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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Urban Survival Planning - Reader Question on a Backyard Survival Garden

UrbanSurvivalSkills.comReceived an e-mail from Carol who had the following comments and questions: ”Dear Urban Survival Skills website, We have been looking at your site and others for the past 4 or 5 months after our son in law kind of exposed us to survival preparation. My husband Bill is a Vietnam era crewman on helicopters and no stranger to guns. We both are almost retired completely and are trying to get a bit more prepared in case something does happen like a great depression. We both logically think something bad can happen and may even result in chaos. I bought canning supplies and we have bought several buckets of prepared survival food from Costco and some dehydrated camping meals from the sporting goods store. We are now looking at doing some gardening in our back yard. We live in a suburban area and have a wooden fence around our backyard. We do not have a lot of space to grow vegetables, but certainly want to try just in case we’ll need the food. What suggestions can you give us? Thanks you in advance. Carol. P.S. My husband just loves the map reading how to’s!

UrbanMan’s reply: Great to hear from you Carol. You are doing the right thing trying to be better prepared. Thanks to your son-in-law for that. We have a baseline checklist in the Survival Preparation World,…Food-Water-Shelter and Protection. Got to cover all the basic areas.

All are important. Glad to see you stocking food and desiring to grow some of your own. Hope it won’t come to the point that you have to rely on what you have stored and what you can grow, but “better have it and not need it, then not have it at all.”

A great book is “Square Foot Gardening: by Mel Bartholomew”. It’s all about gardening tips and techniques using containers in your back yard. You don’t have to buy special containers. With your imagination you can figure it out as long as you consider drainage, exposure to the Sun, water and soil requirements, etc. That’s where the book comes in handy.

Currently I have just planted green beans, two different types of squash, cucumbers, beets, egg plant, corn. And will soon plant some carrots, potatoes and tomatoes,…..although I wanted to stay away from the root vegetables because of the soil and depth requirements. I have found that squash is the easiest to grow,…or maybe I’m just having great luck at it. I grow some monster squash and it’s last quite awhile after harvesting.

It would be great if the residents in your neighborhood could all grow vegetables and have some sort of exchange. In fact, knocking on doors in your neighborhood and giving away some vegetables may be a way to get to know people better and perhaps get them started in prepping.

I am growing vegetables in the nooks and crannies of my backyard. Where I had flower beds, I now have vegetable beds. The corn is growing up along side my fence, so it doesn’t take much room at all.

I have purchased several large orders of non-hybrid seeds, but have quite a bit of hybrid seeds and am using those for my pre-collapse survival garden.

I am not a farmer by any means, just am developing some survival skills in this area, but would have to say that growing and producing your own food is a great feeling. Good luck to you Carol and Bill.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Urban Survival Firearms - Is Weapons and Ammunition Standardization a Good Thing? received an e-mail question from someone with the call sign Rucksack 42: "UrbanSurvivalguy, would like your opinion of a group standardizing weapons and ammo. My group decided that everyone needed an AR. I was pushing for an M1A1 as the standard gun, but the group voted me down. No sweat, I also have an AR built as a long range varmint gun. One of the guys in the group has a Mini-14 and since it’s in .223 everybody said he was cool. I am the most knowledgeable in the group about guns and shooting as well as the only war veteran ( Afghanistan , 2 tours as an 11B…that’s an Infantryman). I am suggesting a standard round for everyone to buy a minimum amount of. My thinking is that if everyone has different ammunition and zero’ed for that ammunition, that different ammunition will change accuracy if used in other guns. What do you think would be the best .223 round to stock as standard?” Same question on handguns. I have three 9mm and some of the guys don’t own a handgun. One gun says no matter what he is going to carry his .41 magnum." /

UrbanMan replies: Rucksack, great questions. As you know the first rule of a gun fight is to have a gun. Second rule is now how to use it effectively. Another fact is survival is a team sport and you all are doing the right things raising these questions, thinking of standardization and such.

You are right about ammunition standardization. But the great thing about the AR platforms is that there are many different bullet configurations to pick appropriately for the mission,..or rather the intended target. The most prolific bullet weight is the 55 grain FMJ and this is the “all around” round. I would suggest this round, but have a stock of the military 62 grain steel core penetrator (SS109 bullet) for addressing vehicle threats or threats in body armor. Tracers may be handy as well. There are many more as well. So if I had to make one recommendation I would say the 55 grain FMJ and the 62 grain SS109. Zero with the 55 grain and know the different with the other. A minimum amount would be 1,000 rds per gun, although I stock well more than that for my AR’s, but considerable less for my odd guns (bolts, levers, etc.)

As far as accuracy is concerned, less different bullet weights and manufacture will change accuracy. But maybe not enough for your more in-experienced shooters to even determine. Still standardization a good idea.

Same answer for handguns….standardization a good thing, but having a handgun, and a good supply of ammunition on hand, more important. I answered another Urban Survival Group who made handguns in 9mm a requirements and then Survival Group members had their choice of a rifle (any caliber) or shotgun (12 gauge). They had reached their pain threshold and were not willing to either spend more money or make stricter requirements. But they are much better off than a lot of people, as they understood Survival is a Team Sport, and at least they thought about and considered some sort of minimum requirement.

Hey, don’t forget about the .22 either! And my last comment is that various rifles and handguns in odd or non-group standard calibers can be a good thing as it gives you a wider ability to barter for ammunition, use ammunition you “find” and so on.

Good luck Rucksack. By the way, I know what an 11B is,..I was one among other MOS’es. And thank you for your service to this country…I hope you don't think it was for naught – cause it wasn’t!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Survival Planning - Gold and Silver Investment received the following comment on a prevous post about Gold and Silver procurement for Survival Planning: Anonymous said...." I bought silver dollars in 1974 for $5 apiece. In 1979-80 when silver peaked at $50/oz I held onto my silver for the long run. I began buying gold coins in 1984, a few each month. The lowest I paid was $230/oz and the most I paid was about $330/oz. I had over 100 ozs of gold goins. I again bought silver for a few years beginning in 1992, over 1500 ozs of rounds. I held these for years and years with no profit while the stock market doubled every other year. I finally had the chance to sell recently when gold and silver finally took off. Yes I finally made a nice profit but I could have made twice as much perhaps four times as much if I had not invested in PM's.

My feeling about PM is if you have lots of time OR if you are buying it for "insurance" then go for it. But it is not really an investment it is a "bet". You are betting that the economy will crash so you can finally make a profit. When it finally happens you will pat yourself on the back and remind yourself how smart you are but if you do the math there are far better investments both in good economies and bad. But here is the important thing to know; at some point in this "bubble" the price of PMs will be two or three times it's value the day/week after the PM market crashes. Your $2000 gold will be worth $1000 and the following week worth $500. Your $50 silver will be worth $25 or $15 or who knows. It will happen quickly and will/may not return to those stratospheric values for another 20 years or so. Now I HOPE this happens because it will mean that the economy is coming back. I know all the theories; we may never have full employment again or we might have a long depression, yada, yada, yada. Well! It's gonna do what It's gonna do and eventually it will come back. I would prefer jobs for our people and fiscal sanity by our government over expensive PMs. I can't predict the future, no one can. But just like the real estate bubble burst so will the PM bubble. So buy some if you want, buy a lot if you like to gamble, but recognize it for what it is."

UrbanMan's response: Great advice in what you write. However, I'm not interested in patting my self on the back nor getting "rich". My interest in PM's, really only silver, is to have a way to purchase or barter for something I need IF it comes to that.

I too, hope for a better economy if those clowns in Wash D.C. can ever get it right. I hope to pass on my silver to my grandchildren. I hope I never have to kill another human being again, or even fire a shot in anger. But I have learned to prepare for the worst.

Just as there are people basing their survival plan around firearms and only firearms,...I am sure there are people leveraging everything just to procure PM's. I think the resonable strategy is ensure all contingencies are planned for,.....the most likely as well as the most dangerous to your survival.

Again, great advice and I like the analogy to a "bet". Nope, I'm buying for insurance and I don't go without other things just to ensure I have a little silver. I only started buying small amounts recently after a 20+ year hiatus. Some months I buy 3 or 4 Silver Eagles or Maple Leafs and some months I buy 10 or 12. Again, I would much prefer to leave all my PM's to my grandchildren, rather than to be able to say "I told you so."

Thanks for your comment. I hope others will read it.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Survival Weapons - Zeroing the M4 Carbine: Iron Sights and Scope

UrbanMan received the following question on M-4 zeroing via e-mail.

Larry wrote………”Urbansurvivalskills, I read your site all the time and really like the pictures and the information. I am a hunter and am used to zeroing my rifles with scopes, but now have an M-4 and I am confused about how to zero this rifle with and without a scope. I have a holographic scope, I guess like the eotechs but cheaper. I bought the gun from a friend of mine who never shot it but took the carrying handle off and put a screw on backup sight piece. I mounted my holograph sight and have no problem flipping up the rear sight then looking through the scope and seeing the red circle dot and the front sight. Maybe you can talk me through this? Thanks. Really like your site.

UrbanMan replies: Hey Larry, thanks for writing. I am sending you via an e-mail attachment both a zero target for the M-4 that you reproduce and what the Army calls a GTA – Graphic Training Aid on zero procedures for the M-4 SOPMOD (Special Operations Peculiar Modification) which is the M-4 and package of scopes and accessories (lasers, etc.) for Special Operations Forces.  In fact, if anyone else wants a digital copy, write me at

The most common procedure is to zero your M-4 at 25 meters using the target I am sending you. This is also called the 25m/300m zero, as the bullet exiting the bore hits point of impact/point of aim (POI/POA) at 25 meters, then ascends hitting a target at 200 meters approximately 7 inches high before descending to hit the 300 meter target POI/POA.

You can leave your holographic sight on the receiver, but turn it off. You are going to zeroing the iron sights first, looking through the holographic sight. Rotate your rear sight elevation knob to the 6/3 setting. Don’t use the “Z” mark. Obtain a good sight alignment and sight picture and fire three rounds, center mass, at the black E-type silhouette on the 25 meter zeroing target that I’m sending you.

Follow the guides on the target for rear and front sight manipulations to adjust your sights. The numbers on the outside of the 25 meter zeroing target grid tells you how many clicks to the rotate the respective sight. If you do not have a M4 front sight tool to adjust the front site, then a nail will work to depress the plunger and rotate the front site up or down.

Once you have adjusted, fired, and probably adjusted again in order to shoot point of impact/point of aim and have your shots in the center of the E type silhouette (note: I would not settle for any group larger than a dime and positioned center mass), then you can flip down the rear sight, turn your holographic scope on and zero that as well.

This time you are looking at only the scope reticle,…forget about the front and read sights. Fire three rounds (better if on a new target) and adjust the scope recticle windage and elevation knobs for POI/POA. The L and R on the scope knobs refer to which direction you need to the bullets to move to get them POI/POA.

Good luck and no doubt you'll figure it out.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Urban Survival - Silver and Gold Predictions for 2011 and Beyond received this Anonymous comment from the Post titled "Are Gold and Silver Going to be Worth Anything?". When you need gold and silver they are valuable. When you need food, gold and silver might or might not be valuable. I can tell you from experience that every commodity has it's up's and down's. It certainly looks like PM's will continue to rise, but as sure as the sun will rise in the morning one day the PM bubble will burst too. Not saying don't buy PMs just saying be careful.

UrbanMan replies: Roger the being careful. Being careful in my book is multi-fold. It includes NOT leveraging all my available cash to buy silver or gold. It DOES include buying some silver to ensure I have all my Survival Plan bases covered.

Put it this way, of right now, knowing the collapse possibilities (TEOTWAWKI) Which person would you rather be:

Person A: Twelve months of food and one rifle.

Person B: Six months of food and one rifle, saving enough money to buy some silver, water purification filters, Survival gear, medical supplies, etc.

Sure, some people will say,...with food I can barter for anything else I need.   Yes that's partial true,......if it is available and that other person wants to trade.

I think the idea, in my book, is to be as prepared as you can afford to be, across the board as required against the threats you have wargame as likely.

In the below radio interview, James Turk, talks about his predictions for 2011 and from 2013-2015. Turk predicted that there was a 20% chance for Silver to hit $50 a ounce in 2010. He says that in 2011 that possibility has increased significantly that we'll see $50 an ounce Silver and Gold at $8,000 an ounce.

By my calculations, with Gold at $8,000 an ounce,..Silver should/would $200 an ounce, based on the current 40 to one ratio.

I'm NOT looking at like "Holy Cow, in the event of TEOTWAWKI, I'll be rich!", .....I am looking at it like "Jesus Christ, what kind of world would we be living in at Silver being $50 an ounce or more? Will food be available and at what cost?; What's the Security situation going to be? I need some Silver in order to buy the things I may need to assist in Survival".

The Gold to Silver ratio is now 40 to one. The historic ratios are more like 16 or 20 to one. Currently th 40 to one ratio is falling making Silver more valuable percentage wise than Gold.

Anyway, would it too redundant to suggest everyone have some Silver put away? I also suggest Survivalists make good use of the internet, particular financial blogs, and You Tube videos, to enhance their understanding of the current crisis. Most often, I play a video or audio while I work on something else and when a comment or key word grabs my interest, I'll go back and watch/listen more closely. I guess this is the Survivalists version of multi-tasking in a research and planning scope.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Urban Survival Planning - Manual Tools Essential received the following equipment tip from VisionMan.

When making plans for emergency or potential survival situations, it is important to pack tools in your bug out kits that could save your bacon. The problem is, many of us plan for a multitude of emergencies that may occur. We end up stuffing our packs to the breaking point with a payload that would buckle the knees of even the best pack mule. Lessons learned. The key to preparedness or even survival is to be armed with the right tools and the right knowledge.

To accomplish a lighter pack load, most experts recommend packing multi-task tools so you can hump it to your destination with less weight. The new Crovel, a core mix between a shovel and crowbar, is the ultimate multi-task tool. At first glance it looks familiar; like an e-tool, but the Crovel boasts the function of 13 additional tools. It also differentiates itself by its sheer strength. Made of 10-gauge hard steel, the Crovel crushes its fellow competitors who offer flimsy stamped steel shovel heads with wooden handles. When put through a rigid test, these competing shovels always bend and break.

The heavy duty structure of the Crovel includes a shovel head that flaunts a razor edge connected to a solid crowbar. Not only does it hold an edge, it can take the place of an ax. The handle is a harden 18inch gooseneck crow bar with a 1 inch hammer head. This makes for a formidable entry, prying or fastening tool, not to mention a fear-inducing weapon against a determined foe.

This tool will not fail, even if you do.
To check out the Crovel shovel, click: survivaloutdorgear - crovel

Friday, March 18, 2011

Urban Survival - Are Gold and Silver Going to Be Worth Anything? received the following question: "I understand the desire to have gold and silver in your stock of survival gear, which I do, but the more I think about it the more I wonder about the true usefulness of it. If the SHTF tomorrow or even 10 years from now, why would someone care about a small metallic coin over trading what they really need like food, water purification tablets, ammo, a rifle, gardening tools etc.? I mean the only value in a small silver coin is what the person on the other end of the deal values it at? I am the first to admit that they are small, can be carried in some quantity easily, but from my perspective, what do I care about getting 2 silver fishing weights when what I really want is some toilet paper. (Just an example on the TP by the way).

Would people REALLY want gold or silver when their world comes crashing down around them, or are the basics food, water, shelter, protection and the items associated with them a better bargaining chip? Wouldn’t I be better off stockpiling .22 Ammo or toilet paper or for large deals an extra firearm or two? Thanks."

UrbanMan's Reply: I think Gold and Silver,...or just Silver for most people, are going to have value in two separate phases of a collapse, and possibly, throughout the collapse depending upon collapse, infrastructure and economic factors.

First of all, at some point in the collapse, dollars will be worthless so the exchange of goods and services will be fueled by precious metals or trade goods. PM's could be the commerce unit of choice for 2 days, 2 months or may never end. At some point in the collapse, when food and other essentials become scare, the value will shift to these items. Then we'll see people saying "Gold? Who the hell wants gold? I want food!"

In all societies throughout history an monetary exchange system has been developed, this has historically been Gold and Silver. Afterall, what started this whole mess was the Government coming off the Gold standard for the U.S. dollar. So I think you'll see Gold and Silver being valuable, at some point as the collapse levels off and/or commerce starts to begin again.

The last reason is akin to why that big fat liberal George Soros has reportedly went into a high density Gold buying spree.....because if the collapse isn't too bad and this country does come back, there will be wealth re-distribution. If you are owning Gold and Silver you will be sitting much more prettier.

The bottom line is that to be truly prepared for Survival, you need a location to provide safety and shelter; a Bug Out Plan to another safe location; you need stocks of food, water in order to live; firearms, ammunition and the will/skill to use for protection; and an ability to barter for things you need,....some of the people who have something you need may not take anything other than precious metals.

And one more way to look at it. I'd rather have ounces of silver in my gun safe than to count on my 401K money being there or my ability to get money out of my bank account during the collapse. Plus, that fiat currency from the bank is going to continue to dminish in value whereas the gold or silver wil increase. So if you have traditional savings, like in the bank, market, CD's or a 401K - it would not be a bad idea to change some of that into gold and silver kept on hand.

The last thing you mentioned is possibly stockpiling ammo and other items for trade. Absolutely a great idea. I keep many items for possible barter,....I have a kit bag full of clothing and gear and buckets of trade items like butane lighters, tarps, clothing items, hand tools, etc. And in fact I just traded two 20 gallon barrels for 6 five gallon water cans. While most Survivialist may not believe in trading guns, since they may be turned against you, I still have the capability with a couple cheap .22 LR rifles and if conditions are right will used them for trade.

Thanks for the question. Prepare well.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Survival Planning - Caching Firearms and Ammunition received the following question: "Any information on how to package firearms inside the PVC pipes to maintain them as ideally as possible while emplaced?"

The dangers to firearms emplaced in a below ground cache are water leakage, humidity and oxidation. You would deal with this by oiling your firearms, sealing in a plastic water proof/air proof bag then into a waterproof container such as PVC pipe.

I would not slather your gun with oil. With a clean gun, I would run an oily patch through the bore then coat all metal parts with a light coat of oil. You can spend alot of money on gun oils and can use your brand of choice,...however I particularly like Snake Oil, Rem Oil, FP10, and the RIG line of oils as well as have used common 3 in 1 oil quite a bit of the time.

I have wrapped firearms in rags and sheets then wrapped with plastic bags, then placed in wooden boxes for below ground caches without any surface damage to the firearm, but a better technique would be to place the gun in a plastic bag and vacuum pack to remove all the air. The commercial available Space Bag with the one way valve to use a vacuum cleaner work well. I guess you could also use mylar bags and oxygen absorber as well or even the food saver bags if you could disassemble your firearm to a small enough package.

I know someone who has cached guns without vacuum packing, he swears by it and uses MIL spec desiccant bags from ULINE. I think you could get the same effect using commercial dehumidifers available at gun shops for use in gun safes. I prefer the vacuum packing to remove all the oxygen myself.

If you really want to be anal about it, you can wear rubber gloves so you will not leave a moisture laden fingerprint for rust to gain a foothold.

It would be a good idea to seal the PVC pipe with PVC sealant or use rubber cement. I would lay a seal of rubber cement around the end of the pipe and coat the inside of the cap. You can also run a bead of silicon around the lip of the cap once seated onto the pipe.

If you are caching survival firearms then you are probably also caching ammunition. This requires as much, or more care. Vacuum packing ammunition would be a good idea. Commercial ammunition does not have the bullet or primer sealant that military ammunition has. You can do it yourself with clear fingernail polish - a thin coat on the primer and around the bullet where it seats into the case mouth. I have not fired much field expedient sealed ammunition, but would imagine the fingernail polish could gum up your receiver and barrel. Really not necessary if you prepare the ammunition. If you are using a water/air proof container then the big threats would be temperature extremes. If you bury it deep enough, you can reduce the temperature extremes that will be on the surface of the ground.

I have recovered ammunition that was similarly prepared and cached underground for up to 24 months. It worked fine. I have also kept two type of commercial handgun ammunition (.357 Magnum and .40 S&W) in a steel container for six years and shot some if it every six months or so to test it. After 6 years in a steel container with the temperature and humidity changes, we started to experience a 1 - 3 % fail rate for primer to ignite....that 1 to 3 rounds per hundred. Small percent but not good.

Good luck on your cache. I would also put a cleaning kit in each firearms cache as well.

For your cache report consider emplacing and taking a geographic coordinate with a GPS of exactly where you emplaced it,.... but better yet if you also note a intermediate reference then a final reference point from to measure direction in magnetic degrees and a distance to the cache.

If you write these cache report down, then you can encode them or use a number substitution method in the grid coordinate. You an also include the type of recovery equipment necessary such as shovel, probing stick (gun cleaning rods work well for this), and tape measure.

As you emplace the cache, use ponchos or plastic to separate the layers of dirt, so you can cover up the cache and sterilize as close to as natural as before.

Good luck with your caches. They are certainly a good idea, especially in support of your Bug Out Plan.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Urban Survival - Radiation Protection received the following e-mail this morning: "Hey UrbanMan, what do you think is going on with the radiation from the Japanese nuclear sites? We're up in Washington State and have radiation alert equipment and we are monitoring the radiation levels very closely. There has been no significant rise in normal radiation levels yet. We are taking turns monitoring the levels. When do you think we should start taking Potassium Iodine? Before the radiation gets bad? or can we afford to wait until the radiation levels go up? Where should we get our source of potassium iodine? Okanogan Survivalist."

UrbanMan's reply: Potassium iodide use to block the Thyroid's collection of radioiodine and offer protection from radiation due to to nuclear accidents and emergencies, and, nuclear weapons has been approved by the FDA since 1982. The idea is to take potassium idodine in the event of an a nuclear power plant accident of nuclear strike if you are in the danger zone or located in the path of fallout.

The World Health Organization has published recommended doses of potassium iodine in milligrams per age group:

130 mgs per day for persons over 12 years old

65 mgs per day for persons 3 years to 12 years old

32 mgs per day for children 1 month to 36 months old

16 mgs per day for babies less than one month old

The apparent idea is to take potassium iodine daily, every 24 hours, until the risk of significant exposure to fallout by either inhalation or ingestion no longer exists.

Having said that, I won't be taking any potassium iodine. I have yet to figure out if I would change my mind if I was located in the normal wind patterns. I just don't know. I do know that you can buy potassium iodine over the counter at your local Walgreens or comparable pharmacy. If not, here are some sources from Amazon.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Survival Chronicles of Jim - Chapter 23 Evaluation of My Survival Preparations

I haven't written an article for for some time. Been too busy both with my contractor job with the government and my business, as well as contining to prep.

By far my biggest preparation is in the area of developing a source list of financial blogs, web sites, newsletters and such to keep on track of the, what I believe, it an impending economic collapse.

In fact, this past week I got pretty scared with the clamity in Japan, the news of Chinese inflation, oil prices rising as well as Gold and Silver, so concerned in fact that I went to Costco and bought a bunch more food. I think I have at least a years worth now for me and my son. Of course, I am expecting the straphangers (family and friends) that UrbanMan always warns us to expect.

Speaking of UrbanMan, I had him stop by my house to talk to me and look around so I could get an honest evaluation of my preps to date. This is what he told me:

Handgun, shotgun and Mosin-Nagant rifle are better than nothing, but I need a better long gun. UrbanMan recommended an SKS is I wanted to go cheap, or an M-4 or M-16 type rifle if I wanted to spend near $1000. When UrbanMan saw my ammo supply, he said "That's all?!,...that's all you have on hand?" I was advised to buy more .22 LR, 12 gauge and Mosin-Nagant ammunition.

I have a good supply of water. But I need to buy some 5 gallon plastic cans and store water in my garage or basement as well as continue the water delivery to maintain my purified drinking water supply.

I also have a big supply of food, but mostly pantry items. I was advised to buy some more cases of dehydrated food as well as some MainStay granola bars for emergency food when I can't cook or otherwise need something to eat during travel.

UrbanMan told me to pickup another good set of boots. He recommends a quality similar to the Danners he wears. He also told me to organize my hot weather and cold weather clothing better (I have them basically handing up in the closet. He recommended putting some in space saver bags then into military style kit bags or duffle bags,..which I don't have.

I am lacking in first aid supplies, so I am to procure more bandages, alchohol, hydrogen peroxide, bacitracin ointment, sterile eyewash, self sticking ace wraps, as well as some common medications (asprin, cold meds and such). UrbanMan actually wrote out a list which I don't have in front of me at this moment.

I have been avidly buying silver. But since I can afford more, UrbanMan told me to buy more

The last things UrbanMan told me was to get my outside basement door replaced and with better locks as well as get a battery powered radio shack anti-intrusion device for it; buy a solar powered motion detector light for the part of the house; buy some more re-chargeable batteries; and, get ready to plant my spring garden.

Anyway, I'm pretty happy with what I've done so far. UrbanMan said "Go ahead and pat yourself on the back, time,....then get back to work prepping - he believes it only a short matter of time before the collapse as well.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Urban Survival Planning - U.S. Dollar Collapse At Any Time

U.S. Dollar Collapse Could Occur at Any Time

Very good and succint article on the impending collapse from
You should bookmark and add to your sources of collapse indicators.

Highlights from the article is below; please go to to read the article in it's entirety.

China this morning reported 4.9% price inflation for the month of February

China was at least smart enough to raise interest rates last month by 25 basis points to 6.06%, while the Federal Reserve continues to leave interest rates near zero with there being absolutely no talk of the Federal Reserve ever raising interest rates again.

China will be successful at containing inflation, as U.S. inflation spirals out of control and becomes the greatest economic crisis in American history.

China this week reported a $7.3 billion trade deficit for the month of February, its largest trade deficit in seven years, which surprised many global economists. NIA believes China 's trade deficit is temporary and that China will quickly return to having a trade surplus.

The Federal Reserve's QE2 along with China 's destructive monetary policies, which artificially devalue the yuan, have led to a massive rise in China 's raw material costs this year. NIA believes that in the upcoming months, Chinese manufacturers will raise the prices of their products that get exported to the U.S., to counteract rising commodity prices.

With most products used by Americans today having been manufactured in China , this will mean Americans will soon see massive price inflation in just about all consumer goods they use. NIA projects that by the end of 2011, we will begin to see the U.S. CPI increase by 4.9% or higher on a year-over-year basis, with real U.S. price inflation rising north of 10%.

The mainstream media is proclaiming that China 's trade deficit will silence calls for the Chinese to allow their currency to strengthen against the U.S. dollar. The fact is, China 's government has for long been making the major mistake of printing too many yuan in order to artificially prop up the U.S. dollar. Their fear was, if the U.S. dollar was allowed to decline too rapidly, prices of Chinese goods would rise in terms of U.S. dollars and Americans would no longer afford to import them.

The truth is, if China allowed the yuan to strengthen, the Chinese would have enjoyed a much higher standard of living. Sure, prices would rise in dollars and Americans would import less, but the Chinese would have the ability to consume more of their own products. Now, as a result of China expanding its own money supply in order to keep the yuan pegged to the U.S. dollar, Americans will be forced to pay a much higher price for Chinese goods.

The U.S. government has been successful at temporarily paying off Americans into not rioting in the streets like in Arab nations. It was just announced a few days ago that the number of Americans on food stamps in the month of December of 2010 was a record 44,082,324, up 13.1% from one year earlier and 1.1% from one month earlier. That is more than 14% of the total U.S. population!

Combined with President Obama extending unemployment benefits up to 99 weeks, American citizens are too busy and distracted playing with their iPad 2s and gossiping on Twitter about Charlie Sheen, to have any time to protest in Washington, DC.

NIA believes the U.S. government's entitlement spending is currently having the unintended consequence of making Americans dependent on government. It is like when you take wild animals into captivity and you feed them, teach them to do tricks and take care of them for a period of many years; if you just dump them one day back into the wild, it will be very difficult for them to survive. Americans who have become dependent on unemployment checks and food stamps will likely soon abruptly find out that they must begin to fend for themselves without any help from the government. The result will be many Americans turning into wild animals and becoming so desperate that they will have to rob and burglarize their fellow neighbors who were smart enough to prepare, or else they will risk starving to death.

This is what UrbanSurivalSkills has been saying, that we will have 80-120 million people that can't feed themseleves - this is a recipe for anarchy.

The U.S. budget deficit in the month of February reached a record $222.5 billion or $2.67 trillion on an annualized basis. With the Federal Reserve now monetizing our debt in full swing, a complete and total loss of confidence in the U.S. dollar could be imminent.

Just like how nobody in the mainstream media was calling for the collapse of Egypt's government a few months ago, almost nobody in the media believes a collapse of the U.S. dollar could possibly take place anytime soon.

NIA members are educated enough to see that the writing is on the wall. The Federal Reserve can deny all it wants that the U.S. is experiencing inflation, but with the cost to print a single U.S. dollar paper note rising by 50% since 2008, massive inflation is here right under Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's nose.

So few Americans are presently preparing for hyperinflation that if hyperinflation broke out today, approximately 90% of Americans won't have the means to put food on the table or put fuel in their automobiles. During the upcoming hyperinflationary crisis, food stamps will no longer have any value at all and all U.S. entitlement programs will come to a complete halt. Americans will take to the streets like the world has never seen before.

The biggest question NIA has today is, will the U.S. government resort to firing at its own citizens?, if major riots take place in Washington, DC. On Thursday, police in Saudi Arabia shot and wounded three protesters. The price of oil rose by a few dollars per barrel as soon as this news hit the wire, which shows just how nervous the world's financial markets have become in recent weeks and the Dow Jones has declined significantly in recent days.

From April to August of 2010, the last time the Federal Reserve allowed its balance sheet to shrink, the Dow Jones fell by over 1,000 points. If we see a major sell off in stocks, we could see gold and silver rise along with the Dow Jones falling.

NIA believes the worst decision any American can make is to sell their gold and silver and go long U.S. dollars, hoping to buy their precious metals back at a lower price in the future.Amen to that!

You can become a member of NIA for free at:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Urban Survival Planning - Basic Message Encryption (Secure Your Communications) has received several requests for information on encrypted radios or otherwise an ability to code messages.

The security of communications is dependant upon who you want to protect it from and how much money you want to spend doing so.

Non-encrypted radio communications are vulnerable to handheld or larger scanners. Privacy codes can be easily overcame by hand held scanners. Inversion of verbal communications - same thing,...easily decrypted with a plug in SD card.

Verbal communications can be protected to a degree through the use of brevity codes. This is nothing more that anticipating what you need to verbalize on the radio and condensing that to a pre-planned brevity.

An example of a brevity code would be an element from your survival site is conducting a security patrol around the survival site. Maybe you use a brevity code like this: ALPHA = Situation normal, conducting patrol; BRAVO = in Sector One; CHARLIE = in Sector Two; DELTA = in Sector Three; ECHO = conducting short term halt; FOXTROT = have eyes on armed group; GOLF = <10; HOTEL = <20; INDIA = >20; JULIET = moving back to camp; KILO = 15 minutes from re-entering Survival Site. So with this brevity code, if the patrol sends a "DELTA, FOXROT, GOLF" it means they are in patrol sector three and are observing an armed group of less than 10 people. This keeps transmission times down and protects the information you are sending over the air.

So the bottom line on brevities is that a one or two word phrase has an elaborative meaning to condense transmission times. However, continued use of the same brevities would allow a intercepting station to piece together your code.

Another, much more secure method, abeit time consuming method of encrypting messages is through letter transpositions using a tri-graph. See the diagram below:

You need a key to encrypt your message against. A book is a good example, and in some circles this is called a “book code”. Let’s say you and your survival partners decide on a book, and a method of ensuring the other party knows which page to use to decrypt. At the beginning of each message you can say or write “ONE THREE HOTEL FIVE XRAY”. The end user knows to remove the letters to get 135 and that would be the page to start on.

You are part of a survival group that is Bugging Out tomorrow night to a Bug Out Location and you want to let the people in your group at the BOL to know to expect you. You want to send the message “WE ARE MOVING TOMORROW NIGHT, TUES NIGHT, TO YOUR LOCATION”. You add “ONE THREE HOTEL FIVE XRAY” to the message to tell the other group that this is the page they should be encrypting from.

From page 135 of the book, you writes the text from the book in groups of five letters. In this case “Out in the meadow was a blue van with all four tires flat and all windows busted,….” In groups of five letters and underneath those letters you write the message “We are moving tomorrow night xx Tues night xx to your location” (note 1: use double x to indicate a commo or repeat - or to fill up spaces; use triple x to indicate a break or period). (note 2: writing out the book code in groups of five letters just makes it easier to encrypt with tri-graph).

(from book)

(message to be encrypted and sent)

From here you use the Tri-Graph to transpose the letters. From the Tri-Graph find the “O” on the top line then the “W” in the left column then see what letter intersects,.... it should be the “K”. From the “U” and the “E” you should get a “Y”, and so on.


You would send that via e-mail, text or voice communications,....if by voice then you would phonetically sound out each letter,… “KILO YANKEE, TANGO, ZULU, ROMEO, etc.

At the other end your encrypted message would be written underneath the same phrase, it would look like this:

(from book)

(message to be de-crypted)

It would be decrypted at the other end by locating the “O” on the Tri-Graph, going horizontally across to the “K” then looking across the top of the Tri-Graph to see what letter than pertained to, and in this case a “W”. The same for the next letter, which is a “U”. Locate the “U” on the left hand column of the Tri-Graph, go across to the “Y” then up to the top of the Tri-Graph and you should get a “E”, and so forth.

Messages using this manual encryption could be written on paper and passed either face to face or through a dead drop if you are in a situation where a threat has the ability to intercept and direction find your phones or radios, and the telephones are either down or monitored. If a occupation force or a nearby threat has intercept and DF capability, then talking in an obvious code would spin them up and draw attention to you.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Urban Survival - Scavenger Mindset After the Collapse

On a early morning drive yesterday I was thinking how much things are going to change when the collapse hits, whether it is full blown anarchy or a gradual decline (linked the growing costs of fuel and subsequent increase in all commodities). I imagine how a mass population migration, from the city were food will be scarce and the environment more dangerous, into where I live and how that influences my plan to Bug In as long as I can.

As I was driving there was relative low traffic and could not occupy my time with phone calls and everyone I called did not answer, I thought, “this is probably like when a collapse hits with very minimal vehicle traffic and no cell phone connectivity.”

As I continued on I thought all Survivalists will have to develop a “scavenger mindset” to rapidly spot and assess material and objects for use in their survival plan.

I am not condoning outright stealing or looting. I think a reasonable person could rationalize the temporary borrowing of material with the intent of returning it or paying for it when conditions allow. I would think that familial or survival group safety would outweigh a non-violent/no victim, technical criminal act. This would not be a material confiscation for the intent of barter or selling, only for personal/group use. In the event of full blown anarchy, this may be a different story.

Some of the things I notice along my route and how I could use them in my survival plan:

RR ties. Good use for stacking inside the house underwindows to make a covered position for observation and defense. Can be used for above ground growing beds as well as vehicle obstacles.

Sand bags. I saw traffic and construction signs anchored with stacked sandbags. Sandbags can provide dirt for grow beds and/or used as they are to fortify walls and fighting positions. The highway signs are a source of wood for fires or can be used to build things like chicken coops, rabbitt hutches, etc.

Barbed wire rolls. Saw these inside a open lot leaning up against a chain link fence. Barbed wire is good to lay in obstacles to channel attackers to where you want them. To create a defense in depth that would take attackers time to work through. Can be used to livestock fencing for any goats, pigs or sheep that you barter for, or raise. Can be used to protect crops against varmints, both four legged and two legged. Note to self - Need heavy duty gloves.

Used car lot. A lot of cars for sale, potential for gas, tires, lights and parts. Note to self - need siphon kit (hose and container), screw driver, tire iron and jack.

Pallets stacked up next to a dumpster. Possible source for wood for fires or lumber to build animal cages and even raised crop beds.

Stacked used tires. Tires configured in triangles filled with dirt make good defensive position or vehicle barriers.

Stacks of cardboard boxes next to dumpster. Source for more fire material; maybe for insulation in walls.

Piles of gravel. One use may be as a bottom layer in crop beds for drainage; putting gravel along windows or other secondary accesses to make intruders tread lightly or make noise. Not to self - need shovel and containers.

The next time you are traveling look around, do a mental exercise or inventory on what may be abandoned that you could use and how would you use it.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Survival Rifle - M4 carbine versus SKS received an Anonymous said... Do I really need an M-4 rifle? I can get an SKS for $339. I know the ammo is more expensive and much harder to obtain, but how much better off am I going to be with an M-4 than an SKS? Thanks.

UrbanMan replies: If you are asking me what weapon would be the better choice for survival and protection, I would say, hands down, the M-4 carbine especially a gas piston version rather than the gas tube version. However, I would not feel slighted in the least with an older gas tube version. In fact, I have several of those.

The reasons I would choose the M-4, or even an AR-15 variant, is that this platform is more accurate than the SKS or the gun that replaced it, the Kalashnikov (AK-47, AKM and variants). Other reasons include: The M-4 in .223 Remington has great ammunition availability; good choice of different bullet configurations from 45 grain frangible, to 55 grain FMJ and tracer, 62 grain steel core penetrator (green tip), and heavier bullets to include the 64 grain PSP, 69 grain JHP and 77 grain JHP; the M-4 uses a detachable box magazine in 20 and 30 round variations and the magazines are plentiful; and, there are wide range of accessories available for this gun.

The SKS is a great gun but not nearly as accurate as the M-4/AR-15 platforms. It’s semi-fixed box magazine allows 10 rounds and then is not as easily to reload and get back into the fight as an M-4. It is a reliable weapon with a great round, the 7.62x39mm also known as the M43 Russian round.

But to really give the best answer I can I would have to know more, such as: Is the SKS or M-4 going to be your only weapon? Are you on a small budget and procurement of the M-4 would take all your funds, not leaving any for other survival equipment or material, particularly food procurement? If the answer is yes, then it would make sense to buy an SKS and an adequate supply of ammunition, say 1,000 rounds, then use the rest of your money to stock food and buy other essential kit for surviving the coming collapse.

I think the best approach for survival on a budget is to spend what you can on immediate needs (these are food, water, shelter and protection) then make future purchases as you can, working off a prioritization list. A firearm is a big purchase. If you procure food in small increments you may not even notice it much. A bag of rice and beans here, a box of bullion there,…..oatmeal, peanut butter, honey are all pretty cheap as well.

So in case I’m confusing you, I would buy the M-4 providing you have the funds to procure in other areas. If not, the SKS may make sense if it allows you to retain money for immediate procurement of food, survival equipment and material and maybe even start buying silver bullion.

Good luck to you and prepare well.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Survival Planning - Dollar Collapse Will Shock the World

Today King World News interviewed James Turk out of Spain and Turk issued the following warning regarding the US dollar, “I am looking at the weekly chart for the last 2 1/2 years and my conclusion is that the dollar is forming a massive top. If we stop to consider that gold was rising while the dollar was basically going sideways during this period of time, imagine how rapidly gold will rise when the dollar starts falling.”

Turk continues: “What I’m watching here very carefully is how the dollar is reacting to events in the Middle-East and higher commodity prices. Brent crude is presently $115 and that is signaling higher inflation. It’s a signal that everybody around the world is watching. So watch the dollar index closely. It broke below 77 and the chart is starting to look heavy. remark: The chart below from depicts the falling value of the dollar, and trends from the part five years, based on the dollars relative value compared to other main currencies.

"The dollar isn’t bouncing and it now appears the dollar is ready to fall off of the edge of a cliff. The dollar collapse is going to be the next big story. If I am right and the dollar really starts to dive, the implications are global in nature and I truly believe this event will shock the world."

When asked about gold Turk responded, “To me the most important thing is this huge base that we now have in gold under $1,400. I see it as a major launching pad that could easily take gold to my $1,800 target for this year. remark: Other analysts say Gold will climb well in the $2,000 a ounce range and not come down.

When asked about silver specifically Turk stated, “I think the major message in silver is that every dip is well bid for. The shorts and other big players may gun for stops from time to time, but they can’t change the underlying trend, or the very bullish fundamental picture.

When the gold and silver markets start becoming disorderly, then we will know the metals are going to take a breather. But everything at the moment says we should be focusing on higher prices for both gold and silver.” remark: Better get some Gold or Silver while youstill can. Remember OPSEC. Use mail order and delivery to your house as a last resort.

71 to 74 is seen as the last support if the dollar heads lower. If that support fails and the dollar breaks 71, then a waterfall decline with panic selling could come into play. Turk is right, that event would shock the world. remark: The US Dollar will be worth nothing as major currency holders overseas, which account for a significant percentage of US Dollars, will sell all dollars. Gold (and silver) will skyrocket. Fuel will go through the roof and food prices will greatly increase as will all commodities. Get Prepared Now.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Winchester 223 Remington Warning and Recall

PRODUCT WARNING AND RECALL NOTICE on WINCHESTER® RANGER® LAW ENFORCEMENT 223 Remington 64 Grain Power-Point®, dated March 1, 2011

Olin Corporation, through its Winchester Division, is recalling six (6) lots of its RANGER® 223 Remington 64 Grain Power-Point® (PP) centerfire rifle ammunition (Symbol Number RA223R2).

Lot Numbers (last four characters): DK01, DK11, DK21, DK31, DK41, and DK51

Through extensive evaluation Winchester has determined the above lots of RANGER® Law Enforcement ammunition may contain incorrect propellant. Incorrect propellant in this ammunition may cause firearm damage, rendering the firearm inoperable, and subject the shooter or bystanders to a risk of serious personal injury when fired.

DO NOT USE WINCHESTER® RANGER® 223 REMINGTON 64 GRAIN POWER-POINT® AMMUNITION THAT HAS A LOT NUMBER ENDING IN DK01, DK11, DK21, DK31, DK41 or DK51. The ammunition Lot Number is ink stamped inside the right tuck flap of the 20-round carton, as indicated here:

To determine if your ammunition is subject to this notice, review the Lot Number. If the last four characters of the Lot Number are DK01, DK11, DK21, DK31, DK41 or DK51 immediately discontinue use and contact Winchester toll-free at 866-423-5224 to arrange for replacement ammunition and free UPS pick-up of the recalled ammunition.

This notice applies only to RANGER® 223 Remington 64 Grain Power-Point® centerfire rifle ammunition with lot numbers ending in DK01, DK11, DK21, DK31, DK41, and DK51. Other Symbol Numbers or Lot Numbers are not subject to this recall.

If you have any questions concerning this RANGER® Law Enforcement ammunition recall please call toll-free 866-423-5224, write to Winchester (600 Powder Mill Road, East Alton, IL 62024 Attn: RA223R2 Recall), or visit our website at

Friday, March 4, 2011

Breaking Survival Preparation News - Utah Considers Return to Gold, Silver Coins

Utah Considers Return to Gold, Silver Coins, March 4, late breaking news from

UrbanMan's comment: Can you imagine this? Even this news, just breaking, should raise the price of gold.

Utah took its first major step Friday toward bringing the gold standard back to the U.S. when the state House passed a bill that would recognize gold and silver coins issued by the federal government as legal currency.

The House voted 47-26 in favor of the legislation that would also exempt the sale of gold from the state capital gains tax and calls for a committee to study alternative currencies for the state.

The legislation now heads to the state Senate where a vote is expected next week.

Under the bill, the coins would not replace the current paper currency but would be used and accepted voluntarily as an alternative.

If the bill passes, Utah would become the first of 13 states that have proposed similar measures. The others states are Colorado, Georgia, Montana, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Washington.

The U.S. used the gold standard from 1873 until 1933, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt outlawed the private ownership of gold amid the Great Depression. President Richard Nixon abandoned the gold standard altogether when he announced in 1971 that the U.S. would no longer convert dollars to gold at a fixed value.

Critics of the gold standard say it limits countries' control over its monetary policy and leaves them vulnerable to financial shocks, such as the Great Depression. But supporters argue that the current financial system's dependence on the Federal Reserve exposes the value of U.S. money to the risk of runaway inflation.

UrbanMan's comment: I think it really remains to be seen how this affects us in prepping other than most probably raising the price of Gold and therefore Silver. What I do know is that I won't be the guy without any previous metals. In the meantime our advice, from when Gold was $900 an ounce, is still the same, it while you can. Don't wait for the price to dip, although it may dip for a sort period, but will most certainly go up and up as the dollar falls.

Survival Planning - Gold Confiscation Possible? received this analysis from one of our financial advisors on what he thinks is likely to happen this calendar year:

There is much talk on the internet about possible Gold confiscation by the U.S. Government. A series of factors will influence this: the devaluation of the U.S. Dollar due to excessive printing of this fiat currency in a misguided attempt to increase the monetary supply and supposedly the economy; the ever increasing debt of the U.S. Government; the International Monetary Fund (IMF), France and China (among other countries) working to remove the U.S. Dollar as the World’s currency; and, the fact that oil commerce today is accomplished using the U.S. Dollar as the mean trading unit. Once the Dollar is not longer the World’s reserve currency, the U.S. will not be able to purchase crude oil at the prices we are seeing today.

Other factors may be what the new world’s reserved currency will look like. Will it be the Chinese Yuan or a conglomeration or mix of many different currencies? Will the new world’s reserve currency be forced to hold physical assets, such as gold, in a sort of escrow to ensure it’s credibility and ability to hold value? Will any new U.S. currency be linked to gold?

There is good theory out there that predicts that once gold hit’s a certain value per ounce, say $2,000, then the U.S. Government will move quick to avert full fledged slide of the U.S. dollar by requiring an exchange of privately held gold for U.S. currency, albeit at a rate they determine, Enforcement measures have already been put in place with Obamacare’s new 1099 form requirements which mandate gold/silver vendors to place all precious metals transactions over $600 on an 1099 form.

Additionally, confiscation implementation will probably also come from confiscatory taxes. High taxes, 80% to 90% on any profit from precious metals will discourage investment and holding of PM’s.

So what am I saying?

One – Inflation is going to hit and be severe; all commodities will increase in price and decrease in availability.

Two – Congress will be half stepping to avert forfeiture of the U.S. gov’t on the debt and the U.S. Dollar from being removed as the world’s reserve currency.

Three – Gas will hit $5 without the U.S. Dollar being removed as the world’s currency; $7 a gallon is the IMF and China get their way.

Four – Gold will hit near $2,000 an ounce and the U.S. Government will be forced to secure or confiscate Gold to avert a total disaster and will set the new gold price, relative to the existing U.S. Dollar or a new currency, around the $250 per ounce mark.

Five –Ensure you have silver is your survival planning; silver is much more harder to confiscate however see the part of 1099’s!

Six – If you have precious metal assets you should think about not having them if someone from the Government comes to your door.

This is the Counter Confiscation Argument:

What UrbanMan thinks: I think Gold and Silver will continue to climb. I think the U.S. Dollar will continue to plummet and prices for commodities will rise, particular fuel - this will skyrocket. When this gets to the tipping point, the economy will tank. The USG will not confiscate Gold. They may heavily tax gold and bar future private ownership, but will not confiscate gold. The USG may interview people, reference to tax code from 1099's on Gold and other PM acquisitions on abeyance in reporting. But don't look for confiscation. Even then, be prepared for all threats.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Reader Question on Survival Prepping (without Family Support) received an the following comment on the post – The Urban Threat – Why the Need for Urban Survival Prep”: “ I am SO overwhelmed right now. It is sad because I come from a family of people who have always been somewhat prepared and interested so I'm not completely new to the concept but I've spent my time being lost in depression and complacency. Hoping that things will just 'be okay' as I fought stupid battles with my ex husband and tried to keep my head above water.

Now, it feels too late. I have joint custody with my ex husband. If two of my four kids are with him when it comes down to hunkering down, bugging out or whatever is on the menu, I won't be able to leave them. He has never cooperated with me on anything, choosing instead to use any moment to extract often oddball methods of revenge...meaning, I can't trust him. My oldest daughter is off living with her bf. I love her but she is a huge flake and cannot be counted on not to talk too much. Do I prepare for her just in case? My stupid dogs bark at everything and I even have a rooster that crows literally all hours of the night and day although the night thing has tapered off since I told my mil that she absolutely had to turn off her bedroom light at night instead of leaving it on all hours...her light faces the coop and was confusing the rooster.

Don't even get me started on my mil. There is absolutely NO WAY I can even begin to afford to prepare for her in a hunker down situation and when bug out becomes the game, I could not take her. My parents live behind me, they are both in their early 70's but are tough as nails, country folk, armed and proficient.

My husband is not nearly as serious as I am so it feels as if I carry this alone but I realize it isn't quit that way. He has a daughter, ex wife and her two little boys that he would want to get to. They live a long enough distance that it seriously bothers me as they are NOT the kind you can talk to about this stuff ahead of time, so no preparation on their part, no monetary aid in making food preparations etc and then having to either wait on them or go get them which reduces the efficiency of my planning and my family's strength. Plus again, their health needs run insulin dependent diabetes and morbid obesity? WTH am I supposed to do with stuff like this? How do I pick a place to try to go to? Oh, did I mention that I have very little money to work with? It's a tiny piece at a time and I hope to god I'm not too late. –Lost at the End (Stephanie)

UrbanMan replies: Stephanie, I am going to use a post format to reply to you as used the comment box rather than the e-mail function to contact me. A lot of us can see ourselves in your comment. In fact when I read your comment the first time I saw a friend of mine in my mind’s eye who also had a divorce type scenario with three children. His ex-wife was a pain for him in keeping the kids for a weekend and told everyone that my friend was crazy, trying to ruin his rep around town. When these kid’s were in their early teens, he constantly stressed to them that his house was the safe haven, from all threats. He wanted them to have a pre-programmed response to get to his house if anything happened. He exposed them to firearms and shooting, and they were trustworthy enough to know where he kept the guns and could get to them if necessary.

My friend also exposed his kids to his survival food supply which, back then, mainly consisted of cases of canned soups, and dried pasta, rice, beans. His Bug Out plan was to get his family to his new wife’s boss’ farmhouse about 4 miles outside of town….where a well, pond and above ground swimming pool existed,……you gotta have water! The kid’s were brought to the farm several times, knew the route to it, and told this was the backup place to go. My friend’s kids are now beginning college and one is in the last year of high school, which is a lot of my friends back, but do parents ever really stop worrying about their children? I took all this as building trust between him and his kids and developing a response to come to him in an emergency.

A little note on diabetes: Adult on-set or Type II diabetes is controllable through nutrition…until you get to the point at your pancreas does not produce any insulin. Insulin dependent diabetes, even type II,……well, sucks because you have to have diabetes. In a post collapse world where a lack of processed foods and sugar, the diabetes rates will plummet, as will obesity. The novel, “One Second After”, by William Forstchen has a character with insulin dependent diabetes. This is a good book to read as it clearly displays the consequences of no survival planning.

Really the only things you can do is to continue dripping the necessity of survival (or disaster) prepping. My wife, who was initially put off and scared that I was a loon, is now much better about it. I think you can also continue to prep, whatever your budget allows. I would just continue on. That’s what I do. When I reached my goal of stocked food for six months, then my goal shifted to nine months and so on. Also ensure you cover all necessities. The list is endless so the objective is to get better across the board, incrementally as you can.

I would assume you are in charge of the house. If your current husband gives you any grief over prepping then give him the LOOK,….you know,…..that LOOK women give men to get them to back off. Good luck.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Survival Preparation - Big OPSEC Violation Example

We often talk about trying to get our family and friends to be Survival Prep oriented. We discuss hints and approaches basically because we want these people to be prepared and to not be a burden on those of us who have prepared but not prepared to the extent to take in a bunch of stragglers.

Some of us undoubtedly keep quiet as to not appears as some loony, camouflage clad, rifle toting extremist (my apologies to those of you who wear cammies). Some of us are also careful for another reason, as to not advertise the fact that we have stocks, even substantial stocks. of Survival gear, material, food, firearms and in some cases precious metals.

The Operational Security (OPSEC) effort required to protect the knowledge that you are preparing in any way is a huge undertaking. Risks may come from the UPS or FEDEX delivery man noting one time or multiple deliveries of ammunition, precious metals, and other survival oriented material simply from the shipping tags or the warning labels (ammunition); maybe a loose conversation from your wife to a friend,…”My husband is scaring me,…buying all this silver, food, sleeping bags, water purification stuff. He thinks the world is going to end!” Knowledge and innocent remarks can be very real violations of OPSEC. Please warn, brief and train your family and friends to use discretion.

If you cannot stock your supplies in a hidden manner, be prepared to use disinformation or just plain excuses. I recently had a plumber fixing my hot water heater and he stood in my garage looking at shelves of stacked boxes of dehydrated foods. He asked “Is that all food?”. I said "I got the boxes at work, but I have excess clothing in them that I collect for good will and the salvation army.” I said it nonchalantly, and he just replied “Oh”. Maybe I fooled him, maybe not. For the people I don’t fool and who intend to take what I have, I have motion lights, entry sensors, several dogs, constant situational awareness and the final option, flashlight equipped firearms within arms reach.

Below is an article from Canada detailing the silver bullion robbery of someone who did not have tight OPSEC.

Article from Resource, by Roman Baudzus, Feb 2011

Robbers Make Off with $750,000 in Silver Bars

A man who decided to store his precious metals in a vault at his home in Chilliwack, Canada, was robbed of US $750,000 worth of silver bars in broad daylight. This case, which was first published about two weeks ago, shows that storing large amounts of precious metals at home is a very risky undertaking.

The 52-year-old victim is still traumatized after burglars intruded into his house where he had stored his life savings in silver bars. Based on the current silver price at the New York Comex, the silver was valued at about US$750,000.

Two burglars entered the house and attacked the man with a knife before tying him up. One of the thieves also carried a gun. The intruders were dressed in fake police uniforms and told the victim that they were investigating a crime and needed to ask him some questions. Once inside the house, they attacked the man and forced him to provide the combination for his vault. They then headed directly for the vault, which contained several thousand ounces of silver. After they had emptied the vault of the silver bars, the two robbers disappeared without a trace.

The victim is now wondering who could have provided the intruders with hints about the silver bars stored at his house. Friends, neighbours and relatives are the main suspects. Someone might have mentioned something to the wrong people, thereby letting the burglars find out about the silver bars, or they might have been informed by a third party.

The culprits are expected to try selling the metal to various precious metals traders. The victim did not say how much he paid for his silver stocks. Within one year the silver price has almost doubled from US $17 to US $33. A bank had refused to arrange for the storage of the silver for practical reasons, since it did not have enough space to store several thousand ounces. Moreover, the silver was not insured because the insurance cover had been too expensive.

This incident clearly demonstrates the importance of secure and insured precious metals storage to efficiently protect your precious metals from risks such as theft.