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”. The MSR SE200 is finally becoming public knowledge (and easier to get).

Tracking Phones

Yet another video that talks about how your smart phone is being used to track you. This video talks about how Google is actually tracking you even when you turn the feature off and when you place your phone in “Airplane Mode” in which all communication is supposedly stopped.

JWR’s Comment: I hope that now you can see how important it is to have a cellphone with both a removable SIM, and most importantly, a removable battery! Buy “burner” Tracfone flip phones with cash, activate them under the name “John Smith” or something similar. Keep your phone “stripped” (no SIM and no battery) until use, and then then strip it again, immediately after you make calls.

And there’s this: Your smartphone can be tracked even if GPS, location services are turned off.

And, even worse: NSA Can Reportedly Track Phones Even When They’re Turned Off

Thoughts on EMP Report

From Mike Williamson, SurvivalBlog’s Editor at Large:

So, let me note that being “Head of Air Education and Training Command” doesn’t confer or imply any kind of technical education, and the “Union of Concerned Scientists” have been scaremongers since the 1960s. And 90% of what they’re terrified of is proven false.

Nuclear reactors are designed specifically to handle a power loss, and their backup generators aren’t much EMP-affected anyway. Since the last major Coronal Mass Ejection caused 12 hours of fluctuations in Quebec in 1989, most substations have built-in faraday cages.

USG tests of vehicles show modern electronic ignitions can usually withstand 100K eV of induced voltage with no major effects. Only about 5% of cars failed to operate after being shut down and restarted. Large diesel trucks were more affected, which would be a significant effect (about 15% of trucks failed to restart), but rail is unaffected due to the grounding effect of the rails.

There’s a study by Oak Ridge that’s fascinating reading. Written with a non-technical audience in mind, and it lays out the details and exaggerations of an EMP pretty well. The appendix section on Myths is particularly good.

Purifying Water

Reader T.J. sent in this video from Canadian Prepper who reviews the MSR SE200 chlorine system. For those who remember, this is the system that we reviewed back in 2015. Rather than storing Calcium Hypochlorite and all the storage problems that go along with that, you only have to store standard table salt. A little goes a long way too. With this system, you basically have unlimited purified water in large quantities. You can get the system from Ready Made Resources (one of our advertisers) or from Amazon. The carry case it comes in is pretty cheap, so you may want to get a Pelican 1200 case as well. Having used the system for over three years now, we may need to do an update article on it as well so you can see the changes we made.

Sickness in Migrants

Reader D.S. sent in this article that states that 2,500 migrants stuck in Tijuana are sick with communicable diseases. It is worth noting that despite the bleeding hearts rhetoric of the left, without special permission for treatment, normal immigration policy restricts entry of immigrants who have communicable diseases. Most countries have such rules on the books because they have worked hard at reducing the risk of these diseases and they don’t want new epidemics to deal with, nor do they want the costs associated with the care necessary.

Who Are You?

Going along with the theme of today’s main article, one SurvivalBlog reader sent in this article and asks the question “How do Christians function in that environment?” He notes that there are many fictional accounts on what to do, but he hasn’t seen much actual information from real accounts. My personal opinion is that today’s churches have become very complacent. When there is no danger to an admission of being a Christian, there is very little motivation to be true to the faith. As a result, most churches are filled with people who pretend or just warm a pew on Sunday due to social obligation. I think you would need to look towards areas that have seen heavy persecution to see how churches function. I’m not talking about the American version of persecution where someone cusses at you and calls you names, but persecution where lives are at stake. Voice of the Martyrs is one source of information that everyone should be familiar with – both for the information they can provide on this subject and for our ability to support fellow brethren who are being persecuted. Other resources would be historical books like Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.

Paris Riots

Paris has been engulfed in the worst riot in over a decade. I’m still struggling with the whole basis of this riot thing though. The cost of living has gone up, so the rioters have decided to destroy things, which will have to be replaced. Shop owners cannot absorb the costs and the government has nothing of its own. The result is shop owners raising prices to cover their damages and the government raising taxes. Attacking police also seems counter-intuitive to resolving the issue. What I haven’t seen is a report that indicates how much popular support the protestors have from the general public. Thanks to DPS for the link.

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. “The cost of living has gone up, so the rioters have decided to destroy things,….”

    Rush talked about this last week and why the MSM is mostly not covering it.

    The dirty little secret is the Frogs are not just rioting over the gas tax increase.

    It’s also a 20% ‘carbon tax’ in accordance with the Paris Climate Accords.

    Guess the Frogs aren’t drinking the ‘Lime koolade’ to fund the 3rd World.

  2. A note on the “Paris Riots” and why almost no riot makes sense.
    The riots are instigated by an agenda driven group who’s usually never involved in the physical act and those motives are rarely those purported and reported in the media by desperate individuals seeking something for nothing.

  3. I recently replaced my cell phone. As part of the set up by my service carrier, I was instructed to turn off my phone. With the phone off they were able to download the configuration information to enable my phone. What I learned is that the only way to hide is to pull the battery as mentioned in the article.

  4. I noticed the French filters are pretty well organized. They even have people in traffic safety vests to make sure no one accidentally drives into the celebratory bonfires that will later be used for barbecue. What nice people!

  5. After working in engineering and management in power generation for over thirty years, I can assure you that the large transformers (that have 12 to 18 month delivery times to replace) on the generating units are not EMP-protected. Also, I have never seen a Faraday cage in a substation, although the author may be referring to Canada and not the US since he referenced Quebec. Regardless, an EMP is definitely something to be concerned about with regard to the risk to the grid. Just as much so, cyber security is a huge risk. I’m reading several engineering articles each month concerning the vulnerability of our grid to cyber warfare. Also, I continue to see projections that 90% of Americans would perish within a year without electric power. Every American must put pressure on our politicians to pass legislation requiring that the companies harden the grid against cyber warfare and EMPs.

    1. Would you be ok with the companies passing that cost on to the consumers in the form of one large bill that if you didn’t pay they could shut off your power…Power isn’t a right and if you think it’s a necessity then you need to plan on providing your own if something happens… Question why is it ok for the gov to force anyone to do something that is against their best interest…

    2. The study seems to have been conducted on behalf of FERC. Three of the five commissioners have worked for the energy industry prior to being appointed to the commission. The industry has strong financial incentives for downplaying the EMP threat. Also, why did all branches of the military spend billions on hardening their sensitive electronics via the TEMPEST program? Lastly, this study only address effects of E1. E3, and less so E2, are also serious threats to electric transmission facilities. It does no service to the public to downplay this very real threat. I am a weapons system engineer, with some knowledge on the subject.

    1. Place your phone inside a Christmas tin with the lid on (popcorn etc)
      Call your phone and you will here it ringing inside the can. ? or just test out the tinfoil idea the same way .. my tracphone will still ring / be tracked inside a metal can

      1. Regarding a Christmas tin for a faraday cage, the paint must be removed from the edge of the can about a half inch below where the cover edge lip meets the can, and from the outside of the cover lip. This can be done by using sand paper, or using a wire brush in a drill press. Then using aluminum or copper tape, with conductive adhesive, 3M does make these products. Tape the whole edge where the cover meets the can. insure there is good conductivity from top and bottom preferably using a multi meter in the resistance mode. or a simple conductivity lamp setup. Then try the calling test again. Hopefully this will solve the problem.
        If you live near a Cell site. the strong signal from it could possibly still penetrate the can. Give it a try.
        I agree that the best way to stay un-tracked is to remove the battery.
        Anytime you really want security and to protect electronic devices, Remove the battery, and place it in an EMP can.
        At the risk of repeating myself this issue has been covered many times on Survival Blog, The archives are full of good remedies for protection of equipment. There are many experts who have written solutions for this.
        I worked in the RF field all my life, protection of electronics from high powered RF transmitters is a must, I have built station control electronics that was shielded at all input/output and power input, it must be properly filtered and shielded from the outside influence of powerful local signals. Proper shielding is achievable, but sometimes extra precautions must be taken.

  6. The cell phone video is old news, and wrong.

    First, you need to tell Google to NOT track you (location history and search results). You can find articles on how to turn everything off.

    Second, “airplane mode” does NOT disable wifi (or cell) triangulation or the GPS. I find that turning my location to “GPS Only” manages to stop almost everything, at least when I’m not using a map or something that uses GPS because 1. GPS uses battery, 2. it can take a few seconds to get a lock on position, so I see messages about “can’t get location” occasionally instead, or to turn on “google location services”. I also have an app called GPS status that shows me when the GPS is turned on. (I had to turn something off for GasBuddy, and another app refused to work because their advertising system required location).

    I’m not sure if the wifi is actually shut off it would stop attempting the wifi triangulation, but is another thing to try. I don’t know that bluetooth is used for triangulation by scanning the area either.

    The only thing I don’t know about is cell tower triangulation since that might require something active instead of just signal strength or knowing which ones you are near.

  7. Folks! This is why you never give the IRS your cell phone number. It is still legal to fill the forms out by paper and leave that information off the 1040 you submit annually. Remember to not give the IRS any information which is [currently] for their information and not required by law.

    There are so many cases where the IRS pinpoints someone at a rental property, or yacht club, or runway where they further investigate for Landlord fraud, or boat and plane purchases at their exact location.

    Having said that, my wife and I never give our cell number at tire changing places, doctors offices, or ever have an email account which requires cell phone verification.

    Use to set up a voicemail. This company is located on the East Coast and it can never track your whereabouts due to it not being a cell phone or cell tower configuration.

  8. It only takes a foil lined lunch bag from wally world to slip your phone in when you want to be hidden. Test is to slip it in and call the phone in the bag, if it doesn’t ring your hidden.

  9. Regarding the “bleeding heart of the LEFT” comment to help the Illegals….

    It’s wise to point out that these dunderheads, the LEFTist Marixst Party in Congress, always want to pull our troops out of foreign occupation due to enforcing policy to shape that area more like the West. The LEFTist wants no influence of a foreign land to be more like the West nor have a crack at the American Dream….

    THE LEFT DOES however, want these people to cross over the Southern Boarder of the USA to have a crack at the American Dream–All 6.5 Billion souls in the world are EQUALLY allowed to cross into America from the Mexico boarder according to the LEFTist Marxist.

    The Congressional Party of Jacka**es (DemoRATS) are always causing massive problems here and abroad with their legislation–I will stick with the Elephant in the room for the time being…..

  10. EMP: US DOT statistics state about there were 133 million semi trucks in the US back in 2012, and that about 95% of large and medium trucks are diesel. The Oak Ridge report says 15% of the diesel semis failed to restart. So nationwide, only 19 million diesel trucks would be affected. Nothing to worry about. Sheesh….

  11. I just tried the foil lined lunch bag trick with a top quality foil lined bag. It didn’t work, didn’t even attempt to work, nada.
    The burner phone trick. You will have to hire an anonymous homeless person to purchase your burner phone for you because the transaction will be videoed on in store cameras. Then you will have to meet that person somewhere where you are certain there are no cameras monitoring the location. welcome to free amerika boys and girls.

  12. About burner phones. You will have to either not have your regular cell phone with you or have removed the battery and sim card from it in another location before using the burner phone because they will have verification of your identity by the association of your both phones in geographical location and if you make a call in the same triangulation area with your regular cell they will identify you that way also by association.

  13. Large Emergency Diesel Generators
    Regarding the emergency generators in nuclear power plants; These are large diesels, typically 2,500-4,000 HP, and are repeatedly (monthly?)exercised under a protocol that requires them to go to full load within 10 seconds of startup. Having been a field engineer with a large oil company for 35 years, I have visited plants several times where these engines have failed because of this requirement, including the SACM (French) diesels at Calvert Cliffs, MD.
    Looking past this problem, if there is a large-scale EMP-type event, wiping out electrical power and over-the-road diesel fuel transport, the fuel storage at the power plant would sooner or later be gone, resulting in no more reactor cooling…your results may vary…

  14. The Islamification of Social Media. How many of you have noticed in the past months your posts on social media sites, Facebook, Twitter and others that have any negative posts about Muslims or Islam gets you put into Facebook Jail or Twitter Jail? Posts that 6 months ago would have gone by are now being blocked and the person posting gets either put into “Jail” or is suspended. It seems Islam (CAIR) is starting to control what we say. This is the start and is scary.

  15. About cell phones. Remember that your cell phone is always pinging cell towers, whether it is turned on or is turned off. This information is called meta data. It is easily retrieved by law enforcement. If you have a burner phone never use it from your residence or make phone calls to the same numbers consistently with both of your phones. Make sure you are pinging a different set of towers with a burner and don’t have your regular phone pinging the same towers at the same time you use your burner.

    1. If it’s completely powered down (smartphone) or turned off (dumbphone), it’s not pinging anything. Just remove the battery if possible, or place into a Faraday bag easily purchased online, the same tactic used by police when they arrest you and put your phone into a bag to prevent anyone from remotely sending instructions to it to erase any “evidence”.

  16. Hate to be an internet jerk,but there are NOT 133 million semis on the road.Thats 1 for every 3 man,woman,and child in the US.Take away minors and seniors,I wonder if there are even 133 millon legal drivers.

  17. ” Who are you ?” I go to church pretty much every Sunday. But, since my wife passed away last year, I’m pretty much going though the motions, with my wife being gone, nothing seems to be the same any more. I’ve been going to another church simply because I’m with my grandkids. Other than that, I’m just seem to be existing. People tell me that God is all powerful and caring, really? I’m told that he is testing me, well if that is the case, then I’ve failed the test.

    1. You. I’m 67,a Christian, and suffered loss. I no longer affiliate with a specific religion. I don’t feel a need of a “middle man” to communicate with God, or grow spiritually. I support anyone’s religious beliefs if they follow the “Golden Rule” of respect for others and their beliefs. A local church that offers comfort & support through community is always good for times like this. I don’t know if you’re being “tested”, as God is never supposed to push us beyond what we can endure. OK, What? I was always questioning that concept. I have to remember that THIS life is only temporary and that we have chosen a path which is, in itself, a “trial by fire”. This mortal life is mostly about you, and as I’ve dealt with my own loss, I’ve found that God puts us through a bit of a “mortal life obstacle course” for a reason. That reason differs for each person. Too many doubt there is another life after this, and fear the end of this one. I’m blessed to have a large family of kids & grandkids. When I put their needs before mine, my problems tend to fade. If I were truly alone, I might seek a connection with a local church to connect with others.

  18. An ammo can works for signal privacy, I tested AT&T, Verizon and Tmobile with the help of some local teens. And my kids and I tested a Cheetos bag. No calls recieved.

    BTW, the ammo can was unmodified.

  19. On the MSR SE200. Your advertiser, Ready Made Resources carries it and it is currently on sale. Consider that the product can also be used in a disinfectant solution. Kind of makes it twice as useful.

  20. 1) Cell phone problem: Get a 1-way pager, have people ping you on it when they want to talk. Get a cell phone blocker from me, stick your phone inside until you want to call somebody.

    2) EMP Problem: Shield your electronics with my EMP shielding, get a solar battery backup, and be safe knowing you have everything you need not to live, but to live well.

    Won’t save anyone if the nuclear plants melt down, but something’s better than nothing.
    It’s 2018 and nothing’s changed since I started both products in 2013; nothing’s changed since I met the leadership of the nuclear forces in 2014 either. Change is slow.

  21. The cell phone cloths don’t work well. What everyone should realize is that whether your signal is blocked is dependent on the ratio between distance from the tower and blocking ability of the bag in question.

    Almost any product works if you’re super far from the tower. They just won’t work all the time if they are close. Only MobileSec products (mine) work close in to a tower, because what’s important is the seal.

    The cheapest solution is to use aluminum foil. and tape everything 100% closed with a 1″ overlap over the exposed edges. It’s practically free. Just disposable.

    1. Would have to agree with Joel’s comments, especially signal strength vs shielding.

      Wanted to point out that I tested my T-Mobile Samsung cell inside of a “faraday” bag from Tech Protect. The nearest cell tower is a measured 250 yards away. I can see it from my driveway easily. I called the phone from a landline before and after placing it in the bag. Worked fine. In the bag, the phone never reacted to the call. It did roll to the standard T-Mobile voice mail. I have no connection to Tech Protect, Just passing on the results.
      The label says the bag meets Mil Spec MIL-B-81705-Rev C.

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