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Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF

 
EMPerror

User ID: 8804293
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11/19/2012 04:42 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Simply trying to be optimistic about possibilities to restore civilization.

There are things that are worth salvaging, preserving in the first place. Later it may not be possible to make these devices for a long time.

Interesting properties of absorption refrigerator (provides freezing temperatures and ice production) and TEG are that you can use any source of heat. Simple candles, oil lamp instead of gas candle can be sufficient. Thin wood fire. There are solar versions of it.
[link to blog.modernmechanix.com]

It can be made using parabolic mirror with a set of modifications. Heat must be transferred from focal point to the inside of a pipe where burner was located. Hot air or solid metal heat transfer can be used.


[link to www.youtube.com]

Last Edited by EMPerror on 11/19/2012 06:31 PM
Anonymous Coward
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11/19/2012 05:14 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Simply trying to be optimistic about possibilities to restore civilization.

There are things that are worth salvaging, preserving in the first place. Later it may not be possible to make these devices for a long time.

Interesting properties of absorption refrigerator (provides freezing temperatures and ice production) and RTG are that you can use any source of heat. Simple candles, oil lamp instead of gas candle can be sufficient. Thin wood fire. There are solar versions of it.
[link to blog.modernmechanix.com]

It can be made using parabolic mirror with a set of modifications. Heat must be transferred from focal point to the inside of a pipe where burner was located. Hot air or solid metal heat transfer can be used.


[link to www.youtube.com]
 Quoting: EMPerror


Agreed. After the collapse, since many people will have died, the survivors will be looking for leadership in technical areas. Those who can harvest from pre-existing supplies and understand maintenance and operation and engineering will be able to cope. Then we can teach people to become techs and get some small scale refrigeration back up.

If many people die, then the land and sea will support high levels of growth over time.
Anonymous Coward
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11/19/2012 05:15 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Collapse Scenarios and Fear

Most of the time, collapses are averted. Sure, there have been terrible times in history with wide-spread plague, severe weather conditions, economic disasters, enemy occupation, famines, drought, etc. These usually last for a period, there's a large die-off of the populace, and then since there's less people, there's less demand on the resources, and hence a new equilibrium is reached. As peace is negotiated, help comes from outside, the weather improves, the successive waves of a disease burns out, etc then the situations also stabilizes.

No one can honestly prepare for certain doom. We should prepare by having supplies, learning skills, and this means saving or purchasing seed. The more you do, the longer you'll have comfort to rely upon. Usually the more skills you have, regardless of supplies, the higher chance of survival from adaptation. Yes, there's a high chance of dehydration and starvation in some collapse scenarios; I won't lie to you. However by using techniques (skills), one can slowly create food as supplies run out.

Most preppers are urbanites who are beginning to cope and see a potential for collapse. It would be wiser to continue to learn, especially now that Winter is here and there's little opportunity for field work. Some fear is OK if and only if it leads to practical action to adjust from your current situation to a more secure one.

Cope by beginning a deeper contemplation on spiritual things. Even if you don't believe, consider the possibility of the Source. Live now, not be concerned about the afterlife, but concentrate upon a relationship with God in this moment.

The best way to do that is to improve your health first. Eat better by reducing complex carbs that add abdominal fat. All of you have six-packs of hard abdominal muscles, they're just covered by fat that's created by an excess of calories. Few people eat so much meat that they produce fat. Many though eat meats with saturated fat that gets reprocessed and stored as abdominal fat.

Exercise by walking to reduce that burden. You're carrying in effect many bags of sugar at all times. Picture carrying ten bags of 4-5 lbs of sugar in your arms and hands and juggling them without rest. This is what you are doing. Is it any wonder you feel bad? Do calisthenics that require no equipment. Start with inclined push-ups in a doorway to slowly increase muscular strength. Then as success builds upon success and weight is lost, do regular push-ups. Do slow crunches and then increase the amount you can do. Lift small objects to increase arm strength. Get some tools and do some work. After all of that, if you have a little money, but some dumbbells and strengthen your arms. Who cares if you can do only ten in a row? Keep practicing until you can do eleven and then twelve and then make the exercise harder.

Turn off the TV. Open a book and read about some practical skill. If unemployed, you have more time to do this. Use that time to make yourself more secure with skills. At least plan a garden.

These things dispel fear.

Start preparing for an ice storm. Prepare for higher than normal snowfall. Prepare for a power outage of two week duration. Prepare for flooding. Prepare for being stranded in Winter in a vehicle.

Prepare for economic disruptions from reduced government spending or higher unemployment. While the government spends a shocking amount of money, some cutbacks will also occur, and these are likely to cause a change in government contracts to businesses, less government services, and therefore effects to businesses that support a community.

Those scenarios are much more likely to cause issues, and you having prepared means your family will not struggle as much when they happen. They will happen to some of you based upon history.

Expect food shortages from the drought. Expect lower hunting/trapping/fishing. Expect higher prices because demand is the same domestically, but supplies are limited. Because of globalism, there's world-wide demand which will also raise prices. Being able to grow food items increases your security more than a gun and ammunition.

If mentally balanced, and you have adequate economic resources, then purchase weapons that are first practical, can put food on the table, and also allocate some for personal security. Buy what you can afford in a reasonable fashion. Don't purchase items based upon fear.

Because utility disruptions are to be expected in any season, it makes sense to rotate backup water supplies and have water filters and purification. The cheapest means of purifying relatively clean water is pool shock. Don't buy more bleach than you would reasonably use in a set period. Purchase some water filters and pay strict attention to the methodology and the lifetime amount that it will purify. Know how to use it and its limitation.

People can live in cold climates if they can warm themselves in some manner if only in a miserable way by huddling in a room with high insulation or underground. If in a very cold environment you sure better have backup heat sources. When was the last time your chimney was cleaned? You don't want a chimney fire. If there's already snow, imagine cleaning it yourself on a slippery roof.

You can't plan for complex emergencies without doing the work to amass funds for expensive supplies and skills. At least plan to deal with higher likelihood disasters first. It's like building a cold frame to have some veggies in colder climates versus building an entire house to get out of the elements. Do what you can based upon ability and resources.

Believe it or not, some of you can repair common items by opening a book, slowly removing housings and looking at the interior, finding the broken part, and then replacing it. I did this at 12. What one person can do, another person can do.

Most people can store quite a bit of food, but many will mismanage it based upon rotation. Allowing resources to spoil is a sin. You don't need expensive fresh produce every day. Purchase frozen food instead. Buy canned goods. Many meats can be cut yourself like pork loin and it's far cheaper to do this than have the butcher do it. It's easy. Be careful and not put too much emphasis on one preservation method. If you lose power, you likely will lose freezer stores. Many food items can be made easily. Prepared foods are expensive.

If you have excess food and it's going to go bad, then feed some friends and relatives and build community. Gosh, trade it for their assistance in the garden, or repairing something or in trade for their crafts, etc. Why not invite that couple you just met and make new friends? Why not invite the parents of your children's friends to a meal after church and so increase the people that are aware of your vibrant spiritual community?

The more you can do these skills and have supplies, the less fear you may have. If you find that you have more fear, then you're becoming paranoid. Having a close relationship with God helps create balance.
Anonymous Coward
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11/19/2012 05:38 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
For a look at how an urban area of very large size deals with collapse by enemy occupation, do a google search for documentaries at Stalingrad. Many can be found on youtube. One was made in the seventies called: The Unknown War- Survival at Stalingrad narrated by Burt Lancaster.

Most Americans don't know about anything about this war.
Anonymous Coward
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11/19/2012 05:53 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
More details about Staligrad:
[link to www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
[link to www.powells.com]
[link to www.eisenhowerinstitute.org]
Anonymous Coward
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11/19/2012 06:38 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
The difference between a disaster, shtf, collapse, and TEOTWAWKI

Disasters happen often. They're localized events on a small or large scale and affect the populations of wildlife and humanity in that area. Some initial issues happen, loss of supply chains, security declines, supply chains and personnel are dispatched, most people get utilities back on, security increases, and most of the people slowly get back on track. Some deaths based upon exposure.

Some disasters are worse than others. The SHTF and long complex issues arise from other events like disease, malnutrition, stress, violence, pre-existing poverty, lack of preparedness, etc. Hurricane Katrina was in this category and continues to create issues for those people most affected and it may be a decade (if at all) for them to get back to normal. Since that area is prone to new disasters, it's reasonable to assume another hurricane might happen in the interim. Some deaths based upon exposure and violence and foolish reactions.

SHTF means the area could be wide-spread and persistent. If it does, then it might lead to anarchy and collapse of civilization in that affected area. In a collapse, it a systemic issue and this could result in severe disruption of supply chains and transport of security into ones and then they draw down upon existing supplies besides civilian needs. Some collapses lead to revolution. All will have deep political consequences. Those who prepare can help their communities to have higher security by teaching skills. There are many more deaths, particularly based upon weather. High amounts of violence. Many unnecessary deaths from medical issues. Starvation. Dehydration. Stalingrad fits here, as does many war-time events.

The end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI) means that the collapse was so systemic that it went global. Massive amounts of anarchy and violence occur. It's so widespread that it's impossible to reestablish order. Looting occurs initially by unprepared folks to survive, but ultimate lacking skills they die. Survivors “liberate” by salvaging materials from stores for long term use to reestablish utilities, agriculture, sanitation, etc ...for if they don't then everyone will die. Civilization probably never comes back, only pockets of it.
EMPerror

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11/19/2012 06:59 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Did make a small mistake, with TEG (thermoelectric generator). RTG radioisotope thermoelectric generator is another type which was not in the discussion.

After SHTF situation there may be both of these. RTG can solve electricity problems for constant small power of small community for hundreds of years, but it is a military asset which is more likely abandoned only if it is defective or damaged.
Problem is also the ones salvaging. Most will go for metals and parts like shielding without any knowledge about the device, making this device a radioactive death trap.
It already did happen and likely to happen in such situation
[link to www.alara2009.at]

Last Edited by EMPerror on 11/19/2012 07:26 PM
Anonymous Coward
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11/19/2012 07:46 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Chores and Future Supplies

Every single day you'll have chores to purify water, find fuel, find food, etc. Some of these will come in season, but something can be done every day to improve your security in these areas. Gardens happen from preparing and tilling, but disease and pests subtract. Some pests can be eaten. Weed also grow and some of them can be used for mulching, eating, and medicinal use. Your mistakes will subtract yields the most of all.

In the growing season, plants are continually replaced (succession planting) to spread out the harvest. Otherwise you have a ton of veggies coming in at once. You can only do this somewhat as many plants will peak based upon the length of sunlight and temperature. Others need cool weather, and so your early crops will also happen in the Autumn if lucky. Cold frames will be built to extend that further.

Compost that doesn't get hot enough or “cook” will result in longer periods to create it and weed seeds. Even accidental “volunteers” will result from this practice, for as compost is used to fertilize the soil, you'll be spreading accidental seeds. This means more weeding than normal.

Mulching is far easier to kill weeds beforehand and also reducing watering from evaporation. It saves you time and resources. The first idiot that spreads hay, and hence hayseed, will realize their mistake when it sprouts. Too much raw mulch will result in stealing nitrogen from the soil. It's why mulch must overwinter to decay some or else you ruin your yields and could change the pH to something very acid. There's only enough mulch if someone collected it, or deliberately grew something to create it.

The workload will be intense with breaking sod and planting, but then less work for watering, weeding and then more work for harvesting and preserving. This means a leader will redeploy forces based upon calculated workload.

It's highly probably that wells and cistern building will occur in times of less agricultural need. It's very likely that guardtowers are built to see far off, something you may not have considered. At the very least, treehouses can be created to quickly do this task.

Because you need supplies to last, you don't use more than you need. There won't be any obese people anymore. The only time to overeat is when you can't store it safely and food in your belly means fat and increases long term survival. Most people won't eat more, not unless it's done in wartime for soldiers to have the advantage of strength and stamina.

Supplies need containers, so you'll be harvesting either items in your home, foraging for items like natural vines to make baskets, clay pots, or “liberating” in the event it's TEOTWAWKI. Someone owned that place, and they know its value. Some communities will make the decision to share goods to create regular food and increase security.

To preserve food, you need things like a solar oven to dehydrate veggies. If drying meat and jerking it, then you need green wood to slowly do it, and then trying to avoid pests from laying their eggs and larva on it. Gross I know, but crucial to understand, because there's nothing worse than luckily finding a large animal for protein and then losing it to flies. I anticipate most meat will be consumed on the spot and not preserved.

Since animals grow and mature and are more prevalent at certain times, then that will govern the hunt and the time of preserving much of it. The same is true of animal products like wool.

Some herbs only grow at certain times. They grow long periods but are harder to identify by things that you remember. A community will need trained herbalists so healers will have supplies. Some items will be liberated again if it's really bad because that's the best chance for handling a knife or gunshot wound or the inevitable bacterial infections. Since liberating supplies is risky from their intrinsic worth coupled with competition for them, extreme planning is needed to acquire them. Many medical supplies will not be used up because there's a high probability that the patient will die regardless of there use.

Many items will not be in places you expect them. Many of you worked in occupations that also had inventories of supplies. Strong communities will have trained skilled workers who know how to harvest supplies, repair things, understand how to make things work from combining elements, etc.

There will only be some downtime and opportunity for educating the young (for practical and book knowledge) if a community is extraordinarily well planned. It was a luxury most of the time in tribal society. You learned by doing. Not everyone got as educated, with only the new shaman learning the most.

Most adults will have no practical skills, but they must also learn them to survive. They'll learn by doing some, but also by learning them on their own from mentors in the evenings as additional work.

Some people will have craft ability, and they may make trade items. This will slowly begin and happen in the evenings. It is very difficult to work by firelight or candlelight. Imagine sewing under those conditions, and you'll see why it took so long to make one item in history. For craft to flourish, supplies must be found or harvested, which also is likely to be down in downtimes from routine chores.

Sleep of more than six hours is a luxury. Much of the chores will require forgoing sleep since it may be a better time to harvest some edible, maintain security through watches, getting up since the fire went out, helping someone else who's sick or not coping well, being always short of help, etc.

Wouldn't you rather have supplies now and learn these skills now, be better prepared, and not have to start with severe handicaps?

Isn't this far different than what you imagined by learning to bugout?
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11/19/2012 09:50 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Are you starting to wake up about preparedness?

Most preparedness is geared toward increasing security to cope with everyday life economically by building wealth from land ownership, skills, supplies, and seed. Because disasters happen on a frequent basis on a long continuum, those disasters are better to prepare for. They may be minor or serious events that you're imagined, but they may also be divorce, unemployment, separation, flunking out of college, as well as the disasters that you're thinking of.

Only later does it become a SHTF scenario. Most of the time, the event is somewhat limited and happening to a community of people. Because they are there, and the rescuers are far away and must be transported, the first responders are the locals. The only way they can respond is to know skills and have supplies.

Note: they're not called first reactors, are they?

Most preppers that you hear about are the ones with bugout bags and concentrating on the best, lightest, do-all tool like a knife. Actually most preppers are people who might not ever use that term. They're called rural folk. This subset makes up only 16% of the US population, and that doesn't mean they know all of the skills that I've mentioned. Despite the song, “A Country Boy Can Survive...”, a lot sadly cannot. They do know a lot more, because their mom and dad know more, and so they have a higher percentage chance to make it based upon more skills that they were exposed to and supplies they learned to make or store.

If you came here out of curiosity, at first reading...what's been written may seem weird. I spend very little time on gear. It's not at all like other topics on SHTF prepping. Yep, it's not about that at all. It's about real long-term preparedness. That other kind, is mostly about disaster response. It'll help you for some days until someone rescues you.

Even if you're some badass Navy Seal, you've got to eat. Military bugging out was about living off the land long enough to get back to base, or live off the enemy's supplies, or evade capture long enough for reinforcements, or whatever. I respect these guys. Real folks in this elite tier are not reading GLP posts to become better preppers. Just because an elite soldier can do this, don't imagine that they don't get lost, get sick, don't starve from expending more calories than consuming, etc. Also don't think that because you have the gear of an elite soldier that you can be an elite soldier.

Other people reading this are thinking they'll either become sociopaths and loot from others. I guess that will work, but unless they're planning medieval serfdoms and essentially finding 10 people to work as slaves to work their land, then it won't work. At some point they must raise enough food with slaves to make it work. That hasn't worked well in history.

Others imagine that hordes will kill everyone dog-eat-dog. It's possible and may happen in some areas, but still that will burn itself out based upon no supplies coming in. Most people are very meek and our ancestors would have said timid. They'll die quick deaths from not preparing, or they'll die from violence, or they'll die from late attempts to grow food, or die from mistakes, or die from bad health. I'll say it again, maybe you only have to live a month or two and then most of the violence issues will diminish. Because most rural folks have the land and some skills or at least a high percentage of skills plus weapons then any hordes of urban people will get weaker as they make their way across land to these areas. They will not be at full strength unless they attack nearby suburban areas on the borderlands of their urban centers and then closer rural areas. The further they get from their known areas, the less likely they are to pose a serious threat. It will take the wind out of their sails.

It is possible that military folks (that banded together to make it) might pose a very serious threat. What's easier, to wait for two months and control a military perimeter around the base and eat MREs, or go looking for trouble? The latter of course, and then they might try re-establishing civilization for it wastes less ammunition and supplies versus combing for survivors.

But all of that implies very serious collapse leading to TEOTWAWKI. There's a lot smaller chance of that happening, don't you think?
Anonymous Coward
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11/19/2012 10:49 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
A possible way that the military could take over metropolitan center

Consider my recent posts about the importance of supply chains, the lack of supplies by most people in America, and the efficiency of merely waiting for two months for violence to abate. How could the military use this to control an urban center?

All they have to do is blockade incoming supplies for two weeks. Most people will run out of food in three days. Then people get very very hungry. Then their blood sugar plummets and can get so low that it's very difficult to be active without severe headaches and dizziness. Going longer, people use up their frozen foods and canned goods, often gorging themselves out of fear. Then this will be followed by slow panic and the realization that they won't have anything to eat unless someone halts the blockade.

Then the military allows some reestablishment of food supplies, but only with confiscation of weapons. Some people will collaborate and these people will be used to organize house-to-house searches and persuade more and more people to give up their weapons out of necessity. Many of our most basic freedoms will be broken by these illegal acts.

Simultaneous, spiritual leaders that already are working with the federal government will preach about submission to authority. Even leaders not in that program will do it because that will mean “saving lives”.

A mass media campaign will also broadcast what's going on, but only by embedded journalists who actually are nothing more than disinformation agents by the military. This is very persuasive to the sheep, for most won't be working and will be glued to their TVs and watching what little Internet is allowed. Most websites will be blocked in that “troubled” region if it's allowed at all.

If schools are allowed to operate, then collaborators will be used to find dissidents especially at high school and college level. They'll be encourage to rat out the dissidents. They'll teach submission to authority out of a sense of patriotism.

Other smaller programs will be done in other urban centers. Chances are most of these will go smoother with less resistance than the first one.

Any one will opposes these actions will be rounded up. Many neighbors hungry for regular shipments of food will turn them in. They'll also turn in their enemies since it's a good way of getting even.

These will be the ones rounded up into prison labor camps. There they will support the operation of the camp as virtual slaves. At first, they'll be encouraged to rat out other people that are dissidents or that are potential dissidents. Food will be restricted based upon a policy that dissidents are expendable. Many will be innocent of anything, just caught up in guesses as to their political leanings. They won't know anything, but in order to get food, they'll remember someone who wasn't important or was suspicious or that they didn't like.

This is a grim and plausible historical means of controlling the populace.
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11/20/2012 05:58 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Argumentative people

If the SHTF, a lot of people who formerly were getting by just fine, won't have one single ability to cope. They'll be in denial and without skills or items to trade that will help improve their position, or security, or feed themselves, or find water. Some will band together with other people. Probably one of those hastily formed tribe members, will most likely be better at leading, or at least have some ideas. Maybe they know a few common things to do to survive. If so, as long as things are conflict-free, that new tribe will stick together.

Little things become big things when you run out of caffeine and have a headache. You run out of cigarettes and you need to relax. You haven't had a drink of alcohol in a while and you've been regularly consuming it before the disaster. You're hungry and feel weak.

Stressed out people tend to express their frustration by arguing. It's a way of venting. Of course it seldom solves anything, and only tends to infect the group and make things worse.

Of course, practically anyone knows who's going to “pop” first from the strain. The weakest link will lose it first, then they tend to keep losing it. You can pre-treat it, or you can end up dealing with it over and over.

Most people attempt to deal with the loudmouth first. It probably won't work. It's you versus them, and unless they need you, they aren't going to listen. If you let them vent more than once, then they'll keep on, and you'll start to have terrible conflict in that group.

If they're with someone and came together before they joined with your group, then that person has dealt with them longer. They know them better, if only a little. They're more likely to be persuasive then you.

You can try peer pressure by getting the other group members to reject the new person plus who they brought, and that might work, but in the early days of a SHTF situation, people will think it's temporary and will just “grin and bear it”.

Reason works only with reasonable people. Yes you can talk to them about “not losing it in front of the children” or “you're making everyone miserable including yourself” or “let's go collect some more firewood or food instead” the latter being the most effective means, because you get a little more work done, remove the conflict from the room and possibly talk to them one-on-one. This is probably effective at first with rational people. Then quietly saying something like, “Man I feel stressed and barely holding on myself. I'm trying to come up with ways to cope and I'm running out of ideas. What do you think would help?” Many times a rational person is frustrated and merely wants to share their ideas because they know they're intelligent. Chances are if they have no survival skills, their ideas are impractical and won't really help, but it might help defuse the situation.

Many people need group attention, and they'd rather have bad attention than no attention. Most people want to be liked, so find some way to get them attention in a positive way.

Many times people who are physically strong need to blow off some steam. Chopping firewood always needs to be done and wears people out. It also helps stressed out people to sleep. It also means the group is warmer and probably appreciative of their efforts.

A lot of conflict is the result of long ragged history with other tribe members. They may be family or lovers. In the best of times, they fought, and now in the worst of times, that's all they have left. Those kinds of conflict in a SHTF scenario might lead to murder, quite frankly. Separating them and putting them on different work crews and people individually listening to them vent, let's off some of that pressure from the both of them. Watch those people's tense body language. Their chests are tight and faces contorted with rigid jaws. They speak tersely. Really, what they need is to relax somehow. A joke, a spare cigarette, even a mouthful of food, might placate them and help them control themselves. Mostly they want validation for their viewpoint. Once even a little attention is given, then a little calm lowered voice and resonance by sharing times you felt the same way, and then once the similarity is acknowledged, then the smallest bit of advice will penetrate.

Even though you're all busy, a leader or shaman will often do a little more to help someone do their chores and therefore gain 30 minutes of extra sleep for them. You save that “favor” for another time when you need them to help someone else. You ask them, “Say Henry, I woke up the other day and started the fire for you. Remember? Sally's sick. Real sick. Can you do it for her?” Chances are, he'll feel like the hero, and Sally will thank him. You can't do it all, so pass it around. This is a very good way to lead and builds on itself. Some people will volunteer, but quietly tell them to give other people a chance to do it, because a regular volunteer will become overwhelmed and will keep volunteering and actually screw up the group dynamics.

If one person is argumentative, it might be helpful if you teach them to do some critical skill and so gain praise. Getting praise is way more fulfilling than venting and complaining. Since a low skills tribe needs to gain skills anyway, then it helps both issues.

If someone is argumentative and they're with you in a foraging party, then allowing them to be heroic and sharing the news, “Yeah, we found plantain to heal some of these wounds.” well of course that will work very well towards calming things down and cost you nothing, for the tribe will know who really found it, won't they?

Some loud people tend to get heard in group settings, not because they're persuasive or logical, they just have more volume. This shuts down the quiet person who might have great ideas. You never bring a new idea to the group to vote on. It's not a democracy. You talk quietly with the reasonable people, build consensus individually, then bring it to the group at the end of the day when people are tired and relaxing and so less likely for protracted arguing. Then people will usually agree and know what their tasks are for the new day. A morning meeting wastes daylight.

Don't mistake a challenging person for an argumentative person. A challenging person may see flaws in your plan. You don't want “yes-men” who agree with everything you say. They might save the group. Listen to them, but don't allow conflict to go on if the group decided to do it one way, or if it's dangerous or risky to do it their way.

Tribes will high conflict end up disbanding and dying from lack of security.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Helpful Herbs when the SHTF: Yarrow
or I gotta get this fever down!

A high fever is scary. The body is fighting infections and releases chemicals and increases blood pressure to increase temperature. As it increases, there's a danger that the temperature could get too high and harm the brain. I've seen very high temperatures in children, and this shouldn't surprise anyone for children have a harder time controlling their body temperature, particularly in Summer. It's why they get heat stroke easier.

Yarrow is one of the finest ways to get that temperature back down and quickly. It has a very good reputation for this property.


Nice lady making these videos.

[link to www.motherearthliving.com]

See this link for a clever way to use yarrow for a little one who can't take tea:
[link to www.learningherbs.com]


It's also a great item to staunch bleeding rapidly. I know I've talked about other herbs that do this, but a good prepper will learn many herbs in case you run out or the herb you need is not in season. You also must know many herbs in case you need to trade for them, and by knowing their value, you know how much to trade in your own goods for them.

Note: Use cold water whenever you can if it's dangerously high. It might be unpleasant to them, but you're trying to save their lives. I've helped someone with a scary temperature quickly stop that fever merely by immersing them in a bath of cold water. Then you must sit with them through the night and make certain that it doesn't return and that you don't have to take other measures or repeat the water bath as needed.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
The Shaman as Confidant

Believe of not, we've always had psychiatrists in tribal culture. A medicine man or shaman might be the only confidant of a chief, because they couldn't chance close friendships because it showed favoritism. It was natural for the shaman to be included in decisions, and so the shaman and chief talking was the most natural aspect of councils. While there, they'd ask the chief about what was going on in their lives, how their family was doing, and doing a physical assessment of their body, hair, nails, hands, coloring to see if they were healthy.

A leader can wear themselves out, and may not have even the minimal chance to blow off steam or relax. A leader is always being judged. This means they need someone to listen to them MORE than the other tribe members. People forget about them, because they assume the chief has benefits. I assure you that leaders have it rougher much of the time.

This same technique is used not only teach skills as a shaman, but also assess how those tribe members are doing with their thoughts and the ones close to them. There will be many conflicts from all the stress. The shaman has to be a peace-maker, for that task helps all of the other things that he/she is doing.

Conflict is healthy. Avoiding it isn't. That causes ulcers.

Naked conflict without a cause or healthy intention of solving issues is arguing. Arguing is never healthy. It makes others infected with it, and makes people sick.

Your humor, good-nature, calmness, hard work, beneficence, impresses people. It allows you to say things or even to get away with doing things to improve the community. Many people will let you slide because they assume you know what you're doing. Maybe you do, maybe you don't. You have to challenge your own actions by looking in the mirror.

You don't have your own confidant, not unless you have a good spouse. I hope you do.

A lot of people have no idea how to be a spouse, a parent, a child, a leader, a follower, etc. You model good behavior so you stay above reproach. You need to be trustworthy so that people will listen to you. They'll watch what you do, and you might be able to persuade them what they need to do. The best convincing is by seeing not saying. Find some way for them to see the Truth, and they will end up communicating the Truth with their own words. This is better than hours (maybe days) of advice from your mouth.
EMPerror

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Lithuania
11/20/2012 11:32 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Yarrow was used to increase blood clotting, or stop bleeding. It was used by taking clean new leave and tearing it a bit so that it gets wet and then by putting on the wound. There may be no time to use it other way. One active ingredient is azulene also found in Chamomile. Flowers have more azulene.
[link to www.purplesage.org.uk]

With high temperature folk medicine used strong teas with Raspberry (dried or raw fruits; if season is out, top of stem with leaves)
[link to www.purplesage.org.uk]

Blackcurrant (berries, flowers and leaves), Cranberries (leaves), Bird Cherry,
Chamomile (only flowers)
[link to www.purplesage.org.uk]

Black Elder (berries and flowers)
[link to www.purplesage.org.uk]

Greater Burdock (roots)
[link to www.purplesage.org.uk]

Meadowsweet (flowers or sometimes whole herb without roots)
[link to www.purplesage.org.uk]

Swamp Cinquefoil (herb without roots), prepared extracts of White or Crack Willow bark (and possibly some species growing in America; first aspirin, derivative of salicin, was extracted from it), Small and Large Leaf Linden (flowers), Heather (flowers), Field Restharrow (roots), Three-part Beggarticks (tops of plant 15cm or 6").
Anonymous Coward
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11/21/2012 01:00 AM
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Sexually transmitted disease (STDs) basics and their issues in a collapse

In a collapse, far few opportunities for promiscuous sex can occur in general. However, stress often makes people have risky behavior in intimate settings. In small communities, a few people with an STD could easily spread it. It certainly has happened in some very tiny rural communities.

Prostitution is a common fact of life in disrupted civilizations during wartime. It's always there as the oldest profession. Condoms will be very rare post-collapse as will birth control. People might prostitute themselves to feed their families and in trade for what is today a very low value item. Antibiotics will be rare, practically non-existent for trade. Would you trade your Amoxicillin, Cipro, or Septra? I wouldn't if I had it.

Affairs are common in most Western societies. We can expect that people living in close proximity will continue to have sex outside of marriage in the same proportions and based upon opportunity.

Probably 75-95 % of rapes are not reported due to shame and fear. 12-15% of American college women when surveyed about rape behavior reported that it had happened to them over their lifetime.

80,000 reported cases of childhood sexual abuse occur each year in America.

1 in 15 American women who do report a rape get a STD.

There is an extremely high chance of newborns acquiring an existing STD from their mother. Almost all births in a collapse will be vaginally delivered. Some can be spread from eye secretions like wiping their face on a towel and than another uses it.

Young people will often think they won't get a STD from oral sex. There's is a very high incident rate of oral sex among teenagers from age 13-17.

The most common complaint is a discharge (either painless or painful) from sexual orifices. Many don't detect anything at all.

Many cause sterility. In a collapse, expect the worst symptoms and outcomes. Some cases could cause brain infections.

There is generally a higher incidence rate among African-Americans than other races upon testing.

Many cases are involve co-morbidity (having more than one STD at the same time).

Young women and especially young African-American women have a much higher rate of STDs.

HIV
It's believed that 1.1 million Americans have HIV and that 20% don't realize they have it (240,000). 46% were African-American, 35% White, 18% Latino.

New cases
In the USA today, there are 19 million new infections of STDs each year. Half of these cases occur in young adults between the ages of 15-24.

HPV cases made up 6 million cases. Causes genital warts. Can affect the mouth and throat. Spontaneously heals in most cases in two years. Can cause cervical cancer.

Chlamydia cases made up 1.3 million cases. Most are asymptomatic. Can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Gonorrhea made up over 309,000 cases. Most women and some men are asymptomatic. Others report burning discharge. Can cause PID.

Syphilis made up about 14,000 cases. Causes sores on sexual orifices, and possibly on the lips and mouth. May appear as a rash somewhere on the body like the palms. Can go to the brain which can appear 10-30 years after the initial infection.

Herpes is complicated. Herpes Simplex 1 (HSV-1)infects many Americans and causes cold sores. Herpes Simplex 2 (HSV-2) is the one most known for causing genital sores (aka genital Herpes), but both variants of the virus can cause them when a cold sore is present. The virus can shed even when no sore is present. One in six American between the ages of 14-49 years of age have HSV-2. Many have no idea they are infected.

These are troubling statistics. People within your community may have been dealing with their illness just fine because they're being treated, or they might not know they have the disease. This is why condom use is so stressed.

In a collapse, we can expect for these illnesses to show up within tribes through sexual activity or abuse. We can expect pregnant moms to pass it to their newborns. We have no way to detect it if is asymptomatic. We won't be able to treat it. The infected may pass it around.

I have compassion for anyone infected. Parents, you especially need to teach your children about the dangers. We must not discriminate against someone with an STD anymore than say MRSA, but a wise prepper and especially a wise shaman must carefully protect the tribe. If you're someone sexually active reading this, you need to prep by storing condoms even more earnestly than you've probably considered.

Wrap it up, for you never know when your partner might have earlier been infected or might be having an affair.

Everyone who's ever been sexually active should be tested now to ensure detection and treatment. A full battery of tests is expensive (~$250 US).

One should be very cautious when new people are introduced into a tribe in a collapse. Because your tribe is much more secure than infected people being alone, many might be tempted to lie about any pre-existing medical conditions, be that tuberculosis or an STD. The latter can only be passed sexually, so let's use logic as shamans and not create hysteria post-collapse.

Many people have had a case of an STD, sought treatment with high dose antibiotics given in a single dose because that's the fastest and most secure means of ensuring it's cured.

You should be concerned about active STDs, but knowing someone's medical history will help you treat them later. Mostly these are future fertility issues. You must keep it confidential as you can imagine the dangers of gossip in such a small tribal community.

Prepping is really about prudence and common sense. It has very little to do with bugging out and gear. It's about being a thoughtful person and imagining the best way to prevent an issue and saving money should a disaster stike or really OTHERWISE.
Anonymous Coward
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11/21/2012 02:00 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Women and tribal societies

Women have not fared well in most tribal societies. While some developed into more egalitarian cultures and some even became matriarchies,(Minoan, Sumerian, Hopi, Iroquois, Navajo) the vast majority were lead by councils of men. Times have changed and with it adaptations to grant more sharing of power to people who had previously been very disadvantaged. We've got a long way to go, I know, for I want everyone to have access to learning and economic status and self-determination.

Realistically, the better prepared you are with the mantra of skills, supplies, and seed... the easier any disaster is going to be to deal with. A disaster usually implies victims and rescuers, but it could be a very lonnnnnnnnnnnnng time until that happens. You could starve to death in the interim. Worse, you could be attacked by someone else deciding that you appear weak and helpless and abundantly supplied (even if none of those things).

All skills require learning and some measure of physical strength. I doubt anyone reading this is the world's strongest man or woman, and that's not what we're aiming for. We're aiming for a reasonable level of physical stamina and upper body weight-bearing strength. Most people have quite a bit of untapped strength in their legs, but these need to be trained too with running, especially carrying a pack.

While some women can be more agile in their youth than men, and some can actually be stronger pound for pound than the guys in their lives, that fades as they get older. There's little societal pressure for women to excel as athletes other than a small core of them.

Everyone though needs force multipliers for protection and to help them extend their range of hunting. If you don't possess a firearm, ammunition, and get training, then are you going to rely upon someone else to protect you? That seems counter-intuitive for someone who want self-determination.

We need each other. Both genders possess abilities because of their brains and experiences. People will be good at separate things, and I won't bore you with some ridiculous sexist notion that women are nurturing, because many are NOT. They may make the best shaman sometimes or NOT. They may be the best crackshot in the group or NOT. Let's not be simplistic.

Clearly the preponderance of men at most ages above nine are physically stronger and this has dominated history. In a collapse, a great deal of civility will go out the window unless it's carefully cultivated by leadership and the followers of a tribe. Unless you want to become a second class citizen, then I'd recommend prepping.

It's true that women fell on hard times on the frontier and prostituted themselves. I don't want to ever hear that happening again in any disaster in any period of world history. The majority of women who became prostitutes did so as teenagers because of financial insecurity. Drug abuse most often is the only way to numb themselves and created perpetual slaves. STDs and babies follow and they're stuck in their situations and almost powerless.

What you should also note is that women became tough as nails from working their butts off doing every chore on the frontier, and this is a primary reason that women got the vote so easily in the West. It can go either way in a collapse. It really depends upon your investment in pulling yourself up by your bootstraps (even if you tug so hard they break), develop backbone, and decide it's a priority to better control your life.

Prepping is by its very nature about creating a destiny by your own design (free will), and most likely by working with the Source (submission to Authority). People will define that in different ways.

For Christian prepper women, they may follow Ephesians 5:22 and non-Christian women may get in an uproar. Supposedly the Christian prepper men will also love their wives like Christ loved the Church, which is a much more tougher role and far more demanding. The Christian women preppers I know don't take any guff and are strong and powerful. And this combination with all the other wonderful qualities of women make them fine people indeed.

Regardless of all of that, prep on your own, and don't just half-ass it. Forge that iron in your mettle into steel that is a sharp and strong tool that is also dangerous to mess with.
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11/21/2012 11:53 AM
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Pre-existing conditions and prepping

If you've been reading this topic very long, you know I'm a big proponent of learning about medical care to help your family and loved ones. The more you understand about pre-existing medical conditions, the more you can help detect them, monitor them, and treat them today. In a collapse, you won't have medical care, not unless you with prep for it, or find a community that has a healer.

This means that your future medical care may be on your shoulders. It's up to you to get tested for issues now to determine if you'll have additional responsibilities in a collapse. It's easier now to acquire medicine or equipment to treat it.

Think and research ways that your ancestors handled the very same medical issues without physicians and drugs. Use whatever medical care you have now, but also know how you might potentially treat it with supportive care with herbs. This means you need a full library plus actually understanding where to find herbs, grow them, identify them, when to collect them, what parts to collect, how to preserve them, how to apply them, how much dosage is normal, and when not to use an herb because of another pre-existing conditions like pregnancy. Many herbs interact with other herbs. They could cancel each other out, exacerbate a condition, or create new ones.

Higher doses don't mean faster or better results, and actually can worsen a condition. Say you take an SSRI to deal with Depression. You run out completely in a disaster. Maybe you have a supply of St. John's Wort, and if you're not taking an SSRI, then you could use that instead. If you took both or if you took too much, you could cause Serotonin Syndrome, which is a terrible way to make yourself freak out and potentially die.

If you have an eyesight issue, then it's common sense to have backup prescription lenses and reading glasses. In a collapse, it's very possible that people will save old prescription glasses from the dying, and then use them for other people to approximate better eyesight (but so imperfectly) . You certainly won't have any new glasses for a decade (very slim chance) or longer(very high probability) if ever because glasses are fabricated upon demand to meet your specific eyesight needs.

If you're using contacts, you might be able to use contacts for a brief time, but realize all contact solutions have an expiration date. Why? Molds and fungus spores are in the air at all times. These solutions contain preservatives that control mold or fungal growth. If you continue to use them past their expiration date, then there's a high percentage chance you'll give yourself a fungal infection.

Many people abuse their eyesight be leaving in their contacts. This not only creates corneal abrasions from this practice, but also it traps in the molds and fungus, plus it starves the eye from getting oxygen (though of course the primary means is from the diffusion of oxygen in the blood from the ophthalmic artery).

Remember those unusual cone shaped devices to channel sound? They're called ear trumpets. When you cup your ear, the sound is funneled into the ear canal better. Hunters use this technique to improve their ability to detect where an animal is located. In a collapse, this will be the best way of dealing with hearing loss. Those inexpensive hearing amplifiers will be an option, but only if you can source batteries. Otherwise you'd be very lucky to find a store post-collapse that had hearing aids.

Many people have an old pair of crutches in their basements/attics because at one time or another, someone sprained or broke their leg and needed assistance. This is a very useful prepping supply as there's a high chance of reusing them again. Almost every old person (not elderly for that was rare in past times) used a cane as they aged. They may not have had enough calcium in their diet or adequate nutrition to allow their legs to be strong enough to walk unassisted. They may have been wounded in accidents or battle and then relied upon a cane to continue to garden, hunt, fish, trap, and take care of themselves. Imagine osteoporosis post-collapse?

If you're a diabetic, or an older person, or have another pre-existing issue, then maybe you'd like to purchase an old wheelchair because you'll no doubt need it eventually. One wheelchair can service a lot of people.

Think upon these things, for that's going far beyond collecting items to put into a bugout bag.
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11/21/2012 12:56 PM
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Asthma treatment post-collapse

Asthma has been treated by healers since the earliest written healing record. We have documented recipes for breathing treatments and herbal remedies by the Greeks, Egyptians, Chinese, etc, and probably it meant any chronic breathing issue. Most likely it's always been treated before the invention of a written language.

That doesn't mean they lived for very long unless they had those treatments, for one can get a serious allergic attack, and suffocate since you can't get enough oxygen, and pass out and die.

Only in the foolishness of the early 20th Century was it labeled as a psychosomatic illness and it wasn't until the 1960's that again it was recognized as a true medical issue. How absurd we are!

If you or your loved one has asthma, you're probably very concerned and prepping for it. That is wisdom. Still, those supplies will run out, so that means taking the time to learn about the historical means of treatment. Otherwise, you've only postponed a decline in your ability to breathe.

For most Americans, the easiest way to deal with breathing issues is very limited use of jimson weed. [link to medplant.nmsu.edu]
One must be very very careful using this herb. Like many plants, it contains an alkaloid, and it can be used for brocodialation (open the brochial tubes that lead to the lungs). It has a potential for abuse, so since in a collapse people will be looking for ways to band-aid their stress, a shaman must be vigilant to protect the community.



For people living on the islands of Hawaii, eating pineapple can help some, for bromelain is derived from it. It's used by runners and some people with breathing disorders to assist them, but in some people it worsens their breathing. Use caution and common sense.

There are many herbs with have a brochodialator effect. See:
[link to www.rosenlake.net]

Since much of the issue is allergies, then treat the issue by removing the allergen. Sigh.

One way of treating allergies is taking stinging nettles. While externally, they can cause an allergic skin reaction, they can be consumed as food or tea if prepared correctly and provide not only Vitamin C, but a natural antihistamine effect. Since you won't have Zyrtec, you've got to find ways to treat the root cause of your asthma.

The main means of heating homes post-collapse will be wood fires in rocket mass stoves. While this way is vastly superior (8 x more efficient and mostly steam exhaust versus lots of carbon and fumes), this will still cause an issue for asthma sufferers. Your best bet is controlling your temperature by living underground to naturally raise the temperature to about 50deg F and layers of clothing. Of course, that has it's own issue with potential mold spores. There's no perfect solution.
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11/21/2012 02:02 PM
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Mental illness and prepping

There's a terrible stigma about mental illness in Western nations. I don't really understand it, but I suspect it's because of the truly insane means that these same nations historically treated patients with mental illness. They placed them in institutions and locked them up far away and out of sight. The cure was often worse than their illness. They actually experimented on them in barbaric ways.

Prior to this method, they were mostly taken care of by family or simply lived alone themselves. Since that can be overwhelming, it's not an option for those who are severely afflicted. They won't be able to take care of themselves, or may hinder their families, and so they might certainly die in a collapse.

Many of the homeless in the seventies and eighties were mental patients who'd been released from state institutions and told to find their way to cities for treatment. Up until then, they were placed in small quiet rural areas. This caused a migration of them into urban areas were they were untreated and indigent.

Most patients don't take their medicines regularly. It's been estimated that 70% don't regularly take their medicines.

How do medicines work? Most are taken orally, to improve the chances that people will use them. Imagine if prescription and over-the-counter medicine was injected?

A oral tablet will go to the stomach for digestion. Most are absorbed through the walls of the stomach and into the numerous arteries surrounding it. Then it passes through the filters of the kidneys and liver, for they are not naturally occurring substances in the body. Then in time, they overwhelm the kidneys and liver and build up a therapeutic level in the blood.

Since an injection avoids this process, then more of it gets into circulation and builds up faster. It's why an injection is frequently given in a medical setting to quickly treat an illness.

Because of the slowness to build up to a therapeutic level, patients won't like the slowness of the response. They'll think it's not working, and it might not be, or it might just take time, or they might have stopped taking it, and the level of the drug in their system has plummeted by liver filtration.

Since many drugs have side effects, many patients stop taking their meds. Some side effects include: lack of concentration, loss of appetite, weight gain, sexual dysfunction, sleep loss, etc. Is it any wonder that patients don't like to take their medicines?!! “Your blood pressure is just fine now, John, but of course you won't have routine erections on occasion....” Hmmmmm?

There's a very high rate of patients with mental illness not taking their medicines. It's why a family who's taking care of patients must constantly check on their compliance. No one likes this process, most of all the patient who want self-determination, so this creates combativeness.

In a collapse, a lot of patients won't have medicines. They'll run out of them, and then the symptoms of their illness will return. Mostly the new treatment will be to learn coping mechanisms to deal with their issues.

We all have issues with stress and in dealing with people and ourselves. While people often say that one in ten have mental illness, really we all have some forms of mental illness. Does that shock you? Why? All people have occasional issues that they can't handle themselves.

In a collapse, a lot of people will be shell-shocked. Do you know what that is? In WW1, the first real use of heavy artillery was utilized against ground troops. Prior wars had used cannons, but these new artillery units were far more numerous and cheaper to create and operate. The soldiers were inundated by a barrage of attacks that came suddenly and there was no real way to shield themselves, only hope for protection by living in foxholes and trenches. It was miserable.

In a collapse, most people will be barraged by severe stress. Their ability to cope will become worn and fragile. Some if not all will break at some point. Everyone has days in which they can't cope and get out of bed. If also weak from malnutrition and co-morbidity from other physical ailments, then a mental illness might be revealed.

A lot of people have mental issues, but because of living in a post-modern society, they have a life free of dealing with sourcing food, or building a shelter, or digging a well, or finding an herb. Since the stress seems insurmountable, they'll begin to form cracks in their coping strategies.

If you have a loved one in your family with mental issues, or even want to help yourself, then prepping now is a good way to respond to their or your illness.

Journaling is a great way to create an intentional dialogue with yourself. It can (and should) be read later to see what you were thinking, what your plans were, and how you thought you should cope.

Creating a community or finding one will allow people to support one another. We think we're a social media generation, but really we're isolated and thinking that Facebook friends are real friends, and then we wonder why we're so lonely. “But I have over 500 friends and tons of likes...”

Severe loneliness can cause delirium in elderly people. It can happen in anyone. It's a temporary loss of cognitive ability and a lack of awareness of where they are. Delirium can be caused by poisoning. It can be caused by malnutrition. It can be caused by stress and isolation.

Many people who are severely stressed out will commit impulsive acts to react to their stress. These can be violent to themselves or others. They're called acts of passion, which is bizarre since they may lead to murder their loved ones and friends.

It is true, a lot of mentally ill people will die in a collapse. It's also true that many will not, for in history many people labeled by it were actually among the intelligentsia and the most skilled members of the community. Some sociopathic members of society were actually leaders. They still are today.

If you have mental illness, it would be better to think of it merely as an “illness” plain and simple. You don't feel lesser because you have a sprain. You wrap it up, take pain medication, and exercise it to remove soreness, then strength it so it doesn't happen as often or find ways to prevent it happening.

Do you know what entropy is? It's a physical law that things move from order to disorder. We see disorder all around us, for that is natural for it to occur.

If you're a prepper, then a potential issue is paranoia. We can begin to overact by needlessly spending time, talent, and treasure to purchase one supply over others. Buying a reasonable amount of food to feed our family means rotating it. Otherwise it will rot since it can't be preserved well for long periods of time. The ones that can last a long time usually don't taste good or have good nutritional value or enough calories. We can buy an arsenal to fight the invaders even though it's more helpful to buy some for protection and hunting, and allocate more surplus in seeds and gardening supplies.

If you ever feel overly concerned with one area, then chances are you've developed bad coping strategies. In a collapse you need a calm cool head to respond. No one all tense and hyped up will be helpful in wartime or peacetime post-collapse.
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Attrition and prepping

Imagine you have a tank of water with a slow leak in the bottom. Your job is to grab a container and transfer what water you can find into it, and fill the tank. At first, you only react and use your hands and run around like a chicken with it's head cut off, and the water is far from the tank, and you spill most of it, stop to drink some, then a thimblefull gets placed in the tank.

You do this for a bit and realize it's hopeless unless you improve the situation. You carefully transfer as much water as quickly and carefully as you can, and some surplus volume develops. It gives you time to find a better container. Then you dump in far more water volume, and you can actually take a break for many minutes.

Still, this seems like insanity. Can you find a closer source of water? You find one, and then you divert the stream into the tank, and you no longer have to fill a container. In some seasons, that water supply is reduced, so on occasion you have to handfill the tank, but mostly you can do other things instead.

That's a lot of wasted water, isn't it? You read a book, and discover a gasket is broken or missing and purchase one or make one and then repair the leak. The tank fills up, you divert the stream away from the tank at first, but then later you place a valve on it so you can fill up the tank when it evaporates or when it's used up.

This process is called attrition and adjustment. Most prepping is about attrition and it's effects on supplies. Things get used up. Things wear out. People get tired. People die or leave. As a prepper, you'll adjust how to deal with attrition in order to best cope, and based upon your available surplus and knowledge. If you don't know much, you can't fix it. Better learn if you want any sleep. Better cope or you'll run out of food.

Some people don't have the common sense to do anything to deal with the leak. They'll let it all spill out, and call for a rescuer to repair it. If you've ever waited for a craftsman to fix something in your home, you know it's based upon cost, availability, and if there's a high demand for their services. In a collapse, they aren't comin'.

Some people's response to attrition is to be like the Dutch boy and the dyke (See the author Mary Mapes Dodge. She also wrote Hans Brinker). They'll try to do it all themselves and end up foolishly holding their finger in the leak.

A prepper who reduces attrition might have more free time to create craft items, gather long term preps, sleep, laugh, make adult beverages (ethanol), collect medicinal herbs, etc. They can lighten up for perpetually dealing with “doom” will kill you.
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11/21/2012 03:50 PM
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Collapse and Threats: Hunters, Gangs, and Pseudo Preppers

Here's three videos describing exactly the issues I've mentioned here about rogue elements who do prepare in some offensive/defensive capabilities and who may end up being high threats to preppers/rural folks.
Hunters

Gangs

Pseudo-Preppers


You need a balanced approach to preparedness.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Making Kippered Beefsteak versus Jerky

Most people have probably one of these two dehydrated products. The first is less dry and chewy, and personally I like that one better since it's easier to eat. The latter can be quite tough, but can be rehydrated and eaten in stews. It probably will last longer, but it's a function of the preservatives you used and the correctness of the drying method and the local molds in your area and the moisture content of the air (humidity).

[link to www.ehow.com]

[link to artofmanliness.com]

In a collapse, you're not going to have modern tech to do it. You'll make it in a smokehouse probably, otherwise waste a lot of wood:
[link to www.endtimesreport.com]

I'd seriously consider using this method. It's a video on smoking carp, but just adjust it for jerking deer.


The Houndsman03 is a good man. I don't label many men that phrase.
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Martial arts and prepping

Some Christians don't like the martial arts. Some think that it's about some esoteric Eastern black magic and so not anything that a Christian should do. Hmmm, but then they allow their kids to box or wrestle which is based upon Greco-Roman cultures that were polytheistic and pagan and had mystery cults. Hmmmm? The reality is there's almost no religion in the marital arts other than vague references to mythological origins or merely that some of the proponents had Buddhist backgrounds. It would be as ridiculous to bad mouth wrestling for the same reasons.

Other Christians are very passive and don't like violence. They think we're to turn the other cheek, but then I don't see them doing that in real life. Even if their interpretation is about being a pacifist, that's at odds with Jesus telling his disciples to carry a sword (Luke 22:36-38 ). He even told them that it was something they should do, but not to have too many. Most martial arts are about bettering physical strength and stamina and defense, so even these critics should probably reconsider their positions.

If you're like either of these groups and prep, then I guess you're also like the Amish or Mennonites. They're great people, knowledgeable, but frequently abused by others since they won't protect themselves. Good luck to you if there's a collapse.

If you're of some other religion or don't believe in a religion at all, it matters not for the purposes of the martial arts and prepping.

To me, it's just a skill. It's about learning that we mostly defeat ourselves because we don't stay calm and focused and energized by activity. It's a lot like learning how to sharpen a tool, for that's what you're really doing, is honing your spirit and fierceness.

You might practically use your ability to protect yourself once in your lifetime. You might practically use your skill and discipline every minute to make yourself a better person. It depends upon what happens to you and understanding what you're preparing for.

It will make you more aware of your limitations and notice your surroundings. It will increase your response time. It will increase your confidence, but it's no panacea.

Some are sports. Some are ways or a path to living. Others are brutally effective ways to maim and kill. Whatever you chose, it has to be for your own reasons. Regardless it's as much a part of prepping as shooting a gun. Since you may run out of bullets eventually, and since most combat become hand-to-hand at very close range, one can't ignore learning it.
Anonymous Coward
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11/21/2012 08:56 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Lighten up

There's a lot of preppers, mostly the survivalists, that seem to me quite imbalanced. When people hear that word, it's emotionally laden, and they think it's a slam. It's not really. They may know a lot of very useful information about gun repair, making gunpowder, tactics, effective ranges of ammunition, accuracy(the grouping averages toward the bullseye) and precision(the grouping is consistently in the same spot issues), etc.

Many people though get overwhelmed by “doom”. In reality, most of the life skills of a prepper are about life and are life-affirming. Digging a well is about finding a source of water such that not only can you survive, but also raise animals. Collecting rainwater is about making a cistern to use drip irrigation to grow food crops and medicinal herbs. Rock climbing is about enhancing strength, knots, making rope, using physics, and ultimately is about seeing incredible vistas that the Source created.

It's not all doom and gloom, and any TV show or website that portrays that is really overly concentrated on a few aspects of it. If you'll notice, most of my postings are about much more practical things like sourcing good clay for pottery. If you have pots, you can store food, water, make raisin wine, create tinctures, vinegar, etc. It's about living abundantly and richly, not the poverty of The Road.

More supplies in a tribal culture usually meant wealth. It's not the wealth that miserly people stored up in silver and gold, it was about feeding people well nutritionally and so there was plenty to be hospitable to the sojourner (Abraham visited by the angels Genesis 18). It's about feasts and celebration, as many as possible as the result of hard work and devotion to the Land. Those are both essentially about building allies and true friendship, the greatest wealth of them all, next to love.

Soldiers returning from war, must beat some of their swords into ploughshares (Isaiah 2). That's tough, for it takes a long time to “turn it off” because military training is about transforming the basic response of a civilian and unifying a response to work instinctively, correctly, spontaneously, and harmoniously towards the military unit's protection and controlled aggression. There's not much use for it in peace, save perhaps a lot of importance in discipline and a little importance for hunting and butchering. It's why returning veterans have to make adjustments or else their wild spirit will clash with civilians.

Don't get me wrong. The tale of Iron John is an important one, and we've become too timid. Please research that story. It's about the over-domestication of humanity, and losing the essential fierceness of ourselves.
[link to www.pitt.edu]

Life though is not an eternal struggle caught between the Scylla and Charybdis of Pain and Death. It's really about joy, birth, renewal, laughter, mirth, contentment, prosperity, etc.
[link to en.wikipedia.org]

As good preppers transforming into homesteaders, you need to discover your passions and then find ways to continue them when the SHTF. Your original passions will most likely change some into new ones. In many ways, you'll become a new creation, especially if also convicted by the Holy Spirit.

Many people assume that all will be misery in a collapse. Yes, much of it will be, but that would be analogous to saying that childbirth was all misery, and that's not an accurate way to look at it, is it? There was the joy of making love. There was the joy of discovering you were pregnant. There was planning and eating healthy meals and celebrations before when sharing the news. There was the birth and the joy of seeing opened eyes and tiny fingers and innocence. There was the awesome weight of responsibility that comes from becoming a parent and the gift of new life. There's a thousand milestones shared as they grow. There's their new friendships. There's the new child's achievements. There's watching them mature. There's seeing them fall in love. Much of true joy come vicariously through another's joy. We forgot that wisdom when we got so self-centered and selfish.

It's wisdom to understand the potential pain of a collapse. I don't know about you, but if I know something is going to be bad, then I can hide in the shadows and be fearful, or I can engage with life and learn skills and store supplies such that I feel better able to cope.

Lighten up. If you feel “darkened” by all the doom, then find some way to light the fire again. Find some aspect of preparedness that makes you optimistic. Let the brief shadow that crossed your countenance be illuminated by a new light.
Anonymous Coward
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11/22/2012 04:10 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Animal Control Post-Collapse

As a devoted hiker and Nature lover, I've spent more time in the meadows and woods than most of you could possibly comprehend. Because of that, my respect for animals has vastly increased, because I've seen so many, watched them silently, followed them along, and come to realize the intricacies of their place and roles in the fabric of Life. Life persists because each creature comes to limit another species through competition for resources and yet it's existence and eventual death also foster and sustains other species.

How wonderful is that special relationship between dog and mankind. There is a closeness there that cannot be defined, for it becomes a companionship and a real love and friendship.

Despite that, when whims fade and when economic decline happens, those people who once were the companions of dogs will abandon them. They will turn them out of their home, or simply take them to be destroyed, because it no longer benefits them or the person must struggle to provide for them.

When the SHTF, because food supplies may be quite limited, many people will abandon their “beloved” pets. Those they named and spoke to with such care and tenderness, who once were almost like children, will be “freed” because they think that dogs have an innate sense of hunting and stalking, so those animals will make their way as best as they can.

The reality is far different, and most people know it. Their tamed companions don't have survival skills, any more than most children don't possess them. They've been taught to eat from a can or dry dog food, and this is what is food to them. They live on cushions or curled up at the foot of a bed or on a bed. They rely upon a human to provide them with water.

Some dogs are involved in hunting. They have a built-in instinct, and then coupling that with a human with a desire to hunt, and a lot of training, then they can be quite adept at hunting and stalking prey. Many are used to retrieve prey in bird hunting.

Other dogs have a “working dog” instinct, and so they're used by ranchers. Those dogs have an innate ability to be taught to round up animal herds that are used for livestock. Some of these then can learn to watch over animals that stray too far from the herd. However if left to their own devices and without food, such dogs could eventually become predators of those same creatures...mostly sheep.

Other dogs have an instinct to dig. This behavior may lead to either burrowing for rodents or creatures cowering in a hole or tunnel.

Other dogs like to swim. Those around these areas may connect that desire with their natural instinct and may on occasion take creatures from riverbanks, lakes, or streams like spawning fish like carp, waterfowl, mammals coming for a drink, etc.

These make up a small amount of creatures among the many species of dog. Most of them have been so tame for so long that they either are too out of shape for hunting, or too docile, or too old to hunt or stalk. Yes, a slow moving young mammal might be taken, and so at certain times of year they catch one. Notice that many won't eat the creature, only knock it down and play with it until it's dead.

In dogs, the main means of catching meals is by pack behavior. They're fast creatures and agile especially when young. If they see another dog hunt or run along side, then they begin to assume a superior/inferior relationship based upon which dog is the Alpha. Those other dogs will do things like groom the Alpha or each other. They urinate based upon the markings of the Alpha. They'll sniff the scat of the Alpha. They'll arrange their resting places based upon the Alpha. They'll eat a kill based upon what the Alpha leaves behind.

If abandoned, some creatures will be more intelligent, mature, strong, and fast. They'll become these Alphas. Then other dogs will hear them and will join up with them.

As a prepper, you need to prepare for feral dogs. Many will alternate friendly behavior with feral behavior. They will have been abandoned for a time, but remember being domesticated. Others are born feral by from those dogs that survived and mated. Still, when young, if caught they can be more tame, but if they live with the pack for long, they can be quite fierce.

Dogs are naturally curious. They smell and see things far beyond our range as humans. They'll note your presence and the presence of cooking smells and garbage and fire. They'll come around to investigate. They'll be a nuisance.

Even now, neighborhood dogs will come and visit, for usually a dog will seek affection wherever it can find it, that or a treat, or an opportunity to play. Some will see you as a potential friend and in a way you become a member of their pack.

These behaviors that make dogs close to us now, will make dogs very dangerous in a collapse. Their friendliness, intelligence, strong senses, kinship with humans, etc will mean they will naturally come visit looking to fulfill their desires.

Your children have been raised with the ideas of dogs as faithful friends. They trust them usually. They expect them to be benign.

Depending upon the length of a collapse, and how long it's been since that dog became feral, it poses a threat to both your family and your pets. You have to consider all strays in a collapse as dangerous. You won't know how they'll respond until you observe them for awhile.

While they can be fast, most in the early days can probably be caught by means of a snare pole. It's merely a hollow tube like a piece of PVC with an end cap. In the end, two holes are drilled, and a loop is thread, then one end is secured, and the other end is loose. This loose end is in the hand of a person wielding it. Quietly and calmly the person will then bring the loop around, and then animals will struggle. The human draws the loop tighter and the length of the pole governs how close the animal can approach the human. Another person working in tandem can bring a second loop around a strong dog. Either way, the animal can then be lead to an area for penning them up.
[link to www.wildlife.pro]

This method works on slow moving creatures like opossums too. It can work on some raccoons, but they are very clever and can be quite dangerous.

It is certainly possible to use a snare trap, or steel jaw trap on a dog if the trap is baited. Many might be caught that way, though these means are cruel. An injured dog can bite even its owner for it will instinctively strike out.
[link to www.salon.com]
[link to www.salon.com]

There are many many feral dogs now. Their population is controlled by your municipality, lack of food, injuries, and bad weather. For every dog you see, perhaps another ten are not. Since they hunt at night or early morning when other mammals look for water or food, then you might not ever witness their actions. There will be far more numerous amounts of them post-collapse, and you should be making some plans on how to deal with them, for they will be a common problem.
Anonymous Coward
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11/22/2012 04:11 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Here's a pdf on feral dogs that I forgot to include.
[link to www.ces.ncsu.edu]
Anonymous Coward
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11/22/2012 08:55 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Solar Dehydrating

If you're a gardener, then you probably have a large freezer and can much of your produce. It all comes in at different times, so you need a way to store it. Of course many of us would prefer to freeze it since it's so much simpler and taste better, but that's a big investment in progressively larger and larger freezers, and if the power went out, we'd lose everything.

Another option that's used is dehydrating the produce. Now some people play around with it with small dehydrators, but these devices use electricity, and often run completely full and run continuously and still only produce a small amount.

In a collapse, you won't have electricity. At some point, you'll run out canning lids, and while you can buy reusable lids, there's always some glass breakage.

How are we teaching villagers in 3rd world nations to preserve their food? They're supplied with experts to help them build large outdoor solar dehydrators. These don't use electricity, not unless there's also solar panels around for the fans. Hot air is channeled into the main chamber, and then it passes over the drying produce and exhaust out to remove the moisture.

The smartest users also place water containers inside, and this creates solar mass. Since the water takes time to heat up, as the day ends and the temperature drops outside, the solar mass releases some stored heat, and this continues the drying process. Care must be taken to ensure the box has a good seal, for you don't want moist air entering the chamber. By doing both things, less mold develops on the drying material and it preserves the food better.

See these links for information on making a dehydrator. Winter is an ideal time to construct these devices.
[link to solarcooking.wikia.com]
[link to www.motherearthnews.com]
[link to growappalachia.blogspot.com]
[link to www.motherearthnews.com]
[link to www.mayacreek.org]

This link contains very clear plans for building it:
[link to tec.appstate.edu]
Anonymous Coward
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11/22/2012 09:03 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Solar Dehydrator continued

It does take time, so you most probrably will have issues with an abundance of produce that will build up and then a lack of drying space. This means trying to carefully plan your succession planting dates and/or building enough dehydrators to accomodate peak season.


It is possible to dry some meat in them, and some people have tried seafood. It all depends upon the style you use, the intensity of the heat, and the thinness of the drying material. It will alter the taste, but in a post-collapse, you'll be glad to have nutritious food that preserves many of the vitamins and minerals regardless.

The upside-side is a lot of produce can be stored in a smaller space with less containers. The down-side is more hydrating time which extends total cooking time and more water is needed.
Anonymous Coward
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11/22/2012 09:43 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Solar Dehydrating with Vacuum Sealing continued

Now dehydrated food will still go bad. Can we do anything to make it last longer, cut down on mold, and preserve flavor. Sure. You can use store those foods in a canning jar. Use this homemade bicycle pump and some fittings to reseal the canning jar again. You won't be able to source oxygen absorbers in a collapse.

Anonymous Coward
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11/22/2012 09:48 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
In reading these extensive suggestions for what people would need to be prepared for, expect, anticipate . . . all the horrible fears and potential dangers . . . it is simply amazing and rather disturbing to me that ANYONE with sense would want to be one of the remaining survivors in such devastatingly awful scenarios.

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