Preparedness Notes for Saturday – October 21, 2017

SurvivalBlog Notes

Safecastle has launched their new site that you should check out when you get a chance. As part of the upgrade, they have discontinued the lifetime membership and instead are using an annual membership model. However, they are extending the lifetime memberships to SurvivalBlog readers. To take advantage of this offer, you need to register at their site ( and then email them at and mention “SurvivalBlog Free Lifetime Membership” in the Subject line. They will then upgrade your account for free (A $49 value).

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SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

This has been another entry for Round 73 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of (a $180 value), and
  8. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  5. A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
  6. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by,
  7. A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value), and
  8. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
  6. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from (a $240 value).

Round 73 ends on November 30th, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

What I Learned Living Through Harvey, by M.S.

Hurricane Harvey

I’ve lived through several disasters and learned some thing. The worst events, in my experience, were the World Trade Center attack, Hurricane Sandy in New York City, and then most recently Hurricane Harvey in Beaumont, Texas. South East Texas was hit with life threatening, devastating rain fall, which put entire cities under water, turned towns into islands, and crippled the municipal water system of Beaumont. The following is a list of lessons I learned during this experience.

1. I’m not overly paranoid.

I’ve been freedom oriented and interested in prepping for a while, and many of my family and friends think I’m just being overly paranoid. I was hoping this was the case, but unfortunately it’s not.

2. Every disaster, natural or otherwise, presents its own challenges and obstacles.

One common issue is self defense as well as defense of one’s family and belongings. This was a continual struggle while I lived in NYC, since although I managed to obtain a pistol license (which was an incredible challenge), my NYC Pistol License did not allow for carry outside of my residence. Once I moved to Texas, I immediately obtained my concealed carry license. Although I’m guilty of not carrying 24/7, it was certainly comforting knowing I have the ability to carry a gun for defense in instances such as a disaster or crisis. Everyone in Beaumont couldn’t have been nicer, perhaps because no one got to the point of desperation. However, I still carried, and I’m glad I did, just in case it got worse.

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The Editors’ Preps for the Week

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. Steadily, we work on meeting our prepping goals. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities. They also share their planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, property improvements, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles, but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year. We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!


Dear SurvivalBlog Readers,
This week we had some beautiful, beautiful fall weather followed by a huge windy rainstorm that caused many in our region to lose power for about 12 hours; We’ve had continual rain since that day. Whenever we lose power our SOP is to immediately call the power company to let them know about it, then we fill water containers from our faucet until the water runs out. This is for drinking, cooking and hand washing, only. We usually get less than 10 gallons from the faucet. (We do have some bottles of water stored and we also have a shallow well hand pump near the house and the river flowing through our property. But water from the hand pump and river will need to be filtered and brought to a near-boil.)

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The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:

Middle East Violence

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “HJL”. The onslaught against the Second Amendment continues and the Middle East Tensions are on fire again. I’m starting to get whiplash from looking east and west so quickly.

Second Amendment

The Democrats have now added a 3 day waiting period and Tannerite regulations to the bills waiting in the wings of the House. Refer to the Preparedness Notes for Wednesday – October 18, 2017 for a list of these proposed bills. Note that it is still the case that not a single one of the proposed bills, nor any of the existing laws on the books would have stopped the Las Vegas tragedy. This is clearly a case where the Congress (including Republicans) is pushing a gun control narrative and using this horrific shooting to justify their actions.

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The Legal Brief has posted a video about the gun control onslaught and what we are up against. They break the proposed legislation down and give you a good overview of the bill and the real-world issues the proposed legislation will cause. In any case, the laws only affect law abiding citizens. Those who would commit atrocities such as the Las Vegas shooting would simply ignore these new bills just as they ignore existing gun laws.

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Preparedness Notes for Friday – October 20, 2017

October 20th is the birthday of actor Viggo Mortensen (born 1958.) He lives somewhere in the American Redoubt. On his ranch is his horse-for-life “TJ”–one of the five paint horses used in the filming of the movie Hidalgo. Most SurvivalBlog readers probably know him best for his starring role in The Road.

This is also the birthday of “fast and fancy” shootist Ed McGivern (born 1874, died December 12, 1957.) He was born in Nebraska, but was a long-time resident of Butte, Montana.

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Do We Have Your Full Attention Yet?- Part 2, by Old Bobbert


Experienced Preppers Fall Short As Great Teachers

There seems to always be that cursed word “but”, where the experienced preppers usually fall just a little short of the mark of a great teacher. They never seem to actually talk much, or show much, about the “how” to actually do these necessary/important stuff. Their road map is kept to themselves.

They never seem to realize that we all live in different worlds of experience with different needs and different financial positions. And we have different and often difficult family responsibilities, et cetera.

How I Researched The Specific Article Illustrated Earlier

So let’s go to how I did the research for the specific article I used as the example in Part 1. In part, it’s based on my experience through 40+ years of sales management, raising four terrific kids, and most importantly being a loving husband of 50 years and nine months.

My chosen attitude position is very simple. It was also learned through many pain-filled years of trials with errors uncountable.

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Freeze Dried Friday:

Harvest Right

Welcome to Freeze Dried Friday on SurvivalBlog! We’ve been making so many things in the Harvest Right Freeze Dryer that we want to share some of them with you. If you have something wonderful you’ve prepared in your freeze dryer that you would like to share with SurvivalBlog readers, take a photo of it and send it in along with a description. We might just feature you here!

Vacation is over

The Latimer household is back online after a wonderful vacation. We are still unpacking and cleaning out the camping equipment though. I’m happy to report that the freeze dried food offered us gourmet meals at a fraction of the price of standard commercial offerings. We didn’t even repack into Mylar bags this time, instead just choosing to take the Mason jars and store them in the trailer separated by a sheet of cardboard to keep them from bouncing against each other as we traveled. It was rather refreshing to not lose any food to spoilage or cooler sogginess.

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Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. We also cover hedges, derivatives, and obscura. And it bears mention that most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of JWR. (SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor.) Today’s focus is on ancient coins.  The accompanying photo shows how many ancient coin hoards look, when first excavated. (See the Tangibles Investing section, near the end of this column.)

Precious Metals:

First up, at FX Empire: Silver Price Forecast October 18, 2017, Technical Analysis

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Despite some recent attempts at import controls, the wedding gift demand in India is a key determiner of the price of gold: Diwali sales have been up 15-20%: ORRA


Next, we read: Less than 18 pct of global stocks owned by index investors – BlackRock

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At The Motley Fool: Most Investors Expect a Stock Market Correction Later This Year — but They Also Aren’t Worried About It.   JWR’s Comment: Given the current P/E ratios, the weakness in the underlying economy, and the realization that the stock bubble has been driven by artificially low interest rates, I expect a far more drastic correction.


On to this, from the Resilience folks: Peak Oil Review 2: October 2017

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Visualizing US shale oil & gas production. JWR’s Comment: There is a two month lag in some of this data, but it is enlightening.

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Preparedness Notes for Thursday – October 19, 2017

October 19th is the birthday of three notables– the late Alexander Zeisal “Zus” Bielski (born 1912), investor Jim Rogers (born 1942), and James Howard Kunstler (born 1948). Kunstler is well known to SurvivalBlog readers as the author of the novel World Made by Hand and the nonfiction book The Long Emergency. A fictionalized portrayal of Zus Bielski is seen in the movie Defiance. This movie was loosely based on the excellent book Defiance: The Bielski Partisans by Nechama Tec.

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October 19th also marks the anniversary of Operation Gatling; the “Green Leader” raid in which Rhodesia attacked ZIPRA (Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army) in retaliation for ZIPRA shooting down a scheduled passenger flight, Rhodesia flight 825, during the Rhodesian Bush War. Rhodesia suffered only minor casualties, but claimed to have killed 1500 ZIPRA personnel as well as some Cuban instructors. Other sources claim that those killed were refugees camped near the ZIPRA border. Sadly, history does not seem to remember the two airliners shot down by Zimbabwe along with the innocent civilians killed on them, but emphasizes the retributory Rhodesian strikes.

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Do We Have Your Full Attention Yet?- Part 1, by Old Bobbert


Let me get your attention by sharing this fact: “Life expectancy is going up everywhere except in the U.S.” This opening statement is supposed to be the “grabber” and should make the reader want to read the entire article.

Okay! Here we go with your bad news of the day in two parts. The first part is short, simple, and terrifying. It’s the one liner in quotes above. And the second part is worse yet. This part says that the life expectancy news today will be worse tomorrow, and every American is subject to the same bad news. However, there is good news available in the next line.

The quoted one liner above is not quite entirely true.

Dealing With Huge Volume of Information Available

The specific end goal of this article to to help you, the reader, become better able to help yourself deal with the huge volume of information constantly being made available to us in our everyday lives. Towards that desired goal, I have chosen to create this message in a conversational tone plus a narrative style. I am trying to write for two types of readers– both the experienced and helpful prepper and also the eager but still very new members of our larger group of preppers. All readers of either type, of course, want to learn about themselves and how to better deal with the expected (SHTF) incident/event. You old adventurers will benefit through adding to your skill set with new ways to help others gain expertise.

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Letter: E-85 and Generators



I didn’t have any luck searching for this on your website. May be something you consider for a future article.

How well/poorly do portable generators function using “ethanol gas” (E-10 ‘the normal mix”, and E-15 [or higher] which various lobbies seem to want to foist on us)? How about going all the way to E-85 if you can’t obtain/forage/swap for “the good stuff”? Even with stabilizers, the ethanol is very hygroscopic so goes bad fast, but what about a post-hurricane/tornado/etc. scenario where it hasn’t had to sit long in the tank?

I got to thinking in the post-Maria coverage that I didn’t know how well generators tolerated ethanol? Because it reduces the “energy density” of the fuel, would the power generated make it past the controller? Screw up your system?

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The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:

Kids Smart Watches

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “HJL”. Kids smart watches are something that you may want to be careful of this Christmas shopping season.

Owned by Debt

Understanding debt and economic slavery is probably one of the most important preps that you can make. It’s not that all debt is bad, but you have to understand that the debtor is slave to the lender. That works whether the debt is for the latest iPhone, a new car, or even a home. Hopefully, acquired debt is not for some frivolous purpose like a vacation. Even our young people end up with the equivalent of a house payment in starting their professional careers (with no corresponding asset to show for the debt). Thanks to S.W. for the link.

Non-Binary Gender

California will now recognize a third non-binary gender for residents who do not want to identify as either a male or female. Leaving aside the obvious absurdity of non-biological gender issues, we are now left to wonder how various federal issues will be resolved. To my knowledge, an FFL form #4473 only allows “Male” or “Female” as appropriate responses. I’m sure there are many others as well that will have the same complication. Thanks to G.P. for the link.

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