The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “JWR”.  Today, we focus on Caching Cash.  (See the last item in this column.)

Fire Departments Becoming Scanner Opaque

Here is some important news from H.L., for those of us who own public service band  scanners: Fire Departments Are “Going Dark” and Becoming Secret Public Safety Organizations.  The article starts out with this:

“Across the country fire departments in ConnecticutGeorgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Illinois have begun encrypting their radio transmissions, effectively turning them into secret public safety organizations.

The latest fire department to ‘go dark’ and hide its communications from the public is the Denver Fire Department in Colorado.

The Denver Post reported that once the fire department learned that they could no longer communicate with the Colorado Police Department which also went dark; they decided they had to do the same thing.”

Making DNA Records and Samples Go Away

The latest from tech guru-ess Kim Komando: How to delete your data from home DNA test sites

Oh, and speaking of DNA data, don’t skip reading this:  A New Method of DNA Testing Could Solve More Shootings.

Gun Law Changes in Portugal Serve as Warning

Over at The Captain’s Journal: Gun Control In Portugal Serves as a Warning For Gun Owners In America,  (Thanks to H.S. for the link.) A snippet from the article:

“Changes of the original Act No. 5/2006 always lead to a more restrictive regime. Many items that were legal by 2006 became illegal and are now considered “forbidden weapons”…

And there is no end to that.

The EU Gun Ban implementation proposal now exceeds everything we have seen so far in terms of absurd prohibitions, abuse of power, disregard for private property and increase of subjective and dubious prohibitions. It is now being discussed by the Portuguese Parliament.”

Has The Era of Billionaire Warlords Arrived?

G.P. suggested some insightful commentary in a brief “must watch” video: Billionaire warlords: Why the future is medieval — Sean McFate. JWR’s Comment:  Although this gent has a left-of-center perspective, I believe that he is essentially correct.  This will surely add new meaning to the terms “corporate merger” and “hostile takeover.”

Facebook’s Memory Hole

The latest video from Sargon of Akkad: Facebook’s Memory Hole. Now, it seems that just mentioning Tommy Robinson, or linking to his site, or posting a photo of him will get your post automagically zapped from Facebook. The age of full-on AI-driven Internet censorship has arrived, folks!  To me, it is apparent that the leftist cabals are getting their ducks in a row for the 2020 election.  They mean to manipulate the election  outcome by hook or by crook.

Venezuela Hit By Major Blackout

And another from G.P.: Venezuela hit by major blackout, government blames ‘sabotage’,  A quote:

“Critics say corruption and under investment have left the country’s power grid unable to function, while Maduro says the problems are intentionally created by political adversaries.

Crowds flooded a main avenue of Caracas. Many people said they expected they would have to walk several hours to their homes because the few buses on the streets were full and the city’s metro system was shut down.

‘The person responsible for this is named Nicolas Maduro,’ said Pedro Fernandez, 44, a systems engineer in the Altamira neighbourhood of Caracas, on his way by foot to the other side of town.

‘This is just the tip of the iceberg given all the things we’re suffering.'”

Lenny Magill and His Glockstore: Voting With His Feet

Reader Michael t. zeroed in on this news tidbit: Will Relocate HQ to Nashville

A Question on Caching Cash

SurvivalBlog Reader R.H. wrote to ask: “I don’t see where you have ever discussed burying cash except for a reference to using Nalgene bottles. Serious discussion of this issue is overdue. There could be issues with mildew which could degrade the currency. Need to address proper methodology, oxygen or moisture absorbents, etc. In tornado country, we can’t depend on an aboveground vault full of cash not being shredded to pieces. Only underground would be safe.”

JWR: Replies: All of my cash caching experience is with nickels–lots and lots of nickels. So I don’t feel qualified to make a recommendation on paper currency beyond burying truly watertight containers in proximity to a large stone landmark that is unlikely to ever be disturbed. Would any readers care to chime in, in the Comments section for this post?  Thanks!

You can send your news tips to JWR. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) Thanks!


  1. Schedule 40 or Schedule 80 PVC Electrical Conduit (gray in color) is designed to be used underground or in open sunlight. Cutting a section of appropriate length and sealing well with end caps should provide safe, dry, long term storage. I would make sure that I sealed it well, and skip Oxygen or Moisture control packets, but that is just me. There are various diameters available, so you can roll, fold or lay flat depending on what size pipe you get. hth.

  2. The main problem I see with paper US currency is that the Federal Reserve steals it’s value way these days faster than mold, mildew or insects could eat the paper.

    1. Exactly. With regards to the effect of inflation, why would anyone want to ‘cache’ paper currency instead of the usual tangibles such as food, sundries, and ammo?

  3. A word of warning regarding “fire resistant” small safes. Every one I’ve investigated comes with a warning that the insulating materials contain moisture, which will migrate into the safe. Most recommend airing them out periodically. Obviously not practical for caching.

    We tested one some time ago, storing some cash that had been vacuum sealed in Foodsaver bags. Yep, in three months time the bills felt damp when opened, we put them in the dehydrator to dry them out.

    My suggestion would be to make small, heat sealed mylar envelopes.

    1. My new safe sucked in a shocking amount of moisture. I propped a portable heater in front of open door 3 days before it felt dry again. In the PNW.

  4. This was posted in 2014 after I tried to cache cash.

    Short excerpt
    What was done correctly.

    The PVC Tube was sealed correctly, as no moisture was present in the tube. I used a liberal amount of glue on both the tube and the cap. Then, I added more to the outside after about 20 minutes of drying. I did wait one day before burying.
    The moisture absorbers did their job, as no humidity damage was present at the time of retrieval.
    What was done wrong.

    The cash had a distinct smell of PVC glue.
    The solution is to use a food saver sealer to ensure the bags are airtight.
    Double up on the bags for extra measure.
    Silver tarnished on edges.
    The silver should have been sealed, like the cash, with moisture absorbers.
    Possibly insert a small oxygen absorber in the general compartment of the vessel, but not strong enough to break the PVC seal by creating too strong of a vacuum.

  5. Years ago, a person commenting on SurvivalBlog, said, ‘He had created a spot, for ‘Duck & Cover’ with his storage of Nickels.’ … Now Days, that could be a good idea, in some neighborhoods. = A one-foot high ‘wall of nickels’ with the ‘rolls stored’ ~ 3 to 4 inches deep; with the ‘wall’ being three or four feet long, might be a good idea. [Gals are capable of creating an ‘attractive solution’ to the storage of the nickels. = A spot to help keep the wife and kids safe.]

    The price of a piece of ‘Ballistic Paneling’ (used in banks and places handling lots of money) might be equivalent, to the cost of obtaining the Nickels. … ‘Why did I retain this memory, you may ask?’ = My neighborhood use to have a problem with gangsters shooting at each other. Several innocent people were injured, because of the bullets flying through the air.
    Plus, there were a bunch of terrible car accidents. Even though the speed limit is 30mph, a gangster gal, all doped up, sped through an intersection, and actually rolled another car, when she hit it.

    One day, a gangster shot a cop; the policeman lived. The politicians and the cops then decided this neighborhood needed to be covered with cops; just like the frosting on a Wedding Cake. … All the gangsters living around here have moved, as the streets are empty of gangster-cars now days. As a guess, the city must have bought a modern ‘Shot Spotter’ to track gun shots, too.

    I don’t have a storage of Nickels or a ‘Ballistic Panel’ but there were nights when I thought, I should sleep in my [metal] bathtub. … Any politician that promises to hire more cops [physically big cops with lots of good-guns] will receive my vote. … It’s not good policing that creates a police-state; its the ‘bureaucracy’ tracking and spying on honest citizens, that results in a police-state.

    Plus, the Nickels will always have ‘monetary’ value. = Not so, with Ballistic Panels. A man will always have the right ‘change’ to buy something with a lot of Nickels (if needed). History is replete with examples of scammers always telling the victims, ‘I don’t have change for that $20 bill, partner.’

  6. “Fire Departments Becoming Scanner Opaque”

    I will only go as far as to say that I have intimate knowledge of these systems and the companies that provide them. It delights me beyond words that someone is finally exposing them. These systems are sold to the public and departments as having officer and firefighter safety as their sole concern. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Even a cursory search into the background of the companies providing these “interoperability” and encryption services will show that they are the EXACT SAME companies that provide warrantless surveillance systems such as Stingray and others. Under the guise of “security”, the implementation of these systems allows seamless integration of mass surveillance devices. What the encryption does is guarantee that there will be no public record of how that information was obtained.

    The punch line, as is the case with all government programs, is that they are sold to departments using the magical unicorn fairy dust known as “grants”. These systems are bought and paid for with tax dollars extorted from the same populace that will be spied upon and the encryption ensures that they remain ignorant of their existence.

    Sadly, the reports you cite and others like it are likely to be either ignored or chastised as being against first responders in the same manner that any dissent against endless war is propagandized as being an affront to the troops.

    1. And what is not mentioned is the high dollar cost of transitioning to encrypted communications. $3,000+ per radio is not uncommon. Not to mention the cost of the sophisticated repeaters.

      1. Absolutely! That, and engineered obsolescence remedied only through endless “system upgrades” guarantees that the public will continue to be pilfered for decades to come. A word of warning: the drones are coming…

  7. re: fire departments becoming scanner opaque. Question, does someone make and sell a decryption device for public use? or is such a device NOT for us minions?

  8. There are many reports in various news outlets about people finding caches of old money stored in earthen pots or japaned tin boxes that are still in excellent condition. So just about any good container should work, if that’s what your truely worried about. A few thousand dollars buried in a canning jar or perhaps a plastic Mayo jar should be good. Toss in a dessicant or oxygen absorber if your worried. My concern would be the the loss of value over time. So while I may buried a few dollars, just in case of a fire, tornado, etc. I’d probably be more inclined to hide some gold and silver instead. I’m positive any bug or mouse that tried to eat the coins would bust a tooth instead.

  9. Has The Era of Billionaire Warlords Arrived?:

    I have to think that the framers of the U.S. Constitution, who had fought Mercenaries in the Revolutionary War, had them in mind when writing the 2nd Amendment…

    A volunteer force of part time citizen soldiers… Not Mercenaries… Nor a high paid Officer class… Nor a large standing military…

  10. On burying cash and other valuables:
    I’ve done direct burial in two locations using MTM survivor cans:

    These are very high quality. Two rubber O rings, stainless steel screws and a protective cover. I have vacuum packed stacks of currency, metals, guns, ammo, and other essentials (with desiccant packs) and buried the cans for years. Zero moisture or degradation upon retrieval. Everything gets vacuum packed with desiccant packs and/or oxygen absorbers and then bagged with more oxygen absorbers and then sealed in the ammo-can.

  11. The BEST Doomsday TV Series That Has Not Aired Yet! -Better Than Doomsday Preppers
    (YouTube Video)
    Atlas Survival Shelters
    Published on Mar 8, 2019
    Duration 5:32

    “This is our TV sizzle reel for a new TV series we want to bring to prime time television. Your comments and likes will determine if this will air next year. Thanks!”

  12. As far as caching cash, if the government ever devalues the Federal Reserve Note (FRN) by lopping off a few zeros, or repudiates the old and issues new paper FRNs after the cash is buried, one could always dig it up and use it for toilet paper.

    Just sayin’…..

  13. For times when electronic funds are unavailable (from ATMs or to purchase at a store) due to loss of power: we have set aside ones, fives, tens and twenties in envelopes marked with Roman numerals for identification. We took these sealed envelopes (not too stuffed) to Staples and had them laminated. They fit snugly, unbent, in a 4 inch ABS pipe with threads at one end. We glued the other end with a fitted cap, and applied petroleum jelly to the threads on both the pipe and the cap, and screwed that end shut. Buried it with a yellow rope tied around the middle, which appears as just trash, with several other materials laying around. Under dirt in the crawl space, padlocked access only. Not expecting it to be used 20 years from now, but rather sooner if needed. Our children know of its existence and whereabouts, but no one else.

    1. You’ll probably be alright by using a threaded end on your cache since it’s under the house where the ground will be dry. But it’s a bad idea to use a screw on cap when burying it outside. A friend buried some guns in a PVC tube and glued a cap on one end BUT he used a screw on cap on the other end and even used Vasoline liberally on the threads to resist water infiltration. He also set the tube in the ground vertical and wrapped plastic paper over the whole pipe. It turned out to be a disaster. We dug it up a year later and poured water out of the tube. His guns were rusted almost beyond use. Water will find it’s way down the threads no matter what you do. I believe that is because of the extreme pressure from the ground on the outside of the tube trying to get into the void of the inside tube. To do it right just simply use glue on caps on both ends and you will have zero problems. However I’ve used a black rubber cap with a stainless steel hose clamp and have had perfect success also. No water infiltration at all. You can even submerse the tube under water using the rubber cap. I’ve put a tube underwater in a pond to test that system out and there were no leaks at all. So just make sure you keep things dry under your house and probably your goods will stay dry.

  14. After the war of Southern Secession southern currency was repurposed as toilet paper and wall paper. The other day I took a $20 note in to be evaluated. Valued at $40. Only took about 154 years.

  15. Hmm, ” Dick’s sporting goods to stop selling hunting rifles ” REALLY. the only time I go near the local Dick’s store is when I do my walking exercise, I go by the door, wave at the security camera, fart and keep walking.

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