Tag Archives: energy

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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How to keep cool indoors and out: vests

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ How to keep cool indoors and out: vests)

Think about maintaining your normal body core temperature, whether inside and outdoors during an extended emergency summer power outage.

A.  Keeping Your Cool: cooling vest type
April 2010, mitoaction,
http://www.mitoaction.org/red-tape/keeping-your-cool-cooling-vest-types-sources-financial-assistance

There are a variety of personal cooling systems that are available for purchase, and each style has unique advantages and drawbacks. Here is a brief summary of the three most popular systems:

1.  Evaporative Cooling Vests:
These vests feel like terry cloth but have tiny pockets of highly absorbable beads that can take in water and expand to 6 times their dry size. The vest is soaked in cool water and gently wrung out to remove excess. The vest is placed over a t-shirt and cools by evaporation; the air moves faster next to the water-logged beads, which creates a layer of cool air between the vest and the skin. Evaporative cooling vests are light weight, inexpensive, and there is no need to purchase a second vest to swap; the vest can be re-wet and immediately used again. Evaporative cooling apparel is not limited to vests; headbands, wristbands, floor mats, and even dog vests are available for purchasing. If an evaporative vest is damaged, it can be re-sewn by hand. The function of the vest isn’t seriously compromised if a few beads escape. (The beads are non-toxic, but always check the vest carefully to avoid ingestion by a child.) Evaporative cooling vests are of limited benefit in humid environments and are sometimes not tolerated by individuals with sensitive skin due to the slight dampness of the garment.

 2.  Phase Change Cooling Systems:
This type of vest contains inserts that are activated by placing them in the freezer or a container of ice water, and then the inserts maintain a consistent temperature (usually 53-56 degrees F.) for up to three hours. The inserts can then be re-activated (10 to 20 minutes for activation) and reused. Many people choose to purchase an extra set of inserts and rotate them, so that the vest can be used continuously. The inserts are not exactly ice packs; they do not reach freezing temperatures so they are unlikely to cause damage if left in contact with bare skin. This makes them safe to use with young children or individuals who are unable to feel heat or cold due to neuropathy or communicate discomfort. They are activated when exposed to temperatures above freezing, and need much less time to recharge than an actual frozen ice pack would take. Also, the inserts do not “sweat” when the cold is being transferred to the wearer, so clothing stays dry. Phase change vests can be made to fit wearers of all ages and sizes, custom vests can be made for individuals weighing more or less than the displayed vests are recommended for.

There are drawbacks to purchasing and using phase change vests. The inserts add weight to the vest, from 1 ½ to 2 lbs for children’s vests to 4 lbs or more for 3X or 4X adult sizes. Fortunately, the weight is evenly distributed on the body and is close to the individual’s center of gravity, so the balance issues associated with backpacks or weights shouldn’t be a problem. The cooling vest system is much more expensive than an evaporative vest; you can expect to pay around $200 for a vest and two sets of inserts. The phase change inserts are filled with a viscous fluid and are durable but not indestructible. If an insert is damaged it must be discarded and replaced.

3.  Hybrid Cooling Vests:
This vest combines the benefits of the evaporative as well as phase change vests. The user has the ability to choose between using the evaporative or phase change cooling methods, and can also choose to use both systems simultaneously to complement one another. This type of vest is new to the market, but customers who have purchased hybrid guests have reported high satisfaction rates.

4.  Cold Pack Cooling Vests:
These vests look just like phase change cooling vests, but use actual ice packs that freeze at 32 degrees or in some cases, even colder. These cold packs give the highest level of cooling because the cold packs are the lowest temperature. These vests are effective in extreme humidity and very high temperatures. Extra packs can be added or changed out over time.

There are several drawbacks to cold pack vests. The frozen inserts are generally heavier than phase change inserts, are usually inflexible when frozen, and must be returned to an actual freezer, below 32 degrees farenheight, to be refrozen, which can take several hours. Most frozen packs “sweat” while discharging cold energy, which some individuals may find uncomfortable. Most importantly, ice packs cannot be applied directly to skin and should never be used by individuals who may have impaired sensation, are asleep, or unable to communicate discomfort, as frostbite and serious injury can occur.

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B .  MSolutions Cooling Climate Control Products
http://www.mscooling.com/faq
1.  WHO NEEDS A COOLING VEST?
If work, leisure activities or medical conditions make you uncomfortably hot and/or affect your performance, you could benefit from a Cooling Vest.

2.  WHAT IS HEAT STRESS?
Heat stress occurs when the body’s reaction to the environment causes its core temperature to rise above safe limits. This can result in a racing heart, profuse sweating, dizziness, reduced energy and slowed reaction times. This reduces safety, decreases efficiency and lowers productivity.
What is the difference between the many different types of body cooling systems available?
There are many different cooling products available and the best one for you depends on your personal situation, activity and environment. We recommend you consult your health care professional prior to purchasing a cooling garment or system.

A summary of the systems:

Evaporative
Cooling Power: Low*
Cost: Very Low
(*depending on humidity and outside variables)

Cold packs
Cooling Power: High
Cost: Low to Medium

Phase Change
Cooling Power: Medium
Cost: Medium

Active Cooling
Cooling Power: Very High
Cost: High to Very High

Evaporative Cooling: These products come in an assortment of garments that fit a wide variety of locations on the body. They are soaked in water to charge special polymer materials built into the garments. As the water evaporates (sometimes over several days), the garment provides surface cooling. These systems are typically low cost and light weight.
Advantages: Low cost, light weight works for an extended period of time
Disadvantages: Requires wetting of garment loses effectiveness in higher humidity

Cold pack cooling: These products typically come in vests, neck coolers and wrist coolers. The products work by incorporating cold packs into pockets of the wraps. The cold packs are placed in a freezer or a refrigerator until ready for use and then are placed in pockets designed into the wraps. The packs will stay cold for 2 to 4 hours depending on environmental conditions.
Advantages: Medium cost, no wetting required effective for 2-4 hours, highest cooling capacity works in all environments adjustable cooling with more / less packs extra packs easily carried for extended cooling
Disadvantages: Requires access to freezer / refrigerator requires time for packs to freeze medium weight: 4-5 lbs.

Phase Change Cold Pack Cooling: These products are similar to the cold pack systems only use a phase change polymer in the cold packs or the garment. This technology controls the release of temperature to a specific range through out the cooling cycle. A typical temperature is 58 degree F. Phase change cold packs may be recharged in the freezer, refrigerator or in ice water.
Advantages: Charges in ice water, refrigerator, freezer wetting not required, effective for 2-3 hours provides moderate cooling temperature  works in all environments extra packs easily carried for extended cooling
DisadvantagesHigher cost system, high cost of spare packs Lower cooling efficiency than cold packs medium weight: 5-7 lbs. medium cooling capacity.

Active Cooling: These products typically incorporate a coolant, often ice water, that is circulated from a reservoir by a pump system through channels or tubes embedded in a vest. Often a hood for the head is incorporated into the system also. The temperature of the circulating coolant usually can be adjusted. The system operates on batteries, house or car current. This type of system will provide many hours of cooling before the ice and water needs to be recharged.
AdvantagesMost effective cooling – core body cooling adjustable cooling temperature extended cooling time between recharges no wetting required, works in all environments light weight garments.
Disadvantages: Very high cost system tethered system limits mobility requires ice water reservoir.

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C.  Glacier Tec  Phase Change cooling vest
Pasted from <http://blog.coolvest.com/easy-rider-glacier-tek-coolvest-product-review/>

Original RPCM® Cooling Vest – Tan Khaki
Price: $179.00, get a 10% discount with the special sales code “fjrforum-10”    from <http://www.fjrforum.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=139799>

I have this vest and it works well, it does keep you cool out doors at temperatures of around 100F while doing light to medium work . I prefer using this,  the “phase change” vest for “in the house” applications when the power is out. It’s dry and doesn’t damped furniture; for for a similar reason, I prefer the evaporative vest, discussed below, for outdoor use.

Product Details:
RPCM® Cooling Vests feature side elastic straps and over-the-shoulder adjustability to fit a wide range of body sizes. RPCM® Cool Vests provide you with the maximum comfort available in the market today. They maintain a cool, constant 59°F/15°C temperature for up to 2½ hours, weigh less than 5 lbs., and recharge in minutes. The RPCM® Cool Vest is extremely durable. It can be easily cleaned in regular laundry. .                                                           

> RPCM® Cool Packs quickly recharge in only 20 minutes in ice water. The packs charge (freeze solid) at a temperature about 50 degrees. There are 3 ways to fully charge the packs. They will be rock solid even using the refrigerator which is my favorite of the 3 ways.
__1) On the road toss them in a plastic bag full of ice for 30 minutes.
__2) Put them in the freezer for 1 hour.
__3) Put them in the refrigerator for 2 hours
> RPCM® Cool Vests are Glacier Tek’s exclusive Patent-Pending technology that uses a unique “green” formula.
> RPCM® contains absolutely no hazardous ingredients or chemicals and is completely non-toxic.
> Vest weigh less than 5 lbs.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Pasted from <http://www.glaciertek.com/RPCM_Cooling_Vest/FAQ.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1>

Q. Is the material in the RPCM® Cooling Vest hazardous?
A. No. The phase change material in the RPCM® Cool Pack is unique among phase change materials used for cooling. It is the only phase change cooling vest on the market which contains no hazardous ingredients or materials. It is also non-toxic, safe, and environmentally friendly. Should the RPCM® Cool Pack become punctured and leak onto your skin, it may be washed off with soap and water.

Q. How many times can the RPCM® Cooling Vest be used?
A. If the RPCM® Cool Packs are not punctured or torn, they can be used indefinitely. Our RPCM Cooling Vest has no shelf life. Some of our cooling packs have been recharged 10,000 times with no measurable change in performance.

Q. Can I store my cooling vest in the freezer?
A. Yes, the RPCM® Cooling Packs can be deep-frozen indefinitely without affecting performance.

Q. How long do RPCM® Cooling Vests take to recharge?
A. Typically 20 minutes in ice water will fully recharge a set of cooling packs, longer in a freezer or refrigerator. They recharge more quickly in ice water because of the conductive method of heat transfer. In a freezer, they chill convectively, which takes longer. They can be stored in a refrigerator or freezer indefinitely without damage or loss of functionality. Recharging in a cold freezer with the door kept shut takes about an hour. In a refrigerator, it can be several hours to overnight, depending on the heat load, how many times the refrigerator is opened, etc.

Q. What are the benefits of RPCM® Cool Packs over ice or frozen gel packs?
A. There are three key benefits:

  1. RPCM® Cool Packs operate at a much more comfortable 59° F (15°C) temperature. That means they can’t cause skin or tissue damage or cause extreme discomfort like ice or frozen gel can do.
  2. RPCM® Cool Packs will be effective for a longer period of time between charges. The reason? The difference in temperature between ambient (surrounding) air and the phase change product is much less than the difference in temperature between ambient air and ice. That means more cooling is absorbed by the body and less is lost to the air.
  3. RPCM® Cool Packs are cooled to a temperature that is usually above the dew point. That means they normally won’t condense or sweat against your body or clothing. Ice and frozen gel packs are below the dew point, so they sweat, making them uncomfortable to wear and adding to the weight of the vest or jacket. Condensation also robs the ice pack of efficiency because condensation creates heat, which is absorbed by the pack, further reducing its efficiency.

Q. How do RPCM® Cooling Vests compare with evaporative-type products?
A. RPCM® Cooling Vests provide much greater efficiency and better performance. Evaporative-type products by design retain water, so are always wet and can grow bacteria. This makes them uncomfortable against your skin. It also means they will grow mildew quickly over time, as they rarely dry out. Further, evaporative-type products can’t operate in high humidity environments (or under protective clothing,) because the atmosphere is already saturated with water, so there is no place for the evaporation to go. RPCM® Cooling Vests, on the other hand, are unaffected by humidity.

Q. Will RPCM® Cooling Vests reduce body core temperature?
A. Our products are worn to help maintain a normal body core temperature. The purpose of phase change cooling technology is to help maintain a comfortable core temperature and prevent that temperature from increasing above normal. It’s our goal to help you avoid heat stress in the first place.

Q. Isn’t water a phase change material?
A. Yes. A phase change occurs whenever matter changes from one form into another. Water can change from a solid (ice) to a liquid, as well as to a vapor. Water changes into a solid at a specific temperature: 32ºF (0°C). But RPCM® Cooling Vest packs change into their solid form at 59º F (15°C). Since water changes into its solid form at a much lower temperature, it loses more of its cooling ability to ambient (surrounding) temperature. It’s also below the dew point, so it causes condensation as it melts. Further, it’s uncomfortable and requires an overnight stay in the freezer to refreeze.

Q. Will RPCM® Cooling Vests cause vasoconstriction?
A. That’s one of the advantages of RPCM® Cooling Vests: They function within a comfortable temperature range that unlikely to promote vasoconstriction of blood vessels, unlike ice or frozen gel which promotes rapid vasoconstriction. This is an important benefit, as non-constricted blood vessels allow your circulatory system to freely move blood throughout your body, then release heat at the skin surface. With ice, the body is fooled into defending itself agains the intense cold. It reacts by constricting the blood vessels near the skin, limiting the body’s natural cooling system. The heart and lungs then have to work harder, expending extra energy in the chest cavity and creating yet more body heat and other risks.

Q. Do RPCM® Cooling Vests come in sizes?
A. No. The RPCM® Cooling Vest is adjustable across a wide range of sizes to enable it to fit many people. Inventories of various sizes are reduced and one vest may be adjusted to fit several people, enabling sharing of the product from person to person. It adjusts over the shoulders and around the waist for a comfortable fit in a wide range of body sizes.

Q. Where can I purchase Glacier Tek Products?
A. Glacier Tek, Inc. wishes to offer you the most expedient service possible, and allows you to choose from several ordering options: Order On-Line, Fill out an Information Sheet, or call us at 800-482-0533 for more information or to locate a distributor near you. Thank you for your interest in Glacier Tek, Inc. and our cooling technology products.

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D.  Tech Deluxe Evaporative Cooling vest
Amazon.com, $49.99
See: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FGD8SA/ref=gno_cart_title_1

[Photo at left] TechNiche Deluxe Hyperkewl Evaporative cooling vest, Large size (40-42),, silver colored exterior, $49.99: High mandarin collar, front pockets, and zipper closure combine to offer the ultimate cooling and sun protection solution.

The evaporative vest works, I have one and prefer it for outdoor use. I’ve tested it doing my afternoon walks at temperatures of about 100F.

HyperKewl™ Evaporative Cooling Fabric is 47% Fluff Pulp, 33% Crosslinked Super Absorbent Polymer Fiber, Sodium Acrylate Coploymer and 20 % Bicomponent Polyolefin Bonding Fiber

EASY TO USE:
1.  Soak garment in cool water for 1-3 minutes
2.  Gently squeeze out excess water
3.  Wear; repeat steps as needed
4.  Hang to dry
5.  Wash in mild, soapy water (as needed)

Improved HyperKewl™ Evaporative Cooling Fabric ((PEF6519) – Helps our Evaporative Cooling products to last longer, and withstand more wear and tear. No gel or beads. This simple and effective technology works by combining water with our HyperKewl™ Fabric to create garments that gradually release water through evaporation to keep you cool and comfortable. Comfortable quilted Oxford nylon outer w/ polymer embedded fabric inner, water repellent nylon liner, and black poly-cotton trim.
Provides 5-10 hours of cooling relief per soaking; lightweight, durable and washable.

* Between use the vests are each hung on a sturdy wide shouldered clothes hanger.

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Everything Won’t Be Alright

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Everything Won’t Be Alright)

Everything Won’t Be Alright
4 September 2012, The Automatic Earth, Ashvin Pandurangi
Pasted from: http://theautomaticearth.com/Earth/everything-isnt-alright.html

“Looking around at those… around me – family, friends, acquaintances and random faces in the crowd of apathy – the level of complacency is so concentrated I can taste it, yet I can’t even describe how bad it tastes. I’m not really talking about the understanding people lack about the numerous predicaments we face as a species – that’s definitely there too… but what I’m talking about is even worse. It’s the assumption that we can just go about our day-to-day lives, doing our day-to-day work, having our day-to-day fun… and humanity will eventually heal itself, no matter how bad the injuries sustained.

This is a cultural phenomenon that has infested the Western world, and refuses to be eradicated. It is where many of us ultimately place our hope and stake our lives, sometimes without even realizing we are doing it. We previously discussed the entertainment enemas that have penetrated modern culture (and the lives of deluded teenagers) in Culturally Programmed Myths of Omnipotence. They have given us the vision that we can always become bigger, “better” and stronger as individuals and nations, evolving towards God-like glory, no matter what obstacles are in our way – all of the stories about superheroes, vampires, werewolves, wizards, robots and aliens – it’s all about the propaganda of pernicious power.

We even see this mentality taking root in academia and scientific research through the field of “transhumanism” (very well portrayed in the documentary, TechnoCalyps). As you can probably guess from the name, transhumanism tells us that we are on the way to becoming something more, something other, than human beings. Forget random mutation and natural selection, the transhumanist says – we can circumvent all of the slow evolutionary nonsense that we only theorized about a century ago. Now we can transform ourselves into a new species over the course of a few decades with the help of modern technology and “intelligent designers”. Just a little bit ironic, don’t you think?

Ironic, yet frighteningly appealing to the broader public. Yet another aspect of this cultural programming is the idea that all troubling stories have a happy ending – that all good things come to those who [sit on their ass and] wait. We have obviously been fed this diet of propaganda by movies and television on a consistent basis over the course of decades. You sit through one and a half hours of action-packed plots with drama, romance, suspense, twists and turns mixed in… and then the whole thing comes together and the heroes prevail in the last 20 minutes. That’s truly how many people view the world now – an epic movie that is approaching its glorious credits, just so the sequel can come out next year.

This virulent mentality is not only quarantined to the mainstream materialistic culture, but is also evident in many alternative spheres of cultural milieu, even penetrating its way into the so-called “Doomer” crowds. Many people who are otherwise extremely pessimistic about the current world-system and its effects on human civilization have found refuge in the idea that we are entering a “New Age” of human existence. It may be initially characterized by pockets of chaos and upheaval, but it will end with a radical spiritual transformation that results from the natural evolution of human consciousness.

The Universe will re-balance itself and bring the blessings of peace and harmony to ALL of its inhabitants – “all” being those who are mentally programmed to properly decode its gifts. There is really nothing “new” about these concepts, though – they borrow many of their underlying tenets from the ancient religions of Hinduism and Buddhism. For example, a prominent prophecy within sects of the latter is the arrival of the Maitreya Buddha at a time when humans have completely lost touch with their true nature as immaterial and interconnected parts of the divine whole (a time like now, perhaps?).

The Maitreya may not be a majority view in “New Age” circles, but it reflects a general mentality that has submerged itself in both the mainstream and alternative streams of modern culture, presenting itself to us in many different forms. There is an entire industry based around the concept of self-help gurus teaching people [much too] simple ways to become “happy, healthy and successful”, no matter what is going on in the world around them. Yet we all know that there is no money to be made from a product that truly helps its patients (customers).

They’re selling us exactly what we want to hear – that the reality of human suffering in the world is not actually as bad as it appears to be; that there is more truth in the fictional movies we have seen than in our real lives. Maybe if we can just find that slick-looking guy in the black leather jacket and cool shades, snatch the red pill and wash it down with a bottle of Absinthe, the truth will be revealed to us and everything will be alright in the end. Or maybe the blue pill will give us a better high…? Either way, I’m here to say that we should be really careful what we wish for, because there is only a razor thin line between the truth and fiction these days.

Most importantly, though, I am here to make clear that no one is immune from the mentality that “everything is alright” or “everything can be alright”, including me. I have my own personal beliefs about how humanity can be preserved and even perfected, and I don’t believe there is anything inherently wrong with that. What’s wrong is when I forget to remind myself where those beliefs come from and where they are truly leading me. Do they simply make me feel good and comfortable and “enlightened”? Am I simply willing to swallow the red pill because someone slick tells me it will “open my eyes”?

Or is there something more fundamentally true about why I have deep concerns and why I have ultimate hope. What sacrifices are really required of myself and others to reach our maximum human potentials? I believe these are questions we must repeatedly ask ourselves, because the moment we become too comfortable and too uncritical of our beliefs, or the beliefs of others around us, is the moment that we become apathetic and willing to go wherever the world takes us. It is only when we confront the uncomfortable truths of our situation in this world that we will be able to become the best we can possibly be.”

Current News headlines (the list is growing) (Mr. Larry)
The middle class is being destroyed
Private Debt Is Crippling the Economy
Average Credit Card Interest Rates Are Way Too High
Too Big To Fail Banks Get Bigger, American Dream Turns Nightmare
Does shadow banking require regulation?
A Cartel of Big Banks Is Hurting the World Economy By Manipulating Derivatives
JPMorgan’s Big Loss: Why Banks Still Haven’t Learned Their Lesson
Despite a Negative Fund Balance the FDIC is Insuring $6.1T in Deposits
 Gas prices shouldn’t be high, but are: What gives?
France Interior Ministry threatens to expel Muslims
EU Police to Patrol Internet for Political Enemies Opposed to “European Integration”
Hypocrisy Alert: The Obama ‘Royal Family’ Continues Spending Spree with Lavish Vacations
China Challenges Obama’s Asia Pivot With Rapid Military Buildup
Russia, China seal major gas deal, bypass US dollar
Russia’s secret weapon: crashing US economy by collapsing petrodollar

Democracy and the bathroom metaphor
Two people live in an apartment and there are two bathrooms, then both have the freedom of the bathroom. You can go to the bathroom anytime you want, and stay as long as you want, for whatever you need. Everyone believes in the freedom of the bathroom. It should be right there in the Constitution. But if you have 20 people in the apartment and two bathrooms, 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 at the door, “Aren’t you through yet?” and so on.

The same way democracy cannot survive overpopulation. Human dignity cannot survive it. Convenience and decency cannot survive it. As you put more and more people into the world, the value of life not only declines, it disappears. It doesn’t matter if someone dies. The more people there are the less one individual matters. …………………….Issac Asimov

US Population, no one is talking about it! Could it be the root of our problems? Ya think?
1775 – the founding of our nation, and at about the time the Constitution was written, this country had a population of 2,500,000.
7 September 2012: Now, a mere 237 years later,  we have a population of 313,459,820, which is 125 times larger than in 1775 when our Constitution was drawn up.
We need to stop immigration and reduce the US population about 15% so that there is no unemployment and we are eating within our means. In the coming 20 years or less, when the downside from Peak Oil becomes manifest, that 15% reduction may need be stretched to…..ummmm 47%. Mr. Larry.

The graphic below depicts the power and money flow trickling down through the US and global economy, its pathway into the not to distant future; of course with different named, but substantially similarly sub categories. We all share the common end point, one of deep concern. Mr. Larry.

In the meanwhile, as our train hurdles down the track, while everyone is metaphorically comfortable in their seat watching life pass by, unaware that historically, “global”‘ debt scenarios do not end well for the public at large, you should:
1.  Keep a minimal amount of cash in the bank, keep the balance in a safe place that only your family knows about. (make sure you have a lot of smaller bills, $1, $5, $10 and rolls of change; you might have to pay exact cash for groceries.
2.  Obtain a few hundred ounces of silver coin (Silver Eagles and US pre 1965 silver change). Buy the silver only after you have some cash set aside.
3.  Have a few ounces of gold coin (Gold Eagles), figure that 1 ounce equals a month’s living expenses. Buy gold only after you have the silver coins.
4.  Have  some food (3+ months) in nitrogen packed cans in long term storage, and use bulk rotation in your well stocked cupboards.
5.  Have various household supplies in storage.
6.  Be prepared to protect your home from  invasion. Everyone approaching their mid teens should be part of your home security plan.
[Photo: Smith & Wesson Military & Police 9mm (S&W M&P9) Barrel Length 5″, Capacity 17 + 1]

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EMP: A pie in the sky concept?

(News & Editorial/ EMP: A pie in the sky concept?)

A.  Report: China building EMP weapons for use against U.S. carriers
Pasted from: http://www.china-defense-mashup.com/report-china-building-emp-weapons-for-use-against-us-carriers.html
2011-07-24 (China Military News cited from http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jul/21/beijing-develops-radiation-weapons/”>Washington Times and written by Bill Gertz) — China’s military is developing electromagnetic pulse weapons that Beijing plans to use against U.S. aircraft carriers in any future conflict over Taiwan, according to an intelligence report made public on Thursday.

Time bomb jpgPortions of a National Ground Intelligence Center study on the lethal effects of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and high-powered microwave (HPM) weapons revealed that the arms are part of China’s so-called “assassin’s mace” arsenal – weapons that allow a technologically inferior China to defeat U.S. military forces.

EMP weapons mimic the gamma-ray pulse caused by a nuclear blast that knocks out all electronics, including computers and automobiles, over wide areas. The phenomenon was discovered in 1962 after an aboveground nuclear test in the Pacific disabled electronics in Hawaii.

The declassified intelligence report, obtained by the private National Security Archive, provides details on China’s EMP weapons and plans for their use. Annual Pentagon reports on China’s military in the past made only passing references to the arms.

“For use against Taiwan, China could detonate at a much lower altitude (30 to 40 kilometers) … to confine the EMP effects to Taiwan and its immediate vicinity and minimize damage to electronics on the mainland,” the report said.

The report, produced in 2005 and once labeled “secret,” stated that Chinese military writings have discussed building low-yield EMP warheads, but “it is not known whether [the Chinese] have actually done so.”

The report said that in addition to EMP weapons, “any low-yield strategic nuclear warhead (or tactical nuclear warheads) could be used with similar effects.”

“The DF-21 medium-range ballistic missile has been mentioned as a platform for the EMP attack against Taiwan,” the report said.

According to the report, China’s electronic weapons are part of what are called “trump card” or “assassin’s mace” weapons that “are based on new technology that has been developed in high secrecy.”

“Trump card would be applicable if the Chinese have developed new low-yield, possibly enhanced, EMP warheads, while assassin’s mace would apply if older warheads are employed,” the report said.

According to the report, China conducted EMP tests on mice, rats, rabbits, dogs and monkeys that produced eye, brain, bone marrow and other organ injuries. It stated that “it is clear the real purpose of the Chinese medical experiments is to learn the potential human effects of exposure to powerful EMP and [high-powered microwave] radiation.”

The tests did not appear designed for “anti-personnel [radio frequency] weapons” because of the limited amounts of radiation used.

However, the report said another explanation is that the Chinese tests may have been research “intended primarily for torturing prisoners,” or the tests may have been conducted to determine safety or shielding standards for military personnel or weapons.

The medical research also appeared useful for China’s military in making sure that EMP weapons used against Taiwan and “any vulnerable U.S. [aircraft carrier] would not push the U.S. across the nuclear-response threshold,” the report said.

[And where else might EMP weapons be use, besides the US Fleet in Asia, our government and military think Washington might become a target, see below. Mr. Larry]

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B.  The Missile Defense Spectator
The Silent Threat
21 Dec 2012, spectator.org, Peter Hannaford
Pasted from: http://spectator.org/articles/34752/silent-threat

emp2 first view

Riots over the Middle East and South Asia get everyone’s attention, but a clear and present danger to the United States homeland exists that virtually no one is talking about and for which we have no defense: missile attack.
A Russian military officials says the recent covert visit of one of their submarines to the Gulf of Mexico proves that they could, without difficulty, launch a missile high over the U.S. that could trigger the explosion of an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) bomb that would shut down virtually all electrical and electronic activity in a large swath of the nation. There would be no radiation, no deaths — “only” economic paralysis and chaos.
Add Iran and North Korea to the list of potential launchers of such a weapon.

While we have worked for months to develop missile defense capabilities in Europe to protect against a possible Iranian attack there, we have only tested such systems from bases in California and Alaska. Nothing is ready to deploy and given the threat of “sequestration” of large amounts of defense funds, that situation is unlikely to change.
While Congress and the Administration stew and stall over the sequestration issue, the danger is both clear and present and there is something we can do to protect the U.S. homeland from such attacks. It is called the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netter Sensor. That mouthful is shortened to JLENS.

The Army developed JLENS to detect, identify, track and engage multiple hostile targets, including low-flying cruise missiles, as well as those launched from submarines and merchant vessels. The threat is that such attacks might involve EMP, chemical or biological weapons.
JLENS is deceptively simple, consisting of two lighter-than-air ships that lift to 10,000 feet (or more) both a fire-control and surveillance radar from where they detect potentially hostile targets at ranges of more than 200 miles. It gives field commanders considerable advance warning of threats. The system was tested successfully last April at the Utah Test and Training Range, destroying a simulated hostile cruise missile with a Patriot missile.

Development of JLENS has involved an investment of $2 billion so far. The next step is to answer requests from combat commands for this system by testing it again in the field to fine-tune it. Congress appropriated $40.3 million for such a test; however, before it could be conducted, the Department of Defense asked Congress to allow these funds to be reprogrammed for other purposes, presumably including budget balancing in the face of sequestration.

Since its creation in the 1950s, the Committee on the Present Danger has focused on the changing nature of threats to the United States. With the potential threat to the U.S. homeland increasing daily, the Committee has written to the Secretary of Defense to urge him to withdraw the request to reprogram the funds so that development of JLENS can proceed. Its cost, in the greater scheme of things, is low when measured against the nature and growth of the threat to our homeland.

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C.  A Fleet of Blimps Will Soon Serve as a Missile Shield Over Washington
24 Jul 2013, Gizmodo.com, by Adam Clark Estes
Pasted from: http://gizmodo.com/a-fleet-of-blimps-will-soon-serve-as-a-missile-shield-o-885030187

emp2 JLENS blimp

A still-chilling consequence of post-9/11 America is that we remain all too aware of the fact that we could be attacked at any moment. And so with worst case scenarios in mind, the military is constantly upgrading our defense systems in increasingly creative ways. Washington DC is next in line. It’s getting blimps.

To call Raytheon’s JLENS system mere blimps, though, is doing the defense contractor a disservice. These house-sized flying spy fortresses can identify threats on the ground that even the most powerful land-based radar would miss. They can spot and track incoming cruise missiles, mine-laying ships, armed drones, or anything incoming from hundreds of miles away in 360-degrees and react in real-time. Perhaps most impressively, the JLENS system can stay in the air watching over a base or a city for up to 30 days, all day and all night, without needing to be resupplied or refueled. Obviously, this is preferable to the very expensive fleet of five spy plans that it would take to do the same work that the JLENS does with less than half the manpower.

emp2 JLENS system

Sometime in 2014, the Defense Department will deploy a pair of JLENS blimps over the Washington DC to watch over the nation’s capital. At 74-meters long, the aircraft aren’t exactly Goodyear blimp-sized, but they’re not inconspicuous either. The JLENS system is made up of two aerostats: One equipped with a fire control radar that provides targeting data and the other with a surveillance radar that can see in all directions. Floating at 10,000 feet above the ground, the JLENS system will also be able to see all the way out to the Atlantic Ocean.

The JLENS system is already on its way to the Washington DC area after having finished a successful test out in Utah. With over 100 soldiers trained on the system, the Army ran early user testing in a number of different complex scenarios. The next step is to transport the whole outfit to the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland where it will undergo an operational evaluation and eventually enter into active duty, so to speak.

It’s unclear exactly when the JLENS system should take flight, but it’s hard to see the downside in the arrangement until then. When all said and done, the Defense Department will be spending up to 700 percent less on the JLENS system than on spy planes, and will ostensibly get better protection. And who knows? They might be able to pitch in some aerial photography for Redskins games.

[OK, so Washington DC has JLENS system protection, what about the rest of us? The following article discusses what personal-social-utility systems you normally depend on to live, that will be affected by an EMP strike on the USA, form the not protected northeast coast, southeast coast,  Gulf coast, or entire west coast. An EEMP attack along any of these coasts would take out power almost half way across the country in a huge circle from the near space nuclear explosion. You won’t see it, you won’t hear it, the power will simply be gone. Mr Larry]

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D.  Rolling to a stop and living in the dark
28 May 2013, P.R.E.P. Personal Readiness Education Programs,  by PREP
Pasted from: http://readygoprep.com/website/rolling-to-a-stop-and-living-in-the-dark/

Recently I saw some controversy about the book “One Second After” by William R. Forstchen. The opinion was that too many people were treating the book as gospel with respect to their prepping for a long-term power outage.EMP2 book

The book details an Electro-magnetic Pulse attack on the United States by an unknown entity. Actually none of the characters knows exactly why the power went out, but everything operated by electricity to include all vehicles and generators just stopped working. In the blink of an eye, everything rolled to a stop, including life, as we knew it.
This is not a book review

Although I regularly recommend the book as a primer to anyone curious or on the fence about prepping. The story does a great job of revealing how people may react when the lights go out, transportation stops, food disappears, medical supplies run out and help isn’t coming.  Is it an extreme example? Maybe, maybe not, depends who you ask. But it is an emotional page-turner that might just draw you in and have you cursing, crying and cheering throughout. Either way, you may find yourself asking some questions about your level of preparedness. And that is a good thing.

So where is the controversy? It’s in our freedom to prepare anyway we wish.  Prepping already gets a bad rap in general by the population at large.  It’s been open season by TV and media for a while now. So why do we in the prepperverse feel the need to down on each other. Without pointing fingers, a couple of the biggest names in survival have criticized those who prefer to be self-reliant in a world without power.

There is every reason to be prepared for a long power outage. First, let’s define what long term may mean to you. An EMP is considered a high impact low frequency event. NASA had a page on its website that warned about the US East coast possibly being without power for 4-7 years after an EMP or severe solar weather event. That page has since been pulled but interestingly; they still have the urban survival page placeholder in the employee area of the site. But aside from an apocalyptic event, let’s consider events that have actually happened? Hurricanes Andrew or Katrina, Sendai Provence Japan after the 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami and nuclear meltdown. There was no power for months in affected areas. These are just a couple of actual examples of a time when 72 hours of supplies wasn’t even close to enough.

If the event is large enough, there may be nowhere to actually go. How about a possible earthquake on the New Madrid fault line that severs critical cross-country infrastructure? Is someone going to flip a breaker and shazaam, we have lights? No, it doesn’t work that way.

As our colleagues stated, there will always be someone to turn the power back on. But how long would a repair take after the grid is catastrophically damaged by Mother nature, physical attack or cyber terrorism?

Electricity is arguably the easiest area of survival to adjust to a life without. We have survived without power as a species until only recently. With that being said, it would be a major adjustment in our way of life until the lights come back on. Take a moment to reflect on how electricity has changed our world and how things would be when all the machines stop working.

In this world where everyone has an opinion and a website, you need to do what you must to extend your survival and comfort in times of crisis. Don’t be swayed by those who speak the loudest but haven’t actually lived what they preach. There may come a day when you are sitting in the dark, cursing, and can’t even tweet @ them that they were wrong and you regret listening to them.

EMP2 power out

So what can you do to mitigate the effects of a life without power?
We at P.R.E.P have taken the less than glamorous approach of actually attempting to identify threats to our safety and survival by performing a hazard analysis in all the areas we feel are important to our everyday life.  One of those areas is electricity.

Take out some paper and ask yourself some questions. Once you have considered the potential problems of living without power, devise some solutions to lessen the impact of such an existence.

Think about short and long-term periods at home, and then consider the impacts of distant places without power to really get a feel for what conditions you may be forced to endure.”

There are seven main areas of survival. How could a power outage affect you in a survival situation? What other problems can you identify?

 Food:

  • Transportation from farmer through the food processing/delivery chain.
  • Refrigeration and preservation
  • Cooking and preparation
  • Will you be able to produce, preserve and prepare foods for safe consumption?

Water:

  • Municipal water systems inoperable
  • Sewers inoperable
  • Fire hydrants/extinguishing may not be available
  • Water quality, not safe to drink without treatment
  • Will you have water for the many needs of survival? Drinking, hygiene, medical, laundry, sanitation of surfaces, flushing, irrigation, animals?

Shelter:

  • Lighting, (candles are a major cause of house fires after a hurricane or power outage)
  • Appliances
  • Warmth
  • Cooling
  • Electric tools
  • Farm housing and animal care
  • Will your physical location be affected? Maintenance?

Safety / Health:

  • Medical machines
  • Drinking/hygiene/medical water quality concerns
  • Sanitation, cleaning/sewage
  • Medical supplies,  pharmaceuticals
  • Access to care
  • Night visibility
  • What medical capabilities will be affected? Short/Long term?
  • Will you need medications?

Security:

  • Security systems may be down
  • Outdoor lighting inoperable
  • Automated systems offline
  • Will the outage affect your physical security plan?

Communication:

  • Computer systems down
  • Communication systems down.  Ham, CB, data, voice, video
  • How will you communicate locally/distantly?

Energy:

  • Fuel may be unavailable for power generation and transportation at all levels
  • Nuclear power offline without cooling systems, even offline, the rods need to be cooled or they will meltdown
  • Grid may be down for extended period without replacement transformers. Power is needed to manufacture  transformers. Some types take months to make and transport
  • Did the event damage your alternate energy equipment or plans?

In this case we will add transportation because it affects all the other areas of survival in some way. If there were an outage that disabled our mechanical way to move great distances, it would effectively shut down the economy on a grand scale, especially in this globalized and interconnected world.

 The Moral of the story:  Feel free to prepare as you see fit. Don’t let others make you feel foolish for thinking outside the box and having a contingency plan. Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask for help, this is all uncharted territory for a modern society.

Before leaving this post…You should know, it’s not just Washington DC that may be threatened, but our fleet, our allies, the lower 48. If enemy and potential enemy nations are planning to use their nuclear weapons specifically for an EMP attack,  1st World nations are not safe, continent wide destruction of electronic infrastructure could lead to 90% death rate within a year.

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“I’ll be alright” vs. “Being prepared”

(Survival Manual/Prepper articles/ “I’ll be alright” vs. “Being prepared”)

Prep or not AlfredA.  A Sarcastic Survival Guide for the Unprepared
3 June 2013, prepblog.com, by Thoreau
Pasted from: http://www.prep-blog.com/2013/06/03/a-sarcastic-survival-guide-for-the-unprepared/

If you are well-prepared for a range of possible disasters, from storms and power outages to civil unrest, a disease pandemic, and nuclear fallout, you can face these difficulties with a calm confidence. But this prepping and survival post is for those who are unprepared. What can you, the Unprepared, do? How can persons, who know nothing of prepping and have made no preparations, handle the disasters that will certainly, sooner or later, fall upon us? If you are among the Unprepared, this is your (sarcastic) guide.

Food and Water
Those silly “doom and bloom” Preppers will be relying on stored food, stored gardening seeds, stored water, water purification equipment, and the associated knowledge and skills which they have acquired. But you, the Unprepared, have it much easier. Why spend money on food and supplies, when you can depend on FEMA to provide you with food and water? All you have to do is wait. Waiting is easier and less expensive than Prepping, isn’t it? Just wait until FEMA realizes that people need food and water to survive, then wait for them to find food and water. Next, wait for these supplies to arrive, and finally wait in long lines for your rations of food and water. What could be easier? It takes no thinking or preparation!

In addition to waiting, though, you might want to do a great deal of hoping. Hope that you don’t get too hungry or thirsty before government supplies arrive. Hope that you don’t get trampled by the crowds seeking those supplies. And hope that they don’t run out before you get your rations. But isn’t waiting and hoping way better than learning, buying, storing, growing, and then using your own supplies of food and water? The easy path is what you Unpreppers have chosen.

Nuclear Fallout
Preppers are so pessimistic, aren’t they? They even prepare for nuclear fallout from a nuclear power plant disaster, dirty bomb, or nuclear explosion. They have expensive active or inexpensive passive radiation detectors. They have KI or KO3 tablets to protect against radioactive iodine in the fallout. They have a Radiation Emergencies Kit, including antacids as a treatment for exposure to nuclear fallout. What a negative attitude!

– Wait, what? You didn’t know that fallout from a nuclear power plant disaster has many of the same radioactive isotopes as nuclear bomb fallout? You never heard that you should store antacids (Gaviscon, Tums, sodium bicarbonate) for treatment of internal contamination with radioactive isotopes? Of course you haven’t heard that. You are a happy-go-lucky Unprepper! You, the Unprepared, don’t need a Radiation Emergencies Kit (see at: http://www.prep-blog.com/2013/01/25/putting-together-a-radiation-emergencies-kit/ ) — because you will be depending on luck. You will be hoping that you are not in an area affected by nuclear fallout.

Of course, the backup plan for the Unprepared, if you run out of luck, is to rely on the Strategic National Stockpile — a national repository of “large quantities” of medical countermeasures, vaccines, and other medical supplies stored in strategic locations around the nation. How long will it take to get those supplies to you? Only 12 to 24 to 48 to who-knows-how-many hours or days. So, fingers-crossed, maybe you’ll get the supplies you need before you are glowing-in-the-dark. Oh, but they won’t be issuing radiation detectors or antacids. And you probably won’t get your first dose of Potassium Iodide (KI) within the FDA recommended time period: “within 3-4 hours of exposure.” (FDA FAQ on KI) And all the stores will quickly sell out of antacids. So good luck.

Knowledge and Skills
Preppers gather knowledge and skills for use in possible disasters. But you, the Unprepper, — well, you don’t want to spend your time that way. You might be labeled a “survivalist,” or a “prepper,” or “prudent and reasonable”. And no one likes to be labeled.

Prep or not - ready

But if a disaster strikes, what can you, the Unprepared, do? First, hope that disaster does not strike. I mean what are the odds that, on any particular day, an earthquake, or hurricane, or superstorm, or power outage, or something much worse will strike? The odds are very low! And what are the odds that some type of disaster will happen sooner or later? Only 100%, and that’s not such a high number, is it?

Second, when/if some inconvenient disaster strikes, you can simply rush to acquire a large amount of knowledge and many important skills on a moment’s notice! You’re a quick-study, aren’t you? You’ll be spending a lot of time trying to find copies of sold-out books on prepping and survival. But you can always search the internet for information — if you have power and the internet is still up and running. So why prepare?

Civil Unrest
If some severe disaster occurs, or if a set of disasters combines to an overwhelming effect, there may be civil unrest. Not many preppers will be among those causing the unrest, because they will be well-prepared with intangibles, like knowledge and skills, as well as tangible supplies. But you, the Unprepper, will not have to worry, not too much anyway, about civil unrest. For you will be part of that unrest.

If you don’t have food, water, medical supplies, and other “preps”, you can always rely on the government to provide. And when they fail to give you all that you need, protesting is your next best (by which I mean worst) option. On the other hand, if/when there is severe widespread civil unrest, these protests are likely to become violent. So maybe you should stay home, and let other people protest. Eventually the government will supply you with everything you need. Won’t they? I mean probably eventually before-you-die, right?

General Advice
I could go on at length in this vein, covering each area of concern in prepping. But let me give you Unpreppers some more general advice. If you find yourself unprepared for a disaster, especially one that is severe and long-term, just find yourself a nice Prepping family nearby and go begging at their doorstep. Most preppers have a mindset that allows for helping neighbors in need during any disaster. Just don’t expect too much from us Preppers. We have limited resources, and while we are generous, we are not stupid. We will not be giving away all our preps to the Unprepared, leaving our own families bereft of the necessities for survival. And don’t show up empty handed. We like to barter.
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B.  Collapse Reality: “If I Had to Be an Animal, I Was an Animal. It Was About Survival.”
25 Aug 2013, SHTFplan.com, by Selco
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/collapse-reality-if-i-had-to-be-an-animal-i-was-an-animal-it-was-about-survival_08252013

SHTFplan Editor’s note: Our friend Selco at SHTF School will change everything you may think about your life in a post-collapse world. For many of us, the idea that the world around us may fall apart and lead to the worst that humanity has to offer is mostly theoretical. For Selco, it was a reality. He experienced a total grid-down collapse in war-torn Sarajevo during the 1990′s – and he lived to tell the tale. He has shared his knowledge with our community over the last few years, and in the article below he changes our perceptions once again. Just because we are making preparations – stocking food, or supplies or guns – means nothing if the mind is not prepared to comprehend the absolute horrors that may come.

Do you want to know what it will be like when law and order breaks down, when people turn on each other, and when there is no one to depend on except for those in your inner circle?

Then keep reading.

THIS IS REALITY.

Prep or not  Sarajevo1

(Pictured: People scavenging for supplies run for cover in Sarajevo’s notorious Sniper Alley – 1992)
(Courtesy: Felix Features)

Walking the Line Between Human and Animal
by Selco

As many long term readers or members of my survival course know, I like to talk about the important but what some may call the “not so spectacular” part of survival that is not as much fun as, for example, talking about latest guns and gadgets.

Today I want to talk about dignity and what it means in a survival scenario. Before I talk from own experience, read the extract below from the diary of Lieutenant Colonel Mervin Willett Gonin who describes what happened after his unit freed the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp during the second world war.
At the moment of his writing hundreds of people were still dying and it was place of pure horror.
“It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived, though it may have no connection, that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived. This was not at all what we men wanted, we were screaming for hundreds and thousands of other things and I don’t know who asked for lipstick. I wish so much that I could discover who did it, it was the action of genius, sheer unadulterated brilliance. I believe nothing did more for those internees than the lipstick. Women lay in bed with no sheets and no nightie but with scarlet red lips, you saw them wandering about with nothing but a blanket over their shoulders, but with scarlet red lips. I saw a woman dead on the post mortem table and clutched in her hand was a piece of lipstick. At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tattooed on the arm. At last they could take an interest in their appearance. That lipstick started to give them back their humanity.”

The importance of still being human and not becoming a complete animal is often overlooked for people who prepare for long term survival. I had over one year to fight against becoming like rats around our house during the war.

Expect to become more like an animal
You can have all equipment ready for SHTF – ammo, weapons, gear… you can even be perfectly well trained in lot of different skills and fields and still when SHTF you can end up dead in the first days just because you “refuse to believe” what’s happening.

It is that state of mind when a man simply does not want (or is not able) to comprehend the new situation.

It can be one quick life threatening situation like folks attacking your home and you just waited few seconds too long to shoot some attacker, and then you are dead, end of the story. Or it can be whole process of failing to recognize the new world around you and the new rules (or absence of rules) and then again you just not doing correct things for the situation, and again you end up dead.

Example would be that when SHTF you are trying desperately to have and use power generator and light all rooms in your houses just because it mean normal life for you. And that normal life is gone, and trying to bring it back in that situation usually means more troubles.

Holding on to all the comforts and behavior you are used to can be dangerous.

To make a long story short, what I am trying to say is that you may be trained and equipped like a SEAL team member and yet you can still be killed easily from some 70 years old dude, with even older rifle just because you were surprised when SHTF with amount of destruction and violence and you did not seen that old dude coming (or being so evil).

On the other side that old dude maybe lived through couple of SHTF events in his life, and he knows when it is time to act without hesitation and mercy.

There is still a fine line you have to walk between losing your human side and becoming pure animal.

One of the things that changed a lot when SHTF is fact that everything became really dirty.

It was something like slow process, first people tried to keep it as clean they could, but without all normal services, like garbage trucks, running water and all other community services that make normal living soon it simple became impossible.

Later all garbage was used somehow, but in beginning it started piling up everywhere, when you add to that ruins on the street, human waste and dead bodies it was very ugly picture.

After some time, we started to accept dirt outside and it then was priority to stay clean and keep clean only inside that small circle inside your home, and when I say „clean“ I do not mean „clean“ like today. Maybe as clean as we could be.

For example simply moving through the city in the middle of the night meant that you needed to crawl, jump, hide, walk or run trough all kind of things, and very often some real nasty and dirty things.

Many times I was hiding on places so dirty that stench was almost paralyzing, once in the middle of the night I jumped behind some wall because sudden shelling, and when I jumped there I realized that I landed on dead guy.

His face was smashed with broken wall, and partially buried, place there was so small that I had to actually lay on him for some 20 minutes. He died probably when wall from the house collapsed after some shelling, who knows.

Fire from the shelling was so strong that I actually loved that dead guy and that place in that moment. I almost hug him while I was trying to be as small as possible because pieces of steel and rock were flying around me just like some crazy rain, while my stomach was rising and floating from the detonations and smell.

All I was saying at that moment was „thank you, thank you, thank you“ like some magic words, and I even was not aware who do I thank to, that dead stinky guy, my brain for noticing that small space, or God for saving me.

Today years and years later I still carry that smell inside my nose. But I did not move from there before danger was gone. It is survival and luckily I was already used to dirt enough to just stay with that dead guy.

Some folks just stopped to care about cleanliness and hygiene completely. So for them washing and cleaning become something like not wanted luxury. They went complete animal.

They simply stopped to care about these things, so I also knew some guys with look and smell so awful that even dead guy smelled like perfume store.

It was easy to surrender to stuff like that, I mean in trying to keep yourself clean.

But it was stupid not only in terms of the hygiene and illnesses, also by surrendering yourself you admit that you do not care anymore, and when you admit that you are only few steps from becoming animal with what you do too. People give up on themselves.

For me being as clean as I could be had something like preserving one of the last connection with “normal” life, with life before sh!t hit the fan, when things like neighbors, breakfast, car etc, were just things we took for granted, like things that always gonna be there unchanged.

Of course I was aware that being clean is important in order to stay alive because all diseases problem, no doctors hospitals etc. but on some psychological level it kept me sane and it kept me normal man.

Even in survival situation you need to still care about few little things to keep your dignity, to keep spirit up, to not lose yourself. If you stop caring about everything it is like disease that eats you.

When I came back from trading or scavenging in the city, I would clean or wash myself thoroughly in my yard before entering my house, again of course because common sense, hygiene and diseases, but maybe even more important I tried to keep all chaos and violence, suffering outside of my home on some psychological level.

I try to stay out of the everything, or actually I tried to keep everything outside of my home, like some ritual. I would keep the clothes for outside in bag, my boots were in one corner, never entering my room in it etc.

One of my relative wears pink slippers (mittens) when he was home sometimes, he would say that he just felt that everything is fine when he wear it. It was spooky and strange to see him in pink slippers while outside world is going to hell, but we all have some strange ways I guess to keep ourselves sane. Maybe wearing those slippers after he was forced to shoot some folks kept him sane, reminded him on some normal times when grandma wear it in the evenings.

On the other side, like I said in beginning if you stick too much to old habits you are not doing best for survival too.

So if I had to be animal, I was animal. It was about survival. For example there was a period when I eat just to survive, like animal, without paying attention what I eat or how. If I found some food I ate it in quick way, if there was some food with worms in it, I would eat it in dark, without looking what I eat etc.

Point was (and still is) to be man, but to be ready to be animal if you are forced to be animal, and that’s it. It comes down to being flexible, adapting to situation and I hope this helps to crush the idea some Hollywood or fantasy survival scenarios show that survival is about being complete animal. No, it is fine line to walk.

You can (and you have to) have as much hand sanitizers, soap, disposable face masks etc. as you can but you can still end up dead if you are not ready to accept fact that one day you might be forced to „hug“ dead guy in order to survive, or eat roast rat or pigeon.

Once next collapse comes many people will wake up to reality and struggle to be human like they were or become animals and as skilled survivalist I hope you will walk fine line in between. The people who were walking that path were and I’m sure will be those who have biggest chances to survive.

You can follow Selco’s story at SHTF School and learn how he survived one year in hell, at website  http://shtfschool.com/community/selco-one-year-in-hell/

THIS IS REALITY.

Prep or not Sarajevo2

Please keep in mind that the residents of Sarajevo weren’t all luxuriating in middle class largess one day and involved in a civil war the next. When conditions deteriorate to a point where all can see there will be no fix, all it takes is an unforeseen event (a Black Swan) to destabilize the remaining social structure and the killing starts.
Of course the previous article was about “far away” Sarajevo and not at all the kind off thing that could, or would, happen in America, or is it?

Below, images from Detroit. (Google: Deserted Detroit suburbs, etc. and see for yourself.)

prep or not Detroit1

prep or not detroit2

Is America sliding toward a Black Swan event that will destabilize the social structure. Are you prepared for hard times?
Mr. Larry

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Society’s Five Stages of Economic Collapse

(Survival manual/Social issues/Society’s Five Stages of Economic Collapse)

Society’s Five Stages of Economic Collapse
28 February 2012, Target of Opportunity <http://www.targetofopportunity.com/editorial.htm&gt;, by David   Meyer
Pasted from <http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/societys-five-stages-of-economic-collapse_02282012>

“Society as we know it will break down and collapse in a five stage process outlined here.
While it can be accelerated by certain events like war, a natural disaster, pandemic, terrorist attack, or even an impending asteroid impact, history has shown that economic collapse will essentially happen in this five stage process.
To survive the collapse, it is important to read and interpret the signs and understand what assets are important to the current situation so you can be prepared for the worst thereby allowing you to survive intact and with as little damage as possible.
.

STAGE 1. The Decay Begins
Everything is good and the economy is thriving. A high standard of living has been achieved. This is the way things should be. Goods are cheap and readily available. Everything seems to be in abundance. Stores are filled with retail items ready to be purchased. Life in general is good. The nation’s working infrastructure is solidly intact and working well. However, the idea that everyone is entitled to have what others have earned now permeates society. Redistribution of Wealth Policies are implemented and quietly woven into the fabric of society. Unchecked and under the guise of fairness and equality, these policies slowly decrease productivity and increase dependency on government entitlement and welfare programs.

Primary Assets:
• 
Career
•  Home Value
•  Savings
•  Investments – Stocks and bonds
•  Health Insurance
•  Lifestyle Image
•  Good Credit Rating for Debt Accumulation
.

STAGE 2. The Slippery Slope
The economy goes into a slow but steadily increasing decline. Unemployment is on the rise. Ever increasing numbers of people receive government assistance in one form or another. People are paid not to work. Government spending has increased dramatically. The price of gold, silver, and other precious metals rise to prices unheard of just a few years earlier. Inflation reaches the double digit levels.

Primary Assets:
•  Cash
•  Precious Metals, Gold and Silver coins
•  Job Stability
•  Elimination of debt
•  Health Insurance
•  Home Equity
•  Automobile with good MPG
•  Acquiring secluded land more than 40 miles from densely populated areas
.

STAGE 3. It is Going to Get Worse
The total collapse of the economy begins after a significant and prolonged decline. The government implements price controls. Shortages on essential goods become widespread. Foreclosed houses sit vacant and deteriorating by the tens of thousands. Middle class neighborhoods begin to look like slums. The government begins to print currency to pay its bills and support the tens of millions on public assistance. Inflation increases even more and unemployment exceeds 25%. Banks and businesses fail at ever increasing rates. Nobody seems to have any money. Many are now homeless. Labor unions instigate strikes, civil unrest, and large scale riots. Government services are interrupted and unreliable. Local and national infrastructure is in decay. Violent gangs begin to appear and assert themselves. The government begins confiscation of firearms from law abiding citizens. Violence is everywhere. Cities and urban areas become very dangerous places to live.

At this stage, the country seems pretty much beyond the point of no return. However, things can still be reversed even at this stage if the right person at the top really believes in the basic fundamental concepts of Freedom, Independence, Liberty, and Individual Rights and is not afraid to do what is necessary to reverse the current trend. He will be vilified and hated because of his attitude toward personal responsibility, cutting entitlements, and ending welfare programs. Of course, if the right person were in power and did what needed to be done, none of this would have happened in the first place.

Primary Assets:
•  Gold and Silver coins
•  Cash
•  Job
•  Automobile
•  Home
•  Short term food supplies
•  Short term fuel stores
•  Firearms and ammo
•  Plans to relocate to a secluded rural hideaway
•  Small livestock – chicken, rabbit, fish…
•  A close network of like minded people
•  Survival knowledge and skills
.

.

STAGE 4. The Grab for Power
The collapse can transition to this stage at any time after Stage 3. Most of the middle class have lost everything. What used to be well manicured middle class neighborhoods are filled with the carcasses of empty houses damaged and destroyed by vandals. The nation’s infrastructure has been seriously neglected and is in need of a major overhaul. The power grid becomes unreliable. Rolling blackouts are a daily occurrence. You can no longer buy or sell gold or own foreign currency. Inflation is out of control. Now the economy collapses. There is a rush for everything and the shelves go empty in a matter of hours. Society falls into chaos. The control of urban areas shifts when violent gangs takeover control of the streets and urban neighborhoods. The government issues restrictive measures in an attempt to control the economy. Everything is in short supply and heavily rationed. Food and gasoline is very expensive and there are very long lines to get them when they are available. Affordable quality health care is non-existent and your job is a distant memory. You will do without what you are unable to provide for yourself. You will discover what it is to live in a third world country.

Primary Assets:
•  Relocation to the rural hideaway
•  Firearms and ammo
•  Long term food supplies (1 year minimum)
•  Adequate fuel stores
•  Security plan to protect the group and assets
•  Trained dog for security
•  A working knowledge of survival gardening
•  Survival knowledge and skills

Once all of the above has come to pass, the realization of the current circumstances at this moment must be all too obvious. It is too late to prepare at this point. What you did not acquire earlier, you are not going to possess now. Anything of value necessary for your survival has already been claimed. The situation gets worse… much worse.
Stage 5 is next… and it is not pretty.
.

STAGE 5. Freedom, Liberty, and Independence is Lost
The government implements martial law. Fighting between civilians and government forces break out nationwide. Maintaining more than a 30 day supply of food is considered hoarding food and is illegal. Severe poverty and starvation become a common sight. The government offers marginally acceptable food, water and shelter in exchange for your Freedom, Liberty, and Independence. Democracy ends and a Socialist form of government takes over under the guise of fixing society’s problems with the false promise that peace and prosperity will return better than it was just a few years ago. A Totalitarian regime assumes power and the individual freedoms and liberties once enjoyed by the people are completely eliminated.

Primary Assets:
1.  Rural Hideaway
2.  Security plan to protect the group and assets
3.  Living below the radar in a community of like minded people
4.  Firearms and the ability to use them
5.  Guard dog for security
6.  Survival knowledge and skills
7.  A working and producing garden capable of feeding 150% of the group
8.  A stable supply of clean water
9.  Vegetable seeds for long term food production and barter
10.  The will to live and survive in a harsh political climate

As you can see, priorities change as the world changes. Your most prized assets of today – your good credit, luxury automobile, and career are no longer important after the economy collapses.

Things to thnk about:
•  Failure to prepare today will increase the magnitude of your suffering tomorrow.
•  It is better to prepare 10 years too early than 10 minutes too late.
•  Many who lack vision will say that it will never happen and for those who decide to live unprepared, you should consider the following statement, “The lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.”

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Filed under Survival Manual, __2. Social Issues

Surviving with the electric grid down

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Surviving with the electric grid down)

home battery bank everything on table

[Deep cycle battery powering household personal electronics, low wattage lamps and charging batteries. See Steve Harris videos for “How to”: http://battery1234.com/]

How do you live without electricity
January/February, 2002, Backwoods Home magazine, Issue 373, by Anita Evangelista 
Pasted from: http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/evangelista73.html

It’s going to happen. Sooner or later, the power will go off, and you won’t know when (or if) it will come back on. This doesn’t have to be the work of evil-doers, either. It could be a sudden ice storm that brings down the power lines. It could result from other severe weather such as a tornado or hurricane, or from a disruption caused by faulty power company equipment, or even something as simple as a tree branch falling on your own personal segment of the grid. The effect is the same: everything electrical in your home stops working.

For most modern Americans, the loss of power means the complete loss of normalcy. Their lifestyle is so dependent upon the grid’s constancy that they do not know how to function without it. How do you cook a meal if your gas stove has an electric ignition? How do your children find their way to the bathroom at night if the light switches don’t work? How do you keep warm if your wood heat is moved through ducts by an electric fan? What do you do with a freezer full of expensive meat? How do you find out what is happening in your area with the TV and radio silent? What will you drink if your water comes from a system shtf schooldependent on electrical pumps?

These are questions that both the Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency are asking people to seriously consider. Both of these agencies have suggested that preparations for three days without power are prudent commonsense actions that all Americans should now undertake.

We’ll look at these issues in the broad context of living without access to the grid, whether you’ve chosen to separate from it or whether the choice is made for you by outside forces. What you can do now to mitigate your difficulties if the power goes off in the future, and what you can do then to help keep your situation under control, will be the focus of this article.

Remember, too, that an important principle in all preparations is that you maintain as much “normalcy” in your lifestyle as possible. For example, if television is part of your relaxation and unwinding process, don’t assume you can easily do without it. The closer you can keep your daily routines to “the norm” for your family, the more easily you can deal with power outages.

There are five primary areas that are easily disrupted if the power goes off. Each of these is critical to daily survival, as well, so when making preparations for emergencies keep these in mind. In order of importance, they are: light, water, cooking, heating/cooling, and communication.

1. LightApollo2
While living on our Ozark farm without the grid, we spent some time rising with the sun and going to bed when the sun set. This would probably have been a pretty healthy way to live, if everyone else in the world did the same thing. Our children’s bathroom needs didn’t stop when the sun went down, our neighbors figured that nighttime visits weren’t out of the ordinary, and those midnight raids on the pantry for crackers and peanut butter turned into fumble-fests. Sometimes the barking of our livestock guardian dogs meant strange predators were too close for comfort, somewhere in the countryside darkness. Light is the most important item on our Big Five list because without light we are not able to efficiently carry on the other activities of daily living.

The most simple and familiar form of emergency lighting is a flashlight. Do you have one that you could find in the dark, right now? If so, congratulations. You are among a very small percentage of Americans. Better yet if you have one for each member of your family, with fresh batteries, plus three extra sets of batteries for each flashlight. That should be your minimum “safe” number. Store your flashlight where you can quickly reach it in the dark night—under the mattress of your bed, for example. Each child old enough to walk should also have his or her own flashlight, and be taught how to use it.

Flashlights range in price from the 79 cent cheapie to the fancy multi-function $80 special. Consider a small 2-AA battery flashlight with a halogen bulb. These cost about $4-5 each, give an excellent clear white light, and are easily portable in a pocket or purse. Additionally, when we discuss communications later in the article, the most common battery used in these devices is also the AA, so your life will be simplified if you stick primarily to one type of battery and don’t have to buy various odd sizes for different needs.

Batteries wear out rapidly if your flashlights are used continuously: figure two changes per week of regular use. Alkaline batteries last longer, give a more AC-12v DC battery chargerpowerful light, but cost more than regular batteries. Most rechargeable batteries are suitable for flashlights, but should be recharged when the light begins to dim a little. Don’t let them get completely drained. This means you would need several sets of rechargables for each flashlight (some would be recharging while you use the others).

a)  Recharging can be done by means of a charger plugged into your car’s cigarette lighter outlet. These DC-powered rechargers can be found at auto supply stores and at Radio Shack for about $30 or less. Solar rechargers work slower but produce the same results for about $30.

b) Candles are available, slightly used, at garage sales and thrift stores (5 cents to 10 cents each or less), and some outlet stores like Big Lots have new candles for 25 cents. We have a cardboard box weighing 35 pounds that is filled with various sizes and shapes of candles. This would be about a year’s supply for my family. We’ve acquired them gradually, every time we found them inexpensively. They never go bad! Candles are easy to use and familiar. Most of us can adjust to using candles easily. The light is soft and wavering. You’ll need at least three candles if you hope to read by the light. If you have small children or indoor pets, care must be taken where you place them. Metal candle holders that hang on walls are probably the safest. Remember to place a heat proof plate underneath the holder to catch drippings. Save your wax drippings, too, to no elect candle lanternmake more candles later.

c) Oil (kerosene) lamps produce a steadier light than candles. Department store oil lamps cost about $10 each and come in attractive styles. Lamp oil is about $3 per liter. A typical lamp will burn one to two cups of oil per night, so you would use about two liters each week per lamp. The light from these lamps is not quite adequate to read by unless it is placed very close, and the light does waver a little. A single lamp can provide enough light in a room so that you don’t bump into furniture, but two or three may be needed to provide good functional light. As with candles, if you have children, these lamps need to be placed securely and out of reach. The smell of burning oil (kerosene) can get heavy in a closed room so keep ventilation open. Keep an extra set of wicks ($2) and chimneys ($3) in case of breakage.

The Cadillac of oil lamps is the Aladdin Lamp. These run from $60 up to several hundred each. The light given off is as good as a 60-watt bulb, clear, and unwavering. You can read or do needlepoint by the light of one lamp. These burn the same oil or kerosene as typical lamps, but because they burn hotter, there is much less odor. Position these lamps so that they cannot accidentally be overturned, and so that the intense heat coming from the chimney won’t ignite something. Purchase an additional “mantle” (the light-giving portion of the lamp – $3), and chimney ($15), as backups.

Solar powered lamps ($80-$120) are typically small fluorescents, and can be run off of battery systems. It may take more than one day of bright sunlight to recharge these lamps, so you may need several—one to use, while others are recharging. The light is white and clear, good for area-lighting, and rather difficult to read by. Have extra fluorescent bulbs on hand, too.

Don’t forget to store matches!

2. Water
If you live in a town or city, the loss of power to homes and businesses probably will not immediately affect your water pressure, but it could affect the purification process or allow reverse seepage of contaminants into the lines. If, instead, your water comes from an electrically-powered home water pump, your water stops flowing the moment the power does. Either way, with the loss of power comes the loss of water (or, at least, clean water). Water that is free of bacteria and contaminants is so crucial to our survival that it should be a special concern in your preparations.royal berkey internet image

The easiest way to guarantee quality water is to store it right now. The important question is: how much? Both Red Cross and FEMA suggest a minimum of one gallon per day per person. This is an absolute minimum, and covers only your real drinking and cooking needs; bathing is out of the question.

The typical American currently uses around 70 gallons a day, taking a nice long hot shower, flushing the toilet several times, washing a load of laundry, letting the water run while brushing teeth, and for cooking and drinking. In a short-term emergency situation, only drinking and cooking water is crucial, but if that short-term incident drags out to weeks or months, daily consumption would rise to include bathing and clothes washing. And this presumes that the family has prepared a sanitary “outhouse,” so flushing isn’t needed. In that case, 5-10 gallons per day per person would be a more reasonable amount, with a weekly communal bath becoming the routine.

One to three-gallon jugs, direct from the supermarket, run about 60 cents to $2; these store easily under cabinets and counters. A few tucked into the freezer will help keep things cold if the power goes off. You can also store water inexpensively in large, covered plastic trash cans; they hold 36 to 55 gallons each. Refresh the water every two weeks, so it will be ready in case the power goes off. Kiddie swimming pools—a 12-foot wide, 36-inch deep pool holds 2500 gallons and costs about $250—also make excellent above-ground holding tanks. Buy a pool cover, as well, to keep bugs out.

Farm supply stores often sell “water tanks” made of heavy grade plastic. These can be partially buried underground to keep water cooler and less susceptible to mold and bacteria. These run about $1 per gallon of holding capacity, so a 350-gallon tank new will cost $350. Plan to filter and purify the water before use.

Collecting water can be done by hand with 5-gallon plastic buckets if you live near a river or stream (it must be filtered and purified before use). You can also divert rainwater off your roof, through the rain gutters and downspouts into plastic trashcans. If you live in the Midwest, Northwest, or East Coast, rainfall is adequate to make this your primary backup water source. West Coast, high desert, and mountain areas, though, won’t have sufficient rainfall to make this a reliable source.

A drilled well with an electric pump can be retrofitted with a plastic hand-pump for about $400 – $600. These systems sit side-by-side with your electric pump down the same well-shaft, and can be put to use any time the power is off. Typical delivery is about 2 gallons per minute, and pumping strength varies from 11 to 20 pounds—a good but not exhausting workout.

Water can be purified inexpensively. Fifteen drops of bleach (plain unscented) per gallon of water costs less than 1 penny, and ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide (3%) per gallon will also destroy bacteria. Twenty minutes of a hard, rolling boil will, too. Bleach is effective against both cholera and typhoid and has kept American water supplies safe for decades. The chlorine taste can be easily removed with a charcoal filter system (such as Brita Pitcher or Pur brands for home use, about $30).

British Berkefeld water filters, along with various other brands, are more expensive ($150-$250), but can filter and purify water indefinitely. Both eliminate bacteria, contaminants, and off-flavors. We’ve used a “Big Berkey” for four or five years, and it is a very reliable gravity-fed system. When shopping for filters, if they only offer “better taste” they won’t protect you from bacterial contaminants.

Noah Water System’s travel companion will work great in case of a power outage, or your water supply becomes undrinkable. The Trekker is a portable water purificationn unit. With the Trekker you can get water from any river, lake, or pond. It’s small enough to carry like a briefcase.

3. Cooking
A person can survive indefinitely opening cold cans of beans for meals, but it wouldn’t be a very satisfying existence. In times of crisis, a hot meal goes a long way toward soothing the day’s troubles. The simplest way to heat a meal is the Boy Scout method: a couple of bricks or rocks set around a small outdoor fire, with the bean can propped over the flames. It’s low cost, and it works. However, the cook doesn’t have much control over the outcome.

Outdoor cooking of all kinds, including grilling and barbecuing, all work during emergency situations, provided you have the charcoal or wood (and matches!) needed to get the heat going. These are familiar methods, too, so family members don’t have to make a huge leap to accept these foods. It’s difficult to cook much more than meats and a few firm vegetables over open heat like this, though. Also, never use these devices in a confined space, as they emit carbon monoxide.no elect dutch oven

a) “Campfire” cooking can lend itself to some baking, if you also have a cast iron Dutch Oven—a large, heavy, cast iron covered pot. Place a well-kneaded pound of bread dough into a heavily-greased or oiled Dutch Oven and put the cover in position. Make a hole or pot-sized well in the ash near the fire, and line this with glowing coals. Put about an inch of ash over the coals, and place the Dutch Oven into this. Now, pile about an inch of hot ash around the oven and cover with glowing coals, then another layer of ash to keep the heat in. Uncover and check your bread in about 35 minutes, it should be done.

b) Propane and butane camp stoves are so much like ordinary home stoves that there is no difference in the cooking results. Portable RV 2-burner propane stoves are often available used—mine cost $5 at a garage sale—and can even do pressure canning because the heat is consistent and reliable. A typical 18-gallon propane cylinder, the kind used for barbeques, costs around $30 new, and a propane fillup is about $7. This will last for nearly a month of daily use. You’ll also need a feeder hose and pressure regulator for the stove, which can be prepared by your propane dealer for $20 or so.

c) Butane stoves are also portable and run off of a cylinder of the same kind of butane that is used in cigarette lighters. These stoves are $80-90 new, and cylinders are $5 and last for 8 hours of cooking.no elect coleman stove

d) General camp stoves (around $65 at department stores) operate on “stove fuel” (basically, propane in a small 1-pound cylinder – $3). A cylinder lasts for around 8 hours of cooking. You can also find camp stoves that will cook off of unleaded gasoline, and there are some that are “multi-fuel,” using either kerosene or gasoline—handy in case of a shortage of one fuel or the other. Use outdoors or on a covered porch to prevent carbon monoxide buildup in your home.

Solar cooking is another option, if you have plenty of unobstructed sunlight and someone who is willing to adjust the cooker to face the sun every half hour or so. A solar oven need be no more fancy than a set of nested cardboard boxes painted flat black on the inside with tempura colors, a sheet of window glass, and some aluminum foil glued to cardboard panels. Total cost for this, if you can scrounge leftover glass and cardboard, is about $1.

Place your food in a covered lightweight pan inside the box, prop it so the entire interior is exposed to the sunlight (about a 45-degree angle), cover with the sheet of glass (and tape the glass so it won’t slide), then prop the aluminum foil panels so that they reflect more sunlight down into the box. Move the box every 30 minutes so it maintains an even temperature. It will get hot fast, easily up to 325 degrees, and hold the heat as long as it faces the sun. Remember to use potholders when removing your foods! Our first solar oven had a black plastic trash bag as a heat-absorbing inner surface; it worked superbly until the plastic actually melted.no elect Global Sun over

Keeping foods cool if the power goes out can be as simple as looking for shade, even under a tree. Some Ozarkers have partially buried old broken freezers in the shade of backyard trees, storing grains and winter vegetables inside. During the winter, your parked car will stay at the same temperature as the outside air—below freezing on those cold nights—so you can store frozen goods there safely. During the daylight hours, the car interior will heat up, though, if it’s in the sun. Park it in the shade of the house, or cover the windows and roof with a blanket to keep the interior cool.

e) Kerosene refrigerator/freezers are alternative appliances that will continue to function with the power off because they are “powered” by kerosene. Their cooling and freezing capacity is exactly the same as a regular refrigerator, and they come in the same colors. Typically, they are a little smaller than conventional ‘fridges and cost up to $1500, but they’ll last for decades with care.

Portable battery-powered refrigerators that keep your foods 40-degrees cooler than outside temperatures are available at most department store sporting-goods sections ($90). These run off of both DC and AC power, so they can be plugged into your car battery through the cigarette lighter outlet or into a solar power system.Wynter 12v refrig w solar panel

What about that freezer full of expensive meat if the power goes off? First step is to cover the freezer with blankets to help retain the cold. Then, find dry ice (if everyone else in your town hasn’t already bought out the supply). Blanket coverings will keep a full freezer frozen for two days, and the addition of dry ice will prolong that to three or four days.

If power stays off, it’s time to eat and time to can the meat remaining. Canning low-acid foods like meat calls for a pressure canner ($90), canning jars ($6 for 12), a source of consistent heat (like a propane RV stove), and some skill. In considering your time requirements, it took me two days of steady canning to put a 230-pound pig into jars. Each quart jar holds 3 pounds of meat.

4. Heating and cooling
It’s a funny thing that even though we know winter is coming, we put off cutting our wood until after the first really cold night has chilled the house below comfort levels. But with the instability in the world today, it is sensible, and reasonable, to prepare well in advance of season changes. Putting in supplies a year ahead of time is a traditional farm practice, and it gives a cushion of safety against uncertain conditions.

a) Woodstove heating is more common, and comfortable to use, than it was two decades ago. New wood heaters run from $100 to several thousands, depending on materials, craftsmanship, and beauty. Better stoves hold heat longer and may have interior baffles that let you use less wood to produce more heat. Even so, the most basic metal-drum-turned-stove also works to heat a room or a house.no elect cylindar stove w h20 heater

Heating a 3-bedroom home that is moderately insulated will use about 8-12 cords of wood throughout the winter. The size of a cord (sometimes called a “rick” or a “rank”) is not standardized from region to region, but typically will be about 8′ x 8′ x 2′, roughly a pickup truck bed loaded even with the top of the sides. Prices will vary between $65 per cord to $150, depending on the region and type of wood. Hardwoods, such as oak and walnut, and fruitwoods like apple and pear, burn better and longer than softwoods like poplar. Don’t use resinous woods, such as the pines, cedars, and spruces for the main heating—only as firestarters—because they burn too hot and fast and generate creosote. Better home insulation and better quality hardwoods will decrease the amount of wood you need to use.

If you plan to secure and cut your own firewood, be willing to acquire a good-quality chainsaw—any that cost below $200 will only give you grief. Keep an extra chain on hand. Use safety precautions, too: wear ear and eye protectors, heavy gloves, and don’t chainsaw alone. Cutting your own wood will decrease your heating costs significantly, but increase your labor. It typically takes us a full week of constant work to put up a winter’s worth of wood.

b) Woodstoves require heat-proof surfaces surrounding them, an insulated chimney pipe (about $90 per 3-foot section), and some building skills in order to install. Installation costs can equal or surpass the cost of the stove itself. Chimneys need to be thoroughly cleaned of the black crusty buildup, creosote, at least twice each year (and more often if you use the stove continuously).

c) Propane heaters that don’t need venting to outdoors are a relatively new product. A plain one ($200) can be mounted on the wall in the home’s main no elect buddyroom, or more fancy models that look like built-in fireplaces complete with fake logs ($450) are available. You will need a propane tank, regulator, and appropriate copper lines, but these will all be installed by your propane company for a small charge. Propane has varied widely in cost from year to year, but typically runs around $0.95 to $1.30 per gallon.

d) Kerosene heaters ($120) are freestanding units that burn kerosene in a way that is something like a lamp—it uses a wick system and flames to provide heat. These are best used in areas that can be easily ventilated, because of the potential for buildup of carbon monoxide. Kerosene has a strong odor, as well. Kerosene costs about $1 per gallon or less (in quantity).

e) Solar heat can be “grabbed” anytime the light from the sun hits your house. Even in the dead of winter, the south-facing walls will feel noticeably warmer than the shaded north-facing ones. You can “store” the sun’s heat in any surface. Ceramic floor tiles, for instance, are excellent at retaining heat. So will a flat-black painted covered plastic trash can filled with water. If these surfaces are exposed to sunlight, say, indoors next to a south-facing window, they will absorb heat during the day. At night, with the window curtains closed, the surface will release heat slowly and steadily into the house.

One of the most efficient ways to heat is something else we have forgotten in the past 50 years—close off rooms that are not being used. If doors aren’t available, you can hang curtains in doorways (or even tack up a blanket, in a pinch), and keep your heat restricted to the room you are actually in. In an emergency situation, you can curtain up a room and set up a tent-like “den” for the family to snuggle in under blankets. Body heat alone will keep the den’s interior comfortable.

Cooling a residence during a hot summer requires just as much thought and advance planning as winter heating does. Battery and solar-powered fans help keep air moving, windows can be shaded by fast-growing vines and pole beans, and—planning way ahead—fast-growing trees like poplars can be planted on the house’s south side to shade the yard.

In areas where wind blows routinely in the summer, you can soak a sheet, ring it out, and hang it in front of a breezy window. The air passing through the window is cooled as it moves against the wet sheet, and helps to cool the house. Remember that heat rises, so make it easy for too-hot air to escape from the attic and upper floors by opening windows and vents.

5. Communications
In a time of distress, keeping in contact with family and knowing about local and national situations is important to maintaining both continuity and confidence. In general, telephone systems are on a different system than the electrical power grid, but they can be disrupted if there are earth movements or as the result of terrorist activities.

During the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, we kept informed about the damages by watching a 4-inch black and white TV set (bought used for $25) that was plugged into our car battery through the cigarette lighter. At night, we heard reports from the BBC via a 4-AA battery powered shortwave radio ($70 from Radio Shack). I consider these two devices—shortwave and TV—the required minimum communication/ information devices during a crisis, especially if the phone system is down.

Satellite internet hookups, using a battery-powered laptop, could be an excellent communication tool, both for accessing news and for staying in touch with friends and colleagues by email.

Citizens Band (CB) radios are excellent tools, as well. These portable devices can be carried with you into the field and used to stay in contact with neighbors and family when you are away from the house. Basic models run $60—you’ll need at least two—and ones with greater ranges and features are more costly. They’ll run on 6 to 8 (or more) AA batteries.

“Family Radios” are FM-band devices that have a short range, about ¼ mile ($60 for a pair). These are handy for keeping family in contact during outings, when traveling in a caravan, or when one member needs to go out to the barn during a storm. They run on 2 AA batteries.

6. Keeping things normal
Even though circumstances may change in the world, we can choose how we wish to react. We can live in a state of helpless anxiety—or control what we can. We can control our responses, in part, by maintaining as much normalcy in our lives as possible.tv_on_cobra_400_watt_inverter_on_marine_battery[1]

If your family relaxes in the evenings with a video, plan to continue doing that. Acquire a battery-powered TV/VCR combination, and make sure you have enough power sources to keep that going for at least two weeks. (If things get dicey, you can wean off the system in two weeks.) A cassette player or CD player with external speakers can provide relaxation and entertainment, and they run off of AA batteries as well.

Children have difficulty adjusting to sudden changes in their environment, so if you expect them to play board games if the power goes out, they should be comfortable with board games now. Keep routines consistent, arising at the usual time in the morning and going to bed as you have in the past. Prepare familiar meals with foods everyone enjoys. Have “fun foods” and goodies on hand. Remember to reach out to your neighbors and older folks who live nearby, and provide extras to help them, as well.

Use the knowledge you’ve gained, and your experience with non-electric living, to make your neighborhood a more secure and adaptable place.

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When the grid goes down, be ready!

(Survival manual/ Prepper articles/ When the grid goes down, be ready!)

A.  When the Grid Goes Down, You Better Be Ready!
4 Feb 2012, SHTFplan.com, contributed by Tess Pennington
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/when-the-grid-goes-down-you-better-be-ready_02142012

The article has been generously contributed by Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition. After joining the Dallas chapter of the American Red Cross in 1999 Tess worked as an Armed Forces Emergency Services Center specialist and is well versed in emergency and disaster management & response. You can follow her regular updates on Preparedness, Homesteading, and a host of other topics at www.readynutrition.com.

Be prepared1

[Severe weather or geological conditions (tornado, hurricane, flood, fire earthquake, volcanic activity, tsunami) cause an extended local or regional grid down condition.]

Be Prepared2

[Solar flare powered Aurora Borealis triggers EMP pulse]

It is a fact that our country is more reliant on electrical power today than at any time in its history. Our way of life – from everyday conveniences and the security of local emergency services to commerce and communications – is contingent upon an always on, always available flow of electricity. But an aging infrastructure coupled with a rise in natural and man-made disasters threatens our entire modern-day digital infrastructure. According to many experts from the private and public sector, we’re just one major catastrophic event away from a complete meltdown of life in America as we know it today.

So, what happens if and when the grid goes down for an extended period of time? Aside from the aggravation of not being able to determine what is happening through traditional media channels, for the Average Joe, his problems have only just begun. Our dependency to the grid doesn’t just stop at lack of electricity in our homes to power our appliances or an inability to charge our cell phones; it is much broader and affects every aspect of our lives.

We are regularly inundated with news reports covering outages that last several days or weeks resulting from inclement weather like snow storms or hurricanes, or heat waves in southern states that threaten to overload the system. During those times, when entire metropolitan areas or regions experience black outs, we get a glimpse into what a truly widespread emergency might look like. It is often the case that the first thing residents of affected areas do is rush to grocery and hardware stores hoping to acquire critical supplies like food, water, batteries, flashlights and generators. And while these supplies acquired at the onset of crisis may provide short-term sustenance, any long-term grid-down situation that lasts for many weeks or months will prove dangerous, and perhaps fatal, to the unprepared.

EMP scenario ship-launcher

[Enemy nation or organization launches small nuclear explosive into near orbit from several hundred miles off an US coast. The crude weapon’s EMP knocks outa third to half of the United States power grid. The damage to grid infrastructure causes a several month nation-wide power outage, followed by severe widespread brownouts, extreme national unemployment, a hunger crisis, enormous climate related death count, and several years continued privation until the transformers are rebuilt overseas, shipped to the US, installed and tested and brought on-line.]

Consider, for a moment, how drastically your life would change without the continuous flow of energy the grid delivers. While manageable during a short-term disaster, losing access to the following critical elements of our just-in-time society would wreak havoc on the system.
•  Challenges or shut downs of business commerce
•  Breakdown of our basic infrastructure: communications, mass transportation, supply chains
•  Inability to access money via atm machines
•  Payroll service interruptions
•  Interruptions in public facilities – schools, workplaces may close, and public gatherings.
•  Inability to have access to clean drinking water

Neil Swidey, in his article What If The Lights Go Out?, indicates that the grid may be ill-equipped to meet all the enormous challenges it faces in this day and age.

The last widespread outage in the Northeast, the great blackout of August 2003, showed how intimately interconnected and alarmingly fragile our power grid is. How else to explain the way a problem starting in northeastern Ohio quickly cascaded into a blackout affecting 50 million people across the northeastern United States and parts of Canada? How quickly? Between the moment a power surge came rushing out of Ohio and the moment Manhattan began to go dark, exactly 10 seconds had passed.
..
If our society is more reliant on power than at any time in history – without it, we’ve got no commerce, no communications, no clean water – and if power becomes less reliable in the future, the big question is: Will we be able to hack it?
..
THE TROUBLE with the future of power isn’t that there is one big problem that could croak us. It’s that there are a host of them, any one of which could croak us.

Neil Swidey has grouped these potential grid-down antagonizers into three categories:
1. Extreme Natural Disasters
This includes earthquakes, hurricanes, snow storms, thunderstorms as well as massive solar storms that have the potential to seriously damage the electrical grid. You don’t think it could happen? In the article provided above, the author states, “It took just 90 seconds for a 1989 solar storm to cause the collapse of the Hydro-Quebec power grid, leaving 6 million Canadians without power for up to nine hours. A 2008 NASA-funded report noted the risk of significant damage to our interconnected grid in light of the forecast for increased solar activity. The 11-year solar cycle is expected to peak in 2013, and just two weeks ago we saw one of the biggest solar-radiation storms in years.

2. Acts of Terrorists
This category includes, but is not limited to a physical attack on the bulk power system, either at its source of generation or somewhere along its transmission route, cyber attack on the computers controlling our interconnected grid, electro-magnetic pulse, or EMP, weapon. Have you read One Second After by William R. Forstchen? EMP’s will create long-lasting damage that would incapacitate electronic systems across the country and forever change our way of life. Cyber-threats are another concern and someone with serious hacking skills could easily take out computers, networks or information stored therein to cause lasting damage to our way of life.

3. The Ailing Grid
Our ailing power grid is almost as sick as our failing economy. With one malicious event, be it man-made or by natural means, it is down. Swidey compares the grid infrastructure to being as old and stooped as a pensioner. As it is upgraded and its capacity is expanded, our rapacious need for more electrical power races to max it out once again.

A wide-spread emergency, such as a massive power surge, solar flare or rogue electromagnetic pulse (EMP) detonation have the capacity to render our entire power infrastructure useless. Transformers and other key elements on which the grid depends could be permanently damaged as a result of massive electric surges.

In an event such as this our immediate problem will be finding a way to order, manufacture and take delivery of the components needed to replace the faulty ones. Most of the parts made for our electrical grid are made in China – and many are decades old. According to Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, who recently warned people to get their families out of major cities because of concerns about the stability of the grid, it would take months to get the parts shipped to this country and replaced.

During the outage, millions would be adversely affected, with some like Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy, suggesting that within a year 9 out of 10 Americans would be dead from starvation, disease and violence.

Ladies and gentleman, if there’s one thing that can cause the veritable “S” to hit the fan, this is it.
So how do we remedy and/or prepare for a grid down scenario? Think retro – like pioneer retro- and by that we have to go way back to when we were not so dependent on the luxury of on-demand energy in its various forms. When preparing for a grid-down scenario, we must comprise different contingency plans for short-term and longer-term issues. That being the case, we have to admit to ourselves that it could last longer than we expect and much more than just a minor inconvenience. Therefore, the best way to prepare is to start with your basic needs. That is the need for light, heat, water, and food. Some preparedness items to stock up on are:

  • Alternative fuel sources such as solar and diesel, wood for burning.
  • Food preservation supplies – dehydrators, canners, smokers, fermenting/pickling supplies.
  • Bulk food – Canned, freeze-dried, dehydrated or dry goods.
  • Water filtration supplies, rain harvesting supplies and large quantities of stored water.
  • Light sources: Lanterns, flashlights, candles and matches and alternative light sources
  • Batteries and chargers
  • Emergency stove – solar oven, rocket stove, camping stoves, etc.
  • Wood burning fire place – Central air heating systems,  even if they use natural gas or propane, depend on electricity for the blower that will circulate the heated air. When the grid is down, this system will not work. Having a wood burning fire place is an alternative to central heating systems.
  • Cash money and/or silver or gold currency.

The vulnerability of our grid is nothing new to preppers. Some have seen this problem coming for a long time and changed their entire ways of life by going off-grid. They have found alternative sources such as solar, wind and diesel to power their homes and machinery. A majority of us, who have not gone off-grid, are making a concerted effort to avoid dependence on this ailing infrastructure and preparing for life without it. That being said, all we can do is stay the course, prepare accordingly and continue on.

.

B.  Some Of The First Preps To Disappear
30 January 2012, ModernSurvivalBlog.com, by Ken (MSB)
Pasted from: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/preps/some-of-the-first-preps-to-disappear/
Be Prepared3
Following the onset of a regional (or wider) disaster, if and when it becomes known that the disaster is going to last for a week or more, many or most items will disappear from store shelves. It is a given that food of all varieties will be one of the first things to go. But apart from that, here are just a few of the many other items that may disappear sooner than others, given their importance or impact on daily living in today’s modern world.

In no particular order, excluding foods:
•  Water Filters/Purifiers
•  Propane Cook-stoves, Coleman stoves
•  Propane cylinders and Coleman fuel
•  Gasoline Containers
•  Toilet Paper, Paper Towels, Tissues
•  Flashlights, torches, lanterns, candles
•  Batteries
•  Generators
•  Portable propane heaters (if during winter), Firewood

•  Ammunition (Firearms will be difficult to purchase once TSHTF)
•  Aluminum Foil (lots of uses)
•  Matches and Lighters
•  Personal hygiene products (toothpaste, soap, shampoo, shaving, etc.)
•  Alcohol, cigarettes

While there are so many supplies and items that we all use over a period of time, these struck me as potentially some of those that will be in greater initial be prepared4demand and may be hard to find once TSHTF.
It may be a good idea to procure some extras of these items now rather than later, assuming that you could use any of them following a major disaster
Be Prepared.

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The day of EMP draws nearer

(News & Editorial/ The day of EMP draws nearer)

 We can, and will, use EMP bomb, says South Korea
9 Mar 2011, news.com.au, By staff writers
Pasted from: http://www.news.com.au/technology/emp-bomb-ready-for-war-says-south-korea/story-e6frfro0-1226018432287

NoK &EMP poles

[Electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, bombs are designed to cause damage to electrical systems.]

YOU jam us, we wipe your grid out.
That seems to be the signal coming from South Korea after a GPS jamming attack on Friday that hit north-western parts of the country.
South Korea laid the blame for the attack on North Korea, but Defense Acquisition Program Administration Kwon O-bong claimed its military was immune, because it had “a special code”.
However, he admitted there were “some weapons” that didn’t carry the code and that it was looking to proof such weapons against further attacks.

Wired  reported that the attacks were aimed at disrupting military drills between South Korea and the US.
The attacks were relatively harmless, affecting mainly mobile phones, but Wired claims such jamming attacks had the potential to cut the ability of bombs to guide themselves to targets and cause them to drop out of the sky.

Despite the relatively harmless nature of the attack, South Korea certainly wasn’t taking it lightly.
In response, its Agency for Defense Development strongly hinted it can – and will – return fire with an electromagnetic pulse weapon if required, according to The Chosunilbo.

When asked by Grand National Party lawmaker Kim Hak-song to “brief the Defense Committee on the progress of EMP development”, an ADD spokesman replied: “We feel we can make use of it in wartime if the military makes such request.”

News of EMP attacks has increased of late, on the heels of a documentary called Iranium, which discusses the possibility and fallout of Iran detonating a nuclear device 400km above the USA.

Last month, Russia all but accused the US of crippling one of its satellite launches with an EMP weapon.
For its part, South Korea admitted back in 2009 that it had begun work on an EMP weapon, but said it wouldn’t be ready until 2014.
“We’ve already developed the technology to create EMPs capable of neutralising targets within a 100m radius,” an ADD official told The Korea Times at the time.
“The development of an EMP bomb with a range of 1km will be finished by that time.”

 . 

North Korea builds EMP munition
20  July 2012, DefenseTech.com, by Mike Hoffman
Pasted from: http://defensetech.org/2012/07/20/report-north-korea-building-emp-weapon/

NoK &EMP missile

North Korea is developing an electromagnetic pulse munition to jam South Korean and U.S. military electronics, according to a Communist Party-controlled journal citing GPS disruptions observed by South Korean aircraft flying near the demilitarized zone separating South and North Korea.

An EMP munition can jam electronic-based weapon systems ranging from fighter jets to hand held GPS units carried by soldiers. An EMP blast occurs when a nuclear weapon is detonated and spews electromagnetic radiation frying electronic systems in the area.

Military Analyst Li Daguang wrote the article for the monthly Bauhinia journal saying the North Korean are specifically targeting the South Korean’s military equipment.

“North Korea has always planned to develop small-scale nuclear warheads. On this foundation, they could develop electromagnetic pulse bombs in order to paralyze the weapons systems of the South Korean military — most of which involve electronic equipment — when necessary,” Daguang wrote.

Militaries can create an EMP blast by detonating a nuclear warhead in the Earth’s atmosphere. However, this is not the only method to cause an electronic blackout. North Korea has completed two nuclear tests. The Communist government has failed to produce a ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead with any sort of accuracy.

Daguang suggests the North Koreans could use the EMP blast to knock out power in South Korea ahead of an invasion of North Korea’s special forces.
“Once North Korea achieves the actual war deployment of EMP weapons, the power of its special forces would doubtlessly be redoubled,” Daguang writes.

 .

Speculation Abounds: Did North Korea Launch a New EMP Capable Star Wars Weapon System?
13 Dec 2012, SHTFplan.com, MacSlavo
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/speculation-abounds-did-north-korea-launch-a-new-emp-capable-star-wars-weapons-system_12132012

In May of 2009 North Korea’s controversial nuclear weapons tests were dismissed by global intelligence agencies as failures due to their low explosive yield. But EMPact America President Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, a former CIA nuclear weapons analyst, had his own assessment. It appears, according to Pry, that while the yield from the nuclear tests was weak with respect to destructive power in terms of the nuclear blast itself, the tests indicated the weapon was “capable of emitting enough gamma rays to disable the electric power grid across most of the lower 48 states.”

[Note the dates on these articles. North Korea’s development of EMP weaponry and a delivery system is moving steadily ahead, while we’re sitting idly by, like a deer frozen in the headlights of an approaching car. Is anyone in authority going to discuss the issue publically so the population of the US, as individuals and families, can make an informed decision about increasing their personal protection? Mr. Larry]

It’s been referred to as a “Super-EMP,” or electro-magnetic pulse weapon, something that foreign powers and rogue states have been working on developing for years as a low-cost, low-inventory counter strategy to America’s massive nuclear weapons stockpiles.

Some analysts now believe that North Korea may have not only built such a weapon, but this week they may have very well tested a delivery device that would make it possible for them to launch a pre-emptive strike against the United States. Such an attack could destroy electronic components in everything from cell phones and cars to water utility plants and gas stations from coast-to-coast within seconds, throwing the country’s infrastructure back to the 1800′s.

Analysts in the West aren’t really sure what exactly North Korea has launched into space. There are mixed reports, with some suggesting the satellite hovering 300 miles above earth is working properly, while in the US it was widely believed that the satellite was hurtling out of control.

No sooner had major American television networks spread the word from their official sources that the satellite was “out of control” than South Korea’s defense ministry came out with just the opposite view.
Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok, briefing South Korean reporters, told them that, “for the time being,” the satellite is “working normally.”

What we do know, is that we don’t know anything about what exactly it is that’s hovering up there, leaving some to speculate it could be a first generation test of a Super-EMP weapon that could be launched at the U.S. directly from space:

North Korea is not assessed to be able to miniaturize a nuclear weapon to fit on a long-range rocket – at least not yet – even though it has an active nuclear weapons development program. [Makes you wonder if the same people assessing North Korea’s EMP delivery capabilities are the also the ones who assessed the threat level at our embassy in Benghazi and rushed to the aid of the Americans defending the compound. Mr. Larry]

The concern over North Korea’s potential to develop the capability to launch an EMP attack is due to the country’s instability and isolation and the defiance it has shown – even to close friends China and Russia. Beijing and Moscow have been unable to influence the behavior of North Korea’s leaders.

While the North Koreans said that the launch was to put a satellite into orbit, Western experts agree that the same technological know-how provides the capability to send a warhead as far as the United States.

With the knowledge of orbiting capability, experts say, such a power projection could give North Korea the ability to reach even beyond California. An orbiting warhead could be placed anywhere and released on command to de-orbit and hit any location within the U.S.

Or, North Korea could explode an orbiting warhead in the atmosphere some 150 miles above a target, creating an electromagnetic pulse that could knock out the highly vulnerable grid system of the U.S.

Experts agree that such an EMP exploding high above Kansas, for example, would knock out a majority of America’s national grid system.

This scenario, which isn’t too far-fetched given the latest technical demonstration, recently was depicted in the popular movie “Red Dawn,” in which the North Koreans use an EMP to knock out the U.S. electrical grid system in the Northwest.
Via: WND

While it is unlikely that the North Koreans would deploy such a weapon over the United States, because doing so would mean an almost immediate nuclear retaliation from EMP-hardened assets within the US military and the subsequent destruction of pretty much their entire country, anything is possible.

The North Koreans have just tested a combination of a three-stage ballistic missile capable of hitting the western United States, while also likely experimenting with Star Wars weapons systems that are able to strike from space within minutes once a launch is ordered.

It would only take one unstable dictator to change the course of the planet forever, and given how little we know about Kim Jong Un (we’re not even sure how old he is), there is always a possibility of such an outlier becoming reality.

It has been suggested that a major war in some form or fashion, be it limited in scope or all out thermo-nuclear warfare, could be a real possibility in the next decade.  [Above it was mentioned, “it is unlikely….because”. Don’t worry, be happy! Mr Larry] Given the destabilization of the middle east, the fight over global resources, the inherent disagreements that exist between east and west, and a globalist agenda that is bent on centralizing power into a single world government, could it be a plausible scenario that China and Russia nudge North Korea’s young leader into starting the next World War by deploying an EMP or nuclear weapon from space?

Of course, Kim Jong Un was just elected by millions of Time magazine readers as 2012′s Person of the Year, and such a man would never consider starting a global war.

Then again, this guy was bestowed a similar honor in 1938…

NoK&EMP compare

Time has a way of picking the winners. [Mr. Larry]

NoK&EMP Time

[Until the world is a little more stable and peaceful, you might want to visit your local sporting goods store, maybe buy a few supplies from Amazon, The Ready Store, etc., and put a few things away, just in case. Consider your expense against a general infrastructure disruption the same as your expense for insurance for protection against auto damage, unforseen medical, fire, flood, wind damage, or theft; you are simply adding another layer of protection. The day you need to access this insurance, you’ll wish you had more. Mr. Larry]

NoK&EMP be prepped

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Black swans flourish – with a helping hand

(News & Editorial/ Black swans flourish – with a helping hand)

A. The Black Swan
An event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and that would be extremely difficult to predict.
Black swan event: First, it is an outlier, as it lies outside the realm of regular expectations, because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility. Second, it carries an extreme impact. Third, in spite of its outlier status, human nature makes us concoct explanations for its occurrence after the fact, making it explainable and predictable.
The “talking points” listed below were taken from a number of websites.

Examples of several unexpected, world-changing  Black swans:
  1850 Commercial oil drilling starts new Industrial revolution
•  World War I
•  The rise of German dictator Adolph Hitler and subsequent WWII
•  Arab Oil Embargo of 1973…
•  The precipitous demise of the Soviet bloc
•  Personal computers
•  The rise of Islamic fundamentalism
•  The spread of the Internet
•  Stock market crash of 1987
•  9/11
•  2008 Lehman Brothers and the Great Recession
•  Flooding in Thailand
•  China sharply tightened its limits on exports of rare earth minerals, on which the information technology, automotive, and energy industries rely
•  2011 Japanese 9.0 tsunami and Fukushima nuclear plant melt down.

 A few potential Black Swans, awaiting:
•  Black swan events have often emerged in the past out of pockets of perceived market strength.
•  Global Conflict triggered by Food Scarcity
•  Continued and expanding severe drought In The United States
•  European Community crisis, EU dissolving
•  US State And Local Government Debt Crisis erupts
•  The Collapse Of A Major U.S. Bank
•  Explosive inflation
•  Oil price shock, to either the upside or downside
•  Middle east “Arab Spring” events spread
•  Iran…Israel
•  An EMP attack against any region of the US or Europe
•  Slowing Chinese growth pulls Asia into recession
•  A Derivatives Crisis
•  Crisis in Mexico (civil war, major volcanic eruption near Mexico City, economic collapse): hundreds of thousands of refugees swarm the US the border, militarizing America.
•  US ultra-loose monetary policy leads to a catastrophic market correction
•  The fall of the Japanese economy!
•  Solar Megastorm
•  A Major West Coast Earthquake Or Volcanic Eruption (watch the currently approaching events along the Cascadia Subduction Zone between Alaska and Seattle)

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B.  Life and Times of the Thanksgiving Turkey: He Never Saw It Coming
22 Nov 2012, SHTFplan.com, by MacSalvo
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/life-and-times-of-the-thanksgiving-turkey-he-never-saw-it-coming_11222012

The Black Swan Theory is used by Nassim Nicholas Taleb to explain the existence and occurrence of high-impact, hard-to-predict, and rare events that are beyond the realm of normal expectations. One example often put forth by Taleb is the life and times of the Thanksgiving Turkey.

The turkey spends the majority of its life enjoying daily feedings from a caring farmer. Weeks go by, and it’s the same thing day-in-day-out for the Turkey. Free food. Open range grazing. Good times all around.

The thinking turkey may even surmise that the farmer has a vested interest in keeping the turkey alive. For the turkey, it is a symbiotic relationship. “The farmer feeds me and keeps me happy, and I keep the farmer happy,” says the turkey. “The farmer needs me, otherwise, why would he be taking care of me?”

This goes on for a 1,000 days.

Then, two days before Thanksgiving on Day 1,001, the farmer shows up again.

But this time he doesn’t come bearing food, but rather, he’s wielding an ax.

This is a black swan event — for the turkey.

By definition, it is a high-impact, hard-to-predict, and rare event for the turkey, who not only never saw it coming, but never even contemplated the possibility that it could occur.

For the farmer, on the other hand, this was not a black swan event. The farmer knew all along why he was feeding the turkey, and what the end result would be.

The very nature of black swan events make them almost impossible to predict. The point of this parable is to put forth the idea that sometimes we are the Thanksgiving turkey and understanding this may make it easier to begin to, at the very least, contemplate the possibility of far-from-equilibrium events.

This year, when you enjoy that drumstick or Turkey breast, give thanks to the latest victim of the black swan for being non-contemplative, otherwise, he may have bugged-out long ago and you’d be eating a chicken instead.

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A BLACK SWAN THAT’S BEEN GROWING “BENEATH OUR RADAR”.

C.  Did Paul Harvey’s 1965 Broadcast “If I Were the Devil” Predict America’s Downfall?
22 March 2012, GodfattherPolitics,  by Gary DeMar
http://godfatherpolitics.com/4337/did-paul-harveys-1965-broadcast-if-i-were-the-devil-predict-americas-downfall/

Paul Harvey Aurandt (1918–2009), better known as Paul Harvey, was America’s National Commentator. His listening audience was estimated, at its highest, to be around 24 million people a week. “Paul Harvey News was carried on 1,200 radio stations, 400 Armed Forces Network stations and 300 newspapers. His broadcasts and newspaper columns have been reprinted in the Congressional Record more than those of any other commentator.”

One of Paul Harvey’s most popular messages was the Christian classic “The Man and the Birds” based on a verse from the book of Job: “Ask the birds of the sky, and they will tell you”.

Paul Harvey didn’t just report the news with his distinctive voice; he would always make the point that the news was reflective of society. You could take the pulse of America’s moral health by reading the daily newspaper.

In 1964, Paul Harvey wrote, “If I Were the Devil.” Various versions of the article have appeared over time. I first heard about it from Glenn Beck’s show, but it’s been floating around the internet for some time.

Before Paul Harvey wrote “If I Were the Devil,” the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci (1891–1937) explained the steps necessary for radicals to transform a nation without firing a shot:

They must enter into every civil, cultural and political activity in every nation, patiently leavening them all as thoroughly as yeast leavens bread. . . . This would require a ‘long march through the institutions’ — the arts, cinema, theater, schools, colleges, seminaries, newspapers, magazines, and the new electronic medium of the time, radio.”
The following is the text from an audio version of Paul Harvey’s “If I were the Devil.” you can see that Gramsci was on target and his radical heirs were successful:

“If I were the devil, I wouldn’t be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree — Thee. So I’d set about however necessary to take over the United States. I’d subvert the churches first — I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: ‘Do as you please. Do as you please.’

“To the young, I would whisper, ‘The Bible is a myth.’ I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around.

I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is ‘square.’

And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to pray after me, ‘Our Father, which art in Washington…’

“And then I’d get organized. I’d educate authors on how to make lurid literature exciting, so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting. I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa.

I’d pedal narcotics to whom I could.

I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction.

I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.

“If I were the devil I’d soon have families that war with themselves, churches that war with themselves, and nations that war with themselves; until each in its turn was consumed.

And with promises of higher ratings I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flames.

If I were the devil I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, and neglect to discipline emotions — just let those run wild, until before you knew it, you’d have to have drug sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.

“Within a decade I’d have prisons overflowing, I’d have judges promoting pornography — soon I could evict God from the courthouse, and then the schoolhouse, and then from the houses of Congress.

And in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and deify science.

I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls, and church money.

If I were the devil I’d make the symbols of Easter an egg and the symbol of Christmas a bottle.

“If I were the devil I’d take from those who have, and give to those wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious.

What do you bet I could get whole states to promote gambling as the way to get rich?

I would raise questions against extremes and hard work, and Patriotism, and moral conduct.

I would convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging more fun, that what you see on the TV is the way to be.

And thus I could undress you in public, and I could lure you into bed with diseases for which there is no cure.

In other words, if I were to devil I’d keep on doing on what he’s doing.

Click link to hear Paul Harvey’s “If I were the devil”, on YouTube, accompanied by the appropriate related  imagery:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w13Vynj2bWA

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D.  How can we protect ourselves from these black swan event risks?
http://modernsurvivalblog.com/the-economy/black-swan-event-risks-2011/
Minimize your risks on Wall Street
Buy commodities that hold value through inflation (physical Gold, Silver, …)
Buy tangible things that are and will be useful to you in the future
Keep some cash on hand to get you through a short-term disaster
Buy food supplies now
Become more self-reliant, reduce your debt level
Plant a garden
Own physical assets without debt (land, assets of practical value)
Learn practical skills
Check under the Survival Manual tab at the top of 4dtraveler website; the articles listed are  all posted in this site.

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