(Continued from Part 2. This concludes the article series.)
Getting back to the construction details: I welded up a steel frame and built hinges using 1” bolts and pipe and 3/8” steel plate for the roof of the patio on the East end of the building. I used metal roof material supported by 6”x2” heavy tubing and 2” angle and a lot of rebar and a 3/8’ steel plate for the hydraulic cylinder to lift against. I bought a 5” diameter hydraulic cylinder 48” long and welded a trunion to steel plates on both ends. With the cylinder attached to the plate on the roof, I slid it out until it was snug against the concrete patio floor and drilled anchors in the concrete. There is also steel in the floor. I bought a hydraulic pump designed for a garage lift with a reservoir that was smaller than the capacity of the hydraulic cylinder. So I had to drill a hole in the bottom of the reservoir, weld in a fitting, and connect a hose to the other end of the cylinder so it would suck the hydraulic fluid into the cylinder and increase the system capacity. We poured 5,000 psi concrete on the roof. First I built two legs of 2” conduit that hinge down to support the roof and keep it level so the concrete wouldn’t run off. Now I feel safer if I want to sit under it for a while. It is 20 years old and the hydraulic hoses are still good.
The house has two bedrooms, a large library, a large kitchen-living room, a large walk in closet ,several other closets, a wine cellar, a generator room, a laundry room, a storage room, a full bath and a half bath, and a wood burning fireplace. That is most of the detail on the home. It is a very well protected nuclear fallout shelter and an energy efficient place to live. For many years I’ve had a low property tax bill and a phone bill, and I didn’t have to pay storage on the RV when I was out of the country. The shop above it has a 14 x 20, a 9×10, and an entry door on the west end and a half bath. It is well insulated with a 220 volt AC in the wall for emergency use if I have to rebuild something in the summer. The solar heat keeps it above freezing with the heat sink under the floor.
Garden and Orchard
The next project was fruit trees and a garden. I planted apple, cherry, pear, apricot, and peach trees, and blueberry bushes. The deer had a feast. I built a fence with 6’ netting and two barbs above it. Today I have a large Bradford Pear tree and about 50 blueberry bushes. I planted tomato, pepper, squash, carrots, and a bunch of other veggies. The crows and rabbits had a feast. I fenced off an area 32’ x 50’ and used smaller chicken wire and built a frame overhead using ¾ EMT to hold netting and keep out the birds, rabbits, and squirrels. Then a groundhog dug under the fence. A fatal mistake. Black plastic comes in 100 foot rolls 16 feet wide and will keep down the weeds. The plastic works and I had a good crop the first year. Then the RV was sitting there calling me and I traveled.
The problem is I’m now almost 81 years old and have very little interest in playing in the dirt. If my stomach was empty, that could change. I have freeze dried food, grain, beans, toilet paper, soap, laundry detergent, antibiotics, (they are available to the public and cheap in South America), garden seeds, and other things and hope the crap doesn’t hit the fan. It looks like a financial crisis is just on the horizon and I can handle that. But many people will have problems if the banks and ATMs stop working. Credit cards will be worthless and the folks using food stamps with their card will be out of luck.
Grid Down: Big Trouble
If the power grid goes down very long a lot of people in the big cities are in serious trouble. This is a very real possibility with the EMP technology available to many countries, both friend and foe. An EMP pulse causes a high voltage spike feeding both ways on the power lines, which act as antennas. The transmission lines from the power plants are designed to carry 345,000 volts or 500,000 volts. This high voltage pulse can penetrate the insulation on the coils and destroy the transformers at the power plants and sub stations and also the electrical appliances in your home. Most of the large transformers are not built in the USA and take months to build. It doesn’t take much voltage to exceed the limits on solid state components. A few terrorists could knock out a dozen sub stations and shut it down. If a nuclear power plant is shut down it takes a lot of power to get it started again. The start-up transformer is about ¼ the size of the output transformer.
With large solar flares, the sun can spit out some energy and knock out the grid. Think no lights, no refrigeration, no AC, no heat (unless you have a wood stove and stored firewood), no water, no gasoline, no diesel, no groceries, no sewer system, no trash pick-up, no medical care, no cell phone, (the wired in phone company usually has a battery bank to operate a couple of weeks), no public transportation, probably no police or fire protection, armed starving people wanting to steal anything you have or maybe rape your wife and daughters. When the toilets stop working, the sanitation level needed to survive will be a worse mess than the homeless folks are causing in some big cities. If you don’t have it in your home now, it probably won’t be available. Have you ever wiped your butt with poison ivy? Toilet paper is almost as important as food and water in the city! Country boys can survive!
A nuclear attack would be even worse, with many people injured from the blast and then the country exposed to radiation. When a person sees a bright flash outside, their instinct is to run to the window and see what happened. When a nuclear warhead is detonated it gives off a flash for several or more seconds. It produces heat and a shock wave that travels about 1100 feet per second. While you are staring at the bright flash and burning out the retinas in your eyes, the shock wave shatters the window and you bleed to death from all the cuts. If you see a bright flash, take cover and stay away from the windows. Radiation poisoning is a terrible way to die with blood oozing out of the body orifices. I think there is less chance of a nuke landing in the country with the cities as the target.
Remember that our brilliant politicians eliminated our Civil Defense fallout shelters and stored food. (It was mostly hard crackers and hard candy in the fallout shelters for the public.) The brilliance of politicians always amazes me. They can be elected to a term in Congress with a salary around $170,000 per year and retire as a millionaire after one term. The politicians have elaborate shelters with freeze-dried food and all the convenience of home. They also ruined our currency with the Federal Reserve Banks. They sold our stored wheat to Russia on credit! Russia has fallout shelters for almost the entire country. They have our wheat stored because it is probable there won’t be a crop the first year after nuclear war. We don’t have any stored wheat. The Russians have built most of their critical factories underground. Their population has training and emergency supplies for nuclear war. Why would they do this? Could it be that our military-industrial complex gets rich by having wars and they want a new world order — with you and me gone?
I’d Do It All Again
I still have interest in traveling and need diesel fuel or airplane tickets to do it. I also built a greenhouse, but have never used it. I originally studied engineering and was in the military working on electronics and nuclear warheads. When I got out there was no work in engineering and I worked on a white ticket as an electrician, took an examination, and was a journeyman. After a few years of building nuclear power plants and wiring anything the contractors bid on, I went back to college and changed professions. It has been an interesting life and I would do it again to get out of Dodge! I look at all the guardrails on the interstate and realize the city could be closed very easily by blocking the traffic lanes. I’m happy to live in the country. If things go too far South here, I will go South too. I have a couple of properties and a lady friend in South America.
Praise the Lord and keep your powder dry. If you are still reading, then get ready now. We don’t have much time! The Democrats could shut down the economy to blame it on Trump, but I don’t think the Democrats will do that. The financial situation is bad enough that the government could just run out of money. Remember all politicians lie and have two important things to do once they are elected. Number one is to get re-elected. Number two is to increase their wealth as much as they can.