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All posts for the month March, 2014

Earthquake Damage - Cracks In The Earth - Photo by Martin Luff

By Michael Snyder

Why are fault lines and volcanoes all over North and South America suddenly waking up?  Are we moving into a time when major earthquakes and volcanic eruptions will become much more common?  For the past several decades, we have been extremely fortunate to have experienced a period of extremely low seismic activity along the west coast of the United States.  You see, the west coast lies right along the infamous Ring of Fire.  Approximately 75 percent of all the volcanoes in the world are on the Ring of Fire, and approximately 90 percent of all global earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire.  Scientists tell us that it is inevitable that “the Big One” will hit California someday, but people have gotten very apathetic about this because things have been so quiet out there for so many years.  Well, now it appears that things are changing in a big way – and not just along the California coast.  The following are 12 signs that something big is happening to the earth’s crust under North and South America…

#1 The 5.1 earthquake that shook Los Angeles on Friday was the worst earthquake that the city had seen in many years.

#2 Following that earthquake, there were more than 100 aftershocks.

#3 A 4.1 earthquake shook Los Angeles on Saturday.  Scientists are hoping that this earthquake swarm in southern California will end soon.

#4 Earlier this month, a 4.4 earthquake rattled Los Angeles so badly that it caused news anchors to dive under their desks.

#5 A 6.9 earthquake just off the coast of northern California in early March was the largest earthquake to hit the west coast of the United States since 2010.

#6 Up in Oregon, Mt. Hood recently experienced more than 100 earthquakes over the course of just a few days.

#7 During the past month, there have also been some other very unusual geologic events that have been happening up in Oregon

  • Two large landslides – one in the Columbia River Gorge dumped about 2,000 cubic yards of rock and debris on highway I84 just 3 miles west of the Hood River, and another blocked US30 near Portland.
  • Loud booms and ground shaking reported by people from Lincoln to Tillamook Counties; some reported hearing a rumble, as well (No earthquakes recorded by the USGS in the area at the time.)
  • A 20 ft. deep sinkhole swallowed a woman and her dog in her Portland backyard.

#8 A 4.8 earthquake rattled Yellowstone National Park on Sunday, and there have been at least 25 earthquakes at Yellowstone since Thursday.

#9 Scientists recently discovered that the Yellowstone supervolcano is now releasing far more helium gas than they had anticipated.

#10 Over the past month, there have been more than 130 earthquakes in the state of Oklahoma.  This is highly unusual.

#11 There have been several dozen earthquakes in Peru over the past month, including a 6.3 earthquake that made headlines all over the globe.

#12 Earlier this month, the northern coast of Chile was hit by more than 300 earthquakes in a seven day stretch.  41 of those earthquakes were stronger than magnitude 4.5.

Fortunately, the quake that hit Los Angeles on Friday did not cause too much lasting injury.  But it sure did shake people up.  The following is how the Los Angeles Times described the damage…

The quake, centered near La Habra, caused furniture to tumble, pictures to fall off walls and glass to break. Merchandise fell off store shelves, and there were reports of plate glass windows shattered.

In Brea, several people suffered minor injuries during a rock slide that overturned their car. Fullerton reported seven water main breaks. Carbon Canyon Road was closed.

Residents across Orange and Los Angeles counties and the Inland Empire reported swinging chandeliers, fireplaces dislodging from walls and lots of rattled nerves. The shake caused a rock slide in Carbon Canyon, causing a car to overturn, according to the Brea Police Department.

Why this particular earthquake is of such concern is because it occurred along the Puente Hills fault line.  According to one seismologist, this is the fault line that would be most likely to “eat L.A.”

Experts said that the earthquakes occurred on the Puente Hills thrust fault, which stretches from the San Gabriel Valley to downtown Los Angeles.

Last night’s quake was shallow, which ‘means the shaking is very concentrated in a small area,’ said Caltech seismologist Egill Hauksson.

Hauksson revealed that the earthquake was unusual because the 5.1 quake was preceded by the weaker foreshock.

Scientists such as Hauksson are very concerned about the Puente Hills fault because it runs directly under downtown Los Angeles.

This is the fault that could eat L.A.,’ seismologist Sue Hough told The LA Times in 2003.

The fact that this fault appears to be waking up is really bad news.

According to seismologists, a major earthquake along this fault line could cause hundreds of billions of dollars of damage

Video simulations of a rupture on the Puente Hills fault system show how energy from a quake could erupt and be funneled toward L.A.’s densest neighborhoods, with the strongest waves rippling to the west and south across the Los Angeles Basin.

According to estimates by the USGS and Southern California Earthquake Center, a massive quake on the Puente Hills fault could kill from 3,000 to 18,000 people and cause up to $250 billion in damage. Under this worst-case scenario, people in as many as three-quarters of a million households would be left homeless.

For years, we have watched as the rest of the Ring of Fire has been absolutely ravaged by major seismic events.

We all remember the earthquakes that caused the Indonesian tsunami of 2004 and the Japanese tsunami of 2011.

And the world mourned when major earthquakes devastated New Zealand, Chile, Peru, Japan and the Philippines.

Scientists assured us that it was only a matter of time before the west coast started to become seismically active again, and now it is happening.

If you live on the west coast, I hope that you will consider these things very carefully.

Just because the earth under your feet has been relatively quiet for a very long time does not mean that it will always be that way.

Something big appears to be happening to the earth’s crust, and you won’t want to be in the “danger zone” when things finally break loose.

More at The Economic Collapse: 12 Signs That Something Big Is Happening To The Earth’s Crust Under North And South America

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HowToFindWater

Water is obviously a critical supply you need to have in order to live. Water more than food is required if you are going to survive and we talk a lot on survival blogs like the Prepper Journal about how to handle the water once you get it. If your water isn’t clean, we discuss how to filter or treat the water to make it drinkable. We have talked about transporting water to your location or carrying water in something like your Bug Out Bag. We have additionally talked about filtering water that you collect in rain barrels, but what if you are in a survival situation and you have no source of water. Knowing how to find water is perhaps just as important as knowing how to treat water before you drink it.

Water is the most abundant resource on this planet in terms of sheer volume, but fresh drinking water is not as easy to come by. Although the earth is covered in oceans, freshwater sources are a little harder to find and as a society, we have come to rely on water treatment stations to pump the majority of what we drink. Many rural locations rely on well water, but that is also pumped from deep underground. If you are in a survival situation it will be very unlikely that you would be able to drill a well and find a source of water. Obviously, if you are in a fixed location this is always a possibility, but for the rest of us water can be found and this post will go into both Urban and natural settings where you can find sources of water.

Water Basics

The human body needs approximately one gallon per day in average conditions for hydration and hygiene. You could of course skip a bath, but you still need a steady supply of water or you will become dehydrated. Go without water too long and you die so we want to make sure that doesn’t happen. We will mostly cover how to find water in the wild in this section, not how to treat water.

Snow and Ice – Depending on your location, you may have water all around you at certain times of the year. If you are where there is snow and ice, you can melt as much water as you need. Two things to remember with this is that heating snow for drinking water is very fuel intense so if this is your main plan for survival, expect to use a lot of wood or energy to heat that snow. Many of you have eaten snow as kids; I know I did but you can’t do this for long or else your body temperature drops as the cold water chills your inside. I saw a documentary one time where a family was hiking and became lost in a snow blizzard. The mother who was breastfeeding an infant at the time was eating snow to stay hydrated and provide milk for the baby. She died because the snow reduced her body temperature so much. Melt the snow if you are going to drink it.

Ground – How many of you have heard the hiking adage that if you are lost you want to make your way downhill, then down river as all rivers flow to a town. Bear Grylls used to say that on just about every show he was in the mountains. Well, I don’t know if all rivers do lead to a town, which would hopefully get you in contact with people who could help you, but I do know that water flows to the lowest spot. If you are in the mountains, make your way down and unless you are in a desert, you will start running into places where water runoff accumulates, forms trickles, then streams, then rivers. I think that in the wild you should have plenty of sources to find water and you can even find drinking water in a tree. Make sure that any water you drink is treated first obviously.

Desert – Deserts are a little trickier as they don’t normally have water on a good day. It is possible to find water though without eating any elephant dung. Deserts get rain from time to time; it’s just so infrequent that the water sinks down, runs off or evaporates before long. In deserts you can dig along creek beds for water that could be a couple of feet underground. You could also build a solar still. The video below shows how to do this.

 

If that isn’t an option, you could wrap a clear plastic bag over the leaves of a bush or tree to collect condensation, but I don’t believe you would get enough water to live like this and it’s much better if you are lost, to make your way out of the desert as quickly as possible.  Regardless, here is another video that shows that method as well.

Rainwater – If you can collect rainwater, I think this is probably the easiest and safest way to find water but it isn’t without its own drawbacks. First of all, it has to rain and as you know even the weather men can’t predict when that will happen with complete accuracy. Waiting on rain could take weeks and if you are thirsty, that will be too long. You also need a method to capture the rain also. You can’t just stick a gallon jug outside and expect that bad boy to be filled up. Collecting rainwater for survival requires rain, a large collection surface and a big bucket.

Providing you have these things, a relatively small amount of rainfall can allow you to collect an amazing amount of water. Our home is set up with two rain barrels and I have filled each barrel up with a single rainfall before. For situations where you have a base location you are staying in, collecting rainwater for survival makes the most sense to me.

Dew – You can also collect water from the dew in the morning, but like the solar still and the clear bag methods above, I don’t think these are realistically going to give you enough water to last a day. They may be worst case scenario options, but if you are going to survive, you need a reliable source of abundant water.

Finding Water in Urban Environments

Drain the water from your water heater in emergency situations.

One advantage of trying to find water in an urban environment as opposed to the wild is that we pipe a bazillion gallons of water into our cities every day and unless it is used, we store it in pipes and reservoirs in almost every house, shack, building and complex.

You can start in your own home. Even if the water has been shut off, you will have a lot of water still inside the walls of your house. The back of the toilets have at least a gallon and a half each. Your water heater will have 30-60 gallons. The actual pipes in your house will still have many gallons stored in them and you can access it simply by opening the tap in the highest part of your home, like the second floor and gravity will allow the water trapped in the pipes to flow out the bottom taps.

Most of us already have the home sources identified, but what about water in other locations? I wrote a post a few days back trying to point out what in my mind where the differences between looting and scavenging. At least one of our readers had strong feelings on that subject, but in this case where you need water for survival, there would be many more places that could be abandoned that could offer potential for water also.

Large manufacturing plants have water reservoirs on the roofs in some cases for their fire systems. Even if they don’t like the pipes in your home, sprinkler systems are loaded with water that could be used in an emergency. Before I get any nasty grams about this, the usual caveats apply. I am talking about a grid-down, SHTF scenario where your life depends on having a source of water and there is nobody presently using or occupying this structure. Even that isn’t clear enough… I don’t mean to break into anyone’s home and steal their water if they are home.

Sprinkler systems are much trickier than other sources and the kind you can see above your head are easier than the ones buried underground. We have other sources like water towers, fire hydrants, break room water coolers, swimming pools, hot tubs, fountains, aquarium tanks, air conditioning evaporator traps, water fire extinguishers and on and on. Essentially, there should be a lot of places to find water, but we may have to try a little harder if the world has gone to hell in a hand basket and of course all the sources should be treated first before drinking.

What not to drink

The following items shouldn’t ever be consumed as a water replacement and as much as I respect Bear Grylls, I have to agree with the second item on this list.

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Urine
  • Blood
  • Seawater

I hope that gives you some ideas for water sources if you are ever faced with survival scenario that you need to find water. I hope even more so that you never are. Maybe in your list of prepper supplies, it would be good to have a hacksaw and a pipe wrench too. You never know…

This information has been made available by The Prepper Journal: Survival: How To Find Water

body-armor

By Ken Jorgustin

Is it legal to own body armor in the U.S.?

Yes, it is widely legal to wear and purchase body armor. As long as you are a U.S. citizen living in the country and a NON-FELON, you can own body armor.

Apparent exceptions…
Residents of Connecticut are prohibited from buying body armor.

Here’s more about body armor…

Who can buy body armor

Unless you live in Connecticut, it is generally the case that law-abiding citizens are legally allowed to purchase and wear body armor. However do your due-diligence and seek advice regarding your locality.

When purchasing body armor, a background or criminal history is NOT run on the individual buying the body armor. That means that it is your responsibility to be sure that you are legally allowed to purchase body armor. If you are caught with body armor and have a felony criminal record, you will be held responsible for owning the body armor and will have to accept any and all consequences. Just saying…

 

Types of body armor

Kevlar provides exceptional protection to ballistic threats. Worn regularly by a diverse range of individuals, vests of this material can stop a variety of bullets- from shotgun, to .44 magnum rounds.

Laminated Kevlar provides additional protection by also being stab and spike resistant against improvised weapons such as knives, shanks, and stabbing attacks with things like tools or broken bottles, etc.

Ballistic plates… ceramic, polyethylene, or steel body armor plates fitted in plate carrier vests can offer the highest protection including rifle rounds.
Not all body armor offers the same protection, and it is important to remember that nothing is entirely “bulletproof”. There will always be great danger in these types of situations.

Having said that, generally, a highly recommended level of armor protection is “Level IIIa” or even better — “Level III (hard body armor)”.

Level III body armor is designed to protect against rifle calibers up to 7.62×51 or .308 Winchester at a velocity of 2780 ft/s, as well as all lower level calibers.

 

Levels of body armor

All body armor products are categorized into one of six levels.
Protection begins at Level I which offers the least amount of protection and increases to Level IV which offers the most amount of protection.

General description…

Type I
(.22 LR; .380 ACP)

Type IIa
(9 mm; .40 S&W; .45 ACP)

Type II
(9 mm; .357 Magnum)

Type IIIa
(.357 SIG; .44 Magnum)

Type III
(Rifles, e.g. 7.62×51mm NATO M80 ball)

Type IV
(Armor Piercing Rifle, e.g. .30-06 M2 (AP) Springfield)

Continue reading article here at Modern Survival Blog: Body Armor


 

 

The Importance of Illumination in Your Preps

How important is light?  Well, in the Bible, on the  first day, the very first thing God created was light. This signifies exactly how vital a role illumination plays in  any situation.

Any person who has ever moved from the city to the country can agree, there is no darkness quite like that of being in a place where there are no streetlights, no neon signs, no car headlights, and no light from nearby houses.

When we first moved far away from the city to our little cabin in the woods, the darkness there was of an entirely different variety from city darkness. I’ll never forget the first evening when the moon was hiding. It was a cloudy night that also hid the stars and the blackness was almost palpable. I had stepped outside to take the dog out for her last walk of the evening, and even she was disconcerted by the thick darkness. You literally couldn’t see your fingers waving in front of your face. I like the night – the stillness of it, the rustling music of the nocturnal world going about its business – but when you suddenly become essentially blind, it can make you feel a little panicked or afraid. You can’t see, but you wonder what is out there that can see you. Multiply that feeling greatly if you are in a situation that is already dangerous or unfamiliar, and then you can start to contemplate how vitally important to your psyche a reliable source of light will be in a crisis scenario.

This was the kind of darkness experienced more than a year ago when Hurricane Sandy took out the power in New York City.  The city that never sleeps was suddenly cast into the same kind of pitch blackness as you would find in the middle of a forest on an overcast night.

The extreme darkness wrought psychological havoc on many people.  Not only were children afraid, but adults found the complete blackness of the nights to be disconcerting at the very least.  Crime went up when people realized they had the complete cover of a pitch black night.  Instead of being a restful time, night became something to endure until the sun came up.  Small tasks were difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish once the sun went down.  For those who had flashlights or candles, those light sources soon ran out as the crisis extended into yet another day without power.  Add the darkness to the lack of power, heat, and sanitation facilities, and it made a terrible situation even harder to endure for many.

northeast-blackout_10825192

Psychologically speaking, light should be near the top of your list for preps.  Although most adults would be loathe to admit it, nearly everyone is unsettled in complete darkness. This fear is not necessarily irrational.  It may be somewhat ingrained in our DNA, as many predators are nocturnal. It isn’t always so much a fear of the darkness itself, but more a fear of the unexpected: you can’t see what is out there in the blackness with you.  You have lost one of the senses that you rely on the most to assess impending danger – your vision.

You should have several different sources of light included in your preparedness supplies.  Some of the sources should be easily renewable, in the event that a situation exceeds your supply of replacement batteries.  Here is a list of a few alternative light sources to consider adding to your preps:

  • Flashlights 
  • LED penlights
  • Headlamp for the ability to light a task hands-free
  • Solar garden stakes: Charge them outdoors during the day and put them in vases throughout the house at night
  • Oil lamp (you can burn used cooking oil in an oil lamp)
  • Kerosene or propane fueled lamps
  • Solar lanterns
  • Hand crank flashlights 
  • Hand crank lanterns
  • Candles
  • Heat sources like fireplaces or glass-fronted wood stoves provide a little glow on a cold night
  • Push lights (the kind you put in closets)
  • Night vision goggles (pricy but extremely worthwhile in a long-term situation)

For children consider toys that offer a soft light when hugged (remember Glo-worm?)  This allows them the comfort of control over light when they feel afraid. You don’t want to give them a light they might accidentally leave on as they fall asleep, using up valuable battery life, nor would most parents want to leave a child in the room with a candle or oil lamp because of the risk of fire.  A reader had the awesome suggestion of stocking up on dollar store “glow bracelets” or “glow sticks” for children.  They don’t give off an enormous amount of light but kids would enjoy the novelty and the items will most likely last long enough to allow your youngsters to fall asleep.

Some complimentary supplies to keep on hand along with your alternative lighting sources:

  • Batteries
  • Rechargeable batteries and solar charging device
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Lighters and matches

Be sure to keep your supplies where they are easy to find in the dark. We don’t always have a warning before a power outage occurs, although when a bad storm blows up you might want to consider having your alternative light sources at the ready.  When my daughter and I spent a winter in a little cabin in the north woods of Canada, we lost power so frequently that we kept candles and a box of matches out as part of the “decor” in every room in the house. We also had flashlights in the top drawers of our end tables.  It was a quick thing to immediately be able to supply light when the electricity failed.

Depending on the situation, you might not want your home to be the only one in the neighborhood that is well-lit.  Consider having supplies to cover your windows so that your home is not a beacon to those who are less prepared.  Blackout curtains or heavy duty garbage bags duct taped to the windows can keep most of the light contained.

Proper lighting is one of the most psychologically vital preps that you can make.  Being scared of the dark isn’t just for kids.

This article first appeared at The Organic Prepper: Let There Be Light: The Importance of Illumination in Your Preps

 
About the author:
Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca

many uses for salt

By Tricia Drevets

When you spill some salt, do you toss a pinch over your left shoulder? If so, you are passing down to your family a legend that reflects the importance of this now common kitchen staple to our culture.

Salt was such an expensive and desired commodity in civilizations past that spilling some was thought to be bad luck. Leonardo D Vinci even depicts Judas Iscariot knocking over some table salt in his painting of The Last Supper. According to superstition, if you toss a pinch of spilled salt over your shoulder, you could ward off any ill effects.

Used as both a religious offering and as a valuable trade commodity, salt and the history of man have been intertwined for thousands of years. In fact, the Latin word for “salt” – “salarium” — is the basis for our word “salary.” Records show that the ancient Greeks exchanged salt for slaves, a practice that caused the expression “not worth his salt” to be coined.

Salt, which has the chemical name sodium chloride, occurs naturally in many parts of the world with seawater as its most plentiful source. It is the most widely used food preservative in the world and is an essential element to the diet of humans, animals and many plants. Readily available and inexpensive today, you probably have one or two familiar looking 26-ounce circular cardboard cartons on your pantry shelf.

As you look to simplify your lifestyle by finding multiple purposes for items in your home, you may be surprised to discover that salt can do much more than flavor your food. We’ve put together a list of some of the many ways you can put salt to work for your family.

A grand encyclopedia of country lore…

1. Cleaning agent. Salt’s abrasive structure works well as a cleaning agent either by itself or in tandem with other natural products such as white vinegar or baking soda. Here are a few ideas:

  • Sprinkle salt on spillovers inside the oven. The salt will help to lessen smoke and smell and, when the mess has cooled, it will be easier to clean away.
  • To effectively scour pots and pans, make a paste of salt, baking soda and dish soap. This paste also works on appliances, enamel and porcelain.
  • Help prevent grease buildup in your drain by regularly pouring salt mixed with hot water down your kitchen sink.
  • Remove water rings left from beverage glasses or hot plates on your wood tables by gently rubbing a mixture of vegetable oil and salt on the white marks.
  • Mixing salt with dish soap can boost its effectiveness in removing those stubborn coffee and tea stains from cups.
  • Clean your cutting board by scrubbing it with a stiff brush and a solution of salt and white vinegar. Rinse with hot water.
  • Clean and deodorize the inside of your refrigerator with a natural mixture of salt and soda water.
  • Get the yucky smell out of kitchen sponges by soaking them overnight in a saltwater solution.

2. Personal care. Gargling with warm water mixed with salt can help to soothe a sore throat and mouth sores. Salt also is useful in other areas of health and hygiene.

Try making your own natural toothpaste by mixing together one part salt and two parts baking soda. While we are on the subject of teeth, you can extend the life of your toothbrush by soaking it in salt water before you use it the first time.

3. Bug problems.  Ants will steer clear of salt. Sprinkle some salt on window sills or in doorways where you have seen ants. Salt also is useful in soothing the pain of a bee sting. Moisten the area and place a small pile of salt on it for quick relief. Try a poultice of salt and olive oil to help get rid of the discomfort and itch of mosquito bites.

Story continues below video

4. Cooking helper:  Here are some other ways a little shaker of salt can be a big helper in the kitchen:

  • The next time you are peeling potatoes or apples, try dropping them in a pot of lightly salted water to keep their color fresh until you are ready to cook or serve them.
  • Take a tip from cheese makers. Prevent mold growth on cheese by wrapping it in a cloth moistened with saltwater before putting it in the refrigerator.
  • Soak pecans and walnuts in a salt water solution for a few hours to make it easier to remove their shells.
  • Baking a cake? Add a pinch of salt to the bowl when you are beating egg whites or whipping cream for quicker and firmer peaks.
  • Similarly, adding a pinch of salt to your cake icing will help keep it smooth.
  • Keep a box of salt handy near the stove or barbecue grill. Water will serve to splatter burning grease, but salt will help to smother the fumes in the event of a grease flare-up.  Here’s another fire tip: By dousing a fireplace fire with salt, you not only can safely extinguish flames before retiring for the night, you also will have less soot and mess to clean up later.

5. Weed killer. Get rid of those annoying weeds that spring up in the cracks of your sidewalk, driveway or patio by spreading salt between the cracks, then sprinkling the area with water.  A mixture of three pounds of salt with a gallon of soapy water applied with a sprayer can even kill poison ivy.  Just be sure to avoid your other plants and flowers.

6. Shoe freshener. Got stinky canvas shoes? Avoid the expense of commercial shoe deodorizers by sprinkling salt inside your canvas shoes and leaving it there to soak up moisture and to absorb odor overnight.

7. Laundry. Blot up spills of wine, grape juice or ketchup on your tablecloth and then immediately cover the stain with a pile of salt to help pull the liquid away from the fabric. Then soak the tablecloth in cold water for about 30 minutes before laundering as usual. This method also works on similar stains, including those caused by blood, on clothing.

Adding salt to your laundry detergent can help remove sweat stains from clothing as well as the odor of sweat from your family’s work or exercise clothes. If you have hard water, salt can help cut down on all the extra detergent suds you probably get as well.

Here’s a way salt can help when red wine or grape juice is spilled on your carpet. While the red wine is still wet, pour some club soda on it to dilute the color. Now blot with a clean cloth and cold water. Sprinkle the entire area with salt and wait about ten minutes before vacuuming.

You also can use salt to help prevent color fading in new sheets and towels. By adding a quarter cup of salt to the first two or three washes, you can help set the vibrant colors of the fabric so that they will not bleed or fade. Later on, you help revive colors by laundering sheets, towels or washable rugs in a saltwater solution.

At little more than 50 cents for a 26-ounce package and even less expensive in bulk quantities, salt can be a powerful helper around your home.

Know of other ways to use salt? Let us know in the comments below. 

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This article first appeared at Off The Grid News: 7 Remarkable Off-Grid Uses For Salt

Empty Supermarket - Photo by Infrogmation

By Michael Snyder

In the event that a major crisis or emergency strikes the United States, you are not going to be able to eat your gold and silver.  If we get into a situation where supermarkets get cleaned out and food supplies get very tight, you are going to wish that you had stored some things away for your family.  Now don’t get me wrong – I actually love gold and silver.  I believe that they are both going to multiply in price during the years ahead.  I particularly love silver for a couple of reasons.  Unlike gold, silver is used in thousands upon thousands of different consumer products, so the physical supply is constantly diminishing.  And historically, silver comes out of the ground at about a 10 to 1 ratio compared to gold, but right now the price of gold is about 65 times the price of silver.  At some point there is going to be a massive adjustment there.  But if you just rely on accumulating gold and silver and you never store up any food, you could end up deeply regretting that choice someday.

If things get bad enough, people are not going to want to trade you their precious food no matter how much gold and silver you may have.

When a real crisis arrives, priorities change very rapidly.  When you realize that you can’t feed your family, the need for basic supplies become extremely important.  Just check out what is happening in Venezuela right now

Alvaro Villarueda starts his morning the same way every day — putting in a call to his friend who has a friend who works at a Caracas, Venezuela, supermarket.

Today, he’s looking for sugar, and he’s asking his friend if he knows if any shipments have arrived. As he talks on the phone, his wife Lisbeth Nello, is in the kitchen.

There are 10 mouths to feed every day in this family — five of them children. The two youngest are still in diapers.

“The things that are the scarcest are actually what we need the most,” Nello says. “Flour, cooking oil, butter, milk, diapers. I spent last week hunting for diapers everywhere. The situation is really tough for basic goods.”

And the truth is that what is happening in Venezuela is just a very small preview of what is going to happen in much of the world during the years ahead.

In such an environment, people become extremely desperate, and desperate people do desperate things.

That is why self-defense needs to be another high priority for preppers.  When desperate people in search of supplies get desperate enough to break into your home, things can get Medieval very rapidly.

For example, one homeowner in Detroit was recently forced to use a hammer to confront a man that had broken into his home late at night…

Police say an elderly man fended off a home intruder by hitting him on the head with a hammer.

On Sunday, March 9, 82-year-old George Bradford was asleep when he was woken up by the screams of his daughter and granddaughter.

Someone had broken into their house through a basement window.

“I could hear him walking up the stairs. … I had my choice to get ready,” Bradford tells FOX 2′s Andrea Isom. He says he went into the kitchen and got a hammer from the drawer.

Bradford says he asked the intruder to leave but he wouldn’t so that’s when Bradford says he “let him have it.”

Could something similar happen to you and your family when things start really getting crazy out there?

That is something to think about.

And even without a major emergency, food supplies in this country are already starting to get tighter.

The size of the U.S. cattle herd has been getting smaller for seven years in a row, and it is now the smallest size that it has been since 1951.

But back in 1951, the size of the U.S. population was less than half of what it is today.

A few days ago, we learned that during the month of February the price of beef increased at the fastest pace since November 2003, and it is now at a new all-time record high.

Earlier today, one of my readers sent me the following photo.  It shows a price of $24.32 for 0.695 pounds of beef tenderloin steak.  This isn’t even prime rib…

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And don’t think that you are just going to switch to pork either.  A highly contagious virus known as “Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus” has killed more than 4 million pigs in the United States since last May, and it continues to spread rapidly.  Experts acknowledge that this is going to drive up pork prices significantly as well.

In addition, the crippling California drought threatens to drive fruit and vegetable prices up to unprecedented levels.  Below, I have posted a recent video news report about the drought.  As you will notice, in this clip they use the term “Dust Bowl” to describe what many farmers fear may be happening…

So now is the time to get prepared while food prices are still relatively low.

They certainly aren’t going to go any lower than they are now.

To some, this type of talk is “gloom and doom”, but I do not believe that is the case at all.  I believe that there is great hope in understanding what is happening and in getting prepared.

These sentiments were echoed by a Canadian prepper named Daisy Luther in one of her recent articles…

Preparedness: It means that whatever may come, you intend to not only grimly survive, but to thrive. It means that you foresee a day when the imminent threat, whatever that may be, diminishes, and you will rebuild. It means that you have taken responsibility for yourself and your family, and that you will not be forced to rely on others. It means that your mind is focused on life itself, not some imaginary life of some reality star that actually has no grasp on reality whatsoever. You have chosen not to be misguided by the lies that the media uses to pacify you.

Preparing yourself is the most optimistic and hopeful thing you can do in a world that would prefer to choose immediate gratification over a firm grasp on reality. Readying yourself to deal with whatever might happen is a joyful act, an expression of gratitude to the Creator, peace made tangible, and the personification of faith itself.

So what do you think?

Is now the time to ramp up our preparation for the years ahead?

Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…

More at The American DreamYou Can’t Eat Gold And Silver

Solar technician installing a solar panel

By David Glenn

Before the adjective “green” was used to describe the modern environmentalist movement, the color had a more monetary association. Hey, green may be the color of nature, but it’s also the color of money, and for your average person, the later plays a more significant day-to-day role than the former. But that doesn’t mean that the two are mutually exclusive! Take solar power, for example. It’s a clean, renewable, and—for all intents and purposes—inexhaustible energy source that can also just happen to save you loads of cash. In essence, solar power can help you go green, no matter which definition you happen to find more important. Here’s how:

Reduced Energy Costs

In 2009, the U.S. Energy Information Administration released a Residential Energy Consumption Survey. In it, they identified that the average United States homeowner ends up spending approximately $2,000 on home energy costs. Of course, those figures were gathered half a decade ago, so you can bet that the cost has only gone up since then. The point is, there’s probably a few things that come to mind when you consider what you could do with an extra $2,000 every year. The reason energy costs so much is that it’s difficult and expensive to generate. 44% of U.S. electricity comes from -burning plants (which also happen to be the biggest cause of air pollution in the country), with the other 36% divided between wind power, geothermal power, hydroelectric power, etc. All of these methods require resources, maintenance, and scores of employees to be able to function, and the person who gets to pay for it all is you. But, by switching over to home mounted-solar paneling, you effectively eliminate (or at least substantially reduce) your dependence on the city grid. Of course, the panels themselves are still somewhat expensive to purchase, which is why many individuals are taking a different approach. Vivint, Solarcity, and other major solar companies are now offering rentable solar panels. These companies are leasing solar power to customers for a fraction of what it would cost to get energy from the city.

Tax Credits

Believe it or not, the government is just as interested in preserving the planet as anyone (you could say that they have a vested interest in it). As such, they’re currently willing to offer monetary incentives to help motivate the American population into using clean energy sources. These incentives often take the form of tax credits, which allow a recipient to reduce the total amount of taxes that need to be paid. Tax credits may be offered by both the federal government, as well as state government, and can make a big difference to your bank account once April 15th rolls around. So, if you decide to throw your hat in with solar power, you might be able to keep a bit more of your hard-earned cash come tax season.

Improved Home Value

Anything that you do to your home will affect its overall worth, and solar panels are no exception. However, the question is this: Is the increased value enough to offset the initial installation costs? Well, it’s impossible to say for sure, given that much of it depends on what potential home buyers are willing to pay, but the outlook is pretty good. A report by the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that (especially in more liberal states), homeowners can recuperate up to 97% of their initial solar investment costs, and that doesn’t account for the other associated energy savings that come with solar power. This means that whether you want to sell your home or live in it for the rest of your life, you’ll be well rewarded if you’re willing to invest in solar power.

So, whether you’re more interested in keeping the planet green, or in lining your wallet with green, solar power is the way to go. Of course, you may have to spend a bit of green upfront, but just consider it an investment in the future—both for your bank account and for your planet.

Read more at Mother Earth News: 3 Simple Ways that Solar Energy Can Save You Money at Home