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Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF

 
Don'tBeAfraid

User ID: 1110734
United States
12/31/2012 11:24 AM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Understanding the effective radius of your vehicle based upon fuel usage

Today, I want you to sit down and calculate the average mileage of your vehicle. The way you do that is look at your vehicle owner's manual to see the capacity of your gas or diesel tank. Let's say it's 18.5 gallons for example. Now fill it up. Press the button to reset the mileage trip indicator, then in a week or so as fuel gauge drops to ¼ tank, read the mileage indicator again. Write that down. Now fill up your tank again.

Example. 18.5 maximum gallons. Trip indicator reset to zero then reread at 471.75 miles. At ¼ tank indicator refilled 13.875 gallons. 471.75miles / 13.875 = 34 miles to the gallon on average.

Remember that the amount per gallon is entirely based upon the weight of the vehicle. If you were loaded up to the max, with four passengers, and driving less than ideal speed, your miles to the gallon will drop, won't it? The less fuel you have in a minimally loaded vehicle might get more miles to the gallon since the weight of the vehicle plus the weight of the fuel plus the weight of the passengers is less.

What does your owner's manual say is the estimated miles in city driving? It's very likely that in a collapse you'll be starting and stopping a lot as you exit a city as well as stuck in a traffic jam. Much of the trip may be spend idling in traffic which means zero miles to the gallon.

You'd have to be prescient to always have a full tank of fuel. You can't expect that by some miracle that you have that, so instead if a disciplined person, try to maintain at least ¾ of a tank of gas. In Winter as it is now in my hemisphere, it is wisdom not to let the fuel tank get lower than ¼ tank because fuel lines can freeze due to water vapor that's in all gas.

Example: ¾ of a tank would be 13.875 on this theoretical vehicle, so let's say that my city mileage is 23 miles per gallon. 13.875 gallons x 23= 319.125 miles.

This is a more realistic effective range for my vehicle. Now subtract 50 of those miles for being re-routed and attempting to find a clear path to continue a journey. 319.125- 50 miles=269.125 miles.

Chances are you won't be able to refuel, not in a collapse. Gas station owners will also be bugging out, so some will be closed. Fuel prices won't be limited and it may cost $500 to fill up and only if you have cash since the credit/debit cards won't operate. Whatever fuel is still around may be commandeered by the military or critical infrastructure.

This means that in our case, even if perfectly prepared but reasonably supplied we'd have an effective range of about 269 miles from home. That's really the only realistic baseline number you have for extricating your family. That isn't very far, is it?

[For you metric folks, 269 miles is ~433 kilometers. 433/2= 217 kilometers realistically. As many parts of Europe are more densely populated, you have a worse situation in some ways.]

Personally I think that 269 miles is a wildly optimistic number. I'd halve that for most people. Most people are not prepared whatsoever. Not in all honesty. They fill up when they can based upon pay day and based upon floating credit. If the SHTF, and they didn't have income, they'd spend most of their money on food and water, and fuel would be a much lower priority since they aren't traveling to work. I think that they wouldn't think it through, not have a place to go to be safer and more secure, or wouldn't get to the gas station in time to purchase whatever meager fuel is still available. At best, it would be like the fuel situation during the New England Hurricane of 2012 all over again.

Example 269 miles / 2 = 134.5 miles.

A lot of folks are going to run out of gas on the highways as they attempt to leave. Yes, they may indeed get out of their city, but if on the Atlantic Seaboard or in densely populated New England, then they end up within the next urban area and in a worse situation because now they're stranded in a lesser known area with less dwindling supplies and effective currency.

Because some vehicles will overheat (see previous postings), or tires will be shredded, some people will be forced to abandon their vehicle and carry what they can. Other folks will likely harvest materials from these vehicles that are on foot. Some will take the food supplies, load them into their vehicle, and then move on. Others will stop, probably punch a hole in the fuel tank with a wooden dowel, collect the fuel in a plastic bin, and then put that fuel in their vehicle. Many fires will occur this way as some people do it incorrectly and cause a spark. (They could siphon gas, but that takes more time and people are vulnerable unless heavily armed and with lots of guards.) Other vehicles are also likely to catch fire from this happening. In such congestion and bedlam, mayhem may occur as desperate people do desperate things to continue their journey.

Look on a map and see just how far 134.5 miles will get you versus 269 miles. Somewhere in-between those two distances is likely the effective range for most people.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 12/31/2012 11:30 AM
Don'tBeAfraid

User ID: 1110734
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12/31/2012 11:37 AM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
16 million gun background checks

Personally as long as people are well trained and have their heads screwed on right, I feel safer when they are armed. Unfortunately most are not either of those two things.

I would bet that a large portion of these people are nervous because they're riled up. Not good.

Some smart people may be anticipating a gun ban, and hoping to profit by putting on a significant resale price on whatever guns they purchase.

Anytime that demand is high and supplies are low, the price of an item goes up. Expect this to happen and continue to occur.
Don'tBeAfraid

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12/31/2012 11:53 AM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Replacing a fuse in your vehicle


You don't need a continuity tester by the way; it just makes things easier and faster. If some device in your vehicle is not working, well look at the owner's manual and see what associated fuse is connected to that device.

Now, we want the fuse to blow, for something is faulty with the device or shorted in the wiring. A fuse is cheap to replace, the device is not. You can't just replace the fuse and hope that a mile down the road the same event doesn't reoccur. Of course it will.

It's wise to have replacement fuses in your vehicle, and you can visibly see whent the element in the middle is blown, but you're going to have to spend some time locating the reason it blew, otherwise not have that system work.

Instead of a continuity tester, I recommend you purchase a multimeter. It will allow you to measure continuity as well as voltage and amperage (low scale). Obviously a multimeter as well as basic tools should be in your vehicle at all times but probably less than 1 in a 100 vehicles have them.

Having both electrical as well as basic automotive and mechanical skills are just as essential prepping skills as gardening or hunting. Since we've become nations of technicians rather than generalists, we rely upon some expert to inspect our broken devices and repair them. If you're frugal, and have a high school education, chances are you can repair some basic things on your vehicle.

While some jobs are beyond the basic skill level of many folks, and safety is an issue as well as having the correct tools, note that the half of the cost of a repair is often labor. The main reason that auto parts stores stay in business is that as people get older they try to save money by doing some work themselves.
Don'tBeAfraid

User ID: 1110734
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12/31/2012 11:58 AM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Measuring current in an electrical device

The easiest way to measure current is a clamp on amp meter. By encircling the wire (conductor) that is in question, say a heater or a motor, then you can measure how much flow (current) is being used.

Remember that the initial flow of current is higher and then will settle down for routine operation. Sometimes the initial amount of mechanical resistance is higher since there is no movement and hence a lot of inertia, but then under rotation, the mechanical parts are flowing smoothly.

A jam will make the current spike because the motor is working against a much higher amount of mechanical resistance and will make the fuse blow or the circuit breaker to pop. It's not always an electrical problem, but what's more likely is something is forcing the motor to work harder.


Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 12/31/2012 12:00 PM
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12/31/2012 12:03 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Measuring continuity in a conductor

If I suspect that there is a loss of flow through a wire or device, then I measure the continuity of it. This is a tesing method while it is powered down (or off).


A wire might be broken or iffy because perhaps it's been flexed routinely and it might be as simple as replacing a cord.

Note: using the audible version in some multimeters is a major advantage for a craftsman working alone. It means you can rapidly test by listening versus constantly referring to the meter for continuity. It's only minimally more for this feature.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 12/31/2012 12:05 PM
Don'tBeAfraid

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12/31/2012 12:25 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Understanding common electrical issues

If you've ever tried running a very long length of electrical cord, and then had the circuit breaker kick out when you tried to power up a device from that cord, then you've experienced voltage drop.

The longer the run of the wire, results in higher amounts of resistance. It's not much, but that increasing amount of resistance results in higher current and lower voltage in order to power the device. This makes the circuit breaker kick out and makes the electrical cord HOT and it can possibly start a fire.

I've encountered people attempting to use an electrical cord on a window air conditioner because they didn't have the proper outlet in an older home, and so they naturally kept kicking out the breaker.

A lot of people notice that they don't have enough outlets in their home and try to run too many devices from the same outlet. The same thing will happen and kick out the breaker. There's too much current flow in that area and a drop in voltage. This also can start a fire. Never use too many devices at the same time from one outlet.

A common device that pulls a lot of current is a hair dryer. One that you may not have guessed is a vacuum cleaner. Naturally your electic oven and stove pulls a lot as well as a clothes dryer and your electrical heater or water heater. These are seperated out on different breakers. If you have issues, it's likely that there's a short in the device, but on rare occasions I have found a bad breaker.

On modern vehicles, some cars actually continue to power up devices within your vehicle and this can slowly drain the battery. In addition, some small device like a interior light might stay on from someone leaving the door cracked open. And also over time if a car is sitting, the battery will naturally drain, and if the alternator is not turning then of course there's nothing constantly recharging the battery. This is why on a car lot, a common task is to recharge batteries especially off-season in Winter as fewer car are being test driven.

Rather than replace a broken electrical cord, a lot of foolish people will patch it with electrical tape. Listen, when the insulation is breaking down on an older electrical cord, throw it away. You don't want a fire. If it's new and you accidentally cut the cord, while you could repair it carefully, I would toss it out. If the cut is on the end, and much of the wire can be salvaged, why not put a new end on the cord? You can buy those in hardware stores and the task is very simple.

In a lot of homes, because no one ever took the time, the circuit breakers are unlabled. If you have a child help you by going into the room, and you shut off breakers one by one, they can yell when the lights go off, or outlets stop working, or devices go off, and you can label everything. Believe me, at some point this is going to save you lots of time by properly shutting off the precise breaker for that room or device. Then you can quickly work on fixing the electrical issue by turning off the breaker to the device. There's seldom a reason to work on it "hot". For someone with little electrical skill, it's dangerous.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 12/31/2012 03:36 PM
Don'tBeAfraid

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12/31/2012 12:47 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Most people can repair common electrical issues

Most of the time, if people have common sense, then they can fix common electrical issues. In many homes, a bad or careless person wired up a wall switch or outlet, and at some point the wires will come loose, the switch will need to be repaired, or an outlet replaced. It's not hard.

What's equally likely is that your spouse or significant other sees a new fixture that they prefer, or wants ceiling fans to save money by directing rising heat down or cooling a room in the summers. This means you have to have the knowledge, wisdom, and frugality that will allow yourself to do the work yourself. Otherwise, you can spend the extra money getting someone else to do it.

Often a buddy may know how to do it, and after one short lesson, you can do the rest of the job yourself. It seldom costs more than a couple of beers. Networking means learning new skills, and usually enhances a friendship, and this makes your tribe stronger.

If you labeled all of your circuit breakers as previously discussed, then you can quickly isolate the power, and safely do the job.

One of the easiest ways to see in the dark is to use a head lantern. Really this is essential equipment because then you can use both hands free, something that you'll need while working in the dark. It simply straps to your head, so find one that a buddy likes for comfort and proper illumination. There's lots of reviews.

Carry some wire nuts with you. It's possible that all wires may still be hot and you should treat them as hot until you test them with your multimeter. A safe way to handle this is to screw on a wire nut on a sole wire so that it's out of the way while working on the issue.

Conductors are deliberately cut short so they can be folded up and placed within their boxes. This means avoiding cutting them any shorter or else you'll struggle to attach them again.

If the wire is too short once repaired, all you have to do is pull the wire back to an electrical box, cut it, then wire in a longer piece. Often you can tape the new piece to the old piece, pull it back to the box, then splice it in.

A fish tape is a long wire that an electrical wire is connected to. You "fish" the the long wire through a conduit, then pull the wire back through, and this makes rewiring easier.

Often the issue is as simple as a loose screw or wire nut. Tighten up everything well. A loose electrical connection leads to sparking which is always bad.

Inspect electical cords on occasion to make sure the insulation hasn't broken down. While some can be repaired, it's better to simply replace them. They can be commonly purchased.

Switches come in colors. Match them up. If you can take them with you as well as the plate so you match the color.

A common task is to put on a dimmer switch. Putting in some romantic lighting in the master bedroom is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and not difficult.


Some of you may be thinking, "Hey this doesn't sound like SHTF electical work!". You're right. When learning skills start with low level tasks to build up your knowledge pool, then your confidence will soar, and then you'll attempt the harder jobs of troubleshooting a broken motor, replacing a brush, fixing a big job, even installing something new. Once you know the basics, you'll be able to do other wiring since they all use the same principles.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 12/31/2012 12:53 PM
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12/31/2012 01:15 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
A Solenoid

Maybe you've heard this word before from a mechanic or an electrician and wondered what it meant. A solenoid is a coil of wire that has electrical current passed through when power is applied. When that happens, it becomes an electomagnet, something you no doubt witnessed in 6th grade science class and a metal object can be pulled towards it.


Even though the video is on a pinball solenoid, all solenoids work on the same principle.

This principle allows a solenoid to be an electrical actuator. It can switch a valve or it may actuate a locking mechanism. The take away point is the solenoid is not usually powered, but powered upon specific need.

A lot of electrical issues are solenoid related. A valve might be mechanically faulty because something has gotten wedged inside, or the coil of the solenoid has opened up and therefore the electromagnet is no more, or it may be shorted and hence it kicks out a breaker. If the mechanical resistance is too much, then it may require too much current to actuate it, and hence kick out the breaker.

Or guess what? Some aspect that triggers the solenoid to actuate may not be fulfilled. While throwing a switch might turn on a solenoid and allow a plunger to move, it's also likely that a whole series of safety devices must be fulfilled or else the solenoid is not allowed to have power.

Imagine a door lock in a movie. A soldier opens the panel and using a jumper wire applies power to the solenoid and bypasses the normal lack of voltage, and hence the door is opened. It all depends upon how it's wired. You may need to remove voltage to get the lock open, or you may need to apply power. Either way you've bypasses all of the safeties and manual application so you can get in regardless.

If the solenoid is actuating a valve, the it's merely on or off.

To have a graduated amount of opening or closing, you usually have an analog signal that applies a varying amount of force to open the valve in steps. This may be a varying electrical signal, or more likely a varying amount of air pressure.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 12/31/2012 01:16 PM
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12/31/2012 02:28 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
One person's estimate of survival based upon logical criteria


While I don't entirely agree with the critical thinking involved, this is a well developed and realized video that shows the most important criteria for determining survivability during an economic collapse.

It creatively illustrates in a few minutes what has taken me over a year and half to write down. That's the power of visuals.

There are some problems.

1) People throughout history have adapted based upon their growing season. While the most ideal growing season would be tropical in some respects for year round Spring and Summer and hence an endless harvest, others have been able to preserve food for off-season.

2) You actually don't want to be harvesting year round. For one thing, it would require a lot more soil additives to replentish the soil. Year round harvesting would mean continuous labor in the fields and little time to do other things. It's not good time management for there's usually a bounty of animals to harvest from raising them as well as hunting and trapping in the Autumn.

3) While rainfall is vital for water to drink and watering the soil for crops and harvesting wild edibles not to mention livestock, unless you are trying to raise crops in a tropical climate, then you really don't need the rainfall that the videomaker has stated as ideal. What you need is dependable potable water plus adequate rainfall for these things. The animals that have adapted to your region will limit whatever livestock or hunting/trapping/fishing you will do. I do agree that the Eastern side of the Mississippi River is far better for this reason versus most of the semi-arid Western side.

4) The high amount of food stamp use implies that rich folks would be better suited to survival, and to my experience the opposite is true. While some wealthier people have higher education, and some have great practical knowledge, it's really sterotypical to assume that one economic group is more suited to survival than another. It's really about tenacity and skill level, not economics. It's undeniable pre-collapse that those with more assets can commit more assets most likely to supplies and education though.

5) Because people have a high amount of mobility for the most part, in history people have slowly migrated from urban areas to rural ones. This means that as they moved, they brought problems and solutions to their region. High population density will doom a lot of people because of carrying capacity, but many will relocate as a result and most likely some will settle in rural regions. This makes a lot of statistics to be less important in the final analysis, but definitely a factor based upon realistic relocation based upon practical limits. See several previous postings on that, one most recently on effective vehicle distances.

6) Crime likewise will follow to rural areas as sociopathic members of society relocate to areas where they can harvest more loot. My personal belief if that a lot of this will burn out as wildfires. See previous postings. Some sociopaths will make their way to rural areas, where given high amounts of gun ownership, ethos, military background, etc this will limit the influx.

7) Most agriculture in the USA is monoculture. One crop is grown on a certain plot of land based upon the idea that specialization helps a farmer concentrate upon knowing the best methods for raising that crop. You can't look at vegetables grown in a state and sold as a criteria, for the land may end up growing lots of diverse crops later. In fact, this will naturally happen as people raise the food they need to exist.

What you should be doing is removing as much lawn as possible and improving your soil as much as possible so you can have as high a yield as possible.

I think he did a good job. I hope that you spend some time doing your own analysis of your land and region and are trying to determine how safe your area is, and if you need to move to a better place for your family for economic reasons.

Most parts of the country have some weather related phenomena such as earthquakes, drought periods, hurricanes, tornadoes, heavy snowfall, flooding, dust storms, etc. Most of these weather issues also result in economic, medical, agricultural, biological issues. Everything is connected.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 12/31/2012 02:50 PM
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12/31/2012 02:44 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Here's an earlier video I think I posted which comes to similar conclusions about an better survival rate based upon these kinds of criteria.


The expert in this field is Joel Skousen. I encourage you to look for his book Strategic Relocation, and to find the videos on your own (as they aren't allowed here).

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 12/31/2012 02:46 PM
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12/31/2012 03:17 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
If you were going to boot camp, would you exercise and get ready ahead of time?

Today I saw a topic on the difficulties of boot camp, and it made me smile.

If I were a young person today and considering the military, given the twisted form that the military has become versus the noble protectors they were in history (for the most part), then I wouldn't recommend entering the military, sad to say.

I would talk to a lot of veterans before entering the military today, and if it's still your passion after listening to them for a long time, then you should follow your dream. Maybe all potential soldiers should walk through a veteran's hospital, or rather volunteer with sincere hopefulness of helping their potential comrades-in-arms, really brothers and sisters, and then come to know them. Then having your eyes opened realistically to embrace that lifestyle passionately.

But back to the original question, if YOU were going to boot camp, what would you do? Would you exercise NOW so your experience was a more pleasant one because you already were somewhat in shape and learning how to best respond by doctrine and discipline and relearning muscle memory? Or would you assume that you'd get in shape once the process started by doing what they told you, eating what they told you, exercising as they taught you, etc?

Most new recruits assume they are in reasonable shape and do the latter and painfully discover just how poorly their constitution, tenacity, and will has become. By delaying their exercise and changes to diet, they do themselves a terrible disservice as well as making the experience miserable when it actually could be life-affirming.

Prepping is just like that. You consider ahead of time the difficulties that you might encounter, and rather than wait to learn how to preserve food, grow it, build muscle so you can do it, eat healthier to make yourself stronger and have better health, as well as myriad skills like electrical or mechanical ability. The more you prepare today, the easier it is to cope, especially if you find your place within the Grand Design of the Source.

He must increase and I must decrease. John 3:30

The beginning of knowledge is humility of one's ability and strength. If one has a Master instead of being a rugged individualist, then one ought to want to best serve their Master by anticipating the needs of the Master. If instead one thinks of themselves as master of their fate, almost always when you look in the mirror you will disappointed by the outward and inward appearance of yourself.

This is not to say that we should be groveling and doormats for people to walk upon. What we should be doing is making ourselves stronger, more agile, more skilled, more complete. Over time, the more that I learn, the more I see that I don't know. The more I journal, the more I consider my failures and deficits. Still despite all of that, each day I try to learn more and do more.

Be like the recruit, optimistic, and energized by his or her successful discipline BEFORE the “boot camp” comes up, so that when trouble arrives and you are tested (as we all are tested) and you may have some success. Being somewhat successful will help maintain your optimism while dancing in the fire that is tempering your metal (and mettle).

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 01/01/2013 04:47 PM
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12/31/2012 10:32 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Something for fun: full auto gatling slingshot crossbow

Because I'm actually a cut-up despite my seriousness here, here's a funny video showing the ingenuity of Joerg Sprave. He creates the most wonderful slingshots in the world.


Happy New Year everyone!

And how about some artillery!



Please don't share this with Hollywood celebrities or else they may insist on banning slingshots.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 12/31/2012 10:44 PM
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12/31/2012 11:16 PM

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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
The on-going search for a better indoor stove

Woodstoves have always been a problem for folks on the frontier. They work as long as there is a good stovepipe attached to vent away the carbon monoxide that is odorless and that can seriously harm or kill folks.

Many a member of the First People died by inadequate stoves. Often Christian missionaries brought in a replacement stove with pipe(that worked far better) for humanitarian reasons as well as to practice what they preach.

The problem has not gone away. Since fuel is at a premium, and the cost of one might be prohibitive, many huddle around fires with too much indoor pollution.

Here's an organiation that's working on creative ideas to burn lots of different kinds of fuels. One idea is to burn vegetable oil that produced from rapeseed (we call it canola). Since that's a renewable resource versus trying to extract propane or some other fuel, then a villager could raise enough oil-bearing plants each year to supply their family. In addition, many of the stoves will burn just about anything organic as well as....da da da da alcohol. Remember, not just any alcohol will burn.

Here's a video showing just how easy it is to make one. They're a lot like rocket stoves, but they have lower emissions. To actually use one inside, it would be wiser to have a stove pipe, even if it's one hastily constructed, and to have a working carbon monoxide detector on battery power to make sure that you're safe.



It's called an Everything Nice WorldStove. There are many varieties. The one being demonstrated is using wood pellets which are available at lots of home improvement stores. Pretty cool how there's not any smoke, but since carbon monoxide is colorless, you MUST have a detector.

Here's the pdf describing how to make one. The one in the video is a modified version using a pre-existing charcoal chimney, something that's very common in rural America, along with a discarded can, an aluminum pie pan, and an old paint can. To be absolutely safer, buy a new paint can from a home improvement store since there won't be an volatile residue inside.
[link to worldstove.com]

See this link for many stove types:
[link to worldstove.org]

Look at the Beaner Backpacking stove. I think a lot of you would be interested in having or making one since it can burn lots of different fuels and hence very versatile.

Here's a Lucia stove with a scientific explanation of the process. One excellent feature is that is can also be used to produce biochar which enriches the soil.


Don't be putoff by the fact that the video is not in English. It's subtitled. The most important point is that the fuel, in this case wood pellets are NOT being burned. What's happening is the heat is producing wood gas and this is then ignited. Eventually the wood gas is used up, and this results in charcoal formation. It's why no ash is produced but extremely valuable charcoal. That can be used to brush your teeth, purify your water, taken as a antidote for poison or indigestion, or added to your soil to make better yields.

If you had one of these and lost power, it would probably make an ideal emergency heater. Since some are liable to be homemade, and just for extra precautions due to carbon monoxide, I'd ensure adequate ventilation and a CO detector. The Lucia produces LESS CO than a standard gas forced air furnace, but still it's new tech (it has a 93% efficiency and hence burns away most gases).

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 01/01/2013 12:32 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Understanding calcium availability in foods

Most people don't understand very much about nutrition. Don't worry, even professionals like doctors spend scant amount of time studying nutrition in school. It is an important subject though for preparedness, because instead of purchasing food products made in stores, at some point you'll be raising your own food, so it's one of the critical skills you'll need to acquire.

Tribal people didn't understand nutrition, but they did see the aftereffects when someone wasn't eating correctly. So culturally, diets changed dynamically to cope in many cases, for those not eating right...probably died as a result. Since you don't want to suffer a host of nutritional deficiencies, you must learn to vary your diet from wild edibles and grown food, whether that's coming from cultivated crops or livestock, or species gathered from the meadows and forests.

Calcium is an important requirement of any tribal people doing heavy labor. The more that you do weight bearing exercise, the more that your skeleton alters the scaffold of the bone cells in your body.

Here's a video describing bone remodeling.


Osteoclasts move throughout the bone to dissolve the bone. Somehow by doing heavy labor, the body senses that it would be better to form the bone in a particular way, so the job of the osteoclast is to break it down towards that purpose. They liberate calcium from the bone by injecting acids into it.

The scaffold is primarily made of collagen. The only way collagen can be made is if there is sufficient Vitamin C. This is why I have continually mentioned Vitamin C rich wild edibles and cultivated species because scurvy is a primary issue for tribal people.

If you lack adequate vitamin D and calcium, as was common pre-1920, then people develop rickets. This mostly comes from sun exposure. Vitamin D probably also prevents a large amount of cancers.
[link to t0.gstatic.com]


Osteoblasts move afterward and rebuild the bone based upon having enough calcium around to do their task. The osteoblask reforms a scaffold (osteoid), and then later calcium is deposited upon it.

All of that is also contingent upon two main things. 1)There must be adequate blood circulation and good diet, or else the body can't digest food components like vitamins and minerals to deliver whatever the skeleton and teeth need, nor deliver them via the conduits that are made by blood vessels of all sizes (vessels, veins, and arteries are the three main types with many subtypes). 2) exercise on a regular basis triggers bone remodeling, or else as we age the body (possibly osteocytes) senses the lack of activity and more bone destruction (osteoclasts) tear down the scaffold.

Think of this way. It takes a lot of energy as a resource for the cells to work. If there's less energy in supplies, then the body is a careful manager of whatever there is, and so it makes decisions on how to best use the resources available.

If not exercising, then there's less requirements for the body, and if there's also less nutrition, the body conserves whatever it has until such time more materials are coming in, and more demand is placed upon the structural integrity of the body.

Since most people are sedentary, the requirements are low for bone remodeling. If people get low calcium, then the body liberates from it's own materials, a kind of cannibalism called catabolism. This makes your skeleton very weak, and this is why particularly in women, you often see stooped over elderly folk.

That was more prevalent a long time ago, for more people are living longer, but there's a problem. Maybe we live longer, but as we age beyond what people ordinarily lived, that lengthened lifespan may come with increasing decrepitude. Do you want that? To live longer but worse off?

Most people don't, and therefore they eat better, exercise, and often take medicines to enhance their bone density.

One of the problems is how much calcium is in a food substance, and what's just as important is how much is availability once it is consumed. While many plants have quite a bit of calcium in them, they also contain substances which restrict or impede the influx of calcium (bioavailability).

So while I've discussed several wild edibles as well as cultivated crops that are rich in calcium, many of these have lower bioavailability. You'd have to eat a lot of them in order to achieve the same amount of other substances like milk. The amount in a cup of milk would require eights cups of spinach. For practical purposes, a lot of people while thinking that they could do that, will not in actually keep eating that much spinach, and so in the absence of milk they end up with a deficit of calcium.

Believe it or not, pinto beans contain almost as much bioavailabity as cow's milk. Since a bean is easier to raise than a cow, a bean is likely the main way you're getting calcium.

For 75% of African-Americans and 90% of Asians, a certain enzyme called lastase is not produced by the body. Since lactose (milk sugar) is digested way late in the intestines, and if there's not enough of the enzyme needed, you end up with bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. You folks in particular must get your calcium by other means.

In a collapse, people are doing far more physical activity than is their norm. The osteocytes notice the increase, and send osteoclasts to break down the skeleton's scaffold, but then because there isn't sufficient calcium, or perhaps even enough energy to power the cells, the osteoblasts weakly attempt to rebuild the scaffold but there's insufficient calcium to be deposited on the new scaffold.

Some of our foods are fortified with additional calcium, but there's controversy about that practice, because some unscrupulous food companies may add calcium but it doesn't have a high bioavailability factor and isn't absorbed into the body. In some cases in soy drinks or maybe even that calcium enriched orange juice you're drinking, the calcium settled in the bottom of your glass.

Regardless, for a prepper, the calcium that you source for your family is coming from deliberate cultivation of food species that contain high calcium or intentional foraging of other wild sources. This means you have to know what foods have that material, and know how to grow them and collect them.You must also know how bioavailable the food species is pertaining to calcium contained within it too.

Tribal people culturally noticed this and began to use dairy cows and goats in certain parts of the world. Because goats are far easier to raise and smaller in mass, a lot more raise goats in simple operations. Remember that whatever milk is produced, is only good for a short period of time since there's no refrigeration. It's also contingent upon the species lactating because it's given birth to its young, and in a homesteading operation, you're balancing the need for meat from raised animals versus your need for calcium from milk.

Since whatever milk you're able to raise will spoil unless you use it, it's usually consumed immediately or traded to people in the immediate vicinity. Otherwise, it's probably converted into cheese which can store the calcium for a bit longer. While kefir and yogurt are delicious, they also have a very short shelf life without refrigeration.

Milk also contains what is arguably the best post-recovery proteins for the body. After exercising, the caesin proteins including whey are quickly assimilated into the body. It's why many a bodybuilder drinks a whey shake after a workout. If you're a tribal person trying to build muscle and bone in your tribe so they can do heavy labor and minimize the consequences of it, then most probably milk of some kind if needed for all practical purposes.

Since goats produce milk plus very delicious meat, they are the most likely candidates towards that purpose. Since pinto beans produce valuable protein and calcium they will certainly be a main crop that you'll be raising.

Sources:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk
[link to www.dairynutrition.ca]
[link to www.mayoclinic.com]
[link to findmeacure.com]

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 01/01/2013 10:58 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Raising pinto beans

Beans can be one of the easiest vegetables to grow in the garden.

They can be easily grown in containers, and hence one of the reasons every child in America used to grow them in science class during elementary school. That means that if you had five hours of direct sunlight, one could grow them indoors or outdoors in a planter.

They need soil that is well-drained, as they won't tolerate puddling. This and overwatering will result in low yields.This means if you have heavy clay soil, you need to mix in that river sand. This will allow the water to penetrate better.

They like nitrogen rich soil, so an easy way to achieve that is by diluting your urine and adding that to the garden in early Spring, and then later side-dressing the plants with a urine tea. See previous postings on just how valuable urine is as a resource for gardeners. We could probably avoid using chemical fertiliers altogether for small operations.

I've included a link which describes pests like aphids. Encourage lady bugs in your garden. They leave behind usually yellowish eggs and you can place those if you find them among your bean plants. Turn over leaves where you find aphids, and most likely you'll also find some lady bug eggs where you see their activity.
[link to www.hmrprint.com]

Other than that, you need to watch for knots forming on the roots, a sign of tiny worms attacking your bean plants. They also are susceptible to certain mildews. See the infornet biovision link for pictures of pests and disease. I'd print out as it's concise and lists many common pests and diseases.



Nice couple, and very proud of their garden. Good for them!

Most people grow bush varieties of beans as the yields can be almost as good and far less work than raising pole beans. For first year gardeners, why not try mostly bush varieties but experiment with one or two pole bean types to see.

Germinating the bean after harvest produces more nutrition, and then you can add these to a salad for a variety. Since beans take time to dry and then later time to rehydrate, it's a good idea to mix it up. By the way, combining black beans with pintos makes a wonderful flavored dish. I usually use pinto beans in my chili instead of kidney beans.

The protein in a bean is not nutritionally complete. It's why cultures over time combined meals with corn or rice, and that resulted in a complete profile of essential amino acids. Since growing rice is beyond the capability of most gardeners, you'll most likely grow corn, raise wheat, or maybe quinoa (pronounced keen wah so you don't sound foolish when looking for it in the grocery).

Sources:
[link to www.texasgardener.com]
[link to www.gardenguides.com]
[link to www.infonet-biovision.org]

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 01/01/2013 11:56 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Make better chili and tamales this Winter

Personally I like chili year round. Most people make awful chili, and so people turn their nose up when they hear that's for supper. It's simple, use better ingredients, Silly.

Using pintos is one of my secrets, but also adding beef stock that I get from a concetrated paste (see previously postings) as well as real meat added in, not just ground beef. Most ground beef is garbage. There's way too much fat added in, and while some adds flavor, I think if you follow this recipe for the most part, you'll create a much better dish.
[link to www.food.com]

A lot of tomato sauce is terrible. Fresh tomatoes from the garden are preferred, and mostly the tomatoes that you find in the grocery produce aisle are the hydroponic ones that "ship well" meaning they're hard when transported, not necessarily taste better. See? Using diced tomatoes of a good variety results in you controlling the moisture content. It won't be so liquidy.

The tomato paste imparts a perfect sweetness to the meal.

Don't be afraid to use some kick. Most chili is so weak that it tastes bland. Spicy peppers boost your metabolism and that's why you sweat. It's good for you especially when dieting, and isn't everyone dieting post-Christmas?

Add a little masa flour as a thickener. It's the white flour produced from field corn, and you can find a bag of it in the Latino section of your grocery.

The chunks of meat really appeal to most guys. It makes a hearty dish.

Unless you absolutely must, refrain from putting that awful macaroni in there. Yuck. I like noodles, just not in my chili.


Make some tamales too! Yum! Real tamales steamed in corn husks. Delightful with this chili. You can also find the corn husks in the Latino section, but you can also use fresh when available to impart a fragrance into the tamale.

[link to allrecipes.com]

This uses pork loin and makes a wonderful addition to serving the chili. My mouth is watering while I write this. It's just a great recipe versus that truly awful stuff in cans or jars.

If you don't want to go to all that trouble, then make a sweet cornbread to go with the spicy chili. It offsets the flavors and usually people like that versus that strange Northern dry white cornbread some Yankees like.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 01/01/2013 12:17 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Passion

Have you ever met someone and almost immediately they sucked the life right out of the room? It's like they're an energy vampire robbing the juice of life out of your bones. They're portable black holes devoid of all passion.

Some are filled with spite and angry with the world. They feel like nothing is their fault, and that the world has been cruel to them. As such they dole out a healthy measure of spite as well as robbing your energy.

Others are mournful and mope around, perpetually sad. I have compassion for these folks, because they've replaced the natural passion we have in life with a passion for sadness. They can't see beyond their sadness and it's overwhelmed them and is slowly consuming them and everyone around them in their sorrow. Since it's better to feel something than nothing, they get absorbed by their sadness.

A lot of people over time lose their passion. Since it's gone, they have to replace it somehow. Usually they live vicariously through the lives of others, and this is why they like gossip, watch some form of entertainment, and slowly and irrevocably lose what feeble flame of passion is left.

If it continues too long, the process might be impossible to reverse.

If you fit into either of these categories or know someone who's lost their passion, then there is some Hope. Once there were things that excited you. Some aspect of living thrilled you by pursing it. It might have been the thing that most enhanced your life, but because of work and other activities you pushed it away. As you did it less and less, life seemed flavorless and bland. You missed it at first, but then you shrugged your shoulders and became so disconnected from life that you became listless.

Believe it or not, unless you find some way to get re-energized or do that for someone else, then you might be written off by most people. It's difficult to be around you.

Because being around others gives us friendship and romance, even if we could do our passion as much as we wanted, we would feel crushing loneliness.

Shhhhh. It's a secret. Most people are lonely. They feel misunderstood, and yet they spend zero amount of time trying to understand others.

Somehow, you have to start doing activities that renew your passion and begin trusting people again to evaporate the loneliness around you.

It's easier to fix yourself first rather than others. If you insist that THEY get better, then you might wait forever until you turn to dust. Strangely, the more you fix yourself, the less bad they seem. In fact the more that you live into your passions and polish the rough edges, often you feel more compassionate and reach out to them. It might be that you recognize the same loneliness and lack of passion in them, and because bettering the self in a healthy way promotes altruism that you want to help them wake up.

You have to start somewhere. Most people can't begin again until they decide they want to get better. Then once they do, they begin to act passionately about that process.

Don't do things just because you have to. Do some things because you WANT to. Those are your passions.

Some of the things we DESIRE are not good for us. What we really want are passionate things that build us up. Other things may seem to make us happy, but mostly they're addictions that momentarily make us forget our sad passionless state.

Why do people have affairs? They want the romance that comes usually from being around passionate people, often young and still innocent or untouched by a lack of passion. Because that seldom lasts, it's doing something that's an addiction that can't fulfill us ultimately.

People like to go to restaurants because momentarily they are taken care of, treated with respect, offered a diverse array of flavors and sensations, and then can leave without doing the dishes or cleaning up. How much more fulfilling it would be to be passionate, raise your food, forage for it in the meadows and forests, work along side a beautiful person, harvest the food, then prepare it together with their company, and wash dishes in the kitchen together and play and kiss them at the sink and later in their arms?

You still can have all of that. Even if you think it's too late, if you decide that you need it, you can try to repair yourself, then reach out anew.

Yes, we are all getting older. We don't look the same that we did at 17, 25, 35, 45, etc.

Shhhh. It's a secret. Most of you are beautiful, you just forgot that you were. I haven't met any ugly children, not ever. I may have met a spoiled child, but in the right environment and with proper care, they grew into beautiful adults.

What changed? I think it's mostly a lack of passion, and then a redirection of the short term addictions that transformed them with the weight of these addictions. They became increasingly lonely since their activities repelled others. At some point they became cognizant that they no longer were like everyone else and so became ostracized.

It's a scary word, because it implies that someone is a Master over us, but that addiction might be defined as sin. Rather than get hung up on that word, think that it's just a word for an addiction which is a very real phenomena that you can identify and eliminate.

There's still time to fix it as long as you still are breathing.

Because those addictions give immediate pleasure, but usually impart pain the rest of the time, then they create shame and guilt. Why not try doing less addictive things and more healthy passion filled life affirming things that make you feel better?

The primary reason an addiction exists is intensity of feeling. The only way to break the cycle is to replace something else that's intense in pleasure that overcomes the transitory pleasure of the addiction. That activity is usually a healthy passion.

Because the healthy passions cannot be sold to us by corporations, they sell us whatever addictive things they can make or generate. If you don't give away your time, talent, and treasure, they can't rob you of them.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 01/01/2013 01:52 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Be the substitute

While you're working on rediscovering your passion, you're going to make mistakes as you travel on the journey. That's okay, just minimize the ones that hurt people and yourself.

Slowly but surely you're going to get better. That's the nature of healing. That's right, losing your passion is a kind of psychic illness. The energy in your body, mind, and spirit ebbed away.

It took a long time to get sick, then after discovering that you're sick, you're going to do intentional things to set things right and start healing. An injured athlete cannot run a marathon, but they still can walk around the block, even if crippled. If they have enough time, will, and keep going, they will walk just as far, but not as fast.

When you start getting better, while you may not have that many friends and new romantic partners, be the substitute. You need the practice, and gosh there's lots of lonely people who need some attention.

While a lot of people are unlovable, some spark of human goodness is still inside most people. If you rely solely upon your eyesight, it will fail you. Use all of your senses as a shaman. I bet that you can still feel their goodness even if it's so very faint.

By being the substitute, you open the door to reestablishing their trust in humanity and yours. It means being gentle, kind, understanding, and forgiving.

Sometimes we only get brief moments to share friendship and romance. Some difference between us; some lack of ability impedes us; sometimes there's not the right kind of chemistry. That's OK. It's not rejection. Even if it doesn't happen, what if you decide that you're going to live in the Eternal Now and help them have the best time possible. Be positive.

Some people are energy vampires or sometimes simply selfish. If so, then don't get mad. Move on. Be the better person who took the opportunity to help them, even if momentarily.

Imagine being a substitute teacher. No one gives you respect. They don't take you seriously. You're not going to stick around. People assume that you don't know what you're doing.

What if you decide it doesn't matter what they think? What if you decide to help them, care for them, be loving, sincere, generous, and selfless? You know, someone might be aided by such actions. Maybe someone even thanks you or even smiles. Maybe someone other than the one you were helping notices and a great friendship or romance happens because of that.

As the world begins to collapse more and more, if we allow ourselves to harden our hearts, then the very things that sustain us as life affirming activities... will cease. Then, while we will survive like incarcerated prisoners, we will be essentially dead. Most people are obtuse and don't notice the tragic state of the world, and are essentially dead and don't know it. Their pulse is so weak psychically.

So, maybe you're not a gardener...yet. Be the substitute gardener for your tribe until you actually become one.

Maybe your home is in a sorry state, and you don't have money to have a carpenter fix it. You do have a mind, some health, and time. Learn some woodworking skills, make some repairs, and be the substitute carpenter.

Maybe there's no way to medically treat your illness since you're broke and don't have good insurance. Maybe if you learn how to best treat your body, learn about your condition, put some healthy food in your body, drink better water, exercise instead of giving up, you can be the substitute healer.

Maybe you totally have messed up as a spouse or friend. Just about ruined a relationship. If so, then even if the other person doesn't expect it, or even acknowledge it, why not be the substitute lover or friend that they really need? I think if you do it in all sincerity that it will help make things right. It took a long time to lose their trust. It will take what seems like forever to regain it, if at all. Do it anyway.

There's a kind of freedom in shrugging your shoulders and saying, “Oh well. I'm only the substitute.” You can laugh off a lot by self-mockery because you're not the serious expert who knows it all anyway. But you know, in time, you're going to get some things right, and you may catch your reflection in the mirror and nod and say, “Not bad for a substitute.”

All of prepping is about doing, otherwise it's an intellectual exercise that gains nothing. Go be the substitute now, even if you feel ill-equipped and not ready.

If there's a disaster of any magnitude, then maybe the Source placed you there to do your substitute role until someone else comes along. The work you do may considerably help and facilitate the work later because you were selfless while most around you were selfish.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
A Transducer

A transducer is an electrical device that modulates or varies its output based upon its input.

Imagine a human being. The more they eat, the more work they can do within reason. No food = no work. Usually some work will happen with some food.

A transducer might have 0-10 volts dc (vdc) coming in or it might have 4-20 milliamps (ma)coming in in steps. On the output side, perhaps it's hooked up to an air supply and then it modulates 3-15 pounds per square inch (psi) out.

For example, at 5 vdc or at 12 ma or midrange, the transducer sends out an air signal of 9 psi.

Of what use is this? Well actually most of automation works on this principle.

If I have a valve that I want half open, and the range of the valve is 3-15 psi, then if some decision process is accomplished such that a signal is sent for midrange operation, then I use a transducer to modulate 9 psi of pressure to make the valve half way open.

Some valves should be air to close (reverse acting); others should be air to open (direct acting). Most often things are air to open. It depends upon how I want a power down operation to work. If there's no power as in power failure, then do I want no flow at all. Most likely with steam. If there's no power, I don't want steam flowing through a line. I want it shut off probably.

[Note: in an emergency, on steam lines there are relief valves called popoffs. As the pressure gets too high, the steam valve suddenly releases the pressure. In an emergency, you might witness a lot of popoff valves going off as the steam is out of control from whatever boiler operation is developing the pressure.]

Because the transducer is located in the middle, by adjusting the air output, I can actuate something in the field strictly by operating the output side. The safe way is to operate both sides and governing a modulating signal from the input side.

So, how to apply this information? At some point, we'll be recovering electronic devices in most circumstances (other than nuclear or EMP), and we'll need to have ways to partially open things or move them. This means using transducers to help control them.

Next up: sensor types in electronics

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 01/01/2013 07:09 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Sensors

In a system, you need detection for various states. There are numerous kinds of detectors also called sensors. They measure some property or they respond to some material placed in front of them.

The most common is a microswitch. When an object makes contact with the microswitch, it presses against it, and you can usually hear an audible click. Inside, power is transferred as a mechanical bridge is made and power flows across the switch. It's not any different than a lightswitch. Then that power goes back to a monitoring device, often a programmable logic controller (PLC), and this senses the change in an input (all sensors are inputs) and then based upon how the program is written fires an output. An output might be a solenoid to eventually turn on a valve. See previous postings.

Many microswitches have creative arms attached to them in order to mechanically place the arm around and in physical contact with the sensor.

Have you ever taken the lid or the covering off of a device and found it wouldn't operate? Sure you have. Every microwave over has a door switch, because people frequently open the door to get their food before turning it off. This prevents you from getting a dose of microwave radiation.

If you've opened the lid on washing machine, a microswitch safety disengaged and stopped applying power to whatever cycle the washer was in. The door switch on a dryer when opened stops the dryer from operating too.

Ever burn off your oven? As the heat rises, a temperature switch senses high temp and then fires a solenoid to prevent you opening the door. A thermostat is a variable temperature switch that allows a relay to close and then turns on power to an electical element. Your toaster works the same way.

A circuit breaker is a current measuring switch that opens when too much current flows across. It's also a special sensor.

Often a protective way to ensure safety is to put several microswitches just under the cover or shroud of an electronic box, and in this manner ensure that it won't operate.

The next most common switch is a mercury switch. If you look at some old heating systems, when the dial is set inside, a mercury filled switch moves at a set temperature. When that happens electricity passes across the fluid. It's very similar to a microswitch.

Another very common sensor is a photocell. Ever wonder how the one works on your yard lights? The cell inside is set to specific wavelengths of light as well as having a sensitivity setting that determines the amount of light. When light enters the photocell, at a predetermined level, it electronically closes and most often closes a relay. This is in effect another electromagnetic switch.

Some photocells work on visible light. Sometimes a source sends out the light and then is received when in alignment. When that happens, then it sees itself and can be satisfied. You can make it operate when it is blocked or when it isn't.

Other photocells work on infrared radiation. Since there's no visible light, there's often a blinking LED indicator showing alignment. It might send out a signal to a reflector (like on bicycle) or it might be self contained based upon being in close proximity to whatever object is in front of it, and then send ing back some reflected light back into itself.

Some photocells that look at very small objects might use fiber optics to precisely measure the presence of an object even something like a mark on a page or even a letter.

Another kind of sensor might measure the presence of metal placed against it. Others work on a capacitive effect and might measure the level of material inside of a hopper. Some work as liquid level detectors in a large tank. Since water conducts, when water is made at a particular level, it then goes back to the sensing device and then clicks on the relay for set levels.

Other sensors measure pressure. When a certain amount of air pressure (or inches of vaccum) is generated, then it is satisfied and sends a signal back to that adequate pressure is there. It can prevent the operation if there isn't enough to actually be present because low pressure would result in poor operation.

Ultrasonic sensors send out a beam of energy and whatever isn't absorbed, bounces back into a receiver. These can be used as motion sensors. By moving very slowly, sometimes you can get very close before tripping one.

A reed switch works by being in contact with a magnet. If the contact is broken, so no magnet is present, then it might act as a safety to prevent operation. Sometimes these are set on alarm systems to go off if there is a misalignment. Other times a vibration sensor detects glass breakage and can also trigger an alarm.

Some sensors detect along a continuum. Let's say you have a crawlspace with gas canisters within it. If there was a leak, then the oxygen might be displaced and it would be harmful to enter. A oxygen sensor might report that less than 20.9% oxygen was present, and hence at that level a safety alarm relay is made, and an alarm condition displayed plus an audible alarm. Many times alarms (also called annunciators) and a light will BOTH go off in case one fails, the other will let you know.

There are many sensors on vehicles which measure things like barometric pressure to adjust fuel mixes to get the best gas mileage.

In an environment where things must be dry, a humidity sensor might measure the local air and if it gets high shuts down the operation, or else whatever is made could be bad product.

These are the most common sensors used in homes and in industry. All work in very similar ways, it's only their measuring method that is different.

Knowing sensor types could allow you to detect the proximity of any object within the field, a very useful activity. This is used by almost everyone who travels in a car. When the large metal mass of the vehicle comes across the sensor field in the road, then stop lights can be triggered and controlled by a master PLC, and then using timers and based upon programming, change the light to allow flow, or allow turns to occur.

Next up relays.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 01/01/2013 08:23 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Relays

There are two basic kinds of relays: 1)the old electromagnet kind with coils and multiple contacts and solid state relays.

Relays that use coils operate on the same principle as solenoids (see previous postings). If you look at the sides of many of them, there is a wiring diagram which show the coil contacts and switch contacts. Power is applied to a coil, and it might be AC or DC. When energized the coil turns into an electromagnet, it changes the switch state electromechanically by pulling on a metal series of contacts.

If it is normally open, then usually no power flows across, but when energized it switches and power now flows. If normally closed, often set for safety switches or operation, then power is interrupted across the contacts.

One contact is the power side and then it when the coil is energized it flows across other contacts based upon the above details. When energized you hear them transition with an audible click. The sensor wiring might go to the coil to turn that on, or is might pass power across a relay contact instead.

A solid state relay can very quickly activate contacts but there's no mechanical element whatsoever. These tend to be flat usually black squares and one set of contacts. These are silent.
...

Sometimes there are timers on these relays. When the power is applied to the coil of the timing relay based upon a sensor (see previous postings), then after so much time, the relays close, and then power is switched.

Some have "on delay" or "off delay" or both.

On delay is “How long before it comes on?”

Let's say if a sensor sees something, to come on in fifteen seconds. That's on delay.

Off delay is “Once is comes on, how long do I want it to stay on and then go off.”
A sensor sees something, and then stays on for a set amount of time, then goes back to it's off state.

Both situations:
When a sensor is detected, turn on a light in 15 seconds and leave it on for 15 seconds then go off.

Sometimes a sensor might be tripped a lot. Maybe I want nothing to happen unless it is trigger continuously for an amount of time, and if so, then and only then do something. If not then I'll have a lot of nuisance activation.

You can easily read a electromechanical relays to see if it's good or bad. Often the coils will open up from too much activity or overvoltage. Contacts spark each time, and so black soot carbon forms and this results in resistance to power. The contacts can be cleaned, but usually you replace the relay.

One relay might typically have four contacts: two normally open (NO) contacts and two normally closed (NC) ones.

This means one sensor when triggered might fire and turn on the coil and two things might be switch “on” while also turning two things “off”.

Today a lot of times there are programmable logic controllers since these avoid relays but use input and output channels of contacts instead.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 01/01/2013 09:26 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Will write for karma

Everyday if a member you get five karma points. They expire at the end of the day and then you get five more. If you like some of my postings, then keep me writing by giving me a karma point. Most likely I'll send one right back as soon as I notice as long as you identify yourself in the exchange.

I have six, when I get a few more I'll use it for ban immunity for a month, if I can get that many.

If not, or if I get negative karma, I'll write as long as I can and hopefully not get banned for writing these long articles.

I doubt I'll give out any negative karma. To me, that just ends up being a silly argument, and while certain things that people write offend me, big deal. I'm sure that I write things that offend people too. Bad karma really doesn't do anything, because trolls will always say what they want, and will just start a new account.

For me, getting green karma means that I helped someone with useful advice, which is just paying back mentors who helped me over the many decades of my life. I only want to give you good advice such that it challenges you about things, makes it easier to research what can be arcane topics given they're about old knowledge and skills, or ideally that they inspire you to research on your own and make new discoveries.

We need new ideas, but often the idea that someone comes up with has already been tried and tested, but still people exploring their ideas and passions might result in something wonderful like the new Lucia woodstove. Just think how great it would be to use less fuel, allow more trees to grow, improve the soil, facilitate water purification, make people breathe easier, heat up a room with more BTUs for less time and effort, etc.

If you have an idea, and want help, and I know anything, or simply want some advice, I'm glad to help if it's possible and doesn't hurt anyone.

A lot of people don't prep because they think their personal situation is hopeless. In reality, the worst seldom happens. It might be that we can figure out a better way to do something that saves you money, effort, time, and resources by doing it some old or new way that you haven't heard of.

Some of you could certainly teach me. I'd be excited to hear some idea that you have.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 01/02/2013 12:24 AM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Sex when the SHTF

A lot of people have no idea about sexuality other than what they witness in movies or porn. Sad, even tragic, isn't it? That's hardly going to help you develop a healthy sexual relationship which is largely about trying to fulfill the needs of your significant other or spouse. If you read about porn, and the lives of the actors, then you come to understand just how damaged they are by it.

In fact, if you're a lousy lover, doesn't that fact make you cringe? Don't you want to make them happier, feel more secure, overwhelm them with pleasure, and even impress them?

To choose the opposite seems callous. If you don't care, then why are you still with them? It can't be because of the meatloaf.

As more and more stress falls upon us as couples, then we have to lean more and more upon each other. To me, things have already collapsed somewhat, and it's only going to get worse. Now is the time to learn how to best communicate with your lover and learn how to please them again.

You must have pleased them once, or else it's doubtful that they would have stayed. In time, people's passion drops off (see previous postings) and so what often happens is a loss of respect for their bodies and then they feel inhibited and less beautiful or handsome. This can really damage a relationship, because the other person feels disrespected. The idea was that your body was a gift to them, as was their body was a gift to you. One or both of you damaged the gift, but all is not lost. You can't turn back the clock entirely, but you sure can get healthier and learn new things.

If things are tense and stressful, then it's terrible at bedtime. Things can get so bad that not only is sex painfully awkward, but even touching each other makes both of you feel bad. The stress is usually about money, and of course since the global economy is in the toilet, this means bad sex all around.

Instead, if you learn to focus on one another, make time for real romance and affection, then at bedtime you can take comfort in the fact that both of you will try, not to please themselves, but each other.

While both of you could learn to masturbate well enough to be momentarily happy, it's doubtful that it will suffice. Mostly people who do that feel sadness and more lonely afterward.

While many guys say they don't care for romance, to be honest don't you enjoy it when someone new flirts with you by making eye contact, laughs at your jokes, makes an effort to get closer, gives you their phone number? You really are romantic, it's just that the attention of a new person means that you still “got it”. Guess what, most of you still do. You don't need to find it elsewhere, it's just that it affirms you as a man.

The same is almost always true of women. All of the little attention is like the sweetest candy, especially when you get older. It causes a genuine sincere smile to form at the corners of your mouth because another person thought you were attractive.

People have a sincere hunger for attention and sexual pleasure. Surprisingly, a lot of affairs happen and the other person doesn't look better, they just give the lonely person the attention that they crave and become desperate for.

Sometimes it's mercenary, and become largely about who will provide more for the other. There's nothing to be done if that's the case, as the other person has decided that you're not providing for their needs whatever that may be.

Much of sexual pleasure and romance is certainly an aspect of understanding and reading the other person. While some people are painfully shy and can't share what they most desire for fear or embarrassment, most will gladly tell you if they've had a chance to relax, feel that you're sincere and not judgmental, and perhaps an adult beverage or two is consumed for liquid courage.

Guys, most women cannot reach orgasm vaginally unless you have sufficient girth and length. It's why they fake it. This is entirely fixable even if embarrassing. Regardless most women enjoy other forms of stimulation and can reach orgasm with technique and patience and a sincere desire to please them. There are numerous healthy videos which explain techniques for touching the clitoris or G-spot either manually, with a device, or orally. Don't be shy. Learn instead and become the one that takes care of her.

A lot of guys have stopped acting like attractive alpha males and have become so cowed that they stopped respecting themselves as well as you too. Dressing better, exercising, being assertive but not dominating, being strong and a rock that will care for them, being masculine, you know what women enjoy, you just stopped trying. When around the ones who flirt with you, have you noticed that you act differently? Maybe you're being an alpha male around them, but not her.

Ladies, you know that guys like variety and to have their ego stroked. You just stopped wanting to change things up and to respect them. They desire all kinds of predictable things, but maybe you feel like your self-confidence is lacking and you'll be silly. I doubt it. Most guys actually feel wonderfully surprised and pleased when a lady makes any attempt for novelty at all. Maybe saying naughty things aloud will have the desired effect?

Most of the time you feel exhausted at the end of the day, make yourself plainer but cleaner, then turn in for bed, and stopped trying to entice him. You know that many guys want manual and oral stimulation. It's no different than your own desires. Some guys want forbidden things, and as long as you two carefully negotiate things, you can find some middle ground for trying them. If they hurt, then you're doing something wrong, for seldom is sex about pain. Often it's about one or the other liking the feeling of being momentarily helpless and out of control, and that alone can make sex very exciting.

Losing weight, exercising, eating better, wearing make up to bed like you do when going to work, being playful and attentive, all of the normal alpha female things that got his attention in the first place. You know, the same things that maybe you still do when lightly flirting and teasing at work. You haven't lost the ability.

Both of you have to rely upon each other when situations get rough and even perilous. There won't be anyone else taking care of your tribe, just the two of you. In an economic collapse, you'll be working perhaps three times as hard for meager amounts of food if not prepared. A lot of guys will actually desire more sex because it's stress relief. If you don't work this out now, then if an economic situation worsens then you'll be very unhappy.

If contraception is a concern, as it sometimes impedes sexual pleasure, then you do alternative ways of pleasing one another. There are few times when a woman receives romantic attention, plus a massage, and gets some relief from chores... that she can't still reach orgasm, but it doesn't have to involve penetration, does it?

That means guys that you're doing those things, because if not, then sex is mechanical and really terrible. I don't know about you, but for me when the other person is not excited, it totally blocks me. It make me feel awful and disconnected. The idea is to become one and so close and connected and intimate as if immersed within each other's being. If one person is just vaguely going through the motions, then it's the antithesis of the goal.

Work on making your intimate communication great NOW. The more you do this, and take care of each other's needs, the easier all of preparedness becomes. Then you have secret smiles, moments when you can steal a kiss still, and it's akin to the Fountain of Youth.

Regardless if you think that this isn't a preparedness topic, it is in fact a major preparedness topic for couples. If you're not very connected as friends and lovers then how in world will you cope with the tragedy and possible horror of collapse?

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 01/01/2013 10:53 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
The worst aspect of the Great Depression: abandoned families

Many many men and some women simply walked out the door and never contacted their families or came back during the Great Depression. The overwhelming loss of status created shame. Fortunes were lost, homes were too, people lost their jobs and hence their identity, and they abandoned their families.

You might think that writing about relationships has little to do with preparedness. Actually, I'm severely concerned, because many of you reading this might at some point try to head for a new state, find temporary work there, and then slowly but surely things fall apart back home. The costs of paying for two domiciles, separate food and transportation expenses, leads to loneliness and then coping. Since money is so tight, fewer and fewer opportunities exist to come back home. Often it will be a timing issue, for maybe you have to be back to work, and not only is this cost prohibitive, but also the logistics of getting there and back again in sufficient time unrealistic.

Because you're talking far less, and people get lonely, they tend to cope in poor ways. Attention from anyone is so welcome that affairs happen easily. Because people were stressed when they left each other's company, and because it might have been angry or created great disharmony, then it's actually a relief that the other is gone. It means less stress from their presence and welcome quiet after a hard day.

Lonely neighbors will often exacerbate the situation. They'll put doubt in your head, talk about their own failed marriages, talk about being lonely and praise your qualities, and the next thing you know, perhaps sharing your bed. They might be putting very destructive ideas in your head, right when you're trying to cope economically by the sacrifice of your loved one moving.

There's been many times in history that immigrants moved to a new place, and then sent money home for a time, and then got lost in the new culture. This can happen to anyone. The new place is lonely and yet the newness is exciting, and you get ideas in your head as a single person (in fact if not in actuality).

The SHTF then. The real kind ...and most commonly experienced by couples.

Seldom has any couple in history made more money after a divorce. Most have to settle for far lower standards of living, and the choice to divorce can be ruinous to the plans of both. Even if you meet someone afterward, because they know that you've been in a relationship before, and perhaps they have too, the long decision-making process to separate is well trod by then, and easier to navigate, and suddenly you're divorced again. Then it becomes very difficult to make things work out positively.

Economic collapses or any kind of SHTF scenario will result in terribly disrupted family life. The very best way you can prepare is by being frugal and learning to love one another again and becoming MORE connected than you were when first in love.

Maybe EMP won't happen in our lifetime. Maybe a solar flare will miss us. Maybe the plague will happen many generations hence, but divorce and abandonment can surely happen to anyone at anytime, but particularly when the economic situation is so untenable.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 01/02/2013 12:52 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Understanding bacteria and bacteria counts

Here's a link to a scientific study of thawing meat over a six hour period in a refrigerator, immersed in water, and simply thawed at room temperature. As a control, the frozen meat was measured for bacteria counts as well.

[link to www.kon.org]

The meat that was thawed in water was quite high in contamination, but the meat thawed in air was also very high too. Both are unsafe ways to thaw meat. This is why in a restaurant or in a facility that prepares food for the public, meat is thawed in refrigerators and food is cooked to medium or longer unless specifically asked.

Because in history people used river water to cool things down as a quasi-sort of refrigeration, but river water can be contaminated by agricultural runoff (manure and chemical fertilizer plus pesticides), that's an iffy proposal. Things were probably much safer a long time ago.

In a collapse, there will be few times you have refrigeration. While you may have some limited refrigeration in Winter, it can be very variable based upon location. While making a Zeer pot (see previous postings) will extend the shelf life of certain foods, it won't cool significantly like a refrigerator. Using an unheated attic or digging a root cellar are two previous postings to assist people with refrigeration needs.

It will be fairly common for a large meal to be made in the evening, then consumed, but with leftovers that might probably be eaten in the morning or maybe at lunch. This can be quite bad for your health unless adequately heated. Eating more in the evening instead can be a better coping mechnism.

A stew or soup might serve as a perfect growth medium for bacteria. You don't have perfect heat control like you do with microwave ovens or electric ranges. You most likely are heating things on grills outside, or using a Dakota Hole fire pit, or a rocket stove. Some people will end up cooking on woodstoves. Smart people will learn to use dutch ovens and fire pits. All of these topics have been discussed here.

These often have intense heat, and so food burns easily until people get used to using them. Still, you're wanting to always cook things at a higher heat, because since there's no refrigeration, the bacteria counts is always VERY HIGH. These are abnormal conditions for most people, because we live in an era of very fast food prep.

A recent topic on haybox heating is one historical method of controlling heating rates and makes soups and stews safely. Still they should be consumed right away, and made in small portions versus the normal large batch. It all depends upon the size of your tribe.

One way to do that is by adding boiling water directly to the stew first, then stirring that and cooking it over coals until it boils some and letting the steam evaporate off. If reheating meat, you might set up a steam bath so the steam penetrates the meat. You will not eat rare meat ever.

Cutting meat into small portions means less cooking time and more thoroughly cooks the meat. Since you won't have endless amounts of firewood, it will be unusual to roast meat on a spit, despite thinking that this will be the primary method. Such ways of cooking allow meat to be quite rare in the center and unwise.

Game or livestock meat will be taken at various outside temperatures, but the animal is alive so at much higher temperatures. Then it's usually butchered on site to remove viscera, and it's very easy to accidentally cut innards and taint meat to bacteria (E coli) in the gut. Then of course it's transported to your campsite, and you can have meat exposed to much higher temperatures than you might have imagined, and so the bacteria count gets higher and higher.

It's not just meat, but milk, eggs, all produce, etc will have bacteria on it in some amounts. Remember that botulism spores live in soil. It used to be a very common illness.

Some bacteria even in very low counts is quite toxic. Shigella is often mentioned for the reason.
[link to biology.about.com]

The link above lists the most common food bacteria including symptoms from food poisoning and the food that the bacteria most often infects.

The bacteria study above probably was measuring Salmonella.

The reason that meat in your grocery is short-dated is that the longer the meat sits around on the shelf, even with refrigeration, the higher and higher the bacteria count will get that spoils it. Since you can't taste bacteria, you don't know that you're getting dosed with it.

Because your immune system always suffers when stressed: worry, lack of sleep, lack of calories, poor amounts of vitamins and minerals, etc, PLUS you no longer have refrigeration and varied cooking controls, you're going to have to become very wise about food preparation.

Food poisoning will be common in your tribe. People will do foolish things because of what they're used to doing and getting away with ordinarily. Since food poisoning often spreads from cook to consumer, and then passed along the fecal route from hand to hand, one infection can infect every tribe member.

It also can easily infect your water supply. One careless person who then taints the water jugs because it's their turn to fetch or purify water can make everyone ill. Since you don't want excessive bleach in your water for taste as well as health, you must be careful about drawing water and handling it.

Practice cooking over a fire NOW. Folks that camp a lot encounter things and then it wakes them up. They begin to see issues and usually learn to cope in the field with hygiene. Having a little water with drops of bleach inside a spray bottle allow you to clean up some, but also clean the outside of anything you touch with dirty hands. People are careless when handling food like breaking eggs.

I don't want you to get obsessive-compulsive about washing hands, but learn to be cleaner by carefully using standard operating protocols. It is wisdom to teach children in the kitchen about cleanliness. I know many of you probably have let your children slide on kitchen detail, but that's not a good idea. You are empowering them by teaching them how to take care of everyone. This includes good hunting and fishing practices.

Exploring all of these basic issues: food prep, hygiene, cooking techniques, building fires, making a Zeer pot, butchering, hunting, health and safety, these must be known to each tribe member. The longer you delay in teaching your tribe, the worse it will be for them post-collapse. If they have to wait until then to learn, they will be overwhelmed. If taught these skills (that every child in America knew before 1920) then it will be common practice done routinely, and perhaps even enjoyed as family time. I had great times doing these things in the field and in the kitchen with my children and wife. Chores can be fun if storytelling, joking, teasing, and listening is done at the same time.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 01/02/2013 12:43 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Because taxes are increasing, you need to learn to prep

Now that taxes are increasing, but your wages are staying the same, and inflation is robbing you of food through increased prices and smaller portions, prepping is more important than ever. Get over the idea that prepping seems extreme, and instead do a mind-shift and prep the way YOU think you need to prepare. You might not agree with my spirituality, ethos, manner, whatever. What's important is to learn skills and how to buy supplies. I don't want you to agree with me about some things, I want you to be safe, secure, and happy. Then you will have a higher more life affirming life, even when living on less money.

If you just saw a pay decrease of $50, then you've either got to cut what meager extras you did each week, or learn to do things yourself to save that $50, or you've got to eat more simply, or all of those things plus whatever you can learn on your own. Chances are you can't just work another job or more hours. If you can, at some point that time away from home results in less parenting, less closeness with family, and perhaps issues with your spouse.

Most people have things in their home that they purchased that they don't need. It's Winter now, but in the Spring consider a rummage sale. Sell things that are foolish shiny toys. If you bought them, someone else will too. Don't sell important things that you might need in a collapse, but if you have extra things beyond what is normal and expected, then maybe with guns going from high demand, then perhaps you don't need as many. Be prudent.

If you have a skill, and a buddy or a family member has a need, maybe you can do a trade in labor, materials, or money. Many times a job is too big for one person. Since we all have things in our homes and yard that need to be done, why not volunteer to help them get their task done, and then yours. Even if you don't know how to do something perfectly, can you do it good enough as a substitute (see previous postings)? I think you can as long as you're wise and take your time. Measure twice, cut once. If in doubt, and your skill level is higher, you do the work on critical things, but still teach them so you have extra help. However, no one learns unless they actually take a chance sometimes and do it themselves. Mistakes will happen, even very fine craftsmen make mistakes but they learn to fix them before anyone sees!

Believe me, a small child can still be a great Go-fer (they fetch tools, and learn what they do, and observe techniques, and it can be quality time. There's a great scene in An Unfinished Life where a girl's grandpa teaches her how to repair a truck by simply being his Go-fer. Then though not close at all, they become real family.


Real prepping is about learning ways to be frugal, having more quality family life, being close to the Earth and God, and building self-confidence. Yes, some preppers have ideas about why the world is the way it is, and you're not going to always agree with them about those beliefs. In the meantime, you can learn a lot of valuable things.

If I teach you how to save $500 a year, just think how long it would have taken to earn that money. Chances are if you learn how to fix something, it didn't just save you $500, it saved you money over and over again until the end of your days.

I'm a meat eater. Still despite that, I have an appreciation for vegetarian cooking because people throughout history ate simply, and because of that they learned how to use spices and flavors to create inexpensive meals. Sometimes they really taste great. Like stuffed shells:


Learning some new recipes expands your cooking skills, exposes you to new ingredients, and you might end up modifying the recipe, or make your own based upon those flavors, or even like it. I add spinach to the stuffed shells recipe and this improves the nutrition for minimal expense and maybe I have spinach in the garden.

Prepping is never about doing pointless things, but doing practical things that help us live now. Most people think it's about storing up food for Armageddon. NO! It's about eating better now, building strength, learning to grow it, improving one's life, having more financial security.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
In an emergency, you don't assume anything

Real life is not like reel life in the movies. There a brooding hero makes snap decisions because the marketing team working with a director and script writer want demographic appeal to individuals so that their entertainment is commercially successful.

In real life, teamwork is crucial and communicated out loud. If people have ideas and then react to their ideas, the other team members have no idea what they're going to do. That unpredictability will get people killed by accident and unnecessarily.

Not every person approaching in an emergency is the enemy. Most are probably severely disoriented by lack of food, sleep, stress, and have seen violent things happen that they never imagined. Think instead of panicky people running around randomly and purposelessly, and that's more akin to the initial situation.

Because some of your tribe members are armed and new to the group dynamics, they'll react as if still in control of their lives and not thinking of the best ways for the group to respond. You'll have to totally reteach them, and insist upon people explaining what they're doing.

Make people look at you and tell you what they're thinking of doing. Their words, manner, and eye contact will reveal a lot under stress about their true intentions even if unaware themselves.

Some people will be very angry on your team or not, and will seek revenge because of the release of emotion. I can't think of a more volatile situation than that. It could get a lot of people hurt, and in a collapse, loss of a valuable teammate is lethal to everyone. Imagine if your healer gets injured or your chief agricultural person, or engineer? Most of the team will have some crucial skill and you can't afford to lose any of them.

In time, you'll develop an standard operating protocol (SOP) for handing a situation, and that will evolve based upon the experience level of the group in security and in military training. Since maybe one in ten actually used their basic training skills in those areas, a lot of people won't have practical experience in soldiering. Don't assume, “Oh, they're a Marine, they know what to do.” They may have been a quartermaster or clerk in transport, not a gunnery sergeant, and don't really know what to do at all. They also may have pulled duty in a very quiet area with no real risks at all.

Some older soldiers may have experience, but they might not be good communicators. Others may be be too old to remember what to do, despite being in firefights.

Most people feel wretched when they're forced to use a weapon against another. Because you might feel uneasy and because one person can get hyped up the whole group, you have to help de-stress the group by talking both individually and together as teammates. One person can infect the group with any emotion. Talking helps to defuse it. You have to build in time for this.

When encountering strangers, it's not great for lots of people to be simultaneously talking to them. It's disorienting and confusing. Usually in social situations someone is the alpha leader and speaks for many, and then slowly you get to know others. This is a good plan.

Imagine a stranger speaking a foreign language and the communication issues and misunderstandings. Since a lot of people have cultural differences, something similar could happen, and what is normal in one place is totally abnormal and even hostile during an emergency.

When meeting strangers and not knowing their intentions, you have to assume that they might be a probe. They're deliberately coming in for intel, and because in a disaster a lot of people are hungry for information, they might also give up valuable intel to strangers because they assume they're friendly. DUMB DUMB DUMB. In minutes very critical information can be transmitted that put everyone in jeopardy. You must isolate strangers to a trusted group who will monitor them and ascertain their true intentions.

Don't also assume that everyone is out to get you by being paranoid. Most of the time, people will be lost and seeking help. They might have valuable skills but poor communicators. They might know something that really helps your tribe, and if so and they're good people, they could strengthen your tribe.

A good leader in a tribe needs a confidant or adviser. If you keep all your ideas locked up inside, then you won't have a chance to bounce them off another. This has to be someone you trust implicitly with your life and who is utterly discrete. If they breathe a word of what you're thinking, it will spread like wildfire and become your position in fact. Maybe that's a plan for five years down the road, but now it's taken on a life of its own. Because it may take a long time to carefully negotiate and persuade people of a new idea, you could ruin your own ideas if communicated too early before the group is ready and able to follow through.

Most disasters are not times when security is paramount. People need help, and because you've had some training, some aspect of your skills might be very useful to save lives. However don't assume that you or they know what to do. Find the team leader who's ramrodding the job (see previous postings). Work with them to see what they want accomplished. Dovetail that with your ability and skill level. They're carefully managing group dynamics to get the most work done, help the most people, and keep everyone safe.

In a disaster, people often do foolish heroics because they saw it on TV or in a film. I'll tell you that a lot of times, rescuers need to be rescued. There's a heroic scene in End of Watch where many children are saved. Yeah it's a brave thing they did, but they entered a raging fire without breathing masks and of course got burned and one was panicking and they could have died of smoke inhalation easily. Don't assume you can wing it. Be brave but use teamwork.

Fire will be a very common issue post-collapse, and you'll need trained experts with experience who will reestablish fire control again. This means learning what to do and not assuming. Otherwise it's a just a random mess as people do what they think is right.
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Processed cheese: should you be eating it?

I've included many links from across the spectrum (for, neutral, and against) concerning processed cheese.

Some processed cheese has a good shelf life. That's a consideration for some preppers. Since people don't have cows or goats, and often no access to someone who does, then in the event of a collapse, getting the casein proteins and calcium is an issue (see previous postings).

You should know instinctively that cheese is not really a health food. However it is a good survival food, and delicious. Any food with high fat content helps since it produces twice the number of calories per gram versus protein or carbs.

However a lot of food has odd additives in order to preserve it, or simply because it lowers the cost of the food in manufacturing. Personally I'd rather eat real cheese. Real cheese is expensive since it's concentrated food. It means it's a treat to eat it occasionally, and as such by eating in moderation quite safe.

I don't know about processed food. I definitely think some processed cheese has a place for prepping and survival because it's stable at room temperature.

Whey is a valuable protein. See previous postings on it. It will lead to good muscle growth after exercise.

On the other hand, there is also imitation cheese which is actually nothing more than flavored soybean oil. I wouldn't eat that if you paid me. You have to ask yourself, “Would you drink from your soybean oil container for a meal?” I doubt it. Knowing that, why waste money on it?

Reading labels to learn the nutritional value and using good critical thinking is vital to prepping.

Here's some links so you can make an informed decision. Probably some people should avoid it and processed food in general.

Sources:
[link to junkfoodscience.blogspot.com]
[link to food-safety.knoji.com]
[link to pubs.acs.org]
[link to en.wikipedia.org]
[link to www.msu.edu (secure)]
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Urban Homesteading

Here's a great award winning video on urban homesteading. They are remarkably successful on 1/10 of an acre. What one person can do, another can do. Realize though that while they transformed really terrible soil, it took 20 years.

Why are you still waiting? Make some small effort now.



Here's their website.
[link to urbanhomestead.org]

It's a very sweet empowering film.

Last Edited by Don'tBeAfraid on 01/02/2013 01:17 PM
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Re: Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Is this a working inexpensive crystall cell battery?

[link to peswiki.com]

There's been on-going interest in crystal cells since John Hutchenson first discussed them. While the process of course has not been revealed, it has been independently verified by seven witnesses.

Many things can happen which interfere with a product going to market, however it is exciting news.

It is possible that one day experimenters could produce their own ecologically friendly batteries by growing them. Then these could power small devices without high amperage needs.

It would eliminate our need perhaps on rare earth metals, we don't know yet, and these are very polluting for landfills. This would help by not polluting groundwater as well.

Such an idea has merit for rural people of all kinds.

There are many people experimenting with the idea. If we could develop them locally from common materials, it would significantly affect billons of lives.

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