Emergency Power: The Top Portable Solar Panel Chargers for Disasters

From seasonal storms and natural disasters to hacking attacks and terrorism, we face more threats on our power grid than ever before. With much of our electrical infrastructure still relying on antiquated equipment and technologies, our power grid has become extremely vulnerable to disruption.

From seasonal storms and natural disasters to hacking attacks and terrorism, we face more threats on our power grid than ever before. With much of our electrical infrastructure still relying on antiquated equipment and technologies, our power grid has become extremely vulnerable to disruption.

Luckily advances in solar technology has made it possible for everyone to at least have a small emergency solar backup, even if it’s just something that can keep your small electronic devices up and running. These small portable devices are not only great for camping and hiking adventures, but when disaster strikes they can help keep devices like cell phones, small tablets, flashlights, emergency radios, ham radios, and GPS devices up and running.

As these technologies continue to improve and be adopted by the public, prices on emergency solar chargers have continued to drop, making them an affordable addition to anyone’s supply list. Here are some of our favorites.

The SunJack Portable Solar Charger

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The SunJack is something that I keep in all of my Bug Out Bags. It’s lightweight, provides enough power to keep my iPhone, handheld radios and backup batteries running indefinitely, and can provide power to anything that accepts a USB charger.

The SunJack 14W Solar Charger Panel can be picked up for about $80. Sunjack’s battery backup devices can be found for $40. Each battery backup takes about 5 hours to fully charge and holds enough power to charge an iPhone about 4 times.

GoalZero Nomad 7, Guide 10 Adventure Kit

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Goal Zero is known for making high-quality solar chargers. For the last couple of years I’ve been using the Goal Zero Guide 10 Adventure Kit as an emergency EDC. The kit includes a Nomad 7 Solar Panel and a Guide 10 Power Pack that can charge AA and AAA batteries.

It’s small enough to slip inside your vehicles glove box, and has an added pocket that allows you to pack it full of extra Every Day Carry (EDC) gear.

The unit retails for around $130.

The Solio Bolt

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If you’re looking for something that you can literally slip in your pocket, then you need to check out the Solio Bolt or the Solio Classic2 Solar Charger. Both of these chargers are small, can hold their charge for up to a year, and their battery packs can hold enough juice to power the average smart phone about 4 times.

The Solio Bolt sells for $70 and the Classic2, which has an extra panel, sells for $100.

The iLand Trek Solar Kit

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While this is the priciest unit on the list, it also packs the largest punch. The iLand Trek Solar Kit comes with a 10W panel and a heavy-duty battery with an operating voltage of 5V-12V. That means this unit can power things like Ham, Marine, and CB Radios; camp lighting and computers; and even things like water pumps and tools. Check it out in action, powering my Emergency Ham radio Setup.

The unit retails for around $700.

The WakaWaka Power+

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The WakaWaka Power+ is another small, easy-to-carry solar kit that can slip inside just about any bug out bag or EDC kit. It does take a bit longer to charge, which is to be expected with these smaller panel units, but once fully charged it holds enough power to charge a smartphone in about 2 hours. It also comes with built in LED lights (5 to 75 lumens) that provide up to 150 hours of emergency lighting on a single charge.

The WakaWake retails for around $75.

The Powermonkey Extreme

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The best thing about the Powermonkey Extreme is the massive amount of power the battery holds. It comes with a 9000mAh lithium polymer battery, and can power virtually any 5V or 12V devices including handheld radios, DSLR cameras and tablet computers. It’s great for camping, and something I like to take with on all long-distance road trips.

It retails fora little over $100.

How to Make Waterproof Matches

If you carry matches as your primary means of starting a fire, I highly advise rethinking that strategy. While some outdoorsmen seem to think it’s more “outdoorsy” to carry matches, in a survival situation, do you want to look like Bear Grylls, or do you want to stay alive?

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If you carry matches as your primary means of starting a fire, I highly advise rethinking that strategy. While some outdoorsmen seem to think it’s more “outdoorsy” to carry matches, in a survival situation, do you want to look like Bear Grylls, or do you want to stay alive?

While my number on choice of fire starting tools is usually a lighter – again I’m concerned with staying alive not looking cool – I do think carrying backups to that lighter is extremely important. If matches are one of those backups, they need to be waterproof.

You can purchase commercial waterproof matches, or you can save some money and make your own.

Making waterproof matches

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Method 1: Candle Wax or paraffin wax

An ordinary box of strike anywhere matches can be turned into a box of waterproof survival matches with an ordinary household candle.

  • Melt some candle wax or paraffin wax in a pot. If the candle is already inside a glass jar, the safest method would be to leave the candle in the jar and let the wick slowly melt the wax.
  • Dip the match heads into the liquid wax and coat the entire match head.
  • Let the wax harden over the match head.
  • When needed, the wax can be picked off the head before striking the match

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Method 2: Fingernail Polish

With a small bottle of fast drying nail polish you can easily coat your match heads, making them completely waterproof.

  • Paint the match head with the nail polish, coating it a little past the head on to the wood stick.
  • Let the matchstick dry completely.
  • Matches coated with the nail polish don’t need any kind of prep to light them. They should be ready to strike without having to pick off the polish.

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Method 3: Turpentine

Turpentine is another easy way to make your matches resistant to water damage.

  • Pour 2 to 3 large tablespoons of Turpentine into a small glass jar.
  • Place the matches head down into the jar and let sit for 5- 10 minutes.
  • Remove the matches and let them dry for 20 minutes.

Could Zika Virus Mutate to Change The Human Race

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Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites and through human body fluid contact, as the contact as recently discovered by a case in Dallas County, Texas . The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.

In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infection in Brazil. The outbreak in Brazil led to reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome and pregnant women giving birth to babies with birth defects and poor pregnancy outcomes.

The scientic name, Flaminia Catteruccia, associate professor of immunology and infectious diseases at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, says the virus may have adapted to the human environment and mutated.  The mosquito-borne Zika virus has been linked to a surge in cases of birth defects in Brazil, and is spreading in other countries in the southern hemisphere.

Zika is very similar to other viruses that are transmitted by the Aedes mosquitoes, including dengue and chikungunya. It was first discovered in 1947 in monkeys in Africa, and there have been several outbreaks since then. But it has not been studied much because, normally, the symptoms are quite mild—fever, headaches, joint pain. People get over it in a few days.

It seems like there is something different about the virus in the current outbreak in Brazil. It has coincided with a dramatic rise in cases of microcephaly, a birth defect that results in babies born with unusually small heads. The increase in babies born with this condition has been more than 20-fold compared with previous years—from maybe 150 cases to more than 3,000 cases in a few months.

All it takes is for an infected person to return from somewhere overseas (such as El Salvador or Brazil) and get bitten by a local mosquito that can carry it.

“That blood that has that virus is circulating in the body. If a mosquito bites them, that mosquito could bite someone else and the process goes on,” said Dr Barry Alto, from the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory at the University of Florida.

“It could very well mean local mosquitoes are actually infected with the virus. And now we have a public health concern,” said Alto. But it’s unlikely the US will see a Zika epidemic like that currently facing  Brazil and El Salvador, since authorities are closing monitoring what’s happening overseas and the mosquitoes are mainly limited to the south. “I don’t expect there to be as big an outbreak. The [US] infrastructure is potentially better equipped to deal with outbreaks,” said Alto.

The Zika virus spreads so fast because it never emerged in this part of the world. Hence there is no natural immunity available in the population and a lot of infections occur. Once this “first wave” of infections is over, the level within the population will fall drastically.

It is of course possible that the Zika virus has acquired a new mutation which adapts it better to humans and allows spreading much easier, but this is not yet known, since the situation in South America is still changing very fast with a lot of cases occurring and analysis going on. It still can be enough that the virus never emerged in Southern America and that there is no natural immunity available.

Off Grid Air Conditioner: DIY Bucket Air Cooler for Camping and Other Uses

When I was much younger I didn’t need a sleeping bag, mat, or even a tent when camping.  We would take off for the wilderness with only an Indian blanket, a canteen of water, a Zippo lighter, or box of matches and have a great time.  Since I’ve grown older I’ve learned to appreciate the things I didn’t need back then.

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When I was much younger I didn’t need a sleeping bag, mat, or even a tent when camping.  We would take off for the wilderness with only an Indian blanket, a canteen of water, a Zippo lighter, or box of matches and have a great time.  Since I’ve grown older I’ve learned to appreciate the things I didn’t need back then.

Temperatures in northwest Louisiana routinely reach the upper 90°’s and low 100°’s during the sunny days of summer.  I’ve long been a fan of using solar energy to cook and power some of our phones and radios so I decided to research and build a small evaporation cooler for camping, work, and around the house that will also run off solar power.

There are a lot of great articles and videos on the Internet showing several different styles of “bucket coolers.”  After reading many articles and watching numerous videos on “Swamp Coolers” or “Bucket Coolers,” I settled on a design and began developing a parts list.  It should be noted that I took advantage of the works others have done previously by using the same fan and pump observed because they have been proven effective in some of the videos and articles.

 My parts list:

  1. 5 gallon plastic bucket with lid
  2. 4” 90° PVC
  3. 12 VDC water pump (Model 66039, from Harbor Freight)
  4. Computer fan (Model # AFB121SHE, from www.frozencpu.com)
  5. Switches (SPST – I purchased two from Radio Shack – your choice on which type you want to use)
  6. Project Box, small (Radio Shack)
  7. 1” L Brackets
  8. #6 screws, #6 flat washers, #6 lock washers, #6 nuts
  9. Filter material (minimum 24” X 36”)
  10. Window screen, black plastic (minimum 24” X 76”)
  11. Tubing (diameter to fit pump)
  12. T- fitting (diameter to fit tubing)
  13. Goop glue
  14. 4” dryer vent hose
  15. Cigarette lighter plug (male end)

Tools I used:

  1. Drill motor
  2. 2 – 2 1/8” hole saw
  3. Yardstick
  4. Razor knife
  5. Phillips head screwdriver
  6. Marker
  7. 5/32,” 3/16,” 15/32,” and ½,” drill bits
  8. Wire cutters
  9. Soldering iron
  10. Rosin Core solder
  11. Tape Measure
  12. Electrical Tape

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I began with a white 5 gallon bucket and lid from Home Depot.  Two rows of 12 – 2 1/8” holes were drilled in the bucket and the plastic burrs around each hole were removed.  The holes are drilled around the top, leaving the bottom free for holding water.

After drilling the 24 holes, a razor knife was used to de-bur the holes.  Once all the holes were cleaned, a piece of .window screen was cut to match the height and inside circumference of the bucket.  The filter material was cut to the same dimensions.  The pump was set in the bottom of the bucket and tubing cut to reach the top of the bucket.

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At the top, a T-connector was installed and a loop of tubing was measured and connected to the T.  In the circle of tubing connected to the T, 3/32’ holes were drilled through the underside approximately every ¾” – 1” for water to flow down the filter. The screen and filter were removed and approximately 2 ½ gallons of water were poured into the bucket and the pump tested.

A hole, corresponding to inside diameter of the large end of the 90° PVC was cut into the lid.  The fan was centered over the hole and connected to the lid with 4 – #6 screws, washers, and nuts.  The 90° PVC was connected to the lid Using 4 – 1” L Brackets, screws, washers, lock washers, and nuts.  A bead of GOOP put between the lid and PVC 90°, sealing it from any leakage of air.  A dab of GOOP was also put on each screw and nut on the bottom of the lid to prevent them from loosening from the slight vibration of the pump and fan.  On the lid of the plastic Project Box, two equally spaced and centered holes were drilled for the switches (I used 2 with on-off tags).

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The switches were mounted to the top of the Project Box and then the Project Box was mounted to the lid behind the 90° PVC.  A ½” hole was drilled through the box and lid.  The pump and fan were wired to the switches with each connection being soldered.  The power wires were connected to a longer wire with a fused cigarette lighter plug on the other end for use with our solar panels and deep cycle batteries.

The cooler works great on hot days.  It works better with lower humidity, but still cools the air on humid days enough to be an asset when camping.

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When camping, we run the cooler using a deep-cycle marine battery.  A solar photovoltaic panel to charges the battery during the day. A standard dryer vent power cord installed hose directs or focuses the cooled air into our tent.  If it gets too cool in the tent a night, we can switch off the water flow and still have air circulation.

This particular set-up runs very quiet.

After running the fan and pump together it was observed that two (2) wraps of window screen are needed to keep water from running out the 24 holes as it drips down the filter material.  Also, if used to cool a tent, the bucket cooler needs to be outside the tent and there needs to be vent or opening in the tent opposite from where the cooled air enters to prevent condensation from forming.  A good point to remember is if you keep the deep-cycle Marine battery connected to a solar charger or trickle charger, the water needs to be checked regularly to prevent a dry cell for forming.

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I spent two or three nights reading, watching videos, thinking about how to make a cooler, and a little over 3 nights building and testing.  Since the cooler will be used on a daily basis in the summer in my truck (for work), camping, and poolside, I decided to beef-up some areas.  The 90° PVC fitting was connected with “L” brackets and sealed with GOOP glue insuring now air leaks around the nozzle.  All connections were soldered and taped with a quality electrical tape.  The taped splices with be re-soldered in the future and heat shrink tubing with be installed on the slices.  The holes in the project box were sealed with the GOOP Glue.  And don’t forget there are 24 – 2” or larger holes in the top of the bucket so it has lost a lot of structural strength and will not hold up much weight bearing down on the lid.

In addition, I added 2 SPST switches to allow the pump to be turned on first, wetting the filter material.  The other switch controls the fan.  If it gets too cool at night the pump can be shut off, leaving fan on and the circulating air.  The only change I foresee is changing the filter material to a more coarse material.

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It’s not pure air conditioning, but it’s much better than just a fan blowing hot air and we are more comfortable while we rough it.

Three Things Survivalists Can Learn From The Walking Dead

After binge watching AMC’s The Walking Dead I’ve come to the conclusion that although it is fiction this post-apocalyptic drama has a few things to teach us preppers and survivalists. I will say this now, there will be spoilers in this article so be forewarned.

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After binge watching AMC’s The Walking Dead I’ve come to the conclusion that although it is fiction this post-apocalyptic drama has a few things to teach us preppers and survivalists. I will say this now, there will be spoilers in this article so be forewarned.

****SPOILER ALERT****

Lessons You can Learn from The Walking Dead

The first and most important lesson I’ve found is that mobility is absolutely key in any SHTF situation. This is a fact that Rick Grimes and his rag tag band of zombie slayers have found time and time again. No matter how safe, secure and sustainable the environment there will always be the possibility of either someone trying to take it from you or nature or another force will drive you away. This is where having a bug out plan in your back pocket comes into play.

Both at the farm and the prison the survivors were forced to flee quickly. In the case of the farm they did have a rally point to meet up, but with the prison the survivors found themselves split up and struggling to reunite.

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You need a bug out plan complete with rally points and caches.

Have a bug out plan complete with rally points and caches. This was something lacking in The Walking Dead. When the group fled the farm they rallied back at the traffic jam; but when leaving the prison everyone split up and in both cases there were no caches of weapons, food or supplies that they could resupply at. Notice too how no one has a Bug Out Bag. Rick and his group failed to plan for having to EVAC in a hurry especially having to do so on foot. Of course a mad scramble chaotic exit makes for better TV but does also serve as a warning to us survivalists that we need to maintain our readiness to EVAC at the drop of a hat.

Make sure that the plan is practiced and that everyone knows the locations of the rally points and caches without requiring use of a map or compass. This is important if only a few people know where the caches are or where to rally then what happens when they are separated or killed? The entire group should know every detail of the plan and all the locations. Practice is key because as the military says ‘sweat in training so you don’t bleed in combat’. Rick knew the Governor would come for him so the occupants of the prison should have rehearsed bugging out until it became second nature. Instead, only a few survived and it was due to a total lack of preparation. Again, a good bug out doesn’t make for great TV so I’ll forgive the producers on this one.

Have an alternate location to bug out to. I’m a strong believer in not bugging out unless you have somewhere to go. Just heading off into the woods is simply not adequate, unless Murphy’s Law is kicking your ass all the way out the door, then it’s time to pick a direction and leg it. Even if an alternate permanent location cannot be found having somewhere to go to re-group, re-supply, and base out of temporarily is the next best thing.

Be prepared to be able to survive “on the road” for an extended period of time if need be. Scavenging sucks and trying to find the necessities of life after most houses have been scavenged already is not very practical. This is where good Bug Out Bags come into play. Having all the necessary kit to survive on foot for long periods will make life on the road a lot easier. Having the ability to procure food through several different means would be vital to long term mobile survival. The difference between being on the road with and without a Bug Out Bag, or a I’m Never Coming Home Bag, is night and day.

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Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

Second, the saying goes ‘desperate times call for desperate measures’. We have seen Rick’s group face off against hoards of the undead and fellow survivors; they have faced many situations that us watching at home find shocking, and some of their actions morally questionable.

Survival is not a game; there is no second place, and even the best of us will have to adjust our moral compass to ensure our and our family’s survival. When Shane shot Otis in the leg leaving him for dead he did it to ensure he could get back to the farm with the medical supplies to save Carl’s life. This could be considered a barbaric and downright evil act, leaving an innocent man to be eaten by the undead. Yet if faced with the same scenario can we all say we’d take the moral high ground or would we do what is needed to save a child’s life?

When we met the ‘Governor’ we saw an example of how power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. When stripped of all the conveniences of modern civilization people will naturally seek out a leader, even if that leader is sociopathic. A look through history shows the human race has a very poor track record when it comes to choosing those we follow. When society collapses we cannot expect that suddenly we will begin to follow the ‘good guys’ for it will be those who revert to their instinctual and primitive survival mode that the average person will look up to as someone that can ensure their survival. Most people will forgive a multitude of sins in order to maintain their own safety and security. Witnessing brutality at the hands of your leader should cause people to want to leave, but if that person is keeping you safe and secure then looking the other way is nearly an act of self-preservation.

The people of Terminus turned to luring unwitting survivors and then cannibalizing them. This is not a far-fetched scenario. Throughout our history cannibalism has been practiced and resorted to in times where a person’s very survival is at stake. Some societies regularly practiced it and it is said that modern humans are only a few weeks away from resorting to eating each other when all other food is scarce. In a true end of life as we know it situation we should expect to see people begin to cannibalize just to survive.

Hunger, thirst, desperation, anger, frustration, hopelessness, and numbness to the suffering around us will cause a higher level of barbarism. We will all revert to a more primitive survival minded human who will act far more aggressively and with less restraint. In a kill or be killed world hesitation means death, therefore those who hesitate and to an extent those who show too much mercy and compassion end up being the ones at the losing end of the fight. We see this when Rick was in the bar attempting to locate Hershel, he encountered two men who stumbled upon them while scavenging. Rick was the one who shot first killing both the men when it became clear they wanted to have the farm. His willingness to act first meant he got to live.

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In Survival, There is No Such Thing as a Lone Wolf.

Last, there is no such thing as a lone wolf. Humans thrive when we are together and we have always been social beings. We need each other not only to watch each others back, but to divide duties in the collection of resources. We have never throughout history been able to go it alone. We have always formed communities that mutually help with the gathering and division of resources. Even Michonne, who was on the road alone for quite some time, joined Rick’s group because there is strength in numbers.

The Walking Dead depicts a number of scenarios that shows us there are consequences to our need to be together, and that we are going to have slim pickings of who joins our group. We will all have to live and work together with people we may not like, or even hate, but in order to survive interpersonal skills and a solid leadership will be essential.

Knowing how to simply bite ones tongue and just get along will be an invaluable asset. Avoidance of conflict within the group and quick and fair resolution of any conflicts that arise will make survival just that much easier.

In the modern world we can disengage from those we may have issues with, but when the modern world no longer exists we will all be forced to accept people who may have personality traits that cause conflict. We may have to accept these people because the skill set they bring increases the survivability of the rest of the group. The Walking Dead has shown us several people who caused issues or who’s morals clashed with those of the rest of the group. This is where having a strong leader that commands respect comes into play. Only a good strong person who has the skill and patience to resolve all the inevitable conflicts can truly hold a group together. We see this in the first two seasons where Rick has to deal with Shane’s clashing survival philosophy and conflicting personality on a regular basis.

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Leadership will be a defining factor in survival. We’ve seen Rick Grimes evolve as a leader and we’ve seen a poor example of leadership in the Governor. Dedication to his family and those in his group makes Rick a good leader but he pays the price of sacrificing his own sense of right and wrong in order to maintain the group’s survivability. He is respected by his followers and they follow him and his orders willingly. The level of trust placed by the group in Rick is a great example of how a group should be and how they should be led.

5 GOOD REASONS TO INTRODUCE CHILDREN TO HUNTING

In 2010, the New York Times published an extensive report detailing the decline of hunting in America and its impact on conservation efforts. Throughout the previous two decades, most of the states saw significant declines in active hunting. The worst loss occurred in Massachusetts, where the number of licensed hunters fell by more than 50% between 1990 and 2010.

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In 2010, the New York Times published an extensive report detailing the decline of hunting in America and its impact on conservation efforts. Throughout the previous two decades, most of the states saw significant declines in active hunting. The worst loss occurred in Massachusetts, where the number of licensed hunters fell by more than 50% between 1990 and 2010.

Those numbers are starting to rebound thanks, in part, to a strong desire for locally sourced food. More importantly, Americans are also beginning to find a new appreciation for nature in a world where technology seems to be running our lives. If you are already an avid hunter, good for you. Here are five reasons to introduce your children to hunting as well:

1. IT BREEDS APPRECIATION FOR NATURE

The average American hunter is not the drunken bum who mistreats the land, kills indiscriminately and hunts without proper hunting lease insurance. He or she is someone who truly appreciates nature. Passing hunting along to your children will instill in them that same appreciation for nature and all of its wonders. A child exposed to hunting is likely to be more interested in the great outdoors than sitting in front of the TV with video games.

2. IT TEACHES RESPONSIBILITY

Anyone with a little cash can walk down to the local supermarket and buy a piece of beef or a full turkey. Nevertheless, how many Americans could take responsibility for themselves in the event the grocery store shelves ran empty? Hunting teaches personal responsibility not only through the hunt itself, but also through other things such as respecting private property, making sure hunt club insurance is in place, obeying hunting laws, and so on.

3. IT STRENGTHENS RELATIONSHIPS

More than one hunter has told great stories of spending quality time in the field with parents and siblings. Hunting builds strong family bonds based on a shared experience and a common interest. It also builds strong relationships among other hunters who may not necessarily be blood relatives. The hunting community is a close knit one where everyone looks out for everyone else. These are the kinds of relationships all of us need from time to time.

4. IT HELPS WITH POPULATION CONTROL

As much as animal-rights activists do not want to admit it, hunting is one of the most effective means of controlling animal populations. Take a wild boar for example. With a tendency to prolific reproduction and no natural predators, the wild boar is running roughshod all across the U.S. and Canada. It is so bad in many states that boar hunting enjoys a year-round open season with no bag limits. Only active hunting is preventing the country from being overrun by these animals.

5. IT CONTINUES THE PRACTICE

As with anything else, hunting will fade away into obscurity if adult hunters do not pass the practice on to their children. And if that happens, society will be completely reliant on government and corporate interests to both provide food and control animal populations. The inevitable result will be a big mess requiring a lot of extra effort to clean up. Better to pass on hunting and keep it a viable practice for generations to come.

As a hunter, you know how valuable it is for wildlife conservation. Be sure to pass it on to your children. And while you’re at it, instruct them on the importance of good hunting practices, including obtaining hunting insurance. A smart hunter has insurance coverage in place before he/she signs a hunting lease or heads out to the field.

What to eat in the wild

Today I want to talk about a subject that always creates a lot of buzz and has generated quite a few emails; what to eat in the wild. As I have said in previous posts about the 5 principles of survival, food is way down on the list as even the skinniest of people can survive for a few weeks without food. Despite that, I want to touch on this subject and answer the questions I have received from readers. The only real way of knowing what to eat in the wild is to do a taste test.

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Today I want to talk about a subject that always creates a lot of buzz and has generated quite a few emails; what to eat in the wild. As I have said in previous posts about the 5 principles of survival, food is way down on the list as even the skinniest of people can survive for a few weeks without food. Despite that, I want to touch on this subject and answer the questions I have received from readers. The only real way of knowing what to eat in the wild is to do a taste test.

The taste test for unknown foods

The process is actually very simple, but time consuming, and there are a few things I want to stress before I go on

1. This system DOES NOT work with mushrooms and fungi, unless you are an expert then leave them well alone. Mushrooms and fungi will kill you in some pretty horrific and painful ways if you get it wrong. How can I tell a poisonous mushroom? Truthfully, it is just too hard to tell and is simply not worth the risk vs nutritional benefit received.

2. There are exceptions to every rule; what I am teaching is a rule of thumb but it is not fool-proof.

3. It is better to understand what plants and animals are in your area before you need them in an emergency. That should hopefully allow you to live off the land. The process that follows is to be used in extremis only (see point 2.)

4. Tasting something that you are unsure of can result in death, so never eat something that you cannot positively identify as edible or if you are in a true life or death situation. If you are truly starving then use the following taste test.

What exactly is the process then?

  • Take a very small piece of the food and rub it on your skin – Wait 24 hours
  • Take a very small piece and rub it on a small part of your lip – Wait 24 hours
  • Take a very small piece and rub it on your tongue – Wait 24 hours
  • Take a very small piece, chew it and spit it out – Wait 24 hours
  • Take a very small piece and eat it – Wait 24 hours
  • Take a larger piece and eat it – wait 24 hours
  • Gradually increase the size waiting 24 hours each time until you are content its not having an adverse effect on you.

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You are probably thinking, ‘I will have starved by the time I get to eat anything’ and you are not far wrong. Unfortunately the wait is the most important part of the test, you are waiting to see if you suffer ANY abnormal reaction. If you do, then under NO circumstances eat what you are testing. That is why education and practice are your best bet; positively identifying something as edible will mean you don’t have to do any tests.

But all is not lost there is a way to speed the process up slightly; however, see rule 3.

What to eat in the wild if you really have to.

Plants – If it is hairy, has a milky sap, strong smell or has brightly coloured berries then avoid.

Animals – Mammals and reptiles are generally a safe bet as are most fish. Avoid the livers of uncommon animals such as seals or Polar Bears which have toxic levels of Vitamin A
Insects – Okay, I know what you are thinking and trust me I feel the same… However, some of the most nutritious and easily accessible foods available are insects. Avoid if they are hairy, have spines, brightly coloured or are known to be venomous. It is also good practice to avoid insects that you would associate with your house as they will likely be diseased i.e. Cockroaches. And, honestly they don’t taste that bad, I have tried quite a few over the years.

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Funny story – When doing the Desert Survival Instructor course in the Nevada Desert we were being given a lesson on finding food. Our instructor (Chalky, you bastard!) told us that a delicacy in the founding years of the USA was
an insect called the perfume beetle. It is a small black beetle,
than when threatened, would do a little handstand and secrete a fluid from its butt.

So there we were as trainee Desert Survival Instructors all looking to impress and do well. When Chalky challenged us to eat the sweet tasting ‘Perfume Beetle’ we all jumped at the chance! So half a dozen of us at the same time took one of these live beetles, put it in our mouths and started chewing as quickly as we could to get it over and done with.

To say that the ‘Perfume Beetle’ tasted foul was an understatement, it is without doubt the most horrible thing I have ever had in my mouth. The moral of the story, never trust a survival instructor when he tells you insects taste nice; especially when its real name is the Stink Bug because of how bad they smell…. And taste!

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Fungi – Just to be clear, I am talking about all fungi, mushrooms and toadstools. They are very difficult to identify and can kill you very quickly. Simply put, do NOT eat them unless you are an expert!

All of the above food sources will still need to have the taste test completed if you are not 100% sure you have identified them as edible.

Time doing homework is never wasted

There you have it folks , should you find yourself in a dire situation and you cannot identify local foods then you may be able to work around the problem. The method described is not foolproof but it will help you should you be starving and in danger of eating anything you come across out of desperation.

Your best chance of eating the right thing is to get out into the wild with a couple of pocket books and identify your local plants and animals before disaster strikes. Better still, find out who the local foraging guru is and see what classes they run; it could just save your life.

I hope you enjoyed this article and it has generated some food for thought (pun 100% intended) and encourages you to get out and see what exists in your local area. Please dont disappear straight away, have a look at my other articles especially this one about eating food in a survival situation. Of interest will be this post on harnessing your survival instinct.

How to Raise Chickens Cheaply – Small Budget? No Problem.

How to raise chickens cheaply? 

That’s what I needed to figure out.  I got the idea to raise chickens while unemployed for several months. Times got a little tight (to say the least!) and I thought that if I had a coop and a garden at least my family and I would have just a little more in the pantry. So I set out to learn as much as I could before spending any little cash. Here are a few lessons learned…..

raise-chickens-cheap

How to raise chickens cheaply?

That’s what I needed to figure out.  I got the idea to raise chickens while unemployed for several months. Times got a little tight (to say the least!) and I thought that if I had a coop and a garden at least my family and I would have just a little more in the pantry. So I set out to learn as much as I could before spending any little cash. Here are a few lessons learned…..

Build an Inexpensive Chicken Coop

Before dropping a lot of cash on one of those fancy chicken tractors you see in the back of poultry magazines, keep in mind you can spend your cash a little wiser. It depends on your living situation of course. If you are a city dweller, then you might have to put a lot more into your chicken operation than us country folks. City folks have zoning regulations and neighbors to deal with – problems I didn’t have to deal with. My thoughts contained here are more for those of us who have a little space between us and the neighbors.

Chickens need a place to get out of the wind and rain and a dry and safe space to roost at night and somewhere to lay eggs. Keep these very simple requirements in mind when building a coop.  I have seen coops built out of an old truck cap, pallets and plastic sheeting, old yard sheds, etc. You are only limited (out in the country) by your imagination.

As for my coop, I had a friend who had an old camping trailer. He wanted the frame for an ice shanty and was going to rip off the camper and junk it. I asked him for the camper body and helped him cut the bolts off… and I was on my way to raising chickens!

After cutting the bolts, we towed the camper into place and proceeded to “slide” it off the frame. It turned out to be an interesting time but we got it done.

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Choose Coop Placement Carefully

This brings me to my first lesson: Location, location, location! My Wife had a few “rules” that I had to follow to stay in her good graces.

Rule #1: she wanted it out of sight.

Rule #2” she didn’t want to smell it!

Very valid points! I wanted it close enough to the house so I could easily go out to tend to the birds. I have a detached garage situated across the yard from the house, out near the gardens. We agreed that that was the best place for a coop. Far enough for her and close enough for me! Once the coop was in place, it was time for the next decision.

Should You Let the Chickens Free Range or Keep Them in a Run?

Having chickens free ranging is great. It gives the place a “country” look and they will eat bugs out in the yard. Keep in mind, they will also eat your young plants in the garden, flower beds, get out on any roads nearby, wander over to the neighbors, etc.

I also took into consideration that I live very close to a highway in a heavily wooded area. My chance of losing birds to coyotes, hawks, coons and cars was very high. I chose to build a run for my flock and not spend money feeding the local wildlife or seeing my investment flattened on the road.

For my run, I looked around for anything that might work before spending any money on something fancy. I was lucky enough to have an old dog kennel set up behind my house sitting empty. I used the chain link panels to construct a run behind the coop. I even had enough panels to construct a top for my run to keep the hawks and coons out. (The “dog coop” would also make a perfect pig shelter, but that’s another story!)

Now that the coop was in place, the camper gutted, it was time for some work to make it easier on the birds and myself. First, I built nesting boxes out of existing shelves inside the coop. Then I used saplings to build a roost inside the coop.

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Then I built an interior wire wall and door into the laying area thus creating a space to store feed and supplies.

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The camper windows allow me to control ventilation and I added a passive roof vent (the Restore $3.00).

I buried wire around the coop and run to keep out tunneling varmints. Once all this was done, it was time to get birds!

What Breed of Chicken is Best?

What breed you get is your personal decision. Why are you keeping chickens? Meat? Eggs? Both? What climate?

I chose White Leghorns. Why? Because they are cold tolerant (it gets cold in Northern Wisconsin!) and they are EGG LAYING MACHINES!

This is where I made my first mistake. I ordered too many! I ordered 14 hens and one rooster. I got 14 hens and 2 roosters shipped to me. I was not ready for the sheer amount of eggs they could lay!

Now, I know what you are thinking: “Great, I can sell the extra eggs and make money!”. All I will say is, don’t even think about it. There are a TON of people trying to sell eggs. Competition is fierce! The thought of making money raising chickens is a pipe dream conjured up by writers at Mother Earth News or Backwoods Home magazines. On good months, you might break even. Most months you won’t!

I was lucky enough to have a local feed mill sell my eggs for me – but it’s hit-and-miss some months. During the winter, egg production drops like a rock but feed consumption goes up. During the summer, feed consumption goes down but egg production goes up. You will either have so many eggs that you just can’t get rid of them, or so few any steady customers you do have will not get eggs year round. It’s just part of raising chickens!

Now, when I ordered my flock, I ordered pullets (8weeks old). Due to some miscommunication at the feed mill, I got 1 week old chicks.

This leads me to my next point:

Be flexible!

The day comes, and I get the call that my birds are in. I was surprised to find baby chicks and not pullets! Now what??? I wasn’t set up for chicks! Well, I took them anyway. They are animals and you can’t send them back to the hatchery.

When I got home, I made an impromptu brooder out of a cardboard box and a heat lamp. I had to set it up in the living room for the first 2 weeks. Then the noise and smell prompted me to move them to the coop. It was getting warm enough outside and with the help of the heat lamp in one corner of the coop the chicks would be fine.

I was a few weeks behind schedule but I was raising chickens!

How Much Time and Effort Does it Take to Raise Chickens?

People ask me: “How much time out of your day do you spend taking care of your birds?” My answer: not a whole lot. I set aside about 10 minutes in the morning to feed them, check their water and adjust ventilation for the day. In the evening, I do the same. It’s not a lot of work keeping chickens. You will fall into a routine. I find that I have a summer and winter routine. It takes a little longer in the winter but it’s not a lot of trouble at all. In the summer, I spend a lot of time in the garden so I look in on them more, especially during hot spells. They are very easy to take care of!

Another point I want to make. If you are gathering eggs, please do so EVERY DAY! I hear of people buying “farm fresh eggs” only to crack them open to find a developing chick inside! GROSS! Who wants to see that when cooking breakfast? That tells me that some people are not gathering eggs every day and getting them in a refrigerator soon enough. It’s a sign of laziness on the part of the chicken farmer!

Winter Care for Chickens

During the winter, the waterers WILL freeze. It’s a fact of life here in the North. I got a second waterer and keep it in the house. I fill it with warm water and bring it out to the coop in the morning and swap out the waterer from last night. I do this every 12 hours. A heated waterer is nice and I will get some for next winter but it’s not necessary to get started.

I also create a draft shield to stop that blast of cold air from hitting the birds when I open the coop door. I staple up some feeds bags on the wire wall next to the door to protect the birds. Also, give the flock some scratch in the evening inside the coop, they will love it and it will help keep them warm on cold nights.

I also leave a red light on inside the coop 24/7 to help keep down incidents of picking.Chickens get “Cabin Fever” just like we do in the winter so give them something to do. Scratch blocks in the coop work well, as does enclosing the run in plastic sheeting so they can still get out side even on cold snowy days. Throw in a head of cabbage once a week or a bale of hay into the run so they can pick it apart during the winter.

It’s important to still have good ventilation during the winter as well. I close the windows on the north side of the coop but keep a window open for air intake between the coop and garage. I put down extra bedding on the coop floor and stuff the nest boxes thicker during the cold months as well.

Create a “dust bath” for your chickens. I did this by taking a cat litter box and filling with a mixture of 1 part play sand, 1 part sifted (cold!) ashes from the wood stove and 1 part food grade DE. It helps them clean themselves.

Summer Care for Chickens

During the summer, I keep all the windows open. During the day, I leave the outside door open. The camper has a screen door so I leave that closed allowing air flow but no varmint access. I keep a closer eye on the water, they will drink a lot more in the heat of summer and I like to keep the dust bath full as well. I take the plastic sheeting off the run and replace it with a tarp on top will help keep the sun off of the birds and give them a dry place to sit when its raining. I cut my grass and bag the clippings. Then I dump the clippings into the run. The chickens love it! As long as you don’t spray your lawn for weeds, it’s okay.

It’s been a year now and I will say that it’s been worth it! I have learned so much and continue to do so. You will get advice from EVERYONE! Keep in mind, there are a lot of so-called “experts” out there who will try to tell you that you are doing it wrong. All I can say is when you get some advice, research it yourself. The internet is a great tool for this or better yet, get to know the folks at your local feed mill. Go to “small animal swaps” and get out a meet others in the chicken business.

Saving Pets During Disasters

Keeping your beloved pets safe is a real duty because they are members of your family. Your pets provide comfort and companionship and they shouldn’t be left behind when disaster strikes. Saving pets during disasters is not easy and you should be prepared for the worst.

saving-pets

Keeping your beloved pets safe is a real duty because they are members of your family. Your pets provide comfort and companionship and they shouldn’t be left behind when disaster strikes. Saving pets during disasters is not easy and you should be prepared for the worst.

Many of us have one or two pets that we love and cherish as if they are members of our families with equal rights. They provide unconditional love and we should protect and threat them with respect. A pet is not just a joy of the moment, is a companion you get for life.

Regardless of what disaster may strike the area I live in, I can’t think of living my dog behind and I can honestly say, I will do everything in my powers to keep it safe. A pet is an important emotional support (especially if you have kids) and it can make your life easier when things go south. Learning about how to save your pet during a disaster will provide some peace of mind and it will make sure your family is complete and ready to face whatever the future may bring.

Saving pets during disasters – Rules to follow

Planning your evacuation

Every emergency evacuation needs a plan and every plan needs to include all your family members. Your pets should be taken into account when making your evacuation plan. You should plan the routes and the time when you will evacuate. You should have a bug out location and you should make sure it can accommodate your pets. If you plan to use shelters for humans, you must know that not all shelters will allow pets and honestly, if you go to such shelters, you are already doing something wrong. If you don’t have a bug out location of your own, it’s better to go to friends or relatives that live outside the evacuation area. These are safer possibilities and they will not say no when it comes to your pets.

Know the favorite locations of your pets

During a disaster, most pets will run and hide in their favorite “safe heaven”. Every pet has a favorite hiding place and you should know about it. If disaster strikes your area, you will know where to look for them and you will not lose precious time. Saving pets during disasters will become almost impossible if you don’t keep your pets inside and if you’re not aware where they might hide.

Bug out bag or gear to go

Most preppers owning a dog are preparing a bug out bag for their trusty companions as well. You have to make sure that you have adequate pet gear for all your pets. Proper gear that can be carried without struggling and without slowing you down. Just a few suggestions: A collar and a leash, a portable kennel, bowls and toys, first aid and waste cleaning supplies. The list may go on and it all depends on the type of pets you have. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, your pet should have everything it needs for the road and all the supplies should be marked with your pet’s identification.

Food for the pets

Emergency preparedness requires for you to pack food and water for your family. Since your pets are also members of your family, you shouldn’t forget about them. You should pack a three-day to three-week supply of food and water for your pet and you should learn about their habits and behavioral issues. Writing down a brief explanation of your pet’s routine will help everyone, especially if your pet may receive care from someone who isn’t familiar with their behavior.

Pets healthcare

Every pet you own should have the vaccinations and veterinary records current, especially the most recent proof of rabies vaccinations. If your pet requires medications, you should keep a few days’ worth of in your bug out bag. Making sure your pet has a good health is vital during a disaster. The last thing you need is to deal with an ill pet when your family is going through some hard times and when morale is low.

Rescue teams

A disaster might strike when you’re far away from home and chances are you might not reach your home soon. Placing a pet rescue decal on your front door or window is indicated in this case and it will give your pets a chance for survival. Such decal will alert first responders to the possible presence of a pet in your house. Information about your pet’s behavior, medical needs and veterinarian’s contact information should be left as well for the rescue teams. You should also carry a picture of your pet in case you become separated for them in an emergency. It will help first responders recognize your pet and provide info about it.

ID tags are a must

Your pets should always wear the correct and most up-to-date identification. It can be a microchip or a collar identification tag. Anything that makes the connection between you and your pet will help reunite them with your family. Identification is important when saving pets during disasters.

Saving pets during disasters might seem useless for some and there are those who say it’s not worth it. However, if you’ve ever had a pet, you will agree that pets are just like family members and they worth all the trouble. Pets provide you with unconditional love, they protect you, they make you feel better when things are rough and they shouldn’t be left behind.

3 Survival Hacks for All Your Christmas Trash

Since one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, what kind of treasures can we make from the massive stream of holiday trash that our households produce each season? Here’s how you can make a wax and cardboard “stove” in a can, wrapping paper fire starters, and ribbon trail markers to take on your next outdoor adventure.

hacks-for-christmas-trash

Since one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, what kind of treasures can we make from the massive stream of holiday trash that our households produce each season? Here’s how you can make a wax and cardboard “stove” in a can, wrapping paper fire starters, and ribbon trail markers to take on your next outdoor adventure.

1. Build a Wax and Cardboard Stove
This simple gizmo is made from any cast-off flat can (like a tuna can or a round Altoids tin). You’ll also need some thin strips of cardboard cut as wide as the can is tall (any length will work). And finally, you’ll require some candle wax, new or old. This wax component is a great way to use up candle drippings or old holiday candle nubs.

To make the stove, coil up your cardboard strips inside the can until it’s full of cardboard. Melt your wax over a medium heat, preferably in a disposable container like another tin can. Pour the melted wax into the cardboard stove until the cardboard is almost covered. Now let the cardboard stove cool until the wax is hardened (unless you need it right away). Your cardboard stove will need a steady open flame to light, and it will take about one minute to get part of the can lit. However, once it’s finally lit, the can produces a lot of heat and is hard to put out.

2. Make Wrapping Paper Fire Starters
Paper products and wax can again come to our aid, this time as a fire starter rather than a fire source. Select your least slick wrapping paper for this project. The more absorptive the paper, the better it will work. Cut it into strips and roll the paper into small tight rolls. Tie the rolls shut with bits of cotton string or twine. Then soak the rolls in melted wax for a few minutes. Remove the rolls from the wax and allow them to harden. Once solid, these little rolls can be lit with an open flame and used as a bad weather fire starter. Just prepare your kindling and tinder as a cone with the fire starter at the base, and light when ready.

3. Create Ribbon Trail Markers
If you have colorful ribbon strips destined for the garbage can, roll it up and tuck it into your survival kit instead. These ribbons can be a cut into sections for trail blazes or signal flags in the wilderness. Add a small permanent marker to this “signaling kit” and you can even leave notes or write messages on the ribbon.

82 Common Edible Flowers

Now before you run out and start eating the various flowers, you need to do a bit of study.  On many of these plants only parts of the plant are edible.  I suggest that as you plan your garden you research the various flowers and make sure that you know what parts of the plants are edible.  In some it may be the flowers on other the leaves or roots.

edible-flowers

Now before you run out and start eating the various flowers, you need to do a bit of study.  On many of these plants only parts of the plant are edible.  I suggest that as you plan your garden you research the various flowers and make sure that you know what parts of the plants are edible.  In some it may be the flowers on other the leaves or roots.

A list of Edible Flowers

  • Angelica                                                Anise Hyssop
  • Apple Blossom                                       Artichoke
  • Arugula                                                 Bachelor Buttons AKA Cornflower
  • Banana                                                 Basil
  • Borage                                                 Bright Lights chard
  • Calendula                                             Carnation
  • Chamomile                                           Chicory
  • Chives                                                  Chrysanthemum
  • Cilantro / Coriander                               Citrus
  • Clover                                                  Dandelion
  • Daylily                                                  Dianthus
  • Dill                                                       Elderberry
  • English Daisy                                        Fennel
  • Freesia                                                 Fuchsia
  • Geraniums                                           Gladiolas
  • Hibiscus                                               Honeysuckle
  • Hollyhock                                             Hyssop
  • Jasmine                                               Jerusalem Artichokes
  • Johnny Jump Up                                   Lavender
  • Lemon Verbena                                    Lilac
  • Linden                                                 Mallow
  • Marigold                                              Marjoram
  • Mint                                                    Mustard
  • Nasturtium                                           Oregano
  • Okra                                                    Onion
  • Orange Blossom                                    Pansy
  • Passionflower                                        Pea blossoms  NOTE: Flowering ornamental                                                                     sweet peas are poisonous
  • Pineapple Sage                                     Primrose
  • Radish                                                 Red Clover
  • Redbud                                                Roses and rose hips
  • Rosemary                                             Rose of Sharon
  • Runner Bean                                        Safflower
  • Sage                                                   Savory
  • Scarlet Emperor’ runner beans               Scented Geranium
  • Snapdragon                                         Society Garlic
  • Squash Blossom                                   Sunflower
  • Sweet Marigold                                    Sweet William
  • Thyme                                                 Sweet Potato
  • Tuberous Begonia                                 Tulip
  • Viola                                                    Violet
  • Winter Savory                                       Yucca

You should have no problem planning and planting a garden that only consists of food producing plants.  This is a great way to supplement your food storage.  The more you learn about the different flowers, the better your chances of survival are in an emergency.

If you do a search of this blog under the category edible plants, you will find information on a number of these flowers.  In the future, I intend to write more on edible flowers.  As with any plants take the time to study and learn about them so that you can make a positive identification, this may save your life, some plants are poisonous.

Could Leaving The U.S Be The Ultimate Prep — And Do You Have What It Takes?

I have to admit, this is a difficult topic to bring up because, to many people, it veers way too close to betraying the country of our birth. However, I’ve been thinking about this a lot. If I truly believe that utter chaos is coming to America in the form of an economic collapse, EMP, or some other horrific event, then why stay here? Why not find a small, obscure country and hole up for a while, thus protecting my family and myself?

ultimate-prep

I have to admit, this is a difficult topic to bring up because, to many people, it veers way too close to betraying the country of our birth. However, I’ve been thinking about this a lot. If I truly believe that utter chaos is coming to America in the form of an economic collapse, EMP, or some other horrific event, then why stay here? Why not find a small, obscure country and hole up for a while, thus protecting my family and myself?

I began researching this subject a few years ago when a reader contacted me and told me about her move to Chile. She and her husband had decided to make the move after much research. They were loving the clean air, pure food, friendly people, and a change in their lifestyle.

I was intrigued. Hmmm…could leaving the U.S. entirely trump food storage, a bug out location, and all the other traditional preps? I began to research residency requirements of various countries.

My first discovery was a shocker. Very few countries want me! They don’t want me, my husband, my family, my parents. Rules for residency can be quite strict, sometimes even requiring the deposit of a large sum of money into one of the nation’s banks. Some countries are quite frank about preventing people like me from coming into their country. To do so, I need to provide:

  1. Proof of health insurance
  2. Proof of regular income
  3. Background check
  4. Health report from a doctor for each family member
  5. Financial information
  6. Birth and marriage certificates
  7. Possibly proof you can speak the language of this country

Additionally, there are strict rules regarding time in country and visa requirements.

This is a stark and startling contrast to the mass human migration we’ve seen in the past couple of years. If citizens of Central America, Mexico, and nearly every other country can walk past our southern border without any of the above, including personal identification, then why do other countries make it so difficult, and, more importantly, where can a law-abiding, hard working American citizen go when they decide to relocate?

(To be fair, the U.S. does have a lengthy process for legal immigration, and it’s quite a difficult path, thus the popularity of illegal immigration.)

Plenty of questions, no easy answers

At one time I thought my family could just pick a country and move there. The entire world was our oyster! Where should we go? Australia? New Zealand? England? Somewhere in Europe? Obviously, we would want to go where English was spoken and where we could quickly blend in.

Well, it didn’t take long to find out that if I’m over 35, Australia doesn’t want me. Other countries may let us visit for a time, but do not allow long-term or permanent residency. The countries that are left are an odd mix:

  1. Chile
  2. Panama
  3. Costa Rica
  4. Hungary
  5. Ireland (ancestry)
  6. Israel (If you’re Jewish or have Jewish heritage.)
  7. Belgium

There are a few more, but the pickin’s are slim when it comes to finding a country that has less restrictive residency requirements.

It boils down to having money, ancestry, time, and/or flexibility. $100,000 will buy a passport and citizenship in Dominica. Ancestors from Hungary, going back 4 generations, can smooth the way for residency in Hungary and Hungarian citizenship. Convert to Judaism and you may become an Israeli citizen, complete with mandatory military service.

If you’re about to have a baby, or are planning one, Brazil is one of only a handful of countries that provides citizenship to every baby born within its borders. Permanent residency can be obtained in Chile, after living there continuously for five years.

As you can see, there is no simple path to residency or, if you choose, citizenship. And then there’s the nightmare of dealing with bureaucrats, long distance phone calls, websites and applications in a foreign language, and, in many cases, visits to a consulate or embassy that could be hundreds of miles away.

Gaining residency in another country is possible. Just not as easy as one would think.

More complications and considerations

If you are able to find a country that will allow temporary residence, and possible permanent residency, then there are tax considerations. The United States is one of only two countries that taxes its citizens no matter where they live and regardless of how long the have been out of the country. I’ve read horror stories of people whose families left the United States when they were very young children, grew up elsewhere, and the were taxed by the U.S. on the income they had earned in that country. Yep, the U.S. and Eritrea share this same tax policy. The only 2 countries in the world.

Something to consider, when researching an expat destination and residency, is what the taxation policy is of your country of choice. Some countries, such as Hungary, has a double taxation policy, which allows them to collect taxes from non-resident citizens — but then there are loopholes and exceptions!

The U.S. is dead serious about collecting taxes from expats. Not sure if it’s out of greed, entertainment for the I.R.S., or stems from a desire to punish anyone leaving the country, but stories like this one are far more common than you might think:

I just found out that despite my income earned and taxed abroad being a) below the foreign income exclusion limit, and b) covered by a bilateral tax treaty between the country where I have lived for the past 49 years, the IRS wants to tax it fully, leaving me with an effective tax rate of 61% from now on.

One of the reasons is that many of the required subforms, e.g. W-2, do not exist in this country (Finland). I sent them my Finnish tax decision along with a translation. They accepted the amount of my earnings, but gave me no credit for the local national tax paid. They have given me three weeks to refile, but the information that they want, such as Social Security and Obamacare payments, doesn’t exist here or is irrelevant to my situation. I am a pensioner whose sole source of income is a Finnish state pension, and I am fully covered by the Finnish health care system. Having worked only in Finland, I never paid into and am ineligible for Social Security and cannot, of course, sign up for Obamacare. They are threatening with draconian fines and seizure of assets so as to leave me destitute for the rest of my life.

So, you may find the ideal country that welcomes you with open arms. You can learn the language and start a new life, but no matter how far you go, the I.R.S. will track you down and demand their pound of flesh.

Oh, and there’s a sweet little federal law, FATCA (Federal Account Tax Compliance Act) that requires foreign banks to reveal the identity of Americans with accounts over $50,000. They have to hand over names, addresses, account balance, account numbers and Social Security or other U.S. identification numbers. Banks who do not comply are punished, by the United States, with a withholding tax of 30% on payments from U.S. banks. Naturally, this has caused many foreign banks to refuse Americans wishing to open accounts, and who can blame them?

The Treasury Department has been unable to cite any constitutional, statutory, or regulatory authority which allows it to compel foreign institutions to collect and share the financial information of U.S. citizens.

Americans living abroad must file an annual report, the FBAR (Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts Report), by June 30, of each year, if they have a foreign account holding more than $10,000. Failure to file that report, and ignorance of the law is no excuse, can result in fines up to $500,000 and up to 10 years in prison!! Spreading that money between multiple banks may help you disguise the sum total for a while, but not forever. And, $10,000 is a pathetically small amount of money, considering the fact that the I.R.S. collected over $1 trillion in the most recent fiscal quarter — October, 2014 through January, 2015.

It looks like FATCA, FBAR, and these draconian policies are here to stay, forever, so it’s just one more consideration if you’re planning on leaving the U.S.

By the way, a little civics lesson here. FATCA was included in a quietly passed jobs bill. If a Senator or Representative would have voted against this bill, they would have been excoriated by the opposing party for voting against a “jobs bill”. The next time a politician you favor is accused for voting against a bill that seems altruistic, dig a little deeper to find out what else, exactly, was in that bill.

Loopholes & confusion

Countries that have lenient ancestry requirements still don’t make it easy for applicants. Take Ireland, for example. You may be granted permanent residency and citizenship:

ultimate-prep2

A couple of years ago I was on New Zealand’s website, looking for information about residency and came away with a massive headache. A few forms on the Switzerland website were in German only.

To complicate matters (is that even possible?), these laws can change quickly and without notice. A country friendly to American expats could become hostile with just the election of a new president.

Lessons learned?

  1. Research, research, research!
  2. Simplify your lifestyle now and prepare to live on less money and with fewer belongings.
  3. Have your vital documents at the ready.
  4. Read the fine print.
  5. Take your time.
  6. Be patient.

Oh, be wary of professional expat advisers. I’ve come across a few that paint an alluring picture of the country and people but after more research, I discovered they were more interested in selling their services than in providing accurate info.

Why leave?

I answer that question and provide several historical examples of relocating — in fact, it’s highly likely your own ancestors relocated and that’s how you ended up an American citizen!

Are you ready to relocate?

After researching, studying, praying, and discussing a relocation, you’ve decided to take the plunge. But! Have you considered whether or not you are a good candidate for this major step?

One of the most critical factors in transitioning to a new location, whether foreign or domestic, is your ability to adapt to new situations. Is your basic temperament and personality one that is flexible? Do you enjoy new experiences and meeting  new people? When faced with an abrupt change in your life, do you adapt easily or do you resist the change? I know one woman who, after several years following a divorce, insists that she’s still married in spite of the fact that her husband is remarried to someone else!

A move to another country is going to plunge you and your family into a world in which most everything is different and new:

  • Language
  • Customs
  • Food
  • Holidays
  • Housing
  • Attitudes
  • Entertainment
  • Technology accessibility
  • Laws
  • Climate

Some personality types adjust to these changes more easily. Others will require more time.

Along with adaptability are expectations. How realistic are your expectations for this move? Are you expecting a smooth and seamless transition? Thorough research, talking with other expats, and then actually visiting and spending time in the country or area of your choice will help keep your expectations well grounded.

Then there are the practical issues of age, health, time, and money. There’s no perfect age for moving out of the country. Younger people are likely in better health but with fewer career skills and less saved money. Young couples have each other to depend on but having younger children will make this quite difficult.

Imagine, or remember, taking all the kids to Target or the grocery store. That’s no easy task! Now, imagine taking them to a foreign country where English isn’t spoken and trying to find a place to live, decipher even the most basic written information, stand in line in various bureaucratic offices to get one license or document or another, and adapt to a completely different lifestyle. No matter how young and fit you are, this just might push you over the edge into insanity!

The process will be easier if your kids are older but then, at the high school age, they often don’t want to leave their friends, sports, and other activities. How easy will it be for them to develop new friendships in this new location and how will they go to college, in particular, if they aren’t fluent in the language?

Growing up in this new country, the kids will probably meet their future spouse, who may very well be a local. Now, with grandkids in a country that is not the U.S., will you ever want to leave them? Those with grown kids and grandkids now, face the challenge of moving away and, possibly, never again being a part of their lives. As we age, health issues ultimately become a fact of life.

The health of each family member may impact whether or not a country allows residency. For example, Australia has been known to prevent families with autistic kids from coming into their country, even when the parents have viable, well-paying jobs waiting for them. And, if there are health issues of any kind, will you be able to find the doctors and care necessary in this new location and how will you pay for those services? Some countries, upon granting residency, require a fee for their national health insurance. Fair enough.

Now, the issue of money. Bottom line: the more you have, the easier it will be to find a country willing to grant residency quickly and the easier it will be to settle into a comfortable lifestyle. No surprises there.

But expenses add up even for the non-millionaires among us. It’s highly recommended that you visit the country, or area of the U.S., first before taking the plunge. That’s going to require travel expenses and time off from work. One family I know had their hearts settled on Belize. They did the research, had contacts in the country, visited once, and on the second visit, realized the country was not for them at all, but by then, they had sunk a few thousand dollars into the venture.

The moving process can be quite expensive. What do you take with you? If it’s just the clothes on your back and whatever a suitcase or two can hold, that’s no problem. Most of us, though, will want to take other possessions. Yes, you can sell it all, but how expensive will it be to replace those items once you relocate and will the quality be what you want? A shipping container costs money and may take several weeks to arrive at the dock of your new country. In the meantime, you may have to live in a hotel or a furnished apartment.

In addition to the expenses of checking out different locations and the moving process is the financial requirements of just about every country I know of. Examples:

  • Costa Rica requires a deposit of $60,000 in a Costa Rican bank for those in the “rentista” category. You are paid $2500 per month out of that balance for 24 months and this becomes your monthly income, at least in part.
  • Antigua has an “economic citizenship” program that requires a government donation of $250,000, plus another $50,000 per family member.
  • Belgium requires that you have a salary of at least € 50,000 per year.
  • Hungary has a residency bond program. Deposit a little over $300,000 in one of their banks and you’ll have to pay another $60,000 as a processing and administration fee.

All countries will have fees for visas and whatever other bureaucratic fees they choose to apply. If the paperwork is not in English, that’s a hurdle to overcome and many countries require a face-to-face interview. In their language.

So what if you have little to no money? Is becoming an ex-pat out of the question? Not at all. In fact, if you’re adventurous, you may even prefer the much simpler lifestyle it brings. Rather than being barricaded in a luxurious neighborhood behind guarded gates, you can live among the locals, shop where they shop, hang out where they hang out, and learn the language and customs very quickly. This is pretty much how I lived when I traveled for months at a time and ended up living in both Germany and Israel.

In this video, I explain a few more considerations before you jump into the decision to leave the U.S.

Emotional ties

I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring up the issue of deep, emotional ties to your home country and the loved ones you’ll leave behind. It’s interesting to see who can do this easily, without looking back, and who can’t. It’s not a matter of being callous and without emotional attachments, as these people wholeheartedly love the family members they leave behind. In some cases, they plan to help move them to their new location as soon as possible.

Deeply felt ties to America aren’t quite as easily cut as many think. “America” isn’t just a land mass but a way of thinking and how you view the rest of the world. And, it works the other way, too. Locals in other countries will have a different worldview and cultural norms. One article asks, ” Does everyone in Chile lie?” You’ll miss living in a country where everyone pretty much has the same social norms.

You’re going to miss favorite foods and restaurants and ease of living. You’ll miss your favorite brands of clothing, your church, holidays spent with friends and family, and Amazon Prime! Depending on where you move, you will probably have to leave pets behind.

On their own, these may not seem like much, but together, combined with the foreign-ness of a different country may make assimilation far more difficult than you’d ever imagined, which circles back to my original question: How adaptable are you?

Is it even worth the bother?

Based on the huge number of hurdles and hassles, is it even worth considering leaving the U.S.? Well, that depends on your reasons for leaving. One family who chose to relocate to Chile did so because they believe a nuclear war is coming, it will mostly affect the northern hemisphere and they don’t care to suffer the long-term consequences. (Both have backgrounds as scientists in the nuclear energy field.) Based on their last email, they are still very happy with their choice.

If you’re convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that war is coming to the U.S., or an EMP, then why would you stay here and subject your family to the aftermath? Some believe that God’s judgment is coming on America — why not escape that, if possible?

My point is that the hassles and hard work of leaving will be worth the effort, or not, depending on your motivation. Once you make the move, remember that it’s not necessarily forever — if that thought helps get you through the rough patches.

A reader on Facebook wrote, “We tried it out in Panama for 2 years. I did not like it at all. I wanted to kiss the ground when we arrived back in the US a year ago. We made a ton of expat friends (and some local friends). But it wasn’t for me. You have to adjust to a very different way of life. I was unable to adjust. For those who are interested in learning more about Panama, there is a group, ExPats in Panama, that my friend admins. There are tons of people who’d love to talk to you about it.

We saved a ton of money by living there. We work remotely for a company (get a paycheck, even though the company was our own company), and so we were able to claim the foreign earned income tax credit for 2 years. It is fairly easy to become a resident of Panama, but I don’t know why you’d want to become a citizen.  If you lived like the locals live, you could easily live on $1,000/mo. If you want to live the same lifestyle in the US, then it would be more toward $3,000/mo as reasonable.”

Could you ever leave the U.S. for good? What is your motivation to leave, or stay?

2015 year in review: 29 trends and events

I’ve analyzed what I think are the 29 most important trends and events from 2015 along with how I think they’ll impact us all in 2016 and beyond.

2015-in-review

I’ve analyzed what I think are the 29 most important trends and events from 2015 along with how I think they’ll impact us all in 2016 and beyond.

Here are the bullet points of the 29 (or so) points:

1) Massive uprising against the political establishment (Donald Trump rides the wave).

2) Backlash against GMOs accelerates: Chipotle goes non-GMO, Russia bans GMO agriculture, more foods getting labeled as non-GMO.

3) Accelerating rejection of the mainstream media as leftist agendas are no longer hidden from the public. More people turning off CNN and the New York Times.

4) The rise of the alt media, including all the sites I’ve personally launched in the last year: GoodGopher.com, FETCH.news, AlternativeNews.com, TalkNetwork.com, Glitch.news, Bugout.news, Stupid.news, Natural.News and many more.

5) The rise of the intolerant crybullies on college campuses as well as the new Tolerati class of intolerant leftists who condemn everyone else as bigots and racists even though THEY are the ones who are bigoted and racist.

6) Increasingly sharp divisions between political left and right; more talk of Civil War and secession. Signs that it’s all headed for a serious clash and possibly bloodshed.

7) Increased awareness of crisis actors and false flag shootings; Amazon bans book on Sandy Hook to prevent the public from even thinking about the possibility that mass shootings are often staged or accentuated with actors.

8) GOP merges with democrats to become the same sellout party of Big Government.

9) Government debt spending total blowout rockets the USA toward financial collapse. (Omnibus bill and $20 trillion in debt…)

10) ISIS terrorism comes to disarmed France, demonstrating the total idiocy of open borders and disarmed citizens.

11) Fast-track trade (TPP) pushed through, destroying America’s sovereignty and putting globalist corporations in charge trade, intellectual property and even labor.

12)Awareness of vaccine injuries accelerates as more families lose their children to deadly vaccines.

13) Public awakens to Big Pharma price gouging, thanks to Martin Shkreli and Turing Pharmaceuticals.

14) EPA unleashes massive river pollution, then tries to silence parties involved (while arming up with weapons and becoming a “militarized” regulatory agency).

15) Massive cultural push for gay, transgender themes invades all media programming, including Disney, Netflix and Amazon Prime; Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage nationwide.

16) Rise of government totalitarianism and the police state, more citizens awaken to the fact that they are now living in a police state. John W. Whitehead releases “Battlefield America.”

17) The collapse of America’s educational institutions into indoctrination centers that teach victimization rather than economics.

18) Massive oil industry bankruptcies as Saudis attempt to destroy the fracking and shale oil industries in North America. Watch for oil prices to skyrocketed in the next 1-3 years, back to over $150 per barrel.

19) Turning point on gun control as more Americans REJECT an assault weapons ban in the name of self-defense. Obama’s gun control push is utterly failing to gain traction…

20) Escalation of war posturing between the U.S., China and Russia.

21) ISIS invades America with the help of Obama, terrorism on U.S. soil; Obama revealed as a sleeper cell trying to invade, occupy and destroy America.

22) Obama gives Iran the nuke. Only a matter of time before Iran tries to nuke Israel and destabilize the Middle East.

23) Police state medicine accelerates with California mandatory vaccine push that now injects children with mercury in the form of flu shots (California suspends ban on mercury in flu shots for children).

24) Corporations ditch U.S. workers and push for massive worker immigration to replace U.S. jobs with cheaper foreign workers. Thanks, Facebook and Disney!

25) Doctor Oz survives malicious attack by GMO shills who tried to destroy him for supporting GMO labeling on foods. Instead, he exposes them as felons and fraudsters.

26) Statin drugs revealed as medical fraud; accelerates aging and nullifies immune response to vaccines.

27) Wave of deaths among alternative medicine doctors raises questions of assassination or malicious extermination of holistic doctors.

28) “Lights Out” book by Ted Koppel – risk of EMP or cyber attack grid down scenario goes mainstream; Ted Koppel exposes total government incompetence and shocking lack of preparedness.

29) Record gun sales as Americans arm up against oppressive government and attempted gun confiscation. Patriotic Americans are literally arming themselves in anticipation of a revolution or Civil War.

Why WWIII Is On The Horizon: “The Prospect Of Armegeddon Will Continue To Rise”

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 gave birth to a dangerous American ideology called neoconservativism. The Soviet Union had served as a constraint on US unilateral action. With the removal of this constraint on Washington, neoconservatives declared their agenda of US world hegemony. America was now the “sole superpower,” the “unipower,” that could act without restraint anywhere in the world.

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 gave birth to a dangerous American ideology called neoconservativism. The Soviet Union had served as a constraint on US unilateral action. With the removal of this constraint on Washington, neoconservatives declared their agenda of US world hegemony. America was now the “sole superpower,” the “unipower,” that could act without restraint anywhere in the world.

The Washington Post neoconservative journalist Charles Krauthammer summed up the “new reality” as follows:

“We have overwheming global power. We are history’s designated custodians of the international system. When the Soviet Union fell, something new was born, something utterly new–a unipolar world dominated by a single superpower unchecked by any rival and with decisive reach in every corner of the globe. This is a staggering new development in history, not seen since the fall of Rome. Even Rome was no model for what America is today.”

The staggering unipolar power that history has given to Washington has to be protected at all costs. In 1992 top Pentagon official Undersecretary Paul Wolfowitz penned the Wolfowitz Doctrine, which became the basis for Washington’s foreign policy.

The Wolfowitz Doctrine states that the “first objective” of American foreign and military policy is “to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat [to US unilateral action] on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.” (A “hostile power” is a country sufficiently strong to have a foreign policy independent from Washington’s.)

The unilateral assertion of American power begin in ernest during the Clinton regime with the interventions in Yugoslavia, Serbia, Kosovo, and the no-fly zone imposed on Iraq. In 1997 the neoconservatives penned their “Project for a New American Century.” In 1998, three years prior to 9/11, the neoconservatives sent a letter to President Clinton calling for regime change in Iraq and “the removal of Saddam Hussein from power.” Neoconservatives set out their program for removing seven governments in five years.

The events of September 11, 2001, are regarded by informed people as “the new Pearl harbor” that the neoconservatives said was necessary in order to begin their wars of conquest in the Middle East. Paul O’Neil, President George W. Bush’s first Treasury Secretary, has stated pubicly that the agenda of President Bush’s first meeting with his cabinet was the invasion of Iraq. This invasion was planned prior to 9/11. Since 9/11 Washington has destroyed in whole or part eight countries and now confronts Russia both in Syria and Ukraine.

Russia cannot allow a jihadist Caliphate to be established in an area comprising Syria/Iraq, because it would be a base for exporting destabilization into Muslim parts of the Russian Federation. Henry Kissinger himself has stated this fact, and it is clear enough to any person with a brain. However, the power-crazed fanatical neoconservatives, who have controlled the Clinton, Bush, and Obama regimes, are so absorbed in their own hubris and arrogance that they are prepared to push Russia to the point of having their Turkish puppet shoot down a Russian airplane and to overthrow the democratically-elected government in Ukraine that was on good terms with Russia, substituting in its place an American puppet government.

With this background, we can understand that the dangerous situation facing the world is the product of the neoconservative’s arrogant policy of US world hegemony. The failures of judgment and the dangers in the Syrian and Ukrainian conflicts are themselves the consequences of the neoconservative ideology.

To perpetuate American hegemony, the neoconservatives threw away the guarantees that Washington gave Gorbachev that NATO would not move one inch to the East. The neoconservatives pulled the US out of the ABM Treaty, which specified that neither the US nor Russia would develop and deploy anti-ballistic missiles. The neoconservatives re-wrote US war doctrine and elevated nuclear weapons from their role as a retaliatory force to a pre-emptive first strike force. The neoconservatives began putting ABM bases on Russia’s borders, claiming that the bases were for the purpose of protecting Europe from non-existent Iranian nuclear ICBMs.

Russia and Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, have been demonized by neoconservatives and their puppets in the US government and media. For example, Hillary Clinton, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president, declared Putin to be “the new Hitler.” A former CIA official called for Putin’s assassination. Presidential candidates in both parties are competing in terms of who can be the most aggressive toward Russia and the most insulting toward Russia’s president.

The effect has been to destroy the trust between nuclear powers. The Russian government has learned that Washington does not respect Washington’s own laws, much less international law, and that Washington cannot be trusted to keep any agreement. This lack of trust, together with the aggression toward Russia spewing from Washington and the presstitute media and echoing in the idiotic European capitals, has established the ground for nuclear war. As NATO (essentially the US) has no prospect of defeating Russia in conventional war, much less defeating an alliance of Russia and China, war will be nuclear.

To avoid war, Putin is non-provocative and low-key in his responses to Western provocations. Putin’s responsible behavior, however, is misinterpreted by neoconervatives as a sign of weakness and fear. The neoconservatives tell President Obama to keep the pressure on Russia, and Russia will give in. However, Putin has made it clear that Russia will not give in. Putin has sent this message on many occasions. For example, on September 28, 2015, at the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, Putin said that Russia can no longer tolerate the state of affairs in the world. Two days later Putin took command of the war against ISIS in Syria.

The European governments, especially Germany and the UK, are complicit in the move toward nuclear war. These two American vassal states enable Washington’s reckless aggression toward Russia by repeating Washington’s propaganda and supporting Washington’s sanctions and interventions against other countries. As long as Europe remains nothing but an extension of Washington, the prospect of Armegeddon will continue to rise.

At this point in time, nuclear war can only be avoided in two ways. One way is for Russia and China to surrender and accept Washington’s hegemony. The other way is for an independent leader in Germany, the UK, or France to rise to office and withdraw from NATO. That would begin a stampede to leave NATO, which is Washington’s prime tool for causing conflict with Russia and, thereby, is the most dangerous force on earth to every European country and to the entire world. If NATO continues to exist, NATO together with the neoconservative ideology of American hegemony will make nuclear war inevitable.

How To Navigate In The Wilderness

Whether you’re on a casual hiking trip or suddenly stranded in the middle of woods far away from civilization, you need to know where you’re going or risk losing valuable time, effort and supplies going around in circles. Dense woodland, lush vegetation, fast moving streams and wet ground can present challenges that could prove fatal for the unprepared and you will have to move in and out of them quickly.

navigate-the-wilderness

Whether you’re on a casual hiking trip or suddenly stranded in the middle of woods far away from civilization, you need to know where you’re going or risk losing valuable time, effort and supplies going around in circles. Dense woodland, lush vegetation, fast moving streams and wet ground can present challenges that could prove fatal for the unprepared and you will have to move in and out of them quickly.

You might also need to avoid trails that are too risky and dangerous as you circumvent them by going around easier terrain as it takes more time, yet you also need navigation tools to determine how long a stream runs or how far a hill can slope downward or upward.

The most simple and powerful tool for navigation in the wilderness is the compass. As these are relatively small and inexpensive, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have one in your gear. Remember that the red part of the needle always faces north and if you want to travel in a different direction, simply rotate it into your path.

While you may or may not have a map, you can take a guess at where your desired destination is: south, west or east and follow it rather than if you were moving about with no sense of where you could be headed. Do not put the compass close to metallic and magnetic objects as these may disorient it and align its pointer in the wrong way, effectively compromising your ability to accurately direct your path.

If you have no compass, or if you left it behind during an emergency situation, you will have to make do with the materials at hand. Remember the old saying that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west and look towards it at sunrise and sunset to reassess your travel path. In the Northern Hemisphere, the sun is due south when it is at its highest point in the sky.

If it casts no shadows on objects below, it is at its highest point. To ascertain your position in sunlight, you can use the shadow tip method. Find a straight stick or branch at least 3 feet long. Set it standing on the ground and clear any growth to get a better reading and mark the tip of its shadow with a stone or twig. This mark always represents west anywhere in the world.

Wait about 15 minutes for the shadow to move, and mark its tip as well. Draw a line between the two points, and you have the east-west line. Stand with the first mark on your left and the east mark on your right, then you will be certain that you are facing north. While this method is not 100% accurate, you can use it at any point in the world. You can also use the moon if you need to figure out where you are as if it rises before the sun has completely set, the illuminated side will be the west.

If the night sky is bright and illuminated with stars, a little textbook knowledge will help you move around at night. It is simply a matter of locating Polaris, also called the North Star. Be sure you have seen pictures of the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia as these constellations never set and can be seen easily in a clear night. These two constellations are located opposite each other and rotate counterclockwise around the North Star.

Look for the two stars forming the outer lip of the Big Dipper and imagine an imaginary line between them. Extend the distance by 5 times its length and it will determine the position of the North Star. Cassiopeia’s 5 stars form a “w” shape in which the center star is pointed by the middle, which is also the North Star. Uses these two constellations together to reduce the margin for error and determine true north.

Staying lost will inevitably deplete your resources and expose you to dangerous situations like predator attacks and fickle weather patterns. Without any idea of where true north is, you would never find your way out. If you know how to look to the sky for guidance, you can truly see hope in the stars.

TEOTWAWKI Survival: You’re Guide to Making It through Dangerous Survival Situations

TEOTWAWKI: it’s an acronym for “The End of the World as We Know It,” and it is a phrase most commonly used in survivalist circles. TEOTWAWKI survival means two things: preparing for bad situations so you are in a better position when something terrible occurs, and knowing what to do when a survival situation arises in order to increase the likelihood of survival.

teutwawki

TEOTWAWKI: it’s an acronym for “The End of the World as We Know It,” and it is a phrase most commonly used in survivalist circles. TEOTWAWKI survival means two things: preparing for bad situations so you are in a better position when something terrible occurs, and knowing what to do when a survival situation arises in order to increase the likelihood of survival.

There are many ways the end of the world as we know it can occur, whether it is nuclear war, electromagnetic pulse (EMP), weather disasters, natural disasters, financial collapse, a downed electrical grid, or even a pandemic of some kind. In such events, you’ll need to be ready to act accordingly to ensure your survival. Part of being prepared is being able to answer some very simple, direct questions: What will you need? Where will you stay or go? Who will be with you? How will you travel?

Plan A for TEOTWAWKI survival

You will want to establish two solid plans of action if you want to survive TEOTWAWKI. Consider the different situations that can occur and make a clear plan of action to increase the chances of your survival. You need to begin to think about what you are going to do in a given situation and the steps you will take in order to implement plan A.

Some of the basic preparatory steps you take will, of course, be the same in any situation. For example, you’ll want to stock up on food, water, and other supplies. Nevertheless, you make have to take different survival steps if there is a pandemic verses if a nuclear war.

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You want to have a plan where you have somewhere to go, and all of your family members need to be on the plan. You’ll want to establish a location that is outside of the city area as it can prove dangerous where the population is the highest. Consider the fact that in a situation that aligns with TEOTWAWKI, chances are the thin veneer that law and civilized behavior that keeps a civilization intact will be wiped away.

What will be left in its wake are frightened, unprepared people by the thousands. There’s liable to be fighting, crimes, looting, and an increase in violent situations. Thus, finding a place that is away from the city area can improve the likelihood of your safety as well as the safety of your family members.

Choosing a safe location

The city is definitely out when you are devising plan A and choosing a safe place to take your family. Cities will be areas where the resources will be limited, including power, water, and food, and therefore it will be impossible to sustain everyone. The place you choose to bring your family should be remote, perhaps even hidden from the main roads, and not easy to find. Once you choose a location, you’ll have to plot out how you will get your family there quickly and without being detected.

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You may want to establish a survival team for when things go badly. The team can include your family and close friends. Each person in the team can have a role to play, not only in preparation, but also in implementing the steps necessary to get everyone to safety when the time calls for it. If you choose people to be on your survival team, you should have regular meetings to discuss the following:

  • Where everyone will stay
  • Food stock pile
  • Medicines
  • Weaponry and weapon usage
  • Training in survival skills
  • Strategies for survival

For more information on choosing a safe place for you and your family, view the following video here:

It will teach you about the safe routes to take, the places you will need to avoid, and why such places should be avoided if and when TEOTWAWKI survival situation occurs.

Stockpiling your needs

There are several things should stockpile when you are preparing for TEOTWAWKI survival. The first thing you’ll probably think of is food products. There are many food products you can stock up on and store for years. You can put them in storage in your safe place. You’ll also want to have some food stored in a bug out bag that you can take with you as your travel to your safe place. Here is a list of some of the foods you will want to keep in storage.

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Beans
    nuts
  • Bouillon
  • Canned foods
  • Canned meats
  • Cereals
  • Cheeses covered in wax
  • Chocolate
  • Condiments
  • Dehydrated foods like eggs, whey, and milk.
  • Dehydrated meats
  • Flour
  • Grains
  • Herbs
  • Honey
  • Jams
  • Jellies
  • Liquid stored in cans
  • Oils
  • Pasta
  • Peanut butter
  • Protein bars
  • Protein drinks
  • Rice
  • Salt
  • Spices
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Water

Additional foods you may want to consider adding to your TEOTWAWKI survival stockpile include things that have a long shelf life. You can get dehydrated meals and foods from specialty retailers. You can also add sunflower seeds, other seeds, figs, dates, and a variety of natural foods to your stockpile.

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For a really good idea about some of the foods that are most ideal for survival situations, check out the inventory that specialty shops have available. You can get freeze-dried meats, veggies, fruits, and eggs, and you can buy them in bulk in airtight packaging. Make use of a food storage calculator online to determine your food storage needs.

Stocking up on medical supplies

Just as food supplies will be important, TEOWAWKI survival will call for a stockpiling of medical supplies. Remember, the hospitals will be located in cities and they are liable to be overloaded with people seeking medical attention during an emergency situation. Having the basic medical necessities stored in a safe place will ensure the greater likelihood of one being able to deal with simple medical situations. It can also end up saving a life. Here is a list of some of the most common things people stockpile for TEOTWAWKI survival situations.

  • Antibacterial soap
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Bandages
  • Band-Aids
  • Blankets
  • Cold medicine
  • Cold packs
  • Gauze
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Herbal remedies like eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, thyme oil, cayenne, honey, garlic oil for their natural antiviral, antibacterial properties.
  • Hot packs
  • Lighter (for needle sterilization)
  • Magnifying glass
  • Medical tape
  • Medications
  • N-95 masks
  • Needle holder
  • Needles
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Oral Airway (OPAS)
  • Oral antibiotics
  • Pain relief
  • Peroxide
  • Q-Tips/Cotton Balls
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Safety pins
  • Scalpels
  • Scissors
  • Sheets
  • Spider wire for emergency stitches
  • Splints
  • Super glue for the treatment of superficial wounds
  • Surgical masks
  • Sutures
  • Tongue depressor (Popsicle sticks)
  • Tweezers
  • Wound dressing

Additional items to store

In a survival situation, the best thing you can have stocked up and ready for use is water. The more water the better. Remember, you’ll need water for drinking, washing, and cooking. In fact, water should be your foremost concern as you can die without access to some drinkable water. To that end, consider having some water purification tablets and filters on hand so you can filter out impurities in the water sources you do find.

You may want to stash a few things a way to serve as entertainment, especially if you are in a situation that will last several weeks or more. Books, magazines, games, and other things to entertain you will help pass the time as you wait for negative conditions to settle down. You might also want to bring a radio and some electronics that you can power with chargers and order batteries.

Bear in mind that when a TEOTWAWKI situation arises, cash will be rendered useless. In order to survive, you’ll want a few extra things on hand that you can barter with if necessary. Consider what is most important during a survival situation and that is what you will have to barter with that is the most valuable, including food, water, and weaponry. In regard to weapons, you’ll need to decide what you want to have on hand. If you have a gun or rifle, you’ll need to stock up on ammunition. You’ll want at least a few knives as well.

Plan B and TEOWAWKI

If you are going to survive TEOTWAWKI, you’ll need to have a plan B. Survival, to a great degree, is based on one’s willingness and ability to adapt to abrupt and uncertain change. To that end, you’ll want to have a bug out bag at the ready that you can grab and run with. You can use the bag to sustain you until you get to your safe place.

At minimum, if you never make it to your safe place, you’ll at least have some food, water, and materials to sustain you. Either you can create your own bug out bag or you can buy one ready-made with many of the supplies you’ll need already in the bag you buy.

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Of course, no plan is going to work if you don’t give it a trial run. It’s imperative that you and your family/friends rehearse what it is you will do when an emergency situation arises. There are several ways you can put your readiness skills to the test.

First, give your family about 15 minutes to pack up everything they will need in a survival situation and stage a mock evacuation where you have to get your family away from the location. After you get to where you planned to go, assess how well everyone did, what may or may not have been forgotten, and make a list of the things you’ll have to change. Attempt to incorporate such changes when you make your next survival plan rehearsal.

Additional preparatory measures

In addition to acting out an evacuation, you can also take a weekend to see how you can handle what it would be like to be in a TEOTWAWKI survival situation. For example, try eating nothing but the survival food you have for the weekend. Alternatively, have the family spend an entire weekend without the electricity to use. You’ll be better prepared for the moment when TEOTWAWKI survival techniques become necessary. You may also gain a greater appreciation for the privileges you presently do have.

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Survival is also about education and training. You’ll want to read everything you can about survival, hunting, wilderness survival, survival medicine, and on subjects that teach you innovative, conservative means of living. Meanwhile, you’ll want to assess your physical fitness and train yourself to be as fit as possible.

Learn how to grow your own food and can it. It will also help you greatly in survival situations if you know how to preserve foods. If you don’t know how to hunt, it may be time you learn. Being able to hunt will give you a chance to hunt for additional all natural food sources. Hunting is just another survival skill.

If you don’t know how to hunt and you don’t want to learn, at minimum, you should learn how to fire a firearm for your own protection. Remember, civilization will not be what it used to be and you will be responsible for your own safety and the safety of those you love.

Affording all your preparations

It may seem as if getting ready for TEOTWAWKI is an expensive endeavor, and indeed it can be. However, there are ways you can save money as you prepare for a survival situation. Here are a few things you can do to save a few dollars now while you are preparing for a survival issue in the future:

Start now – start early: If you start stockpiling just a few things a week and you start right now, you’d be amazed at how quickly you can accumulate everything you need to remain comfortable in a survival situation.

Shop sales: Look for food sales and make sure you keep an eye on your food stock. You will have to regularly rotate your inventory. Eat up foods that are nearing the expiration date and replace them with new inventory.

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Grow goods and can them:  Initially, there is a small investment in growing your own food and canning goods, but you’ll find the expense is reasonable when compared to how much food product you can stockpile. You can grow a garden and can goods like cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, beets, and other vegetables for long-term storage. If you grow fruits or you have some nearby berry bushes, for a few dollars, you can make your own homemade jams and jellies.

Coupons & other savings methods: Become an extreme couponer, and if you don’t know how, then learn. You can save a lot of money on your stockpile by using coupons.

More methods for saving money

As you prep for a survival situation, you make want to consider becoming the member of a warehouse club. Doing so will allow you to buy foods and water products in bulk while saving a considerable amount of money. You can shop at places like Costco or Sam’s Club and fine a variety of items, and not just food related either.

If you shop at discount grocery stores, you can get canned vegetables and foods for cheap too. You can buy veggies by the case and stock up the food pile quickly. Discount grocers sometimes also sell other things you’ll need to store including hand soaps, shampoo, conditioner, toilet paper, cleaners, and personal hygiene items.

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Online sales: Shopping online for the items you need for a survival situation lets you find items and compare prices with greater ease. Shop with websites that offer reduced shipping and/or free shipping solutions.

Go organic: While organic foods are a bit more costly, in the long run you are contributing to your overall health, which is important in any survival situation. Shop at food markets where you can buy fresh foods to can that are free of GMOs, dyes, gluten, herbicides, pesticides, additives or preservatives.

Just a few dollars a week:  Using just a bit of money each week can afford you the things you’ll need for TEOTWAWKI survival. Return bottles or save pocket change and use the funds to get the items you need for the moment that emergency situation does arise.

In conclusion

TEOTWAWKI survival will take some considerable planning on your part. Nevertheless, getting ready for an event where the entire world as we know it will be forever changed will ensure your safety and the safety of those you love. With a few strategic measures and a bit of planning and forethought, you can remain as comfortable as possible in an emergency situation.

You and your family will have a safe place already established with everything you need to survive at the ready. With your day-to-day and medical needs meet, you can ensure the long-term survival of yourself and those you love.

What Is Geothermal Cooling & Heating?

More and more individuals have become aware of the environmental impacts and the extreme amounts of energy they use to heat and cool their homes. As a result, many families are actively working to shrink their carbon footprints. They are moving away from coal, oil, and gas heaters and many have converted to alternative sources of green energy. One great and relatively inexpensive way to do this is to convert a home’s heating a cooling system to geothermal energy.

More and more individuals have become aware of the environmental impacts and the extreme amounts of energy they use to heat and cool their homes. As a result, many families are actively working to shrink their carbon footprints. They are moving away from coal, oil, and gas heaters and many have converted to alternative sources of green energy. One great and relatively inexpensive way to do this is to convert a home’s heating a cooling system to geothermal energy.

How It Works

Traditional HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems take the air from the home, subject it to refrigerants, and pump the now cooled or heated air back into the home. All of this takes an incredible amount of energy. Geothermal cooling and heating systems save energy by directly harnessing the energy and temperature that naturally occurs in the earth. At certain levels beneath the surface, the temperature of the earth is kept constant. When the weather grows colder, a closed loop system of pipes takes the existing heat from deep inside the earth and draws it up into the home. Then, when the weather is warmer, the heat exchanger draws the heat from the air in the home and pushes it back down deep into the earth where it is dispersed.

Closed System

What’s more is that the geothermal systems works in tandem with the hot water heater to create a closed system of water pumps, heat exchangers, and fans. The very heat that is pulled from the home in the summer can be pumped into the water heater to provide almost unlimited hot water. It essentially turns unwanted heat into desired heat. This closed system helps produce some of the most energy efficient temperature control available, making sure nothing goes to waste, and everything has a use.

Installation Issues

If a family chooses to convert to a geothermal cooling system, they must bring in an expert company to do the installation. The company will determine the most efficient and economical installation possible. Because most system’s pipes must reach a significant depth in order to access the trapped heat of the earth, the installers must drill deeply, avoiding any major water, sewer, or electrical lines buried in the area. Newer technologies, however, allow geothermal installation companies to install the heat exchange loops in horizontal trenches, beneath local water sources, or in specially dug pits depending on the homes unique topographical and environmental surroundings.

Costs Associated

The average cost of such installations can vary greatly depending on the home’s location, the amount of land available, the type of geothermal system, and the existing heating system in the home. The most expensive components of the system are the integrated water and air heat exchanger and the pipe installation. This can run several thousand dollars at the cheapest. However, some of those costs can be offset with various green energy tax credits offered by the government. Homeowners can actually offset up to 50% of their installation costs in the first year thanks to state and federal tax credits. That amount can increase over the lifetime of the home, as additional yearly credits are offered.

Making the switch from traditional forced air or baseboard heat to geothermal cooling and heating systems can end up saving homeowners thousands of dollars over the life of the home. Add to that the significant environmental benefits and it’s no wonder that more homeowners are converting to geothermal energy for their home’s comfort.

Geothermal Cooling & Heating: Advantages and Disadvantages

While geothermal energy has a number of advantages, there are also several disadvantages to the system. Here is a deeper look at some of the bigger advantages to converting to geothermal cooling and heating, balanced by some of the more notable disadvantages.

Reduced Use of Fossil Fuels

A great advantage to geothermal energy is the reduced reliance on fossil fuels. Traditional energy sources like coal, oil, and natural gas are finite resources. Their continued use causes a decrease in their availability, driving prices upwards and increasing the nation’s reliance on foreign sources of these fuels. By deriving heat directly from the earth, geothermal energy relies on a continually replenished resource. This decreases our reliance on fossil fuels and reduces the amount of impact we inflict on the environment. Plus, over time, the costs are much lower as the earth’s temperature does not fluctuate in response to demand.

Tax Write Offs

Homeowners who make the switch to geothermal energy can also enjoy a number of tax benefits. In addition to the initial cost matching benefits offered by the federal government in the installation process, state and local governments offer a number of write offs over the life of the home. Homes that use geothermal energy draw significantly less electricity from public grids, freeing up energy for others in the community and decreasing the maintenance costs to the local government. To encourage this, state tax departments are willing to pass some of these savings on to the homeowners.

Installation Costs

One of the worst disadvantages of geothermal energy is the overall cost of the installation. Not only is there the often expensive geothermal unit that is installed near the water heater in the house, but there is also the copper pipe loop. These pipes must be drilled deep into the earth where the temperature is held constant regardless of the air temperature. That can mean up to a depth of 10-20 feet, though some systems require much deeper. The drilling alone can cost thousands of dollars, with an overall installation cost of tens of thousands of dollars. It helps if the home has existing ductwork that the system can use to distribute the cooled air, but if it doesn’t, that also must be installed.

Lack of Availability

The unfortunate thing is that geothermal energy is not available for all homeowners. Those who live in areas of very high infrastructure including sewer lines, gas mains, or underground installations do not have the option of converting to geothermal energy. Only those with sufficient land have enough space to contain the intricate pipe systems, but if the home is too remote, they may not have access to the specialized crews and equipment needed to install the unit in the first place. This combination of conditions can severely limit the numbers of types of people who can actually convert their homes to geothermal energy.

Geothermal cooling & heating is a great option if families can get it. Between the high costs and the lack of availability, however, it may be a while before everyone can enjoy this revolution in home climate control.

Top Benefits of a Geothermal Cooling & Heating System

Geothermal heating and cooling systems offer a wide range of benefits for home and business owners. From reducing a building’s carbon footprint to accumulated savings, switching to geothermal energy is a smart move for anyone looking for alternatives to traditional forced air heating and cooling systems.

Environmentally Sound

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, geothermal cooling systems may be one of the most environmentally sound ways to control the temperature of the home. No fossil fuels are burned, and it uses only a small bit of electricity to power the fan, water pumps, and heat exchanger. The system is incredibly efficient with very little wasted energy. While typical forced air systems waste a great deal of energy with heat loss, geothermal systems reduce the total energy used by up to 50% over electric systems. The systems are often used to heat water as well, making even more efficient use of the home’s energy.

Significant Savings

All of this saved energy translates to equally beneficial cost savings. Half of a family’s electricity use goes towards the home’s heating and cooling. To save money in the hottest and coolest months, most families will forgo the comfortable temperatures they truly want. With geothermal energy, families can set the thermostat to their true desired temperatures without worrying about wasting money. On average, families who replace propane or natural gas heating with geothermal energy will cut costs by two thirds, while those with high efficiency air conditioning units will see their cooling costs cut by a full half. That can mean thousands off electricity bills in the first year.

Efficient Comfort

Forced air heating relies on a single heat exchanger to pump out heat in the coldest weather. In the summer months, it uses toxic refrigerant chemicals to cool that same air and fan it out to the various rooms in the house. These methods require a great deal of energy to work against the natural temperatures outside. Because geothermal energy uses the consistent natural heat trapped inside the ground, it is much easier to cool and heat the home. Emergency heat is never needed to fight against freezing temperatures, and the heat of the home in the summer is easily trapped and used in the home’s hot water system or dispersed in the ground.

Noise and Appearance

The unsightly air conditioning units and noisy outdoor fans are also a thing of the past. Geothermal units do not need bulky and unsightly fans to take in air from outside to pump back indoors; they work with the already climate controlled air indoors. Plus, the majority of the work is done underground in the copper pipes of the unit’s heat exchangers. That means that homeowners can enjoy comfortable temperatures without having to tolerate noisy blowers and fans.

Geothermal energy is quiet, convenient, efficient, and becoming more affordable every day. Families who are interested in converting to geothermal energy should contact a local technician for an evaluation and price estimate on installation.

Frequently Asked Questions about Geothermal Cooling & Heating

Geothermal cooling and heating systems are relatively new alternatives to traditional home temperature control. There are many applications that have yet to be tested, but the technology is safe, secure, and incredibly efficient. Still, most people have questions regarding the use of geothermal energy in the home. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about geothermal cooling.

Are There Any Risks Associated with Geothermal Energy?

Unlike propane and natural gas tanks, geothermal heat exchangers do not use any fossil fuels for energy generation. They tap into the existing electrical grid and use the heat stored naturally in the earth’s crust. There are some risks, however, associated with the installation of geothermal pipes. Installers must drill deep into the earth’s surface, and often must create various trenches under the ground’s surface. If the topography of the land is uneven or there are a number of gas or sewer lines, or high pressure ground water in the area, it can be dangerous to drill. Drilling companies must take a number of precautions to properly install the geothermal unit and avoid damages to surrounding properties.

How Much Maintenance do Geothermal Cooling Systems Require?

Like all heating and cooling systems, geothermal systems require regular maintenance. Because the system uses existing ductwork and vents to transfer the heat through the house, most of the maintenance involves this complex network. Air filters must be replaced at least twice a year, and preferably every month, especially before the heating unit is switched on. Homeowners should do their best to keep vents clear of debris, and they should have the ductwork professionally cleaned at least once every three years. This keeps the air clean and free of dust, pet dander, mold, or other allergens. The heat exchange unit should run without maintenance for an average of 25-30 years.

What is the Environmental Impact?

One of the main reasons homeowners switch to geothermal is to lessen their environmental impact and shrink their carbon footprint. They choose geothermal energy because the system is far more efficient and uses much less energy than traditional heating and cooling methods. For every hour of use, geothermal produces one fewer pound of carbon emissions than forced air does. That can add up to thousands of pounds of CO2 kept out of the air each year, or the equivalent of planting 6000 acres of trees.

How Much Room do I Need for Installation?

Previous generations of geothermal HVAC units took up a great deal of space. Homeowners needed to set aside almost an entire room and drill almost as deep as most freshwater wells. Today, though, a geothermal unit can fit right alongside the home’s water heater, while pipes can run in a much shallower trench alongside the home. Depending on the needs of the home and the space available, geothermal units can be designed to fit any home.

Installers and technicians with geothermal energy systems have spent years finding new ways to install and operate efficient and environmentally sound cooling solutions. They can work with almost any existing home or help builders construct an entirely new unit with the most effective temperature control systems available. In time, they should be able to reduce emissions even further and bring down the price tag, so that all homes can enjoy.

Keep your home safe from bugs after a hurricane

Floods and high winds are normally associated with hurricanes. People board up their homes and seal their basements in order to stay safe from these threats. They emerge after the storm hoping the worst is over. But there is another threat most people don’t consider. This threat comes after the hurricane has come and gone. The standing bodies of water left by the hurricane are prime breeding grounds for pests.

Floods and high winds are normally associated with hurricanes. People board up their homes and seal their basements in order to stay safe from these threats. They emerge after the storm hoping the worst is over. But there is another threat most people don’t consider. This threat comes after the hurricane has come and gone. The standing bodies of water left by the hurricane are prime breeding grounds for pests.

Some of the most common bugs that become a problem after a hurricane include mosquitos, cockroaches, and carpenter ants. Each of these bugs presents their own set of problems. They also require separate strategies to prevent and reduce the amount of damage they cause.

Mosquitos

There are a lot of mosquitos after a hurricane. There is plenty of water for them to lay their eggs and multiply. Mosquitos can be annoying. They cause small, itchy bumps on our skin. But they can also be dangerous. Mosquitos can carry a broad range of diseases. This is why is important to know how to keep them away from your home after a hurricane. If you don’t take proper measures to keep mosquitos away, you could be putting yourself and your family at risk. There are several simple methods you can use to keep these pests away.

The first one is kind of cool, and most people don’t know about it. You can use coffee grounds to keep mosquitos away. This is your first line of defense. Sprinkle coffee grounds in any standing water around your house. The coffee grounds will force the eggs to the surface of the water, and they will not be able to survive.

You can also make traps. Cut a water bottle in half. Fill the bottom half with water and brown sugar. Turn the top half upside down and use it as a funnel. Place these around your house. They will attract and trap the mosquitoes inside.

Cockroaches

The risk of a cockroach infestation is worse after a hurricane. It’s important to protect yourself from them because they can carry diseases. There are some things you can do to prevent these bugs from invading your home. Keep all food in sealed containers. Keeping your windows and doors sealed and well-maintained will go a long way in preventing cockroaches from gaining access to your house. But these seals could be damaged during the hurricane. Keeping your home as clean as possible will greatly reduce the odds of your home being infested.

But what do you do if you already have cockroaches? You can start by fixing all water leaks in your house. Cockroaches can only live up to seven days without water. Cockroaches lay eggs all over your house, including your carpet so make sure to use carpet cleaners often. Make sure to ask if they have experience dealing with cockroaches. This is important because you if you don’t remove all the eggs, your home will be infested again.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are a serious concern after a hurricane. They infest your home, and they are hard to get rid of. They burrow their way into your walls and destroy your wood furniture. Poisonous bait is a great way to get rid of carpenter ants. They will pick up the bait and share it with their nest.

But what if the damage has already been done? You will need to find and remove any damaged wood. Your walls might need to be repaired. Cabinets are also a prime target. Make sure to use cabinet refinishers to avoid any infestation problems. They will be able to repair the damage caused by the carpenter ants and leave your cabinets looking good as new.

Final Thoughts

The best way to protect yourself from bugs after a hurricane is to take preventive measures ahead of time. Unfortunately, all the planning in the world cannot prevent infestations 100% of the time. When you notice mosquitos, ants, or cockroaches, you need to act before they spread.

If you know a hurricane is coming, stock up on supplies. Be ready with coffee grounds and containers to seal your food. These steps will help you stay safe from bugs after a hurricane.

It’s not just Flint: Poor communities across the country live with ‘extreme’ pollutersIt’s not just Flint: Poor communities across the country live with ‘extreme’ polluters

In this Jan. 21, 2016 photo, the Flint River is shown near downtown Flint, Mich. Flint’s water became contaminated with lead when the city switched from the Detroit municipal system and began drawing from the Flint River in April 2014 to save the financially struggling city money. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

As national attention focuses on Flint, Mich. — where lead-contaminated water flowed for over a year to a relatively poor, minority community — new research suggests that across the U.S., communities like these are more likely to be exposed to some of the most intense pollution.

In a new paper just out in the open-access journal Environmental Research Letters, sociologist Mary Collins of the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and two colleagues from the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center and the University of Maryland examined what they term “hyper-polluters”: Industrial facilities that, based on EPA data, generate disproportionately large amounts of air pollution. Then, they cross-referenced the location of these facilities with socio-demographic data from the 2000 census.

The result? “We find striking evidence that extreme emitters are likely impacting EJ [environmental justice] communities even more significantly than typical EJ scholarship might predict,” the study said.

The study adds to a body of evidence showing that the U.S. continues to struggle when it comes to “environmental justice,” a concept advanced by advocates and researchers to describe the reality that poor and minority communities tend to have disproportionate exposures to environmental hazards.

[How cases like Flint destroy public trust in science]

The industrial emissions examined in the new study were reported by close to 16,000 industrial facilities in the continental U.S. as part of the EPA’s toxics release inventory program. The facilities were across a variety of sectors, ranging from mining to manufacturing, according to Collins. They did not include large power plants.

Examining this EPA data, the study found a significant disparity when it comes to how much different facilities pollute. “90% of toxic concentration present in the study area is generated by only 809 (about 5%) of facilities,” the paper reported.

The water emergency in Flint, Mich., is two years in the making. Here are the people who’ve played a key role in the crisis. (Claritza Jimenez/The Washington Post)

But what was particularly striking was cross-referencing this information with socio-economic data on the people living around the facilities, based on a nationally representative sampling of Census information. The highest polluting facilities were also more likely to be located in proximity to poor and minority neighborhoods.

“It’s certainly not news that minority and low income communities face more than what some would say is their fair share of pollution from industrial sources,” says Collins. “We found that actually, the burden they face from these superpolluters was even more extreme than you would think.”

The work is an advance in the environmental justice field, using big data approaches to underscore a familiar conclusion in a new way, says Andrew Jorgenson, an environmental sociology professor at Boston College who was not involved in the study.

“The substantive argument is something that’s been around a long time, but this is a very sort of sophisticated, methodologically rigorous, and far reaching analysis that provides some generalizable analysis of this occurring across different regions,” Jorgenson says.

“This study is different because it’s looking at the largest polluters, and really focusing in on sort of the most egregious releases of chemical pollution,” says Sacoby Wilson, an environmental health professor at the University of Maryland-College Park who was familiar with the study. “And so what it basically is saying is, you don’t have to look at all the different facilities, if you just look at the superpolluters, the ones that release the most chemical emissions, we see that those facilities are also located in communities of color and poor communities.”

Wilson said that because of this, the new research could help EPA engage in targeted, voluntary programs to help these facilities lessen their emissions, and get a bigger impact than might happen by trying to work industry-wide or nationwide.

The immediate problem in Flint wasn’t about air pollution of the type involved in this study. Rather, it turned on a decision to switch the city’s water supply from Detroit’s to the Flint River to reduce costs. Still, it’s relevant, say Wilson and Jorgenson. “Flint falls into this broad category, a community that is sort of structurally disadvantaged,” Jorgenson says.

“I think what you see in Flint is really going to raise attention around environmental justice issues around the country, and also how you have these other environmental justice disasters that are looming out there,” adds Wilson.

Edible Plants to Learn a Valuable Outdoor Survival Skill

Out in the wilderness, you might not understand for particular the specifics about the types of plants that are around you. You can start to learn more about the plants by studying the plant. Exists an unfavorable response by touching the plant?

Out in the wilderness, you might not understand for particular the specifics about the types of plants that are around you. You can start to learn more about the plants by studying the plant. Exists an unfavorable response by touching the plant?

You should start by understanding the edible parts of the plant. Roots, stems, leaves, flowers, buds, and seeds are all valuable parts of some plants. Understand that some parts of a.
Plant might be edible while others are not.

Edible plants may help to provide healthy nutrition in a survival situation, however do not eat whatever is around in rush. Some plants may be hallucinogen us or cause a deadly response. Always take the time to try out each part of any new plant to preserve exceptional health.

If you have a reaction to the plant in 5 to 15 minutes, see. Wait another 15 minutes or so to determine how your body will react to this plant.

By this time, you will have the ability to figure out if you wish to consume this plant. Due to the fact that one part of the plant is edible that all parts of the plant are safe, do not naturally assume that just. Repeat this procedure for each part of the plant before determining if it is edible and important to your survival.

It may appear that this is a tedious process, but avoiding a severe or fatal response deserves the time and effort.

You need to beware when attempting a new plant to consume, since even if the plant is thought about to be edible, it might conjure up a significant allergic reaction for some individuals.

You can start to learn more about the plants by studying the plant. Due to the fact that one part of the plant is edible that all parts of the plant are safe, do not naturally assume that just. You can begin to find out about the plants by studying the plant. Do not naturally assume that simply since one part of the plant is edible that all parts of the plant are safe.

You can begin to find out about the plants by studying the plant. Do not naturally assume that simply since one part of the plant is edible that all parts of the plant are safe.

Once you have decided to attempt a portion of the plant, prepare it in the way you mean to consume it. Do not start popping supper into your mouth and swallowing. This can be extremely unsafe.

Research study plants prior to you begin tasting them. Consider experimenting with edible plants on a day hike.

You have to be cautious when attempting a new plant to eat, because even if the plant is thought about to be edible, it may conjure up a major allergic response for some individuals.

If you find yourself in an outdoor survival emergency scenario, it is necessary to find something to eat. Edible plants may be a terrific alternative for you to get some nourishment. You need to beware when attempting a new plant to consume, since even if the plant is thought about to be edible, it might conjure up a significant allergic reaction for some individuals.