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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Economic Indicators Point Towards a Collapse

Recent economic reports are out spelling bad things to come in the future. Combined with the predictions of other prominent financial forecasters the future appears grim.

The gap between the rich and the middle class is larger than it has ever been due to the bursting of the housing bubble. The richest 1% of U.S. households had a net worth 225 times greater than that of the average American household in 2009, according to analysis conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank. That's up from the previous record of 190 times greater, which was set in 2004. We feel the Middle Class will soon be divided with the vast majority of these people/households becoming part of the “have nots” group.

The widening gap came even as wealthy households' average net worth tumbled 27% -- to about $14 million -- between 2007 to 2009. That's the first time that they suffered a decline since the three-year period of 1992 to 1995. Meanwhile, the average family's net worth plunged 41% -- to just $62,200 -- from 2007 to 2009, according to EPI's calculations.

"The typical person lost more because a bigger percentage of their wealth in 2007 had been the value of their home," said Heidi Shierholz, an economist with EPI. The poorest U.S. households have had a negative net worth in every reading dating back to 1962, meaning that their debts and other liabilities outweigh their assets. They fell deeper into a hole the last two years, with their net worth falling to negative $27,000 on average, or nearly twice as much as they owed two years earlier.

Net worth is a measure of a family's total assets, including real estate, bank balances, stock holdings and retirement funds, minus all of their liabilities, such as mortgages and other consumer debt. The EPI estimate uses figures from the Federal Reserve's survey of consumer finances for 2007 estimates, and the Fed's flow of funds report on household wealth for the more recent reading.

In another report, more U.S. banks are in danger of failing, even after receiving aid from the federal government, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. The economy has done little to improve the financial conditions of many struggling institutions, leaving 98 bailed-out banks without the capital to lift themselves out of the at-risk category, according to the Journal. That's a 15% increase from the second quarter, when 86 of the banks that had received funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, were considered at risk.

Taxpayers have spent more than $2.7 billion in TARP funds on seven banks that nonetheless already have failed, while the 98 at-risk banks have together received more than $4.2 billion, the Journal reported. A Government Accountability Office report in October said that many of the failed banks should have been red flagged for their already precarious financial position during the application process.

About 10% of the country's 7,760 banks are undercapitalized, up from about 9% during the second quarter, a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. spokesman told the Journal. Last month, a report released by the Congressional Budget Office forecast that TARP will end up costing taxpayers about $25 billion, down from the $50 billion estimated in October.

Gold and Silver are up and continue to climb; the strngnth of the dollar is down. Commodities continue their escalation in price. All facts and figures point to very bad times ahead. Be prepared. And it starts with a plan.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

More Than One Type Of "Unintended Consequence"

Reading about the financial analysts talking about the "Unintended Consequences" of the Government not only spending more money, but printing it too (deflating the value of the dollar), made me think of another "Unintended Consequences" - this one a book written by John Ross (obviously a pseudonym).

"Unintended Consequences" - starts off with a history lesson on gun rights and laws but rapidly sets the story of unimpeded Government intrusion and regulation, and the resulting trampling on constitutional civil rights. The book ends with the major subjects taking matters into their own hands and dealing with government agencies who has, not at the agency level but at lower individual levels, violated individual rights. The actions of some stimulate and inspire others to do the same, so the U.S. Government has a case of sporadic and small violent revolt and direct action against an intrusive government's draconian regulation and civil rights violations. All of the violence in the book is directed against "rogue" employees of these government agencies, and a legislator or two, who more than just energetically enforcing "the letter of the law".

This book is out of print and commands substantial prices if you can find one. I am not a conspiracy buff and I do have routine conversations (read arguments) with people who think the U.S. government is a lot smarter than it really is, and often gets away with a lot of "covert" actions and conspiracies. I just don't believe in the vast majority of suspected government conspiracies. However, I personally think it is in the U.S. Government's best interests to have the book "Unintended Consequences" unavailable and I have wondered why it is no longer in print. Other than sending government employees out to buy up all the copies, I just don't see how it could be done.

This book serves to highlight what is possible, even probable, when the government in a wholesale manner tramples on individuals rights. I liked it simply because the underdog wins and in doing so exhibits some pretty crafty tradecraft. The technical writing about history and firearms is a bonus.

Kind of reminds me of a recent e-mail where the sender writes that over 600,000 hunters took to the woods in Michigan this year,...over 700,000 in Pennslyvania,....600,000 in Florida - and these are just a couple of states. The sender wrote that the U.S. has the largest un-organized milita and that is why not only foreign countries could never take over the U.S., a la a "Red Dawn" scenario, but also why U.S. Government martial law would never be accepted.

We have a history in this country of a separation of Law Enforcement and Military. The military, through U.S. Code 18, Section 1385, also known as "Posse Comitatus", has no authority or law enforcment powers in this country. With one exception,..the Insurrection Act,.....

The Insurrection Act of 1807 governs the U.S. President's ability to use Federal troops to put down lawlessness, insurrection and rebellion within the United States. The laws are contained in U.S. Code 10, Sections 331 to 335. I'll bet most of you did not know the changes in 2006 and 2007 by Congress to this law.

The amended Insurrection Acts now reads:

(1) The President may employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to--

(A) restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in any State or possession of the United States, the President determines that--

(i) domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of maintaining public order; and
(ii) such violence results in a condition described in paragraph (2); or

(B) suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy if such insurrection, violation, combination, or conspiracy results in a condition described in paragraph (2).

(2) A condition described in this paragraph is a condition that--

(A) so hinders the execution of the laws of a State or possession, as applicable, and of the United States within that State or possession, that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law, and the constituted authorities of that State or possession are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection; or

(B) opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws.

A little known fact, is that when the State of Louisiana was hem hawing about asking for Federal help in the wake of Katrina,...many members of the U.S. Government were trying to get then President Bush to declare an insurrection in New Orleans in order to send in the U.S Army with law enforcement powers.......Bush did eventually send the military, but they did not have law enforcement powers - - - thank God, as that would have set an ugly precedent.

I don't know,.....I'm still not a conspiracy buff,.......I still think the only way to change unfair regulation and inefficient representation is through the ballot box,.....but I would still encourage people to read "Unintended Consequences", by John Ross.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Reader Response on Riots received the following (very interesting) reader response on riots,.....Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Urban Survival Planning - More Riots and Scenarios..."I'm a creature of the 60s. As to these riots: Been there, done that. Let me explain: Suspect the obvious. As in the 60s when "the whole world [was] watching" at the Chicago 8 trials and the Kent state killings, and Watts and Hough suburbs were burning, each one of those were concerted efforts designed and carried out by Saul Alinsky followers like Students for Democratic Action and The Weathermen Underground and the Black Panthers.WITHOUT EXCEPTION !!

None of this is by inspiration of a angst-be-sodden crowd of like-minded sophisticates. It is a cold - hearted plan carried out by nation-busting global governance freaks who use their expendable useless idiots/minions to do their dirty deeds. Meanwhile, where is the FIRE in the USA? There ain't none...yet....just gentlemanly middle class activists drinking a toast to their latter-day icon, Glen Beck...but YOU WAIT....and see...

UrbanMan replies:I get it. I also believe there is a group in this Country actively wanting, planning and acting to make this Country a third world socialist shithole. We're heading this way now without large scale, across the board corrective action. Many of us are doing the survival planning and preparation because if we don't know what the results can be, at least we instinctively know that this Country is in trouble.

I was writing about the threat of riots to be fueled by discontent, anger and hate and take on a live of their own. I think the coming riots, based on the extinction of the middle class and development of a large percentage of Americans that can't afford to live, will vastly over shadowed the anti-war, anti-government riots of the 60's. It's one thing not getting your way and having a tantrum,'s a total different thing when you can't feed your family.

Add in a an initial lack of protection and control by our Government then installment of heavy handed government control, maybe even martial law, and their will be chaos.

And this is a gradual economic collapse scenario. Factor in a rapid economic collapse and maybe even a terrorist strike to precede this and the stakes go up.

The survivor needs to consider riots and their impact on the survivor's immediate safety and escape routes. Grocery stores, food distribution warehouse, hospitals, probably urban shopping malls will be ground zero for massive protests then riots and looting.

You can simply wargame these possibilities by looking at likely sites that would attract large groups of angry, disenfranchised people who by then may not have anything to lose. Add the phenomenon of the mob mentality and you have a dangerous situation. Wargame (or "what if") the danger to you and your family from the flow of these riots. A friend of mine lives in a old house on a street next to a hospital and a multi-story building of Doctor's offices. The house is pushed back against a steep mountain. This basically boxes him and his family in, once the hospital are overwhelmed with people seeking help, then later by mobs and looters. This basically eliminates one entire direction and network of roads for his escape.

Another friend of mine lives in a home abutting a military installation. This does not forebode well as I think it is likely you'll see the government, through the military, initially try to feed people and triage needs, but the military installation is also a likely place for detention camps for both large groups of criminals or later on maybe just the general hungry population. I don't want to be caught up in any of that, as I am prepared to protect and feed my own

Anyway, the point to all of this is that is a more likely danger of out of control riots then there is of organized para-military type bands of looters. Just prepare yourselves for this.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Urban Survival Planning - Hyper-Inflation will precede the Collapse

A buddy of mine sent me this video from the National Inflation Association with the theory that our Government isn't stupid. He justified this by stating all the things are government has done to stave off economic disasters, for clunkers, bailout of Fannie Mae and Fredie Max,...Stimlus I and II,....the bailout of AIG,.....nationalizing half of the automotive industry,.....passing Obamacare,...trying to pass Cap and Trade,....extending unemployment benefits (twice actually),....and the list goes on,...are not things a rational government does,..UNLESS they are very scared of the future economic viability of this Country, and indeed the viability of this Country as a country.

He sees it as a time buying plan and/or a plan to orient the historical record to efforts made and not results. He sees the end as a economic collapse of this Country preceded by hyper-inflation. He forecasts two scenarios a rapid collapse the speed of which as never been seen before, or less probable, a gradual collapse that will plunge this country into anarchy which will results in the Government suspended the Constitution in an effort, doomed to failure, to control the chaos.

God, I hope not, but I don't see any way out of it. His prediction mirrors that of Gonzalo Lira, although he said he has heard of Lira but not read any of his writings. But I see the writing and it is on the proverbial wall....Get prepared, have a plan and do it now.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Reader Response on Imminent Collapse received an Anonymous comment on the Collapse is Imminent post,….” Every morning I turn on news as I make coffee. I did this on 9/11 and sat there in my underwear watching for about an hour. I fully expect one morning to hear Israel or South Korea has been nuked or to see a grim faced Obama on the TV in the Oval office saying "My fellow Americans...". One day it will happen. I have a list of a years supply of food I will buy. I have my stored food and my cupboards are full of everyday food but if I am given notice I will go and buy from my list. I figure it will take me 4 trips through the checkout line and it will just about fill my mini-van. I intend to do it early then stop by the bank for a large withdrawal. We may not get notice of whatever it is that ends life as we know it but we just might.”

UrbanMan’s comment: I think it is problematic that you are planning on buying food, since it mans that you have not yet procured it.

Not only are mainstream television commentators such as Glenn Beck advocating the stocking on long term food supplies, the local health guy hawking crappy vitamins on the radio said the other day that he recommends everyone procuring and stocking one years worth of long term food supplies, because he see’s the collapse coming.

Understand that you are keeping a close tab on the news and therefore collapse indicators, however you risk mistiming this and be left with nothing. Even if you just buy a few days extra food when you can, then you should.

There was a news report of a Gold vending machine in Florida . Imagine a vending machine where you insert your credit card then get grams or ounces of Gold. I can imagine mutts using stolen credit cards at this machine just as fast as they can. I can imagine those machines being targets of theft. I certainly can imagine the mindset that makes this a good idea….but Gold and Silver,…..whatever you can. If all you can afford is an occasional one ounce Silver Round or some junk silver coins for their melt value, then so be it, go get it.

But what capability you do have is to buy extra food. Even if it is a couple of $1 bags of rice or black beans or bouillon cubes. Get it done now and continue doing it. Don’t take a chance on having the warning. I have been at this for a long time and constantly re-assess not on the collapse indicators, but my ability to foresee the indicators I do get and forecast the effect.

Congress has passed an extension of the Bush tax rates. It was problematic that $200 billion in un-funded spending was also added. But I think the immediate threat of a collapse happening by December 31 is greatly reduced. However the long term threat of a collapse happening in maybe the Spring of 2011 has increased since commodities prices are still going up; the U.S. debt continues to grow leaps and bounds; and the worldwide situation which will lend itself to a dollar failure is more profound. Be prepared.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Survival Firearms - A Basic Need Under Attack

The fundamentals for Surviving a collapse, be it an economic collapse, terrorist or nation-state nuclear attack or even a pandemic, are basically having Food, Shelter, Water and Protection. I know, I know,….. this doesn’t begin to describe the preparation and planning it takes to give any given a group a good chance of surviving chaos. But we do know that a gaping hole in any of these basic Survival areas will doom you.

Enter the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) who are attempting to get authority, not previously existing, that will at least dampen our ability to purchase firearms to fill the Protection basics of Survival preparedness.

The Legislative Alert I received from the National rifle Association is as follows:

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has proposed that it be given emergency authority for six months, beginning January 5, to require about 8,500 firearms dealers along the border with Mexico “to alert authorities when they sell within five consecutive business days two or more semiautomatic rifles greater than .22 caliber with detachable magazines.” A Washington Post story reporting on the BATFE proposal described that definition as being applicable to “so-called assault weapons,” but it would also apply to many rifles that have never been labeled with that term.

The reporting requirement will apparently be imposed under the “authority” the BATFE has used in the past to demand reporting of other types of transactions from certain limited groups of dealers over the past 10 years, but the new proposal is far broader than any previous use of this authority. Of course, there's no law today that prevents dealers from reporting suspicious transactions (or attempted transactions) to the BATFE, and dealers often do so. The BATFE is also free to inspect dealers' sales records—either for annual compliance inspections or during a criminal investigation.

UrbanMan’s comment: I cannot help but see this as an invasive inroad to gun owners rights and therefore our ability to protect ourselves. The conventional wisdom that the Mexican cartels are armed from American gun shops is a lie.

Additionally, on Sunday, December 17, 2010, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer reminded Americans why it is important to vote for a president whose nominees to the court will likely be faithful to the Constitution, to vote for U.S. senators who will reject nominees who likely will not be faithful, and to vote for federal and state legislators who can check and balance justices like Stephen Breyer who don't believe the Second Amendment protects any meaningful right.

On Sunday, during an interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday,” Clinton nominee Breyer, who dissented from the Supreme Court's decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010), claimed that the role of the court is to interpret the Constitution flexibly, in light of ever-changing circumstances. Breyer argues that the court should give consideration not to the Constitution’s “words,” but to the “values” that the Framers had in mind. Fox News’ article on the interview can be viewed here.

The Framers’ “values,” Breyer suggested, would allow a total ban on handguns in Washington, D.C. “It’s not a matter of policy, it’s a matter of what those Framers [of the Bill of Rights] intended,” he said.

What Second Amendment author James Madison intended, Breyer said, was only to prevent Congress from nationalizing state militias. That, of course, is not what Breyer said in his dissent in the Heller case. Then, Breyer said that the amendment was intended to prohibit Congress from disarming state militias.

Regardless of what Breyer was trying to sell on Sunday, Wallace didn’t seem to be buying it. Pointing out the plain language of the amendment’s “keep and bear arms” clause, Wallace asked Breyer whether, in ignoring those words, he was assuming the role of politician or policy-maker, rather than that of a judge.

Breyer grinned smugly, said “no,” and sarcastically asked whether the amendment should be interpreted to allow the ownership of machine guns and torpedoes, as well as handguns. Wallace countered that at the very least, the amendment “certainly didn’t provide for a ban on all handguns, as we have here in Washington, D.C.” To that, Breyer, still grinning, asked Wallace, “Are you a sportsman? Do you like to shoot pistols at targets? Well, get on the subway and go to Maryland.”

Realizing that Madison and the other Framers surely did not intend for the Second Amendment to mean one thing in Maryland and another in D.C., Wallace pointed out that allowing a ban on handguns in D.C. while not allowing it in Maryland would be “a policy issue, not a constitutional issue.” Breyer changed the subject.

UrbanMan’s comment: The liberal, left wing side of American politics has no given up; the fight to restrict American gun owning rights. My suggestion is to not only get into the fight by letting your Congressman and Senators know how you want them to vote, but you ought to consider getting the firearms you need now, before something happens to reduce the availability.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Urban Survival Planning - Collapse Forecast by Gonzalo Lira

I have written several times about collapse or crisis indicators and the importance of tracking these for insight into when and how severe a collapse may come, and of what type,.e.g..economic collapse, disease pandemic, etc.

Everyone who wants to be better forewarned and may even want to understand the "whys" and "what fors" associated with a probably economic collapse should add Gonzalo Lira and his blog,, to their tracking list.

Lira is a novelist, filmmaker and economic analyst, sometimes also writing for Business Insider. He is clear of thought and poses his arguments well. Read pieces of what he has to say about his prediction of hyper-inflation:

So to sum up (the indicators of an impending hyper inflationary period and economic collapse), we have these (facts):

• Rising commodity prices, the effects of which (because of hedging) will be felt most severely in the period January–March of 2011.

• A beggar-thy-neighbor race-to-the-bottom Currency War, that might well devolve into a Trade War, which would force up prices on imported goods.

• A Federal Reserve that does not seem to know what it is doing, as regards another round of Quantitative Easing (printing more money deflating it's value), which is making the financial markets very nervous—nervous about the Fed’s ultimate responsibility, which is safeguarding the U.S. dollar.

• A U.S. economy that is weak to the point of collapse, where not even 0.25% interest rates are sparking investment and growth—and which therefore prohibits the Fed from raising interest rates, if need be.

• A U.S. fiscal deficit which is close to 10% of GDP annually, and which is therefore unsustainable—especially considering that the total U.S. fiscal debt is well over 100% of GDP.

These factors all point to one and the same thing: An imminent currency collapse.

Therefore, I am confident in predicting the following sequence of events:

• By March of 2011, once higher commodity prices reach the marketplace, monthly CPI will be at an annualized rate of not less than 5%.

• By July of 2011, annualized CPI will be no less than 8% annualized.

• By October of 2011, annualized CPI will have crossed 10%.

• By March of 2012, annualized CPI will cross the hyper-inflationary tipping point of 15%.

After that, CPI will rapidly increase, much like it did in 1980.

What the mainstream commentariat will make of all this will be really something: When CPI reaches 5% by the winter of 2011, pundits and economists and the Fed and the Obama administration will all say the same thing: “Happy days are here again! People are spending! The economy is back on track!”

However, by the late spring, early summer of 2011, people will realize what’s going on—and the Federal Reserve will initially be unwilling to drastically raise interest rates so as to quell inflation.

Lira subsequently wrote two more articles relating to hyper-inflation:

How Hyperinflation Will Happen, Monday Aug 23, 2010

Hyperinflation, Part II: What It Will Look Like Thursday August 26, 2010

In the video below, Gonzalo Lira explains why severe hyperinflation is coming to the United States before the end of 2011. Lira's family personally experienced hyperinflation decades ago in his native Chile.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Urban Survival Planning - Silver prices skyrocket!

I hope you have not missed the opportunity to purchase a supply of silver and perhaps gold. I tend to talk about silver much more than gold, as it is the poor’s man precious metal and I think much more useable as a currency in the collapse.

The chart shows since December 2009 to present day. It went from a low of $15.14 in December 2009 (one year ago) to over $30 an ounce and now back down to $29.06 on December 14, 2010. Do not make the mistake and think it’s too late to buy Silver bullion rounds or bars. You are going to need it.

It is interesting to note that a recent poll of financial planners indicate that as high as 90% of them own physical Gold and Silver - this is Gold and Silver owned and in the physical custody of the person, not some paper Gold or Silver certificate shares. Think they know something we don't?

As goes the price of silver the same for the silver melt value of any coins you may have collected. The trick is to know the silver content value relative to one ounce. You can print this and store this with your coins and silver bullion to be better prepared to assess the value for trade or barter purposes.

Based on the Silver Value of $ 29.06 per ounce, as of December 14, 2010

Silver Coins Year of Issue
Coin Face Values Silver Coin Values

Jefferson War Nickels 1942-1945
$ 0.05 $ 1.63

Mercury Dimes 1916-1945
$ 0.10 $ 2.10

Roosevelt Dimes 1946-1964
$ 0.10 $ 2.10

Washington Quarters 1932-1964
$ 0.25 $ 5.26

Walking Liberty Half Dollars 1916-1947
$ 0.50 $ 10.51

Franklin Half Dollars 1948-1963
$ 0.50 $ 10.51

Kennedy Half Dollars 1964
$ 0.50 $ 10.51

Kennedy Half Dollar 1965-1970
$ 0.50 $ 4.30

Morgan Dollars 1878-1921
$ 1.00 $ 22.48

Peace Dollars 1921-1935
$ 1.00 $ 22.48

Get some silver now!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Urban Survival Firearms - Weapons Training from Viking Tactics

We talk a lot about the necessary items for survival: food, shelter, packing Bug Out Bags, developing a bug out plan, procuring survival equipment/gear and of course, alot of talk goes into survival firearms. What we don't talk very much about is the training required to be proficient in using firearms, or weapons if you prefer.

People have asked me to give them an idea on how skilled they need to be. I really hesitate to address this. Imagine if I wrote a series of skill standards, maybe something to the effect "the Survivalist must be able to load a magazine, charge the weapon and engage four targets with one round, at one each target at ranges of 25 yards, 50 yards, 75 yards and 100 yards, in 10 seconds keeping all his rounds on target". Well the difficultly in establishing a training and performance standard while considering all different types of firearms and the different capabilities and restrictions of the shooters would be immense.

However, I would suggest that everyone develop and increase their proficiency as much as their resources (time and money) allow. Attendance at any number of shooting schools is a great place to start. Joining gun clubs and competing in many diverse firearms competitions from International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC), to the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA), to Rimfire and Centerfire Bullseye competition, maybe Metallic Silhouette shooting or any number of other shooting disciplines are also an excellent place to learn and grow your skills.

Some people learn by seeing what is possible than training to replicate that skill. The below video is from Viking Tactics. I won't go into deal on the background of Kyle Lamb, owner of Viking Tactics, but suffice it to say he is probably the best in the world,...yes, the best in the world at what he does.
It is almost impossible to get a slot in one of his classes,...but you can try,..the next best thing is to look at his videos and see what is possible.

Additional videos can be viewed from Kyle's You Tube channel:

The book, "Green Eyes and Black Rifles", is a classic and needs to be in everyone's library even if you do not own an AR.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Urban Survival: Reader Response on Collapse is Imminent received a good response from a reader on the post that a Collapse before end of the year is likely if Congress doesn't act in a responsible manner, or perhaps we have passed the point of no return. A reader wrote: I liked the article on preparing like the collapse is imminent or coming by Christmas/New Year. This is how I have been thinking the past two months. I am cautioning myself not to get burnt out on acting like the collapse is coming next week or the week after, as the result will be becoming too relaxed.

So I am considering my current actions as a mental exercise and a rehearsal for when it actually does comes. There is not such thing as being too ready, but I think this exercise is worthwhile, but there is such a thing as being too focused then becoming burnt out. I listening to the news during my travel to and from my office (I work for an insurance firm). At work I open several web sites, yours ( among them, so I can glance at the RSS feeds on finances
and markets, and read any new posts.

I have changed the schedule to our office meeting to Wednesday as I think the prime dates for a collapse to become apparent are Mondays and Fridays. I have a small television which I keep on Fox News for any breaking stories (God Bless 24/7 cable television). All of these measures serve to keep me tuned into the latest news so I can surmise if something significant is happening.

Most Fridays I stop at K-Mart or Wal-Mart and buy a couple items that come to mind,...more cigarette lighters, bags of peanuts or other small dried items that I vacuum pack then wrap in plastic shopping bags then place in old paint buckets that I obtained dumpster diving at Home Depot - note they come without lids but I buy Gamma Lids; occasionally I walk through the sporting goods section and find something that I have forgotten or something that tells me "this is a good thing to have" and lately I picked up a waterproof container for stick matches, a small shaving mirror, a couple collapsible cups and a folding camp stool.

This exercise of stopping at the Wal-Mart, for me, is like your last trip to the store before fiat money becomes worthless. Although when I do it for real it will be for as much food as I can load, carry or buy. So maybe for your readers the exercise is the collapse has just hit, stores are still open and fiat money is still used,...what will you buy? How much cash do you have on hand?

I am not in a survival family or group. It's me and my wife. It took me several months of talking to my wife for her to understand the needs to prepare at some level. She just doesn't buy into the possibility of worse case - anarchy. She has looked sideways at me with buying a couple guns the past year. I have a CZ-75 handgun in 9 millimeter and a Remington model 750 rifle in .308, as well as a little bolt action .22 long rifle and a 20 gauge pump shotgun. Not a lot compared to your other readers, but at least I'm not unarmed. Good site thanks for the information I have read in the past couple of months.

UrbanMan's reply: Thanks for the letter. I think you are on track with the mental exercises and rehearsals. It is kinda problematic that you and your wife are along as I have always said "Survival is a Team Sport". However, I don't know anything about the environment you are in and any other threat factors you may have.

I would urge you to have a Bug Out plan to a safe location,..perhaps a relative or friend with a remote cabin or farm? Since you are lightly armed I would also consider ensuring your wife can operate all firearms and that you have an adequate stock of ammunition. Two boxes (40 rounds) of .308 for your Remington rifle would not be even a minimal stockage.

Roger your question on what you buy if the collapse hit now and are you prepared with some cash on hand with may be acceptable just after the electronic means (credit and debit cards) are kaput, but certainly not for long.

I think your best advice came from the news and RSS feeds to look at periodically through the day as to not be surprised. That's a good way to keep on top and track of indicators of a collapse. Thanks for writing and God Speed.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Leadership and Anarchy in the Survival Group received a comment from Anonymous, on Survival being a Team Sport and Requiring some Command Structure,………"I think it would be impossible to have any diverse group survive intact over the long term. If there were only one Alpha then maybe. If there are two Alpha's then there will be a fight for power sooner or later. The only exception I can imagine is a family unit with a long history a clan/tribe style leadership, something along the lines of what you see in many Middle Eastern countries. I think also if there were men and women and there were not clear and settled relationships between them all that this element alone would eventually cause a breakdown in the social structure. My feeling is family would work OK as long as there were no unusual personalities. Possibly even a few close friends too. But I just don't see an eclectic group of people working together for very long.

UrbanMan replies: You are right about two Alpha males potentially creating a hazardous situation for a Survival Group. The only ways to eliminate this is to select your Survival Group members carefully,…choose people who are going to be team members,…have an agreed upon chain of command or otherwise a decision making process. I have been a member of groups that consisted of nothing by Alpha males,..not to mention aggressive and well armed at that. What kept us from self destructing was a common objective (a mission and a plan) and an existing chain of command.

You will run into problems even with one Alpha Male – decision maker. If you have a survival group that consists of ad-hoc members that was put together by collapse circumstances rather than a Survival Plan, you still run the risk of people resenting the leader. I have seen it many times where the leader gets the brunt of the blame – this is natural. Even in the absence of critical thinking where the Survival Group members bear problems, but no solutions and have no idea on how they would react if placed in a leadership position.

I think the key is building your Survival Group, or the biggest part of it, before a collapse and before you start integrating strap hangers and stragglers. Having an agreed upon chain of command or decision making structure, but anyway you cut it, there will have to be a final decision authority. A chain of command will give the best chances for continuity of operations when key leaders are gone for whatever reason. Rules and consequences for breaking these rules need to be developed and enforced. Other wise the Survival Group is not a team, but a collection of individuals.

It has been my experience in military units and law enforcement organizations, that the best Alphas can work for other Alphas. It is usually the non-Alphas that create problems…..these are people that put them first and the Group second. Again, pre-selection of members, established rules and protocols are your counter measures for anarchy within the Survival Group.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Urban Survival Planning - More Riots and Scenarios

The United States isn't the only country to suffer a large economic downturn. Most of Europe, from Spain, to Grece, from France to England and Ireland are all facing huge problems stemming from inflation and uncontrolled government spending.

Students pissed off about a signifcant rise in university tuition costs in England attack Prince Charles in his car. Riots due to England's bail out support for worse off countries, looming inflation and high unemployment; French citizens mad as hell about an increase in the retirement age from 60 to 62; Greeks angry about a cut in their amazing liberal pay and benefits.

What do you think is going to happen in the United States, particulary the highy populated Urban areas and the high density populated suburban areas once there is no money for entitlements. And it's going to happen too. This government will either run out of money (bankruptcy) or the money/fiat currency will not be worth the paper it is printed on (infltation-hyper inflation)...and they sure are currently printing enough of it.

English Riots Commentary

France Riots

Greek Riots

Have you thought about what you are doing to do if your present location becomes engulfed in riots?

Nobody gets angrier than a mob of people who think they are owed something and are getting the shaft. Rarely is Mob vengence controlled or otherwise target their anger in a discriminate manner. Having several routes, based on PACE planning (primary, alternate, contingency and emergency) from your work site to your home, and from your home to your planned safe location.

Consider the likely areas for targeted mobs,....possibly banks, government buildings, college campus' and the like. Check your route for choke points where turning around or making a detour on the fly would be very limited.

Be assured, riots, in some form or fashion, are coming. At some point in time there were be a large group of have nots and nthey will be mad. Consider the sequel where Islamist decide to conduct terrorist operations in concert with riots, be they based on food shortages, bank holidays, stock market crash, martial law, or even God forbid, where the US Government declares a city, area or region in insurrection where the President can deploy the miliary with law enforcement powers. Not only it is possible it has happened before. Google "Bonus Army".

There is a good chance that if the riots are large enough the infrastructure (utilities and water) could go down and not be repaired in a timely manner or repaired at all.

Don't count on the police to put things in order. Most city's have a police to population ratio no better than one officer per 700 residents. Count on yourselves and your Survival Group. Be prepeared to bug in and defend yourself and/or withdrawal to your safe location.
I was talking to a gent yesterday about the four basic requirements of Survival preparation: Shelter, Protection, Food and Water. We ended up spending much time talking about stocking Survival Food. I explained dehydrated and freeze dried bulk food such as what I get from Honeyville Grain; dehydrated and freeze dried bulk food and smaller packaged meals from EarthWaveLiving; Bulk food and accessory items packaged by the survivor such as in mylar bags using oxygen absorbers and/or vacuum packing machines; and, short term shelf food such as boxed and canned food goods you normally keep in your pantry.

I also explained the need to consider stores of food in all the packing/storage groups as well as problems with determining daily needs based on advertised serving sizes and caloric production.

Near the end of our conversation I was asked if this concept or “survival food strategy” was written down someplace in a hard copy book or e-book as my audience was asking for a “what-to-do” checklist. My reply was that there is a wide variety of ideas and concepts in various Survival novels, and especially on Survival forums where Preppers go back and forth expressing ideas and telling others what solutions they have developed. But in the end I agreed to post one version of a survival food strategy based on all the storage groups.

The assumption is that the Survivor is planning on Bugging In until either a Planned Bug Out is necessary or a Hasty Bug Out is forced. Planned (or orderly) Bug Out is where you have time to plan the Survival Equipment and Material load you will be taking with you, most likely in a vehicle. A Hasty Bug Out is where you are prepared to grab your Bug Out Bags and not much more as this is an instant evacuation, however prepared.

Survival Food Groups

Commercial Dehydrated/Freeze Dried, Long Term Storage Bulk Food Items. The most common of this type is the #10 cans (large coffee can sized) which are vacuum sealed and contain fruit; eggs; starches – such as rice or potatoes or beans, etc; or a meat item such as turkey or beef.

Serving per can will range from 20 to 40 serving based on one quarter cup serving sizes. I think the serving sizes are small. So I figure the “real” serving sizes as 20-25% more, so 40 servings become 30 servings. I also figure two meals a day. So for one person they would need three #10 cans – one of meat, one of a starch and one of fruit to provide one meal at day. Six total cans (or a case) to provide two meals a day for 30 days.

Commercial Dehydrated/Freeze Dried, Long Term Storage Complete Meal or EntrĂ©e Meal Items. These are come in sealed #10 cans which are easy to store and transport. Much easier to make a meal, but much more expensive, these entrees are such as Beef Stroganoff, Chicken and Rice, etc. Usually coming in total servings per can of 8 to 12, you can see it would take six cans to provide two meals a day. This is not counting having another item for the meals like a fruit which would take at least one additional #10 can. Military or commercial style MRE’s would fit within this group.

Vacuum packed Long and Semi-Long Term Storage Bulk Food Items. These are bulk food items you buy either vacuum packed and sealed or loose bulk that you prepare and pack yourself. Preparing and packing could be in the form of vacuum packing using a Food Saver type device or buy using oxygen absorbers in mylar bags. Most people will use 3 to 5 gallon buckets to store bulk food, such as rice or beans, in a mylar bags with an oxygen absorber inside before the mylar bag is heat sealed shut. The oxygen absorber draws in all the oxygen, vacuum packing the mylar bag in the process.

Short Shelf Life Pantry Food Items. These are simply additional goods you pickup at the grocery store. They can be canned foods or packaged (boxed) items. This group also includes bottled water be it in 16 ounce bottles or up to 5 gallon bottles that use a standing dispenser. Ever seen a grocery store just after a declared emerging weather threat like a hurricane? People pushing shopping carts and just throwing canned goods into it. The prudent person who buys large quantities of these short shelf life foods, has a rotating system to ensure they use the oldest food or nearest expiration or “use by” date first.

My Survival Food Strategy

I have stocks of foods across all categories.

I have case lots of the Commercial Dehydrated/Freeze Dried, Long Term Storage Bulk Food Items, mostly bought from Honeyville Grain. I have #10 cans of fruit (blueberries, strawberries, bananas, apples, blackberries and peaches) as I figure fruit many be at a premium as it is hard to grow and grow fast to bear fruit. I also have #10 cans of freeze dried diced and ground beef, eggs, potato flakes, peas, green beans, carrots and corn.

I have a smaller amount of Commercial Dehydrated/Freeze Dried, Long Term Storage Complete Meals mostly in the form of MRE’s and commercial MRE’s.

Using a food saver, I have vacuum packed white and brown rice, black beans, pinto beans, split peas, and butter beans into one and two pound bags. I have taken to placing several beef or chicken bullion cubes in with the rice and beans so as I open the bag to use some of the rice or beans I can grab a bullion cube as well to help flavor. I have also vacuum packed sugar packets, one pound units of brown sugar, iodized salt, garlic salt, coffee, peanuts and items like that. My idea is rather than bulk items of one type in a bucket, I mix up the buckets, so if I end up with only one bucket I will have a more complete bucket with diversified items.

The buckets are good ideas as they provide a seat and can be emptied to store water in as well. I have several of these buckets labeled with the contents. If I am on a planned Bug Out and the vehicle becomes stuck or disabled, I can cache everything I can’t carry with me, but one of the things I will carry is one of these ready buckets which will provide approx 2 weeks of survival (minimal) rations for two people.

Buying additional canned and boxed items at the grocery store enables me to have a month or more of ready food in my pantry which will be the first food to consume. Canned vegetables, meats and fruits as well as complete rice based meals, dried instant potatoes and instant milk powder, oatmeal and steel cut oats make up the bulk of these items, multiple jars of Peanut Butter and honey make up the rest. I also have a separate refrigerator in my garage with cold storage items, which of course would probably be among the very first items to consume.

There you have it,…….this is my Survival Food strategy and provides at least a basis to develop your own.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Urban Survival - What the Beginning of the Collapse May Look Like

How much stockage do you think your local grocery store has on hand? How about the distribution centers which bring it to the retail locations? How much food, canned goods, dry matter, etc., do you think they have on average? Do you know where these distribution centers are? I'll bet there are many people who do know.

Most stores are constantly receiving shipments in order to have an on-hand stockage for their buying public. What do you think will happen if and when food supply deliveries become sporadic? The video below shows an almost riot situation at Wal-Mart on Black Friday when Holiday shopping traditionally begins. These people are going crazy over deals. Mobbing the stock boys and not letting the goods get to the shelves before they grab it of the carts.

If this was food and the people where hungry what do you imagine it would look like? If you are reading this site, then you probably are a Survival Prepper and have already wargamed the scenarios involving retail grocery stores and maybe even have a plan to go straight to the disto centers and negotiate with the managers. You know the workers there will be making plans to get their "fair" share, and if/when the food shortage scenario takes effect, food won't be the only commodity in short supply. Be prepared to barter.

If you watched the excellent History channel videos on After Armageddon, which I have posted on the left side of this home page, you notice a scenario where armed gangs rapidly move to control the food distribution centers.

Most of us who are already deep into the Survival Preparation mode, will still venture out to retail stores or other locations in order to procure last minute items that are of a short shelf life nature or to obtain items we may have forgotten. Be prepared to travel to these places on safe routes, have an entry and exit plan for the facility. Be prepared to defend yourself. I can envision gangs outside of some facilities looking to relieve people of their goods as they exit and start to load up their vehicles.

Having a security plan and keeping someone at your vehicle and in fact keeping two people there (two man rule) while another pair entry the facility to shop would be a good idea. Use communication devices, radios or prearranged signals to annotate plans or a contingency plan. You may want to emplace another person or team at an overwatch position to support you as well.

It is probable that in a food shortage situation there will be shooting or other acts of violence by hungry, scared or just predatory people or groups.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Urban Survival Preparation - More Alternative Power Solutions received a comment asking us to look into Sunforce Solar Products. Sunforce Products is a Canadian based company that markets alternative energy (wind and solar) generators and inverters to retail customers and outlets. You ought to check out Sunforce Solar products. They make a wide array of products to fit most budgets including a wind generator which is going to be my next purchase. Semper Fi. Gunny Mad Dog.

I am already familiar with Sunforce as I have one of their 25 watt folding portable solar panels. It is a mainstay in my portable Bug Out power system to re-charge batteries (AA and AAA) for my flashlights, radios and lanterns). I can also use it to charge 12v car batteries to in turn power an inverter for other applications like power tools. An electric chain saw makes a lot of sense for this capability as opposed to the probable eventuality of running out of gas.

Sunforce makes several models of folding, portable solar panels as well as a wide range of rigid solar panels. A friend of mine has one of their 15watt rigid panels and charge controller and is happy with their quality and performance. Upon reading my post about buying four solar powered motion detecting lights from the local chain hardware store, he bought a couple of these same type of lights from Sunforce, via Amazon, and has them installed on his house same as I do with wing nuts so they can be rapidly taken down and packed for a Bug Out.

Their wind generators makes a lot of sense and this is probable my next purchase as they can be easily disassembled and taken with you upon an orderly Bug Out.

Think about what you are going to do for your power needs in the event of a catastrophic collapse. You'll at least need the ability to power/re-charge flashlights, lanterns and radios. Some people have the foresight to fully implement an alternative power supply where if the power grid fails it won't mean a thing to them.

One word of caution. If you have power and the local area doesn't, be sure to take precautions so your demonstration of power does not become a beacon saying "Here I am. I have power. I probably have food and other things you'd like to have as well. Please attack me."

Take a look at their main sellers below. You can click on any product and read the product details and reviews.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Survival Chronicles of Jim - Chapter 21, Preparing for a Possible End of the Year Collapse

UrbanMan's comments: I have been speaking to Jim about the possibility of a Stock Market collapse before the end of this year,...that's right, within the next three weeks. Not that I think it is probable, just possible. Since Congress has not extended the current tax rates (the so-called Bush Tax Cuts) which will expire December 31st, there is the possibility of many people consolidating their assets and cash resources.

If Congress does extend the current tax rates, everyone's tax rates will go up including capital gains. I read somewhere that if a person has an annual income of $75,000 than they will be taking home $200 per pay period (every 2 weeks) less next year. If the tax rates are set to go up, this should cause many investors to sell off stocks in order to realize the much lesser current tax rates and capital gains rate. If too many investors do this, it will cause a panic, developing a selling run and collapse the market which would drive this country into an immediate depression.

I told Jim that it would be a good idea to start "leaning forward" and fine tune not only his Survival plans for Bugging In and Bugging Out, but for material procurement that he may have been putting off. But I'll let Jim tell what he is doing.

Jim here. UrbanMan asked me to write a short story on what I am doing in case the a Stock Market crash precipitates a collapse.

Even though it a pain in the ass, I will keep my vehicle fuel tank no less than 5/8ths full. I picked up another 5 gallon plastic fuel can at Wal-Mart, and had that one, plus the two other cans filled, so now I have 15 gallons of gasoline in my garage.

My water service won't deliver again until near the end of the month, but I added two additional 2.5 gallon water jugs to my monthly order. I also bought three cases of water at the grocery store.

I also bought: one case each of green beans, peas and corn; one gallon of corn oil (which is getting really expensive); twelve cans each of canned roast beef and Spam. Plus six boxes each of Kashi cereal. And of course my normal grocery load.

My son will soon be out on Christmas break from college, so he'll be with me if the collapse hit's before the end of the year. We'll use the time to do some shooting and I'll tell him about my plans and beliefs on Survival Preparation. As it stands now when he is at school, we do have a contingency plan if a collapse hits.

Hopefully, we'll have cell phone or regular phone contact just before or right after when the SHTF. If I have to Bug Out, we have three linkup points: His apartment, the south end of one of the buildings on campus, and, the back end of a truck stop. We are planning to use the phrase "Ford Truck", "Chevy Tahoe" and "Dodge Charger" to denote the location we will meet and one of those is a designated no communications site as well so in case we don't have any way to communicate that will be the emergency linkup location, before we Bug Out to the Cabin.

I am also heading down to the Sporting Goods store to pickup a few more boxes of 12 gauge shotshells and a box or two of ammunition for my Mosin-Nagant. I can't buy it right now, but I know if the SHTF, I'll regret not picking up an M-4 that UrbanMan has advised me to on many different occasions.

I also took $1,000 out of my bank account and will hold onto to it through the new year. I can always re-deposit it if noting happens. I already have the previous silver I have bought, plus $800 in cash on hand.

I asked UrbanMan flat out if he thinks the Stock Market will crash or otherwise a collapse to hit before New Year. He said no, not really, but it pays just to "take a step forward" (his words) in case it does.

It pretty scary to me thinking that me and my son would have to survive a SHTF collapse. Hopefully nothing happens. I need to get a couple of my relatives into the plan and be better prepared to receive the stragglers. UrbanMan constantly tells me that "Survival is a Team Sport" and now I have a better sense of what he means. Take Care.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Survival Planning - Bugging In, Cold Weather Threat received a comment from Jack, reference to Being Prepared to Bug In,.......”There is a lot to consider if bugging in, and you mention a several considerations... Many people, I find forget about how they might heat their home, if bugging in if the gas or other utilities get shut off. Considerations other than security, food, and water are just as important. You may be sheltered from a winter snow storm that lasts several days, but without adequate heat or knowing how to dress for the cold weather, many people would certainly perish.

As heating oil, gas, and other commodity/utilities go up this winter, it would be good to mention ways of thinking about keeping warm, etc. if you have to shelter in. The same concept applies in the summer, when it is 100+ degrees out in certain geographies. How do they plan to stay cool if the grid goes down etc. Just my 2 cents. I read your blog avidly.

UrbanMan’s Reply: Jack makes a good point. After an infrastructure collapse, not only the lack of electrical energy but the availability and delivery of fuel oil and propane for heating will threaten many people, especially in the Northern latitudes of this country. Even in the desert Southwest, winter temps can get into the single digits and routinely go as low as the high teens and lows twenties, are very threatening. It has been my experience that the homes built in last 30 or 40 years have very little insulation, my house is an example, so without a heat source the inside temperature of houses may not get more than twenty (20) degrees above outside temps. And this presents a very real hypothermia threat to Survivors.

There are some counter measures we can take to ensure cold weather is as minimal threat as possible:

1. Weatherproof our house as best we can; new weather stripping on doors; be prepared to board up windows which act as a cold radiator. This should tie into your defensive plan as well.

2. If you own a propane gas grill, buy extra tanks. I have three which two of them are always full. I have a heater attachment and when operating which can increase the temperature in a 10 x 10 foot room by 12-15 degrees. However, you will rapidly burn through the propane so use it wisely. One reader wrote me about his procurement of a propane tank gauge. He bought it intending to do “triage” on abandoned propane tanks to determine if they have enough propane in them to worth hauling away.

3. If you have a fireplace, ensure it is serviceable. Fireplaces are very inefficient ways to heat, unless you put in an insert. Electric blowers on fireplace inserts can make a big different, however require electricity, which probably won’t be available. I have quite of bit of wood stockpiled and save newspapers as well, not only for burning but to use as insulation against windows or for ground insulation if and when my house becomes full of my Survival Group and stranglers. I also have about 30 butane lighters divided in my Bug Out bags and go kit bags and bricks of wooden matches, so I can start fires anywhere.

4. Buy good quality cold weather clothing. Pants, thermal underwear, socks, good boots, gloves, watch caps (stocking caps), scarves or neck pull overs. Did I say gloves? One pair is no pair; three pair is one pair – get the idea? Have multiple spare pairs. Ensure that the members of your Survival Group understand the hypothermia threat. Dress in layers, avoid sweating or getting wet at all costs. Use the buddy system to ensure everyone is looked after.

5. Have sleeping bags. Again, quality bags and multiple bags if you can afford it. The military style two bags in one with an outside gortex cover are great, but bulky. Look at your potential environment and choose the necessary bag rated for that climate’s extreme temps. Good selection of sleeping bags here: Sleeping Bags.

6. Be prepared to designate a sleeping room where members of your Survival Group can not only rest, as they will and should be on different security and work shifts, but so they can sleep in the “warm room”.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Survival Planning - More on EMP Threat

Recently came across a November 28th report from World Net Daily (WND), written by Bob Unruh, entitled "Report Warns Obama about 'new' Dark Ages -Airplanes would fall from sky, cars would stop, networks fail".

I don't think there is alot lot more you can do to prepare for EMP if you are board with a Survival Preparation plan already for contingencies such as socio-economic collapse. EMP would certainly cause a total collapse of the infrastructure, but nobody really has an idea on just how prolific the affected areas would be. I have bolded some of the more interesting parts of this article.

The WND Article:

Two national-security experts have issued a report through the Heritage Foundation that warns Obama administration officials to start working now to prevent – and mitigate the damage from – an electromagnetic pulse attack on the United States because of the potential for "unimaginable devastation."

"Not even a global humanitarian effort would be enough to keep hundreds of millions of Americans from death by starvation, exposure, or lack of medicine. Nor would the catastrophe stop at U.S. borders. Most of Canada would be devastated, too, as its infrastructure is integrated with the U.S. power grid. Much of the world's intellectual brain power (half of it is in the United States) would be lost as well. Earth would most likely recede into the 'new' Dark Ages," states the report by James J. Carafano, the deputy director of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies and director of the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies, and Richard Weitz, senior fellow and director of the Center for Politial-Military Analysis at the Hudson Institute.

The report, which is described by the Heritage Foundation as a "backgrounder," is titled "EMP Attacks – What the U.S. Must Do Now" and was released just days ago, says what is needed right now is for the government to "prevent the threat," by pursuing "an aggressive protect-and-defend strategy, including comprehensive missile defense; modernizing the U.S. nuclear deterrent; and adopting proactive nonproliferation and counterproliferation measures."

Further, measures are needed to add to the "resilience" of the electrical grid and telecommunications systems, including duplicating some essential functions, and "robust" pre-disaster planning should be going on now for "federal, state, local private-sector, non-government organizations and international support," the report said.

Especially, the nation needs to work to "protect the capacity to communicate," the report explains.

"An EMP strike can easily obliterate America 's electrical, telecommunications, transportation, financial, food,and water infrastructures, rendering the United States helpless to coordinate actions and deliver services essential for daily life," says the report.

"In the words of Arizona Sen. John Kyl, EMP 'is one of only a few ways that the United States could be defeated by its enemies.' The time to prepare is now!"

The new report echoes the warnings carried in a story first broken in WND five years ago about a blue-ribbon commission appointed by Congress to investigate the impact of an EMP attack on the U.S.

An EMP catastrophe, which scientists have warned also could come through a naturally occurring Coronal Mass Ejection from the sun, largely is feared to come from an act of war from an enemy. If there is a nuclear explosion high in the atmosphere over North America the resulting electromagnetic discharge can "permanently disable the electrical systems that run nearly all civilian and military infrastructures," the report said.

"A massive EMP attack on the United States would produce almost unimaginable devastation. Communications would collapse, transportation would halt, and electrical power would simply be non-existent," the report warns.

"All past calamities of the modern era would pale in comparison to the catastrophe caused by a successful high-altitude EMP strike," the report said. "The effects of EMP will immediately disable a portion of the 130 million cars and some 90 million trucks. Since millions of vehicles are on the road at any given time, there will be accidents and congestion that will impede movement…. The U.S. rail network depends directly on electricity. … America 's aviation industry will be destroyed…. The U.S. food infrastructure depends heavily on the transportation sector," it warns.

William R. Graham, chairman of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack and the former national science adviser to President Reagan, previously testified before Congress and issued an alarming report on "one of a small number of threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences."

He identified vulnerabilities in the nation's critical infrastructures that "are essential to both our civilian and military capabilities."

Not taking the steps necessary to reduce the threat "can both invite and reward attack," Graham told the members of Congress at the time.

He described that the attack would come like a swift stroke of lightning, and would immediately disrupt and damage all electronic systems and America 's electrical infrastructure.

A detonation over the middle of the continental U.S. "has the capability to produce significant damage to critical infrastructures that support the fabric of U.S. society and the ability of the United States and Western nations to project influence and military power," said Graham.

"Several potential adversaries have the capability to attack the United States with a high-altitude nuclear-weapon-generated electromagnetic pulse, and others appear to be pursuing efforts to obtain that capability," said Graham.

"A determined adversary can achieve an EMP attack capability without having a high level of sophistication. For example, an adversary would not have to have long-range ballistic missiles to conduct an EMP attack against the United States. Such an attack could be launched from a freighter off the U.S. coast using a short- or medium-range missile to loft a nuclear warhead to high altitude. Terrorists sponsored by a rogue state could attempt to execute such an attack without revealing the identity of the perpetrators. Iran, the world's leading sponsor of international terrorism, has practiced launching a mobile ballistic missile from a vessel in the Caspian Sea. Iran has also tested high-altitude explosions of the Shahab-III, a test mode consistent with EMP attack, and described the tests as successful. Iranian military writings explicitly discuss a nuclear EMP attack that would gravely harm the United States . While the commission does not know the intention of Iran in conducting these activities, we are disturbed by the capability that emerges when we connect the dots."

The new Heritage Foundation report echoed those concerns.

"Even with farsighted mitigation measures there is little question that a nationwide EMP attack would be crippling," it warned. "Thus, while pursuing mitigation, the U.S. should take all possible measures to protect and defend the nation against a ballistic-missile attack that could be used to deliver an EMP strike, as well as pursue aggressive counter-proliferation measures against rogue states developing nuclear weapons."

The report warns such an attack would turn science fiction into reality.

"Airplanes would literally fall from the sky, cars and trucks would stop working, and water, sewer, and electrical networks would fail. Food would rot, medical services would collapse, and transportation would become almost nonexistent," it explains.

The report warned that one criticality is to develop domestic sources for replacement equipment for the electric equipment, transformers and substations that would be damaged.

"The equipment used in the transmission grid is costly, specially produced, and has to be ordered from overseas … Those with the expertise to replace transformers and capacitors are likely to be overwhelmed…"

What would happen already has been documented, the report noted, in the 1977 New York City blackout, although on a much smaller scale.

"Two lightning strikes caused overloading in the electrical power substations of the Con Edison power company. These lighting strikes, the equivalent of a minuscule fraction of [EMP], caused the Indian Point power plant north of the city to fail, as well as the subsequent failure of the Long Island interconnection. … Failure of the Linden-Goethals 230,000-volt interconnection with New Jersey resulted in the protective devices removing overloaded lines, transformers, and cables from service. As a result, a power failure spread throughout the New York area. This blackout lasted only one day, yet resulted in widespread looting and the breakdown of the rule of law throughout many New York neighborhoods. The estimated cost of the blackout was approximately $246 million, and nearly 3,000 people were arrested through the 26-hour period," the report said.

"The blackout in New York City resulted in an immediate breakdown of the social order. The police were outmatched and had no chance of stopping such massive theft, largely having no choice but to stand by watching the looters from a distance. In North Brooklyn , a community of more than a million residents, only 189 police officers were on duty…."

In 2003, a blackout in Ohio , New York , Maryland , Pennsylvania , Michigan and Canada saw "massive traffic jams and gridlock when people tried to get home without traffic lights. … Railways, airlines, gas stations, and oil refineries halted operations. Telephone lines were overwhelmed due to the high volume of calls. Overall, the blackout's economic impact was between $7 billion and $10 billion due to food spoilage, lost production, overtime wages…"

A true EMP attack, the report said, "could prove even more severe."

Further, major disruptions will happen in communications, financial and other computer-dependent parts of society.

Peter Vincent Pry, chief of EMPact America , said the world this past summer dodged a bullet – in the form of a massive solar flare.

The results of that naturally occurring even could be very similar to a nuclear-caused EMP attack, he said.

"The last 'great' geomagnetic storm was in 1859, called the Carrington event. Modern civilization, so dependent upon electronic systems, has not yet experienced a 'great' geomagnetic storm. Many scientists think we are overdue," he wrote. "Some scientists believe that, as we approach the solar maximum over the next two years, since the solar maximum brings increased solar flare activity, the possibility of a "great" geomagnetic storm will also increase."

Survival Firearms and Ammunition - Response to Reader Comment on Ammunition Prices received a comment from ksbsnowowl, concerning a previous post on Stocking Ammunition and links to ammunition sources,....”Your price for 1000 rounds of 5.56 is a bit high. You can find 500 round cases of Federal XM193 for $140, plus shipping.

UrbanMan reply: Ammunition availability, prices and deals ebb and flow. In other words, prices and availability change all the time. The buyer needs to do his own research to find the best provider at the best price. Some people will pay a little extra to deal with companies they have a relationship with.

I posted a couple deals from Natchez Shooters Supply and Cheaper Than Dirt from e-mails that I receive because I do business with these companies and am on a e-mail distro list. I also do business with Sportsman Guide. However, I do NOT have a financial relationship with any of the aforementioned companies.

I routinely get asked for the best sources for ammunition. My reply is usually to give our various company names and let the potential buyer do his own research and ordering. There are a lot of “off brand” ammunition makers out there. I prefer to buy a common named brand and will pay higher prices. Bottom line – let the buyer beware.

Regards and be safe all.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Urban Survival Firearms - Reader's Rifle Choice received the following comment from an Anonymous reader,…..”Hey survivalskills, great site and LOADS of information. I have an civilian AK-47 and an SKS and also own my baby which is a Colt Gold Cup. Do you think I should stick to guns in the same caliber as the AK-47? I will have a total of 6 adults at my house when the SHTF and need to pickup a couple more guns. I'm thinking about another AK rifle for magazine exchanges.”

UrbanMan replies: By all means the Kalashnikov rifle in it’s various AK-47 and AKM variants and the Simonov Carbine (SKS) are reliable weapons and great survival platforms. Both fire the same ammunition, the M43 Russian round, also known as the 7.62x39mm although you can find the AK series in .223 Remington as well as the newer 5.45x39.5 mm Russian round. I have one, civilian copy of the AKM, bit it is regulated to backup duty and just in case I need to outfit (arm) a new Survival Team member. I think if you pickup another AK rifle, then I would rather have one with the screwed in barrel as opposed to the cheaper manufactured pinned barrel.

The SKS is different than the AK and uses a hinged semi-fixed box magazine. But a great reliable gun none the less and considerably cheaper. If my entire Survival Group was primarily armed with the SKS, I would not feel out equipped.

But here’s the deal. Standardization of Survival Firearms is a two edged sword. I have written about this several other times, mostly in response to reader questions. On one hand the same ammunition and the same magazines are great. It reduces training time, can reduce procurement costs, and, can foster a team environment for the Survival group. On the other hand, the AK series and SKS carbines are not the most accurate rifles or battle rifles (carbines) available. And are not the best choice for certain applications. The magazines are heavy, as is the ammunition.

I have no idea on your other preparations but would caution you to not place all your survival preparation into guns. While I would certainly consider at least a long gun for all Survival Team members a necessity, I would also want stored food, stored non-hybrid seeds, other survival gear to include durable field clothing, boots, sleeping bags, rucks, and personal kit as well as prepared Bug Out Bags,…I also place priority importance on a plan.

But back to Survival guns. Don’t know if you are trying to outfit all the members (the 6 adults you mention) of your Survival Group. Maybe they can buy or procure their own guns. Even a long barreled shotgun (preferably in 12 gauge) is a great Survival weapons and tool (bird hunting don’t you know). I am not saying buy cheap guns in order to ensure that all your Survival Group members have long guns for defense and security, but I would not hinge all my Survival Firearms planning and procurement on necessarily buying all the same weapon.

A good reason to have a mix of firearms is ammunition availability for the long term. Imagine you had a standard weapon for your Survival Group, but in a caliber than once you ran low or even ran out of stored ammunition, it was unavailable for purchase or barter. Having Survival Firearms in common calibers is a good thing. Shotguns in 12 gauge, .22 LR pistols and rifles, .357 Magnum (.38 Special), 9mm Luger, .223Remington, .308 Winchester and .30-06 are all very common calibers. You can, of course, stockpile tens of thousands of rounds to ensure you always have it on hand, but refer back to my paragraph on the other, often over looked, Survival Gear and Equipment.

Hope this helps. It will at least give you some things to think about. Good luck and prepare well my friend.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Be Prepared to Bug In

In the previous post I wrote about the necessity of having a Survival Bug Out Plan which will define your Bug Out Bag requirements. In fact the Bug Out Plan should be modeled using PACE planning principles. PACE - Primary, Alternate, Contingency and Emergency, is simply a principle to address several ways to accomplish the same objective.

PACE can be applied to Survival equipment, such as fire starting tools for example. How many of you only have one lighter, or one magnesium fire starter? I would bet that most of us have a bunch of these very necessary tools. Apply PACE to a Survival Bug Out Plan and you would have several different routes and different safe locations to Bug Out to. This plan may also include meeting places (called Rally Points or linkup points) where members of your family or Survival Group can link up if separated during movement, or if Bugging Out from different start points.

Yet again, I end up write paragraphs until finally beginning my main point which is do not place all your planning and preparation on immediately Bugging Out. Imagine the guy who has a rifle, a Bug Out and visualization on Bugging Out and looters and mobs, but has not place to go and no planned route to get there. I know several people like that, Some of them write to me as well.

What if circumstances based on the threat situation, martial law, missing survival group members, weather conditions, injuries or sickness or a host of other reasons makes it necessary to remain in your residence until it is safe to execute your Survival Bug Out Plan to your Safe Location?

Hopefully, your entire Survival Plan is NOT dependent upon grabbing your BOB and rifle and skedalling. Imagine a group of looters camping in your block,...think about what you would need to remain in your residence before the coast is clear. Defensive measures, food and water stocks, waste management, power and light sources are all categories to think about and plan for.

How are you going to blackout your residence so outsiders do not see the light from your lantern or flashlight? What are you going to do if you look out the window and see four, shot out flat tires on your vehicle which you planned on taking to a friends farm and therefore safe location 200 miles away?

Do you have enough food and water for a few weeks (or maybe even longer) to wait out the situation until it is possible to Bug Out?
Do you have escape routes, other than your front door, in case you cannot defend the residence and are forced to evacuate? What about a fire? Molotov cocktails are easy to make and if looters cannot get to you they may try to burn you out.

Anyway, to be complete, think about situations and circumstances that may force you to stay when you otherwise detailed Survival Bug Out Plan is to go immediately.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Survival Bug Out Bag and Planning Review

I was sent a video of a Bug Out with the person describing each and every object in his BOB with explanations on the contents and how he intended to use it or how useful it was. The sender wanted me to review the video and comment on the contents.

I jotted some notes down and gave the sender a reply in person a day or so later and my reply went much like this:

The BOB was a orange and blue-purple Alpine type rucksack. Greater for climbing - stays close to your back, and good for if you are lost and a helicopter was looking for you,...but would require a cover if you were moving through the brush and wanted not to be seen so easily. Plus the bag did not have a hydration bladder. There are many excellent rucksacks with hydration blivets to based your BOB around such as Camel Bak, Spec-Ops, etc. You should have an in the pack water blivet of 70 ounces,..100 ounces is better, if you BOB does not have one, then buy a Camel-Bak replacement blivet and place it inside your BOB.

In fact this BOB had only two quarts of water! I think a minimum of 2 gallons is more like it.

This BOB had a 7 lbs tent. Now I think tents are good as they can protect you from the elements, and being wet in the cold is a big danger. But I would put my money (and weight) into a good sleeping bag system. An old army poncho (OD green in color) and individual camouflage net would be my next two items along with the sleeping bag. I just think a tent should be auxiliary gear carried in your vehicle but not necessary for the BOB and takes up room and weight for more important items.

This BOB on the video had three MRE type meals and beef jerky in his food sack portion of the BOB. They take up a lot of room. I think the food value for the space and weight could be re-done giving more value. Main-Stay bars, soups packets, mixed nuts and other light weight foods that provide fats and carbs.

The BOB had a pocket sharpening tool that is only usable for a thin bladed knife. I think combination stones (coarse on one side and fine on the other) is of much more use and applicable to sharpening axes, scissors and other bladed tools besides thin bladed knives.

The last thing in this BOB I wanted to comment on before my main point was the 50 foot of rope. This rope selected seemed to be of a 5/16 inch diameter. I would suggest smaller diameter rope (more bang for the buck) and I highly suggest at least 50 feet of para-cord which is a hollow nylon hose type line covering multiple strands of 55 lb test that can be gutted and used for many, many things.

But my main comment is that I cannot really review the applicability of the BOB unless I knew the gent's Bug Out Plan. After all, the BOB has to be oriented to support the execution of the Bug Out Plan.

It is, of course, a great idea to consider valid and likely contingencies an to carry things that you know would be valuable for use later on during the crisis, but it is unreasonable to think that the Survivor will be living out of his BOB for months and longer. The idea is to facilitate survival movement to the Safe Location and those contingencies you have identified enroute.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Everyone is Recommending the Purchase of Gold and Silver

Not worrying about being overly redundant, BUY SILVER. has long stated that Silver is probably a much better investment and more usable than Gold.

What is amazing is that not only people like Glenn Beck are advocating buying precious metals, but mainstream financial guru Robert Kiyosaki, author of "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" and "Cash Flow Quadrant" is not only advocating the purchase of Silver but rails against the Fed and Goldman Sachs.

Silver Saver is a great place to buy Silver from.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Survival Firearms - Brownell's Annual Black Rifle Friday

Brownells is Back In Black! Their Black Rifle Friday Event was such a huge hit last year, they decided to come back for another go around. This time, Brownell's is upping the ante with even MORE products on markdown. Customers can not only save site wide, but at 12:00am on Black Friday, they can expect to see a surprise promotion to be announced at that time!

I have several M-4 carbines and probably 30 to 35 magazines per gun, as well as spare parts kits. I have had most of these for years, but from time to time add accessories. The last accessories I bought, about 3 years ago, were armorer tools. Maybe I will have a cottage industry after the collapse repairing everyone else's AR's.

The exclusive savings run through midnight, on "Cyber-Monday", November 29.

Black Rifle Friday Event. Save big on gun parts and accessories at

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Survival Prep - Ammunition Shortage Coming?

Hope everyone is staying tuned to the news reports about Drug Cartel violence in Mexico . Not only does this forebode bad things for our security, but lets the US Government move forward to exploit the violence and situation towards stricter gun controls efforts through the mistruths about who is arming the cartels. You may have heard the Mexican President talk about how the cartels are getting the majority of their weapon and ammunition from U.S. sources. You may have heard about this Administration’s efforts to give the U.N. more say in now only our judicial systems but our guns laws as well. This is made possible through misinformation from the Government and liberal, anti-gun news media depicting their truth which is “The Vast Majority of weapons seized by Mexican Police from Drug Gangs comes from the U.S. ” One of the key leaders in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) states “Ammunition is the key for these cartels. They get the majority of their ammunition from U.S. Sources. We have got to consider controls on ammunition sales.”

I remember primer and powder scares and astronomical price increases years ago. And I remember the ammunition scarcity from just months ago. If you need ammunition, better get it now. I get e-mail sales notification from several ammunition providers, notably Cheaper Than Dirt and Natchez Shooters Supply. There are some excellent deals out there now. Stock up while you can. These are some deals from each on .223 Remington (5.56mm NATO) for your black gun toting inndividuals:

Natchez Shooters Supply

Cheaper Than Dirt

Monday, November 22, 2010

Preparing Now and Talking to People

Tim Ralston has left a new comment on the "Survival Planning - Inflation Likely to Drive Food Prices Up" post,...When it comes to emergency preparedness, most people I talk to think that nothing will ever happen to them - so why should I bother? It drives me NUTS - but I know I am not nuts. As a father of 3 small children, I have always tried to protect and provide for all their immediate and future necessities.
We have grown up in the age of consumerism and take for granted that there will always be food on the shelves. But in this economy, it will only take a small natural disaster, declaration of hyper-inflation, a truckers strike or possibly a shortage of water or gas to empty the stores shelves within hours. Just look what happened in Boston! Read it here:

Now, I can sleep in peace! I love having the peace of mind, the feeling of being empowered-- that my family and I are covered with the necessary emergency food, and survival supplies for the next 20 years at TODAYS prices for what ever comes our way.

Tim sounds like he has a good understanding of what he faces. Many more people need to get on board and quickly. A trip yesterday to the grocery store revealed that many commodities are way up in price, especially vegetables. Fuel is up in my area 22 cents in two weeks. The Fed wants to infuse more cash,...that's a nice way of saying "printing more money", and is pushing the Government to pass another stimulus bill. Spending ourselves into prosperity doesn't work for families,'s not going to work for this Country.

Always wanted to keep this site apolitical despite my conservative views,...but the cliff we are heading for is nasty. If you watch Glenn Beck, you'll hear him say "Buy clothes, buy food, buy gold and silver." Hell even George Soros, who is a billionaire and makes his living bankrupting countries and pushing a one world government is buying Gold like mad.

We need to do something each and everyday. Yesterday for me was restocking the pantry for immediate use foods. Today I bought some more "AA" LED lanterns, is hard to beat a portablel solar power to 12v battery to AA/AAA battery charger and power inverter for small power needs. I think AA/AAA batterys are going to be so important. I use them for flashlights, radios, lanterns, and scanners and cannoot do without them. I also bought a couple more 8x10 foot green tarps - which I'll spray with a light brown vinyl paint, and I bought some small packaged thermal underwear kits for our emergency extra clothing kit bags.

Back to Tim's comment: Yes, it is aggravating to try and tell people about the need to prep. And yes, a lot of them will think you are nuts, but you never know you try and talk to them. I talk to people for several reasons: 1 - get them to prepare for their own good and 2 - the better they are prepared, the lesser burden they will be on me, my family and my survival group.

I talked to a guy just two days ago and was surprised that he said words to the effect "that I was thinking about what I would do if everything crapped out. I have plenty of guns, but not alot of food." So I wrote down a couple websites for him to go to and gave him a copy of "Patriots", fact, what brought the conversation up was that he picked up "Patriots" from a chair and asked what this book was about. I'll give him a copy of "One Second After" to read once he returns "Patriots".

Anyway, this is my rant for the day.