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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Survival Preparation - Is the Army Preparing for Food Riots?

Much like the FEMA Camp issue, there are many people who believe that the U.S. Army (Active Duty) as opposed to National Guard, are preparing for deployment inside this country to respond to riots and anarchy such as what would be caused by food shortages or economic collapse.

I have been e-mailed reports that Army units are stockpiling riot control gear to include OC sprays, OC hand tossed munitions and projectile OC munitions.

I have also been told my other sources that the Army maintains one Brigade, around 3,500 soldiers, ready to deploy within the U.S. to effect crowd control/riot control.

There are many sources on-line with pictures and stories on Army units conducting riot control type training. The picture below is one that someone has sent me recently depicting Army soldiers training in Riot Control. Sometimes the storyline will talk about preparing for deployment to and for crowd control in active theaters (Iraq and Afghanistan). However, this does not make sense since this is a lose-lose situation for the U.S. not to mention the service members. The preferred method is to use soldiers and units from that country. So I am not convinced that Army is only doing riot control training for overseas deployments.

I have posted other articles on reported and alleged Government plans to prepare for large scale riots or disorder. My opinion is that it is probable the U.S. Government is prepared at some level to employ the military inside the U.S. However, I do not think the objective is as dark as some people make out. But everyone has to make up their own minds.

The article below is edited for length. The entire article can be read here:

Obama Orders Military To Prepare For Spring Food Riots

Posted by EU Times on Jan 13th, 2011

A grim report prepared by France’s General Directorate for External Security (DGSE) obtained by Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) states that president’s Obama and Sarkozy have “agreed in principal” to create a joint US-European military force to deal exclusively with a Global uprising expected this spring as our World runs out of food.

According to this report, Sarkozy, as head of the G-20 group of developed Nations, called for and received an emergency meeting with Obama this past Monday at the White House wherein he warned his American counterpart that the shock rise in food prices occurring due to an unprecedented series of disasters was threatening the stability of the entire World and could lead to the outbreak of Total Global War.

The fears of the French government over growing Global instability was realized this past week after food riots erupted in Algeria and Tunisia and left over 50 dead. So dire has the situation become in Tunisia that their government this morning rushed in massive amounts of troops and tanks to their capital city Tunis and instituted a Nationwide curfew in an order to quell the growing violence.

The United Nations, also, warned this past Friday that millions of people are now at risk after food prices hit their highest level ever as Global wheat stocks fell to 175.2 million tons from 196.7 million tons a year ago; Global corn stocks are said may be 127.3 million tons at the end of this season, compared with last month’s USDA outlook for 130 million tons; and Global soybean inventories will drop to 58.78 million tons at the end of this season, from 60.4 million tons a year earlier.

Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank, further warned this past week that rising food prices are “a threat to global growth and social stability” as our World, for the first time in living memory, has been warned is just “one poor harvest away from chaos”.

Important to note about how dire the Global food situation has become is to understand the disasters that have befallen our World’s top wheat growing Nations this past year, and who in descending order are: China, India, United States, Russia, France, Canada, Germany, Ukraine, Australia and Pakistan.

Not only have the vast majority of our World’s top wheat producers been affected, but also one of the main grain producing regions on the Planet, South America, has been hit by disasters too where an historic drought has crippled Argentina and Bolivia, and Brazil, that regions largest Nation, has been hit with catastrophic floods that have killed nearly 400 people in the past few days alone.

Even the United States has been hit as a catastrophic winter has seen 49 of their 50 States covered by snow causing unprecedented damage to their crops in Florida due to freezing weather, and record setting rains destroying massive numbers of crops in their most important growing region of California.

And if you think that things couldn’t get any worse you couldn’t be more mistaken as South Korea (one of the most important meat exporters in Asia ) has just this past week had to destroy millions of farm animals after an outbreak of the dreaded foot-and-mouth disease was discovered.

To how horrific the Global food situation will become this year was made even more grim this past month when the United States reported that nearly all of their honey bee and bumblebee populations have died out, and when coupled with the “mysterious” die-off of the entire bat population in America means that the two main pollinators of fruit and vegetable plants will no longer be able to do their jobs leading to crop losses this report warns will be “biblical and catastrophic”.

And so today, as agricultural traders and analysts warn that the latest revision to US and Global stocks means there is no further room for weather problems, a new cyclone is preparing to hit Australia, brutal winter weather in India has killed nearly 130, and more snow is warned to hit America, and we’re not even two full weeks into 2011… may God have mercy on us all.....especially if the Army is deployed inside the U.S. to maintain order.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Urban Survival Firearms - M6 Scout Survival Rifle Modifications

I ran across this site and article on modifications to the M6 Scout Rifle. Of course, most Survivalists are aware of this little rifle which was designed as an aircrew survival rifle for downed military aviators and crew.

The M6 Scout features a folding stock which is easily detached via a quick-release pivot pin. An M6 breaks down in less than 5 seconds to a very compact overall length of 18", providing easy storage on a boat, small plane, tractor or recreational vehicle. A specially designed trigger guard allows conventional finger firing, or full hand firing while wearing mittens or heavy gloves.


Rifle Barrel:
Caliber: .22 Long Rifle or .22 Hornet
Twist: 1:15" RH (.22 Long Rifle); 1:13" RH (.22 Hornet)
Grooves: 6

Shotgun Barrel:
Caliber: .410 gauge / 2 1/2" or 3" shot shells or 3" slugs

Weight: 4 lbs. (approx.)
Overall Length: 32"
Barrel Length: 18 1/2"
Sight Radius: 16 1/8"

The Sword of Survival added piping to both sides of the twin barrel in order to make a tube magazine holding more .410 shotgun shells. I never thought of doing this and it seems like a good idea.

To read the entire article and an video on explaining the modification, go to

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Urban Survival - 20 Signs That A Horrific Global Food Crisis Is Coming

Another respected source talking about a probable catalyst of collapse - a global food shortage. Snyder paints a bleak picture. A prudent thing to do is to add Zero Hedge to your list of sites you visit to gather information and update your analysis on possible collapse scenarios.

Article courtesy of Michael Snyder, Economic Collapse from Zero Hedge

In case you haven't noticed, the world is on the verge of a horrific global food crisis. At some point, this crisis will affect you and your family. It may not be today, and it may not be tomorrow, but it is going to happen. Crazy weather and horrifying natural disasters have played havoc with agricultural production in many areas of the globe over the past couple of years. Meanwhile, the price of oil has begun to skyrocket.

The entire global economy is predicated on the ability to use massive amounts of inexpensive oil to cheaply produce food and other goods and transport them over vast distances. Without cheap oil the whole game changes. Topsoil is being depleted at a staggering rate and key aquifers all over the world are being drained at an alarming pace. Global food prices are already at an all-time high and they continue to move up aggressively. So what is going to happen to our world when hundreds of millions more people cannot afford to feed themselves?

Most Americans are so accustomed to supermarkets that are absolutely packed to the gills with massive amounts of really inexpensive food that they cannot even imagine that life could be any other way. Unfortunately, that era is ending.

There are all kinds of indications that we are now entering a time when there will not be nearly enough food for everyone in the world. As competition for food supplies increases, food prices are going to go up. In fact, at some point they are going to go way up.

Let's look at some of the key reasons why an increasing number of people believe that a massive food crisis is on the horizon.

The following are 20 signs that a horrific global food crisis is coming....

#1 According to the World Bank, 44 million people around the globe have been pushed into extreme poverty since last June because of rising food prices.

#2 The world is losing topsoil at an astounding rate. In fact, according to Lester Brown, "one third of the world's cropland is losing topsoil faster than new soil is forming through natural processes".

#3 Due to U.S. ethanol subsidies, almost a third of all corn grown in the United States is now used for fuel. This is putting a lot of stress on the price of corn.

#4 Due to a lack of water, some countries in the Middle East find themselves forced to almost totally rely on other nations for basic food staples. For example, it is being projected that there will be no more wheat production in Saudi Arabia by the year 2012.

#5 Water tables all over the globe are being depleted at an alarming rate due to "overpumping". According to the World Bank, there are 130 million people in China and 175 million people in India that are being fed with grain with water that is being pumped out of aquifers faster than it can be replaced. So what happens once all of that water is gone?

#6 In the United States, the systematic depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer could eventually turn "America's Breadbasket" back into the "Dust Bowl".

#7 Diseases such as UG99 wheat rust are wiping out increasingly large segments of the world food supply.

#8 The tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis in Japan have rendered vast agricultural areas in that nation unusable. In fact, there are many that believe that eventually a significant portion of northern Japan will be considered to be uninhabitable. Not only that, many are now convinced that the Japanese economy, the third largest economy in the world, is likely to totally collapse as a result of all this.

#9 The price of oil may be the biggest factor on this list. The way that we produce our food is very heavily dependent on oil. The way that we transport our food is very heavily dependent on oil. When you have skyrocketing oil prices, our entire food production system becomes much more expensive. If the price of oil continues to stay high, we are going to see much higher food prices and some forms of food production will no longer make economic sense at all.

#10 At some point the world could experience a very serious fertilizer shortage. According to scientists with the Global Phosphorus Research Initiative, the world is not going to have enough phosphorous to meet agricultural demand in just 30 to 40 years.

#11 Food inflation is already devastating many economies around the globe. For example, India is dealing with an annual food inflation rate of 18 percent.

#12 According to the United Nations, the global price of food reached a new all-time high in February.

#13 According to the World Bank, the global price of food has risen 36% over the past 12 months.

#14 The commodity price of wheat has approximately doubled since last summer.

#15 The commodity price of corn has also about doubled since last summer.

#16 The commodity price of soybeans is up about 50% since last June.

#17 The commodity price of orange juice has doubled since 2009.

#18 There are about 3 billion people around the globe that live on the equivalent of 2 dollars a day or less and the world was already on the verge of economic disaster before this year even began.

#19 2011 has already been one of the craziest years since World War II. Revolutions have swept across the Middle East, the United States has gotten involved in the civil war in Libya, Europe is on the verge of a financial meltdown and the U.S. dollar is dying. None of this is good news for global food production.

#20 There have been persistent rumors of shortages at some of the biggest suppliers of emergency food in the United States. Emergency food suppliers simply cannot get the raw food products fast enough to keep up with overwhelming demand. We do not want to be alarmists, but if you have any plan to purchase an emergency WISE FOOD, FOOD BARS, HONEYVILLE GRAIN, cases of MRE's or anything else, do it now! Do not wait. It may take a few weeks or a month of two to get any of these products, but when -- not if -- the next emergency strikes, people will be hoarding food and water, and most are packing weapons now (guns and ammo) to protect what they have. These people understand (so do terrorists) that the United States is only ONE EVENT AWAY FROM CHAOS.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Urban Survival - Reader Question on Survival Community Organizing received this comment. Anonymous said....." Hey this is a great website. I like all the articles and absence of nothing but gun crap on the other sites. You wrote about people could be in a neighborhood crime watch group and have an team already made before a calamity. What are some ideas on organizing?"

UrbanMan replies: I think you probably meant,..."you like the multiple topics and lack of nothing but gun articles",....even then guns and related survival firearms articles and information are necessary as firearms are the primary and last ditch method to fulfill the protection area of the survival mainstays of food, water, shelter and protection. I am trying to bring a planning approach to survival as well.

You can be the most well prepared survivalist,...stocking years worth of food; being adequately armed and trained to use firearms; etc., but survival is a team sport and it will take a group larger than just a few people to not just survive but have any quality of life.

If you haven't already, then read Lights Out. It used to be a internet only pdf book but is now available at book stores. Although many un-realistic things in this story line,..e.g..having your boss give you a briefcase full of silver as a collapse initiation gift and having a buddy who owns a gun store who also just happens to keep tons of guns and ammunition in MILVANS at his house,......and things like that, I think the value in this book is that it sets a scenario where a community bands together to survive. Anyway, it is well worth whatever price being asked for it.

If you live in a urban or suburban area, you live close to your neighbors. What befalls them probably threatens you as well. The advantage of some sort of community group, like a neighborhood watch or a home owners association (HOA) is that it sets a pre-established organization from which to modify to meet the threat. Probably the first order of business would be to establish the concept that things may not get better quickly so the community needs to band together to leverage everyone's abilities to meet the threats. These threats are not limited to mobs or criminal gangs, food, medical aid and such.

I plan on asking my HOA to call a meeting and speak on what I see as the threats. A major threat to everyone's survival would be the lack of the community to work together. I would push to establish a council to rapidly develop some recommendations on security, communications, governance of the community, food procurement and medical assistance.

I would suggest establishing some planning cells around these base functions. Realizing that due to my forward leaning survival preparation, background and training that I may be seen as a threat to some people,......maybe people who are unaccepting of the situation or people who fear a single controlling entity. I think my role is to stay out of positions of authority, like on a council which I would push for the community to elect for governance, and provide my insight and recommendations on priority tasks and how to accomplish them. This council could suggest some base community rules and procedures.

Another immediate task would be the organization of "committees",.....such as food procurement to develop a plan to feed those who are unprepared and how to procure more food. Planting crops would be a major priority even in the winter time.

Other committee's could/should be organized for communications, both for the inner community and with the outside world for news and connectivity.

Security in the form of early warning systems, lookouts/observers, gates or checkpoints, inner community patrols (like community policing) then soon reconnaissance patrols perhaps outside the immediate community should be considered, planned and implemented.

Depending upon the severity of the collapse, eventually the community functions like a commune. Everyone contributes, everyone shares and mutual support in all areas. A challenge would be what to do with or how to handle people who do not contribute or break pre-existing laws or established survival community rules.

I am sure I am much more prepared than anyone in my local community. I have a group of suitable prepared people who plan on rallying at my location. In no way am I endorsing some sort of take over or coercion, but my group would command some attention and maybe even some respect so I hope to utilize that to guide the community to good decisions and ultimately, the preparedness to face the threats.

I hope I'm close to answering the question you are asking. And forgive me for saying this: "Where the hell is Barack Obama when you need a community to be organized"

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Urban Survival - Collapse Indicators Late April 2011

I am getting a lot of readers e-mailing me about an imminent collapse. Maybe some of these that were the same people who called for an imminent collapse a dozen times or more in the last 10 years. I do know that most of us cannot keep at a peak preparedness 24/7. Obligations and just plain life get in the way. I think keeping on top looking for and analyzing the indicators of a SHTF scenario, or at least the scenarios that we can see coming is about the only thing we can do, besides trying to get better preparation wise each and every day.

As far as economic collapse indicators, I am trying to keep on top of the ones I am aware of,.....not just the financial factors, but make no mistake about it,...the financial factors ARE dire. Here are just some recent events and indicators:

University of Texas Investment Management Co. converting Gold shares into physical Gold on taking delivery of 6,643 gold bars, worth $991.7 million yesterday, that are stored in a bank warehouse in New York. Why would U or Texas do this when just the storage fee is around $900K a year?

Open interest in gold futures and options traded on the Comex (paper shares of Gold) typically exceeds supplies held in its warehouses. If the holders of just 5 percent of those contracts opted to take delivery of the metal, there wouldn’t be enough to cover the demand. Imagine if many people or companies held their base capital or even just their reserves in Gold then found out they could not re-deem it, nor sell it because there was nothing of value? Paper Gold and Silver shares are just like fiat currency!

Rep. Ron Paul’s warning that “Holding your money in dollars when the Fed can double and triple the supply rather quickly and quietly, is a losing proposition”. Ron Paul, a Texas Republican, advocates a return to a currency backed by precious metals.

West Coast advisor's report more and more of their investors converting their portfolio into physical Gold. The highest percentage of those who take possession of Gold shares in physical gold are millionaires.

The FED has printed more money than they ever have, so the value of the dollar has declined while the prices of goods and services have skyrocketed.

More people, including Congressman Paul, are warning of a probably Government attempt to curtail private entities and people holding gold,……remember U.S. ownership restrictions in the 1930s?

Speaking of Gold,…..and Silver. Prices were: Gold up $3.10 to $1,506.50 and Silver up $.54 to $46.60 and by the time I upload this article, the prices will be higher.

Concerns over Sovereign-debt (at an all time high) driving Standard & Poor’s to revise its U.S. credit outlook to negative. It the U.S> defaults on their debt or the U.S. dollar ceases the be the World’s reserve currency, then fuel prices will free fall upward.

Speaking of fuel,……it is averaging around $4 a gallon, with some locations charging $5 per gallon. Some analysts are predicting fuel to hit $7 a gallon by the fall – this is without the collapse of the dollar, however I suspect the dollar will collapse long before it. Fuel prices have tremendous repercussions as many electrical plants are ran by fossil fuels. Can you imagine everyone’s electric bill doubling? How about routine rolling blackouts? Can you imagine tens of thousands of people, who depend upon fuel oil to heat their homes, not being able to afford the necessity of heat during the winter in some of the coldest environs in the U.S. ?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Survival Firearms - Reader Question on SigSauer P290 Handgun received the following question via e-mail, on the new SigSauer P290 semi-automatic. "Have you seen or shot the new Sig P290 9mm pistol? I am thinking about buying one. I used to have a Sig P226 but sold that for a Ruger Mini-14 and am now thinking of adding a handgun to my survival weapons arsenal which includes a .30-06 Remington scoped rifle and a 12 gauge Remington slide action shotgun."

UrbanMan reply: Handgun are great tools but will never replace rifles or shotguns (long guns) for your primary survival firearm. I have not shot nor handled the new Sig P290 but hope to wring one out in a month or two. But as good as the Sig's are, I am not in the market for one.

The Sig website say's this about the P290: "This unique 9mm pistol is the perfect small defense handgun that meets the demands of today’s law enforcement professionals as a backup duty gun, and responsible citizens as a conceal carry gun."

So even Sig acknowledges that this is a backup gun. Which with a 6 round magazine capacity and only 4.3 inch sight radius, this handgun is for concealed carry and short range use. If I did not have a defensive handgun for my survival armory then I would be looking for something a little bit larger with a larger magazine capacity and longer sight radius for better accuracy at longer ranges, say past 25 yards.

You have a good start on a survival battery with quality firearms in the categories you would need: magazine fed rifle, 12 gauge shotgun and a center fire rifle caliber long gun. I think that for the money you would spend on a Sig P290, you could buy a decent Glock model 17 or 22, and have enough left for a .22 LR rifle which would be of great value in a survival scenario both for hunting and training.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Urban Survival - Reader Question on Refugee Danger received the following comment: ” I live in a small rural town in Ohio . We have one traffic light on a 2 lane state route. How do I determine if I am near a refugee line and how many refugees and looters would one have to defend yourself against? Do most refugees travel south (ie to warmer weather) or is that not a factor? I have always felt safe hear but realize all that will go out the window in a collapse type situation. We have a lot going for us hear that we are a Christian Community and close nit. There are a lot of families related to one another. We have 2nd Cousins, Uncles, etc here. What are the criteria for these type situation?

UrbanMan’s reply: Great question on how does an individual or Survival Group determine if their location is on a mass migration or refugee route or are situated to be endangered by other factors. Weather,..i.e..warm weather may be a factor if the event, such as utilities failure or fuel oil shortages occurs during the winter time. The catalyst is probably more likely to be a food shortage.

I do not know your location, and it would probably not be a good idea to send any other information to me,…in other words keep your OPSEC tight. I picked out a region of Ohio for my example on the map below. The first thing I would is to determine the possible events that could place your location in danger of pushing hungry and desperate people your way,…the effects of a refugee stream and what the effects would be on your safety and survival.

Some of those events and questions may be:

1. Food stores and deliveries dry up in a nearby city pushing people your direction. Are you located on a natural route out of the city? Is there a reason refugees would moved in your direction? On the map imagine you are located in Burton , Ohio ,…seemingly well off the beaten path from the larger cities of Cleveland and Youngstown . Would food shortages or infrastructure/utility failures in Youngstown drive refugee migration towards Cleveland where people may supposed food stores exist due to Cleveland ’s location on Lake Erie and commodities deliveries would go there first before being delivered to interior locations?

2. Are you between major cities where events such as a large scale chemical accident or even a man-made or man caused event such as a nuclear detonation may drive people your way? Consider routes both ways,…would a major event in Cleveland drive people towards Youngstown and therefore either transiting close by or even through Burton?

3. The major lines of communication (called LOC’s) or otherwise known as the interstates and highways would be heavily traveled during a refugee migration or evacuation. Some people will be using these routes because they are the fastest routes,….while others may think that a carefully developed routes using secondary state highways may be safer. I think the major LOC’s will be problematic as grid lock, breakdowns, gas shortages, accidents and possibly armed bandit groups preying on people can or will make these dangerous.

4. Having some sort of early warning system would be huge to prepare against refugee tidal wave. Friends, family or cultivated sources/alliances with a means of communications are important even if you are not necessarily directly on a refugee route. Consider the map below. The circle around Burton is a notional Area of Operations (AO) also called Area of Responsibility (AOR). This may be the circle that all your group lives within,….maybe where your crop fields and other resources are contained, etc. Anything that can happen outside of your AOR but can influence things inside your AOR is called your Area of Influence (AI). You will need to determine decision points or area(s) of interest such as the intersection of 422 and 322, where refugees could first be confirmed if they went NW towards Burton , or even due NORTH on 422 towards Middlefield. Because once in Middlefield, they could easily turn WEST and roll in to Burton . These are places where you should know the refugees are transiting through and that information relayed to the group in Burton.

It would be important to know and have looked at (reconnoitered) locations such as choke points along these natural refugee routes, such as bridges, big turns in the roads, low ground on the road or covered and concealed areas close to the road or really anyplace where a blockade, checkpoint or even an ambush can be conducted to keep large groups from rolling into your AOR.

Being self sufficient,….having stored food and being able to grow your own food, having a good year round water source, family and neighbors you can count on and the ability to protect yourself, are all necessary for survival during a collapse, but being rolled over by massive amounts of hungry, desperate people or even just having to deal with and maybe feed or treat a smaller number could spell your doom. You and your people are ahead of the effort in many ways if you are a Christian Group and living in a small town. It helps to have a common denominator within the Survival Group, other than just the desire to survive. Baseline morals and the value system is highly important to have an effective team that works well together on survival essential goals.

Again, I picked Burton at random. I know of no one living in Burton or even in Ohio...other than the general description of the state from the reader comment.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Urban Survival Planning - Financial Collapse: One Scenario

This is what the Complete and Total Economic Collapse of the United States and the World looks like on film. An older movie to be sure, but the principal catalysts remain the same,...hyper-inflation, total devaluation of the dollar, gold and silver prices skyrocket,......commodities in short supply.

The difference between this old movie and today is the incredible national debt the U.S. has incurred; the ability of the U.S. to feed itself has diminished something like 70% while the population has increased greatly; mass migration from the cities; housing crisis with foreclosures about to hit critical mass; the need for oil has greatly increased; and, not but least is that our enemies have grown much more sophisticated.

By the way, I ordered the movie which is available on

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Urban Survival Firearms - Weapons Manual Resource

Gun manuals galore. Sent to me by a buddy who is also a member of the National Rifle Association, this is a great resource to have. It would take some work but it may be a great idea to download at least the manuals for the guns you have and maybe some common guns as well onto a thumb drive and/or make printed copies as well.

The architect of this website providing the firearms is Stephen Ricciardelli of Saint Marie, Montana. If you like the site, there is a tab to make a donation to Mr. Ricciardelli.

This is really a treasure chest of manuals. I am amazed at how complete the list is.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Survival Preparation - The Link Between the Japan Crisis and Mormons

The Japan crisis has been a boon to the Survival Preparation movement inciting discussions on everything from radiation detection and protection, to stored foods, to location of Survival sites to avoid potential natural disasters. I would be willing to bet that Survival Equipment and Material manufacturers and vendors also experienced an increase in sales.

Those of you having a hard time convincing your family and friends to plan and prep may want to share this article with them. Mormom's treat Survival and Disaster Preparation as away of life and not from a strict survivalist's point ofo view.....Hey, works for me.

Reuters published an article almost two weeks ago, titled “Japan crisis spurs survival planning by U.S. Mormons”, which on it’s face is not correct since the Mormon community has been preparing in general for decades, if not a century. In fact, they may be the “modern” era master Survival Preparers. One concept they get is that Survival is a Team Sport.

By Laura Zuckerman – Sat Apr 2,
SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) – While the nuclear crisis in Japan unfolds a continent away, Mormon-dominated communities in the western United States say the disaster overseas is bringing close to home a lesson about preparing for the worst.

Emergency planning and the long-term storage of food, water and medical supplies are central practices by the 14 million worldwide members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The tradition stems from doctrine - "If ye are prepared ye shall not fear" - established by Joseph Smith when he founded the church in 1830 in upstate New York . It also stems from the persecution that drove his early followers from the Midwest to the Rocky Mountains in 1847.

Present-day Mormons, concentrated in the United States in Utah, California and Idaho, say preparedness and self-reliance are a way of life and not signs of survivalist leanings or knee-jerk responses to disasters.

"It's not a sudden, spectacular program," said Craig Rasmussen, spokesman for the church in Idaho , second only to Utah for the highest percentage of Mormons.

Worries about radiation from Japan 's crippled nuclear plants have spurred sales in the West of potassium iodide to block absorption of cancer-causing radioactive iodine even though U.S. officials say minor amounts detected in the air, rainwater or milk in 15 states pose no health risks.

At a time of renewed interest in how to cope with calamity in a region where Mormonism is the prevailing religious, cultural and social influence, companies selling dehydrated, freeze-dried or canned foods in bulk are reporting rising sales. Don Pectol, vice president with Emergency Essentials Inc., a retail and online emergency supply chain based near Salt Lake City , said top sellers are powdered milk, water purifiers and meat processed to extend shelf life.

Pectol said the spike came after harmless levels of radiation were detected in states like Utah , Idaho and Arizona and the upsurge is similar to one that happened when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005.

Another online seller of stored food said on its website that dried dairy products and powered eggs were temporarily unavailable.

University of Colorado sociologist Kathleen Tierney, head of a national institute that tracks society's reactions to disasters, said potential nuclear threats place people on heightened alert.

She said fears lessen with measures like stocking up on food or remedies because a sense of control replaces the feeling of helplessness.

"It's normal behavior during uncertainty," said Tierney, director of the Natural Hazards Center in Boulder , Colorado .

Mormon Mark Oliverson, a dentist and father of three in the remote mountain town of Salmon in central Idaho , said he and his wife routinely add and rotate items in the family's year-long supply of food. The couple also attends the church's workshops on emergency planning, food storage and other practices that make up so-called provident living.

"It puts you in a position to take care of yourself and provide for your family through hard times - and that puts you in a good position to help others," he said.

Church leaders say that principle allows it to respond to emergencies worldwide. In the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, Mormon missionaries working in areas near Japan 's stricken nuclear reactors were moved to safety.

Officials said congregations in Japan have since set up an emergency response committee to organize volunteers distributing food, water, fuel and blankets.

The hazard center's Tierney said models like that confirm studies that show "we are better people in disasters than in day-to-day situations."

Eric Erickson, head of a group of Mormon congregations in the eastern Idaho community of Rexburg, where 90 percent of 24,000 residents are church members, said the crisis in Japan would likely prompt local leaders to fine-tune emergency plans and communications systems.

"Katrina provided us the opportunity to re-look at things and revisit those principles; this will be another," he said.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Urban Survival - My Older Friends Getting Prepared

I have some friends, an older couple, not their real names but I'll call them Bill and Betty, both in their early 60's and raising a granddaughter who is 20 years old and attending community college.  Both of them have started a preparedness plan for themselves and their granddaughter.  They recognize what our politicans seemingly do not, that this country is heading for a major collapse,...whether it comes gradual or is an "all of a sudden WTSHTF" scenario is anyone's guess.  I guess their are advantages and disavantages to both scenarios or collapse timelines, but nevertheless, preparation to survive is necessary.   

Anyway , these friends of mine are starting to put some food away.  Betty is a homemaker and Bill works as a supervisor at a local plant.   Betty has started a garden this year, repalcing her flowers with vegetables and has revisiting the ability to can with a procurement of a pressure cooker and a couple cases of mason jars.  Bill has pulled his shotguns and hunting rifle out of the closet and is looking to get a handgun and an semi-auto rifle.

The other weekend both stopped by and asked what else I thought they could do.  They warned me that they are not the type to grab a couple of Bug Out Bags and "head for hills".  I said of course not, but they would have to have some sort of plan (and contingencies - remember PACE planning?) in case their Bug In plan would lead to certain death,.....either through starvation or a violent end.  So they are re-looking that aspect.  It's a hard thing to do, older than some.....and look at your retirement years with anxiety.
SO I told them the easy things they could right now are: 

Get Betty a cell phone.  Bill and the granddaughter both have them and Betty should as well.

Get onto the County's emergency notification text system, where the county government sends out warning messages via text alerts on the weather, power shortages, water shortages and natural disasters. 

Get a family locator system for the cell phones, where you can go to a web based application and geo-locate any of your phones. 

Have some safe areas planned for rally points.  For travel to and from the plant, or grocery sore or college, determine best places to hole up if need be.  If natural or man made disasters make a safe place necessary,...and this becomes a rally point where people can find you.

Join or develop a Neighborhood Crime Watch group in your area.  Local Law Enforcement supports this,....and it is free to do,...only costs time.   The great thing about this is two fold:  you get to know your neighbors and you develop some sort of organization and can be very useful when the collapse hits.     
I also told Bill that a concealed handgun class and permit would be a good idea both him, Betty and the granddaughter.

Finally, Bill is old enough to know the history of Gold and Silver in this country and understand the value of having some put away. It is not too late to start. I suggested to them to start buying a little Silver as they could.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Survival Planning - The Economy is Not Getting Better!

Don't let the compromise on the Federal FY11 Budget fool you into thinking the economy is better or that we have staved off an economic collapse. The next budget fights are much more important and will have a greater impact on the speed of inflation and the path of an economic collapse.

The first one will be whether or not to extend the debt ceiling - the limit on U.S. borrowing, and the second one being the FY12 Federal Budget.

The best case scenario for continued life as we know it, is a vote NOT to increase the debt ceiling AND NO to new printing of money (called Quanitative Easing or QE) to remedy low cash flow. However this would mean that the Chinese and to a lesser extent the Japanese continue to buy our debt to finance our Federal expenditures. The likelyhood of this hapening is remote. The Chinese are battling their own inflation and also desire to replace the U.S. Dollar as the world's reserve currency...... enroute to seeing the U.S. as a second rate economy and world power. The Japanese are also over their head in debt and face massive rebuilding and political upheaval from the earthquake, Tusnami and nuclear power plant disasters.

So boys and girls, there is nothing to indicate an easing of Survival Preparations, fact, recent events and the Federal Government's admission of and inability to fix the debt, ease rising prices on fuel and commodities and inability to divert a collapsing economy all point to a necessary increase in Survival preparation.

Chris Martenson's newsletter with an article by Paul Tustain, sum up the debt issue as it related to a collpasing economy and the value of Gold and Silver:

"When a country's public debt exceeds 90% of GDP, that is the magic number. You get to 90%, there is no way back, and that is the number that the U.S. is going through pretty much as we speak. It is also the number which the UK has gone through; all of the PIGS are going through it, as well. They are all going past the 90% debt to GDP ratio. Obviously, Japan is miles past it already. It's up to 200%+. There does not appear, in the historical analysis, to be any great likelihood of getting back from that level of debt safely. There is this strong evidence that above 90% debt to GDP, you will experience either a cataclysmic default or some form of very serious inflation."

"So observes Paul Tustain, gold market analyst and founder of BullionVault. In his view, gold serves as a beacon who's price is currently signalling the monteary system is in grave danger."

So we are not out of the storm,...if anything we are in the eye of the storm with the backside of it stronger than anyone can predict.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Urban Survival Planning - Disease and Infection Threat

I think my two main medical worries during a collapse, which is large or sustained enough to severely degrade available medical support, would be:
1 - my ability or inability to treat common infections, and
2 – pandemic disease made mobile by mass migration of the population looking for food and safety.

The average Survivalist’s ability to procure and stock antibiotics is pretty limited. I suspect many individuals and survival groups are intending to minimize the threat of infection by robust preventive measures, such as a high level of cleanliness, and the use of non-traditional treatments such as herbs and home remedies.

If you watch the excellent After Armageddon Video Series I have on the left hand side of this page, you will see the video’s main character dying from an infection years after the initiation of the collapse (which was caused by a pandemic).

Although I cam concerned about pandemic disease, other than being careful with your handling protocols for strangers and stragglers and appropriate use of personal protective gear, there is not a lot that we can do about it in regards to stocking medication and being prepared to treat.

What is really scary is the new generation of super-infections that are resistant to most antibiotics, especially the common medications we are able to stock. The below is an article by Lisa Collier at Healthline on antibiotic resistant superbugs that I thought may give us all pause for thinking.

Antibiotic Superbugs CRKP & MRSA: Who's at Risk?

Misuse of antibiotics has led to a global health threat: the rise of dangerous—or even fatal—superbugs. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is now attacking both patients in hospitals and also in the community and a deadly new multi-drug resistant bacteria called carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae, or CRKP is now in the headlines. Last year, antibiotic resistant infections killed 25,000 people in Europe, the Guardian reports.

Unless steps are taken to address this crisis, the cures doctors have counted on to battle bacteria will soon be useless. CRKP has now been reported in 36 US states—and health officials suspect that it may also be triggering infections in the other 14 states where reporting isn’t required. High rates have been found in long-term care facilities in Los Angeles County , where the superbug was previously believed to be rare, according to a study presented earlier this month. CRKP is even scarier than MRSA because the new superbug is resistant to almost all antibiotics, while a few types of antibiotics still work on MRSA. Who’s at risk for superbugs—and what can you do to protect yourself and family members? Here’s a guide to these dangerous bacteria.

Understanding different types of bacteria.

What is antibiotic resistance? Almost every type of bacteria has evolved and mutated to become less and less responsive to common antibiotics, largely due to overuse of these medications. Because superbugs are resistant to these drugs, they can quickly spread in hospitals and the community, causing infections that are hard or even impossible to cure. Doctors are forced to turn to more expensive and sometimes more toxic drugs of last resort. The problem is that every time antibiotics are used, some bacteria survive, giving rise to dangerous new strains like MRSA and CRKP, the CDC reports.

What are CRKP and MRSA? Klebseiella is a common type of gram-negative bacteria that are found in our intestines (where the bugs don’t cause disease). The CRKP strain is resistant to almost all antibiotics, including carbapenems, the so-called “antibiotics of last resort.” MRSA (methacillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) is a type of bacteria that live on the skin and can burrow deep into the body if someone has cuts or wounds, including those from surgery.

Who is at risk? CRKP and MRSA infects patients, usually the elderly—who are already ill and living in long-term healthcare facilities, such as nursing homes. People who are on ventilators, require IVs, or have undergone prolonged treatment with certain antibiotics face the greatest threat of CRKP infection. Healthy people are at very low risk for CRKP. There are 2 types of MRSA, a form that affects hospital patients, with similar risk factors to CRKP, and another even more frightening strain found in communities, attacking people of all ages who have not been in medical facilities, including athletes, weekend warriors who use locker rooms, kids in daycare centers, soldiers, and people who get tattoos. Nearly 500,000 people a year are hospitalized with MRSA.

Keeping hospital patients safe. How likely is it to be fatal? In earlier outbreaks, 35 percent of CRKP-infected patients died, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported in 2008. The death rate among those affected by the current outbreak isn’t yet known. About 19,000 deaths a year are linked to MRSA in the US and rates of the disease has rise 10-fold, with most infections found in the community.

How does it spread? Both MRSA and CRKP are mainly transmitted by person-to-person contact, such as the infected hands of a healthcare provider. They can enter the lungs through a ventilator, causing pneumonia, the bloodstream through an IV catheter, causing bloodstream infection (sepsis), or the urinary tract through a catheter, causing a urinary tract infection. Both can also cause surgical wounds to become infected. MRSA can also be spread in contact with infected items, such as sharing razors, clothing, and sports equipment. These superbugs are not spread through the air.

What are the symptoms? Since CRKP presents itself as a variety of illnesses, most commonly pneumonia, meningitis, urinary tract infections, wound (or surgical site) infections and blood infections, symptoms reflect those illnesses, most often pneumonia. MRSA typically causes boils and abscesses that resemble infected bug bites, but can also present as pneumonia or flu-like symptoms.

How are superbugs related? The only drug that still works against the CRKP is colistin, a toxic antibiotic that can damage the kidneys. Several drugs, such as vancomycin, may still work against MRSA.

What’s the best protection against superbugs? Healthcare providers are prescribing fewer antibiotics, to help prevent CRKP, MRSA and other superbugs from developing resistance to even more antibiotics. The best way to stop bacteria from spreading is simple hygiene. If someone you know is in a nursing home or hospital, make sure doctors and staff wash their hands in front of you. Also wash your own hands frequently, with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoid sharing personal items, and shower after using gym equipment. The CDC has reports on Klebsiella bacteria and MRSA, discussing how to prevent their spread and has just issued a new report on preventing bloodstream infections.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Urban Survival - NIA's 12 Warning Signs of Hyper-Inflation

Here are NIA's top 12 warning signs that hyperinflation is about to occur:

1) The Federal Reserve is Buying 70% of U.S. Treasuries. The Federal Reserve has been buying 70% of all new U.S. treasury debt. Up until this year, the U.S. has been successful at exporting most of its inflation to the rest of the world, which is hoarding huge amounts of U.S. dollar reserves due to the U.S. dollar's status as the world's reserve currency. In recent months, foreign central bank purchases of U.S. treasuries have declined from 50% down to 30%, and Federal Reserve purchases have increased from 10% up to 70%. This means U.S. government deficit spending is now directly leading to U.S. inflation that will destroy the standard of living for all Americans.
UrbanMan's comment: This is like using one credit card to pay the bill of another. Unsustainable and leads the country to the brink of the dollar collapse.

2) The Private Sector Has Stopped Purchasing U.S. Treasuries. The U.S. private sector was previously a buyer of 30% of U.S. government bonds sold. Today, the U.S. private sector has stopped buying U.S. treasuries and is dumping government debt. The Pimco Total Return Fund was recently the single largest private sector owner of U.S. government bonds, but has just reduced its U.S. treasury holdings down to zero. Although during the financial panic of 2008, investors purchased government bonds as a safe haven, during all future panics we believe precious metals will be the new safe haven.

3) China Moving Away from U.S. Dollar as Reserve Currency. The U.S. dollar became the world's reserve currency because it was backed by gold and the U.S. had the world's largest manufacturing base. Today, the U.S. dollar is no longer backed by gold and China has the world's largest manufacturing base. There is no reason for the world to continue to transact products and commodities in U.S. dollars, when most of everything the world consumes is now produced in China. China has been taking steps to position the yuan to be the world's new reserve currency.

4) Japan to Begin Dumping U.S. Treasuries. Japan is the second largest holder of U.S. treasury securities with $885.9 billion in U.S. dollar reserves. Although China has reduced their U.S. treasury holdings for three straight months, Japan has increased their U.S. treasury holdings seven months in a row. Japan is the country that has been the most consistent at buying our debt for the past year, but that is about the change. Japan is likely going to have to spend $300 billion over the next year to rebuild parts of their country that were destroyed by the recent earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster, and NIA believes their U.S. dollar reserves will be the most likely source of this funding. This will come at the worst possible time for the U.S., which needs Japan to increase their purchases of U.S. treasuries in order to fund our record budget deficits.

5) The Fed Funds Rate Remains Near Zero. The Federal Reserve has held the Fed Funds Rate at 0.00-0.25% since December 16th, 2008, a period of over 27 months. This is unprecedented and NIA believes the world is now flooded with excess liquidity of U.S. dollars.

NIA believes gold, and especially silver, are much better hedges against inflation than U.S. equities, which is why for the past couple of years we have been predicting large declines in both the Dow/Gold and Gold/Silver ratios. These two ratios have been in free fall exactly like NIA projected.
UrbanMan's comment: Yesterday's closing Gold and Silver prices are: $1459.10 for Gold and $39.51 for Silver.

6) Year-Over-Year CPI Growth Has Increased 92% in Three Months. In November of 2010, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS)'s consumer price index (CPI) grew by 1.1% over November of 2009. In February of 2011, the BLS's CPI grew by 2.11% over February of 2010, above the Fed's informal inflation target of 1.5% to 2%. An increase in year-over-year CPI growth from 1.1% in November of last year to 2.11% in February of this year means that the CPI's growth rate increased by approximately 92% over a period of just three months. Imagine if the year-over-year CPI growth rate continues to increase by 92% every three months. In 9 to 12 months from now we could be looking at a price inflation rate of over 15%. Even if the BLS manages to artificially hold the CPI down around 5% or 6%, NIA believes the real rate of price inflation will still rise into the double-digits within the next year.

7) Mainstream Media Denying Fed's Target Passed. You would think that year-over-year CPI growth rising from 1.1% to 2.11% over a period of three months for an increase of 92% would generate a lot of media attention, especially considering that it has now surpassed the Fed's informal inflation target of 1.5% to 2%. Instead of acknowledging that inflation is beginning to spiral out of control and encouraging Americans to prepare for hyperinflation like NIA has been doing for years, the media decided to conveniently change the way it defines the Fed's informal target.

8) Record U.S. Budget Deficit in February of $222.5 Billion. The U.S. government just reported a record budget deficit for the month of February of $222.5 billion. February's budget deficit was more than the entire fiscal year of 2007. In fact, February's deficit on an annualized basis was $2.67 trillion. NIA believes this is just a preview of future annual budget deficits, and we will see annual budget deficits surpass $2.67 trillion within the next several years.

9) High Budget Deficit as Percentage of Expenditures. The projected U.S. budget deficit for fiscal year 2011 of $1.645 trillion is 43% of total projected government expenditures in 2011 of $3.819 trillion. That is almost exactly the same level of Brazil's budget deficit as a percentage of expenditures right before they experienced hyperinflation in 1993 and it is higher than Bolivia's budget deficit as a percentage of expenditures right before they experienced hyperinflation in 1985. The only way a country can survive with such a large deficit as a percentage of expenditures and not have hyperinflation, is if foreigners are lending enough money to pay for the bulk of their deficit spending. Hyperinflation broke out in Brazil and Bolivia when foreigners stopped lending and central banks began monetizing the bulk of their deficit spending, and that is exactly what is taking place today in the U.S.

10) Obama Lies About Foreign Policy. President Obama campaigned as an anti-war President who would get our troops out of Iraq. NIA believes that many Libertarian voters actually voted for Obama in 2008 over John McCain because they felt Obama was more likely to end our wars that are adding greatly to our budget deficits and making the U.S. a lot less safe as a result. Obama may have reduced troop levels in Iraq, but he increased troops levels in Afghanistan, and is now sending troops into Libya for no reason.

11) Obama Changes Definition of Balanced Budget. In the White House's budget projections for the next 10 years, they don't project that the U.S. will ever come close to achieving a real balanced budget. In fact, after projecting declining budget deficits up until the year 2015 (NIA believes we are unlikely to see any major dip in our budget deficits due to rising interest payments on our national debt), the White House projects our budget deficits to begin increasing again up until the year 2021. Obama recently signed an executive order to create the "National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform", with a mission to "propose recommendations designed to balance the budget, excluding interest payments on the debt, by 2015". Obama is redefining a balanced budget to exclude interest payments on our national debt, because he knows interest payments are about to explode and it will be impossible to truly balance the budget.

12) U.S. Faces Largest Ever Interest Payment Increases. With U.S. inflation beginning to spiral out of control, NIA believes it is 100% guaranteed that we will soon see a large spike in long-term bond yields. Not only that, but within the next couple of years, NIA believes the Federal Reserve will be forced to raise the Fed Funds Rate in a last-ditch effort to prevent hyperinflation. When both short and long-term interest rates start to rise, so will the interest payments on our national debt. With the public portion of our national debt now exceeding $10 trillion, we could see interest payments on our debt reach $500 billion within the next year or two, and over $1 trillion somewhere around mid-decade. When interest payments reach $1 trillion, they will likely be around 30% to 40% of government tax receipts, up from interest payments being only 9% of tax receipts today. No country has ever seen interest payments on their debt reach 40% of tax receipts without hyperinflation occurring in the years to come.

UrbanMan's comment: Things are not looking good for us or the U.S. You add antedotal information from large amounts of people buying Gold and Silver; buying guns; stocking food and you begin to believe that the path is irreversible. I hope not. I would just as soon have my Survival Preparation, Silver, guns and ammunition all stay on the shelves and in the gun safes. But I fear this is not going to be the case.

Message from NIA: It is important to spread the word about NIA to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, if you want America to survive hyperinflation. Please tell everybody you know to become members of NIA for free immediately at:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Survival Bug In Water Purification System - Just Water Complete Bucket System

If you are like me you probably have all sorts of water purification devices, from Survival Water Purification Straws (I have Aqua-Mira Frontier Pros), to Water Purification canteens (Aqua Mira Water Bottle System) to larger water pumps with purification filters (I currently have two Katadyn filters). I even have a couple of the water purification pitchers with replaceable filters. Yup. Can't live without water.

As a survival skill we all should know how to purify water using common chemicals such as bleach or providine iodine; through boiling; and through field expedient cloth-sand-charcoal filters, although having water purification tablets or drops (Aqua Mira Water Purifier Tablets and Drops are also in my kit) are other necessary items.

I just became aware of another handy water purification item, called the "Just Water, Complete Bucket System".

The base complete kit costs $ 47.45 - $ 57.50, the higher price if you want the arsenic filter. Replacement filters are $21.25 to $32.80 note: the filters are manufactured by Winfield and Black Jack Industries

The Company says they invented this to provide clean, drinkable water to disaster devastated areas, the Texas Baptist Men initiated the development of a practical, inexpensive, but very effective, ceramic water filter. They call it the “Just Water, Ceramic Drip-Filter.”

This water filter kits is described, from the Company, as, "A ceramic, .2 micron water filter. The micron removes water-borne bacterium. The inside of the filter is loaded with different media or ingredients, such as man-made carbons, mother nature carbons and man-made resins. Those different resins and carbons remove the different contaminants in the water."

"Once you start using the filter, the activated carbon is only good for 6 to 8 months. The anti-bacterial ceramic wall will work indefinitely. The media inside (such as the activated carbon) will pack over time. The filter needs to be shaken to unpack the media. The shelf life of the unit itself is indefinite. The only question in the carbon. Current figures say the unused carbon should have a shelf life between at least 2 or 3 years, if not much more. The sock has an indefinite shelf life. Replacement during use will depend on filthiness of the water source."

The Just Water, Complete Bucket System is advertised as meeting several standards:

National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) Standard 42
National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) Standard 53
ISO 9002 Quality Standard
USA AEL Laboratories
USA Analytical Food Laboratories
USA Johns Hopkins University
British 5750 Quality Standard
England’s Water Research council (WRc) Performance Standards

The filtration efficiency is 0.5 micron and capable of removing many contaminants:

>99% Arsenic 5 and 99% Arsenic 3 (special order filter)
>99% Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)
>95% Chlorine and Chloramines
>99% Taste
>99% Odor
>98% Aluminum
>96% Iron
>98% Lead
>90% Pesticides
>85% Herbicides
>85% Insecticides
>90% Rodenticides
>85% Phenols
>85% MTBE
>85% Perchlorate
>80% Trihalomethanes
>95% Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons
>99.999% of particles larger than 0.5 micron (Staffordshire University Labs)(includes Anthrax)
>99.7% of particles larger than 0.3 micron (Staffordshire University Labs)
>98% of particles larger than 0.2 micron (Staffordshire University Labs)
>100% Giardia Lamblia
>100% Cyclospora
>100% removal of live Cryptosporidium (WRc Standard)
>100% removal of Cryptosporidium (NSF Standard 53 – A.C. fine dust – 4 log challenge)
>100% removal of E. Coli, Vibrio Cholerae ( Johns Hopkins University )
>99.999% removal of Salmonella Typhil, Shigella Dysenteria, Kiebsiella Terrigena (Hyder Labs)

Product is silver impregnated and will not permit bacteria growth-through (mitosis); provides a hostile environment for all microbiological organisms and will not support their growth; and the Ceramic elements may be cleaned 100 or more times with a soft brush or damp cloth.

Performance Features:
Easy installation
Good flow rate / 14 to 17 gallons a day (gravity flow)
Up to 60-70 gallons per day (pressure flow)
Filter will accept water from floods, lake, rain, well, tap, river or stream
Semi/Annual filter replacement Cleansable with clean damp cloth
Shelf life is extended by shaking filter every 3-4 months to loosen media inside and prevent packing
Once in use, filter will last 6-8 months.

A system like this would be a good idea for a Survival Base Camp, saving your more portable water purification systems for mobile appliciations such as Bug Outs or security patrols.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Urban Survival - Radioactive Threat from Japan,....Is It Real?

There is some discussion on several of the Survival Forums about radiation protection in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami damage to one of Japan's nuclear energy plants causing radiactive fallout here in the U.S.  I have received more than a couple e-mails asking for information on radiation detection, protection and human propholaxis (such as the postassium iodine tablets). For the people who asked about potassium iodine sources and required doses ,I posted some information earlier on this site,...see it here. But for the record, I am not taking potassium iodine nor do I feel particular threatened by radioactive fallout from the Japanese disasters.

In en effort to put this matter to rest, I am posting an article from Yahoo! News - The Lookout which is also available to read here. I agree with the threat assessment from this article. The only benefit this has caused is to get people thinking more on generally preparedness.

We are much more likely to face radioactive threats from terrorist or terrorist state sponsored introduction and detonation of devices in our ports or on the ground inside this country.

Should Americans worry about radiation from Japan?

The EPA is stepping up efforts to monitor radiation levels in the United States following reports of elevated levels across the country as a result of Japan's nuclear reactor meltdown. Two states—Washington and California—reported finding trace amounts of radiation in milk this week. However, federal officials and nuclear experts have repeatedly assured the public that individuals in the United States do not face increased risk of radiation poisoning.

After the jump, we explore some common questions about the risks of radiation exposure both in the day-to-day and during a nuclear disaster.

How did radiation from Japan make its way into milk produced on the West coast?

Radioactive particles traveled through the atmosphere to the United States, where they settled on grass and in water that was consumed by some cows. The radiation passed through the cows and into the milk.

Should I be worried about radiation exposure from dairy products?

According to both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration, no. The milk samples taken in Washington and California contained radioactive particles at concentrations 5,000 times lower than the limit that the FDA has deemed safe for human consumption. FDA senior scientist Patricia Hansen told CNN that the radiation levels found in recent milk samples are "miniscule" compared to the exposure that people face in their daily lives. What's more, the particles found in the samples come from an isotope known as radioactive iodine, or iodine-131, which has a relatively short lifespan.

Should I be worried about food imported from Japan?

The FDA has banned all imports of fruits, vegetables and dairy products from the area of Japan near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Food products from Japan make up less than 4 percent of all U.S. imports, and the FDA has said that the risks to human health are still low if radiation-tainted products are consumed in moderation. Americans only face risk, the agency says, if they consume excessive amounts of such products.

How much radiation am I exposed to in my daily life?

As Peter Caracappa, a radiation safety officer and professor of nuclear engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute pointed out on NPR recently, radiation is a part of nature. "Everything that's living has some amount of radiation coming from it," noted Caracappa. "Plus there's radiation in the ground and the air."

Where might I encounter radiation in the course of an ordinary day?

Well, bananas, as Caracappa points out, contain radioactive potassium. And as this handy, tongue-in-cheek infographic shows, even sharing a bed with someone for a night will expose you to some radiation (about half the amount found in a single banana).

Is there a type of radiation that's particularly harmful to humans?

Ionizing radiation—the type of radiation people get exposed to in small doses when they receive an X-ray and in much larger doses via a nuclear catastrophe like the one in Japan—is able to alter the chemical makeup of human cells. Cellphones and microwave ovens produce much less harmful forms of non-ionizing radiation (though there has been much discussion about the possibility that radiation from cell phones can affect the brain). Most people are exposed to ionizing radiation through radon gas in the air we breathe.

What is radon?

Radon is a radioactive gas that can cause cancer. According to the EPA, it causes many thousands of deaths each year. It is odorless, has no taste, and is found all over the U.S. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water.

Americans are most at risk of radon exposure at home, particularly in basements, where it can seep in through cracks and holes in a home's foundation. The EPA encourages everyone to test their home for radon, and says that inexpensive radon reduction systems can reduce radon levels in a home by up to 99 percent.

What could exposure to high doses of ionizing radiation do?

Despite conservative firebrand Ann Coulter's recent claims—that exposure to radiation is good for the body, meaning the Japanese will actually benefit from the nuclear meltdown—the biological effects of high levels of radiation exposure are quite severe. The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) notes that just about every form of cancer imaginable has been linked to exposure to ionizing radiation.

Is there a level of exposure to ionizing radiation that is considered to be most deadly?

Because everyone reacts to radiation in different ways, the USNRC says that it's "not possible to indicate what dose is needed to be fatal." The most extreme examples of mass exposure to ionizing radiation were the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan in 1945 and the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Many of the victims in those incidents who were exposed to extremely high doses of ionizing radiation died within days, weeks, or months of radiation poisoning. Such poisoning essentially leads to the bodily organs shutting down one by one. The Mayo clinic chart shown at left illustrates what such radiation poisoning can do to the body.

Is there any chance of someone in the United States contracting radiation poisoning from Japan?

No. Every expert on the subject has unequivocally ruled out such a risk. Americans do face a possible risk of future cancers related to minimal exposure, but even that appears to be an extremely remote possibility at this point. The EPA is seeking to prevent such exposure via increased monitoring of radiation levels in potential sources such as milk, rain, and drinking-water supplies.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Urban Survival - Questions on Survival Priorities receives anywhere from 6 to 15 questions via e-mail each week. I try to, but usually don’t answer all of them. Some I will answer and some of them I turn into articles or posts. However I think it is telling that about 75% of the questions I receive are for Survival weapons or firearms and on the procurement of Silver (and sometimes Gold). I am going to answer the majority of the last few week’s of e-mails in this post.

Question:   Silver is very high now (UrbanMan’s note: currently at $37.81). I can’t afford very much at all. I know I should have bought some when it was around $20 a ounce (or lower), but given the high price and the fact that many analysts think it will not higher, should I spend my sparse survival preparation dollars on Silver?

UrbanMan’s Answer:  Having Silver and/or Gold is important. Not so important to substantially do into debt to procurement or to otherwise leave other categories of survival preparedness empty. Silver may not come back down, at all, so how would you feel three months from now if Silver is $50 an ounce, then you thought “wish I would have bought some Silver when it was $38 an ounce”? I bought the majority of my silver when it ws $4.50 an ounce. Even today I still buy Silver, even though my last purchase was at $35.35 an ounce or so. In another couple weeks, I’ll head down to the brick and mortar store and buy what else I can. It may be 4 ounces, may be eight or ten,…not sure yet, but I will still buy some one ounce rounds. Junk silver,..that is pre ’65 silver coins for silver melt value, may also be an option for you. I also have a collection of old U.S. silver coins,….just in case. Isn’t that why we are doing all this survival prep for anyway?,…just in case?

Question:  If I had $1000 to spend on Survival firearms what would be the better way to go? Buy several lower end weapons such as a handgun, shotgun and .22 LR rifle, or, buy a M-4 carbine or battle rifle?

UrbanMan’s Answer:  If I did not have any firearms at all, I would be much more inclined to procure several different firearms to fill the diverse survival needs or protection, hunting and training, and, be able to equip more people with at least one weapon, then I would be spending all of my money earmarked for Survival weapons on one gun. $1000 will certainly buy you an M-4, especially if you shop wisely, however does not leave a lot of money for a stock of ammunition and a decent amount of magazines or other accessories. With that same $1000, you could (again shopping wisely, buy a handgun in a decent caliber (9mm, .40 S&W and such), a 12 gauge shotgun (preferably a pump action) and a .22 LR rifle and have enough money to buy a couple handgun mags and a decent amount of ammunition for all three.

Question:  I am looking at buying a dehydrator. However, I would also like a vacuum packing machine (UrbanMan Notes: Food Saver type device) and a solar oven. How would you prioritize these purchases?

UrbanMan’s Answer:  Good question. My priorities if I did not have any of these items for my survival plan would be: 1 – vacuum packer, 2 – dehydrator, 3 – solar oven, in this order. You can make a field expedient dehydrator and a solar oven, but would be hard to make your own vacuum packer. I use my vacuum packer quite a bit. My vacuum packaged foods are one of many branches of stored food I have stocked for the bad times ahead (MRE's, bulk items, pantry canned goods, dehydrated food in vacuum packed #10 cans and Mainstay bars are others). I can easily make a solar oven, but even then propane and wood cooking will be my mainstay. In fact, put some rice and beans in a zip lock bag or glass jar, fill with water and let stand in the Sun for a few hours will produce a warm, edible meal, especially if you had the foresight to store spices as well. A field expedient dehydrator is easy to make as well. So my priorities would be first the vacuum packer, which I also use to vacuum pack spare clothes and other items for Bug Out Bags or my Survival Gear Kit Bags.