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Monday, March 29, 2010

Urban Survival Planning - Handling Prisoners

The possibility exists the sometime after a collapse that you or your survival group may have to handle prisoners. Especially in an Urban Survival Environment, the chances of you detaining people intending on stealing from you or killing you for your supplies is very high due to the population density and the percentage of criminal elements in urban areas.

Your Urban Survival Plan should have method planned on dealing with prisoners or people you detain. Where you will keep them. How they will be secured. How you plan on releasing them or otherwise getting the burden of controlling these prisoners off your hands. There may be a case where you need to restrain someone who claims to be someone until you can verify their claims or what we call "bonafides".

You may also be required to safely restrain a member of your Urban Survival Group if they "go nuts" during what has got to be the exceptionally trying times after a collapse.

The U.S. Army's method for Prisoner Handling: Search, Segregate, Silence, Speed and Safeguard. Are a good starting point to develop you and your Urban Survival Group's operating procedure for handling detainees or prisoners.

Before the 5 "S's" are implemented, the subjects must be restrained. Do not ever search an non-restrained prisoner. Other than field expedient wire ties, rope, cable or chain, the best way to restrain someone is with Commercial Flex Cuffs or Handcuffs. You must buy quality items here. I prefer Smith & Wesson cuffs - carried them for years without any problems. The cuffs must be double locking to be shim proof.

ASP-USA makes good flex cuffs, the version shown in the picture are probably the best for novice users and provide good restraint on prisoners.

Search . Search for weapons head to toe. Search with one person while another observes ready to intercede if a problem occurs. Search the clothing items, footwear, hair,....everywhere. Almost made a Doctor Suess Rhyme.

Segregate. This means to separate the prisoners. This is so you can interview/interrogate each one without the group of prisoners getting their story straight.

Silence. Do not allow the prisoners to talk to each other. Do not allow for members of your Urban Survival Group to talk to the prisoners. Well trained people can elicit critical and sensitive information from your people.

Speed. Refers to the military's priority on "speeding" the prisoners to a detention facility for the safety for all and the exploitation of any information the prisoners may have. Speed to your Urban Survival Group may mean speeding these prisoners to be a better or secure location so that chances of escape or damage to your group is lessened.

Safeguard. Safeguard means keeping the prisoners safe - you have a morale obligation to do so, however it also means safeguarding information about your Urban Survival Group, Survival Gear and Equipment you have on hand, how your defenses are arrayed, etc.

The scope of this post is not to develop a protocol for handling prisoners after this. As far as how they are released or turned over to competent authority is up to you. Our suggestion is to wargame the options and choose the one with the least amount risk to your Urban Survival Group.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hyper-Inflation - Pushing us into a Survival Scenario

Hyper-Inflation is perhaps the most likely cause of a collapse and subsequent push into Urban Survival, or a Survival Situation in any environment. The Urban Survival Scenario will just be a BITCH, so get ready and get ready now.

We found an excellent link to political and economic issues on the following site:

Rather than re-create the post and videos (by Glenn Beck), we are hyper-linking the article site here at:

And we encourage readers of Urban Survival to book mark the Cowboys & Tea Parties site to keep abreast of political and economic events that will eventually push us into a collapse. We hope to God we're wrong, but in all common sense, or as Cowboys & Tea Parties out it,...Cowboy Logic and Horse Sense, just says otherwise.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Economic Collapse Looming?

Many bright minds in the Nation believe that we are heading for an economic collapse. Are you prepared for this? Are you stocking food for when the inflated price will be too much to pay even if it available? Do you have a safe location and you can go to? Can you defend yourself and your family?

Fox News Poll says 79% think Economic Collapse Possible! Pieces of the Fox News Poll article are below along with a dynamic video depicting a collapse of the dollar.

By Andrew Zarowny

A new poll by Fox News and Opinion Dynamics shows that 79% of registered voters believe that an economic collapse is still possible. 84% of Republicans, 80% of Independents and 71% of Democrats all agree that the worst may not be over. Only 18% still cling to the White House position that a collapse cannot happen. 65% think that the National Debt is more of a threat now than terrorism. Only 35% think Obama has a plan to fix the economy, down from 42% last July. For Congress, the numbers are even worse. Only 24% think the Democrats have a clear plan and only 16% think Republicans have a solution.

After a recent appearance on Greek TV, my favorite financial analyst, Max Keiser, now a front runner for president, if he chose to run, if he were Greek! 97% of Greeks polled want Keiser to either be their next leader or, at least, Finance Minister. Keiser has appeared several times recently on Greek TV or radio programs since their financial scandals began. Each time, he always begins with, “How many bankers has your government arrested today?” Max is seen as somebody who actually knows what he’s talking about. Greece , and Spain , have begun investigations on an international level using their intelligence units. Germany is also moving in that direction to learn who and how hedge funds and derivatives trading is being executed. Ireland apparently is listening to Keiser. They’ve just arrested a banker! YAY!!!

I would like to be optimistic that November will bring about the changes needed to put the country back on the right track. But the ruthless side of me sees only destruction and ruin as Republicans bungle their opportunities once again. Frankly, I would not have bet that so many polled would have answered about an economic collapse being still possible. I would have guessed maybe 25-35%, certainly not 79%! Yes, folks, there’s trouble in River City . With a capital ‘T’ that stands for Taxes. They will be going up, especially now with health care passed and certainly more to follow after Obama’s debt commission reports, conveniently AFTER the November elections. Can you say ‘Value Added Tax’?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Survival Chronicles of Jim – Chapter 11

With the passing of the Health Care Bill, passing this nation towards Socialism and more Federal Government Controls and the case towards the Country heading towards Hyper-Inflation I thought this was a good time to take stock of where I am in my Urban Survival Preparation status, both in Survival Planning and procurement of Survival Gear and Equipment.

I have bought into the need to be prepared for a Survival Scenario be it a collapse of our economy, Hyper-Inflation, Collapse of our economy and infrastructure, Terrorist Attacks or whatever, the results may be the same: lack of security – increasing crime and maybe even roaming gangs; lack of utilities (no electrical power); lack of commodities (food, staples, common items, etc).

When this happens this is not the time to start getting prepared – you have to prepared first, both only with Survival gear and Equipment, a means to protect yourself, but also a Survival Plan.

I bought and now own guns for the first time in my life. A .22 pistol and a 12 gauge shotgun. May be minimal compared to some people fully outfitted with the latest Survival rifles and such, but the first rule in a gun fight is to have a gun.

I have prepare a Survival Bug Out. Procured enough Urban and Wildnerness Survival Gear and Equipment to outfit a Survival Bug Out Bag. I have planned for a Safe Location and multiple routes from my Urban location to this rural and remote location. I have actually rehearsed the route as well as try out navigating on foot which obvious is going to require much more practice.

I have emplaced caches, although with minimal items, near this Safe Location. I have read a friend (Neomi) and my son into this plan. I have somewhat prepared my vehicle for a trip – extra full up spare, camouflage items in case I have to sit it out or leave the vehicle someplace in the woods.

I have just ordered some radios, two for now, two more later. I bought the Motorola MR350 FRS/GMRS radios through the Urban Survival Store. I have read the book “One Second After”.

Now to take stock of what I need to do:

Buy some more food that can be stored for years. Will be buying a case a month from EarthWaveLiving and Honeyville Grain.

Need to start buying a little Silver bullion in the form of 1 ounce Silver rounds. Just a couple per month to start and see what I can afford. Need to start keeping $1000 cash with me or hidden in the house. I too believe that cash will only be good for the first few days of a collapse, then silver-gold may be accepted, then it’ll go to a straight barter society.

Need to order some lightweight sleeping bags, camping lanterns using AAA or AA batteries so my Energizer 12V re-charger will work with rechargeable batteries.

Need to look into bulk storage of stuff like rice, beans, sugar and salt.

Need to buy and read the book “Patriots” and download the book “Lights Out” from the web.

I also need to keep procuring a little bit of ammunition each month and think about buying a rifle also. My son is going to need his own set of Survival Firearms. Neomi will be bringing her own.

This is Jim, going back into Survival Preparation and Gear-Equipment procurement mode. Be Safe – Stay Prepared.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Urban Survival Preparation - Get Ready for Hyper-Inflation

There are many scenarios that can place any one of us into a Urban Survival Scenario,....Nuclear Strike or terrorist radiological bomb, EMP aftermath, computer sabotage on our digital banking systems, communicable disease pandemic across this country, civil unrest and outbreak of fighting in the cities, and, probably the most likely scenario which is hyper-inflation reducing us into a great depression followed by an infrastructure collapse.

Although the below video is eight months old, yesterday's passing of the Obama Health Care Bill will certainly create more National Debt, put a great burden on tax payers, increase unemployment, cause small business to fail or sell out and generally bring this nation much, much closer to Hyper-Inflation and therefore a collapse of society as we know it and place us all in a Survival Scenario.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Urban Survival Planning – Home Vulnerability Assessment

Most likely the Urban Survivor is going to stay past the appropriate time when a Bug Out to the Safe Location is indicated, therefore preparations to make the Urban or Suburban home safer after a collapse of society or the infrastructure is vitally necessary.

This starts with the Urban Survival Vulnerability Assessment.

Look at the directions from which possible threats may come and the avenues of approach to bring threats onto your property or the vicinity of your property.

Are their any friends or neighbors that you could rely on for mutually supporting observation and early warning? If so, what is the mechanism for that warning? A simple extended wiring of your vehicle horn can be lead into the house and used to alert the neighborhood using a simply code to indicate direction and threat.

Can you get better observation from your roof or second story? Is there a nearby location to establish an observation post/listening post (LP/OP)? If so, does the LP/OP have a covered and/or concealed approach and withdrawal route back to your house? Be careful about over extending your manpower if you have too few people to provide near security on the house and also accomplish survival tasks like preparing or cooking foods, purifying water, or resting, etc.

It there an unimpeded access along these avenues of approach that presumably threats will come from, straight into your neighborhood or directly to your house? If so, what can you do to minimize this? Large earth planters filled with dirt to stop vehicles? What about placement of, maybe even a re-location of landscaping timbers or large rocks? Thin slats of wood with nails pounded up through them can make effective anti-vehicle spike units.

What about covered or concealed routes for bad guys on foot to approach your house undetected? What is your visibility from all windows in our house? What are the dead zones – meaning the areas that you cannot see? Do you have to cut down or be prepared to cut down brush? What is the soil or ground like next to all your entrances? Remember that windows often make better entrances than doors so consider these too.

Loose gravel next to the house and especially doors and windows will make noise when someone approaches. Windows are easily broken. In the winter time this means a less comfortable and warm place to live. You may decide to collect windows to build a greenhouse to grow life saving food and would therefore need to take a page out of the Florida folks that are imminently prepared for Hurricanes with ½ to ¾ inch plywood cut for all windows with mounting hardware.

Lighting. Can be used several ways. Illuminating approach routes to your house may make intruders look for a softer target – maybe not. If you have solar powered lights when the electrical grid is off, this may draw attention to your house. With solar powered motion detecting lights, you may want to re-route wiring into your home in order to have a command initiated outside lighting system. I would mount these with easily re-moved hardware, wing nuts and such, in order to be able to take them with you once you have initiated the Survival Bug Out Plan as those lights may come in handy someplace else.

Doors. Most every modern home has dead bolts above the door knob, but nothing a shotgun won’t take out (we call that ballistic breaching). Consider commercial or man made braces that go into the floor either on a slot or by friction, and fit underneath the door knob. This is added security that would make intruders spend more time in the fatal funnel of a door way before making their way into the interior of your home.

The ability to defend your home with small arms, meaning the ability to shoot from your home would be important. As important is the ability for you to withstand small arms fire. Most homes provide terrible cover (protection) from small arms fire. Aside from sand bagging or laying sheet steel on the walls around your windows, or using rail road ties or 4”x4” posts, this would be a major job. Any containers that hold dirt would also do.

Need to use the term “wargaming” again. The best vulnerability assessment would come from you wargaming various situations based on the environment you live in then develop counter measures to mitigate the threats and weaknesses you have determined. Again call it “what if’ing” but it is an effective way to look at contingencies and resources needed to implement better plans and contingencies.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Urban Survival Planning – Preparing Your Home for a Longer Stay

The primary focus on Urban Survival Skills as been to prepare the individual new to Survival Planning & Preparation to surviving a collapse of society as we know it or some calamity that would sufficient degrade or destroy the existing infrastructure so that individuals would have to fend for themselves or band together in groups for survival.

The basic premise on Urban or even Suburban Survival is the Survivor will most likely be forced to re-locate someplace else in order to provide for a better survival chance.

The problems with surviving in an Urban or Suburban environment are, in part, due to large concentrated population; issues with security that are compounded by buildings and population groups in close proximity; presence of organized criminal gangs that do not exist in rural or remote areas; limited resources to spread throughout a large population.

We have endeavored to help the new Urban Survival Planner with the need to select a safe location, probably with relatives or friends at a rural or remote location; prepare a Survival Bug Out Bag to make the withdrawal or movement to the safe location possible; necessity for firearms for survival and self protection – and in this area we focused on common and simply firearms rather than the need to arm oneself like a para-military unit; we have touched on Survival skills such as map reading, basic land navigation and water purification for example; and, we have wrote about survival gear, equipment, food and books.

We know the individual new to Survival Preparation may be over whelmed with the enormity of preparing for a collapse and the cost associated with procuring Survival Gear, Equipment and material. So we have attempted to consider the cost of completing these preparations and Survival Equipment procurement in our recommendations.

We also know that human nature being what it is, most people will make the decision to move from their Urban or Suburban location to the safe area, in other words, execute their Bug Out Plan much later than prudent. People will natural accept a incremental change decreasing their standard of living, such as shortages of commodities, high inflation for goods and fuel, water shortages, etc. And when the collapse hits, most of these people will be waiting for the government to fix it.

Well the truth be told, the government is made up of people and largely due to bureaucratic problems are at best going to be like a Aircraft Carrier trying to turn – in effect slow and cumbersome, if it does fix anything which isn’t likely. We believe in self responsibility hence taking it upon you to prepare for survival in trying times.

Knowing that people will remain in their known and somewhat comfortable Urban or Suburban homes, even when the threats indicate a growing danger, we now want to focus a little information on preparing your home for an extended stay during a collapse until the Bug Out Plan is initiated.

The first order of business is a Vulnerability Assessment. Don’t be intimidated by this large word, it is simply assessing your home to determine vulnerabilities.

Common vulnerabilities include weak locks on doors and windows; size, location and number of ground floor windows that are more easily breached than doors; vegetation masking approaches to your house and limiting observation from the house to the immediate area; outward signs of “well to do-ness” where possible burglars, robbers, looters or criminal bands would be attracted to your house.

Other vulnerabilities would be lighting. Now lighting strikes two ways. Full time illumination and/or motion detecting lights can serve as a deterrent. It would be nice to have solar powered motion detecting lights in the event of a power failure or utilities grid infrastructure collapse, however if everyone else’s lights are off and yours are on, who does that attract attention to?

We’ll address these things in up-coming posts to help prepare the urban or suburban home for an extended stay before the Survival Bug Out Plan is initiated. Stay safe – stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Urban Survival Planning – Barter Goods

This post follows the Survival Financial Planning posts concerning possessing Gold, Silver and the various phases of Survival purchasing where very possibly paper cash and precious metals may not be as valuable or even accepted by many. 

As a re-cap, we think that after a infrastructure collapse, we would go through several different periods of commerce where paper money, then precious metals, then material items (barter items) would be distinct.  We can’t even begin to determine how long each period would last.  Paper Money, in a Survival Situation, may only be good for two to three days,…maybe more, maybe less, but certainly no-good after the realization that things are not going to go back to normal hits the people square in the head. 

Gold and Silver had traditionally and historically been of value.  Their value based would fluctuate based on the increasing inflationary value of life saving material,, water and material things during a Survival situation.   Commerce using Gold and Silver may rebound if and when various segments of the population achieve some sort organized society. This may be based on locations and access to material goods than it is anything else.

Barter goods in a Survival Scenario will always be of value.  Imagine negotiating with someone for 3 gallons of fuel:  “Yeah, I got 3 gallons of fuel,…what do you have to trade?” “How about 4 Morgan Silver Dollars?”  or  “How about 6 cans of vegetables and a bag of rice?”   What do you think this guy is going to want to trade for?    

In a Survival environment where commodities are in very short supply, what products do you think would be of high value? 
Obviously food such as high caloric/high carbohydrate items; Water and devices to carry water such as canteens are a sure bet; Alcohol may be a prime barter item; First Aid supplies especially anti-biotics pills and ointment, aspirin and other pain killers are also good Survival barter items; Lighters and/or butane fuel for lighters; firearms and ammunition would be high, may even be number one on the Survival item Barter List. 

Plant seeds for vegetables are another good bet; clothing items such as socks, sweatshirts, sweat pants; backpacks may be another good Survival barter item. 

The idea is not to try and stock a retail store, just realize that what may be important to your survival is also important of others facing the same commodities shortage.  

The benefit to a total collapse of society as we know it, lapses us into a Survival mode, be it an Urban, Suburban or Rural environment is that your spouse may not be getting on your butt about getting rid of some things.  The ‘Hey, maybe I can use that” excuse for all material things will take on a new meaning.            

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Urban Survival Rifle - M6 Aircrew Survival Rifle

To answer the comment/question from Bob Halker on our AR-7 post of 24 Feb 2010, we feel there are many good choices for a pure Survival rifle, meaning a rifle that’s primary purpose is to procure game. The term “Survival Rifle” conjures up the image of a small, lightweight, small caliber, rifle that is stow away in the back pack, or behind the seat of a vehicle or aircraft. To get a rifle that will disassemble and stow away, perhaps even float, you are going to give up something, usually accuracy, quality machining and maybe even reliability.

If we had unlimited funds and were going to purchase a .22 LR rifle for small game procurement and secondarily for training a new shooter, we would not choose the AR-7 rifle even though it is now made by reputable Henry Rifles. Something in the line a semi-automatic, maybe the excellent Ruger 10/22 with a decent scope would be good choice.

The post we wrote on the AR-7 was because the AR-7 was meant to be a take down, stow away rifle, capable of floating on water and is intended to be carried as soley as a survival rifle for small game animals.

The M6 Aircrew Survival Rifle, originally chambered in .22 Hornet, and now .22 LR and .410 shotshell is a decent little fold away survival rifle and possibly better suited as pure survival firearm due to it’s .410 shotshell capability and therefore capability on scoring small birds for supper. It is a single shot for each bore, stores extra rounds in the hinge top butt stock, and has a terrible bar type trigger.

Between these rifles,…..six of one, half dozen of the other,…. Really. The advantages of the AR-7 is a semi-automatic action and box magazine, albeit only 8 rounds. Folds up, actually disassembles into a smaller package, but not nearly as fast as to get into action.

The AR-7 is now available on the market. We priced one at Wal-Mart for $188. The M6 Aircrew Survival Rifle is no longer manufactured and will set you back around $400 on the used market.

As we take people new to the concept of preparing for Urban Survival, life after the infrastructure collapse, TEOTWAWKI or whatever you have to categorize or name it, we do not want them to get the idea that it's an all of nothing effort. Each person reading this site has different motives, financial means and motivators.

Our intent is to address Urban Survival Planning for the new person and from the ground up aspect and not immediately delve into buying the latest customized .45 ACP handgun and tricked out M4. We carry these for a living. Most people do not. We'll have time in the future to address for advanced Urban Survival concepts,.......we will have that time, won't we?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Urban Survival Planning - Stockpiling Crop Seeds for Survival

A hybrid seed is basically a genetically altered seed designed to resist diseases and create more crop yield. The seeds harvested from plants and crops grown with hybrid seeds are useless and cannot be planted the following season. Therefore the Survivalist Farmer is forced to use new set of seeds for each subsequent crop.

A non hybrid seed is a seed that has not been genetically altered. There is some debate on if crops grown with non-hybrid seeds produce more of a nutrient rich or flavorful crop, but what is undeniably is that seeds collected from mature non-hybrid crops can be re-planted for a subsequent harvest.

Every Urban Survivor planning a future after the collapse would do well to stockpile a large supply of non-hybrid seeds for future farming and harvest. Maintaining a stock of these non-hybrid vegetable seeds at your Urban Survivor location, no matter how short you intend this to be, as well as in your Survival Bug Out Bag and in caches at or near your Survival Safe location should be considered.

While you can purchase non-hybrid seeds at retail locations, storage of these seeds for long term survival use is problematic. Purchasing sets of seeds in robust, vacuum packed containers is the best way to ensure you’ll have viable seeds when the time comes to plant, nourish and harvest.

We like the sets of Heirloom seeds offered by EarthWaveLiving, specifically their Garden Collection of Vegetables and Herbs including:
Asparagus, Bush Bean, Blue Pole Bean, Black Eyed Pea, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Collards, Popcorn, Eggplant, Leek, Romaine Lettuce, Buttercrunch Lettuce, Jumbo Cantaloupe, Curled Mustard, Spineless Okra, Sweet White Onion, Bunching Onion, Parsnip, Peas, Jalapenos, Red Sweet Pepper, Yellow Sweet Pepper, Pumpkin, Radish, Spinach, Summer Squash, Zucchini Squash, Winter Squash, Tomato, Giant Sunflower, Kohlrabi, Lima Beans, Cucumbers, Red cherry Tomatoes, Roma Tomatoes, Turnip, Sweet Watermelon, Jubilee Watermelon, Chard, Snow Pea, Casaba Melon, Curled Kale, Anise, Leaf Basil, Caraway, Chamomile, Cilantro, Dill, Fenugreek, Garlic Chives, Sweet Marjoram, Peppermint, Oregano, Leaf Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Summer Savory, Spearmint, Tarragon, Thyme, Fennel, Cress, Chervil, Arugula, Lemon Mint, Hard White Winter Wheat, Hard Red Winter Wheat, Golden Dent Corn, Brussel Sprouts, Green Arrow Pea, Golden Bantam Corn, and Catnip.

We plan on several additional posts in the near term on Survival Farming both in Urban, Suburban and Rural environments.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Survival Chronicles of Jim – Chapter 10

Just when I think I’m well on my way to be being set, the Survival Cadre thought another set of Survival Circumstances to think about. The first one being Radios for Survival Group Communications after the collapse. I know they talked about it before, but it really didn’t hit me until after their last post of Survival Radios and Communications.

I can see now that even in an Urban Survival situation radio communications between members of the Survival Group, only if there are two, will be huge. They talked me through scenarios such as one person on security watch and needing to alert the others in the group without leaving his/her security post.

Another situation they talked about was when I executed my Survival Bug Out plan from my urban location to my safe location and was established at the family cabin, that I would need to be able to leave the cabin to conduct food procurement, security patrols, wood gathering, etc., and that radios were instrumental in letting others know at the cabin that I was returning so I wouldn’t get accidentally shot! Now I’m certainly for not getting accidentally shot.

They also mentioned “brevity codes”. Since the FRS/GMRS radios that I will be buying are not encrypted, anybody with another radio on the same frequency or which a scanner could pickup our radio conversations. The Survival Cadre said the shorter the communications the better, AND, that what we say over the radio had to structured so that anybody listening could not exploit it to our disadvantage.

They said not to “militarize” the communications with terms like “patrol one”, “conducting a recon”, arrived at the “LP/OP”, etc., but to use fake names and common terms like “This is Mike, Refrigerator”, which could mean “patrol one, entering immediate vicinity of the cabin”.

This is going to take some thought. I already know that I’ll need a minimum of four radios. I already have two people (my son and Neomi) that I’m planning on taking to safe location. Maybe my son’s on again – off again girlfriend as well.

I’m almost finished reading “One Second After”. Wow, what a depressing book. Well, it’s written about a depressing subject, EMP taking out electronics and putting us back into the semi-stone ages. What struck me in particular was the medical condition of one of the book’s subjects. I also have a need for day to day medications, but I’ll write about that later, once I absorb what the Survival Cadre have written about stockpiling medications as part of a general Urban Survival Preparation Plan and figure out what I am going to do about it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Urban Survival Planning – Disease/Healthcare Medications after the Collapse

This post could alternatively be titled: Stocking Medications for the Collapse. If you are currently on any life saving or life altering prescriptions, have you thought about what you are doing to do in the event of a collapse of society as we know it and re-fills are no longer available? Part of your Urban Survival Plan has got to be preparing for this if and when catastrophe strikes.

Pharmacies will be some of the first places looted in the event of a large collapse. Some of that will of course be due to thugs looking to get a supply of over the counter stuff they can get high with and some people will be making the pilgrimage to the Walgreens, Albertsons, Wal-Marts, etc., in order to stock up on prescriptions they need to make life possible or even just bearable.

In the novel, One Second After by William Forstchen, after figuring out that the power ain’t coming back on the novel’s main character had to compete with many angry people to get an adequate stock of insulin for his young daughter.

Depending upon the time of year, storage is problematic as well, especially for medications requiring stable storage of the drug.

Disease is going to be a problem. Protocols from quarantining new people you encounter or are trying to absorb into the group; to how you handle new people or dead bodies; protocols for sanitary measures; field expedient means to initially treat injuries especially open wounds are all going to be very important. Much more important when you consider the probability of having a dwindling supply of medical material without any re-supply potential.

Animal feed stores or Veterinarian offices and supply shops may be a source of some medications, such as pain killers, muscle relaxers and anti-biotics, however if will require some training to be able to recognize what you have and convert animal units of delivery to human uses. Secondarily, the same scum bags looted Walgreens will also be at the local Vet Clinic.

We hope that you all reading this do not require a daily intake of life saving drugs like insulin for Diabetes Type I, as it will tough tot stock an adequate amount (we consider 6 months about minimum). However Diabetes II or adult on-set diabetes cam be controlled largely through nutrition.

The good thing, in a Collapse, is that there will be less junk to eat to compromise your health. The bad thing is that there will be less to eat. Most Americans can stand to lose a few pounds, but most people want a diet to be their idea.

A total change of diets may even be healthy for people suffering from high cholesterol, blood pressure and degenerative diseases that these.

Herb gardens with medicinal herbs may help alleviate a shortage of medications. The Urban Survival Seed Procurement and Stockade Plan should consider these herbs as well as regular vegetables.

The savvy Urban Survivor should also consider stocking vitamin, mineral and anti-oxidant supplements. One of the best ways to minimize health issues is to build your body’s immune systems with nutritional supplements. However not all nutritional supplements are the same. Virtually everything you buy off-the- shelf is a “food grade” product and not regulated for quality, potency – you are most likely throwing money away. Our plan is stocking six months worth of a pharmaceutical grade daily nutritional supplement. Each month that goes by we buy one month’s supply and place the new order at the back of the shelf. Same as what you should be doing with canned foods and other food stuffs in order to use the oldest item first. For more information on the supplements we recommend you can visit the following website:

Again, we hope that the reader does not have a requirement to take life saving drugs each and every day. If so, the smart Urban Survivor planning for life after a collapse needs to solve the problem on how they are going to access and store these drugs.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Urban Survival Skills – Land Navigation Tips 1

Our previous map reading posts were meant as an orientation to the individual new to Urban Survival Preparation. These map reading posts were placed in the context that the most likely scenario for the Urban (and Suburban) Survivor would be to re-locate from his/her urban or suburban home, during a total collapse, and make their way to a planned safe location which would usually be a rural or semi-rural location.

Part of the planning to re-locate or Urban Survival bug out was the plan your Bug Out route using PACE (Primary, Alternate, Contingency and Emergency) routes. One or more of these routes would be on foot hence requiring map reading and land navigation skills.

Our test case was Jim, who recently conducted a route rehearsal from his urban home to his rural Survival safe location. Jim also practiced plotting a movement of foot using a hand held compass to follow an azimuth from his known location to a planned location.

There are immediately two things that Jim (and others) should know and utilize when moving across country is how to keep track of distance traveled and how to maintain a compass azimuth bearing at night.

When measuring distance, the most common manual technique is the pace count. The Urban Survivor would measure a distance on the ground or could even use a football field and determine how many normal paces it takes to walk 100 meters or 100 yards depending on his/her preferred unit of measurement. Let’s say it took 132 paces to walk 100 yards. This could be converted to 66 left or 66 right steps. So as the Land Navigating Urban Survivor walks 66 left or right paces through the woods, he/she knows they have traveled 100 yards.

The Urban Survivor could stop, and make a tally mark on a piece of paper or can use any device, even a small mechanical counter device to keep track of how many 100 yards or 100 meter increments he/she has traveled. Then using the scale on the map, determine how far they have came from their starting point along that compass heading.

Using the pace count technique of measuring distance combined with keeping track of terrain features encounter while moving and matching them up on the map will allow the Urban Survivor to navigate effectively to his/her safe location.

When moving at night with minimal lunar illumination, the Land Navigating Urban Survivor will most likely either have to keep checking his compass, providing it has a luminous degree dial and NORTH seeking arrow in order not veer off the required compass azimuth,..this is called Dead Reckoning.

The Survivor can lined up his required compass azimuth with a identifiable star, then the Survivor can put the compass away and head towards that star knowing it is aligned with his/her required compass azimuth.

This is simply using an identifiable start as a surrogate terrain feature to bear towards. However, and this is an important however, the earth rotates so the stars will appear to rotate, so the Survivor using starts as a surrogate terrain feature to bear on a compass azimuth, needs to stop and re-shoot his compass azimuth in effect choosing another star every 15 minutes – no longer!

Bottom line – walk around at night following a compass azimuth providing you have a luminous dial on your compass with NORTH seeking arrow. Practice this, as well as bearing on a star in a practice situation rather than doing it for the first time for real.

Check out your pace count. Remember the number. It’ll come in handy for more than just navigating.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Urban Survival Planning – Absorbing People into the Survival Group

One of the tenants of Survival Planning that this Survival Writer believes Survival in a Total Collapse, be it in an Urban or Suburban Area or in a Remote or Rural Area will be near impossible in a very small group. I am very sure of my ability to survive wilderness conditions and even conditions where armed men are actively hunting me, but that is simply surviving like an animal – there would be no reasonable correlation to living.

To be able to maintain security, accomplish daily survival or life tasks such as fixing things, tending to vegetable crops, procuring foods and other things, cooking, and resting the Survival Group would need at least four adults who are competent and could be counted upon. The more in this Survival Group, the more survival tasks could be rotated and usually a better quality of life.

However, the more people in your Survival Group the more commodities and food will be consumed and the greater the chances there are of human conflict.

Choose wisely who you bring into your Survival Group. In the fictional Survival Novel, Patriots – A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse, the Survival Group plans well ahead of time ensuring that the Group has adequate supplies at the Safe Location (a farm in Southern Idaho). They go so far as to ensure all members of the Group buy the same type of camouflage uniforms and firearms to have compatibility.

Both in the Novels, Patriots and Lights Out, the Survival Groups well into the beginning of the Collapse begin a process to interview and otherwise vet (check out) new incoming potential Survival Group members to make sure they only allow people who can contribute in some form or fashion to the overall group survival effort.

If you haven't read those books, you really need to. Patriots is available through the Amazon carousel at the bottom of this page. Lights Out is available (free as a PDF download) through the link under Book Reviews.

So not only are you going to have to be careful who you clue into your Urban Survival Plan and Preparations, you need to make sure they can contribute and will not be a burden.

You will also need to plan for strap hangers showing up. What if a young mother comes to your door and begs for you to help her? What if you refuse and she then begs for you to take her 3 year old baby? Human nature is to be compassionate. Human nature is also to be jealous and greedy. Bringing in an untested and unknown someone into your small Survival Group could spell doom. Refusing to help someone could also damage your humanity quotient for lack of a better term.

Think and wargame various possible scenarios. For Jim, he would have to think about his ex-wife. What if she calls or shows up at the beginning of a collapse? What if she and her new boyfriend and baby show up at the Family Cabin? Who else has she told about it? All of a sudden the duration, that the food in Jim’s Survival Cache will last, is reduced in half. What happens if you have several adult single males in your group and your wife or girlfriend is the only female?

I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. Be prepared and that preparation starts with thinking about and Wargaming likely events and possible solutions.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Survival Chronicles of Jim – Chapter 9

I completed buying the medical items from my list I made during Neomi’s visit and completed emplacing the Survival Caches at my Safe Location. On my way up to the Family Cabin, I reviewed the primary route, with the exception of the detour to my Son’s college, and looked at several key points I was concerned about on the Alternate and Contingency route. My Emergency route, completing my PACE plan for my Urban Survival Bug Out Plan, as you will remember is moving over land on foot, navigating to the Safe Location and my Survival Caches.

On my way up the thought that I did not have a shovel hit me, so I deviated to a Wal-Mart and bought a D handled shovel and walking through the sporting goods area, I also picked up a pack of fish hooks and some mono-filament fishing line to drop into my Survival Caches near the Cabin. Reason being is that there is a stream running close to my family’s run down cabin which I do not know or not if there are fish in it, but, there is a small lake about 6 miles form the cabin – so better to be safe than sorry.

The land navigation practice went okay. I was able to plot a compass heading on a map and I walked about 1,600 meters (about a mile) to the little draw I plotted on my USGS map. I did not use the GPS, but I did see the need for a way to tell distance. I talked to the Survival Cadre about that and they said I could use a “pace count”, where I measured how many steps it took me to walk a measured 100 yards or 100 meters then use that count in the woods to keep track of distance.

On my way back I took stock of my Urban Survival Preparations and Skills to date:

Bought two guns, a shotgun and a pistol;

Prepared a Survival Bug Out Bag;

Prepared my Toyota RAV 3 with a second full up spare tire and camouflage system;

Bought two gas containers so when events and circumstances dictated, I would keep them filled up in my garage to ensure I had fuel for “Getting Out of Dodge”
Selected a Safe Location that is fairly remote and has access to water;

Emplaced a small Survival Cache near the Safe Location;

Became familiar with my firearms;

Learned alittle about Map Reading and Land Navigation;

Started looking at how I would defend my home in the early days of a collapse before I executed my Survival Bug Out Plan;

Brought a Friend (Neomi) into my Survival Planning and she is prepared with a Bug Out Bag, Survival firearms, a vehicle and a foot route to link up with me at my home if a collapsed came on sudden;

My next Survival Preparation Plans are:

Continue buying ammunition, albeit small amounts, each month;

Purchase a couple of cases of Mountain House Food from EarthWaveLiving and some #10 cans of dehydrated bulk food from Honeyville Grain;

Ensure I continue buying a little extra each grocery store run keeping bottled water in one gallon jugs, large bags of dog food and canned/dehydrated meals in my pantry;

Make plans and prepare more Survival Caches for emplacement at my Safe Location – I’m not doing to put a whole lot of stuff up there at first. I think I’ll concentrate on maybe 3 months worth then later a six month minimal supply for three adults,…that would be Me, Neomi and my Son. Be Safe, Stay Ready!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Urban Survival Tools - Radio Communications, Part One

If you intend on surviving a TEOTEAWKI or a total collapse scenario in anything other than a one person group, you should consider the very real necessity of radio communications.

Survival, be it in an Urban Survival or Survival in a Rural environment, is most likely going to be with a larger group rather than one person. Hence two way communications would be extremely valuable. Some circumstances may be a Listening Post/Observation Post (LP/OP) or other Security Position reporting a sighting of a possible threat that would allow them to continue observation of a possible threat and eliminating a need to take “eyes off” the target to report to somebody.

If a group, such as a patrol, leaves the safe location, reporting via two way radios that the group is re-entering the safe location may prevent friendly fire.

This post will be the first of several on Radio Communications. We are going to start with the basics of the most commonly available radio communications system which is the Family Radio Service (FRS)/General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) radios available at retail stores as well as through Amazon thru the links below.

As far as Urban Survival is concerned, what are the differences between these two types of radios? Well, here is a brief explanation of FRS & GMRS radios.

FRS or Family Radios Service radios are compact, handheld, wireless 2-way radios that provide very good clarity over a relatively short range. FRS radios operate on any of 14 dedicated channels (1-14) designated by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) expressly for FRS radio usage. In order to comply with FCC standards, FRS radios have a maximum allowable power of 0.5 milliwatts (or 1/2 watt). FRS radio transceivers and their antennas may NOT be modified to extend their range.

FRS radio range:
Generally stated as "up to 2 miles," you should note that this manufacturer’s stated range should be construed as the absolute max, to be achieved only under optimal conditions (such as flat terrain, no obstructions and full batteries). Somewhere in the 1/4 to 1 mile range, depending upon conditions, is much more realistic.

FRS radio distinctions:
1) Unlike with CB (citizens band) radios and most other 2-way radios, there is no license required to use an FRS radio.
2) There are no fees for usage, airtime or per-call charges. (Aside from the cost of batteries, they are virtually free to use.)

GMRS or General Mobile Radio Service radios operate on any of up to 8 dedicated channels (15-22) designated by the FCC. GMRS radios typically have power ratings of 1.0 to 5.0 watts and have a maximum allowable power of 50 watts.

GMRS radio range:
GMRS radios typically achieve greater ranges than FRS radios. GMRS range is generally specified by manufacturers as "up to 5 miles" and occasionally slightly more. Again, this is a maximum range, likely achieved only under optimal conditions. Realistic range for GMRS radios under most conditions is more likely 1-2 miles, depending upon the particular conditions.

GMRS radios are very similar to FRS radios, except for a few important distinctions:
1) GMRS radio use requires you to purchase an FCC operator’s license.
2) GMRS radios generally achieve greater ranges than FRS radios.
3) While FRS radios may NOT legally be altered, GMRS radios may legally be outfitted or retrofitted with optional antennas, car antennas or home antennas to extend their range. For more information, please visit the FCC online at Note: Some GMRS radios (those with non-detachable antennas) will NOT accommodate antenna alterations. If you intend to alter your GMRS radio, please take care to choose a radio with a detachable-style antenna that accommodates your needs.

FRS/GMRS dual-service or "hybrid" radios:
FRS/GMRS 2-way radios are simply dual-service, or "hybrid," radios that provide access to both the FRS and GMRS bands, utilizing FRS channels (1-14) and GMRS channels (15-22). Use of a dual-service radio’s GMRS bands requires an FCC operator’s license. Dual-service radios may be used without an operator’s license, if only the FRS channels are used.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Urban Survival Equipment – Portable Solar Charging System

One of the biggest issues with a collapse of the infrastructure is how people deal with no electricity. Aside from developing a complete alternative power grid on your property utilizing wind and solar assets, we think the best and most affordable solution is to invest in a portable battery charger and re-chargeable batteries.

The simplest fix, articulated in an earlier post, is to buy the Energizer re-charger that operates off of a 110/115v wall socket or a 12v vehicle, and re-charges “AA” or “AAA” batteries. Simple and lightweight, it can easily be taken with you from your Urban or Suburban environment when the chances of staying and Surviving are minimal and Bug Out is necessary. The next thing to do would of course to buy additional re-chargeable batteries and only appliances, e.g.. flashlights, lanterns, etc, that use “AA” or “”AAA” power.

If the lights went out (and did not come back on) you would be dependant on charging these batteries through a vehicle. That vehicle battery would eventually lose all charge unless you could run that vehicle, but you have to figure on eventually running out of fuel. If you could re-charge vehicle batteries from a solar source you could not only charge items using the cigarette plug, but also from an inverter which converts 12v to 110/115v – which may be a third charging item to invest in. But we’ll write a separate post on that in the future. For the mean time, we’re going to concentrate on a portable solar charging system.

Incorporating a portable Solar charging system into your Urban Survival Preparation makes the most sense next. The Survival Cadre has been evaluating a Solar charging system from Maxa-Vision,
PO Box 4251, Tequesta, FL 33469, 561-743-8180.

This system revolves around a Foldable (approx 15x9x1.5 inches) Mobile Solar-Energized Power Generator (really just a folding solar panel), incorporating solid state, thin-film solar technology. The P3-62 Solar Power (called a Power Generator) provides an excellent lightweight (3.1 lbs) and durable solar charging panel, producing 62 watts of power.

We like this solar charging panel in conjunction with a rechargeable version of the venerable BB-5590 military lithium battery. This rechargeable version is called the BB-2590 and is manufactured by Bren-Tronics, available from Maxavision.

Necessary accessories would be a Charge Controller and Pass Through Assembly to charge the BB-2590 Batteries from the P3-62 Solar Panel. One additional accessory would be the 5 piece Accessory Cable Kit which would allow the user to charge 12v vehicle batteries with the P3-62 Solar Panel.

Total costs for this system would be roughly:

P3-62 Foldable 12v 62 watt Solar Panel, part # P3-62, cost $880
Charge Controller, part # BTC-70824-1, cost $230
Pass Through Assembly, part # BTA-70781, cost $225
Accessory Cable Kit, part # 222700RC, cost $225
BB2590 Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery, part # BT-70791A, cost $325 (each)
110/115v Charger for BB2590, part # BT-70791-LR, cost $130

We suggest you call the company and discuss your power needs directly with a Maxavision representative and to get current prices.

One of the neatest little accessories you can also buy is from another company, called Radio Reconnaissance Technologies (RRT),,
160 West Camino Real #233, Boca Raton, FL 33432, phone 540-752-7448

RRT produces a 12v cigarette Lighter connector for the BB-2590 battery, so you can charge the BB-2590 then charge or power anything that can be charged or powered through a vehicle cigarette port.

This device is called a BP-778 to BB-2590 Cigarette Lighter Connector and costs approximately $65.

If you are deciding to do any power generating at your home, then you may want to peruse for some information, ideas and other links.