Letter Re: Redoubling Our Efforts

Hi Jim, Our first mountain snow of the season here in Wyoming has re-vitalized our preparation efforts. We took a good, hard look at the homestead and made some substantial improvements this past week or two. Transportation – I took my EMP-proof 1984 diesel 4X4 in for the new steering gear that has been on the back burner for some time. The new engine is now broken in, so I installed a dual filter system and switched to synthetic diesel-grade motor oil, which will only require semi-annual changes. Backup Heating – We already had a wood burning stove in the …




Hurricane Rita–Oil Refinery Plant Closures Will Likely Mean Fuel Shortages

I’m glad that most of the SurvivalBlog readers stocked up on liquid fuels long ago. Here are some details on the wholesale oil supply reductions. This comes from an oil industry insider newsletter report (dated 22 September): HURRICANE RITA UPDATE Recent forecasts place Hurricane Rita directly over Galveston [now OBE], threatening the Houston area, home to almost 25 percent of U.S. refining capacity. OPIS estimates that by noon on Friday (9/23), refinery closures could impact as much as 3.8 million bbl/d of refining capacity. Current confirmed closures will affect approximately 2.7 million bbl/d of refining capacity. Information is still being …




Letter Re: Multi-Fuel Carburetor Kits

Excellent blog, sir. I read it every day. I’ve also read Patriots several times, I’m on my second copy. I live in Illinois. (I know, I know, I’m working on it.) I wouldn’t even ask how low Illinois was rated, if it were me doing the rating it would be near the bottom for many reasons; gun laws, high taxes, corrupt politicians, terrible roads, and overcrowding anywhere near Chicago. High insurance rates of all kinds, high crime rate, and the weather stinks. There is a pretty long growing season, more than some of the western states you discuss, and there …




Letter from “The Army Aviator” Re: Dual Fuel Carburetors for Generators

Dual Fuel Carbs for generators generally aren’t available any more. Also, Onan references below also include Kohler’s. Onan Generators 4.0kw to 7.5 kw are a good selection when combined with a Trace SW4024 inverter package. I run my generator two hours a day and have electricity 24/7. (Generators are best run with a full load for maximal service life and fuel economy.) I’ve noticed that many people think of having a generator and when the grid goes poof, cranking up the genny and life goes on. That dog doesn’t hunt. They usually use a ton of non-essential electricity.and that simply …




Letter from Matt Bracken Re: Sailboat Retreating, LP and Natural Gas Powered Vehicles, Diesel Engine Invulnerability to EMP

Dear Jim, Excellent blog, it has really taken off, and I recommend it constantly. I have it on my desktop to read first thing every morning. Currently I’m living in coastal southern California, but plan to relocate in 2006. Much like New Orleans, Southern California is also “under water,” or in our case, dependent on distant water supplies for over 90% of our fresh water needs. In the event of a terrorist attack or major earthquake which disrupts the water supply, SoCal will “go New Orleans” in a matter of days. On the plus side, I have a 48 foot …




Letter Re: Diesel “Rustling” in California’s Central Valley

Mr. Rawles, I thought you might be interested in this article from the LA Times today: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-rustle12sep12,0,5207254.story?coll=la-home-business With $3.25 per gallon diesel,we now have “fuel rustlers” stealing from ranchers. In your writings you always point out that our fuel storage tanks should be underground and the pumps disguised. Sound advice!




Letter Re: Large Volume Liquid Fuel Storage

Mr. Rawles, Many thanks for an excellent web site!  I read it daily with much anticipation.  Your book Patriots is a first-class work as well.    Storing fuel is a must for a survival retreat.  Having said that, how do you get delivered several hundred gallons of diesel (or gas) without raising eyebrows?  I live in the rural Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina on a mountain top.  Very private and quiet, but not a farm.  Maybe it is easier than I presume and nothing would raise flags to delivery folks filling a couple of above ground tanks.  Is there an …




Natural Gas in Your Backyard

As a survivalist, you should plan for every contingency. Part of this planning is identifying alternate fuels for after TEOTWAWKI. If possible, it is best to pick a retreat location with multiple fuel sources. In a recent blog post I mentioned coal seams . Natural gas wells are another possibility. Noted economist and newsletter writer Dr. Gary North advocates finding a retreat property with an existing natural gas well. Gary is one of the few folks in the country that doesn’t have to worry about running out of fuel for his generators. He has several, all natural gas powered. Important …




Running Engines on Drip

Natural gas comes from two different types of wells. “Wet” natural gas is generally a by-product of oil fields. (Oil wells often alternately produce natural gas and oil.) This is often called “casinghead gas” or “associated gas.” In contrast to wet natural gas, “Dry” natural gas generally comes from dedicated gas wells. Both wet and dry natural gas wells produce a light oil or hydrocarbon condensate that is commonly called “drip oil” or in slang simply “drip.” (Technically, the term drip refers only to the tank (or other vessel) that is used to collect condensed drip oil and other contaminants …




A Better Known Alternative–Home Heating Oil

It is common knowledge that all diesel cars, trucks, and tractors can run on home No. 2 heating oil, just as well as they do on diesel fuel. The only differences between the two is that there is a different federal standard on the amount of ash is allowable in home heating oil, and that a dye is added to prevent folks from circumventing the Federal road tax. In actuality, however, the only difference in most batches is the dye, since heating oil and diesel fuel both come from the very same cracking plants, running the same process. This is …




Letter From The Rabbit Man

Jim: The SurvivalBlog is looking better and better all the time. I think that you are getting really good information out there. I’m not sure about J.M.’s letter about the Penske trucks. But it’s worth considering. I still think the GMC 2500 HD is the way to go. OBTW, they interviewed the CEO from www.autotrader.com last night on TV. He said they now have one million SUVs listed on their web site. I guess that your axiom is correct: Buy when everyone else is anxious to sell, and you’ll get the best price. Diesel is very expensive now. It is …




On Firewood

Even if you presently heat your home/retreat with propane or home heating oil, get a good quality airtight stove or fireplace insert with a large, long firebox. (If the firebox is too small, there will not be enough fuel to burn all night.) Buy a lot of firewood. A two year or even three year wood supply would be prudent. If you burn four cords per winter, that will mean building a large woodshed. Keep your firewood in a well-ventilated covered shed. If your wood shed has a dirt floor, stack the wood on wooden shipping pallets. Pallets are plentiful …




Got Coal?

Surface coal seams are found in some areas. If you can buy a piece of land that has a coal seam (and mineral rights to go with it), so much the better! Coal burns much hotter than wood, so you will need a special cast iron grate, or else the coal will fairly quickly burn out the bottom of your stove. Whether you burn wood, coal, propane, or home heating oil, lay in at least a two-year supply. If you use oil or propane, set yourself up with a back-up wood or coal stove to use when your liquid fuel …




On Hubbert’s Peak

Some prognosticators contend that a massive economic shift will occur if and when the world’s oil supply begins to run out– as oil is consumed faster than new sources are located so that our “known reserves” begin to decline. (This tipping point is known as “Hubbert’s Peak.”– a.k.a. “Peak Oil“) Some of the most alarmist analysts suggest that this may start as soon as 2010. Here, I should forthrightly note that since I have faith in capitalist ingenuity, I believe that any such shortage will occur much later. They say that as wells shut down and supply decreases, we will …




Letter Re: The Dr. November Profile

Hi Jim, I was reading the Profile on Dr. November and you are right–lots of great preparation! One item though, at least from my perspective, seems to be in short supply. That is the amount of diesel fuel he has on hand for his equipment and generator. It would appear to be out of line with the rest of his stocks. Of course we don’t know how much solar power he is able to produce, and how much he needs to run his genny, but if he lived in gloomy Ohio he would not have enough diesel on hand to …