Dispensing Charity–Our Christian Duty

I intentionally emphasize the theme of Christian charity in my writings. I strongly encourage charitable giving both the present day and post-TEOTWAWKI. It is important to keep far more storage food on hand than you expect to consume. If all that you have is the bare minimum to supply your own family or retreat group, you won’t be in any position to dispense charity. If times get really hard and there is a breakdown of law and order, it might become dangerous to dispense charity to strangers on your own property. I described in ny novel Patriots how to dispense …




The Lynchpin: The Power Grid

The level of severity for any survival scenario will be tremendously greater if the power grid goes down (“grid down“) for a period of more than a week. Consider the following: If “grid down” most towns and cities will be without municipal (utility) drinking water. If “grid down” for more than a month there will likely be huge outflows of refugees from cities. If “grid down” there will possibly be mass prison escapes. If “grid down”, virtually all communications will go down. Telephone company central offices (COs) do have battery back-up. These are huge banks of 2-volt deep cycle floating …




Islands of Light in the Dark

There will possibly be “islands” of power remaining if the grid goes down for an extended period. Logically, these islands will mostly be near hydroelectric dams or wind farms in rural areas. These localized islands could have their power restored in a few weeks, while it might takes months of even years for power restoration in other areas, depending on the severity of a full scale TEOTWAWKI-type infrastructure collapse. Finding where these islands are will take considerable research. And even if you find a potential “island”, don’t count on it. Circumstances may dictate that power is not available, or that …




Water–The Critical Resource

You can improvise on almost anything at a retreat except water. Without it, you and your family will become refugees, muy pronto. If you plan to buy an “in town” retreat, have a long conversation with the City Engineer before making the final selection of a town. Don’t just ask: “Is the water gravity fed?” Nine times out of ten, the engineer will answer yes, but will neglect to mention that it is gravity fed only after it is electrically pumped up hill! You are looking for a town with true end-to-end gravity fed municipal water. Such towns are often …




Zimbabwe: The Slow Slide Scenario

Comrade Mugabe, the Marxist dictator in Zimbabwe (the former Rhodesia) has instituted a virtual news blackout in that once great nation. Mugabe’s “War Veterans” (read: ex-terrorists) are busy again. After spending two years forcibly occupying some of the best farmland in the country (and thereby rendering it fallow) they are now bulldozing the homes, shops and subsistence garden plots of average city dwellers. As usual, the minority tribe is getting the worst of it. But that is hardly a news flash. Rhodesia was once the bread basket of Africa–its food exports fed much of the continent.But now, after 25 years …




Letter from Dr. November Re: Venezuela

Jim: In reading the profile I see that I left one concern out. The situation in Venezuela is pretty bad — and the U.S. gets a lot of crude from Venezuela and relatively little from the Middle East. Any disruption in the supply by that Kim Jong Il wanna-be down there [Presidente Hugo Chavez] is going to ripple through the world’s economy. I have a friend in Argentina, the economy is going down the tubes there as well. South and Central America are going to explode, much like they did in the ’60’s, I’m afraid. With corrupt morons (most of …




Letter from The Bee Man

Letter from The Bee Man (SAs: DIY Veterinary, Relocation, Survival Tools, and Survival Firearms) Hello Jim & Family, I’m glad to see your Blog Site has taken off with such success! I’ve passed on your site address to several other people in hopes to get some advertising to come your way. I also hope you and your own are doing fine. It’s hot and very dry here now. Got those brush fires to contend with. The yellow star thistle is waist high on the hills. I believe your timing of your Blog Site is about right. We’ve had numerous inquiries …




From SurvivalBlog’s American Expatriate Correspondent in Israel: Survival Rations

I had planned to write first about how impoverished Jews lived in old Europe but today being tisha b’Av (the 9th day of the hebrew month of Av) I have a trove of material for a post. Tisha b’Av is the day that the Roman legion after fighting in and taking Jerusalem began burning the second holy temple. It has always been a dark day for Jews and humanity. Among the bad things that happened on this day were: the spies Moses sent out came back with a bad report that we had to wander for 38 more years, the …







Note from Jim:

I’ve just received four more Retreat Owner Profiles. Three of them have already been edited and posted to the Profiles page. I hope that you find them both informative and motivational. One of them (for Dr. November) is nothing short of astounding! OBTW, I would greatly appreciate seeing some profiles from any of you folks that live overseas!




Which .308 Battle Rifle?

I often have folks e-mail to ask me which is the best all-around rifle for retreat defense. The following may sound a bit like a proverbial Chevy versus Ford rant, but here goes… To begin, let me state that I firmly believe that .223 Remington/5.56mm NATO is insufficient for self defense. That cartridge was designed specifically for killing woodchucks–not men. It does well at wounding men, which is fine for military organizations. (An incapacitating wound removes three enemy soldiers from the battlefield–the wounded soldier plus two stretcher bearers.) But the last thing that I would ever want to do post-TEOTWAWKI …




The Housing Bubble

I’m sure that you’ve read about the bubble in residential real estate prices, most noticeably on the coasts in the U.S.. (There are similar bubbles in Oz and England, both of which have already seen their peaks. Far too many people have over-extended their finances buying houses. In fact, up to 35% of the houses being sold in some markets are being bought purely on speculation, with the goal of “flipping” them within six months to take advantage of the rising market. This is making some speculators a lot of quick money, for now. But at some point the music …




G.O.O.D. Vehicle Advice

If you can afford it, buy yourself a Crew Cab 4WD pickup in an earth tone color. A crew cab is the best of both worlds–room for extra passengers like a Suburban, plus lots of cargo room in the cargo bed.) Buy a diesel if you can stand the smell. (I’ll discuss alternative fuels in upcoming blog posts.) You should plan on either buying a low mileage rig that 1 to 5 years old, or buy an older one and have it fully restored/modified. Either way, the total cost will be about the same when all is said and done. …




Letter from “Doug Carlton” Re: The Trouble With Caretakers

Jim: One thing that I wanted to mention about your caretaker/renter post: In many states, if you charge any form of rent, then that person is a renter and has all the legal rights of such under the law. For any of your readers that are considering such an arrangement, I’d recommend they check with a lawyer that knows the rental law of their retreat’s area before going such a route. Laws differ greatly from state to state. One possible route is to provide a separate residence for the caretaker (like a small cabin, whatever) with defined boundaries, then an …




Jim’s Quote of the Day:

“It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened. But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the …