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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Chapter 26 Survival Chronicles of Jim – SHTF Consultant

I called urbanman the last Saturday although I’m not sure when he’ll edit this and post it. UrbanMan’s note: Jim sent this to me on 20 October and for the record I do not edit his content much.
I have been through three seasons since I last wrote about my journey becoming prepared. Since then I have re-planted and taken those vegetables – not really expanding my garden with the exception of a couple pots of herbs which did not amount to much. I continue to use Silver Saver as a means to purchase a little bit of Silver each much and once my monthly allotment to them reaches the required minimum amount (22 ounces), they send me the silver bullion.

I have not yet found a 1970’s truck or jeep type yet, but I am still looking.

Last year, I had befriended an older couple on my street with some vegetables (cucumber and squash) that I grew in back yard garden. The lady gave me a couple of jars of canned tomatoes and a suckatash (?), which I haven’t ate yet, even though I need to get the mason jars back to her. She promised to show me how to can vegetables. So my near term project is to try her canned vegetables, but a 12 piece canning set from Amazon, return her mason jars and ask her when she can teach me the “how to’s” of canning.

Her husband, the gentleman, is a Korean War vet, and has an M1 garand. After I gave him some .30-06 ammunition (still waiting on those clips Urbanman) he seemed to open up to me and showed me his other guns: a 12 gauge double barrel shotgun and a .45 cal pistol. We haven’t been out shooting again since the old guy has to be near or just past 80 years old, but he seems spry enough to use it when the time comes. Trying to see where his mind is on survival preparation as I think it took him some time to accept me in my goatee and occasional earring and I did not want to come across as a nut, so I asked him if he keeps his guns for memories or for a practical purpose. He said words to the effect that “you never know when you are going to need a gun”…..fair enough in my mind.

I did drop off a printed copy of a book called “Gone Before You Get There” highlighted 77 items that are in short supply during emergencies. I told the old man that I had bought this booklet so I can get an idea on how to be prepared in case of a natural disaster and was now finished with it. The old man just asked what kind of things I bought so I told him that stockpiled a little extra food, water and medical items. He just grunted and said something like “that’s sounds like a good idea, I’ll have a look at this”. Fair enough.

So the next thing that happens is that another neighbor, an older than me gent knocked on my door to ask about the old Ford Taurus with two flat tires parked in my car port. He was asking if I was looking to sell it. I had previous purchased it for $2,200 so my son could have a car to get back and forth to college, but my son never obtained the insurance on it before he left to college and ended up buying a different car. Anyway, to make a long story short, I asked the gent into my house so I could find and show him the title. In the living room he saw my shotgun laying on top of a short duffel I use as my range bag and my web belt with holster and asked if I was going out shooting. I told him I was until he stopped to talk about the Taurus. This neighbor, I’ll call him Bill, asked me about shooting and hunting. I told him, “I am not involved in any shooting sport nor do I hunt. I just like to go out and shoot my guns for practice because it makes me feel better prepared as an individual.”

Apparently Bill has a 7mm Magnum hunting rifle, but has been wanting to get a handgun for him defense. In short order I helped Bill pick out a S&W M&P 9mm handgun, a belt holster and mag pouches (this came in some type of kit offered by the factory) and 3 boxes of ammunition for $675 at a franchise sporting goods store. Since then, I saw him one morning and he told me he has bought a 12 gauge pump shotgun (I haven’t seen it yet) and he told me he wants to pickup a .22 rifle. Bill also told me he was kinda amazed that I was a single guy because I’m a neat freak and my house is pretty spotless, but saw that I had a water cooler with many 5 gallon jugs lined up next to it along the wall. I took that as an implied question so I told Bill “it’s just like why I own guns. In case there is an interruption of the water supply, I have enough to get by for a few weeks until things get restored.”

UrbanMan’s note: The pistol Jim’s friend bought is probably the Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm Range and Carry Kit. Kind of a one stop shop if you are not too specific on what holsters you really like and a good choice.

Bill just said “that’s a good idea.” We made some vague pans to go to the range together, which we have yet to do. But Bill did send me an e-mail asking me if I had any recommendations for stocking some “survival type” (his words) food.

Urbanman is now teasing me that I am a survival consultant, but in a more serious way we talked about how I am getting to know the neighbors, build some credibility with them, and have a basis for what may turn-out to be a neighborhood survival group. I will take Bill out shooting. This will be a good time to feel him out and see where he is at mentally to absorb what I started two years ago. I have the last of this year’s cucumbers which I will deliver to the old lady with her mason jars and make a plan for her to teach me canning. I understand there is a new Rawles survival novel out which I’ll order when I make my Canning Set order through Amazon…and start looking for that old 1970 pickup truck or jeep.

I have come to terms with not living Survival Prepping every day like I did in the beginning. Life gets in the way. But I still need to get better, not just measure it on an hour by hour or day by day basis. Wishing everyone a fruitful week.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

SHTF Underground Shelters

Post-Apocalypse Survival Shelters From a Yahoo! Article titled Company Sells Post-Apocalypse Survival Shelters", by Melissa Knowles

The world may end at the end of this year, or at least that is what a number of people are fearing because of the ancient Mayan calendar that does not go beyond December 21, 2012. Some people even fear that the end of the world could come in the form of a zombie apocalypse. If you're a doomsayer or know someone who is, a California-based company has a new solution for you.

Atlas Survival Shelters, whose slogan is "Better prepared than scared," offers survival chambers made out of 32x10-foot metal tubes. The chambers are designed to be installed 20 feet underground, far away from the possible crumbling of the world above. The survival chambers would be accessible from a hatch in the backyard of the survivalist.

Atlas's website says you can stay safe in one of their shelters in the event of "pandemic outbreak, civil unrest, malicious mobs and biological, nuclear fallout or attacks from home grown terrorists or other nations." Not every survival shelter is the same, because they're each customizable. They come equipped with bunk beds, flat-screen televisions, kitchens, and even an electric toilet.

So how much will you have to shell out to own one of these bad boys? The survival shelters start at close to $50,000 and go up from there. The owners say they have not actually sold one yet, but there have been some very serious inquiries. And they've recently added an incentive to purchase: Get 10 acres of land free when you buy a shelter.

Actually, Atlas Survival Shelters offer much more than 32x10 foot metal tube listed in the Yahoo! article.

You need to visit their website, at the very least you may gain some ideas on future Bug Out or Hide ideas.

I have a friend who bought and installed two concrete septic tanks, which are concrete boxes, and used rail road ties and a steel plate hatch welded with hinges to create a side access. As he told me, his main purpose was to have a cellar basically for storage of his stored foods then he realized he could live in one if he had to.

I haven't talked to him lately to see if he had developed an air or filter system, but if you think about it, it wouldn't be that hard to do. And in fact, several of these easily installed tanks emplaced together could provide a compartmented house like structure.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Everyone's Predicting the Coming Collapse

The Coming Economic Collapse,.....there are many recent sources hitting the internet waves predicting an economic collapse precipitated by or accelerated by a stock market collapse. To be sure, many are selling something,....paper or physical gold and silver,.......some sort of economic survival or investments information packet or book,.....and sometimes just some sort of commentary based capture system to sell you something later on.

Sorting through the facts and determining the causes and effects have validity, after all if you are reading this site (and other survival sites) you have some sense of impending doom, be it a total economic collapse,.....a great depression,.......or just a non-specific scenario where life will be not only much different than we know it but very dangerous......that's why we are all prepping.

And to be sure, the people who think they can manage their financial assets by moving money around, changing investments, etc., and survive are missing the foundation of survival preparation. However, if you have noticed the same things I have, you see many more these "experts" not only talking financial protections, but preparations that include food storage and physical gold/silver holdings.

You still don't see too much on the mainstream economic collapse predictors about safe location selection and preparations nor the basic need for security and the foundation of security that firearms provide.

Still, there are many noted and respected economic voices out there predicting some sort of economic hard times coming. Gerald Celente, Robert Kiyosaki, Congressman Ron Paul, Peter Schiff, and Jim Rogers just to name a few of the main stream analysts.

Newsmax After Shock Survival Summit, detailing how investors are planning to or or at least ready to dump stocks before or at the beginning of what many people think will be a 2013 market crash. The below video is a representation of a prediction of where the U.S. economy is headed. This is more of a middle of the road analysis and prediction, by economist Bob Wiedemer, who predicted the housing market crash, the grid-locking of the U.S. markets, the surge in national debt, the world wide financial crisis, and the downgrade of U.S. debt. He predicts the subsequent effects of the coming economic hard times will have on everyone. My posting of this video is not an endorsement, just a video that is a representative video of many analysts predicting the coming collapse.  He is also selling you information on how to protect yourselves. He (Wiedemer) says, about the upcoming tough times, "It's going to get worse, before it gets better". From my perspective, it's going to get worse all right, remains to be seen if it can get better after that.....after all, that's what we are preparing for.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bugging In - Not the Answer?

This was a comment posted on the "7 Day Warning to SHTF" post: "I don't believe "hoarding and stockpiling" are advantageous. It gives you a fixed position, which you must defend. I believe the better path is get as far away from urban areas as possible. Go where you know there's water. Where there is water there are animals. Get a field guide of Edible Plants of North America. Learn to use a bow. Chainsaws, cooking fires, and gunfire will draw unwanted attention eventually. "

UrbanMan's reply:  I agree that being away from the heavily populated areas, have a year round natural water source AND have a heavily stocked survival inventory is obviously the hands down best survival plan for the collapse.

I also agree that wilderness survival skills knowing how to survvie with basically nothing; identifying edible plants in your area; purifying water; building expdeient shelters; building fires; food procurement such as hunting , trapping and fishing, etc., are are basic and necessary skills for short term survival periods,....but it sounds like you are proposing surviving out of pack in the woods. I think the whole idea of survival prepping is not only to live but to live with some type of quality of live as close to normal as you can. Tjat means having stocks of food and supplies,...some sort of infrastructure even if it is just a cabin and a year round stream, and utilemtly a survival group were you can leverage everyone else's skills, expertise and security in numbers.

Some people will decide to Bug In for many diverse reasons:

1. Some people actually live in the big city and do not own their own transportation putting them in a great deficit when trying to Bug Out.
2. Others, maybe hedging their bets, think that although a collapse is unlikely, they prepare in some form or fashion but still think the Government will make things right in short order, so there is only a need to Bug In for a couple weeks. These people may run through their supplies and be left high and dry placing themselves at great risk when planning an impromptu, read unplanned or last minute, Bug Out.
3. Financial reasons plays a large part in what people will do. How much resources (time and money) you can devote to prepping; the need to have a job and bring in income sometimes dictates the location you live. 4. There will undoubtably be people who do not have nor cannot or are unwilling to develop the skills sets necessary to Bug Out.
5. Some people will decide that some things are more important in the short term such as living snormal a life as possible, being close to friends and family, etc. It is simply way too much past their comfort zone to leave behind their lives even when staying in place puts them at great risk. You see this time and time again in natural disasters such like Hurricane Sandy. Maybe something akin to the German Jews who were rounded up for slaughter thinking this cannot be happening. This denial is a key stage for people when death is imminient as in last stage cancer patients.

Bottom line for me is that I'll continue to better my survival chances. I have a chain saw. I have several hand saws to include camping bows. I am no stranger to building fires and using an axe and a wedge. I have quite a bit of experience in wilderness survival. Quite a bite of resources in identifying edible and poisonous plants. I have used many different techniques in fishing - nets, straight poles, flies, trolling, bow and arrow - water source with fish? No problem, here comes dinner.

And I will continue to build my survival stocks. More long range food. Enough ammunition as well. While the straight up Urban areas are going to be death traps in most all cases, there will be suburban areas, off refugee routes, that have a chance of organizing and maintaining a viable chance for survival. I'm planning on Bugging In, but several plans for Bugging Out as well. Good luck to you my friend.