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Nuclear war and famine

(News & Editorial/Nuclear war and famine)

 A.  Nuclear war would ‘end civilization’ with famine: study
10 Dec 2013, Phys.org, by Shaun Tandon
Pasted from: http://phys.org/news/2013-12-nuclear-war-civilization-famine.html

Nuc war missile

[Indian Army personnel display an Agni-ll nuclear-capable missile during Indias Repbulic Day parade in New Delhi in Janauary 2006 (AFP)
newvision]

A nuclear war between India and Pakistan would set off a global famine that could kill two billion people and effectively end human civilization, a study said Tuesday.

Even if limited in scope, a conflict with nuclear weapons would wreak havoc in the atmosphere and devastate crop yields, with the effects multiplied as global food markets went into turmoil, the report said.

The Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and Physicians for Social Responsibility released an initial peer-reviewed study in April 2012 that predicted a nuclear famine could kill more than a billion people.

In a second edition, the groups said they widely underestimated the impact in China and calculated that the world’s most populous country would face severe food insecurity.

“A billion people dead in the developing world is obviously a catastrophe unparalleled in human history. But then if you add to that the possibility of another 1.3 billion people in China being at risk, we are entering something that is clearly the end of civilization,” said Ira Helfand, the report’s author.

Helfand said that the study looked at India and Pakistan due to the longstanding tensions between the nuclear-armed states, which have fought three full-fledged wars since independence and partition in 1947.

But Helfand said that the planet would expect a similar apocalyptic impact from any limited nuclear war. Modern nuclear weapons are far more powerful than the US bombs that killed more than 200,000 people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

“With a large war between the United States and Russia, we are talking about the possible — not certain, but possible — extinction of the human race.

“In this kind of war, biologically there are going to be people surviving somewhere on the planet but the chaos that would result from this will dwarf anything we’ve ever seen,” Helfand said.

The study said that the black carbon aerosol particles kicked into the atmosphere by a South Asian nuclear war would reduce US corn and soybean production by around 10 percent over a decade.

The particles would also reduce China’s rice production by an average of 21 percent over four years and by another 10 percent over the following six years.

nuc war wheatThe updated study also found severe effects on China’s wheat, which is vital to the country despite its association with rice.

China’s wheat production would plunge by 50 percent the first year after the nuclear war and would still be 31 percent below baseline a decade later, it said.

The study said it was impossible to estimate the exact impact of nuclear war. He called for further research, voicing alarm that policymakers in nuclear powers were not looking more thoroughly at the idea of a nuclear famine.

But he said, ultimately, the only answer was the abolition of nuclear weapons.

“This is a disaster so massive in scale that really no preparation is possible. We must prevent this,” he said.

President Barack Obama pledged in 2009 to work toward abolition but said that the United States would keep nuclear weapons so long as others exist. Nine countries are believed to possess nuclear weapons, with Russia and the United States holding the vast majority.
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B.  Nuclear famine
How a Regional Nuclear War Will Cause Global Mass Starvation
Pasted from: http://ippnweducation.wordpress.com/nuclearfamine/

Climate scientists who worked with the late Carl Sagan in the 1980s to document the threat of nuclear winter have produced disturbing new research about the climate effects of low-yield, regional nuclear war.

Using South Asia as an example, these experts have found that even a limited regional nuclear war on the order of 100 Hiroshima-sized nuclear weapons would result in tens of millions of immediate deaths and unprecedented global climate disruption. Smoke from urban firestorms caused by multiple nuclear explosions would rise into the upper troposphere and, due to atmospheric heating, would subsequently be boosted deep into the stratosphere.

The resulting soot cloud would block 7–10% of warming sunlight from reaching the Earth’s surface, leading to significant cooling and reductions in precipitation lasting for more than a decade. Within 10 days following the explosions, there would be a drop in average surface temperature of 1.25° C. Over the following year, a 10% decline in average global rainfall and a large reduction in the Asian summer monsoon would have a significant impact on agricultural production. These effects would persist over many years. The growing season would be shortened by 10 to 20 days in many of the most important grain producing areas in the world, which might completely eliminate crops that had insufficient time to reach maturity.

nuc war cornThere are currently more than 800 million people in the world who are chronically malnourished. Several hundred million more live in countries that depend on imported grain. Even a modest, sudden decline in agricultural production could trigger significant increases in the prices for basic foods, as well as hoarding on a global scale, making food inaccessible to poor people in much of the world. While it is not possible to estimate the precise extent of the global famine that would follow a regional nuclear war, it seems reasonable to anticipate a total global death toll in the range of one billion from starvation alone. Famine on this scale would also lead to major epidemics of infectious diseases, and would create immense potential for mass population movement, civil conflict, and war.

These findings have significant implications for nuclear weapons policy. They are powerful evidence in the case against the proliferation of nuclear weapons and against the modernization of arsenals in the existing nuclear weapon states. Even more important, they argue for a fundamental reassessment of the role of nuclear weapons in the world. If even a relatively small nuclear war, by Cold War standards—within the capacity of eight nuclear-armed states—could trigger a global catastrophe, then the only viable response is the complete abolition of nuclear weapons.

Two other issues need to be considered as well. First, there is a very high likelihood that famine on this scale would lead to major epidemics of infectious diseases. Previous famines have been accompanied by major outbreaks of plague, typhus, malaria, dysentery, and cholera. Despite the advances in medical technology of the last half century, a global famine on the anticipated scale would provide the ideal breeding ground for epidemics involving any or all of these illness, especially in the vast megacities of the developing world.

Famine on this scale would also provoke war and civil conflict, including food riots. Competition for limited food resources might well exacerbate ethnic and regional animosities. Armed conflict among nations would escalate as states dependent on imports adopted whatever means were at their disposal to maintain access to food supplies.

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C.  Regional nuclear war could devastate global climate
11 Dec 2006, EurekAlert.org,  see Joseph Blumberg at blumberg@ur.rutgers.edu
Pasted from: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-12/rtsu-rnw120706.php

[The Fat Man mushroom cloud resulting from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rises 18 km (11 mi, 60,000 ft) into the air from the hypocenter, August 9, 1945. (Wikipedia)]

NEW BRUNSWICK/PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Even a small-scale, regional nuclear war could produce as many direct fatalities as all of World War II and disrupt the global climate for a decade or more, with environmental effects that could be devastating for everyone on Earth, university researchers have found.

These powerful conclusions are being presented Dec. 11 during a press conference and a special technical session at the annual meeting of American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. The research also appears in twin papers posted on Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions, an online journal.

A team of scientists at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU-Boulder); and UCLA conducted the rigorous scientific studies reported.

Against the backdrop of growing tensions in the Middle East and nuclear “saber rattling” elsewhere in Asia, the authors point out that even the smallest nuclear powers today and in the near future may have as many as 50 or more Hiroshima-size (15 kiloton) weapons in their arsenals; all told, about 40 countries possess enough plutonium and/or uranium to construct substantial nuclear arsenals.

Owen “Brian” Toon, chair of the department of atmospheric and oceanic sciences and a member of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at CU-Boulder, oversaw the analysis of potential fatalities based on an assessment of current nuclear weapons inventories and population densities in large urban complexes. His team focused on scenarios of smoke emissions that urban firestorms could produce.

“The results described in one of the new papers represent the first comprehensive quantitative study of the consequences of a nuclear conflict between smaller nuclear states,” said Toon and his co-authors. “A small country is likely to direct its weapons against population centers to maximize damage and achieve the greatest advantage,” Toon said. Fatality estimates for a plausible regional conflict ranged from 2.6 million to 16.7 million per country.

Alan Robock, a professor in the department of environmental sciences and associate director of the Center for Environmental Prediction at Rutgers’ Cook College, guided the climate modeling effort using tools he previously employed in assessing volcano-induced climate change. Robock and his Rutgers co-workers, Professor Georgiy Stenchikov and Postdoctoral Associate Luke Oman (now at Johns Hopkins University) generated a series of computer simulations depicting potential climatic anomalies that a small-scale nuclear war could bring about, summarizing their conclusions in the second paper.

“Considering the relatively small number and size of the weapons, the effects are surprisingly large. The potential devastation would be catastrophic and long term,” said Richard Turco, professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences, and a member and founding director of UCLA’s Institute of the Environment. Turco once headed a team including Toon and Carl Sagan that originally defined “nuclear winter.”

nuc war cloudWhile a regional nuclear confrontation among emerging third-world nuclear powers might be geographically constrained, Robock and his colleagues have concluded that the environmental impacts could be worldwide.

“We examined the climatic effects of the smoke produced in a regional conflict in the subtropics between two opposing nations, each using 50 Hiroshima-size nuclear weapons to attack the other’s most populated urban areas,” Robock said. The researchers carried out their simulations using a modern climate model coupled with estimates of smoke emissions provided by Toon and his colleagues, which amounted to as much as five million metric tons of “soot” particles.

“A cooling of several degrees would occur over large areas of North America and Eurasia, including most of the grain-growing regions,” Robock said. “As in the case with earlier nuclear winter calculations, large climatic effects would occur in regions far removed from the target areas or the countries involved in the conflict.”

When Robock and his team applied their climate model to calibrate the recorded response to the 1912 eruptions of Katmai volcano in Alaska, they found that observed temperature anomalies were accurately reproduced. On a grander scale, the 1815 eruption of Tambora in Indonesia – the largest in the last 500 years – was followed by killing frosts throughout New England in 1816, during what has become known as “the year without a summer.” The weather in Europe was reported to be so cold and wet that the harvest failed and people starved. This historical event, according to Robock, perhaps foreshadows the kind of climate disruptions that would follow a regional nuclear conflict.

But the climatic disruption resulting from Tambora lasted for only about one year, the authors note. In their most recent computer simulation, in which carbon particles remain in the stratosphere for up to 10 years, the climatic effects are greater and last longer than those associated with the Tambora eruption.

“With the exchange of 100 15-kiloton weapons as posed in this scenario, the estimated quantities of smoke generated could lead to global climate anomalies exceeding any changes experienced in recorded history,” Robock said. “And that’s just 0.03 percent of the total explosive power of the current world nuclear arsenal.”

[Below, I’ve provided some visual examples of the sort of things you might want to incorporate into your cupboard, pantry, basement and/or under your bed during early 2014, think of it as insurance. Mr. Larry]

nuc war food stores

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A guide to cushioning system collapse

(News & Editorial/A guide to cushioning system collapse)

 A. Crisis Reality: “Within An Hour the Stores Were Emptied”

guide shelves
22 January 2014, The Daily Sheeple, by Mac Slavo at SHTFPlan.com
Pasted from: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/crisis-reality-within-an-hour-the-stores-were-emptied_012014
When toxic chemicals spilled into the Elk River in Charleston, West Virginia a couple of weeks ago we got another glimpse into what the world might look like in the aftermath of a major, widespread disaster.

There were several lessons we can take from this regional emergency and all of them are pretty much exactly what you might expect would happen when the water supplies for 300,000 people become suddenly unavailable.

Lesson #1: There will be immediate panic

Studies have suggested that the average person has about three days worth of food in their pantry, after which they would be left with no choice but to scrounge for scraps once their food stores run out. We saw this scenario play out after Hurricane Sandy, when thousands of unprepared people lined up at National Guard operated FEMA tents and temporary camps. That’s what happens when there’s no food.

With water, however, it’s a whole different matter.

Food we can do without for weeks, but lack of water will kill us in a very short time. The events following the Charleston chemical spill highlight just how critical fresh water is to maintaining stability.

A reader at The Prepper Journal web site shared his firsthand account of the events as they played out. In a situation where water supplies are poisoned, whether by accident or on purpose, the anatomy of a breakdown accelerates significantly from three days to mere minutes:

Just yesterday that ban was lifted, but what if this had happened in your town? Would you be able to live comfortably with no water from the tap for 5 days? The news reports that I read stated that there was plenty of water and the stores never ran out. That is in direct contradiction to what Steve tells me:

Immediately after the announcement, the stores in the area were rushed for any bottled water products. Within an hour the stores were emptied.  Do not let anyone tell you that everything was nice, peaceful and everyone conducted themselves gracefully.  There were fist fights and scuffles for the last of the water.

After the order was issued no one could give any answers as to when drinkable water would be available.  Those with water were either hording it or selling it at enormous prices.

48 hours after the ban,  water began to be distributed to the everyday person.  Hospitals and nursing homes received the first shipments.  By the way the hospitals (except one) were not taking any new patients).  If you got hurt or injured you were on your own or had to travel an hour away for treatment.

What if the spill was more serious or the supply of water non-existent? Would you have enough water on hand and the means to disinfect new sources to take care of your family? It is news like this that illustrates for anyone paying attention the importance of storing water.

If you live an area affected by a water supply contamination and have no water reserves, this report suggests that you have less than an hour to stock up. And during that hour there will be panic with the potential for violence being highly probable.

Lesson #2: Security forces will be deployed to maintain order This is a no-brainer, but nonetheless worthy of mention.

We saw it after Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina – thousands of troops and militarized police deployed to prevent looting and rioting. The fact is that when the water and food run out people will be left with no choice but to rob and pillage. It becomes a matter of survival. Crowds will unwaveringly stampede to get to the resources they need. They’ll stomp over you if you happen to fall on the ground in a rush, because when the herd starts running nothing will stop it.

Imagine how these people will act when they are desperate for food food and water:

There is a reason the government has been preparing military contingency plans and simulations for events that include economic collapse or a massive natural disaster. They know what will happen if millions of people are left without critical supplies.

In Charleston, after water supplies started being delivered to grocery store chains, local government and the companies themselves brought on hired guards to keep the peace.

The Elk River event was limited in scope, affecting about 300,000 people in an isolated area, thus it was not that difficult of a situation to contain as FEMA and government could throw all of their resources and assets at the problem.

But imagine a scenario that involves multiple large metropolitan areas simultaneously in different regions of the country.

There are simply not enough personnel (or supplies) to respond to such a situation and maintain order.

Lesson #3: Despite hundreds of billions spent, the government is ill-prepared It took emergency responders five days to get water to the Super Dome in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.
Following Sandy, FEMA had enough food and water to provide the absolute basic necessities to about 50,000 people.
In Charleston it took at least two days to get water supplies moving.
If this were a massive catastrophe it could be weeks before help arrives.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has itself warned that it is not equipped to handle large-scale emergencies. It’s for this reason that they strongly recommend a minimum two week supply of food and water.

guide fema
Considering that the majority of Americans have maybe three days worth of supplies, how many millions of mouths would need to be fed three square meals a day if we experienced a multi-city event?

It was recently reported that FEMA has in its possession about 140 million “meals ready to eat.”
In 2011 a FEMA/DHS organized National Level exercise simulated an earthquake on the New Madrid Fault in the Mid West. The simulation revealed that 100,000 people would be killed almost immediately, and another 7 million would be displaced from their homes.
They would only have one place to go – government managed FEMA camps. Those seven million people eating just two MRE’s per day would  consume FEMA’s entire emergency food reserve within 10 days.
Then what?
You probably already know the answer.
Prepare now, because the last place you want to be in is in the midst of crisis-driven panic.

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B.  Report: Supplier Survey & Trend Analysis of Preparedness and Resiliency Provisions
30 Sep 2012, learntoprepare.com, by Denis Korn
Pasted from: http://learntoprepare.com/2012/09/report-supplier-survey-trend-analysis-of-preparedness-and-resiliency-provisions/

Here is my perspective on current trends relating to food products for shelf stable food reserves and resiliency provisions in general.
In the 37 years I have been in the natural foods, outdoor recreation and emergency preparedness industries as a retailer and manufacturer, I have experienced a number of fluctuations and factors that have influenced the availability and pricing of foods and supplies for preparedness. A number of current factors and converging events are affecting the preparedness marketplace today and potentially in the near future.

In addition to my own present-day observations and experience as a retailer of food reserves and preparedness products, I have very recently surveyed a number of suppliers, processors and manufacturers for their assessment of current conditions in the marketplace.

Here are my appraisals, reports, and insights regarding the state of the industry:

  • The numerous and diverse potential scenarios associated with emergency and disaster preparedness is so pervasive in contemporary culture, that a broad spectrum of citizens have begun to take some form of action. Others are acutely aware of the probable dangers and are waiting for a significant triggering event to act.
  • BOB1 foodIf a serious event were to occur, fence sitters and those who have done nothing to prepare would overwhelm preparedness suppliers, manufacturers and normal outlets. Products will be sold out or long lead times will prevail. The nature of the triggering events will determine the availability of preparedness supplies for both the short and long terms.
  • Preparedness niche companies and their suppliers have a limited supply of goods on hand during normal business activity. At all levels of the supply chain there is a restricted amount of products available. Y2K, hurricanes, international disasters have all been testaments to disruptions in certain product availability. A wide spread and prolonged emergency will have a devastating effect on the availability of goods and services. This is especially true of specialty food processors.
  • The main stream media will not accurately depict the real state of affairs regarding the current conditions in our society. This relates to politics, the economy, financial issues, government action and inaction, weather effects and anything that would be valuable for citizens to know so that they can prepare in advance for shortages. Information is significantly manipulated, controlled and fabricated. This includes what you hear and what you don’t hear.
  • The current drought has had some effect on food prices and availability but not a catastrophic one. The increases in costs have already been factored in as it relates to commodity futures. Corn, soy beans and wheat were the crops most affected by the drought, as was potatoes and to a smaller extent other vegetables and fruits.Internet- food, FD #11 cans
  • A record corn crop was initially anticipated, so the effect of the drought could have been worse. NOTE: 40% of the corn crop goes for ethanol.
  • Currently the price of most beans has dropped some due to good yields in North Dakota where 2/3 of the nation’s beans are grown. Availability of beans and other grains is good.
  • Rice prices and availability is stable.
  • Freeze dried food processors are very busy and are experiencing an increasing demand for fruit and vegetables from non preparedness manufacturers. This is causing shortages in some products. The drought has not substantially affected fruit and vegetables.
  • There has been a shortage in some “ready” or “no cooking required” ingredients that are necessary for entrée and blended recipes. Many of these ingredients use non freeze drying technology to enable a no cooking requirement.
  • Quality domestic food ingredients are becoming more difficult to source. It is essential that consumers do diligent research to establish trust with reputable manufacturers. Many current preparedness food packers have succumbed to using lower quality imported and processed foods.
  • Currently, other vital preparedness provisions – electronics, medical, tools, water filters and such, are in adequate supply. Last year at this time there were shortages.
  • Prices have risen in many sectors due to a multitude of factors such as transportation, packaging (paper prices have seen a steep increase), cost of benefits to employees, fuel, raw materials, regulations unfavorable to small business and lack of credit. Prices are expected to continue to rise, and with any new detrimental financial event they will rise dramatically.
  • As shortages continue lead times for fulfillment will increase. I see this currently occurring.
  • The current debilitating state of our nation and the attitudes of despair of our citizens are unprecedented in my lifetime.
  • I and others see a substantial spike in demand for preparedness food and supplies from possibly right before to definitely after the November election. Negative reaction to the outcome of the election will be momentous – no matter who wins. We will soon know how serious the reaction will be, what form it will take and what governmental actions will be executed.

Conclusion:
Currently food products – with increasing lead times – and other supplies are available. However, there are a multitude of very volatile factors that could trigger a substantial increase in demand of preparedness supplies. A very difficult question to answer, although it discussed frequently is: How will a crisis effect fulfillment of essential goods and services?

During Y2K there were specific dates as to a potential problem, and specific remedies that could be addressed and possibly implemented. When citizens realized that problems had been addressed, demand for preparedness goods subsided. It was the unknown consequences of a potential computer calamity and the perceived resolution of those problems, which triggered the fluctuations in demand and supply.

The unknown consequences of the myriad of potentially devastating scenarios being discussed currently are not so easily resolved nor are the timing markers so easily recognized. There is so much uncertainty associated with current events that folks are either in denial or on edge waiting for a significant triggering event before they act. And when they do, preparedness suppliers, warehouse retailers and numerous provision dealers will be inundated.

I and numerous other observers of current events don’t ask if a catastrophe or serious events will happen – but when? Then we ask:

  • 1. How long will it last?
  • 2. How devastating will it be?
  • 3. How will the population cope with a dramatic lifestyle change if scenarios are dramatic?
  • 4. How many will be prepared?
  • 5. What will those who are not prepared do, and who will they rely upon?
  • 6. What repressive and draconian measures will the government implement?
  • The unknown consequences of the myriad of potentially devastating scenarios being discussed currently are not so easily resolved nor are the timing markers so easily recognized. There is so much uncertainty associated with current events that folks are either in denial or on edge waiting for a significant triggering event before they act. And when they do, preparedness suppliers, warehouse retailers and numerous provision dealers will be inundated.

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C.  The #1 Preparedness Question – What’s Your Scenario? (Why?)
13 Oct 2012, learntoprepare.com, by Denis Korn
Pasted from:  http://learntoprepare.com/2012/10/the-1-preparedness-question-whats-your-scenario-why/

This is such an important question to answer when engaging in preparedness planning that I felt it necessary to examine it more carefully. It is the first question in my 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning, listed under 12 Foundational Articles for Preparedness Planning (as you can see I like the number 12).

Before I proceed with this topic I want to share some insights on the current state of fears and concerns I hear people discussing.

guide disaster formsIt is no secret that the societal, financial and moral issues of our time are wreaking havoc on the lives of most Americans. While at each election, the parties proclaim their election to be the most important of the era, what we currently are experiencing is that this statement is finally true. Not that the outcome will necessarily change the fundamental problems underlying our society and its governance, but that the results will indicate how really difficult true transformation will be. I am very passionate about my concerns for our country and the future for my children and grandchildren. I have never seen such blatant in-your-face displays of revolt, rage and lying by those who are ignorant, self-serving and delusional (a strong word yet in my opinion accurate).

Our leadership, corporate ethics, cultural morality and attitude towards truth, human compassion and right action has been so corrupted and dishonored that it will take a Divine act to significantly transform us and set us on the right path. Earnest prayer is essential! Over the course of the next few months we will see how difficult it will be during the times that lie ahead, and as it relates to this blog site – how can we be prepared?

Steve Wynn, a very successful developer and casino operator, was asked for his assessment of the current business climate. His answer included this statement, “…And I have to tell you, Jon, that every business guy I know in the country is frightened of Barack Obama and the way he thinks.” This response mirrors my experience in talking with many small business owners, and is an exact duplication of the circumstances surrounding the 1980 election between Jimmy Carter, incumbent and Ronald Reagan, challenger. The business climate was terrible (I was in the outdoor recreation and preparedness industry as a business owner at that time), and whatever one’s political viewpoint, the perception of a pro-business and competent President was critical in turning the decline around. This is not a political blog, so I will not dwell on the politics. However, I cannot turn my back on the obvious – too much is at stake.

The perception of the capability and aptitude of our leadership to instigate real change will have a dramatic effect on the course of events in the short term. For the long term, the fundamentals must be transformed.

Let me be frank, I am a small business owner who has owned various businesses for 41 years, and if we don’t elect leadership who will instill confidence and trust and initiate real reform for We The People during these darkest of days – we’re screwed!

Here is the entire question #1 of the 12 Crucial Questions:
What are the circumstances or scenarios you have determined may exist that will require you to rely upon your preparedness supplies?
This is not only the most important and first question to answer, it is often the question most overlooked, or not considered critically enough. While many people find it difficult to honestly assess potential uncomfortable and “fearful” possibilities, wasting time and resources on inadequate and ineffectual provisions can be detrimental to your health or possibly your life. Don’t be caught up in slick advertisements, fraudulent claims or irrelevant personality endorsements. I have seen them all – do your due diligence!

  • What will be the severity and impact of those circumstances on your life?
    Now starts the process of being specific and increasingly focused. Honesty is essential – this is no time for wishful thinking and denial.
  • Given your potential scenarios, how thoroughly have you researched the available options for food, water, medical, shelter, hygiene, and other categories of critical supplies?
    An actual physical list is vital in answering this question. Here you will begin to determine specific provisions you will need. You will have a broader perspective of available items required for your scenarios.
  • Are you prepared for emergencies during all seasons of the year?
    Depending on where you live, temperatures, rain, snow and other weather conditions can vary significantly. Cold weather preparedness is especially important. The anticipated duration of your scenario might require preparing for multiple seasons and conditions.
  • Is your family more susceptible to certain emergencies?
    Depending on where you live or where you might need to relocate will determine unique potential issues. Possible hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, storms, tornadoes, fire, riots, loss of electricity, lack of water, lack of essential medications are just some events that might affect your preparedness planning
  • How would your scenarios impact you or your family’s daily routine? Work or livelihood?
    If you scenarios are relatively minor and isolated, then of course there will be a minimum of inconvenience. If however, your scenarios are more impactful, severe, regional or nationwide and of longer duration, then you are looking at a significant disruption in routine and possibly a substantial lifestyle change.
  • How will you protect yourself and family against those who might do you harm?
    Many folks don’t welcome the notion that a significant emergency or disaster will create a dangerous environment with animals, gangs or groups of ill-intentioned people who can inflict injury. Where you live will determine the degree of concern. Those who are responsible for their own welfare and the protection of their family will need to reflect on this question with seriousness. Protection devices are numerous and diverse, consider the appropriate response for your anticipated scenarios.

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 D.  9 Survival Items You Should Always Have In Your Car
10 June 2013, OffTheGridNews.com, written by: Travis P- Extreme Survival
Pasted from: http://www.offthegridnews.com/2013/06/10/9-survival-items-you-should-always-have-in-your-car/

In my home I have over a dozen firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition, shelves and shelves of food, enough water to drink for weeks, and a two rucksacks packed to last seventy-two hours should this all be compromised.

Now how useful is all this if I’m not home when things fall apart? It’s no good to me at all if I’m thirty miles away and traffic is halted… or if a hurricane hits and I’m stranded. In addition, if a bridge washes out or I crash in the middle of nowhere, I might need a survival kit. As I discussed in last week’s article, I almost always have either a shotgun or my concealed handgun on me or in my car or truck, but what about other supplies? A lot of things can happen, and my survival gear may not be at hand.

So is the easiest answer to simply throw one of those seventy-two-hour bug-out bags in my car or truck? Well that’s a good idea, but not very practical for riding around with every day. These rucks are pretty big, and they won’t work well with strollers, car seats, work stuff, and trying to fit myself and others in my vehicles, and I can’t toss it in the bed of my truck without worrying someone will swipe it.

So that’s where the “get home bag” comes into play. Some people may see it as a smaller bug out bag, but I much prefer calling it the “get home bag”. The main difference between the get home bag and my bug out bag is size. My two bug out bags will last my family 3 days comfortably and can be stretched to five days if we have a good water source. My get home bag is more customizable in terms of food and water, and how long they need to last.

I’ll address those two first.
Food and water are critical, and the situation will vary on how much you need. So first I put a 24 count case of 20 ounce bottled water in my trunk. It fits perfectly on the floor, under my son’s car seat. That room is wasted anyway since he is rear facing. It doesn’t leave room for the mentioned stroller or tools, but there is enough for the case of water.
I also have a Camelbak hydration system, and a Nalgene bottle. I can fill both up and carry as many additional water bottles as I believe I’ll need for the trip home. I have loved these hydration packs ever since the first time I was issued one in the military. It’s an excellent way to carry water, easy to carry, and leaves your pockets and pack free for other things.

For the food portion, I keep six civilian versions of the military MREs. I have plenty of access to military MREs, but the civilian MREs are much better tasting, last longer [5years as listed at Amazon-Mr Larry], and I know the date of production. They also pack more stomach-friendly foods than the military versions. I field strip the MREs and tape them tightly together with duct tape for compact packages. I also have quite a few bags of sealed beef jerky and high fat protein bars. This all fits in easily with the spare tire in the trunk of the car.

So now that my food and water are in place, I can take or leave whatever I need. Remember this isn’t to last you forever, just enough to get you home. I feel I’ve over-packed, but it fits well so there is no point in taking anything out.

Now, as I write this, I’m building the actual get home bag portion of this. I didn’t buy anything special to build this; I used what I had laying around. I will honestly probably buy a few things for this kit in the future (and drive my wife a little crazier). Most of the items are extras I hang on to, but quality items none the least.

First off, my personal number one rule of survival is to always have a knife, and a good knife at that. I packed a Spyderco Enuff Sheepfoot. The Enuff Sheepfoot is a small fixed blade with a sturdy Kydex holster. I like Spyderco knives, and this little one wasn’t much use in my tool box, so into the bag it went. Next I tossed an extra small, folding knife in the bag (it’s a small, cheap Smith and Wesson folding knife).

Next was twenty feet of paracord, braided to make it more compact. Also known as 550 cord  (for its resistance), 550 could also be the number of uses it has. A good strong cord can do anything from make snares to fashioning a lean-to.

Next up was a good strong, metal framed, LED flashlight, and a Gerber headlamp. Neither of these are expensive Surefires, but they’re dependable and water resistant. Along with these are, of course, extra batteries to keep them lasting a few days. I may add a cheap crank flashlight to this mix as well.

One of the most important series of items is the medical supplies. This is a basic individual first aid kit. I packed a compression bandage, two triangle bandages, a cinch tight, some band aids, Betadine solution, gauze, and a burn dressing. I also included a flask of liquor (high proof), for cleaning wounds and if necessary, for starting fires.

Speaking of fires, I packed a good outdoor lighter, water resistant matches, and a cheap fire starter. Three different ways to start a fire is a good place to start. Fire can cook and purify water, as well as act as a signaling device.  It’s just as important as water because it will purify water too. On this note I’m also packing a military metal canteen cup in which to boil water. I’m also packing a packet of a dozen Micropur tablets, each capable of purifying a liter of water.

I have a few miscellaneous items to toss in there as well. First are two rolls of tape, one electrical and one duct tape. Tape is another item that has a million uses. I also threw in a D ring, just because you never know. I also tossed in three glow sticks—blue, yellow, and red—that will each last 8 hours. These can be used for signaling as well as lights. {I’d add a few items the author of this article hasn’t mentioned, ie.: cheap thermal blanket, poncho, insect repellant, gloves and stocking cap or brimmed hat, depending on time of year and location. Also more apt to carry a 1/2 lb or larger canister of Bear grade pepper spray, than a gun, for this two hour to over night emergency. Mr. Larry).

Now the last piece of gear I’m bringing is probably the most important—the gun. I had a hard time choosing a weapon; I decided that the weapon needed to be concealable, adaptable, and powerful. I ended up choosing the Taurus Judge. I chose the Judge for a few reasons. First off, it is powerful enough to deal with any man or critter I will encounter. I can also load a variety of different shots for close range snake dispatching and small game hunting. I packed a box of Federal .410 handgun No. 4, a box of number 7, and 15 Winchester .45 colt Winchester PDX, and ten double-aught buck. I have a total of 75 rounds for this weapon. This weapon will compliment my everyday concealed handgun, a .45 acp 1911 Commander, with two eight-round magazines.

Of course I packed my favorite holster, a Blackhawk Serpa, with a paddle attachment. I love the Serpa for the Judge. It holds the weapon high, is easy to conceal, and it also holds the heavy weapon really well.

The actual pack I use is a military surplus “butt” pack. The butt pack was used on 782 gear as a patrol pack to carry food, tarp, or whatever a soldier needed on patrol that day. I rigged mine up with an old two-point sling to act as a messenger bag (aka “man purse”). The butt pack is tough and lightweight, just big enough to fit everything, and still stays small and convenient.

The small get home bag is a pretty handy little bag to keep in any vehicle. The bag is perfect for a short survival situation and cost me nearly nothing to build. It takes up only a small amount of room in my trunk, or behind the seat in my truck. Like my bug out bags, I’ll be changing and upgrading it constantly, and it will become a permanent addition in my vehicle.

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An approaching learning curve for non preppers

A. “I’ll Come To Your Place When SHTF” – No You Won’t
23 Oct 2014, SHTFplan.com,  by Mac Slavo
Pasted from: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/ill-come-to-your-place-when-shtf-no-you-wont_102014

Editor’s Note: This article has been generously contributed by Glen Tate of 299Days.com. Glen is the author of the 10-part series 299 Days, which is inspired by his own life and personal journey. It begins with 299 Days: The Preparation and introduces us to a husband who awakens to the fragility of modern society and embarks on a personal journey that introduces him to a world of self-reliance and liberation. 

non prep1In the following article Glen covers an issue that is very dear to most preppers – what to do when neighbors, friends and family come knocking. With limited resources available we’re all going to have to make tough decisions. Like many of us, Glen plans on helping those truly in need. But what about those who refused to see the warning signs and stuck their head in the sand, perhaps even lambasted you for your extreme ideas and theories? Instead of being frugal and preparing, they focused their efforts on entertainment and good times.

But when the good times end, they will come to you for help. What will you do when they show up at your front door?

 

“I’ll Come To Your Place When SHTF” – No You Won’t By Glen Tate Author of  299 Days
(This post is something you can send to your friends or print out and hand to them when SHTF.)

Dear Friend: I love my friends, but I will shoot you if I have to.  I’m serious.  Here’s why.

I tried to persuade you to prepare for what’s coming and, in the process, revealed that to you that I’m preparing.  You realized that I have food, guns, etc., and ended up saying, half kidding but half serious, “I’ll come to your place when SHTF.”

No you won’t.  I will shoot you.  If you threaten me and my family, I will use force to defend against any threat.  And showing up at my place hungry and unprepared is a threat to me.  You will eat my food and use up my medical supplies, generator, firewood, etc.  That’s less of these life-saving things for me and my family.  That’s a threat.

Is this greed on my part?  No.  I will take care of the truly needy – those who cannot take care of themselves.  But you are different.  Very different.  You had plenty of chances to prepare for yourself.

But what did you do?  You spent the weekends watching football, went on expensive vacations, and never made your spouse mad at you with your “crazy” ideas that something bad was happening.  You didn’t do shit because… you would just come to my place.  Problem solved, right?  You didn’t need to spend time, money, and create domestic strife because I did that all for you.

Not.  Why should I spend my time, money, and stress just so you can waltz into my place and live happily ever after?  I’m a nice guy, but – really? – I’m going to spend my (very limited) free time, disposable income, and domestic tranquility just so you can have a leisurely life and more material comforts pre-Collapse while I don’t?

Why do you think I will sacrifice enormous amounts of my time and money so you can enjoy yourself while I’m slaving away?  Would you assume you could come over and leave your broken car at my house?  That I would just spend thousands of dollars on parts and several weekends fixing it and then hand it over to you with a smile – just because I’m a “good guy”?  Would anyone expect that?

You do, apparently.  You actually expect to waltz over to my cabin and receive – with a smile – thousands of dollars of food and other supplies that took me all my weekends to acquire and store.

So, my grasshopper friend (as in the story of the grasshopper and the ant), here is your official warning: if your “plan” for you and your family’s safety is to come to my place, you’re wrong.  When you show up, I’ll ask you to leave.  When you don’t, I’ll point a gun in your face.  If you refuse to leave, I will shoot you.  You are a threat to me.

You had years of time and very clear warnings to get ready.  But you didn’t.  Hey, I love football but haven’t been able to watch a game in a few years; I’ve been fixing up the cabin, buying supplies, and training with the Team.  I spent a lot of money doing all these things so I haven’t gone on a long vacation in… forever.  I have had several difficult times with my wife because of all the prepping I’m doing; I could have easily done what you did, which is just say “Yes, dear” and not prepare because she didn’t want you to. I hope this message jolted you.  There’s still some time.  Go prep.

.

B. When Real Disaster Strikes: These Are The People Who Will Loot, Pillage and Kill You For Your Food
27 Jan 2015, SHTFplan.com, by Mac Slavo
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/when-real-disaster-strikes-these-are-the-people-who-will-loot-pillage-and-kill-you-for-your-food_01272015

Time and again we are reminded why it is prudent to have a backup plan just in case things go wrong. You’ve already got car insurance, house insurance, medical insurance and life insurance. But what about disaster insurance? And no, we’re not talking about a piece of paper guarantee issued by some behemoth corporation who you’re supposed to call when things go wrong.

Real disaster insurance in this context refers to your own personal and familial emergency reserve supplies and strategies, to be consumed and implemented when all hell breaks loose.

non prep hopeful shoppers(Panic In Northeast: Tens of thousands raid grocery stores in search of food and supplies)

What’s happening in the North Eastern part of the United States right now – “Snowpacolypse” – should convince anyone who hasn’t done so yet to prepare themselves for short- and long-term calamities. They happen quite regularly all over the world. We’ve seen them hit time and again in both, first and third world nations in the form of storms, natural disasters and even economic meltdowns. Yet, despite the repeated media broadcasts of suffering and complete destitution often wrought by these events, millions of people still laugh at the notion that, as even the government recommends, you should have a two week emergency supply of food, water and other disaster gear.

It is these very people – the ones who call preppers crazy and snicker at their idea of prudent preparedness and self sustainability – who will be out in force to loot, pillage and kill for these critical lifesaving supplies when a widespread disaster or emergency strikes their area. And no, we’re not talking about a 3-day scenario like a snow storm, which is limited in scope and comes with warnings ahead of time, with supply lines being restocked soon after the storm passes.

non prep shop lineRather, we’re talking about any number of events that are capable of crippling our entire nation in one fell swoop for an extended period of time lasting two weeks or more. These may include national-scale disasters such as a cyber-attack on our utility infrastructure, a super electro-magnetic pulse weapon that takes down our power grid, or a massive financial collapse that locks credit markets and makes resupply of essentials like food, medicine and gas impossible.

All of these events and numerous others like them, though unlikely, remain a plausible and serious threat to our way of life because they are capable of literally sending us back into the middle ages overnight. Should such a scenario ever become reality, then guess who’ll be coming over looking to take your supplies? Here’s a hint. They’ve been lining up in droves at local super markets and clearing shelves all over the North East as a massive snowstorm approaches.

Store shelves are cleared within hours of people realizing that a disaster is in progress.

We know what you’re thinking, “it’s just a snow storm.” And you’re right. These short-term events are nothing to really worry about. Even if you got to a grocery store late and couldn’t get food or fresh water you can still go over to a friend’s house or perhaps knock on your neighbor’s door for some food to get you by. But should the disaster facing the population be something more severe, when people have realized that no re-supply is coming because our just-in-time transportation system has shut down, then you can fully expect that frantic knocks on peoples’ doors will be ignored. Then what?

The answer is simple. As The Prepper’s Blueprint author Tess Pennington notes in Anatomy of a Breakdown, you can expect widespread societal breakdown within 72 hours:

Have you ever heard the saying, “We’re three days away from anarchy?” 

In the wake of a disaster, that’s all you have is three days to turn the crazy train around before crime, looting and chaos ensue.

Multiple factors contribute to societal breakdowns including failure of adequate government response, population density, citizens taking advantage of the grid being down and overwhelmed emergency response teams.

non prep empy shelvesFor whatever reason, 3-5 days following a disaster is the bewitching hour. During this short amount of time, the population slowly becomes a powder keg full of angry, desperate citizens. A good example is the chaos that ensued in New Orleans following the absence of action from the local government or a timely effective federal response in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In such troubled times, people were forced to fend for themselves and their families, by any means necessary. This timeline of Hurricane Katrina effectively illustrates “the breakdown,” and within three days, the citizens of New Orleans descended into anarchy, looting and murder

The majority of the looting, and certainly the despair, can easily be prevented with basic preparedness strategies that include managing your own food supply and stockpiling key supplies. In her free 52 Weeks to Preparedness web series Pennington outlines scores of essentials that you won’t really know you need until you need them, including food supply lists, medical items, toiletries, alternative power sources, and home defense tools.

At the very least, every American should have a stockpile, even if just a couple of boxes that fit in your closet, containing the following:

  • Meals Ready To Eat – These are full course meals that pack a caloric wallop and will suffice just fine for a period of two weeks or more. They are compact and easy to store, and given their relative low cost, are an excellent investment not just for emergencies in your home, but something to take hiking, camping or leave in your car in case you find yourself broken down in the middle of nowhere. High density emergency food bars are another option to diversify your reserves.
  • Water Reserves – Expect water utility companies to be out of operation as employees stay home to care for their families. This happens in almost every major disaster, meaning that you either better have effective water filtration and treatment supplies, or have reserve water packets.
  • Medicine – Basic first aid kits are an absolute must. A small cut can do serious damage over a two-week period when there is no doctor.
  • Toiletries – You’ll want some reserve toilet paper, for obvious reasons. But also consider sanitation as a key preparedness strategy, because if your toilet doesn’t flush then things will get ugly very quickly.
  • For an extensive list of preparedness considerations, supplies and strategies check out the free 52 Weeks To Preparedness web series.

At last count some 1% of Americans, roughly three million out of our nation’s 300-plus million people, have taken any steps to prepare. It’s a sobering statistic to be sure, especially considering that the Department of Homeland Security has warned people to stockpile at least a two week supply of food and water rations just in case.

Most Americans, it seems, still think the government will be there to provide assistance when the worst happens. The problem, of course, is that despite the millions of meals-ready-to-eat they have stockpiled, they will not have the resources to deal with 300 million desperate people.

The following statement from one San Francisco resident hit by last year’s West Coast storm pretty much sums it all up:

“I couldn’t get my car out of the garage, I have no food, I have no cash, so I’m trying to forage for something.”

After the 72-hour mark this individual and others like him will have no choice but to go out “foraging” for food. They’ll likely be armed, operating in groups and they’ll be going door-to-door.

non prep - watch

Be Prepared

(Survival Manual/Prepper Articles/ An approaching learning curve for non preppers

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Walking to your destination

(Survival Manual/Prepper articles/Walking to your destination)

A. How Far can You Walk in a Day When Bugging Out?
Feb 2014, PreparednessAdvice.com, by admin – Howard
Pasted from: http://preparednessadvice.com/survival/far-can-walk-day-bugging-foot/#.UwM9IYmYbmh

bugging 2

The question how far can you walk in one day recently came up in regards to bugging out.  This led to quite a discussion, and many different opinions.  For the last twenty-five or so years, I have done a lot of hiking in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and can cover some pretty good distances.

However most of the time I am with someone else who is in shape to hike and we are not carrying much weight.  A seven-mile hike in about 2-3 hours is quite doable and I am 70 years old.  But that brings up the question of how much weight could I carry and could I do it day after day, while sleeping on the ground and making camp.  No nice soft lounge chair in which to recover.

A young man in good shape normally walks around three miles an hour, and can do it all day on level ground with little to no weight.  But remember the speed of the march is determined by the weakest member of the group not the strongest.  When bugging out the weight of a pack is going to slow him down.

Other factors that determine your speed are the weather, terrain, the condition of the trail and what you are carrying.  Do you have children or elderly people with you, do any of your group have medical conditions that slows them down.  Another factor is threats, are you having to hide to avoid other people.

The U.S. Army Ranger Training includes a 12-mile forced, tactical ruck march with full gear from Camp Rogers to Camp Darby.  This is the last test during one phase and is a pass/fail event.  If the Ranger student fails to finish the march in less than 3 hours, he is dropped from the course.  With the ruck and their other gear, they are carrying 65–90 pounds.  Now this is an extreme case, very few of us could even come close.

Many of us would be traveling with a family and might even have to carry younger children or infants.  In addition, we would have to carry our food and other supplies, set up a camp each day and take care of other chores.

I have done a bit of research for this post and looked at the speeds that were considered fast in traveling across the American plains.

A pioneer wagon might do 15-25 miles on a very good day, if it was being pulled by horses or mules. Oxen on the other hand only traveled one or two miles an hour but didn’t require as much rest or as good a forage as horses or mules. They might do 10-12 miles in a 10-hour day

A horse will walk 3-4 mph, trot about 8-10 mph and gallop depending on the ability of the animal and the terrain at 30-40 mph.  According to the U S Cavalry, a horse can cover some 30-40 miles a day, but can be pushed to double that, but then will be pretty much spent for several days while he recuperates.

I spoke to a local scout leader and was told that many of the young boys would struggle on a three or four mile hike in the mountains when carrying a full pack.

Now I see some preparedness books that tell you that when bugging out your pack should weigh up to a third of your body weight.  Now this may be a good guideline for a twenty year old in good shape.  But it won’t work for the rest of us.

Freezedryguy.com an old friend of mine and an old SF guy,  says that most people way over estimate their ability to walk in planning for bugging out.  He feels that most family groups with children or elderly will travel closer to 3-5 miles a day when walking cross country.  A lot will depend on you and your families physical and emotional condition and  don’t forget very good foot ware.

After talking with several-experienced hikers and some friends who have seen a real evacuation by foot I believe that most people over estimate the distances they can walk.  This is largely the result of having to travel at the pace of the slowest member of your group.

Most family groups with young children or elderly would average closer to 5 miles a day.  Young people in average shape should do 20 miles or so in good terrain for the first couple of days, then blisters, light rations and other problems will slow them down. So plan on your bug out taking longer then you expect if you are traveling by foot. Howard

.

B. How to Go Unnoticed
Edited by FatDuckling, IngeborgK, DifuWu, Katie and 11 others
Pasted from: http://www.wikihow.com/Go-Unnoticed

bugging 1

This is a guide for those who desire to go unnoticed or hide in plain sight.

1. Ascertain why you don’t want to be noticed. Whether for a game, avoiding someone or just to blend and relax. It’s easier to know what you’re doing and why.

2. Dress plainly. One of the most important things you can do is dress down. Jeans and a T-shirt are generally good. Don’t wear tight jeans, low-cut shirts, or tons of make-up if you’re a girl. If you’re a guy, don’t wear your jeans half-way down your butt and a T that’s way too big. You’re trying not to stand out. It is also best to avoid bright colors, especially reds, oranges and yellows, especially when these colors come in stripes across the body. The human brain is wired to react to these colors, leading you to be noticed more easily.

3. Act as if you belong even if you don’t. People notice people who look as though they don’t fit far quicker than people who look as if they walk down this street every day. Practice feeling comfortable in any setting – this takes some confidence.

4. Act natural. If something catches your eye in a shop go look at it, if you feel hungry go get food. If every third person has a shopping bag, go buy something. If half the people around you are eating, then eat. People tend to pass over people who look preoccupied doing something else.

5. Be quiet. It doesn’t seem important but people hear easier than they see in crowded places. Even if a person is not looking at you they can still hear you.

6. Be still. If pressed stand still. People notice movement more than shapes. Don’t become a statue. Just stand still like you don’t have a reason to move, not like you have a reason not to.

7. Walk with your head down. That way you can move slower if you want and people can’t see your face as easily.

Tips:

  • Don’t look people in the eye. They will definitely notice. Keep your head down.
  • If you see someone you know don’t go and greet them. Walk past and see if they notice you. This is a good test for your covertness.
  • If you’re following someone don’t always keep your eyes on them, reflective glass is good. If they walk into a shop look in the window of one across from it or look in the shop next door, don’t follow them in.
  • Get lost in a crowd. A person in fifty is harder to spot than a person in five.
  • If you’re avoiding someone don’t try to hide behind a wall or something if they look your way, just keep right on doing whatever you were doing. A person jumping behind a wall is very noticeable.

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Biological Warfare

 (Survival Manual/1. Disaster/Biological Warfare)

 When an ill wind blow from afar
Chemical and biological weapons are some of the most dangerous chemicals and diseases known to man. In modern times, these weapons are at the forefront of terrorist and military threats to our safety.
Chemical and biological warfare, or CBW, is considered a “poor man’s nuke,” for the cheapness and ease of manufacture, and the indiscriminate carnage and terror they can cause.

1.  Q: What are Biological Weapons and Their Effects?
A: Biological weapons are diseases harnessed by man as a military weapon. Many diseases have been mentioned as being possible BW agents. However, the most mentioned are Anthrax, Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis, Botulinum toxin, Plague, Ricin, and Smallpox.Biological weapons can be bacteria, viruses, or toxins, and essentially are nothing more than intentionally spread disease. The BW agents mentioned above are selected for their characteristics, including ease of manufacture, incubation period, resistance to treatment, method of dispersal, hardiness in different environments, lethality, and contagiousness. There is evidence Soviet scientists genetically altered diseases at their BW laboratories, making diseases even more lethal and resistant to treatment.
It should be noted, toxins are much like chemical weapons, except that they are made from biological sources.

It cannot be assumed that a BW agent can be treated. As stated in the last paragraph, some of these diseases have been altered to resist treatment, and some diseases, mostly viruses, have no cure. As with chemical weapons, the best defense against these agents is protective equipment and good hygiene.
Biological weapons are disseminated in either aerosol, liquid, or powdered form.
FDA Bioterrorism and Drug Preparedness website:

Q: How Will I Know a Biological or Chemical Attack Has Occurred?
A: Biological and chemical attacks exhibit many distinct characteristics.

  • Dead animals/birds/fish: Numerous animals dead in the same area.
  • Blisters/rashes: Many individuals experiencing unexplained rashes, bee-sting like blisters, and/or watery blisters.
  • Mass casualties: Many persons exhibiting unexplained serious health problems ranging from disorientation and nausea to breathing difficulty, convulsions, and death.
  •  Unusual metal debris: Unexplained munitions like material, especially if liquid is contained. (No rain recently.)
  • Unexplained odors: Smells may range from fruity to flowery to pungent/sharp, to horseradish/garlic-like to peach kernels/bitter almonds to new mown hay. It should be noted, that the smell should be completely out of sync with its surroundings. (I.E. The smell of hay in an urban area.)
  •  Low-lying clouds: Low-lying fog/cloud-like condition not explained by surroundings.
  • Definite pattern of casualties: Casualties distributed in a pattern that may be associated with possible agent dissemination methods.
  • Illness associated with a confined geographic area: Lower rates of illness for people working outdoors versus indoors or indoors versus outdoors.
  • Lack of insect life: Normal insect activity is missing. Check ground/shore line/water surface for dead insects. Also look for dead animals/birds/fish.
  • Unusual liquid droplets: Many surfaces exhibit oily droplets or film. (No rain recently.)
  • Unusual spraying: Unexplained spraying of an aerosol or liquid by vehicles, persons, or aircraft.

The following table is from the US Army Tech Guide 244, The Medical NBC Battlebook.

Disease
(type)

Likely
Methods of Dissemination

Transmissibility
Man to Man

Infectivity

Lethality

Anthrax   – Inhalation(bacteria)

Spores in aerosols

No

Moderate

High

Brucellosis(bacteria)

1. Aerosol
2. Sabotage (food supply)

Via contact with lesions

High

Low

Plague  – pneumonic(bacteria)

1. Aerosol

2. Infected vectors

High

High

Very
High

Tularemia(bacteria)

Aerosol

No

High

Moderate
if untreated

Q fever

(rickettsiae)

1. Aerosol

2. Sabotage (food supply)

No

High

Very
low

Botulinum toxin

(toxin)

1. Sabotage (food / water supply)

2. Aerosol

No

High

Trichothecene
mycotoxins (toxin)

1. Aerosol

2. Sabotage

No

High

Ricin toxin)

Aerosol

No

High

Smallpox (virus)

Aerosol

High

High

High

The government may be able to provide early warning of an attack via the Emergency Alert System (EAS). Having a NOAA weather radio with alarm in your house or on your person may be yet another option to help detect a chemical or biological attack, as well as alerting you to many other emergencies. Still, remember that the government may not know of an attack and broadcast an alert before your chemical detector itself alerts. So, do not rely entirely on EAS, but rely upon your observations and your chemical detector.

Bottom Line: Chemical and biological attacks can be detected early, by watching for signs of dispersal, dead insects/animals, sick and injured people, etc. The government’s Emergency Alert System (EAS) may also be of value in alerting you to an attack. Chemical attacks can also be detected with inexpensive chemical detection gear.

2.  Anthrax attack could kill 123,000
18 March 2003, BBC News
Pasted from:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/2857207.stm
An anthrax weapon aimed at a major city could kill at least 123,000 people even if every victim received treatment, experts have calculated. US researchers have used a computer model to predict the devastation that would result from the launch of an anthrax bomb or missile on a city the size of New York. The figures are based on what would happen if a bomb containing 1 kilogram of anthrax spores was dropped on a city of 10 million inhabitants.

The projected number of fatalities is based on the assumption that antibiotics would not be administered for 48 hours until the first symptoms appeared. If it proved possible to distribute drugs more quickly, then the death toll could be substantially reduced. However, they warn that inadequacies in the current US emergency response plan may make such a rapid response unlikely.

Lead researcher Dr Lawrence Wein, from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, California, said: “The first people develop symptoms within two days of exposure, and many more would develop symptoms over the next week. “Our response needs to be measured in hours, not in days or weeks.”

Intensive care
Five of the 11 people who inhaled anthrax during the 2001 attacks on the US postal system died despite intensive treatment by large teams of doctors.

The researchers recommend distributing anti-anthrax antibiotics such as Cipro in advance of any major attack. If this was not possible, then the aim should be to distribute antibiotics to everyone infected within 12 hours.

In the case of an attack on New York City, that would mean supplying the drugs to 1.5 million people. The only way to do this would be to increase the number of available health professionals dramatically. The researchers estimate that to keep the death toll down to about 1,000, one health professional would be required for every 700 people in the affected population.
This could only be achieved by training non-emergency medical staff and making maximum use of military personnel and volunteers.

Similar findings
Dr Robert Spencer, an infection control expert at the UK Public Health Laboratory Service, told BBC News Online that the conclusions were similar to those reached by research carried out by the
World Health Organization in 1970. However, he said it was very difficult to determine what would happen should weapons grade anthrax be released on a city, not least because of weather patterns, and the complex effect of wind distribution in a built up area.

Dr Spencer said the only recorded case of anthrax release, from a Soviet installation in 1974, had resulted in surprisingly few cases of illness. “It would be very difficult to disprove what they are saying,” he said. “My personal feeling is that anthrax is not a weapon of mass destruction, but a weapon of mass hysteria.
“Terrorists like bombs, they know what happens when they cause an explosion, and can make predictions based on that.”
Dr Spencer also said that to stock up on vaccines and antibiotics to combat a possible anthrax attack would be to drain resources away from more certain demands for health care.
The research is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Bottom Line
Biological weapons are simply diseases. Some have been altered to be more virulent, but all are just the same diseases the world has confronted for years. Remember, smallpox used to be occurring in epidemic proportions before the smallpox vaccine. And, plague wiped out over a third of Europe’s population during the Black Death. These diseases, for the most part, are nothing new.

3.  A Hypothetical Scenario
You may think, “It can’t happen here.” Do you think it could happen in the State of Israel? Do you think residents of that nation are potential targets? Do you think that visitors from that nation, who are unknowingly infected, might take a plane trip to the United States? The smallpox incubation period is nine days.
Suicide squad members could walk into an Israeli airport in a busy time and be searched by Israeli inspectors. They could then sit in the area close to ticket-takers and passport-stampers. That would do it. From then on, airport personnel would become carriers.

The group could send in one carrier per day for a week, just to make sure. Each one gets on an El Al plane and flies to America. Each American city is different. All are large. By the end of the flight, every plane would be carrying dozens of living weapons of mass destruction, all visiting relatives, friends, and business associates.

Meanwhile, three or four will do the same thing in a
London airport.
The next day, the planes’ crews will climb aboard and fly
back home. The flight attendants will serve meals, these being cross-Atlantic flights. You tell me: What is a feasible defense?
There is no feasible defense against this strategy, other than prayer. But the potentially targeted victims are not praying about this. They do not recognize the threat. I doubt that they will until after the strategy has been implemented.
Do you think the U.S. government will ever go public and warn people that this threat exists? When there is no known defense?

If I can figure this out, a terrorist group can. Hammes says that there are multiple Islamic Websites that cover fourth-generation warfare. These people are professionals. We should not underestimate them. As war spreads in the Middle East, there will be recruits.
Of course, you may think that peace will soon break out in the Middle East, that a new appreciation of Americans and Israelis is just around the corner. I do not share your optimism.

Most Americans believe they are immune from threats like this one, just because they are Americans. They are wrong. Increasingly in the future, Americans will become ever-more vulnerable targets, just because they are Americans.

4.  Ten Steps to prepare
1)  The first step in preparing for such an event is mental-emotional. You must face technological reality. This bioterrorism threat is a possibility, not a fantasy. Not many people will make this mental transition this side of the first city’s outbreak. After that, they will have only a few hours to make fundamental changes in their lives. Not many people will understand what is happening and how little time they have to prepare themselves.
2)  Second, you must be spiritually prepared to die for your cause, just as the enemy is willing to die for his.
3)  Third, you must have economic reserves that are not dependent on re-supply by inter-state trucking.
The United States is dependent on inter-state trucking. You must recognize that thousands of truckers will quit when they are told to deliver goods into a city that has been hit by a plague.
4)  Fourth, you must have economic reserves that are not dependent on fractional reserve banking. There will be a run on ATM’s within a day after the first report surfaces. The currency will not be re-deposited in another bank — the ultimate threat to fractional reserve banking. Within a day or two, banks will not allow people to withdraw cash.
5)  Fifth, you must have a primary residence or secondary residence in a small town location that is not in the path of traffic. Not many people will enjoy this benefit. There are some areas inside the United States that would have a huge safety factor.
6)  Sixth, you must have good relations with your neighbors. The division of labor will move down, rapidly. Community quarantines against outsiders will be imposed, once it is clear that the country is under biological attack.
7)  Seventh, you must be emotionally willing to admit to yourself what is happening as soon as the first reports of a major plague or rare disease hit the Web. You must be willing to take decisive, possibly expensive, immediate steps that will not be possible within a few days after the initial report.
8)  Eighth, you must be prepared to risk taking your annual vacation the next day. Your boss won’t like it. But you will need time to complete your defensive plans.
9)  Ninth, it would be best to have an occupation that is mobile geographically.
10)  Tenth, you must be prepared to take in close relatives, which means exposing yourself to risk.
Thus means extra space. The cheapest way to get this is with a used mobile home, single-wide, 10 years or older. This means living in the country: no zoning laws. It could mean buying a second property within a few miles of a small town home.

Most people cannot and will not take these steps in time. They think, “This can never happen.” They also think that, as Americans, they are immune to a world comparable to what millions of Iraqis are facing and have faced since 2003. Two million of them, out of a population of 25 million, have left their country, probably permanently. They faced reality early.

 5.  Dark Winter: A Bioterrorism Simulation Exercise
See more about this exercise at: http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/duffy81a.html
or run a Google search for “Dark Winter”

The National Security Council and Senior  level government officials participated in a simulated terrorist attack on three American cities using weaponized smallpox.

Historically, smallpox has been the most deadly of all diseases for humans, killing between 300 and 500 million in the last century alone, far more than the 111 million people killed in all that century’s wars combined. It is easily spread, kills 30% of those infected, and terribly scars and sometimes blinds those who survive. It was declared eradicated from Earth in 1980, but the Soviet Union has acknowledged maintaining a secret biological weapons program since then that employed 60,000 technicians and scientists. One fear is that some of the smallpox the Soviets worked with has gotten into terrorist hands, or that unemployed Soviet scientists desperate for money have been hired by Iraq, Al Qaida, or other terrorists.

On June 22-23, 2001, nearly three months before the attack that toppled New York’s World Trade towers, the United States conducted a major simulation of a terrorist smallpox attack against three American cities. It was named Dark Winter, and it lived up to its name.

Synopsis: Within seven weeks, one million Americans were dead and the disease had spread to 25 states and 13 foreign countries. In the face of the out of control epidemic, panic had spread across America, interrupting vital services such as food deliveries to supermarkets, and our Government considered the possibility of a nuclear response, although against whom it was not clear.

The goal of the exercise was to increase awareness among Government officials of the danger of such an attack, and to examine the decision challenges the highest levels of Government would face if confronted with a biological attack. The ultimate aim was to improve strategies of response.

Smallpox was chosen as the disease because historically it has been the most feared and deadly of diseases, and one of the more likely choices for terrorists. It is not only easily spread from one person to another, but there is no effective medical treatment. It may also be unstoppable in an unvaccinated population, and since the United States’ mandatory vaccination program was stopped in 1972, the U.S.
population is very susceptible to smallpox. Even that part of the population that was vaccinated as late as 1972 may have little or no protection against the disease.

The exercise took place at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, and was attended by many senior level government officials. Participating institutions included the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Bio-Defense Strategies, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Oklahoma National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism, and the Analytic Services Institute for Homeland Security.

Former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia played the President of the United States, Governor Frank Keating of Oklahoma played himself, five senior journalists who worked for major news organizations participated in mock news briefings, and a number of other participants played various key government positions ranging from the Director of Central Intelligence to key Government health advisors. Fifty people connected with U.S. bioterrorism policy preparedness observed the exercise.

Although the exercise took only two days, it simulated a time span of two weeks occurring between December 9-22, 2002. The exercise involved three National Security Council (NSC) meetings taking place on Dec. 9, 15, and 22, with the participants being made aware of evolving details of the attack and being required to establish strategies and make policy decisions to deal with it.

Exercise controllers acted as special assistants and deputies, providing facts and suggesting policy options to deal with the smallpox outbreak. Simulated newspaper coverage and TV video clips of the ensuing epidemic were also shown to participants, and various simulated memoranda, intelligence updates, and top level assessments of the spread of the epidemic were provided to key players whose jobs would normally require such information.

Each of the three NSC meetings began with controllers giving the NSC players briefings on the progress of the attack, an assessment of who the perpetrators might be, the response of the public, the comments of foreign governments, and any other information they would normally receive in such an emergency.

The game
The game starts with a brief television report that about two dozen people checked into an Oklahoma City hospital with an unidentified illness. Doctors soon find the patients have smallpox, a highly contagious and deadly disease unseen in the United States since 1949.

Similar smallpox cases are reported in Pennsylvania and Georgia. By day six, 300 Americans are dead and 2,000 others are infected.
Cases of smallpox are reported in Mexico, Canada and Britain, according to the scenario.

Meanwhile, the US Heath system is overwhelmed, the 12 million doses of smallpox vaccine quickly disappear, schools nationwide are forced to close, and public
gatherings are limited due to fear of contagion.

Droves of Oklahomans anxious to flee stream toward Texas — but the Texas governor, eager to protect his own residents, closes the border and deploys the state National Guard. Shots are fired.

As the standoff between Texans and Oklahomans deepens, a rift opens between federal and local authorities. Members of the US National Security Council suggest “nationalizing” the national guard, while state governors insist on keeping the local troops under their control.

On day 12 of the scenario, when the death toll reaches 1,000, interstate commerce grinds to a halt and stock trading is suspended. Demonstrations demanding more smallpox vaccines turn into riots. The United Nations moves its headquarters from New York to Geneva, Switzerland.

Less than two months after the outbreak, when the number of dead reach one million and three million more are infected, the president, played in the exercise by Nunn, gathers his top aide to considers imposing marshal law.

End of the Dark Winter exercise
Five lessons were learned from this exercise.

  1. A biological attack at this level would result in massive loss of life.
  2. Current governmental structures are not capable of managing such an attack.
  3. U.S. health care infrastructure lacks a surge capability, thus leaving it open to complete failure in the event of mass casualties.
  4. Managing the media and providing citizens with the right information would be an enormous challenge.
  5. Americans are totally unprepared for the myriad social, political and ethical challenges
    posed by this threat.

Perhaps a more elemental lesson was that people have an innate dread of plagues. It is therefore easy for a situation such as this to quickly degenerate into social breakdown and mob violence.
Particularly with diseases such as smallpox, which are particularly ugly in their symptoms and virulence, it is a fine line between mass fear and total panic.

In addition to raising public awareness of the bioterrorism threat, briefings from Dark Winter, the exercise contributed to the George Walker Bush Administration’s decision to manufacture 300 million doses of the smallpox vaccine.

The “Dark Winter” exercise “demonstrated how poorly current organizational structures and capabilities fit the management needs and operational requirements of a bioterrorism response.
Responding to a bioterrorist attack will require new levels of partnership between public health and medicine, law enforcement and intelligence. However, these communities have little past experience working together and vast differences in their professional cultures, missions and needs. The ‘Dark Winter’ scenario also underscored the pivotal role of the media, and how a productive partnership with media will be paramount in communicating important information to the public and reducing the potential for panic.”

6.  Current situation
Although smallpox was declared eradicated in 1980, two official repositories of the variola virus were kept: one at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and the other at the Russian State Research Center for Virology and Biotechnology in Koltsovo, Novosibirsk in central Siberia. Those supplies were to be used for scientific research and vaccine development, but it is now known that both countries maintained secret biological weapons programs since 1980. By 1990 the Soviet Union had a facility capable of producing 80 to 100 tons of smallpox a year, and it typically warehoused 20 tons. Although Russia and the United States have since abandoned their biological weapons programs, other countries still have them.
It is thought that several rogue states like North Korea and Iraq and possibly terrorists have obtained samples of the smallpox virus.

A terrorist armed with a small hand-held aerosol could easily disperse 300 million smallpox viral particles within a confined area (airport terminal, train station, sports stadium, holiday parade gatherings, concerts). Toxins could also be spread through contamination of food or water.

During either bioterrorist scenario, unless the toxin is immediately known, vaccines are irrelevant. Besides terrorists will likely use a cocktail of agents to confuse detection systems and a major attack will quickly overwhelm the hospital system making immediate help for most impossible.

7.  We need to plan, not panic
If a biological, chemical, or radiological attack occurs in the U.S. the U.S. Department of Homeland Security may instruct you to Shelter in Place  until the pollutants have dissipated. If you live in a typical leaky home then the Department of Homeland Security currently recommends that you seal yourself in a room by using duct tape and plastic sheets. Moderate, or comprehensive, sealing of the exterior can help. One of the Dual-Benefit Solutions recommended by the Department of Homeland Security is to make your home’s outer shell very tight so you will save energy and have all of the rooms available if it becomes necessary to Shelter in Place.

Dr. Henderson recommends preparing your home to be a safer shelter by comprehensively sealing the air leaks in your home’s outer shell and installing a mechanical air supply system that can effectively filter the air coming into your home. He said this is a much better method than using duct tape and plastic sheets to seal yourself in one room after dangerous substances fill the air around your home.

Here is a partial list of the advantages of preparing your entire home so that you can quickly Shelter in Place:

  • Instead of sealing yourself in one room, you will have all of the rooms and air in your home available for your use, while waiting for the pollutants to blow past your home.
  • Microbes (anthrax, botulism, smallpox,…) will be kept outside where the wind can reduce their concentration and the sunshine can kill them.
  • You will have access to all the air in your home, rather than the air available in one room sealed with plastic and duct-tape.
  • Radioactive particles can be removed from incoming air by use of a high-efficiency air filter.
  • Non-filterable gasses can be kept outside by simply turning-off the mechanical air supply system until after the gasses blow past your home.
  • Even if you never have to Shelter in Place,  you can benefit in many ways throughout
    your life:
  • Sealing air leaks can eliminate uncomfortable drafts.
  • Sealing air leaks and providing filtered fresh air at a controlled rate can  reduce your costs for heating, air
  • Filtration of incoming fresh air can remove allergenic, irritating and toxic particles.
  • conditioning, and humidity control.
  • Controlling the ventilation rate will help you to keep indoor humidity below 50% to discourage growth of molds and dust mites.

 

8.  During a Declared Biological Emergency
a)  If a family member becomes sick, it is important to be suspicious.
b)  Do not assume, however, that you should go to a hospital emergency room or that any illness is the result of the biological attack. Symptoms of many common illnesses may overlap.
c)  Use common sense, practice good hygiene and cleanliness to avoid spreading germs, and seek medical advice.
d)  Find out if you are in the area authorities believe to be in danger.
e)  If your symptoms match those described below and you are in the group  considered at risk, seek immediate emergency medical attention

Risk Factors for a Bio-Chem Attack
All biological weapons have a high failure rate in terrorist attacks because even though they are quite deadly dispersal/delivery of them in an effective way is difficult. Changes in ph of air quality, changes in temperature and humidity, changes in environment, and life span of the entity itself make efficient delivery of these bacteria and viruses difficult.

For example, Anthrax is, for all intents and purposes, 100 percent deadly when it enters the lungs of human beings. The minimum fatal dose for a person is one Anthrax spore. Yet spores that are small enough to infiltrate the blood vessels of the human lungs also tend to be highly static.
They clump together and adhere to dust and dirt particles, which then make them too big to infiltrate the lungs. This problem of Anthrax delivery means that any people at “ground zero” of an Anthrax attack would probably be infected if they were directly exposed to a cloud or vapor falling on them. But those who get a warning signal and retreat into sealed rooms would have a good chance of survival.

Anthrax has a very small rate of “secondary uptake,” which means that once it hits the ground, it tends to end its delivery cycle.
People who shelter in sealed rooms would have the unpleasant task of waiting it out for hours (as long as 24 hours) before they could move, and then would have to wait for days to see if they were infected or not, but as long as they remained calm and secluded from sprayed or “treated” (ie, infected) areas, they could escape infection.

Smallpox is far more persistent than Anthrax, (though less fatal, with a mortality rate at about 33% – 66%), and people at ground zero of an attack would fare the worst. But once it has been identified, people secure from the initial infection would have to be prepared to quarantine themselves to avoid contact from victims whose symptoms would not appear for several weeks. As difficult as this is, our society is better equipped to do this than it’s ever been before. Telecommuting is a fact of life.

Dispersing biological agents in a crop dusting plane is currently the quickest, most effective scenario yet envisioned. But the plane would have to fly quite low to drop enough of a concentration in a stable medium. From the evidence of one would-be terrorist who was arrested on September 22, 2001, using crop dusting equipment has at least entered the minds of some terrorist planners. But as of this writing, it has not yet been attempted.

The more likely and dangerous alternative is for a biological weapon to be entered into the water supply. Filtering and water purification in the home may hinder the effectiveness of such a plan, and certainly boiling water for six minutes would probably kill any biological entity. But poisoning could occur and last for several days before symptoms appear. Drinking bottled water or at least boiling all water that comes from the tap (for six minutes) before you drink it might be a good precautionary step, if you fear a biological attack.

Use Common Sense

  1. Stay healthy, eat well and get plenty of rest
  2. Use common sense to determine if there is immediate danger
  3. Wash your hands with soap and water frequently
  4. Stay away from crowds where others may be infected
  5. Wear a face mask to reduce spreading germs

Symptoms
If a family member develops any of the symptoms below, keep them separated from others, practice good hygiene to avoid spreading germs, and seek medical advice.

  1. A temperature of more than 100 degrees
  2. Nausea and vomiting
  3. Stomachache
  4. Diarrhea
  5. Pale or flushed face
  6. Headache
  7. Cough
  8. Earache
  9. Thick discharge from nose
  10. Sore throat
  11. Rash or infection of the skin
  12. Red or pink eyes
  13. Loss of appetite
  14. Loss of energy or decreases in activity

Hygiene
If someone is sick, you should practice good hygiene and cleanliness to avoid spreading germs.

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water frequently.
  2. Do not share food or utensils.
  3. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  4. Consider having the sick person wear a face mask to avoid spreading germs.
  5. Plan to share health-related information with others, especially those who may need help. understanding the situation and what specific actions to take.

9.  Protective measures against bioterrorism

  • The primary civil defense against biological weaponry is to wash one’s hands whenever one moves to a different building or set of people, and avoid touching door knobs, walls, the
    ground and one’s mouth and nose.
  • Washing literally sends the germs down the drain.
  • More exotic methods include decontamination, usually done with household chlorine bleach (Clorox, regular, unscented) (5% solution of sodium hypochlorite).
  • One useful de-contamination is to leave shoes in an entrance-way and make people wade and hand wash in a footbath of bleach. Another useful technique is to periodically decontaminate floors and door knobs.
  • Medical methods of civil defense include stockpiles of antibiotics and vaccines, and training for quick, accurate diagnosis and treatment. Many weaponized diseases are unfamiliar to general practitioners.

Items to have in your possession, as biological threats often cause a breakdown in normal societal routines.
•     An antibiotic such as Zithromax
•     Surgical masks
•     Gas Masks
•     A supply of canned goods, a can opener and packaged non-perishable foods.
•    Bottled drinking water: minimally, one gallon per day per person, for at least seven days.
•     A blanket or sleeping bag for each family member as well as a change of clothes (in the event that you are relocated)
•     Extra eyeglasses and prescriptions
•     Supplies for infants, and disabled family members

The economic consequences of a bioterrorism attack could be “devastating,”  crippling the agricultural based economy of the region and creating a potential food shortage. Appropriate dispersion of even a small volume of biological warfare agent may cause high morbidity and mortality, which may be exacerbated by public panic and social disruption.

10.  Beef up your immune system

  • As soon as you learn of a bio-chem attack (if you are not already doing so), limit your intake of food so your body can devote more of its energies to the immune system rather than digesting dinner. Eat more raw foods, vegetables and juices.
  • One of the best things you can do is load up on antioxidants. Vitamin C is one of the best vitamins to take. Store plenty of the natural variety with rosehips and bioflavonoids. Some recommendations suggest as much as 1000 mg. of vitamin C every two hours which requires fruit or juice intake so it doesn’t make you sick.
  • Antioxidants Vitamin E and B6 have reputations for boosting the immune system as does Vitamin A which helps ward off infections to the eyes, respiratory system and gastrointestinal tract.
  • Eat organic foods as much as possible. No one needs pesticides in his system.
  • Remove the “white” foods from the diet: white rice, white flour products and white (refined) sugar. Two cans of soft drink can add approximately 24 tsp of sugar to your system – enough to suppress your immune system for five hours. If you’re grazing all day on pop and sweets, what ammo does your body have to fight disease?
  • It should be noted that people who are in tiptop shape — those who are physically active and have not subsisted on junk food will have the best chance of fighting these poisons naturally. It’s never too late to exercise! Not only does exercise rev up the immune system, it relieves stress –
    something that makes us more susceptible to disease.
  • Give your body plenty of rest and water. ‘Burning the candle’ at both ends depletes the body of disease-fighting capabilities.
  • Raw garlic exists through the lungs which is what the biological agents are most likely to attack. Raw garlic has both antibacterial and anti-viral aspects. Place raw garlic into a glass of tomato juice and add one small clove. Drink every six hours.

Selecting a gas mask
When demand and fear are high, some retailers charge exorbitant prices for gas masks and related items. Jacking up prices, especially during economic hard times, is simply unconscionable, heartless behavior. If you need to economize, it is better to get a cheaper mask and the best filter.

Read also: Survival Manual/6. Medical/Personal Protective Equipment.

 

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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]

 .

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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Post Collapse: Eyewitness 1

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Post Collapse: Eyewitness 1)

post collapse city

A.  Real Life Account of Post-Collapse Argentina: Life in Post-Collapse Argentina, Oct. 2005
10 Feb 2013, Tech Prepper, originally Fernando Ferfal Aguirre author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” (see an image of book’s cover below)
Pasted from: http://www.techprepper.com/general/a-real-life-account-of-post-collapse-argentina/

 The following is an account of a student in Argentina during their economic collapse (source: RapidTrends.com via @ShelfRelianceOH). This is the closest thing I’ve read to a “been there done that” guide to surviving TEOTWAWK (The End of the World As We Know It).

“My brother visited Argentina a few weeks ago. He’s been living in Spain for a few years now. Within the first week, he got sick, some kind of strong flu, even though the climate isn’t that cold and he took care of himself. Without a doubt he got sick because there are lots of new viruses in my country that can’t be found in 1st world countries. The misery and famine lead us to a situation where, even though you have food, shelter and health care, most others don’t, and therefore they get sick and spread the diseases all over the region.

What got me started on this post is the fact that I actually saw this coming, and posted on the subject here at Frugal’s, [frugalsquirrels.com] months before the new viruses spread over the country and the news started talking about this new health emergency, which proves that talking, thinking and sharing ideas with like-minded people (you guys), does help me to see things coming and prepare for them with enough time. So I started thinking about several issues, what I learned (either the hard way or thanks to this forum) after all these years of living in a collapsed country that is trying to get out an economical disaster and everything that comes along with it. Though my English is limited, I hope I’m able to transmit the main ideas and concepts, giving you a better image of what you may have to deal with some day, if the economy collapses in your country. Here is what I have so far:

URBAN OR COUNTRY?
Someone once asked me how did those that live in the country fare. If they were better off than city dwellers. As always there are no simple answers. Wish I could say country good, city bad, but I can’t, because if I have to be completely honest, and I intend to be so, there are some issues that have to be analyzed, especially security. Of course those that live in the country and have some land and animals were better prepared food-wise. No need to have several acres full of crops. A few fruit trees, some animals, such as chickens, cows and rabbits, and a small orchard were enough to be light years ahead of those in the cities. Chickens, eggs and rabbits would provide the proteins, a cow or two for milk and cheese, some vegetables and fruit plants covered the vegetable diet, some eggs or a rabbit could be traded for flour to make bread and pasta or sugar and salt.

Of course that there are exceptions, for example, some provinces up north have a desert climate, and it almost never rains. It is almost impossible to live off the land, and animals require food and water you have to buy. Those guys had it bad; no wonder the northern provinces suffer the most in my country. Those that live in cities, well they have to manage as they can. Since food prices went up about 200%-300%. People would cut expenses wherever they could so they could buy food. Some ate whatever they could; they hunted birds or ate street dogs and cats, others starved. When it comes to food, cities suck in a crisis. It is usually the lack of food or the impossibility to acquire it that starts the rioting and looting when TSHTF.

When it comes to security things get even more complicated. Forget about shooting those that mean you harm from 300 yards away with your MBR [main battle rifle]. Leave that notion to armchair commandos and 12 year old kids that pretend to be grown ups on the internet.

Some facts:

  1. Those that want to harm you/steal from you don’t come with a pirate flag waving over their heads.
  2. Neither do they start shooting at you 200 yards away.
  3. They won’t come riding loud bikes or dressed with their orange, convict just escaped from prison jump suits, so that you can identify them the better. Nor do they all wear chains around their necks and leather jackets. If I had a dollar for each time a person that got robbed told me “They looked like NORMAL people, dressed better than we are”, honestly, I would have enough money for a nice gun. There are exceptions, but don’t expect them to dress like in the movies.
  4. A man with a wife and two or three kids can’t set up a watch. I don’t care if you are SEAL, SWAT or John Freaking Rambo, no 6th sense is going to tell you that there is a guy pointing a gun at your back when you are trying to fix the water pump that just broke, or carrying a big heavy bag of dried beans you bought that morning.

The best alarm system anyone can have on a farm are dogs. But dogs can get killed and poisoned. A friend of mine had all four dogs poisoned on his farm one night, they all died. After all these years I learned that even though the person that lives out in the country is safer when it comes to small time robberies, that same person is more exposed to extremely violent home robberies. Criminals know that they are isolated and their feeling of invulnerability is boosted. When they assault a country home or farm, they will usually stay there for hours or days torturing the owners. I heard it all: women and children getting raped, people tied to the beds and tortured with electricity, beatings, burned with acetylene torches. Big cities aren’t much safer for the survivalist that decides to stay in the city. He will have to face express kidnappings, robberies, and pretty much risking getting shot for what’s in his pockets or even his clothes.

post collapse fernando bookSo, where to go? The concrete jungle is dangerous and so is living away from it all, on your own. The solution is to stay away from the cities but in groups, either by living in a small town-community or sub division, or if you have friends or family that think as you do, form your own small community. Some may think that having neighbors within “shouting” distance means losing your privacy and freedom, but it’s a price that you have to pay if you want to have someone to help you if you ever need it. To those that believe that they will never need help from anyone because they will always have their rifle at hand, checking the horizon with their scope every five minutes and a first aid kit on their back packs at all times…. Grow up.

SERVICES
What ever sort of scenario you are dealing with, services are more than likely to either suffer in quality or disappear all together. Think ahead of time; analyze possible SHTF scenarios and which service should be affected by it in your area. Think about the most likely scenario but also think outside the box. What’s more likely? A tornado? But a terrorist attack isn’t as crazy as you though it would be a few years ago, is it?

Also analyze the consequences of those services going down. If there is no power then you need to do something about all that meat you have in the fridge, you can dry it or can it. Think about the supplies you would need for these tasks before you actually need them. You have a complete guide on how to prepare the meat on you computer… how will you get it out of there if there is no power? Print everything that you consider important.

WATER
No one can last too long without water. The urban survivalist may find that the water is of poor quality, in which case he can make good use of a water filter, or that there is no water available at all. When this happens, a large city were millions live will run out of bottled water within minutes. In my case, tap water isn’t very good. I can see black little particles and some other stuff that looks like dead algae. Taste isn’t that bad. Not good but I know that there are parts of the country where it is much worse. To be honest, a high percentage of the country has no potable water at all.

If you can build a well, do so, set it as your top of the list priority as a survivalist.
Water comes before firearms, medicines and even food. Save as much water as you can. Use plastic bottles, refill soda bottles and place them in a cool place, preferably inside a black garbage bag to protect it from sun light. The water will pick some plastic taste after a few months, but water that tastes a little like plastic is far way better than no water at all. What ever the kind of SHTF scenario you are dealing with, water will suffer.

In my case the economical crash created problems with the water company, that reduces the maintenance and quality in order to reduce costs and keep their income in spite of the high prices they have to pay for supplies and equipment, most of which comes from abroad, and after the 2001 crash, costs 3 times more. As always, the little guy gets to pay for it. Same would go for floods or chemical or biological attacks. Water requires delicate care and it will suffer when TSHTF in one way or another. In this case, when you still have tap water, a quality filter is in order, as well as a pump if you can have one. A manual pump would be ideal as well if possible. Estimate that you need a approximately a gallon per person per day. Try to have at least two-four weeks worth of water. More would be preferable.

POWER
I spent WAY to much time without power for my own taste. Power has always been a problem in my country, even before the 2001 crisis. The real problem starts when you spend more than just a few hours without light. Just after the SHTF in 2001 half the country went without power for 3 days. Buenos Aires was one big dark grave. People got caught on elevators, food rots; hospitals that only had a few hours worth of fuel for their generators ran out of power. Without power, days get to be a lot shorter. Once the sun sets there is not much you can do. I read under candle light and flashlight light and your head starts to hurt after a while. You can work around the house a little bit but only as long as you don’t need power tools. Crime also increases once the lights go out, so whenever you have to go somewhere in a black out, carry the flashlight on one hand and a handgun on the other.

Summarizing, being in a city without light turn to be depressing after a while. I spent my share of nights, alone, listening to the radio, eating canned food and cleaning my guns under the light of my LED head lamp. Then I got married, had a son, and found out that when you have loved ones around you black outs are not as bad. The point is that family helps morale on these situations.
A note on flashlights. Have two or three head LED lights. They are not expensive and are worth their weight in gold. A powerful flashlight is necessary, something like a big Maglite or better yet a SureFire, especially when you have to check your property for intruders. But for more mundane stuff like preparing food, going to the toilet or doing stuff around the house, the LED headlamp is priceless. Try washing the dishes on the dark while holding a 60 lumen flashlight on one hand and you’ll know what I mean. LEDs also have the advantage of lasting for almost an entire week of continuous use and the light bulb lasts forever. Rechargeable batteries are a must or else you’ll end up broke if lights go out often. Have a healthy amount of spare quality batteries and try to standardize as much as you can. I have 12 Samsung NM 2500Mh AA and 8 AAA 800mh for the headlamps. I use D cell plastic adaptors in order to use AA batteries on my 3 D cell Maglite. This turned out to work quite well, better than I expected. I also keep about 2 or 3 packs of regular, Duracell batteries just in case. These are supposed to expire around 2012, so I can forget about them until I need them. Rechargeable NM batteries have the disadvantage of loosing power after a period of time, so keep regular batteries as well and check the rechargeable ones every once in a while.

After all these years of problems with power, what two items I would love to have?

  1. The obvious. A generator. I carried my fridge food to my parent’s house way to many times on the past. Too bad I can’t afford one right now.
  2. A battery charger that has both solar panel and a small crank. They are not available here. I saw that they are relatively inexpensive in the USA. Do yourself a favor and get one or two of these. Even if they don’t charge as well as regular ones, I’m sure it will put out enough power to charge batteries for LED lamps at least.

GAS (Propane and natural gas)
Gas has decreased in quality as well, there is little gas. Try to have an electric oven in case you have to do without it. If both electricity and gas go down, one of those camping stoves can work as well, if you keep a good supply of gas cans. The ones that work with liquid fuel seem to be better on the long run, since they can use different types of fuel. You can only store a limited amount of compressed gas and once you ran out of it, you are on your own if stores are closed of they sold them out. Anyway, a city that goes without gas and light for more than two weeks is a death trap, get out of there before it’s too late.

A DIFFERENT MENTALITY
I was watching the People & Art channel with my wife the other night. It was a show where they film a couple for a given period of time and some people vote on who is the one with the worst habits, the one they find more annoying. We were in our bed, and this is when I usually fall asleep but since the guy was a firearms police instructor I was interested and managed to stay awake. At one point the guy’s wife said that she found annoying that her husband spent 500 dollars a month on beauty products for himself. 500 USD on facial cream, special shampoo and conditioner, as well as having his nails polished! If you are that guy and happen to be reading this, or if you know him, I’m sorry, but what an idiot!! “500 USD, that’s a small generator or a gun and a few boxes of ammo” I told my wife. “That’s two months worth of food” she said. We were each thinking of a practical use for that money, the money this guy was practically throwing away. Once the SHTF, money is no longer measured in money, but you start seeing it as the necessary goods it can buy. Stuff like food, medicine, gas, or the private medical service bill. To me, spending 500 dollars on beauty products, and to make it worse, on a guy? That’s simply not acceptable. The way I see it, someone with that mentality can’t survive a week without a credit card, no use in even considering a SHTF scenario.

And this guy is a firearms instructor?… probably the kind of guy that will say that a handgun is only used to fight his way to his rifle… and his facial night cream…
Once you experience the lack of stuff you took for granted, like food , medicines, your set of priorities change all of a sudden. For example, I had two wisdom teeth removed last year. On both occasions I was prescribed with antibiotics and strong Ibuprofen for the pain. I took the antibiotics (though I did buy two boxes with the same prescription just to keep one box just in case) but I didn’t use the Ibuprofen, I added it to my pile of medicines. Why? Because medicines are not always available and I’m not sure if they will be available in the future. Sure, it hurt like hell, but pain alone isn’t going to kill you, so I sucked it up. Good for building up character if you ask me.

Make sacrifices so as to ensure a better future, that’s the mentality you should have if you want to be prepared. There’s stuff that is “nice to have” that has to be sacrificed to get the indispensable stuff. There’s stuff that is not “basic need stuff” but it’s also important in one way or another. My wife goes to the hairdresser once every month or two. It’s not life or death, but it does make her feel better and it boosts her morale.

I buy a game for the Xbox or a movie to watch with my wife every once in awhile, just to relax. 7 or 10 dollars a month are not going to burn a hole in my pocket. Addictions such as alcohol, drugs or even cigarettes should be avoided by the survivalist. They are bad for your health; cost a lot of money that could be much better spent, and create an addiction to something that may not be available in the future. Who will have to tolerate your grouchy mood when your brand of smokes is no longer imported after TSHTF?

PART II: URBAN SURVIVAL

GRAY/BLACK MARKET
Once the SHTF the black/gray market will take no time to appear all around you.
In my country, gray markets were even accepted in the end. At first it was all about trading skills or craft products for food. Districts and towns would form their own barter markets, and created their own tickets, similar to money, that was used to trade.
This didn’t last long. Those tickets were easy to make on your home computer, there was no control and eventually people went back to paper money.

These markets were usually placed on warehouses or empty land, and were managed by some wise guy and a few thugs or hired security. Anyone can go rent a kiosk inside these markets for about 50-100 pesos (about 20-30 dollars) a day and sell his goods and services. Peace within these markets is usually respected… lets just say that these managers don’t call the police if someone tries anything funny, like stealing, fighting or taking advantage of women. That’s not good for their business and anyone that tries to mess with their business finds out how much pain the human body can actually experience or gets a free ticket to meet the Lord. Sometimes even uniformed cops manage security on these markets, for a small fee of course. As always, you still have to be careful. They may still try to pick your pockets or even attack you once you leave the market. Once you leave the market, you are on your own, as always.

These markets evolved and now a lot of different products are available. Today I visited my local market, a warehouse that is fairly well set up and cleanly managed. They had problems for selling stolen merchandise and fake brand name clothes a few days ago.

What can be found at the local markets? Mostly food and clothing. Some have more variety than others but cheese, canned food, spices, honey, eggs, fruits, vegetables, beer, wine and cured meat are generally available, same as bakery products and pasta. These are less expensive than those found at supermarkets. Fresh fish is sometimes available but not always, people don’t trust many products that need refrigeration, and they get those at supermarkets instead.

Clothes are also popular and you can find copies of brand name clothes, imitations, or even original stolen new clothes, the same goes for shoes and sneakers. Children clothes, underwear, socks, sheets and towels are all very popular. Some sell toys, but they are always China made, mostly poor quality though there are some few exceptions. Others sell tools, also made in China can be found as well, but they are of poor quality. Some offer their services and repair stuff or offer work as handyman.

You would be amazed of the junk that these guys manage to fix: TVs, CD players, Power tools, etc. They even manage to solder the small integrated circuits boards sometimes. Give one of these guys a screw driver and a bar of chocolate and he will fix a nuclear submarine.

After food and clothes, the 3rd most popular item has to be CDs and DVDs, movies, music, play station 2 and Xbox games, programs, it all ends up there just one or two days after the official release in USA. Seems that they have a guy hidden under Bill Gate’s desk or something. Anyway, almost everything can be found there, and if you want, you can ask around, talk to the right guy and buy illegal stuff like drugs or black market guns and ammo. The quality of the drugs is questionable, of course, and a lot of addicts die from the mixtures these guys sell.

Guns are mostly FN High Powers, Surplus 1911s and Colt .45s, Sistemas, and old Colt Detective revolvers in 38 special that found their way from police and military armories into the black market. Condition isn’t very good but if you have money you’ll be amazed of what you can end up with. Everything that is used by the military and police, including SMGs a, Browning 50 BMG Machine guns, and even frag grenades, is available in the black market, if the customer has the amount of money and a little patience, of course. The big guns may take a while, but the handguns and grenades are readily available.

GOLD!!
Someone hit me in the head please because I messed up about the gold issue.
Everyone wants to buy gold! “I buy gold. Pay cash” signs are everywhere, even on TV! I can’t believe I’m that silly! I just didn’t relate it to what I read here because they deal with junk gold, like jewelry, either stolen or sold because they needed the money, not the gold coins that you guys talk about. No one pays for the true value of the stuff, so big WARNING! Sign on people that are buying gold coins. Since it is impossible to determine the true mineral percentage of gold, small shops and dealers will pay for it as regular jewelry gold. What I would do if I were you: Besides gold coins, buy a lot of small gold rings and other jewelry. They should be less expensive than gold coins, and if the SHTF bad, you won’t be losing money, selling premium quality gold coins for the price of junk gold. If I could travel back in time, I’d buy a small bag of gold rings. Small time thieves will snatch gold chains right out of your neck and sell them at these small dealers found everywhere. This is VERY common at train stations, subways and other crowded areas.

So, my advice, if you are preparing for a small economical crisis, gold coins make sense. You will keep the value of the stuff and be able to sell it for its actual cost to gold dealers or maybe other survivalists that know the true value of them. In my case, gold coins would have been an excellent investment, saving me from losing money when the local economy crashed. Even though things are bad, I can go to a bank down town and get paid for what a gold coin is truly worth, same goes for pure silver. But where I live, in my local area small time dealers will only pay you the value of junk gold, no matter what kind of gold you have. So, I’d have to say that if TSHTF bad, gold jewelry is a better trade item than gold coins.
.

PART III: GUNS, AMMO AND OTHER GEAR

After TSHTF in 2001, only the most narrow minded, brain washed, butterfly IQ level idiots believed that the police would protect them from the crime wave that followed the collapse of our economy. A lot of people that could have been considered antigun before, ran to the gun shops, seeking advice on how to defend themselves and their families. They would buy a 38 revolver, a box of ammo, and leave it in the closet, probably believing that it would magically protect them from intruders.

Oh, maybe you don’t think that firearms are really necessary or your beliefs do not allow you to buy a tool designed to kill people. So you probably ask yourself, is a gun really necessary when TSHTF? Will it truly make a difference? Having gone through a SHTF scenario myself, total economical collapse in the year 2001, and still dealing with the consequences, 5 years later, I feel I can answer that question. YES, you need a gun, pepper spray, a machete, a battle axe, club with a rusty nail sticking out of it, or whatever weapon you can get hold of.
A LOT has been written on survival weapons. Everyone that is into armed survival has his or her own idea of the ideal gun battery. Some more oriented to a hunting point of view, others only as self defense means and others consider a little of both, and look for general purpose weapons. Talking about guns, there is one special subject I want to rectify, and it’s the point on what’s the primary weapon for the survivalist, specially a urban survivalist that has to function in a society, yes, even after the SHTF.

The primary defensive weapon for the survivalist is his HANDGUN. It’s the weapon that stays with him when he is doing his business around town of working on the field. The survivalist IS NOT a soldier, even though you are a soldier or you once were the meanest mother on the battlefield, your home town is not a battlefield and it won’t be, even if the SHTF. A LOT of water has to go under the bridge until the situation gets to a point where you can calmly walk down the street with a rifle on your shoulder. People, if you are interested in real world SHTF situation and you want to prepare for the real deal, then understand that this isn’t black or white. You wake up one day and listen on the radio that the economy collapsed and that the stock market closed indefinitely. What do you do? You still have to go to the office/work/whatever. Kiss the wife good bye and walk to the office with your AR across your back, or across your chest, Israeli style, ready to shoot? You won’t get far. Someone will shoot you or throw you in jail, or in a mental institution.

What I’m trying to explain, is that it’s ok to prepare for China invading your country, Germans and UN or Martians. That is the extreme, least likely worst case scenario.
There is an infinity spectrum of gray between the black and white. White being your average normal day and black being total TEOTWAWKI, lizard men invading the planet.
Rifles do have a place in the survivalist’s arsenal, and a very important one. But you have to understand that 90% of the time, the handgun will be the weapon you have available when you need one. You can’t compare to a trooper in Iraq that has his weapon with him at all times. I ask you how many soldiers do you know that keep wearing camouflage and toting their M4s around town when they return home?

What works for war does not work for the survivalist, especially the urban survivalist.
Even if you live in a retreat far from town, you have to work, don’t you? Or do you have employees that take care of all your mundane tasks, leaving you all day to keep watch with your rifle ready? A soldier is part of a huge machine; HIS job is to carry that rifle, while others take care of other needs. A survivalist, one that is not part of a large survivalist group, has no one to cover for him.

When a new guy looks for advice on what to get for defense, some will recommend a rifle or shotgun as a first defensive weapon.

Let’s say race riots start in this guy’s city. He still has to go to work every day. What is he supposed to do? Shove his pump shotgun in his pocket? A handgun, even though less powerful, can be used for home defense AND go with you wherever you need to go. If the place floods, he can still hop into an evacuation boat without leaving his weapon behind. I’m sure no rescue team will pick you if you are carrying a long arm. They’ll ask you to leave it behind for sure. What if your government, realizing that TSHTF and that they lost control of the events, bans all firearms indefinitely? Don’t know about you, but if things are that bad, I’d like to be armed. You can hide a handgun under a jacket. You can’t hide a long arm under your clothes.
I think it was Clint Smith who said that the handgun is only to be used to fight his way to his rifle. Man! That sounds “macho”. I’d love to see him walking into Walmart with his tactical M4, taking the subway, visiting the doctor or going to the bank. “Over here Mr. Smith, you can hang you M4 right next to my coat” I don’t think so. Guys, unless you have your own shooting school, you do not get to carry your rifle to work.

OK, now that I got that out of my chest lets look at some options.
Handguns: Revolver or Pistol? Pistol ALL THE WAY! Yes, I saw the video of the guy that accurately emptied his S&W in ½ a second. I also saw the shooting range and the crowd behind him, watching the event. Can he shoot and reload that way if he is in his car, driving with one hand and shooting with the other, while a bunch of scum bags in another car are shooting at him? Hey, maybe he can. I know I can’t. Can you?

Generally speaking, the revolver is more difficult to master than the pistol. The double action is hard and it affects speed and accuracy. It can be done, but I found that pistols are easier, as did many shooters. Also, even though they seem to be more simple, revolvers are not as rugged as service pistols, the mechanism that cycles the cylinder and cocks the hammer is both complicated and fragile compared to auto pistols.

Before anyone starts casting evil voodoo spells at me for insulting their prized S&W or Ruger: I own revolvers and like shooting them, I just don’t think they are the best option for self defense, and I see that everyone I talk to in my country who is worried about security as I am also chooses pistols. Quality pistols resist sand, mud and dirt in general better than revolvers, where a small pebble locked in the mechanism may render the revolver inoperable.
I personally had a problem with a new stainless steel Taurus Tracker .357 magnum. After shooting it a couple of times I reloaded it and shot all 7 rounds as fast as I could and when I tried to empty it, I found that the empties were stuck because they expanded because of the heat. I had to wait until the gun cooled a little so I could empty the gun. Stuff like this can get you killed, even more in a 7 round handgun.

I once saw a man walk into a gun store wanting to trade his 357 magnum revolver for a 9mm high capacity pistol. He said he was driving when thugs from another car started shooting at him. He was chased for a few blocks. He said that he pulled his revolver and started shooting at them, and ran out of ammo real fast. He wanted more capacity and fast reloading. I could not agree with him more. Some will consider this “Spray and pray”, thinking that all rounds should hit the target and if some don’t then it means that you need more time at the range. Those same people will tell you that they intend to use bolt action rifles as defensive rifles, making each shot count, without ever missing their target, one shot one kill. I don’t agree with this. One shot one kill is ok for snipers, but the survivalist should have other alternatives.

I don’t see anything wrong with shooting four or five rounds at a chasing car. If those rounds make them think twice about their intentions, they are rounds well spent in my book, even if they don’t kill the attacker. Suppressive fire is possible if you have a high capacity pistol. I wouldn’t doubt on using such a tactic if it serves my purposes, or if it buys me time to get out of there. Also keep in mind that criminals are cowards and therefore attack in groups. The survivalist should be able to face more than just one attacker. Getting into a gunfight with two or three armed men while packing a 6 round revolver is rather hard to deal with. A high capacity pistol can load about 15 or 19 rounds, and that can certainly make a difference in a gunfight where you are outnumbered.

A forensic doctor that used to live in my neighborhood got killed last year. He was ambushed when he exited a restaurant by 5 or 6 men. Even though they did kill him he managed to kill 4 of them and severely injure another. He shot regularly and carried a Glock .40. I’m sure he was lucky but I also think that his choice of weapon was also important in the outcome. If anyone is wondering, people in my country that are serious about self defense carry Glocks. Those that don’t have the money for a Glock carry Bersas, FN 9mm High Powers or 1911 surplus .45s. At first I wasn’t sure about the Bersa, but once I tried them I saw that they are very decent guns.

The caliber choice calls for endless debate and it is not my intention here. Lets just say that 9mm , 40S&W and 45ACP are the obvious choices. 40S&W seem to be the most adequate, both in FMJ and HP, while 9mm lacks some stopping power and hollow points should be used if possible. Though the 9mm lacks power compared to the 40S&W, it is more popular world wide, a factor to consider seriously when choosing a handgun for SHTF. Besides, 9mm can also be used in a number of carbines and SMG, another important fact to be considered.

SMGs and carbines chambered for 40S&W and .45 ACP are also available, but they at not nearly as popular as those chambered for 9mm. Whatever you choose keep 500 or better yet 1000 rounds of quality ammo for your handgun at all times. 100 rounds won’t last much if the crisis lasts long. Also consider that once the balloon goes up, governments tend to restrict guns and ammo.

Rifles
I previously stated that the urban survivalist will be using his handgun 90% of the time he needs to defend himself and family from attackers. I didn’t pull this figure out of thin air; it is quite accurate based on what happens here on daily basis, even a little optimistic. Cold harsh reality has shown us that most attacks occur when entering or exiting your home, when you are more vulnerable.

Almost no one is stupid enough to try to enter a barred house with armed occupants. Believe me people; the gene pool will clean itself rather fast once the SHTF. So, is a rifle necessary? Of course it is! There is still that 10%, and that 10% can still ruin your day. And this percentage sky rockets if you intend to use that same rifle for putting meat on the table. If you have to settle with just one rifle, go for a semi auto. Ideally you should have a bolt action one and a semi auto rifle. A bolt action and a semiautomatic 308 would make a nice combination.
Whatever you choose, try to keep it within military calibers and military weapons if possible.
It may seem that I have something against bolt rifles but I don’t. I think they are fantastic weapons, but I think that semi autos are much better fighting weapons. The idea of “picking them out” 300 meters away with your bolt rifle, as they come in a row blowing whistles and firing warning rounds is laughable at best. Bolt rifles do have advantages over semi autos, accuracy not being the most important one. Bolt rifles such as Mausers last forever and are harder than rocks, and THAT’S important. They are simple, easy to repair tools that will serve you (within their limitations of course) longer than any other weapon. For example, the coil spring on my Mauser 1891 safety broke into 3 separate parts, after almost 100 years of faithful service. I dug into my tool box and found a spring left over from a kitchen shelve door. I cut it approximately to the length of the previous spring, replaced it and the rifle was fixed. There are not many weapons that allow this. And it is a very valuable attribute once the SHTF and spare parts are no longer available.

Stick to common calibers, 223, 7.62×39mm, or 7,62×51 (308). 223 vs. 308? I’m not going there. If you prefer 223 because it has less recoil, it’s lighter, or you favor the AR rifle go ahead. If you think that 223 is more powerful than 7,62 sign up to Physics I.
Just remember what I said before, a survivalist is not a soldier serving in Iraq, and you don’t have the entire USMF to back you up. You are on your own. You are not going to pin your attackers down with a questionably effective round and wait until someone hits them with artillery.
About ARs… I wouldn’t trust my life to a rifle that has more versions than Rocky sequels… the way I see it, it means that the basic design was the problem and there is no solution. On AK … all has been said. The most popular rifle on the planet, and popular not because of politics, but because it works. It also fires an intermediate power, effective round, available world wide. SKS are also good, but I’d rather have removable magazines. Again, don’t use voodoo on me because I say I wouldn’t trust my life to a AR. If you keep your weapon clean, know its limitations and feel comfortable with it, go for it please. A couple of rounds of 223 will kill anyone just as well.
If you want a rifle that can do a little bit of everything relatively well, do yourself a favor and get either a M1A or a FAL in 7,62 (308) with a carbine length barrel. Preferably with a red dot scope and some kind of light mount. Leave full length barrels to hunters and bench rest shooters. Do your homework on both guns and you’ll see what I mean.

Choose 308 not because of the added range you can get out of it, but because of its power at all ranges, choose it because it turns cover into concealment. Think about all the possible cover material you can find in a city, like cars, trees, low walls and other structures. The 308 will go right through it, or destroy it after a few rounds. It’s a proven cartridge through out the years.
Shotguns.

Shotguns are good general purpose guns. The main advantage I see is the devastating stopping power and the ability to use special ammo, like slugs and less than lethal ammo. I’m not so sure about the role as an “inside house” gun. The muzzle blast is great and quick follow up are not easy, especially when adrenalin is pumping through your system or, even worse, when someone is shooting back at you.

Pistol caliber carbines and SMG.
If possible , I’d choose a SMG reduced to semi auto (only if necessary, of course, full auto selector is better if possible ) or other kind of short, small, pistol caliber carbine. The combination of a 9mm handgun and a 9mm carbine or SMG reduced to semi auto or full auto class III has lots of advantages in my book and is a fine combination.
Some think that full auto is a waste of ammo. I don’t think so, not if you know how to use your head, and use this feature wisely. If you can get a short barrel and collapsible stock, you’ll also have a weapon that can be hidden under a heavy coat. A red dot scope would enhance accuracy a lot. The advantage of having the same ammo for long and small arm is not to be taken lightly. From the logistical, survivalist point of you, this is one big thumbs up! Think about cowboys and Americans that lived in the west, they also knew the value of using the same ammo for rifle and handgun. They had single action handguns and lever action handguns chambered for the same ammo, the modern survivalist can have the same ammo for his auto pistol and his sub-rifle as well.
Some think that a pistol caliber long arm is just one big clumsy pistol or a rifle sized gun that delivers pistol power and accuracy. This is BS. Anyone that ever fired a pistol caliber rifle or SMG knows that they are much more accurate, hitting torso targets at 100 yards is easy, and a little more if you have a red dot scope. Also, SMGs can manage hot ammo specially made for such guns, much more powerful than the one for handguns. Even if you use regular handgun ammo, the added barrel length adds a few extra feet per second making it more powerful. Just check the information on boy armor. Body armor that is rated to stop 9mm, for example, is not rated to stop the same 9mm ammo out of a SMG or carbine, because the added speed will make that same round penetrate the vest. Anyway, +P ammo is more than enough power out of a SMG or carbine, you don’t have to go looking for special SMG ammunition.

If you can get full auto that’s one nice feature to have, not worth it if you are on a tight budget, but if you can get it, it may come in handy someday. Full auto SMG are giving police in my country a lot of headaches. A criminal with little or no training will put 3 or 4 cops armed with pistols and shotguns on their toes, just because of the sheer volume of fire these high capacity 9mm deliver. There was this case of a bad guy standing in front of a patrol car full of cops on a red light stop, pulling a 9mm SMG out of his coat and emptying it on full auto. The cops didn’t have a chance, he killed them all. The car looked like Swiss cheese with 40 9mm holes all over the vehicle.

SOUND SUPPRESSORS
All I’m going to say on this subject is: Have one if you can. That’s it. I’ll leave the rest of it to your imagination, don’t make me say it. Today it may seem like a “nice to have” feature… after the SHTF, it may be a “O God I’ve got to get a suppressor!!” feature.
I’d buy a good suppressor instead of a ultra high dollar scope like the SOG. Buy a good quality scope, but don’t spend a fortune on it, and use the rest of the money on a suppressor. If you are serious about preparing for SHTF, you’ll thank me one day, just trust me on this one. 9mm and 45 suppress quite well. Not as well as .22 , but there is much more power on the big bore ammo. Combined with a full auto SMG, the possibilities are much greater. Sometimes it’s just better to go unnoticed, especially in a SHTF crisis.

BODY ARMOR
Dear God! Buy body armor PLEASE!! It’s dirt cheap in USA. Preferably, get the police concealable kind (class II) Then continue to work on it and get class III A military armor and some rifle plates, just as you do when you start buying guns. You’ll end up with 2 or 3 sets of armor which are great to have for family members and spares. Just so you know, I got so desperate about body armor I ordered it from USA through internet (bulletproofme.com), I ended up paying a total of nearly 600 USD for body armor that costs 200 USD in USA. Buy it while you still can. When the SHTF you’ll end up wearing it, believe me. I don’t wear mine all day long but I do wear it when I have to go some place dangerous, deal with people I don’t trust, or when I have to go teach Architecture Representation late at night, and must travel through a much dangerous road at 12 PM.”

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