Preparing for Power Blackouts – Plan Ahead and You Can Weather Any Storm

This article is one that I wrote way back when I lived in a travel trailer and started this site… The information is good so I wanted to share it with the readers who missed it the first time…

Extended power outages are a real possibility after a serious hurricane, winter storm or even the result of a terrorist attack affecting the power grid or an EMP strike. The U.S. runs on electricity, without a functional power grid the U.S. would come to a standstill. Without electrical power, gas pumps no longer work, scanners at the supermarket will fail, radio and television stations go off the air and computers fail to connect to the web.

Could you provide for your family?

Everyone should plan for and prepare for the possibility of being without power for an extended period of time, but where do you start. What do you need to put away so the next blackout won’t become a nightmare for you. Let’s take a look…

Have Safe Water

Every emergency kit should begin with a safe supply of drinking water. Granted, if you are on a municipal water supply your water may not be affected by a power outage, but you should still stock up. If backup power fails at water-treatment plants then that water may become unsafe for drinking or cooking and need to be boiled, or treated before use. Including water in your emergency kit is always a good idea no matter how secure you think your current method of supply.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends storing at least one gallon of water per day per person for emergency use. A normally active person needs at least one-half gallon of water daily just for drinking they state. You’ll also need to take into consideration age, physical condition, activity, diet, and climate to determine needed qualities. And don’t forget about your pets, they need water too.

I live off-the-grid with most of my water provided from a nearby spring, but I still include stored water in my emergency kit. The easiest way to store drinking water is to simply buy bottled water from the supermarket shelf. But it is cheaper to store water from your own tap. I store most of my water in six-gallon water jugs bought in the sporting goods department at my local Walmart for the purpose. But you can use cleaned 2-liter plastic bottles instead.

Some of the readers of have asked about using milk jugs for water storage, and I always recommend against it. While milk jugs can work short-term, they are prone to leakage and the plastic deteriorates quickly. Milk jugs are also more susceptible to bacterial growth because of milk proteins that are often left in the container even after cleaning. A better solution two-liter plastic soda bottles.

If using two-liter plastic soda bottles the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends sanitizing the bottles after cleaning with dish-washing soap and water, by adding a solution of 1 teaspoon of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart of water. Swish the sanitizing solution in the bottle so that it touches all surfaces. After sanitizing the bottle, thoroughly rinse out the sanitizing solution with clean water.

Contrary to what you may have read elsewhere, there is no need to add liquid household chlorine bleach to tap water before storage as this water has already been treated by the water utility company. In this case all you need to do is fill the bottles to the top and tightly screw on the cap.

Emergency Food

Next you need food. This should include things your family already eats you just need to store extra for your emergency kit. Canned soups, meats, nuts, fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, dried fruits and vegetables and crackers for example will last at least a year if stored in unopened airtight containers.

Self-rising flour, corn meal, sugar, salt, rolled oats and other died goods should be stored in air tight, food safe containers made of plastic or glass to keep out pests and moister. One mistake a lot of people make is not using what they’ve stored. They buy up a bunch of foods for emergencies; they put it on the shelf and end up throwing it out when it passes the listed expiration date.

This can be avoided by implementing a simple food rotation program.

Date each container with a permanent marker or date stamp and use on a first-in first-out basis (FIFO). As each item is used in your normal everyday meals, replace that item with a new product of the same value, date and repeat. If you follow this simple principle you will never have to discard food from your emergency kit and will always have a fresh supply on hand for emergencies. With canned foods this rotation can be automated by building or buying a building a rotating canned food shelf.

I suggest you keep at least a two-week emergency food supply on hand at all times, several months to a year would be even better, but isn’t practical for most people. This food storage calculator is a big help when determining needed amounts, but it isn’t exact and you will have to make the final decision based on your family’s eating habits.

Heating and Cooking

Most power outages in the U.S. happen during periods of extreme weather. For example, in 1993, I was without power for three weeks after an ice storm blanketed my area. Luckily, I had a fireplace for heating and cooking and a supply of wood to keep the fire burning. But, many folks aren’t so lucky and need to make other preparations for cooking and staying warm.

Kerosene heaters can be used for heating and even cooking with certain models, for example the Alpaca Kerosene Cooker. Kerosene can be stored in large quantities for long periods of time without any special treatment. It has been estimated that a gallon of kerosene will provide about the same heat output as a wheelbarrow load of wood!

Kerosene is easy to store and has a longer storage life than does gasoline. I store kerosene in blue cans marked for its use. Mistakenly pouring gasoline into a kerosene heater, could have dire consequences. Following a color-coding system helps avoid this possibility.

The main disadvantage to using a kerosene heater is that they can be smelly if not used properly, they have to be refilled every few hours and the wick needs to be replaced every few months depending on how much the heater is used during that time.

The standard fuel container color-coding system is blue for kerosene, red for gasoline, and yellow for diesel. I suggest you follow this system. You’ll need roughly two – three gallons of kerosene per day with continues use, so for two weeks you would need a minimum of 28 gallon.

Keep in mind that this is only an estimate and actual usage will depend on several factors. Including but not limited to the type of heater, quality of the fuel, condition of the wick (don’t for get to add an extra wick to your emergency kit) and environmental conditions where the heater is used.

Propane heaters like the Mr Heater Buddy can be used indoors and in my opinion they are safer and more efficient than the kerosene heaters mentioned. I’ve used one of these heaters for the past two winters to heat my travel trailer with no problems what so ever. They work great and I like not having to refill the tank every few hours or needing to replace the wick as is the case when using kerosene.

I drilled a two-inch hole through my floor beside the outside wall and connected a 100 lb propane tank to my Mr Heater Buddy heater via a hose adapter and filter then sealed the hole around the hose with expanding foam insulation. This also has the advantage of keeping the fuel source outside. One 100 lb tank will last me over a month even in the coldest weather, if I keep the heater burning at the lowest setting.

The downside to the Buddy heater are that they are difficult to cook on and you’ll need a stove just for that purpose if you don’t already have a gas cook stove in your home. I suggest a small propane Colman camp stove; these can be found in the sporting goods department at your local Walmart or Kmart.

It is recommended that portable gas camp stoves not be used indoors as the fumes can be deadly. Using the stove in a ventilated area will help reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. In other words crack a window or door and have a working carbon monoxide detector if you must use the stove for cooking indoors. And make sure the stove is turned off after use.

Miscellaneous Suggestions

Most of these items can be stored in some sort of bug out bag, five-gallon plastic bucket with gamma seal lid or plastic totes until needed.

  • A good first aid kit
  • A sleeping bag for each family member
  • Several pairs of wool socks for each family member
  • Thermal underwear for each family member
  • A battery-operated or crank radio and extra batteries
  • A deck of cards, jigsaw puzzles, and board games etc.
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Battery-powered lamps or lanterns
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Prescription drugs and other needed medicine
  • Rock-salt to melt ice on walkways
  • Chemical fire extinguisher
  • Battery powered smoke alarm
  • Battery powered carbon monoxide detector
  • Disposable plates, bowls and utensils (to avoid wasting water washing dishes)

If you have any other suggestions or questions feel free to ask in the comments below. Stay safe my friends.

Prepping for an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack

by Ray – How to survive an EMP attack

EMP, or Electromagnetic Pulse Attack. Most of us have heard of it, some of us understand what it is and what it does, and those who have read “One Second After” have an idea of what will happen if we are attacked with it. Some additional info can be found at here.

The U.S. Government created a commission to study EMP and what it could do to the safety and security of the United States. Unfortunately, this Committee published its report the same day as the 911 Commission, so it didn’t get much news coverage. You can read the report at The bottom line in the report is that it is not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ we will be hit.

EMP will take out just about everything electronic, whether it is connected to the grid or sitting unplugged on the kitchen counter. Things connected to the grid may fry from the 100,000 volt surge brought in through the power distribution lines.

Electronics with transistors or integrated circuits are extremely sensitive to static electricity and can be destroyed by as little as 100 volts. Walking across a carpet and sparking to that door know is well over 1000 volts. The surge created by the EMP in your electronic device will be sufficient to destroy them if they are not protected.

One of the committee members likened EMP to a time machine, transporting our society from ‘today’ to ‘1870’ in about one second. We become, once again, an agrarian society, capable of supporting the level of population that we had in 1870. This means that there will be a lot of Americans dying.

Our goal, your goal, is to be among the survivors. There are many things that need to be done to prepare: learning survival skills, having land and gardening/preserving knowledge, and many other things.

Having communications and some of the gadgets survive could mean the difference between surviving and not surviving. Things like solar battery chargers, batteries, inverters, ignition systems for chain saws, critical farm equipment electronics, walkie-talkies, NV gear among others could be critical when the time comes.

What is EMP?

When a nuclear bomb is exploded above the atmosphere, it releases gamma rays in all directions. The ones that head towards the atmosphere strike air molecules and strip off electrons.

Those electrons and gamma rays head towards Earth, stripping, even more, electrons. This avalanche of electrons called the Compton Effect, interact with the Earth’s electromagnetic field, creating very strong magnetic waves.

When a magnetic field crosses a conductor, electrical current is produced. When this EMP magnetic wave crosses power lines, electronic equipment, anything conductive, current is produced. Enough current could be produced to create fires, exploding transformers, extremely high voltage (current pushing through resistance results in voltage) which can break down insulation and create arcing and short circuits.

In 1962 the US detonated a 1.4 megaton bomb over one of the test sites in the Pacific. It was high enough that the island of Hawaii, 900 miles away, had 300 street lights go out, and some microwave links were damaged.

Hours after the detonation there were still surges and ripples in the power system. That was when we used vacuum tubes and before transistorized equipment was on the market. Today, with microcircuits and all of the very high tech equipment that we have in our homes, our factories and our defenses, we are more vulnerable than ever.

The U.S. Senate recently stripped funds for hardening the country’s power grid against EMP from a homeland security bill.

We are on our own.

What can be harmed?

Will EMP harm you? You, the human, will be safe. Magnetic waves, even very strong ones, will not harm you. MRIs use strong magnetic waves to make images of your innards.

But, look around you at anything with a wire or a chip. Whatever you see, be it toaster, TV, laptop, microwave oven, radio, chainsaw, car, or truck, it is vulnerable, and the higher the technology the more vulnerable.

WSHTF you won’t need a TV, but you will need a radio, perhaps walkie-talkies, probably solar battery chargers, that ignition coil on your chainsaw, maybe that night vision scope and whatever else you deem necessary for your survival. EMP won’t hurt you, but it may take away every electronic device that you own.

If you are part of a group, you might consider building a larger box and sharing it, and the cost.

What can I do?

One way to protect your gear is to build a Faraday Shielded Box and keep your stuff in it. A faraday shield is simply a physical device that prevents electromagnetic radiation from passing, in or out. In our case, we’ll take a cardboard box, cover it with copper screening material, and then ground it well.

I’ll describe the one that I built and you can size it up or down as you think necessary. Copper screen material with wire spacing of 0.1” is needed, and is the most expensive part of the project. You can keep costs down by only making as big a box as necessary. But when you think of the cost, think of the cost of the items that you will be protecting and what it might cost you if they don’t make it.

I started with a 2’ x 2’ x 3’ cardboard box. I actually had two of them. I cut the top flaps off of one, and cut up the other to bend and fold a lid like a hat box, with about 2” of side overlap. I wanted a loose fitting top, with plenty of overlap on the sides. You don’t want any holes or gaps in the copper shielding, which is why I put the 2” flap on the lid for the box.

I laid out the screen coverage to minimize the number of lapped joints, cut the screen and used spots of hot melt glue to hold the pieces in place. I folded the screen around lips and edges, cut and tucked it into corners, and then used a very hot (150 W) soldering iron to solder all of the lap joints and corners. On the lid, not only cover the outside but fold the screen into the underside for the side overlaps. You don’t want any missed areas of coverage of the screen.

Next, take a piece of bare #10 AWG or #12 AWG (house wiring Romex) and strip off the insulation. Form it into a loop with a pigtail. Now make a second one. Lay one on one side flap of the lid and solder the pigtail to the screen. Put the lid on the box and solder the other loop to the main box a couple of inches below the pigtail loop on the lid.

Your box is ready. Find an out of the way place where it can stay undisturbed. From the box, run a copper wire (#10 AWG) outside the house to a ground rod. You can use a ground rod of copper or galvanized steel, or you can get 10’ of ½” galvanized pipe. Drive it into the ground at least 8’, attach the copper wire to the clamp, and make sure that you always have the box and lid connected to the ground wire. At the box end of the wire, use alligator clips to conned the main wire to one of the pigtails and then make a short jumper between the two pigtails.

I haven’t finished stocking mine, but my list includes: night vision goggles, IR laser sight for the rifle, game camera, batteries, crank emergency radio, walkie-talkies, solar battery charger, 12V to 110 VAC inverter, ignition coil for the chainsaw and an alternator for the tractor.

EMP is a complex subject with lots of contradictory information available – agree or dissagree I’d like to hear your thoughts in the comments below as well as your tips and advice.

Five Core Rules to Survive an EMP Attack

In a world where it seems like disaster is looming around every corner, it is tough to know what to expect and prepare for. Preppers are some of the savviest, most informed people out there. They get a bad reputation for being paranoid or are called Doomsdayers or conspiracy theorists. In reality, preppers are aware. They don’t have their heads in the sand. They want to be ready for anything at any time.

One of the scenarios preppers should be preparing for, and one I cover extensively in my fictional book ‘Dark Retreat’, is (you guessed it!) an EMP. An electromagnetic pulse is not something you hear about everyday, but you should. An EMP can cripple a country. It can destroy every nation. If an EMP were to strike in the U.S., it would not only disrupt the country, but the entire world would feel the ripple effects.

An EMP would shut down communications, transportation systems, interrupt the food supply chain and wreak havoc in general. Life as we know it would be gone for good. The power grid would fail, the water supply would fail. It is hard to imagine not being able to turn on a light or get a glass of water from the tap, but it will happen. You won’t be able to call the police for help or run to the hospital when you are sick or injured.

An EMP can be the result of a solar flare, a nuclear weapon being detonated, a weapon designed specifically to create a massive EMP or even a lightning strike. The flash would create millions of charged particles in the air. These particles would create a massive power influx that basically shorts out anything electrical. Including the tiny computers that run our vehicles.

Fortunately, the EMP itself isn’t harmful, but it’s the after effects that will put your life in jeopardy. How could you possibly survive after a massive EMP? This is the exact question I’ve been exploring in Dark Retreat. Here are my top 5 tips that will give you the best odds of survival.

  1. Prepare now. That means you get a stockpile of food and water built up. BUT, it needs to be hidden, cached. This is something the Morris family did, which gives them a huge advantage in the post-EMP world. You also need to know how to defend your stockpile. Learning how to grow a garden and raise livestock so you have a sustainable food source. Life isn’t going to go back to the way it was. You have to be ready to accept the new reality. That means stockpiling things like toilet paper, heirloom seeds, personal hygiene items and so on. The Morris family prepared for years and are in a position to survive and thrive. Unfortunately, they encounter people who were not prepared and have to make some tough decisions regarding protecting their own or helping out a stranger.
  2. Build a Faraday cage to protect some of your electronics. Things like 2-way radios, HAM radios and even a few flashlights. A Faraday cage is basically a box lined with aluminum foil. A small metal file cabinet, a metal trash can or a large tin can lined with cardboard can all be used as a Faraday cage. A quick internet search will show you some of the many options you have. A world without a communications system is going to be a huge adjustment.
  3. Bartering will take the place of cash. You will get an idea of the value of things we take for granted today, like socks, shampoo and coffee in the story of the Morris clan. It is the little things that count and these are the things you will want to trade other goods and services to get. Bartering can be tricky and it is up to you and the person you are trading with to determine value. Stockpiling little, inexpensive things like candy, salt and etc…can make you a wealthy person in a world where bartering is the only option.
  4. If you are in an urban survival situation, you will eventually need to get out of town. Be prepared to bug out. Going back to number 1 on the list, your hidden caches should be along the way or at a designated area you will be retreating to. Get to an area that has the land you need to grow food and raise animals. The Morris family had the luxury of picking the perfect piece of land, high up in the mountains with plenty of natural resources, like a stream on the land, wild animals for hunting and few human inhabitants. Banks are going to be a thing of the past. Think of life as the Wild Wild West. Land ownership and mortgages are not going to matter. If there is open land, stake your claim and build your homestead. Choosing wisely, like the Morris clan, is important. Their home was built with a large hill behind that served as a windblock as well as provided an easily defended space.
  5. You need to learn old-fashioned skills like sewing, leather-working, building with non-electric tools and so on. You will not have electricity or the ability to hire a tradesman. It is all on you. Learn about natural medicine and how to treat ailments and minor injuries. The Morris family matriarch happens to be well-versed in natural healing methods, which comes in handy when a little girl becomes extremely ill. Knowing how to use plants and herbs to cure ailments will be the answer to the absence of Western medicine. It will all be very hands-on and very similar to the Pioneer Days.

It is hard to imagine life after a massive EMP, but you can get an idea about what it would be like in the fictional tale that follows single mom, Megan Wolford. You will get to walk in her shoes as she navigates life after an EMP destroys the world as she knew it. She must learn to survive without electricity or grocery stores.  She’s extremely self-reliant and hates depending on others, but when her precious daughter becomes ill, she’ll be forced to join a prepper family.

Her story will take you through some of the scenarios that are likely to occur after the country is plunged into darkness. There are highs and lows and through it all, Megan must do what she can to keep her daughter alive. That means she will have to learn to trust others while protecting her daughter from people who are desperate for basic needs.

She must make the decision to join a group and hope they are who they say they are or go it alone. Through Megan, you will get to experience what life will be like and essentially learn from her mistakes and her experiences.

Grace Hamilton’s Bio

Grace Hamilton is the prepper pen-name for a bad-ass, survivalist momma-bear of four kids, and wife to a wonderful husband. After being stuck in a mountain cabin for six days following a flash flood, she decided she never wanted to feel so powerless or have to send her kids to bed hungry again. Now she lives the prepper lifestyle and knows that if SHTF or TEOTWAWKI happens, she’ll be ready to help protect and provide for her family.

Combine this survivalist mentality with a vivid imagination (as well as a slightly unhealthy day dreaming habit) and you get a prepper fiction author. Grace spends her days thinking about the worst possible survival situations that a person could be thrown into, then throwing her characters into these nightmares while trying to figure out “What SHOULD you do in this situation?”

It’s her wish that through her characters, you will get to experience what life will be like and essentially learn from their mistakes and experiences so that you too can survive!

You can get her latest book, ‘Dark Retreat (EMP Lodge Series #1)’ on Amazon now.

Is TEOTWAWKI really that Far-fetched?

by M. Edwards

I struggled with submitting this article because it is not the typical “how to” one might usually find here. Even so, the content is something I’m not seeing elsewhere and I think it needs to be shared.

We all know people who think we Preppers are nuts. They must think we are preparing for an alien invasion or something equally absurd because they can’t comprehend TEOTWAWKI ever happening. An EMP caused by solar flare or terrorist weapon which fries all our electronics? Simply not going to happen. A foreign invading army? Nope. Another decade-long Great Depression caused by economic collapse? Not a chance. Civil War? LOL! Whatever you throw at the naysayers they will quickly shoot it down as being totally out of the realm of possibility. We can’t change their thinking so we usually leave them be and go about our business, but I hope something in this article is found to be enlightening to those kinds of people.

Even among Preppers there are those who think TEOTWAWKI is a remote possibility which (they hope) will probably never happen, so they are preparing for more personal scenarios. By that I mean they are preparing for a day when they suddenly lose their job, suffer through a short-term natural disaster, or some other relatively minor event which is limited to their own household, community, or city. For them, that is a personal TEOTWAWKI, for their world will been turned upside-down for a short while. They believe having a 3-6 month supply of food in the pantry is enough and they become content with that level of readiness. In my experience, it seems very few are planning for long-term events (years) which impact the entire State, Time Zone, or Country. I would like to challenge that line of thinking because the possibility of TEOTWAWKI happening are much greater than some would care to admit.

It has been said there are two kinds of people: Those who divide people into neat little groups and those who do not. That was a bit of lame humor but, seriously, for the intents and purposes of this article there are two kinds of people: Those who hope TEOTWAWKI does not happen (mentioned above) and those who actually want it to happen. Of course, a good many who read this will recoil at that statement and respond, “Why would anyone desire TEOTWAWKI and everything that goes along with it; including martial law, detention camps, starvation, mass slaughter, etc.?” You would be right to ask this challenging question, of course, but the answers might surprise you.

Sadly, I believe there are many in government today who are actively working hard to bring about TEOTWAWKI in our society. It’s not because of sadism or “Schadenfreude” (taking pleasure in the misery of others), but rather because they don’t like the present state of the Union or the direction this country is currently heading. They want to change the very core of our country and take it in a totally new direction from where we have been. Needless to say, their vision for America is not what the Founding Fathers had in mind. For various reasons I won’t go into here, I believe our President is one of those people and he’s in good company with many other politicians in all three branches of government. Just before being elected he said we were going to fundamentally change this country. Yes, he wants this country to get a total makeover. Changing any aspect of an entire country is an incredibly slow process, especially when trying to change the very foundations upon which that nation has been built, so how is the former community organizer going about doing it?

Those who are familiar with the Alinsky “Rules for Radicals” might recall a quote from page 116, “The first step in community organization is community disorganization. The disruption of the present organization is the first step toward community organization. Present arrangements must be disorganized if they are to be displace by new patterns…. All change means disorganization of the old and organization of the new.” In other words, to bring about drastic change rapidly, one must first create chaos and then bring about new solutions to rebuild that which has been destroyed.

Using an analogy to demonstrate how this tactic works: Suppose I don’t like my carpet, but I can’t justify replacing it because it’s in good condition and my wife loves it. One day a leak develops in my roof which allows rain to seep into the house and onto the carpet. Being careful not to let a crisis go to waste, I ignore it while hoping the leak will eventually ruin my carpet so I can justify replacing it. However, my wife soon notices the leak and starts nagging me to fix the roof. I procrastinate as long as possible before finally trying a few minor fixes which I know won’t work (and they don’t). I let the situation continue until the carpet is moldy and my wife demands I replace it. I then fork out a huge sum of money for all the repairs and my wife complains that I should have listened to her as we could have saved so much money if only I had fixed the problem sooner. She is right, of course, but she wasn’t aware of my strategy from the beginning and that is why I continued to let her complaints go in one ear and out the other. Honestly, she would have had a fit if she knew about my strategy so I kept that part a secret from her. In the end, I got my new carpet, she likes it better than the moldy carpet we had, and she’ll get over being mad soon enough.

The above analogy is basically how Obama gets things done. Pay close attention when watching the news and you’ll see this concept is in play virtually everywhere. “Fast and Furious” for example, was a DOJ program which purposefully overlooked straw purchases of American firearms by cartel members who should not have been able to acquire them. In other words, our existing laws should have stopped them at the sales counter, but government agents chose not to enforce those laws. They knew the straw buyers were going to take the weapons back to Mexico and allowed them to do it despite the fact it was against numerous laws. We had no plan to track those weapons except by documenting them when later found at Mexican crime scenes, which undoubtedly included the murder of innocents. The US would eventually be able to point their finger at the situation and justify passing more restrictive gun-control laws. Infringing upon the Second Amendment was their goal all along, but they couldn’t justify doing it. Create enough chaos, however, and the justification will appear as if by magic. Sometimes the chaos is unplanned, but it can also serve as justification to advance the progressive agenda (e.g. mass shootings are always used to justify their demand for tighter gun-control laws).

Note they are they willing to be complicit in the murder of innocents or dance on the graves of victims in order to have the opportunity to reshape this country according to how they think it should be. Interestingly, “Rules for Radicals” also teaches the end justifies the means so using these tactics to reshape this country is perfectly justified in the minds of Alinski admirers. Keep in mind Obama used to teach “Rules for Radicals” to others and Hillary is no stranger to the works of Alinsky either. I don’t think they are too concerned about TEOTWAWKI and everything that comes with it because 1) it would create chaos and allow them to reshape this country according to how they think it should be and 3) they are powerful and protected enough to escape the pain which is brought about by their changes. It should be no surprise this kind of government would be willing to cause TEOTWAWKI in order to accomplish their goals, if they felt it was necessary to do so. However, they really want “controlled chaos” and for TEOTWAWKI to happen on a number of small scales (e.g. specific times and places) so as to better manage the transition and outcome. I believe the day may soon come when they can’t control the chaos they have created in various places and that combination of circumstances may very well bring about TEOTWAWKI for everyone all at once.

One could easily write this off as a conspiracy theory, except for the fact the pattern keeps showing up elsewhere. Obamacare, for example. Some think Obamacare was passed in order to improve our national health care issues, but remember the Alinski model calls for disorganization followed by reorganization. With that in mind, I believe Obamacare is actually the instrument of destruction which was designed and passed into law by progressives to create more chaos in our existing health care system. Is it any surprise what followed was a billion-dollar Obamacare website that didn’t work, doctors leaving the system in droves, premiums skyrocketing, old insurance plans being cancelled, medical services no longer being covered, employers eliminating full-time jobs in order to avoid offering coverage, a mandate for all citizens to have health insurance, discussions of government bailouts for health insurance companies, etc? Of course Obamacare won’t work effectively because it was never intended to improve anything. It is merely a tool which causes further damage to the system in order to pave the way for an even more progressive solution in the future. Those who thought Obamacare was a bad idea were routinely ignored (remember all the Town Halls?) while the law was passed despite the majority of citizens opposing it. Those who don’t like Obamacare today are really going to hate “Heath Care Reform – Part 2” tomorrow.

The citizens, by and large, are not aware this is how government is behaving today. All they see are chaotic situations which government either creates through bad policy or is unwilling/unable to fix and it frustrates them terribly. They protest in anger, but are routinely ignored; just as I ignored my wife in the leaking roof analogy. However, citizens might think differently if they understood the chaos is part of the overall plan. For example, we all know the border is insecure and we protest to bring the matter to the attention of our leaders, but the power brokers in this country ignore them because they don’t want to fix it right now. They won’t openly admit it, but I believe they want terrorists and illegals to infiltrate our country to the point the system breaks so they will be able to implement immigration reforms. That’s how the Alinsky tactic works, but to speed up the process they decline to enforce current immigration laws while also talking about granting amnesty for those who are already here. As a result, earlier this year, Mexicans started hopping on moving freight trains and coming over by the thousands (aka “Death Trains” because of the dangers involved). Their kids are now enrolled in public schools all over America and we’re finding we do not have enough money, classrooms, or teachers to accommodate everyone. It’s all going exactly to plan and immigration reform will soon become the crisis of the moment which absolutely must be addressed with the utmost urgency.

The media is largely playing along with lying government officials throughout this whole process. They don’t expose truth behind government dealings, but rather help conceal it to make favored politicians look good. They are on-board with the advancement of the liberal agenda and if we listen to them then we can be assured our border is secure, Obamacare is working wonderfully, and Ebola is nothing to worry about in this country. A good number of people are not interested in hearing the truth, but only that the news is presented to them in a biased way which matches their viewpoint. Thankfully, a good number of people aren’t so easily fooled. Despite what the government is saying about America being safe from Ebola, a majority of Americans want to ban flights from Ebola-infected countries. However, government is hesitating to do so. I don’t know their motive, but it’s clear the same tactics are being applied in that situation too. They want chaos to come here because that is how they implement drastic change in this country.

There are many things about our economy and government functions which are chaotic and unsustainable, which makes me wonder just how far and wide the application of these tactics really goes: Maintaining high levels of debt and deficit without having a budget, cranking up the currency printing machine while having an economy which is largely dependent on credit purchases, and having more government benefit recipients than there are taxpayers (to name a few). I could list a few dozen other examples of why we should all be concerned, but others have written much about them already and they all point to the same inevitable SHTF outcome. The thing is our country can deal with singular breakdowns like the burst of the housing bubble a few years back just so long as everything doesn’t collapse at once. The progressive agenda will keep advancing until that total loss of control happens. Logically speaking, freedom-lovers who desire a restoration in this country should be hoping everything collapses at once (aka TEOTWAWKI).

So, I’ve identified two very different groups of people who are or should be hoping for TEOTWAWKI, although they do so in different ways and for different reasons. One group feels immune to the fallout which comes with TEOTWAWKI while the other group will most likely be the primary targets of a government which is trying to change our way of life during TEOTWAWKI. When the two groups clash there will undoubtedly be a Civil War. As awful as that would be for individuals, there is a silver lining within it.

First, although being very difficult to endure, TEOTWAWKI is exactly what this country needs to change direction towards restoration. Serious events such as Katrina and 9/11 were not enough, for it will have to take something of much greater magnitude to put us on that path. Some will claim they are already on that path and working hard to move this country in the direction of restoration, but know elections and protests are not going to do it. TEOTWAWKI is truly our only true hope if we want to return to the vision our Founding Fathers had in mind for this country.

Second, the attitude of the citizens prevents restoration given the fact we are so extremely and bitterly divided in this country. If government doesn’t manage to cause TEOTWAWKI which then leads to Civil War then Civil War which eventually leads to TEOTWAWKI will be sparked by the hatred which exists between citizens in our society. A recent example of that hatred involved participants in the Moms Demand Action gun-control group who openly voiced their desire to see licensed firearm carriers killed for exercising their Second Amendment right in public. Some of them were even encouraging the idea of calling the police to report a man with a gun in the hope the police would show up with guns blazing. (source: That is how much they hate their fellow citizens who have a difference of opinion when it comes to the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Since there are no peacemakers capable of making peace between the left and right, it’s only a matter of time before that level of hatred, bitterness, and anger sparks a Civil War in this country and that will consequently cause TEOTWAWKI.

Another benefit which can be gained through TEOTWAWKI is that people undergo a situation which causes them to rethink their attitudes and priorities. Keep in mind many of the social problems which exist in our country today are not found in many third-world countries which have much lower standards. I believe we developed our particular set of cultural issues because of the fact we have enjoyed so much progress, we have higher standards, and life is actually pretty good here. Most of our poorest citizens live better than kings of the Middle Ages.

For example, most Americans don’t know what it’s like to breath the polluted air in Beijing or New Delhi, but the smog-tainted air of Los Angeles is fairly clean by comparison. As a result of always having fresh air some people have developed a heightened sensitivity to offensive odors. Their intolerance goes beyond cigarette smoke to include factories, breweries, livestock farms, slaughter houses, canneries, and other odor-producing facilities. Never mind the useful products, jobs, and economic benefits which are generated by these facilities; the hyper-sensitive work very hard to ban the odors as a public nuisance. They would rather the business shut down or relocate than tolerate offensive smells in their neighborhood (e.g. hot sauce factory in Irwindale, CA). Such a thing doesn’t happen in China or India, for they simply go about their business without giving much thought to their nostrils.

Our grocery stores are always well-stocked and we have the ability to choose what kinds of food we consume. Some people have chosen to avoid animal products entirely and the extreme practitioners have formed groups such as PETA to protest the “murder of animals” as a food source. Other health-conscious people complain about obesity and how our food is too high in salt, sugar, fat, cholesterol, etc. You won’t hear such complaints in starving countries, for they eat whatever they can get their hands on and be thankful for it. However, here in America our solution is to impose bans and restrictions of all kinds. Never mind countless high school students are now skipping lunch entirely and cafeterias are operating in the red while throwing out more food than ever, politicians take pride in forcing schools to provide a healthy lunch.

In countries were civil war is happening it is not uncommon to see people carrying firearms in public, even full-auto rifles. They do so not only because they can, but because survival depends on it. This isn’t necessarily true in America as most citizens would say it is a relatively safe country. Most citizens today live out their entire life without ever owning a firearm. Some of them are saying America is so safe we no longer have a “need” for firearms, especially the “scary-looking” ones. Of course, they are working very hard to ban them entirely despite it being a right secured by the US Constitution. They are truly no longer Americans in spirit given the fact they have total contempt for our fundamental document which outlines how we are all going to live in this country. The rights secured by that document used to be our “common sense” (knowledge which is common to all), but now we each have a different definition of what “common sense” means and people who can no longer admit they are wrong argue about who is right.

I am citing only three examples, but, if I can say so delicately, we’ve become a nation of ban-happy pansies. The general attitude of Americans has seemingly changed from, “I don’t like X, but others do, so let X be for their sake” to “I don’t like X and those who do like X should not like it either, so we must ban X entirely.” Sadly, their efforts are working! Freedom-lovers are losing more of their rights and privileges every day (even the things they simply enjoy doing, watching, or consuming for personal pleasure) and there is no hope of reversing this trend. We have become so spoiled in this country that many citizens can choose to behave like divas as the expense of everyone else. Knocking them off their high horse and bringing them back to reality will require nothing less than a TEOTWAWKI situation. Divas would quickly get over themselves if America suddenly became like a third-world country.

Again, I am not minimizing how difficult TEOTWAWKI and/or Civil War would be to endure, but am saying it would bring some unexpected and welcome restorative changes in our country. With so many bigger things to worry about people would have greater tolerance of the little things. Political correctness would no longer exist. There is nothing which can restore appreciation for freedom, all kinds of freedom, as living through martial law. People would regain their respect and appreciation for the firearm as a useful and desirable thing to have. When government is seen to be the tyrant it really is then fewer people will rise up in defense of it, so a certain measure of truth, real truth, will once again be important to consumers of news. It is inevitable, but if it doesn’t happen soon then my children and grand-children will be left to deal with it, so I’d much rather be the one to endure the hardships now so they might enjoy greater freedoms and peace in future years. It would be incredibly difficult to endure, but better it be me right now given I am prepared for it.

To briefly summarize, there are some people who are working hard to create the very chaos which may bring about TEOTWAWKI. They are like a juggler expertly tossing a dozen balls into the air creating an incredible display which is both seemingly chaotic yet tightly-controlled, but it only takes one momentary loss of control for everything to come falling down at once. That could very well be how government creates TEOTWAWKI. Meanshile, the citizens are so bitterly divided and angry they may one day spark TEOTWAWKI themselves. It almost started at Bundy Ranch, NV last Spring, again during the Summer in Ferguson, MO; and other opportunities for it to happen currently exist in States where firearm confiscation is being implemented or considered right now (such as CA or CT). One way or another, TEOTWAWKI is bound to happen.

In conclusion, my purpose in sharing these words are to encourage others to 1) be mindful of how government operates by using chaos to implement change, 2) avoid wasting time, money, and energy protesting chaos (social issues, political problems) as you’ll only be ignored, 3) form your own conclusions and follow your intuition regardless of what major news outlets are reporting, 4) know Civil War and TEOTWAWKI are inevitable, and 5) plan for a long-term crisis. Be prepared

Types And Effects of Nuclear Weapons, The Basics

by contributor Ron G

NUKE WW3Think of this as a primer if you will. It is written to cover the basics that will matter most to you as a prepper. I am intentionally leaving out a lot of technical jargon; there are others willing to throw that out at you. There will be some terms and concepts that do need to be understood. One I will use a lot is Ground Zero (GZ).

Ground Zero is that point on the surface of the earth directly under, at, or over, a nuclear detonation. Your location, distance, and direction, from GZ is very important.

It’s important that you understand that there are four types of nuclear detonations or “burst”. Sub Surface Burst, Surface Burst, Air Burst, and High Altitude Burst.

All nuclear burst will produce the same basic effects, blinding light, tremendous heat, massive blast wave, radiation, and the electromagnetic pulse. However, the type of burst will greatly determine the degree of each effect upon the target.

A Sub Surface Burst is one that occurs underground in which the fireball produced does not break thru to the atmosphere. The ground will shake and there may be a surface collapse at GZ but on the surface there will be no radiation or EMP released or blast wave. Really nothing to be concerned with and I mention it only because they have been used during weapons design testing programs in the past.

A Surface Burst is a detonation on or near enough to the surface where the fireball touches the earth’s surface. This is the one we almost always see in the movies and in illustrations for articles like this. There will be a brilliant flash of light, a massive fireball, and an intense outward-bound blast wave outward from GZ. As the fireball starts to rise a second blast wave, this time returning towards GZ, arrives and brings with it massive amount of debris. This debris is forced upward into the fireball and creates the stem of the familiar “Mushroom Cloud”. At GZ there is total destruction and depending on the size, design of the weapon, and to a degree the terrain, the area of total destruction can be considerable. Large areas of partial and incomplete destruction will extend even further.

Meanwhile the Mushroom Cloud continues to rise through the atmosphere, the stem discontinues and temperatures inside the fireball start to cool down. As it cools the prevailing winds will start to push the fireball downwind. Material inside the fireball, now radioactive, cools and starts to fall, largest, heaviest material first. By the time it reaches 30,000 feet the fireball will appear to be just another cloud but this cloud will be leaving behind a trail of radioactive fallout for several hundred miles.

GZ will not be survivable and will be radioactive for a long time. The further away from GZ you are the better your chances. A safe distance downwind will be much further than a safe distance cross or upwind.

An Air Burst is a detonation in which the fireball does not touch the surface of the earth. It has all the other characteristics of a Surface Burst but there is no Mushroom Cloud and most important there will be no significant fallout. What the Air Burst will do however is create a much larger area of destruction. It does this by creating three blast waves.

As the expanding blast wave (or initial wave) strikes the surface of the earth, it is reflected off the ground to form a second shock wave traveling behind the first. This reflected wave travels faster than the initial wave since it is traveling through air already moving at high-speed due to the passage of the initial wave. The reflected blast wave will merge with the initial wave to form a single wave. This is called a Mach wave. The over-pressure at the front of the Mach wave is generally about twice as great as that at the initial blast wave. If you have trouble picturing this try thinking of a ripple hitting the edge of a calm pond. This deflected wave becomes a second wave. The third wave will be the displaced air mass returning to GZ.

These types of detonation will double the area of destruction without the messy fallout. You can see the military advantage of this type of detonation. GZ will not be survivable but will not be radioactive for long. The distance from GZ you will need to survive the destructive blast are much greater but fallout will not be an issue.

Last of all is the High Altitude Burst. A detonation above 100,000 feet is a High Altitude Burst. No blast damage. No fallout. Your personal physical threat from this would be the potential flash blindness from the initial burst. The purpose of this type of detonation is the Electro Magnetic Pulse.

Lets review. A Sub Surface Burst is really not a military option. Surface or Air Burst, if you are at or are too close to GZ you are either toast or soon to be toast. If it was an Air Burst fallout is not a threat. If it was a Surface Burst and you are located far enough up or cross wind you should be in good shape. If you are downwind…

Fallout. Fallout is material that was made temporarily radioactive in the fireball through a process called ionization. It has a known decay rate.

There are multiple layers in the atmosphere; each layer is capable of having different wind speeds and directions. As the fireball becomes a fallout cloud and raises and lowers thru each layer the winds in that layer will have an effect. Lower levels will have less effect while upper levels will have more. In predicting where the fallout will go it helps to be a weatherman. Generally Continental US weather patterns flow from the South to North and West to East. But, there are seasonal variations. Understanding Highs and Lows and where you are in relation to them, would be useful information. Knowing that your westerly winds are the lower part of an upper level low that is moving south you can determine that the fallout will mostly travel south and east. (I once had to explain why surface winds have no effect to an Air Force General. The Major who ran the DoD weather school just sat there and grinned.

Fallout Protection is all about Time, Distance, and Shielding. The longer it takes for fallout to arrive the less there will be. If you are in a safe space, the longer you wait to go out the less you will be exposed to. The greater the distance between you and fallout that has arrived the less radiation you will be exposed to. The more mass between you and the fallout the less radiation will reach you. I think everyone understands these concepts well enough.

The next topic is very important. Targeting in Nuclear War.

In an all out war the first strikes will be against an enemy’s ability to strike back. Missile Silos, Bomber and Submarine Bases, and Command and Control Centers will be the first targets. Major military bases, seaports and manufacturing centers would be secondary. In a nuclear war most targets are going to be hit with Air Burst. Let me say it again. In a nuclear war most detonations are going to be Air Burst. (ICBM Silos and Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado will be exceptions to this). Fallout will be a problem, but probably not to the extent most of us think. Nuclear Winter? Forget about it. Totally made up bull!

One last thing, if you are outdoors and see an unexplainable, sudden, intense, flash of light and cannot identify the source, immediately drop to the ground, close your eyes, and cover your ears and open your mouth. You want to protect against flash blindness and the oncoming over-pressure of the blast wave. Remember, there will be a second blast wave in the opposite direction, so don’t be in a hurry to get up. Of course you may be far enough away that the wave(s) may never get there. Count that as a blessing.

M.D. Creekmore adds : If you’re interested in learning more about this subject (you should be) then I suggest that you order a copy of Nuclear War Survival Skills: Lifesaving Nuclear Facts and Self-Help Instructions

Ideas for SHTF transporta​tion

by M Dotson

Alright, we’ve got our Bug Out Bag (BOB) filled with all the essentials of getting from here to there safely. Flashlights, food, bullets and fire makers are all stashed in their own special place in the hopes we never have to use them. We have publications, tools and weapons we want to bring with us. It’s all been calculated and planned down to the last ounce. We’ve drilled and practiced until its second nature to grab the BOB and jump into our predefined spot in the vehicle.

We ensure the primary vehicle maintains that certain level of gas to get you there. You have a seat for everyone and you have worked out where everything needs to be in case things get ugly. You know who’s driving and who’s shooting. The vehicle is maintained at a high state of readiness; few extraneous items are left in the vehicle in preparation for BOB’s and bodies.

So, what happens when all these carefully worked up plans goes to hell in a hand basket if you can’t start your vehicle? What happens when that EMP hits the vehicle and turns it into a 2.5 ton paperweight? Well, now is the time to ask that question and plan for the answer. It will probably involve walking.

I’ve noticed that kids today will stand and wait for a ride to keep from having to walk. I’ve had my own children give me that look when they were told to walk. I also got a different kind of look from their doting mother.

If cars and trucks are disabled due to an EMP, or series of them, we’ll have to find a different mode of transportation. Older vehicles that have points and condenser will still operate. The newer ones might not, depending on where they are and the strength of the EMP. Planes may fall from the sky.

I’m no expert on EMP’s, but the point of this is alternate transportation in the event your existing mode of internal combustion propulsion is suddenly removed from your control. The most obvious choice would be a form of a cycle; bicycle, tricycle and you can even get a quadcycle. The most common form would be the bicycle, and a pair of high quality walking/hiking shoes

During the Viet Nam conflict tons of supplies moved down the Ho Chi Min Trail on bicycles. The Vietnamese would sling a couple of hundred pounds of beans or bullets on a bike and walk it to where it needed to go. Sometimes they’d tie a bamboo stick to the handlebars so they could push and guide easily. After delivery, they’d simply ride the bikes back up north to get more supplies.

There are small, lightweight trailers one can attach to the back in order to tow. There is also a wide variety of attachments such as horns, bells and lights as well as baskets and saddlebags. One can usually find a beater bicycle for free. The tires will be flat and dry rotted, it’ll be rusty and the seat will be water-logged from sitting outside. But, for just a few dollars, far less than what a new bike would cost, a new seat and tires can be purchased. Squirt a little used motor oil on the chains and repack the bearings with grease.

Additionally, one of the vulcanizing inner tube patching kits would be a must to keep on the bike. sells the

Park Tool VP-1 Vulcanizing Patch Kit for $3.50. It also sells a decent manually operated tire pump sells for about $15.

It may not be the first choice to get where you’re going, but it will get you there eventually.

Testing the Shielding Effectiveness of a Metal Garbage Can

by Dr. Arthur Bradley, author of Disaster Preparedness for EMP Attacks and Solar Storms

Many people are looking for an inexpensive Faraday cage to protect personal electronics from a nuclear-generated EMP. Unfortunately, it requires quite a bit of test equipment to determine shielding effectiveness. On the transmit side, it requires a signal generator, a high-power amplifier, and a broadband antenna. The receive side requires a small, battery-operated spectrum analyzer. I’ve done quite a bit of testing on various makeshift Faraday cages, and this article discusses the effectiveness of a metal garbage can.

fareaday cage trash can

A baseline open air measurement is first taken to determine the ambient field levels at some predetermined frequency (i.e. 500 MHz in this case). The levels at the spectrum analyzer are shown to be at -36 dBm.

When placed inside the garbage can, the measurement is shown to be -46 dBm, meaning that the can offered 10 dB of shielding. Not too great!

fareaday cage trash can

Much of the energy was believed to be coming in through the seam around the lid. It was, therefore, taped with conductive tape and the measurement repeated.

fareaday cage trash can

Next, the spectrum analyzer is placed into a metal garbage can, and the measurement is repeated.

fareaday cage trash can

fareaday cage trash can

The new measurement was shown to be at -77 dBm, meaning that the taped can offered 41 dB of protection. Much better!

fareaday cage trash can

This experiment showed that a metal garbage can can serve as a very good Faraday cage, but only if the seams are taped. Remember, it is not small holes that matter most, but rather long narrow slots, such as those around the lid’s seam. Expensive EMI copper tape and cheap aluminum duct tape both worked equally well, so a quick stop at the hardware store will get you what you need.
To learn more about EMP protection, check out Disaster Preparedness for EMP Attacks and Solar Storms. Also, to find the highest quality EMP bags, see

A Possible “EMP” Hit on a Solar Power System — And How To Reduce The Risk

Today we present another article in our non-fiction writing contest – By Prepper Doc

emp protection.EMP is just a super-duper version of regular old radio frequency interference. With enough signal strength to blast past the reverse voltage limits of most semiconductors, an EMP attack is expected to destroy many solid-state radios, computers, controllers, etc. I *may* have had my own small “EMP” caused by my own ham radio station, and this article explains what I learned.

My solar power system is based on Outback inverters & charge controllers, so I had their computerized Mate3 monitor installed. This is a very compact little special-purpose computer that displays current and daily total power at multiple points throughout the entire solar power system, including panels, chargers, batteries, inverts, circuits and power being sent back to the utility. In my case, I had it connected via cat5 cable to a nearby private WIFI router so I could read the results from my easy chair. (NOT connected to the Internet!)

I subsequently put up a new random-length dipole antenna, fed with an antenna tuner, and got a linear amplifier working, and was finally able to get a fairly powerful signal out. The antenna end was just about exactly over the Mate 3 controller, about 20 feet above it. Do you see where this is going?

I can’t be sure that these are related, but my previously reliable Mate3 suddenly died, acting as if its startup-circuitry was either fried or reprogrammed: it would perform initial self checks, but then would go in circles, refusing to go on to the actual monitoring task. No amount of resetting made any difference.

Of course, it could have been a lighting-related event, or just a component failure, but the recent antenna and ham shack work made me wonder if the high voltage field at the end of the dipole on some frequencies might have been related?

I decided to attempt to build a mini-faraday shield around the Mate3 by enclosing it in a homemade cardboard box, cutting holes as needed to access buttons and see the screen, and then wrapping it with copper-backed adhesive tape [1]. I soldered connecting wire between the different copper tapes. Although the holes certainly allow some RF energy access, they aren’t great access for frequencies with wavelengths many meters long — and most of the energy from EMP is below 100 MHz. I also (for now) removed the cat5 connection to the router, figuring that was another “antenna” that could pick up electromagnetic energy.

The antenna is still there, and I’m back to full power — and the replacement Mate3 is soldiering forward without any apparent problems. So maybe my idea worked. At any rate, although this isn’t a perfect shielding, I would imagine it is probably 20-30 dB better shielding than nothing against a real EMP! If you look in the photo, you can also see the blue glow from the LED’s in the heavy-duty surge protectors that I have also added to both DC and AC lines throughout the solar panel system. [2]

[1] Copper shielding tape, 2″ wide. Available from multiple suppliers, beware there are significant price differences. Here is a reasonable one:

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