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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Survival Chronicles of Jim - Chapter 28 (Interviewing for a Survival Partner)

Things have slowed down for me. I'm taking much less software contracts and my home based healthcare business pretty much runs itself and provides the bulk of income so I have much more time now to enjoy life.

I've took a couple of vacations. An NFL game with my son. But as fulfilling as my business and personnel life has been, Survival Prepping has not been far from my mind.

I have had two women in my life these past six months. Each one lasted about 4 weeks before we went our separate ways. In between, I have met several other women but they didn't generate enough interest in me to ask them out.

I can't help but think that I'm interviewing for a survival partner as opposed to just trying to find a good woman who may make it for the long term.

The last woman I dated saw a couple of my guns and asked me why I had them. Now you know who I am, what I look like, and how I present myself. In a group of two people or a group of 100 people, I would be the last one you would pick out to be a survivalist, or a gun guy.

So I was really surprised at this woman's jump to a conclusion that I was a something like a potential school shooter or some right wing militia type. "That's not something (owning guns) that I like about you", was what she actually said. I should have ended it there, but I didn't.

It was over when I received my package from Silver Saver. When I opened it and looked at the silver rounds, she thought I was a coin collector. On retrospect, I should have said that I was an amateur collector, but NO!, I had to say it's not old coins it's new silver bullion in one ounce rounds.

She asked why I was buying those, so I said it's a little protection against a currency collapse. From the look on her face you would have thought I said I collected child pornography!

Most of my preps are in another city. I have moved temporarily to a larger city to pursue contracts and expand my businesses but, I do have a car load of stuff. About 18 food buckets, some gear bags full of necessary gear and more guns and ammunition she did not see. I imagine what she would have thought seeing that - not to mention the security lapse in having someone know about it all.

Anyway, I'm back to looking for dates, or as I think of it now, interviewing for a Survival Partner.

So on an equal footing with decent looks and boobs, I'm looking for someone who is outdoor oriented, not scared of guns, likes to cook and shares my moderate conservative political stance.

I may have to wait until I move again. The big city is starting to drain me. Even the off prime time traffic is bad - stop and go. I'd imagine it would be wall to wall cars if everybody thought they have to leave town.

I know you have taught me to select places off refugees routes. Locations that had no advantage to hungry people. And a temporary home that had escape routes. I intentionally banked on the big collapse not coming until I was finished here. But a recent report of the Chinese and Russians dropping the US dollar brought me back to thinking about moving back to a place that is more sustainable survival wise, plus near my son.

My son, God Bless Him, finished his bachelor’s degree in business and is now the second manager at a pretty nice restaurant. He actually told me, "Dad, if the collapse hits, I'm loading up my car with all those Number 10 cans of food, coffee and stuff from the restaurant!"

One of the first things I'll do when I move back is to get up to the old cabin and emplace a couple more caches. And like the Survival Cadre recommend, start building my survival team of trusted like minded people.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Is US vulnerable to EMP attack?

Here is a good article from the Army Times. An EMP event would devastate our way of life. Read on an you judge for yourself.  How prepared are you should something like this occur?

"Is US vulnerable to EMP attack? A doomsday warning, and its skeptics

Former CIA Director Woolsey tells Congress of a doomsday scenario in which a nuclear-blast-triggered electromagnetic pulse takes down the US power grid, leading to starvation and death. Some experts decry 'hysteria' over EMPs. This artivle was posted on Christian Science Monitor and you can click on the linbk to watch the video.

It is an unsettling doomsday scenario: A ballistic missile is launched from a freighter near America’s shores, setting off a nuclear explosion in the atmosphere. The blast generates electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) that could take out the nation’s electrical grid and bring civilization as we know it “to a cold, dark halt.”

This warning comes from the former director of the CIA, James Woolsey, in little-noticed testimony recently before the House Armed Services Committee.

A nuclear weapon would be detonated in orbit “in order to destroy much of the electric grid from above the US with a single explosion,” he told lawmakers last week. “Two thirds of the US population would likely perish from starvation, disease, and societal breakdown. Other experts estimate the likely loss to be closer to 90 percent.”

This dire forecast included warning of an “increasing likelihood that rogue nations such as North Korea (and before long, most likely, Iran) will soon match Russia and China in that they will have the primary ingredients for an EMP attack: simple ballistic missiles such as SCUDs that could be launched from a freighter near our shores.”

Mr. Woolsey sprinkled in a bit of intelligence as well. “In 2004,” he noted to lawmakers, “the Russians told us that their ‘brain drain’ had been helping the North Koreans develop EMP weapons.”

So, how plausible is this sort of scenario? A number of defense analysts take issue with the idea that an EMP attack on the US is imminent, or even particularly likely. They also suggested the outcome of the attack would not be so dire.

“I think the wild hysteria that’s greeted EMP attacks lately is wildly overstated,” says James Lewis, director of the Strategic Technologies Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

“So if you’re North Korea, and you’ve got a nuclear weapon, and you detonate it over the United States, what’s going to happen next? The answer is hundreds of nukes will descend on you from the US,” he says. “So why would you waste the round? If they’re going to shoot a nuke at us, they’re not going to bother with this EMP stuff.”

What’s more, although Woolsey told lawmakers that “modern electronics are a million times more vulnerable to EMP than the electronics of the 1960s,” Mr. Lewis argues that radiation hardening has been built into many modern electronics, through chips that have become more sophisticated. “Before, there were vacuum tubes, and now you’re using a chip that can withstand a fair amount of radiation,” Lewis says.

So what’s the bottom line? If a country or terrorist group “were crazy enough to shoot a nuclear weapon up over Washington, D.C. [to try to create an EMP], you might be able to fry 30 percent of the electronics in the city,” Lewis says.

Solar flares can create EMPs as well, Woolsey noted, citing a 1989 solar-generated pulse that, he told lawmakers, “effectively destroyed Quebec’s electric grid.” According to an article on a NASA website that looked back at the event 10 years later, the power was out in Quebec for 12 hours.

While an EMP attack may not be likely, the possibility raises some interesting strategic questions, says Paul Scharre, project director for the 20YY Warfare Initiative at the Center for a New American Security.

“If a nuclear-armed actor, instead of actually killing civilians with a nuclear weapon, lights it off at a high altitude,” he asks. “Does that cross the nuclear threshold? What’s the appropriate response? How would we respond? There’s not really a good answer for that.”

Urban Man

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Long Lasting Prepping Foods.

Article from on long lasting foods for the prepper. Or as they say "Indestructible Foods That Would Outlast The Apocalypse".
Ramen Noodles. You'll find Ramen noodles in any college dorm room, and if he wanted to, a freshman could buy a pack and not eat them until graduation and be fine. Ramen noodles last for ten years or more, because these pasta noodles are completely dried. Flavoring can be added, similar to other soup dishes.
Urban Man's comment: Ramen is cheap and comes with itr's own flavoring packet. Great base for added vegetables or edible plants foraged in the wilderness. Tip - dump Ramen and flavoring into a zip lock bag; place in patrol pack and eat cold at the end of the day.
Maple Syrup. If your maple syrup is 100% pure, it will last forever. Like honey, it may crystallize over time but it will still taste amazing. You can even freeze it in an air-tight container. Now we just need to find a way to make pancakes last forever too.
Urban Man's comment: I'll have to think about this.
Bouillon. If you ever need to hide out in a bunker for a while you can use bouillon cubes to flavor your food. Beef, chicken, and other flavors of bouillon can be stored for years!
Urban Man's comment: I have Bouillon coming out of my ears. One of the best things to stockpile. Can simply use to make a soup. Can add edible plants or vegetables harvested.
Hot Cocoa. This favorite drink will definitely keep up morale. Instant hot chocolate will last forever if it is kept in a dry air-tight container. The same goes for instant coffee!
Urban Man's comment: Stock both!
Alcohol. Unopened bottles of wine or other distilled spirits can be stored for up to 30 years or more. Some alcohols tend to age and acquire a taste improvement over time, but still require proper storage.
Urban Man's comment: Great item to have for barter, especially hard liquor.
Peanut Butter. Some types of peanut butter available on grocery shelves do not need refrigeration. This type of peanut butter can last a long time, for a year or longer. The oil in this food helps to keep it fresh.
Urban Man's comment: Every stand along bucket of mine has PB in it.
Salt. Salt is a mineral that has long lasting qualities. It is often used as a preservative, that draws in moisture from other foods. Salt's dryness prevents bacteria from spoiling food.
Urban Man's comment: I also have tons of salt strored, both plain salt and table salt.
Hard Tack. Hard tack is a type of cracker, that is used by military troops. It is a tough cracker, that stays edible for long periods of time. Although hard tack has a bland flavor, it is very filling.
Urban Man's comment: Learn how to make this item. Stock flour!
Rice. Rice is a staple, that you can store indefinitely. Your long term storage environment needs to be oxygen free and cold to allow your rice to stay fresh for up to 30 years. Be sure to keep your storage containers sealed air tight, and use storage lids that are made for this type of long term storage.
Urban Man's comment: Nothing needs to be said about rice - every prepper in the U.S. has stored rice.
Soy Sauce. Soy sauce is one of the most versatile flavor enhancers today. Your soy sauce can be stored indefinitely, and should remain unopened until you are ready to use it.
Urban Man's comment: I prefer to have other seasoning like Garlic Salt, Black Pepper, and other meat seasoning.
Honey. Honey is a whole food, that can be easily stored. You will need to properly seal your storage containers in order to avoid any humidity. The low water content in honey allows it to preserve naturally.
Urban Man's comment: Honey - the only food that won't spoil.
Dried Beans. Beans that are properly dried can last up to 30 years. You can store your beans in number ten cans with the oxygen removed. Your storage areas should be dark and away from outside air.
Urban Man's comment: Nothing needs to be said about beans - every prepper in the U.S. has stored beans as well.
Powdered Milk. Powdered milk is a food staple that has an indefinite shelf life. It can be stored easily for emergencies. Powdered milk is a decent cooking and baking ingredient.
Urban Man's comment: I have powdered milk in vacuum sealed container.
Corn Syrup. Corn syrup can last indefinitely, if you keep it stored in an air tight container. This type of sweetener is a whole food that can be added to your other stored dishes. It has its own nutritional qualities, including daily carbohydrate requirements and antioxidants.
Urban Man's comment: Well, this is one thing I don;t have - corn oil, but it makes sense as corn oil is 100% disgestible energy.
Canned Foods. Canned foods today can last for over 30 years, but you need to keep your cans sealed completely. Foods that are preserved in cans can be used for emergencies. Once the can is open, you will need to cook the food inside.
Urban Man's comment: Stored in pantry - use the concept first in, first out (to cook/eat). Everyone should, at a minimum, quadruple what they normally keep in can goods. This will be the first foods eaten as they are heavy and hard to move in bulk, and generally won't last as long.
Vinegar. Some varieties of this condiment can be stored for long periods of time. It contains a low pH content, and it is often used as a preservative for other foods. Vinegar can be an effective cleaning agent.
Urban Man's comment: Good idea. I don’t have vinegar stored, but now I will start.
Sugar. Cane sugar can be stored for extended periods of time as well. Bacteria does not grow on sugar because its content has little moisture, and cane sugar is a natural sweetener for other foods. You can remedy any lumps in your stored sugar, by heating it in a microwave on a low power setting, for one to two minutes per cup of sugar.
Urban Man's comment: What serious prepper doesn’t have sugar stored?
Corn Starch. Corn starch is used to thicken sauces and gravies. You can use it in puddings, and it stays fresh for a long time with proper storage. It needs to be stored in a cool and dry space, with a tightly sealed top on its storage container.
Urban Man's comment: Another thing I don’t have and will have to think about.
Pure Vanilla Extract. Vanilla extract is a dried plant that can last for a long time in storage. You will need to seal your vanilla extract and place it in a cool dark location. This form of flavoring is added to your other foods, for an improved cooking taste.
Urban Man's comment: Another thing I don’t have and will have to think about.