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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Gold and Silver Market Information

Another source for up to date information on precious metals and solid analysis specifically on the Gold and Silver markets is Private Bullion.

This site, ran by Scott Hage, provides easy to understand links between Gold and Silver and how the National Debt, Stock Market and other economic factors influence each other.

UrbanSurvivalSkills has long said that the smart Survival planner understands that Preparing for the Collapse or SHTF if you prefer, involves much more than stocking guns and ammunition. Surviving anything be it a bad blind date or SHTF requires planning and preparation,.....understanding the threat,...keeping on top of indicators for the collapse and taking the correct measures to ensure you are not caught flat footed.

Private Bullion is also a discreet source for precious metals: Gold, Silver, Platinum or Palladium as well as coins or a numismatic value or for melt value. We have long held that the complete Survival Preparer should have a quantity of at least Silver coins, both bullion and coins for silver melt value, in order to be completed covered for the many and diverse catalysts of collapse that all lead to American's struggling for food and security.

Add the Silver Bullion blog (link at top) to your bookmarks and spend a few minutes visiting their site every couple days or so to stay informed in the economic realm especially as it pertains to previous metals.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Post SHTF Disease/Healthcare Medical Planning

We received the following comment from a reader,....."I have three kids with insulin-dependent diabetes. In an ice chest, two 2-liter bottles of frozen tap-water will go 2 days without melting. Reserve an area of a open-top, chest-type, freezer to keep as many 2-liter ice bottles as is possible. These provide thermal-capacitance to the chest. In colonial days, ponds would be cut-up in winter -- WHAT?! -- In Northern states ponds could have a 3-ft thickness of ice. These huge slabs of ice would be mule-teamed into underground (giant root-cellars) keeps that stayed at around 55 deg F. Large amounts (actually MASSIVE) amounts of straw would be packed between these huge slabs of ice. Ice could be kept for months like this. With our modern forms of insulation, we can store small items for a long time -- especially if we intermittently get power or have a generator. Regular insulin will keep for a year or better, but ONLY if properly cooled (not frozen). Manufacturers of insulin used to keep a 6 month supply of insulin in powder form -- which could then be re-constituted. They will not sell insulin in powder form. "

UrbanMan's comments::  No doubt the reader with insulin dependent children has read "One Second After", which incidentally just came out in paper back.  This fictional account of survival after a EMP attack does not end well for insulin dependent people in the story.  This is a challenge I am fortunate enough not to have.  It is hard enough to plan for probable routine medical needs and emergency medical situations without having to stock and properly store vital medications for pre-existing diseases or conditions. 

I know of a gent who has a family member in need of home dialysis 3 to 4 times weeks.  Apparently this is through a semi-permanent tube into the body.  This gent's challenge is to procure enough dialysis supplies for a year with the intent at the six month mark to extend the supply by reducing the procedure which in turn would create a bed ridden patient. 

Very tough circumstances to work a solution for.   It seems for the insulin the only solution would be to procure years of supplies and develop a SHTF - Collapse proof cold storage capability.  Which may have to combine cold weather, underground and limited power solutions to work. 

Had anybody out there developed a solution for post STHF storage of vital medications? 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

STHF Prep: The Race for Physical Gold and Silver

From the article: The Global Physical Gold & Silver Reserves Race is the New Nuclear Arms Race. If the ownership of physical Gold and Silver is not important, then why are people, institutions and countries racing toward stockpiling it? Again, the complete Survival Plan must have some Gold and/or Silver. This is the same as having as Bug Out Bag,...having extra magazines for your rifle,....essentially the same as any contingency. Most preppers did not stock 6 months of food overnight, not did they accumulate a SHTF - Prepare for the Collapse Survival firearms battery overnight. This is a continuous process. I would rather have 6 ounces of silver than none; I would rather than 100 ounces when the collapse commenced than just 50 ounces. The purchase of Gold and/or Silver scares people sometimes because it's value can go down,...what about the value of food that you have bought and has spoiled? Or the AR-10 rifle you bought and will (hopefully) never have to use for the purpose you bought it for?

Add JS Kim and the above website to your financial indicators research and tracking list to be prepared for when SHTF otherwise known as the Collapse or Financial Armageddon.

The old Cold War USA-USSR nuclear arms race has been replaced by the East-West Central Bank battle to accumulate physical gold and physical silver reserves. While Western Central Banks and their puppet bullion banks have distracted and goaded private citizens with the invention of fraudulent bogus paper gold and paper silver derivative products, including ETFs more recently, and paper futures contracts for a much longer period of time, they themselves have been making sure to avoid the very fraudulent paper products they have invented and have been diving headfirst into real physical precious metals.

As Central Banks continue to significantly devalue all major global currencies through excessive creation of new supply out of thin air in a digital world where “new money” is never even printed into paper/cotton form but only is created as digital bytes that are sent across international borders, the private families that are the majority shareholders in the world’s most powerful Central Banks have engaged in heavy buying of physical gold in particular, and to a lesser degree, physical silver. In 2010, Central Banks as a group, became net buyers of physical gold after two decades as net sellers. EU Central Bankers became net buyers of physical gold for the first time during the 1st Quarter 2011 since their introduction of the heavily flawed Euro into circulation in January of 2002.

As of April 2011, China was, according to “officially reported” statistics, the sixth-largest official holder of gold, with 1,054.1 tonness, according to World Gold Council estimates. The U.S. was still reported to possess the largest gold reserves at 8,133.5 tonnes. However, all of you know by now that I believe all “officially reported” statistics, whether the statistic is GDP, unemployment, inflation, or gold reserves, to be a charade and mockery of the truth. To this day I am highly skeptical of the US reported reserves of 8,133.5 tonnes, especially since these reserves have neither been independently audited nor independently tested to ensure that they meet good-for-delivery bar status since Dwight D. Eisenhower was the US President in the 1950s. As for China ’s “officially reported” holdings of only 1,054.1 tons, anyone that takes these reported stats at face value as the truth is a fool for any number of logical reasons. One , China reported that its “official” gold holdings were a constant 600 tons from 2003 to 2009 and then reported that it had increased its holdings to more than 1,000 tons overnight in 2009. Since China lied about its gold reserve holdings for more than 6 years, one cannot and should not assume that their “officially” announced 1,054.1 ton level was truthful. Since China made that announcement in 2009, their “official” gold reserve level has not increased at all.

Anyone that believes that China has not accumulated more gold, and lots of it, since that time, does not understand the Chinese government and Chinese bankers. Chinese bankers have been studying the best ways to invest in gold and silver for many years now in preparation for this global monetary war and they realize that one of the best ways to invest in PMs is to own the real thing. Furthermore, there are multiple mechanisms by which China could be secretly increasing their gold reserves out of the scrutiny of the public eye. In 2008, China replaced South Africa as the largest gold producer in the world, but nobody really knows exactly how much gold China produces or how many proven/ probable reserves or how much measured/indicated resources they own. Thus, China could be increasing gold reserves significantly on in-house production alone. Certainly we know that China is increasing its silver reserves through a policy of decreasing its domestic silver exports and increasing its foreign silver imports.

For example, last month, China ’s General Administration of Customs reported that its net imports of silver nearly quadrupled year-over-year in 2010 to more than 3,500 metric tons. Also of important note is the fact that in 2010, China exported 1,575 metric tons of silver, 58% less than in 2009, and imported 5,159 metric tons of the metal, 15% more than in 2009. This is a huge change if one realizes that from 2005 to 2010 China transitioned from a net exporter of 2,900 metric tonnes of silver to a net importer of 3,500 metric tonnes.

From 2005 to 2010, China increased its gold holdings in its State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) more than tenfold from a very small starting point of USD $4.2 billion to USD $48.1 billion. However, China could be increasing gold (and silver) reserves significantly through purchases in its Sovereign Wealth Fund – purchases that are not made available for public inspection or consumption. For China to publicly announce their buildup of gold and silver reserves that would drive up the price of the very commodity they wished to accumulate more of would be akin to then-Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown’s foolish decision to pre-announce in 1999 that the UK would be selling half of its gold reserves.

Also of important note are the following facts. China only recently deregulated gold in 2003 to allow gold prices in China to mirror international prices. The Shanghai Gold Exchange only opened in October of 2002. In late 2009, the Chinese started making gold and silver bullion easily accessible to its citizens through introducing physical sales of multiple size bars at its banks and China finally legalized ownership of 99.999% pure silver bullion. The Chinese typically have a tendency to buy PHYSICAL gold and PHYSICAL silver, not the fraudulent paper gold and paper silver derivatives invented by bankers to suppress the price of gold and silver. For the first time ever, Chinese citizens will be able to buy silver futures in Hong Kong this week and later in Shanghai ; however, since the Chinese are fond of owning Physical metals, perhaps even the majority of Chinese may settle these futures contracts with physical delivery. Furthermore, even when the option to buy gold and silver ETFs in China becomes a reality, the average Chinese citizen may shy away from these products due to his or her propensity for owning real gold and real silver.

For Asians in general, gold and silver have always been money. In Thailand , the word for money “ngen” is also the word for silver. In China , the word for bank combines the characters for “silver” and “movement”. In China not only is private demand strong AND relatively young, but even in India , private ownership of gold bullion bars was not legalized until 1990. Thus, the war between East and West over gold and silver will intensify in coming months and coming years. The objective of the East will be to release the gold and silver price from the clutches of Western price suppression schemes while the objective of the West will be to hoard gold in an attempt to prevent citizens of Western nations from owning the asset that will protect them the most from their currency devaluation schemes.

The current talk in the mainstream financial media about gold being a bubble at $1,600 an ounce and of silver having already reached its top of its long-term peak at $50 an ounce is simply rubbish. A bubble is never defined by high prices, the perception of high prices or even a decade long rise in prices. What defines a bubble is a meteoric rise in price that is not supported by fundamental reasons. For example, the US NASDAQ dot.com stock market was a bubble because dot.com stocks that had zero earnings were trading at impossible valuations and sometimes double and triple digit dollar values per share. However, the fundamental reasons that have driven gold from $250 to $1,600 and silver from $4 to its current $39 – $40 range are even stronger today than they were at the beginning of this precious metals bull. Therefore, it is impossible for a bubble in gold and silver to exist at their current prices and at this current time.
And for this reason, this is precisely why the global nuclear arms race has been replaced by a global physical gold race. Welcome to the new global war in precious metals.

J.S. Kim
SmartKnowledgeU

JS Kim is the Managing Director and Founder of SmartKnowledgeU, a fiercely independent investment consulting and research firm that devises investment strategies to protect Main Street from the fraud of Wall Street.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

SHTF - Financial Armageddon with the Collapsing Economy

Very bad times we are living in now. The collapse of the whole financial system may be just a short few weeks or a couple of months ahead. Consider the National Debt,...a political football and economic anvil all the same. If the Government doesn’t work a miracle and come to an agreement on how to proceed, then the inaction will bankrupt this country, driving the value of the dollar down, driving fuel and commodities prices up and very possibility lead to riots in the streets. Yes, we are facing financial SHTF and the question is how are we going to Survive the Collapse.

Even if the Government comes to some sort of arrangement in any case increasing the Debt limit, the Country is screwed. The Fed, acting separate from the government will print more money.....this would be QE 3 – more paper fiat currency to flood the market and deflating the value of the dollar.

If the Government cuts spending,..imagine that concept,....the cuts will have to come at least partially from entitlements which would place more people in the have not column.

Just look at Gold and Silver: Gold has recently hit record highs, probably staying above $ 1,580 an ounce for the short term before going up,....and up. Two years ago, the silver/gold ratio was above 83, with gold selling at $804.60 and silver at $9.64. Last month it was 43.04!

The bailout of Greece will reduce the availability of European Nations to buy U.S. Debt. We'll soon see a distressed and broke Federal Government trying to bail out a couple of our failed States,...California and Illinois comes to mind as both drive up taxes in a pathetic attempt to generate revenue only to drive an average of 5 businesses a week out of their respective state.

Experts in the Economy are saying that housing prices are going to decline another 20%!! And that we are, for the very least, in for a 4 to 5 year recession which are going to make times very tough for at least 100 million Americans.

Have you wondered why the last International Monetary Fund (I.M.F.) head, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was removed and attacked so vicious and swiftly? Wondering why Timothy Geithner is about to leave his position shortly?

In the past week, Cisco, Lockheed Martin and Borders announced a combined 23,000 in job cuts. Meanwhile, state and local governments have cut 142,000 jobs this year. Whats going to happen when the Federal Government cannot pay for the massive amount of employees they have hired? Another 30,000 to 60,000 people on the street at once!

The common folk know the deal and it is bad. Here are just a few quotes I have from people who have been contacting me:

“The SHTF is coming. I'm have been taking money out of my 401K and buying something real and useful with it, rather than leave it there and have to load it in a wheel-barrow to buy a loaf of bread after the dollar collapses. Government causes inflation and uses it to reduce their debt in terms of buying power."

"Bernanke's agenda is that the dollar MUST be destroyed. Everything he does is toward that end."

"There has never been in a situation in my lifetime where a guy (President Obama) increases the debt by 40%, and GDP growth is on the way down, use of Food Stamps are up exponentially, millions more are unemployed -- and to accomplish this we spent $4 trillion of money we had to borrow. Way past time to prepare. Should have did it by now. The time now is to seek cover."

”I quit my job; took what I could out my 401K plan and moved the family to my in-laws farm. I am currently waiting it out. I’d like nothing more than to be here a year from now and have to move back to the city to get a job, but if not, then so be it, we’re ready.”

”Thanks for your site. Good interesting look at survival needs against the coming collapse. I took all of my savings out of the bank, bought a little silver, a bunch of food, sold my luxury sedan (eliminating a payment and bought a used truck). Now learning to grow my food. The question is not if the Shit Will Hit The Fan, it is when.”

Well, looks to me like many people thinking we are not going to have a successful conclusion to our country’s economic woes.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Food Prices Up, Shortage to Follow

Why Are Food Prices Rising So Fast?

If you do much grocery shopping, you have probably noticed that the cost of food has been rising at a very brisk pace over the past year. So why are food prices rising so fast? According to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, inflation is still very low and the economy is improving. So what is going on here? When I go to the grocery store these days, there are very few things that I will buy unless they are on sale. In fact, I have noticed that many of the new "sale prices" are the old regular prices. Other items have had their packages reduced in size in order to hide the price increases. But with millions of American families just barely scraping by as it is, what is going to happen if food prices keep rising this rapidly?

The food prices are especially painful if you are trying to eat healthy. Most of the low price stuff in the grocery stores is garbage. Eating the "typical American diet" is a highway to cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

But if you try to stick to food that is "healthy" or "organic" you can blow through hundreds of dollars in a heartbeat. In fact, the reality is that tens of millions of American families have now essentially been priced out of a healthy diet.

Soon there will be millions more American families that will not even be able to afford an unhealthy diet.

Some recent statistics compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics are absolutely staggering. According to a recent CNBC article, over the past year many of the most popular foods in America have absolutely soared in price....

Coffee, for instance, is up 40 percent. Celery is 28 percent higher while butter prices rose 26.4 percent. Rounding out the top five are bacon, at 23.5 percent, and cabbage, at 23.3 percent.

Unfortunately, it looks like the trend of rising food prices is accelerating. Just look at what the CNBC article says happened in the month of April alone....
Just in April—the most recent month for which data is available—grapes went up nearly 30 percent, cabbage jumped about 17 percent and orange juice surged more than 5 percent. Meat is becoming more expensive as well. Since March 2009, livestock prices have risen by 138%.

So when Ben Bernanke tells us that inflation is very low, that really is a lie. On the stuff that people spend money on every day (like food and gas), prices have gone up dramatically. Sadly, this is not just a phenomenon that is happening in the United States. The truth is that the entire planet is rapidly approaching a horrific global food crisis.

Over the past year, the global price of food has risen by 37 percent and this has pushed approximately 44 million more people around the world into poverty.

When food prices rise in the U.S. it may be painful for millions of American families, but around the world a rise in food prices can mean the difference between surviving and not surviving.

That is why it has been so alarming that the global price of wheat has approximately doubled over the past year.

But it is not just wheat that has been soaring. Check out what a recent Bloomberg article had to say about what has been happening to many key agricultural commodities over the past year....

Corn futures advanced 77 percent in the past 12 months in Chicago trading, a global benchmark, rice gained 39 percent and sugar jumped 64 percent. There will be shortages in corn, wheat, soybeans, coffee and cocoa this year or next, according to Utrecht, Netherlands-based Rabobank Groep. Prices also rose after droughts and floods from Australia to Canada ruined crops last year. European farmers are now contending with their driest growing season in more than three decades.

Even before this recent spike in food prices the world was struggling to get enough food to everybody. It has been estimated that somewhere in the world someone starves to death every 3.6 seconds, and 75 percent of those are children under the age of five.

So what is going to happen if food prices keep on rising at the current pace? That is a very good question. We really are starting to move into unprecedented territory. Nobody is quite sure what is going to happen next.

So why is all of this happening?

Well, a lot of people are blaming the Federal Reserve. All of the "quantitative easing" that the Fed has done has flooded the financial markets with money. All of that money had to go somewhere. Much of it has pumped up the prices of hard assets such as oil, gold and agricultural commodities.

But it is not just the Fed that is to blame. The truth is that central banks all over the world have been recklessly printing money.

When the amount of money in an economy goes up, the purchasing value of all existing money goes down. In the United States , that means that your dollars will not go as far as they did before.

But it is not just monetary policy that is affecting food prices. In 2010 and 2011 we have seen an unprecedented wave of natural disasters and crazy weather. This has caused problems with crops all over the globe.

In addition, U.S. economic policies are also playing a role. At this point, almost a third of all corn grown in the United States is used for fuel. This is putting a lot of stress on the price of corn.

Also, there are some long-term trends that are not in our favor. For example, the systematic depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer could eventually turn " America 's Breadbasket" back into the "Dust Bowl". If you have not heard of this problem I would encourage you to do some research on it.

Things are going to get a lot worse, but already America is having a really hard time feeding itself. According to Feeding America's 2010 hunger study, more than 37 million Americans are now being served by food pantries and soup kitchens.

So is that number unusual?

Yes, it sure is. The number of Americans that are going to food pantries and soup kitchens has increased by 46% since 2006. That is not a good trend. Another stat that I talk a lot about in this column is the number of Americans on food stamps. Right now, there are 44 million Americans on food stamps. Nearly half of them are children.

How did we ever get to the point as a nation where more than 20 million children end up on food stamps? It is estimated that one out of every four American children is currently on food stamps, and it is being projected that approximately 50 percent of all U.S. children will be on food stamps at some point in their lives before they reach the age of 18.

So what is going to happen if the economy gets even worse?

What is going to happen if there really is a major food crisis in this country someday? Food prices have been going up for decades and they are going to continue to go up. But the frightening thing is how fast they are increasing now.

As the U.S. middle class continues to be destroyed, the number of Americans that can't afford to buy enough food is going to continue to rise. Food prices are rising much faster than wages are, and that is not likely to change any time soon.

Food is rapidly becoming one of the most important global economic issues of this decade. The farther one looks down the road, the bleaker things look for the global food situation.

I hope you are prepared for that. So what are you going to do? Watch for deals. Stock food when you can. Be prepared, and start now, to grow your own.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Urban Survival - Bugging In Reader Comment

UrbanSurvivalSkills.com received the following comment on Bugging In from Jonathan: “(Bugging In) That's my plan-A. To dig in. Since I have no secondary property or location in which to bug out. I have the home field advantage in that I know the area and the people. Have established good relations with neighbors. Have the reputation of 'being there' for everyone when they need help fixing something or borrowing a tool. Which could be a good or bad thing. Only time will tell. My Plan-B is head for the woods (public land) for a limited time if we had to leave our
home for a limited time.Civil unrest, natural/man made disaster etc. Maybe not the best plan. However if we HAD to leave the house, that's my current plan.”


UrbanMan comments: Jonathan, you sound like a confident person with a plan. I don’t know how many times I have written that Survival is a Team Sport,…dripping survival prep to your friends and relatives,….developing your team to survive Armageddon,….developing relationships with your neighbors,…..being prepared for strap hangers to show up to your location asking for help, whether you know them or not.

In the worst case of a collapse, people are going to be looking for leadership. The person they hold in high esteem will be able to make a huge difference in keeping a team or community together, leveraging everyone’s contributions and capabilities. The worse the collapse and the situations we find ourselves in, the more difference leadership will make.

In order for the team or community to survive, organization of effort, security and basic sustainment needs to be addressed,…in other words, the best team in the world will turn on each other once the food or water runs out.

You also have a good idea with a Bug Out plan. Can’t stress that enough – to have a Bug Out plan just in case your Bug In location is untenable and if staying there, death would be certain. Hopefully your public land destination has a full time water source and defensible terrain. It gets out living in tents or lean to’s, so a fixed site may be better but it also draws attention. Think about cache some supplies either enroute to, or close to your Bug Out location.

Monday, July 18, 2011

SHTF Plan: Surviving with Ramen and a Gun

Received this question from Anonymous: ”Hey UrbanMan, I have stockpiled twelve cases of ramen, several bags of jerky, about 30 lbs of rice and a smaller amount of pinto beans and I have my ruger mini-14 which has never failed me. I have enough camping gear in case I have to rough it or move. I don’t have a gas mask yet. What else do you think I need to have?”

UrbanMan’s comments: That’s a hard question to answer. First of all you have to have an idea of the threats; then develop a plan to reduce those risks; then procure equipment and supplies to enable the plan. Ramen, rice, beef jerky and beans are all a good start to having one material aspect of a Surviving Armageddon plan,....meaning food,....but shelter, protection and water are all very necessary also.

Survival is a team sport, ...are you part of a larger element?.....maybe your family, friends, relatives and/or neighbors? If everyone prepared alike? Is your home going to a magnet for the unprepared following the beginning of a collapse? What about medical supplies and medications?,....have enough of that?

Do you have any precious metals in a form to barter to buy with such as Silver rounds or Gold coins?

Is the Mini-14 your only survival weapon? What about other firearms for the rest of your family or Survival Team to use. Protection and security is a 24/7 endeavor and this takes many people to do this and patrol and protect the group and the survival location.

If you are buying survival food commercially,...whatever you can afford, when you can afford it,..consider canned soup, dried meals such as mac and cheese, rice dishes,.....consider jars of nuts. I recently bought sixteen large jars of nuts at a wholesale nut factory for $80. I am basing my economic collapse survival food on much more than pantry items, although they are very necessary but primary as a ready food supply. I am stocking dehydrated commercial foods, Main Stay Survival bars, and some large bulk rice, beans, pasta, etc.

However, the big points I want to make with you is that you have to have a team and the team needs to focused on a common goals. You should have a plan and work towards the material procurement and operational readiness of that plan. That plan should include a Bug Out sequel. No matter how secure you feel in your main Bug In survival location,...have a Bug Out plan and it would be best to Bug Out to a secure, prepared site. Hope this makes sense and hope it helps. Urban Man.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Armageddon - a Fixed Survival Blade Recommendation

I received a personal e-mail asking me for my recommendation on a good fixed blade, as the requester put it "to accompany someone through Armageddon." I guess that means the primary consideration of a knife that won't break.

Now I own a bunch of large fixed blades knives: a custom, bone handle 8 inch blade Bowie; a parkerized Bowie made by LaRue Tactical when they were still making knifes; a Special Forces Yarborough Knife designed by Bill Harsey; a older SOG Bowie Knife; and even an old Ka-Bar. All that actually have given to me. They sit on a shelf, gathering dust, but are great to un-sheath and handle from time to time, and, as clumsy as I am I'd do better to leave them along. But I know I have some good knives if I need one.

I was also asked this question months ago and I believe I oriented the requester to some cost efficient knives,....this time I'm upping the ante and am going to introduce a company who higher dollar blades I have seen twice in the past year carried by some professional trigger pullers involved on a project with me.

The company is Spartan Blades from Aberdeen, North Carolina just west of Ft Bragg, home of the Army Special Forces and some other unit whose names eludes me.

Curtis Iovito and Mark Carey, Co-Founders of Spartan Blades, LLC, created Spartan blades, in which they say "“Knives with Intent”, designed from their 40 years combined experience in US Army Special Forces.

The knives I saw being carried put me off at first because of their somewhat futuristic design, but when I handled them I was impressed with the balance and workmanship. So if my reader was looking for a blade that would seemingly endure the assumed hardships of Armageddon then Spartan blades are a candidate. Visit their website at http://www.spartanbladesusa.com

Here are a couple of their offerings:

Nyx - the primordial goddess of night and darkness. The “Nyx” is a fully capable combat/utility knife. This sturdy blade, has a thick belly that is perfect for field related tasks such as carving aiming stakes, building hide sites, or simply cutting a piece of 550 cord. The blade geometry lends itself to field dressing game also. The “Nyx” is the perfect companion for the Sniper, Ranger, Scout or any soldier working in a field environment.


Specifications:
Knife Name: Nyx
Designer(s): Iovito/Carey
Overall Length: 10"
Blade Length: 5 1/8"
Blade Thickness: 3/16"
Blade Steel: CPM S30V
Blade Hardness: 58-59 HRC
Blade Style: Hybrid / Recurve—designed as a sturdy field/utility knife.
Coating: SpartaCoat - PVD - DLC (Flat Black) or ZrN (Flat Dark Earth)
Handle Material: CE Canvas Micarta® Black, Green or Natural Tan
Weight: 0.48 LBS


Ares (ArĂªs) - a fitting name for this knife, Ares in Greek mythology was the son of Zeus and Hera, the god of savage war, bloodlust and slaughter personified on the battle field. “Ares” is manufactured for the modern warrior as a military fighting / utility knife with several distinctive features to assist the serious military professional. This knife was specifically engineered for and with the input of U.S. Special Operations Forces and Other Government Agencies.

Specifications:
Knife Name: Ares
Designer(s): Iovito/Carey
Overall Length: 10 1/2"
Blade Length: 5 3/8”
Blade Thickness: 3/16”
Blade Steel: CPM S30V
Blade Hardness: 58-59 HRC
Blade Style: Fixed Drop Point—this design allows for strength of the blades tip by placing it in line with the users hand while keeping the upward curve of the cutting edge.
Coating: SpartaCoat - PVD - DLC (Flat Black) or ZrN (Flat Dark Earth)
Handle Material: CE Canvas Micarta® - Black, Green or Natural Tan
Weight: 0.422 LBS

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Urban Survival Planning - Buggin In,....May Be the Best Choice

Received a comment from Anonymous about Bugging In: "I like this idea of bug-in, and think it merits more thought than most survival sites give it. The biggest problem with bugging in as you state is limitations on food/water and concerns with armed gangs. Where I live in NW suburbia, water is not an issue. For a homeowner, there really is no storage limitation on food, meds and bullets
- just how much you want to spend. I live in a neighborhood with folks I know and trust already. Rather than cart the family off to the hills and realistically face a lot of issues with mother nature and the people who got there first, my plan is to bug-in also. We'll arm the neighbors and plan for a 1-yr stored-food scenario. "


UrbanMan replies: As much as I am planning on Bugging In, I also have a Bug Out Plan,...in fact, several plans and locations depending upon the situation and the threat. Of course, you are right in unless you have a lot of resources to stock Bug Out locations, the plan of Bugging In allows for the Survivors to stock a great deal of supplies and equipment,......unless you live in an apartment.

Bugging In, also requires some factors to be in place:

Away from refugees natural travel patterns for obvious reasons, and I would also be concerned about

a close proximity of jails and prisons. One of my clients lives in a sub-division next to a large country jail that houses about 1,200 prisoners. This is not a good thing.

Having knowledge of your neighbors; building rapport with them; and creating a semblance of a team, as survival is a team sport. A neighborhood watch program is a good idea and that program can be used to "drip" survival or disaster prep to these neighbors. Also allows them to build trust in you and for you to develop credibility. People will be looking for leaders during a collapse.

Have access to water and have the resources to grow your own food. And how huge would it be for all of your neighbors to grow vegetables as well? You can grow a few vegetables and give them to your neighbors now, and perhaps interest them in growing food as well. Especially if they are on a fixed income (aren't we all?) where this will pay off starting right now.

Sounds like you have you head on straight and there are more of us who put stock in Bugging In than not. Cheers. UrbanMan

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cell Phone Security

UrbanSurvivalSkills.com was sent the following for our opinion: "I have a question on cell phone jammers and using cell phones to find someone or listen to their conversations. I read on prepared society that the government can listen to our phones when they are off and can download pictures and find out where we are at with GPS coordinates. Someone recommended getting a cell phone jammer. What is the deal on this?"

UrbanMan replies: I am not going to get into depth on this issue, but I'll tell you this,....The government cannot listen to cell phones unless they get a Title III warrant. If you thinking that Law Enforcement agencies routinely violate this, like you see in the movies, then you are ill informed. Not only would an agent or officer lose his job, he/she will go to jail and be open to a Federal Tort Claims in which his/her (former) agency would NOT provide legal resources to fight. However, it is important for Survivalists to understand the adaptation, restrictions and "two edged sword: nature of technology,....just in the rare chance a severe form of a police state being implemented and impacting on us. I don't think this will happen, but I don't think we'll face an EMP attack either, but that does not stop me from thinking about.

Some phones that take pictures will embed a meta file in the photo which provide a geographic coordinate from where the picture was taken. Useful if the government seizes a phone showing suspects sitting on a couch giving gang signs with narcotics on the coffee table. The way these photographs are downloaded is through a Universal Forensics Extraction Device (called a UFED), the most common being a Cellebrite, which you local cellular provider has in order to clone phones when you upgrade. The UFED can also download text messages and phone number lists.

There is nothing to stop the government from finding your phone through identifying your signal and determining where that signal is coming from using direction finding equipment and digital mapping programs working in tandem. This is some of what Signals Intelligence people do in the armed services as well.

There is software that can be loaded onto a phone to turn it into a "hot microphone" without the owners knowledge. Again this is restricted to a Title III warrant.

You can remove battery and usually be safe, however it is fairly easy to install a small battery that will power the phone for several hours, from which it can be "pinged" in order to gain a geographic coordinate or at the very least a line of bearing from an intercept

The web enabled phone are great for convenience, but they present additional problems with the ability to download a program into the phone via a wireless connection. In fact, there is a new market for regular, non-web enabled phones due to their simplicity and lower costs. These are safer.

The cell phone jammer? They'll work if it is on the dash of your car and your front seat passenger is trying to make a call, but outside of a few feet the commercially available to the public cell phone jammers are a waste of money. Hell, just turn the radio up!

Be aware of how technology is used; be aware of identity theft possibilities and you can be measurably safer.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Survival Planning - Food, Labor and Materials,....Not Gold!

UrbanSurvivalSkills.com received this this comment via e-mail: "I really appreciate the practical information on your site, without all the 'kill Bama' crap you get from most sources. I've done my homework and collected my emergency food, learned heirloom gardening, purchased a few firearms with ammo... But I can't wrap my head around the Gold and Silver.....I keep some bug out cash on hand, but after paper money has lost it's value... I'm having trouble picturing anyone trading a box of ammo for a silver coin. I certainly won't be selling any of my ammo for a hunk of metal. A bag of rice on the other hand? I just tend to think of food, tools and labor being the only real currency after TSHTF."

UrbanMan's comments: I rarely get around to other Survival Sites, but I have not seen any real radical written crap about anything including threats to President Obama. It would be unfortunate if Survival Sites became known for that as it would feed one common perception that people who are taking responsibility for their own lives and prepping for bad things to come, aka SHTF, are extremists or even racists. Nothing in my interaction with preppers leads me to believe that most of us are like that. Still you have Homeland Security reports about lumping gun owners, veterans and survivalists with extremists,.....go figure.

I think you are on the right track,...food, firearms, preparing to grow your own food. Keeping some Bug Out cash on hand is also a good idea. I look at Gold and Silver,..primarily Silver,..but the same concept,....as another necessary survival item. The long term value of precious metals is anyone's guess, but I am pretty certain that there will be a time span after the dollar starts to go south (more so than it is now) and before straight barter for food (primarily) and materials (secondarily) where Gold and Silver will be a commonly acceptable (and perferred) commercial exchange method.

Plus these are facts or opinions weigh on the side of having at least some physical silver or gold:

There will certainly be an instance or two of a survivalist bartering with another who does not really need anything, but precious metals may make the deal.

There are just way too many people, among the respected financial advisors and even the unknown that recommend buying physical gold and silver.

If and when QE3 is announced,....QE is Quantitive Easing, where the Government prints more money further reducing the value fo the dollar, .....gold and silver will just go absolutely bonkers. Just way too many people saying you have to own it.

Here's a recent article from Chris Martenson's site: Prepare for Bullion Prices to Go Supernova

I started buying Silver around 1980 or there abouts, when it was $4.50 an ounce. I was lucky enough to inherit a large cigar box of Silver coins as well......I'm holding onto these for their Silver Melt value. I have even bought small amounts of silver rounds at $33 an ounce, just before it went up briefly to $50.

None of this is for investments. This is for straight survival purchasing during or after a collapse. Silver and the small amount of Gold I have hold the same significance to me as does everything else I have collected in preparing for SHTF,....firearms, ammunition, solar power systems, water storage, seeds (both non-hybrid and hybrid), sleeping bags, manual tools, dehydrated foods, cases of MRE's,....as well as all the vacuum packed food and canned or dried pantry food that I stock.

It's just my humble opinion that the complete Survivalist's would hold some Silver (and maybe Gold) just "in case". How much is necessary? I don't know. But say ten ounces in your safe or Bug Out bag is better than not having any at all.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Urban Survival Preparation - Extremists Poses Threats to Survivalists

There has been a trend in the last few years of extremists groups standing up or otherwise becoming known in the more remote or rural areas of the United States, especially up in the Pacific Northwest and interior States like Montana. I was sent much of the following on e-mail and asked to comment on what this meant to the person or family prepping for surviving a collapse.

These two geographic areas, among others, are often chosen locations of people desiring to live apart of have plenty of room, but it also attracts sometimes-violent and sometimes racist motivated anti-government activity.

Recently a former "milita leader", David Burgert, is accused of opening fire on sheriff's deputies on a remote logging road in Lolo National Forest. Burgert is accused of firing shots at Missoula County sheriff's deputies June 12 before he disappeared into the Lolo National Forest. Burgert is a longtime patriot activist who spent eight years in prison on weapons charges — he had a machine gun when he was arrested — and U.S. authorities charged him at the time with trying to spark a revolution. He was released in 2010.

I really don't appreciate violent or racist groups calling themselves "militia's" nor do I like the U.S. Government lumping all people that own guns or have a survivalist mentality as "militia types".

Hence lies the problem or threat,......of having your Survival Group or chosen Survival location being associated with these nut jobs.

There was a long lull following the demise of the Hayden Lake, Idaho based neo-Nazi Aryan Nations in 2000, but to be sure anti-government and white supremacist groups and individuals are reviving in the Inland Northwest. On the surface some say the general location is due to the mostly white, mostly rural area with few job opportunities and a history of extreme activists. Others say that the number of these radical and racist groups is growing across the country because of the poor economy, rising immigration and fears that President Barack Obama's administration has an agenda to curtail individual liberties.

In January 2011, an attempt was made in Spokane, Washington to bomb the city's Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade. The bomb was found and disarmed before it could explode. The FBI called it an act of domestic terrorism that could have killed and injured many people. White supremacist Kevin Harpham has been charged in the case and could face life in prison. His trial begins in August.

A patriot group called Flathead Liberty Bell recently held a convention featuring right-wing speakers and sale of survival gear for what organizers believe is a coming showdown with federal authorities. But the difference between being prepared for a collapse or a showdown with authorities is often lost on authorities, and herein (again) lies the threat of being taken or associated with radical racist groups. I don't want my Survival Group on any Law Enforcement's radar for false impressions or investigative targeting.

These radical groups also pose a threat to Survival Groups during a collapse as their combat power and lack of recognition of authority may orient these groups to targeting small survival groups. So this means that Survival Groups will need to keep operational security tight and vet contacts with other groups or risk exposure on end up on a altogether different targeting list.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Survival Gardening Lessons Learned

Received this e-mail from a reader: My wife and I started a survival garden this year. I learned so many things which will come in handy if I have to rely on growing my own food. Not only do we learn good lessons, but we can stretch our shrinking dollars and get just tickled seeing things grow.

UrbanMan's comment: Absolutely. I highly encourage growing a survival garden to help reduce food costs, gained lessons learned and have those skills when it IS a life and death struggle.

1. Give pests more credit than not. Use rabbit proof wire - this is a one time purchase as it can be used time and time again.
2. Pull weeds as soon as you see them. Don't wait or you'll be over whelmed. I can see that on a Survival Team, a designated person primarily responsible for the garden with labor from the rest of the group is the way to go. You have to have some in charge that knows what they are doing. Heck our lives may be in the balance.

3. Buckets cut in half to make two donuts are good containers in the ground as they direct water directly over the roots and won't let any seeds gets washed away. You can buy store bought edging to make a donut and they can be used over and over but if you are trying to make your garden as monetarily efficient as possible then improvise with buckets.



4. During 100 degree heat most plants require watering in the morning AND evening. So be as water efficient as you can.
5. Be creative for your soil. In my sandy area I use horse and cow manure that I get for free, minus the gas for my truck to go get it, to mix with the sand. My wife is now used to saving vegetable leftovers and skins for our compost heap.
6. My experience is if the seed packet says "fruit in 60 days", plan for 90 days, or even more. Most of our vegetables produced very late.
7. Beans too much water and care for the output.
8. Onions easy to grow and do not use a prohibitive amount of water.
9. Squash and cucumber are easy to grow, produce good product for the required care and water.
10. Corn - easy to grow. Be careful where you grow it as other people can see the stalks,....they may be thinking "where there is corn there may be other vegetables as well."
11. Carrots, for me, were hard to grow. In fact, this endeavor was a failure. Could be the soil and lack of nutrients, but then again most of the other crops grew. Next, I'll start the carrots in- doors until they sprout.
12. Finally, my tomatoes are my prize vegetable. They are growing well in half shady area. I am growing two different types.

Our plan is to can some of the vegetables and dry others so we developed lessons in the preservation techniques. I have a canning setup with 24 mason jars and a dehydrator.

Monday, July 4, 2011

FEMA Alert on Zombie Threat Preparation

Looks like UrbanSurvivalSkills.com isn't the only site preaching survival preparedness that is talking about the Zombie Threat,.......


From CDC - Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse
Editor's Note: We wanted to share a blog post from our friends at the Centers for Disease Control. Preparing for a zombie attack, or other fictional disasters, can provide useful tips to get prepared for a real disaster. The following is an excerpt of the original blog post on the CDC Public Health Matters Blog May 16th, 2011 by Ali S. Khan.

There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.

The rise of zombies in pop culture has given credence to the idea that a zombie apocalypse could happen. In such a scenario zombies would take over entire countries, roaming city streets eating anything living that got in their way. The proliferation of this idea has led many people to wonder “How do I prepare for a zombie apocalypse?”

Go to the FEMA Blog and see what they recommend to prepare against the threat of Zombies:

http://blog.fema.gov/2011/05/from-cdc-preparedness-101-zombie.html

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Urban Survival - Counter Surveillance and Situational Awareness

I was sent the below video seemingly because it supports the Right to Keep and Bear Arms with a Concealed Weapons Permit holder fighting back against an attempted murder/robbery. So watch the video and see what you think.

Robbery Attempt ends in shootout value="true">

What I see, hear and feel is several things unrelated to the 2nd Amendment.

1 - The citizen who fought back with his own handgun, just got plain lucky. To draw after being shot, let along drawing against a drawn gun is much more often than not a losing proposition. Sure, nothing else the citizen could have did at that point, but plenty he could have did prior to the confrontation.

2 - Developing situational awareness to "read" your environment in order to determine what is out of place and what may be "too" in place. What and who is trying hard to seem "in-place" and not arouse your suspicion? If you were in the service you have certainly been asked by a Drill Sergeant "Hey Boy, you looking for your discharge?" as a reminder to keep your head up and eyes forward. Same thing here,...don't go through life looking on the ground or fixated on where you are going. Cultivate the ability to observe all around you. Use peripheral vision and the mirrors on your vehicle. Don't just consider what is close by, say within 50 yards,.....observe and identify possible threats past your immediate area - this is called your area of influence or an area where things can occur in that can influence events in your immediate area. We have previously talked about this as the OODA Loop. In short a continuous process of Observing, Orientating (on possible threats), Deciding and Acting. Apply this now; get good at it; and it will become second nature.

3 - Know the common and routine vehicles in your area. Do the drivers match up to the vehicles they drive. Three scruffy young men in vehicle that make too much eye contact with you, or avoid making any eye contact at all should elevate your spidy sense.

4 - A cursory scan of concealed places around where you park and along your route to your front door is, necessarily, in order. Very common tactic is to wait in shadows and attack the target (meaning you) while you are in the light and especially when artificial light blinds you to the attack.

5 – Be aware of people reconnoitering your home or survival site as they are looking to complete a target package. Seemingly harmless interactions such as sales calls, religious people giving away written material, or people asking for directions can get someone legitimately close enough to gather details such as types of door and window locks; presence of dogs; you general security level; look at the interior of your house for valuables or a visual of your floor plan.

6 – Another recon technique is to do a slow roll by in a vehicle and use a video camera to film for later study. I have used video glasses for walk up visual recons on structures, so I’m sure the bad guys can too.

7 – Develop a duress code with your family or survival group members so as a routine measure or if you are suspicious of someone being in your home you can call and your family members can use a benign, innocent one word code word built into a sentence to cue you that they are under duress. Duress simply means someone has a gun on them. This is one way you have a chance at avoiding walking into a home invasion in progress.