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Monday, April 30, 2012

Reggie Bennett, Survival Instructor and High Tech Survival Tools

In my mind's eye I see a person surviving in the wilderness as a short term venture. A person spending all day working on survival tasks such as repairing or improving a lean to or dug out shelter; procuring fire wood; checking and setting traps and snares; maybe laying in fishing lines; repiaring gear or clothing; procuring edible or medicinal plants; constructing hunting weapons and tools.

Again, all of this is short range survival - very few people can do this for even weeks on end, let alone year in and year out, through all sesons and weather conditions. But this does not mean that the well prepared Survivor should discount these wilderness survival skills. Perhaps the main objective of these skills is to give a person confidence for all situations and to orient the survival mindset or what Reggie Bennett calls the positive mental attitude.

I stumbled across this article on Reggie Bennett, Virginia based wilderness survival instructor, from a Yahoo! article by Marc Istook:

If you want to learn survival skills, be it low or high tech, Reggie Bennett is the man. Friendly and unassuming, at first glance you may not realize that he is the quintessential survivalist. But with U.S. military training that taught him how to brave some of the globe's harshest conditions, and his time spent instructing Air Force pilots on how to survive, he is uniquely equipped to teach others at his Mountain Shepherd Wilderness Survival School in Catawba, Virginia.

On a sprawling 100 acres, Reggie and his wife Dina host everyone from housewives to schoolkids, CEOs to active-duty armed forces, and one lucky Yahoo! News host — yours truly. You don't mess around with Reggie.

The open spaces in Virginia make a great location for this kind of training. It's close enough to Roanoke that it's easy for guests to fly in. But it's remote enough that you feel at one with nature — even if that does mean I spent hours searching in vain for a cell phone signal. To sum up Reggie's vast knowledge in one training session would be impossible. So he makes his survival tips simple, boiling them down to seven key priorities. They involve the basics, like finding food, water and shelter.

A bit more complicated — starting a fire, signaling for help and providing first aid. But the most important aspect according to Reggie: maintaining a positive mental attitude. It's a perspective that's accessible to anyone braving the elements. And without it, he says, surviving becomes significantly more difficult. Reggie's training taught him how to make it out of the wilderness with nothing but the most primitive tools.

But with the help of a little technology, we can increase our odds of survival in almost any situation. Modern water purifiers use advanced filtration methods to keep us hydrated. Cell phone and GPS technology can help us find our way, or help rescuers locate us more quickly than ever. Today's compact, efficient batteries and solar power units keep our gadgets charged, long after the power — and cell phone signal - has gone out.

Don't forget to keep a positive mental attitude! Low tech or high tech, Reggie has found a way to make the idea of surviving fun. His school takes all comers, from those wanting to learn simple camping tips to mountain men looking to conquer the wild. I highly recommend meeting Reggie and checking out his survival school. Maybe I'll even see you there… just keep your eyes peeled for the slightly lost Yahoo! host, desperately seeking a cell phone signal.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Planting Survival Crops

Anonymous wrote UrbanSurvivalSkills with these comments: ”The last couple years I have been planting some vegetables so supplement our food supply. I find the Farmer’s Almanac a very good source of information. I don’t have a very green thumb so I am sure I can do much better but I am grateful for having the past couple of years practice to refine my gardening. I have saved coffee cans with plastic lids and now have eight cans full of seeds for my post-chaos survival garden. Wanted to let you know about the Farmer’s Almanac.”

UrbanMan reply: Mr Not So Green Thumb, join the club. I suck at gardening too. I make every attempt at growing vegetables every year and about half my effort is thwarted by something or another. Even then there are some vegetables that are pretty easy to grow. Squash and Cucumber is high on my list as being easy to grow. My Green Beans, Carrots and Corn did poorly last year, however Egg Plant was a marginal success.

My team’s survival plan is roughly the same for the eight families we have on the team. Each family grows some type of vegetable at their home. To learn and practice these skills; to supplement their own food supply; and to harvest what they could when they need to Bug Out to my place or our backup site. Best case scenario, as the pre-collapse events get denser, we would begin to re-locate some items before it becomes dangerous or impossible to do.

Most of our families are planting in containers which can be moved, so I am expecting many more containers to fill up the back yard at our primary and secondary Bug In sites, virtually becoming a large garden. But, again I suck at gardening. Which brings up another point…having a well skilled grower on your team.

Two of the ladies on our Survival Team are skilled gardeners with earnestly earned green thumbs. In a perfect world if all of the families make their way to one central location, we will have two primary tenders of our survival garden. That frees up 14 other adults for other survival tasks such as guard, procurement patrols, security patrols, radio watch, general fabrication, maintenance and repair. …and of course I am reminded to help in the garden.

We are looking at a solar powered and re-charged pump for our rain barrels in order to irrigate our gardens automatically rather than the time consuming by hand method, although by hand allows for a targeted amount of water per plant enhancing our water conversation.

We all have collection of seeds. Some of us have the heirloom seed kits in vacuumed packed #10 cans or in sealed ammunition cans. We all have a robust supply of hybrid seeds for initial planting at the Bug in site, saving the heirloom seeds in case we have to Bug Out, as well as using the hybrid seeds for barter.

Lastly we have a green house kit with thick mil clear plastic. We only have one, but are thinking about buying another kit. Out intent is to take these kits with us if/when we Bug Out, but if it looks like we are staying on site, Bugging In, we’ll erect the green house in the fall to produced some vegetables for our consumption and barter. Our general idea is to mostly use vegetables for barter because if we use packaged “survival” food for barter, people may get the idea that we have a lot more – which we do…..just trying to minimize risks.

The Farmer's Almanac is a good resource. I have a couple of them, but the newest one has got to be 4 or 5 years old, so I'll take your e-mail as a reminder to pick up a newer copy. Thanks and prepare well.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Solar Power Comments

ALEX has left a new comment on "Survival Chronicles of Jim - Chapter 24 Dry Run": "Ever think about a small solar panel like the ones you can plug into a car that is going to be sitting to keep the battery fresh? I'm thinking about getting one along with a small sealed 12v battery like the ones inside of a portable jumpstarter. They can both be found on eBay or Amazon fairly cheap.

This way anything you can charge from your car you could charge from this setup and recharge via the sun. My plan is to have this in my B.O.J. (Bug Out Jeep) so the portable battery can be charged from the jeep until I need to continue on foot then I could put the battery in my BOB with the small solar panel on the outside of the bag to charge the battery if need be. I found a 5w panel I like for around $40 on amazon and I kinda think that should work to charge the battery in a full day of sunlight. as for the weight of the battery its not that heavy but ounces equal to pounds and pounds equal to pain. but if you want to charge batterys cell phones gps flashlights run a cb or ham radio or any other thing like that it could be a nice setup.......unless theres an EMP and all your shit gets fried....but at least you tried lol."

UrbanMan replies: Alex, I have several solar panels from a 62 watt folding panel for my BOB up to larger ones for my Bug In site that I can rapidly disassemble and pack for a planned Bug Out. On the vehicles, most of us have solar trickle chargers. I don't know how long how long or even if one of these would charge a fully discharged battery or even one with a substantial reduction of charge.

I have several re-chargers for AA and AAA rechargeable batteries that I can run off my vehicles 12v system, as well as charging for cell phones. I think that post-collapse, cell towers will be up for awhile due to many of them having solar systems themselves as well as fuel generators for power outages.

On my larger solar panels, I can charge 12v vehicle batteries. From which I can run a power inverter to convert the battery power to 110v.

I actually have three sets of mobile solar panels, each with three panels and a simple framework of 2x4 lumber so I can move the panels throughout the day to acquire the best angle at the Sun. I recently saw pictures of where a gent mounted solar panels on a dolley type cart to make moving them around much easier. Great idea, we are considering that now.

One of the members of my group has a solar generator from MySolarBackup, which is a 1800 watt power generator powered by a 90w solar panel. We have cross loaded some of our major equipment and this unit is staying at this families house, which is our backup Bug In site, just in case.

And speaking of Jeeps, have you seen the new Jeeps being offered? I really like the cab over especially with the enhanced ground clearance. I would love to have one of those!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Book Review: Holding Their Own

Bottom Line Up Front - "Holding Their Own" good book,..I am waiting the publishing of the second book continuing the story. If you haven't read the book then don't read the remainder of the post,.....I don't want to ruin the story for you, I am going to re-call some of the story line and using it as a lessons learned review.

The setup story of how the United States pluges into collapse and chaos is entirely plausible,....many of the factors in the book either exist in whole or are real and potential threats to this country.  In fact, the author said as much.

The main subjects in the book, Bishop and wife Teri, hunker down in their 'off the main path' suburb, organizing with their neighbors.  It is not only possible but necessary for a small community to organize to meet the threats. As the federal government starts to regain control and require people to rally at locations that will basically become camps to control the population, Bishop's community starts to unravel as people have different views on what is best for their family.  The situation of dimishing food stocks not to mention security concerns also impact on decisions to leave. This is probably what will happen when a community, organizing for survival, does so after the need becomes real and in their face, as you can't pick your neighbors.

Bishop and Teri, who had prepped to a small degree (mainly for Hurricanes) load their truck and start out for West Texas where Bishop owns some land and had a trailer pre-positioned in a remote area co-located next to a year round natural spring. So basically you had the situation where Bishop had a planned Bug Out location, with the scenario where Bishop waits, Bugging In, at his suburban home to wait and see if the situation will straighten out.  This is a probable scenario for most of us.  The trick is to Bug Out in an organized fashion and not under pressure or an environment that will make it too dangerous to get to our  pre-planned and or prepared Bug Out location.

It is human nature to stay where your home, belongings and friends are. Indeed the lesson here is to develop some factors or guidelines before hand that would trigger the Bug Out. As in Bishop's case they waited too long, expending precious food, water and fuel while Bugging In.

Fuel and water play a large issue in this story. To be fair, the story had Bishop stocking and rotating fuel pre-collapse, but he got lazy and the collapse found him with several empty five gallon fuel cans.

The water issue is huge as we simply can't live without out. The idea of having a once a week water service delivering a 5 gallon jug of water, and the one time order to ten additional jugs would give a urban/sub-urban household 50 gallons of drinking water at any time a collapse would hit. Smart people would combine this is additional storage including the main collapse event when municipal water sources are still probably flowing for a short time to come. Bathtub water bobs, spare jugs, 55 gallon barrels and even kitchen
pots now become storage.

I am going to end this review with storyline of Bishop and Teri transiting secondary roads across Texas, mainly at night using night vision goggles - all smart things to do, but a survival group or team, even a small one would have made the trip safer. The lone survivor concept just kind of freaks me out....there will be way too many of these individual or duos anyway.

Again, bottom line - good book. I look forward to the story continuing.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Survival Threat: Cultural-Religious Violence

I received a lot of comments and e-mails on the post about racial violence being a survival threat. Race or more properly ethnic group would be an obvious factor in a collapse scenario as people band together to address survival needs and threats. Utilmately, the lack of food and water would make strange bed fellows, perhaps causing people from many different ethnic groups to band together but I can't help but thinking this would be a thin, fragile union.

Some people say that "as goes Europe, goes America". This may not be more true concerning the financial collapse hovering over many country members of the European Union. But another aspect to be concerned about is the Islamification of Europe. Some sources say that with 25 years, some of the European countries may have a Muslim majority. And to be sure, a majority is not necessary to cause major trouble up to, and including anarchy or even plunge a country into border to border violence.

In the U.S. we have pockets of Muslims in high density. To be sure, many of these,...perhaps maybe even the majority, are peaceful Islam practioners. But that could easily change if the food supply dwindles and the lights goes out.

The test bed best suited for study as it applies to the U.S. for multi-culturalism may be England. How can separate religious groups exist when one groups believes anything and all things, such as the murder of innocents, is a valid tactic? The video below was produced by a young lady in England either trying to get some answers about Islam for herself or exposing the more radical Muslim agenda.

This is what she says: "This is a CULTURE CLASH. The problem with this specific subpopulation of people is that their culture and beliefs never have, and never will, be in harmony with those values that are European. This is what this VERY RAPIDLY INCREASING subpopulation of the UK want for Britain....Sharia law, Sharia courts, death for gay men and women, death for adultery, death for unbelievers, death for apostasy, amputation for theft, subjugation of women, animal cruelty and child cruelty.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Brit comments on Urban Preparation for SHTF

”Hi there. I've been following your site from the UK. It's good. Over here there's a general feeling of unease. It's hard to say exactly what it is but things only ever seem to get worse as the years go by. Everyone seems to be out for themselves and I can only imagine what these people would turn into during a real crisis. I see you guys reviewing all the great gear on here and I think to myself ‘Wow, that looks really cool, I gotta have one'. However after a while I started to think 'If I have one, people will want it and probably take it'.

It's great to have the neatest gear but I think making yourself look like a walking outdoor store might be a bad idea. It may be different in the US but here in the UK , someone dressed for the outdoors in an urban environment is gonna stand out like a sore thumb.

I've read a few accounts from special forces guys who talk about being the 'gray' man. The one who doesn't attract attention and can go unnoticed.

With that in mind, I now carry a pair of dirty overalls and keep my walking boots dirty. My bug out bag, which is an unassuming consumer rucksack is also dirty. I still carry everything I need, but from the outside I'm just another guy who got caught out while at work, with nothing, and is trying to make his way home. No-one ever notices the workman. In an urban environment he's supposed to be there. It's the ultimate urban camo. Who's gonna stand out as the guy who has what you want, the guy with the urban camo assault vest and tactical bag full of goodies or the plumber on his way home from work?”

UrbanMan replies: UK reader thanks for your comments. Roger the “gray man” concept and your other points. I don't think I ever advised people to run around in military style uniforms and kit. In the last 38 years, one of the key rules of my work and life has been to "not draw attention to yourself".
Gear hogs are gear hogs, whether in the States or the U.K. Most of these people are “arm chair commandos”, and some will even have their gear taken away before they get a chance to use it.

While I have a lot of camouflaged uniforms and kit to outfit the eight family survival team I am associated with, as well as the expected straphangers, we get by with various jean pants.  I like 5.11 pants but in some environments I work in, you can't throw a rock without hitting a government type wearing 5.11 pants.  

Colored  jeans,, tan or brown levis or wrangler jeans, work well as does the Dickie type work pants.  I have a pair of blue Dickie type work pants and usually a pair of jeans rolled up in my supplemental BOB carried in the trunk of my car. 
We'll save the camouflage uniforms and gear for when the situation dictates.

Along with dressing non-descript your planning and decision making to mitigate your risks as well as your mannerisms/body language are all part of the process for non-drawing attention to yourself. It’s an art form to appear not important but not to also look like a target. All along while observing and being able to detect threats, and, prepared to act.

Back to gear, since that’s what you wrote about in the first place. My all-the-time Bug Out Bag is however, a military style, Coyote Brown in color, FRG bag stored in the trunk (what you would call a boot) of my car with a more civilian looking Cabela’s bag carried in the passenger compartment and which accompanies me inside the buildings I work in.  I call the FRG bag my supplemental BOB. 

Depending upon the environment, I carry a couple different types of handguns in several different fashions. A pocket .380 auto in my vest pocket sometimes when I can’t carry anything larger. I always have a Glock 19 (9x19mm) in my vehicle and sometimes will put a Remington 12 gauge pump action shotgun in my backseat or car trunk.  On occasion,...maybe three times in the last year, I have carried an M-4 or other rifle if I leaving the city by vehicle for a overnight or longer trip.  Sometimes your Spidy sense just tells you to do something.   

I know a guy who carries a handgun and some other kit in a thick mil plastic shopping bag. He said something to the effect that Fast Action Gun (FAG) bags gave the fact that you were carrying away. He cut down a padded gun envelope and included some dividers for a spare knife, flashlight and spare magazines. It’s been years since I saw it but I remember him telling me nobody gives him a second look when he carries in urban crowds, shopping malls, etc.

No, I don't think that it is absolutely necessary to be wearing an assault vest to prepared. One of the points you brought up was the workman and that "cover" would allow a person to be toting work or tool bags without undue scrutiny.

Friday, April 13, 2012

More Proof of the Coming Economic Collapse

ETF Daily, basically an investors information-financial intelligence site often produces excellent articles dealing with the U.S. and World financial situation. Not necessarily from a "gloom and doom, the collapse is coming" perspective, ETF Daily does provide some insight into the possiblities of a national and world wide economic spin downward and that of course is the economic collapse, one of many possible SHTF scenarios, that we have been prepping for.

I have copied some of a recent article by ETF concerning government created bubbles and major events that will cause them to burst and herefore bring the economic collapse closer to the surface if not
bubbling over and effecting life as we know it. Read the entire article here.

The Tech and Housing Bubbles That Created These Giant Failures Were SMALL in Comparison to the Greatest Bubble of All, Being Created RIGHT NOW! I’m talking about the massive growth of the federal government that we’ve seen over the past few years.

Not only is the government bubble the biggest of all time, but it is rapidly expanding in four separate ways:

First, we have an unprecedented Government Debt Bubble: Washington has spent a record $16.3 trillion since 2007 … has added $6.5 trillion to the national debt … and is CONTINUING to run up trillion-dollar-plus deficits every year.

Second, we are witnessing the Greatest Monetary Bubble in U.S. history: Just since 2008, the Federal Reserve has dumped more than $1.8 trillion newly-created U.S. dollars directly into the economy. Plus, the Fed is creating even MORE money by holding interest rates low in order to
increase loan demand. Never forget: When banks lend money, they effectively create new U.S. dollars out of thin air.

Third, we have a Government Employment Bubble. The Heritage Foundation reports that since December 2007, even while the private sector workforce has shrunk by 6.6%, shedding more than 7.5 million jobs … the federal government workforce has grown by 11.7%, adding 230,000 jobs.

Fourth, and most dangerous, there’s the Entitlement Bubble: Just consider the facts:

One in every five Americans now relies on federal assistance.

Nearly 46 million Americans need food stamps to keep body and soul together — 34% more than just two years ago.

The average recipient of federal aid collects $32,748 in benefits — about $300 more than the average tax-paying family gets in disposable income.

The biggest of all: The government’s obligations for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are now $65 trillion, nearly five times the value of all the goods and services produced by the entire country.

But Soon, Three Major Events Will Burst This Massive Bubble …

First, the U.S. government is going to lose its primary creditors — overseas investors. In fact, there’s abundant evidence that this deadly process has already begun. That’s why Lawrence Goodman a former Treasury official and president of the Center for Financial Stability, pointed out last week that major U.S. creditors like Japan and China, that once scooped up U.S. debt, are shunning it. Such foreign purchases of U.S. debt amounted to 6 percent of GDP and has since fallen by over eighty percent to a paltry 0.9 percent.

Second, that’s why the Federal Reserve has had no choice but to temporarily fill the gap. Last year the Fed used printed money to purchase a stunning 61% of the total net Treasury issuance, up from negligible amounts prior to the 2008 financial crisis. This raises the question: What happens when the Fed’s actions drive fuel, food and other prices through the roof? Treasury interest rates surge — the first sign that the government bubble is bursting.

Third, ultimately entitlements must be cut — just like they’re being cut in Europe. In Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy, those cuts are taking massive amounts of money out of the economy and plunging them into deep recessions.

Imagine what will happen when the world’s largest government with the world’s largest entitlement obligations begins making similar kinds of cuts!

Make no mistake: This great government bubble — probably the greatest mankind has ever seen — is destined to burst. And when it does, blood will run hip deep down Wall Street and effect every aspect of our lives.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Survival Planning: Another Run on Guns?

I often go through my pockets and pull out $1 bills and the ocassional $5 bill and put into a jar then a couple times a year fish it out to spend on survival odds and ends so I stopped in a local gun shop the other day seeking to buy a few boxes of ammunition for some of the older guns in my battery of firearms. To my surprise at 3 pm on a weekday afternoon, the gun shop was full. Knowing all the guys running the store and not having been in the store for a few months, I asked if the crowd was unique and I was told that for the past 2, maybe three months, business had picked up substantially.

One of the guys was adament that the Doomsday Prepper television shows had much to do with it, but all of them agreed that business would remain high through the national presidential elections and even continue through that if Obama is elected again.

Oh my ammunition? I was seeking some .30-06, .30 carbine, .30-30 and .380 for some backup guns of mine. I walked out of the store with one box of .30-30 - that was all they had in stock. I was told to call or stop back in four weeks.

My recent experience must be the norm as ABC-Good Morning America published an on-line article, by Alan Farnham (probably no relation to John), titled Gun Sales Booming: Doomsday, Obama or Zombies? In case you missed it, here it is:

Buyers in record numbers are flooding into gun stores, retailers say. Ammo, too, is flying off the shelves. The reasons for the spike, last seen in 2009, include fears that a second Obama administration might restrict gun ownership and the popularity of TV shows devoted to doomsday preparation and killing zombies.

"He's never been pro-gun," says Cris Parsons of President Obama. Parsons, 31, owns a Texas gun purveyor called the Houston Armory. So far, Parsons insists, Obama has been "pretty coy" about his antipathy toward guns--and he likely will remain so during the campaign. To do otherwise would "upset a lot of people."

But if Obama wins a second term, he'll have "nothing to lose," says Parsons. Alan Korwin, author of nine books on gun laws, including "Gun Laws of America," says gun owners are worried that the president, as a lame duck, will clamp down as never before on gun ownership.

Parsons says about 40 percent of Armory customers cite this fear as their reason for stocking up on guns and ammo now, before the election.

"Frenzy" is the word he uses to describe their buying. Dollar sales for the Armory are up 30 to 40 percent this quarter compared to last. Parsons thinks his store's performance is indicative of sales nationally, based on what he hears from dealers, suppliers and other store owners.

Gun maker Sturm, Ruger says that in the first quarter it received orders for more than 1 million firearms--so many that it has now had to stop taking orders. Says a notice on its website: "Despite the company's continuing successful efforts to increase production rates, the incoming order rate exceeds our capacity to rapidly fulfill these orders. Consequently, the company has temporarily suspended the acceptance of new orders." It expects to resume accepting orders, it says, at the end of May.

Stocks of gun makers are surging. Sturm, Ruger's share price is up 55 percent this year. Smith & Wesson soared 91 percent. Sporting goods and hunting retailer Cabela's is up 53 percent.

Other forces besides politics, though, explain the current boom. "There're the 'preppers," explains Parsons, "and then there's this whole Zombie Apocalypse thing."

He refers to two hot trends in popular culture.

The first is a National Geographic TV show called "Doomsday Prepers" that chronicles the preparations being made by people convinced that a doomsday of some kind is coming. A whole industry has sprung up to sell preppers survival and self-dense goods, including guns and ammo.

Then there are zombies--zombie movies, zombie comics, zombie novels, zombie TV shows. Americans' fascination with all things zombie, Parsons says, has grown to such proportions that arms manufactures now have come out with zombie-specific firearms and ammo. Products include a line Zombie Max ammunition (slogan: "just in case") made by Hornady Manufacturing. "We can't keep it in stock," says Parsons. "It comes in a cool, colorful box with a Zombie on it."

There are more than a dozen manufacturers, says Parsons, making zombie rifles, some with a picture of a zombie on them The two position on a zombie rifle's safety, instead of being marked "safe" and "fire," are labeled "dead" and "undead."

Gun maker DPMS Panther Arms is taking sign-ups now for its fifth annual zombie shoot, "Outbreak: Omega" set for June 23. "DPMS' Outbreak: Omega," says the company's website, "is the Original Zombie Shoot, and the largest. It is a non competitive 3-gun style fun shoot. All are invited to come and try your hand at killing Zombies. Tons of Prizes...followed by a HUGE after party!"

Attendees don't actually shoot Zombies, which, last we heard, don't actually exist. They shoot targets that are zombie stand-ins.

Says Parsons, summing up the reasons for record gun sales, "You got zombies, you got 'preppers, and you got Obama."

Saturday, April 7, 2012

$8 a Gallon Gas?

Are you planning for any changes if fuel costs double this year? What are you willing to do without or how are you otherwise going to stretch those dollars as well know as fuel jumps so does all other commodities?

Some analysts are saying that even $8 a gallon is on the low side for the potential price increase especially if thee is a conflict in the Middle East involving Iran. Military analysts are suggesting that the least aggressive tactic that Iran could employ would be to lay anti-ship mines in the Straits of Hormuz. Which would take the U.S. and probable ally England many weeks to clear. Imagine the sinking of one of our aircraft carriers and/or one large oil transport ship in the Straits. Sure, the very probable U.S. relatiation would be massive, but it would do nothing to ease the price of oil.

Others are suggesting that oil at $200 a barrel/gas at $8+ a gallon would spur a massive downturn of the U.S. economy; causing businesses to lay off people; propell another large stimulus; cause the Federal government to borrow more to pay entitlements; devalue the U.S. dollar and push the Fed into another rounds of Quanitative Easing - which of course if injecting more money into financial institutions further devaling the dollar causing inflation,....and posibly the Survivalist Prepper's fear, a hyper inflationary period.

Dominique de Kevelioc de Bailleul's article, titled "Worried About $6 Gas Prices? Try $8" from ETF Daily is a necessary read. To summarize the key points of this article:

$6 gas in the U.S. may be even a low-ball estimate.

We are now back above $4 per gallon for the first time since May 2011,” “In Europe it is close to the $10 mark.”

Expect a record gas price this summer. The oil market has entered the perfect storm.

We will see a minimum of $6 per gallon gasoline in the United States this summer.”

Military conflict with Iran could throw the $6 price target far off the mark, as approximately 17 percent of the world’s oil supply could be shut out for, not a matter of weeks as the Pentagon has estimated, but months.

There is virtually no limit to the upside for oil prices. The oil price could easily double.

Oil trading above $200 per barrel could easily take gasoline to $8 in the U.S., as a panic to secure already-tight global supplies could shock the American people into another significant downturn in the U.S. economy.

This could turn into really tough times, because the economy will be struggling in that environment, we could see QE3 in the midst of already record high gasoline prices. Now that will be wildly inflationary.”

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Nuclear Survival Possible?

I received this e-mail from frankj: ”With the recent building of nuclear devices by North Korea and Iran plus who else we don’t know about, I am thinking that the chances of a nuclear attack from an Armageddon scenario to some localized attack maybe some damn terrorists given a bomb by Iranians all would spell a catastrophe. Some of my prepper pals say that we can about just kiss our butts goodbye in a nuclear attack because the fall out would kill about everything. What do you think the chances are for us to see a nuclear attack?”

UrbanMan’s reply: Frank, you are doing well to think about all collapse possibilities. Perhaps protection and survival plans for a nuclear event would be the hardest to plan and prepare for without a lot of resources,…read money. I think location is a key to survival in a nuclear event. Away from high value targets,…..away from fall out patterns from predictive wind patterns,…and away from refugee routes – and, there will always be survivors.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently published a study from the analysis of the specific implications of nuking the intersection of 16th and K streets NW. The key to the question, it seems, is the size of the bomb. Ten kilotons is considered “small” by nuclear weapon standards and would presumably leave survivors, according to the study. …Within a half-mile radius of the detonation, called the “severe damage zone,” buildings would be destroyed, radiation would be high and the survival rate would be low. The White House, Capitol and Mall would be destroyed. As little as three miles out, the impact would be less severe, including broken windows and minor injuries. But the real disaster would be nuclear fallout, the result of radioactive dust poisoning many in the District, Northern Virginia and Maryland.

I also found a government report on the potential of a nuclear attack on the National Capital Region. I am posting the easier to understand key points below. In any event, the first rule of survival is to understand the threat so you can develop a plan and counter measures.

Contamination vs. Exposure

Fallout contamination is salt- and sand-sized particles that contain unstable (radioactive) atoms that give off energy in the form of penetrating eadiation. Although contamination particles can be stopped by clothing and other barriers, the gamma radiation emitted by the unstable atoms penetrates through clothing, roofs, and walls and can deposit energy in living tissue. It is the exposure and absorption of this energy that is the primary concern and is measured as described below.

Roentgens, Rads, and Rems. Units of Radiation Exposure

• Roentgen (R): A unit of gamma or x-ray exposure in air. It is the primary standard of measurement used in the emergency-responder community in the US. 1,000 milliroentgen (mR) = 1 Roentgen (R).

• Roentgen per hour (R/h): A unit used to express gamma or x-ray exposure in air per unit of time (exposure rate) and the unit most commonly seen on radiation-detection equipment used by responders.

• rad: A unit expressing the absorbed dose of ionizing radiation. Absorbed dose is the energy deposited per unit mass of matter. The units of rad and gray are the units in two different systems for expressing absorbed dose. International unit conversion: 1 rad = 0.01 gray [Gy]; 1 Gy = 100 rad.)

• rem: A unit of absorbed dose that accounts for the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) of ionizing radiations in tissue (Also called equivalent dose). Not all radiation produces the same biological effect, even for the same amount of absorbed dose; rem relates the absorbed dose in human tissue to the effective biological damage of the radiation. International unit conversion: 1 rem = 0.01 Sieverts [Sv]; 1 Sv = 100 rem.)

For the purpose of this guidance, 1 R (exposure in air) = 1 rad (absorbed dose = 1 rem (whole-body dose). Whole-body doses are calculated for the middle of the body (1.5 m off the ground and 70% of the body-surface exposure), also referred to as the “midline deep dose.”

Estimated fatalities and symptoms associated with acute whole body absorbed doses:

150 initial rad dose - 5 percent chance of dying within 180 days from radiation exposure.

300 initial rad dose - 30-50 percent chance of dying within 180 days from radiation exposure.

600 initial rad dose - 95 percent chance of dying within 180 days from radiation exposure.

It will be initially difficult for those directly affected to assess the scale of devastation. On a clear day, a mushroom cloud might be visible from a distance, but the cloud is unlikely to keep a characteristic shape more than a few minutes and will be blown out of the area in one or more directions in the first few hours.

The most critical life-saving action for the public and responders is to seek adequate shelter for at least the first hour. Another urge to overcome is the desire to flee the area (or worse, run into fallout areas to reunite with family members), which can place people outdoors in the first few minutes and hours when fallout exposures are the greatest.

Those outside or in vehicles will have little protection from the penetrating radiation coming off fallout particles as they accumulate on roofs and the ground.

Sheltering is an early imperative for the public within the broken glass and blast damage area, which could extend for several miles in all directions from a blast. There is a chance that many parts of the area may not be affected by fallout; however, it will be virtually impossible to distinguish between radioactive and non-radioactive smoke, dust, and debris that will be generated by the event.

Potentially dangerous levels of fallout could begin falling within a few minutes. Those outdoors should seek shelter in the nearest solid structure. Provided the structure is not in danger of collapse or fire, those indoors should stay inside and move either below ground (e.g., into a basement or subterranean parking garage) or to the middle floors of a multi story concrete or brick building. Those individuals in structures threatened by collapse or fire, or those in light structures (e.g., single story buildings without basements) should consider moving to an adjacent solid structure or subway. Glass, displaced objects, and rubble in walkways and streets will make movement difficult.

Leaving the area should only be considered if the area becomes unsafe because of fire or other hazards, or if local officials state that it is safe to move. Fallout is driven by upper-atmospheric winds that can travel much faster than surface winds, often at more than 100 miles per hour. Outside the area of broken windows, people should have at least 10 minutes before fallout arrives for the larger multi-kiloton yields. If the detonation were to happen during daylight hours on a day without cloud cover, the fallout cloud might be visible at this distance, although accurately gauging direction could be difficult as the expanding cloud continues to climb and possibly move in more than one direction.

Providing that atmospheric conditions do not obscure visibility, dangerous levels of fallout would be easily visible as particles fall. People should proceed indoors immediately if sand, ash, or colored rain begins to fall in their area.

At 20 miles away, the observed delay between the flash of an explosion and “sonic boom” of the air blast would be more than 1.5 minutes. At this range, it is unlikely that fallout could cause radiation sickness, although outdoor exposure should still be avoided to reduce potential long-term cancer risk. The public at this distance should have some time, perhaps 20 minutes or more, to prepare.

The first priority should be to find adequate shelter. Individuals should identify the best shelter location in their present building, or if the building offers inadequate shelter, consider moving to better shelter if there is a large, solid multistory building nearby. After the shelter itself is secured, attention can be given to acquiring shelter supplies such as batteries, radio, food, water, medicine, bedding, and toiletries.

Although roads could be initially unobstructed at this range (around 20 miles), the possibility of moving the numerous people at risk before fallout arrives is highly unlikely, and those in traffic jams on the road would receive little protection from fallout. At long distances (more than 100 miles), the additional time before fallout arrival might tempt people to evacuate.

However, cloud spread and difficulties associated with predicting possible fallout locations will make avoiding the hazard difficult, even when driving. Although people at this distance will not experience life-threatening levels of fallout, using the extra time to seek the best-quality shelter in the area can help reduce exposures and the long-term risk of cancer.

Stay Indoors.  People should expect to remain sheltered for at least 12 to 24 hours. During that time, the intensity of fallout radiation will decrease greatly, allowing for less hazardous egress from dangerous fallout areas. Unless a given shelter location is considered unsafe due to fire or structural damage, the length of time individuals should remain sheltered depends on instructions from regional emergency management agencies. For those in good shelters, such as a large concrete, brick, or underground structure, optimal shelter times will likely be in terms of days.

In the absence of specific guidance from authorities and adequate supplies of food and water, or for those who are in smaller 2- to 3-story structures or shallow basements, evacuation should be considered after 12 hours. Upon leaving shelter, the best course is to follow routes that take advantage of sheltered passages (subways, underground connectors, or through building lobbies) that lead away from damage and heavy fallout areas. Once clear of potential fallout areas, evacuees should seek a change of clothes (including shoes) and wipe or wash exposed skin surfaces.

Fallout consists of large particles that can be easily brushed off clothing and shoes. The radiation energy given off by fallout particles decays rapidly with time. For this reason early gross decontamination (brushing for example) is better than delayed thorough decontamination (such as a shower). An event of this magnitude will vastly overwhelm available response resources.

Get Clean.  Radioactive fallout particles can spread quickly and remain on the body and clothes until removed. Those in potentially fallout contaminated areas should take off the outer layer of clothing (including shoes) and wipe or wash exposed skin and hair upon leaving a contaminated area.

• Routes make a difference for early evacuees. The exposure impact of route choice is more significant in the first few hours.

• Shelter quality determines decision time. The better the shelter, the longer the time before action is required. For poor shelters, actions should be taken in the first few hours; inadequate shelter, 4–12 hours; for adequate shelters, avoid action before 12 hours unless instructed otherwise.

• Adequate shelter, stay in place. Extended shelter-inplace inside an adequate shelter is almost always preferred over an uninformed evacuation in the first 12 hours. The gains from an informed evacuation before 12 hours are marginal, while the penalty for an uninformed evacuation can be significant.

• Poor shelter, move or evacuate. Early evacuation (at 1 hour) from lower-quality shelters in the Danger Zone can be life-saving.

– Best Strategy For Poor Shelter: Informed evacuation after approximately an hour. However, without an informed route use next strategy.

– Good Strategy for Poor Shelter: Move to a better shelter. Analysis indicates that this can result in a significant reduction of casualties even as early as 20 minutes after detonation.

– Marginal Strategy for Poor Shelter: Uninformed evacuation after approximately an hour and then leave the area, do not move toward the detonation site or directly downwind.

– Bad Strategy for Poor Shelter Extended Shelter in Place.

• In aggregate, the existing Washington , DC structures offered better than adequate protection. If all residents adopted a shelter-in-place strategy, it would reduce the number of potential acute radiation casualties by 98% (there would be an estimated 3,000 fallout casualties out of the 130,000 potential casualties of an unsheltered population).

• For Regional evacuation planning, errors in identifying the centerline and boundaries of high-dose-rate regions can result in poor evacuation routes that eliminate the benefits of evacuation.

• Preplanned evacuation routes may not be the best evacuation route as they may follow the contamination centerline.

• The current federal guidance of sheltering for 12-24 hours in in a shelter is adequate.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Global Financial Instability

Ever heard of the saying “Rat’s leaving the Sinking Ship?”,….how about the thought that the last thing the ruling elite does before the Country collapses is to “Rob the Treasury?”

UrbanSurvivalSkills recently came across two articles that give life to these popular sayings. One article, from American Kabuki, outlines 320 resignations from world banks, investment houses and money funds.

American Kabuki has a long list of these resignations along with bitly links to the articles. I have listed just the U.S. based resignations since Feb 1, 2012, however that is not to say that foreign financial shenanigans do not affect the U.S. It is indeed a world economy and what other countries do and don’t do have a profound effect on our economy. This country would do well to develop our own fossil fuel energy resources to eliminate the security issue of being dependent upon other countries, as well as get back to an economy largely based on agriculture where we, as a country could again feed ourselves.

It should be noted that American Kabuki gives credit to Gabriel for tracking Insurance, Government and Healthcare Resignations. For anyone who wants to conduct their own research, I have included Kabuki's web addresses to the articles, although they are not hyperlinks.

U.S. Based Resignations

2/05/12 ( USA - NY) Morgan's investment banking chairman Joseph Perella quit

2/05/12 ( USA - NY) Morgan Stanley investment banking Tarek Abdel-Meguid quit

2/06/12 (USA NY) TD Ameritrade, head of retail distribution John Bunch resigns. Bunch is leaving to take the top job at a small investment advisory firm in Kansas City.

2/07/12 ( USA ) Bank Of America 's Mortgage Business Chief Barbara Desoer Retires

2/08/12 (USA OH) Cleveland International Fund (CIF) private equity fund, A. Eddy Zai launched and led the Cleveland International Fund, an investment outfit that pairs wealthy foreign investors hoping for U.S. residency with job-creating projects. Zai resigned from his job this week, before being indicted in a bank-fraud scheme that, according to investigators, contributed to the collapse of a credit union in Eastlake.

2/14/12 (USA NY) Goldman Sachs Jeffrey Moslow resigns, an investment banker to companies such as Tyco International Ltd, Nstar, the Boston-based utility, and defense contractor Dyncorp International Inc.

2/15/12 ( USA ) Boston Properties (REIT), Executive VP and COO E. Mitchell Norvilleto resigned.

2/16/12 (USA IL) Deerfield Capital Management LLC, CEO Daniel Hattori and CEO of CIFC Corp resigned.

2/16/12 (USA IL) Deerfield Capital Management LLC, COO Luke Knecht and CEO of CIFC Corp, resigned both positions.

2/17/12 (USA NY) Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein out as by summer

2/17/12 (USA NY) Harbinger Group Inc. CFO Francis T. McCarron has advised the Company of his resignation effective April 30

2/20/12 ( USA WA) First Financial Northwest Director Spencer Schneider Quits

2/22/12 ( USA NY) Goldman Sachs Hedge Fund Group Chief Howard Wietschner to Retire

3/01/12 (USA FL) Florida Venture Forum [Venture Capital] Exec Dir Robin Lester quits

3/01/12 (USA NY) PineBridge Investments said Win Neuger has resigned as chief executive. Neuger helped build AIG's third party asset management business, PineBridge still manages AIG assets

3/01/12 (USA NH) Piscataqua Savings Bank CEO Jay Gibson retires

3/01/12 (USA OR) Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund (OPERF) senior RE officer Brad Child will retire

3/02/12 (USA NY) Deutsche Bank Student Loan CEOJohn Hupalo quits to start student loan counseling firm.

3/02/12 (USA NY) Citigroup Richard Parsons to step down as chairman

3/04/12 (USA NY) JP Morgan prop trading chief Mike Stewart quits

3/05/12 ( USA ) Reliance Bancshares chairman Patrick Gideon resigned

3/06/12 (USA PA) USA Technologies Inc Bradley M. Tirpak, a nominee of Shareholder Advocates for Value Enhancement,has resigned from its board subsequent to a settlement agreement with the investing group, according to an SEC filing. Provides a network of wireless non-cash transactions, associated financial/network services and energy management. It provides networked credit card and other non-cash systems in the vending, commercial laundry, hospitality and digital imaging industries.

3/07/12 ( USA ) BlackRock Emerging Markets Fund co-head Daniel Tubbs, has left the group to pursue other opportunities.

3/07/12 (USA CA) CALSTRS, Pascal Villiger, senior private equity portfolio manager at the $145 billion California State Teachers’ Retirement System resigns.

3/07/12 ( USA ) Astaire quits Bank of America Merrill to dance to Barclays Capital’s tune

3/08/12 (USA NY) Schroders, CIO Alan Brown is steps down

3/08/12 ( USA IL) CBOE Executive Patrick Fay Put on Leave Amid SEC Probe

3/08/12 ( USA NH & RI) Bristol County Savings Bank president E. Dennis Kelly retires after 35 years

3/09/12 ( USA ) Cerberus Capital Management LP, CEO Robert Nardelli resigns.

3/12/12 ( USA ) John Lewis Partnership Pension Trust, head of investments Andrew Chapman, resigns

3/12/12 (USA CA) California ’s Department of Financial Institutions, commissioner William Haraf resigned. The DFI did not say why he is leaving.

3/12/12 ( USA ) ICAP, CEO of the electronic broking business David Rutter step down following a restructuring of the business.

3/12/12 ( USA ) Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, CEO Bryan Marsal Resigns Title, Remains on as Adviser

3/12/12 (USA IL) CME Group Inc, CEO Craig Donohues will step down at year end.

American Kabuki makes no claims under what circumstances these individuals have left their positions. However he, as well as I, find the timing of so many resignations extremely curious and a temporal marker in history of high significance. Kabuki cautions that no one should assume that any judgments about the character of these people. Again, it is just curious that so many world financial managers and leaders are leaving.

Another site we found was Shift Frequency built by a woman named Gillian Grannum.

Her point that the Cabal running the show (World Financial Markets) and screwing it up beyond belief, decided the time had come to destroy the American economy en route to their New World Order. She has two interesting articles on her site which I will link to here.

President Signs Law Placing Prior Restraint on Free Speech

Greg Smith’s Resignation Letter From Goldman Sucks er…Sachs