VIEWS: 177 PAGES: 68 CATEGORY: Other POSTED ON: 11/19/2010
This is a repost of my first document I posted here. My original post seems to have disappeared. If you have downloaded the original, this is the same report. Since it was written before the 2008 elactions, many of the things I wrote are dated. I plan to update the "newsy" portions to better reflect the current situation, plus I have gotten in touch with some people with good resources worth adding to the resources list.
SPRINGBOARD FOR SURVIVAL A REPORT ON THE POTENTIAL THREATS FACING US IN THE NEAR FUTURE AND WHAT YOU CAN DO TO PREPARE Steve Herr SPRINGBOARD FOR SURVIVAL A REPORT ON THE POTENTIAL THREATS FACING US IN THE NEAR FUTURE AND WHAT YOU CAN DO TO PREPARE Steve Herr Copyright 2007 by Steve Herr Electronic versions of this report are free. Send email to Newcreature52@juno.com to request. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this report provided it is reproduced in its entirety. Get the word out. FORWARD When I first came up with the idea for this report back in February of 2006, I envisioned a small handbook with all that I’d learned in 25 years about surviving a disaster with which I could pass on that information and, perhaps make a few extra bucks in the process. One thing that I did not count on was that things would happen so fast. * It is difficult to be a news junkie and remain optimistic. As you will read further on, I have found that there are a total of four potential disasters, any one of which could change our lives forever. Two come from radical Islam, and what they would dare to do with nuclear weapons. One comes from the bumbling of our own elected leaders whose addiction to power will drive them to do ANYTHING to keep their party on top. The last threat comes from Mother Nature herself, not quite the loving mother that naïve environmentalists fancy her to be. I have directed this report to warning of these threats, and giving suggestions to prepare, but – as I said – things are moving much faster than I anticipated. Al-Qaeda operatives have already been smuggling suitcase nukes into the country for years. A news item just a few days prior to this writing stated that President Bush is seriously considering launching a preemptive attack designed to completely cripple Iran. While this campaign may remove Iran as a threat, the rest of the Muslims worldwide will be quite active, and ready for revenge. A story released March 30 stated that the University of Georgia has concluded after a 3-year study that we are just not ready for a nuclear attack. At all. A recent story in the news reported that a family in Indonesia who died of the H5N1 avian influenza – “Bird Flu” – in 2006 were victims of human-to-human transmission. If this strain cannot be contained, we will see a worldwide pandemic that will dwarf anything we have seen in our lifetimes. The need for this information is urgent. The usual pace of getting a book published is far, far too slow. I have shifted mental gears to present this report in a no-frills format. No comics to make my points as in other books of mine. No attempt to make this a pretty product. Just raw facts present to the public, who can do with the information as they wish. You are invited to reproduce this report to pass on to whomever is willing to make use of the information. Forward it through email. Print out copies to hand off to those without computers. Give away copies at church, at work, to each of your neighbors. All that I ask is that you do not make any changes, and to pass on this report in its entirety. If someone wants a copy emailed to them, contact me at Newcreature52@juno.com requesting it. Electronic copies are free. I will also provide hardcopies for a small fee to cover the cost of printing and postage. I have given up the idea of making any money from this. Of course, I am not being completely altruistic about this. The more people who learn this information and take it to heart, the better our country will weather these disasters. Steve Herr September 2007 *2007 is proving to be closing on a very scary note. On December 27th Benarzir Bhutto, former premier of Pakistan, and one who served as a promise for another democracy in the Middle East, was assassinated. Her death left Pakistan in the hands of current president, Pervez Musharraf, who talks tough about terrorism, but has done virtually nothing. Bhutto’s murder brings the country several steps closer to al-Qaeda’s control – and control of Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile. I have been reading from several independent sources over the last month that early 2008 is going to serve as the watershed for some huge global financial upheaval. Things are already bad from the subprime mortgage mess, and in the middle of December, the members of the European Union received a huge infusion of 500 Billion euros to help keep their economies afloat. And to further ruin your day, there are reports surfacing of millions of dead birds in California, there were three human deaths attributed to the H5N1 virus in Egypt in a week, and Indonesia has now logged over a hundred deaths from the bird flu – from human-to-human contact. The time to prepare is NOW. SPRINGBOARD TO SURVIVAL INTRODUCTION It has been said that a man does not worry about the future until he gets married. In my case it was certainly true. After my marriage to my wife, Kathleen, in 1982 I started looking at the world around us and wondered what the future held for us. A little over a year later our first child was born, and his arrival exacerbated my concern for my family’s well-being. In the 80’s there was the threat of nuclear war. I read what I could find on what it would take to survive a nuclear holocaust. On the tail of the collapse of the Soviet Union the chance of the collapse of our own economy seemed not only possible, but likely. Bankruptcy 1995, by Harry Figgie, made for scary reading. The latter 90’s fueled concerns for Y2K, adding TEOTWAWKI to our vocabulary. Having dodged Y2K, we encountered a very real threat in the form of religious fanaticism. What many people viewed as an unreasonable religion located safely over on the far side of the world, radical Islam forced itself into the forefront of our attention on September 11, 2001. Since then we have learned of a plot by al-Qaeda to smuggle nukes into the United States, then detonate them in the large cities, and separate plans by Iran to set off a high-altitude nuclear explosion to cripple all of our electronics. Besides men’s deliberate plans to ruin our lives, we are still faced with the bumbling elected leaders who don’t seem to have the slightest idea that overspending will eventually lead to economic downfall. Despite getting elected on a conservative platform, President Bush has signed the largest spending bill in our nation’s history. Congress is absolutely bloated with political pork, and the last statistic I read stated that the national debt is growing by 1.6 billion dollars per day. That is not a misprint. In the mid 90’s the debt was growing by “only” 1.1 billion dollars per day. Just recently the Senate voted to raise the debt ceiling to 9 TRILLION dollars. Our country is still on the road to bankruptcy – just not on Harry Figgie’s projected schedule. If threats by humans were not enough, Mother Nature, it seems, has to get her licks in too. About every one hundred years there is a major pandemic that sweeps through the world’s population. The last one was the Spanish flu in 1918, when tens of millions of people were killed around the world, over half a million just in the United States. Avian influenza H5N1 – hyped in the media as merely “bird flu” – has been spreading among poultry in Asia for several years. It has started spreading to Europe, with new countries being added to the list almost every day. As of right now it is merely passing from birds to humans with whom they have close contact. Many health officials fear, though, that it is just a matter of time before the virus mutates to a form that is easily passed from human to human. We have come to a point where we have not just one potential for disaster, but four. Any one of these events could drastically change our lives and destroy the comfortable existence that we all take so much for granted. I have feared for my family’s well-being for twenty-five years now. I have spent that time reading what I can and making what preparations I can. With this report, I hope to share the best of what I have learned. As with other things I have written, I will hit the high points, then point you to resources where you can go to address your own concerns in more detail. (1) THE THREATS ARE REAL “Luck favors the prepared.” - Edna Mode to Elasigirl in The Incredibles If, on September 10th, 2001, I had told you that some terrorists would hijack four jet airliners and use them to destroy the World Trade Center, attack the Pentagon, and target the White House (or perhaps the Capitol) you would have told me I was crazy. We now know that there are monsters out there who care nothing for innocent life. There are people out there who want to kill you. Not because of anything you have done – they don’t even have any idea that you exist - but they want to kill you just the same. Since the late 70’s radical members of Islam have been growing in numbers and influence in the Middle East. As long as they stayed in the Middle East, most people were content to just push them to the back of their minds. After all, there were kids to raise, jobs to go to, and Real Life to live…maybe the Lions would make it to the Super Bowl. That all changed on September 11th. Forever. “9/11” will now mean the worst attack on Americans ever on our own soil. I have some bad news. These people have not gone away. 9/11 was not enough to do all the damage they want to do to us. There are currently two very real threats to us from radical Islam. The first is from al-Qaeda again. According to the latest intelligence, Adnan el-Shukrijumah, America's most wanted al-Qaeda terrorist, hatched a plot with the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) street gang in Honduras and Mexico. While people have been distracted by “Survivor,” Michael Jackson, and Paris Hilton, al-Qaeda operatives, with the help of MS-13, have been quietly slipping over our southern borders and bringing suitcase nukes with them. This is all part of a plan that Osama bin Laden has dubbed “American Hiroshima.” His plan is to simultaneously set off nukes in targets New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Boston and Washington, DC. Their stated plan is to kill over ten million Americans through this effort. Thus far, all that has been done about this is that a group of senators and representatives from both parties have demanded a detailed report on what the government has planned for this threat. As anyone who has seen how Washington works could tell you, so far, all anyone has done is talk. Our southern border is still as porous as it ever was, and no one in Washington has the backbone – nor even the desire - to do what is right for US citizens. If al-Qaeda were not enough, Iran has a plan to detonate a high-altitude nuke over the United States, which would produce an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) powerful enough to disable all of the computer chips in North America. Even devices turned off and unplugged would be at risk. Think of what all is controlled by computers. Beside the obvious, systems for the distribution of electricity, water, and natural gas would be shut down. Virtually all newer vehicles have onboard computers to control the engine. People with pacemakers are in big trouble. Food distribution systems will shut down – if the trucks to deliver the food would start at all. In a nanosecond we could be sent back to the 19th century. Suppose the radical Muslims don’t carry out their schemes. Things can go on as usual, right? Sorry. There is a very real possibility that our federal government is going to go bankrupt. In the early 80’s President Reagan commissioned the President’s Private Sector Survey on Cost Control. It was made up of 160 of the country’s top business leaders from both political camps, funded with private money, and charged with examining how the federal government spends its money and to make recommendations to eliminate waste. It was chaired by J. Peter Grace, and became known as the Grace Commission. The Grace Commission gave the president recommendations where hundreds of billions of dollars could be cut out of the federal budget without touching a single entitlement program. Unfortunately, much of the savings were in the form of cutting pork out of the budget, and each congressman had his own pet projects that he didn’t want cut. So – you guessed it – Congress did nothing. One of the members of the Grace Commission, Harry E. Figgie Jr., was dismayed by the lack of action. He charted out spending trends and determined that by the mid 90’s the national debt would be so large that it would take more money than was collected in taxes to just pay the interest. He started taking speaking engagements to spread the word. He received so many requests of copies of transcripts of his talks that he put the information into a book titled Bankruptcy 1995. It spent more than nine months on the NY Times bestseller list. As you know by now, the country didn’t go bankrupt on Figgie’s schedule. Does that mean that his premise was faulty? Not at all. The latest figures I could find were for 2004. Back then a full 20% of tax revenues was going toward paying just the interest on the national debt. The principle isn’t being touched, just the interest is being paid…and it’s growing. As of 2004 the national debt was almost 7.5 TRILLION dollars, and is growing at 1.6 BILLION dollars a DAY. Read that sentence again. The national debt is growing by 1.6 billion dollars a day. As the principle grows, so does the interest on it. How long could you remain financially solvent if all you did was pay the interest on your debt, all the while getting deeper and deeper? Years ago the Chrysler Corporation was nearly bankrupt, and the federal government helped them avoid going under. When the federal government itself is broke, who will bail it out? As federal money to the states and communities dries up local governments will be caught in a squeeze between less money coming in, and what money they do have losing its value due to double-digit inflation. As the value of the dollar plummets banks will call in their loans, companies will go under, unemployment will skyrocket, police and fire departments will have to let people go… Until recently, the US dollar has been King for international trade and that has gone a long way in keeping it strong. As a favor to us, OPEC has always demanded US dollars for the purchase of their oil, but Iran (Remember Iran? They want to destroy us.) has recently started accepting the euro for oil. As more OPEC members follow suit, the euro will grow stronger at the expense of the already shaky US dollar.* Right now our economy is buoyed by foreign governments’ investing in our treasury bills. A report from the think tank Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability stated, “Countries switching to euro reserves from dollar reserves will bring down the value of the U.S. currency. Imports would start to cost Americans a lot more… As countries and businesses convert their dollar assets into euro assets, the U.S. property and stock market bubbles would, without doubt, burst…” If the dollar is perceived as a risk, and the euro is more attractive, the dollar will go into free fall. Now, we have gone over ten years past Harry Figgie’s forecast. Maybe we can continue much longer than we thought. Are we safe now? Not so fast. Since 1999, birds in and around China have been spreading an influenza that thus far has been kept primarily to just birds. Within the last couple of years this virus – designated H5N1 – has been spreading across Asia at an accelerated rate, and has now passed through eastern Europe into western Europe and Africa. Humans who have close contact with birds, such as poultry farmers, have been catching H5N1, with a 50% fatality rate. If the virus mutates so that it can pass easily from one human to another, we could easily have a world-wide epidemic that would dwarf anything seen in modern times. The Spanish flu – itself an avian flu - which struck in 1918, had a fatality rate of only 10%, yet tens of millions died around the world, with over half a million in the United States. What I find particularly worth noting is that the Spanish flu spread as it did. It covered the entire United States in four weeks, with far fewer people concentrated in the cities and people much less mobile than today. One person could infect a crowd at Kennedy airport in New York, and within hours people from that crowd could carry the virus to every major city in the country. Who will deliver groceries to the stores if most of the truck drivers are down with the flu? How will the power plants function with not even a skeleton crew? Heck, who will pick up your garbage? How will fire fighters put out fires on opposite sides of town if they are short staffed? What will happen when you or a loved one comes down with the flu and the emergency room at the hospital is already full…and running on a short staff themselves? This is a potential threat that we have to face. Anyone who has studied the matter comes away scared. Very scared. Don’t get scared into inaction, though. There are preparations you can make that will lessen the effects of any of these threats, or others. There are those who will scoff at the information and the conclusions I have drawn. These same people buy insurance even though they never intend to have to use it. Besides, since when has objective truth been determined by a majority vote? * Kuwait has been accepting the euro for their oil for several months now, and September 20th a news story broke, stating that Saudi Arabia was planning to start accepting the euro for oil. The response to this news was the falling value of the U.S. dollar so that at last report (September 22nd) the euro is at an all-time high against the dollar, and that the Canadian dollar – formerly worth just a fraction of the U.S. dollar - is now worth more. (2) GETTING STARTED The prudent sees evil and hides himself, but the naïve go on and are punished for it. Proverbs 22:3 If you are finally convinced that there are potential disasters that could adversely affect your life and want to prepare, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed right now. Where do you start? What do you get? How do you deal with the monumental expense of stocking up? …and a million other questions. Relax. Panic won’t help here. You have to determine that you are going to work toward making it through these circumstances. If you have a family, they are depending on you for their survival. The things you need to consider: 1. Shelter 2. Water 3. Food 4. Health concerns 5. Electricity 6. Protection 7. Money 8. Living conditions These are pretty much in order of importance, although in warmer climates water would be much more importance than shelter, and in areas where clean water is plentiful, food would have a higher priority. SHELTER Shelter will be a huge problem if you live in one of the targeted cities and a suitcase nuke is exploded. As a matter of fact, in any disaster situation, any of the large cities would not be a safe place. In the case of an epidemic, though, travel could be even more dangerous that staying in the city. But you may have to evacuate – even if you have nowhere to go. It would be prudent to have a vehicle packed with supplies and gear for immediate flight at the ready. Do you have relatives or close friends out of the danger zone that might take you in? Kind strangers may offer help, but in times of extreme trouble it’s a tossup whether people will rise to the occasion or revert to barbarism. If you find you have to rely on your own resources, you may wish to get a good quality tent and camping gear rated for cold weather survival, as you may have to run in the dead of winter. In the back of this book is an appendix that lists suppliers of gear and books on emergency and more permanent shelter. WATER Adopt this as a given: you will never have enough clean, pure water. Modern society, with our ability to have water at the turn of a faucet, has made us take unlimited quantities of safe water for granted. Those with their own wells know full well how much trouble not having water easily attainable can be. Prior to Y2K we had a pipe burst over a winter weekend. Fortunately I discovered the spraying pipe before too many things got wet, and a worker was right nearby when we called the water company. We were without water for several days while I repaired the burst pipe then had to wait for a non-emergency visit from the Water Department. Fortunately, we had our water that we had put back for emergency use. I discovered that even trying our best to conserve, our family of six went through over ten gallons of water a day - most of which went toward flushing the toilet. In a disaster of the magnitude that could happen, the toilet would eventually be useless. Space will always be your big enemy – for all of these preparations. It would be nice to have a tight, clean, climate-controlled pole barn to store everything you need. Did you see the movie Blast from the Past? Christopher Walken’s character had constructed an enormous blast shelter during the Cold War that mimicked his house, and had an area the size of a large grocery store that was packed with supplies. Of course, he was also a scientific genius who had made millions from various patents. Not many of us would be able to afford to build such an elaborate shelter, so we are stuck with what we have. Through our Y2K preparations, I have learned many things that don’t work. Initially, we would wash out milk jugs and fill them with water and a few drops of bleach. Whenever we’d go grocery shopping we’d pick up a couple of jugs of distilled or spring water. Having worked for several years in the plastics industry, I knew the biggest enemy to plastic was ultraviolet rays. We had shelves in our basement away from windows stacked with our plastic jugs. We ran into one problem, though. Even when kept from UV rays, the plastic in some of the jugs broke down and leaked all over everything. These days I have bought 7-gallon water cans from the sporting goods department at a local department store. They are heavy-duty plastic, roughly cube-shaped, to minimize area taken up, and are stackable. Also, since my kids really like fruit juice, I have taken to buying fruit juice – especially cranberry juice – in gallon jugs that are made from heavy-duty plastic. If you drink a lot of soft drinks in 1, 2, or 3 liter bottles, they can be rinsed and filled. If money is no object, you can get 3 to 5 gallon heavy-duty plastic jugs at many places that sell bottled water. Glass jugs would last virtually forever, but I would be nervous about weight issues and fears of breakage. If you have a swimming pool (A 12-foot pool, 3 feet deep holds 1200 gallons of water.) that is an excellent source of water storage, although you will have to deal with the chemicals. If caught with less water than you need, don’t forget your water heater and toilet tank. DO NOT USE THE WATER FROM YOUR TOILET TANK IF YOU USE ONE OF THOSE CLEANERS SUCH AS THE ONE THAT TURNS YOU WATER DEEP BLUE. Do you live near a lake or stream? While these are excellent sources of water, be sure to filter out chemicals and disinfect it either by boiling or bleach. MAKING WATER SAFE Unless you have won the lottery and can just go out and buy several hundred gallons of bottled water, you are going to have to make sure your water is safe before you use it. Even much tap water is below EPA standards for purity. Make sure your containers are clean. Usually six drops (slightly less than 1/8 of a teaspoon) of chlorine bleach per gallon of water will take care of almost all bacteria. Just recently I have learned that bleach loses its potency over time. If your bleach is over a year old, double the amount you use to treat your water. According to the Centers for Disease Control, a rolling boil for at least one minute at sea level will also kill bacteria, but if your resources are limited, your heat source might be better saved for something else. Besides, bleach is cheap compared to heat. Be sure to use chlorine bleach that has no extra scent added. I know of some people who have used hydrogen peroxide to disinfect water, but what I have read about it seems to involve more steps - combining the peroxide with other things such as ozone, silver, or UV light - and greater quantities of peroxide over bleach. This strays from my desire for simplicity. There are chemical additives that are more effective that chlorine bleach but – of course – the cost will be higher. The best way to disinfect your water is bringing it to a boil and boiling it for one minute at sea level. Since water boils at lower temperatures at higher altitudes, it is recommended to let it boil for three minutes at altitudes over 6000 feet. This will be sufficient to kill all microorganisms, but will not deal with pollutants. A major concern – especially if you have to draw water from a stream or lake – is the pollutants found in ground water. For these you will need some sort of filtration system. The best (and also most expensive) will have a ceramic filter with activated charcoal. There is a whole range of prices of filters with varying degrees of effectiveness. You may have a water source that is relatively safe, and can get by with a filtration system that is not top-of-the-line. Lower-end water filters can be gotten at department and hardware stores. Higher-end filters can be obtained at many sporting goods stores or survival supply outlets. (3) FOOD While you can last much longer without food than you can water, it is still one of life’s necessities. Fortunately, nutritious food in our country is plentiful and relatively cheap. The grocery stores carry only a three-day supply of food…when things are normal. If there is a panic, the shelves will empty in a matter of hours. Back in the 70’s, when there seemed to be one shortage after another, Johnny Carson (Jay Leno’s predecessor, for you young’uns) was doing his monologue and said, “Hey, have you heard? There is now a shortage of toilet paper!” I’m sure his writers thought it was just a harmless joke. The next day, many stores sold out of toilet paper in a matter of hours after opening. THAT is the effect of panic buying, and if the distribution centers have been blown up, if the computers are not working, if the delivery trucks won’t start, or the delivery men are too sick to make their rounds the shelves will not be restocked for a long time. What’s your response? Do you remember the fable of the ant and the grasshopper? The ant worked all summer to put food back for the winter while the grasshopper played his fiddle all day. When winter set in, the ant had plenty while the grasshopper starved. We are on the threshold of such a situation right now. Even now, with massive layoffs and available jobs not meeting families’ needs, relief organizations are already reporting that their resources are being overburdened. You need to prepare now, while you can afford to. Canned goods and foods that are packed dry are your best bet for starting out. Many grocery stores have a case- lot sale a couple of times a year, and this is a great opportunity to stock up. BUY ONLY FOODS YOU WILL EAT. That would seem like a no-brainer, but in the past people would stock up on survival foods that they really have no appetite for. One thing to take into account is special dietary needs. Are there any food allergies among your family members? How about other needs? Our youngest son is mildly autistic, and he has a very narrow range of foods he will eat. Every now and then he will try something new, but other than that, I suspect he would starve before eating something he hasn’t already decided he will eat. He is suspicious even of favorites in a different shape or out of a different package. Many companies who sell survival supplies sell grain packed in nitrogen or freeze-dried. Many of them also sell things such as powdered eggs, textured vegetable protein in a variety of flavors, and equipment to make use of it all. The best foods for long-term storage are MRE’s, “meals ready to eat.” These are individual meals originally prepared for the armed forces that will keep for something like 20 years with no refrigeration. There are a couple of problems with them, though. First is that they are fairly expensive. If you are looking for an inexpensive means of providing for your family, this would not be the route to go. The second problem with MRE’s is that their taste leaves much to be desired (or so I’ve heard. I’ve never had the opportunity to try any.) It is reported that when they were first introduced to the armed forces, replacing the old “C-Rations,” that the men dubbed them, “Meals Rejected by Ethiopians.” In the appendix is a list of various foods and their shelf life. If, by chance, you ignore these warnings and things do collapse for one reason or another, you can follow this advice that many of my friends and coworkers could recite because they have heard it from me so often… When you get to the grocery store, don’t go to the canned goods section. Virtually everyone else will be there. Don’t go to the fresh foods and produce sections. If the electricity goes out (if it hasn’t already) you will have no means of long-term storage. Ditto for frozen foods. Head for the pet food section. Hardly anyone will be there. Fill your cart with as many bags of the dog or cat food with the highest amount of protein listed. Don’t worry about flavors. It will all taste much the same to you – terrible - but it will keep body and soul together long enough for you to evaluate your situation and what to do next. Of course, since you are reading this, you have plans to prepare already… SPROUTS We have all seen bean sprouts or alfalfa sprouts at the salad bar. Sprouts are cheap, easy to make, and will provide you with much of the “good stuff” that comes from fresh vegetables. ALSO they can be made at any time of year. All you need are seeds – a 50-pound bag will take up less room than your television – a wide-mouth mason jar and some porous cloth. Put a half cup of beans or couple tablespoons of seeds in the jar, cover them with clean water, and let them soak overnight. Put the cloth over the mouth of the jar, and drain out the water. Store the jar at an angle so that any excess water will drain. Rinse the seeds with fresh water two or three times a day, and store the jar in the same manner. In just 3 to 4 days the seeds will sprout, and you can harvest your “crop.” After harvesting your sprouts, set them in the sun for a few hours to “green up.” The sprouts will stay crisp for up to a week in the refrigerator in a closed container. They can be eaten by themselves, as a garnish for salads or sandwiches…one friend of mine grew up with her mother serving bean sprouts with spaghetti sauce. Different beans and seeds have different flavors. You can mix different seeds for a variety. Be sure to clean everything thoroughly between crops of sprouts. Any leftover bacteria could ruin an entire batch. A WORD ABOUT EGGS Eggs are nearly a complete protein, and as such should be considered in any food plan. Unless you plan to have your own laying chickens, you will need to either barter for eggs, or come up with a plan for storage. Eggs with their shells intact will store for up to 4 months in a cool place (although that’s pushing the limit.). Powered eggs will last almost forever. They can be purchased through any place that sells survival foods, or you can make them yourself. Powdered eggs can be made by drying them, just like many other foods, either in a food dryer, or your oven set to the lowest setting. I have heard that it is advised that you dip the eggs in boiling water for 10 seconds to kill the salmonella before breaking the shell. Crack the eggs into a bowl and scramble them. Pour them into a mason jar and freeze. After they are frozen, allow them to thaw, but still below room temperature. Several of my sources recommend this. For some reason the mixture is now thicker, and will dehydrate faster. If you are drying in an oven, put aluminum foil on a cookie sheet and pour the eggs onto it. Set your oven on the lowest setting. One source recommends 135 degrees for about 20 hours. Another recommends 140 degrees for 4 hours, then turn the mix over and dry at 120 degree until completely dry. If you are using a food dehydrator, follow the preparations as before, then use the fruit leather tray. If your dehydrator does not have one, waxed paper can be used if your dehydrator doesn’t get too hot, or you could use foil. Drying time, depending on the dehydrator, will take about 18 hours. After the eggs are dry, they can be pulverized in a blender, food processor, grain mill, or coffee grinder. The finer you can get the powder, the better. About 22 eggs will fit into a quart jar. Fill the jar almost full, add a little dry ice on top. When the dry ice evaporates, seal the jar and the eggs will last indefinitely on the shelf. Rehydration involves 1 part powdered eggs to 2 parts water. Another method is to actually scramble the eggs, but not using any fat, butter, or grease. Allow the eggs to cool and cut into squares or wedges so that they will fit into a food dryer. When they are completely dry, powder them as with the other methods. GARDENING If any of these disasters create problems that continue indefinitely, we will be faced with each family having a garden to provide much of their fresh produce. At the turn of the 20th Century it was not uncommon for townspeople to have a garden and chickens running around the yard. For those with access to relatively large amounts of land, a quarter-acre garden can produce enough vegetables for a family of six for a year. With a little planning a small garden will yield quite a bit of food. Using intensive planting, companion crops, and careful timing of subsequent plantings, even a small plot will do wonders. Even those in the big cities can garden in containers, or a neighborhood can get together to convert a vacant lot into a source of fresh produce. If you are new to gardening there is one very important thing you need to know about seeds – especially if an emergency situation continues indefinitely. Most seeds you will buy are hybrids. The seed companies have cross-bred varieties to produce bigger, faster-ripening, disease-resistant vegetables. Of course, in the case of any of the scenarios mentioned here – you guessed it – you will be unable to get the seeds from the seed companies. The problem with hybrid seeds is that seeds saved from them do not produce the same plants. The seeds from hybrid plants will revert back to the plants used to produce the hybrids, and you are left with a crap shoot as to what you will be getting. The solution is to use seeds that are called “heirloom” or “open pollinated” varieties. These seeds will produce plants from which you can save seeds and use the next year. Most seed companies’ catalogues have a section of open pollinated seeds, and there are seed companies that specialize in heirloom seed. (4) HEALTH CONCERNS In the course of any of these disasters, health care may not be readily available. Especially in the case of a bird flu pandemic the emergency rooms will fill almost immediately. Have you ever read The Stand, by Stephen King? The first section of the book was about a government-created super flu that swept through the nation after a containment breach. “Captain Trips, “ as the flu became known, had a much higher fatality rate than the bird flu will, but King’s description of how the emergency rooms were overwhelmed, and how they had to turn away people is a foreshadowing of what we can expect if the bird flu mutates. What will you do if a family member comes down with the flu and the emergency rooms are already packed? I would not presume to be qualified to give medical advice, but an MD, Dr. Grattan Woodson, has put what information you need to deal with influenza in a concise book called The Bird Flu Preparedness Planner. This small (81 pages) book was prepared by Dr. Woodson for his own patients when he became concerned about the spread of the bird flu. He gives his own suggestions for things such as a survival kit and recipes for making your own “ORS formula,” basically an IV fluid that can be taken by mouth. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I was so impressed by it that I bought several copies for family members. In the appendix is Dr. Woodson’s recommended flu survival kit. Besides the flu, you may be faced with other medical emergencies that require immediate attention with no doctor available. I would suggest first off that you take a course in basic first aid offered by the American Red Cross, then a course in CPR. There are many different first aid kits available through survival outlets, but you can put together your own for much less money and customize it to your own particular needs. There is a suggested kit in the appendix. You should keep a supply of various medicines on hand – most of which you probably already have. Antibiotic cremes, bandages, pain killers, allergy medicines. One thing to consider is the possibility of deep cuts that would require stitches. In lieu of sutures, you may want to consider butterfly closures. They will hold the wound shut without requiring the skill (or overcoming squeamishness) to sew the wound closed. The very first time I needed to use them was to close a gash on my son’s arm. The ER doctor was impressed with how well I’d applied the closures. They are quite easy to use. In many emergency rooms a special Super Glue is now used instead of sutures. DO NOT use everyday Super Glue for this purpose. One more thing to consider in the event of a bird flu outbreak is a mask if you must go out in public. My own sources recommended by name the 3M brand #8210 N95 dust masks. I have found them in all hardware stores and the hardware departments of most department stores. They are also available online at Amazon.com. Don’t forget any prescription drugs you may require. Terrorist attacks will come with no warning, but you will be able to see the spread of the bird flu. If you feel that your supply of prescription drugs will dry up, share you concerns with your doctor and perhaps he can write an extra large prescription to get you through the tough times. Not being a doctor, I cannot presume to recommend specific medical advice. All I can do is hit the high points for general terms, urge you to consult your own doctor, and point you in the direction to more information. (5) ELECTRICITY Electricity is another part of modern life that we take for granted. Flip a switch – on come the lights. Push a button – brew a pot of coffee. Drop a DVD into the player – you have entertainment for the evening. On August 14th, 2003 shortly after 4:00 o’clock EDT, a power failure cascaded through the northeast United States and Canada, stretching from New York to central Michigan. It left an estimated 50 million people without power for days. As always happens with this sort of event, the criminal element emerged, and the large cities were subjected to looting. An investigation found that a power plant in Ohio shut down unexpectedly, creating a strain on the power grid and producing the cascading outages. This is just a taste of what will happen if the economy collapses and there is no money to operate the power plants, if a few well-placed suitcase nukes take out strategic plants, if an EMP toasts the computers that control the distribution of electricity, or if so many workers are down with the flu that there aren’t enough for even a skeleton crew. Fortunately, the power outage of 2003 was during the summer, but what if it had been during February? There have been stories of power outages during the winter, when people’s houses have burned down because they tried to heat their homes unsafely or were careless with candles. Jackson, Michigan, my current home, was spared the effects of the 2003 outage, but that next spring a freak wind blew through Jackson and knocked down scores of trees just in the middle of town, taking out power lines, blocking streets, and damaging cars and houses. Fortunately, we had a small generator that we had gotten as part of our Y2K preparations. We were able to use it to keep our refrigerator and freezer cold, run the microwave, and provide power to the entertainment center for our autistic son who would not have understood why he couldn’t watch his videos. We were without power for about a week, but we got by with candles and oil lamps. If this had happened during the winter, we have a large kerosene heater that would have done nicely in a room that we could close off. Since then I have also made myself a heavy-duty “extension cord” that I could use to get electricity from the generator to the furnace just in case the gas supply is still available. So what should you do to prepare for a disruption of electrical service? Get a generator if you can afford it. Ours is relatively small – 4500 watts – but it met our needs for a week. I found it would run for about twelve hours on a five-gallon tank of gas. I had wanted one that small so that – in the case of a total collapse of civilization (We were planning for Y2K, remember.) – when we depleted our supply of gasoline we could put it into the back of a pickup and drive to a gas station where we could use it to power the pumps to refill our gas cans. Besides the generator, we also have candles, oil lamps, and Sterno. The Sterno came in particularly handy with a small cook stove made for it. I have mentioned elsewhere that our youngest son, being mildly autistic, has a very narrow range of what he will eat. Also, when he is in the mood for a particular thing, nothing else will do. One of his favorites is unseasoned meatballs made from ground chuck. With the Sterno cook stove we were able to keep him well supplied with his “bites.” One problem with Sterno is that it is expensive. Prior to Y2K my wife mentioned something she remembered from Girl Scouts called a “Buddy Burner.” Take a tuna can (or perhaps a cat food can) clean, naturally, and put in strips of corrugated cardboard, the width of which matches the height of the sides of the can. Roll the cardboard like a watch spring and put it in the can so that as it uncoils it rests against the sides of the can. Use enough cardboard – several strips, if that’s what it takes – until the can is loosely filled. Pour melted paraffin, pouring slowly so that the cardboard will soak it up. I’ve found this will take about a quarter pound of paraffin per can. After it cools you will have a passable heat source in place of Sterno at a fraction of the cost. I tested one, and it burned for two hours, just as Sterno is supposed to do. Battery powered items are a must, particularly flashlights and radios. Naturally, you are stuck with the necessity for a warehouse full of batteries unless you find a way around the fact that batteries run down. One solution is rechargeable batteries. Of course, if the electricity is out, a plug-in charger won’t do you much good. For our Y2K preparations we bought a small solar battery charger. It has slots for all of the standard sizes of batteries, and is small enough that it is easily moved to wherever the sun is strongest. We also have a solar panel that produces 12VDC for connecting to a car battery. The current produced is small, and it would take a long time to charge the battery, but when the alternative is nothing, any charge is worthwhile. Our third solar device was a small radio. In addition to the solar cells, it also had a crank that ran a small generator. A radio is a must to keep abreast of what is happening elsewhere. For flashlights, an alternative to batteries is a flashlight that generates its own power. There are squeeze-type flashlights that have a small generator to provide power. These have been popular since before Y2K, but they have been getting updated to use LED’s as a light source instead of light bulbs, and are thus more efficient. Likewise is a new development: a “shaker” light that you shake to pass a magnet through a coil and build up a charge. They too use LED’s as a light source, making efficient use of the charge, and lasting (reportedly) around 10,000 hours. The squeeze lights I have found for anywhere from ten to twenty dollars, usually through mail order. The shaker light I have found locally going for two dollars to fifteen dollars. Your third choice is a flashlight with a crank which drives a small generator. I have found some for seven or eight dollars that have LED’s as the other types do. One last light source – and I mention it just because there might be someone out there who wants them – is the light sticks. These are plastic sticks about the size of a magic marker that contains two chemicals that produce light when mixed. They are initially kept separate with one being inside a breakable tube. To activate it, you bend the stick until the inner tube breaks, shake it to mix the chemicals, and you have a glow in your choice of colors for about twelve hours. The advantages of these are that they are very lightweight and portable, and won’t create a spark, in case you are in an explosive atmosphere. The disadvantages are that they are fairly expensive, non-reusable, once you activate them you can’t turn them off, and are irresistible to adolescent boys who want to cut them open. (6) MONEY Back when I was a kid, I can remember bills that were called “Silver Certificates.” This was paper money that was actually backed by an equivalent value of silver, and the bearer could exchange it for silver. At one time there were also Gold Certificates, but I have never seen one. Look at any bill in your pocket. It’s a “Federal Reserve Note.” There is nothing backing it except a promise from the federal government, and everyone’s agreement that it has worth. Most of people’s holdings are even less substantial – just numbers on a balance sheet or a collection of ones and zeros in some computer. Over twenty years ago I looked at how “money” was backed more and more by just someone’s “gentlemen’s agreement” and less by products being pushed out a factory door. Stocks and speculation were the order of the day, and any scandal or upheaval could have more impact on the economy than it had any business doing. I expressed my concerns to an engineer I worked with, who was skeptical. “Where would the money go?” he asked. “I don’t know,” I replied. “I don’t know enough about finances to have it all figured out, but I just get nervous when things have value just because we all agree that they do.” Shortly after that was the Home State scandal. This was when someone in authority at the Home State Savings and Loan made some risky investments with the depositors’ money. His investments failed, and other S&L’s who had invested in Home State lost their investors’ money, and so on, and so on. The cascading effect rippled through the savings and loan community and was felt throughout the entire country. Eventually the federal government stepped in and guaranteed people’s deposits, but many people’s accounts were frozen for quite a while. The Monday after things collapsed, I went to work feeling quite vindicated. I went to the engineer’s desk and leaned on it. I didn’t say a word, just stood there and grinned. He wouldn’t speak to me. He wouldn’t even look at me. I left his desk in a huff and went to my own desk. “What’s with him?” I asked a coworker. “He’s upset because his own savings and loan was caught in that Home State mess. His account is frozen and he can’t get to his money.” Things are worse now than they were twenty years ago, and frankly, I find the world of finances even more mystifying than I did then. I have no idea how these “dot com” companies could lose money year after year, yet their stock be worth millions. I fail to see how a man can be hired as CEO of a corporation, run the company into the ground, leave with millions of dollars in hand, and then be hired as CEO of another corporation. I suspect, though, that with any of these possible scenarios I have itemized that money will be reduced to a point that we can all understand without any trouble. Things with real value will have worth, and all of the funny money we deal with these days will go to the wayside. For a time, paper money will still be accepted, but will eventually be seen for what it is. Until that happens, though you will need access to your cash. Banks will be closed. ATM’s won’t be working. It would be a good idea to have a cash reserve at home. Fireproof safes are fairly inexpensive, and are small enough to hide without much trouble. Eventually, though – if things stay down for extended periods – paper money will lose its value and you will be forced into the world of barter. In the appendix is a section of things that people find they need (and don’t have) gleaned by a worker for FEMA from several natural disasters that have hit the country over the last decade or so. He found that the lists of these items are fairly consistent with every disaster he had to deal with. When putting back things for yourself, ask, “What will I need that will not be available and I can’t make?” Chances are others will not have those things either, and they can be bartered. Most are things are fairly inexpensive: Matches, manual can openers, toilet paper, candles…the list is almost endless. If you keep firearms, DO NOT BARTER AMUNITION. You just might get your bullets back one at a time. While things are still stable, start stocking up. Don’t go out and spend thousands of dollars in one jump. If you’re out shopping, get a can opener, an extra package of toilet paper, or an extra bag of rice. I know of a local (meaning the Midwest) department store who has their own brand of foods and medicines. Twice a year they have sales where their own brands of things are ridiculously cheap and you can stock up by the case. Gold and silver will also be in high demand as currency. At the time of this writing, gold is about $500 a troy ounce, and silver is around $15 per ounce. Set aside maybe $50 per pay to buy a 1/10th ounce gold coin or maybe 3 ounces of silver. I would suggest silver, because the coins would be of lesser value, and would be easier to trade without overspending. Buy your metals from a reputable coin dealer. I know that during the 80’s there were a lot of fake coins being traded – enough that one enterprising individual found a market for a small balance scale that would fit in your pocket, for checking a coin’s size and weight. One final thing you can barter – if you have any – skills. If we get blasted back to the 19th century, there is going to be a high demand for people with carpentry skills, fixing non-electronic vehicles, butchering, weaving, mid- wifery, dentistry…any skill that you have can be turned into something that you can trade for something else. Especially, if we get hit by the bird flu, with its 50% fatality rate, there are going to be big gaps in services. If you don’t have any skills along those lines, I’d suggest learning something. My wife and I have long had a dream of buying some vacant land, building our own house, and setting up a small farm. To that end I have been educating myself, and we have bought “handy man specials” first, because we could afford a much larger house for the money, and second, it gave me a chance to develop the skills I would need to do much of the work when we started building. I have gotten fairly competent at carpentry, plumbing (including natural gas), and electrical work. I would not consider myself a Master Craftsman in any of these fields, but I certainly have skills that I could barter for something we didn’t already have. Years ago I had a friend who was the vice president of a small company. The company was quite successful, I’m sure due in part from his capable vice presidenting. He had a degree in some field of science, and was a really smart guy. One day my wife and I were having dinner with him and his wife in their new home that had just recently been built. Naturally, we had the Grand Tour of the house, and it was quite impressive. We were standing in the master bedroom when he mentioned something that bothered him about it. The light switch was on the far wall, opposite the door. I looked at the layout of the room and said, “It wouldn’t be too difficult for you to just tie into the circuit at the switch and run a line over to this wall next to the door.” He didn’t have the slightest idea how to do that. Offhand, I don’t remember why I didn’t offer to do it for him, but he didn’t ask. I’d be willing to bet that to this day he still has to cross the bedroom to turn on his light. In the event of a total collapse of our way of life. corporate executives are going to find that their management skills and an MBA are not all that much in demand. WHERE DO YOU HIDE THE MONEY? Naturally, when you have a large amount of cash or precious metals on hand, there is the potential of your home being burglarized so that you lose everything. Fortunately, any burglar will want to get in, get your loot, and get out as quickly as possible. This is called the “five-minute rule.” A burglar will not engage in a slow, methodical search, but will take what he can find in about five minutes. You can use this to your advantage by hiding things in unexpected places., such as… In an empty video box with your video collection In an air-tight sandwich bag in the toilet tank In an envelope taped to the underside of a drawer, shelf, or table In a sealed coffee can or plastic pipe buried in the back yard In the bottom of a tool box In a toy box In a box of Christmas decorations You get the idea. A burglar will want to get in and out fast, so he will not be checking the dirt in flower pots or the insides of boxes for board games. There are also items called “diversion safes,” which make use of this principle. They are available online and look just like real brand-name cans and jars of things such as household oil, soft drinks, mayonnaise, etc. One supplier has large candles that actually work, but are hollow and have a screw-off opening in the bottom. Of course, you could make your own at a fraction of the cost. Empty out a mayonnaise jar, paint the interior white, and there you are. If you have cans of paint in storage, take an empty paint can and put it with the others. Look around the house, and I’m sure you could come up with some excellent ideas that are unique to your own situation. (7) PROTECTION In a perfect world this report and others like it would not have to be written. The only problems would come from natural disasters, and in those cases neighbors would pull together to help each other and make it through the tough time. We know that is not the case, though. Our politicians are mortgaging our children’s futures to buy the next election, and there are religious fanatics who want to kill us. Likewise, in any emergency, there is a certain criminal element who sees others’ misfortune as an opportunity for their own gain. This is a harsh reality that has to be faced. You may be opposed to using force, but you just may be in a position where – aside from divine intervention – it is you or your attacker…or a loved one or their attacker. In general I consider myself a fairly peaceful person, but I have a wife and four children that are under my protection. I would be amiss if I were to not take that charge seriously. Protection does not always mean lethal force. It might be enough to just have a big dog around that would deter would-be attackers. We have a golden retriever who is BIG. He weighs about 118 pounds, with no fat, yet he is the gentlest dog we have ever had. People who don’t know him, though, are afraid of him. If you don’t want to have to use up resources to provide for a dog, perhaps you might want to invest in a “Vicious Dog” sign. Be sure to make it look as if there is one around with a big food bowl, various dog toys, and perhaps a cow femur. Chemical mace and pepper spray are also viable alternatives to lethal force. They used to be available off the shelf but, at least around here (Michigan), they are no longer in the stores. Stun guns are excellent non-lethal weapons, but are illegal in some states (such as Michigan.) Naturally, there are ways to get around the law, and it won’t matter a lot what the law used to say in a total breakdown of society. The topic of firearms is a very emotional one, but we have to come to grips with the fact that if there were indeed a total breakdown in society you may be the only thing standing between an attacker and your family. Two separate rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court state that in the case of widespread lawlessness, the police have no obligation to protect individual citizens, but are charged with merely keeping the general peace. If there is rioting going on in another part of town, you may not see any police at all. As a kid, one of my favorite comic strips was Dick Tracy. For some reason, one thing stated has always stuck in my mind: “Don’t draw your gun unless you intend to shoot. Don’t shoot unless you intend to kill.” YOU have more options than that. Sometimes brandishing a weapon is enough to scare off a would-be attacker. Sometimes disabling him would be enough – although be sure that he is REALLY disabled. You don’t want to merely make him mad while he still has the ability to retaliate. Being the first to make a show of force may be enough to avoid trouble altogether. During the Rodney King riots two men took lawn chairs to the entrance of their trailer court, and just sat there with .22’s in plain sight. Rioters passed right on by. I have to admit right here that I am no firearms expert, so I can give only very general advice gleaned from conversations with friends who have very set opinions, tempered with some of the reading I have been doing. If you have friends who are much more into guns than I am, perhaps they can give advice on things such as makes and models. For indoor use, a shotgun would be safer than a rifle or handgun. Where the latter have a single slug that might penetrate walls and hit something (or someone) unintended, a shotgun uses hundreds of small pellets that individually don’t have the mass – or penetration - that a slug does. Along with that, the shot will spread as it gets farther from the barrel, and one does not need to be as accurate as with a single bullet. Probably, a smaller-gauge shotgun would be sufficient for home protection. Although many of my friends prefer the “knockdown” power of a 12-gauge, something that large would probably break my wife’s shoulder. Other than shotguns, I would suggest a rifle over a handgun for several reasons. A rifle will be easier to aim accurately than a handgun without lots of practice. Plus – given my distrust of the government – handguns need to be registered. If those in government ever decide to throw out the Constitution, confiscation of firearms will be one of the first orders of business, and there will be a record of your gun ownership. Rifles – although gun dealers are required to do a background check – can be bought and sold by private individuals without any paperwork. If for no other reason, if there is a general breakdown in government for any of the reasons presented in this book, basic services such as garbage collection will be the first casualties. A good varmint rifle - a .22 or high-powered air rifle - will help keep down the rat population. If you do decide on getting a firearm, be sure to have plenty of ammunition on hand. Keep it out of reach of young children. Have every member of the family take a firearm safety course. Keep a trigger lock on each gun. (8) A MESSAGE FOR CHRISTIANS Those who know me well at all know of my faith. I can already anticipate many Christians saying that these preparations display a lack of faith in God’s provision. To those people I’d just have to say that while I respect your right to your own position, you do not have the biblical model in mind. In Genesis, we read how Joseph told Pharaoh to use the seven years of plenty to prepare for the seven years of famine. By doing so, Joseph provided for the survival of Jacob and his other 11 sons, each of whom became the patriarchs of the 12 tribes of Israel. Consider this report in your hands – right now, while there is still time to prepare – God’s provision for your own family’s survival. It is true that God does provide for our every need, but we are expected to do more that to just sit back and wait for God’s provision. The apostle Paul himself stated, “If a man will not work, neither shall he eat.” If you are convinced that these threats are real, yet do noting to prepare, how can you expect to then benefit from the work of those who did? Besides, consider the opportunity you will have to serve others as Christ served – and to emulate your Master. The point is made by one much more eloquent that I am – my pastor, Leo Cumings of Bethel Baptist Church – in the introductory paragraphs in his sermon delivered in March of 2006: It was the year 165 AD. Roman troops, returning from war in the East, brought with them a new and terrifying illness. People came down with a high fever, body aches, severe weakness and vomiting. After a few days pustules broke out over their entire bodies. The Roman physician, Galen, recorded his observations of the plague that swept Rome during this time. On the basis of his reports, doctors today feel certain that it was Smallpox. At the height of the plague, Romans were dying at the rate of 2,000 per day. Two Roman Emperors died of the disease: Lucius Verus, and his co-regent, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. Normally smallpox typically kills 25-30% of those who get it. In the Roman outbreak, smallpox would claim the lives of one-fourth of Rome’s entire population. Since many did not contract smallpox, the death rate among those who did was much higher than the normal 25-30%. One’s best hope to escape the plague was to flee the city, and most who had the means to do so did. Even Dr. Galen felt it prudent to move to his residence in Pergamum, near the west coast of modern Turkey. Those who contracted the disease were left to their own devices. Too weak to care for themselves, many died from lack of basic care as much as the disease itself. One small band of people stayed behind to nurse the sick. They were Christians and they gave themselves sacrificially to serve the weak and the dying. Their numbers were too small to help everyone, but they did what they could. The very fact that they stayed – providing food, water and basic nursing care, and burying the bodies of those who had died – saved countless lives. Christians paid for their kindness with their lives. Exposed to smallpox, they too died of the dread disease. At great personal risk they chose to love others in Christ’s name. Could we do that? We’ve been hearing a lot about the threat of bird flu in the news. What if bird flu made the jump to humans and began killing thousands. What if the hospitals were so overwhelmed that they sought volunteers to care for patients, and by the way, volunteering increased your risk of getting the disease. Could we love others with the same kind of sacrificial love shown by those saints in the years following 165 AD? How did they do it? What possessed them to risk their lives for the sake of others? This could be your opportunity to be a blessing to others, to reach out to them in the name of Christ, and show them God’s love in a very practical way, making the way for Jesus to draw them to Himself. It is not a lack of faith, but rather taking advantage of an opportunity. APPENDIX I FOR FURTHER INFORMATION BOOKS Here is a list of the books that have helped me prepare through the years along with some recommended by others. Many of them will be out of print by now, but perhaps you can find them used. Amazon.com has many used and out-of-print books offered by private sellers. Sometimes you can find a bargain; sometimes they are grossly overpriced. Other books are current titles, and can be obtained quite easily. The information in many of these books overlaps. I found it difficult to categorize them in order to group them together, so I have just listed them in alphabetical order, and have given a description to help give you a guide to their content. BACK TO BASICS – The editors of Reader’s Digest This was one of three books that captured my imagination toward joining my wife working toward getting a place in the country and making our way to some level of self-sufficiency. The other two were Five Acres and Independence by M.G. Kains, first printed in 1935 and The Have- More Plan by Ed and Carolyn Robinson, first printed in 1943. Back to Basics follows the format that I have chosen to adopt, hitting the high points of each topic, then pointing you toward reference materials where you can research in more depth what areas are important to you. This volume covers things such as choosing a site for building, water supplies, building structures, gardening, livestock, rediscovering old-time skills, and things such as these. BANKRUPTCY 1995 – THE COMING COLLAPSE OF AMERICA AND HOW TO STOP IT – Harry E. Figgie Jr. Harry Figgie was on the Grace Commission, charged with cutting government waste. Nothing was done, and Figgie felt compelled to warn America where government spending was taking us. The collapse didn’t happen on Figgie’s schedule, but we are still headed down that same path today. BETTER READ THAN DEAD – T.F. Nieman Published in 1981, this book’s title is a takeoff of the Cold War slogan, “Better dead than red.” The focus of this book is surviving a nuclear holocaust from a Russian attack. There is much outdated material, such as maps showing the most likely targets, but it still has a lot of good information concerning protection from blasts, and surviving the aftermath. If you live in one of the cities slated for suitcase nukes, this book is worth having. THE BIRD FLU PREPAREDNESS PLANNER – Dr. Grattan Woodson I have already mentioned this book and how impressed I was with it. Dr. Woodson became concerned about the potential for disaster if the H5N1 virus mutated so that it could easily spread from human to human. He wrote this manual specifically for his own patients. Fortunately he has made it available to the rest of us. THE BIRD FLU MANUAL – Dr. Grattan Woodson This is more or less an expanded version of Dr. Woodson’s other book on the bird flu. While his other book is merely 81 pages, this is over 300. The good doctor spends more time on the psychological drain of caring for the flu patient, but keeps it readable by peppering the text with stress-relieving humor. THE BOUNTIFUL CONTAINER – Rose Marie Nichols McGee and Maggie Stuckey If you don’t have a yard for a garden, you can still produce quite a bit of food in individual containers. A good resource for both the novice or experienced gardener. CARROTS LOVE TOMATOES: SECRETS OF COMPANION PLANTING – Louise Riotte Pretty much the definitive book on companion planting. It details what to plant together - and crops to keep away from each other – for best results in your garden. COMPLETE DO-IT-YOURSELF MANUAL – The editors of Reader’s Digest This book is an excellent guide for getting started doing things for yourself. It is not a preparedness manual as such, but can help start you down the path to developing “handyman” skills that will come in quite useful in the event that things get so bad an MBA won’t be of much use. As with Back to Basics, each chapter hits the high points, then has a list of resources for more detailed information. COUNTRY WISDOM BULLETINS These are a selection of short pamphlets that cover a variety of topics having to do with gardening and just living a simpler lifestyle. Topics include canning, building cold frames and greenhouses, growing various fruits and vegetables, dealing with pests…virtually anything to do with working toward self-sufficiency. The approach is do-it-yourself with an organic emphasis. They are available through Amazon.com (naturally) or just open a browser and do a search for “Country Wisdom Bulletins.” CRISIS PREPAREDNESS - Jack A. Spigarelli Like many of the disaster preparedness books, this one begins by answering the question, "Why bother being prepared?" It also outlines a framework for being prepared that includes accumulating supplies, getting mentally and physically prepared, and having your finances in order. One thing I particularly liked was the emphasis on the importance of knowledge. It wasn't just about what items you need, but also what skills and knowledge you should develop. But this book is mostly about food preparation for a major disaster, with emphasis on having a year's food storage, milling your own grain, growing sprouts, home canning, dehydrating, freeze-drying, etc. There are detailed tables showing the calories of various foods including their protein, fat, and carbs. The final third of the book offers advice on other topics, including weapons, hand tools, clothing, energy, medical, sanitation, transportation, communications, and home preparation. The book concludes with a list of recommended books and a brief listing of companies that sell disaster preparation items. Overall, this is a very good preparedness book. (Review from Amazon.com) DON’T GET CAUGHT WITH YOUR PANTRY DOWN – James Talmage Stevens This is an excellent book general preparedness. Its strongest feature is an almost exhaustive list of suppliers for just about anything you might want to prepare. EMERGENCY FOOD STORAGE AND SURVIVAL HANDBOOK - Peggy Layton This book is broken into six main sections. The first section offers decent but very incomplete summaries on preparing for short-term emergencies. The second section discusses how to store and purify water. The third part talks about the logistics of setting up a food-storage program, and has some suggestions on how to store food. The fourth section details what types of foods you should store. The fifth section has blank inventory planning pages. And finally the last section has some recipes. About half of the 285 page book is either blank planning pages or simple recipes. The first half of the book is pretty good stuff, but I found this book to be incomplete. It does however offer some good advice on food storage. (Review from Amazon.com) FIVE ACRES & INDEPENDENCE – M.G. Kains If Iran’s planned high-altitude nuke fries all of our computers we will be blasted back to the 19th century, and this book will be most handy to have. First published in 1935 it has a wealth of non- technical information for making a living out in the country. Most of the information has not gone out of date. Apple trees that should have been planted 35 feet apart in 1935 should still be planted 35 feet apart. This book covers water supply, sewage, livestock, gardening, and things such as these. My own copy is a reprint from 1973, and has been a wealth of information for me. THE HAVE-MORE PLAN – Ed and Carolyn Robinson This is another of the books that helped fuel the “Back to the Land” movement. First published in 1943, it was reprinted in The Mother Earth News issue #2. It has a wealth of information about getting out of the big cities and doing more for yourself, with tips on livestock and gardening. GARDENING WHEN IT COUNTS – Steve Solomon A “Mother Earth News book for wiser living,” this was recommended specifically by my wife, Kathleen, who is a certified Master Gardener. This book is different from other gardening books, in that it is geared specifically toward gardening in these changing times. The emphasis is on moving back to how our ancestors gardened, using more hand labor and a minimal selection of hand tools. Good for the beginning gardener as well as experienced. HOW TO SURVIVE Y2K CHAOS IN THE CITY – Ken and Nancy Eirich This is, naturally, a book on Y2K preparedness. Little space is spent trying to convince the reader of the threat of Y2K, but focuses instead on what people in the large cities can do. With any of the potential disasters, those in the large cities will be hardest hit. This book gives sound, practical advice without a lot of fluff. Per page (It’s only 108 pages) this is the single best book of this sort I have found. LIVING WITHOUT ELECTRICITY – Stephen Scott and Kenneth Pellman This is a book I got from Lehman’s, a mail order company in eastern Ohio that caters to the Amish. Any of the potential disasters could disrupt electrical service indefinitely. This book will get you started doing what you need to prepare. MAKING THE BEST OF BASICS, FAMILY PREPAREDNESS HANDBOOK - James Talmage Stevens This book is almost completely about in-home food storage and preparation. There is little discussion outside that (except for basic water issues). Many chapters discuss food in significant detail, to include things like grains, recipes, preparing sourdough breads/biscuits, dairy products, honey, sprouting, drying of fruits/vegetables. At the end of this book is a huge compendium of preparedness resources, telling where things can be purchased in every US state. (Review from Amazon.com) NO SUCH THING AS DOOMSDAY - Philip L. Hoag This book offers well-researched insights into disaster preparedness. Topics include water, food, heating/cooking, light, power, communications, medical, sanitation, and security. Those subjects are well done. However, much of the book reads like a bit of doomsday prediction, with many pages devoted to scaring the heck out of the reader... focusing on missile attacks, chemical dangers, nuclear war, radiation, decontamination, communist threat, etc. For me personally, I would have like to see more pages devoted to likely threats (e.g. hurricanes, floods, earthquake, blackout, fire, etc.). Also note that Amazon may not carry the latest version (updated in 2001), so you may want to buy directly from the author. (Review from Amazon.com) NUCLEAR WAR SURVIVAL SKILLS – Cresson H. Kearny This book deals exclusively with the aftermath of a nuclear attack. In addition to the usual lists of food, water, and supplies, it contains designs for expedient blast shelters and fallout shelters. This is an important resource in the event of suitcase nukes being detonated in the cities. My copy is from 1982, but it was updated and expanded by the author in 1987 and can be downloaded online from www.fi4u.com. ORGANIZE FOR DISASTER - Judith Kolberg This book goes an entirely different direction than the other preparedness books. Emphasis is on understanding the federal resources (i.e. FEMA, Red Cross, etc.) available, creating a personal intelligence network, organizing essential documents, maintaining insurance coverage, listing a home inventory, preparing your house for disaster, basic first aid, and having a good family communication plan. There is also a good list of necessary items to have on hand that would suit many common disasters. I recommend this book for its common-sense look at disaster preparedness. However, it is not the only book you would need, because it doesn't detail food storage, water purification, heating, etc.. That said, it covers some topics that the other books overlook. (Review from Amazon.com) PREPAREDNESS NOW! - Aton Edwards This is another thorough disaster preparedness book, one that focuses more on emergency situations (fire, chemical attack, etc.). It is organized into brief chapters (some only a few pages) on a variety of important topics, including: water, food, shelter, sanitation, communication, transportation, and protection. It is also filled with many packing lists detailing what you should get in preparation. It introduces the e-kit (a very lightweight kit to keep with you) and grab-n-go bag with more extensive items. Final chapters of the book discuss various possible disasters, including earthquakes, tsunami, infectious diseases, chemical and bio warfare, crime, fire, and extreme weather. Some of the commentary is a bit questionable, but the technical content is good. Note the deficiency with this book is that it does not offer any detail on food storage. (Review from Amazon.com) THE RODALE HERB BOOK Herbs have long been the staple of the healing arts. If things go as wrong as they could, we may be left to our own devices. This book covers herbs for healing, cooking, insect control… There are suggested layouts for planting your own herb garden, and landscaping using herbs. The book is loaded with illustrations, which would be a help if you had to go out into the wild to find specific herbs. SHOOTING BACK: THE RIGHT AND DUTY OF SELF-DEFENSE – Charl Van Wyk On July 25th, 1993, in Cape Town, South Africa, the congregation of St. James Church was attacked by terrorists with grenades and automatic rifles. Charl Van Wyk, who carried his .38 special with him everywhere – even church – was able to return fire and drive them off. Without Van Wyk’s intervention, the toll of 11 dead and 53 wounded would have been much higher. This book tells of his struggles afterward, and follows his train of thought to realize that he did the right thing. This is a good book for those who might be wondering if they could ever justify using deadly force if their own families were in danger. SQUARE FOOT GARDENING: A NEW WAY TO GARDEN IN LESS SPACE WITH LESS WORK – Mel Bartholomew The title says it all. A method to use less space and achieve higher yields. An excellent reference. STOCKING UP – The editors of Organic Gardening and Farming A manual for preserving produce, meat, and dairy products using methods such as freezing, canning, pickling, and drying. An excellent how-to resource, with sections on nutritional values, and sources for seeds for specific varieties of fruits and vegetables. WHEN TECHNOLOGY FAILS – Matthew Stein If you’re old enough to remember the old Boy Scout Handbook, you’ll remember how that little book had a wealth of information about surviving in the wilderness. This book is much the same, only on a much broader scale to be of use for rebuilding industry on a personal level. It has all of the survival recommendations for water purification, food storage, shelter, first aid, etc, but then advances into metal working, sustainability, cloth making, and other things not covered by the other books listed here. Stein is a Professional Engineer, and, as such, goes into great detail with each topic. My copy is a first edition, but Mr. Stein has told me that he is working on a revised edition. He asked me for my input, but I could not really find any way to improve in the information presented. The one thing that keeps me from giving this book unqualified approval is that he ventures into certain religious territory that I cannot endorse, but from a purely technical standpoint, this is an excellent book. THE WHOLE EARTH CATALOG, THE LAST WHOLE EARTH CATALOG, THE (UPDATED) LAST WHOLE EARTH CATALOG, THE NEXT WHOLE EARTH CATALOG, THE MILLENNIUM WHOLE EARTH CATALOG Long out of print, but nevertheless most useful, these books have a wealth of information about living without technology. Besides the lists of suppliers, these books also have articles that would be of use. There was a 30th anniversary edition of the original Whole Earth Catalog printed in 1998. All of these are available used through Amazon.com THE Y2K PERSONAL SURVIVAL GUIDE – Michael S. Hyatt This book has a lot of Y2K-specific information, spending time trying to convince the reader of the Y2K threat, but it still has much good information that would come in handy in the event of any disaster. By the time we had gotten this book, we were well on our way to being prepared, but we still found some useful information. MAGAZINES These magazines have been helpful through the years to me with articles on various topics as they fit into each magazine’s focus. What I especially liked, though were many of the advertisements, which led me to the suppliers of products – some of which I previously never knew existed. Most of them we subscribed to for several years but stopped as they started repeating themselves. We still buy them every now and then at the news stand. BACKWOODS HOME A good magazine with articles pertaining to getting by with no – or very little – technology. Countryside An excellent magazine that is about 99% reader-written. It’s the merging of several newsletters dealing with homesteading, gardening, and livestock. THE GUN LIST Pretty much a list of classified ads for rifles, guns, and ammunition by private owners, plus lots and lots of display ads by dealers for much the same. This and The Shotgun News are good sources to find what firearms are available, and what to expect to pay. The Mother Earth News The older issues – many available as reprints – are an excellent source of surviving without a lot of the technology that clutters up our lives. In the latter 80’s I let my subscription expire when they were bought out by a large conglomerate and their emphasis shifted too much toward appealing to the Yuppies for my tastes. The Mother Earth News has prepared a series of special issues with reprints of pertinent articles gathered together. A couple of those are would be of help in these circumstances; The Mother Earth News Guide to Self-Reliant City Living If you are stuck in the city, there are still things you can do to lessen the impact of any of these disasters. There are articles on container gardening, energy conservation, small livestock, and things such as these. The Mother Earth News Guide to (Almost) Fool-Proof Gardening This is an excellent resource for the beginner gardener who has absolutely no idea where to start. Articles cover crops to consider, plot preparation, a suggested layout, and what to do to plan for the next season. I’ve lent my own copy out to several friends through the years to help them get started gardening. ORGANIC GARDENING AND FARMING A Rodale publication, its name says it all. PREVENTION Published by Rodale, this is a good source of information on supplements and natural healing. SHOTGUN NEWS Much like The Gun List, except there are also a few articles on related topics. A New Addition I have just recently come across an excellent web site: SurvivalBlog.com. It has an almost overwhelming collection of articles in its archives from several years’ worth of a presence on the web. The articles are grouped by topic, and would be a big help to those starting out. In addition, a scrolling display of banner ads for suppliers can lead you to sources for your preparedness. APPENDIX II BASIC LIST TO START Here is a list to consider of things that would be a good idea of where to start. Your needs will differ from others’, so just start with what meets your needs and ignore the rest. Many items you will no doubt already have, but think of things that you would use up, but cannot provide for yourself. I have tried to make this list all-inclusive for any of the emergencies. Specific situations may necessitate different items. Keep in mind that in any emergency such as I’ve covered in this book, you will not be able to just go to the corner grocery to replenish anything you have run out of. Since I have several lists relating to health issues, I have put them in a separate appendix. Water: One gallon per person per day just for drinking. Also additional water for cooking, washing, and flushing the toilet. Household bleach (unscented) or water purification tablets Food: Canned and sealed containers or freeze-dried. Choose foods that need a minimum of preparation. Don’t forget food for special needs or diets. Perishable foods should be in containers small enough to allow them to be eaten in one or two meals. Several small containers are better than one large container. Salt: ½ tablespoon per person per day Seasonings (My oldest son spent two weeks in Jamaica on a mission trip, far away from the resorts. He ate nothing but unseasoned rice and chicken for every meal. Unseasoned food got old really quickly.) Vitamin supplements Cooking and eating utensils. Not wanting to waste precious water on washing plates, we have stocked up on paper plates. The best ones are grease resistant. Paper napkins and/or paper towels Means of warming food (Sterno, candles, charcoal, alcohol lamp.) DO NOT USE CHARCOAL INDOORS! Matches. Paper matches are much cheaper than wooden, and take up less space. Manual can opener Mechanical alarm clock or cooking timer Aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and plastic bags. Covered plastic cans for garbage Chemical toilet, or plastic pail with a seat (remember, the water may shut off.) I found a seat made specifically to fit over a 5 gallon bucket, called the “Luggable Loo” in the sporting goods department at Wal-Mart. Toilet paper. With my family of six, we use almost two rolls per day. Plastic bags for the bucket. (You do NOT want to waste precious water to rinse out your bucket.) Cans for human waste. If human waste is just dumped, there is a strong possibility of disease being spread that much more quickly. Toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss Soap, detergent Heavy-duty garbage bags Some kind of water filtration system, and lots of filters Tampons or sanitary napkins Disposable latex or plastic gloves Tape: Masking, duct, electrical, Scotch Dust filter masks. Recommended, 3M brand #8210 N95 Candles, oil lamps, flashlights. If you are planning to use the candles and lamps for just light, I strongly recommend the shaker light I mentioned earlier, even if the price is initially high. A charged light will last for hours, and the flashlight has an over-all life expectancy of 10,000 hours. All that I have seen have a transparent case, so that one could be turned on and set somewhere “face down,” and it will provide enough light to navigate a dark room. Fire extinguishers – get units for all classes of fires, and keep near anyplace you would have an open flame Lamp oil Battery-powered radio. We have one with a solar recharger, and hand crank Batteries. Again, unless you plan to get a warehouse full of batteries, get rechargeable batteries. It seems every few months there is a new type, making use of new technology. They cost a bit more that the old style of rechargeables, but you avoid the problem that rechargeable batteries used to face that erodes their ability to hold a full charge. Recharger. Naturally, if you are facing the need for battery-powered items, your power is out. A good investment is a solar-powered charger. Spare glasses, contact lenses, cleaning solutions Items to occupy long periods of time (Books, games, playing cards, etc.) In the case of bird flu or fallout from a nearby (or upwind) dirty nuke in one of the target cities, you will need to stay indoors for an extended period. BARTER ITEMS Think. What do you have around the house that you would not be able to replace if left to your own devices? Chances are, most everyone else will be in the same situation. If the stores are empty, cash will do you little good, especially if things are disrupted for an extended time. Here is a list of items to accumulate for barter. Drinking water Candles Matches Coffee or tea Cigarettes (although I’ve found that they don’t store very well. A friend made a suggestion that made me feel like an idiot: Canned tobacco.) Vitamins Medicines Bandages and other first-aid supplies Soap Detergent No-rinse shampoo Toothpaste Candy Spices Toilet paper Canned milk Boxes for carrying supplies Water containers Water purifiers Charcoal Sterno Flashlights Batteries Disposable diapers Baby food Wet wipes Pet food Manual can openers Duct tape Rope Twine Plastic trash bags Vegetable seeds Garden tools Tool handles Portable radios Portable toilets Chain saws Spark plugs Blades Generators Gasoline Diesel fuel Kerosene 2-Cycle engine oil The list is almost endless. APPENDIX III MEDICAL LISTS As I’ve stated previously, I am no medical professional, and would never presume to offer any medical advice on my own. I have therefore had to rely upon those who know these things better than I do. With that in mind, the lists here will be gleaned from specific sources, and may overlap some. THE BIG FOUR These four over-the-counter medicines are the most useful over-all as listed in Medical Self-Care. *Aspirin – Fever reducer, pain reliever, anti-inflammitory. DO NOT GIVE TO CHILDREN. Use children’s strength acetaminophen (such as Tylenol), or Motrin. *Zinc Oxide – Skin protection and itch relief *Pseudophedrine (such as Sudafed) – Decongestant *Chlorpheniramine - Antihistamine DR. WOODSON’S FLU SURVIVAL KIT This is what Dr. Grattan Woodson recommends in his book The Bird Flu Preparedness Manual. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. The “household” items listed are for treatment for flu symptoms, apart from their normal uses. *Table salt – 1 pound *Table sugar – 10 pounds *Baking soda – 6 oz. *Household bleach - 1 gallon (FEMA advises using 1/8 teaspoon bleach to purify a gallon of water; to make a solution to disinfect contaminated surfaces, add I cup of bleach to a gallon of water; for general disinfecting purposes, add a cup of bleach to 5 gallons of water.) *Tums EX – 500 tablets *Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) 500mg – 100 tablets *Ibuprofen 200mg – 100 tablets *Caffeinated tea, dry loose – 1 pound *Electronic thermometer (Since monitoring temperature is so crucial and it could malfunction, getting more than one is advisable.) *Automatic blood pressure monitor – Dr. Woodson recommends the hand-pump variety rather than one with an electric pump. *Notebook to record vital signs and fluid intake and output *Kitchen measuring cup with 2-cup capacity *Diphenhydramine (such as Benadryl) 25mg – 60 capsules Also, Dr. Woodson made the following recommendations for prescription drugs that would be useful for one person with severe flu: *Tamiflu 75mg – 20 tablets – 2 daily (This is an expensive drug, as there is no generic equivalent.) *Promethazine (Phenergan) 25mg – 60 tablets – ½ to 1 tablet every 4 hours as needed for nausea *Hydrocodone with acetaminophen (Lortab-5) 5mg-325mg – 60 tablets – ½ to 1 tablet every 4 hours as needed for cough or pain *Diazepam (Valium) 5mg – 60 tablets – ½ to 1 tablet twice daily as needed for anxiety, muscle aches, or insomnia Dr. Woodson’s ORS Formula The ORS formula is simply an IV solution that is given orally. One of the chief dangers to a flu patient is dehydration, either from vomiting, diarrhea, or high fever.. Dr. Woodson maintains that preventing dehydration will save more flu patients than all of the other treatments combined. This mixture will be better for the patient than plain water. 4 cups clean water 3 tablespoons sugar or honey ¼ teaspoon salt If you so desire, the formula can be flavored with citrus, mint, or herbs. OVER-THE-COUNTER DRUGS Aspirin Ibuprofen Acetaminophen Antacids Anti-Diarrhea medicine Laxative Syrup of ipecac Witch Hazel Potassium iodide if you are at risk for radiation. You may have to get it online – One source is http://www.ki4u.com FIRST-AID KIT (You might be the only source for medical help.) First-Aid manual Antiseptic rinse or hydrogen peroxide Antibiotic soap Rubbing alcohol Selection of sterile adhesive bandages Rolls of gauze Adhesive tape Sterile gauze pads, an assortment from 2’’ to 4” Antiseptic spray Antibiotic ointment Sutures or butterfly closures Tweezers Eye wash Latex or vinyl gloves Splints Ace bandages Pain killers MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS Medical books – at the very least a First-Aid manual Special medications (Insulin, heart medicine, allergy medicine, etc.) Field surgery kit HERBAL REMEDIES FOR COMMON PROBLEMS If any of the disruptions last for an extended period, you may find that there are things you just plain didn’t stock up enough of. Things such as reading material may be merely an annoyance, but things like medicine could really affect your quality-of-life. Here is a list of herbal remedies that could make a big difference. Allergies Garlic, Stinging Nettle, Ginkgo Anxiety Hops, Kava-Kava, Valerian Arthritic Pain Cayenne applied externally, Celery seed, Ginger, Turmeric Bronchitis Echinacea, Garlic Burns Aloe applied externally Colds Echinacea, Ginger, Lemon Balm, Garlic Cholesterol Garlic Constipation Flaxseed, Psyllium Mild Depression St. John’s Wort Diarrhea Bilberry, Raspberry Menstruation Pain Kava-Kava, Raspberry Earache Echinacea, Garlic, Mullein Flu Echinacea, Elderberry Gas Dill, Fennel, Peppermint Hay Fever Stinging Nettle Headache Feverfew, Willow Heartburn Angelica, Chamomile, Peppermint Hepatitis Dandelion, Milk Thistle, Turmeric Hives Stinging Nettle Indigestion Chamomile, Ginger, Peppermint Insomnia Chamomile, Hops, Lemon Balm, Valerian, Kava-Kava, Evening Primrose Irregularity Flaxseed, Plantain, Senna Lower Back Pain Cayenne applied externally, Thyme Migraine Feverfew Motion Sickness Ginger Nausea Ginger, Peppermint Rash from Allergies Evening Primrose Sprain Arnica, Calendula Stress Kava-Kava, Valerian Toothache Cloves, Willow Urinary Tract Infection Cranberry, Stinging Nettle Vaginitis Garlic, Golden Seal A REMEDY FOR BIRD FLU? Recent studies seem to indicate that elderberries may contain compounds that can combat the effects of Avian Flu H5N1. Elderberry wine was traditionally used for influenza and the ill effects of the chills, and the juice of the black elderberry has historically been an invaluable remedy. The elder has often been called the 'medicine chest" of the country people. Israeli virologist Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu has done research into elderberries’ curative properties, and created Sambucol, a patented compound for fighting influenza. While Sambucol is a refined and concentrated form of elderberries’ active ingredients, virtually anything containing elderberries will help reduce the effects of the flu, or even prevent it. Consuming fresh elderberries, preserves, juice, even elderberry wine will have a positive effective. If you have elderberry bushes of your own, the blossoms are even more effective than the fruit. Warning: any part of the elderberry plant except for the berries and berry stems is poisonous. Sambucol is available through most health food stores. APPENDIX IV EXPEDIENT FALLOUT SHELTERS In the event that al-Qaeda carries out their plan for American Hiroshima, they will be using suitcase nukes, “dirty” bombs that will be relatively small as far as nuclear bombs go, but will create a massive amount of radioactive fallout. This spells bad news for anyone in the targeted cities, and those downwind from them. Here are the locations of the targeted cities. The prevailing winds are from the West, so you can look for yourself how much of a threat fallout would be. The targeted cities are New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Boston and Washington, DC. The farther away you are from these cities, the less effect you will have from fallout. Many of my Cold War-era reference books detail the blast radii and fallout patterns for nuclear bombs ranging from 1 to 25 megatons (the equivalent power of 1 million to 25 million metric tons of dynamite.) The blast radius for a 25 MT explosion would create a crater almost a mile in diameter, vaporize anything within a 5 mile radius, start fires within 14 miles, and spread radioactive fallout for hundreds of miles downwind from the blast. Suitcase nukes will be much smaller, anywhere from 1 to 10 kilotons (1,000 to 10,000 metric tons of dynamite), a fraction of nuclear warheads, but still extremely destructive. The blast radius and fireball will be much smaller, and the range downwind of fallout will be much less, although, I’m sure this isn’t much good news if you are in one of the targeted cities. Suitcase nukes will be detonated with virtually no warning. Al-Qaeta’s plan is to set off their bombs simultaneously. There will be no time to prepare a blast shelter or even go to one. If you are far enough away to not be immediately incinerated, there are means of shelter to protect yourself from the full force of the shock wave. Do whatever you can to get out of the direct force of the blast. Once you have gotten past the initial blast you will have a little time to find shelter before the dust and debris that has been thrown up into the air will start coming back down – now radioactive from the nuclear material. If you do not live in one of the cities hit by al-Qaeta, but are still at risk because you are downwind, you will have a little more time to prepare. EXPEDIENT FALLOUT SHELTERS If you can find a means to stay indoors for an extended period, time will be on your side. The area will not be “hot” for 10,000 years as some claim. Generally, the fallout has lost about 90% of its strength in 7 hours. After 2 weeks, the fallout has lost 99.9% of it’s strength, but if the radiation levels started out high, that 1/10 of a percent could still be deadly. Radiation exposure is measured in roentgens per hour, and the effects accumulate. You need to stay away from the effects of the fallout using a combination of distance, shielding, and time. Choose a place in the house as far from outside walls as possible. If you have a basement, that would be your best place. If you have time, pile dirt along the foundation walls to add additional shielding to what is already there. If you do not have a basement, then do whatever you can to create a shelter in the center of the house, putting whatever you can between you and the outside to serve as shielding. Don’t forget that fallout will collect on the roof, and consequently irradiating you from there too. APPENDIX V SUPPLIERS Here is a list of suppliers of survival food, equipment, and literature. I have done business with some of them, but not all. I cannot vouch for the integrity of those I don’t know. What I have done is make sure that they are still in business. For those with a web site, I have included the URL. There are soooo many suppliers out there that several pages would still give just a fraction. Those I have listed will cover virtually all of the needs enumerated in this report. If you wish to check out others, open a browser and do a search with “Survival.” I have excluded suppliers for items that could be gotten at a department store, sporting goods store, or farmers’ supply store. JRH Enterprises P.O. Box 317 West Green, GA 31567 912-379-9441 912-375-1480 (Fax) 912-379-9441 www.jrhenterprises.com Just about anything you would want to fill out your supplies – medical kits, freeze-dried foods, gas masks, radiation detectors, gun parts, water filters, etc. Lehman’s P.O. Box 41 Kidron, OH 44636 877-438-5346 www.lehmans.com Everything non-electric. Located in eastern Ohio, Lehman’s is right in Amish country, and serves their Amish neighbors. I have had nothing but good experiences with these people. Global Merchants 2355 Foothill Blvd., #212 La Verne, CA 91750-3027 909-429-0073 (Fax) 909-822-5699 www.global-merchants.com A nice variety of solar products, including radios, battery chargers, and rechargeable flashlights. AmericaSecured.com (No street address available. Phone or internet only) 1-800-571-9860 www.americasecured.com A selection of security products, including stun guns and diversion safes. J & L Self Defense Products 70 Defense Drive Berkeley Springs, WV 25411 304-258-2900 (Fax) 304-258-3100 www.selfdefenseproducts.com Another source for security products, weapons, books and videos. Downloadable catalog. Bountiful Gardens 18001 Shafer Ranch Rd Willits CA 95490 707-459-6410 (Fax) 707-459-1925 Hours: 9am to 4 pm, pacific time, weekdays http://www.bountifulgardens.org/ A source for heirloom, open pollinated, untreated vegetable seeds, as well as books and tools. KI4U, Inc. 212 Oil Patch Lane Gonzales, TX 78629 (830) 672-8734 http://www.ki4u.com Just about anything you’d need for preparations for a nuclear attack. Equipment, books, and particularly potassium iodide (KI) for help in preventing radiation absorption by the thyroid gland. Besides things for sale, the site answers frequently-asked questions, and offers an updated edition of Nuclear War Survival Skills by Cresson H. Kearny for free download. APPENDIX VI FOOD STORAGE The enemies to your food storage efforts will be bacteria, vermin, heat, moisture, and oxygen – not necessarily in that order. The main processes for preserving food, which will address one or more of these problems, are canning, drying, air tight packing, and freezing. Naturally, canned goods will be your first choice for food storage. The cans will need to be protected from moisture. Most modern basements are quite dry, and the basement in an older home can often be acceptable if the area is kept well-ventilated. Most canned goods are stamped with the date giving the contents’ guaranteed nutritional value. The food will still be good years after that date; it will just not necessarily be at full potency. Doing your own canning is not all that difficult. Every fall my wife and I will spend several days canning our own tomato sauce. Of course, if you do not already can your own vegetables, the outlay for the equipment may be a deterrent. Kettles, racks, canning jars, lids, and a pressure cooker (for anything other than tomatoes) can run into some serious cash, but once you have the equipment, it will last virtually forever. Dried beans and grains should also be a staple, and will keep almost forever. I have heard that grain was found in the Egyptian burial vaults, and would still sprout after thousands of years. My wife and I have found, though, that dried beans are difficult to rehydrate after several years. Moisture and vermin will be your biggest enemies. As with most of your preparations, you can get as elaborate as you want, or keep it simple. The best storage method for beans and grain is to use a 5-gallon bucket with a lid that has a gasket. The heavy plastic of the bucket and lid will protect the contents from rodents and moisture, and with a 5-gallon bucket of grain weighing roughly 50-60 pounds, it is quite portable. Air and bugs will be your main problem here. Oxygen will reduce the nutrition value of the food, and the inevitable bugs will destroy much. You will almost always have a certain amount of bug eggs in with your grain or beans. The FDA allows a certain PPM (Parts per Million) of things such as that in anything you buy. The eggs will eventually hatch, and you want to suffocate the new bugs before they can do any harm. One of my sources recommends packing the contents in nitrogen. You can get a tank of compressed nitrogen at most welding supply stores, as well as the regulator and any other equipment needed. That is straying from my own desire for simplicity, though. Many survival suppliers sell oxygen absorbers. These are little packets about the size of a sugar packet that are kept in a sealed package until needed, then you put them in with your grain right before sealing the lid. They are activated by contact with the air, and do an excellent job of removing oxygen. The easiest route to go, though, is dry ice. Dry ice is available in almost any city (One grocery chain with stores in Jackson sell dry ice by the checkout right along with regular ice.) Before putting any grain or beans in your bucket, put in about an inch of dry ice. Fill the bucket with your grain within a couple inches of the top, then put another inch of dry ice on top. Place the lid loosely on top of the bucket. As the dry ice evaporates, the carbon dioxide will displace the air in the bucket. Since it is heavier than air, the carbon dioxide will stay in the bucket as the air vents from under the loose lid. Once the dry ice is done evaporating, seal the lid to keep it in. Drying is a method of food storage that has been in practice since before recorded history. Fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish are all items that have been dried through the years. Under the right conditions, all you need is a window screen supported off the ground, and some dry weather. Of course, there are electric food dryers available, and Amazon.com has several books listed with plans for solar food dryers that are quite simple for anyone with any skills with tools at all. Once the food is dried, put it in a sealed container. Since dried foods do not go through the high heat of canning, and there is still some moisture, they do not keep nearly as long, and must be used much sooner. Another storage method to consider is a root cellar. We all have visions of a cellar dug into the side of a hill out on the farm, with doors that could be barricaded so that it would double as a storm cellar. This setup is ideal for storing root crops, with the surrounding soil regulating temperatures and humidity. Unfortunately, if you do not already have access to something such as this, it would involve a lot of work – especially if you are doing this as a hedge against possible disasters and not as an integral part of your life. All is not lost though. You could partition off the coldest part of your basement, ideally a section with a window or vent that could be used to regulate the temperatures, and have a pan of water to keep the air humid. If that is too elaborate for your tastes and you have an enclosed basement stairwell to the outside, it could be used almost as-is. The stairs would provide built-in shelves. If all else fails, plastic pails with alternating layers of damp sand and root crops can be assembled and stored in an unheated garage or attic. Temperatures need to be regulated to stay just above freezing, and humidity levels at 80%-90%. APPENDIX VII HOW LONG WILL THAT KEEP? Throughout history mankind’s overriding issues with food have been finding enough and keeping excess so that it is safe to eat later. Once you have determined to stock up on staples, it will be important to maintain your supply so that you will constantly have an ample amount of food on hand that is nourishing and safe to eat. Except for rare cases, feed your family out of your stock, using older food first, and replacing it with fresh. This way you will cultivate the habit of eating what you have on hand, and your food will always be at its peak of freshness. PREPACKAGED FOODS Things bought off the shelf in the grocery store will have a date stamped somewhere on the package. Short-life items such as milk will have a “Sell By” date. If kept cold, the milk is good for a week after that date. Canned goods, packages of pasta, and things such as those will have a “Use By” date. This date is the latest that the company will guarantee that the product is at its peak of nutrition. If the package is kept sealed, the food is still edible for several years after the “Use By” date, but it nutritional value may be diminished. Anything that has been around for long should be examined carefully before eating. If it looks or smells questionable, discard it. Things will keep better in a cool, dry place. Store, if possible, in airtight, moisture-proof containers. In general… Baking powder 1 year Baking soda 1 year Beans and lentils, dried 1 year Cake mix 1 year Catsup 1 year Crackers and cereal 1 year Eggs 4 months if the shells are intact Flour 1 year Gelatin 6 months Honey 1 year before it crystallizes – it will stay good much longer Jams and jellies 6 months Mayonnaise Indefinitely if unopened Molasses 1 year Pancake mix 6 months Pasta 2 years Peanut butter 2 years Powdered milk 6 months Rice, brown 1 year Rice, flavored mixes 6 months Rice, white 2 years Salad dressing 6 months Shortening 8 months Soup and sauce mixes 1 year Sugar, brown Indefinitely (Protect from moisture.) Sugar, powdered 2 years (Protect from moisture.) Sugar, white granulated Indefinitely (Protect from moisture.) Syrup 1 year Tea bags 6 months Tea, instant 1 year FROZEN FOODS In the event of a total collapse, it is a good bet that the electricity will be out. If the power is still on, though, here is what you can expect from your freezer. Note: Your best bet is a chest freezer. Air is a fluid, and as with any fluid it will seek its lowest level. Cold air, being heavier, will flow out of an upright freezer, replaced with warmer air that needs to be cooled after the freezer is shut. With a chest freezer the air stays put, much like the water in a kettle. Even if the power fails a chest freezer will keep things frozen – and safe to eat – for a much longer time. Meat and fish should be frozen within one to two days after purchase. Fresh vegetables should be blanched to stop the ripening process before freezing. Everything should be kept wrapped and sealed to prevent freezer burn. Frozen at 0 degrees Fahrenheit… Bread 6 months to 1 year Butter 6 to 9 months Cakes 4 to 6 months Cheese 6 months Cookies 4 to 6 months Eggs (raw, out of shell) 1 year Fruits 1 year Milk 3 months Pies, fruit 1 year Tofu 5 months Vegetables 8 months to 1 year MEAT: Bacon 3 months Beef 8 months to 1 year Fish, fresh water, fatty 3 months Fish, fresh water, lean 6 months Fish, seafood 2 to 6 months Lamb 1 year Pork 6 to 8 months Poultry 6 months to 1 year Sausage 4 months CANNING Canning is perhaps the method of preserving food, after freezing, that most people are familiar with. After the initial investment for equipment (kettles, racks, mason jars, rings, and lids) the only things that will need to be replaced each time are the lids. My wife and I have been canning produce from our garden for decades, and it is always quite satisfying to see rows of canning jars sitting on the table, cooling. Also, for most canning jobs you will need a pressure cooker. Merely a bath in boiling water will not kill the bacteria that cause botulism. Tomatoes have a high acidity and mere boiling is adequate, although many of our sources advise a pressure cooker for tomatoes, too. Most department stores, hardware stores, and farmers’ supply stores carry canning supplies, so getting started is quite simple. As with most other foods, store canned goods in a cool (below 50 degrees), dry, and dark place. Virtually all canned foods will keep reliably for up to 2 years, but we have found that tomato sauce has lasted much longer. DRYING Drying is probably the oldest form of food preservation. It can be as simple as spreading out onions on a window screen supported between a couple of sawhorses, or as elaborate as getting a high-tech, thermostatically-controlled electric dryer. As I pointed out elsewhere, there are plans available for solar food dryers. Once your food has been prepared and dried, pack it into clean, airtight containers and (of course) store it in a cool, dry, and dark place. General shelf life for dried foods: Food at 70 degrees Fahrenheit at 50 degrees Fahrenheit Apples 6 months 2 years Apricots 8 months 2 ½ years Asparagus 2 months 6 months Bananas 4 months 1 ½ years Beans, green 4 months 1 year Beans, lima 4 months 1 year Beets 4 months 1 year Blueberries 6 months 2 years Broccoli 1 month 3 months Carrots 6 months 1 ½ years Cherries 1 year 4 years Citrus fruit peel 6 months 2 years Corn 4 months 1 year Cucumbers 2 months 6 months Dates 1 year 4 years Figs 6 months 2 years Garlic 4 months 1 year Grapes 6 months 2 years Horseradish 4 months 1 year Mushrooms 2 months 6 months Nectarines 6 months 2 years Onions 4 months 1 year Papaya 6 months 2 years Parsnips 4 months 1 year Peaches 6 months 2 years Pears 6 months 2 years Peas 4 months 1 year Peppers, hot 8 months 2 years Peppers, green 8 months 2 years Pineapple 8 months 2 ½ years Plums 8 months 2 ½ years Potatoes, white 4 months 1 year Potatoes, sweet 1 month 3 months Pumpkin 1 month 3 months Squash, Summer 1 month 3 months Strawberries 6 months 2 years Tomatoes 3 months 9 months Turnips 2 months 6 months Dried meat or fish will keep 2 to 3 months on the shelf, at the most. Dried herbs and spices will keep for a year whole, or 6 months ground. PICKLING Pickling is another form of food preservation that has been around for a long time. It is said that the ancient Chinese were the first. Just about any fruit of vegetable can be pickled. When one mentions pickling, people’s first thoughts usually immediately go to dill or sweet pickles made from cucumbers, but there are actually four different types of pickling. First is brine, which includes “pickles,” sauerkraut, green tomatoes, and things such as these. Next is fresh-pack. Rather than soaking in a brine for weeks, the vegetables are soaked overnight then packed in vinegar and seasonings. Fruit pickles include whole fruits, things such as peaches or pears. They are simmered in a “brine” of sweet and sour syrup. Relishes can be made from either fruit or vegetables, to give either a sweet or spicy relish. Virtually any fruit or vegetable can be pickled. Recipes abound for hundreds of different types. After the initial process, can or freeze. The pickled produce will last on the shelf for about a year. ROOT CELLARS In the previous appendix I discussed makeshift root cellars. In a root cellar unprocessed fruits and vegetables – especially root crops – can be stored for months. In contrast to most other places for food storage, where things need to be kept cool, dry, and dark, root cellars need to be kept cold – just above freezing – and humid, about 80% to 90%. Root crops are still “alive” when stored unprocessed, and in warm and light conditions will continue to grow, feeding upon their own reserves to produce foliage. Have you ever had potatoes sprout (and shrivel) before you had a chance to use them? Here are the general storage lives in a root cellar: Apples 4 to 6 months Beets 3 to 5 months Broccoli 1 to 2 weeks Brussel sprouts 2 weeks to 1 month Cabbage 1 to 4 months Carrots 6 months Cauliflower 2 weeks to 1 month Cucumbers 2 to 3 weeks Eggplant 1 to 2 weeks Garlic 3 to 4 months Leeks 1 to 3 months Onions 4 to 6 months Potatoes, white 4 to 6 months Potatoes, sweet 4 to 6 months Pumpkins 4 to 6 months Radishes 2 to 4 months Squash, Winter 4 to 6 months Tomatoes, green 1 to 1 ½ months Turnips 2 to 4 months APPENDIX VIII DEALING WITH AN EMP Every nuclear explosion produces an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) just as a part of its makeup. This pulse is essentially an extremely strong radio signal that will be picked up by wires and antennas and transferred through any device connected. Where the EMP is strongest, even the wiring in devices that are unplugged and turned off will pick up the signal. For a ground blast, the EMP is fairly localized. A sufficiently powerful nuke set off high above the ground, however, will have enough coverage to blanket the entire North American continent. In 1962 the government set off a small nuclear air blast 250 miles over Johnson Island in the south Pacific. Hawaii, about 870 miles away, experienced disruption of their electrical grid. As with any signal, the EMP will lose strength the farther it gets from its source. The EMP from a blast 300 miles over, say, Nebraska will be reduced to about 30% of its strength by the time the pulse reaches the coasts. This will still be strong enough to ruin any electrical system that is not heavily shielded. In addition, systems closer to the center of the blast will be completely destroyed, putting a strain upon what systems are still operating and creating the same cascading effect I talked about in the chapter on electricity. This will be enough to completely disable our entire electrical infrastructure. No matter where you are, you will be without electricity or many of your electronic devices. SHIELDING YOUR ELECTRONICS If you are near the center of a blast that creates an EMP, you have no hope of protecting your electronic equipment. It is most likely that if an attack comes in that form, there will be only one, near the center of the country, but there may be two or more spread out. If you are fortunate enough to be far enough away that the pulse’s energy is weakened there is a precaution you can take with a Faraday cage. A Faraday cage in essentially an enclosure made of a material that will serve as a conductor of electricity. The conductive surface of the cage stops the signal from passing through. This principle is well known by anybody who has tried to use a cell phone or play a radio in a building with a metal framework. Of course, the stronger the signal – or as you move toward an opening in the framework, such as a window – the easier the signal gets through. Other examples of this principle are the microwave oven, which is a Faraday cage that keeps the microwave signal from getting out, and a coaxial cable, with the shielding acting as a long Faraday cage. A Faraday cage is fairly simple to make. One of my sources has separate cages for each of his electronic devices. He takes a cardboard box that the device will fit into, then another box just large enough to contain the first box. He then covers the larger box with aluminum foil, then the foil with heavy plastic (6 mil) to prevent tearing. Before putting on the plastic, he attaches an alligator clip to the foil, allowing it to protrude through the plastic. The clip is then used to attach a ground wire to carry off any charge that the foil will collect. The inner box serves as an insulator between the box with the foil and the enclosed device. For larger devices, such as his television, he took an aluminized “space blanket” and used double- sided tape every few inches to fasten 6-mil plastic to one side. He then fastened a clip and ground wire to the blanket, and has it at the ready to throw over his components (plastic sheet toward the device) in the event of a pending EMP. Since the EMP’s signal will travel in a straight line from the source of the explosion, there is a good chance that his larger devices will survive. Another source has taken a metal trash can with a tight-fitting lid and lined it with cardboard, again, grounding the metal can. Grounding the Faraday cage is important, otherwise the metal shell could hold a charge much like a capacitor, and discharge when you attempt to open the enclosure. Of course, no one has ever set off nuclear bombs to test these safeguards. There are some who insist that the power of an EMP will be so great that Faraday cages will be ineffective against it. My own thoughts on this are that keeping your electronics protected with a Faraday cage will greatly increase your chances that they will survive an EMP. One last thing to consider. Newer vehicles have electronic ignition and onboard computers to enhance engine performance. As anyone who has had a computer component go bad can tell you, one small glitch can shut down everything. Unless you plan to wrap your garage in foil, resign yourself to the very real possibility that you will be without a vehicle after an EMP. If you already have your other preparations in place, you might want to consider a vehicle – I’d suggest a pickup – made before electronics were added to the engines, no later than mid to late 70’s. APPENDIX IX THE SPREAD OF SPANISH FLU IN 1918 In 1918 a pandemic of the avian flu H1N1 – otherwise known as the Spanish flu – swept across the globe. Approximately 10 million people died worldwide, with over 600,000 deaths in the United States alone. Pandemics of this sort usually come in three waves, with the second wave being the most severe. The second wave of the Spanish flu hit the United States in September of 1918, and covered the entire country in just four weeks. This was 1918, when extensive travel was rare, and people were not concentrated in the large cities as they are today. In addition, the Spanish flu had a fatality rate of only 10%. Once the H5N1 virus mutates to allow human-to-human transmission, it will have a fatality rate of 50%. World heath officials are talking about “when,” not “if” this happens. My biggest fear is that people have grown weary and cynical from the news media hyping every little thing then discarding it without a second thought as soon as it turns out to be nothing. Like the boy who cried, “Wolf,” once the H5N1 virus starts spreading the media may be largely ignored until it is far too late for most people to prepare. The next page has a series of maps showing how the second wave of the Spanish flu spread across the country. It is adapted from Dr. Woodson’s book The Bird Flu Preparedness Planner, which Dr. Woodson adapted from America’s Forgotten Pandemic: The Influenza of 1918 by Alfred W. Crosby. As you look at the map, remember that the Spanish flu spread as it did when travel wasn’t nearly as common nor extensive as it is today. CLOSING THOUGHTS The American mindset is of the rugged individual, blazing new trails and overcoming all odds on his own. The action movie genre is rife with tales of “one” man prevailing against impossible odds and making all the difference. In the real world, no one man or family can make it through any of these disasters on their own. We need the support of neighbors and community, since - especially in this day of the division of labor – darned few of us would have the skills to do everything that will need to be done. I’m fairly skilled at carpentry, plumbing, and electrical work, but ask me to fix an engine and I’d be lost. Although, in certain areas, I can keep hundreds – if not thousands – of details straight, in other areas I am one of the most disorganized people you would ever meet. My wife’s knowledge of gardening is phenomenal, and I have picked up some of what she knows over 25 years, but I really know only a tiny fraction of what she does. I have a friend in Ohio to whom I can turn for answers for just about any question about firearms I might have. A friend here in Michigan is someone who can answer virtually any computer question right off the top of his head. We need each other if we are going to survive. Start finding like-minded people among your friends and neighbors. Take stock of your abilities. What can you do that others can’t? or better than others? or are skilled enough that you and others with similar skills could pool efforts? What resources do you have? Tools, books, knowledge… You are limited only by your imagination. Do you have no skills? Watch someone’s young children so they can make the best use of their time. People can pool their resources to rebuild or repair structures – ever watch an Amish barn raising? The work goes fast. Neighbors can form patrols to watch out for those who would take advantage of the breakdown of local government. I am not talking about a commune here, but in the event of a disaster of the proportions that could happen, we will most certainly need to pull together – even if only for emotional support. Get to know your neighbors. Find like-minded people at church, at work, at the gym. If folks are skeptical, show them the information included in previous chapters – and get ready to be laughed at. Prior to Y2K, it was no secret among my coworkers what I was doing. During this time, my department obtained a water cooler. There was a need for a place to store the 5-gallon jugs of water, and the space below my 16-foot drawing board was the perfect place. While people were still getting used to the new water cooler, someone walked by my board and asked, “What’s with all the water?” A fellow who shared my cubicle answered, “That’s just Steve’s Y2K stash.” We all had a good laugh at my expense. I was teased mercilessly after Y2K turned into such a big bust (and reminded of it not long ago by a coworker who walked past my desk and saw a book on the Bird Flu.) My answer was that I was never so glad to be wrong about anything. I made no apologies for my preparations, and I do not have any second thoughts for what I am doing to prepare now. The four possible disasters I have concentrated on are the ones that I felt are the most likely to happen in the not- too-distant future, but there are things that could happen that I have not previously brought up. Both China and North Korea have been engaging in saber-rattling. Things could escalate quickly from that part of the world. With the Russians not able to account for vast numbers of their Cold War weapons stockpile, we have no idea what tin-horned dictator with money and delusions of grandeur may come onto the global scene next. In late August reports of tropical mosquitoes carrying the virus chikungunya have invaded Europe as far north as Belgium, with 151 cases of the virus, sending 11 to the hospital and killing an elderly man. Chikungunya virus caused panic on the French island of La Réunion in the Indian Ocean in 2005 and 2006 when an epidemic infected 180,000 people. The infection usually lasts three to five days and most patients recover after a few weeks but up to one in 10 are left with permanent chronic joint pain, stiffness and swelling. With global travel as common as it is, the mosquitoes could easily find their way to the United States and cause problems. There is no vaccine for chikungunya virus. The information here, coupled with the additional resources listed, will give you the edge to survive in the face of any disaster, whether it is a terrorist attack, epidemic, or “just” the usual tornado or hurricane. Allow me to restate my offer for you to pass this information on at no charge. Forward it in an email. Post it on your web site. Burn it onto a CD. Print it out and distribute it. Send it by smoke signal, Morse code, American Sign Language. We need to get this information out to as many people as possible as quickly as possible. The time to prepare is now. The time to network is now. It took Noah 120 years to design, build, and supply the ark. What if he had waited until he felt the first drops of rain?
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