Note from JWR:

I was recently interviewed by Sarah Hodd of ABC (the American one, this time), as background for a piece that “Nightline” plans to soon produce about survivalism. She asked me to post the following: Do you store large quantities of of food or gas? Do you have a safe room or NBC shelter in your dwelling? Have you taken steps to prepare against a long term power outage, or an oil shortage? Do you live off grid? ABC News is looking for current members of the Survivalist movement to discuss the dropping value of the dollar, rising food shortages, and …




Letter Re: Retreat Locales in the Eastern United States

Mr. Rawles: I see that [in your Recommended Retreat Areas page] you only list information for retreat selection in 19 western states. Do you not think other states are worthy of retreat locations? We live on 300 acres in southwestern Missouri (Polks County). Not totally ideal I am sure, but it is home, children and grandchildren are here and more over we feel placed here by our Lord over 35 years ago. I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts pro/con on the state of Missouri so that we might be better prepared. — Paulette JWR Replies: I consider …




Letter Re: Do It Yourself Coffee Roasting

After reading some information in SurvivalBlog about roasting green coffee beans I thought I could offer some useful info on the subject, since I’ve been a coffee supplier and roaster for about 10 years. Let’s assume the grid is down—how does one roast coffee? You can do it over an open flame such as a propane burner, or campfire. In the days of cattle drives the cook would roast in a cast iron pot just stirring the beans constantly. If you do that then a peaberry type coffee bean works best because they are more round, and my research tells …




Letter Re: Ammunition Reloading for Survival

Jim, I saw the article that mentioned Reloading for autoloading rifles, and some comments that seemed to not completely answer questions people may have. It is important to note that reloading any caliber is a delicate undertaking for any gun you are about to trust your life with. The use of case gauges is an important one, but for the part-time reloader they are an expensive investment (~$30-50 each!). A much easier method is to test the cartridge in the firearm, to accomplish this, if you are working on either a progressive or single stage press, reload a few rounds …




Odds ‘n Sods:

Lisa C. suggested this article: One Guy Who Has Seen It All Doesn’t Like What He Sees Now about an elderly financial that fears the effects of the current credit collapse, but suggests buying stocks. I concur with the former, but not the latter. In my opinion the US stock market is heading for a fall. The recent Dow Jones rallies have been nothing but sucker rallies. And if you look at the volume of stock that insiders are selling, it is clear that a lot of the “smart money” is abandoning ship. (See, for example, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s …







Note from JWR:

Reader Jeff T. kindly did some digging and found the text link to my recent ABC (Australia) interview: Global food crisis sparks US survivalist resurgence. And here is the audio link.




Letter Re: Spare Parts Now Available for XD-45 Pistols

Jim: You mentioned that spare parts for Springfield Armory XD pistols have been hard to find. That was the case, up until recently. But now spare XD parts are starting to show up at PistolGear.com. Hover you cursor arrow over “Springfield XD” at the bottom of the window that pops up . There should be a line that reads “XD Factory Parts“. I just got a whole stack of [factory spare XD parts] in the mail last week. There are still some critical parts that are missing, such as the extractor. I have done a lot of business with them …




Letter Re: Cooking Aromas and Post-Collapse OPSEC

Greetings All, SurvivalBlog has, and is, providing great practical information as well a thoughts on just about every aspect overcoming adversity and disastrous conditions. This brain trust provides information on retaining as much privacy as possible in this era of electronic monitoring of everything we purchase, and how to camouflage just about every type of inanimate object. I have noticed one issue that hasn’t been addressed. (Don’t faint!). During a long term situation in particular this one issue can impact any family or group’s safety. So here is the question. How can we best ‘camouflage’ or limit the smell of …




Three Letters Re: What Determines if a Storage Bucket is Food Grade?

Greetings Jim, I have found the folks at the bakery counter at [supermarkets such as] Safeway are willing to give me food grade buckets for free or maybe $1 each. They get frosting five gallons at a time. Once you read the label on that stuff you may never eat store bought cake again! – DAP in Missouri   Jim: I wanted to share the best priced source I have found for Food Grade Buckets. Other than getting them free from food vendors, I haven’t found a price better than $3.99 for five gallon food grade buckets. Lids are $1.09. …




Two Letters Re: Observations on a Tour of a Telephone Company Central Office

James: The batteries are why the phone still works when the power goes out. That is if you still have an old style (hard wire) phone and not all cordless phones. The cordless phones need 120 VAC power to run the base station. You should maintain at least one all wire somewhere in your house. I believe the [common design for COs is that the] whole building is built in such a way that it is a big Faraday Cage. It would take a pretty close proximity EMP to take one out. The EMP danger is in the above ground …




Odds ‘n Sods:

Paul D sent us this article about the Ug99 wheat fungus: Stem Rust Never Sleeps    o o o Analysts Predict: Gasoline May Soon Cost $10 Per Gallon in US    o o o A traveling video-journalist meets Vern Switzer. There are some self-sufficiency lessons in this piece.    o o o China steps up monitoring of deadly virus outbreak. (A hat tip to frequent contributor RBS.)







Notes from JWR:

A couple of readers have told me that they heard my recent interview on Australian ABC Radio about the global grain shortage. The reporter described me as “a secretive survivalist, speaking from an undisclosed location.” OBTW, I was also interviewed last week by the BBC, but I don’t know if that one has aired yet. The high bid in the current SurvivalBlog Benefit Auction is now at $230. This auction is for four items: A FoodSaver GameSaver Turbo Plus heavy duty food vacuum packaging system (a retail value of $297) kindly donated by Ready Made Resources an autographed copy of …




Letter Re: What Determines if a Storage Bucket is Food Grade?

Mr. Rawles, I recently purchased some five gallon buckets at Wal-Mart that I thought would be considered food-grade. I’m afraid these are probably the paint buckets you recently warned against, but I read elsewhere on the web that if there was a “2” inside of the recycle-symbol on the bottom of the bucket, the bucket would be considered food-grade. If these are unsuitable, do you mind going into a little more detail as to why? Thanks, – Ben J. JWR Replies: The number 2 (with the number inside the “chasing arrows” symbol) refers to HDPE, but not all “2” marked …