Letter Re: Retreat Potential for The Eastern States

Sir: You mentioned that you don’t feel qualified to comment on much less to rank the eastern states. I can start the ball rolling, re: the Urban Northeast (the UNE). The disadvantages of the UNE are: cold winters, overpopulation, generally bad gun laws, socialistic politicians, and high Sheeple Ratio (SR). However, tens of millions of people live there, so: 1. I live in Philadelphia, for which the natural bugout area is the Catskills, Lehigh Valley, etc. PA gun laws are surprisingly good; an oasis of sanity in the UNE: Shall Issue CCW (and you can carry virtually anywhere — no …




Follow-Up Re: The Walla Walla Region (Walla Walla and Columbia Counties, Southeast Washington)

Two different readers e-mailed to remind me that there is a maximum security Washington state prison near Walla Walla. It currently houses 16% of the state’s worst criminals, including approximately 116 sex offenders. The current inmate population is 2,277. Because of this I have revised the “grid down” potential for the region down from a 5 to a 7. (On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best.) For the sake of all of our readers living near any jail or prison, let us pray that their electric cell door control systems default to “locked” rather than …




Two Letters Re: The Importance of Using Non-Hybrid Seeds

In a recent post, you said: “…we will be discussing how to collect (“save”) and store seed stock in detail in some upcoming blog posts. – The Memsahib” When it comes to storing seeds long term, I think you will find this article of interest. See: http://www.echotech.org/network/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=84 This describes a safe and easy-to-create liquid that greatly increases the long-term viability of seeds. I bought both chemicals from http://www.chemicalstore.com/ , but after checking this morning, they apparently no longer sell glycerol. It is a safe and widely-used chemical, so it should still be easy to obtain after doing a bit of …




Letter Re: Reinvesting a 401(k) Into Precious Metals

Mr. Rawles, Congratulations on the success of your website. I follow it everyday and have gleaned much info from it. My wife and I have been working at getting our “beans, bullets and band-aids” together and have made what we believe is good progress. With the state the economy is in and considering your advice about investing, I have a question that I hope you can/will help me with. I am thinking about taking out a loan against my 401K to: 1) Pay off our home @ approximately $18,000; 2) Round out our “beans, bullets and band-aids” and 3) Invest …




Letter Re: Retreat Architecture

James: Thoroughly enjoyed your book “Patriots”. Are there any recommended sources for designing a retreat on the Web that you recommend? You have provided a ton of info on the locating a retreat, but I have not been able to find anything on how to design a retreat or a comprehensive list of recommended features. Thank you for your Website, I read it daily. – J.M. JWR Replies: Glad that you like the site. I’ll be talking about retreat design in detail in blog posts in coming weeks. In the meantime, read Joel Skousen’s book “The Secure Home.” (The book …




Letter Re: Other Web Sites and Newsletters

Sir: I subscribe to the [name deleted] investment e-mail newsletter. If you go to the web page listed below, he has an article where he gives his opinion of the “doom-and-gloom” naysayers. I don’t think he was speaking about you specifically, but I thought you might be interested in reading what he has to say and maybe responding to him with a rebuttal. I also wonder how you feel about someone like [name deleted], who claims he runs a survival, not a survivalist web site. I had never considered that there was a difference until he pointed it out. Thanks …




Letter from “The Army Aviator” Re: Suspension of Posse Comitatus and The Asian Avian Flu

Jim: Trying a little “out of the box” perambulation. I disremember but seem to recall that this was your bailiwick back when. I noticed the President is publicly talking about getting congress to authorize the use of military troops should bird flu, et al occur. It seems to me that particular authority already exists. So I ponder. If he already has the authority, why ask for it again? Is it to make a public statement that he asked, as part of good planning, before it happened and we should be grateful and pleased? Does he know that “massive plague (or …







Note from JWR:

Yesterday, we celebrated the two month anniversary of SurvivalBlog. I have been overwhelmed at the blog’s rapid success. (61,000+ unique views and 1.5 million page hits!) I owe most of the credit to you, the loyal SurvivalBlog readers. Your letters and contributed articles are the best part of the blog! I’m still looking for entries for the SurvivalBlog writing contest. The prize is a transferable four day course certificate, good for any course at Front Sight!




Recommended Region: The Olympic Peninsula (Clallam County, Western Washington)

The Olympic Peninsula is a very rainy but quasi-remote region in western Washington. Albeit with strong reservations, it is one of the few retreat regions that I recommend in the western half of the state. Statistics (for Forks): Average high temperature in August: 71.8. Average low temperature in January: 33.7. Growing season: (Clallam Bay): 182 days. Growing season: (Forks): 175 days. Average snowfall in January: 4.8”. Clallam County Median residential home price: $140,000. Advantages: Mild climate with the moderating influence of the Pacific Ocean, Clallam County crops include hay oats, corn, apples, cherries, pears, plums, carrots, peas, and berries. Upwind …




From JWR and the Memsahib–The Importance of Using Non-Hybrid Seeds

Modern agricultural science is a two-edged sword. Hybrid vegetable and row crop varieties have tremendously increased crop yields in the past 50 years. Along with chemical fertilizers and pesticides, this has allowed the Earth’s population to double in the past 45 years without mass starvation. Unfortunately because the seeds from hybrid plants do not breed true, it makes farmers captive to the seed companies an dependent on modern chains of supply for seed distribution. Any seed that is saved from crops typically produces less yield than traditional non-hybrid progenitors. In the event of a global TEOTWAWKI, I anticipate that catastrophic …




Letter Re: Chronic Illnesses and Disabilities in Retreat Planning

Dear Mr. Rawles, I am a recent reader of the blog (nice job by the way). However I have read “Patriots” and I frequent several boards that you frequent. One issue I have, and a lot of survival minded people need to make sure is covered is medical requirements for chronic illnesses. The human body being fragile can develop an illness that must be treated on an ongoing basis. Anyone who is preparing for any disaster must take into account a supply of medications/supplies. I am not talking about the typical Tylenol and bandages, but prescriptions. Some prescriptions will be …




Letter Re: Asian Avian Flu

Hello Jim, Your readers and contributors include a fair number of medical professionals. With all the hype in the news regarding “the coming pandemic” of Avian Flu, I’d be curious to get their professional take on it. Specifically, do they see it as a real threat and if so, what advice they would have for laymen. Thanks, – Dutch in Wyoming JWR Replies: I ‘m hoping that some of our readers who are medical professionals chime in on this subject. In the interim, Dr. Geri Guidetti of The Ark Institute kindly provided this article on Asian Avian Flu on her …




Letter Re: Retreat Potential of The Carolinas

Mr. Rawles–many thanks for the response! We live in Henderson county and before that my family lived up in Buncombe county, so I laughed when I read the letter from your other reader. Henderson county has an extremely high per capita savings and a LOT of poor people, so somebody is skewing the results somehow. Lots of rich transplants from up North. Jurassic Park. Buncombe county is on a lot of “best places to live” lists…and real estate and cost of living increases reflect that. Rolling Stone magazine called it the “freak capital of the south”…and it is. Kind of …