher. Geologists have also determined the Pacific Northwest is not prepared for such a colossal
earthquake. In 1700 the subduction zone spawned an earthquake of roughly the same size as the Sendai event, unleashing a tsunami that may have reached 100 feet high (30 meters). “Portland has a lot of unreinforced masonry buildings that are likely to collapse in a major quake”, Goldfinger said.
“The retrofitting has barely begun. It’s going to be a mess.”

A subduction fault is deep and in this case, 680 miles long, it can release a lot more energy than a slip fault like the San Andreas Fault in California. “One of the signatures of a subduction fault,” says Mike
Blanpied, associate director of the US Geological Survey’s Earthquake Hazards Program, “is that they sit quietly– until they create a giant quake.” And by giant, he means a monster. The Sendai event contained more than 30 times the energy of the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906.

The Cascadia Subduction zone is the only subduction zone within the Lower 48 states  and it lies off the coast of Oregon and Washington. Today, the Northwest seems seismically calm, but in reality the
fault could let go again at any moment.

To figure out what would happen if a Sendai-scale event struck today, a consortium called the Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup (CREW) drew up a detailed scenario of how the quake and its ensuing
tsunami would affect buildings, transportation, utilities, and emergency services. The report, entitled, Cascadia subduction zone earthquakes: A magnitude 9.0 earthquake scenario, painted a picture so grim that it read like a horror story. It was pretty hard to believe—until the Sendai quake brought all its horror vividly to life. It can happen.

When it does, it may well run something like this:
Somewhere, a dog starts barking. A hanging lamp begins to sway. The next thing you know, you’re in mid-air and your living room furniture is sliding across the room. You hit the ground and scramble underneath a coffee table as a cabinet tumbles, spilling broken china and shards of glass. The refrigerator topples over and the stove shuffles across the kitchen floor. Across town, bridges and high-rise buildings shudder, buckle, and collapse. The power goes out, and fires break out all across the city. Two minutes later, when the shaking stops, hundreds of buildings have collapsed and thousands are dead.

But the disaster isn’t over. Outside your window, the ocean is draining away from the beach. For a moment a strange silence hangs over the exposed seabed. Then, with a roar, the sea comes galloping in, a wall of frothy whitewater that surges over seaside towns, sweeping away roads and bridges and drowning thousands more. Landslides bury houses and sever mountain roads. In the aftermath, more lives wink out, as victims trapped beneath rubble suffocate or succumb to their injuries. With roads cut and power out, rescue services are all but helpless. Many victims in the quake zone could go days without help from the outside world.

If its imagined scenes of devastation sound a lot like what happened in reality in Japan, that’s no coincidence. Both catastrophes result from the same time of fault rupturing with the same intensity. They have one well-known precedent in the United States. On Good Friday, 1964, Alaska was hit by an epic five-minute-long quake that registered 9.2, making it the most massive ever recorded in North America. On Kodiak Island, land was raised up 30 feet. Elsewhere, whole villages were destroyed as the ground beneath liquefied and sank. Anchorage suffered devastating landslides, and 30 city blocks were
damaged or destroyed.

The magnitude of a quake alone tells you little about its effect on a population. The suffering that results is really a function of two things: the intensity of the shaking and the quality of the preparations
that have been made. Japan is by far most earthquake-savvy country on the planet. It lavishes millions on research, its building codes are tough, and its people are psychologically ready. Yet despite Japan’s preparations the 9.0 earthquake wreaked havoc on a scale not seen since World War II.

Americans, on the other hand, spend little time thinking about earthquakes, and even less money. We’re just starting to explore technologies that the Japanese have been implementing for decades. One step toward protecting the public, for instance, would be to establish an Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) system. The idea is to detect tremors as a fault begins to slip, and then transmit an alarm signal to population centers on the periphery of the quake zone.

Since motion of the quake travels at the speed of sound, and the signal can travel near the speed of light, an efficient system could provide a minute or two of warning—enough time to stop elevators and let passengers off, or for a teacher to shepherd her students under their desks.

Pressure building along the Cascadian subduction zone could be released either as an earthquake, as a volcanic eruption, or both. (see:  survival manual/disaster/volcanic winter)

4.  Cascade Volcanic Arc
The Cascade Volcanic Arc is a continental volcanic arc that extends from northern California to the coastal mountains of British Columbia, a distance of well over 700 mi (1,100 km). The arc consists of a series of stratovolcanoes.
Subduction-zone stratovolcanoes, like Mount St. Helen’s and Mount Pinatubo, typically erupt with explosive force: the magma is too stiff to allow easy escape of volcanic gases. As a consequence the tremendous internal pressures of the trapped volcanic gases remain in the pasty magma. Following the breaching of the magma chamber, the magma degasses explosively. Such an explosive process can be likened to shaking a bottle of carbonated water vigorously, and then quickly removing the cap. The shaking action nucleates the dissolution of CO2 from the liquid as bubbles, increasing the internal volume. The gases and water gush out with speed and force.

The Cascade Volcanic arc is located approximately 100 km inland from the coast, and forms a north-to-south chain of peaks that average over 3,000 m (10,000 ft) in elevation. The major peaks from south to north include:

  • Lassen Peak and Mt. Shasta (California)
  • Crater Lake (Mazama), Three Sisters, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Hood (Oregon)
  • Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, Glacier Peak, Mt. Baker (Washington)
  • Mt. Garibaldi and Mt. Meager (British Columbia)

The arc has formed due to subduction along the Cascadia subduction zone. Although taking its name from the Cascade Range, this term is a geologic grouping rather than a geographic one, and the Cascade Volcanoes extend north into the Coast Mountains, past the Fraser River which is the northward limit of the Cascade Range proper.

Some of the major cities along the length of the arc include Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, and the population in the region exceeds 10,000,000. All could be potentially affected by volcanic activity and
great subduction-zone earthquakes along the arc. Because the population of the Pacific Northwest is rapidly increasing, the Cascade volcanoes are some of the most dangerous, due to their past eruptive history, potential eruptions and because they are underlain by weak, hydrothermally altered volcanic rocks that are susceptible to failure. Many large, long-runout landslides originating on Cascade volcanoes have inundated valleys tens of kilometers from their sources, and some of the inundated areas now support large populations.


[1]  Note: The highest tsunami on record was caused by a landslide in Lituya Bay in Alaska in 1958. The landslide itself was triggered by an earthquake, but the tsunami was caused by the earth that slid off a mountain and fell into the bay.” The resulting wave of displaced water was 1720 feet high (1/3 mile)- depending on how you measured it.
The 1720 feet was actually how high it ran [splashed] up on the mountain on the other side of the bay. The wall of water itself, as it crossed the bay, was anywhere from 150 to 500 feet high. No one knows for sure. We have eyewitness accounts from two of the three fishing boats that were in the bay at the time.”
Pasted from http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/silveira94.html

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Questions & answers for the Non Prepper

A.  Mark Levin: Government Is “Simulating the Collapse of Our Financial System, the Collapse of Our Society and the Potential for Widespread Violence”
8 Mar 2013, SHTFplan.com, by Mac Slavo
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/mark-levin-government-is-simulating-the-collapse-of-our-financial-system-the-collapse-of-our-society-and-the-potential-for-widespread-violence_03082013

guide disaster formsAlong with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, leading conservative radio host Mark Levin reaches tens of millions of listeners weekly, and what he talked about recently on his nationally syndicated show has sent shivers down the spines of many of them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

YouTubeLevin: Government Simulating the Collapse of Our Financial System and Widespread Violence
YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d63GRfBo0Vg#t=16

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

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

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

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

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

So you’d better have your own reserves. For those who fail to prepare, it will be horrific. See article at: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/how-horrific-will-it-be-for-the-non-prepper_05122012

 

B.  50 Shocking Questions That You Should Ask To Anyone That Is Not A Prepper Yet
17 Jan 2013, SHTFplan.com, by Michael Snyder of Economic Collapse Blog Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/50-shocking-questions-that-you-should-ask-to-anyone-that-is-not-a-prepper-yet_01172013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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C.  First Things First: Key Questions Facing The Beginning Prepper
16 May 2012, SHTFplan.com, by Norse Prepper
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/first-things-first-key-questions-facing-the-beginning-prepper_05162012

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

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

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

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

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

Inspired by the article regarding how horrific it’s going to get for the non prepper, I thought I might also submit the following article on what it is like to be a new prepper. See article at: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/how-horrific-will-it-be-for-the-non-prepper_05122012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Human Carrying Capacity

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

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

I.  Our numbers

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

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

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

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

While it is possible for a woman to bear as many as 15 children in her lifetime, this is rare. Rather, parents universally chose to limit family size because too many children present costs in excess of benefits.
Pasted from
<http://www.eoearth.org/article/Human_population_explosion?topic=54245&gt;

B. Human Overpopulation
Overpopulation is a condition where an organism’s numbers exceed the carrying capacity of its habitat. The term often refers to the relationship between the human population and its environment, the Earth. Steve Jones, head of the biology department at University College London, has said, “Humans are 10,000 times more common than we should be, according to the rules of the animal kingdom, and we have agriculture to thank for that. Without farming, the world population would probably have reached half a million by now.” The world’s population has significantly increased in the last 50 years, mainly due to medical advancements and substantial increases in agricultural productivity.

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

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

The scientific consensus is that the current population expansion and accompanying increase in usage of resources is linked to threats to the ecosystem. The InterAcademy Panel Statement on Population Growth, which was ratified by 58 member national academies in 1994, called the growth in human numbers “unprecedented”, and stated that many environmental problems, such as rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, global warming, and pollution, were aggravated by the population expansion. At the time, the world population stood at 5.5 billion, and optimistic scenarios predicted a peak of 7.8 billion by 2050, a number that current estimates show will be reached around 2022.
Pasted from http://www.zaxtor.net/HOPI.htm

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II. Overpopulation and peak oil: The perfect storm
18 January 2008, Napa Valley Register, By Jim Lydecker
Pasted from:  http://peakoil.blogspot.com/2008/01/overpopulation-and-peak-oil-perfect.html
Americans have recently become aware of converging crises that can end life as we know it, though experts have been warning us for many years. (TEOTWAWKI =The End Of The World As We know It)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Energy and population are the two subjects you never hear politicians discuss. Columnists, on the left and right, have recently written how it is only OK to talk about conserving oil and decreasing population until it’s too late.
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III.  The effects of overpopulation on the environment
31 January 2008, www.helium.com, by Aidan Luce
Around the world, as populations grow, deficiencies in available freshwater supplies are starting to take their toll on already fragile economies, particularly those in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), where Tony Allan of SOAS in London insists “water demand began to exceed supply in the early 1970s for the region. Some countries have faced deficits since the 1950s”.

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

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

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

The US and the EU export 40 million tons of grain to the MENA region every year, using 40 billion tons of virtual water this is the amount of water flowing down the Nile into Egypt for agriculture every year. The word rival comes from the Latin root rivus, which literally means to share a river. The concept of rivalry is intrinsically tied to the competition for water security.
Pasted from <http://www.helium.com/items/831909-the-effects-of-overpopulation-on-the-environment&gt;

__A. Planet could be ‘unrecognizable’ by 2050, experts say
A growing, more affluent population competing for ever scarcer resources could make for an “unrecognizable” world by 2050, researchers warned at a major US science conference Sunday.

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

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

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

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

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

“More people, more money, more consumption, but the same planet,” Clay told AFP, urging scientists and governments to start making changes now to how food is produced.
Pasted from <http://www.zaxtor.net/HOPI.htm>

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

According to one estimate, population growth will account for 35 percent of the global increase in CO2 emissions between 1985 and 2100 and 48 percent of the increase in developing nations during that period. As such, both attention to demographic issues and the development of sustainable production and consumption processes are central responses to the processes involved in global warming.
Pasted from <http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB5045/index1.html&gt;

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IV.  Population Concerns in the United States

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

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

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

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

E.   Water
Water is essential for all life, including productive agriculture. Agriculture consumes about 85% of all fresh water consumed by Americans. In the West, water shortages are increasing.
•  Rainfall is used directly by crops, is stored in diverse water bodies and in underground aquifers.  Groundwater provides 31% of the water used in U.S. agriculture.  Groundwater is being depleted 25% in excess of recharge rates.
•  Even if water management were to be substantially improved, by 2060 the 560 million Americans will have only 700 gallons/day/capita, considered a minimum for all human needs.
This assumes even distribution, which is not the case — much of our population and agricultural production is in arid and semi-arid regions.
•  Almost every house that can afford one now owns some type of water filter. Water quality is decreasing, as are our sources of potable water, due to development, salinity, and pollution.
Pasted from <http://www.enviroalternatives.com/popfacts.html&gt;

€ The ‘bathroom metaphor’”
http://malthusia.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=213
If two people live in an apartment, and  they had two bathrooms then they both have freedom of the bathroom. You can go to the bathroom anytime you want, stay as long as you want, for whatever you need, and everyone believes in the freedom of the bathroom. It should be right there in the constitution.
But if you have twenty people in the apartment and two bathrooms, then no matter how much every person believes in the freedom of the bathroom, there is no such thing. You have to set up times for each person; you have to bang on the door, “aren’t you through yet?”, and so on.
Kasanov concluded with one of the most profound observations I’ve seen in years, he says, in the same way, “…democracy cannot survive overpopulation. Human dignity cannot survive over population. Convenience and decency cannot survive over population. As you put more and more people into the world, the value of life not only decline it disappears. It doesn’t matter if someone dies, the more people, there are the less one individual matters. And so, central to the things that we must do is to recognize that population growth is the immediate cause of all our resource and environmental crisis”.
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V.  Consequences of peak oil
There are indications that peak oil is either imminent or even may have passed a few years ago. Although the consequences won’t be immediate after the peak, on the long-term they will be dire. We will discuss what the possible solutions to peak oil are in a moment but first, what are we talking about? Let’s start by a few facts:
•  There is only a limited amount of oil on the planet – because the planet is round.
•  The world’s first commercial oil well was drilled in Poland in 1853, and global production reached 4 million barrels a year in the 1860s (one barrel is about 42 gallons).
•  Today’s production hovers just above 70 million barrels a day.
•  2005 was an all-time high at 73.72 million barrels a day. Production is nearly flat since.
•  The Industrial Revolution brought a better understanding of how to use energy and allowed global population to increase ten times compared to what has been constant over millennia. It is  quite clear that our population would never have reached this level without access to all the cheap energy sources we currently have.
•  Our industry, food system and economy have become wholly dependent on cheap fuel.
•  India and China demand for oil is set to quadruple by 2030.
•  Some 64 million barrel per day of additional gross capacity – the equivalent of almost six times the daily output of Saudi Arabia today – needs to be brought on stream between now and 2030 (World Energy Outlook 2008)
•  So if the amount of oil we have is limited, if our demand is growing exponentially and  if production has been stationary for 5 years, how much oil have we left?
•  First we have to realize there aren’t any massive oil field discoveries those days. It is estimated that the peak of oil production lags behind the peak of oil field discoveries by 30 to 40 years depending on the urgency with which new fields are brought on-line. The graph below shows the rate of discoveries of
conventional oil field:

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

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

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

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

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

A.   A scheme of balanced daily  diet

Pounds of food needed/ person/ year for a balanced diet. Avg.  global food output lbs/acre/yr before
the petroleum intensive Green Revolution began (pre ca 1940)
Square yards Land Needed/person for a balanced  diet
Pounds/year Lbs/acre/yr
(2.2lbs/kg)
Yds2/person
Grains & Cereals 220 880 1200
Milk 220 (26 gal) 440 See pasture
Fruits 220 1760 469131
Vegetables 55
Meat (goat, horses, sheep) 55 220 See pasture
Oil 27.5 (~3 gal) 440 300
Sugar 27.5 440 300
Dry Fruits / Eggs 27.5 440 300
Spices 27.5 440 300
Pasture NA NA 1200
Other (coffee, cotton, tea, wool) NA NA 600
4800 sq. yds. overall=1
acre

Notes:

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

A simplified division of land is as follows:

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

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

A 10 inch rain fall on one acre provides 1000 tons of water. For a summer crop, at least in my part of world 80% of rain falls during the monsoon, right when the crop needs it. So 800 cubic meters of water
directly from rain is enough to grow the food per person per acre using these water requirements, assuming 20% loss of water at the farm due to evaporation and soil absorption before being used by plants. The calculation includes water needed for world average use of 7.7 lb  cotton, 2.4 lb coffee and 1.1 lb tea per capita per year.
Pasted from <http://europe.theoildrum.com/node/3090&gt;

C.   Water Footprint
A ‘water footprint’ is quite simply the volume of water used. At the individual level, this is expressed in gallons.
But at the national level, this becomes complex – The water footprint of a nation is equal to the use of domestic water resources, minus the virtual water export flows, plus the virtual water import flows.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There used to be 50,000 head of cattle, now there’s 1,000,” says Kay Horner in a Telegraph report (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/83…). “Grazed them on wheat, but the feed lots took all the water so we can’t grow wheat. Now the feed lots can’t get local steers so they bring in cheap unwanted milking calves from California and turn them into burger if they can’t make them veal. It
doesn’t make much sense. We’re heading back to the Dust Bowl.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All stocks of currently fished, wild seafood species are projected to collapse by 2048 according to a study published in the November 3 issue of The Journal Science. The four-year analysis by an international group of ecologists and economists shows the marine biodiversity loss is reducing its resilience due to overfishing, pollution, and other stresses like climate change.
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[Photo left: Florida Keys, same spot: Change in the typical catch between,ca. 1956 to 2007.]

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

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

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

Joshua Reichert, head of the private Pew Charitable Trusts’ environment program, pointed out that worldwide fishing provides $80 billion in revenue and 200 million people depend on it for their livelihoods. For more than 1 billion people, many of whom are poor, fish is their main source of protein, he said.
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IX.      The State of the World’s Food and Soil
 •  “Ninety percent of the world’s food is derived from just 15 plant and 8 animal species.”
“Biodiversity – and especially the maintenance of wild relatives of domesticated species – is essential to sustainable agriculture.”1
 •  75% of the genetic diversity of crop plants has been lost in the past century.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Food and Soil text sources:
1.  World Summit on Sustainable Development 2002, “A Framework for Action on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management”
2.  “Food, Land, Population and the U.S. Economy”, Pimentel and Giampietro, Nov. 1994
3.  “Soil as an Endangered Ecosystem”, David Pimental, Bioscience; Nov 2000
4.  US GAO report: “Natural Gas: Domestic Nitrogen Fertilizer Production Depends on Natural Gas Availability and Prices”, Oct. 2003, www.gao.gov/new.items/d031148.pdf
5. The Fertilizer Institute, www.tfi.org/Statistics/index.asp
6.  “The Tightening Conflict: Population, Energy Use, and the Ecology of Agriculture”, Pimentel and Giampietro, 1994, http://dieoff.org/page69.htm
7.  “Food, Land, Population and the U.S. Economy, Pimentel and Giampietro, Nov. 1994
8.  World Bank: “Land Resources Management”, lnweb18.worldbank.org/ESSD/ardext.nsf/
11ByDocName/
9.  “Population Growth and the Environment: Planetary Stewardship”, Pimental, Dec 98, http://egj.lib.uidaho.edu/egj09/piment1.html
10.  UN World Water Development, www.unesco.org/water/wwap/wwdr/index.shtml
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Population Growth Escalates Food Prices
Summer 2008, By The Social Contract press
Food shortages have plagued mankind over millennia. But twentieth century agronomists came up with ways to keep food production on a pace with population growth in most places. Cheap food became a given in post-World War II America. In 1960, Americans spent 17.5 percent of their income on food; in 2006, spending on food fell to 9.9 percent. Alas, the bonanza only encouraged dietary imprudence. As Michael Pollan points out in a new book, In Defense of Food: An  Eater’s Manifesto, the modern American diet of refined white flour, polished rice, soy and corn oil, corn sweeteners and corn-fed animal fats means that “an American born in 2000 has a 1 in 3 chance of developing diabetes in his lifetime.” Obesity in America is pandemic, too — a result of what one nutritionist calls “a national experiment in mainlining of glucose.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Filed under __2. Social Issues

Normalcy Bias

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Normalcy Bias)

AAmerica Has Fallen Victim To The Normalcy Bias, Do You Suffer From Normalcy Bias?
25 Jan 2013, BeforeItsNews.com
Excerpt pasted from: http://beforeitsnews.com/education/2013/01/america-has-fallen-victim-to-the-normalcy-bias-do-you-suffer-from-normalcy-bias-video-2442598.html

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

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

The Normalcy Bias is part of human nature and, to some extent, we are all guilty of participating in it. Unfortunately, the Normalcy Bias inhibits our ability to cope with a disaster once it is underway. People with Normalcy Bias have difficulty reacting to something they have not experienced before. The Normalcy Bias also leads people to interpret warnings and to inaccurately reframe information in order to project an optimistic outcome which leads to the person to infer a less serious situation. In short, it is kind of a pain-killing drug which numbs a person to an impending danger.
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B.  50 Signs That Human Civilization Is In BIG Trouble: “Times Have Become Strange, Disturbing and Frightening”
4 Aug 2014, SHTFplan.com, by Be Informed
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/50-signs-that-human-civilization-is-in-big-trouble-times-have-become-strange-disturbing-and-frightening_08042014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

C.  The Reality of Survival: “Forget Good Guys and Bad Guys… The Prepared Guys Win”
21 July 2014, SHTFplan.com, by Selco
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/the-reality-of-survival-forget-good-guys-and-bad-guys-the-prepared-guys-win_07212014

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

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

normalcy bias2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Be prepared.

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

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

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

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

Your minimal emergency electric needs

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

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

electric light

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

electric battery storage

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

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

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

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

 

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Rise of the Preppers

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

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

 

shtf food

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

So what are all of these people prepping for?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you think that Bass is taking things too far?

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

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

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

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

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

*American Preppers Network

*The Survival Mom

*In Case Of Emergency, Read Blog

*The Surburban Prepper

 

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