Tag Archives: water

Waves of Refugees, Part 1 of 2

 (Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Waves of Refugees, Part 1 of 2)

 A. Who Are The Zombie Hordes?
September 2, 2013, ModernSurvivalBlog.com by Ken Jorgustin
Pasted from: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/security/who-are-the-zombie-hordes/

refuge1 zombie

Some preparedness websites will sometimes refer to ‘Zombies’, ‘Hordes’, or ‘Zombie Hordes’. A question is, what are they talking about? What’s their definition of a Zombie?

Zombies became particularly popular following the hit AMC TV series, “The Walking Dead”, in which the $hit had hit the fan, the country had collapsed and some sort of virus/plague/? would turn those who died into flesh eating mind-numbed Zombies. It became a battle of survival for the living – versus the Zombie hordes.

Due to the subsequent popularity of the term Zombie, many have been using the word in varying context, including the preparedness sites.

When we happen to use it here, it is to represent some wide generalizations…

  • Zombies represent those who have not prepared, and have reached a point of desperation.
  • There will also be those in the same category who have not prepared, but will not become Zombies because they will find a way to adapt and manage to survive. However they will certainly not be a majority of the unprepared.
  • To become a Zombie, it will be the unprepared who will have not had the ability to adapt and survive in a SHTF world. They will reach a point of desperation which will cause one of several things to happen…
  • Some Zombies will wither away, unable to help themselves.
  • Some Zombies will be given some help by the goodwill of others, and will remain reliant on them for their continued survival. Some in this category will be able to provide some services in return, while others will not be so able.
  • Some Zombies will venture out in a non-threatening way, in search of solutions for their survival. Some of them will succeed, and many will not.
  • Some Zombies will venture out in a threatening way, and ‘take’ what they need by force. Some will succeed, and many will not.

So… when we happen to reference the word, Zombie, it could mean any of the above. It is a generalization of those who have not prepared for a SHTF scenario, and what many will become afterwards.

By referencing Zombies or a Zombie horde, it does not mean that we would not help a Zombie. That would depend upon many things… Not all Zombies will be ‘bad’. Some even useful. However, many will be ‘bad’.

The Zombie hordes reference those Zombies who are branching out from their origins, in search of survival. Some of them will be organized, some not. There will be varying sized groups. Some will be essentially harmless, but many will not be. A desperate Zombie could be a very dangerous Zombie.

If TSHTF, there will be many hard choices to be made with regards to Zombies. Some easier than others.
Don’t be a Zombie. Get prepared now, so you won’t turn into one…
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B.  How to Find Your Way out Of the City on Foot during a Crisis
5 June, by Preparing For SHTF
Pasted from:  http://prepforshtf.com/find-city-foot-crisis/#.UjV_KzEo6zY

refuge1 unprepared populace

You may have seen some of the reality shows where people are practicing their bug-out-techniques. Typically, they are bugging out from large urban areas. Why would you need to know how to escape your own city though?

Large metropolitan areas or areas where there are symbolic structures or events happening are targets. There are certain organizations or even governments that are plotting at this very moment on how to create chaos and havoc in American cities.

Urban areas are heavily populated and creating injuries and fatalities is the objective of these organizations. They do not blow up trees and release chemicals and biological agents to harm the wildlife in rural areas, they will attack where the people are, in heavily populated cities.

You May Have To Escape To Save Your Life
Being ready to evacuate is important, you cannot wake up one morning and hear the sirens and simply flee. You need supplies and a plan, and you can neither plan nor gather supplies once disaster strikes.

Humans have the unique ability to plan for tomorrow by gathering information today and then to make a reasonable assumption about what may happen in the future. Start doing threat assessments for your area to give you some idea of what to expect.

You know that large cities are a target and it is just a matter of time. Just a matter of time before one of the hundreds or even thousands of cyber attacks that occur daily against the United Sates is successful. The power grid can go down, planes would be grounded and trains sidelined.

At anytime, canisters of Sarin gas can be carried away from a rogue nation that has it stockpiled. One drop of the gas the size of a pinhead is deadly to humans, so imagine the destruction if just one canister is left on a subway platform somewhere. You will have to flee and you will need to know how to do it to survive the crisis.

Getting Prepared
You know what a bug-out-bag is but just a quick reminder about priorities. To survive you will need shelter, water, fire and food. In addition, you will need the means to collect and purify water and have the knowledge and skills to forage, fish, hunt or trap for food once you have a base camp set up. You have to assume you will not be able to resupply within a 72-hour period so it is important you have the skills and knowledge needed to obtain what you need from your environment.

Travel Routes
Use Internet mapping software that shows terrain features and landmarks, usually this means satellite imagery and there are free programs that provide this. Have at least three routes mapped out, and ensure none of the routes requires that you travel across bridges, through tunnels or use elevated highways. These are ambush points and they may very well be heavily congested to the point of being impassable even on foot.

If walking alone on level terrain, the average adult can expect to walk at about three miles per hour. With a heavy pack and having to backtrack a few times, you will not be able to maintain this pace. It will take time to clear the urban area.

When to Leave
Avoid leaving at night unless your life is in immediate danger. You will stand out more at night and will be a target for looters and other criminal elements. If Martial Law has been enacted, then troops will be out patrolling at night especially if there are quarantined areas. Mingle with the panicked citizens to make your escape in the early morning hours.

Avoid traveling with others unless they are family or trusted friends and in particular avoid anyone that claims to be fleeing but does not have any supplies with them. They may very well be waiting for the right moment to relive you of your supplies.

Move as efficiently as possible to get clear of the urban sprawl, before sheltering. If you must shelter in the city, do not set up any tents or shelters that you can be trapped in if your camp is overrun. Wrap up in a thermal blanket and sleep with your back to a wall with a clear view of the surrounding area.

Carry all personal protection devices on your belt. Do not pack firearms in your pack you should always carry them on your belt. Use bear spray canisters to repel animals and humans not because it is more potent, but because the canisters can spray farther, up to 25 feet in some cases.

Stun guns are another option but they require physical contact, which is something you want to avoid. An alternative is a stun baton that can extend up to 48 inches, this will prevent anyone from getting close enough to grab on to you or your pack.

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C.   What happens after the SHTF, dealing with being a refugee
14 May 2013, IWillGetReady.com, by admin
Pasted from: http://www.iwillgetready.com/what-happens-after-the-shtf-dealing-with-being-a-refugee/

As good preppers we usually think that we will be the lucky ones and we will not be stuck in an urban area when the SHTF. As we all know that is the ideal situation where we will have all of our bug out bags and survival kits to weather any storm, but what happens if you are visiting family or friends that are not preppers? Or if you are on vacation where you flew into the area? Would you have your emergency supplies with you, most likely not as most of that stuff is no longer allowed on an airplane.

So enter into an urban survivalist mode. This is something that is not widely discussed, and should be. Let’s pretend that you are in a major city (like Boston) and something happens and you are no longer able to get out of the area the way you can into it. Using this scenario you just found yourself a refugee, meaning you are pretty much homeless with little cash on hand, what do you do to protect your loved ones and make sure that you stay safe?

For the sake of this blog, cell phones are up and down because so many people are overloading the lines, the local law enforcement are now too busy to be of much assistance to you or anyone else that was not involved directly when the SHTF.

Do you have your everyday carry items on you? This right here will determine how you act. If you do have it then you are moving in the right direction. If you do not have your everyday carry items, you are at a disadvantage as you will have to require those items or try to make do without.

Ask yourself these basic questions:
> Do you have a place to go?
> Would you enter a shelter?
> Would you find a shelter that is off the beaten path?

We all know what happens when we enter a shelter; that is why we say to never go to a shelter if at all possible. Just remember Katrina shelters and what went on in them. In most situations upon entering a shelter they will search your bags and confiscate most of your survival tools, food, and other useful supplies. So what do you do? Do you hid your kit somewhere and hope it survives the night and has not grown legs and walked away by the time you go back to get it?

If you seek out shelter that is secluded and off the beaten path, can anyone see, or find you? You might not want others to be able to find you as they could be gang members, criminals, and your pissed off refugee who has no survival skills and gear.

Mass people will be trying to leave the area so crowd control is something to watch out for. With all the people trying to go the same way people will become heated, angry, tried, scared, and can lash out at others. So do you follow the mob or do you look for another way? Just remember that natural disasters have taught us many things if you paid attention, just look at news footage of the highways where all the cars are stopped and you can’t move your car for hours. Would you leave your car like half of the others, and start walking?

We all know that the basic items like water and food will be the first things to go when something goes down. Or you get the military trying to round everyone up and move them to an area they set up (shelter).

A thing not to forget is that is you end up in one of these scenarios, you will become sleep deprived. This is something that is often overlooked and needs to be reminded, without sleep your ability to process your situation and your decision making ability will become diminished leading to you making bad choices for your family’s survival.
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refuge1 bug outD.  The Top 4 Reasons Why You’re Not Going to Survive Bugging Out to the Woods
Ready4ItAll.org,
Pasted from: http://ready4itall.org/the-top-4-reasons-why-youre-not-going-to-survive-bugging-out-to-the-woods/

In today’s post we’re going to go over a very common and highly flawed bugout plan that many preppers have apparently chosen as their first response for most SHTF scenarios. We’re going to dissect the fundamental flaws with this plan and give some viable alternatives to bugging out to the woods.

There are many reasons why bugging out just in general is probably the worst idea you can have in a real-life SHTF scenario. We went into detail about this topic in THIS article. However, it seems that not only are a lot of preppers insisting on bugging out for practically any disaster scenario, but that many of them are planning on grouping up like some para-military pack of wannabe Rambos and “living off the land” and shooting anything and anyone that moves.

The other day on Facebook there was a heated discussion in one of the larger prepper groups about the best way to train “firing teams” to be ready for the eventual wilderness bugout that apparently is right around the corner.

Guys….that’s not prepping. That’s schizophrenia, or at best, extremism. Honestly, if you spend all day arguing on Facebook about the best way to place “troops” around your “bugout base camp” to “stalk and take out the sheeple coming in to YOUR woods” you have problems. Please go talk to a professional.

What I found more interesting about this conversation wasn’t the whole para-military thing. I don’t think we’re ever going to get rid of the unstable, wannabe Rambos from the prepper community, but what was really interesting was that practically everyone commenting on this debate apparently had the same plan to bug out to the woods during a SHTF scenario.

So today, we’re going to go over 4 reasons as to why bugging out to the woods is a REALLY bad idea, why you’re probably not going to survive out there if that’s what you’re planning to do and some alternatives to think about when planning a bug out.

_1. Whose land do you think you’re going to bug out to?
Although there are a lot of public and state-owned forests, nature preserves and other non-private lands out there you could theoretically bug out to, it’s not like these areas are just around the corner for everyone. For most people, it’s going to take some time to get out there, and since you’re not the only one with this plan. It’s very likely you won’t be the first ones out there. Now, you’ve got to hope that everyone else that got there first is either going to welcome you with open arms, not see you, or not shoot you on sight and take your supplies. Remember, there are people on Facebook literally right now that are not only planning on doing exactly that, but DEBATING THE BEST WAY TO DO IT.

Planning on bugging out to that nice patch of woods in the farmlands outside of town? Well, those farmers have been keeping people off their property a lot longer than you’ve been trespassing. They’re more self-reliant that you are, they know the land better than you do and they’re probably a lot better armed. Just because the S has hit the fan, doesn’t mean they’re not going to defend their land.

_ 2. There are VERY few people who have the skills to survive in the wild
This isn’t an attack on anyone that’s spent time working on their bushcraft and wilderness survival skills. These are 2 very important skills that all preppers should learn and practice. That being said, there’s a big difference between surviving in the woods, and surviving in the woods during a SHTF scenario. In a real SHTF scenario, rule of law is likely to be gone. We’ve already shown there are people who have no qualms with shooting people on site, just for their resources and to keep them out of “their” A.O.

If you’ve got a family, and for whatever bonehead reason you’ve drug them out into the middle of the woods to bug out after the S has hit the fan, you’re going to have some real problems. Are you going to be teaching little 4 year-old Jimmy advanced military evasion and survival techniques? How are you going to make sure little 2 year old Sally is going to stay silent for the next couple weeks to avoid the hundreds of confused, hungry, angry and hostile people out there? We could give a hundred examples like this, but in the end the answer is “you’re not”. Even if you’re by yourself, surviving in an area without immediate survival resources AND evading hostiles isn’t something that is usually taught on Man vs. Wild or in your average bushcraft course.

_3. It seems like EVERYONE is planning heading to the hills when SHTF. What makes you so special?
As we mentioned earlier, there are a great many preppers whose SHTF bugout plans involved heading out to the woods to survive. If a real SHTF scenario were to happen, not only will these people be headed out there, but after a day or two without food, even non-preppers are going to start thinking about hunting, fishing and gathering in the woods. Before long, you’re going to see a massive population shift from the cities to the country and forests.

This will mean a few things will happen:

  • The roads leading to the rural and wooded areas are going to be come congested, and probably impassable.
  • The roads leading to the rural and wooded areas are going to be a prime spot for anyone that’s thinking about taking supplies from others by force.
  • There will be intense competition for the limited amount of resources in these areas, likely causing more violence there than in the cities everyone is fleeing from in the first place.
  • Local land owners will very likely be shooting trespassers on sight.

_4. You’re not giving animals nearly enough credit …and humans are greedy.
Despite what a lot of people may believe, animals aren’t stupid. They’ve been surviving without guns, MREs or solar panels a lot longer than we have. Their main instincts revolve around protection and food procurement. They don’t just stand out in the woods waiting for humans to come kill them despite what Elmer Fudd might think.

If you don’t have a lot of experience hunting then you probably don’t know this, but towards the end of the hunting seasons, it becomes a lot harder to find game on public hunting grounds. The reason is simple. Animals have been hearing gunshots, seeing and smelling humans and generally fleeing for their lives for a couple months or more. There is a cycle among game animals. Towards the tail end of the season, the animals are leaving these areas to go to less populated areas where there are fewer humans. Several months after the hunting season is over, they start coming back because the humans have left. In a SHTF scenario, the same thing is going to happen. The animals will leave when more humans enter the forests and start hunting them. In fact, if everyone flees the cities, that’s exactly where the animals are likely to go!

Additionally, humans are greedy. There’s a reason why conservation agencies exist. It’s to keep us from destroying entire populations of animals. If you stick 100+ “hunters” in an area with only enough game to support 10 of them, all the game will disappear, either by the animals fleeing or they’ve all been taken. The same is true with fishing. If a pond gets over-fished, there are no more fish to mate and restock it naturally.

What about water? Sure, there’s lots of natural ways to procure water in the wild. There’s plenty of water out there for a few people… but not hundreds. Again, if there’s only a handful of streams or rivers to get water from, and EVERYONE wants water from there, 2 things are likely to happen. The water will be gone, or someone’s going to start thinking about defending “their” water source by force. Don’t think it will happen? Read some history books… WARS have been started over water rights.

In a nutshell, all those resources you thought were going to be in abundance out in the woods are going to dry up extremely quickly, likely before you even get there. At that point, you’re going to be hungry, without a source of food or water, living without a real shelter, exposed to the elements and dealing with a lot of angry and armed people.

Sounds fun huh?
Ok, so now, let’s talk about some alternatives to this highly dangerous and extremely illogical plan. First and foremost, please read THIS article. The term “bugging out” has gotten so much hype in what I’m going to start calling the “vanity-prepper” crowd, (I blame that stupid Doomsday Preppers show) that every new prepper I talk to immediately thinks that having a bugout bag for the BIG SHTF scenario and being able to live off the land is the most important thing they need to worry about right now. They spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on weapons and gear and then within a couple months they get burned out of prepping altogether and sell stuff to me for cheap on craigslist. J

Having a bugout plan IS important. That is a given. If a hurricane is coming that is a definite bugout situation. If your house is in the path of a wildfire, that is a bugout situation. Tornados, flooding… I think you see the pattern here. These are REAL bugout scenarios, and yes you should have a bugout bag for every family member ready to go just for these types of situations. However, more importantly, you need to have a bugout PLAN. We will be going more into detail about preparing a detailed bugout plan and bugout bag in a future article, but for now, you NEED to have somewhere you can go if your residence becomes unsafe like a family members home or even a hotel.

Now, I know what some people are thinking “…but what about SHTF?….when the SHTF hits…when the looters come…when the pandemic hits…when the mutant biker gangs take over…..blah blah blah”

STOP
You’re arguing a situation that has a 0.00000001% chance of ever actually happening. Yes, there is a chance that someday we may face one of the Hollywood disasters, but why is THAT what you’re so worried about right now? Do you have contingency plans for all the natural disasters that could hit your area? What would you do if you lost your job right now? How much food and water do you have stockpiled? What are you planning on doing about hyper-inflation? Heck, do you even have jumper cables in your car?!

You see, these (and many others) are REAL disasters that you WILL face in the coming days. So, with that being said, maybe instead of arguing with someone on Facebook about “the best way to set up firing teams”, … make a real bug out plan, practice it, document it, prepare for it… and most importantly, try to keep some perspective and reality in your preps and your plans. The rest of the world already thinks we’re nut-jobs; we don’t need to prove them right.

refuge1 rapid mass evacuationPeople fleeing Houston preceding Hurricane Rita

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Continued on Thursday, 27 March 2014, in: Waves of Refugees, Part 2 of 2.
Contents:
E.   Four Waves of Food and Shelter Seekers
F.  Preparing for the Fourth – and Deadliest – Wave of Refugees, Bandits, and other Problem Groups
G. Taking over: The governments proactive attempt to remain in control:

 

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

City Survival: Evacuate (Part 2 of 2)

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ City Survival: Evacuate (Part 2 of 2)

How to Effectively Evacuate a Big City Without a Car
January 16, 2008, Grandpappy.info, by Robert Wayne Atkins
Pasteed from: http://www.grandpappy.info/hbigcity.htmcity3 neighborhood

If you live in a major metropolitan area then you may not own your own vehicle. The city’s existing mass transit system will take you anywhere you need to go within the city. Therefore everything you could possibly need is within easy reach, such as doctors, hospitals, restaurants, grocery stores, and everything else. Purchasing a vehicle is simply not an option for most of the residents in a big city for the following reasons: (1) the down payment, (2) the monthly car payment, (3) the monthly insurance payment, (4) the monthly parking fees, (5) the cost of gas, and (6) the repairs. When added together these costs far exceed the small amount of money you currently spend riding the city’s mass transportation system. [Photo: Living near the older section of an urban region will lead to social issues, a few days sooner than in other areas.]

However, during a major disaster event some of the problems of living in a big city would be: (1) the mass transit system will probably become unreliable or simply stop, (2) deliveries of food to the restaurants and grocery stores will stop, (3) the electricity may become intermittent or stop, (4) the water and sewer systems may fail, and (5) it would only take one fire to burn the city to the ground. The fire could be started intentionally by a terrorist, or it could be a simple heating or cooking fire that accidentally gets out of control. Think about what happened to the World Trade Center in New York City. On September 11, 2001 the city’s fire fighters were able to limit the damage to a very small part of the city. However, if the fire fighters had not had access to an continuous supply of water at high pressure then the entire city could have gone up in flames. Therefore, during a major disaster event a big city will not be a place where people will die of old age.

If you would like to read James Wesley Rawles observations about the feasibility of attempting to survive in a big city during a disaster, please read my post titled, City Survival: Stay (Part 1 of 2) or paste the following website in your browser:  http://aspedantheod.tripod.com/id178.html

The first question is how could you escape from a big city if the mass transit system isn’t working and you do not own a vehicle? The obvious answer is that you could walk or ride a bicycle out of the city. Although this may seem to be a monumental task, it is a feasible option as long as you don’t have to carry a lot of weight with you. In fact, depending on the disaster event, a person walking or riding a bicycle may have a much better chance of escaping a major city if the disaster results in a traffic grid-lock situation and vehicles are stalled for hours or days on the roads, bridges, tunnels, and highways. In this situation it would not be unusual to see lots of people attempting to walk out of the city. Many of these people will have simple daypacks or school backpacks on their backs, or they will be pulling a luggage carrier behind them containing either a suitcase or a backpack. The only individuals who would be noticed would be the ones with specially designed camping backpacks which display a variety of special survival tools or weapons strapped to the outside of those packs. Those individuals would quickly become obvious targets for the thieves and criminals who are also a part of the exodus crowd.

city2 burn

The next question is where would you go and what would you do when you got there. Traveling to a remote small town with very little money in your pocket and with only the clothes on your back is a very scary thought. However, there is a way to make it a little less scary if you are willing to engage in a little advance planning.

Choosing a Safe Destination
Resist the temptation to pick another large city as a safe evacuation destination. All large cities have the same inherent weaknesses during a disaster as your current city. Almost any small community has a far better chance for long-term survival during a disaster event than any big city.

Therefore, you should begin your search by looking at a map of your state and identifying several small towns that:
•  are between 60 to 75 miles away from your current apartment,
•  are not on a major interstate or freeway, and
•  are where you get to them from at least two different directions during a disaster event without adding a significant number of miles to your journey.

A family could walk or ride bicycles a distance of 75 miles within three to seven days, depending on the family. However, the overwhelming vast majority of the people escaping from a city during a disaster would not consider walking that far. They would stop at the first safe community they came to and wait for the federal or state government to rescue them or for the local community to take care of them. Unfortunately their vast numbers will quickly exhaust that community’s charitable goodwill. On the other hand, families that do not stop at the first opportunity but who keep moving towards a more distance community would have a much better chance for long-term survival.

A person could carry enough food and a portable water filter to easily survive for three to seven days. However, you would not be able to carry a lot of equipment, supplies, water, and food with you. When you reached your safe destination, you would be just another homeless refugee family with limited options, unless you had something waiting for you at your destination.

If you rented a car now, before there is any threat of a disaster event, then you could drive to each of your potential safe rural towns and evaluate each town and select the one that would be best suited to your needs. An ideal small rural town would be one that:
1.  is at least several hundred feet above sea level,
2.  is surrounded by farm land, dairy cows, and other typical farm livestock such as horses, pigs, sheep, goats, and chickens,
3.  has a reasonable supply of trees and forest timber land,
4.  has a few nearby manufacturing facilities of any size, and
5.  its residents still have the right to own firearms to protect themselves.

city9 small townIf the community meets the above minimum criteria then you should verify that you could afford to pay the local rent for a furnished apartment or Extended Stay Motel that meets the minimum needs for your family. You can find the phone numbers of all the local apartments and motels in the yellow pages of the local phone book. Call each apartment and make a simple list of the location and phone numbers of all the furnished apartments in the area along with the rental price and the required deposit for each apartment. Visit the ones that are of interest to you and politely ask to see the inside of an actual apartment. Write down a brief description of what you see along with your opinion about the place. If you have a camera then take a picture of the apartment building and the inside of the apartment after politely asking the manager’s permission. Record the picture number(s) on your master list of apartments so you can match them up later. This information will provide you with advance knowledge of your options if a disaster forces you to relocate to this community. Some of the places that currently have available apartments may rent them before you return, and some places that are now full may have an available apartment in the future. During an actual disaster the first families to arrive with enough cash to pay the rent and the deposit will get the available living quarters.
[Image: Small town, the kind of place you want to be/go to when SHTF.]

You should also ask if the monthly rent includes the basic utilities or if the utilities will be an additional expense. The utilities are normally included in the rent for Extended Stay Motels but not for apartments, although the apartment rent may sometimes include the water and sewer bills. During a disaster event it would be better if the utilities were included in the rent for the apartment or the Extended Stay Motel so the water, power, and heat would already be on when you arrive. During a disaster it might take a long time for the utility crews to get around to activating new accounts. Also ask if the apartment complex has its own washing machines and dryers for the use of its residents. These machines are usually coin operated. In addition, if an apartment has a functional wood-burning fireplace then you might want to give it more serious consideration than an apartment without a fireplace. If the disaster adversely impacts the state’s power grid then having a wood-burning fireplace would give you the option to heat your apartment and cook your food.

If the quality of the furniture inside the locally available furnished apartments is completely unacceptable to you then you should consider the unfurnished apartments. With an unfurnished apartment you would have three basic options:
1.  Sleep on the floor. Eat your meals while sitting on the floor. If someone in your family chooses to complain then you can remind them of your sleeping      accommodations below a bridge on a creek bank during your long walk to your new apartment.
2.  Purchase some high-quality inflatable air mattresses, and a folding table and some folding chairs, and then store them inside your storage unit at the small town.
3.  Set aside enough cash to purchase some new mattresses and some good used furniture after you relocate to your new apartment. The seller might agree to deliver these items to your apartment for free or for a small fee. Or you could rent a small U-haul truck and go get them yourself.

Renting a Small Storage Unit
After you determine which of the potential rural towns best suits your needs then you could rent a small storage unit near that town. A basic 6 foot by 6 foot by 8 foot tall unit rents for about $25 per month, or a 6 by 10 by 8 foot tall unit rents for about $35 per month. If possible you should pay the rent for at least three months in advance (six months would be better). You can locate these storage facilities in the yellow pages of the local phone book under the word “storage.” If you can afford it, one of these small storage units could easily be packed from wall to wall and from floor to ceiling with enough equipment, supplies, and food to last a family of four for one-year or longer. Put the heavier sturdier items, such as food, on the bottom of a stack and the lighter items, such as clothing, on the top of a stack. If possible leave a narrow aisle along one wall or down the middle of the unit so you can access any stack inside your unit at any time.city5 storage1
Climate controlled and 24-hour security storage units usually cost approximately twice as much. These units may be a better choice if you intend to make a substantial monetary investment in the items you will be storing inside your rental unit. Just remember that if the electricity goes off for any extended period of time then the temperature inside these units will slowly adjust to the current outside air temperatures. It is not unusual for rural communities to be without power for a few days each year and this usually happens during their very worst weather. If the facility has an electronic entrance gate then you may not be able to get to your things if there is a wide spread power failure during the disaster event that forces you to evacuate the city.

If you plan to store a lot of equipment and supplies then it might be wise to rent two small storage units in two different storage facilities a few miles apart, instead of renting one large storage unit. This would increase your family’s chances of survival because you would still have the supplies in one of your units if the supplies in the other unit were stolen or damaged by adverse weather conditions such as a tornado. If one of these units was climate controlled then it would greatly expand your options for long-term food storage. If you rent two units then you should strategically divide your food and clothing between the two units so that you would have some of your basic necessities in each unit. And keep a list of what you store in each unit so you can quickly locate it in an emergency.

It would be extremely useful if the rental storage unit was located within walking distance of the small town, or an Extended Stay Motel, or some other type of furnished rental housing or apartments, or near a campground. If the nearby furnished rental apartments are within walking distance of the small town then you might be able find some type of job if a future disaster results in your relocation to this community. However the chance of finding work after a wide spread disaster event are very slim unless you have marketable skills that would be in demand after a disaster.

Stocking Your Storage Unit
Immediately after you pay the rent and get a receipt, you should put your own padlock on the door of your storage unit. Then you should visit the local Walmart, city6 storage2camping supply stores, and grocery stores and purchase the things your family would need to survive. However, you should have made a comprehensive list ahead of time, along with the estimated cost of each item, so you can quickly purchase the most important things you will need without omitting any critical items. You could load your supplies inside your rental car as you buy them and then take them to your rental unit and store them inside your rental unit. If necessary you can drive back and forth to your rental unit several times. To the extent possible you should avoid attracting attention to yourself. This means it would probably be wise to buy your food items from several different grocery stores in the local or surrounding area instead of making one huge purchase at one store. When you have finished shopping and stocking your rental unit, you should once again lower your rental unit door, put your own personal round padlock  on the sliding door latch, and lock up all your stuff. Then you could drive home and return the rental car. This could all be done in one day, such as on a Saturday, if you had a plan and if you carefully worked your plan. Or you could rent a car for two days and complete your activities over the weekend by spending one night in a motel at the rural town of your choice. The advantage of spending the night in a motel is that it would give you a convenient private place to carefully pack your food and other supplies into your tote containers so you would not be attracting any special attention in public. The next morning you could then easily load your supplies into your rental car and transfer them to your rental unit. If necessary, you could make several trips back and forth from your motel room to your rental unit.

(Note: As you drive back to your apartment in the city you should write down all the highway mile marker numbers where bridges cross over streams or creeks because these could be potential camp spots for your family if a future disaster forces your family to evacuate your city. You could sleep under the bridge out of the weather and you could replenish your water from the creek by using your portable water filter. Depending on the size of the creek you may be able to catch a fish or two to supplement your food supplies. However, other families may have this same idea so you should be cautious when you first look under a bridge during an actual disaster event. As you continue to drive back to your apartment in the city you should also stop briefly at each community or major suburb along the way and look in the yellow pages of the local phone book. Make a list of the phone numbers of the local Taxi companies, the major churches, and the vehicle rental companies in that area. This information may be very useful to you if you are forced to quickly evacuate your city apartment during a future emergency.)

There are also a few other things you should consider. Depending on where you live, the temperatures inside a rental storage unit will fluctuate from below freezing to over 100 degrees during the course of one year. Most canned foods will not survive freezing without rupturing or exploding. Water will not survive freezing and it will burst its storage container. Insects and mice will chew through paper, cardboard, and thin plastic and consume any easy to reach food items. Moisture, humidity, and mildew will attack and gradually destroy clothes, supplies, and equipment that are not properly stored and protected.

city7 efoodsThe only food items that are specifically designed to survive temperature extremes are marine lifeboat ration bars and MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat).  Freeze-dried and dehydrated canned foods would also probably be okay, but they may have reduced shelf lives if your area experiences severe temperature extremes. These emergency food items are not sold everywhere so you would probably need to purchase them in advance, have them delivered to your apartment, and then transport them inside your rental car to your rental storage unit. These items are usually delivered in cardboard boxes that can be conveniently stacked on one another. However it would be a good idea to put each big cardboard box inside a 30-gallon heavy-duty black plastic bag and tape the bag tightly to the box like a birthday present using 2-inch wide clear packing tape. This will add a moisture barrier to the outside of the box and help protect its contents. It will also prevent other people from reading what is preprinted on the box as you load and unload your storage unit. The black bags would not reflect light and they would help to make the inside of your storage unit look dark and uninviting if someone who is passing by casually glances inside your unit while you have the door open. However, you should write what is inside each box in very small print on a thin slip of paper and tape it to the outside of the wrapped box so you can later determine the contents of each box without having to unwrap the box.

Large 5, 10, and 20 pound bags of ordinary white rice are usually easy to find at most rural grocery stores prior to a disaster event. You should probably store at least 100 pounds of white rice per family member inside several plastic tote containers. A few hundred pounds of a variety of different kinds of dry beans would also be a wise investment. Dry beans are widely available at most rural grocery stores in 1, 2, and 4 pound plastic bags. Leave the rice and the beans inside their original plastic bags and put several of them inside one large 30-gallon heavy-duty black plastic storage bag that is inside a plastic storage tote. Secure the top of the black bag with one of the twist-ties provided with the bags. Then snap the lid onto the tote. The bag will provide an additional moisture barrier for your food. It would also prevent anyone from seeing what is actually inside your plastic totes if they are made of clear plastic. This would be extremely important if food in the area becomes extremely expensive or unavailable after a disaster event. You should probably use two or three black plastic bags per medium size tote to keep the food separate and thereby help to prevent a total loss in the event one bag of food goes bad. Other good choices for long-term food storage include dry macaroni and spaghetti noodles, instant potatoes, and instant powdered milk. You should probably purchase at least a dozen boxes (or more) of each of these items and add them to your food reserves inside your storage unit.

For some information about the shelf life of canned and dry foods, see: http://www.grandpappy.info/hshelff.htm
For a variety of simple but tasty recipes for white rice and dry beans, see: http://www.grandpappy.info/indexrec.htm

[Note: Grandpappy’s Recipes for Hard Times, Copyright © 1976, 2010 by Robert Wayne Atkins, is for sale through Amazon.com for $9.95.  116 pages, 8.5″ x 11″ format. Mr. Larry]

You should carefully pack all your emergency food into plastic totes with tight fitting lids to protect it from insect and rodent damage and to help prevent it from emitting odors that might attract flies. You should use several medium size plastic storage containers instead of one or two very large plastic totes. This would keep the total weight of each full container to a reasonable level and permit the container to be moved by manual labor. In addition, if the food in one container goes bad it will only contaminate the food inside that one container and the balance of your food will still be edible. If the temperature inside your storage unit exceeds 85 degrees for long periods of time then you would need to replace your rice and beans and other boxed dry food items with fresh supplies every year, or once every two or three years depending on how hot it gets inside your storage unit during the summer months. You could take the old food back to your apartment each October and gradually consume it while it is still safe and tasty to eat.

You should also consider storing several 5-pound bags of white granulated sugar, and several 4-pound boxes of table salt or canning salt, and about ten pounds of baking soda, and a few large boxes of kitchen matches, and a few butane lighters. All of these items can be safely stored for decades and each one is extremely useful in preparing a variety of tasty recipes. Store the matches and butane lighters in a separate small plastic container. Do not store them inside your food or clothing containers.

It is highly unlikely that food will still be available at a reasonable price in remote rural communities after a major disaster destroys a nearby large city. It is more probable that food will skyrocket in price or be completely unavailable at any price. Therefore you should resist the temptation to wait until you actually evacuate to your rural location to buy your food supplies. This strategy has a very, very small chance of being successful, and if it fails then you and your family will die of slow and painfully agonizing starvation.

If possible stack your equipment, supplies, and food containers on some wood boards or on some wood pallets so they are not in direct contact with the floor. This will protect them from absorbing moisture from the floor and it will also help to protect them from water damage if a few inches of water temporarily gets into the storage unit during an exceptionally heavy rain.

Most rental storage unit contracts prohibit the storage of flammable items, explosive items, and food items inside the storage unit. The food clause is necessary because families sometimes store bread and perishable items from their home refrigerator inside the storage unit and this food quickly begins to spoil and stink and attract ants, insects, flies, and rodents. It also frequently leaks down onto the floor of the rental unit and creates a mess for the rental facility manager to clean up after the family has removed their other belongings from the unit. After reading the contract, it would probably be prudent to simply sign the rental contract without asking for a detailed explanation of each clause in the contract, unless there is something in the contract you can’t agree to. In this case you should simply look for a different storage facility in the same general area.

It might also be a good idea to store a folding heavy-duty two-wheel luggage carrier inside your rental storage unit so you could later transport your things to your new apartment or campsite as you need them. Another useful item would be a bicycle so you could ride to work instead of walking each day. Rural city8 hand cartcommunities do not have mass transit systems. You should also place a single battery L.E.D. (Light Emitting Diode) flashlight and a spare battery within easy reach inside the storage unit door in the event you need to access your supplies at night and the power is off.

When you initially go on your rural town evaluation trip you could also take some things from you current apartment with you in your rental car. For example, you could take some of your old clothing, old shoes, old cookware, old dishes, old bed sheets and pillowcases, old blankets and quilts, old towels, and a variety of other old things you no longer use and store them inside your future rental unit. When I say “old” I am not referring to items that are worn out and falling apart. Those types of things should be discarded. Instead I am referring to used items that still have at least half of their useful life remaining. These old things could make your life much easier during a disaster event if they were already at your rental unit. Since you have already paid for these old items they would not be adding to the current cost to stock your storage unit. If you were already thinking about replacing a few of your old items then now would be a good time to do so. You could take your time and carefully pack your used items inside black plastic bags inside plastic totes at your apartment and then later transfer them to your rental car when you are ready to make your journey to rent a storage unit. It would then be a simple matter to transfer them into your new rental storage unit after you acquire one at your destination.

On the other hand, if money is not an issue, then you should consider purchasing several new blue jeans, shirts, thick wool socks, and underwear for each family member. Also some new high quality waterproof walking shoes that each family member has tried on and verified for a comfortable fit while wearing a pair of heavy socks (or two pair of thin socks). If you have growing children then purchase the next size up in shoes.

If you are currently employed in a trade where you use a variety of hand tools that are your personal property then you may want to store some of your older tools, that you have replaced with newer versions, inside your storage unit. This would permit you to continue practicing your trade in your new community if it should become necessary.

If you also include a high quality camping tent, some low-temperature high quality sleeping bags, and some high quality inflatable air mattresses inside your storage unit then your family would have an emergency temporary place to live in the event no rental properties are available when you reach your destination. The sleeping bags and air mattresses would also be very useful if you had to rent an unfurnished apartment. Store each of these camping items inside a big black plastic bag and secure the bag opening with a twist-tie in order to provide a moisture and humidity barrier and to help prevent mildew. It would probably also be a good idea to store several 24-roll packages of toilet tissue inside your storage unit after you put each 24-roll package inside a black plastic bag and secure it with a twist-tie. This will provide an additional moisture barrier for your toilet tissue. If you store all your stuff inside black plastic bags you will prevent anyone from casually looking into your storage unit while you have the door open and instantly recognizing what you have. You should also consider investing in several bars of hand soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, nail clippers, hair brushes and combs, barber hair scissors, and disposable razors. These are relatively inexpensive but very practical items that would help your family more easily make the adjustment to living in their new rural community. It would be a good idea to buy these things now because they could become either unaffordable or unavailable after a major disaster event.

Executing Your Evacuation Plan
If you implement the above plan then you would have equipment, supplies, and some food waiting for you at your destination in the event of a future disaster. And your destination would not be a last minute decision made during a life-threatening event. Instead it would be a carefully calculated destination that would maximize the chances of your family’s long-term survival.

If a disaster event has a serious impact on your city, then all the major banks and credit card companies will probably “immediately temporarily freeze” the accounts of all their customers who addresses match the impacted zip code areas. Therefore, before the disaster hits you should access your checking and savings accounts and withdraw as much cash as you believe you will need to survive for a few months. If possible, get $20 and $50 bills but nothing larger or smaller. This will make it easier to pay for things and it will keep your “roll” of bills to a reasonable size. If necessary, get a cash advance against your VISA, MasterCard, or Discover Card at your existing bank by asking your bank teller to give you a cash advance against your credit card. If you do this before the disaster hits then you will should have enough cash to get you settled into your new small town apartment and to pay for your basic necessities for a short period of time. (Historical Note: After the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans the local regional banks went bankrupt and the larger national banks froze the accounts of the local residents until they could verify all the last minute transactions by their customers at their branch banks in the disaster area. If a future disaster hits your city, then you would be very upset if you had money in your bank and you were not allowed to access your money because of “temporarily policies” your bank might implement to protect itself. On the other hand, if you already had enough cash to last you for a few months then you could afford to be patient and wait for your bank to release the remainder of your money.)

The only remaining element of your plan would be to safely evacuate with your family at the first warning that a disaster was about to strike, or immediately after the disaster hits if there is no advance warning. Families that evacuate quickly and immediately would have a much better chance of escaping the city.

If you have access to a working telephone then you could call the apartment or Extended Stay Motel you are headed towards and reserve the unit in your name and pay the rent and deposit immediately by phone using one of your credit or debit cards and get a paid confirmation number and the number of the apartment you have rented and the name of the individual that rented you the apartment. If possible, you should verify that they actually charge your credit or debit card and not just simply reserve the room for you using your card number. If you evacuate when you are first notified of the approaching disaster then it might be feasible to use your city’s mass transit system to take you a good distance towards your future rural retreat. When you reach the end of the mass transit system line you may then be able to rent a Taxi to take you the rest of the way. The Taxi could deliver your family to the door of the apartment you rented by phone (after you stop by the main office to get the key), or to one of the apartments you previously identified or to an Extended Stay Motel that is within walking distance of your storage rental unit. Also remember to take your Rental Storage Unit Receipt(s) and your padlock key(s) with you when you evacuate the city. (Note: Although it is unlikely you may be able to take a Taxi from your apartment all the way to your final destination if you evacuate at the first warning of an approaching disaster.)

If your family is forced to walk out of the city then you will need a stroller for each small child or infant. Small children cannot walk very far and carrying small children in your arms will exhaust you in a very short period of time. You should also remember to take your list of phone numbers of the Taxi companies, large churches, and vehicle rental companies that are located in each of the communities you will be passing through. This is the list you made earlier on your return trip home to the city when you first rented your rural storage unit. After you have walked out of the danger area and you have reached one of the communities on your list that is not inside the disaster zone, then you should attempt to find transportation the rest of the way to your new apartment. The obvious choice would be to call each of the local Taxi companies. If you have set aside some emergency cash for this specific purpose then you may be able to rent a Taxi that will come and pick you up and drive you the rest of the way to your destination quickly and safely. Or you could try to rent a vehicle, such as a car or a small U-Haul truck. If you rent a U-Haul type truck then rent it one-way only for drop off at a rental dealer near your new apartment at your destination. A rental car or a rental truck would not only get you to your new apartment but you could also use it to quickly transfer some of your things from your storage unit to your apartment. In the long run this option might be cheaper than a Taxi. If you have very little cash then you should call some of the larger churches in the immediate area. The smaller churches are usually only open on Sundays but most of the larger churches have a full-time staff whose primary job is to assist people in distress. These larger churches have people who will answer the phone on weekdays during the day. Just explain your situation to the individual who answers the phone and politely ask if there is anyone currently in their church office, or perhaps a retired church member, who would volunteer to drive your family to your apartment located in your rural town “x” number of miles away. You may be pleasantly surprised at how friendly most of these people are and how eager they will be to assist you in your hour of need. Regardless of the high moral quality of these individuals you should not tell them about your storage unit full of emergency supplies nor should you try to enlist their aid in helping you to move some of your supplies to your new apartment. This activity should be a private matter that only you and your spouse participate in.

Even if you include the above strategies as part of your tentative evacuation plans, your family should still be prepared to walk the entire distance if it becomes absolutely necessary. Eat well, drink a lot of water, and use the bathroom just before you begin your journey. Lock your apartment door when you leave. If your family must walk out of the city then each one of you should be modestly dressed in loose-fitting faded dark colored clothes so you will not attract any unnecessary attention. Wear your most comfortable walking shoes and wear a pair of nylon hose footies under your normal socks to help prevent walking blisters on your feet. If you don’t have any footies then wear nylon panty hose under your socks. This applies to both males and females. If possible, plan to walk completely out of the downtown area of the city during the first day or night of your journey. None of the females should be wearing any makeup and they should have their hair stuffed under a dark color large baseball type cap. To the extent possible the females should look almost like a male except from a very short distance away. This obviously means no visible purses or handbags. All the males should also wear a dark baseball type hat to minimize sun damage to the face and neck. Everyone should keep their head tilted slightly down with their eyes looking towards the ground and slightly ahead of them. The strongest person should be in the rear and the next strongest person in the front. You should have already planned your primary (and backup) departure routes from the city so the person in front will know exactly which way to lead the family. Do not talk to each other unless it is absolutely necessary and then only speak briefly in a whisper. If you must speak to strangers then let the oldest male do the talking while everyone else keeps their mouth completely shut during the entire conversation exchange. Tell your children to walk quietly and to step over anything in their path.
If you have a fixed-blade hunting knife then you should wear it in its case attached to your belt in plain sight. It would be nice if each teenage or older person had one of these hunting knives attached to their belt in visible sight. This includes both males and females.
If you have a firearm then you should keep it concealed and completely out of sight but it should be where you can reach it quickly if necessary.

If only one or two of you are pulling a two-wheel luggage carrier loaded with a medium size suitcase or backpack then your family will not look like it is worth the trouble to attack. Thieves and criminals prefer an unarmed prosperous looking individual instead of a poorly dressed person wearing a visible hunting knife. However, thieves and criminals are always looking to acquire more firearms and that is the reason you should not have a gun in visible sight. This evacuation strategy should permit your family to travel unnoticed and unmolested through a very dangerous life threatening environment.

Once you are completely out of the danger area you should transfer all your belt knives to your suitcase or backpack, along with any firearms you might have. You do not want to terrorize the residents of the small towns and communities you will be passing through. You also do not want to give the local law enforcement officers a reason to arrest and detain you. If you are stopped and questioned then you should provide the law enforcement officers with the phone number of the apartment you are walking towards along with your paid rent confirmation number and then you will most likely be permitted to continue to your destination. However you should not mention that you have a storage unit full of equipment, supplies and food waiting at your destination. These are some of the reasons why it would be wise to reach your destination as soon as you can without unnecessary delays. These are also some of the reasons why travel by night (10 PM to 5 AM) would be preferred to travel during the day. At night there will be little or no traffic and you can see the headlights of the few approaching cars from both directions and your family could quickly get off the road and lay very still to avoid being seen. This is another reason for wearing dark clothing. Night travel during the hot summer months is less fatiguing and during the cold winter months it helps you to keep warm because you are walking (unless a freezing night wind is blowing).

Your emergency travel suitcase or backpack should contain your basic survival necessities, such as a quality portable water filter, one 24-ounce bottle full of drinking water for each person, all your prescription medications, a first aid kit and 100 extra bandaids, a bar of soap, a hand towel, toothbrushes and toothpaste, a few one-gallon ziplock freezer bags (lots of uses such as water collection), a spare hunting knife, a Leatherman type multi-tool, some matches and a butane lighter, some toilet tissue, a waterproof tarp to construct a simple tent-like shelter, a plastic ground sheet to sleep on, at least 200 feet of strong twine or thin wire, a small fishing tackle kit with some fishing line, a wilderness survival manual, a bible, and a blanket and spare socks for each person. You should also take the original copy of all your legal documents, all your cash, credit cards, check book, jewelry, and other small valuables, your cell phones, and enough high-calorie ready-to-eat food items to sustain your family during the entire trip to your safe destination. Each family member will need at least 3000 calories per day if they are going to walk or ride a bicycle all day. If you still have some unused space then you may include a deck of playing cards and some children’s games to entertain your family at the end of each day’s travel. A small solar powered or battery operated radio with an ear plug would permit you to keep up with the current news each time you stop to camp. Sleep in shifts with one teenager or adult always awake. If you still have room then you may include a small laptop computer with DVD drive, or a purse or handbag inside your travel suitcase after you have removed all the useless items that can be easily replaced when you reach your destination. If you strap a ladies purse to the top of a suitcase then it would be obvious to everyone that a women was traveling with your party. Remember how far you have to travel and how long it is going to take you. Each unnecessary pound you add to your travel suitcase will slow you down and delay your arrival at your safe destination. Each unnecessary pound will cause you to burn more energy and require more food and water during the journey. To minimize fatigue and permit the fastest possible average travel speed, you should strap each of your suitcases or backpacks to its own individual folding heavy-duty two-wheel luggage carrier with extra big wheels that can be easily pulled along behind you.

If you decide to rent and stock a small storage unit then you should not tell anyone except your spouse. Even your children should not know of these arrangements. If your children don’t know then you won’t have to worry about them telling their friends. Neither you nor your spouse should discuss your evacuation plans with anyone, including other family members or close friends. It would be okay to give them the web address of http://www.survivalblog.com and suggest they take a look because you found it to be extremely enlightening and informative. But telling anyone about the emergency supplies you have stored in a distant rental unit would be unwise for a multitude of reasons. If either you or your spouse decide to ignore this suggestion then you will probably regret it when a diaster begins to unfold and everyone who knows about your plans shows up at your apartment because they have decided to evacuate the city with you. Normal people behave entirely differently during a disaster because their survival instincts take over and they will not listen to you when you try to explain that you don’t have enough supplies to share with everyone. You are their only hope of survival and they are not going to let you out of their sight under any circumstances. You can completely avoid this unpleasant and potentially dangerous confrontation by remaining absolutely silent about your evacuation plans.

Having an emergency evacuation plan is similar to making a religious decision about eternal salvation. The vast majority of people will agree that it is a truly excellent idea but they will do absolutely nothing about it while there is still time to take positive action.

Conclusion
In summary, the following steps taken now could maximize the chances of your family’s survival during a future disaster event:
1.  Select several small rural towns that are between 60 to 75 miles from your current apartment but are not on a major Interstate Highway.
2.  Visit each of these rural towns and select the one you believe is best suited for your purposes.
3.  Rent a 6 foot by 6 foot (or larger) storage unit near the rural town and stock it with equipment, supplies, and food.
4.  Do not tell anyone about your disaster evacuation plan for any reason. And never mention the name of the town you have selected.
5.  Later, if a disaster strikes then evacuate your family to your preplanned safe  destination as quickly as you can.
6.  Rent a safe place to live in your new community based on your previous survey of rental properties. (Note: If possible complete this transaction by phone before you start your journey, or during your journey when you get      within reach of a working cell phone tower or a working pay phone.)
7.  Your family should now be able to survive for a few months using your storage unit supplies while you and your spouse look for new jobs in your new community.

On the other hand, if you believe your city has a reasonable chance of surviving the disaster then instead of renting an apartment you and your family could rent a modest motel room in the rural town on a daily (or weekly) basis while you wait for the forecasted disaster to pass. Most of the smaller motels have a daily rate and a much lower weekly rate. If the disaster event should come and go and the city is able to survive with only moderate damage, then you could always return to your old apartment and way of life after the debris has been cleaned up, and the water and power is restored throughout the city. Just use a few days of your sick leave during this interval of time while things are being returned to normal inside the city. When you return tell anyone who asks the truth: you and your family stayed in a motel outside the city while you waited for the disaster to pass. You do not need to add any additional details. However, if the water and power is not restored and conditions inside the city continue to degenerate then you and your family would be able start a new future together in your new community.

Some of the very first things you should do after you rent a new apartment are:
1.  Hold onto your cash as long as possible and, if possible, pay by credit card instead.
2.  If necessary have the utilities connected at your new apartment. If necessary have the utilities stopped at your old apartment in the city.
3.  If your bank has a branch in your rural town then visit the bank and change the mailing address on your existing account. Or open a new checking account at a local bank by making the minimum opening deposit. Do not      deposit all of your cash.
4.  Visit the Division of Motor Vehicles and have them change the address on your driver’s license.
5.  Register to vote. You are now a legitimate member of your new community.
6.  Register your children in the local public school system. You will need your apartment rent receipt, your children’s birth certificates, a copy of their immunization records, and maybe a copy of their most recent report      cards or their previous year’s final report cards.
7.  You and your spouse should immediat ely file for unemployment benefits and for any welfare subsidies you may be entitled to. These benefits could keep your family alive until you can find a new job. However, you should not be surprised if it takes a very long time before you actually begin to receive any of these benefits because your state may be swamped with similar requests from millions of other individuals.
8.  Carefully consider who you want to notify of your new address and then do so. It may not be wise to notify everyone.
9.  Establish a budget and stick to it. Do not make any unnecessary purchases. Use the items in your storage unit. Do not tell anyone about the items in your storage unit. It may be a long time before things return to normal so      carefully ration your available food resources beginning immediately and don’t wait until half your food is gone. It is okay if you and your spouse loose a little weight. It will probably help you to better blend in with the other starving families in the immediate area.
10.  Honestly evaluate your current financial situation. If necessary, file for complete bankruptcy immediately. Since you and your spouse have both unexpectedly lost your jobs, a complete write-off of all your previous debts      should be relatively straightforward if you consult a good bankruptcy attorney. A good attorney will advise you to start over with no debt instead of just shuffling your existing debt around and decreasing your monthly payments by a little bit.
11.  You and your spouse should begin a diligent search for new employment. Almost any honest job, including a part-time job, is better than no job. Part-time jobs sometimes become a full-time job after your employer sees that you are a diligent honest hard-working person. You can look for  a better job after you have established some type of regular income. Never quit one job until after you have found another job. If necessary, work two jobs to keep your rent and utility bills paid. Do not continue working at a job if you do not receive your pay when it was originally promised.  There are unethical people even in small rural towns who will try to take advantage of anyone they can. Before you leave a steady paying job you should be reasonably certain you will get paid on your new job on a regular basis.
12.  Become a member of a local church and attend church every Sunday. Give thanks that your family has survived the disaster.

CITY10 EVAC

[Provide insurance for yourself and your family. At minimum, put together a “Bug Out Bag” for each family member, include sufficient cash in the bags to meet your finances for up to a month. Keep these minimal supplies out of the way from your daily lives, but in place for an easy grab-and-go should a suprise emergency strike your area. With fifty pounds per person of individual personal supplies, plus a tent, a “portapottie”, and several cases of freeze dried meals or canned goods for two weeks you are pretty much prepared to weather out the aftermath of most natural disasters and could survive the initial shock of other unpleasant  events. Be prepared. Mr. Larry]

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

City Survival: Stay (Part 1 of 2)

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ City Survival: Stay (Part 1 of 2))

A.  Letter Re: Hunkering Down in an Urban Apartment in a Worst Case Societal Collapse
25  Dec  2007, Survivalblog.com, blog author James Wesley Rawles
http://www.survivalblog.com/2007/12/letter_re_hunkering_down_in_an.html

city3 neighborhoodHello,
In the event of a disaster (I live in New York City) I intend to shelter in place until all the riotous mobs destroy each other or are starved out. I am preparing for up to six months. I have one liter of water stored for each day (180 liters) and about 50 pounds of rice to eat as well as various canned goods. I have not seen on your site anything about heat sources for urban dwellers who intend to shelter in place. I’m assuming that electricity would go first soon followed by [natural] gas and running water. Do you have any recommendations for cooking rice and other foods in this event.
I am considering oil lamps or candles, methane gel used for chafing dishes, or small propane tanks. Because of the small size of my apartment and potential hazards of storing fuel I’m unsure which would be best. Please advise. Thank You, – Michael F.

JWR Replies: I’ve heard your intended approach suggested by a others, including one of my consulting clients. Frankly, I do not think that it is realistic. From an actuarial standpoint, your chances of survival would probably be low–certainly much lower than “Getting Out of Dodge” to a lightly populated area at the onset of a crisis. Undoubtedly, in a total societal collapse (wherein “the riotous mobs destroy each other”, as you predict) there will be some stay-put urbanites that survive by their wits, supplemented by plenty of providential fortune. But the vast majority would perish. I wouldn’t want to play those odds. There are many drawbacks to your plan, any one of which could attract notice (to be followed soon after by a pack of goblins with a battering ram.) I’ll discuss a few complexities that you may not have fully considered:

Water. Even with extreme conservation measures you will need at least one gallon of water per day. That one gallon of water will provide just enough water for one adult for drinking and cooking. None for washing. If you run out of water before the rioting ends then you will be forced to go out and forage for water, putting yourself at enormous risk. And even then, you will have to treat the water that you find with chlorine, iodine (such as Polar Pure–now very scarce), or with a top quality water filter such as a nKatadyn Pocket water filter.

Food. For a six month stay, you will need far more than just 50 pounds of rice! Work out a daily menu and budget for an honest six month supply of food with a decent variety and sufficient caloric intake. Don’t overlook vitamin supplements to make up for the lack of fresh fruit and vegetables. Sprouting is also a great option to provide vitamins and minerals, as well as aiding digestion. Speaking of digestion, depending on how your body reacts to the change in diet (to your storage food), you may need need a natural laxative in your diet such as bran, or perhaps even a bulk laxative such as Metamucil.

Sanitation. Without water for flushing toilets, odds are that people in neighboring apartments will dump raw sewage out their windows, causing a public health nightmare on the ground floor. Since you will not want to alert others to your presence by opening your window, and no doubt the apartment building’s septic system stack will be clogged in short order, you will need to make plans to store you waste in your apartment. I suggest five gallon buckets. A bucket-type camping toilet seat (a seat that attaches to a standard five or six gallon plastic pail) would be ideal. You should also get a large supply of powdered lime to cut down on the stench before each bucket is sealed. You must also consider the sheer number of storage containers required for six months of accumulated human waste. (Perhaps a dozen 5 gallon buckets with tight-fitting o-ring seal lids would be sufficient.) Since you won’t have water available for washing, you should also lay in a supply of diaper wipes.

Space heating. In mid-winter you could freeze to death in your apartment without supplemental heat. As I will discuss later, a small heater or just a few candles can keep the air temperature above freezing.

Ventilation. If you are going to use any source of open flame, you will need lots of additional ventilation. Asphyxiation from lack of oxygen or slow carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning are the alternatives. Unfortunately, in the circumstances that you envision, the increased ventilation required to mitigate these hazards will be a security risk–as a conduit for the smell of food or fuel, as a source of light that can be seen from outside the apartment, and as an additional point of entry for robbers.

Security. The main point of entry for miscreants will probably be your apartment door. Depending on the age of your apartment, odds are that you have a traditional solid core wood door. In a situation where law and order has evaporated, the malo hombres will be able to take their time and break through doors with fire axes, crow bars and improvised battering rams. It is best to replace wooden apartment doors with steel ones. Unless you own a condo rather than lease an apartment, approval for a door retrofit is unlikely. However, your apartment manager might approve of this if you pay for all the work yourself and you have it painted to match the existing doors. Merely bracing a wood door will not suffice. Furthermore, if you have an exterior window with a fire escape or your apartment has a shared balcony, then those are also points of entry for the bad guys. How could you effectively barricade a large expanse of windows?

If you live in a ground floor apartment or an older apartment with exterior metal fire escapes, then I recommend that you move as soon as possible to a third, fourth, or fifth floor apartment that is in a modern apartment city4 socialbuilding of concrete construction, preferably without balconies, with steel entry doors, and with interior fire escape stairwells.

Self Defense. To fend off intruders, or for self defense when you eventually emerge from your apartment, you will need to be well-armed. Preferably you should also be teamed with at least two other armed and trained adults. Look into local legalities on large volume pepper spray dispensers. These are marketed primarily as bear repellent, with brand names like “Guard Alaska”, “Bear Guard”, and “17% Streetwise.” If they are indeed legal in your jurisdiction, then buy several of the big one-pound dispensers, first making sure that they are at least a 12% OC formulation.

If you can get a firearms permit–a bit complicated in New York City , but not an insurmountable task–then I recommend that you get a Remington, Winchester, or Mossberg 12 gauge pump action shotgun with a SureFire flashlight forend. #4 Buckshot (not to be confused with the much smaller #4 bird shot) is the best load for defense in an urban environment where over-penetration (into neighboring apartments) is an issue. But if getting a firearms permit proves too daunting, there is a nice exemption in the New York City firearms laws for muzzleloaders and pre-1894 manufactured antique guns that are chambered for cartridges that are no longer commercially made. It is not difficult to find a Winchester Model 1876 or a Model 1886 rifle that is in a serial number range that distinguishes it as pre-1894 production. (See: Savage99.com for exact dates of manufacture on 12 different rifle models.) You will be limited to chamberings like .40-65 and .45-90. You can have a supply of ammunition custom loaded. A Winchester Model 1873 or and early Model 1892 chambered in .38-40 might also be an option, but I would recommend one of the more potent calibers available in the large frame (Model 1876 or 1886 ) rifles. Regardless, be sure to select rifles with excellent bores and nice mechanical condition.

For an antique handgun, I would recommend a S&W double action top break revolver chambered in .44 S&W Russian. None of the major manufacturers produce .44 S&W Russian ammunition. However, semi-custom extra mild loads (so-called “cowboy” loads, made specially for the Cowboy Action Shooting enthusiasts) in .44 S&W Russian are now available from Black Hills Ammunition. The Pre-1899 Specialist (one of our advertisers) often has large caliber S&W double action top break revolvers available for sale. The top breaks are very fast to load, and you can even use modern speed loaders designed for .44 Special or .44 Magnum cartridges with the stumpy .44 S&W Russian loads.(It has the same cartridge “head” dimensions.)
Firearms training from a quality school (such as Front Sight) is crucial.

Fire Detection and Contingency Bug-Out. A battery-powered smoke detector is an absolute must. Even if you are careful with candles, lanterns, and cook stoves, your neighbors may not be. There is a considerable risk that your apartment building will catch fire, either intentionally of unintentionally. Therefore, you need to have a “Bug Out” backpack ready to grab at a moment’s notice. Although they are no proper substitute for a fireman’s compressed air breathing rig, a commercially-made egress smoke hood or a military surpluss gas mask might allow you to escape your building in time. But even if you escape the smoke and flames, then where will that you leave you? Outdoors, at an unplanned hour (day or night), in a hostile big city that is blacked out, with no safe means of escape. (This might prove far too reminiscent of the the 1980s Kurt Russell movie Escape from New York.”) By the time this happens, the mobs may not want just the contents of your backpack. They may be sizing you up for a meal!

Fuel storage. Bulk fuel storage has three problematic issues: 1) as a safety issue (fire hazard), 2) as a security issue (odors that could attract robbers), and 3) as a legal issue (fire code or tenant contract restrictions). I suspect that New York City’s fire code would not allow you have more than a week’s worth of propane on hand, and completely prohibit keeping more than just one small container of kerosene or Coleman fuel. From the standpoint of both safety and minimizing detectable odors, propane is probably the best option. (The odors of kerosene and chafing dish gel are both quite discernable.) But of course consult both your local fire code and your apartment lease agreement to determining the maximum allowable quantity to keep on hand.

Odds are that there will be no limit on the number of candles that you can store. If that is the case, then lay in large supply of unscented jar candles designed for long-burning (formulated high in stearic acid.) I suggest the tall, clear glass jar-enclosed “devotional” candles manufactured in large numbers for the Catholic market. You can even heat individual servings of food over these if you construct a stand with a wide base out of stout wire. Watch for these candles at discount and close-out stores. We have found that the large adhesive labels slip off easily if you soak the jars in water for an hour. Since their burning time is approximately 24 hours, and since you might need two of them burning simultaneously for sufficient light and to stay warm, that would necessitate laying in a supply of 360 candles! (This assumes that the worst case, with the outset of a crisis in October, and your having to hunker down for a full six months.)

Fire fighting. Buy at least two large multipurpose (“A-B-C”) chemical fire extinguishers

Cooking odors. In addition to the smell of fuel, cooking food will produce odors. I recommend that you store only foods with minimal spices. In situation where you are surrounded by starving people, just frying foods with grease or heating up a can of spicy chili con carne could be a death warrant.

Noise discipline. Just the sound of moving around your apartment could reveal your presence. For some useful background, see if your local library has a copy of the best-selling memoir “The Painist”, by Wladyslaw Szpilman. (If not, buy a copy through Amazon or request a copy via inter-library loan. It has been published in 35 languages. The US edition’s ISBN is 0312244150.) The book describes the harrowing experiences of a Jewish musician in hiding in Warsaw, Poland, during the Second World War. Following the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising and forced deportation, Szpilman spent many months locked in a Warsaw apartment, receiving just a few parcels of food from some gentile friends. In his situation, the power and water utilities were still operating most of the time, but he suffered from slow starvation and lived in absolute fear of making any noise. His survival absolutely defied the odds. There was also an excellent  2002 movie based on Szpilman’s book, but the memoir provides greater detail than the film.

Light discipline. If you have any source of light in your apartment, it could reveal your presence. In an extended power blackout, it will become obvious to looters within a couple of weeks who has lanterns or large supplies of candles and/or flashlight batteries. (Everyone else will run out within less than two weeks.) And I predict that it will be the apartments that are still lit up that will be deemed the ones worth robbing. So if you are going to have a light source, you must systematically black out all of your windows. But sadly these efforts will be in direct conflict with your need for ventilation for your heating and/or cooking.

Heat. With the aforementioned restrictions on fuel storage, heating your apartment for more than just a few days will probably be impossible. Buy an expedition quality sleeping bag–preferably a two-bag system such as a Wiggy’s brand FTRSS. Under the circumstances that you describe, don’t attempt to heat your entire apartment. Instead, construct a small room-within-a-room (Perhaps under a large dining room table, or by setting up a camping tent inside your apartment, to hoard heat.) Even if the rest of the apartment drops to 25 or 30 degrees Fahrenheit, your body heat alone will keep your demi-room in the 40s. Burning just one candle will raise the temperature another 5 or 10 degrees. For the greatest efficiency at retaining heat, your demi-room should be draped with two layers of  mylar space blankets.

Exercise. While you are “hunkered down”, you will need to maintain muscle tone. Get some quiet exercise equipment, such as a pull-up bar and some large elastic straps. Perhaps, if your budget allows in the future, also purchase or construct your own a quiet stationary bicycle-powered generator. This would provide both exercise and battery charging.

Sanity. .Hunkering down solo in silence for six months would be a supreme challenge, both physically and mentally. Assuming that you can somehow tackle all of the aforementioned problems, you also need to plan to stay sane. Have lots of reading materials on hand.

In conclusion, when one considers the preceding long list of dependencies and complexities, it makes “staying put” in a worst case very unattractive. In less inimical circumstance, it is certainly feasible, but in a grid-down situation with utilities disrupted and wholesale looting and rioting in progress, the big city is no place to live. But, as always, this is just my perspective and your mileage may vary (YMMV).

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B.  Cities – A Prepper’s Nightmare & Solutions
10 April 2012, SHTFplan.com, contributed by Jessica Hooley
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/cities-a-preppers-nightmare-solutions_04102012

city1The following article has been generously contributed by Jessica Hooley of the Salt n’ Prepper web site.
Is it a coincidence that all of my nightmares occur in big cities? While it may be a personality glitch, I find that considering the dangers you face in the event of an emergency while living in a city, my nightmares may be justified. If you live in a city – buckle up. As a prepper you will have to work extra hard to make your emergency plan viable. And while I make no judgments on city dwellers, I must say – MOVE! For your own safety – MOVE! Move, move, move, move, move. Okay. I think I got it all out.

Now I understand that not everyone can just pick up and move because some lady on the internet says so. So if you are in the situation where you must stay in the city here are a few things you MUST have in your emergency preparedness plan.

Define Your Strategy
One of the biggest problems with cities are the fact that they aren’t self-sustaining. They rely on outer communities to supply them with food, water and often times electricity. The second biggest issue with cities is the space. Most homes/apartments/condos don’t have the space needed to store supplies for 6 months to a year. And even if they did there is a severely high probability of civil unrest, leading to looting and robbery. In short – you need a plan. The three questions to ask yourself:
1.  How long will we stay – As I said before, in a city you must resign yourself to the fact that you will have to leave if the situation escalates to a point where you either have no supplies or your safety is in jeopardy. Decide with your family how long this period is going to be. After the power is out, the food is gone, and the shelves are empty in the grocery stores of all liquid – how much longer will you hold down the fort. Too short and you may have bugged out too soon. Too long and you risk the possibility of not being able to get out.
2.  How will we get out – Your exit strategy needs to be well planned out. Come up with a minimum of three routes out of the city. You’ve seen how a couple thousand people can shut down a road. Imagine the magnification of that situation when millions are out looking for food and water. You need to be able to navigate your way through the mess and be prepared to defend you and your family. I’ll go into further detail later.
3.  Where will we go – Once again, come up with a couple places as a destination if possible. Think of relatives out in the “boonies”. Anyone that you consider as being in a safe part of the world. If you don’t know anyone within a reasonable distance (you may run out of fuel) start thinking of areas that you could stay. Hotels. Camp spots. Some place to “ride it out”.

Make Connections
As we’ve pointed out before, the population of cities can quickly turn into one of your biggest challenges. So it’s up to you to change that. Build your community into your own personal defense. Help those around you prepare. Educate them about emergency preparedness. You don’t need to reveal all of your prepping secrets but by preparing others you are ensuring help in the event that looting reaches your neighborhood. If everyone has something to defend they are more likely to band together. By not including your neighbors you are making them a potential threat to you. And the last thing you’ll want is to have to pull a gun on your neighbor if they are trying to take your supplies out of desperation.

Get the Gear
__Bug-Out Gear
Although it may not seem like “gear” – a truck may likely be the most important bug-out necessity for someone in a big city. Reasons why:

  • Capable of hauling ALL of your bug-out supplies
  • You will need something capable of maneuvering around rubble, waste, people and stalled vehicles on the road.
  • Able to store extra fuel in the bed to get further away.

Outside of an off road vehicle, you will also need the following items:

  1. 96 hour kits for each person      in the family
  2. 7 days of water – 1 to 2      gallons of water per person per day
  3. A full gas tank and 40 extra      gallons to haul

Make sure in your plan to bug out, you have someone armed. When trying to leave the city there will be plenty of people outside waiting to stop you and take what you have. You must be prepared to face the realization that you may have to defend yourself with force.

__Water
No matter where you live, water is the basis to sustaining life. If you are planning to stay in your house longer than a week (after water is unavailable) you need to make storing water a big priority. Get creative with your water storage. As you can find in my other posts, polycarbonate containers are great for water storage. If you are crammed on space, I highly recommend “WaterBricks”. You can store upwards of 60 gallons underneath your queen size bed alone with them. No matter what you decide for a storage system – make the most out of it. You’ll want to store 1-2 gallons for each person in your family for every day you plan on staying in your home.

__Food Storage
Food storage goes along the same lines as water. Make a food storage list to last your family the time you will be staying in your home. The key to your food storage is making it secret. In cities, food is likely to completely run out within 3 days. People will get really hungry really fast. And if someone remembers seeing that stack of food storage in your garage, or remembers you saying something about having 6 months in your basement – you’re their first stop. Don’t put yourself in the situation where you are more likely to have to defend your storage by shouting it from a mountain top. Once again, get creative and bury it in your yard if you must.

__Lighting
In the event of an emergency, you will likely be facing a powerless situation. During the day you’ll just have to get used to being without certain luxuries like powered kitchen gadgets and television. But at night, no power can turn into a psychological battle. Especially for children. Have plenty of snap lights, flashlights and lanterns to keep it bright when the sun goes down so the little ones (and maybe even you) can relief during the night.

TIP: In most cities, homes and other living spaces are close together. When using your evening lighting make sure to draw the shades. Test your emergency lighting during peacetime and see which places in the house you can use them without it being seen from the outside. Light will draw more than just bugs during a power outage. And the result could end up in self defense.

__Warmth
Without electricity you may be in for some cold nights. Be prepared with some down blankets and 4 season sleeping bags. You can also get some indoor kerosene heaters. And if you are lucky enough to have a wood burning fireplace, put it use! Get stocked up on firewood and use it when necessary.

Defense
__
Weapons
The terrible truth is that most places in this country where self-defense is needed most, it’s unavailable to law abiding citizens. I’m talking about guns. Big cities, despite their soaring crimes rates, seem to find rationale in banning guns whenever possible. And while free speech is still available – I’m telling you to get your hands on a gun no matter what it takes. As long as you are an otherwise law abiding citizen and you don’t hear voices in your head telling you to kill people – you need the ability to defend your property and more importantly your family.

Other fantastic weapons to have stored for self-defense include:
•  Pepper spray
• Taser
• Trip wires
• A guard dog – a really mean looking one

These other defense tools are great to get someone off your property initially but keep in mind that they’ll get away and may come back with the knowledge that this time they’ll have to kill you to get your food.

__Fortifications
If you plan to stay in your home for more than a month before bugging out, you need to consider investing in fortifications for your home. This includes making some changes that are more functional than pretty. This includes things like plexiglass windows, steel doors, removing landscaping features that people can easily hide in, blacking out windows, etc. Anything that can make your home more secure makes you less of a target.

So for all you city dwelling preppers, I hope this helped. Make your plan bullet proof. You are already at a disadvantage so have a process in place for everything you need to do. Good luck and happy prepping!

CITY10 EVAC[Consider the evacuation concepts shown above and begin to impliment.  Mr. Larry]

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

Climate and Conflict

(Survival Manual/1. Disaster/Climate and Conflict)

A.  Report: Warming could cause greatest human migration ever
6/10/2009, ABCNews.go.com, By Arthur Max, Associated Press Writer
Pasted from: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=7808902
“BONN, Germany — Global warming is uprooting people from their homes and, left unchecked, could lead to the greatest human migration in history, said a report released Wednesday.
Estimates vary on how many people are on the move because of climate change, but the report cites predictions from the International Organization for Migration that 200 million people will be displaced by environmental pressures by 2050. Some estimates go as high as 700 million, said the report, released at U.N negotiations for a new climate treaty.
Researchers questioned more than 2,000 migrants in 23 countries about why they moved, said Koko Warner of the U.N. University, which conducted the study with CARE International.
The results were “a clear signal” that environmental stress already is causing population shifts, she said, and it could be “a mega-trend of the future.”
The potential for masses of humanity fleeing disaster zones or gradually being driven out by increasingly harsh conditions is likely to be part of a global warming agreement under negotiation among 192 countries.
A draft text calls on nations to prepare plans to adapt to climate change by accounting for possible migrations. At U.S. insistence, however, the term “climate refugees” will be stricken from the draft text because refugees have rights under international law, and climate migrants do not fill the description of “persecuted” people, said Warner.
The report, “In Search of Shelter: Mapping the Effects of Climate Change on Human Migration and Displacement,” studies people in some of the world’s great river deltas who could be subject to glacial melt, desert dwellers who are vulnerable to increasing drought, and islanders whose entire nations could be submerged by rising sea levels.
It did not try to assess conflicts caused by climate change. The war in Sudan’s desert Darfur region has partly been blamed on contested water supplies and grazing lands, and concern over future water wars has mounted in other areas of the world.
The report said 40 island states could disappear, in whole or in part, if seas rise by six feet. The Maldives, a chain of 1,200 atolls in the Indian Ocean has a plan to abandon some islands and build defenses on others, and has raised the possibility of moving the entire population of 300,000 to another country.
Melting glaciers in the Himalayas threaten repeated flooding in the Ganges, Mekong, Yangtze and Yellow river basins, which support 1.4 billion people, or nearly one-fourth of humanity, in India, southeast Asia and China. After the floods will come drought when seasonal glacier runoff no longer feeds the rivers, it said.
In Mexico and Central America drought and hurricanes have led to migrations since the 1980s and they will get worse, it said.
Homes are not always abandoned forever, the researchers said. “Disasters contribute to short-term migration,” especially in countries that failed to take precautions or lack adequate responses, said Charles Ehrhart of CARE. Most migration will be internal, from the country to the city, it said.”
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B.  Scenario planning for climate change
March 2011, Climate Cassandra.blogspot.com, by David Flint
Pasted from: http://climate-cassandra.blogspot.com/2011/03/scenario-planning-for-climate-change.html
“The science of climate change is good enough to show that global temperatures will rise unless we cut back drastically on greenhouse gas emissions. What no science can do is show whether we will do so – or what policies nations will adopt if we do – or if we don’t. Nor can we predict the human – health, nutritional, political and economic – consequences of rising temperatures. Yet these are what people care about.
We badly need ways of thinking about the implications of climate change. Most of what’s written gets hung up on the uncertainties of the science. If we don’t know, and we don’t, whether temperatures will increase by two or four or six degrees how can we prepare?

The answer is scenario planning.
In scenario planning, a method pioneered by Shell, we focus on the uncertainties, not on forecasts, and use these to define a set of possible scenarios. If we get this right the actual events will follow one scenario or, more likely, fall between several scenarios. But in any case we’ll have considered what we can and should do before we have to do it.
Climate change is a long-term problem so let’s look at the long-term – 2030 and beyond On that timescale little is certain but there are two big uncertainties.
1.  The first uncertainty is the temperature increase. The global temperature is currently 0.6 degrees higher than that in the pre-industrial period. By 2030 we ought to know whether we’ve managed to keep the increase below two degrees. That’s hardly risk-free but it should be manageable. If we haven’t then we’ll already be aware of the positive feedback effects that will drive the temperature to a four or even six degree increase. (Some models suggest that rises over ten degrees are possible but let’s not go overboard; four degrees is bad enough.) (The environmental consequences of various possible temperatures have been discussed by Mark Lynas in Six degrees. Prof. James Lovelock has discussed the positive feedback effects in The Revenge of Gaia.)
2. T he second uncertainty is the degree of international collaboration on dealing with climate change. The Montreal treaty on CFCs showed that international collaboration is possible. The post-Kyoto experience shows that it’s very hard to get when it requires significant economic sacrifice. However, even politicians and civil servants can learn from experience and worsening climate will provide many powerful lessons. The real uncertainty is whether governments will commit to enough change soon enough to avoid triggering the positive feedbacks.

Now we combine the two to get our four scenarios as shown in the figure above. I ignore the possibility that we can keep the temperature increase below two degrees without international collaboration because it’s impossible (unless the scientific consensus is badly wrong).
There are two scenarios for a world without catastrophic climate change. In the Lifeboat scenario this is achieved by international collaboration. In the Emergency Braking scenario collaboration fails and its achieved by unilateral action, mainly geo-engineering, by a major power.
There are also two scenarios that do involve catastrophic climate change. In the Police World scenario the nations collaborate to manage the consequences whilst in the New Dark Age scenario they don’t.
Plausibility
I’m aware that two, perhaps three, of my scenarios may sound more like science fiction than sober reflection. However, these scenarios run forward from 2030 and much of today’s world would have seemed like science fiction to our parents. It’s almost impossible to overstate the impacts of four degrees of warming. It’s inconceivable, at least to me, that our civilization will be unchanged by these impacts and it’s time we took this seriously.

Scenario 1: The Lifeboat Scenario
See: http://climate-cassandra.blogspot.com/2010/12/scenario-1-lifeboat-scenario.html
In this scenario the nations collaborate soon enough to restrain greenhouse gas concentrations and the temperature increase is kept below two degrees. As a result we avoid catastrophic climate change. I call this the Lifeboat scenario since it requires that every major state recognizes that we are all in the same boat and that its resources are barely adequate.

The technology base
In his book, Heat, George Monbiot has described the technology changes needed in the UK to reduce its emissions sufficiently. He believes that the UK and developed European nations can retain their standard of living (except for flying) by making an extensive set of changes to our industrial base. Most of this is plausible but almost every part is challenging. His conclusion that we can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 80% by 2050 requires that we meet every one of these challenges. Given the lack of political will and lamentable failures of Kyoto this would be absurd even if we started immediately. And, that, of course, requires a binding international agreement.
It’s now clear that the failure at Copenhagen was not a temporary or anomalous result but a true reflection of the understandings and priorities of the major powers – especially China and the USA. It follows that the required international agreement will not be established in the near future. The most optimistic view with any plausibility is that the nations may have agreed on the need for effective action by 2015 – though 2020 is more likely. This has major implications for the actions needed to keep us below two degrees.
In brief we’ll have to use geo-engineering methods either to remove CO2 from the atmosphere or to reduce the amount of sunlight falling on the planet. Since all geo-engineering methods have disadvantages we’ll probably have to do both – and to use multiple methods for each.
We will need to do more either by cutting our standard of living or by reducing our numbers.

Global organization
The key assumption for this scenario is that the nations collaborate but this collaboration will not be easy. As with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) there will be disputes and we will need a World Climate Authority (WCA), analogous to the World Trade Organization, to deal with them. The WCA will have, at minimum, to issue emissions permits and to check that actual emissions do not exceed these permissions. It will have to impose sanctions against defaulters. These sanctions will have to be backed by at least the threat of military force, though it’s unclear whether this will require a world police force.
It will also have to regulate the geo-engineering systems. Since these are likely to damage some countries and regions even as they improve world climate this regulation will need to include payments, probably very large payments, of compensation. Such payments are needed not only in the name of justice but also as a highly visible sign of the unsustainability of the combination of excessive GHG emissions and geo-engineering.

Cultural change
This scenario requires changes in production with fewer new products, more repair and recycling and longer product lifetimes. It’s likely that the developed countries will see falls in their standards of living; at least according to such usual measures as GDP per head.
A cultural change will be needed to ensure long-term support for the often uncomfortable policies needed to meet our environmental targets, and I’ll call this Green Puritanism. Green Puritans will disapprove of excessive consumption and travel and these attitudes will reinforce and be reinforced by laws against waste. They will emphasize human solidarity and regard competition as a dangerous force – like fire in the proverb, a good servant but a bad master. They will be skeptical of innovations that do not reduce energy use and our environmental impact.
Green Puritans will disapprove of much fashion, since annual changes drive waste, and of its handmaiden, celebrity culture, since that celebrates excess. Indeed they will disapprove of a great deal of advertising and commerce.
Green Puritans will insist that the public and charitable sectors have inherent value and are not to be seen as inferior copies of the private sector. Indeed, they will demand that these sectors behave differently and will the transformation of public companies into mutual societies and co-operatives.
Green Puritans should not be hostile to pleasure (as conventional puritans have usually been). They will applaud the local and home-based pleasures of food, drink, conversation, sport, sex and family life. They will disapprove of energy-intensive pleasures such as motor-racing and holidays in remote places.

The economy
The Green Puritan change will affect business profoundly. In the developed economies growth will cease to be an acceptable objective and may in some cases actually be penalized. Business leaders will have to find other measures of value, such as sustainability and human well-being, and discover how to link them to their internal performance assessment systems.
Much of the Lifeboat economy will be less volatile than we’ve become used to with fewer fashion shifts and less random change. Exceptions will include:
o  Energy generation – where the greenhouse gas emissions targets will prove highly demanding.
o  Energy use – where new opportunities will be sought in all sectors
o  The use of ICT to replace travel through telepresence, simulations and games.

Life in the lifeboat
Lifeboat will be different from our world, but could be a good world to live in. Let’s look at the advantages for people in the developed countries – who would be most affected:
o  It’s sustainable. People living in this scenario would not be dooming their grandchildren to catastrophe; and would know it.
o  It’s more relaxed. Without the economic pressure for growth and the psychological pressures of advertising life would be less frantic and people less stressed. People in developed countries would gain health benefits.
o  It’s healthier with stronger communities. As Wilkinson and Picket have shown inequality undermines health, communities and social order. It increases many bad things including ill-health, drug abuse, obesity and crime.
These advantages will take time to become apparent. The first ten years of the Lifeboat scenario will therefore be especially difficult.
It’s tempting to claim that there would be benefits for the less developed countries too. Sustainability would certainly be a benefit for them – most immediately those, like Kenya, Bangladesh and low-lying island states, in the front-line of climate change. Later, states dependent on seasonal snow-melt for irrigation would see benefits. These include India, Pakistan and China.

In general the emerging middle classes of India, China, etc., would share the other benefits too. Continuing economic growth – with its benefits for the poor – is certainly compatible with this scenario but the degree to it occurs will depend political decisions.
In the long run, of course, the Lifeboat scenario is best because it avoids catastrophic climate change whilst allowing for some justice in the allocation of scarce resources.

Scenario 2: Emergency braking
See: http://climate-cassandra.blogspot.com/2010/06/scenario-4-emergency-braking.html
In this scenario the nations do not collaborate effectively but the temperature increase is kept below two degrees nonetheless. Here’s how this might happen.
Copenhagen showed that the USA and China were unwilling to make the changes necessary to achieve the lifeboat scenario whilst China wasn’t even willing for other countries to make the necessary commitments. In this situation most major GHG emitters will give climate change a low priority and the pace of climate change will accelerate in line with the IPCC’s business-as-usual scenario.
By about 2020 the political leaderships of China, India and USA will have recognized that the threat of climate change is serious and urgent, but they will remain locked into existing attitudes and policies.
There will then be a serious climate crisis. It might be a storm, flood, drought or fire. Its immediate consequences may be very severe – thousands of deaths and billions of dollars lost in property damage. However its largest impact may come from symbolic damage, eg. the collapse of the Statue of Liberty in a major storm-surge.
This will lead one major nation, let’s call it Maverick, to a realistic re-examination of the climate change threat. It will conclude that it is already too late for the orderly conservation-based approach described in the Lifeboat scenario. As a result, Maverick will take unilateral action in the form of one or more major geo-engineering programs. Maverick will also introduce strong domestic emission-reduction policies and launch a major campaign for international collaboration. These programs will restrain the temperature growth within ten years, but will probably have a variety of adverse effects on other nations.
At least some of these nations will oppose these geo-engineering programs but Maverick will use its diplomatic, cultural, financial and commercial muscle to neutralize this opposition. It’s not clear whether war can be completely avoided in this scenario, but I’m assuming that any military action against Maverick will not stop its geo-engineering efforts. Maverick will also use its leverage to prevent other powers from benefiting disproportionately from its expenditure on geo-engineering.
The initial hostility to Maverick’s unilateralism will, eventually, be followed by acceptance of its inevitability and even desirability. This scenario is unstable and could degenerate into either of the high temperature scenarios. However, Maverick’s unilateralism may buy enough time for the creation of a consensus between the main powers. This consensus could allow this scenario to evolve into Lifeboat. It will not be sustainable if it doesn’t.

Scenario 3: Police World
See: http://climate-cassandra.blogspot.com/2011/02/scenario-3-police-world.html
In this scenario the nations collaborate against climate change but not in time to prevent catastrophe.
By 2030 China will be suffering from water shortages and the USA from increasingly severe hurricane damage. Every government will have recognized the direction and pace of change. Corporate lobbyists who currently deny the reality of anthropogenic change will have shifted to demanding government help in adapting to that change (whilst denying any meaningful responsibility). It will also be clear that even geo-engineering schemes cannot reverse the trend.
Climate change will already have reduced the area under cultivation and the availability of water for irrigation causing starvation in areas, such as those south of the Sahara, where governments are already weak. The reduction in global food production will make it impossible to provide enough food aid leading to major population movements and wars.
Governments will recognize that the Earth cannot support its current population and that existing human institutions cannot survive the huge population movements that these changes will provoke. (In Collapse Jared Diamond has described a variety of precedents for social collapse due to overuse of natural resources.)
Once the inevitability of this collapse becomes clear governments will shift their focus from mitigation to survival. The worst governments will seek their own survival – the best that of as many of their population as they think feasible. Most countries will adopt a ‘war footing’. Specific policy responses will vary according to geography and political feasibility but will typically include:
o  Bans on immigration – enforced by tighter borders and internal controls
o  Central direction of food production – including use of genetically-modified crops and lower animal welfare standards.
o  Forced relocation of people from threatened areas – sometimes to farmlands where human labor will replace diesel engines.

To deal with the inevitable resistance to these measures most governments will suspend many civil rights. Some will suspend elections ‘for the duration of the emergency’ – a suspension that will become permanent.
Even so, most governments will realize that these measures can provide only temporary relief. With large parts of many countries becoming permanently uninhabitable and new farmlands becoming available in the under-populated north the only long-term solution will be a wholesale northward relocation of people and industrial facilities coupled with a reduction in total numbers.
The inevitable strategy will be to identify the territories remote from the equator where the prospects are best and then limit and direct migration into these refuges. The rest of the Earth will be progressively abandoned together with a large part of its population. International institutions will be redirected or created in order to manage the transfer and, more critically, the abandonment and starvation of many millions of people.
This process will play out over many decades and its reality will be generally denied at first.
• By 2050: The temperature rise will have exceeded two degrees and major positive feedback effects will be visible. Major floods and severe hurricanes will be much more common making and major habitat changes have already occurred, eg. in the Sahara and Amazon basin, leading to a marked reduction in the Earth’s carrying capacity. An increase of at least four degrees will now be certain.
• Beyond 2050: The refuges will take on a life of their own. Life in these refuges will be hard but life outside them will become literally impossible; most of those outside them will die. These deaths will be spread over many decades and will mainly be from starvation, though natural disasters and warfare will contribute.
Resistance to the new world order will be severe, but the multinational authorities will take large-scale military action to maintain the borders of the refuges. This scenario assumes that the multinational authorities succeed in maintaining law and order and an industrial base but this will be at the price of human rights and ordinary human compassion. The need for vigorous military action against those outside the refuges and direction of labor within them will lead to severe rationing of almost everything and a police state covering all the refuges; in effect a Police World.
If the authorities are unable to maintain law and order and an industrial base we will get scenario 4 <>.

Scenario 4: The New dark Age
See: http://climate-cassandra.blogspot.com/2011/03/scenario-4-new-dark-age.html
In the final scenario attempts at international collaboration have failed to prevent temperature rises and have broken down. As temperatures rise nations and subnational groups will fight for survival destroying civilization and creating a new dark age.

2030: Change will have become irrevocable and some previously fertile land will have gone out of use. Food shortages will be normal and famines common. During famines there will generally not be enough spare food available from outside the stricken area to feed the hungry making starvation common.
Institutions and individuals will generally have recognized that long-term survival with any degree of security and comfort will be possible only in places remote from the equator. Only in these places will the impending climate catastrophe leave land for agriculture.
Since the majority of countries are not remote from the equator their governments will attempt to negotiate access to places that are. Countries that do include high latitude regions will recognize their value and will generally be unwilling to provide access; preferring to keep them for their own inhabitants. They will increase military expenditure and strengthen their defenses.
As temperatures rise food shortages will increase and people will migrate away from the equator and the lowlands. Conflicts will arise as the migrating populations press upon national boundaries or encroach on lands previously used by other ethnic groups within the same countries. Darfur may be seen as an early example of such a conflict. These conflicts will arise even where the disputed land provides no long-term security. If faced with the choice between violence and starvation those not actually starving will choose violence.
Some large nations, the USA and Argentina for instance, will include some refuge areas though not enough for their whole populations. Civil wars will result in these nations. In some cases these wars will be encouraged by neighboring nations who hope to grab some of the more attractive land.
These conflicts will often be exacerbated by religious and ethnic differences and recollections of past grievances, actual or supposed. These differences and grievances will be emphasized and exaggerated, and sometimes invented, by unscrupulous opportunistic politicians. (These processes could be seen operating in Rwanda and Yugoslavia.)
Detailed predictions of these conflicts is impossible, but with stakes so high – both national survival and the physical survival of whole populations – there is no reason to expect much restraint. Nuclear, chemical and biological weapons will be used.

2060: Repeated wars will inflict major damage on the very resources, both agricultural and industrial, that they are trying to control. Continued warfare will also destroy much of humanity’s capacity to innovate, except in military matters, and to do or even understand science and the arts.
As climate pressures increase (over a period of many decades) military power will become the dominant reality in human affairs. Political authority will give way to it. Jared Diamond’s, Collapse gives examples of this breakdown.
A new global Dark Age will follow in which most of the survivors will live in militarized refuge areas in high latitudes. Food will be scarce and almost all resources will be devoted to survival – water supply, food production and defense. Commitment to survival goals will be enforced by the authorities and underwritten by new religious ideologies. Dissent will not be tolerated and punishments will be both severe and quick.
Survival outside these refuges will be limited to hunter-gatherer bands and small agricultural villages. As between them, suspicion and violence will be the norm.

After the Dark Age
The new Dark Age will doubtless last several centuries, during which the human population will fall to a fraction of its current level. The best that can be said of this scenario is that it need not last indefinitely. Neither the Greek nor the later European Dark Ages lasted for ever. Each ended and was followed by a notable period of cultural flowering – the Athenian Golden Age and The European Renaissance.
Though we have not previously experienced either a global Dark Age or such abrupt climate change there is reason to hope that our descendants will ultimately be able to rebuild civilization.
From: http://climate-cassandra.blogspot.com/2011/03/scenario-planning-for-climate-change.html
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C.  Climate Change and Global Conflicts
March-April 2008, WFS.org, by Cynthia G. Wagner
Pasted from: http://www.wfs.org/node/370
‘Cold’ wars have existed throughout history; now we may see ‘heat’ wars.
Traumatic climate cooling may have launched wars in the past, like the Little Ice Age of the mid-sixteenth through mid-nineteenth centuries. Cold-induced stresses on agriculture led to wars, famines, and population declines, an international team of researchers believes. Now, they warn that future climate change that turns up the heat could also increase conflicts.
Sudden changes in temperature don’t directly cause conflict, but they do disrupt water and food supplies. Shortages of such critical resources can lead people to rise against their governments or invade neighboring countries, according to research led by University of Hong Kong geographer David Zhang and published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
To study the relationship between climate and conflict, the researchers collected data on temperature change and wars from A.D. 1400 to 1900. They discovered that cycles of turbulence followed historic low temperatures, with tranquility restored during more-temperate times. Sources for the study included a database of 4,500 wars, assembled by co-author Peter Brecke of Georgia Tech, and climate records reconstructed by paleontologists from historical documents.
The researchers found that there were nearly twice as many wars per year worldwide during cold centuries as there were during the milder eighteenth century. More than 80% of countries around the world experienced more wars in a cold climate, according to Zhang.
The researchers reason that the link between climate shock and conflict is the supply of food: Decreases in agricultural production trigger increases in food prices, and when grain prices reach a certain level, wars erupt.
Population growth and decline are also affected by these climate change driven conflicts, the researchers believe. After peak periods of war in Europe and Asia, such as during the frigid seventeenth century, populations declined. In China, population dropped by 43% between 1620 and 1650, then rose dramatically between 1650 and 1800, when the next cooling period began, bringing another global demographic shock.
“Climate change may have played a more important role on human civilization than has so far been suggested,” says Zhang. The depletion of resources on which livelihoods are based is the most critical effect of such change and is “the root cause of human miseries—e.g., wars, famines, and epidemics.”
Abrupt global warming is upon us now, they warn, and may pose just as dire threats to resource supply and demand as did global cooling in centuries past.
“The speed of global warming is totally beyond our imagination,” says Zhang. “Such abnormal climate will certainly break the balance of human ecosystem. At the moment, scientists cannot accurately predict the chain of ecological effects induced by climate change. If global warming continues, we are afraid that the associated shortages of livelihood resources such as freshwater, arable land, and food may trigger more armed conflicts (e.g., Darfur in Africa) or even general crises in the world.”
As Brecke of Georgia Tech points out, global warming may have some beneficial effects in the short term, but “with more droughts and a rapidly growing population, it is going to get harder and harder to provide food for everyone and thus we should not be surprised to see more instances of starvation and probably more cases of hungry people clashing over scarce food and water.”
Human beings are unlikely to sit still with such dire prospects before them, notes Zhang. Responses to resource shortages extend beyond fighting over dwindling crumbs of bread and drops of water, but include economic change, trade, technological and social innovation, and peaceful resource distribution. In eighteenth century China, for instance, the frequency of war decreased “because the Qing emperors had united all troublesome tribal states in the western and northern marginal areas,” the authors write. “We hope that positive social mechanisms that are conducive to human adaptability will play an ever more effective role in meeting the challenges of the future.”–Cynthia G. Wagner
Sources: “Global Climate Change, War, and Population Decline in Recent Human History” by David D. Zhang et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (November 20, 2007).
Pasted from: http://www.wfs.org/node/370

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 D. Global Warring: Climate Change Could Be The Root Of Armed Conflicts
Excerpt pasted from: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070709111427.htm
Warfare frequency in eastern China, and the southern part in particular, significantly correlated with temperature oscillations.  Almost all peaks of warfare and dynastic changes coincided with cold phases.
Temperature fluctuations directly impact agriculture and horticulture and, in societies with limited technology such as pre-industrial China, cooling temperatures hugely impact the availability of crops and herds.  In times of such ecological stress, warfare could be the ultimate means of redistributing resources, according to Zhang and his team.
The authors conclude that “it was the oscillations of agricultural production brought by long-term climate change that drove China’s historical war-peace cycles.”  They recommend that researchers consider climate change part of the equation when they consider the reasons behind wars in our history.

E.  Will Global Warming Cause World War IV?
BUSINESS & POLITICS (NEWS), by Eric Leech, New York, NY
Excerpts pasted from: http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/will-global-warming-cause-world-war-iv.html
Global warming is the cause of a number of damaging effects to the earth and its inhabitants, such as climate change, glacier retreat, rising sea levels, and now we may have a new threat on the horizon… world war! According to the 2007 CNA Corporation report, there is clear indication that as the tensions of global warming continue to heat up, so may the possibilities of war… a Hot War!
There are two obvious factors which will be the cause of the increasing threat of a World War IV (some military historians believe that WWIII has already occurred):

1.  Crowding and Territorial Tensions – The number one cause of such tensions will be the migration of different cultures to other territories in search of new resources to replace the increasingly depleting ones. Not only will many cultures find their resources disappearing, but the rising sea level will cover over parts of much of the land, minimizing usable farm area, fresh water, and cattle herds. In some cases, entire islands may become submerged.
Instead of allowing their sovereignty to disappear along with their dry ground, many of these endangered cultures will choose to battle with nearby countries in order to set-up their governments and house their citizens upon alternative soil. Inevitably larger powers will become a part of such squabbles and before you know it, we’ve got a world war on our hands.

2.  Competition of Newly Habitable Lands – The opposite scenario of crowding may also occur as the open space around the Arctic regions becomes available due to the increased air temperatures. As these uninhabitable areas become habitable for the first time in history, competition from the various coastal countries and islands who have lost their native homeland will become fierce.
In addition to the smaller powers, larger world powers who previously ignored such land will eventually see the profit potential of such areas and involve themselves in the competition. The large nations will be less interested in the usable space and more keen on the possibility of exploiting the relatively untapped oil resources of these areas for strategic economic positioning.

See also, Survival Manual/1. Disaster/War, EMP
Survival Manual/1. Disaster/War, Radiological
Survival Manual/1. Disaster/ Volcanic Winter and
Survival Manual /1. Disaster/ Climate- Global Warming

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El Nino – La Nina and Megadrought

(Survival manual/ 1. Disaster/El Nino – La Nina and Megadrought)

The El Nino – La Nina Southern Oscillations (ENSO) alternate quasi-periodically across the tropical Pacific Ocean on average every five years, but over a period which varies from three to seven years. ENSO causes extreme weather such as floods, droughts and other weather disturbances in many regions of the world.

Periodicity
Between 1950 and 1997, El Ninos were present 31%, La Ninas 23% of the time, and about 46% of the period was in a neutral state. El Nino and La Nina occur on average every 3 to 5 years. Based on the historical record, the interval between events has varied from 2 to 7 years. Since 1975, La Ninas have been only half as frequent as El Ninos, therefore, a La Nina episode may, but does not always
follow an El Nino. La Nina conditions typically last approximately 9-12 months, but some episodes may persist for as long as two years.

 1.  EL Nino
El Niño’s Are Growing Stronger, NASA/NOAA Study Finds
ScienceDaily (Aug. 27, 2010) — A relatively new type of El Niño, which has its warmest waters in the central-equatorial Pacific Ocean, rather than in the eastern-equatorial Pacific, is becoming more common and progressively stronger, according to a new study by NASA and NOAA.

El Niño, Spanish for “the little boy,” is the oceanic component of a climate pattern called the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, which appears in the tropical Pacific Ocean on average every three to five years. The most dominant year-to-year fluctuating pattern in Earth’s climate system, El Niños have a powerful impact on the ocean and atmosphere, as well as important socioeconomic consequences.
They can influence global weather patterns and the occurrence and frequency of hurricanes, droughts and floods; and can even raise or lower global temperatures by as much as 0.2 degrees Celsius (0.4 degrees Fahrenheit).

During a “classic” El Niño episode, the normally strong easterly trade winds in the tropical eastern Pacific weaken. That weakening suppresses the normal upward movement of cold subsurface waters and allows warm surface water from the central Pacific to shift toward the Americas. In these situations, unusually warm surface water occupies much of the tropical Pacific, with the maximum ocean warming remaining in the eastern-equatorial Pacific.

Since the early 1990s, however, scientists have noted a new type of El Niño that has been occurring with greater frequency. Known variously as “central-Pacific El Niño,” “warm-pool El Niño,” “dateline El Niño” or “El Niño Modoki” (Japanese for “similar but different”), the maximum ocean warming from such El Niño’s is found in the central-equatorial, rather than eastern, Pacific. Such central Pacific El Niño events were observed in 1991-92, 1994-95, 2002-03, 2004-05 and 2009-10. A recent study found many climate models predict such events will become much more frequent under projected global warming scenarios.

Graphic above pasted from <http://www.eoearth.org/article/El_Ni%C3%B1o,_La_Ni%C3% B1a_and_the_southern_oscillation>

Our understanding of the processes responsible for the development of El Niño is still incomplete. Scientists are able to predict the future development of an event by noting the occurrence of particular weather precursors. Researchers also now have a pretty complete understanding of the global weather effects caused by the formation of an El Niño (see Figure 5).

2.   La Nina
La Niña is essentially the opposite of an El Niño. During a La Niña, trade winds in the western equatorial Pacific are stronger than normal, and the cold water that normally exists along the coast of South America extends to the central equatorial Pacific. La Niñas change global weather patterns and are associated with less moisture in the air, resulting in less rain along the coasts of North and South America. They also tend to increase the formation of tropical storms in the Atlantic.

“For the American Southwest, La Niñas usually bring a dry winter, not good news for a region that has experienced normal rain and snowpack only once in the past five winters,” said Patzert.

 La Niña causes mostly the opposite effects of El Niño. La Niña causes above average precipitation across the North Midwest, the Northern Rockies, Northern California, and in the Pacific Northwest’s southern and eastern regions. Meanwhile there is below average precipitation in the southwestern and outheastern states.

La Niñas occurred in 1904, 1908, 1910, 1916, 1924, 1928, 1938, 1950, 1955, 1964, 1970, 1973, 1975, 1988, 1995, 1998-99, 2008, 2010-11.

Recent occurrences
The strength of the La Niña made the 2008 hurricane season one of the most active since 1944; there were 16 named storms of at least 39 mph (63 kph), eight of which became 74 mph or greater hurricanes. The Gulf of Mexico holds about 27 percent of the U.S.’s oil and 15 percent of its natural gas, the U.S. Department of Energy reports. This makes La Niña and hurricanes serious business.

According to NOAA, El Niño conditions have been in place in the equatorial Pacific Ocean since June 2009, peaking in January-February. Positive SST anomalies are expected to last at least through the North American Spring as this El Niño slowly weakens.

3.  Megadrought Ancient megadroughts preview warmer climate -study
By Deborah  Zabarenko, 2/24/2011, WASHINGTON, Feb 23 (Reuters Life!) –
“Ancient mega droughts that lasted thousands of years in what is now the American Southwest could offer a preview of a climate changed by modern greenhouse gas emissions, researchers reported on Wednesday.

The scientists found these persistent dry periods were different from even the most severe decades-long modern droughts, including the 1930s “Dust Bowl.” And they determined that these millennial droughts occurred at times when Earth’s mean annual temperature was similar to or slightly higher than what it is now. These findings tally with projections by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and others, according to study author Peter Fawcett of the University of New
Mexico. The results were published in the current edition of Nature.

“The IPCC model suggests that when you warm the climate, you’ll see extended droughts in this part of the world and this is what the paleo record seems to be telling us,” Fawcett said in a telephone interview. “When you’ve got past temperatures that were at or above today’s conditions, conditions got drier.”

The U.S. Southwest has seen steep population growth over the last century, with population increasing by 1,500 percent from 1900 to 1990, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The total U.S. population grew 225 percent over the same period.

The settlement of this area depended, as all human settlements do, on access to water. There would clearly be less water available in a megadrought.

Earth’s orbit and greenhouse emissions
Megadroughts in the past were caused by subtle changes in the Earth’s orbit around the Sun, which were also responsible for periodic ice ages. If these orbital changes were the only influence on the
planet’s climate, Earth should be heading into a cool period, Fawcett said in a telephone interview.

However, recent temperature statistics indicate that is not the case. The decade that ended last year was the hottest since modern record-keeping began in 1880. The previous decade, 1991-2000, was next-warmest and 1981-1990 was third-warmest.

Emissions of climate-warming greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide help trap heat near Earth’s surface and could be influencing the natural orbital cycle that would dictate a cooling period.

To figure out just how long these megadroughts lasted, and what happened during them, scientists took samples from a dried lake bed in northern New Mexico called the Valles Caldera. They analyzed these sediments for biochemical signs of drought, ranging from which trees and shrubs grew and how much calcium was in the cracked mud in the dried lake bottom.

Looking at records going back more than a half-million years, they also developed a technique to determine temperature in the ancient past by looking at signs left by soil bacteria, Fawcett said.

The fats in the walls of these bacteria change their structure in response to temperature changes, he said, and act like a “tape recorder” for antique temperatures. (Editing by Eric Walsh)
Pasted from <http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41739225/ns/business->

4.  Mega-drought threat to US Southwest
Quirin Schiermeier
The Dust Bowl — the seven-year drought that devastated large swathes of US prairie land in the 1930s — was the worst prolonged environmental disaster recorded for the country. But a study of the American Southwest’s more distant climatic past reveals that the catastrophic drought was a mere dry spell compared to the ‘mega-droughts’ that were recurring long before humans began to settle the continent.

The findings, reported in a paper in Nature this week, add to concerns that the already arid region might face quasi-permanent drought conditions as climate continues to warm.

The team, led by Peter Fawcett, a climate scientist at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, reconstructed the region’s climate history using geochemical indicators from an 82-metre-long lake sediment core from the Valles Caldera in northern New Mexico. Analysis of climate and vegetation proxies, such as pollen and carbon-isotope ratios, suggests that the Southwest experienced abrupt and surprisingly pronounced climate shifts during warm periods of the Pleistocee, including transitions to extended dry periods that lasted for hundreds or even thousands of years.

 5.  Reliving the past
If today’s climate repeated past patterns, the southwestern United States might move into a wetter and cooler phase. Such a transition happened at one point during the so-called Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11, an interglacial period around 400,000 years ago that shows some striking parallels with the Holocene, our current warm period. This seems to have roughly advanced to the point at which the climate in MIS 11 began to switch to a less arid one.

Earth’s orbit and axial tilt during the unusually long MIS 11 stage was similar to orbital conditions during the Holocene, which scientists think will last longer than most Pleistocene warm periods.

But for all the similarities, the climate during MIS 11 was unperturbed by human activity. This time around, rising greenhouse-gas concentrations driven by human activity will very likely override any natural cooling trend. Scientists fear that the Southwestern climate may in fact switch to an extended dry mode such as the ones that occurred during particularly warm Pleistocene periods.

“We won’t know for sure if it happens again until we get there,” says Fawcett. “But we are certainly increasing the possibility of crossing a critical threshold to severe and lasting drought conditions.”

Sudden shifts in carbon isotopes and lowered total organic carbon in the sediment record suggest that grasses and shrubs that depend mostly on summer rain died out during extended Pleistocene droughts. This is surprising, says Fawcett, because summer monsoon rainfall was thought to become more intense in a warmer climate. That summer rain was in fact strongly reduced, or had almost stopped, suggests that regional climate patterns must have shifted radically when Pleistocene temperatures crossed a threshold.

“The scary thing is that we seem to be very close to this point again,” he says.

 6.  A dry future
The Southwest has experienced significant reductions in rainfall during the last decade, causing freshwater reservoirs and groundwater to fall to unusually low levels. Colorado River flows recorded at Lees Ferry, Arizona, from 2000 to 2009 are the lowest on record.

Climate models suggest that the region will in future become even drier as atmospheric circulation patterns change and subtropical dry zones expand towards the poles2.
“The drying we expect for the twenty-first century is entirely the result of increased greenhouse forcing,” says Richard Seager, a climate researcher at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York. “Any natural variations in orbital forcing and incoming sunlight will hardly have a noticeable role in the near future.”

A 10–15% reduction in rainfall is enough to cause severe drought in the region, he says. Meanwhile, debate continues among scientists whether a transition to quasi-permanent dry conditions is imminent or already underway, and to what extent global warming has increased the risk of drought.

“A signal of anthropogenic drying is emerging, but it is still small,” says Seager. “I’d expect that by mid-century the human signal will exceed the amplitude of natural climate variability. Then we can safely say that the Southwest has entered a new climate stage.”
[Chart: Drought in American west]

“The climate system clearly has the capacity to get ‘stuck’ in drought-inducing modes over North America that can last several decades to a century or more,” Seager and colleagues wrote in an article published in 2009.

The researchers also point out that the megadroughts occurred without any intervention from human beings. So they could well happen again. It’s also very possible that human-caused warming could bring a return to megadroughts by inducing the same climatic conditions that appear to have been associated with them in the past.

Given projected increases in demand for water on the river, and a 20 percent reduction in its annual flow by 2057 due to climate change, there would be a nearly 10-fold increase in the chances that lakes Mead and Powell would become depleted.
Pasted from <http://www.cejournal.net/?p=4924&gt;

7.  Higher Water Shortage Risks in One Third of US Counties Due to Climate Change: NRDC Report
21 July 2010, Tree Hugger.com, by Matthew McDermott,  http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/07/higher-water-shortage-risks-one-third-u-s-counties-climate-change.php#ch02

A new report from the National Resources Defense Council paints a really dry and thirsty picture in a world warmed by climate change: More than 1100 counties in the United States face higher risks of water shortages by 2050, with more than 400 of these placed at extremely high risk.

14 States At Extreme Risk
Tetra Tech, which did the report for NRDC, used publicly available water use data and climate change models to examine water withdrawals versus renewable water supply. The result was that 14 states face extreme to high risk to water sustainability, or are likely to experience limitations in the water
supply. This is a 14-fold increase from previous estimates.

Parts of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas all are in this latter category–with the Great Plains and Southwest states singled out as places where “water sustainability is at extreme risk.”

Arid Western States’ Water Use Already Unsustainable
Stats on water use as a percentage of available precipitation clearly illustrate the problem: In the eastern US generally less than 5% of precipitation is withdrawn; in the majority of the western US water withdrawals are under 30% of precipitation. But in the arid areas of the states mentioned in the report (particularly in California, Texas and the desert Southwest), withdrawals top 100% of available precipitation.

In the Ogallala Aquifer, stretching from Nebraska to Texas and supplying about 30% of all the water used for farmland irrigation in the country, unsustainable water withdrawals have led to the aquifer dropping by more than 100 feet in many places. In fact The Nature Conservancy, whose scientists contributed research for the report, points out that some studies show the aquifer drying up in as little as 25 years.

As previous studies have indicated, the effect of these water shortages and patently unsustainable water use trend on agricultural production is pronounced. NRDC cites 2007 data to show that the value of crops raised in the 1100 counties at risk exceeded $105 billion.

Strong Climate Action by Congress Can Help
Dan Lashof, director of NRDC’s Climate Center:This analysis shows climate change will take a serious toll on water supplies throughout the country in the coming decades, with over one out of three U.S. counties facing greater risks of water shortages. Water shortages can strangle economic development and agricultural production and affected communities.

As a result, cities and states will bear real and significant costs if Congress fails to take the steps necessary to slow down and reverse the warming trend. Water management and climate change adaptation plans will be essential to lessen the impacts, but they cannot be expected to counter the effects of a warming climate. The only way to truly manage the risks exposed by this report is for Congress to pass meaningful legislation that cuts global warming pollution and allows the U.S. to exercise global leadership on the issue.

[The jury has delivered its verdict: Look for increasing drought during the next few decades. The drought is not a temporary climatic anomaly, but a global change in climatic conditions that will persist  for several centuries. -Mr Larry]

8.  Understanding Your Risk and Impacts: Economic Impacts
2006-2011, The National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
http://www.drought.unl.edu/risk/economic.htm
http://www.drought.unl.edu/index.htm
Costs and losses to agricultural producers:

  • Costs and losses to agricultural producers Annual and perennial crop losses [wheat and other grains]
  • Damage to crop quality [reduced yield]
  • Income loss for farmers due to reduced crop yields
  • Reduced productivity of cropland (wind erosion, long-term loss of organic matter, etc.) {late in oil decline making fertilizer very expensive]
  • Insect infestation [late in the oil decline]
  • Plant disease
  • Wildlife damage to crops
  • Increased irrigation costs [during a spreading and  increasingly severe  megadrought]
  • Cost of new or supplemental water resource development (wells, dams, pipelines)
  • Costs and losses to livestock producers
  • Reduced productivity of rangeland
  • Reduced milk production
  • Forced reduction of foundation stock
  • Closure/limitation of public lands to grazing
  • High cost/unavailability of water for livestock
  • Cost of new or supplemental water resource development (wells, dams, pipelines)
  • High cost/unavailability of feed for livestock
  • Increased feed transportation costs
  • High livestock mortality rates
  • Disruption of reproduction cycles (delayed breeding, more miscarriages)
  • Decreased stock weights
  • Increased predation
  • Range fires
  • Loss from timber production
  • Wildland fires
  • Tree disease
  • Insect infestation
  • Impaired productivity of forest land
  • Direct loss of trees, especially young ones
  • Loss from fishery production
  • Damage to fish habitat
  • Loss of fish and other aquatic organisms due to decreased flows
  • General economic effects
  • Decreased land prices
  • Loss to industries directly dependent on agricultural production (e.g., machinery and fertilizer manufacturers, food processors, dairies, etc.)
  • Unemployment from drought-related declines in production
  • Strain on financial institutions (foreclosures, more credit risk, capital shortfalls)
  • Revenue losses to federal, state, and local governments (from reduced tax base)
  • Reduction of economic development
  • Fewer agricultural producers (due to bankruptcies, new occupations)
  • Rural population loss
  • Loss to recreation and tourism industry
  • Loss to manufacturers and sellers of recreational equipment
  • Losses related to curtailed activities: hunting and fishing, bird watching, boating, etc.
  • Energy-related effects
  • Increased energy demand and reduced supply because of drought-related power curtailments
  • Costs to energy industry and consumers associated with substituting more expensive fuels (oil) for hydroelectric power
  • Water Suppliers
  • Revenue shortfalls and/or windfall profits
  • Cost of water transport or transfer
  • Cost of new or supplemental
    water resource development
  • Transportation Industry
  • Loss from impaired navigability of streams, rivers, and canals
  • Declinein food production/disrupted food supply
  • Increase in food prices
  • Increased importation of food (higher costs)

[The lists above speak of reduced agricultural production, rapidly accelerating input costs due to the decline in world petroleum production, stress on agricultural producers-fewer farmers, less land, less product—and much higher U.S. food prices, as a percentage of net income, hence much less discretionary income, less ability to develop a finacial cushion, and a lower quality of life. Add to this the hunger/ socially driven measures some foreign countries may be willing to undertake in these circumstances and we will likely see regional wars; one theater of broad damage might be on American soil. The lists also  speaks quietly about a global and US overpopulation on a diminishing resource base. As every ecologist knows, when  a population has exceeded its resources, its numbers must adjust to a level that is sustainable. Mr Larry]

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Yes, there’s “climate change”, its cooling

A. Sunspots 2015: Year of the decline
4 Jan 2015, Posted by azleader
Pasted from: https://informthepundits.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/sunspots-2015-year-of-the-decline/

Cooling1 sun Giant solar flare on October 27, 2014. Credit/NASA SDO spacecraft

Solar maximum has passed. What climate effects will come next?
Austin, January 4, 2015 – Solar maximum activity peaked in April 2014 at an exceptionally low 81.9 spots/day. Waning solar activity in 2015 will begin the long, inexorably journey towards solar minimum over the next half decade or so.

If solar physicists are correct, solar activity could be very low for several decades to come. How that will affect climate change is anyone’s guess, but low sunspot activity has already been identified by the United Nation’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as one of the main causes for the 15+ year “hiatus” from atmospheric global warming.

cooling2 progressionSolar max arrived in April 2014. Credit/Steve Davidson-SILSO data, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels

The Royal Observatory of Belgium released December’s official monthly international sunspot numbers on January 1, 2015. Sunspots increased again in December, but the 13-month smoothed sunspot number that defines solar maximum declined for the 2nd month in a row. Given that solar maximum is a 13-month running average, no one knows maximum has been reached until at least seven months after the fact.

What does the downturn in solar activity mean for earth’s long-term climate change? One legitimate comparison of the current situation on the sun is to a cold period on earth called the Dalton Minimum. It happened 200 years ago.

cooling3 daltonCurrent solar activity is similar to the Dalton Minimum. Credit/Steve Davidson using SILSO data

There were three declining solar cycles leading into the Dalton Minimum, just like now. The third exceptionally weak cycle had a rare higher secondary peak than its first when the Dalton was reached, just like now.

That cycle was followed by a decline to zero spots. The period of zero spots lasted nearly two years before another weak cycle occurred. The match to current activity isn’t exact, but it’s eerily similar. There is modern supporting evidence that the sun will have an exceptionally weak cycle next time, just like the Dalton.

cooling umbralSunspots are becoming harder to see and weaker. Credit/Dr. Leif Svalgaard Research Page

Umbral intensity is a measure of how black the center of the average sunspot is compared to its surroundings. An intensity of 1 means the sunspot is invisible. Sunspots have been fading away since the late 1990s. In the last 3-4 years, though, the fading has leveled off.

Umbral magnetic field is a measure of the strength of the average sunspot, measured in Gauss. The lower the number, the weaker the sunspot. Strong magnetic fields are what cause giant solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that dramatically affect earth. Sunspots cannot form with a field strength below 1,500 Gauss. In the last 3-4 years the decline in magnetic field strength has leveled off, too.

When this data was first published in 2011 it caused quite a stir among solar physicists. Some predicted sunspots would totally disappear after the current cycle ended. It doesn’t look like that will be the case after all. It looks like the next cycle, Cycle 25, will be another weak one, just like during the Dalton Minimum.

Reliable global temperature data does not extend further back than about 1850, fifty years after the Dalton. However, anecdotal evidence suggests there were very cold winter temperatures in the northern hemisphere during that time period.

The current sunspot cycle most closely matches Cycle 12, which peaked in 1883. That one is within reliable global temperature records.

cooling monthly smoothedThe current solar cycle is best matched to Cycle 12. Credit/Steve Davidson using SILSO data

Both Cycle 12 and the current cycle have a rare secondary peak higher than the first. That has got to mean something.

According to IPCC data, the period of the 1880s to the early 1900s was characterized by a general decline in earth’s global atmospheric temperature.

 cooling trend1880-1910 cooling trend corresponds to low sunspot activity. Source/IPCC AR5 Report

Cycle 12 and the two cycles following it were exceptionally weak cycles leading into the early 1900s. It corresponded to declining global temperatures. Coincidence? Not likely.

Conclusions
Solar sunspot maximum was reached in April of 2014. That did not become known until recently because solar max is computed as a 13-month running average. You can’t know it has been reached until at least seven months after the fact. There have been two months of decline since then, so it is reasonably certain the maximum was finally reached. As it is, it was over two years later than originally predicted.

If the current cycle follows past solar behavior then 2015 will see a steep decline in solar activity as it progresses toward solar minimum in the next five years or so.
The current cycle (Cycle 24) has strong similarities to both the Dalton Minimum and Cycle 12 that peaked in 1883. Both time periods are associated with cold earth temperatures. Cycle 12 is more meaningful because it is supported by current United Nations IPCC data.
That being the case, it’s time to start thinking about breaking out the cold weather gear.
.

B. New Ice Age to Begin in 2014
23 Feb 2012, IceAgeNow.info, By Robert
Pasted from: http://iceagenow.info/2012/02/ice-age-2014/

“Forecasters predict that a new ice age will begin soon,” says this article on russia-ic.com.

“Habibullo Abdusamatov, a scientist from the Pulkovo Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences considers that the sharp drop in temperature will start on the Earth in 2014. “According to the scientist, our planet began to “get cold” in the 1990s. The new ice age will last at least two centuries, with its peak in 2055. “It is interesting, that the same date was chosen by the supporters of the theory of global warming. “The expected decrease in temperature may … become the fifth over the past nine centuries, reports Hydrometeorological Center of Russia. Experts call this phenomenon the “little ice age”, it was observed in the XII, XV, XVII, XIX centuries. This cyclicity makes the theory of upcoming cold weather in XXI century look like truth.” http://russia-ic.com/news/show/13717#.T0Q3Ms7rk9C Thanks to Thomas McHart, Stephanie Relfe for this link

Habibullo Abdussamatov is not just “a scientist.” Dr Habibullo Abdussamatov, astrophysicist, is head of the Russian segment of the International Space Station, and head of Space Research of the Sun Sector at the Pulkovo Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences. I
’m inclined to take his forecasts seriously.
I’ve met Dr Abdussamatov, and posted other articles about him here: http://iceagenow.info/2010/05/new-little-ice-age-to-begin-in-2014/
And here: http://iceagenow.info/2011/11/russian-scientists-predict-100-years-cooling/

.

C. New Little Ice Age ‘to Begin in 2014′
20 May 2010,IceAgeNow.info, by Bob
Pasted from: http://iceagenow.info/2010/05/new-little-ice-age-to-begin-in-2014/

cooling Habibullo AbdussamatovRussian scientist to alarmists: ‘Sun heats Earth!’ 20 May 10 – CHICAGO – Habibullo Abdussamatov, head of space research at Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in St. Petersburg, Russia, predicts that a new “Little Ice Age” could begin in just four years.
I sat just ten feet away from Abdussamatov as he made this startling assertion at the Heartland Institute’s 4th International Conference on Climate Change in Chicago just two days ago.
Jerome R. Corsi from World Net Daily covered the proceedings exceedingly well, and I am quoting or paraphrasing him extensively here.
In a two-part video recorded at the conference by WND (link below), Abdussamatov explains that average annual sun activity has experienced an accelerated decrease since the 1990s.

Habibullo Abdussamatov Head of the Russian-Ukrainian project “Astrometria” on the Russian segment of the International Space Station, Abdussamatov’s theory is that “long-term variations in the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth are the main and principal reasons driving and defining the whole mechanism of climatic changes from the global warmings to the Little Ice Ages to the big glacial periods.”

In his speech, Abdussamatov took on advocates of the theory of man-caused warming who want to curtail our use of hydrocarbon fuels. He contended, instead, that a reasonable way to combat coming cooling trends would be “to maintain economic growth in order to adapt to the upcoming new Little Ice Age in the middle of the 21st century.”

Sun’s activity determines temperatures
Abdussamatov argues that total sun irradiance, or TSI, is the primary factor responsible for causing climate variations on Earth, not carbon dioxide.

Carbon dioxide is “not guilty,” says Abdussamatov. “As for what lies ahead in the coming decades, it is not catastrophic warming, but a global, and very prolonged temperature drop.”

Abdussamatov pointed to the English astronomer Walter Maunder, who noticed that sunspots had been generally absent from 1645 to 1715. That period coincided with the middle and coldest part of the Little Ice Age (see article D, below), which began around 1650 and extended through 1850.

“There is now an unavoidable advance toward a global decrease, a deep temperature drop comparable to the Maunder minimum,” he wrote. “Already there are signs of the future deep temperature drop.”

“The observed global warming of the climate of the Earth is not caused by the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gasses, but by extraordinarily high solar intensity that extended over virtually the entire past century.” “Future decrease in global temperature will occur even if anthropogenic ejection of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere rises to record levels.

“The implementation of the Kyoto Protocol aimed to rescue the planet from the greenhouse effect should be put off at least 150 years.”

I have the utmost respect for the courageous scientists who presented at this convention.

.

D. The Little Ice Age in Europe
Scott A. Mandia, Professor – Physical Sciences, S.C.C.C., Selden, NY
Excerpts pasted from: http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/mandias/lia/little_ice_age.html

Western Europe experienced a general cooling of the climate between the years 1150 and 1460 and a very cold climate between 1560 and 1850 that brought dire consequences to its peoples. The colder weather impacted agriculture, health, economics, social strife, emigration, and even art and literature. Increased glaciation and storms also had a devastating effect on those that lived near glaciers and the sea.

Impact on Agriculture
Lamb (1966) points out that the growing season changed by 15 to 20 percent between the warmest and coldest times of the millennium. That is enough to affect almost any type of food production, especially crops highly adapted to use the full-season warm climatic periods. During the coldest times of the LIA, England’s growing season was shortened by one to two months compared to present day values. The availability of varieties of seed today that can withstand extreme cold or warmth, wetness or dryness, was not available in the past. Therefore, climate changes had a much greater impact on agricultural output in the past.

Fig. 16 and 17 show the price of wheat and rye, respectively, in various European countries during the LIA.

cooling wheat pricesFigure 16: Prices of wheat expressed in Dutch guilders per 100 kg. in various countries vs. time. (Source: Lamb, 1995)

Western Europe experienced a general cooling of the climate between the years 1150 and 1460 and a very cold climate between 1560 and 1850 that brought dire consequences to its peoples. The colder weather impacted agriculture, health, economics, social strife, emigration, and even art and literature. Increased glaciation and storms also had a devastating affect on those that lived near glaciers and the sea.

Impact on Health
The cooler climate during the LIA had a huge impact on the health of Europeans. As mentioned earlier, dearth and famine killed millions and poor nutrition decreased the stature of the Vikings in Greenland and Iceland.

Cool, wet summers led to outbreaks of an illness called St. Anthony’s Fire. Whole villages would suffer convulsions, hallucinations, gangrenous rotting of the extremities, and even death. Grain, if stored in cool, damp conditions, may develop a fungus known as ergot blight and also may ferment just enough to produce a drug similar to LSD. (In fact, some historians claim that the Salem, Massachusetts witch hysteria was the result of ergot blight.)

Malnutrition led to a weakened immunity to a variety of illnesses. In England, malnutrition aggravated an influenza epidemic of 1557-8 in which whole families died. In fact, during most of the 1550’s deaths outnumbered births (Lamb, 1995.) The Black Death (Bubonic Plague) was hastened by malnutrition all over Europe.

One might not expect a typically tropical disease such as malaria to be found during the LIA, but Reiter (2000) has shown that it was an important cause of illness and death in several parts of England. The English word for malaria was ague, a term that remained in common usage until the nineteenth century. Geoffrey Chaucer (1342-1400) wrote in the Nun’s Priest Tale:

You are so very choleric of complexion. Beware the mounting sun and all dejection, Nor get yourself with sudden humours hot; For if you do, I dare well lay a groat That you shall have the tertian fever’s pain, Or some ague that may well be your bane.

In sixteenth century England, many marshlands were notorious for their ague-stricken populations. William Shakespeare (1564-1616) mentioned ague in eight of his plays. Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) died of ague in September 1658, which was one of the coldest years of the LIA.

Five indigenous species of mosquito are capable of transmitting malaria in England where they prefer the brackish water along river estuaries. The anaerobic bacterial flora of saline mud produces a strong sulfur odor that was widely believed to be the cause of agues in salt marsh areas (i.e. Shakespeare’s “unwholesome fens.”) The term malaria comes from the Italian term “mala aria” meaning “bad air.”

Impact on Economics
In addition to increasing grain prices and lower wine production, there were many examples of economic impact by the dramatic cooling of the climate. Due to famine, storms, and growth of glaciers ,many farmsteads were destroyed, which resulted in less tax revenues collected due to decreased value of the properties (Lamb, 1995.)

Cod fishing greatly decreased, especially for the Scottish fisherman, as the cod moved farther south. The cod fishery at the Faeroe Islands began to fail around 1615 and failed altogether for thirty years between 1675 and 1704 (Lamb, 1995.) In the Hohe Tauern mountains of the Austrian Alps, advancing glaciers closed the gold mines of the Archbishop of Salzburg who was one of the wealthiest dukes in the empire. The succession of two or three bad summers where the miners could not rely on work in the mines caused them to find employment elsewhere, which resulted in an abrupt end to the mining operations (Bryson, 1977.)

Not all of the economic impact was bad. The fertile fishing grounds of the present day Newfoundland Banks were thought to have been found by fisherman in the late 1400’s who were looking for the fish stocks that had deserted their former grounds as the result of the movement of colder waters from the north (Lamb, 1995.)

English fisherman benefited by the southern movement of herring normally found in the waters off Norway. This increase in deep-sea fishing helped to build the maritime population and strength of the country (Lamb, 1995.) The failure of crops in Norway between 1680 and 1720 was a prime reason for the great growth of merchant shipping there. Coastal farmers whose crops failed turned to selling their timber and to constructing ships in order to transport these timbers themselves (Lamb, 1995.)

Social Unrest
Conditions during the LIA led to many cases of social unrest. The winter of 1709 killed many people in France. Conditions were so bad, a priest in Angers, in west-central France, wrote: “The cold began on January 6, 1709, and lasted in all its rigor until the twenty-fourth. The crops that had been sewn were all completely destroyed…. Most of the hens had died of cold, as had the beasts in the stables. When any poultry did survive the cold, their combs were seen to freeze and fall off. Many birds, ducks, partidges, woodcock, and blackbirds died and were found on the roads and on the thick ice and frequent snow. Oaks, ashes, and other valley trees split with cold. Two thirds of the vines died…. No grape harvest was gathered at all in Anjou…. I myself did not get enough wine from my vineyard to fill a nutshell.” (Ladurie, 1971) In March the poor rioted in several cities to keep the merchants from selling what little wheat they had left.

The winter of 1739-40 was also a bad one. After that there was no spring and only a damp, cool summer which spoiled the wheat harvest. The poor rebelled and the governor of Liège told the rich to “fire into the middle of them. That’s the only way to disperse this riffraff, who want nothing but bread and loot.” (Ladurie, 1971)

Lamb (1995) reports the occurrence of cattle raids on the Lowlanders by Highlanders who were stressed by the deteriorating climate. In 1436, King James I of Scotland was murdered while hunting on the edge of the Highland region near Perth. The clan warfare grew so bad that it was decided that no place north of Edinburgh Castle was safe for the king so Edinburgh became the capital of the country.

In England, the effect of starvation and the poor condition of the country encouraged men to enlist during the War of the Roses (1455-1485.) As tillable land was converted to other uses such as sheep rearing, the landlords who organized the conversions became the focus of many hostilities.

One group in particular suffered from the poor conditions – people thought to be witches (Behringer, 1999.) Weather-making was thought to be among the traditional abilities of witches and during the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries many saw a great witch conspiracy. Extensive witch hunts took place during the most severe years of the LIA, as people looked for scapegoats to blame for their suffering.

One of history’s most notorious quotes might have been due in part to a rare extremely warm period during the LIA. In northern France in 1788, after an unusually bad winter, May, June, and July were excessively hot, which caused the grain to shrivel. On July 13, just at harvest time, a severe hailstorm (which typically occurs when there is very cold air aloft) destroyed what little crops were left. From that bad harvest of 1788 came the bread riots of 1789 which led to Marie Antoinette’s alleged remark “Let them eat cake,” and the storming of the Bastille.

Art and Literature
Writers and artists were also influenced by the great change in climate. In 1816, “the year without a summer,” many Europeans spent their summers around the fire. Mary Shelley was inspired to write Frankenstein, and Polidori, The Vampire. Both authors, together with Byron and Percy Shelley, were in Switzerland, near Lake Geneva where Byron said “We will each write a ghost story.” Percy Shelley also referred to a glacier in his poem “Mont Blanc” when he wrote “…and wall impregnable of beaming ice. The race of man flies far in dread; his work and dwelling vanish…”

Neuberger (1970) studied more than 12,000 paintings in 41 art museums in the United States and eight European countries to test his hypothesis that paintings would accurately reveal the climate record. These paintings covered the period from 1400 to 1967. He categorized the blueness of the sky into a three-step scale consisting of pale blue, medium blue, and deep blue. Cloudiness was estimated according to the U.S. airways code: clear (less than 10 percent coverage), scattered (10 to 50 percent), broken (60 to 90 percent), and overcast (more than 90 percent cloud coverage.) In addition, the types of clouds were observed according to four families: high, middle, low, and convective (vertically-developed) clouds. Neuberger separated his data into three epochs. According to the data in Fig. 19 below, during the second epoch when the LIA was at its peak, cloudiness and darkness prevailed.

cooling sky paintingsFigure 19: Epochal changes in various painting features. (Source: Neuberger, 1970)

Neuberger suggests that the similarities between the second and third epochs have more to do with a stylistic change in the third epoch to impressionism which produced hazy atmospheres and also to an increase in industrial pollution.

Frequency of Storms
Fig. 20 shows the number of reported severe sea floods per century in the North Sea region.

cooling severe sea floodsFigure 20: Number of reported sea floods per century in the North Sea region. (Source: Lamb, 1995)

During the LIA, there was a high frequency of storms. As the cooler air began to move southward, the polar jet stream strengthened and followed, which directed a higher number of storms into the region. At least four sea floods of the Dutch and German coasts in the thirteenth century were reported to have caused the loss of around 100,000 lives. Sea level was likely increased by the long-term ice melt during the MWP which compounded the flooding. Storms that caused greater than 100,000 deaths were also reported in 1421, 1446, and 1570. Additionally, large hailstorms that wiped out farmland and killed great numbers of livestock occurred over much of Europe due to the very cold air aloft during the warmer months. Due to severe erosion of coastline and high winds, great sand storms developed which destroyed farmlands and reshaped coastal land regions.

(News & Editorial/ Yes there’s “climate change”, it cooling)

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On being prepared

On being prepared

A. How to Survive Societal Collapse in Suburbia
Excerpt pasted from: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/18/magazine/how-to-survive-societal-collapse-in-suburbia.html?pagewanted=all&_r=2&amp;

Suburban1

Photograph by Dwight Eschliman for The New York Times

The Douglas Family Stockpile
1.  Staples in 6-gallon buckets include: rice, beans, nuts, sugar, salt, matches, wheat, flour
2.  Freeze-dried meals
3.  Assorted canned foods: cheese, butter and meat
4.  Water-bath canner
5.  Vacuum sealer
6.  Pressure canner
7. Pot
8. Canned meat: red is pork, green is turkey
9. Broth: beef and chicken
10.  Salt: 25-pound bags
11.  Aluminum foil
12.  Portable first-aid kits, lighters, U.V. light sticks, fast-acting glue
13.  Candles
14.  Sunflower seeds
15.  Cough drops
16.  Canned turkey
17.  Stackable containers of canned food
18.  72-hour backpacks
19.  Charcoal chimney
20.  Potatoes
21. Grill
22.  Solar oven
23.  Beef jerky
24.  Vinegar, white and cider
25.  Olive oil in cans
26.  Wall-mounted first-aid kit
27.   Canned staples: rice, dried carrots, dried onions
28. Powdered milk and eggs
29. Laundry detergent
30. The Douglas family
31. Heirloom seed bank
32. Bleach
33. Pasta
34. Dehydrated mashed potatoes
35. More assorted staples
36. Miscellaneous canned goods
37. Stackable containers of canned food
38. Powdered hot chocolate
39. GeneratorNot pictured: juice, apple and grape; fortified water; hand sanitizer; laundry bucket; jars of bouillon; canned apple-pie filling; filtered-water bottles.
40. Propane burner
41. Water filter
42. Hand warmers
43. Surgical masks
44. Empty Mason jars for canning
45. Jars of roasted peppers
46. Rifle, shotgun and pistol
47. Buckets of honey
48. Cans of sardines
49. Foldout tent
50. 5-gallon gas cans
51. Solar panels
52. Plastic hose

suburban2

B. Survival In A Big City After Disaster
12 November 2014, Modern Survival Blog, by Ken Jorgustin
Pasted from: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/systemic-risk/survival-in-a-big-city-after-disaster/

The issue of survival in a big city following a major disaster is a serious one. In 1800, only 3 % of the world’s population lived in cities. Today, about half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and in developed countries up to 70 % or more live in larger cities. New York and Los Angeles are among the top 10 most populous cities in the world. There are 30 MSAs (Metropolitan Statistical Areas) within the United States which have 2 million people or more.

What could possibly go wrong?

Hopefully nothing… however don’t count on it. A microcosm of what could go wrong already happened years ago in New Orleans. Remember Katrina? What about Hurricane Sandy not that long ago in the heavily populated Mid Atlantic region of the Northeast? Does anyone remember the LA riots? What about Ferguson MO?

There are all sorts of natural or man-made events which could spell disaster for the big cities.

What about this one… There are approximately 50 percent of Americans who get some sort of government benefits and there are 82 million households on Medicaid. The amount of people on SNAP (food stamps) has nearly doubled since 2006. And this is only from 2011 Census data. There’s little doubt the numbers are even worse today. How many of these people live in the cities or metropolitan areas? I would suggest that the majority do.

What happens if government assistance is reduced via a financial collapse, or perhaps by a devalued dollar through price inflation – which buys less product? What happens if EBT cards stop working or are ‘worth’ much less than before? I will tell you what happens… The dependent class will revolt.

Without going further down that rabbit hole (I digress), let’s think about survival in the big cities. Let’s face it. There are lots of you who live in the cities or heavily populated MSAs.

When considering one’s preparedness and/or how to survive in the city after a disaster – the thought processes, the plans, and the resulting actions will depend (very much) on the circumstances that one is preparing for. In other words, how bad of a disaster scenario and how long might it go on. These are judgment calls which are made during the event and are preconceived “what if” scenarios based on your own risk tolerance.

The first thing that many people will think to do (following a disaster while living in the city) is to simply ‘bug out’, get-out-of-dodge, leave the city to greener pastures. The problem is, many people really do not have another realistic place to go than where they are now. Unless you truly have a willing friend who lives away from the city, then you will need to think about Plan B. Besides, who’s to say that you could even get out of the city during certain disasters? For an obvious short-term localized disaster you could certainly try to get out and stay in a hotel somewhere out of the region. Traffic will certainly be snarled.

Plan B is to face the very real possibility that you will be stuck right there where you are now. In the city. This is a very bad situation for some disaster circumstances, however for other scenarios it is survivable. Much depends on initial severity as well as the expected length of time in which you will be adversely affected.

If any of the city infrastructure is severely damaged, you will probably be facing a relatively long time to recovery and some very serious problems. If the water and/or sewage is affected, then you are in big trouble. This could be the result of physical damage (e.g. a major earthquake, attack, etc..) or it could be the result of regional (or wider) power outage. If it’s the later, then you will need to understand the cause of the power outage so that you can reasonably determine the expected length of time until it’s re-established (very important to discover and know). A battery powered portable radio is an essential item to get news and information about the disaster.

A major electrical grid power outage could be caused by storm damage. Ice storms are particularly notorious for this, as well ask hurricanes which wreak wide spread damage. Often these types of weather related outages will be resolved within days or weeks because the power company brings in multitudes of crews from other regions to help with the repairs.

On the other hand if the power outage has been caused by a worse enemy, such as a ‘Carrington Event’ solar flare & CME, or by an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack, then this could be a life-ending event for many millions. How will you know? Some or all things ‘electronic’ may not be operational (fried). An entirely different approach must be taken to survive this. But that’s another subject.

Having said that, I believe that the biggest (general) factors to survival in the city is:
– the condition of the electrical grid
– the condition of the infrastructure
– the condition of the distribution networks which bring food & supplies
– the condition of the chaos and your security

For starters, while considering how to prepare for disaster while living in the city, figure out how you will survive based on the four previously mentioned factors. Since most (typical?) disasters are relatively short lived (hours, days, maybe a week or two), then the foremost important thing to do is determine what you will need (in your city apartment or home) to survive without these things. In other words, you’re on your own (completely) for a day or two, maybe a week, or maybe even two.

We’re talking about some of the basics such as water, food, sanitation, keeping warm (during the winter) or keeping cool (summer), and your personal security. Although depending on exactly where you live, your personal security should not (generally) be an issue at first, given a short term disaster. Just keep in mind that when it begins to go on past day-3, then there will be increasingly desperate unprepared people – at which time security will become an increasing issue.

Water
Water can easily be procured and stored. Figure at least 1 gallon of water per day per person. More is (always) better in this regard. You can stock up on cases of water bottles and/or fill up some water storage containers. Get yourself a quality drinking water filter. Most people forget the water when thinking about preparedness. If you’re reading this, there’s no excuse now…

Food
Store some foods which do not require cooking (important). Remember, you can safely eat grocery store canned foods without cooking (even though you’re used to heating them up first). Don’t forget the manual can opener. There is literally no excuse for anyone not to have enough food storage to survive several weeks.

Sanitation
Imagine the scenario without running water. Consider keeping a quantity of ‘wet wipes’ or some such disposable cleaning wipes for hands or other duties. Know that you can flush a toilet without running water. If the power is out for long, this could become a big problem in the city if their generators are not working (or run out of fuel). Pumps are required to water to your faucets and to move sewage – which might ‘back up’ into buildings. Don’t laugh but a 5 gallon bucket (or your existing empty toilet) lined with a heavy duty trash bag (use kitty litter to pour over afterwards) is better than nothing. You could then tie and dispose of used bags somewhere outdoors (although it will be another difficult issue in the city).

Heating & Air Conditioning (Shelter)
A big issue for survival in the city following a disaster is the potential lack of HVAC (heating and air conditioning). Air (or lack thereof). Most apartment buildings (and large buildings in general) are designed to produce a climate controlled environment (which requires electricity). Many buildings do not even have windows which can be opened. Even if they do, it won’t be enough during the summer to prevent a virtual ‘cooker’ in such a building. And if during the winter, you will need to find a way to stay warm without the HVAC system (safely). Mostly, this means wearing warm winter clothes, jackets, hats, gloves, thermals, and having a cold weather sleeping bag. You can survive this way without heat – so long as you have adequate clothes and protection (shelter).

Personal Security
Your personal security will potentially be at risk in the city if the disaster looms long. Face it – most people are not prepared whatsoever for disaster. These people will be ‘screwed’ in a moderate or long term event. Coupled with the dangers of desperate people doing desperate things will be the city gangs of thugs who will take advantage of the chaos. Avoid confrontation by being prepared ahead of time and staying home while you secure your own perimeter and go about the task of survival. For anywhere it is legal, I suggest owning a firearm. Learn how to use it at the range (most people who’ve never shot a firearm before are surprised at how much fun it is when they finally do ). The longer the disaster scenario plays out in the city, the more dangerous it will become for you. Know this and prepare for it accordingly.

Apart from water, food, shelter, security, there are countless other considerations and supplies which will help during a time of disaster. Browse this site (http://modernsurvivalblog.com) and others for lists and ideas. Some of the ideas are obvious ‘no-brainers’ such as a flashlight and extra batteries, while other ideas may really help you in other less obvious ways…

In conclusion, let me say this… during a complete collapse of society and/or SHTF, the cities will not survive. Today’s ‘Just In Time’ distribution will collapse and leave the cities as wastelands of descending chaos. When the trucks stop, it’s over. IF you sense that the disaster is leading towards complete collapse, then I would do everything in my power to get out of there.

By the way, the top 30 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) in the United States are as follows:
1. New York
2. Los Angeles
3. Chicago
4. Dallas-Fort Worth
5. Houston
6. Philadelphia
7. Washington
8. Miami
9. Atlanta
10. Boston
11. San Francisco
12. Riverside
13. Phoenix
14. Detroit
15. Seattle
16. Minneapolis-St.Paul
17. San Diego
18. Tampa-St.Petersburg
19. St. Louis 20. Baltimore
21. Denver
22. Pittsburgh
23. Charlotte
24. Portland OR
25. San Antonio
26. Orlando
27. Sacramento
28. Cincinnati
29. Cleveland
30. Kansas City

(Prepper articles/ Readiness in suburbs and city)

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