Category Archives: Technology
By: Tom Chatham
Most people would agree that when disaster strikes, what you know is one of the most important things you will have to work with. Your knowledge base is the one thing you can carry with you wherever you go. It will allow you to create items from locally available materials and improve your situation, whatever it may be. It is this mindset that many preppers use to improve their chances if the unthinkable should happen.
But lets take this mindset a step further. What would you be capable of doing if a global catastrophe happened? One such as a pole shift that destroys much of the infrastructure, knowledge and people that know how to build things and how they work. Would you be able to recreate some of the things you would need to rebuild society if you had to start from scratch with only your knowledge to guide you?
I like to play a mental game sometimes to help me understand just how much I actually know so I can identify what I need to learn. One scenario I use is to imagine that I am suddenly left in a destroyed world. What complex system could I recreate that would help me utilize many of the technologies I have lost? One system I use is the aircraft carrier. That may sound strange but just think of all of the various systems that comprise of that one ship.
While you may not be able to recreate all of the systems in their current form you can retain the knowledge to build primitive versions of those systems. You may not have the ability to build microprocessors but you can build vacuum tubes. You may not be able to recreate the telephone but you can build a telegraph set. You may not be able to build a nuclear reactor but you can build a wood fired steam engine. You may not be able to build a GPS unit but you can build a sextant and compass.
All of the technology we have today was built on the foundation of previous technologies we once used. Even if you do not understand current technologies, knowing how antiquated equipment worked gives you a base of knowledge you can build on. The following are some of the technologies it is helpful to know if you ever need to recreate them from scratch.
How to identify iron ore in rocks and refine it into cast iron and steel
How to weld or rivet steel plates together
How to build a boat or large ship
How to build a simple steam engine fueled by wood
How to build a propeller for a ship
How to make oil lamps and fuel for them
How to make a basic light bulb
How to make copper wires
How to make a simple telegraph set
How to make a basic battery
How to make a basic radio set or crystal radio
How to make vacuum tubes for radios
How to build a simple airplane or glider
How to build a simple generator
How to build a crossbow
How to build a flintlock rifle
How to make gunpowder
How to make glass
How to make paper
How to build a water wheel for power
How to build basic machining tools such as a lathe or milling machine
How to build a water pump
How to build a saw blade to cut lumber
How to make lead pencils or ink
How to make cloth
How to build a still
How to build a compass
How to build a mechanical clock
How to navigate by the stars or sun
How to make a camera or tin type
How to make camera film
How to make a telescope or binoculars
If this list seems overwhelming, that is the idea, and this is a small list. Most people do not realize how much technology we use on a daily basis and most have no clue how any of it works. If they were suddenly cast out into the wilderness, they would likely revert to caveman living if they survived at all.
Learning about how things work does not have to be boring. Many people would find sitting around reading about making stuff enough to say forget it. If you want to learn about building boats you don’t need to build a ship, just build a canoe or row boat in your spare time. If you want to know about radios get a crystal radio kit or build a basic tube radio from scratch. If you want to learn about the basic structure of airplanes buy a balsa wood airplane kit and build a model from scratch. If you think a clock is too difficult to build try a paper clock kit that works. If you have kids these projects can be even more fun and educational if you do it with them.
In the event of a world cataclysm, if the few survivors could even recreate the technology of the early 20th century, they would have a good start on rebuilding our technology base. When knowledge is lost, it takes centuries to rediscover it. Just look at the achievements of the Romans and how much knowledge was lost when the Roman empire collapsed. Many of the areas reverted to more basic technologies until centuries later when the knowledge was rediscovered. Roman concrete was much harder than modern cement because they added volcanic ash to it to make it harder. How many people today know that?
When disaster strikes humanity at any level, the more MacGyver’s there are in society, the more likely we will recover from it with much less pain. Knowledge allows humans to be creative and constructive following a crisis while lack of knowledge turns people into animals doing anything they can to survive. Modern society has very little real knowledge and that does not bode well for the survival of humanity if the fateful day ever comes.
While very few people today may be able to recreate all of the things on this list, the more each person knows, the better off society as a whole will be in the future. You should endeavor to learn something new as often as possible until the day you die because you never know when that little bit of knowledge will be a lifesaver. It would be a shame for something to happen to this planet and the survivors be forced to revert to medieval living and the hardships it would entail for lack of knowledge of our most basic technologies.
By: Tom Chatham
If we follow the premise that all things on Earth are finite such as the physical resources we use then we must assume that at some point we will begin to run out of these resources as they are more heavily utilized. Our use of energy is one such item that should be addressed by the average person before we hit the wall of limited and then lack of these resources.
There are those that think solar and wind will be the salvation of our energy problems but these people fail to take into account the limitations of these energy sources. It still requires energy to extract the raw materials needed to build solar panels and these must be replaced at some point. Wind turbines require steel, concrete, fiberglass and copper just to name a few of the resources needed to make these things work and they too must be replaced every few decades as they wear out.
One problem with solar that I have talked about to people is the fact that massive amounts of energy must be stored in order for it to power the grid continuously. One person recently calculated that batteries to store enough energy to power the U.S for one day would require batteries covering 923 sq. miles and costing 41 trillion dollars. While I am an advocate of wind and solar I do not believe they are capable of powering our grid reliably. I think their benefits can only be utilized as stand alone systems on individual buildings.
Those that think solar and wind can replace oil do not understand our energy requirements at the present time and certainly do not understand the power requirements of things such as ships, trains and semi trucks that move the bulk of our commodities around the world. Cheap oil has made the current world trade system possible and the lack of cheap energy will cause a collapse of the status quo. The collapse of our current energy system will cause widespread chaos and depressed living standards if we do not address this issue now. It is for this reason that we need to look forward to the energy we will use in the future.
Hydrogen is more akin to a storage battery as it takes energy to separate the hydrogen from other elements to utilize in most cases. Fusion is still a promising energy source that we still do not know how to produce and maybe in the future if we figure it out it will change things but that is some time off. Things such as oil, natural gas and coal are heavily used today but they will only last so long and a growing population is using them at a faster rate as time goes on insuring their demise at some point. Nuclear power plants are filled with controversy and their future is uncertain unless something changes.
If our fossil fuel system begins to erode we will have to fall back on what we know. In this case the most available source of energy available to the population is that age old element, wood. As archaic as it sounds if our energy grid begins to shut down wood may be the go to system for individuals at the local level. A mature wood lot can produce about ¾ of a chord of wood per acre per year. When utilized within these limits it becomes sustainable for the long term.
A small homestead with a good woodlot and some solar and wind power may be the future we are forced to embrace until some new energy source becomes available in large enough quantities to fulfill our needs on a large scale. Now is the time to begin this conversion before we are forced to do so when the materials we need are no longer available to the masses. There are many people that have made this change and live off the grid today and are very happy about it.
Wood is also a viable source of energy for vehicles utilized in the local area. Wood gas can provide the energy to power much of the agricultural equipment we need to maintain the food supply. While this is a step back it will likely become a necessity at some point if we wait too long. With wood gas a conservative estimate of wood power indicates about 20 pounds of wood equals a gallon of gasoline when utilized in a motor vehicle. There is some power loss with wood and production efficiencies vary from system to system.
Much of the population growth of the world has been made possible by the availability of cheap energy and the loss of this cheap energy will cause a drastic adjustment to the population on this planet as we run into resource scarcity. The abundance of food we now produce depends on vast quantities of cheap, available energy. Nature has a way of balancing things out if we refuse to do so on our own. People need to understand this.
While a small homestead with solar and wind power and equipment powered by wood may not be the ideal plan, it is one you can be working towards while you can do so with minimal disruption to your lifestyle. In the near future if energy prices and availability should become more of an issue than it is now, having alternative energy systems will minimize the effect on your quality of life. I suggest you have a plan that works for you and your family before you are forced into one by events.
A plan to deal with an energy shortage will not only protect you from a shortage but also from manmade and natural disasters that would curtail or eliminate the timely delivery of energy to the masses. The ability to provide the majority of your own energy needs makes you less vulnerable to shocks that can send society into panic and disrupt many lives. Over time things change. This can be beneficial or detrimental to our well being and your ability to adapt to those changes will determine your quality of life in the years to follow.
Our energy resources may be stable for many years to come. Then again they could change drastically in a matter of weeks. Walking into the future with your eyes closed knowing full well you could fall off a cliff is a dangerous way to live, especially when you could take steps to minimize the dangers and insure your quality of life if something does happen.
By: Tom Chatham
We all like to think that even if something catastrophic happens we will still have at least some access to electricity to run some of our most critical items. It is in our nature to be optimistic when it comes to our well being. Unfortunately the universe has no limit to the ways it can harm us. Whether through natural or manmade occurrences, we are subject to crisis at any time.
It is this potential for hardship that we are required as thinking persons to take due diligence and insure we can overcome potential events at least to some degree. Preparedness allows us to exert a certain amount of control over what happens to us.
It does not matter if it is a hurricane, earthquake, CME or war. How well we cope with the event is entirely up to us. When the worst of events happen we are forced back onto our own resources until things stabilize and resupply of basic needs is restored. In some cases it could be weeks or even years before this stabilization happens and distribution systems are reestablished. This will depend on the type of event and its damaging effects.
When the worst happens and society as a whole is stripped of its modern conveniences, only those that can cope with the new reality will likely survive. This means knowing how to use the ways of past generations to get by from day to day. Survival will depend on how prepared you are to revert to these older techniques to fulfill logistical needs. Here are some of the major items you will need to deal with when the worst happens.
Water sources and pumping –
Finding and retrieving clean water is a critical need when services are cut off for extended durations. Knowing where to go locally to find clean water and having a way to collect it and carry it home become life saving measures. Having the means to filter water or knowing how to build devices to do so becomes priceless knowledge.
Growing food –
Having food stores is essential to staying alive following an event until distribution and production systems are working again. Storable food gives you the time to find new sources of food or to begin growing your own food. The ability to grow your own food provides you with a sustainable source of food for indefinite periods of time. Extra food production also gives you a product to trade with.
Storing food –
Once you have food you must have a way to store it until you use it. Different foods have different storage requirements and shelf life. You may need several types of storage to satisfy all of your needs. Root cellars, dehydration, canning and salting are some of the most popular methods that do not require electricity to maintain food supplies.
Providing heat and light –
Providing heat and light without electricity will require primitive methods to some extent. Wood stoves for heating and cooking are necessities over long periods of time. Some stoves with glass doors will even provide some light. Oil lamps and candles are the most basic types of home lighting. In desperate situations it is possible to make additional candles and produce liquids to burn in lamps.
When modern types of transportation no longer work you must cultivate older systems to fulfill your needs. Bicycles, horses, boats and walking will be the fallback systems most will use when modern systems fail.
Without electricity to send and receive signals from afar, older more local systems will be required. Bike or horse messengers will become standard again. For more technical minded people like ham radio operators, Morse code can still be utilized with the use of signal mirrors or signal lamps. Message boards at central locations will be useful for dispersion of information to local populations.
Poor sanitation has the ability to kill more people than anything else on Earth. We see it all the time following major disasters. Whatever your living situation is now, it could drastically change within minutes. Understanding proper sanitation methods such as how to build an outhouse in your yard can mean the difference between life and death. You need to know how you will dispose of waste safely if your current system stops working. This is especially true if you live in a city where your options may be limited.
In the old days before telephones, the sheriff was a long ride away. Any imminent threats had to be dealt with by you. That can happen again and does following some disasters. Being able to keep your surroundings safe following some event will allow you to start the rebuilding process. Lack of a safe area makes survival much harder especially long term.
Long ago when a person got sick they either sent for the doctor or carried the sick person to him. This usually required actual horse power in either case meaning it was slow. When this happens today we have the advantage of having modern medicines and equipment to keep people alive when they would have likely died in the past. Many of these modern techniques and medicines can be maintained by individuals to insure they are available to injured persons if help cannot come. Knowledge of medical procedures and organic medicines would be necessary if a long term disaster occurred.
The possibility of total loss of electrical production and electrical devices is very small but not impossible. The only way to be fully prepared for any type of event is to assume the worst case will happen and have a plan to deal with the needs of the community. It is good to have back up equipment to satisfy your needs but some natural disasters can destroy that equipment leaving you only the most basic means to work with. When that happens what you know becomes very important.
Knowing how to take care of basic needs for long durations without the aid of modern conveniences becomes more critical as the world around us becomes more automated and technologically based. Many people today cannot function when something as simple as a power outage or communication outage occurs. They have forgotten how to think for themselves and think through the most simple problems.
If the worst should happen such as an earthquake or major war, leaving you cut off from modern services, it will be up to you to work through the problems you face with the tools available to you. Help may not come for a very long time and if that happens your life will be in your hands.
By: Tom Chatham
The threat of a massive CME or human initiated EMP that takes down most of the electrical devices we depend on has become more of a threat to modern survival than ever before. Modern man has become so dependant on technology that the loss of it can have sudden and catastrophic consequences to our daily survival. The 1859 Carrington Event caused much chaos in its day but life went on. The problem is that we have moved far beyond those simpler days of 19th century America.
A catastrophic loss of technical infrastructure today would have the potential to reduce the American population by up to 90% according to many experts in the field. This is due to the inability of modern populations to adapt to the sudden changes and the lack of modern delivery systems to supply large population centers. The inability of population centers to function without modern technology could be overcome but the lack of preparations by these people make it unlikely. This is due to the lack of a functional infrastructure to replace modern technology and the lack of supplies to carry people over until older methods could become functional.
Water and sewage can be moved by steam powered pumps and bulk food supplies can be moved by steam locomotives. The lack of these archaic items makes this unlikely today in the short term but possible none the less. You also find problems with modern food production where the current 2% that produces food for the other 98% will no longer have the ability to do so without modern machines. With modern technology removed from the equation we simply do not have the infrastructure to maintain the current population. That does not mean we do not have the ability to maintain a smaller population.
Even in the worst technology disruption we still have items that can help to maintain a smaller population and provide a good quality of life. It only requires that people embrace this older technology and have it available if the time ever comes that it is needed. The following is a list of items that will still function even with a catastrophic CME or EMP.
Mechanical clock or watch
Steam engine and boiler system
Absorption refrigeration systems and gas appliances
Compass and paper map
Pencils and pens
Typewriters and carbon paper
Manual printing press
Slide rules and mechanical adding machines
Gramophone and records
Mechanical sewing machine
Livestock, plants, seeds
Fishing poles and nets
Stills and fermentation tanks
Telescopes and binoculars
Firearms and ammo
Independent septic systems
Mechanical food processing equipment
Mechanical weather instruments
Non-electrical medical instruments
Bicycles, sail boats, balloons
Clothes line and washing tub
This is only a small list but you can get the idea. Even with a catastrophic loss of modern technology we still have items that can function and carry a smaller population until systems can be rebuilt or repaired. One of the differences between the survivors and victims will be the amount of older infrastructure available to them when the worst happens. Those that have the ability to access older technology will fare much better than the multitudes that have no access. It all boils down to infrastructure and supplies and the masses that laugh at preppers will learn that lesson the hard way if this scenario ever comes to pass.
Many of the things on this list are already owned by many and other items are relatively cheap and take up very little space but will be worth their weight in gold if they are ever truly needed. In a massive CME or EMP many things will be lost but many things will still work and allow you to live if you have access to them. The day that everything suddenly stops, you will have what you have on hand to deal with it. A CME or EMP does not have to be the end of the world but unfortunately for most it will be. How well are you prepared?
By: Tom Chatham
When the grid power that you depend on suddenly stops for an extended time, you need an alternative supply to work with. If you have an off grid home you will have the same options to look at for power. The main thing is if you are living off grid for extended periods you will need to analyze how you create and utilize that power.
Using a backup generator for a few days every year is a far cry from providing all of your power on a continuous basis. A backup generator is great but most of them are not built to provide power on a continuous basis. Even if you had the fuel supply to run it for a year it is likely your generator will break down after only a few hundred hours if you are even that lucky. I have seen a brand new generator suffer an electrical failure after the first hour of operation with no load on it. The motor had to have an electrical component replaced inside the motor which required a mechanic with the proper tools and the replacement part.
For those that want or need to live off the grid it is necessary to look at the power system and understand where the weak links are. If you find yourself in a situation where you must provide all of the maintenance and repairs yourself, you must have the necessary tools and repair parts as well as the knowledge to do the job. In a longterm situation, the simpler the system is the more reliable it will be and the less you will need to fix over time. There are systems that are well made if you can afford them, and they will give many years of service but eventually you will run into the same problem. You may be called on to repair them some day and most people are not prepared to do that.
If you are contemplating a retreat to shelter you from some kind of catastrophic event, you will want something that the average person can work on and maintain with minimal effort for thousands of hours. It is common to find that the most efficient and easy to use systems are filled with high tech components that the average person does not understand and has no hope of fixing given a component breakdown. The more electrical components you have in your power chain from the generator to the appliance you wish to run, the more chance you have for a failure of some type that requires replacement of a component or equipment to restore electrical power.
Living off grid you have three basic choices for electrical power. You can have no electrical power, use 110v AC or 12v DC. In many cases you will have a combination of AC and DC components. To keep things simple you may want to analyze your situation and determine if using only 12v DC power may be best longterm.
Utilizing only 12v systems will greatly simplify your system and make it easier for the average person to fix when something breaks. A pure 12v system works well with alternative power generation such as solar, wind and hydro. In most cases you are generating power and storing it in a battery bank for later use. If your appliance is 12v DC you will be able to run this item straight off the battery system . In this instance you have reduced your components to the very minimum. Generator, regulator, battery and appliance. This is basically how the electrical system on a car is set up.
This very basic electrical system is easy to maintain, very durable and easy to repair. An automotive alternator can operate for thousands of hours and can be rebuilt with a few tools and repair parts by anyone with some mechanical ability. The automotive regulator either internal or external is easy to replace and easy to stock extras for future use. There are many 12v DC appliances available that can be useful in an off grid household to include refrigerators and freezers.
When thinking of longterm use the fewer appliances you have the easier it will be to provide the power you need. Having only a few necessary appliances and some 12v lighting will allow you to harden your system and get the most out of it over time. With a 12v system you can still utilize 110v appliances when needed utilizing power inverters but in the event these components become inoperative you will still have the use of your 12v system for full utilization.
You may still need a motor to turn your alternator but you will have more options to do so. You can use a small air cool motor that you already have and if it breaks you have the ability to replace it with another one. You can even use your car to provide the power and use it to charge a battery pack. The ability to power engines with homemade fuel also allows you to generate power when fuel is hard to find.
Making automotive alternators the center of your power system will give you much more flexibility over time. It is much easier to find another alternator than an AC generator especially in desperate times when everyone is looking for them. The same can be said for power inverters. We have an AC generator for emergency use but to date it has not been used.
In the past when we have suffered power outages lasting for days we have used a home built system. We take the motor off of our rotor tiller and bolt it to a board with an automotive alternator. This system charges a set of deep cycle batteries. We then hook a power inverter to the battery pack to run the freezer. With this type of system we can run the motor only a few hours a day and have uninterrupted power all day and night. This helps to conserve limited fuel supplies and limit’s the wear and tear on the motor.
When the power goes out we take everything out of the kitchen freezer and put it in the deep freezer. We then place gallon jugs in the deep freezer to freeze and rotate these into the refrigerator to keep it cool. This allows us to keep everything refrigerated and only have to power one appliance to conserve on power.
Having some type of plan to maintain power to essential devices is essential to maintaining your quality of life when you can no longer depend on the power grid. Whether you use 12v exclusively or a combination of AC and DC power, you will need to have something you can depend on if the unthinkable happens and you are thrown back on your own resources.
By: Tom Chatham
Many people have no doubt heard of the mythical planet X and the destruction it will unleash on Earth as it passes by. There have been many doomsayers and naysayer’s to date so either you believe in it or you don’t. For those that believe in it a recent interview of Bob Fletcher by Dave Hodges will give you some things to ponder in the coming days.
According to Fletcher, all of the martial law preparations to date are in expectation of the arrival of planet X. All of the governments around the world know of the coming of this heavenly body and are making their own plans to deal with it. The massive number of bunkers around the world that have been prepared in the past few years are expected to be occupied by their owners in the very near future.
Fletcher expects martial law to be declared just prior to the ability of people on Earth to see this body as it approaches. This will insure the elite will be able to bug out to their shelters without hindrance by the lowly masses who will not be told of the approaching mass. The state of martial law could be provoked by the anticipation of WWIII, a plague or as Fletcher suspects as a series of terrorist strikes in multiple places in a short span of time. Basically, we will see a serious problem occur that will keep people occupied as time runs out for them. The declaration of martial law will be the confirmation that Planet X is about to make its close approach.
The information he has from astronomers is that this body will be visible on Earth in the month of December regardless of the year it arrives. By March the worst effects will be felt as it passes. Earth will pass through the tail twice as we revolve around the sun chasing it. We will be in the tail for one hour each time and will be subject to all of the tail debris that follows it. This means we could be hit by multiple space debris to include mountain size asteroids. If one of this size hits the ocean they expect a tsunami about 100 feet tall hitting the corresponding coasts. The meteor hits will create fires worldwide.
As the body moves past the earth they suspect we will be pulled over about 26 degrees. The gravity from this body which appears to be about 5 times the size of Earth will cause tidal forces that pull water over some sections of land. This will be reminiscent of the biblical flood of Noah.
The people studying this event suspect the electromagnetic forces associated with this passing will fry everything electrical on the planet. These forces will be so severe that Faraday cages may not help. This means that those that survive will emerge in a world devoid of all functional electrical gadgets and the ability to power them.
The time from the first passing through the tail to the second passing will be 155 days, and according to Fletcher it will be pure hell on Earth during that time. But, we will see effects on Earth before this destruction happens. They suspect the weather problems we are now facing are just some of the first effects we will experience in the coming days. Earthquakes and volcanism are other effects that seem to be present and escalating at this time as well.
According to Fletcher this is why bunkers are being prepared and stocks of storage food are being bought up as fast as possible. It is also the reason why seed banks are being built by the elites, so they can reseed the planet after it is all over.
If you have not guessed by now, the little people will not be told of the coming destruction and will have no place in these bunkers when the time comes. Fletcher says that even some congressmen and senators that expect to be saved will not get the call when the time comes. When the effects start in earnest it will be an every man for himself situation and few will probably survive it.
According to what is expected it would be wise to be away from the coast and high in the mountains when this hits. Some type of underground shelter will probably help but without knowing specific patterns of destruction it is hard to say if individual shelters will survive the event. If this happens it will be an event of biblical proportions to say the least.
Keeping these things in mind over the coming days will help you to understand any moves by the government. Bob Fletcher also has a DVD for sale on his site with much more detail than in his recent interview and you can find that at bobfletcherinvestigations.com. In the event these things do come to pass and you expect to survive them you might want to read an older article 50 tools and technologies to rebuild civilization(June 2012).
If this planet is for real and causes this kind of destruction it will be a global reset of epic proportions. If this happens I can only hope that those that survive and rebuild will do it better the next time and avoid the problems we always seem to manufacture to destroy ourselves.
By: Tom Chatham
The events of the past few days show just how vulnerable the U.S. is to cyber warfare. Many people have read about the problems that can occur if the infrastructure is attacked and disabled or destroyed cutting everyone off to essential services. Here are some of the services that were compromised on just one day this week.
– The WSJ suffered computer problems resulting in outage
– Service providers such as Verizon, AT&T and Sprint suffered computer problems affecting their services
-The NYSE was down for almost 4 hours due to a computer “glitch”
– United Airlines was grounded nationwide as computer problems shut down their operations
These four incidents, while not officially due to cyber attack, are just an example of what is possible if cyber attackers wish to do some harm. These four incidents cover, transportation, communication, information and financial sectors of the economy. The very things society depends on to function correctly. The only one missing is power.
Some insiders believe this was just a beta test for things to come. If that is so then the American people have much to worry about. It is bad enough if these threats are foreign born but the American people have just as much to fear from their own government today. The executive orders and military posturing going on leave little room for speculation that elements of our government are planning and expecting something catastrophic to happen in the near future.
If the U.S. is hit with a massive cyber attack, it will cause chaos nationwide within minutes as services are interrupted and people find themselves without the support systems they rely on every day. The loss of services for a few hours is an inconvenience but the loss for several days or weeks would be life threatening. That is something most Americans are not prepared for. They have complete faith in the government to protect them and provide the things they need. That faith will be the undoing of many people when the time comes. That is because these people have abdicated their responsibility to take care of themselves and their family to the government.
The people that see or at least fear what could happen in an uncertain world, have taken the necessary steps to make a loss of services as minor as possible. Many of these people have gone off the grid to provide the every day necessities their family needs free of the trappings of modern society.
Even if you do not go completely off the grid, you can do many simple things to insure your family will be safe and secure when the electrons that modern society is built on stop flowing. There are many annual disasters and smaller problems that cut off services to people. It might be a flood, hurricane or ice storm that cuts you off from the outside world for days at a time. Many people have learned from their past experiences and taken steps to provide the things they will lose if that type of thing happens again. The problem is that the vast majority go back to their normal lives after suffering the hardship of disaster and think nothing more until it happens again.
When you think about the many different things that could happen to you it is easy to come up with a list of things you would suffer without. Being in a rural area and suffering from an ice storm that cuts off power, communications and travel ability is similar to what would happen if a cyber attack took down most systems in the winter.
You would need the same back-up systems in both cases. You would need food, water, light and heat at the very least. Non-electric systems are a must when something like this happens. About the only thing you need electrical power for is refrigeration over long periods and winter weather could help with that if you have a window box or cooler to take advantage of the outside refrigeration capability. In warmer climates the possession of an absorption or propane refrigerator will allow you to keep items frozen or cool for several weeks with only a few 20lb.cannisters of propane.
Propane will also take care of heating, cooking and lighting needs if you want to go that route. Otherwise, wood heat and basic lighting such as kerosene lamps, candles or small battery powered lamps can take care of your other environmental needs. The storage of basic foods, especially canned goods, and sufficient water will also insure your family has the things they need to ride out the situation. In the event you can buy or trade in the aftermath of the disaster it is always good to have some cash on hand and maybe some gold or silver for long term problems.
These basic things are the basis of being immune from the types of problems brought about by a loss of electrical technologies that bring society to a halt. The ability to communicate with others in the absence of public communication systems and the ability to maintain security in the absence of law enforcement are also things that need to be looked at for serious, long term situations. The ability to provide for sanitation during disasters is also something few prepare for so that needs to be addressed as well. A simple outhouse is worth its weight in gold when sanitation systems cease to function properly.
These items are practically immune from any cyber attack and will allow you to maintain minimum living standards for long periods of time in the event it becomes necessary. One does not have to go to extremes to become cyber proof. The security provided by normal camping supplies and preparations will go a long way to keeping you safe and healthy when technology fails. If everyone was a prepper, disasters would be non-events for most people and cyber threats would be little more than minor inconveniences.
By: Tom Chatham
There is much talk about the possibility of an EMP or CME that takes out the power grid causing chaos nationwide. Some have stated that having cash on hand is necessary to make some last minute shopping trips to top off supplies. That is a good idea but in today’s world how effective would that be?
In the early 80’s I worked in a small local grocery store after school like many kids in my generation. This store had two checkout lines of which only one was normally used except during rush hour when 5 or six people would be in line at once.
One Sunday morning the power went off for several hours. There were some people that made a usual stop at this store on Sunday mornings for their Sunday paper and to do some shopping. On this particular day they continued to come in as usual but we had no power.
My boss who was also the store owner did not want to lose the business so he improvised. He went to his office and brought back a small portable calculator that had a printer on top. He stood at the register and added up the items as the people came to the counter, they paid in cash as normal, he wrote down the total of the sale for his records, gave them a printed receipt from the calculator and they went on their way.
This was all possible for three reasons. We had a means to add up the items, the customers were able to pay in cash and the most important thing was that all of the items had a price stamped on them.
This sounds like a normal reaction to something like this but would it happen the same way today if the power went out?
Most of the people working at the registers would not be able to add up the items for sale if it were not for the computer doing all the work for them. Even if they wanted to sell items, practically all corporate owned stores use scanners to scan the prices. The days when items had the price stamped on them are long gone, at least as far as the major stores are concerned. This lack of prices would make it almost impossible for stores to sell items even if they wanted to. The cashiers have no idea what the prices are these days.
The other major factor is the ability to pay in cash. With the grid down and no POS terminals working, most people would have no way to pay for their goods. In the old days stores accepting credit cards had a manual machine they placed the card in along with a credit receipt and they would rack the press and imprint the receipt. The person would sign the slip and receive a copy of the credit transaction. The store would then send the credit receipt in to get their money. Unlike today, this antiquated system worked even if the power was off.
Today there is no manual fallback if the POS system does not work. This makes any longterm blackout a potential time bomb for any society that relies on immediate credit processing systems.
In the event of a blackout today, only small stores would likely have goods that are individually priced and a worker capable of adding the sale even if the person had some cash. These are the problems that modern society has created for itself. These are the things you need to keep in mind if you plan to shop after a blackout has occurred. You and your cash are only part of the equation. The store and its ability to sell during a blackout is on the other side of the equation.
Keeping these things in mind, it might be a good idea to scope out the local stores near you and assess their ability to sell during a blackout if the situation ever arises. Keeping some cash on hand for emergencies is always a good idea, just be aware of the limitations you may face in using that cash where you want to shop.
By: Tom Chatham
What happens when an unstoppable government agency meets an immovable public opinion? In this case the unstoppable agency is forced to change course. At least for now.
According to the Washington Times, the BATFE has apologized for a “publishing error” that led everyone to believe the M855 ammo, that so many people use, was already banned. There is still a comment period until March 16 on its proposal to ban the ammo.
According to an agency statement, “ ATF has not rescinded any armor piercing ammunition exemption, and the fact they are not listed in the 2014 online edition of the regulations was an error which has no legal impact. ATF apologizes for any confusion caused by this publishing error”.
The ATF’s statement specified that the exemptions for 5.56mm SS109 and M855 ammo, and for the U.S. .30-06 M2AP bullet “remain in effect”.
This is just another case of the Obama administration putting the cart before the horse. Just like the 100,000 illegals that were given documents before the official amnesty period was to begin, they have tried to slip past the gatekeepers by ignoring or rewriting laws that they cannot pass in Congress.
If the outrage had not been as universal as it was, it is likely ATF would have left the revised regulations as they were, without the exemptions for the popular ammo and the die would have been cast. This is not the end. They will be back with another scheme to deny the public guns and ammo.
This was no publishing error as described because the Obama administration was touting the benefits and need for this for weeks. If it was merely a publishing error, how did they know about it? Government corruption is beginning to wear thin on a populace that has had enough of big government incursions into individual rights.
If they cannot get this ban, they will try for something else very soon, that much is guaranteed. As I have stated before, when it comes to guns and ammo, the two critical items are primers and powder. Everything else can be made from scratch or reused multiple times. It’s these two items you really need to watch in the future. When they go after these items, you know they are getting serious and desperate. Just something to keep in mind in the days ahead.
By: Tom Chatham
Those that claim TPTB want to disarm Americans so they can take control are right to some degree. What many have not yet realized is that there are other items beyond guns and bullets that the government would have to ban to prevent individuals from acting out against the dictatorship many see taking form.
One of the things Dave Hodges lists as necessary for martial law is the elimination of guns, ammo and certain chemicals. It’s the certain chemicals that the average person thinks little about but can reap more havoc on occupation forces than bullets. In Iraq it was the IEDs and EFPs that caused the most fear.
Most people do not realize that many of the chemicals that they use on a daily basis have multiple uses. It is these everyday chemicals that the government will likely try to ban or restrict just prior to taking full control of the country.
Ammonium nitrate is used in ice packs and for fertilizer. Aluminum powder is used for radiator stop leak. Nitromethane is a fuel additive used for drag racing and model planes among other things. When these three items are mixed in the proper way they form a plastic compound similar to C4.
Rust is a common element found just about anywhere unprotected metal exists. When that rust is combined with aluminum powder and ignited, it produces a flame that can melt steel. It is commonly known as thermite.
Sulfur is used for many different things like gardening. Charcoal is used for things like water filtration and salt petre is used for things like food preservation. When these three items are combined they produce black powder.
This is just a short list of everyday chemicals that can be used by individuals fighting a rogue government. That is why these items will likely be taken off the market or restricted at some point to prevent those with the know-how from utilizing every means possible to fight for their freedom.
It is not a coincidence that environmentalism will likely be used to remove these things from society’s reach. Just like lead, a primary component of homemade bullets is under fire for damage to the environment and forces are trying to remove it from general use in things like bullets, wheel weights and batteries and is the main reason the last lead mine in the U.S. was closed down last year. This is the reason liberals are so close to the environmental groups. It is a means to an end.
Perhaps after reading this things will make more sense in the future when you see seemingly unrelated things happening. When you see legislation banning certain chemicals or products in the future as dangerous you will likely know what the real reason is. This is just one more reason to stock certain items for future use whatever your intended use is for them but you should be careful what you store and where you store it. It is now common practice for police when they search your property to look for certain chemicals that they can use to accuse you of being a bomb maker.
So, to some extent, the government is already beginning to tighten down the screws on the public. The long slow march to tyranny has begun and the worst is yet to come. Be prepared and be smart.