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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Reader Question on Body Armor for Survival received the following e-mail request: ”Hey urban man. just thought I'd drop you another line. I was wondering if Kevlar vests would be a practical piece of your survival kit. I seem to be one of the few in my circle to think so, I made the argument it weighs close to nothing and will quite literally save your life on multiple occasions, but nobody thought it was worth spending the extra money on it. I’ve done a little research on it and come to find out a plain old kevlar vest that stops up to a high velocity 5.56 FMJ bullet is only around 350$-650$, so I guess is do you think its worth it? Get back to me man and stay prepared.”

UrbanMan replies:Before I answer that lets review the levels of body armor under the National Institute of Justice Ratings for Body Armor,.....NIJ Standard 0101.03, 0101.04:

NIJ LEVEL I: This armor protects against .22 caliber Long Rifle Lead Round Nose (LR LRN) bullets with nominal masses of 40 gr impacting at a minimum velocity of 1050 fps or less and 380 ACP Full Metal Jacketed Round Nose (FMJ RN) bullets with nominal masses of 95 gr impacting at a minimum velocity of 1025 fps or less.

NIJ LEVEL IIA: Lower Velocity 9mm, .40 S&W. This armor protects against 9mm Full Metal Jacketed Round Nose (FMJ RN) bullets with nominal masses of 124 gr impacting at a minimum velocity of 1090 fps or less and .40 S&W caliber Full Metal Jacketed (FMJ) bullets with nominal masses of 180 gr impacting at a minimum velocity of 1025 fps or less. It also provides protection against Level I threats. Level IIA body armor is well suited for full-time use by police departments, particularly those seeking protection for their officers from lower velocity .40 S&W and 9mm ammunition.

NIJ LEVEL II: Higher Velocity 9mm, .357 Magnum. This armor protects against .357 Magnum jacketed soft-point bullets with nominal masses of 158 gr. impacting at a velocity of 1,395 fps or less and against 9mm full-jacketed bullets with nominal velocities of 1,175 ft/s. It also protects against most other factory loads in caliber .357 Magnum and 9mm as well as the Level I and IIA threats. Level II body armor is heavier and more bulky than either Level’s I or IIA. It is worn full time by officers seeking protection against higher velocity .357 Magnum and 9mm ammunition.

NIJ LEVEL IIIA: .44 Magnum; Submachine Gun 9mm. This armor protects against .44 Magnum, Semi Jacketed Hollow Point (SJHP) bullets with nominal masses of 240 gr. impacting at a velocity of 1,400 fps or less and against 9mm full-metal jacketed bullets with nominal masses of 124 gr. impacting at a velocity of 1,400 ft/s or less. It also provides protection against most handgun threats as well as the Level I, IIA, and II threats. Level IIIA body armor provides the highest level of protection currently available from concealable body armor and is generally suitable for routine wear in many situations. However, departments located in hot, humid climates may need to evaluate the use of Level IIIA armor carefully.

NIJ LEVEL III: High-powered rifle. This armor, normally plates of hard or semi-rigid construction (steel, composite armor, ceramic), protects against 7.62mm full-metal jacketed bullets (US military designation M80) with nominal masses of 150 gr. impacting at a velocity of 2,750 ft/s or less. It also provides protection against threats such as .223 Remington (5.56mm FMJ), 30 Carbine FMJ, and 12-gauge rifled slug, as well as Level I through IIIA threats. Level III body armor is clearly intended only for tactical situations when the threat warrants such protection, such as barricade confrontations involving sporting rifles.

NIJ LEVEL IV: Armor-piercing rifle. This armor protects against .30–06 caliber armor-piercing bullets ( US military designation APM2) with nominal masses of 166 gr. impacting at a velocity of 2,850 ft/s or less. It also provides at least single-hit protection against the Level I through III threats. Level IV body armor provides the highest level of protection currently available. Because this armor is intended to resist “armor piercing” bullets, it often uses ceramic materials. Such materials are brittle in nature and may provide only single-shot protection since the ceramic tends to break up when struck. As with Level III armor, Level IV armor is clearly intended only for tactical situations when the threat warrants such protection.

You can see that to protect against 5.56 (.223 Remington) you’ll need Threat Level III protection. Very few companies offering Level III armor under $650. You need to check your state laws. A lot of disinformation out there on whether or not body armor is legal to own. Best to get your local and state laws. Another issue is many that companies will not sell armor to people without a law enforcement nexus or certification,...... and possibly require a supervisors approval on agency letterhead, although Level IIIA (one step lower than Level III and will not stop 5.56mm) is commonly available but starting around $400.

A lot of personnel are wearing Level IIIA armor with Level III plates in an insert over the chest and in the back. There has been a lot of technological improvement in body armor from steel plates, to composite plates to ceramic plates. In the old days, we used to cut steel and use that as surrogate armor for our vehicles, even then 5.56mm ball and tracer would penetrate one-quarter inch mild steel. When we used a harder steel, such as T1 or T520, 5.56mm ball and tracer were defeated, but not 5.56mm SS109 steel core penetrator, whic punched right through unless you went to a thicker and much heavier chunk of steel. We used to buy pepper popper targets and IPSC sized steel target as they fit behind our seats for rear protection from small arms fire coming from our six.

It's probably more common for personnel to wear Level IIIA or even the lower rated Level II, under their shirts, then wear a plate carrier Molle platform to carry plates and gear pouches. It will be hard to buy plates. They are expensive. An enterprising individual could make his own plates, buying the appropriate hardness steel plates then having them cut to size to fit the plate carrier pocket. You could even coat them liquid rubber coating which hardens to a rubberized surface for easier handling. These field expedient plates are necessrily going to be heavy.

Body armor has an expiration to it, usually 5 years if stored correctly. After that it is de-certified, therefore hard to get second hand as nobody wants the liability. I think if you store it correctly (flat and in a humidity controlled environment) that it can be viable years after,..hell I’m counting on it.

To answer your question, yes, body armor is essential item of kit. Just usually outside the procurement capability of most people. I particulary like wearing II or IIIA soft body armor ovr my t-shirt and under my work shirt, then adding a molle plate carrier.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Survival Planning - Advice from Sovereignman - Simon Black

At we have written many times about having multiple sources of financial and economic information in order to assess the timeline of the coming collapse and not let it hit you by surprise. One more source of information is Simon Black's

Simon's motto immediately intrigued me,....."There are two ways to sleep well at night, ignorant or be prepared." I think I'll choose the be prepared method.

And while Sovereignman's primary advice is unrealistic for most Americans (including me) which is to send money overseas to protected bank accounts and either re-locate now to different countries or to be prepared to on short notice, I do think Simon has other good advice and forecasts which should be considered.

One of Simon's latest posts, on February 17, 2011:

Recent headlines,......

“World Bank: Global food prices are rising to dangerous levels”

“Sysco declares force majeure, raises grocery prices”

“The J. M. Smucker Company Announces Coffee Price Increases”

“Kraft warns on price increases”

“Kellogg says it will raise prices”

“Sara Lee to raise prices again on higher commodity costs”

“Bridgestone To Raise Prices”

“Goodyear will raise tire prices up to 6%”

“Allstate rates rise; patience with execs runs thin”

“State Farm wants 28 percent rate increase in Fla.”

“Blue Shield to delay Calif. health rate hikes [for only 60 days]”

“Wellmark [Midwest division of Blue Cross] Rate Hike Approved”

“Abercrombie & Fitch CEO says retailer will have to raise prices”

“Sprint bumps up its smart-phone data plans $10 a month”

“Xcel Energy customers to see rate hikes”

And then there’s this quote to tie it all together:

“Overall inflation is still quite low and longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.” — Ben Bernanke, February 9, 2011

If it wasn’t perfectly clear before, it should be now. This man (Bernanke) is either completely out of touch, or he’s a conniving liar. In either case, you should not allow him to be responsible for your well being.

Don’t let the rising stock market fool you into thinking that everything is back on track. It’s impossible to read these headlines and not see at least half of the things that you use frequently– food, coffee, electricity, mobile phone, insurance…

Here’s the bottom line– failing to properly protect your savings, seek alternate sources of income, and diversify your sovereign risk gets you a free one-way ticket on the economic Hindenburg.

Inflation begets economic trouble. Economic trouble begets social unrest. Social unrest begets political instability… and as we saw in Egypt, political instability (and social unrest) begets a police state.

If you don’t want to be around for it, I’d suggest taking action immediately. The quick start guide is this:

1) Open a foreign bank account. Even if you don’t fund it yet, at least have the means to shovel your money overseas in a hurry. UrbanMan's comment: Good idea but unrealistic for most American's living pay check to paycheck.

2) Park at least a portion of your savings in stable, inflation-proof assets, preferably overseas. UrbanMan's comment: Again a good idea but unrealistic for most American's living pay check to paycheck. Better to get what you can in Gold and Silver.

3) Look for alternate sources of income– don’t rely on the traditional job market or wait for the government and central bank to create jobs… everyone is good at something, most likely a lot of things. Think about how you can add value, how you can solve problems. UrbanMan's comment: This is called the multiple streams of income strategy. I use it and have solid contingency plans if I lose my job as losing one stream of income won't put me on my back.

4) Look at your own personal vulnerabilities. What would happen if you lost your job? If food became extremely expensive? If gas prices made normal commuting and errands cost prohibitive? If your healthcare became unaffordable? Consider lifestyle changes to reduce these vulnerabilities. UrbanMan's comment: I have a list of savings measures to be implemented upon various layers of inflation, such as cutting my landline telephone and cutting satellite television, reducing gasoline use, etc. I am already growing my own food, not in a quantity to completely feed myself by any means, but a fairly significant amount and plan to trade or barter vegetables for material and services when the collapse is significant enough.

5) Begin researching, in earnest, places overseas where you can go and can live comfortably with the right opportunities you’re looking for. Frequently, the lifestyle changes you need to make can be easily found overseas. UrbanMan's comment: Again a good idea but unrealistic for most American's, but what is realistic is a Bug Out Plan to a Safe location. A must have is a safe place where you have a year round water sources and ability to grow your own food.

Look, if the skies open and some white knight comes riding in to save the day and stave off any major crisis, you won’t be any worse off for increasing your self-reliance and making preparations. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by being cautious.

More than likely, though, the miraculous white knight will never come, and just a few years from now, people will be wondering, ‘how the hell did we ever reach this point?’

I think at that point, a few years from now, people will look back today and wonder why they didn’t see the warning signs… in the future, when hindsight is 20/20, it will seem to have been so obvious today.

Stop listening to national leadership and start listening to your instincts. They’re telling you that something’s wrong, and the clear, obvious facts confirm those suspicions. The only people who don’t get it are the ones pulling the strings.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Reader Question on Water Purification received the following email from Norman,..I scored some points with my wife during that recent big storm as a public notice went out in our city telling people to boil their water before drinking as there was damage to the city water company's back flow preventers due to several broken water mains. And we had several power outages so we couldn't boil water consistently if we wanted to. Didn't need to anyway, as I had four cases of bottled water in the garage and some water purification tablets. I think now my wife is more inclined to listen to me about Survival readiness since she has now seen the value in being ready. Now I need to buy some more water purification products just in case I don't have enough bottled water next time. What do you suggest? Should I rely on the pills?

UrbanMan replies: I have water purification means in depth. Meaning I am not relying just on one technology or one means. I have individual and group water filters, as well as water purification tablets (which I think you are calling "pills"), and can build field expedient water filtration methods when necessary.

I have several Aquamira Water Bottle and Filter units which is like a sports drink bottle with a filter,..just fill up with questionable water then drink. Best to run dirty water through cloth before hand to help prolong the filter. The filter removes 99.9% of Giardia, Cryptospordium and other contaminants as well as removing the chlorine taste. Each bottle filters up to 50 gallons.

I have several larger, group sized units, one a Katadyn hand pump unit and another a Katadyn Base Camp Water Filter System which uses a gravity feed water filter system, which I really like. It can filter 200 gallons or more.

For my Bug Out Bags, I have added the Frontier Pro Ultralight Water Filter, which is approx 6 inches long and one inch in diameter.  This uses a straw not shown in the picture (right) so you can directly drink water from a bad source.  You can also remove the bite valve and gravity filter water from common bottle.  It comes with 4 replacement pre-filters that will extend the internal filter life. This will filters up to 50 gallons.

Click here for prices and more information

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Urban Financial Survival Planning - Gold Confiscation Start

Tyler Durden of Zero Hedge, makes the following report on new beginnings of the Government, in this case the State of Washington, to set in place a type of registration which would be necessary to make Gold confiscation by the government even half effective. 1933 all over again.

As Mike Dillard of the Elevation Group writes: "The US Government is broke. They need your money, and whether it's through taxes, inflation, the seizure of your precious metals, or the nationalization of your retirement accounts, they are going to take it from you. And when governments get desperate for money, they turn to the one thing they're best at... They start writing new laws."

The Zero Hedge article:

Prepare To Give Up All Private Data For Any Gold Purchase Over $100

A week ago, when we reported on a move by the Dutch central bank that ordered a pension fund to forcibly reduce its gold holdings, we speculated that "this latest gold confiscation equivalent event is most certainly coming to a banana republic near you." And while we got the Banana republic right, the event that we are about to describe is not necessarily identical. It is much worse. A bill proposed in the State of Washington (House Bill 1716), by State Representatives Asay, Hurst, Klippert, Pearson, and Miloscia, whose alleged purpose is to regulate secondhand gold dealers, seeks to capture "the name, date of birth, sex, height, weight, race, and address and telephone number of the person with whom the transaction is made" or said otherwise, of every purchaser of gold in the state of Washington.

Furthermore, if passed, Bill 1716 will record "a complete description of the property pledged, bought, or consigned, including the brand name, serial number, model number or name, any initials or engraving, size, pattern, and color or stone or stones" and of course price. But the kicker: if a transaction is mode for an amount over $100, which means one tenth of an ounce of golds, also required will be a "signature, photo, and fingerprint of the person with whom the transaction is made." In other words, very soon Washington state will know more about you than you know about yourself, if you dare to buy any gold object worth more than a C-note.

How this proposal is supposed to protect consumers against vulture gold dealers we don't quite get. Hopefully someone will explain it to us. We do, however, get how Americans will part with any and all privacy if they were to exchange fiat for physical. And in a police state like America, this will likely not be taken lightly, thereby killing the gold trade should the proposed Bill pass, and be adopted elsewhere.

While we are confident that representatives Asay, Hurst, Klippert, Pearson, and Miloscia have no clue why they are even proposing this bill, we would also be delighted to find out which moneyed interests they represent, and what happens to precious metal trading in America should Bill 1716 become a legal precedent which is effectively the first step before the final implementation of Executive Order 6102 version 2.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Reader Question - What We are Planning For? received an Anonymous comment in reference to a recent post entitled: Survival Preparation - Getting Others to Prepare..........."Okay, this blog warns us about what exactly? What the he** am I supposed to do now? I am not afraid, so I will not go out and buy a gun. I already have "food" stored. It's called a pantry. Can you please be more explicit about the so-called threat that you are warning against?" Thanks.

UrbanMan replies: Fair enough question. Maybe one that those of us who have been preparing for years ought to revisit from time to time. The short answer is that bad times are coming and the most likely catalysts, not in the order of likelihood, are:

* Economic collapse
* Infectious Disease Pandemic
* Terrrorist attack with Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) such as nuclear or biological weapons
* Terrorist Cyber or Electro Magentic Pulse attack
* Nuclear attack by a Nation-State.
* Natural Disaster on a National scale

Think of families who live in Hurricane country. They have bottled water, food, plywood cut for windows, tarps, rain gear and a plan to pack up and go somewhere safe. Planning for the possible/probably threats I mentioned in the above paragraph just require Hurricane planning x ten.

There are near 300 posts on this site. I would think at least 30 of them articulate a particular threat,.....giant recession into hyper inflation then into a greater depression; terrorist attacks with nuclear or biological weapons; conventional nuclear attack; etc.

By most accounts the economic collaspe model is most probable, given our current state. Look at various financial analysis sites and what their advisors are saying,....Sandy Leeds, Gonzalo Lira, Chris Martenson, Peter Stansberry, Robert Kiyosaki, Simon Black and many, many others. These are mainstream advisors not some nameless blooger (like me). All are predicting a super collapse of the economy. I have even seen predictions for a collapse beginning the end of this month. However it may not be a day (time period) or recognized event that marks the beginning, may just be a gradual collapse and if so, then we are in it now. Look at the the giant price increase in consumer goods. Look at the strength of the dollar against foreign currencies. Look at the never before reached levels of people in poverty. The world is looking to replace the dollar as the world's reserve currency,........

Many states (California, Wisconsin, Illinois and others can't pay their state workers, can't pay their creditors nor even balance the budget when their survival is on the line. The Middle East and North Africa is in turmoil, placing our oil supplies in jepordy. Fuel at $5 even $7 a gallon will destroy this economy.

Our financial infrastructure is electronic in nature. A significant cyber attack or an attack on our power and utilities infrastructure could devastate our economy. However it may be unnecessary as we are doing to ourselves,.....massive federal borrowing; deficit spending;....

So we are preparing for a time when food is not as available as it is now,...we are preparing for a time when our security will be our responsibility to a much larger extent than it is now.

We are preparing because it is an individual responsibility, and we are preparing by planning to cover the four basic areas of food, water, shelter and security.

To be certain there are people out there that equate survival planning with guns, more guns and camouflage fatigues. To be more certain, a portion of security, therefore guns, is the mean to protect yourself and your family. The reader's comment: "I am not afraid, so I will not go out and buy a gun. I already have "food" stored. It's called a pantry," begs the question, how long will your pantry food last? and are you neighbors going to protect you?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Urban Survival Planning - Growing Your Own Food

Growing your own food. Our ancestors, or at least their neighbors, did it. Doesn’t sound too hard, does it? After all, most of us are planning on being able to grow our own food and most of us stock plenty of non-hybrid seeds to achieve that goal. I sure have a good stock of non-hybrid seeds. Plus I always buy a pack or two other vegetable seeds when I am in the local hardware store. Been doing that for so long, I now have a large ammunition can full of hybrid seeds packages. I plan to use the hybrid seeds first and especially at locations that I may have to vacate (Bug Out from) so I won’t waste the seed generating capability of the non-hybrids. I can also use the hybrid seeds as barter material.

Many people I talk to are basing their stockpile of food, e.g.. dehydrated – vacuum packed – canned goods,....on what they feel is a necessary 6 months supply. Their reasoning is that, worst case, food supplies will dry up in the fall – too late to plant, so they only need six months supply to get them through to where they can grow their own food in the spring.

I have two comments to that:

1. Growing food is not as easy as you think. I would not base my existence and my family’s survival on being able to grow all the food I need.

2. Growing food is so important, and if successful, allows you to save at least some of your stockpiled food, that starting to grow food need to be immediately when a collapse hits, if not starting now. You need to be able to preserve your crops as well, through canning and dehydration.

Starting now allows you to do a rehearsal for when you really need it to survive. And the simple fact is that growing some of our own food is enjoyable and rewarding. Note: I have had some people tell me “I ain’t no farmer! I’ll barter with someone for the food they grow”. I say okay and good luck. I’m thinking in the back of my head,……if you’re hungry enough to eat another person, I think you’d be hungry enough to grow your own food.

Being prepared to start growing food immediately when a collapse hits means you need the ability to erect and grow crops out of a green house as in many places the growing seasons may even be a short 3 months. On my immediate purchase list when indicators are strong that a collapse is imminent, are materials to build a green house. It would be great to have an acre crisis garden under glass, but the simple reality is that this is just not affordable without multiple survival families putting up the funding and effort. But what is possible is a small enough green house that you can afford to build or purchase and maintain.

Probably a lot of you have heard about Northern Tool and Equipment with all their excellent deals on solar panels, wind generators, fuel storage units and such. Northern Tool also offers a wide variety of greenhouse kits. I am now looking at buying one these kits and either erecting it now, or building it when the time makes it necessary.

Much like the novel “One Second After” where the people started much too late in planning for a continued food supply…..don’t get caught like this. It is obviously much better to be ahead of the curve, especially where you you help other people and keep them from becoming a burden on you.

Northern Tool advertises this hobby greenhouse as having a strong aluminum frame that supports UV-stabilized twin-wall polycarbonate panels. These 4mm-thick walls provide excellent heat retention and create even, diffused light that your plants will love. The corrosion-resistant aluminum frame is easily assembled and stays sturdy thanks to bolt-together connections. This kit includes a galvanized base kit to anchor the greenhouse to a concrete or wood foundation. With an adjustable roof vent and sliding door provide it provides ventilation.

There are many other models to choose from. The fact remains if you buy a greenhouse kit or build your own, this will come in handy unless you have many years of stocked food in your supply.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Survival Preparation: Medical Skills - Continuous Chest Compression CPR has been asked to devote more posts to Survival Preparation across the medical skills and material spectrum. I think people realize that in a worst case collapse scenario, the ability to access a competent wide variety of medical care will be greater reduced or non-existent unless we provide it ourselves.

In a perfect pre-collapse world, all members of your survival group would have a robust amount of medical training, with certifications or not, and may include up to EMT-Paramedic training. It may be possiblle for you to recruit a Medical Doctor, specialist or not, into your survival group.

Do you know where Doctors, Nurses, Veternarians, Dentists and other medical professionals live in your vicinity? If not, then maybe that would be a good idea to know where they live. And while you may not want to knock on their door and ask them to be a part of your survival group now, after the life changing events of a collapse this may be a much more viable concept. Certainly you could barter for their services.

Even if medical professionals and their services were available to your survival group after a collapse, it would be not only a great idea but an essential requirements that members of your survival group possess base line, first response medical training at a minimum.

The ability for all your survival group members to be capable in CPR is a basic skill. Guidance and procedures for CPR change from time to time. Continuous Chest Compression CPR, developed at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, is a hands-only CPR method that doubles a person’s chance of surviving cardiac arrest. It’s easy and does not require mouth-to-mouth contact, making it more easy to learn and more likely that it would be employed when needed.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Survival Preparation - Getting Others to Prepare for the Collapse

I was listening to Glenn Beck this morning and a caller was asking for advice about his wife whose beliefs about the coming collapse were described as “ostrich like” – meaning she was putting her head in the sand. The caller said that when he mentioned to his wife about buying additional food or maybe buying some precious metals she would freak out.

The caller also asked Glenn Beck how he can get his wife to see the need to prepare. Glenn said something to the effect that “how can anyone not see what’s coming?” – a rhetorical question to be sure. He then further asked the caller if his wife had any friends that saw the future the way the caller did. When the caller replied yes, Glenn then suggested he get the friends to help get the wife to see the aspect of “preparing for the worst, hoping for the best”.

When your wife or family doesn’t want to listen to your perspective on Survival prepping, this is called “There is No Expert in the Village” syndrome. Where because of the simple fact you are so close to your family and friends, they think you cannot possibly know much more than them. It doesn’t help your credibility for them to have seen you crap faced drunk on occasion (come on that’s a joke).

But what is not a joke is that if your family and friends do not prepare they will be a burden on you come collapse time. Plus if you cannot get your immediate family to see the need to prepare, even just a little, then it could even lead to a break up of the family unit. I have a friend who follows what I say,....he bought an M-4 carbine and his wife freaked out. They are currently separated and heading for divorce court where I’m sure the wife will paint her soon to be ex-husband as a Survivalist Loon.

If you have a wife or even close family members who are in the "denying the coming collapse camp", then you need to be in a careful hurry to get them to see the light. Short papers or conversations on facts, and short videos may work the best. This is called “Dripping”. Sometimes if make take five, ten, maybe 20 drips for your intended audience to say “tell me more”. This may seem like a chore, but it is absolutely critical that you get the immediate family on board and build a survival team with your close family, close friends and even neighbors.

I recently got a close friend of mine not only interested in prepping but on a frenzied pace to prepare. All I did was call him up and say “Hey buddy, I know you go camping often, can you use a case of MRE’s that will expire in 6 months?” He replied “Heck yes, I would love a case of MRE's. Why are you giving them up?” I told him “I bought a bunch more long term food and am trying to make room.” He asked “Why are you buying a bunch of food?” and I simply said “mainly for insurance, but lately I’ve been thinking I’m going to need it.” He asked why and I went into some financial factors indicating a coming collapse,.....then I said, “on a lesser extent preparing for bad things such as terrorist nuclear events or pandemics is a good idea also.”

So I drop the MRE’s off and have lunch with this friend of mine where he proceded to ask me a laundry list of questions pertaining to survival prep....stocking food, building Bug Out Bags, buying cold weather gear, developing power supplies during a infrastructure collapse, etc. He had did some research on his own and he was prompted by “fear of loss or fear of being left behind” by me NOT trying to convince him. I then let him in on the fact that this website was mine - he was floored which even add fuel to his prep fire. The good news is that my friend is more than an avid gun collector,...he has a Class III license, owning some belt fed weapons, and many others. So he doesn’t have to prepare for that aspect. And in fact, part of my strategy on getting him focused on survival preparation was that he can be a big asset, as I can to him, when the collapse comes.

So if you’re having problems getting people to listen to you may try the short survival prep drips,...remember that there is no expert in the village,…use the fear of loss/being left behind concept. Some recent facts that can help are posted on the fuel price signs at your local gas station! with no reduction in price on the horizon; commodities such as Gold, Corn, Cotton and Sugar up 60%, 78%, 43% and 164% respectively in the last 12 months; Food stamp recipients up 35%; number of people in poverty up to 43.6 million an increase of almost 10%; and most importantly the National debt up 32% to a level that cannot be fixed – yes we are heading for at least an economic collapse.

Good luck, prepare well and preach preparedness to the extent you are willing to compromise your OPSEC.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Urban Survival - Fuel Emergencies: Making Gas From Wood

For some of you more technical or mechanically sound individuals, it is apparently possible to build a Biomass Gasifier Unit that can provide fuel for internal combustion engines for use in a Petroleum Emergency.

This technology is not recent. Fuel gas produced by the reduction of coal and peat (from Peat moss) was used for heating as early as 1840 in Europe . Although not common, nor widely used, it was familiar technology. During World War II, due to gas shortages for the war effort, these gas generators were much more common and even common to Korea into the 1950’s.

All internal combustion engines run off of vapor not liquid. All liquid fuels are vaporized before they enter the combustion chamber. The purpose of a gasifier is to transform solid fuels into a gaseous form to keep the engines free of particles. So think energy converter and filter.

FEMA,…yes the infamous FEMA, produces many publications, and one of the more interesting documents was a 90 page report entitled “Construction of a Simplified Wood Gas Generator for Fueling Internal Combustion Engines in a Petroleum Emergency”,..whew!,…that’s a mouthful even for a recently de-classified document.

The entire document is available here, and it may be a good idea to print a copy and put in your 3 ring binder of other Survival and Collapse information. You do have a 3 ring binder of good Survival information, don’t you?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Reader Response on Sniper Rifles and Street Gangs received a comment on the "Urban Survival Firearms - Sniper Rifle Necessity?" post,....I think most people who expect STHF have basic fire arms skills. and out of those (only) a few have basic long range fire arms skill. I don't think its a necessary piece of equipment but if you have the ability to use it then its going to be a primary tool when engaging hostile targets at 300 yards or more. Also it would be used with you team you need to build for cover and observation of the surrounding area. I myself have little knowledge of using a scoped rifle but I am learning and learning fast. with the world looking more and more like its going to in a sense turn in to a mad max world its good to have the ability to see and asses targets or bands of targets.

Also if you get a laser range finder and use it to set up range markers at your bug out base or even long term camp or "base" the sniper rifle would a tool worth its weight in gold. my opinion...its better to shoot someone who you deem a threat before he shoots you. also one thing I haven't seen this website talk about is street gangs. In a disaster such as massive black out or natural disasters street gangs go on massive offensives and like to kill rape loot and and start chaos. so in an urban or suburban area if you can find a suitable bug out location or temporary base camp with a nice field of vision set up range markers....subtle ones. maybe a group of rocks or tin cans every hundred yard going out to 700 yards or whatever you feel is decent.

UrbanMan replies: Good comment. Glad you are learning the art of the scoped rifle. Sniping is all together a different subject, but the ability to use a scoped rifle to increase your ability to engage at longer ranges, when your environment supports it or even necessitates it, can be huge. Laser Range Finders are good kit when taking a shot from unknown terrain, but the Survivalist can mitigate that need by prepping the terrain as you mentioned with range markers - way too many historic examples of that. A flag or way to determine wind value if helpful too.

Did you say Street Gangs? You mean like: Barrio Aztecas; Bloods; Crips; Folk Nation; Gangster Disciples, Mexican Mafia aka La EME; MS-13; SUR 13; Surenos; Texas Syndicate. If you count in the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMG’s), then you can add the Bandidos; Hells Angels; Mongols; and others. Where I live there
are over 70 Street Gangs. The vast majority of them are just a bunch of neighborhood punks,...but one has to respect the power of mobs and the capability of already existing organized groups of criminals.

Know your enemy or your potential threats. The way to begin is to understand their operational territory and boundaries; operational routines (the how of their criminal actions) then analyze how that can impact on you and your Survival Groups safety and mobility, especially Bug Out routes.

Getting tied into the local police through personal contacts or serving on a civilian advisory board; talking to other emergency providers, as well as reading the paper and talking to commercial vendors in the area can help you build and maintain a Situation Map, aka SITMAP (see the below map graphic as an example...this is a fabricated example and no way intends to depict real world conditions). The next step on a SITMAP is to keep track of criminal actions and events,..e.g..shootings, robberies, car jackings, etc. Eventually you will be able to see a pattern - this is called Pattern Analysis.....and lets you forecast with some degree of accuracy future criminal operations.

This is a beginning of Intellignce Prep of the Battlefield (IPB) or you can call it Intel Prep of the Area of Operations - doesn't much matter. It is simply the process of understanding the threat and how their intent, criminal operational routines, and capabilities can effect you.

The reader is absolutely right about the large threat from organized and armed street gangs especially in a degraded infrastructure - hence the necessity of being armed yourself, having a survival team for mutual support, having safe protocols for operating your patrols and performing all survival tasks, and utilizing rudimentary intelligence related practices to keep yourself safe.

In a total collapse, Street Gangs will sooner rather than later expend all the loot (food, water, etc) in their given original "gang territory" and will eventually expand to other areas, especially the areas that are 1 - easy targets and 2 - high yield targets.

Be smart, be prepared.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Urban Survival Planning - The Aftermath of the Storm

Following up with the aftermath of the giant storm that gripped our nation, on the first day when temps went above 20 degrees, which is very cold for the desert southwest, I went to the local version of Sportsman Warehouse around noon and guess what material was flying off the shelves?

Sleeping Bags. I saw a crowd of a dozen or so people in the sleeping bag aisle picking over what was left, and that wasn’t much.

Ammunition. The clerks were telling me that .32 ACP, .380 ACP, .40 S&W and .45 ACP were flying off the shelves as was .270 of all things. They said they sold more ammunition that morning then in the previous 2 or 3 weeks.

Firearms. While I was hanging out around the firearms section, four people purchased guns - three of them 12 gauge pump shotguns and one a semi-auto handgun.

Battery Powered Lanterns. There were almost none left. However, flashlights were a slow seller. Most of the lanterns that were bought used D sized batteries which very few people have the capability to recharge – so I hope they bought enough batteries. This store still had a large amount of batteries of all types so it was hard to tell how many were bought that morning.

Several of the convenience stores I stopped at were out of cases of water.

I keep a running list of equipment and material that are on my short list for purchase/procurement once the collapse indicators start indicating the collapse is near term imminent. Some are things I can do without now, or just nice to have during a collapse, and others are items with a shelf life so I want to purchase them at a point where I’ll get the longest use out of them.

The below list of items was sent to me by a friend in North Dakota, relating to the most common things that are bought by people in panic,…preparing for a hurricane, storm or whatever. What do you think are the first things to go?

Water, Batteries, Flashlights, Ice, Candles, Matches, Toilet paper, Paper plates, paper towels, Heavy duty aluminum foil, Water filters, Flour, Sugar, Milk, Powdered milk, Coffee, Canned soup, Soup mixes, Bouillon cubes, Hand‐held can openers, Dry cereal, Diapers, Wet wipes, Baby food, Baby formula, Sanitary napkins & tampons, Bath soap, Laundry detergent, Waterless hand sanitizer, Disinfectant, Bleach, Trash bags,

Re‐sealable plastic bags, Toothpaste, Tooth brushes, Shampoo and conditioner, Shaving equipment, Lanterns, Lantern fuel, Lantern wicks or mantles, Butane igniter, Charcoal grills, Charcoal, Camp stoves, Propane for camp stoves, Pocket knife, Army knife, Vitamin supplements,

Antacids, Antibiotics, Rubbing alcohol, Hydrogen peroxide, Laxative and diarrhea remedies, Antihistamine, Epsom salts, Bandages, Sterile gauze pads, First‐aid tape, Portable toilets, 5‐gallon plastic buckets, Gas‐driven generators, Gasoline storage containers, Duct tape, Chain‐saws,

Cast iron Dutch oven, Cast iron frying pan, Bug spray, Mouse traps, Mouse bait (D‐Con), Thermal underwear, Insulated coveralls, Heavy work gloves, Boots / rain gear, Band saws, Axes, Solar panels, Hand‐crank radios, Canvas and nylon tarps.

While many of us involved with Survival Preparation had many of the above items, a lot of the aforementioned items on that list we are thinking WTF? If anyone wants a free copy of an e-book containing details on the above and other items, just e-mail me and I’ll send it to you. Depending upon the response, I may only be replying for the next two weeks.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Survival Planning - Zero Hedge and Internet Access After the Government Shuts It Down

Ever heard of Zero Hedge? They are another multi-dimensional analytical entity keeping track of the financial, political and political factors affecting our Country,....our individual survival, ..and predicting the coming monetary-financial collapse. A smart person would add them to growing score of intelligence sources.

I like the Zero Hedge motto, which is: “On a Long Enough Timeline, the Survival Rate for Everyone Drops to Zero”.

Zero Hedge can be accessed, by clicking here,… sure to bookmark it.

One of my technical guys sent me the link to Zero Hedge due to a recent article entitled: “How to Maintain Internet Access Even If Your Government Turns It Off”

Driven or at least accelerated by the events in Egypt are efforts to combat a Government’s shut down of the Internet. Thanks to Zero Hedge re-printing an excerpt from Get Internet Access When Your Government Shuts it Down, by Patrick Miller & David Daw there possible solutions if mass civil unrest strikes a country, a government may respond by banning internet access and severely restricting information flow.

Here is the excerpt:

"Even if you've managed to find an Internet connection for yourself, it won't be that helpful in reaching out to your fellow locals if they can't get online to find you. If you're trying to coordinate a group of people in your area and can't rely on an Internet connection, cell phones, or SMS, your best bet could be a wireless mesh network of sorts--essentially, a distributed network of wireless networking devices that can all find each other and communicate with each other. Even if none of those devices have a working Internet connection, they can still find each other, which, if your network covers the city you're in, might be all you need. At the moment, wireless mesh networking isn't really anywhere close to market-ready, though we have seen an implementation of the 802.11s draft standard, which extends the 802.11 Wi-Fi standard to include wireless mesh networking, in the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) XO laptop."

"However, a prepared guerrilla networker with a handful of PCs could make good use of Daihinia ($25, 30-day free trial), an app that piggybacks on your Wi-Fi adapter driver to turn your normal ad-hoc Wi-Fi network into a multihop ad-hoc network (disclaimer: we haven't tried this ourselves yet), meaning that instead of requiring each device on the network to be within range of the original access point, you simply need to be within range of a device on the network that has Daihinia installed, effectively allowing you to add a wireless mesh layer to your ad-hoc network. Advanced freedom fighters can set up a portal Web page on their network that explains the way the setup works, with Daihinia instructions and a local download link so they can spread the network even further. Lastly, just add a Bonjour-compatible chat client like Pidgin or iChat, and you'll be able to talk to your neighbors across the city without needing an Internet connection."

"[Another alternative is] FidoNet--a distributed networking system for BBSes that was popular in the 1980s. FidoNet is limited to sending only simple text messages, and it's slow, but it has two virtues: Users connect asynchronously, so the network traffic is harder to track, and any user can act as the server, which means that even if the government shuts down one number in the network, another one can quickly pop up to take its place."

"You could also take inspiration from groups that are working to create an ad-hoc communications network into and out of Egypt using Ham Radio, since the signals are rarely tracked and extremely hard to shut down or block. Most of these efforts are still getting off the ground, but hackers are already cobbling together ways to make it a viable form of communication into and out of the country. Given enough time and preparation, your ham radio networks could even be adapted into your own ad-hoc network using Packet Radio, a radio communications protocol that you can use to create simple long-distance wireless networks to transfer text and other messages between computers. Packet Radio is rather slow and not particularly popular (don't try to stream any videos with this, now), but it's exactly the kind of networking device that would fly under the radar."

"In response to the crisis in Egypt , nerds everywhere have risen to call for new and exciting tools for use in the next government-mandated shutdown. Bre Pettis, founder of the hackerspace NYC Resistor and creator of the MakerbotApps for the Appocalypse," including a quick and easy way to set up chats on a local network so you can talk with your friends and neighbors in an emergency even without access to the Internet. If his comments are any indication, Apocalypse apps may be headed your way soon. Tons of cool tech are also just waiting to be retrofitted for these purposes. David Dart's Pirate Box is a one-step local network in a box originally conceived for file sharing and local P2P purposes, but it wouldn't take much work to adapt the Pirate Box as a local networking tool able to communicate with other pirate boxes to form a compact, mobile set of local networks in the event of an Internet shutdown."

Monday, February 7, 2011

Reader Response on Getting Your Friends and Family Ready received a comment from Secunda on the post "Urban Survival Planning - Getting your Relatives and Friends Ready", …..“Good post. We too have friends and acquaintances who have nothing prepared; no food set aside, no extra water, and have no disaster plan - and they live in earthquake country! Usually when we get together and the subject of an earthquake, hurricane, or, since last week the unrest in Egypt , becomes a topic my spouse and I are careful to couch our preparedness comments under the aegis of the virtue of self-reliance. They seemed to feel less threatened when we mention a basic or two every home should have. Sadly though, it has been my experience that for 90% of the population they do not know how thin the separation is between civilized living and barbarism.”

UrbanMan’s reply: Good idea linking self reliance for disasters like Earthquakes. This way is much more palatable than preaching economic collapse and Armageddon, ha ha. However from my experience most people, even my friends and family who live in earthquake and hurricane country, always think “hey, it never gets that bad”, or worse yet, “they (the infamous they) always get things back on track fast.”

Not bragging, but I have taken several people from total obliviousness to any possibility of surviving on their own, to a path of preparedness – and some of these guys were armed professionals who carry a gun every day. Sometimes I get the question, “How do you know about this?”, and my response is “How you do not?” I simply read, study and analyze like most people reading this site. And I grew up both as a child and as an adult learning that you had to take care of yourself as you are second priority at best with anyone else.

Still, it is in our interest to get friends and family as prepared as possible so they won’t be such a burden on us when they inevitably show up a day or two after the collapse. Maybe take some of these sheep to the gun range. I have taught several women how to shoot and they now love it and own their own guns. Take someone hiking and when they see your Camel-Bak HAWG bag or whatever, they’ll want one also. Show them a steel and magnesium fire starter – well they have to have one,…etc.

I’d say Jim, who writes the “Survival Chronicles of Jim” posts for this site – is my pinnacle case. Jim is a computer guy who didn’t even own a gun 15 months ago and now you can see how far he came from Day One to now through the 22 Chapters he has written on his journey to preparation.

In fact I talked to Jim this morning in the wake of this giant storm. He said he stayed home for two days with intermittent power shortages and felt extremely prepared. Of course, in a collapse with decayed or non-existent infrastructure such as electrical and water utilities, law enforcement and emergency responders, we’ll will have to take much, much more on our shoulders than simply waiting out a bad storm.

And you are absolutely right about a thin line between civilized living and barbarism. Once people are without water or food for a couple days I think you would see brutal behavior running rampant. Who could blame the people who have no food to feed their family? There would be large sub groups here. Some looking extra long at legal and ethical means to procure food,water and shlter for their family and others (may we should call them entitlists) who were too stupid, to lazy or too self absorbed in their pitiful lives to prepare when they had the means - these are the people I be inclined not to help.

You know, I guess you could come right out and make a proclamation to your family and friends,...."Just to let you all know, I am a survivalist. I have been planning, preparing, stocking material and all the little mundane things one needs to do to be prepared to survive a terrible collapse or even Armageddon. Do not show up to my house after the collapse starts unless you bring assets - food, water, gear, guns, skills and a willingness to work as a team."

Anyway Secunda, thanks for the reply- stay safe and stay prepared friend.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Urban Survival Planning - Winter Storm Lessons

There's a good chance some of you are in geographic location that is or recently experienced a pretty bad winter storm. Winds in excess of norms; temperature lows 20 to 30 degrees colder; maybe some sleet and/or snow. Maybe you experienced power outages. Maybe the power authority in your location conducted rolling electrical backouts due to the large surge in power needs. Maybe you attempted to get kerosene or electrical heaters but Wal-Mart, Target, etc., but they were all out.

All the above just happened to me. Power outages throughout the day; and with normal low temperatures for this time of year of 30 degrees and highs in the high 40's or low 50's,......the drop to a low of 5 and a high temp of 12 was quite a change. Been that way since yesterday and supposed to continue for a couple days.

Getting back to the house today I thought I was sitting pretty. Had extra wool blankets; military three piece sleeping bags; LED lantern kit powered by rechargeable batteries; plenty of food to get through even a long period of vehicle immobility due to bad weather; and, 80 gallons of stored water.

But like probably most of us believe, we prepare and are better off for it, but we will never really be satisfied with our preps. Always something we missed.

I used this opportunity to look at my preparations for the coming collapse and wargammed several additional stressors. What I wrote down for my preparation tasks list (you do have one don't you?) is the following:

No matter how good your foot wear is, sitting in one place such as in an LP/OP or on security for your Survival Site, just ain't good enough when the temps are 5 degrees F and the wind is honking at 12-15 mph. I am going to look into battery powered heating socks and have my friend make some canvas cover wool snuggie type half sleeping bags so the person in the static position can put his/her feet and legs into it but quickly get out of them.

Water froze in my Camelbak in my truck. I recently saw some surplus military artic no-freeze canteens which I have used before in a past life and in a place I want to forget.

Although I have watch caps galore, I think some fold-able behind the head ear muffs that can be worn underneath the knitted wool watch caps is in order. The wool and cotton variant watch caps just don't cut the wind.

Gloves. I have some pretty damn good gloves but a second and third pair, per person, of the Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) design is on my list as is several pair of military wool inserts, both the five finger and mitten w/ separate trigger finger type.

I have a pretty good stock of hard wood to burn in my fireplace. I am going to add to that significantly and place a 3/4 inch steel plate I have laying around in the fireplace so it can get hot and radiate heat. It was actually pretty comfortable going without power for 3 hours at night and sitting in front of the fire place reading a book bu LED lantern light.

Although I only had enough of the AA rechargeable batteries charged to run five LED Lanterns. Note to self: more rechargeable batteries and keep more charged. Although no power in the house, I could have charged them from my truck with the 12v adaptor, but sitting in front of the fireplace, with a book and two ounces of Woodford Reserve Whiskey was pretty comfortable. Not that I think the real collapse would permit much of this activity.

Not that I needed any, I called Wal-Mart and Lowe's to see if they had any electrical or kerosene heaters in stock. Both told me they were bought out. One of the sales people told me flashlights are going quick. Oh, a word about flashlights. Love the Surefire line of flashlights; I have several models from hand held to weapons mounted lights, however those CR123 batteries sure lose power quick. Knew this was not the best bet for long term survival a couple of years ago and started to procure LED flashlights, like the excellent Pelican brand (and others), that use AA or AAA batteries so I can re-charge them. So if you only have non-rechargeable battery powered flashlights, then maybe consider some AA or AAA powered flashlights.

Lastly a friend called me on cell and told me his lost power and couldn't use his electric stove. No problem for me, I have gas and when the electric is out, you can still light the burners with a match. Anyway, he has a gas grill and extra tanks, like I do and I'm sure most of you do as well, now he knows knows he needs a gas camp stove or the burner and hose element so he can cook in the house or the garage with it. Heater elements are also available for these portable gas tanks - I've used many of then inside of tents in shitty locations to stay warm.....okay, maybe not warm, but at least to keep from freezing.

Did this massive storm prompt anybody else to think of something new?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Urban Survival Planning - Collapse Threats Expotentially Greater thinks that the conflagrations going on in Africa, the Middle East and Southwest Asia have risen the potential threat level here in the United States exponentially.

Apparently Glenn Beck has something to say about this also, go here to see it,

I just finished reading a book entitled “What We Once Proudly Hailed” written by John Doe, on a scenario where North Korea sailed a diesel submarine, outfitted with short range nuclear missiles, into the Gulf of Mexico and fired missiles into major cities. Following that, another missile strike from an unidentified source, which the book leads you to believe was radical Islamists, hit the U.S. further creating chaos and anarchy and sending the collapse into free fall. The book ends with internal and external based Muslim groups influencing or controlling corrupt politicians and large sections on the East Coast. Good book and a recommended read. But more important, here’s why that isn’t necessarily a fantasy scenario.

In NORTH AFRICA, see graphic above, Tunisia ( # 1 ) is under revolt based on an heavy handed government and lack of food. Algeria ( # 2 ) is also near revolt. Both could easily install a radical Islamic government a la Iran . Both would threaten their neighbors, pro-western Morocco and neutral Chad , and influence Libya to go back to the anti-Western, pro-terrorist mode. Algeria and Tunisia could exert influence into the Mediterranean Sea much like the Al-Qaeda backed Somalian pirates do now. Forty percent of the oil imported from the Middle East transit the Mediterranean Sea . Anyone for $5 a gallon gas?

Sudan ( # 3 ) is in a civil war. The government of Sudan is radical Islamist in nature and can influence the surrounding countries including fermenting Islam based terrorism and revolution. Nigeria ( # 4 ) has a Islamic terrorist movement which threaten not only the government but control over the Nigeria oil supplies. Anyone for $6 a gallon gas? And last but not least, Somalia ( # 5 ), home to Al Sahaab terrorists and pirates interdicting commercial and petroleum transport ships and trying to extend radical Islam into sub-Shaharan Africa,…next on their list is Kenya.

In the MIDDLE EAST and SOUTHWEST ASIA , conditions are much more dire. See Map graphic above. I am including Egypt ( # 1 ) which in case you don’t have a television or radio, is under a popular revolt influenced greatly by the Muslim Brotherhood. Imagine Egypt with the vast military (built by the U.S. ) and their location controlling the Suez Canal AND their location next to Israel being controlled by Muslim nut jobs. Again 40% of oil transit the Mediterranean Sea, but first comes through the Suez Canal .

Jordan ( # 2 ) is under a threat of revolt as well. King Abdullah just shit canned his cabinet trying to make things right before the population throws him out. Iraq ( # 3 ) – well you should know about Iraq . I envision this country to collapse into civil war and eventually be controlled by radicals within 3 years of the U.S. leaving as we are scheduled to. Turkey ( # 4 ) is set to go from a secular, pro-west country to a Islamic controlled country. If you remember Turkey was the originator of the arms shipments destined for Hamas in Gaza for terrorist strikes at Israel .

Yemen ( # 5 ) is under attack from internal and external Al Qaeda groups and can easily fall, ending up controlled the southern access to the Suez Canal – so if either Egypt or Yemen are controlled by Islamist you can kiss ANY chance of cheap gas goodbye. Can anyone say “Oil Embargo”?

Iran ( # 6 ) along with North Korea both possess or are in short approach to possess not only Nuclear weapons but deliver methods as well. Both are sponsors of terrorism and can be easily seen equipping terr cells with nuclear devices. Coupled with our porous and ineffective border security,…well, can anyone say “Lights Out”, or “One Second After”?

Tajikistan ( # 7 ) has an Islamist terrorist movement, routinely killing government troops. Afghanistan ( # 8 ) can easily fall back to Taliban – Al Qaeda control after our withdrawal. Both would threaten nuclear Pakistan . Speaking of Pakistan ( # 9 ), they have significant nuclear stocks and ingrained presence of Islamic terrorist cells and could easily fall into a radical Islamic state. Another threat to this country.

India ( # 10 ) is also nuclear armed and enemies with Pakistan . Lebanon ’s (# 11) government just disintegrated. Islamist terr group, Hezbollah, controlled by Iran and Syria could easily take over.

Again, if just a few of the potential changes occur, we could see everything from an Oil Embargo and skyrocketing gas prices, or, a regional war that makes the 1967 and 1973 Arab-Israeli Wars look small, or, we actually could be seeing the set up for Armageddon this year, next year or soon after. In any event, things are not looking good for the U.S. After Israel, radical Islam’s biggest enemy is the U.S. Imagine all of the Arab world gone radical Islamist and focusing their resources and attention on us. Prepare my friends.