The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:

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”.

Heat and Drought

Noting that today is the anniversary of one of the worst grasshopper invasions in the U.S. ever, reader H.L. sent in this article showing that the heat and drought conditions in the U.S. are similar to those that occurred in the 1930s. Weather patterns like this haven’t been this widespread since the dust bowl of the 1930s. Almost the entire Southwest is in drought conditions with many farmers reporting that irrigation water has already been shut off. Agriculture production has been devastated and major lakes, rivers and streams are rapidly becoming dry. Even the wild horse populations are suffering because of the drought.

Power Grid

The Dragonfly group of Russian hackers began attacking the powergrids of American and European power companies in 2011 according to Symantec, but they went dark in 2014. The group had a three pronged approach: Phishing emails to senior employees, malware embedded in websites that employees visited, and fusing malicious code with common JavaScript software. While the hope had been that they disbanded, they simply retooled, but this time attacking primarily American targets. Now they are focused on reaching the operational side of the grid. malicious code is even embedded in employee resumes. The threat to the power grid is a real as ever according to Symantec. Thanks to P.M. for the link.

Right to Carry

A Federal Court of Appeals has ruled that Americans have a constitutional right to openly carry for self defense. Courts have previously ruled that you have the right in your own home, but this ruling by the three-judge panel rules that you are allowed to carry in public as well. The case is based on several cases in Hawaii where there are laws restricting guns outside of homes or businesses. This sets the stage for the liberal 9th Circuit to hear the case where it could be overturned. If that happens, it’s expected that the case would be appealed to the Supreme Court making Trump’s picks critical to the 2nd Amendment. The court has said that some restrictions on gun ownership are allowed, but has yet to set those limits. Thanks to DSV for the link.

Gun Control

While the Hawaii decision appears to be a victory, at least temporarily, don’t think that the tide is turning against gun control. According to this article, 55 new gun control measures have been passed in 26 states and the majority of governors who signed in new gun control measures were Republicans. Some of those laws are “Red Flag” laws which are used to disarm individuals who are reported as a threat by a family member or friend. Before you think that is a good idea, it’s important to remember that there is no way to stop an estranged spouse from calling police repeatedly and telling them their ex is threatening to cause harm to themselves or others. These are “act first, ask questions later” laws and are readily abused.

AI Diagnosing Humans

Patients in Eastern Iowa are now beginning to be diagnosed with an AI device designed to detect diabetic retinopathy. The eye disease is a diabetes complication that can cause blindness and the device used to detect the disease received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April for use on humans. The device looks for different lesions like hemorrhages, microaneurysms, and many other abnormalities you get from diabetes in the retina which is the same thing that doctors look for. If the device determines that the patient has the disease, it makes a referral to an actual doctor for treatment.

50 Essentials

The Organic Prepper has a list of the top 50 non-food stockpile necessities. These include things like soap, shampoo, disposable razors, first-aid supplies, feminine hygiene items and pet food. I disagree with some items on the list and think that some are missing, but it’s a good starting point if you are wondering what you should store. If you want to create your own list, all you really have to do is track what non-food supplies you purchase in the course of a year and create your list from that. We store food items using the mantra “store what you eat, eat what you store” and the non-food items can be identified the same way. The advantage though, is that many non-food items don’t have a practical expiration date like food does.

o o o

Please send your news tips to HJL. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) These are often especially relevant, because they come from folks who watch news that is important to them. Due to their diligence and focus, we benefit from fresh “on target” news. We often “get the scoop” on news that is most likely ignored (or reported late) by mainstream American news outlets. Thanks!


  1. I grew up in the Midwest in a drought prone area. I didn’t realize the pros and cons until I moved to an area of the country that receives copious amounts of rain. Each climate has its drawbacks. In this area (lots of rainfall), the top soil gets washed off much more quickly, and it is difficult to replenish it quickly enough, so it’s very easy to get deficient in minerals. In the Midwest, where there isn’t nearly as much rain, the soil tends to have more minerals, since it doesn’t get washed off so quickly.

  2. re:
    North America electric grid

    Meanwhile, USS Zumwalt and USS G. Rudolf Ford are full-steam ahead… mostly.

    * * * * *

    Some government judge said… something?

    * * * * *


    There is the master, and there is the grasshopper.

    Patiently, the master has all the time in the world until the grasshopper understands.

  3. Re the Grid. Just finished reading “Light’s Out” for the second time by Ted Koppel and it is probably one of my greatest fears especially knowing there are numerous nefarious folks out there probing daily to infect and compromise our system. Does anyone besides myself worry that this administration has fired the top cyber security guy in the white house? Nothing personal, mind you, because the position itself was eliminated.

    As much as we complain about the NSA and its cousins, who else is going to protect us from those who would destroy us? The president doesn’t believe his intelligence agencies, believes our adversaries, insults out institutions and our allies and I feel like the chickens in the henhouse with the door open. The military folks on this site know that good intelligence is absolutely necessary as is opsec but how long can we go on when the institution itself is being attacked every day?

    The grid goes down in anything except a small regional area for any length of time, and we are really on our own folks. Nuclear war, pandemics concern me less than the current attacks on our grip which are relentless and ongoing.

    I live in sunny (baking now) southern California where the gun laws are awful. It would be a huge surprise if the full 9th circuit court upheld the 3 judge panel, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed nevertheless. Want to eventually move to Arizona where the gun laws are excellent. Hopefully before the grid goes down. There’s more water in the north and it’s cooler.

    1. I am also concerned about some things being done by this administration. I love One Second After. Maybe I should read Lights Out too. An EMP is actually my greatest hope for our country. I don’t know what it is going to take to defeat the evil in our country. People aren’t awake enough to do a revolution, they simply don’t care. So if there was an EMP, only the self sufficient people would survive. I wish there was another way, maybe I will find it one day.

      1. I encourage you to read the book. Buy used on Amazon like I do. Because of his history as a newsman he had access to anybody important in the field. It
        was eye-opening yet written well which meant it was easy to read.

        And after reading it I think you will not wish for an EMP to make the evil go away. That’s not really our job. Evil really destroys itself. Our job is to be prepared as best we can with like minded folks. It may be only on a website for now but wisdom, experience and learning will be available when the “opportunity” arises.

        Sure, I get discouraged, too, but I find it doesn’t last that long. Reading this and similar blogs helps.

      2. Yes lights out was a good book. I had always been concerned about EMP or solar flare, but the book really made clear how much danger we were in from cyber warfare as well.

  4. If you are planning a move out of California soon you might want to consider the potential for a Grid-Down event and plan accordingly. Southern Arizona without electricity is virtually unlivable. Northern Arizona still gets pretty warm and dry and has problems with wildfires. Living next to a four-season watercourse provides confidence that water will be available.

  5. Let me see. I’m supposed to believe the self same people who have lied to Congress, lied to the President, lied to the media and, by extension, lied to the American people.

    I”m supposed to believe the same Deep State that is working diligently to subvert results of the 2016 elections.

    I’m supposed to believe the same Deep State that desperately wanted the lunatic Hillery (Hitlery) Clinton to be their commander in chief. Really! Why on God’s green earth would I ever believe these proven liars?

    There are a lot more dangerous countries to worry about than Russia. There is nothing to gain for the Russians by them attacking the grid. Cui Bono, who benefits the most by an attack on our grid? The Deep State, certainly. Iran, marginally. Saudi Arabia, likely. Even North Korea, maybe but not likely. But what does Russia gain? I can’t think of a single gain for the Russians.

    The biggest threat to our power grid, whether by cyber attack or EMP, is your “ten miles square”, Washington, DC.

  6. Re: non food stockpile items- Tracking use/purchases of items now is a good start HOWEVER it will be more difficult to determine the items we DON’T use everyday or even every week. For instance how many Coleman lantern mantels do you use in a week? Kerosene Lamp wicks? Or odd things like extra glass chimneys for kerosene lamps that inevitably will get broken by Mr Murphy? How many gun cleaning brushes or oil will you need post SHTF. The premise that we need to think about what we use today to plan for SHTF is somewhat faulty. Think what you will USE POST-SHTF that you don’t necessarily use everyday and you will be glad.

    Re: Russia- what the heck is the deal with people siding with Russia? Putin is a bad guy plain and simple. Not everyone in the intelligence field can be painted with the same broad brush. Might I remind readers that SurvivalBlog’s founder has an intelligence background.

  7. Today’s Russia is not yesterday’s USSR. Their military budget is one-tenth the size of ours. I recall full well the “Cuban Missile Crisis” when the USSR would have put nuclear missiles in “Cuber”. So: What justifies our expansion of NATO right onto the Russian border? Why is it different from 1962’s evil Soviet deed?

    Me, politically? Some would say that I’d call Attila the Hun too liberal.

  8. I don’t defend any country’s government, not Russia’s and not our own. My argument is that all those who are attempting to make a case against Russia, and are for hostilities with Russia are the self same people who have been lying to We the People for more than two years now. If you think you are being played, and I do, you probably are. If you think the folks who have been lying to the American people for the last 2 years are all of a sudden honest loyal Americans, well, I have this bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.

    We are being played. We hack Russia, Russia hacks us. So what. That’s just politics and statecraft. Is Russia hacking our power grid, the folks saying they are have ZERO credibility. Look at Iran or Saudi Arabia first. Or for that matter look at the NSA or the CIA, they have more to gain by taking down our grid than Russia or any other nation-state.

    This is what is called critical thinking.

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