Note from JWR:

One last reminder that today is the last day of the special “six pack sale” for autographed copies of the latest 33 chapter edition of my novel “Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse”. The sale price of a box of six books is still just $90, postage paid. (Normally they are $24 per copy, but during this sale you get six autographed copies for $90, mailed in a Priority Mail Flat Rate box, sent to anywhere in the United States, including APO/FPO addresses.) This sale ends on October 31st. This is your chance to buy some extra copies for Christmas presents. Note that because of the recent rush of orders, I am now out of stock. I will continue to honor the special $90 six pack price, but there will be a delay for re-stocking until perhaps as late as mid-November, when the remaining six pack orders will be shipped. Orders will be shipped in the sequence that payments are received. Do not order from me unless you are willing to wait until the third week of November for your six pack of books to arrive! (If you are in a hurry, you can order from Fred’s M14 Stocks. They recently … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Rolled Oats Versus Steel Cut Oats for Storage

Hello Mr. Rawles, I recently discovered something called ‘steel-cut’ oats which are healthier than rolled oats. Are you familiar with this and how do they differ when it comes to long term storage. I did find a small container in the store that was about 2-1/2 times the cost of regular rolled oats. I have enjoyed reading your daily tips and the blog. Thank you, – Margo JWR Replies: The advantages of steel cut oats are marginal. They do have slightly more nutritive value than rolled oats, but certainly not enough to justify their substantially higher price! Rolled oats are typically steamed, rolled, and then re-steamed and finally toasted dry. The steel cut variety are less heavy processed, so they have just a bit more nutritive value. They also supposedly are a bit more flavorful, but I guess my “Fresh Off the Turnip Truck” palate is not very sophisticated, because I can’t taste much difference. Oh yes, I should also mention that when cooked steel cut oats also swell up more than rolled oats. All in all, I recommend buying rolled oats for storage. If it means the difference between supplying one family versus supplying two families for the same … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Advice on Resources for Canadian SurvivalBlog Readers?

Hello Jim, I am wondering if there is anyone here in Canada doing the great work that you are doing? I have just introduced my husband to the idea of getting prepared. I don’t know if I’ve seen one too many movies or if I have a premonition, but I would like to devise a plan sooner rather than later. I am also looking for a place to escape to, if we (probably) have to get out of our area (which is just on Lake Ontario ). We are thinking that we should go north. I live less than 30 minutes west of Toronto, in [deleted from OPSEC], which is about an hour from the Niagara Falls border. Any thoughts or links you would recommend? Thanking you in advance, – Liz G. JWR Replies: For our readers north of the border, I recommend Survival Bill’s Forums. There, you will find an interesting exchange of information, most of which has a distinctly Canadian slant. (The majority of posters are Canadians.) If you intend to “link up” with like-minded folks in your area, I also recommend the quasi-hidden(unlinked) web page sponsored by SurvivalistBooks.com. They have a surprisingly large number of postings from … Continue reading

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Letter Re: The Falling Dollar–Sheltering Your Assets in Steel and Alloy Tangibles

Jim, I really appreciate your web site and your wisdom. I agree with your evaluation of the need or the wisdom in storing magazines. You recommend original factory or military surplus. My question is what would you advise as far as AK mags go? Any thought on the polymer mags would also be appreciated. Thanks, – Andy JWR Replies: For steel AK magazines, I recommend buying any of the magazines made in the former Soviet Bloc that have a full length standing metal rib on the back. Virtually all of those are quite robust and reliable, regardless of the country of origin. (They were all made to essentially the same specifications, on USSR-supplied tooling.) The only steel AK magazines to avoid are: A.) the Chinese magazines (which can be identified by their lack of a “dorsal rib”), and B.) Aftermarket magazines from companies like USA Magazines and Triple K. Their quality control is pitiful, which generally results in unreliable junk. For polymer AK magazines, I recommend buying either Finnish Valmet green “waffle” magazines (which can be identified by their molded-in lanyard loops), or Bulgarian waffle magazines. Both are excellent. Polymer magazines are available from KVAR, although I’ve noticed a few … Continue reading

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Two Letters Re: Influenza Exercise Shows the Potential for Major Infrastructure Disruptions

James: In deference to Ben, his numbers are a little off. I have been spending a great deal of time studying everything I can get my hands on about a pandemic flu. (I am the Emergency Preparedness Specialist for my Church) If you go to www.pandemicflu.gov you’ll see that the “experts” expect a morbidity rate (those who will become sick) of 40% of the US population.and a mortality rate that would be about 20%. If you do some quick math: 360 million Americans 144 million Americans sick 28 Million Dead. One of the reasons that the numbers would not be as inflated as Ben states is that, while H5N1 is killing at a 50% to 70% range, when and if it mutates, the mortality and morbidity rates would be much lower. Any virus that wants to propagate itself needs to keep a higher rate of “Typhoid Mary’s” just to survive. If it kills it’s host too well it wont be a global threat. Think back to other viral scares. Ebola, although tragic to any who come in contact with it, it kills so well and so fast that it doesn’t spread very effectively. Same goes with the SARS scare in … Continue reading

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Odds ‘n Sods:

Thanks to LW for sending this: The $915 Billion bomb in consumers’ wallets    o o o I just received a review copy of Michael Z. Williamson’s latest science fiction novel “Better to Beg Forgiveness”. I really like his books, so I can’t wait to dig in to this one. I will post a full review once I’ve finished it. The novel is now available from Amazon.com.    o o o RBS flagged this one: US Mint considering cheaper coins. Our currency has become a pitiful reminder of its past greatness. So go all irredeemable fiat currencies, in time.    o o o Our friend Chuck mentioned: “Chris Nelder, an editor and frequent contributor at Energy & Capital took extensive notes on each speaker’s presentation at the ASPO conference in Houston. The notes (47-pages) are very useful for those studying the peak oil issues.’

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Note from JWR:

A reminder that tomorrow is the last day of the special “six pack sale” for autographed copies of the latest 33 chapter edition of my novel “Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse”. The sale price of a box of six books is still just $90, postage paid. (Normally they are $24 per copy, but during this sale you get six autographed copies for $90, mailed in a Priority Mail Flat Rate box, sent to anywhere in the United States, including APO/FPO addresses.) This sale ends on October 31st. This is your chance to buy some extra copies for Christmas presents. Note that because of the recent rush of orders, I am now out of stock. I will continue to honor the special $90 six pack price, but there will be a delay for re-stocking, possible until mid-November, when the remaining six pack orders will be shipped. Orders will be shipped in the sequence that payments are received. Do not order from me unless you are willing to wait until the third week of November for your six pack of books to arrive! (If you are in a hurry, you can order from Fred’s M14 Stocks. They recently bought 1,000 autographed copies … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Whole Grains Versus Milled Grains for Storage

Jim: With regards to food storage, I’ve heard a great deal about people buying buckets of wheat to put away. What would be the feasibility of just cutting out the middle-man and stocking up on baking flour, cornmeal, etc.? If this were possible it would allow one to forego the price of a grinder and put those funds toward even more foodstuffs. I imagine it would keep pretty well if packed with a good vacuum-sealer and socked away in food grade buckets. What am I missing? – L.C. JWR Replies: As described in my “Rawles Gets You Ready” preparedness course, once ground, wheat, corn, and other grains begin to lose their nutritive value almost immediately, and their shelf life is shortened drastically. Once the outer kernel (bran) of a grain is penetrated and the inner germ is exposed, the inevitable degradation begins. Here are some rough storage life figures to consider: Whole corn: 8 to 12 years. Cracked or ground corn: 18 to 36 months Whole wheat: 20+ years. Flour: 24 to 36 months If you were to bake all of your own bread each day, and religiously rotate your supplies of flour and corn meal every 18 months, then … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Influenza Exercise Shows the Potential for Major Infrastructure

Jim, With all due respect (to Chris in Utah and the folks cited by Computerworld), “If a pandemic strikes the U.S., it will kill about 1.7 million people” is a fantasy, because it is based upon the 1918-1919 flu’s death-rate of 2.5%, and also that the United States’ population of the time was around one-third of the present number. It was said that, in “normal” times, flu killed some 0.25% of those afflicted. In 1918-1919, that figure skyrocketed to 2.5%. Triple the U.S.’s population (in regard to the earlier 20th Century figure), and the post-WW1’s death-rate goes to slightly over 2 million. But, as I indicated earlier, that’s with the 2.5% rate. In Indonesia and elsewhere, the death rate [for H5N1] is not even close to 2.5%. It is more like 53% to 60%. I made some further calculations (2.5 x 20, for starters, although that is a rather conservative figure), an came up with the following figure[s], that the death rate, in the U.S. alone (675,000 x 3 x 20), will be more along the lines of 40,500,000 (say a round 40 million, just to keep things tidy.) Anybody who is of the opinion that a mere 1.7 million–approximately … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Advice on a Rust-Resistant Method to Store Spare Magazines

Hello Mr. Rawles, I just read your recent post on investing in full capacity magazines and was motivated to place several large mag orders. I already had at least 150 rifle mags, so I have quite a few mags around. I recently have been trying to get my preparedness storage organized so that items can be stored for long periods without being damaged. As part of this I have been vacuum sealing mags in my Tilia Food Saver with an oxygen absorber thrown in for good measure. These will then be stored in bins in my clean, dry attic. (I live in the Midwest – extreme hot & cold temperatures). Many of my AK mags are polymer, the steel mags I have given a coat of Break Free Collector before sealing. The AR mags are of course either aluminum or the new Magpul polymer mags. Do you think this is a good idea, or is there a better way? What is your recommendation for long term mag storage? My indoor climate controlled space is at a premium for food and ammo storage, so I would love to be able to keep these in the garage or attic if possible. By … Continue reading

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Odds ‘n Sods:

Stressed borrowers use plastic to delay default    o o o Writing in his most recent quarterly newsletter, economist John Mauldin mentioned: “…at the end of the second quarter, household mortgage debt [in the United States] totaled $10.143 trillion, compared with $4.295 trillion in 1999. Thus, in six and a half years the household sector’s mortgage debt increased by $5.8 trillion, or 136%.”    o o o Chester sent us a link to a hilarious YouTube video on hedge funds, credit derivatives, SIVs, and government bailouts.    o o o Thanks to Eric S. for sending this article: NYSE Eliminates Trading Curbs Dating Back to 1987. Now wouldn’t it be ironic if…

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