Note From JWR:

Today we present another entry for Round 39 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include: First Prize: A.) A gift certificate worth $1,000, courtesy of Spec Ops Brand, B.) A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be 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, and C.) Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources. (A $350 value.) D.) A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $275 value), and E.) A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo. Second Prize: A.) A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol. It is a $439 value courtesy of Next Level Training. B.) A FloJak F-50 hand well pump (a $349 value), courtesy of FloJak.com. C.) A “grab bag” of preparedness gear and books from Jim’s Amazing Secret Bunker of Redundant Redundancy (JASBORR) with a retail value of at least $300, D.) A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials, and E.) two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value) and F.) A Tactical Trauma Bag … Continue reading

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My Vacation in War Torn Yugoslavia, by C.N.

My family is from the former Yugoslavia and it had been a family tradition to go back and visit the homeland of my grandparents. Unfortunately for me, by the time I could go, my father had passed and I found only one cousin willing to do it again. As luck would have it, it was the summer of 2000 and I thought the war had been long over. It was only recently I discovered that the horror continued right up until just before my arrival there.   After a short stopover in Frankfurt, we boarded a smaller plane to Zagreb. The flight was beautiful, the scenery, breathtaking. I thought about the stories I was told about this place. My family were farmers there, and I was excited to experience the way of life that used to sustain them. I wanted to see the animals, horses, pigs, cows, chickens, the fields of vegetables, and how they did it all. I had heard about how they would slaughter the pigs, then salt and smoke them, and I really wanted to know how. I don’t know if you’ve had them, but Yugoslavians are famous for their cabbage rolls. I wanted to know how to make the … Continue reading

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Ebola for Beginners, by Jeff R.

CentOre’s February 7, 2012 article “Signs of the Times: What are the SHTF Tipping Points?” briefly touched on one point that I would like to expand on: Ebola and Marburg viruses.  I am not a physician–I’m not even in the medical field, but I have had the occasion to learn a little more about these viral hemorrhagic fevers (or VHFs) from a research project while pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in Emergency Management. The information available on this subject is constantly changing and involves advanced knowledge in a number of scientific disciplines, so what I can provide is just sort of an Intro to Ebola 101.  I know there are people out there who are better trained and more knowledgeable on this topic than I, but maybe this will get the conversation started.  God forbid that one of these plagues should ever come to our shores, but should that happen, I hope this will help SurvivalBlog readers be a little better prepared for it.  An Ebola Primer Most of the viral hemorrhagic fevers in the Ebola family originate in sub-Saharan Africa.  The only exception is variant Ebola Reston, which originates in the Philippines. Ebola Reston causes only asymptomatic infections in humans, … Continue reading

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Economics and Investing:

James K. was the first of several readers to send this piece in the usually Pollyannaish McNewspaper: Three doomsaying experts who foresee economic devastation ahead G.G. suggested this: Extreme couponers push some retailers to tweak the rules. Reader C.D.V. sent these four article links: Credit Card Debt Nears Toxic Levels George Osborne: UK has run out of money More bad news: U.S. water bills to triple. (Yet another good reason to move out to the country and build where you can use spring or PV-pumped well water.) Cue the dark, foreboding Beethoven music: Iran Moves Further to End Petrodollar, Announces Will Accept Payment in Gold Instead of Dollars.

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Odds ‘n Sods:

Michael W. mentioned: Eight Home Remedies that Actually Work    o o o A surprisingly good article, coming from Canada’s notoriously leftward-leading Toronto Star (a.k.a. Toronto Red Star or Toronto Krasnaya Zvezda, by its detractors.): Why Costco is preparing for the end of the world. (Among others, the article quotes JWR.)    o o o K.A.F. flagged this: Mystery virus kills thousands of lambs    o o o Urban farming in Detroit gets the documentary it deserves. (Thanks to Matt L. for the link.)    o o o Martin sent us this: The World War Three Files.

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Note From JWR:

Today we present another entry for Round 39 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include: First Prize: A.) A gift certificate worth $1,000, courtesy of Spec Ops Brand, B.) A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be 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, and C.) Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources. (A $350 value.) D.) A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $275 value), and E.) A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo. Second Prize: A.) A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol. It is a $439 value courtesy of Next Level Training. B.) A FloJak F-50 hand well pump (a $349 value), courtesy of FloJak.com. C.) A “grab bag” of preparedness gear and books from Jim’s Amazing Secret Bunker of Redundant Redundancy (JASBORR) with a retail value of at least $300, D.) A $250 gift card from Emergency Essentials, and E.) two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value) and F.) A Tactical Trauma Bag … Continue reading

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Alternative Power in a TEOTWAWKI World, by Scott H.

I am currently working in the Alternative Energy industry after retiring from a 21-year career with the military.  As part of my Vocational rehabilitation, the military allowed me to choose my future career.  As a long time reader of SurvivalBlog and a Bible-believing Christian, I saw the importance of prepping.  This includes living off grid. Alternative energy seems to be emerging as a buyer beware market.  You can see many manufacturers prey on fear claiming that their systems can run your fridge, furnace, freezer and well pump during any grid down event. This is simply an impossibility, a typical house needs 10 or more Kilowatts of power.  This is impossible to provide with an 80W panel and a 50 amp/h battery with a 250 W inverter, which many of these boastful claims are built around.  Not only will it not run your house, or anything else for more then a few minutes the shocking price demanded for these systems are well over $2,500. When designing a system we always do a spreadsheet up of the total wattage of the household in question, and many times a typical household can expect to pay $14,000 plus for a system sufficient enough to … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Handy Photovolatic Calculators

Jim, I’m a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer who has taken restoration carpentry as my second career.  I’ve been following you for a couple years now and very much appreciate what you’re doing. To those ends, I received a link to this article from Fine Homebuilding and thought it might be interesting and perhaps useful to fellow preppers.  Of particular interest to me was the interactive maps from NREL.  One can point their mouse to a particular point on the U.S. map (or to pre-selected points on the global map) and then load the location data into NREL’s PVWatts Calculator.  The calculator then shows the user location-specific data regarding positioning of arrays, available sunlight by month for the location selected, DC to AC inversion de-rates, et cetera.   It occurs to me that calculating the value of the energy produced by a notional PV array would be useful so long as we remain grid-up as it provides the user the ability to calculate an amortization schedule for the investment.  Going the other way, as I’m currently noodling, it provides the ability to develop an electrical load scheme for a home factoring location, budget, and power requirements.  For example, wiring … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Celiac Disease: The Gluten-Free Prepping Challenge

We are a family of survivalists and almost all of us are gluten free, some out of necessity and some by choice.  Here are some thoughts and resources for gluten free food.   Later this year, there is a Gluten Free Expo convention in Sandy, Utah starting October 12.  If you can’t attend, check out the vendors page (there are many) to identify other resources for gluten free food.   Augason Farms has #10 cans of food that are certified gluten free, including oats.   It’s a great company and easy to talk to them on the phone.  If you want to purchase without a credit card, they can help you calculate the total of an order you’d like to place and wait for you to send a check or money order.  Thus far I have tried the Buttermilk pancake mix and the Chocolate Morning Moo.  The pancake mix only requires the addition of water and makes nice, tasty pancakes, but I might add a Tablespoon of coconut or almond flour to next time to add fiber.  The Morning Moo is very tasty, doesn’t have as much calcium as a powdered milk, but makes up thicker like a milkshake. It also … Continue reading

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Economics and Investing:

Japan posts record trade deficit while real estate values go deep into the 1980s. US has decade long collapse in real estate values in spite of record low mortgage rates. The path of two lost decades in US real estate values is looking very similar to Japan. Ben in Nevada sent this: The price of cooking the books (Describes inflation statistics fraud in Argentina) In tough economy, people turning in rare, unique items in for cash G.G. flagged this: A new recession seems inevitable Items from The Economatrix: False Recovery 2.0:  It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like 2011 Jim Rogers: Gold to Rise Much Higher in this Decade, Do Not Sell It! Latest Resignations From World Banks and Governments Disability Fraud Holds Down US Unemployment Rate Japan, China to Promote Yen-Yuan Currency Exchange

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Odds ‘n Sods:

T.S. recommended a video that may be a glimpse of TEOTWAWKI: Syria: the horror of Homs, a city at war    o o o G.G. flagged this: Toy Guns Becoming A Criminal Offense?    o o o Several readers sent this: Ice To See You: 30,000-Year-Old Flower Revived. (Perhaps Scrat had the right idea.)    o o o Fred K. wrote to mention: “Here is the link to the Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy which is available for viewing on line for no cost. Obviously when the Internet goes down this will be of no value, but for now, for those who cannot afford the book, the material is still available for free viewing. Also, here is a link to the Merck Manual for Home Health. (Available free, as well.)    o o o Stephen and Kris mentioned that there are some useful insights the late 1980s BBC television series The Victorian Kitchen Garden

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