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Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1110734
United States
11/17/2012 08:08 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Flea Control with herbs

Unless you're willing to endlessly stock flea poison, the only means of controlling fleas is by herbal remedies post-collapse or by using diacematous earth.

Rosemary should be grown regardless since it's useful for culinary and hair and circulation. Fleas hate it.

They also hate garlic and mint, both previously discussed for other reasons.

[link to theherbgardener.blogspot.com]

There are many remedies. Concentrate on growing a garden that will do many things: feed, spice, and heal your family. You can't grow many different things well, not as a beginner.

Fleas will come in many waves. When they come inside, then you have to treat each wave of their life cycle, and then eventually if you've prevented them coming in, then it will be eliminated. You have to be patient.

Because fleas are a disease vector, and because the probability is high for a home having them (from visitors as well as pets), you have to plan for that eventuality.
535
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11/17/2012 08:14 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
None will survive without submission to authority.

You must obey or be liquidated for the good of the many.
Anonymous Coward
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11/17/2012 08:50 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Rubbing two sticks together to make a fire: NONSENSE

There are many ways to start a fire: a bowdrill, a hand drill, friction by rubbing a specially made stick against a groove cut into a seasoned piece of wood to create a coal, rubbing rope to create a coal, steelwool and a battery, a flint and steel and charcloth, a flint and steel and orange oil ignition, flint and steel and charred punkwood, a fresnel lens, a magifying lens from ice, a bit of chocolate to polish a can into a lens to create fire, etc

THERE IS NO WAY to rub sticks against each other to make a fire. At best you could possibly make a coal. The stuff people say makes me laugh hysterically....

It's either that or decide to quit trying to teach at all.
Anonymous Coward
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11/17/2012 10:02 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
I've taught them what plants are safe, and that they can eat pretty much any animal if it's well-cooked.
 Quoting: The Guy

A well-cooked animal is comparable to a well-tempered piano.
old guard

User ID: 1405158
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11/17/2012 10:44 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Rubbing two sticks together to make a fire: NONSENSE

There are many ways to start a fire: a bowdrill, a hand drill, friction by rubbing a specially made stick against a groove cut into a seasoned piece of wood to create a coal, rubbing rope to create a coal, steelwool and a battery, a flint and steel and charcloth, a flint and steel and orange oil ignition, flint and steel and charred punkwood, a fresnel lens, a magifying lens from ice, a bit of chocolate to polish a can into a lens to create fire, etc

THERE IS NO WAY to rub sticks against each other to make a fire. At best you could possibly make a coal. The stuff people say makes me laugh hysterically....

It's either that or decide to quit trying to teach at all.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1110734

Best wisdom you ever gave
Anonymous Coward
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11/17/2012 10:47 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
THERE IS NO WAY to rub sticks against each other to make a fire. At best you could possibly make a coal. The stuff people say makes me laugh hysterically....

It's either that or decide to quit trying to teach at all.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1110734


NO! Don't quit! Your posts are so helpful! hf
EMPerror

User ID: 8804293
Lithuania
11/17/2012 10:57 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
How to recharge a battery from a scrap solar light, a cordless rechargable drill, and a minimum of equipment (like alligator clips and wire some scrap battery holders recycled from household electronic devices.


 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1110734


There are some popular articles about partially restoring non rechargeable batteries with pulse charging.
Unfortunately they can rupture in the process.

[link to en.wikipedia.org]
Anonymous Coward
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11/18/2012 01:12 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Gosh I know how to cut a tree with an axe, why bother....

A lot of people think they understand axes because they once cut a log with an axe. Most people don't do this anymore, not really on a daily basis. There are many techniques to cutting with an axe depending up the style of axe. Today, many people will use a hybrid axe because they want to minimize tools. Both of these things mean that much of the time they're using the wrong tool, or making do. They also are not availing themselves of many techniques because they understand one basic cut.

If you really want to learn and not assume you already know how to do it, then watch:

37 videos that's he's made. Great teacher.

Limbing and Bucking


Splitting


Carving
Anonymous Coward
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11/18/2012 01:31 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Field sharpening

If you're way out in some meadow or forest and cutting, then a feller (a little pun) should sure bring along a sharpening stone. I like the Spyderco Triangle method (previous postings) just don't oversharpen the axe or whatever tool you have, because you'll simply knock the edge off faster.

Does that make sense? The thinner the edge, the faster it loses it's edge. Yes, despite all the fun of making a razor's edge, it's not a razor! You probably have seen the famous sharpening guy who shaves his beard with an axe, but it's just a demonstration. We're felling trees not beards!

If you've ever used a scythe, you know that the grass dulls the blade quickle, but it creates very large swathes as it cuts. This means it's a great tool for harvesting hay (has the seed still on it versus straw: the seeds are past nutrional value or falling off or missing). This means you must bring whatever sharpening tool with you.

Since these stones can break easily, obviously having some common sense and a carrying kit is recommended.

It's terrible to have a dull tool. It dulls quickly. We're used to instantaneous use, so that means frequent sharpening under that usage.

You bugout folks brought your sharpening kit with you...right?
Anonymous Coward
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11/18/2012 02:20 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Understanding logistics post-collapse

To get from the origin point to the end point, a vehicle must have fuel. It's assumed that the vehicle has a payload at the origin point, but in a collapse what's equally likely is that the payload may alter from intermediate zone to intermediate zone to the end point.

Think about it this way, the most expensive way to travel and deliver is to drive to a place, drop off the material/people, then drive back with nothing. What's more likely to happen is a teamster (an old term for a person who with draft animals made deliveries) will pick up and attempt to make deliveries all along the way in hops and attempting for a full payload whenever possible. This means to get from one coast to another coast could take a long time, because to drive straight through will mean lost wages unless paid for speed.

Things are moved today based upon anticipated inventories calculated by consumer use. This makes things flow quickly. In a post-collapse, there won't be any means of doing that. This implies data collection from consumer patterns coupled with computer modeling software and wise administration, all of which may be chaotic or non-existent.

For a vehicle to move, there must be security to get from one intermediate area to another. Since the payload contains valuables, it can be hijacked. In a collapse, any payload moving means it contains valuables, or else it wouldn't be moving. This greatly increases the cost because protection is needed. To get there requires fuel, so vehicles in a post-collapse may ride along side fuel tanker vehicles which increases the cost of transportation too.

Bugging out people are attempting to move from their insecure zone to a secure zone. They have a radius of fuel based upon driving conditions, weather, bathroom breaks, mechanical failure(flats, overheating), getting lost from diversions, etc.

When one is bugging out on the East Coast with very high population density, the concentration of bugging out people is also likely to be high. There will be a high demand for fuel and no resupply just as we saw in Hurricane Sandy. Because fuel delivery trucks also need fuel to drive there, one can't expect to get very much fuel on the East Coast.

Such departures guarantee mechanical breakdown from fleeing people as well as stranded vehicles from lack of fuel. In Winter this could be deadly from exposure to low temperatures and feral people.

Traditional preparedness doctrine has stated that the most likely safe zones are based upon higher temperature for growing season length in the South versus lower population density in the West. Most people will also come to the same conclusion and will head in those directions to some degree.

Those on the East Coast may attempt to head to Maine with low population density and natural resources. There's salt there too along the coastlines. There's very high amounts of game and fishing. Some Canadians may even head there as it's not atypical for Canadians to travel to Maine for vacation.

If you're along the East Coast, heading from one urban area to another intermediate urban area to refuel, may simply be impossible for lack of fuel and security. The only way would be to take secondary roads and still there will be issues as the collapse deepens. Narrower roads make for better ambushes, don't they?

It isn't legal to carry firearms from one state to another unless they are unloaded and you have special licenses. Each state has specific laws. Much of that could be either loosey-goosey depending upon lack of security, or it could be STRICTLY ENFORCED by security zones. During Hurricane Katrina, firearms were taken away, and in the mass confusion snap command decisions may end up disarming people driving through and that is a worrisome issue.

A governor may close the inlets to their area based upon a reduction of new people. It depends upon concern about a lot of unknown elements. They probably desire for many people to leave who are not critical infrastructure personnel with high skill level. If you fit into that category, you may not be allowed to leave in times of martial law.

Bugging in or bugging out folks need to think about whether hunkering down is a good idea based upon complex criteria. Security, supply chains, and utilities are the main issues for urban zones. Bugging out folks need to imagine going where no one is going, such that they have fuel and security to achieve their goals.

At some point of bugging out, a vehicle change to a canoe or watercraft of some sort is a logical means to putting many miles between you and these issues.

At some point, being on foot with greatly reduced supplies will be a logical aspect of continuing your journey. Your vehicle may be waved down by people looking like security, and then taken from you. You may only have what little you can carry or nothing at all. People will be stealing gas and supplies from crippled vehicles. See previous posts about fuel siphoning.

The timing of the departure means being prescient to the point of being prophetic. You have to read the security signs, plan a logical and achievable logistics goal based upon dynamic circumstances, then go suddenly as they change.

It's entirely possible that your end point may change because it's not realistic to get there. I guarantee you won't get there without many skills and supplies that you haven't considered.
Anonymous Coward
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11/18/2012 02:35 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Understanding population density versus security

Here's is a graphic which depicts population density in the USA.

[link to cache.wists.com]

It's easier to download it, then look it zoomed in on your computer. For the sake of argument, think of the peaks as zones of troublesome security in a collapse. The issues of urbanization coupled with fleeing people created a mountain. As you approach the city of interest, the dangerous peak moves sharply higher in an ascent, and as you leave the city, it descends rapidly downward.

On the East Coast, there is a highly congested region of multiple peaks. Moving West, these peaks don't fully decline until Wichita. Moving South there are many zones of low population density as well.

In each case, a urban area will likely temporarily change population density from fleeing people based upon their likely heading.

They may not be the only ones fleeing. Incarcerated criminals may be released (intentionally or not) based upon disaster. You must know the area you are traveling through coupled with information about this possibility. Mentally disturbed people may also be released if personnel leave if there's no one to care for them.

Many people may be fleeing on foot, and the most likely case is that they use existing highways to navigate. Since many may block a road, they could swarm a car passing through. It's highly likely that people will deliberately block the road with other vehicles for this purpose.
Anonymous Coward
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11/18/2012 04:14 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Crushing Grief

In a collapse, everything that you count upon for support will be taken from you. As these things become less and less prevalent, many people will die from a host of issues with medication, pre-existing health issues, mental strain, malnutrition, dehydration, injuries, accidents, suicide, murder, violence, etc. The grief will ramp up over time, and you'll have less and less family and friends to count upon. Many will have no one that they love or care for still alive.

Today people mostly concentrate upon things to distract them. If that doesn't work, they distract themselves by living vicariously through entertainers' lives. They actually ignore their family and friends and don't see them as the vital resource that maintains their sanity and balance. Ultimately people today are extreme narcissists only focused upon their own needs.

Many people have forgotten spirituality altogether. They feel that they are along in the Universe, and that the Source is a myth. They immediately discount all of the world's religions as nonsense.

Some however feel that while it is improbable, it makes life more precious. It means that there is only this life and so each moment should be lived into with fullness. I do respect this idea, but I don't agree at all that this is the only life. I can find resonance with them however, and creating community with people you don't agree with is a valuable skill.

We will daily be consumed in a grinding task of mere survival, if unprepared and not possesing skills, supplies, and seed. We will turn over and over every loss and every death, and it may drive us either to very negative reactions or even insanity. Some will become violent and vengeful and that way ultimately leads to death too.

I think for me, the only way to cope is by being positive. I may not have any happiness at all, but I may be able to help someone else find flickering moments of joy in a meal, in growing things, in kindness, in listening, in healing, in teaching, in hugging, in tenderness, and in holding their hands in the darkness to come.

Real faith is not about the afterlife. It's about living in and creating the Kingdom of Heaven here and now. The only last bastion against evil and death is the human heart.

In the end, the only way to withstand crushing grief is having friends, family, and God to sustain you. You, alone in your thoughts of crushing grief, will not be able to continue living by yourself.

He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30
Anonymous Coward
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11/18/2012 04:45 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Understanding other religions and beliefs

After a collapse, a lot of people, perhaps even the majority of people might die. As that happens, each human life will become incredibly precious and rare.

Truthfully it's that way now, but we ignore that idea, because to accept the enormity and consequence of it, would mean we'd have to change what we believe and who we are. If we believed it, we'd completely have to transform ourselves and we can't do that alone. We're not wise enough.

Imagine a meadow of blades of grass, and upon each blade are drops of dew. As the sun rises, and the temperature increases, the dew evaporates. Think upon this metaphor as the transitory lives of the billions upon this planet and those who came before you.

They are glittering watery jewels that exist for the smallest span of time and then they are gone.

Each of those people had beliefs. Some believed in themselves and others. They trusted them and acknowledged their wisdom. Some wise ones wrote philosophy. Some created art. Some advanced the sciences. Each modeled the Universe in their own ideas. Some found evidence which verified their beliefs. Some built on the beliefs of others and perpetuated these beliefs. Some of these became theories and others were so verified they became Laws.

Others believed in immortal beliefs. They created myths or believed these myths were real events. They found historical evidence of some of them by scientific means. Others tracked the art of believers through time. They wrote them down usually, though some have an oral tradition. The writings perpetuated the beliefs through time.

Some believed in both ideas from above and religious beliefs. For some, one canceled the other out. For others, together both ideas made more sense.

It's never been about which one is correct and true. That way will make you crazy, and it has made people crazy in history and caused wars, violence, death, even annihilation.

Imagine sitting in at a table in a open air coffeehouse. From where you're sitting, you can see in many directions, but you can't look up very far. You journal your experiences and observations.

Another person is sitting in a highrise apartment looking across a balcony at the horizon. They see the sun, the moon, the sky, the clouds, but cannot see much of the ground. They journal their experiences and observations.

Which person from their lone post has a truer view of the Cosmos?

Both people have different religious backgrounds, races, economic levels and advantages and disadvantages. Both people marry different kinds of people, have different kinds of children. They attended different schools. They experienced joy and passion in their own ways.

When they meet, they have few common frames of reference. Neither can fully understand the other.
In a way, it would be better to imagine that they don't speak the same language at all.

This will be what encountering the Stranger will be like post-collapse. It is how we encounter the stranger today.

Being thoughtful and valuing the rareness of human life and beliefs will allow us to cope.

Ignoring or clashing with beliefs will historically create more wars among the few of us that remain.
Anonymous Coward
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11/18/2012 06:28 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Understanding other religions and beliefs

After a collapse, a lot of people, perhaps even the majority of people might die. As that happens, each human life will become incredibly precious and rare.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1110734

This is probably not the impression people will get who have to live through it.
Anonymous Coward
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11/18/2012 06:31 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Comparing multiple data to decide where to go

People think of some places as safe, but I'll bet they don't actually know much about that end point destination. They have vague ideas, probably based upon being there on a vacation, and only considering the glowing reminiscences about that time. That's hardly a logical way to plan for a retreat post-collapse, is it?

People imagine their Aunt Jane's place in the country, but when was the last time you really discussed with her what life was like there? Do you understand the growing season? What about the unique difficulties in acquiring water there? Does the seasonal weather in that location poses issues? Think things like tornadoes in the plains. Will many people also try to go to that place as they pass through the region to their desired end point goal?

Do you have the skills to make a life there? Do you have the supplies? How will you transport them? What's the reasonable expectation for you to get to that location? It's foolish to imagine that you could bring enough supplies with you in your vehicle, for even if you managed to leave early and arrive safely, you'd need to bring your family, clothing, supplies for the journey, and maybe have room for a few small items.

The only way to have enough at the final destination would be to have a cache there of the things you'd reasonably need. Even so, someone might take them.

The general rule is to take many secondary roads to finally arrive at the end point destination. Doing so will greatly filter how many people would most likely also get there.

These ideas and many others previously discussed will form the basis of an initial plan for a final destination. The primary concern will be charting a logical path for the journey with alternative routes. This will only get you there, so unless you have a defensible home there with the items you need plus seed, then you won't make it, and have merely given yourself time to die in a quieter way.

Current concerns

Drought
The nation of the USA is in the midst of a very serious drought. You hear less now because it's past harvest time. If the moisture continues to drop, then we can expect lower and lower chances of wildlife to survive the winter. Some plants have died and more will due to the season of Winter. Likewise many animals have died, and will continue to die as they do every year.

You could look at the drought map found here, and compare that to the population map I just posted and between the two overlays, think about your plans. A gardener will be seriously watching this data as well as hunters/trappers/fishermen.
[link to www.drought.unl.edu]

Hurricane Sandy
We saw how FEMA responded, and it was far worse than most people imagined. If that's what they do in a predictable storm, imagine a nation-wide or global collapse from economic disorder?

Wintertime
The cold and snowfall will limit traffic. The best guess is watching weather intelligence data and historical charting based upon average snowfall. Learning skills in the Winter is largely limited to book knowledge versus actual field experience. The cold weather will increase the need to control the interior temperature of homes. Most people don't have alternative ways to heat them. They don't know how to do it. They make foolish decisions in their attempt to do it.

Unpredictable weather
Usually some swath of the country experiences bad weather, but it's never clear where it will be. An ice storm could hit, rivers could be frozen and therefore less salt could more on barges, heavy snowfall, etc. Expect power disruptions in certain areas. These could cause additional economic issues or states of emergency.

Holiday travel and Christmas in general
Many people visit their families over the Thanksgiving through Christmas season. This means peak traffic and reduced rates of progress. It also means a lot of unprepared people should it happen when they're in transit.

People have less disposable income leading up to Christmas. They buy shiny toys they don't need and give them to others. They have enormous bills afterward that they can't pay. They don't have the things that might help them in an emergency. They won't be able to afford them after Christmas.

Unemployment
Now after the election, many businesses will have to cut their staff and reduce working hours, otherwise they'll have to offer more health insurance to their workers. We should only expect higher levels of unemployment, and so less stability in markets. Usually temporary workers were hired to deal with higher seasonal retail sales, so these people will also not be working.

Wintertime is a very worrisome time for preppers. There little to no rain, so no rainfall collection. You must have a retreat end point locale that has fresh water. Snowmelt is not a good source. It takes a lot of fuel to melt eight inches of snow to make one inch of water.

Compare all of issues that you normally would consider for bugging out, and then add the issues listed above when making a calculated decision about where to go.
Anonymous Coward
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11/18/2012 06:40 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Understanding other religions and beliefs

After a collapse, a lot of people, perhaps even the majority of people might die. As that happens, each human life will become incredibly precious and rare.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1110734

This is probably not the impression people will get who have to live through it.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 27992300


Yes, I agree. In the short term, when someone is trying to break down your door to get supplies, you're not thinkig, "Say this guy's life is precious and rare." :)

When 10% of the country begins to die, people will be shocked. When it accelerates, they won't know it's happening only sense it.

In the interim, when so many have died, then they'll become numb to it.

In the end, with few alive, people I think will realize how precious life is, and how much we need each other to create communities.
Anonymous Coward
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11/18/2012 06:43 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
I've taught them what plants are safe, and that they can eat pretty much any animal if it's well-cooked.
 Quoting: The Guy

A well-cooked animal is comparable to a well-tempered piano.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 27889481

I agree. I like rare meat. After a collapse, there's a high probablity of bacterial infections as well as parasites. It wouldn't be wise to eat meat that's cooked rare.
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11/18/2012 04:42 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Dealing with Death post-collapse

People imagine many deaths after a collapse. Few are brave enough to consider how to deal with so much death. A recent post here talks about it somewhat:
[link to www.backwoodssurvivalblog.com]

In Winter, the ground grows very hard, and burial is not an option in many places. Even if you did bury them, it wouldn't probably be very deep, and unless you have lots of rocks you couldn't cover them with a cairn. Rocks are naturally encountered in plowing, but they also have important usefulness for construction, bridges, walls, preventing erosion, so it's not a good idea unless they're so numerous that it makes sense.

Burning is not an option really for security reasons. It's a large waste of wood and that may be in short supply. It reveals that people are present by the smoke and can be seen for miles. If it's not a normal custom for that person, then it can be horrific for them.

The most probable means of dealing with it, is pre-dug holes made very far from the location. This will prevent leaching into the ground water and hence poisoning your well. Having the plot far away will help survivors deal with the death easier. Seeing a daily reminder of their loved one's final resting place will not for many; some may have a strong need to be within eyesight of their loved one's burial place. It's truthfully a matter of careful teaching about hygiene, leadership, and creating a sacred space.

It's awful to ever move a gravesite. As a community grows it will spread out. This means careful planning.

The dying worry about their past mistakes and they struggle with issues about it. Leading up to their deaths, you should be helping them understand that they're dying. If their loved ones are there, you should be encouraging and facilitating reconciliation. Some won't want it, but if they don't, then they will deal with it until they themselves die, and that's brutal.

See previous posts on dealing with ceremony. When people feel grim, they don't know what to say. Writing something down ahead of time, and following a similar pattern each time, creates a cadence inside of the listeners. Then those words and recitations from Holy Scriptures (or the spiritual words from your tradition) will add meaning to them, and help them lock in peaceful thoughts about their deaths. Death is no time to convert others to your belief system, but it may possibly help people (who are not spiritual) to consider the Source.

Anger and even rage is a normal aspect of grief. Expect wild behavior from some survivors, even vengeance. You'll have to help them calm down to respond not react to the death. Saying, “What would your loved one most want you to do?” is a calm serene voice is most persuasive. Saying, “You should do ____.” is the least effective response.

Survivors need several things. When encountering death, they want to know that their loved ones didn't suffer. That's often a small white lie. It's true that people can die in their sleep, but many people struggle in the end. They want acknowledgment that their loved one's life had meaning. They need to talk about memories that were wonderful and intimate. They need grief counseling. They need to learn ways to cope. They need understanding. Since people are basically selfish, they won't do these things in your community unless you as a shaman ...model it with your own response to it.

There was a study about Emergency Room operations and the family as observers. They measured the ability to cope with grief when they saw heroic measures being taken versus shielding them from it by sitting in a waiting room and out of the way of the team. What they found was that seeing the death while seemingly cruel, helped the family deal with the death far easier in the end. They also blamed the medical team less when they saw all of the things done to attempt to save them.

In a collapse, most certainly many family members will take care of their own kin anyway, but people far away may come visit later, even years later because of what's occurring. If you're one of the people helping them cope either trying to care for them, save them, or helping the survivor, then you'll greatly increase their feelings of friendship. That's real commitment to them, something rare today. You did something unselfishly when it most mattered.

This is why you need to carefully document how they died, where they were placed, and what measures were done in a journal. Then people can go to the specific spot to say goodbye. This doesn't take that much time, and placing their driver's license in a jar that's shallowly buried in that spot helps them process it. It should always be in the same place, so it can be retrieved easily. It also helps you later as authority is re-established.

People have a strong need for continuity. It's why we often are given material items that belonged to the dead. It's very sad, but people will loot the dead person's belongings, and as a shaman and leader, you must teach about this. Mostly this is an issue with photographs and jewelry. Be as respectful to the dead and their family members as possible. Having a locket, a pocket knife that belonged to them, will help those tribal members always carry a visible token of their love for them. In a world so damaged, people need these talismans for strength.

Our bodies are only shells that hold our essence here for a brief time. Respect the dead, but don't waste resources too much to honor them. You honor their spirit more by helping their survivors to LIVE. That's what a funeral is for really, it's a carefully made response to help THEM to cope.

As a shaman, you can best help them by speaking to the dead aloud and thanking them for their service to the community and to you personally if that was true. Many survivors are not able to do this because it's outside their experience. Being matter of fact but sincere really helps, and then they know that it's alright for them to do this from time-to-time to help them remember and honor them.

It should be expected that parents who survive their children will have very rough days on the anniversary of their children's deaths. Creating memory ceremonies for them to participate in, in a community and family way, is a very noble thing to do.

Elderly people often don't cope well. The shock of a spouse or child will often make them give up. Expect a lot of deaths 8months to 1.5 years from the first death. Today, the norm is often that an elderly woman will survive her husband/partner by five to eight years, but this is with a lot of grief resources and elder care.

This may mean helping underage or aged tribal members to practically deal with day-to-day survival. In primitive society, they often died when the hunter or nurturing adult family member died and they no longer had someone to care for them. Don't split up families if you can, but adopt them.

Survivors need to be taught skills (growing crops, preserving, trapping, etc) to help them manage. Expect up to a year of grieving and far less work from them as they barely hang on. Keeping busy, working with their hands, being creative, engaging in life, these are the things that will help them adapt. A relationship was irrevocably lost. Many times until another relationship is created, they'll feel lost and alone. Feeling alone is the worst punishment that people imagine.
Anonymous Coward
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11/18/2012 05:10 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Wood Ashes

Here's a link that briefly details wood ashes and their uses. I urge you carefully use them in the garden post-collapse. Applying too strong a mix of them, often carelessly dumped in high concentration and not broadcast, will result in soil that is too basic (beyond 7.0 pH). Most plant like that middle zone for growth and producing produce to eat. This means you'll have to fiddle with pine needles (increases acidity) to create more acid soil and it can take awhile to get it back in balance. Be prudent.
[link to oohf.typepad.com]

Wood ashes were used to create sterile layers in cheese-making. See:
[link to books.google.com]

Black eye shadow was made of soot deliberately made on the back of plates, but also made by wood ash. It may not seem like a survival topic, but honestly a lot of women will be concerned about such things, and this is a coping strategy for feeling some sense of normalcy. The reason women feel insecure about their appearance is because as men we have made them think that to be beautiful they must look perpetually youthful and painted. As men, we should re-evaluate that, and help our women cope better, and raise our daughters better.

Every fire will be put to bed by covering with ashes. These will protect coals so breakfast can be started quickly.

Other than shoveling, those wood ashes will be the primary way of dealing with snow and melting it. This will leach of course into the surrounding as it raises the freezing temperature of the water it blends with and raises the pH. You won't have salt or use salt in this way anymore.
Anonymous Coward
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11/18/2012 05:37 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Coping with death: callousness

On the frontier prairie, death was common. It's possible that it's going to happen in high amounts based upon a lack of retribution or law to have a community response to it happening. It's very possible that in a world without rule of law, that many deaths will occur and so people will grow callous to it, as long as it isn't happening to them.

Think about a nurse on an oncology ward. She sees death every day. She can choose to feel each one intensely, get close to only some, or try to distance herself from death to cope with the enormous amount of death that's occurring. Most people only experience a few deaths in their lifetimes in any close way. If you're almost daily or weekly experiencing death, you can become very brittle from that happening. A shaman in a post-collapse may feel the same way.

A whole generation may end up being very callous to death as a result. People might simply take the law into their own hands in vengeance, or they might create public executions, or attack whole tribes for the action of a single member. It may become a time of true lawlessness.

People imagine a death as a single event with one person dying. The death of a single family member in reality may dramatically change the survivability of their entire family. It will also change an entire tribe if it's a key person like a shaman or leader.

Because of retribution, sometimes families of an offender were also killed due to concern about vengeance. Sometimes captured victims who had been forced into sexual slavery (see previous posts about the Harpe brothers = river pirates) were also killed.

That way of coping is brutal, but historically possible based upon leadership and resolve.

I would encourage you to watch the Hatfield's and McCoy's special that was a three part series on the History channel. It took about 150 years for things to settle down.
[link to www.history.com]
As you watch that, also realize they were very good friends to start who saved each other in wartime, but then the friendship soured. There were many times that peace was a possibility, but vengeance was foolishly chosen each time.

Anonymous Coward
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11/18/2012 06:36 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Buggin' Out Considerations: Bivouac shelters and sleeping bags

A second essential gear that most of the bugout crowd have not planned for is a tarp and a sleeping bag. Only the most foolish campers would attempt to live in the wild without these items. You cannot sleep on the ground due to other animals like snakes, insects, dampness, lack of insulation, exposure, etc. It's a guaranteed way to kill yourself.

A tarp is a multi-use item. In a pinch, when you've damaged your tent, or when temporarily stuck on an extended hike that turned into an overnight situation, then you must sleep in a second location. This means you must “bivy”. Your shelter for that night may be sleeping on pine branches to insulate, hard saplings that create a barrier or even lift you off the ground, and snuggled in your sleeping bag with the tarp hastily thrown over you. Wind chill will whip across your body, and only an idiot would sleep in the open.

Bivy just for three nights in the cold, and I bet you purchase a decent tent. You will wake will aches from the cold and be stiff. Then try walking for that 13+ miles for the day and do it all over again x 2. That is misery.

Moisture will accumulate since it's given off by our breath. If we cook within it, then steam rises and condenses. We sweat, and some of it rises and also collects on the tarp and sleeping bag. It is a terrible nuisance when already cold.

This is an issue anytime, but more so when under a tent. You don't want to be too warm, just warm enough to prevent the cold and to minimize condensation. Think about your windshield fogging up in winter. It's the same principle of finding a balance of hot and cold.

Sleeping bags come in various sizes based upon personal needs of body length. Having one that covers your head is essential for true survival, and of course wearing layers and a cap help. Don't get too warm, or else you'll sweat, and then exiting you could increase your chance of chills and frostbite from damp clothing.

Believe me, in warm weather at some point, you'll have mosquitoes lighting on your face because you put your campsite too close to their watery home. You'll rather be too hot because you cover your face with a sleeping bag, then dealing with countless mosquito bites. Better bring a mosquito net, yeah? If you did, then you'll be annoyed but still will sleep on top of the bag in relative comfort.

Sleeping bags contain insulation of various kinds that protect at progressively lower temperatures. Obviously get ones for your region. The amount of insulation will also determine the compressibility of the material, which is an issue for packing it. Also that material will determine the price.
[link to www.bigskyfishing.com]

Buy from the place that can best serve your needs and your budget.

You get what you pay for, most of the time. It has to hold up, correct? There's no replacements in the field.

Doesn't this bugging out stuff seem implausible?

In truth, there will be many hunting or foraging expeditions in which you and several others will gather food or medicines or materials. This will be the times you venture forth, and then return to base. There is a useful place for camping equipment towards this purpose.
Anonymous Coward
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11/18/2012 08:11 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Maybe we should stop using the word survival

Words impart meaning...that's the basis for semantics. A poet will use special words based upon a lexicon that discusses the historical origin of the word. Then they know that today, the word's meaning has changed, and they'll use that special word to evoke an emotional response to a particular audience. Use words carefully.

The base of the pyramid of Maslow's Hierarchy of Need is survival. Many people exist at this level even if they are not aware of it. Because they don't recognize this, then discussing preparedness from the basis of survival won't compel them to analyze their situation. They're too close to the forest to see the trees. Because they may be on public assistance (they might actually be wealthy on paper) they're aware of their poverty and so they feel like “they can't spend money on things they don't need, nor waste time on learning things they don't need to know”. Since it takes special counseling to slowly teach those folks to prepare, it's probably a waste of your time to do so without special training, lots of empathy, lots of tough love, and patience.

People who are higher up on the pyramid understand that they're not eking out a day-to-day fight for survival, and so to tell them to prepare by learning survival techniques seems foolish and devolving. They worked hard to get more comfortable, and probably many of them are using shiny toys to feel more secure since they're not really loved. Since those toys are their passions, then talking about spending money on supplies, seed, and skills means being separated from them, and they'll fight to keep them.

People on the third level that have love through: romance, family, friendship, and the Source, will generally be open to preparedness since it directly enhances their relationship with all of the people important to them. If you say “survival”, they'll look at you as a kook, for mostly we see survivalists on television as nutty fruitcakes. On the other hand, who hasn't watched a historical program on the First People (Native Americans or tribal peoples for those of you joining late) and then noticed with pride that they descended from those people, and so felt a kinship. They don't equate the two types of people at all, for tribal people lived in harmony with their surroundings instead of purchasing gear to cope with disaster. Other times their ancestors decided to immigrate to a new place, often a frontier and then tried to cope by doing tribal things and living in a tight-knit community, and they have admiration for their grit. Either way, you can generally speak with them about preparedness.

People on the fourth level are interested in esteem. They want to build their self-esteem and they also are respectful of others. They want to help facilitate building self-esteem in those Others, for they see that much of society’s ills are based upon a lack of it. Truer words were never spoken. If you talk about survival, they'll think you got it all wrong. If you explain how being prepared and knowing skills and having an inventory is about having greater self-worth and helping people especially in the lowest tier, then they'll listen. Otherwise, you'll be written off as some ridiculous person who doesn't understand.

The ones at the apex are very rare. They tend to be altruistic because they understand thing intuitively. They like to problem solve. They are creative and creators. They may become artists. This is not to say that people who exhibit these attributes are at the apex, far from it! Look at them completely. See them all at once. If you're very low on the pyramid, it may be difficult for you to judge their worth. Doesn't that make sense? Those folks will only be interested in preparedness if they think it's a reasonable solution for some aspect of healing the greater good.

Communicating about preparedness is not an innate skill. It's one that you cultivate as carefully as your garden. Giving the wrong materials to a struggling plant will not help it flourish. Most of the time, words are of little use to a struggling species, but actions may be helpful if done correctly and sincerely. Still they may not be noticed or appreciated....but may after a long time of their self-reflection. That's way up on the pyramid, isn't it?
Anonymous Coward
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11/18/2012 08:36 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
There is healing in mealtime

Most people today don't really eat a meal together. Parents often allow their children to be in too many activities, because we think it will help them get into a better college. The parent(s) who are running them from activity to activity feels ragged and worn. So do the kids. I don't understand what the heck you're trying to impart to your child?

In a collapse, we won't have any of that nonsense. Meals will often be together and they're chances for healing and calmness. The cook will try their best to create something palatable, digestible, flavorful, nutritious, and generate pleasure. Others will edify each other by telling stories, offering encouraging words, praising their efforts, honoring them for their sacrifices, and supporting the family and tribe.

The worst way is to ignore all of that and just serve a meal. Because of the stress, you need to deliberately create those times to help your family cope and heal. Otherwise attrition will slowly grind you down as malnutrition from lack of food types and calories happens.

I know it sounds dumb, but one reason candles burning on a table are special is it makes us focus on each other more and also remember simpler times when family was vital. Another reason is that humans like fire, and candlelight just like firelight makes us relax.

This Thanksgiving or if you don't have that holiday... the next family meal, as a preparedness exercise I want you to cultivate harmony with yourself and your loved ones by doing the above. Work together to create the meal, even if your only contribution is conversation, respect, compliments, or doing clean up without being asked. I'll bet that it creates a warmth in your heart and theirs. It most certainly will generate romance.

If you're trying to prepare, you need to help build closeness with your family, so that you can work together with less conflict. Real preparedness is about learning skills we don't know, then applying them to thrive, not survive. Then when disaster strikes we are healthy in mind, body, and spirit and can face the ordeal in the best way, not in a crippled state.
Anonymous Coward
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11/18/2012 08:51 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
How to recharge a battery from a scrap solar light, a cordless rechargable drill, and a minimum of equipment (like alligator clips and wire some scrap battery holders recycled from household electronic devices.


 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1110734


There are some popular articles about partially restoring non rechargeable batteries with pulse charging.
Unfortunately they can rupture in the process.

[link to en.wikipedia.org]
 Quoting: EMPerror


I have an electronics background and experience. What would you recommend to people who probably are not storing up adequate supplies? I think preparedness folks are storing up supplies to cope for a set period.

At some point batteries that can hold their charge well and have long life are probably the key. I'm thinking nickel iron batteries using lye made from wood ashes. The main issue I see is finding a source of nickel that isn't an alloy. There's lots of scrap iron.

Nickel is not commonly mined in the USA. See this map:
[link to en.wikipedia.org]
It is was commericially mined in Riddle, Oregon and there are plans to mine in it Michigan. I see it as a very important future resource.
Anonymous Coward
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11/18/2012 08:54 PM
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More about nickel-iron batteries for that special subset interested in a long lasting battery. It's very difficult and expensive to buy large batteries. I don't know if it's even possibel to make a large one yourself because of sourcing the nickel required.
[link to ps-survival.com]
EMPerror

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Lithuania
11/19/2012 01:05 AM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
I have an electronics background and experience. What would you recommend to people who probably are not storing up adequate supplies? I think preparedness folks are storing up supplies to cope for a set period.

At some point batteries that can hold their charge well and have long life are probably the key. I'm thinking nickel iron batteries using lye made from wood ashes. The main issue I see is finding a source of nickel that isn't an alloy. There's lots of scrap iron.

Nickel is not commonly mined in the USA. See this map:
[link to en.wikipedia.org]
It is was commericially mined in Riddle, Oregon and there are plans to mine in it Michigan. I see it as a very important future resource.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1110734


Nickel is used as a coating. Problem may be finding out how to distinguish nickel and chrome coating. That may be hard for anyone without experience. Nickel is more soft and has slightly different color. Layer usually is thin, but it may work for some time. Old NiMH, NiCd batteries may be a source for nickel. It needs some chemistry to get it to a suitable form. "Upon heating above 400°C, nickel powder reacts with oxygen to give NiO."
[link to en.wikipedia.org]
Ni coating salvaging may be not an effective way, but it may provide small amounts of this material. Old Ni battery reprocessing may be a faster way, but should have to look into chemistry and whether it is possible to do with basic equipment.

Chemical safety. First of all skin or any other contact with chemicals should be avoided. Alkaline solutions or acids can give really nasty burns, damage skin in a way that may not be spotted until it's too late. Skin is porous and chemicals that get on it usually stay there. Even with chemicals that do not have effects on skin, caution is advised as these chemicals can spread from skin through touch to eyes, possibly food.


From old books:

There are several ways to make batteries from salvaged old ones.

Zinc-carbon
Carbon and depolarizator manganese oxide salvaging.
Carbon can be easily removed from old battery, while separation of manganese oxide may be problematic. If it is formed solid, then there is no problem as moist paste can be removed. Powdered internals may take some more work to salvage.
[link to en.wikipedia.org]
Manganese oxide must be washed or left in a rain water (it is close to distilled water and easily available) for a few days then carefully dried. It is needed to wash away old electrolyte.

Zinc is available from salvaged container of battery. Caution, it is usually treated with mercury unless it is mercury free (something that should be known). This way of salvaging is discussed only for emergency. Contact must be made, and round tube formed so that liquid electrolyte would not have any restrictions. Bottom removal or holes may do fine. It will be used until will become completely corroded or dissolved.

Any glass jar or plastic bottle can be used.
Carbon electrode is placed in the middle of zinc tube (without touching it) with depolarizator (if it is solid). If it is powdered, then it must be refilled again. Some of depolarizator height is recommended to be above liquid electrolyte.

Electrolyte is recommended ammonium chloride 150g for 1l of water. This battery is standard 1.5V. If ammonium chloride is not available book tells that salt and water can work, but it will be much less effective.
Other electrolytes can be produced using what is available. My guess would be ammonium nitrate (fertilizer) + salt and water. Maybe there is more info on it?

Zinc-Copper gravity cell
[link to en.wikipedia.org]

It is stationary battery and cannot be moved or stirred. Container must be 1l and high enough. It is done by making zinc contact near the top of container. Dielectric glass or plastic tube or insulated wire is needed through which copper wire is connected to the bottom, so that lots of copper wire or any other copper object lies on the bottom of container (copper will increase). Tube or insulation prevents current flow at the top layer. Current goes between bottom copper - top zinc. It is filled with water. 2-3g of zinc sulfate is mixed in. Zinc sulfate level will increase as zinc is dissolved. Then 20-30g of copper sulfate are carefully dropped from top. It partly dissolves or can be mixed a bit only on the bottom making blue color. This color must not reach top where is zinc. It dissolves zinc by covering it with copper. It will make battery less effective. If blue color reaches top, battery must be shorted and color goes down. With time power may increase. When crystals appear on Zinc, some electrolyte must be removed and replaced by water. Removed water can be used to make another battery as it has zinc sulfate. When working blue color disappears as copper sulfate is used up and must be added again.
It gives 0.8-0.9V. 1l jar can produce 100mA.
Battery must work constantly so that top and bottom layers would not mix. If not used, Zinc can be removed from electrolyte.

Copper sulfate (also used for plants) and zinc is constantly needed by this battery. Zinc sulfate additive problem can be solved by letting copper sulfate to dissolve some Zinc. More effective way may be usage of sulfuric acid which is used for lead batteries. Problem with time may be zinc. It will become rarity with time. Galvanized with zinc metal parts too.

Last Edited by EMPerror on 11/19/2012 01:19 AM
Anonymous Coward
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11/19/2012 02:34 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Yeah in a post-collapse world, the issue if finding those substances. You have to think in a lot of areas, it'll be unsafe to travel around. When things settle down, we need to be able to find consistent metals for the electrodes and electrolytes. Wood ash produces lye, and that will work. Urine has been tried too. Of course, to create powerful batteries means very powerful electrolyte concentrations and large amound of metal mass. We could find chemical supply houses, and maybe find sulphuric acids. There will be way more lead acid batteries than the survivors can use, but who knows? Some unforseen issue could arise.

Sure, we could find many chemicals and metals longterm from harvesting. There's existing batteries in solar panels like on highways or to run remote weather stations. Large pre-existing UPS systems with battery banks. We could harvest from industrial use ones. I suspect that military operations will do that, though they have their own supply chains.

Wood gas generation could be utilized on generators, but I don't think people are think about how much wood is needed to produce the gasification. In the short term we can use them. We can harvest existing solar and wind systems. As I see it really it's only going to be for minimal lighting, refrigeration, and heat. Everything else is mostly out. Those will be low priority.

It's really weird to imagine ultimately looting to make things operate. I think it'll take a long time for a community to get organized with security and agriculture. Because food preservation is a major issue, we'll need freezers to store food. Sure we can preserve food by canning, but most of the lids are one time use. They make reusable ones, but I'd think that a lot of those will get snatched up as well as jars and pressure cookers. It takes a lot of canning to handle meat, but if the freezers go down then you've lost all that time invested in livestock.

There'll be a lot of animals that will die in corporate farms. There won't be anyone running it, perhaps only a few that're trying to harvest from them.

There's major food warehouses that supply the chains and groceries, but the refrigeration will go out, and of course some bright folks will loot from their to ensure their tribes have food. I'm sure those will be taken or guarded by the military.
EMPerror

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11/19/2012 09:27 AM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Refrigeration.
It is essential for storage of some foods. Electricity may be a problem. Luckily there are refrigerators that can operate without electricity. One such type is Einstein or absorption refrigerator.


[link to www.youtube.com (secure)]

They are usually used in RV's or mobile refrigerators (like some used by salesmen). It can operate from a source of heat. They are fitted with gas, kerosene or even electrical heat source and can be retrofitted with any other small flame source that is available.
Anonymous Coward
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11/19/2012 02:29 PM
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Yes, possible long term, but only if one can create the fuels. That's highly doubtful without retarting up an existing gasline and have technicians to operate/maintain it.I doubt that oil drilling into fuels would occur based upon the complexity of restarting a refinery. The only possible gas that I can think possible post-collapse on a small scale is biogas (methane). This need warmth, so of lesser use in temperate zones for digestion of waste material by bacteria, but regular creation can occur in tropical zones.

There's evaporative cooling like swamp coolers which are an old style that were used in air conditioning but require electricity which goes probably back to wood-gasification into generators to get that. It's why a Zeer pot will work for tiny but important refrigeration for preventing spoiliage of some items.

The most likely kind of refrigeration, but only to an average 50 deg F (10 deg C) is a root cellar.

There's lots of exotic kinds of refrigeration, but these require chemicals to draw from, and hence likely impossible long term.
You're much more optimistic than I am about restarting civillization.
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11/19/2012 04:02 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
City size versus carrying capacity

Heating
In order for a tribal society of hunter/gatherers and basic agriculture to survive, there must be methods of controlling the temperature with shelter, insulation, and fuels. The easiest shelter to heat is one that is below ground, because if at even a short depth, the Earth's temperature is naturally 50deg F (10 deg C). As long as you can raise that for your comfort with an exhaust of the fumes, then you can use minimal fuel towards that purpose. Since very few people understand or even desire to live this way, few people are likely to do so.

The most likely means of heating is with wood. This means a high availability of forests, cutting tools, and periods of dry weather to season it. A lot of people cannot realistically heat their homes based upon sourcing wood or cutting enough or too much moisture to adequately dry it.

Animal manure has been used in history as a heating fuel. Because animals require a large amount of silage to consume and complex carbs, most cities of any size cannot heat this way. One must expect a certain level of disease based upon livestock proximity and fecal matter.

Peat has been used as a combustible fuel, but only those around those bogs and knowing how to source it can burn it. Coal can be mined and was mined in very small operations in places where it was located in relatively close to the village. Most likely these seams of coal have been used up. We can't expect mining operations to continue in a collapse.

Most liquid fuels can't be created in sufficient capacity to regularly use them as a heating source, not in the chaos post-collapse. Think about every liquid fuel, and then consider all of the drilling needed plus distillation. Even if one possesses the capability and technical ability, then one needs source materials.

Any city over 5,000 without forests is likely to be doomed. They won't have enough fuels to burn to heat their homes, so unless they go underground, then there's a high likelihood of exposure.

Water
Most tribal societies began directly next to water sources. All must have them, and since it's so important, the proximity of clean water that regularly falls as rain to renew itself is key to survival.
Much of the time, people adapt to living in arid environments as long as they can create wells or have a water reservoir to pull from. If not, then the carrying capacity severely limits tribal size.

Water prior to the early 20th century was terribly polluted. It's the primary cause of ill health. We take for granted water purification. As the size of a city increases, so do its sanitation woes. They must go somewhere, and the most likely case is leaching back to the lowest elevations. Since water collects in the lowest elevations, the pollutants find their way back.

Water has to be distributed in a city of any size. Not everyone can carry it regularly. This means either wells are dug, or multiple water sources exist in a city.

Rain can distribute water, as long as materials to create those systems are possible, the average rainfall supports its use, the rainy season is regular, and dehydration of the rainfall is not high. Since the water may be channeled, there's potential for molds, bacteria, bird fecal matter, grit, etc to collect into the rainwater vessels and cause disease.

Water is needed for animals since they produce skins, protein, manure, and other potential products (hooves and bone). Other animals are used to produce work (oxen) or transport since they can carry more weight and do more work. Large animals requires way more water than humans.

Water is needed for agriculture. Any city can't survive without crops. Most cities can't exist without some foraging for medicinals, dyes, and some edibles. A staggering amount is needed for this and livestock to occur.

Any city of over 500 without high amounts of rain and a water supply won't make it. Even a tribe of one needs water. Large cities with their sanitation issues, lack of a working delivery system and purification, regular seasonal rainfall, fields for crops, room for raising sufficient feed and for animal living space, won't be able to survive post-collapse.

Agriculture

Plants
People in civilized and organized communities mostly ate plants to survive. They couldn't produce enough animals to eat meat, drink milk, eat eggs, etc on a regular basis. Small tribes could both grow crops, harvest livestock, forage for plants, hunt game, and fish. Because of an increase in the efficiency of agriculture, large cities were possible. Because most farms are corporate today, and lacking in manpower and organization and supply chains to provide seed, fertilizer, feed, etc plus the means of dealing with sanitation, then most likely many people in a city of more than 5,000 will not survive.

Animals
The only way that animals can exist as livestock in a tribe is with organization. Their food must be grown and specific to the animals needs. On occasion they need additives to vary the diet based upon their maturity and to produce offspring. Otherwise, the immature creature or its mother will die. Many can be preyed upon by other animals. Others can get disease based upon the intensity of the livestock operations. Increase that operation even higher, and the result is severe stress to the animal and a severe effect on human health.

Even on the frontier, the amount of fishing, hunting, and trapping was very limited. As humans moved in, animals left the area because the effects of the proximity of humans interfered with their habitat. In some cases, the local foraged plants were suddenly eaten by humans and the animals. Animals were hunted or trapped at younger and younger maturity and didn't grow fully into adulthood. That means they didn't produce young creatures. Changes in water availability meant death.

Fishing on a large scale means intervention by experts to restock the area. Otherwise it's a drain on the ability of a species to replenish itself.

The drought and other seasonal changes will mean cycles when the animal population will decline and not be available for consumption. Many animals will be sick and may cause disease when eaten.

In a collapse, since most of the animals are raised on corporate farms, we can expect severe death and pollution from their decay. There are not that many game animals in any areas of large sizes. While there are nuisance animals like feral pigs (see previous postings), in a collapse there will be a lot of hunters.

Again even small cities of 5,000 or so will quickly exhaust their livestock and game animals. Should the animal population get too small, it's very possible that it could take a decade to manage their increase. Mostly their increase will be directly proportional to human population.

Medicine
While there are a very high number of specialists in urban areas like doctors and nurses, they won't be able to get medicines. These are produced from pharmaceutical operations around the globe and must be shipped. Most of what medical specialists do is either dispense the correct medicine and dosage to patients, or do surgery. Some of what they do is nurturing care under controlled circumstances. None of that is possible in a collapse.

Some medicinal herbs exist, but most doctors are leery of them. They don't know how to use them, their concentration of phytochemicals varies based upon location, or they can't locate them. There are not enough grown herbs to treat everyone. Much of the bottled herbs in stores come from foreign countries. Farmers are paid to grow those crops and then they are shipped in.

Since the concentration of a human population means high need for medical care, and the main means of delivering the care is from complex drugs, most people will become much more ill than the norm with a much higher capacity for decline and death.

Patients can't often take care of their day-to-day care, and certainly not their survival care, and so many if not most will die. That's based upon history. A long time ago,patients were dispensed advice and medicines, but nurtured by their families. Since most families don't know any medicine, we can expect high deaths.

Utilities
In order to control our environment, we pipe in natural gas, water, sewage into our homes and bring electricity in as well. These allow us to heat, cool, and provide clean water and lighting. Other than this, it creates communications and luxury use of electronics and electricity.

When the utilities go out, it's because there's not enough personnel to operate them or supplies to generate them.

Security
In a collapse, there are existing security officers to maintain order. As the above issues occur, then their own families' security will be compromised. Some will depart to protect their families. It will become unclear how they will be paid or compensated. More will leave.

Security usually deals with issues after it occurs. As more and more crime happens, and less and less officers are available, it's possible for military intervention. However if it's happening in many places, those military folks must be deployed by transportation and by movements which produce clear secure transportation hubs.

The same issues of compensation versus soldier security will determine how long they support civilians in troubled areas. In a country-wide collapse, most likely cities of under 100,000 will not get military units of sufficient troop strength to create order. We don't have that many domestic soldiers to deploy other than hastily created “levies” which were utilized for cities during the medieval period. That means untrained citizens drafted into military operation to create order. There's a high likelihood of an attempt to try this in a collapse.

We do have large numbers of soldiers world-wide, but the simultaneous withdrawal of them from diverse places would create disorder in those places from enemies. Still in a collapse, it's likely to see that happen, and leave chaos in those countries currently supported by air and water and land operations.

Still, they must be transported back home, and this will take an enormous amount of fuel, time, effort, supplies, etc.

I don't think most people have considered the ramification of all of the above events. They assume they'll wing it by themselves or by bugging out or have very unrealistic expectations about their ability to forage or raise food. A lot think they'll loot enough to survive.

Ponder these questions, “How long would the people in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy survive without outside support from transported supplies, specialists, and support personnel? How long could they live by looting from contaminated food and supplies? How long before disease occurred from exposure and natural Winter illnesses?”

Conclusions
Tribes of under 500- 5000 in a village will have great difficulty increasing their census from the forces listed above. What will happen is a decline in the availability of food, water, and medicines. Exposure and malnutrition will create ideal conditions for disease and contagion.

Fear of death from lack of supplies will lead to competition for those resources. Violence will occur as those with strength and force multipliers wrest away supplies. History has taught us that the larger the city, the higher the crime in most circumstances.

When a disaster is localized, then we can deliver what's needed in time based upon political leadership and administration of supplies and personnel in supply chains. When wide-spread, resources will get to the worst areas with the highest capacity for open chaos.

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