Survival +Plus+

{For social reconstruction check below this post}

My intent was to make a suggestion for preparing for major disasters. However, in light of people’s concerns about social upheaval, this can be taken as just good basic preparation. Nobody can prepare against all eventualities.

First it is important to realize that your chances of surviving any disaster are largely determined by factors outside your control:

-Age

-health

-location

-season

-type of disaster

In nature survival is mostly about caution and endurance. These are the things which allow wild animals to survive and in a major disaster that is the new normal for human beings.

I’ve thought quite a bit about overcoming disaster and I end up somewhere in the middle. I see no reason to die unnecessarily, yet there are a few scenarios where one might question the value of survival. That said, my hackles always go up when I hear people just accept ending up on some pile of corpses. So long as society functions well enough to ‘pile corpses’ you should strive to be among the pilers, rather than the pilee’s.

I think survival in any disaster is predicated on being a pessimist. If things are bad, assume they can get worse till you are proven wrong. Unused food/fuel/water, will never hurt you. The good thing about basic survival preparedness is that it is relatively cheap, unless you have some innate need to join ‘The Cult’….J

Location:

There are some regions where your survival will be much more likely and pleasant, if the initial event does not kill you. Climate and population density are very important to subsistence living. However, most of us have little choice where we live. In an effort to remain part of the modern world, most people will live in cities where there is more employment and amenities. Given that reality, you must accept it. There is no point having some vague plan to “Head for the hills”, or the back country. Face it, everyone else has the same plan, so unless you are 100 miles out before the dust settles, you will be traveling through the trail of a swarm of locusts who have already eaten everything in sight. Actually, the more likely outcome would be starving or freezing stuck, in an out of gas SUV, in a huge traffic jam.

Even if you managed to get outside the urban areas, what are you going to do? Dig for tubers?? Those may have provided a small part of the diet for Native Americans, there were at most a few hundred thousand Natives. Besides, you don’t know how to find them or prepare them. North American people are not well prepared for those conditions. We have not lived in North Korea or Somalia.

When a person gets ‘lost’ in the bush their best survival tactic is to stay put. The emphasis is on ‘lost’, because it means that you really don’t know where the rest of the world is, and that is the situation in a major disaster. Therefore, by remaining in one spot (familiar surroundings), you will conserve energy, increase the chance for help to ‘find’ you, and reduce the likelihood of compounding the disaster. So long as your home is providing shelter and is not immediately threatened by fire or flood, that is the place you should be. If you have made the effort to establish a community and to know your neighbours, then most likely you will have some support network. On the road, everyone is a stranger, a threat, and a competitor. New Orleans was a disaster before Hurricane Katrina, it was only a matter of when and what. I would not recommend living in such a place if you value survival. If governments cannot guarantee Social Security which was paid for long ago, how could they be expected to guarantee protection from disasters.

So we come to the core of survival. After LUCK, the main component of survival is YOU! And the most important component of YOU is your common sense and rationality. Accidents are by definition unpredictable. Therefore, the best planned response will probably be nearly worthless. Prudence dictates that any person who values personal survival should have a plan and keep and update supplies regularly. But, don’t delude yourself that you are mentally capable of going from the modern ‘convenienced’ world to a post disaster ‘deprived’ world without a lot of hurt.

I am talking real disasters here. The kind where there is no electricity over large areas for months. Where the water mains are broken and the phones (including cell phones) don’t work. The kind where one third of the population dies in the first month (not because the supplies don’t exist, but because the people cannot get to them.) The kind where a scratch on your skin will kill you because your immune response is low from living in a sterile world and you don’t have the knowledge to bath it in salt water. Any other type of unfortunate incident, which occurs in ideal circumstances is merely an inconvenience, lol.

Now for the good news. If such a term is not an oxymoron used in a disaster scenario.

-If Comet Elinin or an atomic bomb does not land on your head and kill you immediately, then any person competent to read this article has a reasonable chance of survival. And it need not cost you $20,000. There have been fortunes made selling disaster supplies to people who will never use them. Good equipment, good supplies, and good education are wonderful if you can afford them. Too few people can really afford the best and even fewer are committed enough to be fully prepared. Therefore, I write this for Joe/Jane Average, family of four.

The Ninety Day Window

That is what I consider to be a reasonable time to prepare for. If help has not arrived in that time, then the odds get very long against survival. By that time most people in the urban setting will either have left or died. That is also sufficient time to allow for the formation of trading and defense networks if they can exist. Long term survival in the city is problematic but not impossible if the people are creative, but by 90 days there must be a structure.

Growing your own food?

This is only feasible at a certain time of the year in North America. If your previously unfarmed soil is not well prepared (dug and aerated at least one foot deep), by May, you have a problem. Plants only grow well if they are started with the proper amount of sun. So you have late April/May/early June, for a window of opportunity. Outside of that you are wasting energy for nothing. Concentrate on mundane nutritious plants: squash, tomatoes, and potatoes. Squash and tomatoes will tolerate fertilizing with human waste, buried in a hole two feet from the plant. These are the foolproof vegetables, all you need to do is keep the soil moist (daily). These crops will not supply all your nutritional needs even if the do well. But, they help.

 

Be a pessimist! Assume always that if things are bad, that they can get worse. That way you will not be unpleasantly surprised, and it make you cautious. After all, this is not a big leap. By preparing for disaster you are already a pessimist.

Fifty  gallons of distilled water stored somewhere in your home may be inconvenient, but it is cheap, and will never spoil, (bottled or stored tap water may spoil) and will keep your family alive for weeks. (It tastes disgusting/ well at least flat) Also, a 12 x 12 poly tarp will catch a lot of rain or snow from your balcony. Never, Never! Drink from a ditch or stream without boiling.

Buy 100 of the cheapest wax candles and 2 candle holders with big bases. With care 3 candles will provide warmth and light in your smallest room (core survival area) for a day assuming cold weather—pessimism!  Again, disasters in ideal circumstances are merely inconveniences.

-25 Bic lighters. 10 box cutters. Even DHS couldn’t accuse you of being a hijacker if no planes are flying.

It is ok to buy food that requires water and heat for cooking 200 lbs combined(flour, beans, rice, and sugar). These are relatively cheap foods which keep well, and you will not starve before you find a way to collect water and scavenge waste wood for fuel to cook them.

-two weeks of MRE’s (no heat or water) These are basically canned foods. The fridge and freezer contents are eaten first. Survival foods can be the cheapest grades so that one is not tempted to consume them unnecessarily. Lol   Salt/sugar/baking powder/yeast.

Divide your food into 3 equal parts and do not compromise as they are consumed. You will find that the first third does not last long. Stressed people consume more and some will be wasted in learning preparation.

Hardware: some can be bought used.

Three can openers.

Cast iron hibachi (not used indoors unless suicidal. In which case why are you here?) Fuel optional, if you need to, you can smash furniture into small bits.

Small axe

Sturdy knife and cheap saw

200 feet of nylon cord-@ 1/8 inch –500 lb strength

2 rolls of construction tie wire (good set of pliers-no compromise)

5 large rolls of no name foil

100 large plastic garbage bags Good quality-(make great rain gear)

Poly tarp

Used Acoustic guitar or harmonica, even if you don’t know how to play now.

Cribbage board and cards.—Endurance!

So there you go, 3 months basic survival for under $1000. Not a bad deal..J

Your building becomes your territory and the inhabitants become your tribe. An apartment is better than a detached home which would rapidly become even more expensive and harder to defend than it is now.

Weapons??? A weapon is only useful if you are willing to use it.

If you decide that a weapon is necessary a double barreled 12 ga. Shotgun with number 2 shot is the best. But if possible, it should never leave your apartment. You don’t need more than 2 boxes of ammo. Trigger locks are good?? Registered is good. (Why risk problems)

Oops.. forgot:

10 lb. bucket of cheapest laundry soap, Any clear water is good for washing.

2-5 additional plastic buckets-20 liter/5 gallon, stackable, with lids (water storage and potty)

-These make good storage containers in the interim.

50 rolls toilet paper (sanitation is important) A sturdy 20 liter/5 gallon bucket makes a decent chamber pot.  No point in using a toilet which you can never flush. The stink of a plugged toilet is a huge psychological burden added to the stresses your family already faces.

Precious Metals?? 

Again, if you think you need them?? If you do, consider what real value they would have in a disaster scenario. I would suggest that you spend them immediately after the disaster, while people still think they have value..J Precious metals really are only relevant in the case of hyperinflation/monetary collapse, in which cases they should be spent purchasing real assets before depression sets in. I’m not that good at timing.

FreeTrade Neigbourhood

Money is not evil, it is a useful tool. However, money is impersonal and sterile. If you prefer to have nothing to do with neigbours and strangers this idea is not for you. If on the other hand, you think we can all benefit from knowing our neigbours, read on.

FreeTrade Neighbourhood is not a denial of generosity, and it is not an effort to replace money. Bartering is simply a way of getting what you need without having some outside authority set the price. There are many barter networks but, in general the concept is scorned by governments and corporations, which rely on people continuously buying new and discarding used.

 FreeTrade Neigbourhood is aimed at improving our communities and addressing some of the problems of modern civilization. In our “modern world”, we often know more about distant parts of the world than our own community. One tool for this community building is a localized barter system. The bartering encourages local connections, occurring where community members can find a personal benefit. Barter requires personal interaction as opposed to normally impersonal transactions with commercial enterprises.

 The many threats we are facing makes the effort to learn bartering and rational valuation worthwhile. If some political or natural catastrophe should occur, we would need the skills and the networks that can be built now. If nothing terrible happens, we will just have had fun and poked a stick in the eye of the corporate machinery.

 Everyone needs something at some time, and we all have something to offer. If that was not true there would be no stores or economic activity at all.

 Money is a very useful tool, but it is worth nothing in itself, and it is controlled by people who may not have our best interests in mind.Until such a time as money creation can be rationalized people have the option of using a parallel system of exchange in their neighborhoods.

 **Participants should be cautioned that an important aspect of the program is the ability and willingness to refuse any offers or demands which do not meet ‘your’ needs. Any relationship or transaction is subject to abuse, barter is no different. If you choose to accept a deal which is not good for you, you may consider yourself generous, and perhaps with good reason. If you allow yourself to be forced into an agreement which is not Mutually Beneficial, then you are defeating the purpose, which was building a neighbourhood.