Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Prepare: Emergency Evacuation Supply List

I hate the idea of having to evacuate from my home due to an emergency. Where I live, there is little chance of a wild fire driving me from home, but there are other scenarios to consider. First, a sudden alien invasion. Or a nuclear attack. I think an enemy invasion force would give me plenty of time to get ready. But let's consider something with little notice or warning.

Here is my Emergency Evacuation Supply List and Plan

If I had to get the family out of Dodge quickly, I would depend upon the family car. I keep it at three quarters full at all times. I keep the following in the car -

1 empty five gallon gas can
1 inverter
1 set jumper cables
1 CB radio + antenna
1 set of FRS radios (less than one mile range)
1 set of basic hand tools
Generally a case of water, but sometimes less in the summer when it can go bad
1 jug anti freeze
1 quart oil
1 standard blue tarp

I would add to the car at least 3 more gas cans (probably tied to roof and filled at nearest station), some larger tools like a shovel, an empty bucket, some trash bags.

Next, I would add food and water. As many cases of water as doable.

For food, it would be empty the pantry of ready to eat foods like cans, heat and serve meals, protein bars, candy and so on.

Next would come the big ice chest with a layer of ice on the bottom. Milk, lunch meat, cheese and what not on top. That goes in the car too.

Each member of the family gets one soft sided duffle type suitcase. Put enough clothes and shoes for 3 to 5 days. Make sure there is extra underwear and socks.

Next comes the stuff bag. This hold toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags and diapers.

Next comes the emergency bag. A shoulder bag with medical supplies and small backup foods like protein bars.

Next are guns. Shotgun goes on the front dashboard or in front of front seat passenger. Hand guns are worn by adults. All carry spare ammunition and more ammunition and long guns are stored in back.

The dog is going to have to find a way to ride in the back with the stuff or at the kids feet in the back.

Once everything is loaded, I will put the bike carrier on the rear hitch. It will hold four bikes. The bike trailer folds and is on the roof.

The first stop will be for gasoline if possible. If not, we ride on what is in the tank and the one full can (five gallons) in the garage now.

I keep maps and routes in the car already. I have no plans to stick to a major interstate or find myself blocked by FEMA troops directing me into a camp for my own "safety".

The key at this point is to have somewhere to go until thing blow over or a place to start over. That is where skills and supplies come in handy.

Think about the recent adaption of the movie 'War of the Worlds' with Tom Cruise. He left New Jersey for Boston. There is a brilliant move. Leave one big crowded place for another. Yes, they wandered through the country, but the plan was to get to a city where mom was.

The guy was caught with his proverbial pants down. You have to be ready for an emergency evacuation with supplies, a survival mindset and a plan. Otherwise, you end up running around the house looking for batteries and mustard.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Prepare: Memorial Day, baking and growing corn

Today is Memorial Day.

To celebrate, we find out that North Korea has the bomb and has successfully detonated it. This is like discovering your drunk good for nothing brother in law has your ATM card and PIN and has been in Vegas with it for two days. Only trouble can come of this.

Today we remember those who have died for our country.

Money is tight. Even if it wasn't, I don't take car trips on Memorial Day, I don't take my wife out on Valentines and we never go out New Years Eve. Why tempt fate? We stayed home this weekend waiting for word on my next commission check and counting our pennies.

A year ago, many of our friends were taking "quick" vacations this time of year usually to a family friendly resort. Not this time. Everyone is staying home or close to it. A swimming pool in the backyard is an instant vacation.

I had enough of reading about homemade bread and my wife hates to bake, so I went to the kitchen. So far I have made two loaves of oatmeal bread, one traditional white loaf, two white/wheat loaves (rising now) and a big batch of oatmeal cookies. Nothing has cost me more than one or two dollars in ingredients which I store anyway. You do have storage food don't you? Flour, sugar, salt, yeast, oil, oats? Buy these items in bulk, add them and you can make something good to eat in the kitchen. I buy them in big bags and repack them in 5 and 6 gallon buckets.

Bread making takes less time if you have the right recipe. I used one from the Joy of Cooking which described itself as fast and easy. Do you have any cookbooks or do you get all of your recipes online? What would you do if the internet was down? My oven is over thirty years old, but it works. I have to admit, it was a lot easier to bake using the Kitchen Aid. I would be up the creek without the mixer. It could be done by hand (and will be after the SHTF), but why make it harder this time.

The bread turned out better with each loaf. As of right now, I am down to a half of the last two loaves. The wife and kids ate it all despite the fact that dad made it. Which brings up another thing, guys. You can cook can't you? Remember all that stuff Heinlein said about "con a ship, plan an invasion, change a diaper..etc"? Best brush up on these skills now before you HAVE to.

The corn is coming up in the garden. I am going to put down another stand in a few days while this one is getting up there. I planted some more tomatoes and herbs this weekend. The beans took a beating in the recent rain storms, but are holding their own.

Corn is funny. Many gardeners say not to grow it as it takes up space and water. But corn is what gardening is all about to me. Kids love to watch it and its good to eat right off the stalk. All of us should be closer to where our food comes from.

My mower had a plastic bag wrapped around the blade making a big fat mess (wife told me to finally mow down that brush in the corner). I had to take it apart and remove the bag. Next some oil or something clogged up the muffler so that came off as well. This can't be much harder than a tractor, so I am ready to graduate to the big time now. ;).

I took the kids out today, let them play in the hose, cooked hot dogs outside and served them with baked beans. I practiced baseball with my son for an hour or so, his hitting is getting better each week. Have to have him ready for his division rivals this week. The whole thing set me back, what? Five bucks? How hard is this, folks?

Today is Memorial Day. You can't thank a vet on Memorial Day. This day is for the ones who never came home. The ones whose remains are buried in Europe, Asia, at sea. Those souls who wait quietly to be reunited with the rest of their platoons, squads and shipmates someday. The ones who were told, "Rest, you have done well, my son".

Today is Memorial Day. I remembered it at home, with my family in my little piece of America that was bravely provided for me and mine with the blood of men and women far, far better than me. I can do them no greater disservice than to forget their ultimate sacrifice and vainly act as if nothing in the world is wrong and that I have all the time in the world. Their actions will not be forgotten and this nation will prevail.

Enjoy the holiday, hang the flag and say a quiet prayer of thanks for those valiant souls who never saw the loving returned embrace of home.

Prepare: Nuclear War Preparedness

North Korea has allegedly detonated a nuclear device. While the U.S. news media is still pondering the question and intelligence agencies question the claim, those nearest to the location, namely Russia, say a nuclear device has been set off.

That aside, while North Korea does not have the ability to rain atomic warheads across American cities, it highlights the dangers of nuclear war in the world we live in. While some readers may think "cooler heads and diplomacy will prevail", what happens in the scenario South Korea decides to take out the North with conventional means drawing China and Russia into the scrape and thus the U.S. and bingo! Global Thermonuclear War'.

What would happen if a nuclear bomb or device was detonated nearby?

First there is the blast. Depending upon the size of the device, the area of immediate blast destruction may only be a mile to several square miles. The thermal effects would be far reaching, perhaps up to several miles as well as structures and flammables (like clothing and air) ignite.

After the blast, debris, in a ground detonation, is thrown upwards and out into the atmosphere. What comes up, must come down and it does. This radioactive charged material is called fallout and it is where the most injuries and deaths in a wide area will occur. Fallout is disbursed by the prevailing winds thus, a city or home downwind from a detonation will receive some fallout from the explosion.

How can anyone get prepared for a fallout?

First, dispel the notions that the world will immediately come to an end. Google "Creason Kearney's Nuclear War Survival Skills" (the link is to the PDF of the book). This book was written by a researcher at the Oak Ridge Nuclear Facility in Knoxville, TN. Kearney spent years researching the outcome of nuclear conflict during the Cold War and the affects on society. Based upon his research Kearney made several proposals, many of them small protection steps normal Americans could do which he tested, for preparing and surviving a nuclear attack on the United States.

When this report was released in the 1980's, it was promptly attacked and debunked by the media and others with little if any knowledge of nuclear technology or the effects of radiation. Rather, suggestions for civil defense were tossed out in favor of the supporting the nuclear freeze movement of the time. Too bad. The information, while dated, is still relevant.

Don't forget, when it was written, the U.S. was staring down the barrel of the Soviet Union which was targeting thousands of multi-megaton weapons at nearly all of our cities and military installations. The situation today, while dangerous, does not have as grave of outcome as then.

Now, take a visit to KI4U. Read every link on the first page. Believe me, it will open your eyes and leave you in a better prepared state of mind.

If you can afford it, pick up the Package from KI4U. You will know it when you see it.

Next, consider going to Amazon and picking up some extra KI tablets. I purchased two bottles there and they last for years. Read about KI and you will learn that it may protect the thyroid from absorbing radiation which may prevent cancer later on.

Prepare a shelter at home.

If you have a basement, you are in better shape than those without. The secret to a fallout shelter is mass between you and the radiation outside. The more mass, the better off you are. KI4U has expedient shelter designs anyone can do. Don't forget to plan on air circulation!

Next, get supplies.

Food -
Long term storage foods like flour, rice, dried beans, cooking oil, sugar.
Canned foods.
Easy to prepare and eat foods like canned ravioli, chili, canned beans, canned fruits and vegetables. Protein bars and snack foods are good as well.
(Don't run out and buy 10 cases of MRE (meals ready to eat). If you have not lived off them before, your body will need time to adjust). Don't forget the beverages like coffee and tea if you drink them regularly.

Water -
Lots of water. Get bottled of course because it is easy to purchase and store, but also store your own in buckets, old soda bottles or water storage containers. Also fill the tubs at home as well when an attack comes. Stock plenty of bleach and water filter systems.

Medicine, health -
This means over the counter (OTC) drugs like aspirin and cold remedies. Hand sanitizer. Bandages. Vitamins. Prescriptions.

Tools, lights, cooking -
Hand tools, flashlights, lanterns, batteries, (candles are a no-no in a home shelter if possible - they eat precious oxygen). A Coleman two burner stove for cooking or a hot plate and batteries.

Protection equipment -
Don't go looking for a radiation suit, they do not exist. Rather, after and only after the REM level has dropped off, a Tyvek suit, with respirator, gloves and boots may be worn outside to check the shelter. This suit is only worn to protect the wearer from beta particles (gritty ash and dirt fallout) which may have accumulated outside. This must be washed off before reentering the shelter. For that matter, a rain suit or poncho may work as well, but keep exposed parts of the body covered.

Aftewards -
After a nuclear weapon is detonated, whether it is one, a dozen or several hundred nationwide, there will be a severe disruption in activities and response from the authorities. You will be on your own.

Plan on providing your own food, care and protection. If you have the means to evacuate to an are free from damage and radiation, and you have somewhere specific to go, then leave.

With so many countries now possessing nuclear weapons and more struggling to join the club, sadly, it is a matter of when and not if a weapon is used. Please get ready and prepare for the worse.

Ultimate Family Preparedness Pak

Monday, May 18, 2009

Prepare: Last Minute Emergency Preparedness Purchases

Preparing for an emergency, both long and short term is an ongoing process. It is not something we run to the mall or grocery store and complete in a single day. Food for months or even years cannot be obtained with one trip to Kroger for instance.

We know it, but here is something that bothers me when push comes to shove.

If you watch or read survival themed fiction, it seems the main characters never act fast enough. The dawdle on the phone or at work when time is precious and seconds count. They go home and set to work on some long term project like "I had better get the trailer out and make it still works in case my best pal and his family come over. Oh, and I better inventory my tools and make sure they are all in their places".

What is up with that?

So I am at work, or at home with the family. The TV is on and the news cuts in and announces "Big natural disaster/Nukes flying/aliens have landed!"

The last thing I am going to do is clean out the garage! For crying out loud, I have plenty of stuff on hand, but if you knew the supply of Charmin was about to get real low real fast and permanently, wouldn't you run down the street and get a few rolls?

So, the emergency crisis happens, I jump in the car and head to the nearest grocers first. Food is king. I am going to bet that most people are in "deer in headlights" mode and staring at CNN OR on the phone with Aunt Sally in Schenectady OR talking with their coworkers about how this will affect the quarterly budget. Unlike the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1961, most Americans don't think to stock up on canned goods like they used too.

At the grocers, I go for substance.
- Bulk food like flour, sugar, salt, oil.
- Lots of canned foods
- Protein bars, Slim Fast (canned protein source), protein and weight gain powder.
- Bulk pasta, rice and beans, all dried.
- Quick ready to eat convinience foods.
- Drinks like coffee, tea bags, powdered cocoa and Tang.
- Over the counter medicines, aspirin, cold, flu and stomach preparations are high on the list.
- Vitamins
- Toilet paper, paper towels, feminine products, diapers, wipes.
- Dog and cat food, dry in big bags
- Bottled water but more important, filters and bleach.
- Bottled gas if they have it, matches, batteries

Once that is done, I go to the gas station and fill up. Gasoline is one of the first things to go in a major emergency, but most people will be coming from work. The suburban stations, those not near a major road, highway or freeway will be the best bet. If there is a line, I take my chances on hitting another neighborhood station rather than the big discount chain.

Next, I get cash. Cash is the currency of choice in an emergency, but you can't eat it or run your car on it so get it last.
Depending upon how much I have in the bank, I may hit an ATM several times (at grocers, gas station and elsewhere) before they run out of cash.

Then I go the final destination for my emergency preparedness run, the gun or sporting goods store. Most people will be at the grocers at this time while I buy bricks of .22, boxes of 12 gauge and what little center fire they have available in my calibers.

Then I go home.

In a last minute emergency scenario, getting away may be the only option. But the concept that rioting and looting will happen in seconds is not realistic short of aliens landing en masse or the Rapture. But you have to think fast and get what you need in the right order. It sure beats sitting at home or the office fooling around with trivial projects which can be done after supplies have been obtained.

Friday, May 15, 2009

SHTF: The Road Trailer 2009

Well, the trailer for end of the world story, The Road is now available

It is a fairly long trailer for a movie we have only seen stills of for the past year and a half and a good review of what to expect.

The Road, a best selling novel by Cormac McCarthy, follows the travels of a father and his son after a civilization ending event across the globe. The world is dark, burnt and nearly everything, plant or animal, is dying. It is a cold, dirty and depressing read, but is strangely one of the best books I have read in the past year.

If you have not read The Road and are unfamiliar with what you are seeing in the trailer, the father, his wife and their son are survivors of this catastrophic event which was never clearly explained in the book (McCarthy said in an interview later that it was caused by a massive asteroid strike on the earth).

In the book, the mother takes her own life early in the story - nope not a spoiler, it is a foregone conclusion in the first page of the novel. In the movie, it appears that there are more scenes, probably flashbacks, which involve the mother. With a power star like Charleze Theron, a movie producer is not going to limit her to five minutes of screen time.

Back to the story. The Road follows the father and son as they make their way south to hopefully warmer climates and the sea. They have no idea what they will find when they reach the coast and have limited supplies for the journey.

While the book features three or four very harrowing passages, most of the book concentrated on the relationship between the boy and his father. The father's deep and undying love for his son and his desire to find a better life for the boy somewhere else.

The movie appears to focus more on the adventure with chases, explosions and conflict which makes total sense; audiences like action in their movies.

Some of The Road's classic scenes are preserved:

From the trailer, we do see that the discovery of the can of Coke is included in the movie. Hopefully, for us "preppers" the shelter scene will be faithfully portrayed as well. (I have been wondering what that place looked like having a hard time comprehending it in my mind while reading the book).

Also, the discovery of the capsized ship during the end of the journey is in the film as well.

I am not looking forward to some of the other scenes involving the eating habits of the rest of the survivors of the end of the world. I can't think of anyone who would want to.

I suggest that you read The Road before seeing the film. Its on Amazon of course, but can also be found at the local library.

The Road the movie opens October 16th and stars Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Robert Duvall.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

SHTF: EMP Attack

Last month, everyone was talking about the new book, "One Second After" and for good reason. It is a mainstream publication (not a story on a survivalist forum), was written by an established author with several other respected works and has been touted by famous authority figures (Newt Gingrich, for instance).

"One Second After" follows a single father of two daughters who has to deal with a sudden Electro Magenetic Pulse (EMP) attack on the United States which leaves anything and everything connected to the electrical grid or dependent upon modern electronics dead in the water.

If this were to happen here and now and if you have not researched EMP and its effects, let's take a walk through what might happen.

First, an EMP attack involves a high altitude nuclear detonation over the continental United States, maybe even a number of them. Within seconds, theoretically (we do not know the full potential damages or limitations, it has never happened outside of a test zone), all electronic and printed circuit boards would overload unless they were shielded and grounded.

That means all cars not running, all aircraft, all modern powered systems, all forms of transportation would cease to operate. There are some who believe that an automobile already running may continue to run until the fuel systems ceased delivering fuel correctly - maybe for a few minutes, maybe until the car ran out of gas.

Aircraft without proper shielding would lose power and would fall from the skies or crash at take off/landing. This is the most chilling ituation as thousands of aircraft fall from the skies. Older aircraft would still be airborne, BUT, would not be able to use the air traffic control system. They would quickly have to land wherever it is safe to do so.

Cars would not start. Some older models might be able to (pre-1970's to make it easy for shoppers checking online for an EMP safe vehicle). But those vehicles would find roads and parking lots grid locked. A case where the car runs, but there is no way to go anywhere may quickly develop.

Those cars that are running and shut down would create slow moving catastrophic chain reaction car wrecks in every major city and interstate.

Power would shut down almost immediately. Power stations, transformers and relays would all die and power generation stations would have to shutdown, if they are still running, to avoid power feedback.

Loss of power would mean a lot of things would have no lights and power. But here are some serious implications: incubators, respirators, operating rooms, and other medical equipment. Those on the table may die; those in ICU may as well.

Loss of power means all hospital and health care functions, short of administering medicine would come to an end. Generators may come on with manual assistance, but they will not kick in automatically. Those systems would also go down.

So would traffic lights, air conditioners, the 911 system, computer call centers, credit card processing, automatic doors, scooters, call boxes, and every other electronic based device in the path of the EMP burst.

What would happen first?

A lot of confusion. Most people will stand around and wait for something or someone to do something.. Those with children, older relatives and pets will go at once to their charges. Some will take advantage of the situation. Looting, theft and random acts of crime.

There will be panic, especially as airplanes and cars crash. There will be fear as many will rightfully believe this is terrorist attack and will expect worse soon after.

Most of all, there will be little if any communication. There will be no radio, satellite television, cable or internet. No instant communication which we are accustomed to. If the government, local or federal, manages to put together a broadcast, most of us will never hear it nor know where to tune in as we will have no notice or system of communication.

The government brings up another issue. Much of the military has "hardened" hardware in the event of an EMP burst. There is a good chance different chains of command could be organized and put to use. However, the U.S. military is limited in size and much of it is overseas. There would not be an organized effort directed at every city in the country. Don't expect to see National Guard troops in your neighborhood handing out MRE and water bottles.

Here is something more. With no communications, don't wait wait for some sort of organized plan regarding food and medicine distribution. Many will get emergency supplies (small amounts from under prepared and overwhelmed adhoc efforts) simply because they were in the right place at the right time.

But wait, it gets better. What will happen to the two million prisoners in our city, county, state and federal prisons? With no power or food deliveries, expect them to be released en masse by who ever is left guarding them. Or perhaps they will have already broken out within a few days anyway.

What about law enforcement? There are no working radios or police cars. No dispatch. No 911. Other than randomly walking around (or riding horses or commandeered working vehicles), police will be limited to what they see and hear. And most law enforcement, unable to contact the family, will simply find a way to head home to protect their own.

Within one day, expect chaos in most urban areas simply because nobody in our information driven society will know what is going on.

Within three days expect the deaths and injuries from the initial attack start to overwhelm survivors.

Within a week expect the point of no return, that is, unless some miracle takes place and power is restored. By this time, there will be no running water in the cities. There will be widespread crime and looting. There will be no force sufficient enough to organize any sort of reconstruction or rebuilding.

At this point, the only fortunate ones left will be those who are far enough from large groups of the hungry, sick and dangerous who will begin moving out from their current location to new parts where supplies may be found.

The fortunate will be those who have either sufficient medications for their illnesses and conditions to see them through the crisis or simply are healthy enough to not need regular medications.

The fortunate will be those who have a supply of food, clean drinking water, means of protection (both from bad guys and disaster) and the ability to grow more food in the future.

An EMP attack is probably one of the worse scenarios imaginable. 300 million otherwise healthy twenty-first century people, completely unprepared for life "on their own" cast into the equivalent of the 1800's without warning. Ugly.

You see who will be prepared. An EMP attack could happen tomorrow. Most of us will be caught with our pants down. However, we can make plans to get ready for this sort of disaster along with our normal emergency preparedness plans.

- Store food
- Store water and have a way to get more, clean water.
- Can you grow food? Raise meat?
- Do you have all the normal medicines you need? Do you have extra?
- Do you have a running pre-electronic ignition vehicle? How about a horse or bike?
- Do you have a working tube radio? How about a working short wave radio?
- Do you have at least one firearm and no how to use it? What about ammo?
- Do you trust your neighbors? Do you know them?

Lots to think about.

An EMP attack can happen. The technology is here and those with the motivation are legion on this planet.

Be Prepared For Anything Survival Guide

Monday, May 11, 2009

SHTF: Mad Max Ultimate Bug Out Vehicle

You wear a leather jacket, carry a sawed-off shotgun and hold a massive grudge against the roving scuzzball biker gang that killed your wife, your kid and your best friend. Civilization has broken down, there is no justice beyond yourself, and the Weiand supercharged V8 under your Interceptor's hood is your greatest weapon and only trustworthy companion.

Mad Max came and went in 1979 for American movie goers. I vaguely remember the trailer that year but the movie itself only lasted in the theatres a few weeks before disappearing.

Max Max was filmed in Australia on a shoestring budget in a series of small towns in the Outback. The story followed Max Rocatonski, (portrayed by an unknown Mel Gibson), a young cop in post-atomic war Australia. Both police cars and biker gangs drive vehicles held together with spit and glue and using an ever dwindling supply of gasoline and oil.

Max, a member of the only law enforcement available, the Main Force Patrol, prowl the highways attempting to keep motorcycle gangs from taking over remote towns and farms. The problem early on is there are more bad guys than good and the cop cars keep getting wrecked. Max is the best at what he does however, and after taking out a bad guy named Knight Rider, Max, his friends and family are in the sights of the bad guys.

The Main Force Patrol attempts to keep Max from resigning from the force by offering him "candy" - a super powered police car. The last of the V8 Interceptors. A 600 horsepower monster of a cop car.

The car is the star of Max Max. Once Max takes the wheel and goes our seeking revenge, the audience gets the best scenes for of the movie.

Depite the massive success Max Max had in Australia and Japan, American audiences gave the film a lukewarm reception. It would be three years later with the release of the sequel, "The Road Warrior" would Americans fall in love with Mad Max and seek out the prequel.

My VHS copy of Mad Max was hideously dubbed with American voice overs. The original is available on DVD now with the original dialogue.

After seeing both movies, I knew I had to have a car like Max's. Sure, the concept of barreling along the highways of post-SHTF America makes no sense, but the car was very cool. I first thought the body was that of one of my favorite auto makers, an AMC AMX from the late 60's. However, I later learned the full story of the Ford Falcon hardtop only found down under.

By the way, the "blower" on the manifold as well as the red switch on the stick were props. The blower was not connected and only ran as an effect.

But now, you can learn more about that and if you have $60,000 laying around, there is a guy in Australia who will build you your very own V8 Interceptor with original design and parts including the blower, the custom grill, overheard radio, dog seat and torn seat covers. Check it out here.. That is where the quotation from today's post comes from..

According to the article, he has already built eight or so and shipped them to the Japan and the U.S. as well as around Australia.

Sorry I don't have a customer MFP Interceptor myself, but I can direct you to Mad Max on Amazon. Many have said that Mad Max and The Road Warrior created the entire 80's post apocalyptic genre of films and music and having witnessed it first hand, I have to agree.

Check out the movie and don't kid yourself. You will be in the market for a cut down Coach gun and a pair of leathers yourself.

Friday, May 08, 2009

SHTF: Worse Case Scenarios - How things turned out

A final chapter to Worse Case Scenario.

Best Case Scenario - Case One - Part One here

Now that you know how things went in the civilized world, you go to your master drawing room and begin making plans for the rest of the world. You take out a map of the United States and start setting boundries for your new nation. Naturally, it will be named after you.

You then draw borders around other areas, smaller than yours of course, and name them for the men in your group. After all, they should get a piece of the pie. Your plan is to conquer one area, yours, before allowing your men to see what their territory holds.

Sitting down with a snifter of brandy from your stores, you imagine the world before you. Stores full of loot. Guns, booze, gold all waiting for your greedy hands. Surely a few people have survived besides your group. To them, you will seem like a savior. That is, until you announce that from henceforth they will be serving you as their master and leader.

It is then you hear the door to your drawing room open quietly. Without turning the large leather chair you are seated in, you shout "I thought I told you I was not to be disturbed!".

"Don't worry, I won't be long" says a cat like voice. You turn and see your wife standing beside the chair. In her hand, a three foot long katana, a samurai sword. As she plunges it into you she whispers "A woman can lead as well as a man."

As your life ebbs away, you watch as she sweeps your map aside to the floor and pulls out a new one and places it on the desk.

Worse case scenario - Case Two - Part one here

Within seconds the two objects fall to the earth. One of two objects, both manufactured over thirty years ago in an eastern land once ruled by the hammer and sickle, fails to detonate but merely lands in an open field and the impact buries it some thirty feet into the soft soil.

The other lands in the heart of downtown and explodes. Within one second, every structure within one half mile is utterly destroyed. Within two seconds, another half miles is heavily damaged and so it goes.

You are still on foot now a few miles from your home. You see your shadow momentarily on the sidewalk before you and stumble by the sight. Unfortunately, your shoes are very worn by this time and you trip over the flapping sole of your $150.00 loafers.

Fate smiled on you as your fall rolls you of the side of the road and into a ditch. Just then the shockwave, greatly diminished due to your distance, but still deadly, passes over your head. The thermal heat is still deadly and a house across the street smolders as the paint catches fire. You don't feel a thing with the exception of the shock as it passes overhead.

You pull your hands and arms over your head and pray for the destruction to end. Within seconds after it starts, the actual detonation is over. After what seems like years, you slowly life your head and look around you. The damage is not that much considering that you are more than 15 miles from ground zero, but it is clear that a bomb of some kind or another has gone off.

You get up from the ditch and quickly start heading towards your house. The loafer is still flapping on your foot, so you kick it off along with the other and run off in your stockinged feet.

Your wife meanwhile, has made it within a block of the children's school when the bomb goes off. She is shielded by a number of buildings and does not directly see the blast but feels the shockwave and heat. She manages to drop behind a retaining wall before any object can hit her though.

When she hits the ground, she hears a shriek nearby. Once the shockwave passes her by, she goes towards the sound and sees your daughter and son crouched behind a stone wall in front of a home.

She grabs both of them in an embrace and says a quick prayer of thanks for their safety. With no time to lose, three head quickly towards their home not knowing where else or what else to do.

In the street in front of their home, the family is reunited. You know you have no car and with nuclear destruction upon you, there is little you can do in your home. Suddenly, your neighbor, that cranky old man and his wife come out of their garage.

They wave you inside and tell you to get inside their old green camper top pickup truck. "There's no time to waste!" the old man implores. "If we get on the road right now we can get far enough away from the fallout!".

Fallout? Get away? It makes no sense but your wife and children are looking at you for guidance. You realize the errors of your ways and turn to your neighbor.

"Thank you. Let me grab some shoes and a change of clothes for everyone and let's get out of here".

In a few moments, you and your family are on the road away from the immediate destruction. Your destination is your neighbor's brother's farm one hundred miles away. He is described as a bit of a kook, having bought forty acres of "junk land" and lived there for the past twenty years. But he is self sufficient and would welcome the extra help.

Life comes at us at odd times and in strange ways. Worse case scenarios can turn into better solutions and vice versa. Get ready, get prepared and look out for those curve balls.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

SHTF: Best You Can Do Scenario

Note: Michael - this one is for you!

Best Case You Can Do Scenario - Part 2 of yesterday's post.

For the past several months, you have been quietly purchasing extra food and storing water. The events of Hurricane Katrina, compounded with the gas and food shortages of 2008 have prompted you to make some real changes in you and your families' lifestyle. It just so happened that a new government, more terrorism and nukes in every other third world nation coincided with your decision.

Having kept a close eye on the news, you saw the writing on the wall. Clearly there was going to be a global war or as close to it as possible. With military forces spread so thin, it would most likely escalate to nuclear war and soon.

You called your boss and took advantage of that two weeks of unused vacation time a little bit earlier than usual. Rather than be stuck twenty plus miles away in downtown, you plan on staying close to home.

Your wife could not take time off, but is not going to work unprepared. Her car has a full tank of gas, or as near to it as possible, at all times. In the trunk is a "bug out bag" containing shoes, change of clothes including socks, food, water, flashlight, N95 masks, a first aid kit, a .22 semi pistol with 50 rounds spare, a multi tool and a folded tarp which can be made into a shelter or rain cover if needed.

In addition, the two of you have agreed upon alternate routes from her office to home. Along with her cellular, she has a FRS radio with a five mile range and spare batteries in the car as well. In the event of emergency, she is to head for the house without delay.

The kids are still in school, but with you nearby for the crisis, you plan on picking them up no matter what happens. The kids know to stay at the school until you arrive. Three other families have been given permission to pick up the children should you not be available. There are code words and procedures in place for the children to follow in the event of emergency.

The kids have their own mini emergency kits in their backpacks. They include extra food and water, but also a poncho, flashlight and another FRS radio in a plastic bag with extra radios. They know when to turn it on and not to play with it.

When the President's announcement goes out over the air, you go into action. Your first job is to get the kids from school. You phone your wife and tell her to head home directly. In the car, you speed dial the children's school. As expected, its busy, but you know how to get them out of there.

Once at the school, you get both kids and get them in the car. Heading home, you see the first lines forming at the gas station. Your car is full and there are five five gallon cans full at the house waiting.

Once in the door, you direct the children to start filling both bathtubs with water. You splash a bit of bleach into both tubs and get in the kitchen. You pull the contents of the pantry down to the basement. In the corner, you have a bricked off 10 x 10 section. Sure, its not NORAD, but it will provide more protection than 99% of the population has right now.

Besides the contents of the pantry, you move down stairs everything from the medicine cabinet, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, all the batteries and lighting you have carefully stored.

You already have "The Package" from Rad Meters so you are good to go there. But you supplemented by picking up extra KI online.

Your wife comes in and announces there is a line out the door at the Kroger grocery store down the street. No, she did not stop in. She has been tripping over the extra canned and packaged food in the house for weeks now.

You direct the family to continue bringing things downstairs while you mount the pre-cut plywood over the windows. You put both cars in the garage and lock the house down tight. You put out the solar panels you purchased at Harbor Freight in the back yard and make sure the line running to the basement is well hidden.

In the basement, the six 55 gallon drums are full of water. There is a basement faucet you will use until water pressure drops too low. The bathtub water is for when you come out.

Around dusk you here the sirens going off upstairs. Your turn off the main electric breaker and gas line to the house, secure the house one last time and get to the basement.

Outside you think about the poor souls still on foot trying to make it home. You did not have a fortune or a well stocked hidden retreat, you just did the best you could with what you had.

Maybe you will make it. Maybe not. But at least you tried.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

SHTF: Worse Case Scenarios

Let's start this off with a bang..

Best Case Scenario SHTF -

You are at your remote retreat. You have over 200 acres of high producing tillable land currently growing a mixture of grain crops, vegetables, fruit trees and small scale livestock. You can grow and produce enough food to support you, your group and more than 100 other people should you decide too.

You have several large, fortified buildings for storing grain, hay and sheltering the animals. All are connected by an underground series of tunnels which can also provide protection from fallout and weather for the animals as well.

Your primary residence is a completely off the grid super house which can comfortably shelter up to forty people. Half of the structure is underground, has several hidden exit and escape routes and massive amounts of storage.

Inside is enough LTS (long term storage food), medicine, toilet paper and booze for five years without having to grow a thing or run down to 7-11. The home runs entirely off of solar and wind power, but you have a number of diesel generators with enough fuel to power them for twenty years. Water comes from wells drilled within the house and around the property.

Protection is handled with your enormous armory, some legal but most obtained through back channels. Of course you are former military and are well trained on numerous small arms weapons systems as is many of the members of your retreat; they were your core unit when you were with Delta Force. Your wife is also former Special Forces (combat doctor), can cook beef stew under fire and still looks great in camo.

Most of the rest of the world is dead from some strange illness that killed everyone within seconds and decomposed their bodies minutes afterward into a harmless dust which blows away with the first wind. Fortunately, the disease disappeared before it reached you and your group.

Since everyone else in the world died in just a few minutes, all the stuff left is in pristine condition at Walmart and all the other retail outlets waiting for you and your group to come get it. For some reason, this strange virus also preserved gasoline and diesel fuel in storage, kept all canned and packaged food from going bad and left all animals in perfect health.

In short, the entire world is waiting for you and yours to show up and claim it.

Back to reality...

Worse case scenario - SHTF

The President comes on the radio and announces that global thermonuclear war is about to break out and diplomacy has failed. You would have known problems were coming to a head, but you had not kept up on the news lately. Since nuclear war is inevitable, everyone begins to panic.

You try and phone your wife but you keep getting the "all circuits are busy" message on your phone. Thinking it may be your office phone, you try your cell but get the same message. "I am sure my wife knows what to do" you think and head out to your car.

Too late. The parking garage is backed up as everyone tries to leave at the same time. There are no fewer than a half dozen fender benders and that is in the garage. Imagine what the streets look like.

You think you will try that mass transportation everyone is talking about and head to street level and look for a bus. Too late again. The only bus driving by is packed to the rafters and doesn't even slow down in front of your office.

It is early afternoon and you are twenty plus miles from your home in downtown. Surely your city is a grade A target for a bomb, so you start hoofing it home. Maybe you can catch a cab along the way.

About twenty minutes into your walk you mentally kick yourself for not grabbing at least a bottle of water from the office. Maybe you can grab something from the mini-mart at the corner.

Big mistake there. The owner and his wife have barricaded themselves in the store and are trying to preserve their stock for themselves. Already a mob is out front trying to get gasoline and what snack foods and water are available inside. You play it safe and go the other direction towards home. Now you are thirsty and your feet are beginning to hurt. Should have packed some other shoes in that Bug Out Bag you also never got around to putting together.

Two hours later and several phone calls, you finally reach your wife. She was at work as well and has been stuck in traffic since hearing the news as well. Unfortunately, she works in the other direction that you do and cannot swing by and get you. Besides, she is mad you left the other car at the office.

Your wife wants to get the kids from their school which is about to let out around now. Sadly, she is five or more miles away, stuck in traffic and about to run out of gas. You meant to fill up her car last night, but your favorite program was on. Besides, the quarter of a tank she had in her car should have been enough.

The kids are still at their school and have been placed in the gymnasium with all the other children whose parents had not picked them up yet. Only a few nervous teachers are left at the school. Most left when the news alerts went out. No idea how much longer they are planning on staying and watching your kids when their own families may need them right now.

Your kids have no idea where their parents are nor how to reach you. There was never a plan put in place so they have no idea what to do. Your oldest daughter has suggested that to her little brother that they sneak out and try and walk home. After all, it is only a few miles and they think they know the way home. Too bad another parent was not notified to get them in an emergency.

By the time darkness begins to fall, you are only three quarters of the way home. Your wife's car ran out of gas and she is walking to the children's school. The kids, now left unsupervised, have left the school on their own and are trying to remember the way home on foot in the dark.

Overhead, a couple of dull metal objects break apart over your city and being their slow decent of death...

Best case and worse case scenarios. Where do you want to be? Sure the first is over the top extreme, but the second scenario probably covers 90% of America right now. I think I know what my plan is. Do you?

Friday, May 01, 2009

Prepare: How To Prepare and Survive The End Of the World

First up, if you are serious about preparing for the end of the world and need a good reference to get started with  check this book out.

Friday question round up. Nearly everything and anything will be answered here.

How do I prepare for swine flu?

How do I stock food on a budget?

How do I prepare for the end of the world?

What vitamins are good to fight the swine flu?

Or the common cold or bird flu. I take lots of vitamin A,C,E, selenium, zinc, elderberry extract, echinacea and golden seal. Also, drink lots of clean water, green tea and orange juice.

How much food should I store?

A good rule of thumb is at least three months worth of food (and water) and it gets better with the more you store. Most people who "prep" have one to three months of "normal food" (what they eat daily) backed by several months of survival food - rice, dried beans, honey, sugar, flour, yeast, cooking oil, wheat, dried corn, etc. Further, they augment their stored food with a garden, fruit trees, domestic animals and local game.

Which gun is best post-SHTF?

The gun you have and know how to use. With lots of ammunition and plenty of ongoing practice. If you are new to guns or have not fired one in a while, talk to a gun shop or sporting goods store as well as regular shooters before you buy a firearm of any type. My personal opinion and that of others is the following in order of importance:
1) Shotgun
2) .22 rifle
3) Bolt action medium to large caliber (.243 to 308) rifle
4) Revolver in medium caliber (.38, .357)
5) Common sporter semi auto rifle (.223 caliber) i.e. AR15 or Mini 14

Remember, lots of ammunition and practice.

I need a list of survival foods. What should I get?

- Rice
- Dried beans
- Powdered milk
- oil and cooking lard
- canned vegetables and fruit
- canned meats like tuna and salmon.
- Sugar, syrup and honey.
- spices
- salt
- canned soups
- flour, baking powder and baking soda
- pasta
- dried meats, fruits and vegetables
- peanut butter

Where and how should I build a survival retreat? How do I start?

I just read "One Second After", how can I prepare for an EMP attack?

An EMP attack will take out modern electronics. To what size and scope, nobody knows but if something depends upon electricity or electronics to operate, you can be rest assured it will probably have problems. So that means have all important papers reading material (like those how guides on the internet) printed on paper. Get a tube radio such as the kinds everyone had in the 1940's. If you can afford it, a running pre-electronic ignition vehicle (pre-1970 to make it easy) will make you the king of the neighborhood (and the target of thieves and government goons). Have something to heat water and food on which runs on wood, coal, charcoal, or gas. And if you really want to hang on to that laptop, cell phone or modern radio, build a Farraday cage which may protect at risk electronics.

Can anyone survive a nuclear war?

They did in Japan and that is the only one we have to research. However, after the atomic bomb as invented, several countries including the U.S. spent lots of time and money to figure out the answer to the same questions: How to survive a nuclear bomb?
It can be done; check out Nuclear War Survival Skills for more in depth information. The real trick is after all is over: Having enough food and the ability to produce more.

Why would you want to survive the end of the world?

The world will not truly end short of a major astronomical event such as Earth being obliterated by another object in space or the atmosphere being completely ripped away from the planet. Otherwise, what we are really talking about is the end of our society as we know it. It may mean a total global war, financial or government collapse, or a pandemic. All have happened before and will happen again unfortunately.
Why do it? I take a look at my children and think what an irresponsible parent I would be to not provide for them in any way possible and that includes being prepared for worse case scenarios.

Swine Flu Guide Available Online

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