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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Comments on the Collapse Factors received the following comment from Anonymous on the Collapse Factors: "Since the beginning of the financial collapse, which started in Oct 2008 (but has it's roots back in 1998 and 9/11/01), I have been amazed at how long things have continued to work in an almost "normal" fashion. All of my economics training is telling me this will end badly, but the one area I have to be honest about is that it is taking longer than one might have expected. We might see a "lost decade" like Japan, or a continued slow motion train wreck as we have now. But it doesn't change the need to prepare for the eventual collapse.

Our country still has about $10 or $20 trillion of non-levereged net worth to borrow against. But that will go fast. Things could collapse soon if foreign governments demand gold instead of dollars. But if not, this existing situation could go on for a few more years. For me, the acid test will be interest rates. When the Fed cannot control interest rates, and we see the trend like Greece for the 2 year bond at 48% interest, the gig is up. Just my two cents worth.

UrbanMan replies: I think you're on the mark, but I think the beginnings of the collapse occured with F.D.R.'s new deal and several Administrations since, of those factos being coming off the Gold standard. I also think you're spot on with the slow collapse scenario. I think we are going to see that. It may hasten with a cataclysmic event like a nuclear or cyber terrorist attack, but the odds are on a slow slide into a pre-collapse depression like era.

But the situation cannot stay at this point forever. The question is just how long will this be until chaos and anarchy takes over,...SHTF,...which will be a natural result when this nation of people, the majority of which are used to a decent life, have to struggle to survive?

I think we'll be very much like Greece, and maybe very soon. I'm hoping to be able to move (no, not to the Great American Redoubt) and get better prepared to live it out,..but I feel the great weight of the debt, inflation, inept Federal Government response, dwindling resources, societal issues, and disenfranchised masses making it come sooner rather than later.

The Government cannot do much. Their Courses of Action remain: 1 - trying to control the people who have nothing and nothing to lose, "military control", or, 2 - Over taxation and confiscation of wealth and assets, "Socialist State".

What other choices does the government have? The vast entitlement society has got to be coming to an end. With 43 to 45 million people dependant upon the government now depending upon their wits, what will the ground truth be then?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

SHTF Handguns: Another Reader Question

I received an e-mail question about handguns for personal protection in a survival or collapse environment. "Urbanman, I am in a loose knit group, I guess you can call us a survival band. There are four of us couples. Between us all we have a couple deer rifles and shotguns, but discussed the need to have some handguns and everyone is on board with buying the same one for ammunition and magazine compatibility. We can all agree on the Beretta military handgun in 9mm, but I recently was told by a neighbor, a retired Army guy, that the Army is getting rid of the Berettas. Is this true? Are we making a bad choice with the Beretta?"

UrbanMan replies: Yes, it is true the Army is looking at replacing the Beretta M9, 9mm handgun. Not necessarily because it is a bad design, the guns in the service have reached the limit of their life cycle. They have been in service since around 1986. On occasion I have carried the Beretta M9 or 92SF as well as a Beretta 96D in .40 caliber S&W.

Since 1986 alot of improvements have come of the handgun industry, name a few:
1. Better ergo-metrics with interchangeable grip inserts to make the gun fit the end users hand better.
2. Integral picatinny rail underneath the frame in order to mount a handgun light and or laser.

The Beretta can be learned to well enough. Is reliable and uses metal magazines with a metal magazine catch. Magazines are plentiful and available either in 9mm or .40 S&W, both of which I would not feel inadequately armed with, albeit a handgun is primarily a defensive weapons. I think you are on the right track in selecting a common handgun and each survival group members should have a long gun and a handgun.

There are many other good handguns out there, among them the Glock series pistols; Smith and Wesson M&P series semi-automatics; Sig-Sauers; Heckler and Koch. You are going to find all different makes and models, and calibers, of handguns across this country accepted for agency use.

Ruger also makes good, and cheaper priced, pistols as well. The advantage with the 9mm is usually a extra round or two in the magazines and a little bit cheaper ammunition.

Bottom line is that any quality handgun will do, ought to be more concerned with training everyone in your group on whatever handgun you select. Good luck to you and the development of your Survival Group,...hope you never have to see SHTF, but it is nice knowing you are beginning to get ready. Don't forget about your long guns as they are your primary survival firearms for personal protection during the collapse.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Earthquakes, Hurricanes and other Natural Disasters - whats your SHTF Communications Plan?

Within the past week we have seen Earthquakes on the Colorado-New Mexico border and in the Larger Washington D.C. area. In the case of the District of Columbia, people reported their voice cellular communications affected. Oddly enough texting was not as affected for the people I called to look into this, however most reported their phones out of service for both for some of the time.

We have Scientists predicting a large earthquake in the Memphis, Tennessee area. More floods are forecasted for the Missouri and Mississippi rivers regions. And then you have California.......with predictions to a giant earthquake coming with hundreds of thousands of casualties to even the dire prediction of the California coast sliding off into the Pacific.

Now we have Hurricane Irene barreling down on the East coast. Then to top it off, my cellular carrier has a tower gone so as my phone jumps around to connect to a tower, I drop calls all the time. All of this got me to thinking about most of the people out there unprepared to react to a communications shutdown and live within a broader communications bare environment.

I have a no-communications plan not only with my family but the people who will be part of my survival group. We have planned routes of travel to our planned primary survival holeup (my house) and to our secondary holeup as well. The first people at either location, as most of us work during the day, will monitor our emergency radio and establish a base station net control.

We have emergency linkup points selected in case of no-shows. We have this backed up by Push to Talk Family Radio System Walk-About type radios with pre-selected primary, alternate, contingency and emergency channels and brevity codes.

I have some higher end VHF radios, but no enough to go around to all survival group members and to valuable to field now. They will be in use once the survival group co-locates.

We have rehearsed this with most of our moving parts (survival group members) at a pre-arranged time to denote a notional national emergency. Doesn't have to be a natural disaster. It could be a pandemic outbreak alert, a nuclear or EMP attack, a market collapse or other government announcement sending people and society into chaos.

SO, I just wanted to remind everyone to imagine an event creating chaos with our normal landline and cellular communications systems. What would you do? Do you know what your family, friends and survival team members would do?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Reader Questions of Collapse Factors received two e-mail questions and we're going to respond to in a single post.
Wayne asked:  "Sovereign Man said that two things – economic deterioration and the increasingly heavy hand of Big Brother– are the essential ingredients in revolution.   When combined, widespread social upheaval is nearly a foregone conclusion.  Then he went on to state that thinking people need to recognize the risks and consequences at stake, and formulate a plan to prepare for them. My ultimate recommendation is to set up a safe haven location outside of your home country– a crash pad in a stable place where you can feel secure in your family’s safety and watch the turmoil on television instead of from your front porch. (p.s. these are almost verbatim).  What do you think of this and is there any relation to the riots you wrote about last week?"

UrbanMan replies:  I have not read Sovereign Man for awhile, but he is dead on the mark.  Excessive government regulation which tends to take freedoms away from people as well as destroy the economy, and the economy tanking making it harder for people to make ends meet will set the stage for riots, it food riots, riots against authority,...anything excuse or reason will do to serve as a catalyst for the people's frustrations.   And I think we are seeing the leading edge of riots in this country that have plagued Europe.  It will get worse as this country runs out of money to pay entitlements.  The "entitled" will think they are getting the short end of the stick and these groups are largely in urban densities.   Can anyone say "Detroit"?    

As far as Sovereign Man's recommendation to set up a safe haven outside of your home country?   Where the hell is that going to be?  Costa Rica or some other Central American country where the military rules and gringos have second class rights?   No thanks, I'm sticking to the good ole U.S.  The more of us are prepared, the better off this country and also better the chances of rebuilding something worthwhile.......and preparation be it for natural disasters, economic depression or a total SHTF scenario, are becoming much more mainstream.
Anonymous wrote:  "There is an article in the New York Times talking about a severe shortage of drugs especially for infections.  The article also stated that since supplies were so low, people were paying sometimes 20 times, yes 20 times!!!!! the regular price.   This scares the shit out of me as my wife and son are pretty prone to getting infections and going on antibiotics.  Is this something that is going to get better or worse and will it cause a pandemic?

UrbanMan replies:  Yes, I have been keeping on top of this.  A couple friends of mine reported that their hospitals reported they "don't stock" a certain medication,...probably a political correct way of saying "we can't get it".   Viral infections can be spread causing a pandemic in the worst case, and I believe it is harder for bacterial infections to spread.  My base preparations for the increasing chances of sickness and disease is to use good hygiene; be prepared to quarantine any people you take in during a collapse;  and maximum use of nutrition and supplements to build our immune systems as a prophylaxis (preventative measure) to sickness and disease.   My base thinking is that this will not get any better unless the economy rebounds and costs of medical treatment are reduced.            

Monday, August 22, 2011

Rabbi Talks About the Growing Survival Threat

Incredible Government mismanagement of taxpayers money and the base economy; Riots in London where widespread robberies, destruction, looting and assault taking place. Forty Three million Americans on food stamps; Another round (QE3) of printing Money to deflate the value of the existing money supply; crop failures, natural disasters and more government regulation decreasing the ability of this country to produce food;

All this and some people are actually saying it will get worse! Glenn Beck is predicting race riots over the failed economy and coming collapse. Some very main stream people are actually saying, whispering mind you, but nevertheless saying the SHTF is going to happen and happen within two years. Other are quietly preparing for the collapse and preparing first to protect who and what is theirs.

A friend of ours sent us the following letter from Rabbi Bendory talking about the growing danger. The highlights of which are posted below:

An Open Letter To All Urban Residents –
And Especially Jews.

by Rabbi Dovid Bendory, Rabbinic Director,Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, and certified NRA Instructor.

Times have changed rapidly, and ominously so. In Wisconsin – home to JPFO’s office – “Witnesses' accounts claim everything from dozens to hundreds of young black people beating white people as they left State Fair Thursday night.”

In Philadelphia, the “mayor talks tough to black teenagers after ‘flash mobs’ … attack people at random on the streets of the city’s tourist and fashionable shopping districts.” The mayor has now imposed a curfew on the City.

“In Chicago on Memorial Day weekend, roving teens flashed gang signs, knocked cyclists off their bikes and harassed picnickers.”

We’ve seen similar events in Peoria, IL; Atlanta, GA; Las Vegas, NV; and – close to home for me personally – South Orange, NJ.

And while you won’t see it in the Main Stream Media, you can find plenty of blogs that highlight the racial undertones – and overtones – of these flash mobs. Here’s an account of a Peoria eye-witness who says the mob chanted “kill all the white people.”

As most decent people are watching the stock market gyrations and following our federal government’s mismanagement of both monetary and fiscal policy, our nation is entering an unpredictable phase. I’m sorry to say that, based on history, things are going to get worse. Just look at London, England, where four nights of rioting hooligans have resulted in the deployment of an extra 16,000 police officers in an attempt to stop the looting, vandalism, destruction, assaults, and robbery.


Get a gun, and learn how to shoot it accurately, under pressure. If you find yourself in a “flash mob,” the police will NOT show up in time to do you a bit of good. These mobs gather in minutes and disburse just as quickly when the first police car arrives. Or worse, they attack the first police officers until backup arrives.

What kind of gun should you get? Start with a quality semi-automatic pistol. A standard magazine of 12 or 15 rounds will come with it, and you can purchase and carry one or two backup magazines on your person or in your car. If your state laws allow it, a loaded shotgun in your car wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

And in London, all guns are outlawed. Thank God, in America, we still have the Second Amendment.

Read the entire article here, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Long Stay Foods for SHTF

So if you're looking for groceries to buy in bulk and store in your pantry, these products are your best bet. Urban Survival Skills advocates considering many types of foods to stock for SHTF, among them:

Canned and dry pantry items, which would be probably the first items consumed.

Vaccuum packed bulk food items, like pasta, rice, beans, and dry meals like the rice dishes and hamburger helper, etc.

Commercial survival foods like the Mainstay Bars; and, commercial rations like the Military Ready to Eat (MRE) meals.

And it seems like it has become (almost) mainstream in America to advocate everyone stocking up food for "bad times".
My preps has changed slightly over the past few months with a bigger emphasis on bulk canned and packaged items. What I have bought mostly in the past two months is canned soup and stews, packaged pasta, and all sorts of nuts.

The following article came off a internet mainstream news site about buying groceries in bulk for long term storage. Maybe some people are stocking food and supplies as a hedge against rising prices and others asa hedge against SHTF,...kinda same result which is being prepared.

Canned Beans and Vegetables. Canned food, by definition, lasts longer than most products in the grocery store because it has been specially processed in air-tight cans. In general, canned items can stay good for 12-18 months, according to Gans, but some last even longer. Canned products like beans and vegetables, which are low in acid, can actually last for as long as two to five years. The only exception is if the can is dented or rusty, as that indicates the can has been punctured at some point, which speeds up the spoilage process.

Cereal and Crackers. You might as well start stocking up on crackers and cereal for the winter. According to Heslin, these products are essentially just "edible cardboard" that don't have enough moisture to grow bacteria or mold, so they can last for a very long time. Cereals like Cheerios and Puff Wheat, which have little to no sugar, can last for 18-24 months if unopened, while crackers like saltines can generally last for about two years.

The safety and nutrient quality of these products doesn't change, but the taste and texture might deteriorate somewhat. In other words, your body will be fine eating these things after more than a year, but you may find them a bit too stale to make it worthwhile.

Dried Pasta and White Rice. Just as with cereal and crackers, dried pasta and white rice do not contain enough moisture to spoil, and can therefore last for at least two years unopened. Consumers should be mindful though of what kind of pasta and rice they intend to store, though. Brown rice and whole wheat pasta may seem the same, but in reality each of these products contains more oil than their traditional counterparts, and can therefore go rancid much quicker.

Honey. Honey can take years to expire, but according to Gans, one can conservatively hold onto it for about a year before its consistency begins to change, hardening and losing its sweet taste. Interestingly, Gans says that honey stays good for 12 months whether it's opened or unopened, making it one of the only foods where that is the case.

Spices. You may want to think twice before replacing the containers in your spice rack. In general, most common spices like salt, pepper and oregano don't actually expire in the traditional sense, they just become less and less flavorful.  Salt occurs naturally in nature, it has no expiration date.  There is no difference in 10-year-old salt at all, as long as it hasn't been exposed to moisture.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

One Step Closer to Gold Confiscation

Received this from TownHall:
Over The Counter (OTC) Bullion trading is now Illegal for all U.S. Residents. Again, OTC Bullion trading is now illegal but purchasing Gold & Silver and taking personal delivery or having it delivered to a Depository is Exempt from this New Ban thanks to lobbying efforts by several companies who mine and coin Gold.

What this means to us the Preparing Survivalist is that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) now has a foot hold on the physical bullion market. A feat this Government Agency has tried to achieve since its 1974 inception. Which of course is a step closer to Gold (and Silver) confiscation. And as you remember your history lesson, from 1933 through 1974 bullion was illegal to own until then President Gerald Ford gave back the rights of Americans to own bullion.

The CFTC's June 14th, meeting on The Dodds Frank Act, set forth the final rules on all Over The Counter markets, including retail commodity transactions of physical Bullion. The Over the Counter (OTC) Bullion Markets, Banned for ALL U.S. Residents and corporations as of July 15, 2011.

Many OTC Precious Metal Dealers have already begun to Unwind their Bullion Retail businesses.

Why was this put into law? Well, one is free to believe that is intended to protect consumers,.....or one can believe that it is to protecting what little value the U.S. Dollar has against Gold & Silver,......or one can simply look to history and believe that is to enable a faster transition to a government ban on ALL Gold and Silver. Remember, the last thing the despots do before a Country collapses is to loot the national treasury.

Add this into the equation: The CFTC pushed Congress to outlaw all Bullion that is NOT deliverable to Retail consumers within 48 hours. That would Shutdown 95% of All Retail Dealers....Overnight! No Matter how Large a Dealer maybe,... No Dealer sits on ENDLESS amounts of Inventory. The Dealer would eventually have to Order Inventory from Mints such as U.S. , Canada , Austria , South Africa or Directly through the Exchange. Nonetheless, delivery takes 3-14 days. Which does NOT complete the process, the product would still need to be shipped to the Retail Investor...

Therefore a 48 Hour Delivery Mandate is impossible, ultimately, making ALL Bullion transactions Illegal by default.

So is a Government ban on Gold And Silver coming? History has taught us, first comes Government control, then comes Government Ban/Confiscation!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wilderness Survival - Boy Scout's Example

With the good news being reported about the 12 year old Boy Scout from Utah being found alive after surviving in a cold wilderness environment by using his fieldcraft skills and building tree-branch shelter, I was asked my two people, what would I have done if I was lost.

First, the Boy Scout's story: The 12-year-old Boy Scout, however scared, kept his wits about himself and still knew what to do when he got lost during a Utah wilderness outing: He built a shelter made of tree branches and wood to get through a cold night and he covered himself in dirt to stay warm.

Scout Jared Ropelato's lean-to — a crude structure the Boy Scout manual advises Scouts to build if they become lost — kept him warm enough so he could sleep after the overnight low in Utah's Ashley National Forest dipped to 31 degrees in the area. The boy was wearing only jeans and a shirt, and had no food or water, when he went missing around noon Friday. He had gotten lost while on his way by himself back to camp from a nearby lake, walking a total of eight or nine miles before searchers on ATVs found him Saturday morning some four miles from where he started.

First of all, preparation is the key to survival. This comes in two forms: Knowledge and Skills about the environment and fieldcraft/survival skills; the second being Equipped. A knife, folding or fixed blade,...a lighter or waterproof matches,...and a canteen are essential to any outdoor outing or hike. If you are even better equipped then your chances (and comfort) are much better.
Having a simple Butt Pack or Day Pack with those above items, plus a flashlight, ground cloth or survival blanket, a section of parachute cord, maybe 50 feet, and, some food such as granola or survival bars would be the minimum in my book.

Knowing how to build a fire, build a shelter, procure and filter water would be key. If I was lost and looking to help people find me, a fire, then a shelter, then a ground to air signal in a nearby cleared area would be my first priorities as long as I had water. Sure you can go maybe up to 48 hours without water, but throughout that second day your mental and physical skills will start to wane. In a colder environment, such as this Boy Scout was in, you could stretch that to maybe 72 hours, and this is depending upon how hard you are working; how much sweat you have lost; if you avoid exposure to the Sun; and, if you have food to eat.

Hats off to the Boy,...other than breaking the two man rule, which is his Scoutmaster's fault, he did good.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Food Shortage Already Here has already written several posts about the coming food shortage, both in this Country and Worldwide. With the droughts, natural disasters, economic condition and high taxes/expenses this Country's ability to feed itself is rapidly declining. On the plus side, never before has hobby farming where regular people and even urban dwellers start their own gardens been so prevalent. Not only is a worthwhile skills, but the satisfaction you get from harvesting your own vegetables and having them for dinner just makes it all the more worthwhile.

A reader sent me this article entitled What Produce Drought Isn't Killing, People Are Stealing: Killing Drought in Arkansas

By Ron Klinefelter, owner of Spring Valley Organic Growers, 10 August 2011:

This is now our 77th consecutive day (Aug. 7) of this heat and drought. Temperatures all week were over 100. One day it was 104, one it was 107! We also broke 2 new all time heat records this week….108, and 112, and of course, no rain.

Several more things bit the dust this week. One, a patch of a beautiful heirloom grinding corn, that usually produces 2 ears, many a foot long. Even with every other day watering, they just couldn’t produce even one ear, and are now just curling up and dying.

Attention…..NO SEED for next year!

I was walking in one of the gardens yesterday, and the big elderberry bushes have so dried up that their big dinner plate sized clusters of fruit, which have just sat there green for weeks, instead of ripening, have begun to mummify, like they had been placed in a dehydrator. Also, the armadillo damage is so great now that they are ravaging whole beds. In the morning, it looks like a roto-tiller has gone thru there.

I have natural food stores calling me, asking for any produce, especially tomatoes. When I was in one of them last week, they were selling organic tomatoes FROM MEXICO! In talking to the manager/produce buyer of Prairie Markets last week, she told me that virtually everyone had “given up”, and there wasn’t even a viable farmers market in town now.

One more little problem. I was talking to someone in an adjoining county that was fortunate to get SOME rain. They had a pretty good bunch of tomatoes that they had been letting ripen on the vine. They were going to pick them one evening, but it was just too miserably hot. They decided to wait until morning to pick them for canning, when it was a little “cooler”. This is a relative term, as it is well after dark.9:00p.m., and it’s still 92 degrees. When they went out to pick them the next morning, someone(s) had snuck in, in the night and stolen EVERY SINGLE TOMATO! Not a one was left!

I have so much water and time invested in the gardens now, that I don’t hardly dare to stop now, but even if it were to start raining for days now, there probably wouldn’t be time enough before frost to bring another crop off. This will most likely be my last year of commercial growing. I am a vanishing species.

Seeing what I see, and reading what I’m reading from all around the country (and world), I find it almost impossible to believe that food shortages and possibly famine are not dead ahead. One would be a fool to not be putting up food like crazy, while you can get it. To NOT be doing that, I believe, is a very dangerous and foolhardy move – act now!

Read it yourself here: Produce Killing Drought

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Survival Rifle for 15 Year Old received an e-mail question concerning Sniper Rifles……”This is about the sniper issue. I am a Marine and have a 15 year old brother who is an excellent shot but not up to (handling) large loads and I don't like the idea of missing him (him being messed up) up in close-quarter combat. I have plenty of buddy's to cover that. I want a lightweight and long-range take-down weapon. I disagree with .22LR due to its lack of take-down and versatility. I mean there maybe other groups with a heavy military center to these groups which would include body armor. Just wanted some choices for SHTF that you might suggest. I was thinking along the M40A1.”

UrbanMan replies:: Thank you for your service, Marine. A .308 caliber battle rifle like the venerable M14 or M1A1 or in the AR platform such as the excellent LWRC’s (shown to the left) and the LaRue piston driven AR platforms in .308 may be too much to handle due to weight and felt recoil for a 15 year old boy, although I saw 10 year old boys carrying FN/FALS and G3 rifles in Africa, but they weren’t proficient in their use nor even safe. If you want something light, then the M40A1 rifle, which sniper platforms are built on, really isn’t it. Plus you would have to add a scope then training for a 15 year old. I sure it can be done but I would choose a different solution.

Sometimes the closer you are to the solution, the harder it is to see it. As a Marine you are familiar with the M-4 carbine in it’s variants. This is a light weight rifle, if you keep all the crap like lights, scopes, etc., off the gun. It can be broken down if necessary and purchased with a 16 inch barrel and collapsible stock for a smaller profile. Using the SS109 bullet, which is a steel core penetrator and known to you as the 62 grain green tip, is a very effective package against armed criminals wearing body armor when SHTF. And of course the 5.56mm cartridge is more accurate that most men (or boys) can use, and effective range is not an issue as it is accurate enough out to 500 meters. This weapon has been proven as an effective close quarter battle weapon for a lot of military and law enforcement units as well.

Another thing you can consider is the Kel-Tec SU-16D series carbine which is a very lightweight firearm. The weight, unloaded, is under 4 pounds. It is a gas operated much like the M16; uses the M16 bolt; uses M16 type magazines; is semi-automatic and has a cross bolt safety. If you are looking for something with some range, this is probably not it as it’s rudimentary sights probably won’t support accurate shooting past 200 yards. I think this gun best serves as a take down survival gun for Bug Out Bags, but at a retail price tag over $700 it probably is too expensive for what you get.

While I shot one several months ago and shooting off hand at 50 yards it was easy to center mass hits on an IPSC target, I just would not buy one. I don’t need another 5.56mm gun and there is something about plastic guns. But I will say it did not fail on me, nor the owner, and we eventually shot about 160 to 200 rounds that day through it. It may be an option for someone who is concerned about weight. But remember what you give up in weigh, you get back in recoil given the same caliber.

Okay, we're back to the M-4. Magazines are plentiful. Easy to handle gun for older children. Ammunition is cheap. I'd be looking to this gun.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Survival Gardens - More Comments

UrbanSurvivalSkills. received the following on e-mail,....."Hey UrbanMan,really liked the article on Survival Gardening and the lessons learned. Here is what learned from my survival gardening and what helped me format my food stockpiling:.

Seeds. Quality of seeds are very important. Ensure you store them in a controlled manner.

Planting. Ensure the soil and planting location is prepped to control waste of water (important if and when the collapse hits and water sources may not be reliable). Make sure you cull the plants as they come up so you keep the strongest plant of that species otherwise they will compete with each other. Don't plant too close together. I planted my corn way too close together this year and the stalks are not growing very tall.
UrbanMan comment:. Yeah I planted too close together as well.

I also planted new vegetables every 2 to 3 weeks. I am only planting two or three plants at a time because of my limited space in my backyard.

Types of Crops.. Tomatoes, black squash not yellow, potatoes, onions and cucumbers were easy for me to grow. Corn was okay, but (again) too close together. I am know enjoying a piece of fresh vegetable almost every day! I am know buying more brown and white rice, and dried pasta so I'll always have something to make with my vegetables. Canned soup goes further when you can add a piece of fresh vegetable to it and it tastes much better!.

Container Growing. Any containers have to have the ability to drain, so consider this. A a few nail holes in the bottom of the container go along way to drainage and not rotting the roots.

I hope this helps your readers. I am so glad I planted crops this year as I have learned so much. I think people who buy those pre-made SHTF tins of seeds but have never grown anything are going to be in for a surprise and not a good surprise.

UrbanMan comment: I agree with the need to "practice" growing crops if you have never done so. I also think that the Survival Planner would probably be better of customizing his own survival seed stock or at least augmenting store bought survival seed kits by figuring out what grows best in his area and buying those non-hybrid seeds from a reputable source. Gurney's Seed and Nursery is one of the sources I like. They also offer growing information, supplies and growing aids as well as a free newsletter.

There are a lot of celebrities (radio and news) pushing the idea of stocking food; hardly any of them talk about Seeds for Survival Gardens. What are you doing to do when the food runs out?

Stay Safe All. Cheers, Urban Man.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Second Recession - Are We Going to See Riots then Economic Collapse?

Paraphrasing the article, "Second Recession in he U.S. Could Be Worse", from the New York Times,.....their view is that the second recession (are we out of the first yet?) could be extremely painful and may not be recoverable.

Glenn Beck is predicting riots in the streets. And he is pretty damn accurate. We are seeing riots in England right now, and not just from the Police killing a man in an attempted arrest,...what fueled the riots is the general feelings by the "have nots" that they are getting the "short end of the stick".  They like alot of us in the U.S. are tired of their government  running this country into the ground.

Nowhere will this be larger issue if the high density population groups in the U.S. can't get food anymore either due to escalating prices or lack of availability....or fuel,......or really any commodity necessary for life or just plain survival.

We have seen two consecutive days of giant losses on the Stock Market.  Over 500 point on Friday 5 August, then over 600 points on Monday 8 August. What is going to happen if the Stock Market goes into free fall?

If the economy falls back into recession, as many economists are now warning, the bloodletting could be a lot more painful than the last time around.  “It would be disastrous if we entered into a recession at this stage, given that we haven’t yet made up for the last recession,” said Conrad DeQuadros, senior economist at RDQ Economics. And this is the good news. This is an understatement.

Anxiety and uncertainty have increased in the last few days after the decision by Standard and Poor’s to downgrade the country’s credit rating and as Europe continues its desperate attempt to stem its debt crisis. This is going to force the U.S. to execute entitlement reform, leaving millions without, or worse yet, have their credit dry up, effect becoming bankrupt.

We have had a population in the work force grow by 3% in the last four years, but jobs have declined, putting an extremely large number of people out of work and on some sort of welfare.  What happens when the Government either begfins entitlement reform or just goes plain bankrupt and people have no choice really but to take what they need. 
We are very lucky that  fuel prices and interest rates have remained comparitively low, but that just cannot last for very much longer and the decline will become much more rapid.

Think about what you are going to do once food cannot be obtained, due to either high prices or unavailability.   Where are the most likely places for riots to begin?  Where will they migrate to?  Speaking of migration, are you are a natural refugee route?   How is your OPSEC?  How many people know you stock food and supplies?  Are you tracking the indicators of this potenial collapse?

As I post this the morning of Tuesday August 9th, I have no idea what will happen today, but you can be damn sure I'll have both the Television and radio on at work, as well as surf through revelent sites when I have the time,...and I will make the time.  This week may very well be critical.     

New York Times article:

Monday, August 8, 2011

More Fixed Blades Knifes for Armageddon

I received a comment that the link to Spartan Blades did not open. Here it is again, and I have tested it, so this should work:

Two people that I know well, one a high powered Fed and the other a top shelf gun hand for the military each had different ideas on the best fixed blade knife to carry.

One of them loves his fixed blade Strider, telling me that it is thick enough to drive into an elephant's skull and it is the only fixed blade he now carries, although if I know this guy like I think I do, or two knives is no knives, so I know he carries a couple extra, probably folders. Did not get a chance to ask him.

The other gent, if I can call him that without offending him, tells me his next knife will be an Up-Armored fixed blade fighter. This professional warrior has carried a Randall No. 1 early in his career and since then has put that knife away since they don't make them anymore, and now owns several SOG Bowies. He said his last knife will be a Up-Armored Knife. I have not heard of this company so I checked out their website and they make some beautiful knives.

I probably won't be posting too much more information on high end products as I planned from the get go for this to be a site that offered common sense survival prepping information for the common man,..meaning it had to affordable too. Not too many people I know will sink $400 into a fixed blade knife. But since someone asked,.....

Sunday, August 7, 2011

SHTF: Argentinian example of Economic Collapse

This post and topic jumped to the top of our heap because of the recent downgrading of the U.S. credit worthiness and the bad economic forecast that presents to Americans. There is an interesting interview with Mr. Fernando Aguirre who was a first hand witness of Argentinian Economic and Currency Collapse in the Fall of 2001, from which the events in the U.S. are mirroring those of what Mr Aguirre experienced.  He  is the author of "Surviving the Economic Collapse", go to the website listed at the bottom of this post hear Fernando tells chilling stories of bank closures, life savings lost, & starving people slaughtering cattle on public roads just to survive.

What will be telling is how the markets, first in Japan as they open much earlier than our (around 6:00 pm Sunday Eastern Standard Time) and the direction the U.S. Markets take after that on Monday morning,....but back to Aguirre and his lessons from Argentina.       

Aguirre tells of the currency value deflation; massive unemployment and percent of population in poverty escalating;...or pretty much where we are at now here in the U.S........

.........followed by massive attempts by the Argentinian population to withdrawal money or otherwise "cash hoarding" and the immediate black market exchanging of Argentinian currency to U.S. Dollars; then the government attempts to control money leaving the banks and limit banks failing buy laws on withdrawals limits.  And all along the government telling lies to the people, probably justifying it by the rationale of minimizing chaos, riots and violence. 

If you are not one of the fortunate people who are prepared including holding physical Gold and Silver, what currency are you planning to exchange dollars for?????

Aguirre Interview on Contrary Investors Cafe

Friday, August 5, 2011

Is Economic Collapse Close at Hand?

Yesterday the Stock Market took a 512 point downturn. Today will be very telling as to just how close we are to a fast slide of economic collapse.

The rest of the World's view of the U.S. economy is basically that the inmayes are running the asylum. What happens here effects the rest of the World since the U.S. dollar is depending heavily on on the dollar for it's stability and status as the World's reserve currency. Both the stability and status are close of going away. So that foundation has been rocked with the U.S. Government expanding the limit of borrowing and the resultant show of a lack of confidence from Wall Street and many other Countries. What that means to use is the potential for massive inflation and hence a depression.

Add to the fact that about 25% of personal income is coming directly from the government in the form of entitlements, such as Disability pay, Social Security, Food Stamps, Jobless Benefits which are all funded by the U.S. Government which is borrowing heavily to pay for these entitlements.

By the end of this year, many of those dollars that fund entitlements are going to disappear,..some by the expiration of these benefits and some because the lack of moeny to pay for them.

Add QE3, where the Government prints more money, which in turn devalues the existing money supply, and we have a SHTF - Economic Collapse scenario on the tipping point.

Moody Analytics predicts a weakened economy coming due to lack of job growth;.....the Labor Department predicts smaller job growth;.....continued massive foreclosures will drive more people in banckruptcy and shorten the available money supply from lenders;.....the Federal extension of jobles benefits will expire soon placing many more people desperate for a way to feed their families and pay basic bills.

The outlook is not good. If you have never kept track of all the economic and political factors that would influence a collapse, now is the time to start. It is very likely that we are at the tipping point to a rapid slide towards a depression and then a partial or total economic collapse.

I would suggest to be leaning forward. Maybe finalize your last minute preparations. Ensure you have some ready cash for the chaotic one day where it will be apparent and you may need to be prepared to procurement whatever you are not willing to procurement today.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Survival Bug Out Option - Concrete Canvas Shelters

Concrete cloth has been around along time, but is rarely known inside the United States. ARZ Builders Inc., are a U.S. based source of pre-made, concrete structures that you literally inflate and water down to activate the concrete.

Use of other material such as earth, snow, bricks, rocks, etc., can be used to assist in protecting the concrete canvas shelter, providing occupants additional protection from small arms fire as well as adding insulation.

Concrete Canvas Shelters are rapidly deployable hardened shelters that require only water and air for construction. Visit for further information. The key to CCS is the use of inflation to create a surface that is optimised for compressive loading. This allows thin walled concrete structures to be formed which are both robust and lightweight. CCS consist of a cement impregnated fabric (Concrete Cloth) bonded to the outer surface of a plastic inner which forms a Nissen-Hut shaped structure once inflated.

Watch this video about the installation and setting of the concrete building.

Contact Info:

1515 N. Federal Hwy #300
Boca Raton - FL 33432
PHONE: (Cell) (561) 239-9923 - (Office) (561) 394-0910

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dilbert's Survival Preps

Dilbert survival preps apparently don't include OPSEC. A tongue in cheek look at the narrow line between dripping or outright advocating SHTF prep to your friends and co-workers in relation to trying to maintain some type of Operational Security......or you can call this "Art imitates life."

Thanks to Mountain Man Steve.