Earthships: Sustainable Living for TEOTWAWKI, by Sgt. P.

How much did the average home owner in the United States pay for utilities last month?  Last Year?  How much will they pay for utilities by the time they pay off their mortgage?  If they averaged $250 per month in utilities, which is below the national average of “$264.33 per month” (Statistic quoted by White Fence) the answer is shocking.  With the average home loan lasting 30 years, without taking into consideration rising costs, utilities would be $90,000!  For that amount of money this homeowner could put one child through a four year-degree at a very nice university.  What if …




Alternative Energy Sources For Emergencies, by Smiledr

Being in preparedness mode opens your eyes to a number of factors, not just Beans, Bullets and Band-Aids. As a battalion coordinator for the Los Angeles Fire Department’s CERT program, I was asked to give a presentation on Alternative Energy sources for an emergency situation. My research into this was very enlightening, and I found a number of great ideas. This does not encompass everything available, but it is fairly thorough. So, why Alternative Energy? In an emergency, such as a major earthquake, there can be a loss of power, gas and water. If it is a short-term problem e.g. …




Letter Re: One Man’s Approach to Preparedness

Sir: Just to let everyone know, I am new to the prepper lifestyle, and new to the kind of changes one must make in one’s life to begin saving as opposed to spending, or maybe a better way of saying it is to say “ changing what your spending your money on ”   where before it may have been a new dirt bike, man toy,   or flat screen television, now my extra cash (after my tithe and savings) is going to preparations.   My change in spending habits quickly brought about a realization , that some items that …




Letter Re: Mobile Fuel Storage System

James, Let me introduce your readers to propane and the many possibilities it offers your planning and TEOTWAWKI preps, that you will likely never have thought of before. Over the last number of years I have carefully thought out and planned a “system” if you will of key pieces of equipment which all operate on a single, inexpensive and highly efficient and large mobile fuel storage system. Naturally, I have the standard wood stove and gasoline operated family vehicle(s), but what is most interesting is some of the items I have been working on and extensively testing/ using on the side.   …




In Defense of the Fortress Mentality–and Architecture

I recently got an irate letter from an outspoken Peak Oil commentator who often stresses “community agriculture” and “sustainable development.” He castigated me for “advocating a fortress mentality…” and “encouraging gun-buying…” I think that he meant those as insults, but I took them as compliments. I am indeed an advocate of the fortress mentality, and fortress architecture. The two go hand-in-hand. As I pointed out in my book “How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It”, modern American architecture with flimsy doors and large expanses of windows is just a 70 year aberration from a global …




A Home-Built Wood-Fired Oven, by Mr. W.F.O.

In the spirit of “off-the-gridness” and in an effort to be more self-sufficient, my wife and I recently tackled a new project at home.  We built a wood-fired oven (WFO). A few times a year we loose power for various reasons.  We can cook (and have) on and in our woodstove.  During the summer months, this makes the house very hot.  An outdoor wood-fired oven gives us another option for many kinds of cooking.  It also provides a great accompaniment to the barbecue.  The WFO is a lot of fun to built and use.  It provides a lot of feel …




Letter Re: Introduction to UV Air Treatment

Dear Editor: Can Michael M. provide a bit more detail in his process of developing a UV air treatment solution?  The part about” “Slack tube manometer and did a static test with the air handler running and the house closed up tight. I had a negative pressure of .45″ water column vacuum. I concluded that I needed a fresh air return duct if I was going to use my air handler to try and pressurize the house” is difficult for me to visualize.  Is the manometer on the upstream side of the Air Handler fan or the down stream?  Also …




Introduction to UV Air Treatment, by Michael M.

My interest in ultraviolet (UV) light systems began a number of years ago with the introduction of a UV system in the discharge effluent stream of water at the wastewater plant where I work. If it works in water I thought, then why not air! The removal of pathogens from the water was most impressive and a mystery, So I hit the books and the Internet to learn more.   Here is a light summary of what I learned: The sun generates ultraviolet rays. These rays are natures way of purifying the air. When sun passes thru a prism it’s …




Letter Re: Constructing an Aboveground “Root Cellar” in Florida

Jim: In regards to running a small “window” air conditioning unit off of a solar powered system, I can convey some of my experiences. I have a total of 3,160 watts of solar panel power on the roof; about 1,700 watts feeds my 24 volt DC “house” system (mostly lights, computer, entertainment system, ½ of the kitchen outlets, and the fridge) while the remaining panels are wired for a totally separate 48 volt DC water heater system. Two 2,500/5,000 (peak) watt inverters are used for each system, each “slaved” to the other of the same voltage to synchronize the alternating …




Constructing an Aboveground “Root Cellar” in Florida, By R.R.L.

First , to tell you a little about myself.  I was a prepper in anticipation of Y2K, had the property, cabin, most of the works and of course nothing happened. (my family thought I was nuts) We all went back to our living.  Unfortunately sold our property, because of an illness.   I never thought of continuing on for future problems.  I was awakened by talking with my brother earlier this year when he told me about SurvivalBlog.  So needless to say I am a prepper once again, but this time my whole family is.  I am preparing my parents home …




Letter Re: Priority and Redundancy in Retreat Electric Power

In an attempt both to think through the issue and to stimulate other to do likewise, I present my personal analysis of our family’s current and future electric power usage. First some background: We live in a 2,400 square foot two-story home the suburbs of a southeastern city. Currently there are 3 of us, with one child away at school. Our summer temps are as high as 95F and winters can drop to the 20s. Currently is is between 50 and 80, which is great – windows often left open.   We have grid power, for which we pay $150-300/month. …




Back to the Basics–Heating, Cooling, and Water All in One, by Mike C.

Description A quick “how to” system that will gather air on one end, run it underground, and output it to another system that collects the moisture from it in order to produce drinking water while altering the temperature of a living structure to a level that can sustain life.  Please note that every house, landscape, and geographical location can be vastly different than the next and it’s therefore impossible to give a thorough how to, independent research must be conducted by the reader. Introduction Preppers have the amazing talent of separating need from want in life, and the need factor …




Keeping Cool: People and Food by P.J.

I’m writing from the Mid-West – the sea of corn (mostly) and other grains. As of this writing we are getting some relief from the humidity. “Hearsay” says corn is a guilty culprit for contributing to our high humidity. Corn is in high demand for purposes of food and fuel. Besides corn syrup, a byproduct is humidity, and perhaps, rain – which eventually leads to the subject of this letter – ice. Something that I think will be tremendously missed, is refrigeration – either for food or humans. Having stated the obvious, think of keeping leftovers at a safe temperature, …




Letter Re: Returns on Investments

James: Being married to an accountant, former government financial inspector and a finance director for a company opened my eyes to the concept of getting a return for my investment. For large tangible items, that concept is important. Oh, I certainly could fill a wall with a 55 inch plasma television, but what do I get in return for that investment? A wannabe movie screen that has a limited lifespan and sucks a chunk of energy? Will it help my long term bottom line of being financially independent and ready? The idea of investing in tangibles in a serious downturn …




Home Design Choices for the Prepper, by S.L.S.

When purchasing or building a home, there are no shortages of choices that must be made. From type of home and features needed to financial matters, literally hundreds of choices must be made. Though some decisions may not have a direct impact on your prepping (the color of the countertop will not matter in a SHTF scenario) many will have a direct impact on the sustainability of your home, your financial well being and thus, your ability to prep. This article’s purpose to introduce the new homeowner-to-be some of these choices and to give you some background on each so …