Mutation of Asian Avian Flu (H5N1) Could Result in a Global Pandemic with the Deaths of “Tens of Millions”

I’ve mentioned the Asian Avian Flu (H5N1) several times since I launched this blog in August. The risk of mutation of the virus into a form that could be transmitted from person to person (P2P) is relatively small. However, if that were to happen, it would be catastrophic. The folks at WorldNetDaily (one of my daily “must reads”) just posted a story that quotes a WHO official that said that a species-jumping P2P mutation of H5N1 could cause a global pandemic that would likely result in “the deaths of “tens of millions”. Take the time to read this article, and plan accordingly.

EMP-Proofing and Other Nuke Preparations

Recently North Korea and Iran have both made overtures about dismantling their nuclear programs. Frankly, I’m dubious. The following may be evidence of the”free floating anxiety” that I was accused of having by one of my televised debate adversaries, but I feel convicted to mention it. I believe that the risk of a nuke going off in CONUS is now greater in the post-Soviet era than it was back during the height of the Cold War. There are at least a dozen “backpack” nukes from the former Soviet Union that are still not accounted for. And of course there are several international terrorist groups that would love to get their hands on a nuke and touch it off in downtown New York City. Whether they buy one on the black market or they build one of their own, I am convinced that the odds are 60%+ that a nuke–or at least a sub-critical dirty bomb–will go “bang” somewhere in CONUS within the next 10 years.

Assuming that the foregoing is a reasonable possibility, you should protect yourself. Unless you live in a major metropolitan city and have very bad luck, the odds of being in the blast/flash/thermal effects radius of a terrorist nuke are very small. There are greater odds of being down wind of fallout. But there is an event higher likelihood that you could end up in an EMP “footprint.” If the terrorists are really clever, the most effective way that they could use a nuke would be to detonate it at high altitude (either suspended from a balloon or in a jet aircraft flown to its absolute ceiling–something over 35,000 feet.). They could do this over New York or Los Angeles. Here are the physics in a nutshell: The higher the altitude means the broader the line of sight (LOS), and hence the larger the EMP footprint. An nuclear air burst creates an EMP surge that will couple with all metallic objects that are within LOS (phone lines, power lines, railroad tracks, and so forth) and instantly fry any unprotected computer chips–billions of chips, all at once. The economic effects would be devastating. The corresponding societal impact is almost too much to imagine. (For one man’s view of the latter, see the web novel “Lights Out“, available for free download at the Frugal Squirrel’s web page–just scroll down to bottom of the main page. BTW, there are several other pieces of survival fiction there as well. They aren’t all epic fiction, but they are thought provoking)

Specific Nuclear Threat Countermeasures Recommendations:
, study up on fallout protection. If you don’t already have a copy, get a copy of Nuclear War Survival Skills–available for free download from the folks at the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. If you might be downwind, build yourself a fallout shelter. Buy yourself a radiation dosimeter, rate meter, and charger.

Second, unless you have vehicles that are pre-electronic (see my previous posts on this subject for details), buy one or two spare set of ignition and fuel injection electronic components for each vehicle. Keep those stored in Faraday Cage enclosures such as milsurp ammo cans.

Third, put any radios, computers, night vision equipment or other electronics that you don’t use regularly in similar Faraday protected storage.

Fourth, buy at least one older fully “EMP Proof” radio that uses all vacuum tubes. (No, chips, transistors, or even SCRs.) That will be your designated radio to leave out for everyday use during times of international tensions. OBTW, I currently have an auction on eBay running for one of my spare radios. It is a Hallicrafters 38C (an AM/HF receiver) that was built in the early 1950s. It has all vacuum tube circuitry, so it is virtually invulnerable to EMP. Similar radios often come up for sale on eBay, or can be found at garage sales if you look around. Garage sales in predominantly retirement communities are best for that. (Old people = old radios.)

Fifth, stock up on Potassium Iodate (KI) to protect against thyroid damage in the event of a nuclear incident. Do a search through my archives for details. KI tablets are sold by Ready Made Resources (RMR) and several other vendors. Tangentially, I heard today that RMR just got in a fresh supply of Polar Pure (iodine crystal) water purifying bottles. With another hurricane currently plowing toward the Gulf Coast, I don’t think that they will keep those in stock very long.

Sixth, pray. I’m serious: Get right with God, and pray for His guidance, providence, and protection.

“Doug Carlton” on Concealed Carry

Jim asked me a while back to write a piece on carrying a concealed weapon (CCW) in hot weather and damp climates. I failed. What you have here simply has to do with CCW overall. I tried to limit it, but after a few false starts I realized there was no way to keep it confined to hot weather without covering the basics anyway. I’m no expert. I’ve carried concealed both in the USA and overseas, and have done so daily (almost without exception) for the last 20 years. In every class I take I usually learn something new, and always learn something old. I’m no expert in guns or writing. So here you go.

The first and most important thing about a concealed weapon is to understand what it does and does not do for you. Having a gun and be willing to use a gun are two different things. It has been rightly said that “A sheep with a gun is still a sheep.” Also, if you carry a concealed weapon, you may still be attacked. After all, the attacker doesn’t know you have one. So just having a gun on you does not stop crime. Think of the concealed weapon as a spare tire. It won’t prevent flats, but it can certainly help out if you have one. The first step is to develop the mental attitude required to carry a gun. Once that’s done, proceed to step two. That second step would be dependent upon your state’s laws. Obviously some places are easier to legally carry, but they all have some odd-ball codes and laws, and you need to know them. Often times a class may be required, but often times it’s not. The laws still apply, so it’s up to you to know them. Hey, it’s part of your responsibility anyway. So now you have your CWP, CHL or whatever you want to call it, or you live where you don’t need one, and it’s time to start packing. Obviously the first thing you need is a gun. Now gun choices are a personal thing. I could pontificate about one gun or another, but in the end it’s your hide, and your choice.
Choose something that you like. The reason for this is you’ll practice with something you like more than something you hate. You’re also relying on this for your life, so you might as well like it. King Arthur probably didn’t hate Excalibur, and you shouldn’t hate your carry gun either. Carry a gun you like, it makes life easier. What’s good for one person may not be suitable for another. So don’t get too wrapped around the axle about when anyone tells you that, “you need to carry X…blah, blah, blah.” Advice is great, but it’s your life that we are talking about here. Choose based on what you need, not on what someone else needs.
Carry a gun that you’re comfortable with. You want it to be as easy as grabbing your cell-phone or car keys. It needs to be easy to live with. It also needs to be good enough to put a quick end to your problems too. I’m not as dogmatic as some in choosing a particular caliber. A good hit in any decent caliber will do the job. Making a hole that’s one tenth of an inch bigger will not make up for a poor hit. I guess I’m from the Shot Placement party. I wouldn’t go smaller than a .38+P, and I wouldn’t go larger than a .45ACP for most applications. I’m not going to get into any pissing-matches on the subject either. Choose what you feel is right for you. In the sticks or in the city, you may have to also deal with animals of pretty good size. Dogs, big cats, lions, tigers and bears, whatever, just remember you might have to deal with something other than a two-legged assailant.
I’m not a big fan of specific guns for limited applications. I don’t have a “car gun”, a “nightstand gun”, a “house gun”, a “cold weather gun, nor a “hot weather gun”. I have one gun that I carry. It goes with me out the door, into the car, around the town, back in the house, and there it is. If you have guns stashed all over the place, that’s your business. That works for many just fine. I just feel that if the gun I’m carrying is good enough to trust my life to, then it’s good enough to trust it in the house, in the car, et cetera.
So now you have your gun. How will you pack it around? There are several ways to do it. One is “off-body”. This is the fanny pack, gun purse, briefcase, portfolio, etc. option. While they do indeed easily conceal a good size gun, anything that’s not strapped to your body securely increases the risk that you won’t have it right when you need it. A purse snatcher may render someone weaponless. It’s fairly common in tourist areas to “snake” a fanny pack off of someone and run off as well. Unless you maintain positive possession of that portfolio at all times, then your gun isn’t secure. There are some good reasons to use off-body, but a lot of bad ones too. I’d do some serious thinking before using one of these methods.
Another common way is to carry it in your pocket. Yeah, it works but the gun is rarely secure, so drawing it is slower since it’s not in the same place all the time. When it’s flopping around in your pocket it can become uncomfortable as well banging around in your pocket. It also wears on pockets something fierce. There are pocket holsters, and they work, but pocket pistols are usually small, light, underpowered affairs. There is always the shoulder holster. It’s not all that popular generally because it’s a hassle to put on and take off, and you have all sorts of adjustments. Women can find the shoulder holster more useful, because hip holsters are often made for men, and a lady’s hips just aren’t the same. If you have to use the toilet a lot, a shoulder rig makes the process easier though. If you sit a lot at a desk, or drive a lot, they can work as well. Then there is the ankle holster. You need to dress right for it. Obviously shorts won’t work. Neither will close fitting, boot cut jeans. The biggest drawback with them is it takes two hands to draw, and it takes time and space. The most stable way to do it is to go to one knee, pull up with one hand and draw with the other. There are variations, but it’s going to be hard to do if you’re in contact with a mugger, or have one arm fending off a knife or herding a child. As a back-up, I’d say it’s a great place. As a primary, it’d have to be a situation where I couldn’t carry on my belt. Which brings us to the waist carry. Inside the belt, outside the belt, tucked in the waist, “Mexican string”, clips, whatever. Most people carry this way, and there are a large variety of holsters available. The most important thing about carrying on the waist is the belt, not the holster. You can get away with a cheap holster if you have to, as long as you have a good, stiff belt to support it. If you have a $150 holster, it will still suck if it used with a flimsy belt. Get a good belt! This is where your money should go.
Obviously for the gun to be concealed, you need to hide it some way from common sight. Try to blend in. Wearing a police raid jacket in 110 degree weather isn’t blending in. A lot of people have gone to vests. How successful that is will depend on what people wear in your area. Darker colors will hide the profile of a gun better than light ones. Also watch how you move. Bending over, reaching up, etc may expose your sidearm. If you pick an inside the waistband system, remember to have room in your waistband. The first couple times you carry, you might feel like a gun with a person attached to it. Once you get used to it, it’s no biggie.

Practice the way you will be using the gun. If it’s cold and you’re wearing gloves, then you need to practice with them on. The same goes for drawing from under a coat. Practice with what you’ll be wearing. If it’s hot, practice when it’s hot. Sweaty hands can make things different. Inspect your gun regularly. Yeah, it sounds odd, but people forget to re-load their gun after cleaning it, or worse yet don’t clean it until they shoot it. Get in a habit in the way you do things. Stick to those habits.
Practice in situations that are real-life threats to you. Americans spend a great deal of time in and around cars. In fact, statistically, most gunfights in the USA occur in and around cars. So practice from the driver’s seat with the seat belt on. You should practice getting out, getting in, and moving around a car.
Training is the key. Get professional training. OK, I won’t harp on it, but if you don’t have training, you’re counting on luck–and that’s not what you should be counting on. – “Doug Carlton”

JWR Adds: I wholeheartedly concur with Doug’s comments. My personal choice for concealed carry is a stainless steel compact .45 ACP such as a Colt Officer’s Model or even a trusty old Detonics. But YMMV. It is important to get top notch training at a place like Front Sight. That is money well spent. If you’ve never attended professional firearms training, you’ll find that you will learn more in one weekend than you picked up casually in your entire lifetime. Train as you’ll fight, because human nature dictates that you will fight as you train. Practice doesn’t make perfect. Rather, PERFECT practice makes perfect. Don’t scrimp on training!

Letter from Dr. Sidney Zweibel Re: Which Guns for Barter?

Dear Jim:
I read your insightful article on the pending economic meltdown and in it you suggested storing up tangible assets like gold/silver, ammo, and GUNS, etc. My
question is concerning the details of purchasing used firearms for barter and trade.
1.) Do you think that used is better than new because private party sales are done with no paper trail?
2.) If so, what types and caliber(s) do you foresee as being the most pragmatic and desired TEOTWAWKI?
3.) Do you recommend equal quantities of rifles, shotguns and pistols or do you have other ideas?
4.) Are their any calibers or manufacturers you suggest we stay away from in a barter scenario?
5.) Are you storing firearms for barter/trade or are you keeping your arsenal for personal use?
P.S. I just read in your Oregon profile where the State has stopped all private [no transfer record] gun show gun sales. Fortunately out here in Arkansas there seems to be an ample supply of firearms for sale. Whatever we do, we had better “make hay while the sun is still shining!”
B’shem Yahshua Messiah, – Dr. Sidney Zweibel

JWR Replies:
In answer to your questions…
1.) Definitely buy used, but be sure to buy quality. (Read Boston’s Gun Bible for detailed gun recommendations as well as some useful gun show buying strategies.) By buying used guns, you can buy privately (sans paper trail–very important), and almost as importantly you won’t be paying full retail. Guns shows are probably the best place to buy. However, some private party sales bargains might come up in you local newspaper classified section. Assuming that you paper hasn’t gone PC and banned gun ads, check the classifieds every week.
2.) IMO, in CONUS, the calibers to concentrate on are .22 Long Rifle, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, 12 gauge, and .308 Winchester. In Alaska, add .44 magnum, .30-06, and perhaps .375 H&H Magnum to the list. In Australia, Oz, or New Zealand, add .303 British to the list. In any Third World country, add 7.62x39mm Russian (AK-47) to the list.
3.) Based on expected demand, I’d recommend 40% Main Battle Rifles (.308 semi-auto), 30% semi-auto handguns, 20% pump action riot shotguns (preferably with a spare long “bird” barrel for each), and the balance in semi-auto .22 rimfires. (For example the Marlin Papoose and/or the ubiquitous Ruger 10/22.)
4.) Avoid most cheap off brands. There are a few exceptions, such as N.E.F. (New England Firearms), which makes surprisingly good guns at budget prices. Likewise, avoid oddball calibers! Think: commonality. Remember that any of your designated “barter” guns may just as well end up in the the hands of relatives or other newcomers that will be living at your retreat. So getting “extra copies” of the guns that are already in your personal battery would be ideal. That will have several key advantages, namely: commonality of training, commonality of magazines, and commonality of spare parts.
5.) I have set aside roughly 20% of my firearms battery for charity and barter.

One note in closing: When shopping for used guns for barter, forget about aesthetics. Some of the real bargains at gun shows are guns with nasty home brew camouflage paint jobs, guns with a lot of honest holster wear or hunting wear (but no pitting), and guns that have been “personalized”. (Typically these have amateurish carvings on the stocks.) Remember that a gun fight is not a beauty contest. Rather, it is playing for keeps, with no second place winner.

Letter Re: Detailed Retreat Locale Recommendations and Northern California

Sir: Can you be more detail oriented and give us your opinion on some of the factors you have mentioned previously? Which areas in the West are not potential deserts and have natural un-irrigated water supplies? Which areas are sufficient wood available? Which have the least population density? I have thought Modoc County, CA would meet this requirements. How about you? – R.Y.

JWR Replies:
Modoc County has much more harsh winters and a shorter growing season than California’s northern coastal counties. You might be better off on the western slopes of the Yolla Bollies. This region is just as remote as Modoc County (if not more so), and has a milder climate. BTW, if you are going that far north, why not go a little farther and escape the California Nanny State legal morass? (It is only going to get worse as time goes on! ) There are some nice areas in southwest Oregon, which I will be covering in detail in my blog in a couple of weeks. Be patient… My detailed retreat locale recommendations will be posted at this blog starting next week.

Letter Re: Retreat Architecture Options

Mr. Rawles,
In your 09/19/2005 blog, you asked for input on different architectural techniques related to a retreat. Following is information on a type of construction that has some interesting potential. Take a look at the video at . It is a high-resolution Windows Media Player file showing construction of sandbag shelters using very low tech methods and tools. The shelter exceeds all standard earthquake specs for buildings. Very cool idea and a very well done video. The objective was to find shelter for refugees rather than sticking them in tents. Adding Portland cement to the sand makes for a very permanent structure. In a nutshell, the construction technique uses a modified type of sandbag. The defensive advantages should be readily apparent. For someone with little money to spend and little time left, this could very well be a good solution. Architectural drawings are available if needed for building permits, etc.
This photo – – shows a home under construction.
This photo – – shows that just how nice a home can look using this construction technique. – “SMG”

JWR Replies: More about retreat architecture will be posted in the near future. But for now, here is a teaser — just as FFTAGFFR.

Note from JWR:

Yesterday morning, we passed the one million hit threshold! The more important metric is that we’ve had more than 43,000 unique visits. Yee haw! Not bad for a blog site that is just 45 days old. Please help to continue to spread the word. Just sending a one line e-mail to all of the folks on your e-mail list will make a big difference. Many thanks!

Today, I’m covering South Dakota, the 15th of 19 western states in my rankings of states by their retreat potential. Following this series of state-level articles I will begin making specific retreat locale recommendations down to the county level. OBTW, if you have first-hand experience, I’d appreciate your input on specific retreat locales anywhere on the planet. If you know of a region that will provide a nice self-sufficient hidey hole for WTSHTF, let us know, via e-mail.

State By State – South Dakota

South Dakota:
Population: 754,800.
Population Density: 9.78 per square mile (Rank 16 of JWR’s top 19 states).
Area: 77,100 square miles (rank 16 of 50).
Average car insurance cost: $618/yr. (rank 46 of 50).
Average home insurance cost: $380/yr. (rank 42 of 50. )
Crime Safety Ranking: 4 of 50.
Boston T. Party’s State Firearms Laws Ranking: 69%.
Per capita income: $25,958 (rank 34 of 50).
ACT & SAT Scores Ranking: 12 of 50.
Plusses: Very low population density and crime rate! A low “total tax burden” of 8.9%. Low car insurance rates.
Minuses: Cold winters and a short growing season. Like its northern sibling, South Dakota has major nuclear targets, so I only recommend that you look west (upwind) of the missile fields.
JWR’s Combined Retreat Potential Ranking: 7 of 19.

From The Memsahib: Lessons from the “Little House on the Prairie” Books

All of the books in the "Little House on the Prairie" series by Laura Ingalls Wilder are great reads for all ages. Many lessons can be gleaned from their pages. (The books are much better than the sappy television series.) Laura’s "Pa" was an eternal optimist. When he saw the luxuriant prairie grasses he assumed the soil was rich and good for farming. But he did not realize that those plants were designed to survive in the Dakota territories’ weather and its pests and and that cultivated grains were not. He did not foresee the devastating storms and pests that would wipe out his crops. Like other homesteaders he took out chattel mortgages on his oxen team in order to buy lumber to build the required house on the homestead. He figured that the wheat crop would more than cover the mortgage. Pa had his crops destroyed one year by a hail storm. Another year his wheat was shriveled by searing winds. Gophers ate half of his seeds as soon as he planted. Another year enormous flocks of blackbirds ate all the ripening corn and all the oats. Twice a plague of locusts ate every green thing on the farm.
As you make you preparation plans, you must plan on the worst. Do not think like Pa that a harvest is a SURE thing. Have a food storage program to get you through crop failures! Diversify your crops. A disaster may wipe out your corn, but you could still have potatoes. Plant way more than than you think you’ll need. Insects and birds will devour more than you think. Pay off your land so that you don’t get foreclosed on when the economy turns bad. Farming doesn’t often “pay” so be sure you have another plan for making enough cash to pay your taxes. The sayings of the old farmers are still applicable today: Don’t count your chicks before they hatch. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. And nothing is sure but death and taxes.

Letter Re: Kudos for SurvivalBlog Advertisers and Advice on North Carolina’s Retreat Potential

I appreciate the link on Captain Dave’s site. I have read your book [Patriots ] ’till the pages are falling out. I have been visiting your blog every day since it was first mentioned on Captain Dave’s. I just wanted to give you a quick A1 “Attaboy” on your advertisers. I have used JRH Enterprises starting in the mid-late 90’s when he was still located in Jacksonville Florida, and he has ALWAYS been a source of good information, honesty, and good deals. If he does not have it he can tell you who does. Bruce Hemming (Buckshot’s) has been a valuable source of training and equipment for trapping to someone that lives in a non-trapping state, and has never done it before. Believe me, if his videos can teach me (they DID!) then anyone can learn. And one last advertiser: Ready Made Resources. I discovered them the late 1990’s when I was preparing for Y2K. I bought thousands of dollars in long term food and supplies from RMR. I have and continue to recommend them as the BEST source this side of the Mississippi. They have always had the best prices and most variety, and have done a great job of expanding into other supplies. Living in Panama City, Florida, I have not dedicated money into the Wiggy’s sleeping bag fund yet but when I finish the retreat in Western N.C., it will surely be higher on the list.

I know you do not recommend retreats on this side of the country but how do you feel about western North Carolina (Macon County), I prefer the lower elevation mountains and the growing season there, as well as the sparse population. Thanks for the daily information – R.L. in Panama City, FL

JWR Replies: Thanks for you kind words about the SurvivalBlog advertisers. I am very selective about from whom I’ll accept advertising.

Regarding North Carolina: I am quick to admit that I have western U.S.-centric viewpoint. This is in part because my family came out west by covered wagon in 1857. My great-great grandfather felt that Ohio was getting “too many people.” (I can’t help but be reminded of the lyrics of the bluegrass song “New Cut Road”, a.k.a. “Coleman Bonner”.)

I’m not familiar enough with North Carolina to make any specific locale recommendations. Perhaps a SurvivalBlog reader who lives there will send me an e-mail and enlighten us.

“Doug Carlton” Re: Military Logistics Versus Individual Retreat Logistics

I just read Army Aviator’s post on the helmets, et al. He brings up some good points, and perhaps even ones that he didn’t intend to. Just because the Army does things a certain way, doesn’t make it the right way for a survivalist. The main difference is that the Army has a long logistics capability and an individual’s will vary so much that even things that may work for one group, might not work for another. An example is the tarps used on the 5-ton trucks. For the Army, the plastic tarps are a better system to use. They’re lighter, cheaper, and they can come in different colors cheaper and easier. Basically, they’re more disposable than the canvas ones (that only come in green and painting them tan for use in arid climates only works marginally well) due to unit cost. Well, that approach is probably better for the Army, because they have a huge logistics system that can provide for that, and hence their relatively short service life is not a major issue. The problem is that individual survivalists don’t have a logistics “tail” like that. So for a survivalist, the canvas might be a better option for the same use. Another example is battery powered gear. The Army devours batteries at an enormous rate. In Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), it became critical to a point that batteries rivaled fuel in maintaining the advance. There’s no way that an individual survivalist is going to maintain that tempo of battery usage, yet I see several who continually purchase battery powered devices like there’s no tomorrow. Some of these item s may have great value, and some may not, but they all take batteries and usually these folks have no “battery plan”. The same goes for any piece of equipment, or even tactical doctrine. What works great for the “Big Army” might not work for me. Many people with no exposure to the logistics of warfighting don’t understand just how much effort goes into the Army’s logistic system. They just figure that “if it’s good for the Army, then it must be good for me.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Army’s a good place to get ideas, but you must always look at your own needs to make decisions on what to buy, or how to do things. As a side note, the MICH came about to have a compatible helmet for Special Forces (SF) individual commo systems. They made it cover less area for a variety of reasons. For SF use, the higher sensory effectiveness was the trade-off for area covered. The ACH is basically the MICH without the commo integration. Per square inch, the ballistic protection provided by the ACH is actually higher than the K-pot. [The Kevlar PASGT helmet.] The material used is indeed lighter, but it will stop more than the 1980’s Kevlar in the K-pot. The problem is that the old K-pot covers more head area so the ACH may indeed be less effective. The USMC has decided against the ACH (though Force Recon uses the MICH) and will be issuing a helmet made from the same lighter, stronger ballistic material of the ACH, but built in the same profile of the current K-pot. That will give them the same higher ballistic protection, without sacrificing the area covered. As for the sidearm, there is another example of not buying the way the Army now does things. They went with cheap aftermarket magazines, and got predictable results. (Factory mags worked 100% in the desert). What many don’t know is that the mag problem was actually identified a few years earlier. It was pretty common knowledge here when the Navy guys started having the same problems with their P226s here a couple years before OIF. At first I figured some swabbie was swapping out mil-spec mags for their private mags, but sure enough the Navy had bought aftermarket mags for the SEAL‘s SIG P226’s. They were all collected up, and factory mags issued, and P226 failures disappeared. (Shocking!) The bottom line: just because it’s U.S.G.I., it may not be the best. – “Doug Carlton”

JWR’s Note: Some of the readers of my novel Patriots will remember the Doug Carlton character. It is the pseudonym of a real life individual that I have known since college. (We went through ROTC at San Jose State University together in the early 1980s.) “Doug” is a former U.S. Army pilot who now works in the civilian transportation sector.

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 doesn’t cut it when the grid goes away. You can’t possibly run a 100KW for the needed period AND storing (and wasting ) that much fuel is foolish.

I’ve been able to get along wonderfully with a 4.0 KW Onan, I thought about going larger but by staying with the 4.0 KW, I was able to acquire two generators. I only need one but “Two is one and one is none” I do rotate the two on a scheduled basis. Anyway, I started out around 1999 with the one running on gasoline. (Note my property doesn’t have anything coming into it, no electricity, phone, water, NADA!) I went thru Y2K with that setup and it was great. So I went to buy the Dual Fuel carb and BINGO, Due to EPA/OSHA/some alphabet agency they don’t make that any more so I installed the Propane-only carb for both generators. I still have all the gas carb parts and can change back at will (30 minutes) but what a pain. Note: Do the conversion yourself and ask for help if you need it, BUT do it yourself. Then you can do it again when there is no help. Next to last note: Get the not so terribly older Onans/Kohlers. They have a mechanical voltage and frequency (60 Hz) adjustment/control and the Trace still loves it. These older units have minimal electronics to EMP fry (or simply fail). Worst thing you’ll generally find is a mud dauber plugs up the case vent hose and the thing stutters. (Use a coat hanger!)

Last note: Propane stores well! Underground tanks are a waste of time unless you really have to be hidden. Above ground tanks won’t “blow up” They will pop the safety valve and vent with a great big ball of flame but they won’t explode or fragment AND by going with above ground surplus tanks you can store a lot more propane. (I have 6000 gallons). (And mine survived the forest fires!) The only drawback to propane is you can’t go get 5 gallons of propane and pour it into your tank. That’s why you need propane and diesel for your fuel reserves. If anybody asks why you’re buying so much fuel? Tell them you’re buying ahead for your retirement so that when you DO retire your cost of living will be minimal for the first 6 years. or Buying ahead lets you buy when the price is best. Both are always accepted. Regards, – The Army Aviator

Letter Re: Watch Out for Martial Law

Hi Jim,
Thanks for doing a great job on SurvivalBlog… very informative, easy to follow and obviously attracting some pretty bright folks.

Having spent nearly 40 years “working” for Uncle Sam in a variety of military and civilian posts (I retired as a senior IRS field agent), I have a deep-seated mistrust of the feds.

We, The People, are one episode away from martial law and the end of the United States Constitution. As retired General Tommy Franks put it… “the worst thing that could happen” is if terrorists acquire and then use a biological, chemical or nuclear weapon that inflicts heavy casualties. If that happens, Franks said, “… the Western world, the free world, loses what it cherishes most, and that is freedom and liberty we’ve seen for a couple of hundred years in this grand experiment that we call democracy.” Franks then offered “in a practical sense” what he thinks would happen in the aftermath of such an attack. “It means the potential of a weapon of mass destruction and a terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event somewhere in the Western world – it may be in the United States of America – that causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass casualty-producing event. Which in fact, then begins to unravel the fabric of our Constitution.” Coming from a former CENTCOM commander, that statement should have scared all of us to death. In reality, it raised few eyebrows, testimony to how little we Americans value our liberty. When martial law is enacted, the light of liberty will flicker and die.

Imagine this: A major terrorist attack or a major earthquake on the New Madrid Fault… President Hillary Clinton’s FEMA director (Chuck Schumer) orders the confiscation of all semi-automatic firearms in the interest of public safety. Does our spine turn to jelly and we stare at our Nike sneakers as we’re disarmed, or do we put ourselves at odds with the government and defy the order? Too many folks not surrendering their weapons? Any guess on what happens next? Should we have added backbone to our stockpile of beans and bullets? I guess that I’m a pessimist. I fear there are too few of us left who value Liberty above safety. We’re vastly outnumbered by the folks who are willing to surrender precious Liberty in exchange for the worthless promises of professional politicians.

I hope that our Grandkids can forgive us for all we’ve given away in our post 911 fear and hysteria. – “Dutch”

Book Recommendation — “C.Z.” Recommends: Bacteriological Warfare: A Major Threat To North America

I recommend getting a copy of the book "Bacteriological Warfare: A Major Threat To North America" by Larry Wayne Harris (Registered Microbiologist and a Christian)
ISBN 0-9647860-5-2

Why do you need this book? Here is an example: Chapter 13 is on Preparation of Veterinary & Agriculture Antibiotics for Human Use. This chapter has dose charts for using six of the most commonly available veterinary antibiotics.

Used copies are often available through from private sellers.