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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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?

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.

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What the Army Field Manual tells Us

What the Army Field Manual tells us about surviving nuclear, biological, and chemical attacks

The following document is an appendix taken from the US Army Field Manual.  The topic is tactical and emergency operations in a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear attack.  The document, which provides excellent insight into the tactics and procedures utilized by the US military in a NBC or CBRN attack, is broken down into four sections: (1) contamination abidance, (2) NBC protection, (3) decontamination, and (4) Reconnaissance and security.  I have embedded additional summaries, notes, and explanations.

US Army Field Manual – Appendix: CBRN Attacks

Summary: We must be proficient in the three fundamentals of NBC defense: avoiding contamination, protecting against contamination, and decontamination.

Because many potential adversaries have the capability to employ biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons, scouts must prepare to fight in an NBC environment. Collecting, processing, and disseminating needed NBC hazard information is also vital. To survive and remain effective on the integrated battlefield, the scout platoon must be proficient in the three fundamentals of NBC defense: contamination avoidance, NBC protection, and decontamination.

Additional-duty NBC personnel should be designated by the platoon SOP for operations in an NBC environment. The crews of the section leaders’ vehicles should be designated and trained as chemical agent detection and radiological survey and monitoring teams. The squad leaders’ crews should be designated as decontamination teams and trained to operate all decontamination equipment organic to the battalion or squadron.

SECTION 1 — CONTAMINATION AVOIDANCE

Summary: Avoidance includes active and passive measures to avoid contamination.  It includes identifying the contaminated area, identifying the agent used to contaminate the area, and communicating your findings to others.

Avoidance is the most important fundamental of NBC defense because the best way to survive is to avoid being the object of an NBC attack. Avoiding contaminated areas minimizes the risk of additional casualties and the degradation of combat power caused by operating in MOPP (“mission oriented protective posture” gear and equipment) level 3 or 4 for extended periods of time. In addition, the unit is not required to spend the time and resources needed for decontamination.

Contamination avoidance measures include using passive avoidance measures, locating contaminated areas, identifying NBC agents, warning other members of the platoon as well as other units, and reporting NBC threats to higher headquarters. If the tactical situation does not allow avoidance, the unit must be prepared to operate in a contaminated environment.

Passive avoidance measures can decrease the possibility of NBC attack or reduce the effects of an attack already under way. Effective use of concealment, dispersion, prepared positions, OPSEC, and signal security lessen the chances of being acquired as a target. The scout platoon should continually analyze its vulnerability to NBC attack and take appropriate protective measures.

Attacks and contamination must be detected quickly and reported to adjacent units and headquarters elements. The scout platoon must have an effective method of quickly passing the alarm in the event of an NBC attack. The alarm can be passed by radio, audible signals, or hand-and-arm signals. The SOP should specify automatic procedures for employing detection teams and submitting the required NBC reports after an NBC attack or when contamination is encountered.

All movement routes and future positions should be reconnoitered for nuclear and chemical contamination whenever possible. Reconnaissance and quartering parties should be prepared to encounter, detect, identify, report, and mark contamination. By finding the location and type of hazard (nuclear radiation or chemical agent), the scout platoon can determine the best plan for bypassing, crossing, or operating in the hazard. The platoon must be prepared to locate and evaluate the hazard based on available information from fallout predictions (simplified and detailed), chemical downwind hazard predictions, monitoring data, and contamination overlays. Based on the situation, the platoon leader and parent unit commander must be able to implement protective measures specified in the SOP to minimize personnel losses and limit the spread of contamination.

DEFENSE BEFORE A NUCLEAR ATTACK

Summary: Take cover and dig in. Take cover on the opposite sides of hills and mountains, in gullies or ravines, or behind/inside natural covers (trees, caves).

The best defense against a nuclear attack is to dig in. Unit defensive positions, which vary from individual foxholes to improved positions, should be prepared whenever the tactical situation permits.

Scouts should keep their individual weapons, equipment, clothing, and other issue items in their vehicles. Equipment must be secured because the blast wave will convert unsecured items into lethal missiles. Supplies, explosives, and flammable materials should be dispersed and protected.

Reverse slopes of hills and mountains give some nuclear protection. The initial radiation and the heat and light from the fireball of a nuclear blast tend to be absorbed by hills and mountains. Use of gullies, ravines, ditches, natural depressions, fallen trees, and caves can reduce nuclear casualties.

BIOLOGICAL DEFENSE

Summary: Biological attacks are very difficult to identify.  Keep clean and sanitary.  Wear protective covering over exposed skin.  Be wary of eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

The key protective measure against a biological attack is maintaining a high order of health, personal hygiene, and sanitation discipline. Biological attacks are hard to detect. If an attack occurs, chances of survival are better if crew members are healthy and physically fit and maintain good personal hygiene. Keeping the body clean helps to prevent ingestion of biological agents. Keep small cuts or scratches covered and germ-free by using soap, water, and first-aid measures. Since insects carry biological agents, prevent insect bites by keeping clothes buttoned and covering the skin.

Do not eat food or drink water that may be contaminated. After an attack, you must assume that all surfaces have been exposed to germs. Eat or drink only food that has remained sealed; consume it only after you have washed and cleaned the outside of the container. All water must be boiled at least 15 minutes.

DEFENSE BEFORE A CHEMICAL ATTACK

Summary: To protect against a chemical attack, wear proper protective covering and utilize the military’s M8A1 chemical agent detector to detect the chemical attack.

Protective procedures

Make sure all personnel have their protective masks available, and make sure each mask fits and functions properly. All personnel should wear the proper protective clothing in accordance with the MOPP level designated by the commander. Protect all equipment and supplies from liquid chemical contamination by keeping them organized and covered.

Emplacing the M8A1 automatic chemical agent alarm

The M8A1 (a mobile chemical agent detector and alarm unit used by US military) is the primary means of detecting an upwind chemical attack. The system provides two essential elements of survival: detection of a toxic agent cloud and early warning to troops in the monitored position. The platoon leader decides where to place the chemical alarm. The detector units should be placed no more than 150 meters from the platoon’s perimeter or position. Space the available detector units approximately 300 meters apart, and make sure each detector unit is connected to the alarm unit by telephone cable (WD-1). Position the alarm units near radiotelephone assets; this makes it easy to alert the unit of an attack. Blowing sand or dust, rain, sleet, snow, temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and tropical conditions can affect operation of the alarm.

SECTION 2 — NBC PROTECTION

If an NBC hazard cannot be avoided, the scout platoon must be prepared to protect personnel and equipment from the effects of exposure. The type and degree of protection required will be based on the unit’s mission and the hazard. Note that the line between contamination avoidance and protection is not distinct; many actions contribute equally to both.

MOPP LEVELS, ALARMS, AND SIGNALS

Soldiers on the integrated battlefield will face a combination of nuclear, biological, chemical, and conventional attacks. The key to effective protection in an NBC environment is the scout platoon’s proficiency in automatically and correctly implementing an effective NBC defense SOP (Standard Operation Procedure). Individual and unit protection against chemical attack or contamination hinges on effective use of the MOPP and on individual proficiency in basic NBC skills. All platoon members must be familiar with the standard MOPP levels shown in Table B-1.

When an NBC attack is recognized, every soldier must receive the warning and assume the appropriate MOPP level (see Table B-1). Those in immediate danger need warnings they can see or hear. The alarm or signal must be simple and unmistakable for quick and correct reaction. Units not immediately affected need the information to prepare for the hazard or to change plans.

If an NBC hazard has been located, the contaminated area should be marked. The NBC warning and reporting system (NBCWRS) and contamination markers contribute to the warning procedures for follow-on forces. In the immediate area of contamination, several methods (or a combination of methods) will allow quick reaction by all platoon members. These methods include vocal alarms (shout of “GAS”), the M8A1 alarm, non-vocal alarms (horn blast or banging of metal-to-metal objects), and visual alarms (most commonly, hand-and-arm signals). The tactical situation may not allow for audible alarms; therefore, the platoon SOP should clearly detail the visual signals for contamination.

DEFENSE DURING A NUCLEAR ATTACK

Dismounted defensive actions

Summary: In the event of an imminent nuclear blast, avoid the natural instinct to flee.  Instead, drop to the ground or seek cover behind a protective barrier.  Lay with head toward the blast, cover the head, and close your eyes.

Never run for cover! Immediately drop flat on the ground (face down) or to the bottom of a foxhole, with head toward the blast. Cover exposed skin as much as possible. Close your eyes. Remain down until the blast wave has passed and debris has stopped falling. Stay calm, check for injury, check weapons and equipment for damage, and prepare to continue the mission.

Mounted defensive actions

Summary: If in a motor vehicle, position vehicle facing the blast area, secure loose objects, turn off electrical devices (e.g radio), and ensure all openings are closed.

As time permits, mounted scouts take the following actions:

  • Position the vehicle with the front slope facing the blast and the main weapon system pointed away from the blast.
  • Lock the brakes.
  • Secure loose equipment inside the vehicle to prevent injuries and equipment damage.
  • Secure all exterior components that could be damaged by the blast (such as water cans, duffel bags, and antennas) inside the vehicle.
  • Turn off all radios as well as turret and master power.
  • Close and lock all hatches, including ballistic shields.
  • Wear the proper helmet and eye protection.
  • Stow TOW weaponry and equipment, if applicable.

NOTE: HMMWV-mounted scouts should exit and move away from the vehicle, then take dismounted defensive actions.

DEFENSE AFTER A NUCLEAR ATTACK

Summary: After the attack, organize survivors, consolidate equipment, and improve protection against fallout.

Once the attack ends, forward an NBC-1 nuclear report, organize the survivors, secure and organize equipment, repair and reinforce the BP, assist casualties, improve protection against possible fallout, and begin continuous monitoring. If the radiation dose rate reaches a hazardous level after fallout is complete, be prepared to move, on order, to a less hazardous area.

Fallout warning

The first person to detect the arrival of fallout is usually the radiological monitor operating a radiacmeter. As soon as he notes a dose rate of 1 centigray per hour (cGy/hr) or higher, he warns unit personnel. All personnel hearing the warning relay it to others. If the mission allows, soldiers should move into a shelter with overhead cover and stay there until given an “ALL CLEAR” signal or until otherwise directed to move. If the mission does not allow the unit to take cover, decontamination becomes more important and perhaps more difficult.

Supervision of radiological monitoring

Radiological monitoring is performed routinely to determine the presence and intensity of a radiation hazard. It is conducted using the IM-174 or AN/VDR-2 radiacmeter. Scout leaders must ensure that their scouts are properly trained on this equipment. There are two types of monitoring, periodic and continuous.

Periodic monitoring assures the platoon that the area is not contaminated or, if applicable, provides a warning when contamination is detected after the platoon arrives. Readings are taken once every hour. Periodic monitoring is initiated under these conditions:

  • After first use of nuclear weapons in theater.
  • When the platoon is out of contact with higher headquarters.
  • When ordered by higher headquarters.
  • When the platoon stops continuous monitoring.

Continuous monitoring is the surveillance for radiation in the platoon’s area or position. Continuous monitoring will be initiated when any of the following situations occur:

  • When a nuclear detonation is observed or reported in the area of operations.
  • When an NBC-3 report is received and the platoon is in the predicted area of contamination.
  • When ordered by higher headquarters.
  • When a dose rate of 1 cGy/hr is recorded in periodic monitoring.

Supervision of tactical dosimetry operations

A scout platoon is normally issued two dosimeters (device that measures exposure to ionizing radiation). Select two soldiers, usually one from the vehicle of each section leader, to wear them. Check all dosimeters to be used for the operation; any that do not read zero should be turned in for recharging. If a charger is not available, note the original reading. Make sure dosimeter readings are reported accurately. Collect readings at least once daily. Average these readings, round to the nearest 10, and report this average and the radiation exposure status (RES) to higher headquarters.

When operating in or crossing radiologically contaminated areas, use the individual actions for nuclear defense. Vehicles should be closed tightly; cargoes should be covered by tarps or tenting. Mission permitting, speed should be kept down to prevent dust, and vehicles should maintain adequate following distances to stay out of the dust raised by preceding vehicles.

After the unit exits a contaminated area, personnel, equipment, and cargo should be checked for contamination and decontaminated, if necessary. Dose rates should be monitored closely to ensure compliance with operational exposure guidance (OEG). The RES should be updated, if appropriate.

DEFENSE DURING A CHEMICAL ATTACK

Summary: To defend against a chemical attack. don protective clothing and move indoors.

Give the alarm. Have all unmasked soldiers put on their protective masks and other MOPP gear. All personnel should move inside their vehicles and close all hatches (if applicable); this will aid in the protection from gross liquid contamination. The platoon leader directs use of M256 detector kits to determine the type of agent and submits an NBC-1 report. The platoon then continues the mission.

DEFENSE AFTER A CHEMICAL ATTACK

Forward an NBC-1 chemical report, treat casualties, perform emergency decontamination as required, and mark the contaminated area.

SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT OF NBC CASUALTIES

Potential adversaries may have access to a wide variety of biological agents and chemical agents on the modern battlefield. These agents can be dispensed alone or with other carriers or agents. Casualties resulting from exposure to biological or chemical agents require medical treatment as quickly as possible.

The first step in the treatment process is usually appropriate self-aid and buddy-aid measures. These vary depending on the agent. Soldiers should first mask to prevent them from either inhaling or ingesting additional agents; then they should remove agents from exposed skin, either by washing with soap and water or by using the M291 kit. Soldiers use buddy-aid procedures to observe each other for early symptoms of toxic exposure and to request medical assistance.

The platoon leader should select separate casualty collection points for both contaminated and non-contaminated casualties to prevent cross-contamination. All contaminated casualties should be decontaminated as thoroughly as the situation allows before being evacuated. The platoon must include in its casualty evacuation request the number of contaminated patients; this will allow the evacuation team to send the proper number of vehicles for pickup.

Chemical agents fall into four major categories: nerve, blister, blood, and choking. Their primary routes of attack on the body are through the respiratory system and the skin. These agents are especially dangerous because they can kill or incapacitate quickly. The first, and most important, step in dealing with them effectively is to recognize symptoms so proper treatment can be administered. Table B-2 lists protection and detection measures, symptoms, and treatment and decontamination procedures for the four categories of chemical agents.

MARKING CONTAMINATION

Contamination must be marked so unsuspecting personnel will not be exposed to it. When platoon detection, monitoring, or reconnaissance teams detect or suspect NBC hazards, they mark all likely entry points into the area and report the contamination to higher headquarters.

The only exception to this policy occurs when marking the area would help the enemy. If this exception is made by the commander, the hazard must still be reported to protect friendly units.

Marking procedures

Summary: Markers designating contaminated areas should be marked facing away from the contamination so anyone approaching the area can clearly see the mark.

Markers should always face away from the contamination. For example, if markers are placed on the edge of a contaminated area to mark a radiological hot spot, they face away from the point of the highest contamination reading. Markers are placed at roads, trails, and other likely points of entry. When time and mission permit, additional markers should be emplaced. The distance between signs varies. In open terrain, they can be placed farther apart than in hilly or wooded areas. Soldiers should be able to stand in front of a marker and see the markers to the left and right of it.

Units discovering a marked contaminated area do not have to conduct elaborate, time-consuming surveys. The new unit checks the extent of contamination and alters its plans, if necessary. If the size of the hazard has either expanded or decreased, they relocate the signs. If the hazard is gone, they remove the signs. Changes are reported to higher headquarters.

Types of markers

US forces use standard NATO markers to make it easier for allies to recognize the hazards (see Figure B-1). These markers are in the standard NBC marking set. Colors and inscriptions on a marker indicate the type of hazard. Other contamination information is written on the front of the sign.

Figure B-1. NBC marking devices.

UNMASKING PROCEDURES

Soldiers should unmask as soon as possible except when a biological or chemical attack is expected. Use the procedures outlined in the following paragraphs to determine if unmasking is safe.

If an M256/M256A1 detector kit is available, use it to supplement unmasking procedures. The kit does not detect all agents; therefore, proper unmasking procedures, which take approximately 15 minutes, must still be used. If all tests with the kit (including a check for liquid contamination using M8 detector paper) have been performed and the results are negative, use the following procedures:

  • The senior person should select one or two soldiers to start the unmasking procedures. If possible, they move to a shady place; bright, direct sunlight can cause pupils in the eyes to constrict, giving a false symptom.
  • The selected soldiers unmask for 5 minutes, then clear and reseal their masks.
  • Observe the soldiers for 10 minutes. If no symptoms appear, request permission from higher headquarters to signal “ALL CLEAR.”
  • Watch all soldiers for possible delayed symptoms. Always have first-aid treatment immediately available in case it is needed.

If an M256/M256A1 kit is not available, the unmasking procedures take approximately 35 minutes. When a reasonable amount of time has passed after the attack, find a shady area; use M8 paper to check the area for possible liquid contamination. Conduct unmasking using these procedures:

  • The senior person selects one or two soldiers. They take a deep breath and break their mask seals, keeping their eyes wide open.
  • After 15 seconds, the soldiers clear and reseal their masks. Observe them for 10 minutes.
  • If no symptoms appear, the same soldiers break the seals, take two or three breaths, and clear and reseal their masks. Observe them for 10 minutes.
  • If no symptoms appear, the same soldiers unmask for 5 minutes, then remask.
  • If no symptoms appear in 10 minutes, request permission from higher headquarters to signal “ALL CLEAR.” Continue to observe all soldiers in case delayed symptoms develop.

ALL-CLEAR SIGNAL

The all-clear signal is given by word of mouth through the chain of command. It is initiated by higher headquarters after testing for contamination proves negative. If required, standard sound signals may be used, such as a continuous, sustained blast on a siren, vehicle horn, or similar device. When “ALL CLEAR” is announced on the radio, it must be authenticated before compliance. The commander designates the specific all-clear signal and includes it in his SOP.

WARNING AND REPORTING SYSTEMS

The NBCWRS is a rapid means of sending reports of an NBC attack. The reports inform other affected units of clean areas and possible contamination. They are also used to report contaminated areas up and down the chain of command and to adjacent units. Each report has a specific purpose and uses standard codes to shorten and simplify the reporting process. Refer to FKSM 17-98-3 for the formats and letter codes of standard NBC reports. The scout platoon’s priority should be to pass detailed information, in the form of SPOTREPs, to the battalion/squadron NBC NCO. The platoon NBC NCO should then send the proper NBC report to higher headquarters.

SECTION 3 — DECONTAMINATION

Since continued operation in the presence of nuclear or chemical contamination will cause casualties and severe combat degradation, decontamination is essential. To get the maximum benefit of the time and resources available, the scout platoon should conduct decontamination using the following guidelines:

  • Conduct it as soon as possible.
  • Conduct it only to the extent necessary to ensure safety and operational readiness.
  • Conduct it as far forward as possible.
  • Conduct it by priority.

These principles are consistent with doctrine that places the burden of decontamination at battalion or troop level. For this reason, the scout platoon must use all of the available decontamination assets to maximum benefit and develop a thorough SOP covering decontamination methods and priorities. Refer to FM 3-5 for more detailed information on NBC decontamination.

IMMEDIATE DECONTAMINATION

Immediate decontamination is a basic soldier survival skill carried out by soldiers as soon as possible after they discover they are contaminated. Its basic purposes are to minimize casualties, save lives, and limit the further spread of contamination. Any contact between chemical or biological agents and bare skin should be treated as an emergency. Some agents can kill if they remain on the skin for longer than a minute. The best technique for removing or neutralizing these agents is to use the M291 skin decontamination kit. Leaders must ensure that their soldiers are trained to execute this technique automatically, without waiting for orders.

Personal wipedown should begin within 15 minutes of contamination. The wipedown removes or neutralizes contamination on the hood, mask, gloves, and personal weapon. For chemical and biological contamination, soldiers use mitts from the M295 individual equipment decontamination kit (IEDK). For radiological contamination, they wipe off the contamination with a cloth or simply brush or shake it away.

Operator’s spraydown of equipment should begin immediately after completion of personal wipedown. The spraydown removes or neutralizes contamination on the surfaces operators must touch frequently to perform their mission. For chemical and biological contamination, operators can use on-board decontamination apparatuses, such as the M11/M13, or the M295 IEDK to decontaminate surfaces to which DS2 cannot be applied. (NOTE: DS2 must be washed off surfaces no more than 30 minutes after application. If necessary, use 5-gallon water cans or other water sources to assist in removing DS2.) For radiological contamination, they brush or scrape away the contamination with whatever is at hand or flush it with water and wipe it away.

OPERATIONAL DECONTAMINATION

Operational decontamination allows a force to continue fighting and sustain its mission after being contaminated. It limits the hazard of transferring contamination by removing most of the gross contamination on equipment and nearly all the contamination on soldiers. This speeds the weathering process and allows clean areas (people, equipment, and terrain) to stay clean. Following operational decontamination, soldiers who have removed sources of vapor contamination from their clothing and equipment can use hazard-free areas to unmask temporarily to eat, drink, and rest.

Operational decontamination is accomplished using assets of the parent unit. It makes use of two decontamination techniques: vehicle washdown and MOPP gear exchange. These procedures are conducted at the same time and are best performed at squad level. Vehicles and personnel that are not contaminated should not go through either technique.

Vehicle washdown, conducted as far forward as possible, is performed by the task force power-driven decontamination equipment (PDDE) crew with assistance from the squad decontamination crew. It is most effective if started within 1 hour after contamination. There are two steps in vehicle washdown:

  • Step 1. Button up the vehicle and secure equipment.
  • Step 2. Wash down the vehicle and equipment with hot, soapy water for 2 to 3 minutes.

Because speed is important, do not check vehicles for contamination after vehicle washdown. Remove only gross contamination.

THOROUGH DECONTAMINATION

Thorough decontamination reduces contamination to negligible risk levels. It restores combat power by removing nearly all contamination from unit and individual equipment. This allows troops to operate equipment safely for extended periods at reduced MOPP levels. A contaminated unit conducts detailed troop decontamination (DTD) under supervision of the chemical unit. Ordinarily, the chemical unit selects a site, sets it up, and performs the detailed equipment decontamination (DED) with assistance from the contaminated unit. A small risk from residual contamination remains, so periodic contamination checks must be made after this operation.

Thorough decontamination is conducted as part of an extensive reconstitution effort in brigade, division, and corps support areas; support sites at lower levels cannot provide the quantities of decontamination resources (such as water, decontaminants, and time) required for such an extensive process. In some cases, a contaminated unit could conduct a thorough decontamination operation with organic decontamination assets, but support from a chemical unit is usually required.

After thorough decontamination, the unit moves into an adjacent assembly area for reconstitution. Support elements from the brigade, division, or corps support areas replenish combat stocks, refit equipment, and replace personnel and equipment. The newly reconstituted unit leaves the assembly area fully operational and fit to return to battle.

Thorough decontamination does the most thorough job of getting rid of contamination and its hazards, but it often is not possible. It requires large quantities of valuable resources that may not be immediately available. The next best solution is to decontaminate only what is necessary to sustain the force and continue to fight.

SECTION 4 — RECONNAISSANCE AND SECURITY IN AN NBC ENVIRONMENT

In an ideal situation, all NBC reconnaissance will be performed by an NBC reconnaissance platoon. Given the very limited number of these platoons available and the likelihood of chemicals being used on the battlefield, the scout platoon not only must be able to perform its own missions in a contaminated environment, but also must have the capability of conducting NBC reconnaissance.

RELATIONSHIP OF THE NBC RECONNAISSANCE ELEMENT AND THE SCOUT PLATOON

The NBC reconnaissance platoon, particularly in the division and cavalry regiment, often works closely with either battalion or cavalry scout platoons. When the two organizations are working together, their capabilities should be used to complement each other. The command relationship between the platoons, which should be based on METT-TC factors, can be one of the following:

  • The scout platoon OPCON to the NBC reconnaissance platoon.
  • The NBC reconnaissance platoon OPCON to the scout platoon.
  • The two platoons working together under the control of a common commander.

As an example, if the primary focus of the platoons’ reconnaissance mission is to locate contaminated areas, the NBC reconnaissance platoon leader may be selected to lead the operation. On the other hand, the scout platoon leader may be selected to lead and coordinate the mission if enemy presence is significant, if extensive dismounted operations are anticipated, or if the mission is oriented on the enemy force.

In all cases when the two types of platoons are operating together, the NBC platoon’s primary task should be NBC reconnaissance. The scout platoon has capabilities for which it is better equipped or organized; it should perform tasks related to those capabilities, such as the following:

  • Overwatch and security for NBC reconnaissance elements.
  • Dismounted operations in concert with NBC reconnaissance.
  • Reconnaissance of bypasses once a contaminated area is identified.
  • Initial location of contaminated areas, followed by handoff to the NBC reconnaissance platoon for detailed reconnaissance and marking.
  • Liaison or command and control linkup between the NBC reconnaissance platoon and the commander of the scouts.

RECONNAISSANCE OPERATIONS

In the event that NBC reconnaissance assets are not available, the scout platoon may be required to conduct NBC reconnaissance. The platoon must be aware of where on the battlefield the enemy may place chemical agents and understand the impact on maneuver forces if that area is contaminated. The scout platoon must be aware of the large volume of munitions required to place a chemical strike on the ground. Understanding the enemy’s doctrine will allow the scout platoon to quickly report potential contamination, allowing commanders to make timely critical decisions.

Crossing a contaminated area

As with other combat elements, one of the basic requirements for the scout platoon is to be able to move tactically across a contaminated area. Upon identifying a contaminated area, each scout section makes preparations to cross. While one vehicle provides security, the other vehicle, positioned in a covered and concealed location, removes all externally stowed equipment. The crew mounts and tests M8A1 alarms and M9 paper. The crew adopts MOPP level 4. Once preparations are complete, the vehicle moves into an overwatch position; the other vehicle moves to a covered and concealed position and follows the same procedures.

When both vehicles have been prepared, they use standard tactical movement techniques (such as bounding overwatch) to cross the contaminated area. During this movement, the driver’s and gunner’s hatches remain closed, and the crew continuously monitors the M8A1 alarm and the M9 paper. As much as possible, drivers and vehicle commanders attempt to avoid low ground, overhanging branches, and brushy areas. Dismounted operations are still conducted, but they are kept to the absolute minimum necessary to perform the mission while maintaining security. While the section is in the contaminated area, all personnel observe each other for signs of chemical poisoning.

When the section has successfully crossed the contaminated area, it temporarily halts. During this halt, each squad in turn executes operational decontamination of its vehicle and, with higher headquarters’ approval, unmasking procedures. Once this is complete, the scouts continue the mission.

Detecting and marking a contaminated area

US doctrine requires that combat missions be accomplished quickly and effectively, under all conditions and at any time. One of the reasons an enemy would use persistent and non-persistent chemicals is to cause confusion and thus slow down the tempo of friendly operations. The effectiveness of these agents can be reduced if the friendly commander knows the exact location of contaminated areas. Within a division or regiment, specialized NBC reconnaissance platoons can accomplish this; however, as noted, very few of these platoons exist. All scout platoons must therefore understand how to systematically locate and mark suspected contaminated areas.

Preparation. When assigned a mission or task to locate and mark a suspected contaminated area, the scout platoon must ensure that it prepares properly for the mission. Preparation for an NBC reconnaissance mission begins with inspection of personnel and equipment. As a minimum, each squad must have on hand the following equipment:

  • M8 paper.
  • M9 paper.
  • M256/M256A1 detector kit.
  • M8A1 alarm.
  • Chemical agent monitor (CAM).
  • Marking kit.
  • M13 decontamination apparatus (DAP).
  • M291 decontamination kit.
  • MOPP gear.
  • Mark 1 nerve agent autoinjector kit (NAAK).
  • VS-17 marking panels.

In addition to ensuring that the proper equipment is on hand, leaders must ensure that alarms and paper are properly mounted and functional and that all external equipment is stowed. The platoon leader includes a rehearsal of NBC reconnaissance techniques in his mission preparation. The platoon leader will also coordinate with the unit chemical officer for any special instructions, ensuring that thorough decontamination support is available at the conclusion of the mission.

Movement to the contaminated area. Once mission preparation is complete, the platoon moves to the suspected contaminated area (designated as a reconnaissance objective) using movement techniques and organization appropriate to the tactical situation. As the platoon approaches the suspected objective area, it stops short and reorganizes, assuming a three-section organization.

The sections are deployed on line, with no more than 400 meters between vehicles and no more than 400 meters between sections. All elements assume MOPP 4. The platoon leader directs the platoon to close hatches and begin movement in the direction of the contaminated area.

Initiation of monitoring. The platoon moves by bounding overwatch within sections. Lead vehicles bound no more than 200 meters. As they move forward, they move slowly to avoid stirring up dust and running over or under foliage. The lead elements move to the limit of their bound, halt, and sample the soil and air for contamination. Air sampling is conducted automatically by the functioning M8A1 alarm. Ground sampling is done without dismounting, using M8 paper mounted on a stick or using the CAM. The section leaders report their results to the platoon leader; they do not proceed further without permission.

The platoon leader strictly controls the movement of the sections. If all sections report negative samples, the platoon leader gives permission for the overwatch vehicles to move up. As long as the results remain negative, the platoon continues to move in this manner through the suspected contaminated area and up to 3 kilometers beyond it. The platoon leader reports the negative results of the reconnaissance to his higher headquarters. Figure B-2 illustrates initial movement for reconnaissance of a suspected area of contamination.

Figure B-2. Platoon movement to locate contaminated area.

Procedures when contamination is detected. If a squad makes positive contact with contamination, it immediately reports to the platoon leader. As the platoon leader sends his initial report to higher headquarters, the squad leader rechecks to confirm the positive sampling and determine the type of contamination; he sends an updated report.

Upon confirmation of the sample, the squad with the positive sample is designated by the platoon leader as the base vehicle; its direction of movement becomes the reconnaissance direction of travel. The platoon leader also designates the initial near side line from the base vehicle’s last negative sample location. The platoon leader then sends an NBC-4 report to his commander. This report includes type of agent, location, and time.

Upon report of a positive sample, all elements of the platoon halt in place and await confirmation of the sample. Once this is completed, the platoon leader reorganizes the platoon to conduct reconnaissance to define the boundaries of the contaminated area. This operation requires a single three-vehicle section (organized around the base vehicle’s section) that includes either the platoon leader or PSG.

Other elements of the platoon will not participate in this task; they can be used to reconnoiter a bypass, provide security, or execute other tactical missions under the control of the platoon leader or PSG. Once the platoon leader has issued a FRAGO that reorganizes the platoon, the vehicles that are no longer needed in the NBC reconnaissance make a 180-degree turn, move to a secure rally point, and reorganize for their next task.

The three-vehicle section charged with reconnoitering the contaminated area uses a line formation, with a 400-meter lateral distance between vehicles. The section, supervised by either the platoon leader or PSG, then begins a systematic reconnaissance to locate the limits of the contaminated area.

The goal of the reconnaissance is to define the contaminated area only to the degree necessary to provide the scouts’ commander with the information he needs to maneuver the main body. The minimum information the commander needs is a four-sided box enclosing the contaminated area. The following discussion focuses in detail on the steps the section takes to complete the reconnaissance.

Step-by-step reconnaissance procedures. The process used to ensure that the contaminated area is completely reconnoitered is fairly complicated and requires flawless execution. Therefore, detailed rehearsals are absolutely essential. The process includes these steps:

  • The reconnaissance team assumes a line formation with the base vehicle in the center.
  • The base vehicle moves in bounds and takes a sample every 200 meters. The vehicle commander resets the M8A1 after every bound, if applicable.
  • The base vehicle moves across the contaminated area in the direction of travel until it takes a negative sample (this establishes the baseline). When a negative sample is reported, the following actions take place:
    — The vehicle commander rechecks to verify the negative sample.
    — The base vehicle bounds 200 additional meters and takes another sample.
    — If the new sample is negative, the base vehicle halts and reports to the platoon leader or PSG.
    — If the sample is positive, the base vehicle continues until it takes two consecutive negative samples.
    — The platoon leader or PSG designates the initial far side limit at the second consecutive negative sample (refer to Figure B-3).
  • Left and right wing vehicles bound and sample every 200 meters in the direction of travel until they take a positive sample or reach the initial far side limit.
  • If a wing vehicle takes a positive sample, the vehicle commander rechecks the reading and reports it to the platoon leader or PSG. The following actions take place, as directed by the vehicle commander:
    — Step A. The driver turns 90 degrees away from the baseline, moves 200 meters, and takes a sample.
    — Step B. If the new sample is negative, the driver turns 90 degrees back to the direction of travel and continues to bound and sample every 200 meters until again taking a positive sample or reaching the initial far side limit. If the vehicle takes another positive sample, the vehicle commander repeats Step A.
    — Step C. If the new sample is positive, the driver turns 90 degrees again, now opposite the direction of travel, and then continues to bound and sample every 200 meters until taking a negative sample. If this movement takes the vehicle past the initial near side limit, the platoon leader or PSG adjusts the near side limit back through the new negative sample location. The vehicle then repeats Step A.

Figure B-3. Employing reconnaissance team to designate far side limit and adjust near side limit.

  • Once the wing vehicles reach the far side limit, they report to the platoon leader or PSG. The following actions take place:
    — Step A. The platoon leader or PSG projects a line from each wing vehicle location back to the near side limit and designates these as the initial left and right limits.
    — Step B. The platoon leader or PSG directs wing vehicles to turn 90 degrees back toward the baseline and sample every 200 meters along the initial far side limit until reaching the base vehicle.
    — Step C. If all samples are negative, the reconnaissance team has boxed in the contaminated area and the reconnaissance is complete. It skips steps D through J and begins the concluding process.
    — Step D. If a wing vehicle takes a positive sample, the vehicle commander backs up to his last negative sample location, turns 90 degrees back in the direction of travel, moves 200 meters, and samples.
    — Step E. If the sample is negative, the vehicle commander repeats steps B, C, and D until reaching the base vehicle. In this case, the base vehicle must also bound and sample in the direction of travel for each bound of the wing vehicles. The platoon then skips step F through J and begins the concluding process.
    — Step F. If the sample is positive, the vehicle commander directs his driver to turn 90 degrees away from the baseline, bounds, and samples every 200 meters until taking a negative sample.
    — Step G. The vehicle commander then directs the driver to turn 90 degrees back in the direction of travel, bounds 200 meters, and samples
    — Step H. If the new sample is negative, the vehicle commander repeats the process starting with Step B.
    — Step I. If the sample is positive, the vehicle commander repeats the process starting with step F.
    — Step J. The platoon leader or PSG adjusts the initial far side limit and the respective initial right or left limit farther out (not in) for every bound of the wing vehicles. This process continues until the contaminated area is boxed in. The adjustment process is illustrated in Figure B-4.
  • Concluding process. Once the contaminated area is located and its limits determined, the reconnaissance team takes the following actions:
    — The platoon leader or PSG sends a follow-up NBC-4 report, including type of agent, locations of the four box corners, and time.
    — The platoon leader or PSG recommends a suitable bypass to the commander.
    — The team marks the area and bypass with appropriate tactical markings or VS-17 panels. Chem lights can be used to mark the area during periods of limited visibility.
    — The team conducts operational decontamination, if required.
    — The team may be directed to conduct a screen mission for security or to provide guides to assist in the bypass of the contaminated area.
    — If no further tasks are required of the team, it can move to a thorough decontamination site, if required.

Figure B-4. Adjusting the limits of the contaminated area.

SECURITY OPERATIONS

Screen missions are not usually conducted in known contaminated areas; however, an area may become contaminated after the platoon has already occupied it. The enemy may contaminate an area with two general categories of chemicals: persistent or non-persistent.

The use of persistent chemicals may indicate that the enemy force does not plan to move through that area; this should prompt the platoon to reposition out of the contaminated area and to begin decontamination.

The use of non-persistent chemicals should trigger maximum alertness on the part of the scout platoon. Non-persistent chemicals may signal that the enemy is attempting to degrade friendly combat capability prior executing an offensive action. In addition, the enemy may use non-persistent chemicals to degrade the scouts’ performance during a screen mission.

To ensure maximum readiness, OPs must be positioned and occupied in such a way that they can react quickly to a chemical attack. These preparations include the following:

  • Position M8A1 alarms to cover both the OP site and the hide position.
  • Ensure that soldiers occupying the OP have complete MOPP equipment regardless of MOPP status.
  • Ensure that both the OP and supporting vehicles have a complete set of NBC equipment, to include M8 paper, M9 paper, M256 chemical agent detector kits, M8A1 alarms, M13 decontamination apparatus, M258A1 personal decontamination kit, and Mark I NAAKs.

These precautions are necessary for several reasons: the OP may be the first element to experience and react to a chemical attack; there may not be time to obtain needed equipment from the vehicles; and the tactical situation could cause the OP to become separated from its vehicles. In the event of a chemical attack, the following actions must occur at the OP:

  • All personnel go to MOPP 4.
  • All dismounted personnel, except OP teams, remount.
  • Vehicles button up and start.
  • Appropriate reports are sent to higher headquarters as quickly as possible.

The section leader must evaluate the situation and decide if it is appropriate to remount the OP team and move vehicles into observation positions as mounted OPs. He bases this decision on a number of factors. As a minimum, he must consider and evaluate the following:

  • What is the enemy situation? Is the OP currently in contact? Is it receiving indirect fire?
  • Is there effective cover and concealment for the vehicles?
  • What are the visibility conditions?

Once the section leader makes his decision, he reports the recommended COA to the platoon leader and continues to execute the screen mission in accordance with the platoon plan.

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Make Your Dog Part of Your Survival Plan

America is a land of pets. Several people have pets in our home and in many homes the pets are treated as good as the kids are. There are pet spas where Jack can get a new doo and even pet morticians who can help beware of Jack’s final resting place.

I really don’t know when man first started domesticating the dog, but it’s to go pretty way back. Dogs are a part of helping mankind in the struggle for survival since long before we had our modern conveniences creating our lives comfortable. Dogs are used in work and in searching, to increase their owner’s ability. They’ve also been protectors, guarding over youngsters, sheep and whole families.

If you’ve got dogs, then you need to make them part of your survival plan. Huge dogs are a lot of helpful for this, but even smaller dogs can be very useful in watching over your home and family.

Dogs as Guards

It is usually accepted amongst the prepper community that in the case of any major disaster, we can expect to own marauding bands of looters looking for food and whatever else they can find. This shouldn’t surprise us, because the looters come out for pretty much any disaster, to see however they can take advantage of it. The massive difference in a major disaster, will be that they’ll be looking for food and different necessities, more than looking for massive screen televisions to steal.

For this reason, a number of different books have suggested keeping guards on watch at your home or survival retreat. There’s just one downside with that; guards who agency ar watching for marauders aren’t doing much to assist your family survive. That’s not a very efficient use of manpower.

On the other hand, dogs are nice natural guards. They’re territorial, so it’s natural for them to raise the alarm once anyone approaches their territory, friend or foe. Even little dogs work in this capability, although their bark may not do a lot of to scare any would-be intruders away.

While it’s natural for dogs to act as guards, this natural ability can be enhanced by training. One factor that they need to be trained to do is to stay on their own territory and not run off to check out the neighborhood. A dog checking out the neighborhood isn’t much of an alarm. They will even be trained so that you can silence them with a command; permitting you to talk to the person, once the alarm has been raised.

Dogs as Defenders

Dogs are natural defenders of their family and property, especially massive dogs. A dog doesn’t think anything of attacking an armed unwelcome person, even though the unwelcome person is larger and higher armed than they’re. If there’s a threat, they’re likely to attack.

Actually, there’s something frightening regarding an offensive dog, which will scare several criminals who would face you with a gun in your hand. People don’t know how to respond to it and therefore the dog moves quick enough that they don’t create a awfully simple target to hit.

If you’re planning on using your dogs as defenders, you definintely want to get them some training. They don’t need to be trained how to attack, as their play teaches them that. What they need is the training to only attack on your command and to prevent attacking on your command. Otherwise, you could end up with a dog who may be a menace to neighborhood kids.

Dogs as Babysitters

One of the most important issues with surviving with young children is the problem of attempting to get any work done, while watching over the kids. Dogs can be plenty of help there also. Dogs have a natural affinity for watching over young children and protecting them from danger. You’ll see totally untrained dogs do things like move to block a staircase in order to stop a baby from falling down it.

This is even more vital in the wild, where there’s way more that can hurt our kids than there’s in the benign atmosphere of a suburban home. Dogs naturally understand the dangers in nature and will defend the kids from them.

It is possible to train dogs for watching over children, increasing their natural ability. The Pit Bull, which is usually known to be a very mean dog, used to be called the “nanny dog” for their great ability with young children and their naturally protective nature. Families would leave the Pit Bull to watch over the kids while they were busy, knowing that nothing would happen to them.

Be Prepared to Care for Your Dogs

If you’re going to make your dogs part of your survival plan, then you’d higher be ready to pay attention of your dogs. That means taking into account their food and water needs, stockpiling those along with your family’s food and water. Fortunately, dry pet-food is fairly cheap, so you can stockpile lots for a very little amount of cash.

Don’t forget that your dogs may be ready to augment their food by hunting. Some breeds of dogs are natural hunters. That’s good, as rodents and alternative pests tend to multiply during times of disaster. You might need Jack to take out some rats or raccoons to keep their population at bay.

You should also put aside a stock of medicines for your dogs. Fortunately, you don’t need a prescription for getting veterinary pharmaceuticals. Make sure that you have medicines to take care of the most common issues, as well as enough rabies vaccine to last for many years.

Finally, you want to be able to keep your dogs away from people who are just passing by. The majority keep their dogs in the yard, however if you’re expecting the dogs to assist act as alarms against intruders, you may want to keep them in the house or in the front yard. That may require adding some additional fencing or some chains to hold the dogs and keep them from leaving your property.

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Investing for a Financial Collapse

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Many people are talking about a financial collapse these days; not just preppers, however the population in general. We hear from billionaire investors, economists, politicians and average folks on the street that the economy can’t handle much more, before going over the edge.

If you look at past financial collapses, there are many signs that we have one coming. In fact, according to some of those signs, we’re overdue for it. Apparently something is still holding up the U.S. economy and if that “thing” ever gets removed, we’re going to be on a fast elevator ride, heading for the financial basement.

There’s no way of knowing precisely when this monetary collapse is going to come, however we can be pretty sure that it’ll come. The actual timing depends upon several factors, with some people attempting to make it happen and others attempting to stop it from happening. Part of the matter is that different folks disagree on what will ultimately cause it, with totally different schools of economic theory claiming that the restorative measures of another theory being exactly what will put us over the edge.

One issue is evident, the economy can’t continue going as it is, without some type of negative consequences. Government spending is out of control; banks and the stock market are being pampered by national policy; the government is lying to us regarding the financial figures it releases; and less folks are working today than have been working anytime in living memory.

What Will the Collapse Look Like?

Without getting in a lot of detail regarding how financial collapses happen and the intricate money maneuvering that is a part of it, there are two basic signs we need to be searching for. The first is a rise in unemployment; not the figure the government is handing out, which shows unemployment dropping, however real unemployment. During The Great Depression, actual unemployment was at about twenty five percent.

The other sign is runaway inflation. Once again, the govt is lying to us regarding the inflation rate. They’ve been saying that we have had an average 1.5% inflation rate for the last five years. However, this is leaving out anything that’s rising at a higher rate, specifically food and energy. While gas costs have dropped recently, that’s a temporary situation, brought about by a price war that the Saudis are running to regain dominance in oil production.

Actual inflation has been regarding eight percent per year. While that isn’t enough by any means to make a financial collapse, it’s undoubtedly worse than the 1.5% the government has been telling us. In the Argentinean collapse, they’d over 1,500% inflation in 2 years! There was one month in which inflation hit two hundredth percent.

Investing to Survive the Collapse

Between high unemployment and high inflation, the idea of “investing” could seem a little crazy. After all, we’re going to need money to survive on, so setting it aside in investments seems like a waste of money that’s needed for different things. But the fact is that investing your money wisely might be what makes it possible for you to survive the collapse, when others are suffering.

I hope you understand that I’m not talking about typical investment here. This isn’t buying stocks, putting cash into real estate or maybe investing in a municipal fund. No, this is investing in your future, in ways that a financial collapse won’t damage, but indeed will increase your chances of survival. In some cases, it’d even make it possible for you to profit somewhat by the collapse.

Precious Metals

When the value of cash goes down, the value of gold and silver always go up. So, you’ll most likely see the price of gold and silver skyrocket. It may conceivably rise quick enough that you may sell off that precious metal and pay off your mortgage. That would provide your family much more security.

When the collapse ends, regarding the only issue that will retain real value is precious metals. So, if you hold onto it through the collapse and into the recovery, the actual value of those precious metals will be as if you had control onto the money, but adjusted for inflation. If inflation goes up 1,000 percent, the value of gold and silver can go up at least that much.

Your Home

Speaking of paying off your home, if you can pay off your home before the collapse, you won’t have to worry regarding having your home taken away from you during the collapse. During both The Great Depression and the Argentinean collapse, several lost their homes when they couldn’t make payments. If yours is paid off, that can’t happen to you.

Food and other Essential Supplies

Personally, this is what I consider to be the simplest possible investment. Food always goes up in value. I mentioned at the beginning of this article that food has gone up eight percent each year over the last several years. Well, if you had taken money out of the bank and bought food with it five years ago, that investment would have increased in value a lot of quicker than the interest the bank is paying you. It would have been a much better investment.

I understand that investing in food doesn’t seem much like an investment. That’s really just because we’re not used to thinking of it that manner. However, the results show it to be a very effective investment. That’s what matters.

A Repair Business

When the collapse happens, folks won’t be ready to replace things that stop working. They won’t be buying new cars, new lawn mowers or new toasters. Instead, they’ll try to repair what they have or they’ll do without. being able to repair anything will create a chance for business, in a time when others are losing their jobs.

In addition to the tools and training for the business, put in as good a stock of common repair parts as you can. The cost of those components will skyrocket and in some cases they will no longer be available. Any parts you buy today will be ready to be sold at the inflated prices, making them a good investment.

Barter Goods

When financial systems collapse, it’s common for people to return to bartering; either individually or in tiny groups. Anything that you need to survive will be helpful as trade goods as well. Folks will be willing to trade what they have, for what you have.

During WW II, several farmers in occupied Europe became wealthy through barter. The people from the town would go out to the farms, “visiting family,” with their suitcases packed full of silver and different valuables. Farmers were glad to trade hams, cheese, salami and butter for these valuable items. when the war was over and things returned to normal, those farmers were ready to sell off their acquisitions for a good profit.

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Five energy surprises for 2016: The possible and the improbable

Many energy analysts like to make predictions at the end of the year for the coming year. Instead, I’ll point to five possible surprises in energy–surprises because few people expect them to happen. I am not predicting that any of the following will happen, only that there is an outside chance that one or more will occur. Naturally, these surprises would move markets and policy debates in unexpected directions.

1. Crude oil ends 2016 below $30 per barrel. With oil hovering in the mid-$30 range it doesn’t seem implausible that at some point in the not-to-distant future, crude oil will dip below $30 per barrel, if only briefly. What would surprise most people is if the crude oil price finished next year below $30 per barrel. The conventional wisdom is that cheap oil is giving a boost to the economy that will lift worldwide economic growth and thus demand for oil. There is also a belief that high-cost producers will simply have to stop drilling new money-losing wells after more than a year of financial Armageddon in the oil markets. This will bring down supply just as economic growth is rising, sending prices much higher as the year progresses.

The alternate view is that oil in the mid-$30 range is a reflection of an economy that has been weakening since the middle of 2014 and foreshadows a worldwide recession which should hit in full force by the end of 2016. In addition, with Iran almost certain to add to the current oversupply as sanctions are lifted and with the continued determination of OPEC to destroy the viability of tight oil deposits in the United States, the oil price could surprise on the downside, even testing $20 per barrel.

2. U.S. natural gas production declines. Despite persistent low U.S. natural gas prices, U.S. production has continued to grow. Most of the growth has been coming from two places: the Marcellus Shale where ample deposits continued to be economical in the range of $3 to $4 per thousand cubic feet (mcf) and Texas where furious fracking for oil locked in deep shale deposits also produced associated natural gas without concern for the price of that gas.

With oil drilling across the United States in precipitous decline because of low oil prices, we won’t see nearly as much new natural gas associated with oil drilling as we saw in 2014 and 2015. With natural gas now hovering around $2, even the very sweetest of the sweet spots in the Marcellus are unlikely to be profitable to exploit.

Having said all this, U.S. natural gas production growth has continually defied predictions that it would dip in the face of low prices. Part of this had to do with desperate drillers carrying heavy debt loads who had to produce gas at any price in order to pay interest on that debt.

3. Several approved U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects are postponed or abandoned. One of the memes of the so-called shale gas revolution was that the United States would produce far more natural gas than it consumes and that that would open the way for liquefied natural gas exports to other energy-hungry countries. Two things went wrong. First, U.S. production, while growing, has not exceeded U.S. consumption. Despite the highest natural gas production in history, the United States had net imports of natural gas of about 3 percent of its consumption so far this year.

Second, with the price of landed LNG around the world between $6 and $7, LNG exports from the United States are currently noncompetitive. Even with U.S. natural gas at $2, when the cost of liquefying and transporting gas–about $6 per mcf–is added to the American price, landed LNG prices would have to rise to about $8 just for American suppliers to break even. And, of course, just breaking even is not a proposition investors are very much interested in.

Now, some of the export projects have already undoubtedly received commitments from buyers to take U.S. LNG under long-term contracts, usually priced at Henry Hub plus a certain amount for liquefying and transporting the gas (plus something to reward investors, of course). If those contracts are in place, then the builders of the LNG export projects don’t care what U.S. prices are. They make money no matter what. And, it doesn’t matter whether they export so much LNG that the United States is forced to IMPORT more from Canada via pipelines or possibly in the form on LNG itself.

Whether buyers make out under such an arrangement will all depend on how world spot LNG prices unfold over the next couple of decades. Undoubtedly, many of those with long-term contracts today would be better off buying in the spot market. But, of course, when prices are high, they have no protection.

What we’ll find out this year is which projects have contracts from buyers and which do not. The ones that do not yet have such contracts will almost certainly be postponed or abandoned. For those that proceed, investors who are not careful to understand how much of the capacity of the project has been taken up by long-term contracts and how much will be sold on the spot market may be in for rude surprises if they are too exposed to the spot market and that market remains soft.

4. Bipartisan support for climate change measures emerges in the U.S. Congress. You will certainly think I’m reaching here, and it would be a surprise if this does happen. But expectations for the recent climate conference in Paris were extremely low. And yet, world leaders hammered out an agreement that committed the parties to emissions limits with regular reviews. True, there is no enforcement mechanism. But even so, this result was better than most anticipated.

The same could go for a U.S. Congress stalemated on the climate issue. Even though the Republican majority has taken the view that regardless of the science, Republicans are better off opposing any measure to address climate change, not all Republicans have taken this extreme position. If enough of them peel off and join Democrats on even a small measure, it will mark progress–though it will certainly be a surprise coming in an election year.

5. World oil production declines. In the past world oil production has declined only during recessions or once in the early 1980s following a long period of rising prices and the most severe recession since World War II (that is, until 2008). We’ve had a long period of price rises from 2000 onward, followed by a severe recession. But production continues to eke out some growth.

According to figures from the U.S Energy Information Administration, worldwide production of crude oil including lease condensate (which is the definition of oil) grew by 15.7 percent in the nine-year period leading up to 2005. In the nine-year period from 2005 to 2014, production grew only 5.3 percent despite record prices and investment.

If worldwide production declines, it will almost surely be because drillers simply lay down even more rigs and companies delay development of tar sands mining projects in Canada to wait for higher prices. This restraint would have to counterbalance additions to world production expected from Iran which will have sanctions lifted in 2016 allowing it to increase its oil production and exports substantially. If peace breaks out in Libya, then the rise in Libyan oil production will probably prevent an overall decline in world production.

Recap of 2015’s list of possible surprises

1. U.S. crude oil and natural gas production decline for the first time since 2008 and 2005, respectively. While U.S. crude oil production in 2015 looks like it will exceed total production in 2014, production began to slide in June this year and continues downward. So, there was a surprise for those who thought the so-called shale revolution could go on without high prices. Natural gas production continued to rise so there was no surprise there.

2. World crude oil closes below $30 per barrel. This hasn’t happened yet and probably won’t with only a few days left in 2015. But a price in the mid-$30 range has certainly surprised a lot of people, especially those who were touting the midyear recovery of prices to around $60 as the beginning a new oil bull market. So, this did come as a surprise, but not quite (yet) the $30-per-barrel variety.

3. Developments in solar thermal energy show that it can solve the storage problem for electricity from renewable energy. Perhaps the biggest obstacle to broader use of electricity generated by renewable energy is the high cost of storing that energy for use when people need it. A Maryland inventor is still trying to put together funding for a prototype of a possibly revolutionary solar thermal capture device that he claims has 90 percent efficiency. There’s no prototype yet. Perhaps in the coming year we’ll find out whether the claim can be confirmed. So, no surprise here yet.

4. A climate agreement in Paris calls for binding greenhouse gas emissions limits. Okay, the greenhouse gas limits weren’t binding. And, of course, that’s not a surprise. What surprised me is how unanimous the world’s leaders were about the problem of climate change and how specific they were about limits in the agreement.

5. Oil prices reach $100 per barrel before December 31, 2015. This possible surprise was premised on a robust world economy and an OPEC relenting on its war on frackers in America and tar sands in Canada. The OPEC war continues, and the world economy seems weaker at year-end than when it began.

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Improvised Weapon You May Not Have Considered

Improvised Weapon You May Not Have Considered

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We all know that in a perfect world we will be atour bug out location with all the preparations we’ve made when disaster hits. Next worse case situation is we at least have our bug out bag with us if were on the road. We all know that you can’t always take a gun or sometimes the knives or weapons that we want with us if we have to fly, work at certain facilities, or travel in some groups for events that we have to attend for various reasons.

You know the potential problems.Something happens that kills the power or causes a major disruption and you’re left short on solutions for protecting yourself when the zombies come out of the woodwork. Something that is available at many grocery, hardware, and dollar like stores, as well as many other places where you may be able to make a cash purchase is Hornet, Wasp, or Bee Spray. I know it’s not a gun. Let’s face it. Gun purchases will be stopped in a real SHTF situation. Hornet spray is a much better solution than a knife. It’s also quiet and won’t attract attention.

Hornet Spray is not a toy. It will fire a spray up to 20 to 25 feet and you hit someone in the face with it you will blind them and if they inhale much they are dead. Unlike Pepper Spray it will stop and kill even those on various drugs that Pepper Spray will not affect. It will not go through other objects such as a bullet. This could either be a good or a bad thing.

If the shit hits the fan you can be creative in purchasing it. Most won’t think of it as a weapon. Just tell the sales clerk that you are allergic and scared of bees and you’re on your way home or wherever and almost got stung by a bee from a new hive that just appeared on your route. Most sales clerks will be sympathetic and if you have cash you can usually get a can for three to four dollars. This is a huge advantage over firearms, knives, bows and arrows. You’re just trying to protect yourself from a household pest. Most people will not think that you are purchasing or carrying a weapon.

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Once you get the can, or two, do test fire the can outside so you are aware of the approximate range. Like any weapon you must know its range and effectiveness. You can carry it in your hand as you walk and most won’t consider you armed. Yes, if someone saw an old James Bond Movie and remember when he lighted up the hair spray with his lighter they may consider that you have some stupid defense idea like that in mind. Most thugs will laugh at that figuring a few flames at short-range they can put up with and still take you out.

I would recommend that if you’re in a real SHTF situation that you also wrap the can with some duct tape. It’s best if you can keep a potential attacker in the dark to what you have. In the early stages of a SHTF situation I’d recommend a bright color such as pink, neon blue, bright green. Use a sharpie and write Silly String on the can. It won’t pass for real Silly String on close inspection but to a casual observer it will work. Remember the rule: People will see what they want to see. If someone sees you carrying the can of silly string you might appear to be a bit nuts. No one will question you about carrying a can of Silly String. They may think you’ve lost it and stay away from you. Any functioning law enforcement will also most likely ignore you. If they think you’re carrying pepper spray they might want to take it from you.

In the later stages of a SHTF situation I would recommend that you wrap the can with a dark color of duct tape.

Thugs looking to take advantage of you are more likely to look at you as an easy mark and are more likely to get too close without using their weapons. If they start to make a move towards you I recommend you spray them in the face and maintain the spray till they drop. You do not threaten. You just act.

We all know the hardest part of surviving a SHTF situation  is the mental aspect of making the decision to survive. In a true SHTF situation there is always potential legal problems. But in most SHTF situations the actual number of accounting’s of holding someone responsible for the things they did are almost zilch. If you don’t believe me just look at the Rodney King Riots. The cops had people on video beating up people. How many were ever prosecuted? The few that have been prosecuted were excused of punishment regardless of the lives of others they ruined.

You can look at the Ferguson Riots. Many are on video. The step father of Michael Brown actually incited a riot. He was not even detained.

My best advice is to protect yourself the best way you can and get yourself to your safe haven. If someone attacks you be prepared and defend yourself. Do not worry about using lethal force. They are not concerned about your health of safety when they attack you.

There are some other aerosol products that may work in a closer range situation. I say closer range since the aerosol stream is not designed to shoot as far as a Hornet or Bee Spray. But it’s better than nothing and it may save your life. Most oven cleaners and car starting fluids (aerosol) are also very deadly. As you know in some situations it’s being able to identify something you can use and using it in a way to protect yourself.

If on the way out of the store you happen to notice Drano Kitchen Crystals—a red top blue can that retails for about six dollars a can I recommend you grab a couple. It can be used to take out a crowd, or someone behind cover if you can throw it into their area. You place the Drano Crystals in one bottle and tape another bottle to it with bleach. When the bottles break it creates an extremely deadly gas. Yes, I’ve known way too many people who have worked for our government in places they never were who had to make the stuff up as they went.

What are you own ideas for improvised weapons to use when SHTF?

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20 Ways to Winterize Your Home

20 Ways to Winterize Your Home

Do you think your home is ready for the cold winter weather? Are you ready? It can get really cold and you must be prepared if you want to stay warm. We have compiled a list of cost-effective ways that you can easily winterize your home to keep the heat in and the cold out. 

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Animals

Getting Rabbits Ready for Winter

Worried about your pet freezing over? Here are the things that you should do to keep your rabbits warm and try during winter season.

Winter Chicken Care

Winter can be harsh and your poultry pets may not survive if not taken cake of properly. Here are chicken care tips to make them comfortable during cold season.

Quick Winter Tips for Poultry and Livestock

Make sure your poultry and livestock running smoothly with these winter tips to help you better prepared when the weather turns harsh.

Caring for Geese in Winter

Just like chickens, geese need a lot of food and water to make it thru the winter. Learn what other things that you need to do for your geese to survive the winter temperature.

Winterizing The Barn & Chicken House

Worried about your flocks surviving thru the chilly winter? Read these great tips to get started on winterizing the chicken house and barn.

Food Storage

Winter Vegetable Storage

Have you started to store food this winter? If you are not sure how to do this, here’s a quick guide to help you out.

How to Store Potatoes for Winter

Are you prepared for the long and cold winter? For storing your homegrown or store-bought potatoes, you can check these steps to keep them fresh.

Harvesting, Storing, & Using Winter Squash

Are your squash ready for harvest? Check out these steps on how to harvest, store, and use them for later use.

Long Term Winter Vegetable Storage

Did your vegetable crops suffer when winter started? You can prevent it from happening again with these helpful ideas for storing your vegetables.

Storing Fresh Produce for Long Winter

How do your store fresh product to let it stay fresh for a long winter? Here are the best ways to do so.

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Gardening

Winter Garden Preperation: Seeds

Just because it’s winter, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to do anything for your garden. There are winter preparations that you can do so you can welcome a successful spring and summer gardening.

How to Plant Your Fall/Winter Garden

If your vegetable are not yet ready for harvesting and winter is already here, there are things that you can do to protect your garden from the cold climate.

Winterizing the Farm-with Printable checklist

If the past year had been your first time gardening, then you’ve experienced what winter can do to your garden. To avoid this in the future, winterize your garden and this can be made easy with this printable checklist.

9 keeper Crops to Grow for Winter Food Storage

You can preserve seasonal crops that you can use for winter food. Here are some of the crops you can grow easily and how to store them.

Starting A Winter Vegetable Garden

Want to start a winter garden? It can be done with proper preparation and care. Here’s what you need to know.

Home

Use Shredded Paper to Make Bricks for Fuel

Shredded paper is something that you would usually throw away. You can repurpose them to easily start fire for winter.

Make Your Woodburner Work Harder

Heating your home during the winter can get very expensive. You can make the most from your wood burning stove with these very helpful tips.

Winter Maintenence: Cleaning The Chimney

Every year, your chimney should be clean of flammable creosote. It is important to clean your fireplace chimney to avoid any dangerous incidents.

Line Drying Clothes in Winter

Do you think drying your clothes outside during winter is impossible? It can be done. Here’s how you can do it and save money at the same time.

WInter Water Catchment Solutions

Storing water is a must for winter. But collecting and storing it during winter can be a bit of challenge because of the frozen pipes. Here’s an idea on how to solve this problem.

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Midwest: Floodwaters Rise, Residents Flee, Last-Ditch Emergency Steps Considered

Midwest: Floodwaters Rise, Residents Flee, Last-Ditch Emergency Steps Considered

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A historic December flood continued to send rivers sweeping out of their banks and into hundreds of homes and businesses across Oklahoma, Illinois and Missouri on Wednesday as some residents braced for the waters to get higher and the risk even greater.

“Unusual doesn’t begin to describe it — it’s huge,” said Mark Fuchs, a hydrologist at the National Weather Service’s St. Louis-area office, whose own backyard gauge collected 11 inches of rain from the warm-weather storms that drenched the region between Saturday and Monday. “This is a big, big, big flood for a lot of people.”

That rain has since drained into lakes, rivers and reservoirs and brought a belt of flooding stretching from eastern Oklahoma and through Missouri to downstate Illinois. So far, the storms and floods have killed at least 13 people in Missouri and five in Oklahoma.

It’s only the start of a winter flood-fighting effort that is likely to eventually stretch all the way down to Louisiana as the U.S. Army Corps forecasts major flood levels on the Mississippi River to eventually reach Memphis, Vicksburg, Miss., and New Orleans.

For now, the worst of the struggle seems to be Missouri, where Gov. Jay Nixon activated the National Guard on Tuesday as residents fled their homes in eastern Missouri and reports came in of drivers who died when their vehicles got swept off the roadways. Missouri and Oklahoma are now under a state of emergency, as are many counties in Illinois.

Hundreds of roads have been closed across the state, and temperatures hovered in the 30s as volunteers sandbagged in the cold. In Pacific, a community of 7,077 about 40 minutes west of St. Louis, the bulging Meramec River was nearing a record high and had completely submerged parts of the city’s downtown.

Some businesses near the waters are closed and circled by sandbags, and on Wednesday morning police hollered at onlookers who attempted to sneak past yellow police tape with cameras.

Pacific resident Cynthia Hurst, 45, fell asleep Sunday night after helping sandbag a neighbor’s house only to wake up Monday morning and discover that floodwaters had reached her own home. The waters had reached the floor of their family’s 2003 tan Ford Taurus parked in the street.

“Mom, the car’s underwater!” called out her 12-year-old son, Leviticus. The Hurst family quickly stacked their couches on crates, grabbed some clothes, packed a basket and evacuated.

Since Sunday, Hurst and her son were staying with a friend in Pacific in a one-bedroom, one-bathroom house now housing four adults, two children and two dogs.

Hurst’s daughter, Danielle, 20, is also sleeping in the house along with her fiance. She evacuated her home Monday afternoon when floodwaters approached the nearby town of Union. Neither family knows whether their homes are underwater.

On Wednesday, the family grabbed meals and showers at a local Red Cross shelter set up at a community senior center a few blocks from the floodwaters. A TV was tuned to live coverage of flood rescues while a few dozen people sat around and talked quietly.

Cynthia Hurst, an optician at Wal-Mart, was concerned about some of things she left behind, including pictures of her kids growing up.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do, or what anyone’s going to do,” Cynthia Hurst said.

In downtown Pacific, with floodwaters visible several blocks away, City Alderman Mike Pigg, 47, and volunteer Rita Duncan, 37, fielded questions and directed sandbagging efforts as pick-up trucks moved in and out, hauling sand to where it was needed around town.

Volunteers took Domino’s pizza, cookies and hot chocolate to a white-pop table near a cardboard sign that read “SAND LINE.”

“How much sleep have I had?” asked Pigg, whose voice has grown hoarse between taking power naps and organizing the town’s defense effort with Duncan since Sunday. “What day is it? Wednesday?”

Pigg’s home in Pacific is fine, but floodwaters claimed a clubhouse he owns along the river in the town of St. Clair, southwest of Pacific.

On Tuesday, Pigg said volunteers moved 50 tons of sand under an hour and a half, and he estimates the sandbagging station has moved about 2,000 tons of sand per day since Sunday.

Sand bagging efforts have been hampered because some of the quarries are now underwater. Duncan said sandbagging effort were halted as the Meramec River was expected to crest in Pacific on Wednesday.

The waters gushing down the Meramec River, however, will then head downstream to Valley Park, Mo.

There, the Meramec is forecast to swell higher than 44 feet early Thursday morning — about 4 1/2 feet higher than the previous record. Hundreds have been ordered to evacuate.

In one part of Valley Park, aerial news photos showed an I-44 interstate overpass and buildings protruding from floodwaters that covered the landscape, as if they were bones sticking out of the mud.

The Meramec joins the Mississippi River south of St. Louis, which has already gained monstrous strength.

Historically, the median flow of water rushing through the Mississippi River in St. Louis is 107,000 cubic feet per second for Dec. 30, according to Fuchs, the weather service hydrologist.

But on Wednesday, 780,000 cubic feet of water gushed through St. Louis every second — about 67 billion gallons of water a day — and is only expected to grow stronger, Fuchs said. In St. Louis, officials are expected to see the river reach its third-highest level ever.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has already activated emergency flood-fighting operations with the possibility of activating some of the Mississippi River’s last ditch flood-prevention infrastructure: The Birds Point-New Madrid floodway that would release waters into rural southeastern Missouri, the Bonnet Carre’ spillway that protects New Orleans, and the Morganza floodway that helps keep the Mississippi River from changing course.

The Birds Point-New Madrid floodway was last activated during the flood of 2011, when the levee was dynamited to flood some Missouri farmland in order to protect Cairo, Ill., from becoming submerged.

In a Tuesday statement, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it “began mobilizing people, barges and operational equipment from various locations” to prepare for the possibility of activating the Birds Point-New Madrid floodway once again.

“Although we do not anticipate operating the floodway, we are preparing for any contingency that will protect the integrity of the Mississippi River and Tributaries Project,” the Corps said in a statement, referring to the flood-control infrastructure that it says saved more than $230 billion in flood damages in 2011.

In Oklahoma — where Army Corps of Engineers officials are trying to strategically release water from the state’s reservoir system to control the amount of flooding — 29-year-old country musician Craig Strickland was still missing after disappearing on a hunting trip during the floods.

His friend Chase Morland, 22, was found dead not long after sending a now-ominous tweet: “In case we don’t come back, @BackroadCRAIG and I are going right through Winter Storm Goliath to kill ducks in Oklahoma. #IntoTheStorm”

Near Langley, Okla., on Wednesday morning, Elisa Bridgeman walked toward a flooded section of Oklahoma 82, one of many flooded highways across the lower Great Plains, to see if she could spot her relatives’ evacuated home, according to an account from the Tulsa World.

“There’s my brother’s house,” Bridgeman told the newspaper, as the houses came into view. “It’s up to the windows. There’s Momma’s roof. It looks like it’s underwater. … Everything’s probably ruined.”

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How To Hotwire A Car In An Emergency: 2 Surprisingly Easy Techniques

How To Hotwire A Car In An Emergency: 2 Surprisingly Easy Techniques

hotwire

When in a survival situation, it can be hard to know which way is up. Some skills that are frowned upon in conventional society actually come in handy in times likes this. For instance, have you ever heard of hotwiring a car? This is the process where someone starts a car but without a key. It’s something that is often seen in blockbuster movies and will be useful if you have misplaced your keys or if you must get out of town during an emergency or survival situation.

Interested in learning more? Keep reading for instruction on how to hotwire a car in an emergency so you can get moving once again.

What You Need

Before we begin, it’s important to note that, while hotwiring is an important skill to have in your bag of tricks, it’s also illegal and can land you in jail if used for nefarious purposes. We are not promoting any such activities here.

Also, the following methods are better suited for older model vehicles, especially the ones that don’t need microchip activation to start.

When you are learning how to hotwire a car in an emergency, it’s good to know about certain parts of the car as well as how they function i.e. what to touch and what to leave alone. In this way, when it’s necessary, you can start your car easily and safely.

But, that’s not all — you must also learn about the tools that you will need for the job. Thus, the second thing you must do is gather the materials that you will need – every car owner should have these on hand in case of emergency:

** Insulated gloves

** Driver’s License

** Proof of ownership

** Wire stripper

** Flat-bladed screwdriver

The Screwdriver

This method is much simpler and thus, should be tried first. But, you should also know that although it’s a relatively effective method used to disable the lock pins, it’s use will permanently damage the key mechanism. In other words, any screwdriver, key, or even flat piece of metal will be able to start the car from now on:

** Drill about 2/3 of an inch into the keyhole, where the inner flap starts.

** Remove the drill bit and let the lock bits fall into place

** Repeat as needed, until all the bits are in position

** Insert a flat head screwdriver into the keyhole and start the car normally.

If this method doesn’t work, don’t worry. You can use the screwdriver again for step two – as long as it didn’t get stuck in the ignition cover.

The Literal Hot Wire Method

Before we delve deeper into this particular step, it is important to note that you must use extreme caution when undertaking this task. Take your time so you will be sure to avoid painful electrical shocks and discomfort.

If you choose to use this method, you will have to rewire the car and bypass the ignition system, hence the name. The directions are as follows:

** The first thing you must do is to figure out if you can disable the steering wheel lock. Simply, remove the steering shaft from the back of the steering wheel. You will be looking for a little disk that looks like it can fit a key, remove it if possible.

** Use a screwdriver and remove the access cover that’s beneath the steering wheel.

** Next, look for two red wires, remove a ½ inch of insulation off of each end and twist the wires together, making sure that the exposed wires aren’t touching any metal. These wires must stay connected at all times.

** Find the brown wire and strip about ½ inch insulation of the end.

** Touch the end of the brown wire against the twisted ends of the red wires until the engine ignites.

Once you have the engine going, it is important to note that you must keep the red and brown wires separate, to avoid sparks which can drain the battery.

Important Considerations

To put it simply, the actual process of hotwiring a vehicle is easy. But, there are certain precautions that you should take before undertaking this task to ensure a successful result. For instance:

** Use caution when you are messing with the wiring and check with the Owner’s Manual for specific instruction about the wires and color coding for your specific model.

** Always wear insulated gloves when you are working on wires, as their exposed ends carry a powerful live current which can hurt you.

** After you get the car started initially, pull the wires apart and tape your ends to avoid getting electrocuted when you are driving.

** Modern cars feature microchip and transponder systems for getting the ignition unlocked, and if you try to hotwire them, it may set off an alarm.

The Conclusion

There’s nothing worse than being in a terrifying situation – where you have to move quickly – but you can’t find your car keys. Before panic sets in, take a step back and breathe. The above steps should provide you with all you need to hotwire your car in an emergency where staying put is just not an option.

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New Gun Control Bill Hits Congress: “To Ensure That The Right To Keep And Bear Arms Is NOT Unlimited”

gun-control

In the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings we warned that sweeping changes were in the works for Americans’ right to bear arms. It started with ammunition tax proposals, restrictions on firearm accessories imports  and most recently Governors began bypassing Congress altogether by banning gun ownership for those on any of the government’s many watchlists. The Obama administration has targeted licensed firearms sellers across the United States by forcing banks to treat them like pornography businesses and impeding their access to transaction processing systems and business banking accounts.

States like California already ban “assault weapons” and outlaw “high capacity” magazines that can hold more than ten rounds of ammunition. But the kinds of restrictive laws that strike at the very heart of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution have thus far been limited to just a dozen or so heavily liberal states.

Until now.

While Americans anxiously prepared for their Christmas festivities, anti gun proponents in Congress were hard at work drafting a new bill. If passed H.R. 4269  would literally redefine the Second Amendment as evidenced by the bill’s description, which in no uncertain terms clarifies its ultimate goal:

“To regulate assault weapons, to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited, and for other purposes.”

The bill directly targets every semi-automatic firearm in the United States including handguns, shotguns and rifles. It specifically mentions certain firearms and manufacturers, including the popular AR-15 and AK-47 rifles.

Because the law is Federal it would blanket the country with new restrictions, including making it illegal to own any magazine that exceeds a capacity of ten (10) rounds. 

And here’s the kicker, even if your weapon has a legally-defined low capacity detachable magazine but is modified with any of the following accessories, it is considered an “assault rifle” and would be outright banned in the United States.

Semiautomatic rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any 1 of the following:

“(i) A pistol grip.

“(ii) A forward grip.

“(iii) A folding, telescoping, or detachable stock.

“(v) A barrel shroud.

“(vi) A threaded barrel.

“(B) A semiautomatic rifle that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds, except for an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.

“(C) Any part, combination of parts, component, device, attachment, or accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun.

To be clear, the new bill puts all half measures aside and goes for the jugular.

This is the worst case scenario that many Americans have feared.

If you own a weapon on the ban list or have accessories as described by the bill, your firearm will be outlawed in the United States of America.

SEC. 3.RESTRICTIONS ON ASSAULT WEAPONS AND LARGE CAPACITY AMMUNITION FEEDING DEVICES

(a) In General.—Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, is amended—

(1) by inserting after subsection (u) the following:

“(v) (1) It shall be unlawful for a person to import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, a semiautomatic assault weapon.

“(37) The term ‘large capacity ammunition feeding device’

“(A) means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device, including any such device joined or coupled with another in any manner, that has an overall capacity of, or that can be readily restored, changed, or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition;

“(w) (1) It shall be unlawful for a person to import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, a large capacity ammunition feeding device.

The bill was introduced in Congress on Decemeber 16, 2015 and currently has  123- co-sponsors – all democrats.

We know that gun bans dont work but one can’t help but think the agenda goes much further than the notion that they want to make us safer. If that were the case then our lawmakers wouldn’t allow drug cartels, gang members and Islamic terrorists to cross into the U.S. through our porous southern border.

The reality is that a cloud of tyranny has descended upon America. For it to be successful the American people must first be disarmed.

As history has proven time and again, a disarmed populace can easily be led to slaughter. But unlike the tens of millions executed in ethnic, religious and political cleansings of the 20th century, Americans have a rich tradition of personal liberty and the right to bear arms. It is embedded in our culture and our founding document. And as Texas police chief Randy Kennedy recently warned, if the government pushes too far they may well incite a revolution.

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Backpacking 101

Backpacking 101

backpacking-101

Spending a few days out in the wilderness trekking from place to place is lots of fun but it isn’t as easy as it sounds, here’s why…

#1: You have to carry everything you need on your back;  this is a strenuous task no matter how light weight your gear maybe.  Even with a 2lb sleeping bag and minimal amounts of water, (not recommended) weight adds up fast.  We’ve found that a bag well packed typically weighs around 30-40 lbs.  Now that may not seem like much but it will after an hour or so of hiking.  So before you go backpacking make sure you can handle the strain.

#2: You have to find sources of water; When backpacking you will need double the amount of water you would need other wise, this would probably be around 170-190 oz of water per day for the average male.  Now are you up to carrying 10-15lbs of water?  Well actually nobody is, that’s why you have to bring a portable water filter, and find your own sources of fresh water.  Creeks are Ideal for this, especially when cold.  So before you go backpacking make sure you have a large water bottle and a water filtration system.  Also be sure to check a map to see where any water sources are along the trail and plan accordingly.

#3: There are no toilets in the woods; This maybe the most miserable part of backpacking, however, it doesn’t have to be.  Say your in the woods and you’ve gotta     go #2 and you’re 3 miles from the nearest bathroom, what then?  Well if you were properly prepared you would have brought a small shovel and some biodegradable toilet paper and then all you would have to do is find a tree to squat up against, dig a hole and do your business.  So before you go backpacking make sure you have a shovel and toilet paper.

#4: Bears, wolves, and raccoons; Depending on where you choose to hike you have to be on the look out for bears and wolves especially in the rockies.  Also, when you have your campsite set up and the critters come out you are in even more danger than you were in broad daylight unless you properly stored your food at least ten feet of the ground and five feet away from trees.  So before you go backpacking make sure you bring rope to suspend food and trash.

OUR RECOMMENDED BACKPACKING LIST

For a 1-3 night backpacking trip

  1. a sturdy backpack, we recommend one with at least a 50 liter capacity
  2. a water filter
  3. a large water bottle
  4. first aid kit
  5. a light weight tent (alps is an excellent brand)
  6. a change of clothes, preferably dry fitting clothes, no cotton
  7. a hiking stick, they make a world of difference
  8. food, make sure its rich in protein
  9. a lightweight stove (we recommend a jet boil)
  10. toilet paper
  11. a small shovel
  12. a poncho
  13. sturdy hiking boots, preferably water proofed ones
  14. bug spray
  15. sunscreen, especially when mountain climbing
  16. bear pepper spray (if hiking in bear country)
  17. at least 25ft of rope, 75ft if mountain climbing
  18. fire starter of some sort
  19. a light weight sleeping pad
  20. a light weight sleeping bag, preferably around 2-3lbs
  21. a bag to store food in trash in during the night
  22. a pocket knife
  23. a carabiner or two
  24. hand soap and personal hygiene products

Do you have anything to add? Comment below and we will see about adding it.

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You Should Be Worrying About This Invisible Natural Disaster

You Should Be Worrying About This Invisible Natural Disaster

invisible-diaster

Solar storm? I can hear your skepticism from here, but these sun burps are no joke. Extreme space weather poses a major threat to modern society. We narrowly dodged a particularly strong solar storm a couple years ago and—had it hit Earth—we would have spent a decade recovering.

Unlike many natural disasters, solar storms are practically invisible. The sun releases a series of solar flares—or magnetized coronal mass ejections—from its surface and hurls them towards Earth. Though invisible, these high-speed gas clouds of charged particles have the power to take out our entire telecommunication grid—power lines, cell phones, radar, and GPS. Take a moment to consider everything else that would be impacted by this: airplane flights would get rerouted, oil drill heads would go haywire, and major energy transformers would be fried. Total chaos would ensue.

Solar storms attack our technological Achilles tendon, and that’s scary. Governments could collapse, economies plunge—we could be sent back into the Dark Ages. Yet, few people consider solar storms when preparing their families for natural disasters.

“It’s like with earthquakes—it is hard to impress upon people the importance of preparing unless you suffer a magnitude 9 earthquake,” Janet Luhmann, of the STEREO (Solar Terrestrial Observatory) team, told Forbes last year. And, though we have been in the sun’s line of fire a few times over the past century, none of the aforementioned events were powerful enough to cause major damage—a 9-hour blackout in eastern Canada, a short-circuited radio, and some GPS disruptions.

If we were to get hit with flares like the 1859 Carrington Event—the biggest solar superstorm on record—it would be lights out. Literally. A recent study predicted that such an event would cost the world $2.6 trillion to recover from, which is 20 times more than the costs of Hurricane Katrina.

We might have an estimated dollar value for the damages, but it’s difficult to say how a solar superstorm would impact the day-to-day life of western civilization. Like a bad snow day, workplaces, schools, and services would cease to operate, but we can’t predict for how long and to what degree. You can be sure that there will be a bunker-down period—are you ready to hole up in your house for a week?

To avoid lengthy food lineups and crowded, cash-only grocery stores, you should have one week’s worth of food and water for your entire family.

MREs (or Meals, Ready to Eat) are the perfect emergency food because they store easily and have a five-year shelf life. Even though MREs are pre-cooked, each meal contains a flameless ration heater that activates with 30mL of any type of water. You can have a hot meal any time, any where, without using up valuable resources like fuel to boil water.

We recommend the consumption of two MREs per adult per day, or roughly 2,400 calories. A family of four would have more than enough food for a week with five cases of three-course MREs and 30 gallons of water.

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The Doomsday Clock Just Struck Midnight: What’s Your First Move?

The Doomsday Clock Just Struck Midnight: What’s Your First Move?

doomsday

The word doomsday can be considered Prepper terminology now, because of the show “Doomsday Preppers”, because of the Mayan calendar predicting the end of the world, and because some people just love the sound of the word. Doomsday is the final reckoning, the end of the world, and where some people are called to account for their actions in life.

Mostly today, the word is used to define a catastrophe that would change the world, as we know it, change, and never be the same again, so the clock strikes midnight. Are you ready, and if you are decisions must be made, and your survival hinges on those decisions. If you are not ready, then assumedly, you will not live long enough to make any first moves.

1. Do a Medical Check and Render Aid If Needed

Is anyone in the group or family injured? Assess quickly, because injuries can influence all of your decisions from this point forward. Some injured people cannot be moved, and if you had planned to bug-out or feel the need to evacuate, then injuries change the plans. Go to plan “B”, you do have a plan B right?

2. Is Everyone Accounted For

If not, do you have the means to contact them if the grid is down, or for whatever reason the power is disrupted? Is there a staging area, and it does require prior planning. You cannot meet up if there is not a pre-designated area in which to meet. Disasters will occur while people are at work, at school and simply when they are out and about. You need to plan for this.

3. Do I Stay or Do I Go: Good Intel Is Important

The title may be misleading. Once disaster strikes, you usually do not make any moves until you have gathered some intelligence. Rushing headlong into the dark night may create a crisis in and of itself. In other words, do not panic, and then make impulsive decisions until you know what the situation is.

This is where good intelligence gathering skills come into play. There is passive gathering, which is ongoing before the crisis and then active gathering once in the midst of a crisis. The information gathered daily is used to piece together what brought the situation to a head and then you need real time Intel as the disaster unfolds. As stated earlier, communications are important, scanners, Ham radios, two-way radios and person-to-person encounters are just a few Intel gathering methods.

4. Are You Secure

First, you have to know if there is an imminent threat or if there could be. Was there a nuclear, chemical, or biological attack, or are there suicide bombers setting off their explosive vests in various locations. A nuclear, chemical, or biological attack close to your home requires an immediate response by you. You have to either evacuate or get into a protective posture, which would be a bunker or protective clothing and respirators.

You should have a plan for securing your home because now is not the time to wonder about security. You would need to know your battle space, the space where you would have to engage those wishing you and yours harm. You would need to know who walks the perimeter and who stays inside the shelter. This requires planning and practice drills, so everyone knows to go to his or her battle stations if you will, once disaster strikes.

5. Everyone Shoulders Their Bug-Out Bags

You may not have to move, but you have to be ready to move. Everyone needs their own bug-out-bag, or go-bag, action bag or call it what you will, so if someone gets separated they have the means to survive alone.

Everyone must be ready to move to a rallying point, or to evacuate to a bug-out-location, emergency shelters or to some other safe structure. You must always have shelter in mind whether it is your current one or an alternative one.

If you haven’t already, then cache some supplies on your property, so if the home is destroyed, or overrun you can resupply. Assign this task, while others stay on guard. Ideally, you would have supplies already cached, but it is better late than never. The thing about plans is that most of them do not work as intended once the action starts, so you have to adapt on the fly.

Other Considerations

Establish contact with neighbors, and others, because they may have information you do not have, and they may have certain skill sets that you can use. Previous articles have talked about the need to network somewhat, so you know who is living next door or in the immediate area, such as doctors, carpenters, retired police or military personnel and others that may have critical skills.

If you haven’t figured it out already planning is important and the above are just a few of the things that have to be done before anything else and Intel gathering, for example, must be ongoing so you have the information at hand to make decisions as to your next move.

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TRAINING YOUR DOG FOR SURVIVAL

TRAINING YOUR DOG FOR SURVIVAL

dog-training-survivial

Survival training is a part of life for the prepper. It is about teaching yourself new skills that will aid in survival. Things like building a shelter, starting a fire without matches and cleaning water are all common survival skills. Prepping to handle a post-disaster situation also involves your family members. You probably run drills or teach the kids what to do when you give the word that it is time to jump into action. Have you considered how you will deal with your family’s dog in a survival situation?

Many preppers decide ahead of time whether or not they will be keeping their dog with them. Many will agree that there are plenty of benefits to keeping a dog with you whether you are hunkering down or bugging out. However, if you are keeping Fido with you, it is just as important he gets some valuable and necessary training for survival as the rest of the family.

Your dog will know something isn’t right when disaster strikes. Many have a heightened sense that gives them advanced warning of impending danger, which is yet another reason to have dogs in the household. He will sense your fear and get antsy and nervous if you haven’t properly trained and prepared him for a stressful situation. A nervous dog may bite, run off or bark incessantly. These are all things you want to avoid. Proper training will achieve that.

WHEN TO BE SILENT

If you are hiding out and do not want your position given away, you need to train your dog to be silent when told. A basic hand command, like holding your hand up, is one way to train your dog to be silent when commanded. A barking, whining dog is irritating and can actually get you captured or killed. This is probably one of the most important things you can teach your pet.

HUNTING

There are obviously some breeds that are better for hunting than others, but most dogs can learn the art of fetching. If you are using archery or even a gun to hunt game, train your dog to fetch what you have taken down. You can also train your dog how to pick up a trail and lead you in the right direction. Hunting dogs require months and even years of training. It is best to work with someone who has experience in this area. If you will be using a gun, you need to get your dog familiar with the sound of a gunshot. You don’t want the dog to be spooked and run off in the opposite direction.

PROTECTION

Your dog will be an excellent protector for you and your family if you can train him when to attack and when to stand down. A single word command is ideal. Saying attack and pointing at the person or wild animal who is trying to hurt you will give you the time needed to escape or find a weapon to give your dog a hand.

BARK

Sometimes you want your furry friend to make his presence known. If somebody knocks on the door or seems to be threatening in any way, a good bark from your dog may be enough to scare them off. Teach your dog to “speak” or bark when asked. A barking or growling dog can be very intimidating and the average person will leave you alone when your dog gives out its warning signal.

SEARCH AND RESCUE

One of the biggest fears any parent has is losing their child in a chaotic situation. If you have bugged out and you are in the wilderness or forest, it is easy for a member of your party to get lost. Having a dog that is trained in search and the ultimate rescue of another person is an extremely handy tool. This is a training that is best started at a very young age. There is no one specific breed that is best for search and rescue, but you will see German Shepherds leading the way in this field.

It doesn’t hurt to have a couple of dogs in your pack. Some dogs are natural hunters while others are going to be natural protectors. All dogs have a very strong instinct for survival. They can truly be man’s best friend in a survival situation and assist in their human’s survival.

Do what you can to get young pups and start training them early. Be smart about the breed you choose. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a purebred, papered dog to be trained. There are plenty of mixed breeds that have become rescue dogs simply because they were given plenty of training. You are going to want to avoid pocket dogs. They are not going to be very useful in your survival, but they are cute and cuddly and could certainly be a nice companion. Extra large breeds are intimidating, but can be a little tough to squeeze into your tent at night. Mid to large dogs are typically the best bet and there are so many to choose from. Shepherds, labs, hounds and Pyrenees are all good dogs to consider.

Pit bulls, rottweilers and dobermans are all nice looking dogs that many people like to have simply because of their aggressive reputations and their very strong protective instinct. Shop around. Talk with other dog owners and find a dog or two that works best for you. Start the training early and keep up with it. The last thing you want is to have your dog run off scared when chaos ensues.

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20 Common Wild Plants You Can Eat For Survival

20 Common Wild Plants You Can Eat For Survival

common-wildflowers

Plenty of people believe that when things fall apart, they can just go into the wild, living off the land. While such a life has a lot of appeal to it, I’m also enough of a realist to understand how hard that will be. While many people did live off the land in the early days of this country, things have changed. There isn’t as much wilderness available today as there was back then, and as a people we aren’t accustomed to such a lifestyle.

The two biggest problems with trying to live off of what nature provides are too many people and a lack of knowledge. Back when people did live off the land, there weren’t a 10th of the people in the country that there are today. They also had a lot more knowledge about the flora and fauna around them. There are few people today who can hunt without baiting the animals in and even fewer who can identify edible plants.

Of course, that gives a distinct advantage to those who know how to hunt and can identify edible plants. In fact, being able to identify edible plants might just be what keeps some people alive. Considering that few people can identify them, there is little risk that there will be much competition for those plants.

Watch Out for Poisonous Plants

In addition to edible plants, there are many plants you can find in the wild which are dangerous to eat, even poisonous. Unless it is a dire emergency, survival isn’t the time to go around trying new things. You don’t know what you might find that would hurt you.

Since there is no sure way of identifying which plants are safe and which are poisonous, the best way of protecting yourself is to stick to eating only plants that you know and can identify as being safe to eat. When looking at other plants, you probably want to stay away from any plants that have:

  • Milky or colored sap.
  • Any sort of spines, thorns or fine hairs.
  • Seeds inside pods, as well as beans and bulbs.
  • Any plant with a bitter or soapy taste.
  • Plants whose stems have an almond scent.
  • Any plants with three-leaved growth patterns.
  • Grain heads with spurs that are pink, purple or black.

Of course, there are edible plants which display some of those same characteristics. That just proves that not all poisonous or healthy plants have distinguishable characteristics. These characteristics only apply to plants that you cannot identify.

Here are 20 of the most common wild plants that you can find, providing you with a starting place for identifying what you can eat in the wild. Learn them, and then go on to learn what else is available for eating in the area where you live.

1. Amaranth

Amaranth

Amaranth is a prolific weed which is native to North America. All parts of the plant are edible, although you do need to be somewhat careful. The grain from the amaranth plant has become more popular in recent years. There are spines on some leaves which should be avoided. The leaves contain oxalic acid, especially if the plant has grown in nitrate rich soil. To protect yourself against that, boil the plant in water and then throw away the water. If worse comes to worse, it can be eaten raw.

common-wildflowers2

2. Asparagus

Asparagus grows wild in parts of North America, especially the northeastern part of the United States. Wild asparagus has a much thinner stalk than the commercial varieties. To harvest, bend it until it snaps off. It will snap at the right point to prevent killing the plant, while providing you with the most edible part.

3. Bamboo

If anyone around you has decided to grow bamboo in their backyard, it’s probably gotten out of hand. This prolific grass spreads rapidly, taking over everything in its path. While the mature plants are like chewing on wood, the shoots can be eaten. Shoots should be harvested before they are two weeks old and one foot tall. Peel off the outer leaves and boil them to soften. Bamboo shoots are often added to salads, put on sandwiches or used in stir-fries.

4. Cattails

Found near the edges of wetlands, cattails were a staple in the diet of many American Indian tribes. Most of the plant is edible. You can boil the roots and lower stalk for eating. The leaves can be cooked and eaten like spinach. The flower spike at the top can be broken off and eaten like corn on the cob. Surprisingly, it tastes much like corn.

5. Chicory

Chicory

Chicory is most easily identified by its flowers. It is a bushy plant with small blue, lavender and white flowers. Leaves can be eaten raw or boiled. The flowers are a quick, tasty snack. The roots can be eaten as well, but require boiling to make them edible. Toasted chicory root has been used in the past as a substitute for coffee when coffee wasn’t available.

common-wildflowers3

6. Chickweed

This low-growing plant has bright green, pointed oval leaves. It is highly nutritious, containing vitamins, minerals and omega-6 fatty acid. Young leaves can be used effectively in salads. However, if too much chickweed is eaten, it can cause diarrhea.

7. Clover

Clover is very common throughout the country. Anywhere you find a grassy area, you are likely to encounter clover as well. They are easy to identify for the three leaves. The plant can be eaten raw, but will taste better cooked.

8. Curled Dock

These are some of the hardiest, most widespread and most persistent weeds found anywhere. You can find them nearly everywhere. Like dandelions, it is almost impossible to pull one out of the ground. If you do, it will probably be replaced by two more. The leaves are tasty and can grow as large as two-feet long. There are also other types of docks in this family, but the curled dock is considered the tastiest.

9. Dandelion

This common “weed” is actually edible; in fact, the entire plant is edible: roots, leaves and flowers. It’s also rather healthy, being a “cure-all” in herbal medicine. You’ll want to eat the leaves while the plant is still young, as mature leaves have a bitter taste to them. Boil the roots before eating, and then use the water from boiling the roots as a tea. The dandelion flower makes an excellent garnish for a salad.

10. Fireweed

This is another plant that was eaten by many American Indians. It is easy to identify by the vein pattern in the leaves. Rather than terminate at the edge of the leaves, the veins create a circular pattern.

These plants are best eaten when young and tender. As they age, the leaves become tough and bitter tasting. Both the leaves and the stalk can be eaten. The flowers have a slightly peppery taste.

11. Garlic Grass

This is a wild strain of garlic which is often found in fields, pastures and forests. It resembles cultivated garlic or spring onions. The shoots are often very thin. Nevertheless, it can be used in sandwiches, salads, pesto or chopped like scallions to add to cooked dishes.

12. Green Seaweed

This particular variety of seaweed is found in all the oceans of the world. You can even find it close to shore and on beaches. Once harvested, it needs to be rinsed with clean water and allowed to dry. It can be used in soups or eaten raw. Add some fish and rice and you’ve got some sushi.

13. Kelp

Kelp is another common form of seaweed, and can be found growing in most parts of the world. The kelp plant grows very long, anchored on the bottom of the sea and reaching to the surface. Internal air bladders keep it afloat. This seaweed is used in many different oriental dishes. Like the green seaweed, it should be rinsed once harvested and can be cooked in soup or eaten raw.

14. Kudzu

This is known as the “weed that ate the South” for its prolific way of covering trees and other plants. Kudzu is a fast-growing vine, which could provide a literally unending source of nutrition if you have it in your area. The leaves make an excellent tea for treating colds, fevers and indigestion. The roots of this plant can be boiled until tender and eaten with a sauce, such as soy sauce. Jams and jellies can be made from of it.

15. Lamb’s Quarters

Lamb’s quarters

This plant is a relative of wild spinach. It grows from two to six feet high and is easily identified by the shape of the leaves, which are a jagged-edged and diamond shaped. This plant has a high amount of protein, making it one of the few non-beans that does. It is also rich in iron and vitamin B2. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked.

common-wildflowers4

16. Plantain

This weed will grow just about anywhere and is often found on the edges of gardens or driveways. Pick the rippled leaves, leaving behind the stems and flower stems. Like kale and other tough greens, plantain is best eaten after cooking. Blanching it with some butter and garlic makes it come out quite well.

17. Prickly Pear Cactus

Called “nopal” in Mexico, the prickly pear is not only edible, but extremely good for your health. Not all the leaves are eaten, but only the newest ones where the spines have not been fully formed. The spines are cut off and the leaf cut up for cooking. It can be boiled, but is most often fried, along with tomatoes and spices. The fruit of the prickly pear, which looks like a red or purplish pear, is also edible, although hard to encounter.

18. Sheep Sorrel

Although not native to North America, sheep sorrel has found a home here. It is a prolific weed, especially in highly acidic soil. That means it will grow in places where many other plants won’t grow. It has a tall, reddish stem that can reach 18 inches tall. You really shouldn’t eat large quantities of it, but the leaves can be eaten raw. They taste almost like lemon.

19. Watercress

Watercress, which comes in a number of varieties, such as garden cress, rock cress and pepper cress, is common in Northern Europe. It has been migrated to the United States, where it is more commonly found in northern climates with a lot of moisture. It has a spicy tank, making it great for salads, soups and sandwiches.

20. Wood Sorrel

Wood sorrel grows in all parts of the world and in all climates. There are many varieties of this plant, and the flowers vary in color. The Kiowa Indians ate it, and chewed on it to alleviate thirst. The Cherokees ate it to cure mouth sores. The leaves of the plant are a great source of vitamin C. If the roots of the wood sorrel are boiled, they can be eaten. It has a flavor similar to potatoes.

For further information on this and other plants, it would be advisable to buy a book that deals with the edible plants in your area, as it varies from region to region around the country.

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10 Foods You Need To Survive

10 Foods You Need To Survive

The end of the world is something that has been a topic of debate for as long as anyone can remember. Some claim to know exactly when it will happen while others claim to know how it will happen. One thing is however certain; that disaster and the end of the world are unpredictable and unstoppable events. The best thing you can do is make sure that you are prepared in case anything like it happens when you are alive.

If you happened to survive a major catastrophic disaster such as a nuclear bomb, a major earthquake or something of the sort, the most important thing you will need is food. Getting food to grow after a disaster is tricky and you could die before your first harvest. Below is a list of foods that you can get now and store for long and food that grows fast and well under poor conditions.

1. Maize/Corn

This is one of the best food types you can have if you hope to survive after a disaster of apocalyptic proportions. The reason is because it is one of the few on this list that can both be stored for long and can grow under harsh conditions. The practice of storing corn for emergency dates back centuries and was practiced as a way to survive draught. Corn can stay for up to eight months when boiled and frozen. When freezing is not an option, drying allows you to have your corn for up to four months. The other reason that lands corn on the survival for end times food list is its resilience in harsh conditions. All it needs to grow is good soil and water. This is the reason why you can find it growing well in any climate and region on earth. Maize is important as it is a carbohydrate which is the main source of energy for humans. And you better believe that if you end up alive during the end times, you will need as much energy as you can get.

2. Beans

Beans share corn’s resilient nature. Storing beans for long term purposes can be done in three ways. The first is by drying. Sun drying beans removes moisture from them making them safe from pest, bacterial and fungal infestation. In this state you can have beans safe for human consumption for up to three years according to food scientists. The second way in which beans are stored is through nitrogen treatment and hermetical sealing. This means that the beans are cleaned, treated with nitrogen to remove oil and sealed in the absence of oxygen (hermetically). This allowed them to last for a whopping8 years. Finally, beans are stored by canning. They are cooked and put in sealed cans with preserving chemicals. Depending on the brand and the bean species, canned beans can last between 3 and 5 years. They are popular in the army and are a great source of protein.

3. Radishes

Radishes are the fastest growing crops known by man. They take a mere two weeks to mature and be ready for harvest. If you were a survivor of a major disaster or a world ending catastrophe, a fast growing crop would be the equivalent of gold. The entire plant is edible but the root has the most uses. It can be used to make soups, stews and in salads. Radish roots are rich in carbohydrate sugars, fat and proteins. The leaves are rich in vitamins especially the vitamin B group and vitamin C. Its growth speed and nutritional value make it ideal for survival.

4. Tomatoes

Tomatoes have a spot on this list due to the fact that they are multi-nutritional, require little space to grow and ripen really fast. Tomatoes are rich in vitamins A and D, carbohydrate sugars, fats, minerals, fiber and water. They can be eaten raw as fruits or used as vegetables to make rich stews and soups. Tomatoes take between 20 and 25 days to ripen and be ready to eat. This short growth time makes it a great crop for surviving in case of disasters where food stores are destroyed or used up.

5. Flour

Flour is a great food to have in store in case of emergency. What is super awesome about it is the fact that it can be stored for a very long time without going bad. When stored in a cool dry place brown flour can stay for up to five years while white flour can stay up to seven years. The difference is due to the fact that brown flour has more oil which tends to speed up the process of food going bad. Flour from wheat, corn and oats is useful in making filling pastries that should see you through your until you figure out another way of finding food. Sorghum and millet flour are good for porridge.

6. Tea and coffee

Ground tea leaves and coffee beans can stay for up to four years depending on the brand. They belong on this list due to the ability to stay for long without getting spoilt. Tea and coffee will come in handy on cold nights after disasters helping to warm you and calm you down.

7. Canned meat and fish

This is a great source of protein. Canned meat can be anything from chicken and beef to turkey and lamb. The meat is cooked or dried, treated with preservatives and sealed in cans that have air suctioned from them. Cooked meats can last for up to six years canned whereas the free-dried variety of canned food can last for up to twelve years. So if you believe that there is a chance that you might survive an upcoming disaster, stock up on canned meats. They are real life-savers.

8. Rice

Brown rice can stay for up to five years when dried and kept away from moisture. This makes them a great food option in case of disaster. The other great thing about rice is that the grains are small and light making them easier to store and if need be, carry around. Rice also makes nice filling meals full of energy giving carbohydrates.

9. Salt and sugar and honey

These three food items can last indefinitely and therefore deserve their spot on this list. Salt is a rich source of iodine which is good for your blood. It also has medical advantages being used as an antiseptic and a stomach relief remedy. Sugar is a carbohydrate and is a great source of energy. It can be used when baking bread and when mixed with water make an energy drink.

10. Powdered milk

Finally, having powdered milk is useful for survival in the end times. An unopened can of powdered milk can last from between two and ten years. Milk is a great source of proteins, vitamin D as well as minerals.

These foods are awesome for the end times because of their ease of availability, speed of growth and resilience in bad conditions. If you chose to set up an emergency store of food remember to include water and medical supplies. Whether or not you believe that you might be caught up in the end times and disasters, it wouldn’t hurt to have a back-up stash.

If you happened to survive a major catastrophic disaster such as a nuclear bomb, a major earthquake or something of the sort, the most important thing you will need is food. Getting food to grow after a disaster is tricky and you could die before your first harvest. Below is a list of foods that you can get now and store for long and food that grows fast and well under poor conditions.

1. Maize/Corn

This is one of the best food types you can have if you hope to survive after a disaster of apocalyptic proportions. The reason is because it is one of the few on this list that can both be stored for long and can grow under harsh conditions. The practice of storing corn for emergency dates back centuries and was practiced as a way to survive draught. Corn can stay for up to eight months when boiled and frozen. When freezing is not an option, drying allows you to have your corn for up to four months. The other reason that lands corn on the survival for end times food list is its resilience in harsh conditions. All it needs to grow is good soil and water. This is the reason why you can find it growing well in any climate and region on earth. Maize is important as it is a carbohydrate which is the main source of energy for humans. And you better believe that if you end up alive during the end times, you will need as much energy as you can get.

2. Beans

Beans share corn’s resilient nature. Storing beans for long term purposes can be done in three ways. The first is by drying. Sun drying beans removes moisture from them making them safe from pest, bacterial and fungal infestation. In this state you can have beans safe for human consumption for up to three years according to food scientists. The second way in which beans are stored is through nitrogen treatment and hermetical sealing. This means that the beans are cleaned, treated with nitrogen to remove oil and sealed in the absence of oxygen (hermetically). This allowed them to last for a whopping8 years. Finally, beans are stored by canning. They are cooked and put in sealed cans with preserving chemicals. Depending on the brand and the bean species, canned beans can last between 3 and 5 years. They are popular in the army and are a great source of protein.

3. Radishes

Radishes are the fastest growing crops known by man. They take a mere two weeks to mature and be ready for harvest. If you were a survivor of a major disaster or a world ending catastrophe, a fast growing crop would be the equivalent of gold. The entire plant is edible but the root has the most uses. It can be used to make soups, stews and in salads. Radish roots are rich in carbohydrate sugars, fat and proteins. The leaves are rich in vitamins especially the vitamin B group and vitamin C. Its growth speed and nutritional value make it ideal for survival.

4. Tomatoes

Tomatoes have a spot on this list due to the fact that they are multi-nutritional, require little space to grow and ripen really fast. Tomatoes are rich in vitamins A and D, carbohydrate sugars, fats, minerals, fiber and water. They can be eaten raw as fruits or used as vegetables to make rich stews and soups. Tomatoes take between 20 and 25 days to ripen and be ready to eat. This short growth time makes it a great crop for surviving in case of disasters where food stores are destroyed or used up.

5. Flour

Flour is a great food to have in store in case of emergency. What is super awesome about it is the fact that it can be stored for a very long time without going bad. When stored in a cool dry place brown flour can stay for up to five years while white flour can stay up to seven years. The difference is due to the fact that brown flour has more oil which tends to speed up the process of food going bad. Flour from wheat, corn and oats is useful in making filling pastries that should see you through your until you figure out another way of finding food. Sorghum and millet flour are good for porridge.

6. Tea and coffee

Ground tea leaves and coffee beans can stay for up to four years depending on the brand. They belong on this list due to the ability to stay for long without getting spoilt. Tea and coffee will come in handy on cold nights after disasters helping to warm you and calm you down.

7. Canned meat and fish

This is a great source of protein. Canned meat can be anything from chicken and beef to turkey and lamb. The meat is cooked or dried, treated with preservatives and sealed in cans that have air suctioned from them. Cooked meats can last for up to six years canned whereas the free-dried variety of canned food can last for up to twelve years. So if you believe that there is a chance that you might survive an upcoming disaster, stock up on canned meats. They are real life-savers.

8. Rice

Brown rice can stay for up to five years when dried and kept away from moisture. This makes them a great food option in case of disaster. The other great thing about rice is that the grains are small and light making them easier to store and if need be, carry around. Rice also makes nice filling meals full of energy giving carbohydrates.

9. Salt and sugar and honey

These three food items can last indefinitely and therefore deserve their spot on this list. Salt is a rich source of iodine which is good for your blood. It also has medical advantages being used as an antiseptic and a stomach relief remedy. Sugar is a carbohydrate and is a great source of energy. It can be used when baking bread and when mixed with water make an energy drink.

10. Powdered milk

Finally, having powdered milk is useful for survival in the end times. An unopened can of powdered milk can last from between two and ten years. Milk is a great source of proteins, vitamin D as well as minerals.

These foods are awesome for the end times because of their ease of availability, speed of growth and resilience in bad conditions. If you chose to set up an emergency store of food remember to include water and medical supplies. Whether or not you believe that you might be caught up in the end times and disasters, it wouldn’t hurt to have a back-up stash.

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What Would Happen If Our Transformers Were Attacked?

would-we-survive

In 2013, an attack on an electrical substation in San Jose, California brought down 17 giant transformers.

In the aftermath of the attack, officials began to panic as they realized that there is a large vulnerability in our nation’s power grid.

But what is being done about it?

The truth is that our power grid remains vulnerable to attack. And to make matters worse, these electrical transformers are so large and intricate that it takes 18 months to build just one.

That means that if someone were to attack our power grid, vast numbers of Americans could be left without power for a year and a half–or more.

The video below explains why our power grid is so vulnerable and the danger of a possible attack on the grid.

What Would Happen If Our Transformers Were Attacked?

Are you prepared for a power grid failure? If not, start now. After all, you never know when an attack like this could happen.