Big Decisions–Weighing the Risks and Benefits

When doing radio interviews or giving lectures, I’m often asked where the “perfect” place is for a survival retreat. The short answer is: There is none. Granted, there are a lot of places that are much better than others, but there is no single “one size fits all” perfect place. Like buying a pair of boots, the decision has as much to do with the size and shape of the foot as it does the maker of the boots. Everyone has their personal needs and expectations. Some people prefer dry climates while others can’t stand them. Some folks like the …




From The Memsahib: On Being a Modern Homesteader

You may have concluded by now that while my husband is a “guns and groceries” style survivalist, I can more accurately be called a homesteader. A modern homesteader is a person who tries to live self-reliantly on their own land. Our satisfaction and peace of mind come from growing our own food, heating with our own fuel, and even knowing how to make our own clothes if necessary! Happily survivalism and homesteading dovetail nicely. My homesteading mindset was developed early in my childhood as I listened to parents and grandparents talk about living through the Great Depression. My father’s parents …




Book Review: How to Find Your Ideal Country Home

How to Find your Ideal Country Home by Gene GeRue. 1999 Edition, Warner Books. ISBN 0-446-67454. I had my first look at this book back in 1994, when the author contacted me after having read the draft edition of my novel The Gray Nineties. (Which was then available as shareware.) At the time, Gene GeRue had just come out with his first edition. I was impressed with how thorough he was. His premises were sound, and his research was excellent. Imagine my surprise this year when I found an updated edition. It is even more thorough, and even more detailed! …




Letter Re: Is Katrina a Harbinger of an Economic 9/11?

Jim: Not looking good these days. It is chaos down south. Those poor people, may God be with them in their time of need. What is your opinion on the current state of the union? Gas prices, oil supplies in doubt. Do you think this could be the harbinger of an economic 9/11? I hate to admit it, but I do. JWR’s Reply: Perhaps you might be right. There is the outside chance that this could be “it“: You know, The Big One. WTSHTF. Total wipeout. The Day. TEOTWAWKI. The Crunch. But something that drastic would surely take several more …




Jim’s Quote of the Day:

“My life goes on in endless song above earth’s lamentations, I hear the real, though far-off hymn that hails a New Creation. Through all the tumult and the strife I hear its music ringing, it sounds an echo in my soul. How can I keep from singing? While though the tempest loudly roars, I hear the truth it liveth. And though the darkness ’round me close, songs in the night it giveth. No storm can shake my inmost calm While to that rock I’m clinging. Since love is lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing? When …




Notes from JWR:

Please continue keep all of the folks in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and surrounding states in your prayers! Please donate generously to your local church relief agency or to the American Red Cross. Charity is our Christian duty! You can use the current Hurricane Katrina situation to emphasize to your relatives, friends, neighbors and co-workers just how fragile our society is. Do your best to convince them that it is prudent to stock up. I’d appreciate it if you could also tell them about SurvivalBlog. Hurricane Katrina Update (SAs: Disaster Preparedness, Disaster Relief, Lessons from Katrina) Things have gone from …




Letter from B.D.B. in Baton Rouge

Well, I was lucky enough to be outside the edge of Katrina’s rampage here in Baton Rouge. I can attest that is was no picnic here and the devastation is widespread and intense. Beginning on Sunday morning refugees came pouring into town fleeing New Orleans and by mid-day traffic westbound on I-10 was crawling. People were swarming the stores buying supplies and fuel. Gasoline disappeared very quickly but diesel fuel seemed readily available (no surprise there.) Many people were buying useless supplies though, things such as dairy products, meats, vegetables, and such. There was a distinct tension and sense of …




From John & Abigail Adams in Ohio

Here is a quick update on the gasoline and diesel fuel supply situation in Ohio. As I write this there are 15 oil refineries down in the US, either from storm damage or lack of power. There are 3 pipelines down due to lack of power, limiting the flow of crude oil to the north. One refinery in Canton, Ohio, our main supplier of gasoline and diesel fuel in this area, has been closed since Monday, because there was no crude oil to refine. Abigail and I work for a company that is a bulk supplier of gasoline and diesel …




Letter From B.H. in Spokane

I’m a big fan–I have read your novel (Patriots) several times and consider it vital to every home library. I have extensive family in the south. I gave a copy of your book to my cousin T. in Pensacola. They have weathered the last two hurricanes and have come out on the financial up side-they specialize in commercial garage doors. They’ve made a killing after each storm. They have several generators and months of MRE’s for employees, family and neighbors. They used swimming pool water to flush toilets after Ivan. I also have two cousins in central Mississippi. No word …




Letter Re: The Texas City, Texas Port Explosion in 1947

Hi, I have read you blog for a couple of weeks now. Since shortly after you started it, I believe. In any case I do enjoy it. I noticed that you listed some Natural gas explosions from the past. There was a large explosion of another sort in 1947 in Texas City, Texas. It was caused by a fire on a ship filled with Ammonium Nitrate fertilizer. It killed almost 600 people and pretty much leveled the town. It is an interesting story and shows just how devastating even accidents can be, let alone deliberate acts! Thanks for keeping us …




Letter From G.G. In Mississippi

The Mississippi Militia just went to Defcon 2. I am from the devastated area in South Mississippi. I am E&Eing back there tomorrow to the house. I have been preaching and preaching about TSHTF scenarios and using your book as the guide. The real story has not been told. Hancock County still has not been surveyed and bodies are in trees. This will surpass 9/11 in death toll. Pray and prepare. We will keep up the good fight. Pray for us! – G.G.




Letter From The Army Aviator Re: Polar Pure (Iodine Crystals) Water Purification Bottles

I checked and REI was cheapest @ $10.50 ea. Called my local REI and they had none, but they checked and found that they had 244 in their one and only distribution center. They quoted two weeks for delivery. I ordered my six. But assuming perhaps 2 in stock at each store [JWR adds: Unlikely, given recent events] that’s less than 500 available nationwide. That’s less than 1 for every 12 SurvivalBlog readers… I wonder which future ransacked city their distribution center is in? Hope it wasn’t New Orleans. Kind of unsettling how some things are really pretty scarce already. …




Letter From “F1” Re: A Great Source for Survival and Self-Sufficiency Tools

Hi Jim and Memsahib: Have you ever wished you could go back in time to a hardware store circa the late Forties, early Fifties? Imagine finding almost any style of kerosene or oil lamp including Aladdin (creates 60 watts of light using either kerosene or lamp oil) and the fuel for the lamps sold right in the store! Looking for hand powered tools? There are here! Crosscut saws? Yep, they got them. What about timber framing, logsmithing and wood carving tools? Look no further. Looking for self-sufficient dairy supplies? Come and get them! There are many garden tools to choose …




Letter Re: SKS Rifle Advice and 7.62×39 Ballistics

Dear James: I have read in your book and in the blog site that you do not recommend the .223 round for a battle rifle. What do you think about the effectiveness of the 7.62 X 39 cartridge? I own an SKS and would like your opinion on the 7.62 compared to the .223 and also the .308. Also what is your opinion of the SKS as a battle rifle? As always, I appreciate your valued input. – Dr. Sidney Zweibel, Columbia P&S JWR’s Reply: Ballistically, the Soviet 7.62×39 (the standard cartridge for the SKS, AK-47, and clones) is almost …




Letter Re: MotoMail for Deployed Service Members

Hello sir. My name is John [Surname deleted for OPSEC], and I’m an 0351 in the U.S. Marine Corps. I’m about to deploy with [unit designation deleted for OPSEC] to Ar Ramadi, and I wanted to open a line of communication before going. I read Patriots several years ago, and it truly changed my life. I only recently became aware of your blog, and having a lot of training [going on] and limited access to the Internet I was unable to contact you. However, I do wish to thank you. It introduced me to an entirely new mindset, and has …