Notes for Friday – August 26, 2016

August 26, 526, is the official anniversary of the invention of toilet paper by the Chinese. We celebrate this, though not because of its convenience. In fact, it has many shortcomings, some which are described within the articles and letters of SurvivalBlog. Our celebration of it is primarily because we now have an official metric of just how hard core of a prepper you are as well as a metric for just how economically unstable your country is.

August 26, 1946 is also the official release date of George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

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Today, we present another entry for Round 66 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $12,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A Tactical Self-Contained 2-Series Solar Power Generator system from Always Empowered. This compact starter power system is packaged in a wheeled O.D. green EMP-shielded Pelican hard case (a $1,700 value),
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate that is good for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,195 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical 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,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 Nato QD Billet upper with a hammer forged, chrome-lined barrel and a hard case to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel, which can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools and a compact carry capability in a hard case or 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Gun Mag Warehouse is providing 20 Magpul PMAG 30-rd Magazines (a value of $300) and a Gun Mag Warehouse T-Shirt; (an equivalent prize will be awarded for residents in states with magazine restrictions),
  6. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  7. The Ark Institute is donating a non-GMO, non-hybrid vegetable seed package (enough for two families of four) plus seed storage materials, a CD-ROM of Geri Guidetti’s book “Build Your Ark! How to Prepare for Self Reliance in Uncertain Times”, and two bottles of Potassium Iodate (a $325 retail value),
  8. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  9. KellyKettleUSA.com is donating an AquaBrick water filtration kit with a retail value of $250, and
  10. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value).

Second Prize:

  1. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  2. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  3. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  4. A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
  5. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
  6. A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value),
  7. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
  8. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A $245 gift certificate from custom knife-maker Jon Kelly Designs, of Eureka, Montana,
  3. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  4. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  5. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  6. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  7. Montie Gear is donating a Precision Rest (a $249 value), and
  8. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).

Round 66 ends on September 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

I’m Not In The Position To Right Now- Part 3, by D.D.

I/we Will Hunt!

You answer, “My brother knows how to hunt!” You’re not in a position to learn or keep your skills up-to-date, but you think he will do it for you. I live in Florida, so let me give you the numbers for my state. There are approximately 20,271,272 people in the state of Florida. If half of one percent of the people in Florida survived a major catastrophe (that’s a death rate of 99.5%), there would be 101,356 people left or 1.5 people per square mile! Doing some research on primitive living, I read that it takes about 10 square miles for a single person to live off the land with hunting and foraging. This is to not deplete the land of animals and plants in a non-recoverable way. With 1.5 people per square mile left, not all of which is food producing (cities), you will have almost 6.5 times the number of people per square mile. That many people will blow through every squirrel, deer, chipmunk, and sparrow they can get their hands on. That many people cannot be environmentally conscious and still eat. You are looking at the eradication of species. That many people survive in such a small space because of modern trucking and shipping. Tons of food is brought in every single day. Remember that is 0.5% still around if everyone else just suddenly dropped dead. Those numbers don’t include the damage that will be done getting down to that final number; when the emergency starts, the population will be at its maximum.

Remember that during the Great Depression many people starved to death, and those people were a lot more rural than you are today. They had far more of the mind and skills for living off the land, farming, preserving, and canning. There were a lot more farmers then than now, and still many thousands died. Of those that died, do you think some of them had a farm to run to in a time when there were a lot more farms? Native Americans throughout history had times of starvation and depopulation. They could eat trees, had a community to support them, were born to that way of living, and still they died in large numbers. You think you’re going to run to someone else knowing nothing, with nothing, and still you’re going to be “fine”? You’re “not in any kind of position to right now” as far as preparing.

I’m reminded of a conversation I had with my ex-wife. We have two children who live with her in one of the biggest cities in Florida. I mentioned to her about having a few things put away, such as food, in case there were problems with supply. I told her about grocery stores being cleaned out at an alarming speed, the possibility of looters, et cetera. Her response to all of this was that she “was not in a position to prepare right now” and would “go into the woods to hunt deer and provide food”. I was stunned when she said this, although I should not have been. She is very overweight and out of shape, although she claims to be “working on it”. I asked her where the “woods” were. She waved in the general direction of a city park.

Here is my reply to her: Okay, let’s say that everything goes South and you can’t buy food. Figuring that the whole family isn’t spread out all over the city between school and work, and everyone just happens to be all at home, the first thing I suspect you’re going to do is sit in your house for days while two adults and four kids (two are his) are plowing through what you have in the kitchen. Let’s pretend you have enough food to feed that many people something decently healthy for three days, though you don’t. Let’s also pretend that you have water to drink it with, which we both know you don’t, and you’re not chewing on the dry noodles and colored yellow powder that comes in a box of macaroni and cheese, which you can’t boil without power, without fuel, and without ever having lit a fire in your life. I imagine that you’ll sit there waiting for someone, such as the government, to come help you for another few days. We’ll pretend that you aren’t dead or close to death after three days without water, or that you are not sick from drinking from questionable sources. Let’s just say that all of this happens at the best time of the year with nice, mild weather. Now, you decide that you must “Go into the woods to hunt deer and provide food”. You’re going to grab the only gun you own, which is a 9mm Glock pistol, put on something other than the “ghastly earth tones you despise and don’t own”, and the sensible ladies career shoes you wear to your job at the bank. You will now set out for the woods that you couldn’t point to on a map and that has deer. Since you live in one of the largest cities in Florida, you’re going to have to walk because the roads are jammed or blocked. Let’s pretend that you aren’t set upon by looters or mobs of criminals who are just as desperate as you are. Let’s pretend they ignore that nice Glock you have, since you don’t have a holster and the one extra magazine you own is in your purse, which they won’t notice, either. You live, as-the-crow-flies, almost fifteen miles to the edge of the city. Let’s pretend that the woods are on the edge of the city and let’s also pretend that you only have to walk the distance as a crow would fly. So you walk through the broken and desperate city full of looters and criminals for an entire fifteen miles in those sensible shoes. Let’s pretend that you could do that in the shape you’re in. You miraculously make it to the edge of the city, where we will also pretend are the “woods with deer”. After this fifteen mile stroll through the park, let’s imagine you won’t be thirsty, and of course you’ll have been well fed and hydrated when you left. Let’s just say that no one else had this brilliant idea in a city whose population is over 850,000 and who haven’t eaten or scared off every single animal available, least of all the low-hanging fruit, which are deer right on the edge of the city. We all know that experienced hunters never come back empty handed, so you shouldn’t either, even though you’ve never hunted before. Let’s pretend that ten feet into the woods is a decent-sized deer standing there waiting for you to kill it. You take careful aim, calling on the training you last practiced years ago, and we’ll just say you drop it cleanly with a single shot. We’ll pretend that it didn’t move, you actually hit it, the wound inflicted was mortal, and it didn’t run off needing to be tracked. It just lays down and dies on the spot. Let’s pretend that no one heard that shot and no one is coming to investigate. The sharpest knife you own is stainless steel kitchen knife with which you have trouble getting through a tomato cleanly, but let’s just say you happen to have a razor sharp knife and won’t be sawing through hair and hide with what is basically a large butter knife. Let’s pretend you thought to bring it. So you chop up this deer without having a clue as to how it’s done, but hey anyone can get some meat out of it, right? We’ll say you didn’t spoil anything by doing something like punching through the bladder and spoiling the meat, since you can’t so much as rinse it with the water you don’t have. You don’t own a day backpack or any backpack, but let’s just pretend that you do and that it will support some decent weight. I don’t think you could carry 10 pounds of anything on your back, but let’s just say you bag 50 pounds of meat, put it in your pack, and head home. So now we’ll pretend that you can walk, dehydration and undernourishment aside, another 15 miles as-the-crow-flies back through the city of looters and criminals, for a total of 30 miles in aday, the second half of which you were carrying a load and without a drop to drink. So you make it back home, the place you left having taken the only gun in the house, where everyone applauds your return. Further pretending that you somehow cook this meat (the smell of which didn’t attract a single person in a starving city of 850,000), there is no problem digesting a 100% meat diet without water, and everyone eats their fill for an entire week because of the fact that you can’t preserve it. Then you will have to go do all of that again. I asked her, “So your plan is to go hunting every week?”.

She then walked away from me.

Letter: Russia

I found this article to be profound. I think it’s valuable to get into the head of potential enemies, as well as to understand how history has shaped their culture and especially their view of outsiders.

Over the years, the author, Yuri Orlov, has had some fascinating, insightful, and useful observations about the ongoing and accelerating collapse of the United States, and I respect his opinion. I also recognize that he might have a positive bias toward Russia, which is understandable, but if this article is biased I don’t think it’s by very much.

What most fascinates me with Orlov’s article is how it fits into the prophetic scenarios painted by persons like David Wilkerson, Dumitru Duduman, and others who have told us that God showed them a limited nuclear attack on the United States. I can’t say I 100% believe their predictions, but I can say that I have not read anything in recent years about the Russian military and the global security situation that contradicts these prophetic scenarios.

And why do these interest me? Because the sovereign breaking-into-history by God, unannounced, unstoppable– the ultimate Black Swan– is one of the few ways that our country could stop the total descent into tyranny, which the enemies of liberty have so meticulously, thoroughly, and ruthlessly implemented over so many decades.

No election, no politician, no preparations, and no amount of training and planning are going to save these United States of America. God alone is our hope. Do what you already know to do, what He’s already told us to do. And be ready to act when He reveals His plans and His will. God will make a way! Trust God. Be Prepared. We can do both! – ShepherdFarmerGeek

Economics and Investing:

Most Millennials Have Less Than $1,000 In Savings, Live Paycheck-to-Paycheck – G.G.

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Federal Debt to Hit $28.2 Trillion Over Next Decade – B.B.

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UBS: U.S. Stocks Could Enter a Bear Market This Year – D.M.

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Can The Various Pension And Benefit Ponzis Survive The Coming Wave Of Baby Boomer Retirements? – R.G.

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SurvivalBlog and its editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. Please see our Provisos page for details.

Odds ‘n Sods:

Chicago’s detective force dwindles as murder rate soars – S.L.

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A $67,000 Home Robbery Exposes $500 Billion Problem in Argentina – G.S.

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EpiPen price quintuples in US, but CEO pay goes up much more

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Baltimore cops using private company’s aerial cameras to conduct secret surveillance – B.B.

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How To Survive With Nothing But “Primitive Technology” – H.L.

Notes for Thursday – August 25, 2016

August 25th is a birthday shared by novelist Frederick Forsyth (born 1938) and American humorist Patrick F. McManus (born 1933). Forsyth was the author of The Day of the Jackal, The Odessa File, The Fourth Protocol, The Dogs of War, The Devil’s Alternative, and many others. McManus was born and raised in Sandpoint, Idaho, so his books could be classified as American Redoubt humor. When I met Pat a few years ago, Pat very kindly autographed my entire battered collection of his books. Some of these books had been so well-loved that the pages were falling out of their bindings. I suppose that is the ultimate compliment for an author. – JWR

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Today, we present another entry for Round 66 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $12,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A Tactical Self-Contained 2-Series Solar Power Generator system from Always Empowered. This compact starter power system is packaged in a wheeled O.D. green EMP-shielded Pelican hard case (a $1,700 value),
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate that is good for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,195 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical 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,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 Nato QD Billet upper with a hammer forged, chrome-lined barrel and a hard case to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel, which can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools and a compact carry capability in a hard case or 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Gun Mag Warehouse is providing 20 Magpul PMAG 30-rd Magazines (a value of $300) and a Gun Mag Warehouse T-Shirt; (an equivalent prize will be awarded for residents in states with magazine restrictions),
  6. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  7. The Ark Institute is donating a non-GMO, non-hybrid vegetable seed package (enough for two families of four) plus seed storage materials, a CD-ROM of Geri Guidetti’s book “Build Your Ark! How to Prepare for Self Reliance in Uncertain Times”, and two bottles of Potassium Iodate (a $325 retail value),
  8. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  9. KellyKettleUSA.com is donating an AquaBrick water filtration kit with a retail value of $250, and
  10. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value).

Second Prize:

  1. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  2. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  3. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  4. A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
  5. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
  6. A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value),
  7. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
  8. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A $245 gift certificate from custom knife-maker Jon Kelly Designs, of Eureka, Montana,
  3. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  4. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  5. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  6. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  7. Montie Gear is donating a Precision Rest (a $249 value), and
  8. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).

Round 66 ends on September 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

I’m Not In The Position To Right Now- Part 2, by D.D.

Food

“My brother has a farm! We’ll have plenty of food.” When I hear this I ask, “What kind of farm?”. You can get any kind of answer here. Most people don’t realize that most professional farmers are specialized; they only grow one or a few things. There are farmers that raise only cattle, or corn, or fruit trees, et cetera, sometimes with smaller sets of supplementary crops. Farms that can be lived off of completely, which are very rare, are almost always small and provide for a small number of people. Each crop or type of livestock take special consideration and often special equipment. A huge farm that has all of the equipment to raise different kinds of crops and animals is a rare thing.

“He has cows; we will have meat and milk.” If he is a cattle farmer, he probably relies on hundreds or thousands of pounds of feed, a commercial water source, and large amount of medication to keep them parasite free. If they are pasture fed, that is land that cannot be used for farming crops. Without water they will die. If you plan on getting meat out of them, then he has to have enough cows to have a rotating stock and the ability to get them to slaughter size. Without all of those supplies required to keep them alive, not mentioning water, you guys are going to eat like kings for a very short time until they begin dying. Even if he’s got enough land and water, breeding more cows takes a lot of time, so unless it’s okay to kill off his breeding stock, you’re going to have to wait a year or so for new cows to show up. Of course, you’ll be eating a solid meat diet on little or no water with a questionable ability to cook it.

“Well, my brother has 30 acres!” I don’t know of anyone who can farm 30 acres with a family of four. I doubt your brother is running 30 acres of crops. If he is, he’s probably heavily reliant on fuel-powered machinery, hundreds of pounds of fertilizers and pesticides, an automated watering system, and possibly some hired help. All of that gets cut down to what can be managed by hand. Also, 30 acres of what? Not all land can be farmed for all crops. “We would plant more crops!” When exactly are you showing up at your brothers farm? Could it be in November, when his family is living off mostly canned goods stored for the winter? Even if it all went South just prior to the main planting season, are you going to show up at a critical time as unskilled and uneducated laborer to help him prepare another two acres just to feed you and yours? Like he’s got time to plow, till, fertilize, and plant what it takes to feed you, when he needs to do that for himself. Does he have the seeds for that? Does he have the fertilizer? Does he have the space, or the water, or the ability to keep up that much land while teaching and managing uneducated people? Even if that were the case, does he have the food and water to keep everyone alive until those crops are ready to harvest? Just because he has a farm, doesn’t mean there is something to eat at all times. Even if all of that miraculously happens, did he plan on storing food for you and your family as well? You made the mistake of thinking a farm meant food, but your very little thought also didn’t include preservation. Does he have the ability to dry/smoke/can for the additional people? Does he have burnable material to smoke food or salt for pickling Does he even have the number of canning jars it takes to store that much food and get you all through winter. Does he even can food? With the power out, he loses the ability to refrigerate and freeze, which for most people means no food storage, at all. So even under the best of circumstance you still may starve come winter. But you aren’t in the position to learn how to do any of things (or get updated if you do know).

“We won’t eat as much!” You have enough or you don’t. Try saying “I won’t breathe as much!”. Are you going to let your kids waste away? You’re saying that you’re going to selflessly sacrifice your life and health for everyone else in a survival situation but won’t make any sacrifices now to prevent it?

I’ll Work For It

You say, “I’ll help out and work for my keep.” It takes approximately two acres of heavily-farmed land to feed a family of four. Some will say that even this is unrealistic (myself included). This isn’t just any two acres; this is suitable farming land of closely packed space supported by commercial fertilizer and pesticides worked year-round by dedicated and educated people. Manure, mulch, and compost are monitored and maxed out in their use. You aren’t going to show up and have double the compost simply because you envision planting crops. It also assumes there are decent yields. This is with big box stores for supplies and the power and information of the Internet at hand. The knowledge and work it takes to rotate animal and crops in sync with natural fertilizers, composts, forage, et cetera is not something you’re going to learn in a week or just by reading. Once again, if your brother has a well-maintained maxed out farm, I doubt he has the ability, equipment, or space to double everything he does.

If his farm is two acres and it provides for his family of four (just barely), he’s already maxing out production on that two acres. He’s already milking that land for all it’s worth. The addition of just you by yourself (but remember that there are three of you) will add another 25% on what is being consumed. Your lack of education aside, no matter how much you “help out”, won’t give him another 25% out of that land. At this point, he will have lost the ability to purchase commercial fertilizers, pesticides, and probably the ability to water it as well. The production on what he has now will drop and might end completely. The work that will make a difference just isn’t there. You don’t get to sweep floors and wash laundry while everyone is starving to death.

Lightening the load of work doesn’t add to more production. Just because you shell peas and shuck corn doesn’t mean there are more peas and corn. Hauling water for livestock doesn’t make more livestock. If there is limited pasture land, helping out with the cattle doesn’t allow him to have more cattle, and even if it did it would be months before the cattle were bred, born, and raised to the point of harvest. Basically it means that your contribution, as uneducated as it is, doesn’t allow or make up for your consumption.

How many extra tools do you think are on a farm? How many people can shovel when there are only three shovels, et cetera?

Are you even capable of helping? Have you tried chopping a realistic amount of wood or working a field for hour? Can you do this for days, or is what you mean by “helping” sitting around doing all of the light work that makes no difference? Of course, you’re not in a position to improve your mind or body, not in any way.

But I Have Valuable Skills!

“I’m a military trained battlefield medic/paramedic/emergency room surgeon, and I have extensive experience in natural home remedies, holistic healing, and maternal medicine! I would be an asset to anyone! Ha!” That is incredible and a skill set that would give anyone pause. That doesn’t change the fact that he can’t feed you. Your training will allow you to keep everyone up-to-date on what stage of dehydration they’re in right up the moment of death. Air, water, food (in that order and all three of those) are first priorities. If you cannot provide those, it doesn’t matter if you can set a broken bone or perform an appendectomy with kitchen knives and utensils. People need food and water immediately. Do you really think you’re going to shovel food into your mouth, secure in the knowledge that you are a medical resource in time of need? Between bites of food, you can tell everyone how you’ve got them covered if someone breaks a leg. Of course, you are assuming that your brother has all of the medical supplies needed to fully utilize your skills, but you’re not in a position to stock up on those supplies. If you get hurt, you are even more of a burden, but you’re not in a position to teach anyone medical skills however basic.

“I Will Learn When I Get There”

In a disaster situation, no one has time to teach you. Survival is the main concern. No one wants you to plow through supplies and waste time and effort making common mistakes. Why are you waiting until death is at the door to learn anything? Once it hits the fan and many resources are unavailable, there will be less time to educate you and your children from day one. I’m sure your brother will understand that you just aren’t in any kind of position to so much as read an article to learn a single thing right now. I’m sure he’ll understand having to teach you everything in person. I’m sure he’ll laugh when he remembers his years-long learning curve and the mistakes to get where he’s at. He’ll keep on laughing when you waste irreplaceable supplies making beginner mistakes.

A farm doesn’t mean food automatically. Self-sustaining farms and preparedness often go hand-in-hand, but there are many farmers out there that don’t prepare. Farming is a business, and that business relies on power. (Water relies on power, too.) There are farmers who don’t can or preserve food in any way. Some grow their one or two crops and then everything else is last minute from the grocery store. There are farmers who are incapable of surviving without outside help; they sell crops for money and that money buys everything else they need. In a major disaster, their farm would rapidly fall apart. Once their wells stop pumping water, their livestock is dead in a few days and their crops shortly after. I assume your brother’s house is self-sustaining. This is assuming your brother even knows you’re coming. You and he may have had a discussion and he may have agreed. That doesn’t mean he’s given the slightest thought as to how he’s going to provide for you, has prepared to do so, or is even capable of doing so. Of course, you’re in no position to have a realistic discussion with the person whose house you’re running to. Once the grocery stores are empty, the ATMs stop giving cash, and the real desperation begins, your brother’s lush crops and walking four-legged steaks won’t attract any attention. He won’t lose a single mouthful to looters and thieves. Not that you are in any kind of position to learn any kind of self defense or read up on a combat mindset.

Of course you were the only one with this brilliant idea of running to your brother’s house. You have no siblings. His wife doesn’t. Your ex-husband, once he begins to starve, will never think of going there, and your brother’s neighbors won’t have their hands out either. None of those people will have family or friends, right?

Many people will make the same mistake in thinking that a farm means food. Many of them will have an idea of where those farms are. Many of them are coming to take what’s at the farm– what you have.

Two Letters Re: Dehydrators

Hugh,

The article about dehydrating foods was very well written, thanks. Subsequent comments about preventing small foods from falling through the trays prompts me to offer my solution. I use an ordinary American Harvest dehydrator with stacking trays. I line the trays with parchment paper that I have ventilated by punching holes through the paper, using an ordinary hole punch with the paper folded prior to punching, like making paper “snowflakes.” I lightly oil the paper with coconut oil, and find I can reuse them many times before they need to be replaced. Thanks for all the very informative articles. -J.J.

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HJL,

I have used needlepoint plastic mesh on a rack. It allows air through, and small items like peas and berries stay put. It’s reusable and washable. – C.N.

Economics and Investing:

Can The Various Pension And Benefit Ponzis Survive The Coming Wave Of Baby Boomer Retirements? – H.L.

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Four more mega-banks join the anti-dollar alliance – G.S.

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The US National Debt Load is Second-Worst in the World – M.N.

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Viktor Shvets: ‘The Private Sector Will Never Recover’ – C.F.

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SurvivalBlog and its editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. Please see our Provisos page for details.

Odds ‘n Sods:

Where are the BOB bags? Italy earthquake: 159 dead, many missing as magnitude-6.2 tremor wipes out towns – A.S.

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Venezuela Will “Purge” All State Workers Who Sign Maduro Recall Petition – H.L.

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Here’s a video that shows you just never know when TSHTF. Stop for gas, end up in the middle of a gunfight, and get wounded. It’s a crazy world already, and society hasn’t even “collapsed”! The terrifying moment a woman bystander is caught in the crossfire of terrifying machine gun shootout at Atlanta gas station – T.P.

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The American people don’t need gun control. The government does, however. Guns sold, guns lost: What Pentagon sent to Iraq & Afghanistan after 9/11

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College Campus Lunacy